Liver Detoxing: Why do it?
Liver detoxing is a phrase that sounds redundant. Our liver is part of our body’s own natural detox system. It helps to clean the body (along with the skin, lungs, kidneys, and intestines) of the toxins that we are exposed to everyday. So, why would one need to do a detox or cleanse when our bodies already have the equipment to do so on their own?
I think this is where detox detractors (as I like to call them) are getting confused and perhaps assuming the wrong answer. We don’t have to do detoxes from time to time because our body is unable to do it on its own. We do them to help our bodies to cleanse itself efficiently and optimally. If we are fat, sick, and without energy, there is a good chance that our detoxification pathways are congested and need some help to support their natural function. Let’s dive into why a liver detox is something you may want to consider.
Toxins are everywhere. They are in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Our bodies, and especially our livers are working overtime to account for all of the toxins that we encounter on a daily basis. Did you know that the U.S. alone uses over 1 billion pounds of pesticides each year? (1). We are constantly exposed to these materials that compromise our detoxification pathways and adversely affect our health. Below is just a small list of toxins we can encounter every day.
- food additives
- metabolic end products
- micro organisms (mycotoxins like mold)
- heavy metals from amalgams, cosmetics, etc.
How the Liver Detoxifies:
The body has two major detoxification pathways inside the liver, which are called the Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification pathways. When a toxin is introduced into the body, it is a fat soluble substance that needs to be broken down in the liver and converted to a water soluble substance that the gallbladder and kidneys can then push to the bowels and bladder to be washed out of us for good. If these pathways are not working properly, these toxins will cling to fatty cells and membranes, staying in your body for days, weeks, or years. They then resurface, causing negative side effects like headaches, memory loss, skin issues, fatigue, and more.
Phase I Liver Detoxofication Pathway
To put it simply, the body’s detoxification pathways convert a harmful toxic chemical into a less harmful chemical. In phase I, it does this through various chemical reactions (oxidation, reduction, and hydrolysis to get more scientific). During this process, various free radicals are produced. If free radical production is excessive, it can damage the liver cells. However, antioxidants like vitamin C and E can reduce this damage. If antioxidants like these are lacking in your body, and your toxin exposure is high, these toxic chemicals can become far more dangerous.
Excessive amounts of toxic chemicals such as pesticides, alcohol, and even saturated fats can disrupt the P-450 enzyme system by causing over activity or what is called ‘induction’ of this pathway. This will result in high levels of damaging free radicals being produced. If these reactive molecules are not further metabolized by the liver, they can cause damage to your cells. And, this is where Phase II “conjugation” comes into play.
Phase II Liver Detoxification Pathway
Phase II is the “conjugation” pathway in which the liver adds additional chemicals, like glycine, to toxic chemicals that have already been processed by phase one. This step makes the toxins water soluble, allowing for easy excretion and removal from the body.
Phase II requires certain substances to conugate toxins into less harmful substances:
- Calcium D-Glucarate
- Amino Acids:
Many of these compounds are found in foods like cruciferous vegetables, garlic, and certain dark leafy greens. These foods help the liver to keep up with the phase two detoxification process. All of these substances can also be supplemented.
How to Know if You Need a Liver Detox:
If your phase I & II detoxification pathways are overloaded, there will be a build up of toxins in the body, and your body will demonstrate some symptoms. Hormonal imbalances, such as infertility, breast pain, adrenal gland exhaustion, early menopause, inability to lose weight, headaches, and more are all good signs that you could use a detox.
- Unexplained fatigue
- Sluggish elimination (you’re not going to the bathroom!)
- Irritated skin (eczema, breakouts, dry skin, and more)
- Low-grade infections
- Puffy eyes or bags under the eyes
- Menstrual problems
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you may want to do a liver detox. Watch my video below, schedule an appointment with me to talk more, or call the office to order my favorite liver detox: 561-283-1166
Elizabeth Tringali, PA-C
Elizabeth Tringali’s Favorite Liver Detox:
The Core Restore kit provides three active formulas which function synergistically to support Phase I and Phase II pathways of liver detoxification to help neutralize environmental pollutants, hormone disruptors, unhealthy estrogen metabolites, xenoestrogens (synthetic compounds that imitate estrogen), and other harmful toxins.
The Core Restore Kit is an easy-to-follow, 7-day program, complete with an in-depth Patient Handbook, designed to reduce the incoming burden of toxins and help restore optimal health.