Health and vitality into old age without medication: no foreign chemicals and bioaccumulation


Avoid Foreign Chemicals in Your Body

Health literally is priceless. More than anything else, your well-being determines your quality of life. The question, of course, is: how do you grow old in a healthy way? Most elderly people receive between five and 12 medications for a variety of existing or potential complaints. You would almost think that you cannot grow old in a healthy way, but that is not true. So how can you remain drug-free and energetic into old age?

By C.F. van der Horst
10 December 2013. Updated 4 September 2022. Photo by zdenekfritz0 on Pixabay

The answer to that question has a lot to do with how you deal with health at a young age. Your lifestyle (factors such as exercise, diet and alcohol consumption) largely determines how fit and energetic you are in your old age. Until your 40s, you can eat and drink almost anything with impunity, but if there are regular unhealthy items among them, you will irrevocably be presented with the bill from that age. The table below shows this in the healthcare prevalence of Dutch people with chronic conditions for the year 2020. Care prevalence here refers to the number of people who have had at least one contact with a general practice for a chronic condition.

Care Prevalence of Chronic Conditions 2020@3x

Health declines after age 40. This table shows the Dutch healthcare prevalence of chronic conditions in 2020. The increase from age 40 onwards is remarkable. Source: Nivel Care Registrations First Line.

As you have read above, there are many aspects that can affect vitality in old age. Here we highlight a factor that is probably less well known.

What Is Health?

Before we get into that, let’s look at the concept of health, because it is potentially an elusive thing. What does it actually mean to be healthy? The statutes of the World Health Organization (WHO) clarify this well, as they define health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

This description goes far beyond just feeling “reasonable” or “okay.”

We don’t often pause to think about our health. We prefer not to be confronted with what you can or cannot eat and drink. And how much at that. Or what you may or may not put on your body. That is often far too inconvenient and besides… there will probably be no consequences anyway.

If you think this way, then you are absolutely right. A body is terribly strong and can endure a lot. However, it cannot withstand a continuous bombardment of all kinds of unnatural and toxic substances. As you saw in the table above, you pay the toll after the age of 40. Why not until then? The answer to that question probably lies in what is called bioaccumulation.

Bioaccumulation as a Factor for Disease

Bioaccumulation or bioconcentration is the gradual accumulation and concentration of foreign substances in the body. It is also referred to as body burden. There is a point at which bioaccumulation becomes greater than the liver’s ability to detoxify the body. When the body burden is too great, health problems set in. How serious and widespread is bioaccumulation in our society?

Let’s look at some everyday aspects.

Pesticides in Urine

A German laboratory study published in 2013 found that the majority of Europeans have residues of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Bayer’s (formerly Monsanto’s) pesticide Roundup, in their urine. In 70% of German volunteers, glyphosate was found in the body! In the Dutch it was 63%.  In the United States, it is even worse. In June 2022, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the sister organization of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) published a report showing that more than 80% of Americans have glyphosate in their urine. In March 2015, WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

To avoid pesticide residues in your body, it is wise to consume as many unsprayed fruits, grains and vegetables as possible.

Cosmetics IN the Body?

With regular lipstick use, a woman “eats” several kilograms of lipstick in her lifetime. And with that, synthetic dyes enter the body. How healthy is that? Cosmetics, deodorant, hair and nail polish, perfumes, shampoo and soap contain all kinds of substances you would rather not have in your body. Some of these have endocrine-disrupting effects such as parabens (preservatives in creams, lotions and shaving cream, for example) and phthalates (plasticizers in nail polish and shampoo, among others).

An old maxim is not to put anything on your body that you wouldn’t put in it (eat, that is). Especially with petroleum-based products, the body struggles because it lacks the enzymes to break down these chemicals. And the skin is not a plastic bag, but a living organ.

How many chemicals are in the water? Photo by Marianne Cornelissen-Kuyt, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons@2x

How many chemicals does your drinking water contain? Photo by Marianne Cornelissen-Kuyt, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Drug Residues and Other Chemicals in Drinking Water

A major factor causing bioaccumulation is the huge and increasing drug use. The Union of Water Boards reported: “Through feces and urine and by flushing old medications down the sink, drug residues enter the sewage system. Every year some 509 tons of drug residues enter the sewer system via the sewer [sic]. Of this, sewage treatment plants cannot properly remove about 190 tons. So this water still ends up in surface water after treatment in the sewer.” Among the drug residues are painkillers such as diclofenac, antibiotics (such as ciprofloxacin and clarithromycin; residues from antibiotics can contribute to resistance), endocrine disruptors (such as the active ingredient in the birth control pill, 17α-ethinylestradiol), cytostatics (the drugs used for chemotherapy) and psychopharmaceuticals (antidepressants such as the dangerous fluoxetine or the tranquilizer oxazepam).

Because our drinking water is obtained from surface water, it directly affects the quality of what flows out of the tap in your home, the water you drink and cook your vegetables in.

An October 2017 letter from the Dutch House of Representatives describes where those drug residues come from, but also that water utilities are no longer able to remove them: “Several studies have shown that hospitals determine 5-10% of the load in the influent [the dirty water entering the treatment plant] at the wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs); the other 90% is excreted at patients’ homes. In the last part of the chain, the sewage is treated at the WWTP which on average removes 65% of the drug residues.”

It is also becoming increasingly difficult to remove agricultural toxin residues from water. During the period 2015-2018, researchers found traces of several crop protection agents at surface water intake points for drinking water production and in storage basins. In many locations, these included concentrations exceeding standards. The authorization procedure for new types of agricultural poisons falls short. Water research institute KWR described the situation: “In recent years, the number of authorized pesticides on the Dutch market has increased slightly to almost 850. The latter include the neonicotinoid (insecticide that contributes to bee mortality) thiamethoxam and the fungicide fluopyram.

To prevent bioaccumulation of chemicals, you would do well to drink filtered water. The process of reverse osmosis gives the best purification. However, you should keep in mind that the water is completely demineralized.

The following video clip on drug residues in water is from Zembla, the investigative journalism television program of BNNVARA, and was broadcast on February 7, 2020.

Video Clip on Drug Residues in Water (Zembla, BNNVARA)

Chemicals in Food

Then there are the additives in food, in Europe identified by e-numbers. The list of e-numbers is long. Fortunately, not every e-number is bad. A few, however, such as aspartame and monosodium glutamate (MSG), are particularly bad for your health. They are known as excitotoxins: substances that excite nerve cells so excessively that they die. Others are known to trigger the hyperactive behavior characteristics known as ADHD.

As more and more chemicals enter our food, the quality of our food is deteriorating. Its nutritional value is steadily declining. In the process, people generally eat too little fresh and varied food.

The book Deadly Lies. How Doctors and Patients Are Deceived addresses all these issues and provides solutions.

"Deadly Lies. How Doctors and Patients Are Deceived" describes the conflicts of interest of government officials and scientists, the mass marketing of the pharmaceutical industry, and the lies used to deceive both physicians and you.

“Deadly Lies. How Doctors and Patients Are Deceived” describes the conflicts of interest of government officials and scientists, the mass marketing of the pharmaceutical industry, and the lies used to deceive both physicians and you.

Ever More Medication, Ever More Disease

The war on cancer has been underway since 1971, but despite the fact that many trillions of dollars and euros have been pumped into cancer research, cancer prevalence is increasing. In addition to cancer, other diseases of affluence, such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes, are becoming more prevalent. For decades, statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs) have been prescribed for cardiovascular disease, but invariably cardiovascular disease is cause of death number one or two (depending on the country).

Could all western medicine be on the wrong footing? It seems to be able to actually cure only a limited number of cases. For the majority of complaints, it is symptom control that rules the roost. We have to take pills to mitigate or prevent symptoms, while in many cases the drugs do not work (see the book Deadly Lies: How Doctors and Patients Are Deceived under “Number Needed to Treat”). The result is that very few elderly people are drug-free.

And often the long-term use of medication creates new symptoms for which pills must then also be taken. Prolonged medication and polypharmacy (the simultaneous use of multiple medications) are not only unproven safe and unproven effective, but both also contribute to bioaccumulation and potentially overload the liver as a detoxification organ.

Apparently, people in general and doctors in particular do not have the right information to preserve the health of themselves and their patients, respectively.

Deadly Lies: How Doctors and Patients Are Deceived explains, among other things, why this information was withheld from your doctor—and subsequently from you—as well as the effects of various chemicals on your health. Further, it describes the relationship between non-chemical agriculture, good nutrition, and health. It contains essential information for a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being.

Who doesn’t want to be drug-free, vital, and energetic in old age?

Want to Know More?

How can you avoid chemicals in food? Why has the nutritional value of foods declined? What constitutes proper nutrition? Are drugs necessary? How do you recognize a good physician?

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