Sajer Ji reports on studies that show that a good sweat is more than just a way to cool down the body. The founder of Green Med Info writes, “Sweating has been found to facilitate the elimination of accumulated heavy metals and petrochemicals, indicating that if we want to be healthy we should put regular effort into doing more sweating.”
Ji cites from a study published in 2011 in the Archives of Environmental and Contamination Toxicology that found that, “Induced sweating appears to be a potential method for elimination of many toxic elements from the human body.”
The researchers also made the important observation that, “Biomonitoring for toxic elements through blood and/or urine testing may underestimate the total body burden of such toxicants. Sweat analysis should be considered as an additional method for monitoring bioaccumulation of toxic elements in humans.”
These are truly novel findings insofar as sweating, at least from the perspective of evolutionary biology, is considered to exist primarily for thermoregulation (sweat cools the surface of the skin and reduces body temperature, functioning as a wholebody cooling system). While the sweat glands have a well-known secondary role for the excretion of water and electrolytes, this function is not generally understood to be a form ‘detoxification.’
Also, this study underscores just how common it is for conventional medical practice to overlook the relevance of environmental factors in health (e.g. exposures to metals, petrochemicals, toxins), as many of these ‘vectors’ of exposure/poisoning are not properly measurable via blood or urine tests; that is, when they even care to look. This blind spot, of course, feeds the delusion that one can suppress bodily symptoms associated with environmental exposures with additional patented chemicals, in the downward spiral that is drug-based medicine. The obvious alternative method – identify and remove the poisons – isn’t even on the table, unless the practitioner happens to be aware of natural, integrative or functional medical principles and has the courage to go against the FDA-approved and liability-shielding grain to employ them.
Why Blood and Urine Analysis May Fail To Reveal The Problem
These preliminary research findings were further confirmed in a 2012 meta-analysis published in the Journal of Public and Environmental Health. The study titled, “Arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury in sweat: a systematic review,” was performed by researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ontario, Canada, and was based on a review of 24 studies on toxicant levels in the sweat.
The researchers discovered the following:
- In individuals with higher exposure or body burden, sweat generally exceeded plasma or urine concentrations, and dermal could match or surpass urinary daily excretion.
- Arsenic dermal excretion was severalfold higher in arsenic-exposed individuals than in unexposed controls.
- Cadmium was more concentrated in sweat than in blood plasma.
- Sweat lead was associated with high-molecular-weight molecules, and in an interventional study, levels were higher with endurance compared with intensive exercise.
- Mercury levels normalized with repeated saunas in a case report.
The researchers concluded, “Sweating deserves consideration for toxic element detoxification.“
Ji has also cites two studies that conclude that endocrine-disrupting petrochemicals can be eliminated via sweat glands. The article continues:
The first study, involving 20 subjects made to undergo induced sweating, found that the ubiquitous petrochemical Bisphenol A (BPA) was excreted through sweat, even in some individuals with no BPA detected in their serum or urine samples. This clearly indicates that the body uses sweat to rid itself of the BPA that has bioaccumulated in tissue.
The second study by the same research group, also involving 20 subjects, found that phthalate, a plasticizer tied to breast cancer and various other conditions associated with endocrine disruption, was present in concentrations twice as high in their sweat compared to their urine, and in several individuals was found in their sweat but not in their blood serum, “…suggesting the possibility of phthalate retention and bioaccumulation.”
Read the full report at Green Med Info, click here. I would add that using deodorants that contain aluminum is not a good idea. In general, the use of lotions that clog the pores is a poor choice as well. The skin is the largest organ in the human body. Sweating is good for your health.