After Alcohol Detox: Support Your Recovery with NutraceuticalsAnna Ciulla
Alcoholics Anonymous founder Bill W. had long suffered from severe depression, but that promptly ended when he began taking significant doses of certain food nutrients under the personal direction of Dr. Abram Hoffer.
Dr. Hoffer, the internationally acclaimed psychiatrist, biochemist and author of The Vitamin Cure for Alcoholism: Orthomolecular Treatment for Addictions, states that an alcoholic typically suffers from nutrient deficiency and seeks relief by consuming alcohol. His book explains how patients can stop craving alcohol and restore their health with proper nutrient supplementation.
Alcohol is a neurotoxin, which directly affects brain and nerve cells. Chronic alcohol users are prone to developing brain and nerve cell damage, as well as the liver, kidneys, pancreas, endocrine system (pituitary gland, thyroid and adrenals), intestinal tract and immune system.
The good news is, the body’s cells can easily repair and rejuvenate from alcohol use, provided they are given the specific nutrients needed to repair cellular damage and restore optimal cellular function.
Alcohol does not accumulate inside the body’s cells (intracellularly), as do many drugs and environmental toxins. Alcohol is out of the body’s cells within a few days. Yet, the cellular damage caused by chronic alcohol use remains. Common residual effects include anxiety, insomnia, depression, obsessive compulsive thinking (“busy mind”), chronic fatigue, poor memory, brain fog, impaired digestion and nutritional deficiencies.
Supplementing with whole food sourced nutraceuticals that nourish, repair and strengthen the bodily systems directly affected by alcohol can create life-changing results in your recovery. Often times, one can prevent the ongoing need for the use of antidepressants, sleep aids and high caffeine drinks to cope with the remaining debilitating effects from alcohol abuse.
Dr. Raymond Francis, world-renowned M.I.T. trained doctor and medical researcher of cellular restoration from neurotoxic substances, states that “if you restore damaged cells back to function, they’ll be sharp as a tack”.
Following are seven key nutraceuticals to support your recovery after alcohol detox:
Bovine glandulars are one of the most nourishing and strengthening nutraceuticals to support organs and glands. Glandulars are extremely high in fat-soluble activators that serve as catalysts for mineral absorption. Without them, minerals cannot be absorbed by the body’s cells, regardless of how many minerals you are getting from your diet. If you want to rebuild the body from the damaging effects of alcohol use, there may be no better nutraceutical to take than this.
Phosphatidylcholine is a healthy fatty acid found in lecithin and is often referred to as a “superfood for the brain.” The brain is 60 percent fat. Phosphatidylcholine supplements provide many of the most important nutrients for brain health and proper functioning of your memory, learning, reasoning and attention faculties. Choline protects and repairs damaged brain cells and improves the fluidity of brain cell membranes, the exterior coating of cells. There are 100 trillion cells in the body, all with the same basic membrane structure. Alcohol has a destructive effect on cell membranes. So, reestablishing healthy cell membranes ensures that every cell in the body gets more of the nutrients they need in and the waste products out. This also means that it helps to protect cells that line the digestive tract and liver, as well as nerve cells. For these reasons, it effectively protects the liver and increases the efficiency of nerve and brain cells.
Choline also breaks down fat in the liver and prevents fatty liver disease and pancreatitis. Phosphatidylcholine clearly has profound health effects on the brain, nerve cells, liver and virtually every cell in the body.
3. Protein Powder
Amino acids are essential to restoring optimal cellular function from heavy drinking. Consuming a highly assimilable protein powder is an excellent source of amino acids. The various benefits are:
- Nourishes and strengthens the adrenals. Chronic alcohol use typically develops adrenal exhaustion. Two main nutrients the adrenals need are amino acids and vitamin C.
- Promotes the liver’s production of glutathione, the body’s No. 1 detoxifier.
- Helps rebuild the intestinal mucosal layer that is easily damaged from alcohol. The mucosal layer consists of amino acids.
- Amino acids promote the production of neurotransmitters. As most of these are produced in the gut, it is easy to understand how alcohol abuse develops neurotransmitter deficiencies.
- Improves digestion and assimilation [proper absorption of foods] which becomes impaired by alcohol. Good digestion begins with amino acids. They also work to detoxify unhealthy bacteria and tissue in the gut and rebuild new gastrointestinal cells.
- Amino acids strengthen the pancreas and stimulate the production of digestive acids and enzymes. Digestive enzymes become depleted from frequent alcohol consumption.
4. Multi-B Complex
Heavy alcohol drinking especially causes vitamin B deficiencies. B vitamins are the essential nutrients that help convert food into fuel, enabling you to maintain ideal energy levels. B vitamins also play a significant role in elevating your mood and sense of well-being. They alleviate depression, improve memory and restore sleep patterns because it helps the body produce serotonin, melatonin and norepinephrine. Supplementing with a whole food sourced multi-B vitamin supplement can help you rejuvenate the body much quicker
5. Vitamin C
Vitamin C has a benefit for reducing alcohol cravings because it helps your body produce mood-boosting neurotransmitters. In addition, the body needs vitamin C for the absorption of GABA, an amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter. As one gradually becomes addicted to alcohol, the alcohol changes the level of some brain chemicals, especially GABA. Brain levels of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine are also changed as alcoholism progresses. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps prevent the breakdown of dopamine. As the brain levels of GABA and dopamine are diminished, alcohol cravings increase to gain a good feeling again. Supporting the body’s production of feel-good brain chemicals with vitamin C can be paramount.
Deficiencies of minerals are common in alcoholics. Mineral deficiencies can cause a variety of symptoms, including insomnia, anxiety, poor attention span, fatigue, frequent urination and allergies. Minerals provide a wide range of functions and are essential for good quality sleep. Supplementing with a whole food sourced multi-mineral can dramatically enhance all bodily functions.
Alcohol corrodes the intestinal tract, where about 75 percent of the immune system lives. This consists of good bacteria that colonizes in the mucosal layer, which surrounds the inner lining of the intestines. Alcohol damages this delicate mucosal layer, greatly compromising the immune system. These good bacteria are also needed to help break down food nutrients into assimilable forms. It is vital to restore a strong, healthy immune system for good health and vitality. Some people make the mistake of not consuming enough probiotics or take inferior probiotics with only a few species of good bacteria. Taking enough of a high quality probiotic is essential to their effectiveness. Specific formula recommendations are provided below.
To all who may have a history of drinking, I encourage you to consider adding nutraceuticals to your recovery program. Every step you’ve taken to achieve sobriety has surely been a challenge and a great accomplishment. This is the easy step, simple to implement and you will feel so much better for it.
Recommended Whole Food Sourced Nutraceuticals:
- Glandular: Dr. Ron’s Organ Delight. Whole, ground freeze-dried freshly harvested organs and glands from organic, grass-fed New Zealand cows (brain, liver, kidney, adrenal cortex, whole adrenal, heart, thymus, pancreas and spleen). Freeze-drying tissues preserves the unaltered proteins, enzymes and fat-soluble activators.
- Phosphatidylcholine: BodyBio Phosphatidylcholine. A superior brand of phosphatidylcholine developed by internationally acclaimed medical researcher, author and director of the NeuroLipid Research Foundation, Dr. Patricia Kane PhD.
- Protein Powder: Sunwarrior Blend Protein powder. Contains pea, hempseed and goji berries. Body Ecology’s Fermented Protein. Fermented pea protein and sprouted grains with kale and kelp. Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein Grain-free. Certified Organic Plant Protein Blend: pea, flax seed, cranberry seed, baobab fruit, moringa leaf, chia seed, pumpkin seed, cacao, stevia, raw enzyme blend.
- Multi-B Complex: Garden of Life Raw B complex. Made from various organic fruits and vegetables. Mega Food Balanced B Complex. Made from organic spinach.
- Vitamin C: Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Vitamin C. Made from various fruits and vegetables. Mega Food Complex C. Made from various fruits and vegetables.
- Minerals: Mega Food Balanced Minerals. Made from organic nettle and horsetail leaf.
- Probiotics: Sigma Tau VSL#3 probiotics. Contains eight strains of live freeze-dried lactic acid bacteria. Each serving contains 225 billion lyophilized lactic acid bacteria. Three Lac. Contains probiotics and prebiotics (feeds good bacteria). Garden of Life Primal Defense. Contains 18 soil micro-organisms. Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Colon Care 50 Billion. Contains 33 different species of good bacteria.