Despite what the detox tea companies of the world would want you to believe, liver detoxification is actually a highly complex process made up of a few phases, with each phase relying on different nutrients.
Phase 0 - toxins enter the liver or are released from storage in our fat cells.
Phase 1 - transforms toxins into more active metabolites which then enter into phase 2. Phase 1 requires nutrients including B vitamins and vitamin C (which get depleted with stress but let's save that story for another day), vitamin E, glutathione, antioxidants and zinc.
Phase 2 - takes these metabolites and makes them water soluble ready for excretion. Phase 2 requires more B and C vitamins, magnesium, selenium, sulphur and amino acids including cysteine, taurine, glycine and glutamine from protein.
Phase 3 - toxins leave the cell and can be excreted via our urine, stools, or sweat.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
We need to be providing our body with the nutrients it needs for all phases. Low intake or absorption of these nutrients decrease the body’s ability to neutralise and excrete toxins. And phases 1 and 2 need to be in balance. If phase 1 is too fast and phase 2 can't keep up, the activated metabolites from phase 1 can wreak havoc in the body.
This is just one of the many reasons why detox diets wind me up... if you're not getting your protein from your diet to support optimal detoxification, you're actually breaking your body down to get those amino acids your liver needs. Pretty scary!!
If you want to know more about what to eat to nourish your liver, see my post below.
Are you giving your liver the love it needs? Give me a shout if you need any support 💞⠀