Detoxification – Why Bother?

Wednesday, 01 July 2009 by | Comments: 2
Reading Time: 2 minutes

untitledWhy should we worry about toxins unless we work with toxic chemicals or spray pesticides for a living? Isn’t exposure minimal?

Unfortunately, risks of exposure are substantial, pose significant public health risks, and can no longer be ignored. We live in a sea of toxins.

Every single person and animal on the planet contains residues of toxic chemicals or metals in their tissues. Eighty thousand new chemicals have been introduced since the turn of the 20th century and most have never been tested for safety or for synergistic actions. The Centers for Disease Control issued a report on human exposure to environmental chemicals. They assessed human blood or urine levels for 116 chemicals (and there were thousands more for which tests were not conducted) as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.1 While they found high levels of toxins in some, and low levels in many more, the study, in isolation, may not tell the whole story. Why? Because these chemical toxins move quickly from the blood into storage sites-mostly fat tissue, organs, and bones-so the blood or urine levels underestimate the total toxic load. Both weight gain (because of stored toxins) and the total toxic load can frustrate attempts at weight loss by impairing two key metabolic organs-the liver and the thyroid, by damaging the mitochondria- the site of energy metabolism, by affecting neuroendocrine signaling, and by increasing inflammation and oxidative stress.