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Our natural detox system isn't designed for the 1000’s of chemicals we’re exposed to in our everyday lives, it can create a Body Burden

Body Burden describes the amount or concentration of chemicals that can be detected in the human body at any one time.

We risk carrying a Body Burden of synthetic chemicals and pollutants that can remain in our body tissue for many years after the source exposure has been removed.

Chemicals enter our bodies in the food we eat, the things we drink, the air we breathe, and from everyday products that touch our skin, nails, or hair.

Some chemicals leave the body very slowly, and they get stored in body tissue, blood, or bones, creating a Body Burden.

The liver, our natural detox system

The primary role of the liver is to filter blood coming in from the digestive tract before passing it to the rest of the body. Healthy liver function is vital to break down waste products and toxins, removing them from the blood or neutralising them before expelling.

This detoxification process happens naturally, especially whilst we sleep at night, but sometimes that is just not enough. This natural process can be interrupted by synthetic chemicals or pollutants, disrupting the functioning of the endocrine system. These chemicals are known as endocrine disruptors, or EDCs. 

The liver removes unwanted toxins from the body 

Chemical toxins and pollutants are generally fat soluble so they’re difficult for the body to excrete. Metabolic reactions in the liver make toxic compounds more water soluble, and easier to excrete in bile or urine. If this is process disrupted, chemicals are sometimes stored creating a toxic burden.


Body Burden and bioaccumulation

Some chemicals are soluble in water and can be more easily excreted via the liver by the body. Others are fat soluble, so they are stored in the body’s fat tissue, or adipose tissue. 

Chemicals vary widely in the timescales it takes for their potency to reduce, and their biological half-life, the period it takes for the body to break it down by half of its original potency, varies.

Substances such as alcohol break down quickly and are dispelled from the bloodstream within 12 hours, but synthetic chemicals take much longer, up to many years in some instances. They are known as “forever chemicals” because they never completely disappear, for example PFAS can persist in our body for many years. 

Over time, and with repeated exposure, the effect of chemicals entering the body can lead to a bioaccumulation or Body Burden, increasing the risk of illness and disease. 

Testing for endocrine disrupting chemicals in the body

It is possible to test for the presence of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in the human body, but requires specialist tests, and expert medical analysis to interpret potential health risks.

At we are developing new tests for anyone worried about EDC exposure to find out if they are carrying a Body Burden of chemicals.

Read more Generations X European Study

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