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Alternative Medicine

Detoxification

13 years, 7 months ago

2534  0
Posted on Dec 30, 2005, 8 p.m. By Bill Freeman

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Detoxification is a natural process by which the body rids itself of an accumulation of internal and external toxins-such as free radicals, metabolic waste, industrial chemicals, pesticides, food additives, heavy metals, drug residues and various other pollutants. Water and juice fasts used to be the favored methods for detoxification.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION:

Detoxification is a natural process by which the body rids itself of an accumulation of internal and external toxins-such as free radicals, metabolic waste, industrial chemicals, pesticides, food additives, heavy metals, drug residues and various other pollutants. Water and juice fasts used to be the favored methods for detoxification. Proponents maintained that with the stress of digestion removed, the body is better able to rid itself of accumulated toxins. Fasting for more than two or three days, however, should be done only under the care of a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner, especially if you have pre-existing liver, kidney, metabolic or cardiovascular disease. Although short fasts can be tremendously helpful and cleansing, longer fasts (more than 4 days) can weaken muscles and organs, and cause metabolism to slow down.

In addition, fasting drains the body of glutathione, an antioxidant critical to detoxification, and the toxins released by fasting can overwhelm the liver’s cleansing ability. Current thinking acknowledges that the process of detoxification is dependent upon good nutrition. By nourishing the body with lean protein, high-fiber complex carbohydrates and essential fats the  intestinal tract, liver and kidneys get the support they need to do their jobs. Many nutrition experts recommend detoxifying twice a year-for example, for one or two weeks during spring nd fall. Weekend detoxification plans are also available.

ROLE FOR ANTI-AGING:

Detoxification cleanses the body of pollutants and generally promotes health and well-being. Advocates of detoxification say the method helps the body to absorb nutrients and  stimulates the immune system, thus reducing the risk of infection.

SIDE EFFECTS/CONTRAINDICATIONS:

Detoxification programs can cause side effects, these include, fatigue, headache, nausea, and skin blemishes. People who have heart disease, cancer, diabetes, hypothyroidism, eating disorders and extreme fatigue, are underweight, recovering from surgery, as well as women who are or pregnant or lactating, should avoid aggressive fasting detoxification programs.

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