Paleo Diet Challenges & Solutions IV from Chris Kresser


Please read part Ipart II and part III of this series if you haven’t already.

The final challenge to adopting a Paleo diet is impaired detox capacity. If you can’t detox properly, even the healthiest Paleo diet won’t be enough to resolve your symptoms.

The liver is the main organ of detoxification. It’s primary job is to convert toxins — most of which are fat-soluble — into water soluble compounds that can then be excreted. But there’s so much more to detoxification than the liver.

The list of symptoms caused by impaired detox capacity is nearly endless, but in my work with patients I’ve observed the following common patterns:

  • Hormone imbalances (especially in women). Defects in detoxification cause hormones to become partially metabolized, blocking the action of active hormones and throwing off natural feedback mechanisms.
  • Skin breakouts and rashes. The skin is the largest organ in the body, and the most likely to be affected by detox issues.
  • Energy problems. One important aspect of detoxification, called methylation, plays a key role in cellular energy production.
  • Depression and mood disorders. Methylation is also crucial for proper neurotransmitter synthesis.
  • Brain fog and cognitive decline. Proper methylation is required for the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that profoundly affects mental clarity.

As you can see, there’s not much that goes on in the body that doesn’t depend on healthy detoxification. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that your liver is functioning as efficiently as possible.



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