Liver Health

Start the New Year Right with a Whole Body Cleanse

January is the start of a fresh new year, and as such is a fantastic time for a whole body cleanse!  Every day our bodies are bombarded by toxins from our environment, cleaning products, medications, and the foods we eat.  Doing a whole body cleanse once or twice a year is a great way to keep your body in tip top shape.

Whole body cleansing kits like those we sell at the store are a combination of supplements which help to aid in detoxification of all the body’s main detoxification pathways, supporting the liver (the body’s main cleansing organ), as well as cleaning out the colon.

Many people find enhanced energy and immunity after a whole body cleanse.  It’s also a good way to begin a diet and exercise program, since being bogged down to toxins can hamper weight loss efforts.

One we especially recommend at Pass Health Foods is Nature’s Plus Complete Body Cleanse- a kit of three different products (all in vegetarian capsules, thankfully).  It’s a certified organic formula that’s both gluten free and vegetarian that includes an herbal cleansing formula, a fiber formula, and then a nighttime colon cleansing formula.  It is taken only in the morning and evening, and while it does increase bowel movements, it is gentle and will not lead to “colon cleansing emergencies” (something I know many people are worried about).

It’s definitely one to try, and is a great way to start 2016!

Healthy Q & A: Liver Health and Medications

Q:  I wonder if you can give me some advice.  My dad is in his early seventies and has taken a whole bunch of medications for years for cholesterol, blood pressure, and pain.  I know that he has to be so toxic from taking those medications for so long and that they have to be hurting his liver.  I’d really like to be able to give him something to take to protect his liver, but I’m worried about things interacting with his medications.  Do you have any ideas?

A: I understand your worry.  Often prescription medications are necessary, but they can take a toll on the body- often the most on the liver (which processes everything put into the body).  The best supplement I can recommend is milk thistle.  Milk thistle is probably the very best supplement that exists for supporting, cleansing, and healing the liver.  It’s very safe to take, and no drug interactions have ever been reported from it.  In fact, in the book A-Z Guide to Drug-Herb-Vitamin Interactions by Alan Gaby, milk thistle is mentioned quite a few times as an herb to take with medications known to damage the liver.  

Milk thistle has been the subject of numerous clinical trials due to its potent liver protecting qualities.  It’s one of the few herbs that really have no pharmaceutical equivalent, and has been shown useful in treating liver diseases such as alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver poisoning, vital hepatitis, fatty liver, acne, and more.  Not only can it protect the liver against further damage, studies have documented its ability to regenerate the liver.

The liver performs so many important functions, and keeping the liver clean makes a huge impact in health, so I think it would be a great choice for your dad.

These are a few of our favorite things... SamE

This month I (Carolyn) am writing about one of my favorites.  It was hard to narrow it down since I have tons of things I love at the store.   I decided on samE, a supplement that is amazing for mood and overall brain chemistry.  It’s well known for its benefit to people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), but is also very effective for general depression and anxiety.

I have seen it work in people close to me, and best of all results are seen often in as few as four days.  It has been shown in research to be as effective as Prozac, but is faster acting and without side effects.  SamE also has side benefits of helping to reduce joint pain, so it’s particularly effective for people with fibromyalgia.  SamE also helps to detoxify the liver.

For many people a dose of 400mg per day is sufficient, although when people first start taking it, they may take a double dose of 800mg per day to get it in their system faster.  For the best absorption and effectiveness, samE should be taken on an empty stomach.

Supplement Spotlight: Milk Thistle

This month we’re focusing on milk thistle and how wonderful it is for the liver, since if there’s one organ you should love, it’s your liver!  The liver detoxifies the blood and also helps to metabolize drugs- medications and alcohol can be very hard on the liver.  Detoxifying the liver is one of the best ways (in my opinion) to improve health, since if the liver is clean and working well, the body as a whole works better.


Milk thistle is the very best natural product there is for cleansing and supporting the liver.  It is one of the few herbs that has no pharmaceutical equivalent.  It has been shown in research to not only help with cleansing the liver and improving liver function, but has even been shown to help with regenerating the liver!


As stated above, alcohol can he hard on the liver, and in excess can cause liver damage; milk thistle has been shown to help to reverse that damage.  In one study, 36 patients with chronic alcoholic liver disease received milk thistle extract or a placebo for six months.  At the beginning of the study, all participants had elevated liver enzymes and other markers for liver damage in their blood.  After six months, the group that had taken the milk thistle extract had all markers of liver damage normalized, where the placebo group did not.  The milk thistle group also had improvement at the cellular level.

Milk thistle has also been found to be beneficial to people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.  In research it was shown to be as effective as two different commonly used insulin drugs, with the additional benefit of decreasing liver enzymes, a benefit that the prescription drugs did not show.  In persons with advanced non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, milk thistle extract was found to help with restoring liver function as well as improving insulin sensitivity and inflammation.


Even people with hepatitis have found improvements after treatment with milk thistle extract.   Researchers found drops in markers of liver damage, where the placebo group had no change.

Interestingly, studies have found even greater benefit for people supplementing milk thistle extract with phosphatidyl choline, which has been found to increase the milk thistle absorption.


Milk thistle is a wonderful supplement that would be of benefit to everyone, since who wouldn’t want to improve their liver function, since the liver is so critical in maintaining a healthy body?  This month, consider supplementation with milk thistle, for better, vibrant health.