Toxins: The Invisible Enemy That May Be Destroying Your Health
By: Michael Rosenbaum, MD
Ghosts can be very scary . . .
You can’t see them. They can pop up from out of nowhere . . . and disappear into the mist and fog as quickly as they came.
As children (and as adults, too) many of us are afraid of what may be lurking under the bed or creeping around in the dark outside . . .
Our imaginations run wild with terrible phantoms that are just waiting to grab us and drag us into some haunted woods . . .
Fear of what we can’t see is as old as the hills.
But while you may or may not believe these creatures exist outside of a good night of terrifying storytelling . . . there’s another unseen danger – an undeniably real one – that we all should be wary of . . .
And this invisible threat could be destroying your health.
What is this threat? It’s what I call a “toxic load.”
I first discovered how serious this toxic problem was in the early 1980’s. I was working with patients, helping them to balance blood sugar levels. They were receiving nutritional supplements, but still that wasn’t enough.
Something else was keeping them run-down and sick.
That something else turned out to be environmental toxins. Toxins had snuck into their bodies and were wreaking havoc.
Toxins, Toxins, Everywhere . . .
These same toxins continue to show their ghoulish faces when I work with my patients today. Everywhere you turn, there are toxins:
· There are 80,000 chemicals registered in the United States, and an estimated 2000 are added every year.
· In a recent American Red Cross sample study of babies' umbilical cords, they found that each one had an average of 287 contaminants, 180 of which were known carcinogens.
It's impossible to avoid exposure to these environmental pollutants. They can enter your body through your lungs, through the food you eat, and even through your skin.
Once they’ve infiltrated one cell or group of cells, toxins can then spread through your bloodstream.
Your body has a built-in mechanism for eliminating toxins. But in many cases, your body can’t keep up with the amount it’s exposed to. And with some toxins, your body simply hangs on to them, even mistaking them for other nutrients.
They build up and are stored in your body until they become a dangerous “toxic load.” For example, DDT, a dangerous pesticide now banned in the U.S., can stay in your body for over 30 years!
Once that “load” reaches a certain point, it can cripple your body, making it impossible for your body to perform the way it should.
Chances are slim that your doctor will tell you toxins may be a root cause of your health problems. He or she probably knows very little about how toxins affect your body. I didn't learn much about this in medical school.
But you'll know better after looking through this list. Just consider these 4 “toxic loads”:
TOXIC LOAD #1: Powerful Chemical Toxins Can Damage Your Cells And Undermine Your Body’s Natural Defense System
Toxic chemicals are everywhere and attack your health in multiple ways . . .
Pesticides in foods have been linked to breast cancer. Chemically-laden paints and solvents can damage your central nervous system, your liver, even your heart. Insecticides in the air, ground and water can damage your cells and penetrate your nervous system.
But that’s not all . . . Chemicals in hair dyes, deodorants and other personal care products can break down your cell walls and interfere with your hormones. Paints and solvents can damage your central nervous system by penetrating the fatty myelin nerve sheaths. And corrosives from air-conditioning units can cause asthma and bronchitis.
I’ve seen many cases where people have chemical sensitivity. This means they develop serious autoimmune disorders from chemicals picked up through the air, in foods, or in cosmetics.
How do these chemicals cause these kinds of problems?
· Toxic chemicals can damage your cells. For example, asbestos can make your cells look like a porcupine under the microscope.
· They can interfere with complex biochemical processes that keep your body going. An example of this is the way the common toxin bisphenol A (BPA), found in many plastics, interferes with proper hormonal functioning.
· Chemicals can substitute for important nutrients. Like how chlorine can substitute for iodine, thus interfering with proper thyroid gland functioning.
· They can adversely affect your body’s cleansing filters, like your liver, kidneys, lungs and lymph nodes.
While complex chemicals can cause damage, simple metals also do harm . . .
TOXIC LOAD #2: Toxic Heavy Metals Can Drag Down And Beat Up Your Body
Shockingly, metal toxicity from mercury, nickel, lead, cadmium, copper, aluminum and arsenic may be linked to numerous health problems such as arthritis, ulcers, allergies, fatigue, immune suppression and headaches.
How much toxic heavy metal could we have lurking around in our bodies?
Claire Patterson, Ph.D., the highly-esteemed geologist at Cal Tech in Pasadena, CA says the average human now has a body burden of lead that’s about 1000 times greater than people who lived 500 years ago.
Mercury is the main component in common “silver” dental fillings. According to Edward Arana, DDS, Founding President of the American Academy of Biological Dentistry, “Dental amalgam fillings can release mercury, tin, copper, silver and sometimes zinc into the body.”
Nickel, which can be traced to root canals, cosmetics, cigarette smoke and even margarine, can block calcium channels in the heart. This lowers magnesium levels and leads to heart arrhythmias.
Our primary exposure to cadmium comes through tobacco or through our food supply. Cadmium not only increases the toxicity of other toxic metals, it also increases the toxicity of many immune-suppressing chemicals. Cadmium is considered the most potent immune modulator among heavy metals and is capable of causing several autoimmune disorders.
Metals do their damage in many ways:
· Metals can “fight for site” like when toxic ionic mercury takes the place of necessary zinc or iron in your body;
· They can cause genetic damage such as nickel adversely affecting your RNA and causing improper cell duplication and mutations;
· Heavy metals like mercury unleash free radicals. Mercury binds up and destroys antioxidants, allowing free radicals to move freely throughout your body; And
· Toxic metals can cause allergies. Metals bind with the protein in your body’s tissue to make you susceptible to autoimmune disease.
Heavy metals can wear your body down. But some toxins float in on the air you breathe . . .
TOXIC LOAD #3: Threats To Your Health Can Be As Light As Air
Living in Marin County, California, north of San Francisco, I usually enjoy clear blue skies. But my years of research tell me that there’s an invisible danger, even in the air here.
For example, our air—both indoors and outdoors—is laden with dangerous ozone, carbon monoxide, pesticides, aerosols, hydrogen fluoride, sulfur oxides and more.
Air pollution can cause lung irritation . . . burning eyes . . . throat and nose sores . . . asthma and chronic bronchitis . . . and even increased susceptibility to cancer.
According to the World Health Organization, worldwide 2 million deaths are linked to air pollution each year.
Indoor air can be worse than the air outdoors. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air contains on average 2-5 times more contaminants than outdoor air.
How does the air indoors become so toxic?
· Formaldehyde from insulation, plywood, carpet and fabric outgasses into the air;
· Aerosol spray products such as cleansers, paints and deodorants linger around;
· Microbes and mold spores found in air filters, air ducts and vacuum cleaner exhaust spread and multiply;
· Cooking gas and carbon monoxide from furnaces and water heaters seep out with poor maintenance and bad ventilation.
All of these contribute to indoor pollution.
Shockingly, many common cleaning products and their vapors can also be deadly. A 15-year study in Oregon showed that women who stayed at home during the day had a 54% higher cancer death rate than women who worked outside the home. The study suggests that chemicals in the household might be a causative factor.
So you’re not safe – indoors or out. But get this, you’re even in danger when you go to the doctor’s office . . .
Reduce Your Exposure And Help Your Body Clean Out
As you’re seeing, toxins have stolen into so many areas of our daily lives. They hide in our bodies and jump out at us with frightful symptoms and sickness.
But this shouldn’t make you paranoid about eating, breathing or bathing. You can’t completely prevent your exposure to toxins.
Fortunately, our bodies are built to get rid of toxins as a natural course of events. The key is to make the amount of this bad stuff it has to process manageable. By making healthier, greener shifts in your lifestyle, you can lighten the burden on your body. Your body can then effectively isolate the toxins and use its own natural detox processes to get rid of them.
About Michael Rosenbaum, MD
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