There are various opinions about whether or not you should take supplements on a detox diet plan. Some say you should and others say you shouldn’t so let’s have a look at the pros and cons.
I often read articles about detox that say you should not take any supplements because they will stop detoxification. The problem with this statement is that they don’t give any evidence either scientific or anecdotal to back this up and I can’t find any. The evidence points to the opposite.
Some say that nutritional supplements are unnatural. It’s true, some supplements are synthetic and may be made of cheap, poorly absorbed forms of nutrients. They are frequently less biologically active biologically than natural nutrients.
But, when people say supplements are unnatural, they often simply mean that they are not derived directly from plants like, for example, chlorella and spirulina. Although chlorella and spirulina are very useful substances to aid detox they will not supply all the nutrients needed to support the detox pathways.
Nutritional needs are high during detox
Much more is known today about the detox pathways and the effects of detox on the body than ever before. It’s known, for example, that your nutritional requirements during detoxification are quite high. Researchers have shown that shortages of certain nutrients can block an entire liver detox pathway and make you feel quite ill if a lot of toxins are being released from cells that can’t be processed by your liver.
The majority of people are deficient
There is a lot of evidence that the majority of people are deficient in nutrients before they even start a detox diet. Steven C. Masley, MD, at the annual scientific assembly of the American Academy of Family Physicians. stated that despite consuming greater quantities of food than any other population on earth, many Americans are suffering multiple nutrient deficiencies.
The 2010 report ‘Towards a Healthier Britain 2010’ found that as many as 50 per cent of adults and 97 per cent of older people had inadequate intakes of key nutrients in reviews of 70 papers. Paul Anthony Taylor writing for the Dr Rath Health Foundations states that a recent report suggests that up to 3.6 million people in the UK now suffer from malnutrition.
Nutritional supplements promote health and longevity
According to US researchers the cells of multivitamin users may have a younger biological age than cells from non-users. They found that the regular use of multivitamins affected telomere length by reducing oxidative damage and chronic inflammation. A telomere is the structure at each end of a chromosome which protects it.
Recent research by Dr Bruce Ames, emeritus professor of biochemistry and molecular biochemistry at the University of California, suggests that even a moderate deficiency of one of 40 essential nutrients may lead to DNA damage.
One of Dr Ames papers published in June supports the use of nutritional supplements to promote health and longevity. In a recent interview he states that virtually every metabolic pathway requires micronutrients. He goes on to say that practically every American is deficient at some level because of the diets they eat.
It seems logical then to take nutritional supplements while following a detox diet to ensure you have sufficient nutrients for all the metabolic pathways including the detox pathways. Researchers have discovered which particular nutrients are needed for the detox pathways. In fact they help to rev up slow pathways that some people have.
There are a number of supplements now available that are made specifically to support the liver detox. They include ingredients like N-Acetyl Cysteine, methionine, glycine and taurine well known amino acids for their role in supporting phase II liver detoxification. L-cysteine helps to bind heavy metals such as mercury and prevents oxidation.
Cysteine is a precursor to glutathione one of the most important detoxifiers of chemicals and drugs. Glutathione also forms the detox enzymes glutathione peroxidase and reductase which help to reduce toxins like smoke, traffic pollutions chemicals and radiation. Glycine decreases toxicity of phenols and benzoic acid (a food preservative).
Antioxidants are included to protect against free radicals that may be generated during the detoxification process and vitamins and minerals are included to act as co-factors to the detoxification enzymes.
So many people have an imbalance of the Phase 1 & II detox pathways that it is essential to support them with the specific nutrients while following a detox diet plan.
The many studies that have been done by researchers at the Functional Medicine Research Center in Washington have shown that the results of a detox diet supported with specific nutrients can be objectively shown through improved blood chemistry, improved cardiovascular fitness tests and improved cognitive and neurological test results.
There is clearly a case for using nutritional supplements while following a detox diet plan.
One I recommend that contains a complete panel of nutrients to aid and support detoxification is Body Health Complete + Detox from www.bodyhealth.com