Vegetarian Diet-Based Liver Detox (Part 1 of 2)

Functional Medicine’s approach to a Liver Detoxification Program (LDP) recommends following a Vegetarian Diet (VD).
 
In this 2-part blog post series, you’ll learn about how the clinical effectiveness of a VD during a LDP is multi-factorial.
 
For instance, a VD is beneficial for a healthy microbiome, which plays an important role in liver organ reserve and its capacity to detoxify. A 2018 research study involved a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) wherein 104 participants with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) received an intervention of a synbiotic (a combination of both prebiotics and probiotics).[i] Results indicated that correcting dysbiosis (imbalance in gut bacteria) through modification of gut bacterial balance can play a key role in both the development of disease (pathogenesis) and prevention of NAFLD.[ii]
 
Another benefit of a healthy microbiome, as nurtured with a VD, is its ability to decrease bacterial Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a toxic compound in the gut that can negatively impact the function of the mucosal barrier of the intestinal tract and other tissues when elevated in the body. Elevated LPS levels are commonly found in cases of dysbiosis and infections and high concentrations are hepatotoxic - destructive to the cells of the liver. Many sources of impaired liver function, due to disease, are thought to involve chronic, low-dose endotoxemia[iii] - the presence of toxins, such as LPS, in the blood.
 
In next week’s post, you’ll learn how a low-fat diet, as well as consumption of foods rich in antioxidant nutrients, supports a VD during a LDP.
 

ENDNOTES

[i] Scorletti E, Afolabi P, Byrne C, et al. Design and rationale of the INSYTE study: A randomised, placebo controlled study to test the efficacy of a synbiotic on liver fat, disease biomarkers and intestinal microbiota in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Contemporary Clinical Trials [serial online]. May 18, 2018; Available from: ScienceDirect, Ipswich, MA. Accessed May 29, 2018.
 
[ii] Scorletti E, Afolabi P, Byrne C, et al. Design and rationale of the INSYTE study: A randomised, placebo controlled study to test the efficacy of a symbiotic on liver fat, disease biomarkers and intestinal microbiota in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Contemporary Clinical Trials [serial online]. May 18, 2018; Available from: ScienceDirect, Ipswich, MA. Accessed May 29, 2018.
 
[iii] Arteel, Guo, Schlierf, Beier, Kaisera, Chen, Liu, Conklin, Miller, von Montfort, States (2008). Sub-hepatotoxic exposure to arsenic enhances lipopolysaccharide-induced liver injury in mice. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, Volume 226, Issue 2, 15 January 2008, Pages 128-139. 
 

Travis Cox