Detoxification and Elimination
Exposure to foreign chemicals, or xenobiotics, in the environment is virtually universal. The body even produces its own toxins as a normal part of its everyday metabolism, and others are produced as waste products by the bacteria that inhabit the GI tract. In a healthy gut, these waste products are detoxified by the liver and eliminated via the bowel, supporting the health of tissues and organs throughout the body. A healthy intestinal mucosa also supports detoxification by screening what substances pass into the bloodstream and thus limiting the liver’s total xenobiotic processing.
Nutritional factors can also play an essential role in supporting healthy detoxification and elimination. Phase I and Phase II detoxification pathways in the liver require many cofactors and conjugating agents supplied by the diet. Other nutrients such as lipotropic factors are able to mobilize fat from the liver, facilitating the hepatic metabolism of hormones and other compounds.