10 Best Practices for Detoxification and Wellness
Most people think that getting healthy requires a massive lifestyle overhaul. But according to cardiologist Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD, improving your health doesn’t require monumental effort or change. There are plenty of small, easy things you can do to detox and drastically impact your health. Think of it as spring cleaning for your body.
“One of the most impactful things you can do to get healthy is reduce your toxic load,” says Dr. Thomas Levy, author of Hidden Epidemic: Silent Oral Infections Cause Most Heart Attacks and Breast Cancers (MedFox Publishing, 2017, ISBN: 978-0-983-77287-3, $29.95). “When unaddressed, the ongoing sources of toxins in your body can prevent you from reaching your health goals.”
In Hidden Epidemic, he delves into the little-known causes of life-threatening illnesses like breast cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s, and offers guidelines for preventing disease and maintaining health. An important takeaway from the book: All disease comes down to having too much oxidative stress in your body.
“Oxidation is a normal component of the body’s healthy metabolic activity,” says Dr. Levy, “but thanks to our highly toxic lifestyle, a state of highly increased oxidative stress is becoming the norm.”
Dr. Levy says all toxins are “pro-oxidants,” meaning they promote oxidation by removing electrons from the molecules they oxidize. Understanding the increased oxidative stress (IOS) paradigm as it relates to toxins and wellness is crucial to reclaiming your health. Your goal should be to decrease your levels of oxidative stress as much as possible. Decreasing your toxic load is a powerful way to do that—and it’s far simpler than you might imagine.
If you’re ready to regain your optimal health (or maintain it!), here are some tips for decreasing your toxic load.
Understand why you must detox with caution. Dr. Levy emphasizes that detoxification is also retoxification; any detoxification effort mobilizes toxins in the body. Freeing too many toxins can be dangerous, as reassimilation and reabsorption can cause a renewed toxic effect and could cause severe damage to the immune system. Therefore, all detoxification should be done at a clinically controlled rate and under the guidance of an integrated physician. If you have a chronic illness, detox should occur when you are feeling generally well. Further, your physician should monitor your blood work throughout the process to make sure your C-reactive protein level—an inflammation marker—doesn’t rise too high.
Identify and treat silent infections in the mouth. Most people are shocked to learn that many life-threatening health problems begin in the mouth. Silent, symptom-free infections in the teeth, gums, and tonsils are the sources of ongoing toxins in the body and lead to diseases like cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s, and ailments like arthritis, hypertension, chest pain, and headaches. The scariest part: Asymptomatic tooth infections are prevalent in most of the population. These infections don’t show up on a regular X-ray, but they can be viewed with a diagnostic test called 3D cone beam imaging. Once identified, you should work with your dentist and physician to treat these infections.
Improve your digestion. Poor digestion can be a source of ongoing toxins. Healthy people should have one or two bowel movements a day. When this doesn’t happen, the stasis of the gut causes putrefaction that proliferates the same type of anaerobic pathogens found in a toxic mouth. But you can improve your digestion by following a few easy guidelines:
- Minimize your liquid intake with your food.
- Take digestive enzyme supplements to aid in digestion. As people grow older and become more toxic, they may become deficient in their synthesis of digestive enzymes.
- Avoid milk. Not only should you avoid milk because of its calcium load but also because it slows down and inhibits digestion of the other foods it is taken with.
- Practice proper food combining methods. Eating the wrong types of foods together promotes stasis in the gut and increases the propensity for constipation and toxin production. For this reason, you should always eat fruit at the beginning of a meal and avoid consuming proteins with starches in the same sitting.
Avoid processed foods. “Seek out an organic and gluten-free diet that avoids processed foods,” says Dr. Levy. “Why? Because these foods don’t contain added iron. For over 70 years this country has had a preoccupation with iron deficiency. Now virtually every processed food has iron added to it, which makes it toxic to consume. In fact, manufacturers enrich cereal with iron by adding actual iron filings to their cereal flakes.”
To view Dr. Levy’s video demonstrating iron filings being removed from a bag of cereal, please click here.
Get as many antioxidants as you can. Antioxidants are your best repairer and sustainer of good health. They often come in the form of nutrients, because any quality nutrient that has a clearly beneficial effect on the body and the metabolism has that effect because it ultimately metabolizes down to antioxidant molecules that can donate electrons, thus decreasing oxidative stress.
“In general, everybody should supplement to get enough antioxidants,” says Dr. Levy. “You basically can’t get enough from your food alone. The big four nutrients you should supplement with are magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin D, and vitamin C. I consider vitamin C to be the most important nutrient you can take and the primary fuel on which the body runs. Most people should supplement between 6,000 and 12,000 milligrams of vitamin C a day; some will need more and some will need less depending on their health needs.”
Consume as many micronutrients as possible. Once you’ve got a good baseline of supplementation in place, it’s important to support your micronutrient levels. This is crucial because so many people eat such a poor diet that there’s still a wide range of nutrients they need in small amounts—and they need them badly. Dr. Levy recommends using a NutriBullet or another high-speed blender to pulverize organic fruits, vegetables, seeds, and grains into smoothies. Adding in organic pumpkin, sesame, and chia seeds goes a long way toward giving you the micronutrient support you need.
And avoid all toxic nutrients. Calcium, iron, and copper are all toxic nutrients. They are essential for life in minimal amounts but cause illness in increased amounts. Supplementing calcium for bone health promotes toxicity that is directly linked to IOS inside the cells and is a primary cause of cancer and carcinogenesis. Copper and iron also cause IOS inside the cells. Dr. Levy advises avoiding calcium and copper supplementation and advises supplementing with iron only for limited durations when your physician has documented an iron deficiency anemia. Once you achieve normal blood count, stop all iron supplementation immediately.
Use nutrient chelators to bind and remove toxins. One of the best and least toxic ways to remove toxins from the body is through nutrient chelators. Dr. Levy recommends supplementing with inositol hexaphosphate (IP6), which binds to iron, calcium, and other toxins, and removes them safely from the body. (Remember to always take it on an empty stomach; otherwise it will just bind to your food.) Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is another good supporter of detoxification. Other options include any chelator that supports glutathione levels like N-acetyl cysteine and liposome-encapsulated glutathione and N-acetyl carnitine.
Regulate your sex and thyroid hormones. When your sex hormones—estrogen for women and testosterone for men—are abnormally low or when your thyroid levels are even slightly low, it increases IOS throughout your body. Make sure your sex hormones are adjusted into the mid- normal range and ensure that your thyroid is functioning normally. This is vital for keeping any sources of infections or toxins from spreading and metastasizing throughout the body.
Sweat out toxins. Visiting a far infrared sauna is the easiest way to remove toxins from your body in a non-toxic fashion. Studies show that a far infrared sauna heats your tissues and induces sweat at a lower temperature than hotter steam saunas.
“If you’re a frequent far infrared sauna user, remember that sweating removes the good stuff as well as the bad stuff,” says Dr. Levy. “It’s a good thing to excrete toxins like iron, but take care not to deplete yourself too much of the good things like sodium, potassium, or magnesium.”
One more thing to keep in mind as you decrease your toxic load: You get to decide how long and how often you do any detoxification protocol because you know your body better than anyone. Periodically assess how you feel—you should feel generally well throughout the detox—and refer to your follow-up blood work to see your progress. When you’re doing the right things for your body, any previously abnormal blood test should at least show a tendency to normalize or improve.
“These detox strategies are very easy to put into practice and yet they can deliver impressive results,” concludes Dr. Levy. “That’s good news for you and your health. You don’t have to suffer through a lifetime of health conditions that leave you depleted, depressed, sick, or in pain. You can feel better and reclaim your health, starting right now.”
Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD, is the author of Hidden Epidemic: Silent Oral Infections Cause Most Heart Attacks and Breast Cancers (MedFox Publishing, 2017, ISBN: 978-0-983-77287-3, $29.95). He is a board-certified cardiologist and a lawyer, and is the author of 10 other groundbreaking medical books, including Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins; Primal Panacea; and Death by Calcium. He is one of the leading vitamin C experts in the world, and he frequently lectures at medical conferences and to groups of people around the globe about the proper role of vitamin C and other antioxidants in optimizing treatment protocols for the most common chronic degenerative diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and advanced chronic infections, such as Lyme.
For more information, please visit www.medfoxpub.com.
About the Book:
Hidden Epidemic: Silent Oral Infections Cause Most Heart Attacks and Breast Cancers (MedFox Publishing, 2017, ISBN: 978-0-983-77287-3, $29.95) is available at www.medfoxpub.com and Amazon.