ENDOCRINE-DISRUPTING CHEMICAL THREATEN HUMAN HEALTH
Byron J. Richards, CCN
November 16, 2013
Americans are exposed every day to a variety of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which scientists now warn are an extreme threat to human health. Even low levels of exposure can disrupt hormonal function and contribute to problems with thyroid, weight gain, reproductive health, cardiovascular function, and cancer. Recently, a typical group of scientists-for-hire representing the status quo of the chemical industry argued for business as usual. In an unprecedented response, 20 editors-in-chief and 28 associate and senior editors of endocrine, neuroendocrine, environmental, and other peer-reviewed journals adamantly countered the bogus propaganda.
This is now a very serious issue, as EDCs are ubiquitous in the environment. They are commonly found in food and food containers, plastic products, furniture, toys, carpeting, building materials, and cosmetics. Many of these chemicals are man made, meaning that your detoxification system has little genetic experience in dealing with them. EDCs readily interfere with hormonal function in a variety of ways and are therefore a significant form of stress that lowers the efficiency of your hormonal function, potentially even being the cause for or at least a significant risk factor for disease.
While limiting exposure is always a good idea, the problem is now so pervasive that exposure to some extent is the reality for just about everyone. Our government is its typically handicapped self, with the chemical lobby pulling the puppet strings of politicians. This leaves you and your family to fend for yourselves.
One of the excellent uses of nutrition is to help your body clear chemical toxins, including EDCs, in a more efficient manner. Based on pervasive environmental exposure, this type of nutritional support is now common sense. It should now be considered a basic part of any person’s nutritional program, just as a person would use nutrition for energy, stress, bones, etc.
In terms of basic support in this category, adequate dietary fiber is needed and supplemental fiber is a good idea for many. Fiber acts like a sponge for toxins, soaking them up from the digestive tract and help clearing them from your body. Iodine is another basic detoxification nutrient. Molecular iodine can readily bind to numerous types of EDCs, including heavy metals, and help clear them. Antioxidants in general is another basic. You will need to use higher amounts of antioxidants to counter exposure to EDCs, which uses them up for other important needs. There are a number of antioxidant type nutrients whose forte is clearing chemicals while protecting your liver which is the key detoxification organ of your body. The rest of this article is devoted to some of my favorite nutrients in this category.
Silymarin (milk thistle) is a flavonoid herb that has particular affinity for the liver, although it helps protect many other areas of the body such as your brain and kidneys. It is widely used around the world as a treatment for liver disease, acute poisoning, and alcohol-related liver damage. The scientific scrutiny of silymarin expands its mechanisms of protective action for the liver, lending credibility to its long standing medical and folk medicine uses.
International toxicologists continue to be highly impressed by the diverse and potent actions of silymarin to help the liver function. It protects your liver from free radical damage, boosting antioxidant enzyme function within the liver. It blocks the entry of toxic compounds into liver cells, preventing toxins from killing liver cells. It strengthens liver cell membranes in a way that reduces the production of inflammatory signals that contribute to poor health. And it is widely known as a beneficial therapy, helping patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis, reducing mortality and severity of the problem.
It has recently been shown to inhibit HIV infection, reduce airway allergy response (asthma), protect against drug damage to the kidneys, and significantly boost the activity of liver detoxification enzymes. While extensive literature reviews by lead researchers conclude that silymarin is a “promising drug for chronic liver disease,” I prefer to think of it as a unique nutrient that offers stellar protection against the ongoing exposure to a variety of pollutants and toxins, including the EDCs.
R Alpha Lipoic Acid
R alpha lipoic acid is the most biologically active form of lipoic acid. It is a small molecule antioxidant, both fat and water soluble. It has been known for several decades that lipoic acid offers potent protection for the liver, helping with alcohol-induced damage, mushroom poisoning, metal poisoning as well as metabolic problems such as insulin resistance and diabetic polyneuropathy. It was recently shown to help clear the toxin acetaldehyde, which elevates from excess alcohol or problems with Candida. It was also recently show to prevent fatty liver disease, boosting liver fitness in multiple ways.
I have extensively reviewed the detoxification and antioxidant properties of chlorella in an earlier article, Chlorella – A Potent Superfood. It is one of the very best nutrients for absorbing metal-based toxins and helping to clear them. It is excellent at clearing PCBs and dioxins, potent EDCs. It has also been shown to help patients with a fatty liver, protects against methylmercury, and has even improved liver health in patients with hepatitis C.
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Many excellent nutrients are capable of helping your liver clear toxins, including EDCs. Basics include extra fiber, iodine, and antioxidants in general. Some antioxidant nutrients are also stellar detoxification and liver health nutrients like silymarin, lipoic acid, and chlorella. And there are many more. Others I like and have used for decades are dandelion, NAC, taurine, and glycine.
Because of the excessive amount of chemical pollution in today’s world, nutrients that help defend your body from toxins while helping your liver and digestive tract clear them more efficiently is an a great way to help balance your body to better cope with this type of ongoing stress.
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