Environmental Toxins Have Become the Primary Drivers of Chronic Disease

Does your gut need a reset?

Yes, I'm Ready

Do you want to start feeling better?

Yes, Where Do I Start?

Do you want to start feeling better?

Yes, Where Do I Start?

Environmental Toxins Have Become the Primary Drivers of Chronic Disease

Simple lifestyle changes can help with Dr. Joseph Pizzorno.

Dr. Michael Ruscio: Hi, everyone. In today’s episode, we speak with Dr. Joe Pizzorno, who is, in short, a founding father of the movement of natural medicine. We’ll be discussing environmental toxins.

If you remember back to the podcast interview with Dr. Bryan Walsh, he really did not feel that testing for toxins was necessary, but he did feel that some simple techniques for detoxification can be quite helpful. Dr. Pizzorno takes this to another level. He does recommend some testing, but it seems fairly prudent and practical. He also builds upon the simple yet effective foundation of detox therapy that Dr. Walsh outlined.

Subscribe for future episodes

  • Apple Podcast
  • Google Podcasts
  • Spotify

Download this Episode (right click link and ‘Save As’)

In This Episode

Episode Intro … 00:04:50
Environmental Toxins – The Primary Drivers of Chronic Disease … 00:06:50
Genetic Variability … 00:19:30
Testing … 00:22:42
Symptoms … 00:29:19
How to Avoid Toxins … 00:31:17
Episode Wrap-Up … 0034:40

However, there’s a few, very interesting hypotheses Dr. Pizzorno puts forth. I’ll do a brief summary of them now. Essentially, Dr. Pizzorno discusses the finding that sugar and calorie intake do not seem to be tracking with obesity. Sugar intake is down, and caloric consumption is down, yet obesity rates are still going up.

His hypothesis, and he cites some references to support this, is that environmental toxins have not really abated as sugar and calorie consumption has decreased, and this could be what’s ultimately driving increases in a litany of diseases. In this one example, obesity and diabetes, which, according to his comments, are still going up he suggests what might be happening is these toxins are actually deranging the function of insulin receptors. So, pretty interesting hypotheses with some supporting data put forth by Dr. Pizzorno.

He gives a few simple ways of screening for toxins and opens the door into a simple method for detox therapy. He also references two books that he’s written to give more advice on the topic, one for a lay audience, and one for clinicians. So, really, a very interesting conversation today with Dr. Pizzorno.

I also wanted to share with you a message I got from someone in our audience today. Pardon me as I flip over to my cell phone here. This is a friend of mine who recommends Healthy Gut, Healthy You quite often, and he said that he wanted to pass along this feedback he received from the person he sent Healthy Gut, Healthy You to.

“By the way, thank you for that gut health book recommendation. I was pretty sick for quite a while, but I’ve never been able to successfully get things back on track until now, and have been doing well the past few months,” with a prayer hands sign emoji in there. Always nice to hear this kind of feedback, that people who’ve been floundering really find their way out of their floundering with Healthy Gut, Healthy You.

So, if you haven’t yet read Healthy Gut, Healthy You . . . We don’t talk about it quite as much in the podcast now because it did publish about two years ago. However, the protocol in that book is still very, very effective. It’s still what I use in the clinic with my patients. So if you’re looking for a way to reconcile all these different opinions and recommendations you hear, read, or see on the internet, Healthy Gut, Healthy You is written to be your roadmap through that so that you can apply the right therapy, at the right time, in the right sequence and really use this to recover your health. So, a reminder about Healthy Gut, Healthy You as a resource.

And now, we will jump into the conversation on toxins with Dr. Joe Pizzorno.

Episode Intro

Dr. Michael Ruscio: Hi, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of Dr. Ruscio Radio. Today, I’m here with Dr. Joe Pizzorno. I was just telling him off-air that he was one of the guys who I was reading mostly, especially early in my career when I was reading some of the big names in natural medicine. Many of the papers were by Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, a very well-published and credentialed doctor. And I’m super excited, Joe, to have you here on the show today.

Dr. Joe Pizzorno: Well, I’m excited to talk with you as well. Thanks for the invitation.

DrMR: Would you mind giving people just a very short version of your background, in case they haven’t heard your name before?

DrJP: Sure. So, I’m a naturopathic doctor. I’ve been licensed since 1975. And part of the reason professionals like yourself would know about me is that I’m the founder of Bastyr University, the first accredited university of natural medicine anywhere in the world. I’ve also published seven books for consumers and six textbooks for doctors.

In fact, my textbook on natural medicine, the first edition of which came out in 1985, set the scientific foundation for scientific natural medicine. It’s been used by doctors literally all over the world, and I’m working now on the fifth edition. And few people are aware that we have sold about 100,000 copies, over half of which were to MDs, in four different languages.

DrMR: Wow. That’s fantastic. So, I should thank you for all you’ve done for the field.

DrJP: Thank you.

DrMR: And obviously, for good reason, I was reading much of your work because of all that you’ve done to really bring natural medicine into more of a scientific realm, which I think is absolutely fantastic.

Obviously, there are many things that you could expound upon, but today, I’m going to have you elaborate on environmental toxins and how these are really becoming an issue. There’s a lot here, so I don’t think that we can go into detail about all these facets. Where would you like to start with this conversation?

Environmental Toxins – The Primary Drivers of Chronic Disease

Key Takeaways

[Back to Top]

  • As long as we only treat symptoms and not causes, we’ll get more chronic disease
  • Toxins are primary cause of chronic disease
  • Toxin exposure is everyday from air, water, food, health and beauty aids, and home and yard chemicals
  • Toxin load can be decreased and health restored

Major ideas

  • Sugar intake and obesity don’t track to all chronic disease
  • Sugar intake and child obesity don’t track
  • Something else is contributing to this problem
  • Chlorinated water and pesticides directly correlate to diabetes, perhaps due to damaging insulin receptors

DrJP: Well, I start by helping people realize that we have an epidemic of chronic disease. And not only do we have an epidemic of chronic disease, but we’re at the highest level of ill health reported in our society. And people are getting tired of being sick all the time. They’re getting tired of the high expenses of medical intervention, and they’re getting tired of being injured by conventional drugs.

People want to get healthier, want to know what’s going wrong. So, I lay out for people the research about environmental toxins. What I mean by that is the metals and chemicals in our environment have now become the primary drivers of chronic disease throughout the world, but particularly the industrialized worlds.

Let me give you an example. When I was in naturopathic medical school literally half a century ago, diabetes affected less than one percent of the population. Now in the U.S., 10% of the population has diabetes, and we’re projecting that one-third of people will get diabetes in their lifetime. People are wondering why. Did our genetics change? Well, obviously not.

Then, I said, “So, why do you think this is happening?” People say, “Well, maybe it’s because we’re consuming too much sugar.” And while I agree we’re consuming too much sugar, if you actually look at much of the correlation between sugar and consumption and the diabetes epidemic, well, the sugar consumption peaked a couple of decades before the diabetes epidemic started. So, that doesn’t explain why it’s happening.

Then, people say, “Well, it must be obesity.” Now, that’s a good one, because you look at obese people, both men and women, and in particular, obese women. Obese women, morbidly obese women, have about a 60-fold increased risk of diabetes.

So, really, really obese people, almost all of them get diabetes. So, you say, “Okay, fine.” Not only do 60% of morbidly obese women get diabetes, but women who are simply obese also have about a 20-fold increased risk for diabetes. Okay, so, now, we’re looking at obesity. It looks like a good reason for diabetes.

But here’s the catch. And this is what really grabbed my attention when I started looking at the research. If you look at obese people in the bottom 10% of byload of environmental toxins, I’ll talk about which ones are worst in a moment, obese people without environmental toxins don’t have increased risk for diabetes. Conversely, obese people in the top 20% of byload of environmental toxins, 60% of them already have diabetes. So, then I started thinking, “Wow, it looks like toxicity is by far our biggest predictor of diabetes.”

DrMR: And how, again, is the toxicity being measured?

DrJP: There are a number of ways of doing this. The best ones and this is what’s often done in the medical research, although it’s not as readily available, is you simply take a blood sample or a fat biopsy of a person and see what’s in it. So, researchers have taken people’s blood, and some do it in urine as well. But the problem with urine is it shows you what the body is getting rid of. It doesn’t show you what’s actually in the body. Some people may not have much of the toxins in the urine because they can’t get rid of them, so the blood levels and the tissue levels are really high.

So, we look at the blood levels of these various toxins, a good example being dechlorinated pesticides. So, these are the pesticides that are put on much of our foods. We look at dechlorinated pesticide levels. There’s a direct correlation with the amount of pesticides in the blood and the amount of diabetes people have.

So, as I started seeing this research, I then started looking for mechanisms. And it turns out, well, there are many mechanisms.

The one which really made the most sense to me is, in order for our cells to absorb sugar to convert it to energy, they have to be signaled to do so by insulin. It does that by the insulin binding to what are called insulin receptor sites on the surface of the cells.

Well, it turns out, many of these toxins bind to the insulin receptor sites on the cells. So, now, they don’t respond to insulin. You get insulin insensitivity, metabolic syndrome. So, our wonderful bodies, our pancreas, overproduce insulin in order to keep us alive. It’s a good example of how adaptive we are. So, the pancreas overproduces insulin to keep us alive. But the problem is, when you misuse an organ of the body like that, eventually, it burns out.

When the pancreas stops being able to overproduce insulin, now, all of a sudden, people are diagnosed with diabetes. Well, it takes 20 to 30 years of mistreating the pancreas before you’re going to get diabetes. And that’s what we’re doing in our society. From birth, now, and even babies are now being born with levels of these pesticides that impair their ability to respond to insulin. So, now, we see childhood obesity.

You might be saying, “Wait a minute. I thought we were talking about diabetes.” Yes, we are talking about diabetes. But the researchers are now calling these toxins obesogens and diabetogens because they induce obesity and diabetes.

DrMR: So, is it fair to say, and I’m not sure if you’ve looked, but one of the parallels I’m picturing in my head, do we not see childhood calorie intake and sugar intake still increasing, but do we see diabetes and obesity in children still going up? Is that a trend that we’re seeing where they’re breaking apart the tracking where sugar and calories in obesity, we presume, typically track together, but have some of the public health campaigns educating people against the dangers of overconsumption reduced-calorie and sugar intake in children, yet, are we still seeing obesity rates increase?

DrJP: Yeah. So, you make a very, very good point. And public health is clearly important. So, it’s a combination of both. Now, I’m going to say something that’s going to sound pretty controversial to your audience. But that’s never stopped me in the past.

So, we think of obesity as a disease. So, let me say to you, we need to reconsider that. And the reason I’m saying that is that we, as a species, survived by being good at storing excess calories as fat, because people go through periods of famine. It’s pretty normal.

So, those of us whom I say survived from, or ancestors survived famines, were the ones who were very good at depositing sugar. I’m using excess calories and putting it to fat so that when the lean times came, we could metabolize that fat and produce energy. The body is really, really good at doing that.

For example, one of the things I have taken care of my patients, a therapy I use is water fasting. So, I water fast the patients from one day to 30 days, because we have all that extra fat there, and it works just fine for keeping us alive when we’re fasting. So, we’re good at storing fat. It’s not the storage of fat that’s the problem, it’s how we got the fat, and what’s in the fat.

So, we’ll go further. So, obese people with low body levels of toxins don’t have increased diabetes. Obese people who exercise regularly don’t have increased heart disease. Now, of course, there are extremes on both ends. But, in general, if you’re living healthfully, exercising, eating good food that’s not contaminated. If there are extra calories, yeah, it’ll go into fat. And, of course, I’m saying obesity. I’m not saying morbidly obese. So, as long as you don’t overdo it, it actually by itself doesn’t cause trouble. But if you get obese for the wrong reasons, that obesity is extremely damaging to people’s health.

DrMR: And so, it sounds like you’re offering maybe two of a few different mechanisms for obesity, and one of those is more of a toxin-induced insulin receptor damage, while the other might just be your more frank, overconsumption and under movement. Am I correct in consolidating these two?

DrJP: You got it exactly right. That is what I’m saying.

DrMR: This is actually very interesting. And we’ll link to, you sent over a few papers. I’m assuming these are review papers of environmental toxins in diabetes.

DrJP: Yes.

DrMR: So, we’ll put these in here for the audience.

DrJP: Great.

DrMR: This is fascinating. I didn’t appreciate the extent to which some of these toxins can be driving obesity. And it does make sense to me because I have heard that we are making strides with improving the intake of sugary foods and junk foods in children.

While I haven’t looked at the data rates of obesity in children, walking around, I still see a lot of kids who seem to be pretty darn overweight, and it makes me wonder if there’s something else going on. And it sounds like your hypothesis really counts for that.

DrJP: Yes. That’s exactly right. It’s fascinating. So, as a naturopathic doctor, I have a very strong belief that the body has a remarkable ability to heal if we just give it a chance. But what we’ve done, particularly in the last half-century, is the foods that we need to be healthy, we have done several things to them. Number one is, we’ve converted them to forms that are more easily converted into sugar. That’s problematic. We have decreased the nutrient content of the foods. If you look at the trace mineral content of foods over the last 50 years, it’s gone down 50 to 75%.

And not only do we have fewer trace minerals in foods, we’ve added all these chemicals in the foods, metals and chemicals and toxic things that damage our physiology. So, the underlying things a body needs to function properly, which are the nutrients so the enzymes will work properly, they’re not there. Not only are the nutrients not there, but we now added toxins to poison the enzyme systems. So, what happens is, you get a lot of disease.

One of the great benefits of conventional medicine, and one of its greatest weaknesses, is conventional medicine with the drugs can get results in a short period of time that appear good. People hurt less. That’s a good thing. But, unfortunately, most of the drugs only turn off and poison the enzyme systems that are producing the symptoms. They’re not dealing with why people are sick. So, as long as we only treat symptoms and not causes, we’ll get more chronic disease.

If you read the old-time naturopaths who wrote a hundred years ago, they said if you treat disease by suppressing the symptoms, that was their way I assume, you treat disease by simply eliminating symptoms, you’ll get more chronic disease. And they’re exactly right. If you don’t take care of the body, even though you might feel a little better because the drugs are turning off the symptoms, if you’re not taking care of the body, you will get more disease.

Sponsored Resources

DrMR: Hi everyone. I am very excited to announce we have two new versions of our Elemental Heal available. Elemental Heal in case you haven’t heard of it, is our great-tasting meal replacement, hypoallergenic gut-healing formula. We now have two new versions: One is low carb and the other is a fully elemental whey free and dairy free formula, and they both taste great. The really nice thing about these is they are the only of their kind available on the market. Including the fact that they don’t require a doctor’s note in order to use them.

So whether using Elemental Heal as a morning shake meal replacement, or as a mini gut reset for one, two, three or four days, or even all the way through to the application of exclusive or semi-exclusively for two to three weeks, we now have a formula that should fit your needs no matter how you’re using it.

If you go to drruscio.com and into the store, we’re offering 15% off any one of our Elemental Heal formulas. This discount is limited to one per customer and if you use the code, “TryElementalHeal” at checkout, you’ll get that 15% off. Please give them a try and let me know what you think. I believe you will find them to be not only a great tasting but also really friendly on the gut and will help give you a bump and a boost in how you’re feeling.

Genetic Variability

Key Takeaways

[Back to Top]

  • Arsenic is actually the number one toxin causing disease. It’s the worst toxin we’re being exposed to
    • One percent of the population has a genetic variation where they can’t detoxify arsenic
    • Main diseases caused by arsenic are things like cancer and diabetes
      • 25% of the common cancers are due to arsenic


DrMR: Sure. That makes sense. I’m assuming that there is a genetic predisposition to some of these ill effects that toxins can induce. I’m picturing right now, perhaps you have a family. The family all eats generally the same, they have roughly the same environmental exposure. Obviously, there’s going to be nuanced changes from one person to another in a family, but they’re generally, the children are eating the food from mom and dad, living in the same environment. Yet, one is much more prone to gain weight than the other, which would make me think there’s a potentially pretty strong skewing in terms of how some people can detox these, as compared to others. Have you seen anything in this regard?

DrJP: Oh, absolutely. Huge genetic variability in our ability to detoxify. I mean, really, really big. So, let me go through a couple of examples. So, one example is arsenic. Virtually nobody is aware that arsenic is actually the worst toxin we’re being exposed to. And if you look at the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control, where they looked at various toxins that are causing the most disease, arsenic is number one.

Now, when I first saw this about five years ago, I was surprised because I was never taught about arsenic as a problem. I mean, everybody knows, when people think about arsenic, they think about somebody trying to poison their poor spouse, and that’s why you get arsenic toxicity.

The problem is that we actually have a lot of arsenic in our environment. It’s in our drinking water, it’s in food we eat like rice and chicken. It’s all over the place. It turns out, there’s huge genetic variation in people’s ability to detoxify arsenic.

So, in general, what is considered a safe level of arsenic is 10 micrograms per liter of water people are drinking. And that matches up pretty much with what’s in the urine as well. Okay, fine. That’s for the general population.

But it turns out that one percent of the population has a genetic variation where they can’t detoxify arsenic. So, even at low levels of arsenic, they get disease. And the main diseases caused by arsenic are things like cancer and diabetes. But worse than that, 20% of the diabetes have a version of arsenic detoxification that does not work very well. It still works better than the others, but it does not work very well. So, they are also more likely to get diseased at what are so-called safe levels of arsenic. So, there’s one example.

Now, what I say about arsenic causing disease, I was just looking at a paper that I think I mentioned in one of my feeds. But 25% of the common cancers are due to arsenic. We’re talking about lung cancer, and prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, primarily due to arsenic. So, it’s a big issue. And it doesn’t mean we have to always get cancer from arsenic exposure. But if people have a genetic susceptibility, they’d better know how to not only prevent arsenic exposure but promote their detox as best possible.


Key Takeaways

[Back to Top]

  • Testing
    • Blood sample (initial screening): Can be hard to get commercially
      • Elevated GGT >20 – suggest toxicity.  Lab range is 0-60
        • GGT above 30 has an eight-fold increased risk for diabetes
      • Follow up testing if GGT is >20
      • Urine spot for specifics – arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and lead
    • Labs
      • Doctors Data (favorite) or LabCorp, Quest
    • Symptoms you might have toxicity issues
      • Allergy, immune sensitivity and fatigue

DrMR: And that leads into another question, which may not have a super short, simple answer, but I’d love to try to provide people with at least some high-level takeaways. Is testing the best way to sort this out? Is one better just to kind of omit the testing and go right into healthy practices? I’m sure most of our audience is achieving some of the basics of mostly organic food, filtering their water, exercising, and therefore sweating at least a few times a week. So, how prescriptive do we have to get with assessment and avoidance to really unravel this?

DrJP: That’s a great question. And, actually, my latest textbook is called Clinical Environmental Medicine. And my co-author, Dr. Walter Crinnion, and I actually had one of the few disagreements we had. His perspective was, “Well, unless the person’s showing signs and symptoms of toxicity, there’s no need to detoxify them.” And I disagree with that powerfully. I believe everybody must do everything they can to minimize their toxic exposure. Because why wait until you’re damaged by the toxins to get it out of your body?

So, that’s a combination of two things. Number one is, consciously decrease all the primary sources of toxins. And then test yourself anyway. Make sure you didn’t miss anything.

Because I have found, even myself, I’m extremely careful about this, but I test myself periodically, and I find I have some toxins that I did not realize I had a source of. So, first off, everybody, avoid the toxins. Second, test to make sure you didn’t miss something.

DrMR: And from what I have come to understand, I’m certainly not well-versed in this literature, the testing can be problematic. I’m assuming you’ve looked into this, and you have some tests that you feel to be the best. What are the best tests, and how good are the best tests here?

DrJP: Yeah. So, a very, very good point. That is a significant issue. We don’t really have a great method for testing. And the better the test, the more expensive they are. So, the simplest thing we can do is actually measure our body’s experience of total toxic load. So, there’s an interesting test readily available, very inexpensive, called GGTP. So, this is a liver enzyme that in the past used to be routinely tested as a measure of hepatitis, because when the liver is inflamed, it deletes this enzyme into the blood.

Well, it turns out, the level of that enzyme in the blood goes up in proportion to the toxic load. Because what this enzyme does is it recycles glutathione in the body that our smart bodies, as we’re exposed to toxins, the more toxins we’re exposed to, the more glutathione we need to protect ourselves from those toxins, and the more the body produces.

So, that works really well for 90% of the population. About 10% of the population, unfortunately, does not have the right enzymes for detoxification, to activate the glutathione for detoxification. So, if a person has a low level and they’re sick, they may actually have what I call the yellow canaries to ones that are most sensitive. But anybody else, a GGT over about 20, says there is toxic exposure.

DrMR: And is that 20, is that the standard lab reference range, or is this a more narrowed level —?

DrJP: So, this is the interesting part. The standard lab reference range is 10 to 60. Okay? So, the standard range is including people who are toxic. To give you an idea, so if you look at a GGT above 40, now that’s between 40 and 60, normal range, they have a 20-fold increased risk for diabetes. A GGT above 30, that’s even slightly below the middle of the average range, above 30 has an eight-fold increased risk for diabetes.

So, it turns out GGT goes up in proportion to mercury exposure, or persistent organic pollutants. All of these various toxins we’re being exposed to, GGT goes up in proportion to it. The last time I wrote on this, I said the GGT should be below 25. As I’ve looked at more research, I may even bring it down to 20.

DrMR: And this would be the one test you’d recommend, or would you pair this with others?

DrJP: That’s a screening test. After that, you can do things like measure the amount of metals in the blood or urine. Now, you have to use a standard, more rigorous than what is considered normal by the CDC.

So, the CDC, most of these standards are just defined as, if you’re within 95% of the population, you’re not toxic. So, they’re only saying the top 5% exposure are the ones who are toxic. But that just simply doesn’t work, because the research is very clear. For example, in the United States, 35% of the population is above the threshold for an increase in disease from arsenic. 35%. Paying attention to the top 5% doesn’t work.

DrMR: So, GGT is your screening test above 20 there. And then, we should go to more direct measures to identify these specific toxins, blood or urine —

DrJP: We’re looking in the urine for arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and lead.

DrMR: And this was just a urine test for this?

DrJP: That’s a urine test. Right. Now, I would prefer a blood test for toxic chemicals. And unfortunately, they’re not very commercially available, and they’re quite expensive. So, now, people use urine. So, urine is fine, because it’ll tell you what the body is getting rid of. So, if you have a high level, you know there’s a problem. But the problem is, it doesn’t tell you if they’re not eliminating the toxin.

DrMR: Right. And are you doing a spot urine, a 24-hour, provoked?

DrJP: Right now, it’s a spot urine.

DrMR: Okay. And is there a certain lab that you like, or can you go to the big-box like LabCorp and Quest?

DrJP: Yeah, you can go to LabCorp and Quest. The lab I use is Doctor’s Data in Chicago. And I want to be clear, I have no commercial relationship with them. The reason I use them is that 10 years ago when I was doing a couple of lung programs in Canada where I was testing 4,500 oil field workers for their metal and chemical load, I sent split samples to a bunch of different labs. Split samples meaning I cut the sample in half and sent them to different labs to see if they would give the same answers. Doctor’s Data was right on. They’re the only lab I tested at that time that was right on.

DrMR: Got you. I see. It’s fair. And is there any kind of symptom survey? You had mentioned your colleague said if someone expresses symptoms. Is there a standard survey that you would recommend people consider?


DrJP: That’s a good question. I’ve given suggestions. I’ve not actually created a survey. So, what we do know is that, typically, the first symptoms of toxic exposure are allergies, immune sensitivity, and being tired all the time. Now, I just described over half the population.

DrMR: Right.

DrJP: So, if people are having symptoms like that, right away, you’ve got to consider the toxicity.

DrMR: And so, another question here. I don’t want to get too into the weeds, but are you finding that in some people, the weight gain occurs before the diabetes, or is it the diabetes before their weight gain, or is it not always that nice, neat, and simple?

DrJP: Well, yes. So, it’s not always as simple. But in general, yes, obesity comes first. Just, what’s happening is, because we’re poisoning our ability to convert sugar, excess calories into energy, it goes into producing fat instead.

DrMR: Got you. It makes sense. And then, final question here. And, again, I don’t mean to ask one question that you can speak for four hours on.

DrJP: Yeah.

DrMR: But how do people start with the treatment of these toxins?

How to Avoid Toxins

Key Takeaways – for avoidance and detoxing

[Back to Top]

  • Organic food, filtered water
  • Exercise, sweat in a sauna for at least 20 minutes
  • Fasting, weight loss

Helpful resources

DrJP: Oh, great question. So, now, I could put in a commercial plug. My book for consumers called The Toxin Solution, I show people exactly how to do it. And then my book for doctors, Clinical Environmental Medicine, shows doctors how to diagnose their patients. So, let me just really quickly tell you what’s in The Toxin Solution.

DrMR: Okay.

DrJP: So, I give people an eight-week program, plus additional weeks. So, during that eight weeks, I say, “For the first two weeks, you’ve got to learn how to avoid toxins.” Because there’s no point in going to a detox program if you’re still putting toxins into your body. So, I say to people, “For two weeks, this is how to start decreasing exposure to toxins.”

Then, I say, “Now, spend two weeks cleaning up the gut,” because people’s toxic guts produce a lot of bad chemicals that damage our body. Got to clean up the gut. Then, we’ve got to restore proper function of the liver. Something I just started doing about two years ago, I didn’t do in the past, I now teach people how to spend two weeks to get their kidneys working properly, because all this, these toxins are now causing the kidney failure epidemic.

So, now, once the organs of elimination, what the naturopaths called the mud turries, are clear, now, you can go into a detox program. And I recommend saunas. Saunas, where you sweat heavily for at least 20 minutes, drink plenty of fluids, and I recommend some alkalinizing fluids as well. Sweating is very effective at getting rid of toxins.

I just came up with a new idea after I was invited to lecture on environmental medicine in Moscow to about 250 MDs there. I was going to talk to them about sweating so I started looking at the research on sweating and detoxification. I noticed something very interesting. Some researchers are suggesting that the skin, through sweating, is one of our standard mechanisms for detoxification. If you think about it, that’s evolved as a species.

You know, we evolved near the equator where we were hot a lot and we sweat a lot. And I think our body became dependent upon sweating as one of the mechanisms for detoxification.

DrMR: Yeah. That certainly makes sense. One of my concerns always is that some of the detox protocols that I’ve seen are so elaborate. They seem incredibly expensive, and heavily supplement reliant. And I, of course, have no problem with using dietary supplements. But some of these seem like they were more so created by a supplement company and then endorsed by a doctor, rather than the other way around.

And it sounds like, at least from what you’re describing here in the short snippet that you gave is, this is more build you from the ground up, key systems like the gut, as you described, and then culminating with some practical methods like sauna to help flush out what’s in the system.

DrJP: Exactly. As I said before, our bodies have a remarkable ability to heal if we just give them a chance. So, I’m all about, what do you have to do to support the body’s normal systems so that people could be healthy.

DrMR: I love it. Well, you already mentioned your books, but feel free to mention them again. And is there anywhere else you’d want to point people to on the internet to follow your work, or connect with you?

Episode Wrap-Up

DrJP: Well, I’m not very good at it, and I need to focus. So, I have drpizzorno.com, and I’ve got material there. I need to update it. The best thing for people to do, for consumers, is to go get my book, The Toxin Solution. Read it and do it. I’ve got so many notes from people who followed my protocols and got better.

For example, I had one guy write to me who said, “Hey, I had diabetes for 15 years. The doctors put me on insulin. I went to the naturopath and, yeah, it helped me some. But then I decided to do your detox program.” And in nine weeks, he didn’t have diabetes.

DrMR: Wow.

DrJP: So, this really works. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s also not complex, and it’s not weird. It’s just supporting the body’s own systems. And then the other one, if you’re a doctor, get my book, Clinical Environmental Medicine. In there we lay out all the research behind the diseases being caused by the toxins, look at all the lab tests for measuring toxins, and we look at all the protocols ranging from saunas to fasting, to specific supplements that facilitate the normal detox mechanisms, and even when we need to use chemicals to bind to metals to get them out of the body. So, sometimes, you need drugs as well.

DrMR: Awesome. Love it. Doc, thank you so much for taking the time. It’s been a really insightful conversation. I really enjoyed hearing about your hypotheses here, and they seem like they make a lot of sense. And I hope people will check out your books and take the necessary steps to clean out some of the junk that we’re all exposed to here in our modern-day society.

DrJP: Thank you. I very much appreciate the opportunity to talk with you today.

DrMR: Thanks again.

DrJP: Okay. Bye.

Need help or would like to learn more?
View Dr. Ruscio’s, DC additional resources

Get Help


I care about answering your questions and sharing my knowledge with you. Leave a comment or connect with me on social media asking any health question you may have and I just might incorporate it into our next listener questions podcast episode just for you!