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Substance Abuse


Addiction is when the body becomes so accustomed to the presence of a foreign substance that it can no longer function properly if the substance is withdrawn. Individuals who are addicted to substances (drugs) can end up centering their lives on avoiding the pain of withdrawal – that is, on assuring a continuing supply of the substance of abuse.

  • Research reveals detectible levels of human-manufactured toxins in all individuals.
  • Accumulations of chemicals in body tissues are increasingly associated with patterns of adverse health including suppressed or inappropriate/hyperreactive immune function (autoimmunity, asthma, and allergies), cognitive deficits, cancers, mood changes, neurological illnesses, changes in libido, reproductive dysfunction, and glucose dysregulation.

Why are these substances so harmful?

Complicating the phenomenon of addiction is the problem of drug tolerance.

  • With prolonged substance use, the human body often ends up needing more and more of the substance to produce the desired effects and to prevent withdrawal symptoms.
  • Addiction usually has a powerful psychological as well as a physical component.
  • While psychological dependence does not lead to physical withdrawal symptoms after the drug is discontinued, it does result in deep cravings that may persist long after any physical addiction has been overcome.

Research is mounting that the long-term effects of drug consumption are greater than has been assumed.

  • It is not simply the case that these effects occur during active drug use, but rather that these effects continue after discontinuation of drug use.
  • It may require a much longer period for drugs or their metabolites to be fully cleared from the body than previously supposed, with consequent residual physical and psychological effects.

Both the biological activity of a compound and its physiologic disposition (ultimate fate) are largely determined by its chemical properties in relation to extant biological structures and processes.

  • Barring specific transport mechanisms, the distribution patterns and speed with which chemicals diffuse into various tissues are largely driven by lipophilicity - the thermodynamic tendency of a compound to dissolve into lipid-rich spaces.
  • With certain exceptions (e.g., insulin), drugs tend to be very lipophilic and to have a large distribution volume.
  • They tend to deposit in various tissues in the following order: lung, fat, heart, kidney, brain, gut, muscle and bone, preferentially accumulating in lysosomes.

Adipose tissue is a very intricate organ and not merely involved in storing excess calories and "unwanted" compounds.

  • Recent research reveals that hormones released by adipose tissue regulate many bodily functions including emotional state, energy level and body metabolism, hunger and cravings, inflammatory response, and also modulate immune function.
  • Symptoms associated with disruption of these systems are common in those exposed to environmental chemicals and also in substance abusers.

There are many mechanisms by which retention of chemicals/drugs in the body can negatively impact health.

Chemical-communication mimetics

Many drugs and toxins mimic substances naturally found in the body and may directly affect normal trans-cellular chemical communication by hormones and cytokines.

  • Structural mimetics often cause effects quite dissimilar or even opposite to those of the endogenous substance (for example blockage of a receptor normally accessible to a hormone).
  • This may occur locally within a tissue (paracrinely), or endocrinely as drugs/toxins are released from body tissues back into circulation.
  • Further, circulating drugs and toxins may occupy sites on plasma transport proteins thereby subtly interfering with the equilibria kinetics that govern plasma transport of nutrients and hormones, for example.

Genetic/metabolic disruption

Retention of toxins in key organs may directly impair organ health and function by a number of intracellular mechanisms, including:

  • disruption of the sophisticated networks that regulate situational gene expression, or
  • the delicate feedbacks by which the intermediates and products of constitutive metabolic chains regulate the activity of key metabolic enzymes.

Nutrient deficiency

Eliminating toxins requires certain endogenous substances to assist in the detox process.

  • Nutrients used during metabolic processes of detoxification are concomitantly or subsequently not available for other metabolic processes, thus creating local deficiencies.
  • Chronic exposure may result in systemic deficiencies of many essential nutrients.

Nutrients that can help during recovery from drug addiction

A person can be addicted to substances other than illegal drugs.

  • Many are addicted to caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, sugar, and even certain foods. Although these addictions may not pose as great a health risk, withdrawal may still be painful and difficult. People using these substances may also be more susceptible to illness and disease because these addictive substances deplete the body of needed nutrients.
  • Many drug users suffer from malnutrition. Because drugs rob the body of essential nutrients, those addicted need to take high doses of nutritional supplements. In many cases there might be a deficiency of oxygen, hydrogen, minerals, enzymes or even amino acids (building blocks of protein and neurotransmitters).

Nutrients of importance for a person recovery from drug abuse are:

  • All the vitamin B’s including vitamin B12 and vitamin B5. These are needed when under stress to assist in the rebuilding of the liver and adrenal glands and are important for brain function.
  • Vitamin C – detoxifies and lessens the cravings for drugs.
  • Multivitamin/mineral complex – all nutrients are needed in high amounts.
  • Calcium and magnesium – nourishes the central nervous system and helps control tremors.
  • Amino acids including L-glutamine, L-phenylalanine, and L-tyrosine. Supply needed protein and passes the blood-brain barrier to promote healthy mental functioning.
  • Glutathione – aids in detoxifying drugs to reduce their harmful effects. Also reduces the desire for drugs and alcohol.


In a clinical trial on athletes at the University of Pretoria 35 drops of Cellfood® increased the oxygen uptake by 5%, and normalized all haematological (blood) values, amongst others.


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