We live in a toxic world. Its unfortunate, but true. We all need to undergo a good detoxification once in a while. Studies suggest that the average individual has at least 700 known toxins in their body! As a result, human health in the 21st century is determined by our ability to limit toxin exposure, adapt to environmental stressors, to detoxify and to heal.
How do I know if I have a build-up of toxins in my body?
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Chronic pain
- Brain fog
- Heart palpitations
- Hormonal imbalances
- Bad Breath
- Learning difficulties
- Digestive problems
- Thyroid problems
- Auto immunity
Yes, I am experiencing several of the above symptoms!
Then you may need some help to effectively eliminate toxins from your body.
How to enhance detoxification
There are many lifestyle interventions to help enhance our detoxification pathways, including a healthy diet, intermittent fasting, exercise, super hydration, juicing vegetables, cleansing foods, deep breathing and more. This article however, is rather going to focus on the best detoxifying nutrients to supplement these lifestyle interventions. Here are my top 6:
1. Glutathione (GSH) is a powerful anti-oxidant compound that provides the greatest anti-oxidant protection within the body. In fact, many longevity scientists believe that the level of glutathione in our cells is predicative of how long we will live. Glutathione has been labelled the “master anti-oxidant” due to its key role in maintaining all other essential anti-oxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E in their active forms.
Glutathione is critical to cellular detoxification. It acts like the cell’s security guard, protecting the delicate genetic material from free radical stress. Glutathione disarms these free radicals and cleans up any mess they make before lasting damage occurs.
Unfortunately, glutathione is rapidly broken down in our digestive tract, so supplementing is tricky. However, either liposomal glutathione or acetylated glutathione work great. Alternatively, take N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) which is the precursor of glutathione.
2. Alpha Lipoic Acid is another powerful anti-oxidant that has both water and fat soluble properties. This characteristic means that it can be go in and out of major organs such as the brain, liver and nerves.
Lipoic acid helps to upregulate glutathione levels indirectly by regenerating other anti-oxidants such as vitamin C, E and CoQ10. Lipoic acid, in particular, protects the mitochondria (the energy producing factories of cells) from oxidative stress and toxicity. ALA also helps maintain insulin sensitivity, optimizes blood sugar levels and strengthens blood vessels. Additionally, it improves adrenal output, strengthens the gut lining, protects against leaky gut syndrome, and helps the liver to detoxify effectively.
ALA even helps to reduce inflammation and regulate the immune system in such a way that it reduces autoimmune activity. It is truly a remarkable and extremely versatile nutrient!
3. Milk Thistle is one of the most powerful liver detoxifying herbs. It is even prescribed to treat alcoholic cirrhosis and chronic hepatitis. The active compound in milk thistle is called silymarin which helps to boost 2 major intracellular anti-oxidants, glutathione and superoxide dismutase. Increased glutathione levels in the intestinal and liver cells helps protect the intestines from damage leading to leaky gut, ulcers and colitis.
Milk thistle also helps protect the liver, thyroid and immune system from radiation stress. Gamma radiation is a serious risk factor for the development of thyroid problems and various cancers. Milk thistle is one of the best defenses against the damage from radiation.
This amazing herb also lowers cholesterol, helps prevent alzheimers disease, improves blood sugar levels, contains numerous anti-aging properties and reduces cellular damage caused by chemotherapy.
4. Selenium is a trace mineral that plays a key role in detoxification and immune regulation. In fact, there are strong links between selenium deficiencies and the development of auto-immune conditions (especially those affecting the thyroid gland). Selenium also has a strong binding affinity for mercury and other heavy metals. It helps remove these heavy metals out of the blood stream and forms a new compound that is easily flushed out of the body.
5. Chlorella & Spirulina. These single celled algae are potent sources of chlorophyll and trace minerals. Chlorophyll helps to purify the blood by binding to toxins and improving the body’s ability to bring oxygen to cells. By improving oxygen delivery to cells, it upregulates the intracellular energy production and anti-oxidant systems. Additionally, these algae are a great source of magnesium and zinc, which are essential for effective detoxification.
In the case of chlorella, it contains the phytonutrient sporopollenin, which is able to bind neurotoxic debris extremely well. This includes heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium and lead and biotoxins like mold, lyme, tetanus and tuberculosis toxins.
6. Activated Charcoal is a unique compound which acts like a sponge, absorbing toxic debris and expelling it from our system through the stool. In fact, activated charcoal is so effective that it can take in outside materials weighing over 100 times its own weight! This is why charcoal is used to pull toxic oil spills from the ocean and why it is commonly used in emergency rooms for individuals who overdose on drugs.
Research studies have shown that activated charcoal decreases the toxic load on the body by over 60% with daily use. This is due to its ability to bind and grab up chlorine, pesticides and herbicides, bacteria, viruses, yeast, parasites, toxic chemicals and endotoxic metabolites.
Supplementing with these nutrients will maximize your body’s own detoxification capacity, and help you safely eliminate toxins stores in your body.
And remember; when trying to detoxify, stop putting more toxins into your body! Eat real food, drink plenty of water, sleep well, exercise and manage stress.