Inside the liver cells there are sophisticated mechanisms that have evolved over millions of years to break down toxic substances. Every drug, artificial chemical, pesticide and hormone, is broken down (metabolized) by enzyme pathways inside the liver cells. Many of the toxic chemicals that enter the body are fat-soluble, which means they dissolve only in fatty or oily solutions and not in water. This makes them difficult for the body to excrete. Fat soluble chemicals have a high affinity for fat tissues and cell membranes, which are made of fatty substances. In these fatty parts of the body, toxins may be stored for years, being released during times of exercise, stress or fasting. During the release of these toxins, symptoms such as headaches, poor memory, stomach pain, nausea, fatigue, dizziness and palpitations may occur. The body’s primary defense against metabolic poisoning is carried out by the liver. The liver has two mechanisms designed to convert fat-soluble chemicals into water soluble chemicals so that they may then be easily excreted from the body via watery fluids such as bile and urine. Many substances inhibit cytochrome P450. This situation can cause substantial problems as it makes toxins potentially more damaging because they remain in the body longer before detoxification. Many medications including antacids, Antihistamines, NSAID’s, and many more have the potential to block your livers phase 1/ phase 2 detox pathways. Tylenol is the number one cause of acute liver failure in the United States. Blocking these vital pathways can lead to serious health consequences like immune dysfunction and sometimes even cancer. We live in such a toxic world with toxins in our food, water, and air that it is hard to get around these things. Having your pathways open are very important to your everyday health and well-being. As practitioners we get asked all the time what types of cleansing we recommend for individuals looking to do a detox around the beginning of each year. Our simple answer is that you need to do something daily because we live in an environment soaked in xenoestrogens and cancer promoting factors.
Sulphur containing foods and amino acids stimulate phase II detoxification
For efficient phase two detoxification, the liver cells require sulphur-containing amino acids such as taurine and cysteine. The nutrients glycine, glutamine, choline and inositol are also required for efficient phase two detoxification. Eggs and cruciferous vegetables (eg. broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower), raw garlic, onions, leeks and shallots are all good sources of natural sulphur compounds to enhance phase two detoxification. Thus, these foods can be considered to have a cleansing action.
Lectures pertaining to this blog include:
Toxic World by Dr. Jeff Senechal DC CFMP
Cancer Prevention and Nutrition by Dr. Tent DC ND PhD