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Posted on 06-29-2017

Air pollution is a national health hazard – but what can we do about it and why is it important?

According to the World Health Organisation, people in the UK are twice as likely to die from air pollution as those in the US. 

In April, scientists from the British Heart Foundation published a study that suggests tiny particles from diesel fumes – one of the main causes of pollution – can penetrate the lungs, get into the bloodstream, and colonise areas prone to disease.

Here are some tips to help tackle the effects of air pollution on your body:

  • Ditch your wheels – Of course, cars emit pollution, but did you know even sitting in a car can put you at risk? Try to close air vents and windows when not moving as this allows pollution to infiltrate inside the car.
  • Vitamin B – A study by Harvard school of Public Health found that a daily dose of 2.5mg of folic acid, 50mg of vitamin B6, and 1mg of vitamin B12 can offset the negative effects of the pollution particles almost entirely.
  • Use your extractor fan – Indoor pollution can be up to five times worse than outdoor pollution, so it is important when cooking to turn on your extractor fan or open a window.
  • Cleanse – As well as damaging our insides, toxic fumes can age our skin. A gentle cleanser or use of an organic soap on the face daily can help your skin to breath. Remember our skin is our largest organ and needs to be clean to help expel toxins from our body.
  • Eat oily fish – Fish oils help to reduce inflammation. Salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring are all great examples of oily fish. Ideally we should be having 2 servings per week.
  • Get adjusted!

Chiropractors focus on realigning the spine to ensure the impulses from the brain and travel along the nerves to each cell, muscle and organ without interference. When the spine is not in the correct position this is referred to as a subluxation. Subluxations are created through 3 different types of stresses: physical, chemical and emotional. It is normally quite easy for us to picture how a physical stress, for example being involved in an accident, can shift a bone out of alignment. However, it can sometimes be more difficult for us to understand how a chemical or emotional stress can affect our bodies. These stresses tend to affect our hormonal balance.

Our bodies have two modes: ‘fight or flight’ or ‘rest and digest’. Fight or flight can be as simple as running across the road when a car is coming towards us, or having a deadline at work to meet, or it ca n be as extreme as going through divorce or when someone we know has passed away. An example of rest and digest is how our heartbeat slows down when we sleep. Normally our bodies are somewhere between these two modes. When we are constantly being stresses, chemically or emotionally, it causes our bodies to release adrenaline and cortisol (stress hormones).

The long-term activation of the stress-response system — and the subsequent overexposure to adrenaline and cortisol — can disrupt almost all your body's processes. This puts you at increased risk of numerous health problems, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Digestive problems
  • Headaches
  • Heart disease
  • Sleep problems
  • Weight gain
  • Memory and concentration impairment