The Detoxx System was developed by John S Foster, M.D., Patricia C Kane, PhD, and Neal Speight, M.D., for the treatment of what they term 'Chronic Neurotoxic Syndromes (CNDs)'.
CNDs include: chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), autism, sick building syndrome (SBS), and depression.
Much of the theory behind the Detoxx System is based on work by Ritchie Shoemaker, M.D., and has its foundation in the idea that at the heart of these conditions is an initial neurotoxin exposure. This leads to the breakdown in the integrity of the cell membrane due to disturbances in phospholipid and fatty acid metabolism that leads to increased inflammatory processes and ultimately any one of the conditions mentioned above (and numerous others).
The neurotoxins involved are many and varied but may include heavy metals such as mercury or biotoxins produced by pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, spirochetes, dinoflagelletes, and fungus. Neurotoxins are lipophilic ("fat loving") which means that once in the body they tend to bind to structures that are rich in fat such as most of our cells, especially the liver, kidney, and brain. Neurotoxins are capable of dissolving in fatty tissue and moving through it, crossing cell membranes disrupting the electrical balance, and hence the functioning, of the cell itself.
Additionally the creators of the Detoxx System state that once neurotoxins are in the body it is very difficult for the body to get rid of them unaided. Because they are fat soluble even if neurotoxins are able to be excreted into the bile they stick to the fatty components and are reabsorbed and transported back to the liver...poisoning he body all over again.
They say that: "Neurotoxins cause damage by disrupting sodium and calcium channel receptors [disrupting brain and nervous system function], attacking enzyme reactions involved in glucose production thereby disrupting energy metabolism in the cell, manufacturing renegade fatty acids as saturated very long chain, odd chain and branched chain fatty acids impairing [cell] membrane function, stimulating enzymes (PLA2) which uncouple essential fatty acids from the cell membrane and impairing the function of the nuclear receptor PPAR gamma which partially controls transcription (the conversion of instructions held in our DNA to RNA which then leads to translation or protein production in the cell)."
To determine if a patient might be chronically ill due to neurotoxins the Detoxx System creators use a test known as the Visual Contrast Sensitivity test that can identify deficits in blood flow through retinal capillaries in the eye. If a patient scores poorly on this test it suggests the presence of a neurotoxic syndrome. The patient may then undergo evaluations to screen for cytokine [inflammatory immune chemical] elevations followed by coagulation and advanced red blood cell fatty acid testing.
The Detoxx System Treatment Protocol
In basic terms the aim of the Detoxx System is to remove neurotoxins from the body, reduce toxicity within the body, restore cell membrane integrity and function, and reduce the inflammation associated with the disease process in neurotoxic syndromes. These goals are achieved through a number of different methods including:
- Diet - A high protein, high fat (good fats), low carbohydrate diet. Used to maintain even blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation and provide a steady supply of healthy fats to restore membrane integrity.
- Phospholipid Exchange - Large amounts of phosphatidylcholine (PC) are introduced to the body intravenously and/or orally or added to a liver/gallbladder flush to restore cell membrane integrity and function.
- Cholestyramine or Butyrate - Agents used to clear neurotoxins from the body.
- Electrolyte Supplements - Used to stabilize 'membrane traffic' since electrolytes govern what enters and leaves the cells. Important for removing debris from the body.
- Fatty Acid Supplements - Used to aid with cell membrane repair. The correct balance of fatty acids in the body is vital for good health.
- Other Supplements - Supplements including vitamin C, trace minerals, bile salts, digestive enzymes, probiotics and bromelain are used to help in the detoxification and healing processes.
Learn more about the Detoxx System in the article: The Detoxx System: Detoxification of Biotoxins in Neurotoxic Syndromes