This final segment on detoxification strategies deals with various other methods that have been traditionally successful and that are well worth consideration.
Colonics and Large Bowel Detoxification
Most experts in alternative health care promote the benefits of colonic irrigation. Colon hydrotherapy involves a process whereby a tube is inserted into the anus and then flushed with 1-5 gallons of water. What a feeling! If a colon is in a bad state of health, this process can be effective at getting the compacted material out of the large intestine rapidly.
One disadvantage of colonics is that it costs between $25 and $100 per treatment and will take approximately 90 minutes of your time at each visit. It is also possible for the process to unnaturally extend the bowel and colon, potentially causing rips or stretching the lining of the colon. Further, although rare, there have been documented case histories of perforation of the bowel, dependency, infections, and deaths due to amebic dysentery due to improperly cleaned instruments.
Other potential colonic hydrotherapy problems are electrolyte imbalances plus fluid absorption and overload leading to heart failure. The major problem with this detoxification method is that colonics get none of the dangerous toxins and hardened material and mucous attached to the walls of the small intestine. Much of this material will remain and health problems persist. One needs to use an oxygen-based cleanser to fully get rid of this material and cleanse the whole intestinal tract.
One product that takes colonic cleansing to a higher level of clean is called Bioxy Cleanse (made by Bioquest). This is a specially formulated compound composed of magnesium peroxide, which liberates ozone and oxygen into the intestines when used together with vitamin C and bioflavonoids. The liberated oxygen kills off most gut pathogens. Together with vitamin C the impacted material lining the GI tract is cleared.
Aerobic Exercise Detoxification
Aerobic exercise like brisk walking or light jogging makes your heart beat faster, pumping oxygenated blood around your system and through your liver and kidneys. All body cells are thus cleansed of waste materials and supplied with nutrients more efficiently.
Exercise also burns fat, releasing stored toxins into the bloodstream where they can be excreted through the liver, kidneys, or lungs, or through the skin by sweating. The body thus rids itself of heavy metals, pesticides, and pollutants.
Exercise can stimulate more frequent bowel movements through the action of external abdominal muscles on the bowels. Combining aerobic exercise with far infrared sauna sweating is probably the best combination to rid fat cells as well as organ cells of stored toxins (see Part 2).
Intravenous vitamin C detoxes mercury, lead, and aluminum without serious side effects. Oral vitamin C works less effectively because the high, effective detox doses will usually produce too much diarrhea.
The tripeptide glutathione, when given intravenously, is important in detoxification and has many clinical benefits, especially in conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and Parkinson’s disease. Glutathione is found in every cell of the body, scavenges free radicals, detoxifies heavy metals, helps ferry amino acids into the cells, helps in bile production, and prevents aging.
Dr. David Perlmutter, a Florida neurologist, found that high-dose intravenous glutathione helps relieve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Glutathione increases sensitivity to the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is depleted in Parkinson’s. It may also protect against neurotoxins that may be implicated in the disease. Dosages used are 1400 mg of intravenous glutathione three times a week.
EDTA chelation therapy has been standard treatment for heavy metal poisoning for more than 50 years. It works by giving a synthetic amino acid called EDTA (ethylenediaminetetracetic acid) either intravenously or orally. EDTA then clings to heavy metal molecules, such as lead, aluminum, uranium, and arsenic, escorting them out in the urine. Chelation, however, does not clear most other toxins and can also bind on to essential minerals like calcium. There are potential problems with kidney toxicity which must be monitored regularly.
Probiotics and Prebiotics
Probiotics is the term given to the normal bowel flora. These defend our bodies from pathogenic bacteria and perform many vital functions, such as detoxification of toxic chemicals and making valuable vitamins (mainly the B vitamins). Probiotics also
secrete mediators in which the pathogenic forms cannot grow.
The practice of prescribing an antibiotic for every sniffle or earache is one that can lead to long-term immune system problems mainly because these drugs kill off our normal flora. Some of the signs that one is suffering from a probiotic deficiency include
chronic diarrhea, chronic constipation, maldigestion, malassimilation, and inflammatory bowel disease like colitis or Crohn’s disease. Other drugs that can be harmful to our friendly flora include steroids, chemotherapeutic drugs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, and immunosuppressive drugs.
Probiotics go by names such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and bifido bacteria. One species called Lactobacillus sporogenes may well be the best one because it survives stomach acidity in its spore form, has a very long shelf life, and requires no refrigeration.
Prebiotics are nutrients that increase the activity of probiotics. Inulin is the best example of a prebiotic soluble fibre that stimulates the production of short chain fatty acids (SCFA) such as butyric and propionic acid. These in turn help control blood sugar metabolism, lower plasma cholesterol levels, reduce luminal pH, stimulate the immune system, and promote the growth of beneficial gastrointestinal flora.
There are many ways to detoxify. Based on my research, the following are my top 10. Discuss which works best for your biochemical individuality with your natural health care provider.
1. Far infrared sauna
2. Water therapy (hydrotherapy)/alkaline water
3. Phase 1 and phase 2 liver detox-support diet and supplements
4. Detox foods: chlorella, green foods, cilantro, garlic
5. Liver cleanses, kidney cleanses, parasite cleanses
6. Large bowel detox supplements (peroxide, ozone)
7. Aerobic exercise
8. Intravenous vitamin C and glutathione
9. Probiotics and prebiotics
10. Chelation therapy
Dr. Zoltan Rona
Alive Research Group; Gursche, Siegfried, Publisher; Rona, Zoltan P., Medical Editor. Encyclopedia of Natural Healing. Vancouver:Alive Books, 1998.
Rogers, Sherry, Detoxify or Die. Sand Key Company, Inc. 2003 P.O. Box 40101, Sarasota, Florida 34242 USA
Gaby, Alan. Intravenous Nutrient Therapy: the "Myers’ Cocktail", Alternative Medicine Review, Volume 7, Number 5 2002, Page 403