Microplastics Everywhere

How to Detox & Shield Your Body


Dr. Aaron Hartman

July 2, 2024

Microplastics-Everywhere-Cover

Understanding Microplastics

Have you seen any of the recent social buzz surrounding microplastics? Unfortunately, the concern is justified. As part of my commitment to my patients, I need to update you on some very real concerns. These minuscule plastic particles, often smaller than a grain of sand, have permeated our environment and, disturbingly, our bodies. Once an obscure scientific concern, microplastics have become a pressing health crisis that demands our immediate attention.


These minuscule plastic particles, often smaller than a grain of sand, have permeated our environment and, disturbingly, our bodies.


How much plastic would you estimate you consume every week?

Recent studies reveal a staggering fact: the average person consumes about five grams of microplastics each week—the equivalent of a credit card every week. Visa may be everywhere I want to be, but I can think of a lot of places inside of me that I don’t want it to be!

The Health Impacts of Microplastics

The health implications of microplastics are nothing short of alarming. A pivotal study I encountered revealed that over 50% of individuals with blocked carotid arteries had microplastics embedded within the plaque??. This discovery suggests a potential link between microplastics and cardiovascular diseases, a hidden but serious threat to our health.

Furthermore, microplastics have been detected in vital organs such as the liver, lungs, and even in breast milk, indicating their widespread infiltration into the human body. Macrophages—our body's diligent cleanup cells—ingest these microplastics, inadvertently transporting them throughout our body and depositing them in various tissues. This process could lead to chronic inflammation and a host of other health issues.

A recent article from Futurism highlights how microplastics are found clogging human arteries, further substantiating these findings??. Another study from Statista shows that bottled water contains up to 100 times more microplastics than previously thought??. Research published on PubMed has detected microplastics in liver samples, placental tissue, lung tissue, breast milk, urine, and even blood??. Such widespread contamination underscores the gravity of this issue.

Sources of Exposure

Our exposure to microplastics primarily stems from:

  1. Drinking Water: Bottled water contains significantly more microplastics compared to tap water. Shockingly, heating or boiling water in plastic containers can increase the microplastic content by up to 100 times.
  2. Food Packaging: Many foods are packaged in plastic, which can leach microplastics, especially when heated. Imagine the hidden contaminants lurking in your daily meals.
  3. Indoor Air: Microplastics are present in household dust and can be inhaled, particularly from items like vinyl flooring and synthetic fabrics. The air we breathe in our own homes is not as clean as we might think.
  4. Personal Care Products: Some cosmetics and toothpaste contain microbeads, tiny plastic particles that we unknowingly introduce into our bodies every day.

Minimizing Exposure

While the presence of microplastics in our environment is daunting, there are proactive steps we can take to minimize our exposure. Here are some actionable strategies:

  1. Switch to Alternatives: Stop drinking plastic bottled water. Replace plastic containers with stainless steel or glass options, especially for hot beverages and food storage. Ensure these containers have non-BPA and non-bisphenol tops.
  2. Filter Your Water: Install a high-quality water filtration system, such as reverse osmosis, to reduce microplastics in your drinking water. Although reverse osmosis filters can remove essential minerals, their effectiveness against microplastics may make them a worthwhile tradeoff.
  3. Improve Indoor Air Quality: Utilize HEPA filters in your home to capture airborne microplastics. Regularly clean your home to reduce dust accumulation.
  4. Avoid Plastic-Packaged Foods: Opt for fresh, unpackaged foods whenever possible. Be cautious of canned foods with plastic linings.
  5. Support Your Body’s Detoxification: Engage in regular exercise or sauna sessions to help eliminate microplastics from your system via the lymphatic system (i.e. good ol’ fashion sweating).

Moving Forward

The pervasive nature of microplastics poses a significant challenge, but with informed choices, we can reduce our exposure and mitigate some of their health risks. It’s crucial to be proactive in minimizing exposure and supporting our body's natural detoxification processes.

By adopting these strategies, we can take meaningful steps toward protecting our health and contributing to a healthier environment. Stay informed, make conscious choices, and remember that even small changes can lead to significant health benefits.

Take Action Now: Start by evaluating your daily habits. What one small change can you make today to reduce your exposure to microplastics? Share your progress with us and join a community committed to healthier living.


References

  1. Futurism. Microplastics Found Clogging Human Arteries. Futurism.
  2. Statista. How We Eat, Drink, and Breathe Microplastics. Statista.
  3. PubMed. Microplastics Have Invaded the Human Body. PubMed.
  4. PubMed. Found in Human Atheromas. PubMed.

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