The Importance of Detoxification

By Dr. Paul Deglmann

Edited by Meghan Feir Walker

Spring has sprung, and for many of us, that means it’s time for a full home and garage cleaning, junk clean out, and home maintenance check-up. Just as our homes and garages can accumulate too much grime and junk, our bodies can too and need to regularly clean out the garbage. The body’s natural cleaning process is called detoxification, and today we’re going to be going over the importance of detoxification. 

The importance of detoxification

What does detox or detoxification mean?

Detoxification is the process of removing toxic substances from the body. This isn’t a one-step process. Detoxification is comprised of a series of steps throughout six key organs in our bodies. 

These 6 detoxification organs include:

  • Liver
  • Kidneys
  • Lungs
  • Lymphatic system
  • Gut/colon
  • Skin

When we breathe in, consume, or come into contact with a toxin, this toxin is sent to the liver for processing and refinement. After it has gone through the liver, it gets sent to the kidneys or through the intestines (through bile, which is produced in the liver). These toxins are either removed through urine or feces. 

While this seems like a smooth process, when one function isn’t functioning properly, it can compromise the other systems as well. This can also lead to toxins being kept inside the body for far too long, which can cause a wide array of problems and symptoms. 

The lymphatic system, lungs, and skin also play an important role in the detoxification process, but we will primarily focus on the liver, the kidneys, and the gut/colon.

Liver

The liver has many responsibilities, one of which is to filter the blood to remove bacteria, endotoxins, and other offenders. 

Bile, which is a substance created and secreted in the liver, carries toxins to the intestines for their removal. 

The liver is part of phases 1 and 2 of the detoxification process.

Kidneys

The kidneys are like the liver in that they are another filter in the body. They perform a vital role in the detoxification process by providing a route for toxin removal via urine. 

In addition to that, the kidneys help balance our body by regulating fluids and electrolytes, which supports the body’s pH level, cells, and helps control blood pressure. 

Gut/colon

The gut and colon encounter toxins regularly as they sort through the foods and liquids we consume, and all the toxins that accompany them. 

Inside a healthy gut, nutrients get absorbed and harmful toxins are blocked. Unfortunately, with intestinal hyperpermeability, aka, “leaky gut,” toxins can enter the bloodstream from a little holes created in the intestinal lining. This can lead to problems like food allergies/intolerances/sensitivities and many other serious problems. When you’re dealing with a leaky gut, this puts more work on the liver and can harm it over time.

How do these toxins get into your body? 

There are toxins virtually everywhere you look. Whether it’s in our water, our air, or the surfaces we touch, it’s impossible to avoid everything that is harmful. 

Common sources of these toxins include:

  • Food (food additives/preservatives/chemicals/colorings/dyes, etc)
  • Water (fluoride, chlorine and other chemicals commonly found in water)
  • Plastics
  • Cosmetic/hygiene products
  • Environmental toxins (air and water pollutants)
  • Mold (from water-damaged materials inside our homes)
  • Cleaning products
  • Medications
  • Herbicides/insecticides/pesticides used in farming, lawn care, mosquito/pest control, processed/packed and non-organic foods, etc

Since these toxins are everywhere, making sure our the organs associated with our detoxification system are supported and working well is imperative to our overall health. 

Helping eliminate toxins 

Bile 

As we previously mentioned, bile is imperative for the elimination of toxins. After the toxins have gone through the liver, they are carried out through the bile, which is also produced in the liver. This bile is then sent to the gallbladder before it exits the body through feces. Without the help of bile, toxins can’t exit the body properly.  

Colon 

Once bile and the toxic waste it carries has entered the intestine, it must be absorbed by fiber so it can exit through a bowel movement. Fiber is vital to the detoxification process because it minimizes the time stools linger in the body. 

Constipation is a major problem with the detoxification process because the longer toxic waste sits in the body, the more likely those toxins will recirculate and cause symptoms and distress. Fiber can help alleviate constipation by speeding up the excretion process. Other things can help relieve constipation as well, such as magnesium or vitamin C. 

Intestinal barrier

The health of your intestinal barrier is imperative to the other functions in your body. When it is compromised, this can cause a wealth of problems. 

Some causes of intestinal hyperpermeability include nutritional deficiencies, gluten, wheat, foods high in sugar, highly processed foods, food allergies, parasites, intense emotional stress or trauma, medications (such as antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs), alcohol abuse, intestinal infections or microbial overgrowth and radiation. 

Increased intestinal permeability also occurs with certain disease states such as inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, asthma, eczema and following trauma or surgery.

How can you minimize exposure to toxins?

In order for your body to function optimally, it’s imperative to minimize toxin exposure whenever possible and to support your organs with the nutrients and antioxidants they need. 

  • Eat a clean, organic, anti-inflammatory diet
  • Hydrate with clean, non-toxic/chemical-free water
  • Make sure we are breathing clean air as much as possible (mainly referring to the interiors of our homes)
  • Use organic, non-toxic household cleaning products, detergents, soaps, etc.
  • Use organic, non-toxic personal hygiene/cosmetic products

A good resource is the Environmental Working Group’s website, www.ewg.org, or the Think Dirty app for your phone. These resources are a wealth of information and can show you how toxic or clean your products are.  

The importance of detoxification

How can you get rid of toxins in your body?

There are four natural ways to get our body to detoxify:

  • Sweat through exercise, using a sauna, being outside, etc.
  • Breathe deeply through exercise, deep breathing practices, etc.
  • Have regular bowel movements (1-3 daily) by eating a healthy diet and exercising
  • Urinate as needed (hydrate well throughout the day by drinking plenty of clean water)

Is there a supplement you can take to help detox your body?

There are several products that are known for supporting the detoxification process in the body. Our favorite basic supplement for detoxing is called Ultra C, a high-quality vitamin C supplement from NutriRestore. 

Ultra C

Ultra C is a form of vitamin C in the L-ascorbate form that is extremely pure and bioavailable for our bodies to readily absorb and use. Vitamin C, L-ascorbate, is a water-soluble vitamin that is required for several metabolic functions in the body. 

Ultra C is effective at lowering the body’s burden of toxic minerals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic and nickel.

This action occurs by both decreasing the uptake of toxic minerals from the intestine and by increasing renal (kidney) and stool excretion of toxic minerals.

Through NutriRestore, you can choose it in tabsule or powder form.

Each Ultra C tapsule contains 1.000 mg of 100% l-ascorbate that is fully reduced and buffered along with 111 mg of calcium (as citrate) per serving (one tabsule).

Ultra C powder contains 1.584 mg of 100% l-ascorbate that is fully reduced and buffered per serving (one level half-teaspoon). Ultra C also contains 99 mg of potassium (as ascorbate), 40 mg of calcium (as ascorbate), 16 mg of magnesium (as ascorbate) and 600 mcg of zinc (as ascorbate) per serving.

Ultra C

Vitamin C benefits: 

  • Synthesis of collagen and elastin
  • Aids in liver detoxification
  • Is an antioxidant that protects cells from damage
  • Promotes adrenal gland health
  • Boosts nitric oxide function
  • Is necessary for the repair of tissues within the body
  • Regulates neurotransmitter production
  • Reduces heavy metal accumulation

We hope this article will help you learn how to lessen your toxic load and better support your body’s natural detoxification process. 


DISCLAIMER: 

The information provided is for educational and informational purposes only. The information provided on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional advice or care. Please seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

Sources
Miller AL. The pathogenesis, clinical implications and treatment of intestinal hyperpermeability. Altern Med Rev 1997;2(5):330-345. [Full Text]