Liver and gut connection: how the liver and digestion system work together

I want to talk about the liver – one of the most important organs in the body that’s involved in hundreds of vital functions that keep us healthy and feeling good.

Before I really learned about the liver, I knew it vaguely as an organ that related to processing alcohol and toxins in my body. But as a SIBO patient, it became so important for me to understand why and how it works – and how this information relates to gut health! I only wish I had known this sooner.

The liver is located just under your rib cage on the right side of your stomach. It’s like a Brita filter for your blood, breaking down toxic substances and filtering out waste products. It’s also responsible for regulating your blood sugar levels and helping you digest your food.

What’s really important about the liver is its unique connectors, known as canals, which carry bile and blood. Bile helps break down fat in the small intestine during digestion, and it’s excreted by the liver to carry away waste products.

Blood goes from the digestive system through the portal vein, which connects the gut and liver. Nutrients can circulate back in the bloodstream to other organs, while toxins are filtered out of the blood and sent out with your urine.

The gut and liver are directly connected and communicate through what’s known as the “gut-liver axis.” When the intestinal barrier is damaged and shows increased accessibility, the liver is exposed to toxic factors from the intestine and intestinal bacteria.

So, when “bad” bacteria outnumber the “good” bacteria in your gut, this can cause a condition known as dysbiosis, which can trigger liver diseases. And when the gut lining becomes damaged, it can become “leaky,” causing Leaky Gut and allowing partially digested food, toxins, and bugs to penetrate the tissues beneath it. This can trigger inflammation and changes in the gut that could lead to problems within the digestive tract and beyond.

That’s why maintaining a healthy gut is so important for overall liver health.

Alcohol and a high fat diet are common culprits that weaken the gut barrier and increase the risk of serious liver diseases, such as hepatic inflammation, fibrosis, and cancer. In fact, chronic liver diseases are a major cause of morbidity and mortality all around the world!

Stressed?

Don’t worry – there’s hope in the form of probiotics!

Probiotics are like little superheroes for your gut, helping to improve gut microbiota composition and strengthen gut-barrier permeability. They can even decrease pro-inflammatory cytokines and bacterial endotoxin levels in the blood, and improve liver function and histologic decline.

Taking the right pre and probiotics and including probiotic-rich foods in your diet like yogurt and sauerkraut can keep both your liver and your gut healthy.

Interested in learning more about probiotics and liver health?

Consider watching the Liver Lymphatic Masterclass with Jay Davidson, DC, PScD as part of the Lymphatic Rescue Summit with experts and practitioners.

I held the summit to address the connection between gut health, the liver, and the lymphatic system, and ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND people attended to learn incredibly useful information!

I’ve provided access to the 3 most watched Masterclasses from the Lymphatic Rescue Summit.  If you are interested in liver health and healing your gut, click here to watch these 3 free masterclasses:

  1. Lymphatic Truth Bombs with Kelly Kennedy
  2. Liver Lymphatics Masterclass with Jay Davidson ,DC, PScD
  3. Going Outside the Box on the Lymphatic and Glymphatic System Masterclass with Dr. Christine Schaffner

Or, if you’ve watched the summit and are looking for action you can take now to improve your liver health, my dear friend and colleague Dr. Allison Siebecker has provided us with access to FullScript – a practitioner’s dispensary with 20,000 professional grade supplements at a discounted price. Check out the website to find your favorite probiotics to transform your liver and gut.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6165386/
  2. https://columbiasurgery.org/liver/liver-and-its-functions
  3. https://justthrivehealth.com/blogs/blog/liver-health-gut-health-how-rebalancing-your-microbiome-can-help-your-liver-thrive
  4. https://aasldpubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/hep4.1331#:~:text=The%20intestinal%20tract%20and%20the,and%20progression%20of%20liver%20diseases.
  5. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/liver-anatomy-and-functions

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