"Body Burden" refers to the total amount of toxic chemicals, both naturally occurring and man-made, that are in the human body at any given point in time. These toxins enter the body through inhalation of particulates in the air, ingestion of contaminated food and water and through absorption by the skin.
Today, there are more than 80,000 chemicals used in the United States alone and many of these become part of our chemical body burden.
Combined with known toxic exposures from alcohol, tobacco smoke, drugs and medications, we are literally swimming in a toxic sea.
Researchers estimate that the average person alive today is carrying at least 700 known contaminants in the blood, skin, fat tissue, semen, muscle, bone, brain tissue and other organs.
Most of these chemicals have not been well-studied. Because many toxic chemicals have the ability to attach to dust particles and are carried through the air and water currents, our bodies are exposed to toxins regardless of where we are living.
Some sources of toxins include: paints, varnishes, glues, gasoline, garden/lawn pesticides, dry-cleaning solvents, PDBEs in flame retardant clothing, xenoestrogens in plastic food containers, petrochemicals in cosmetics and hair dyes, pesticide residues in food, mercury in fish and dental amalgams, lead paint, arsenic in pressure-treated wood, dioxins in non-organic dairy products, formaldehyde in building products, cadmium in cigarette smoke and so many others.
While our bodies have evolved several mechanisms to facilitate the removal of environmental toxins, the problem we face today is the sheer number of chemicals, as well as unrelenting multiple daily exposures.
Although a single known toxin may be safe in small quantities, we simply do not know the health impact of combining so many different chemicals over a long period of time.
Many toxins bio-accumulate and can take years to be fully removed from the body by normal means. Meanwhile, chemical toxins wreak havoc on the body, causing disruptions in all body systems.
Toxins alter hormonal balance, disrupt antioxidant defense systems and may be one factor that is responsible for the increase in cancer and other chronic degenerative diseases.
I also believe that toxicity is part of the reason why so many Americans are overweight. There is a great deal of scientific evidence linking obesity to toxic exposures.
For these reasons, practitioners of natural health often recommend a once or twice yearly detoxification program, in order to reduce one’s total chemical body burden.
A well-planned, scientifically based whole body detoxification program can help facilitate weight loss, improve overall health and provide a much needed insurance policy against the rising tide of toxic chemicals in our environment.
In addition to living a 'clean and green' organic lifestyle, lowering your total body burden through regular whole body detoxification is clearly one of the smartest health investments you can make.