What are toxins and what does “Detox” really mean?
By Melanie DesChatelets, BSc(h), ND • March 27th, 2011 • 13522 Views
Many diets have classified themselves as ‘detox’ diets. Such big differences between these ‘detox’ diets have lead to a phenomenon where the word ‘detox’ has practically lost its identity and has been associated with both positive and negative experience based on individual methods used. What many do not realize is that there is actually a great potential for harm when an unsafe protocol is followed.
Our bodies have an innate ability to detoxify some of the toxins we interact with. So why are we so toxic? Our exposure to various chemicals has been growing at an exponential rate and have become ubiquitous in our daily living. Several studies by The Environmental Group has identified a total of 167 chemicals in the blood and urine of the average individual. Some chemicals with preliminary evidence to support carcinogenic (cancer promoting) and neurotoxic (damage to the nervous system) potential in the body.
Part I- What are toxins?
This article will be the first of several in a series on detoxification. For the purpose of these articles, toxins will be defined as the cumulative affect of three elements: internal toxins, external toxins and toxic behaviours that negatively influence our detoxification system.
• Environmental pollutants
• Silver/mercury dental amalgams
• Mercury contained in fish
• Lead contained in old paints, blinds and canned goods
• Aluminum contained in antiperspirant, deodorant, antacids
• Constant mold exposure from improperly controlled rooms (basements, bathrooms, etc.),
• Occupational exposure (Higher risk: miners, pottery artist, mechanics, pesticide exposure)
• Poor air quality and sick building syndrome
• Contaminated water, food
• Inhalant smoke
• Chemicals found in personal care products, household cleaners
• Bisphenol A found in soft plastics
• UV radiation
• Chronic infections (chronic sinusitis, dysbiosis of the intestinal track)
• Allergic reactions (immediate and delayed sensitivities)
• Most common delayed type sensitivity (gluten, dairy, egg, corn)
• Liver enzymes dys-balance
• Long term use of tylenol is one of the leading causes of liver failure and prevents liver detoxification
• Proton pump inhibitors (acid blockers) lead to subpar digestion and absorption of vitamins
• Dietary: Intake of trans fat, high fructose corn syrup, processed foods, refined flours
• Excessive stress
Part II- Understanding the Basics: Our major detoxification organs
The liver, the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract via the gall bladder are the major detoxification organs. That’s right! You heard me, we have an innate ability to detox every single day without even thinking the word ‘detox diet’.
The liver is a crucial aspect of biotransformation of...
Nutrition, Yoga, detox, health, cleansing
Location: Vancouver, CA
Mélanie DesChâtelets, BSc(h), ND, is a licensed Naturopathic Physician committed to recognizing and attending to the fundamental antecedents of illness. Using the synergistic power of groundbreaking scientificevidence and long standing historical evidence in natural medicine, Mélanie strives to empower individuals to...