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Friday, October 24, 2008

Milk thistle: big booster of detox function (35% ?) in a normal liver

This is written only to promote awareness of options and may not be accurate. At this point in us understanding systemic odor problems, it should be expected that a bad reaction is more likely.

It would seem safe to assume that someone with bloodborne body odor/halitosis is likely overworking/saturating one or more of their xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes (or other cell enzymes),to the point the system is letting the toxins circulate in the bloodstream untreated (trimethylamine being an example).

Many of these cell enzymes can be induced in some way, but this can be a double-edged reaction. For example, St Johns wort has been shown to induce CYP3A4 (the busiest of the CYP enzymes). How beneficial this could be is unknown. It could be a bad thing.

Many foods (mainly fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices ) will have some type of effect on detox enzymes (grapefruit juice is known to greatly inhibit the CYP3A4 enzyme present in the small intestine), but herbs and spices likely often have a very powerful effect on detox enzymes in particular (either way). This is known as 'modulating' the enzyme (either inducing it or inhibiting it).

One particular herb known to have benefits to a liver with potential of working better, is milk thistle (silymarin being the active ingredient thought to cause the benefit). Dr Michael Murray ND explains the benefit in this article.

One of the key manners in which silymarin enhances detoxification reaction is preventing the depletion of glutathione. As discussed above, the level of glutathione in the liver is critically linked to the liver's ability to detoxify. The higher the glutathione content, the greater the liver's capacity to detoxify harmful chemicals. Typically, when we are exposed to chemicals which can damage the liver including alcohol, the concentration of glutathione in the liver is substantially reduced. This reduction in glutathione makes the liver cell susceptible to damage. Silymarin not only prevents the depletion of glutathione induced by alcohol and other toxic chemicals, but has been shown to increase the level of glutathione of the liver by up to 35%.5 Since the ability of the liver to detoxify is largely related to the level of glutathione in the liver, the results of this study seem to indicate that silymarin can increase detoxification reactions by up to 35%.
http://www.doctormurray.com/articles/Silybin.htm

Sadly, again, at this point, if you have a compromised general detox enzyme (or other enzyme), it's unknown what type of reaction you will have, and also whether it's a bad reaction. For instance it could be an enzyme substrate and therefore causing overload, or it could be inhibiting an enzyme (as indoles inhibit FMO3). At the moment nothing can be assumed when dealing with unaccepted bloodborne body odor/halitosis conditions. Also, it's unknown if you would be accidentally feeding an unwanted microbe in the gut.

When people react badly to drugs (Adverse Drug Reactions ; one of the biggest causes of death) (note: the linked site is selling a product but the info on ADRs is probably a fair reflection, as opposed to how the official medical system would summarize ADRs. Also, at this point the Genova Detoxigenomic test seems more extensive and cheaper.) , it is likely not an allergic reaction, but more often a sign of a weakness in an enzyme pathway that either deals with the drug or is modulated by it (or both). Probably one or more of the xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes. The same is probably true of herbs since they do seem to be powerful enzyme modulators, presumably always mostly beneficial in a 'normal enzyme' person. Someday drug prescriptions will be based on pharmacogenetics (personalized medicine), but for now they treat everyone as if they are 'normal' and really just guess.

Note: Cynarin, the active ingredient in artichoke, is said to have a similar, more gentler effect than silymarin (the active ingredient in milk thistle). It may be an alternative experimental choice. (Dr Michael Murray ND link on cynarin)

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