Fat soluble toxins? Not exactly a household name. Fat soluble is a term commonly used to distinguish between two types of vitamins, fat and water soluble. Fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K are easily dissolved in fats and water soluble vitamins such as B Complex and C are readily absorbed in water. When a substance is water soluble it is immediately absorbed into the blood stream and excreted through the kidneys. When a substance is classified as fat soluble, it has the ability to penetrate through the cells lipid bilayer and be absorbed directly into the cell and stored in tissues anywhere in your body. Fat soluble substances are usually absorbed in fat molecules that travel through the lymphatic system of the small intestines and into the general blood circulation within the body. Thus, if you take too many vitamins, the excess will either be released immediately or stored throughout your body, which can reach toxic levels as they accumulate year after year. So if our bodies can become toxic from excess "fat-soluble" vitamins, what other substances are unknowingly being stored in our tissues?
According to the Chemical Industry Archives, a division of the Environmental Working Group, there are more than 7 million recognized chemicals in existence, and approximately 80,000 of them are commonly used worldwide. We are constantly exposed to these chemicals via food, environment and the products we use. Toxins such as heavy metals, pesticides, preservatives, food additives, prescriptions, personal care products, pollutants, plastics and other environmental chemicals are fat soluble and thus absorbed and stored throughout our body's cells, tissues, organs and even bones.
Overall, detoxification is a highly complicated process involving all of our cells, our blood, lymphatic system, digestion, liver and kidneys. The liver plays a crucial role in filtering out damaging substances from our body. Through a process called oxidation, the liver uses oxygen and enzymes to burn toxins, making them more soluble in water, essential to our body's ability to get rid of them. Bile, produced by the liver, absorbs heavy metals, parasites, pesticides, bad bacteria, and numerous other chemicals that can cause problems. If there is plenty of fiber in the diet, the bile along with the toxic waste will be released through the colon. If it's deficient, the toxins get sent back to the liver to be recycled. Over time, this scenario results in an overwhelmed and congested liver and bile that is too thick and viscous to break down fat-soluble toxins. In addition, when the liver becomes overloaded it dumps the toxins into the blood stream which then dissolve into the fat cells where they can be stored indefinitely causing free radical damage, disease and degeneration of the surrounding tissues or organs and leading to a possible health crisis down the road. The brain is a common place for heavy metals and other fat soluble toxins to be stored causing a host of cognitive problems, brain fog and emotional imbalances.
Since toxins often accumulate for many years without warning signs, proactivity is key. When our lymphatic systems get sluggish, it's common to start experiencing symptoms like acne, rosacea, psoriasis, rashes, cellulite, fatigue, brain fog, mood swings and pain in our muscles and joints. Unfortunately, many individuals don't connect these symptoms with a more serious problem developing and instead just treat the symptoms or worse, accept it as their normal state of being and do nothing.
In addition, detox pathways become sluggish with regular consumption of alcohol, cigarettes, a sedentary lifestyle and high levels of stress. Unlike our cardiovascular system, our lymphatic system doesn't have it's own pump and must be supported by eating the right foods, sweating, massage and keeping active.
When it comes to safe detoxification, consistency is key. In just a few minutes each day, you can revive your lymphatic system in fun and easy ways. My personal favorites are jumping on a mini trampoline, hot yoga, Whole Body Vibration, foam rolling, Belle Core's Body Buffer and Cryotherapy. Among many health benefits, each of these modalities support and increase lymph flow so that the toxins being stored in cellulite or surrounding tissues can be released. Cryotherapy, using extremely cold temperatures (- 150F to -200F) to turn your body into a fat burning machine. While toxins are being flushed from peripheral tissues and blood is revitalized with oxygen, enzymes, and nutrients, the immune system is activated and a rush of endorphins released.
The keystones of our health, vitality, and mental well-being rely on our cells ability to release toxins and absorb nutrients. If you are feeling any symptoms of toxin accumulation, kick start your health by downloading my Beauty Detox Program here.
Before you begin any detox protocol, it's important to know the basic ground rules to a safe and effective detox.
1. Pace Yourself. Detoxing too fast is not only uncomfortable but can be very dangerous. Imagine your body like a fish tank. When you look in the water appears to be clear, but if you put your hand in and stir the gravel, chances are you will have a murky fish tank in no time. This is exactly what happens when we attempt to pull out toxins too quickly without all the proper components being addressed. First we need to taking a binding supplement to attract the heavy metals and chemicals via adsorption . Adsorption is the process in which atoms molecules from a substance adhere to a surface of the adsorbent. Next we need to eliminate. The 3 keys to effective elimination is Water, Fiber and Movement. Think sweep and mop.
2. Reduce Exposure. Discontinue use of plastic containers, especially tupperware and plastic water bottles, aluminum cans, chemical laden personal care products and household goods. Choose organic. EWG puts a list called the Dirty Dozen each year stating the most important produce to purchase organic .
3. Support detox pathways with detox supplements and foods. As impurities are able to get into the blood stream they can lodge themselves into the various cells, tissues and organs including the brain. Additionally, these toxins can damage the red blood cells and reduce the body’s ability to bring oxygen and nutrients to the cells.
4. Get plenty of rest. The body needs time to recuperate and rebuild, and if we are constantly on the go or facing stressful situations, we aren't getting the necessary downtime needed to repair and rebuild.
5. Don't forget to breathe. The breath is the easiest yet most forgotten way to help our body relax, and detoxify. Shallow breaths rob our cells of oxygen needed for nutrition and excretion.