We are surrounded by hidden toxins. The water you drink can be just as toxic as your household bleach. Hidden toxins have the potential to turn testosterone into estrogen and cause Alzheimer’s. But where do they live and what can they do to you?
Your own body. When we breathe, we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, nothing new there. But, too much carbon dioxide can be poisonous to your body. According to livestrong.com, elevated CO2 levels can lead to permanent damage of the nervous system or even death. And when our bodies convert energy from food, our cells produce a waste product known as ammonia. Incidentally, ammonia is also found in window cleaner and is used for treating tap water. High levels of ammonia can lead to a range of symptoms including fatigue, muscular pain, diarrhea, headache and delirium.
If it weren’t for our body’s defense mechanisms we would have keeled over by now. The liver, for example, eliminates ammonia via urine, and the lymphatic system (a network of blood vessels) shuttles toxins out of the body.
Even the brain produces toxins, but unlike the rest of the body, it does not rely on the liver or lymphatic system for its daily trash collection. The brains toxins are cleared out through a process regulated by something called Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF). CSF regulates toxin removal from the brain while we sleep. Researchers have now discovered that people at higher risk of Alzheimer’s are those with disrupted sleep patterns or sleep-related conditions. The takeaway: if you’re someone who relies on four hours of sleep, you could be doing more toxic damage than you think.
Atrazine. As the second most used herbicide in the U.S., atrazine is applied to half of the nation’s corn and 90% of our sugar cane. It exists in breakfast cereals, fries, hamburger patties and even whiskey! American biologist Tyrone Hayes of UC Berkeley dedicated fifteen years to studying atrazine and through a series of lab tests performed on frogs, discovered some very worrying results.
Male frogs turned into females! They developed ovaries, mated with other male frogs and gave birth to offspring. How? By raising them in water contaminated with atrazine at levels just below the limit for human drinking water, a chemical castration occurred.
Atrazine exposure reduces testosterone while increasing the effect and production of estrogen. The verdict for humans is summed up in a subsequent study where the authors noted,
”low fertility, low sperm count, and poor semen quality were associated with atrazine exposure in humans living in agricultural areas”
At the time of writing this, multiple online petitions were found, calling for congress to ban atrazine due to its public health risks. For more information, click here.
Zip code matters more than genetic code. Social and environmental conditions are coming to the forefront of our health. In his TED Talk, Dr.Rishi Manchanda discusses the case of Veronica, a patient with chronic headache that persisted for years.
After conventional pain medication failed her, Dr. Manchanda took a different approach. By identifying root causes, he eliminated 90% of Veronica’s symptoms by asking the following simple questions:
- Where do you live?
- Do you have mold in your house?
- Do you have a water leak?
- Do you have roaches?
Her responses, in conjunction with a few simple tests, proved Veronica was suffering from allergies due to the toxins in her home.
We have between 30 to 50,000 chemicals in our bodies that our grandparents didn’t have. Toxins are now everywhere. Addressing what we eat, how much we sleep and how we live, can go a long way in mitigating some of their harmful effects.
As always, pushing for health.