When working naturally to improve your health, we always want to optimise our body’s processes. Detoxification is an important task that your body (mostly your liver) performs daily, no matter what. So it is important to understand how the liver functions and what slows its funciton. The concept of Toxic Load is important here. So, what is Toxic load and how does it related to your liver?

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Is knowing how to keep your body and mind as healthy and well functioning as possible important to you? Or do you suffer from brain fog, fatigue, digestive complaints, skin conditions or food sensitivities? While this is a complex area, learning simple and actionable ways to support your body to slowly but surely move towards your being able to feel energised, able to think, comfortable in your own body and excited about and connected with life again is key… right?

So if you’re up for learning about how your liver helps you… everyday, take this moment to join me.

Hi, I’m Alexis Weidland, osteopath at BlossomingMe. Today I want to share with you about the concept of toxic load and the process our body, specifically the Liver, takes in order to be able to process and remove toxins. Understanding how your body detoxifies and where all these toxins come from, is key to making sense of how you can reduce your toxic load via reducing exposure and helping your body to remove them as often and effectively as possible… with or without a detox program.

What is Toxic Load?

So first, lets expand on the concept of toxic load. We are in contact with thousands of chemicals and toxins daily, from a multitude of sources. Authorities provide some data on how much of a particular chemical is safe, ie that our body’s can handle without “too much” damage. This is useful information, but it doesn’t take into account that our body’s are exposed to multiple chemicals at the same time. How our ability to deal with that chemical when in contact with other chemicals at the same time AND also, how these different chemicals might interact with each other and change the way they function or the way our body’s react is still unknown. 

So our toxic load is a theoretical concept relating to the amount of overall toxins and chemicals that our body is in contact with. The basic assumption is that the lower our toxic load, the less stressed our detoxification systems are and the less DNA damage we’ll have. Once our toxic load rises, we would expect our detoxification processes to be working hard, consistently. Theoretically, past a certain point, we would no longer be able to neutralise and remove the toxins we are exposed to. So our body will then hide those toxins away in order to reduce damage. Our body’s system for this is to wrap toxins away, mostly in fat. And, your body will be unwilling to remove this fat, no matter the calorie reduction or exercise you undertake… in an effort to ensure you stay safe. These hidden toxins, over time cause fat to build up in organs and tissues. AS this builds up, cell function is affected and symptoms of ill health will appear.


So how then, does our body detoxify?

Our Liver is the primary organ that processes toxins, chemicals, medications etc.

The Liver takes chemicals through two distinct phases, and both are required for safe and complete neutralization and removal of a chemical. Once processed, the more water soluble ones travel via the blood, and are removed either by the skin with sweat, the lungs with exhalation or filtered out by the kidneys and removed from the body via the urine. The more fatty ones are secreted with the bile into the bowels for excretion in our stool. 

Phase 1:

Phase 1 detoxification involves oxidation, the initial step in breaking down toxins into less harmful, water-soluble molecules for elimination. However, this process generates free radicals, also known as reactive oxygen species, which can lead to inflammation and tissue and DNA damage if these free radicals are not mopped up quickly in phase 2.  This phase cannot be completed if there is a relative deficiency of any ONE of the following B2,3,5,6 folate, B12, glutathione, branch chain amino acids, phospholipids or flavonoids.

Phase 2:

Phase 2 detoxification is where to liver combines the chemical or toxin with another molecule, called conjugation. This stops the chemical or the free radical produced in phase 1 from causing damage, ie it is neutralized. This neutralized, conjugated compound is them able to be released safely, ready for the body to expel it. 

Why is Phase 2 SO important?

If phase 2 detoxification is not functioning correctly, such as happens if you don’t methylate properly or you have a deficiency of the required enzymes and cofactors (such as the B vitamins especially B6, glycine, glutathione, sulfur compounds. Or you don’t have enough antioxidants (such as vitamins A, C, and E; CoQ10; and minerals like zinc and selenium to mop up excess free radicals. Or because you started a stimulating detox that pushes your body into releasing toxins from their stored hiding places. TThe result is cell and DNA damage that leads to aging and symptoms such as fatigue and aches… if this occurs during a detox that you thought was to improve your health, it is actually further loading your detoxification processes, making you feel ill and has damaging effects. If this is happening in your everyday life… you are actively in a state of cell & DNA damage, and therefore “aging”  on a constant basis.

An Essential for Any Good Detox

So, for any detox to be beneficial, the second phase of detoxification needs to be activated and completed. And in fact, we need to ensure all the nutrients required for phase 2 are being provided in enough quantities essentially before we  “start” the detox process. Plus, given that the second phase also requires correct methylation, if you, like a small but significant percentage of the population, struggle with methylation, this second phase is already sluggish and it is essential that you supplement with the correct version of vitamins for you… to allow phase 2 to occur, not just in your detox but beyond… in your everyday life.

What is an OAT?

By the way, a urinary Organic Acid Test – OAT can help determine if you are deficient in any of the detoxification limiting nutrients and not methylating correctly.

Putting it Together


So finally, now that you understand a little about how the liver helps us on a daily basis to remove harmful chemicals from your body and you understand the concept of toxic load. How might yo be able to reduce the chemical and toxin exposure in your life? Of course there are medications that we sometimes need to take and there are pollutants in the ocean and air that we may not be able to avoid. But is there anything that you can do to reduce your chemical exposure, in your general everyday life… at home? Like simple ways to switch out toxic personal care and cleaning products to ones that are healthier for you AND the planet? Or adding an inexpensive hepar filter to your air conditioningsystem to improve the air quality within your home or a water filter to reduce the amount of microbes and silt etc presenti in our water pipes as well as reduce the chlorine – that is useful for keeping our water safe for drinking, but not so useful inside our bodies…

What was your biggest take away? What 1 thing might you do to help your detoxification processes or to reduce your toxic load? I hope you found this information helpful! Please comment, like and share AND, if you’d like access to my new eguide Detox: a first step to a vital, energized you, type DETOX in the comments and I’ll get it to you via email  

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