The Top 11 Toxins That You Need To Know About

magnifying glass looking at box o fruit

As previously mentioned, the process of detoxification occurs in order to rid the body of potentially harmful products i.e. toxins. With such high exposure everyday, our bodies can only handle so much before problems start to arise. It is key to be aware of where the toxins are commonly found, how to limit exposure, and how to best support your liver and immune system in order to handle the toxic load. Therefore, today we are going to look at the top 11 environmental compounds that we are commonly exposed to and have a harmful impact on our physiology.

1. Aflatoxins: Aflatoxins are a family of toxins produced by certain fungi that are found on agricultural crops such as corn, peanuts, and tree nuts. The main fungi that produce aflatoxins are from the Aspergillus species which are common in nature and have been shown to contaminate grains before harvest and especially after storage. The main sources of aflatoxin contamination (especially if stored) are grains, rice, cereals, nuts, milk/cheese/dairy products, figs, dried fruit, spices, black pepper, cocoa beans, vegetable oils (olive, corn, etc.), and cosmetics.

2. Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable, strong-smelling chemical that is used in building materials and to produce many household products. Exposure is very high as 50 million pounds are produced annually worldwide and released into the environment at very high levels. Formaldehyde is mainly found in the adhesives in carpets, insulation foam, paints, fabric finishers for crease resistance, disinfectant solutions, embalming solutions, oil-based skin care products, shampoos and hair preparations.

3. Trimellitic and Phthalic Anhydride: Trimellitic and Phthalic Anydride are industrial chemicals used to create plastic material that can be shaped. Main sources include PVC pipes, fiberglass plastics, protective coating resins, tanning agents, perfumes, and insect repellents

4. Isocyanates (polyurethane): Isocyanates are chemical compounds that react to chemicals containing alcohol to produce polyurethane. Isocyanaates containing products include foams (upholstery, mattresses, pillows, shipping foam), insulation (window and door frames, industrial and residential walls, plastic walls of refrigerators, and freezers), seals and gaskets, footwear, carpet underlay, solid plastic parts, boat decks, marine surfaces, and adhesives.

5. Benzene: Benzene is a chemical found in cigarette smoke, gasoline fumes, traffic exhaust, pesticides, and glues. 50% of the U.S. national exposure to benzenes is from cigarette smoke alone!

6. Bisphenol A (BPA): Bisphenol A is a chemical compound used to make plastic products and mostly found in plastic water bottles and containers, coating of beverage cans, and sales receipts. The major concern with BPA is that it’s found in a high amount of items used for storing food and water, which allows BPA to be ingested much easier.

7. Tetrabromobisphenol A: Tetrabromobishpenol A is a brominated fire retardant that is used in electronic equipment and released into the environment from either manufacturing or disposal of electronic equipment. In addition to electronics (production and disposal) other sources are soil contamination, vegetable and plant contamination.

8. Tetrachloroethylene: Tetrachloroethylene is a chemical commonly found in dry cleaning and some fabrics used for clothing and home furnishing. Other sources include degreaser solution, carpet and clothes spot removers, water and soil contamination.

9. Mercury: A common chemical found in amalgams, medical implants, water and soil contamination.

10. Parabens: Parabens are chemicals that are commonly used in cosmetics, shampoos, shower gels, skin moisturizers, and food additives. They are used as a preservative, and also have found to contain bactericidal and fungicidal properties.

11. Mixed Heavy Metals: Mixed heavy metals include a mixture of nickel, cobalt, cadmium, lead, and arsenic. These are found in metal products, medical implants, water and soil contamination.

After reading through the above list I’m sure most of you are experiencing a thought along the lines of,”well sounds like I’m going to have to live in a bubble the rest of my life!” Well we know that isn’t possible, nor is it necessary. So what should you do?

First, decrease toxic exposure. Now that you have and understanding of the most common toxins, where they are being used and stored, you can make more informed decisions about products you buy and what you surround yourself with. This will limit the toxic load being put on the body.

Second, Living Health Integrative Medicine offers comprehensive laboratory testing to measure the load of these toxins. These tests are easy to do and show if there are specific compounds that are high in the body. Once you know which toxic chemicals are high you can eliminate the source of the toxins and then come up with a plan to detoxify the body.

For more on laboratory testing read: 6 Essential Functional Medicine Laboratory Tests That Your Doctor Should Be Running, But Is Probably Not. 

Third, support the detoxifying process and your immune system. This is why we created the “Living Health 21 Day Paleo Detox,” which is comprehensive, science-based nutritional program that is effective, convenient, and supplies all of the nutritional support necessary for detoxification.

In addition, regular supplementation with glutathione, the bodies major antioxidant has shown to be extremely beneficial. Also, supporting the immune system with anti-inflammatory substances such as tumeric, resveratrol, vitamin D, vitamin C, and omega 3 fatty acids is beneficial.

If you are ready for more energy, improved sleep, better focus, higher performance and weight loss then start detoxing your life and your body today.