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 Detoxifying  Your Body

Read about blood sugar, cholesterol, homemade cosmetics, find salicylate free strategies and more.

No animal testing Cosmetics

No animal testing  Supplements

Dr. Klinghardt, A comprehensive review of heavy metal detox

Cysteine & Heavy Metals

Dr. Klinghardt's Neurotoxin Protocol

PDR Health Natural Medicines Indexed by Common Name

The Whole Way to Natural Detoxification: Clearing Your Body of Toxins

Taoist Cosmic Healing: Chi Kung Color Healing Principles for Detoxification and Rejuvenation


Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Revised Second Edition


Your Liver Your Lifeline: Insights on Health Based on the Liver Triad of A. Stuart Wheelwright : Detoxification & Rejuvenation for the Whole Body VI


The Healthy Liver & Bowel Book


The Amazing Liver & Gallbladder Flush: A Powerful Do-It-Yourself Tool To Optimize Your Health and Wellbeing

Natural Therapy for Your Liver: Herbs and Other Natural Remedies for a Healthy Liver

Gi/Liver Secrets (The Secrets Series)

The Liver Book: A Comprehensive Guide to Diagnosis, Treatment, and Recovery


Dr. Melissa Palmer's Guide to Hepatitis & Liver Disease: What You Need to Know


The Liver Disorders Sourcebook


21st Century Complete Medical Guide to Liver Diseases, Cirrhosis, Liver Transplantation, Jaundice: Authoritative Government Documents, Clinical References, ... Information for Patients and Physicians

Natural Liver Therapy

The gut as a barrier to drug absorption: combined role of cytochrome P450 3A and P-glycoprotein.

Cytochrome P450 enzymes and  Drug-Drug Interaction Mechanisms

Prescription Drugs Metabolized through Cytochrome P-450

P450 Table

Chronic liver injury during obstructive sleep apnea

Basics on Amino Acids from the University of Arizona

Amino Acid Metabolism


Detoxifying Your Body
The Liver

The liver removes toxins from the blood, makes and processes bile and enzymatically disassembles unwanted chemicals.

The liver detoxifies the blood by filtering and removing large toxic particles, including those that are coming from the intestine.  Blood coming from the intestines is often very toxic because it is full of endotoxins (toxins released when bacteria die), antigen-antibody complexes (large molecules that the immune system produces when it neutralizes invaders) and other toxins.  If working properly, 99.9% of toxins in the blood will be removed. 

The liver makes approximately 1 quart of bile each day and uses it to effectively carry away many toxins. Bile is sent to the intestines where it emulsifies (liquifies) fat and fat soluble vitamins for better absorption.  Toxins in the bile are absorbed by fiber in the colon and excreted through bowel movements.  Toxins are reabsorbed into the body If there isn't enough fiber to remove them.   Some of the toxins removed by bile are bacteria and bacterial products and immune complexes.
See Colon Detoxification Information for specific removal techniques for the colon.

Lipotropic Agents (Fat Emulsifiers)
Once the liver has modified a toxin, it needs to be eliminated from the body as soon as possible.  When the excretion of bile is inhibited due to improper function of the liver, toxins stay in the liver longer.  Lipotropic agents are compounds that promote the flow of fat and bile to and from the liver.  They decongest the liver and promote improved liver function which helps the liver to perform it's job of detoxifying the body.1

Some important Lipotropic agents

Phosphatidyl Choline also breaks down fat. For a complete list of supplements that help the liver do it's job of detoxification, please see:
Supplements for Detoxification

Neutralizing toxins
The liver uses a 2 step enzymatic process to neutralize unwanted chemical compounds.  These chemicals include but are not limited to drugs, pesticides, toxins from the gut and normal body chemicals that if left to build up, will cause illness.  Histamine is a good example of a normal body chemical that would be harmful if left to build up because it will cause inflammation.

Phase I
Phase I detoxification involves from 50 to 100 enzymes that are collectively known as the cytochrome P450 system.  The effectiveness of this system varies greatly depending on our genetics, nutritional status and exposure to chemicals. 

Phase I either changes a toxin to a less toxic form, makes it water soluble for excretion through the kidneys or changes it to a more reactive form where it is handled by phase II detoxification.  If a toxin is changed to a more reactive form and our phase II detoxification system is not working properly, the chemical can be reabsorbed and make us very sick.

A side effect of Phase I detoxification is the creation of free radicals.  If our free radical defense system is not working properly, our liver will be damaged every time a toxin is processed.  This is why antioxidants that are capable of stopping free radical damage such as Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and others are so important.

Research shows that the cytochrome P450 system is found in other parts of the body, especially the brain cells.  A lack of antioxidants and nutrients in the brain cause an increased rate of damage such as is seen in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. 

Phase I detoxification may not be working properly if you have an intolerance to caffeine such that even small amounts keep you up at night.

Nutrients needed by Phase I Detoxification

  • Copper

  • Magnesium (deficiency greatly increases toxicity of many drugs)

  • Zinc

  • Vitamin C

Phase II

Phase II works on some toxins directly while others must be processed by phase I first. Phase II detoxification is accomplished by conjugation.  This is the process in which a protective compound is bound to a toxin.  Conjugation either neutralizes a toxin or makes it easier to excrete through the urine or bile. 

There are 6 phase II conjugation pathways.  They are listed below along with the nutrients needed for them to work.

Phase II Detoxification

  • Glutathione Conjugation
    Nutrients needed:
    Vitamin B6

    Can be inhibited by deficiencies of:
    Vitamin B2

    Many toxic chemicals such as heavy metals, solvents and pesticides are fat soluble which makes them harder for the body to get rid of.  Glutathione binds to a fat-soluble toxin and converts it to a water soluble form so that it can be excreted through the kidneys.  Glutathione is also an anti-oxidant so it protects our body from free radicals.

  • Amino Acid Conjugation
    Nutrients needed:

    Can be inhibited by a low protein diet.

  • Methylation
    Nutrients needed:
    S-adenosyl-methionine (SAM or SAM-e)

    Can be inhibited by deficiencies of:
    Vitamin B12
    Folic Acid


  • Sulfation
    Nutrients needed:Cysteine

    Sulfation can be inhibited by a deficiency of

    Symptoms of a possible problem:
    Sensitivity to sulfur containing drugs and foods.

  • Acetylation
    Nutrients needed:none found

    Acetylation can be inhibited by a deficiencies of:
    Vitamin B2
    Vitamin B5
    Vitamin C


  • Glucuronidation
    Nutrients needed:Glucuronic Acid

If the mitochondria (energy producing cells in the liver) aren't working properly (which can be caused by magnesium deficiency or lack of exercise), phase II detoxification slows down allowing a buildup of toxins.

For more information about detoxification, please follow the links in the side panel under "Detoxifying your body" or click on one of the links below:

  • General
  • Colon
  • Supplements
  • Sal-FreeTM
  • Other Detoxification Methods
  • Before taking any supplements, consult with your health care provider. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. We do not accept any responsibility for the use or misuse of any of the information contained herein.

    1.Michael Murray, N.D., and Joseph Pizzorno, N.D. "Encylcopedia of Natural Medicine, Revised 2nd Edition", ppgs 104-125.

    2.  Trappoliere M, Federico A, Tuccillo C, de Sio I, Di Leva A, Niosi M, D'Auria M, Loguercio C., "Effects of a new pharmacological complex (sylibin+vitamin E+phospholipids) on some markers of metabolic syndrome and of a liver fibrosis in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a preliminary open pilot study.", Minerva Gastroenterol Dietol. 2005 Jun;51(2):193-9.
    Entrez PubMed


    *Sal-FreeTM and *Sal-SafeTM are trademarked terms and are used with the permission of Tesa Marcon of the Guai-Support Group

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