The Immune System, The Liver, and Detoxification

December 18, 2012 — Leave a comment
Eat Whole Natural Fruits and Vegetables

Eat Whole Natural Fruits and Vegetables

In early March of this year a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with metastasized colon cancer resulting in four major tumors in the liver. These tumors had a vice grip on his liver.

Because the effects of the cancer hit suddenly during the night, he was in terrible pain and went to the emergency room. He was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer and was admitted into the hospital. Forty days later, after a series of operations to remove the colon tumor and insert stints into his liver he was able to return home from the hospital. He then began chemotherapy treatment.

Today, after five months of chemotherapy (and as he reports, “an outpouring of prayer”) all of the tumors have decreased in size 50% or more. His energy is returning, he is full of optimism, and is back at work.

Like all of us, he now needs to consider some serious lifestyle changes regarding refined sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and highly processed white flour.

Refined table sugar (sucrose) is a simple carbohydrate composed of glucose (50%) bonded to fructose (50%).

High-fructose corn syrup is a simple carbohydrate composed of glucose (45%) and fructose (55%).

Glucose is metabolized by the cells in the body. Because sucrose (table sugar) and HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup) have been refined, they are digested and enter the bloodstream almost immediately. The glucose enters the bloodstream quickly causing a high rise in blood sugar.  It produces the well known “sugar high” – a blood sugar spike that is inevitably followed by a crash. The net result of a “sugar high” is an all-you-can-eat banquet for cancer cells, and a high level of growth stimulating hormones in the bloodstream (insulin growth factor) stimulating cancer cell growth.

Fructose is metabolized by the liver. When too much fructose arrives in the liver, the liver does not have enough time to metabolize all of it. It converts excess fructose to triglycerides – fat! This is the cause of obesity, type-2 diabetes, and cancer.

An essential function of the liver is detoxification. The liver accomplishes this by filtering the blood. When the liver is functioning at full capacity, it can filter about 99% of the toxins out of the blood before the blood is sent back through the body.

By eating refined table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and white processed flour you not only stimulate the growth of cancer cells, you also put an additional strain on the liver.

When the liver is overworked, more toxins are able to enter the bloodstream and enter the body’s cells. This puts a heavy burden on the immune system.

The immune system cell that leads the attack on cancer cells is the macrophage. The macrophage is also responsible for removing debris from the body, such as dead cells and toxins.

The science is clear; a healthy immune system can stop cancer in its tracks. The question then is: do you want the general of your immune system’s army out leading the attack against cancer cells or picking up garbage?

Cover of "In Defense of Food: An Eater's ...

Cover via Amazon

The proper foods – vegetables and fruits – support healthy functioning of the liver detox process and promotes the breakdown of toxins that the liver encounters. You can support your lever’s detoxification naturally with whole plant food.

Michael Pollan starts his best-selling book, In Defense of Food, with this advice:

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

That, more or less, is the short answer to the supposedly incredibly complicated and confusing question of what we humans should eat in order to be maximally healthy.”

The liver’s filtering process is optimized when you remove refined carbohydrates (sugar) from your diet, and you are eating a healthy diet rich with whole foods like fruits and vegetables.

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