What is Detoxification?


Detoxification is the process that for dealing with harmful chemicals in your body. The major detoxification organs are the liver and the kidneys, but the lungs and even the skin play their own roles.


If all of these detoxification mechanisms are working well, then your body is healthy. If they are not working well, toxins begin to accumulate in your body; these toxins are associated with all sorts of diseases.

Give You Body a Hand

While your medical doctor is not likely to admit that there can be anything wrong with your detoxification process, or that it might cause disease, there is plenty of research to support that our detoxification processes is affected by environmental toxins, lack of proper nutrients, and even stress.

Think of all of the detoxification processes in your body as little engines and, just like engines they need the proper fuel in order to work their best. The proper fuel for the detoxification engines in your body are vitamins and other nutrients.

If you want your detoxification processes to work their very best, then you have to make sure they are getting the right nutrients. Here is a list of some of the nutrients that have been show to aid in detoxification:

  • Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Biotin, Pantothenic Acid, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, Manganese, Molybdenum, N-Acetylcysteine, Taurine, Choline, Silymarin, Epigallocatechingallate (EGCG), L-Glycine, L-Glutamine, L-Lysine, L-Threonine, DL-Methionine

A good multivitamin will have many of these in them, but you should consider a specific detoxification supplement if you want to go on a detox program.

Detox Program

While you can take the above nutrients at any time, there are also Detox Programs that you can go on to help encourage a more thorough detoxification. Many traditional cultures believed in a “spring cleaning” of cleansing period. Typically people would take a break from their normal foods, eat foods that are health-supporting, or they might even fast. They often used hot springs or sweat lodges to aid with the detoxification process.

Changing what you are eating is one of the keys to a good detox program. The reason why you want to change what you are eating is because many of the foods we eat place an added burden on our detoxification processes.

Detox Goals

The goals of detoxification as simple:

  • Give it a Rest: Give your body, and your gut, specifically, a rest. You spend more energy on digesting food than anything else. The lining of your gut is exposed to literally tons of food in your lifetime. Giving the gut time to rest is of utmost importance to establishing a healthy barrier to foreign particles.
  • Liver Support: To support the detoxification ability of the liver. This is achieved through such nutrients as glutathione, Cysteine, and many more. The detoxification pathways need the proper nutrients in the proper amounts in order to function well.
  • Change eating patterns: We get into to patterns with food. Studies have shown that people will make, on average 12-18 different meals. This means spaghetti every two weeks, hamburgers every Friday and so on. Our bodies crave diversity. There are, for example, over 200 different types of lettuce; we mostly eat only one: Iceberg. A good detoxification program will limit common food allergens, allowing us to explore other food choices.
  • Learn about You: To use your body as a barometer to what works. When you stop a detoxification program, you will start to reintroduce foods that you haven’t been eating. If these foods agree with you, you will not have a problem with them. But if these foods (many you probably eat every day) don’t agree with you, you will know immediately. This helps develop a keen sense of what is good for you and what is not. The true benefit of a detox program is that no outside person is telling you that this food is bad for you; it is your body that is telling you.
  • Feel Better: Most people who do a detoxification program feel better, sleep better, smell and taste food better, and have more energy.

Detoxification is one of the keys to health and longevity. If you wish to undergo a detoxification program, find a qualified health practitioner who can help guide you through the process.

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About the Author

I'm Dr. Scott Olson ND. I'm a Naturopathic doctor who specializes in diet, health, nutrition, and alternative medicine. I've written numerous books and articles on health, medicine, and alternative medicine I want to help you get healthy! Take a look at my blog and make sure you join in the conversation!

1 Comment on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Debra February 4, 2009 at 5:26 am - Reply

    What is a good detox supplement?

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