Is The Air In Your Home Making You Stupid? You Might Be Surprised.
The following article is written by Ben Angel. Author of the book, Unstoppable: A 90-Day Plan to Biohack Your Mind and Body for Success. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound. And be sure to order The Unstoppable Journal, the only journal of its kind based on neuroscience, psychology and biohacking to help you reach your goals.
Would you think twice if breathing in polluted air could wreak havoc on your DNA, mutating your genes in as few as three days, causing increased rates of cancer and other diseases? If you’ve never assessed the effects of environmental pollution inside and outside your home, you may want to reconsider looking at how invisible contaminants are hijacking your behavior, thoughts and mood.
It started with clean eating, and now clean breathing seems to be on trend, as billions of people are forced to consider the health ramifications of widespread pollution. There’s a reason the air-purification systems market is expected to surpass $9.2 billion by 2025. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 91 percent of the world’s population lives in places that fall short of WHO's air-quality standards, contributing to 4.2 million deaths worldwide every year.
Recognizing the effects of pollution like car exhaust or asbestos is evident for most people because there is a physical nature to it. The viral photos of the bright, blue skies above L.A. during the quarantine helped bring that realization home. We know that air pollution induces respiratory ailments, asthma and an increased risk of stroke. However, scientists are finding new correlations between pollution and emerging chronic diseases, including oxidative stress, neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration — all of which impair our cognitive performance.
A vast number of studies have shown that, regardless of age or other superficial factors, long-term exposure to air- pollution particulates can deposit itself deep in the lungs and brain. And moreover, that may be a significant environmental risk factor linked to reduced cognitive function, since working memory, superior working memory and attentiveness were all negatively affected.
Ironically, with modernization, many newly constructed buildings not only become more airtight due to better manufacturing, but they can also emit dangerous levels of toxins and pollutants. "Sick building syndrome" (SBS) is a term used to describe chronic symptoms that occur in excess after spending time in a given building, including irritation of the skin, eyes and throat. Headache, drowsiness and general irritability are also symptoms of SBS. Long-term periodic exposure to chemicals like formaldehyde and nanoparticles like asbestos can cause cancer and respiratory disease. Carpets, paint and wall materials can all incubate these toxins.
If you have any respiratory issues, they may get worse, causing a vicious cycle of symptoms, treatment with medications, then side effects of the medications that can mimic mental disorders like forgetfulness, faintness, difficulty in concentrating and more. So what can you do when your office or domicile could cause inevitable damage?
Improve Indoor Air Quality
The Awair Glow C Smart device can indicate three key environmental factors in real time and automatically trigger a connected device to maintain a healthy and comfortable environment. It measures not only the temperature and humidity in your indoor environment, but also chemical levels that threaten your health due to carbon-dioxide levels, particulate matter and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) pollution. Studies from the Environmental Pollution Centers state that, “Volatile organic compounds are compounds that contain carbon and can quickly turn into vapors or gases. These VOCs can be released by a number of products or items in contemporary life, from burning gasoline or coal to solvents, glues, dry-cleaning products, etc., and they contribute to air pollution and serious health conditions.”
You can mitigate these effects by....
- Adding houseplants that help purify the air, such as peace lilies, garden mums, Boston ferns or spider plants.
- Purchasing a dehumidifier , which can help reduce allergens like mold, spores, dust mites and mildew.
- Opening up the windows and turning on ceiling fans, as well as doors and attic fans, to help circulate stagnant air.
- Purchasing an air purifier with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration and UV light sanitizer to help clean the air in a small room or whole home. Vacuums with HEPA filtration systems are also essential to trap particulates from being re-introduced into the air.
Outdoor Air Quality and Prevention
Find out your local Air Quality Index (AQI), which can also be found in local apps to see if the outdoor air quality is suitable for outdoor exercise or activities. Remember, three days of continuous exposure can do damage, so being savvy and planning your time out, or reducing the time outdoors, would be prudent during high-index days.
Choose Environmentally Friendly Products
Observe labels, especially in household cleaning items, personal-care products, household goods like carpets and furniture and gardening chemicals. This list can demonstrate where common toxins and pollutants can hide in everyday things. You’ll be surprised to see food additives and common allergens that can cause immune disturbances.
Biohack Your Health With Supplements
You can affect your overall health and well-being, even when exposed to toxins and pollutants. By increasing these supplements, you can help reverse some damage done and improve your body’s immunity.
Gene Testing, Active Folate, Electrolytes and Vitamin B Complex
When pollution damages your DNA, it’s called methylation. According to Revolution Health & Wellness, “Methylation is a chemical reaction that occurs in every cell and tissue in your body and helps the body detoxify. If your body cannot methylate properly, toxins build up in your bloodstream and will eventually cause many diseases. This also means your gene expressions and enzymes can evolve negatively, causing illness.”
They suggest gene testing to see if you carry the gene variants that galvanize your MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase), an enzyme that converts folate into a usable form that our bodies need. It is a critical enzyme that helps the detoxification reaction in the body, one that converts homocysteine (toxic) to methionine (benign). If the enzyme is impaired, this detoxification reaction is impaired.
Active folate, naturally found in many foods, can slow or even reverse methylation damage from particulate matter. Uncooked leafy greens, anti-oxidative bright colored fruits and vegetables will all help to reduce oxidative stress. Start with a B Complex and electrolytes to ease your body into absorption mode, then gradually add folate and vitamin B12 as your body can tolerate them.
Cofactors are nutrients that the enzymes need to do their job efficiently. These are not always found in food due to our agricultural industry and lack of soil turnover. The cofactors your functional doctor can go over with you would be the following:
Riboflavin (B2 or R5P)
TMG (in other products)
Vitamin B6 (or P5P)
Lithium (to help bring B12 to your cells)
Magnesium (with B6)
Crucial Stress Reduction
This is essential to keep all of your systems running at full optimization. Allowing yourself to be triggered by stressors causes your body, at the cellular level, to go into fight-or-flight mode. The following stress remedies can help you get to the root cause of your stress, as well as counteract its negative response in your body.
Emotional Freedom Technique or Tapping; many videos online can help you learn this easy tool to release old beliefs.
Bathe in Epsom Salts (magnesium).
Walks in nature or time spent time with pets.
Volunteering your time to get out of your head space.
Active meditation like coloring, knitting, sculpting, etc.
No matter where you live, taking a closer at the quality of your indoor and outdoor environment can help you thwart off stressors that may cause unnecessary illness and disease. Learning about the air quality in your area and responding to your body’s needs is essential in creating a path to becoming unstoppable.
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