[Transcript] – Is Liver Cleansing Bullsh*^t? The Pre And Post Blood Test Results of Ben Greenfield’s 7 Day Liver Cleanse (& Exactly How He Did It).

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Podcast from: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/is-liver-cleansing-bullsht-the-pre-and-post-blood-test-results-of-ben-greenfields-7-day-liver-cleanse-exactly-how-he-did-it/

[0:00:00] About Previous Complete Blood Panel

[0:03:31] Liver Flushing

[0:05:07] The Tale of The Liver and The Bile Flow

[0:09:21] Some Terms to Familiarize With

[0:13:47] My Lab Test Results

[0:16:54] Kitchari

[0:22:34] The Celery Juice

[0:24:59] My Liver Cleansing Practices

[0:31:06] Alternatives to Kitchari

[0:32:40] Closing the Podcast with the Nuts and Bolts of Liver Cleansing

[0:34:40] End of Podcast

Ben:  Alright. So, here's the very quick backstory, and I'm going to link to everything that you're about to learn about if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/livercleanse. That's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/livercleanse. Approximately, three and a half weeks ago, I did a complete blood panel as I do on a quarterly basis. I test everything under the sun. I worked with a company called WellnessFX to help them develop what they called a Greenfield Longevity Panel. It's everything. It's inflammatory markers. It's all the particle counts for LDL and HDL, free fatty acids, full testosterone panel, very complete thyroid panel, all metabolic hormones, all liver health hormones, kidney health hormones, et cetera.

One of the things that leapt out on the results for that panel were the fact that my liver enzymes were markedly elevated indicating a high amount of liver stress and even the type of elevated liver enzymes one might see in say nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which is a growing epidemic actually, especially in the United States. So, what do I mean by this was my aspartate aminotransferase, it's risky if that's above 40. Mine was at 172. It's risky if what's called your alanine aminotransferase, another very important enzyme, is above 55. Mine was at 83. I also had mildly elevated, what is called alkaline phosphatase, another liver enzyme, relatively high albumin levels, a type of protein in the blood. Although my inflammation was low, I was showing all signs of some pretty significant liver stress, so I got to thinking and what I decided was that I wanted to test out these liver cleanses that are so popular these days, kind of piece something together for myself that did involve drinking copious amounts of juice, which I really do not consider to be very blood sugar friendly at all. And instead, involved almost like a doable detox that I could still do at home, that I could still work out during, which is very important to me, and that I could accomplish in a relatively short period of time because I didn't have a lot of time. I had about seven to ten days at home. The first three days of this protocol actually, all I did was just not drink alcohol and not drink coffee, both of which are recommended to avoid on any type of liver cleansing protocol. And then I started into, for the next seven days, exactly what I'm going to describe to you. And again, I'll include photos of all this and some pretty comprehensive resources along with any of the previous podcasts I've done on things like detoxification and a podcast in which I go over that initial blood work panel, which I think folks found very interesting. I have lots of good feedback on that in how to interpret your own blood work, basically. But we're just going to focus on the liver today. So, you can go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/livercleanse for the shownotes. That's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/livercleanse.

So, let's start here with liver flushing. So, think of the liver as almost like this intelligent central processing unit in your body that can filter and clean about a liter and a half of blood each minute. It's got about 500 different biochemical reactions that occur within the liver, including a Phase 0, Phase I, Phase II and Phase III detoxification pathway, which I've outlined in other articles on my website that I will link to. So, these processes include things like the division and the breakdown of chemical substances, what we referred to as catabolism of the synthesis of protein molecules, what we call anabolism. And a whole host of functions that make it so that if the liver enzymes which are responsible for many of these metabolic reactions are not working properly or out of balance or markedly elevated, then many of these processes are not going to work properly.

You no doubt know that the liver acts as a purification plant for the blood and it plays a vital role in detoxifying and excreting a wide variety of both endogenous and exogenous compounds. However, the liver, it can regenerate pretty rapidly. It can regrow and function with about 10% of actual healthy liver tissue. You know, when they do a liver transplant, about seven ounces of healthier transplant of liver can save a human life even though the entire liver organ weighs about four and a half pounds or when it's full of blood up to about seven pounds. So, the liver has some pretty significant regenerative properties.

There's actually a tale, there's a tale, Greek mythology about the regenerative properties of the liver, the myth of Prometheus. Prometheus was the Titan who was very generous towards humanity and who stole fire from the King of the Gods, Zeus, and distributed the fire as a gift among humans. So, Zeus punished Prometheus by having him chained to a rock where an eagle would pick his liver every day. But then at night, Prometheus' liver would regrow at the same rate as the eagle devoured it during the day. So, eventually, he was freed but it's very interesting how in that Greek mythological society, it was considered to be capable of re-growing or regenerating the liver.

Then, there was the Greek physician Hippocrates who described four different, what he called humors, and one of them was the yellow bile of the liver, and he basically said that the bile, when it doesn't flow, can stagnate and form like this thick black substance. And so, the word melancholy actually means black bile and it can affect your digestion and your mood. And in many times, people who are having liver issues, they have poor digestion and poor mood associated with feelings like rage and anger when your bile doesn't flow properly. I realize that sounds a little woo but there are actually many references in ancient and modern medical literature to the influence of the liver on the mood, on the emotions, on the intellectual statements, directions for how to clean the organ as well.

So, according to traditional Chinese medicine, for example, the liver holds your soul. It's associated with being an organ full of energy and powers. In Chinese traditional medicine, cleansing the liver is a regular practice. It's thought that if your key, your vital energy is not able to flow on the liver meridian, it ends up concentrating in the organ and shows up as irritability and anger and depression and being melancholy in the gallbladder, which I talked about. Ann Louise Gittleman in my last podcast operates very, very similarly.

So, the idea is that cleansing the liver is something that involves amplifying the ability of the detoxification pathways to actually work properly. And this is important because it's also going to assist with bile production. This is where it ties into the gallbladder piece because the cells of the liver, your hepatocytes, those produce about 500 to 1500 milliliters of bile a day, that's like two and a half pints of vial, and that's that dense yellow liquid that Hippocrates was referring to that circulates from the bile ducts, which are the bile vessels to the common bile duct to be stored in the gallbladder after it's produced by the liver.

Now, over time, the bile retained in the gallbladder can condense. And because it's composed of bile salts, these can form mineral stones. And in many cases, people who need a liver flush or liver detoxification, they will actually see these little stones in the toilet after they've taken a crap. You'll see these little stones in your poop. I actually investigated my poop during this liver protocol and did not notice anything like that. So, perhaps, I wasn't all the way down the road of minerals accumulating as bile salts in my gallbladder. But, ultimately, when you detox your liver, you increase healthy bile production and you also stimulate release of the bile by the gallbladder, in addition to peristalsis if you're doing things like the coffee enema that I did during this cleanse that I'll talk about.

So, occasionally, another issue that can happen is if the bile isn't adequately expelled due to a dysfunctional muscle of the gallbladder, what can happen is what they call congestion of the liver, a sensation of feeling really full after eating, bloated, frequent constipation, kind of heaviness, like this foul-smelling poop and kind of hard feces that a lot of times look like deer or goat droppings rather than well-formed human stool. So, if you're experiencing any of this type of issues, then you should continue to pay attention because I'm going to talk a little bit about how to cleanse your liver and how this actually works.

So, a few other terms you need to be familiar with. When I talk about a fatty liver or a liver that needs flushing, what that means, the cells of the liver are saturated fat. Think of this like liver pâté and the intrahepatic bile ducts found inside the liver. Those are full of bile but they have a very high concentration of cholesterol in them in that case because the amount of cholesterol produced by the liver and then reabsorbed and recycled in many cases can accumulate in the liver itself. And so, you have excess cholesterol in the liver and you also have these issues with bile accumulation in the liver as well. So, during a flush, the liver is basically gently encouraged to increase its excretory function in order to eliminate all that bile trapped in the bile ducts and to allow the gallbladder to evacuate that bile.

It typically involves the drainage and elimination of any accumulated toxins or cholesterol or other fractions of fat and then an increase in actual bile flow. And, learning how to detoxify and cleanse the liver is actually something that I think is smart to know how to do because it's something that if you know how to do what I'm about to explain to you, you can regularly care for your liver without having to go to medical clinic per se. I'm not a doctor. I don't want you to misconstrue. This is medical advice. If you do have like nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, I do recommend that you see a doc, not just like drink celery juice or something like that.

But ultimately, knowing what you're about to learn here, which is really simple, is something that you can do multiple times for a year, especially if you come back with blood results similar to what I had. Or if you've ever struggled with constipation or bloating and gas after a meal, or if you've ever had a period of time when you eat while you’re in a stressed-out stasis or you've used a lot of, for example, excess alcohol or coffee or just used that for a long time consistently in general.

Now, there are a lot of things that you can do to increase the need for the liver to be cleansed. In my case, I drink alcohol regularly. I drink coffee regularly. I exercise regularly, which can also, and we'll hopefully get to that on this podcast or our future podcast, which can significantly affect many things like white blood cells and CRP and your liver enzymes and your cholesterol and what's called your prostate-specific antigen. There are a lot of things that can be influenced by exercise and elevated by exercise, but exercise can even elevate liver enzymes to a certain extent. A normal change would be up to double the high-end of normal levels but the thing is I didn't exercise any differently prior to this liver enzyme panel as I had done prior to other panels, and yet, it was significantly, significantly elevated. And levels more than two times the upper limit are unlikely to stem from exercise. Those are typically the type of things that stem from some pretty serious liver issues. In addition to that, my liver was also–my liver and gallbladder, when I palpate them, when I put my hands on them and kind of palpate them, they were also pretty tender to the touch, which also made me weigh pretty seriously, this idea that I may be able to benefit from some type of a cleansing protocol for the liver.

So, rather than me putting myself at the risk of talking about things that I don't think have been heavily researched, I instead just want to tell you what I did which is more of like the use of ayurvedic cleansing principles, and then tell you what kind of results that I got from those. I'm not going to make this into an hour long podcast about the physiology of celery juice and how exactly it could work, if theoretically it would work to cleanse the liver. I instead just want to tell you how to make it and how I used it, how I combined all this together and what happened when I did that.

So, I'm just going to walk you through this step by step. But before I do, I'm actually going to cut straight to the chase and tell you exactly what happened when I tested my labs, what they actually look like. So, as I mentioned to you, prior to doing what I'm about to explain to you, my liver enzymes were markedly elevated in the way that I described. Aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, and alanine aminotransferase were all elevated. In addition, my hormones were actually pretty good. My free testosterone was at 78. My total testosterone was at 880. My sex hormone-binding globulin, which you actually want in most cases, to a certain extent lower, not higher, because that binds up your hormones and makes them unavailable to be used in other tissues. That was at 84.

And then, one value that I did not test on the previous test but I tested on the follow-up test was what's called GGT, gamma-glutamyl transferase. You can think of those other enzymes I mentioned as good proxies for liver health. But GGT is a good proxy for gallbladder health, as you may have heard if you listened again to that last podcast that I did with Ann Louise Gittleman. Now, I'm going to publish all these results over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/livercleanse. But in a nutshell, I'm going to read to you the numbers. My alanine aminotransferase was at 83. After the three days of no alcohol, no caffeine, followed by the seven days of this liver cleanse, dropped from 83 to 33. My aspartate aminotransferase dropped from 172 to 37, from 172 to 37. My GGT, the marker of gallbladder health was rock bottom at 15, meaning extremely, extremely low risk.

Now, in addition to that, here's what surprised me even more. My free testosterone jumped from 78 to 115. And my total testosterone jumped from 881 to 1,154, which I hadn't expected but it makes sense because the liver actually plays a crucial role in the processing of hormones. And so, when I see a steep rise of testosterone like this from this type of protocol, I know that some of it was probably due to the fact that I was not drinking any alcohol at all and alcohol can have a mild suppressive effect on testosterone. But, I think a big part of this also came down to the enhanced liver function that occurred during this cleanse. So, ultimately, pre and post blood testing was profound in terms of what it showed actually happened when I did this cleanse.

Okay. So, I know if you're listening, you're probably a foodie. So, I want to start with what I actually ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the seven days of this cleanse after I spent those first three days as I mentioned not drinking alcohol or caffeine. What I ate was a meal called kitchari. That's spelled K-I-T-C-H-A-R-I. I'm going to give you the exact recipe over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/livercleanse along with the few twists that I made on this recipe. But kitchari is essentially one pot meal of lentils and rice, typically made with little ghee or clarified butter and some spices along with garlic and onions. I didn't use garlic, I didn't use onions, I didn't use ghee, I didn't use rice, and I actually used what are called split yellow mung beans. Split mung beans are not only a fabulous source of a lot of proteins and vitamins but they're also something that are traditionally used as an actual liver cleanse. So, I used the split mung beans. The reason I didn't use the rice was the same reason that I did not juice. I did not juice, and I will tell you what I did instead of juicing momentarily, because I did not want to do a cleanse that involved lots of sugar, lots of fructose, lots of carbohydrates. I wanted to actually maintain a relatively ketogenic state while still consuming enough food stuff to keep my metabolism elevated and to give me energy and allow me to work out.

Now, the only thing that I miss out on when doing that is that when you add the rice to the beans, technically, that makes a complete protein. That's why kitchari typically has the rice with the beans. It's a grain with a legume. And that does make a complete vegetable-based protein. But, I got my protein via other means that I felt were kinder to my blood sugar levels. Now, another thing that's used in kitchari is a special herb called hing. It's also pronounced asafoetida. It's a very pungent sulfuric smelling spice but it's extremely rich in sulfur. It's widely used as a digestive aid in ayurvedic medicine. It's a staple in Indian cuisine. Very simple to find. You can buy it off Amazon or you can find it at just about any grocery store. You only really need a pinch of that, but that's one of the prime ingredients in kitchari. Think of it as almost like glutathione in herbal form, a sulfur-rich antioxidant.

And then, there are also a lot of black mustard seeds, which increase what's called sulforaphane, which is incredibly important antioxidant and detoxification compound. Mustard seeds increase the bioavailability of the sulforaphane that you would get from cruciferous vegetables. And so, I put that in there too because I put specific vegetables that I'm about to tell you about into this kitchari as well.

Now, here is exactly what I did. I made a huge pot twice, that's all it took, and just kept the pot in the fridge for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and I'll just have a big scoop of this stuff for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I used the split yellow mung beans. I used coconut oil rather than ghee. I used a little bit of miso for flavoring like a non-GMO organic miso. I used four cups of bone broth made by Kettle & Fire. Here's what's called a Kettle & Fire bone broth. And then two tablespoons of coconut cream.

Okay. So, those were all the ingredients. And then the spices were cumin, fennel, coriander, ginger, turmeric, fenugreek, black mustard, and that hing stuff that I told you about. I used two cups of bok choy, cilantro, and dinosaur kale. So, I got a lot of the cruciferous activation combined with those mustard seeds. And then every time I ate it, I just used a little bit of fresh lime juice, a dollop of a coconut yogurt, which is a really good stomach-friendly, gut-friendly probiotic rich compound, and then just sea salt to taste.

I'll put the exact instructions. I don't expect you to memorize them on the podcast but essentially, you simmer all this stuff over the stove top after you've soaked the beans of course for about 24 hours beforehand and rinse them. And then, you make this and I just had a big old scoop of this for breakfast, for lunch, and for dinner along with one giant 16-ounce glass of celery juice, which is also quite commonly used in a lot of these detoxification protocols. Tastes amazing, very mineral rich, and I just wanted to see if there was anything to this whole celery juice thing.

Now, admittedly, this is a multimodal approach that I was using and some people say, “Well, how do you know it wasn't just the celery juice or just the kitchari or just whatever else?” But, the fact is that it doesn't matter, right? It doesn't matter. If you're going to do a multimodal approach to get the results that I got, just do the multimodal approach and who cares which one of those little things move the dial the most. I say, “Just do them all,” because I think the shotgun approach, assuming it's healthy, is it works. It simplifies things rather than trying to split everything out. Do just the celery juice then pre and post lab test, then, just the kitchari and pre and post lab test. That would just be a nightmare.

So, anyway, I ate the kitchari for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for seven days. And honestly, it's pretty tasty. I got to put some nice salt on there with a coconut yogurt and a lime juice; it's pretty good, and along with a glass of celery juice. It was very fulfilling. Now, one thing that I did do, and this will answer the protein piece for you, is with the celery juice, I put two scoops of the cool lime-flavored amino acid powder from Kion in there. So, I was getting 20 grams of protein, 20 grams of extremely bioavailable amino acids with very low digestive distress or the need for–to break down the protein because they're all pretty broken down, the essential amino acids. So, those were in the celery juice. The other thing that I occasionally do with celery juice is I would add just a little touch of greens powder to it, store all that up and I would just drink that right before I ate my kitchari. The other thing that I added to each glass of celery juice–and this is important because malic acid is used quite commonly in liver cleanses. But the way that most folks tell you to do it is they tell you to eat, or I'm sorry, to drink apple cider, like copious amounts of apple cider. Well, I didn't want to mainline that much sugar and fructose into my bloodstream, so I didn't do the apple cider. Instead, I cut straight to the chase and I purchased organic malic acid powder on Amazon, which is the active ingredient of apple cider that one would use for a cleanse, and I just stirred that into the celery juice. So, I basically made celery juice with a teaspoon of malic acid, a couple scoops of Kion Aminos and then kitchari. And that's just what I ate each day. And what I tell people, I kind of get bored to say the same thing every day. Shut up your inner bitch, enjoy the food, put some salt on it, and step up to the plate and eat it. Actually, it doesn't taste bad. People are starving in Africa. Eat your kitchari.

So, that was the majority of the actual foods that I consumed during this cleanse. My workout energy was just fine. I felt great. My blood sugar level stayed very low. As a matter of fact, I didn't even mention this to you but on the lab results, I should've mentioned this when I was giving you my lab results because I also did test my blood glucose, and my blood glucose dropped from 90 facet blood glucose to 50. So, I was in full-on ketosis while still consuming basically lentil stew for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with very low blood glucose levels. So, that is what the food piece looked like.

So, next what I'll do is move onto some of the practices that I incorporated throughout the week in addition to what I was actually eating. There are some other things that I put into my body, so to speak. So, the first thing was that each night, in the evening, prior to bed, I used the ayurvedic cleansing herb that originally, I recommended in the past as being very fantastic for constipation, but it is an extremely polyphenol-rich cleanse that works incredibly well to improve digestion and to cleanse the gastrointestinal tract. It's another kind of ayurvedic staple. It's called triphala. It's made up of three fruits. That's literally what triphala means. And it's called amalaki, bibhitaki, and haritaki. It tastes like ass but what I would do is I would mix it up with some hot water. I put some vanilla stevia in there and it didn't taste that bad.

The other thing that I did as part of this cleanse, and this is another thing you'll see very often recommended in the liver cleanse, again I would do a glass of this at night, was Epsom salts. That's basically powdered magnesium sulfate. It induces a pretty significant bowel movement in the morning. I'll warn you, if you do this, you're going to want an extra 20 minutes or so in the morning. But this one-two combo of triphala along with the Epsom salts was what I was actually consuming in the evening, and it was about two teaspoons of Epsom salts along with one kind of heaping teaspoon of the triphala. I didn't combine them together. That would just be even more assy than ass. I instead just stirred the Epsom salts into a glass of warm water and then I had the triphala that I would sip along with a little bit of vanilla stevia added to it.

So, the next thing that I did was twice during the course of this cleanse, I did a coffee enema. Sorry, [0:27:04] ______ three times, let me repeat that. So, the next thing that I did, and I know a lot of people, they squirm about this but it's one of the best ways to increase bile production by the liver and released by the gallbladder peristalsis, up regulation of glutathione production by the liver, and I think it helps dramatically and that was a coffee enema. Now, I'm not going to get into many of the nitty-gritty details of the coffee enema that I did three times during the course of this week that I was doing the liver cleanse but in a nutshell, you buy what's called a stainless steel enema kit on Amazon, and I'll link to to a full article I've written about this. You make a pot of coffee, like good clean organic coffee. You then lay on your back on like the bathroom floor. You put the stainless-steel bucket with a coffee in it, up on the bathroom counter, and then, you basically open up like this little clamp, and this coffee all goes up inside your boot. You have like a tube inserted from the stainless steel bucket into your butt. And then you lay on your left side for 20 minutes, then you get up, and you go to the bathroom, and that's it. I just would like lay there and take care of stuff on my phone and text people and snapshot my coffee enema, may or may not have done that, so on and so forth. So, it's not like a huge waste of time because you can do stuff while you're laying there. Some people also massage their stomach from left down on the left side and then across to the right side in the direction of the colon, naturally moves and actually progresses through the gut. So, I mean in a nutshell, that's the coffee enema. I'll put a link to the full protocol because I understand like you don't want to go stick some up your butt based on 60 seconds of an explanation you heard on a podcast. You may want to take a deeper dive than that. But, again, over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/livercleanse. I'll link to that. So, I did that three times. I felt that was sufficient. Essentially, I did it every other day.

Now, a couple other little things that I threw in there. One was that I used a–on the very final day, I used a castor oil pack. Castor oil is a very kind of small molecular weight oil that is very commonly used in cleanses and literally placed on a little–what I use was a wool pad, and it supposedly stimulates limb function and liver function. And so, I poured the castor oil pack on a wool pad and then what I did was–I own one of these. This sounds funky but it worked. This sounds like a little bio hacky. But I have this belt made by a company called Hyperice, and it vibrates and produces heat. So, what I did was I wrapped the castor oil pack with that belt, turned the belt on so I'm getting vibration heat, and I had the castor oil located directly over the liver area, upper right corner of my abs. And, I swear, I know this sounds woo, but I could almost feel my liver twitching and feel my gut churning in a good way as this thing sat on there. And then, I got up and took a massive dump after that, too. I was definitely taking a dump two to three times per day while following this protocol, which is why I kind of want to be at home. I just want to be on my personal environment. I also didn't want to do freaking coffee enemas in hotel rooms because I think hotel bathrooms are gross enough as it is.

So, anyways, that was the protocol, kitchari; breakfast, lunch, and dinner with the celery juice with the malic acid and aminos added to them. Epsom salts at night in a warm water, and then the triphala at night, just me and the hot tea. The castor oil pack with the Hyperice thing added to it, the coffee enema three times, no alcohol, no caffeine, and a few other important things just from a dietary omission standpoint.

If you just say you don't just want to eat kitchari, you can also have, to a certain extent, some nuts, some raw honey. Any herbal tea is fine. Any vegetable milks like oat milk or rice milk or almond milk or hazelnut milk, that's fine. Fruits and vegetables for the most part are allowed. I again just want to keep things pretty simple. And I did have those three vegetables I mentioned added to my kitchari, and again, the ones that I used or bok choy, cilantro, and dinosaur kale. It's just what we happen to have in the garden, honestly. But there's really no meat. That's why I was doing so much of the Kion Aminos because I didn't want to lose muscle. I was still getting 60 grams of protein per day, plus the protein from the lentils and the kitchari. No dairy products, no fried foods, no coffee, no alcohol, no tobacco, no processed foods, obviously.

Those are the biggies and I always eat three times per day. And that kitchari is pretty filling stuff really, especially when I use the coconut yogurt. It's really one of the only coconut yogurts you can get from the grocery store. It's–gosh, I forget the brand. It's in the refrigerated section of the–like a Whole Foods has them. Thrive Market probably has it. I'll hunt down the actual brand. I can't believe I'm blanking on it. I think it's GT's. It’s the same company that makes that kombucha. GT's, they make a kombucha. They do a coconut yogurt but I just use the total non-flavored stuff. Yes, it's GT's Living Foods coconut yogurt. That was what I use was GT'S Living Foods coconut yogurt.

So, anyways, those are the nuts and bolts of the actual liver cleanse. So, it really was pretty simple. I think that that's doable for just about anybody to be able to pull off. Like I mentioned, seven to ten days seems more than sufficient. I felt fine. I got all my workouts in. And, my results just from a pure testosterone standpoint and also a liver health standpoint were profound. And again, I'll link to all of this in the shownotes if you kind of want to see what happened. I'll also link to my kitchari recipe. I'll link to the coffee enema post. I also had a fascinating podcast on–it's called the Rain Barrel Effect. It was with this guy named Stephen Cabral–on a lot of these ayurvedic concepts and how they work. I realize that in today's show, unlike many shows that I do, I didn't even make an attempt for you to take a deep dive into the science of say celery juice or the science of kitchari. I just wanted to give you the practical nitty-gritty.

So, that really is the nuts and bolts of the Ben Greenfield modified ayurvedic liver cleanse that seemed to work like gangbusters for my liver enzymes, also for my testosterone, also for my gallbladder. So, if you have comments or questions, I would love to help you out with this. So, just go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/livercleanse. I'll also link to the same WellnessFX liver blood test you can do if you don't want to do the full meal deal test. And that should give you just about everything that you need to cleanse your liver.

So, I hope this has been helpful for you. I hope this has been too woo for you, and ultimately, it really isn't because I've got some fantastic results to show you when you kind of combine some ancestral wisdom with some modern science and biohacking. This stuff freaking works. So, try it out. Again, it doesn't take a lot out of your day, out of your time. It just involves a few little modifications and a little bit extra time spent in the crapper, I will admit. But ultimately, I highly recommend it.

So, if you like this type of solosodes as well, you find them practical or informative, also let me know in the comment section over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/livercleanse. Thanks for listening.


Today's episode is – after the host of positive feedback I received from my last “solosode” deep dive into how to interpret your own bloodwork – another solosode.

Long story short is this…

…I recently tested my liver enzymes and they were shockingly high…

…so I decided to test whether this whole “liver detox” thing actually works…

…and I walk you through exactly what I did (and the relatively shocking results) in today's show. Enjoy.

In this Solosode, you'll hear…

-Why I got my liver tested in the first place…5:48

  • When I got my blood panel done, my liver enzyme numbers were through the roof.
    • High liver stress.
    • Around the levels of non-alcoholic liver disease.
  • My aspartate aminotransferase was 172. It's considered risky if it's above 40.
  • My alinine aminotransferase was 83. Anything above 55 is considered risky.
  • My alkaline phosphatase was also mildly elevated.
  • High albumin levels.
  • Inflammation was low, but had signs of significant liver stress.
  • I wanted to test out the liver cleanses on the market.
    • Create a doable detox that I can do at home, I can still workout, and can accomplish in a fairly short period of time.

-About Liver Flushing…9:18

  • A liver is a central processing mechanism that cleanses 1.5 liters of blood per minute.
  • Around 500 different biochemical reactions that occur within the liver.
    • Division and breakdown of chemical substances: catabolism
    • Synthesis of protein molecules: anabolism
    • If any of the processes don't work properly, it will affect other processes' ability to work properly.
  • Liver is more or less a purification plant for the blood.
  • Plays a role in excreting both endogenous and exogenous compounds.
  • Regrows rapidly, with around 10% of healthy liver tissue.
  • Myth of Prometheus: Zeus punished him by chaining him to a rock and an eagle picks at his liver during the day. His liver would regenerate the same amount at night.
  • Greek physician Hippocrates described “humors”, one of which was yellow bile of the liver.
  • According to traditional Chinese medicine, the liver holds your soul. Full of energy and power.
    • Your “ki” is unable to flow when the liver is not functioning properly.
  • Cleansing the liver involves amplifying these processes to work properly.
    • Also assists with bile production; assists with the gallbladder.
    • Bile in the gallbladder can condense and become “stones.”
    • If the bile isn't expelled, you can get congestion in the liver.

-Some more basic terms you should know…15:05

  • Fatty liver: cells in the liver are saturated with fat.
    • Intrahepatic bile ducts are full of bile but have a high concentration of cholesterol in them.
    • The cholesterol in the liver accumulates, and you end up with excess.
  • During a flush, the liver is encouraged to increase its excretory function to eliminate excess bile, and allow gallbladder to evacuate the bile.
  • If you know what you're doing, you can regularly go to a liver clinic and maintain the health of your liver.
  • Exercise can elevate liver enzymes to a certain extent, but high levels indicate more than just exercise is the problem.

-The actual results of my lab test, post liver cleanse…19:21

  • In addition to elevated to elevated enzymes:
    • Hormones were pretty good: free testosterone = 78. Total testosterone = 880.
    • Sex hormone binding globulin = 84 (lower is better)
    • GGT (gamma glutamyl transferase) is a good proxy for gallbladder health.
  • My alinine aminotransferase dropped from 83 to 33.
  • My aspartate aminotransferase dropped from 172 to 37.
  • GGT was 15. Extremely low risk.
  • Free testosterone jumped from 78 to 115; Total testosterone went from 880 to 1154.

-What I ate for breakfast, lunch, dinner during my liver cleanse…25:10

-The night before (24 hours earlier), soak the mung beans in ample filtered water.
-When you’re ready to cook, drain the mung beans and rinse under running water. Place rice in a sieve and rinse till the water runs clear. Prepare vegetables by peeling and chopping them up, then set all of this aside.
-Heat coconut oil over medium heat, in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add cumin, fennel, fenugreek and black mustard seeds and cook for a few minutes to release aromatics, and until the mustard seeds have popped. Add the rest of the spices and stir to combine.
-Add a cup of vegetable stock, followed by mung beans, kombu or miso, coconut cream, rice and vegetables, then add the rest of the stock (or water).
-Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a low heat. Simmer for about 40 minutes. Check the pot periodically as the rice swells and may stick to the bottom. Add more water if you want a soupier consistency, and simmer longer to get a thicker stew.
-Serve with fresh coriander chopped and folded through, a drizzle of fresh lime juice, spoon of coconut yogurt and sea salt to taste.

  • Had a 16 oz. glass of celery juice with each meal. 
    • Put 2 scoops of Kion Aminos in for protein.
    • Occasionally add greens powder.
    • Organic malic acid powder
  • I also tested my blood glucose levels.
    • Dropped from 90 to 50.
    • Full on ketosis while maintaining adequate energy to workout and engage in my business.

-Practices I incorporated throughout the cleanse…33:45

  • Every night before bed, I used Triphala for GI cleansing.
    • Mix it with hot water and vanilla stevia to counter the horrible taste.
    • Epsom salts.
    • 2 tsp epsom salts, one heaping tsp of Triphala.
  • Coffee enemas (3x throughout the cleanse)
  • On final day, used a castor oil pack on wool pad.

Resources from this episode:

-7-day liver cleanse summary:

No coffee, no alcohol, no meat for the entire week
Celery juice with one teaspoon organic malic acid powder and 2 scoops Kion Aminos prior to each of the three meals of the day: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Kitchari Ayurvedic cleansing stew (full recipe below) for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
2 teaspoons Epsom salts dissolved in warm water each night
1 teaspoon Lost Empire Triphala herbs in hot tea with vanilla stevia each night
Three coffee enemas spread out throughout the course of the week
Two sessions spread out during the week with 1 hour of castor oil pack placed on liver area, held on with the Hyperice Venom heat/vibration belt

The WellnessFX liver blood test Ben recommends

-Article: The Kion Coffee Enema: Everything You've Always Wanted To Know About Coffee Enemas (But Were Afraid To Ask).

-Article: How to Detox Your Liver: A Complete Guide to Purifying the Body With Liver Flushing

-Podcast: A Deep Dive Into How To Interpret The Results Of Your Blood Testing – Ben Greenfield Reveals & Walks You Through His Laboratory Results From WellnessFX.

-Podcast: The Rain Barrel Effect: How a 6,000 Year Old Secret Holds the Answer to Getting Well, Losing Weight, and Feeling Alive Again.

-Podcast: Radical Metabolism: How To Cleanse Your Gallbladder, Increase Your Metabolism, Burn More Fat Without Exercise & Much More!

-Ben's pre/post test results:

Instagram post: Ben's Celery Juice with Kion Aminos

Instagram post on Kitchari: the Ayurvedic cleansing dish I used for breakfast, lunches and dinners during my cleanse.

Kitchari recipe for 3-4 servings:

½ cup split yellow mung beans
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1-inch stick of kombu (optional – I used organic, non-GMO miso instead)
4 cups homemade Kettle & Fire bone broth
2 tablespoons coconut cream

1½ teaspoons cumin seeds
1½ teaspoons fennel seeds
1½ teaspoons coriander powder
1 tablespoon ginger root freshly minced
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
¼ teaspoon black mustard seeds
Pinch of asafoetida

2 cups of any mixed vegetables. I used bok choy, cilantro and dinosaur kale.

To serve:
Fresh lime
A dollop of GT's Living Foods coconut yogurt
Sea salt to taste

-The night before (24 hours earlier), soak the mung beans in ample filtered water.
-When you’re ready to cook, drain the mung beans and rinse under running water. Place rice in a sieve and rinse till the water runs clear. Prepare vegetables by peeling and chopping them up, then set all of this aside.
-Heat coconut oil over medium heat, in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add cumin, fennel, fenugreek and black mustard seeds and cook for a few minutes to release aromatics, and until the mustard seeds have popped. Add the rest of the spices and stir to combine.
-Add a cup of vegetable stock, followed by mung beans, kombu or miso, coconut cream, rice and vegetables, then add the rest of the stock (or water).
-Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a low heat. Simmer for about 40 minutes. Check the pot periodically as the rice swells and may stick to the bottom. Add more water if you want a soupier consistency, and simmer longer to get a thicker stew.
-Serve with fresh coriander chopped and folded through, a drizzle of fresh lime juice, spoon of coconut yogurt and sea salt to taste.

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