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Toxins

July 10, 2016

 

 

This e-mail blast serves as an introduction in the area of detoxification. I feel this is the next step in improving your health. Let us start with the article “The Toxins That Threaten Our Brains.” Many chemicals pass between the mother and the baby through the placenta during pregnancy.

 

As you look at this think about two things:

  1. Organ systems that can be affected. For instance, the liver functions to break down toxins as well as metabolism of ingested substances including medications. The kidney filters all these things and so concentrates them in the kidney tissue. The pancreas makes digestive enzymes and insulin for sugar metabolism. It is so important in metabolism that many chemicals seem to concentrate in the pancreas. Then there is the bone marrow which makes all the cells that are involved in the immune system.
  2. Cancer risk. I present an article on the dangerous chemicals and their influence on breast cancer. We are consistently surrounded by exposure to various toxins. Breast cancer is only one example that can result from this.

So now you can see how ingestion of toxins can lead to dysfunction in various organs. The first article focuses on brain health— it starts with development in the fetus. Gross abnormalities in anatomy are seen in birth defects. When there are no anatomic changes to be seen, there may be subtle changes in function– so now we may have ADHD or autism. Actual brain function can be seen in some of the newer imaging studies developed by conventional medicine. As your doctor, I also have access to a functional test called EVOKE which shows brain activity at rest and with various cognitive activities. EVOKE is covered by insurance and can be used to determine your current level of cognitive function and pinpoint subtle dysfunction that can lead to subsequent changes in the level of mental acuity including dementia. Talk to me if you have interest in this test.

 

The other significant point gleaned from this article is what levels of exposure are considered toxic. The EPA has some determinations but the overall effects of these toxins can also be cumulative even with acute exposure being in the ”acceptable range”. I always cringe at the word “acceptable.” That can be bad.

 

Look at areas of our environment where we have low-level exposure. Manganese is found in stainless steel and soda cans. Polybrominated diphenyl esters (PBDE’s) are incorporated in many rugs and furnishings. I ask myself if this can play a part in so-called “allergies” when windows are kept closed. We are exposed little by little on a daily basis. Look at the article “BPA Exposure May Be Higher Than You Think.” Wow! This is an eye-opener as far as subtle ways we are exposed to toxins.

 

Another area where I caution women is in the use of cosmetics. These may be loaded with many chemicals and toxic heavy metals such as mercury and lead.  Our skin is the largest organ in the body to absorb as well as excrete toxins. Many toxins are difficult to excrete so exposure must be limited. In future blasts I will talk about the use of hydrogen peroxide and other methods to remove toxins. I am not convinced we can totally eliminate exposure, so in the real world developing a program to detoxify and stay ahead of exposure that cannot be avoided is so very important.

 

Besides the importance of skin toxicity, I will mention some simple items related to nutrition. Many toxins are stored in fat. As you improve your body composition the fat loss will release these trapped toxins. We will talk about more extensive detoxification measures in the future, but for now let me mention four foods that can help the body rid itself of the toxins.

 

The first is turmeric which can help stimulate liver enzymes to flush toxins from your body. One of the chemicals in tumeric is curcumin, which is also  an excellent natural anti-inflammatory agent. Although curcumin can be found in vitamin stores as a supplement, I prefer natural sources that also contain other compounds that work together in synergy to improve the activity of the identified active agent.

 

Next, consider lemon juice. This contains citric and ascorbic acid, but it actually turns out to be something that makes our system more alkaline– the opposite of acid. It tastes bitter because of very high levels of ascorbic acid (vitamin C). This alkaline environment encourages the excretion of toxins. It also has a diuretic effect increasing urine output. Try squeezing a lemon into a glass of water and start the day by ingesting this on an empty stomach. It will aid digestion. Remember 80% of the body’s lymph nodes are located around the bowel— so good digestive function improves the immune system.

 

Cruciferous vegetables are next. They contain a substance called DIM which is strongly anti-estrogenic. It can help block xenoestrogens which come from all the plastics we have in the environment. These xenoestrogens are responsible for increased belly fat in women, low testosterone and ”man boobs” in men, and facial hair in women. It also makes it hard to lose weight. Foods in this group include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts.

 

The last to mention is tart cherries which have tremendous anti-inflammatory properties, are reasonably low on the glycemic index, and can increase melatonin secretion and help sleep. If you use juice concentrates be sure they have not been pasteurized because the heat can degrade the product.

 

So start with some of these foods as far as an initial detox program. When you come to the office I can run a nutrition and toxin screen to help guide how aggressive we need to be with other detox measures.

 

Now, going back to talk about skin, I introduce the concept of taking shoes off in the house.  I never really thought about this until I began dating a Korean woman. The first time she came to my apartment she was appalled that I did not have slippers at the front door. This may be particularly important  in the city with all the stuff that is on the sidewalks. Also consider this in the suburbs where the herbicides and pesticides used to keep lawns and gardens are acceptable. We can bring all that inside— onto the rug, onto the couch, and into the bedroom and kitchen. The hard part for me is that I have three dogs. I wash their paws and try to limit them to a portion of the apartment with hardwood floors. You just look at how to do better in a practical fashion.

 

Now, just for fun, I introduce an article on walking barefoot. My college major was in chemistry and this article caught my interest. We have all been told how bad it is to have free radicals present. As we develop the theme of detoxification, we can look at this topic in a new light. Free radicals may be healthy and quite helpful in combating toxins. Grounding with the earth may help balance free radicals. Also, think about toxins in the fabric of your socks and shoes that can be absorbed daily.

 

I finish with an article on how much our feet are involved with absorption and excretion of water— hence, toxins. This may be important as far as detox measures that focus on foot baths and patches.

 

I hope these informational blasts are helpful. I hope they make you think a little bit. Each patient has to take personal responsibility for changes to improve their own lifestyle. Life is a balance. Do the groundwork and let your  ”human machine”  balance itself. That is the road to true health. As your physician, I want to be your guide and help you incorporate these measures in your personal program.

 

 

Posted in Blog by jbosiljevac

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