Can Vitamin C Reduce Toxins?

A certain amount of toxic exposure may be the price of living in the 21st century. But there may be something you can do to help reduce the level of toxins in your blood.

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
4-minute read
Episode #389

One the grim facts of life in our modern era is that all of us are constantly exposed to pollutants and other harmful byproducts of our industrialized society. There’s just no avoiding them. Sure, you can buy only organic food, avoid using plastic containers, use all natural cleaning products, and use an organic dry cleaner. All of these can help reduce your exposure, but not to zero.

See also: How to Reduce Your Exposure to Pesticides

The Link Between Fast Food and Phthalates

Phthalates, for example, are compounds that are widely used in cosmetics, soaps, and food packaging—and 98% of us have phthalates circulating in our bloodstream. Although not everyone agrees that this is a problem, there are a growing number of studies linking phthalate exposure to things like diabetes, allergies, and infertility.

If you’re nervous about phthalates, you might want to start eating at home more often. Researchers recently found that those who frequent fast food or quick serve restaurants had significantly higher levels of phthalates in their urine—possibly because of the plastic packaging, plates, and utensils involved.

P is for Persistent

PCBs are another nasty category of chemicals—so nasty, in fact, that they were banned almost 40 years ago. Unfortunately, all the PCBs that were unleashed into the environment before they were banned in 1979 are still out there. Worse than that, they’re not just “out there.” They’re “in here,” as in inside your body.

PCBs and other persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are still detectable in most humans because they are still ubiquitous in the environment. They get passed up the food chain to humans and remain in our bodies for years. In fact, the level of POPs in your blood generally correlates to your age: that is, the older you are, the more you’ve accumulated.

I generally try not to worry about things I can’t control. I do what I can to reduce my exposure but I generally accept a certain amount of toxic load as the price of living in the 21st century. But there may, in fact, be something you can do to help reduce the level of PCBs in your blood.


About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.