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How A Liver Protects and Harms You

By: Dr. Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

How A Normal Liver Protects You

Your liver is supposed to control blood sugar levels. More than 98 percent if the energy for your brain comes from the sugar in your bloodstream. If your blood sugar level drops suddenly, you can fall down unconscious. To prevent blood sugar levels from dropping, your liver constantly releases sugar stored in its cells into your bloodstream. When blood sugar levels drop, your liver immediately releases more sugar from its cells into your bloodstream.

You store extra sugar only in your liver and muscles. When blood sugar levels rise, your pancreas releases large amounts of insulin into your bloodstream and insulin lowers blood sugar levels by driving sugar from your bloodstream into your liver. The signal for your liver to lower high blood sugar levels and draw sugar from your bloodstream comes from insulin.

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver (photo from Pediatric House Calls)

How a Fatty Liver Raises Blood Sugar, Leading to Diabetes

Extra fat in liver cells causes high blood sugar levels to rise even higher. When extra fat is deposited in liver cells, the fat prevents liver cells from responding to insulin. When blood sugar levels rise, the fatty liver is unable to respond to insulin and lower blood sugar levels by taking sugar into its cells. Instead, liver cells do the opposite of what they are supposed to do. They raise blood sugar levels even higher by:

* releasing sugar from their cells into the bloodstream, and

* making new sugar from protein (gluconeogenesis) and releasing that newly-made sugar to raise blood sugar levels even higher.

Dr. Mirkin's Recommendation

If you are overweight, try to start losing extra weight immediately. Dr. Mirkin recommends intermittent fasting as it appears to be more effective than counting calories or any of the diets, drugs and supplements that bilk innocent obese people of their money and offer no long-term weight loss.

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