N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a sulfhydryl-containing amino acid that is commonly used to support liver health. Though studies have shown the absorption of oral glutathione to be limited, supplementation with NAC has been shown to significantly increase circulating levels of glutathione, a primary antioxidant that plays a major role in protecting cellular health. Increasing glutathione levels in turn increases the production of specialized antioxidant enzymes such as glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase and detoxification enzymes such as glutathione S-transferase. Through the activity of these enzymes, NAC protects the body from oxidative damage, increases phase II detoxification, and enhances the normal breakdown of toxins and other metabolic by-products of the body.
One of the six phase II detoxification pathways is amino acid conjugation (the attachment of amino acids to a toxin). Glycine is one of the amino acids used in this process. Glycine also aids in glutathione conjugation. Glycine preserves intracellular glutathione concentration and protects cells from oxidative damage. This process is mediated by a protein called glycine transporter 1 or GLYT1. Research has shown that glycine treatment of human intestinal cells against an oxidative agent, reduced the intracellular concentration of reactive oxygen species (ROS) when exposed to oxidative challenge.
The sulfation pathway is another important phase II detoxification pathway. During the sulfation pathway, a sulfur-containing molecule is attached to the toxin in order to produce a compound that can be excreted out of the body. Studies show taurine effectively conjugates bile acids, and protects the liver against toxic heavy metals such as arsenic by supporting gluthathione levels in the liver.
Lipoic acid is a potent antioxidant which has been shown to increase glutathione, vitamin E, and vitamin C levels in the body. Lipoic acid has been shown to support phase II detoxification by increasing the activity of enzymes including NAD(P)H, quinine oxidoreductase, and glutathione S-transferase. Lipoic acid has been used to detoxify mycotoxins (toxic by-products produced by fungi and molds). Some mycotoxins have been found to mimic xenobiotics (foreign chemical substances) in their effects on the body and in their routes of detoxification. Lipoic acid has also been shown to reverse age-related loss of glutathione synthesis.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages throughout the world and is traditionally consumed in numerous cultures for its health- promoting benefits. One of the main polyphenols in green tea includes epigallocatechin- 3-gallate (EGCG). Green tea polyphenols have demonstrated significant antioxidant and inflammatory balancing effects. Green tea has also been shown to provide phase II stimulating properties. Studies have shown that green tea extract increases phase II enzymes such as glutathione transferase, NAD(P)H, quinine reductase, epoxide hydrolase, and UDP glucuronosyltransferase. EGCG potentiates cellular defense capacity against chemical toxins, ultraviolet radiation, and oxidative stress.
Rosemary contains polyphenols that are potent antioxidants, which provide a significant boost to immune response and up-regulate detoxification mechanisms of the liver. Carnosol, an antioxidant in Rosemary, induces glutathione-stransferase, as well as other important phase II enzymes. Rosemary essential oil and carnosol have also been shown to increase intracellular glutathione levels.
Vegetable Antioxidant Blend
Core Support includes VitaVeggie®, a blend of high concentration superfood vegetables with significant antioxidant potential. VitaVeggie® is high in ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity- a method of measuring antioxidant activity) and includes health promoting compounds including sulphoraphane and glucosinolates. Cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts increase the enzyme activity of both Phase I and Phase II detoxification pathways. Sulforaphane, a naturally occurring isothiocyanate derived from cruciferous vegetables, induces phase II detoxification enzymes and supports the body’s response to oxidative stress to promote balanced inflammation. Glucosinolates present in Brassica vegetables serve as precursors for biologically active metabolites, which induce Phase II enzymes via the activation of Nrf2, the master cellular switch responsible for antioxidant production.
Schizandra Berry Extract
Schizandra is an adaptogenic botanical used medicinally to help fight off the physical and mental effects of stress. Schizandra is also used to support liver health and neutralize the effects of toxin exposure. Schizandra enhances liver detoxification pathways by increasing the levels of reduced glutathione in the liver as well as glutathione reductase and glutathione S-transferase activity. In animal studies, schizandra has been shown to support phase I metabolism and protect the liver from free radical damage induced by toxic chemical exposure following ingestion of carbon tetrachloride.
Psyllium husk is from the plant Plantago ovata and largely used for its fiber content. Psyllium husk contains a large amount of soluble fiber per volume. Psyllium is used to improve gastrointestinal transit time and for cardiovascular health by promoting normal cholesterol levels through the elimination of cholesterol-rich bile. Studies show psyllium husk powder up-regulates genes involved in bile acid synthesis and binds to bile-acids in the intestines to gently remove them from the body.