Materials in our environment can have an alarming impact on our health: our food, our water, even home and personal care products all might be altering us on the cellular level. Heavy metals and toxins that penetrate our body systems are responsible for all sorts of cellular damage that will not only hamper athletic performance but will likely cause a decline in optimal health and trigger disease states. How can our personal training clients address the inevitable exposure to environmental toxins and reduce the damage to our cellular health? Learn about the five “R’s” of cellular regeneration.

Regeneration of cellular network in the body requires following the 5-R’s:

  • remove the toxin
  • restore cellular energy
  • regenerate cell membrane
  • reduce inflammation
  • restore methylation


How Cumulative Toxins Result in Nutrient Depletion

The body does a pretty good job of letting us know when something is out of balance. Symptoms, no matter how ubiquitous, are indicative of underlying problems. We know that a normal, restful sleep pattern is important for optimal health. Chinese medicine emphasizes that stressed organ systems will disrupt sleep. Symptoms of imbalance include:
  • feelings of guilt
  • mania
  • depression
  • adrenal fatigue
  • hormone imbalance
  • thyroid disorder
  • fibromyalgia
  • swollen lymph nodes

Organ Health and Time of Sleep Disturbance

According to Chinese medicine, certain hours of the sleep cycle correlate with organs in distress or in need of attention. If one should find themselves waking up or having a difficult time sleeping during the intervals below, underlying stagnation or overstimulation of the corresponding organs may be present.

9PM-11PM Triple Burner (Heart and pericardium)

  • Related to endocrine and lymphatic system – which controls metabolism
  • Improvement will occur if you avoid artificial light after 9PM. Further, establish a calming nighttime routine and go to bed earlier.

11PM -1AM Gall Bladder

  • Emotion – indecisiveness.
  • Function – Gall Bladder stores and excretes bile, rules the decision-making process, controls sinews and tendons, and governs dreams.
  • Imbalance – Indecision, frequent sighing, rashes, poor judgment, shyness, timidity, high cholesterol, resentment, dream-disturbed sleep, tendonitis.

Tips – avoid alcohol, trans fats & spicy foods. Eat small dinner well before bedtime and avoid snacking before bed.

1AM – 3AM Liver

  • Emotion – Anger, Irritability.
  • Functions – detoxifies the body and processes emotions each night, stores blood, and governs Qi of the body, associated with tendons, nails, and eyes.
  • Toxic emotions will cause the liver to struggle to do its work
  • Imbalance – explosive outbursts of anger, bottled-up emotions, resentment, irritability, moodiness, frustration, high blood pressure, chest distention, PMS, bitter taste in mouth, digestive upset, dizziness, migraine headache, breast tenderness, blurred vision, eye floaters, red face, tendonitis, frequent sighing.

Tips – Consider whole food cleanse, replacing coffee with green tea, exercise, and controlling anger.

3AM- 5AM Lung

  • Emotion – Sadness, grief.
  • Functions – Govern the respiratory and immune system, regulate sweat glands, moisten skin.
  • Imbalance – shortness of breath, sweating easily, weak voice, shallow breathing, fatigue, cough, frequent cold/cough, chills, sore throat, runny nose, headache, allergies, asthma, chest pain, pale complexion, depression, crying.

Tips – Breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, counseling about dealing with sadness/grief, create a journal.

Regenerate with Detoxification

Detoxification is the biotransformation and clearance of the toxin before it reaches systemic circulation.

Clearance takes place at two major sites:

(I) Intestinal mucosal wall. Biotransformation is activated by microbial and mucosal cell enzymes.

(II) Liver – Phase I & II carry out biotransformation:
  • Phase I alters toxins through oxidation, reduction, sulfoxidation, or hydrolysis using cytochrome P-450 mixed function oxidase enzymes.
  • Phase II, conjugation adds small polar molecule to the toxin. Converts lipophilic substance to water-soluble forms for excretion. This step requires adequate amounts of glutathione, sulfate, glycine, acetate, cysteine, glucoronic acid molecules to act on the conjugated molecule and catalyze the reaction step. Sulfation converts steroid hormones, drugs and phenolic compounds into less toxic substances. Sulfate a product of tripeptide glutathione.

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The Process for Cellular Healing–The 5 “R’s”

1) Remove the toxin. Determine which toxic sources (heavy metals, biotoxins, environmental toxins and/or toxins inside your home) are causing damage and be sure it is eliminated from the environment. (For instance, mold in the home requires mold remediation, a process involving temporary relocation)

2) Regenerate the inner and outer cell membrane. The bi-lipid fat layer of the cellular membrane allows nutrients to flow in and toxins/free radicals inside the cell to flow out. If inflamed, nothing can come in and nothing can come out, so our cell becomes overloaded with toxins and ceases to function properly. Inflammation can also compromise our cell’s ability to function properly and truncates our ability to “hear” the hormonal impressions through the hormone receptors that reside on the outside of the cellular membrane. Reduce inflammation!

3) Restore cellular energy. As nutrients flow into the cell, they feed the mitochondria, which produces ATP (energy). Without adequate production of ATP, our cells are unable to detoxify or regenerate properly.

4) Reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the cell. Most people can take an active approach by altering their lifestyle choices and self-care products. Toxic inflammation is produced from three main sources:

  • overconsumption of refined sugar and grains
  • bad fats and toxins from food sources
  • cosmetics, air pollution, toxic cleaning products, etc

Inflammation and oxidative stress are often at the root cause of disease processes.

5) Establish methylation. Because the body needs methyl groups to activate and deactivate stress hormones, if depleted, our body stays in a constant state of stress. Furthermore, if methyl groups are absent or lacking, they are unable to contribute to the important processes of detoxification, DNA protection, hormone metabolism, and epigenetics. Methyl groups require dietary folate–a B vitamin. (*Note: Some individuals may have a mutation of the MTHFR gene that reduces methylation and will require specific additional supplementation.)


Finally, radiant health comes when we are happy and living in balance in body, mind, and spirit. We get adequate rest, sunshine, exercise, water, and whole, natural food. We breathe properly from deep down in our abdomens, gently and regularly. We sleep well at night. We allow ourselves to give and receive love. We love ourselves in every way. We wear clothes made of natural fibers that bring us joy and interact with people who mirror love back to us. We take time alone. We feel peaceful and balanced inside. Silence is a great healer. We take time in nature with Mother Earth. We have abundance, doing the work we love to do.

David Brancato

Dr. Brancato’s cumulative experience in nutrition, alternative medicine, chemistry, toxicology, physiology directed him to holistic approaches in human physiology to correct system imbalances. He maintains his professional certifications as a Naturopath from the American Naturopathic Medical Certification and Accreditation Board; the National Federation of Professional Trainers; Black belts in Kick Boxing and Kenpo.