Toxicity and "Detoxing" Detoxifying the body has been around since ancient times, and whether it be for religious reasons, to cure disease or to cleanse the physical and psychological aspects of the body there is one thing that is constant, that detoxifying is to essentially expel "bad stuff".  
Let's skip ahead to modern day. At some point along the historical timeline, some smart health entrepreneur created the first retail "detox" that you and I could purchase so we could "detox" at home. Now, I'm using the word detox in inverted commas because most of these preparations are nothing more than a bunch of herbs that aren't going anywhere except down your toilet. To understand this, we need to understand detoxification. It's not a buzz word, and it's not a crazy alternative health concept.


Detoxification is one of the jobs your liver performs. It does this in two phases.

In phase one detoxification chemical reactions such as oxidation, reduction, hydrolysis, hydration and dehalogenation are taking place. These reactions are happening to toxic compounds that are dangerous to the body if left to rome free.

In phase two, reactions such as sulphination, methylation, acetylation and many others are taking place. These two phases chemically convert fat and water soluble toxins into safe compounds for excretion via the kidneys and bowels. At every step of the detoxification process various nutrients are required. Let's take the chemical reaction of methylation for example. I'll try not to get too sciency.

In methylation, a molecule donates a methyl group (which is one carbon atom bonded to 3 hydrogen atoms) to another molecule and a new molecule is formed. If there are no molecules to provide a methyl group, or if the methylation process is disturbed in some way then this won't take place, or it will take place in a sluggish not so happy fashion. Now, I don't know about you, but I don't think the off the shelf detox product can assess whether I'm "methylating" correctly.

I have really over simplified the liver's detoxification job here, but just understand that there is more to "detoxing" than just drinking a milk thistle tea. Right, so let's skip around and look at toxins. We live in a toxic world. I'm sorry, but that is the reality of it. The organ function we had 1000 years ago has not yet caught up with the industrial revolution and the exponential increase in industrial output since that time. 200 years ago, we didn't use deodorant, and now, every year we have a new "super formula" to try. 200 years ago we were eating whole, unprocessed foods with molecules that our bodies have been used to for tens of thousands of years.

Electromagnetic radiation used to be sourced through our atmosphere as UV rays and the like, while nowadays a large majority of people are surrounded 24 hours a day by wireless frequencies from computers, cell phones and other devices. But don't freak out. You can't stop evolution...well, you can try, good luck with that.

What you can do is adopt a sensible attitude to "detoxing". This means, understanding what toxins you are exposed to, realising that to detox well you need eliminate many of these or they will keep building up, undertake the correct detox protocol for you and above all, know that it takes more TIME and PATIENCE than what a box is going to tell you. We've covered the Lemon Detox diet in a past article, so we're not going to waste any time there again, but just so you know, this is NOT a detox.

There is not one single ingredient in the Lemon Detox diet that supports phase one or two detoxification. Unless you're really in the right headspace to think outside the box, or have some trusted advisors that can talk you through this, you are probably unaware of how toxic you are or how you even got there in the first place.

Here are some signs of toxicity
· Anxiety is common, but also feeling stressed, angry or depressed
· Irritable Bowel
· Sensitivities to fumes
· Sugar cravings
· Nausea or dizziness
· Insomnia
· Fatigue/sluggishness
· Acne
· Obesity/overweight
· Difficulty losing weight

These are just a few, the list is endless. But here's the thing, these symptoms can also be related to other suboptimal health conditions such as adrenal fatigue and underactive thyroid, and these other conditions may also caused by toxicity.

Again, does that 5 day "detox" product off the shelf consider this for you? A lot of people wonder why body fat can be a sign of toxicity. Simply because, if your body is bombarded by fat soluble toxins and your liver can't keep up with its phase 1 & 2 job, then the safest place to store those toxins are in your fat cells.

Your fat cells have an unlimited storage capacity, so they'll just keep packaging up those toxins to keep you safe. You really need to give your body a pat on the back, it's working extremely hard for your survival. Now, you can try all the diets and exercise in the world, but if your toxicity is dangerous to your health then there is no way your body is going to give up its protective body fat. Which leaves you back with...dealing with your toxicity.

A good detox should do the following:
· Not finish until all symptoms are cleared. This can take quite some time if your tissues are very burdened. A healing crisis may occur also, which is a worsening of symptoms or a recurrence of very old symptoms. Talk to your practitioner about the reality of detoxing and time frames.

· Treat the correct source of toxicity: heavy metals, radiation, chemicals and intestinal · Provide nutritional support for the detoxification pathways

· Provide support for the elimination pathways

· Counsel you through minimising toxic exposure, and making recommendations on how to do this. Finally here is a very small list of toxins. Depending on your constitution and how well your detoxification pathways are working you might not have any problems with these.

But for those of you who are fed up with feeling sick and tired and completely lost for answers, consider some of these: Mould, perfumes, deoderants, food additives, gluten, casein, lactose, wi-fi, toxic thoughts and emotions, PCB's, petrol fumes, automatic air spray devices, dishwashing liquid, cigarette smoke, aluminium, mercury, alcohol, formaldehyde, chlorine, medications, dry cleaning agent, Nitrosamines, aspartame...

Stacey Hancock
May 2012

Go on facebook!

Follow us on facebook
and keep up to date
with latest news
and activities

You are now being logged in using your Facebook credentials