Dr. Chi Hung La, ND
Why does one need to detoxify? Is it necessary and a good idea? Simple answer, do we like our weekends and holidays from what we do for a living? 🙂 This article is not about dieting or weight loss program. We live in a toxic world even with our best efforts. The air we breathe is full of chemicals these days. Our food is highly sprayed and doused in preservatives and colourings. Our body has never worked so hard than the modern lifestyle. Any support we can do to give our liver, kidneys, digestive tract, and the cells in our body isn't a bad idea. It might even add more of health to our lives. (Ju Ah Kim et al., 2016), (Su-Jin Jung et al., 2020)
There are Endotoxins (end products of metabolism and bacterial endotoxins) and Exotoxins (drugs, chemicals, microbial, etc.) that our body needs to eliminate. I always recommended to my patients before cleaning your home, open all the doors and windows. Keep the water intake high and the foods you consume as clean as you possibly can prior to starting a detox.
The organ that primary deals with the removal of the toxins in our body is the liver. There are two phases that an Endo/Exotoxin goes through when it enters the liver. In phase I (one), the cytochrome P450 enzymes are hard at work converting it to an intermediate metabolite. This process uses various enzymes, co-factors, and other nutrients. Such as riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6), folate, cobalamin (B12), glutathione, BCAA, etc. During phase I, the production of Superoxide (free radicals) is also a concern to our body, for it can lead to secondary tissue damage.
Before it can be excreted, this intermediate still requires to be processing to a polar and water soluble derivative. To do this our liver converts the metabolite in Phase II (two), called the conjugation pathway. There are various conjugation methods that our liver performs (ie: sulfation, methylation, glucoronidation, etc.). Once the derivatives is water soluble, our body excrete it through urination or defecation via bile.
An improper detoxification can make one feel fatigued or with malaise. Typically this happens when there is inadequate support for the body (esp. the liver). Therefore, it is important to make sure there are adequate anti-oxidants for the free radicals or conjugates to complete Phase II. Not limited to the following, but start with these nutrients and phyto-compounds: Vitamin A,B's, C, E, Zn, Se, Cu, Mn, CoQ10, Thiols (sulfur containing foods, SGS), Curcumin, Silymarin (Milk Thistle), amino acids, phospholipids (EFA, krill oil, etc.). Not all detox kits are made equal, so it is important to balance your detox with a proper diet, supplements, and adequate water intake.
Dr. Chi has provided this material for your information. It is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your health care provider(s). I encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with your health care provider(s). The mention of any products, services, or therapies are not an endorsement by Dr. Chi Hung La, ND.
You can contact Dr. Chi at our West Block location.