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While the World Health Organization recently warned that air pollution may be linked to as many as 3 million deaths a year, here in the US, we are dumping 4 billion pounds of toxins into the environment each year—72 million of which are carcinogenic. (1)
To make matters worse, air pollution filters these toxins onto all of our foods grown outdoors – including organic foods. Mercury can contaminate even organic vegetables and organically-raised animals, as coal-fired industrial plants spew mercury into the atmosphere, with the potential to reach almost anywhere in America.
These toxins have been found to break down the enzymes that are critical for detoxifying chemicals and breaking down more difficult-to-digest proteins like gluten and other allergenic proteins. (2)
In a report by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS), researchers found air pollutant-derived toxins in the brain called magnetite, which they called “dreadfully shocking.” (3) Magnetite particles of air pollution origin would be expected to be found by the side of a busy road or near a power plant, but not in the human brain. Scientists have also found naturally-occurring spherical magnetite particles in the brain, but in very small numbers, with different shapes than those derived from pollution. For every one naturally-occurring magnetite particle found in the brain, they found 100 pollution-created ones… and there were millions in just a gram of brain tissue.
While these particles have not yet been linked to brain degeneration or cognitive decline, the samples they used from patients who died with neurodegenerative diseases had elevated levels of magnetite particles, as did samples taken from folks living in the very air-polluted Mexico City. (4) Further studies are necessary, but this correlation has widespread implications for the long-term effects of air pollution on cognitive function.
Brain Lymph Connection
In another recent discovery that I have written a lot on is the existence of lymphatic vessels that drain around 3 pounds of toxins from the brain each year. If these are blocked, there is a link to increased risk of a whole host of health concerns including mood, energy, memory, brain fog and many other chronic degenerative health concerns. (5)
The lymphatic system starts with small collecting ducts that line the entire digestive tract. If the upper digestive system breaks down from stress, toxins, processed foods and now air pollution, not only is our ability to digest compromised, so is our ability to detox and process toxins the way we were designed.
Yes, we can process and rid ourselves of these toxins naturally, but it requires a strong digestive system which drive the detox pathways. A weak digestive system, along with congested lymphatic-collecting ducts, can easily become overwhelmed. Once the lymph that surrounds the digestive system becomes congested, soon all the lymph vessels and ducts begin to get backed up. The brain lymph’s are microscopic and easily congest compared to the big lymphatic vessels in the big muscles of the body.
I have written numerous articles on strategies to support better digestion, stronger detoxification ability and improved lymphatic drainage. The quickest way I know to accomplish this and protect yourself is to do a digestive reset and cleanse of these harmful toxins at least twice a year. Learn about our Colorado Cleanse and join us this October for our biannual group guided cleanse.