Can Detox Weaken Your Immune System?
Of course, no matter the year or season, we all want the healthiest, most functional immune system possible. One way to achieve that aim could be through a “detox” — removing toxins and bacteria from the body. Now for the paradox— some of the detox diets that claim to help you may actually hurt you in both the long and short term.
This leads many to question: can detox weaken your immune system? Lets explore!
Detox Diets and Your Immune System
The idea of cleansing the body through the consumption or avoidance of various foods is an old one — the Ayurvedic diet has been around for thousands of years and many religions around the world encourage fasting for purification purposes.
Nowadays, various detox diets aim to cleanse your organs, including the liver, colon, and kidneys — some even claim to aid in weight loss. This is where some detoxes do the most damage. By restricting foods and eliminating entire food groups in some cases, essential nutrients can be left out of the diet and that is bad news for the processes that rely on them, eg. your immunity.
If you’re anything like millions of people around the world, you have probably learned more about the immune system and the viruses (and bacteria) that plague it, than you ever wanted to know. One advantage of this excess knowledge is just how important a balanced immune system IS.
The ability to fight off infections, bacteria, and viruses is no small feat — it requires the complex interaction of cells and proteins to recognize and defeat the microbes that enter the body, all supported by the nutrients you consume.
Any diet that heavily restricts your consumption to just a few foods whether they are low-fat ones like cabbage or “nutrient-dense” veggies like beets or kale, there is a strong chance you’ll be missing some essential vitamin or another.
The authors of a 2018 study of immune function and micronutrients begin by saying, “immune function may be improved by restoring deficient micronutrients to recommended levels, thereby increasing resistance to infection and supporting faster recovery when infected”(1), underscoring how important adequate nutrition is to immunity.
If a diet is severe, like the lemon water and cayenne pepper cleanse, it could have a laxative effect. If spending the duration of the ‘cleanse’ close to home isn’t a deterrent, the dehydration it can cause might be. Dehydration can drastically impact the body and without enough fluid to naturally flush out toxins, your immunity may take a hit.
The Unfortunate Side Effects of Detox on Probiotics
Another drawback to detoxification through food restriction is that it robs the body of probiotics. No doubt you’ve heard that a healthy gut microbiome may play a role in building and/or maintaining the body’s immunity (2).
In a healthy diet, consisting of lots of fruits, veggies, and fiber, there is plenty of both probiotic bacteria and prebiotic material (what probiotics consume), but in a restrictive diet, removing variety also eliminates the variety of friendly bacteria that we’re exposed to. Probiotics have been found to support the healthy function of the immune system, including response to viruses. even reducing the chance of getting a cold, in addition to reducing the severity of symptoms and the number of days people experienced symptoms (2).
Is There a Way to Detox Without Weakening the Immune System?
While a one-way-suits all approach doesn’t exist — a detoxification regimen that could help preserve immune function does.
The Quicksilver Scientific Ultra Binder allows you to eat all of the foods your body needs, with no restrictions, while also helping the body get rid of toxins, heavy metals, and unhealthy bacteria. It does this with its proprietary formula including activated charcoal, bentonite clay, and chitosan. Unlike detox diets, this binder not only removes toxins, but it doesn’t harm your gut flora or affect its role in a healthy immune response.
Activated charcoal has been used in medical settings for decades — it is often used orally to absorb poisons in the case of ingestion and is “safe and well-tolerated” (3). It is called ‘activated’ because it has gone through a higher temperature process which causes more pores to form — creating more surface area so it can grab and hold onto toxins, allowing them to pass through the digestive system.
The bentonite clay, added to balance charcoal’s potential dehydrating properties, has its own detoxifying properties, creating a super duo for cleansing the digestive system.
In addition to helping the body get rid of waste — it acts as a binder — chitosan has been found to have an anti-bacterial effect, particularly with staph and strep bacteria (4), further reducing the bacterial load your immune system needs to fend off.
If you want to cleanse your body of heavy metals and keep that all too important immune system functioning, the Quicksilver Scientific Ultra Binder could the perfect alternative to a detox diet. It not only binds to toxins, it has some antibacterial properties for an added boost.
So, can detox weaken your immune system? The answer is yes, but only if you’re doing it in a way that deprives your body of essential nutrients necessary to the health of the immune system.
Thank you for taking the time to read Can Detox Weaken Your Immune System?
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