Our bodies are built with its own detoxification capability. Still, it’s not enough considering the millions of toxins we are exposed to every day. To help us better understand how our bodies do detox, Dr. Trish Murray simplifies the two-step process involved and shares tips on what we can eat and do to help our bodies combat toxins, as well as what items to avoid eating. The truth is, detoxification is not just drinking eight glasses of water a day. You can do so much more to optimize your health.
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The Detox System
Welcome to this talk on the detox system. First, I’d like to start out with some facts and figures. These facts and figures are coming to you from the Chemical Industry Archives. More than seven million recognized chemicals are in existence in our environment and in our world on a daily basis. Approximately 80,000 are commonly used on a daily basis worldwide. The EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, reviews between 2,000 and 2,500 new chemicals through what’s called the pre-manufacture notification process each year. That calculates between 40 and 50 new chemicals being evaluated and approved each week. Eight out of ten applications are approved within three weeks with or without any test data to show whether those chemicals are safe or not. I think it’s important for us all to understand that in this day and age we are all exposed to toxins on a daily basis and a plethora of them at that. We really need to optimize the detoxification systems of our bodies to allow us to try and remain healthy.
What I’d like to talk about is exactly that, your detoxification system. What most people are told is that just drink lots of water and you’ll pee and get rid of these toxins. The problem is that many toxins are not water-soluble. When we first are exposed to them or we first create them, they are fat-soluble. They’re going to get stored in our fat and then they’re going to build up and cause problems to our overall health. We can either urinate it out, sweat it out or poop it out through our gastrointestinal tract. Those are the three ways we get rid of toxins, but they need to be water-soluble in order to be able to do that. We need to convert any fat-soluble toxin to a water-soluble item or chemical so that we can urinate it out, pee it out, poop it out or sweat it out.
How Toxins Are Created
Before we talk about the phases that have to happen in your body to do that, let’s first talk about how toxins are created. First of all, things called exotoxins. Exo meaning outside of you, such as drugs. Those could be pharmaceutical drugs. Those could be drugs that you are making a choice to take, such as alcohol or other recreational drugs. Those you are making a choice to put in your body from the outside world. Chemicals, I’ve already given you some facts on the chemicals that we’re all being exposed to on a regular basis. Pollutants or contaminants and also bacteria that get inside us produce waste that needs to be detoxified. Those are things that get inside of us from outside. Besides that, you can also have endotoxins, things that are created inside your body due to your own metabolism. These are what’s called the end products of metabolism. For example, whenever you produce a hormone, you use it but then it also needs to be broken down and needs to be eliminated. You create endotoxins all the time based on your own body biochemistry and metabolism. We live in a symbiotic relationship with bacteria. Bacteria have waste products, too, that they then put out. They’re inside us, to begin with, so bacterial endotoxins are also inside of us that we need to detoxify and get rid of. Many of these are fat-soluble.
From Fat-Soluble To Water-Soluble
Let’s talk about the phases in which you’re going to change a fat-soluble toxin and how is it going to be converted to a water-soluble toxin so that you can get rid of it. The majority of this happens in the liver. There are multiple phases to the chemical steps that have to happen. There are two primary phases, phase one and phase two. In the phase one reactions, there are multiple different chemical reactions that have to happen. You can oxidize a toxin, you can reduce a toxin, you can hydrolyze a toxin, you can hydrate a toxin, or you can have this process called dehalogenation. Those are big chemistry words and to be honest, those don’t matter as far as for you to understand the details of all of those. The bottom line is for you to understand that there’s a chemical reaction that has to happen as a first step to make a fat-soluble toxin start to change to water-soluble. What happens is once you create that first step, you’re actually taking something off of the fat-soluble toxin and you’re making it charged. You’re making it positively charged and you’re making it a free radical or an intermediary metabolite.
After fat-soluble toxins have gone through this phase one reaction, they are actually more dangerous many times than the original toxin. That’s very concerning. We do not want the free radicals or these intermediary metabolites staying in this charged state for very long. We want them to quickly move on to phase two. Phase two reactions are things like sulfation, methylation, acetylation, glucuronidation. These all add something to that intermediary metabolite in order to neutralize it and make it water-soluble. You need phase one and you need phase two and in between, you create these intermediary metabolites which are called free radicals. You finally have created an excretable chemical or something that’s water-soluble. You’re going to then either sweat it out, urinate it out or it’s going to go into your gastrointestinal system and it will come out as feces.In this day and age, we are all exposed to a plethora of toxins on a daily basis. Click To Tweet
What I also want you to understand is that there are certain vitamins and minerals that you’re going to need in order to optimize phase one of your detoxification system. Other things, vitamins and minerals, that you’re going to need from either your diet or to supplement with in order to optimize phase two of your detoxification system. Also, back to the intermediary metabolites that dangerous free radicals. I’m sure all of you have heard of antioxidants. Why they’re so important is that when those intermediate free radicals are floating around in your bloodstream, the antioxidants can bind to them and neutralize it for the meantime before it goes through phase two. You notice this gets a bit complicated. The bottom line is you have fat-soluble toxins. They need to go through to chemical reactions in order to be neutralized and become a water-soluble toxin to be able to detoxify them and get them out of your body. In between those two reactions, there is an intermediate metabolite created that is actually very dangerous and they are called free radicals. Antioxidants are very important like vitamin C or vitamin A and many others, CoQ10 for example. Those are three probably of the top antioxidants that you could consider.
Going back, the nutrients that you must have in your body to optimize phase one reactions are essentially all of the B vitamins. Riboflavin which is B2, Niacin which is B3, Pyridoxine which is B6, Folate which is B9, and Cobalamin which is B12. Basically, a B complex is extremely important for phase one reactions of your detox system. A chemical called glutathione, which is the most prominent chemical in our body to help us detoxify anything, is very necessary for both phase one reactions and phase two reactions. The only concern about glutathione is it’s not easy to get as a supplement and take it orally and be able to have it be absorbed properly. There are some liposomal glutathione products and there are some supplements. There’s another supplement called N-acetylcysteine, abbreviated NAC, which is a precursor in your body to the development of glutathione. That is an excellent supplement for people wanting to optimize their detoxification system.
Finally, in order to promote phase one reactions in your body, you need branched-chain amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of all proteins so you must have protein in your diet. It’s extremely important to get enough protein in your diet. I’m not talking about a sixteen-ounce steak, for example. I’m talking about the palm of your hand-size amount of an animal protein, at least two if not three times a day. If you’re a vegetarian, you need to make sure you’re getting complete proteins or you’re utilizing protein powders made of plant products. Animal proteins are where you’re going to get your biggest sources of B vitamins, glutathione and branched-chain amino acids. There are many other functional medicine doctors out there that promote eating organically-raised or grass-fed organ meats such as liver and so on. To optimize phase two reactions with the detox system, you also need all of the amino acids particularly glycine, taurine, glutamine, methionine and cysteine. NAC, N-acetylcysteine, also promotes phase two of the detox system. Your liver is extremely important to your health and extremely important to your detox system. We’ve got to be able to detoxify fat-soluble products where it’s going to get stored in your fat, change it to water-soluble. The number one best way to detoxify anything is to sweat.
The Top Ways To Detoxify Your Body
Let’s talk about the top ways to detoxify your body. Number one is to make choices to avoid toxins as much as possible in the first place. If you’re drinking too much alcohol, you really do need to think about that. Number two, drink water and add some lemon juice to it. Make sure you’re drinking multiple glasses of water a day, up to as much as 64 ounces a day. Number three, cut your sugar intake. We live in our environment and our culture that is way too high in sugar. Decrease all your grains to only one or two a day because all grains get converted to glucose. Don’t ingest synthesized sugars, ingest more natural sugars. Number four, exercise. Exercise is going to make us sweat. It’s going to improve our circulation. It’s going to improve our overall health.
Number five, drink detoxifying teas such as green tea, dandelion tea, or nettles. Number six, eat organic. Number seven, sweat. I would say that one is way too far down on the list. Move it back up into number one or two and make sure you are moving and sweating on a regular basis. Even going in infrared saunas is fantastic for helping someone to detoxify. Number eight, exfoliate. Use soaps, brushes or mud masks and things like that to help to exfoliate the dead skin from your body and improve circulation. Number nine, decrease stress. We all are way too stressed out. We should all have some form of a daily stress management practice that we do every single day. Number ten, get good sleep. You should be getting an optimal eight hours of sleep every night. We really need to consider how to do that best.Put cinnamon in your coffee, on your food, everywhere! It is excellent for you. Click To Tweet
The next thing I’d like to list for you is the top ten antioxidant foods. Remember, we talked about those free radicals. What are the best foods that you could be eating to neutralize those free radicals with antioxidants? Number one, Goji berries. Number two, wild blueberries. Number three, you’re going to like this one, dark chocolate. Number four, pecans. Number five, artichokes. Number six, elderberries. Number seven, kidney beans. Number eight, cranberries. Number nine, blackberries. Are you getting this theme? Different types of berries, dark-colored berries are all excellent to help your detoxification system. Number ten, cilantro. Please remember, any of these things should be raised or grown organic. You don’t want to add toxins by eating not organically-raised cilantro, for example.
Top 10 Antioxidant Herbs
I’d like to list for you the top ten antioxidant herbs. Number one, the best herb to detoxify is clove. Number two, cinnamon. Put cinnamon in your coffee, put cinnamon on your food, put cinnamon everywhere. It is excellent for you. Number three, oregano. Number four, turmeric. Number five, back to dark chocolate, cocoa. Number six, cumin. Number seven, parsley. Number eight, basil. Number nine, ginger. Number ten, thyme. I’d also like to finish with the top ten antioxidant supplements. Number one is glutathione. It is the top antioxidant detoxifying chemical in your body. It is tough to get and be able to absorb enough of it taking it orally, but you can do it with some supplements. Again, N-acetylcysteine or NAC is a precursor to glutathione and you can take upwards of 600 milligrams twice a day for a total in a 24-hour period of 1,200 milligrams a day.
Number two, quercetin. Number three, lutein. Number four, vitamin C. You can take vitamin C when you’re really trying to detoxify something or if you feel like you’re getting ill up to what’s called bowel tolerance. Meaning you could take 5,000 milligrams, 6,000 milligrams, 7,000 milligrams or more a day. What you want to do is start taking it and increasing it, but when your bowels become loose or you end up having some diarrhea then you’ve overshot. You need to back off to a lower dose. That’s what’s called increasing vitamin C to bowel tolerance. Number five, resveratrol. Number six, astaxanthin. Number seven, selenium. Number eight, lavender oil. Number nine, chlorophyll. Number ten, an interesting one, frankincense essential oils are awesome antioxidants.
In summary, your detoxification system is extremely important to your overall health. We are all exposed to so many chemicals on a regular basis. Your liver is your prominent organ system to help you detoxify. You need to be able to drink lots of water to get rid of all the water-soluble toxins. To convert fat-soluble toxins to water-soluble toxins, your liver has to go through two reactions, phase one and phase two. In the intermediate between those two reactions is called free radicals. Your body goes through this process all the time on a daily basis. The B vitamins, branched-chain amino acids and glutathione are your major chemicals in your body that are needed in order to help the chemical reactions happen to detoxify things. I‘ve also listed for you the primary ways that you can detoxify such as exercise, sweating, drinking lots of water and decreasing stress. I’ve listed for you some of the top foods and supplements for antioxidants. I hope this information has helped.
I hope this has empowered you to optimize your health. That truly is my mission, to help educate people so that you can learn more about how to find your way to health and wellness and feel as optimally healthy as you possibly can. Please go to my website and learn much more about the information you need and about the services we offer at my office. It’s www.TMurrayWellness.com. I also have my own curriculum or program I call the D.E.N.T. Curriculum, which is an acronym for Diet and Detox, Exercise, Nutrition and Treatment. I offer weekend conferences where anyone in the world can come and learn about how to put a dent in your chronic disease processes through exactly that. Please go to my website or give my office a call at (603) 447-3112 and learn more.