Did you know that over 80,000 chemicals are registered with the EPA for use, and over 3,800 are high use chemicals? Where are most of these chemicals found? Yep, you guessed it: in the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe.
The impact of toxicity on the body is far reaching. It impacts the immune system, nervous system, endocrine system, and cardiovascular system. In fact, it is of enough concern that the U.S. CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) is collecting data on an ongoing basis to estimate U.S. population toxin burdens. http://ephtracking.cdc.gov/showBiomonitoringTracking.action
In one of the most extensive studies ever done (you may have heard about this one), the Environmental Working Group (EWG) commissioned five laboratories in the U.S., Canada, and Europe to analyze umbilical cord blood collected from 10 minority infants born in 2007 and 2008. Collectively, the laboratories identified up to 232 industrial compounds and pollutants in these babies! And it was the first ever detection of BPA (Bisphenol A) in U.S. cord blood, found in 9 of 10 cord blood samples tested. BPA is found in food, beverages and infant formula sold in metal cans (lined with BPA-based epoxy resin) and drinks in polycarbonate plastic containers . http://www.ewg.org/research/minority-cord-blood-report/bpa-and-other-cord-blood-pollutants
Today there are laboratory tests that can help you determine which toxins are present in your body. What types of toxins are commonly being reported? One family of chemicals, called the Persistent Organic Pollutants, consist of dioxins (from international food trade), DDT metabolites (now found in breast milk), PCBs (from dairy, fish and meats), chlordanes (used in home termite protection) and flame retardants found in mattresses and children’s pajamas. Although DDT was banned in the U.S. decades ago, it has a ½ life of 20 to 30 years, making it very hard to get rid of! PCBs were banned in the U.S. in the late 1970’s, but yes, they are highly persistent! Another family of chemicals, called Ongoing Organic Pollutants, is also commonly reported in laboratory tests. These include solvents (from gas, grease cleaners, and paints), pesticides (from foods, especially non organic foods), and phthalates and parabens (from plastics, shampoos, cosmetics).
If you don’t test, how do you know if you might be carrying around a toxic load? You might develop immune system presentations first, such as allergies and recurrent infections. This can then progress to mood swings, depression, fatigue, and headaches, and then on to endocrine disorders such as hypothyroidism and infertility. Or you may develop nervous system symptoms first, and then immune system presentations, and so on. There is no right or wrong to how we manifest toxin overload. And in the midst of all this toxic overload, you may develop weight loss resistance.
Have you moved to a new home or office lately where you have exposure to new chemicals? Or bought a new car? Have you become ultra sensitive to caffeine, cleaning products, or perfume? This may indicate that your body is not clearing toxins very well. What does one do in this world of ever increasing toxins?
Start with a few simple steps that make a BIG impact:
1. Use the EWG dirty dozen list and Clean 15 list to help you decide which foods you absolutely must buy organic. This will decrease your exposure to pesticides, which belong to the family of chemicals mentioned above called Ongoing Organic Pollutants. http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/
2. Although you may have heard that salmon is a super healthy food, avoid farm raised salmon and choose wild instead. A serving of farmed salmon has up to 40 times more PCBs than other foods. Why? Farmed salmon are fattened with ground fishmeal and fish oils that are high in PCBs. The PCBs concentrate in the salmon’s fat, and then hang out in our fat if not eliminated right away after we eat the salmon! The EPA recommends no more than one meal of farmed salmon per month. http://www.ewg.org/news/news-releases/2003/07/30/first-ever-us-tests-farmed-salmon-show-high-levels-cancer-causing-pcbs
3. To lessen your exposure to phthalates and parabens (also part of the Ongoing Organic Pollutants family), drink water from a glass or stainless steel container (avoid plastic) and switch out one of your body care products or cosmetics for one that has no parabens. Please refer to this helpful guide put together by the EWG. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/.
4. To help remove fat soluble toxins (these are the real nasty ones and include PCBs and heavy metals like mercury) from the body, add rice bran fiber to your daily morning routine. Rice bran fiber has been shown to remove PCBs.
5. There are many effective nutrients that you can take to support your body’s detoxification pathways. Start with Vitamin C, which increases glutathione, one of your body’s most important endogenous (made in the body) antioxidants! And Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant as well. Vitamin C is water soluble, so it is better to take it in divided doses. I personally take 500 mg in the morning and 500 mg in the evening.
If you are ready to lower your toxic load and go full steam ahead to support your liver’s detoxification pathways to reclaim the energy, focus, and body you so deserve, be sure to check out my virtual group Cleanse and Revive Program starting May 8th! Take advantage of the $50 discount before it expires on April 30th.