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The concept of detoxification or ‘detoxing’ is to remove toxic chemicals from your body.
What is detoxification? Think of it like taking out the trash. Or, better yet, think of it like unclogging a drain or flushing a toilet. In fact, when someone says “I’m doing a liver flush” they are doing a detox. And while this idea is conceptually simple, how toxins are removed from the body is a bit more complicated.
We are exposed to toxins in 3 main ways:
- the air we inhale (e.g., tobacco smoke)
- the food and drink we ingest (e.g., pesticides or preservatives)
- the chemicals that absorb through our skin (e.g. mercury or flame retardant on clothing).
Every BODY is different, so the amount of toxins we take into our bodies differs for every person. Some people absorb more toxins through their skin than others. Others have long colons which absorb more. But whether they enter the “door” of the body through inhalation (again pollution or forest fires), ingestion (like eating non-organic foods) or absorption (soaps or sunscreens), the toxins then go into the bloodstream and end up in the liver or fat.
How do these toxins leave the body? Once the toxins enter the body, they are removed from the body through excretion via urine or feces. This process happens in three steps, the science community calls them ‘phases’ :
- Phase I -when the toxin is chemically changed through enzymes to make it less toxic.
- Phase II - the toxin is chemically altered again through different enzymes in order to make it water soluble so it will go into the blood, so it can be removed.
- Finally, Phase III where the toxin is gone through urine or feces.
5 SUPPLEMENTS WE RECOMMEND
Whether you are wanting to do a “flush” for several days or just minimize the toxins out of your body on an ongoing basis.
Have you ever heard of milk thistle? Well, Silymarin is the standardized extract of the milk thistle seeds and contains a mixture of mixture of plant-based chemicals including silibinin (also known as silybin). Silymarin has been shown in clinical trials to be good for the liver and works in all three Phases of detox.1 Because of this, it is often used for detoxing. Our favorite silymarin can be found here in a capsule.
Curcumin is the main healthy ingredient turmeric (Curcuma Longa), most commonly found in the spice, Curry. Curcumin makes up about 2% of the weight of the turmeric root. Curcumin has been shown to be excellent for the liver, and also works in all three Phases of detox.2 Our favorite curcumin can be found here.
NAC is converted into cysteine when ingested. Cysteine is an amino acid that is central for making glutathione, the most effective antioxidant in the body. NAC has been shown in clinical trials to decrease liver damage in 85% of all cases.3 NAC supplement are mostly the same. Here is a good one that we use.
Of course, you knew we were going to talk about sulforaphane. It is a healthy chemical coming from broccoli. It is the best Phase II dextoxifier of any natural compound by inducing the nrf-2 pathway. One clinical trial showed sulforaphane enhanced the detoxification of airborne pollutants.4 Sulforaphane isn’t stable, which is why eating or juicing fresh broccoli sprouts have been a popular method to get high sources. For those who don’t have time to grow sprouts, BrocElite is an excellent alternative. It the only supplement on the market that has the stable form of sulforaphane in the capsule and can be purchased on Amazon.
Broken Wall Chorella & Fresh Cilantro Juice
The combination of these has been shown to be the best in stimulating Phase III detoxification where toxins are removed from the body. A three-year, double-blind clinical trial of 350 people at a Russian metal foundry, showed that the use of broken wall chorella with cilantro juice eliminated all heavy metals, including mercury, with no reported side-effect.5 Our favorite chorella supplement can be found here.
1. Ebrahimpour Koujan S, et al. Effects of Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. (silymarin) extract supplementation on antioxidant status and hs-CRP in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytomedicine. 2015 Feb 15;22(2):290-6.
2. Varatharajalu R, et al. Protective Role of Dietary Curcumin in the Prevention of the Oxidative Stress Induced by Chronic Alcohol with respect to Hepatic Injury and Antiatherogenic Markers. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2016;2016:5017460.
3. de Andrade KQ, et al. Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Hepatic Diseases: Therapeutic Possibilities of N-Acetylcysteine. Int J Mol Sci. 2015 Dec 18;16(12):30269-308.
5. Egner PA, et. al. Rapid and Sustainable Detoxication of Airborne Pollutants by Broccoli Sprout Beverage: Results of a Randomized Clinical Trial in China. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2014 Aug; 7(8): 813-823.