Welcome back to functional Friday 🌈
As a certified functional blood chemistry specialist, I want to make standard labs more accessible to you all, and help you identify possible areas of dysfunction, before they become a major concern. As always, please do not take this as medical advice, and be sure to check with your health care provider before making a radical change 👨🏻⚕️
Now let’s take a look at 2 markers on the Complete Metabolic Panel which most people get run every year- the ALT and AST which are two liver enzymes that can indicate how well your liver is detoxing and/or if it is stressed.
Enzymes are supposed to be in the cells, so when they are elevated in the blood there is an indication that the cells are dying faster than they should be, which is a sign of distress.
The functional ranges for both ALT and AST is 10-20, meaning that this is where we want them to be so your body is functioning at its best.
On the other hand, if the enzymes are below the functional range, this can indicate a B6 deficiency since B6 is a cofactor for the enzymes to do their job.
When liver enzymes are elevated, we know that the liver cells are turning over faster than ideal, indicating that there is some sort of tissue destruction going on- either as a result of stress, inflammation, high toxin load, or a diet high in carbohydrates/alcohol.
This is the ideal time to help your liver detox to prevent it becoming a major issue like fatty liver disease or cirrhosis.
What can you do:
It’s always a good idea to focus on detox, but especially so when your liver enzymes are showing that they need help. However, a “detox” may not be the classical green juice cleanse you are thinking.
In Order to process toxins, our liver needs plenty of protein and fatty acids, in addition to minerals and vitamins to clean up. It’s the time to eat nourishing animal products, healthy fats, seafood and cruciferous veggies!
B vitamins, magnesium, glutathione, vitamins C and E, as well as minerals, amino acids and choline (and other methyl donors) are necessary to help the liver process toxins to make them ready for excretion. Methylation is one way that the liver processes toxins!
Additionally, bile flow is important to carry the toxins away, which is best maintained by eating lots of fat in the diet.
Toxins are excreted either through the urine or the feces, so ensuring hydration (electrolytes) and fiber intake to promote regular bowel movements is as important as supporting the liver health. We want to make sure that toxins are eliminated and not re-absorbed and recirculated.
Cruciferous veggies are especially beneficial since they contain sulfur compounds that aid in the metabolism of many toxins including excess hormones. Try to incorporate a serving once a day at least, some of our favorites include:
Additionally, you want to consume lots of nourishing meats rich in B vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. Beef and bison are particularly rich in these, as well as organ meats. Pork is also a good source of thiamine, so ideally you rotate your proteins. We like to aim for 2-3 servings of each type of meat as well as fatty fish, every week. This way we ensure that we are getting a wide variety of amino acids and nutrients!
Some of our favorites include:
Eggs are a great source of choline which we need for cell membrane integrity 🍳 they are also rich in sulfur compounds which are needed to make glutathione- our master antioxidant!
Incorporating a high quality sea salt and electrolyte supplement like LMNT can help ensure you are getting enough minerals. Unfortunately the soils are depleted making it hard to get our requirements from food alone. I also like to add trace mineral drops to my water. A little can go a long way and your body will thank you!
You can also add in a squeeze of lemon or lime into your water, to help with hydration. Teas like nettle tea and lemon balm can also assist your liver naturally.
For additional vitamins, methyldonors, and fiber, try to incorporate a rainbow of non starchy vegetables like greens, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, avocados, mushrooms and lots of herbs and spices 🥑🍅🫑
We love to make a variety of veggie sides to go with our protein:
And many more 🤗
Stay tuned for additional posts about liver health, where I will be explaining the different phases and what you can do to target those areas! Now go give your liver some love ❤️