It seems that every few days there is a new toxin sensation on the web and in the media. Toxins gas out of our clothes, carpets, walls, and cookware. Air, water, and food have toxins. If you think you can identify all these dangers and avoid them, you are on a wild goose chase.
With so many unavoidable toxins about us, you would think that nobody could be healthy. But health is possible in spite of all the dangers. That’s because the body is designed with abundant detoxifying mechanisms. Most toxins can be neutralized by the immune system, liver, kidney, and within the digestive tract, provided these mechanisms are not overwhelmed with the toxins or weakened from nutritional compromise.
Two things are required to withstand the toxin assault: good health, and low toxin dose. Good health requires many factors, including good nutrition. The dose of a toxin is critical. The threshold of a potential poison follows the foundation principle of toxicology: "All substances are poisons; there is none which is not a poison. The right dose differentiates a poison from a remedy." (Von der Besucht, Paracelsus, 1567) Today this is commonly phrased: The dose makes the poison.
For perspective, one must understand that all things are potentially toxic. Even oxygen and water can kill in large enough dosage. Caffeine at 50 times the normal consumption is lethal. Oxalic acid in spinach is harmless unless one eats 10 to 20 pounds of spinach at a sitting. We all know that taking drugs at a certain dosage is critical and can be harmful or lethal if consumed in excess.
Many substances are beneficial at one dosage and harmful at another. Aspirin at low dose may prevent a heart attack. At a higher does it can cure a headache. At a higher dose it can ulcerate the stomach. Wine in moderate consumption is cardioprotective. In excess it can destroy the liver.
This simple dose-makes-the-poison principle is not taken into consideration in our modern day of toxin paranoia. For example, acrylamides are toxins which can form when starchy foods are cooked. They can be found in over 750 different common foods. However, the daily dose for most people is 10,000 times smaller than the proportionate amount found to cause cancer in rats. So unless a person is eating about 62 pounds of potato chips and 182 pounds of French fries every day for their entire life, there is little danger. But these facts are ignored by a California law that panders to ignorance and requires that an acrylamide caution be put on packages.
People have extended their toxin paranoia to pet foods. Because these foods are nondescript and mysterious, that conjures all sorts of fears. Someone will find a study somewhere about how this or that ingredient fed to lab animals at a dosage that would choke a horse will cause some manner of disease. This is then spread through the Internet as yet another reason to avoid all the evil pet food companies using the ingredient. These boogeyman ingredients include such things as vitamin K, vitamin C, iodine, seaweed, garlic, selenium, yeast, grains and legumes—particularly high on the hit list are corn, wheat, and soy— preservatives, flaxseeds, fish oils…to name a few. If a suspect ingredient is in a food when an animal happens to get ill, that becomes proof of the ingredient’s toxicity. However, all animals eat and all animals become ill at one time or another. That does not prove an association.
It is important to note that toxins are not just man made. Natural foods, all natural foods, contain toxins. Carrots have carototoxin, potatoes have solanine, tapioca has hydrogen cyanide…there are tens of thousands of such toxins in plants. This is the means by which plants inhibit competing plants and ward of insects and infectious agents. Since plants have no ability to run away, they develop extensive poisonous arsenals. Most of these toxins are either neutralized during processing, by combination with other ingredients, or by the body’s defense mechanisms.
When people come to us expressing alarm over this or that ingredient, we respond by bringing to their attention that Wysong has been manufacturing foods for some thirty years. These foods have been fed to adults, children, and hundreds of thousands of pets through multiple generations with great benefit, not toxicity. We point them to some of the thousands of field reports and testimonials we receive.
Some still demand proof that our foods are not toxic. We respond that the thousands of years that the ingredient has been used in the food supply, and our thirty years are the proof. The burden is on the toxin enthusiast to prove otherwise…and a research report without proper controls making it relevant to our foods and feeding program, or results from laboratory animals of a different species on huge dosages does not qualify.
Proof of toxicity of commercial foods would have to be properly scientifically controlled, account for the variety of ingredients used in the formulations, and the way they are processed. A toxin does not exist in isolation within a processed food, but in complex with a variety of other factors that influence its toxicity.
In the case of Wysong, the proof would also have to be consistent with our entire nutritional program wherein we advise feeding in variety, rotating foods, using fresh foods, supplementing, and periodic fasting. This method allows the body a rest from any one toxin, and time for detoxification and recuperation. See the Optimal Health Program™
Occasionally there is a toxin introduced into foods that brings identifiable harm. Melamine, a toxic protein substitute used by Chinese ingredient suppliers, is a recent example. But that is different from the natural toxins that have been a part of foods since time’s beginnings, and from other ingredients such as vitamins that have been used for over a century with great benefit, not harm.
We can dream of a pristine world in which no toxins exist. But that is not our world. Nor would it be ideal, since exposure to toxins, much like a vaccine, trains the body to cope with the inevitable exposure to toxins. Attempting to achieve health by finding the one perfect food that has no potential toxins is more dangerous than the ubiquitous toxins. It leads people into the practice of seeking and feeding a supposed ideal food meal after meal, which, getting back to the dose-makes-the poison principle, makes the ideal food itself a potential poison.
It is so much wiser to feed as nature intended and trust the body’s ability to do as it is designed. The Optimal Health Program™ will help you achieve that goal.
See these links for specific discussion about some of the supposed pet food toxins: