The Dangers of Toxins and the Truth About Detox
THE DANGERS OF TOXINS AND THE TRUTH ABOUT DETOX
P.S. A juice cleanse is not a therapeutic detox!
As many begin to realize their New Year’s resolutions to “get healthy” or “lose weight” will require more of an actual strategy, some may consider detox. Myths, conflicting methods and confusing information leave many wondering whether detox is a good idea, what are the true benefits and how to determine what would be the right protocol to actually detoxify the body.
Arsenic, toxic metals, pesticides, flame retardants, and rocket fuel … all of these compounds have been found in significant levels in most Americans!
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found traces of 212 chemicals in typical urinary output and the EPA estimates 6 billion pounds of toxins were released into our environment in 2011. These toxins can accumulate in the body and negatively impact your overall health!
Your body has the natural ability to rid itself of toxins and waste; however, most of our systems are overwhelmed with far more toxins than the body can get rid of.
Excess toxins and waste in the body can lead to depression, lack of energy, skin conditions, weight gain, joint pain, headaches, muscle-aches, chronic fatigue, allergies, gastrointestinal distress, and irritability. In addition to symptoms of toxin overload, there are chronic disease states that are correlated with high levels of toxins in the body including: Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, autoimmune conditions, ADHD, Autism, Cancer, and Diabetes.
When the body is overwhelmed with toxins, this drives imbalance in our stress response, which can tax the HPA-axis (Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal). Stress (whether it is mental or physical, as in the case of toxic overload) can drive adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalance, and neurotransmitter dominance or deficiency due to the overdrive of the HPA-axis. This stress response can have unfavorable influence on the digestive system, causing bowel issues, along with making the immune system more reactive to food antigens, resulting in an inflammatory reaction to otherwise safe foods and chemicals.
During this state of stress driven by toxicity, hydrochloric acid production also decreases in the stomach, which sets up an environment to host pathogenic bacteria and yeast, driving microbial imbalance in the digestive tract. Paired with the adrenaline fluctuations of the HPA-axis, this change in gut flora is enough to influence mood, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), depression, anxiety, and other chronic conditions to the list of those driven by toxicity.
What about a juice cleanse?
A juice cleanse is a calorie restricted diet focusing on ideally cold-pressed juices comprised of fruits and vegetables. The idea with juicing is that by removing the fiber the nutrients extracted from the plant are easily absorbed into the bloodstream.
While juicing can provide a significant delivery of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, it does not provide complete nutritional balance and can also disrupt metabolism if done as a cleanse. The lack of fiber combined with a spike in blood sugar levels is not optimal for diabetes or people sensitive to blood sugar shifts in the body.
A primary issue with juicing is that it lacks the phase two support of the detox process (see below). It can be a nice complement to healthy eating and great way to help you meet your vegetable needs but is not a sole source of nutrition and will fall short in supporting a true nutritional detox!
What is a “real food” detox?
Detoxification is a scientifically-evidenced, biological process that needs to be supported by a medical professional. There are two primary phases of detox: the release and the excretion of toxins. A low calorie, “real food” detox with antioxidant support will release toxins but you also need particular amino acids and sulfur containing compounds to support the excretion. Without them, the released toxins can now actually do more damage to the body and interfere with metabolism. Sulfur compounds are found in: cruciferous vegetables, egg yolks, organs of pasture raised animals, proteins, onions, garlic, shallots etc.