In the last century, there has been a concerning chemical revolution, which has caused us to become reliant on synthetic chemicals to meet our needs, in every area of our daily lives.
Toxins are everywhere! Potentially undesirable chemicals are contained in processed foods, drinks like coffee, alcohol, soft drinks, tap water, in your personal care products, and also in homes and offices.
You sometimes can’t avoid the air you breathe, but you can control your lifestyle with a detox program, which reduces your toxin exposure and releases your addictions.
1. Detoxing increases your energy
You’re probably all too aware that toxins somehow zap your energy and vitality. But you probably want to know why?
Toxins can actually build up in cells to the level where they affect your mitochondrial function.
Mitochondria are tiny energy-producing organelle powerhouses in every cell of your body, so if they are flooded with toxins, they also like you, have less energy to perform their energy-producing processes.
The more toxins you consume overtime, the more prone you are to toxic overload, and the greater the risk of your energy levels plummeting.
Scientifically at the deepest layer of your being, you are energy, vibrating; so having more energy makes you feel on top of the world!
Fast fact: Detox and also exercise increases your energy, due to its incredible effect on your mitochondria. Exercise is also a powerful energy booster because it increases the population of mitochondria in your muscle fibres.
2. Eliminating toxins enhances your mood
Dependence or addiction to recreational drugs such alcohol, caffeine, other chemical substances and sugar, can send your mood-enhancing neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, on a roller-coaster that has no stop button.
These toxins are attractive and addictive because they over-stimulate secretion of these neurotransmitters, which make you feel more inspired and happy initially. Problem is over time with frequent over-use you can deplete these neurotransmitters, and burn them out to the point where you can experience feelings of depression, and in more serious cases, clinical depression. This is what manifests as classic “burn out!”
A detox program gives you time to recover from burnt out neurotransmitters and fast tracks the chance of dopamine and serotonin returning back to their normal levels, making you feel happier.
3. Healthy gut flora means you feel happy on the inside
As you may know from the Vaalia yoghurt commercial with Sarah Murdoch, it really is “hard to hide when you’re happy inside”. A high quality detox program makes you happy on the inside by restoring healthy gut flora (good bacteria that lives in your gut enhancing well-being and immunity). Good detox programs weed out the bad bacteria and restore the friendly bacteria back into your gut; strengthening your resistance, aiding digestion and absorption of nutrients, protecting your gut lining, disarming toxins, and supporting vitamin production in your body.
A strong and healthy gut lining (the epithelial cells that make up your gut wall providing a barrier to the outside environment) also makes you happier. When it is impaired due to bad bacteria, pathogens, stress, toxins (especially alcohol), allergies, and inflammation, a condition known as ‘increased intestinal permeability’ or ‘leak gut syndrome’ can develop 1.
Spaces form in between cells lining the gut wall similar to a fly screen or a bucket with small holes in it. Just remember the song “there’s a hole in my bucket dear Liza dear Liza”, and then you may think twice before saving all your alcohol up for that Friday night!
As a result, bad bacteria, toxins including toxic waste products from digestion, partially undigested food molecules (larger proteins) are able to freely pass into the bloodstream, launching an immune system attack, and inducing an inflammatory response. Symptoms of inflammation, the same ones you feel when you have a cold or flu, are no fun at all.
Your immune system works hard to eliminate toxins everyday. A detox program takes the load off your immune system and can give it a massive helping hand, allowing energy to be directed into other systems, so that jumping out of your skin is possible again!
Another Fast Fact: Serotonin and dopamine are actually manufactured in your gut too. So a happy gut produces a healthy level of neurotransmitters for happiness.
Your gut is really considered to be your ‘second brain’, as it contains a very complex and separate nervous system controlling digestion, with an estimated 500 million neurons known as the enteric nervous system (ENS)2.
The ENS actually plays a critical role in our physical and mental wellbeing. It actually produces around 40 neurotransmitters in the same class as those found in the brain3.
Two of these are the mood enhancing neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. That’s why it’s smart to have an optimum functioning gut!
4. A healthy liver makes you happier
In Chinese medicine, it’s known that a toxic liver emits heat and potentially anger. You may have woken after a dusty Friday night and heard the phrase “what wrong with you, have you got s….t on the liver?” or more gently “did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed?”
Jokes aside, none of this will be true after day 4 of your detox program. Your liver will start functioning optimally again and you will begin to get back a stunning glow that people will be able to see in your eyes and face. They may ask “can I have some of what you’re having?”
The liver is the largest organ in your body weighing 1.5kg and is your primary organ of detoxificationand fat metabolism.
It is critical to our health and vitality because of its role in blood purification. The liver deals with chemicals and toxins, and cleverly disarms them.
Think of it as a water purification system or pool filter. Without it your body would be one big mess.
In what’s called ‘Phase 1 Liver Detoxification’, your liver converts fat-soluble toxins into reactive and inflammatory metabolic by-products, more harmful than when they entered your liver. When healthy though, this magnificent organ successfully converts them into harmless water-soluble substances in ‘Phase 2 Liver Detoxification’, so they can be excreted via the kidneys and urine, rather than ending up in your vital organs.
You may be thinking well why do I need to detox then if this is the liver’s job?
Well what happens with excessive and continual exposure to toxins is, ‘Kuppfer cells’ (specialised detoxifying liver cells) become unable to keep up with the detoxification processes efficiently enough to protect you, and toxicity states can result from liver overload.
Unfortunately these toxins end up being deposited and stored in your organs, tissues and fat cells for long periods where they can potentially destroy tissues, damaging cells, activating your immune system, causing inflammation, and possibly ill health in the short and long-term.
The more toxins you consume collectively, the higher your ‘total toxin load’, and the greater the risk of ill health. That’s why it’s smart to love your liver. A happy liver indeed makes you feel happy and is one of the major reasons you will notice, after day 4 of your detox program, that you wake feeling brighter and lighter than ever, as your liver is given a break and a chance to do what it does best. Purify you!
5. Rest and Repair Reverses Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
Detoxing is about resting and repairing your system and pushes the stop button on your over active stress response.
Stress is a primordial, natural and physiological response to a perceived threat, challenge, or danger and has evolved to protect us from danger.
Your body is beautifully adapted at dealing with such short-term physical emergencies, however the problem today is we sit or run around and worry about stressors, perceived or imagined, and chronically activate the Stress Response, year after year, and invite anxiety, exhaustion and depression (in that order).
Many studies show the close link between stress, anxiety and depression, and a chronically overused and excited nervous system seems to be the causative factor (unless there is an existing genetic defect from birth)4.
A detox program can come to your rescue because it encourages avoidance of any excess intake of stimulants such as caffeine that over stimulates your stress response, and rest and repair which comes as natural bonus when your body is no longer exposed to the heavy grip of stress and toxicity.
I’ve heard many detox success stories and there seems to be a common thread. They all report having never slept so well, and waking with so much more energy! They feel like they have been waking on the right side of the bed again.
“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” - Chinese Proverb
A 3rd Fast Fact: When you detox and follow low carb, alkaline, delicious, organic detox recipes, have more energy, can exercise more and lose any of your excess weight, your libido increases, you think clearer, your mood is elevated, your skin starts to glow, you feel more confident, and better about yourself.
You may feel that you have found the fountain of youth and happiness.
Savannah Daisley 24th February 2014
Founder of Smart Cleanse
Director of Research & Development
1.Lipski, E. Leaky Gut Syndrome, Keats Publishing, 1998, p7.
3.Young E. Gut Instincts: The Secrets to your second brain, New Scientist, 2012, 216(2895): 38-42.
4. Aneshensel CS, Stone JD. Stress and Depression: A Test of the Buffering Model of Social Support, JAMA Psychiatry; Archives of General Psychiatry, 1982, 39:(12)