190: Liver Detox - Skin Rash Connection, Part 3

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Liver detox – skin rash questions keep on coming!

And I’m happy to answer them because this is one of the most overlooked areas when addressing skin issues.

I’ve started to see and hear of some practitioners who have listened to the Healthy Skin Show and are incorporating this into their protocols…

But the majority of practitioners — even those who are “functional” or “naturopathic” — still don’t make this a cornerstone to really help their patients avoid unnecessary flairs.

Much ground was already covered in PART 1 and PART 2 of this discussion so if you missed those parts, I’d definitely recommend starting with those first.

As you might recall, I focus A LOT on the glycine pathway which is a crucial part of Phase 2 liver detox.

Today I want to focus on something a bit different, but equally important — other Phase 2 detox pathways AND Phase 3.

So let’s get started!

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In this episode:

  • Discussing the other phase 2 detox pathways (that are important!)
  • How hormone imbalances are connected to phase 3 detox
  • Nutrients + supplements to keep phase 3 detox in check
  • What’s beta-glucuronidase + why is it such a big deal?
  • Gut-Hormone-Liver detox connection


Phase 2 liver detox pathways deal with various substances from toxins and heavy metals in the environment to medications to hormones and even fat-soluble vitamins.

Estrogen dominance can become a real problem when Phase 3 detox gets hijacked by what’s going on in your gut.

Woman thinking about the liver detox skin rash connection

Liver Detox – Skin Rash Connection PT3 (FULL TRANSCRIPT)

Welcome back to episode #190 of the Healthy Skin Show!

In today’s episode, I’m continuing down the liver detox – skin rash connection rabbit hole in what is now Part 3 of this series.

If you missed the first two parts, tune into episodes #177 (Part 1) and #186 (Part 2) to get caught up first.

Liver detox is confusing especially due to the massive amount of misinformation that’s constantly shared online. I’m all for simplifying complex topics, but because liver detoxing is trendy, people oversimplify it to a point where it’s near nonsense at times.

You know that I’m not recommending that you go buy a liver detox or do a liver cleanse or buy a bunch of milk thistle.

What we’re talking about here is learning how to support complex biochemical pathways with the nutritional components that they require.

AND it’s crucial to support proper elimination so that what should be headed out of your body, actually leaves.

If you recall, my Priority Pyramid helps to explain why I put such a huge emphasis on liver detoxification.

Priority of Addressing Skin Rashes diagram

Additionally, to have Phase 3 properly humming along, that’s why I pair Liver Detox with Gut Function. If you’re not having healthy bowel movements daily (this translates to 1 to 3 poops daily), then again you could compromise this final and essential stage.

This is also important if you suspect a hormone imbalance (like estrogen dominance) or histamine overload issues which I’ll explain more about in a moment.

Phase 2 Liver Detox Pathways I Haven’t Talked About Yet

Phase 2 detox is made up by several different pathways — the Glycine pathway is one which you should be familiar with at this point.

While these other pathways don’t necessarily get as overwhelmed as the Glycine pathway (in my experience), it doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about them (and remember, everyone’s case is unique).

I’d argue that the more severe your rashes and flares are, the more helpful a full-spectrum liver support plan could be!

The other phase 2 detox pathways that you haven’t yet heard me talk about are the Glutathione, Taurine, Acetylation, Methylation, Sulfation, and Glucuronidation pathways.

These pathways help to address various substances from toxins and heavy metals in the environment to medications to hormones (more in a moment!) and even fat-soluble vitamins.

Histamine is addressed in both acetylation and methylation (since I know we’ve got a lot of listeners who are in dire need of more information about their histamine overload issues).

Some pathways are obvious in their name of what they need in order to “do their thing” — for example, the glutathione pathway requires what many call the “master antioxidant” glutathione.

Sulfation requires sulfur sources as do other pathways such as glucuronidation and glutathione. Where this gets complicated is that genetic SNPs impacting enzymes in these pathways could potentially create “sulfur intolerance.” I’ve previously touched on sulfur intake triggering skin rash issues in episode #42.

Other helpful nutrients you might want to consider to more widely support Phase 2 liver detox in general includes Pantothenic Acid (also known as Vitamin B5 or Coenzyme A), Glutathione, N-Acetyl Cysteine, MSM, and Taurine.

And if you’re wondering about P2 Detox Balance from Quell… yes it has several of these!

Balance scales

Balancing Hormones With Your Liver

Many people don’t realize the interesting connection between balancing hormones and how your liver is involved.

If you suspect that your hormones are out of balance, consider what’s going on with your liver because it plays a crucial role in hormone conversion.

I found this out accidentally about six years ago when my cousin talked me into doing a liver detoxification program she used to recommend to her clients.

My expectations were that I could have more energy and might lose a few pounds, but what I didn’t anticipate was that my PMS symptoms would completely vanish.

Initially I thought it was a fluke, but when the PMS came back without the liver support to then disappear again with it — I became incredibly curious about what was going on!!

The right liver support has been a really helpful (and simple tool) to keep my menstrual cycle in check. No more horrible cramps, lower back pain, mood swings and other concerns.

My period just shows up without causing a massive fuss announcing its arrival — which I’m frankly very grateful for!

AND it’s also helped many of my clients with their hormonal balance too.

The reason is that sex hormone conversion takes place in your liver starting with cholesterol.(1)

Sex Hormone Conversion Diagram

For what it’s worth, estrogen metabolism is specifically processed in both phase 1 and 2 of your liver!(2) For those of you who have done a DUTCH Plus hormone test, you can see this on your report.

So while my urging to support your liver isn’t necessarily focused on healthy sex hormone conversion, it has some incredible benefits for it!

Woman holding her stomach

Estrogen + Phase 3 Liver Detox

Like all things, too much of a hormone (especially estrogen) isn’t a good thing.

It’s crucial that once your liver deactivates estrogen to keep your level in check, it’s sent in the bile to your gallbladder to hang out until you eat.

Eating food triggers gallbladder contractions that release bile (with the deactivated estrogen) into your small intestine.

Ultimately, you’re supposed to poop out that deactivated estrogen as part of phase 3 liver detox! (And yes, this goes for guys too!)

This is why I talk about liver detox and gut function in the same breath… because when you start working on your root cause puzzle, these two pieces are intertwined first steps.

BUT — if you’re constipated or you struggle with gut dysbiosis (which is unfortunately very common in skin rash cases), this is where phase 3 of liver detox can go off the rails!

And that’s particularly troubling for women struggling with lots of hormonal issues AND those who are dealing with histamine overload.

The main reason why has to do with an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase that some bacteria have.

Beta-glucuronidase reactivates deactivated estrogen.

Everyone has some bacteria with this enzyme, but if your gut is pretty out of balance, you could have a higher percentage of bacteria with beta-glucuronidase.

High levels of beta-glucuronidase increase reactivated estrogen in your gut. Constipation only makes this worse because your poop is moving through your colon slower giving the enzyme more time to do its bidding.

Either way, it’s bad because that reactivated estrogen is reabsorbed in your gut thus hijacking your Phase 3 detox and potentially throwing you into a state of estrogen dominance.

I’ll dive deeper into this topic in the future because it is directly connected to histamine overload problems, so if you struggle with histamine — stay tuned!

Food sources of magnesium

Supporting Phase 3 Detox For Estrogen Dominance

Now you can clearly see why it’s so important to support even Phase 3 of liver detox.

Phase 3 detox problems will not resolve on their own nor by taking a probiotic supplement.

Some steps to address this may require help from a seasoned practitioner.

First of all, resolving constipation is crucial if this is a problem for you because slower transit time increases the chances that the estrogen can be turned back on and reabsorbed.

To improve stool transit time and consistency, I typically recommend appropriate hydration, ground flaxseeds, certain forms of magnesium (like magnesium citrate), aloe leaf juice and even kiwi fruit in my clinical practice.(3)

I highly caution you from using herbs and products like senna because laxatives (such as senna) are actually addictive to your colon and can be difficult to get off of.

Second, comprehensive stool testing (like a GI Map) will identify what’s going on in the microbiome as well as your beta-glucuronidase enzyme level present there. I use the results in my clinical practice to create tailored protocols to address and rebalance what’s going on.

Lastly, taking calcium d-glucarate may be helpful because it will bind to the deactivated estrogen in your gut and shuttle it out of the system before beta-glucuronidase can cause any trouble.

I typically use P2 Detox Balance because it’s a comprehensive blend of calcium d-glucarate along with other Phase 2 pathway support nutrients. For those who are sensitive to B vitamins or herbs (as many of my clients are), it doesn’t contain these ingredients.

If you want to add it to your protocoluse coupon code QUELL10 to get 10% off your first purchase!

If you’ve got any questions or thoughts to share about this, leave a comment below so I can address them.

Then make sure to pass along this resource to those you know who are struggling with rashes and would love to know more about how their liver is involved with driving skin rash issues!

Thank you so much for turning in and I look forward to seeing you in the next episode!

Woman reading reference books


  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4615-3314-6_17
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/estrogen-metabolism
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21147704/

Phase 2 liver detox pathways deal with various substances from toxins and heavy metals in the environment to medications to hormones and even fat-soluble vitamins.

Jennifer Fugo, MS, CNS

Jennifer Fugo, MS, CNS is an integrative Clinical Nutritionist and the founder of Skinterrupt. She works with women who are fed up with chronic gut and skin rash issues discover the root causes and create a plan to get them back to a fuller, richer life.

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