“Detoxification is a scam”.
“If detox programs worked, we’d know it by now”.
Well-intentioned doctors, medical professionals, and knowledgeable laypeople often label anything remotely related to a “cellular cleanse” as snake oil.
After all, ancient humans never did juice cleanses or other pop detox programs.
It’s true. Given all the right raw materials and opportunities, the body naturally detoxifies.
In fact, the glymphatic system in the brain alone neutralizes about three pounds of toxins every year while you sleep. And that’s just the beginning.
Our problem is twofold:
- Less ability to excrete toxicants
- Greater exposure to more and higher levels of toxicant chemicals
That’s exactly the issue. Most modern humans have impaired detoxification pathways and systems (phase II in particular). Plus, on a daily basis, we’re bombarded by a skyrocketing number of new chemicals—most of which are never tested for interactions.“Our modern habitat constrains time resources, subtracts key genetic triggers, adds environmental challenges, presents seasonal illness, and makes eating much easier than expending energy” — Joel Greene Click To Tweet
Classic detoxification strategies of exercise, sweating, urinating, and evacuating are no longer enough. Biohackers and savvy holistic healthcare practitioners implement all kinds of things, from simply consuming certain nutrients, to fringe practices like coffee enemas.
So in this post, we’ll cover all things detoxification. From why it’s more important than ever, to how cellular detox works, to the benefits you’ll experience, to the best ways to naturally and powerfully detox fast.Detox must occur on a cellular level —> go to the cell to get well Click To Tweet
Why Detoxification is Necessary
Manual, planned cellular detoxification has become a new need. Previous generations of humans naturally detoxified without much issue.
Indeed, one study discovered 287 different chemicals in the cord blood of babies [R].
Tests detected 20 toxins in the blood of Germans ten years ago. Today, the same tests show over 500.
Many years ago, researchers went into school cafeterias and discovered unsafe levels of 19 pesticides in the foods. Chemicals can spontaneously combine and are never researched in combination. Creating an apple pie from apples results in the formation of chemicals that researchers have never identified. Researchers went into school cafeterias and discovered 19 pesticides at unsafe levels. What happens when they combine in the body?
Chemicals can spontaneously combine and are never researched in combination.
What happens when all these combine in the body?
Here are a few facts that concerned me:
- Americans lose 11M IQ points every year just due to hormone-disrupting chemicals
- Only 2% of the 100,000+ chemicals around today have been thoroughly tested
- Toxic PFCs concentrate in lean meat
- Xenoestrogens are 100x more potent than human estrogen
- Neurotoxins have an affinity for the hypothalamus
- Excess estrogen blocks proper liver flow and inhibits detox
- Parasites, especially worms, but also fungi and candida, can absorb multiple times their body weight in toxins
- Mercury vapor from tooth filling moves to the brain and becomes inorganic mercury which lasts most of a lifetime unless detoxed
- Heavy metal toxicity passes down through four generations through genetics and epigenetics
- Glyphosate, the world’s most popular pesticide, drives heavy metals deeper into the brain
- Heavy metals and certain common chemicals can damage the endocrine system
- Toxins inflame cell membranes and block nutrients from entering
Our body can normally handle these threats. When it has ample resources and time.
But that’s the issue.
We cannot escape toxicants:
- Food carcinogens and harmful compounds
- Agriculture chemicals
- Drinking water chemicals
- Cleaning products
- Air fresheners
- Carpets, furniture
- Environmental toxins
- Radiation, nnEMFs
- Stress, trauma
Even cooking at high temperatures can increase acrylamide within foods. This is a carcinogenic neurotoxin resulting from a chemical reaction between amino acid asparagine and sugars when cooked at temperatures of 250+ degrees Fahrenheit.
So despite what your friendly MD may tell you, true detox has its place in the modern biohacked lifestyle.
First, we must understand the fundamentals of real detoxification.
Key Detoxification Organs
The human body has an innate ability to neutralize and eliminate toxins, but it requires the optimal functioning of key detox organs to do so effectively.
Cellular detox always begins with the liver before involving other organs.
The Liver: Your Body’s Alchemical Plant
Considered your detoxifying powerhouse, any true detox program will focus heavily on the liver. Everything we eat, drink, or ingest passes through it.
Often compared to a super-efficient chemical factory, it uses two-phase biochemical processes (Phase I and II) to convert toxins into less harmful compounds that you excrete from your body.
Modern living, however, puts major burdens on this hardworking organ. Ultra-processed foods, drugs, alcohol consumption, and stress, amongst other things, overwork the liver. Slowing down detoxification. Optimizing liver health directly enhances your body’s detox pathways and speeds up toxin elimination.
The Kidneys: Masters of Filtration
Our kidneys filter up to 200 liters of blood every day!
Positioned behind our abdominal cavity, these bean-shaped organs act as supreme filters. Through a network of tiny functional units called nephrons, they cleanse our blood, eliminating waste which is later sent down to be discarded via urine.
Nourish them properly by drinking clean, filtered, and purified water, and consuming specific nutrients, such as potassium, magnesium, the vitamin B family, and vitamin C.
Skin: Our Largest Organ
Covering approximately 20 square feet in adults — yes, you read that correctly — our skin acts not only as a protective shield but also as a key detoxification organ!
Sweating, whether induced by heat or physical activity, helps us expel all kinds of toxins from our system. It’s one of the primary detoxification channels. Some of the toxins expelled through the skin include heavy metals and chemicals like Bisphenol-A (BPA), Phthalates, Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and many others.
Use sauna therapy and regular exercise to take advantage of this natural detoxification pathway.
Lungs: More Than Respiration
Our lungs play a dynamic role, well beyond breathing. They actively participate in the body’s detoxification process. And even fat loss.
Each breath not only exchanges oxygen and carbon dioxide but also helps expel metabolic waste products and airborne toxins. This exchange enables many other processes.
Plus, the lungs filter out harmful particles from the air we breathe. Like dust, pollutants, and allergens. They trap these particles in mucus so that you can eliminate them through the digestive system.
Deep breathing maximizes oxygen intake and enhances toxin release, promoting overall lung health and efficiency.
Lymphatic System: Nature’s Waste Management
The lymphatic system is an intricate network designed to help the body manage internal waste. It is made of lymph nodes, interconnected by a vast array of vessels.
These vessels span your entire body. Primarily, they transport lymph. This clear fluid contains white blood cells that fight infections and waste products. The lymphatic system helps excrete this waste out of the body.
The system tirelessly drains toxins and unwanted materials from every cell in your body.
It is pivotal to maintaining fluid balance, aiding digestion, and supporting immune function. Unlike the circulatory system, however, the lymphatic system lacks a central pump.
Therefore, it relies on muscle movement, breathing, and gravity to propel lymph fluid through its vessels.
Digestive System: The Cornerstone of Health & Detoxification
Stretching from your mouth to your rectum, the digestive system is incredibly complex and plays an active role in cellular detoxification.
This multi-organ system is responsible for breaking down food, absorbing nutrients, and most relevantly, expelling waste.
Each stage of digestion contributes uniquely. Starting in the mouth, salivary enzymes kickstart carbohydrate breakdown. The stomach uses potent hydrochloric acid to kill pathogens and further break down food.
As food continues, the small intestine absorbs nutrients but leaves toxins in the digestive tract. Then, they’re later bound with fiber in the large intestine.
Lastly, the colon compacts these wastes into the stool for elimination from the body. Altogether, continually eliminating toxins before they get absorbed.
If you have problems with hydration or elimination, you re-absorb those toxins. Adding burden to other detox organs.
The Science of How Detox Really Works
For some reason, experts cannot agree on the nomenclature behind the detox process. Is it two phases or free phases? Or even four?
Most health practitioners agree on the first two:
- Phase 1: Functionalization
- Phase 2: Glucuronidation/Conjugation
Phase 3 is required but sometimes lumped into the other stages of detox.
This video gives a simplified explanation of how it all works:
Phase 1: Functionalization
The first phase of detox is called functionalization. Toxicants enter the body and are quickly rendered semi-inert. They’re packed away and insulated from the rest of the body in fat cells. Yet in this state, they’re also hard to remove. Functionalization is the step in which the body transforms the toxicants for easier elimination.
The unfortunate result is increased levels of free radicals, making antioxidant support quite helpful.
Phase 1 is upregulated by toxin exposure (including environmental and drugs). Many different chemical-specific enzymes support this process.
The speed of this phase usually creates an imbalance and backlog/bottleneck for the next phase.
Phase 2: Glucuronidation/Conjugation
Phase 2 of the detoxification process is where the body transforms the toxicant from fat-soluble to water-soluble—for elimination through bodily fluids [R].
It does this by binding that toxicant to other non-toxic side groups. There are six of these detox pathways and additions that chemicals undergo:
- Sulfation: adding sulfate groups.
- Methylation: adding methyl groups.
- Acetylation: adding acetyl groups.
- Glucuronidation: adding glucuronic acid (a derivative of glucose) groups.
- Amino acid conjugation: adding amino acid (glycine, taurine, glutamine, arginine, ornithine) groups.
- Glutathione conjugation: adding glutathione groups.
The dominant pathway used for phase 2 depends on the type of chemical.
This is the key metabolic detoxification phase for most people to focus on. It’s also where nutritional support makes the biggest difference.
Now, we’re ready to transport the transformed toxicant out of the body.
Phase 3: Elimination
Depending on your source, they either lump transportation and elimination into phase 2 or not at all—just assuming it always works properly.
This is the final detox phase. The body completely expels the now transformed toxicant through:
Special substances called transport proteins accomplish the transportation from cells through organs of elimination.
These are the scientific basics of cellular/metabolic detoxification. But what’s the point of optimizing this process?
Benefits of a True Cellular Detox
Though their methodologies may not work, the potential benefits you’ve likely heard of pop detoxes are actually accurate.
A true detox removes heavy metals, environmental pollutants, and metabolic waste products. These toxins harm our health and disrupt the functioning of cells, tissues, organs, and systems throughout the body.
Some of the health benefits of cellular detox include improved [R]:
- Energy levels: removing toxins and supporting optimal organ function, can boost energy (ATP) levels and reduce fatigue.
- Longevity: reducing toxic load helps organs work better, leading to a higher quality of life and longer-term anti-aging effects.
- Skin clarity: toxins reduce circulation and nutrient uptake, contributing to skin issues like acne, eczema, and dull complexion.
- Immunity: strengthen the immune system by reducing the burden on key detoxification organs and promoting optimal immune function.
- Weight loss (indirect): the body holds on to fat to insulate you and protect the metabolism from toxins, plus unhealthy cravings lessen.
- Cognition and mental clarity: as a metabolically demanding organ, a toxic burden in the brain impacts mental clarity, focus, energy, and memory.
- Cellular regeneration: detoxification processes stimulate the repair and regeneration of cells, tissues, and organs.
- Hormone balance: organs working sub-optimally due to toxin exposure struggle to automatically balance hormones, regulate mood, and control reproductive health.
- Digestion and gut health: removing certain toxicants rebalances the microbiome (reduces harmful bacteria and promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria), improves digestion, and enhances nutrient absorption.
- Healthy inflammation: proper protocols help reduce inflammation by eliminating pro-inflammatory substances and lessening your resistance to eating anti-inflammatory foods.
Organs like the liver, gut, lungs, and kidneys all perform myriad essential functions that keep your body and mind working their best.Certain organs are alchemical centers of the body, acting as the body’s built-in natural pharmacy to transform toxic substances and better utilize essential nutrients Click To Tweet
For example, supporting the liver also improves hormone production, protein synthesis, and digestion.
The net result of a cellular cleanse?
You look, feel, and perform your best.
Safe & Effective Detox Methods
There are hundreds—if not thousands—of ways to safely detox.
All effective cleansing plans, however, share certain common characteristics:
- Optimize organ health and function
- Master lifestyle foundations (nutrition, sleep, movement, light, stress reduction, etc.)
- Improve the core detox pathways
My favorite approach to a thorough cellular detoxification process involves small, daily actions with occasional thorough support.
Most people are focused on the “what” of detox. But the “how”, “why”, and “when” also make a huge difference. More on that later.
A quick word of caution.
If your detoxification pathways are not operating properly, you may feel sick or experience symptoms. Especially in the beginning, if you radically change your diet or exercise routines.
This is called a “Healing Crisis” (or the similar “Herxheimer reaction”) and it occurs because toxins accumulate in the fat tissue, which gets broken down and burned during weight loss.
With that out of the way, let’s get started.
The most important natural way to support detoxification is to make sure you’ve removed the sources of toxication.
By simply eliminating as many sources as possible, you’re reducing the toxic burden on the body. Allowing its natural systems to process the backlog.
Some common ways to minimize retoxication include:
- Switching away from plastics and cans to glass and steel
- Carefully selecting clean personal care products
- Swapping industrial-grade household chemicals from greener alternatives
- Avoiding supplements loaded with fillers, additives, and unhealthy “inactive” ingredients
- Upgrading your drinking and bathing water
- Minimizing processed foods
- Choosing furniture devoid of VOCs and other chemicals
Barring an acute challenge, if you doing nothing else, reducing your exposure alone will make a big difference.
Shilajit is a natural substance formed exclusively in tall mountains, as plants and microbial matter decompose. Particularly in the 14,000+ foot tall Siberian and Himalayan mountain ranges.
Traditional Ayurvedic medicine has been used for millennia, particularly for its detoxifying properties.
Shilajit is a rich source of chelators, humic, and fulvic acids. Acting as an antioxidant, fulvic acid binds to heavy metals and toxins, helping remove them from the body. It also supports and protects the liver. Plus, it enhances bile flow and the absorption of nutrients (minerals, trace elements, and vitamins).
This substance also helps buffer against the damaging effects of chronic stress.
Overall, shilajit is nature’s multi-mineral and nutrient enhancer. I use one of these top Shilajit supplements daily.
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One of the reasons nutrient-dense diets work well to support natural detoxification lies within their high mineral content.
The body requires magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, and other minerals to carry out detoxification.
Not only that but heavy metals and minerals compete against each other for absorption. Maintaining adequate mineral levels reduces your absorption of certain toxicants [R].
You’ll want all kinds of minerals. Since it’s hard to get enough through diet alone, you’ll want to consider electrolyte supplements and high-quality trace minerals supplements. You can even use a pinch of clean natural sea salt to get additional minerals.
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No matter your dietary pattern, specific nutrients, and foods improve detoxification processes.
In fact, many so-called “detox supplements” actually use extracts of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices.
Some detox-supportive foods worth consuming:
- Cruciferous veggies: broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts are rich in compounds called glucosinolates, which support liver detox.
- Leafy greens: spinach, kale, chard, etc. are packed with chlorophyll, antioxidants, and fiber, helping cleanse and alkalize the body.
- Berries: blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries contain antioxidant-rich polyphenols, combating oxidative stress that occurs during phase 1 and phase 2.
- Garlic: contains sulfur compounds that activate liver enzymes, plus it has gut health-supporting antimicrobial properties.
- Green tea: rich in antioxidants called catechins and other natural compounds, which protect against oxidative damage and support the liver.
- Citrus fruits: lemons, oranges, and grapefruits are high in vitamin C, which supports the production of a potent antioxidant called glutathione.
That’s not all.
Herbs and spices that support detoxification include:
- Milk thistle: known for its liver-protective properties (and even helps regenerate liver cells), plus it boosts the production of glutathione.
- Turmeric: contains curcumin and countless other powerful anti-inflammatory compounds that support liver function.
- Dandelion root: has urine-producing diuretic properties that help flush out toxins from the body, as well as supporting liver function and optimal bile production.
- Cilantro: sometimes called the “poor man’s detox” for its ability to bind to heavy metals and help their elimination.
- Ginger: has anti-inflammatory properties that support digestion and liver health
- Parsley: rich in antioxidants and vitamins that support the liver, plus it promotes the elimination of toxins through urine.
You’ll already have many of these sitting around in your pantry and cupboard.
Whenever possible, buy organic/wild plants because they contain higher levels of detoxifying compounds and pass on greater benefits through a process called xenohormesis.
Glutathione is a powerful cellular protector—one of the body’s primary “master antioxidants”—that’s naturally utilized in virtually every cell throughout the body.
It’s composed of three amino acids: glutamic acid, cysteine, and glycine and it plays many crucial roles. Your body constantly produces it. Nevertheless, as our toxic burden increases (or we skimp on sleep, exercise, stress management, etc.), our glutathione needs to grow.
As we learned earlier, phase 2 detox in the liver requires glutathione to bind to and eliminate (also called chelating) heavy metals like mercury, lead, and arsenic.
Plus, glutathione is a fantastic antioxidant recycler. It reactivates other antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E after they’ve neutralized free radicals. Making them more effective and longer lasting.
Supplemental glutathione, or in some cases, its precursors like N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) also support detoxification. However, most oral glutathione supplementation has terrible absorption and bioavailability.
You’ll want to use one of these top liposomal glutathione supplements to increase your glutathione levels.
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Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid (TUDCA) is a bile acid that naturally occurs in the body. It’s a conjugate of the amino acids taurine (T) and ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA). Bile acids play a crucial role in the digestion and absorption of dietary fat [R].
It’s also well-known for its protective properties:
- Liver protection (hepatoprotective) by reducing liver cell damage from oxidative stress, toxins, and inflammation [R]
- Mitochondrial protection
- Neuroprotection [R]
TUDCA also restores cellular homeostasis by ensuring proper protein folding and helping regulate the metabolism (insulin and glucose).
For detox or just health optimization, it’s a great overall (but little-known) supplement. This is the one I use.
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Melatonin is a neurohormone produced in the gut and the pineal gland in the brain. It does much more than regulate the sleep-wake cycle.
The pioneering work of Dr. Russel Reiter has shown that we actually produce up to 95% of our melatonin in the gut.
It’s intricately involved in the regulation of mitochondria and the gut microbiota. If we think of the mitochondria as a factory, melatonin would be the fire extinguisher that extinguishes free radicals.
Melatonin enhances the activity of certain detoxification enzymes, including glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase (SOD). Two enzymes that help break down and eliminate toxins, heavy metals, and other harmful substances.
This substance is also profoundly anti-inflammatory, helping the immune system regulate pro-inflammatory molecules.
For more information on how this miracle molecule is involved in virtually every disease, check out Dr. John Lieurance’s appropriately named book, Melatonin Miracle Molecule.
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Ozone therapy involves administering ozone gas into the body. Ozone, a highly reactive form of oxygen, has therapeutic benefits by enhancing circulation, boosting immune function, and increasing oxygen delivery to tissues.
There are different methods of ozone therapy, including ozone injections, ozonated water, ozonated oils, and ozone saunas.
It aids detoxification by stimulating the release of toxins from cells and tissues, increasing tissue oxygenation, modulating the immune system, improving cellular metabolism, and enhancing the body’s antioxidant defense system.
Ozone therapy stands out for two main reasons:
- Upregulates tissue oxygenation and circulation
- Stimulates bodily systems responsible for removing dangerous substances
Ozone is a powerful oxidizer that can directly interact with toxins, pathogens, and other harmful substances in the body. Potentially causing their breakdown and/or neutralization.
You can use this post to learn more about this therapy and the best at-home ozone systems for optimal health.
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Chlorella is a type of single-celled green microalgae that thrives in freshwater. It’s becoming a popular supplement because of its myriad health benefits. Leading to the nickname “nature’s multi-vitamin”. Chlorella contains all kinds of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and phytonutrients.
It’s among the best vegan-friendly sources of omega-3 fats.
In the body, chlorella works by providing these essential cellular nutrients.
The fibrous cell wall of chlorella also contains compounds that bind with heavy metals, pesticides, and environmental pollutants. Helping their removal.
Chlorella has an incredibly high chlorophyll content, which gives it amazing additional detoxifying abilities. Chlorophyll supports the liver, exerts antioxidant benefits, promotes bowel movements, and alkalizes the body.
Chlorella also has a dark side. It’s a bioremediant, meaning it soaks up all contaminants out of the environment. That’s great for the health of the environment, but not if you plan on consuming it.
Unfortunately, many manufacturers take shortcuts and sell highly impure microalgae. Avoid those and make sure to get one of these clean chlorella micro-algae supplements. This is another product I use daily.
Calcium D-glucarate for liver support
Calcium D-glucarate is a natural compound derived from glucaric acid, which is found in trace amounts in some fruits and vegetables.
If you recall from earlier, one of the core phase 2 pathways of detox is called glucuronidation. Calcium-D Glucarate supports that primary pathway.
Sometimes these toxic compounds get reactivated by an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase and reabsorbed back into circulation. This is where Calcium D-glucarate comes into play.
By inhibiting beta-glucuronidase, Calcium D-glucarate helps prevent toxin reactivation and promotes the elimination of toxins from the body.
It also helps balance hormones by breaking down and clearing excess estrogen (and estrogen’s metabolites)
Calcium D-glucarate also has antioxidant and liver-supportive properties.
Overall though, this is the absolute best supplement to activate the glucuronidation pathway.
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Chelation therapy is a medical treatment method utilized to remove heavy metals and toxins from the body.
It involves administering chelating agents, which are compounds that bind to heavy metals and other unwanted substances in the bloodstream. Rending them less harmful. The most common chelating agent is ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA).
Chelation therapy is the go-to medical intervention for some conditions like lead poisoning and iron overload.
Although mostly used for heavy metals, some health practitioners also use it for other forms of toxic overload.
Other potential benefits include improving cardiovascular health (reducing arterial plaque buildup), enhancing blood flow (removing calcium deposits from arterial walls and promoting vasodilation), and some chelators that possess antioxidant properties.
Chelation therapy should only be done under professional medical supervision due to potential risks and side effects associated with the treatment.
As you’d expect, minimizing alcohol (ethanol) consumption has all kinds of health benefits. Including, significant cellular detoxification benefits for the body.
Although every alcoholic drink burdens the detoxification organs, even just reducing your intake can make a big difference.
Heavy alcohol consumption damages the liver and impairs its function. It also causes oxidative stress and cellular damage. The less you drink, the more the organs can regenerate.
Alcohol also interferes with nutrient absorption in the gut, particularly key vitamins and minerals. At the same time, it disrupts the delicate balance of the composition of the gut microbiome.
Exacerbating imbalances over time and not only slowing natural detox but impairing digestion and immunity too.
If you’re a regular drinker, you’ve likely developed a physical dependence on alcohol. Seek professional help when stopping because abruptly quitting can be quite dangerous.
Also stopping alcohol consumption alone will not immediately or completely reverse all damage caused by heavy drinking. But it’s a powerful step in the right direction and combines nicely with the other things on this list.
I personally love the way alcohol feels. So I use these alcohol alternatives that still produce a nice buzz without the toxicity.
Drink clean water
99 out of 100 molecules in the body are water. Virtually every biochemical process works better when optimally hydrated.
The kidneys, liver, gut, skin, lymphatic system, and even cells require abundant water (and minerals) to filter waste and toxins out of the bloodstream. You won’t flush metabolic waste, environmental toxins, and other unwanted substances as efficiently without water.
It’s one of the simplest, lowest-hanging fruit. That is if you’re consuming clean water. Unfortunately, unless you’re collecting local spring water, what flows through your pipes contains all kinds of contaminants.
From heavy metals to pathogens, to residues of pharmaceuticals (birth control, and others that may alter neurochemistry and hormone levels) to water sanitization agents, and much more.
Each of these, your body must neutralize.
Water requirements differ tremendously from one person to the next. The first universal step, however, is to get a quality water filter. Something like a Britta won’t cut it. You’ll want a comprehensive (yet affordable) clean water system like the AquaTru. That post explains exactly why.
Most people do great on 1/2 their body weight (pounds) in ounces. So a 200-pound person would shoot for about 100 ounces of water per day.
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Sleep: the most important time
Although boring, sleep is the crucial window when virtually all repair and regeneration occur. Especially during REM and Deep sleep, two key stages of restorative sleep.
Skimp or quality (or quantity) and your biology suffers. No matter how much caffeine, modafinil, water, or other mitigators you attempt.
During sleep, the glymphatic system—a waste-clearance system in the brain—becomes highly active. It rids the brain of toxic byproducts, including beta-amyloid proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases.
Sleep also helps optimize hormonal balance. Including growth hormone and cortisol. Adequate sleep support shifts the body into a state better equipped to process and eliminate toxins.
Quality sleep also helps optimize liver function, regulate the immune system, reduce stress, and improve inflammation.
You can improve your sleep quite easily by focusing on the low-hanging fruit. Or you can implement some advanced biohacks. Learn both in my biohacker’s guide to upgraded sleep.
Rebounding: 5-minute circulation hack
Rebounding, also known as rebound exercise or trampoline exercise, is a form of low-impact aerobic activity performed on a mini-trampoline (also called a “rebounder”).
This childhood pastime has potent benefits for adults too.
First, it stimulates the lymphatic system. The up-and-down bouncing movement during rebounding pumps lymph flow throughout the body, helping remove toxins, metabolic waste, and other unwanted substances.
It delivers oxygenated blood to muscles and organs, improving circulation.
Rebounding promotes healthy digestion by stimulating abdominal muscles while gently massaging internal organs involved in the digestive process. Encouraging healthy elimination elimination.
Plus, bouncing on a trampoline helps release endorphins—natural feel-good hormones—reducing stress levels that can negatively impact detoxification pathways when chronically elevated.
You can reap the benefits in little time. Five minutes of bouncing is a great way to start the day.
Start slow and work your way up.
Any trampoline will do. For those with limited free space, you can get a rebounder like this to make it efficient for smaller homes.
Whole Body Vibration: shake it out
Whole body vibration therapy (WBVT) is a form of exercise and injury rehab that involves standing, sitting, or lying on a special vibrating platform.
Though generally debated whether these work effectively for weight loss, whole-body vibration certainly stimulates the lymphatic system.
It helps you enjoy the lymphatic drainage benefits without expending the energy of bouncing on a trampoline. The vibrations create rhythmic muscle contraction and relaxation, gently encouraging toxin elimination.
Just like with the rebounders, WBV also improves circulation and blood flow. It also has similar stress-reducing benefits.
WBVT, however, has several major advantages. First, it also dramatically amplifies the benefits of bodyweight workouts.
It also improves flexibility and range of motion. WBVT encourages muscle relaxation, stretching, and reflexive muscle contractions due to vibration. Enhancing flexibility, joint mobility, and range of motion. In a way that translates to daily activities.
You also get faster post-workout recovery from WBVT. It facilitates recovery by reducing muscle soreness or stiffness through the vibration’s massaging effects.
The downside? Cost. These are more expensive than rebounders. But they also last, as long as you get a high-quality whole body vibration device. My favorite system is the Powerplate MOVE.
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Sauna: sweat it out
Heat therapy involves exposing the body to high temperatures through traditional saunas, infrared saunas, steam rooms, or other forms of controlled heat exposure.
For many reasons, saunas are the best way to build heat resilience. Steam rooms have tons of issues.
Obviously, spending time in a room heated to 16-210 degrees causes profuse sweating, activating one of the body’s natural detox channels.
Heat opens up pores, increases blood flow to the skin’s surface, and increases sweating. Helping remove impurities from the skin.
This heat causes blood vessels to expand (dilate), increasing blood flow and circulation throughout the body.
Efficient circulation supports nutrient delivery to cells while aiding in the removal of toxins and metabolic byproducts through enhanced detoxification pathways.
Extreme heat also induces a relaxation response. Since electronics don’t really work in the sauna, it’s generally time spent without technology too.
Just like rebounding and vibration therapy, heat exposure stimulates lymphatic circulation.
After nutrition, sleep, movement, and light, temperature regulation is among the most powerful overall health interventions. You can either make your own DIY infrared sauna or buy one of these top pre-made infrared saunas.
Cryotherapy: crush inflammation & build resilience
Cryotherapy, derived from the Greek words “cryo” meaning cold, and “therapy” meaning treatment, is a re-emerging technique that involves briefly exposing the body to extremely cold temperatures.
Along with the sauna, intense cold exposure also builds resiliency.
There are basically three forms of this cold therapy:
- Cold showers
- Ice baths/cold plunges
- Special cryotherapy chambers
The main difference between the three is the conductive medium (water for the first two, air for the second), the treatment time, and the temperature.
Cold plunges are the best and most effective. Water conducts heat (or cold) much more efficiently than air. And it has little risk of frostbite or complications that sometimes occur with cryotherapy chambers. Cold showers just aren’t as effective.
Whichever method you choose, extreme cold triggers a cascade of physiological responses in the body.
It promotes the narrowing of blood vessels (vasoconstriction) and stimulates the lymphatic system. The vasoconstriction nicely complements the vasodilation of the sauna. When paired, this combo acts like a pump to clean the bloodstream.
Scientific research has shown that cold therapy can reduce inflammation, bolster the immune system (natural killer cells and white blood cells), activate longevity-enhancing “cold shock” proteins, optimize metabolism, and even improve sleep quality.
Start simple with cold exposure therapy. Begin with a cold shower, flipping the temp from hot to cold at the very end.
Increase your time with experience. Until you can take a full cold shower. Then try a brief cold plunge at a reasonable temperature. You can either do it at your local wellness center or get an awesome at-home cold plunge. Gradually work up to longer sessions and colder water temperatures.
If you have cardiovascular conditions or cold sensitivity, check with your healthcare practitioner first.
Flushing fat: remove trauma & cleanse emotion
According to Ayurveda and other time-proven medical systems, the fat stores emotion and trauma.
Modern science has long validated that animals (including humans) store toxins in fat tissue because fat effectively “dilutes” the toxins from harming the organs.
Ketosis, a metabolic state where your body burns more body fat for fuel (instead of carbohydrates), has gained recognition as a powerful tool for weight loss and cleansing fat.
By following a short-term ketogenic diet or intermittent fasting, you can induce the breakdown of potentially toxin-laden body fat (lipolysis).
But you’ll want to do more than that.
Ayurveda uses clarified butter (ghee) as a chelator to bind and remove fat-soluble toxicants from organs and tissues.
One study of this ghee detox showed 48% decreased levels of a family of toxins called PCBs, and 58% less of another called hexachlorocyclohexane [R]. As well as significant declines in other chemicals.
You’re breaking down body fat, which liberates the toxins it contains. So you’ll want to work with a professional or at least understand how to properly use binders for the best (and safest) results.
Nasal breathing: shift states
Nasal breathing, simply inhaling and exhaling exclusively through the nose, has major health benefits. Including specific detoxification advantages.
The lungs are one of the lesser-discussed elimination pathways. Contrary to popular belief, air inhaled through the nose has unique properties completely lost when mouth breathing.
First, the nose acts as a natural air filter and humidifier, trapping particles, allergens, and pollutants that we encounter throughout the day. Minimizing the toxin load on our body.
Nasal breathing stimulates the production of a powerful molecule called nitric oxide (NO). It helps with vasodilation and immunity. NO also acts as a natural antibacterial and antiviral agent, improving our resilience against toxins and pathogens.
Breathing through the nose naturally increases diaphragmatic breathing (as opposed to shallow chest breathing). Diaphragmatic breathing moves lymphatic fluid throughout the body [R].
This simple activity also helps regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the blood and body. CO2 balance regulates pH and cellular function into optimal states for key cellular processes.
Perhaps most important, however, is that nose breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, (called the “rest and digest” state). Promoting relaxation, reducing stress levels, supporting optimal digestion, and more.
Deep detoxification only occurs in a parasympathetic state.
Activated charcoal: bind everything
Activated charcoal is a highly porous form of carbon. It’s very similar to the charcoal formed as you burn a log for a fire.
It has been utilized for centuries as a powerful natural detoxifier. Activated charcoal’s large surface area allows it to effectively adsorb (not absorb) toxins and chemicals. This compound attracts and binds to toxins, preventing their absorption by the body and facilitating their elimination through stool.
Activated charcoal traps a wide range of toxins, including chemicals, heavy metals, certain drugs, and even supplements within its pores.
So time your consumption of it away from any drugs or supplements. Otherwise, you may impair their function. When patients enter the ER after acute exposure to a toxin (or drink too much alcohol) activated charcoal is a standard treatment used to block the absorption and circulation of the toxicant throughout the body.
Activated charcoal also doubles as a potent travel companion. It minimizes gas, bloating, and discomfort. When I have food poisoning or digestive issues, I use it to alleviate symptoms and quickly feel better.
Movement: the basis of detox
Depending on who you ask, exercise is one of the most important pillars of overall holistic health and wellness. The famous Dr. Peter Attia rates it as his number one focus.
But it’s not just your exercise routine. Daily movements, stretches, posture, and other related areas also matter tremendously. In fact, you can maintain good health doing little more than walking—as long as you sweat and do it often.
Regular movement not only supports overall health but activates essential pathways for the body’s natural detoxification processes.
Movement activates the lymphatic system and stimulates blood flow and circulation throughout the body. Improving the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to tissues while removing waste products and toxins.
Rigorous activity, especially “super walking” induces sweating. Which removes various waste products, including heavy metals and certain chemicals, through the skin.
Movement also promotes other key pathways, such as the the elimination of waste gases through increased respiration, better digestion and bowel regularity, greater release of feel-good endorphins, and less body fat storage.
Less body fat equates to a reduced ability to store damaging substances in bodily tissues.
The key is to find activities that you enjoy and will sustain over the long term.
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NACET: upgraded NAC
N-acetylcysteine ethyl ester (NACET) is a modified form of N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a popular antioxidant and precursor to glutathione. NACET appears to be a superior version of NAC virtually across the board.
As with NAC, NACET provides the necessary precursor to improve glutathione synthesis and activate that pathway of phase 2 detox.
NACET has improved cellular absorption compared to NAC (due to the added ethyl ester group). Improving cellular uptake and usage of NACET.
Some experts estimate it has up to 10X better absorption than NAC.
Unlike NAC, however, NACET can cross the blood-brain barrier and exert its beneficial effects on the brain too.
It also scavenges free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS), reducing oxidative stress and minimizing cellular damage.
The research on NACET is admittedly limited, but early studies show it has promising results. Few products include it. The one I use is an all-in-one liver support supplement called Liver Complex.
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DHM: liver’s bodyguard
Dihydromyricetin (DHM) is a natural flavonoid substance found within the Japanese raisin tree (Hovenia dulcis). It’s become a popular active ingredient within anti-hangover supplement stacks.
I use it whenever I plan on drinking.
However, its beneficial effects extend well beyond protecting against alcohol-induced damage.
Dihydromyricetin has strong antioxidant properties, neutralizing harmful free radicals and reducing oxidative stress. It’s hepatoprotective, protecting the liver in multiple ways. Including general liver function, toxin elimination, and reducing liver inflammation.
DHM also has GABAergic activity, interacting with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain. Calming neural activity, and helping protect neurons from damage.
This mechanism also explains why it’s sometimes used as an adjunct to help manage the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
Unfortunately, however, most of the DHM research has investigated its role in alcohol metabolism. Nonetheless, it has powerful liver protective effects.
For that reason, along with NACET and many other supportive ingredients, that same Liver Complex supplement also includes DHM.
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C60: cellular protection
Carbon 60, also called C60, fullerene, or buckminsterfullerene, is a unique molecule composed of 60 carbon atoms arranged like a soccer ball. First discovered in 1985, this Nobel-Prize-winning molecule has tremendous potential health and longevity benefits.
The chief benefit that made this popular among scientists, was a study that showed C60 by itself increases the lifespan of rodents by an astounding 90%.
First and foremost, it’s known as a “super antioxidant”. Far more powerful than many of the other commercial molecules.
C60 is also a powerful mitochondrial protector and efficiency enhancer. These are the organelles that generate cellular energy—powering key processes like detoxification. Through its antioxidant and mitochondrial benefits, C60 helps cells work more effectively.
Several studies suggest that C60 has significant anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation hinders cellular detoxification.
Finally, C60’s unique molecular structure allows it to bind to certain toxins and heavy metals. Preventing them from interacting with cellular components and aiding their removal from the body.
Be careful with C60. While high-quality C60 supplements show incredible promise, most C60 on the market are made from industrial waste products. With high concentrations of dangerous contaminants that undo much of your hard work here.
C60 has lots of other uses and benefits too. I use it several times per week.
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While health and wellness, you’ll inevitably get pitched to buy “NRF2 Activating” supplements.
NRF2 (nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2) is a regulator of cellular defense mechanisms and detoxification processes.
When activated, NRF2 helps regulate the expression of various genes involved in antioxidant production, detoxification enzymes, and anti-inflammatory responses.
NRF2 helps your body naturally produce more antioxidant/detox enzymes. Like glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase, glutathione S-transferases and NAD(P)H quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1). Helping eliminate harmful free radicals, reduce oxidative stress, and metabolize and eliminate toxins.
Activating NRF2 shifts the inflammatory balance. It does so by suppressing the production of pro-inflammatory molecules and increasing anti-inflammatory mediators. Helping the immune system work better.
Finally, NRF2 helps improve mitochondrial function.
Various natural compounds and lifestyle habits activate NRF2. Such as phytochemicals found within certain fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Regular exercise, adequate sleep, and reduced exposure to environmental toxins all help.
Cat’s claw: Amazonian medicine
Cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa) is a woody vine native to the Amazon rainforest. Traditional medicine has used it for centuries because of its potential health benefits.
It contains active compounds, such as alkaloids and polyphenols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
These active ingredients support the immune system and reduce oxidative stress.
Cat’s claw also supports optimal liver function, immunity, anti-inflammation, and digestion. It also contains some antioxidants. Improving many of the common factors that slow natural detox.
This wouldn’t be the first thing I’d add to a cellular detox protocol, but worth considering.
Outliyr Detox Protocol
I’m sure all that was overwhelming. Now, let’s get practical. How can you implement a true cellular cleanse?
First, you should know this…
What you don’t do matters equally to what you do. As I explain in the principles of bioharmony, so does the sequencing of your detox (or “the when”).
Cavalierly popping a couple of detox supplements and going about your day will result in mediocre results.
If your detox pathways aren’t working properly, you may feel sick as you start. That’s why you’ll want to go through this three-step process.
By doing so, we can minimize the common symptoms of a “healing crisis” (feeling cold, random pains, problems sleeping, rashes and skin outbreaks, headaches, and migraines).
Essentially, our detox plan involves:
- Avoiding reintroducing the primary sources of toxicants
- Sweating and breathing 4-5x per week
- Mastering the basics (sleep, stress reduction, nutrition)
- Consuming more organic/wild plants for the higher levels of phytonutrients
- Moving often
- Using binders whenever breaking down body fat (for example, in the sauna)
- Adding targeted supplements for antioxidant and detox pathway support
The entire process can take as little as a week, or as long as three months. Depending on your toxic burden and patience. The shorter and more aggressive your detox, the riskier.
The first step in the process is to transition into a cellular cleanup mode.
Make sure to get adequate sleep and focus on managing stress. You’ll also want to consume ample vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and the nutrients required for your detox pathways to activate.
Add some low-intensity movement like walking, rucking, stretching, light yoga, rebounding, etc. These stimulate peristalsis, lymphatic and glympatic drainage, and further enhance key detox processes.
All the while, the prep phase is gentle and gradual enough to avoid triggering a healing crisis.
Next, you’re ready to begin detoxifying the body.
You’ll want to introduce practices and products that improve each of the core detoxification organs. Focusing on the body before the brain.
Remember that when you do something that increases the breakdown of body fat (strenuous exercise, sauna, etc.), you want to pair that with plenty of water, electrolytes, and a binder.
That way, when the body fat releases toxins, the binders attach and help transport them to excretion sites.
Otherwise, the toxins will just lodge elsewhere in the body.
If you’re new to detoxification, you may want to end your protocol here. At least, initially.
The brain is a highly sensitive organ with intricate structures and functions.
Forcibly detoxifying the brain without proper knowledge, guidance, or medical supervision can be dangerous. More than any other organ.
The uncontrolled release of stored toxins can overwhelm the detoxification systems and result in a shuffling of toxic substances, potentially lodging in dangerous parts of the brain.
You shouldn’t have issues from simple lifestyle things like sleeping enough or managing stress.
However, certain things like intense exercise, prolonged sauna therapy, major shifts in nutrient intake, and certain nutraceuticals can all dramatically increase brain detox.
If you have a heavy burden of toxicants/heavy metals within your brain, you’ll want to very carefully use binders to prevent complications.
I also suggest working with a professional who can teach you to do it safely.
Optimized Detox Sample Day
If that’s too complicated, you can use this simple outline of one day within a potential detox plan.
Each of these works individually, but the synergy has even better benefits:
- Take 1 TSP C60 daily and shilajit/multi-mineral supplement upon waking
- Take organ detox support or Calcium D -glucarate
- Rebound or vibrate for 5 minutes
- Use spices and herbs in your food for polyphenols
- Take 20 chlorella tablets, ideally 60 minutes before exercise/sauna
- Complete a 20-minute workout (KAATSU, Katalyst, or SST are all great)
- Drink ~80-100 oz water, with electrolytes (or clean unrefined salt) throughout the day
- Spend 18-30 minutes in the sauna
- Take liposomal melatonin 1 hour before for additional antioxidant support
Together, these have powerful whole-body benefits. You can modify the strength of the detox by increasing or decreasing the intensity of your workout and sauna session.
The Ultimate Guide to Powerful & Natural Cellular Detox
Whether we acknowledge it or not, our exposure to new man-made chemicals will only continue with time.
Here’s the issue…
Each new chemical can potentially spontaneously combine with tens of hundreds of thousands of others already in the environment.
Resulting in novel chemicals that I’ve never seen, let alone safety tested.
With every passing day, helping our bodies eliminate this chemical onslaught becomes more necessary.
Instead of an extended high-sugar juice fast, which may leave you worse than you started, consider the scientific approach.
Effective detox always occurs on the cellular level.
That’s why you’ll often hear health practitioners say something like…Optimize the cell to get well Click To Tweet
Each method listed here works well all by itself. Combining different nutrients, modalities, therapies, and supplements results in a potent synergistic effect that yields the greatest possible benefits.
We start by going through a three-step process.
First, we prepare by providing our body with all the necessary nutrients for each phase of detoxification. We nourish our organs and optimize our key elimination channels.
We gently increase the intensity of the detox in the next phase. Where we become adept at combining binders with therapies that displace toxicants so that we most efficiently (and safely) eliminate them.
Once we understand the process and have experience, we’re able to add in a third phase. Brain detox. Since this is an intricate organ, I only recommend it for the experienced, and under the care of a health professional.
Although just one cycle of this three-phase process often produces unbelievable results, I’m a fan of adding regular detox practices into daily living.
With that approach, full detox protocols become less necessary.
What about you? Do you use any form of effective detox? Drop a comment below with your experience, questions, or comments.
I personally read and respond to everyone.