It is important to differentiate the words "toxin" and "toxic". While toxic includes the harmful synthetic substances that we are exposed to on a daily basis, toxin refers to anything that our bodies are unable to digest or get rid of. It is known that normal metabolic processes taking place within our bodies result in toxinsThe body has specific systems to execute the detoxification processes needed. The Detoxification process is crucial to help the body get rid of substances that otherwise will build up leading to symptoms like fatigue, bloating, skin irritation, emotional instability, trouble losing weight, headaches, sleeping problems, allergies and poor immunity.
One of the most reliable ways to detect the body's ability to detoxify properly is through blood chemistry analysis: there are standard blood markers which point out possible problems in the detoxification process. Since the liver is a key organ in the detoxification process, these markers include the enzymes released by the liver.
Liver enzymes are proteins produced by the liver to speed up chemical reactions in the body. There are four kinds of liver enzymes:
- ALP (alkaline phosphatase)
- ALT (alanine transaminase)
- AST (aspartate aminotransferase)
- GGT (gamma-glutamyl transferase).
The ratios of these enzymes in the blood indicate important markers that need to be addressed. The followings are examples of these markers:
- When ALT is elevated above AST & GGT this means that issues may be occurring inside the liver.
- When GGT is elevated above AST & ALT this indicates that issues may be happening outside of the liver, in the biliary tree (gallbladder & bile issue)
- Elevations of ALT may lead to hydration issues due to the depletion of glutamate which is an important neurotransmitter used by cells to send signals to other cells.
- Low GGT may indicate a need for more glutathione which is an antioxidant that helps repair and build damaged tissues.
- Elevated ALP may indicate either biliary insufficiency or a need to support the drug conjugation in phase II of the detoxification process.
As for other non-liver blood markers that can be observed from chemical blood analysis, the following are some examples that indicate methylation issues where methylation is a chemical reaction in the body that includes adding methyl to other molecules. It is a vital biochemical process that helps regulate the activity of cardiovascular, neurological, reproductive and detox systems.
- Decreased levels of vitamin B12, B9, total red blood cell count, haemoglobin and hematocrit
- Increased levels of Red Blood Cell Indices (RBC) which are: MCV, MCH, MCHC, RDW
As it is obvious the numerous factors contributing to the process of detoxification, there is no one strategy that can be implemented to support and improve this process. It is highly important to detect the part that is struggling in order to intervene and provide the needed support for this particular part in order to reach ultimate detoxification functionality.
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