Your body has a very intricate and sophisticated detox system that functions every minute of every day to stop toxins harming you. Toxins are any substances in your body that if allowed to build up may be harmful.These may be any natural chemical that is produced in your body as a result of everyday metabolic processes, toxins produced by the bowel or other chemicals that get in to your body from food, drink, air or products you apply to your skin.
So why do you need to detox?
It is now recognized that the detox system can vary in efficiency from person to person according to their genes, the environment they are exposed to and their nutritional status. Although some doctors argue that your body does not need help to detoxify researchers have discovered that in may cases of chronic illness and symptoms that have no diagnosis the detox capacity is under functioning or has been overwhelmed.
Your liver is the main organ of detoxification although the whole detox system includes the bowel, kidneys, lymph, skin and lungs. Biochemists now understand a lot about the complicated pathways toxins that enter your body go through to enable them to be safely excreted. But they are still unraveling the complete process that the liver performs to try to keep the body functioning.They have developed tests that determine how well the main known liver detox pathways work.
Many conditions such as cancer, immune system problems, Parkinson’s Disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, food and chemical sensitivity, hormonal imbalances as well as many other chronic symptoms are related to toxic overload.
Nutrients support detox
Researchers have also discovered the particular nutrients – vitamins, minerals , antioxidants and amino acids – that these detoxification pathways need to function. By giving these nutrients as nutritional supplements or as foods or preferably both they found that certain under functioning or overwhelmed pathways can be made to function better clearing the backlog of toxins and improving symptoms.
Healers from different parts of the world and from different disciplines have for thousands of years used various methods to detoxify their patients to cure them of a wide variety of illnesses. The methods included water fasting, diets such as raw food diets, vegan diets, macrobiotic diets, Ayurvedic diets and procedures, juice fasting and the avoidance of foods that harmed or burdened the liver.
Although they did not fully understand why these methods worked they knew that if the body could be encouraged to expel the toxins then many health problems would improve or completely resolve.
The results of scientific research show that diets containing specific foods and supplements that contain substances known to improve and support the liver detox pathways while avoiding foods that harmed or burdened the liver will improve many conditions and symptoms of ill health.
Scientific detox programs for alcohol and drugs show that withdrawal symptoms and cravings are considerably lessened by the addition of a proper detox diet together with oral or IV nutritional supplements.
I will discuss various methods of detox in future posts.