NOTE: If you have not yet listened to the first three episodes of this five part series, we highly recommend that you get back to The Toxin Solution Parts 1,2,&3.
Now that you know how horrifying these toxins, today we’re going to learn some tips on how you detoxify your body effectively.
Donny Osmond: Hi, I'm Donny Osmond and welcome to The Brain Warrior's Way, hosted by my friends Daniel and Tana Amen. Now in this podcast, you're going to learn that the war for your health is one between your ears. That's right. If you're ready to be sharper and have better memory, mood, energy, and focus, well then stay with us. Here are Daniel and Tana Amen.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Welcome back to The Brain Warrior's Way podcast. I'm Dr. Daniel Amen. I am here with Tana and our new friend, Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, founder of Bastyr University, naturopath, and the author of truly a very special book that I recommend you read, called The Toxin Solution. Yes, it will horrify you, but it will give you a very practical way to decrease the toxic load in your body, in the bodies of the people you love, in your children, and even your future grandchildren.
It's just such a critical issue and one of the reasons why diabetes and obesity, Alzheimer's disease, depression, ADHD, and autism are soaring in our society. We have talked about toxins in food, personal products, the environment. And what we're going to do in this podcast is talk about detoxification. And you know, going on a detox is a fad.
Tana Amen: Yeah, it's an over-used expression.
Dr. Daniel Amen: I actually have a number of celebrity clients, and my thought has always been you should always be detoxing.
Tana Amen: Right, you should always be thinking clean.
Dr. Daniel Amen: It's not the two weeks after Christmas. But we are being assaulted every day with whether it's air pollution or water pollution, the pollution in our food. How can we activate our detoxification systems? Which you point out in the book, it's not just your liver. Your liver is important, but so is your skin, so are your kidneys. What are the best ways for people to live supporting the detoxification pathways in their body?
Dr. Joseph Pizzorno: So that's obviously a great question, and number one is avoid, avoid, avoid. Don't let them in. But then once they're in, and unfortunately, that's our whole population, we want to get the toxins out, but you must be careful how you do it.
One of my concerns with many of these so-called detox programs, is that it's easy to stir things up, but once you stir things up, you've got to make sure your body can get rid of them. And our bodies' detox systems are now so damaged that people are as likely to hurt themselves as they are to benefit, until they prepare the body.
So first off, what I've done for the book, I provide people with the 8-week detox program with the 9th week [inaudible 00:02:59] bonus. So during the first 8 weeks, I prepare the body to be detoxified. The first 2 weeks, I basically spend educating people about where the toxins coming from and how you avoid them.
Then the next two weeks, I say, "Okay, now let's get your gut ready." Because it turns out one of the heaviest loads on the liver actually comes from having toxic bacteria in your gut. So I show people how to get rid of those toxic bacteria, replace them with healthy bacteria, get the gut working the way it's supposed to, so it stops overloading the liver.
Then we go through two weeks getting the liver ready for detoxification. What that means is, optimizing the liver's detox pathways and making sure that the gallbladder and the bile are working properly. Make sure we've got enough fiber in the gut, so that when the liver does get rid of toxins, they can get out of the body.
And then the final two weeks, we talk about the kidneys. I'm sure as you know, we've got a kidney failure epidemic in the US, and it's not surprising because so many of these toxins have to be eliminated by the kidneys. And so we're overloading our poor kidneys and now we're getting kidney failure. Look at all these centers all over the country where people do dialysis to help with their kidneys. Well, that shouldn't have happened.
Tana Amen: Right, I used to be a dialysis nurse. And I have a question, too, because I know a lot of women, I've had my gallbladder removed. So as part of my past medical history, which was a disaster, and I'm listening to you going, "Oh, well maybe some of this makes sense now," but-
Dr. Daniel Amen: Because you're gallbladder was overloaded with toxins.
Tana Amen: Whatever it was, I had my gallbladder removed, as have a lot of people, and especially a lot of women in their forties. It ends up being a big issue. What can you do if that's one of your detox pathways? We need to give people an idea of what they can do, because right now we're all a bit horrified.
Dr. Joseph Pizzorno: Yeah. So, the they the gallbladder's an important part of the detox mechanism. So if you don't have your gallbladder anymore, there are two factors which are especially important for you. Number one is the whole issue of fiber: you've got to keep the fiber going now, because now you don't have your gallbladder storing toxins until the gut's ready with some extra fiber to the dump them out when it's the best time. Now you dump it all the time, so now you have to make sure that you have fiber going through all the time.
And the other big factor, of course, is the fat-soluble vitamins. One of the reasons that the gallbladder secretes what are called the bile salts, is to help facilitate the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. And so people who have lost their gallbladder have more trouble absorbing the fast-soluble vitamins.
Tana Amen: That makes sense. I mean, I know I have to take up much higher dose of vitamin D than most people do to stay at a normal level.
Dr. Joseph Pizzorno: Yes. So, it's D; it's A; and also, you have to look at the vitamin K, particularly vitamin K2. One of the challenges we have now because of our modern diet and we're feeding cows corn instead of grass, is people now have less vitamin K in their diet. And vitamin K2 is absolutely critical to make sure that when the vitamin D tells your body to absorb calcium, it puts the calcium in the bones, not into soft tissues. So if you have vitamin D but you don't have vitamin K, you now have increased risk of soft tissue calcium deposition.
Tana Amen: Very interesting.
Dr. Daniel Amen: So what I'm hearing you say, and what I read in the book, it's supporting your liver, supporting your kidney, supporting your gut, and your skin. And so whenever we talk about liver, people will write in and they'll say, "But isn't alcohol a health food?" So maybe you can address that.
Dr. Joseph Pizzorno: Another good question. So, alcohol's quite interesting because, as we all know, light to moderate alcohol consumption is associated with increased longevity. But here's the challenge: the more alcohol we consume, the more we deplete glutathione levels in the body. So when people are consuming more than two or three drinks of alcohol a day, they're now less able to protect themselves from the environmental toxins.
Interestingly enough, however, drinking the alcohol in the form of wine or beer is not as big a problem, because there's something in wine and beer that actually promotes the production of glutathione. So, that's why you see people that drink red wine, for example, have lower body load of virtually all diseases; its because that resveratrol helps promote the production of glutathione in the body.
But equally, those who like the scotch and whiskey and such, they're making things twice worse, because not only will the body have to detoxify the alcohol, now we have all these aldehydes and ketones and such, which are really toxic substances and hard for the body to get rid of. So modest consumption of alcohol, and it must be the form of wine or beer.
Tana Amen: Interesting.
Dr. Daniel Amen: So now let's-
Dr. Joseph Pizzorno: So the ninth week of my detox program, I then say, "Now that your body's ready, let's start getting the toxins out." There's a number of ways to do this and kind of the keys are, number one is, mild caloric restriction. I don't want people fasting, because then things come out too quickly, but I like them to cut their calories to 500-1000 calories less than necessary to maintain body weight.
Second thing I have them do is to consume alkalinizing substances, because it turns out that most people are on a very acid-forming diet. And that acid-forming diet makes it difficult for the body to get rid of certain kinds of toxins, which then build up in the cells and in the pericellular space, the fluids and tissues around the cells.
So we've flooded and alkalinized. We've substantially increased fiber, so that the toxins are being excreted by the liver, so we can get them out of the body. And the third thing is I recommend a nutritional supplement called N-Acetyl Cysteine, so NAC for short. It's very, very helpful because when you take about by 500 milligrams of NAC twice a day, you increased the amount of glutathione in the blood cells by about 30%.
Tana Amen: Wow, that's amazing. Yeah.
Dr. Daniel Amen: We love NAC! But I want to ask you one question about the alkalinizing.
Tana Amen: Right, me too.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And that's about alkalinizing water.
Tana Amen: And drops.
Dr. Daniel Amen: People come in a lot and I'm like, "No, I'm not a fan. Why would you decrease the acid in your stomach? Because the acid is there for a reason."
Tana Amen: Right, isn't it-
Dr. Daniel Amen: But tell us how you would respond.
Tana Amen: Well, let me ask really quickly, though, because I want him to respond all at once. I've always been taught that you don't want to over-alkalinize with things, like drops artificially, and water too much. Maybe occasionally, but not very often. Not your primary source of water. But that it's better to alkalinize through foods that help the alkaline process.
And one of the things, I just want to point this out because I want you to respond to it, my daughter and I in the mornings, we drink some warm lemon water with ginger and cayenne, or I have green drinks pretty frequently, which I know some people have to be careful of. But I've heard that that helps, so I would love to get your response to that.
Dr. Joseph Pizzorno: Great. Two excellent questions and observations. So I'm glad to hear that you have the same concern I had of drinking these alkaline fluids because we need the hydrochloric acid in our stomach to break down our food and protect us from bacteria in the foods.
So the issue with whether a diet is acid-forming or alkaline-forming is totally independent of the pH or the acidity of the food itself. It's totally dependent upon how the food is metabolized in the body. So it turns out that things like citrus fruit, like your lemon juice, although it's acid in your mouth, the way the body metabolized citric acid is alkalinizing in nature.
So if you look at our diet as we evolved as a species, it was actually alkaline-inducing, by quite a significant margin. But now our modern diet is acid-forming, which means that we are forcing the body to adapt to the excess acidity and the primary way we have to adapt to excess acidity is through the kidneys having to get rid of excess acid through the kidneys. So if the kidneys are spending all their metabolic energy getting rid of excess acidity, we have less capability to get rid of toxins.
Tana Amen: Oh, that's so interesting.
Dr. Joseph Pizzorno: Yeah. So one reason why the people who made these observations, that an acid-forming diet's bad for you, is they were seeing that people that have acid-forming diet have more disease because the kidneys are not as able to get rid of the toxins.
But not only that, if you look at the cells themselves, the cells themselves become more acidic; the blood doesn't. And the reason that blood does not become more acidic, is because we have all these buffering processes to maintain a very exact pH in the blood because if the pH of your blood gets off very far, you die.
But unfortunately what's happening is, as the cells become more acidic and try to respond to it, and we lose bone. As people get older, their kidney function starts to go down, they're less and less able to get rid of excess to acidity. Now they have to go to the bone more, to break down the bone to take the calcium out, to help alkalinize that excess acidity. And when you're breaking down bone, not only does calcium come out, so does the lead, and the mercury, and the other toxins that are stored in the bone.
Tana Amen: So what about green drinks?
Dr. Daniel Amen: We are going to have to stop, because we're running out of time and we have one more podcast to do.
Tana Amen: Okay, just let him say yes or no. Green drinks: yes or no?
Dr. Joseph Pizzorno: Yes, as long as they're clean.
Tana Amen: Excellent.
Dr. Daniel Amen: All right. Alkaline water: no. Would you agree with that?
Dr. Joseph Pizzorno: My best assessment is no for the alkaline water, until somebody shows me that alkaline water actually decreases acidity in the body. And I don't think it does.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Okay. Four detoxification systems. I know there's more, but... Liver: don't poison it. Gut: add more fiber, perhaps-
Dr. Joseph Pizzorno: And right bacteria.
Tana Amen: And heal it.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And probiotics. Kidneys: water to make sure that they can flush things out. And skin is sweat: so exercise, saunas, infrared saunas you talk about in the book.
The book is phenomenal. The Toxin Solution. You can go to thetoxinsolution.com to learn more about it, to order it, to connect with Dr. Pizzorno. We are going to be back and talk about the big things he has learned as a naturopathic physician over the last four or five decades.
Tana Amen: So long.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Stay with us.
Donny Osmond: Thanks for listening to today's show, The Brain Warrior's Way. Why don't you head over to brainwarriorswaypodcast.com. That's brainwarriorswaypodcast.com, where Daniel and Tana have a gift for you just for subscribing to the show. And when you post your review on iTunes, you'll be entered into a drawing where you can win a VIP visit to one of the Amen clinics. I'm Donny Osmond, and I invite you to step up your brain game by joining us in the next episode.