What Is Phase 3 Detoxification?
Phase 3 of detoxification is the final step of the detoxification process in the body and involves the elimination of the toxins from the body. As this phase is actively involved in transporting waste out of the cells and eventually the body, this phase of detoxification is called the antiporter phase.
Phase 3 is performed by transporting proteins that help move the processed toxins to urine via the kidneys or feces via the intestines.
Causes of Poor Elimination in Phase 3 of Detoxification
Elimination is the end goal of phase 3 of detoxification. Some lifestyle factors that lead to poor elimination of waste from the body include:
- Overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract and imbalance in the beneficial bacteria
- Insufficient fiber intake: With less fiber intake, the good bacteria in the gut have nothing to feed on. Fiber deficiency can also affect the process of elimination.
- Magnesium deficiency: Lower magnesium levels in the body can cause sluggish stools, thereby retarding the elimination process
Regulation of Phase 3 Detoxification
The enzymes that regulate phase 3 of the detoxification process allow toxins to move across cellular barriers in the liver, gastrointestinal system, kidneys, and the blood-brain barrier.
The p-Glycoprotein family of proteins is an important antiporter found in the small intestine. They enable toxins to move from the cells into the gut. The blood-brain protein is another protein found in the kidneys, liver, and the blood-brain barrier and regulates phase 3 of detoxification.
ABCs and SLC10s in Phase 3 Detoxification
Two groups of proteins primarily involved in phase 3 of the detoxification process include the ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters (ABCs) and Solute Carriers (SLC10s). SLC10A1 and SLC10A2 play an important role in phase 3 of detoxification by participating in the production, absorption, and excretion of bile salts.
ABCB1 (ATP-Binding Cassette, Subfamily B, Member 1)
The ABCB1 gene is also called the MultiDrug Resistance 1 (MDR1) or the P-Glycoprotein (P-GP). It gives instructions to produce an important ATP-dependent Phase 3 antiporter protein responsible for transporting various xenobiotics, drugs, lipids, and other exogenous and endogenous toxins out of cells for excretion.
Solute Carrier Family 10 - SLC10
Solute Carrier proteins are responsible for transporting solutes, including toxins, across the cell membranes, for elimination. While most SLC10 proteins are responsible for transporting bile acids, steroidal hormones, drugs, and other products, a few members of this family do not participate in the transport of bile acids.
Importance of Bile Secretion in Phase 3 Detoxification
Secretion and proper flow of bile are important for an effective detoxification process. Bile helps remove endogenous and exogenous toxins from the intestines. Impaired bile flow can result in a build-up of toxins in the body. Some substances that are eliminated through bile are:
- Bilirubin: This is the by-product of red blood cell breakdown.
- Metals: Metals like zinc, copper, and mercury are eliminated via bile.
- Cholesterol: Bile takes the excess cholesterol from all over the body and sends it to the gastrointestinal tract to eliminate via feces.
Bile also performs other functions that are important for phase 3 detoxification.
- It stimulates bowel movements for ease of excretion of feces.
- It maintains optimum pH in the intestine, which is essential for enzyme action.
- It protects the stomach lining from the harmful effect of acids.
Tips to Improve Bile Flow
Impaired bile flow can result in a build-up of toxins in the body, leading to diseases. Here are some ways to improve bile flow:
- Hydrating well
- Consuming adequate amounts of electrolytes consisting of sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium
- Consuming foods rich in amino acids: taurine (shellfish, dairy products, dark poultry meat), glycine (bone broth, fish, dairy, gelatin)
- Including bitter foods rich in vitamin C.
Metal Toxicity and Phase 3 of Detoxification
An important part of the detoxification process, especially phase 3, is the elimination of toxic metals. There are 23 heavy metals that are harmful to human health – antimony, arsenic, bismuth, cadmium, cerium, chromium, cobalt, copper, gallium, gold, iron, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel, platinum, silver, tellurium, tin, thallium, uranium, vanadium, and zinc (in excess). Occupational exposure and rising pollution levels in residential areas are major contributors to metal toxicity.
These heavy metals increase the production of free radicals that cause oxidative stresses in the cells of the specific organs. When the cells in these organs are overwhelmed by oxidative stress, they begin to function abnormally and cause diseases.
Recommendations For Healthy Phase 3 Detoxification
What to Avoid
- Limit caffeine intake
- Limit consumption of processed, fried, and charred foods
- Limit consumption of predatory fish or fish caught in mercury-polluted water
What To Eat
- Flavonoid-rich foods (berries, citrus fruits, etc.)
- Dark leafy greens
- Coriander (effective in the elimination of heavy metals)
- Cruciferous vegetables (they help in sulphonation and glutathione conjugation)
- Sulfur-containing foods
- Healthy fats
- Fiber-rich foods
Fasting allows the body to rest, break down food better, and function efficiently. In the short term, fasting helps to increase the metabolic rate. Fasting also helps toxin removal from the cells more efficiently by releasing certain enzymes involved in the detoxification process.
Exercise alone cannot detoxify the body, but along with a healthy lifestyle, it enhances the functioning of various organs like the liver, kidneys, lungs, immune system, and intestines to improve detoxification. A study conducted in Sweden reported that exercising releases the various stored toxins from the cells into the blood, making it easy to eliminate them.
1. Phase 3 of detoxification is the final step of detoxification and aims to eliminate the toxins from the body.
2. This phase is regulated by a few groups of enzymes, primarily the p-Glycoprotein family of proteins.
3. ABCB1, SLC10A1, and SLC10A2 genes have an important role to play in regulating phase 3 of detoxification.
4. Bile production and flow are vital for an effective detoxification process as it eliminates bilirubin, metals and maintains cholesterol balance in the body.
5. Phase 3 of detoxification is also vital for preventing metal toxicity.
6. We can maintain healthy detoxification by following a healthy lifestyle, avoiding toxic foods and toxins in the environment, fasting, and regular exercising.