Volume 2, Number 4
The Truth about Detoxification and Cleansing
Written by: Correne Omland
Spring is the perfect time of year for cleaning; your home, desk, car and your body. The concept of detoxing and cleansing your body is a popular one. With that popularity came a sudden increase in products and information, not all of them good or accurate. Our goal is to provide you with the basic and vital information you need about detoxification so you can make an informed choice.
What are Toxins?
Toxins are any substance that has the ability to interfere with the proper and healthy functioning of our body. They can do this in a variety of ways. Toxins can block a cell’s ability to function, they can replace or interfere with components of cells, mimic the effects of hormones and cause oxidative damage to tissues.
Toxins can be broken down into two categories – water soluble and fat/lipid soluble. Water soluble toxins can easily be dissolved into body fluids (blood & lymph). These toxins are fairly easy to eliminate from the body because our body fluids (urine & sweat) are easy to eliminate. All of the cells in our body are protected by a membrane that is made up of lipids (fat). Thanks to this protective membrane, water soluble toxins have a tough time getting into our cells (which is a good thing).
Alternatively, lipid soluble toxins are absorbed into our body fat. These toxins can easily pass through cell membranes and can therefore damage both the outside and inside of the cell. The elimination of fat soluble toxins is not as efficient as water soluble. They are eliminated through our bowels and sebum (oil on our skin), but this process is inefficient because a certain amount of bile is always reabsorbed into the body. When bile is reabsorbed, so are toxins. This allows lipid soluble toxins accumulate over time, building up to high levels in our body.
Sources of Toxicity
The sources of toxicity in this day and age are vast and varied; so much that we cannot discuss all of them in this newsletter. Instead we will provide you with the most common examples.
- Soil, air and water supply — effects are far reaching
- Most fruits & vegetables are grown in toxic soil and watered with polluted water
- Cattle, pigs and chickens consume foods grown in the same conditions
- Meat contains fat soluble toxins from the foods the animals consumed
- Many cleaning and personal care products are full of toxic and irritating ingredients
- Coal tar, Diethanolamine (DEA), Formaldehyde, Parabens, Phenylenediamine (PPD), Phthalates, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Toluene, Fragrance, Triethanolamine (TEA), Hydroquinone
- Tap water is treated with chlorine — irritates mucus membranes & kills off friendly bacteria in our body
- Also contains a plethora of pharmaceutical medications
- Off gassing — slow release of gases and chemicals trapped in a material of some sort
- Examples: carpets, laminate floors, furniture, building materials, paints and other finishes
- Result of the agricultural process — herbicides, pesticides, nitrates, fungicides etc.
Our body disposes of toxins using multiple channels of elimination. Most of us are familiar with at least two of them – our kidneys and bowels (colon). Here are the body’s channels of elimination and a brief explanation of how they work.
- Transportation system for lymph — clear, watery fluid that also contains immune cells
- Works with our blood circulatory system to maintain fluid balance in the body
- Helps to drain excess fluid, waste products and toxins out of the body
- Our body’s major blood filtering organ
- Attempts to break down toxins into simpler components so they can be eliminated
- Water soluble toxins — sent to the kidneys for excretion
- Fat soluble toxins
- Liver will first try to convert to water soluble
- If it can’t — emulsifies the toxin and dumps it in bile to be excreted through the bowels
- Efficient system for eliminating water soluble toxins
- How the body eliminates lipid/fat soluble toxins
- Toxins are emulsified (mixed with a substance that dissolves in fat) and dumped in bile
- Not the most efficient system because a certain percentage of bile is always reabsorbed
- Elimination of carbon dioxide
- Ability to release both water soluble toxins (through sweat) and fat soluble (through sebum)
- Not designed to eliminate a large quantity of toxins
- Will only occur if the other organs (liver, colon, kidneys etc.) are overloaded
The Act of Detoxification and Cleansing
There are many options for cleansing/detoxing your body. The options depend on your level of health and vitality, whether you have cleansed before and how much work/effort you are willing to put into the process. Be honest with yourself about these points and only take on what you can effectively handle.
Regardless of what avenue you choose for your detoxification, the following dietary changes should be made. These changes will help to support your body during the cleansing process, as well as reduce the workload on the body’s channels of elimination. This will allow your organs to focus on the task at hand – detoxification!
Completely eliminate the following from your diet:
- Sugar (in all forms), caffeine and processed foods
Reduce or eliminate (if you can) your intake of the following:
- Gluten and dairy
- Both are very difficult for your body to digest and therefore difficult to eliminate
Increase your consumption of:
- Fresh and organic fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, millet etc.)
- Organic forms of protein (chicken, fish, tofu, beans, eggs etc.)
- Filtered water (add lemon to your water for extra liver support)
Diet changes alone may be just what you need if you are new to cleansing or have compromised health in some way. If you are a more experienced cleanser, you may want to use one of many “detox kits” that are available at natural health food stores. Most of them consist of herbs and homeopathic remedies that help support the body’s channels of elimination. When used in conjunction with the dietary changes, your detox will be much deeper and more efficient.
If you have any questions about detoxification please feel free to email the office at email@example.com
Focus On Health – HEEL Detox Kit
Advanced Chiropractic + Wellness Centre is proud to offer HEEL’s answer to detoxification. Perfect for both first time cleansers and those more experienced, this gentle homeopathic kit will help support your channels of elimination without interfering with your day-to-day life.
Each kit contains:
Lyphosot – activates and supports the lymphatic system
Nux vomica-Homaccord – stimulates gastrointestinal excretion as well as supporting the liver
Berberis-Homaccord – supports the kidneys and gallbladder
April Special – 20% off HEEL’s DETOX KIT
April’s Detox Challenge
For the month of April, four members of the staff at Advanced Chiropractic + Wellness Centre will be doing a Detox Challenge. Follow them on their journey by reading our blog!
Recipe: Breakfast Smoothie
Smoothies are a perfect way to get the nutrients, vitamins and calories you need to start the day of right. Place all of the following ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
- 1 banana
- 2/3 cup of frozen berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries etc.)
- 3 tsp of flax oil (cold pressed)
- 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
- Helps to regulate blood sugar and tastes great
- ½ to 1 cup of unsweetened almond or rice milk
- Add until desired consistency is reached
- 1 tsp of green’s powder (optional)
- Preferably a powder that does not contain herbs
- e.g. Trophic’s Greens Concentrate (http://www.trophic.net/products/pureessentials.html)
- 1 serving of rice/hemp protein (optional)
- DO NOT use whey protein powders à they contain dairy
- e.g. Manitoba Harvest’s Shelled Hemp Seeds (http://manitobaharvest.com/ )
Did You Know?
Did you know that your liver contains anywhere from 4.5 to 6 litres of your body’s blood at any time.