Wellness insights

Why is fasting a poor strategy for nutritional detoxification?

Throughout the many years that I have been successfully using Nutritional Detoxification Programs with my patients, I am often times asked why I don’t use fasting as part of the protocol that I prescribe. My answer to this is simple, “organ reserve” vs. “organ depletion.”

During a nutritional detox the liver is the superstar and does the lion’s share of the heavy lifting. The liver performs hundreds of functions in the course of detoxification. This is a huge burden, even for a superstar. The energy required for the liver to accomplish this task is enormous. Organs need to have a reserve ability, a resource not normally called upon, but available if needed to function beyond the usual demand. This ability is surely needed by the liver when undergoing a metabolic detox/cleanse.

Let’s take a closer look at just what “reserve” means and why it is so important, especially during a detox. I will do this by way of analogy. In this age of devices, many of us have experienced the peace of mind in knowing that we have our cell phone charger case. With normal usage or when we are close by a wall socket, there is typically no need to worry about running out of juice. However, when away from the office with heavy use, the need for a charger case becomes evident. This reserve charge can give us the confidence that we can keep doing business without worry of dropping the next call. In other words, the cell phone retains it’s valuable function even under unusual demand.

Back to our superstar, the liver. Because the liver does most of the work of detox, and this work requires greater than usual amounts of energy, I absolutely do not recommend long term fasting during metabolic detoxification periods. I am not opposed to fasting, after all it has it’s many benefits physically, spiritually and mentally. Just not during periods when a reserve of nutrient is called for so that the liver can do the work. It is not well-advised to starve your liver in times of high energy needs, as much as it is not advised to leave the office without your cell phone charger case. The additional nutrients come in the form of calories, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and herbs. These can be provided with a high quality supplement and a well designed meal program.

If you’re interested in a nutritional detoxification program or a customized plan that boosts your organ reserve, Aligned Life members receive complimentary evaluations throughout their membership.

Written by Dr. Brown

Published October 27, 2018