Why does the liver have to work harder when you over-consume food or alcohol?


you would think that our livers would rather pace itself instead. If you consume more of a substance, then it should take longer to clear the stomach, right? Well, if you agree that we also have bacteria in our guts and not just on our skin, then it makes sense that our own digestive system competes with the bacterial competition as well.

There is a certain time limit that our bodies involuntarily work with to digest food. The time limit can have a range, but ideally it should only take a day or two for food to clear the digestion system. I believe doctors suggest that we undergo the corn eating test. We measure how long it takes between eating corn and seeing it in our poop. You want to fall within the average time limit.

If our digestion is sluggish, that can mean the liver is overworked. If this is the case, the harmful bacteria will have a chance to also digest the food a little bit as well and leave their own special toxic blend as a result. It’s like the lion having to deal with hyenas and vultures that also want some of the prey. There is a competition for digesting our food.

If we died in the middle of a meal, the bacteria will take over digesting and putrifying the food within a matter of days. Without the immune system to hold back these bacteria, they can run rampant and also start digesting our own tissues in less than a week. This is why our bodies become bloated after we die. Bacteria can produce a lot of carbon dioxide in an anaerobic solution. There are many kinds of different bacterial infections that take over at different stages of the digestion process too.

If you study beer and wine making, you learn that the longer an alcohol ferments for, the more different kinds of yeasts get involved with the process. Some yeast can handle a higher level of acid than others. Other yeast prefer a certain temperature over others. There is a lot of variation that is hard to control in food fermentation. Personally, I wouldn’t bother with fermenting food. It doesn’t seem very healthy to consume.

So, the liver has a capacity for what it can work with in speed for digestion. But if we overeat, the liver goes into overdrive trying to usher the food through the digestion at a rapid pace. This can end up in us not effectively digesting the food to its maximum value. We just have to push the food through, take what nutrients we can and keep it moving fast enough to prevent the harmful bacteria from getting too much of its own fill too.

The stomach has to act more like a raging river for food, rather than a trickling lake. It tells the liver that a lot of food is coming through. The liver responds in overdrive, doing the best it can do, which is usually not enough if you overeat. 

People get fat from a lot of partially broken down food that the liver was not able to effectively process. At least in our fat stores, the food energy is protected from the bacterial cultures lurking in our bodies. It’s like sealing money in a bank from the robbers. Unfortunately, the money is kind of useless if it can’t be effectively spent.

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