Our bodies are capable of many incredible tasks; one of those is the ability to naturally detoxify ourselves from the everyday toxins we are exposed to. In simple terms, detoxification refers to specific metabolic pathways that process unwanted chemicals for elimination. The liver and kidneys are the body’s major detox organs. There are 3 phases of getting rid of those unwanted chemicals. The following is a simple overview of how the body eliminates the toxins. Phase 1, for the most part, begins the detoxification process and is when they body converts lipid soluble compounds into water-soluble compounds, preparing for phase 2. Phase 2 of the detoxification system is when reactions conjugate (attach) the toxin to other water-soluble substances to increase its solubility. Phase 3 of the detoxification process involves elimination of the toxins from the body. Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 all require certain nutrients that act as what are called co-factors, which are needed for these processes to function. Below are some supplements that are important in the detoxification pathway.
1)Sylibum marianum or more commonly known as milk thistle is a well-known liver remedy. Most of its actions are due to the key constituent silymarin. This herb helps to stimulate phase 1 liver detoxification as well as stimulates glutathione activity. Glutathione is the body’s major detoxifier. Some research has also suggested that milk thistle has the ability to protect the liver from damage that is caused by toxins and other chemicals.
2) Glutathione–The glutathione system is our body’s main detoxification system. Old age, genetics, diet and other toxic exposure can impair our glutathione system. Besides supplements, there are other ways to boost your glutathione levels. A diet rich in cysteine, one of the precursors to glutathione is a good example of this.
3)NAC – N-Acetyl-Cysteine is an amino acid and antioxidant made by the body. NAC helps the body to produce glutathione as well as aids in detoxifying the liver and therefore can help to remove environmental pollutants from the blood stream.
4)B-Vitamins – B-Vitamins alone don’t detoxify our bodies. However, they may play a major role by acting as cofactors for the detoxification pathways. It is important to support your body with what it requires so that it can function at its highest potential.
5)Metagenics UltraClear combines everything we talked about today in one product. Metagenics uses UltraClear as part of their Clear Change program. This program provides clinically tested detoxification support via a combination of medical foods and supplements mixed with a hypoallergenic elimination diet all needed to enhance the body’s natural detoxification pathways.