Solving Healthcare with Dr. Kwadwo Kyeremanteng

Environmental Toxins – Impact on Health, with Lara Adler

Episode Summary

Key Takeaways Toxins are a broad term referring colloquially to organic or inorganic substances that may negatively impact our health. They can be found everywhere, from our food and water to our living spaces. A huge culprit is water; halogen-based substances like fluoride, used for dental health, and chloride, used effectively for bacterial disinfection, might have remnants in our water that are linked with neurological defects. How can we protect ourselves from the many environmental toxins in our surroundings? Mrs. Adler’s main focus in finding solutions that are cheap and easy, and concentrating on factors that we can control. There are many small, cost-effective ways we can avoid dangerous toxins in our lives, from avoiding pesticide-laden food to replacing certain personal care products and improving our home’s air quality. A Closer Look Environmental Toxins 101 What are environmental toxins? Lara Adler, an expert in the field, can shed some light on the topic. In broad terms, they’re organic and inorganic substances found in our environment that can have negative impact on our health, ranging from what we eat and drink, to where we live. These toxins are found everywhere, she says. Many, such as phthalates, have been linked to severe chronic health concerns such as impaired neurological development. The idea isn’t to live in a plastic bubble, however, because no one can or should do that. What we should focus on is minimizing the effects of these toxins in our lives through cheap and easy changes. Water’s environmental toxins There is a common misconception, says Mrs. Adler, that, since much of the water in the Western world is free of bacteria and other harmful organisms, that it is safe to drink. That, however, is far from the truth. Water in North America, for example, is filled with harmful halogens, such as chloride, used for disinfection, and fluoride, used for cavity prevention. However, both of these substances, while having some benefit, also might be linked to harm. Since iodine, an essential component of a functioning thyroid gland, is also a halogen, ingesting chloride and fluoride might interfere with the body’s processing of the important halogen. This, in term, can have important implications for endocrine disruption. Some studies have shown this to be linked with lower IQ in developing babies, higher rates of autism, and worsening of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, a hypothyroid autoimmune disease. This is also linked with environmental racism, she says, as areas that are less affluent have individuals who struggle to provide the taxes necessary to invest in properly filtering water. A notable example is the water crisis in Flynt, Michigan. This is a vicious cycle, according to Mrs. Adler, as it predisposes this population to neurological disadvantages and leads to downward social mobility. When discussing preventative measures to improve the health of populations, this might be one of the areas giving the biggest bang for your buck. Steps towards a healthier lifestyle This is all very overwhelming, Mrs. Adler acknowledges, and many people struggle knowing where even to begin. Because of this, she focuses on three main aspects: What are the elements that are within our control? What are the main pillars we can address with the biggest effect? What is cheap and easy? A major area that addresses all of these areas is home air quality, she says. The number one rule: stop buying home fragrances like scented candles and air fresheners. These substances are filled with many harmful substances, including phthalates. Phthalates are endocrine-disrupting hormones that are linked to insulin resistance, weight gain and obesity. If you use these products because your house has unpleasant smells, focus on controlling the source of those smells. You can also use natural remedies like flowers, essential oils and opening windows. Other preventative measures include taking off your shoes the moment you enter the home (so as to not bring harmful toxins from the outside inside) and vacuuming very frequently (to remove that harmful dust). Another big concern is food. Go organic whenever possible. Organic foods contain less pesticide traces that, over time, may cause harm. Most seafood has high levels of contaminants such as mercury that have a variety of negative health effects when consumed over time. Fish like tuna and tilapia are highly farmed and contain some of the highest mercury levels. Aim for low-on-the-foodchain, unfarmed fish. A good acronym is SMASH: salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring. Move away from using plastics under all circumstances. It’s impossible to avoid them completely, but try to avoid things such as plastic containers. Opt for glass instead. Fermented foods, for example, are often fermented and then packaged in plastics, which can cause them to contain high levels of these toxins. For personal care products, the same rules apply; try to avoid those that contain phthalates. Don’t go and throw out your entire bathroom, she says, but the next time you buy shampoo, be mindful of that. Mrs. Adler regularly provides coaching the healthcare professionals. The idea is to give them another tool in their box of tricks to help fight disease. When used in conjunction with conventional medicine, her techniques can be very powerful. Further Readings For Lara's Courses, here's the link: Use promo code SOLVINGHEALTHCARE to get an exclusive discount for Lara Adler’s environmental toxins coaching on her website here: Visit the Solving Healthcare website to listen to more podcasts here: Solving Healthcare Apple Podcasts: Check us out on iTunes: “Solving Healthcare with Dr. Kwadwo Kyeremanteng” Resource Optimization Network:

Episode Notes


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