Monday, May 7, 2012

Living in a Toxic Environment

The harsh morning sun bore down on the primitive surface of the Earth. None rode their bicycles on that morning because vertebrate life had not yet appeared. The atmosphere was far from friendly. Some clutches of primitive bacteria clung to the surface of rocks and took steps to survive in the low-oxygen, acidic environment. To be successful, they would need to develop some powerful means of adapting, and fortunately for all of us, they succeeded. From the dawn of life, organisms developed ways to find safe space, seek necessary energy, produce vital substances and excrete and/or transform toxic substances so they could reproduce and survive. These functions are so powerful and so common that we often forget they even exist.

It is sad that people do not have better understanding of this really critical subject, because our health is largely determined by how well we understand and implement this material in our daily lives. While the basic information is contained in simple physiology textbooks and basic scientific research, many never apply the data to living.

Sources of Toxins
Disease signs and symptoms come from the body's reactions to toxins, which are encountered from two primary sources:

Exogenous toxins are those toxic substances that originate from outside the body. They come from the environment and enter the body through various bodily surfaces. Examples of exogenous toxins include cyanide, carbon monoxide, ozone, chlorine, fluoride, petrochemicals, plastics, pesticides, pharmaceutical drugs, plants, acids, bases, arsenic, heavy metals, etc.

Endogenous toxins are toxic materials that are generated by our own bodies in their normal physiologic processes. The process of living generates toxic molecules. As we obtain food, metabolize and transform the components we inevitably generate molecules that are potentially harmful. The body uses systems to remove or reduce these toxins so we can continue living. Carbon dioxide results from burning of calories for energy. It is toxic and must be removed. Sugars like glucose are generated from metabolism and must be transformed or used quickly or they can cause degradation of tissues and lead to various types of disease process. Ammonia is another toxin that is generated by cells as they transform proteins into other substances.

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