Detox has become such as overused word in recent years.
But, far from being a vague term, detoxification actually refers to specific metabolic processes in the body, especially the liver, responsible for the breakdown and output of waste, if you like.
Quite simply, if you don't have the right nutrients in the right place at the right time for those processes to work, the body can become toxic and sluggish to say the least. You have to be able to achieve what's called 'conjugation' of some pretty nasty compounds that both come into the body from the environment and food and that we make ourselves inside.
True detox is ensuring this process is able to happen efficiently.
Generally-speaking, it takes me around 6-12 weeks to detox a person effectively so don't take any notice of 3 day detoxes for example. It's quite simple to get the stuff to come out of tissues, cells and organs, but not so simple to get the body to break them down and actually eliminate them. In reality, a lot of people detoxing feel rough as the stuff hits the blood stream, it recirculates a bit and then pretty much goes back where it was hiding UNLESS you can achieve Phase 2 detoxification processes.
To read and understand more about this fascinating issue, download the Detoxification Factsheet.
You can easily test to see how well your own phase 2 detoxification pathways are working. This is not the same as a liver function test that your GP does, which simply checks for enzyme activity.
With this test, you give a first morning urine sample and then the lab looks for two markers which, together, give an assessment of your liver status and your capability of breaking toxins down. It's a fascinating and unique way to check your status. (Note this is a replacement test for the challenge-type one we used to do as that is no longer available in the UK.)
Have a read about the Liver Detoxification Test here. Use the Hepatic Detox test for assessing phase 1 and 2, and you can also look at the detox genes and/or methylation genes and function in the body if you need to; all have an impact on detoxification ability.
Remember - always check out with your health practitioner or GP before starting anything new especially if you are taking any other medicines, are pregnant or trying to conceive or have high blood pressure. See here for more advice on interactions with meds and general cautions.
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The information given is not meant to be a substitute for seeing a health professional. It is our opinion only, based on several years of natural medicine practice and research. We're sure you'll find it useful, but please use it wisely and always exercise common sense.