What is the right way to detox?
Three phases of biotransformation
In the biochemistry of detoxification, a distinction is made between three phases: In the first phase, toxins are converted into a reactive (toxic) intermediate product (=detoxification), in the second phase fat-soluble toxins are made water-soluble (=detoxification), and then in the third phase they are transferred into the bloodstream and excreted via the intestines, kidneys or skin.
The entire biotransformation of toxins is ensured and regulated by various detoxification enzymes, which in turn can be assigned to phase I or II. However, the enzyme equipment and enzyme functionality is highly individual – and therefore makes every detoxification process a kind of “black box”. We do not know what is in each person’s box, what their genetic make-up is and how fast their metabolism runs. For example, 15-17% of people have a slow metabolism and therefore tend to be less able to detoxify. A further complexity is that the individual phases can proceed differently well or poorly. In particular, a weak phase II (with a strong phase I at the same time) can lead to massive problems. As is so often the case, this is once again about balance. All processes must interlock.
The basic requirements: Intestine, liver and lymphatic system
If the liver is overloaded due to the high level of toxins and waste products, the harmful substances are not eliminated but are instead preferentially stored in fat cells. And if the fat cells no longer have any storage capacity, then the toxins are inevitably stored in other tissues (e.g. in the muscles, in endocrine organs such as the prostate or, unfortunately, in some cases also in the brain).
Many natural herbs can gently support the liver and gall bladder. Prominent examples are milk thistle, artichoke, dandelion and yarrow.
If our gut is not healthy or our diet is inadequate, the toxins that are secreted by the liver via the bile are not excreted, but are reabsorbed instead. They return to the bloodstream (=re-intoxication). In addition, metabolic toxins are produced in the diseased intestine through fermentation processes and harmful bacteria and fungi (=dysbiosis), which place an additional burden on the organism.
If our lymphatic system is blocked, toxic metabolites can no longer be removed from the intercellular space and can attack the tissue. And finally, a balanced acid-base balance with intact kidney function is also an important basic requirement for effective detoxification.
So there is a lot to consider in order to detoxify properly and effectively and it is very important that all the organs and systems mentioned work well together.