We live in an incredibly toxic environment. It seems to come as surprise to some people that we are indeed part of this polluted environment. Toxic exposure in industrialized countries is ubiquitous. Studies show that the average american has between 300 – 700 toxic chemicals contaminants and the average infant is born with 40 – 70 measurable toxins! Proper liver function allows our body to eliminate this toxic buildup. Many of these toxins are endocrine disruptors, meaning they affect our hormones, or neurotoxins, meaning they affect our brain and nervous system. Others toxins cause massive oxidative stress on our cells leading to fatigue, premature aging, and even set us up for diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
The liver is an incredibly complicated organ and for our purposes here we are going to make some big oversimplifications. The liver has two primary pathways through which it runs the detox process. These are often referred to as Phase 1 and Phase 2. The phase one pathway is largely dependent on antioxidants. Its main function is to take all the fat soluble toxins stored in our tissue and biotransform (fancy word) those toxins into a more water soluble form. Depending on the overall toxic load on the body we may have much larger needs for vitamin C, E, B’s, etc. This is why part of your two week detox process is to flood the body with large amounts of these inflammation cooling antioxidants. Phase 2, where toxins are made ready for excretion, largely depends on sulfur containing amino acids. In our diets we would often find these in cruciferous vegetables, animal proteins, egg yolks, legumes, etc.. However, if our detox pathways have become sluggish from a winter of Netflix and binge eating then we need to greatly increase the body’s supply of these amino acids. If either of these phases are running sub optimally the body creates intermediary substances that can often be more irritating than the original toxin. We definitely don’t want that! Once the liver has done its job the toxins are expelled through the bowels, the urine, or sweat.
The liver’s detox pathways are incredibly complicated and many of us need further specific help. Because we live in an ever increasingly toxic environment it is difficult for us to obtain the nutrient detox precursors necessary to clear the liver through food alone. That is why short term supplementation is necessary to maximize the clearing of toxins and regeneration of our bodies. It is with this strategy in mind that here at Origins Medicine we designed our two week detox program, complete with all necessary supplements plus coaching emails and videos! You can find more information here. If we need an even more profound examination of the body’s detox capability we luckily have a wonderful lab test for examining your liver function in detail. The Genova Organix test allows us to measure the specific organic acids that are the byproducts of these thousands of chemical reactions. This will give us much greater detail on what detox challenges you may be having and allow us to target Phase 1 or Phase 2 in a much more aggressive and therapeutic way. Please contact our office if you would like a lab based therapeutic detox.