When developing a lifestyle to improve one’s long term health, a major focus should be on everyday toxins. Toxins cover a wide array of compounds that have found a way into our everyday lives. Wikipedia’s definition of a toxin reads like this: “When used non-technically, the term "toxin" is often applied to any toxic substances. Toxic substances not of biological origin are more properly termed poisons. Practitioners of alternative medicine often apply the term in a non-specific manner to refer to a broad category of harmful substances claimed to cause ill health.” Please focus on the word “poisons” and the phrase “cause ill health”, because an accumulation of everyday toxins poisons our body until it causes ill health. This ill health can manifest itself in a number of ways and is why our drug companies are involved in a TRILLION dollar industry.

Here is a list of everyday toxins that you might be consuming in some capacity (In order from most toxic to least toxic):

Illicit drugs and narcotics



Artificial Sweeteners

Refined sugars


Caffeinated beverages

Over-the-counter medications

Prescription medications

All of these everyday toxins speed the normal aging process by accelerating the turnover of cells and chemicals in the body. My approach is to get people, when ready, to taper-off or avoid toxins completely. This way, they will be able to build the body up at a faster pace than they are tearing the body down. The challenge is that we feel good when we tear our bodies down, that is why it is easy to become addicted to any type of drug: nicotine, alcohol, sugar, caffeine, or even prescription medications. So for someone who has a damaged metabolism it takes some real work to wean off of these toxins without falling apart.

Let’s take a closer look at these everyday toxins:

Illicit drugs and narcotics: Obviously, if you are involved with taking any type of illegal drug you need to stop. If you cannot do it on your own, get some help. These toxins will destroy your metabolism and accelerate your aging process the fastest.

Tobacco/nicotine: Phillip Morris has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in court costs and losses. They actually pay for advertising awareness for children not to smoke and they STILL are one of the largest industries in the world. How? Nicotine is a very addictive drug and once you have started smoking it is very difficult to stop. Tobacco will kill you the fastest but the nicotine is what keeps you hooked.

Alcohol: Red wine is the least of the offenders here. Some say, if you would drink red wine only in moderation, this toxin would be a much better choice as it may benefit your heart and stress levels. That being said, you don’t need alcohol for improving heart health and decreasing stress levels.

Artificial Sweeteners: I know it seems odd that Artificial Sweeteners are considered a harsher toxin than sugar. The reason is simple; sweeteners are artificial and sugar is not. Period. Here are some side-effects from the ever popular and FDA approved Splenda; shrunken thymus glands, enlarged liver and kidneys, atrophy of lymph follicles in the spleen and thymus, reduced growth rate, decreased red blood cell count and diarrhea. Here are some side-effects from Aspartame; Brain tumors, Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, mental retardation, Lymphoma, birth defects, Fibromyalgia, and Diabetes. It is a proven fact that artificial sweeteners cause obesity at a faster rate than sugar does. You do not need to taper off of artificial sweeteners; you can stop cold-turkey.

Refined Sugars: Receiving your carbohydrate (sugar) intake from refined sugars is a problem because there is no nutritional value. Refined sugars become addictive because they can reek havoc with your blood sugar levels and can end up being the primary reason for having high cholesterol levels and Metabolic Syndrome.

Additives: You can cut these out of your diet cold-turkey as well. MSG, and other unhealthy preservatives, can create all sorts of challenges with on one’s health. Please read labels. If you wouldn’t (or couldn’t) use the ingredient in a SCRABBLE game, don’t eat it.

Caffeinated Beverages: This seems to be the least of the toxins because of it’s ability to actually mimic adrenaline. The majority of the other toxins actually will create an adrenaline response which will cause adrenal stress, fatigue and exhaustion if not properly dealt with. Caffeine is a powerful drug and actually replaced cocaine in Coke. Caffeine if used daily, and in an addictive pattern, will cause long-term adrenal stress as well.

So, if you are interested in your long-term well-being, take a look at the previous poisons that may be causing ill health. If you use any, or any combination, of the above toxins your body is aging at a much faster pace than it needs to be.

Take a personal inventory of your daily lifestyle and intake of everyday toxins and candidly ask yourself this question, “Am I tearing my body down more than I am building it up?”