How might environmental toxins be causing chaos with your health?Jun 27, 2022
One of the biggest concerns that impacts our health. Affecting our energy, sleep, and hormones are environmental toxins.
Many of the 100’s to 1000’s of chemical toxins didn’t exist prior to the mid-twentieth century. Our grandparents faced their own stressors but didn’t nearly come into contact with the increase of chemicals, heavy metals, radiation, electromagnetic frequencies, and pollution that we encounter today.
Although the body has an innate capacity to detoxify itself, people now are exposed to a level of consumer, agricultural, and industrial toxins that the human organism never evolved to handle.
What we’re experiencing now, is chronic low level exposures that build up in our bodies over time. Producing subtler and often more pervasive symptoms.
For eg. We now carry higher bodily levels than ever before of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC’s).
You’d likely be familiar with a compound in plastics called “ bisphenol A (BPA”)
The BPA acts to disrupt your endocrine system (hormonal system), which regulates virtually all aspects of the body’s metabolism and function.
Resulting in a growing incidence of chronic disease and an increased rate of aging.
For eg. Having a level of BPA in your urine above 5 micrograms per L, doubles your risk of diabetes since this toxin blocks the receptor sites on the cells that insulin activates to allow sugar in.
So what can you do?
1) Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins It’s impossible to avoid toxins completely, but there are steps you can take to reduce your overall load.
By eating more organic food, avoiding plastic, and using natural skincare and cleaning products. Toxins are everywhere, in our food, water, home, work and outdoor environments, Try to get into the habit of reading labels, as unfortunately a lot of these environmental toxin offenders can come from your diet, home or personal care products and many can trigger inflammatory processes.
- Phthalates (cosmetics, plastic wrap with recycle label #3 on it, some plastic children’s toys and containers)
- BPA (canned foods, plastic bottles, baby bottles, stickers, eyeglass lenses, panty liners, pads, tampons, plastic containers, bags, soft drink cans, plastic utensils, receipts)
- Dioxin (animal products, so reduce protein from animal sources)
- Lead (old and crumbling paint, water)
- Arsenic (in drinking water and food)
- Mercury (certain fish, sushi)
- Per fluorinated chemicals, PFCs (non-stick cookware)
- Glycol Ethers (paint, cosmetics, household cleaners)
2) Download Think Dirty app or Skin Deep by the Environmental working group.
If you search for “ingredient scanner” on the app store, the Think Dirty app is likely to come up. For more than a decade, this well-known app has been trusted by beauty consumers to break down ingredient lists.
Since the beauty industry is not regulated, it is up to consumers to look past labels like “all-natural” and “organic” to determine if a beauty product is free of potentially harmful chemicals. That’s where checking ingredients with the help of the Think Dirty app comes in.
3) Detox BPA from your body
(if it’s not detoxified from your body in 24hrs, it stores in fat tissues)
- Studies have found that: cruciferous vegetables, resveratrol, and citrus as foods, rooibos tea, raspberries and pomegranate(for its ellagic acid quality), curcumin, dandelion leaves/tea compounds that help induce UGT enzymes (to remove BPA from your system).
- Strive to enhance healthy bowel and urination movements.
- SWEATTTTT (BPA can be measured in blood, urine, and sweat. (In some people, evidence in one study) - BPA excreted in sweat was up to 20 times higher than BPA excreted in the urine. Sweat was induced through exercise and through use of steam or infrared sauna).
- Weight loss is very important as BPA accumulates in fat.
- FIBRE (Specific types of fibre have bile-acid binding properties. Fibre is useful for gut function but it's also very useful for binding bile and reducing the recirculation of harmful compounds intended for excretion).
4) Add Adequate vitamins and antioxidants!
- Vit E: Minimises oxidative stress caused by BPA. Sources: nuts/seeds/ some veggies
- Vitamin A: enables genetic processed that lead to BPA breakdown. Sources: beef liver, organ meats, fish
- Quercetin: reduces the toxic effects of BPA and enhances antioxidant systems. Sources: onions, capers, other fruit and veg
- Lycopene: Increases glutathione in the brain and alleviates toxic effects of BPA in brain: Sources, red/pink fruits and veg, tomato
- Vitamin C: Non enzymatic antioxidant: Sources: lemons, oranges, grapefruit, peppers, strawberries, blackcurrants,
Other nutrients that have been studied to support: ginseng, alpha lipoic acid, NAC, glutathione, curcumin. Speak to your nutritionist or GP if you can supplement these.