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Disturbing new research has shown that we consume around five grams of microplastics per week. When put into terms of real life, this equates to roughly the size of a credit card.

You might be feeling a bit shocked by this. “But where am I consuming plastic?” Well, I am glad you asked. While you may not see plastic particles in your food, they are there. They are in sea salt, seafood, drinking water, and more.

Scientists refer to these as nano plastics and microplastics. Nano plastics are around 0.001 millimeters in size, while microplastics are 0.0001 to 5 millimeters. When consumed, these microplastics can be quite destructive to your health.

More specifically, your gut health. According to a study that has been published in the journal Exposure & Health, these tiny plastics can accumulate in your gastrointestinal tract. In turn, they can cause a multitude of illnesses from obesity, to diabetes and even liver disease.

According to researchers from the Medical University of Vienna, these microplastics find their way into our gut tissue, which causes inflation. In turn, they can eventually lead to cancer.

And what’s even scarier, is that if you drank the recommended amount of water needed per day from bottled water, you would be introduced to roughly 90,000 particles per year!

Unfortunately, drinking out of the tap isn’t much better. Because plastic particles also find their way into your tap water. But, improving your gut health in other areas could help alleviate some of the risks, says Lukas Kenner, a co-author of the study.

One thing is for sure: sometimes, you simply don’t understand the magnitude of what enters your body. Even the slightest little passerby can cause massive and detrimental accumulation that could lead to a legitimate sickness. So, stay aware of what you consume.