There are lots of misconceptions associated with detoxification, what it is, how it works, and why you need it. We are here to clear some of that up for you!
What is Detoxification?
In a nutshell, detoxification is a medical term for the removal of dangerous toxins from your body through bodily mechanisms. This process is primarily carried out through the function of your liver, kidneys, and cellular proteins.
Your liver is your body’s second largest organ (behind your skin) and filters toxins in various ways. It can break them down into safer substances, eliminate them through urine or bile, or even store them (1).
Your kidneys filter your blood, removing waste and extra water to make urine. They maintain a healthy balance of water, salts, and minerals in your blood (2).
Perhaps less known is a family of enzymes called cytochromes P450 (CYPs) that exist in your cells. CYPs metabolize thousands of different chemicals and help clear them from your body (3).
What Detoxification Is Not
Detox can have a negative connotation for some people due to dubious “detox cleanses” that may actually do more harm than good.
As mentioned above, detox is how your body naturally neutralizes and removes toxins. It is not starvation diets, juice cleanses, laxatives, diuretics, or enemas that may drain you of necessary nutrients and put undue stress on your body.
What Exposes Me to Toxins?
Modern life increasingly exposes us to various toxins through our diet and environment. Alcohol, drugs, pollutants, plastics in our food and drink, cigarette smoke, lead, mercury in fish, pesticides, chemicals in our cosmetics, and many more are examples of various toxins that enter our body on a daily basis (4).
As the level of toxins entering and harming us increases, our natural detoxification systems are bombarded and less effective at keeping us safe.
How Does COAST Help Detox?
COAST helps aid your body’s natural detoxification pathways through two main mechanisms:
- COAST is jammed with antioxidants, including the “master antioxidant”, glutathione, through a precursor called cysteine. Antioxidants are molecules that prevent cell damage by counteracting oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Free radicals are highly unstable molecules that are formed naturally when you exercise and when your body converts food into energy (5). You are also exposed to them through various environmental toxins and chemicals mentioned above. Free radicals cause oxidative stress, which is highly damaging to cells and can cause numerous diseases including cancer and Alzheimer’s. It happens when our bodies cannot sufficiently detoxify these free radicals (6). Antioxidants play a crucial role in limiting oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals.
- COAST also includes the powerful natural compound, Glucarate. Glucarate has been shown to support one of the major detoxification pathways in your body, glucuronidation. Glucuronidation is your body’s primary defense against cancer-causing agents (7). It is the process by which a toxin is removed from cells and made water-soluble, so that it can more easily be excreted from your body through urine or bile. This process of detoxification is often reversed by a harmful enzyme called beta-glucuronidase. Glucarate helps inhibit this “bad enzyme” in the detoxification process, so that glucuronidation is more efficient.
Other Tips to Improve Detox
There are other ways to help your body’s natural detoxification systems, and therefore, keep you healthier.
- Stay hydrated. Water helps remove waste products from your body (8).
- Avoid excessive alcohol. Alcohol creates a toxin that is a Class 1 Carcinogen, acetaldehyde, that causes lots of damage to your cells. It also drains your body of other critical resources.
- Get sufficient amounts of sleep. In addition to all the benefits you are probably already aware of, sleep helps the brain recharge and remove toxic waste byproducts (9).
- Eat a healthy diet that limits processed foods and sugar. Processed foods and sugar can themselves contain toxins while also leading to chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and cancer that limit the effectiveness of your body’s detox systems. Focus on foods high in antioxidants.
- Exercise regularly. We all know exercise is key to our health, but it also helps detoxification by limiting the possibility of obesity and disease that harm our detoxification ability.
We hope this deep dive into detoxification helped clear up some questions and misconceptions you may have had!