Toxic Load - What is it?
If you have been following me for a while, then you know I am all about lowering our over-all toxic load. But, some may not know exactly what I mean when I refer to toxic-load, so let's dive in and discuss it!
Toxic Load Toxic load refers to the accumulation of toxins and chemicals in our bodies that we ingest from a variety of sources, including the environment, the food we eat, the water we drink, and the personal care and household products we use.
Toxins in the body have been linked to cancer, autism, neurocognitive disorders, mental health issues, and autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s, colitis, arthritis and lupus.
In a 2016 study conducted by a number of scientific institutions, including Harvard University and the Silent Spring Institute, researchers identified 45 chemicals from five chemical classes in indoor dust found in a range of environments - including schools, homes and gymnasiums across 14 states.
These chemicals were derived from consumer products, including household products, beauty products and home materials (i.e. flooring), and were associated with health hazards such as cancer, endocrine and hormone disruption, and reproductive toxicity.
Ditch & Switch Lowering our overall toxic load starts with lowering the influx of these toxicants. Some areas we do not have control over. However other areas - we do, such as the products we purchase. This is where we can move the needle when it comes to lowering our toxic load.
I like to start with our personal care products. These are the products we physically put on our skin and hair. Our skin is the largest organ in our body.
According to the Environmental Working Group, women use an average of 12 products a day, containing 168 different chemicals. This is mind blowing to me. Men use fewer products, but still put 85 chemicals on their bodies.
We have made it easy for you to start to lower your and your families toxic load by creating an easy Ditch & Switch Guide. We even took it one-step further and offer suggestions for Switch in our Nourish Shop.
Toxic Load & Detox Pathways
Our bodies have a built-in mechanism designed to filter harmful chemicals and eliminate what it doesn’t need. The five major organs for this elimination cycle, otherwise known as our detoxification pathways — our skin, lungs, kidneys, colon, and liver.
There are a few areas in which we may need to pay special attention to: 1. For some, detoxification systems work at different rates due to genetic variations. If you have activation of any of the detox variations, then your body may be less able to handle toxins and have trouble clearing them out of your body.
2. One's overall toxicant burden - which can overwhelm anybody's system.
Let's stay with genetic variations for the sake of this discussion. In simplistic terms, (for the liver) our body metabolizes foreign substances in a three-phase process.
Phase I - breaks apart big toxins and makes them into polar molecules. This breaking apart is called metabolism, and the substance that is formed is called a metabolite.
Phase II - binds something to the metabolite from Phase I and makes it water soluble so it can be excreted.
Phase III – the elimination of the Phase II products.
Phase I detoxification genes Many toxins are broken down by the Cytochrome P450 (CYP450) family of enzymes in phase I of detoxification. Most of this takes place in the liver, which is the body’s main organ for detoxification. -CYP1A1 – metabolism of estrogen.. -CYP1A2 – metabolism of caffeine.. -CYP2A6 – metabolism of nicotine... -CYP2C9 – metabolism of warfarin.. -CYP2C19 – metabolism of proton pump inhibitors.. -CYP2D6 – metabolism of some antidepressants.. -CYP3A4 – metabolism of half of all prescription drugs -CYP2E1 – metabolism of fatty acids, alcohol..
Phase II detoxification genes: Phase II detoxification involves taking the metabolites of phase I and changing them so that they can be excreted. Sometimes the metabolites of phase I are carcinogenic or reactive, so having phase II detox in sync is very important. Here are a few variants in Phase II (Nrf2, UG/T, GST, NQO1)
Elimination: After a toxin passes through Phase II, it needs to be excreted from the body Some are processed through the kidneys and out through urine, others go through the intestines and out. Bile acids are important in the process, as is proper kidney function and sweat.
Ditch & Switch Lowering our overall toxic load starts with lowering the influx of these toxicants. After personal care items, I like to focus on upgrading my household cleaning products. We have made it easy for you to start to lower your and your families toxic load by creating an easy Ditch & Switch Guide. We even took it one-step further and offer suggestions for Switch in our Nourish Shop.
Overall Toxic Burden
We have discussed what our toxic-load is and our detox pathways and the challenges genetic variations can have in our ability to detox properly. Now let's look at our overall toxic burden.
Our overall toxic burden is the accumulation of all our toxic exposure (air, water, food, chemicals, electromagnetic, ect) along with our body's ability to process and eliminate those toxins. What is left in our body after this process = overall toxic burden.
If you gathered from our post so far - if you have a compromised detox system, then you will have trouble clearing those toxins.
The first step, in my opinion, is always to lowering the influx of toxins. Then working on supporting the pathways of elimination. Both can be done simultaneously.
Let me share a quick analogy that illustrates this concept. If you are in a boat and it springs a leak - what do you do first? ...do you frantically start scooping out the water or do you first stop the leak that is causing the influx of water coming in? The answer = stop the leak first!
I love this analogy because it always acknowledges something called energy spent. Many of us who have had toxicant exposures including molds and other environmental exposures - may also experience adrenal exhaustion. We need our adrenals to be strong while we begin to bring balance back to our body.
Here are some of the toxicants that show up in our everyday cookware: Aluminum, Teflon (PTFE), Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) - (both are a non-stick chemical), Copper, Polystyrene (plastic cups/plates, styrofoam), BPA...
Ditch & Switch Join me today, in lowering you and your families toxicant exposure by Switching to less toxic cookware. Our Nourish Shop has loads of great Switch options. We have made it easy for you to start to lower your and your families toxic load by creating an easy Ditch & Switch Guide. We even took it one-step further and offer suggestions for Switch in our Nourish Shop.
Functional Test: Enviro-Toxic Burden Package