Although the stomach is responsible for breaking down and processing fats, it is the gallbladder and liver that are the primary organs at work. As Nancy Desjardin, RHN and weight loss expert says, “Don’t even try and think about losing weight until you are sure that the gallbladder and liver are both clean and working as they should”. A key factor to remember is that the primary job of bile (produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder) is to aid the lipase enzymes to digest fats; if your liver or gallbladder are not working efficiently, fats and toxins will not be broken down properly and will start building up, thereby promoting weight gain.
The Role of the Gallbladder
The gallbladder supports the liver in many ways. The gallbladder’s primary role is to store and secrete bile when required, such as when you eat fatty foods. This means that if you eat too much fatty food, you risk increasing the possibility of gallbladder attacks. Many triggers are similar to those that irritate the liver which is why eliminating them helps BOTH your liver and gallbladder. Some of these “trigger” substances include caffeine, processed chocolate, eggs, dairy and greasy/deep fried high fat foods. By eliminating them, you enable the gallbladder to do its job of producing bile, and the liver is better able to maintain a healthy body weight.
You can keep the liver and gallbladder healthy by avoiding fatty food, poor quality foods, rancid and junk food, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, over-the-counter and prescription drugs3. Here are some other things you can do to keep the gallbladder healthy:
- If the gallbladder has been removed, add a digestive enzyme containing bile and pancreatin.
- Lecithin (a natural fat emulsifier) takes the burden OFF the gallbladder and liver so that it can heal.
- The vitamin choline (which is necessary for bile production) along with vitamin B-complex can assist with bile production.
The Role of Liver in Weight Loss
Because the liver is the largest internal organ in the body – and the major fat-burning organ – when you eat the wrong foods, the liver will actually make more fat and store the excess. When you cleanse the liver and then eat the right foods, liver metabolism will improve and you start burning fat. As liver function improves, so does energy. With more energy, fitness improves, because you can exercise more and improve muscle tone.
Allergens, heavy metals, unhealthy bacteria, pesticides and toxic exposure over several years directly influences how well everything in your body functions. Although how well you cope with your “toxic load” is very individual, gaining (or being unable to lose) weight is a sign that toxic load is outweighing the support you are providing your body. This is why the condition of your essential detox organs is so important to any effective weight loss plan.
Toxins are created when you make your liver work overtime by trying to digest too much sugar, fat, dairy, salt, alcohol, preservatives, hormones, fertilizers and pesticides, or expose ourselves to air conditioning, pollution and stressful lifestyles. This causes you to mask various illnesses with painkillers and antibiotics and, over time, our immune system weakens which opens the door to chronic degenerative disease – and more weight gain. These “toxins” are essentially “poisons” which must be released if you are to avoid these consequences.
Your fat cells hold a lot of toxins. If you’ve got too much water outside of the cell and not enough inside, you will hold on to too much fluid which can result in distal swelling, protein deficiency, not enough HCl to digest protein, amino acid deficiency and even heavy legs.
The toxins that are stored in the liver and fat tissue are typically due to a diet of over-processed foods plus toxic chemicals, moulds (more than one day old foods), fertilizers, hormones and preservatives over years. They will often interfere with conventional weight loss efforts until they are removed.
Other organs that are also involved in weight loss and helped by liver detoxification include:
Intestinal tract – serotonin is made in the intestinal track and when you lack, it can lead to more obesity because it’s not getting to the brain.
Adrenal glands – the adrenal glands are very important as they produce cortisol. When your body is under continual stress, cortisol levels can reach unhealthy levels which can lead to trunkal obesity which can lead to metabolic syndrome, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and even strokes caused by excess fluid build-up in the intestinal area.
“Estrogen belly” is a layer of fat that sits on the abdominal muscles caused by a decreased rate of estrogen excretion. Because the liver is responsible for processing and ensuring healthy hormone balance, it is also responsible for detoxifying excess estrogen or xenoestrogens (unhealthy environmental estrogens) that build up in the body and contribute to estrogen overload and increased fat storage .
Any disruption of the liver detoxification pathway contributes to excesses or imbalances in hormones. “Estrogen dominance” is a major problem stemming from disrupted liver detox pathways and is one reason menopausal women especially have a hard time losing fat around the abdomen. It is also why men sometimes develop a “beer belly” or breasts in mid life and beyond.
If your body can’t eliminate toxins fast enough, the body stores the excess and surrounds the toxic cells with fat until it can eliminate them. Meanwhile, your body becomes more stressed as it tries to protect your organs from toxic overload, and this is what makes it hard to lose weight – AND CELLULITE. However, as you cleanse the liver, not only will you shed excess pounds, you’ll also lose lumpy cellulite. Two French physicians, Meus-Blatter and Laroche, discovered that cellulite is caused by inefficient removal of wastes from the body. As toxic materials collect between the cells, they are held by hardened connective tissue where they build up to create pockets of water, toxins, and fat that give the skin that “orange peel” appearance. Cleansing the body with high amounts of raw food, especially vegetables, not only helps flush away cellulite, but also increases the strength of the cells.
Many people who struggle with weight gain and a sluggish metabolism most of their lives often go through lots of yo-yo dieting unsuccessfully. This is because they have been tackling the symptom when they should be addressing the cause – poor liver function. Congestion throughout the body and a sluggish liver can contribute not only to fatigue and malaise, but also to weight gain, especially around the abdomen, cellulite, and water retention. Eating too much fat, sugar, dairy (mucous forming), salt, alcohol, preservatives, additives and pesticides causes internal congestion. And all this stuff is hard for the liver to process.
The liver is also responsible for metabolizing alcohol and breaking down foods with a high fat content. These substances can cause the liver to become sluggish, reduce your metabolism and subsequently result in weight gain. Cleansing the liver flushes toxins out so that your immune system improves and you feel more energized.