Oh the holidays! Wonderful time spent with friends and family, catching up with what the year brought us, and indulging in all our favorite cultural foods. As special as this time is, it’s often also associated with overindulgence.
We may have more pie than we normally might, or an extra drink or two… or ten. We may try everyone’s special dish, drink gallons of egg nog, and eat things that contain heavy metals, pesticides, and toxins. Some are better than others at avoiding unhealthy eating, but most will admit to eating at least one “bad” food this season.
No worries, and don’t beat yourself up. The body is an amazing machine that is build to heal. Given the right tools, everyone can detox, during or after, this blessed time of year!
If you google “detox” or “detox protocols” you will find a hundred thousand results, or more. Each, like a nutrition protocol, is individual. You should read them with an open, yet thoughtful mind. Your body knows best, so try everything keeping in mind your sensitivities.
My top detox recommendations:
- Glutathione: major antioxidant that will help your cells, and liver, keep your body clean.
- Activated Charcoal: absorb the junk within the GI tract and allow it to pass through with minimal absorption.
- Infrared Sauna: allows the body to use its largest organ to detox via heat and sweat.
- Water: keep the body flushing itself out.
- Glutathione Force: $59 shipped (tax included)
- Activated Coconut Charcoal $18.95 shipped (tax included)
Glutathione: This is one super antioxidant that focuses on liver cleansing and proper function. As shown above, many studies have been done on the use and benefit of Glutathione. Glutathione is a tripeptide comprised of three amino acids (cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine) present in most mammalian tissue. Glutathione acts as an antioxidant, a free radical scavenger and a detoxifying agent. Glutathione is also important as a cofactor for the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, in the uptake of amino acids, and in the synthesis of leukotrienes. As a substrate for glutathione S-transferase, this agent reacts with a number of harmful chemical species, such as halides, epoxides and free radicals, to form harmless inactive products. In erythrocytes, these reactions prevent oxidative damage through the reduction of methemoglobin and peroxides. Glutathione is also involved in the formation and maintenance of disulfide bonds in proteins and in the transport of amino acids across cell membranes. Glutathione (GSH) participates in leukotriene synthesis and is a cofactor for the enzyme glutathione peroxidase. It is also important as a hydrophilic molecule that is added to lipophilic toxins and waste in the liver during biotransformation before they can become part of the bile. Glutathione is also needed for the detoxification of methylglyoxal, a toxin produced as a by-product of metabolism. This detoxification reaction is carried out by the glyoxalase system. Glyoxalase I catalyzes the conversion of methylglyoxal and reduced glutathione to S-D-Lactoyl-glutathione. Glyoxalase II catalyzes the conversion of S-D-Lactoyl Glutathione to Reduced Glutathione and D-lactate. GSH is known as a cofactor in both conjugation reactions and reduction reactions, catalyzed by glutathione S-transferase enzymes in cytosol, microsomes, and mitochondria. However, it is capable of participating in non-enzymatic conjugation with some chemicals, as it is hypothesized to do to a significant extent with n-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine (NAPQI), the reactive cytochrome P450 reactive metabolite formed by toxic overdose of acetaminophen. Glutathione in this capacity binds to NAPQI as a suicide substrate and in the process detoxifies it, taking the place of cellular protein sulfhydryl groups which would otherwise be toxically adducted. The preferred medical treatment to an overdose of this nature, whose efficacy has been consistently supported in literature, is the administration (usually in atomized form) of N-acetylcysteine, which is used by cells to replace spent GSSG and allow a usable GSH pool.
Activated Coconut Charcoal: I take 2-4 capsules every time I eat something suspect or eat out. Activated charcoal is created by burning a source of carbon such as wood, debris, or coconut shells. The high temperature removes all the oxygen and activates it with gases like steam. What is produced is a highly absorbent material with millions of tiny pores that capture, bind, and remove poisons, heavy metals, chemicals, and intestinal gases which have thousands of times more weight than the charcoal itself. Just two grams of activated charcoal powder has about the same surface area as a football field. The porous surface has a negative electric charge that attracts positively charged unwanted toxins and gas. *
Infrared Sauna: I exercise for 20 minutes, using whole body vibration and yoga, then sauna for 20-30 minutes. If I want greater detox, I take some niacin 30 minutes before using the sauna. Sweating inside a heated space has transcended time and many cultures: From Roman times, to the Ancient Greeks and Russians, as well as the Native Americans who had sweat lodges, the benefits of sweating have been known to mankind. The skin is our largest organ, and sweat is one of the major elimination channels for toxins. Fever is the way our body creates the conditions for the immune system to perform better. Interestingly, there are clinics in Germany that create hyperthermia during chemotherapy to reduce the dose of medications needed by making the cancer cells more susceptible. This same effect happens (on a less extreme level) during a sauna session: By sweating one activates and intensifies the elimination of toxins. Infrared heat yields additional benefits in a significant way: Beyond the incredible relaxation effect it has on people—it has been shown that endorphin levels increase after a sauna session—it’s proven to be beneficial for musculoskeletal ailments, heavy metal detoxification, increased blood flow, and boosting the immune system’s cell activity.The infrared band in the spectrum of light is the one that we perceive as heat. It makes the body sweat at lower temperatures than the ones needed for regular convection heated saunas, so people tolerate it better. Because IR penetrates deeper—up to three inches—it mobilizes and burns fat, which not only helps with weight loss but with detoxification as well, since many of the toxins we absorb are surrounded and trapped by fat.
Far Infrared Sauna detoxification – Evolution Health (excellent protocol in this article)