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May 2010

Time to move beyond salt ?

Salt hypothesis vs. reality

Is sodium bad?

April 2010

Salt studies: the latest score

From Dahl to INTERSALT

Salt hypothesis' story

March 2010

Salt war

Do bone drugs work?

Diabetes vs. drugs, 3:0?

February 2010

The MMR vaccine war: Wakefield vs. ?

Wakefield proceedings: an exception?

Who's afraid of a littl' 1998 study?
 

January 2010

Antibiotic children

Physical activity benefits late-life health

Healthier life for New Year's resolution

 

December 2009

Autism epidemic worsening: CDC report

Rosuvastatin indication broadened

High-protein diet effects

 

November 2009

Folic acid cancer risk

Folic acid studies: message in a bottle?

Sweet, short life on a sugary diet

 

October 2009

Smoking health hazards: no dose-response

C. difficile warning

Asthma risk and waist size in women

 

September 2009

Antioxidants' melanoma risk: 4-fold or none?

Murky waters of vitamin D status

Is vitamin D deficiency hurting you?

 

August 2009

Pill-crushing children

New gut test for children and adults

Unhealthy habits - whistling past the graveyard?

 

July 2009

Asthma solution - between two opposites that don't attract

Light wave therapy - how does it actually work?

Hodgkin's lymphoma in children: better alternatives

 

June 2009

Hodgkin's, kids, and the abuse of power

Efficacy and safety of the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's:
behind the hype

Long-term mortality and morbidity after conventional treatments for pediatric Hodgkin's

 

May 2009

Late health effects of the toxicity of the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's

Daniel's true 5-year chances with the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's

Daniel Hauser Hodgkin's case: child protection or medical oppression?

April 2009

Protection from EMF: you're on your own

EMF pollution battle: same old...

EMF health threat and the politics of status quo
 

March 2009

Electromagnetic danger? No such thing, in our view...

EMF safety standards: are they safe?

Power-frequency field exposure
 

February 2009

Electricity and health

Electromagnetic spectrum: health connection

Is power pollution making you sick?

January 2009

Pneumococcal vaccine for adults useless?

DHA in brain development study - why not boys?

HRT shrinks brains

NEWS ARCHIVE
2009
2008
2007

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YOUR BODY    HEALTH RECIPE    NUTRITION    TOXINS    SYMPTOMS
6                                 

Body detox system

Body & toxins - Oxidation - }Detox system - Nutrients - Protocols

 Why is it that some days you feel like you're on the mountain top, and some others - for no apparent reason - you feel sluggish, depressed, weak? Chances are, those days when you don't feel great, your body can't handle its toxic load satisfactorily. Plainly put, it is poisoned because your detox system is not up to the task of protecting your body from the toxins you are exposed to.

 Anything that enters your body has to be appropriately processed: nutrients are converted to their useable forms, what is redundant gets separated for elimination, and toxins - both, those originated externally, and those created during the metabolic process - have to be either neutralized, or safely eliminated. This is the job of a specialized system of enzymes and compounds that form body's detox system.

  What is it that constitutes detox system? Most of us think of the liver, but it is more complicated than that: process of detoxification is taking place throughout the body. It is both, incredibly complex, and surprisingly efficient in its seeming randomness. Most body cells produce detox enzymes to some extent, with the detox enzyme systems present in the intestine, kidneys, brain and other localities. The fact that they are there implicates that all these body tissues and organs need direct protection from toxins, and can be injured if it is not efficient.

The liver is merely body's main detox site, with the highest concentration of cells producing powerful protective enzymes helping to detoxify the blood (it also filters blood from larger impurities and bacteria). Most important part of the process of detoxification concerns transforming fat-soluble (lipophilic) toxins to water-soluble (hydrophilic) through so called Phase I and Phase II, so that they can be excreted trough the urine and bile. This process is often referred to as toxin biotransformation.

TOXINS

¤

 ENDOTOXINS: metabolites, microbial toxins
 EXOTOXINS:
industrial, vehicular, agricultural, food additives, pharmaceuticals, household chemicals and bio-contaminants, plastics and other xenobiotics

DETOX
PHASE I Catalysis



¤

Carried out by large group of enzymes, often referred to as cytochrome P-450-dependant mixed function oxidizes, subjecting toxins to:
OXIDATION (adds oxygen, removes hydrogen or electron)
REDUCTION (removes oxygen, adds hydrogen or electron), or
DEGRADATION in water (hydrolysis)
With all the hoopla, most toxins are only chemically modified, so that they can be picked up and disposed of in Phase II detoxification.
 CHARGED PARTICLES!
Phase I toxin activation produces free radicals and naked electrons, creating reactive particles like superoxides, peroxides and hydroxyl radicals. These damage cells, tissues and organs and accelerate aging, unless neutralized by antioxidant nutrients and enzymes.

DETOX
PHASE II Conjugation


 
¤

Via  transferase enzymes, activated toxins bind with special compounds/carriers:
• SULFUR BASED:
Glutathione, PAPS, inorganic sulfur
• AMINO ACIDS:
Glycine, Glutamine and Taurine
• GLUCURONIC ACID,
made by the body from glucose
• ACETYL group
(CH3CO)
• METHYL group
(CH3)
usually forming less toxic, polar, more water soluble conjugates, suitable for

ELIMINATION

Conjugated toxins and toxin metabolites are transported through the bloodstream and excreted:
in urine (through the kidneys),
with bile into intestine/feces,
through the skin (sweat), or
exhaled through the lungs

Aside from being much fewer in numbers, water-soluble toxins are by their nature easier to neutralize and mobilize to the channels of elimination in the predominantly aqueous body environment. In addition, they are generally less capable of penetrating lipid-based cellular and other membranes (except for very small molecules, that can penetrate them by diffusion), which is primarily how toxins get to harm the body.

Most lipid-soluble toxins in Phase I undergo some kind of oxidative reaction (hydroxylation, epoxidation, deamination, dealkylation, sulfoxidation, dehalogenation, etc.). Relatively few of them undergo chemical reduction, because it requires lack of oxygen. Many toxins that are oxidized are either hydroxylated (turned to alcohols by the addition of hydroxyl group, and then oxidized to aldehydes) or epoxidized (activated by addition of oxygen). Aldehydes and epoxides are then acidified through Phase II conjugations, with glutathione conjugation handling particularly high number of toxin metabolites (some aldehydes can also be directly acidified, w/o conjugation).

For the most part, Phase I detoxication does not neutralize toxins; in fact, the modified, or activated toxins it produces can be more, or much more toxic than in their original form. For instance, aldehydes are generally more toxic than their alcohol precursors, and so are dihydro compounds resulting from epoxidation. It is therefore critically important that Phase II response matches the output of Phase I detoxication.

Within this overall balance requirement, each of various detox pathways has to be working efficiently in order to provide the body with needed protection from toxins.

Following table lists some of the toxins handled by body's detox pathways.

ACTIVATION-CATALYSIS by

biotransforms:

OXIDATION

Hydroxylation

butane, hexane, hydrazine, bio-active amines...

Aldehydes

formaldehyde, acetaldehydes (from Candida), vinyl chloride...

Epoxidation

aflatoxin, chloropesticides, trichloroethylene...

Dehalogenation

chlorinated water, cleaning agents, anesthetics...

REDUCTION

terpens, nitrophenols, carbon tetrachloride...

DEGRADATION

herbicides, insecticides, antibiotics, local anesthetics, plasticizers (phthalates), drugs...

CONJUGATION by

biotransforms:

SULFUR COMPOUNDS

Glutathione

aldehydes, epoxides, electrophiles (reactive compounds with affinity to electrons), acetaminophens, anthracene, bromobenzenes, chloroforms...

PAPS*

phenols (salicylic acid, aspirin), alcohols, steroid hormones...

Inorganic
sulfur

inorganic cyanides, heavy metals, aromatic steroids...

AMINO ACIDS

herbicides, insecticides, plant hormones, drugs...

GLUCURONIC ACID

alcohols, phenols (including bisphenol A), plasticizers, amines, food additives, many drugs...

ACETYL GROUP

histamine, serotonin, PABA, sulfa drugs...

METHYL GROUP

amines, phenols, hormones, neurotransmitters...

*3'-phosphoadenosine, 5'-phosphosulphate

This is only a tiny fraction of xenobiotics and endogenous compounds metabolized by the detox system. Think of some

100,000 registered commercial chemicals,

plus naturally occurring toxins. Hundreds to thousands of them are inside you, all of them xenobiotic, most of them toxic to your body. That only begins to paint the picture of the enormous task that your detox system is facing each and every day.

The detox pathways partly overlap in their detox activity, so that somewhat inefficient action in one of them is usually compensated through other pathways. However, significant

failure in any one of them puts the
entire system at the risk of malfunctioning.

Detox system is not strictly programmed, nor controlled; depending on the circumstance, same toxins can undergo different reactions, and some of the outcomes may not be good for the body. Chances for such faulty, unhealthy chemistry to occur increase with one or more pathways becoming inefficient, or even blocked. This may happen as a result of the combined effect of toxic overexposure, nutritional deficiencies and/or genetic malfunction (such as failure to produce certain detox enzyme).

For instance, many toxins undergo transformation to alcohols, then aldehydes, to be either converted to carboxylic acid via aldehyde oxidase enzyme and degraded to carbon dioxide and water, or conjugated by glutathione and eliminated in urine as mercapturic acid. If flavin (vitamin B2) dependant aldehyde oxidase enzyme is inefficient due to, say, B2 deficiency, or deficiency of molybdenum or iron it needs as co-factors, aldehydes can accumulate in the body. They are generally toxic - often very toxic - and can cause variety of symptoms, from flushing, numbness, tingling and cold extremities, to formaldehyde sensitivity, fatigue (from the mitochondrial injury), immune dysfunction, protein cross-linking and vasculitis, possibly resulting in seizures and brain damage (Chemical Sensitivity, W. Rea).

Excess aldehydes can metabolically reverse to alcohols, contributing to "foggy brain" syndrome, often seen in chemically sensitive, or causing over-sensitivity to alcoholic beverages. The overwhelmed alcohol pathway now may result in metabolic switch to forming chloral hydrate, the same chemical used for Mickey Finn "knock-out" drops, or to increased epoxidation, possibly elevating toxic epoxides, like dihydro compounds that can cause necrosis, or have mutagenic (genetic change adversely affecting health of future generations), carcinogenic and/or teratogenic (directly affecting fetus) effect.

Both, toxic aldehydes and epoxides can form adducts - damaging stable bonds with cellular molecular structures, including proteins and DNA.

            Chloral hydrate   Adducts    
         Ó                Ó
TOXINS Ú  ALCOHOLS   Ú  ALDEHYDES  Ú ACID
           
à                         ß                  Ü
        
          EPOXIDES   Ú  conjugation
  Ú EXCRETION
Ô
                               
 Adducts                                 

Inefficient conversion of aldehydes to acids - which is their primary detoxification route - is likely to increase their conjugation with glutathione and cysteine, lowering availability of these two crucial detox compounds.

These are only a few of many possible adverse health effects resulting from inefficiency of a single detox enzyme, or pathway. Of course, it makes it worse if your toxic exposure to aldehyde-forming elements, like alcohol beverages, formaldehyde, ethylene glycol, methanol, Candida albicans, acetone from the air or produced by the body due to low-carbohydrate diet, bio-amines from foods like chocolate and fermented cheeses, or stress hormone adrenaline, among others, is elevated.

You can see now how important for your health is that your detox system functions properly.

And it can't do its job unless it gets needed nutrients, including those necessary to safeguarded it from excessive oxidative damage.  

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