I’m glad to see detoxification getting more attention in the media these days. Over the last decade I’ve noticed a real change in my clients attitudes about the idea of detoxifying. Instead of trying to find a reason not to buy organic foods or making excuses and rationalizations about plastic water bottles, I’m more often seeing clients excited to learn what little effort it takes to make detoxification a part of their healthy lifestyles.

We make a huge impact on our health by adopting lifestyle changes for detoxification but reducing our exposure to toxins is only part of the equation. Eliminating these toxins from our system is a crucial step.

Kind of like an oil change for the car, a detox for the body will keep it running smooth. The next question is what kind of detox is best for you.

Typically we want to make sure the GI system is working well before we move on to something like a liver detox. If there is constipation, bloating, or loose stool it doesn’t make much sense to start nutritional support for the liver as these supplements may not be properly absorbed. Likewise, if you’re not eliminating toxins properly from the bowel, you are likely to either store them or keep them re-circulating.

I like the philosophy of the standard “4R” program for intestinal health, which stands for REMOVE, REINOCULATE, REPLACE, and REPAIR. If you’ve already eliminated your sugar and caffeine intake, made sure you’re well hydrated, and you’re still not happy with your intestinal performance- the “4R” program is a great place to start. Removing bacterial overgrowth with some antimicrobial alkaloids, Re-inoculating your flora with some probiotics, Replacing some digestive enzymes and HCL, then Repairing the lining with some glutathione is a great protocol to ensure that toxins are removed.

Feeling regular again? Maybe now is time for some liver support. To simplify, before toxins can be eliminated they must be either neutralized or processed from their fat-soluble state to a water-soluble state and this process generally takes place in the liver. After years of accumulating toxins in our system, both natural (metabolic byproducts) and foreign (industrial pollution, medications, alcohol, hormones from conventionally raised meats,) the ability of the liver to process these toxins can deteriorate. This results from both the amount of toxic exposure and from a lack of nutrients in the standard diet. Replacing these nutrients and adding some additional support for the liver’s bile synthesis and detoxification pathways is a standard for today’s detoxification lifestyle. Apex Energetics has a hypoallergenic liver support product called Clearvite-SF; its combination of antioxidants, amino acids, and herbal extracts is a good place to get your liver detox started.

There are some great supplements available for various kinds of detoxification and I use them regularly but they aren’t magic bullets and they don’t the place of healthy lifestyle changes.

Small changes make a difference. Nasal breathing can filter out industrial pollutants before they hit our lungs. Using non-toxic cleaning products at the home and office is an easy way to reduce chemical exposure. Staying hydrated with filtered water instead of being exposed to toxins from plastic water bottles can clean up your body and the environment at the same time. Eating organic foods instead of hormones and pesticides is another 2-in1 healthy body, healthy environmental choice. Don’t forget about managing the mental toxicity of daily stress with a scheduled relaxation activity like reading or massage. These are just a few of the simple steps you can take to reduce your toxic exposure and ensure that your detoxification pathway is running smoothly.