Detox: The Importance of a Healthy Detoxification System

Every day we breathe and ingest harmful substances without even knowing it. From the toxic chemicals in our drinking water and air to the dyes and preservatives in our food, our body is bombarded with toxins from a variety of sources each and every day. Thankfully, our bodies come equipped with a unique filtering system called the detoxification system.

Your detoxification system has two major roles. One role is to detoxify the body from unhealthy toxins. The other role is to provide the body with anti-oxidant protection.


The Detoxifying Role of the Liver

The liver is the primary organ of the detoxification system. The liver functions much like a filter. When you ingest unhealthy chemicals and other toxins, the liver filters them from the blood and clears them from the body.

Despite all the work the liver has to do each day, it has an amazing ability to regenerate itself. The liver is the only organ that can re-grow itself if a section is cut away. However, when the body has to handle too many toxins on a routine basis, the delicate filters within the liver can become clogged.

When the liver becomes clogged, it can interfere with its ability to clear toxins from the blood. Too many toxins in the blood can affect the functions of other organs. Inadequate detoxification can also disrupt your nervous system and mental function. This can lead to depression, anxiety, and fatigue.

Unhealthy levels of toxins can also cause allergies and skin problems, as well as accelerate the aging process and contribute to degenerative diseases. Constant exposure to toxic chemicals can also contribute to nutritional deficiencies, which can compromise the body’s ability to provide anti-oxidant protection.


The Anti-Oxidant Role

In addition to eliminating toxins from your body, your detoxification system is also responsible for providing anti-oxidant protection against unstable molecules in your body called free radicals. Free radicals serve no other purpose than to attack and destroy healthy tissues within the body.

The normal molecules in our body contain electrons in pairs. This pairing of electrons is what makes the molecule stable. If a molecule loses one of its electrons, it becomes unstable, thereby a free radical is born.

The problem with free radicals is that they have the ability to steal electrons from other stable molecules, thus initiating a destructive cycle that can be very difficult for your body to stop. The destruction of healthy tissue that occurs as a result of this vicious cycle is known as oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress or oxidation is a frequent and normal process in nature. Take an apple slice, for example. The browning that occurs when the tissue of the apple is exposed to the air is the result of oxidation. Rusting of metal is also an oxidative process.

Although we can’t see it, oxidation also occurs inside our bodies when exposed to free radicals. Over time, our healthy tissues are destroyed. The more free radicals we are exposed to, the more destruction that occurs.


How Free Radicals are Created

Free radicals are naturally formed in our bodies through normal body processes like breathing, digestion, and exercise. When our body needs fuel, it generates cellular energy. In the process of producing this energy, it generates byproducts or free radicals.

The free radicals formed from our bodies cellular energy are a lot like the sparks that shoot out from a burning fire. While it’s a natural side effect of the creation of your body’s energy, excessive and uncontrolled free radicals can contribute to the development of heart disease and many forms of cancer.

While a certain amount of free radicals are formed from the biochemical processes that naturally occur inside our bodies, poor internal organ function and illness can increase free radicals to unhealthy and dangerous levels. For example, poor liver detoxification or digestive function can generate huge numbers of free radicals. If left uncontrolled, the free radicals can quickly overwhelm your body’s natural defenses and destroy healthy tissues.

When free radicals attack our cells, it also damages the cell’s DNA. As a result, our cells can mutate and become cancerous. When free radicals attack our lipids or fats, it results in the formation of plaques within our blood vessels, which contributes to improper blood flow, high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.


The Importance of Anti-Oxidants

Anti-oxidants like Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, beta-carotene, selenium, and lipoic acid are what prevent free radicals from destroying healthy tissues in your body. They are called antioxidants because they “prevent oxidative stress” from occurring.

Not everyone needs to take anti-oxidant supplements. In fact, taking them when they’re not needed can cause fatigue and muscle weakness. This is why it’s important to undergo appropriate testing of your detoxification system before undergoing any type of supplemental therapy.


The Effects of an Unhealthy Detoxification System

Stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, infection, and other medical conditions can affect your detoxification system’s ability to protect your body from free radicals and other harmful substances. Over time, the build-up of the toxins and increased levels of free radicals can wreak havoc on your health. Some of the initial symptoms associated with a compromised detoxification system include:

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Joint pain
  • Skin problems
  • Headaches
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Intolerance to alcohol

If you are a generally healthy person but find yourself experiencing one or more of the above health issues, it could be a sign that your body’s detoxification system isn’t functioning properly. The good news is that it is possible to stop the progression of your symptoms and reverse the effects they’re having on your health.


Whether you need anti-oxidant support or rebalancing of your detoxification system, our comprehensive tests can help identify where your body needs support. Let us help you get your body and your health back on track.  Make an appointment today!

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