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Detoxification: A natural and essential process to defend the body against harm

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

At the New School Of Nutritional Medicine detox is not a short term 'binge' or even a thing 'to do' or be endured.

Detoxification is encouraged as a lifestyle.

It is that time, when people start to to think about ‘new years resolutions’, dieting, veganuary, dry-anuary, nature-anuary, join the gym, start some exercise, to later fall back into old ways. New Year’s Resolutions have been proven not to work…but that is for a 'coaching' blog as mindset matters, belief systems matters, the stories we tell ourselves matter.

Let’s look at detox

Not the 'stop alcohol', 'grin and bear' it kind of detox, not the one that is so unrealistic that February becomes binge-ruary.

Just before reading on, ask yourself, how many people this winter have been ill with the 'virus'? How many generally 'healthy' individuals have been 'floored' this winter?


Detoxification is necessary, it is vital, it prevents chronic health issues such as cancer, auto-immune conditions, dare we add horrendous influenza symptoms.

WHY? HOW? You may ask…grab a herbal infusion, put up those feet ….

Detoxification in essence protects the body against harm.

We have these toxins, every one does, some are made by the body called ENDOGENOUS toxins, others from the outside are called EXOGENOUS.

Simply put, we want to reduce the exposure to exogenous toxins and support the body to eliminate the endogenous ones.

What are these exogenous toxins?

These include,

  • heavy metals

  • alcohol

  • caffeine

  • Smokes foods

  • nitrates in processed meats

  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

  • BPA

  • plastic

  • food additives

  • pesticides

  • medications

Persistent Organic Pollutants

POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants found in paints, pesticides, flame retardants) can hoard into fat cells. Remember DDT? That was a POP. POPS are sometimes referred to as ‘forever chemicals’. They impact animal health and environmental health. These POPS are linked to neurological diseases, cancer, heart disease. Dark Waters is worth watching if this is all new to you.

When we are not detoxing effectively ,the toxins can get stored in the liver, bone marrow, fat cells, joints, blood, muscle, tissues, central nervous system.

How do these 'hoarded toxins' manifest themselves?

  • Auto-immune conditions

  • Diabetes

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Headaches

  • Chronic fatigue

  • Hormonal imbalance

  • Obesity

  • Heart disease

  • High blood pressure

  • Cytokine storms

Have you ever wondered why people struggle to get over the 'flu'/pathogen?

Consider toxins….the winter season, people tend to indulge in toxins, alcohol, sugar, more alcohol, more sugar and then pollute their homes with toxic candles (yes those big candles, choose beeswax candles), plastic toys, new furniture off gassing formaldehyde…..we do not even notice. Then we ‘catch’ a bug and some are ‘floored’.

When one does not detox well, the detox process can produce an over abundance of inflammation and oxidation. This can all result in fatigue, muscle aches and pains, sound familiar? Remember the cytokine storm? ..this was and is inflammation system out of control.

Over-exposure to toxins due poor lifestyle habits and poor eating habits do not support detoxification, if anything they can hinder detoxification.

Imagine if your liver said ‘no problem Anita, I have your back, I can get all this out of here, no sweat’.

The loyal liver can only work with so much, and it get's to the point where the liver 'says enough is enough' and the symptoms start to 'show up'.

Two phases of detoxification

There are two basic phases of detoxification. These phases are finely tuned so that the the toxins can be safely excreted out of the body.

It is a bit like taking out the rubbish (garbage) out.

Phase 1: the first phase (the rubbish goes into the kitchen bin and once full the bag is taken out of the kitchen bin and tied-it is ‘activated’)

In this phase the liver tags the FAT LOVING (lipophilic) toxin, which also ‘activates’ it. This ‘activated’ toxin is more toxic than the original non tagged toxin. However, this is how mother nature does the job of detoxification. It has to get these lipophilic toxins to become hydrophilic (water loving, so they can be exited out of the body).

Phase 2 : the second phase conversion of the ‘activated’ toxins (bin bags put outside, ready for collection by the bin men)

In this phase the 'tagged' toxins from phase one are converted to water soluble ones so they leave the body through urine and sweat. Similar to the bin men coming and collecting the rubbish bags and disposing of them appropriately.

Waiting waiting...how long is the wait? Hopefully not long at all

The ‘tagged’ intermediate is awaiting it’s fate to enter the phase 2 department of the liver (the arrival of the bin men, but will they come? Or are the bin men on strike?). If this wait (strike) continues these tagged toxins can create oxidation and inflammation…but if the process from phase 1 to phase 2 is smooth, then there is no concern. In other words no strike, the bin men are on time and take the rubbish.

Phase 1 requires cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes and we find that some individuals may have some issues in their CYP enzymes. These issues are termed SINGLE NUCLEOTIDE POLYMORPHISMS (SNPs) in the CYP enzymes, the most common is CYP1A1 (we have a whole host of members in this CYP family). At the New School of Nutritional Medicine we teach our students about SNPs as these are overlooked by main stream medicine but they can 'make or break' someone's health and wellbeing.

Phase 2 ..surprise, surprise we have more enzymes. These are the NQ01, GSTM1, GSTP1, GSTT1. Now phase 2 basically adds on other ‘bits and bobs’ before the toxin is ready to be safely despatched out of the body. However, GLUTATHIONE is the celebrity here in phase 2.

These ‘bits and bobs’ involve

  • Glutathione conjugation

  • Sulphation

  • Glucuronidation

  • Methylation

  • Acetylation

  • Glycination

Again if there are any issues with SNPs with the above ‘bits and bobs’ enzymes this will hinder detox. This can make one more prone to all the conditions mentioned previously, this includes ADHD, autism, PANDAS, PANS etc. SNPs can be easily tested for by a qualified nutritional therapist and interpreted into a simple programme with personalised supplements where needed alongside a personalised nutritional plan. In the new year, you will be able to book with a member of our team of practitioners.

An imbalance between phase 1 and phase 2

If the bins in the kitchen are filling up fast and the bin men only come once a week, then you will have ‘inflammation and oxidation’ building up (rotting smell in bins, decaying matter).

So in essence we can have the following ‘unhappy’ scenarios (due to SNPs):

  1. Fast phase 1 and normal phase 2

  2. Normal phase 1 and slow phase 2

  3. Fast phase 1 and slow phase 2

These can lead to cancer, auto-immune conditions, fibromyalgia, CFS, oxidative stress, inability to recover from pathogen infection (for those thinking it, it is rare to find a slow phase 1).


How do we support detox and how do we avoid toxins from building up?

Support Phase 1

Firstly, remove exogenous toxins as much as is possible. Get rid of plastic, eat fresh food, cut out nitrates, cut toxic cosmetics, toxic nail varnish, toxic shampoos, toxic body washes etc. Increase anti-oxidants such as all your vegetables, cut out oxidants such as sugar, alcohol, white flour products.

Support phase 2

By increasing:

  • Cruciferous vegetables: cabbage, cauliflower, mustard greens, boo chow, wasabi, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, radishes, turnips

  • Allium vegetable: onions, garlic, leeks, chives

  • Amino acids: glycine, taurine, glutamine, cysteine, methionine, ideally from food sources.

More on glutathione HERE.

How about a 'sleep-anuary'?

Lifestyle habits that support overall well being

Sleep, nature, community, movement, hobbies, touch, laughter, REST.





At the School we do not encourage supplements without understanding why? Are there other more holistic options? What are these options? How about changing nutrition alone (this can work wonders)? How about using potentised herbs for support? If supplements are being recommended, how do we know they will not negatively impact another biochemical pathway? The body is wonderfully knitted together and honouring the innate wisdom of the body is key at the School.

We have integrated DNA testing into our evolving 2 year part time curriculum as times are changing and so are the 'skills and education' required from a future 21st century integrated Nutritional Therapist/Coach.

There are many supplements that can support detoxification such as glutathione, N-acetyl cysteine, SAMe, methionine, folate, trimethyl-glycine (TMG), vitamin B12, B6, B2, B3, magnesium, zinc, and choline and more. But it is not a matter of 'pic and mix'.

Always be mindful about using supplements, see a qualified nutritional therapist.

And for good measure, we also have Phase 2.5.

This phase is pretty much all things gall bladder. If you have not managed to purchase and watch the dynamic duo webinar, you may want to, as this webinar goes into detail about the gall bladder. In essence phase 2.5, is the synthesis of bile, the transport of bile to the gall bladder and then the 'expulsion' of bile into the gut. Purchase the Dynamic Duo webinar HERE.

The Integrated Nutrition Diploma Course

At the new school of nutritional medicine we are excited to such a rich curriculum where the various functional tests are integrated into the various modules. The curriculum is structured in such as way, that one can implement their learning from each weekend into their lifestyle, their practice, and run workshops as they learn with the support of a supervisor and student insurance. Why wait till the end of the two years?

The DNA testing is introduced in year 2 as we introduce the various pathologies and the causes of pathologies, such as oxidation and Alzheimer's or methylation and PANDAS, or inflammation and heart disease etc. Early intervention is always key.

Our integrated curriculum also teaches how to use Rapid Relief Homeopathy in acute situations, alongside using nutritional medicine and also how to enhance mental and emotional well being through the comprehensive coaching module.

In today’s world we need more than one tool in our bag of 'tricks' as practitioners. The two year Integrated Nutrition Diploma at the school covers;

  • Nutritional Medicine; because food is medicine

  • Coaching: because human connection is healing not isolation

  • Rapid Relief Homeopathy: because healing acutes is the highest form of homeopathy (not suppressing them)

If you are thinking of starting a new career as an integrated nutrition practitioner in the new year, have a look at our 2 year part time Integrated Nutrition Diploma Course.

If you like to watch a movie that shows a 'smidgen' of what toxins can do to our health and well being, we recommend DARK WATERS trailer HERE

TO WHOLE-ness and Wishing you the best for the new year!

From the team at the New School Of Nutritional Medicine.

Learn about the Founder & Principal of the New School of Nutritional Medicine, Dr Khush Mark PhD HERE.

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