I found a very comprehensive Phases of Detoxification when I was writing a detox chapter for a book on inflammation in 2003. I noted in that chapter that: “The word detoxification is derived from the Latin toxicum or poison; it means to deprive of poisonous qualities. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) puts detoxicate in common usage from 1867. Throughout the next few decades, according to the OED, detoxification is used to describe the body’s ability to neutralize various drugs and chemicals such as pesticides. But by the 1970’s detoxification is mostly associated with drug and alcohol rehabilitation and that is the inference people make now make when they hear the word. But, detoxification is not just an externally imposed therapeutic method offered at a local detox clinic. Detoxification is performed every minute of every day by our various organs in an orchestration worthy of Carnegie Hall.”
The liver’s “detoxification pathways” are called Phase I Detoxification and Phase II Detoxification. Is that why doctors deny the necessity of external forms of detoxification because they know the liver has it all under control? However, today, the liver is hard pressed to keep up with all the toxins and refined foods and drugs to which it is exposed and many practitioners think the liver needs our help.
Many alternative medicine practitioners think EDTA IV and oral chelation is the way to rid the body of excess calcium clogging arteries and of heavy metals. I’m not in favor of that approach. When I set up my own chelation IVs many years ago, after 2-3 sessions my knees started to ache – I felt I was losing too much calcium and other minerals necessary for proper bone and joint health! EDTA is a synthetic amino acid Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid and it is an equal opportunity chelator, which means it will chelate any metal or mineral it encounters. People who use and write about EDTA say it removes toxic metals and calcium – but it’s just a drug, it can’t decide what’s good or bad. It’s like doctors trying to convince you that antibiotics just kill the bad bacteria. Remember – drugs are stupid.
Practitioners who do chelation realize this problem and usually give a mineral IV solution after treatment but how do you know how much is required and will it be absorbed?
Yes, detoxification is necessary but my approach is to enhance what the liver is valiantly trying to do while we continue to clog it up with drugs, processed food, fructose corn syrup and all manner of crap.
Instead of going to the end stage of trying the chelate out calcium clogging arteries and heavy metals and chemicals hanging out in cells let’s look at the amazing work our genius body is doing to prevent toxicity.
In Phase I Detoxification the liver biologically transforms chemicals to make them water soluble using a long list of enzymes. What have I harped on about for close to two decades? Magnesium is necessary for the proper functioning of 700-800 enzyme systems in the body. So it’s obvious that the following stages of Phase I Detoxification (quoting from the above article) are going to require magnesium.
• Dehalogenation: Eliminates a halogen group (containing fluorine, chlorine, bromine, or iodine) and adds an oxygen group
• Desulfuration: Eliminates a sulfur group.
• Hydroxylation: Adds a hydroxyl (oxygen and hydrogen) group
• Deamination: Removes an amino group (nitrogen and hydrogen combined as NH3)
• Sulfoxidation: Adds an oxygen to a sulfur group
• Azo reduction: Splits a nitrogen-to-nitrogen (N2) bond
• Reductive halogenation: Replaces a halogen group with hydrogen
• Aromatic nitro reduction: Converts nitrogen dioxide (NO2) to an amide (NH2)
• Aldehyde and ketone reduction: Converts aldehydes and ketones (organic chemical compounds) to an alcohol.
The article states that “At least 50 enzymes in 10 families governed by 35 different genes allow Phase I to take place. The major enzymes required during Phase I are known as the cytochrome P-450 monooxygenase system and the mixed-function amine oxidase system.” Yes, they do require magnesium to function.
In fact “The action of detoxification enzymes depends on the presence of various minerals. For example, alcohol dehydrogenase, an enzyme that converts alcohols (such as ethanol) to aldehydes in an oxidation reaction, depends on an adequate supply of zinc to function properly. In the next metabolic step, the enzyme aldehyde oxidase changes the aldehyde into an acid that can be excreted in the urine. Aldehyde oxidase depends on an adequate supply of molybdenum and iron. Other minerals that are required by enzymes include manganese, ma, sulfur, selenium and copper.”
The results of Phase I Detoxification can produce chemical that are even more toxic but these are rapidly cleared by Phase II Detoxification if the following reactions occur with the following assistance of minerals and vitamins.
• Acetylation: Acetyl Co-A (coenzyme A and acetic acid) is added to form a mercapturic acid conjugate; Needs B5 to function.
• Amino acid conjugation (acylation): Peptide (compound formed by two amino acids linked by a special bond) conjugation using acyl Co-A (coenzyme A and carboxylic acid) and the amino acids taurine, glucine, glutamine, and to a lesser extent, arginine and ornithine.
• Glucuronidation (gluconation): Addition of a sugar group, using glucuronic acid; the major conjugation reaction for xenobiotics and internally produced chemicals converting them to water-soluble metabolites.
• Glutathione conjugation: Reduced glutathione combines with xenobiotics to form less toxic compounds. Plays a major role in conjugating reactive metabolites formed during cytochrome P-450 biotransformation. Predominant defense against free radicals. Results in formation of mercapturic acid.
• Methylation: Addition of a methyl (CH3) group, using the amino acid methionine to supply the methyl group. Detoxifies many synthetics and endogenous toxic compounds; the neurotransmitters epinephrine, norepinephrine, and serotonin; and nutrients. This reaction is B6 dependent.
• Sulfur conjugation (sulfation): Includes several processes including sulfonation, which adds inorganic sulfate to hydroxyl groups for detoxification, and reduction of cyanides by adding sulfur.
The article states that “…the efficiency of Phase I and Phase II is adversely affected by deficiencies of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids. Inadequate protein intake specifically reduces Phase I clearance, and insufficient calories decreases overall detoxification function.”
Besides chelation, there are various liver, bowel and kidney detoxes that I also do not recommend. When working with AIDS and Chronic Fatigue patients in New York in the 1990’s we found that the liver can be “harboring” viruses in order to keep them from launching out into the body – so if you detox your liver too aggressively you may stir up those viruses. I’m also not in favor or harsh purges of the gall bladder which can send gall stones into the narrow bile duct and cause blockage. Harsh bowel cleanses makes me worry about people who already have issues with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). And, if the kidneys could be kept clear of calcium deposits by taking enough magnesium; hydrated properly and feed the right minerals we wouldn’t need to have a kidney detox.
I know I gave you too much information but I want to impress upon you how our genius body is taking care of us and doesn’t need to depend on chelation therapy that theoretically is supposed to just remove the bad guys. Now that you know more than most doctors about detoxification, what can you do to safely enhance your own biochemistry? Of course, my answer is The Total Body ReSet formulas – with the cornerstone being ReAline and here’s why:
1. ReAline has the taurine necessary for amino acid conjugation. The sulfur molecules in taurine and methionine provide sulfur. The 4 methylated B vitamins provide the methyl groups necessary for methylation. Methionine is the precursor to glutathione.
2. ReMag assists Phase I and Phase II Detoxification in almost every step.
3. ReMyte minerals: molybdenum, manganese, selenium and copper (and probably several others) assist Phase I.
4. RnA Drops to help make perfect cells and get that labyrinth of your mind out of the picture so you stop worrying that the sky is falling.
5. For my water and sea salt, B Vitamin, Vitamin C and Vit D, A, K2 recommendations see my Supplement Blog.
Taking this small handful of nutrients on a daily basis will naturally assist your body’s own detoxification processes. This is a much more viable option than forcing detoxification with IV chelating chemicals or IV glutathione or oral EDTA with dozens of synthetic vitamins and poorly absorbed minerals.
Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future™
MAGNESIUM 101: This is the magnesium overview you have been waiting for. It’s done by Career Coach and Lifesaver, CJ Liu. It’s called Magnesium: The Ultimate Guide. Read it and Share with everyone!
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