I want to share with you my own personal practice and what I consider the best detox to do in the summer. Like it or not, all of us are exposed to harmful toxins everyday. The air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink and things we touch contain toxins. Back in the 80’s the EPA did some studies (National Human Adipose Tissue Survey) measuring toxin levels in thousands of surgery patients and cadavers. 100% of the of the people tested had heavy metals, aluminum, beryllium, cadmium, lead, mercury and 1,4-dichlorobenzene. 90% had PCBs, dioxins, benzene-related organic compounds and benzene. These findings are consistent with the testing results I’ve seen in my practice. Those are a lot of big words, but what it means is that YOU, YES YOU, HAVE TOO MANY TOXINS RIGHT NOW INSIDE OF YOU!
Which Toxins are a Problem Where You Live?
1. Scorecard (www.scorecard.org) You can get an in-depth pollution report for your county, covering air, water, chemicals, and more.
2. AirNow (www.airnow.gov) The Air Quality Index is an index for reporting daily air quality. It tells you how clean or polluted the outdoor air is, and what associated health effects might be of concern. The AQI focuses on health effects you may experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air. EPA calculates the AQI for five major air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act: ground-level ozone, particle pollution (also known as particulate matter), carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. For each of these pollutants, EPA has established national air quality standards to protect public health.
Often toxins are at the root of the chronic health conditions many of my patients experience. Since we all are going to be exposed to these toxins, we need to be using the best detox methods and tools we can.
Here are three articles that I wrote that explain more about how we test for toxins, the effects of toxins and some of the other treatments for toxins:
- Phthalates Can Make You Fat and Sick!
- Research Reveals Cardiovascular Diseases’ Most Overlooked and Curable Cause
- The KEY to Weight Loss
Its true. Some estimates are that the body can eliminate in 15 minutes through the sweat the same amount of heavy metals that would take 24 hours to eliminate in urine.1 Our bodies, through sweating, can get rid of every category of toxins. In the summer sweating is the best detox because, well, it’s hot and everyone sweats when it’s hot…duh.
To achieve the optimal detoxification through sweating, we need to incorporate a few techniques. It’s important to recognize that toxins are stored in the body’s fat. When we refer to fat, it’s not solely about the excess fat we aim to lose; our brain and nerves consist of 70% fat, and the marrow in our long bones is also filled with fat. The body’s natural elimination pathways, whether through sweat or urine, are not proficient at removing toxins from fat. Consequently, relying solely on these pathways will result in most toxins remaining stored in the fat. This is where we require certain strategies to enhance sweating as the most effective detoxification method.
The first trick for the best detox is to heat up the core of the body, not just the skin.
In traditional Finnish-style saunas, heating up only the skin reduces the detox effect of sweating since it remains superficial. To effectively eliminate toxins from the deeper layers of fat within the body, it requires heating up. When the core of the body heats up, the blood vessels in the core dilate to facilitate cooling.
This increase in circulation helps get the toxins out of those fat reserves that are deeper in the body. There are two ways to get the core of the body heated up. The first is exercise. Any good aerobic exercise will work as long as it produces a sweat. The second way to get the core heated is with a Far Sauna. Far Sauna works by heating the body below the skin about 1.5 inches deep. Far Sauna is the only kind of sauna that works by heating from the inside out. I personally prefer the first way because exercise will work better at heating and exercise gives me many more benefits that a Far Sauna can’t give me.
The second trick for the best detox is to help the fat release the toxins in it.
Niacin (vitamin B3) is precisely capable of accomplishing that. It triggers the process of lipolysis, causing fat cells to rupture and release toxins. Isn’t that fascinating? Once the toxins are liberated from the fat cells, there are three potential outcomes. Firstly, they can be eliminated through the skin via sweating. Secondly, they can be eliminated through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Lastly, there is a possibility of the toxins being reabsorbed. Reabsorption is not only problematic because it allows toxins to persist in the body, but it also presents a risk of these released toxins being reabsorbed in locations such as the brain, where their removal becomes more challenging. However, here’s the good news: I am aware of another technique that ensures the elimination of toxins and prevents their reabsorption.
The third trick for the best detox is activated charcoal.
Activated charcoal is like a chemical magnet. It’s been used for years when someone has been exposed to a poison. If activated charcoal is taken soon after a poison swallow it will soak up the poison and render it harmless. Can you see where I’m going here? If activated charcoal is taken after the niacin it will bind up any toxins that get into the GI tract.
The fourth trick for the best detox is to maximize the elimination of the toxins through the skin.
This trick is super easy because niacin is the tool that will help remove the toxins through the skin. If you’ve ever taken niacin, you’ve experienced the “niacin flush,” and chances are you’ll never forget the first time you experienced it. 😮 Niacin causes the super small blood vesicles in the skin to open up so much so that the skin turns bright red. Getting a large increase in blood flow in the skin while sweating makes getting the toxins that are in the blood much easier to sweat out. As you can see niacin is a really important part of the best detox.
The other trick that helps get the toxins to move out through the skin is exercise. Exercise gets the heart pumping and the blood flow going which mobilizes the toxins.
Putting it all together
Okay, enough tricks. Let’s put this best detox protocol together. I strongly recommend that before starting a detox protocol like this, check with your doctor to make sure that you won’t get hurt. If you’re pregnant DON’T DO THIS DETOX! If you have blood pressure problems or other heart pathologies DON’T DO THIS unless your doctor approves.
First off it’s important to understand you have options on how to get this done. I’m going to break this down by principles. That way you can apply this approach to detox in a way that works best for you.
Best Detox Principle #1
Take niacin! Take niacin about 20 minutes before you heat up. Start with 50 mg of niacin and work up 50 mg at a time until you experience a niacin flush. Don’t worry, you’ll know when you have taken enough. For most folks about 100 to 200 mg is enough to get the job done. If you don’t get a flush then take more niacin the next time.
Best Detox Principle #2
Get hot! You need to get hot enough that you start to sweat. As I mentioned earlier exercise fits great here. The exercise can be anything that heats up and gets you sweating. You want to start the exercise about 20 minutes after taking niacin. Generally about 20 minutes of exercise is good enough, but the point is to get your body hot from the inside out. If you’ve never taken niacin and then started exercising it takes some getting used to. I remember the first time I did this. I was hiking in the desert on a hot summer afternoon, and it felt like my head was getting sunburned.
If you can’t exercise, the next best thing is to use a Far Sauna. As I wrote earlier the Far Sauna heats from the inside out. Just get in the Far Sauna about 20 minutes after taking the niacin.
Best Detox Principle #3
Stay hot! Once you get hot and start to sweat you need to keep hot enough to sweat for about 15 to 30 minutes. The actual temperature isn’t critical as long you are sweating. If you used exercise to get hot what you use to stay hot can be anything. You could just keep exercising, get in a hot car, get in a hot room, do hot yoga or get in any kind of sauna. The principle is you need to keep a good sweat going for 15 to 30 minutes. When you are just starting off work up to the 15 to 30 minutes slowly. If at anytime while working on this sweat you experience breathing problems, dizziness, lightheadedness, weakness, fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, muscle cramps, nausea, nosebleeds or thirst get out of the heat, cool off, lie down and drink cool water.
Best Detox Principle #4
Get and stay hydrated! Be sure that you have been drinking plenty of water in the hours before you get your body hot. I recommend one quart per 50 lbs. of body weight per day, up to three quarts. It is important to drink an additional quart of water while sweating. It’s also important to replace the salts and minerals that are sweated out. Calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and chloride are all lost through sweating. I use an energy and rehydration powder that I mix with my water while I sweat. Coconut water would be another excellent choice to replenish the nutrients that are lost while sweating.
Best Detox Principle #5
Take activated charcoal! After the sweat take about 500 mg of activated charcoal. Don’t take any medications or vitamin/mineral supplements with the charcoal, because the charcoal will soak them up and nothing will get in your system. Its best to wait two hours after taking activated charcoal before eating or taking medications or supplements.
Here’s How I Do This Detox.
Understand, I am in pretty good shape, and that I’ve been hiking for years and have worked up to what I’m doing. I don’t recommend what I do unless you’re used to hiking in the heat.
In the afternoon, I take 200 mg of niacin and get my backpack, towel, and one quart of water with electrolytes in it. I get in my vehicle and drive to a desert mountain. Once I arrive, I get out and hike for about 30 minutes. By the time I’m done hiking I’m sweating really good. I get in the vehicle, close the door and sweat.
I’ve measured the temperature in the vehicle and it varies depending on the day and which vehicle I took to the mountain. The temperature range inside the vehicle is from 115° to 130°. Now this is in Phoenix, AZ and the outside temperature is over 100° when I go hiking.
After I get in my vehicle I start drinking my water and drive home with the windows up and the A/C off. Total time in the vehicle depends on how I’m feeling and how hot it is. After I get out of the vehicle I take activated charcoal and go take a shower.
My application works for me. I want to encourage you to figure out what works for you. Ideally I like to do this 2 times a week, as long as it’s hot enough outside. If I had access to a Far Sauna I would try to continue this detox through the cooler months of the year.
Will You Try the Best Summer Detox?
Our exposure to toxins happens everyday. Helping the body get rid of these toxins is something that should be done year round. This is just one way to detox. There are important foods and nutrients that also are powerful detox tools. Stay tuned and I will write about these foods and nutrients in the future.
What is niacin?
Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in the body’s metabolic processes. It is important for converting food into energy and helps to maintain healthy skin, nerves, and digestion. Niacin is also involved in DNA repair and cell communication.
How does the niacin protocol work?
The niacin protocol, also known as the niacin flush or niacin detox, is a method for removing toxins from the body by using high doses of niacin. Niacin works by stimulating the body’s detoxification pathways, which can help to eliminate toxins that have accumulated in the body over time.
The niacin flush is achieved by taking high doses of niacin, which can cause a temporary flushing sensation and reddening of the skin. This flushing is caused by the dilation of blood vessels in the body and is a sign that the niacin is working to improve circulation and eliminate toxins.
What does vitamin B3 niacin do for the body?
Vitamin B3 plays an important role in several of the body’s metabolic processes. It is essential for converting food into energy and is involved in the production of enzymes that are important for healthy skin, nerves, and digestion. Niacin is also involved in DNA repair and cell communication.
Which is better: flush or no flush niacin?
The choice between flush and no flush niacin depends on individual preferences and needs.
Flush niacin, also known as immediate-release niacin, is known for its ability to cause a flushing sensation and reddening of the skin. This flushing is caused by the dilation of blood vessels in the body and is a sign that the niacin is working to improve circulation and eliminate toxins.
On the other hand, no flush niacin, also known as extended-release niacin, is designed to release niacin slowly over a period of several hours, without causing the flushing sensation associated with immediate-release niacin. No flush niacin is often used as a dietary supplement to support overall health and wellbeing.