Most of us have come across toxins (or toxic) be it a toxic chemical or toxic relationship or a de-tox(in).
But what is exactly is a toxin?
The actual scientific or biochemical name for a toxin is ‘xenobiotic’. It is bit of a mouthful but sounds ‘xeno’ means foreign and ‘biotic’ means life …in other words foreign to life. Xenobiotics in the more scientific sense include, medications such as antibiotics, birth control pill, chemicals such as pesticides and the well known preservative parabens which is found in even the so called ‘natural cosmetic products’.
We also produce our own xenobiotics (known as endogenous toxins) from the breakdown of certain hormones, but also from the breakdown of the external toxins which can be even more toxic than the original ‘toxin’ but they go through this process to be eliminated other wise they cannot be eliminated and that would create an explosion of diseases.
It seems a bit crazy you may be thinking, but the whole purpose of this elimination process is to ensure these toxins are water-soluble so they can be excreted from the body. OK over with the jargon bit….
So just quick add on here, detoxification is basically the elimination of these toxins in a safe way so they do not create harm on the way out IF they get out, we all know what happened with DDT!
I will just use the word toxins instead of xenobiotics from now. Did you know toxins can impact the immune system, the hormonal system and the central nervous system and this means diseases such as cancer, auto-immune conditions such as certain types of arthritis, Hashimoto’s, Grave’s, dementia, Alzheimer’s etc…unfortunately the list is endless.
So what does one need to keep these toxins at an all time low? Primarily, we need to avoid toxins as much as possible and I am not talking about living in a bubble either, actually that would be rather claustrophobic leading to it’s own emotional toxins. Secondly we need a healthy detox system.
Let’s look at firstly avoiding toxins. As you can imagine we cannot avoid all toxins, there are toxins in the air we breathe, in our work places, on the trains and tubes, in our food (pesticides, colourings, preservatives), toxins in our cosmetic products, household chemicals including our washing up powders which are known to release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) toxins that even babies are exposed to at such an early age), mattresses that release bromine, medications and more. And the third biggest cause of death at present in the USA known as iatrogenic disease, which is disease caused by medications known to create more of a toxic burden on the body.
Hopefully, you get the sense that we can reduce our toxin load. For more on toxins and detoxification click here.