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Tonification - Liver Tonics
by Dr. Pieter C. Taams M.D., N.D.   

The importance of liver tonics at our health and wellness practice and retreat

Tonification involves feeding the body's systems and cells regularly with small doses of nutrients in order to bring the body in to balance. The nutrients needed by each person will be different depending on what deficiencies or excesses of chemicals are present in their bodies. Liver tonics are predominantly used in balancing the chemical structure of the body. From our thorough, whole body diagnosis at the Naturopathic Medical Practice we can identify and provide the necessary remedial nutrients to restore the body's balance.

Mixed function oxidases (MFOs) present in the liver clear the body from toxins. Liver tonics contain the necessary substances to vitalize these MFOs to purify the body. The status of Vitamin C, E, Beta carotene, folic acid, methionine, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, pyridoxine, selenium , zinc, iron, magnesium, and glutathione must be assessed and evaluated at the clinic before a successful detoxification program can be designed. Part of getting well and healthy is the use of the liver tonics in detoxification.

Turmeric, curcumin, milk thistle and N-acetyl cysteine, are often found in liver tonics, and are important detoxification agents, which support the mixed function oxidases.

Antioxidants effects

Liver tonics which contain turmeric extracts exert significant antioxidant activity. The antioxidant activity of curcumin is comparable to standard antioxidants like vitamins C and E. Against hydroxyl radicals, curcumin offers greater effectiveness than these vitamins.

Anti carcinogenic effects

The anti-neoplastic effects of turmeric and curcumin have been demonstrated at all steps of carcinogenesis: initiation, promotion, and progression. In addition to inhibiting the development of cancer, several studies suggest that curcumin can also promote cancer regression. The protective effects of turmeric and its derivatives are only partially explained by its direct antioxidant and free radical scavenging effects. It also inhibits nitrosamin formation, enhances the body’s natural antioxidant system, increases the levels of glutathione and other non-protein sulfhydryls, and acts directly on several enzymes systems, such as the mixed function oxidases and gene loci.

Anti-inflammatory effects

Liver tonics which contain Curcuma longa are anti-inflammatory. Even more potent in acute inflammation is curcumin. Curcumin is as effective as cortisone, or phenylbutazone in the treatment of acute inflammation.

Cardiovascular effects

The effects of turmeric and curcumin on the cardiovascular system include the lowering of cholesterol levels and the inhibition of platelet aggregation. This is of great significance in preventing atherosclerosis and its complications.

Hepatic effects

Curcumin has exhibited protection for the liver similar to that of silymarin, glycyrrhizin, and N-Acetyl Cysteine. Most liver tonics contain these substances for this reason. The antioxidant and hepatoprotective effects alone would support turmeric’s historical use in liver disorders, however, turmeric and curcumin also have highly beneficial anti-inflammatory and choleretic effects. The increases of the liver enzymes, SGOT and SGPT, commonly seen in experimental models of inflammation have been prevented by curcumin. Curcumin is an active choleretic, increasing bile acid output by over 100%.

The reason of Silybum marianum in liver tonics is its ability to prevent liver destruction and enhance liver function by means of its antioxidant properties. It is many times more potent than vitamin E. Silymarin prevents the depletion of glutathione induced by alcohol and other liver toxins. It increases glutathione level by 35%.The most impressive of silymarin’s protective effects is against the severe poisoning of Amanita Phalloides (the death cap or toadstool mushroom). Perhaps the most interesting effect of silybum components on the liver is their ability to stimulate protein synthesis. Proteins are necessary for the Mixed Function Oxidases to detoxify the body.

Gastrointestinal effects

Turmeric and its components exert a number of beneficial effects on the gastrointestinal system, They increase the mucin content of the stomach and protect the stomach against ulcer formation induced by stress, alcohol, Indo-methacin, pyloric narrowing, and reserpine.

The clinical application of liver tonics:

* Cancer Prevention and Treatment Adjunct
* Inflammation
* Atherosclerosis
* Liver Disorders
* Cholelithiasis
* Irritable Bowel Syndrome
* Detoxification and Purification Measures

Read the Original Article at Dr. Taams Website.


About the Author

Dr. Pieter C. Taams is a member of the Canadian and the British Columbia Naturopathic Association, the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia, and the American Naturopathic medical Association.

Leiden State University Medical school is his alma mater where he obtained his doctorate degree in medicine in 1966. In 1968 he enrolled in the post graduate programs in psychiatry at the University of Alberta Medical School and the British Columbia Health Sciences Center hospitals of the University of British Columbia. In 1972 he became a licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada

In the early eighties he enrolled at the Ontario College of Naturopathic Medicine, and obtained his doctorate degree in 1986. The license to practice naturopathy in the Province of British Columbia was granted that same year, after passing the provincial examinations of the College of Naturopathic Physicians of B.C.




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