Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Optimizing Your Brain

Optimizing Your Brain

We've all had our moments of forgetfulness, brain fog, struggles to remember a word or a task. Many people say that they are feeling "their age" because they can't find the words, or are forgetful. They assume and accept that they will have cognitive decline as they age. There are many people that do, but there are ways to fight off cognitive decline and enhance brain function.

We are bombarded by information and stimuli from our environments that our brains are constantly processing. We ask a lot of our brains. Our brains have about 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts per day, and on top of that, the brain is responsible for keeping our bodies running efficiently. These are some of the ways to keep our brains sharp and healthy.

I will start with the simplest thing that everyone should be doing:
 

Exercise

Exercise stimulates glial-derived neurotrophic factor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor, both of which stimulate the formation of new brain cells. Many people stop exercising as they get older. In fact, you should be exercising more the older you get-not less. Walking reduces dementia by 60 percent. You need to walk at least three times per week for 45 minutes to optimize your brain.

Weight training stimulates the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is important for memory. Aerobic exercise stimulates the neurotransmitter dopamine. Walking in the middle of the day is the best for the production of serotonin because serotonin production is enhanced with exposure to the violet light spectrum (most prevalent in the middle of the day).

Sleep

The brain doesn't have a lymphatic system where toxins can drain. Toxins drain through glial cells. Glial cells compose 85 percent of the brain. Sleep causes glial cells to open up and detox. These cells are ten times more active during sleep vs. being awake. If you are not getting six and a half to eight hours of sleep (depending on the individual), your brain isn't able to fully detoxify. People that sleep less than six and a half hours per night are more prone to dementia and cognitive decline because they have toxic brains.

What to Eat for Brain Optimization

Berries (especially black and blue), almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts and pecans, at least 4 servings of leafy greens per day (bok choy, beet greens, collard greens, swiss chard, and arugula are some of the healthiest, as well as my favorites), orange veggies (sweet potatoes, carrots), red fruits (pomegranate), olive oil, rape seed oil, pumpkin seed oil, wild Alaskan salmon, coconut oil, cinnamon, coriander, cloves and basil.

Nutrients and Herbal Supplements

B12 (helps to make hemoglobin, which brings oxygen to cells), B2, B3, B6, B9, magnesium, alpha-lipoic acid, phosphorylated serine, phosphatidylcholine, ashwagandha, selenium, vitamin C, zinc, CoQ10, PharmaGABA, acetyl L-carnitine, green tea, turmeric (effective in reducing amyloid plaques which are linked to Alzheimer's disease), rosemary, bacopa, and gingko. Each of us has a specific genetic requirement that determines what our brains require to function at its best. What works for one person may or may not work for someone else. Have Muscle Testing done to determine what nutrient or herb will optimize your brain health.

Learning

Learning new information stimulates new brain cell formation. People with higher education have the lowest incidence of dementia. Learning a new language is one of the best ways to stimulate brain activity.

Balancing

Standing on one foot is great for stimulating your brain. Try it with your eyes open and closed. If you can't do it for more than a few seconds with your eyes closed, this could mean you have heavy metal toxicity or another form of nutrient imbalance. Whichever side is harder to do, tap the opposite side of your head while standing on one foot. For example: If you are standing on the left foot and are falling over much quicker than on the right foot, tap the right side of your head while balancing. The right brain controls the left side of the body and vice versa, so this stimulates the right brain.

Ping Pong and Dancing

Ping Pong increases dopamine and is a great brain stimulator. Who doesn't love a good game of table tennis? Dancing is another activity that is great for cognition. Dancing while playing ping pong is double the brain enhancement = Dance Pong.


About the Author

Dr. Louis Granirer is a leading NYC Chiropractor who specializes in traditional chiropractic care and holistic healing through nutrition response testing. Learn more by visiting his website at www.HolisticChiropracticCenter.com.

Additional References

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Nutrients for Optimal Fitness

Nutrients for Optimal Fitness

Exercise can relieve mental tension, promote emotional balance, and can be extremely beneficial to the immune system. However, If you overtrain, are under chronic stress, and are not supported nutritionally, this can have a deleterious effect on the body.

Numerous studies have concluded that intensive exercise of a long duration (greater than 90 minutes) can have a depressive effect on the immune system. People that train for marathons are 50 percent more likely to have an upper respiratory infection or cold than the general population. Many marathon runners aren't supplementing with essential nutrients that help with the burden they are placing on their bodies. Long duration exercise increases the hormone cortisol, increases pro-inflammatory cytokines, promotes lactic and pyruvic acid builds up, ammonia buildup, hypoxia, and a change in the circulating immune cells.

Here are some tips to counteract these side-effects for all fitness lovers and endurance athletes. Supporting your body before, during, and after working out is the key to maintaining immune system health and to optimize your performance.

PRE-WORKOUT

1. Consuming Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs- consisting of leucine, isoleucine, and valine): These are crucial for muscle building and optimal performance. They are essential in that they can not be produced by the body, but have to be consumed through food and supplements. They assist with protein synthesis and inhibit the breakdown of muscle cells, help with muscle and energy production, support hormone balance during exercise, and promotes glucose utilization and insulin sensitivity.

2. Consuming Supplements/Foods that Increase Nitric Oxide: Nitric oxide thins the blood and allows for enhanced circulation (so the blood flows more easily to and from the muscles), improves immune function, and improves mitochondrial health (energy centers of the cell). Hawthorne, L- citrulline, zinc, b6, vitamin c, manganese, magnesium all help with nitric oxide production. There are many nutritional supplement nitric oxide formulas that have some, or all, of these ingredients. Muscle testing can determine which is best for you.

3. Eat Raw Beets or Drink Beet Root Juice Before Exercise: Beets encourage the liver to dump glucose into the body so the muscles can utilize it. They also help with nitric oxide production. They can cause you to have looser stools, so make sure you experiment to see how they affect your digestive tract. I wouldn’t consume more than half a beetroot per day, which is about the size of a golf ball.

4. Vitamin E Intake: Many studies indicate that consuming vitamin E before a workout helps with muscle recovery, soreness, and endurance. The antioxidant activity of vitamin E plays a significant role in reducing free radicals that are produced during exercise.
 

DURING YOUR WORKOUT

1. Take B Vitamins: Certain B vitamins act as a vasodilator to increase blood flow to muscles and many B vitamins promote energy production.

2. Magnesium: This lowers the level of lactic acid, which helps prevent muscle fatigue. It also plays a significant role in ATP production (the energy currency of the body).

POST WORKOUT


1. Take Calcium Lactate: Exercise depletes calcium stores and is necessary for the proliferation of our white blood cells and immune system.

2. Take an Omega 3 Supplement; DHA, EPA, and ALA: Omegas are anti-inflammatory and help the body recover from the micro tears that are produced during exercise. They also help increase protein synthesis. Studies have indicated that omegas reduce delayed onset muscle soreness. They boost blood and oxygen flow to muscles and improve neuromuscular function.

Bodywork is also key to maintaining mobility and function when we are training hard. Chiropractic care keeps the joints mobile and makes sure the spine has the shock absorption ability that is required to avoid injury. If your joints are not moving properly, we lose shock absorption, and then our tendons, ligaments, and muscles take on more impact. This leads to the greater possibility of injury. 


About the Author

Dr. Louis Granirer is a leading NYC Chiropractor who specializes in traditional chiropractic care and holistic healing through nutrition response testing. Learn more by visiting his website at www.HolisticChiropracticCenter.com.

Additional References

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Collagen Deficiency and Wrinkles

Collagen: Beyond Wrinkles
Collagen is the most plentiful protein in the human body, and the most common protein found in mammals. It is primarily composed of three amino acids: glycine, proline and lysine. There are over twenty different types of collagen found in the human body, but types 1, 2 and 3 comprise 80 to 90 percent of total collagen.

Collagen is essential for the skin, ligaments, bone, blood vessels, eyes, heart (heart valves), organ encasements, gums, teeth, bladder, fascia, and tendons. Collagen is secreted by many types of cells including fibroblasts. Over 85 percent of the protein in the human body is collagen. The successful functioning of our bodies is dependent on adequate collagen synthesis.

As we get older, collagen production declines. This shows up as wrinkles and changes in the structural integrity of the skin. Another area in the body that is indicative of decreased collagen production can be receding gums. 

In order to make collagen, the body requires an adequate amount of the following nutrients: vitamin C, proline, glycine, lysine, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, sulfur, hyaluronic acid, and silica.

Collagen deficiency can contribute to bladder problems like incontinence, heart problems, arterial and circulation issues, eye and retinal issues, gum and mouth problems, lung problems, bone and soft tissue injuries.

Ways to Increase Collagen Production:

Bone Broth: Cook organic and pasture-raised bones (about a pound and a half per gallon of water) for 12-24 hours in water. Add about 2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar, cilantro (this keeps heavy metal absorption low), rosemary, and optional veggies (carrot, celery, greens etc.). Bone broth is rich in collagen protein and is an immune system tonic. It has the extra benefit of healing the gut lining.

Celery: Silica in celery is a building block for collagen. You can juice celery stalks and make 8 ounces of celery juice. Alternatively, you can Vitamix 4 stalks and 4 ounces of water, gulp it down, and have it away from all other foods to absorb it best.

Eggs: Eggs are rich in sulfur, a trace mineral necessary for collagen production. Egg yolks and eggshell membranes contain collagen.

Berries: Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries contain phytonutrients that help collagen fibers link together and are high in vitamin C, which is an essential building block for collagen production.

Pumpkin Seeds: High in zinc, which is an essential nutrient for collagen production.

Avocado oil: High in vitamin E and omegas, this oil helps to hinder the breakdown of collagen. It is probably the healthiest oil to use in cooking, as it is high heat tolerant.

Limes, Lemons, Oranges, Grapefruit: High in vitamin C, which helps the amino acids proline and lysine convert to collagen.

Swiss chard and carrots: Contain high levels of vitamin A, which helps with collagen production.

Collagen and cofactor supplementation: Nutritional Supplements allow for higher dosages of collagen intake, which may be more bioavailable, effective and convenient. Not everyone requires collagen protein, but may require the building blocks for collagen production. Bovine collagen is a naturally occurring protein found in the cartilage and bones of cows. Cartilage from chicken sternum is also commonly used for supplementation. They provide types 1 and 3 collagen, the key collagen components in your skin, hair, tendons, ligaments, muscles, bones, blood vessels, teeth, eyes, lungs, and gums.

A person may require supplementation with Collagen JS, silica, collagen protein, magnesium, zinc, proline, glycine, lysine, vitamin C, zinc, copper, niacin, hyaluronic acid, horsetail, and other supplementation. Applied Kinesiology using the skin tug test and muscle testing can determine if any of these collagen or cofactors are necessary for supplementation.

Cold Laser Red Light Therapy: Cold laser is an effective modality for increasing collagen production and synthesis. Cold laser promotes the release of cytokines and increases fibroblasts, which are major cells responsible for collagen production.

Quit Sugar: Sugar stimulates the enzyme Collagenase. Collagenase is an enzyme that breaks down the peptide bonds in collagen. Smoking, fluoridated water, processed foods and alcohol also stimulate collagenase. Drink filtered water to avoid chlorine and fluoride. Quit smoking and eat raw and organic fruits and vegetables for collagen support.

About the Authour

Dr. Louis Granirer is a leading NYC Holistic Chiropractor and Nutrition Response Testing Practitioner specializing in holistic remedies for good health maintenance and prevention of disease. Visit his website at HolisticChiropracticCenter.com to learn more.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Lectins: Are They Affecting Your Health?


Lectins: Are They Affecting Your Health?
People are often heard saying the same thing, "I eat really healthy and don't understand why I am not feeling well." The truth is, there is no one diet or generalized way of eating that works for everyone. Some people do well with a vegetarian diet, and others don't feel well without animal protein in their diet.

The bottom line with "healthy" eating is that we all have individual food requirements and sensitivities that are based on our genetics, the microbes in our gut, blood type, the amount of a particular food that we consume, our stress levels, toxin content in our foods and environment, etc. Certain so-called healthy foods may be causing inflammation, digestive disturbances, and contributing to systemic conditions and autoimmune disease in many people.

Lectins are another piece in the complex food puzzle, and many people with chronic conditions and disease may need to limit them in their diet. Lectins are proteins found in plants that are basically a defense mechanism for a plant against animals. Why would a plant want to defend itself against animals? The plant's goal is to survive and reproduce, so lectins act as a deterrent so that animals don't eat them.

Many people argue that certain plants want to be eaten, and sometimes it's true that a seed must be eaten before it will germinate. Other plants, however, must not be eaten to survive and reproduce, and thus produce defenses; most commonly lectins. Lectins attach themselves to sugar molecules throughout the body, especially in the gut and the brain. They disrupt the communication between cells and trick the immune system to counter an attack against them which leads to weight gain and inflammation throughout the body. Animals that eat lectin-based foods (such as farmed cows that eat soy and corn which are not a part of their evolutionary diet) also have high levels of lectins in their meat and milk.

Lectins are in too many foods to count, and not everyone has a problem with all lectins. Lectin tolerance is individually based, just like other food sensitivities. Nutrition Muscle Testing using a homeopathic lectin vial is one way to determine whether you have lectin sensitivity. If you have determined it is a problem, you can take active steps to limit your lectin content, and/or take specific supplementation that will help to bind the lectins to neutralize its effect. The supplement glucosamine is one of the binding agents for many lectins like wheat germ agglutinin in wheat. Why certain people's joints feel better taking glucosamine is simply because it is binding to the lectin that causes inflammation.

Steven Gundry, M.D. recently wrote a book entitled The Plant Paradox. It gives a complete list of foods that have high lectin content. Some of the foods with high lectin content include:
  • wheat pasta and other gluten-containing foods
  • rice
  • night shades (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, and bell peppers)
  • soy
  • green beans
  • lentils
  • sugar
  • chia seeds
  • melons
  • sunflower seeds
  • peanuts
  • cashews
  • zucchini
  • squash
  • beans
What are steps you can take to reduce the lectin content in foods?

1. Cook beans and lentils in a pressure cooker: Modern day pressure cookers like the Instant Pot are a great way to cook beans and reduce harmful lectins through its high-pressure cooking process.

2. Soak nuts and seeds before eating them: Soaking nuts and seeds help to remove the lectins that are in their hard outer casing. Make sure you throw out the water that you soaked them in and rinse well. You may have noticed an increase in "Sprouted" nut and seed products in health food stores, which is one way to reduce lectins.

3. Peel the skin and don't eat the seeds of lectin-containing vegetables: The outer skin and seeds hold the most lectins and should be discarded.

4. Supplement with lectin binding agents when eating meals with a high lectin content: Lectin Protect, by Supreme Nutrition, is a lectin binding product that contains okra, larch bark (from the larch tree) and bladderwrack (a seaweed). Okra can bind lectins in foods and those attached to receptor sites. Larch is high in arabinogalactans, which bind to lectin foods and lectin binding sites. Okra binds to lectins and eliminates them from the body. D-mannose and N acetyl glucosamine are also excellent lectin binding agents.

If you suspect you have a sensitivity to certain foods that contain lectins, it is advisable to stop eating these high lectin-containing foods and observe how you feel. Give it a couple of weeks on a strict lectin-free diet. If you do this elimination protocol and it is still not clear, Muscle Testing can determine if lectins are a problem for you.


Dr. Louis Granirer is a leading Holistic Chiropractor in NYC and Nutrition Response Testing Practitioner specializing in holistic remedies for good health maintenance and prevention of disease. Visit his website at HolisticChiropracticCenter.com to learn more.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Support for Your Heart and Cardiovascular System

Support for Your Heart and Cardiovascular System
The number-one cause of death globally has consistently been cardiovascular disease. Coronary artery disease, heart attacks, and stroke are the most prevalent forms of cardiovascular disease that lead to premature death.

About 1-in-4 deaths is the result of heart disease. In the U.S., someone has a heart attack every 42 seconds, and cardiovascular disease-related deaths occur every 60 seconds. Geographically speaking, the southern United States has the highest incidence of heart disease, whereas the West has the lowest.

Diet, nutrition, and a healthy lifestyle are essential to supporting the heart and cardiovascular system. Here are some suggestions to help to support this vital system.

1. Inflammation and stress:  Inflammation is the heart's nemesis. Many factors cause inflammation in the body, such as toxicity, sugar, processed food, pollution, food sensitivities, microbial issues, chemicals, and prolonged stress. In fact, a recent study in Lancet (volume 389, no. 10071), showed how the stress response activates a part of the brain called the amygdala.


The amygdala is the integrative center for our emotions and will send a distress signal to another part of the brain called the hypothalamus. The study revealed that when stress activates the amygdala, this activates bone marrow and arterial inflammation. When the arteries are inflamed, the heart has more difficulty pumping blood to different parts of the body. So it is important to mitigate the stress response to support the heart.

One way to physically work with the stress response is a body therapy technique I learned through Neuroemotional Technique.  Bend your elbows with your palms open and facing you. Take one hand and place your palm on the underside of the opposite wrist. This will allow you to wrap three fingers on each of the three acupuncture pulse points. These are located just below the wrist on the thumb side of the hand. Hold firm pressure on the acupuncture pulse points. Take the open palm of the hand/arm that the pulse points are being pressed on, and bring it to the forehead directly applying firm pressure. Continue to hold the forehead in this manner while breathing deeply for two minutes. Do the same procedure with the opposite hand/arm.  This helps to calm the amygdala, hypothalamus and the nervous system. This can be done multiple times per day and is a great stress reliever.

2. Limit sugar and increase the good fats: Sugar is a major stressor on the heart and cardiovascular system. Good fats and cholesterol are beneficial to the heart and cardiovascular system, despite being demonized by the medical community for years.  However, research indicates that cholesterol is an important building block for hormones and cells.


Triglycerides are actually a more telling cardiovascular risk indicator, and sugars get converted to and then stored as triglycerides. Extremely high cholesterol numbers are an indication that something in the body, such as the liver, is in a state of imbalance. Cholesterol numbers act a barometer.  It is important to look at the triglyceride numbers, homocysteine levels and not just the cholesterol numbers in blood work.

Triglyceride numbers that are below 100 are considered healthy (the medical community believes this number should be below 150). The French and many Mediterranean cultures eat a lot of fat, and their cholesterol numbers are consistently over 300, but they have low rates of heart disease. The French consume much less sugar than we do. In this country the sugar consumption is outrageous, and this is why we have such a high incidence of heart disease.

3. Eat these foods for heart health: Beet greens, Brussels sprouts, avocado, squash, Swiss chard, blueberries, blackberries, bok choy, pumpkin seeds, red beans, radish, sunflower seeds, wild Alaskan salmon, olive oil, almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, celery, and cucumber.

4. Correct your nutritional deficiencies, toxicity, and supplement:
There are many nutritional supplements and herbs that support the cardiovascular system. Magnesium, zinc, hawthorne berry, Cardio Plus, CV Tone, B12, B9 and other B vitamins, COQ10, taurine, carnitine, arginine, dan shen, omegas, hibiscus, Hemo Guard, and many other nutritional supplements may support the heart.


If you are on any cardiovascular drugs, make sure you check with your doctor before using and nutritional supplements. Every individual has different requirements based on their genetics. What may work for one person may not work for someone else. Muscle Testing is the best way to determine your individual requirements. Cleaning the body up and supporting the body reduces inflammation and supports the cardiovascular system.

5. Add these culinary herbs and spices to your food: Dill, cinnamon, fenugreek, rosemary, coriander, basil, turmeric, juniper berries, and chives. These should be used in small quantities if on heart medication, and always ask your doctor if these are ok with your medication.

6. Avoid chlorine: Get a shower filter to take out the chlorine and make sure that you drink filtered water that removes chlorine. Swim in a salt pool if possible.  Chlorine can adversely affect the heart, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.

7. If you or someone you know is having a cardiac event do the following: While waiting for an ambulance or help to arrive, do these simple things to help calm the heart.

  • Take two fingers and squeeze the top of the pinky finger of the person who is in need at the side of the nail. Hold the pinky with firm pressure until help arrives. This is a powerful acupuncture point on the heart meridian.
  • Put an ice pack or something cold (a bag of frozen peas) on the right side of the head. This is a point also related to the heart.

Dr. Louis Granirer is a leading Holistic Chiropractor in NYC and Nutrition Response Testing Practitioner specializing in holistic remedies for good health maintenance and prevention of disease. Visit his website at HolisticChiropracticCenter.com to learn more.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

How to Boost Testosterone Naturally

When diagnosed with low testosterone, there are ways to boost testosterone naturally.
When people think of testosterone, they generally think of men, but both men and women require proper levels of this vital hormone for sex drive, energy, red blood cells, bone health, mood, muscle development and cognitive ability. Testosterone is a steroid hormone that is produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands in women, and in the testicles and adrenal glands in men. It starts to decline when we get into our 30's and steadily declines with age.

Testosterone is produced from cholesterol. If someone has very low levels of cholesterol, there is a good chance that they will have low testosterone. Unfortunately, many men that are on cholesterol lowering drugs like statins end up having sexual dysfunction issues because the body has less cholesterol to produce hormones like testosterone.

Men that are overweight are more prone to lower testosterone levels because of an enzyme called aromatase, which is produced by fat cells. Aromatase converts testosterone into estradiol, which is a form of estrogen. The higher the estrogen levels in men, the lower the testosterone levels.

Here are some ways to naturally raise testosterone:

1) Get rid of the toxins: Specifically, phthalates and other toxins are endocrine disrupters. Endocrine disrupters mimic estrogen and disrupt testosterone production. Don't use plastic containers to store food, use glass instead. Use natural cleaning products. Drink filtered water- ditch the water from plastic bottles- glass water bottles are the healthiest. Make sure all of your skincare and toiletry products are natural.

2) Support your adrenal glands and liver: The liver helps in the production of cholesterol, which is the precursor to testosterone. The adrenal glands are where a certain amount of testosterone is produced. Cholesterol is converted to pregnenolone, which is converted to DHEA, and then converted to androstenedione, and finally to testosterone. If the levels of pregnenolone and DHEA are low, the body will have greater difficulty producing testosterone. Microbial imbalance, food sensitivities, heavy metals, and chemical toxins are major culprits that cause the liver and the adrenal glands to have difficulty functioning. Muscle testing can identify remedies to support the adrenal glands, the liver, and help the body to function optimally.

3) Lose weight: Fat cells produce testosterone killing enzymes. Cut out the sugar. Start doing the Phil Maffetone method of cardiovascular aerobic exercise. I find that his method of heart rate monitoring, cardiovascular exercise to be very nourishing for the adrenal glands and the lymphatic system. His routine involves a maximum heart rate of 180 minus your age. Look him up for more details.

4) Weightlifting
: Many studies show that weight lifting exercises that max out at 6 to 12 repetitions stimulate testosterone production.

5
) As soon as you get up in the morning: Have 12 ounces of filtered water.

6
) Incorporate these juices into your life: Celery juice (4 stalks with 4 ounces of water in a Vitamix or another power blender- or juicing celery to make 10 to 12 ounces of celery juice) and pomegranate juice are helpful for supporting testosterone levels. You should consume these juices 20 minutes away from anything else including each other.

7
) Essential foods for testosterone support: Have a protein-filled breakfast. A split pea protein smoothie is a great option to get 25 grams of protein for breakfast. Add to your smoothie some wild blueberries and a nut or seed butter like almond or sunflower butter. Asparagus, wild blueberries, blackberries, wild salmon, cruciferous veggies like cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower (if you have a low thyroid condition you should limit the cruciferous veggies), banana, extra virgin cold pressed organic olive oil (tablespoon with dinner), eggs, avocados, sorghum flour, macadamia nuts, and coconut oil, all help to support testosterone levels (make sure you buy organic to reduce your toxic burden).

8
) Nutritional supplements that support testosterone levels: There are many natural herbs, vitamins, and minerals that help give the body the support it needs to raise and balance testosterone levels. Some of these include Vitamin D, specific types of Zinc, specific types of Magnesium, Damiana, Tribulus, Ashwagandha, Panax Ginseng, Rhodiola, Suma, and Lurong. Every person has different requirements for hormone balancing, and Muscle Testing can determine which particular nutrients or herbs are the appropriate remedies.

Dr. Louis Granirer is a leading Holistic Chiropractor in NYC and Nutrition Response Testing Practitioner specializing in holistic remedies for good health maintenance and prevention of disease. Visit his website at HolisticChiropracticCenter.com to learn more.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Organ Spotlight: The Liver

The liver is the most active organ in the human body, filtering toxins and much more.
The greatest multitasker and the most active organ in the human body is probably the liver. Many of us know the main function of the liver is to filter out the bad stuff from our bodies, but the liver's functions are vast and go way beyond filtration.

The liver filters chemicals, toxins, and biological compounds. It stores vitamins, glycogen (stored form of glucose), cholesterol, iron, copper, and fats. The liver synthesizes cholesterol, estrogen, proteins, bile (fat digestion aid), anti-clotting factors, hormones for bone growth and soft tissue growth, and is essential for thyroid hormone conversion. It controls homeostasis for glucose, proteins, fat, cholesterol, hormones, and fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K). It excretes Immunoglobulins into the digestive tract (Kupfer cells), which are important for the health of the immune system. It regulates the blood supply by storing blood cells and breaking down blood cells for elimination.

Even if a majority of the liver is damaged, it has the ability to regenerate and produce new liver tissue. Dietary modification and nutritional supplementation can reverse liver damage and provide the liver and the entire body the ability to function better.

Fructose is a form of sugar that can only be metabolized by the liver, but unfortunately, the liver has difficulty metabolizing fructose. Glucose, on the other hand, can be metabolized by the majority of cells of the body. If the body is bombarded by fructose, then it causes the liver to have difficulty functioning. Fructose is in high fructose corn syrup (an ingredient in many processed foods), soft drinks, agave, honey, fruits and dried fruits.

There are certain fruits that have high fructose levels like pineapple, mango, plums, certain pears (Bartlett), red apples, and grapes. Believe it or not, excess fructose can be just as bad for the liver as alcohol. Limiting your fructose to about 25 grams per day is recommended for proper liver function. If you have liver dis- ease or disease, you should limit your fructose intake to no more than 15 grams per day. A good guideline is limiting your fruit intake to one serving of fruit per day. Berries are my personal favorite as they have plenty of antioxidants and anti-cancer properties.

Liver function is compromised by air pollution and toxin exposure, alcohol, illegal and legal drug use, fructose overconsumption, processed foods and poor diet, stress and emotional distress like anger, viruses, parasites and microbial imbalance. Many studies have revealed the connection between viruses like hepatitis and liver damage. The Epstein Barr Virus also can have a detrimental impact on the liver. Many parasites migrate to the liver and result in liver damage. Cleaning the body up of toxins and microbial imbalance is the most important step in helping the liver to function optimally.

Symptoms of improper liver function include fatigue, weakness, confusion, irritability, prone to anger, bloating and gas, bruising easily, yellow hue to skin, sometimes discomfort in the right upper portion of the abdomen, excessive sweating, dark urine, skin issues, musculoskeletal imbalances especially sciatica, eye floaters, constipation, and being prone to colds and flu.

How to Keep Your Liver Functioning Well and to Help Reverse Liver Damage:

1- Eat these foods (as long as you are not sensitive to them): Collard greens, Swiss chard, dandelion greens, beets, Brussels sprouts, walnuts, and avocados. Try to buy organic as much as possible. These foods increase glutathione, which is the most powerful anti-oxidant in the body and helps with detoxification pathways. Other foods that help the liver include olive oil, asparagus, cucumber, lemon, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar and raw garlic.

2- Use these spices and herbs: coriander, cilantro, rosemary, turmeric, parsley, oregano, and peppermint. They help with glutathione production and to cool the liver heat.

3- Nutritional supplements that support the liver's health: Milk Thistle, Siberian lettuce, Couch Grass, Chickweed, Dandelion, Nettles, Rosemary, Schisandra berry, NAC, Panax Ginseng, Ginger, Taurine, Betaine, Phyllanthus Fraternus, and Glutathione have regenerative qualities to support the liver. It is important to know which specific nutrient is right for you by Nutrition Muscle Testing. Otherwise, you are playing a guessing game.

4- Movements to help the liver: The revolved side angle pose and the seated spinal twist (yoga poses) are great to stimulate the liver. The Liver 3 Point in the acupuncture system is located on the top of the foot, in the angle between the first and second toes. This is a great point to apply firm rotatory pressure, for about one minute, every other day. Exercise is key in helping the liver; a gentle cardiovascular aerobic routine and chi gong are probably the most therapeutic activities for liver health.

This specific movement incorporates the liver healing sound "SSSSHHHH." While standing up, touch the ring finger to the thumb with the arms down by the side (the ring finger is part of the liver meridian). Chant the sound "SSSSHHHH" while raising the arms (palms up) with your ring fingers and thumbs touching to the level of your shoulders/ears, and then open up your palms. Repeat this three times (take a 10-second rest between each repetition).

5- Self Care: Balance your stress and emotional body with meditation, breathing exercises, tai chi, chi gong, yoga, getting body work such as chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, taking baths, aromatherapy, and spend time in nature. Even if you can't get out of your urban environment, go to a park and sit on the grass or at the base of a tree. Nature attunes and calms the body, and can be the best medicine of all.


Dr. Louis Granirer is a leading Holistic Chiropractor in NYC and Nutrition Response Testing Practitioner specializing in holistic remedies for good health maintenance and prevention of disease. Visit his website at HolisticChiropracticCenter.com to learn more.

Additional Resources About the Liver:

The American Liver Foundation
http://www.liverfoundation.org/abouttheliver/liverhealth/