Pre-Cleanse Program Effectively Designed

By Dr. J.E. Williams | | Reading Time: 7 minutes

Wooman preparing her pre-cleanse program

When to start your pre-cleanse program. Right before you plunge into an intense liver cleanse and gallbladder flush, it’s wise to prepare your body for deep tissue cleansing and prime detoxification pathways. 

Optimal Health Requires Regular Detoxification

Our bodies work tirelessly to build and maintain healthy tissue and prevent disease. But in the modern world, optimal health comes at a price. Because we live in a sea of foreign chemical and biological substances, including naturally occurring toxic compounds and the drugs we take, plus industrial chemical exposure, our tissues accumulate toxic substances a molecule at a time. 

Exposure to chemicals takes a toll. Our cells get worn out, and, over time, our organs no longer function optimally. At this stage, you may have subtle symptoms like fatigue, trouble sleeping through the night, digestive disturbances like gas and bloating, and brain fog. Sound familiar? 

The Rationale of Fasting 

All living things evolved complex protective and regulatory systems to protect against naturally occurring poisons and toxins. But toxic chemicals are new. Overwhelmed detoxification pathways lead to autoimmune conditions, hormone imbalances, digestive disorders, and mood changes. 

A 2018 study found that more than half of American adults had at least one chronic disease, and about 30 percent had more than two chronic conditions. We’ve become a sick nation. 

A healthy lifestyle helps balance the buildup and removal of waste and unwanted metabolic byproducts. Our body ecology is evolutionarily programmed to maintain this balance between the inner and outer environment. But because our bodies are repositories of everything we’ve eaten, drank, and breathed in, we do best when assisting these detoxification processes in maintaining health. 

About Fasting

Fasting produces a fundamental change in cellular physiology and metabolism. During a fast, blood glucose levels rely on glycogen stores in the liver and muscle. But after fasting for 24 hours, glycogen stores are depleted. The body then turns to energy stored in adipose tissue and muscle. A drastic change in metabolism follows glycogen depletion relying instead on triglycerides stored in adipose tissue rather than on glucose. Triglycerides get separated onto free fatty acids and glycerol that the liver converts into ketone bodies and glucose. Ketone bodies come from free fatty acids through the process of ketogenesis. During fasting, along with the metabolism of fat stores, protein catabolism occurs through gluconeogenesis. This process produces glucose from amino acids broken down from organ tissue and muscle. After glycogen stores become depleted, however, the dependence of body tissue for glucose declines as ketone bodies become more readily available. The ketogenic diet mimics the effects of fasting.

At least once a year, we need to set aside time to rid our cells of unhealthy chemicals and restore healthy body ecology. That’s why fasting and tissue cleansing are essential for health. But what’s the most effective way to detox and cleanse your body from the inside? 

Don’t worry. Nature worked it out long ago. We may harbor unfriendly microbes and toxic chemicals, but our body has a complex protection system working 24-hours a day. This natural system involves what scientists call biotransformation.

Biotransformation is a natural metabolic process in the liver that chemically modifies compounds, so they’re easier to eliminate. A healthy liver can transform fats, foreign chemicals, and drugs into water-soluble forms easier to excrete. The gut microbiome also plays a role in biotransformation. Herbal medicines, liver support supplements, and probiotics support biotransformation. 

You can help the natural process of elimination by fasting or performing a tissue cleansing program, but you’ll get the most from your plan by preparing your body in advance. 

Springtime is optimal for tissue cleansing. But before starting a liver cleanse and gallbladder flush, consider these four pre-cleanse tips.

4 Pre-Cleanse Practices

Tune up your liver with hepatoprotective supplements
Support your gallbladder and pancreas by limiting fats and sugars
Support antioxidant activity with supplements and fresh juices
Assist cytochrome P450 detox pathways

Start 2-4 weeks before your cleanse.

1. Tune-Up Your Liver

Toxic chemicals don’t just come from the environment or drugs. Your body also produces them as a natural process of digestion and metabolism. Eliminating waste material in the stool and cleansing the liver of foreign substances is an essential process that our body undergoes every day of our lives to keep us healthy. 

Just under your ribs on the right side of your body lies a metabolic powerhouse – your liver. Other organs are also involved in detoxification, including the kidneys, colon,  skin, and lymphatic system. But the liver performs the bulk of the work of protecting your body from the toxicity contained in the foods we eat, the juices we drink, the drugs we take, the air we breathe, and the chemicals we ingest. 

Support your detoxification pathways with liver and gallbladder-friendly herbs. Start at least one month before your cleanse. I recommend milk thistle (Silybum marianum) and artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) extracts. But take liver and gallbladder detox herbs in low dosages. The goal is to nudge the liver, not overwhelm it. 

Taurine is a sulfur-containing amino acid. Though concentrated in the heart and brain, it also functions as a potent antioxidant, reducing liver toxicity caused by the overload that leads to decreased liver function. Taurine also improves liver mitochondrial function while reducing liver toxicity. It also helps reduce gallstone formation. 

Get an email everytime there's a new Dr. Williams post!

Lipotropic nutrients help the liver metabolize fats, including cholesterol. When released from the liver, many chemical toxic substances collect in fat molecules. Eventually, they get eliminated in the stool. But not all of them. Therefore, supporting fat metabolism helps the liver’s detoxification capacity. Lipotropics include choline, inositol, methionine, and methylcobalamin. 

2. Support Your Gall Bladder and Pancreas

The liver, gallbladder, pancreas, stomach, and duodenum share the space in the middle right of your upper abdomen. When the liver cells secrete bile to break down fat, it’s collected through a series of ducts that drain into the common hepatic duct that joins the cystic duct from the gallbladder to form the common bile duct. The pancreas secretes enzymes that break down carbohydrates. 

Symptoms of an under-functioning gallbladder and pancreas include excess gas, bloating, and abdominal discomfort. Gallstones or pancreatitis, inflammation of the pancreas, can cause severe abdominal pain. Gallstones and pancreatitis often go together. Improving liver function, reversing chronic pancreatitis, and expelling gallstones are the central purposes of your cleansing program. The primary objective is to quell inflammation and clear the ducts. 

Support the gallbladder and pancreas by taking vitamin C and taurine. Cut out refined sugar and fructose, including agave syrup and processed honey. And take a pancreatic enzyme supplement with your meals. 

3. Support Antioxidant Activity

Natural antioxidants in foods and supplements, like vitamin C, protect cells and tissue from toxicity. Since vitamin C is an acid, I recommend taking a buffered form as calcium/magnesium/potassium ascorbate. Curcumin occurs in turmeric. It’s a naturally occurring antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. Take curcumin extract or add curry powder to your foods. If you have access to fresh turmeric root, drink a shot per day during your pre-cleanse.  

Include lots of fresh vegetables and some polyphenol-rich fruits in your diet. Apples and berries are high in polyphenols. I recommend a multivitamin and mineral supplement with polyphenol nutrients for my patients. 

4. Assist Biotransformation by Supporting Cytochrome P450 Detox Pathways

Cytochrome P450s (CYPs) are a superfamily of iron-containing specialized proteins involved in enzymatic reactions. CYPs metabolize thousands of chemicals in the body: some produced by the body and others we get from the environment, including prescription drugs. 

CYPs also help create and break down hormones like estrogens and testosterone, which are involved in cholesterol metabolism. But it’s in the liver where CYPs play principal roles in detoxification.

CYPs detox process occurs in three phases. 

Phase I metabolism makes toxins water-soluble so the kidneys can eliminate them in the urine. It also utilizes oxidative metabolism that takes place in the mitochondria. Support Phase I detoxification during tissue cleansing by drinking plenty of pure water, dilute green juices, and green tea.

Phase II metabolism helps the elimination of chemical compounds in the urine. Liver cells conjugate these chemicals, increasing their water solubility, making them easier to eliminate from the kidneys in urine or from the intestines in the stool. Glutathione is essential for effective detoxification at this stage. So are Nrf2 activators like resveratrol, quercetin, and green tea polyphenols.

Nrf2 (nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2) compounds trigger responses that manage inflammation and neutralize biochemical challenges to our body systems. They also play a role in calming the cytokine storm caused by viral infections, like with COVID-19. 

Phase III metabolism helps pump toxic substances out of cells. In this phase, waste substances are now water-soluble and eliminated in bile, urine, or stool. You can support elimination by drinking plenty of pure water, but chlorophyll is the overall best support for this phase. Mix liquid chlorophyll in your water or take chlorophyll capsules with your meals. 

Researchers in CYP450 know that there are a lot of variations on how people’s detoxification systems function. Weight, gender, ethnicity, genetics, and age make a difference. Our state of health or disease also matters. Don’t try extended fasting or force detoxification if you’re frail, over 65 years, recovering from a long illness, or have an infection. 

Grapefruit juice as influence to detox pathways

Foods Influence Detoxification Pathways

Humans eat complex diets. In the U.S., almost none of it comes from ground to plate. 

Foods support energy production and alter how our body processes drugs and environmental chemicals. Certain foods balance out the process and support optimal biotransformation. Some inhibit detoxification, especially those containing furocoumarins, like grapefruit. Furocoumarins are naturally occurring compounds that interfere with the detoxification of drugs and toxins. 

Grapefruit influences Phase I and II detoxification by inhibiting CYP3A4, an enzyme in the CYP450 system. Therefore, drinking grapefruit juice when taking certain drugs to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and arrhythmia interferes with their action. And that’s not what you want during a cleanse. You want to detoxify and eliminate as many chemicals, including pharmaceuticals, as possible through the kidneys in urine, from the colon in stool, and to mobilize the liver’s capacity to metabolize toxic substances. So, hold the grapefruit juice during your pre-cleanse and detox program. 

Timing Is Everything

I recommend cleansing programs in the late spring and early summer for 5 to 15 days. Your pre-cleanse preparation should last at least two weeks before your fast or cleansing program. A wise plan is 2-4 weeks of pre-cleansing followed by 1-2 weeks of juice fasting. 

Continue all pre-cleanse detox supplements right up to your fast. And take them through the juice fasting part of your program.  

Support Gut Detoxification with Probiotics

Probiotics are necessary for health, disease prevention, endurance, and longevity. They not only keep your gut running smoothly but also support detoxification. NCFM Lactobacillus acidophilus is a common probiotic found in milk products and can control toxins caused by intestinal yeast and fungi. Bi-07 Bifidobacterium lactus is another commonly occurring probiotic that supports immune function by lowering inflammation and helps remove unfriendly bacteria from the gut. 

Final Thoughts for your Pre-cleanse Program

The way to health is also the way of peace and harmony. In contrast, diseases cause extreme reactions in the body resulting in pain and organ dysfunction, robbing us of peaceful living. Health is quiet and gentle. 

Disease is disruptive and painful. 

Gentle health gets little press or internet attention. Radical cleansing practices may be in fashion, but they are incompatible with long-term health. They can shock your body’s vital systems, starve your brain, and disrupt metabolism. 

Over a lifetime, balanced detoxification, and gentle tissue cleansing, done regularly, produce the best results, especially when combined with a pre-cleanse program. 

Dr. Williams’ pre-cleanse protocol of medical-grade supplements is available through Fullscript and Emerson/Wellevate. First, sign up and then order on your own.