There are two major detoxification pathways inside the liver cells, which are called the Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification pathways. If Phase 2 cannot keep up with Phase 1, illness can ensue, because the products of Phase 1, although a step towards removal, can be toxic.
Phase 1 To put it simply, this pathway converts a toxic chemical by various chemical reactions, and during this process free radicals are produced which, if excessive, can damage the liver cells. Some substances make this pathway overactive: caffeine, alcohol, saturated fats, exhaust fumes.
Phase 2 For efficient Phase 2 detoxification, the liver cells require sulphur-containing amino acids. The nutrients glycine, glutamine, choline, and inositol are also required.
Eggs and cruciferous vegetables (eg. broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower), raw garlic, onions, leeks, and MSM are all good sources of natural sulphur compounds to enhance phase 2 detoxification. Therefore, they can be considered to have a cleansing action.
Turmeric helps to slow Phase 1 detoxification down so the next stage can keep up, which help to limit detox reactions like headaches, fatigue, and sore throats. Parsnips work well in a winter detox—DO peel them, to remove some unneeded compounds found in the peel.
Holistic Nutritionist, Dana Green Remedios, RHN, RNCP has a passion for helping others break through their blocks to greater health, wealth, and happiness, working with transformational mind-body tools. The Vancouver-based educator and coach answers your questions in English, French, and Spanish as a Specialist working in the Product Information Department at Flora, and is a regular contributor to the FloraHealthy blog.