Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Natural Modulation of Detoxification Pathways

Recall from my last post that the liver has two major pathways – Phase 1 and Phase 2 -- that are involved in transforming toxins into water soluble substances for excretion. These pathways are dependant upon specific micronutrients for their function, and certain natural compounds can positively affect their efficiency.

Green tea catechins, for example, have been shown to stimulate the detoxification systems through selective induction of both Phase 1 and Phase 2 metabolic enzymes. Likewise, watercress, artichoke, milk thistle, and the ellagic acid found in pomegranate have all been shown to provide modulation of the Phase 1 pathways and support for Phase 2 conjugation activity.

Certain micronutrients, too, play a vital role. N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) promotes detoxification by acting directly on reactive oxygen radicals. NAC is currently the “gold standard” for management of acetaminophen poisoning.

The methyl donors, choline, methionine, and folate play an important role in balanced detoxification by providing cofactors for Phase 2 conjugation reactions.

These pathways are also dependant upon sufficient macronutrients for their function. Adequate protein, quality carbohydrates and fats, and fiber are important in supporting these pathways and maintaining healthy metabolism during a detoxification program.

To that end, the two formulas in particular that provide the foundation for nutrient-tailored detoxification are the liver supporting nutriceutical and the detoxification medical food.

The medical food provides a broad-spectrum blend of both micro and macro nutrients for support of the detoxification pathways. The first product of its kind, this formula is the only such nutritional product that meets the FDA’s criteria for “medical foods,” and enjoys more than 20 years of research. In study after study, the medical food shows dramatic improvement – more than 200% in most cases -- in Phase 1 enzyme activity, as well as the Phase 2 pathways glucaronidation, sulfation, and glycine conjugation. All these pathways are absolutely necessary in the liver’s ability to clear toxins. (see graphs below)

Phase 1 Caffeine Clearance
221% Improvement in Phase 2 Conjugation 200% Improvement in Glucaronidation
283% Improvement in Phase 2 Sulfation
In other clinical trials evaluating the medical food's effect on symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivities, allergies, and migraines, the use of the medical food along with a modified elimination diet brought dramatic relief within two weeks and almost complete eradication of symptoms after only six weeks.

As a complement to the medical food, the encapsulated formula provides several compounds listed above that could not be included in a medical food because of the taste factor. Ellagic acid, watercress, silymarin, and artichoke are compounds that provide powerful bifunctional modulation of the liver pathways.

Used together, these formulas provide complete therapeutic nutrition for the elimination of synthetic chemicals.

As a stand-alone regime, the medical food would need to be used at no less than 2 scoops 3 times per day along with the modified elimination diet provided in the accompanying detoxification patient guide. One could modify the dose by adding 4-6 capsules per day of of the encapsulated formula.

For even more complete and aggressive support, one could consider the use of the nutriceutical for the kidneys. Featuring even higher levels of NAC along with cordyceps and Chinese Salvia root, this formula supports kidney function, provides great antioxidant protection, and promotes the final stage of toxin elimination, which is through the kidneys.

This three-tiered program is what I used to treat my toxicity sickness that I talked about in my last post, with unforgettable results.