Lets continue our discussion by speaking a bit about the Digestive System.
Digestion The system which works mechanically and chemically to breakdown food we eat (ingest) into smaller components that are more easily absorbed into the blood stream, which is than carried to all parts of the bodies, more specifically to the cells to nourish them, so they can continue their processes of running the body.
The process begins in the mouth where saliva starts the initial breakdown. The idea of how our mouths start to water, is the beginning of that process, just the though of something delicious can physiologically start the secretion of saliva. The process continues by the food going down the esophagus to the stomach, where HCL (Hydrochloric Acid) is secreted into the stomach by the pancreas to kill pathogenic organisms. As HCL is acidic, the enzymes produced in the pancreas will work better at a lower pH.
- proteases and peptidases split proteins into their amino acids
- lipases split fat into three fatty acids and a glycerolmolecule.
- carbohydrases split carbohydrates such as starch and sugars into simple sugars such as glucose, the simplest sugar on earth.
- nucleases split nucleic acids into nucleotide
The Journey than continues into the small intestine where 95% of the food is absorbed and the large intestine where waste products that the body cannot use are eliminated. This is the simplified basic path our foods take.
The Liver: The Liver serves many functions in the body, but one of the main function is the detoxification of anything you eat, drink, absorb etc. Therefore, before digested food goes to the cells in the body for nourishment, the liver must check for toxic substances and eliminate them. (This is why a long term alcoholic or drug user will develop cirrhosis of the liver, it is an accumulation of the toxins which ultimately interfere with the liver doing it’s job).
The Kidneys: This is another organ with many functions, one of which is eliminating toxic substances from the body via urination. The rest of the non-usable substances are stored in the rectum and than eliminated through defecation.
Now that we’ve gotten the basic anatomy out of the way, lets speak a bit about how preservatives and chemicals interfere with the GI system.
As I mentioned in the previous post, it is a sad fact of our modern society that almost all foods, drinks, cosmetics etc are filled with preservatives, artificial colors, hormones, antibiotics, and chemicals. I suppose the idea is let’s provide what the public wants and we’ll worry about the side effects later. Now, as I mentioned, the liver has to detoxify all these chemicals before they can get into cells, so our liver is very overworked, as is our kidneys. This amount of overworking puts a tremendous stress on the body, which is trying to keep us healthy, however the body becomes so over burdened that the organs can no longer work well and they start to dysfunction.
One interesting side note is that our Liver (having to work so much more), is the organ that produces cholesterol. Is it any wonder that so many have problems with high cholesterol? The more the Liver works, the more cholesterol is produced.
Many times, these chemicals are not able to be detoxified by the Liver and so they flow out return to the blood and travel to cells. The body has one more protective mechanism in place. Once the chemicals are taken into the cells, fat is laid down around the offending particles to enclose it, so it cannot do more damage to the cells. (this is one, among many reasons why obesity is such a problem and why losing weight is so difficult.)
Did you know the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers 60 percent of herbicides, 90 percent of fungicides and 30 percent of insecticides to be carcinogenic? These are not preservatives per se, but chemicals sprayed or genetically engineered into our foods to prevent infestation from insects, molds and fungus.Most pesticides can damage your nervous system and are associated with numerous health problems such as neurotoxicity, endocrine dysfunction, immuno-suppression, impaired reproductive function, miscarriage, and even Parkinson’s disease. Studies have shown that sweet bell peppers, celery, lettuce, spinach and potatoes had the highest residual pesticide loads, making them the most dangerous.(one good reason to buy these organically).
Thus it is now becoming clear that foods we eat are not good for us and are causing health problems, but what is really happening? Well the toxins in your body have been accumulating since probably birth and are embedded in every cell and organ. These chemicals have the power to produce mutations in the chromosomes. They cause disruptions of the genetic code and are possibly responsible for thousands of inherited genetic disorders as well as very possibly many of the illnesses we see all around us. therefore, in a nutshell, the food industry’s goal is to make products look appealing without thought to nutritional value. The food is loaded with additives, designed to be addictive and manufactured for profit!
What’s worse is that new food additives are being produced all the time. Though we believe that there is stringent testing done by the governmental agencies, this just is not the case. This is due to unreliable testing methods, lack of qualified technicians, expensive equipment, budget cuts and most importantly lobbying by food conglomerates, thus our food has become dangerous to our health.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, how can this be true, how can our government allow this to happen, isn’t the FDA there to protect us? How can we be allowed to to be eating, drinking, breathing all these poisons and what can we do to protect ourselves. It does seem overwhelming.
Well the answer to this will be explained in the next post: “You are What You Eat Part 3”. The answers are a whole lot easier than you might think think!