Right out of the box, there have been no studies on the long-term effects of detoxification programs. There have been only a small number of studies on detox programs in people.
While some have had positive results on weight and fat loss, insulin resistance, and blood pressure, the studies themselves have been of low quality – with study design problems, few participants, or lack of peer review.
There are, however, many first-person testimonials that praise the effects of detoxing. Detoxification programs may involve a single process or a variety of approaches: fasting, juicing, only eating certain foods, diet supplements, herbs, enemas, hydrotherapy, and saunas.
Discuss with your health care professional before a detox program. Doctors and nutritionists can lend valuable insight to not only what you should do but how it may affect your body.
Theory: Liver flushes, which claim to get rid of microbes and parasites in the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, etc. are an integral part of alternative cancer treatment. These microbes and parasites in the organs are theorized to steal energy from the cells in the organs by intercepting nutrients and by excreting mycotoxins, etc. This is said to lead to weak organs and the immune systems, which then allows for cancer cells to grow and invade the body.
The function of a ‘liver flush'
The “liver flush” is claimed to kill the microbes and parasites in the organs, by definition.
Some of the essential functions of the liver include: (3)
- Processing nutrients absorbed by the intestines so they are more efficiently absorbed.
- Regulating blood composition to balance protein, fat, and sugar.
- Destroying old red blood cells
- Producing essential chemicals to help the blood clot properly.
- Breaking down and metabolizing alcohol and medications.
- Producing essential proteins and cholesterol.
- Removing toxins from the bloodstream including bilirubin, ammonia, and others.
- Storing of minerals, iron, and Vitamin A.
Benefits of a liver flush include:
- Weight Loss
- Immune System Support
- Discourages Liver Stones
- Supports Whole Body Detox
- Boosts Energy
- Increases Vitality (1)
“We can protect (our liver) to some extent by avoiding obvious hazards such as recreational drugs, unsafe sex, and raw shellfish, all of which can cause the liver-damaging disease hepatitis. But even when we're being good to our liver, hidden dangers can damage its cells and interfere with toxin breakdown. Toxins lurk in prescription medications, food additives, and air pollutants, and these may be impossible to avoid completely. (4)
“Here's where “liver detoxification” may be useful. When the liver is working double-duty to protect you from an onslaught of bad diet, bad judgment, and unavoidable insults, it could benefit from a little extra help.
“Antioxidant vitamins such as C, E, and beta-carotene; minerals such as zinc and selenium; B-vitamins that aid alcohol metabolism; and herbs said to “cleanse” the liver such as milk thistle, dandelion root, and schizandra, might help protect liver cells while ridding our body of poisons.”
The theory behind liver flushes and supplemental therapeutics:
1) Microbes and parasites in the organs weaken the organs and the weak organs, in turn, weaken the immune system,
2) A weak immune system allows the cancer cells to grow out of control and the person is diagnosed with cancer,
3) A “liver flush” kills these microbes and parasites,
4) Getting rid of these microbes and parasites does not immediately re-energize the cells in the organs and thus does not immediately re-energize the immune system,
5) Electromedicine (to be discussed in a moment) re-energizes the cells in the organs (which were weakened by the microbes and parasites)
6) The patient's immune system is strengthened and is then able to get rid of many cancer cells and helps the body to deal with cancer.
Note that while these six steps are going on, other cancer treatments are killing cancer cells and/or reverting cancer cells into normal cells, etc.
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, if you are in good health and not overloading your systems with toxic substances (such as alcohol), the liver will cleanse itself very well.
“However, if you do have diagnosed liver problems, the following supplements may help:
- Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum): Extract of the seeds of this flowering plant in the daisy family has been shown in European research to stimulate regeneration of liver cells and protect them from toxic injury. It is found in most health food stores as “milk thistle,” “silybum,” or “silymarin.” Take two capsules of an extract standardized to 70-80 percent silymarin two or three times daily as the label directs.
- Schizandra (Schizandra Chinensis) is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine. The plant is native to East Asia, and schizandra berries have been used as a treatment for cough, wheezing, diarrhea, indigestion, flu, premenstrual syndrome, and spontaneous sweating. In addition, animal studies have demonstrated that schizandra has a beneficial effect on the liver.” (2)
Treating cancer is a multi-pronged approach, but the liver flush and re-energizing the cells in the organs are standard approaches in many alternative oncology treatment regimens.
- Global Healing Center – http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/6-benefits-of-liver-cleansing/
- Dr. Andrew Weil – http://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/liver-kidney/is-liver-cleansing-dangerous/
- WebMD – http://www.webmd.com/hepatitis/tc/what-the-liver-does-topic-overview
- WebMD – http://www.webmd.com/men/features/liver-detoxification—-fact-fad#1