New research is revealing something remarkable about why the body sweats. Beyond its obvious role in regulating body temperature, sweating has been found to facilitate the elimination of accumulated heavy metals and petrochemicals, indicating that if we want to be healthy we should put regular effort into doing more sweating.
Sweating has long been known as a source of bodily, if not also spiritual "cleansing." But until recently, very little 'scientific' confirmation existed proving that using heat and/or exercise to facilitate perspiration-induced detoxification actually works the way that many natural health advocates claim.
With the Rise of Biomedicine and its so-called 'evidence-based' model of determining what is true and thereby legal to practice, this conspicuous lack of clinical proof has resulted in a veritable inquisition against those who claim that bodily detoxification through sweating is anything more than a form of 'quackery.'
Sweating Confirmed As A Detoxifier of Metals
Enter the findings of a groundbreaking 2011 study published in the Archives of Environmental and Contamination Toxicology, which explored the effects of bioaccumulated toxic elements within the human body and their method of excretion:
"Toxic elements were found to differing degrees in each of blood, urine, and sweat. Serum levels for most metals and metalloids were comparable with those found in other studies in the scientific literature. Many toxic elements appeared to be preferentially excreted through sweat. Presumably stored in tissues, some toxic elements readily identified in the perspiration of some participants were not found in their serum. Induced sweating appears to be a potential method for elimination of many toxic elements from the human body."
The researchers also made the important observation that, "Biomonitoring for toxic elements through blood and/or urine testing may underestimate the total body burden of such toxicants. Sweat analysis should be considered as an additional method for monitoring bioaccumulation of toxic elements in humans."
These are truly novel findings insofar as sweating, at least from the perspective of evolutionary biology, is considered to exist primarily for thermoregulation (sweat cools the surface of the skin and reduces body temperature, functioning as a wholebody cooling system). While the sweat glands have a well-known secondary role for the excretion of water and electrolytes, this function is not generally understood to be a form 'detoxification.'
Also, this study underscores just how common it is for conventional medical practice to overlook the relevance of environmental factors in health (e.g. exposures to metals, petrochemicals, toxins), as many of these 'vectors' of exposure/poisoning are not properly measurable via blood or urine tests; that is, when they even care to look. This blind spot, of course, feeds the delusion that one can suppress bodily symptoms associated with environmental exposures with additional patented chemicals, in the downward spiral that is drug-based medicine. The obvious alternative method - identify and remove the poisons - isn't even on the table, unless the practitioner happens to be aware of natural, integrative or functional medical principles and has the courage to go against the FDA-approved and liability-shielding grain to employ them.
Why Blood and Urine Analysis May Fail To Reveal The Problem
These preliminary research findings were further confirmed in a 2012 meta-analysis published in the Journal of Public and Environmental Health. The study titled, "Arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury in sweat: a systematic review," was performed by researchers from the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ontario, Canada, and was based on a review of 24 studies on toxicant levels in the sweat.