Cellular energy is a must for athletic performance. Challenges to cellular energy include medications, work-every-day, and environmental toxins. Health depends on restoring cellular integrity and removing cumulative toxins in the body. Therefore, there is a need for detoxification, whether it’s the environment or the body, regeneration of both will occur provided the correct processes are followed. Personal trainers can use the following information to help guide clients to make more healthful lifestyle choices that support overall cellular health.

The Foundation of Cellular Health

Cellular health depends on the following, all of which require ATP:

  • —Exercise/Physical Activity
  • —Organic, whole foods directly from nature
  • —Ability to detoxify
  • —Ability to properly signal immune responses
  • —Ability to repair

Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion and Cellular Health

A staggering 9 out of 10 Americans take an over-the-counter pharmaceutical product regularly. While many of these drugs have a place and can be useful for acute conditions, to take them chronically will most certainly have an impact on long-term cellular health. Furthermore, antibiotics are chronically overprescribed; 833 antibiotic prescriptions are written for every 1,000 people, on average in a day! While these medications are useful for knocking out offending bacteria, they will also wipe out the colonization of good bacteria that resides in the body as well. Here are just a few deleterious effects of chronically taking medications:

  • —Antacids deplete the body of calcium and phosphorous.
  • —Sodium bicarbonate depletes the body of potassium.
  • —Antibiotics deplete the body of good bacteria, vitamin B, and vitamin K.
  • —Isoniazid depletes the body of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and vitamin D.
  • —Anticonvulsants deplete the body of Vitamins D & K, calcium, and folic acid.
  • —Anti-diabetic deplete the body of Coenzyme Q10.
  • —Anti-inflammatory drugs deplete the body of Vitamin C, folic acid, iron, potassium, and sodium.
  • —NSAIDs deplete the body of folic acid, also cause CICs -(circulating-immune-compounds)-(auto-immune).
  • —Corticosteroids deplete Vitamins C & D, calcium, potassium, zinc.
  • —Antivirals deplete carnitine, Vitamin B12, zinc, and copper.
  • —Bronchodilators deplete the body of pyridoxine.
  • —Cardiovascular drugs deplete pyridoxine and Coenzyme Q10.
  • —Loop diuretics deplete calcium, magnesium, B1, B6, potassium, and Vitamin C.
  • —ACE Inhibitors deplete the body of zinc.
  • —Centrally acting antihypertensive deplete Coenzyme Q10 and zinc.
  • —Cardiac glycosides deplete calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and B1.
  • —Beta-Blockers deplete Coenzyme Q10.
  • —Cholesterol-lowering drugs deplete Coenzyme Q10.
  • —Electrolyte replacement depletes B12.
  • —Bile acid suppressants deplete Vitamins A, E, K, D, as well as iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and zinc.
  • —Female hormones deplete folic acid, B6, B12, B2, magnesium, zinc, and Vitamin C.
  • —Estrogen replacement therapy depletes magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B6.

Accumulation of Toxins

Chemicals are everywhere.  Chemical exposure is ubiquitous and ever-increasing and we are all exposed to them in our home and work environments, our food, and our water supply. Just because such exposures are common does not mean they are normal or healthy. Most heavy metals accumulate in the brain over a lifetime, causing harms associated with neurotoxicity including neuronal damage.

Heavy Metals

Metal Source Effects
Mercury Dental amalgams, fish, and some vaccines Neurotoxin (more toxic in children)
Lead Water, industry, and chocolate Cognitive decline, hypertension, kidney disease
Aluminum Antiperspirants, cookware, antacids, baking powder Neurotoxin; 0steoporosis, anemia, liver and kidney damage
Arsenic Pesticides, lumber, and well water Cancer, vomiting, anemia, arrhythmias, pins and needle sensitivity
Cadmium Food, water, cigarette smoke, batteries Cancer; kidney, liver, lung and bone damage

Everyday Exposure

Sources of toxins outside of those from work and external environment are more within our control and contingent upon our lifestyle choices. Raising awareness of the chemical ingredients in everyday household products can make a large impact on decreasing the body’s toxic load. We can help our clients become healthier by detoxifying their life as much as possible. While small exposures to these chemicals may not have immediately apparent effects, one must consider the lifetime accumulation and how it impacts cellular health. Some areas where most people are exposed unwittingly to such damaging chemicals include:
—Bedroom – Fabric softeners, flame retardants, dry cleaning chemicals.
—Bathroom – chlorine, cosmetics, shampoos, toothpaste, hair products, colognes/fragrances, and the like.
—Kitchen – pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, cookware, plastics, petroleum residues, trans fats, flavorings, sweeteners.
                 Source                                                Chemical                                       Effects
Flame Retardants PDBE (penta- and octa- polybrominated diphenyl ether) Brain and Thyroid impaired development
Fabric Softener Alphaterpineol, chloroform, benzyl alcohol, pentane CNS, Mucous membranes
Water Chlorine



Impact to endothelial cell layer within arteries, possible carcinogen
Shampoo Ammonium lauryl sulfate

Ammonium xylene sulfonate, formaldehyde

CNS, Respiration, Lachrymators, Death
Cosmetics Phthalates, cadmium, Arsenic Birth deficiencies, Male repro, Cancer
Air Fresheners Formaldehyde


Cancer; Circulatory collapse, comma, death
Carpet Shampoo Perchloroethylene

Ammonium Hydroxide



Dishwasher Detergents Chlorine – dry,


Currently the #1 cause of child poisoning
Furniture Polish Petroleum Distillates, Phenol


Pneumonitis if aspirated to lungs

GI Injury

Toilet Cleaners Hydrochloric Acid


Tissue Injury

Irritant gas give rise to cough, sputum, breathlessness – infection

Antibacterial Triclosan Liver damage

How Cumulative Toxins Result in Nutrient Depletion

The body does a pretty good job of letting us know when something is out of balance. Symptoms, no matter how ubiquitous, are indicative of underlying problems. We know that a normal, restful sleep pattern is highly important for optimal health. Chinese medicine emphasizes that stressed organ systems will disrupt sleep. Symptoms of imbalance include:
  • feelings of guilt
  • mania
  • depression
  • adrenal fatigue
  • hormone imbalance
  • thyroid disorder
  • fibromyalgia
  • swollen lymph nodes

For tomorrow’s follow-up blog, we will explore how Chinese medicine can help pinpoint organ dysfunction by examining sleep disturbances, in addition to diving in to the five “R’s” of initiating cellular regeneration.

References for Environmental Toxicology

Environmental Health perspectives

Environmental Toxicology

Environmental Toxicology & Pharmacology

Journal of Environmental Science and Health

Toxicological & Environmental Chemistry

Nutrient depletion: PUBMED.GOV

Drug-Induced Nutrient Deficiencies. Lina Felipez, Timothy A. Sentongo. PMID: 19931072  DOI: 10.1016/j.pcl. 2009.06.004.

David Brancato

Dr. Brancato’s cumulative experience in nutrition, alternative medicine, chemistry, toxicology, physiology directed him to holistic approaches in human physiology to correct system imbalances. He maintains his professional certifications as a Naturopath from the American Naturopathic Medical Certification and Accreditation Board; the National Federation of Professional Trainers; Black belts in Kick Boxing and Kenpo.