Detoxification: The Basics & Ways to Support Your Body

Posted on 11/13/2014 by Dr. Adrian den Boer
Categories: detoxification, methylation

It’s something our bodies do every minute of every day, and “it can be said that the health of an individual is largely determined by the ability of the body to detoxify” (Pizzorno & Murray, 2012).
Chances are, if you’re a patient at DBC, you’ve heard this word many times and undergone a detoxification program unique to you. It is one of THE cornerstones at DBC, after all, and a major component to healing! I talk a lot about the importance of detoxification and DBC’s approach here, but would like to cover the basic inner workings of this vital process.
How Your Liver Detoxifies
As one of the main organs of detoxification, along with the kidneys, skin, gut, and lungs, the liver plays a major role in detoxification.
It detoxifies in a two-phase system, called the cytochrome P450 system.
In phase one, your body pulls toxins from fat cells in tissues throughout the body, as toxins are stored in our fat cells.
In phase two, a water-soluble molecule is added to each of these fat-soluble toxins, so they can be excreted from the body through the urine and bowels and skin.
Every person’s ability to detoxify is different.
Some people are ideal fast detoxifiers, some are slow detoxifiers, and some have an imbalance between both phases. The latter situation is especially dangerous, because toxins will then circulate the blood and harm the body’s tissues before getting stored again in the fat cells.
How well you detoxify depends on your:
- Genetics
- Current health
- Current nutrient levels
- Current toxic load
How to Help Your Body Detoxify
Please reference my blog here for how to help your body detoxify. I will highlight two of the most critical components, though, which are:
1) Eat a very nutrient-rich diet.
MANY nutrients, such as vitamins A and B, folic acid, amino acids, and antioxidants, need to be present in order for the necessary enzymatic processes to occur during detoxification. If they are not, toxic substances cannot be properly prepared and eliminated. Eating a varied, mostly plant-based Mediterranean diet will help supply the body with the necessary nutrients, fatty acids, and proteins to properly detoxify.

2) Avoid environmental and lifestyle toxins as much as possible.
Every bit of toxic exposure adds up. In fact, chronic, low level toxic exposure is typically more hazardous than large, acute exposures, because it saturates the tissues slowly over time. Whenever and wherever possible, avoid toxic exposures, from choosing clean, filtered water devoid of chlorine, fluoride, and heavy metals; to choosing organic foods and natural cleaning, cooking, beauty, and household products whenever possible; to properly managing emotional and physical stress.
Note: These tips are great for low-level detoxification and/or maintenance. To undergo a full, physician-guided detox uniquely designed to you, please contact our office!
Lipski, Elizabeth. (2012). Digestive Wellness 4th Edition. New York, New York: McGraw Hill.
Pizzorno, J. and Murray, M. (2012). The Encyclopedia of Natural Health. New York, New York: Simon & Schuster.  
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