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Summer may bring increased exposure to more than just the sun. Summer gives us longer days, BBQs, pool parties, campfires, more alcohol, and sweet beverages, road trips with the car windows and top-down, and home improvements. Harmless as they seem, these factors and more increase our exposure to multiple environmental toxins. One particular toxin that affects millions in the population is acetaldehyde.
Acetaldehyde belongs to the larger chemical family of aldehydes, which are pervasive environmental toxins. The human body possesses enzymes that convert it to a less-harmful substance and therefore is protected from small exposures. However, acetaldehyde at toxic levels can make its way into the brain from sources such as alcohol consumption, breathing air contaminated with acetaldehyde from cigarette and other smoke, smog, vehicle and factory exhaust, synthetic fragrances and perhaps the most common of all, Candida sp. (yeast) overgrowth.
Yes, for many women and their families, the exposure route to toxic acetaldehyde levels is through its production by the opportunistic yeast, Candida albicans. In small numbers, this yeast may be kept in check in the gut by the immune system and friendly bacteria such as Lactobacillus sp. and Bifidobacterium sp. But in many adults and children, increasing carbohydrates, especially sweets, will cause chronic Candidiasis. Candida produces acetaldehyde in the GI tract by sugar fermentation. The typical American diet along with drug and antibiotic therapies, hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid), chronic stress, environmental toxins, etc. have altered gut integrity and immunity and predisposed millions of people to yeast overgrowth or the “Candida Syndrome.” A person with this condition who also drinks beer, wine or liqueurs not only produces acetaldehyde from the alcohol but also delivers more sugar for yeast production of acetaldehyde, creating a double-barreled dose. Acetaldehyde produced in the gut can eventually reach more parts of the body, flooding the system and increasing the risk of damage.
Acetaldehyde toxicity can be acute or chronic. In order to stop this toxicity, levels of key nutrients that metabolize and clear acetaldehyde must be adequate. Some of these nutrients are cofactors to the enzymes that metabolize acetaldehyde and others, such as sulfur-containing compounds, are necessary to scavenge or “mop up” any stray un-metabolized acetaldehyde. Supplementation with specific nutrients offers an important level of prevention and protection from toxicity.
Tonight on Live with Dr. Carolyn Dean we will be talking about Acetaldehyde Toxicity – Avoiding the Summertime Blues and the nutrients you can use to your benefit to lower your risk of chronic exposure to this all-too-familiar toxin. Plus, we’ll be sharing a wide range of health topics and safe solutions. You will love hearing the beneficial interactions with our callers and hosts alike including the body/mind connection, identifying the ‘conflict’ in the ‘conflict basis’ of disease and much more!!