How to Detox with Functional Medicine

Writing on a white background with the word "detox" in the centre
Functional Medicine can help you detox.

Whether we know it or not, toxins are all around us. And they are making their way into our bodies through the food we eat, the drinks we consume, the air we breathe, and the things we come into contact with. What happens after this point is determined by our body, and how well it can deal with toxins and eliminate them.

“There is growing evidence that some chemicals cause products and wastes with hazardous properties which harm human health and the environment.3 According to the UN’s Global Chemicals Outlook, hazardous chemicals and other pollutants are now ‘ubiquitous in humans and the environment.’ …the unpleasant reality is that we are constantly exposed to a cocktail of chemicals, something which is still largely ignored by chemical safety laws.”

“The European Commission estimates there are over 100,000 chemicals on the EU market, only a small proportion of which have been evaluated for their impact on human health and the environment.”

House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee, July 2019

“We are what we…..

Eat

Drink

Breathe

Touch

…and cannot Eliminate”

 TOM MALTERRE, MS, Institute For Functional medicine, 2019

What are the symptoms of exposure to toxins?

The list of possible symptoms linked to toxin exposure include:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression 
  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Asthma or wheezing

What is a Toxicant?

A toxicant is any substance that can cause structural damage or functional disturbances to our body. There are many types of possible toxicants, including pesticides, insecticides, food additives, cosmetic additives, synthetic medications, solvents, detergents, toxic metals and electromagnetic radiation (link to 5G), to name a few…

Toxins often come from products that we use everyday, such as:

  • Plastic bottles
  • Air fresheners 
  • Cleaning products 
  • Washing powders 
  • Perfumes
  • Deodorant 
  • Hair products
  • Furniture
  • Paint
  • New carpets
  • Mold 

And if we are chronically exposed to more than one toxin, these can amplify the effects of each other, making the situation even worse and contributing to a wide variety of possible chronic diseases. 

What is the science of detoxification?

There are two phases of detoxification within the body and the whole aim is to turn the toxin from a substance that is stored in fat (lipid soluble), into a substance that is water soluble and can be excreted via our urine or stools. Phase 1 detoxification uses particular enzymes to begin the process of changing the toxin, and phase 2 then combines this toxin with another substance to make it ready to be secreted from the body. These two phases must be in balance for our body to be able to detoxify effectively. Therein objective is to increase phase II enzymes without upsetting on phase I detoxification. To maintain this balance, there are certain foods and drugs that we need to be wary of that can inhibit phase 1 metabolism, such as grapefruit juice, garlic, SSRIs and antifungal medications. And, there are also a number ways we can optimise the way our body removes toxins by increasing phase 2 activity. 

How to Increase Phase 2 Detoxification Enzyme Activity

Here are six ways to help naturally boost the second phase of detoxification within the body. 

  1. Cruciferous Vegetables  (Broccoli, Watercress, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts)
  2. Citrus fruits
  3. Resveratrol 
  4. Curcumin 
  5. Green Tea 
  6. Quercetin 

A special mention for an antioxidant named Glutathione 

Glutathione is the main antioxidant within the body that is not an enzyme. It is involved in phase II detoxification and elimination of heavy metals, external toxicants, pharmaceuticals, and carcinogens. Whilst it may seem obvious just to take a glutathione supplement to support its production, results are inconclusive as to whether this approach is beneficial. Therefore, a better alternative can be to support natural glutathione production via other supplemental sources.

Sam’s top supplements to support glutathione production. 

  • NAC 600-3000mg 
  • R-Lipoic Acid 200-1200mg 
  • Methylfolate 1-4 mg 
  • Methyl B12 1-3mg 
  • Milk Thistle 500-1200mg 
  • Curcumin – 1000mg
  • Vitamin C – 500mg

How can Functional Medicine help you deal with toxins? 

Functional medicine can help your body detox in the following ways:

  1. Helping you minimise exposure to toxins by learning about the way your environment oils be affecting your health. 
  2. Helping you optimise your gut health, helping to mobilise and excrete toxins from your body. 
  3. Helping you optimise the balance of Phase I and II detoxification within your body. 

7 Ways to Decrease Toxin Exposure

  1. Use a quality water filter.  
  2. Use non-toxic cleaning agents.
  3. Use “natural” cosmetics and fragrances. 
  4. Eat organic food whenever possible, learn the ‘clean fifteen’ and ‘dirty dozen’. 
  5. Choose organic meat and dairy produce, limit intake of large predator fish. 
  6. Consider an air purifier.
  7. Avoid using pesticides and herbicides in home and garden.

There are many things to consider when attempting to detox. To learn more about how Functional Medicine could help you, please do not hesitate to contact me. Alternatively, you can arrange your free 10 minute introductory call today.