What is a detox?
Detoxification (detox) is the process whereby the liver breaks down toxins and body waste to prepare them for excretion either through the urine or the bowel. There are two steps, known as phase I and phase II liver detoxification. Waste must pass completely through both steps and then be excreted to be removed from your body. The steps require certain nutrients to be performed properly including: vitamin B6, vitamin B12, active folic acid (5MTHF), indole-3-carbinol, glucarate, N-acetyl cysteine, glutathione, etc.
A detox involves supplying the specific nutrients required for complete, efficient liver detoxification and ensuring proper function of the organs of elimination – the liver, colon, kidneys and skin.
What are the benefits of doing a detox?
Toxins build up in our bodies through eating the wrong foods, pesticides/herbicides sprayed on our food, exposure to pollution through our environment and living an unhealthy lifestyle. Sometimes our bodies need assistance in getting rid of these toxins and this is the purpose of a detox. The benefit of doing this is to remove toxins, chemicals and waste that may have adverse effects on our bodies. Some are hormone disruptors, some may be cancer promoters, some affect fertility and some just make us feel sick or sluggish.
When is it a good time to do a detox?
Detoxes can be done at any time during the year if you want to address a certain condition. However, if you are looking to do a general cleanse, then the optimal times are spring and fall.
What are the side effects?
Everyone responds differently to detoxing. Some people who are more sensitive and/or have a lot of toxicity may experience headaches, low energy and moodiness but these symptoms usually clear up within the first week or two.
What detox is right for me?
There are many different detoxes available, although many of the health food store variety don’t do very much other than cause frequent bowel movements through laxative herbs and fiber supplements. These are not recommended nor particularly beneficial.
General liver/colon cleanses, digestive cleanses, Candida diets and heavy metal detoxes are some examples of detoxes that our naturopathic doctors may recommend depending on your specific condition.
What’s involved in a detox?
A detox usually involves making some necessary dietary modifications along with 1 or 2 nutritional and/or herbal supplements. They usually last about 3-6 weeks.