What are they and why do we need them?
ou may have heard a new buzz word in the nutraceutical field – binders. In this blog post, I will outline to you what they are, some common binders (and my favourite go-to), along with why we need them and who should take them.
What are binders?
Simply put, binders assist the body in reducing its toxin level. They attract, bind to and eliminate toxins from the body.
Should I be taking binder supplements?
When the body is working correctly, the gut, gallbladder, kidney, lymph and liver all work together to break down and eliminate toxins. But when the toxic load gets too high OR if you detox or elimination organs (see above) aren’t working optimally, your body needs help.
Without the use of binders, toxins get recirculated by the liver & reabsorbed in the intestines which puts a massive strain on the body and can lead to hormone imbalance, gut disturbances, skin breakouts / rashes, brain fog, low energy and restless sleep (to name a few).
Given that every one of us has been exposed to high levels of chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates, heavy metals (mercury, aluminium, cadmium), air pollution or mycotoxins in our lifetime, it’s likely possible you may need some help with binders to gently detox these out.
What are some common binders?
- Chlorella – useful for heavy metals and pesticides
- Activated charcoal – a great general binder, for bloating, alcohol, heavy meals or heavy metals
- Bentonite clay – helps remove mycotoxins (anything else?)
- Zeolite – helps remove heavy metals like mercury, BPA and pesticides
- Cholestyramine – helps with mycotoxins
- Silica – helps remove heavy metals, especially aluminium
These should always be taken away from medication and away from food as the binders can actually bind to pharmaceuticals and nutrients in our food.
My Favourite Binder Supplements
My go-to binders are from Cellcore Biosciences. They use a special carbon technology that includes long-, medium- and short-chain carbons which act in different ways depending on where they are in the body. Some binders only work in the gut – these work systemically throughout the body. The binding ability of some binders such as charcoal or clay is limited because they contain ‘spent carbons’. Think of a spent carbon as a sponge that soaks up toxins specifically in the gut. Like a sponge, once it’s ‘full’, it drops and leaks, leaving behind toxins it cannot carry anymore. The short- and long-chain carbons in Cellcore Biosciences binders can travel beyond the gut and have more energy available then spent carbons. This means there is greater potential for the binder to interact with unwanted substances and safely remove them. This technology creates the unique ability to bind and repair that spent carbons lack. Not only do they pull toxins out, they contain amino acids, polyelectrolytes and polysaccharides which support cellular repair and cellular energy production.
Finally and importantly, they can be taken WITH food, so are easier with client compliance.
When should I use binders?
Given our constant exposure to toxins, I believe most people should take binders at some point, whether it’s as a maintenance protocol or with a specific programme targeted at removing heavy metals, mycotoxins or environmental toxins for example.
If you’re on any ‘kill’ protocol, let’s say a parasite cleanse, a binder is essential to bind the toxins that are released from the die off of these pathogens and microbes.
If you’re on any other type of detox (and I don’t mean a 5 day juice cleanse), a binder is highly recommended.
For those on a maintenance programme, I still recommend a binding protocol. Which one and the dose will always depend on your health (or illness) and also whether your ‘toxicity’ is acute or chronic.
I use different binders for mould, heavy metals, parasites and environmental toxins. Certain binders have an affinity for certain toxins.
Are there any side effects to taking binders?
Certainly, there can be side effects, especially if the detox & elimination channels are not open. It is important to ensure the detox & elimination pathways are open before any ‘kill’ protocol, and before using binders.
What are my detox & elimination pathways?
- Lymphatic system
If the elimination pathways aren’t open, toxins can get re-circulated and cause unpleasant symptoms. These side effects are called ‘herxheimer’ or ‘herx’ reactions and can include:
- Skin rash
- Constipation/ diarrhea / bloating
If this happens to you, reduce any killing and binding protocol and focus on opening those elimination pathways.
How can I open my detox & elimination pathways?
- Sweat (exercise, infrared sauna)
- Castor oil packs on the lower stomach or liver
- Dry body brushing
- Hot and cold showers
- Massage, especially lymphatic massage
- Support your liver and gallbladder (with herbal supplements)
- Support energy and mitochondria
- Get adequate sleep – at least 7 hours each night
All of these are just healthy habits to get into for the long term anyway, whether or not you’re taking binders.