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In my years of research into heavy metal toxicity, and more recently “mineral balancing”, a final conclusion has been reached: all disease is rooted in liver damage due to mineral imbalances that result in cholestasis of one form or another.  Cholestasis is a condition in which the liver’s bile production is reduced and bile flow into the small intestine becomes impeded.  Everyone has subclinical cholestasis at the very least.

In this state, bile, the most toxic substance in the body, begins to back up in the liver, ultimately leaking back into the blood stream.  As you can imagine, this makes it nearly impossible to detoxify anything; not only is the liver not able to move bile out of the body, but the toxins it has sequestered actually begin to re-enter circulation leading to systemic inflammation.  This is the beginning of a positive feedback loop that culminates in every single disorder— and I am not speaking in hyperbole.  So how does this happen?  Exposure to heavy metals in our environment.

Heavy metals accumulate in the liver, specifically mercury, and displace copper and iron.  To get a bit more technical, sulfur-containing metal binding proteins, called thiol groups, have a higher affinity for heavy metals.  They bind to them as copper and iron are displaced, leading to “free” iron and “free” copper.  In these unbound states, copper and iron are highly reactive with H2O2, the primary byproduct of mitochondrial respiration, and create our old friends superoxide (O2-) and hydroxyl (OH-) free radicals.  This increased level of oxidative stress leads to liver scarring and fibrosis as well as damage to the bile ducts.  Herein lies the origin of cholestasis.

To add insult to injury, as the liver becomes further damaged, it has a lower capacity to store vitamin A.  Lately, vitamin A has been all the rage: from Liver King and Paul Saladino pushing their organ-meat-heavy diets, to Morley Robbins and Matt Blackburn evangelizing on the benefits of cod liver oil.  Unfortunately, these influencers have been causing liver damage en masse, and in my opinion, are part of a larger campaign to disseminate harmful information into the functional health space.

As the liver’s storage capacity for vitamin A declines, dietary vitamin A goes directly into the blood stream.  For those of you familiar with the skin care world, retinols are topical vitamin A serums that are used for *chemical* peels.  This is effectively what vitamin A does in our blood stream— it is highly acidic and dissolves cells.  Accutane, a common prescription acne drug which is essentially a high dose of synthetic vitamin A, can also cause acute liver damage and initiate this entire process.

So, taking copper/iron imbalance and vitamin A storage issues into consideration, an individual in a cholestatic state has toxins perpetually recirculating in their bloodstream as well as excess vitamin A that leads to a cascade of inflammation.  This causes problems with methylation (!), “autoimmune” diseases like ALS, MS, Lupus etc, cancers, gastrointestinal issues, neurological diseases, and all skin issues (the skin is literally trying to remove bile that the liver is unable to), joint pain and hair loss as well as hormonal disorders.

In a cholestatic state, estrogen increases while testosterone falls. The unbound, “free” copper we discussed increases estrogen by augmenting aromatase enzymatic activity to convert more androgen into estrogen.  Androgen would otherwise be converted into testosterone, so as testosterone conversion decreases in place of estrogen, estrogen dominance becomes prevalent.  This leads to things like insulin resistance, PCOS and hormonally driven cancers like prostate cancer.  Conversely, exogenous estrogens like birth control or xenoestrogens raise unbound copper levels creating the same domino effect. I think everyone knows people struggling with one or more of these issues, especially when considering that male testosterone levels have dropped by 50% or more just within the last twenty years, and that most women have been on birth control for a period of time!  This is the real pandemic.

Another way cholestasis disrupts hormonal balance is that it negatively impacts thyroid function— a hot topic these days as the vast majority of people are dealing with a “hypothyroid” diagnosis. T4 is the thyroid hormone which is converted into the more active form of T3 in the liver. When liver cells becomes damaged, it disrupts this conversion leading to insufficient levels of the active thyroid hormone to regulate the metabolism.  As a result, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) ramps up because the body thinks it needs to create more T3. The consequential overstimulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPAA) responsible for TSH production, creates a stress response leading to the overproduction of cortisol and culminates in adrenal fatigue.

On a separate but related note, the amount of environmental toxins in today’s world other than heavy metals, such as PFAS, compromise another primary liver detoxification pathway, the cytochrome p450 enzyme, further contributing to cholestasis.  The herbicide glyphosate especially impacts this enzyme’s function.  Glyphosate, now found ubiquitously within our food and water supply, mimics glycine which is an essential amino acid needed for p450 formation and function.  As the p450 system and bile excretion slow down in tandem, the perfect storm ensues.  And we won’t even go into the other primary threat to cytochrome p450 enzyme function that most people are now facing…

So how do we fix it?  It’s super easy and doesn’t take long to reverse the damage.  TUDCA is a bile acid which bears produce large amounts of.  Supplementing its synthetic form will increase bile production and flow to get things moving again.  At the same time, we want to supplement ZINC and SELENIUM to up regulate the metal-binding thiols like glutathione and metallothionein.  These will help bind to the heavy metals and remove them via the bile.  These three supplements are the essentials, but NAC, taurine and glycine will further assist in this process (as per Cure 2.0 protocol).

TUDCA, zinc and selenium are included in the new CLRLY Liver Detox protocol which is now up on the website and Instagram— I would suggest implementing it, along with as much of the newly updated Cure 2.0 protocol as possible.  As you begin the liver detox, reduce all dietary vitamin A (organ meat, fish oil, raw eggs, brightly colored vegetables) and reduce fat consumption— we want to be high protein with some simple carbs like white potatoes or wild rice, nothing too fancy.  I also recommend reducing seafood consumption, regardless of its "wild-caught" status, due to the impending probability that, at this point, it is all contaminated with mercury.

Within the first 1-2 days you will experience diarrhea as the body is finally able to start dumping bile.  This will continue longer for those that are more cholestatic.  As this happens, expect an increase in energy and mental clarity and any symptoms you have to dissipate.

Sauna will also help expedite this process.  I suggest doing a lower temperature (120-140 degrees) for longer duration and taking shilajit before/after the sauna so that metals being detoxed into circulation can be bound by the humic/fulvic acids in order to reduce risk of redistribution.  I will be going more into detail on advanced chelation methods in future posts.

After baseline liver health has been achieved, returning to a normal consumption of vitamin A and a high fat, low carbohydrate diet is still encouraged.  Right now, the bloodwork I’m using to track progress is serum bile acids, GGT, albumin, serum vitamin A and homocysteine for a high level view of inflammation.  TSH, T4, T3 and reverse T3 can be additional but are probably not necessary aside from assisting in validating progress.  I will post more definitively on bloodwork in the future as I am still in the proof of concept phase, but it is likely that these are some of the only biomarkers needed to determine the overall metabolic condition.

It’s all fairly simple.  As it should be.   I like to imagine the body as a battery.  After learning about the significance that light plays in driving our metabolism (circadian rhythm), it has become apparent that the sun is the body’s “charger”.  A good battery, however, needs to be able to receive and hold a charge— it needs to not only be conductive, but it also can’t dissipate electricity. This led me to examine the body’s minerals, the conductive elements within the body.  Ultimately, I came to the understanding that these minerals need to be in proper ratios to one another for the battery to work.  This mineral balance is primarily regulated by the liver where the majority of metabolic reactions take place, so optimal liver function is needed to keep the battery running.  If the mineral balance in the liver becomes distorted, performance declines— it’s like the battery on a 10 year old iPhone that only charges to 30% regardless of how long it's plugged in.  The takeaway: no matter how much light one gets, mineral balance needs to be in place first and foremost. 

Positive feedback is pouring in after just one week of releasing the detox protocol.  I encourage everyone to receive this information with open eyes and open hearts— it actually is this easy.  And ultimately, isn’t that the kind of solution everyone is looking for?  It only requires about $50 worth of supplements, and I’m not even the one selling them to you!  To the eternal skeptics out there, I would recommend plugging any questions you have into the new ChatGPT AI which will feed you well formulated, easy-to-understand answers along with citations in a matter of seconds. Please share this information as it has the ability to change the lives of those around you for the better; something our communities have arguably never needed more than they do today.