As we welcome spring, there’s one word that gets thrown around: “Detox”

If you’re interested to know what an Integrative Dietitian has to say about Detox cleanses, then read on…

Some health professionals (including Dietitians) slander detox routines, adamant in their ego-driven views that as long as we have a functioning Liver and pair of kidneys, detox programs are therefore a waste of time and money. Now I thought the exact same way after graduating. Hard to blame this mindset when that’s what you have learnt at University. However, in my 4.5 years of qualified tertiary education – not once, have we learnt the three phases of Liver detoxification.

That’s right. There are three.

Detoxification Phases (bare with me while I run through technical references)

Phase I- Oxidation Reactions

Cytochrome P450 enzymes changes toxins into water soluble molecules so they can be used in Phase II. This reaction can create reactive oxygen species (free radicals).

Nutrients needed in this phase: B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, magnesium, molybdenum, selenium, manganese.
Herbs: milk thistle, curcumin, broccoli sprouts, rosemary, chlorella, schisandra.

Phase II- Conjugation Pathways

Involves binding fat soluble substances with water-soluble molecules, which deactivates the toxin from Phase I so they can be excreted from the body. Phase II pathways help detoxify toxic metabolites such as oestrogen, xeno estrogens, plastics and pollutants.

Nutrients needed in this phase: N-Acetyl Cysteine, zinc, folate, SAMe, TMG, calcium D-glucarate, cysteine, glycine, glutamine (glutathione), taurine, lipoic acid, sulphur.
Herbs: parsley, milk thistle.

Phase III- Transportation and Elimination

Involves the transport of ‘packaged’ toxins for elimination via bile. Some toxins are sent to Gallbladder for storage, while the rest is eliminated in stools, or released from tissues into blood and removed via kidneys and bladder as urine.

Nutrients needed in this phase: magnesium, glutathione, broccoli sprouts,
Herbs: globe artichoke, milk thistle, coriander, barley grass, apple pectin.

What are signs of poor Liver Detoxification:

  • Skin conditions, breakouts, dull skin, rashes
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability, mood changes
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty losing weight

What to do about it? 

  • Avoid processed and packaged food and alcohol
  • Incorporate plenty of fresh vegetables; especially from the cruciferous family
  • Regular sweating with exercise and sauna
  • Increase water intake
  • Getting quality sleep
  • With the advice from a qualified healthcare practitioner to tailor supplements for optimal organ function

For more information on how to support your own Liver health, book in for a friendly consultation at Merge Health on 03 9889 8008 or book an appointment.

Until next time,


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