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:
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.
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
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.
Other Systems At Work in the Detox Process
During detoxification, several other systems are working simultaneously to improve the efficiency of the enzymes involved in the three detoxification phases:
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.