Raising Awareness on Importance of Detox: New Research Center to Study Effects of Environmental Factors on Health
Author: Kirti Salunkhe, MD
The concept of detox is not new to functional or integrative medicine and their practitioners, however the collaboration between the Schools of Public Health of both Harvard and Boston University to create the Center for Research on Environmental and Social Stressors in Housing Across the Life Course (CRESSH) underscores the increasing alarm traditional academic institutions are now sounding about the adverse impacts of environmental toxins and stressors have on our lives.
CRESSH will assess chemical and non-chemical environmental stressors effects on birth weight, childhood growth and heart disease. Chemical stressors will include air pollution and heavy metals; non-chemical stressors are those associated with substandard housing, poor diet, noise pollution and crime. The Boston suburbs that will be assessed include the economically disadvantaged neighborhoods of Chelsea and Dorchester.
The importance of detoxification or reducing toxin exposures and the need for detox programs can be found in numerous modules on MHICN. As explained through various downloadable materials, podcasts and videos, metals, chemicals and certain compounds present in our food and environment can be absorbed by the body. This can lead to inflammation, inhibition of proper metabolic function, interference of normal hormonal activity and increase production of free radicals.