I hope you've enjoyed listening to my conversation with Dr. Crinnion in the last few weeks. Here's some more information on our toxic condition, and a link to Dr. Crinnion's new book, where he discusses dietary and lifestyle steps to take to begin reducing exposure and increasing clearance of toxins from the body.
"If I have cancer, it must be from pesticides!" I have heard this statement countless times from patients and acquaintances because this association is somehow imbedded into our brains (and not without good reason). The fact of the matter is that we all have pesticides in us — yep even you!
How Chlorinated Pesticides Affect Health
We begin life in our mother’s womb being fed by her bloodstream that not only delivers to us nutrients, but also toxic chemicals — including pesticides. In a recent study by the Environmental Working Group on the pollution in newborns, it was discovered that each newborn was being delivered an average of 200 toxic chemicals along with necessary nutrients in mom’s blood. These 200 toxic chemicals included an average of 21 chlorinated pesticides like DDT. This is really astounding, since these pesticides have been banned for use in this country since the 1980s, and this study was conducted on newborns whose birth occurred in the new millennium!
Chlorinated pesticides are fat-soluble, meaning that they do not dissolve in water, only in fat. As such the body treats them like a fat when they try to leave the body — it sucks them back in. Your body does this in order to prevent valuable fats (that historically took a LOT of energy to attain) from leaving the body. The body just cannot differentiate between a good fat, like fish oil, and a bad fat like DDT. And, since DDT and these other fat-soluble toxins cannot be burned for fuel as regular fats can, they just hang around and accumulate in the body.
While many of these toxins have been associated with several different cancers, they actually cause a whole host of health problems and may be an underlying factor in many of the chronic illnesses that make our lives less than fun. They are associated with neurologic problems that range from reduced cognition to mood disorders and such diseases as Parkinsonism. They also cause immune damage and can lead to an inability to fight off infections, a propensity to allergies, and the development of autoimmunity. They can also cause hormonal disorders and have effects on our children’s health and development.
What You Can Do
Fortunately you do not need to stay in a state of wonder, wondering about whether or not you have a load of these health-defeating compounds in your body. Tests are available to discover if the most common chlorinated pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), solvents and other compounds are present in your body. And more importantly, wonderful methods are available to help you actually usher these toxic compounds out of your body. In my book Clean, Green and Lean I outline the easy dietary and lifestyle steps to take to begin reducing exposure and increasing clearance of these things from the body. You can view the book online at either Barnes and Nobel or amazon.com.
Walter J. Crinnion, ND, received his Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from the University of San Francisco in 1975. He received his degree in Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University, where he was a member of the first graduating class, and Dr. Crinnion is now considered one of the leading experts on environmental medicine and toxicology. After graduating, Dr. Crinnion spent 20 years practicing in Seattle, helping treat patients with chronic conditions through diet and nutrition. Dr. Crinnion discovered that most of the chronic health complaints he treated were rooted in toxicity, and began to expand his practice to include environmental medicine. After 20 years of practice, Dr. Crinnion felt led to teach other practitioners about toxicity and health. Today, he is the Chair of the Department of Environmental Medicine at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona.