Have you ever wondered where your perfume goes when it wears off? Or where your lipstick ends up when it’s time to reapply it again? Some of our man-made products eventually break down completely, but many can be found everywhere in the world – from the polar ice caps to the bottom of the oceans. And they have been accumulating in the food chain worldwide. Chemical products from cosmetics are now found in seafood. Pollutants exist in all animals, all the way up the food chain to the species at the top of the food chain. That’s us.
We humans live in urban environments, inhaling outdoor and indoor pollution. We eat foods contaminated with chemical products, like pesticides and plastics. We even add more chemicals to foods on purpose, such as colours, flavours, and preservatives. Then we continue to smear more chemical products on our bodies because we think that it makes us look and smell better.
How do we get those chemicals out?
The average human contains 200 man-made chemicals, accumulating from before birth. Our chronic repeated chemical exposures over a lifetime are causing changes in gene function in newborns and predisposing us all to develop chronic medical conditions and diseases. Then we increase the odds during our lifetime from our continued exposures. Various healthcare practitioners recommend detoxification in order to reduce the chemical accumulated and improve health. Health food shops and internet stores offer many choices for detoxification treatments. But, as I said in my last post, there’s really no hard scientific evidence to back up the claims that they work. As long as we’re breathing and eating, we’re not ever going to be totally chemical free. All we can do is continually try to reduce and avoid exposures.
Here’s what we know about detoxification. The scientific evidence we have proving that we can actually reduce the chemicals inside us is limited, and comes from studying the effects of sweating from exercise and sauna. We do know that a lifestyle which emphasizes behaviors that support our natural detoxification systems provides benefit, especially a reduction of the negative changes in our bodies that result from long-term chemical pollution exposures. For example, maintaining diets providing foods high in antioxidants can support the natural systems for detoxification that exist inside every cell in your body. Those are the diets that emphasize fruits and vegetables, such as vegan/vegetarian, Mediterranean or Paleo. These same diets reduce the chances of developing many chronic conditions, like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity and neurodegerative disorders.
If only I could write a prescription for …
Who would not want to reduce their likelihood for developing a chronic disease? Especially because if you already have one, you’re more likely to develop more of them. In fact, 45% of patients with a chronic disease have more than one, and the percent goes up as we age.
We’re being told that life expectancy is going up. Those of us who are aware of the relationship between toxic exposures, chronic disease and life expectancy think that it’s going to go down. Common chronic diseases increase mortality rates – but what’s the good in living longer anyway, if all we have to look forward to is years of suffering through pain and very low energy? If only I could write a prescription for that magic bullet which could detoxify the body no matter what we put into it! Sadly, such a thing doesn’t exist. To have a better body to live in requires living an environmentally healthy lifestyle.
To break old habits and establish new routines doesn’t require much of a financial investment, just a change in purchasing habits, and devoting some time. Commit to a better lifestyle now – it’s a worthwhile investment in your future.