We are constantly expose to potentially harmful toxins from our external and internal environments. Long term optimal health requires the body’s ability to limit accumulation of these toxins. The two major detoxification pathways in the body are carried out by the immune tissue in the gut and the enzyme systems in the liver. So, let’s learn more about detox pathways and what we can do to support the them.
The gut mucosa acts as barrier to keep endogenous (internal) and exogenous (external) toxins from entering the bloodstream. Part the gut mucosa is the immune tissues in the GI tract, commonly referred to as the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT), and it is the largest organ in the body’s immune system. GALT-related immunoglobulins (function as antibodies) are major players in the gut to attach to pathogens and other foreign particles and prevent the absorption of these compounds into the body. An example of GALT-related immunoglobulins is secretory IgA (sIgA), which extremely important in protecting the intestinal epithelium from toxins and pathogens.
What contribute to a healthy gut mucosa?
As we are gaining more and more knowledge on the importance of gut beneficial microbes, one of the ways they contribute to our immunity and detoxification is by promoting the production of sIgA.
Amino acids are the small building blocks of proteins. We usually think of protein for muscle building, however, protein is also essential for our immunity response and resilience to infections. Amino acids are important energy sources for immune cells and intentional epithelium cells. A deficiency of amino acids, such as arginine, glutamine,, glycine, proline, taurine, and cysteine, may result in deterioration of the intestinal barrier and alter the immune response of GALT.
Whole food diet
Stay away from packaged food, food colourings, food additives, refined sugar, refined carbohydrates … simply eat food that are made with ingredients recognisable by your ancestors.
Antigens and toxins that enter into the bloodstream and delivered to the liver for detoxification. The liver’s main action is to transform the toxic fat-soluble substances into a water-soluble molecules that can be excreted through the gut and kidney. This biotransformation of toxic substances involves the phase I and phase II detoxification system.
Phase 1 detoxification:
Phase 2 detoxification:
Detox Nutrition Principles: REBOOT
Kathie Madonna Swift MS, RDN presented the REBOOT detox principles at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference 2013.
Functional medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership.
A functional medicine practitioner will carry out an extensive evaluation to identify your specific needs. The evaluation base on:
You may have a high toxic load if your answers are yes to the following questions …
If you are interested to find out more about how functional medicine can play a role in your health journey, send us a request through this link for an obligation free phone call and/or a detoxification questionnaire.
References and resources:
L K Mahan & S Escott-Stump. Krause’s Food, Nutrition, & Diet Therapy 11th Ed. Sunders, USA, 2000
M Percival. Phytonutrients & Detoxification. Clinical Nutrition Insights (1997) Vol 5, No 2
N J Mantis, N Rol and B Corthésy. Secretory IgA’s complex roles in immunity and mucosal homeostasis in the gut, Mucosal Immunology (2011) 4, 603–611; doi:10.1038/mi.2011.41; published online 5 October 2011
MR Ruth, C J Field. The immune modifying effects of amino acids on gut-associated lymphoid tissue. J Anim Sci Biotechnol. 2013; 4(1): 27.
Published online 2013 Jul 30.
￼Nutritional Approaches to Detoxification: Application in Clinical Practice – Kathie Madonna Swift
14 Foods That Cleanse the Liver – Dr. Edward Group
“The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”