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A Simple Guide to Detoxification

By Bioclinic Naturals

Why Detox?

Your practitioner may be suggesting a detoxification protocol for obvious health concerns, but there are also many other, more subtle, reasons our bodies may need a detox. When toxic metabolites accumulate, our systems of elimination become overloaded, and we become progressively more sensitive to additional chemicals (some of which may not normally be toxic). An overburdened body manifests in various ways:1

  • Headaches, nausea.
  • Digestive disturbances (constipation, bloating, bad breath).
  • Weight gain, blood sugar imbalances.
  • Fatigue, mood changes.
  • Skin conditions (rashes, acne, psoriasis).
  • Allergic and atopic conditions (hives, asthma, eczema).
  • Joint pain.
  • Brain fog and cognitive issues.

Toxins in our Daily Lives1

We are increasingly exposed to toxic compounds every day in the air, water and food  consumed to sustain life. But, ironically, via this consumption, toxins have become the primary drivers of disease, with increases in occurrences of conditions such as diabetes, infertility, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).1

How Detoxification Works

The liver is the main organ of detoxification and is the body’s primary filtration system for converting toxins into waste products. But other vital organs that remove toxic waste from the body include the kidneys, skin, liver and digestive tract.1,3 A detox protocol supports pathways of elimination and their function, so the body can remove toxins optimally.1,3

General Detox Protocol

Your practitioner will individualise a detox protocol for you that may involve changes in diet, lifestyle and environment, and include supplements to assist and fine-tune the detoxication process by the body. It will look something like this:1,3

–        Identify toxin exposure and remove

–        Follow healthy diet and lifestyle guidelines

The digestive system and processes of detoxification need to be working optimally to cope with the release of toxins. The amount of time for this stage is dependent on level of toxicity exposure and symptoms.

–        Improve digestive function

–        Support liver function

–        Optimise bowel function

Now that the environmental load is reduced and digestive tract integrity is improved, the body is better equipped to deal with toxic release and excretion.
Support liver function and processes of elimination and excretion.
Maintain all the hard work by continuing to reduce toxic exposures and supporting the natural detox processes of the body.


Food and Diet Considerations1,3

  • Drink 1-3 L of filtered/purified water.
  • Avoid alcohol, coffee, soft drinks and packaged juice.
  • Avoid saturated fats, refined sugars and salt.
  • Limit barbecued, grilled, and charbroiled foods.
  • Avoid eating processed foods with preservatives, artificial sweeteners and flavour enhancers.
    • Avoid packaged foods with numbers in the ingredients list.
  • Avoid gluten-, dairy- and soy-containing food products.
  • Consume sustainable wild-caught, not farmed, fish.
  • Avoid buying canned foods.
  • Consume sustainably sourced, certified organic, bio-dynamic and/or non-GMO foods:
    • Organic produce is certified to be free from pesticides.
    • Wash all non-organic produce before cooking or consuming.
  • Enjoy a diet of fresh and organic fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and lean protein.
  • Consume foods that support the liver and detoxification processes:
    • High sulphur content foods – garlic, eggs, onions, legumes.
    • Cabbage family vegetables – broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts.
    • Artichokes, turmeric, beets, carrots, dandelion, cinnamon.
    • Antioxidants – blueberries, goji berries, raspberries, kale.
    • Water-soluble fibres – pears, apples, oat bran, legumes, guar gum.

Fasting and Intermittent Fasting

Your health care practitioner may recommend fasting as part of a detoxification protocol.  Fasting is the abstention from food and sometimes drinking for a certain period of time. Intermittant fasting involves switching between fasting and eating on a regular schedule.

Fasting is one of the oldest known therapies and a way to increase elimination of wastes and enhance the healing processes.1,3 During a fast, stored toxins are released from fat cells, so supporting the body’s detoxification processes is important.1,3

Lifestyle and Environment Considerations

  • Avoid and minimise exposure to known toxins.

In the Kitchen4,5

  • Do not buy food packaged in plastic or use plastic containers or cling film for storing food.
    • Store food in BPA free containers, such as glass or stainless steel.
    • Use bees wax wraps.
  • Avoid microwaving, especially with cling film and plastic coverings.
  • Avoid aluminium and Teflon cookware.
    • Use stainless steel, ceramic-coated or cast-iron cookware.

In the Bathroom4,5

  • Use natural skin-care and sanitary products, without fragrance, that are low in chemicals and free of phthalates and parabens.
    • Choose paraben-free, sulphate-free and silicone-free shampoos and conditioners.
    • Use aluminium-free deodorants instead of antiperspirants.
  • Swap to triclosan- and fluoride-free natural toothpastes.

Around the House4,5

  • Use fragrance-free natural household cleansers low in solvents.
  • Avoid dry cleaning clothes and stain and water repellants on your furniture.
  • Wear natural fibers and avoid synthetic fabrics and dyes produced from petroleum.
  • Use bedding materials made from natural products with no or low-release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • Clean, dust and vacuum regularly.
  • Reduce exposure to electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) from mobile phones, microwaves, Wi-Fi routers, computers and other appliances.
    • Reduce/limit your screen time with electronic devices.
    • Turn-off appliances when not in use.
  • Exercise moderately every day.


  • The physiological process of sweating has long been regarded as a beneficial consideration for detoxification.
  • It has been shown that the levels of heavy metals are lower in people who exercise regularly, i.e. increased levels and occurrence of sweat and increased elimination.2
  • In those with higher toxic exposure or body burden, excretion via sweat generally exceeds plasma or urine concentrations.3
    • Arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury are excreted from the skin via sweat (during exercise or sauna) and rates of excretion are reported to match or exceed urinary excretion in a 24-hour period.3
  • Induced sweating appears to be a potential method for eliminating BPA,6 as well as certain PCBs from the body.7

For the best results on your detox journey, it is recommended that you visit a health care practitioner so they can tailor the detoxification protocol to your needs.

*References available on request

More about the author

Bioclinic Naturals
Bioclinic Naturals

Bioclinic Naturals is an exclusive practitioner-only range of evidence-based dietary supplements with a focus on clinical applications for nutritional interventions and strategies for preventive medicine. Our unique formulations meet practitioner needs for both condition-specific challenges and overall health enhancement.