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Nutritional Support For Detoxification and
Hormone Balance

By Holly Lucille, ND, RN

Today's woman is bombarded with endless toxins from the environment. While the body continually works to deactivate and eliminate harmful substances, the sheer volume may challenge even the most optimally-functioning detoxification systems. The body's ability to deal with these substances may be further compromised by nutrient deficiencies in the diet, lack of exercise, and stress. The following nutrients are critical in aiding the body's natural processes for restoring cellular health, adrenal function, and hormone balance.

Supporting Cellular Health: Glutathione

Glutathione is composed of the amino acids glutamine, cysteine, and glycine. While glutathione exists in either a reduced state (GSH) or an oxidized (GSSG) state, it's the reduced state in which virtually all of the vital biological functions of glutathione are carried out. Reduced glutathione acts as a powerful antioxidant, a vital factor in detoxification processes, and a critical component in helping maintain a reduced biochemical state ("redox state") in cells.

Aiding the Adrenals: Targeted Nutritional Support

The proper balance of stress hormones— neither too high nor too low—is an important factor in achieving optimal health. The adrenal glands are responsible for the synthesis of hormones in response to stress. The cumulative effect of stress can tax the adrenal glands, depleting the body's coping mechanisms, resulting in fatigue (called "adrenal fatigue" or "adrenal burnout"). Supporting adrenal-gland health with targeted nutritional supplementation can help the body respond during stressful events and promote immune health. This targeted approach should include absorbable adrenal fractions, vitamins C and B6 (which are often depleted by stress), L-tyrosine (a precursor to both adrenal and thyroid hormones), and licorice (preferably a standardized extract of the root).

Optimizing Estrogen Metabolism: Diindolylmethane and Calcium D-Glucarate

The answer to optimizing metabolism of estrogen lies within the nutrients diindolylmethane (DIM) and Calcium D-Glucarate (CDG). DIM, a dietary indole naturally present in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, improves hormonal balance by shifting the way that estrogen is metabolized in the body. Taking supplements with DIM can result in increased amounts of estrogen being broken down into the "good" metabolites along with a simultaneous reduction in the "bad" estrogen metabolites. DIM is like the traffic police, rerouting traffic to a safer pathway, it neither increases nor decreases estrogen— it merely directs how it is metabolized. Calcium D-Glucarate (CDG), a compound found naturally in many fruits and vegetables, is a very important key in detoxification. In the liver, glucuronic acid binds toxins (including excess estrogens), neutralizing them so they can be transported by bile through the digestive system. CDG enhances detoxification by stopping an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase (a Phase II reaction) from breaking the bonds of glucuronic acid. CDG's actions ensure toxins remain bound for excretion from the body.


The impact of modern-day influences, such as environmental exposure, stress, and nutrient deficiencies can take a toll on a woman's detoxification system. Targeted nutritional supplementation is crucial in supporting the body's natural processes to detoxify and establish healthy hormonal balance.

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