Detoxing: Strengthening Your Body's Defense Team


Detoxification is a natural healing process that incorporates resting, cleansing, and nourishing the body from the inside out. By eliminating toxins, then fueling your body with healthy nutrients, a planned period of detox can strengthen your body's natural "Detox Team" and help maintain optimum health.

Holistic physicians and proponents of detoxing suggest following a detox plan at least once per year, with spring and fall being the ideal approach. You may have heard critics argue the human body is designed with just the right physiological processes necessary to clear the body of impurities and maintain health. Unfortunately for many people, lifestyle habits and the environments where we live, work, eat and play often expose us to toxins that our bodies don't efficiently eliminate.

The toxins you can be exposed to everyday include:

  • heavy metals in the food and water supply
  • environmental pollution
  • chemical food additives
  • smoking; overuse of alcohol or drugs
  • use/overuse of Rx medication
  • prolonged high stress
  • poor quality diet and lifestyle habits
  • frequent colds or chronic illness

Your Body's Natural Detox Team
Your body naturally detoxifies itself via a Detox Team of organs that work synergistically to neutralize and eliminate toxins, with the goal of keeping the blood and cells free of impurities. The liver leads the Detox Team by processing toxins for elimination. The supporting detox defense players are the kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymph, and skin. When your body's natural Detox Team becomes compromised, impurities aren't properly filtered out. This makes it a real challenge for the Detox Team to maintain or restore health and well-being.

Detoxing Boosts Your Health
Following a detox program suited to your personal needs supports the body's natural cleansing process and boosts your health in many ways:

  • Allows digestive organs to rest
  • Stimulates the liver to process toxins more efficiently
  • Promotes movement of bowels
  • Improves circulation
  • Enhances sweating, which facilitates release of impurities
  • Restores vital nutrients and energy to the body

6 Things to Know Before You Detox
Before you begin a detox, prepare mentally and physically. Plan your dates a few weeks in advance. Inform the people closest to you about the time you've set aside to take care of yourself. Clear your schedule of routine obligations that may create stress. Stock up on inspirational music and reading material.

Gather Herbal Support. Herbal and nutritional supplements such as burdock, milk thistle, dandelion, and vitamins C and B protect and support the body's Detox Team, especially the liver. They also have antioxidant effects that benefit the whole body.

Hydrate! Without enough water, toxins will not be sufficiently flushed from the body. Aim to drink at least 2 quarts of water per day with lemon/lime during a detox.

Dry Brush Your Skin. Look for a brush with soft natural bristles. Begin with light, gentle brushing over the skin (don't make the skin red). Always brush towards the heart. Shower immediately after to rinse off exfoliated skin.

Get Wet. Therapeutic use of water also supports detoxification. A steam or sauna can accelerate the release of toxins. Hydrotherapy provides support to the muscles and promotes relaxation. Mineral bath salts also help release toxins.

Sweat it Out-Gently. Exercise facilitates digestion, circulation, metabolism and hormone balancing. During a detox, decrease the intensity of your usual exercise routine, but do break a moderate sweat. Get outdoors for fresh air and natural sunlight. Good exercise options are easy hiking, dancing, walking, yoga, or tai chi.

Rest. For your mind and body to fully assimilate the benefits of detoxing, you need good quality sleep. Plan your least stimulating activities (reading, meditation, bathing) for right before bed.

How to Detox?
There are many ways to approach detoxing, from fruit and vegetable juice fasts to herbal tea cleanses. There are people who must be under the care of a health practitioner, such as pregnant or nursing women or those diagnosed with certain conditions such as diabetes. In general, it's important to work with Dr. Bossio to select a program that matches your health needs.

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Mercurial World


We live in a mercurial world, and that’s not a good thing. Although mercury (Hg) is a naturally occurring element—found in the air, water, and soil—exposure to it, even in small amounts, causes serious health problems for adults and children. Mercury has toxic effects on the nervous, digestive, and immune systems as well as on the lungs, kidneys, skin, and eyes. It is a threat to the healthy development of a fetus and young child.
Until scientists and physicians recognized mercury as detrimental to health, it had been used in medicines and industrial applications. In the 1800s, the phrase “mad as a hatter” originated from the mental health changes observed in hatters who used mercury to process felt for headwear. Today, we are much more informed about the risks of exposure to mercury and its detrimental effects on health. Although many other metals can be problematic, the World Health Organization considers mercury one of the top 10 chemicals that are a major public health concern.
Mercury exists in several forms, including liquid metal (quicksilver), vapor, and in organic and inorganic compounds. It is released from the Earth’s crust through volcanic activity and through coal-burning and industrial processes.
Problems that arise from mercury exposure stem from a combination of factors: amount/dose, method of exposure (ingestion, inhalation, skin contact), and length of exposure. We are all exposed to low levels of mercury to some degree. Exposure can occur through contaminated drinking water; foods grown in contaminated soil; a diet high in mercury-laden fish/shellfish; medical procedures (dental, vaccination); and through accidental/occupational exposure to industrial waste.
6 Ways to Minimize Mercury Exposure:

  1. Read labels for mercury content. Keep thermometers, fluorescent bulbs, and mercury-containing products out of reach of children.
  2. Do not handle a leaky battery with bare hands. Wear gloves.
  3. Contact your local environmental protection office for instructions on safe disposal of products containing mercury and other heavy metals.
  4. Talk with your dentist about alternatives to amalgam fillings.
  5. To avoid ingesting toxic levels of methylmercury from seafood, do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish. Eat a variety of other fish about twice a week.
  6. When considering vaccines for yourself or a child (including the flu vaccine), ask the physician about mercury content. (Most vaccines are no longer using the mercury-containing component thimerosal.)


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Mussels in White Wine Broth


Mussels are a low-fat source of protein and provide selenium, a mineral necessary for the detoxification of heavy metals, and vitamin A, which is essential for immune function. In addition, mussels supply your body with vitamins B and C, iron, phosphorus, manganese, and zinc. Mussels are also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Stick with commercial sources as mussels may collect poisonous algae that can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning. Commercial sources are well-monitored to avoid this danger.
2 tablespoons butter (For a dairy-free option, try Earth Balance.)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 chopped scallions
2 cups dry white wine
juice of 1/2 lemon, about 1 tablespoon
fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded
1 cup chopped fresh, flat-leaf parsley
2 slices bread, grilled


  1. In a deep pot, heat butter until melted and add garlic and scallions; sauté for 2-3 minutes until garlic is tender. Add wine, lemon, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Add mussels, cover, and lower heat to maintain a simmer. Allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes, then stir and quickly replace lid. After 1 more minute, add parsley, cover, and cook for an addition 2-3 minutes, until all (or most) of mussels have opened.
  2. Remove covered pot from heat. Serve immediately including both mussels and broth in the bowl, removing and discarding any mussels that have not opened.
  3. Serve with grilled bread and a tossed green salad with oil and vinegar dressing.

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Chlorella: Unlocking the Secrets of a Superfood


Chlorella is a single-celled freshwater microalgae that has flourished for nearly two billion years. Photosynthesizing its energy from the sun, chlorella is a powerhouse of nutrients. It is a natural source of vegetarian protein—about 60 percent—a very high level for a plant. Due to this high protein concentration and chlorella’s naturally rapid growth rate, after World War II, chlorella was investigated as a possible food source.
Chlorella is rich in amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals—including B-vitamins, vitamins A and D, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. This unique combination of nutrients within chlorella is a primary reason why scientists around the world are actively researching* medicinal uses for this aquatic-based superfood.
Chlorella’s potential benefits for health and vitality include:

  • detoxification from heavy metals, including mercury;
  • supporting optimal immune system function;
  • antioxidant properties;
  • anti-inflammatory properties;
  • healthy cholesterol metabolism; and
  • support for digestive health.

It is widely accepted that the structure of the cell wall in chlorella allows it to bind with heavy metals, essentially keeping the phytonutrient healthy, and it’s the primary reason chlorella has survived for millennia, even in polluted aquatic environments. This rare ability to bind to toxins has given rise to preclinical studies on the role chlorella may play in detoxification for optimal health in humans, as our internal environment is primarily aquatic.
There are many types of chlorella on the market, in pill and powder form. The cellular properties of chlorella must be broken down for human digestion, known as “broken cell-wall chlorella.” Therefore, chlorella must be developed under careful quality control conditions. Additionally, Daily Values for this nutrient have not been established. It is imperative to consult with Dr. Bossio before selecting a chlorella supplement.
*(chemical assays, animal and limited human studies)

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Don't Let Accumulative Toxins Hamper Your Health


There's no denying it, toxins are everywhere in the modern world, from the air we breathe and the water we drink and bathe in, to the foods we eat and even in the materials that make up the world around us. Foods are covered in pesticides or processed with unnatural chemicals and machinery. Chemical by-products from manufacturing and farm runoff infiltrate air and water. Oceans are polluted with heavy metals and mercury which pass up the food chain turning would-be healthy meals of seafood into poison. Dental fillings containing mercury turn every bite of food into a potentially poisonous hazard. And if that weren't enough, poisons such as fluoride, chlorine and low levels of heavy metals flow into your home through your water supply, all of which are approved by the government. Even pharmaceuticals, vaccines, hygiene, beauty, cleaning and packaging products contain a variety of toxic substances. Many of these toxins accumulate in the body and cannot be removed naturally.

Interestingly, modern diseases like cancer, auto-immune dysfunction, brain disorders like autism, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, nerve disorders and more common ailments like depression, learning disabilities and fatigue may have a variety of connections to the buildup of toxins in our bodies. But no matter how healthy your existing diet and lifestyle may be today, this buildup of toxins from years past can continue to negatively impact your health. With this in mind, one of the best things you can do for your health is to set a plan for ridding your body of built up toxins. Here are 6 ways you can help decrease your toxic load and reduce toxin accumulation. Check in with Dr. Bossio for guidance in the best way to do this for you.

1. Sweat it out. Steam baths and saunas promote the release of toxins through sweating. For an even deeper detoxification you may want to consider infrared sauna treatments. Infrared saunas heat your body tissues several inches deep, enhancing your natural metabolic processes, circulation and helping oxygenate your tissues. Sweating will also help kill off viruses and other microbes. Repeated use of the sauna slowly restores the skin's ability to eliminate toxins, an action that often is inhibited by clothing, sun damage and sedentary lifestyles.

2. Burn fat, burn toxins. Toxins are stored at a much higher rate in the fat than in blood. So, it makes sense that in order to remove the most amount of toxins, you'll need to decrease fat as well. And of course, the best way to shed pounds of fat is through aerobic activity, meaning any activity that heightens both your heart and respiratory rates. Aerobic activity increases stamina and oxygen flow, tones the nervous system and strengthens the immune system. It also cleanses blood by stimulating circulation and sweating, and even releases endorphins making you feelhappier and more relaxed. Aerobic activities come in a variety of forms. Running, power-walking, cycling, swimming and even skiing are all aerobic activities. Better yet, you can have fun with your aerobic exercise and even include your kids and grandkids in the mix. Jump rope and double dutch games are excellent aerobic exercise for all ages, as are family dance parties and stair-climbing races. Always check with your doctor before beginning any new type of exercise regimen.

3. Milk thistle for liver health. Approved in 1986 for treating liver disease, today milk thistle is regularly used to treat illnesses related to toxic buildup of alcohol and acetaminophens. It boosts liver metabolism and helps repair liver cell damage from alcohol and other toxins. Discuss with Dr. Bossio how milk thistle might benefit you.

4. Target hard-to-remove heavy metals with chlorella. Chlorella is a powerful binding agent for heavy metals including mercury. This super green food can help remove a variety of toxins from the liver and other major organs and is safe enough to use daily or as a major week-long detox. A single-celled micro-algae, its molecular structure allows it to bond to metals, chemicals and some pesticides, while not binding to the minerals your body needs, like calcium, magnesium or zinc.

5. Eat a healthy, vitamin-rich diet with plenty of fiber. Clean, nutrient-dense foods provide endless health benefits, but even better, they also provide amazing detox abilities. Fiber offers a range of benefits, one being the discouragement of weight gain, helping control the development of fat, which could store more toxins. How much fiber? The average amount of fiber needed in the diet is 30 g (females) - 40 g (males) per day. The average intake today is 15 g or less!
6. Drink plenty of filtered water. Staying hydrated is extremely important when you're detoxifying your body. Filtered water is even more important because of the toxins that lurk in water supplies. Drinking more water will of course make you need to urinate more frequently, and that's exactly the point. Urinating is another way to expel toxins from your system.


Photo credit. Free Digital Photos.

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