The Secret of Toxin Exposure

In today’s world we are exposed to a growing number of chemicals from the air we breathe to the food we eat, the water we drink and the personal care products we use. Our bodies are bombarded with a plethora of chemicals, pollutants and heavy metals on a daily basis.

This begs the question how do these toxins affect our health, especially that of our cardiovascular system, and what can we do to minimize exposure to them?

According to a (1) report published in the British Medical Journal the more pollution in the air the more cardiovascular events occurred. In fact, a major Harvard study conducted in 2017 found that air pollution kills thousands of people in the United States each year, even at pollution levels currently allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

However, air pollution is not the only cause for concern as Cardiologist Jack Wolfosn explains in his book The Paleo Cardiologist

There is also evidence pesticide exposure causes respiratory problems, particularly asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematous and rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and ageing. At the most basic level, pesticides as well as other chemicals, affect the way cells function. They cause genetic damage and interfere with hormones, and damage the energy production of the mitochondria”

When we ingest or breathe in chemicals that result in damaged genes, our bodies become a sitting target for disease to creep in. This is highlighted by recent research (3) conducted on Hispanic and Latino workers who had been exposed to pesticides  which found they were twice as likely to have cardiovascular disease ( CVD) than those who hadn’t been exposed. 

Cardiologist Dr. Michael Galchi explains  why CVD is more likely to occur in people exposed to pesticides,  “pesticides cause the body to develop inflammation and oxidative stress, which are known to be risk factors for CVD”.

These risk factors can also be caused by  toxins such as heavy metals. In a study titled “Environmental toxic metal contaminants and risk of cardiovascular disease: systematic review and meta-analysis”(2)  researcher, Rajiv Chowdhury found exposure to arsenic, lead, cadmium, and copper is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease. 

Another reason heavy metals may increase the risk for CVD is that studies suggest that certain metals can elevate blood pressure as well as prevent your body from absorbing certain nutrients as efficiently. Both lead and arsenic are believed to interfere with nitric oxide which plays a crucial role in blood vessel dilation. When this is depleted or the body is unable to use it, maintaining  a healthy blood pressure becomes challenging.

A healthy blood pressure, along with key factors such as; reducing oxidative stress and chronic inflammation, are essential for a robust cardiovascular. One of the ways to improve both our overall health and that of our cardiovascular system is to avoid toxin exposure.

So what are some of the best ways to do this:

Firstly assess all areas of your home for possible toxins, some of the top culprits are:  

  • New furniture (often has been made with toxic chemicals on the fabric, be sure to allow them to off gas before bringing them inside or buy toxin free furniture, or second hand furniture)
  • Cleaning products, use plant based ones instead
  • Your water, use a quality water filter that removes chemicals from your drinking and bathing water.
  • If needed purchase an indoor air filter and avoid outdoor air pollution as much as possible
  • If painting use toxin free ones
  • Use natural wooden flooring rather than carpets or laminate flooring

Assess toxins you may be ingesting from foods and packaging:

  • Avoid foods and drinks packaged in plastic
  • Avoid foods and drinks packaged in tins
  • Buy organic food or spray free produce wherever possible 
  • Never use teflon or aluminum coated frying pans or pots

Assess other toxin exposure: 

  • Avoid personal care products that contain any chemicals 
  • Buy clothing that is organic cotton/ bamboo or hemp, or buy second hand clothing that has already been washed multiple times.
  • Avoid exercising by busy roads or industrial areas.
  • When at work, be aware of any toxin exposure you may have and talk to your employer about ways to avoid it.

 

As the saying goes “The preservation of health is easier than the cure of a disease” so minimising your exposure to toxins will certainly help to keep you healthy.

However if you believe you have heavy metal poisoning or have had excessive exposure to pesticides, or chemicals you may want to consult a detoxification specialist who can assist you in the best ways to remove these toxins from your body.

 

  1. https://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.f7412
  2. https://www.bmj.com/content/362/bmj.k3310
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/pesticide-associated-with-heart-attack-risk

 

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