Research shows that environmental pollutants are so ubiquitous that there's no place on earth to escape them, not even polar ice caps. Even the breast milk of nursing Arctic women has been found to be dangerously high in, for starters, PCBs and mercury (Muckle, Persky, Abe, Grandjean, Weisglas-Kuperus)
EPA studies of breath analysis of New Jersey residents show 93% harbor perchloroethylene in their bodies, 89% had benzene (a known case of leukemia), and 29% were exhaling carcinogenic trichloroethylene, in addition to numerous other carcinogens (Wallace). In fact there are no longer any oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, animals in the wild nor humans on the face of the earth that do not harbor detectable levels of potent carcinogens and other disease-producing environmental chemicals.
The government's EPA studies of hundreds of Americans have shown 100% of human fat biopsies reveal styrene, dioxin, xylene, dichlorobenzene and more (U.S. EPA, 1984, 1987). Most of these are carcinogens and will produce a wide variety of symptoms. In today's interview, Dr. Rogers will share her views on how toxicity can negatively affect your gains in the gym and what to do about it.
Charles Poliquin: How can detoxifying help with the processes of building muscle and losing fat?
Dr. Sherry Rogers M.D: First, phtalates or plasticizers have an affinity for the testicles, which accounts the ever worsening levels of testosterone in American males. And this is no surprise that the average American male is producing 30% less testosterone than 20 years, and it is getting worse.
Second, detoxifying the phthalates (plastics that are in all humans) can tremendously boost the effectiveness of your own thyroid and other hormone production. Phthalates are known to block the receptor sites for thyroid. The average human consumes 210 mcg of phthalates, as from everyday plastic wrap on foods, as well as plastic water and soda bottles.
Third, pesticides (another hormone disruptor) are well known to interfere with acetylcholine metabolism. In essence, that is how they accomplish their job. Having pesticides accumulating in your body will interfere with your body's ability to recruit high-threshold motor units.
CP: In your opinion, why do you think intestinal dysbiosis is so common in athletic circles.
SR: First and foremost, the use of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen and other pain medications) increases gut permeability which leads to a host of symptoms also known as leaky gut syndrome.
Second, the use of antibiotics leads to overgrowth of intestinal fungi which inflames the gut wall, leading to poor absorption of nutrients, elevated cholesterol levels, etc...
Third, most athletes eat out a lot because of their schedules and end up absorbing a lot of food borne pathogens. When I was in medical school 35 years ago, parasitology tests were reserved for overseas travelers. Now the world has come to America. If you have no education and cannot speak the language, you end up working in the food industry. No wonder that "irritable bowel syndrome" is the number one condition (treated but rarely cured) by gastroenterologists. Also eating out invariably leads to high levels of trans fatty acids that damage all body chemistry.
CP: Would you agree that the use of stimulants like ephedra and its related compounds leads to elevated cortisol which in turn increases gut permeability?
SR: Yes, you are right, whether they use Ma Huang, Ritalin or "greenies", the high cortisol associated further contributes to lowered resistance to invasion by infectious organisms and increased gut permeability.
CP: If one is on a budget what are the 5 cheapest ways to detoxify the human body?
- Eliminate all trans-fats. Trans-fats, hidden in the majority of factory foods, accelerate every disease and aspect of aging, thus making it impossible to completely heal any condition or reach maximum output until the body's chemistry has returned to normal. Eliminating those nasty fats cuts in half your risk for cardio-vascular disease!
- Switch to a whole foods diet. Eat as organic as possible. That may seem obvious, but very few people adhere to this type of diet.
- Improve the quality of your water. An inexpensive $100.00 filter will do wonders for your health. Take for example fluoride; it was found that instead of building strong healthy teeth, it damaged brain enzymes and lowered I,Q..s (Zhao, Foulkes).
- Take the daily detox formula as explained in my book, "Detoxify or Die"
- Take a high quality fish oil to help you regenerate your cell membranes. And for peak performance, have your fatty acids assayed and individually correct and prime your cell membranes (directions in "Detoxify or Die")
CP: Thank you Dr. Rogers, looking forward to many more interviews.