Toxins we get from the outside and those we produce, our body must manage with them.
To understand how to deal at best with them I have divided this talk in three parts:
entry and exit and what I call “in between” which deals with what happens inside our body where we produce toxins and how we deal with them.
It is a substance that is a threat to our body. And like any threat, the importance of the threat depends on how aggressive that threat is and on how resistant our body is regarding this threat.
If the threat on its own is minimal, it can become deadly if its number is high or if the body is weak. If a bee sting is usually not deadly, 300 of them can be. But if the bee sting is in the throat, it can be deadly. And if the body is allergic to bee stings, just one of them can be deadly unless counter measures can be taken in time.
This example already introduce important notions about tox. Quantities, timing, responses are the basics of our daily fight for survival.
They get entrance in our body in many ways. Sometimes the same one can enter the body through many ways.
The main ways for them to enter our body are through skin and mucosa from contact with food and air.
The two main barriers that separate us from the outside are skin and mucosa. The two main ways of exposing our body to tox. are through food (or swallowing) and from the air.
Skin is a good barrier. In an average adult it represents about 1.7 m2 or 18 square feet. It is not an absolute barrier because some molecules can cross it and it is exposed to damages, mainly traumatic such as scratches but also during diseases such as allergic reactions, sun burns, auto-immune diseases or inflammations. It is also exposed to stings such as mosquitos that can carry so many diseases agents that they represent by far the most common human deadly causes from animals, far ahead of snakes, lions or sharks. Obviously, skin can be damaged through stabbings from domestic accidents, criminal origin or self-inflicted with injections of diverse agents, not counting those that are medically done with the possibility of introducing tox such as infectious agents.
The mucosal barrier is much more extended and varied. The main one extends from the mouth to the anal opening covering the pharynx, esophagus, stomach, the gut and all accessory canals opening in it. The second set is represented by the respiratory apparatus including the nasal cavities, larynx, bronchi and pulmonary alveolus. The third set is represented by others such as eyes, ears, genitals, urological, and accessory canals opening in them. This mucosal barrier is very extended with for example that of the small intestine being 250 m2 or some 2700 square feet because of folds, villi and microvilli (villi and microvilli are smaller folds that increase tremendously the surface for nutrients absorption).
This mucosal barrier is less exposed to outside elements but is much thinner and permeable than the skin. It is also highly vascularized making it an easy access for medications. Because of that it is also an easy access for toxins such as viruses (flu, HIV), pollutants (tobacco, particles), and food poisoning.
In between we have our body and its many organs and cells that play a double role.
On one side all our working cells produce tox as by products.
On the other side they also produce anti-toxins to take care of them, such as anti-oxidants. They are helped in this and in dealing with the “introduced” tox from the outside by many organs.
The most known is the liver whose circulation is double, one that receives almost all the elements that are introduced through our gut and the other one from the general circulation that receives and deal with most toxins released through our body from the cells or who have by-passed the first circulation.
But we do have other very important organs that deal with tox such as
Composed of all the physiologic products that we expel through sweat, urine, feces and others help us to not only keep a well-controlled homeostasis where the minerals of our body composition are kept in check but also in getting rid of toxins from our body.
For each of the above aspects there could be pages upon pages of explanations and they will appear over time on this website.
We must avoid as much as possible those toxins and take care of our body to deal with them. This is what you’ll learn over time.