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Diet and Nutrition Master Tung

Detoxification, a big-picture view

Gallbladder inflammation, including sludge, stones and bile flow disruption, can cause a cascading effect of toxins in the bloodstream and therefore throughout all of the body’s tissues. Some people’s bodies are more capable of processing certain toxins than others, but everyone has residual toxins of some kind built up in their body. Whether one experiences the side effects of chemicals, molds, funguses, parasites, heavy metals, and/or pharmaceuticals depends upon the efficiency of the bile tree in the liver and the state of the gallbladder’s bile receptivity and flow. If the hepatocytes of the liver are overwhelmed by a myriad of toxins, or if the gallbladder is congested (or completely blocked), the result may be a shunting of unprocessed toxin buildup back into the bloodstream in order to dilute the toxins, save the hepatocytes, and temporarily postpone detoxification. This creates further pollution in the body, so it is absolutely essential that efficient bile flow is restored and maintained. There have always been environmental toxins and endotoxins requiring elimination by the body, but never in history have humans experienced the levels of toxicity currently found inside and outside of our bodies.

Neurological disease epidemic

The worldwide rate of neurological disease in children has doubled since 2012. In the 1950s, one child in 5,000 was diagnosed as being somewhere on the autism spectrum. In 2012, it was one child in 88, and now one in 44 children has obvious neurological degeneration. Some people argue that we are now better at diagnosing autism, ADD, ADHD, and the like. However, one only needs to sit in the presence of a child who is unable to make eye contact or verbally communicate, and who self-soothes by hitting their head against a wall, to recognize that our species is in great jeopardy of biological and fiscal demise. Within the time span of two U.S. presidencies, our nation will be unable to care for a generation of disabled children as well as two generations of the elderly who are dealing with Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and other neurologically degenerative diseases.

Detoxification strategies

Though our global community faces a bleak picture and a daunting task, we are simultaneously at the cutting edge of discovering methods of recovering our physical and mental health. Scientists are researching ways to restore our body’s natural detox pathways (bile flow) and protective mechanisms such as the microbiome.

The microbiome (part one)

The microbiome is the body’s built-in immune system, sometimes referred to as the “gut microbiome.” Leading authorities no longer recommend probiotics; they say that each individual’s microbiome is so unique that the idea of supplementing it with a prescribed probiotic is now thought to be ludicrous. The latest research demonstrates that the microbiome is comprised of over 4,000 different types of flora (such as bacteria, molds, fungi, parasites, spirochetes, viruses and retroviruses), from which many details can be determined about an individual, including their sex and race, where they live, whether their birth was vaginal or by caesarian section, and if they were breast fed. One’s microbiome changes from one instant to the next, in response to new smells and environments, foods and chemical or environmental exposures. The health of the microbiome is essential for adequate immune response, and it will be a major part of future medical diagnostics as well as the restoration of bile flow and detox pathways. Researchers who study the microbiome are unknowingly reviving the concepts of the TCM “Earth School” in modern medicine. It is a very exciting time in the realm of study about autoimmune diseases, lymph drainage and the lymphatic system, including brain detoxification.

Ketogenesis and autophagy

Researchers are also recognizing our innate capacity to fuel the brain and body primarily through the metabolism of fat (ketogenesis – the old Atkins Diet model, recently revived), restoring the biological flexibility of our hunter/gatherer ancestors in using both glucose and fat as fuel. When we burn fat as fuel, it allows for a process known as autophagy, the body’s innate ability to rid itself of damaged, toxic, or unused cells. Though humans have always been able to metabolize sugar and fat, most modern brains operate on glucose alone. It has been proven that fat is a much cleaner fuel source without the devastating side effects that have grown out of the sole reliance upon glucose, which is insidious in contemporary cuisines and results in untold inflammation and metabolic syndromes.

Parasympathetic pathways

All of the detoxification processes occurring within the human body are part of parasympathetic nervous system pathways. This means when the body is engaged in the “fight or flight” response of the sympathetic nervous system, detoxification will never take priority. The chronic, constant stress level of today’s society, a primary cause of our overactive sympathetic systems, must be addressed before – or at least simultaneously with – any other “downstream” interventions. In this regard, Oriental medicine, including Tai Chi, Qi Gong, meditation, acupuncture and herbal medicine, as well as a plethora of other mental, emotional, spiritual, and integrative medical interventions, will prove to be nothing less than lifesaving.


The microbiome (part two)

Our bodies are throwbacks to the era of hunters and gatherers, but since those times our diet and environment have radically changed. Because of our consumption of animals that are factory raised on GMO corn, steroids, and antibiotics, and also because many people ingest large quantities of sugar, caffeine, drugs or alcohol daily, we have created a world of suffering for ourselves and other beings. We are witnessing an unprecedented rise in autoimmune diseases, diabetes, autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and a host of other man-made calamities. Using the technology developed during the Human Genome Project (2003), scientists have newly discovered the human microbiome and the fact that we are composed of 50-100 trillion organisms that are non-human. These organisms that we host are sometimes working in harmony with us as a healthy microbiome, and thus constitute the majority of our immune system. However, in more recent history this relationship has become less harmonious due to the creation of a pathological biofilm, the overuse of antibiotics, poor diets, toxic chemical and environmental exposures, and a more or less sedentary, feasting lifestyle.


The good news is that we are beginning to understand that we have been missing a very crucial piece of information, recently revealed by “The Microbiome Project.” Our microbiome is heavily influenced by our environment – what is around us. Chronic disease is the interaction between our environment and our genetic triggers; thus, the triggers alone are not a death sentence, and they may never genetically express, but for our choices and environments. Sadly, researchers have found that chronic disease processes begin in utero, as babies’ umbilical cords are loaded with more than two hundred and eighty known toxins, such as BPA (bisphenol A) and glyphosate, which poison our developing children before they even enter the world. This reality is sad and horrifying, and my only intention in sharing it is to awaken you to the real danger. We are not going to wake up in our world and discover all of the remarkable things that we did while we were sleeping; rather, we must awaken and take responsibility for the mess that we have created, and do everything in our power to clean it up immediately. The planet and future generations depend upon our conscious actions. It is absolutely crucial to understand that we control our fate.


We must recover our leaky guts and immune systems by rebuilding our microbiome through cleansing and detoxing our bodies. Very simply, this means that if you choose to eat organic foods, that choice alone will lead you to feel better. Stop compromising! The unhealthy gut microbiome produces bioactive compounds that powerfully influence the central nervous system (CNS), creating unhealthy cravings that are difficult to ignore. Is it YOU who wants another candy bar, pastry and espresso, salted fries or bowl of pasta, or is it the bugs inside of you?


For those of us who are health practitioners, awareness of these phenomena can help us educate and treat our patients. Patients need to fully understand what made them so sick before they will agree to do what they need to do to get well. They must understand that there will be a die-off of “bad” microbes before the healthy new ones can take over, and that detoxing can take time – sometimes more than a year or two. Dietary restrictions have to be spelled out clearly if patients are going to be successful in their healing.


Children who were placed on round after round of antibiotics, seemingly from birth, have immune systems that are totally compromised. These children with hypersensitivities are unable to withstand the world as it is. We see this in their eating habits, health issues and emotional behaviors. I fear for their future, and ours as well. It would be interesting to study what such a child would be like if they were fed a healthy, chemical-free diet and protected from electromagnetic field smog and stray electricity. It is my belief that even autistic children would flourish in such an environment and likely become the prodigies of the future.


Changing to an entirely clean diet may seem utterly overwhelming to families with poor eating habits (80% of Americans). If we propose permanent dietary changes as restrictive as the complete avoidance of all trans fats, sugars, flours, grains, and processed foods of any kind (in other words, inflammatory foods), parents freak out. Instead, it is better to suggest that they start with a short period of time – three months – to restrict their child’s diet. However, they will find that the changes in the child’s physical, mental and emotional health and their unmanageable behaviors will radically change within less than two weeks, after which the dietary restrictions will be viewed as a real godsend and will be easy to maintain.


Parents of young children may have to use bribes (e.g., toys) to introduce healthier eating habits. In the beginning, tantrums and meltdowns are to be expected. It takes three days to break an addiction, so usually within four days, the child is hungry enough and willing to try new foods like leafy greens if they are prepared in a tasty manner. Get some nutritional counseling and get started. Honestly, the health of your child, your family, your community and our earth ALL begin here.


We must take responsibility for what we put into our bodies and understand the dangers of factory farming, including chemicals introduced into the soil, water, air and food that we consume. In the 1960s, people were alarmed by the effects of DDT (Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane), but now the primary chemical culprit is glyphosate. The chemical breakdown of glyphosate is AMPA (aminomethylphosphonic acid). When testing the environment or the blood for glyphosate poisoning, we must test for both glyphosate and AMPA to understand the seriousness of these and other toxic chemicals, which are now found worldwide, even in the rain.


It is only through grassroots movements that the use of GMOs, harmful chemicals and factory farming will change. It is entirely up to us. Read labels, buy organic, and avoid plastics, and you will be on your way to a healthier future for your family and generations to come. Stop using antibacterial hand sanitizer and get some dirt under your fingernails. Touch the earth and let her touch you. In Chinese medicine, we think about the earth element when it comes to providing nutrients for the whole body and keeping the immune system vital and strong. Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” I would contend that Chinese medicine said this first.

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