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Larry Newman is the Chief Operating Officer, Technical and Regulatory Affairs of Kirkman Group, Inc. (Kirkman). Contact Kirkman at 1-800-245-8282; 6400 Rosewood St., Lake Oswego, OR.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Environmental Factors and Their Effect on Good Health

By Larry Newman

The Emerging Science
Substantial evidence is emerging that links many diseases to negative environmental influences present in the world in which we live.

Negative environmental factors have been implicated in developmental disorders, gastrointestinal conditions, dysregulation of the immune system, and a myriad of other medical irregularities.  The frequency of many of these conditions is increasing, which leads to further speculation that outside environmental causative factors are involved.

Included in the list of environmental insults that can affect disease states are toxic chemicals, heavy metals, PCBs, and pesticides present in the products we use, and contaminants in the air we breathe and the water we utilize and drink.  These pollutants can affect the body in numerous ways.  Natural body defense mechanisms such as immune response can be bombarded with the insults, thereby becoming less effective because of the toxic load.  Biochemical pathways may be altered, which can lead to abnormal body responses.  Normal development can be impeded.

An area of intense research is how environmental factors affect the genetic makeup of an individual.  There are many genes in our body that are considered "environmentally responsive," which means that they can be altered by environmental factors.  If you alter a gene's expression, the potential exists for changing the normal development of a person.  Some of these changes can be immediate, and some may take years to manifest.  Depending on which gene is involved, an individual can become vulnerable to changes in physical development, immune response, and brain and nervous system development and function.

Possible Signals of a Toxic Load Burden
The following conditions could be present as a result of toxic burden:
  • Learning or speech difficulties
  • Social skills deficits
  • Behavioral problems (e.g. too aggressive or passive)
  • Poor immune response
  • Biochemical pathway irregularities

Minimizing the Toxic Load
Special needs and sensitive individuals often have severe toxic burdens.  This can be compounded by the fact that a biochemical pathway known as methylation is often impaired, which limits the body's ability to detoxify properly.  A doctor's evaluation is needed to determine if this pathway is not working properly.  Nutritional interventions can support improvement in the methylation pathway.  Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) baths or Epsom salt cream both support methylation as do enzymes that aid in ridding the body of phenolic compounds, Kirkman's Phenol Assist, for example.

Certain nutrients are considered natural detoxifiers and can help mitigate exposures by enhancing the body's detoxification process.  Examples of nutrients include vitamins and minerals like zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and selenium.  Other nutritional factors that can be helpful are taurine, N-acetyl cysteine, and glutathione.

Being selective in the products we use or the foods we eat can greatly influence our toxic load.  The Food and Drug Administration has already issued warnings about how much fish we should eat because of the mercury content.  Using other food products or dietary supplements with ultra-high purity such as those with a hypoallergenic designation is another means of minimizing our toxic load.  This also carries over to the personal care products we use and the cleaning agents used in our household.  And, again, don't forget about the air we breathe and the water we drink and use to cook.  The purer our water and air, the less environmental contamination to which we are exposed.  Numerous air and water filtration products are available to improve purity.

An Item to Promote Natural Detoxification
When these environmental toxins are encountered by the body, a detoxification process must occur to prevent a toxic overload.  In individuals who are extremely sensitive or those with developmental disorders, the detoxification pathways are often compromised, which requires the system to obtain a boost from the outside.  Kirkman's Detox-Aid Advanced Formula provides that boost to help the body detoxify properly.

How Does Detox-Aid Advanced Formula Work?
The ingredients in Detox-Aid Advanced Formula and how they work to help the detoxification process are described below:
  • As toxins become active in the body, glucuronic acid combines with the toxins to form a non-toxic molecule called glucuronide which can be excreted into bile, thereby eliminating the toxin.  An enzyme called beta-glucuronidase present in the body largely as a byproduct of intestinal flora can disassemble that nontoxic molecule, which then frees up the activated toxin again.  Calcium D-Glucarate acts to prevent that disassembly process of the glucuronide by becoming D-glucaro-1,4-lactone, the direct inhibitor of the beta-glucuronidase.  Without this inhibition process, the cleaving of the glucuronide would lead to the toxin being reabsorbed by the intestinal mucosa.
  • Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant that increases the formation of the detoxifying glucuronides.  Turmeric's antioxidant properties also aid glutathione in doing its job.
  • Reduced L-Glutathione is required by body cells in order to detoxify.
  • Alpha-ketoglutaric acid is present because it has the ability to bind with toxins in the body and helps escort them out of the cell through the excretory process.
  • Taurine is an essential component of bile formation.  Bile flow into the intestinal tract is a major detoxification route in the body, along with sweat, urine, breath, hair and nails.
  • Milk thistle contains silymarin, which is a very powerful antioxidant that prevents free radical damage to cells.  It also reduces liver toxicity by blocking cell binding sites of toxins, thereby slowing or stopping the cellular uptake of those toxins.  In human and animal studies, silymarin is protective against the toxic effects of alcohol, carbon tetrachloride, mushrooms, and many other chemicals and pesticides.
  • Olive leaf extract is present in Detox-Aid to limit or eliminate the growth of undesirable intestinal flora, harmful bacteria, fungi and yeasts, which tend to thrive in the presence of sulfur compounds such as glutathione and N-acetyl cysteine.
  • Selenium is present due to the fact that it is an antagonist toward ingested metals, including lead, mercury, aluminum and cadmium.
Other Important Considerations
Detox-Aid Advanced Formula assists in the body's natural removal of ingested heavy metals and works synergistically with detoxifying compounds such as DMSA and DMPS, which physicians may use when a toxic metal burden is confirmed via laboratory testing.

You may be in the beginning stages of trying to eliminate toxins that are present in our environment.  We should all be addressing that situation.  Some will remain, however, as we still need to eat, drink and breathe to sustain our lives.  Kirkman's Detox-Aid Advanced Formula can help to enhance our body's detoxification process, maximizing the elimination of chemicals, pesticides, smoke, metals, allergens and food impurities.