Understanding the Detox System
Hello and welcome to this talk on the detox system. First, I’d like to start out with some facts and figures. These facts and figures are coming to you from the Chemical Industry archives. First of all, more than seven million recognized chemicals are in existence today in our environment and in our world on a daily basis. Approximately 80,000 are commonly used on a daily basis worldwide. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) reviews between 2,000 and 2,500 new chemicals through what’s called a pre-manufacture notification process each year. That calculates, folks, to between forty and fifty new chemicals being evaluated and approved each week! Eight out of ten applications are approved within three weeks, with or without any test data to show whether those chemicals are safe or not.
I think it’s important for us all to understand that in this day and age, we are all exposed to toxins on a daily basis and a plethora of them at that. We really need to optimize our detoxification systems of our bodies to allow us to try and remain healthy. What I’d like to talk about today is exactly that – your detoxification system. What most people are told is that, well just drink lots of water and you’ll pee and get rid of, urinate if you will, and get rid of these toxins. Well, the problem, folks, is that many toxins are not water-soluble. When we first are exposed to them or when we first create them, they are fat-soluble. They’re going to get stored in our fat, and then they’re going to build up and cause problems to our overall health.
What we need to understand is that to change a fat-soluble toxin to a water-soluble toxin, so that we then can either urinate it out, sweat it out, or poop it out through our gastrointestinal tract. Those are the three ways we get rid of toxins, but they need to be water-soluble in order to be able to do that. We need to convert any fat-soluble toxin to a water-soluble item or chemical so that we can exactly that – urinate it out (pee it out), poop it out, or sweat it out because those are the three best ways to get rid of them.
Now, how are we going to do that? But before we talk about the phases that have to happen in your body to do that, let’s first of all talk about how toxins are created. First of all, things called exotoxins (exo meaning outside of you).
- This could be pharmaceutical drugs; those could be drugs that you are making a choice to take such as alcohol or other recreational drugs. Those of you making a choice to put them in your body from the outside world.
- I’ve already given you some facts on the chemicals that we’re all being exposed to on a regular basis.
- Pollutants or contaminants.
- Bacteria that get inside of us produce waste that needs to be detoxified.
Those are things that get inside of us from outside. But besides that, you can also have endotoxins, things that are created inside your body due to your own metabolism. These are what’s call the end products of metabolism. For example, whenever you produce a hormone you use it, but then it also needs to be broken down and needs to be eliminated. So, you create endotoxins all the time based on your own body biochemistry and metabolism.
Besides that, we live in a symbiotic relationship with bacteria. Bacteria have waste products too that they then put out, but they’re inside us to begin with. Bacterial endotoxins are also exactly that – toxins that are inside of us that we need to detoxify and get rid of. Many of these are fat-soluble.
So, now let’s talk about the phases in which you’re going to change a fat-soluble toxin and how is it going to be converted to a water-soluble toxin so that you can get rid of it. Well, majority of this happens in the organ in your body – the liver. There are multiple phases to the chemical steps that have to happen. There are two actually primary phases: phase one and phase two. The phase one reactions, there are multiple different chemical reactions that have to happen. You can oxidize a toxin, you can reduce a toxin, you can hydrolyze a toxin, you can hydrate a toxin, or you can have this process called dehalogenation. Now, those are big chemistry words, and to be honest, those don’t matter as far as for you to understand the details of all of those.
The bottom line is for you to understand that there’s a chemical reaction that has to happen as a first step to make a fat-soluble toxin start to change from fat-soluble to water-soluble. What happens is once you create that first step, you’re actually taking something off of the fat-soluble toxin, and you’re making it charged. You’re making it positively charged, and you’re making it a free radical or an intermediary metabolite. These free radicals, after a fat-soluble has gone through this phase one reaction, are actually more dangerous many times than the original toxin in the first place. That’s very concerning. We do not want the free radicals or these intermediary metabolites staying in this charged state for very long. We want them to quicky move on to phase two.
Phase two reactions are things like sulfation, methylation, acetylation, and glucuronidation. These actually all add something to that intermediary metabolite in order to neutralize it and actually make it water-soluble. You notice, you need phase one and you need phase two. In between, you create this intermediary metabolite which are called free radicals.
So, then you finally have created an excretable chemical or something that’s water soluble. Again, you’re going to then either sweat it out, urinate it out, or it’s going to go into your gastrointestinal system and come out as feces. Now, what I also want you to understand is that there are certain vitamins and minerals that you’re going to need in order to optimize phase one of your detoxification system and then other things (vitamins and minerals) that you’re going to need, and we need from either our diet or to supplement with, in order to optimize phase two of your detoxification system.
Then also, back to the intermediary metabolite – that dangerous free radical. I’m sure all of you have heard of antioxidants. Antioxidants, why they’re so important is that when those intermediary free radicals are floating around in your bloodstream, the antioxidants can bind to them and neutralize it for the mean time before it goes through phase two.
You notice, this gets a bit complicated. The bottom line is you have fat-soluble toxins. They need to go through two chemical reactions in order to be neutralized and become a water-soluble toxin to be able to detoxify them and get them out of your body. In between those two reactions, there is an intermediary metabolite created that is actually very dangerous and they are called free radicals. Antioxidants are very important, like vitamin C or vitamin A and many others, CoQ10 for example. Those are three probably of the top antioxidants that you could consider.
Now, going back to phase one reactions. The nutrients that you must have in your body to optimize phase one reactions are essentially all of the B vitamins. Riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6), folate (B9), and cobalamin (B12). You notice basically a B-complex is extremely important for phase one reactions of your detox system. Besides that, a chemical called glutathione, which is the most prominent chemical in our body to help us detoxify anything is very necessary for both phase one reactions and phase two reactions. The only concern about glutathione is it’s not easy to get it as a supplement and take it orally and be able to have it be absorbed properly. There are some liposomal glutathione products and there are some supplements, but there’s another supplement called N-Acetyl Cysteine or it’s abbreviated N.A.C. which is NAC. That is a precursor in your body to the development of glutathione. That is an excellent supplement for people wanting to optimize their detoxification system.
Finally, in order to promote phase one reactions in your body, you need branched-chain amino acids. Amino acids, folks, are the building blocks of all proteins. You must have protein in your diet. It’s extremely important to get enough protein in your diet. I’m not taking about a sixteen-ounce steak, for example. I’m talking about the palm of your hand amount of an animal protein at least two, if not three, times a day. Or, if you’re a vegetarian, you need to make sure you’re getting complete proteins or you’re utilizing protein powders made of plant products. Animal proteins, folks, are where you’re going to get your biggest sources of B vitamins, glutathione, and branched-chain amino acids. I would tell you and there are many other functional medicine doctors out there that promote actually eating organically raised or grass-fed organ meats as well such as liver and so on.
Now, to optimize phase two reactions with the detox system, you also need all of the amino acids, particularly glycine, taurine, glutamine, methionine, and cysteine. Again, animal protein or at least making sure if you’re a vegetarian or a vegan getting completely proteins that have all of the amino acids necessary or utilizing, again, a protein source powder from vegetable proteins. The other thing is, again, supplement NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) also promotes phase two of the detox system. The bottom line here, folks, is your liver is extremely important to your health, extremely important to your detox system. We’ve got to be able to detoxify fat-soluble products from exactly that – being fat-soluble where it’s going to get stored in your fat-soluble – to change it to water-soluble.
The number one best way to detoxify anything is to sweat. Let’s talk about the top ways to detoxify your body:
- Make choices to avoid toxins as much as possible in the first place. If you’re drinking too much alcohol, you really to need to think about that.
- Drink water and add some lemon juice to it. Make sure you’re drinking multiple glasses of water a day, up to as much as sixty-four ounces a day.
- Cut your sugar intake. Folks, we live in an environment today and our culture that is way too high in sugar. Decrease all your grains to only one or two a day because all grains get converted to glucose. Don’t ingest synthesized sugar and ingest more natural sugars.
- Exercise is going to make us sweat; it’s going to improve our circulation; it’s going to improve our overall health.
- Drink detoxifying teas such as green tea, dandelion tea, or nettles.
- Eat organic.
- I would say that one is way too far down on the list. Move it back up to number one or two, and make sure you are moving and sweating on a regular basis and even going in infrared saunas is fantastic for helping someone to detoxify.
- Use soaps or brushes or mud masks and things like that to help to exfoliate the dead skin from your body and improve circulation.
- Decrease stress. We all are way too stressed out and we all should have some form of a daily stress management practice that we do every single day.
- Get good sleep. You should be getting an optimal eight hours of sleep every night. We really need to consider how to do that best.
The next thing I’d like to list for you are the top ten antioxidant foods. Remember, we talked about those free radicals. What are the best foods that you could be eating to neutralize those free radicals with antioxidants?
- Goji berries
- Wild blueberries
- Dark chocolate
- Kidney beans
- Blackberries (dark-colored berries are all excellent to help your detoxification system)
Please remember, any of these things should be raised or grown organic. You don’t want to add toxins by eating not organically raised cilantro, for example.
Next, I’d like to list for you the top ten antioxidant herbs. Again, these antioxidants that are going to neutralize the free radicals in the herb world are:
- Cinnamon (put cinnamon in your coffee; put cinnamon on your food; put cinnamon everywhere – it is excellent for you)
Now, I’d also like to finish with the top ten antioxidant supplements:
- I’ve mentioned it before, it is the top antioxidant detoxifying chemical in your body. It is tough to get and be able to absorb enough of it taking it orally, but you can do it with some supplements. Again, N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) is a precursor to glutathione, and you can take upwards of 600 mg twice a day for a total in a 24-hour period of 1200 mg a day.
- Vitamin C. Folks, you can take vitamin C when you’re really trying to detoxify something, or you feel like you’re getting ill up to what’s called bowel tolerance. You could take 5-, 6-, 7000 mg or more a day. What you want to do is start taking it and increasing it, but when your bowels become loose or you end up having some diarrhea then you’ve overshot, and you need to back down to a lower dose. That’s what’s called increasing vitamin C to what’s called bowel tolerance.
- Lavender oil
- Frankincense essential oils
In summary, ladies and gentlemen, your detoxification system is extremely important to your overall health. We are all exposed to so many chemicals on a regular basis. Your liver is your prominent organ system to help you detoxify. You need to be able to drink lots of water, of course, to get rid of all the water-soluble toxins. To convert fat-soluble toxins to water-soluble toxins, your liver has to go through two reactions: phase one and phase two. The intermediate in between those two reactions are called free radicals.”] Your body goes through this process all the time on a daily basis. The B vitamins and branched-chain amino acids and glutathione are your major chemicals in your body that are needed in order to help the chemical reactions happen to detoxify things. I’ve also listed for you the primary ways that you can detoxify such as exercise, sweating, drinking lots of water, and decreasing stress. Then I’ve listed for you some of the top foods and supplements for antioxidants. I hope this information has helped.
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