We’re all loaded with chemicals, toxins, heavy metals, and biological waste products of various types.
We’re loaded no matter how hard we try to avoid environmental exposures from food, water, air, soil, furniture, work, transportation and so on.
We need to get them OUT.
It is not easy.
It’s especially not easy to get them out when one has a MTHFR defect or their methylation is hampered in some way (and there are many ways).
[To remind you, if you’re new here, I have MTHFR. In fact, I am compound heterozygous MTHFR and so is my middle son, Mathew. My youngest, Theo, is homozygous for A1298C. My wife and oldest son, Tasman, have only one A1298C. Lucky dogs.]
The way that you move them out is critical – or you’ll make yourself worse.
It’s safer – and much easier – to prevent them from getting into you in the first place.
There are a few very effective ways to reduce our overall body burden.
Body Burden is the total amount of naturally-occurring and man-made chemicals that are present now in the human body.
Body burden is highly dynamic for two main reasons.
- Some days you get exposed to more of these chemicals than others.
- Some days you eliminate more of these chemicals than others.
Let’s discuss Point 1 today and then another day I’ll discuss how to eliminate them.
The biggest and fastest impact you can do to support your methylation and MTHFR defect is to reduce the daily burden! It takes time to remove the chemicals and toxins – but it is ‘right now’ that you can reduce putting garbage into your body. Of course, some things cannot be avoided but many can.
The main ways you increase your body burden is done silently – daily:
Find out who is increasing your body burden by visiting Scorecard: The Pollution Information Site.
When I worked with patients and clients, I always asked many environmental questions.
Here are three key questions:
- “What year did you start getting sick?”
- “Where were you living at this point – zipcode please.”
- “What is your current zipcode?”
With a little confusion, they’d respond and I’d plug into Scorecard.
Sometimes my treatment recommendation was one word:
Extreme? Yes. Effective? Absolutely. If they moved to a less toxic place.
When I worked with Dr William Rea of Environmental Health Center – Dallas, I saw first hand how extremely sick the environment made people. Many times when they moved, they regained their health – or they at least were able to function.
The other ways which affect your body burden are within your control:
- microbes present?
- processed or unprocessed?
- providing nutrients or taking them away?
- fresh or rancid?
- burnt or raw?
- cooked with gas or high heat?
- glyphosate (RoundUp ready foods)
- allergen or intolerance?
- glycemic load? (more insulin secretion = more oxidative stress)
- overeating or undereating?
- eating while stressed or relaxed?
- chewing or eating like a snake?
- digestive enzymes present or not?
We eat organic foods most of the time. We eat out on occasion and I am fully aware that we are increasing our body burden. We don’t eat fast food ever but still – restaurant food is definitely not ideal 95% of the time. We cook with electric – not gas. I work hard to keep the food nutritious and balanced. Not easy when kids are in school and the peer pressure to eat crap is high. We do pretty well with this through educating our sons what that ‘yummy food’ actually is. We buy our meat from a local rancher or I catch wild Salmon once a year and eat that. Chicken consumption has dropped significantly due to high levels of arsenic found in it.
Now that many are gluten-free, rice consumption has increased tremendously. Rice, rice milk, rice cakes, rice ice cream, etc.
You need to know that rice can be quite high in arsenic.
According to the NHANES recent study of common sources of arsenic exposure in those living in the USA, they found:
In a nationally representative sample of the US civilian, noninstitutionalized population, fish (adults), rice (children), and rice cakes/crackers (adolescents) had the largest associations with urinary DMA. For MMA, rice beverage/milk (adults) and rice cakes/crackers (children, adolescents) had the largest associations.
For this reason, I have switched away from rice milk, rice ice cream and do not consume rice itself much. Instead, I use almond milk and also coconut milk. It is quite easy – and tasty/nutritious – to make your own almond milk. Search online for recipes. If you have a great one – please post it in the comments below!! 🙂
BTW – getting arsenic OUT of your system is NOT easy. Thus, it is incredibly important to reduce the amount getting in.
In order to eliminate arsenic, one has to have adequate levels of glutathione (body’s primary detoxifier/antioxidant) AND SAMe (the body’s primary methyl donor). Having your doctor test your RBC levels of glutathione and methylation profile (SAM/SAH ratio) is important. Issue with both tests is I don’t think they really give the most accurate picture. Instead, Spectracell’s Lymphocyte testing may provide a better job of intracellular levels of these important nutrients; however, I don’t think it is perfect either. Supplementing with liposomal glutathione and SAMe may be supportive in eliminating arsenic – along with chelation. Talk with your doctor to find what is best for you.
Learning how to eat is so important and there are a ton of great books out there.
I’ve been recommending one lately – a lot – The Metabolic Makeover
So much applicable information, easy to understand and answered a lot of important questions for me – and will definitely do for you.
It’s WAY more than just food – it’s biochemistry, lifestyle and how to be energetic again.
- air fresheners (air fresheners don’t clean or purify the air AT ALL – in fact, they load it with chemicals)
- cook with gas in your home?
- drive to work in traffic?
- flatulent family member? (couldn’t resist 🙂 )
- mold spores?
- off-gassing furniture?
- where do you live? (www.Scorecard.org)
- location of home – airport, freeway
- heating and cooling? forced air?
- location of gas furnace? gas water heater? (in house? garage? by bedroom?)
- by sea? mountains? forest?
- oxygen concentration?
- carpets or wood/tile floors?
- neighborhood use of chemicals?
- perfumes? colognes? scented dryer sheets?
- cleaning supplies?
I work from home. We buy furniture that is wood or glass. If we got stuck with an off-gassing piece of furniture (new couch), we keep it in the garage or outside until it has reduced the stink significantly. Ideal? No. Realistic? Yes. We have our gas furnace out of our house and in the crawl space venting through the roof. We are planning a new form of heat – considering an electric heat pump. Our air intake for our furnace has a high quality HEPA air filter which I change out every three months. We have on-demand gas water heating which is located outside. We are a few miles from the freeway which is not ideal but it’s big city Seattle and I am not going to uproot my family from this amazing city. We all love it. We don’t use dryer scented sheets and we mop the floors with steam cleaner.
I use a high quality Alen HEPA air filter (actually 3 of them). When one of our sons gets ill (which is rare but happens), I turn on the unit to suck in the viruses and bacteria to reduce exposure to others. I used to have them running all the time on low – and need to start doing that again. Kids keep unplugging them to plug in other things…
I air out the home quite often – about once a month – and that entails opening windows and doors, turning off the heat (we don’t have AC – it’s Seattle), and letting out the stuffy air and good fresh air in (making sure no yard equipment is running or cars idling or other noxious things like neighbor dryer scented sheets, etc).
Here is what I and my family are breathing though – out of our control (source: Scorecard):
Do you stink?
Perfumes, shampoos, makeups, etc need to be evaluated.
Many skin and hair products are full – absolutely full – of garbage. Check yours out by using the Skin Deep Database provided by the Environmental Working Group.
- city water?
- filtered? how?
- spring? where?
- storage tank? made out of?
- pathogens? bacteria?
- arsenic level?
- chlorine level?
- near airport? perchlorate level?
- near fracking?
The obvious thing to do here is to obtain pure water. Bottled water is not the answer long term – especially as it is bottled in plastic. One should know that BPA Free does not mean it is safe if it is still plastic. There are other harmful components in plastic. Bottom line: Do not drink out of plastic long term. When traveling, it is unavoidable or nearly so.
Getting a water purifier is the long term solution. Knowing which one to get is not easy. There are two that I recommend – three actually – but the third no longer exists it appears.
Before I get into what I recommend, I want to mention that I do not recommend reverse osmosis water purifiers or distilled water. These waters are ‘dead’ and deplete your minerals and possibly vitamins as well. If adding high quality minerals back in before drinking, that is helpful but I still don’t recommend it.
Berkey Filters is what I recommend to people who want to have very pure water with minimal fluoride. It took me years – a decade and a half actually – to figure out which water purifier to use and recommend – and this is finally one that I have total confidence in. Turns out that Sean, our graphic designer, provided this golden nugget. It’s awesome working with people who believe and live by a similar mindset. After doing my own research and emailing the company multiple times, I was very impressed.
Berkey water purifiers remove a ton of different contaminants – including fluoride – but need a fluoride water filter if you choose to remove that as well.
What does Berkey remove or reduce signifcantly?
- heavy metals
- solvents (VOC’s)
- foul taste
- discoloration / rust
The amount of volatile organic compounds it removes is very impressive. That is important to me. Goodbye jet fuel.
I just purchased the Royal Berkey Water Filter along with 2 fluoride filters and 2 black filters (don’t tell my wife as it is her Christmas present 🙂 )
Akai Ionizer Plus is the other water system I recommend.
If this one is so great, then why do I recommend two?
Because the Akai Ionizer Plus is what I have used now for over 15 years. It also functions differently. This water purifier not only purifies the water, but it also makes the water:
- more alkaline
- uses UV light to eliminate microbes and pathogens effectively
- smaller clusters of water so more easily absorbed into your cells.
When my wife and I first started using the Akai, we drank and drank. It was an interesting experience. We actually felt like we had been dehydrated for years. Why else would we ingest so much water and not pee it out? I cannot explain it more than that. Our systems just absorbed more water and penetrated our cells more deeply.
If you mention ‘Dr Lynch’ when ordering the Akai Ionizer Plus, you will save a couple hundred dollars I believe.
It will be interesting to compare how we feel when drinking water from the Berkey water filter vs the Akai Ionizer Plus. I will update this point when I have more information.
If I were to choose between one or the other, which one would I pick?
I cannot tell you now which is why I am recommending both. In a couple months, I believe I will have a decision and will revise this post for you then.
Here are some things to help you make a decision now:
- If finances are an issue (and when aren’t they?), the Berkey water purifier is a significantly less expensive investment
- Cost per gallon is less with the Berkey
- The Berkey water purifier does not require electricity to run. The Akai does.
- The Akai has a UV light. The Berkey doesn’t.
- The Akai provides smaller water clusters for increased absorption into the cell. The Berkey doesn’t.
- The Berkey doesn’t waste any water. The Akai produces acidic water when it makes more alkaline water. The acidic water is great for cleaning, watering plants or washing clothes. The alkaline water is great for drinking – obviously.
- The Berkey removes fluroide quite well. I am not quite sure how much the Akai does. Something you need to ask.
- Akai is easier to use and looks nicer. Definitely less bulky.
Given that humans are significantly composed of water, it is essential we take care what we put into our system.
UPDATE December 9, 2014:
Someone just asked me “What about entire home water filters? It’s important to shower and bathe in clean water.” It is actually in the comments below but I felt it was too important not to share in the main body of the article.
First, entire home water filters are great as they do indeed filter water for the entire house. That said, they also are terrible because they are designed for quantity – not quality.
It is extremely important to me to have the water filter do as much filtration as possible – not just reduce chlorine and dirt and some microbes – but also heavy metals, fluorides, solvents. An entire house water filter is NOT going to remove those. Not a chance.
This is why I recommend the Berkey water purifier or the Akai Ionizer Plus. However, in terms of filtering the most contaminants, I think the Berkey water purifier beats the Akai Ionizer Plus. I just received an email from Akai today about this and will review.
I totally agree with this and should have discussed this here but cannot remember every detail in one shot (It’s the MTHFR blocking me 🙂 ).
Installing a shower water filter is extremely important.
Why is a shower water filter important? Because chlorine:
- damages mucous membranes – lungs, skin, eyes, nose
- irritates or contributes to:
- skin disorders of eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, dry skin
- asthma, chronic cough
- dry eyes
- brittle hair
The chlorine shower filter that I have been using for well over 15 years is the Rainshow’r shower filter as seen here. As I am writing this, I need to get replacement shower filter cartridges (just bought 2). It’s been over a year since that I’ve replaced my sons’ shower filter and the master bathroom unit. I’ve noticed a bit of chlorine smell coming through the shower head whereas with a working cartridge, no chlorine smell is detected.
The Culligan shower filter appears to have great reviews but it won’t work for us as we have our shower head on a 5′ hose so we can move it around.
I love baths and so does my wife and our three boys. I tried the bath balls by Rainshow’r but found they didn’t work very well. We used them for years. After lots of research, I discovered I learned how to remove the chlorine from bath water by using a vitamin blend.
This led to one of the first products I ever created which is not widely known sadly – but should be.
When I draw a bath, I allow the bath to fill about 1/2 the way and then I add 1 heaping teaspoon of Pure Bath to it. I then stir my arm around in the bath water and that’s it. Chlorine neutralized.
Bath ready to go!
Doubt it works? Test it.
- Draw a bath.
- Close the door and leave the bathroom fan off.
- Come in when the bath is half full and take a whiff.
- Chlorine pretty potent, right?
- Add the Pure Bath, turn on the fan and open the bathroom window.
- Finish drawing the bath and then enjoy.
Now obviously this will make the chlorine smell go away if you have the fan on and window open. Point is I didn’t want you wasting the bath water.
The next time you take a bath, do the same steps, except add 1 heaping teaspoon of the Pure Bath earlier, shut the door and leave bathroom fan off. Come in when the bath is half full and you should notice…no chlorine smell.
You also feel a difference when in the bath as well.
That is the end of the update.
Some interesting water hydration facts – in the human body, water constitutes:
- 78% of body weight of a newborn
- 65% of body weight of a 1 year old
- 60% of body weight in adult men
- 55% of body weight in adult women
- 73% of the brain is water
- 73% of the heart is water
- 83% of the lungs are water
- 64% of the skin is water
- 79% of the kidneys are water
- 79% of muscles are water
- 31% of bones are water
- Fat repels water so if overweight, you may be more dehydrated – and more toxic – as water is needed to flush out toxins, chemicals, etc
Think water is important??!
- MTHFR’s are more prone to toxicity and environmental contaminants and biological compounds than others.
- Body burden is affected by what you put IN and how you get it OUT.
- Reduce body burden immediately by reducing what you put in – now.
- Know what to eat – and how to eat. Change it over time. Drastic big changes don’t stick. Evolve with it.
- Clean up your air.
- Purify your well or tap water – and drink it.
- Filter your shower water
- Purify your bath water
Start making these changes today.
Bit by bit, you’ll reduce the burden on your already messed up MTHFR enzyme, as a result, bit by bit, you’ll feel better!
Next article, I am going to let you know how to effectively get toxins, chemicals and compounds OUT of your system – by using SAUNA.
Properly….that’s the key.
As promised, here is the article describing SAUNA: Benefits and How to Sauna
UPDATE: Feb 11, 2015:
YOUR FEEDBACK IS HELPING OTHERS: Please Read Below
Someone commented on this article today about how she enjoyed all the recommendations but …
There must be no buts…
“I know BUT” statements immediately prevent one from moving forward in a positive direction.
Do what YOU can even if it is a small step in the right direction.
Not everything healthy requires money.
Identify what is the MOST harmful thing in your life RIGHT now AND how to eliminate it at NO cost.
I know you are creative and I know you also have some fantastic ideas how to do this.
What I’d love to see is YOUR INPUT.
In your comment, I would greatly appreciate you sharing the following with people – so they can move beyond the things which are making them ill on a constant basis:
1) Top thing which was negatively affecting your health
2) What you did FREE or inexpensively to remove #1
3) The outcome – what was the result
4) Great FREE or inexpensive resources that you know about that you know are reliable, trustworthy, credible and helpful. For example, I like MilkShare, Eat Wild, etc – all found here – http://mthfr.net/additional-resources/
There are many many people who will gain tremendous benefit from your input.
Thank you for your contribution!