It seems that “detoxing” is quite the buzzword these days, especially as we start the new year!! It’s easy to get drawn into those ads online that claim to boost fast results within just a few days – but it doesn’t mean that it works!
Detoxing may mean following a restrictive diet achieved by extreme diet choices, or it may involve using expensive cleansing products that claim to ditch toxins, but what does detoxing actually mean? Well, it’s time to clear the noise around detoxing.
What does detoxing really mean?
The term detox has gained a whole load of meanings in recent years and has taken a whole new identity involving detox diets, juice cleanses, etc.
However, by definition, detox means to filter the body from toxic and harmful substances – this basically means that detoxification is the body’s process of removing toxic substances. So despite all the marketing hype surrounding detoxing, the human body is constantly in some state of detox every minute of every day!
As Leading Harley Street nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert says: “The good news is that that we all already have a detoxification system. It’s called the liver, and no tea or juice cleanse will do its job any better.”
Our bodies are fully equipped with a robust detoxification system made up of the digestive tract, kidneys, liver, skin, lungs, lymphatic system and respiratory system. The body’s detox system works around the clock by deactivating and removing toxins that are made both inside the body and those that come from outside the body.
What are we actually detoxing from?
From a biological perspective, toxins fall into two main categories, ones that are made within the body through normal metabolism, such as lactic acid, urea and waste products produced by microbes in the gut (aka internal toxins) and those that come from outside the body introduced by drinking alcohol, eating processed foods or through skin absorption (aka external toxins).
As you can see, we face countless exposures to toxins daily – from pollutants to preservatives, pesticides to processed foods, it’s no surprise that our bodies are always in some state of detoxification! When our natural detoxification pathways aren’t functioning at their best, it can drastically impact energy levels, digestion, skin health, mood, body odour and even our concentration.
Although it’s impossible to control the world around us and our exposure to all toxins, we certainly can lend our bodies a helping hand! The body is generally really effective at detoxifying itself. Providing the body with essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients is the best way to ensure proper detoxification. These nutrients are must-haves if you want to support your body’s ability to detox.
Our detoxification processes are dependent on B vitamins (especially B2, B3, B6, and B12). When it comes to detoxification, it happens in two phases. In Phase 1, enzymes in our body neutralize toxins by converting them into less harmful ones. If these toxins (even though they are less harmful than what they began as) are allowed to accumulate in the liver, they can still cause harm. So, the role of Phase 2 detox is to further neutralize the toxins, converting them into a water-soluble form so they can be removed from the body.
B vitamins are specifically important to support the pathways in Phase 1 of detoxification and any deficiencies can slow this phase right down. B vitamins are also particularly important as cofactors in Phase 2 reactions.
Tip: You can easily stay on top of your vitamin B requirements by including our vitamin B complex and by eating a balanced diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, lentils and nuts. As the most bioavailable source of vitamin B12 is from animal products, if you’re avoiding meat for any reason, supplementation is recommended.
Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in the normal functioning of the brain and the nervous system and in the formation of red blood cells. It also helps to regulate and synthesise DNA. It is needed in the metabolism of every cell in the body, and it plays a part in the synthesis of fatty acids and energy production. By helping the human body to absorb folic acid, it facilitates the release of energy.
Calcium, Magnesium & Zinc are three important minerals for the body, when combined with Vitamin D all these amazing ingredients help support the maintenance of Normal Bones & Teeth, the Immune System, Normal Muscle function, and the Reduction of Tiredness & Fatigue. Claims substantiated by EFSA (European Food Safety Authority).