• Dr. Saru Bala

Why You Should Care About Your Liver For Better Hormonal Health

Your liver is where thousands of biochemical reactions occur. Anything you eat, consume, drink, and breathe goes through your liver, your nutrients get metabolized in your liver, bile is produced and excreted here, and your hormones are metabolized by your liver!


Your liver has a lot of responsibilities; hormone metabolism is just one of many. So, if your liver isn't working on all cylinders, you might notice that hormone metabolism isn't either, and you start to notice hormonal issues like:

  • Heavy periods

  • Painful periods

  • Uterine/ovarian cysts, fibroids, polyps

  • Endometrial pain

  • Weight gain/bloating

  • Breast tenderness

  • Insomnia before periods

  • Acne

  • Mood swings and PMS symptoms

  • Migraines before periods

Liver metabolism is especially important when we talk about estrogen, as this is the hormone many women have issues with. Many of the concerns listed above are due to poor estrogen metabolism.


The Two Phases of Liver Metabolism


Phase 1: Oxidation, reduction, and hydrolysis

  • Basically, fancy ways of saying your liver takes "fat-loving" compounds and turns them "water-loving" for easier excretion from the body (aka through your gut/kidneys/skin).

This phase requires nutrients like:

  • B vitamins

  • Glutathione/NAC

  • Bioflavonoids

  • Vitamins A, C, D, E

Phase 2: Conjugation reactions (sulfation, glucuronidation, acetylation)

  • The second step to further convert these compounds into more "water-loving" waste

  • This step creates water soluble inactive metabolites via conjugation reactions

This phase requires nutrients like:

  • Amino acids

  • NAC

  • Sulfur (found in cruciferous veggies)

  • Glutathione

  • Trace minerals

Why is This Important?


This may not seem very exciting or important, but your liver metabolism of your hormones is significant when we talk about hormonal imbalances and period issues. If you're having a hard time metabolizing and processing those hormones, you're going to see many of those symptoms listed above.


When you address your liver health, you will notice improvement in all the symptoms listed above, along with seeing improvement in other areas of your health, like:

  • Less hangovers (who doesn't want that?!)

  • Improvement in acne, psoriasis, eczema, hives or other skin issues

  • Better sleep (especially if you're one of those who tend to wake up around 2-4am every night)

  • Less headaches and migraines

  • Improved exercise tolerance

These are just a few of the things you might notice! Remember that your liver has a LOT of jobs, so you may notice changes in many different areas.



If you want to learn more about your liver health and how this affects your hormones along with integrative therapies to help resolve your hormonal issues, check out the online course below!


REFERENCES:

  • Hodges RE, Minich DM. Modulation of Metabolic Detoxification Pathways Using Foods and Food-Derived Components: A Scientific Review with Clinical Application. J Nutr Metab. 2015;2015:760689. doi:10.1155/2015/760689

  • Phang-Lyn S, Llerena VA. Biochemistry, Biotransformation. [Updated 2020 Sep 2]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK544353/





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