The act of cleansing the body is an ancient practice sewn throughout the fabric of cultures around the world. A portion of these practices serve to further facilitate our innate detoxification pathways and what better time to discuss than with the onset of spring…the time of year most commonly associated with a top-to-bottom scrub down.
Major news flash:
Toxins are ubiquitous within our environment…
THEY’RE EVERYWHERE! Unless you're willing to live in a bubble, which by the way may also be toxic, exposure is inevitable, and our bodies are bound to need some sprucing up along the way. From the simple act of pumping gas to ingestion of pesticide-laden foods to moisturizing with paraben-loaded skin care products to wearing dry-cleaned clothing to living in a newly constructed home, the toxic trail is one frequently traversed.
The question is not simply, “are you toxic” but rather “how toxic are you?” Luckily, we have built-in mechanisms to break down these nasty little chemicals so that elimination from the body may occur. However, toxins and other chemicals can greatly interfere with our methylation pathways and inhibit the production of cysteine, glutathione, and metalothionine, all of which assist in removal of incendiary substances. Many factors further affect how well our body’s detox pathways perform. The type of diet we’re consuming, whether or not emunctories are passable, supply of nutrient cofactors, and further exposure are a few instigators in this growing problem.
Speaking of growing, the field of environmental medicine is quickly gaining ground and has grown exponentially within the past few years. Increased interest in this field has been a tremendous conversation catalyst regarding the effects of bioaccumulation and total toxic burden. Studies are just beginning to determine how toxins may be synergistically calamitous to our health. (Dr. Walter Crinnion discusses this in detail in his new book Clean, Green & Lean. Definitely check it out!)
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) launched the National Human Adipose Tissue Survey (NHATS) with the objective to analyze and quantify the chemicals stored within adipose tissue of the population at large. (Just so happens that our fat cells double as the perfect, micro-sized storage unit for these yucky toxins.) This annual study has yielded some pretty ALARMING results since its inception in 1976. The majority of the population has some type of chemical burden, with a handful of chemicals including styrene and xylene for example, actually being found in 100% of the population.
Let’s say that together, ONE HUNDRED PERCENT!
Another handful of chemicals, including benzene, toluene, and DDE, were found in 91% to 98% of the population. Yikes! No need to despair however, added stress won’t help us here… remember, exposure is inevitable. What we can do about the problem is continue working to better understand these pesky little pariahs, recognize the warning signs proving that they are indeed negatively affecting our health and in turn, learn how to outsmart them and properly rid them from the body.
Symptoms related to toxic burden include but are not limited to:
- Neural dysfunction, depression, poor memory and mental clarity, tremors
- Allergies, chemical sensitivities
- Bone marrow disorders
- Autoimmune conditions
Do you currently suffer from any of these symptoms? Are you in need of a good cleansing? Is your environment equally in need of tidying up? The ability to analyze the efficiency of our innate detoxification systems and to quantify our individual toxic burdens through functional medicine lab testing serves as a valuable clinical tool. Testing options include the Nutrient & Toxic Elements, Toxic Metals, Chlorinated Pesticides, PCBs, Volatile Solvents, Phthalates & Parabens, and the Organix Profiles. Please visit www.metametrix.com for further info!
Happy cleansing! ~ Dr. Marynowski
- Environmental Protection Agency. National Human Adipose Tissue Survey. Annual Survey.
- Noren, K., Weistrand, C., Karpe, F., Distribution of PCB Congeners, DDE, Hexachlorobenzene, and Methylsulfonyl Metabolites of PCB and DDE Among Various Fractions of Human Blood Plasma. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, Vol. 37, 1999.
- Crinnion, Walter. Environmental Medicine, Part 1: The Human Burden of Environmental Toxins and Their Common Health Effects. Alt Med Review, Vol 5, 2000.
- Crinnion, Walter. Clean, Green & Lean. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Hoboken, NJ 2010.