Dr. Mark Hyman collaborates with the Harvard Medical School’s Division for Research and Education in Complementary and Integrative Medicine as well as serves on the board and teaches at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He has written some very interesting articles on the relationship between toxicity and obesity and weight gain.

Although much of his writing is very technical and aimed toward those with significant medical or a biology based education, I would like to share with you some of his statements without much of the science terminology attached.


Dr. Hyman notes that obesity is not a single clinical disorder but is instead an interplay of genetics, the environment and lifestyle. He indicates that the link between environmental and internal toxins and weight regulation is upheld by studies that show that toxins disrupt key mechanisms involved in weight management and which lead to resistance of the body to shed body fat.

Alterations in thyroid metabolism, central appetite dysregulation, inflammation’s influence on insulin and impaired cellular fat burning are all mechanisms that are affected by toxins. What he is saying in essence is that the toxic environment both outside and inside your body makes it very difficult to maintain a healthy body weight.

Dr. Hyman contends that many approved drugs and medications add to the problem as they have toxic effects. Some drugs are well known to cause weight gain sometimes through hormone dysregulation or sometimes because they cause appetite increase. He states that if approved medicines can influence weight regulation then certainly other foreign chemicals including environmental toxins can cause weight gain.

Dr. Hyman asserts that environmental toxins interfere with metabolism and overload the detoxifying abilities of the liver. He states that these toxins also disrupt central weight control systems, promote insulin resistance, alter sleep cycles, activate stress responses, and interfere with thyroid function, increase inflammation, damage mitochondria (the cellular energy producing organelle), and therefore lead to obesity. He affirms that detoxification is a critical component in long-term effective weight control and in creating a healthy metabolism.

Dr. Hyman indicates that we are living in a virtual sea of toxins, and the risk of expose for all humans is significant. Everyone now living contains residues of toxins that have been introduced into the environment since the turn of the 20th century. He notes that over 80 thousand new chemicals are now in existence since that time frame.

Both weight gain and total toxic load can frustrate attempts at weight loss by impairing the detoxifying processes of the liver and by impairing the metabolic regulation of the thyroid. This process happens at a cellular level by damaging the mitochondria — the site of energy metabolism by increasing inflammation and oxidative stress.

The Environmental Protection Agency began monitoring human exposure to toxic environmental chemical in 1972 when they began the National Human Adipose (Fat) Tissue Study. Fat tissue is where toxins are stored in the body.

This is also a good reason not to eat the fat of other animals because it is stored there, too! Fatty animal foods such as ice cream, bacon, cold cuts, butter and so on that are not organic are swarming with toxins. The study evaluates the level of various toxins in the fat tissue from cadavers and elective surgeries. Five of what are known to be the most toxic chemicals were found in all of the samples.

What to do? Eat organic food. Drink filtered water, use HEPA filters if you can to clean the air in your workplace or home of molds. Have house plants inside to help clean the air. Exercise until you sweat. Eliminate chemical usage in your home for cleaning or other purposes, and use organic or natural health care products. Avoid radiation from microwaves and phones. Do a nutritional cleanse.

Refferal: http://thegardenisland.com/lifestyles/opinion/weight-regulation-and-toxins/article_59223a68-da52-5124-ac7a-bde3150479bc.html

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