Myths You've Been Told About Detoxification

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By now, you have likely formed some type of an opinion about detoxes. There are so many false ideas and claims that are thrown out when the topic of detoxification comes up. With this information overload, it is often hard to distinguish fact from myth. The term ‘detoxification’ refers to our body’s ability to eliminate toxins.

1. “I don’t need to detoxify. My body does it for me.”

Under normal circumstances, our bodies are well designed to filter out harmful chemicals to protect us. However, we are now exposed to substantially more toxins than what our bodies were originally designed to tolerate. Toxins from pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, pharmaceutical drugs, skin-care, and food additives are overloading our body’s natural ability to eliminate them. To make matters worse, we are substituting healthy meals with processed ‘food-like’ substances that lack the nutrients to fuel the body’s detoxification process. Our body’s natural protective mechanism is then to store them in the safest way and form- in our fat cells.

2. “I’m going on a juice cleanse to help detoxify.”

When thinking about detoxing our body, eating large amounts of vegetables and fruit in a smoothie concoction may seem like the perfect solution. While some juice cleanses are great for other reasons, they cannot soley detoxify the body on their own. Here’s why. In order for our body to remove toxins, it must go through two phases.

Phase 1 (Breakdown)- Because most toxins are fat-soluble, they must first be converted into a water-soluble form so that they can be removed by the large intestine, kidneys and skin. Phase one, also called the Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme Pathway, breaks down toxins through processes such as oxidation, reduction and hydration. These processes require several nutrients, such as b-vitamins, folic acid, glutathione, antioxidants and many more.

Phase 2- This phase is known as the conjugation pathway. The purpose of this phase is to add a substance to the metabolite (broken down toxin that was formed in Phase 1) to make it water-soluble. In order for the conjugation pathways to occur, the body must have an adequate supply of protein to produce the essential amino acids needed for these reactions. Without these amino acids, the toxin intermediates are unable to be excreted from the body.

While phase one does require vitamins and phytonutrtients from fruits and vegetables, in order to complete the detoxification pathway, we need protein. Because most juices are made purely of carbohydrates, from the fruits and vegetables, they cannot remove the toxins.

3. “I go to the bathroom three times a week. My doctor says its normal.”

You might be wondering WHY IN THE WORLD am I talking about your poop? Elimination is considered the final phase of detoxification. The body can eliminate toxins through four different routes- feces, urine, sweat, and your breath! Staying regular is absolutely ESSENTIAL to getting rid of those toxins. Generally, going once or even twice a day is considered optimal for good health.

4. “I’m going on a detox to lose weight.”

This is by far one of the biggest misconceptions people have for going on a detoxification program. The purpose of a detox is to remove toxins so that body can function, in all processes, at its maximal capacity. Legitimate detox programs will require elimination of all processed and allergenic foods. A person who is used to consuming these high calorie, low nutrient dense foods may lose weight as a byproduct. Eliminating toxins from fat cells may also help a person have better success at losing weight. Our body tends to hold on to more fat and water to help store and dilute the potency of these toxins. Although weight loss is a bonus, keeping the weight off will require consistent healthy lifestyle choices after the detox ends.

5. “Detoxes are a waste of money.”

As with all supplements, it is essential for you to do you research and make sure the products you are buying are manufactured with high quality raw materials and have the ingredients and only the ingredients that are listed on the label. Many supplements sold online and in department stores are very poor quality and may actually be harmful, as many contain heavy metals and poor raw ingredients. Often times, as the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.”

How Can I Reduce My Toxic Exposure?

  • Eat organic & local foods whenever possible.
  • Consume lean, high quality protein every day.
  • Drink at least half of your body weight in water ounces everyday.
  • Get a good sweaty workout in 4-5x a week.
    Sauna 3-5x/week.
  • Detox with High Quality Medical Foods


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Litchfield Chiropractic Center
126 North Sibley Avenue
Litchfield, MN 55355
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