Detoxification with Dr. Alejandro Junger: Rational Wellness Podcast 136

Dr. Alejandro Junger discusses Detoxification with Dr. Ben Weitz.

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Podcast Highlights

4:23  The term detoxification has started to be accepted by mainstream America, though not so much by mainstream medicine, who tend to think of it as quackery.  This is because the term detoxification has been hijacked and misused by so many people who have no idea what they are talking about that the Institute of Functional Medicine has changed the name to biotransformation. The body is bio-transforming these exogenous chemicals from toxic to non-toxic and from lipophilic in to water-soluble so that the body can eliminate them.  This happens more intensely in the liver, but it happens in every cell in the body, and also it happens in the intestines through your intestinal flora, which detoxify about 40% of these toxins that we are exposed to through our diet and water.  Whether you call it biotransformation or detox, which Dr. Junger still likes to use, you are not turning on any function of the body that was not turned on before, but you are creating the conditions for this to happen more effectively by supplying all the nutrients that the body needs in order to attach to the toxic molecules to convert them into non-toxic and water-soluble.

8:00  Some of the most important toxins that are impacting our health are the preservatives in food that prolong shelf life. These preservatives prevent bacteria and fungus from growing on the product, so they will kill the bacteria in our gut. Dr. Junger likes to tell people that the longer the shelf life the shorter your life. We need to avoid eating these chemicals found in processed foods because they will eventually promote chronic disease.  These toxic chemicals are everywhere and they are cumulative. Just like how the big fish eat the smaller fish and accumulate mercury and they will eventually cause chronic diseases.  The good news is that your body knows how to get rid of most of these toxins, especially if you learn how to create the conditions and you support your body nutritionally, you will be able to rid yourself of 90% of these toxins.  There are some toxins that will require some extra effort to get rid of, like heavy metals, which require doing some chelation to help your body detoxify them. 

12:57  Some of the impediments to our bodies being able to clear these toxins is that there are so many chemicals being released into our air, food, water, in our cleaning products, and in our furniture on a regular basis, but our body’s ability to detoxify is impaired for 3 main reasons.

1. One reason our ability to detoxify is that we need specific nutrients to detoxify that are not being found in our food, since much of our food is depleted of nutrients, and you will not have the raw materials that your body needs to do this work. 

2. Also, our intestinal flora has been decimated that is responsible for up to 50% of the detoxification work of the body. 

3. An additional impediment to detoxification is that we are eating constantly and digesting throughout the day, that it is taking so much of our body’s energy.  This goes against nature’s design, which for thousands of years involved periods of fasting until the next time you were able to find food.  Our bodies evolved in a way that it gave the digestive system a lot of importance with a nervous system that has the power to shut off other functions in the body so that the body could shut off everything else (including detoxification) to dedicate itself to being able to digest and absorb the food, since we never knew when the next meal was going to come.   

21:14  Dr. Junger explained that the reason his new Clean 7 program is for 7 days instead of his Clean program, which was for 21 days, is that many more people are willing to commit to a 7 day program than one for 21 days, even though the 21 day detox resulted in incredible benefits.  To help people get the same benefits as the longer program, Dr. Junger incorporated Ayurvedic medicine principles, along with Functional Medicine and intermittent fasting.

25:58  From Functional Medicine Dr. Junger uses the elimination diet, which is one of the most powerful tools in the Functional Medicine chest for helping patients, and the 5 Rs, which are remove, restore, re-inoculate, repair, and relaxRemove by avoiding all the toxins, processed foods and even foods that are considered healthy but hinder somehow the detoxification processes like grapefruits and nightshades and things like that. Then, restore all the nutrients by eating whole foods, local, and ripe, and organic, and then repair by adding glutamine and other nutrients that help the intestinal lining repair and re-inoculate by adding probiotics so that your army of helpers can get strong and help you detoxify amongst other things.  Relax, you spoke about how our stress, it takes away from the healthy processes in the body. 

28:10  From Ayurvedic medicine, Dr. Junger uses the dosha system, which places you into a specific category based upon your constitution, which further individualizes the elimination diet.  He adds to the foods to avoid from the elimination diet a list of foods to avoid according to your dosha. For example, if you are fiery dosha, which is pitta, you will avoid the foods that are also fiery like spicy foods and mango and there’s a list of foods that contain a lot of fire. The dosha categories are pitta, kapha, vata.  The other principle that Dr. Junger draws from Ayurvedic medicine is the use of Ayurvedic herbs and he uses the most powerful adaptogenic herbs from Ayurveda, including ashwagandha, shatavari, and tulsi/holy basil.

30:15  Dr. Junger also mixes in intermittent fasting so that you allow the body to give the digestive system a rest to allow some of your body’s energy to be reallocated to help you burn more fat and to intensify the biotransformation reactions involved in the detox process. Intermittent fasting really requires a 24 hour fast and Dr. Junger said having a 12 or 14 hour fast by skipping breakfast is not really an intermittent fast but intermittently stopping from eating.

40:07  An elimination diet should include eliminating dairy, sugar, coffee, alcohol, and gluten.  Dr. Junger also recommends eliminating nightshades and citruses and a few other foods like grapefruit, that blocks phase one detoxification.


Dr. Alejandro Junger is a cardiologist who has embraced a Functional Medicine approach to treating patients.  He went to medical school in Uruguay, where he was born and did his postgraduate training at NYU and Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.  He also studied Eastern medicine in India.  He is the best selling author of the books Clean, Clean Gut, Clean Eats and his new book Clean 7.  His website is CleanProgram.com.

Dr. Ben Weitz is available for Functional Nutrition consultations specializing in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders like IBS/SIBO and Reflux and also specializing in Cardiometabolic Risk Factors like elevated lipids, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure and also weight loss, as well as sports chiropractic work by calling his Santa Monica office 310-395-3111 or go to www.drweitz.com.


Podcast Transcript

Dr. Weitz:            This is Dr. Ben Weitz with the Rational Wellness Podcast bringing you the cutting-edge information on health and nutrition from the latest scientific research and by interviewing the top experts in the field. Please subscribe to the Rational Wellness Podcast on iTunes and YouTube and sign up for my free eBook on my website by going to drweitz.com. Let’s get started on your road to better health.   Hello Rational Wellness Podcast listeners. Thank you so much for joining me again today. For those of you who enjoy listening to Rational Wellness Podcast, please go to Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcast and give us a glowing rating and review. That way, more people can find out about it. Also, if you’d like to see the video version, please go to my YouTube page and if you go to my website drweitz.com, you can find a complete transcript and detailed show notes.

                                Today our topic is detoxification with Dr. Alejandro Junger. Our modern world, as many of you know, is awash in toxins. They’re in our air, our water, our food, Teflon pans, sprayed on our lawns, used to build and clean our homes, fire retardant chemicals in our furniture, and toxic chemicals and products that we use to clean ourselves and rub on our bodies. To quote from Dr. Junger’s new book Clean 7, your mattress mostly contains fire retardants and other chemicals.  As your sheets, pillowcases, and pajamas have been rubbing against skin, so is the residue of the detergent, softeners, and scents with which you wash them. You step out of bed and walk barefoot on your hardwood floors or your cozy carpets. Chances are they’re off-gassing benzene, phenylcyclohexene used to make carpet backing or the solvent perchloroethylene, all known carcinogens.  In the bathroom, you splash water onto your face or get under the shower, which I did this morning. Most city supplied water contains all kinds of unwanted and unintended toxic chemicals as well as some intended ones. Trihalomethanes such as chloroform, chlorine, and lead, and just about every medication you can imagine including antidepressants, erectile-dysfunction meds, anti-inflammatories and antibiotics.  We can go on and on about all the chemicals in our environment but it’s clear that we are awash in all sorts of toxic chemicals and we need to spend some time and energy making sure that we rid our bodies of some of these toxins if we want to have optimal health. This is why Dr. Junger developed this detoxification protocols in Clean and now in his new Clean 7 book.

Dr. Alejandro Junger is a cardiologist who has embraced the functional medicine approach to treating patients.  He went to medical school in Uruguay where he was born and did his postgraduate training at NYU and Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. He also studied Eastern medicine in India. He’s now the best-selling author of the books Clean, Clean Gut, Clean Eats, and his new book Clean 7. Dr. Junger, thank you so much for joining me today.

Dr. Junger:          Thank you for having me.

Dr. Weitz:            I noticed your books are getting shorter and shorter from Clean, which was like a 30-day program. Now, we have a seven-day program. I figure the next book could be Clean One Hour and the patient gets an IV glutathione along with colon hydrotherapy while sitting in a infrared sauna.

Dr. Junger:          Well, that definitely would help.

Dr. Weitz:            Dr. Junger, is the concept of detoxification, is it finally starting to be accepted by mainstream medicine?

Dr. Junger:          I’m not sure if it started to be accepted by mainstream medicine but it started to be accepted by mainstream, and the problem I think and I agree with the Institute for Functional Medicine stems a little bit from the name, which has been prostituted and used nilly-willy by so many people that have no idea what they’re talking about, and therefore, these days, you say detox to a mainstream doctor or nutritionist and they tell you that this is quackery, and then that your body already knows what to do and that there’s no need and all these chemicals are all approved and studied and that’s why the government lets factories put it in all our products.  Functional medicine has now changed the name to biotransformation, which I think is genius because this is really what’s happening inside the body. The body is bio-transforming these exogenous chemicals from toxic to non-toxic and from lipophilic in, meaning the only, you know 90% of these molecules dissolve only in fat, and the body doesn’t know how to get rid of things that are only dissolvable in fat, so it has to be converted to water-soluble so that the body can eliminate these things.  This happens in the liver mostly or more intensely but it happens in every cell in the body, and also it happens in the intestines through your intestinal flora, which detoxify about 40% of these toxins that we were exposed to through our diet and water. Biotransformation is the new name, even though I still use detox because I hope one day, everybody will understand the value and the importance of helping your body do what it already knows how to do.  Because there’s nothing that you do in a detox program, you’re not turning on any function of the body that wasn’t turned on two minutes before you started your detox program.  It’s just that you are creating the conditions for this to happen more effectively, more intensely, and you’re supporting this process is nutritionally. Meaning, you’re giving the body all the molecules by the way of nutrients that the body needs in order to attach to the toxic molecules to convert them into non-toxic and water-soluble.

Dr. Weitz:            Right. You’re talking about the phase one and phase two of liver detoxification, and how we take these lipid-soluble toxins, convert them into water-soluble, and then into a form that can be excreted through our poop or urine or sweating them out.

Dr. Junger:          That’s exactly what I’m talking about.

Dr. Weitz:            Right. What are some of the most important toxins that you think are impacting our health these days?

Dr. Junger:          I believe that, and listen, it depends on where you live and how you live and how you eat and what products you use but the biggest problem is in our food.

Dr. Weitz:            Okay.

Dr. Junger:          Because it’s so intimate and it’s so, the impact is so direct and it’s like a two-step punch. First, these preservatives, conservatives, coloring agents, smelling agents, texturizing agents, all these foods that, all these chemicals we put in our foods to prolong their shelf life and if you think about it, what is the shelf life of a product depending on? It’s depending on the fact that no organisms will grow on it, no fungus, no bacteria, right?  The products we use, the chemicals we use to prevent the bacteria from growing in your food in the shelves will also prevent and kill the bacteria in your gut, so the longer the shelf life the shorter your life. That’s what I tell people, and so first, it passes through your intestines, it kills your bacteria, then it’s absorbed into your blood, and they start causing havoc.  Yeah. Maybe if you eat one cookie with preservatives the impact is not going to be that bad but throughout the years of you eating and accumulating these chemicals, and then interacting in your body, you never even know how it’s going to fire somehow.  What it’s going to trigger and what kind of symptom and eventually chronic disease they’re going to promote?

Dr. Weitz:            Yeah and they’re cumulative so we just, because we’re constantly getting exposed to so many, even if we try to eat organic and use non-toxic personal care products and cleaning products, they’re just everywhere.

Dr. Junger:          That’s why many of them are called POP or persistent organic pollutants. They persist and they accumulate just like they accumulate in the fish. Why do big fish have more mercury than the smaller fish? Because big fish eat smaller fish, smaller fish have a little bit of mercury, and then big fish eat them and accumulate or bioaccumulate and end up in a different situation, which is what happens to human beings because we eat everything.

Dr. Weitz:            Right. Not only do the fish have mercury and other toxins from the oceans but now they’re having microparticles of plastics because there is so much plastic in our environment everywhere and huge floating islands of plastic in the ocean as big as countries.

Dr. Junger:          Yeah. We are so now, the healthy, aware people are so focused on avoiding plastic bottles because they would leak BPA into your water, and then your phthalates, and then you will drink them, and the fact is if you eat a piece of fish it’s like you’re eating a couple of bottles of plastic. Yeah. We are being bombarded. That’s the bad news, but the good news is that your body knows what to do.  Miraculously, your liver will be able to deal with molecules that were invented last week even though your body is ancient in its design, right? This is the good news, and then even better news is that if you learn how to create the conditions and you support your body nutritionally, you are able to rid yourself of I’d say 90 something percent of the toxins. There are some toxins that you won’t, even if you detox from here into your death, you won’t be able to get rid of them because you need an extra action to do that.  For example, heavy metals. Heavy metals, the body gets rid of very little heavy metals by its own so you have to do something extra like chelation or something extra that your body can’t really do fully in order to get rid of it.

Dr. Weitz:            Right. What are some of the impediments to our bodies not being able to clear these toxins?

Dr. Junger:          At a moment in evolution where we are so bombarded, thousands of chemicals are thrown into our environment each year, tons of chemicals in our air, in our water, in our cosmetics, in our cleaning products, in our furniture, but mostly in our food. At the time, where our body should be detoxifying the most, our detoxification ability is impaired for two main reasons.  One of them is that, well, three main reasons. One of them is that the chemicals that your liver and other cells need in order to do the work of detoxification are actually nutrients. They come in foods, and if they don’t come in the foods that you eat, then you will not have the raw materials that your body needs in order to do this work. Now, our foods are depleted of nutrients and the ones, the nutrients that do come in whatever we eat are less absorbed because our guts are destroyed. That’s one of the reasons, the depletion of nutrients.

                                The second one is the decimation of your intestinal flora, which as I said before is responsible for up to 40, 50% of the detoxification work in your body. The third one is that energetically, we are harming this processes of detoxification just like we are harming or we are stealing from mostly everything and I’ll tell you why, because we are digesting all the time.  We are a species that does not stop the process of digestion because we are eating all the time. You see this idea that we have that life, normal life is breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this is only an invention of humans in the modern world.

Dr. Weitz:            In fact, it’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner with three snacks in between.

Dr. Junger:          Three if you’re careful, if you’re watching. This idea goes against nature’s design, and this fact that we are eating all day long and therefore we are digesting all day long is killing us. One of the main reasons why it’s killing us is because, see, for thousands of years, our digestive systems developed this almost autonomy that because of the importance of that meal that you were eating, which your genes adapted in a way that they didn’t know when the next one will be because animals in the wild, and we were animals in the wild at some point, are eating when they find food and fasting until they find the next meal.  Now, there’s imposed episodes of fasting which we are not really experiencing and living. For thousands of years, life depended on the meals that you found. The body adapted and evolves in a way that it gave the intestinal system, the digestive system, it gave it a lot of importance.  It even gave it a nervous system that’s bigger than the one in your skull. Therefore, the intestinal, the intestines, the digestive system has the power to shut off other functions, right?  Because since when food was there the body had to shut everything off so that it could really dedicate itself to digest and absorb because it never knew when the next meal was going to come, and this you can prove yourself this Thanksgiving. You can go stuff your mouth with a lot of food, and then you’d see that you’re tired and you can barely move, and you fall asleep. You can explain it through the alkaline way or whatever you wanted to experience, but that’s just the-

Dr. Weitz:            The tryptophan in the turkey.

Dr. Junger:          That’s just the physiological explanation of what really nature is doing which is saying, “Well, we don’t know when the next meal is coming so we might as well really dedicate ourselves to digest and absorb as much as possible.” Therefore, shut off other things that would interfere with that like walking, thinking, and detoxifying, right? Your body doesn’t know that two hours from now or two minutes from now, you will be having some more food, right?  We are always, always digesting.  We don’t finish digesting.

Dr. Weitz:            And that digestive process is prolonged because all the stress of modern life is interrupting our digestive process and you get that sympathetic stimulation that reduces our ability to digest and absorb food so it even-

Dr. Junger:          Excellent point.

Dr. Weitz:            … longer.

Dr. Junger:          Excellent point and one thing adds to the other and we end up with an energetic deficit to dedicate to different functions, repair, healing, detoxifying, thinking. We’re a bunch of a, as a society, we are lethargic in a way. We don’t have that awakeness and awareness and like animals in the wild, they hear everything, and they’re aware of everything and they have this impetus to go and find the next meal. We lost that. We’re just walking around kind of anesthetized digesting our last three meals.


Dr. Weitz:            Now, I’d like to take a break to tell you about our sponsor for this episode which is Metagenics, which is a leading practitioner exclusive, nutritional therapy company offering physicians evidence-based formulas to improve their patients quality of life. Metagenics partners with practitioners like you to support the implementation of therapeutic lifestyle programs in your practice as you put patients on a path to greater wellness.

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Dr. Weitz:            What are the three pillars of your Clean 7 program?

Dr. Junger:          Before I answer that question-

Dr. Weitz:            Yes.

Dr. Junger:          … I’m going to address something that you mentioned at the beginning.

Dr. Weitz:            Okay.

Dr. Junger:          Which is that you said it seems like your books are getting shorter and shorter and the truth is I will use only one shorter because we went from 21 to 7, right? Maybe the next one, we can say shorter and shorter. Yeah, and there’s a very important reason why they weren’t, this program, my program went from 21 days to 7.   21 days is unbelievable in terms of the results my program gives you, right? I developed this program when I was working with Dr. Joe Francis, your friend. He actually was the one that introduced me to functional medicine. The 21-day program is amazing and it’s life-transforming and it helps people get rid of so many problems. I’m still finding out about different problems that this program improves or resolves and I get letters from all over the world and direct messages and Facebook messages and whatever, right?  But I really want to make an impact in numbers. I want to help as many people as possible, and the number of people that are ready to wrap their minds around 21 days of something that is quite strict in, if you compare it to like regular life is so little that I realized people are much more prone or much more likely to jump into a seven-day program. But then, I had the problem that during the 21-day program the first 7 days are, the first 3 days, 4 days are kind of the hardest ones.  Then, the next three, four days, you start adjusting and start feeling better. I didn’t want to just give people the first 7 days of the 21-day program because they wouldn’t have that kind of experience that will inspire them or propel them to keep on making changes and keep on improving. It took me about 10 years between the 21-day program to design this program. What I was looking for is a way to accelerate and potentiate the bio-transformation and the results, right?

                                To improve and get people to get in 7 days more than what they would get in the first 7 days of my first 21-day program. In this search, I was fortunate to meet some very interesting people. One of them was the founder of a company called Organic India that is creating the most powerful Ayurvedic and cleanest Ayurvedic herbs in the planet and through him, I ended up studying with an ayurvedic medicine master in India.  He basically taught me how to accelerate by using certain Ayurvedic medicine principles, right? Then, I was already experimenting with intermittent fasting and I saw that, I observed that intermittent fasting also accelerates these processes. By mixing the principles of functional medicine that I’ve learned and use in my first program with Ayurvedic medicine principles and intermittent fasting, I really nailed a way of potentiating the detoxification activity, and therefore, the results in seven days, it’s pretty amazing what people experienced.

                                Those are the three pillars of Functional Medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, and intermittent fasting. From Functional Medicine and you are a student of Functional Medicine and a practitioner of Functional Medicine so you would remember there’s two huge pillars. One is the elimination diet and the other one is the five Rs, right?  The elimination diet is so powerful that sometimes I say that if you put an actor in a medical office and you send them patients and this actor would just smooch the patients and at the end, we’ll just let them go on the elimination diet. Judging by the results, this probably would be considered the best doctor in that neighborhood, right? Or in that city because of the elimination diet alone improves and resolves around 60% of the problems that people come to see me for, right?   The five Rs, remove, restore, re-inoculate, repair, and relax, right? Remove by avoiding all the toxins, processed foods and even foods that are considered healthy but hinder somehow the detoxification processes like grapefruits and nightshades and things like that. Then, restore all the nutrients by eating whole foods, local, and ripe, and organic, and then repair by adding glutamine and other nutrients that help the intestinal lining repair and re-inoculation by adding probiotics so that your army of helpers can get strong and help you detoxify amongst other things.  Relax, you spoke about how our stress, it takes away from the healthy processes in the body. Well, this is something that functional medicine has been aware of for a long time. Those two are the two big principles from functional medicine that I use in the program.

                                  For Ayurvedic medicine, I also used two principles which is the distinction of your body constitution called the dosha system which further individualizes, personalizes the elimination diet.  What I do is basically, I add to the foods to avoid from the elimination diet a list of foods to avoid according to your dosha. For example, if you are fiery dosha, which is pitta, you will avoid the foods that are also fiery like spicy foods and mango and there’s a list of foods that contain a lot of fire, and therefore, if you are fiery constitution, they will be more prone to throw your fire out of balance and so on and so forth with the three different party constitutions according to ayurvedic medicine, pitta, kapha, vata.  Then, the second principle or set of principles from Ayurvedic medicine is the use of Ayurvedic herbs and mostly I use the most powerful adaptogenic herbs from Ayurveda being ashwagandha, and shatavari, and tulsi holy basil. All these herbs not only give you antioxidants, nutrients, and prebiotics, and fiber but they also help the body energetically so that distribution of energies that we’re talking about before will be benefited towards the processes that need more at the time. That’s why they help the body adapt, right?  Then, I mix in intermittent fasting so that you allow the body to give the digestive system a rest, and therefore, don’t use any energy for digesting for a little bit, giving, reallocating this energy into other things and you’ll be sharper mentally and you’ll be, you’ll go into ketosis and burn more fats and really intensify the biotransformation reactions.

Dr. Weitz:            In terms of intermittent fasting, do you think it… Typically, I hear a lot of people in the Functional Medicine space, friends of mine, and they’re basically skipping breakfast and maybe just have black coffee or something like that or Bulletproof coffee and that’s the way they do their intermittent fast so they don’t eat from dinner until maybe lunch the next day and that’s so-

Dr. Junger:          That is not really intermittent fasting.

Dr. Weitz:            Okay.

Dr. Junger:          That is intermittently stopping from eating.  But intermittent fasting really if you want to go into definitions and detail, it’s intermittently entering the fasting state, which you won’t enter just by skipping breakfast and having a Bulletproof coffee.  I’m not saying that intermittently stopping from eating is not good but let’s call it what it is. It’s not intermittent fasting.

Dr. Weitz:            Typically, people say if you go at least 12 hours and I think they came up with that because that’s the period of time when the digestive process is probably fully completed.

Dr. Junger:          In my first program, in my first book, I talk about the 12-hour window, right?  Basically, what that, which means respect 12 hours between the last meal of one day and the first meal of the second day or the next day. The reason why that is important and we should all be doing it all the time is because it takes about eight hours, depending on what you ate to end or finish or complete the digestive and absorption processes.  Then, you need at least a few hours to allow, because when energy is directed to digestion, it’s stolen from other things. When digestion ends, this energy now will be reallocated to thinking, to moving, to detoxify. You want to give it at least a few hours to do that.  I say 8 hours to complete the digestion, 4 hours to reallocate energy for the detoxification, 12 hours, right?  A 12-hour window is the minimum that you can do to maintain some kind of detoxification activity that will give you any benefits, right? But it’s not enough to catch up with the burden that we have accumulated. The fasting mode, you don’t enter in 12 hours.

Dr. Weitz:            How long does it take to enter the fasting mode?

Dr. Junger:          Well, that’s a really good question that I don’t know the answer to, right? Because different people say different things and nobody really has studied this and there’s no distinction, there’s no blood test that you can measure, you can say, “Oh, here, we enter the fasting state.” Right? But to have an experience of entering the fasting state, you, at least, need a 24-hour fast.

Dr. Weitz:            Okay.

Dr. Junger:          That’s why in the middle of my 7 day from day 4 to day 5, you fast for 24 hours by not having anything caloric between lunch in the fourth day and lunch in the fifth day. That 24 hours will not be as hard because you’re sleeping for a lot of it, right? That’s the way that I give your body a taste of true intermittent fasting. I prepare people to do that by prolonging the 12-hour window from the first day to the second day to 14 hours from the second day to the third day, to 16 hours from the third day to the fourth day, and then going to 24 hours.  He’s going to be even less intense in terms of difficulty to do it because you’ve been working yourself up to it, right?

Dr. Weitz:            In your own anti-aging program, how often do you fast?

Dr. Junger:          You mean in my own life?

Dr. Weitz:            Yes.

Dr. Junger:          Not too often. Not too often. For 24 hours not too often but I do do it. I am striving to do it more often, right?  But that the fact that I don’t do it that often doesn’t mean that it’s not super beneficial.

Dr. Weitz:            Right.

Dr. Junger:          I just don’t do a lot of the things that I know are super beneficial because I’m a little lazy, because I’m an addict to sugar and dairy. I mean, I don’t know if you noticed my sniffles this morning and this is… I’m paying the price for eating a sandwich yesterday with a lot of gluten, yeah?

Dr. Weitz:            I know in the past your detox program included the use of a medical food that adds specific nutrients, your Clean program, unlike the Clean 7 had medical food shakes that were designed specifically to have phase one, phase two…

Dr. Junger:          If you read my book, Clean, the first book.

Dr. Weitz:            Which I did.

Dr. Junger:          It shows you how to do the program without using any foods, any products.

Dr. Weitz:            Okay.

Dr. Junger:          I give you the recipes that take into consideration what nutrients will be supporting the liver so you know it’s full of recipes that are more like the results of a laboratory experiment, right? I sat together with the chef for weeks at the time and went over nutrient by nutrient what the body needs, and therefore, created the recipes, right?  But I did put together a kit with medical foods for those people that are not willing or not, don’t have the time or the commitment to go and prepare all their foods, right?  There’s a lot of those. I wanted to create a user-friendly kit that people can use in order to complete the program. It really, really works. It’s the same with this book Clean 7The only difference with this book is that to do the program completely, you will need to buy some stuff–being the Ayurvedic herbs because those don’t come, you just can’t get them in the supermarket, right?

Dr. Weitz:            Right.

Dr. Junger:          As real foods. That’s the only difference but you can even do this Clean 7 program without the Ayurvedic herbs, you’re just not going to get the full spectrum of the results.

Dr. Weitz:            Right. Now, can you get the phase one, phase two nutrients and, of course, now people are talking about phase three or phase zero of liver detoxification as well.  But can you get all those specific nutrients that are needed?

Dr. Junger:          Yeah. Of course, if you eat a balanced food. If you eat lots of colors of vegetables and fruits, you’d get mostly everything you need.

Dr. Weitz:            I looked at the recipes for some of these shakes, some of these shakes are, seem a little weird.  There are shakes in here, well, depending upon your Ayurvedic type that include mung beans, rice, even yams-

Dr. Junger:          Listen, I give people a lot of options.  Most people just do the same couple of shakes and alternate between one and another because truth is life is so busy, people don’t have time to go and buy and do and prepare.

Dr. Weitz:            Yeah.

Dr. Junger:          Yeah. I put that in there because I am fortunate that I worked with one of the best chefs I’ve ever came across, James Barrie, and he… I mean, he’s like a mad scientist.  Yeah.  There are some weird things there but that doesn’t mean they’re not delicious.  You should try them.  The reason why behind is the assurance that you’re going to get all the nutrients in.

Dr. Weitz:            Right. You talked about an elimination diet, which foods do you think are the most important to eliminate?

Dr. Junger:          The five big ones, dairy, sugar, coffee, alcohol, and gluten are the five big ones.  Then, there’s nightshades and citruses, and then there’s a few other ones there.

Dr. Weitz:            I’d say probably the most controversy about coffee, because we’ve had such a ton of studies showing that we really get a lot of benefit from coffee, especially if it’s an organic, clean cup of coffee.

Dr. Junger:          As I said, there’s a lot of things in the list that are there only considering the detoxification processes of coffee.

Dr. Weitz:            I see.

Dr. Junger:          Coffee will intensify phase one and as you know, a toxic molecule that goes through phase one, ends up as an intermediate metabolite, which is more toxic than the toxic molecule itself. Therefore, has to jump directly, immediately into phase two. Now, if there’s a lot of phase one going on and not so much phase two, you’re going to end up with a detoxification phase one, phase two imbalance, which is not a good thing.  This is the reason why even if you drink, even if you’re talking about pure organic coffee, because that’s the other reason why I take away coffee because most people don’t drink organic coffee and coffee is the most irrigated and polluted crop in the planet. The third reason is because most people don’t drink coffee in a healthy way in which these studies were done.  I used to live in New York and I used to go from my apartment to the hospital and I used to pass through two long lines. One was a methadone clinic and the other one was Starbucks. There were a line of people waiting for the doors to open and you couldn’t tell which one was which. People are addicted so giving a rest to drinking coffee is important to building up your adrenals.  When people say, “But coffee is healthy.” Yeah. It’s healthy if you’re drinking real moderation or maybe in small quantities organic and making sure that you have every other nutrient for phase two detoxification, but most people don’t so I take away coffee.

Dr. Weitz:            When they stop drinking coffee they end up having to sleep which is also-

Dr. Junger:          Yeah. Then, I take away other things like grapefruit because it does block phase one detoxification as well. Then, nightshades, which, in general, in life, they’re very, very healthy like eggplants and peppers. I take them out also because of solanine and the triggering of certain inflammatory processes and especially for people with arthritis and bone inflammation. The list of foods that I take out or the list of foods in the elimination diet is not that every food, you should avoid for the rest of your life.  It’s a list of foods that you should avoid for these 21 days in my first program or the 7 days in my Clean 7 so that you give your body the best chances of doing phase one and phase two and everything else.

Dr. Weitz:            How often should we do a detox program whether it be 7 days or 21 days?

Dr. Junger:          Well, you said you showered this morning, right?

Dr. Weitz:            Yes, sir.

Dr. Junger:          So when are you going to shower next? If you go for a run and you jump in the mud, you’re going to need to shower in the afternoon or as soon as you come back from your run, but if you just stay home and you do a few more podcasts, and then you watch TV, you may go for three, four days without showering, right? How often you do a detox program depends on what you do between detox programs, right?  Just like how often you take a shower depends on what you do between showers. Now, in general, when I look at the average American. People should do either a 21-day program once a year or a 7-day program every change of season, in general, but some people need more and some people need less.

Dr. Weitz:            Right. How about on an ongoing basis to just facilitate normal detox?

Dr. Junger:          Well, that’s the goal. That the goal is that you never need to do a detox program because you are respecting the nature and the way that nature intended things to be but that way, you’d be intermittently fasting, you wouldn’t be eating any products that are edible, just foods, real foods, local, in season, ripe and without any additives, without any chemicals. You’d be living in a wooden house with no chemical treatments and, yeah.  Definitely. There’s ways of living in which you would reduce the need of a detox program or eliminate it completely, but I don’t know anybody like that.

Dr. Weitz:            Excellent. Thank you for spending some time with us, Dr. Junger. Any final thoughts you’d like to leave our listeners, viewers?

Dr. Junger:          We talk about preventive medicine and we go to the best hospitals because they have the best machinery and the best specialists and super specialists and when we spend so much money on all this, but we are sitting, we’re begging for pennies, but we’re sitting on a treasure inside our bodies is the knowledge, and the ability to heal and really live an optimal, healthy life, right? Just as you said, if you daily do the things that the body needs, you won’t need all those specialists and machinery, so maybe it’s time for everybody to learn about biotransformation and detoxification and start using it just like you learn about how to use your washing machine and use it every day.

Dr. Weitz:            Right. How can they get a hold of your books?

Dr. Junger:          Amazon and any other online store.  Yeah. You can go to my website, cleanprogram.com where you can get the books and the products, the kits for the programs in an easy, user-friendly way. You can check my Instagram dralejandrojunger.com.

Dr. Weitz:            Your book, Clean 7, which should be coming out just about the time that this podcast-

Dr. Junger:          It’s ready for pre-order.

Dr. Weitz:            Ready for pre-order.

Dr. Junger:          That’s my dog celebrating when he heard Clean 7.

Dr. Weitz:            Thank you, Dr. Junger.

Dr. Junger:          Thank you. Thank you. Hope to meet you in person one day.


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