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    An Apple A Day for Liver & Skin Health

    October brings a crispness in the air, the crunch of fallen leaves beneath your feet and the juicy crunch of a ripe apple. It is no wonder that October is National Apple Month, and it's no accident (at least we don't think so) that October is also National Liver Month because where there are apples, there is liver cleansing. And where there's a healthy, functioning liver, there's healthy, glowing skin!

    Healthy Liver Functions

    The skin is the largest organ of the human body. The next largest is the liver. And these two are linked by more than just size. The liver is responsible for hundreds of chemical processes to synthesize and breakdown proteins, store nutrients and detoxify harmful substances. A healthy liver:

    • Synthesizea several amino acids and proteins
    • Converts glucose to glycogen for storage and glycogen back to glucose for energy
    • Synthesizes cholesterol, which you need in order for your body to produce steroid hormones and Vitamin D
    • Produces coagulation factors and proteins to regulate platelet protection for healthy blood clotting
    • Produces and excretes bile to break down fats
    • Breaks down insulin and other hormones
    • Detoxifies drugs (it doesn't distinguish between prescription medications, illicit substances or alcohol)
    • Stores Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, iron and copper

    These functions are essential to maintaining balance in your body. Impaired liver function upsets that balance, which means your body may experience:

    • Unregulated blood glucose levels
    • Increased or decreased hormone levels
    • Heavy metal toxicities
    • Incomplete metabolism

    And the liver's ability to perform these functions is written all over your face.

    The Connection between Liver Health and Skin Health

    The effects of impaired liver conditions are often expressed through the skin: Itchiness that persists and is not a reaction to an external allergy is a common sign of liver disease. Dry skin may be caused by insufficient cholesterol production and/or fat metabolism. Acne breakouts are linked to hormonal imbalances. Why skin is sensitive to liver function has to possible explanations. First, a healthy liver allows you to effectively fight off and/or break down assaults on the body, including those from potential allergens, parasites, microbes, etc.

    When your liver function is impaired, you no longer enjoy the same level of immunity from those assaults, so you are more likely to experience the effects of mold and fungal infections, hormone overload, etc. But an alternative explanation may be that in an attempt to compensate for impaired liver function, your body is still trying to get rid of toxins through your skin. The movement of foreign, potentially harmful chemical substances through your skin may cause other protective responses, like brown spots and raised itchy patches.

    Why Apples?

    The beauty of liver and skin health is that it is possible to improve it through simple changes like eating an apple every day. Apple skin contains a lot of pectin compared to other fruits. Pectin is a complex carbohydrate and a key structural component of plant cell walls. When ingested, pectin is also a natural detoxifier, binding to heavy metals and removing them from the body via normal digestive and excretive processes. Malic acid in apples also supports optimal nutrient absorption and helps break up gallstones. To get the full benefit of apples, you need to consume them in their raw form, and to avoid introducing new toxins into your body, organic is best. So, toast the fall and your liver and skin health by raising a glass of unsweetened, unfiltered apple juice!"

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