Integrative Medicine Blog

The Role of Food and Supplements in Detoxification During Lyme Disease Treatment

Ronald Stram, M.D. Sunday, May 06, 2018

The liver is the most important organ for the daily required detoxification process in order to maintain health and balance.

Since the early 1950s more than 90,000 new chemicals have been developed, increasing our environmental burden. In addition to having to contend with these daily environmental toxins in the air, our water and food, the liver must metabolize the end product of medications including those used in the treatment of lyme disease and other tick born illnesses as well as the die off of bacteria during treatment.

Some of the more important foods and supplements which may be recommended to aid the liver in its detoxification pathways are:


Those rich in Vitamin A,B2, B3, C, E, folate, iron, magnesium, copper, zinc and selenium, such as: cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and cabbage; bulb plants like onions, garlic, leeks, scallions; and leafy greens like dandelion, kale, spinach, chard.


CoQ10 : a required co enzyme that helps aid the body in oxygen delivery to cells and organs. It is often seen at low levels in chronic diseases such as Lyme disease;

Glutathione: one of the most important proteins involved in the liver detoxification process. It is made up of glutamate, cysteine and the glycine. It is primarily synthesized in the liver, aids in the metabolism of toxins, is involved in DNA synthesis and repair, prevents oxidative cell damage as well as enhances immune system function.

NAC (N-acetyl cysteine): As a precursor for the body’s glutathione production, adding NAC supplementation to one’s diet can yield a four fold increase in glutathione synthesis.

Curcumin: increases the efficiency with which the liver processes the detoxification pathway. In addition to this, curcumin has a varied number of other health benefits including it’s excellent anti-inflammatory effects, anti-oxidant, antiviral and antiprotozoal properties. It is also known to induce cancer cell death, and decrease brain plaque in Alzheimer’s patients.

Milk Thistle: composed of silymarin (30%) and silybin (70%) this supplement helps alter outer cell membranes that prevents toxic penetration as well as enhances transfers to decrease toxic metabolites in liver and intestine.