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Detoxification is defined as the process of removing toxic substances from the body. Because there are over 80,000 chemicals registered for use in the united states. 80,000!!!!! It’s common to be exposed to over 100 chemicals before you even leave your house in the morning. Xenobiotics are substances that are foreign to the body, aka not produced by the body and therefore not expected to be in the body. Our cells dedicate a large amount of ATP, our chemical energy, towards the process of removing these foreign substances. Removal of toxic build up from our bodies will greatly enhance our organs ability to better absorb nutrients, perform basic biological functions, and stimulate the healing process.
Goals of a Detox
Reduce Toxic Load
Fairly simple math: Decrease toxins in and Increase toxins out
Support Organs of Detoxification
Stimulate specific pathways in the body to support elimination
Repair and Heal Gut
About 3/4th of our immune system cells are located in the gut
Combat Oxidative Stress
Anti-oxidants fight oxidative stress in the body
Increase Energy Levels
Upon completion most people find their energy is sky high
Catch Potential Food Sensitivies
Better understand how food influences mental and physical being
Body burden is defined as the total amount of a chemical present in the body. It’s crazy that we have a term designated towards the amount of chemicals in our bodies. Most people have no idea how toxic our world really is. Toxic load takes into account different factors for each individual such as current state of health, duration of exposures, and our genetics. Healthier individuals are able to tolerate a higher toxic load. Hence why it’s a good idea to support our detoxification processes in the body.
Organ Systems Involved
Our main organ of detoxification is the the liver. Other organs of detoxification include the intestines, kidneys, lungs, and our skin.
Promotes elimination from pathways
- GI tract/Liver/Gall bladder
- Psychological: mental and emotional
Largest gland in human body. Numerous digestive, metabolic, and detoxification roles. Liver cells detoxify pharmaceuticals, xenobiotics, and alcohol. Liver cells also degrade hormones and process many nutrients.
It’s one of the first organs that receives blood from the intestines via the portal vein. Remove amino acids, fatty acids, and glucose from the blood and are stored for later use. Livers phagocytic cells eliminate bacteria that have escaped the intestinal tract and into the blood stream. We will take a deep dive into the detoxification pathways later on.
First area in body where xenobiotics are exposed. Intestines provide a physical barrier to these compounds. Assuming there is no increased intestinal permeability aka leaky gut which allows xenobiotics to skip intestinal detoxification and enter the circulation too early. Having a healthy gut allows the chyme to move through the intestines and for these compounds to be presented to the immune system. The blood is delivered to the liver via the portal vein.
The kidneys main functions are to remove waste from blood, balance body fluids, and form urine. It’s through the production of urine that the nephrons act as filters that clean our blood.
The glomerular capsule contains cells called podocytes which wrap around the capillaries. The blood is filtered here which retains larger molecules as smaller molecules such as water, salt, amino acids, and glucose continue along the process of urine formation (filtrate).
The Integumentary System aka the skin also plays a role in detoxification. First is acts as protection for our internal environment. It houses pain receptors to alert the nervous system of any injuries. Acidic secretions occur which have an anti-bacterial action. The integumentary system can stimulate or inhibit sweat glands which ultimately allows blood from capillary beds to radiate heat through the skin. Sweating is an important component of any detoxification program.
As you can see, this is a very complex detoxification system. Unfortunately, my hand drawing doesn’t do it justice. The simple version of this complex process allows for the liver to detoxify toxic materials via 2 major pathways, Phase 1 and Phase 2. What goes through these phases: drugs, pollutants, xenobiotics, bilirubin, androgens, estrogens, mineralocorticoids, glucocorticoids, fatty acid derivatives, retinoids, and bile acids.
The liver has a high concentration of an enzyme called cytochrome P450. CP450 essentially is responsible for metabolism of xenobiotics, steroids, bile acids, fatty acids, and carcinogens. This enzyme is considered to be part of Phase 1 liver detoxification. Phase 2 detoxification focuses on conjugation pathways.
As you can see, this is a very complex detoxification system. Unfortunately, my hand drawing doesn’t do it justice. The simple version of this complex process allows for the liver to detoxify toxic materials via 2 major pathways, Phase 1 and Phase 2. The liver has a high concentration of an enzyme called cytochrome P450. CP450 essentially is responsible for metabolism of xenobiotics, steroids, bile acids, fatty acids, and carcinogens. This enzyme is considered to be part of Phase 1 liver detoxification. Phase two detoxification involves different mechanisms resulting in conjugation. Conjugation just means the joining of two molecules.
Phase 1 & Phase 2
Cytochrome P450 (phase 1) converts fat-loving (lipophilic) toxins into more water soluble (hydrophilic) intermediates. A series of conjugation enzymes (phase 2) attach certain molecules to the intermediates which results in excretion from the body.
Phase 1 (cytochrome P450 enzymes)
Oxidation, reduction, or hydrolysis reactions occur based on the structure of the xenobiotic. The main objective of this phase is to change the structure of the toxin so we can prepare it for phase 2 and elimination. The main reactions involve the following groups.
- -OH (Hydroxyl group)
- -COOH (carboxyl group)
- -NH2 (Amino group)
Takes a nonpolar lipid-soluble toxin and via the above mention reactions turns the toxin into a more polar and less lipid-soluble state (aka intermediary metabolites). This step enables the pathway to continue down the conjugation pathway (phase 2).
Phase 2 (Conjugation)
The intermediates produced from phase 1 detoxification combine with glucuronic acid, sulfuric acid, glutathione, or other amino acids. This step reduces toxicity of intermediates by converting it into a polar and water soluble product. These are now excreted via stools are urine. If phase 2 is inhibited these intermediates damage proteins, lipids, and DNA.
Other conjugation pathways
- Amino Acid Conjugation: usually glycine, taurine, glutamine
- Methylation: CH3
- Acetylation: CH3-CO
- Glutathione conjugation
After Phase 1
Cytochrome P450 enzymatic reactions result in production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Free radicals that contain oxygen are called reactive oxygen species
Free radical = an atom or molecule that has one or more unpaired electrons. This imbalance leads to high reactivity which can result in damage to tissues. Anti-oxidants in the diet can help combat oxidative stress.
Try a complete detox
Each kit supplies 1 bottle of Beta-TCP (90T), 1 bottle of Bromelain Plus CLA, 1 container of a detox nutrients powder, 1 container of Whey Protein Isolate, and 1 container of the Bio-Detox Packs (30 packs/container). It also includes a blender bottle and a folder with complete instructions. Purchase in our store.
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