Especially in the beginning of the year detoxification is a term you can find in many recommendations for a good start into the New Year.
But what is it all about? What exactly is detoxification? Why should I try it?
Well, it all starts with the build up of toxins – be it parabens from your cosmetics, BPA from plastic bottles, glyphosate, or preservatives from the food we eat, alcohol, heavy metals, bacteria, dead cell remnants and waste products from hormone production like cholesterol. They all end up at our one and only waste management site - our liver.
Besides its role in controlling our blood sugar levels and the production of cholesterol and bile, the major functions of the liver are the processing of nutrients absorbed from our small intestines to make them safely available for all our cells and the disposal of harmful substances which either entered our body or are produced by our body.
Every minute the liver filters two litres of blood, recycling useful compounds, and removing bacteria and other debris.
To work at its best the liver needs a multitude of Vitamins and Minerals.
The obvious goal of any detoxification process is to get rid of harmful substances. Therefore the liver combines toxins, bacteria, or other debris with a compound to make them either water-soluble, so we can get rid of them via our kidneys in the urine or fat-soluble so they can be disposed of through the intestines via the bile.
Any compound which can not be transformed stays in the body. To prevent those toxins from circulating through our blood and damaging our cells, the liver “parks” them in our body’s fat. That is why people who are fasting often experience heavy migraines originating from toxins which are dissolved too quickly from their body fat.
Detoxification by the liver works in three steps:
· In phase I toxins are metabolized into intermediate substances which may even be more harmful than the toxin itself. A lot of free radicals (harmful molecules) are produced in this process, which calls for the presence of ample amounts of antioxidant enzymes and a quick transformation into Phase II.
· In phase II the intermediate substances are transformed into water- or fat-soluble compounds in a process called conjugation. To successfully create them our liver needs several building blocks derived from our diet, like sulphuric compounds from garlic or amino acids from clean proteins which attach to those intermediates.
· In Phase III the newly created compounds are excreted via the kidneys or the intestines. Optimal digestion and kidney function is crucial.
To perform its everyday detoxification tasks the liver needs certain Vitamins like B Vitamins and Vitamin C and Minerals like Zink, Magnesium, as well as clean proteins to name only a few.
As long as the liver is provided with the needed nutrients and not overloaded with toxins it will be in balance, and we have a fair chance to live a healthy and happy life. We most probably do not even take note of the hard work the liver performs every day. Yet in our lifespan we all encounter more or less harmful substances from our diet or in our environment.
We suffer from chronic stress leading to high cortisol levels or we do have to take medication on a regular basis. All of which can overload the liver and slow down the detoxification process. Immune weakness, unstable blood sugar and hormonal imbalances may be the consequence.
Combined with a less than optimal lifestyle, having sleep issues, little exercise and a diet loaded with sugar and processed foods, we may develop inflammatory diseases like diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure or autoimmune conditions. First signs of an overloaded liver may be skin issues like eczema and blotches, fatigue, or digestive issues.
So, what can we do to help our liver to function at its best?
Ideally, the liver should be able to handle detoxification on its own. Yet our modern lifestyle and diet overloads our liver continuously. Therefore it is useful to give it a little help from time to time which would firstly be a healthier diet and lifestyle to prevent more toxins compromising the system and secondly a temporary cleansing process to clear the body of existing toxins. This is often called a detoxification protocol. There are many approaches to detoxification like fasting, special dietary regimens, herbal support, and sauna.
A simple start can be to avoid alcohol, caffeine, and sugar, combined with a diet consisting of ample amounts of fresh vegetables, animal, and vegetarian proteins (except red meat) as well as fruit low in sugar like apples and berries.
There is a multitude of herbal compounds to consider as well as supplements to support an overloaded liver. To determine which pathways you should work on specifically, I highly recommend consulting with a health care professional like a holistic nutritionist or a naturopath as there is no “one size fits all” approach in liver detoxification as in many other conditions. Individual supplementation, delicious balanced meal plans, and lifestyle recommendations can ensure the success of your efforts.
Beginning today I will offer a “stay home, stay safe, and save” online special, an individual full nutritional consultation package, from the comfort of your home. We can connect via Zoom, Whatsapp or Signal, whichever you prefer.
You will find all the details on my website www.4yourhealthonly.com. May be this is the right time to invest in your very own well-being.
I am looking forward to guide and accompany you on your journey to feeling at home in your body again!!!
The information on this page is NOT intended as medical advice, nor is it intended to replace the care of a qualified health care professional. This content is not intended to diagnose or treat any diseases. Always consult with your primary care physician or licensed healthcare provider for all diagnosis and treatment of any diseases or conditions, for medications or medical advice as well as before changing your health care regimen.