The single, simple vitamin that can protect your lungs against pollution  

I’ve talked before about how exposure to toxins is an unfortunate — and often unavoidable — part of modern, everyday life.

For instance, if you ever get your clothes dry cleaned, you’re breathing a dangerous chemical called perchloroethylene, known to cause cell damage in lab animals.

And if you ever use moth balls, toilet cleaners or household disinfectants, chances are good you’re being exposed to paradichlorobenzene, another cell damaging chemical.

Believe it or not, even your shower and your washing machine expose you to dangerous toxins. Because the chlorine in your water turns into chloroform once it’s heated — you’re breathing the steam and absorbing it into your skin.

It would be nearly impossible to point out all of the ways you’re assaulted by toxins every moment of every day. But the good news is, there are some safe, simple, natural ways to defend yourself.

In fact, according to a recent study, one simple vitamin may help counteract the lung damage caused by air pollution (i.e. car exhaust fumes, second hand smoke, chemical fumes, etc.).

This study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, looked at blood samples from over 5,500 participants who had also had their lung function tested. The researchers then evaluated the participants’ long-term exposure to air pollution.

They found that the people with the most exposure to pollution not only had the lowest scores on the lung function tests — they also had the lowest levels of vitamin E in their blood.

The researchers believe that increasing vitamin E levels may help offset the damage pollution can do to the lungs.

Considering all of the other things vitamin E is good for, it certainly can’t hurt to get more of this essential nutrient — even if you’re not breathing in the constant stream of noxious fumes my patients and I are accustomed to here in New York.

I recommend 800 IU of vitamin E per day.

Just be sure to look for a full spectrum product. Most common forms of vitamin E are straight alpha tocopherol. But this is actually the synthetic form of vitamin E — and it’s not what you want.

Shop for a supplement with high levels of gamma tocopherol, along with all the other tocopherols and tocotrienols (there are four of each, for a total of eight), instead.

And while you’re at it, fill up on foods like almonds, tomatoes, cabbage, spinach, asparagus, and avocados. The more vitamin E you can get the old-fashioned way, the better.

But what about all the pollutants you’ve already inhaled? Not to mention the other toxins you’ve come into contact with? Well, as I said, there’s unfortunately no way to avoid them completely. Which is why I do regular detoxes.

In fact, I recommend detoxing quarterly, which makes this the perfect time to give you a refresher on best way to go about it.

I used to recommend — and follow — a simple water fast for detoxification. But I just couldn’t deny all the new science out there that shows supporting your body’s natural elimination processes along will only yield better, faster results.

This is why the market has exploded with all sorts of detox supplements. So how do you choose the right one? A good detox product will include ingredients that support the three critical phases of detoxification — modification, conjugation, and elimination.

Unfortunately, many of the ones you’ll find on the shelves of your local vitamin shop don’t offer complete support. And since detox is such an important part of both achieving good health and maintaining it, I wanted to be able to offer my patients a product they — and I — could trust. Which is why I developed my DetoxLogic formula. I made sure DetoxLogic has everything you need to make my detox protocol as efficient and effective as possible.

As for the protocol itself, it’s a two week commitment. That may seem like a long time. But it goes by incredibly quickly. And you’re going to feel so much better by the end of it that you probably won’t want to stop. (Though I didn’t design this plan for long-term use. That honor goes to my New Hamptons Health Miracle.)

The program itself is really simple — there’s no fancy equipment or elaborate planning involved. Just six capsules of DetoxLogic (two capsules, three times per day), along with a whey protein shake for breakfast and lunch, and a light dinner every evening.

The only other product I recommend during this program is a good probiotic. (I like Dr. Ohhira’s.) You should take one twice daily to help support the elimination phase and to promote bacterial balance during and after your detox.

As for your other nutritional supplements, I recommend taking a brief hiatus from them while you’re detoxing. Personally, I like to give my body a break from nutritional supplements every once in a while. During a detox is the perfect time to do that. Again, this will allow your body to focus solely on the work of eliminating the junk from your system.

Once you’re done, of course, you can — and should — resume your normal supplement regimen. (However, you should continue any medications you may be taking. It’s never a good idea to stop taking a medication abruptly).

And of course, you should talk to your doctor before starting this or any detox regimen. But be forewarned: Most mainstream physicians aren’t likely to have the first clue about detoxing. So don’t expect much in the way of brilliant feedback. It’s probably best to work with a naturopathic physician if you’re undertaking any serious detox regimen.

For more information on the phases of detoxification, or for the menu plan I give my patients to follow while they’re detoxing, refer back to the September 2013 issue of my Logical Health Alternatives newsletter. Subscribers can download this issue for free by logging on to my website. And if you’re not a subscriber, now is the perfect time to get started.