We live in a toxic world, and so by default, we would all benefit from routine detoxification.

Within a previous post, I talk about why some people have an increased requirement for routine detoxification; this can be epigenetic; meaning lifestyle or environmentally influenced.   

Epigenetics determines those who require daily or routine detoxification in the form of food and Old Fashioned mechanical detoxification support such as Epsom salt baths, coffee enemas, and castor oil packing. Whilst others tend to get away with a 1-2 week detox programme perhaps 2-4 times a year.

Heavy metals are of a particular issue in the 21st century. Since we are living within an epidemic of heavy metal environmental over-whelm, therefore with my Naturopathic Nutritional hat on personally I choose to view daily detoxification as a way of life.

However, there are two pillars to detoxification. With the second pillar being; nurture.  A lack of nutrients at source (from within our soil) to support and boost our detoxification systems means we should also be paying close attention to supplementing with the appropriate range of nutrients.

These two pillars ‘detoxification and nurture’, complete every home maintenance programme.  With correct nutrients plus regular cleansing, we can keep our self-healing mechanisms strong and clean.

And the good news is, no disease can thrive inside a clean body!


3 STEPS TO A HAPPIER YOU

Clean body, clean emotions, clean mind:

  1. Detox each day
  2. Exercise each day
  3. Love your family and laugh each day

4 STEPS TO A HEALTHIER YOU

Step one

Step one always has to be Clean the Colon. By this, I am referring to the Large Intestine.

Include some cleansing pectins, gums, and clay; modified citrus pectin, psyllium husks, slippery elm, bentonite clay.

Include some antimicrobial supplements; humic acid, grapefruit seed, takuna, berberine, uva ursi.

Clean out any parasites; use wormwood, black walnut.

And physically clean the colon with colonic hydrotherapy 2-4 times a year.

Step two

Clean the urinary tract and kidneys.

My favourite cleansing agents for the kidneys; NRF2 Renew, Clear Away Cofactors, parsley, asparagus, marshmallow root and lots of purified water!

Support your kidneys by taking the stress of ‘homeostasis’, you can think about including ionic minerals in your water, such as E-Lyte.

Step three

Clean the liver.

Our livers are complex workhorses with differing strengths and weaknesses in each of us.  For instance, it is largely down to our livers whether we go grey early or late in life.  Genetically coded from birth, but not scripted. Meaning, we don’t HAVE to go grey, just because the propensity is there.

There is a number of different clearance pathways within our livers, with liver cleansing being the best way to boost over-all function. 10-15% increased productivity comes from cleansing the liver, which I can feel instantly when I get the cleansing right for me.

My all-time number 1 has to be Coffee Enemas.  At they boost the glutathione pathway.  My GST GSP enzyme is non-existent, and the reason why I started to go grey in my early 40’s.

2, has to be Liposomal glutathione

3 Chanca Piedra, keeping my gall-bladder and liver grit-free.

4. Calcium D Glucarate for the glucuronidation pathway, mine seems especially poor.  Poor glucuronidation results in estrogen build-up, which as we all know can contribute to a pre-cancerous picture.

5. Other forms of Sulphur such as MSM, and NAC especially NAC from Biomedica is great.  Selenium also helps as Selenium converts to NAC, along the Glutathione pathway.

6. Malic acid to widen the ducts of the biliary tree, so as long as you are not struggling with candida get those organic apples in daily.

The mini liver cleanse:

Day 1; Liquidise a lemon and lime with a 6 oz cup of water, some ice cubes, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 x clove of organic garlic and 1 x chunk of ginger.

Day 2; Liquidise a lemon and lime with a 6 oz cup of water, some ice cubes, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 x cloves of organic garlic and 2 x chunks of ginger.

Day 3; Liquidise a lemon and lime with a 6 oz cup of water, some ice cubes, 3 Tbsp olive oil, 3 x cloves of organic garlic and 3 x chunks of ginger.

Adding into this cleansing start to the day, you can include beetroot, carrots, lemon, and avocado to your lunch for further cleansing.  Although all vegetables will support your liver to go for a broad spectrum of colour rather than mono selective.

Step four

Clean the lymphatic system:

Foremost, stay hydrated and include electrolytes in your water.

Once we have fluid in the system we can then manipulate it with any of the following:

  • Daily skin brushing
  • Daily rebounding on a trampette
  • Daily or weekly hot and cold showers.

When deep cleansing needs to be supported then consider once a week Peat Mud Baths, and the herbal blend Essiac discovered and formulated by Caisse.


The 7 toxicity challenges

After all this your system should have a reduced burden of 7 toxicity challenges:

  1. Systemic; heavy metals or pesticides
  2. Persistent organic pollutants such as xeno-estrogens
  3. Opportunistic viruses
  4. EMF’s such as Magnetic and radiation
  5. Emotional and psychological stressors may surface but also dissipate with detoxification.
  6. Your food choices will be cleaner.
  7. Lastly, take time to nourish yourself spiritually by centering yourself daily.

So when it comes to health and healing there is no such thing as ‘Static’ in your Wellness Programme.  We are either actively getting better or progressively getting worse.

There are of course by-products produced as a result of the work we do on our bodies.  Cleansing can be intensive and demanding.  Detoxification also produces internal toxins. 

One way for the body to shake of toxin load and anti-body bi-products is for our immune systems to push us into a fever. This sense of being ‘unwell’ is also known as the Herxheimer effect.  This fever is your body’s attempt to shake off toxins and kick-start the immune system.


Supporting your immune system through detox

We can take immune supportive supplements to enhance immunological support during these challenging time, or as part of a long term maintenance programme.

Some of my favourite immunological compounds

  • Beta-glucans from mushrooms Reishi, Cordyceps; Shitakii
  • Laktoferrin, ImmunoGG

Support oxidative stress during detox

Oxidative stress can be damaging to our genes as it has the power to ‘switch them on and off’.  Some people are genetically predisposed to oxidative stress more than others therefore during a detox it is wise to take additional precautions.

Some of my favourite anti-oxidant protective supplements

  • Tocomin
  • NRF2 Renew
  • Green tea
  • Astaxanthin
  • Melatonin
  • 85% dark chocolate

Protecting the NRF2 pathway with; chocolate, green tea, turmeric is taken with black pepper, resveratrol, berries, grapes, red wine, sulphuraphane, cruciferous vegetables.  This all supports the ARE response, which in turn protects the whole genome.


Flooding the body with Light!

We don’t really know the full benefits of light.  With so much scaremongering around the toxicity effects of light with free radical damage, we ignore the innate healing light can bring in to our cells.

For me, this is one further component when it comes to detoxification. 

Attracting Light into our bodies in the form of light enhancing superfoods is highly recommended.  So how do we invite light into our cells?

Green foods have a way of bringing light into the body since it is captured sunlight with the leafy green anatomy of the plant.  Chlorophyll is said to be the same molecular structure as hemoglobin, with the exception of the magnesium molecule at the centre, rather than iron at the centre. The chlorophyll then travels to our mitochondria in the form of ‘captured sunlight energy’, photo-energising the Krebs cycle, also keeping oxidative stress down.  

However, my favourite method for inviting Light into our bodies has to be via the Budwig Diet! 

Having discovered the pioneering work of Joanna Budwig 15 years ago I have continued to use her valuable recipe within my own health regime, as well as recommending it for many clients. 

Joanna Budwig discovered that by blending Flax Oil with Quark (or you can use Greek yogurt or cottage cheese), the sulphur bond from within quark blends extremely well with the oil.  Creating a complete food for our bodies to recognise, and a vehicle to integrate the oil into our cellular membrane. 

Without this vital sulphur bond, flax oil when ingested can wreak havoc. Since it is a highly volatile oil prone to rancidity, and therefore readily initiates a free radical cascade.

Think about how flax oil is added to paint to create a ‘quick drying’ effect. 

This is entirely due to the highly volatile nature of flax, and how it invites oxygen into itself.  Beneficial for drying paint quickly! And, when integrated correctly this higher influx of oxygen can be beneficial to our cells too.  

But, when we manufacture the oil, we separate the oil from the protein.  And it is within the protein that we find the sulphur component.  Once the oil has been separated from its protein counter-part, the oil is no longer able to be made useful within the body.

Therefore, by blending flax oil with the Greek yoghurt or Quark this completes the sulphur bond and the oil becomes once again useful. 

The second piece to this is when the oil has been properly integrated into our cellular membrane. 

Due to the high number of double carbon bonds existing within the structure of the flax oil we now have the perfect vehicle to invite in Light to the trillions of cellular membranes within us. 

The lock and key of this being that surrounding the double carbon bonds within the fatty acid chain gather electron clouds.  And lots of them! Electrons then attract protons. Protons being sunlight. We, therefore, invite a huge influx of Light (protons) into our bodies when consuming the Budwig  Flax cream. 

Joanna Budwig was in no doubt a pioneer, with her knowledge, wisdom, and message ultimately suppressed by the slimming industry in the 1940s.  Slimming World had it’s agenda, in alliance with the margarine companies at this time, the message was fixated on Margarine being the ultimate slimming fat! However, this is not what the science tells us since corrupt fats corrupt cellular membrane by diametrically opposing the fluid nature of our cell’s membrane. This inadvertently clogs up the receptor sites for healthy fats too, blocking the use of healthy fats.

When double carbons are corrupted by high heat they change formation and are never able to revert back to their original healthy formations.  The corrupt formation then exists in place of the healthy formation within the cellular membrane. Further blocking mineral passage whilst trapping heavy metals within our cells.

The damage from eating margarine and heat treated volatile oils is no less than immense. Rule of thumb; any oil that should be liquid at room temperature should remain liquid when is your body.  Otherwise, you are literally jamming up your cell membrane with something that should not be there.   

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As a nutritionist, we are privileged to work with a variety of client cases. Variety brings comparison. And with that, an informed understanding over time, that by applying the same protocol to the same condition in different individuals, we do not bring about the same results.

The question then has to be asked, Why?

When I first began to ask this question I discovered environmental toxins such as heavy metals, glycophosphates, herbicides, pesticides all from varied and multiple sources. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat can all be a source of contamination.

Then, some years later I came across the importance of viruses.  How viruses implicate auto-immune conditions and therefore obstruct healing as they change the relation our first line of defense has with our biological systems.

More recently I discovered another layer, parasites.  For the sake of not repeating you can link to my previous post on the three shields here.

However, all of these areas of health are concerning. especially when complex health conditions have manifested.  And are NOT shifting!

So the question is Why?

I am one to never settle for the patient who doesn’t get better.  I believe nothing is random…

Genetic predisposition lies within the differences between how biological systems respond to heavy metals, parasites, and infections.  All of it is valid, each part potentiating the final genetic expression and therefore health outcome.

Let’s start with, what genes do

Simply put, they follow orders.  Meaning that the information we deliver to the gene (in the form of our thoughts, dietary choices, breathing patterns, sleep patterns, etc) is then taken and they then make it happen.  Genes simply inadvertently do what we ask them to do, therefore it’s up to us to put in good orders.

Putting in orders

Putting in the orders comes in the form of ‘how we are and what choices we make’.

When we are calm, cool and collected, our genes will have more nutrients available to complete the usual tasks. The result might be that we convert serotonin to melatonin and then we sleep better, or at least promptly when the lights go out.

We are frazzled and anxious, we rattle through magnesium using it up more rapidly, inhibiting the conversion of methionine to SamE and therefore without the donor SamE Serotonin cannot be converted to melatonin and we do not sleep as well.  This is just one example.

One of the other task genes have to do is that they make enzymes.  Which in turn get rid of things like environmental pollutants such as Bisphenol A, a carcinogen.

The more demand of our genes, in terms of resources the more our genes are tied up, pre-occupied dealing with these additional challenges. And therefore the less able our genes are able to deal with their original roles.  Such as converting serotonin to melatonin.  Or converting toxic substances such as homocysteine to the powerful antioxidant glutathione.

Homocysteine is just one by-product of a normal biological function. Therefore it is a normal toxicity compound produced by the body under completely normal circumstances.

The same gene responsible for lowering homocysteine is also used for clearing the heavy metals Lead and  Thallium from the intestines.

Conversely, the more we give our genes a break, the more they can restore themselves.

Eating junk food or poor quality foods, going to be late all places additional challenges on your genes.  So within the mind, we can know our genetic predispositions, in terms of the outcome of our SNP’s are fluid and malleable rather than fixed.

Factors within the environment which influence our genetic outcome are environmental toxins  They are everywhere and unavoidable to an extent.  The choices we make either increase this challenge or lessen it. But the fact remains none of us are immune to the exposure of heavy metals and environmental pollutants.

And heavy metals are so heavy that they really do put pressure on the genes giving them much extra work, thus slowing them down.

An apt example of this has been provided by Ben Lynch; he says that it is like when you are at a restaurant and order a meal.  But then you don’t get the meal because the chef is so busy putting a fire out in the kitchen.  He says that heavy metals and environmental pollutants are like the fire in the kitchen.  Our genes can’t do their usual work because they are so busy dealing with heavy metals AKA putting the fire out.  The gene no longer cares about lowering homocysteine because they are so caught up in dealing with the additional exposure to pollutants.

We have 19,000 genes in the human body give or take.  With 1000’s known to be impacted directly by heavy metals.  The consensus in current thinking is that ALL of them are influenced indirectly.

Other examples of what happens when our genes are compromised: Hydrogen peroxide is produced by stress, a pro-oxidant, required by our body in order to engage the immune system.  It’s a positive thing, but too much of it turns our hair white.  Our GST glutathione genes deal with this.  However iron, copper mercury, selenium, and zinc also slow it down.  Any gene that is functioning too fast, or too slowly is not a good thing.

Soux, a gene relevant to sulphites is affected by arsenic and tungsten.  Sulphur sensitivity is on the increase, and the question has to be, why?  Few people are aware that cysteine bonds are typically very reactive.  If the body is not breaking it down quickly then we can have too much sulphur and feel BAD!  Increased sulphur sensitivity can result just from chronic inflammation experienced for any of the following reasons; not sleeping well, fighting infections, having lots of heavy metals in the bod.  Cysteine then becomes cystine, but is damaging to all the systems of the body.

MTR, also relevant to methylation is slowed by lead, cadmium, and aluminium, inhibiting the cycling of B12 and therefore homocysteine.

Arsenic, found in apples, chicken, rice and many other foods slow down our body’s ability to produce ATP and therefore promotes mitochondrial dysfunction.

Pon1 is super significant too, as the challenge with glyphosates, barium, mercury, cobalt are all on the rise, slowing this gene down.

And of course, there are cascades … eNos gene is always going to be dirtied by PEMT, MTHFR, and a few others. Methionine synthase is slowed by a lot of common heavy metals, but then COMT is dirtied and so is MAOA.  GSTM1 is always affected and dirtied when any other gene is struggling.

The key here is to draw a road map with multiple SNP’s.  Understanding the wider pictures will give you the advantage. And then, when you learn your genetic road map and can see that you are in the clear WITHOUT SNP’s in certain areas of health, remember that your genes can STILL ACT as if there are SNPs present when genes are presented with the wrong environment. This is due to either a lack of co-factors and/or the presence of heavy metals.  So go by how you feel. Not just gene results!


Action steps

  • Look at your history in detail.  Think about where you have lived. Think about pollution, old lead piping.  Then take action to reduce the burdens.  Find the sources, then reduce or remove them.  Look to your air, environment, food, cosmetics, and water first. The fact of the matter remains if you don’t reduce or remove the current heavy metal burden your load will not be reduced.  And there will always be more.

Functional Medicine Tests to consider


Other effective methods for daily detox

Read about how heavy metals can interfere with the glymphatic system and sleep

Read about the links between heavy metals, parasites, and other organisms

 
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Are we only as healthy as … How Well We Eliminate Waste … from our bodies?

Detoxification is critical to the success or every healing program.  Since we are bombarded by environmental intoxicants 24/7 both from inside our homes, to the products we lather onto our skin, the food we eat and the air we breathe. Our bodies play host to an accumulation of herbicides, heavy metals, xeno-estrogens, all of which can be a big part in why those with chronic health issues are chronically ill. 

What I and other nutritionists/naturopathic physicians have found, is the strong correlation between those who are most sick and those who have had the most significant exposures, and are unable to detoxify so well.

Therefore, I believe educating ourselves about environmental toxins is critical.  And this can then translate into making better choices for our health, the health of our families, and it helps our planet also. Why? Because the substances that are hurting our bodies, by and large, affect our planet through climate change too. 

I consider toxins to be the number underlying causes of chronic diseases today, but sadly the doctors are NOT looking for this. It is my firm belief that when people are sick there is ALWAYS an underlying root cause.

Download your HOME DETOX GUIDE


Heavy metals and the brain

We also have a great deal of science and a strong correlation between the toxic loading of certain heavy metals and neuro-degenerative diseases.  Therefore keeping our brains as well as bodies free from toxic levels of heavy metals is paramount when supporting neurological health 

It’s hard to know exactly what heavy metal content exists within each of our brains unless we dissect the actual brain after passing.  However, we are able to measure heavy metal burden released into the urine when challenged by a sulphur donation agent.   Signifying theoretical total body burden in terms of reasonable or unreasonable levels excreted via this drainage pathway when challenged.  (The DMSA Challenge Test has been mentioned within a previous post.) 

But firstly let’s talk about the Glymphatic System and what we do know about how this protects our brain. The glymphatic system was only recently discovered within the University of Virginia in the US.


What is the Glymphatic System?

The Glymphatic System clears metabolic waste from the brain.  It does this at night during the hours when we are asleep.   First, at night the brain shrinks by 60% of its size in order to make room for the flow of the lymph (Glymphatic System) around it. 

Lymph flows along the arteries, bathing our neurons with nutrients whilst removing metabolic waste and then flows along the veins before exiting.  A vital system for health which is protected by good amounts of sleep each night.  

Unfortunately, not everyone has a healthy functioning Gymphatic System. As it is easily compromised when challenged by toxicity such as heavy metals, but brain injuries can also damage this system. 

Clearly, a damaged Glymphatic System can become a chicken and egg scenario since heavy metals damage the Glymphatic System, which in turn a compromises our ability to detoxify heavy metals.

If an individual is predisposed to carrying an increased toxicity load of heavy metals, predisposed by their genetic makeup, and then experiences a brain injury this can be a very tough situation indeed.  When this set up arises, every attempt to live a clean life, integrating detoxification techniques on a regular basis with good quality sleep also critical to this cleansing system.  Since we know that brain injuries incur an increased risk of neurological issues.


LEAD & GABA

We know that lead can be stored in the bone, as lead diametrically opposes calcium and therefore increments bone loss (post to follow), but it also interferes in our GABA production too.  As a result, a chemical known as Amyloid Beta accumulates when the Glymphatic system is not working well, causing incremental neuro-degeneration.

GABA regulates how well the lymph can flow in and out of the brain.  Therefore it is critical to our cleansing system.


Mercury

Exposure to mercury in the mouth also has negative effects on the Glymphatic system. Over time the vapour gets taken up into the brain from the mouth.  There is a retrograde effect as it gets into the nerves, and then to the brain, damaging astrocytes.  This can be an appalling insult to the Glymphatic system and its optimal functioning.


Sleep

When facing toxicity challenges sleep becomes all the more important. Sleep is therefore paramount in terms of reducing susceptibility to all neuro-degenerative conditions.   We absolutely need to sleep in order for this system to work. Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland, secreted to help us have a restful deep sleep. But it also helps to cleanse our brains. I love to take a slow releasing or sub-lingual form of melatonin before I sleep.  It is neuroprotective anti-oxidant clearing mercury, lead, viruses, etc from the brain.


Melatonin

Taking a step back, think about why we may have reduced melatonin?

Legally, we are not allowed to sell/buy melatonin in the UK, therefore apart from purchasing it from our US friends overseas, let’s look at what else can we do to support our melatonin levels naturally. 

Our love of technology exposes us to un-natural amounts of blue light from our phones and ipads, laptops, etc.  Blue light is the same as sunlight, which inhibits melatonin production. 

Realistically, we need to minimise blue-light once the sun goes down.  To support this there are screensavers with blue light blocker and amber glasses which also block out blue-light.  By reducing blue-light after sun-down we are naturally supporting our bodies to produce melatonin in the way it is meant to.

Melatonin in pill form

Melatonin in pill form is sold readily in the US, but as mentioned not legally in the UK.  There are brands however that will ship overseas. Source Naturals and Allergy Research for instance.

Pills will need to be processed by the liver and the digestive tract before it is absorbed.  Which works for some people, but for those who are sick, this is not ideal, since they typically have compromised digestion.

Liposomal melatonin is bound up with phosphatidyl choline. Phos choline is an essential-fat that our brains are made up of.  Therefore this is the perfect delivery system, we can harness this to get melatonin into our system and therefore brain more readily.


Setting the Bedroom Environment

  • The bedroom should ideally be EMF free. Meaning that all electronics need to be outside the bedroom.
  • Install Blackout blinds or shutters.
  • Keep the bedroom free from glues, hairsprays, and hormone-altering chemicals

Consider using Liposomal GABA and Liposomal Melatonin prior to sleeping, to support Glymphatic cleansing.


The Anti-Diuretic-Hormone (ADH)

Those with high mercury content in their bodies often have ADH (90%).  Which can be lowered easily with a drug provided from your GP.  Although I am not a huge fan of pharmacology, there is a place for using some drugs in the short term.

Those with high levels of ADH wake up in need of a pee.  The second point is to address electrolytes. Recommended products for this: E-Lyte from Allergy Research, Ocean 72 from Concentrace, and Crystal Energy from Patrick Flanigan.

Then, take a look at what is down-stream from the brain.  Do you get chronic sinusitis? And/or tonsillitis? There may have been a history of chronic Strepp?

When tonsils are removed, this leaves scars, causing stress on the nerve centre which is the Superior Sympathetic Ganglian.  The Superior Sympathetic Ganglian regulates blood flow to the pineal. Which if scarred can lead to chronic insomnia due to an interruption of blood flow both to and from the brain.


Taking it one step further

It is one thing to identify whether you have a heavy metal burden, but quite another to be Sensitive to Heavy Metals!’

This can happen too!

Our immune systems are now literally reacting to heavy metals. What this means is that not only our total body burden is an issue, but that our immune system now reacts to even the tiniest amount.  We are now hyper-sensitive to metals and therefore have an allergy.

This is a type 4 allergic reaction. When T-Lymphocites recognise and allergenic molecule in our system causing inflammation.

Common metal allergens are nickel, gold, mercury, and titanium.  Typically those who are allergic to nickel cannot wear it within their jewelry.  Nickel is within a lot of dental work, usually the origin of such an allergy.

There is various testing that can be completed to assess allergenic responses to metals.  I prefer to use Cyrex Array 11  Chemical Immune Reactivity Screen.

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