Metabolic Detoxification

Metabolic Detoxification

Metabolic detoxification is one of the keys to vibrant health and long lasting weight loss.

Our bodies must routinely get rid of metabolic waste and remove toxins, otherwise, we die.  When you have poor cellular detoxification, it results in slowly waning health and multiple subtle symptoms.

From the biochemical perspective, metabolic detoxification occurs in 2 phases:

Phase I Detoxification:

Phase I works using enzymes called cytochrome P450 enzymes. They are found in various tissues, with the liver, the gut lining, kidneys, lungs and brain tissues having the greatest amounts of these enzymes.  The cytochrome P450 enzymes help move toxins from the cells by using the active form of niacin that makes them into more reactive molecules. These more reactive molecules are then ready for phase II, which is excretion.  If they are not taken through phase II, they can be more toxic than the original toxin and cause damage inside the body.  Increased cancer risks and Parkinson’s disease are associated with increased phase I activity without adequate phase II detoxification.

Phase I detoxification requires very little nutritional support to be fully active.  In fact, during fasting and starvation, phase I “detox” can increase substantially.  Enhancing phase I detoxification requires antioxidants.

Phase II Detoxification:

The reactive phase I intermediates are attached to a series of enzymes that make the intermediates more water soluble. The final detoxified molecule can then be excreted in the urine, and via sweat and feces.

Phase II detoxification is very dependent on these various essential nutrients:

  • the amino acids glycine, taurine, glutamine, N-acetylcysteine, cysteine, methionine
  • vitamin B6, B12, and folate
  • essential fatty acids: DHA and EPA

Balanced phase I and II metabolic detoxification processes are essential for proper elimination of toxins from the body.


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