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Lab Assessments of Detoxification

Some measures of metabolic effects found on the comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) can show impaired detoxification function [8].

  • • UREA (blood urea nitrogen or BUN) is a detoxified form of ammonia. A high value may indicate ammonia loading exceeding urea production capacity
  • • AMMONIA markers may indicate urea cycle capacity is exceeded or high values signal liver dysfunction
  • • BILIRUBIN elevation is caused by impaired glucuronidation and drug monitoring is needed (i.e., acetaminophen)
  • • CREATININE increase can lead to kidney damage due to autoimmune diseases, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis, or diabetes complications

Nutrition Influence in Detoxification

Dr. Paul Talalay at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine revealed how select phytochemicals in plant foods can modify Phase 1 and Phase 2 enzyme systems [7]. Chemicals in foods like green tea, onions, garlic, chlorophyll, broccoli, and other cruciferous vegetables act to improve detoxification [9]. Meal plans that use liberal amounts of these foods presurgery can aid the detoxification process.

Therapies to improve detoxification traditionally have been in a clinical setting so that a regulated diet, fasting, and sauna therapy could be closely supervised but this is not cost effective in many clinics so a home-based program can be designed for bariatric surgery candidates who could benefit from

  • • Improved gut functioning
  • • Heavy metal reduction (mercury, aluminum, cadmium, arsenic, lead)
  • • Decreased atrazine, bisphenol A, toluene, PCBs, and organo- phosphates stored in fat cells

Toxic metal and gastrointestinal function testing can be done to evaluate need and efficacy [4].


A 1- or 2-day water fast can be a safe and effective way to regenerate weight loss efforts. Calorie restriction and fasting help to reduce hypertension, diabetes, and joint pain [10-12]. High glucose and insulin damage the mitochondria and calorie restriction reduces the oxidative stress in the mitochondria [13]. Fasting for a short period of time also improves liver function for lipid metabolism and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Cognition and immune function also benefit from calorie restriction [14,15].

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