UNDERSTANDING LIVER

Liver Protection Information


Did you know that liver protection, or that is to say, UNDERSTANDING liver protection is a vital part of taking anabolic steroids?

Like many other users, you probably did; but that doesn’t mean to say that you’re necessarily going to be as stringent as you should be when it comes to applying your treatment.

You aren’t alone in this aspect of AAS use either – whilst millions of people are aware that steroids can damage the liver, few and far between are the individuals who take this aspect of their cycle seriously enough to provide a truly adequate foundation for protecting it effectively.

This is perhaps largely because the mechanics and various functions of the liver are not fully understood, at least not well enough for people to take this vital organ as seriously as they should.

We’re not simply talking about the fact that it helps with the digestive process (which is a function most people know it for) but also that it is a vital aspect of the human body needed for everything from detoxification to IGF-1 release (which means it also plays an important part in anabolism.)

Ready to find out everything you need to know about this crucial organ and precisely how anabolic steroids can negatively impact it.

What Does The Liver Do?


This is where things start to get really interesting. You already have a decent level of understanding about the liver after reading about its anatomy in the previous section, but now it’s time to look at the plethora of functions it fulfils.

Through reading about these functions, you might never view your liver in quite the same way again; this section should serve to make you vehemently aware of the importance of protecting your liver if you’re serious about everything from maximising your results to optimising your health.

The Anatomy Of The Liver

Bile Ducts

Bile Ducts

These tube-like structures are designed to help carry bile from the gallbladder and into the small intestine, where it is used as a vital part of the digestion process.

Bile is needed for breaking down / absorbing fat from our food intake, and is exclusively created by the liver itself. As soon as food reaches the small intestine, we automatically release bile so that it can fulfil its duty.

Considering that fats are crucial for everything from optimum immune function to our ability to develop healthy hair and skin, it’s safe to say that we need the liver to produce bile / utilise bile ducts if we are to achieve optimum vitality.

Blood Vessels

Blood Vessels

The blood vessels of the liver are needed to provide nutrient-rich blood for processing – the nutrients contained within said blood is then transported to the brain and other areas of the body in order to ensure that overall vitality can be sustained at all times.

These blood vessels come in the form of the hepatic artery and the hepatic vein. The artery brings blood in and the vein sends blood out and away from the liver.

Should the liver’s functionality be in any way compromised, this would mean that (in a similar fashion to bile ducts) we would be unable to adequately process / access the nutrients we need for daily sustenance.

Lobules

Lobules

Lobules are small subunits of the liver – they are composed of cells and used to process blood from incoming veins, then to send said blood to outgoing venules where it can freely pass to other areas of the body.

A dysfunctional liver would not be able to process blood effectively via the utilisation of lobules, therefore nutrients would not be effectively accessed nor would effective overall circulation be possible.

These three areas are vital for healthy internal function; without a wholly operational liver, all three components would be unable to fulfil their individual duties.

The Anatomy Of The Liver

Bile Ducts

Bile Ducts

These tube like structures are designed to help carry bile from the gallbladder and into the small intestine where it is used as a vital part of the digestion process.

Bile is needed for breaking down / absorbing fat from our food intake, and is exclusively created by the liver itself. As soon as food reaches the small intestine, we automatically release bile so that it can fulfil its duty.

Considering fats are crucial for everything from optimum immune function to our ability to develop healthy hair and skin, it’s safe to say that we need the liver to produce bile / utilise bile ducts if we are to achieve optimum vitality.

Blood Vessels

Blood Vessels

The blood vessels of the liver are needed to provide nutrient rich blood for processing – the nutrients contained within said blood is then transported to the brain and other areas of the body in order to ensure that overall vitality can be sustained at all times.

These blood vessels come in the form of the hepatic artery, and the hepatic vein. The artery brings blood in, and the vein sends blood out and away from the liver.

Should the liver’s functionality be in any way compromised, this would mean that (in a similar fashion to bile ducts) that we would be unable to adequately process / access the nutrients we need for daily sustenance.

Lobules

Lobules

Lobules are small subunits of the liver – they are composed of cells and used to process blood from incoming veins then send said blood to outgoing venules where it can freely pass to other areas of the body.

A dysfunctional liver would not be able to process blood effectively via the utilisation of lobules, therefore nutrients would not be effectively accessed nor would effective overall circulation be possible.

These three areas are vital for healthy internal function; without a wholly operational liver, all three components would be unable to fulfil their individual duties.

The Liver’s Role In Digestion

Many people are aware that this organ plays a vital role in the digestion process, but it’s safe to say that most of them don’t necessarily know why or how.

We’re now going to look further into this aspect of its functionality so that you can fully appreciate precisely how it positively impacts this aspect of human health. Ultimately, our digestive process is governed by our blood content.

There are many facets of the digestive system overall, but the reason why many of these facets and their respective processes exist is to break food down, draw nutrients from it and get those nutrients into our bloodstream for use within the body. Whilst accessing the nutrients in food for sustenance is a simple enough concept, food and even the digestive process itself do tend to produce certain toxins and free radicals that are harmful to us.

When the blood reaches the liver, it does so in somewhat of an “impure” state. You could compare it to the difference between pure, filtered water and river water. One is completely free of toxins / waste whereas the other feature several pollutants as part of their composition.

When the blood reaches the liver in its “polluted” state, the liver then proceeds to put it through a “filtration” process whereas all toxins and impurities are removed, whilst all of the “good” parts (vitamins, minerals, etc.) are kept in and sent to the rest of the body to be effectively utilised.

Without this vital breakdown and “analysis” of the blood, the human body simply wouldn’t be able to function correctly in any capacity whatsoever. The liver is the necessary “waste” management plant needed to ensure that we do not come under any harm from negative elements.

This is precisely why alcohol for instance can have such a negative impact when consumed in high quantities – it can actually serve to diminish the overall functionality of the liver, therefore putting us at great risk from infection and much, much worse over time.

It’s worth mentioning at this stage that oral steroids (and indeed all steroids to some extent) can have a similar effect.

We are not yet finished with the liver’s many functions and capabilities, but hopefully at this stage its overall importance is starting to hit home with some potency.

The Hormonal Function Of The Liver


In this section, we’re going to look at how the liver functions in regards to hormones and the manner in which it interacts with / produces them. All of the processes in this section are involved in hormonal regularity and therefore help to promote a state of homeostasis.

Detoxification

Being that the liver is somewhat of a “filtration” and “waste” plant for our blood, this means that it is able to sort through what’s useful, what’s not, and determine what we need to get out of our blood to ensure the sustenance of our health. As a result, it actually plays an enormous part in the detoxification process. When harmful toxins in our blood stream (like free radicals) reach the liver, they are effectively removed making the blood “safe”.

Toxins and free radicals can negatively affect the manner in which we are able to do everything from burn excess body fat to digest food and function both mentally and physically. As such, their removal is vital if we are to live “normally.”

Storage

The liver serves as a storage depot for vital nutrients and minerals / vitamins so that they can be released at a moment’s notice when the body is in need. Some of the resources stored here include iron and glycogen.

Glycogen in particular is vital for sustained energy levels; without it, you would face potential hypoglycaemia. Iron is essential for the healthy circulation and density of blood. When combined, these elements alone are vital for healthy function.

Immunity

The liver is packed full of cells that help to form the innate immune system. Until fairly recently, the liver wasn’t fully appreciated for its overall role in the immune system, but biologists now appreciate that it plays a much bigger part than we originally thought.

Macrophage, killer cells and killer T cells are all stored here to help fight against inflammation, create inflammation (which is necessary for the protection of tissue and joints) and protect the body against diseases. Without optimum liver functionality, our immune system would not work correctly either.

IGF -1

IGF-1, or Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 is a vital part of our tissue recovery and repair process. If you’re a bodybuilder or even a health nut with a modest level of interest in muscle building, then you’ll likely have heard of this hormone before.

When we perform intense physical activity, IGF-1 splits off into two sub strands, one of which is known as Mechano Growth Factor or “MGF”.
This sub strand activates satellite muscle cells, thus dramatically speeding up the repair and recovery process.

IGF-1 is also a vital component for lean tissue growth too. Without it, you simply won’t be able to gain muscle mass. If nothing else so far has made you aware of how important the liver is (and how important protecting it is), then this section at least will hopefully get through to you – as a result of not protecting your liver, you’re actually harming your ability to grow.

Hepcidin

This hormone is synthesised in the liver and is used to regulate iron. Iron is vital for the healthy flow of blood throughout the body as well as its creation. Without the relevant level of iron present in the system, an individual would risk going anaemic. This condition can lead to a wide array of health complications, and even death (mainly due to related complications) should it reach an extreme level.

Angiotensinogen

Angiotensigen is a precursor to the peptide angiotensin. This latter peptide is a crucial element needed for regulating blood pressure partly due to its key role in the release of aldosterone.

This precursor hormone helps to kickstart the processes necessary to store sodium, which in turn leads to the necessary elevation of blood pressure. Without blood pressure regulation, we wouldn’t be able to pump blood through our system appropriately.

Thrombopoietin

This special protein type is necessary for the formation of platelets and is produced by both the liver and kidneys. Platelets are needed to form blood clots over damaged tissue sites. Whilst most people associate blood clots with negative health issues, they are actually supposed to occur under certain circumstances.

They help to create what is a “natural” Band-Aid of sorts, in that they breach gaps in soft tissue that have taken place as a result of damage. These clots then turn into hard scabs during the recovery process, thus allowing the damaged tissue underneath to fully replenish itself.

Betatrophin

This vital hormone leads to the proliferation of pancreatic cells. In short, this means that it helps the pancreas to grow and repair itself. Being that the pancreas is vital in its own right for the regulation of many internal processes and the sustenance of our vitality, our body would fall into a state of total disrepair without the presence of betatrophin.

Now that you’re aware of all the hormonal processes the liver is involved in, you might be starting to think a little differently about it on the whole. What you’ve got here is a multi-faceted organ, responsible for a wide array of functions.

So far, you’ve looked at how it impacts hormonal regulation and production, but there’s a great deal more to discover before you fully understand and appreciate just how important the liver really is. We’re now going to move onto the metabolic function of the liver, and specifically how it impacts digestion.

How The Liver Burns Fat

How The Liver Burns Fat

This often-overlooked aspect of the liver can have many positive benefits, including but not limited to:

  • Counteracting obesity
  • Reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Reducing the risk of a plethora of cardiovascular and respiratory issues
  • Promoting an enhanced state of internal wellness across a wealth of areas

 

Though we have only stated the health benefits thus far, there is of course the fact that those who wish to use anabolic steroids are trying to display as much of their lean tissue as possible.

With a high level of body fat, this visibility simply isn’t possible. Accelerated fat burning is crucial to perform a successful cutting phase, and is equally as important when bulking to ensure that excessive amounts of fat can’t develop. Hepatocytes within the liver play a multitude of roles crucial in the burning of excess body fat. These roles include the breakdown of fatty acids, the creation of lipoproteins, the storage off triglycerides and the creation of cholesterol. In regards to the first facet (the breakdown of fatty acids), this is perhaps the most crucial aspect of fat burning – if we don’t break down the complex structure of fatty acids, they may lay dormant in our body and be stored either viscerally or subcutaneously.

Creation and Delegation

The creation and “delegation” of lipoproteins and cholesterol is important for determining cholesterol levels and ensuring that fatty acids / cholesterol gets sent to the right places. Without the appropriate shuttling of fatty acids and cholesterol, both of these elements would build up as excess waste inside the body.

This excess waste could lead to extra storage of fat and possibly the development of other complications within the system as a result of toxins / free radicals. It’s also possible that health complications including elevated blood pressure would arise too.

Triglyceride storage is vital for regulating energy – triglycerides are one of our main forms of usable energy, and we need to keep a store of them available at all times to delegate to the body when needed to sustain physical activity.

A lack of triglycerides could lead to certain adverse conditions arising including general lethargy – or you may find that if the liver isn’t able to appropriately synthesise / utilise triglycerides,this may be the precursor to or indicative of another serious underlying health issue, possibly related to liver dysfunctionality.

To sum up precisely how the liver fulfils its fat burning benefits: it is “trained” to effectively utilise fat in the most functional and effective manner possible. Without this ability to “sort” through our dietary fat, not only would we not be able to function optimally, but we’d also be at an increased risk of obesity with more of it freely available to “sit” unused within our body.