Bitter herbs are also important to improve and support phase 1 and 2 detoxification but also stimulate healthy digestion and absorption. Bitter herbs can stimulate saliva to digest carbohydrates, stimulate hydrochloric acid to digest protein and stimulate bile flow from the gallbladder to digest fats. Specific herbs that support detoxification and digestion include dandelion, milk thistle, solidago, gentian and burdock. Milk thistle, known as Silybum marianum (in latin) contains an active ingredient called silymarin. This constituent has been proven to be one of the most potent liver-protecting substances. It prevents free radical damage, stabilizes plasma membranes and stimulates new liver cell production.
The nutrient Diindolylmethane (DIM) comes from the brassica family of plants that includes cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, and the like. It has been shown that the ability to upregulate Nrf2 (known as our master regulator of the body’s antioxidant response) actually declines with age, therefore making us more susceptible to damage from environmental toxins. Moreover, some of the toxic substances which we are exposed to such as mold commonly found in food and houses, more specifically through water damages actually act as Nrf2 inhibitors. In a more simplified manner, mold exposure or toxicity actually blocks our major antioxidant system increasing our overall toxin load and impairing detoxification. Because mold toxins (mycotoxins) can inhibit Nrf2 and our detoxpathways, we need a strong Nrf2 inducing agent to restore the protective antioxidant system, and the associated enzymes necessary for it to do its job as well as recycle it. DIM has a strong Nrf2 activating effect and increases the detoxification process necessary to get toxins, specifically mold toxins (mycotoxins) out of the cell!
Chelation is another important aspect to consider when undertaking a detoxification process. Chelation is the process by which a molecule encircles and binds (attaches) to the toxin and is removed from the system/tissue. Binders such as zeolite, bentonite clay and activated charcoal help support natural detoxification, normalize gut function and safely bind heavy metals.
In regards to diet, a high fiber and water intake will promote the elimination of waste products and reduce the circulation of toxins. An increased intake of polyphenols, antioxidants, bioflavonoids and cruciferous vegetables is beneficial for supporting and protecting the liver. Amino acids include leucine, isoleucine and valine which are considered to be essential amino acids. Dietary sources of these amino acids are dairy products and red meat. Most healthy wholesome diets provide the daily requirement!