In this day and age, humans are likely to carry toxins in their bodies. Environmental toxins such as heavy metals from car exhaust to pesticides and PCBs can have a significant impact on our general health and well-being. Therefore, a regimen involving detoxification is recommended in order to protect oneself from toxins.
Our everyday activities involve the use of plastics, cosmetics, hygiene products, and even foods, which can all contain toxic materials that can be absorbed into our tissues. A recent survey, collected by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found various traces of environmental toxins in Americans, ranging from heavy metals such as arsenic and cadmium, to pesticides, flame retardants, and even perchlorate, a chemical found in rocket fuel.
What is concerning is that these environmental toxins affect our bodies in various ways. Environmental toxic exposure can lead to behavioral, cardiovascular, cognitive, endocrine, immune, metabolic, and reproductive abnormalities. The nervous system is especially susceptible to toxic exposure because the brain consists mainly of lipids and most environmental toxins are lipid-soluble. In addition, prior research has established a link between neurodegenerative disorders such as ALS, Parkinson’s disease, conduct disorders, certain forms of dementia, and learning disorders to toxin exposure. Toxic exposure can also manifest in symptoms not directly related to a specific disorder such as fatigue, headache, impaired concentration and memory, and insomnia. It is important to note that children may be more susceptible to environmental toxins than adults.
Disconcertingly, regulations concerning industrial chemicals are not as stringent compared to those used to monitor drugs and pesticides because of the misguided belief that low exposure to toxins are not as concerning. However, advances in biomonitoring have allowed researchers to detect human exposure levels to toxins as tiny as one part per trillion, which have led scientists to discover that some toxins are harmful to humans even at very low levels.
Be that as it may, there are ways to protect yourself from over exposure to environmental toxins. According to Dr. Jeffrey Rossman, two simple ways to start protecting yourself from environmental hazards are to minimize exposure and absorption of toxins in the first place and to regularly detoxify your body. Rossman also advises people to eat organically which will help reduce exposure to toxins. Organic produce can be found at your local farmer’s market or at a supermarket (however, be sure to look for the USDA Organic seal).
However, it is important to note that eating organically will not prevent you from exposure to all toxins because these days, they are everywhere including in the air we breathe, water we drink, and products we use. That is why detoxification is an important step in reducing the amount of toxins that reside in your body. Tereza Hubkova, MD, an integrative physician at Canyon Ranch, suggests several ways to achieve healthy detoxification including the following:
1. Eating mainly organic foods, especially vegetables such as garlic and onions.
2. Exercising on a regular basis.
3. Hitting the sauna because perspiration is one way in which toxins are released from the body.
4. Flushing out toxins by drinking at least 64 ounces of preferably fresh and pure water.
5. Having regular bowel movements.
6. Acquiring antioxidants such as alpha-lipoic acid, N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine, and B vitamins, all of which help with detoxification.
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