Dr. Chris Masterjohn On Detoxification And The Key To Optimal Detoxification Processes

Author : Ari Whitten
Medical Reviewer: Evan Hirsch, M.D.

Dr. Chris Masterjohn has a Ph.D. in nutritional sciences and is widely recognized as one of the world’s top experts in nutritional biochemistry. In this episode, Dr. Masterjohn talks about the important role of detoxification and how to best optimize your detoxification process.

Watch the clip where Dr. Masterjohn discusses the science on detox here.

The Biggest Challenge With Detox Protocols

There is a lot of information on detoxification which has no merit. Some of the most popular detoxing methods found online (e.g. consuming a boatload of olive oil and lemon juice, expecting that it will detox your liver) are not evidence-based at all.

On the other hand, there are a lot of supplements that do support the detoxification process. The biggest issue with most detox supplements online is that they most likely are overpriced and poorly formulated.

Key Point: Many of the most popular detox methods found online actually don’t work. You are likely better off using a detox supplement which—albeit mostly overpriced and poorly formulated—does stimulate the detoxing processes to some extent. 

“You Don’t Need To Do A Detox, You Have A Liver”

Some people will tell you that you don’t need to follow any detoxification process as you have a liver (and kidneys) for this purpose.

It is true, the liver does play a key role in the detoxification process. But the liver’s ability to detoxify toxins is dependent on:

  1. The hormetic stress input of toxins that tells the liver how much of the detoxifying enzymes it needs to produce
  2. The raw materials that support the production of those enzymes

Most enzymes needed for this process are derived from protein.

Key Point: Having a liver is simply not enough to detox properly. You need to support the liver by making sure it has the enzymes it needs to detoxify properly. These enzymes are derived from protein. 

The 2 Phases Of Detoxification

The detoxification process comes in 2 phases; the oxidation phase, and the conjugation phase.

One of the most important cofactors in the oxidation phase is iron. If you don’t have enough iron or are anemic your body will not be able to properly detoxify. Another one is Riboflavin.

What the body does in the conjugation phase, is that it takes molecules which are toxic and tag it with something that will neutralize the toxin and make it easier to excrete. During this phase, you rely on optimal levels of a variety of nutrients to detoxify the different toxins.

For example:

  • Glutathione
  • Sulfate – derived from animal proteins and cruciferous vegetables
  • Glycine- is derived from skin and bones

Another part of phase two is methylation. Methylation is supported by folate and b vitamins.

When detoxifying heavy metals, your body creates a chelator called Metallothionein. Your ability to generate Metallothionein is directly linked to your zinc levels.

Key Point: There are a variety of nutrients that support optimal detoxification.  Eating foods rich in; iron, riboflavin, sulfate, glycine, folate, b vitamins. and zinc will support your liver’s ability to detoxify. 


The liver plays a critical role in the detoxification process. However, you cannot simply say, “I have a liver, and it takes care of detoxification,” just as you can’t say, “The best way to build muscle is to have muscle.” You need to exercise to build muscle, and for your liver to perform its job optimally, you need to feed your body the proper nutrients to support the detoxification process.

The science on protein, detox, MTHFR, fatty liver and how to fix it, and more New

Click here to listen to the full podcast interview with Dr. Masterjohn on The Science On Protein, Detox, MTHFR, Fatty Liver (And How To Fix It) And More.

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Medically Reviewed ByEvan Hirsch, M.D.

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