Alzheimer’s Patients have Four Times The Levels of This Pesticide
March 24th, 2014 by NHI
The environmental decisions of previous generations are coming back to haunt us. A chemical now found to be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s was banned in the United States a long time ago, but that may have been a case of “too little, too late.”
Today’s pesticides and herbicides are supposedly safer, but unregulated use of more deadly chemicals in the past could be causing serious health problems in people even now. Today’s suspect is probably the most famous pesticide in history, DDT. Let’s take a look at what it may still be doing to us. . .
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Researchers from Emory University’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center came to a startling conclusion when they compared elderly patients with Alzheimer’s to those without.
Those with Alzheimer’s disease had as much as four times the amount of DDE (the metabolite of the pesticide DDT).
DDT and DDE have been shown to increase the levels of precursor proteins that create amyloid protein plaques characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.
Even though DDT was banned in the U.S. in 1973, the toxin hasn’t exactly disappeared overnight.
Plus, “we are still being exposed to these chemicals in the United States,” explained lead author Jason Richardson. “We get food products from other countries and DDE persists in the environment.” (1)
However, the researchers didn’t have enough evidence to prove conclusively that DDT build-up is a cause of Alzheimer’s. But, they noted, it could be used as a “biomarker” combined with genetic testing to predict an individual patient’s risk and help prevent early onset of symptoms.
In other words, DDT/DDE appears to be a “risk factor.” We don’t know for sure that it causes the disease, but Alzheimer’s is more likely among individuals who have high levels of these chemicals.
While there may be little we can do to remove harsh chemicals from the environment, raising awareness and taking action to remove toxic build-up from our bodies is our most effective next step.
How to detox from pesticide exposure
It’s too bad that there are few (if any) rigorous scientific studies on effective detoxification techniques. However, several alternative theories based on individual practices and anecdotal proof suggest that the following steps can help you remove excess environmental toxins.
Though toxins can be found throughout the body and brain, we do know that they are often stored in fat tissue, allowing them to stay in the body for years at a time. (The half-life of DDT in the human body is between eight and ten years.) So, burning fat by exercising more and eating healthy fats (such as avocadoes, nuts, coconut oil, and toxin-free fish oil) are excellent first steps in a detox program.
Also, drink plenty of filtered water and indulge in “super foods” like dark greens, flax and chia seeds, and produce or spices rich in antioxidants. These foods support your natural detoxing organs and help cleanse the body. It goes without saying that you should eat organic forms of these foods. Otherwise you’re adding to your load of pesticides and herbicides, not reducing it.
There is significant evidence that spirulina and chlorella supplements help remove toxins from the body.
It’s likely that we’re just beginning to see the devastating effects of past generations’ use of heavy pesticides and other toxins in our environment. It’s long been known these chemicals cause cancer. Now it turns out they’re implicated in dementia, too. Purchasing organic foods and other products is more important than ever.