Better Digestion Through Gut-Liver Hygiene
There are many benefits from good liver function, including smooth, vibrant skin and more energy, but did you know that supporting your liver can also assist with better digestion? Also, if you are someone who likes or wants to do a spring cleanse in April or May, this information is extremely relevant before-hand.
The Liver and Digestive System Pass Things Back and Forth
At Optimum Health we have always said, "the liver and gut are glued together...what affects one, affects the other", and here's why: The liver packages up and ships-out toxins through the bile. These toxins are meant to be eliminated via the colon.
The problem is that if the wrong bacteria are present in your gut, or your transit time is too slow (causing toxic back-up, i.e. you are constipated) the unfriendly bacteria can "snip the packaging" the liver created between the toxin and its escort, and you end-up reabsorbing the fat-soluble toxin...which then gets shipped straight back to the liver. (Figure you might have some old toxins?)
A Build-up of Toxins
The above process is called enterohepatic circulation, and it can result in a tremendous burden being placed on both your gut and liver, and in turn on your digestion.  Just picture a city where the garbage destined for elimination is instead brought back to the same processing plant that sent it out.
Likewise, if your gut bacteria is not favourable, imagine all the extra work your liver needs to do to keep your blood clean. If the liver is overwhelmed and unable to process the load, the toxins left in the blood can easily show up in your other eliminatory organs such as your skin, causing blemishes and inflammation....or as kidney stress, causing puffy bags under your eyes.
Consume Probiotics and Clean Out Your Colon
So, for those who have digestive issues, feel toxic, sluggish, constipated, or have acne, one of the first steps we recommend is to take probiotic supplements, or eat fermented foods to increase your populations of friendly bacteria. As always, our recommendations are to start with a probiotic that contains the DDS-1 strain of acidophilus, along with Bifidobacterium, such as Opti-Elite Probiotics.
A concentrated source of chlorophyll, like Spirulina, can be very detoxifying. And also, do what you need to do to clean out your colon! For this, you want something that is gently stimulating, and has a bulking effect. (These two properties were what was behind our Opti-Colon Cleanse formula, which works extremely well, without causing diarrhea.)
You can certainly also take digestive enzymes or liver support products to improve digestion, but the point is if your liver is delivering toxins into the wrong bacteria, or a "poopy" gut, you will not notice nearly as much benefit from either.
If you are planning a spring cleanse addressing your gut flora and cleaning out your colon first can definitely improve the results.
Until next time, be well!
 J.B. Watkins, C.D. Klaassen, in Comprehensive Toxicology, 2010