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A toxin may refer to any substance which, when present in a high enough concentration, interferes with the essential biochemical processes of the living cell. Although many pollutants have been banned over the years, the ongoing problem is that:

  • the banned products are still present in our environment

    • stored, dumped, bioaccumulated, etc

  • some agricultural products that were originally banned are still  being used for other "non-agricultural" purposes 

  • there are new products which may still have toxicity to our bodies that may not yet be fully recognized or  understood by our scientists.


We get exposed to a variety of toxins on a daily basis. This may occur through the water that we drink, the food that we eat, the air that we breathe, and the cosmetics that we apply to our skin.  These toxins may be hazardous to our health. Sometimes, our body may even metabolize them into other more toxic substances.

 It is important to consider  how to minimize exposure to these bioactive compounds. Unfortunately, their presence is ubiquitous. In some cases, we are succeeding to reduce their impact, while in others we are not.  Some people argue that since the problem is ubiquitous, then why bother thinking about it. However, I would suggest that this logic is not sound, and that every little bit helps.

In order to survive, we need a healthy supply of nutrients (building blocks) so that our bodies may  create the many tissues and bioactive compounds that are needed in order for us  to be healthy   from day to day. However, our bodies also need a way to protect themselves from those  bioactive compounds whose intentions may be  unfavourable.  We happen  to have a number of mechanisms that are devoted to getting rid of certain unsavory elements. Each of these mechanisms may play an important role in maintaining the health of our system and effectively contribute to the detoxification of our bodies:


One of the important roles  of the kidneys  is the detoxification of the body, wherein waste products (which are byproducts of the body's  metabolic reactions) such as urea and ammonium may be discarded.

Gut and Liver

One of the important roles of the liver and the intestines are the  detoxification of the body, wherein both foreign and non-foreign substances may be modified through a muti-step process into an endproduct which may be excreted out of the body either in the bile or through the kidneys. Sometimes, the intermediate products are less active, sometimes they are more active, and sometimes they are simply different. This process applies to locally produced hormones, to medications, and to foreign substances.


One of the important roles of the lungs  is the detoxification of the body, wherein carbon dioxide may be discarded into the environment


One of the important roles of the lungs  is the detoxification of the body, wherein carbon dioxide may be discarded into the environment

The human body has evolved over thousands of years to learn how to manage the different types of toxins that we are exposed to. As our society continues to progress, we need to find a balance between producing the things which make our lives more convenient and more pleasurable against  the hazards that these same products often  present to us. Our governing and regulatory bodies may attempt  to make progress at reducing some risks. Unfortunately, there is still much work to be done and much community support to be gathered.

In the meantime, it is important to educate oneself is useful so as  to understand how best to minimize one's exposure to unnecessary hazards. In addition, keeping your body healthy through a process of exercise, sleep and adequate nutrition is necessary in order for us  to keep our  defenses strong.

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