Research tells us that environmental toxins are probably not good for us. Unfortunately, this does not stop the widespread use of chemicals such as pesticides and PCBs. There is very little positive press about toxins used in the manufacturing and agricultural industries when it comes to human health. Now researchers are dealing toxins yet another blow: in the latest health news out of Uppsala University in Sweden, environmental toxins may be linked to atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is a hardening of the arteries that often leads to cardiovascular disease. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in industrialized countries.
The Swedish researchers measured levels of environmental toxins in the blood of about 100 Swedes. These study participants were also assessed for hardening of the arteries.
The research team found a strong connection between increasing levels of environmental toxins and atherosclerosis, even after taking into account other risk factors.
The researchers say their findings show that environmental toxins may cause atherosclerosis to occur, ushering in heart disease and possibly death. Sadly, the researchers note that, in Sweden, and in many countries in the world, many of the toxins from this study are forbidden today. However, they take so long to degrade and break down that they are still found in the environment. These toxins are breathed in and ingested as residues on food. Unfortunately, toxins can accumulate over time and cause more problems as we get older and our bodies are less able to neutralize harmful chemicals.
Try to follow this health advice: reduce your use of chemicals. Try to avoid pesticides in and around the home. Purchase products that are made in an environmentally sound manner. Don’t drive if you don’t need to — take the bus, walk or ride a bike. In the meantime, get your doctor’s advice about being tested for hardening of the arteries.