How Our Modern Lifestyle May Accelerate Aging: Toxicity & Impaired Detoxification
You now know how glycation, AGEs, excess free radicals, oxidative stress, abnormal methylation, DNA degradation, and hormonal imbalances contribute to degenerative diseases and premature aging. You also understand that chronic inflammation is arguably the root cause.
However, there is still one key process which can result in continual, systematic stress and chronic ill health. The purpose of this instalment is to describe this process: toxicity/impaired detoxification.
What is Toxicity/Impaired detoxification?
Your body is designed to detoxify, or cleanse itself naturally (ref 1). We become ‘toxic when two key interrelated body processes fail, and our cells become saturated with waste at a faster rate than they can be disposed of. Enter…impaired detoxification.
These two processes are:
- Toxification by natural waste products: where the body accumulates a build-up of natural waste products from the cell, called nucleic waste. This can either result from poor liver and kidney function when all of the waste is not extracted from the intercellular fluid (fluid that surrounds cells in tissues). Or it can result from external toxin build-up on the plasma membrane, restricting all of the waste products from leaving the interior of the cell.
- Toxification by low level artificial toxins: where a toxin penetrates the cell membrane and enters into the internal structure. If the white blood cells are unable to clean the internal structure, toxic build up is likely.
In contrast with our distant ancestors, most dangerous toxins today originate externally. This eventually may overwhelm our internal natural detoxification systems.
Where do these external toxins come from?
Your food, drink, medications and air are all saturated with microscopic chemical debris – environmental toxins and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) (ref 2). You can’t see, feel or smell them, but they are real and over time, very dangerous to your health and wellbeing.
POPs work their way through the food chain by accumulating in the body fat of living organisms and becoming more concentrated as they move from one creature to another.
The older you get the more at risk you are because these toxins accumulate as you age and are stored in your body fat.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) more than 60,000 substances are registered substances with the EPA. Some of them are already known to be neurotoxins, endocrine disruptors, and carcinogens. It is estimated that the average American now has between 300 and 400 different neurotoxins circulating in their body at any one time. (ref 3)
Without taking preventative measures, you may become like a toxic waste dump…..or, perish the thought, like the ‘King of Rock 'n' Roll’, Elvis Presley.
Did you know that it wasn't a heart condition that killed him, as declared at the time, rather it was chronic constipation (ref 4)?
As his personal doctor later revealed, according to the autopsy, Elvis' colon was 5 to 6 inches in diameter, nearly twice the size of the average person. It was also 8 to 9 feet long, compared with the normal 4 to 5 feet.
Other disorders which have been associated with toxicity may include Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia, heart disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, cancers, autoimmune diseases, food allergies, arthritis, digestive diseases, like Crohn’s, ulcers, colitis, inflammatory bowel, menstrual problems like heavy bleeding, cramps, PMS, menopausal symptoms, mood changes and hot flashes.
How can you prevent this toxic build up in our contaminated world?
The key is to figure out how to enhance your body’s capacity to detoxify and eliminate waste, while minimizing your exposure to toxins.
There are five key steps to optimal detoxification as follows:
Step One: Identify and eliminate Toxins.
Step Two: Fix your gut: Many people have dysbiosis, or imbalanced gut flora. Some of these micro-organisms are responsible for breaking down the toxins in your GI tract, so you can eliminate them.
Step Three: Get moving – to help your blood and lymphatic circulation do its job.
Step Four: Get your liver and detox system working.
Step Five: Detox your mind. Manage stress.
On a practical basis this means:
- Drink plenty of clean water, as often as possible. Coconut water is also a great internal cleanser, anti-oxidant, PH balancer and electrolyte booster.
- Keep your bowels moving, at least once daily. One of the best remedies for this is a couple of large glasses of luke warm water immediately upon rising each morning.
- Eat organic produce as much as possible to reduce the likelihood of consuming toxins.
- Eat several daily servings of raw or lightly cooked organic colourful fruits and vegetables.Specifically, include cruciferous vegetables, broccoli, collards, kale & cabbage. Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, garlic and onions, can help to increase sulfur in the body, which in turn aids detoxification.
- Stop eating refined white flour and white sugar.
- Avoid, or at the very least, reduce, stimulants, sedatives, and drugs, such as caffeine, nicotine, medications and alcohol.
- Exercise regularly using a combination of high intensity training, cardio, aerobic, stretching and yoga. Sweat profusely at least three times a week, using a sauna, steam or a detox bath.
- Take broad spectrum high quality supplements.
- Relax deeply every day to keep your nervous system in a state of calm, rest and relaxation.
- Expose yourself to at least 15 mins daily of natural sunlight/Vitamin D.
By now you are an expert in how to prevent degenerative disease and premature aging!
You know the main causes: glycation, AGEs, excess free radicals, oxidative stress, abnormal methylation, DNA degradation, hormonal imbalances and toxicity/impaired detoxification. You also understand how chronic inflammation is arguably the root cause.
Additionally, you have been given some practical steps to help you build solid foundational health.
We think it may help to elaborate more on those steps, so you are really clear what to do. That is the aim of the next blog where you will see a suggested Protocol to follow.
1. Body detoxes naturally http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/detox-diets-cleansing-body
2. POPS http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/ENVIRONMENT/EXTPOPS/0,,contentMDK:20487948~menuPK:1165797~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:408121,00.html
3. EPA stats http://www.epa.gov/international/toxics/pop.html
4.. Elvis Presley’s death http://www.themedicalbag.com/story/elvis-presley