Healthy Detoxification: Spring Cleaning for Your Body
Season 1, Episode 9
In this episode of Be HEALTHistic, we discuss the vital process of detoxification and how it’s an integral part of maintaining optimal health in our highly toxic world. There are many different ways to detoxify, and our doctor duo hosting team of Drs. Steve and Drew Sinatra share safe, natural and effective ways to rid your body of toxins. They also explain the best preventative measures you can take to limit your exposure to the pollutants in the air you breathe, the water you drink and the overall environment you live in.
First, the doctors talk about the confusion that arises with the term “detox” — drug and alcohol detox vs. the detoxification of our bodies from chemicals in our environment. Dr. Steve goes on to discuss why detoxification is one of his “pillars of health,” and both doctors examine the main sources of heavy metals (mercury, aluminum and lead) that are impacting our health — from the fish we eat, to our dental work, to the deodorants we use.
Next, wonder what’s in the air you breathe? The doctors break down the most common outdoor and indoor pollutants, how to avoid them and some tools that can help. How about the water you and your family drinks? The Doctors Sinatra address this cause for concern and offer solutions for filtering out the most dangerous chemicals. They also touch upon the toxic amount of medications we are taking, and why we need to trade plastic bottles and containers for glass.
The doctors then discuss their favorite methods of detoxification, including working up a good sweat in a sauna or a hot yoga class. From there, they talk about the importance of hydration, what you can do to get the most out of your water intake, and how a drop of bitters, a castor oil pack, consuming psyllium fiber and skin brushing can help detox your body daily. And finally, Drs. Steve and Drew talk about the benefits of fasting, and why the super-popular practice of intermittent fasting is a good way to cleanse the system.
You won’t want to miss this informative and engaging episode of Be HEALTHistic, with our father-and-son doctor team sharing their best advice for effectively detoxifying your body, so you can feel your very best!
LINKS & RESOURCES
- Visit the Healthy Directions website for more health and wellness content and information!
- Check out the Healthy Directions Articles Archive, where you can search for specific, health-related content from all of our Healthy Directions doctors and experts.
- The doctors mentioned some of the heavy metals in our environment, and how high levels of mercury, aluminum and lead in our bodies can poison us. Check out this article from Dr. Steve about how you can lower your toxic load.
- The doctors explained why consuming larger fish tends to be more risky with regard to mercury; see this article with more information on how mercury gets into fish and which types to avoid.
- While you may avoid certain types of fish with regard to heavy metals, Drs. Steve and Drew generally endorse fish as a healthy choice for your diet. Read this article from Dr. Steve on why eating fish is important for a healthy heart.
- Another source of heavy metals the doctors mentioned are dental amalgams; check out this article from the doctors’ Healthy Directions colleague, Dr. Julian Whitaker, with answers to common oral health questions—including whether or not to remove amalgams.
- Throughout the discussion, Dr. Drew suggested simple, natural ways to detoxify your body; see this article with his top tips for natural detoxification.
- Aluminum, found in many deodorant/anti-perspirant products, is another heavy metal to avoid. Read this article from the doctors’ Healthy Directions colleague, Dr. David Williams, with five ways to avoid aluminum for better brain health.
- Dr. Steve touted the benefits of CoQ10 during the discussion; find out more about why it’s one of his favorite supplements in this article with facts about CoQ10.
- The doctors talked about how toxic pesticides can be; one of the main chemical compounds found in herbicides is called glyphosate. See this article from Dr. Drew on the dangers of glyphosate.
- Dr. Drew talked about the lymphatic detox benefits of skin brushing; get more information from the Healthy Directions team on dry brushing your way to health and beauty.
- During the discussion, Dr. Drew mentioned a study on mice that suggested probiotics (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG) are good for your liver; find out more about that research here.
- Dr. Drew talked about a major fast he completed recently, and the doctors said that intermittent fasting is a form of detox they generally recommend. Check out this article from Dr. Drew on the benefits of intermittent fasting, a beginner’s guide.
- The doctors discussed the healthy benefits of consuming psyllium fiber throughout the conversation; read this article from Dr. Drew about the gut health benefits of fiber.
- Dr. Steve also emphasized that detoxification was key to better heart health; check out this article with more information and advice.
- During the Wellness Wisdom segment, Dr. Drew mentioned a list of detoxifying foods provided by the Food Revolution Network to help your body heal naturally; see the full list here.
- For more information on detox foods, read this article from Dr. Drew on why organic is better: the dirty dozen and clean fifteen.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: The air we breathe, the water we drink, the environment we live in, they are all highly toxic — so what can you do to maintain your health in a toxic world?
Dr. Steve Sinatra: The answer is detoxification. There are a lot of different ways to detox. We're here to share the safest and most effective ways to rid your body of as many toxins as possible. I'm Dr. Steve Sinatra.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: And I'm Dr. Drew Sinatra, and this is Be HEALTHistic.
Narrator: Welcome to Be HEALTHistic, the podcast that is more than just health and wellness information — it's here to help you explore your options across traditional and natural medicine, so that you can make informed decisions for you and your family. This podcast illuminates the whole story about holistic health by providing access to the expertise of Doctors Steve and Drew Sinatra, who together have decades of integrative health experience. Be HEALTHistic is powered by our friends at Healthy Directions. Now, let's join our hosts.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Hi folks. If you like what you hear today and you want to listen to future conversations on all things integrative and holistic health, subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you download your favorite podcasts. Also, check out and subscribe to our YouTube channel, which will feature video versions of our episodes, plus video extras you won't want to miss.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: And finally, we have more with me, Dr. Drew Sinatra, my dad, Dr. Steve Sinatra, and other Healthy Directions experts over on the Healthy Directions site. So visit HealthyDirections.com to explore our database of well-researched content and information — and of course, you can always follow us on our social media channels.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Dad, the term detoxification, in my opinion, there's a misconception out there about what people think this really means. This is not alcohol and drug rehab, and detoxification from those medications and those drugs. This is detoxification from chemicals in our environment.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Absolutely. I mean, that's the elephant in the living room. We live in a toxic world.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: We do, I mean, we're going to go into the ubiquitous nature of all these chemicals that we're exposed to. But I'm curious, you have detoxification in your six pillars of healing. Tell me about that. I mean, why is that the case?
Dr. Steve Sinatra: As a young cardiologist, it was amazing. I used to see so many patients with coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction and congestive heart failure, and I was measuring heavy metals very early in my growth and development. Not only did I have a lot of heavy metals, and you and your brother did, but several of the dentists in my practice were heavy metal toxic by the nature of their work. So at a very early age, I got accustomed to working with mercury intoxication. Then it wasn't just mercury — it was aluminum and lead, and just the heavy metals in general. This is a big problem for health in a lot of us today.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Yeah, I mean, now they're talking about heavy metals. I had a patient... and this really opened my eyes. I had a patient a couple of years ago, and we tested him for heavy metals, and he was really high in mercury and lead. Actually, the highest I've ever seen up to this point. This was a young man who was 61 years old with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Dreaded. He came in. He couldn't even walk. He couldn't talk. His wife had to tell the whole story for me. We started up this detox program, getting rid of the heavy metals, chelating these heavy metals, the mercury and the lead from his body.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Within six months, he was talking again, he was walking normally, he didn't have any balance issues, and a lot of his Parkinson's symptoms had decreased. At that point, I was a major believer in detoxification because this guy, whatever he was doing — whether it was the water he was drinking, who knows where these sources of mercury and lead were coming from, maybe the food he was eating. Getting them out of his body made a tremendous difference in his health.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: That's great doctoring, Drew. I'm really proud of you, because most clinicians don't think about detoxification. The purpose for our listener today and our goal is to really enlighten and empower our listeners about how vital detoxification is.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Let's talk about fish. What are some unhealthy fish that we should be avoiding — or eating less often, and what are some more healthier fish that we should be eating more often?
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Well, back in the, I guess, it was the 80s, there was this fear of meat, and as a substitute, we did a lot of swordfish.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: I remember those big swordfish steaks on the grill. Unfortunately, swordfish, being a very larger fish, they tend to pick up mercury more so than the smaller fish, so…
Dr. Steve Sinatra: So the bigger the fish in the ocean…
Dr. Drew Sinatra: The bigger the fish…
Dr. Steve Sinatra: ...the worse it is because they accumulate more mercury.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Exactly.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Big tuna would be another fish — in Florida, for example, where big grouper are caught. When I go into a Florida restaurant, and they recommend a grouper, my first question is, "Can you ask the chef how big that grouper was?" Because there's small grouper out in Florida, the scamp. That's the name that they call them scamp. They're delicious. They're only about, they're 12 to 14 inches. They don't live in the ocean that long, and they don't accumulate heavy metals, so that's an important fact to realize.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Another source of heavy metals, which is not really talked about that often in conventional medical literature is amalgams. These amalgams that you get in your teeth, which have, they use mercury as a binding agent in there. I'll tell you this, I seen a lot of dentists in the last five years, and none of them are doing mercury anymore. None of them are doing the silver amalgams. They're kind of phasing that out very slowly, which is a very smart thing to do for the Dental Association, but at least that's a major source, to my knowledge, is lessening these days.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: It's a paradigm shift. You're absolutely right. It takes a generation of the younger dentists to really get this. I think this is vital. Drew, there's another metal out there, aluminum, that's pervasive in the environment. I mean, one of the, I guess one of the aspects of aluminum is your own deodorant.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Yeah, those antiperspirants, right?
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Exactly. The first thing our listeners should do is look on the label and see if there's aluminum on that. I always thought there was an association of breast disease in women, and that could be for anything from fibrocystic to even, God forbid, cancer — where women are using aluminum deodorants, because again, it's a toxin that gets absorbed, put stress on the lymphatic sensor system, that lymph nodes, et cetera. This is something that all listeners need to really understand, that there are simple situations in our environment that are toxic.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: What I like to tell my patients is really, when you're learning about these different toxins in the environment, the number one treatment is avoidance. And that's exactly what we're talking about right now, is really trying to avoid the exposures in the first place so we don't have that accumulation.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: And substitute other foods. In other words, if you like fish, certainly Atlanta Halibut is a good fish, certainly smaller salmon, Pacific salmon. I mean, the smaller the fish…
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Sardines.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: ...the better. I think sardines are an incredible fish. Not only do sardines have abundant quantities of coenzyme Q10, I mean, the nutrient that I feel enthralled about, because I've been working with it for almost 40 years. But sardines contain a lot of calcium, and they contain DMAE, a substance that's common for the autonomic nervous system. I mean, I'm all-in on sardines.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Anchovies, there was a contaminant in anchovies. I believe it was arsenic, but in general, since anchovies are very small, if you like anchovies, I would say though use less anchovies because of this arsenic situation. I don't know how pervasive that is right now, but it was brought to light a couple of years ago. Hopefully, they cleaned it up. But again, the smaller the fish the better.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Well, we talked about heavy metals here, silver amalgams in your teeth and fish being primary sources. What other toxins in the environment should we be concerned about?
Dr. Steve Sinatra: I think the environment is pervasive, and the air we breathe I think is a good place to start. I heard on the news of the day that Los Angeles is cleaning up the toxic air environment. I mean, to me, that was music to my ears, where governmental agencies are finally getting that toxic air pollution is significant. I remember writing in my newsletter years ago in Healthy Directions about the collectors at that toll booths…
Dr. Steve Sinatra: ...for auto emissions.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Yes.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: I always thought that, "Jesus, I should hand these toll collectors a little vitamin E," because it was shown that vitamin E derivatives would have an impact on the treacherous aspects of air pollution. That these toxins that get into the lung can be a disaster, especially for young people, so we need to protect ourselves from this onslaught of toxins in the environment. Anything you can do to lessen this burden on a body is important.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: For example, an air purifier…
Dr. Steve Sinatra: I love it.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: ...in a home.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Love it.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: It's a great first step that people can take to just, hey, purify the indoor air. Which, by the way, they say is actually more toxic than the outdoor air, and that's because we have all this stuff in our home, these cleaning chemicals, we have carpets that have formaldehyde, couches that have flame retardant, plastics, you name it. So you're actually breathing in all that stuff, and having that air purifier is really going to help clean up that air.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: I'll tell you, Drew, if I go to a cleaner, and it's a non-organic cleaner, so they use using chemicals…
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Let those things air out, right?
Dr. Steve Sinatra: I did that in the house, you remember? I mean, I would take a suit from a cleaner, take off the cellophane package or the plastic and everything, and hang it out in the garage for two or three days to air out. Or you just hang it somewhere so the air was getting at it, so it would take out the chemicals. But even dry cleaning, I mean, people need to be privy to this. We do live in a toxic world.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: And simple things like cleaning ingredients at home — if you buy something that's more organic, doesn't have a lot of chemicals in it, that's a great place to start for just cleaning your home. Whether it's your countertops, your toilets, or your shower.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Even doing the laundry, I mean, I'm in…
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Exactly.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: ...favor of these organic ingredients.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Well, what do you like to recommend for air purifiers?
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Well, there's two aspects of an air purifier that are essential. One is UV light. You want to have the air purifier has some UV light that is going all the time. In addition, HEPA air filtration, in other words, H-E-P-A, where you're getting the molds out, you're getting pollen out, you're getting animal dander out, you're getting all these environmental toxins. I'll tell you, Drew, in my house, in the bedroom, for example, that air purifier — I never turn off. It runs 24/7, and when the bulbs burn out, I just put it in a fresh bulb for the UV light. That's the type of air purification I like to use, especially in a bedroom.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: What about other sources? Any other sources of toxins that we should let our listeners know about? Anything else that comes to mind here?
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Well, I worry about medications. I remember seeing patients in the office, and if they were on more than seven medications, I used to write the problem, you know the chart, you know how you do the charts? I used to write problem number eight or nine: “pharmacologapia.” I mean, too many drugs.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Polypharmacy.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Yeah, polypharmacy. Right. Basically, what I would talk to my patients is, "You liver acid...detox a lot of these ingredients that's, puts a stress on the liver. The kidney sometimes has to handle these ingredients...well, the toxic metabolites of these ingredients. So basically it just makes sense to take as least amount of pharmaceutical drugs as possible. One of the goals of my practice, as a conventional cardiologist in recovery, was I would wean down the amount of pharmaceutical drugs. But I would never, never put a patient in danger or in jeopardy — because some patients absolutely do need pharmaceutical support. There's no question about that.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Yeah, absolutely. Now, we talked about air being a primary source here for exposure. We've talked about foods before, in previous podcasts, and making sure you're eating organic foods and minimizing your exposure to pesticides. Let's talk about water, because water is so essential. We all need water. We need to live our lives and drink water every single day, but we need to make sure that our water is clean. What do you like to recommend for water purification?
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Well, in my own home, for example, I have water filters all over the place. But I have the big filters in my basement that take out chlorine and other ingredients. I mean, I was at a hotel here and took a shower, and the chlorine smell was just incredibly pervasive. I mean, I was almost coughing in the shower.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Look, I get it. We have to use chlorine to kill a lot of the germs in the environment. But you know what? Chlorine, bromide, and iodine, these halogens, they replace iodine in the thyroid gland, these halogens. Bromide, for example, that's found in a lot of bagels can actually render somebody who's susceptible to thyroid disease because, again, when you replace iodine in the thyroid gland, the thyroid gland needs iodine for thyroxin and T4, T3 production.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Basically, people need to realize that these chemicals in the environment are very serious. By the way, thyroid disease, hypothyroidism, I believe is epidemic in our society — not only because of some of the foods we eat, but the electromagnetics, as well. I mean, cell phone use and cordless phone use. Whenever you put a cell phone towards your ear, these electromagnetics can have a serious effect on the thyroid gland. Since our conversation is about a toxic environment, remember EMF is a toxin, and it's just as bad a toxin as a toxin we ingest in our food.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Yeah. Yeah. Well, back to water really quick. I wanted to talk briefly about plastic versus glass. Now, I know you, me, whenever we travel, we tend to buy like the glass water bottles. This is not only for our bodies, because we don't want the phthalates in our bodies, but this is also for the environment, as well. I mean, right now, I think I read this a couple of years ago, there is a plastic heap in the ocean that's just floating there in the Pacific Ocean that's two times the size of Texas. We have so much plastic in our water right now. I heard an estimate the other day that around 10 years from now, there's going to be more plastic by weight than fish in our oceans. That just saddens me deeply, because we are inundated with plastic all around us, and guess what? Plastic is entering our bodies as well, and it's killing the environment.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Hey, it's killing us, our bodies as well. I mean, phthalates are…it's a toxin. What's a takeaway we can give our listeners right now? If you had a choice between water in a glass bottle or a plastic bottle, what should you choose?
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Oh, glass. Glass immediately. No questions asked. Let's say, also, talk about plastic bags really quick, while we're on the subject. If you're going to a grocery store, you're walking into Whole Foods, whatever it is — make sure you've got your reusable bags with you. If you forgot, go back to your car.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: We've been talking about all the sources of toxicity in the environment. Let's now shift gears to this beautiful body that we have, and the amazing detoxification mechanisms that it inherently has. We have our organs of elimination — our skin, our kidneys, our liver, our lungs, our GI tract, and these are amazing systems that help eliminate toxins from the body.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: So Dad, what's your favorite method of detoxification?
Dr. Steve Sinatra: I'd have to say the far infrared sauna, I just feel, is so good. Look, Drew, here's the bottom line. These toxins that we're talking about, they lie in our subcutaneous fat. Basically if you sweat, let's say in the sauna, and the vibratory nature of the chemicals or the heavy metals or whatever it is that are laying below the skin in that subcutaneous layer, when the heat comes up and you're sweating, these chemicals now — especially even heavy metals and insecticides, pesticides whatever it is — they're coming out through the skin. I know that sweating is one of the best ways of detoxification.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Well, look, and you don't need to have the...I mean, look, I think I agree with you. The infrared sauna's a terrific way to detox, but all you really need is a way to sweat.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Exactly.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: That's the fundamental. You just need to be able to sweat. We learned from Dr. Crinnion at one of the environmental medicine conferences we went to that really all you need is hotbox. Doesn't have to be this fancy infrared sauna. He talks about his patients going into the bathroom, turning up the fan and the heat, and sweating that way. I mean, all you really need is a method of sweating to get out these toxins, and that's the beauty of it.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: That's great. I got to tell you, in Florida, there was a hot yoga they were advertising, and somebody in my building asked me if I wanted to go. I said, "Sure." I'll tell you the truth. The first time we did a hot yoga session, it was amazing. First of all, I was the oldest guy in the room. I'll put that out. About halfway through, half the room cleared out because it's probably about 110 degrees in there. What kept me going was, I was...because I didn't want to quit. You know what I mean? I mean, I'm the last person to quit any athletic endeavor.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: I want to tell you these postures and these exercises and 110 degrees, I did everything I could to stay there. But I was saying to myself, "Look, you're detoxing, you're detoxing, you're sweating. I mean, there's a big payoff here for you. Stick it out. Stick it out." I was so glad, and when I went outside and it was 90 degrees, it was like going to get to a refrigerator. It was awesome. But sweating is phenomenal. I just hope our listeners understand this, because it is really a medicinal way of cleansing your body.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: One quick tip here for our listeners is if you're going to do hot yoga, maybe you start off with a gentle hot yoga. There's Bikram out there, which I'm sure you've done as well. Bikram's great, but it's really intense, and I don't suggest that people start off with Bikram. It's really hot in there, and the postures are really challenging. Some yoga studios just kind of add a gentle heat to the room, and so you just kind of break a light sweat, which is still great.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: The sweat I was in was incredible, and thank God I had the electrolyte drink with me, because all's I was thinking about was, "I don't want to get a cramp here," and that 500 milligrams of potassium, it gave me a lot of comfort in my mind knowing that not only was I rehydrated…and by the way, the instructor was saying, "Drink, drink, drink." He kept on saying, "Rehydrate." Not only was I rehydrated with water, but with electrolytes, as well.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: I'm happy you brought that up, because hydration, electrolytes, make sure you drink enough water is really a foundation of detoxification. You've got to be able to flush the toxins out of your system through your kidneys, so drink, drink, drink with electrolytes.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Now, I see a lot of people drinking water all day long, all day long, all day long. Well, guess what, intracellularly, they're still dehydrated.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Correct.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: I mean, the key to hydration is that we must get the water inside our cells, so we can get the hydration in and funnel the toxins out of the cell. What's happened today, because of this toxic environment is, we're drinking all this water, it's going in, and it's going out, but it's not detoxifying our cells. What we need are high vibrational waters, and there's some of them out there — like the hydrogen waters for example. There's deuterium-depleted water. These new waters that I'm seeing at these cutting-edge, leading-edge conferences we must bring to our viewers, because I think water is going to be so medicinal in the future. Because we need a highly medicinal water to get into our cells and rehydrate our cells on the intracellular level, because we're all dehydrated.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: I also have a lot of patients that come in, and they tell me, "Doc, I'm drinking water like it's going out of style." They've got those huge liters of water, and they drink two, three of them a day. Then when I run some blood work on them, I tend to look at the BUN, which is the blood urea nitrogen, and if that's elevated, I have a little higher suspicion that they might be dehydrated. Of course, there's other reasons for the BUN to be high.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: I also look at the urinalysis that I run on most patients, and if the specific gravity is high, on the high end of normal, another reason to suspect that they may not be holding onto their water as much, even though they are drinking a lot — so they're not technically hydrated. Then thirdly, I like to run the skin turgor test on them, which is really picking up the skin on top of the hand and letting it go. If it returns very quickly back to the hand, that's a sign that they are hydrated. If it takes more than two, three seconds for the skin to come back, then typically, it's a sign of dehydration.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Even though you drink a lot of water, you still could be dehydrated.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Exactly.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: This is a problem, again. Intracellular hydration I think is going to be one of the most important aspects of the detoxifying the body on the cellular level.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Now, earlier you brought up that detoxification is kind of a daily thing. When I think of detoxification, it's all about the avoidance, number one, and then number two is really getting these toxins out of your body. I like to do and think of this as a daily practice. We'll get into these things that you can do on a daily practice, like a sauna, for example, or making sure that you're hydrated to support these detoxification. But I really want our viewers and our listeners to understand that, yes, you can do a detox for a week or two weeks or do a cleanse — but really think of detoxification as a daily practice.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: I'll tell you what I do in the evening before I go to bed, maybe about an hour before. I take a psyllium powder. I take a couple tablespoons of that. I use my electrolyte drink, because I like the flavor of the pomegranate and I like the minerals because I need the...everybody needs minerals. I use a prebiotic, probiotic type of powder, and basically, I'll stir it up, shake it up, and I'll drink it quickly. I'm getting all this fiber in my body.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Again, the average American only takes in less than 20 grams of fiber. We need like 40 grams of fiber. Once I take this into my body, the bowel cleansing the next morning is much improved. When I had patients come into my office and say, "Doc, I just, I'm constipated. I can't go." I used to them, "Walk more." Walking is a great remedy for constipation. Drinking more fluids, but then that was the old days when I was a doctor. Now that I'm more enlightened, I realize that whatever you put in, you may not be rehydrating the body because you still have intracellular dehydration. Now I use this drink, this psyllium drink, because this gets more fiber, you're drinking more fluid. With the fiber, you're expanding the GI tract, and you're improving transit time, and basically, GI cleansing is the way to go.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: You know what'd be a great addition to that is adding on some bitters. Bitters have cholagogue and choleretic properties, which means they really get bile flow.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: You mean drops of bitters?
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Yeah. Just, you don't need that much. You can take bitters before meals, but really, it'll help dump more toxins from the gallbladder into the liver and therefore into the GI tract.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: True. That's a pearl.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Now, another simple detox thing that people can do at home is skin brushing. So simple. You buy a little loofah sponge from the store. What you do is you... It's not a soft sponge, it's a little bit firmer. What you want to do is you want to start at your feet with these little gentle strokes and move upward, both legs, and start at your arms, go to your abdomen, your back. You want to direct all of that to your heart. That's where the lymphs…
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Right.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: ...drains there. That's a great way to get your lymphatic system working more efficiently, because you're exfoliating the skin. The lymphatics are really right below the skin there.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Oh, a lymphatic massage is phenomenal. I mean, even some of these practitioners that do lymphatic massage, that's a great way of activating these lymphatic ducts, which also support overall detoxification in the body.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Then the liver being this major organ, probably one of the most important organs for elimination that's involved in phase one, phase two detoxification, a simple naturopathic principle or technique that I've recommended to patients over the years is the castor oil pack. Because castor oil, if you apply it topically, it actually has anti-inflammatory properties to it, and it can support the function of the liver. So what patients can do is rub a little castor oil on their belly and over their liver. If they want, they can add a little heating pad to that to help drive it in, and let that sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Then you're done.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: I'm glad you brought up the liver. There's an entity that is so pervasive in our society today. It's called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The reason why I stumbled up on this is, I do a lot of CoQ10 investigations, and basically, I was screening the internet, and they were saying that coenzyme Q10 was one of the better remedies for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The more I delved into it, the more I realized how pervasive this is in our toxic environment, because the liver is getting overwhelmed.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Well, you can't win this battle just doing all the things we talked about, with just saunas and perhaps just doing some psyllium husk, and maybe some people will do colonics or enemas, and all this cleansing that you can do. You need to have something on board daily, something like NAC, that I think is just so powerful to help clean out the liver, support detoxification pathways in the body, and get this stuff out.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: In other words, we got to give the body some natural, raw materials it needs to help combat this toxic environment we live in. It just makes sense.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Makes total sense, and the body is inherently intelligent. It knows what to do. That's the beautiful thing. Even though the body was never exposed to these toxins...and by the way, we have 80,000 chemicals in our environments right now, at least, if not more. And unfortunately there's never really been testing on these chemicals, so they are likely not safe for us. But the body knows how to get rid of these chemicals, it just blows my mind.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: There was a study I wanted to mention, and this involves the gut. Researchers gave these mice a particular strain of probiotic called lactobacillus rhamnosus GG. They gave these mice the probiotic for two weeks, and then they administered acetaminophen, which is Tylenol. They gave acetaminophen in a pretty high dose to induce liver toxicity. What they found was that the mice taking the lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, they had less liver toxicity, or less liver damage. That blew my mind, because I had no idea that a probiotic can actually help support liver function, but it does.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: I think some day, again, because of this toxic environment, we're going to have to use probiotics in a way that we consume them on a daily basis. And we may have to increase the number of strains in the probiotics — there are strains for the large bowel, there are strains for the small bowel.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: There's one thing that we didn't mention that I think is worthy of mentioning here is fasting, because fasting is a great way to give the GI tract a rest. You're going to improve metabolism. It's going to be supportive for the heart, supportive for the brain, and it's something that people can do every single day. They can just do an intermittent fast, even if it's just 16 hours.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Oh, I love that. I mean, you're singing to the choir when you say that.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Drew, as a naturopath, you do a lot of detox in your practice. I mean, I'm sure these patients experience things in their body, mind, and spirit. I mean, what's been your experience? I mean, what's the feedback these patients give you?
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Well, generally if patients are doing a daily detox, which is something that I recommend, there really is no adverse side effect that people are going to feel. I mean, it's kind of rare. You might see it occasionally, to see a headache or maybe some fatigue that might present, or some emotional changes, some irritability that might come up. With the daily detox, which is something that I highly recommend, we don't really see side effects.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Now, if people haven't done much with detoxification, and they jump into all of these therapies that we talked about — they may feel worse before they feel better, and they may have brain fog. They may feel really tired. They may have joint pain. They may have diarrhea. I mean, there's all sorts of symptoms that can arise. I really, I want to caution people listening to this to be careful, because there's a lot of detoxes that you can do from online, like these two-week cleanses and three-week cleanses, and some of them may not be healthy. That's why we like to stick to more of the safer, proven therapies.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: I'm glad you mentioned that because whenever you detox, and the body discharges toxins into the bloodstream, or they come out of the cells like I talked about before — the person may feel worse. Remember, folks, you may feel a little bit worse before you get better.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Exactly. Yeah. The storm will pass, right?
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Exactly.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Now, my personal experience, I just completed a 108-hour fast. It was a vision quest, or a vision fast, if you want to call it that, and I did it in the mountains of California near Yosemite. It was profound. It was profound on many different levels. I did drink water during it. It was supervised, and I do recommend to our viewers listening that if you're going to do a longer than a two-day fast, you should probably talk to your doctor about supervision and different provisions that you can do, whether that's resting and make sure you're drinking a lot of water, et cetera. But anyone wanting to do an extended fast, I would certainly talk to their doctor.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: But I want to let our listeners know that when you complete a fast, it's not starvation. A lot of, I think a lot of people in your generation, actually, tend to think that fasting is like starvation, but that's a misconception. I mean, well, you know this. I mean, I'm talking to...you know this, but a lot of people, your friends perhaps would say, "Well, why are you doing this? Why are you starving yourself?"
Dr. Drew Sinatra: But, hey, religions around the world, there's been leaders that have done this for thousands and thousands of years. Fasting is so healthy and cleansing for the body. When I did my fast, I can tell you this, the first day I was very tired, I knew that I was probably mobilizing some toxins. But by the second or third day, my brain was on fire. I was so clear in my thoughts, so crystal clear, and I felt very present in the moment.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: I even had a moment of that sort of oneness that people experience with nature. I think that can only happen, really, when you are fasting and spending a lot of time in nature. I encourage people to do at least an intermittent fast, give it a shot, see how they feel, and if they want to extend it out to a two-day fast, great, maybe a three-day, maybe a four-day fast, at some point.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Good point.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Now, as a wrap-up, what can our viewers do, our listeners do, as a simple detoxification for, let's say, a week? What can they do?
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Yeah, that's a good point, Drew. I mean, one week, folks, go on an organic diet. I mean, eat a clean diet. Try to get some sweating into your daily routine every day. Now, you could go into a sauna, you could exercise, you can put extra shirts on. I mean, but just try to sweat a little bit for at least a half hour per day for that week. Take in some psyllium fiber at night. I would also take in a thousand milligrams of N-acetyl cysteine to give you some nutraceutical support, and try a gluten-free diet for that one week. After that, I suspect that you're going to have some changes that will be visible and noticeable in your body. An easy, one-week introductory, Drew Sinatra, Dr. Sinatra's program.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Simple and practical.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Hey, everyone, so before we wrap up today's episode, I wanted to share our Wellness Wisdom for the day. We've been talking about detoxification and different ways you can safely remove various toxins from your body. In terms of food, we talked about fish and how eating smaller types of fish can lower exposure to mercury and other heavy metals. But what about foods that we can eat that will help promote the detoxification process?
Dr. Drew Sinatra: The Food Revolution Network has suggested a bunch of detoxifying foods to help your body heal naturally, so I wanted to share some of those with you. Cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens, which are high in antioxidants that help support detoxification pathways. Beets, which can enhance the body's production of glutathione, a key compound for detoxification; and garlic, as garlic is a really antimicrobial, but also it helps support glutathione levels. Eating some of these pro-detoxifying foods could really help in flushing out your system naturally.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Remember, everyone, if you liked what you heard today, and you want to be an active member of the Be HEALTHistic community, subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you download your favorites, and subscribe to the Healthy Directions YouTube channel. You can also find more great content and information from us and the Healthy Directions team at HealthyDirections.com.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: I'm Dr. Drew Sinatra.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: And I'm Dr. Steve Sinatra.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: This is Be HEALTHistic.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: See you next time.
Narrator: Thanks for listening to Be HEALTHistic, powered by our friends at Healthy Directions, with Doctors Drew and Steve Sinatra. See you next time.
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Meet Dr. Drew Sinatra
Dr. Drew Sinatra is a board-certified naturopathic doctor and self-described “health detective” with a passion for promoting natural healing, wellness, and improving quality of life by addressing the root cause of illness in patients of all ages. His vibrant practice focuses on treating the whole person (mind, body, and spirit) and finding missed connections between symptoms and health issues that are often overlooked by conventional medicine.
Meet Dr. Stephen Sinatra
A true pioneer, Dr. Sinatra spent more than 40 years in clinical practice, including serving as an attending physician and chief of cardiology at Manchester Memorial Hospital, then going on to formulate his advanced line of heart health supplements. His integrative approach to heart health has changed the lives of hundreds of thousands.