Dr. Laura on Detoxification

Detoxification is a continual process. This happens at a cellular level throughout the body especially in the liver, kidney, lungs, skin, gastrointestinal tract and emotions.

Cellular toxins

When a cell encounters a toxin, be it too much sugar or alcohol, pesticides, BPA, lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, nickel, chemical flame retardants, phthalates, viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites it mounts a cell danger response (CDR).  This load triggers a series of protective reactions that slows the transport of   goods across the cellular membrane. The membrane walls thicken just like our ancestors ravaged in war, built their walled cities for protection. This response to cellular danger is a fundamental component of innate immunity and can be helpful in times of distress.

Seasonal influence on detoxification

There comes a time when things must come and go from this walled city.  Seasonal influence provide an important basis for organ focus. For example, in the height of summer, the emotions, digestive and energy movement are most active. Autumn is more a time for the lungs and large intestine.  Winter brings the kidney and bladder centre stage. Finally in spring the liver and gallbladder are most ready to clear out the build up from the cold winter months.

Long term effects of toxic exposure

Long term toxic exposure with little support leads to chronic disease. This is when the cells continually want to keep their walls of protection. This is not healthy. Garbage builds up, and the inward flow of nutrients slow down. We also get this feeling after the long, cold winter months as we have hibernated inside, put the heat on and slowed our movement in and out of the house. It is always interesting what tends to happen at human levels of behaviour are also reflected at levels of cellular behaviour.

With this in mind, it might be proactive to think about more outside activities to keep your cells and energy from becoming too stagnant. The kidneys and urinary bladder are likely more open to accept attention in the winter time.  The urinary bladder is pretty straight forward in its function; eliminating water soluble waste that has been prepared by the supporting organs in the body. The kidneys themselves are responsible for blood filtration, mineral and acid base balance. They decide what gets filtered out and what gets recycled back into the body. In Chinese Medicine, the kidneys include the adrenals, our body’s organs that help us adapt to stress.  It is important through the winter months to also ensure the adrenal glands are well supported.

Near the end of one season and the beginning of another, during equinox, the need for the organs shift. So in late winter, early spring, the stage prepares for the kidneys, adrenals and bladder to fade and the liver and gallbladder begin to take centre stage. If the flow of energy through these organs is not smooth, it generally results in a lack of creativity and feelings of irritability and nagging frustration.

Organ System Screening

Electro dermal screening (EDS) can provide insight into the health of your detoxification organs. Much like an EKG on the heart or EEG on the brain, nervous system conductance related to each organ may be captured at peripheral points of the nervous system on the hands and feet. The onsite EDS equipment at Forward Health is German engineered, precise and needle free. 

Detoxification Plan

Together with sensitive body biofeedback from the EDS equipment and understanding what’s bothering you, Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND can create a clear detoxification plan to help you relax those walls you and your cells have built, and get the river of life flowing smoothly once again.

Teeguarden, Ron. 1984. Chinese Tonic Herbs. Japan Publications New York.
Naviaux, Robert. 2013. Metabolic Features of the Cell Danger Response. Mitochondrion Volume 16, May 2014, Pages 7-17 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mito.2013.08.006.


Power of Protein

Protein is the building block of life. We all need protein. Even when we crave sugar, sometimes it really means we need protein. Protein will help us feel full longer and is deserves to be part of a balanced meal. Athletes may require more protein than their sedentary friends. This is because athletic training break down muscle tissue and then protein is required to re-build stronger and bigger muscles.

6 Purposes of Protein

We all need protein!

  1. Tissue building and maintenance
  2. Neurotransmitter creation
  3. Making hormones
  4. Involved in enzymes to perform chemical reactions
  5. Synthesis of energy
  6. Regulation of metabolic pathways.

Protein used in athletes can enhance anaerobic exercise  (lifting weights, sprinting) capacity, strength, and gains in muscle mass when weight training.

How much?

General needs of protein per kg of body weight is 0.8g/kg.

This is higher in body-builders (1.0g/kg)

and even higher in endurance athletes (1-1.5g/kg).

Spread your protein intake out over the course of the day. 20-30g at a time at each meal generally works well for most folks.

Eat Real Food

Not all protein is the same. Protein sources differ on their amino acid profile and the methods of processing or isolating the protein. Concentrated forms of protein include meat, poultry, egg, fish, and dairy. Animal based proteins are complete in their amino acid profile. Animal based proteins are the best and most predominant natural source of B12 and iron. Grass fed/ pasture raised and responsibly raised or organic meat may seem more expensive, but pound for pound it packs a lot more nutrients.

Pasture raised animal based proteins

  • pasture raised animal meat, dairy and eggs will have more nutrients, fewer toxins and less likely to have antibiotic resistant super-bugs
  • grass fed bison has four times more selenium the grain fed bison. Selenium is important in thyroid function.
  • Wild caught salmon has a better ratio of Omega 6:Omega 3 – making it so much more healthy.

Compared to grain fed, grass fed beef has:

  • 7x  more beta carotene, which your body coverts to vitamin A – important for skin and eyes.
  • 3x more vitamin E, which stabilizes cell membranes and keeps blood flowing smoothly.
  • higher levels of glutathione, which is important for detoxification
  • 2x the amount of B2, involved in the production of energy in the body
  • 3x the amount of B1, plays a role in production of energy and nucleic acids (RNA, DNA)
  • 30% more calcium, adding strength to bones, teeth and aids in muscle contraction
  • 5% more magnesium, a co-factor in over 300 different enzymes and helps muscles relax
  • Natural source of CLA – conjugated linoliec acid which reduces risk of heart attack and breast cancer

Plant based protein is found in soy, chick peas, lentils, legumes and nuts and seeds. Plant based proteins often need to be combined to reach a complete protein profile.

Protein Powders

Protein powders are convenient and a suitable way to get in extra protein when whole food is not available. The base food is processed to extract the protein content out of it. So having rice protein, for example, is different than eating a bowl of rice, which is primarily a source of carbohydrate. Watch the protein powder mixes for unnecessary ingredients like sugar, multiple ingredients and flavourings. Simple is often best.

Types of Protein Powders

  • Whey Isolate
  • Rice
  • Pumpkin
  • Hemp
  • Pea
  • Beef Isolate
  • Soy

If you are dairy sensitive, whey may make you feel bloated and gassy. Not everyone can digest soy. When starting pea protein, start with small amounts and build up.  This will help prevent gassiness. To get a complete amino acid profile, it is best to combine the plant based proteins. Beef isolate is a newer one on the market and is helpful for those who are grain, legume and dairy sensitive.

This information is for educational purposes only. It does not intend to treat or diagnose any individual condition. To find out what’s best for you, consider an individual appointment.

From the heart, mind and research of Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND.

More about naturopathic medicine here.

Gaby A. 2011. Nutritional Medicine. Fritz Perlberg Publishing Concord, NH.
Kresser K. 2014 The Paleo Cure: Eat Right for Your Genes, Body Type, and Personal Health NeedsPrevent and Reverse Disease, Lose Weight Effortlessly, and Look and Feel Better than Ever. Little Brown and Company, New York.
Temple N, Wilson T, Jacobs DR. 2006. Nutritional Health—Strategies for Disease Prevention 2nd ed, , Humana Press, Totowa, NJ.