TOTAL BODY TOXIN BURDEN AND DETOX
First, for clarity, understand, I hate the work “detox” for this topic. That term renders visions of things I’d rather not see, and if not that, then of rehab from substance abuse. Detox of the body as I speak is from total toxin loads taken into the body simply living the lifestyle we live. Our body takes on a total body toxin load from the air, water, food, and topicals we put into it. Studies now show increased risk of many diseases due to toxin load. A GREAT webinare that summarizes our bodfy burden is at Support for Environmental Toxin Exposure, Dr Jill, 2015. Accordingly, we must do what we can to help the body function optimally given the toxin load (some unavoidable) it must deal with and process. The Detox Summit led by Deanna Minich, PhD can be summarized in a “Punch List” for “How To Stay In a Toxic World” and the relevant heath and disease implications for not, can be found near the bottom of this post.
ALL AREAS OF OUR BODY EXPOSED TO THE ENVIRONMENT IS EXPOSED TO TOXINS
I first came to appreciate the large amounts of physical surface area that is exposed to all environmental exposures through Dr. Alejandro Junger’s book, “Clean — Expanded Edition: The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body’s Natural Ability to Heal Itself”:
- Our oral cavity down into our lungs,
- Our skin surface area, and
- The mouth – esophagus – stomach – intestinal track (which actually is the surface area of a tennis court accounting for the convoluted intestinal lining involved):
Understanding” how-to” practically detox to reduce the body’s total toxin burden helps the body deal with such exposures and becomes a physical necessity as many total body burdens cannot be removed from ones exposure.
From Support for Environmental Toxin Exposure, Dr Jill, 2015:
Toxic chemicals accumulate in our adipose tissue, breast milk and blood, and contribute to autoimmune and chronic diseases. Toxins are all around us. Toxins persist in soil, air, and water so we can’t avoid them. 100% of breastmilk contains flame retardants. But toxins are also in car exhaust, food supply, housing materials (carpet, drywall, lumber), new clothing, mattress, furniture, cleaning & laundry supplies, and personal care products. Toxin exposure symptoms ranges from fatigue, memory disturbance, poor sleep, headaches to cancer, autoimmune, & neurodegenerative diseases. The 2010 study, Mother counts: how effects of environmental contaminants on maternal care could affect the offspring and future generations’ reports that mom’s blood and breastmilk contains enviro contaminants. See too EWG 2005 “Body Burden: The Pollution in Newborns” for cord blood contamination. The study, “Biomonitoring of Industrial Pollutants: Health and Policy Implications of the Chemical Body Burden” shows that agency monitoring of contaminants are insufficient. Dr. Carnahan just assumes there is a large toxic burden existing for all her patients.
This Harvard Health Letter notes our ubiquitous drug exposure just from water alone: “A study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1999 and 2000 found measurable amounts of one or more medications in 80% of the water samples drawn from a network of 139 streams in 30 states. The drugs identified included a witches’ brew of antibiotics, antidepressants, blood thinners, heart medications (ACE inhibitors, calcium-channel blockers, digoxin), hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone), and painkillers. Scores of studies have been done since. Other drugs that have been found include caffeine (which, of course, comes from many other sources besides medications); carbamazepine, an antiseizure drug; fibrates, which improve cholesterol levels; and some fragrance chemicals (galaxolide and tonalide).”
Our bodies metabolize only a small fraction of MANY drugs taken. That remaining is mostly excreted out via urine and feces. Other sources of drugs in our water are from agriculture (80 per cent of the antibiotics in the US are consumed in agriculture and aquaculture for the purpose of increasing food production), industrial, and personal care products (one man’s use of testosterone cream can wind up putting as much of the hormone into the water as the natural excretions from 300 men). Worth mentioning… now is a good time to ditch antibiotic hand wash, sanitizers, soap, and such.
Here’s another example of what is in your tap water drawing from my personal experience: Acanthamoeba parasite is ubiquitous in tap water and thought to not be an issue except for contact lens wearers AND immune suppressed (actually that population is quite large if you lump in all on immune suppression medications such as those used for autoimmune, etc). Regarding the contacts… I was behind the contact lens related eye infection recalls (see “About” page for more detail) due to acanthamoeba breakthrough… it is real and still ongoing.
Regarding heavy metals, this 2012 article (published 2013) convinced me that many of us have such onboard. Realize, they only looked at three toxins, in childbearing-aged women, living in low risk toxin regions. Only 17% had no measured toxin, 26% had one measurable toxin, 33% had two measurable toxins, and 23% had all three toxins. Of import: R&D today does not evaluate cumulative toxin exposure impact on health. Nuff said.
Often I wonder how this acanthamoeba bug as well as our cumulative ubiquitous toxin and drug exposure, including antibiotics, impacts our gut microbiome.
Suffice it to say, we know it detrimentally impacts the newborn microbiome if you read this post. And, I’d say it detrimentally impacts our microbiome, where 80 to 85% our our immunity resides (hear Dr. Alessio Fasano, MD here, and see Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD here and on the YouTube, “Wise Traditions London 2010 – Natasha Campbell McBride”), considering the prevalence of disease:
The Detox Summit led by Deanna Minich, PhD provided much expert current information pertaining to “How To Stay In a Toxic World” and the relevant heath and disease implications for not.
In summary: the cumulative toxin load from all areas affects epigenetics (cellular repair, expression and regeneration) which in turn contributes to all disease, autoimmunity, autism, ADHD, obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cancer. This is because the total body toxin burden goes in one of two directions: it causes malignancy or inflammatory conditions. Chronic low level toxins accumulate and modify cellular functions and cause inflammation, insulin resistance and oncogenic events.
This is a complete new area of study as studies thus far have not looked at impact of numerous toxin loads which we know exists. I’ve already mentioned the study measuring three environmental exposures – lead, mercury, and PCBs in young childbearing age women NOT living near regions that likely contaminant could occur (below slide). Now we have for the first time, this study, that shows (in rats) that daily oral environmental exposure of low dose BPA (below that considered safe by the FDA) during perinatal exposure with lactation is linked to offspring food intolerance (egg white ovalbumin protein), and this is discussed in the post, “1ST STUDY: LOW DOSE BPA PERINATAL EXPOSURE & FOOD INTOLERANCE”. We already knew that BPA is now measurable in both breast milk and newborn and infant urines without known exposure to BPA and regardless if breastfed or formula fed (see this January 2014 study): Total BPA was detected in 93 % of urine samples in this healthy infant population aged 3-15 months who were without known environmental exposure to BPA . Similarly, 75 % of the mothers’ breast milk samples had detectable concentrations of total BPA.” The new area of cumulative toxin study has been named Molecular Toxicology. Some new graduate programs can in fact be found at:
- Molecular Toxicology at Berkeley University, CA,
- Molecular Toxicology at Penn State University, Program Changes: is now an emphasis area within Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Biosciences and is not accepting students for fall 2015; please go to the Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Biosciences site to learn more about this new program and apply.
“The Molecular Toxicology major focuses on the hazardous and beneficial effects of natural and human-made toxic agents. From industrially produced environmental contaminants and designer drugs to naturally occurring herbs and food products, this field of study applies molecular and computational methods to better understand how these agents interact with living organisms and what should be done to ensure human health and safety.” ~ Molecular Toxicology at Berkeley University, CA
It is clear: We need to learn how to manage our body burden toxin load given some toxin exposure can not be completely removed from our environment.
In general, the experts “Punch List” for reducing the body burden toxin load can be accomplished by:
- Cleaning up the food (follow EWG full list of fruits and vegetables with pesticide residue data (the Dirty Fifteen is below). stop eating GMOs, evaluate gluten, grain, and dairy sensitivity, reduce refined sugar, rethink carb loads). Chemicals are added to make food look better, taste better, and last longer and that occupies 85% of our grocery store. The periphery (milk, eggs, meat, fish, fruit and vegs) are not clean either as they contain antibiotics, GMO feed, hormones, pesticides and herbicides.
- Eat a whole food nutrient dense diet (see Pinterest, Biome Onboard Awareness, LLC). Every chemical reaction requires an enzyme or catalyst to occur. Every enzyme requires a helper (co-enzyme or co-factor). Vitamins and minerals are co-enzymes and co-factors; they regulate the rate of reaction that occurs and activates pathways. Without such, it is like sludge moving through a hose that is not opened up letting junk get through and get out..
- Support glutathione, the key master antioxidant and the most powerful detox molecule in the body. Often it is depleted as the body is busy ridding toxins and not able to make sufficient glutathione. To increase glutathione: eat cruciferous vegs (broc, caulifl, brussel sprouts), sulfur producing foods (garlic and onions), bone broth for amino acids [cysteine, glycine and glutanate are all constituents of glutathione], meat, organ meats, and exercise.
- Clean up personal care products (eliminate phthalates, parabens, fragrance [over 200 chemicals is in fragrance ingredient] … and use EWG.org/SkinDeep to find clean products,
- Rid the home of toxins (cleaning supplies, phthalate shower curtains, stop using teflon pans and plastic wrap, ditch BPA, be leery of dishes manufactured in China which can cause increasing serum lead levels, scotchguard, mattress-furniture flame retardants…),
- Fish toxin levels are concerning. The Super Green List: Connecting Human and Ocean Health highlights products that are currently on the Seafood Watch “Best Choices” (green) list, that are low in mercury and are good sources of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Even wild caught salmon is causing increasing serum mercury levels; some decide to take a good quality fish oil (salmon oil or krill oil look into). Additional links: Seafood Watch Recommendations for Seafood Safety: “Seafood contaminants include metals (such as mercury, which affects brain function and development), industrial chemicals (PCBs and dioxins) and pesticides (DDT). These toxins usually originate on land and make their way into the smallest plants and animals at the base of the ocean food web. As smaller species are eaten by larger ones, contaminants are concentrated and accumulated. Large predatory fish—like swordfish and sharks—end up with the most toxins. You can minimize risks by choosing seafood carefully.” The Super Green List: Connecting Human and Ocean Health:
- Mercury and lead levels can be tested (easy blood serum test any doc can order). Know your levels and if high, seek functional medical doctor knowledgeable in how to chelate such out.
- Pre-natal toxin loads affects fetal neuro development. First, read this post to understand that dads are not off the hook here. Dad’s exposures matter and are being passed onto offspring. For preconception women, gyno and obstetricians are now being told to discuss pre-natal toxin loads and the effects on fetal neuro development. An incredibly important recent Lancet Neurology article is a must read for anyone needing this information or those of conception age: Neurobehavioural effects of developmental toxicity, Lancet Neurology, Abstract, March 2014 or for the pdf file, see: “Neurobehavioural Effects of Developmental Toxicity” pdf, March 2014
- Eliminate toxic relationships. Nuff said.
Totally interesting stuff. The science indisputably now shows no doubt that the body burden toxin load is contributing to epigenetics turning on the epidemic chronic diseases now being realized.
Last updated: November 3, 2017 at 8:34 am to add info from a GREAT webinare that summarizes our bodfy burden is at Support for Environmental Toxin Exposure, Dr Jill, 2015. Prior update March 23, 2016 was for SEO optimization.