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Detoxification

detox"The best way to detoxify is to stop putting toxic things into the body and depend upon its own mechanisms." - Andrew Weil, MD

Toxins come in many forms, and are all around us. Chemical, environmental and nutritional toxins invade our bodies and impact the health of our systems, organs and cells. A toxin is something capable of causing disease or damaging tissue when it enters the body; a substance that impairs the function of chemical messengers in our bodies such as hormones, degrades cell integrity, and negatively impacts enzymatic reactions necessary for proper bodily function and health. The physiological classification of a toxin is based upon the biologic action of the toxic material.

When most of us think of toxins, we imagine chemicals and pollutants such as pesticides, herbicides, mercury and other heavy metals. Toxins also include food toxins (more aptly referred to as "toxicants") - substances found in every day food that create the same deleterious effect on organs and tissues.

The Usual Suspects

The most common and most damaging food toxins include:

  • Gluten and phytic acids found in cereal grains (especially refined flour)
  • Omega-6 industrial seed oils (corn, cottonseed, safflower, soybean, etc.)
  • Sugar (especially high-fructose corn syrup)
  • Lectins, phytoestrogens and trypsin inhibitors¬†found in processed soy (soy milk, soy protein, soy flour, etc.)

Chris Kresser did a fantastic job of detailing the specific effects of these food toxins in his 9 Steps to Perfect Health series.

Toxic Burden

Each individual has a different capacity for toxins and can withstand a varying degree before the body becomes overburdened and its toxic capacity exhausted. When our systems reach this toxic overload our health begins to deteriorate. Our primary organs for dealing with and detoxifying the body include the liver, lymph and sweat glands. With the assault of various environmental toxins as well as food toxins that we may ingest, our liver can become bogged down and sluggish. Liver conjugation or sluggishness then impairs overall body detoxification and results in various toxins spilling over into the bloodstream where autoimmune reactions can occur.

Detoxify Your Body

While there are an array of "cleanses" and detox programs out there, some of the most basic things you can do are simple, cost effective and not as harsh on your system as many pre-packaged solutions:

  • Exercise - move more to encourage lymph movement & sweat to release toxins
  • Avoid food toxins
  • Drink plenty of clean, purified water
  • Practice skin brushing to encourage lymphatic flow
  • Supplement wisely with substances that encourage liver health & function

To test for live conjugation and detoxification capacity, as well as develop a full detoxification protocol, register for one of our Functional Diagnostic Nutrition programs. For more detailed information and topics on detoxification, check out the following articles:

The Best Way to Detox

 

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