PBDEs are lipophillic flame retardants, they attach to fat. Ingestion is via dermal contact, inhalation and food. I took simple precations to reduce exposure including removing a sofa and foam backed carpet, vacuuming with a HEPA filter and cutting excess fat from food.

PBDEs are subject to enterohepatic recirculation. They are extracted by the liver, secreted into the gut via the bile duct and reasorbed. Cholesterol is reabsorbed in a similar manner and drugs called cholesterol absorption inhibitors are used to lower cholesterol levels.

Olestra, a non-absorbable ‘fake fat’ used in the USA to make ‘zero fat’ crisps has been used in clinical trials to eliminate lipophilic toxins including dioxins and PCBs in humans and PBDEs in rodents. I imported Olestra baked crisps from the USA consuming 24g crisps (10g Olestra) daily: –

After six weeks, I became mildly hyperthyroid (difficulty getting to sleep) and had to repeatedly reduce my L-T3 dose form 85 to 30 mcg. My symptoms were very much improved on a lower dose of liothyroine. The effect was not gradual, the RTH reduced in steps. Unfortunately, olestra baked crisps were discontinued in 2015. My hypothyroidism worsened and my L-T3 requirement increased to 60 mcg. As well as the higher liothyronine dose my symptoms were worse. This was the first human trial of olestra for the elimination of PBDEs.

I needed to find an alternative method of eliminating PBDEs.