Do You Know Nutrition: Toxins may inhibit weight loss

By Phylis Canion
Jan. 7, 2014 at midnight
Updated Jan. 6, 2014 at 7:07 p.m.

Phylis Canion

Phylis Canion

Like so many others, I will start the new year trying to get in shape and lose a bit of weight. So much of what I read states it is important to rid the body of toxins in order to lose weight. How do we accumulate so many toxins, and how do they affect weight loss?

The body quite naturally and most effectively cleanses itself daily. However, the problem that develops is when we accumulate more toxins than the body can flush naturally.

We drink less water and more sodas; we eat less vegetables and more processed foods; we drink an excessive amount of caffeine; our sleep is erratic; and in many cases, we are medicated to treat a problem that can be corrected through diet alone.

Examples: diabetes, Alzheimer's, Celiac disease, Crohn's disease, arthritis, gout, gastritis and duodenitis to name a few. From Benzene, a preservative in soft drinks, to Tartrazine, food colorings used in a laundry list of consumable products, we are consuming an enormous amount of toxins daily that we are totally unaware of.

Even some of those skin care products that we lather ourselves with are toxins and seep into our blood supply through our skin. Is it a mere coincidence that obesity has steadily risen over the past 25 years as have the levels of toxins infiltrating our food supply.

Now, for some details: The types of toxins that tend to accumulate in the body and interfere with metabolism are called lipophilic or, simply stated toxins that accumulate in the body's fat also know as fat-soluble. Fat-soluble toxins include Bisphenol A, Polychlorinated biphenyls, chemical pesticides, chemical food additives, preservatives and hormones and are very difficult for the body to eliminate naturally.

While some toxins are excreted through sweat glands and the urinary system, fat soluble toxins must go through detoxification in the liver then be converted to a form that can be excreted through normal elimination channels of the body.

Some of these toxins, if not eliminated, are known to block leptin, a hormone that tells the brain when our stomach is full, so we can stop eating. Toxins can also suppress thyroid function, which slows the resting metabolic rate, which, in turn, reduces fat burning capacity resulting in an above average fat storage. Eliminating toxins equals weight loss.

Thought for the week: People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily. - Z. Ziglar

Next free nutrition class is at 7 p.m. Monday at the Organic Emporium.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant, email her at This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.



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