When it comes to health and weight loss most of us consider nutrition and exercise to be key but have you considered that the chemical toxins that you come into contact with on a daily bases could be a contributing factor. Our body’s natural detoxification pathways are meant to be detoxing us all the time but when our health is compromised or bombarded with excessive toxins it becomes increasingly difficult for our detox organs to function optimally.
- Do you consider how many toxins you put in and on your body in the home environment?
- Did you know that chronic toxic exposure is also linked to obesity?
- Did you know that toxins can mimic and interfere with your endocrine (hormonal) system, these toxins are called endocrine disrupting chemicals?
Chronic toxic exposure is now a leading cause of obesity, a 2012 study in the Environmental Health Journal refers to “obesogen”. Studies have concluded that obesogens are linked to risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. When your liver cannot process excessive toxins in the body, as a protective mechanism, toxins are filtered to your adipose tissue (fat cells). The National Human Adipose Tissue Survey has been studying our toxic exposure in the adipose tissue since the 60s but the consequence of this could mean that your body is holding on to fat cells to reduce the toxin burden making you sick!
Some of the Main Toxins
- Endocrine disrupting hormones – these can be found in plastic, pesticides, cosmetics, fragrance, cleaners, paints
- Pesticides – glyphophate (roundup or weedol) is used on and found in many of our foods and crops and the World Health Organisation recognises this as a probable carcinogen.
- Fluoride – in toothpastes and water has been now classified a neurotoxin by prestigious medical paper The Lancet
- Antibacterial products – 17 of the chemicals used in these products were banned by the FDA (Food and Drug Association) in the US (NOT the UK, yet!), effective September 2017. Not only were they found to be ineffective but they were also damaging to our body’s gut microbiome, ironically damaging our immune system.
Toxins in our Beauty Care
The Environmental Working Group established that the average woman is using 18 personal care products a day which amounts to a shocking 168 chemicals. 60% of what goes on your skin is entering your bloodstream, absorption is 5-10x higher on the face and at a staggering 100% absorption through the armpits, endocrine disrupting chemicals have been found in body fluids, breast milk and tissue.
Just a few examples of toxins in our beauty care:
- Formaldehyde is used as a preservative and antibacterial in shampoos and cosmetics (skin irritant and carcinogen)
- Sodium Laurel Sulphate is used in 90% of products as a foaming agent, shown to cause eye, lung and skin irritation and when it combines with other products it can also become a carcinogen
- Parabans used to preserve cosmetics bind to oestrogen receptors causing mimicry and hormone disruption
- BPA (Bisphenol A) still used in many plastic containers has been linked to obesity, infertility, CVD and cancers even at very low levels.
The Good News
The good new is that most of these toxins can be avoided, we are in control of our home environment, we can limit our exposure and support our detoxification systems flush toxins out of the body. Simple steps to make.
- Make your own skincare and cleaning products – much easier that you think!
- Use essential oils instead of perfume, it will offer additional health benefits and you’ll smell divine.
- Buy organic produce to avoid pesticides
- Stop using plastic containers – buy a reusable water bottle and keep your food in glass pots.
- Source the most natural products on the market, there are some great companies now providing everything from chemical-free nail varnish to toxin-free paint.
- Let your skin breathe, for millions of years our sensitive skin microbiome has been harnessing it’s own bacteria to keep us healthy. Reduce excessive soap and cleanliness, you’ll likely discover you’ll smell better and your skin will thank you for it!
Don’t try to be perfect and change everything at once, the real secret lies with creating awareness around what you put in and on your body.