Living in a sea of toxins means that the body accumulates and carries significant amounts of heavy metals and environmental toxins as part of daily modern life. Even doing everything “right” – like eating only organic foods, drinking filtered water, and using non-toxic home and body products – cannot protect against exposure to toxins. Thankfully, there are strategies that can support health and buffer the impact these toxins have on the body.
These can include eating a diet that helps the body detoxify regularly and that minimizes toxic exposure, implementing anti-inflammatory protocols to buffer the inflammatory effects of toxins on the body, supporting pathways of elimination, and including binders to “sponge up” toxins in the system.
Toxins create inflammation in the body. One of the best ways to reduce your inflammatory load is by eating an anti-inflammatory diet. Even organic foods contain toxins due to air, water, and soil contamination, but you can reduce your overall burden by choosing foods that have not been produced with pesticides, hormones, or antibiotics.
It’s also important to keep your blood sugar stable by avoiding sugars and foods that are high in processed carbohydrates. This means not letting yourself crash from low blood sugar and not overeating yourself into a food coma.
It is especially vital to avoid foods that trigger an inflammatory response in your body. Eating foods that you are sensitive or intolerant to activates your immune system keeping it in a state of constant red alert. This stokes inflammation throughout your body. The most common immune reactive foods include gluten, dairy, soy, egg, and corn.
Supplements can also reduce inflammation. Studies show taking larger doses of the antioxidants resveratrol and curcumin can help protect the body from the damage of toxins, especially when taken together in a liposomal form.
Liposomal glutathione (or other absorbable form) is another way to lower inflammation and protect your body. In fact, insufficient glutathione increases your risk of developing chemical sensitivities. In addition to taking an absorbable glutathione, you can also raise glutathione levels inside your cells with n-acetylcysteine, cordyceps, Gotu Kola, milk thistle, L-glutamine, and alpha lipoic acid.
Binding toxins in your body
You can also buffer your body by taking nutritional compounds on a regular basis that bind with toxins for easy removal. Binders can help remove heavy metals, environmental toxins, mycotoxins from molds, infectious bacteria, and fungal infections from your body.
Effective binders include the following:
Modified citrus pectin: This is derived from the citrus peel and processed so that it allows it to enter the bloodstream and bind with toxins to safely eliminate them from the body. Modified citrus pectin is a great “prebiotic,” a nutrition source that feeds your good gut bacteria. Look for a source that is free of fillers. A healthy gut microbiome is a critical component to help protect you from toxins.
Activated charcoal: This popular and affordable binder can also soothe common digestive complaints.
Bentonite clay: Bentonite, montmorillonite, and illite (French clay) are used to bind toxins. When mixed with water, these clays develop a sponge like quality and take on an electrical charge to attract harmful compounds. Look for a quality product that has not been contaminated by lead.
Zeolite: Zeolite is formed from volcanic rock and ash and is a well-known binder for heavy metals and other toxins.
Chlorella: Chlorella is a blue-green algae that has an affinity for mercury and lead. It is also rich in B vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. If you take blood thinners, you may need to avoid chlorella.
Silica: Most people think of silica to improve their hair, skin, and nails, but it’s also good at binding metals such as thallium that are more difficult to detox.
You must support your pathways of elimination when you detoxify
While binders are great at latching onto toxins, if your body’s pathways of elimination are not functioning optimally, you could make yourself even more toxic. As heavy metals can bind to cellular receptors in the absence of necessary minerals, you need to ensure that you are sufficiently mineralized.
Supporting the elimination fo toxins includes supporting healthy liver and gallbladder function, supporting healthy bowel elimination, and making sure you stay hydrated and taking care of your kidneys and bladder. Eating 25-38 grams of fiber a day, staying well hydrated, eating foods that are good for the liver (like bitters and greens), exercising regularly to stimulate the lymphatic system, and sweating regularly are some more examples of how to keep toxins flowing out of your body.
Avoiding chemical sensitivities
Minimizing your overall toxic burden is critical to your health but you also want to avoid developing chemical sensitivities. In the end, your overall toxic burden may not matter as much as whether you have an immune reaction to these toxins. Your body can react to a toxin in much the same way it reacts to gluten or dairy. This can present a significant problem as it’s much easier to eliminate a food from your diet than to eliminate a toxin from your environment, especially if that toxin is prevalent in the air, such as benzene, or in plastics, such as BPA. Testing such reactions can be done through Cyrex Labs with their Array 11 test.
The best way to deal with toxins is to live an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. If you already have chemical sensitivities, contact my office to learn more about how to lower your sensitivity so you can better tolerate everyday life.
Here are additional articles on chemical sensitivities: