Sometimes, a strange combination of events changes the course of history.
In the 1860s, in the United States, a billiard table manufacturer named Michael Phelan ran into a problem. He was having a hard time getting ivory, the material they used to make billiard balls.
So hoping to find a substitute, he sponsored a contest. The winner would get a prize of $10,000, worth about $200,000 in today’s terms.
It took a few years, but in 1869, an American inventor named John Wesley Hyatt finally won the contest with his invention of the first plastic. It was made with natural materials – cellulose from cotton treated with camphor – and it could be shaped into anything.
About 50 years later, the first fully synthetic plastic was invented, and soon, chemical companies began a race to invent all kinds of new plastics.
By the 1960’s, about 90 years after Hyatt’s invention, plastics started to appear everywhere, rapidly becoming ubiquitous in household and personal products.
Today, it’s virtually impossible to go through even an hour without using many plastic products. And while those plastics help make your life more convenient than your grandparents ever could have imagined, they have also created a toxic load that your ancestors never had to deal with.
Your liver is what helps you deal with that toxic load. It is your body’s largest internal organ and it is responsible for removing toxins and harmful substances. When there are extra contaminants in your environment, it has to work harder.
Years ago, a healthy person’s liver did just fine without extra support, but today, we live in a different world.
Today, your liver confronts challenges humans have never faced before – all because a manufacturer needed a new source for billiard balls.
So with that understanding of the strange twists of history, let’s take a look at what you need to know to help keep your liver in top working condition.
Your Liver Plays a Unique and Irreplaceable Role in Your Body
Your liver, which is made up of two main lobes, is located beneath your diaphragm and on top of your stomach, right kidney and intestines.
Besides its primary role of protecting your body from harmful substances, your liver plays other key roles, too.
When your liver is healthy, it:
- Produces bile, which helps carry away waste and break down fats.
- Helps regulate the levels of sugar, protein and fat entering your bloodstream.
- Clears your blood of drugs, alcohol and other potentially harmful substances.
- Neutralizes highly reactive oxygen molecules, or free radicals.
- Processes nutrients absorbed by your intestines during digestion.
- Produces cholesterol, proteins and clotting factors to help your blood clot.
- Regulates many of your hormones.
When your liver encounters harmful substances, it breaks them down and sends the byproducts to one of two places – they either enter your blood to be eliminated by your kidneys, or they go into your bile and are passed out through your intestines.
When your liver is healthy, all these functions go on like clockwork, without much support on your part.
But in today’s highly-contaminated environment, your liver has to handle an unprecedented load of toxins, which presents many potential threats to its well-being…
Your Expanding Waistline May Be a Sign That Your Liver is Under Strain
Stunning new research suggests that your liver may be aging faster than the rest of your body if you hold excess weight in your waist.
Researchers found that for each 10-unit increase in body mass index, or BMI, the physiological age of the liver has grown by 3.3 years.
To put that into real numbers…
Suppose a 5’8” man weighs 130 pounds and has a BMI of 20. A second man of the same height and age weighs 230 pounds, and has a BMI of 35.
The liver of the second man is likely five years older than the liver of the normal weight man.
And here’s another interesting finding… If the second man decided to have surgery to rapidly lose the excess weight, the age of his liver wouldn’t change.
He would need to make lifestyle changes to begin the process of revitalizing his liver and to protect it from future threats.
What’s behind this vicious threat to your liver? A number of factors. But there is one in particular that you should always try to avoid…
One of Your Liver’s Worst Enemies Is Hidden in Processed Foods
You might guess that your liver’s worst enemy is alcohol. And while it’s true that alcohol is harmful to your liver, there’s another substance that’s equally as damaging – and far more pervasive.
Unlike alcohol, this other substance can be found in some form in nearly every processed food in your grocery store. It’s hidden in juice drinks, ice cream, jam, frozen breakfast foods, ketchup, sauces, crackers and even bread, just to name a few.
It’s called fructose, and it causes more damage to your body than any other type of sugar. It is particularly hard on your liver, with metabolic characteristics much like alcohol:
- Fructose must be 100% broken down by your liver. Glucose, on the other hand, only needs to be partially broken down before it can be utilized, causing less strain on your liver.
- Fructose is metabolized directly into fat that gets stored in your liver and other internal organs and tissues as body fat, which leads to mitochondrial malfunction.
- Fructose produces toxic metabolites and superoxide free radicals when it is metabolized, that can lead to inflammation in your liver.
Fructose is a cheap form of sugar that’s found in thousands of food products and drinks. It’s often deliberately disguised by the use of many different names – including sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup – so the only way to steer clear of it is to know all of its names, or completely avoid eating processed foods.
You may also have heard that fruit also contains fructose. In fruit, the fructose is naturally combined with fiber and water, as well as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These provide the balance that your body needs for healthy metabolism of fructose.
Fructose and other non-fiber carbs are significant factors behind the rising rates of liver issues and at least 30 other health concerns. Tragically, even children are now showing signs normally associated with alcohol abuse from their consumption of fructose.
Other Silent Killers of Liver Function
Unfortunately, fructose isn’t the only challenge your liver has to handle. Plenty more lurk in your home, workplace, food, water and the air you breathe.
Modern advancements have created many conveniences that make our lives easier and more convenient. However, they have also surrounded us with toxic hazards that our ancestors never had to deal with.
One of those is the widespread use of man-made chemicals, especially the ones used to make plastic. Chemicals in plastics like phthalates and BPA/BPS, flame-retardants and formaldehyde can be found in your:
- Furniture and carpeting
- Vinyl floor coverings
- Building materials
- Vinyl shower curtain
- Children’s toys
- Plastic water bottles and containers
- Grocery store receipts
- Scented personal care products
These contaminants enter your body through your skin or your lungs, or from the food and beverages you consume out of plastic containers.
Once they enter your body, they end up in your bloodstream, where it becomes your liver’s job to process them.
Today, you are exposed to far more chemicals in your food, as well as in your living and working environments, than your parents and grandparents were.
With the heavy load your liver has to handle, it’s a good idea to take a proactive role in giving it the support it needs for healthy function.
Simple Ways to Help Support Your Liver
Your liver is responsible for a remarkable list of essential tasks. From cleaning toxins out of your blood, to building essential proteins that keep your body healthy, to breaking down complex food molecules, it is always at work.
In our modern environment, it has more to do than ever before. Fortunately, there’s much you can do to help it out.
There are a number proactive things you can do to help protect your liver:
- Restrict alcohol consumption, and avoid completely if taking acetaminophen or Tylenol.
- Minimize or avoid the use of potentially harmful acetaminophen or Tylenol (be sure to check labels, it’s found in many over-the-counter products).
- Attain and maintain your ideal weight.
- Restrict your intake of fructose from all sources to about 15 to 25 grams per day. This means avoiding fruit juices, dried fruits and sweeteners in foods as well as being thoughtful about your intake of sugary fruits like grapes, pears, mangoes and watermelon.
- Avoid or minimize contact with toxic chemicals like pesticides, cleansers, paints and solvents.
- Buy products packed in glass containers, and limit your use of plastics, including plastic wrap.
- Add liver-protective foods to your diet, like fermented vegetables, dark leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables, “clean” sea vegetables, sprouts, artichokes, garlic and onions, avocados, berries, whey protein powder from grass-fed cows, and organic pastured eggs and grass-fed meat.
In addition to these daily common sense measures, there's another simple way to help support your healthy liver function.
Strong, Three-Pronged Support for Optimal Liver Function
Making smart lifestyle choices that minimize the toxic load on your liver is the first major step in supporting its healthy function.
The second is providing it with the nutrients it needs to help it function efficiently and effectively.
In our modern age, with all the additional strain your liver has to deal with, it’s a good idea to consider taking a liver support supplement.
Three exceptional ingredients stand out for their ability to provide powerful support for healthy liver function:*
- N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC)
- Milk thistle
- Organic broccoli sprouts
The first is an amino acid, while the other two are plants.
We’ve combined this “perfect trifecta” of ingredients into NAC with Milk Thistle for regular, daily use to specifically target six areas of interest:
- Provide on-going support to help minimize the damaging effects of contaminants on your liver*
- Help maintain intracellular levels of glutathione*
- Maintain the normal metabolism of alcohol*
- Provide antioxidant support for your mitochondria and healthy immune function*
- Support your body’s normal detoxification processes*
- Provide short-term support for occasional acute events*
Each of these three remarkable ingredients offers unique benefits to your liver. Let’s take a closer look at the first one…
The “Master Antioxidant” Defends Your Liver Against Free Radicals and Oxidative Stress
Glutathione is your body’s leading antioxidant, present at high concentrations in virtually all of your cells. It is made up of three amino acids – cysteine, glycine and glutamine.
One of glutathione’s major roles is to keep all the other antioxidants in line and performing at their peak.*
Glutathione’s primary task is to help protect your body from free radical damage, wastes and potentially harmful substances.* It is one of the most important tools in your body’s detoxification arsenal and is crucial for your liver’s well-being.*
As you age, your body’s ability to produce glutathione declines. And many substances like alcohol, drugs and contaminants can deplete your glutathione levels.
While a glutathione supplement may sound like a good idea, oral glutathione is merely three amino acids and is rapidly broken down in your stomach by digestive enzymes. Even if your body were able to assimilate it intact, taking glutathione in oral form is not recommended as it may interfere with your body's ability to produce it naturally.
Instead of taking an ineffective glutathione supplement, you can take a supplement with the raw materials for making glutathione. This gives your body the raw materials to produce the amount it needs.
One of the best ways to do this is with N-acetyl cysteine, a derivative of cysteine and precursor of glutathione that is commonly called NAC.*
The use of NAC is backed up by decades of scientific research demonstrating its valuable role in boosting glutathione levels.
For example, one such study showed that supplementing with NAC for 30 days helped restore baseline glutathione concentration in people with low glutathione levels.
Here’s how it works…
When your body manufactures glutathione, cysteine is the “rate-limiting amino acid.” That means cysteine tends be available in lower amounts than the other two amino acids that make glutathione.
When you take NAC, you increase your cysteine levels, providing your body with more of the raw material it needs to pair up with glycine and glutamine to make glutathione.
NAC is Also a Powerful Independent Antioxidant
By replenishing your cells’ supplies of glutathione on a regular basis, NAC helps your cells regain and maintain their ability to protect themselves against free radicals and other damage.* This is especially valuable as you age.
But researchers have found that NAC does more than just replenish glutathione within your cells. NAC is also a powerful antioxidant on its own, providing potential benefits in these additional areas:*
- Helps regulate the expression of many genes involved with your body’s inflammatory response*
- Supports normal healthy insulin sensitivity*
- Supports respiratory health*
- Protects tissues and cells from the effects of oxidative stress from exercise*
- Supports normal healthy cellulal growth and development*
- Supports healthy mitochondrial function*
There’s no question that NAC offers valuable potential support for your liver health. It contributes to the production of the “master antioxidant,” glutathione, in your cells, and it provides antioxidant support throughout your body, helping your systems, like your immune and respiratory, function properly.
Now, let’s take a look at the second ingredient in NAC with Milk Thistle…
This Ancient Yet Common “Weed” is More Than It Appears to Be*
Milk thistle has been treasured for over 2,000 years for its value in supporting liver, kidney and gall bladder health.*
The ancient Greek physician, Dioscorides (40-90 A.D.), recommended the benefits of milk thistle to support good health. So did Hildegard von Bingen, the renowned 12th Century German nun and herbalist.
When the leaves of the milk thistle plant are crushed, they release a milky sap. Hence, the name…
Milk thistle is an excellent source of the antioxidant compound silymarin, its primary active component.
Extracted from the plant seeds, silymarin consists of three flavonoids – silibinin, silidianin and silicristin – all of which may help repair liver cells that have been damaged by environmental pollutants, alcohol and fructose.*
Silymarin has been found to increase glutathione and help prevent its depletion in your liver.* It also helps support a normal inflammatory response in your cells through its effect on gene expression.
Together, milk thistle and NAC combine modern and ancient wisdom to provide powerful support for your liver health.
To those two ingredients, we added one more liver-supporting powerhouse…
Harness the Power of This Phytochemical to Help Protect Your Liver from Stress and Strain
Glucoraphanin is a precursor to sulforaphane, a potent liver-supporting phytochemical found in regular organic broccoli – its best-known source. Phytochemicals are bioactive nutrient chemicals produced by plants.
While mature broccoli contains the most glucoraphanin of any vegetable, fresh, young broccoli sprouts – grown from organic broccoli seeds – can contain up to 100 times the amount of glucoraphanin in mature broccoli.
When animals in studies chewed or swallowed vegetables containing glucoraphanin, the resulting sulforaphane fired up the body’s waste disposal system.
This not only helped the body rid itself of pollutants, but it also helped protect the body from potential harm.*
Researchers wanted to see how these substances would work in humans, so they travelled to one of the most heavily industrialized and polluted regions in China to put their theory to the test…
They recruited a total of 291 men and women living in a rural farming community in Jiangsu Province, China, about 50 miles north of Shanghai, for their 12-week trial.
The treatment group received a half-cup of a beverage made with broccoli sprout powder containing glucoraphanin and sulforaphane, combined with sterilized water, pineapple and lime juice.
Urine and blood samples were taken during the trial to measure inhaled air pollutants.
The results were astounding…
Excretion of a common and potentially hazardous airborne pollutant increased the very first day in the broccoli sprout powder group – by a whopping 61%. And increased excretion continued during the entire 12-week period.
The study subjects who consumed the broccoli sprout powder were able to get rid of far more of the pollutants in their bodies than the subjects who didn’t consume the powder.
Researchers concluded that the sulforaphane in the sprout powder might in some way be signaling to the cells the need to adapt to and survive a broad range of environmental contaminants, including those in water and food.
This study, along with many others, demonstrates the value of organic broccoli sprout powder for supporting your liver’s big job of detoxification.
Combined with the two other ingredients in NAC with Milk Thistle, it creates a powerful trifecta of liver support.
Take Advantage of These Potent Ingredients to Support and Protect Your Hard Working Liver for Overall Health
Your liver is continually hard at work protecting your body from the effects of environmental pollutants, chemicals and toxins of every kind while breaking down the food you eat to best utilize the nutrients contained inside – all for overall health.
In our modern world, with its chemical and airborne pollutants and harsh food processing methods, your liver has to work harder than ever before in human history.
Now, you can help give it powerful support with NAC with Milk Thistle. With this unique “trifecta” formula, you get:
- NAC, for its ability to restore glutathione supplies and support mitochondrial, immune and respiratory function.*
- Milk Thistle Extract, for the benefits of silymarin to help repair damaged liver cells and increase glutathione levels.*
- Organic Broccoli Sprout Powder, with its rich supply of glucoraphanin for sulforaphane production, to support your body’s rapid excretion of environmental pollutants.*
Perfect for daily use, NAC with Milk Thistle provides the perfect tool to help minimize the damaging effects of everyday pollutants and stresses on your liver.
When it comes to a hard-working organ like your liver, you want to support it with all the help it can get, so take control of your liver health today, and order NAC with Milk Thistle.