Nutrition and detoxification.

October 1, 2020

Over the last century, massive leaps in industrial progress have streamlined just about everything we do; insecticides have allowed us to control vector-borne diseases; synthetic plastics and chemicals have revolutionized nearly every industry; breakthroughs in pharmaceutical science have completely changed the way we treat disease; and GMOs create hardier crops and increase harvest sizes. We have the power to exert control over nature in a way that’s never been seen before, and this power has led to breakthroughs in areas like disease control, sanitation, and world hunger; however, the momentary use of these revolutionary new strategies has done untold, long-term damage to our environment and dramatically altered the natural ecological balance of our world.

Modern industrial techniques touch every core aspect of human life: the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, the clothes we wear, the products we use--it’s impossible to avoid them. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inventory contains over 84,000 chemical substances, not including those in food, food additives, drugs, cosmetics, tobacco, or pesticide, It’s unclear just how many of these chemicals are in commercial use, but we do know an estimated 96 percent of our manufactured materials and products contain chemicals and our planet--even the most remote, uninhabited places--is absolutely filled with them. Beyond their presence in the air and water supply, these chemicals end up directly in the food supply through and herbicide laden GMOs and the build up of toxins in the food chain, known as bioaccumulation. As such, all people carry a “body burden” of synthetic chemicals.

Most of these chemicals are completely non-toxic to humans, but their persistent quality keeps them from breaking down--so they clog up our bodies and overload our systems. Others are known to be toxic to humans, yet they’re found in things like cosmetics, sunscreen, and even our food. The most notorious example of this is the over 1 million metric tons of glyphosate used on crops annually. GMOs are in as much as 80 percent of conventional processed food, which on its own might not be a threat to human health if the herbicide Glyphosate, a known human toxin, wasn’t coating many of the crops that make up these foods. Glyphosate is known to compromise the body’s detoxification processes, affect brain health, and deplete and impair the synthesis of important building blocks for the body’s chemical messengers. It has been implicated in the development of several diseases, including celiac disease and kidney dysfunction, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s Disease, infertility, depression, and cancer. It’s even linked to the obesity and Autism epidemics in the U.S.

Environmental--exogenous--toxins aren’t the only peril of our modern world; the body naturally creates endogenous toxins--internally produced toxins--during the digestion process for certain types of foods. The Western diet is high in saturated fat, salt, refined sugars, additives, and preservatives which contributes to the production of endogenous toxins when broken down by the flora in the gut microbiome. This diet also starves health promoting microorganisms in the gut and favors those that create dysbiosis, inflammation, auto-immunity, and disease. 

The gut lining is incredibly delicate--only one cell thick--and it is the first line of defense between ingested exogenous toxins, endogenous toxins, and the bloodstream. When the gut lining is weakened by a damaging diet, it makes it that much easier for these toxins to seep into the bloodstream and wreak havoc on the entire body. Therefore, dietary choices can either support or thwart microbial health and the body’s natural detoxification processes. It’s thought that this leaking of toxins into the bloodstream, also known as leaky gut, is largely responsible for the link between the Western diet and diseases like obesity, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and autoimmune diseases.

Strengthening the gut’s delicate lining by supporting a healthy microbiome is one of the most effective ways to protect the body from the effects of toxins. Nutrition is an excellent place to start; just as certain dietary choices can damage the gut lining and increase exposure to toxins, good nutrition and avoiding certain foods and exposures can support a healthy gut microbiome. Working with a nutritionist to start a whole food supplement regimen will ensure that your gut is getting the nutrients it needs to support the health of the entire body--nutrients that it’s nearly impossible to get from our available food sources alone. Avoiding foods high in fat, sugar, and salt, as is characteristic of the Western diet, will limit the production of endogenous toxins and promote balance in the microbiome. Finally, avoiding foods known to be high in chemicals like foods containing GMOs and those high in preservatives and additives will limit exposure to exogenous toxins.

There are also dietary choices that can specifically support the body’s natural detoxification processes, but be wary of fad detox diets and cleanses; evidence suggests the weight loss results of these diets may come from the momentarily limited caloric intake, not the promised detoxification effects of the diet. In fact, people who use these diets tend to gain weight after resuming a normal diet. 

In lieu of these ineffective detox diets, try eating more of some of the foods and spices researchers have identified that positively impact detoxification systems, including cruciferous vegetables,   berries, soy, garlic, and turmeric. There are also certain nutritionist developed and scientifically supported detoxification diets that target the three phases of detoxification to promote health. They contain nutrients that activate and support phase I and phase II enzymes that transform toxins into water-soluble, non-toxic molecules as well as nutrients from plant-based fibers that aid in phase III elimination. Nutrition is an incredibly powerful tool in protecting and supporting the body in the face of the disease promoting toxins that permeate our world.

Want to start using some of these strategies to protect yourself from the effects of toxins? Make an appointment with Dr. Reid, and he’ll customize a supplement and dietary regimen that’s right for you.


References

Nutrition and detoxification.

October 1, 2020

Over the last century, massive leaps in industrial progress have streamlined just about everything we do; insecticides have allowed us to control vector-borne diseases; synthetic plastics and chemicals have revolutionized nearly every industry; breakthroughs in pharmaceutical science have completely changed the way we treat disease; and GMOs create hardier crops and increase harvest sizes. We have the power to exert control over nature in a way that’s never been seen before, and this power has led to breakthroughs in areas like disease control, sanitation, and world hunger; however, the momentary use of these revolutionary new strategies has done untold, long-term damage to our environment and dramatically altered the natural ecological balance of our world.

Modern industrial techniques touch every core aspect of human life: the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, the clothes we wear, the products we use--it’s impossible to avoid them. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inventory contains over 84,000 chemical substances, not including those in food, food additives, drugs, cosmetics, tobacco, or pesticide, It’s unclear just how many of these chemicals are in commercial use, but we do know an estimated 96 percent of our manufactured materials and products contain chemicals and our planet--even the most remote, uninhabited places--is absolutely filled with them. Beyond their presence in the air and water supply, these chemicals end up directly in the food supply through and herbicide laden GMOs and the build up of toxins in the food chain, known as bioaccumulation. As such, all people carry a “body burden” of synthetic chemicals.

Most of these chemicals are completely non-toxic to humans, but their persistent quality keeps them from breaking down--so they clog up our bodies and overload our systems. Others are known to be toxic to humans, yet they’re found in things like cosmetics, sunscreen, and even our food. The most notorious example of this is the over 1 million metric tons of glyphosate used on crops annually. GMOs are in as much as 80 percent of conventional processed food, which on its own might not be a threat to human health if the herbicide Glyphosate, a known human toxin, wasn’t coating many of the crops that make up these foods. Glyphosate is known to compromise the body’s detoxification processes, affect brain health, and deplete and impair the synthesis of important building blocks for the body’s chemical messengers. It has been implicated in the development of several diseases, including celiac disease and kidney dysfunction, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s Disease, infertility, depression, and cancer. It’s even linked to the obesity and Autism epidemics in the U.S.

Environmental--exogenous--toxins aren’t the only peril of our modern world; the body naturally creates endogenous toxins--internally produced toxins--during the digestion process for certain types of foods. The Western diet is high in saturated fat, salt, refined sugars, additives, and preservatives which contributes to the production of endogenous toxins when broken down by the flora in the gut microbiome. This diet also starves health promoting microorganisms in the gut and favors those that create dysbiosis, inflammation, auto-immunity, and disease. 

The gut lining is incredibly delicate--only one cell thick--and it is the first line of defense between ingested exogenous toxins, endogenous toxins, and the bloodstream. When the gut lining is weakened by a damaging diet, it makes it that much easier for these toxins to seep into the bloodstream and wreak havoc on the entire body. Therefore, dietary choices can either support or thwart microbial health and the body’s natural detoxification processes. It’s thought that this leaking of toxins into the bloodstream, also known as leaky gut, is largely responsible for the link between the Western diet and diseases like obesity, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and autoimmune diseases.

Strengthening the gut’s delicate lining by supporting a healthy microbiome is one of the most effective ways to protect the body from the effects of toxins. Nutrition is an excellent place to start; just as certain dietary choices can damage the gut lining and increase exposure to toxins, good nutrition and avoiding certain foods and exposures can support a healthy gut microbiome. Working with a nutritionist to start a whole food supplement regimen will ensure that your gut is getting the nutrients it needs to support the health of the entire body--nutrients that it’s nearly impossible to get from our available food sources alone. Avoiding foods high in fat, sugar, and salt, as is characteristic of the Western diet, will limit the production of endogenous toxins and promote balance in the microbiome. Finally, avoiding foods known to be high in chemicals like foods containing GMOs and those high in preservatives and additives will limit exposure to exogenous toxins.

There are also dietary choices that can specifically support the body’s natural detoxification processes, but be wary of fad detox diets and cleanses; evidence suggests the weight loss results of these diets may come from the momentarily limited caloric intake, not the promised detoxification effects of the diet. In fact, people who use these diets tend to gain weight after resuming a normal diet. 

In lieu of these ineffective detox diets, try eating more of some of the foods and spices researchers have identified that positively impact detoxification systems, including cruciferous vegetables,   berries, soy, garlic, and turmeric. There are also certain nutritionist developed and scientifically supported detoxification diets that target the three phases of detoxification to promote health. They contain nutrients that activate and support phase I and phase II enzymes that transform toxins into water-soluble, non-toxic molecules as well as nutrients from plant-based fibers that aid in phase III elimination. Nutrition is an incredibly powerful tool in protecting and supporting the body in the face of the disease promoting toxins that permeate our world.

Want to start using some of these strategies to protect yourself from the effects of toxins? Make an appointment with Dr. Reid, and he’ll customize a supplement and dietary regimen that’s right for you.


References

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