Skip to content Skip to footer

Microplastics Found In Human Blood: What Does This Mean

Next Health Staff | | 0 comments

Microplastics Found In Human Blood: What Does This Mean

For decades now, we have listened to experts in the fields of medicine and science discuss the issue of our society’s use and dependence on plastics. Globally to date, we have accumulated about 8.3 billion tons of plastic, with approximately 6.3 billion tons of this being trash. 


This plastic is from our food containers, beauty products, cleaning products, household items, packages we receive, and so much more. The integration of plastics into our lives has had a clear detrimental effect on the environment with nearly nine million tons of plastic added to the ocean each year. However, as a society, we have somewhat ignored the ways in which excessive plastic use is directly affecting our health. Numerous studies have linked the chemicals in plastics to oxidative stress, hormonal dysfunction, pre-mature aging, and increased risk of chronic disease, yet plastics are still very much a part of our daily lives. 


Recently, a new study emerged that has shed light on how plastics are compromising our health. This study, published in the journal Environmental International, found microplastics in 80% of the participants' blood. As principal investigator and ecotoxicologist, Professor Vethaakv, points out, this study is truly groundbreaking, “Our study is the first indication that we have polymer particles in our blood.” 


This means that microplastics are actually transported throughout the body, likely compromising the health of our organs and bodily systems. How? That is one of the most pressing questions currently facing the scientific and medical community. There is evidence that microplastics can latch onto blood cells and limit their capabilities to transport oxygen throughout the body, subsequently compromising the health of other cells and systems. 


Moreover, one of the most important questions this new discovery poses is how are microplastics affecting infants and children specifically? Professor Vethaak’s previous research indicated that microplastics were ten times higher in the feces of babies compared with adults, and babies feeding with plastic bottles swallow millions of microplastic particles a day. Microplastics have even been detected in the placenta of pregnant women, likely negatively affecting fetal development. The importance of these studies cannot be overstated as infants and children are significantly more likely to experience health problems from such toxin exposure than adults because they are in critical development stages. 


Although many of us have a general understanding of plastics and studies like the ones described above highlight their effect on our health, we may not be familiar with the specifics of what microplastics are and what we can do to avoid them: 


Defining Microplastics vs Plastics


Plastic is a synthetic martial that is easily molded then set into a rigid shape. They are made out of a range of “organic” polymers such as polyethylene, PVC, nylon, and others. Microplastics are just small pieces of plastic that are less than five millimeters long. 


For example, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) was one of the most widely encountered microplastics found in Professor Vethaak’s study as it was present in 50% of participants’ blood samples. This is likely due to the fact that it is commonly used in disposable water bottles. The second most common microplastic detected in the study (identified in 36% of participants), polystyrene, is used for plastic food packaging. 


Thus, microplastics are not a different type of plastic, rather microplastics make up the plastics we use in daily life. 


Avoiding Microplastics 


Given that many of us utilize plastics every day, it can feel overwhelming to start the process of minimizing plastic use. The most effective first step you can take is to get your toxin levels tested. This will allow you to understand how toxins such as microplastics are currently affecting your body. 


The Next Health Total Tox Burden Package is a comprehensive analysis of 90 biomarkers that includes our Environmental Toxins Panel, Mycotoxins (mold) Testing, & Heavy Metal Testing. This Package empowers you to understand your level of toxin burden and take an informed plan of action to optimize your detoxification.  By eliminating harmful substances you can restore your sense of health and alleviate symptoms such as brain fog, bloating, joint pain, skin problems, lack of energy, and so much more. 


The Total Tox Burden Package includes over $1,100 of advanced testing for just $699, however, these tests are also available individually for purchase. View lab tests here


Next Health Lab Tests include an in-depth results review with a medical provider that can tailor your detoxification plan to your lifestyle, but we can all benefit from general tips on eliminating plastics include: 

  • Avoid packaged food: It is best to buy fresh, whole food as it eliminates your need for plastic food packaging, and packaged foods are known to contain more harmful and inflammatory ingredients that lead to suboptimal health. 
  • Store your food in glass containers: Instead of using plastic to-go containers, opt for glass containers that don’t contain microplastics. 
  • Minimize plastic storage containers: Many of us store our makeup, skincare products, clothes, and other personal items in plastic containers. You can minimize your exposure to microplastics by using glass containers or another eco-friendly storage option. 
  • Avoid buying fast-fashion: Fast-fashion clothes are made with tons of harmful ingredients including microplastics. 
  • Opt for cloth face masks: As we have worn masks daily now over the past couple of years, it is important to consider what material your mask is made of as certain masks contain plasticizers and microplastics that we can breathe in, which can lead to long-term health issues. 

Need help eliminating microplastics and other harmful chemicals from your body and life?  We are here to help. 

Our medical professionals are experts in taking a data-driven approach to your detoxification journey. Call or text us at: (310) 295-2075 to eliminate toxins and optimize your health. 





Sources

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412022001258


https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/microplastics-detected-in-human-blood-180979826/


https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/microplastics.html


https://recyclecoach.com/resources/7-revealing-plastic-waste-statistics-2021/