Gut microbiota protect us against ‘bad bugs’, help us to absorb minerals, produces certain vitamins and supports and balances our immune system. That’s not all as they also promote the growth of healthy colon cells and even improve insulin sensitivity.
However having an ecosystem in your gut that is largely populated by unfriendly bacteria, yeasts and/or parasites increases disease in the body affecting many organs and systems. One organ affected is the liver, 70% of blood supply to the liver comes directly from the intestine. Increased amounts of toxins coming from a “bad neighbourhood” in your colon leads to large amounts of toxins crossing the gut barrier and heading straight to the liver.
The toxins that are produced create a war among the immune cells within the liver. Like in any war, there are always casualties and the poor liver is caught in the cross-fire and wounded. The constant supply of bacterial toxins being sent to the liver creates a non-stop assault, inflammation and continual liver damage. In fact, several chronic liver conditions are associated with higher concentrations of toxins coming from the gut bacteria, which have been found in the blood flow heading to the liver.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver condition in the world with approximately 33% of the UK population being diagnosed and many undiagnosed according to the British Society of Gastroenterology. NAFLD accounts for 15-20% of liver transplants.
Dysbiosis in the colon and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) are commonly reported in patients with NAFLD with ‘leaky gut’ being a key player in the disease progression.
So love your liver by caring for your gut and its friendly inhabitants.
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