The human body is a marvel of chemical processes. Every organ has a specific job, and when they’re all functioning optimally, overall health is at its best. The liver, specifically, is used to help rid the body of toxins that can accumulate over time. If the build-up is too much, it can lead to chronic illness and other health complications.
Proper functioning of the liver is vital to the natural detoxification process, but sometimes, it can’t manage against the overabundance of heavy metals and bio-accumulated pollutants. This is where detox support supplements can come in to play to help restore the liver to its full capacity. Below we’ll take a look at some supplements that are great for detoxing.
The increased numbers of bio-pollutants and the use of heavy metals in everyday life have led to an increased risk of toxicity within the body. Detoxing is the process by which those harmful substances are neutralized and eliminated. Generally speaking, detoxification is a natural process that manages itself, but when the liver isn’t functioning at its best, it could use a little help.
This is where other forms of encouraged detoxification come from. From changing a diet to help reduce the amount of toxins being ingested, to participating in detoxification methods such as chelation therapy and sauna therapy, there are many ways one can encourage their body to reach optimal health through detoxification.
Heavy metals are naturally occurring elements that the body can use in trace amounts for a variety of functions. These heavy metals, such as zinc, iron, and copper, need to be present for bodily functions to perform as they should. But when the soft tissues in the body accumulate too much of these heavy metals – or others that the body does not need, including mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic – it can cause a wide variety of health repercussions.
Symptoms will vary depending on the level of toxicity as well as the type of metal ingested, but often include:
Although this is not an exhaustive list, these are the general symptoms that accompany many types of heavy metal poisoning.
Pollutants can be found everywhere: in the air, in the food you eat, and in water sources. Examples of harmful pollutants that can build up within the body and cause chronic health issues include:
Different bio-accumulated pollutants will have varied effects on health. For example, when too much fluoride is ingested, it can lead to neurotoxicity.
Milk thistle is used as a detox supplement because of its positive effect on liver function. It’s a common component in the treatment of liver disease damage because it can help to restore the natural detoxification effects of the organ.
One study found that spirulina has protective benefits for those who suffer from chronic liver disease. It was found that spirulina acted as an antioxidant, helped rid the body of free radicals, encouraged the chelation process, and prevented further damage to the liver.
Chlorella can be found in detox supplements for extra support of liver function because of its ability to bind to heavy metals within the body.
To help improve liver function, barley grass reduces inflammation that can often be induced by alcohol consumption.
Gut bacteria have an effect on all bodily processes, including liver function. Having optimal microbiota health can improve harmful interactions in people with hepatic disease.
Vitamin C is widely known as an immune-boosting supplement, but it earns its spot on the list of best supplements for a detox diet because of its ability to protect the liver against hepatoxic substances.
Most notably used in to help treat poisoning and overdoses, activated charcoal gets its liver-boosting properties from its ability to bind to drugs and toxins in the body and eliminate them.
Zeolite has been used in a variety of ways, including medicine, cosmetics, manufacturing, and ecology. It aids in the detoxification process by binding to harmful substances in the gastrointestinal tract and removing them from the system.
Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that occurs naturally within the body. It aids in the prevention of oxidative stress by promoting balance between free radicals and antioxidants. It has also been shown to help improve cell function in those who have fatty liver disease.
The binding of calcium and d-glucaric acid give this particular supplement its liver-protecting benefits. Research has shown that it does this by encouraging the liver’s natural processes, as well as protecting against toxin build-up and excess levels of steroidal hormones.
Studies suggest that licorice root can support detoxification at the same time as limiting early liver cell death.
If the liver is functioning as it should, the use of supplements for detox isn’t generally necessary. Also, certain supplements may work better or worse depending on the level of health of the liver overall. But in those with liver disease, supplements to help improve symptoms and decrease the progression of the illness are best, whereas in those with a one-off build-up of toxins can benefit from supplements that bind to heavy metals and pollutants. This way, the liver will be able to flush out toxins on its own and return you to optimal health.