The liver does the majority of
the detoxification within the body. It is a very complex and versatile
organ that is involved in over 300 different functions. During detoxification
processes the liver goes through several phases.
Phase I converts toxins into less harmful substances and Phase II
takes those less harmful substances and converts them into a product
that can be eliminated from the body. These phases require certain
nutrients to function and protect the liver from being damaged.
During detoxification, free radicals
are generated which if not neutralized by antioxidants (such as vitamin
C, E, selenium and natural carotenoids), can result in damage to the
liver. There are nutrients that can be helpful to the detoxification
process. B vitamins, N-acetyl cysteine, glutathione, and the herb
milk thistle are especially useful in supporting Phase I detoxification.
Another way to support detoxification
involves methylation (the transfer of a methyl group to the toxin).
Methylation is critical and supported by choline, methionine, N,N-dimethylglycine,
and trimethylglycine. Early signs of inadequate detoxification and
toxic liver overload can include; fatigue, depression, lethargy, insomnia,
joint pain, constipation, skin problems or diarrhea and headaches.
If the liver continues to be stressed it may lead to jaundice, gallstones,
hepatitis, cirrhosis and even cancer.
Oral Chelation is a chemical process
where a substance taken in the diet can chemically bond to a toxic
metal within the body and successfully eliminate it. The heavy metals
aluminum, mercury, arsenic, lead, cadmium and nickel are particularly
difficult to eliminate from the body. These metals take a very tight
hold of our tissues where they can disrupt the normal function of
our organs (heart, brain, liver, lungs, kidneys, reproductive organs).
They can impair the immune system, negatively affect behavior, and
even poison the detoxification process itself.
Serious signs of overexposure
include brain, liver and kidney damage, GI tract disorders, convulsions,
hormonal dysfunction, memory loss, skin rashes and neurological disorders.
Mercury is one of the most toxic substances on the planet. It is an
especially dangerous neurotoxin that can affect most organs in the
body including the brain, gut, kidney and can seriously disrupt the
function of the immune and neurological systems in growing children.
Mercury is now known to specifically inhibit
glutathione production and transmethylation pathways, which are critical
to the detoxification pathways in the liver.
We have been exposed to mercury from mercury based fillings for teeth,
contaminated fish and from preservatives in vaccines. Recent publications
have established a strong link to a mercury-containing preservative
in vaccines, called thimerosal, and autism. There is a clear correlation
in the increase in cases of autism and the growing number of vaccines
given to infants over the past ten years. There is also growing evidence
linking heavy metal exposure to Alzheimer's, dementia and Multiple
Sclerosis. Studies have indicated that some individuals have a difficult
time eliminating mercury from the body.
Heavy Metal Detoxification
using Oral Chelation
When attempting to remove heavy metals, it is recommended that you
please consult with your health care practitioner who can best evaluate
your status and ongoing progress in eliminating the toxic metals with
appropriate lab testing. While extremely effective, oral chelation
therapy must be approached carefully and initiated slowly. If the
process of chelation is not done slowly and heavy metal detoxification
occurs too rapidly, there may be some side effects. It is also important
to take a high potency multiple supplement and drink 6-8 glasses of
water during oral chelation. Professional guidance is always recommended
as part of a total health building program.