Table of Contents
What are toxins?
A toxin is a chemical substance which damages an organism. A toxin may be as simple as an ion or atom which negatively interferes with a cell.
A toxin can also be in the form of complex molecules such as the proteins found in snake venom.
Still other atoms and chemicals emit radiation, which has toxic effects on an organism. The effects of toxins vary widely in different organisms, and with different toxins.
The end result of the strongest toxins is death, due to the damage they cause across the different cells of an organism. Different toxins act in different ways to affect the cells they damage. https://biologydictionary.net/toxin/
The term toxins is an all-encompassing label that includes everything from natural to manufactured poisons that, when these two sources are combined, creates an almost exhaustive list of toxins.
All substances are poisons; there is none that is not a poison. The right dose differentiates a poison from a remedy. ~ Swiss alchemist and physician Paracelsus (1493–1541)
This simply means that a substance (chemical) can produce the harmful effect associated with its toxic properties only if it reaches a susceptible biological system within the body in a high enough concentration – dose. It is an adage intended to indicate a basic principle of toxicology.
For a quick example, you are constantly reminded to drink lots of water to stay hydrated, however, we can see water (absolutely essential to life) in the wrong dose transitions from remedy to poison!
Water intoxication can occur in a variety of different clinical settings but is generally not well recognised in the medical literature. The condition may go unrecognised in the early stages when the patient may have symptoms of confusion, disorientation, nausea, and vomiting, but also changes in mental state and psychotic symptoms. Early detection is crucial to prevent severe hyponatraemia, which can lead to seizures, coma, and death.EFarrell DJ, Bower L. Fatal water intoxication. J Clin Pathol. 2003 Oct;56(10):803-4. doi: 10.1136/jcp.56.10.803-a. PMID: 14514793; PMCID: PMC1770067.arly detection is crucial to prevent severe hyponatraemia, which can lead to seizures, coma, and death. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1770067/
Toxins from bacteria, fungi, algae, and plants are some of the most deadly chemicals known and represent an ongoing public health threat. Source: CDC https://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/toxins.html
Common toxins you can check from home.
Now that we have established that everything in our world is poisonous, let’s investigate a few common toxins of which we may gain valuable insight such as:
- Toxic Elements (heavy metals)
- Nutritional Toxins (an excess of nutrients)
- Metabolic Toxins (normal by-products of your metabolism, pathogens, etc.)
Each of these toxins must be categorized as a “group” because each group contains numerous toxins. For example, a group of toxic elements includes mercury, lead, arsenic, and so on. Each group of chemical toxins includes formaldehyde, phthalates, PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), BPA (Bisphenol A), and so on. This applies to nutritional as well as metabolic toxins (e.g., organic acids).
Each toxin has the potential to create or increase the potential for the other groups. For example, a toxic element may sufficiently antagonize, replace, or even deplete a nutritional element. This will result in an excess or deficiency of other nutrients that may become burdensome or in some instances, even toxic to the body (nutritional toxins).
Due to the resulting nutrient excesses and deficiencies, chemical toxins may produce greater effects in the body due to a reduction in the detox process. In addition, the potential for metabolic toxins also increases due to the lack of proper nutrients, in a dynamic balance, required to fulfill any metabolic pathway.
Chemical Toxicants (xenobiotics) are NOT revealed during home testing. The importance of mentioning chemical toxins is that many are known to cause health issues. As you will see on the chemical page, an optimally nourished body is important to help the body to defend against and detox from exposures.
As seen through this short scenario, due to the potential effects of each group of toxins, it is important to consider all sources of toxins as well as a comprehensive detox program.
Every day, we are surrounded by hundreds or thousands of synthetic chemicals. They are in our food, clothes, tools, furniture, toys, cosmetics and medicines. https://www.eea.europa.eu/signals/signals-2020/articles/living-healthily-in-a-chemical-world
What are the symptoms of toxins?
As seen in Beyond Symptoms, any symptom can manifest as a direct result of your specific nutritional biochemistry and varies from person to person. For example, a headache may result from a toxic element, a chemical toxicant, a metabolic toxin, dehydration, nutrient excess/deficiency, or a plethora of other factors.
This is why symptoms, especially subclinical symptoms, are not necessarily a reliable indicator of the source of the symptom. This is why we promote whole body nutrition.
How can a hair analysis help?
Our hair analysis (hair tissue mineral analysis) is a useful screening tool for
- Nutritional Elements – help reveal potential nutritional toxins (resulting from element excesses and deficiencies)
- Toxic Elements – help reveal potential levels that may interfere with nutritional elements
Our hair analysis is not a screening tool for metabolic toxins or chemical toxins.
However, the inferred potential for metabolic toxins may be indicated by the extent of nutrient excesses and deficiencies.
As for chemical toxins, your analysis reveals your current level of nutrition that may provide the body a greater ability to detox many chemicals.
Remember, there are other laboratory analyses such as an organic acid test that helps reveal metabolic blocks that contribute greatly to metabolic toxins and also many toxicology analyses for chemical toxins as well.
Because essential minerals are foundational throughout the metabolism, reestablishing a dynamic balance of essential minerals (and cofactors) may benefit the detoxification processes of all body toxins. This is one reason why consultations are important.
Bacterial pathogens damage the host via invasive and toxic attributes. Invasion involves the ability of the bacterium to grow in the host, either in an extracellular environment or intracellular environment.Henkel JS, Baldwin MR, Barbieri JT. Toxins from bacteria. EXS. 2010;100:1-29. doi: 10.1007/978-3-7643-8338-1_1. PMID: 20358680; PMCID: PMC3564551. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3564551/
Additional pages that may interest you:
- Toxic Element Safety Guidelines: Find out what they don’t include!
- Toxic Element Accumulation: Bioaccumulation is the hidden danger of toxic elements.
- Detox the Body: What is the most efficient means for detoxification?
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