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The Low Down on Liver Detoxification

liver-orange-web.jpgSome time ago, I got a spasm in my hip. It wasn't the first time this had happened to me. I have experienced the same problem several times during the past couple of years. At first, I thought I had just strained a muscle working in the garden, but on further reflection, it seemed like this was more than just muscle strain. I mentioned the problem to my naturopathic partner Kimberly Balas, who called me back the next day and told me she had a feeling it might be some kind of toxicity—a heavy metal, perhaps. Because I have found Kim's impressions to be accurate most of the time, I started taking Heavy Metal Detox and N-Acetyl-Cysteine.

The next day, I had my regularly scheduled appointment with my chiropractor (I see him twice a month for health maintenance). The clinic I go to doesn't do just chiropractic. They do muscle testing, color therapy, sound therapy, laser therapy, nutritional counseling, homeopathics and mental/emotional healing work. They also have rife machines for energy balancing and foot spas for detoxing. I mentioned Kim's hunch to my holistic chiropractor, Dr. Lyman, who muscle tested me. To his surprise, the cause didn't come up as structural, just as Kim had suggested. With further muscle testing, he determined I had a heavy metal (thallium) in my prostate which was being released and causing muscle spasms in my pelvis. Since my prostate had bothered me every time I'd had the pelvic spasms, the connection made sense to me.

He gave me a dose of homeopathic thallium, had his assistant use the laser on me to “program” my body to release the thallium. The assistant told me that she hated doing thallium detox because she always got “cotton-mouth” when she was doing it. That was interesting, because I'd been waking up with “cotton-mouth” for over a week (and had experienced the same “cotton-mouth” when I'd had this problem before).

After the laser, I did a foot bath detox where I passed lots of black flecks (which are a sign of heavy metals). At home, I continued the homeopathic thallium, Heavy Metal Detox, Milk Thistle Combination and N-Acetyl-Cysteine. My pelvis was better in record time.

Environmental Toxicity: A 21st Century Health Challenge

pollution-web.jpgI have long felt that the biggest health problem we face in the 21st century is environmental toxicity. I don't know where or how I got thallium in my system, but everyday, we are all exposed to chemicals (including heavy metals) that our body must find a way to get rid of. The primary organ responsible for this is the liver and for some time I've been interested in learning more about how the liver detoxifies these chemicals. So, this month's topic was an excuse to spend some time doing the research. As a result, I have a much better understanding of how the body detoxifies and a new-found appreciation for some of our “non-herbal” supplements such as the N-Acetyl-Cysteine, Indole-3-Carbinol, SAM-e and Alpha Lipoic Acid. And, of course, I'd like to share my discoveries with you.

Just one word of caution before we begin, don't let any of the chemical terms in this article scare you away from the topic. Just pay attention to the key ideas, which are:

1. The body has to enzymatically process toxins in order to eliminate them.

2. These enzymatic conversions take place primarily in the liver, but also take place in other tissues.

3. There are two phases to this process, phase one and phase two. In phase one, toxins are electrically charged and in phase two, the electrically-charged toxins are attached to a nutrient so they can be flushed from the body.

4. There are six methods the body has for neutralizing toxins in phase two. Each of these systems process different kinds of toxins.

5. Various nutrients are required as co-factors to make this detoxification process work. Specific nutrients enhance phase one detoxification, and there are also specific nutrients that enhance each of the six detoxification pathways in phase two.

6. Free radicals are generated in the process of detoxification, which have to be neutralized, so antioxidants are critical to the process. These free radicals generated by the detoxification process are probably responsible for the “cleansing reactions” or “healing crisis” some people experience when seeking to improve their health.

That's the whole process in a nutshell. The details are provided to give you clues as to how you might be able to help people who have been exposed to specific kinds of toxins. This can help guide your muscle testing, intuition or experimentation when trying to help someone get any kind of chemical out of the body.

While every cell in the body has some detoxification capability, the primary place where detoxification occurs is in the liver. Liver enzymes process irritating substances that get into the system so they can be eliminated. The liver not only handles environmental pollutants, it also breaks down metabolic by-products, waste from infectious organisms and any drugs we might take. Certain fat-soluble toxins also get stored in body fat, so when we lose weight, fast or exercise, these toxins can be released for processing, giving the liver more work to do. In addition, the liver also breaks down the “active constituents” like alkaloids that are present in our herbal remedies.

The process the liver uses to eliminate these toxins is illustrated below. The toxins are taken through a two-step detoxification process. In Phase 1 Detoxification, the body uses 50 different enzymes that are capable of creating an electrical charge on various kinds of toxins. This is done by adding or removing electrons from the toxin, giving it an electrical charge. This prepares the toxin so it can be attached to various nutritional substances in Phase 2. Phase 2 Detoxification makes the toxin water soluble and capable of being flushed from the body. Most toxins are taken to the kidneys and eliminated in the urine. Some toxins with larger molecules are dumped into the bile where they enter the colon, get bound to fiber and then carried out of the body.

New-Liver-Detoxification.jpg

This article has two additional pages where I eleborate further on this process. Please click below to access the next pages.