by Christine Hunt
Other blogs in my Detox series that you may be interested in reading are:
What are toxins?
Dictionary.com partially defines toxins as “any poison produced by an organism” . Webster states it as “A poisonous substance that is a specific product of the metabolic activities of a living organism and is usually very unstable, notably toxic when introduced into the tissues, and typically capable of inducing antibody formation”.
In other words, in the process of living, a body creates poisonous substances that the body has to fight against. The key word here is poison whether the body creates it or it comes from unnatural sources. It is still poisonous to our bodies resulting in physical, emotional and psychological imbalances.
The toxins created within our bodies are called endogenous toxins. They can be waste products from normal body functions such as carbon dioxide that we exhale, urea (in our urine) and lactic acid that becomes lodged in our muscles when we exercise.
One of the biggest sources of endogenous toxins is our digestive system. Poor eating habits (not completely chewing food is a big one) and diets rich in highly refined foods such as white breads, and sugary cereals, sodas and snacks contribute to the problem. A deficiency in pancreatic enzymes and stress which can lead to a unhealthy balance of microorganisms in your gut (intestinal dysbiosis) are also factors. The latter shows up as infections involving yeast, fungi, bad bacteria and sometimes intestinal parasites.
Exogenous toxins are ingested or absorbed into the body from external sources which include the water that we drink and in which we bathe, the air we breathe, the food we consume and products that we touch which absorb toxins through our skin.
In America there are tens of thousands of chemicals that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and they are used in everything we touch, breathe and eat. Individually and in small doses they pose little health risks. But when we experience long term exposure, which increases concentrations of each chemical, and then they are combined in our bodies, a literal toxic brew is created. Those of us who undergo chemotherapy treatments are likely the most toxic of all. Chemicals that are foreign to our bodies contribute to the decline of our overall health and rising medical costs.
Below are lists of toxins found in food, drugs, skin care products, cleaning products and others that are pervasive in our environment inside and outside of our bodies.
These lists are a bit long but I wanted to give you an idea as to how pervasive toxic chemicals are in our modern world the effects they have on our bodies and how they may be contributing to a host of ailments that are becoming more and more common in people of all ages.
Look for these ingredients on the labels of everything you buy, because everything you buy most likely contains these and other toxins. If the label of the product doesn’t contain ingredient information (and many cleaning products are not required by law to do so) then go to the company website and search for the product’s ingredients. If not available there, contact the company and ask for the information. After all, it is your body and you have a right to know what you are putting into and onto it.
So, the first step in your detoxing journey is to be aware of them and avoid them whenever possible.
These lists do not include chemicals used in the growing of our food. The best way to avoid them and Genetically Modified crops (GMOs) is to buy organic.
A future blog post will include alternative products that you can include in your lifestyle.
Top 10 Food Additives to Avoid
|Additive||Known as||Used in||Reasons to Avoid|
|Aspartame||E951||so-called “diet” or “sugar free” products (including diet coke, coke zero), jello, desserts, sugar free gum, drink mixes, table top sweeteners, cereal, breath mints, puddings, kool-aid, iced tea, chewable vitamins, toothpaste, cough syrup||Aspartame is not your friend. It is a neurotoxin and carcinogen. Known to erode intelligence and affect short-term memory, the components of this toxic sweetener may lead to a wide variety of ailments including brain tumor, diseases like lymphoma, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, depression and anxiety attacks, dizziness, headaches, nausea, mental confusion and seizures.|
|High Fructose Corn Syrup||HFCS||most processed foods, breads, candy, flavored yogurts, salad dressings, canned vegetables, cereals||
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a highly-refined artificial sweetener which has become the number one source of calories in America. HFCS packs on the pounds faster than any other ingredient, increases your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and contributes to the development of obesity and diabetes.
|Monosodium Glutamate||MSG / E621||Chinese food, potato chips, many snacks, chips, cookies, seasonings, most Campbell Soup products, frozen dinners, lunch meats||
MSG is used as a flavor enhancer but also effects the neurological pathways of the brain and disengages the “I’m full” function which results, for many, in weight gain. MSG is an excitotoxin, and regular consumption may result in depression, disorientation, eye damage, fatigue, headaches and obesity.
|Trans Fat||Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils||margarine, chips and crackers, baked goods, fast foods||
Trans fat increases LDL cholesterol levels while decreasing HDS (“good”) cholesterol, increases the risk of heart attacks, heart disease and strokes and contributes to increased inflammation, diabetes and other health problems.
|Common Food Dyes:
Blue #1, Blue #2,
Red #3, Red #40,
Yellow #6, Yellow Tartrazine
|candy, cereal, soft drinks, sports drinks, pet foods, fruit cocktail, maraschino cherries, cherry pie mix, ice cream, bakery products, American cheese, macaroni and cheese.||Artificial colorings may contribute to behavioral problems like ADD and ADHD in children and lead to a significant reduction in IQ. Animal studies have linked other food colorings to cancer.|
|Sodium Sulphite||E221||wine and dried fruit||
According to the FDA approximately 1 in 100 people are sensitive to sulfites in food. Individuals who are sulfite sensitive may experience asthma, headaches, breathing problems and rashes.
|E250||hot dogs, bacon, ham, luncheon meat, cured meats, corned beef, smoked fish or any other type of processed meat.||
Sodium Nitrate is the chemical that turns meats bright red but it’s highly carcinogenic once it enters the human digestive system. There it forms a variety of nitrosamine compounds that enter the bloodstream and wreak havoc with a number of internal organs; the liver and pancreas in particular. This toxic chemical is linked to many cancers.
|BHA and BHT||E320||Used as a preservative in potato chips, gum, cereal, frozen sausages, enriched rice, lard, shortening, candy, jello||
This common preservative keeps foods from changing color, changing flavor or becoming rancid. Effects the neurological system of the brain, alters behavior and has potential to cause cancer. BHA and BHT are oxidants which form cancer-causing reactive compounds in your body.
|Sulphur Dioxide||E220||Used as a preservative in beers, soft drinks, dried fruit, juices, cordials, wine, vinegar and potato products.||
Sulphur additives are toxic. Adverse reactions include: bronchial problems, asthma, hypotension, flushing tingling sensations or anaphylactic shock. It destroys vitamins B1 and E in the body. Not recommended for consumption by children.
|Potassium Bromate||E924||Used to increase volume in bread and bread rolls||
Potassium bromate is known to cause cancer in animals. Even small amounts in bread can create problems for humans.
Drugs (a partial list)
|Drug Name||Reasons to Avoid|
|Over the counter and prescription drugs that warn their use may lead to liver damage.||Liver damage.|
|Recreational drugs like heroin, cocaine and cannabis.||Heroin weakens immune system, loss of memory and appetite, partial paralysis, constipation and depression among others. Cocaine causes nose bleeds, chronic diarrhea, heart disease, hyperthermia, et al.
Cannabis causes respiratory problems including inflammation in the lungs, chronic bronchitis, and infections like pneumonia.
|Other recreational drugs include barbiturates, methadone, ketamine, amphetamines, solvents that are inhaled like glue, nail polish remover, LSD and more.||All result in toxins in the body.|
|Alcohol||Damage to the liver.|
|Tobacco||Mouth, throat and lung cancer.|
|Chemotherapy||Toxification of the whole body. May lead to Leukemia.|
Skin Care Products (a partial list)
|Additive||Used in||Reasons to Avoid|
|Parabens||Preservatives in moisturizes, shampoos/conditions and makeup.||
Disrupts hormone function and linked to breast cancer and fertility problems.
|Phthalates||Softeners in cosmetics, shampoo and plastic toys. May be listed as “fragrance”.||Endocrine disruptor and may cause reproductive and neurological damage.|
|Diethanolamine (DEA)||In cosmetics.||
Reacts with cosmetic components to create nitrosodoiethanolamine (NDEA) a potent carcinogen linked with cancers.
|Petrolatum (mineral oils & paraffin)||In creams, ointments and other personal care products.||
Clogs pores and creates toxin build up. Slows cellular development.
|Fragrance||Listed as such on labels of lotions, perfume, deodorant and shampoos.||
Among the top five allergens in the world. Can contain neurotoxins (like Toluene) that causes loss of muscle control, brain damage, headaches, memory loss, problems with speech, hearing and vision.
|Formaldehyde||In nail polish, body lotion, cleansers, shampoo/conditions, body wash styling gel, sunscreen and makeup.||Carcinogen and toxic to the immune system and respiratory tract.|
|Heavy metals: Includes lead, aluminum, arsenic, nickel, beryllium, mercury & cadmium.
|Found in deodorants, makeup, lipstick, eyeliner and mascara.
Endocrine disruptors. Causes brain fog, digestive problems, headaches, muscle tremors, fatigue, muscle/joint pain, skin problems and rashes, tingling in extremities, and many other symptoms.
Cleaning Products (a partial list)
|Additive||Used in||Reasons to Avoid|
|Chlorine||In scouring powders, toilet bowl cleaners, mildew removers, laundry whiteners and tap water.||It is a skin, eye and respiratory irritant, allergen, possible thyroid disruptor and causes tooth enamel erosion.|
|Ammonia||In bathroom and jewelry polishing products, glass cleaner some fertilizers.||
Irritant of skin, eyes and lungs. Allergen, leads to bronchitis. When inhaled damages cells on contact. Severe exposure causes burning of bodily tissues.
|Triclosan||In many liquid dishwashing detergents and hand soaps labeled “antibacterial”.||
May affect thyroid hormone production. Impairs muscle function, weakens immune system, reproductive and developmental toxin. Promotes growth of resistant bacteria.
|2_Butoxyethanol||In window, kitchen and multipurpose cleaners.||
When inhaled causes sore throats. At high levels contributes to narcosis, pulmonary edema and severe liver and kidney damage.
|Quarternary amonium compounds (QUATS)||In fabric softeners and most household cleaners labeled “antibacterial”.
A skin irritant. Causes respiratory disorders and is an allergen. Promotes growth of resistant bacteria.
Miscellaneous Products (a partial list)
|Additive||Used in||Reasons to Avoid|
|Bisphenol-A (BPA)||In plastics of food can liners, children’s toys, some food and water plastic containers.
|Endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen. Linked to breast and other cancers, reproductive problems, obesity and early puberty.|
|Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE or Fire retardants)
|Found in baby and children’s clothes, upholstery fabrics and electronic plastics.||Affects thyroid hormone levels, may cause birth defects and deficits in learning and memory.|
To download a .pdf file of these tables, please fill out the form below.
To your health!
How many of these toxins can you find on the products you buy?
If you would like to begin a detox, contact me to discuss your options.
Please share your questions and comments below.
EWG, Dr. Ben Kim, Dr. Ben Kim,American Health Institute, Medical Insider, National Institute on Drug Abuse, The Promise Land Farm, Even Better Health, Experience Life, Global Healing Center, Mighty Nest, Pollution in People, Dr. Mercola
Christine Hunt is a Wellness Coach and Certified EFT Practitioner and has found that working with the whole person by combining mind/body work, dietary adjustments and movement provides her clients with the tools they need to lose weight (and keep it off), get relief from chronic illness and positively transform their lives. Contact her for a free, 15 minute consultation to learn why what she does works when other methods have failed.
Christine works with her clients in person, by Skype or phone. So, if you live away from the Annapolis, Maryland area, she can still work with you.