Micro-plastics on the Menu
The invention of plastic is turning out to be a health and environmental nightmare. With the impact of endocrine disrupting chemicals found in soft plastics recking havoc with our hormones and detoxification systems; and the ubiquitous nature of plastics in our environment we need to pay attention to how we nourish ourselves both internally, externally and environmentally.
Plastics can be described by their size:
- Macro-plastics such as those found in lining of tinned food, clothing fibres, coffee take away cups, containers, water bottles
- Micro-plastics ( 0.1 – 1000µm) and nano-plastics (particles that are ≤0.1µm) are macro-plastics broken down in the environment by UV radiation in soil, water ways and the ocean. Increasingly nano-plastics are added to products such as paints, cosmetics, toothpaste, adhesives, cleaning products, electronics, medication delivery etc.
Bio-accumulation of plastics
These tiny plastics accumulate in the environment, binding toxic chemicals and heavy metals within their structure and accumulation (bio-accumulate) in the tissue of animals.
Sadly to say our marine environment is full of micro-plastics accumulating in seafood and fish. So we consume plastics in out food and also directly from food packaging.
Thankfully human body is quite efficient at excreting ingested micro-plastic and nano-plastic via faeces, however, these smaller plastic particles can translocate from the intestinal tract to the circulatory system or surrounding tissue and can accumulate in secondary organs. The factors affecting retention and clearance rates are the plastic particle size, shape, polymer type, and additive chemicals as well as the health status of each individual person.
It is important to minimise your exposure by avoiding plastics, especially food and beverages in plastic wraps and containers. However we also need personalised support to improve our clearance of plastics and toxins.
Naturopathy looks at the whole person, their lifestyle and environment and personalises treatment to support the individual, in particular supporting the lymphatic system, the liver, inflammatory / oxidative system and a healthy microbiome to assist the body in clearing the micro and nano plastics.
Book a session to help identify risk and personalise treatment.
Featured image by Image by Bioconcepts – Micro-plastics an emerging health concern