In the US alone, more than 60,000 different chemicals are used in industry, agriculture and household products, none of which require real safety testing. These include flame retardants, pesticides and hydrocarbons and many other everyday pollutants. This list does not even include the chemical compounds which are byproducts of industrial processes.
Despite their widespread use and assumed safety, independent research demonstrates that these chemicals pose real harm, particularly to vulnerable populations such as pregnant women, babies and children.
Numerous common chemicals are inked to some of our most serious health conditions, including cancer, diabetes, neurodevelopmental disorders, and more. Some of them are…
- Phthalates, found in plastics
- Organophosphate (OP) pesticides
- Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) flame retardants, found in furniture, electronics, household dust
- Combustion-related air pollutants
- Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
- many others…
If we want to support health against this constant barrage of harmful chemicals and pollutants, we need strategies to safely remove toxins and heavy metals from our bodies, and prevent their re-accumulation.
New study shows specific diet sheds toxins
For years, integrative health practitioners have touted the benefits of a caloric-restriction diet to support health and promote long-term wellness. This type of diet emphasizes reduced caloric intake, a focus on nutrient-dense foods and intermittent fasting, and is shown to enhance a number of markers in the body related to health and longevity.
However, some critics worried that a drastic reduction in calories would promote rapid fat loss, leading to increased toxins being released into the circulation as toxin-storing fat cells dissolve.
But a 2017 study out of Skidmore College showed that a calorie-restricting, “protein-pacing diet” was capable of helping the body not only shed pounds, but also remove toxic compounds in the form of PCBs.
In addition, this type of diet decreased oxidative stress and enhanced heart health.
The diet focused on 4-6 meals a day that included 20-25g of protein with each meal, as well as intermittent fasting. These results are encouraging, demonstrating that the benefits of caloric restriction extend to effective detoxification of harmful compounds.
Improving our natural detox functions
In addition to specific detox diets, there are a number of botanicals that support detoxification, including modified citrus pectin (MCP) and sodium alginates. These are gentle agents that support the body’s ability to remove toxic metals such as lead, mercury and arsenic, as well as environmental toxins such as certain pesticides. This combination has been clinically shown to safely remove toxic metals without affecting essential minerals as so many other detox agents do.
In my practice, detoxification is a starting point in the treatment of numerous chronic illnesses, including cancer, Lyme disease, heart disease, autoimmune disease and many others. Gently removing toxins from the circulation and digestion first is a key strategy. It allows us to then move to a deeper detox of organs and tissues, without overloading the system, an approach that is also important for healthy people undergoing a serious detox. For the first phase, I use the MCP and alginate formula which works synergistically to bind to and remove toxins and heavy metals from the digestive tract and the circulatory system, and prevent their reabsorption. Unlike harsh chelation agents, these botanicals reduce toxic load without side effects.
For deeper detoxification, I use a phase 2 detox formula that contains botanicals such as milk thistle seed extract, dandelion leaf, cilantro and others to support the organs of elimination including liver, kidneys and skin. This targeted formula also helps to enhance the body’s natural detox mechanisms, including methylation, and promotes powerful antioxidant activity to help neutralize free radicals generated by toxic body burden.
Don’t forget the basics
Of course, an organic diet emphasizing whole, unprocessed foods, lots of green vegetables, and plenty of filtered water and herbal teas also provides critical detox support and supplies important phytonutrients to protect the body’s vital systems. Regular exercise is another key detox modality that most of us overlook with our busy schedules. A 20 minute walk everyday can do wonders for your health.
Today, environmental toxicity has become widespread problem that requires an urgent solution. As research continues, we can expect an increase in innovative methods that support the body’s abilities to eliminate toxins, safely and naturally.
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