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I would like to know whether there are substances that are safe for humans to consume, are not absorbed and do not interact with any digestive process.
So, food is disqualified because although it may be safe, it is processed by the digestive system and is metabolized. I'm looking for things that go entirely unprocessed (other than passage).
One such material, or a discrete class of materials is sufficient.
Simethicone is one example. It is a mixture of silica gel and dimethicone (polydimethyl siloxane); they are individually inert too.
Simethicone/dimethicone is used as antigas (they help the gas bubbles coalesce). It does have a laxative effect, though.
How about gold. You can find it on foods, but it is inert and also not absorbed.
Your Questions Answered
Polyols are sugar-free sweeteners. Polyols are carbohydrates but they are not sugars. They are used cup-for-cup (volume-for-volume) in the same amount as sugar is used, unlike acesulfame potassium, aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose which are used in very small amounts.
What other names are used for polyols?
Since “polyols” is not a consumer friendly term, many nutritionists and health educators refer to polyols as “sugar replacers” when communicating with consumers. Scientists call them sugar alcohols because part of their structure chemically resembles sugar and part is similar to alcohols. However, these sugar-free sweeteners are neither sugars nor alcohols, as these words are commonly used. Other terms used primarily by scientists are polyhydric alcohols and polyalcohols.
What sugar replacers (polyols) are now used in the U.S.?
What kinds of products use sugar replacers (polyols) as sweetening ingredients?
In the U.S., they are now used in a wide range of products, including chewing gums, candies, ice cream, baked goods and fruit spreads. They are also used in toothpastes, mouthwashes, breath mints and pharmaceuticals such as cough syrups or drops and throat lozenges.
What other foods sweetened with sugar replacers (polyols) are expected in the future?
Sugar replacers (polyols) function well in fillings and frostings, canned fruits, beverages, yogurt and tabletop sweeteners. Also, some functional foods or nutraceuticals are sweetened with them.
What are their health benefits?
Sugar replacers (polyols) provide fewer calories per gram than does sugar, they do not promote tooth decay and they do not cause sudden increases in blood glucose levels. Because they taste good, people can improve the healthfulness of their diets without having to sacrifice the pleasure of eating sweet foods they enjoy.
Do they cause gastrointestinal problems?
For the vast majority of consumers, these sweeteners do not cause a problem. In some people, excessive consumption may cause gastrointestinal effects, such as gas or laxative effects, similar to reactions to beans and certain high-fiber foods. Such effects depend on an individual’s sensitivity and the other foods eaten at the same time.
What should a person do if he or she is sensitive?
Gastrointestinal effects, if they occur at all, are usually mild and temporary. If a person believes she/he is sensitive, the amount eaten on a single occasion should be reduced. Most people will adapt after a few days, the same way they do to high fiber foods. Many people with diabetes, for example, have learned from their health professional to eat only a small amount of sugar-free products containing polyols at first and then to gradually increase these foods in the diet.
Are they safe?
Sugar replacers (polyols) have been used in foods around the world for many years. An Expert Committee of the World Health Organization has carefully reviewed them and concluded that they are safe for human consumption! In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies some as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) and others are approved food additives.
How do their calories compare with sugar?
Sugar provides approximately 4.0 calories per gram. The FDA allows the use of the following caloric values:
|3.0 calories per gram||hydrogenated starch hydrolysates|
|2.6 calories per gram||sorbitol|
|2.4 calories per gram||xylitol|
|2.1 calories per gram||maltitol|
|2.0 calories per gram||isomalt|
|2.0 calories per gram||lactitol|
|1.6 calories per gram||mannitol|
|0 calories per gram||erythritol|
How do they function differently as ingredients in foods?
Sugar replacers (polyols) usually do not absorb water the way sugar does therefore, foods made with them do not become sticky on the surface as quickly as do products made with sugar. Molds and bacteria do not grow as well on these sweeteners, as they do on sugar, and so products last longer. When used in medicines, they generally do not react with pharmacologic ingredients as much as sometimes happens with sugar.
Can they be used in foods that are heated or cooked?
Sugar replacers (polyols) generally do not lose their sweetness when they are heated and can be used to flavor hot beverages and in foods that are heated when processed or cooked. However, unlike sugar, they do not usually give a crisp brown surface to foods which are baked. 2 The non-browning property is an advantage for products for which a change in color is not desired.
Should I be concerned about ingestion of xylitol by my dog?
Xylitol is a sweetener used to replace sugar in products such as sugar-free gums and candies. The use of xylitol can be beneficial as it does not promote tooth decay and has a very low effect on insulin secretion, which is especially important to diabetics. Numerous studies document the safety of xylitol for humans. This research has been carefully reviewed and xylitol is deemed as safe for human consumption by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and many other global regulatory organizations. Xylitol is approved for use in numerous countries around the world. Some foods that may be safe for humans to eat are not digested by dogs in the same way.
Although the safety of xylitol for humans is well established, it should not be consumed by dogs. Xylitol can stimulate insulin release in dogs, putting them at risk for hypoglycemia. Some veterinarians have reported concern of liver damage associated with high consumption of xylitol. These reports need further study to confirm a link between xylitol and canine liver damage.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), in their brochure “Household Hazards,” states, “Every home contains a variety of everyday items and substances that can be dangerous or even fatal if ingested by dogs and cats. You can protect your pet’s health by becoming aware of the most common health hazards found in many pet-owning households.” The list provided by the AVMA includes food items, cleaning products, toiletries, and houseplants. AVMA’s list of common food items that are safe for humans but not safe for pets, includes coffee grounds, chocolate, macadamia nuts, onions, fatty foods, and chewing gum, candy and breath fresheners made with xylitol. AVMA recommends that pet owners keep these and other items away from pets. Please refer to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s “Household Hazards” brochure for more information on safeguarding your pet’s environment. Read the AVMA’s Household Hazards (PDF) brochure.
The Veterinary Center for America (VCA) also provides information about xylitol toxicity in dogs on their website. VCA recommends that dog owners be aware of any products that they use that contain xylitol and ensure that these are kept out of reach of dogs. The website also offers contact information for the Pet Poison Helpline, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The bottom line is that xylitol and products containing xylitol are safe for humans, but should not be consumed by dogs.
How are polyols absorbed in the body?
Sugar replacers (polyols) are slowly and incompletely absorbed from the small intestine into the blood. The portion that is absorbed is metabolized by processes that require little or no insulin. Some of the portion that is not absorbed into the blood is broken down into smaller segments in the large intestine. 3
Why do they not cause tooth decay?
Sugar replacers (polyols) are not readily converted to acids by bacteria in the mouth and, therefore, do not promote tooth decay. The FDA has authorized the use of the “does not promote tooth decay” health claim for food products containing erythritol, hydrogenated starch hydrolysates, isomalt, lactitol, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, or a combination of these. The American Dental Association has adopted a position statement recognizing the role of sugar-free foods and medications in maintaining good oral health.
Are they useful for people with diabetes?
Because these sweeteners have lower caloric values, they may help people with diabetes achieve their weight goals. Non-cariogenic throat lozenges may also be useful if a person’s medications cause dryness of the mouth.
Sugar replacers (polyols) also cause smaller increases in blood glucose and insulin levels than do sugars and other carbohydrates. Therefore, snacks sweetened with them may be useful. People with diabetes should consult their physician or other health professional about the usefulness of sugar replacers (polyols) in their daily meal plan.
How should they be calculated in exchange lists for meal planning?
Experts in diabetes management advise that if less than 10 grams of sugar replacers (polyols) is consumed, that serving is considered a “free food.” Above 10 grams, subtract half of the grams of sugar replacers (polyols) from the grams of total carbohydrate and then calculate the exchanges.
Where is information about sugar replacers (polyols) found on the food label?
The name of the polyol appears in the ingredient list. The words “sugar alcohol” or the specific name of the polyol may also appear in the Nutrition Facts label.
When are they included in the Nutrition Facts label?
The grams in a serving may be shown voluntarily. If a claim such as “sugar free” is made on the label, the polyol content must be shown in the Nutrition Facts label. FDA regulations specify that the name of the specific polyol may appear in the Nutrition Facts Label if only one polyol is in the food. If more than one is in the food, the term “sugar alcohols” must be used. FDA is considering whether the term “polyol” would be less confusing to consumers than “sugar alcohol.”
Why are they used in combination with other sweeteners?
Sweetness varies among the sugar replacers (polyols) and depends in part on the products in which they are used. They vary in sweetness from about half as sweet as the same amount of sugar to equally as sweet as sugar. Sometimes combining sugar replacers (polyols) gives a more pleasant taste.
Sugar replacers (polyols) are frequently combined with other alternative sweeteners, such as acesulfame potassium, aspartame, saccharin and sucralose, in sugar-free chewing gums, candies, frozen desserts and baked goods. The sugar replacer (polyol) gives these foods mild sweetness as well as the bulk and texture of sugar the other alternative sweeteners bring the sweetness up to the level consumers expect.
What Is Erythritol?
Though it sounds new, erythritol (ear-RITH-ri-tall) has been around as long as grapes, peaches, pears, watermelon, and mushrooms. It's a type of carbohydrate called a sugar alcohol that people use as a sugar substitute.
Erythritol is found naturally in some foods. It's also made when things like wine, beer, and cheese ferment.
Besides its natural form, erythritol has also been a man-made sweetener since 1990. You can find it with other sugar substitutes in stores and online.
It's also sold in bulk to companies that use it to sweeten or thicken products like reduced-calorie and sugar-free foods and drinks. You'll often find it mixed with popular sugar substitutes like aspartame, stevia, and Truvia to make them sweeter.
Calories. Sugar has 4 calories per gram, but erythritol has zero. That's because your small intestine absorbs it quickly and gets it out of your body through urine within 24 hours. This means erythritol doesn't have a chance to "metabolize" -- turn into energy in your body.
Safety. Though erythritol is one of the newer sugar alcohols on the market -- xylitol and mannitol have been around longer -- researchers have done a number of studies of it in animals and humans. The World Health Organization (WHO) approved erythritol in 1999, and the FDA did the same in 2001.
It's also OK for people with diabetes. Erythritol has no effect on glucose or insulin levels. This makes it a safe sugar substitute if you have diabetes. Foods that contain erythritol may still contain carbohydrates, calories, and fat, so it's important to check the label.
Taste. Erythritol tastes sweet. It's similar to table sugar.
Appearance. It's in the form of white crystal granules or powder.
How much can I eat? There aren't official guidelines on using erythritol, but most people can handle 1 gram for every kilogram of body weight daily. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you can tolerate 68 grams of erythritol a day, or more than 13 teaspoons.
How it's used. You can use erythritol the same way as sugar. It's fine to stir it into your coffee or tea, sprinkle it on grapefruit, or bake with it. Remember that it's a sugar substitute and not real sugar, so foods that you bake may have a different taste or consistency than you're used to.
Side effects. Eating lots of sugar alcohols can lead to bloating and an upset stomach. Some sugar alcohols can cause gas and cramping or work like a laxative when they reach your colon. But erythritol is generally mostly absorbed before it gets to your colon and is excreted unchanged in your urine. Excess gas and a laxative effect are possible, but people generally handle it better than other sugar alcohols, and it doesn't come with any warnings.
OK for your teeth. In most cases, bacteria in your mouth break down regular sugars and starches and turn them into acid. This can wear down your enamel and cause cavities. But the FDA says erythritol is good for oral health because it slows the growth of one type of bacteria and decreases the acid that bacteria make.
International Food Information Council Foundation: "What is Erythritol?"
Calorie Control Council: "Erythritol."
Michigan State University: "What are sugar alcohols?"
Penn Today Office of University Communications: "The ins and outs of sugar alcohols."
Behavioral and Physiological Effects of Cannabis
Cannabis is known to have behavioral and physiological effects (27).Behavioral effects include feeling of euphoria, relaxation, altered time perception, lack of concentration and impaired learning.
Memory and mood changes such as panic and paranoid reactions have also been reported. Physiological effects include rapid changes in heart rate and diastolic blood pressure, conjunctival suffusion, dry mouth and throat, increased appetite, vasodilatation and decreased respiratory rate (31, 32). Cannabis also affects the immune and endocrine system and its abuse is associated with lung damage and EEG alterations (28, 30, 33, 34, 35).
Why is biological accumulation important?
In many cases, humans have had to learn the hard way that toxic chemicals can poison us without us even knowing it. Decades ago, dangerous substances like the pesticide DDT were commonly used with little to no safety regulations. Eventually, they got into bodies of water, and then into the fish living in those waters. Many people were unaware that the fish they ate for dinner could be loaded with DDT. Many dangerous chemicals like these have since been banned or regulated. But even now, decades later, some of these chemicals can be found in fish (and humans) thanks to the process known as biological accumulation.
Biological accumulation occurs when the level of a toxic foreign substance that has entered the body of a living organism gradually becomes more than the body can eliminate. The exact location of this buildup depends on what the intruding substance is and how it enters the body. Foreign substances can be absorbed through the skin or gills, breathed in from contaminated air, or ingested from contaminated food and drink. In order for biological accumulation to happen, the amount of a toxic substance entering the organism must remain greater than the amount that is eliminated (by breathing it out or going to the bathroom, for example). For this reason, biological accumulation is especially common in aquatic ecosystems like the ocean. While it is unlikely that a rabbit would continuously eat the same tainted plants over and over, it would be a lot harder for a fish to avoid large areas of contaminated water and the tainted food supply that it contains. Making things worse, the fatty tissue of fish is very good at storing absorbed or eaten chemicals.
The effects of biological accumulation have only begun to be studied somewhat recently. Environmental and safety standards have become more strict over time and today many chemicals are thoroughly tested to avoid potential biological accumulation in humans or animals. Many of the regulations enforced by government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency are also in place to prevent hazardous biological accumulation that might happen due to pollution or illegal dumping of toxic materials.
They call it a "beer belly" for a reason, but it's not just drinking a beer every day that can cause weight gain. Heavy drinking of wine and spirits can add pounds and extra tissue around the midsection. Alcohol adds empty calories to your diet. What's more, it hampers your body's ability to burn fat. See, when alcohol is metabolized in the liver, it turns into acetate. A rise in acetate levels flips a switch that causes our bodies to burn acetate as fuel first before moving on to glucose (from carbs) or fat. Drinking alcohol may influence weight gain in other ways, too. Alcohol can interfere with quality sleep, disrupting hormones that control hunger and satiety. You may have noticed that alcohol can trigger cravings for unhealthy foods. Back to beer: With the current popularity of craft beers, it's worth noting that craft IPAs and stouts typically carry higher alcohol contents in the 7 to 10 alcohol-by-volume (ABV) range and about 100 calories more than you find in most lagers and pilsners. A popular IPA can clock in at upwards of 450 calories per 12-ounce bottle.
Warfarin Dosage and Administration
The dosage and administration of Warfarin sodium must be individualized for each patient according to the patient's International Normalized Ratio (INR) response to the drug. Adjust the dose based on the patient's INR and the condition being treated. Consult the latest evidence-based clinical practice guidelines regarding the duration and intensity of anticoagulation for the indicated conditions.
Recommended Target INR Ranges and Durations for Individual Indications
An INR of greater than 4.0 appears to provide no additional therapeutic benefit in most patients and is associated with a higher risk of bleeding.
Venous Thromboembolism (including deep venous thrombosis [DVT] and PE)
Adjust the Warfarin dose to maintain a target INR of 2.5 (INR range, 2.0 to 3.0) for all treatment durations. The duration of treatment is based on the indication as follows:
&bull For patients with a DVT or PE secondary to a transient (reversible) risk factor, treatment with Warfarin for 3 months is recommended. &bull For patients with an unprovoked DVT or PE, treatment with Warfarin is recommended for at least 3 months. After 3 months of therapy, evaluate the risk-benefit ratio of long-term treatment for the individual patient. &bull For patients with two episodes of unprovoked DVT or PE, long-term treatment with Warfarin is recommended. For a patient receiving long-term anticoagulant treatment, periodically reassess the risk-benefit ratio of continuing such treatment in the individual patient.
In patients with non-valvular AF, anticoagulate with Warfarin to target INR of 2.5 (range, 2.0 to 3.0).
&bull In patients with non-valvular AF that is persistent or paroxysmal and at high risk of stroke (i.e., having any of the following features: prior ischemic stroke, transient ischemic attack, or systemic embolism, or 2 of the following risk factors: age greater than 75 years, moderately or severely impaired left ventricular systolic function and/or heart failure, history of hypertension, or diabetes mellitus), long-term anticoagulation with Warfarin is recommended. &bull In patients with non-valvular AF that is persistent or paroxysmal and at an intermediate risk of ischemic stroke (i.e., having 1 of the following risk factors: age greater than 75 years, moderately or severely impaired left ventricular systolic function and/or heart failure, history of hypertension, or diabetes mellitus), long-term anticoagulation with Warfarin is recommended. &bull For patients with AF and mitral stenosis, long-term anticoagulation with Warfarin is recommended. &bull For patients with AF and prosthetic heart valves, long-term anticoagulation with Warfarin is recommended the target INR may be increased and aspirin added depending on valve type and position, and on patient factors.
Mechanical and Bioprosthetic Heart Valves
&bull For patients with a bileaflet mechanical valve or a Medtronic Hall (Minneapolis, MN) tilting disk valve in the aortic position who are in sinus rhythm and without left atrial enlargement, therapy with Warfarin to a target INR of 2.5 (range, 2.0 to 3.0) is recommended. &bull For patients with tilting disk valves and bileaflet mechanical valves in the mitral position, therapy with Warfarin to a target INR of 3.0 (range, 2.5 to 3.5) is recommended. &bull For patients with caged ball or caged disk valves, therapy with Warfarin to a target INR of 3.0 (range, 2.5 to 3.5) is recommended. &bull For patients with a bioprosthetic valve in the mitral position, therapy with Warfarin to a target INR of 2.5 (range, 2.0 to 3.0) for the first 3 months after valve insertion is recommended. If additional risk factors for thromboembolism are present (AF, previous thromboembolism, left ventricular dysfunction), a target INR of 2.5 (range, 2.0 to 3.0) is recommended.
&bull For high-risk patients with MI (e.g., those with a large anterior MI, those with significant heart failure, those with intracardiac thrombus visible on transthoracic echocardiography, those with AF, and those with a history of a thromboembolic event), therapy with combined moderate-intensity (INR, 2.0 to 3.0) Warfarin plus low-dose aspirin (&le100 mg/day) for at least 3 months after the MI is recommended.
Recurrent Systemic Embolism and Other Indications
Oral anticoagulation therapy with Warfarin has not been fully evaluated by clinical trials in patients with valvular disease associated with AF, patients with mitral stenosis, and patients with recurrent systemic embolism of unknown etiology. However, a moderate dose regimen (INR 2.0 to 3.0) may be used for these patients.
Initial and Maintenance Dosing
The appropriate initial dosing of Warfarin sodium varies widely for different patients. Not all factors responsible for Warfarin dose variability are known, and the initial dose is influenced by:
&bull Clinical factors including age, race, body weight, sex, concomitant medications, and comorbidities &bull Genetic factors (CYP2C9 and VKORC1 genotypes) [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.5) ]
Select the initial dose based on the expected maintenance dose, taking into account the above factors. Modify this dose based on consideration of patient-specific clinical factors. Consider lower initial and maintenance doses for elderly and/or debilitated patients and in Asian patients [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3) ]. Routine use of loading doses is not recommended as this practice may increase hemorrhagic and other complications and does not offer more rapid protection against clot formation.
Individualize the duration of therapy for each patient. In general, anticoagulant therapy should be continued until the danger of thrombosis and embolism has passed [see Dosage and Administration (2.2) ].
Dosing Recommendations without Consideration of Genotype
If the patient's CYP2C9 and VKORC1 genotypes are not known, the initial dose of Warfarin sodium is usually 2 to 5 mg once daily. Determine each patient's dosing needs by close monitoring of the INR response and consideration of the indication being treated. Typical maintenance doses are 2 to 10 mg once daily.
Dosing Recommendations with Consideration of Genotype
Table 1 displays three ranges of expected maintenance Warfarin sodium doses observed in subgroups of patients having different combinations of CYP2C9 and VKORC1 gene variants [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.5) ]. If the patient's CYP2C9 and/or VKORC1 genotype are known, consider these ranges in choosing the initial dose. Patients with CYP2C9 *1/*3, *2/*2, *2/*3, and *3/*3 may require more prolonged time (>2 to 4 weeks) to achieve maximum INR effect for a given dosage regimen than patients without these CYP variants.
- 6-Methyl-1,2,3-oxathiazin-4(3H)-one 2,2-dioxide potassium salt
- Acesulfame potassium
- potassium 3-methyl-5,5-dioxo-4-oxa-5$l^<6>-thia-6-azanidacyclohex-2-en-1-one
- potassium 5,5-diketo-3-methyl-4-oxa-5$l^<6>-thia-6-azanidacyclohex-2-en-1-one
- potassium 6-methyl-4-oxo-4H-1,2,3-oxathiazin-3-ide 2,2-dioxide
Does Acesulfame Potassium Contain Methylene Chloride, a Known Carcinogen?
There is a widespread claim on the internet and in many books that acesulfame potassium contains methylene chloride, which is a known carcinogen. Interestingly, almost every source that makes this claim contains almost the exact same statement in the exact same words, without any elaboration or evidence to back up the claim.
The FDA addresses the possibility that acesulfame potassium may contain this chemical as in impurity. Some sources, like Joseph Mercola, use some of the FDA’s statements to back up fear-mongering claims about the product, but conventionally do not include the entire claim, but only the part that suits their purpose.
Here is the full statement, from 21 CFR Part 172, Food Additives Permitted for Direct Addition to Food for Human Consumption Acesulfame Potassium:
How your body gets rid of toxins naturally and how you can speed up the process
Most of us experience a constant bombardment of low-level toxins. Germs and other toxic substances are all around us — in air, food and water, on plants and pets, and even on the surfaces of our homes and in our own bodies. The internet is overflowing with information on toxins and countless programs and products that are touted to cleanse your body of them, but how does your body remove toxins naturally and what are you options to detox for your health.
Your immune system protects against many infectious agents. Some, however, can be formidable and others that are fairly harmless in small numbers can breach the immune system’s defenses when present in force.
You are constantly exposed to toxins, which is worse if you live near heavy pollution, pesticide spraying, eat poor quality food, drink unfiltered water, or live in a moldy house. Your body also produces toxic trash metabolites that must be cleared, which is worse if you have digestive problems, sinus problems, are under high stress, are fighting a bug, are recovering from surgery or an accident, do not sleep enough, or physically wear yourself out (including exercise).
A toxin can be anything that not only has no nutritional or other value to the body, but actually causes harm or costs the body valuable energy and resources just to get rid of it or store it in the tissues. There are two different types of toxins that affect the body:
1. Exogenous Toxins
Exogenous toxins are chemicals that are made outside of your body and can harm your cells if they are ingested, inhaled, or absorbed into your bloodstream through some other channel.
While it’s unrealistic to live and work in an environment that’s free of exogenous toxins, you should strive to minimize your exposure to the following most common exogenous toxins:
- and aspartame – both are especially toxic to your nerve cells
- Recreational drugs
- Any over-the-counter or prescription drug that comes with a warning that use of the drug in question may lead to liver damage
- Most personal care products, especially cosmetics that are applied around the mouth, which are easily swallowed in trace but potentially significant amounts
The exogenous toxins mentioned above may not be as harmful in one shot as other obvious toxins like carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds, but the four groups mentioned above tend to be used regularly by large segments of the population, so they’re definitely worth highlighting.
2. Endogenous Toxins
Endogenous toxins are toxins that are produced inside of your body. Some of these toxins are waste products from normal metabolic activities – carbon dioxide, urea, and lactic acid are examples of endogenous toxins that your body churns out by the second. Unless your health is severely compromised, your body is well equipped to eliminate these endogenous toxins from your system.
An often overlooked source of endogenous toxins is an unhealthy gut. Over time, a diet that’s rich in highly refined foods, poor eating habits (lack of chewing is a big one), and emotional stress can lead to an unhealthy balance of microorganisms in your gastrointestinal tract, a state that’s called intestinal dysbiosis.
Intestinal dysbiosis is accompanied by steady production of endogenous toxins by undesirable yeasts, fungi, bacteria, and in rare cases, even parasites. These toxins include various aldehydes, alcohols, indols, phenols, and skatols, just to name a few.
While some of these endogenous toxins are eliminated as gas, some make their way into your bloodstream by traveling through your intestinal walls, and once they make it into your bloodstream, they can get into your cells.
Preventing and Removing Toxins
The body’s first line of defense is to prevent toxins from entering the body. The skin serves as a protective barrier. Bacteria can not penetrate intact skin, and the salt concentration in sweat creates a hostile environment for most bacteria. The parts of our mouth, lungs, digestive tract and other orifices such as eyes, nose, and ears that come in contact with the environment are protected by saliva, mucus, tears or minute hairs. Stomach acidity and friendly bacteria provide additional protection from things we ingest.
These passive defenses are very effective at prevention. More active responses to rid the body of unwelcome guests include coughing, sneezing, runny nose, vomiting and diarrhea, which help the body quickly expel unwanted substances. Elevated temperature helps kill invading microorganisms, and the digestive tract excels at differentiating between what to keep and what to expel as waste.
In general there are four primary toxin removal systems that must all be working in harmony with each other. These involve:
- The disposal of cellular waste products, especially lactic acid.
- The removal of larger waste products through your lymph (smaller waste products go into your veins and are exhaled or sent directly to your liver).
- The processing of toxins by your liver, most of which then go into bile and then into your digestive tract for final clearance (some are made water-soluble and go to your kidneys to be excreted in urine).
- The final clearance of waste products by your digestive tract.
Your gut: we all know that we get rid of most of our waste through our bowels. If your digestive system is not working properly, it can’t get rid of unwanted waste and toxins properly. Our body empties many toxins into our excrement, but if it is sitting in the bowel too long (i.e. you are constipated) — it can get reabsorbed and go through our detox systems again — increasing their workload and making them less effective. For advice on nursing your gut back to health have a read of the right foods to eat. In addition, an overgrowth of the wrong types of bacteria or fungus in your gut will result in their harmful toxins entering your body, increasing your toxic load. If you are suffering from digestive problems it is not only your nutrient status and your comfort that it can be harming — poor gut health also impacts on your body’s ability to detox. So this must be a first step in any programme that aims to clean up the body.
Your kidneys and your ‘waterworks’: Many unwanted toxins are removed from the body in your urine. The best help that you can give this clearance pathway is to DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. Aim for 1 1/2litres a day or 8 glasses. Remember however that many health foods contain water and these can also rehydrate you e.g. fruit and vegetables.
Your liver: This is where the really clever stuff happens, your blood enters the liver full of toxins and bacteria and leaves clean — that is if it is working properly. The unwanted pollutants are neutralised in the liver to make them less harmful to the body using a series of complicated chemical processes. Some of the chemicals are recycled and the rest are dumped into your excrement in a substance called bile. Your liver is also responsible for many other functions including digesting fats, storing vitamins and energy supplies plus more! Many of the recommendations below promote the function of the liver by supplying it with nutrients that it uses to ensure that the chemical processes we describe are working and that the production of bile is maximised — speeding up our cleansing process.
When your cells are working well and making energy properly they are fairly clean burning engines, making less trash. As cell function declines they start to pour a lot of black smoke out their exhaust, in the form of lactic acid and other inflammatory by-products. This changes the pH in the fluid around cells, stressing circulation to and from cells. Since you have 100 trillion cells, solving this problem or preventing it is a good idea. One key principle of detoxification is to make less cellular trash in the first place.
Good nutrition is essential to help the liver function properly. Foods that feed the liver include:
- Increase your intake of fruit and vegetables and try to aim for at least 30% raw. Especially good for the liver are: artichokes, garlic, onion, leeks, beetroot, radish, turnip, watercress, fennel, broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts, apples and pears, apricots, grapes, berries, lemons, papaya, pineapple, avocado, cranberries, banana and watermelon. However, they are all health promoting and delicious!
- Take a good multivitamin and mineral supplement or a multivitamin and mineral formula designed for liver support. You are going to need tailor made support to keep your liver going and help it to process all this waste! The nutrients that you are especially looking for in a supplement to a minimum of 100% RNI include: Vitamin A, C, E, Selenium, Zinc, Copper, Iron, B Complex including Folic Acid, Magnesium.
- Ensure that you have enough healthy sources of protein in your diet. These include: eggs, lean meat, fish and beans and pulses, or try quinoa (it is like couscous but contains a loads of protein).
- Buy a pot of good quality lecithin granules and sprinkle them on your cereal or in yoghurt, on porridge or eat with fruit. These help your liver to break down fats and ease its overall burden1. They taste fine — in case you’re worried!
- The herbal supplement ‘milk thistle’ is traditionally used to promote liver function2. When taking herbals it is best to do so with the advice of a healthcare professional.
There are so many areas that we can address to clean up our act and help your body deal with the toxins in our body. We all know that the results can only be to feel better and be healthier in the long term:
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and smoking
- Avoid processed food
- Avoid refined or ‘white’ foods e.g. white bread, pasta, sugar, cakes and biscuits
- Avoid fried foods and any type of fats including butter, margarine and processed vegetable oils
- Lower exposure to environmental pollutants e.g. traffic fumes, chemical household and personal hygiene products and air fresheners
- For a full detox, eat food only in the ‘green’ box
- Make sure you eat protein with every meal
- If you have digestive problems, address these urgently
- Check out your potential food intolerances
- Drink at least 1 1/2 litres of water a day
- Go organic where possible
- Take an appropriate multivitamin and mineral formula
- Add lecithin to your cereal at breakfast
- Consider taking the herbal supplement ‘milk thistle’
Random fat sampling by our EPA shows that all Americans store fat-soluble toxins from common chemical exposures in their fat. This is a testament to the amount of pollution we face. Some of these like PCBs, which are proven to elevate in your blood as they are released from fat when you lose weight, can be quite toxic. You must be able to get toxins out of your system fully as you lose weight, otherwise your fat will simply not release them easily and you will struggle to lose weight past a certain point.
The detox diet helps your body wash out the bad chemicals and toxins that are left inside your body. The toxins that you get originally come from the food that you eat. Thus, you have to be wise and think of other ways to eat healthy. The procedure of the diet is simple as long as you follow them properly. To get the best results, you need to seek other information about it or ask your physician. Getting advice from your friends is also a good idea.
Chew This Instead!
Luckily, there's no need to stop chewing cold turkey when there are clean options available that remove sweeteners and swap gum base for chicle, a natural latex from the bark of a sapodilla tree. Simply Gum is a good brand to start with, thanks to its all-natural ingredients. But be warned that although there are a lot to choose from — maple, cinnamon, ginger, coffee, mint, or fennel — it doesn't hold onto flavor like the gum you're used to and isn't as chewy. But no matter which brand you choose, keep in mind that chewing gum leads to bloated tummies. That's why you won't find it in our Ultimate Guide To Getting A Flat Stomach Fast.