Nowadays the human being is exposed to so many different forms of toxins, estrogens, chemicals and unnatural substances that our body is not used to and over the millions of years of very little exposure through evolution the body has had a very short time to adapt to deal with these changes in the last 50-100 years. Industrialisation, food processing, farmers and there pesticides, medications, drugs, caffeine, cosmetics etc. They all have detrimental effects to our body if they are not dealt with, and they are predominately processed by the liver, in 3 different phases:
The first phase can be broken down into 3 pathways of oxidation, reduction and hydrolysis. They all work to breakdown and change the molecular structure of the substances that enter the body. Essentially they make the toxins smaller and water soluble so that they can be passed onto phase 2 and be desalt with easier. Phase 1 is mainly performed by the cytochrome P450 enzymes in the liver. In an ideal world, all toxins would be water soluble, but unfortunately they are mostly fat soluble, so they can easily cling onto fat cells and membranes so they are harder to breakdown.
Phase 1 obviously involves oxidation, and the process of oxidation results in free radicals and consequently oxidative stress. This can cause cell damage, then tissue damage, then potentially organ damage if the metabolites of phase 1 are not dealt with. This is why it can be a good idea to increase antioxidant intake through micronutrient consumption we receive from fruit and vegetables, or in supplemental form like COQ10. Phase 1 is activated by external toxins, like caffeine, alcohol, medication etc, so even when you have your first coffee of the day, you are asking your liver to process the toxin consumed.
Sometimes (probably most of the time) we can get a phase 1 metabolite build up. This is when phase 1 is overactive and the metabolism of harmful toxins is taking place and they are ready to move into phase 2 but the next phase is not ready or doesn't have the capacity for the influx of so many bi-prodiucts of the phase 1 oxidation. This is normally due to the lack of micronutrients in the diet - SO EAT YOUR GREENS.
After phase 1 has done what it needs to do with the toxins you are exposed to, phase 2 kicks in. At this stage the toxins coming through from phase 1 are arguably more toxin than the initial exposure. Phase 2 is all about conjugation, which uses 6 different pathways. This phase essentially means that a protective compound binds to a toxin in order to start the process of excretion. These pathways need specific nutrient in order to function and work effectively. These nutrients include sulfur (sulfation pathway), glutathione, amino acids, B vitamins (mainly B12), a range of minerals, and flavanoids. We get most of these through our fruit and veg intake, so how diverse, how colourful, and how much of the good stuff do you eat? Is it different everyday. About 80% of your diet should be made up of fruit and veg. Ideally i would normally tell my clients to eat 2-3 pieces of fruit a day - blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are a good place to start, and then also to consume 5-7 varieties of vegetables across the day. How many of you can safely say you do this? We also get most of your B vitamins, sulfur and methionine (required for phase 2) from meat, so the detox juice diets you see are absolute nonsense.
Phase 3 is all bout transportation. But it is not to be undervalued. You think that if you urinate a lot you will be fine, but generally that's not the only importance. Phase 3 requires adequate hydration for the kidney-urine elimination, and how many of you can say you drink roughly 2 litres a day, and don't sip tea and coffee throughout the day? It also requires proper function of your GI system, essentially so you can excrete will through your stools. Do you poop daily, without constipation, sluggishness, loose stools or diarrhoea?
- Reduce your exposure to harmful toxins (sprays/cosmetics, processed foods, alcohol, medication, drugs, caffeine, pollution/fumes etc)
- Increase your fruit and vegetable (onions, garlic, cruciferous vegetables), quality meat and egg intake.
- Supplement and antioxidant or greens shake.
- Improve overall hydration