Removing Toxins With Proper Liver Support

Our modern world is awash in toxins, including heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic), herbicides, pesticides, teflon pans, BPA from plastic, pthalates and sodium laurel sulfate in personal care products, flame retardant chemicals found in furniture, chlorine, flouride, and ammonia added to our drinking water, chemicals from paints and other building materials, etc..

Many of these toxins become stored in our fatty tissues. In order to remove stored toxins, your body needs to convert these fat soluble chemicals into water soluble ones that can be excreted through the stool, urine, or sweat. This process occurs primarily in the liver, so you need to conduct a proper liver detoxification program. This can be done by providing specific nutritional support for both Phase I and Phase II enzymes of the liver detoxification process. Phase I is conducted by the cytochrome P450 family of enzymes that take the fat soluble toxins and add a reactive group as part of the detoxification process. These reactions include oxidation, reduction, and hydrolysis.  If you can drink several cups of coffee in the afternoon or evening and sleep fine, then your phase I enzymes are likely overactive. The Phase I enzymes actually temporarily creates more reactive molecules that, if not converted fully into water soluble metabolites by Phase II, could lead to detoxification reactions, such as headache, brain fog, stomach aches, constipation or diarrhea, skin breakouts, fatigue and low energy, sleep problems, irritability, and congestion. This is why a juice fast is not as effective as using specific nutrients that support Phase II of liver detoxification.

Phase II of liver detoxification is crucial for proper removal of toxins from the body and a juice fast is liable to lead to depressed phase II enzymes, since amino acids are important nutrients for this phase and juices contain no amino acids. Phase II of liver detoxification is also known as the conjugation phase, since these toxins are congugated or combined with another substance, such as cysteine, glycine, or a sulfur molecule to make it water soluble, so it can be excreted from the body.  A proper detoxification program should include phase II supportive nutrients, such as amino acids like glutamine, glycine, and sulfur containing amino acids like taurine and cysteine.  It should also include cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli and watercress.  Likewise, it is important that you have a daily bowel movement so that toxins in the stool get eliminated, so support for the digestive tract such as probiotics or magnesium supplements as a stool softener may be indicated.  In addition, drinking a lot of water to support the kidneys and urine flow and sweating is important, since these are other routes for toxin removal.  Speak to Dr. Weitz for help with nutritional support for detoxification and consider attending the free detoxification that Dr. Weitz is giving in the office on February 2 Thursday at 6pm.  Call the front desk for more information or to add your name to the list.

Main reference: Hodges R, Fitzgerald KN The Detoxification Module of The Clinical Nutrition Series from The Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists from the MHICN

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