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Case Study on Detox

Jane had complained of being tired for over a year now.  She couldn’t lose weight with the same relative ease as in the past, and although it was only 7 pounds Jane felt uncomfortable, and her clothes felt tight.  And then there was the bloating, which Jane experienced almost every day for no known reason.  Finally, Jane’s skin was definitely looking less healthy than it had been, and she’d even had a few spots recently. Not since her teens!  Some might have put these relatively minor symptoms down to her age, but Jane felt that being in her early 40′s did not have to condemn her to these unpleasant symptoms, surely.

Jane’s diet
Jane believed her “average” diet was quite healthy.  Here’s how a typical day went: Weetabix in the morning with semi-skimmed milk and half a piece of toast with margarine and jam or marmalade. No snack in the morning but 2 or 3 coffees at her desk.  Lunch mostly consisted of a pasta salad with a yogurt afterwards or sometimes a small Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. In the afternoon, Jane grabbed a digestive biscuit with a cup of tea.  Supper was pasta with tomato sauce.

Jane needs “detox” help
Jane’s symptoms could be due to a number of different underlying causes. The spots could be related to female hormones, her fatigue could be due to adrenal fatigue (again, hormonal), her bloating due to food intolerance, and her weight could be a mixture of these and a sluggish thyroid hormone.  However, taken together, these symptoms could also be caused by Jane’s inability to carry out its detoxification processes properly.

Here are the three main reasons why her detox system was suspected as being compromised. Firstly, Jane’s predominantly carbohydrate diet would result in increased insulin levels, which directly reduces the liver’s production of vital detox enzymes (i.e. glutathione).  Secondly, Jane’s diet is lacking in vital micronutrients which are necessary for liver detox Phase One enzyme pathways (cytochrome P450).  Additionally, a variety of nutrients are required for our natural detoxification,  and Jane’s diet has little variety which would result in reduced nutrient intake and so a reduced ability to detox.  Thirdly, Jane’s diet is too low in high quality proteins which are necessary for Phase Two detox enzymes (conjugation pathways).  These key aspects of Jane’s diet could lead to fatigue, sluggish metabolism, spots, and bloating.  The bloating could also be due to the lack of energy that Jane was experiencing, since the digestive system requires much energy to function optimally.

Jane does as she is told
Jane followed the dietary recommendations pretty much to the letter. The good news is that she felt better in all regards within three weeks and said “I just can’t believe that my energy, skin and weight and bloating all improved so quickly on making such simple changes to my diet!”

Jane ate a boiled or poached egg or two at breakfast time with wholemeal toast. She drank water and herbal teas in the day, and reduced her tea and coffee to one or none.  Jane’s lunch consisted of chicken or fish with some carbs like pasta or rice and some fresh salad.  She increased her variety of food overall and consumed less wheat.  She ate fresh veg with a protein food such as lamb, chicken or fish at dinner, with a small helping of rice or pulses.   Jane cut out all refined sugar but overall she didn’t change the amount of food she ate.  On the face of it, she was eating an “average” diet, of a different kind to before. In just 21 days Jane’s year-long complaints were resolved, and she was much happier as a result.

What happened inside Jane’s body?
The change in diet had supplied Jane with a better balanced macro-nutrient intake and reduced her insulin as a result.  This has many benefits on health and on detoxification enzymes and on weight and energy and spots.  She had eaten more variety and fresh veg providing more fibre and micronutrients which are required for her liver detox enzymes.  The increased protein supplied her Phase Two enzymes with the key amino acids they need to function.  This means her body had the nutrients that could bind to everyday metabolic “toxins” and carry them out of the body more efficiently than before.  She would also have had more stable blood sugar balance and adrenal hormones as a result, as well as being better hydrated.

Summary comment about Detox
What follows is designed to dispel a myth or two about detox.  In hindsight, it is possible to say that Jane’s symptoms were not because of some mysterious toxin she had been exposed to, or as an inevitable result of aging.  Rather, the symptoms reflected her body’s inability to deal with the everyday biochemical “potential toxins” due to poor diet.  These natural chemical substances made inside the body everyday need to be bound to a nutrient complex in the liver in order to be eliminated.  The changes in Jane’s diet provided her liver with the key vitamins and minerals and amino acids that her liver needs every day to carry out her detoxification properly.  It is also likely that improved hormonal balance of insulin and cortisol (adrenal hormone) contributed to her improvements.

Jane is not tempted to go back to her old ways!

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