Detox a good idea….if done properly
There are a multitude of approaches and ideas surrounding “detoxification”. They range from specific fasts to a host of potions and mixtures and ideas of what your actually excreating. The concepts utilize homeopathathy to herbals and lots of combination products, including specific protein mixtures and may or may not actually eliminate “toxins”.
My definition of detoxification is that of a multiphase approach to liberating toxins from the body. Toxins can include: those made by our body known as endogenous toxins and those from an external source known as external xenobiotics. The external toxins include those from pollution and other chemicals ranging from toxic metals to plastics from fire retardants to pesticides and herbicide residues. This is a short list…. so please read on. The internal toxis are formed from the normal breakdown of our daily metabolism.
Why even do a detox ?
The idea of detoxification is predicated on the concept of minimizing the adverse impact of toxic chemistries to your body. Think in terms of less cancer risk, increased longevity, less potentials toward dementias and vascular diseases, such as strokes and heart attacks, along with and a host of other less than desirable outcomes. By doing a detox you’re impacting well established scientifically proven and statistically relevant issues, that translate to: By decreasing the bodies toxic load your deceasing your risk factors.
There are two primary considerations when your discussing detoxification for a patient. One is the total body burden, including current and ongoing exposures to toxins, from all sources including food, water, etc. and the second is the bodies functionality in terms of the abilities of the liver, gastrointestinal and renal systems to handle the increased load of a detox. A secondary consideration is the cost in both terms of dollars and time.
In a lecture I will never forget, a well versed physician now well know in this field, Dr. Walter Crinnion, made a statement that rings more true with every passing year. The statement: “It’s not a matter of if your body contains toxins, but rather how much”. He cited an old evaluation done in 1980′s regarding blood, urine and tissues from folks in remote Papa New Guinea. Not your average destination and well away from most “civilized” encounters of any form at the time. ~99% of the sampled population were found to have measurable levels of pesticides and a host of other toxins. Mind you they had none of these present in their environment. How could this happen….think water and air pollution, even thousand of miles from civilization.
The ideal approach to the concept of detox is a 3 step process. Initially we need to increase the mobilization of toxins from your body, at a level manageable to your system. The second step is to up regulate liver, GI, skin and kidney function. And then third we need to maximize excretion. These three aspects are critical to a proper detox in order to not make a patient worse. Gather the garbage, sort the load and then place it into the appropriate disposal area, outside of the body.
Let’s consider each of the concepts. You can mobilize toxins in multiple ways. Examples include modifying your diet by decreasing carbohydrate intake and entering a state of ketosis. This means that the easily converted carbs when not available to the body force us to start to breakdown fat to maintain our energy. Loads of lipid soluble toxins are stored in our fat and get placed into circulation.
You can induce sweating via the use of heat, infrared exposure or exercise to name a few, which result in moving toxins to the surface. A number of medications can be used to bind toxins in the gut or influence your metabolic rate. You can change your diet to an organic based intake and measure more output of toxins.
Metabolizing the toxins:
To better understand the liver let’s do a quick overview of how it works without too much chemistry. Think of the liver as a two part sorting system. The liver is like your local recycling facility. The trucks bring in the load of materials such as newspaper, glass, etc. The first step to sort the materials . This is the Phase one group of enzymes. Then there are 6 pathways that take the resultant sorted materials and degrade them to non-toxic end products for excretion. Now consider the intermediate steps where the first phase concentrates the chemicals. These are potentially much more toxic to your system if any of the pathways are less than functional, at full capacity.
The nutrient necessary for the detoxification pathways include minerals, vitamins and amino acids along with adequate hydration to keep the hepatic (liver) and renal (kidney) systems moving along and not experiencing an overload.
For those of you who want a bit more chemistry: There are two primary groups of liver enzymes. The first system referred to as the cytochrome P450 members (phase 1) act as a sorting mechanism. The second phase enzymes, consisting of 6 pathways, are specific for different chemical compositions. All require an adequate amount of basic nutrients to bring the toxins to a water soluble state. It’s not uncommon to have a decreased amount of a single factor, such as sulfur or some amino acids that are essential for adequate function. Also consider if you are using many prescription medications the phase one group of enzymes is critical for their breakdown. We always want to be certain that during a detox the bodies not competing with your RX’s. This could be a potential contraindication to detox or need temporary changes to your medications to avoid liver overload.
The kidneys need adequate minerals and fluids to function properly. It’s rare that we find patients who typically drink adequate water or green drinks or other mixture that are adequate to insure being fully hydrated. There are a number of both botanical and prescription products that will up regulate the kidneys to increase their function. One of the best ways to think of the kidney’s is to consider them as a battery. They get a recharge when we eat and drink from proper selections and work harder when our lifestyle/s are less than optimal. Consider them to be discharged if we are under excessive stress, drink stimulators such as alcohol, caffeine products or take a number of prescription medications. During a safe detox they need to be able to remain charged to a level that leaves you feeling fairly well and not dragging and fatigued.
The GI system is composed of lots of tubing. Our aim during detox is to make certain that there are no slow downs in the movement of waste. By increasing selective fibers, stool softeners or even laxatives, and once again adequate fluids, we can maximize output to handle the load. We need to consider the environment where in our intestines we have more cells from bacteria than our own body. This population will be influenced by the higher level of toxins and will need to be replenished to return to full function following a detox. Typically this will involve the use of pre and probiotic supplements along with exercises to maintain the integrity of this system.
Skin has an area of 16-21 sq. feet. on a typical adult. If you sleep on a queen bed it’s surface area is 33 sq feet. This makes skin our largest organs. During detox we want to increase its ability to excrete. We do this with the use of IR heat, exercise, skin stimulation and other sweat inducing means including botanical products. It’s interesting how often times during a detox we find our patients making statements about the strong smells many smoker note the discoloration of the sweat and the smell of tobacco, even though they have quit many years ago.
When a sceientific evaluation of detox programs was done a number of methods were considered and measured results were collected. The landscape of scientifically evaluated processes reveled that to properly accomplish a safe means of a detoxification, a protein modified fasting method is superior especially when coupled with adequate nutrients to assist in all the organ functions..
Let’s discuss why this makes sense. When you create a situation where you fast on water or juice, as an example, no or limited nutrients are being added and you literally need to deplete from your muscle stores the necessary group of amino acids to assist the liver in it’s function. You deplete muscle mass an obvious bad idea. Remember this includes your heart muscle. For many patients they are already lacking in adequate levels of necessary and rate limiting nutrients, hence the use of proper supplementation.
We want to create, for some patients, active ketosis (burning of fat) at a slow and consistent rate. This cannot be accomplished with the uncontrolled levels which will occur with either a juice or water fasts.
Now that your familiar with the systems needed to do a detox, let’s move into the steps to start the process.
1. A good history
The first step is a consultation with one of our physicians. They will take a detailed history and determine if there are any contraindications, what current exposures may be a risk factor and the best ways to approach your detox safely and comfortably, considering your bodies abilities and load factors.
2. Laboratory evaluation
The second step almost seems to obvious, but is overlooked frequently. Remember that we are wanting a safe and effective detox. Testing and not guessing…. is essential. There are a number of different blood tests that will be preformed both before and during your detox. This will insure that we are proceeding at an optimal rate and maintaining your safe, comfortable detox experience. Current laboratory testing can determine residual levels of many current toxins including pesticides, plastics and a host of other pollutants.
3. Follow up exam and other inputs to maximize your reduction in your biological age and reduce your risk factors for disease.
Following the detox process we want to make certain that your levels of reduced toxins are now adequate to decrease your risks and decrease your biological age. We use both genetic markers and a host of other examination means to determine your “real” age and work toward the principle of reducing your biological age.
Keep in mind that your ability to excrete, process and liberate the toxins will be unique to you exclusively. At the Center we design a personal protocol that will safely and comfortably meet your needs.
We trust that you have recognized that detoxification is a complicated group of processes, that can have a very powerfully impact on your health, when properly utilized. At the Center, we have years of leading our patients thorough the steps successfully. We look forward to your experiencing the benefits of lowered disease risks and feeling better.
blank gifIn “Radical Healing,” mentioned above, Rudolph Ballentine, M.D., concludes, pp. 311-314: “Perhaps the most universal of the all-out cleansing techniques is fasting. Dr. Ballentine does not recommend “water-fasting,” which he says “is more correctly termed starvation,” adding the following words of warning: “The destruction of starvation, and the cleansing and repair that happen in a well-managed fast, are polar opposites. Unfortunately today, when the average person is overburdened with wastes and environmental toxins, and when reserves of essential nutrients are low because of the ubiquity of ’empty-calorie’ foods, what is intended as a fast may well end up as starvation. Your best insurance against such a catastrophe is to do a juice-fast. Juices can eliminate much of the trauma of fasting.
blank gif”Freshly-squeezed and extracted fruit juices and vegetable juices contain a wealth of vitamins and organically-complexed minerals. They will also supply the 400 calories or so that is your minimal fuel requirement. Without that, your body begins to break down protein structures to get it. What’s more, fresh juices have a cleansing effect of their own and, as an added bonus, if they are taken immediately after being made, they are energizing and exhilarating. A balanced regime of juices should be made from a spectrum of fruits and vegetables.”
The late Allan Cott, M.D., made the same point in focusing on scientific, therapeutic fasting in his million-copy, international bestseller, “Fasting: The Ultimate Diet,” which now incorporates his best-selling sequel, “Fasting As A Way of Life.” Additionally, these editions contain 16- and 14-pg. bibliographies, respectively, each heavy with references to medical journal articles, globally, on scientific studies supporting intelligent fasting. .