Since Spectrum Recovery will shortly be offering its Fall Cleanse/Detox on-line for both its blog readers and its 1:1 clients, I thought that I would share highlights from the article the article "Can You Really Detox?" by author Virginia Cole-Smith. In the article, Virginia Cole-Smith quotes some great experts on the topic of detoxification. One such expert is Dr. Woodson Merrell, M.D., author of the "The Detox Prescription. "This idea of physical purification resonates so deeply right now, because we are under siege.We all walk around with accumulations of chemical toxins in our bodies,” explains Dr. Merrell, who is also chairman of the Department of Integrative Medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City. Indeed, research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found detectable levels of more than 200 environmental chemicals like pesticides, flame retardants and tobacco smoke by-products in the blood and urine of large sample groups. Some of these are known carcinogens, while others may disrupt the body’s natural hormone balance by mimicking estrogen. Scientists are still exploring how this might increase our risk for obesity, diabetes, cancer and many other health problems. “For most of these chemicals, we have no idea what level of exposure is truly safe for each person or what happens when you’re exposed to so many chemicals all at once,” Dr. Merrell says. Add to that our standard American diet, heavy in processed foods with high levels of saturated fat, refined sugar and chemical additives, and you can see why so many of us feel like we need to clean up our acts.
But your body comes equipped with its own automatic detoxification system, principally your liver and kidneys. Removing impurities and waste products is their raison d’être: As blood flows through your body, it’s filtered by your liver, which snatches up toxins, cholesterol and other nasties that enter the system (often through the food we eat, but also via air, water and toiletries) and circulate in the bloodstream. Your liver then uses a two-phase process to get those unwanted things out. First, it releases special enzymes to convert the toxic molecules into new, unstable molecules known as free radicals. Then those free radicals are bound to certain substances that essentially fast-track them over to your kidneys, so you can pee them out. (You also excrete some toxins through stool, sweat and simply exhaling.) It’s a beautiful system, and most experts consulted for this story agreed that as long as you’re eating a relatively healthy diet, you don’t need to worry about it.