The importance of bile for healthy arterial flow (Pt. 2)

Diseases of the circulatory system. Coronary heart disease

The circulatory system is comprised of:

  • The blood circulatory system. Including the heart, and the blood vessels through which the blood circulates
  • The lymph system.  Consisting of lymph nodes and lymph vessels through which lymph flows. There is three times more lymph fluid than blood and this may be because lymph takes waste products from the cells, cellular debris, and removes them from the body

Under normal conditions, the liver filters more than one quart of blood per minute, leaving only the acidic carbon dioxide for elimination through the lungs. After it is purified in the liver, the blood passes through the hepatic vein into the inferior vena cava, which takes it directly into the right side of the heart. From there the venous blood is carried to the lungs where carbon dioxide is excreted and oxygen is absorbed. After leaving the lungs, the oxygenated blood passes into the left side of the heart, from where it is pumped into the aorta. This supplies all body tissues  with oxygenated blood. In this fashion, the liver thoroughly detoxifies and purifies the blood. (1)

Because the liver influences the entire circulatory system, including the heart, the liver could be considered the greatest protector of the heart. Proof of this is that long before the heart begins to malfunction, the liver loses much of its major vitality and efficiency. “A heart attack is actually the final stage of an insidious disorder that has been years in the making.” (1)

Gallstones affect the blood vessels supplying the liver, reducing internal blood supply. “A congested liver can obstruct the venous blood flow to the heart, leading to heart palpitations or even heart attacks.” It is obvious that toxins that are not neutralized by the liver end up damaging the heart and blood vessel network.

Another consequence of this is that proteins from dead cells and unused food protein are not sufficiently broken down, which raises protein concentrations in the blood. Ultimately the concentrations of hemoglobin in the blood begins to increase, giving rise to red complexion on the face or chest. As a result of all this red blood cells become enlarged and are unable to pass through the tiny vessels of the capillary network. This high concentration of protein in the blood causes the blood to become too thick and slow moving, increasing its tendency toward clotting, heart attacks or strokes.

This slow moving blood will also compromise delivery of nutrients and oxygen all through the body as well as elimination of waste, all of which can increase blood pressure and  damage the blood vessels. In the meantime, the excess proteins are stored in the blood vessel walls, where they are converted into collagen fiber. This in turn decreases the amount of oxygen, and essential nutrients to the cells including those of the heart. Heart muscle weakness and arteriosclerosis will be the end result.

Liver congestion can cause high cholesterol

We have seen how critical cholesterol is for health. The main producers of cholesterol are the liver and the small intestine, respectively. They release cholesterol right into the blood stream where cholesterol binds to the blood proteins called ‘lipoproteins’, whose job is to transport cholesterol through the body: High density lipoprotein (HDL), Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and Very low density lipoprotein (VLDL).

The difference among these three is that LDL and VLDL are larger cholesterol  molecules than HDL. Because of this size difference HDL can pass through blood vessel walls but LDL and VLDL have to use a different pathway, the liver’s blood vessels (sinusoids). Once they have passed through the liver they are rebuilt and excreted along with bile into the intestines. There it combines with fats, and it is absorbed by the lymph in order to enter the blood again. Gallstones in the liver inhibit bile production, blocking cholesterol’s escape route. Under these circumstances, bile production drops from a quart or more of bile per day to a cup or less. This prevents much of the cholesterol (VLDL and LDL) from being excreted with the bile, and causes it to be ‘trapped in the blood’ and its concentration to rise in the blood.

What is more, digestion is impaired, especially fats, which prevents cholesterol to be available for basic cell metabolism. The liver then starts producing more cholesterol, increasing LDL and VLDL even more in the blood.

Gallstones can cause poor circulation, enlargement of the heart and spleen, varicose veins, lymph congestion, and hormonal imbalances

When gallstones impede blood flow through the liver, venous blood pressure in the liver and in all of the organs of the body that drain used blood into the liver’s portal vein is increased: spleen, stomach, esophagus, pancreas, gallbladder, small and large intestines. This can lead to enlargement of all these organs, a reduction of their ability to remove cellular waste and clogging of their respective veins.This can show up as ‘varicose veins’ in the legs and ‘hemorrhoids’. (1)

“Poor blood flow through the liver always affects the heart. When the organs of the digestive system become weakened by an increase in venous pressure, they become congested and begin to accumulate harmful waste, including debris from cells that have been broken down. The spleen becomes enlarged while it is dealing with the extra workload associated with removing damaged or worn-out blood cells. This further slows blood circulation to and from the organs of the digestive system, which stresses the heart, raises blood pressure and injures blood vessels. The right part of the heart, which receives venous blood via the inferior vena cava from the liver and all other parts below the lungs, becomes overloaded with toxic sometimes infections material. This eventually causes enlargement, and possibly infection, of the right side of the heart. Almost all types of heart disease have one thing in common: blood flow is being obstructed” (1)

The lymphatic system removes harmful waste products

Reduced blood flow through the liver affects blood flow in the entire body, which in turn has a detrimental effect on the lymphatic system.

“The lymphatic system, which is closely related to the immune system, helps clear the body of harmful metabolic waste products, foreign material and cell debris. All cells release metabolic waste products and take up nutrients from a surrounding solution called ‘extracellular fluid’ or ‘connective tissue’. The degree of nourishment and efficiency of the cells depends on how swiftly and completely waste material  is removed from the extracellular fluid. Since most waste products cannot pass directly into the blood for excretion, they accumulate in the extracellular fluid until they are removed and detoxified by the lymphatic system. The potentially harmful material is filtered and neutralized by lymph nodes that are strategically located  throughout the body. One of the key functions of the lymphatic system is to keep the extracellular fluid clear of toxic substances” (1)

“Poor circulation of blood in the body causes an overload of foreign, harmful waste matter in the extracellular tissues and in the lymph vessels and lymph nodes. When lymph drainage slows down or becomes obstructed, the thymus gland, tonsils and spleen start to deteriorate rapidly. These organs form an important part of the body’s system of purification and immunity. In addition, microbes harbored in gallstones can be a constant source of recurring infection in the body, which may render the lymphatic and immune systems ineffective against more serious infections.” (1)

“Owing to the restricted bile flow in the liver and gallbladder, the small intestine is restricted in its capacity to digest food properly. This allows substantial amounts of waste matter and poisonous substances, such as cadaverines and putrescines (breakdown products of putrefied food) to seep into the lymphatic ducts. These toxins, along with fats and proteins enter the body’s largest lymph vessel, the thoracic duct. Toxins, antigents and undigested protein from animal sources as well as leaked plasma proteins, cause these lymph sacks to swell and become inflamed. Viruses, fungi and bacteria feed on the pooled wastes, in some cases allergic reactions occur. This results in lymph edema which can cause middle or low back pain and abdominal swelling, which is considered a ‘normal part of aging’ but it is nothing more than a lymphatic congestion.” (1)

“Some 80% of the lymphatic system is associated with the intestines, any lymph edema in this important part of the lymphatic system can lead to potentially serious complications elsewhere in the body. Whenever a lymph duct is obstructed the lymph nodes can no longer properly neutralize the following things: dead and live phagocytes and their ingested microbes, worn out tissue cells, cells damaged by disease, products of fermentation, pesticides in food, toxic antibodies contained in most plant foods, cells from malignant tumors, and the millions of cancer cells every healthy person generates each day. Incomplete destruction of these things can cause these lymph nodes to become inflamed, enlarged, and congested with blood. Infected material may enter the bloodstream, causing septic poisoning and acute illnesses. In most cases, the lymph blockage occurs slowly, without symptoms other than swelling of the abdomen, hands, arms, feet, ankles or puffiness in the face and eyes, this is referred to as ‘water retention’,  a major precursor of chronic illness. All this congestion can manifest in any part of the body, like in enlargement of the left half of the heart, and congestive heart failure. This can also cause these toxins to be passed into the heart and its arteries, stressing the heart and allowing these toxins to enter the general circulation.” (1)

We can prevent gallstones 

What can we do about this? One answer could be to change the way we eat: more fresh , unprocessed, organic, clean foods can take the load off our liver and gallbladder. Supplementing would be another way. Some of the nutrients required for detoxification via the liver detoxification pathways are:

  • In phase 1: the B vitamins, folic acid, glutathione, vitamin E and C
  • In phase 2: selenium, sulfur, and the amino acids taurine, cysteine, glutamine, and glycine. (2)

Taurine is a very interesting amino acid, it is not only used by our body for detoxification , according to Benjamin Fuchs, R Ph “It helps lower blood pressure and improves the excretion of excess fluid which takes pressure off of blood vessels. It strengthens heart muscle and helps maintain calcium balance in heart cells. (It is also) Critical in maintaining heart muscle contraction.” (3)

A great supplement we can use to help bile is lecithin. Lecithin is “an active ingredient in bile” (4)

The “Heart and Body Extract” can improve circulation, digestion and detoxification

We have seen how critical proper blood circulation and lymphatic flow are to heart healt. Each of the ingredients in the “Heart and Body Extract” can help with circulation and lymphatic congestion by themselves, but their properties are improved when they are combined  together. For example, cayenne has vascular dilation properties, improves circulation in the extremities and  stimulates lymph flow. Garlic is a great blood cleanser, it is antiseptic, antiparasitic, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. Garlic then can assist bile’s antibacterial activity, by stimulating the action of the liver and gallbladder. To this we can add that garlic stimulates digestive enzymes and improves the immune system. This is why many people find that taking the “Heart and Body Extract” helps their digestion. Ginger is also a great digestive aid, but it also helps with circulation and it is a catalyst for other herbs, meaning it improves the properties of other herbs it is combined with. Ginger is also great for nausea, increases lymph flow and aids elimination of mucus from upper respiratory areas, especially the lungs. It also lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, prevents blood clotting and it is useful post strokes. (5)

Concluding…

In conclusion, bile flow is critical for overall health. Obstructive gallstones can become a major source of congestion and toxicity in the body. Luckily, there are many things we can do to prevent this. The “Heart and Body Extract” together with a clean diet can keep the detoxification pathways in our body clear.

Be pro-active and take your health in your own hands today. Thank you for reading.

References:

(1) Moritz, Andreas. The Liver and Gallbladder Miracle Cleanse: An All-natural, At-home Flush to Purify and Rejuvenate Your Body. Berkeley, CA: Ulysses, 2007. Print.

(2) http://drjockers.com/sulfur-a-critical-nutrient-for-optimal-health/

(3) http://pharmacistben.com/nutrition/top-12-heart-nutrients-part-1/

(4) http://pharmacistben.com/health/lecithin-protective/

(5) Morse, Robert. The Detox Miracle Sourcebook: Raw Foods and Herbs for Complete Cellular Regeneration. Prescott, AZ: Hohm, 2004. Print.

The importance of bile for healthy arterial flow (Pt. 1)

We have seen the key role the liver plays in digestion and detoxification: the liver is a digestive organ, makes bile and cholesterol  and it is the body’s major detoxification organ. By breaking down complex chemicals, alcohol, toxins, bacteria and parasites, the liver converts these into less toxic substances. But the liver has hundreds of other functions, each of them connected with different parts of the body. According to Andreas Moritz, author of the book “The liver and gallbladder miracle cleanse”, the liver “With its intricate labyrinth of veins, ducts and specialized cells feeds  the 60 to 100 trillion cells of the body…. supply(ing) these cells with a constant stream of nutrients, enzymes and hormones.” (1)

To perform all of these functions the liver needs to be completely unobstructed. But what happens when this is not the case? Gallstones are a hazard to all these vital tasks because they obstruct bile flow, leading to high levels of toxicity in the liver and ultimately to liver diseases. According to the author, “Liver congestion is among the leading health problems” (1) and in his opinion it is not something that  conventional medicine  considers, not until advanced liver cell destruction shows up as elevated liver enzymes in the blood.

The good news is that it takes many years for this congestion to happen, which means there are many things we can do to prevent this. In this blog, we will look once again at the liver and the gallbladder. We will give special attention to the importance of bile and how it can be key to the health of our heart. We will also look at how the liver influences the entire circulatory system, and how the “Heart and Body Extract” can help keep our liver and gallbladder work properly.

The liver has many jobs

“The liver is the largest gland in the body, weighing up to 3 pounds…It can also be the most complex and active organ in the body.”  (1) A healthy liver receives and filters 3 pints of blood per minute. Most of the filtered waste products leave the liver via bile. The liver also produces 1-1.5 quarts of bile every day. This ensures that all the activities in the liver and in the rest of the body run smoothly and efficiently.

The liver is also responsible for hundreds of other different functions,  the main ones are:

  • Manufacture of cholesterol, an essential building material  of organ cells
  • Manufacture of bile
  • Production of hormones and proteins that affect the way the body functions, grows and heals
  • Manufacture of new amino acids
  • Conversion of existing amino acids into proteins: These proteins are the main building blocks of the cells, hormones , neurotransmitters, genes and so forth
  • Break down of old, worn-out cells and the nitrogen part of amino acids, the byproduct of which in both cases is uric acid, which is excreted through urine
  • Recycling of protein and iron
  • Storage of vitamins and nutrients
  • Growth and functioning of every cell in the body

Reduced bile availability is the source of almost all health problems

In order to perform all of its functions, the liver needs these 1-1.5 quarts of bile per day, anything less than that, as it is the case of gallstones, will dramatically compromise our health (1). Bile availability is so important that the author asserts “Almost all health problems are a direct or indirect consequence of reduced bile availability.” (1)

But, what is bile exactly? “Bile is a “yellow/green aqueous solution…(made up of) bile acids, cholesterol, phospholipids (mainly phosphatidylcholine) and the pigment biliverdin (bili = bile, verdi = green).” (2)

Bile has a key role in digestion.  “Without sufficient bile, food remains undigested or partially digested. For example, to enable the small intestines to digest and absorb fat and calcium from food, the food must first combine with bile. When fat is not absorbed, calcium is not absorbed either, leaving the blood in a deficit. The blood subsequently takes its extra calcium from the bones. Most bone density problems (osteoporosis) actually arise from insufficient bile secretion and poor digestion of fats, rather than from not consuming enough calcium.” (1)

Bile is antimicrobial and antibacterial

This detergent and emulsification ability that allows bile to solubilize fats “also confers potent antimicrobial properties on bile and gives it an important role in the body’s physicochemical defense system.” (2) Bile primarily exerts its antibacterial effects on cell membranes, cells then become shrunken and empty after exposure to bile. “Bile salts at high concentrations can rapidly dissolve membrane lipids and cause dissociation of integral membrane proteins ….This nearly instantaneous solubilization results in the leakage of cell contents and cell death” This antibacterial role bile plays explains why many substances are mixed into bile.” (2) This is the case of:

Immunoglobulin A and mucus, which are secreted into bile to prevent bacterial growth and adhesion.

Tocopherol, which may prevent oxidative damage to the biliary and small intestinal epithelium

Many endogenous substances (endobiotics) may be secreted in bile and undergo enterohepatic cycling (recycling). These include lipovitamins (particularly the biologically active forms of vitamin D 2), water-soluble vitamins (particularly vitamin B 12, folic acid and pyridoxine), all estrogenic steroids, progesterone, testosterone, corticosteroids and essential trace metals. Many other substances like antimicrobials and drugs are also mixed into bile and undergo this enterohepatic cycling. (2)

Bile also functions as an excretory fluid by eliminating substances that cannot be efficiently excreted in urine because they are insoluble or protein bound, like it is the case of cholesterol. (2)

Other jobs bile has are:

  • To maintain normal fat levels in the blood
  • To help maintain proper acid/alkaline balance in the intestinal tract
  • To keep the colon from breeding harmful microbes
  • To feed the body’s cells in the right amounts

Enterohepatic circulation: Bile recycles itself

One of the lesser known extremely important functions of bile is to deacidify and cleanse the intestines. (1) Bile performs this very important role by going from the liver to the intestines in a circular motion up to 10 times a day, (2-3 times for each meal). (3) This is actually where bile recycles itself and as it does it cleanses itself and the intestines. This is what is known as ‘enterohepatic circulation’ (2) and it is of great importance for the health of our digestive system in regards to “microbial defense, maintaining intestinal barrier integrity, setting the microbiome, optimizing detoxification, inhibiting inflammation, promoting fat and fat soluble nutrient uptake, and the regulation of glucose and lipid homeostasis throughout the body.” (3)

It is also the reason why the many toxic substances we mentioned above are usually ‘dumped’ into bile in order to be detoxified too.

While the majority of bile in our body is recycled and put back in use by this process known as ‘enterohepatic circulation’, a small amount of bile is lost in stool everyday. This loss is “compensated by an equal daily synthesis of bile acids by the liver, (which allows) the size of the bile salt pool to be maintained.” (2)

Bile is synthesized in the liver, stored in the gallbladder and secreted into the duodenum

The gallbladder is not essential for bile secretion but it facilitates its storage in preparation for fat digestion. The liver is where bile is synthesized. After synthesis, bile leaves the liver and enters the duodenum at a junction regulated by the ‘sphincter of Oddi’ (2)

Half of this hepatic bile is then diverted to the gallbladder where water and electrolytes are removed and bile is acidified. The other half bypasses the gallbladder and enters the duodenum in order to undergo the continuous recycling we mentioned before (enterohepatic cycling). (2)

When food enters the small intestine, acid and partially digested fats stimulate secretion of two hormones that are important for the secretion and flow of bile: ‘secretin’ and ‘cholecystokinin’. Secretin stimulates biliary duct cells to secrete bicarbonate and water to expand the volume of bile. Cholecystokinin (cholecysto = gallbladder, kinin = movement) stimulates contractions of the gallbladder and the common bile duct. As a result, the gallbladder contracts, the sphincter of Oddi relaxes, and up to 80% of the gallbladder contents are discharged into the duodenum. (2)

Bile acids are 50% of the content in bile

Bile acids constitute approximately 50% of the organic components of bile. They are synthesized in the liver from cholesterol by a multienzyme process.  “All bile acids are conjugated with either glycine or taurine before secretion….for this reason both taurine and glycine conjugates are often called ‘bile salts’.” (2) Conjugation is a process by which a substance is bound to an acid in order to deactivate it and make it water soluble, thereby facilitating their excretion (1). Bile acids then “promote concentration of bile” (2)

Bile acids emulsify fats and act as ‘lipid carriers’

“Bile acids play an essential role in digestion by emulsifying and solubilizing fats. Bile acids are secreted into bile…and mix with phosphatidylcholine and cholesterol. When bile enters the small intestine, phosphatidylcholine is hydrolysed and absorbed and cholesterol precipitates from solution enhancing its elimination. …Bile acids…have (a) detergent action on particles of dietary fat, which causes fat globules to break down or be emulsified into minute, microscopic droplets…. Emulsification greatly increases the surface area of fat, making it available for digestion by lipases, which cannot access the inside of fat droplets.” (2) This is a very key aspect of fat digestion, it basically means that without bile, even if we are supplementing with digestive enzymes, fats cannot be completely digested.

“Bile acids also function as ‘lipid carriers’ in that they can solubilize lipids …and thus allow their transport in an aqueous environment, which is critical for the absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins… In addition, … the ability of bile acids to act as detergents also allows them to interact with bacterial membrane lipids thereby conferring potent antimicrobial properties on bile. ” (2)

“Decreased concentrations of bile acids in bile may also result in bile being supersaturated with cholesterol and may lead to the formation of gallstones.” (2)

Gallstones prevent bile from flowing in sufficient amounts 

“The gallbladder is a sac-like organ that expands to the size and shape of a small pear when full” (2). A normal gallbladder generally holds about 2 fluid ounces of bile. Also, the gallbladder adds mucus to bile, which turns it into a thick, mucus-like substance with a different consistency than that from the liver. Its high concentration makes bile the powerful digestive aid that it is.

The muscular walls of the gallbladder contract and eject bile when acidic foods and most protein foods enter the duodenum from the stomach. This is even more the case if the food is high in fat. The body uses the bile salts contained in bile to emulsify the fat and facilitate its digestion. Once the bile salts have done their job and left the emulsified fat for intestinal absorption, they travel on down the intestine. Most of them are reabsorbed in the small section of the small intestine (ileum) and carried back to the liver. Once in the liver the bile salts are collected again in the bile and secreted into the duodenum.

Diminished bile salts concentration in the bile causes gallstones and leaves large amounts of fats undigested, this is hazardous to the intestinal environment. Gallstones in the gallbladder may contain cholesterol, calcium, pigments such are bilirubin, bile salts, water mucus, toxins, bacteria, and sometimes dead parasites.

“Gallstones  in the liver and gallbladder continuously block the liver’s bile ducts, …thus prevent(ing) the necessary amounts of bile from reaching the intestines” (1). Lack of sufficient bile will interfere with:

  • The digestion of food
  • Elimination of waste
  • Detoxification of harmful substances in the blood
  • Maintenance of the nervous and endocrine systems and all other parts of the body

Gallstones are ‘sticky’ hardened bile

As we have seen in previous blogs, gallstones are a lifestyle problem. Food toxins and food chemicals, heavy metals, drugs, etc all can add up and increase toxicity in the body. These toxins have to be detoxified in the liver,  and leave the liver via bile. Too many of these toxins will not only overload the liver’s detoxification abilities, but also the  bile system. Bile then can become ‘sticky’ and saturated with its unabsorbed constituents. Since they cannot be filtered, they begin to harden, which is what gallstones are.

In the same way, a diet high in processed carbohydrates will force the liver to manufacture extra cholesterol. In normal circumstances cholesterol is dissolved in bile, but when there is too much, it can precipitate out of the bile solution and come out as crystals, causing gallstones.

“Because these stones are congealed clumps of bile or organic matter, they are practically ‘invisible’ to x-rays, ultrasonic technologies and CT. Only when excessive amounts of cholesterol-based stones, or other clumps of fat, block the bile ducts of the liver may an ultrasound test reveal what is generally referred to as ‘fatty liver’…A dilation of bile ducts caused by larger and denser stones or by clusters of stones may be detected more readily through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)” (1). In the case of the gallbladder, tests can more easily detect these hardened stones with X rays or ultrasound. (1)

Gallstones can cause diseases of the gallbladder and bile ducts

Gallstones can be very painful, condition known as ‘biliary colic’. Gallstones can also cause irritation and inflammation of the lining of the gallbladder and bile ducts, condition known as ‘cholecystitis’. Ulceration of the tissues between the gallbladder and the duodenum or colon is also common and is known as ‘fistula formation and fibrous adhesions’.

Gallstones can cause many diseases of the liver

“A healthy liver and immune system  are perfectly able to destroy viral material…however, when large amounts of gallstones are present, the liver becomes congested and toxic.” According to the author Andreas Moritz, all liver diseases are preceded by extensive bile duct obstruction caused by gallstones. Gallstones distort the liver lobules, subsequently, blood circulation to and from these lobules and the cells of which they are composed, becomes increasingly difficult. Under these conditions, the liver cells have to cut down bile production and nerve fibers become damaged. Prolonged suffocation due to the presence of stones eventually damages or destroys liver cells and their lobules. Fibrous tissue gradually replaces damaged cells, causing  further obstruction and an increase in pressure  on the liver’s  blood vessels. If the regeneration of the liver cells does not keep pace with this damage, liver cirrhosis is imminent.

As opposed to liver cirrhosis, liver failure can be reversed once the cause for blockage is removed, whether it is alcohol, drugs or gallstones. Liver failure occurs when cell suffocation is so severe that the liver’s vital functions cannot be carried on. Once the cause is removed, cells grow again and the liver can return to normal.

Acute hepatitis results when whole groups of liver cells begin to die off. Because gallstones harbor large quantities of viral material, this can invade and infect liver cells, causing cell degenerative changes. As gallstones increase in number and size and as more cells become infected and die, entire lobules begin to collapse and blood vessels begin to develop kinks. This greatly affects blood circulation to the remaining liver cells. The extent of the damage that these changes have on the liver and its overall performance largely depends on the degree of obstruction caused by the gallstones in the liver bile ducts. Cancer of the liver only occurs after many years of progressive occlusion of the liver bile ducts.” (1)

When the movement of bile through the bile channels (canaliculi) is blocked, and the liver cells can no longer conjugate and excrete bile pigment (bilirubin) there is a buildup in the bloodstream of both bile and the substances from which it is made. As ‘bilirubin’ begins to build up in the blood, it stains the skin, causing the characteristic color.

Gallstones can also harbor many live viruses. Some of these break free and enter the blood, condition  known as ‘chronic hepatitis’.

What other consequences can we find for the presence of gallstones?

The liver loses its ability to detoxify any harmful substances in the blood: chloroform, alcohol , drugs, etc. The presence of these toxins can cause the body to develop hypersensitivity to these toxic substances. Many allergies stem from such conditions of hypersensitivity

The liver cannot deliver the proper amounts of nutrients and energy to the right places in the body at the right time. This upsets the delicate balance in the body, known as ‘homeostasis’,  leading to disruption of its systems and stress on its organs. A clear example of such a disturbed balance is an increased concentration of the endocrine hormones estrogen and aldosterone in the blood. These hormones, produced both in men and women, are responsible for the correct amount of salt and water retention. These hormones may not be sufficiently broken  down  and detoxified. Their high concentration in the blood causes  tissue swelling and water retention  which causes toxins and harmful waste matter to accumulate in various parts of the body and further congests the pathways of circulation and elimination.

Gallstones interfere with digestion and increase toxicity

Gallstones in the liver and gallbladder drastically reduce the secretion of bile, which weakens the ability of pancreatic enzymes to digest carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and prevents the small intestine from absorbing fats, calcium and vitamin K. Vitamin K, as we have seen, is used by the liver to produce the compounds responsible for the clotting of the blood.  In case of poor vitamin K absorption, hemorrhagic disease, heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer may occur.

Calcium is also essential for bone and teeth, coagulation of the blood, muscle contraction and some other vital activities. Poor bile secretion can undermine the uptake of calcium, vitamins A, E and D. Vitamin A in low levels can damage the epithelial cells of all the organs, blood vessels, and lymph vessels. Vitamin A is also important for eyesight and to reduce microbial infection.

What is more, and as we have seen in previous blogs, undigested food tends to ferment in the small and large intestines. In order to speed up the process of decomposition, they attract a great number of bacteria. The breakdown products and the  excretions produced by these bacteria are very toxic, all of which irritates the mucus lining (the body’s main line of defense against disease causing agents). These toxins also impair the body’s immune system, mainly located in the intestines. When the small and large intestines are burdened with a great amount of toxins, different digestive disorders  can occur like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

All of these situations we have listed can lead to complex diseases such as congestive heart failure. This will be explained fully in part 2.

References:

(1) Moritz, Andreas. The Liver and Gallbladder Miracle Cleanse: An All-natural, At-home Flush to Purify and Rejuvenate Your Body. Berkeley, CA: Ulysses, 2007. Print.

(2) http://femsre.oxfordjournals.org/content/29/4/625.full

(3) https://hackyourgut.com/2016/11/11/the-most-important-thing-to-know-if-you-have-ibs/