How To Detoxify Your Liver and Why You Must

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How To Detoxify Your Liver and Why You Must

We live in a toxic world. Chemicals, pesticides and heavy metals are in our air, water, food, many of the products we use - and even in our teeth! They are particularly harmful to our liver, the primary organ of detoxification, which is why you need to learn how to detoxify your liver.

If these toxins where hot to the touch like fire, we'd be on fire to do something about them. But rather than burn us quickly, the toxins in us burn slowly. Suddenly, you're middle aged and wondering where that cancer or some other chronic illness came from.

You cannot experience a long healthspan if you have a toxic load that degrades your health. Truly, it's in your best interest to learn about the toxins that threaten your well being and what to do about them.

Toxins - They're Everywhere, Including In You

It shouldn't surprise you that we're exposed to toxins in many forms every single day. These chemicals and heavy metals accumulate in our blood, urine, and tissues and will become a toxic burden to the human body if not properly excreted. For over 200 million Americans, just their tap water alone is contaminated with the carcinogenic chemical chromium-6, according to a 2016 report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

What might be surprising is that unless you were born about a century ago, even at birth your body was riddled with toxins. In 2010, CNN published another finding by the EWG about toxins found in infants, an average of 232 chemicals in the cord blood of 10 babies born in 2009. EWS president, Ken Cook said:

"We've measured hundreds and hundreds of toxic chemicals in the blood of babies that are still in the womb [such as] flame retardants, the chemicals in consumer products like personal care products, makeup, shampoos. It's a very long list."

Yes, the list is very long, and includes chemicals found in a wide array of common household products, such as shampoos and conditioners, cosmetics, plastics, shower curtains, mattresses, electronics like computers and cell phones, among others, reported CNN.

Even activities considered healthy can add to your toxic load:

  • Do you eat canned tuna? It's likely that it contains mercury, a heavy metal that can cause a wide variety of have carcinogenic, nervous system and circulatory damage.
  • Drink lots of plastic bottled water? It's likely that you’re absorbing various potentially carcinogen phthalates.
  • How about gardening; is that something that you enjoy? If you use weed killing chemicals, pesticides or artificial fertilizers, you may become sick with some type of chronic disease.

Let's identify some of the most damaging chemicals you have to deal with on a daily basis:

Heavy Metals are any relatively dense metal or metalloid (a chemical element made of metal and nonmetals) that is noted for its potential toxicity. Mercury, Lead, Cadmium and Arsenic have been shown to lower IQ in affected individuals, cause developmental delays, and contribute to behavioral disorders and even cancer. Canned tuna and mercury dental fillings can contribute to mercury poisoning. Arsenic treated timber used in construction or contaminated drinking water can cause arsenic contamination. Cadmium poisoning could result from pigments in cookware. Lead poisoning can occur from water that passes through lead pipes, children’s toys and exposure to paint and gasoline that still contain it.

Parabens are synthetic chemicals, which are commonly used as preservatives in processed foods, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Long-term exposure has been implicated in breast cancer and can potentially be damaging to the male hormonal and reproductive systems.

Perfluorochemicals are used in non-stick cookware, fast food containers, and stain resistant or slipper fabrics. These chemicals have been shown to be carcinogenic.

Phthalates are a group of industrial chemicals called "plasticizers" used to produce plastics such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC). They're found in children's toys, food packaging, garden hoses, vinyl flooring, shower curtains, shampoo and hair spray. Like that new car smell? It’s the odor of phthalates off gassing from the plastic dashboard.

Bisphenol A and S ("BPA," "BPS") are endocrine disruptors; BPA being the more prevalent of these estrogen-mimicking chemicals, given its widespread use in plastic containers and as a liner in aluminum cans. BPA will leach into your food and drink and cause hormonal disruptions. If you heat up food in a microwave in plastic containers, BPA will become infused in the food. Breast and prostate cancers have been implicated due to exposure to this damaging chemical.

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers are flame-retardant chemicals present in furniture, mattresses, electronics and many other products.

The average U.S. household generates more than 20 pounds of household hazardous waste per year, and as much as 100 pounds accumulates in the home. These hazardous materials include paint, paint thinners, air fresheners, carpet deodorizers, mothballs, oven cleaners, drain-opener chemicals, pesticides, among many other products. The chemicals in these products are not only hazardous to the environment, but to us. [1]

For instance, household carpets emit more than 200 volatile chemicals that get absorbed into our bodies. Some of these chemicals include formaldehyde, toluene, benzene, acetaldehyde, xylene, phenol, benzaldehyde, chlorobenzenes, styrene, and many more. Styrene alone has been shown to produce neurotoxicity and respiratory illnesses, including asthma, while formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. [2]

According to Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie, authors of Slow Death by Rubber Duck, the EWG found 553 different industrial chemicals, pollutants, and pesticides in 149 Americans they tested in 27 different states. [3]

By now either your eyes have glazed over or your squirming in your chair. Yes, it’s bad news that we have many toxins present in our bodies that can potentially have adverse consequences to our health as we age. But the good news is that we can do something about it by helping our body’s innate, exquisite detoxification system to rid ourselves of this toxic burden.

To aid your liver detox system, do these three basic things:

  1. Stop your exposure to toxins;
  2. Mobilize the toxins in your body to prepare them to be excreted; and
  3. Strengthen the capacity of your body’s detoxification systems to remove toxins from your body.

How To Detoxify Your Liver Via Detoxification Pathways

Detoxification is about mobilization and excretion. For detoxification to occur, you must mobilize toxins (pry them from fat and organs), and excrete them (make sure they get expelled from your body, not recirculated).

Let’s begin with a picture sourced from Odom Health and Wellness:

Detoxification Pathways

detoxify your liver

What you see in the above is a depiction of a liver, and a list of fat-soluble and water-soluble toxins and waste products. Several "organs of elimination" as they're sometimes referred to, such as the kidneys, gallbladder, skin and colon are involved in the detoxification process, but the super detoxifying organs is the liver.

The liver performs many essential functions during detoxification. None are as important as its role in transforming hard to excrete fat-soluble toxins into easy to excrete water-soluble waste products, which is then eliminated from the body via two routes: (1) The gallbladder/bile/stool route; and (2) The kidney/urine route.

How the liver does this is depicted in the next illustration sourced from Carahealth. Yes, it's complicated!

Phase I and II Liver Detoxification Process

 detoxify your liver

Don't get overwhelmed or turned-off by the enzymes and pathways details presented in the above illustration. Focus on the nutrients needed to support Phase 1 (which help neutralize fat-soluble toxins by making them less harmful) and Phase 2 (which help make toxins water-soluble, and thereby easier to excrete, a process known as "conjugation").

Of these nutrients, glutathione is the most important. Glutathione is so important for that it’s known as the "master antioxidant". Glutathione is the most abundant antioxidant in the body and can regenerate itself in the liver; however, food sources of glutathione are poorly absorbed into the body. Although it’s important to eat glutathione-rich foods, such as asparagus, avocado, spinach and broccoli, certain supplements can substantially enhance your detoxification process. In addition to glutathione, these include selenium, vitamin E, alpha-lipoic acid, milk thistle, and N-acetyl cysteine. [4]

My Detox Story

I'll make this short by distilling what led me to testing for heavy metal toxicity into a few bullet points:

  • I cracked two molars whereby bits of teeth were dislodged and spit out.
  • Those molars, among other teeth, are filled with amalgam fillings, which are primarily made of mercury and silver, which meant that my mercury heavy metal load increased.
  • However given that I regularly take supplements that assist with detoxification I found out that my detox pathways were robust and my liver was fine.
  • But my kidneys need some support...
  • Which has lead me to increase my kidney detox nutrients, which caused some skin rashes to break out as the toxins began to circulate and get excreted via the skin...
  • Thus I did regular detox baths and used a loofah for dry and wet skin brushing, soon leading to healthy skin and liver.

How did I know what was happening with my detoxification system?

I took one of the most extensive mercury tests on the planet, called the Quicksilver Mercury Tri-Test. It measures the different types of mercury you may have in your body, how much of it, and how well you’re excreting it.

I could have taken Quicksilver's Blood Metals Test. It screens for a broad range of toxic and nutrient metals to show your level of exposure to toxic metals or imbalances of nutrient metals in whole blood. But I knew my potential issue was mercury, given what happened to my teeth.

Your Liver Detox Program

Before I get into what you could explore doing for your own detoxification program, I strongly advise that you first consult with your doctor, especially if you're sick. Any detoxification program can make you sick. Getting skin rashes like I got is minor; you can also get headaches or get truly sick if you, for instance, release toxins from your body fat that then circulate in the blood, but are not excreted because your detoxification pathways are insufficiently capable to do the job.

Three rules to keep in mind:

  1. Go slow
  2. Be Consistent
  3. Drink lots of pure water

Your detox "tools":

  • Detoxifying foods
  • Detox supplements
  • Detox bath

Liver Detoxifying Foods

These are mostly an assortment of fruits and vegetables, because they are easy to digest and are alkalizing. Eat plenty of garlic, onions, broccoli, kale, watercress, chard, cilantro and chlorella.

Liver Detoxifying Drinks

There are three primary detoxifying drinks for you to consider:

  1. Pure water - shoot for 8 eight-ounce glasses a day.
  2. Herbal teas consisting of Chamomile, Licorice, Marshmallow Root, Fennel, Holy Basil, Dandelion, Milk Thistle and Ginger, such as 21 Day Detox Tea. An herbal tea from BioPure, called Cistus Herbal Tea can help cleanse your system from viruses, bacteria, fungus and heavy metals.
  3. Psyllium/Charcoal drink, which is made up of 8-plus ounces of pure water, juice from one lemon, one tablespoon of psyllium husk powder and one tablespoon of coconut activated charcoal powder.

Note: Don't drink #3 within an hour before or after eating anything that you want to digest and get absorbed throughout your body.

Liver Detoxifying Tests and Supplements

The best tests I know of are the Quicksilver Mercury Tri-Test and Quicksilver’s Blood Metals Test.

Here's Quicksilver's founder, Dr. Christopher Shade briefly describing his Tri-test:

Many of the best supplements you can use to support your detoxification process also are made by Quicksilver Scientific.

Black Box II. Contains the following liposomal delivery supplements that ensures that its nutrient compounds are absorbed almost immediately into the bloodstream: Nanoemulsified DIM, Liposomal Glutathione with Sunflower Phospholipids, Pure PC, BitterX, Ultra Binder, Liposomal Methyl B-Complex.

Here's Dr. Shade explaining how Black Box II works:

PushCatch Liver Detox
. A two-step cleansing protocol consisting of a proprietary blend of Bentonite Clay, Activated Charcoal, Chitosan, BiAloe® Aloe Vera, and IMD (a thiol-functionalized silica) designed to support the elimination of toxins while minimizing their redistribution and reabsorption.

Here's Dr. Shade explaining how PushCatch Liver Detox works:


Liposomal Glutathione Complex. In addition to glutathione in liposomal form, which makes it more absorbable, this complex includes milk thistle and B vitamins.

Alpha-lipoic acid (Helps both mitigation of heavy metal toxicity and direct chelation (binding) of heavy metals, thus enabling their excretion. [5]

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC stimulates glutathione biosynthesis, promotes detoxification, and acts directly as a scavenger of free radicals. [6]

Detox Bath

The purpose of a "detox bath" is to help get rid of toxins via the skin, our largest organ. It consists of hot water, baking soda, ginger root powder, a loofah, niacin and a large glass of water infused with trace minerals.

Here's the recipe and process that I'll copy over from my article, Your Detox Cleanse In 5 Simple Steps:

  • Fill up a tub with hot water.
  • If you have a window in the bathroom, crack it a bit.
  • Pour 1 cup of baking soda, 1 cup of sea salt and 1 heaping tablespoon of ginger powder* into the tub.
  • Fetch a big glass of purified water (over 8 oz) and mix in Trace Minerals if you have them (if not, no worries).
  • Grab your loofah (skin brush sponge-thingie).
  • Take between 250 and 500 milligrams of regular (full-flush) Niacin** and wait for the flush.***
  • Swirl around the water mixture… add more hot water if needed.
  • Get in the tub.
  • Soak a bit and then scrub yourself from head to toe with the loofah (no soap).
  • Rest and repeat the scrubbing three times. Stay in the tub for at least 20 minutes.
  • Take a cool/cold shower and scrub head to toe with mild soap and the loofah, rinse and shine.

* Be careful with the ginger powder as it can "burn" if too much is used, particularly in sensitive areas of the body (right, ladies?). I suggest you start with one tablespoon and add when ready. If the amount you use does not produce some heat (other than temperature) in the tub, add more.

** Niacin comes in two forms (that I know about): the stuff that allows the capillaries in your skin to be flushed with blood (which can feel uncomfortable, like a sunburn), or non-flush. You want the flush kind, such as Solgar Niacin. Be careful with the amount, because the flushing can be uncomfortable (although the detox bath alleviates this quite a bit). 250 milligrams may be too much on an empty stomach. I use 500 milligrams, but I’m accustomed to this craziness.

*** Have I said enough about "flushing"? If you don't like the feeling of being sunburned, be careful with the amount of Niacin you take (see above). Same thing with the ginger powder (see above).

Your Takeaway

I've given you a lot to chew on, but it can all be distilled down to these three things to remember:

  1. Toxins are made up of various chemicals, heavy metals and pesticides that are in your environment and consequently get into your body. You were even born with many of them.

  2. Even if you eat detoxifying foods, your toxic burden may exceed your body's natural detoxification process of excreting them.

  3. If you want to optimize your health, consider regularly detoxifying your liver (the primary detoxification organ) and other organs of detoxification with supplements created for that purpose, such as Quicksilver Scientific’s detoxification test kits and supplements.
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