Nutritional aspects of detoxification in clinical practice

Altern Ther Health Med. May-Jun 2015;21(3):54-62.


Detoxification is a vital cellular task that, if lacking, can lead to early morbidity and mortality. The process of detoxification involves the mobilization, biotransformation, and elimination of toxicants of exogenous and endogenous origin. This article discusses the phase I and phase II detoxification and biotransformation pathways and promotes using food to support these highly complex processes. The author identifies the comprehensive elimination diet as a useful therapeutic tool for clinicians and patients to use to achieve detoxification. Using this diet, the patient removes the most common allergenic foods and beverages from the diet and replaces them with nonallergenic choices for a period of 4 wk, gradually adding back the eliminated foods and observing their effects. Another effective clinical tool that the author discusses is the detox-focused core food plan, which identifies the variety of foods required to supply key nutrients that can maximize the effectiveness of detoxification. Finally, the author provides a case study in which these tools were used to help a patient suffering from major, debilitating illnesses that resulted from exposure to malathion, including severe vomiting and diarrhea, headaches, night sweats, severe arthralgias and myalgias, episcleritis, and shortness of breath. The article details the interventions used and the clinical results (ie, successful resolution of most issues after 3 mo).

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biotransformation
  • Diet Therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inactivation, Metabolic*
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Malathion / pharmacokinetics
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Organophosphate Poisoning / metabolism


  • Malathion