Understanding Harmful Toxins in Our Body

Environmental toxins are known as endocrine disrupting chemicals, also known as hormone disrupting chemicals, because they interfere with the proper functioning of our hormones. 

Environmental toxins don’t just arise from factories spewing smoke into the air or densely populated cities. While these factors do contribute to toxic buildup in the body, many other threats can be found in the foods we eat, the water we drink, the cosmetics we use and more. Find out why toxins are so harmful, which toxins we can be exposed to every day, and how to expel the most common toxins in the body for maximum health and longevity.

Why Toxins Are So Harmful 

Chemicals found in our air, water, food, and everyday products can take a toll on our health over time. Such environmental toxins are known as endocrine disrupting chemicals, also known as hormone disrupting chemicals, because they interfere with the proper functioning of our hormones.1 Causing disruption at the cellular level, these toxins have been linked to cancer, heart problems, reproductive issues and even conditions like ADHD.2,3,4,5 

Toxins You Can Be Exposed to Every Day   

According to endocrinologist Shirisha Avadhanula, MD, there are nearly 800 chemicals of concern as hormone disruptors.6 These may include bisphenols, including bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), as well as air pollutants and pesticides. Some everyday items that may contain toxins include:

  • Detergents
  • Cosmetics
  • Food (processed foods; pesticides)
  • Plastics
  • Product packaging
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Alcohol
  • Pharmaceutical medications

Other environmental toxins linked to more immediate side effects or “environmental illness” include:7

  • Asbestos (found in older buildings)
  • Wood-burning stoves
  • Unsafe drinking water
  • Lead poisoning

While the second list points to environmental toxins that may cause more obvious side effects and sometimes disappear when the person is in a different environment, the earlier list points to toxins that may accumulate in the system over time. Being conscious of one’s environment and obvious threats to one’s health like asbestos, lead and poor quality water is a crucial step in the right direction to feeling better. However, avoiding less obvious toxins found in food and cosmetics and eliminating accumulated toxins built up in the system will take some extra effort. 

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How to Avoid Harmful Toxins  

Beyond being aware of your proximity to obvious environmental toxins like nearby factories and cigarette smoke, there are numerous things you can do to avoid harmful toxins as best as you can. Checking ingredients (active and inactive) on product labels is important, even when buying common medications, as many of the leading drugs found in the supermarket aisle contain harsh chemicals that lead to toxin buildup in the body and leave you with undesirable side effects. When buying everyday products, consider the following include: 

  • Purchase products listed as BPA-free, phthalate-free or paraben-free
  • Avoid products that list “fragrance” as an ingredient
  • Do not microwave plastics
  • Drink filtered tap water
  • Choose fresh foods over packaged or canned foods
  • Vacuum your home often to remove dust
  • Buy natural cleaning products
  • Pay attention to active and inactive ingredients in medications and opt for target-specific products without harsh chemicals that help your body heal itself 

Tips for Reducing Toxins

Cleansing your body is a great way to rid your system of toxins that have accumulated over time. There are various steps you can take to support your body’s natural cleansing system, as well as products you can use to optimize the cleansing process. Some tips for reducing toxins from your system include: 

  • Load up on fruits and veggies
  • Increase your water intake
  • Integrate probiotic foods into your system
  • Get active 
  • Cut back on sugar, processed foods and alcohol
  • Pay attention to product ingredients
  • Use pure, safe and impactful products that specifically target toxin buildup in the body 

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References: 1https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-are-hormone-disrupting-chemicals/, 2https://www.endocrine.org/topics/edc/what-edcs-are/common-edcs/cancer, 3https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3220783/, 4https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-environmental-toxins-can-impact-your-health/, 5https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7455852/, 6https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/zp3199, 7https://www.endocrine.org/topics/edc/what-edcs-are/common-edcs/reproduction

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