There is no safe level of exposure to four of the most common environmental toxins in the world. The toxins in question -- lead, radon, tobacco smoke and byproducts of drinking-water disinfection -- are widespread, and there is growing evidence that even low-level exposure can have health consequences as these toxins accumulate in the body.
Detox diets, do they work?
Detox diets are popular dieting strategies that aim to facilitate toxin elimination and weight loss, thereby promoting health and well-being. Although the detox industry is booming, there is little clinical evidence to support the use of these diets. There is preliminary evidence to suggest that certain foods such as coriander, nori and olestra have detoxification properties, although the majority of these studies have been performed in animals. To the best of our knowledge, no randomised controlled trials have been conducted to assess the effectiveness of commercial detox diets in humans. This is an area that deserves attention so that consumers can be informed of the potential benefits and risks of detox programs.
Natural supplements that may help
reduce body toxins
Broccoli sprouts contain sulforaphane, a chemical found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, sprouts and kale. Sulforaphane is a potent inducer of protective enzymes that can help the body detoxify carcinogens.
Calcium D-Glucarate is another option to consider.
Q. I've been taking supplements for several
years. I am concerned about toxins and heavy metals in the supplements I
am taking. How do I know whether consuming supplements will not increase
my body toxins. .
A. For practical purposes taking supplements is not likely to cause any health risks even if there are minor levels of toxins or heavy metals. Just breathing the air on a road or highway exposes us to tons of toxins. It is too stressful to constantly worry about being body toxin free when we are constantly exposed to toxins from air, food, water, etc.
Wealthy versus poor people
People who can afford sushi and other sources of aquatic lean protein appear to have higher levels of mercury, arsenic, caesium and thallium, all of which tend to accumulate in fish and shellfish.
America’s poor have toxins associated with exposure to plastics and cigarette smoke. Higher rates of cigarette smoking among those of lower means seem to be associated with higher levels of lead and cadmium. Poor people in America also have higher levels of Bisphenol-A, a substance used to line cans and other food containers.
Chlorine body toxin
Disinfection byproducts form when drinking water is treated with chlorine to kill disease-causing microbes. The chlorine reacts with organic materials in the water to create a range of chemicals, including a group known as trihalomethanes (THMs). THMs are known to cause cancer in animals, and some studies have linked them to miscarriage and other pregnancy risks. There is also evidence tying them to bladder cancer in humans. Exposure to water with THM levels of 1 mcg/dL may increase the risk of bladder cancer. In the U.S., the maximum allowable THM level is 80 mcg/dL, and in Canada, it's 100 mcg/dL.
Lead body toxin
Lead is present in the air, soil and water, and it has become clear that even relatively low-level exposure can damage the developing brain in young children and fetuses, leading to learning and behavioral problems. In adults, lead exposure may raise blood pressure and damage the kidneys, brain and nerves. In developed nations, much progress has been made in recent decades to reduce people's lead exposure. Lead has been removed from gasoline, for instance, and it is no longer used in paints. However, people in developing nations continue to be exposed to lead from these and other sources. And in places like the U.S. and Canada, dust and chips from lead-based paints in older homes are still a prime source of exposure. Drinking water can also contain low levels of lead, especially if a home has old lead pipes. In the U.S., the "level of concern" for blood lead levels is 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter (mcg/dL) of blood. A number of studies in several countries have linked lead levels below that threshold to lower IQ scores. One way to curb lead levels in tap water is to use a carbon-based water filter -- a tactic that also reduces disinfection byproducts.
Second hand smoke toxin
When it comes to tobacco smoke, growing evidence suggests that low-level, secondhand exposure during pregnancy can impair fetal growth -- a long-recognized danger of active smoking. PloS Medicine, 2005.
Radon is a natural radioactive gas found in soil, air and ground water that is known to cause lung cancer. Radon levels in homes and other buildings vary widely, and health officials recommend that people whose homes have radon levels exceeding 4 picoCuries per liter of air take action -- such as increasing ventilation. But again, Wigle and Lanphear note, there are studies suggesting that radon exposure below this level increases the risk of lung disease and cancer.
Cadmium is a toxin that the body can be exposed to, especially those whose work involves cadmium products.
Botulinum toxin is the most poisonous substance known.
Acrylamide is found in certain carbohydrate rich foods cooked at a high temperature.
Researchers tested urine samples from California residents and found detectable levels of a rarely studied group of flame retardants known as phosphates, and one -- tris-(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP) -- has never been seen in Americans before. TCEP, a known carcinogen that can also damage people's nervous and reproductive systems, was detected in 75 percent of the people tested. This flame retardant is used in polyurethane foam, plastics, polyester resins and textiles. The findings were published online Nov. 12 in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Foot detox pads
Q. Just want to make a quick comment about the foot detox patches to clear body toxins. I tried them for about 1 - 2 months with some clearing of eczema ( chronic and extensive at times) , improved sleep and general overall feeling of well being. I have no idea why and was not expecting much. I am a very skeptical person, but I have had great success with folk medicines. Perhaps it has something to do with reflexology, or the first point of the Kidney meridian is right near the center of the foot? Or perhaps it just stimulates and dehydrates the foot which makes it feel better? May be worth researching.
A. Perhaps it was coincidence, we will wait for feedback from others.
Q. I used foot pads to get rid of body toxins, used them nightly for 5 weeks. I can't say I noticed anything different after more than a month of use.
In 2009, the Federal Trade Commission charged Yehuda ("Juda") Levin, Baruch Levin, and their Xacta 3000 Inc. with deceptive advertising. According to the complaint, the defendants claimed that applying Kinoki Foot Pads to the soles of the feet at night would remove heavy metals, metabolic wastes, toxins, parasites, chemicals, and cellulite from their bodies. The ads also claimed that use of the foot pads could treat depression, fatigue, diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system. When applied to the feet, foot pads darken, which marketers claim is evidence that toxins are being drawn out from the body. However, the darkening is caused by contact with moisture from any source and has nothing to do with body toxins.
Do you know anything about the detox pads and do they work to flush your
body toxins? see kenrico com
According to the website, it says, "What is a Sap Sheet? A Sap Sheet, or more commonly known as foot pads or detox pads, is made from totally natural tree and bamboo extracts. It is the culmination of centuries of knowledge known to the Japanese, and has been passed down through the generations. It is reputed to relieve fatigue, joint pain, headaches, skin rashes and many other health problems. Apply our Sap Sheets on the bottom of both feet, before bed, and experience better sleep and wake feeling totally refreshed the following morning."
Based on our knowledge of physiology and biochemistry, we can't see how these detox pads can rid body toxins.
Q. Hello, could you address how staying away from chemically altered food and environmental toxins decrease the risk of cancer and disease in general?
A. This is quite a broad topic, it would probably take a whole book to write about environmental toxins and how they affect the body.