In this case study we look how one-size-fits-all detoxification programs can potentially be harmful depending on our gene coding.  We can see how the same genes with different coding can create vastly different symptoms and require equally different treatment plans.

Sarah: a 50-year-old female.

Sarah’s History

  • Had a history of frequent nausea and vomiting to most pharmaceuticals and when in polluted areas such as large cities. 
  • When in non-polluted areas she felt fine.
  • Always had slightly elevated AST despite a clean lifestyle. 
  • Felt very “toxic” when doing traditional over the counter detox kits.
  • Never had a cold and had the flu only twice.
  • Never experienced joint or muscle pain despite training 1.5 to 2 hours a day.
  • Intermittent GI bloating.

Sarah’s Genotype (Gene: Allele Coding)

  • CYP1A2 (Phase 1 gene) AA: fast production of Phase 1 inflammatory substrates.
  • GSTP1 (Phase 2 gene) GG: very slow Phase 1 inflammatory substrates.
  • NQO1 (Phase 2 gene) GA: slow Phase 1 inflammatory substrates.
  • FUT2 AA: decreased probiotic proliferation.
  • COMT GG: increased pain tolerance.
  • IL6 CC: normal inflammatory response.
  • IRF5 GG: fast viral/bacterial detection and immune response.

INTERPRETATION:Sarah produced too many Phase 1 inflammatory substrates as a result of her fast CYP1A2 gene coding. This greatly increased levels of extracellular toxins and inflammation.  This was made worse by her slow Phase 2 genes, which resulted in an inability to clear the inflammatory Phase 1 inflammatory substrates from her body. Her FUT2 gene did not allow for full probiotic proliferation despite having a strong antiviral/antibacterial response through her IRF5 gene. This weakened her overall GI integrity and predisposed her to inflammation despite the fact that her overall inflammatory load was normal as a result of her IL6 gene coding.  Her fast COMT gene meant that she had a very high pain threshold.

Sarah’s Treatment Plan

  • Curcumin – 1 capsule BID on an empty stomach for 8 weeks, then 1 per thereafter.
  • 2-3 cups of coffee per day.
  • Liposomal Glutathione – 1 capsule BID on an empty stomach for 12 weeks then 1 per day thereafter. 
  • NAC – 1 cap BID on an empty stomach for 12 weeks then 1 per day on an empty for 
  • Multi-strain Probio – 50 B day with food. 
  • Cook cruciferous vegetables.

Sarah’s Outcome

  • Within 4 weeks AST was back to normal and has remained there. 
  • 6 weeks later she rarely had any nausea or “toxic” feelings.
  • 2 years later she experienced an episode of gastric upset that turned into RLQ discomfort the next day.
  • Normal temperature, bowel movements, digestion, no rebound tenderness.
  • Continued to remain active.
  • 3rdday woke slightly bloated and went to the hospital, normal temperature, slightly elevated WBC.
  • MRI revealed burst appendix.
  • Surgery revealed good tissue quality despite the severe infection. Post-op no nausea and vomiting. Only needed Tylenol post op. Walking 5 miles 10 days later. 

SUMMARY:Balancing Sarah’s phase I to II detoxification pathways allowed her body to clear out toxins almost faster than they could produce or store them.  This significantly reduced the inflammatory load associated with the appendicitis and spared tissue around the perforation, mitigating a potentially life-threatening condition. It also minimized post-op nausea. Her strong IRF5 gene, combined with the probiotic therapy, allowed her to minimize the impact of the bacteria released from the appendix and achieve a more rapid recovery.

Michael – a 58-year-old male.

Michael’s History

  • British and grew up with typical British cuisine.
  • GI tract of “steel”.
  • Intermittent constipation.
  • Frequent colds and flu.
  • Frequent joint/tendon inflammation – self-treated with daily curcumin 

Michael’s Genotype (Gene: Allele Coding)

  • CYP1A2 CC: slow Phase 1 detoxification.
  • GSTP1 AA: fast clearance of toxins.
  • NQO1 GA: slightly slower clearance of toxins.
  • FUT2 GA: less probiotic growth and proliferation.
  • COMT GG: feels pain more acutely.
  • IL6 GG: high inflammatory production.
  • IRF5 GA: slow viral/bacterial detection and immune response. 

INTERPRETATION:Michael’s CYP1A2 gene coding resulted in slow Phase 1 detoxification. Toxins accumulated in his cells leading to increased inflammation and tissue damage. This was exacerbated by his IL6 coding. He was variant for IL6, which meant a higher level of joint and tendon inflammation that was easily aggravated by daily exercise. Although his Phase 2 pathways were strong, they had little to work with.  His IRF5 coding meant he did not neutralize viruses and bacteria quickly, allowing for more frequent colds and flu. The curcumin he was taking was ineffective as it further slowed his Phase I detoxification.

Michael’s Treatment Plan

  • Stop curcumin and replace with DIM and Detox – 2 capsules BID empty stomach for 8 weeks and then reduce to 2 daily (to improve Phase I detox).
  • Liposomal Glutathione – 1 BID for 8 weeks and then 1 per day for IL6 reduction. 
  • NAC – 1 BID for 8 weeks and then 1 per day empty stomach for IL6 reduction.
  • Ligament Restore – 2/day empty stomach.
  • Multistrain Probio – 50 B per day.
  • Resveratrol 1 BID for extra IL6 reduction and plant sterinols 1 per day to support IRF5 gene.

Michael’s Outcome 

  • Joint and tendon pain greatly diminished allowing increased exercise frequency and intensity.
  • Colds and flu frequency decreased.
  • 2 years later developed nausea and malaise after Friday night pub food.
  • Abdominal pain with mild pyrexia and slightly raised WCC.
  • Diagnosed with acute appendicitis and underwent surgery.
  • Home 2 hours post op and back at work in 4 days.
  • Increased his probiotics to 500 B daily for 4 weeks to recolonize.

SUMMARY:In this case, the detoxification imbalance resulted from inadequate Phase I activity and subsequent intra-cellular inflammation. Not knowing this resulted in inappropriate treatment with curcumin. Without the supplement program I introduced, Michael would likely have had ongoing joint and tendon issues, and possibly more long-term consequences of chronic inflammation such as increased cancer risk. His experience with appendicitis and recovery from surgery would likely have been much worse without rebalancing of his detox pathways and treatment to address his immune response and probiotic insufficiency.