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The Amazing Cleaning Machine

Here's a brief look at how the body's own extraordinary detoxification system works.

The liver: This hardworking organ allows nutrients from your food to enter your bloodstream while catching toxins like pesticides and mercury. The liver then excretes those toxins in bile, which eventually flows into the intestines to be eliminated.

The lungs: They're living air purifiers, filtering out damaging particulates and vapors. Tiny hairlike filaments called cilia line airways and help prevent pollutants from passing into your blood.

The kidneys: Every 35 to 45 minutes, the kidneys filter all the blood in your body and dispose of toxins in urine.

The colon: Like the lungs, your colon is lined with guard cells that help block harmful substances from moving into your bloodstream. Regular bowel movements eliminate those toxins before they can harm you.

Mehmet Oz, MD, is the host of The Dr. Oz Show (weekdays; check local listings).

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