A Blog For Those Affected By Environmental And Invisible Illnesses Written By Fellow Survivors
Foods and Supplements to Balance Phase 1 and Phase 2 Liver Detoxification
Last week I blogged about how the two phases of liver detoxification can get out of balance due to chronic exposure to toxins, for example, and how this can impact on a person's health. As discussed, the most common problem is that phase 1 speeds up and phase 2 cannot keep up - someone in this situation is known as a pathological detoxifier because of their increased risk for symptoms and disease.
The previous blogs with more detailed information can be found at:
Pathological Detoxifiers and Environmental Illness
Detoxification Profile Results - The Pathological Detoxifier and Chronic Illness
Now I want to take a look at foods and supplements that pathological detoxifiers can use to balance their liver detoxification pathways and improve their health. Essentially what we want to do is slow down phase 1 while speeding up phase 2. There are many foods and supplements that can help. One well known example of a food that slows down phase 1 is grapefruit. Grapefruit contains a substance called naringenin which is responsible for these effects. Regularly drinking a substantial amount of grapefruit juice can really slow down phase 1 detoxification. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli contain a chemical called sulforaphane which both inhibits phase 1 and stumlates phase 2. The only problem is that these vegetables also contain another chemical called indole-3-carbinol which actually speeds up phase 1. Overall though, these vegetables are good to include in the diet - supplements of sulforaphane are excellent for the pathological detoxifier.
The following is a comprehensive list of substances which slow phase 1 and speed up phase 2 pathways. The list is based on a lecture given by Dr. George Mouton during the second year of my bachelor's degree in nutritional therapy.
Phase 1 Inhibitors
- Naringenin (citrus fruits, particularly grapefruit)
- Quercetin (many fruits and vegetables)
- Eugenol (cloves)
- Curcumin (turmeric)
- Capsaicin (chilli peppers)
- Ellagitannin/Ellagic Acid (raspberries and berries and fruits)
- Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) (green tea)
- Silymarin (milk thistle)
- Sulforaphane (cruciferous vegetables e.g. broccoli, cauliflower, kale etc)
- Isothiocyanates (cruciferous vegetables)
- Sesamin (sesame seeds/oil)
- Xanthohumol (hops/beer)
Phase 2 Stimulators
- N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC), Cysteine, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Whey
- Glutamine/Glutamic Acid
- Indole-3-Carbinol, Sulforaphane, Crambene (cruciferous vegetables)
- Ellagitannin/Ellagic Acid
- Dipropenyl Sulfide (onions)
- Diallyl Disulfide, Diallyl Trisulfide (garlic)
Nutrient cofactors: vitamins B2, B3, B6, B12, folic acid, selenium, zinc, magnesium, copper
- NAC, Cysteine, MSM
- Reduced Glutathione
- Inorganic Sulphur (SO4)(garlic, onions, eggs, cruciferous vegetables)
Nutrient cofactors: vitamins B2, B6, B12, folic acid, molybdenum, zinc, copper, magnesium
Amino Acid Conjugation:
- Indole-3-Carbinol, Sulforaphane, Crambene
- Limonene (citrus fruits)
- Ellagitannin/Ellagic Acid
- Cynarin (artichoke)
- S-Adenosyl-Methionine (SAMe)
- Omega 3 Fish Oils
Nutrient cofactors: vitamins B3 and B6, aspartic acid, glutamine, iron, magnesium
- Acetyl-CoA (produced in the body with acetyl groups present in many foods)
Nutrient cofactors: vitamins B2, B5, and C
Silymarin from the herb milk thistle protects the liver and generally speeds up most phase 2 reactions, although it slows down glucuronidation.
I hope this blog gives you some ideas but advise you to work with a health care professional and have a detoxification profile carried out. You can then be advised on which foods and supplements will be of most help. It is also important to know that the changes in liver detoxification, particularly the speed of phase 1 can interfere with the metabolism of certain medications so be sure to discuss this with your health care provider as well.
Oh yes I'm familiar with these methylation protocols although folic acid is not recommended for pyroluria. Hopefully the Liver Detox profile will shed more light on this. The problem is that the supplements work well until they disagree with my gut, stirring up the mast cells / histamine and aggravating the symptoms they were helping. S-ame and TMG were a life-saver until my gut developed a reaction to them. Methionine less so but I'm hoping this will improve once I raise my zinc levels, which are apparently critical for metabolism of methionine. The problem is that zinc is leached from your body when it metabolises histamine so building it up is a difficult task as my No 1 problem is over-production of histamine. A vicious circle indeed. I'm taking transdermal zinc which absorbs better but increasingt it causes nightmares and insomnia. *sigh* What I really need is to inject S-ame daily. I would love to get my hands on some. In the meantime I'm confined to eating the same 6 foods daily and medicating the symptoms. You know the drill!
Yes I've been tested and also have the undermethylation genes plus pyroluria. Explains a lot, including the mood issues. Sadly it has not been enough to replace the flora in the gut as my battered liver simply can't give the gut wall the support it needs to heal. Both are struggling and it seems I'm now in the grip of Leo Gallands Vicious Cycle of Leaky Gut / Liver / Allergy etc etc. I'm getting the Liver Detox Profile done tomorrow so hopefully that will at least shed light on what supplements to focus on. Thanks heaps for this Maff.
Thanks so much for this series of articles on liver function Maff. I can't believe I have been running the gamut of alternative health practitioners for three years with a methylation problem and no one has suggested I get a liver detox profile test done. I notice you haven't listed inositol yet it certainly helps my liver. Which process does it assist?