We hear a lot about the concept of toxicity and detoxification, but what does this really mean? Living in today’s world we are exposed to a variety of toxins from different sources that can have a negative impact on our health. This exposure to toxins is through our air, water, food and basic household items. Approximately 1.2 billion pounds of pesticides and herbicides are used per year in the U.S. in our food source. This amounts to about 10 pounds per year for each man, woman and child. Air pollution comes primarily from automobile exhaust and industry waste. Waste products from industry also gets dumped into our water supply and we are also potentially exposed to many deleterious chemicals like heavy metals, plastics and solvents from things like new carpet, paint and household cleansers.


Chronic exposure to toxins causes a multitude of negative effects: cause cell damage, depletes vital nutrients, disrupts hormone regulations, disrupt normal physiological function, lead to quicker cell “turn over” cause early cell death and create free radicals increasing your risk for disease.

Cell damage or mutations of cells may increase your risk of cancer. We may not know the totality of these toxic exposure effects. We do know that the production of free radicals causes our skin to age faster than it should. Loosing your skin’s luster and vitality may be more closely linked to what you eat and your environmental toxic exposures. Understanding how to limit and rid your body of toxins starts with understanding how your body naturally tries to eliminate toxins from your body.


It is important to limit exposure as much as possible. Avoidance of chemical additives, preservatives, pesticides and colorings in our food is helpful. Also avoiding exposure to chemicals in makeup, skin care products, detergents, household cleansers, carpets and paints is vitally important. Environmentally friendly products are available for use and organic food that is free of pesticides and herbicides is becoming more popular and readily available.

Limiting exposure is important, however, eliminating toxins that are already in the body is equally vital. There are four main routes of elimination of toxins from the body. These include the liver and gastrointestinal tract, lungs, skin and kidneys.


The liver and gastrointestinal tract

The liver is the main organ of detoxification in the body. It utilizes very specific detox pathways that require various co-factors (vitamins and minerals) for proper functioning. The liver is also responsible for hormone metabolism, so if the liver is overloaded with toxins, then hormone related conditions, such as PMS and menopause can be worsened as a result. Liver support and providing the necessary co-factors for detoxification and healthy hormone metabolism are vital for good health and balanced hormones. After toxins are processed by the liver they are eliminated in the stool, so regular bowel movements are vitally important and a detox protocol should be discontinued if constipation occurs.

The skin

Toxins are released through the skin and this process is amplified when the body sweats with activities such as exercise, saunas and also with dry skin brushing. This is why regular exercise is so important, especially while doing a detox program.

The lungs

Toxins are also released through the lungs. Exercise and maximizing lung function with increased activity and long, deep breathing with yoga or tai chi are vitally important to enhance detoxification.

The kidneys

It is important to drink plenty of water so that the kidneys are efficient in flushing toxins and metabolized medications from the body as well.


There are an unlimited variety of detox protocols, supplements and foods that are effective in assisting the body with detoxification. These detox plans need to be individually formulated according to a person’s health, sensitivities and level of toxicity. It is important to be supervised by a physician for optimal results as well as safety.

Look at anyone you know that looks younger than their biological age. What do they have in common? You will find that they eat organic, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, avoid process foods, alcohol, and caffeine and drink plenty of water. You just much be what you eat. Or at least you are affected by what you eat. Taking care of yourself can lead to a healthy you and a glowing complexion.

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