From eliminating toxins to processing insulin to giving us energy, the liver performs countless jobs for us every day.
Unfortunately, it can be a thankless job. We humans have discovered more than a few ways to increase its workload!
And one of the biggest strains we put on the liver is eating too much sugar. After reading on to see what quitting sugar can do for your closest buddy – the liver – maybe you’ll think twice before that next visit to the lolly shop.
A quick note: this article is talking about fructose and glucose in excessive amounts. Your liver is great at handling one to two daily pieces of fruit, don’t give them up.
1. Quitting sugar helps the liver regulate insulin responses.
One of the main roles of the liver is to store energy for the body to use. It stores glycogen, which converts back to glucose (blood sugar) as needed.
Glucose is a primary source of energy for cells throughout the body, however it needs the hormone insulin to work alongside it, opening cell ‘doors’ to allow the glucose in.
When we eat too many sugary fast foods, the cells can stop respond properly to insulin. This is known as insulin resistance.
And as the pancreas increases insulin to try and balance things out, the liver matches it by needlessly releasing glycogen as glucose back into the blood, perpetuating the cycle.
2. Quitting sugar prevents fatty liver disease.
Fructose is metabolised almost exclusively by the liver. It store the excess as to triglycerides (fats). Insulin also stimulates fatty acid synthesis and the storage of triglycerides in the liver.
This means that both fructose and insulin resistance may increase fats in the blood and the amount stored in the liver.
Fats in the liver take space can may raise liver inflammation and change the structure of the organ. This can often lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is unsurprisingly strongly linked to sugary drinks.
3. Quitting sugar helps produce bile and other important stuff.
The liver is important for other numerous, crucial functions of the body. This includes bile production, hormone regulation, proteins synthesis and immune response, to name a few.
When we quit sugar, we let our liver focus on supporting this stuff. Instead of just processing piles of fructose.
4. Quitting sugar helps the liver detox.
The liver is extremely efficient at excreting waste and other harmful substances from the body every day. Which is why lots of people don’t like the term ‘detox’ as the liver is technically always ‘detoxing’. (Especially when those “detoxes” involve not much more than kale and lemon water)/
But by allowing the liver to concentrate on its job by quitting sugar and minimising its workload where possible, the better its detoxing performance can be. If that’s not an excuse to give your liver a little more love!
This article also appears on IQuitSugar.com