Detoxing is all the rage these days in the healthcare industry. And for good reason. If you are trying to be healthy or get healthy, the first step is getting rid off all the extra junk that is getting in the way.
It’s nice to think eating organic food and using “green” household and body products keeps us toxin-free. While those measures certainly help, the sad truth is we are nevertheless inundated with unprecedented levels of toxins in our air, water, food, and everyday environment.
As of 2014 is was estimated that there were some 80,000 different chemicals used in industrial production and processes. To add injury to insult, there are 1,000 new chemicals added to that list every year. Pretty sad.
There are numerous studies linkining toxins with a myriad of health disorders, including autoimmunity, cancer, brain disorders, obesity, hormonal imbalances, and more.
If you don’t believe me or would like some more information all you have to do is go to Pubmed.com and do a search for the specific toxin you are interested in. It makes for some good horror nighttime reading. I guarantee you won’t be able to sleep.
Studies show humans carry hundreds of toxins in their bodies. The only reason it isn’t more is because of limits as to how many are tested. We simply don’t have the ability to test that many things. Children contain a higher body burden of toxins and toxins are found in umbilical cord blood and breast milk.
Though this is depressing, understanding the situation can help you better protect your body from the tens of thousands of synthetic chemicals in our environment.
I’ll be honest, sometimes after going to a conference I will sometimes be a little discouraged at the state of our (worlds) health. I seriously question how long humans will be able to successfully reproduce without some type of severe medical intervention.
Be aware of chemical sensitivity
Of course, we’d like our toxin levels to be as low as possible. However, it’s even more important that you do not react to toxins. People develop sensitivities to toxins the same way they do to gluten, dairy, or other foods.
A sensitivity to a chemical or heavy metal contributes to autoimmune disease, food sensitivities, and and an overall decline in health. Plus, since it’s difficult to impossible to avoid toxins, a sensitivity to them will leave you with an ongoing immune battle.
Weathering a toxic environment
Studies have turned up ample disturbing evidence on the effects of toxins on human health, and tens of thousands have not yet been studied. Nor do we understand how these toxins may work in combination.
Although there is no way to completely escape (the deepest parts of the ocean contain high levels of toxins), there are ways you can protect your body from toxins and prevent chemical sensitivities.
Clinical Pearl: Many toxins are lipophilic, meaning they like fat. So, if you are overweight or have a little extra here or there then you have a tendency to have more toxins in your system. i.e. - lose the weight.
Take these first steps to help you detoxify
Start with your diet.
Foods and beverages, even organic ones, contain toxins because of how prevalent they are in the environment. So avoid the obvious offenders of artificial additives and foods that contain pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics.
Also, look up the dirty dozen and stay away from those.
Beyond that, the goal is a balanced immune system. This requires eating a diet that stabilizes blood sugar (no sugars or sweeteners, not too high on carbohydrates, and avoid skipping meals, over eating, or under eating.)
It also requires following a diet that does not trigger an immune response. This is different for everyone although gluten and dairy are the most common offenders.
Resveratrol and curcumin
Toxins trigger inflammation and damage cells. Studies show high doses of resveratrol and curcumin can help buffer the body from the damage of toxins, especially if you take them together in a liposomal form.
Glutathione is the body’s MASTER antioxidant that protects the cells from damage. Low glutathione raises your risk of chemical sensitivities and suffering damage from toxins. Nutrients that boost glutathione levels include n-acetyl-cysteine, cordyceps, Gotu Kola, milk thistle, L-glutamine, and alpha lipoic acid. Straight oral glutathione doesn’t work well, but liposomal, reduced, and s-acetyl glutathione are absorbed. Glutathione can also be delivered via IV, suppositories, or a nebulizer. There are a lot of different choices and they tend to work in slightly different ways. Regardless, get on at least one of them.
Another strategy against toxins is to improve your body’s detoxification. This can mean supporting the liver, lymph glands, kidneys, and bowel motility (so you’re not constipated). An inability to excrete toxins makes you more inflamed and raises your overall body burden.
Clinical Pearl: The last step in detoxification is elimination (bowel movement). So if you are not going to the the bathroom regularly or don’t have healthy digestion you will definitely will not be detoxifying properly.
Nutrients that support the liver pathways include methyl B12 (very helpful for those that are MTHFR positive), selenium(also good for thyroid support), molybdenum, dandelion root (also great for liver and gallbladder function), milk thistle (liver protection), trimethylglycine, Panax ginseng, and MSM.
Ask my office about how best to protect yourself from environmental toxins.
Be healthy, be happy,
Dr. Craig Mortensen
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