Liver Cleansing Diet

Liver CleansingBased on the book written by Australian Dr Sandra Cabot. In her practice, she found that many of her patients, especially overweight ones, were suffering from overloaded livers and that when they followed a diet designed to cleanse the liver, they lost weight, had an increase in vitality and well-being, and their overall health improved, including some long term health problems that didn’t appear to be liver related.

It is primarily a low protein diet, high in complex carbohydrates and essential fats. It is designed to be followed for a limited period of time, although some people benefit from staying on it for longer.

I was a little dubious when I first heard about it, but after reading the book I thought it was sensible and practical. She stresses the importance of eating enough, never going hungry, and getting adequate essential fatty acids. There are recommendations on liver cleansing herbs, and a recipe section to help you get started. Some of these recipes are great to include in any diet plan.

My main reservation about this plan is that some people may find that the protein guidelines (especially in the middle 4 weeks of the 8) are too low for their particular needs. If you have reason to believe that your liver needs a good cleanout, this is a good place to start. But listen to your body, and if it starts losing strength, have a rethink. Strength athletes, Protein/Hunter-Gatherer metabolic types, and O blood types may find this diet unsuitable for anything more than the short term, but others could find it very valuable.

Some visitors to this page may have been looking for the popular olive oil and lemon juice style liver and gall bladder flush. CureZone have a lot of information about various cleanses.

I provide this link for your information, but please note that I AM NOT recommending this type of flush. Although I agree it’s important to make sure the digestive and eliminative systems are working well, so you get full benefit from what you’re eating, to me, CureZone are possibly a bit fanatical about recommending various cleanses for every different ailment listed. Although many people have expelled stones in this way, it can also be dangerous. If you feel you need this kind of flush, please do so only under the supervision of an experienced practitioner.

Dr Cabot’s liver cleanse is much safer to try first.

See my review of Dr Cabot’s later book Can’t Lose Weight? You could have Syndrome X

UPDATES – I had some correspondence with Dr Cabot’s office about this review. This correspondence is shown below and includes a link to her Women’s Health Advisory website.

Dear Sirs,

I have been contacted by some of your site visitors confused about the comments on your site about The Liver Cleansing Diet Book. I cannot see the rationale behind saying that this diet is unsuitable for people with a particular blood type.

Everyone has a liver and regardless of their blood type the liver remains the blood filter. It is also the major fat burning organ of the body. If you have problems with cholesterol, weight and toxicity then the Liver Cleansing Diet of liver friendly foods will take some of the load off the liver.

The liver is like a filter that the blood flows through and it has to filter the fat globules as they pass through. If you are ingesting too much fat then the liver clogs up. It then stores fat rather than burn fat. Hence the term “fatty liver”.

This book has sold a million copies now and our office is full of mail and e-mails from very happy people who have overcome quite severe illnesses by using their food as their medicine.

What we say is – that the LCD is a healthy nutritious diet so why not try it for yourself!

Your readers are welcome to pose any questions to me via the web site. I will endeavour to assist them with any aspect that they do not understand about the program. This is a free service.

Yours sincerely, Dr. Sandra Cabot

Dear Dr Cabot,

I absolutely agree with you. The LCD is a healthy, nutritious diet for the many people whose metabolic types suit a high carbohydrate diet. But some people need higher levels of protein and purines in their diet.

Possibly you have heard part of what I wrote out of context. Basically I said that the plan was very sound, and that anyone who felt their liver needed attention should try it. My only caveat was that if they started to lose strength they should have a rethink, as some people may find it too low in protein.

Have you read about the blood type diets formulated by Peter D’adamo? His website is I know of many people with blood type O who have regained their health after giving up a low fat vegetarian diet and resuming meat eating. While the blood type diets aren’t right for everybody, people with O blood or strength athletes are the most likely to find the LCD unsuitable.

My intention was neither to denigrate the fine work done by yourself and other nutritional researchers, nor to confuse my readers.  It was merely to help educate people on the range of dietary options available for improved health. No diet is right for everybody and I believe people are entitled to know what their options are. I apologise if I have inadvertently offended.

With your permission, I will add your e-mail and my reply to my LCD page to give people the opportunity to learn more. I had already included a link to your site on our links page, but am happy to also add it to the LCD page.

Yours sincerely, Deborah Gully

Dear Deborah,

Dr. Cabot says it would be nice to have a link from your site to the WHAS site. She still feels that it is misleading to say that the Liver Cleansing Diet is low in protein. As far as daily needs go it has plenty and includes chicken, seafood eggs and vegetable protein. It certainly does not contain as much as the average Australian diet of course which relies heavily on animal protein.

You may also put her reply on your site if you wish.

We are happy to send you a copy of Dr. Cabot’s latest book The Healthy Liver and Bowel Book if you would like to review it. Please send your snail mail address if you want it.

Yours sincerely, Patricia Ziliani for Dr. Sandra Cabot

Dear Patricia,

Sorry for the delay in replying – it has been one of those weeks! Thank you for the kind offer – yes, I would be very interested in reviewing Dr Cabot’s new book.

I have been doing some reading recently about metabolic types. A number of people have come up with similar findings, although they have different theories about why these differences arise. James and Peter D’adamo developed the blood type theory to explain the differences, as I mentioned to you in my last e-mail. They have found that O blood types have an improvement in health when they eat some red meat every day, and limit their carbohydrate intake, especially grains. Whereas A blood types suit a high carbohydrate diet, low in fat, with soy, light meat and fish being the best protein sources.

Another book I found interesting was BioBalance by Rudolph Wiley. Although I think some of his attitudes are a little unbalanced, his findings that different bio-chemical types need quite different foods are relevant. His work is based on work done by George Watson, whose book Nutrition and the Mind I haven’t yet been able to locate. His theory is that people’s pH levels are out of balance and they need a diet that brings them back to a mid point. So some people need an acidic diet, some need an alkaline diet and some need a mixture.

Another book which is as yet unpublished, but has partly been posted on the Internet is by Robert McFerran. Bob came from the position of a chronically ill person with no hope of getting better. He conducted extensive research which included the above works, Paleolithic diets and allergy work done by Theron Raldolph & William Philpott. He pulled all of these into one coherent theory which concludes that due to the period of time it takes to adapt to new foods, most people are best suited to a diet based on their ancestry. He breaks the metabolic types into Hunter-Gather (best suited to a diet high in fat and purines – meat, dark seafood, vegetables, nuts and seeds & a little fruit, but no grains or dairy), Agriculturalist (best suited to light meat & fish, salad vegetables, fruit, can tolerate some grains and dairy) and Mixed.

He believes that people also develop food allergies, most commonly to foods that are incompatible with their metabolic type. When food allergies are identified and eliminated, and the correct metabolic diet is  eaten, chronic health problems will then start to resolve. These could include arthritis, chronic fatigue, liver disease, obesity, cancer, heart disease and many more.

This is why I still believe that although the LCD is a great way of eating for most people, there are some people (Hunter-Gather, Acidic or O blood type, depending on whose theory you like best) who would find it metabolically unsuitable. I also think that anyone doing heavy weight training could have problems. I am referring mostly to the four week period in the middle of the 8-week cleanse where protein sources are more limited. I would not like to discourage anyone from trying the LCD, my only concern is that people should not continue if they happen to find that the diet is not working for them.

I will put all our correspondence, as well as the link, onto the LCD page, so that people can make up their own minds about the issue.

Sincerely, Deborah Gully