Neurotoxins are everywhere. What exactly is a neurotoxin? Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a neurotoxin as “a poisonous substance that acts on the nervous system and disrupts the normal function of nerve cells”. The 7 neurotoxins listed below are only a few of the many chemicals we all encounter on a daily basis that can be detrimental to the health of our brain and nervous system. They should be avoided as much as possible.
Glyphosate aka Roundup (herbicide)
– Herbicide found in most agricultural crops like corn and soybeans, genetically engineered crops and grains
– Found to change brain chemistry, cause anxiety, diarrhea, dizziness, headaches, breathing difficulties
– Induce depression-like symptoms2
Aspartame (artificial sweetener)
– Artificial sweetener used in many low calorie, diet and “sugar free” products including sodas, sweets, yogurt, etc.
– Causes injury to delicate neurons in your brain, seizures, depression, vision problems, ADD, birth defects
– Induces dementia symptoms and memory loss5
– Pesticide commonly used on cotton, corn, almonds, and many fruit trees including apples and orange trees
– Cause dysfunction in nerve signals as well as headaches, nausea, dizziness, muscle twitching, loss of coordination, breathing difficulties
– Children are particularly vulnerable
– Linked to neurodevelopmental delays, and in some cases tremors.4
– Found in most vaccinations, used to cause a stronger immune reaction to the vaccine
– Children are more susceptible to injury
– Experimental research has linked it with an increased risk of autoimmunity, long-term brain inflammation, and associated neurological complications that may be serious and lasts for the child’s lifetime.8,9
Fluoride (water, oral hygiene products)
– Found in toothpaste, mouthwashes, and nearly all bottled beverages, including water
– Can cause arthritic symptoms and thyroid issues
– High doses of fluoride has been shown to be a neurotoxin that can affect normal development in children.3
– Has an additive effect so that the more products we use containing it, the more exposure you’re getting
Synthetic Fragrances (self-care products)
– Found in thousands of products, including lotions, perfumes, body wash, laundry soap, candles, ect.
– Increases allergen and neurotoxic cascades1
– Possible relationship between maternal exposure and the development of autism6
Triclosan (cleaning products)
– Recently banned anti-bacterial product that has commonly been used in anything anti-bacterial – soaps, hand sanitizers, face wash, toothpaste ect.
– Contributes to anti-biotic resistant strains of bacteria
– Linked to thyroid issues, immune disruption, neurotoxicity, and cancer.7
These 7 neurotoxins can all damage and interfere with the function of your nervous system. It is a great idea to decrease exposure to these chemicals any time you can.
Buy organic produce when it is available. Eliminate sodas and artificially sweetened products from your diet. If you choose to vaccinate your children, think about altering the schedule to decrease the aluminum exposure in a single setting. Replace toxic household cleaners and self-hygiene products with non-gmo, organic products. Use a water filter and drink more water during the day to help flush out any toxins you encounter.
Avoiding toxins is not always possible. Chiropractic Lifestyle Care strengthens your body’s ability to process these toxins by strengthening your nervous system – the master controller of your body. Make an appointment today to improve the function of your nervous system and reduce the detrimental effects of exposure to these toxic chemicals.
Article Contributed by Michelle Coats, BS
1. Anderson, R. C., & Anderson, J. H. (1998). Acute Toxic Effects of Fragrance Products. Archives of Environmental Health: An International Journal, 53(2), 138-146. doi:10.1080/00039896.1998.10545975
2. Cattani, D., Cesconetto, P. A., Tavares, M. K., Parisotto, E. B., Oliveira, P. A., Rieg, C. E., . . . Zamoner, A. (2017). Developmental exposure to glyphosate-based herbicide and depressive-like behavior in adult offspring: Implication of glutamate excitotoxicity and oxidative stress. Toxicology, 387, 67-80. doi:10.1016/j.tox.2017.06.001
3. Choi, A. L., Zhang, Y., Sun, G., Bellinger, D.C., Wang, K., Yang, X.J.,… Grandjean, P. (2015). Association of lifetime exposure to fluoride and cognitive functions in Chinese children: A pilot study. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 47, 96-101. doi:10.1016/j.ntt.2014.11.001
4. González-Alzaga, B., Hernández, A. F., Rodríguez-Barranco, M., Gómez, I., Aguilar-Garduño, C., López-Flores, I., . . . Lacasaña, M. (2015). Pre- and postnatal exposures to pesticides and neurodevelopmental effects in children living in agricultural communities from South-Eastern Spain. Environment International, 85, 229-237. doi:10.1016/j.envint.2015.09.019
5. Onaolapo, A. Y., Onaolapo, O. J., & Nwoha, P. U. (2016). Alterations in behaviour, cerebral cortical morphology and cerebral oxidative stress markers following aspartame ingestion. Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy, 78, 42-56. doi:10.1016/j.jchemneu.2016.08.006
6. Sealey, L. A., Hughes, B.W., Pestaner, J.P., Steinemann, A., D.G., & Bagasra, O. (2015). Environmental factors may contribute to autism development and male bias: Effects of fragrances on developing neurons. Environmental Research, 142, 731-738. doi:10.1016/j.envres.2015.08.025
7. Teplova, V. V., Belosludtsev, K. N., & Kruglov, A. G. (2017). Mechanism of triclosan toxicity: Mitochondrial dysfunction including complex II inhibition, superoxide release and uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation. Toxicology Letters, 275, 108-117. doi:10.1016/j.toxlet.2017.05.004
8. Tomljenovic, L., & Shaw, C. A. (2011). Aluminum Vaccine Adjuvants: Are they Safe? Current Medicinal Chemistry, 18(17), 2630-2637. doi:10.2174/092986711795933740
9. Zhang, X., Zhang, X., Zhang, Y., Liu, M., Jin, J., Yan, J., . . . Dong, D. (2017). Mitochondrial uncoupler triclosan induces vasorelaxation of rat arteries. Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B. doi:10.1016/j.apsb.2017.06.001