A recent study published in JAMA Neurology found that patients with Alzheimer’s had four times as much blood levels of DDT as healthy people. While the findings are not conclusive, researchers believe the chemical increases the chance of Alzheimer’s and may be involved in the development of amyloid plaques in the brain, which contribute to the death of brain cells. Even though DDT has been banned in the US since 1972, the average American still ingests small amounts of the toxic chemical every day.
The good news? The ancient science of Ayurveda provides a means to remove this harmful chemical from the body.
Current mainline thinking is that the only way to eliminate DDT from the body is to let nature take its course. DDT’s half-life — the time it takes to naturally fall to half it’s original value — is 2 to 15 years. But a published research study conducted on the traditional Ayurveda detoxification treatments at The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa and Treatment Center in Fairfield, IA showed that 50% of DDE levels (DDE is the by-product of DDT found to be linked to Alzheimer’s) can be eliminated through a 5-day treatment program. A good investment in one’s future! To read more about the study visit http://theraj.com/rajresults/index.php
(If PK is not in your budget, daily massage with organic sesame oil can be helpful. See more tips at the end of the blog.)
DDT is harmful to the nervous system and is a known carcinogen. It belongs to a group of chemicals (along with PCBs and dioxins) that are fat-soluble. This means the chemicals adhere to the fat in insects, animals and people. The chemicals remain stored in the fat until their natural dissolution. This can take from 4 to 30 years. Although DDT is no longer made or used in the US, our water, air, soil are so contaminated that the chemical still poses a threat to our health.
Exposure to DDT
DDT and its by-products are persistant, bioaccumulative and can be transported long distances through the atmosphere. They can travel in the water systems and can end up in produce, dairy and meats through irrigation. DDT can build up in sediment in rivers, lakes, and coastal areas, and then accumulate in fish and shellfish. It is still in our soil and can be absorbed by some plants and by the animals or people who eat them. The largest fraction of DDT in a person’s diet comes from fish, meat, poultry, and dairy products. Leafy vegetables generally contain more DDT than other vegetables, possibly because DDT in the air is deposited on the leaves. DDT also comes to us in food from other countries. Infants may be exposed by drinking breast milk.
The purification treatments of Ayurveda start with a week of “home-prep”, an individually recommended protocol that primes the body to get the most out of the up-coming treatments. One aspect of home prep is a fat-free diet. When the detox treatments begin, pure oils are massaged into the body day after day, penetrating deeper and deeper into the tissues and organs of the body. Because the restrictive diet has reduced the body’s natural fat saturation, the fat-soluble chemicals respond joyously to the pure lipid infusion, detaching from the cells and attaching to the new lipids. These then get flushed out of the body with daily elimination therapy. To date this is the only proven way to remove fat-soluble toxins from the body.
1. Begin each day with a warm oil massage. Sesame oil is the most penetrating of the oils but those with a more pitta constitution may develop itchy skin or a rash. If you have sensitive skin, try using sweet almond oil, olive oil or coconut oil. Warm the oil slightly before using. Sit for 10 minutes after application and follow with a warm shower.
2. Favor organic foods, especially organic foods grown in the U.S. Many countries still use DDT to contain malaria. The run-off from spraying can contaminate the water systems and get onto food through irrigation (even into so-called organic farms).
3. Wash all fresh produce thoroughly in water, especially leafy greens, beans, root vegetables, and fruits and berries, to remove soil and any residues of DDT or DDE on the surface of the food.
4. If you are not a vegetarian, choose lean cuts of meat, poultry and fish. Trim excess fat from meat and poultry.
5. Consider a yearly commitment to Panchakarma treatments. A five-day treatment can accomplish what nature takes 2 to 15 years to do.