There are over 80,000 chemicals registered for use in the United States and that number is estimated to grow by 1000 chemicals each year. As a result, numerous studies are not only demonstrating just how toxic our environment is, but how toxic we are, too. In fact, samples of blood, urine, and adipose tissue taken from adults across the US commonly demonstrate not just a few toxic chemicals, but an average of almost 100 chemicals present in their systems.
Toxic load refers to the accumulation of xenobiotics (toxins) in the body due to environmental exposures such as air and water pollutants, food-based chemicals, heavy metals, chemicals in personal and household products, plastics, and pesticides. Chronic low-level exposure to toxins can negatively impact our bodily functions. It’s essential to recognize that each individual is unique, and exposures can lead to different health outcomes. Most of the time, our body can break down and eliminate toxins through our detoxification pathways. However, as our bodies are increasingly exposed to chemicals and our toxic load builds up, bodily processes start to decline, resulting in poor health outcomes.
Our toxic load reflects the extent and duration of toxic exposure relative to our overall health and the efficiency of our cellular processes. Reducing our toxic load can help all our organ systems thrive and function optimally. Our bodies continually detoxify substances as a natural, everyday function. However, the combination of the toxic assault we face in today’s modern world, excessive stress, poor nutrition, and lack of exercise can overwhelm our bodies, leading to overload and poor health.
Environmental exposures have been increasingly linked to a wide range of health issues, as our modern world exposes us to numerous chemicals and pollutants. Health issues associated with environmental exposures include respiratory problems, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, type 2 diabetes, disruptions in the immune and reproductive systems, and even neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, there is growing evidence suggesting that toxic overload contributes to autoimmune diseases and inflammatory conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis. As we continue to learn more about the potential dangers of environmental exposures, understanding and addressing these risks becomes essential for promoting long-term health and wellness.