Making the Leap from Clean Food to Clean Medicine

By Dr. Alejandro Junger, Cardiologist and New York Times Best-Selling Author of “Clean,” “Clean Gut,” “Clean Eats” @DrJunger

Humanity is in a health crisis. But, doctors are focusing on the trees instead of seeing the forest. What I mean is that there is a laser focus on making a diagnosis, naming a disease, and then giving the patient a pill for an ill. But what we are missing is seeing the big picture. Why are we all getting sick?

The main reason, in my opinion, is that we have departed from the laws of nature. We sleep, or do not sleep, at any time during the day and night, and we are constantly stressed about everything. We are bombarded by toxic chemicals that end up in our bloodstream and wreak havoc. The air we breathe, the water we drink and bathe in, the cosmetics we use, even our homes, are all loaded with toxic chemicals that alone, or in combination, can cause disease.

When we get sick and finally get our pill for our ill, we now enter another source of exposure of toxicity. Medications, which are supposed to help us, sometimes bring in toxic chemicals that can cause disease as well. The active ingredient of medications is only a part of what we are taking. The fillers, excipients, coloring agents, preservatives, etc. may all affect us negatively.

The world is starting to understand this, and there is a growing movement to eliminate toxic chemicals from our lives. Organic foods represent a big movement, as do toxin-free cosmetics, green architecture, toxin-free plastics, eco cleaning products, and water filters; the list goes on and on. If we need to take them, clean medications are as important as clean foods. I always wondered why nobody was making them, until I found out about a new pharmaceutical company called Genexa.

They make a line of over-the-counter (OTC) medications with cleaner, natural inactive ingredients. I decided to join the company as a medical adviser because the mission is personal to me. I rarely get involved with companies, but I have three children who every now and then need to take acetaminophen or ibuprofen when they have a fever. I want to have toxic-free versions of those to give my family, and to take myself. And so, should you.

I also think it is about time that we make everyone aware of the dangers of common medications and shift our choices in this area as well. Most people don’t know that many of the OTC medicines on drugstore shelves contain inactive ingredients are mostly made up of artificial dyes, flavors and preservatives. While all medicines require binders and fillers to stabilize the active ingredient (the component that addresses your symptoms), those binders and fillers don’t have to be made of synthetic and chemical ingredients which can be potentially toxic or harmful to your health. Genexa is the first company to acknowledge, and address, this by using cleaner, safer and healthier inactive ingredients in their medicines.

I developed the “Clean” program because I witnessed first-hand how toxic overload can negatively impact my patients’ and my own health. Environmental toxins are so prevalent and, when they build up in the body, can cause irritation, inflammation, sickness and more. Genexa is tackling a portion of this problem in a unique and important way. By replacing the phthalates, parabens, artificial preservatives and other binders with cleaner, certified organic ingredients, Genexa is making it possible to deliver the active ingredient that addresses the symptoms without adding additional side effects or toxic burden. While I often talk about how modern medicine is detox-blind, I believe Genexa’s new approach to medicine provides a solution for people who want to detox, and practice clean living habits, to have access to the medicines and treatments they need.

Although taking an OTC medicine is sometimes necessary, there are alternative approaches I recommend to my patients and clients. Clean food is one of the best ways to detoxify the body and boost the immune system. Organic fruits and vegetables can help replenish some of the key nutrients that cause symptoms including upper respiratory problems, inflammation, gas and bloating. A clean diet can also help address symptoms commonly treated by a long-term regimen of prescription medicines. For example, a 2-week study on the impact of diet and risk of cardiovascular disease concluded that a short-term high antioxidant diet improved endothelial function (a barometer for cardiovascular risk)[1]. Foods rich in antioxidants include berries, tomatoes, garlic, lemon, walnuts and turmeric.

Supplements are also a great alternative to traditional OTCs. Magnesium, for example, can help with and prevent migraines, and has also been shown to help control blood pressure and blood sugar. Taking a daily probiotic can help regulate your digestive system and balance your gut bacteria, and probiotics have also been shown to help treat various gastrointestinal disorders alleviate lactose intolerance, and more[2]. Regardless of the route one takes to treat symptoms and boost immunity, the overall goal should be to reduce inflammation and toxicity. I encourage all my patients and clients to be diligent about checking product labels and examine the ingredients closely. It is possible to eliminate toxic chemicals from your life whether you choose clean medicine, clean food or clean supplements.


[1] Food selection based on high total antioxidant capacity improves endothelial function in a low cardiovascular risk population. Franzini, L. et al. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, Volume 22, Issue 1, 50 – 57. Accessed on December 18, 2018 via

[2] Markowiak, P., & Śliżewska, K. (2017). Effects of Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics on Human Health. Nutrients, 9(9), 1021. doi:10.3390/nu9091021. Accessed on December 18, 2018 via

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Dr. Alejandro Junger, MD, is a cardiologist, founder of the Clean Program and a New York Times best-selling author. He graduated from medical school in his home country of Uruguay, and then moved to New York City for his postgraduate training in internal medicine at New York University and fellowship at Lenox Hill Hospital. The drastic change in lifestyle and diet resulting from his move to New York City soon showed up as irritable bowel syndrome and depression. Becoming a patient of the system he was practicing was such a shock, that it started his journey in search of an alternative solution to his health problems. His findings are the subject matter of his New York Times best-selling books, “Clean,” “Clean Gut” and “Clean Eats,” all of which are a manual for readers to learn how to turn on, and work with, their own detoxification systems to restore and maintain optimal health. After his medical training, Junger studied Eastern medicine in India. Junger has been called the father of detox and his Clean Program is followed by people worldwide, including dignitaries, A-list celebrities and media personalities. He is frequently interviewed in the press for his detox expertise and has been featured on major national shows including, “Dr. Oz,” “Martha Stewart,” and ABC News.