SO IS A BOWEL CLEANSE ONLY, SUFFICIENT FOR DETOX?
In a healthy individual, the microvilli of our digestive tract carry out a significant portion of detoxification, through the production of cytochrome P450 enzymes. The issue here, only arises when these enzymes aren’t being produced effectively or the physical barrier of the gut has become ‘leaky’, more clinically referred to as intestinal impermeability. In this case, the barrier is of poor integrity and detox is bypassed, while the liver and immune system take over, dealing with the waste products that are now entering the bloodstream. In light of this, it makes logical sense that a detoxification regimen also delivers liver support in conjunction with promoting healthy gastrointestinal mucosa.
DETOXIFICATION OF ALL SYSTEMS
If an individual has a healthy microbiome (gastrointestinal flora), the integrity of their mucosa is optimal and they are actively reducing the external toxin load via lifestyle and environmental changes, then why else would a bowel cleanse alone be insufficient?
Considering, the bodies detoxification systems are complex and utilize a host of enzymes, amino acids and nutrients in order to reduce the damaging effects of toxins, it is understandable that when any tier of these systems becomes overburdened, the consequence to the body is often a multitude of disease. Furthermore, we know that a protective mechanism in the presence of toxicity is the sequestering of toxins, by storing them in adipose tissue and bone. In light of this, it seems essential to not only support every channel of detox in the body, but to also support mobilization and clearance of these stored toxins, to ensure a truly comprehensive cleanse.
Liver is of prime importance in detoxification. It undergoes several key physiological functions in order to reduce toxic burden upon the body. It filters blood to remove sizeable toxins, it creates and secretes bile that contains cholesterol and other fat-soluble toxins, and it employs enzymatic systems that make toxic compounds more easily and safely excreted in the urine or bile. Effectively, it does this by taking substances that are generally lipid soluble and toxic and makes them more water soluble and non-toxic.These chemical reactions occur over two stages, and are commonly known as phase I and phase II.
Another fact to be aware of is that if an individual’s diet contains little fibre, a large proportion of the toxins in their bile will simply be reabsorbed back through the intestinal wall and again to the liver to be reabsorbed all over again. Being conscious of this and the major role this organ alone, sheds significant light on why detox is much more than an intensive bowel cleanse.
Kidneys are a complex filtering system for the body. They play a major role in detoxification via filtration and excretion. They filter approximately 1,700 litres of blood per day and excrete approximately 1 litre of urine per day. If there is inflammation and / or toxin build-up in the gastrointestinal tract, the movement of toxins from the liver and the bowel ceases, and everything is shuttled to the kidneys for processing. Although a bowel cleanse will open up that liver-bowel path temporarily, thus taking strain off the kidneys, it is still essential to support the function and structure of the kidneys in a detox. If not, the kidneys become overburden with toxins and exogenous metabolites, creating significant likelihood to susceptibility for dysfunction and disease, including glomerular conditions and potentially chronic kidney disease.
SKIN AND LYMPHATIC SYSTEM
Skin is responsible for the excretion of approximately one third of the body’s waste products, therefore any dysfunction of the skin places an additional load on the other eliminatory organs.
Lymphatic system is a network of vessels throughout the body, which act by draining intercellular and intracellular fluid back into the bloodstream. The cells utilize this system to eliminate toxins, microbes and immune debris by moving the waste from tissues back into circulation for excretion via the bodies other detoxification processes.
Supporting both the integrity and function of the skin, as well as the movement and function of the lymphatic system can be done via gentle exercise, adequate hydration and both nutrition and herbal support.
In conclusion, it is clear that all our innate detoxification processes need to be considered when deciding upon a detox regimen. This will ultimately ensure that all accumulated toxins within the body are addressed by being safely broken down and effectively removed. Naturopathic medicine would suggest that a balanced nutritional intake, targeted herbal medicine, ample fluids, fibre and gentle exercise, is what encapsulates detox, rather than simply an intensive bowel cleanse. Lastly, replenishment of intestinal flora with probiotics to encourage a healthy gastrointestinal mucosa and reduce future production and absorption of toxins is key.
Nutritional Therapist & Women’s Weight Loss Coach
Dip ION, FdSc, mBANT
That’s it for today, thank you for reading. Looking for a gentle home detox and all-natural bowel cleanse? Go check out our 7-day herbal programme Easy Detox Classic!