Detoxification of the liver and causes of its dysfunctions
A dysfunctional liver detoxification process leads to an accumulation of toxins, both external (taken in from the environment) as well as internal (produced by sources such as harmful microorganisms). For example, endogenous alcohol, is much more active than the exogenous one. This causes phenomena such as losing consciousness after drinking only a small amount of beer, wine, or spirit. Why? The drunk alcohol cumulates with endogenous alcohol, changing consciousness and perception. There have been situations when court medicine has acquitted people in such cases.
If the liver does not fulfil its role correctly, the brain comes under attack. If the liver was able to detox all of the toxins, there would be no changes in autistic children’s brains. Liver failure leads to an overreaction to medicines, foods, etc., causing allergic reaction. When the liver function is insufficient, all of external toxins remain and accumulate in the body.
Many autistic patients suffer from liver fibrosis, which is the antecedent stage to cirrhosis. Accumulation of toxins due to hepatic failure causes this state, which is similar to one seen in advanced alcoholics. Autistic child’s liver is additionally burdened by drug reactions, not only vaccination, but also antipyretic or food additives such as aspartame. It has been verified that negative liver reactions occasionally occur in reaction to vaccination, or overstimulation of the immune system. Similarly with using antipyretic drugs, most notably paracetamol.
Some genetic diseases influence the incorrect detoxification, mostly Wilson’s disease or primary biliary cirrhosis (rarely diagnosed, since most of the patients suffering from it are institutionalized in psychiatric hospitals as autistic people). Wilson’s disease is a genetic disorder of copper metabolism in the body. Copper, usually excreted with bile, accumulates in the liver first, leading to its damage. After exceeding the capacity to store it, the element is transported with blood to other tissues, achieving especially large concentrations in the brain, corneas, and kidneys. Neurological and psychiatric symptoms are similar to the course of autism. Many autistic children also have problems with metabolism of copper.
Deficiencies of A and B vitamins, or minerals such as zinc combined with excess copper, can also damage liver cells. Viral infections (not necessarily by hepatitis viruses) similarly limit the organ’s capacity. Toxoplasmosis, cytomegalia or herpes simplex virus may cause inflammation of the liver. The liver may become swollen and undergo autoimmunological change due to allergy. Even the smell of an allergen may cause its inflammation.
How does the liver function?
Liver cells, or hepatocytes, work very hard, supported by the so-called stellate cells. In the case of vitamin A deficiency, an excess of toxins, or a lack of nutrients, the cells die from overexertion. At that time, the stellate cells activate, cause a scarring process and slowly replace the healthy liver tissue. Luckily, this process is reversible to some degree.
The process of detoxification requires vitamin A and “good” fats.
The two phases of liver detoxification can be likened to soaping and rinsing hands:
1. Phase I, or partial deactivation of harmful substances is the soaping. Most of the toxins, such as medicines, chemicals, hormone, or ammonia is fat-soluble. This phase depends on vitamin B, folic acid, glutathione, silymarin, vitamin C, and antioxidants. The products of this phase may still be toxic and undergo reactions in various body tissues. This is why the second phase is indispensable in order for detoxification to be performed correctly. By the end of phase I, toxic metabolites and highly active free radicals are produced. These require deactivation.
2. Phase II finally deactivates the toxic compounds, resulting in their excretion with bile or, thorough kidneys, with urine. It changes fat-soluble compounds into water-soluble ones. It is the equivalent of rinsing your hands. In this stage, liver uses amino acids and sulfur compounds, among others.
Phase I can be blocked by grapefruit extract. This is why, despite it having strong bactericidal properties, it blocks phase I of liver detoxification for 4 hours. If we administer three doses, then we can be sure that the liver will not be able to correctly perform its functions for around 12 hours.
If the liver is malnourished – lacks vitamin B, A, or zinc – then these phases are crippled. A lack of sufficient amount of nutrients for the enzymes in phase II creates a dangerous bottleneck.
Toxic intermediate metabolites and highly active free radicals created by the end of phase I are not sufficiently deactivated during phase II. Free radicals may damage the nervous systems, while one of them, peroxynitrite, may cause laughter attacks and other strange symptoms, since it is the body’s equivalent of laughing gas. It destroys neurons, especially with low levels of uric acid, which, if is normal level, partially protects neurons from peroxynitrite. It also damages DNA and RNA, changing the genetic material in cells and gene activity.
Protection form the negative effects of free radicals of phase I is offered by, among others: vitamin C, quercetin and bromelain, as well as glutathione, which the body should produce on its own. Glutathione is the most important of antioxidants, necessary for proper liver detoxification. Autistic children suffer from its deficiency. It can be supplied from the outside, however it is not absorbed very well from the GI tract. It is much more efficient if administered hypoglossaly.
We aim to maintain balance between phase I and II of liver detoxification. Otherwise, there is a risk of cerebral edema. Articles addressing reasons and process of cerebral edema in autistic children prove, that this is the very same process, which undergoes in people afflicted with hepatic encephalopathy. Mechanisms described in autistic children and those suffering from encephalopathy are precisely the same.