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Liver Tonics

One size does not fit all when it comes to choosing a liver tonic. It is vital that your body’s individual needs be considered and catered for, so you can ensure your liver is properly supported. With that in mind, Dr Cabot has developed a number of different formulations of her LivaTone liver tonics – each is designed to support the specific needs of the person taking it.The use of a liver tonic will support your liver function. The most effective ingredients for a liver tonic include the herbs milk thistle, dandelion and globe artichoke. Other ingredients include B group vitamins and the amino acids taurine, cysteine, glycine, glutamine and glutathione.

Many people benefit from alternating LivaTone Plus for one month with LivaTone Classic for the following month.

The benefits of supporting your liver function include:
  • More efficient weight loss and fat burning
  • Better control of cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Less fluid retention
  • Reduced irritable bowel syndrome
  • Improved digestion and gallbladder function
The difference between Livatone and Livatone Plus
Livatone is a natural liver formula containing the liver herbs St Mary’s Thistle, Globe artichoke and Dandelion, combined with the amino acid taurine, and lecithin. It also contains natural sources of chlorophyll, carotenoids and fiber. It is available in capsule and powder form.
Livatone Plus has a very different formula to Livatone, and can be described as a more powerful formula for the liver.
Livatone Plus contains the liver herb St Mary’s Thistle, combined with the amino acids Taurine, Glycine, Cysteine and Glutamine.
Livatone Plus also contains all the important B vitamins and lipotrophic factors such as Inositol, Folic acid and Biotin. It contains the antioxidants, Green Tea, vitamins C and E and natural betacarotene to reduce free radical damage. Livatone Plus also contains lecithin and broccoli powder to help liver function.
Livatone Plus contains the essential nutrients to support the phase one and two detoxification pathways in the liver. Livatone Plus is available in capsule and powder form
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Support your liver and bowel function and start losing weight easily!

LIVATONE® PLUS contains the following ingredients:
Livatone® Plus is a liver tonic designed for today’s world.

  • Glutamine
  • Glycine
  • Taurine
  • Cysteine
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Natural Carotenoids
  • Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
  • Nicotinamide (Vitamin B3)
  • Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5)
  • Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)
  • Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12)
  • Folic Acid
  • Biotin
  • Inositol
  • Lecithin
  • Zinc
  • St Mary’s Thistle (Milk Thistle)
  • Cruciferous Vegetables
  • Green Tea


Specific amino acids are essential for the liver to breakdown toxins and drugs and also for efficient metabolism in the liver.

This amino acid is required for phase two detoxification in the liver and is required in increased amounts by those who consume excessive alcohol. It is able to reduce the craving for alcohol. Glutamine supplementation is helpful for intestinal disorders such as peptic ulcers and leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut is the term used to describe an inflamed condition of the lining of the bowel, which makes the bowel too permeable, so that toxins and incompletely digested food particles can be absorbed from the bowels directly into the liver. This increases the workload of the liver and may cause many health problems. Glutamine is essential for the white cells to fight viruses such as hepatitis B and C. Glutamine is converted in the body into glutamic acid, which, along with the amino acids cysteine and glycine, is converted into the powerful liver protector glutathione. Glutathione is essential for liver phase two conjugation reactions used during detoxification of drugs and toxic chemicals.
Glutathione is a potent antioxidant that is produced in the healthy liver where it neutralizes free radicals before they can damage cells. Glutathione is a component of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione-S-transferase, which is a widely acting liver-detoxifying enzyme. Indeed large amounts of glutathione are stored in the liver, where it detoxifies harmful compounds so they can then be excreted via the bile. Glutathione helps to reduce damage from cigarette smoke, alcohol, radiation, heavy metals, drugs and chemotherapy. Glutathione plays a vital role in preventing liver cancer. Glutathione levels decline with age, and this may accelerate the aging process. It is not worth taking glutathione supplements, as they are expensive and usually poorly absorbed. It is far more effective to increase glutathione levels by giving the liver the raw materials it needs to make its own glutathione, namely, the amino acids glycine, glutamine and cysteine.
This amino acid performs more biochemical functions. It is required for the synthesis of bile salts, and is used by the liver to detoxify chemicals in the phase-two detoxification pathways.
Inadequate levels of taurine are common in those patients with chemical sensitivities, allergies and poor diets. Taurine is the major amino acid required by the liver for the removal of toxic chemicals and metabolites the liver to detoxify environmental chemcials such as cholorine, chlorite (bleach), aldehydes (produced from alcohol excess), alcohols, petroleum-based solvents and ammonia. Recent findings are demonstrating that taurine is one of the major nutrients involved in the body’s detoxification of harmful substances and drugs, and should be considered in the treatment of all chemically sensitive patients. Taurine is a sulphur bearing amino acid that is present in all good liver tonics for very good reasons. It is required for the healthy production of bile, and the liver uses it to conjugate toxins and drugs to excrete through the bile. It helps the liver to excrete excessive cholesterol out of the body through the bile, and thus is an aid to weight control and cardiovascular health. Doses required can vary from 50 to 2000 mg daily. It is free of side effects but should not be taken on an empty stomach in those with stomach ulcers. It is found in animal protein such as meat, seafood, eggs and dairy products but not in vegetable protein. Taurine is often deficient in strict vegans. Taurine regulates the transport of minerals across cell membranes and stabilizes the electrical properties of cell membranes.
Cysteine is an amino acid that contains sulphur, and is needed by the phase-two detoxification pathway. It is a precursor of glutathione. Aldehydes, which are toxic breakdown products of alcohol, rancid fats and smog, are partially neutralized by cysteine. A study reported that large doses of acetaldehyde (derived from alcohol), killed 90% of the mice that consumed it. A group of mice were primed with vitamin C, vitamin B 1 and cysteine, and were then given the equivalent amount of acetaldehyde that had killed 90% of the other mice. None of the supplement-primed mice control group died.


Antioxidants destroy free radicals and so help to detoxify and protect the cells of the body, including the liver cells, from toxins.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is the most powerful antioxidant vitamin for the liver and reduces toxic damage to the liver cells from chemical overload. It neutralizes free radicals generated during the phase 1 detoxification pathway in the liver. Toxic chemicals are far less dangerous if there is plenty of vitamin C in the liver. It helps the liver to regulate cholesterol levels and improves immunity.
Vitamin E
Natural vitamin E is biologically more active than synthetic vitamin E. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects fats from damage. Since cell membranes are composed of fats, vitamin E is the best protector of cell membranes. It does this by preventing free radicals from oxidizing cell membranes, which prevents them from becoming rancid. Thus vitamin E can help to protect the membranes surrounding liver cells. Vitamin E is also needed in those with a “fatty liver”, where there is an accumulation of unhealthy oxidized fats in the liver cells. Vitamin E has been found to reduce scar tissue in the liver.
Natural Carotenoids
Carotenoids such as beta-carotene are most commonly found in fruits and vegetables and are vital for human health. It is important to take only natural sources of beta-carotene and other carotenoids. Beta-carotene gets converted in the body to vitamin A and yet has none of the toxic side effects of high doses of vitamin A. Beta-carotene is a powerful protective antioxidant.


Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
This B vitamin has antioxidant properties and is helpful in reducing the toxic effects of alcohol, smoking and lead. Thiamine protects against many of the metabolic imbalances caused by alcohol. Deficiency of thiamine is common in those who consume excessive alcohol and this will often lead to poor mental function.
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
This B vitamin is required during phase one detoxification in the liver and is crucial in the production of body energy.  Riboflavin deficiency is common in those who consume excessive alcohol and should be supplemented in such cases.
Nicotinamide (Vitamin B3)
This is also known as Niacinamide, and is required by the liver’s phase one detoxification system. It is needed for the metabolism of fats and helps to keep cholesterol levels under control.
Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5)
Several studies have found that pantothenate can lower cholesterol (by an average of 15%), and triglycerides (by an average of 30%) in those with elevated levels of these blood fats. A study showed that pantothenate speeds up liver detoxification of acetaldehyde after alcohol consumption. This is very important for those who consume excessive alcohol because acetaldehyde appears to be a major chemical in the toxic process that accompanies long term alcohol use. Pantothenate is required in increased amounts in liver disease and in those who use alcohol excessively.
Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)
Vitamin B 6 is required for effective phase one liver detoxification. Vitamin B 6 inhibits the formation of a toxic chemical called homocysteine, which accelerates cardiovascular disease.
Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B 12)
Supplements of this powerful vitamin are essential for those who are strict vegetarians or those with nervous complaints. It is a great energizer of the nervous system and can reduce depression and fatigue. It is required for phase one detoxification of chemicals in the liver, and can help people who are allergic to sulphites, which are common food and wine preservatives. A study showed that vitamin B 12 can effectively block most of the adverse reactions to sulphites such as hay fever, sinusitis, headache and wheezing.  B 12 is required for the liver to perform methylation, which inactivates the hormone estrogen and enhances the flow of bile. B 12 is required in increased amounts by those who use alcohol excessively, or in liver disease.
Folic Acid
Is required for the phase one detoxification pathway in the liver and for cell repair and division. Studies have shown that folic acid exerts an anti-cancer effect and is vital for pregnant women.
Biotin is one of the B vitamins and is produced in the intestines by friendly bacteria. It is found in foods such as nuts, whole grain foods, vegetables and brewer’s yeast, and in supplement form. Liver cells that lack biotin will be deprived of the energy they need to detoxify chemicals and drugs. Deficiency of this vitamin is not rare and can cause hair loss, dry flaky skin, rashes and fatigue. Those with a poor diet, alcoholism or long term antibiotic use are at risk of deficiency.
This vitamin is important in fat metabolism, and helps to remove fats from the liver. Deficiency of inositol can increase hardening of the arteries, increase blood cholesterol levels and lead to hair loss, constipation and mood swings. Excessive consumption of caffeine can reduce the level of inositol in the body.


Lecithin contains healthy fats, which are required for the functional and structural integrity of cell membranes. Lecithin is composed of the B vitamin choline, along with linoleic acid and inositol. A choline deficiency promotes liver damage and can be corrected with lecithin supplements. Lecithin is vital for fat metabolism and allows cholesterol to disperse in watery solutions so that it can be transported around the body to where it is needed, or removed from the body. This reduces the risk of fatty degeneration in arteries and vital organs. It can help those with the condition of fatty liver caused by incorrect diet or alcoholism.


The mineral zinc has antioxidant properties and is part of the powerful antioxidant enzyme called superoxide dismutase (SOD).  Zinc is vital for the efficient functioning of the cellular immune system needed to fight infections from viruses, parasites and fungal micro-organisms.


See information for St Mary’s Thistle above

Cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, bok choy, mustard greens and radish, contain important substances such as indoles, thiols and sulphur compounds, which enhance the liver’s phase one and two detoxification pathways. Broccoli has a particularly good effect and enhances glutathione conjugation of toxins. There is evidence that cruciferous vegetables are able to reduce the risk of cancer, and the American Cancer Society has been placing large advertisements in magazines with pictures of these vegetables.

Green tea

Green tea exerts strong antioxidant actions. Green tea may also be of benefit as an aid to weight loss through positive effects on fat and sugar metabolism.

By combining all these ingredients into one liver tonic, it becomes more practical, economical and convenient than having to take them all individually.


LIVATONE® is a natural liver tonic containing the liver herbs St Mary’s Thistle, Globe Artichoke and Dandelion, combined with the amino acid Taurine, and Lecithin. It also contains natural sources of Chlorophyll, Carotenoids and fiber. It is available in both capsule and powder form.

The liver is the main fat burning organ in the body and regulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism. A healthy liver will take fat in the form of cholesterol and pump it via the bile into the intestines where it will be carried away in the bowel actions provided the diet is high in fiber. Thus a healthy liver is essential for those who cannot lose weight or those who find that they are gradually gaining weight.

Livatone® can be used by people of all ages, including children over 2 years of age. Children under 10 years of age should use the powder dissolved in fruit juice before meals in a dose of 1/4 to 1/3 of a teaspoon twice daily. The dose for adults and children over 10 years of age is one teaspoon of powder twice daily stirred into juice just before meals, or 2 capsules twice daily with water just before meals.

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LIVATONE® contains the following ingredients:
  • Taurine
  • The herb Dandelion
  • The herb Globe artichoke
  • The herb St Mary’s Thistle
  • Slippery Elm Bark
  • Super Foods for the liver
  • Psyllium

Supporting your liver and gallbladder function can have many benefits including:

  • Easier weight loss and fat burning.
  • Better control of cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • Less fluid retention.
  • Less irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Improved digestion.
  • Less bloating.


Taurine is an amino acid which plays several important roles in the body and is an essential component of cell membranes, where it plays a role in stabilizing transport across cell membranes and provides antioxidant protection. Taurine plays a major role in the liver via the formation of bile acids and detoxification. Abnormally low levels of taurine are common in many patients with chemical sensitivities and allergies. Taurine is the major amino acid required for the removal of toxic chemicals and metabolites from the body. Taurine is important for conjugation of drugs and metabolites in the liver via the acylation route. Once conjugated, chemical toxins are removed from the body as a component of bile and also through water-soluble acetates in the urine. Taurine is a key component of bile acids produced in the liver. As bile synthesis utilizes cholesterol, disordered bile synthesis may result in elevated cholesterol. Taurine is the body’s main antioxidant defence against production of excess hypochlorite ion and if this is not controlled it will lead to severe aggravation of chemical sensitivity. Impaired body synthesis of taurine will reduce the ability of the liver to detoxify environmental chemicals such as chlorine, chlorite ( bleach ), aldehydes ( produced from alcohol excess ), alcohols, petroleum solvents and ammonia. Taurine deficient persons are likely to have impaired mineral transport across the cell membranes producing imbalances in electrolytes and reduced ability of the liver to remove pollutants via the excretory routes of the bowel and kidneys.

Recent findings are demonstrating that taurine is one of the major nutrients involved in the body’s detoxification of harmful substances and drugs and should be considered in the treatment of all chemically sensitive patients. Scientific reference: Orthoplex Research Bulletin –” Taurine the Detoxifying Amino Acid “.

The herb Dandelion

Dandelion is known by herbalists as Taraxacum Officinale and its root has been used for liver and biliary complaints for centuries. Extensive records of its medicinal use exist from the 10th and 11th centuries when it was promoted by famous Arabian doctors. In 16th century Britain it was well established as an official drug of the apothecaries under the name of Herba Taraxacon and was a popular medicinal plant for the liver and digestive organs. Since the 16th century the Germans have used Dandelion extensively for “blood purifying” and liver congestion. It is truly a universal herb and is still found in the official pharmocopoeias of Switzerland, Poland, Hungary and Russia. A huge amount of research has been carried out on the medicinal and nutritional effects of dandelion in many European countries. Dandelion has been used as a herbal medicine for centuries in China, India and Nepal for liver ailments. Today dandelion is used widely as a tonic in North America, the Orient and Europe.

The therapeutic properties of dandelion are due in part to its bitter substances taraxacin and inulin (a bitter glycoside). Other substances in dandelion are taraxanthin, sesquiterpenes, flavonoids, levulin, pectin, fatty acids, minerals and vitamins.

Bitters, such as those in dandelion, stimulate the liver and activate the flow of bile. Although dandelion’s specific action is on the liver, it also acts as a general body tonic. It acts as a laxative, diuretic, bitter tonic and cholagogue (increases the flow of bile).

Professor John King, the American doctor famous for his works on medicinal herbs, recommends dandelion for ” weak digestion, loss of appetite, constipation and hepatic ( liver ) torpor “. Its dual liver and kidney action makes dandelion an excellent kidney tonic.

The Australian journal Medical Herbalism Vol 3 (4),1991, refers to two studies, which demonstrate the liver healing properties of dandelion.

The herb Globe Artichoke

Globe artichoke, also known as Cynara scolymus is a bitter tonic with liver-protective and liver-restorative actions. It has also been used as a “blood purifier”. It can be used as a cleanser in cases of skin problems or excessive body odour.

Slippery Elm Bark

The fine powder made from the bark of the slippery elm tree has a soothing effect upon the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract. It produces temporary relief from the excessive acidity and reflux caused by digestive disorders. Slippery elm powder produces a protective lining on mucosal surfaces.

The herb St Mary’s Thistle

St Mary’s Thistle is also known as Silybum Marianum or Milk Thistle.  St Mary’s Thistle has multiple actions; these are liver-protective, liver-regenerative and antioxidant.

The herb St Mary’s Thistle has been used for hundreds of years as a liver tonic and has been studied extensively. The American Journal of Gastroenterology published a clinical review of St Mary’s Thistle and found that this herb may be effective in improving a range of liver problems.

The active component of St Mary’s Thistle is a bioflavonoid compound called Silymarin. Silymarin is rapidly absorbed from the gut and produces peak blood levels of Silymarin after 1.4 to 2 hours.

Clinical and laboratory studies and tissue examinations, both in humans and animals have found St Mary’s Thistle to have beneficial effects in many liver problems. St Mary’s Thistle has been found to reduce toxic fatty degeneration of the liver. In 1969 the renowned phalloidine experiment was carried out by the researchers Vogel and Temme, [Reference Arzneim Forsch 1969; 19:613-615].

During this test St Mary’s Thistle was proven to be liver-protective. Phalloidine is extremely toxic to the liver. St Mary’s Thistle can block its toxic effects, which indicates that it has powerful liver-protective capability.

St Mary’s Thistle contains a flavone which protects some of the intracellular components of liver cells from lipid peroxidation; this protective effect was 10 times more powerful than that of vitamin E.

The powerful detoxification enzymes in the liver that break down drugs and toxic chemicals are called the Cytochrome P450 enzymes. These enzymes are improved by one of the components of St Mary’s Thistle called Silibinin.

Silymarin can exert worthwhile protection of the liver cells (hepatocytes) against the following toxins and drugs
  • Estradiol
  • Antibiotics such as erythromycin
  • The chemotherapeutic agent cyclosporin
  • Phenothiazine
  • Acetaminophen (paracetamol)
  • The antidepresssant drug called amitriptyline
  • CCL4 – induced liver cirrhosis in rats
  • Amanita phalloides (death cap mushroom)

Mechanism of action of Silymarin

Silymarin is thought to exert its liver protective properties via several actions –

1. Antioxidant effect, as it is able to directly scavenge free radicals

2. Increasing the production of antioxidants in the liver such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase

The Livatone Plus formula contains the effective dose of Silymarin, which provides 420mg daily of Silymarin.

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Those with sluggish liver function often have difficulty metabolising fats and may have high LDL cholesterol levels. Psyllium can help in such cases. The largest trial ever conducted into the effects of psyllium fiber carried out at the University of Newcastle in Sydney has proven that it is probably the best cholesterol- lowering fiber available. Psyllium is proving a more consistent cholesterol-lowering agent than oat fiber. Psyllium is a plentiful source of soluble fiber, and it is well accepted that soluble fiber has a significant role in the prevention and treatment of elevated cholesterol levels.

Improve your liver and bowel function and start losing weight more easily!

References on St Mary’s Thistle

Valenzuela A, et al. Selectivity of silymarin on the increase of glutathione content in different tissues of the rat. Planta Med 1989;55(5):420-2. Muriel P, Prevention by silymarin of membrane alterations in acute CCL4 liver damage. J Appl Toxicolgy 1990;10(4):275-9. Vogel G, et al. Protection by silibinin against Amanita phalloides intoxication in beagles. Toxicology Appl Pharmacol 1984;73(3):355-62. Saller R, et al. The use of silymarin in the treatment of liver diseases. Drugs 2001;61(14):2035-63.Magliulo E, et al. Results of a double blind study on the effect of silymarin in the treatment of acute viral hepatitis, at two medical centers. Med Klin 1978;73(28-9):1060-5. Flora K, et al. Milk thistle (silybum marianum) for the therapy of liver disease. Amer J Gastroenterol 1998;93(2):139-43. Morazzoni P, Bombardelli E. Silybum Marianum Fitoterapia 1995;66(1).Pares A, et al. Effects of silymarin in alcoholic patients with cirrhosis of the liver: results of a controlled double blind, randomized and muticenter trail. J Hepatol 1998;28(4):615-21.Wellington K, Jarvis B. Silymarin: A review of its clinical properties in the management of hepatic disorders. BioDrugs 2001;15(7):465-89.Sonnenbichler J, et al. Stimulatory effects of silibinin and silicristin from the milk thistle. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 1999;290(3):1375-83.Skottova N, et al. Silymarin as a potential hypocholesterolaemic drug. Physiol Res 1998;47(1):1-7.Krecman V, et al. Silymarin inhibits the development of diet-induced hypercholesterolaemia in rats. Planta Med 1998;64(2):138-42. Buzzelli G, et al. A pilot study on the liver protective effect of silybin-phosphatidylcholine complex in chronic active hepatitis. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol 1993;31(9):456-60. Salmi HA, et al. Scand J Gastroenterol 1982;17(4):517-21. Velussi M, et al. Long-term treatment with an antioxidant drug is effective on hyperinsulinemia, exogenous insulin need and malondialdehyde levels in cirrhotic diabetic patients. J Hepatology 1997;26(4):871-9. Hepatolgy 2000;32(5):897-900. Trinchet JC, et al. Treatment of alcoholic hepatitis with silymarin. A double-blind comparative study in 116 patients. Gastroenterol Clin Biol 1989;13(2):120-4. Ferenci P, et al. Randomised controlled trial of silymarin treatment in patients with cirrhosis of the liver. J Hepatology 1989;9(1):105-13 .

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any diseases.





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