Health In The 21st Century Requires A New Model For Detoxification
Your Genes Can Guide Your Natural Health Professional How To Maximize Your Innate Cellular Function
Detoxification is a fundamental, critically important life process. Our cells must eat, drink, work, rest, repair, and cleanse themselves as basic functions required to sustain life. The 21st Century brings new challenges, both in the dangers and severity of acquired toxins, and in the methods best employed to help. 20th Century methods, while fundamentally valid, are no longer the safest and most optimal methods to maintain and regain health. Here we’ll learn the importance of supporting the body’s natural detox methods as an all-important first step and the tremendous value that genetic testing provides to individualize that support.
Terminology. The word “detoxification” is a natural health term in the public domain and common usage demonstrates that it refers to the body’s innate process of altering or removing health-threatening toxins and metabolic wastes from inside its cells, and escorting them safely out of the body. As a natural life process, no one, no method, and no institution can copyright or own the term, “detoxification.”
Detoxification is the body’s natural, innate processes to either “recycle molecules,” or “take out the trash.” This cellular function is necessary for survival as well as optimal cellular health. Today, this fundamental process is being challenged like never before.
So detoxification refers to the body’s normal, natural cellular activities of molecularly converting toxins to either useable or moveable substances—a process that involves functions controlled by genes. More specifically, cellular biologists would tell you that detoxification involves identifiable genes that methylate, donate or accept electrons, and use ATP (Adenosine TriPhosphate) – the body’s chemical energy of life.
The body is “The Great Recycler!” It endeavors to do the most work with the least amount of energy. Effecient metabolic activities are a survival trait.
Note: Not Medical “Detox.” In medicine, the term “detoxification” is also borrowed from common usage and used to describe methods of chemically helping people who are addicted to drugs (narcotics, alcohol, and prescription medicines) to reduce their toxic effects and neurotransmitter dependency. Often these procedures are called “rehab” or “rehabilitation.” Also, “detoxification” is a term used in medicine to help save lives of people who ingest life-threatening poisons (chemicals, lead paint, chlorine vapors, medications). These acute and chronic medical procedures are NOT what we are talking about in this article.
Two types of toxins: 1) Internal Metabolic Wastes, 2) External Exogenous Elements (Toxic compounds).
- Metabolic wastes are produced by the cells when they use oxygen and food-nutrients to make ATP energy and perform their life functions. Metabolic wastes occur during the body’s anabolic building of tissues and muscles, as well as its normal catabolic breaking down substances into various molecules. So detoxification is the cells employing nutrients for cellular life processes. This is part of the science of
- Exogenous elements are metals, chemicals, molecules and compounds that do not, and cannot, serve the cells or the body’s life processes; or are simply detrimental (toxic) to the body. This includes chemicals (chlorine, fluoride), plastics, pesticides, food additives, partially-hydrogenated (trans) fats, cis-(mirror image) molecules, air pollutants, water pollution, prescription drugs, etc., as well as metabolic wastes from pathogens (bacteria, parasites, fungi, virus and mycoplasmas.)
Dumpsters in your body. Waste products are chelated, mobilized and transported through the body to exit portals. Along the way, the body has a choice to drop toxins off at a storage depot if its innate wisdom determines that it cannot properly dispose of the load called a “toxic burden.” A handy place for the body to “lay its burden down” is in the fat cells as well as the collagen (extracellular matrix) – anywhere it does not interfere with cellular life processes.
For example, if the body’s chief detoxification organ—the liver—does not have enough nutrients [methyl molecules, sulfur-bearing amino acids, glutathione (antioxidants), and enzymes] available to handle the toxic burden while performing its myriad other duties, then toxins may be stored in the fat cells for future detoxification when the nutritional resources are available. Or in the case of lead, it has an affinity for the bones. This means that the body just sets the work aside on the back burner. Toxins stored in fat cells are one reason why the fat cells enlarge or become water-infiltrated as the body uses the lymph fluid to protect itself from the inflammation associated with the stored toxins.
Breast Tissue Toxicity. Since the breasts are largely composed of adipose (fat) cells, natural health researchers surmise that if the breasts become storage depots for exogenous toxins, that the resulting free-radical damage might be associated with the reason that breast cancer is a primary concern for women, and a growing concern for men who also develop estrogenic sensitive adipose pectoral tissue.
Scientists also point out that women with expressed BRCA-1&2 genes are more susceptible to hormone and free-radical damage that can potentially lead to breast cancer. The science of epigenetics reminds us that those genes do not have to ever express—thus they are only a susceptibility, not a certainty. It only makes sense that a genetic-susceptibility can be lowered by supporting the body’s normal, natural detoxification activities. Natural health experts teach that detoxification and nutrition are two factors that help protect women from expressing those genes. An ounce of prevention is so much better than a ton of cure.
Breast cells also have abundant hormone receptors on their membranes. Should these cell membranes become inflamed due to toxins, they become unable to receive the estrogenic hormonal messengers – estrone, estradiol, and estriol. If the liver is over-burdened by detoxification demands, then it may not handle (re-conjugate) its vital estrogen activities very well. The hormone, estrone, when not methylated can become “toxic,” and it can bind to DNA and cause damage. BRCA gene expression is susceptible to DNA damage.
Drainage. The body has established “drainage” pathways or “exit portals” that are used to “take out the trash.” Toxins processed by the liver can exit the body through the gall bladder and the kidneys. The gall bladder generally gets the high molecular weight, fat-soluble toxins; and the kidneys get the water-soluble toxins.
The body can use every “exit portal” to get rid of toxins and some are used more than others depending upon how the body decides to conduct business. Some tissues and processes that have EXIT signs posted are: the gall bladder (moves toxins into the small intestines), kidneys (urination), lungs (gaseous toxins exhaled), skin (sweat), lachrymal glands (tears), sinuses (mucous drainage), menstrual period, colon (bowel movements), ears (wax), and hair (toxins exit into the hair shaft.
Inside most every cell are organelles called lysosomes, peroxisomes, golgi bodies, and endoplasmic reticulum that use a powerful antioxidant and detoxifying molecule called glutathione (GSH) as well as methyl groups (CH3) to transmutate toxins and help eliminate them from the cells.
Your cells collectively are the largest detoxification organ in your body. This is why the art and science of detoxification has changed in the 21st Century. Today we have more chemical toxins in the environment entering the cells than ever before.
There are millions of power plants called mitochondria inside your cells that manufacture life’s chemical energy, ATP. The other organelles have critically important functions such as genetic transcription, constructions of enzymes and proteins, and molecular transformations to conduct life-business, and they have a strong preoccupation with detoxification. Nature shows us by the structure of the cell’s organelles that detoxification is critically important for healthy cells, and healthy cells are the foundation of a healthy body.
Inflammation: The Real Price Of Toxins. Like our cities, our bodies have elaborate waste disposal systems. Just like cities caught up in a garbage strike with mountains of reeking refuse piling up on the sidewalks, our bodies can become overburdened with toxins and the dire need to detoxify and resolve chronic inflammation. Different people’s genetics express different abilities to detoxify, so some people are more sensitive to the detrimental impact of environmental toxins than others. Gene testing quickly reveals a person’s detoxification capabilities and what nutrient-tools help support any weak links.
In February, 2004, Time Magazine’s cover article was, “The Secret Killer: The Surprising Link Between INFLAMMATION and Heart Attacks, Cancer, Alzheimer’s, And Other Diseases.” Here, the public was alerted to the inflammation process and how the cell’s mitochondria communicate with the brain and immune system as a common link to all autoimmune and chronic-degenerative diseases.
What Causes Inflammation? Triggers are legion. The intestinal microbiome (the intestinal microbes) plays a huge role in the set-point of inflammation throughout the body. Pathogenic microbes in the intestines can trigger the immune system’s normal inflammation responses. Various environmental toxins engender free-radical damage to cell membranes. The resulting cell fragments alarm the immune system and incite the body’s natural, self-protective inflammatory response.
There may be other inflammatory responses caused by damaged genes. Science points to electromagnetic frequencies, cell phones, WIFI, Bluetooth networks, electrical smart-meters, solar radiation during daytime air travel, radar and airport scanners, as well as ionic radiations from radioactive particles in the air, food, and water); but the “elephant in the room” is the correlation between the skyrocketing rise of inflammatory diseases and the correlating rise of environmental toxins in the air, water, food (pesticides, genetic modifications, bio-engineered alterations, and hybridization of plant genetics), as well as from products in our garages, on our lawns, in our mouths from amalgam (mercury) dental fillings, on our skin (toxic cosmetics), and in carpets and home furnishings (fire retardants). Obviously the immune system is responding to something causing our cells to initiate inflammatory responses. Toxins are the chief, most widely acclaimed, cause. It’s well-proven that pesticides, mercury, lead, chemicals, plastics, and trans-fats, damage cells and cause inflammation.
Bucket Theory. It doesn’t take any leap of logic to arrive at the bucket concept—the simplistic idea that when the bucket gets filled, it overflows. Different people have different sized toxin buckets, so some people handle the environment better than others before a genetic switch is thrown and disease results. The size of a person’s bucket is determined by their genes that govern cellular detoxification and availability of dietary-based supportive molecules.
The body can only store so much before there’s a straw that breaks the camel’s back. When toxins overflow they damage cell membranes, mitochondrial energy processes, and in even genes. Here, in the body’s innate self-preservation process, is the root of the inflammation dilemma. The inflammation that is now known to cause all the big diseases stems from molecules that launch the body’s normal inflammation responses. Cited dietary culprits include sugar and refined carbohydrate foods as well as food additives; and/or a diet that lacks the phytonutrients (vegetables, fruit, pasture-raised meat) that help the body’s normal, natural efforts to avoid inflammation and free radical damage.
Cell Membrane Damage. Toxins damage cell membranes by irritating the membranes or by causing free radical damage that excites the inflammation response. Damaged membranes no longer have hormone receptors that can perform effectively. This is an important issue with the hormone-resistant diseases e.g. diabetes (insulin resistance) and hypothyroidism (thyroxin resistance and failure to convert T4 to T3). Toxins also confuse the brain’s hormonal command center—the hypothalamus—that must properly communicate with the pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, and gonadal glands. Hormone imbalances are not so much a hormone problem as they are cell membrane issues.
When the cell membranes [plasma (outer cell wall), mitochondria and other organelles, and nuclear membranes] are inflamed and unable to function correctly, the nutrients (glucose, oxygen) that fuel mitochondrial production of ATP can be blocked or diminished. Scientists have cited that “a lack of ATP is a root cause of all diseases” because when cellular energy is low, the cells cannot repair their DNA. The genetic code that tells them how to perform becomes flawed. Gene testing provides a blueprint about ATP and mitochondrial function.
DNA repair also requires enzymes as well as methyl molecules (CH3)—made from Vitamin B12, Folate (not Folic Acid), and SAM-e (S-Adenosyl Methionine) – that silence disease-expressive chromosomes. Science cites inflamed membranes and free radical damage to DNA as root causes of why a person’s genes express a dread disease instead of optimal health. The body needs access to its life code (called transcription) to maintain optimal cellular health. Ultimately our bodies need optimal cellular health in order to have optimal body health; and ultimately cells require Nature’s nutrients to perform.
Further, the lack of the body’s chief antioxidant, glutathione, and other antioxidants—catalase, superoxide dismutase—can allow the mitochondria to engage in a perpetual cycle of free radical destruction labeled by Dr. Martin Pall as the “NO/ONOO cycle” in reference to the molecules involved. This vicious cycle inhibits proper ATP production (low energy), and also damages chromosomes, e.g. free radical damage directly linked to inflammation as well as unleashing disease processes from within the body. Genetic testing reveals a person’s nitric oxide (NO) functionality.
Detoxification Is A Nutrient-Dependent Process. The body uses the molecules from whole food, especially organic vegetables, organic fruit, and herbs to provide both the energy (ATP) and the tools (nutrient molecules) to maintain itself in optimal health with a minimal amount of toxins fouling up the metabolic processes like sludge on a car’s sparkplugs.
If you have the nutrients, the body will automatically use them to detoxify itself. This is also why easy access to nutritional supplements such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, and anti-oxidants are a basic human right. They help counter the cellular damage of living in the 21st Century. This is also why nutritional “detox” programs are critically important to national health.
The Best Way To Detoxify. Since the body already has its own innate detoxification processes, from a natural health perspective, it’s absolutely best to work with the body’s own systems. This is really the essence of natural health—working with the body rather than inflicting chemical demands.
Here is a general plan to BUILD the body nutritionally so it can detoxify itself. A sequential approach to building whole-body nutritional health is the essence of a proper detoxification program.
- Support the liver with phytonutrients (organic fruit & vegetables, and herbs). Build liver function nutritionally (supply the nutrients, antioxidants, and botanical support) and the liver will automatically detoxify itself and the body according to the body’s innate processes. After all, that’s one of the liver’s prime responsibilities and energy-consuming activities. There are herbal formulas that excel in supporting the liver to function at its best.
Genes that reveal the liver’s capability to detoxify include: enzymes such as cytochrome p450, methylation, glutathione, acetylation, sulfation, glucaronidation, and mitochondrial energy processes. There are specific alcohol detoxification genes. Knowing if your detoxification genes are hampered (or not) can empower your detoxification processes through judicious supplementation.
- Assist the body to remove toxins from the storage depots (fat cells and extracellular matrix) by increasing its overall nutritional health (organic fruit & vegetables, and herbs) using superfoods such as organic kale and chelating herbs. There are wonderful supplements to this effect that the body can use to better serve its natural processes.
Gene testing reveals key enzymes and antioxidants that can ensure smooth operation of the body’s innate detoxification pathways.
- Support the cells membranes and organelles nutritionally for optimal health. Phospholipids, fatty acids, anti-inflammatory nutrients, antioxidants, methylation donors, glutathione support, and ATP support. Ensure that adequate fat-soluble Vitamins D3, K2, A, and the complete, natural Vitamin E (4 tocotrienols, 4 tocopherols) are provided as all four of those nutrients promote cellular health as recognized by the huge number of cell membrane receptors and chromosomal repair processes that require those vitamins. This phase is a cutting edge concept and there are marvelous supplements to help cellular health and healing.
Gene testing reveals the nutrients that best support an individual’s cellular metabolic activities.
Today, more than ever, we all need good detoxification programs that nourish the body, so the body is unshackled to do what it does best—adapt, survive, and maintain its cells in optimal health.
A New Detox Paradigm – Intracellular Self-Cleansing Support. 20th Century detox programs are all well and good, but they are not helping people in the 21st Century like they used to. In the past, people encountered fewer cell-invasive toxins that could more easily be removed with juice cleanses, shorts fasts, colon cleanses, and spa therapies. For example, scientists thought that body could handle the horribly toxic mercury adjuvant in vaccinations. But today, children’s intestinal bacteria are often deranged by the antibiotics in commercial milk and meat, and have weak blood/brain barriers. (Leaky gut = leaky brain.) Mercury can get into the brain and cause a wide variety of metabolic dysfunctions. Science has proven that the same is true of silver-amalgam dental fillings—often 50% mercury. Science believed that the body could handle a little poison, but today there are tens of thousands of environmental toxins, and buckets are overflowing causing loss of energy and health.
Today, there is direct damage inside the cells. Rampant cellular inflammation inhibits the body’s ability to detoxify itself because inflamed cell membranes are not fluid and resist in absorbing nutrients and hormone-responses as well as the egress of toxins. Lack of antioxidants (fresh, organic, raw fruit and vegetables) in the diet mean that the natural mitochondrial production of ATP can cause inflammation and free-radical damage to DNA.
This is why a 21st Century detoxification program is necessary. The game has changed from the extracellular matrix to the intracellular life processes. Fortunately, there’s now gene testing that empowers us with exactly how to help. Herbal/nutritional programs can best address the specific phases of normal, natural liver detoxification functions and bowel support (chelators) for effective removal of the toxic burden.
There is also effective support of the brain’s unique self-purification processes. Once the intracellular function is healthy and efficient, the body can more easily focus on removing toxins and heavy metals from the brain and/or deeper tissues. Science demonstrates the importance of competent cellular methylation and glutathione recycling activities.
Everyone Needs To Detoxify Effectively To Experience The Best Of Health. Even people who are vegetarians or eat exclusively organic foods! In testing hundreds of natural health devotees’ urinary malondialdehyde—a marker for cell membrane inflammation—most score in the “rapid aging, cell membrane inflammation” range. Today there are literally 100,000 ways the body is being damaged—nuclear radiation in the air, water and food; air, food, and water pollution, household products and plastics, genetically-modified/bio-engineered non-foods, etc.—so even natural health devotees must detoxify and even health-oriented people require the advantages of a 21st Century solution.
In today’s toxic world, detoxification support is absolutely essential. Today, there are new obstacles to the body’s established methods, so detox must be done right to be effective in the 21st Century. As poor health, symptoms, and disease predominates our global culture; the practice of assisted detoxification is more important than ever before. Simply put, our bodies need help—nutritional support that enhances the body’s innate processes—to detoxify the new challenges to its established life processes.
It starts with a look at how well equipped your individual genes are to conduct business of life in the 21st Century. Detoxification support sets the stage for the body to take care of itself, live better (and longer), and enjoy the wonders life has to offer.