Many chemical toxins are fat soluble and can settle in the body's fat cells if they are not eliminated. When this happens, it can be difficult to rid the body of these toxins unless fat loss occurs. If the toxins do settle in fat cells, they may contribute to symptoms of toxicity such as headaches, fatigue and muscle aches.
The liver plays a major role in the detoxification process in your body. It is a normal process that occurs every day of your life - although the efficiency of this depends on all the factors previously discussed. Naturopaths and other natural health practitioners have long held the view that to improve a patient's health, you must start by improving their liver function and digestion.
One role of the liver is to process and eliminate toxins that are delivered via the bloodstream (the liver filters up to two litres of blood per minute). Enzymes in the liver change the structure of toxic molecules, helping to reduce their toxicity and making them more water soluble. This is called Phase I detoxification: fat soluble toxins are converted into water soluble ones, making them easier to excrete.
In Phase II detoxification, enzymes attach the partially processed toxins to other molecules that assist in the toxins' elimination by making them even more water soluble and less toxic. The processed toxins are either directed to the kidneys to be excreted with the urine, or are added to bile in the gall bladder to end up in the intestinal tract and excreted (providing enough soluble fibre is present to absorb the toxins).
The two phases of detoxification occur quite rapidly and rely on the presence of particular amino acids, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients for smooth action. If there is a deficiency of any of these nutrients, the process may be impeded. If there is a load of toxins to be dealt with, and the liver is not functioning at its best, or is already overloaded, the process may not be completed properly. It is essential for both phases to work correctly for optimum detoxification to occur. If not, such as when the body is overloaded with toxins, the numbers of free radicals created during the process may cause cellular damage within the body, especially if there are inadequate supplies of antioxidants to prevent this damage. In addition, unprocessed toxins will recirculate in the body, beginning the cycle once again, and adding even further to the overload.
Natural detoxification doesn't work efficiently when the body is overloaded, so you need to help your body eliminate toxins by consciously going on a detox program.
HOW A DETOX PROGRAM HELPS DETOXIFICATION Our detox program works by eliminating from your diet foods and drinks that can create an extra burden on your liver (they may create toxins during their breakdown, or may be common allergens, such as wheat and dairy foods). The program also employs an array of fresh food along with specific additional nutrients to encourage efficient liver function, and incorporates soluble fibre into your daily diet to absorb toxins in the digestive tract to assist in their excretion. Once the toxic load is reduced, your liver has the opportunity to work more efficiently and it can get on with the business of detoxification. Toxins will be dealt with and eliminated and, bit-by-bit, your body will return to good balance, with annoying symptoms abating and your energy increasing.
We don't recommend strict fasts unless you are under the close supervision of a complementary health practitioner. Fasts that involve going without food or having greatly reduced food intake for days at a time may be too drastic for your body. Phase II detoxification requires particular nutrients such as amino acids to be efficient. Juice fasts or strict fasts don't supply these amino acids (found in proteins).
A gentle detox program such as ours can be sustained for a longer period of time, gaining greater long-term results, enabling you to go about your daily life with renewed energy. We find this a much preferable, and more sustainable, method of revitalising your body and health.
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