Toxicity in the Modern World
Have you ever wondered why you're taking Magnesium but still getting cramps? Or taking Zinc but still have white spots on your fingernails? Keeping up with your probiotics and still getting digestive problems or Candida? You could have a build up of toxins and heavy metals in your body preventing absorption of vital nutrients and minerals, disturbing your gut flora and enabling bacteria and viruses to set up camp and making you feel unwell.
No matter where or how carefully you live or how well you try to eat, it’s almost impossible to avoid harmful chemicals and toxins, as they are prolific in our modern world. It would be true to say that nearly everyone on the globe has some degree of heavy metal toxicity from air pollution, innoculations, fish, water contamination, amalgam fillings, in-utero exposure and occupational exposure.
It's not only heavy metals contributing to our toxic burden, there are the man-made by-products and pollution from industrial and agricultural activities like BPA’s, PCB’s, Dioxins, Pesticides, Petrochemicals, Artificial sweeteners, Parabens and much much more. In this post we will look at Heavy Metals and XenoEstrogens - the topic is so vast I won't try to cover it all now, so watch for my future Blog posts as I discuss various other toxins in our environment.
Toxins are sneaking their way into our food, water and air supply, accumulating in our bodies and even in our newborn. Toxins make their presence felt by affecting our health. Some people ignore the signs like fatigue, weakness, aches and pains, allergies, skin conditions, rashes, moods, circulatory or blood pressure problems, hormonal symptoms, eye problems, headaches, bowel problems and just learn to live with them or end up taking medications to manage them. 9/10 times these symptoms are due to toxic accumulation in the body, with associated gut flora and bacterial imbalances.
As toxins like heavy metals arrive in the body, they get stored in various parts of the cell alongside our minerals i.e. Zinc, Magnesium etc. which can then tie up these important minerals so they can’t work – then higher levels are needed by the body. Pesticides and Herbicides (XenoEstrogens) can mimick Estrogen and cause Copper build up in the body, leading to a number of health issues I will discuss later.
Toxins have become part of life and they are even showing up in the new born and very young children. A recent Japanese study of 231 pregnant women revealed samples taken from umbilical cord blood contained higher amounts of Mercury and Cadmium than maternal blood confirming trans-placental contamination is occuring.
Exposure and resulting damage from heavy metals such as Arsenic can occur as early as the first trimester of fetal development and lead to chronic health conditions as much as 4-5 decades later.
Exposure occurs to everyone on the planet, even those that have no occupational exposure and live in pristine rural environments such as our friendly Polar bears - Polar Bear fetuses have been tested and high levels of Mercury and PCB's were found in the womb of these animals.
Heavy Metals are metallic chemical elements that have a relatively high density and are toxic at high levels. Heavy metals are antagonistic to various minerals in our body. Minerals can become blocked, displaced, excreted, or not absorbed and the heavy metals can accumulate in the soft tissues, bones, nerve cells, brain cells, fat cells and cause a plethora of health issues.
Cadmium and Lead will displace the essential and very important minerals Zinc, Calcium, Magnesium and Manganese in the body. Mercury and too much Copper can displace Selenium, Iron and Zinc.
Not only can they disrupt the whole mineral balance in the body, but heavy metals can also destroy our good bacteria in the gut, leaving us susceptible to a wide range of illnesses.
So where are these heavy metals coming from?
Lead – (found in water pipes, paint, pottery, roofing, cosmetics, lipstick, hair dye, metal polish, glass production, smelters and pesticides) can cause - fatigue, gastro problems, constipation, abdominal pain, headaches, joint pain, memory problems, aggressive outbursts, learning and behavioural disorders and ADD, anemia, reduced sperm count and gum problems.
Occupational exposure includes mechanics, welders, plumbers, petroleum workers, painters, renovators and those invoved with lead lighting or soldering.
Aluminium – (found in cooking utensils, baking powder, deodorants, contaminated water, some composite white dental fillings, and some medications i.e. antacids also in bleached flour), can cause - memory loss listlessness, severe trembling, dementia and nervous system problems.
Occupational exposure includes plumbers, ducting installers, aircraft workers, welders, miners and refinery workers.
Mercury – (found in dental amalgam fillings, prescription diuretics and laxatives, flu injections (as Thimeresol), batteries, sea foods, fabric softeners, calamine lotion, fluorescent and energy saving light bulbs) can cause - skin rashes, reoccurring respiratory infections, irritability, concentration problems, paraesthesis, neurological, neuropathy, retinitis, blushing, shyness, speech difficulties, excess saliva production and dribbling, headaches, muscle aches and pains, lowered immunity and chronic fatigue.
Occupational exposure includes dental techs, dentists, petroleum workers, gold miners, medical technologists, sugar cane workers.
Cadmium – (found in cigarette smoke, industrial contaminants, welding metal, silver polish, burning plastics or rubber, petro chemicals, battery manufacturing, PVC pipes, paint, super phosphate fertilisers) can cause – Hypercholesterol, Hypertension, headaches, Emphysemia, bone fractures, neurological disorders and kidney disease. Occupational exposure includes mechanics, tyre fitters, welders, plumbers, carpet layers, jewellers, toy industry, plastics industry.
Uranium – (found in the mining industry, nuclear accidents, milling processes, glass and glazes, ammunition and phosphate fertilisers use material which is high in Uranium) can cause – neurological disorders, thyroid problems, allergies, headaches and infertility.
Arsenic – (found in insect sprays, spider, bug, insect, termite treatments, coal combustion, pesticides, sea food, shrimp, mussels, oysters, treated wood, building materials, wooden stakes in vinyards), can cause – nausea, diarrhoea, anxiety, abdominal pain, burning sensations in the mouth and throat, dermatitis, muscle aches and pains, headaches, anaemia, neurological problems.
Occupational exposure includes gold miners, metallurgists, landscape workers, carpenters, builders, brickies, bore drillers, concrete workers.
Beryllium – (found in x-rays, oxides, ceramics, with copper and nickel alloys in aircrafts, missiles, spacecraft and communication satellites and used for electrical and thermal conductivity. Burning coal releases beryllium-containing particulates. Can cause - scarring of the lungs or chronic beryllium disease (CBD) with only minor exposure to beryllium dust. Also skin contact can cause alleries, fatigue, vitamin D deficiency, breathing disorders, impaired circulation to hands and feet.
Copper - found in copper water pipes, birth control pills, organ meats, IUD’s, wrist bands and jewellery, copper cookware and naturally occuring in numerous foods, in excess can cause – headaches and migraines, liver problems, stomach aches and gastro-disturbances, allergies, kidney damage, hormonal imbalances, estrogen dominance,yeast infections, depression, also Attention Deficit and Spectrum Disorders.
Occupational exposure includes plumbers, electricians, petroleum industry workers, farmers exposed to estrogen mimicking fertiliser/pesticides will not be able to clear Copper out of the body, linesmen-telephone cable-copper with lead sheathing-overhead telephone lines have cadmium and copper.
Tin - (found in the mining industry, steel coating, soldering, roofing and sometimes added to amalgam fillings) can cause – depletion of minerals Iron, Zinc and Selenium vital to the body for energy, thyroid and hormone production, immunity, mood and skin health.
Copper Retention - A Common Health Problem
Most people have heard about Mercury toxicity from dental fillings but there isn't alot of awareness about Copper toxicity and you would be surprised how common it is. Copper in the right ratio is an important mineral/metal, essential for health. However when there is too much Copper in the body, we get problems such as those already mentioned above. We get too much Copper in the body from a combination of things- food, water from Copper pipes, HRT, the Pill and IUD's, not enough Zinc and exposure to XenoEstrogens.
XenoEstogens are a category of man-made chemicals that behave like Estogens in the body but have damaging effects. They cause our body to retain Copper which results in a number of health issues, (refer above) and are linked with numerous adverse health effects. They disrupt our endocrine and hormonal system and are often refered to as Endocrine Disruptors. This report from the Endocrine Society is an in depth study discussing this. XenoEstrogens come from-
- Pesticides/Herbicides (Sprayed vegetable crops i.e. DDT, DDE, Glyphosates, insect sprays, weed killers etc).
- Petroleum Products (Mineral oil, gasoline and kerosene, organochlorines from chlorine gas mixed with petroleum hydrocarbons etc).
- Plastics (PVC pipes, drink bottles, microwave containers, polycarbonated plastics found in babies bottles, toys, food containers and water jugs etc).
- Prescribed Medications (antibiotics used in Poultry industry and for animals, and medicines used by farmers to enhance growth rate of animals for commerce) these end up in our food and also HRT and Contraceptive Pill.
The Dangers of Glyphosate
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is a XenoEstrogen. It is generously doused on agricultural crops for weed control by farmers globally and domestically and used liberally on genetically engineered crops. It ends up in the food chain, animals eat it which is passed on through their meat and milk and it also ends up in butter, fruit, veges, grains, oils, flour, etc. On top of this, Roundup is also used domestically to control weeds in our own gardens and yards and believe it to be harmless to humans and animals - WRONG!
In 1996, Monsanto was accused of false and misleading advertising of glyphosate products, prompting a law suit by the New York State attorney general. Monsanto had made claims that its spray-on glyphosate based herbicides, including Roundup, were safer than table salt and “practically non-toxic” to mammals, birds, and fish. http://www.sott.net/article/251636-Monsanto-Knew.
A new peer-reviewed report authored by Anthony Samsel, a science consultant, and Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), reveals how glyphosate wrecks human health. It destroys our gut bacteria and contributes to a multiple of chronic diseases including Autism, Gastrointestinal diseases, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Diarrhea, Colitis, Crohn's disease, Obesity, Allergies, Cardiovascular disease, Depression, Cancer, Infertility, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis and more.
In 2009, a French court found Monsanto guilty of lying; falsely advertising its Roundup herbicide as "biodegradable," "environmentally friendly" and claiming it "left the soil clean."
Mounting evidence now tells us just how false such statements are and now it turns out it’s very dangerous to our health even in small amounts.
Sayer Ji of GreenMedInfo points out that according to a new study published in Food and Chemical Toxicology, glyphosate is carcinogenic in the parts per trillion range is estrogenic and drives breast cancer cell proliferation. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23756170
While Monsanto insists that Roundup is as safe to humans as aspirin. Seneff and Samsel’s research tells a different story altogether. Their report, published in the journal Entropy1, argues that glyphosate residues, found in most commonly consumed foods in the Western diet courtesy of GE sugar, corn, soy and wheat, “enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease.”
Interestingly, our gut bacteria are a key component of glyphosate’s mechanism of harm.
Monsanto has steadfastly claimed that Roundup is harmless to animals and humans because the mechanism of action it uses (which allows it to kill weeds), called the shikimate pathway, is absent in all animals.
However, the shikimate pathway is present in bacteria, and that’s the key to understanding how it causes such widespread systemic harm in both humans and animals.
The bacteria in your body out number your cells by 10 to 1. For every cell in your body, you have 10 microbes of various kinds, and all of them have the shikimate pathway, so they will all respond to the presence of glyphosate!
Glyphosate even in small amounts, causes extreme disruption to our good gut bacteria allowing the bad bugs to overgrow and take over. The bad bugs (pathogens) produce toxic by-products which are highly inflammatory and can set off an inflammatory response in the body. Once chronic inflammation sets in, you’re well on your way toward chronic and potentially debilitating disease. Dr. Seneff reviews a variety of chronic diseases, explaining how glyphosate contributes to each condition.
Research reveals that glyphosate inhibits cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, vital in Liver detoxification. One of the functions of CYP enzymes is to detoxify foreign or chemical compounds in the body. Glyphosates are therefore interfering with our detoxification process.
It's important to understand that the glyphosate sprayed on crops actually becomes systemic throughout the plant, so it cannot be washed off. It's inside the plant. Organ damage in animals that have eaten the sprayed crops has occurred at levels as low as 0.1 ppm.
For further reading of the dangers of glyphosate click on these links.
What to do - reduce the toxic burden
- Some people check their toxicity levels by tissue hair mineral analysis (THMA), muscle testing, bio energetic testing, specialised blood, saliva and urine tests or combinations of these. If you were interested in this you would need to speak to a healthcare professional that has experience in this field. It's not essential to have tests if you dont want to, you will still benefit from following the guidelines below.
- Go Organic as much as possible-this means eating only spray free or organic grains, breads, flour, fruit, veges, milk, butter, juices and meat when ever you can.
- Drink good clean, filtered, live, pH balanced water.
- Get some advice about how to Detox - reduce XenoEstrogens, Heavy Metals and general toxins. You can Detox 1 - 3 times per year depending on exposure and symptoms presented.
- If you feel you are exposed to heavy metals, herbicides or other toxins in your occupation then regular Detoxes would help reduce the toxic burden.
- Take good quality health supplements every day like Probiotics, Organic Green Juices /Super Foods, Liver and Gut Support products, Antioxidants and Minerals.
- You’d also be wise to stop using chemical weed killers, insect and spider spay treatments around your home, especially where children and pets can come into contact with them.
- Adopt a NO Spraying policy outside your property.
- Include Sauna, Massage and Exercise as part of your wellness programme.
- You might want to send this post to as many people as you can, including spray-happy neighbours.
I am surprised at how little people know about Detox. Most people think a Detox is just a matter of taking some herbal pills to make you go to the toilet, clean your Liver out and in 2 weeks you're all done and dusted.
Detox must be taylored to suit the individual and done in stages. No one should just go on a Detox without consulting a health professional first. You can contact us for more info on this.
Here is the Detox protocol I use for my customers -
- Check mineral status re-mineralize and energise and address any acute symptoms
- Clean up the diet and add foods that support the detoxification process
- Support, prepare and heal the gut checking for bugs, bacteria and dysbiosis
- Support and prepare the elimination channels like the Liver, Kidneys and Lymphatics
- Reduce toxic load using health supplements specific to the individual.
It’s NOT about living in a box and obsessively avoiding everything or anything that might be toxic. It’s about strengthening our bodies, supporting our elimination channels and keeping our body strong so we can survive this modern, polluted.... but still amazing - world we live in.
You can contact Leah for an individualised Detox Plan either online or come into the store. Fee Applies.
Thanks for reading this I hope it has been insightful, and watch for my next blog post as I will continue the discussion about toxicity in the modern world.
In the mean time all the best, make good choices.