Detox & Cleanse
Each minute of every day, the body systematically performs detoxification and cleansing processes to remove naturally occurring, internally generated metabolic waste plus the environmental toxins that invade our bodies. Without these highly specific functions, performed by various organs of the body, we would soon succumb to a build-up of toxins and waste material, now known to negatively impact cellular health, DNA integrity and our general health.
The organs and systems involved in this detoxification and cleansing process are the blood stream, digestive and intestinal tract, kidneys, liver, lungs and skin.
Here's how the body works to detoxify and cleanse itself:
The waste generated by cells – including their normal creation, destruction and metabolic debris – as well as the toxic material brought into the body through our diets, the air we breathe and the pores of our skin, all needs to be broken down in ways that will allow it to be eliminated.
Once toxins are recognized in the body, several processes are triggered. Through digestion, foods and liquids are broken down into the smallest particles possible so that they can pass through the cells of the intestinal tract into the blood stream; however, the intestinal tract cannot prevent all chemical toxins from passing through into the blood stream along with the beneficial substances. It needs help. This is where the liver comes into play.
Toxins present in the blood stream circulate first to the liver. The liver performs its role in the elimination process by turning the toxins into harmless liquids, solids or gases so that they can pass through the body.
Another action the liver goes through in its elimination and detoxification process is to send toxins, or pollutants, to fat storage sites in adipose (fat) tissues. This is a very sophisticated process, designed to protect the body from the toxins.
Later on, when the fat containing the toxins is burned for energy, the toxins can be released into the blood stream, and recirculated throughout the body.
This can have major ramifications. Here's why. Cells create new "daughter" cells through a process called mitosis. Each cell uses the construction material available to it from the bloodstream, possibly including the liberated toxins, to create the new cells. As a result, the DNA might become damaged, corrupting the blueprint for this and future cells, possibly leading to poor health.
If the liver is overwhelmed with toxic material from the blood stream, it can become sluggish and less able to nullify, eliminate or store the toxins as efficiently. This means the blood stream would continue to circulate those toxins. Then, as other cells in the body are going through mitosis, they would also use toxins from the blood as building material. This, in turn, could corrupt other cells throughout the body.
These excess toxins can eventually disrupt the body's homeostasis, or internal balance and harmony. For many reasons, therefore, it is wise to assist the body in keeping the blood stream as clean as possible. The primary concern is to ensure cells have clean material with which to nourish themselves and construct new cells. Also, the cleaner the blood, the less likely that wastes will need to be eliminated through the skin after processing by the liver.
Effective detoxification and cleansing of the body includes all processes and organs related to elimination; it is not just the digestive tract that eliminates what needs to go. For example, if a person has a sluggish evacuation system, then some of the liquid waste in fecal matter could be reabsorbed into the body, creating a greater burden on the detoxifying system.
The best way to help the body in achieving a true, whole-body cleansing is to work on multiple levels at the same time.
Choline – Essential for liver function as a constituent of lecithin, a group of phosphorus-rich fats found in the liver that are essential for transforming fats in the body.
Inositol and methionine – Two substances known as lipotropic nutrients, or "fat burners."
Iron - An element essential to life for its role in the transportation of oxygen in the body. Permits cellular respiration to occur. Also a part of the protein transport process. Part of the cytochrome p450 protein, important to detoxification systems.
L-glutamine - An amino acid that works to detoxify ammonia in the blood.
Magnesium - Involved in the contractibility of cardiac and skeletal muscles and is essential for calcium transport and utilization.
Manganese - Necessary for the function of glutathione synthetase. Glutathione functions in various detoxifying reactions: (1) in the destruction of peroxides and free radicals; (2) as a co-factor for enzymes; and, (3) in the detoxification of harmful compounds. Manganese is also necessary for the proper utilization of iron.
Molybdenum - Certain molybdenum metalloenzymes oxidize and detoxify various compounds that play a role in uric acid metabolism and sulfate metabolism.
Niacin - B-complex nutrient. Promotes growth and has a role in maintaining healthy skin. Aids in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Constituent of two coenzymes involved in metabolism.
Pantothenic acid - Constituent of coenzyme A, essential for formation of cholesterol.
Potassium - Electrolyte, Important in fluid balance. Vital to overall health.
Vitamin A - Fat-soluble nutrient important to immune system and in formation of bones, teeth and skin. Helps maintain outer layer of many tissues and organs; supports growth and repair of body tissues. Important for non-cystic acne elimination. Due to its non-toxic nature, beta-carotene is the preferred source for vitamin A. The liver utilizes beta-carotene as needed to produce vitamin A, which is essential to healthy liver function.
Vitamin B-1 (thiamine) - Stored and excreted by the kidneys. Essential for nerve tissue and in maintaining health of the mouth, skin, eyes and hair. Participates in carbohydrate metabolism within the liver. Essential in the transformation of tryptophan to niacin.
Vitamin B-2 (riboflavin) - Supports healthy eyes, hair, skin and nails. Aids in the formation of red blood cells and antibodies. Important as part of the electron transport in enzyme systems.
Vitamin B-6 - Necessary for healthy skin, nerves and muscles. Aids in antibody formation and in digestion. A coenzyme and precursor to an enzyme important in the breakdown of glycogen. Also important in fluid balance.
Vitamin B-12 - Plays a role in cell growth.
Vitamin C - Promotes many metabolic reactions, particularly protein metabolism, including laying down collagen in formation of connective tissue. As a coenzyme, may combine with poisons, rendering them harmless until excreted. Works with antibodies. Promotes wound healing. An antioxidant.
Vitamin D - Becomes active in the body, after its synthesis in the kidneys. Intake also affects absorption efficiency of calcium in the intestines and re-absorption by the kidneys.
Vitamin E - Protects fat-soluble vitamins and red blood cells. Works with other nutrients to help prevent blood clots; maintains healthy nerves and muscles; and strengthens capillary walls. Essential for hair, skin and mucous membranes. Functions as an antioxidant, protecting vitamin A and unsaturated fatty acids from oxidation.
Vitamin K - Plays an important role in liver function as a co-factor in the liver's synthesis of prothrombin and other coagulation factors.
Zinc-Though only small amounts of zinc are required by the body, inadequate levels can affect proper detoxification. One important enzyme of which zinc is an integral part takes carbon dioxide from cells and combines it with hemoglobin for expulsion by the lungs. Also supports kidney function and other detoxifying transactions. Essential for growth of new skin.
Clay-Although not a fiber, it is favored for absorption and adsorption properties.
Flax seed, slippery elm & marshmallow root - These mucilaginous herbs soothe the intestinal tract
Pectin - Soluble fiber found in fruits and vegetables, pectin adds bulk to the diet and is important to the function of the bowels.
Psyllium husks - Recognized as exceptional source of soluble dietary fiber. The small particles of husk are non-digestible and sweep the walls of the intestinal tract as they pass through.
● Drink plenty of water (non-tap, distilled is best). The water will help to ensure an optimal elimination of toxins from the bloodstream. Water helps not only the intestinal tract but also the elimination of toxins through the kidneys, another major elimination channel.
● It is also helpful to increase your consumption of fibrous fruits and vegetables like apples, bananas, grapes, kiwis, watermelon, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and celery; all fruits and vegetables should be eaten raw.
● Decrease consumption of processed foods, meat and dairy products.
● Avoid foods with a high fat content, as they may place an extra burden on the liver.
● Get daily, mild exercise.
● Practice hot & cold hydrotherapy for better circulation.
● Avoid alcohol, tobacco and drugs.
● Avoid pesticide or other chemical exposure.
● Get daily sunlight for the production of Vitamin D.