Toxic time bomb hidden in your sofa

Living your days and nights as a couch potato can ruin your health. But aside from a lack of exercise, there’s another health danger lurking in your future when you stretch out on the sofa.

It resides in the flame retardant chemicals that are incorporated into the upholstery of your furniture.

Research at the University of New Hampshire shows that your exposure to compounds in the flame retardants added to couches, electronics and carpet padding can lead to liver and metabolic issues that cause insulin resistance. Insulin resistance, which complicates how your body copes with blood sugar, is a significant cause of weight gain and obesity.

“Being obese or overweight increases one’s risk of many diseases including Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, gall bladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, and certain cancers,” says researcher Gale Carey.

Lab tests demonstrate that flame retardants called polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) disrupt metabolism and increase the risk of an enlarged liver and metabolic malfunctions.

“Despite the plethora of resources devoted to understanding the roles of diet and exercise in the obesity epidemic, this epidemic continues to escalate, suggesting that other environmental factors may be involved,” says Carey.  “At the biochemical level, there is a growing body of experimental evidence suggesting certain environmental chemicals, or ‘obesogens’, could disrupt the body’s metabolism and contribute to the obesity epidemic.”

The New Hampshire study shows how flame retardants make fat cells less responsive to insulin. That drop in responsiveness creates blood sugar problems that are linked to diabetes and weight gain.

The researchers also believe that PBDE may hamper the function of a liver enzyme that plays a part in processing sugar and fat. This increases the levels of fat in the blood and also adds to insulin resistance that may increase the chances of obesity.

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A simple solution

An easy and quick way to boost your body’s natural elimination of these types of chemicals and toxicants is something I learned from Dr. Michael Cutler. He talks about it in his excellent book “Doctors’ Inside Secrets for Natural Cleansing and Detoxification.” (Click here to claim your FREE copy!”)

It’s called “dry brushing.” All you have to do is gently and thoroughly dry brush your entire body (except the face) before bathing, three times a week. Brush gently over the skin only in the direction of lymph flow, toward the heart.

When you do this, you improve the function, the health and even the look of your skin, the body’s largest and most powerful organ of toxin elimination. Plus, dry brushing also stimulates blood circulation back to your heart and boosts your other toxin elimination pathway, your lymphatic system.

Dr. Cutler recommends you use a long-handled bath type brush, containing natural vegetable bristles, and that you avoid synthetic bristles. Also, keep the brush dry and don’t use it for bathing.

Carl Lowe

By Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.