Our bodies are very efficient at removing damaging and non-beneficial materials, molecules, and pathogens from themselves. These can include toxins, endotoxins, dismantled parts of dead and cancerous cells, unabsorbed food, bacteria, germs, and overproduced or incorrectly produced hormones. This complex process is called detoxification.
Detoxification begins at the cellular level. Each cell has an internal mechanism which processes micronutrients through metabolism; the cells produce compounds that help both the cell and other parts of the body remain healthy. During this process chemical byproducts are created. These toxins need to be eliminated, thus they are transported outside the cell during the day to wait for the bodily detox mechanism to turn on, which occurs while we sleep. Chemicals and toxins are also created when cells repair damaged areas.
Toxins are also created during Mitosis since the old cell that divides will die and needs to be removed. Cells have a limited lifespan (ranging from hours to weeks) so Mitosis occurs all day long. Aside from this the body must remove toxins from apoptosis (sick cells killing themselves off when they are irreparable), and damaged cells killed by immune cells (a secondary help if sick cells don’t go through apoptosis). All these dead cells are dismantled and whatever is still good from their structure will be reused while everything else becomes toxic. The toxins are collected at the extracellular level for removal. In order for the body to remove all toxins stationed around cells and tissues, the detox mechanism needs a highway that can reach every single cell. That’s where the lymphatic system comes in. This system is basically a pipe of thousands of specific cells that ensure waste is drained out of the body. Immune cells patrol and guard this highway to make sure toxins aren’t re-absorbed into the body. Veins all around connect at different points of the lymphatic system to aid the process. There are many checkpoints to be sure that any waste material is safely moving out of the body.
All waste will arrive at the liver, kidney, skin, or lungs to be removed in stools, urine, sweat, or exhaling. The liver’s function is to remove toxins from the circulatory system. It is very important to keep our liver free from visceral fat because the toxin overload affects its detox capability. In regards to kidney health, water consumption is a must (we should be getting at least 8 cups of water a day). Avoid alcohol and drugs, while minimizing pharmaceutical drugs, avoiding them whenever possible. Diabetics can seriously compromise kidney function. Chronic inflammation and bad nutrition also affect both these organs. Excess red meat and eating animal fat will overwork both the kidney and liver.
These toxins cannot travel in the same chemical conformation they were created for due to their pH and oxidize potential. This can be very harmful in the bloodstream for other tissues and alter their pH levels. Altered pH levels means altered acidity levels, which can be lethal to the body. So in the body there are other systems that secrete chemicals which combine with these toxins and carry them out of the body safely.
Here are a few things to remember. Body detoxification occurs at night and takes about seven hours while we sleep. Shortening hours of sleep leaves our bodies with toxic residue that concentrates around our tissues. If this becomes our lifestyle, the toxics will start concentrating in fat cells over time. As this happens, more fat cells are needed and muscle and organ tissues start secreting mucus components around these cells as a way of protection. More water becomes retained around the fat cells as a result. (Water contained around fat cells is called cellulite.) This is a clear indication of toxins built up around those areas. Unless these toxins are removed, as mentioned earlier in this blog, they become the breeding ground for illnesses and chronic disorders. Even with exercise, it’s difficult to get rid of these toxins without detoxification.
Let’s look at another area of the body. The liver is about 5 feet long and 3 inches in diameter. It processes and filters most bodily toxins. After the liver does its job, the intestinal tract pushes the toxins out of the body. Some water is needed here to soften stools. More than 800 types of bacteria live in this area, beneficial to their own territories. They also help the body by destroying any other type of bacteria that travels through their territories and decomposing some toxins, ingesting them for food. As they do this they create byproducts that are safe for our intestinal tissues so the toxins they break down can safely leave our bodies without damaging anything.
It’s important to note that these bacteria multiply and do not die unless there is no food or water, which the intestines provide for them. But as stools go out of our body, a large number of these bacteria are removed every time we have bowel movement. This keeps the bacteria from overpopulating in our bodies. Overpopulation of bacteria would be very bad and could even kill us if it got out of hand. Bad odor in the stools is an indication of an intestinal problem. Chronic stress will affect stool movement as the body believes there is a threat when there is not. Bowel movement is delayed and can lead to constipation. Dehydration can also affect stool movement negatively. It’s healthy to have bowel movement about three times a day between thirty minutes to an hour after main meals.
Let’s talk about the skin now. Skin is our largest organ. Some toxins travel out of the body from the liver through the veins and are released out of tiny microscopic channels. If toxins build up, this can damage the skin. This can cause spots to appear on the face or other areas of the skin. Excess cholesterol or other proteins are released in these areas and become a feeding ground for bacteria. If the skin is unhealthy and infected, it can absorb outside environmental toxins that make their way through the bloodstream. This occurs if toxins are already absorbed in the skin. Bad odor in the skin is a clear sign of toxicity in the body.
The lungs also help remove toxins from the body as we exhale carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a byproduct of cell respiration after oxygen and carbohydrates are processed inside the mitochondria of the cell. Some toxins are vaporized and removed out of our mouths. Unhealthy cells and cancer cells can travel through the bloodstream to the lungs. So if we have unhealthy cells in the body we can’t always detect them in a blood test. But they can be detected from our breath. Odor in our breath can come from damage or infection in the teeth or other damaged tissues in the body as they are vaporized and sent through our lungs.
Our ears and eyes even remove toxins in their tissues as well as any dust and other environmental hazards that they come in contact with.
As a passing remark, detoxification will only start when we sleep after our digestive mechanism is finished. This is why it’s not recommended to eat a meal after 7 P.M. each night. It takes six hours for a full dinner to process all the way. If you become hungry after dark make sure to eat something that has no protein or fat in it. Drinking a smoothie is a good way to go, since it will digest quicker.
In conclusion, detox is a very precise and vital mechanism of our bodies. We all need to have reliable and constant detoxification. The following are some things that can mess with this important mechanism: If you are an adult, getting less than 7 hours of sleep and for children less than 9 hours; Late dinners after 7 P.M: Built-up toxins in our systems; A compromise in the immune system; Overweight, obesity and constant inflammation in any part of the body. Chronic stress causes an overload of cortisol and adrenaline that affects hormone and neurotransmitter balance. Dehydration definitely disrupts detox. Our bodies need water to detoxify. Also, bad nutrition in general leads to poor detox. The chemicals found in processed foods and food colorants are not good for our bodies at all. Phytotherapi has a detox protocol that is a very good tool in removing toxins. This is just one way we help create a healthier you, one day at a time.