The Liver And Manufacturing
From the video series “All About The Liver”
PART 5 (Duration 8:09 mins)
Hello, this is Dr Sandra Cabot. I’m talking to you today about some of the amazing functions of your liver. This is part of my series of liver presentations, which will give you a deep understanding of your liver and how to improve your liver.
Now, let’s look at the liver and manufacturing. The liver is definitely the metabolic furnace of your body and manufactures many, many things and this includes essential proteins. The liver has a huge effect on metabolism and produces or transforms millions of protein molecules every day. So, let’s look at some of those proteins made by the liver.
First of all, albumin, A-L-B-U-M-I-N. Albumin is a major protein produced by the liver cells. And this is designed to keep fluid inside your blood vessels. In other words, to stop fluid leaking out of your blood vessels.
Also, the liver makes many globulin proteins – globulins. And one of these is called sex hormone-binding globulin. And this transports the sex hormones around your bloodstream to the various cells, where the sex hormones are needed. So, it’s like a taxi for hormones, if you like. Or like an Uber that transports your sex hormones around the body and that can be measured in a blood test, sex hormone-binding globulin.
The liver makes many other globulin proteins as well, and some of these are immunoglobulins and help your immune system to fight infections. And if your liver doesn’t make enough of these globulins, you’ll be prone to infections.
The liver makes another protein called fibronectin. And this is used if you cut yourself and you need to form a blood clot to prevent hemorrhaging or unwanted bleeding. So that’s a very important protein, fibronectin, produced by the liver.
One of the other proteins produced by the liver is C-reactive protein, abbreviated to CRP, C-reactive protein. And this is something we often measure in a blood test to see if a patient has excessive inflammation or infection in their body. So the liver makes more of this C-reactive protein, if your body is fighting an infection or there’s severe inflammation in your body.
So, there’s other proteins as well, but we won’t go into them all. But it’s just amazing how sophisticated your liver cells are. They can make all these different, specific proteins. So obviously, you need to get the amino acids in your diet because they’re the building blocks for the liver to make the protein. So, you don’t want a protein-deficient diet. So, we do find that sometimes vegetarians, and particularly vegans, are not getting enough amino acids and that can impact on their liver’s ability to make adequate protein to keep you healthy. And remember, your muscles are made of protein and your liver needs to make a lot of this protein. So, if you want to have strong, healthy muscles, you need to eat first-class protein in your diet.
Now, the liver not only manufactures protein, it also manufactures hormones, which is amazing because a lot of people think, “Well, hormones are mainly made in the endocrine system”, which is true. They are, but the liver still makes quite a lot of essential hormones. In particular, it makes one called insulin-like growth factor, also known as somatomedin. And this is a very important hormone because it is the stimulus for growth in the body, especially the bones. So, if you’re trying to have strong, healthy bones, you need a healthy liver to make enough of this insulin-like growth factor.
The liver also makes a hormone called angiotensinogen. Now, that’s not easy to say, angiotensinogen. And that’s involved in the control of blood pressure. And if your blood pressure is too high, this can be a sign of liver dysfunction. And I will remember one day seeing a patient who had uncontrollable blood pressure and was on five different blood pressure medications. Notwithstanding, her blood pressure was totally out of control. And what we needed to do was actually reduce some of those medications and improve her liver. Give her a good liver cleansing and change her diet. And her blood pressure was able to be controlled. So, the liver is important in the control of blood pressure. And one of the reasons is it makes this hormone called angiotensinogen that regulates blood pressure.
It also makes a hormone called thrombopoietin. And that hormone works on the bone marrow and helps your bone marrow to be healthier and make more platelets, which stop hemorrhaging.
The liver also makes another hormone called hepcidin, which controls and regulates the absorption and metabolism of iron. So, if your hepcidin is out of balance, you can have problems with too much iron or not enough iron.
So, it’s very interesting, all these different hormones that the liver manufacturers that are so essential for good health.
Now, the liver also breaks down hormones. It breaks down sex hormones. And some people will develop a problem called estrogen dominance, where there’s too much estrogen in their body. And that can lead to problems like endometriosis or fibroids or heavy painful periods or even man boobs in men, because the liver is not breaking down the estrogen. So, if you have a sluggish liver that’s not breaking down the estrogen, you can develop a hormone imbalance. And once again, it always goes back to improving liver function.
The liver is also important in the regulation of thyroid hormone metabolism. And inside your liver, thyroid hormone is converted to the active form. So, thyroid hormone is made in the thyroid gland, but it’s transported to the liver, where it’s converted into the active form. So, it can then work much better on your cells and improve your metabolic rate. So once again, the liver is very, very important in your weight control. And sometimes we can really improve a thyroid problem just by improving the liver function.
So basically, the liver transforms or removes excessive hormones from the body. And if the liver cannot do this efficiently, there’s a risk of emotional imbalances, thyroid problems and even adrenal exhaustion. So, it’s just amazing the things your liver does. It’s such a sophisticated organ.
Now, if you have problems or want more information, feel free to email us from liverdoctor.com or sandracabot.com and stay tuned for further presentations from myself on the liver. Thanks for listening!