Evolving research suggests that the cause of many health problems may be associated with prolonged exposure to various toxic agents in our environment. Some of my patients health issues may be related to impairments or imbalances in the body’s ability to properly detoxify and remove these toxic compounds. The body’s capacity to carry our this complex process of detoxification has a lot to do with nutrition. Certain foods (fast foods) can impair the detox chemistry especially in the liver while some foods and nutrients can improve this process (cruciferous vegetables). Specific vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients may be extremely important in helping to detox your body. Some of the detox process is genetically determined and some of it is significantly influenced by our environmental exposures and what we eat.
Many cultures around the world have long believed that toxins accumulate in the body and can be an underlying cause of a variety of health problems. For hundreds of years different therapies have been used to “cleanse” or detoxify, from simple water fasts to elaborate regimes of bowel cleansing and sweating. Western medicine has ignored or criticized these traditions for years but is slowly beginning to recognize detoxification as vital to good health. In our industrialized world we produce more and more potentially toxic compounds that enter the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. The body must rid itself of these dangerous substances by transforming them to be more water soluble, then excrete them through the lungs, skin, kidneys and bowels. Unfortunately, not all of them get excreted efficiently. Some are circulated back into the bloodstream while many others are stored in various body tissues such as fat and bone. Over the years toxins build up in our fat, joints, brain and liver and lead to a variety of chronic health problems. See our video on metabolic detoxification and learn more about how to safely detox your body.