Our immune system can deliver a potent attack against any form of intruder/disease. Cancer patients are laser focused on what to do next when traditional Western medicine, including chemotherapy drugs, fails to eradicate cancer cells from a patient’s body.
That’s where focusing on the power of the body’s immune system comes into play. It is vital to develop a plan of attack, and detoxification is where to begin the mission.
Carahealth.com explains a regimen of detoxification that they say can be useful in preventing certain types of cancers. It starts with curcumin, which I have written about regularly here on Richardcyoung.com (see here, here, here, and here). Read some of what Carahealth.com has to say on detoxification of the liver as a way to assist the body in cancer fighting below (abridged):
Phase 1 And 2 Liver Detoxification Pathways
Curcumin, the compound that gives turmeric its yellow colour, is interesting because it inhibits phase I while stimulating phase II. This effect can be very useful in preventing certain types of cancer. Curcumin has been found to inhibit carcinogens, such as benzopyrene (found in grilled meat), from inducing cancer in several animal models. It appears that the curcumin exerts its anti-carcinogenic activity by lowering the activation of carcinogens while increasing the detoxification of those that are activated. Curcumin has also been shown to directly inhibit the growth of cancer cells. As most of the cancer-inducing chemicals in cigarette smoke are only carcinogenic during the period between activation by phase I and final detoxification by phase II, curcumin in the turmeric can help prevent the cancer-causing effects of tobacco.
Phase I detoxification and ageing
The activity of phase I detoxification enzymes decreases in old age. Aging also decreases blood flow through the liver, further aggravating the problem. Lack of the physical activity necessary for good circulation, combined with the poor nutrition commonly seen in the elderly, add up to a significant impairment of detoxification capacity, which is typically found in ageing individuals.
Phase Two – Detoxification Pathway
This is called the conjugation pathway, whereby the liver cells add another substance (eg. cysteine, glycine or a sulphur molecule) to a toxic chemical or drug, to render it less harmful. This makes the toxin or drug water-soluble, so it can then be excreted from the body via watery fluids such as bile or urine.
Major Phase II pathways
- Glucuronide conjugations
Through conjugation, the liver is able to turn drugs, hormones and various toxins into water soluble excretable substances. Individual xenobiotics and metabolites usually follow one or two distinct pathways. This makes testing of the various pathways possible by challenging with known substances.
Sulphur containing foods and amino acids stimulate phase II detoxification
For efficient phase two detoxification, the liver cells require sulphur-containing amino acids such as taurine and cysteine. The nutrients glycine, glutamine, choline and inositol are also required for efficient phase two detoxification.
Eggs and cruciferous vegetables (eg. broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower), raw garlic, onions, leeks and shallots are all good sources of natural sulphur compounds to enhance phase two detoxification. Thus, these foods can be considered to have a cleansing action.
The phase two enzyme systems include both UDP-glucuronyl transferase (GT) and glutathione-S-transferase (GSH-T).
Glutathione-S-transferase is the most powerful internal antioxidant and liver protector. It can be depleted by large amounts of toxins and/or drugs passing through the liver, as well as starvation or fasting. Phase II reactions may follow Phase I for some molecules or act directly on the toxin or metabolite.
Substrates of the glycine pathway
Salicylates and benzoates are detoxified primarily through glycination. Benzoate is present in many food substances and is widely used as a food preservative. Many other substances are detoxified as well via the glycine conjugation pathway. Patients suffering from xenobiotic overloads and environmental toxicity may not have sufficient amounts of glycine to cope with the amount of toxins they are carrying.
Bitter herbs to improve phase 1 and 2 detoxification
Bitter herbs are the corner stone of herbal medicine. A range of physiological responses occur following stimulation of the bitter receptors of the tongue. The bitter taste stimulates the specific bitter taste buds at the back of the tongue to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system to trigger a number of reflexes. These reflexes are important to the digestive process and general health.
Specifically in relation to digestion herbal bitters;
Sialogogues – stimulate saliva to digest carbohydrates.
Orexogenics – stimulate hydrochloric acid to digest protein.
Chologogues – Stimulate bile flow to digest fats.
The stimulation of the flow of digestive juices from the exocrine glands of mouth, stomach, pancreas, duodenum and liver, aid in digestion, absorption and assimilation of foods and nutrients. There is also a very mild stimulation of endocrine activities, especially insulin and glucagon secretion by the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas therefore used to treat of non-insulin dependent diabetes. By promoting the flow of bile, bitters assists the liver in its detoxifying capacity.
Read more here.