In many cases, the use of the word “detox” when referring to taking a high dose of vitamins, minerals and herbs or simply juicing is somewhat of a misnomer. It is often referred to, and heavily marketed as “doing a cleanse” or “doing a detox.” A splendid idea and no doubt potential benefits to be gleaned with either approach, but appropriate understanding and labeling of the whole process should be understood.
The process of detoxification is a complicated one that doesn’t just take place when you decide to “detox,” rather it is going on every minute of every day in response to the constant, inevitable exposure to toxins we can’t avoid throughout the day. Sure you can try and successfully eliminate frequency and intensity of many exposures, thus placing less of a toxic burden on the body, but due to the unavoidable nature of the beast that is our world today, the process is a necessary ongoing one that helps us breakdown and eliminate the inevitable bad and maintain.
So really, in most cases when we say we are detoxing, we are generally referring to providing or enhancing some of the key players or actions involved in the phases of the process, while hopefully simultaneously minimizing stressors to the system. Ideally, this should be the way we live our life 24-7, but we realize it is not the case. Hence we have an opening for these periods of time when we concentrate on optimizing health and one of the components of it, the detoxification pathway.
The reason this is such an imperative process is that which we touched on above. Toxin exposure is inevitable. We need to have the capacity to rid ourselves of these system irritants so that they don’t start to back up and accumulate; which can obviously be the case if our exposure and bombardment exceeds our capacity to process and clear. As toxins accumulate, we begin to fill our tolerance or resilience cup so to speak. Now everyone’s cup is different; a different size, different affinities for certain chemicals or stressors, along with varying capacities to metabolize and be rid of our exposures.
Eventually we can reach a breaking point due to stressor after stressor, and toxin on top of toxin, so that our cup can overflow, or something becomes the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back. This can be due to inadequate consistent nutrition (not just when spending a couple weeks “detoxing”), impaired organ function, and obviously degree of toxic exposures. Other than implementing this strategy as a proactive and preventative wellness strategy (after we ensure optimal gut health), we often go to the detox when we suspect excess hormone build up from endocrine disrupting skin care, hormone replacement therapy or birth control use, or when we test for and confirm mold of heavy metal toxicity. The latter of which can be facilitated and mycotoxin (toxin produced by mold) and heavy metal targeted by use of chelating agents specific to the toxin.
Outside of specific chelators, methylated B vitamins (especially if an MTHFR snp exists) are crucial, in order to perform methylation, a key step in this process and beyond. The other biggest thing anyone can do is to enhance glutatione levels both exogenously (liposomal form) and by providing the substrates to optimize endogenous production. Glutathione is THE master antioxidant and critical for all health and vital for detoxifying in order to maintain resiliency and allow the body handle exposures to toxins, viruses, and other pathogens without falling too hard. Sure we all may get “sick” once in awhile, but it is largely contingent upon glutathione leading your body’s ability to keep the toxic load down (that cup less full), that determines how hard we fall and or how long it can take to bounce back.
For optimization of health and thus quality and quantity of life, once recognized, this empowering approach should be the 365 day a year norm, rather than the for a few weeks once or twice a year. We should always be doing our best to minimize the toxic burden and number of stressors to this one body, while simultaneously looking to enhance all vital systems to the best of our ability. Keeping all the body’s systems functions top notch by way of intelligent lifestyle choices only amplifies your chances of tackling those inevitable exposures and toxic burdens without skipping a beat; without infringing upon your enjoyment of this one body and this life.
Isn’t that what it’s all about?