Well my beauties, I am finally continuing my series on how liver detoxification. I began this series after about the 50th company came and asked me to try their “miracle” liver cleanser, potion, and/or tea. I decided it was time to expose the fact that, while seasonal ‘resets’ with real food are, indeed, helpful, all these ‘products’ out there making all sorts of claims on effective liver cleansing are nothing short of snake oil salesman in a traveling circus. The fact is if you don’t address the issues you may have with liver detox or any part of your endocrine, lymphatic or digestive system involved in the excretion of toxins then there is no ‘cleanse’ on earth that can fix the damage done from not taking care of those symptoms on a daily basis.
Let me say that again. Optimal health comes from the body’s ability to detoxify and excrete chemicals, endotoxins, and used hormones each and every day.
Let me simplify that. ‘Still not clear? Detox is about what you process every day rather than what you do for a week twice a year.
In Path(ways) to Detox Pt. 1 we got to know our livers and all the amazing things for which they are responsible in the body. In Part 2 we introduced you to Pathway 1 (the addition phase) and Cytochrome P450 enzymes which “adds” something to a chemical compound such as a fat soluble toxin making it more water soluble. We looked at what triggers phase 1, a few things that can go wrong, and what can cause (or even sometimes needed) a slowing down or inhibition or speeding up or inducing of Phase I.
This brings us to Phase II of the liver detoxification process. Phase II is the “conjugation pathway” whereby liver cells add another compound (e.g cysteine, sulphur or glycine) to a toxic compound hopefully rendering it less harmful by making it water soluble where it can be excreted by the stool (via bowels) which comes from bile via the gallbladder, sweat (via the skin and lymphatic system) and urine (via the kidneys) . It is , in my view, considerably more complex with its, essentially, six individual pathways. (Actually there are 7 with Amino Acid conjugation broken down further into glycine and taurine conjugation but for our purposes we will say there are six.) Although toxic overload can have a negative effect on both Pathways i and II, if you consider even your genes can have defects in the individual pathways which can have far reaching implications on health including hormone metabolization (think estrogen dominance and thyroid disorders) and can manifest everything from sluggish metabolism and digestive issues such as IBS to mood changes and nervous system dysfuction to high cholesterol (especially skewed LDL to HDL ratios) and fat metabolism, skin issues (including acne and rosacea), and even recurrent bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections (those with candida issues be aware!) and immune disorders (even autoimmune illness) such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Encephalomyalgia. There are some studies that even implicate defects in the pathways as a factor in Hashimoto’s Disease.
Think of the liver as a factory and phase I as part of production with Phase II and its different pathways as conveyor belts. The conveyor belts are responsible for packaging up the production and carrying them out of the factory and to the right destination. If production (toxic overload) is too much for the conveyor belts to handle it can back up the entire factory. If the wrong products try to go down the wrong conveyor belt or if there are too many products the entire factory gets backed up.
In the next few posts we will be talking about the different pathways, what they do, what can go wrong and how to keep everything humming along smoothly.
The six pathways in Pathway II are::
- Amino Acid Conjugation (further broken down into glycine and taurine conjugation) Pathway
- Glutathione Conjugation Pathway
- Methylation Pathway
- Sulfation Pathway
- Glucoronidation Pathway
Each pathway provides a conjugation molecule which reacts with a very specific enzyme to act as a catalyst so that the liver is able to turn drugs, hormones and various toxins into substances that can be easily excreted from the body. For phase two detoxification to function properly, the liver cells require sulphur-containing amino acids such as taurine and cysteine. Getting enough of the nutrients glycine, glutamine, choline and inositol are also required for efficient phase two detoxification.
Now you know the “whats”. Tomorrow you get more of the “hows”. Looking forward to seeing you, beauties!