We are bombarded by toxic substances every day. They're in the air, our food, our water and all around us in the environment. We even have some toxins already in our body. Reducing our exposure to toxicity has a dramatic benefit to our health. Toxins have been linked to many illnesses including cancers and auto immune diseases. Although we're never going to avoid it completely there are many things we can do to limit our exposure. What about the stuff we put on our body? If it goes on our skin it can go in our body too. You may not even realise it's happening.
We often see manufacturers using words like ‘refreshing’, ‘nourishing’, ‘moisturising’ or ‘blemish covering’. As a result we find it easy to be reassured that these products are founded on the principles of scientific research. That they contain the secrets to whiter teeth, softer hair or younger looking skin. Messages like these are used in advertising all the time and fill the shelves of our supermarkets and beauty retailers. Most people don’t consider where these ingredients come from. You may be surprised to learn that most toiletries and cosmetics are made from a cocktail of synthetic and carcinogenic chemicals. The same ones we use in industrial products.
How your body stores toxins
Our skin is a highly absorbent organ. Beneath its surface are thousands of tiny capillaries. These capilliaries pass substances absorbed by the skin into the blood stream and then to our internal organs, tissues and glands. Exogenous toxins (chemicals that are made outside of your body) can harm cells when the are absorbed into your bloodstream. The same applies when they are ingested (think lipstick or salve) orinhaled (perfumes, household cleaning products, air fresheners).
Your body will always try to eliminate toxins. But with such a daily bombardment it can be hard for your body to keep up. When this happens our bodies have to store some of the toxins. The first place it puts them is in our fat cells. Our fat tissues are less vital to immediate survival than other tissues such as ligaments, muscles, and nerves. A build-up of toxins in fat can lead to headaches and skin issues like cellulite. Accumulation of toxins in your fat can also lead to so called harmless conditions like cysts, lipomas, and other benign tumours.
Your body can also store toxins in your connective tissue, muscle tissue, and nerve tissue. This is the next level of storage if the toxic intake doesn't slow down. Of these three, connective tissue may have the greatest capacity to store toxins without causing debilitating problems in the short term. However over time symptoms can occur from this toxin accumulation too. It usually manifests in generalised joint pain and even aches and pains in various bones.
When the exposure to toxins goes on for long enough something else happens. Individual building-blocks of cells can accumulate toxins within their own membranes. If enough cells in one organ or gland become dysfunctional it can lead to organ or glandular dysfunction. For example thyroid disease, impaired vision, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, kidney failure, and liver degeneration (fatty liver, cirrhosis, etc.). These can all be caused by a build up of toxins. If the innermost part of enough cells in one area accumulate enough toxins, the DNA that controls those cells can become affected. This is where you're in danger of experiencing a lack of control over your cellular reproduction. The hallmark of malignant growths.
Reducing your toxicity
When you understand this process it helps to understand the importance of reducing your exposure to chemical toxins. Many illnesses which are thought to be a part of ageing may actually be due to an accumulation of toxins. It's known that people who have worked in certain professions where toxic exposure is higher are more prone to cancers and other health disorders.
If you don’t deliberately look for natural alternatives you will be exposed to the following commonly used chemicals:
Propylene Glycol. This is found in shampoos. It's the main ingredient in antifreeze and brake fluid too.
Polyethylene Glycol (PEG). You'll find this in body washes. You can also find it in oven cleaners.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. Some shower gels contain this stuff. It's a harsh detergent that's also used as an engine degreaser and garage floor cleaner.
Parabens. This is a type of chemical used as a preservative to prevent bacterial and fungal growth therefore extending shelf life. Parabens are oestrogen mimickers. Measurable concentrations of six different parabens have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumours. Parabens have been removed from many products since this research however they are still used in some products including the ‘Lush’ brand.
Mercury. You can find mercury in many cosmetics. It's a cheap and effective preservative but a well known toxic chemical.
There are many toxins we are exposed to that are impossible to avoid. However you can choose what products to put on your skin and use in your home. Natural toiletries, make up and cleaning products are now widely available. Natural cleaning products like ‘Ecover’ can be found now in most supermarkets and www.naturaldispensary.co.uk stocks a wide range of fully natural toiletry and make up alternatives. Click on the link and all Accumulator members get a discount.
Here's a P.S.
After publishing this article, we had a few interesting questions. Here are some answers.
Can you break down toxic fat and if so how?
Yes. The body is always working to detoxify so if you can support this process with a healthy diet and by limiting the amount of toxins that you are exposed to then your levels would gradually reduce. This can be enhanced by also taking supplements which support the detox process.
What’s your opinion on detoxes? Do we need them and which work best?
A detox where you cut out alcohol and sugar and increase health supportive foods will benefit anyone. As stated above will lower the toxic load in the body. I don't think that drastic detoxes such as juice diets and fasting should be undertaken without support from an experienced therapist. These can cause toxins to be released too quickly from the body and could potentially do more harm than good. Skin brushing, alternating hot and cold water in the shower and good quality sleep will also support healthy detoxification.