Toxins are everywhere
It is of course customary to begin with a couple of questions, such as for example, why do we need detoxification in the first place? The answer is because nowadays, toxins are everywhere. They are in the air we breathe, the liquids we drink, the foods we eat. Our own body makes numerous toxins during the various processes of metabolism. Of course, our body is used to cleansing itself of toxins. This is partly what the liver, the kidneys and the lymphatic system do.
But these organs and the genetic instructions that drive them were no designed for the onslaught of thousands of modern toxins. That is, both heavy and toxic metals like aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, cesium, lead, mercury, nickel and so on, the result of industrial pollution of the environment and which accumulate in the brain, the kidneys and the immune system.
Or the nitrous oxides, carbon monoxide and other products of internal combustion that pollute the air of our cities and our lungs.
Or the various chemical fertilizers, fumigants, fungicides, herbicides, pesticides, drugs, solvents and additives everywhere, including 5,500 in our foods alone (US figure, in Europe a mere 2000), which our poor liver has to deal with.
Or the toxins produced by bacteria and fungi in our gut, toxic amines, toxic derivatives of the bile, and numerous other toxins including many known carcinogens. The number of chemicals in what we eat, drink and breathe may be little short of 20,000.
Many of the associated toxins are implicated in allergies, asthma, colitis, Crohn’s disease, metabolic disorders, thyroid problems, chronic degenerative diseases, and may be worst of all, the weakening of the immune system. That is “briefly” why we need detoxification. Or putting it a little more accurately, why we need to intensify the process.
For detoxification of course is going on all the time in our bodies. It is in fact our largest energy consumer. Of our total energy budget, about 70% goes into maintaining the bodily status quo, known as homeostasis to the health profession. And the largest part of that goes into detoxification activities of one sort or another in approximately the following percentages: 5% to the immune system for its policing activities, 10% to the central nervous system for biofeedback and guidance, 5% for organ maintenance, and a full 80% for outright detoxification.
Most people think or assume that the process of detoxification is one of decomposition, that is the breakdown of toxic substances. In reality, the exact opposite is the case. It is true that some toxins, such as heavy metals for example, are extruded through the hair, nails and to a minor extent perspiration. But the majority of toxins receive rather special treatment.
First, our bodies produce substances that activate toxins, rendering them perkier. Then sticky compounds resembling sugar and often containing sulfur are produced, attaching themselves to toxins and making them bigger but at the same time less toxic. These bigger molecules are then either directed by the liver to the bile and from there to the intestine for eventual evacuation, or put back in circulation (blood circulation, that is), to be picked up by the kidneys and eliminated via the urine.
Help for the organism
So, what can we do to help our body detoxify itself? Here is a general list of “dos” and “donts” that is bound to help, though not necessarily in every case. For a period of one or two weeks the more of these you can do, the better.
· Eat foods rich in antioxidants, like vegetables, seeds and nuts.
· Also eat nutrient rich-foods high in fiber, like many cruciferous vegetables.
· Fast for a few days as best you can.
· Chew your food well, because it helps digestion by the release of enzymes.
· Take acidophylus tablets to help re-establish the intestinal flora.
· Eat yogurt. It does not count as a dairy product.
· Take a supplement of active antioxidants, like coenzyme Q10, cysteine, glutathione and zinc.
· Take the herb milk thistle (Silybum marianum), preferably in standardized preparations and according to the printed instructions.
· Drink well-filtered or bottled water.
· Wash fresh foods thoroughly.
· Eat recently cooked food only.
· Avoid allergies-causing foods, such as cereals, dairy products, citrus fruits and eggs.
· Avoid antacids, aspirin, steroids, NSAIDs.
· Stay away from antibiotics. Use only in emergencies.