Read Part One here.
As promised from my recent post on how to think about the recent Ohio train incident, there are a number of things you can do even while experts sort out the scientific facts and storyline of what happened and what will happen. The first two steps are things we should all be doing regardless of what the nightly news says (though hopefully you are not depending on the news for your view of the world). Toxins from train cars are not the only things we need to be worrying about. The third and last step gets to the icing on the cake, so if you get the first two steps under control, this third step will serve you well.
First, if we have not been concerned about toxins in our food and life already, we are behind the times. Our society has filled our world with toxins in foods, personal care products, our air, and our work-living-education spaces. If you have not already taken inventory of your daily toxic exposures and responded with actions to limit them, you are not ready to add more toxins from a train wreck. Start now by lowering the burden of toxins entering your body through mouth, skin, and air. This will include wise choices in terms of organic food, water filters, and possible air filters depending on local air quality. With a lower burden of everyday toxins, you will have more capacity to handle new surprise burdens.
Second, besides removing the toxins entering your body, you should be considering how to increase the exit of toxins which do make it in. Eating a low inflammatory diet, low in processed foods and sugars but high in nutrients and anti-oxidants will equip your detox pathways for optimal performance. Inflamed and undernourished liver and kidney cells will not push out the bad stuff as quickly if they are overtaxed or underequipped. The article by Lampe in the bibliography goes into more detail on foods for improving detox. Eating some broccoli and turmeric would be a good start.
Third, only after you cut down on the influx and optimize the outflux should you wonder about what supplements to take. Think of the cliché of eating a fast food cheeseburger and taking a multivitamin afterwards. You have to start with the basics or else the supplements won’t have a fighting chance to help. With that in mind, consider ways to boost antioxidants like vitamin C and glutathione. Besides taking these nutrients, other nutraceuticals like cysteine, sulfurophane, curcumin, quercetin, and resveratrol are helpful. Some herbals like milk thistle can somewhat stimulate liver detox pathways to upregulate and protect the liver during detox (Madrigal-Santillán, et al. 2014). Getting adequate water for flushing kidneys and adequate fiber for regular bowel habits also keeps things detoxing well. As a final boost, consider sweating with exercise or sauna. Studies are limited, but the detox benefit is likely worth the effort.
To summarize: here are my top recommendations based on studies (remember, each of these potential therapies should be discussed with your physician or provider, especially if you are taking medications, as it might be affected by these supplements. This article does not constitute medical advice to someone not under our direct care. Consider as educational use only. We are not responsible for adverse effects of an individual applying these recommendations without the support of a healthcare professional.):
Just the Facts:
Glutathione once or twice a day. Liposomal only.
Glutathione pathway up-regulators: sulforaphanes, garlic, B12, Folate, B6, Curcumin, Quercetin.
Vitamin C assists glutathione and acts as antioxidant.
Alpha Lipoic acid assists glutathione pathway.
Phosphatidylcholine supports liver and fat-soluble detoxification. This can be in organic chicken livers or pasture raised/organic eggs.
Sulforaphane in crucifers or supplements.
Folate, B12, B6, and other B vitamins participate in production of glutathione through methylation cycle (any biochemistry book will support this).
Glutathione and its pathway (addresses vinyl chloride, formaldehyde)
Glutathione or its upregulators for vinyl chloride (McKenna et al., 1977)
For formaldehyde byproducts (Hopkinson et al., 2010)
Sulfurophanes from crucifers and allium from garlic raise glutathione (van Lieshout et al., 1998; Lampe et al., 2000)
Various foods and Nutrients (Romily et al., 2015)
Alpha Lipoic Acid (Han et al., 1997)
NrF2 pathways (anti-inflammatory pathway to help detox):
Curcumin (Ashrafizadeh et al., 2020)
Resveratrol (Kim et al., 2018)
Sulforaphane (Houghton 2016)
Silymarin (milk thistle) (Madrigal-Santillán et al., 2014)
If you are living close the East Palestine, stop, assess your past health / detoxification status. Then consider your potential exposure. Put yourself a safe distance away from the toxins (to the best you can; nobody has quite figured this out yet). Then consider augmenting your detoxification systems with the nutrients mentioned above. Living a healthier more abundant life means dealing with the fallen world of toxicities in which we live. We are glad we can help you understand these important issues.
Medical Disclaimer in case you missed it:
Each of these potential therapies should be discussed with your physician or provider especially if you are taking medications which might be affected by these supplements. This article does not constitute medical advice to someone not under our direct care. Consider as educational use only. We are not responsible for adverse effects of an individual applying these recommendations without the support of a healthcare professional.
Ashrafizadeh, M., Ahmadi, Z., Mohammadinejad, R., Farkhondeh, T., & Samarghandian, S. (2020). Curcumin Activates the Nrf2 Pathway and Induces Cellular Protection Against Oxidative Injury. Current molecular medicine, 20(2), 116–133. https://doi.org/10.2174/1566524019666191016150757
Han, D., Handelman, G., Marcocci, L., Sen, C. K., Roy, S., Kobuchi, H., Tritschler, H. J., Flohé, L., & Packer, L. (1997). Lipoic acid increases de novo synthesis of cellular glutathione by improving cystine utilization. BioFactors (Oxford, England), 6(3), 321–338. https://doi.org/10.1002/biof.5520060303
Hopkinson, R. J., Barlow, P. S., Schofield, C. J., & Claridge, T. D. (2010). Studies on the reaction of glutathione and formaldehyde using NMR. Organic & biomolecular chemistry, 8(21), 4915–4920. https://doi.org/10.1039/c0ob00208a
Houghton, C. A., Fassett, R. G., & Coombes, J. S. (2016). Sulforaphane and Other Nutrigenomic Nrf2 Activators: Can the Clinician’s Expectation Be Matched by the Reality?. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2016, 7857186. https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/7857186
Kim, E. N., Lim, J. H., Kim, M. Y., Ban, T. H., Jang, I. A., Yoon, H. E., Park, C. W., Chang, Y. S., & Choi, B. S. (2018). Resveratrol, an Nrf2 activator, ameliorates aging-related progressive renal injury. Aging, 10(1), 83–99. https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.101361
Lampe, J. W., Chen, C., Li, S., Prunty,J., Grate, M. T., Meehan, D. E., Barale, K. V., Dightman, D. A., Feng, Z., & Potter, J. D. (2000). Modulation of human glutathione S-transferases by botanically defined vegetable diets. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology, 9(8), 787–793.
Madrigal-Santillán, E., Madrigal-Bujaidar, E., Álvarez-González, I., Sumaya-Martínez, M. T., Gutiérrez-Salinas, J., Bautista, M., Morales-González, Á., García-Luna y González-Rubio, M., Aguilar-Faisal, J. L., & Morales-González, J. A. (2014). Review of natural products with hepatoprotective effects. World journal of gastroenterology, 20(40), 14787–14804. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v20.i40.14787
McKenna, M. J., Watanabe, P. G., & Gehring, P. J. (1977). Pharmacokinetics of vinylidene chloride in the rat. Environmental health perspectives, 21, 99–105. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.772199
Romilly E. Hodges, Deanna M. Minich, “Modulation of Metabolic Detoxification Pathways Using Foods and Food-Derived Components: A Scientific Review with Clinical Application”, Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, vol. 2015, Article ID 760689, 23 pages, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/760689
van Lieshout, E. M., Posner, G. H., Woodard, B. T., & Peters, W. H. (1998). Effects of the sulforaphane analog compound 30, indole-3-carbinol, D-limonene or relafen on glutathione S-transferases and glutathione peroxidase of the rat digestive tract. Biochimica et biophysica acta, 1379(3), 325–336. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0304-4165(97)00112-8
Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more... offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.