What is a body cleanse?

Body Cleanse

Many of my patients ask about a “body cleanse“. Other similar terms are detox or detoxification which are usually used in a medical context. I have also heard the term “flush”. What this means is the body, specifically fatty tissues, store toxins from the environment. Since 2001 more than 6 billion pounds of chemical pollutants have been released in to the environment. These chemicals enter our bodies through food, water, air and our skin. Fast food diets also “pollute” the body. Toxins come from pesticides, lead, mercury, arsenic in water or air, cigarette smoke, alcohol and food additives. This affects multiple organs of the body especially the liver which can’t keep up its cleansing process. This can lead to migraine headaches, muscle pains and fibromyalgia, joint pains, chemical sensitivity, and chronic fatigue.

Detoxification is the body’s way of cleansing itself from these toxins. Because the detoxification process requires a lot of energy, fasting with water or juice can be ineffective and dangerous for some people and they end up feeling worse. Prolonged fasting may lead to weaker muscles and put stress on internal organs. Therefore it is necessary to support the body with both clean organic foods especially greens and fruits and multiple specific nutrients to help the liver through its cleansing process.

We offer 10 and 28 day cleanse (detox) programs. We give booklets with the complete food and nutrient protocols. People usually say their energy is better and mind is clearer. These programs can also to help “reboot” the body metabolism for weight loss. They are great for widespread muscle and joint pains. Please see the video Metabolic Detox on our website. If you would like to have a body cleanse for every organ in your body call us today to start your medically supervised detox program.

Help Me Lose Weight – Part III

Help Me Lose Weight

In parts I and II I covered two hidden causes of weight loss frustration, lack of adequate sleep and disruptions of bacteria in the intestinal tract. The next hidden cause of weight loss frustration is toxic chemicals stored in our fatty tissues. These are called Obesogens. Some of the most common obesogens are pesticides and other chemicals called POP’s or persistent organic pollutants such as PCBs (dry cleaning fluid), DDE (a break down product o DDT), hexachlorocyclohexane (pesticide), Pthalates and Bisphenol A (both in some plastic bottles and packaged foods). These chemicals disrupt normal weight loss signals in the body. In your quest to “Help me lose weight” we have to consider these toxins.

In an article entitled: “Chemical toxins: a hypothesis to explain the global obesity epidemic” in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2002 the authors state, “Because the obesity epidemic occurred relatively quickly, it has been suggested that environmental causes instead of genetic factors may be largely responsible. What has, up to now, been overlooked is that the earth’s environment has changed significantly during the last few decades because of the exponential production and usage of synthetic organic and inorganic chemicals. Many of these chemicals are better known for causing weight loss at high levels of exposure but much lower concentrations of these same chemicals have powerful weight-promoting actions. This property has already been widely exploited commercially to produce growth hormones that fatten livestock and pharmaceuticals that induce weight gain in grossly underweight patients. This paper presents a hypothesis that the current level of human exposure to these chemicals may have damaged many of the body’s natural weight-control mechanisms. Furthermore, it is posited here that these effects, together with a wide range of additional, possibly synergistic, factors may play a significant role in the worldwide obesity epidemic.”

A strong correlation was seen between increased levels of specific POPs and insulin resistance and Body Mass Index reported in the journal Obesity in 2010. Research from Diabetes Care 2007 suggest that persistent organic pollutants (POPs) may be associated with type 2 diabetes risk by increasing insulin resistance in obese individuals.


See our video about our 10 day metabolic detoxification program and ask us to “Help me lose weight“.

Belly fat and weight loss by Dr. Oz

Belly Fat and Weight Loss

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In this video on belly fat and weight loss, Dr. Oz covers many of the basic ideas we incorporate in our FirstLine Therapy lifestyle program for reducing risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and weight loss. One of these concepts is your waist size. A healthy waist size should be one half of your height. So if you are 5′ 6 inches tall or 66 inches your waist measured at the level of your belly button should be 33 inches or less. If your waist size is greater than ½ your height in inches then you are at greater risk for heart disease and diabetes. For men the waist is not their pant size or their belt size but should also be measured at the level of the belly button. Many men will be unpleasantly surprised at their number. Dr. Oz goes on to explain the dangers of belly fat in graphic detail.


Our lifestyle program is designed to address all of these issues for women and men. Please see our success story video.

Not Just Weight Loss

Recent estimates from the Center for Disease Control say almost two thirds of the population of the U.S. is either overweight or obese. Multiple chronic health issues related to being overweight include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, degenerative changes in back and knees, and cancer. People with weight issues often want quick solutions. Rapid weight loss claims like losing 40 pounds in four weeks ignore established medical research recommending a one-pound weight loss per week for women, and 1-2 pounds per week for men. With rapid weight loss, muscle mass (one of the most important biomarkers of aging) is also lost. Many highly advertised weight loss programs fail to offer a specific plan to maintain muscle mass while losing fat – in other words, how to maintain a healthy body composition. In studies, there is increasing focus on healthy body composition instead of just weight loss since it is well known that aging, sedentary lifestyle, weight gain, chronic disease, and poor nutrition can lead to unhealthy changes in body composition.

Body composition can be measured through a simple, non-invasive device called a bioimpedance analyzer. A mild current, which cannot be felt, is passed through electrodes attached to the foot and hand. The current passes through the different body compartments: intracellular water, extracellular water, fat mass, and free fat mass (everything other than fat). If the current passes slowly, there is more fat mass and extracellular water. If it passes through more quickly, there is more intracellular water and muscle tissue. The analyzer is also programmed to calculate the amount of stored energy in the cells and cell membranes, called phase angle and body capacitance. Not surprisingly, healthy people have more stored energy than unhealthy people. Bioimpedance correlates quite well with the DEXA scan, which is considered the gold standard for measuring fat, muscle, and bone mass, but uses radiation so it cannot be used for regular assessment of body composition.

Traditional markers of total body weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference are helpful for baseline information but cannot tell whether a person is gaining or losing muscle mass, or shifting from unhealthy extracellular water to healthier intracellular water. By measuring these latter biomarkers, along with the phase angle marker, we can track nutritional and lifestyle changes, and minimize the otherwise inevitable consequences of aging and disease.

A new term called ‘sarcopenic obesity’ is appearing in the medical literature. Simply put, it means loss of muscle mass while fat mass increases. Reduction in muscle mass can be caused by previous bouts of crash dieting, inadequate protein intake and inactivity. Sarcopenic obese people may even have a normal or low BMI measurement and look thin, but have a relatively high fat ratio – lending the term “skinny fat people”. Research from UCLA Center for Human Nutrition showing bioelectrical impedance measurements made of young women at increased risk of breast cancer demonstrated sarcopenic obesity in 38 out of 40 women. In these women, body fat is best reduced by encouraging heavy resistance exercise rather than simply restricting calories. Increasing their muscle mass will help increase their basal metabolic rates and burn more fat.

Incorporated into a comprehensive therapeutic lifestyle management program, bioimpedance analysis, performed every few weeks, can be a powerful tool to monitor body composition changes. It is also a great motivator as people see the results of the lifestyle and dietary changes they have made. With weight loss, slower is healthier, and energy usually improves quickly. Medical studies agree that maintaining muscle mass and minimizing fat mass is one of the best indicators of healthy aging.

Is your health in a recession?

According to recent reports, there are definite signs of an economic recovery starting as soon as this summer. This is hopeful news for both your wallet and your waistline. Looking at this economic downturn from the perspective of diet and nutrition and the effect on general public health, we see that it is much different from the downturn of the Great Depression. Back then most people could not afford high fat meats and dairy products and turned to less expensive homegrown vegetables and beans. The rates of heart disease dropped dramatically. Then, during the growing prosperity of the 1950′s, the rates of heart disease climbed back to their pre-depression levels.

How many people today are turning to homegrown vegetables to cope with the current downturn? Hardly anyone I know. Why, because coinciding with the post-war economic boom was the rise of the fast food industry and the introduction of convenience foods (remember Swanson’s TV dinners) that did not exist in the 1930′s, providing inexpensive, high fat, high salt and sugar, low nutrition foods. In fact, the fast food industry is doing quite well right now with McDonald’s Corp. announced a first-quarter profit of $980 million, up 4% from last year and Burger King 1st quarter profits up 1.6% over last year. So this time instead of a decrease in heart disease and related problems there may be an increase. People’s waistlines are expanding as their wallets have been shrinking.

Our relatives of not so long ago had it right. They switched by necessity to healthier foods. Fresh produce, beans and legumes and poultry are relatively inexpensive today. Spending about one hour a week making a bean and vegetable soup can provide leftovers to last the rest of the week for a lot less money than eating out. Our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents also walked a lot more by necessity in those days than we do now. Unless we learn these important lessons from them, we may emerge from this recession much less healthy than they did when economic times were even worse.