Liver Detox

Liver Detox Made Easy

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

As we enter the second decade of the 21st century, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals. Every minute we are confronted by a range of poisons from food, water, air and the buildings we work and live in. Fortunately, the human body is equipped with a powerful biochemical family known as the “glutathione peroxidases,” which contain the powerful anti-oxidant glutathione. This detoxification system protects and purifies the body, and can be stimulated through proper nutrition.

Liver DetoxThe main function of liver detoxification is to convert fat-soluble toxins into benign water-soluble molecules that can be excreted easily from the body via the urine, sweat and fecal material. Typical fat-soluble poisons include pesticides, bacteria, drugs, environmental toxins, heavy metals and chemical complexes that are formed as a result of immune and autoimmune activity.

Detoxification is accomplished in two steps. Phase One detoxification utilizes an enzyme system called cytochrome P450, which neutralizes toxins and forms intermediate compounds. What is critical to understand, is that temporarily, the intermediate compounds are often more poisonous to our bodies than the original toxins, and they must be converted in Phase Two, or correct detoxification does not occur. For this reason, excessive Phase One activity can place a burden Phase Two detoxification. Fortunately, Phase Two detoxification can be super-charged deliberately through proper nutritional supplementation. In particular, supplements that increase glutathione levels in the body can dramatically enhance Phase Two biochemistry.

Glutathione, a tripeptide, is composed of three amino acids: cysteine, glycine and glutamine. Including these three substances in a nutritional supplement program one of the most effective ways to increase glutathione production and assure maximum Phase Two detoxification in the body. Taking glutathione directly as a supplement is less effective due to digestive degradation of the glutathione molecule.

Cysteine is available as N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) and 500 mg taken daily is a good place to start. In addition to improving the body’s ability to produce glutathione, NAC is also an important supplement for respiratory health, and it chelates, or magnetically attracts, heavy metals like mercury and lead, making them easier for the body to excrete. Glutamine, glycine, and cysteine are all available through whey protein supplementation, which also provides compounds that support the immune system, including lactoferrin and immunoglobulins. Other strategies for improving glutathione levels include supplementation with Alpha lipoic acid, the B-complex of vitamins, vitamin C, selenium and sulfur, which are co-factors that boost the body’s glutathione-manufacturing biochemistry.

Every day the human body is confronted with a wide spectrum of environmental poisons. Reducing our exposure and avoiding interaction with pollution is not always possible. Fortunately the human body comes equipped with a detoxification system designed to help us survive, and even thrive under, what would otherwise be, a very toxic situation. Because the glutathione enzyme system is among the most important of these detoxification systems, increasing its synthesis through effective nutritional supplementation is one of the most important lifestyle choices we can make.

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Health