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Love your liver

Love your liver

Here we are post Dry July. Congratulations to those who participated in abstaining from drinking alcohol for a month. You raised funds for a worthy cause and metaphorically, you took your liver on a month’s holiday to Fiji.

That’s the nett effect of eating healthy food, drinking H²0 and (other external factors aside like stress) enjoying a deeper sleep pattern as your tirelessly hard-working liver got a break from filtering toxins and processing all that alcohol into glucose and fat.

I’ve written before about the importance of gut bacteria, well think of the liver as your gut’s best mate. Together they’re the dynamic duo that fights infection and disease. But that’s not all…

 Weighing in at just over one kilogram, the liver is a complex chemical factory that works 24 hours a day. It processes virtually everything you eat, drink, breathe in or rub on your skin and that's just some of its over 500 different functions vital to life.

 

 

Be a better lover

Amongst a myriad of other vital functions, your liver cleanses your blood, metabolizes alcohol, drugs and chemicals, destroys poisonous substances, manufactures many essential body proteins and regulates the balance of thyroid, adrenal and sex hormones. Yep, if you want to be a better lover, start by loving your liver.

Before I go any further, advocating the consumption of moderate amounts of wine, if you have decided to be alcohol-free for life and you are regularly exercising and eating a healthy diet then carry on. At this point I can only espouse what I do personally as a reference backed by sound clinical trials.

 

 

Longevity and red winevity and red wine

It’s well-documented now that drinking red wine in moderation has many health benefits. Present, most abundantly in red wine (and red grape juice), is a powerful antioxidant called resveratrol that helps the body fight off free radicals that can damage your cells and organs.

Studies show that resveratrol promotes health and longevity by increasing the activity of a protein called sirtuin which assists in the repair of DNA and regulates genes that slow aging and age-related cardiac dysfunction. Nonetheless, these studies emphasize that the positive benefits of drinking red wine only come with moderate consumption.

 

 

Drinking wine 3-4 days a week

In consultation with my GP, I have been drinking red wine four days a week and abstaining 3 days a week. Just in time to support my argument, another clinical study by the Danish Institute of Public Health, released on the 27th July, compares the effects of drinking frequency on diabetes risk.

 

Using data from over 70,500 participants the study concludes, “People who drink (red wine in particular) 3-4 days per week are optimally less likely to develop diabetes than those who never drink.”  The same study warns however that, “heavy consumption is associated with a risk greater than or equal to that of abstainers.”

Well friends, in the age of Facebook I can call you that, I’ll leave you to make up your own mind (replenished with blood and glucose courtesy of your liver), but think of me as your guinea pig.

Diabetes, obesity and heart disease are all related, inevitably one leads to the other, but it’s important that we can do something about it and still enjoy our lives. Enjoyment and happiness are vital to a long, healthy life too.

I’ve been enjoying drinking 1-2 standard glasses of red wine a day for 4 consecutive days a week and not drinking 3 days a week for several years. I eat a healthy diet of fresh (mostly seasonal) vegetables, fruits, nuts and proteins and I do top up during the day with “snacks” like HDC’s sustained release energy bars and I remember to drink water…frequently. I know I fight off infections quicker than others, my energy levels are ridiculously high, my resting pulse is ridiculously low and a recent battery of tests including liver, heart and lung function pronounced me as fit as anyone half my age. Cheers to that!

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