(NaturalNews) Food-borne pathogens, like E-coli and salmonella, can cause a wide range of infections, but there are also dangerous substances like arsenic, diledrin, dioxins and acrylamide, that can find their way into our daily diets. Exposure to these highly toxic substances has been scientifically linked to various life-threatening health conditions, including developmental disabilities, birth defects and cancer.
Preschool children are most vulnerable
A study carried out by scientists at UC Davis and UCLA found that children and family members were most vulnerable to pesticides, metals and other toxins. The researchers looked at 364 children and found that all of them exceeded cancer benchmarks for arsenic, dieldrin, DDE and dioxins. This data is particularly worrisome because of the effects that some toxins can have on the developing brain.
Arsenic is a potent poison, and long-term exposure to even small amounts can lead to severe vitamin A deficiency, heart disease and night blindness (difficulty to see in low light).
Dieldrin is an organic pollutant usually used as a pesticide. Symptoms of poisoning include convulsions, as well as neurological and liver damage.
DDE is a toxic compound that can be passed on to infants via breast milk. Once exposure occurs, DDE is neurotoxic, and can cause hormonal changes and oxidative damage.
Dioxins are highly toxic substances that cause developmental problems, weaken immunity, and reduce fertility. It is mostly found in animal products and meats, including seafood.
How to lower toxic exposure
The scientists at UC Davis and UCLA have put together a few tips that can help families reduce exposure to toxins. "We need to be especially careful about children, because they tend to be more vulnerable to many of these chemicals and their effects on the developing brain," explained Hertz-Picciotto, one of the researches involved in the study.
Some of the simplest, scientifically confirmed ways to lower toxic exposure is to opt for organic produce because it is free of pesticides, and to reduce the consumption of meat and animal products, since they contain high levels of organic pollutants. For infants, scientists recommend the use of organic milk. As far as seafood is concerned, the researchers warn against the danger of mercury poisoning, and suggest that some smaller fish may have lower mercury levels because they are lower on the food chain.
Acrylamides can be completely eliminated from the diet by removing processed grains, as well as fried and baked foods. Deborah Bennett, an associate professor at UC Davis, explains that we should replace fried foods with fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, since they are less likely to be contaminated. Dr. Bennett also warned against the potential of introducing new toxins into the environment, since it can take decades before a contaminant is fully removed from our food or water supplies.
About the author: Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general. In 2010, Michelle created RawFoodHealthWatch.com, to share with people her approach to the raw food diet and detoxification.
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