Believe It Or Not: The risks of toxic exposure in our daily lives

Category: Optimal Health | December 02, 2019
Dr.Torsak Tip-Pairote, first Thai Functional Medicine specialist, graduate of the Institute for Functional Medicine, United States

      When it comes to the risks of exposure to toxins in daily life and the risks of chronic diseases, we should consider the different characteristics and level of exposure to chemical agents according to general toxicology studies. Nowadays, the risk of toxic exposure in the environment and food are considered low-level exposure, in which people might be exposed to different kinds of chemical agents cumulatively for a long period of time. Therefore, we can’t consider it with the general toxicology model, which attaches importance to the relation between level of chemical exposure and toxic responses, also known as ‘dose response relationship.’

While the external factors of cumulative low-level exposure is the leading cause of chronic diseases, such exposure factors are limited to a certain group of people. The individual’s internal factor should also be taken into account, for instance young children are more prone to low-level exposure than adults, even if they receive the same exposure.

The environment, health behaviour, and exposure frequency are all factors. For example, for someone who loves to consume particular types of food regularly, or lives in an industrial area that continually emits certain toxic chemicals, these factors will determine the impact on each individual’s health differently. 

The capacity for toxic processing and elimination of each individual varies according to one’s genetics, nutritional status and health condition. Moreover, the latest studies insist that the roles of bacteria and microbiome in our bodies are likely to play a crucial role in an individual’s resistance to toxic exposure. 

Among all chronic diseases, most reports agree that toxic exposure can become a determinant of disease emergence, whether it is diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, or various autoimmune diseases. But it should be noted that this is not the only cause of these diseases, so as not to become too anxious and overdo the detox without considering each individual’s risk assessment. For example, to find out who is at high/low risk, what kind of chemicals one has been exposed to, where one has been exposed to the chemicals, in accordance with the risk assessment model.

In conclusion, one should consider the varying factors which may help reduce the impact of chronic exposure to toxins. For example, reducing the chance of exposure by using the Variation method in diet and the environment as mentioned before, as well as taking care of personal nutrition to enhance toxic processing and elimination. This should be considered and prioritized rather than merely following the detoxification trends. 

Compiled by: Winna Rakkarn
Photo credit: Unsplash     
Bjørklund G, Tippairote T, Rahaman MS, Aaseth J: Developmental toxicity of arsenic: a drift from the classical dose–response relationship. Archives of Toxicology 2019.