has become a household word in the health and wellness industry. People undertake a variety of detox measures
to improve energy levels, aid weight loss, improve health status, and heal specific tissues
. While a lot of detox products do help people feel better, there’s a lot more going on under the surface that people should know about before undertaking a protocol like targeted detox. Let’s break down some of the more complex details in order to better understand how the body actually detoxifies itself.
While it is possible to focus on detoxing the entire body organ-by-organ, we will start with examining the liver, which is the major detox centre in the body. The liver has the ability to process a multitude of different compounds that we may ingest from various sources. Everything from hydrocarbon emissions to by-products from metabolic processes must be ingested, modified, and excreted through the process we classically refer to as detoxification. This is where things start to get a little more technical.
The liver detoxifies
in two separate but linked phases using a group of enzymes called the Cytochrome P450. These enzymes are responsible for interacting with a toxic compound and either neutralizing or modifying it so that it becomes a harmless molecule that the body can eliminate in urine or stool. The process usually involves taking a fat-soluble molecule (more on this later) and converting it into a water-soluble molecule.
Phase 1: Detoxification
- This process can be thought of as direct neutralization or an intermediary phase of detoxification
- Certain compounds (nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, neurotransmitters) are addressed in Phase 1
- Phase 1 also converts compounds into “toxic intermediaries” for Phase 2 detox
These toxic intermediaries are often more volatile than the original compound but must be further changed in order before it can be safely removed. This process is depends heavily on adequate nutrients in the diet and the right kind of precursor to safely protect the liver cells from oxidative damage (cell death).
To safely continue this process, the body has a second, more complex phase of detoxification in which it binds a new molecule to this intermediary compound (conjugation) and does so in a way that is dictated by the type of toxin it is detoxifying.
Phase 2: Detoxification
- Directly responsible for protection against compounds that can promote carcinogenic activity
- Molecules detoxified (hormones, pharmaceuticals, organic chemicals, cellular waste material)
- Directs these detoxified compounds to excretion via normal evacuation processes
This process is demands a lot of the metabolism and requires a large amount of nutrients AND optimal liver functions, since there is sometimes an imbalance between Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification that can create new issues. The question then becomes how we to ensure that we have the ability to properly detoxify all these various compounds. How can we protect and support our liver from the potential harm this detoxification process creates?
Choline: precursor to production of bile
Inositol: compound that prevents fat build-up in the liver
- Bile must be present for the body to excrete detoxified chemicals and prevent reabsorption
NAC: cysteine is a sulphur-containing amino acid, which is a key precursor to producing glutathione
- Blocks enzymatic action of fatty liver accumulation
- Works in partnership with choline to support the Phase 2 detox pathway: estrogen, progesterone
Milk thistle: powerful action to stimulate optimal liver function
- Glutathione used in both Phase 1 and Phase 2 liver detoxification (excess detox depletes it)
- Protects liver cells from free radical damage (toxic intermediaries)
Artichoke: bile stimulant which protects liver from accumulation of fat & cholesterol
- Helps reduce cancer cell division, shortens life-span of cancer cells, reduces blood supply
- Boosts antioxidant activity and helps regeneration of healthy liver cells
- With milk thistle, improves cell resilience to potential toxins
- Stimulates bile production and gallbladder function
- AO activity for liver cells
is a powerful blend of synergistic compounds that directly support the creation of compounds that directly aid in the process of liver detoxification and protect the liver from damage. This formula improves:
- The creation of bile as an emulsifier of toxins and aids in fat digestion
- Antioxidant protection for liver cells
- Liver cell function (for both detox and normal biochemical processes)
- Production of our most important antioxidant (glutathione)
When used in conjunction with a health-promoting diet, Hepatic Defense
can greatly improve health because the more we expose ourselves to toxic compounds without the ability to get rid of them, the more our health is impacted in the long term. Most people use detoxification as a weight-loss tool (which will happen if you have excessive toxin storage in fat cells), but ultimately when we remove toxins from the system, we improve the body’s ability to function optimally. Without optimal health, there is no optimal performance.