Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Detox Detractors

Avoid the sinister eight saboteurs.
Excess fat, sugar, refined carbs, gluten, soy protein isolates, alcohol, mold, and dairy are big time detox detractors. They either lower enzyme activity—interrupting the liver’s efforts to transform toxins into nontoxic metabolites—or are linked to a decreased absorption of necessary detox nutrients. They can also create internal inflammation that inhibits your body’s ability to burn fat, where most toxins are stored. Avoid them while dieting and/or detoxing, or you’ll increase your toxic load.

Here’s the inside story.

Saboteur #1. Excess fat, especially trans fats from margarine and processed and fried foods.
Excess fat, especially trans fat, strains both your liver and your colon. You might even cut back on the “good fats” at this time—like peanut butter and almond butter, excessive nuts (such as almonds, peanuts, and cashews), avocados, and even salad dressings, which can be hard for the liver to break down.

Saboteur #2. Sugar and all its relatives, including high-fructose corn syrup, honey, molasses, maple syrup, sugar cane crystals, pure sugar cane juice, evaporated cane juice, dried cane juice, maltodextrin, and all products ending in “-ose” (such as sucrose, dextrose, fructose, and levulose) Also, artificial sweeteners, including aspartame, sucralose or Splenda, and sugar alcohols (such as maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol)
Sugar and other sweeteners, natural or artificial, stress both your liver and your colon. Moreover, both natural sugar and sugar alcohols have the potential to feed yeast—a known liver stressor—because of the aldehydes that are formed.

Saboteur #3. Refined carbohydrates, including white rice and products made from white flour
They are deadly to weight loss. Not only do they inhibit the liver’s detox pathways, but they create those roller-coaster highs and lows in blood sugar, insulin, hunger, and cravings.

Saboteur #4. Gluten, found in wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, kamut, and all their products (including bread, pastas, crackers, and crusts), also found in many “low-carb” products (such as packaged cereals, macaroni and cheese, pizza dough mix, spaghetti, shells, tortillas, pancake/waffle mixes, and cookies) and in vegetable proteins, modified food starch, some soy sauces, and distilled vinegars
A highly reactive and allergy-producing substance, this unsuspected toxin can get into your bloodstream and slow your metabolism. Gluten creates a gluey substance that can bind with fat and mucus to cover the intestinal villi and clog your colon.

Saboteur #5. Soy protein isolates, found in low-carb “energy” bars and soy protein powders, and processed soy foods (such as soy milk, soy cheese, soy ice cream, soy hot dogs, and soy burgers)

Soy protein isolates are incomplete proteins that lack the sulfur-bearing amino acids methionine and cysteine. The high-phytic acid is unfermented and processed soy products disrupt mineral absorption and can deplete your supply of zinc, magnesium, and calcium, which you need for liver detox. (Miso and tempeh, which are forms of fermented soy, are fine.)

Saboteur #6. Alcohol; over-the-counter drugs; and caffeine, including coffee, tea, sodas, and chocolate
Alcohol, drugs, and caffeine are liver stressors that tax the detox pathways big time. Definitely ax the alcohol, soft drinks, and colas—as well as both regular and decaffeinated coffee and black and green tea. Sadly, green tea is a no-no because an increasing body of studies has shown that it is contaminated with aluminum fluoride from pesticides and fertilizers. Fluoride cues your organs, including your liver and your brain, to stockpile aluminum, with sometimes disastrous results. Fluoride is also a known thyroid suppressor. With nearly 50 percent of the population suffering from hypothyroidism, and considering all the fluoride you’re consuming in your water, toothpaste, soft drinks, and foods processed with fluoridated water, do you really want to take a chance on “fluoridated” green tea?

Saboteur #7. Mold, found on overly ripe fruits (especially melons, bananas, and tropical fruits)
Mold can stress your liver, so avoid all sources of mold—especially moldy fruit because fruit molds produce mycotoxins that can cause severe liver damage, cancer, breathing problems, or allergic reactions.

Saboteur #8. Dairy
Similar to gluten, dairy-based milk and cheese are common food allergens. They contain casein, a milk protein that can cause irritation and inflammation in your body. Feel free to eat whey, butter, and cream as they are casein-free. Yogurt is also acceptable because the bacteria added to yogurt during the culturing process breaks down the casein, making it easier to digest and less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

Taurine Therapy
Instead of consuming detox detractors, turn to taurine. Taurine is at the top of my list when it comes to counteracting the detox detractors by lightening up on your toxic load. Although found in animal foods, it is the most deficient amino acid when tested for in blood samples and is often lacking in vegetarians. Your body requires more taurine if you’ve been taking oral contraceptives, are under stress, suffer from epilepsy, or are a vegetarian. It’s the major amino that the liver requires to remove chemicals from the body and it uniquely detoxifies solvents, ammonia, chlorine, yeast-based aldehydes, and the by-products of drugs.

The best liver tonic I know that contains taurine is Lover-Lovin Formula. To help overcome chemical sensitivities and allergies, many of my patients take four Liver-Lovin in the morning and four in the evening for two weeks to obtain a loading healing dose of 1,000 mg of taurine. Then they cut back to the recommended dosage of two in the morning and two in the evening.

-Edge On Health, Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman