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The experts are wrong--you don't need to spring clean your body.

Every spring, magazines and newsletters are filled with articles about spring cleaning your body. This rationale comes from Chinese medicine, but it has its limitations. Spring is called "liver time." Many consider it an ideal time to cleanse your liver after eating more fatty foods that kept us warm throughout the winter. So every spring we read articles that reinforce the importance of going on a detoxifying diet.

These articles are missing the boat.

Eating less fats and more green leafy vegetables in the spring makes sense. But you shouldn't be detoxifying once a year. You should be cleansing your liver and tissues every single day of the year. Not from fatty foods, but from environmental pollutants. They're causing more health problems than a congested liver.

I'm not minimizing the importance of eating seasonal foods, such as those used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine. I'm just saying that our environment is so polluted that you shouldn't rely on a cleansing program one season a year to detoxify. You need to constantly detoxify all of your organs from the lead, arsenic, and cadmium that foul the air you breathe, the water you drink, the soil you grow your food in, and the dust none of us can escape. All of these contain contaminants that build up in our bodies where they can cause serious health problems.

How these toxins destroy your health

Let's look at a few reasons to continuously detoxify pollutants.

Do you have chronic bronchitis? What about emphysema or other lung problems? The cause may be the cadmium found in first-or second-hand cigarette smoke. Cadmium is a heavy metal that's particularly toxic to the lungs.

Perhaps you're not a smoker. Well, if you garden, you may be exposed to cadmium in the non-organic fertilizers you use. Cadmium is both toxic and difficult to remove because your kidneys tend to retain it and recycle it throughout your body.

Arsenic is a toxic substance commonly found in water in various parts of the world, as well as in smoke from treated wood. It's also in arsenic-containing herbicides and in crops like rice and wheat if the ground water in which they grow is contaminated.

Ordinary home water filters don't remove arsenic, a poison known to be carcinogenic. The Journal of the American Medical Association recently published a study in which researchers found that low levels of arsenic exposure can cause type-2 diabetes.

Many consider low levels of lead to be safe. But even low levels can cause major depression and panic attacks in healthy young adults according to a new study in JAMA. The problem is lead is everywhere: in the air, water, and soil. Like arsenic, it's in contaminated water as well as in some pottery and paints.

A major concern of lead toxicity is its effect on the brain including impaired memory and mental illness. But this toxin affects much more, from blocking vitamin D to vision and hearing problems.

An effective detoxification program

If you're not removing environmental pollutants that build up in tissues and organs throughout your body, you're missing effective detoxification. The first step is to reduce your exposure to any toxins. It's not easy, but here are a few tips.

Don't burn any wood in your fireplace that may have been treated. And don't allow anyone to smoke inside your home or car. Use the best water filter you can find that removes environmental toxins. Don't assume that bottled water is purer than tap water unless you see a lab report to back up any claims.

Next, use substances that bind to environmental toxins and have been proven to remove them from your body safely. There are two products I recommend and have used personally for years. They're safe and they work. I've talked about them before, but it bears repeating.

First, remove any newly absorbed environmental toxins that are circulating throughout your bloodstream waiting to be absorbed into your organs. I use a combination of modified citrus pectin and sodium alginate (from seaweed) in a product called PectaSol Chelation Complex (PCC). Studies show that both of these substances attach themselves to toxic heavy metals and remove them in the urine. Better, they leave essential minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and zinc alone. I have found no chelation substance as safe and effective as PCC (three capsules twice a day on an empty stomach).

PCC is a good first step, but it's not enough. PCC and other chelating agents remove toxins in the bloodstream and digestive tract, but they can't bind to heavy metals stuck in organs and other tissues. So after using PCC for a month, add two capsules of PectaSol Detox Complete (PDC) twice a day with food. It contains herbs and nutrients that get into tissues and remove contaminants from environmental pollutants to the residues from pharmaceuticals.

In a small study, researchers found that the combination of PCC with PDC was much more effective than PCC alone in decreasing the toxic metal load in the participants. And there were no side effects.

The best detox program I've found

Over the years, I've discovered that using PCC, then adding PDC until heavy metal loads have been reduced, is most effective. This can take from six months to several years, depending on your levels of toxic metals. You can evaluate your heavy metal load periodically through hair analysis or blood tests.

Once your levels are low, you can discontinue the PDC and take a maintenance dose of PCC (one capsule twice a day). This program should keep environmental pollutants from compromising your health. Both PCC and PDC are available individually or in a kit from Advanced Bionutritionals (800-791-3395).

If you have any chronic illness, or if you just want to be as healthy as possible, give these PectaSol products a one-year test. If for any reason you can't get your toxic metal levels evaluated, don't worry. We all have some toxic metals in our tissues. The best time to remove them is now, and the usual methods of spring cleaning simply don't work as well, in my opinion.

Eliaz, I, et al. "Integrative medicine and the role of modified citrus pectin/alginates in heavy metal chelation and detoxification--five case reports," Forch Komplementarmed 2007; 14.

Journal of the American Medical Association, August 10, 2008.

For a complete listing of Dr. Nan's recommended dietary supplements and nutraceuticals, please go to:

Or call toll free 800-791-3395 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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Publication:Women's Health Letter
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2010
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