Could toxins be damaging your brain?
Did you know that environmental toxins can end up staying in our bodies and, sometimes, even in our fat cells? Water soluble toxins are easily removed from the body via urine or sweat. However, fat soluble toxins are not so easy to remove, and the body ends up storing these toxins in the fat cells.
The National Health Adipose Tissue Survey (NHATS) sampled fat cells in the US (starting in 1967 and concluding in late 1980s) and found over 20 toxic chemicals in a regionally diverse sample of the population. Since the green revolution and better living through chemicals in the 1940s many fat soluble chemicals have been introduced into the environment and thus the food chain. Many of these are foreign to the detoxification pathways of the body, and so the body is unsure how to respond and will store them in the fat cells. If the toxins are in the body for a short period of time then it is unlikely that they will do much harm, but when they are stored in the fat cells, their effect on the body is not positive. As they continue to accumulate, the oxidation and free radical damage that they cause can lead to metabolic and systemic dysfunctions (source).
This becomes a scary reality for your brain, as it is the fattiest organ in your body and may consist of at least 60 percent of fat. While these crucial fatty acid molecules determine your brain’s integrity and ability to perform, they can also become home to a hazardous cess-pool of toxin build-up.
Not only could this lead to brain fog, irritability, poor concentration, behavioural issues or recurring headaches and migraines, but also more serious conditions like ADHD, Alzheimers, brain tumours and depression.
Just looking at depression, there is good scientific evidence for a relationship between depression and environmental toxins. Toxins make their way to your brain and bed-down in fatty molecules, where they damage cells and change how your neurons fire. According to Dr. Kalish (my functional medicine hero!), some of the most significant environmental toxins are heavy metals, such as mercury, arsenic and aluminum. Also problematic are chemicals like benzene and toluene. These toxins can be found in our water supply, food, cosmetics and household cleaners.
It is estimated that the average Australian now has between 300 and 400 different neurotoxins circulating in his or her body at any one time – that is crazy, and scary! It’s a wonder that any of us can actually be happy or think straight! Even newborn babies are now born with some level of neurotoxic chemicals on board. Your body isn’t equipped to break these down, so they tend to accumulate over time and dysregulate your biochemistry. Making matters worse, many if not most people have dysbiosis, or imbalanced gut flora, and some of these microorganisms are responsible for breaking down the toxins in your GI tract, so you can eliminate them. All of these problems contribute to today’s toxic overload.
It’s true that we’re all exposed to these chemicals to some degree because they’re pervasive in our environment — in your air, food and water. We can’t completely escape them, but we can take action to significantly reduce toxins in our environment. We can choose to drink filtered water (this is what I use, and I love it!), eat local and organic foods, and we can promote cleaner air in our homes by choosing to use toxic-free household cleaning products and cosmetics, and chuck away synthetic air fresheners and candles and diffuse instead pure, high-quality essential oils.
While cutting out toxin-laden processed foods might be really hard for some people, chucking away your poisonous cleaning products is a piece of cake (ah hum, paleo cake!). Some people might argue it’s too expensive. But it really isn’t if you make your own. Others might say they don’t have the time or the skills to make their own stuff. I say: what, like you don’t have a spare two minutes to chuck some simple ingredients together? Because that’s all it takes to make many natural DIY products.
Seriously, it is so cheap, quick and easy. And it’s a really effective way of cutting down the toxins in your home as so many cleaning products have such potent and poisonous ingredients in them. And by cutting down the toxins in your life, you can feel assured that you will be doing the world of good for your brain!
So if you want to take good care of your brain – if you want to be happier, smarter and feel more at peace with your life – why not come along to our next DIY Chemical-Free Cleaning Workshop on Saturday 13 August, 4pm at Deloraine House. As part of the workshop, we’re challenging all participants to go and investigate what exactly is in your cleaning products before the event. If you find that what you’re using contains toxic ingredients, bring them along to the workshop and make a public statement to never use them again by chucking them in the TOXIC BIN 😉
To make this task easier (of working out which ingredients are toxic), here are ten of the more dangerous cleaning ingredients that you should keep an eye out for:
If you’d like to learn more about navigating your way through the chemical maze which has become our world, feel free come along to the workshop and get ready to be empowered! All welcome. Bring a friend 🙂
The workshop is $30, which covers the cost of all the ingredients, containers and Young Living essential oils that you will use to make five cleaning products to take home to replace your old toxic ones. Spaces are limited, so we would appreciate if you can book in and pay prior to the night. Our last two workshops were fully booked out, so make sure to get in quick! You can purchase your spot for the workshop here 🙂