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Toxins Inside the Home_Final

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>> Welcome back. In this lecture, we'll be talking about some of the ways we're exposed to toxins everyday through the products that we use and the impact this can have on our gut health. You and your clients may not even be aware of the sheer number of toxic chemicals you're touching, eating, or breathing every day but you're about to find out. This may sound a bit depressing but don't worry. We have solutions to share too. Did you know that there are healthier alternatives for nearly every one of these chemicals? It's true. The natural and organic products industry has exploded over the last decade. In fact, the organic personal care product industry has been projected to net over $15 billion by the year 2020, and that's just organic skin, hair, and cosmetics products. This shows that people are becoming more aware of the ingredients in their household and personal care products, and the negative impact they can have on their health. This is great news. As you can imagine, chemicals hide in the most unlikely places, like triclosan in dish soap, parabens in shampoo and moisturizer, and BPA in so many food and skincare packages. It's hard to avoid them. Most people don't really even look at the labels. They've gotten used to reading the nutrition facts on the food they buy, but rarely do they read the list of ingredients contained in their personal care products. Next time you're chatting with one of your clients, ask them if they read the labels on their home products. Many of the chemicals in personal care products and household cleaners are generally regarded as safe by the Food and Drug Administration. But consider that Roundup has been deemed safe, and you'll understand that safe doesn't equal nontoxic. As ever, the dose makes the poison. Toxins can be absorbed orally, through the skin, and through our lungs. In particular, our skin is a pretty good reflection of what's going on inside our microbiome. The skin is the largest organ involved in the elimination of toxins and waste, and gut health issues often surface here. Issues stemming from the digestive tract and its resident flora from the liver and even from the kidneys can show up in the form of skin conditions, like rashes, acne, and eczema. For example, a link has been found between the skin, the gut, and the microbiome in the development of atopic dermatitis. So trying to treat breakouts, dermatitis, and related skin problems topically with potentially toxic skin care products may actually worsen the underlying issue. So what can you do? The solution starts inside. A great place to start for clients with skin issues that they just can't figure out is to look for potential problem foods in their diet and experiment with eliminating them. Common culprits include processed and refined foods, artificial flavors and colors, wheat, dairy, soy, and eggs. The next step is to pay attention to the ingredients in personal care and household products, swapping out those that are loaded with chemicals and artificial dyes and fragrances for natural products. This reduces the load placed on the organs that are responsible for detoxification and elimination including the gut, the liver, and, yes, the skin. A good rule of thumb to work toward is not to put anything on your skin that you wouldn't eat. What's lurking in these personal care products? The colorants, fragrances, and preservatives used are often petroleum distillates, which means they're derived from crude oil. Many of these products also contain xenoestrogens which interfere with normal hormone in endocrine function. The endocrine system regulates metabolism, reproduction, immunity, digestion, and more. Chemicals that disrupt endocrine signaling have the potential to cause widespread effects in the body including the gut. Endocrine disruptors can directly promote weight gain. They can also be altered by the gut microbiome to affect blood sugar and induce hyperglycemia. When toxins aren't eliminated by the liver or the colon, the body will protect itself by storing toxins in fat cells. To make matters worse, these fat cells can then store even more toxins. Many ingredients and personal care products can irritate the GI tract when ingested. Sometimes the gut microbiome can work to detoxify and protect us against these toxins. But in some cases, it may transform the toxin into something even more damaging. This depends on the particular toxin and the makeup of the particular microbiome. Since everyone is unique, it's best to just focus on reducing your overall toxic load. Here are five of the most common ingredients to avoid in personal care products. Parabens. These are a type of preservative. About half of the cosmetics in the US contain parabens. They're also commonly found in shampoo, hair dyes, tanning sprays, sunscreen, and deodorants. Parabens readily penetrate the skin. There's growing evidence that parabens act as xenohormones, meaning, they mimic estrogen and they can potentially contribute to obesity. Different xenohormones can accumulate and act together in the body. A variety of parabens in the body even if each is only present in small amounts may result in synergistic health effects. They essentially gang up on the body. Parabens may even disrupt the gut flora and increase the level of food sensitivities via alterations of immune system components along the digestive tract. Phthalates. Phthalates are plastic byproducts found in cosmetics, perfumes, soap, hairspray, nail polish, shampoo, conditioners, detergents, and even household items that can give off gases such as plastic shower curtains and toilet paper. Phthalates can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Diethyl phthalate in particular may impact the gut microbiome. This interaction may be one reason that phthalate exposure has been linked to obesity. Synthetic fragrances. The majority of synthetic fragrances are derived from petroleum. Common fragrance ingredients include toluene and benzene derivatives which are known to be carcinogenic. Fragrances are found in perfumes and body scent products, detergents, fabric softeners, dryer sheets, soaps, shampoo, conditioner, air fresheners, and scented candles. As with other toxins, the action of the gut microbiome on benzene derivatives may be protective or may make the chemical more toxic depending on the particular derivative and the particular microbiome. Triclosan. Triclosan began as an antibacterial agent used only in hospitals before becoming common in consumer products. As of 2017, triclosan and other antibacterial agents are banned from cleansing agents. Why? Antibacterial products are no more effective than their bacteria neutral counterparts, and could potentially do harm over time by contributing to antibiotic resistance. Think of it this way. As we wash away all those stubborn germs, we're leaving the strong super bugs to survive. With new research on the microbiome, long-term effects are being considered. The prevailing wisdom now is that soap and water, which doesn't leave behind a residue is a better everyday solution than a harsh antibacterial. Sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS for short. This emulsifier and foaming agent is commonly found in shampoos, liquid soaps, and toothpaste. These highly processed chemicals are derived from coconut, but by the time they make it into the bottle, they no longer resemble coconut in anyway and can cause inflammation and skin irritation. The skincare industry is unregulated and often chemicals are added to stabilize or enhance common products. According to the Environmental Working Group, 89% of ingredients used in skincare products have not been assessed for safety by the FDA or any publicly accountable institution. That is a scary statistic. An important thing to keep in mind is that the terms natural and organic are not regulated by the FDA, and they don't mean anything specific. Technically, a product can say natural no matter what it contains. The only meaningful government backed label in the US is the USDA organic seal. If a product doesn't have that, be sure to check the ingredients label and look for chemicals like the ones we discussed. The skin is a detox organ. If it has the ability to let toxins out, it also has the ability to let them in. The ingredients we just discussed are found in so many products. It's not realistic to replace them all overnight. Encourage your clients to start by educating themselves, becoming savvy consumers who read labels and to swap things out one at a time. Many health food stores and major online retailers sell personal care products free of parabens, phthalates, dyes, fragrances, and SLSs. Remind your clients that the gut affects the skin. You can encourage them to pay attention to what they put on their body as well as what goes in. Rather than spending money on fancy skincare products that mask the problem, encourage your clients to get to the root of the problem and address their gut health. I know many clients that can trace their acne back to a stomach infection or multiple rounds of antibiotics. Unfortunately, they often reach for acetone or even more antibiotics. Their gut problems remain overlooked until they identify the link. We've talked about how to avoid the most common toxins in personal care products, but this is only one step of the journey. Cleaning products are another significant source of household toxins. Conventional household cleaning products can contain an array of dangerous chemicals that can cause a concerning amount of negative effects. But since we're talking about gut health specifically, the most direct offenders to pay attention to in this context are antimicrobials. The sheer volume of antimicrobials in our products in daily lives can take a toll on our microbiome. Over sanitization is rampant. Antimicrobial chemicals are now in detergents, hand soaps, wipes we used to clean the handles on our shopping carts, and toys our kids put in their mouths. If we can't clean it, we do. And in so doing, we limit our contact with the world. Many cleaning products contain chemicals that emit volatile organic compounds or VOCs. These compounds when inhaled can negatively impact respiratory function, asthma, and allergies. There may also be a link between VOCs and gut dysbiosis, with these, having an effect on the body similar to air pollution. High levels of VOCs found on a person's breath has been identified as a potential indicator of IBS. Let's go over a few of the most common toxic ingredients found in cleaning supplies that can release VOCs into your environment. Ammonia. Ammonia is common in cleaning products, especially glass, window, and toilet bowl cleaners. It has been shown to worsen asthma for some individuals. Some alternative practitioners believe in what has been coined ammonia permeability, and that too much ammonia exposure can cause fatigue. Next is bleach, which is also found in many cleaning products. It has been connected to an increase in flu and respiratory issues. The active ingredient in bleach is antimicrobial. Therefore, bleach is contributing to our overuse of antibacterials. Antibacterials take a toll on our gut microbes, which play a role in our immune system. You can see how this comes full circle. Next is formaldehyde. This chemical can be used in dishwasher soap, all purpose cleaners, fabric softeners, carpet cleansers, and some paper and plastic products. It's also a known carcinogen. And lastly is sodium hydroxide which is often found in liquid drain cleaners. If sodium hydroxide is ingested, it can cause vomiting and diarrhea. When it comes to choosing cleaning products, a good rule of thumb is to steer clear if you see a warning sign on a label. If you see names of ingredients you can't pronounce, look them up or reconsider. Do your research and replace products one at a time. Be sure to check the labels of green cleaning products. This is another term with no legal definition. Green products are typically better than their conventional counterparts but many often still contain chemicals. Another option is to make your own cleaning supplies. This is a great way for clients to save money, feel empowered, and reduce their exposure to harmful chemicals. To make a simple all-purpose cleaning solution, all you need is baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil for scent. Citrus scented oils can create a nice clean smell. We have provided a recipe for you in your handout, Do-It-Yourself Cleaning Products. Now last but not least, let's talk about three additional ways that toxins can be lurking in your home. Off-gassing, mold, and BPA plastics. Off-gassing. We are living in a modern world where we are constantly boxed in by four walls to protect us from the outside environment. But as a result, we're surrounded by chemicals trapped within those walls too. Furniture and household items, like rugs and mattresses are made with chemicals and flame retardants that release gas into our air. This is called off-gassing. These gas chemicals are inhaled over time and influence your indoor air quality. So what does this do to our gut? Well, air pollution, whether indoor or outdoor, can decrease diversity in the microbiome. And the microbiome can turn pollutants into estrogenic compounds that are endocrine disruptors. These pollutants can increase gut permeability, potentially leading to leaky gut and inflammation. When looking for a mattress, encourage clients to avoid foam and look for a CertiPUR-US label which identifies less toxic mattresses. If a new product has a chemical smell, allow it to sit outside or ventilate the area. The same goes for dry cleaning. Hang it outside so you don't bring those chemicals in. Artificially scented air fresheners also contain VOCs. It's best to just avoid them and stick to essential oils. Mold. Indoor environments are also subjected to mold, especially in damp environments or climates. To a large extent, the susceptibility depends on the building materials of the house. But regardless of the material, if it gets damp, mold can grow. Mold can also release VOCs. Inhaling mold is similar to eating it. It's not good for you. Mold can crowd out beneficial bacteria and contribute to GI issues the way any opportunistic bug can. In order to prevent buildup of mold, make sure to keep things dry and air out any areas that might collect moisture, like bathrooms and dish drains. To limit dust and improve airflow, change your filters often. HEPA filters or air sanitizers can be helpful. Change all filters including the one in your vacuum often. If mold can't be eliminated, it's best to remove yourself from the situation and hire a professional to remove it. Plastics. Lastly, let's discuss a type of plastic, bisphenol A, more commonly known as BPA. BPA plastic is an endocrine disruptor. As an estrogenic compound, plastic can disrupt fat tissues and glucose metabolism. And as we mentioned, any of these toxins seem to disrupt the complex environment of the microbes in our gut, as well as how our microbes metabolize these chemicals. When it comes to gut health, the best thing to do is to just avoid plastic in the kitchen entirely. Even BPA-free plastic can leach into your food or beverages and enter your digestive tract. It's important to ask your clients not just what they're eating but what they're eating out of. A green smoothie can only be so healthy if it's made in a blender with a plastic jar and then poured into a plastic cup. Encourage clients to use glass or metal dishes, glasses, and water bottles. Store food in glass containers and limit plastic, especially BPA plastic. Now that you're armed with tons of great information, let's recap. Toxins are found lurking in personal care products, cleaning products, and in our homes. These chemicals can negatively affect our gut health. The skin is the largest entryway and exit for toxins, which is why gut health issues often surface on the skin. Skin conditions can often improve just by eliminating toxins from our diet and personal care products. When looking for better alternatives, keep in mind that the words Natural and Green are claims made at the discretion of the manufacturer, and a product may or may not actually be organic if it doesn't have the USDA organic seal. Learning how to be an informed consumer and read product labels is the best way to make decisions about which products to buy and which to avoid. Empower your clients with education and awareness. Remember that health is a balancing act of toxic load and detoxification ability. A strong microbiome can support good detoxification. Toxic effects are the result of long-term buildup of toxins over time. Our toxic load did not develop overnight. Taking steps toward a low-toxin lifestyle is a lengthy process as well. Encourage your clients to take small steps, one at a time, and not to be overwhelmed by this information. Keeping this in mind, suspend your judgment and take inventory of the products in your home this week. Where are you on your journey toward a less toxic lifestyle? Whether you're at step one or well on your way, what's one thing you can do this week? Be sure to let us know in the Facebook group, and let's make sure to support one another. Thank you for joining me today. I'll see you next time.

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Duration: 19 minutes and 7 seconds
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Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Views: 5
Posted by: integrativenutrition on Jun 28, 2018

Toxins Inside the Home_Final

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