To eliminate toxins from the body, there are two major detoxification pathways inside the liver cells: Phase 1 and Phase 2.
Common Toxin to Eliminate
|metabolic end products||insecticides|
Phase 1 Detoxification Pathway
Phase 1 detoxification consists of oxidation reduction and hydrolysis. Phase 1 detoxification is catalyzed by enzymes referred to as the cytochrome P450 enzyme group or Mixed Function Oxidase enzymes (MFO). These enzymes reside on the membranes of the liver cells (called Hepatocytes). Human liver cells possess the genetic code for many isoenzymes of P-450 whose synthesis can be induced upon exposure to specific chemicals. This provides a mechanism of protection from a wide variety of toxic chemicals.
To put it simply, this pathway converts a toxic chemical into a less harmful chemical. This is achieved by various chemical reactions (such as oxidation, reduction and hydrolysis), and during this process free radicals are produced which, if excessive, can damage the liver cells. Antioxidants (such as vitamin C and E and natural carotenoids) reduce the damage caused by these free radicals. If antioxidants are lacking and toxin exposure is high, toxic chemicals become far more dangerous.
Some may be converted from relatively harmless substances into potentially carcinogenic substances. Excessive amounts of toxic chemicals such as pesticides can disrupt the P-450 enzyme system by causing over activity or what is called ‘induction’ of this pathway. This will result in high levels of damaging free radicals being produced. The danger is if these reactive molecules are not further metabolised by Phase II conjugation, they may cause damage to proteins, RNA, and DNA within the cell.
Substances that may cause overactivity (or induction) of the P- 450 enzymes
|Saturated fats||Exhaust fumes|
The family of P-450 enzyme systems is quite diverse, with specific enzyme systems being inducible by particular drugs, toxins or metabolites. It is this characteristic that has allowed the development of special tests to check the function of the various pathways.
The Substrates (the substance acted upon by the enzyme) of cytochrome P-450 enzymes
Cofactors of P450 Phase 1 detoxification
NADH, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, iron, certain indoles from cruciferous vegetables.
Substances that inhibit cytochrome P450
Many substances inhibit cytochrome P450. This situation can cause substantial problems as it makes toxins potentially more damaging because they remain in the body longer before detoxification.
Grapefruit juice decreases the rate of elimination of drugs from the blood and has been found to substantially alter their clinical activity and toxicity. Eight ounces of grapefruit juice contains enough of the flavonoid naringenin to decrease cytochrome P450 activity by a remarkable 30%.
Curcumin, the compound that gives turmeric its yellow colour, is interesting because it inhibits phase I while stimulating phase II. This effect can be very useful in preventing certain types of cancer. Curcumin has been found to inhibit carcinogens, such as benzopyrene (found in grilled meat), from inducing cancer in several animal models. It appears that the curcumin exerts its anti-carcinogenic activity by lowering the activation of carcinogens while increasing the detoxification of those that are activated. Curcumin has also been shown to directly inhibit the growth of cancer cells. As most of the cancer-inducing chemicals in cigarette smoke are only carcinogenic during the period between activation by phase I and final detoxification by phase II, curcumin in the turmeric can help prevent the cancer-causing effects of tobacco.
Phase I detoxification and ageing
The activity of phase I detoxification enzymes decreases in old age. Aging also decreases blood flow through the liver, further aggravating the problem. Lack of the physical activity necessary for good circulation, combined with the poor nutrition commonly seen in the elderly, add up to a significant impairment of detoxification capacity, which is typically found in ageing individuals.
Phase 2 Detoxification Pathway
This is called the conjugation pathway, whereby the liver cells add another substance (eg. cysteine, glycine or a sulphur molecule) to a toxic chemical or drug, to render it less harmful. This makes the toxin or drug water-soluble, so it can then be excreted from the body via watery fluids such as bile or urine.
Major Phase II pathways
- Glucuronide conjugations
Through conjugation, the liver is able to turn drugs, hormones and various toxins into water soluble excretable substances. Individual xenobiotics and metabolites usually follow one or two distinct pathways. This makes testing of the various pathways possible by challenging with known substances.
Sulphur containing foods and amino acids stimulate phase II detoxification
For efficient phase two detoxification, the liver cells require sulphur-containing amino acids such as taurine and cysteine. The nutrients glycine, glutamine, choline and inositol are also required for efficient phase two detoxification.
Eggs and cruciferous vegetables (eg. broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower), raw garlic, onions, leeks and shallots are all good sources of natural sulphur compounds to enhance phase two detoxification. Thus, these foods can be considered to have a cleansing action.
The phase two enzyme systems include both UDP-glucuronyl transferase (GT) and glutathione-S-transferase (GSH-T).
Glutathione-S-transferase is the most powerful internal antioxidant and liver protector. It can be depleted by large amounts of toxins and/or drugs passing through the liver, as well as starvation or fasting. Phase II reactions may follow Phase I for some molecules or act directly on the toxin or metabolite.
Substrates of the glycine pathway
Salicylates and benzoates are detoxified primarily through glycination. Benzoate is present in many food substances and is widely used as a food preservative. Many other substances are detoxified as well via the glycine conjugation pathway. Patients suffering from xenobiotic overloads and environmental toxicity may not have sufficient amounts of glycine to cope with the amount of toxins they are carrying.
Substrates of the sulphation pathways
Neurotransmitters, steroid hormones, certain drugs such as Acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol) and many xenobiotic and phenolic compounds.
Substrates of glucuronidation
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, steroid hormones, some nitrosamines, heterocyclic amines, some fungal toxins, and aromatic amines. It also removes “used” hormones, such as oestrogen and T4 (thyroid hormone) that are produced naturally by the body.
If the phase one and two detoxification pathways become overloaded, there will be a build up of toxins in the body. Many of these toxins are fat soluble and incorporate themselves into fatty parts of the body where they may stay for years, if not for a lifetime. The brain and the endocrine (hormonal) glands are fatty organs, and are common sites for fat-soluble toxins to accumulate. This may result in symptoms of brain dysfunction and hormonal imbalances, such as infertility, breast pain, menstrual disturbances, adrenal gland exhaustion and early menopause. Many of these chemicals (eg. pesticides, petrochemicals) are carcinogenic and have been implicated in the rising incidence of many cancers.
What is detoxification and cleansing?
Detoxification is the process of filtering wastes and toxins from the cells, organs, and the bloodstream. Cleansing is the process of eliminating these toxins form the body. When these two processes function normally, optimal heath is possible. A good detoxification program uses a combination of herbs and nutrients that work to support the body’s natural detoxification processes. While it is important to ensure that all channels of elimination are functioning properly, the liver is of special importance. It is the body’s largest filter of toxins and one of its most vital organs.
Why do we need to Cleanse?
In today’s world we are exposed to an innumerable amount of toxins, they’re in our food, air, water, in the workplace and even at home. Proper elimination of these toxins is critical to maintaining optimal health and well being. The human body does an incredible job of eliminating harmful wastes, however over time toxins can accumulate, leading to an overwhelmed digestive system. When the digestive system becomes unable to efficiently eliminate toxins we become overloaded with toxins and this may set the stage for future disease and illness.
Bitter herbs to improve phase 1 and 2 detoxification
Bitter herbs are the corner stone of herbal medicine. A range of physiological responses occur following stimulation of the bitter receptors of the tongue. The bitter taste stimulates the specific bitter taste buds at the back of the tongue to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system to trigger a number of reflexes. These reflexes are important to the digestive process and general health.
Different types of Herbal Bitters:
Sialogogues – stimulate saliva to digest carbohydrates.
Orexogenics – stimulate hydrochloric acid to digest protein.
Chologogues – Stimulate bile flow to digest fats.
The stimulation of the flow of digestive juices from the exocrine glands of mouth, stomach, pancreas, duodenum and liver, aid in digestion, absorption and assimilation of foods and nutrients. There is also a very mild stimulation of endocrine activities, especially insulin and glucagon secretion by the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas therefore used to treat of non-insulin dependent diabetes. By promoting the flow of bile, bitters assists the liver in its detoxifying capacity.
The Detoxification Products we Carry
Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox Kit
The Alive Magazine Gold (Retailer Selection) and Silver (Consumer Selection) Award Winner of Detox Products
|ERBAL D-TOX KIT INCLUDES:|
- A gentle and effective 12-day program
- Stimulates cleansing and detoxification
- Meal plan enclosed
- Formulated by a clinical herbalist
- Helps maintain healthy balance
The Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox Program consists of four herbal formulae: three in tablet form, and one in liquid form.
Take two (2) tablets from each bottle and 30 drops of the liquid with both breakfast and supper, preferably at the beginning of the meal. The tablets last for 12 days. Continue taking the CL Extract drops until finished. CL Extract drops may be taken with water.
If after 3 days this program is too laxative, lower Laxaherb dosage to 1 tablet daily.
The Cleansing Diet
The diet associated with this program is extremely important. During the cleansing period, you may eat as much as you want, but your choice of foods in very significant. The Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox Kit includes a detailed meal plan which includes the exclusion of certain foods.
Foods not acceptable during the D-Tox include:
Flour products are not recommended during this program because, when mixed with water, flour forms a glue-like substance. This glue-like substance has a tendency to stick to the lining of the intestinal tract and plug-up the system. During a cleanse (especially), one should eliminate those foods which place an extra burden on elimination.
Peanuts must be avoided as they contain naturally-occurring yeasts and molds. Ridding the body of excess yeast is one of the functions of the herbal D-tox. The rest of the nut family is acceptable, and many peorple who enjoy peanut butter on toast find almond butter on rice cakes to be a good substitute.
All fermented foods are to be avoided due to the fact that yeast is a major ingredient in these foods. This means no wine, beer, vinegar, soy sauce, black tea or miso. It strongly recommended to not consume alcohol of any type during this program.
The Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox includes a Cookbook for Cleanings by Dr. Terry Willard PH.D
Flor-Essence Herbal Tea from Flora
The Alive Magazine Silver (Retailer Selection) Award Winner of Detox Products
The Herbs in Flor•Essence®:
1. Burdock Root (Arctium lappa) is a cleansing antioxidant that promotes a strong immune system, stimulates good digestion, and supports all the elimination pathways of the body.* Active ingredients include inulin, calcium, iron, potassium, tannin, mucilage, flavonoids, and essential oils. The bitter properties of this herb are important for liver detox and function.*
2. Slippery Elm Bark (Ulmus rubra) supports the skin, kidneys, and urinary and respiratory systems in their natural elimination processes.* It also soothes the digestive tract because of its mucilage content, and it alkalizes the body by balancing pH in the gastrointestinal tract.*
3. Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) is an antioxidant with specialized flavonoids that promote healthy cell proliferation and supports the immune system.* It supports the kidneys as well as the urinary system. It is also used for expelling phlegm and mucus from the respiratory tract.*
4. Sheep Sorrel (Rumex acetosella) This herb contains many beneficial vitamins and minerals that support health and well-being, and it functions in the body as an antioxidant.*
5. Turkish Rhubarb Root (Rheum palmatum) provides detoxification support to the digestive system, colon, and liver.* Mineral content includes calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and selenium as well as vitamins B, C, and E.
6. Blessed Thistle (Cnicus benedictus) It has long been used as a digestive tonic and a diaphoretic to support skin detoxification.* This thorny plant contains B-complex vitamins as well as calcium, iron, and manganese.
7. Kelp (Laminaria digitata) is a mineral-rich seaweed that promotes healthy bowels and healthy immune function.* It contains alginates for cleansing and soothing the intestines.* High in vitamin content, kelp also contains more than two dozen important minerals as well as proteins, carbohydrates, and essential fatty acids.
8. Watercress (Nasturtium officinale) is a rich source of chlorophyll, vitamins A and C, antioxidants, and many minerals. Traditionally used for its detoxifying and restorative properties*, it contains indoles. Watercress also contains vitamins A, B6, and C, and is rich in iron, copper, calcium, manganese, and carotenes.
- The Flor•Essence® 8-herb formula synergistically supports all elimination pathways to accelerate the removal of toxins and waste from the body, stimulate digestion and support immune function
- This traditional Ojibwa formula was rediscovered by humanitarian nurse Rene Caisse and perfected through years of clinical studies with her longtime research partner, Dr, Charles Brusch, personal physician to President John F. Kennedy. This formula enables the body to effectively remove toxins and wastes.
Shake well before use. Measure 2 oz. of tea and dilute with an equal amount of purified hot water, and sip slowly. Once opened, keep Flor•Essence® refrigerated at all times.
ReCleanse 7 Day Herbal Cleanse Kit
ReCleanse Herbal Cleanse is a body cleansing and rejuvenation system that gently but effectively activates and restores natural detoxification and elimination without the use of stimulating laxative herbs. This gentle 7 day cleanse is designed for regular and repeated use, cleansing deeper each time it is used, with a focus on eating well and healthy lifestyle guidance.
The Herbal Cleanse Whole Body Detox Kit includes the Multi-Systems Cleansing Formula, the Colon Cleansing Formula and a Lifestyle Cleansing Nutritional Guide – a food chart to guide you during grocery shopping & meal planning.
Colon Cleansing Formula (28 veg caps)
- Triphala extract (40% tannins) (Emblica officinalis,Terminalia chebula, Terminalia bellirica)
- Rhubarb root (Rheum palmatum)
- Fenugreek seed (Trigonella foenum-graecum)
- Irish moss (Chondrus crispus)
- Slippery elm (Ulmus rubra) (inner bark)
- Marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis)
Non-Medicinal Ingredients: Magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide, and capsule containing vegetable cellulose and water.
Multi-Systems Cleansing Formula (28 veg caps)
- Dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale)
- Papaya leaf (Carica papaya)
- Burdock root (Arctium lappa)
- Parsley leaf (Petroselinum crispum)
- Red clover blossom (Trifolium pratense)
- Cleavers herb (Galium aparine)
- Organic alfalfa leaf (Medicago sativa)
- Buchu leaf (Agasthosma betulina)
- Chamomile flower (Matricaria chamomilla)
- Nettle leaf (Urtica dioica)
- Oregon grape root (Berberis aquifolium)
- Horsetail herb (Equisetum arvense L.)
- Larch arabinogalactan
- Corn silk (Zea mays) (non-GMO)
- Fennel seed (Foeniculum vulgare)
- Oatstraw (Avena sativa)
- Uva ursi leaf (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
- Yellow broom blossom (Cytisus scoparius)
- Cranberry juice powder (Vaccinium marcocarpon)
- Juniper berries (Juniperus communis)
Non-Medicinal Ingredients: Magnesium stearate, and capsule containing vegetable cellulose and water.
Colon Cleansing Formula directions: Take 4 capsules daily 15 minutes before meals (2 capsules 15 minutes before breakfast and 2 capsules 15 minutes before dinner) with a full glass of purified water.
Multi-Systems Cleansing Formula directions: Take 4 capsules daily with meals (2 capsules with breakfast and 2 capsules with dinner) with a full glass of purified water.
ReCleanse Rejuvenation Program
ReCleanse Rejuvenation Program also includes great -tasting cleansing support product – ReFigure– that is healthy and convenient addition complementing your diet with healthy, cleanse-friendly protein.
Grant DM. Detoxification pathways in the liver. J Inherit Metab Dis. [Internet]. 1991 [cited 2015 May 30];14(4):421-30. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1749210.
Harkin C. Phase 1 And 2 Liver Detoxification Pathways [Internet]. [Place unknown]: Online Naturopathic Health Resource [cited 2015 May 30]. Available from: http://www.carahealth.com/health-conditions-a-to-z/digestive-system/detox/365-phase-1-and-2-liver-detoxification-pathways60.html