On your fertility journey, your liver may be the last thing you’re thinking about. Yet, having a healthy liver is critical for hormonal balance. Today, most of us know about how important the liver is for a clean, healthy body. Your liver is your body’s main organ of detoxification, filtering out toxins at a rate of over a quart of blood per minute.
The liver is also intricately involved with hormone health. It’s the liver’s job to metabolize hormone excesses that could lead to imbalance and disease. Estrogen that is not metabolized properly by the liver can be reabsorbed back into the body, creating potential problems.
The Liver-Fertility Connection
A 2011 study shows the liver may have a direct role in optimum fertility. Italian research shows estrogen receptors in the liver can affect reproductive health. Dietary amino acids, the building blocks of protein, control the function of these receptors.
In the study, calorie restriction led to a decline in IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor), affecting normal growth of the uterine lining and disrupting menstruation in the animals studied.
Low Protein is Bad News for Hormone Balance and Fertility
A low protein diet was found to be a fertility blocker. When protein was added back to the diet, the animals’ reproductive cycles normalized. Experts theorize this may be one reason why anorexics or women who are underweight often have more fertility issues than other women.
While a juice fast may be recommended to cleanse toxins from the liver short term, a long-term fertility enhancing diet should contain plenty of protein. Low protein may affect your fertility, and can reduce your body’s ability to heal and handle a future pregnancy.
High quality protein sources to include are: lean meats, especially organic chicken and turkey, fish, grass-fed whey, seafood from uncontaminated waters, beans and legumes, occasional fermented soy, green superfoods like spirulina and chlorella, seaweeds like nori, and nutritional yeast.
Herbs For Liver Support
In addition to nutritional approaches, whole herbs can play an important part in supporting the liver and natural hormone balance.
Liver Renew Caps contain the Chinese liver tonic, Bupleurum. According to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), Bupleurum releases liver “qi” stagnation and normalizes the menstrual cycle. The medicinal mushrooms, maitake and Reishi, are included in the formula for added immune support. Dosage: Take 1 – 2 caps, 3 times daily before meals.
Liver Cleanse Flushing Tea: Teas are sometimes the best way for a weakened system to accept herbal support. Dandelion root and leaf in this tea help gently detox the liver, and are widely used with good results by herbalists all over the country. You can use this tea with Liver Renew caps 2x daily or take it as a liver maintenance formula, 1x daily.
Milk Thistle Seed extract: In Germany, silymarin (a constituent from milk thistle seed) is used with good results for even serious liver issues. Milk thistle has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and rebuilding properties for the liver. Whole Milk Thistle Seed extract is an excellent choice for liver health. 30 drops daily as needed is a general therapeutic dose.
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Having a clean, healthy liver is a good starting point for any natural fertility program. Women may notice that PMS and menstrual difficulties are less severe after using liver supporting therapies and herbs. Weight control issues often improve, too.
Balance is always the key. Very long liver cleanses or restrictive diets are counterproductive. A short juice cleanse followed by a protein-rich, fertility enhancing diet is your best choice. Whole herbs can complement the process at every stage.
- Norton, Kyle. (8/2009). Overcome Female Infertility – How to Treat Infertility With Chinese Herb – Bupleurum. Retrieved from: http://ezinearticles.com/?Overcome-Female-Infertility—How-to-Treat-Infertility-With-Chinese-Herb—Bupleurum&id=2778795
- Page, Linda, Ph.D., Traditional Naturopath, and Abernathy, Sarah. (2012). Healthy Healing 14th Edition, Healthy Healing LLC.
- Torre, S. D., Rando, G., Meda, C., Stell, A., Chambon, P., Krust, A., . . . Maggi, A. (2011). Amino Acid-Dependent Activation of Liver Estrogen Receptor Alpha Integrates Metabolic and Reproductive Functions via IGF-1. Cell Metabolism, 13(2), 205-214. doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2011.01.002. Retrieved from: https://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/fulltext/S1550-4131(11)00003-9?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS1550413111000039%3Fshowall%3Dtrue