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Detox: the 4 best substances for helping to detoxify the body

Perhaps you’ve eaten too much fat, sugar and salt, and drunk too much alcohol. Or maybe you just want to give your body a boost from time to time with some health-beneficial compounds. Here are 4 must-have substances to include in any detox program.

Young woman drinking a detox juice

What exactly is detoxification?

The human body is a complex machine that’s extremely well-designed and effective at eliminating toxic substances. The lungs, intestines, liver and kidneys, in particular, act as tiny purification plants which, amongst others, cleanse the body of toxins.

In fact, our bodies produce these toxins constantly: when we exercise, eat, drink, etc. However, when they’re present at excessive levels, the body’s organs become overstretched and take longer to get rid of them and resume normal function. This is very often the case after the festive season when our consumption of rich food and alcohol soars.

Effects of over-indulgence on the body

Occasional excesses do not adversely affect the body in the long term (1). However, directly after a period of over-indulgence, you’re likely to suffer the following symptoms which are a sign you need to get back on track:

  • intense fatigue;
  • irritability;
  • problematic digestion;
  • diarrhea;
  • bloating;
  • abdominal discomfort, etc.

After an indulgent ‘blow-out’, it’s therefore sensible to start yourself on a little detox program to help get your body back to full health.

Water: an excellent remedy for countering excesses

Of course, the best known detox remedy remains still water. On the one hand, drinking alcohol usually leads to dehydration, which is responsible for the dreaded hangover. The remedy: drink plenty of water and rest.

But above all, good hydration helps to activate the liver and kidneys and thus speed up the body’s detoxification process via natural pathways - the stools and urine. So if you know you have over-indulged, drink 1.5-2 liters of water a day and make sure you’re in bed by 11pm to help your body get back to normal.

Chlorella: the detox algae

A freshwater micro-algae, chlorella has been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine, by the Aztecs, by Africans of the Great Lakes region, as well as by Asian populations. Extremely rich in cellulose, fibre, chlorophyll, proteins and vitamins (B12 et E), this algae is now increasingly popular with Europeans.

For some years now, scientific research has been growing to try and identify Chlorella’s mechanisms of action and potential applications. It is known to have a positive effect on gallbladder, liver and kidney function which is how it supports detoxification of the body (2-4).

Chlorella-based supplements, such as Chlorella, thus constitute excellent elements of a detox program.

Milk thistle helps protect the liver and purify the body

Like the artichoke and other so-called ‘bitter herbs’, milk thistle has been used for centuries for treating liver and digestive problems (5). It also promotes cleansing of the body. This is because its seeds, in particular, contain a substance called silymarin, the discovery of which in the 1960s sparked numerous research studies.

Indeed, the World Health Organization has already adopted a favourable position on it. In 2004, the WHO recognized the use of silymarin for liver problems caused by alcohol abuse, certain drugs and toxic substances, as “clinically valid”, a decision based on several scientific studies (6-7).

To benefit from a substantial intake of milk thistle silymarin, opt for a supplement like Silyplus which delivers 10 times the silymarin absorption of a standard silymarin supplement.

The essential Liver Support Formula, actually combines silymarin extracted from milk thistle with chlorella, along with other beneficial compounds ...

The proven benefits of choline

A nutrient essential to life, choline is one of the constituents of cell membranes. It is also used to produce several chemical messengers in the body. This betaine-precursor amino alcohol is synthesised by the liver, though usually at insufficient levels. We therefore get choline primarily from the diet from foods like eggs, cauliflower, salmon and beef.

Among its many benefits (it’s involved in normal metabolism of lipids and homocysteine …), choline helps to maintain normal liver function. Studies have even been conducted to test its efficacy against diet- and alcohol-induced liver damage (8).

That’s why supplementing with a product like CDP Choline, can also be a valuable part of a detox program.

With all these natural compounds, you’re well prepared for a Christmas Day feast and any other over-indulgences. And even outside of this celebratory period, you now know which compounds to take on a regular basis to benefit your health ...


  1. Hengist, A., Edinburgh, R., Davies, R., Walhin, J., Buniam, J., James, L., Betts, J. (2020). Physiological responses to maximal eating in men. British Journal of Nutrition, 124(4), 407-417. doi:10.1017/S0007114520001270
  2. Hideo Takekoshi, Go Suzuki, Hirofumi Chubachi, Masuo Nakano, Effect of Chlorella pyrenoidosa on fecal excretion and liver accumulation of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin in mice, Chemosphere, Volume 59, Issue 2, 2005, Pages 297-304, ISSN 0045-6535, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2004.11.026.
  3. Jae-Young Shim, Hye-seoung Shin, Jae-Gab Han, Hyeung-Suk Park, Byung-Lak Lim, Kyung-Won Chung, and Ae-Son Om.Journal of Medicinal Food.Sep 2008.479-485.http://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2007.0075
  4. Ebrahimi-Mameghani, Mehrangiz, Aliashrafi, Soodabeh, Javadzadeh, Yousef, AsghariJafarabadi, Mohammad, The Effect of Chlorella vulgaris Supplementation on Liver En¬zymes, Serum Glucose and Lipid Profile in Patients with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, JOURNAL ARTICLE, 2014/7/12, Health Promot Perspect, 107-115
  5. https://www.vidal.fr/parapharmacie/phytotherapie-plantes/chardon-marie-silybum-marianum.html
  6. Flora, Kenneth; Hahn, Martin; Rosen, Hugo; Benner, Kent, Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) for the Therapy of Liver Disease, American Journal of Gastroenterology (Springer Nature) . Feb1998, Vol. 93 Issue 2, p139-143. 5p. 1 Chart.
  7. Ball, Karen R ND, MPH*; Kowdley, Kris V MD† A Review of Silybum marianum (Milk Thistle) as a Treatment for Alcoholic Liver Disease, Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: July 2005 - Volume 39 - Issue 6 - p 520-528 doi: 10.1097/01.mcg.0000165668.79530.a0
  8. BEST CH, HARTROFT WS. Liver damage produced by feeding alcohol or sugar and its prevention by choline. Br Med J. 1949;2(4635):1002-1006. doi:10.1136/bmj.2.4635.1001



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