Your Body’s Detoxification Process
Detoxification is a process whereby potentially harmful compounds are excreted. These compounds are either generated by the body as by-products of cellular metabolic processes or acquired through exposure to the environment. Once within the body, these toxins are eliminated by neutralization or excretion in the urine or feces.
The lungs, skin, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, and liver are the organs responsible for your body’s detoxification process. Daily, they work vigorously to rid the body of toxicities and maintain the health of trillions of cells. Unfortunately, the excessive amount of toxins in today’s environment has placed such a burden on these systems that they can no longer function optimally. Increases in pesticides, herbicides, fossil fuel emissions, hydrocarbons and heavy metals have reached record proportions.
These toxic chemicals, that include heavy metals, accumulate in fatty tissues throughout the body. This includes the fatty tissues underneath the skin, and in and around the organ systems, including the brain. Research has even pointed out that accumulation of Aluminum in the body can now be linked to the most common type of dementia in seniors, Alzheimer’s disease.
Routes of Detoxification:
A Closer Look
Phase I. Detoxification involves the activation of a series of enzymes, collectively called Cytochrome P450. This pathway takes each toxic, fat-soluble chemical (meaning they can only dissolve in oily solutions and not water) and makes it less harmful (neutralizes it). It then begins the process of making it water soluble and more chemically active.
Phase II. Intermediates must be converted a second time, combining with mineral compounds, amino acids, and biochemical compounds. This process is known as conjugation, making the entire molecule water-soluble, and thus allowing excretion via the urine or bile routes. However, when liver pathways become overburdened with toxins, these fat-soluble chemicals remain in circulation and become incorporated into fatty tissues. 1
To have a better understanding of this problem, let’s look at an analogy that can better illustrate this situation. Imagine that the body’s detoxification system is like the windshield wipers on an automobile. Now imagine that snow, rain and hail are toxic substances and that a clear windshield is analogous to a body clear of toxins. When snow begins to fall, you turn your wipers on to clear the windshield. This, in essence, is detoxification. As more and more snow falls, you may have to increase the speed of the wipers in order to continue to keep the windshield clear.
Now imagine a storm that occurs overnight and the snow builds up on the windshield. When you get up in the morning and go to start your vehicle, it doesn’t matter at what speed you set your wipers; the incredible weight of the snow is just too much for the wipers to handle. The only way to get the wipers going again is to first clear the snow with a scraper. In a similar way, when our bodies become overloaded with toxins, our natural detoxification system can’t remove all those toxins by itself, because of the load. It needs a detoxification program (a scraper) to help the body restore optimal functionality.