The liver, which is the largest internal organ in the human body and tasked with over 500 functions, plays a pivotal role in keeping the body grooving and jiving to the circadian rhythm. It also regulates the level of chemicals in the blood and excretes bile that is essential for absorption and digestion.
Moreover, the liver is the most metabolically active organ and most people will associate its function with the breaking down of alcohol and the secretion of bile to break down fat molecules. Besides the aforementioned functions, the liver excels at performing a multitude of functions. Some of these functions are as follows:
- Improves immunity against infection
- Regulates blood clotting
- Produces proteins and cholesterols
- Excretes toxins through bile
- Expunges drugs, alcohol and chemicals from the blood
- Converts glucose into starch for storage.
It has been widely observed that the aforementioned key functions get affected due to indulgence in drinking or changes in food patterns. According to several scientists, alcohol impacts the internal clock of the liver. In fact, even a minor change in sleep and diet can severely decimate the ability of the liver to digest fats, which leads to chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, cancer, etc. due to consistent accumulation. Therefore, the need of the hour is to maintain a healthy lifestyle to ensure the overall well-being of the liver.
Consistent exposure to alcohol disrupts circadian rhythm of liver
The liver is the only organ in the body that is known to regenerate its cells. Despite its ability to regenerate cells, it has increased chances of being subjected to wear and tear in the absence of proper maintenance. Chronobiology, the science behind the study of rhythm of organic beings, suggests that an upset stomach or depleted levels of energy could suggest that the liver is not functioning in unison with the body. As mentioned before, sleep problems, changes in eating habits or alcohol intake can offset the liver’s unique metabolic functions.
A study examined the presence of circadian misalignment to determine if social drinking caused intestinal dysfunctions among night workers. The researchers found that when night shift workers were given between two and four glasses of wine for a week, they displayed significant changes in their circadian rhythm and exhibited problems in their intestinal linings that could increase their vulnerability to developing an alcoholic liver disease (ALD).
Another study on examining the role of liver in winnowing toxins from the blood and processing fats and sugars among mice revealed reduction in functioning, especially in liver functions associated with detoxification and assimilation of food, due to exposure to changes in day-to-day schedules. Similarly, another study found that when alcohol was introduced to mice for a month, their internal liver clock became incoherent.
The liver is quite adept at coping with a small volume of alcohol in the body; however, when alcohol is consumed frequently or excessively, the liver can have a hard time in performing all the functions. By the time alcohol makes it way to the liver, it is known to produce a noxious enzyme called acetaldehyde that can severely damage and scar the liver along with harming the brain and intestinal walls.
Recovery road map
To avoid falling into this quagmire and to safeguard the liver, it is extremely important to maintain a healthy balance of sleep, food and alcohol to promote the smooth functioning of the circadian rhythm of the liver. Otherwise, an individual stands an increased risk of developing ailments, such as fatty liver disease, obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc., especially if he or she indulges in heavy and regular drinking.
If you or your loved one is suffering from alcohol abuse, you may endanger your liver and your health. The Alcohol Addiction Get Help Helpline assists in accessing the finest alcohol addiction treatment helpline that specializes in delivering evidence-based intervention plans. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-281-3014 or chat online with our medical representatives to know more about the alcohol addiction treatment centers in the United States.