posted by on September 10th, 2021

By: Tamara Weinstein, PT, DPT, MS, CCN, Director of Sales & Continued Education for Health & Nutrition

Many times, when people just do not feel right, they have a combination of complaints where neither they, nor their doctor, can pinpoint a specific cause.  These may consist of low energy, not sleeping well, mood swings, digestive complaints, weight gain, or having a difficult time focusing on tasks at hand.

Although your body is well-equipped to eliminate toxins, it sometimes requires special diets or extra vitamins, minerals, or botanicals to enhance your natural detoxification system.  Toxins build up in our bodies over time through the air we breathe, the foods we eat and the daily stress our bodies are under.

The liver, one of the most important organs, is the master filter.  The liver’s function is to sort out and eliminate many detrimental substances that enter the body on a consistent basis.  Internally, the liver breaks down compounds, such as excess hormones and other byproducts of a healthy metabolism.  Externally, the liver must filter and eliminate foods, food preservatives and added chemicals, pollutants, pathogenic toxins, and excessive alcohol.  Lifestyle factors that we may or may not be able to control, such as genetics, environment, and stress can influence the proper functioning of the liver resulting in less-than-optimal elimination and filtering of subsequent toxins.

The overabundance of toxins that build up in our bodies causes undue stress on our liver and it often can’t keep up with the demand.  Maintaining optimal liver health is a must where free radicals, toxins and harmful chemicals bombard the body daily.  A healthy digestive tract, gallbladder and kidneys are also essential for your liver to complete its goal for effective detoxification.  The liver detoxification process can be enhanced or undermined depending on what we eat.  That’s why it is important to eat healthy and make sure we have the micronutrients on board to get the most from what we eat.

Vitamins, Minerals and Botanicals that support detoxification:

  • Milk Thistle, which contains silymarin, works to promote liver health through its free-radical scavenging ability, ability to stimulate liver cell regeneration and prevention of toxin uptake by liver cells.
  • N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine protects the liver from free radicals and acts as a potent antioxidant.
  • The herb schizandra cleanses and detoxifies the liver. It stimulates the body to make more glutathione and helps protect the liver against various toxins.
  • Garlic, Rosemary, Ginger, berries, and Green Tea help to cleanse and detoxify the liver.
  • The Indian spice Curcuma longa (common name: turmeric), is the source of the phytochemical Curcumin.  Curcumin is the main active ingredient in Turmeric.

Curcumin has shown evidence of being able to support immune, cognitive, and liver health. It has antioxidant properties and supports the production of enzymes for glutathione and its synthesis.  Curcumin has shown to support the normal production of phase II detoxification enzymes in the liver and helps to neutralize harmful heavy metals, toxins, and pollutants.

Is there a difference between a liver detox and a weight loss detox? Many people hear “detox” and immediately think of “weight loss.”  It is common for those starting a weight loss program to go through a period of detoxification.  A weight loss detox, which is recommended once or twice a year, usually lasts for periods between three and seven days. This process involves eating a strict diet in addition to a colon and liver cleansing system to detoxify and cleanse the digestive tract.  A liver detox helps to maintain your liver health and helps cleanse the body on a regular basis and not just for a short period of time.  It is meant to support the body’s natural process and does not require the dietary restrictions common with a periodic detox system.

Detoxification Tips:

  • Limit alcohol
  • Limit coffee/caffeine (drink decaffeinated Herbal Teas)
  • NO soda
  • First thing every morning, drink the juice of 1/2 a lemon in a cup of warm water
  • Drink water throughout the day (minimum of 8 cups)
  • Eat lean protein
  • Eat unlimited colorful Vegetables (raw or lightly steamed)
  • Use spices and herbs
  • Limit 100% whole grains
  • Limit dairy
  • No starches
  • No sugar (other than found naturally in fruits and vegetables); no artificial sweeteners
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Exercise
  • Meditate and engage in other stress reducing activities