How 212 Toxins In Your Body Make You Sick and Fat

Toxins in your body accumulate over time and contribute to making you fat and developing chronic disease. You’ll be blow away by the number of toxins in your body and how disruptive they are. Read what to do about it.

toxins cause fat and sickness

This article is excerpted from a chapter on detoxification in a book I'm writing called The Ageproof Method. If you're not already, get on the list, you'll get it FREE.

IF THE title of this article seems like Chicken Little is scurrying around squawking about how the sky is falling, you may soon change your mind and start squawking too. I’m going to present you with incontrovertible evidence that your body if filled with toxins.

The question isn’t if you have toxins in your body — because you do — but if your body is managing your toxic load sufficiently so that you’re not sick now or in the future. Given the amount of toxins present in food, water, the air and in products, this is one big challenge.

In this article you'll discover:

  • The names of different chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides and the like which make up common toxins in your body, some at birth;
  • How these toxins make you sick, particularly with respect to chronic illness that are characteristic of aging; and
  • How these toxins can make you fat and keep you that way.

According to Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie, authors of Slow Death by Rubber Duck, the Environmental Working Group found 553 different industrial chemicals, pollutants, and pesticides in 149 Americans they tested in 27 different states.

In its Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, the Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) reported that the people they studied had, on average, 212 chemicals in the blood or urine, 75 having never before measured in the U.S. Population, including:

  • Acrylamide — formed when foods are baked or fried at high temperatures, and as a byproduct of cigarette smoke.
  • Arsenic — found in many home-building products.
  • Environmental phenols — including bisphenol A (found in plastics, food packaging and epoxy resins) and triclosan (used as an antibacterial agent in personal care products such as toothpaste and hand soap).
  • Perchlorate — used in airplane fuel, explosives, and fireworks.
  • Perfluorinated chemicals — used to create non-stick cookware.
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers — used in fire retardants found in consumer products such as mattresses.
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) — found in paints, air fresheners, cleaning products, cosmetics, upholstery fabrics, carpets, dry-cleaned clothing, wood preservatives, and paint strippers.

If you skimmed through the bulleted list, look at it again and note the commonly used products that contain those toxins. Throughout our day-to-day lives we get exposed to toxins in many forms. Chemicals and heavy metals accumulate in our blood, urine and tissues, and will become a toxic burden to the human body if it cannot properly excrete them.

Even some activities deemed healthy can contribute to your toxic load. Do you eat canned tuna? It’s likely that it contains at least a bit of mercury, a heavy metal that can cause a wide variety of have carcinogenic, nervous system and circulatory damage. Drink lots of water from plastic bottles? It’s likely that you’re absorbing various potentially carcinogenphthalates, a group of chemicals used to soften and increase the flexibility of plastic and vinyl. How about gardening — is that something that you enjoy? If it includes the use of weed killing chemicals, pesticides or artificial fertilizers, you may eventually become sick with some type of chronic disease.  All of these activities can be toxic if you don’t make the right choices.

Although there are too many toxins to list, we can at least identify some of the most damaging that are also ever-present in our lives, such as these:

Heavy Metals are any relatively dense metal or metalloid (a chemical element made of metal and nonmetals) that is noted for its potential toxicity. Mercury, Lead, Cadmium and Arsenic have been shown to lower IQ in effected individuals, cause developmental delays, and contribute to behavioral disorders and even cancer. Canned tuna and mercury dental fillings can contribute to mercury poisoning. Arsenic treated timber used in construction or contaminated drinking water can cause arsenic contamination. Cadmium poisoning could result from pigments in cookware. Lead poisoning can occur from water that passes through lead pipes, children’s toys and exposure to paint and gasoline that still contain it.

Bisphenol A and S (“BPA,” “BPS”) are endocrine disruptors; BPA being the more prevalent of these estrogen-mimicking chemicals, given its widespread use in plastic containers and as a liner in aluminum cans. BPA will leach into your food and drink and cause hormonal disruptions. If you heat up food in a microwave in plastic containers, BPA will become infused in the food. Breast and prostate cancers have been implicated due to exposure to this damaging chemical.  Urine analysis of American women found that 95 percent of those studied had bisphenol A, the plastic stabilizer linked to cancer. (1)

Parabens are synthetic chemicals, which are commonly used as preservatives in processed foods, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Long-term exposure has been implicated in breast cancer and can potentially be damaging to the male hormonal and reproductive systems.

Perfluorochemicals are used in non-stick cookware, fast food containers, and stain resistant or slipper fabrics. These chemicals have been shown to be carcinogenic.

Phthalates are a group of industrial chemicals called “plasticizers” used to produce plastics such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC). They’re found in children’s toys, food packaging, garden hoses, vinyl flooring, shower curtains, shampoo and hair spray. Like that new car smell? It’s the odor of phthalates off gassing from the plastic dashboard.

Polybrominated biphenyl ethers are flame-retardant chemicals present in furniture, mattresses, electronics and many other products.

You don’t have to be working in a coal mine or pesticide plant to absorb enough toxins to get sick. Sometimes, just working on a farm will suffice. In his e-book, Cleanse, Dr. Gaetano Morello recounts the strange and unusual occurrence of various illness to his wife and her family:

My wife comes from a great farming community with families who have lived in the area for generations. They farm over 5,000 acres of land where they grow barley, lentils, wheat, and durum and use thousands of pounds of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers yearly.

The consequences of such practices [are] sad, to say the least: my wife’s father died of bladder cancer at the age of 42, her mother has fibromyalgia, her sister has asthma, and her brother, who is only 27, has rheumatoid arthritis. My wife has been able to control her autoimmune condition since she moved away from the farm more than 13 years ago.

The chemicals Dr. Morello mentions are commonly used by farmers throughout the world. They — and various other substances such as the already mentioned heavy metals, parabens, perfluorochemicals, phatalets, bisphenols and polybrominated biphenyl ethers — are encountered by nearly every human being on a daily basis, even if you don’t live on a farm growing crops non-organically.

Say, for instance, you live in a house (not a stretch of the imagination): The average U.S. household generates more than 20 pounds of household hazardous waste per year, and as much as 100 pounds accumulates in the home. These hazardous materials include paint, paint thinners, air fresheners, carpet deodorizers, mothballs, oven cleaners, drain-opener chemicals, pesticides, among many other products. The chemicals in these products are not only hazardous to the environment, but to us. (2)

For instance, household carpets emit more than 200 volatile chemicals that get absorbed into our bodies. Some of these chemicals include formaldehyde, toluene, benzene, acetaldehyde, xylene, phenol, benzaldehyde, chlorobenzenes, styrene, and many more. Styrene alone has been shown to produce neurotoxicity and respiratory illnesses, including asthma, while formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. (3)

And you can’t hide out in a “sterile” hospital. The National Adipose Survey carried out by the EPA has existed since 1976. Researchers there analyze adipose (fat) tissue from autopsies and patients receiving elective surgeries. In the individuals tested, researchers found OCDD (a dioxin) and four solvents: styrene, 1,4-Dichlorobenzene, xylene, and ethylphenol in 100% of the cases. (4)

Nor can you hide out in the womb.  The journal Environmental Health Perspectives featured a report by scientists who analyzed the umbilical cords of newborn infants, testing for 400 toxic chemicals. They found 280 different toxic chemicals in these newborn infants; 187 were cancer causing and over 200 toxic to the brain. Another study, appearing in the American Journal of Public Health in 1989, found that 70 percent of 285 4-year-old children in Michigan carried DDT in their blood, while more than 50 percent had PCB’s. DDT is a well-known pesticide that was banned in the United States in 1972 because of its cancer-causing properties. Yet even after decades, DDT is regularly found in the fatty tissue of animals, birds, fish, and children. In this particular study, the researchers found that nursing was the primary source of exposure. Think about that: a pesticide banned decades ago is still persists — not only in the environment, but in our bodies.  

At this point you must have a headache trying to get your mind around all these obscure-sounding chemical names and facts, perhaps only surmounted by the heartache that sets in when you realize what you’re up against when living in a toxic world.  Let these thoughts and feels motivate you to gradually detoxify your body, because as you have learned if the toxins in you are not getting excreted, they are damaging your health and will encumber the prospects of living a long and strong life.


Toxins Can Make You Fat

If you have elevated toxin levels because of poor detoxification, a majority of them will be stored in adipose (fat) tissue and cell membranes (which are composed of a type of fat called “lipids”).  Once stored in fat, these toxins can stay dormant as long as the composition of the fat itself remains unchanged; however, during periods of weight loss, exercise, stress, and/or fasting, these fat-soluble chemicals are released into the blood stream and can lead to physiological problems if not eliminated.

A study published in 2012 by Environmental Health Perspectives showed that when a group of overweight people dieted, their reduction in body fat correlated with an increase in circulating pesticides.  Pesticides in the body are stored in fat and get “released” when the fat is oxidized (typically referred to as “burned” or “melted”) through diet and exercise.

Various toxins such as pesticides and heavy metals like mercury can reduce circulating active thyroid hormone (T3), and thereby reduce the body’s metabolic rate.  This could be the reason that people on weight-loss programs often encounter various plateaus when weight loss stops, or reverses, and underscores the importance of combining detox and weight loss programs.

If you live in the industrialized world, it’s important and relevant for you to know that in the 34 OECD countries (“Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development”), obese and overweight people are in the majority, In the U.S., the number is 68% as measured in 2012. Given that:

(a) The ability to avoid exposure to and absorption of toxins is limited;

(b) Toxins are stored in body fat; and

(c) During a detox program, oxidized fat releases toxins into the blood stream that can make you chronically sick…

… it therefore follows that these toxins must be expeditiously and consistently excreted from the body.


Toxins Can Create Chronic Disease

In the Journal of Environmental and Public Health, Drs. Margaret Sears and Stephen Genuis explored the links between chronic disease and environmental toxins in a study they published there called Environmental Determinants of Chronic Disease and Medical Approaches: Recognition, Avoidance, Supportive Therapy, and Detoxification

It’s kinda mind blowing.

They write that an extensive review of associations between exposures to chemicals and chronic disease throughout life show that not enough attention is given to how obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases can be caused or amplified by air pollution, heavy metals and various endocrine disrupting chemicals.

The major endocrine glands include the pineal gland, pituitary gland, pancreas, ovaries, testes, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, hypothalamus, gastrointestinal tract and adrenal glands. The endocrine system is in contrast to the exocrine system, which secretes its hormones to the outside of the body using ducts.

If you have been dealing with some chronic issue that has been an unsolvable puzzle, I encourage you to read the Sears and Genuis study.  Look for part 3: Major Chronic Diseases.


How To Detox

The “how” part is a big and difficult subject, because there can be much to do and a lot of moving parts. To do this effectively, you’re going to have educate yourself.

I’m here to help — read these:

How To Detoxify Yourself and Why You Absolutely Must

Methods of detoxification

You cannot achieve optimum health without a regular detox program. Everyone has various chemicals, pesticides and heavy metals in their bodies, and over time they degrade our health and prematurely age us. Read and watch what to do about it.

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Why You Have Mercury Toxicity and What To Do About It (Watch)

Mercury toxicity is a problem shared by most of us in the industrialized world. Here’s why it’s a problem and what to do about it…

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What You Absolutely Must Know About Detox Cleanses (But Don’t)

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It could be that you’ve done it a hundred times, but there’s a few things you need to know about detox cleanses that you don’t. Learn about the three glutathione detox pathways, and how to activate them.

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Why You Need A Three Phase Detoxification Plan (Seriously)

Detox the organs of elimination

We have several organs of elimination and detoxification, and they need a three phase detoxification plan. Nature has designed them to do a pretty good job, but given that we live in a polluted world, where we touch, breathe, drink and eat a wide range of impurities, it’s a really good idea to regularly help those overworked colons, kidneys, gallbladders and livers.

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Time For Your Toxic Heavy Metals Detox, Step by Step

Yes, we’re all filled toxic heavy metals and chemicals and pesticides. These things age us prematurely and can cause disease. Time to detox, one step at a time.

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Your Fall Detox Cleanse in 5 Simple Steps

Your Fall Detox Cleanse in 5 Steps

Autumn is coming, the leaves will be turning brown and so it is that it’s time for your Fall Detox Cleanse. Here it is in five easy steps.

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Last Updated on July 7, 2023 by Joe Garma

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Joe Garma

I help people live with more vitality and strength. I'm a big believer in sustainability, and am a bit nutty about optimizing my diet, supplements, hormones and exercise. To get exclusive Updates, tips and be on your way to a stronger, more youthful body, join my weekly Newsletter. You can also find me on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

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