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Toxicity is of much greater concern in the twentieth century than ever before. There are many, many chemicals that we are exposed to which did not exist until recently. The air, soil and water are becoming increasingly polluted with them. This exposure, along with the common use of drugs, eating devitalized/refined foods, failing to exercise or drink enough water has resulted in a toxic storehouse within us creating a wide range of symptoms and disease.
Toxicity is encountered from internal sources as well. Our bodies produce toxins in the process of carrying out normal everyday functions. These substances need to be neutralized and/or eliminated. When they are not, irritation and inflammation of cells and tissues results, blocking normal functioning. Also, bacteria of all kinds produce metabolic waste products that we must process. While a normally-functioning body was created to handle some toxicity, we have overwhelmed this capacity by both excessive exposure and poor habits.
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Androgen: Any steroid hormone that increases male characteristics.
Antioxidant: A chemical compound that slows or prevents oxygen from reacting with other compounds. Some antioxidants have been shown to have cancer-protecting potential because they neutralize free radicals. Examples include vitamins C and E, alpha lipoic acid, beta carotene, the minerals selenium, zinc, and germanium, superoxide dismutase (SOD), coenzyme Q10, catalase, and some amino acids, like cystiene. Other nutrient sources include grape seed extract, curcumin, gingko, green tea, olive leaf, policosanol and pycnogenol.
Autoimmune Disease: One of a large group of diseases in which the immune system turns against the body's own cells, tissues and organs, leading to chronic and often deadly conditions. Examples include multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, Bright's disease and diabetes.
Bacteria: Microscopic germs. Some bacteria are "harmful" and can cause disease, while other "friendly" bacteria protect the body from harmful invading organisms.
Bile: A bitter, yellow-green secretion of the liver. Bile is stored in the gallbladder and is released when fat enters the first part of the small intestine (duodenum) in order to aid digestion.
Chronic: Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.
Colon: The part of the large intestine that extends to the rectum. The colon takes the contents of the small intestine, moving them to the rectum by contracting.
Dermatomyositis: A diffuse connective tissue disease.
Enzymes: Specific protein catalysts produced by the cells that are crucial in chemical reactions and in building up or synthesizing most compounds in the body. Each enzyme performs a specific function without itself being consumed. For example, the digestive enzyme amylase acts on carbohydrates in foods to break them down.
Estrogen: One of the female sex hormones produced by the ovaries.
Free Radical: A free radical is an atom or group of atoms that has at least one unpaired electron. Because another element can easily pick up this free electron and cause a chemical reaction, these free radicals can effect dramatic and destructive changes in the body. Free radicals are activated in heated and rancid oils and by radiation in the atmosphere, among other things.
Metabolism: The chemical processes of living cells in which energy is produced in order to replace and repair tissues and maintain a healthy body. Responsible for the production of energy, biosynthesis of important substances, and degradation of various compounds.
Myalgia: Diffuse muscle pain.
Raynaud's Phenomenon: Raynaud's disease or syndrome is a disorder of blood circulation, mainly in the fingers and toes. It is of unknown cause and characterized by changes of the skin that are aggravated by exposure to cold: first, becoming white with numbness and pain as a result of inadequate oxygenation of the blood, then red/purple with a burning sensation. The sudden constriction of blood vessels causes decreased blood flow to the extremities and can, in extreme cases, lead to gangrene. Also called "white finger", "wax finger" or "dead finger".