People are exposed to toxins, such as pesticides and air pollutants in food and the environment, on a regular basis. Meanwhile, other toxins are produced in the body through normal functions and microbes. That’s why it’s fundamental to support the liver, one of the major detoxification systems in the body. If the liver isn’t working properly, harmful compounds can start to pile up in the cells and tissues, leading to a variety of health issues. Liver detoxification is a two-step process that converts fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble toxins that the body can eliminate accordingly.
In the following article, we will discuss the importance of liver detox, what happens in the two phases of liver detoxification, and how you can support liver detox to promote overall health.
The Importance of Liver Detox
The liver is responsible for the detoxification of all of the harmful compounds and toxins that the body is exposed to on a regular basis. Moreover, it’s fundamental to eliminate these from the liver and the rest of the body regularly to tremendously reduce their negative effects. If toxins start to pile up in the cells and tissues of the liver, it can potentially lead to liver damage as well as a variety of other health issues. By way of instance, toxins are associated with obesity, dementia, and even cancer. And they are also believed to be a factor in chronic health issues, such as fibromyalgia.
There are two main ways that the body eliminates toxins. First, fat-soluble toxins are metabolized in the liver to make them water-soluble. Then, water-soluble toxins are sent directly to the kidneys where these are eliminated in the urine. Another of the body’s safeguards against harmful compounds is that the blood collected from the gut goes to the liver first. The blood from the gut may be especially high in toxins if a person has a leaky gut. Through the detoxification of toxins first, the liver can considerably reduce the number of toxins that reach other organs, such as the brain and heart.
Phases of Liver Detoxification
The liver is one of the main detoxification systems in the body. Detoxification or detox in the liver is separated into two categories. They are known as Phase I and Phase II liver detoxification pathways.
Phase I Liver Detoxification Pathway
The Phase I liver detoxification pathway is the first line of defense against harmful components and toxins. It’s made up of a collection of enzymes known as the cytochrome P450 family. The enzymes help neutralize substances, such as caffeine and alcohol. They offer protection by converting these toxins into less harmful components. However, if the byproducts of the Phase I liver detoxification pathway are allowed to pile up in the liver, they can damage DNA and proteins. It is ultimately the role of the Phase II liver detoxification pathway to make sure that those toxins do not pile up in the liver.
Phase II Liver Detoxification Pathway
The Phase II liver detoxification pathway neutralizes the byproducts of the Phase I liver detoxification pathway as well as that of other remaining toxins. This is done by metabolizing fat-soluble toxins in the liver to make them water-soluble so that they can be eliminated from the body. This process is known as conjugation. Glutathione, sulfate, and glycine are the primary molecules responsible for this process. Under normal conditions, Phase II liver detoxification pathway enzymes produce low levels of glutathione. Under times of high toxic stress, the body increases glutathione production.
We are exposed to toxins like pesticides and air pollutants in the food we eat as well as in the environment every day while other harmful compounds are produced by microbes through normal functions in the body. It’s essential to support liver function because it is our main detoxification system. If the liver isn’t working properly, toxins and harmful compounds can start to pile up in the liver which can eventually cause a variety of health issues. The phases of liver detoxification are a two-step pathway that converts fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble toxins that the body can eliminate accordingly. In the article above, we discussed the importance of liver detox, the phases of liver detoxification, and how you can support liver detox to promote overall health. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight
Zesty Beet Juice
Cook time: 5-10 minutes
• 1 grapefruit, peeled and sliced
• 1 apple, washed and sliced
• 1 whole beet, and leaves if you have them, washed and sliced
• 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled and chopped
Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately.
Just one carrot gives you all of your daily vitamin A intake
Yes, eating just one boiled 80g (2¾oz) carrot gives you enough beta carotene for your body to produce 1,480 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin A (necessary for skin cell renewal). That’s more than the recommended daily intake of vitamin A in the United States, which is about 900mcg. It’s best to eat carrots cooked, as this softens the cell walls allowing more beta carotene to be absorbed. Adding healthier foods into your diet is a great way to improve your overall health.
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico*
Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.
- Ask The Scientists Staff. “Liver Detoxification Pathways.” Ask The Scientists, 30 Jan. 2019, askthescientists.com/qa/liver-detoxification-pathways/#:~:text=liver%20detoxification%20pathways.-,Phase%20I%20Liver%20Detoxification%20Pathway,toxins%20into%20less%20harmful%20ones.
- Watts, Todd, and Jay Davidson. “Phases of Liver Detox: What They Do & How to Support Them.” Phases of Liver Detox: What They Do & How to Support Them – Microbe Formulas™, 24 Jan. 2020, microbeformulas.com/blogs/microbe-formulas/phases-of-liver-detox-what-they-do-how-to-support-them.
- DM; Grant. “Detoxification Pathways in the Liver.” Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 July 1991, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1749210/.
- Dowden, Angela. “Coffee Is a Fruit and Other Unbelievably True Food Facts.” MSN Lifestyle, 4 June 2020, www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/did-you-know/coffee-is-a-fruit-and-other-unbelievably-true-food-facts/ss-BB152Q5q?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=mailsignout#image=24.
The information herein on "What are the Phases of Liver Detoxification?" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.
Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*
Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.
We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.
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