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Functional Medicine®

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Functional Medicine Explained

The Gut-Liver Connection

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Do you feel:

  • Hormone imbalances?
  • Excessively foul-smelling sweat?
  • Excessive belching, burping, or bloating?
  • Digestive problems subside with relaxation?
  • Difficult bowel movement?

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then you might be experiencing some gut and liver issues in your body.

The role of the gut-liver axis in NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) has been examining probiotics and have found some new information on the gut microbiome and how probiotics work in NAFLD. The new information that future research found was quite interesting. It stated that there were about 26 major randomized controlled trials that used probiotics for NALFD that ranged between 20 to 200 individuals in four weeks to 1 year. The laboratory assessments included liver enzymes and anthropometric parameters in the body. Some of the studies added cardiovascular risk factors like C-reactive proteins and lipid profiles as markers for insulin resistance. Furthermore, most of the studies have used a probiotic formulation that includes multiple species, although a few were conducted by using a single strain.

What NAFLD does to the body is that it becomes a hepatic consequence of metabolic syndrome. This includes obesity, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. What is interesting about the connection between gut microbiota and NAFLD has been attracting a significant amount of attention in recent years. The data has shown that the gut microbiota can affect the hepatic lipid metabolism while also influencing the balance between pro/anti-inflammatory effectors in the liver.

Chronic Liver Diseases

Even though chronic liver disease is the primary cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Studies showed that gut dysbiosis was identified as an essential factor in the pathogenesis of the liver disease. The relationship between the gut microbiota and the liver is still not understood, but the dysfunction of leaky gut and an increased bacterial translocation into the liver. Another study showed that immense importance is a massive advancement in understanding the roles of the gut and liver microbiome that is driven by a high DNA sequencing and improving them.

There are many stages of liver disease that can happen, but when it comes to excessive alcohol in the liver. Studies show that excessive alcohol consumption is the leading cause of chronic liver disease worldwide. The stages of alcoholic liver disease are hepatic steatosis, steatohepatitis, and, ultimately, liver cirrhosis. One of the main characteristics of alcohol liver disease is that there is an increased gut permeability due to a direct toxic effect of alcohol on the epithelial cell in the gastrointestinal tract and a decreases expression of the tight-junction protein.

Probiotic Supplements

For probiotic supplementation, they have demonstrated a significant decrease in liver enzymes, which were compared to the placebo group. Studies found that probiotics were shown to have synergistic effects with metformin on liver enzymes for patients that have NASH. Any products that contained both prebiotics and probiotics can demonstrate a similar effect in the probiotic groups. In another study, it showed a reduction of intrahepatic fat that is measured by MRI, but the improvement in liver enzymes in the body did not reach any clinical significance. It is essential to know that liver enzymes can have a highly variable and do not always have a direct correlation with disease progression that they may encounter.

Research shows that there are five meta-analyses included and that they all demonstrated that probiotics and synbiotics have improved on AST and ALT levels in the body significantly. Surprisingly, several other studies have assisted probiotics by countering hepatic steatosis, fibrosis, and liver stiffness in the body. Ultrasound imaging can help assist these parameters and show some positive clinical outcomes with these two supplements.

When probiotics help restore the gastrointestinal barrier function in the body, they can eliminate the harmful bacteria that has interacted with the gastrointestinal system. Not only that, but probiotics can also be beneficial by modulating the immune system, reduce liver fats, and improve the liver enzymes as well. By using probiotics, they are most likely to be more productive by helping the body and preventing bacterial translocation in the gut, thus reducing the effects of the intestinal microbiota on the liver to prevent chronic illnesses from forming and causing havoc.

Conclusion

For individuals that have NAFLD, they will already establish the disease and required a higher nutrient intake demand than what can be obtained from any diets alone. So using dietary supplements should be considered to help reduce the NAFLD disease’s progression, thus improving the liver and its functions. The gut-liver axis is connected to the body since if anything happens to the liver like chronic diseases, it can affect the gut as well. Using probiotics to help the liver is essential to make sure that the liver is functioning correctly and that the body is being as healthy as possible. Some products are here to offer gastrointestinal and metabolic support while also supporting multiple aspects of the biliary system.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.


References:

Jurgelewicz, Michael. “New Review Demonstrates the Role of the Gut Microbiome and Probiotics in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.” Designs for Health, 25 Nov. 2019, blog.designsforhealth.com/node/1160.

Konturek, Peter Christopher, et al. “Gut⁻Liver Axis: How Do Gut Bacteria Influence the Liver?” Medical Sciences (Basel, Switzerland), MDPI, 17 Sept. 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6165386/.

Tripathi, Anupriya, et al. “The Gut-Liver Axis and the Intersection with the Microbiome.” Nature Reviews. Gastroenterology & Hepatology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6319369/.

Xie, Chencheng, and Dina Halegoua DeMarzio. “Role of Probiotics in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: Does Gut Microbiota Matter?” MDPI, Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 19 Nov. 2019, www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/11/2837.

Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C.,C.C.S.T

Welcome-Bienvenido's to our blog. We focus on treating severe spinal disabilities and injuries. We also treat Sciatica, Neck and Back Pain, Whiplash, Headaches, Knee Injuries, Sport Injuries, Dizziness, Poor Sleep, Arthritis. We use advanced proven therapies focused on optimal mobility, health, fitness, and structural conditioning. We use Individualized Diet Plans, Specialized Chiropractic Techniques, Mobility-Agility Training, Adapted Cross-Fit Protocols and the "PUSH System" to treat patients suffering from various injuries and health problems. If you would like to learn more about a Doctor of Chiropractic who uses advanced progressive techniques to facilitate complete physical health, please connect with me. We a focus on simplicity to help restore mobility and recovery. I'd love to see you. Connect!

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