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Wellness

Eliminate Toxins from Your Body

Sep 08, 2017

by Eric Madrid MD

Over the last 100 years, thousands of chemicals have been created by companies and discarded into our water supply, air and even into our home environments. With many of these chemicals, we still have almost no idea how they affect us.  However, we do know that many have negative health consequences. Each and every person has toxic chemicals in their bodies. There is no way to completely avoid it. However, we can try to minimize the long-term effects from exposure.

100 years ago, cancer was rare in the United States, Russia, Japan and China. However, cancer is now a leading cause of death worldwide.  

At the turn-of-the-twentieth century, 3 percent of the population in the United States suffered from cancer.  By 1950,  20 percent of the American population developed cancer. By 2000, 38 percent of the population had cancer.  Doctors predict that by  2020, 50 percent, or 1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with cancer at some time in their life. 

More and more children under age 5 are developing cancer, and this is certainly due to their exposure while still a fetus as well as during the first five years of life.

While multinational corporations and governments work to minimize exposure with stricter environmental standards and pollution laws, we should do our best to not only avoid toxic chemical exposure but to optimize our body’s natural cleansing mechanisms,  so we can detoxify our bodies from the poisons that surround us.

In China, cancer rates have doubled since the 1970s according to studies.  Lung cancer specifically has increased 465 percent in the past 30 years.  Air pollution, which appears to be as dangerous as smoking, is a major reason the World Health Organization (WHO) predicts lung cancer will be diagnosed in 1 million Chinese per year by 2025 if the current trend continues.   In the United States, stricter air quality standards and a decrease in the number of smoker have been helpful in preventing lung disease from progressing.

Further, half the liver cancer deaths in the world occur in China.  Detoxifying one’s body by supporting liver and kidney health is crucial in keeping our bodies purified.

Symptoms of toxicity exposure

Symptoms of toxicity exposure range from few to no symptoms to moderate and severe symptoms. The fact is, all of us are exposed to pollutants, and the goal should be to identify, minimize and remove them as much as possible. 

Symptoms may include, but are not limited to:

  • Chronic cough
  • Post nasal drip
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chemical sensitivity
  • Headaches
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Frequent infections
  • Dizziness
  • Memory loss
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Confusion
  • Diarrhea

Avoid exposure

Hourly, we come into contact with these chemicals. We take them into our mouth when we eat food, we put them on our skin when we use lotions, shaving creams, makeup and skin moisturizers, and a wide range of other products many of us use daily. 

Topical application to skin results in direct transdermal absorption of chemicals into our blood. We also breathe toxins into our lungs when we breathe the air polluted by automobile exhaust and chemical factories. Tobacco smoking, chemical cleaners, furniture glues, resins and solvents also stress our bodies.

Use of chemical room fresheners can also expose many to toxins. According to Scientific American, “Some of the most offensive ingredients—volatile organic compounds (VOCs), benzene and formaldehyde—can cause headaches and nausea and aggravate asthma, and have been linked to neurological damage and cancer.” Fortunately, there are safer alternatives. 

According to Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, in his 2017 book The Toxin Solution, "The average person encounters a constant stream of benzene and other chemicals from toxins, from chemical-laden food, paint, printing ink, flame retardants, coolants, and wood-floor finishes to Scotchgard-treated clothing…”.

It has been said that the difference between a poison and a medicine is simply the dose. This is also true for non-medicinal chemicals to which we are exposed. 

These toxins include:

Arsenic – This toxin used to be used for medicinal purposes but as levels build up in the body, arsenic is associated with health problems, including increased risk for diabetes, fatigue and cellular poisoning and death.

 Mercury- A heavy metal ubiquitous in the environment. Elevated blood levels can cause neurological symptoms such as memory loss, tremors, kidney disease, elevated blood pressure, clogged arteries and more.

Cadmium – A heavy metal, common in household items, like batteries.  Tobacco smokers also ingest cadmium with each cigarette smoked. Elevated levels increase risk for osteopenia, osteoporosis, lung and kidney disease. 

Lead – A heavy metal.  The Latin word is plumbum, which is where we get the word plumber.  Sources include lead pipes, soil, polluted water. Toxic effects include neuropathy, memory issues, kidney and blood issues, such as anemia.

PCBs  (PolyChlorinated biphenyls) – Banned in the USA in 1979 and worldwide by the 2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, PCBs were found in paints, plastics and old appliances. Common side effects include fatty liver, cancer risk, immune system suppression, thyroid issues.

POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants) – These pollutants used to be found in pesticides, solvents and pharmaceuticals. Side effects include endocrine issues, fertility troubles, endometriosis and decreased sperm count.

VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) - Found in paint fumes, exhaust fumes and household chemicals. Side effects include respiratory issues and increased risk of lymphoma and leukemia. 

PFCs (Perfluorinated chemicals) - Used with Teflon cooking pans and fire retardants. Side effects include liver, immune and thyroid problems. 

Benzene – Found in cigarettes. Associated with increased risk of blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma 

Phthalates – Found in plastics, perfumes, and nail polish, these chemicals can affect hormones, including lowering male testosterone and increasing risk of diabetes.

BPA, (biphenol-A)— Another common toxin. According to mayoclinic.org, its industrial chemical I has been used in the making of certain plastics and resin since the early 1960s.  BPA can affect our hormones and increase risk of cancer.  Infants and children are extra susceptible. There also may be a link between BPA and high blood pressure. Drinking water from a glass container or, at minimum, a BPA-free plastic bottle is crucial. If the plastic container you are using for food or liquid does not state that it is BPA free, check the plastic recycle code on the bottom. Recycle codes 3 and 7 frequently contain BPA. Storing food in glass or a BPA free  plastic container is crucial.

In addition, using health and beauty aids that are carcinogen free is extremely important.

Purify your Body

There are a few things you can do to purify your body to help remove toxins. Cleaning up your diet, avoiding processed foods,  removing mercury from your mouth, improving your gut health, healing your liver and optimizing your kidney function are all things you can do.

Clean your diet 

Eating  organic  fruits and vegetables and  hormone-free,  grass-fed poultry and beef (to the best of your ability) is crucial to avoiding chemical exposure.  Utilizing the Environmental Working Group's Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen food list is a good place to start when choosing produce. Also, review 13  Things You Can Do to Improve Your Health.

Avoid processed foods and food with excessive sugar. Avoid artificial sweeteners and high- fructose corn syrup as they both put extra stress on your body’s metabolism.

Optimize Gut Health 

Our intestines are the primary way toxins enter our body. Those with gut issues, like irritable bowel syndrome, chronic diarrhea, constipation, bloating etc., frequently have a condition called Leaky Gut, which results in absorption troubles.  A poor intestinal barrier results in increased absorption chemicals and toxins.

We can optimize our gut health using quality probiotics and prebiotics while eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables. This is imperative to developing a healthy gut microbiome.

Use Non-Toxic Cleaners In Your Home

A lot of chemicals are used in our homes daily. We use them to clean dishes, floors and toilets. Using non-toxic cleaners that are both environmentally and people friendly is a good place to start in removing toxin exposure.  There are better options for bath soaps, dish soaps,  cleaning agents and dishwashing detergents, too, which can be used in place of the more toxic, commercially available household cleaning agents.

Use Non-Toxic Health and Beauty Aids

Each and every cosmetic or perfume/cologne used has chemicals that are absorbed into the skin.  According to SafeCosmetics.org, many popular cosmetics include heavy metals and other dangerous chemicals, which  increase one’s  risk for chronic diseases. 

Choosing chemical-free cosmetics and cleansing products that are environmentally friendly and non-toxic  is important.  Examples include organic lip balms, organic facial cleansers and non-toxic shampoos and soaps.

Clean your mouth

Many people have “silver fillings” in their mouth.  A lot of these are made of a mercury silver  amalgam.  However, mercury can be released into the blood system in the form of “off-gassing”.  To remove mercury fillings, use a dentist who specializes in removing mercury fillings.  If not done appropriately, removal can also expose you to large amount of mercury, which can be very dangerous.

Also, using natural toothpastes in place of the usual fluoride-containing toothpastes is advised.

Optimize liver health

The liver’s job is to remove toxins from our blood. Our liver performs numerous chemical reactions in order to detoxify the blood and our body from toxic chemicals, medications and other foreign substances to which we are exposed.

Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.  Stick to one drink per day for women, two for men.

Liver Supplements

Selenium -200 mcg daily can be taken as a separate supplement or in a quality multivitamin 

NAC  (N-acetyl cysteine) -500 mg twice per day for 8 weeks minimum, then once daily thereafter 

Milk Thistle -daily as instructed on the label. 

Zinc -25 mg daily. Can be taken as a separate supplement or in a quality multivitamin 

Folic Acid -800 mcg daily. Can be taken as a separate supplement or in a quality multivitamin 

Vitamin B12 – 2,000 mcg daily. Can be taken as a separate supplement or in a quality multivitamin

Optimize kidney function

The kidneys are responsible for filtering blood and in the process, removing toxins,  excess salt and whatever else the body wants to eliminate.  As we age, the rate of kidney filtering naturally decreases.  

Some medications can be toxic to our kidneys.  A common medication which causes problems are Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Naron) and naproxen (Aleve, Naixan,  Na Pu Xing).

According to research, the following 15 food items and supplements can be helpful in restoring optimal kidney function and help facilitate detoxification.

Foods

  • Beetroot juice
  • Blueberries
  • Curcumin (can take as a spice or supplement)
  • Red Bell Peppers
  • Cabbage
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Kale
  • Cauliflower
  • Ginger
  • Chocolate (75% cacao or more)

Kidney Supplements

Summary

Maintaining or restoring health is not easy, but it is definitely worth it.  First, we need to make sure we avoid toxins in our food, diet and air. Second, we need to use household products that will not create more health issues. Third, we need to optimize our nutrient intake though a healthy diet, exercise and the appropriate supplements. By following the guidelines, I have suggested,  you will be able to  increase the likelihood of living a long, happy and healthy life.

 References:

  1. Ping Zhao, Min Dai, Wanqing Chen, Ni Li; Cancer Trends in China, Japanese Journal of Clinical Oncology, Volume 40, Issue 4, 1 April 2010, Pages 281–285, https://doi.org/10.1093/jjco/hyp187
  2. China's Smog Is as Deadly as Smoking, New Research Claims http://time.com/4617295/china-smog-smoking-environment-air-pollution/
  3. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/benzene.html
  4. Océane Albert, Bernard Jégou; A critical assessment of the endocrine susceptibility of the human testis to phthalates from fetal life to adulthood, Human Reproduction Update, Volume 20, Issue 2, 1 March 2014, Pages 231–249, https://doi.org/10.1093/humupd/dmt050
  5. http://dailysuperfoodlove.com/10943/foods-for-kidney-health/
  6. https://www.davita.com/kidney-disease/diet-and-nutrition/lifestyle/top-15-healthy-foods-for-people-with-kidney-disease/e/5347
  7. L-arginine as a therapeutic tool in kidney disease. Klahr, Saulo et al.  Seminars in Nephrology , Volume 24 , Issue 4 , 389 – 394
  8. L-Arginine Supplementation Improves Function and Reduces Inflammation in Renal Allografts INGRID H. C. VOS,  TON J. RABELINK,  BERT DORLAND,  REMKO LOOS, BEN VAN MIDDELAAR,  HERMANN-JOSEF GRÖNE,  and JAAP A. JOLES JASN Feb 1, 2001 12: 361-367

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