The Toxin Solution

Chapter 5. Restore Your Liver

Before we proceed, let me congratulate you for coming this far. At this point, having a solid nutritional base and a better-functioning digestive system, many of you will feel noticeably better than you have in years, with more energy and stamina, and a lessening of most symptoms. It is from this place of wellbeing that your body is becoming ready to release the toxic load that is burdening you. If you are not noticing improvement, it may be for one of the following reasons:

1. Your health is already pretty good, and the improvement is subtle.

2. You have a weakened detox capacity, and your toxic load may already be compromising your health—an issue that this next two-week protocol will address.

3. You have been suffering from other health complaints and may benefit from the additional health supports found in this chapter.

If it’s reason number 2, then I want to assure you that this phase of the program will make a real difference. If it’s number 3, in addition to the regular protocol, which everyone can follow, later in this chapter I will provide some additional tips for making the protocol even more effective. (Of course, all of you health mavens who seek exceptional health can choose to use these enhancements as well.)

Now that we are at the halfway point, I strongly applaud you for following the program so far. And I also want to thank you for being one of the millions of people who are listening to their bodies and doing the right things for it. I know it isn’t easy because there are so many loud voices out there “debunking” detox, as well as a lot of uninformed pooh-poohing of most natural and holistic therapies. But I hope that, by now, the benefits you have already experienced will give you confidence to begin active detox.

Before proceeding, I want to alert you that it’s possible you will experience some minor symptoms during the next phase of the program. With active detox, you must prepare in two ways: physically and psychologically.

Physically, it’s vital that you listen to your body and adjust the rate of your detox accordingly. After the protocol section, I will show you exactly how to do that.

Psychologically, you need to be prepared as well. It’s normal during any detox to experience some minor reactions at first, such as fatigue, headaches, and other signs that I will explain more fully later. When people feel below par, that’s often the time that their well-intentioned loved ones and friends rush in to question their decision to detoxify. “Why put yourself through this?” people may ask out of concern.

That’s why I am offering a little pep talk here: so other people’s lack of in-depth health knowledge won’t undermine your motivation to heal yourself. As a result of a public campaign of ignorance, many doctors—and, as a result, many people—don’t understand why the body needs support for detoxification.

The sad fact is that when people don’t support their bodies’ functional systems, whether it is the detox organs (which this book covers) or other organs, these systems will often wind up functioning below par —or malfunctioning altogether. People don’t wind up with kidney failure or on kidney dialysis—to use an extreme example—because their organs and systems were working perfectly up until the day they “suddenly” became ill. They wind up requiring more extreme measures because our health-care system does not offer anything like a one-hundred-thousand-mile tune-up. We just allow the vehicle (our bodies) to run down without doing anything about it.

If the body always functioned on its own without any need for intervention, why is there such a widespread reliance on medications and surgeries? Their use disproves the contention that the body functions well on its own without any need for support. If the body supposedly never needs help, why do doctors so commonly prescribe drugs that intervene in the circulatory system (statins), neurological system (antidepressants), and metabolism (insulin)? Even though it’s considered the norm for doctors to offer extreme and costly interventions, milder ones that support all these systems and prevent terrible ailments are ignored, or characterized as beyond the pale.

And for some unknown reason, we especially neglect detoxification. The notion that out of all the bodily functions, the detox systems alone require no intervention or support is belied by the many illnesses to which toxicity is a prime contributor. Fortunately, you can increase your odds of avoiding problems that lead to intense interventions and medications by supporting your body and detoxing regularly. The entire body benefits when you support detox. It is ironic, given the role detox plays in overall health, that it’s the favorite target for conventional medical scorn.

I am thankful that through the Toxin Solution, you can benefit from time-tested and scientifically validated health wisdom that will help you navigate through our toxic world and maintain your health. Let’s review where things stand now that we are midway through the program.

What Happens Next

Let me reiterate a point I covered in the previous chapter. Although detox is a safe and healthy process, to unleash your toxic load without preparation is counterproductive. And the best preparation is to get solid baseline nutrition, avoid letting new toxins in, and restore your gut health. Now that you are avoiding toxins, have built your baseline nutrition, used natural herbs to defeat harmful gut toxins, and restored the integrity of your gut, you are at last ready, in this chapter, to undertake my Two-Week Liver Detox Protocol.

A complex organ, the liver is absolutely key to successful detoxification. Your health and vitality are determined by your liver’s capacity to detoxify the barrage of substances to which we all are exposed. In addition to processing, neutralizing, and excreting a host of chemical toxins from food, agriculture, industry, and consumer products, the liver also deals with toxic metabolic by-products that are generated by the body itself. In the prior two weeks, you considerably lightened that load, preparing your body to help your liver safely and completely release toxins.

Now that you have completed the Two-Week Jumpstart Diet (chapter 3), this is the right time to add healthy protein foods back in. Proteins are actually necessary for successful detoxification, since the key way the liver breaks down chemicals is through enzymes, which require protein for their production. Also, one of the key Phase II liver enzymes for finishing the chemical detoxification process requires the amino acids found in protein. This particular detoxification process, called acetylation, is especially important for women, because when it is not working properly, the risk of breast cancer increases a serious threefold.1

The research shows that effective liver detoxification affects virtually all aspects of health and disease risk. The protocols in this chapter feature all of the most essential foods that support the liver’s detoxification enzymes and supply the key nutrient cofactors required for these critical enzymes to work.

If I were able to, I would personally monitor the progress of your detox, to ensure a good balance between how fast you release toxins from your cells, interstitial spaces, fat tissues, bones, and brain on the one hand, and how fast your liver breaks them apart and excretes them from your body on the other. But since I can’t monitor you from afar, I will provide all the tools you need to control the pace of your detox over the next two weeks.

Weeks 5 and 6: The Two-Week Liver Detox Protocol

In the Two-Week Liver Detox Protocol, you will:

 Restore your liver and repair any damage.

 Add nutritional and herbal support for your liver’s special detox enzymes.

 Balance and support Phases I and II of your body’s liver detox mechanisms.

 Rebuild your detox capacity.

Each day, you will take all the recommended nutritional supplements and herbs, plus two servings of the suggested foods, including specific vegetables and fruits.

The protocol itself is easy to follow, whether or not you fully understand the complex functions going on behind the scenes in your body. However, if you wish to know more, I will take you on a tour of how your liver works—and how you can optimize its processes. If you are the kind of person who likes to get the complete picture, you will find this fascinating. But if you don’t need all the details, you can read selectively and simply follow the program to health.

In weeks 5 and 6, you will get ample quantities of leafy green vegetables to get folic acid—a crucial detox nutrient. Since protein-rich foods and choline are essential for liver detox and repair, you will eat eggs and lecithin. You will also eat foods rich in B vitamins (whole grains) and vitamin C (peppers, cabbage, citrus fruits), as well as specific dairy products, such as whey powder and Swiss cheese, and beans that are high in cysteine. Cysteine is critical for production of glutathione, the master detox molecule.

Table 5.1. The Two-Week Liver Detox Protocol

Weeks 5 and 6 Foods

• Two large whole eggs (the important liver detox nutrient choline is in the egg yolk, also high in cysteine) five times per week

• 1 cup of cooked beans or lentils four times per week (high in fiber to bind toxins, and in sulfur to support liver detoxification)

• 3 ounces of sardines, anchovies, or small mackerel four times per week

 Sunflower or sesame seeds (high in cysteine) sprinkled on all vegetables and salads

 One generous serving a day of cooked cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, or other green leafy vegetables, seasoned with dill and caraway to activate their enzymes. (After you chop the vegetables, allow them to sit for five minutes before cooking. They are high in B vitamins required for liver detoxification and in glucosinolates, which promote liver-detoxification enzymes.)

 Artichokes: One every other day, steamed and eaten with lemon and organic olive oil, if possible. (On off days, see below for the correct dose for supplement form.)

 Greens: One generous handful per day of greens, such as Swiss chard, spinach, organic kale, bok choy, dandelion greens, or other greens suitable for light steaming that you can find. In addition or as a substitute, you can also eat red- and green-leaf lettuce, spinach, and other greens raw in salads, if you wish. (On off days, see below for the correct dose for supplement form.)

 Turmeric: Use freely in soups, stews, and curries (or take as the supplement curcumin).

 One organic apple five times per week (high in pectin to bind toxins)

 One serving every other day of avocado or walnuts (high in glutathione)

 One serving per day of a whole grain such as oats, oat bran, millet, or quinoa (high in fiber, trace minerals, and B vitamins)

 Two oranges or other citrus fruits, but not grapefruit, four times per week

 Cysteine-rich dairy foods, such as Swiss cheese, feta, or fat-free natural yogurt, 3 ounces three times per week

Weeks 5 and 6 Supplements

 Glutathione, topical or liposomal: 250 mg per day

 Vitamin B complex: 50 mg per day

 Vitamin C: 1,000 mg twice a day

 N-acetyl cysteine: 500 mg twice a day

 Indole-3-carbinol: 200 mg twice a day

 Artichoke extract: 500 mg twice a day

 Dandelion: 4 grams of dried root three times a day (can be taken in tea or capsule form)

 Curcumin (either Theracurmin or Meriva brand): 300 mg twice a day

 Fish oil: 1 gram twice a day

 Multivitamin: Take recommended dose on bottle.

What Will You Eat?

The following sample menu plans illustrate ways to include my recommendations into your daily diet. Table 5.2. Sample Menu Plans

DAY 1

Breakfast

Scrambled eggs with refried black beans and sliced orange

Midmorning

snack

Quinoa toast with sunflower butter and sliced apple

Lunch

Turkey chili with millet and steamed kale and apple-cabbage salad

Midafternoon

snack

Steamed artichoke with orange-lemon dressing

Dinner

Hummus with sliced peppers; garlic-sesame broccoli with walnut sauce; green-leaf salad with scallion yogurt dressing

DAY 2

Breakfast

Oatmeal sprinkled with oat bran, cinnamon apple, chopped walnuts, and sunflower seeds

Midmorning

snack

Sardines with lemon, with dilled cauliflower and quinoa toast

Lunch

Broccoli-Brussels sprouts stir-fry with sesame sauce and orange

Midafternoon

snack

Artichoke with lemon hummus dip

Dinner

Black bean and red quinoa soup; steamed greens with orange butter; avocado salad

Understanding the Protocol: How the Liver Detoxes

Over the course of human evolution, the liver has evolved specific mechanisms that neutralize the waste products that result from the breaking down and filtering of toxins. But the modern explosion in industrial activity has caused the release of more toxins into our food and environment than our livers can cope with. Worse, these toxins were specifically designed to be difficult to break down by biological processes, making the liver’s job even harder. Research links countless diseases to a poorly functioning liver. Examples include autoimmune disorders like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, and degenerative neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

The liver’s detox systems also prevent cancer. When people are routinely exposed to large amounts and combinations of toxins and their livers are unable to detox them successfully, what happens? Their susceptibility to cancer increases. Up to 90 percent of all cancers are likely due to industrially produced carcinogens, such as those in cigarette smoke, or chemical pollutants in food, water, and air. Increasing toxic exposures contribute to disease incidence, but their effect also depends on how effectively your body responds. When researchers looked into an Italian chemical plant where workers had an unusually high rate of bladder cancer, they found that although all of the workers were exposed to the same level of carcinogens, those with the least effective detox systems were much more likely to develop cancer.2

What does this information reveal? And what can you do about it—in addition to lessening avoidable toxic exposures? Let me be frank: there are ways to measure innate detox capacity. But whatever the results, the bottom line remains the same: you have to undertake this type of program to correct your exposure to toxins. For example, suppose that your genetics ultimately reveal a lesser capacity for detox, or that you don’t know your actual genetics. In either situation, you should limit your exposure to toxins: either your toxic load (the accumulated toxins you carry in your body) is high, or you have no clue about your actual toxic load and should take preventive measures just in case.

Because you live in our industrialized world, there is a very high likelihood that prior toxic exposures have already lessened your detox capacity, whether it was innately strong or weak. It’s also quite likely that your toxic load is much higher than you realize. No matter what your detox capacity or toxic load, you will benefit from this program.

Yes, as I’ve mentioned earlier, some may have the time, money, and inclination to measure some of the above, but getting a complete picture isn’t always easy. And in the end, given these realities, the majority of people will discover that the best thing they can possibly do for themselves is to follow the very recommendations I offer you here. The bottom line is that undertaking the liver cleanse I recommend in this chapter will always help, no matter what your individual situation is. Obviously, if you are currently suffering from a serious or life-threatening illness, you may want to pull out all of the stops to pinpoint all of the contributing factors through genetic testing, laboratory tests, or other means.

People like to optimistically assume that their body can withstand the toxic barrage. But there is no reason why anyone should make that assumption. Yes, your body can heal, but only with your help. On average, if you suffer from mild complaints or seek to prevent more serious illness, you will find this liver cleanse highly effective in restoring diminished detox capacity.

I still vividly remember how in naturopathic medical school one of my most respected professors started class by asserting, “When in doubt, detoxify the liver.” This seemed strange to me at the time, but almost a half century later, I’ve seen this old naturopathic adage proven in hundreds of patients. All the right foods and all the nutritional supplements in the world won’t do much good if a person’s enzyme systems are poisoned by chemical and metal toxins.

Students or practitioners of a healing art suppressed for so long by the medical-industrial complex tend to become unsure of themselves. When I started as a student, my profession was missing a generation. The AMA was so successful in dominating the health landscape that only six states still licensed NDs. There was only one school left in all of North America. To keep the school going, our teachers taught for free, and some even drove many hours to teach because they were sometimes the only person within hundreds of miles who understood some types of therapies. We students were grateful to these courageous practitioners for keeping the medicine alive, despite active persecution, but it was sometimes frustrating, since most of them could not easily explain the scientific rationale for why these therapies worked. With my very strong background in science and commitment to research, I was exceptionally skeptical at first. When my professor said we should start by detoxifying the liver, I asked to see the research. He simply asserted that clinically it almost always helps. Well, I was the student and he was the teacher, so I somewhat reluctantly followed his advice. (Now, decades later, the research has finally caught up with these insightful pioneers.)

Susan’s Story

Susan was sixty-five years old, which at the time I thought was really old. She had heard about natural medicine but could not afford to see a regular naturopathic doctor, since naturopaths were not covered by her insurance. She came to our inexpensive teaching clinic after having undergone a checkup at a nearby welfare clinic. Not finding any overt disease, the doctors there told her that she was just getting old and should learn to live with feeling poorly. They offered to prescribe an antidepressant. That didn’t sit well with her.

Susan was experiencing tiredness, bad breath, stomach upset, stiff joints in the morning, swollen ankles, dry skin, and progressive mental fogginess. I took a careful history, asked about her diet (which wasn’t too bad), did a complete physical, ran the basic blood and urine tests—and found nothing wrong.

“When in doubt, detoxify the liver.” With no good reason apart from wanting to follow my supervisor’s advice, I put her on our standard liver-detoxification protocol (which I have since further evolved into the one I offer in this book). Of course, I also advised her to improve her diet, drink more water, and eat more fiber-rich foods, including more fruits and vegetables.

A month later she was dramatically better. I had no idea what toxins had overloaded her system or where they came from. All I did was help clear toxins out of her liver, improve her diet, and let her body do the rest. Four decades later, I have a much better understanding of toxins and where they come from and there are additional tools for getting rid of them. In retrospect, I now understand their source in Susan’s case: as a part-time cleaning woman, she was regularly exposed to chemical toxins in the products she used. Eventually, they overloaded her liver’s capacity to detoxify, and she started feeling old before her time. Fortunately, this basic liver cleanse, without even the benefit of the extra supplements you will take, worked to give Susan a new lease on life.

Before toxins enter the body from the digestive system, they have to pass through the liver. The portal vein that travels from the gut to the liver carries healthy vitamins and minerals, but it also carries the herbicides and pesticides that contaminate food, along with the BPA and phthalates absorbed from the plastic containers. A properly functioning liver gets rid of a high percentage of these toxins so they can’t get into our body—but some still get in.

There are many things that harm the liver, which is why it’s essential that you understand and limit damaging substances that undermine detox capacity. For example, alcoholics have increased disease due to alcohol-induced liver damage, which makes it harder to keep other toxins out. Even a small decrease in liver function allows a lot more toxins to pass into the blood. I think one reason practitioners of conventional medicine have not realized this problem is that it affects all aspects of health, not just one disease.

Fortunately, once you understand both what harms and what helps this key detox organ, you can correct past problems. Up to a certain point, it is possible to regenerate your liver. But you don’t want to go for too long accruing damage and allowing the barrage of toxins to build up and weaken your liver beyond repair. That is why I consider the protocol I offer in this chapter to be a real life-changer. Follow it consistently during the current two weeks. And what should you do if you ever again experience health symptoms you don’t know how to address? Detoxify the liver. It never hurts to start there.

Three Ways the Liver Detoxes

Let’s look at the three key ways the liver works to rid your body of toxins:

1. Filtering the blood to remove large-molecule toxins

2. Synthesizing and secreting bile, to excrete fat-soluble toxins

3. Using enzymes to break down toxic chemicals

Filtering the Blood

Almost two quarts of blood pass from the gut through the liver every minute. When operating properly, this filtration system clears out bad bacteria, intact food and bacterial proteins, and other toxic substances that come from an overloaded gut.

But when the liver is damaged, this filtration system does not work as it should. For example, people with liver disease (such as chronic active hepatitis) can’t eliminate toxins adequately. Instead, the liver allows them to pass into the bloodstream, where these toxins often damage tissues or provoke an immune response. And when the immune system’s alarms are regularly set off, the result is constant inflammation, which disrupts normal metabolic processes and leads to, or aggravates, chronic disease.

Producing Bile

After filtering the blood, the liver produces bile, a dark-green or yellowish-brown liquid that solubilizes fats and fat-soluble toxins. In other words, bile makes these toxins liquid, which helps them exit your body. Stored in the gallbladder after it is produced by the liver, bile is secreted into the small intestine. As the toxins are dissolved, all that fiber you consume on this program absorbs the toxin-saturated bile. When your gut excretes that fiber (via your stools), your body can say good-bye to a portion of its toxic load.

That is why, in weeks 1 through 4 of the Toxin Solution, you began consuming more fiber—to absorb and carry off these toxins. You will continue eating extra fiber during weeks 5 and 6 to ensure that you excrete rather than reabsorb the chemical toxins the liver spent so much metabolic energy getting rid of. Remember, our liver-detoxification process evolved back when we were eating 100 to 150 grams of fiber a day, compared with the 15 to 20 we typically take in today. This low level of fiber sabotages our liver and makes us more toxic.

Using Enzymes to Break Down Toxic Chemicals

Liver enzymes break down unwanted chemicals so that they can be harmlessly released, or bound to molecules that render them inactive and easier to excrete. This process renders inactive:

 Industrial chemicals

 Agricultural chemicals

 Chemicals from consumer products

 Toxins from the gut

 Drugs

 Normal body chemicals, such as hormones estrogen and testosterone

 Inflammatory chemicals, such as histamines and prostaglandins

All of these chemicals, if allowed to build up, create a terrible toxic burden on your body.

Later in this chapter you will learn more about the science behind liver enzymes.

Julie’s Story

Wearing a Seahawks sweatshirt, Julie—an overweight thirty-five-year-old woman—came to see me complaining of tiredness, bad breath, and depression. Although she’d tried to take off weight, she got so sick when she dieted that she couldn’t continue. Year after year her weight relentlessly increased. Julie’s diet was standard American fare—high in unhealthy fats and various forms of sugar, and grossly deficient in fruits and vegetables. She didn’t take supplements, and she never exercised.

For her job as a machinist, Julie wore a uniform that she kept at work and rarely washed. Most nights, she met her friends after work and drank three or four beers. Remarkably, given her lifestyle and diet, her blood tests were normal, except for her liver enzymes, several of which were near the top of the normal range.

Julie’s liver was overloaded. Her alcohol consumption had depleted her glutathione stores, undermining her liver’s ability to protect her from solvent exposure at work. Her fat stores were so saturated with solvents from her work that when she dieted, the weight loss mobilized a flood of toxins stored in her fat cells. Her overloaded liver couldn’t deal with the even higher load, so of course she felt terrible every time she tried to lose weight.

I first focused on stopping the influx of toxins while restoring her ability to detoxify. Weight loss was furthest from my mind; she had many more important issues to address. Improving ventilation, washing her uniform every day, being more conscious of when she was being exposed to chemicals, and taking steps to avoid them—these were obvious strategies, and Julie readily complied.

But dealing with her excessive alcohol consumption was trickier. I gave Julie two options: either drink nonalcoholic beer or take supplements to increase glutathione production. She chose the latter. She also increased her dietary fiber—starting at 3 grams twice a day and working up over two weeks to 5 grams three times a day. I also prescribed a good-quality multivitamin and mineral supplement and 500 mg of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) twice a day.

When I saw Julie again two weeks later, she felt so much better I was able to convince her to try the alcohol-free beer, which I explained actually increases glutathione levels. Six months later, all her symptoms were gone.

Although weight loss was not our main goal, she also lost twenty pounds. Although the recent findings that chemical toxins act as “obesogens” was unknown back then, getting the chemicals out of her body allowed her excessive fat to melt away as Julie restored her health.

As by-products of its detox activities, the liver also produces inflammatory chemicals and free radicals. Unfortunately, if not immediately neutralized, these noxious substances can damage the liver itself. That’s why this chapter features an antioxidant-rich diet. Along with protein, fruits and vegetables filled with antioxidants provide the nutrients your liver uses to mop up these nasty by-products and stay healthy.

Understanding Your Detox Experience

In a dynamic metabolic system like the human body, there is constant activity and many different parts that interact to make it all work. That is why it’s especially important to pay attention to your body’s messages during detox. Listening to your body will help you customize the program and make it work perfectly for you.

Many people believe that only a lab test reveals information, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are a wealth of ways people can self-assess without lab tests. Back in the days when I first trained to be a naturopath, the few available lab tests were primitive compared with today’s offerings. That was why, to figure out what was going on in the body, old-time clinicians mastered the art of reading their patients’ signs and symptoms. Given that detoxification was foundational, these pioneers learned to determine when the detoxification process was in balance and when it was not. Fortunately, you can use their discoveries to promote your own health.

My teachers knew that when toxin release begins, the person’s symptoms might actually get worse.

The body likes to get rid of toxins, so when you open the tap for toxin release, the flood can become heavy. This has been labeled variously as the healing crisis, detoxification reaction, or Herxheimer reaction. Unless you have released large amounts of neurotoxins, these symptoms are nearly always minor and temporary. Yet detox reactions are a prime reason that some fear the process. Rest assured that although a few temporary uncomfortable sensations are extremely common, once you learn to self-assess, you will feel more confident about the process.

Once you learn to self-assess, you can also use my basic guidelines to help you manage the detox process. The first step is learning how to interpret your own bodily reactions. For example, one clear sign that your detox systems are on overwhelm is a decreased level of vitality. This is easy to gauge, because everyone knows when they feel debilitated and weak rather than energetic and healthy.

Note how you are feeling now. Then make sure to pay attention to how you feel day by day over the next two weeks. There are a number of ways to monitor how you are doing. For example, every day, you can take a symptom survey, such as the one I provide in appendix E. (This survey is also available on the website www.thetoxinsolution.com. It automatically calculates your daily health score and graphically tracks your health over time.) While daily may be too often for you, please be sure to do this at least weekly. People are often so concerned with their current symptoms that they forget how much they have improved over time. If you don’t have time to fill in the form, you can simply ask yourself these three questions when you awaken in the morning:

1. Do I have a headache?

2. Does my breath smell bad?

3. Do I feel tired upon rising in the morning and unenthusiastic the rest of the day?

Herbal Defenders

Dandelion. For centuries, herbalists revered dandelion as an invaluable liver remedy.3 Studies in humans and laboratory animals reveal that dandelion enhances the flow of bile, lessening liver congestion and reducing bile-duct inflammation, hepatitis, gallstones, and jaundice.4 Dandelion is so effective because it supports so many aspects of liver detox.

You can take a dandelion supplement (as in the protocol). Or you can eat dandelion leaves either steamed or in salads. If you want to harvest dandelion leaves yourself, be sure to not use those from lawns that have been sprayed with toxins.

Artichoke. Artichoke-leaf extract (as recommended in the protocol) also increases the excretion of bile from the liver. Research demonstrates that there is significantly more bile excretion for two to three hours after taking it5—one reason that artichoke extract is now used to lower cholesterol, which is eliminated through the bile. You can also eat one artichoke per day as shown in the sample menu plan. Artichokes are best if cooked and eaten with oil, since this will increase absorption of the important constituents.

Turmeric. Finally, freely use the common spice turmeric. (Or take it as a supplement as shown in the protocol.) Turmeric contains the yellow pigment curcumin, which also increases the flow of bile from the liver and decreases blood cholesterol levels.6

Using dandelion, artichoke, and turmeric for the next two weeks will both lighten your toxic load and heal your liver.

If you feel there are other measures of your health that you want to add, feel free to do so. You are likely reading this book because you don’t feel as healthy as you want to feel. The critical factor is consistently checking in with yourself. Each of us knows best how we feel.

What Happens During Detox

Let’s take a closer look at how the body works. As you have learned in this chapter, liver enzymes neutralize specific toxins. Many of these enzymes, key players in the body’s cleanup crew, are what is called inducible. That means the body won’t generate these enzymes until they are needed. Typically, once toxins persist at elevated levels for more than a day or so, the genes that produce these enzymes switch on to detoxify them. That is why many people report feeling more toxic the first few days after beginning active detox. What’s really going on? You actually do feel worse before these enzymes kick in. But by the end of the first week, after they kick in, you should start feeling progressively better.

What are the signs that you are detoxifying successfully? You may experience:

 Skin rashes

 Increased mucus excretion (stuffed or runny nose)

 Bad breath

 Smellier stools or urine

 Headache

 Heavy, achy lungs

These symptoms indicate that your body is releasing unwanted substances through every route available. These symptoms will improve (or clear up entirely) by the beginning of the second week. It bears repeating so you are clear on what to expect: the more toxins you have to excrete, the more symptoms you will likely experience, and the longer it will take to get the toxins out of your body.

By understanding the process, it’s easier to handle the symptoms. They are soon over in any case, and the payoff is well worth the minor discomfort. If things get too uncomfortable, you can manage your own rate of detox. I’ll show you how to do that now.

You Can Always Adjust the Rate of Detox

Perhaps you recall Conrad, whom I mentioned in chapter 4. He experienced detox reactions because he went back to his previous bad habits during the program, and his body simply could not handle it. I mention this to point out that, whatever happens, there is a way to handle it. With Conrad, I slowed his detox, and he recovered and resumed his protocol.

Let’s look at the worst possible scenario, although it rarely happens. If toxins are being released too quickly, you will feel sicker and your vitality will be lower. Although this is very unlikely, if you have especially high levels of specific toxins, a too-rapid release can even be dangerous. Indications you are detoxifying too rapidly include:

 Brain fog

 Debility

 Depression

 Disorientation

 Dizziness

 Fast heart rate

 Headache

 Insomnia

 Irregular heartbeat

 Irritability

 Muscle spasms

 Nausea

 Shortness of breath

 Weakness

If you experience any of these symptoms, one of the best and simplest ways to decrease your symptoms without slowing down your detox is to cut dose of herbs in half, consume more berries, and eat more fiber. Just add to the protocol 5 grams of a fiber supplement with a full glass of water three times every day. This will help to absorb all those toxins being dumped by your liver and excrete them from your body via the stools. In this way, toxins do not end up being reabsorbed. The best forms of fiber are oat bran, flaxseed powder, and a supplement called µg X, which I mentioned in chapter 3. I don’t recommend wheat fiber, since so many people react to wheat.

I hope these tips give you confidence that you can safely detox at a level that feels comfortable for you.

The Science Behind Liver Enzymes

There are two phases to the liver’s enzymatic process, Phase I and Phase II. The program of foods and supplements I offer gives you all of the essential foods and key nutritional supplements to support both phases.

The interaction between Phase I and Phase II is quite complex. As you can see, all toxins enter the liver, which breaks them down in these two distinct phases, each of which requires its own specific nutrients. The protocol provides the supports necessary for each phase of liver enzyme activity.

Figure 5.1. Liver detoxification pathways

I don’t expect you to fully grasp every detail, but the bottom line is that many interlocking biochemical pathways must work together for optimal detoxification. As a scientist, I find it exciting to glimpse how nature works within us. Unfortunately, though, since conventional doctors don’t understand how to support detoxification, I’ve often heard them say that detoxification happens naturally, without the need for any additional support. Once again, it’s easier to dismiss the problem of an overloaded and weakened detox capacity than it is to find ways to help this complex system operate optimally. This is a powerful example of how the disease-treatment orientation of conventional medicine—which works so well for acute problems like infections and injury, where there is a direct correlation between a single cause and a single result—fails us for everyday health. Most toxins indiscriminately cause damage throughout the body. This absence of a direct link between a given toxin and a specific disease does not fit the dominant medical model, resulting in conventional medicine being oblivious to the real reasons our population suffers so much ill health and disease. The work you are doing to detoxify your body will not only help you feel better today but also dramatically decrease your risk of developing disease in the future.

Anyone who begins to get a picture of how all the detox organs and systems work together will see why, as naturopathic medicine has long held, supporting detox is the frontline defense for the body.

Phase I Detoxification

Organs and systems aren’t static entities. They interact through what scientists call metabolic processes. The thyroid produces the hormone thyroxin, which tells each cell how much energy to produce, and the pancreas produces insulin to tell the cells how much sugar to absorb. These are just a few examples of the approximately five thousand metabolic processes that are going on in the body in each moment. Let’s look at a few performed by the liver.

In Phase I, there are three ways that these liver enzymes metabolize—that is, break down—and get rid of a toxin:

1. By neutralizing it, i.e., chemically breaking it apart

2. By converting it into a form that is water-soluble (through a process known as solubilizing) for excretion by the kidneys

3. By converting it to a more chemically active form, called an active intermediate These active intermediates are then worked on further and then neutralized by Phase II.

Three Methods of Phase I Detox

As I mentioned earlier, as an organ, the liver itself filters out toxins in several ways. But during the Phase I process, certain enzymes perform very specific detox and conversion activities. Let’s look at these three methods.

1. Neutralizing Toxins. Many toxic chemicals are totally broken down by these important first-line defense enzymes in the liver. However, in the process, your liver cells can be harmed. Every time Phase I enzymes transform a toxin, those same enzymes generate free radicals, which must be neutralized immediately or else they will damage the liver.

Suppose someone eats a poisonous mushroom. As the liver works overtime to neutralize the toxins from the mushroom, it generates a cascade of free radicals that use up its storehouse of protective antioxidants, especially glutathione. If there is insufficient glutathione, the resulting damage can be so extensive that the liver is destroyed. This is why people can die from eating poisonous mushrooms—they cause liver failure. Maintaining adequate levels of antioxidants will protect your hard-working liver. And that’s why, over the next two weeks, you will boost your antioxidant levels.

Eating cysteine-rich foods and supplementing with NAC helps reduce high levels of toxins, carcinogens, and oxidants. The maintenance and antioxidant dose ranges from 100 to 500 mg per day for antioxidant support.10 To promote detoxification, take higher amounts: 500 mg twice a day.11

2. Solubilizing Toxins. Fat-soluble toxins, such as the herbicides and pesticides I discussed in chapter 3, tend to stick around in your cells and fatty tissues. Studies reveal that they have long half-lives in the body. Once they get in, it’s hard to get them out. To deal with them, the liver uses enzymes that make them water-soluble. Then, the modified toxin can be carried out of the liver and excreted in the bile or else carried in the blood to the kidneys for excretion in the urine.12

3. Converting Toxins. If your Phase I liver enzymes can’t either neutralize a toxin or make it water- soluble, they do the next best thing: they modify it and pass the job off to Phase II. But all too often the modified versions hang around and create even more damage.

Glutathione

As I’ve mentioned earlier in this book, the most important antioxidant in your entire body is glutathione (GSH). Glutathione neutralizes free radicals, especially those produced by Phase I. But it also supports Phase II processes that detoxify persistent organic pollutants (POPs). If your glutathione gets used up, your liver is more susceptible to free-radical damage. As a result, the Phase II enzymes that depend upon glutathione can’t so easily rid your body of the herbicides and pesticides used in modern agriculture.

You can obtain glutathione either through your diet (technically from the cysteine in the dietary glutathione) or through internal synthesis—which means the body itself can assemble glutathione from various other chemicals. Whether its key precursors are obtained through foods (such as fresh fruits and vegetables like avocado, cooked fish, dairy products, walnuts, and meat) or taken as a supplement, you must get adequate glutathione. Oral glutathione supplements aren’t very effective, because GSH breaks down in the intestines. Please take topical or liposomal forms of glutathione, which are available at good-quality health-food stores.

The body can also synthesize glutathione—which is by far the primary way we get this needed molecule. Some substances, such as N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), provide high levels of cysteine for the body. Longevity increases in animals fed NAC, since it increases glutathione synthesis. Your body more rapidly produces glutathione when you have sufficient cysteine. The bottom line is that NAC raises blood, liver, cellular, and mitochondrial levels of this important antioxidant. NAC has also been shown to help decrease the toxicity of chemotherapeutic drugs used to treat cancer, as well as that of antibiotics used for infections.7

Fresh fruits and vegetables contain 25 to 750 mg of glutathione per pound. Higher quantities are found in sesame and sunflower seeds. That is why during weeks 5 and 6 of the program, you will consume more of these foods. Commercially prepared foods, dairy products (milk has little, but whey extract is high), most cereals, legumes, and nuts (apart from walnuts) have little glutathione. Among processed foods, frozen foods generally retain their glutathione content. (Technically minded readers might be interested to know that almost all the glutathione in food is broken down to cysteine, which the body absorbs to produce glutathione.)

People with certain conditions have been found to have a deficiency of glutathione, probably due to their greatly increased need for it, both as an antioxidant and for detoxification.8 These conditions include:

 Adult respiratory distress syndrome

 Age-related hearing loss

 Atherosclerosis

 Brain dysfunction

 Cancer

 Cardiovascular disease

 Cataract formation

 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

 Cystic fibrosis

 Drug sensitivity

 Dubin-Johnson syndrome

 Emphysema

 Hemolytic anemia

 Hepatic cirrhosis

 HIV infection

 Hypoglycemia

 Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

 Kidney stones

 Metabolic acidosis

 Multidrug resistance

 Myocardial infarction

 Neurological symptoms

 Osteoporosis

 Reduced inflammatory response

 Schizophrenia

Studies show that large segments of the elderly population have low glutathione levels.9 A deficiency of vitamin B6 also results in decreased production of glutathione.

Let’s look at one example: Everyone knows that smoking causes cancer. But have you ever wondered how? It happens when your liver can’t complete the job of modifying specific toxins at Phase I and passes the incompletely modified—and even more dangerous—form of the compound along to Phase II.

Let’s look at the specific compounds that make cigarette smoke so toxic—and why they are a challenge to detoxify.

A chemical group called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are the culprits. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are carcinogens found in coal tar, crude oil, and many other substances.13

PAHs form when coal, oil, gas, charbroiled meat, and—yes—cigarettes are burned. If you live near a coal plant, charbroil your meat, use an oil heater, or smoke a cigarette, you will absorb PAHs. PAHs damage DNA—which can promote the development of cancer, pulmonary disease, reproductive disorders, and developmental problems.14

Now, pay close attention to what happens when your hard-working liver attempts to detoxify PAHs. (This also applies to other toxins in Phase I.) If your liver can’t complete the task, you are much worse off. PAHs (and certain other toxic chemicals) are more carcinogenic after Phase I activation. Why does this matter?

Some people with a very active Phase I have a slow Phase II—a combination doctors call pathological detoxification. In this scenario, Phase I builds up toxic versions of a dangerous compound faster than Phase II can disarm them. The end result is more severe toxic reactions to chemical and industrial poisons.

To avoid creating this type of imbalance, my protocol supports both Phase I and Phase II. Certain nutrients like those found in berries, and herbs like turmeric, can also help directly neutralize these modified toxins so they can’t harm you while they are stuck in your system, waiting for Phase II to disarm them.

Phase I Detox Activators

As you can see in the table 5.3, the foods that are already featured in this phase of the program act in combination to enhance liver enzyme function.

Table 5.3. Substances That Activate Phase I Detoxification

 

Cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts

Foods

High-protein diet

 

Oranges and tangerines; citrus peel (but not grapefruit peel)

   
 

Iron

Nutrients

Niacin, Vitamin B1 (thiamine), and B2 (riboflavin)

Vitamin C

 

Cysteine, methionine, taurine—found primarily in animal products like fish, eggs, and most dairy products; and for vegetarians, seaweed, krill, and brewer’s yeast

Herbs

Caraway and dill seeds (oil also works)

Brassicas

In all phases of the Toxin Solution, you eat a lot more vegetables from the brassica family (cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts). You will continue to eat them during weeks 5 and 6 because they contain nutrients and chemical constituents that stimulate both Phase I and Phase II detoxification enzymes. Two of these compounds, vitamin C and a chemical called indole-3-carbinol, stimulate detoxifying enzymes in the gut as well as the liver,15 protecting you from several toxins, including carcinogens. Eating brassicas protects against cancer, especially breast cancer.

Limonenes

Oranges and tangerines (as well as the seeds of caraway and dill) contain limonene, a phytochemical that has been found to prevent and treat cancer in animals. Limonene induces the Phase I and Phase II enzymes that can neutralize carcinogens.16 As someone who serves on the science boards of two foundations that fund cancer research, I would like to see follow-up studies on limonenes done with humans.

What Stalls Phase I Detoxification

Just as certain foods and herbs support Phase I enzyme activity, some things work against it. For example, grapefruit decreases a specific Phase I enzyme activity that helps to prevent breast cancer and detoxify caffeine. Other common inhibitors of Phase I detoxification are listed in table 5.4. You would do well to avoid them if possible during this program in order to avoid sending your body mixed messages as you detox.

As part of the protocol, you will eat the Indian spice turmeric or supplement with its active ingredient, curcumin. Yes, you may have noticed that curcumin decreases activity of some Phase I enzymes. However, its net effect is very positive: curcumin increases the flow of bile, inhibits Phase I carcinogen activation, stimulates Phase II, and directly inhibits the growth of cancer cells.17

Curcumin is not the sole nutrient that’s beneficial in both phases. In fact, Phase I and Phase II processes overlap and detoxify some of the same chemicals. This overlap helps the liver remove the most deadly toxins. Not all of these detox pathways are equally efficient, but since any single system can be overwhelmed or working poorly due, for example, to genetics, this backup system does help increase protection from toxins.

Table 5.4. inhibitors of Phase I Detoxification

Drugs

Benzodiazepine antidepressants (for example, Centrax, Librium, Prozac, and Valium)

Antihistamines (used for allergies)

Cimetidine and other stomach-acid-secretion-blocking drugs (used for stomach ulcers)

Ketoconazole

Sulfaphenazole

Foods

Naringenin from grapefruit juice

Curcumin from the spice turmeric (decreases some Phase I activity, but its other benefits make up for it, especially in protection from oxidative damage)

Capsaicin from red chili pepper

Eugenol from clove oil

Other

Aging

Toxins from inappropriate bacteria in the intestines

What Happens to Your Detox Capacity When You Age?

As DNA ages and becomes damaged by toxins, the typical person progressively loses her or his ability to increase production of enzymes on demand. All the detoxification enzymes become progressively less effective—which is why you need to get toxins out as soon as possible!

To sum up, to ensure that Phase I works well:

 Eat plenty of brassica-family foods (cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts).

 Eat foods rich in B vitamins (nutritional yeast, whole grains) and vitamin C (peppers, cabbage, tomatoes, and citrus fruit, such as oranges and tangerines, but not grapefruit).

Phase II Detoxification

As discussed above, when Phase I enzymes are unable to complete detoxification, they pass a modified version of the original toxin along to Phase II. This modified toxin is called an activated intermediate. Activated intermediates can also build up when Phase II slows down. This slowdown can be caused by the following:

 Depleted glutathione stores (due to toxin overload, alcohol consumption, or the regular use of acetaminophen)

 Poorly functioning mitochondria

 Specific nutrient deficiencies

 Inadequate exercise

 Low levels of thyroid hormone

Now you can see why glutathione is so key to this protocol. By supplementing with GSH and eating glutathione-rich foods as recommended, you activate key Phase II enzymes.

And what about exercise? It’s a vicious cycle when toxicity itself reduces your ability to exercise, which then further undermines your detox capacity. The good news is that on my plan, you will have a renewed ability to take in and absorb the right nutrients. The net result will be that on this program you upgrade your detox capacity. Restoring your energy and well-being will make it easier to exercise. Even if you are feeling too tired to exercise, at least go for a 20-minute walk. This increases blood flow through your liver to help with the detoxification process.

Following a comprehensive plan like the one offered in this chapter offers a unique opportunity to repair the detox mechanisms and to detoxify. That is why I recommend following every aspect of the Nine-Week Program.

Support for Phase II Detoxification

Here are some of the key nutrients you will use in the protocol to support Phase II detox:

 Brassica-family foods (cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts), limonene-containing foods (citrus peel, dill oil, and caraway oil)

 Glycine (found in turkey, seaweed, and soy)

 Protein-rich foods (such as small fish, eggs, and dairy products like Swiss cheese and feta)

 Choline-rich foods (lecithin, eggs), folic acid (green leafy vegetables), and vitamin B12 (animal products or supplements)

 NAC and foods high in cysteine (dairy products, beans, whole grains)

 B vitamins (yeast, whole grains)

 Vitamin C (peppers, cabbage, citrus fruits)

 Fish oil

What Stalls Phase II Detoxification

Earlier in this chapter, I mentioned why those who already suffer from health concerns—as well as health mavens—might wish to go a step further to increase the program’s results.

Here’s your chance. As important as it is to support healthy detox function through the protocol, unfortunately you can’t assume that you begin that process with a solid nutritional baseline. Although the Two-Week Jumpstart Diet is designed to correct the most common nutritional deficiencies, due to poor diet, many people in the United States have a much wider range of nutrient depletions. The lack of certain key substances will limit your body’s ability to successfully perform Phase II detox. Following is a list of certain key factors that undermine a successful Phase II process. Nutritional deficiencies top the list. That is why I also offer dosage recommendations for correcting them. Adding these additional supplements is an optional feature of this program; and it can be very helpful to do so to make sure you have all you need for a successful Phase II.

 Selenium deficiency: Take a selenium dose of 150 micrograms (pg) per day

 Glutathione deficiency: Take NAC at a recommended dose of 500 milligrams (mg) two times per day

 Zinc deficiency: Take a zinc dose of 25 mg per day

 Low-protein diet: Increase protein by eating healthy proteins such as small fish, eggs from free- range chickens, and organically grown soy

 Folic acid deficiency: Take activated folates (MTHF and, if available, BH4) at a dose of 400 µg per day

 Vitamin B12 deficiency: Take a vitamin B12 dose of 500 µg  methylcobalamin per day

 Vitamin B2, B5, or C deficiency: Take a vitamin B2 dose of 10 mg per day, a vitamin B5 dose of 250 mg per day, and a vitamin C dose of 1,000 mg two times per day

 Molybdenum deficiency: Take a molybdenum dose of 200 µg per day

How Do You Know If Your Liver Is Not Detoxing Effectively?

Generally, sophisticated blood tests are needed to prove that a specific liver detox system is dysfunctional. But there are several signs and symptoms that indicate detox incapacity. Anytime you have a bad reaction to a drug or toxin, you can be pretty sure there is a detoxification problem. Some symptoms of liver detox dysfunction include the following:

 Adverse reactions to sulfite food additives (as in commercial potato salad, salad bars, wine, and dried fruit)

 Asthma reactions after eating at a restaurant

 Caffeine intolerance (even small amounts keep you awake at night)

 A strong urine odor after eating asparagus

 Feeling sick after eating garlic

 Yellow discoloration of eyes and skin, not due to hepatitis

 Intolerance to perfumes or strong odors

Genetic Variability

For some people, eating asparagus reveals a genetic variability in liver detoxification. Asparagus is the only food with a sulfur-containing compound called asparagusic acid. One specific liver enzyme (sulfoxidase) determines if, and even how, a person breaks down asparagusic acid. Genetics also determines whether or not your body will produce an odiferous compound in the urine after you eat asparagus. This odor is unusual among Chinese people, while a predominant number of French Caucasians experience such an odor. (About 50 percent of adults in the United States notice this effect.)18 Further complicating the story is that there is also genetic variation in how well people are able to perceive the asparagus urine odor!

Differences in genetics underlie more-critical health responses as well. Why can some people smoke for a whole lifetime with seeming impunity, while others develop lung cancer from just living with a smoker? In fact, researchers found that the two critical factors in cancer development are:

1. Exposure to multiple carcinogens

2. Poorly functioning detoxification enzymes19

Here’s another example of how genetic variations in detox capacity influence health outcomes. Nearly 5 percent of all hospital admissions are due to adverse drug reactions (ADRs). And for those over the age of sixty-five, the numbers are even worse, accounting for one out of six hospital admissions!20 This is a medical-industry blind spot. Few people realize that, according to standardized treatment criteria, properly prescribed drugs are actually the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.21 Why? Because of the way drugs are tested and prescribed. Even when a medication has been shown to address a specific symptom in a statistically significant number of patients tested, that does not mean that the drug is healthy for any or all of these patients. Nor do such studies predict for whom the drug may cause a harmful reaction. There is a thousandfold variation in how well people’s Phase I enzymes work and a tenfold variation in Phase II enzymes. This means the standard dose of a drug will cause toxicity in typically 10 percent of people. And this works the other way around as well, meaning that some drugs don’t work because they are being detoxified too quickly.

Some—but not all—people suffer from the side effects of prescription drugs. Until recently it was impossible to predict who is at risk for side effects, but liver enzymes may provide a clue. In observing the differing ways people react to prescription drugs, we can actually see liver enzymes at work. Genetic variations dictate how the enzymes perform from person to person. But most doctors aren’t paying attention to these significant distinctions to help people make the right health-care choices.

People react to drugs differently because they have differing capacities to detoxify the substances the drugs contain. You are more likely to suffer one or more of a drug’s side effects, even a serious one, if you have a weakened detox capacity. In other words, with a limited detox capacity, you are at higher risk when taking a drug. In my view, no doctor should prescribe a potentially toxic drug without knowing how well a person’s drug-detoxifying enzymes are working. Unfortunately, most doctors (apart from those who practice as I do) are unaware of this. I often tell people that if they want to improve their health, they need to become their own best doctors. You can better determine which drugs are right or wrong for you by doing the genetic testing I recommend in appendix G.

How Well Can We Clear Toxins?

Here’s another example of the role Phase I and Phase II liver enzymes play in detox. When taking drugs like acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol),22 people usually think only about what the drug does, not what the body has to do to get rid of it afterward. So what does your body have to do if you take Tylenol? Acetaminophen can be detoxified in four ways:

1. Excretion by the kidneys into the urine unchanged

2. Binding to glucuronic acid (made from blood sugar) in Phase II and excretion in the urine

3. Binding to sulfur and excretion in the urine

4. Metabolizing in Phase I into the highly toxic NAPQI (N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine), which, optimally, is immediately bound to glutathione and excreted in the urine. (Most of it is handled that way.)

However, if Phase II processing doesn’t work very well or excessive alcohol consumption has depleted the glutathione stores, it’s harder to get rid of the NAPQI. It then damages and even kills liver cells. This is one reason why acetaminophen toxicity results in so many emergency-room visits: over fifty-six thousand people every year end up in the emergency room from acetaminophen reactions. Interestingly, the standard of care for treatment of this is IV-administered N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), which greatly increases glutathione production in the liver to get rid of the NAPQI as quickly as possible. Acetaminophen toxicity is also one of the primary causes of acute liver failure. This also reveals why a high toxic load is so risky. The more toxins you absorb, the more you deplete glutathione stores and the more damaging all toxins become.

How do you protect yourself if you take acetaminophen? Take NAC. This great nutrient increases your liver production of glutathione. Obviously I don’t recommend that you overdose with acetaminophen or consume excessive alcohol. But understanding how the liver works can help you support its detox capacity.

Extra Supports for Weak Liver Detox Capacity

Figure 5.2. Detoxification of acetaminophen

Many people have poor detoxification function for all the reasons I’ve covered in this chapter. If following the suggestions I’ve offered in this chapter does not help, make sure to do the following:

1. Go back and make sure to correct all possible nutritional deficiencies, using the dosage recommendations in the “What Stalls Phase II Detoxification” section of this chapter.

2. Look into changing any prescription drugs to ones that cause less damage to detoxification systems.

3. Revisit the “Toxin Troubleshooter” section in chapter 2, and check to see if there are any additional toxic sources you can eliminate.

4. Continue with the toxin-elimination plan that I recommend in chapter 2. Make sure you follow it for the full nine weeks of this program.

5. Feel free to revisit the Two-Week Liver Detox Protocol in this chapter at any time in the future. When not following this program, you can take turmeric and milk thistle on a daily basis.

If you wish to further fine-tune your program, you can go to my website (www.thetoxinsolution.com) and get more fine-tuned daily nutritional recommendations based on your genetics. In the final chapter, I will discuss in more detail how to live a low-toxin life.

As you can see from the many case histories I have presented, I’ve helped thousands of grateful patients whose health improved dramatically—many experiencing complete disease reversal. And I myself have used the same detoxification techniques recommended in this book. I can’t state strongly enough that ill health and chronic disease are now almost entirely due to a growing toxin load and widespread nutritional deficiencies. This does not mean that what I am recommending is simple and easy to do; if it were, we would not have such a sick society. In addition, for effective and safe detoxification you must follow these steps exactly as I have recommended. As noted in earlier chapters, before we release toxins, we have to prepare your body’s detox systems so they won’t be overloaded. A key reason

overweight people have trouble losing real weight is that their detox systems are quickly overloaded when toxins are released from their fat. These toxins cause symptoms similar to having the flu all the time and poison the thyroid function, resulting in depression and low energy. Fortunately, you can detox safely and escape that fate.

Upon completing weeks 5 and 6 of the program, you have brought Phase I and Phase II into balance and strengthened and supported the liver-detoxification pathways. Next, in weeks 7 and 8, you will support the body’s third major detox organ—the kidneys.

The good news is that by following my nine-week plan, you will detoxify without feeling toxic, and the many health benefits are a wonderful reward for all your effort.