focus on: Detoxification
FOR PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY
Good health is determined by many factors, one of
which is the bodys ability to detoxify effectively. This
is the process whereby toxins, compounds that have
harmful effects on cells, are either neutralised or
excreted from the body. Exposure to toxic substances
is unavoidable, as they are present everywhere in
the atmosphere, the food we eat and the water we
drink. A significant amount of toxins are also
generated within the body as a result of the
metabolic processes that go on within it.
The liver, alongside the intestines and kidneys,
is a primary organ of detoxification. All the
toxins that accumulate in the body pass
through the liver to render them harmless;
as such, the liver bears a large
responsibility in cleansing the body.
Modern living has seen a tremendous
rise in the toxic load the liver has to
deal with, leading to an overburdened
liver in some individuals. It is
believed that conditions such as
psoriasis, acne, chronic headaches,
inflammatory and autoimmune
diseases, and chronic fatigue may
in part be a consequence of poor
Nutrition focus on: Detoxification
1 Mobilisation withlipotrophic nutrients
The production of bile from the liver
is vital to detoxification since this
fluid acts to remove fat-soluble
toxins from the blood. Low secretion
of bile may result in cholesterol and
other fat-soluble toxins building up in
the liver. There are numerous
lipotrophic agents, substances
known to encourage the expulsion of
fat from the liver, which may help to
Choline and Inositol
Choline is known to play a vital role in fat metabolism by helping
to promote the flow of fat through the liver. Lack of choline may
cause stagnation of fat in the liver and in turn hamper its capacity
to break down fat. Its importance in liver health is evident from the
scientific research, for example, in one study subjects who were
put on a choline-deficient diet developed fatty infiltration of the
liver and other signs of liver dysfunction.
As inositol works in close alliance with choline to assist fat
metabolism in the liver, it is useful to take these two nutrients
The amino acid methionine assists in the breakdown of fats and
so may help to prevent an accumulation of fat in the liver. Possibly
as a result of methionines ability to raise levels of another amino
acid taurine, which is known to stimulate bile flow. In addition,
methionines potential antioxidant effects may help to protect the
liver from free radicals, the harmful by-products of detoxification.
Artichoke is commonly used for assisting detoxification owing to
its choleretic effects (gentle bile stimulating properties). Cynarin,
a key active compound in artichoke, has been shown to have
powerful antioxidant properties and therefore may help to prevent
cell damage in the liver. Poor bile flow is associated with fatty
meal intolerance and irregular bowel habits and studies show
artichoke to be of use for these conditions.
The level used in scientific research of note, is generally 320mg
of artichoke leaf extract, standardised to contain 5% cynarin.
2 Prevention against re-circulation
Liver detoxification occurs in two phases. Phase 1
relies on the presence of various nutrients such as
riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), folic acid,
cobalamin (vitamin B12), pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and
iron, all of which can be found in a good multivitamin
and mineral complex. Completion of phase 2
requires an adequate supply of antioxidants, which
are believed to bind to intermediary toxins to allow
their expulsion from the body. Lack of antioxidants
may result in the reabsorption of toxins in the body.
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha Lipoic acid is considered to be an excellent
antioxidant particularly because it works in both
water and fat environments unlike most antioxidants
such as vitamin C and vitamin E which are specific to
water and fat respectively. It is popular as a liver
support since it may protect the liver from free radical
damage and help promote elimination of toxins from
the body. For detoxification purposes a dose of 250 to
500 grams is suggested, depending on an individuals
Large stores of glutathione are found in the liver
where it acts to detoxify harmful compounds such
as heavy metals, solvents and pesticides.
Glutathione binds to these fat-soluble toxins to
convert them into a water-soluble form, which
is important since fat-soluble toxins are not easily
excreted from the body. Additionally, glutathione is
a strong antioxidant and so may protect the liver
from free radicals.
Glutamine is often used in practice to help heal
and strengthen the gut wall in situations such as
leaky gut syndrome. It is thought to act as fuel for
cells and may assist in sealing gaps in the gut wall.
This is an important function since a damaged gut
wall may allow toxins to be reabsorbed into the
body. Antioxidant function may also be enhanced
As a relevant dose of glutamine for gut function is
quite hard to achieve from the level afforded by
capsules, a powder form is preferable for ease of
use. It should also be in its natural L free-form as
this means it is ready to be absorbed and used by
Researchers have shown green tea (Camellia
sinensis) to be a powerful antioxidant and free
radical scavenger. These effects have been
attributed to compounds known as catechins
(polyphenols) found in high quality green tea leaf
extracts, which may help to support detoxification.
Experts recommend using a green tea extract
standardised to provide 250mg catechins to
ensure a relevant potency.
Nutrition focus on: Detoxification
Once toxins have been metabolised into less
harmful molecules they need to be eliminated to
prevent them accumulating and being reabsorbed
into the blood. The healthy functioning of the
bowel is necessary in order for this to occur
properly. A balanced diet incorporating plenty of
fruit and vegetables and adequate water intake
alongside the use of supplements may help to
regulate bowel movements.
FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides), a source of soluble
fibre, has been studied for its effects on bowel
health. Research has demonstrated that FOS draws
water into the waste matter helping to gently bulk
up the stools and facilitate easier bowel motions.
Furthermore, FOS has a prebiotic effect meaning
that it may help to feed the friendly gut bacteria,
which produce substances that stimulate peristalsis.
Use FOS that is derived naturally from chicory root,
since it is only the natural form of FOS that has
been scientifically proven to support bowel health.
Synthetic versions, usually made from sugar beet,
do not offer the same health benefits.
Artichoke is purported to regulate bowel movements
by stimulating the production of bile and in turn
encouraging peristalsis. It is especially useful to use
artichoke alongside FOS in cases where irregular
bowel movements are a longstanding issue. A high
potency artichoke extract standardised upon 5%
cynarin is recommended since this is the level used
in scientific studies of note.
The friendly bacteria in the gut are vital for optimal
gut health yet many factors such as medication,
stress and illness are known to deplete levels.
Similarly, the large intestine needs re-seeding after
a detox programme and the easiest way for this to
be achieved is through a probiotic supplement. The
suggested level is 10 billion live bacteria per capsule.
NUTRIENTS Suggested Daily Dose
General Multivitamin and A broad-spectrum multivitamin and mineral complex
Mineral Complex To include 200g selenium, 14mg of iron and good levels of the
Lipotrophic Choline and Inositol Choline 200mg and Inositol 200mg
L-Methionine 500mg, twice daily
Use L-Methionine presented in its free-form, as this means it is
ready to be absorbed and used by the body.
Artichoke 320mg of extract 2 tablets with each meal.
Maximum of 6 tablets per day.
Use an artichoke extract that is standardised to 5% cynarin.
Prevention Green Tea 500mg of extract
against Use a green tea extract that is standardised to provid