Lipophilic toxins enter your body through the food chain, and through the air you breathe. To avoid acute toxicity, the body lodges the toxins in adipose tissues (fat cells). From there they leach into the bloodstream in slow, continuous poisoning.
The high levels and increasing contamination of human breast milk in the US and Canada provides ample evidence of widespread distribution of lipophilic toxins in our environment.(2-4) I will take the example of just one of them, the much used flame retardants, PBDs (polybrominated biphenyls).
In North America, levels of PBDs in breast milk, are now among the highest in the world,(4,5) higher than levels in Europe or Asia. To put it in perspective, PBDs in human breast milk in North America are much higher than the legal limit for any other form of milk.
So it is not surprising that PDB levels are higher in our newborns and infants than in adults. Damage by these toxins to the developing brains during early childhood has become a massive health problem.
Elevated PBDs in breast milk are linked with lower birth weight, and smaller heads in newborns.(6) In the Netherlands, high blood PBD levels in the mother at the 35th week of pregnancy correlated with defective motor function, defective cognition, and disordered behavior of the child measured up to age six.(7) In New York City, prenatal PBD exposure (as indicated by cord blood PBD levels) was linked with lower scores on tests of mental and physical development at the ages of 1–4 and 6.(8) A recent controlled study in Spain (9) reports decreased attention, and decreases in cognitive and motor scores in infants and children exposed to PBDs.
Neuro-developmental disorders, including autism, attention deficit disorder, and mental retardation, have increased astronomically over the last 20 years.(10-12) A new official review published yesterday, 10 September 2013, shows a five-fold increase in prescription of Ritalin and other drugs used for these disorders during just the last 10 years.(13)
Unfortunately, this problem has not received much political attention. No one wants to take responsibility for it. Few even want to speak about it. Government agencies spend billions each year to reduce toxins. They are largely unsuccessful because rapid industrial growth (and its toxicity) is deemed politically essential for the economy. So it wins out over health every time.
The evidence against PBDs is now so strong that the EPA is phasing them out. But, just like DDT, which took Rachael Carson’s 1962 book, Silent Spring, to get it banned by 1972, PBDs will remain in the environment for our lifetime. Bald eagles in California still show high levels of DDT even though they were all born decades after the ban. Again, like DDT, the PBDs they can persist in the body for decades, slowly damaging the brain and shortening lifespan.
The ray of hope is the miracle of the human body. As a living, constantly renewing organism it is eminently cleanable. Regular cleansing routines, emphasizing a high intake of clean water, and alkaline nutritional regimens, together with reductions in body fat, enable the body to excrete most of the toxins. You clean your teeth daily in order to maintain them. Your health will benefit a great deal more if you also clean your body daily, from the inside out.
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1. Jandacek RJ, Tso P. Factors affecting the storage and excretion of toxic lipophilic xenobiotics. Lipids. 2001 Dec;36(12):1289-1305.
2. Colgan M Save Your Brain. Vancouver: Science Books, 2008.
3. Colgan M. Nutrition for Champions, Vancouver: Science Books, 2007.
4. Marchitti SA, et al. Improving infant exposure and health risk estimates: using serum data to predict polybrominated diphenyl ether concentrations in breast milk. Environ Sci Technol. 2013 May 7;47(9):4787-95. doi: 10.1021/es305229d.
5. Giordano G, Costa LG. Developmental Neurotoxicity: Some Old and New Issues. ISRN Toxicol. 2012; 2012: 814795. Published online 2012 June 24. doi: 10.5402/2012/814795PMCID: PMC3658697
6. Chao HR, et al. Levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in breast milk from central Taiwan and their relation to infant birth outcome and maternal menstruation effects. Environment International. 2007;33(2):239–245.
7. Roze E, et al. Prenatal exposure to organohalogens, including brominated flame retardants, influences motor, cognitive, and behavioral performance at school age. Environmental Health Perspectives.2009;117(12):1953–1958.
8. Herbstman JB, Sjödin A, Kurzon M, et al. Prenatal exposure to PBDEs and neurodevelopment. Environmental Health Perspectives.2010;118(5):712–719.
9. Gascon M, Vrijheid M, Martínez D, et al. Effects of pre and postnatal exposure to low levels of polybromodiphenyl ethers on neurodevelopment and thyroid hormone levels at 4 years of age.Environment International. 2011;37(3):605–611.
10. Rutter M Incidence of autism spectrum disorders: changes over time and their meaning. Acta Paediatr 2005;94 (1) 2- 15
11. Croen et al. The changing prevalence of autism in California. J Autism Dev Disord 2002;32 (3) 207- 215
12. Fombonne E The prevalence of autism. JAMA 2003;289 (1) 87- 89
13. Dalsgaard S, Nielsen HS, Simonsen M. Five-Fold Increase in National Prevalence Rates of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Medications for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, and other Psychiatric Disorders: A Danish Register-Based Study. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2013 Sep 9. [Epub ahead of print