Did you know that there’s a number of toxins in your drinking water? In this article we’ll discuss what these toxins are and their effects on the body, as well as how to avoid them.
What to watch out for: tap water is full of chlorine, heavy metals, contaminants, and other toxins. Chlorine is a big one. If it is strong enough to kill bacteria and other dangerous stuff in our water, do you really think it’s a good idea to drink it? It doesn’t end at chlorine though. Many studies have found prescription drugs including beta blockers, estrogen, antidepressants, and pain killers in tap water. It also contains heavy metals and other horrendous things that make their way into your house. It’s up to you whether they make it into your body.
A 2006 article in the International Journal of Cancer had this to say about tap water:
Six recent studies, examining a combined total of almost 8,000 people, have indicated that higher consumption of tap water can increase the risk of bladder cancer in men. Men who drank more than 2 liters of tap water a day ran a 50 percent higher risk of bladder cancer than those who drank half a liter or less. Both straight tap water and tap water from other sources, such as coffee, were examined in the study. Other beverages were not found to have the same associated risks.[1. International Journal of Cancer April 15, 2006; 118(8): 2040-2047]
So bottled water must be the answer, right? Wrong! An Environmental Working Group (EWG) investigation of almost two hundred popular bottled water brands found less than 2 percent disclose the water’s source, how the water has been purified, and what chemical pollutants each bottle of water may contain.[2. EWG, July 8, 2009, “Most Bottled Water Brands Don’t Disclose Information About Source, Purity, and Contaminants”] So you don’t know where it’s coming from or what’s still in it.
Solution: Get a water filter.
Finding The Right Bottle:
The average American uses 170 plastic water bottles in one year totaling 50 billion plastic bottles a year. In fact, Americans spend more than $15 billion on bottled water every single year!
Most plastic water bottles made for one-time use are made from polyethylene terephthalate (marked with a 1) or polycarbonate (marked with a 7).
Reusable bottles are made from high-density polyethylene (marked with a 2), low-density (marked with a 4), polypropylene (marked with a 5), or polycarbonate (marked with a 7)
You can generally find these markings on the bottom or somewhere else on the bottle.
Scientists are concerned that reusing polyethylene terephthalate (1) bottles causes the plastic to degrade and leach phthalates into the water. Phthalate has been shown to cause women to give birth to boys with smaller genitalia and undescended testes and be a carcinogen known to cause liver problems. Studies have also shown these bottles leach other hormone-disrupting compounds into the water. The more you use these bottles, the more likely the plastic will degrade—so do not reuse a water bottle designed for one-time use.
The majority of Polycarbonate (7) plastics are made using the chemical bisphenol A (BPA). They have become extremely controversial and are illegal in some countries. Scientists are concerned that BPA, a xenoestrogen, is linked to certain types of cancer, lowered levels of testosterone, and other serious health effects, even in low doses, like obesity, attention deficits, lowered sperm counts, and early puberty onset.
While plastic made from polyethylene (marked with a 2) or polypropylene (marked with a 5) have been deemed better, choosing a bottle made from glass or stainless steel and filling them from a water filter and not straight from the tap are the safest choice.
What Else Can I Do?
Taking these precautions is one step toward prohibiting harmful toxins from entering your body, but you are unlikely to completely avoid them in the 21st century. Fortunately, your body has a natural, inborn detoxification system that relies primarily on glutathione for its activation and operation. Unfortunately, these very toxins may cause glutathione wasting, and therefore a collapse of your body’s natural detoxification system.
Vegetables which contain higher levels of glutathione include spinach, broccoli, and carrots, so it is vital to consume raw on a regular basis (take note that the cooking of raw vegetables depletes their usable glutathione contents by nearly 100%). One should note that oral supplementation with glutathione has not been proven to be effective, as glutathione in its whole form is largely destroyed in the body before it can be brought into the cells for functionality.
The best supplementation strategy to enhance intracellular glutathione and accelerate detoxification is to take the three building blocks of glutathione (L-cysteine via N-Acetyl cysteine, L-glutamic acid and glycine), in concert with the the important vitamins (B2, B6, and selenium) necessary for glutathione synthesis in the body.