Detoxification

Detoxification is the process by which unwanted chemicals are eliminated from the human body. It is accomplished via a specific pathway called metabolic detoxification, which involves enzymatic reactions that (1) neutralize and stabilize toxins, (2) transport the stabilized toxins to the liver and kidneys, and (3) excrete them from the body.

Toxins are poisonous compounds produced within living organisms and are classified as follows:

  • Xenobiotic--foreign toxins, including environmental pollutants, pesticides, heavy metals, industrial waste, excess chemicals from prescription drugs, etc.
  • Endobiotic--toxins formed within the body, such as excess hormones, vitamins, and other compounds

Toxicants are man-made chemicals with toxic potential to cause a number of serious health problems, so these unwanted chemicals are potentially dangerous to the body and to life itself.

Why Detox?

Detoxification is an extremely important part of overall health and well-being. The principle of detoxification is extremely simple – to remove the toxins from the body and to help you look better, feel better, and prevent diseases that are acquired through the accumulation of toxins in your body. Many people mistakenly believe that detoxification is needed only when symptoms of illness are present; however, illness can often be prevented altogether through proper detoxification.

Toxins and toxicants can act as carcinogens or mutagens. Carcinogens are substances or agents that are directly involved in causing cancer, while mutagens are agents that can change genetic material, namely DNA, and possibly lead to cancer. Both carcinogens and mutagens can disrupt metabolic pathways and lead to malfunction of bodily organs (e.g., liver and kidneys) and bodily systems (e.g., nervous system). Metabolic detoxification is necessary to protect the body from the harmful effecs of the environment and maintain homeostatic balance within the body.

    10 Reasons to Detox

  • Remove toxins from the body
  • Prevent chronic disease
  • Enhance immune system function
  • Lose weight
  • Slow premature aging
  • Improve quality of life
  • Increase energy
  • Improve skin quality
  • Improve mental and emotional clarity
  • Restore balance to the body's systems

     Source: www.mindbodygreen.com

Proper metabolic detoxification--performed in a safe and controlled environment by a qualified, experienced physician--removes the toxins that could otherwise be stored in the body for years. While proper detoxification is crucial in anti-aging and overall well-being, it is extremely complex and should always be supervised by a physician. At RevitaLife, expert physician Gerald E. Grubbs,MD, oversees individualized, state-of-the-art testing to determine exactly what toxins are present in your body and then builds a customized detoxification plan just for you.

Three Phases of Metabolic Detoxification

The following is a simple explanation of metabolic detoxification, which is a rather complex process that involves specific enzymes in each of three phases.

Phase I--Transformation. Metabolic detoxification depends on water to function as the solvent that dissolves unwanted substances. But because cells have membranes that cannot be penetrated by water, the water must be carried into and out of cells by special "transport proteins." During Phase I, a group of enzymes known as CYPs and other enzymes convert lipid-soluble compounds into water-soluble compounds to prepare for Phase II detoxification. At the end of Phase I, the compounds are actually more toxic than in their original form, so it is important for the Phase II enzymes to do their job quickly. Interfering factors such as diet, smoking, alcohol consumption, age, gender, other existing diseases, and genetics may complicate the process. A competent physician performing the detoxification will take these factors into consideration.

Phase II--Enzymatic Conjugation. Phase II enzymes are critical in lowering the carcinogenic and mutagenic capabilities of the heightened toxin levels from Phase I. Phase II enzymes make new water-soluble compounds even more water soluble while also reducing their toxicity. The end product of this phase is referred to as conjugated toxins.

Phase III--Transport. During Phase III, a family of proteins called ABC transporters actively push the conjugated toxins through and out of the cell membranes. The liver then serves as the primary excretroy organ to eliminate the toxins from the body, but the intestines, kidneys, lungs, and brain are also responsible for significant amounts of detoxification.

Other Systems at Work

During detoxification, several other systems are working simultaneously to improve the efficiency of the enzymes involved in the three detoxification phases:

  • Bile secretion--a vital digestive process that moves conjugated toxins out of the liver and into the intestines for elimination from the body
  • Antioxidation--a process that fights against the production of free-radical byproducts
  • Removal of potential toxicity from heavy metals--a system whereby certain proteins act as chelating agents to bind various reactive metal ions and remove them from the body
  • Prevention of absorption--a process that traps some potential toxins with the help of a dietary absorbent and takes them through the intestines and out of the body

When to Detox

Detoxification is important for everyone. It should be done about twice a year as a maintenance rule, but certain situations require more substantial detoxification procedures. In these cases, several of which are described below, detoxification becomes extremely important in a person’s overall health.

Detoxification
  • Steady/rapid weight loss of ten pounds or more. Toxins are stored in fat, and those toxins are released into our bodies as we lose weight, affecting the way that we feel, look, and even think. People burdened with toxins after weight loss can experience a wide range of symptoms that indicate high toxin levels. Some of the symptoms are physical, such as vision problems that were not present before the weight loss, abnormal breakouts and acne, and redness or irritations on the skin or eyes.
  • Overexposure to plastics, metals, chemicals, or other known carcinogens. Every day we are exposed to and ingest hundreds of different chemicals. Many of these substances do not exit the body on their own and have half-lives for several years. The only way to eliminate these substances before they cause serious damage to your body is through the proper detoxification.
  • Elevated liver enzymes. For many years, anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen have been widely used and considered relatively “safe.” However, these drugs can be harmful to the body, especially the liver. Through proper liver detoxification, liver enzymes can be lowered, and the “sick” liver can be restored to health, thus preventing hepatic illness or even cancer.

Minimizing Exposure to Toxins

Toxin exposure is either dietary or nondietary. Dietary sources include:

  • Contamination of food by microorganisms
  • Man-made toxicants
  • Heavy metals in the environment that infiltrate the diet
  • Methods of food preparation

Nondietary sources include respiratory exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs):

  • Air in the home contains off-gases from floor coverings, wall coverings, and building materials.
  • Materials used in new and remodeled buildings produce substantial off-gases.
  • Environmental toxins are trapped in products and materials, again carpeting being a prominent culprit.

While it is not possible to avoid all toxins and exposure to toxicants, there are many theories and recommendations for ways in which they can be avoided. Here is a compilation of the most frequent suggestions:

  • Use organic foods whenever possible, because they are produced in compliance with governmental and organizational standards that restrict certain pesticides and fertilizers. Keep in mind that organic foods are not necessarily pesticide free.
  • Thoroughly wash fresh fruits and vegetables, and peel off skins to help reduce pesticide levels.
  • Limit consumption of processed foods because they are known to contain many toxins used in the manufacturing process.
  • Store food in BPA-free or phthalate-free containers, and don’t reheat foods in plastic containers.
  • Undercooking meat poses a great risk of acute toxicity. Reduce toxins by avoiding direct exposure of meat to open flames and hot metal surfaces. Cook meats with slow methods (e.g., stewing, braising, crockpot cooking) at or below 250? that use liquids in the cooking process; avoid cooking meats at high temperatures for long periods of time.
  • Limit the use of products containing VOCs, including cleaning products, paints, and carpeting.
  • Purchase simple non-toxic cleaners, use natural cleaning products such as vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda mixed with water, and olive oil to reduce exposure to off-gases.
  • Filtering your water in the kitchen, at the kitchen faucet and in the refrigerator, is helpful but it is best to filter all of the water in your home at the point of entry.
  • An airtight home keeps toxins trapped inside. If you have air conditioning, use a system that pulls air from the outside rather than recirculating the inside air.
  • Keep relative humidity inside your home under 55% to avoid growth of mold.
  • An air filtration system inside your home should be high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA), and your vacuum cleaner should have a HEPA filter.

The RevitaLife Detox Program

While proper detoxification is crucial in anti-aging and overall well-being, it is extremely complex and should always be supervised by a physician. At RevitaLife, Dr. Grubbs oversees individualized, state-of-the-art testing to determine exactly what toxins are present in your body and then builds a customized detoxification plan just for you. This plan is a step-by-step guide to the detoxification process, including a meal plan and a list of certain foods and cooking preparations that should be avoided during the detoxification process.

Our delicious meal replacement protein shakes make the plan easy to follow, while containing only the best clinically-relevant detoxification ingredients. These shakes, in conjunction with a carefully designed supplement regimen, ensure that all phases of detoxification are achieved. The plan especially takes into consideration the intricate balancing of reactions to the detoxification phases and how to keep these reactions minimal and comfortable.

At RevitaLife, we also offer specialized weight loss detoxification plans, allowing our patients to build their diets around safe and intermittent detoxification plans.

Call RevitaLife at 941-377-4555 or click here to contact us to schedule your detoxification consultation.

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