Exactly How & Why You Should Detox

by | Sep 14, 2022 | Dr Will Cole, Wellness

Meals by Dr. James DiNicolantonio

If you’ve upleveled your nutrition and still aren’t seeing or feeling results, toxins could be the culprit. The toxins we face daily has increased tenfold in the last centuries.

In my telehealth functional medicine clinic, I consult patients from all over the country and the world to try to figure out the missing pieces in their health puzzle. And extremely commonly, lifestyle factors like toxins end up being some of the biggest needle movers in your health.

You might be wondering, how can something we can’t see be so bad and harmful? Aren’t most of added chemicals considered “safe” for consumer use? Well, that answer is a bit nuanced. Let’s take a deeper look at the negative effects of toxins and why detoxing should be more of a regular practice in your health journey.

How toxins affect your wellness

Your liver is one of your body’s largest organs, responsible for hundreds of important functions such as digestion and metabolism. But one of its key functions is to filter out toxins from the foods you eat and the things you are exposed to in your environment.

When your liver is overloaded with toxins because it can’t process them fast enough, it creates a cascade of chronic inflammation in your body, which further affects your liver’s ability to rid itself of these toxins. This is a vicious cycle of toxin build up, inflammation, inhibited detoxification, more toxins build up, inflammation increases, and on and on. And we all know everything from hormone imbalances, brain dysfunction, poor gut health, weight loss resistance, heart problems, cancer, and more can be traced back to chronic inflammation.

The toxins used in most conventional products and in our environment have their own unique set of side effects such as:

  • Perchlorates: is a by-product of jet fuel production found in food supply chains and drinking water that has been linked to thyroid problems.
  • Flame retardants: Used in furniture, computers, and TVs have been linked to developmental issues.
  • Plastics: Plastic chemicals can lead to thyroid problems and other chronic health conditions
  • Xenoestrogens: Chemicals used in personal care products that act as estrogen in the body contributing to imbalanced hormone levels.

These are just a couple of examples of the seemingly never ending list of toxins in our lives. Yes, your body is resilient, but the amount of toxins that have been deemed “safe” in small amounts certainly comes into question when you add up the amount of toxins we are exposed to everyday across multiple areas of our environment – products, food, and pollution.

How do you detox your body of toxins?

Ultimately, the only way to break the cycle is to reduce your toxin exposure and support your liver’s natural ability to detox. This allows the liver to restore itself and catch up with the detoxification workload.

  1. Change out your products

Switching to non-toxic versions of the products you use in your home, is one something we can easily take control over. Cleaning products, personal care items, makeup, and fragrances are good places to start. Look for items derived from plant ingredients and labeled non-toxic. The Environmental Working Group is a great resource for finding clean brands.

  1. Boost methylation

Methylation, a biochemical process, happens more than 1 billion times a second in your body to keep you alive and healthy, and one of its primary purposes is detoxification. Many people with immune problems have genetic methylation impairments, such as MTHFR gene mutations, which makes it difficult to detox on your own. To boost your body’s ability to detox, support methylation pathways with vitamin B-rich superfoods like dark leafy greens, organ meats, and sulfur-rich vegetables including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.

  1. Improve liver function

Certain supplements and herbal medicines have been shown to support optimal liver function and enhance your body’s natural ability to detox. Milk thistle for example, is a plant that aids in eliminating toxins that have built up in the liver. It also helps to restore liver cells that have been damaged from increased toxin exposure.

It’s one of my favorite tools as it is one of the most well-researched natural remedies for treating liver problems and has been used for years to treat a variety of liver ailments, from hepatitis to alcoholic liver disease. You can take it as a supplement or drink it as tea.

Happy detoxing!

Dr. Will Cole
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