If the following list = YOU, your metabolism might be trying to tell you something!
- History of alcohol/drug use or hepatitis
- Long term prescription drug use
- Sensitive to chemicals (tobacco smoke, fumes, perfume, cleaning agents, etc.)
- Pain between the shoulder blades
- Stomach upset by greasy foods
- Greasy or shiny stools
- History of nausea, motion sickness, or morning sickness
- Light or pale colored stools
- Headache over the eyes
- Gallbladder attacks
- Bitter taste in the mouth (especially after meals)
- Become sick or easily intoxicated if drinking wine
- Easily hung over
- Pain under right side of rib cage
- Hemorrhoids or varicose veins
- NutraSweet (aspartame) consumption
- Chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
So if this is you– read on, learn how your detoxification system works, and how to support it!
Our body has the ability to naturally “spring clean” every day if your diet has adequately supplies for the process. There’s no special juice cleanse needed!
A liver detox sans expensive powders and supplements is safer,more effective, and gentler than a detox diet of pills’n’powders. Eating whole foods instead of supplements and powders gives your body something it knows as normal and natural. It contains a broad spectrum of nutrients to DRIVE your detox!
LIVER DETOX: IT’S LIKE DOING YOUR LAUNDRY
A good baseline of nutrients help our liver to filter our blood and to be able to carry out its natural function of identifying both good things (food and nutrients) and bad things (toxins and harmful substances). Think of it as finding stains in your laundry.
- PHASE ONE DETOX. Next, our body uses food-based enzymes and nutrients to transform toxins, used hormones, RX drugs, food additives, etc. The pupose of this phase is to commence neutralizing a toxin and to turn it into a water soluble compound capable of leaving the body. At this half way point, toxin reactivity actually increases. This can cause problems if it doesn’t continue to Phase 2 right away. Think of Phase 1 detoxification as a ‘pre-wash cycle’.
- PHASE TWO DETOX. Phase 2 acts upon phase 1. It’s the final transformation stage of the toxin, making it water-soluble for removal from the body. Amino acids (building blocks of protein) drive this stage, as they attach to the toxins to further neutralize and escort them out of the body. (Note that the widest range of amino acids comes from grassfed meat!) Think of Phase 2 as our ‘main wash cycle’. It does the hard work of removing dirt and debris before leaving your clothes clean.
- ELIMINATION. Lastly, the toxins are eliminated via the digestive track in bile, or via the kidneys in urine. It’s very like the drain and spin cycle.
LIVER DETOX POWDERS AND SUPPLEMENTS
My problem with liver detox supplements and protein powders is the lack of any guarantee of quality. They may contain irritating additives and fillers, and most of the raw materials are imported without scant regulation of safety and purity. These foods are also often “refined” so much of the nutritional value is stripped out during processing. These Empty foods scan compromise your detoxification abilities, causing you to retain toxins rather than excrete them.
When you invest in whole foods, your body is energized with nutrients ‘made’ for supporting liver detox. You are – ultimately – the sum of your habits so… what you choose for eat matters. It’s definitely NOT what you do or don’t consume for 16-48 hours. I like the bigger picture: fueling and meeting your body’s needs on a daily basis! Your daily diet should automatically support the liver detox process– not a ritual you do 1-2 times a year. When we read articles on the net they seem to be very focused on eating “less” and “dieting” (cleanses/detox diets can reinforce that) andit seems people actually end up needing far MORE food than they think (and that nutritional deficiencies actually down-regulate the appetite further). In the end, we all want our body to just WORK better, and naturally detox more efficiently as a normal part of metabolism.
Liquid fasts and cleanses
Proteins DRIVE the detoxification process, so.. cleanses based on juices, fruits or vegetables really don’t make a lot of sense.
Don’t leave! I know many of you love the juice fast idea.. it’s only my opinion!
Any time you fast or cleanse (with the exception of when you have the flu!) you are forcing a regimen on your body. This often means ignoring your own body needs, cravings, and intuition. Dr Ray Peat said: “Any craving is a good starting point, because we have several biological mechanisms for correcting specific nutritional deficiencies.”
If someone is in a hypo-metabolic state (slowed metabolism), the body naturally holds on to more water in tissues, craves less water, and craves more salt and solid food. A liquid cleanse would do much more harm than good.
Whether you decide on a cleanse or not, don’tforget that your body always talks to you about what it needs. Learning to listen is an amazing tool for building your body connection so that you can feed and support your body’s natural detoxification system.
LIVER DETOX FOODS YOU MAY NOT BE GETTING
The vitamins and minerals in fruits drive phase 1 of detoxification! Costly detox diets and cleansing routines are a waste of money compared to organic fruits and fruit juices to fuel this first phase of detoxification so much more efficiently! Yes, I know – we’ve often talked about the hazards of excess fructose but in this case the need is specifically to begin the detox phase one.
Choose ripe seasonal fruits high in vitamin C for maximum antioxidant effect. Some great choices are organic oranges, pure orange juice , kiwis, berries, papaya, and pineapple.
Beets are serious liver detox food.They help thin your bile, helping us to detox more efficiently.
A common liver problem manifests as sluggish/stagnant bile flow. Toxins neutralized in the liver are dumped into the bile (our bile duct is a toxins ‘drainpipe’) When the bile gets too thick, toxins can’t flow out of our body quick enough (leading to fatigue, low energy, constipation, PMS, toxicity and disease)! Regular beet consumption (and a nutritionally wealthy diet) can help strengthen this process naturally!
Buy beets and shred them in your food processor. Try a little beet slaw (with lemon or apple cider vinegar, salt and olive oil) daily or as often as you like to help fuel your natural detoxification system!
NON- INFLAMMATORY PROTEINS:
Vegetarians, you may not like this section, but here we go.
Our body needs a certain balance of amino acids to support our bodily functions, particularly liver detox. The balance we need is achieved when we eat “the whole animal” and ALL of its parts. When you eat just muscle meats regularly, including chicken, pork, beef, lamb,you tend to create an amino acid balance in the body that favors inflammation, and hey. it actually starves your liver! It is really important to balance the amino acid spectrum we consume. Non-inflammatory proteins such as eggs, fish, gelatin, dairy products (milk, cheese), shellfish, and organ meats are excellent choices to increase in our diet to better support your detoxification capabilities.
Try having muscle meats every other day if your intake of non-inflammatory proteins is low. One of my favorite ways to make this easy is to have some bone broth every day.
LIVER IS THE MASTER!
Healthy detoxification supports liver health. It’s absolutely essential for good digestion, a healthy metabolism, and proper thyroid function. A good nutrition strategy goes a long way for overcoming poor detoxification without confusion and expensive supplements! If your liver needs some TLC so that you can experience more robust health without fatigue and digestive sensitivity, subscribe below to receive more tips on how to nourish your body with nutritional therapy!
This content is not meant to diagnose or treat any disease, or as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult with your advising physician before starting any treatment for a medical condition. AlkaWay shall not be held liable or responsible for any misunderstanding or misuse of the information contained on this site or for any loss, damage, or injury caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by any treatment, action, or application of any food or food source discussed in this site.
How do you set yourself up for the day? A natural alkaline ‘shot’.
I love to get up early, a bit of yoga, meditation without fail, a shower, a healthy paleo breakfast,and then out the door. Sound familiar?I think my morning routine is already exceptional. But I have a mighty elixir that compliments my regimen fabulously.
Perhaps you’ve read that warm lemon water wets your mojo working in the morning and optimizes your health. You may even drink warm lemon water with Himalayan salt, or warm lemon water with honey in the morning.
But… have you tried warm lemon water with cinnamon, and the most essential ingredient to this morning elixir, turmeric? (Yes, a bit of honey if you must!)
If you haven’t it, this one, you may be missing out on an truly great way to start your day. Lemon and turmeric are very powerful tools that have a wealth of health beneficits.
Lemons have that tasty, tart flavor with so many health-promoting properties. A study published in the Chemistry Central Journal (2015), says lemons possess a treasure trove of natural metabolites.
Listen to this:
“Citrus fruits exhibit plentiful bioactivities including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antimicrobial and anti-allergy activities, as well as cardiovascular effect, neuroprotective effect, hepatoprotective effect, obesity control, etc.”
But wait for it:
Couple lemon with turmeric, and your health and wellness benefits increase almost exponentially!
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a yellow-orange spice that is part of the ginger family. Native to tropical South Asia, turmeric is well known in traditional Asian medicine and cuisine.
More recently, its health benefits have been recognized in Western medicine. According to a study published in theJournal of Nephropathology (2012), “Turmeric, a neglected Asian traditional drug might reemerge as remedy and/or preventive tool for various illnesses including different type of cancers, obesity, type-2 diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, CKD [chronic kidney disease] and ESRD [end stage renal disease], which are steadily increasing globally, claiming many lives and tremendous amount of resources worldwide.”
Just one of a number of active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, has been the focus of several academic studies.
Curcumin may alleviate inflammation:
According to research from the Department of Stomatology at the University of California, San Francisco, curcumin possesses anti-inflammatory properties. The research, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine(2004), found that curcumin, “may exert its anti-inflammatory activity by inhibition of a number of different molecules that play a role in inflammation.”
Curcumin’s anticancer potential:
Curcumin may play a vital role in cancer prevention, according to a study published in BioMed Research International (2014). Previous research has highlighted curcumin’s antioxidant, antibacterial and antitumor properties, according to the study, which concluded, “Curcumin, a vital constituent of the spice turmeric, is an alternative approach in the prevention of cancer.”
Therapeutic applications of curcumin:
According to a review study published in the AAPS Journal (2013), “curcumin has shown therapeutic potential against a number of human diseases,”including multiple types of cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, peptic ulcers, psoriasis, H. pylori infection, Alzheimer’s disease, acute coronary syndrome, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and respiratory tract infections.
So.. here’s my secret morning elixir.
What you’ll need…
1/2 a lemon, squeezed for juice
1/4 – 1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp honey if you can’t take it!
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1 cup warm water.
How to make it…
Mix the lemon juice, turmeric and honey into your cup of warm water. Stir well. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and continue to stir your morning elixir as you drink it (this will ensure that the turmeric doesn’t settle at the bottom of your cup.
Turmeric with its main active ingredient, curcumin, may be that one healthy addition to your morning routine you’ve been looking for. I enjoy this elixir nearly every morning with fruit, which adds a sweet, delicious twist.
And to all my alkalizing friends.. you are setting yourself up with the best alkalizing juice in the world. Just go easy on the honey, honey!
I’ve identified a telltale for MLM approaches. And I gotta say, we get a few!
This morning it was ‘French Green Clay” and the big sell line was that the Israeli army uses it to get rid of chemical warfare effects.
Then (and this is my ‘telltale’ sign of an MLM approach).. there is the unbelievably good claim, usually of someone the doctors gave up on, who had some form of cancer, and who now runs ten miles a day.
I’m not saying it’s wrong. I’m just saying that like so many Australians we have a highly developed MLM alert sensor after countless approaches that look very similar to this one.
In this case, though, I remember that this particular clay is a good product. It does (as I remember) perform a valuable detox function.
French green clay is a substance that is used for external cosmetic treatments as well as some internal applications by practitioners of alternative medicine. It was used in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome to treat a variety of skin problems and digestive disorders.
From the standpoint of mineralogy, French green clay belongs to a subcategory of clay minerals known as illite clays, the other two major groups being kaolinite and smectite clays. Clay minerals in general are important because they make up about 40 percent of such common rocks as shale, and they are the main components of soil. Illite clays are usually formed by weathering or by changes produced in aluminum-rich minerals by heat and acidic ground water. They often occur intermixed with kaolinite clays—which are typically used in the ceramics industry. Illite clays have been used successfully by environmental managers to remove such heavy metals as lead, cadmium, and chromium from industrial wastewater.
French green clay takes its name from the fact that rock quarries located in southern France enjoyed a virtual monopoly on its production until similar deposits of illite clays were identified in China, Montana, and Wyoming. The clay’s green color comes from a combination of ironoxides and decomposed plant matter, mostly kelp seaweed and other algae. Grey-green clays are considered less valuable than those with a brighter color. The other components of French green clay include a mineral known as montmorillonite, as well as dolomite, magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc , aluminum, silicon, copper, selenium , and cobalt.
So here’s a good place to get it at non MLM prices. No, we make nothing from this tip. Just sharing the’ lurv’.
European Food Safety Authority:
Hmm… seems they haven’t read their own name lately!
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published a new report: ‘The 2013 European Union report on pesticides in food’.
The report, shows the results for almost 81,000 food samples from 27 EU Member States, Iceland and Norway”.
Their Press Release of 12th March 2015 reports that:
“a combined total of 80,967 samples of a wide variety of processed and unprocessed food products were tested for the presence of 685 pesticides”.
It continues, “97.4% of the samples analysed fell within legal limits” but adds that,
“Residues of more than one pesticide (multiple residues) were found in 27.3% of samples”.
That’s one in four!!!! Muliple health and environmental NGOs say that EFSA does not examine the ‘cocktail effect’ of these residues on humans. Martin Dermine of Pesticide Action Network told Euractive,
“Providing statistics of single residue level in food is too simplistic”.
Ian: I totally agree. I cannot understand why people don’t understand that if we are ingesting toxins at this rate we don’t have a plan in place to continually detox – even something as basic as good hydration!
Dr Ben Kim has done it again!
Red beets are especially rich in folate, which is why they are useful for lowering blood homocysteine and reducing risk of birth defects.
If you have a problem with constipation, red beets and their green tops are likely to provide significant relief. Both are rich in fiber that can help keep waste materials moving through your gastrointestinal tract at a healthy pace.
Red beets are abundant in potassium and magnesium, while beet greens are an excellent source of beta-carotene, iron, and calcium. All of these nutrients are essential to maintaining the health of your digestive tract lining and the smooth muscle fibers that create the waves of contractions within your colon to produce bowel movements.
Go here to see his complete instructions to prep this great dish!
Eating kale and other cruciferous vegetables two to three times a week or, even better, four to five times a week, is an easy way to significantly boost your health. Just one cup of kale will flood your body with disease-fighting vitamins K, A, and C, along with respectable amounts of manganese, copper, B vitamins, fiber, calcium, and potassium.
With each serving of kale, you’ll also find more than 45 unique flavonoids, which have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. In terms of green leafy vegetables, you really can’t go wrong… but kale is definitely worthy of its reputation as “king of veggies.”
And here’s a secret: kale’s flavor gets sweeter after it’s been exposed to a frost, making winter the ideal time to eat it (and it is in season starting mid-winter). When the temperatures drop you might not feel like eating a raw kale salad, but what about a bowl of warm kale soup?
The recipe that follows, from the George Mateljan Foundation, will not only warm you up and boost your nutrition, it’ll give you a nice energy boost, too.
Super Energy Kale Soup
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 5 cups chicken or bone broth
- 1 medium carrot, diced into 1/4-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup diced celery
- 2 red potatoes, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
- 3 cups kale, rinsed, stems removed and chopped very fine
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp dried sage
- salt and pepper to taste
- Chop garlic and onions and let sit for 5 minutes to bring out their health benefits.
- Heat 1 TBS broth in a medium soup pot.
- Sauté onion in broth over medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring frequently.
- Add garlic and continue to sauté for another minute.
- Add broth, carrots, and celery and bring to a boil on high heat.
- Once it comes to a boil reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 15 more minutes.
- Add kale and rest of ingredients and cook another 5 minutes. If you want to simmer for a longer time for extra flavor and richness, you may need to add a little more broth.
Kale May Fight at Least Five Types of Cancer
Like other cruciferous vegetables, kale is a good source of cancer-fighting sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol. To date, kale has been found to lower the risk of at least five types of cancer, including bladder, breast, colon, ovary and prostate.
The glucosinolates in kale and other cruciferous vegetables break down into products that help protect DNA from damage. As noted by the George Mateljan Foundation:
“Kale’s special mix of cancer-preventing glucosinolates has been the hottest area of research on this cruciferous vegetable.
Kale is an especially rich source of glucosinolates, and once kale is eaten and digested, these glucosinolates can be converted by the body into cancer preventive compounds. Some of this conversion process can also take place in the food itself, prior to consumption.”
While some research suggests raw kale is best for cancer prevention, other studies suggest lightly cooked is best, in part because it improves kale’s ability to bind with bile acids in your digestive tract.
This makes the bile acids easier for your body to excrete, which not only has a beneficial impact on your cholesterol levels, but also on your risk of cancer (bile acids have been associated with an increased risk of cancer). According to one study inNutrition Research:
“Steam cooking significantly improved the in vitro bile acid binding of collard greens, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, green bell pepper, and cabbage compared with previously observed bile acid binding values for these vegetables raw (uncooked).
Inclusion of steam-cooked collard greens, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, green bell pepper, and cabbage in our daily diet as health-promoting vegetables should be emphasized.
These green/leafy vegetables, when consumed regularly after steam cooking, would lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, advance human nutrition research, and improve public health.”
Eat Kale to Support Natural Detoxification
Foods that support both Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification are key to supporting your body’s daily removal of harmful substances from your body. Phase 1 detoxification is when toxins are broken down into smaller particles, while during your body’s Phase 2 detoxification process, the broken down toxins are shuttled out of your system.
If you eat foods that support Phase 1, but not Phase 2, the broken-down toxins may begin to accumulate in your body. But the isothiocyanates (ITCs) in kale help to promote both Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification. The George Mateljan Foundation explained:7
“In addition, the unusually large numbers of sulfur compounds in kale have been shown to help support aspects of Phase II detoxification that require the presence of sulfur.
By supporting both aspects of our cellular detox process (Phase I and Phase II), nutrients in kale can give our body an “edge up” in dealing with toxic exposure, whether from our environment or from our food.”
Kale Earns Its Reputation as a Superfood
Kale is one vegetable that lives up to its nutritional hype. It’s loaded with both lutein and zeaxanthin at over 26 mg combined, per serving, for starters. Of all the carotenoids, only zeaxanthin and lutein are found in your retina, which has the highest concentration of fatty acids of any tissue in your body.
This is because your retina is a highly light- and oxygen-rich environment, and it needs a large supply of free radical scavengers to prevent oxidative damage there.
It is theorized that your body concentrates zeaxanthin and lutein in your retina to perform this duty, and consuming these antioxidants may help to ward off eye problems like age-related macular degeneration.
And as far as calcium is concerned, one cup of kale will give you 90 milligrams in a highly bioavailable form. One calcium bioavailability study found that calcium from kale was 25% better absorbed than calcium from milk. What else do you gain when you eat kale?
- Anti-inflammatory properties that may help prevent arthritis, heart disease and autoimmune diseases
- Plant-based omega-3 fats for building cell membranes, protecting against heart disease and stroke, and regulating blood clotting
- An impressive number of beneficial flavonoids, including 32 phenolic compounds and three hydroxycinnamic acids to help support healthy cholesterol levels and scavenge free radicals
Choose Organic Kale When You Can
When choosing kale, look for firm, fresh deeply colored leaves with hardy stems. Avoid leaves that are brown or yellow or that contain holes. Kale with smaller leaves tends to be more tender and milder than larger-leaved kale. Choose organic varieties (or grow your own), as kale is frequently sprayed with pesticides, and particularly toxic pesticides at that. One study by the Environmental Working Group detected 51 pesticides on kale, including several they described as “highly toxic.” For best results, store kale in your refrigerator (unwashed) in a plastic storage bag. Remove as much air as you can. Ideally, eat kale as soon as you can, because the longer it sits the more bitter the flavor becomes.
From the ANH website
It’s that time of year again. No, we don’t mean the festivities. We mean the detox-bashing in the mainstream media that always floods the airwaves at this time of year. This year it’s the turn of the Guardian newspaper to fire up the skeptics and get the detox-bashing off to a rollicking start and they’ve done so with two consecutive pieces. According to its most recent article, apparently it’s irrelevant that detox products are “snake oil”. Apparently, people use them because they “make us feel virtuous”. Their previous article went straight for the natural health jugular by determining that you simply “can’t detox your body, it’s a myth”.
TOP FACTS ABOUT DETOX
- It’s detox-bashing season again in the media – ‘snake oil and myths peddled by charlatans and quacks’.
- We have the ability to naturally detoxify, but our internal detox organs weren’t designed for the toxic overload synonymous with modern living?
- Certain nutrients can upregulate both Phase I and II detoxification processes in the liver, as well as kidney function?
- Don’t be put off detoxing – it’s backed by your body’s biochemistry, published science, dozens of clinical trials and centuries of clinical experience amongst those who have practised detox regimes!
If you were planning, like thousands of others, to kick start the New Year with a whole body cleanse and a reinvigorated physical activity programme, we’d urge you to not be put off by anything you might read in the Guardian. There’s nothing new, same old samo. Even our ‘old friend’, Dr Edzard Ernst (now retired from his university position), has been pulled out of mothballs again for both articles, saying the same (incorrect and incoherent) thing he’s been saying about detox for as many years as we can remember.
According to Ernst, “The healthy body has kidneys, a liver, skin, even lungs that are detoxifying as we speak. There is no known way – certainly not through detox treatments – to make something that works perfectly well in a healthy body work better”. And that, “there are two types of detox: one is respectable and the other isn’t”. The respectable one apparently is only used by doctors to save people from life-threatening drug-addictions. “The other is the word being hijacked by entrepreneurs, quacks and charlatans to sell a bogus treatment that allegedly detoxifies your body of toxins you’re supposed to have accumulated.” Really?
It’s quite true that the body has organs of detoxification. But they were never designed to cope with the onslaught of modern life. They, along with the metabolic systems that support them, also evolved over millenia to work alongside traditional diets. They were never designed to work on a diet of Macdonalds and coke.
Our exposure to industrial chemicals, pesticide residues in our food, chemicals in personal care products, ultra-processed and junk food laden with additives, nutritionally deficient diets, lifestyle stressors and lack of physical activity all conspire to not only increase our toxic load over that of our ancestors, but also reduce our capacity for effective detoxification. Add to that load, our altered and de-stabilised gut microbiome, leaky gut, genetic variations (single nucleotide polymorphisms) that directly affect the detoxification capacity in many of us, along with alcohol and drug abuse, and smoking by some. It’s not hard to see why detox organs and pathways may become overwhelmed.
So whilst those are, in the main, external toxins, the body is also continuously creating toxins internally (endotoxins) that need to be ‘biotransformed’ and excreted too. Hormones, enzymes, neurotransmitters and many other substances are continually being made (anabolism) and old ones broken down (catabolism). These natural metabolic processes need to be accomplished efficiently, as many of the intermediate metabolites can be more toxic than the substances ready for breakdown or excretion eg.Diindolylmethane’s (DIM) role in breaking down the dangerous (16-hydroxy) oestrogen metabolite. Intestinal integrity and the health of the gut microbiome, along with the detoxification organs, are essential for effective and efficient detoxification.
The liver is the principal organ of internal detoxification. Within it occur a complex series of biochemical processes that firstly recognise a toxin and convert it to an intermediate (Phase I biotransformation), which may be temporarily more toxic. The metabolite is then packaged up (conjugated) in readiness for getting rid of it (Phase II biotransformation). Excretory pumps may then assist excretion (Phase III biotransformation).
Phase I is completely dependent on enzymes (Cytochrome P450 enzymes), which vary considerably between individuals (genetic variations), your level of physical activity and key dietary factors that can either speed up their metabolism or slow them down. Phase II is all about taking these new enzyme-converted substances and conjugating them to other molecules to make them safer or more stable and easier to transport out of the body. Certain co-factors in your diet such as specific vitamins, minerals and plant nutrients help to mediate phase II reactions. This isn’t ‘snake oil’. This is proven biochemical,scientific fact.
Nature’s ‘detox larder’
Whilst your genetic inheritance is ‘t something you can physically alter, you can certainly upregulate your own internal detoxification mechanisms with physical activity and good nutrition choices. Another incontrovertible scientific fact is that vegetables and fruits contain very specific phytochemicals which are necessary for our health.
We asked our founder and scientific director, Robert Verkerk PhD, to comment on Dr Ernst’s claims. He states, “Biochemical science established decades ago that certain nutrients can upregulate both Phase I and II detoxification processes in the liver, as well as kidney function. Indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane in cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli and kale, are good examples. That’s one of the reasons these vegetables are so good for us. The silymarin in milk thistle, especially in the seeds, as well as the amino acid N-acetyl-cysteine are also well proven for detoxification support, the former with a long history of use in herbal medicine. The latter is still commonly used in some cases of drug poisoning. To say that there is no evidence that any nutritional or herbal medicine can enhance detoxification over and above an average diet is simply incorrect scientifically.” Again, not snake oil; but proven scientific fact.
Bring on the kale and broccoli smoothies!
For those of you who want to support your body to clear out both endogenous and exogenous toxins after the festive excesses, it’s worth reading our debunking of the Sense About Science’s stand on detox from 2009. Please don’t worry that it’s out of date – their arguments haven’t changed and your body’s biochemistry still functions much in the same way as any of your ancestors from 20,000 years ago!
As we’ve said before, it’s only people ignorant of the science who refuse to accept that natural factors in the diet (eg. dietary polyphenols, curcumin in turmeric, sulphoraphane in broccoli, ginger, licorice, dandelion), as well as a wide variety of herbal species (eg. Rehmannia glutinosa, Coptis chinensis(berberine), Schisandra chinensis, Terminalia belerica (‘bibhitaki’) and other nutrients (eg. N-acetyl-cysteine, a precursor for glutathione), are able to substantially enhance our elimination of toxins within the body.
On the basis of published science, including dozens of clinical trials, as well as years and even centuries of clinical experience among those who have practiced detox, we hope you start 2015 off with a detoxifying health regime! However, please be responsible about it and do it with proper advice, or prior knowledge and make sure you balance healthy diet and lifestyle choices with adequate physical activity, rest and relaxation. Amidst all the good stuff, may be the odd ‘snake oil’ salesman, a fact of life, and one common to all industries.
A final reminder: please remember that many healthy detox regimes aren’t just for Christmas! They should be integrated into daily living! If in any doubt, seek advice, not from Dr Ernst or the Guardian, but rather from a trusted, qualified and experienced nutritional, herbal or traditional medicine practictioner.