Posted by Dr. Rob Silverman on Jan 15, 2021 10:10:20 AM
Like many people, you probably resolved to eat better and lose weight in 2021. And like many people, the chances are good that within a few weeks, you’ll hit a plateau for weight loss. Even though you’re sticking to your resolve to eat better, the scale stubbornly won’t go down. You feel frustrated and on the verge of giving up.
Don’t! It’s possible that you’re stuck because your body has accumulated environmental chemicals that limit your ability to lose weight. Doing a liver detox may reduce your toxic load and get your weight loss back on track.
We’re all exposed every day to thousands of chemicals from the environment, such as air pollution, pesticides, food additives, fabric softeners, pharmaceuticals, and flame retardants. Many environmental toxins, such as phthalates (found in plastics) and BPA (used in food packaging), are also obesogens—they disrupt your metabolic pathways and cause weight gain. Because your fat cells are depositories for toxins, you release these dangerous chemicals back into your bloodstream when you lose weight. The influx of toxins on top of its usual functions makes your liver work overtime to remove them from your system.
To clear your body of toxins and wastes, your liver pumps almost 1.5 liters of blood through itself every minute. As it does, toxins are brought to the liver and run through complex processes that break them down into less harmful substances. These are then eliminated from your body through your kidneys and colon. Your liver is designed to remove the wastes your body typically produces. When your liver is subjected to all the unnatural toxins your body is exposed to from living in the modern world and then gets hit with extra toxins released from your shrinking fat cells, it ends up working overtime. When your liver gets overloaded, it can’t detoxify you efficiently—and the impact of a sluggish liver can mimic a weight-loss plateau.
Liver detoxification has three phases. In Phase I, toxins are neutralized by being oxidized and broken down into reactive intermediary metabolites. In Phase II, the metabolites are broken down further to get them ready for elimination. In Phase III, the breakdown products are eliminated from your body through your urine and your colon.
Following a liver detox protocol for at least 15 and preferably 30 days can reduce your liver's load from environmental chemicals and help get your weight loss back on track. During the detox period, eat a clean diet with plenty of high-quality protein, such as pasture-raised/organic chicken, wild salmon, and lentils, along with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Phase II of liver detoxification needs plenty of sulfur to work efficiently. Sulfur in the diet comes from green leafy vegetables, especially the cruciferous ones like cabbage, kale, and broccoli, so be sure to include at least two servings of them in your diet every day. To make sure you’re getting all the liver support leafy green vegetables can provide, I also recommend a daily green powder drink. Avoid sugary foods, processed foods, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, and soda. Drink lots of pure water and mild herbal teas. If you need your morning coffee, it’s OK to have one cup of organic coffee, black, no sugar. If you know you have any food allergies, sensitivities, or intolerances, avoid those foods altogether.
While doing a liver detox, eat as much as you want of nutrient-dense foods. If you are hungry, consume more fruits and vegetables. For the sake of your health and weight from now on, continue to avoid sugary foods, processed foods, most dairy, and soda even after your detox is over. If you stick with your healthy diet and stay aware of portion size, you’ll see that weight-loss begin again.
All phases of the detox process rely heavily on enzymes—proteins your liver produces that initiate and speed up the biochemical reactions needed to break down toxins. The first two phases of the detox process also produce a lot of free radicals that need to be neutralized quickly with antioxidants. However, if your liver is overworked, it may not be producing enough enzymes rapidly enough to handle the toxic load and may also need extra antioxidant support. Supplements that provide the additional enzymes or help your liver produce them can be very helpful; so are antioxidant supplements.
Detox Benefits is a dietary supplement that supports liver function, especially the critical cytochrome P450 group of enzymes that are key to effective Phase I detoxification.* This nutritional supplement provides the many precursors, such as amino acids and the minerals magnesium and selenium, your liver needs to build detox enzymes for all phases efficiently.*1It also provides chlorella to bind with and remove heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and cadmium. Detox Benefits includes turmeric to enhance Phase II detoxification and botanical extracts that help with Phase III elimination.*
Good gastrointestinal health means good liver health; your liver can easily detoxify the flow of metabolites as blood gets pumped through it. However, impaired gastrointestinal function can sharply increase the load on your liver by adding extra toxins from undigested food particles and bacterial metabolites that escape from the gut if its barrier function is compromised. GI Benefits contains vital ingredients that support a healthy intestinal lining, including the amino acid L-glutamine and the herb marshmallow.*This supplement also contains zinc, essential for supporting and tightening the gut lining, and turmeric to fight gut inflammation and gut permeability.*
Milk thistle has been used for centuries in traditional herbal medicine for liver support.* It contains a group of flavonoids collectively known as silymarin that help protect liver cells to support overall liver health.* Silymarin is also valuable for supporting Phase II detoxification pathways and enhancing antioxidant protection during Phase I and Phase II.*
Spectra Greens supports your detox pathways with phytonutrients needed for enzyme production and antioxidant protection.* The powder contains FOS (fructooligosaccharides), a prebiotic that supports beneficial bacteria's growth and helps improve Phase III elimination.* Spectra Greens also contains spirulina and chlorella, blue-green algae that aid in detoxification and support a healthy liver.*
I always say to my patients, “You can’t be a clean fish in a dirty bowl.” Liver detoxing will help remove excess toxins from your system and optimize your weight loss.
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