Living in an increasingly toxic world makes it tougher these days for people to stay healthy. The unfortunate reality is that we are all exposed to vastly more environmental toxins than were our ancestors. Most of these are man-made and did not exist a century ago.
People have become increasingly aware of the ubiquity of these toxins—whether in the foods they eat, the air they breathe, or the products they use on their skin or in their homes. This has led to a near-obsession with “detoxing. “
Some people take the concern to troubling extremes, and there is no lack of companies offering products, protocols, and retreats seeking to exploit the public’s worries about toxins.
It is easy to dismiss the public’s concerns about toxins as a particularly modern form of “hypochondria.” But the fact is, the cumulative effects of environmental toxins can be extremely detrimental to our health. The fact that many people are thinking about environmental toxins and trying to rid their bodies of them signals a general wish to be healthy. It is an impulse clinicians ought to recognize and encourage—in the right way.
There are simple steps our patients can take can take that could go a long way in reducing their overall toxic burden. These steps, combined with diligent efforts to limit the uptake of toxins-whether pollutants, pesticides or heavy metals—can and should be a part of anyone’s overall health maintenance and disease prevention strategy. .
The Health Studies Collegium Foundation recommends following these 3 simple ways to reduce toxins and minimize harm:
Buffered Vitamin C (Ascorbates):
Buffered vitamin C promotes healing of wounds and protects the body from bacterial infection, allergens and other pollutants. Buffered mineral ascorbates can safely chaperone toxic minerals and chemicals from the body. Ascorbate wraps around minerals like lead, and facilitates their elimination through the gastrointestinal tract.
Health Studies Collegium estimates that each gram of ascorbate is able to help remove about 10 micrograms of toxic minerals from the body. Given the toxic load of most people, several grams of ascorbate are needed just to address the daily traffic or flux of dietary and environmental xenobiotics.
Since heavy loads of toxic minerals will deplete antioxidants, larger amounts of ascorbates are needed by individuals with larger body burdens of toxins.
The “C Cleanse” is a perfect way to detox. The process is as follows: take buffered ascorbate powder in increments of 15 minutes till there is a complete evacuation of the gastrointestinal tract contents. The amount needed to obtain this C Cleanse response identifies the risk of oxidative stress and extent of antioxidant protection, while also removing toxins from the body.
Always use 100% l-ascorbate, fully buffered and reduced and repeat weekly for best results. There is no need to restrict any solid foods or calories during this process. However, it is important to stay well-hydrated when undertaking a C Cleanse ()
Bio-Detoxing with Sulfur:
Healthy people make a family of low molecular weight proteins collectively known as metallothionein (MT), which act like molecular sponges, soaking up and safely chaperoning toxic minerals like cadmium, lead, mercury etc, from the body.
MT is a distinct polypeptide made up of the simplest amino acid (glycine) and a sulfur containing amino acid (cysteine). In order for the body to produce MT, a person must have ample sulfur sources in his or her diet, and the cells must be in good metabolic shape.
Garlic, Ginger, Onions, Brassica sprouts and Eggs (GGOBE) are good sources of sulfur in the diet. We recommend these five high-sulfur foods as staples rather than condiments or occasional side-dishes. Why? Because sulfur is required for the synthesis of glutathione, one of our premier endogenous antioxidants. It’s also important for taurine, which helps with the cardiovascular system, and for production of other amino acids like methionine and cysteine that bind toxins making them more water soluble and less toxic.
These super bio-detox foods are also a rich source of IP-6 which aids in the metabolism of insulin and calcium, promotes healthy hair growth, bone marrow cell metabolism, eye membrane development and helps the liver transfer fat to other parts of the body.
We suggest incorporating these foods daily, making them staples to add variety to the diet and to achieve that jump-start in functional detoxification.
No detox protocol would be complete without magnesium. It is critical for healthy detoxification and effective removal of toxins out of the body. For every chemical that is detoxified from the body, one uses up and loses a proportionate amount of magnesium. Further, magnesium is required for adequate glutathione production. It is also necessary for the removal of mercury, lead and arsenic.
Magnesium is important for the phase 1 detox pathway, and along with other minerals like zinc, displaces toxic heavy metals from the body.
When magnesium is sufficient, B vitamins work better and cell proton gradients allow for mitochondrial batteries to deliver adequate energy.
When magnesium is insufficient, people are at increased risk of oxidative harm and free radical damage from toxic metals.
Magnesium protects the brain from the onslaught of toxic minerals like aluminum, cadmium, lead, mercury and nickel. Low levels of brain magnesium allow the toxic metals to enter brain cells, and could be the harbinger of conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
We recommend combining ionized magnesium with choline citrate to enhance magnesium uptake and chaperone its delivery to cells.
Regular magnesium is often not absorbed efficiently, especially in people with compromised digestion and chronic conditions; these are the people who most need the support that magnesium provides. The cellular uptake of magnesium entails an energy-dependent step that is bypassed by the addition of choline.