Toxins and Heavy Metals in the Environment
There is more and more research being made available how we live in a toxic world that simply did not exists 150 or even 100 years ago. I just read an Associated Press article about the toxic metals in sperm whales.
You can read that story here. Other research has been released about polar bears, sea lions, arctic inhabitants, and and birds to name a small percentage of examples. These toxins start out at birth as outlined by the EWG so there little doubt we all carry a toxic load.
(Ironically when I read the article about the sperm whale the next article I read was about a polluting power plant in Massachusetts which is a source of these toxins. Of course though we are all to blame since we are the consumers driving the pollution generation.)
Assuming that toxins are causing detriments to our health what can we do to protect ourselves? There are certainly certain foods that seem to help bind metals such as high sulfur containing foods with a high free thiol content such as anything in the cabbage family. This can help detox the liver where it can bind to the metal. Cilantro is known as a heavy metal binder. Taking chlorella supplement can be helpful to bind metals as well as N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) or whey protein isolate.
Keeping a healthy gut is important as it is our barrier to the outside world. But keeping the liver healthy and happy is what is most important as the liver is our major detoxifier. We all have different detoxifying capabilities. For example some people can drink coffee and then go to sleep, but others drink coffee after noon and then they are awake at night. The people that can go to sleep have a strong detoxifying ability to break down caffeine, but the ones up at night have a difficult time detoxifying caffeine. This is why some drugs end up killing people because the same dosage is fine for one person, but another person may not have good detoxifying capabilities and the result can be tragic. (There are genetic tests for SNPs that one can take specifically for the detoxification system known as the P450). Anyway I digress, the point being that we need to have a happy liver. One way is to do a liver detox and this is a good time of year to do one. I prefer to use what is known as functional foods that contain these thiol/sulfur amino acids to help modulate the proper liver phase I & phase II detox pathways. Here is a great article on detox. There are lots of website out there for ‘liver detox’. Some are good, some are dubious, so beware. Best bet is to see a practitioner that uses detoxification protocols as part of their practice.
Yours In Health
Nationally Certified Chinese Herbalist.
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