The human body is capable of naturally removing toxins that can enter the body in various ways. The innate ability to address and remove toxins effectively varies from person to person and depends on how well their cells, mitochondrial, and organs function. We are exposed to more than 80,000 manufactured toxins daily. These man-made chemicals and toxins were newly produced in the 19th century and were not studied safely. These chemicals have greatly affected our bodies’ ability to detox and maintain healthy homeostasis naturally. Many individuals dealing with chronic inflammation and chronic symptoms may need additional detox support to help assist the body's natural detoxifying process. Continue reading to learn more about what toxins can exist in the body and the four main ways the body removes them.
What toxins can exist within the human body?
In regards to popular detox programs, “toxins” are loosely defined. Some suggestions are synthetic chemicals, metals, pollutants, and waste from alcohol or processed foods. While it is true that these toxic substances can enter the body, most healthy individuals will have no problem eliminating them through natural processes. However, if there is damage to internal organs, individual immunity, or impaired detoxification due to toxin exposure and accumulation, it can be necessary to offer additional support. Talk to your doctor about any health worries, especially before starting any “detox” diet or wellness plan.
Four main organs help to remove toxic substances from the body. They are:
- Large Intestine/Colon
Here is how each one works to keep your body healthy and toxin-free.
Lungs help the body filter any toxins in the air drawn into the body through breathing. One well-known toxin is carbon dioxide which is pushed out by the lungs every time you exhale. Tiny fibers called “cilia” line the lungs, helping trap and remove any inhaled contamination. The dust, debris, or other toxic particles get caught in the slimy cilia, which gets expelled through coughing, nasal mucus, or becomes swallowed and eliminated. Smoking and vaping can damage the cilia, which can be detrimental to the toxin removal process.
The liver plays a critical part in filtering all of the blood in the body. Substances from eating, breathing, or skin exposure can all end up in the blood, which is why the liver is so important. The liver also helps remove bacteria and make immune factors that help the body resist infection. Along with many other things, it also converts poisonous ammonia to urea which is then further processed by the kidneys. This process removes harmful toxins that can enter the bloodstream in various ways.
The small intestines absorb nutrients from the food we consume. After the necessary nutrients are extracted, the waste is pushed into the large intestine, where some final water and salts are further absorbed. The leftover waste then travels down the large intestine into the colon, where it finally exits the digestive system as excrement. Digestion and extraction is an essential process that must be functioning properly to be healthy. A temporary or permanent inability to remove digestive waste from the body is very dangerous and must be addressed by medical professionals.
Similar to the large intestine and solid waste, the kidney helps to remove extra fluid waste from the body, including acid produced by cells and the overall balance of salt, minerals, and water in the blood. The kidneys are made of millions of little filters called “nephrons,” which filter the blood. Any leftover waste is excreted from the body as urine. This filtering process happens many times per day, which typically only results in 1 to 2 quarts of urine.
When all of these organs function correctly, it is a regular occurrence for the body to remove toxic substances naturally. It is vital to work with an integrative health practitioner when beginning a detox program to ensure you choose the highest quality, effective supplements that will make a difference in your level of toxicity.
- NIH National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases - Your Kidneys & How They Work
- Acute Care Testing - Urea and the Clinical Value of Measuring Blood Urea Concentration
- Rush University System for Health - The Truth About Toxins
- HealthLine - How to Detox Your Body