What Are The Most Damaging Toxins to the Body? : Exclusive Interview with Dr. Alejandro Junger

Tuesday Jun 19 | BY |
| Comments (29)

cool about toxins or crazy
Are you cool about toxins like this guy or as crazy as I am?

A lot of you asked for me to get Dr. Alejandro Junger, co-creator of the Clean Program, on our interview schedule…

So I sent our long time friend Dhru — of GiveItToMeRaw.com fame — a note, since he is the other co- Clean Program conspirator.

Good news, he was able to hook us up with an interview with Dr. Junger and in this first half we discuss what actually happens when someone detoxes, what Dr. Junger feels are some of the most harmful toxins around as well as an interesting take on what you should and should not eat.

Here’s Part 1 of this two part series in all its glory (my written thoughts follow)…

Listen to Part 1 here:

alejandro junger

Click the play button to start the call:


Here are my thoughts…

1. Detoxification, what really is happening?

I asked Dr. Junger how the body detoxifies. His answer — though much more detailed than in my synopsis here — was that the body is always looking to stay free of toxins. It’s natural state is toxin-free. So if you’re continually adding to the toxic load and the body isn’t able to detoxify, you become “toxic” — which pretty much means you get sick.

By eliminating foods that cause toxicity as well as removing environmental toxins — or at least lessening the load — you allow your body to clean itself up.

So detoxifying, isn’t so much about what herbs and protocols to take (though it can include these), it’s about how to give your body a break so it can do what it needs to do — stay healthy.

2. The most damaging toxins by Dr. Junger’s estimation are…

Of course, outside of those that are just plain old deadly…

Those that kill intestinal flora. The intestines and flora contained in them are essential to life and health. When I asked Dr. Junger about the most dangerous toxins, he explained that disrupting the gut flora can be one of the most serious ways to disturb health. So toxins that do so are clearly ones you want to stay away from. This list includes chlorinated water and food preservatives.

3. How to heal the gut?

Eat probiotic foods. Dr. Junger — which I liked — mentioned the combination of probiotic foods as well as the use of probiotics to repair and keep the gut healthy. I feel strongly that the combination of the two are essential as well. Fermented foods provide additional immune boosting nutrients like B vitamins and amino acids. They also ensure that you’re going to get a lot of healthy, hearty bacteria — since you know they’re living, because they fermented the medium you started with.

Foods like kefir, vegan kefir, chicha, kombucha, cultured vegetables, kvass, and many more are awesome fermented additions to your diet.

We have a recipe book that has over 60+ right here (click.)

4. How do we find out what humans eat?

Good question…

We’re not in the wild anymore. Dr. Junger made a nice zoo analogy that I’ll repeat here.

If we wanted to feed animals in a zoo their natural diet, we’d just observe them in nature. Pretty simple.

With humans, we’ve been so far removed from our natural diets (in most cases), it’s hard to know what we’re really supposed to eat. (Bring on the arguments here!)

The Blue Zones are probably the most relevant sources of data these days, but they all eat different diets — which simply means diet isn’t the only factor.

So what do you eat?

You know my answer… get your blood tested and see what’s working or what is not.

5. It’s more important to know what not to eat than what to eat.

Dr. Junger also brings up this interesting distinction in diet which I agree with too. It may be the clue to the Blue Zone conundrum that I just mentioned. If you’re looking at what to eat, they you’ll get mightily confused about the diets of those in the Blue Zones. But, if you’re looking at what not to eat — almost all of them do not eat the same things. These are excessively processed breads, white sugar, diet or regular soda, etc.

So what you eat is not as important as what you leave out. I can hear a collective sigh of relief, yes?

Your question of the day: Do you take probiotics, eat fermented foods or both (or none)? Why or why not?

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. afke says:

    HOw does life blood analysis compare to regular blood tests? Especially the diet related factors?

  2. Mary Ann says:

    I value probiotics. The best one I’ve ever taken is what I’m taking now – Ortho Biotic by Ortho Molecular Products. It does a lot for digestion. I used to have a little acid reflux but this seems to have solved the problem.

    I don’t eat fermented foods.

  3. Brianne says:

    We do both. After reading the Body Ecology Diet, I strived to start including fermented foods in my family’s diet. Being a newbie, I picked up the book – The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods. What an awesome resource to have for anyone looking to include these foods in their diet. My husband says he feels better than he ever has in his life. What an easy way to feel awesome! 🙂

  4. William says:

    Akea has studied the world’s longest living people, those living in Longevity Hot Spots or Blue Zones. Yes their diets vary (which can cause confusion) however, the research clearly shows that there are some distinct commonalities throughout these areas that can and should be incorporated into the diets of people in the US and other developed areas where most people consume way too much packaged and processed food.

  5. Annette says:

    Love, love, love my home-made fermented veges. 🙂 Coconut kefir is another favourite too. There’s just something about eating these things that adds another dimension to how I feel…….can’t really put my finger on it but it certainly makes a difference.

    And Kevin, I agree that it really is more about what you leave out of your diet than what you include!

  6. Carol W. says:

    Probiotics, kombucha, and cultured veges. Want to start kefir coconut water, but the debate is that you need to seal off all the oxygen in order to ferment it properly. This means getting a Pickl-It top, or something like it. It doesn’t work if the gas is allowed to escape but the oxygen still seeps in.
    I take them because my body craves them. I know it sounds silly, but I just love cultured foods, kombucha, and kefir. I also like the great amount of B vitamins involved.

  7. W. says:

    We do Kombucha and probiotics. Planning on starting fermented vegy’s and dairy this month. Brianne, thanks for the resource tip will look into that as well. I have enjoyed reading Weston Price info and nourishing traditions has been our main source for recipes.

  8. Kathy says:

    Probiotics and cultured veggies-YES! They are my favorite method for keeping my energy level as high as possible. That way I can keep up with working, pets, and grandkids, and have energy to do things for me when I have the time!

  9. Lance says:

    I love the reminder about the power of fermented foods. I think I remember reading another article you wrote about starting with just a spoonful of kraut a day. I’ve actually started doing that!

    Another great resource I’ve found is called “Wild Fermantation” http://amzn.to/N6YEKH. Tons and tons of people have said good things about this as well.

    I was interested in finding more information about how chlorinated water affects the gut. I’m still amazed at how many people are passionately FOR chlorinated water— still lots of education to be done in that dept. 🙂

  10. Angie says:

    Hey Kevin-I make Kombucha and water kefir as well as naturally fermented sauerkraut and pickles. Recently figured out how to make coconut yogurt. Before I gave up gluten I used to make whole grain sourdough bread with a wild yeast starter every week. Fermented foods are fascinating.

    Maybe one of these days I’ll get really ambitious and follow the directions in Sandor Katz’s book Wild Fermentation and make some homemade miso. It’ll take at least year to ferment but it sounds sooo good.

    Thanks for all the great information you provide!

  11. zyxomma says:

    I love fermented veggies, and eat them primarily in winter. In summer, I take probiotics, or drink kombucha.

  12. LuAnn says:

    Well, so far, none, but… that’s gonna change now! Thanks 🙂

  13. Sundaram says:

    Hi Kevin, Don’t know where to ask this question, so I am using this space to do so…
    Can you explain about radiation toxicity? I am not clear how radiation gets into our food and supplements. For example, I saw someone who had Hawaiian spirulina for sale, but I hesitated to buy because of all the fallout of Fukushima that Hawaii must have got. If we buy such products, aren’t we at risk? Also, does radiation just go through our bottles and containers and contaminate it all? Or the inside contents are still safe? Sorry to be so ignorant…I feel you will be patient with me. Thanks a lot.

  14. Norman Hawker says:

    I take a probiotic capsule every day (I buy different brands to get a wide variety of little beasties over time). I also buy Rejuvenative Foods’ Raw Sauerkraut and put a few forkfuls in my salad every day. Plus I drink half a bottle of Kevita Sparkling Probiotic Drink daily (I like Lemon-Ginger best, but also Living Greens, Green Tea, or Pomegranate). Kombucha is too sweet for me. I had intestinal problems for years, took antibiotics for parasites and wiped out my gut flora. The products mentioned above have done wonders for bringing them back.

  15. Rebecca Cody says:

    You’ve mentioned chicha several times, but I’m leery of this. When my husband visited Peru, he was told that chicha is fermented using the bacteria from the saliva of the maker, either because they spit in it or because they chew up the grains before putting them into the mix. What if the maker has AIDS or some other bad virus or bacteria that could be transmitted through saliva?

    I could see making your own chicha (do you have a recipe?)but it seems like it should only be for the maker’s consumption, in this era of nasty viruses spread through body fluids.

    If I’ve been told incorrectly about this I’d love to know!

  16. LynnCS says:

    I have returned over and over to eating Greek yogurt. Justified by saying it has natural probiotics. Truth is they are probably added. Homemade might not be too bad, but as I see more and more of what dairy is and how it affects the body, I am more and more turned off to it. I love the creaminess of it and, of course, the whole fat is the only one I like. It has become a substitute for my obsession with ice cream. Oh how we can use food to express feelings. Use it also to avoid feelings, intensity, reality. At least I can.

    Yes, I absolutely love having the probiotics in my system. I have suffered with Spastic Colon Syndrome most of my life. Eliminating Animal products, eggs, and dairy makes a big, big difference. So when I go back to the yogurt or even eat some cheese, I suffer. Oh, yeh. Stopped eating grains too. What a difference. I never knew you could eliminate these things and live. We have been so brainwashed!

    I have had trouble with commercial probiotics because even a little has caused diarrhea. The only one I like and use, so far, is NCP Probiotic Blend. Starting with one scoop and so far I tolerate it well. I will increase as It seems good.

    I don’t like fermented foods much, but have your book and will eventually try some recipes. I did buy coconut aminos and like it in salad dressings with some olive or seed oil, and lemon. Italian seasoning herbs sprinkled on the salad makes a great dressing.

    Thank you for your attitude of inclusiveness. I have to find out things by trial and error. It’s sort of like being a detective. It works.

    Good topic, Thanks, Lynn

  17. Derek says:

    I love fermented food. I use a culture starter and make my own kefir and cultured vegetables.

    I don’t currently use a probiotic supplement but I have used a variety in the past. I think probiotics supplements are great for obtaining particular strains while cultured foods are great for the sheer volume and variety of bacteria they contain.

  18. Jonathan says:

    I am a Body Ecology fan, so I eat fermented vegetables at every meal, and also occasionally take probiotics.

  19. William says:

    Can someone tell me why my “comment is awaiting moderation” after so many other comments have been posted? I am a fan of this blog, I am a customer of your store and I replied with an honest comment regarding Blue Zones of which my company has studied extensively. And I included my correct name, email and website. Please tell me, what is the issue?

    Akea has studied the world’s longest living people, those living in Longevity Hot Spots or Blue Zones. Yes their diets vary (which can cause confusion) however, the research clearly shows that there are some distinct commonalities throughout these areas that can and should be incorporated into the diets of people in the US and other developed areas where most people consume way too much packaged and processed food.

  20. cd says:

    Makes me wonder about natural things that kill bacteria like oil of oregano. Ever since taking a few drops of that I’ve developed acid reflux. I think my h-pylori got out of control, maybe because the natural flora got destroyed by oregano oil (the stomach too has a flora colonized on it). Makes me think about it and leery about taking anything natural or not that kills gut bacteria/viruses.

  21. Lori says:

    I make my own cultured veggies and have some with every meal or I juice them into my green juice!

  22. Jeff says:

    I have a brew of water kefir going all the time and use it in my shakes as well about 4 – 8 ozs every night before bed; great for keeping the gut healthy.

  23. Veronica says:

    I make my own cultured vegetables/saurkraut and love it! I didn’t use to like it, but starting a teasponn at a time, now my body craves it. I love a tablespoon on my salads. Just wish I could remember to eat it every day. I have just recently started taking a probiotic nearly every day. Haven’t noticed a difference in my energy, as I have LOTS of energy every day anyway, just from my eating mostly vegetables, and fruit and vegetable juicing. I do drink kombucha on occasion. I would love to learn how to make kimchi. I also make my own yogurt from raw full cream Amish milk from time to time. YUM!

    I am still waiting for my Fermentation Book I ordered from you several months ago. I can’t believe they are backordered that much. Could you check into it for me, as I have been anxiously awaiting it?

  24. Jean Hart says:

    I’ve taken a probiotic every morning with my fiber drink for years! I too, rotate my brands of probiotics for good coverage. Also, I eat a sponful of cultured veggies or miso or sips of kombucha daily.
    I’m never sick – maybe a slight sore throat or light
    cold (2-3 days) every other year. Being healthy is

  25. I absolutely take probiotics on a daily basis — my favorite is BioK+ fermented rice because I’m dairy-free & soy-free..

    Only recently I’ve noticed my body really needs/wants to probiotics, so I know it’s doing it’s thing. The BioK+ has 50 Billion + live bacteria, and is the best on the market from my research — has anyone else found a better probiotic product?

  26. Audrey says:

    Eat lots of homemade probiotics like water kefir, kombucha, kimchi, kvass, yogurt and tons of fermented vegetables. Easy to make your own and so yummy.

  27. Eileen says:

    what about making Ann Wigmore’s Rejuvelac- which is fermented soft winter wheat berries? Is that okay to drink once in a while? I really don’t like fermented foods…

  28. Steph/Cliff says:

    We have been eating fermented foods for 3 years now. Miso, different types of kefirs and different cultured vegetables, we love making and experimenting. Enjoying porrage oat yogurt for over a year now. The health benefits are amazing and making sure we have some with every meal every day. We make fermented bread in batches to freeze so for us fermented foods have became addictive and plenty of variety, my personal favourite is cultured vegetables.

  29. wendy green says:

    well you know i’m a big chicha fan. with all the pineapple we eat, it’s an quick easy simple thing to do with our rinds. so every 4 -5 days we have 2 qts of fermented pineapple husk water. love the TANG!

    i use to take pro-biotics in the states religiously, now hardly ever. less stress, good water, no processed foods or coffee…no reason now. <3

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