The 2 Week Ultimate DETOX
IF YOU ONLY HAVE 2 WEEKS BUT WANT TO GET THE ULTIMATE BENEFIT!
- A Tailor-Made Detox Diet Guide with Recipes
- Effective for resistant Candida or Bloating
- Claim on your health fund for consultations
- Alkalize your system
- Reduce inflammation
- Start healing your gut
- Improve liver and kidney function
- Only 3 supplements to take
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Products include practitioner products only available from a Naturopath
*IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have private health fund cover you can claim on all our consultation fees. Check with your health fund for your rebate information. We also have HICAPS for immediate claiming.
With our support, following a detoxification program can be one of the most effective strategies for rapidly improving the state of your health.
The Integrated 4 Week Program
Our Metagenics Integrated Detoxification Program works by:
- Removing toxin exposure through dietary and lifestyle changes
- Removing bad bacteria and waste from your digestive systems
- Renewing your digestive lining and the healthy bacteria to improve your digestive function
- Releasing your body toxins so they can be eliminated
During your detox we will recommend a diet based on your individual requirements. The diet will ensure that you are eating the right foods for your body in order to maximise the detoxification process. This is not a juice fast you are able to eat real food!
ALSO our 4 week program includes the following:
- All Metagenics products required for the *INTEGRATED DETOX PROGRAM
- Detox book and guide
- Diet plan for all 4 weeks
- Initial appointment and 2 follow up appointments
- FREE 30 minute massage
Please Note: Detoxification should not be attempted during pregnancy, however it is ideal as a preconception program.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have private health fund cover you can claim on all our consultation fees. Check with your health fund for your rebate information.
Here you can create the content that will be used within the module.
*There are 3 other programs that may suit your needs more effectively, check with your practitioner.
If you are still wondering if you need a detox I highly recommend you read the chapter on Detoxification I wrote for Your Well-being Sorted Edited by Kizzi Nkwocha…
History of Detoxification
The concept of detoxing the body has been around for thousands of years. The idea of ridding the body of excesses or toxins is not a modern phenomenon but has been cited in literature from the priests of Ancient Egypt to the philosophers of ancient Greece. Even Hippocrates the father of modern medicine (BC400) and Swiss doctor Paracelsus (1600) expounded the benefits of regular cleansing and fasting. Modern clinical studies have shown that reducing the amount of calories eaten everyday can lead to increased longevity. Religious people from every faith have used fasting in order to cleanse and purify and to gain clarity in their dealings with god.
Ayurveda, an ancient medical science starting in India (3-5000BC) has used fasting and detox for centuries. The idea is to balance the ‘doshas’ the essence of each person by removing excesses or accumulations in order to prevent disease. In Hatha yoga, Shatkama describes six groups of purification practices. The aim is to create balance and harmony within the body and mind.
- Neti: A process of cleansing and purifying the nasal passages
- Dhauti: A series of cleansing techniques divided into 3 groups. A) Internal cleansing (from mouth to anus) B) Head cleansing C) Thoracic cleansing
- Nauli: A method of massaging and strengthening the abdominal organs
- Basti: Techniques for toning and washing the large intestine
- Kapalbhati: A breathing technique for purifying the frontal region of the brain
- Trataka: The practice of intense gazing at one point/object to develop the power of concentration
(Taken from “Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha” by Swami Satyananda Saraswati)
The traditional Naturopaths like Bernard Jensen or Nature Doctors like Dr H.C.A Vogel recommended detoxing in Spring. Ancient tribal people would have run out of fresh food by the end of winter and would have feasted on new spring greens after the long winter months. Allowing our bodies a rest from eating, especially those foods considered to be more commonly allergenic gives our digestive organs a break. Nowadays our diets are so much heavier in those common allergenic foods like wheat, dairy, corn, soy and gluten and we tend to consume more coffee and alcohol. Having a break from these things is like giving our internal organs a holiday. Often you feel a sense of clarity, this allows you to look within and explore feelings and emotions you may have been suppressing.
You can gain a sense of balance and equilibrium as you slow down. The sense of rushing and responsibility of choosing what to consume everyday is removed. You are guided with a strict set of rules to what you can eat and drink. At the same time the aim of most Detoxes is to alkalize your body not just with foods and drinks but also with positive thoughts and actions. Negative emotions and stress can stress and acidify the body in the same way that too much meat, bread or grains can.
Dr Vogel says “a challenge to spring-clean confronts each and every one of us and we get the overpowering feeling that our bodies need cleansing, in order to rid them of accumulated wastes”(p319).
One problem I have noticed is that where traditionally a detox comes in spring after a long winter in Europe and coincides with the abundance of new greens, most Australians feel the need to detox after the silly season of Christmas and New Year in January which happens to be the height of summer and the start of the new year.
Modern detoxification tends to focus more on the idea of eliminating toxins, allergenic foods, alcohol, caffeine and sugar instead of fasting. While juice fasts are still popular evidence shows that muscle wasting can occur if protein consumption is too low. While juice fasts can be useful short term for a few days any longer can be detrimental for health especially for those who have never attempted to detox before or who are very toxic. They need extra support in the form of supplementation and food. Simply cutting alcohol and caffeine along with a healthy diet can be extremely beneficial for the majority of us.
The Ultimate Tissue Cleansing Program (UTC)
Bernard Jensen was one of America’s pioneering nutritionists and iridologists who studied with many of the fathers of modern naturopathic medicine today like Kellogg, Lust and Rocine. He proposed the UTC program. For him and indeed most Naturopaths the bowel is one of the body’s most important organs of elimination. It eliminates about 1 kg of toxic wastes daily via the bowel. Bernard Jensen surmised that in order to have a healthy body you need a healthy bowel. Through Iridology (the study of the Iris) he found that the bowel is often in need of cleansing and attention. In order to do this we must first improve diet as we cannot cleanse while eating improperly. In addition, our air, soil and water are becoming increasingly polluted and most of us do not eat a wide variety of clean, organic and wholesome foods. He believed that fasting, as part of a short term 6 day program would be beneficial, limiting our ingestion to supplements, cleansing drinks, water, herbal tea or vegetable broths only. It gives our digestive system a rest and if we never fast it never gets that chance. His UTC program recommends colon washing which is like a home-made colon-enema. He recommended cleansing morning and night with 5 or more gallons of water with added liquid clay, chlorophyll or coffee. Indeed, many older Naturopathic Doctors like Max Gerson also promoted coffee enemas for detoxification especially as part of a Cancer Protocol.
Why do I need to detox? Is a question I get asked frequently. The environment we live in today is a far cry from the one our grandparents, indeed our parents grew up in. Each and every second 310kg of toxic chemicals are released into our air, land and water by industrial facilities around the world, which adds up to 10 million tons of toxic chemicals EACH YEAR! Of these 2 million tons are recognized as carcinogens. In 2000 The New York Times reported that the estimate of toxic chemical emissions has trebled when it added in the emissions produced by the metal mining industries (50%) and power plant emissions (15%). http://www.nytimes.com/2000/05/12/us/estimate-of-toxic-chemical-emissions-is-tripled.html.
Since World War 2 over 80,000 new chemicals have been invented. And according to The Mount Sinai Hospital we are now exposed to chemicals never before seen in nature that will persist for hundreds of years. These chemicals are easily absorbed and according for the Centre for Disease control more than 200 of these synthetic chemicals are found in the bodies of most Americans including newborn infants. Almost 75% of these are known or suspected to be carcinogenic! Most of these chemicals are mass produced and fewer than 20% have been tested for toxicity. More than 1.2 million pounds of pesticides are used across the USA each year and even though it has only 1.3% of the world’s population it uses a massive 24% of its pesticides! Australia seems to be not far behind.
http://www.worldometers.info/view/toxchem/ from the United Nations Environment programhttp://www.unep.org/ and the United States Environmental Protection Agencyhttp://www.epa.gov/
Our bodies are designed to be able to process and remove toxins via key elimination channels including our digestive system, liver and kidneys. But the toxic burden we carry now may seriously affect how we can do this without a little help!
Toxic burden is how much you have been exposed to various toxins which may include allergens, additives, preservatives as well as pollutants, pesticides, dioxins, plastics, cleaning agents and cigarette smoke. Toxins can also be created internally as part of metabolism, bacteria in the gut or waste from the bowel. How well you can process these toxins depends on your ability to ‘DE’toxify and eliminate them. Low level exposure to many many different pollutants is extremely common in our modern environments on a daily basis.
What is toxicity?
This is the degree to which a substance is basically poisonous. It has the ability to interfere with how our body works in a negative way. We can breathe these toxins in or absorb them through our skin or ingest them through our food or water. Sometimes our own gut bacteria can produce toxins or the food we eat that we do not digest properly can become food for the growth of further organisms that are not beneficial for health. These can include yeasts, unfriendly bacteria and parasites. Toxic chemicals can be produced by these organisms which are then absorbed and this in turn can trigger inflammation from an over active immune response. Poor diet can cause or compound these issues and so can pharmaceutical medications such as antibiotics along with stress and digestive disorders like liver problems. Heavy metals like lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, nickel and aluminum can accumulate within the brain, kidneys and immune system and disrupt normal function. Studies have shown a strong correlation with heavy metal toxicity learning problems and criminal behavior. Chronic heavy metal exposure is becoming a major problem and those with high exposure can include battery makers, gasoline attendants, printers, roofers, solderers, dentists and jewelers. Hair mineral analysis is one way to find out if you have been exposed.
What protects us from Toxins?
Our bodies have evolved complex mechanisms to protect us. This includes our main organs of elimination: the skin, the lungs, digestive system, liver and kidneys. If our body cannot get rid of toxins immediately it stores them for later excretion in fat and bone. These stored toxins can be released during weight loss and this should be taken into consideration during those times. Sometimes our organs of elimination can struggle to cope with overwhelming demand. This is sometimes called “toxic load” and things that can contribute to this can include:
- Xenobiotics e.g. insecticides, herbicides, drugs, solvents, metals
- Biological toxins e.g. lectins, aflatoxin
- Biological inhalants e.g. mould, pollens
- Physical phenomena e.g. ionizing radiation, electromagnetic fields
- Lifestyle choices e.g. alcohol, junk food, smoking, recreational drugs
- Mechanical problems e.g. spinal misalignment, nasal obstruction
- Hormonal imbalance e.g.. Poor oestrogen detoxification
- Psychosocial factors e.g.. Stress, coping skills, belief systems and trauma
- Heavy metals e.g.. Lead, mercury, arsenic
Most of our burden comes from constant low level exposure not just one large dose and is therefore hard to quantify in an exact way.
Who should detox?
If you suffer any of these symptoms you may have a greater need for help detoxifying:
- Recurrent headaches
- Muscle aching and weakness
- Numbness and tingling
- Recurrent infections
- Inflammatory conditions
- Menstrual disorders
- Adverse drug or supplement reactions
- Digestive disorders
- Chronic fatigue and lethargy
- Depression, anxiety or mood swings
- Weight gain or difficulty losing fat
- Skin disorders (eczema, psoriasis, acne)
- Poor short term memory or concentration
- Natural or synthetic hormone use: steroids, oral contraceptive pill, HRT, thyroid hormones
- High exposure to chemicals, drugs, cleaning agents, pesticides, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
The following diseases also benefit from detoxification
? Autoimmune disease
? Allergies and asthma
? Inflammatory bowel disease
? Reproductive disorders
? Neurodegenerative disorders
? Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
? Multiple chemical sensitivities
The Gut: it all starts here!
Most detox programs in the past used to focus solely on the liver but we have now come to realize the importance of the digestive system during detoxification. Most toxic exposure comes to us through ingestion so just treating the liver will not help us with this toxic overload. In addition once the liver starts to detox effectively all the toxins are eliminated via the bowel and if the bowel is not healthy then we simply reabsorb it! Pretty pointless hey?
First of all the gastrointestinal (GIT) tract is a physical barrier to protect us from harmful substances as it slows and breaks down substances for absorption. If the mucosal surface of our gut is not functioning properly it can lead to “leaky gut” or increased intestinal impermeability. The way I like to explain it is like this: the gut wall is basically only a few cells thick and lies close to the blood stream. This allows quick absorption of nutrients. But if this lining is damaged through infection, medication, inflammation or a long term imbalance of unfriendly bacteria it leads to a loss of integrity. This allows gap junctions between gut cells to form where they would usually be tight. So partially digested food, fragments of bacteria and other waste easily enter the blood and lymph system. So treating this leaky gut becomes a vital first step towards successful detoxification.
Our gut is rich in microflora which we need in order to break down food, make nutrients, balance the immune system and protect the gut wall. This microflora produces a constant source of metabolites that reach the blood stream and can induce or inhibit detoxification. As well, unfriendly or pathogenic bacteria can produce toxins that increase our toxic load. These metabolites can be found in the urine of people with an overgrowth of fungal or bacterial species. In addition, there is a process known as enterohepatic recirculation where the microflora can remove the safeguards the liver has created on toxic metabolites which can then be reabsorbed back into the body again.
The cell wall fragments of bacteria known as endotoxins that can pass through a leaky gut into the blood stream can also promote an inflammatory cascade. They do this by being detected by specific liver cells called Kupffer cells which stimulate an immune response which can aggravate any pre-existing inflammatory or immune conditions.
Prebiotics and Probiotics
Supplementing with good bacteria called probiotics will help to stop the intestinal permeability by pushing out the bad bacteria by using their food and resources. They also produce good substances which can stop the growth of bad bacteria. Prebiotics are basically food for good bacteria and create a beneficial environment for them to grow. Probiotic bacteria need to have certain important characteristics in order to be of benefit to us. There are many different supplements out there and I tell my patients to make sure that what you buy actually works you need to make sure of these things:
? Must be human strains
? Must have scientific evidence of efficacy: strain numbers should be listed on the bottle not just the species e.g.. Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG
? Must be stomach acid and digestive secretion resistant
? Must adhere to the intestinal wall
? Must inhibit pathogenic bacteria
? Must be a therapeutic dose
? Must be produced under quality controlled conditions
? Guaranteed minimum number of viable organisms through to expiration based on proper handling (with/without refrigeration)
? Every batch is independently assayed to verify potency and viability
Repairing the Gut Wall
In order to ensure your detox program is effective it is worthwhile taking time to heal the gut wall if there is evidence of intestinal permeability. Your naturopath should be able to tell if this is happening through Iridology or a simple pathology test. If you are unsure just assume you do have some element of leaky gut and treat accordingly. Leaky gut syndrome will cause macromolecules of food and digestive waste to enter the blood stream. It can be caused by a number of things like low fiber or highly processed diets, poor gut motility/constipation, irritation of the gut wall by dysbiosis (imbalance of unfriendly bacteria) and irritation of the gut wall by chemicals and allergens in food.
The liver is a very complex organ whose role is primarily one of detoxification. It also plays a role in most of the metabolic processes in the body. Many of the toxic chemicals that the liver needs to break down come from our environment: the food we eat, the air we breathe and the content of our bowels.
The idea of liver detoxification is to break down chemicals that are usually fat soluble and make them more water soluble in order to remove them from the body. They are removed in bile which is then eliminated via the faeces or carried by the blood to be excreted by the kidneys. It does this in three distinct steps called Phase 1, 2 and 3 reactions.
Phase 1 enzymes initially break down chemicals in order to make them easier to break down by Phase 2 enzymes. They usually involve chemical processes controlled by a group of up to 100 enzymes collectively called cytochrome P450. Activity of these enzymes often overlaps creating a fail-safe mechanism which allows for maximum detoxification capabilities. The activity of these enzymes can also differ greatly between individuals depending on nutritional status, genetics and exposure to chemical toxins (see *note). One way to find out how well Phase 1 detoxification is working is by measuring how quickly someone breaks down caffeine. Phase 1 reactions generally involve oxidation, reduction or hydrolysis reactions (adding an oxygen group, removing a group or adding a water molecule). Unfortunately often this makes the molecule more reactive! It can act as a “free radical” and the idea is that then Phase 2 kicks into action in order to render it ‘safe’ and reduce its ability to damage cell membranes or DNA. So it is critical that Phase 2 keeps up with Phase 1.
(*NOTE: A study of chemical plant workers in Turin showed that those with underactive P450 activity were more susceptible to cancer. This may also explain why some people are able to detoxify the carcinogens in cigarette smoke and some are not and develop lung cancer.)
Substances that activate Phase 1 reactions are alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, steroids and other environmental toxins like exhaust fumes, dioxins and pesticides. Nutrients needed for Phase 1 reactions are copper, magnesium, zinc and vitamin C.
As we discussed, Phase 2 enzymes work to make the reactive molecules produced in Phase 1 reactions less reactive and more water soluble. The most important antioxidant for doing this is glutathione, a small molecule composed of 3 amino acids (the building blocks of protein) cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine. Other important Phase 2 pathways including Glutathione are Glucoronidation, amino acid conjugation, sulfation, acetylation, glycination, and methylation. These reactions are very vulnerable to things going wrong as they need certain nutrients and enzymes to function properly. For instance if you are fasting you are removing protein which is a vital resource of amino acids needed for phase 2 reactions. This can be a reason why people can feel very unwell during the first few days of fasting as phase 2 reactions cannot keep up with phase 1 leading to a buildup of toxic metabolites and the body then often needs to break down its own muscle tissue in order to supply the necessary protein!
Many common drugs like antibiotics, toxic metals, inflammatory agents, bacterial toxins and environmental toxins are broken down in Phase 2 reactions. If the body is exposed to a high amount of these toxins quickly or lower levels over a longer period of time then tissue stores of glutathione can be depleted and run out. Certain other drugs, chemicals and even herbs also have the ability to induce or inhibit phase 1 or 2 reactions and can be the reason why side effects occur with taking multiple pharmaceutical drugs.
Factors that affect Phase 1 & 2 detoxification
- Stress & fatigue
- Diet & lifestyle
- Environmental factors
- Age & gender: aging decreases detoxification capacity
Phase 3 reactions generally involve the transportation and removal of the broken down metabolites out of the body. They are an important part of our body’s defense and clearance mechanisms. Like Phase 2 it is also dependant on nutrient status, relying on amino acids like glutathione. If it does not function properly then these toxins cannot be removed and can cause further damage. These clearance mechanisms are at work in the gut and kidneys. In the kidneys the process is pH dependant so acid-alkaline balance is vital in order to excrete the acid-forming toxins and metabolites via the urine, which must be alkaline.
How to Detox
This is considered one important way to detoxify your body useful for short periods of time of a few days and up to a week. Older style Naturopaths believed it was one of the quickest ways to increase the elimination of wastes and speed healing. It is believed to be one of oldest ways to detoxify but there is not a great deal of scientific evidence to back up its effectiveness. Caution is advised when attempting a fast, in fact most Naturopaths will not recommend it and it is usually completed as an individual exercise. If you do it is recommended that you consult your GP first and do not attempt a fast if you are diabetic, have thyroid problems or heart trouble. If you do decide to complete a fast it is a good idea while doing it to support the different phases of liver detoxification at the same time. A three day juice fast is sometimes recommended by colonic hydrotherapy clinics and has become very popular since Jo Cross filmed “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead” about his journey across America while completing a 60 day juice fast. He recommends ‘rebooting’ your system by doing a 3 to 5 day or longer juice fast in order to kick start a weight loss program, as a way to eat more fruit and vegetables, reduce cravings, promote longevity, get rid of aches and pains, release toxins, improve immunity and energy levels. Many companies have sprung up offering delivery of fresh, organic daily juices for cleansing of up to 7 days. They often include one nut milk to provide a protein component.
Michael Murray and Joseph Pizzorno in their well known “Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine” recommend a three day juice fast consisting of 3 or 4 juices a day rather than simply a water fast. While on a juice fast they noted that many individuals experience an increased sense of wellbeing, renewed energy, clearer thought and a sense of purity. They also recommended you support detoxification by taking a good quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplement, a good quality fish oil and 1000mg of Vitamin C three times a day (as a precursor to glutathione). In addition, taking 1-2 tbsp of a fiber supplement at night like psyllium or oat bran as well as a herbal supplement for liver support is vital. They recommend undertaking it while you are able to rest such as on a weekend or during a work break. You also need to prepare for the fast by slowly reducing solid food a day or two in advance by eating a mainly raw food diet with broths included. While doing the juice fast they recommend that you only consume organic fruit and vegetables along with pure water. Coffee or bottled drinks should be avoided but herbal teas are allowed (unsweetened). Heavy exercise is to be avoided as well but light walking, stretching or yoga is fine. Adequate rest and sleep is important as well as breaking the fast as gently and slowly as you can. Reintroduce solid foods gradually, do not overeat but chew well and eat slowly room temperature food.
Dr Vogel recommends in his book “The Nature Doctor” that if you feel sick during a fast you need to speed up elimination by skin brushing or exfoliation, deep breathing and short walks. He also advises not to start a fast when feeling stressed, exhausted or worried. He was more in favour of fasting for a longer period of time, as in his mind after the first three days the hardest part has past and the body has adapted to the change and this will give you a complete spring clean. He did not recommend water fasts as he felt it was a starvation diet where the body is forced to live on its own protein (as we mentioned above). He also states that it causes the blood to become more acidic. Beneficial ways to get used to a juice fast is to drink nothing but juice for one day a week then gradually increase it. He also strongly recommends that you never go on a juice fast without first eliminating all faecal matter. Peristalsis of the intestines is stimulated by food and if you stop eating solid food and do not move the bowels then you cannot rid yourself of accumulated toxins. This is where a colonic or enema is advised before undertaking a juice fast. Juices are highly alkaline with an ability to bind to acidic elements and excrete them through the kidneys and urine. Keeping yourself alkaline is now thought to be very important for general health. It is thought to reduce inflammation and chronic disease. Alkaline foods are mainly fruit, vegetables, nuts and naturally fermented foods while acidic foods are meat, grains, dairy products, coffee, and alcohol, processed and tinned food.
In the Indian holy teachings called The Vedas, fasting is used as a means of purification and eliminates bad karma brought forward from a past life.
The key to a successful Naturopathic Detox Program is to support not only the different phases of liver detoxification but also to make sure that the digestive system is functioning well with adequate bacterial balance and minimal intestinal permeability. It is worth spending time focusing on gut health before attempting to renew and restore liver function. While studying at Naturopathic College I was taught the basic formula of gut repair to be…
This is then followed by a liver cleanse or
Some therapists recommend anything from 2-8 weeks in order to detoxify gently and effectively. I tend to favour the 4-6 week detox. This may sound like a long time but it really is the most beneficial way to make lasting changes and really improve your long term health.
This involves weeding out unfriendly bacteria and parasites with antimicrobial, antiparastic and antifungal herbs. Herbs used in this stage may include Artemisia spp. (Wormwood), Berberis vulgaris (Barberry), Juglans nigra (Black walnut), Allium sativum (garlic), Hydrastis canadensis (Goldenseal), Andrographis paniculata, Pau D’arco(Tabebuia avellanedae ) and Horopito.
Often these herbs have potent actions with active ingredients like Berberine (in Berberis and Goldenseal) which have amoebicidal, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Often essential oils with antiseptic properties as well as antispasmodic effects are often included such as cinnamon, oregano, wild marjoram and thyme. Sometimes herbs like Matricaria officinalis (Chamomile) and Mentha spp (peppermint) are included to help with any gut discomfort and can reduce cramping and pain.
Colostrum can also help to prevent harmful microbes from staying fixed to the gut wall and it contains three important proteins: lactoglobulin, lactoferrin and lactoperoxidase which all help with altering microflora beneficially. It is also a source of immunoglobulins which can bind to dysbiotic bacteria and can stop fragments from entering the blood stream. Colostrum has been shown to demonstrate benefits in protecting gut barrier integrity. Other valuable nutrients to help with reducing adherence of unfriendly bacteria are arabinogalactans from larch which are soluble glyconutrients and also act as prebiotics, feeding the good bacteria we will be using in the next stage.
This stage can vary in length to be effective, somewhere between 1-4 weeks is ideal but will depend on individual presentations. People may feel quite unwell depending on the level of dysbiosis they have, they can also feel nauseous, fatigued, bloated, constipated and have cramping or diarrhea. Pathology in the form of stool analysis can be used to find out if gut bacteria has improved after a gut repair program has been completed.
Seeding and Feeding
Once the weeding stage is completed the next stage is to help the gut repopulate with beneficial bacteria and to help the gut wall repair itself. Probiotics are considered safe but not all are considered equal. Therapeutic benefits vary according to strain and species. It is best to speak to your Naturopath, Nutritionist or Integrative Doctor about which strain would suit your requirements. Some strains available in Australia that have therapeutic activity include:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus (NAS, NCFM, CUL-60, CUL-21, DDS1, LA5)
Proven to maintain and restore healthy microflora, supports digestive function and normal healthy vaginal flora after antibiotics, maintains general wellbeing, protects against increased intestinal permeability, supports normal and healthy immunity in children.
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG, HN001)
Shown to prevent atopic dermatitis in at risk children, reduces risk of gastrointestinal infections, balances gut flora, reduces severity and duration of diarrhea, reduces incidence of antibiotic associated diarrhea. Maintains healthy immune resistance, increases natural killer cell activity and improves eczema in adults.
- Bifidobacterium lactis (Bb12, Bi07, HN019, CUL-34)
Maintains and restores microflora after antibiotics, relieves flatulence, diarrhea and/or constipation, prevents yeast overgrowth, inhibits dysbiotic (bad) bacteria, supports healthy immunity in children and the elderly.
- Lactobacillus reuteri (MM53)
Reduces side effects like pain, bloating and diarrhea caused by antibiotics, reduction in allergies/eczema, reduces reflux and colic in babies, improves eradication of H.pylori with antibiotics, improves immunity, reduction in childhood diarrhea.
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae/ ( CBS 5926) boulardi (Iyo)
Managing yeast overgrowth including candida, prevents and treats traveler’s diarrhea, protects against gut pathogens, strengthens gut immunity
- Lactobacillus plantarum 299V
Management of IBS, reduces bloating, flatulence, constipation/diarrhea, relieves gastrointestinal pain and inflammation, regulates inflammation.
One important thing to remember about probiotics is that none will colonate permanently, in fact no probiotic will colonate the bowel for longer than 18 days. But they do allow your own bacteria to flourish without having to battle against bad stuff. They are another weapon against the war of dysbiosis (poor gut bacteria)!
Other important nutrients which will help with gut wall repair include Glutamine, zinc, slippery elm, aloe vera and licorice. Glutamine is an amino acid which is the preferred fuel source for intestinal cells and can prevent against gut inflammation, IBS and is also an important part of detoxification. Slippery elm, Licorice and aloe vera are healing and protective. Zinc and other minerals can also help remove heavy metals and are needed for healthy mucosal and immune function. Coriander, spirulina, barley grass, wheat grass and chlorophyll have also been shown effective at removing heavy metals including lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium. They also help to further alkalize the body.
We have already spoken about supporting Phase 1,2 and 3 stages of the liver detox pathway. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and kale can help promote Phase 2 detox pathways. Broccoli sprout extract has been extensively studied and has been shown to induce an enzyme involved with glutathione and improves the excretion of toxins. Curcumin is the active ingredient found in turmeric (Curcuma longa) and also helps to act like an antioxidant that can modify the Phase 1 and 2 reactions. Amino acids, methylating nutrients, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins are needed to support all the stages of liver detoxification. Herbs are also important in this stage to further support liver regeneration and may include Silybum marianum (St. Mary’s Thistle). This herb has been shown to be a powerful antioxidant, more powerful than Vitamin E or C. It has been demonstrated in studies on animals that have chemically induced liver damage to protect the liver against any damage that is usually irreversibly caused. One of the important ways it does this is by preventing the depletion of glutathione. As we know, the level of glutathione in the liver is crucial to its ability to detoxify. St.Mary’s Thistle prevents the depletion of glutathione induced by alcohol and toxic chemicals and also increases its production by up to 35%. This herb has also been shown to be effective in treating liver disease, cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis, fatty liver and bile duct inflammation.
Other compounds apart from St. Mary’s Thistle and Vitamin C that improve glutathione synthesis include NAC (N-acetylcysteine). This nutrient has been shown in many studies to be very important to improve liver detoxification, antioxidant status and as a precursor to glutathione.
Other herbs that may help with this stage are Cynara scolymus (Globe Artichoke), Berberis vulgaris and (Taraxacum officinale) Dandelion root. Herbs to help with lymphatic clearance can also be useful here and include Cleavers (Gallium aparine) and Blue flag (Iris versicolor).
As important as herbs, vitamins and minerals is diet during a detox protocol. I recommend abstaining from all allergenic foods like dairy, gluten and wheat. In order to reduce the toxic load avoiding alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, fried foods, processed meats and tinned foods is advised. The idea is to eat as pure a diet as close to nature as you can, minimally processed and organic if possible. Steer clear of sugar if you can and choose unprocessed sweeteners like honey, agave or maple syrup. Make fresh salad dressings with cold pressed olive oil, fresh lemon juice, tahini, vegetables, herbs and garlic. Try to eat an 80% plant based diet and remember to combine two vegetarian proteins in the one meal in order to maintain the correct consumption of amino acids in order for your body to make enough protein:
- Pulses & Legumes
- Nuts & seeds
You should be aiming for lots of dark green leafy vegetables and a rainbow of the other coloured vegetables especially orange and dark red every day. Fresh vegetable and fruit juices can be consumed if you wish.
It can be useful to drink hot water with 1/2 lemon squeezed in first thing in the morning to stimulate the digestive juices and this can also help to alkalize your system. Sometimes I will advise 1/2 tsp of coconut oil to be added. Extra virgin coconut oil is anti fungal and can help with food cravings. Pure water should be drunk at a minimum of 2 litres every day. Organic natural yoghurt, nut milk or goats/sheep’s milk or cheese are good sources of calcium and protein. Instead of gluten grains choose gluten free options like buckwheat, quinoa and brown rice. Instead of coffee or black tea choose green tea, dandelion or chicory coffee, peppermint, liquorice, chamomile, ginger and rooibos tea are good alternatives.
This type of eating will alkalize your body quickly and effectively. It will break bad habits, increase energy levels and eliminate bloating.
Gentle exercise like walking, yoga or bike riding will enhance blood and lymphatic flow which helps the clearance of toxins. Avoiding recreational drugs and non essential medications will reduce your toxic load further. Try to avoid chemicals in your environment and use natural cleansers like vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and eucalyptus oil which clean as well as harsh chemical cleaners. Avoid soaps, moisturizers and shampoos with sodium lauryl sulphates, parabens, petrochemicals (sorbolene) and harsh oil stripping cleansers. Antiperspirants with aluminum, pesticides, herbicides, petrochemicals (including those in skin care) parabens, paints, solvents and hair sprays should be avoided.
Dry skin brushing before a shower will help our skin detoxify as it is one of the organs of elimination. Spa treatments like saunas, steaming, hydrotherapy baths, algae wraps, mud treatments and massage can be very effective as supportive treatments. Some people find the constipation that occurs along with the first part of gut repair “weeding” to be helped by colon hydrotherapy treatments. I usually recommend a colonic during the weeding and release phases but not during the seeding phase as it can clear out beneficial bacteria as well.
Proper good quality sleep is the best thing you can do to allow your body to repair itself along with regular meditation. Creating a meditation practice may be the single most important thing habit that you create during your detox. Managing stress effectively is vital to an effective detox program. Negative emotions can be toxic and acidic and get in the way of a successful program. You may find incredible clarity while you complete a detox program that allows you to find solutions to many of your personal problems or insight into issues that you may be struggling with.
Anyone who has completed an effective detox will share how amazing they felt afterwards. The main thing is not to undo the good work, time and effort you took to cleanse and purify your body by polluting your body straight away! Many therapists recommend that you detoxify your body every year to reduce your toxic load.
Good Luck and welcome to the Detox Club!
Fin Mackenzie – Naturopath & Owner of Green Door Health, BHlthSc (Comp Med), AdvDipNat, DNut, DRM, MATMS
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