Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Do We Need to Take Supplements?

Is just having a “healthy” diet enough to provide all the nutrients and minerals the human body needs to maintain a healthy, active and vital life? We live in a polluted world where we are exposed to toxins as early as in the womb.

Our food supply is grown in mineral-depleted, nitrate-rich soil and then sprayed with pesticides and herbicides. Produce is picked so early it is still green and has not developed its full, nutritious potential. Much of our food is genetically modified, and the full impact of hybridization has not yet been fully realized. Even organic produce may have pesticide residues from cross contamination during transportation and drift from nearby spraying. Newer organic farms, even after certification, will not have soil as healthy as older ones. There is no doubt that supplementation is a necessity.

Our Food Supply Is Lacking In Essential Nutrients
We do not make vitamins or minerals within our bodies; we must obtain these nutrients from the foods we eat, which, in turn, obtain nutrients from the soil in which they are grown. In the U.S. our soils contain 86% less minerals than they did 100 years ago (based on a study done in 1992).

In 2004, The Journal of the American College of Nutrition published a study that found significant declines in the mineral and vitamin content of 43 garden crops grown in U.S. markets. Due to these lower levels of magnesium, calcium, and selenium, and because conventional agriculture crops are raised in soil where crop rotation is not practiced, the balance of nutrients, organic matter, and microorganisms necessary for healthy soil does not occur.

Rotating crops helps maintain this balance and also interrupts disease cycles. Sometimes lengthy cycles are necessary to control chronic, soil-borne problems like some fungal diseases.

Interestingly, plants actually fend off a range of insects with their own natural defense mechanisms--compounds called phytonutrients. When allowed to grow without the assistance of insecticides and herbicides, plants develop higher concentrations of these compounds that, coincidentally, have healthy properties including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and liver-health-promoting activities. They also provide the plants with characteristics such as their color, flavor, and smell.

According to some studies, organic crops are higher in vitamin C, iron, natural sugars, magnesium and phosphorus, and are lower in harmful nitrates than conventionally raised crops. An independent review, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, found that organic crops had significantly higher levels of all 21 nutrients evaluated than did conventionally grown produce in the U.S. and Great Britain.

Organically grown spinach, lettuce, cabbage and potatoes were found to have high levels of minerals. Conversely, a separate study found that conventional, nonorganic vegetable crops grown between 1940 and 2002 in Great Britain showed mineral losses from 15% to 62%.

In a Canadian study, there was also a significant decline in the nutrient content. This decline was over a 50-year period 1949 to 1999. During this time period, fruits and vegetables lost 57% of their vitamin C and iron, 28% of their calcium, 50% of their riboflavin and 18% of their niacin. 

We Live In A World Of Pesticides, Herbicides And Other Toxins
When pesticides and herbicides are used, they kill the bacteria and fungi that promote nutrient uptake in plants. They also deactivate the systems within the plant roots that are involved in mineral absorption. Pesticides and herbicides also destroy soil microorganisms needed to create the organic-mineral complexes that naturally replenish the soil.

Chemical fertilizers deplete vital micronutrients and trace elements, and reduce their bioavailability to plants. Commercial nitrogen+phosphorus+potassium fertilizers (NPK) gradually reduce soil pH, making the soil too acidic to support beneficial bacteria and fungi. As stated, these organisms assist plants in absorbing nutrients from the soil, so eliminating them significantly impairs the plants’ uptake of micronutrients. In addition, NPK application has been found to bind soil-based selenium, making it unavailable for root absorption.

In one study, organic fruit crops were found to contain higher levels of flavonoids and polyphenols than conventional fruits—including up to 50% more antioxidants. Conventional crops also have increased levels of heavy metals such as lead and mercury, and solvents like benzene and toluene. Heavy metals displace the body’s minerals in biochemical reactions, leading to dysfunction and disease.

Pesticides and herbicides have also been linked to a wide range of health problems including decreased immune function, hormone function, diminished intelligence, reproductive problems, neurological and behavioral problems, and cancer. They are also endocrine hormone disruptors.

Pesticides and herbicides can easily pass through the placenta to an unborn infant, and some toxins are actually concentrated across the placenta. Women actually reduce their toxic load by transferring it into their unborn babies. This happens with lead and mercury. Additionally, the fetus is extremely vulnerable to toxins that disrupt the developmental process.

A Body Burden Study by Environmental Working Group in 2004 found toxins in fetal cord blood, amniotic fluid and meconium. Babies come into this world with an average toxic burden of 200 chemicals and toxic metals. After birth, children are also particularly susceptible to pesticides because of food–to-body weight ratio and a developing immune system.

Minimizing exposure to these toxins by eating organic foods is important for our (and our children’s) health. Supplements can help replace the nutrients lacking in our foods and support the body in detoxification of the increased toxic load.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Confused Over Estrogen? You’re Not Alone ...

“Who needs estrogen? Doesn’t it cause breast cancer, strokes and heart attacks?” That is the general public consensus over the past 12 years since the Women’s Health Initiative headlines announced

“Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) associated with a 38% increase in stroke risk.” Though that is a pretty scary headline, it’s not relevant for most women considering HRT.

It is very easy for a younger woman to say “I am not going to take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) when I go through menopause. I’m going to age naturally.” However, when that same woman starts experiencing perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms, she may change her mind. Not all women need hormone replacement therapy when they go through menopause. But some do. For some women, HRT—including estrogen—is essential for a full, productive and joyful life.

First let’s look at how menopause progresses. Menopause is actually when the ovaries stop producing sufficient amounts of progesterone and estrogen for a woman to have a period. Blood estradiol (E2) levels drop below 40pg/mL and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) rises above 28-35. This causes hot flashes, night sweats, mood and memory problems, more bodily pains and other symptoms. Frequently these symptoms ease off over time; unfortunately, accelerated aging has already begun.

And that is not all that is going on in menopause. Menopause also is a veritable stress test on a woman’s adrenal glands. These are the small pyramid-shaped glands that sit on top of each kidney. They are the organs that help us respond appropriately to a specific stress. These daily stresses are short lived, hopefully. Then there are bigger chronic stresses...not enough money, job loss, a marriage that turns sour, aging parents or a special needs child. All these demand more work from your adrenal glands day in and day out.

Normally as the ovaries begin shutting down, a healthy woman’s adrenal glands start producing extra steroid hormones that swim into the woman’s fat and are made into estrone (E1)—a weaker estrogen than E2 that is made by the woman’s ovaries. Some women will do just fine on these modest levels of estrone as their ovaries slowly shut down. These are the women who will say, “What’s the big deal? This is so easy. I like not having periods. I’m not having hot flashes, I feel fine.”

On the other hand, some women are chronically exhausted and do not have any reserve. Their adrenal glands are already working at maximum capacity already. These women may start experiencing many disabling symptoms because their adrenals cannot ramp up enough to cover the woman’s estrogen needs.

What determines the severity of symptoms as women progress through menopause?
Lifestyle makes a huge difference. Dr. Thierry Hertoghe, a fourth generation endocrinologist in Belgium, recommends certain lifestyle changes. Adopting the following habits before or during menopause will reduce symptoms. Optimal hormone production of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and even growth hormone depends upon eating an adequate number of calories and following a Paleolithic diet with animal protein and a variety of foods which are preferably organic. Adequate body fat and a healthy weight enhance hormone production. Avoiding alcohol, a vegan diet, tobacco, marijuana, caffeine, sugar, dairy products, cereal grains including wheat, and too strenuous physical activity all improve symptom control in menopause.

It’s also important to balance adrenal and thyroid hormones. Too much or too little will profoundly affect menopausal hormones.

Lastly the rate of fall of hormone levels is critical. Premenopausal women who have their ovaries removed or women who are acutely stressed emotionally or physically may go into full-blown menopause with incapacitating symptoms. Both may need HRT in the short-term to let their bodies adjust.

What are symptoms of estrogen deficiency?  
Increased fatigue 24/7, which is always there. It doesn’t vary with the time of day. Low-grade depression. Loss of libido. Poor memory—especially for nouns and people’s names. “Remember to bring the... the... thingamajig!” Poor short-term memory “Why did I walk into this room?” Hot flashes, especially when stressed out. Night sweats that may be mild or drenching but always wake you up interfering with sleep. Joint pain, osteoarthritis. Bladder infections. Vaginal dryness or itching. Decreased vaginal lubrication during sexual intercourse. Heavy, light or irregular periods.

For some women, symptoms may start as early as the late 30s or early 40s. By age 51, the average age of the last period, most women have had many of these symptoms for some time. Without HRT, some women will continue to experience severe symptoms and accelerated aging for years. Some women never stop having hot flashes and night sweats. These come from the brain. Not the skin. It is a strong indicator that these women may benefit from estrogen therapy. For others, symptoms may diminish, but they too will still experience some accelerated aging.

What are the physical signs that a woman can see in the mirror?
Pale face and skin. Dry mouth and eyes. Dry, dehydrated skin. Small, thin vertical wrinkles above the upper lip and at the corner of the eyes. Smaller, droopy breasts. Loss of hair on the top of the head and loss of body hair. And increased facial hair due to persistently normal testosterone levels as estrogens drop.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

An Integrative Approach to Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are a common occurrence in the USA; statistics indicate that 1 in 9 adults will have a kidney stone in their life time. The tiny stones may pass unnoticed but a larger stone can induce excruciating pain – possibly the worst pain a person can experience. And once someone has had a kidney stone, there is a 50% chance of a reoccurrence. Men have more kidney stones than women and Caucasians are more prone than African Americans.
It’s interesting to note that North Carolina has the highest incidence of kidney stones in the nation! White collar workers have the highest incidence among North Carolinians. It has been speculated that high consumption of ice tea and tea's calcium oxalate levels is the cause. Another theory is the high mineral content in well water throughout the state.
What Are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones (renal calculi) are solid, rock like material formed from mineral salts that crystallize anywhere in the kidney and may break loose and lodge anywhere along the urinary tract. A kidney stone with a diameter less than 5 mm (about 3/16 of an inch) will usually pass without the need for surgery. Even so, these stones can be painful. The larger stones may lodge in the ureter, bladder, or urethra. Lodged stones block urine flow completely and may cause extreme pain. In addition to the pain, long-term blockage of urinary structures can cause hydronephrosis, a condition that occurs when a kidney becomes swollen due to the failure of normal drainage of urine from the bladder. Lab values may reflect decreased kidney function via an increase in creatinine levels.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms include sudden extreme cramping pain that comes in waves in the lower back and the side. The pain can move down into the abdomen and into the groin area. Nausea and vomiting may also come in waves. Blood in the urine may turn it pink, red or brown. Because the stones block or decrease urine flow, urinary tract infections (aka UTIs) are common. Symptoms of a UTI include urine that becomes cloudy in appearance and has a bad odor. Burning and a frequent “need to go” sensation are common, and fever and chills also commonly present. Any of these symptoms require evaluation by a physician.
Types of Kidney Stones
Calcium Oxalate
Calcium oxalate is the most common type of stone; 60% to 65% of kidney stones are comprised of calcium and oxalic acid, which form calcium oxalate crystals inside the kidneys. Some people are genetically predisposed to excreting high levels of oxalate in the urine (thus increasing the incidence of kidney stones), but this is not commonly the case. Instead, the lack of a beneficial bacteria found in the colon, called Oxalobacter formigenes, and/or uncombined intestinal oxalic acid are the culprits for calcium oxalate kidney stones. During normal digestion, calcium crystaizes with oxalate, never gets absorbed, and is eliminated in the stool. Oxalobacter formigenes uses oxalate as a source of energy, reducing the amount of oxalate in urine. A loss of Oxalobacter formigenes may result in elevated concentrations of urinary oxalate, increasing the risk of forming a calcium oxalate kidney stone.
Taking antibiotics is one contributor to the loss of Oxalobacter formigenes from the colon's natural bacterial flora; however, studies show that when Formigenes is taken as a probiotic, it can re-establish itself in the gut and reduce the urinary oxalate concentration, thereby possibly reducing the incidence of calcium oxalate kidney stone formation.
Oxalic acid passes through the intestinal wall, into the blood and enters the kidneys where it combines with calcium to make a calcium oxalate crystal. Therefore, if it is combined with dietary or supplemental calcium (i.e. calcium citrate) inside the intestinal tract, oxalic acid will never reach the kidneys (and calcium oxalate kidney stones cannot be formed). Oxalate is mostly found in fruits and vegetables. Vegetables high in oxalate include spinach, greens (including beet greens), beet roots, okra, leeks, parsley, cocoa, nuts, green and black tea, wheat bran and soybeans. Fruits with high oxalate include berries, plums, currants, kiwifruit, concord grapes, figs, and tangerines.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Follow-Up on my Fox 8 Appearance

In my most recent segment, I discussed colleagues using ozone therapy to treat Ebola victims in Africa. Below are links where you can learn more on the topic:

If you haven't already, "like" my Facebook page. There, I'll be posting information on how to donate to this heroic mission.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

To Use or Not to Use Testosterone: That Is the Question

Many women throughout life do not experience the sexual desire and responsiveness that they would like. Some will consider using testosterone (T), "the male hormone", to help them enjoy sex more. It frequently does help, but it doesn't work in isolation and it's not the only thing testosterone does for women. When searching the Web, its possible to find the occasional article about a woman who describes that her upper body strength got better, her balance and coordination improved, her attitude and ability to take on challenges returnedall after beginning testosterone therapy; however, most of the articles focus on enhancing sexual desire and responsiveness.

Testosterone is every bit as much a women's hormone as it is a man's hormone. Men have a small amount of estrogen; women have a small amount of testosterone. There's a reason for this. It benefits all of us. Women actually have much more testosterone in their bodies than estrogen. Testosterone is the building block from which humans make estradiolthe strongest estrogen in the body; however, if one were to count the number of molecules of testosterone compared to estradiol, women have a ten times more testosterone than estradiol. A small amount of either one is very potent.

When may women experience testosterone deficiency?
Some women never develop the ability to make sufficient amounts of testosterone. They will always be somewhat thin, have poorly developed muscles, dry skin, little or no body hair, and have an underdeveloped sex drive and sexual sensitivity. They may be very submissive and lack authority. They may also be anxious and have little self-assurance. They will tend to avoid sports and physical activities. They may have a higher childish voice and a smooth, thin, childlike face. They are testosterone deficient from puberty forward.

Many women develop testosterone deficiency later in life. This has many causes. It may be due to birth control pills, patches or rings, profound stress, surgical menopause (ovaries removed) or natural menopause in their early 50s. These women will notice that they are losing muscle bulk and strength, pubic hair, sex drive and sensitivity. They may be able to achieve orgasm, but it will be increasingly difficult, and they may experience significant itching or pain during sex. They may find themselves getting more passive, and they may lose interest in physical activity and the sports they previously enjoyed. They may become nervous and irritable, have lengthy bouts of depression, and begin to worry excessively. The fatigue pattern is all day long and gets worse with exercise; so many of these women avoid exercise. They are pale and fragile, appear older, and gain weight in their breasts, abdomen, and hips. And if that wasnt enough, they may develop more cellulite and varicose veins.

Laboratory Levels
It is important to get laboratory testing to document T levels. The normal range for serum total T is between 30 and 80 ng/dL.  But T levels have to be interpreted for the individual woman. Women who have had higher T levels for  decades will need higher testosterone levels when they start experiencing T deficiency. Women who have always had lower T levels may need just a little boost in their testosterone level in order to feel normal again.

Historically low T women may only need a level between 20 and 40. Chronically high T women may need to be in the 75-100 range.

A physician also needs to determine the level of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). This is a protein that binds to and carries testosterone and estradiol in the blood. The amount of testosterone or estradiol that is not attached to SHBG is the free estradiol or the free testosterone, respectively. Only free T molecules are available to stimulate the cells. The total testosterone measures both the free and the bound testosterone. So, if SHBG is high, less estradiol and testosterone will be delivered to the cells. This is how birth control pills work to get rid of acne. They contain a strong chemical estrogen that raises SHBG that then binds up natural testosterone. This eliminates acne and, sometimes, sex drive and sexual responsiveness.

On the other hand, as menopausal womens estrogen levels drop, the ovaries frequently continue to produce some testosterone. As estrogen drops so does SHBG, thus more testosterone is released from SHBG to activate the cells. This is why some women get more facial hair and begin losing hair on the top of their head and at their temples as they progress through menopause.

Beyond Sex
While experts on the Web talk about sexual function as the primary benefit of testosterone replacement, testosterone does many wonderful and critical things for a woman's body. Testosterone stops hot flashes and night sweats. Testosterone is necessary to build bone. Estrogen preserves the bone that a woman has, but testosterone and progesterone strengthen bone. Testosterone builds muscle and enhances coordination. It gives women vitality, self-confidence, self-esteem, and the ability to embrace lifes challenges.  It corrects urinary incontinence. Many integrative doctors have witnessed that testosterone and other androgens reduce a womans risk of osteoporosis, depression, atherosclerosis, anxiety, and arthritis.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Ladies: Progesterone is Your Friend

Today, confusion swirls about whether supplementing natural progesterone, a hormone made by women’s adrenal glands and ovaries, is safe.

Some of the confusion arises from incorrect interpretation and exaggeration of the original NIH Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) studies. In 2002, NIH abruptly and prematurely stopped the arm of the study in which women were taking Prempro® (Premarin/conjugated equine estrogens/CEE) and Provera® (medroxyprogesterone acetate/MPA) combined. Headlines read “Hormone replacement therapy associated with a 38% increase in stroke risk.”

But, there were many design flaws in the study and the results were misrepresented. That 38% was risk relative to the placebo group. The actual absolute increased risk of a single woman having a stroke increased from 2.4 women per 10,000 women taking placebo to 3.3 women per 10,000 taking Prempro. Real, but not nearly so scary. And yes, an increase from 2.4 to 3.8 is a 38% increase. But the absolute numbers for both are very small.

Even so, physicians told patients to stop HRT. and they did. Around 25% of postmenopausal women were on HRT at that time. This number dropped to 5%.

A belief arose in the lay public's mind that all hormone replacement therapy was dangerous.

However, only 8% of women doctors around the world stopped taking HRT after these headlines were published. 80% of lay users stopped HRT. Female physicians and wives of male physicians use HRT much more frequently and stay on it longer than laywomen.

Progesterone or Progestin?
Researchers call drugs with progesterone-like effects on the uterus progestins or progestogens. A second source of confusion about the safety and utility of progesterone is that progesterone, a naturally occurring female hormone, is almost always categorized with progestins. Most researchers hold the opinion that progesterone and progestins are biologically equivalent. They are considered to be identical and to act the same, but they are not and they do not.

Also, these drugs are then named “progesterone” in published literature. No wonder it’s confusing. A 2011 paper from China repeatedly uses the word progesterone when the study actually utilizes Provera. Researchers worldwide, the Mayo Clinic and journals all lump these drugs together with bio-identical progesterone.

So it’s easy to see why many doctors equate progestins and natural progesterone.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Troublesome Ticks

Ticks are ever present during North Carolina summers, and they bring with them the risk of tick-borne illnesses. Many of us have known since childhood to be on alert for symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, but fewer of us in this state have been aware that Lyme disease is a real threat.

For years, public health officials assumed that Lyme disease is a New England and mid-western illness that those of us outside the Northeast don't have to worry about. However, statistics show that the risk has started to move South and, perhaps, has been here for a while. Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector borne illness in the United States: in 2012, it was the 7th most common Nationally Notifiable disease.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) map indicates reported cases of Lyme Disease throughout North Carolina in every year of the last decade. And, the North Carolina Public Health department reports that last year, there were 173 (39 confirmed and 134 probable) incidences of Lyme disease in our state. The number for the past five years combined is 601. Four North Carolina counties Guilford, Alleghany, Haywood, and Wake—are considered endemic for Lyme disease (this means a county has two or more diagnoses of Lyme disease originating from ticks within the county).

It's essential to note that these statistics only represent cases diagnosed by the strict CDC criteria. According to Dr. Scott Taylor, DVM, a veterinarian who acquired Lyme disease, the “CDC criteria was established for an epidemiological survey, which was designed to study the distribution of Lyme disease. The two-step method of the CDC uses a screening immunoassay (ELISA) for all patients followed by a more sensitive and specific Western Blot only if the screening test was positive.


Unfortunately, this approach was originally intended for surveillance of Lyme disease in potentially asymptomatic patients, not for diagnostic purposes in patients with symptoms that are potentially related to Lyme disease. This criteria was not intended to be used as a standard for the clinical diagnosis of Lyme disease; the CDC has clearly stated this. Unfortunately, (many) health officials and physicians continue to use these criteria for the clinical diagnosis of Lyme disease.” To reiterate, the CDC states clearly, that the diagnosis of Lyme disease is a clinical diagnosis. That means the physician decides whether the patient has Lyme after reviewing the patient’s history, symptoms, progression of illness and tick exposure record and physical exam.

And lab tests may be falsely negative for other reasons. Again Dr. Taylor explains “The causative agent, Borrelia burgdorferi, Bb, is a type of spirochete (, a snake like bacteria, similar to syphilis). When Bb was first discovered in 1982 it was thought that there was just one strain. Since then, (five subspecies and) about 100 U.S. and 300 worldwide strains of the bacterium have been discovered.” Lab tests only test for the original Bb. There are more strains of Bb in the Southeastern United States than thought before.  So if you are infected with a different strain, your tests may be negative even though you do have Lyme.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

What's Hiding Behind the Mask of Lupus?

It often seems like lupus is a disease bent on deception. It can evade diagnosis with symptoms that mimic or overlap those of other health conditions. And there is no one test that diagnoses it definitively. But despite its complex, even duplicitous characteristics, lupus, once properly diagnosed, can often be treated successfully with an integrative approach that addresses the underlying causes of the disease.
What Is Lupus?
To understand what treatments may be effective against lupus, it's important to first understand the disease itself. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that creates systemic inflammation throughout multiple body systems. An autoimmune disease is one in which the body's immune system turns on its own tissues. Rather than fighting something that's actually hostile to your body, such as a virus, an autoimmune disease causes your body to start fighting a part of your body, like your joints, brain or kidneys.
Lupus alone can attack a person's joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, heart, lungs and brain, creating disabling and sometimes deadly reactions. The most common form of lupus is known as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). However, there are rarer versions of the disease: discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE), subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE), drug-induced lupus and neonatal lupus.
The symptoms of lupus can vary and can mimic other conditions. No two patients will experience the disease exactly the same. However, the most frequent symptoms include:
  • Malar rash
  • Sun sensitivity, often leading to a rash or skin lesions
  • Fatigue and fever
  • Arthritis-like joint pain, stiffness and swelling
  • Raynaud's phenomenon (fingers turning white then blue in response to cold or stress)
  • Dry eyes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Anemia
  •  Headaches
  •  Memory loss and confusion
  • Seizures

Monday, May 19, 2014

Greensboro March Against Monsanto this Saturday

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Boycott of Komen Foundation and American Cancer Society

It's time to boycott the American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen Foundation for their ignorant and unjustifiable dismissal of the bra-cancer link.

Don’t Send Them Money, Send Them Your Bra! 
Does wearing constrictive bras for long periods of time daily contribute to breast cancer?
It does, according to at least 5 research studies and numerous healthcare providers, including oncologists and MD’s. Even some lingerie manufacturers have developed new bra designs hoping to minimize lymphatic constriction and thereby help prevent breast cancer, citing the bra-cancer theory for their patents. 
But it doesn’t, according to the American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen Foundation, fund raising giants of the cancer detection and treatment world, which consider the link absurd and unworthy of serious consideration, and unquestionably assume that research showing a link must have some other explanation besides bras. 
Shrugging off the bra-cancer link is killing hundreds of thousands of women and wasting billions of dollars in unnecessary detection and treatment, according to husband and wife medical anthropologists, Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer, co-authors of Dressed To Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras (Avery/Penguiin Putnam 1995; ISCD Press, 2005). 
Singer and Grismaijer are calling for a boycott of these organizations until they stop dismissing the bra-cancer link, and begin educating doctors and women about the cancer hazards of wearing tight bras. 
Their research on the bra wearing habits of US women with and without breast cancer showed that bra-free women have about the same incidence of breast cancer as men, and that the tighter and longer a bra is worn the higher the incidence rose, up to 100 times greater for 24/7 bra wearers.
When they first notified cancer organizations about their discovery, they were completely ignored or ridiculed. Now, 20 years later, the American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen Foundation still ridicule the information out of hand, and try to explain away the link as a ridiculous “myth”. 
Why are women not hearing about this from the ACS and Komen Foundation? Why are these organizations, so eager to fund raise for a cure, so opposed to preventing this disease by addressing the bra-cancer link? Could it be because lingerie companies donate to their charities? Could it be that preventing this disease by challenging the cultural norm of bra wearing is too taboo for these detection and treatment focused organizations? 
According to Singer and Grismaijer, whatever their reason, it is wrong for the bra-cancer link to be dismissed and ignored. Because of this unscientific stonewalling of this information, over the past 20 years 2,000,000 women in the US alone have gotten breast cancer who may have prevented it by simply loosening their bra and wearing it less time each day. 
Singer and Grismaijer suggest that whenever the ACS or Komen Foundation ask for a donation, send them your bra, instead! This will give them the message, and help you prevent breast cancer at the same time.

Click the link above for further information.



Thursday, April 10, 2014

How Toxic Are You?

Americans live in a polluted world and everyone in it is polluted too. Not a comforting thought is it? The average American has 90 different chemicals and toxic metals in his or her body, according to Environmental Working Group (EWG). And that was in 1992. In 2005, EWG tested for toxins in the umbilical cord blood from 10 newborn babies immediately after birth. They detected 287 chemicals of 413 tested (69 percent), with a range of between 154 and 231 for each child. Its not a question of whether we are polluted or not. We are. And so are our children.

Each one of us is unique, and even small amounts of toxins in combination with other toxins may cause substantial damage to those who are more susceptible. This grouping certainly includes fetuses, infants, and small children. Also included are the elderly, whose detoxification equipment is not working as well as it was when they were younger, and individuals who have genetic weaknesses that compromise their ability to detoxify environmental chemicals normally. But in fact, all of us are susceptible. Since we entered the Age of Better Living through Chemistry, we are simply exposed to many more varied chemicals than our ancestors were. And just like with taking more than one medication at a time, no one knows how all of these different chemicals interact when combined.

Fortunately, the average daily dose of various toxins is small, and they dont cause immediate sickness in most circumstances. Unfortunately, a day doesnt go by that we are not exposed on some level
and we dont feel it happening until we reach a tipping point. The body works hard to maintain a healthy balance as long as it possibly can until, at some point, it becomes overwhelmed by one more stressor. The stressor may be an office disagreement, another dose of glyphosate, Roundup® in a slice of sandwich bread (see my article in last months Natural Triad), or overexposure to electromagnetic frequencies coming from the cell phone, the microwave or poorly designed kitchen wiring, all at the same time. By the time someone begins to notice symptoms from exposure to any one of these types of toxins, the body has already experienced an extensive underlying imbalance due to toxicity.

Earliest symptoms may be similar to allergies. Runny nose, sinusitis, and asthma are common. Gut symptoms and joint pain are also common. Later, a tremor, memory issues, depression, poor coordination, infertility, fibrocystic breast disease, and low testosterone (in young men) 
may develop. If you have a symptom, there is a toxin that can cause it. Some of us can re-equilibrate when we go on vacation. Others can do a cleanse and get better, but the sickest of the sick, once they have crossed that line, cannot get well without substantial helpusually from professionals. 

The Real Question
As stated above, the question is not whether we have toxins in us. We do. The real question is whether these toxins are sufficiently damaging our bodies to cause symptoms and disease. Over 90,000 new chemicals have been introduced since 1900. About 62,000 of these are small enough to penetrate our cells and get into our organelles (the cell machinery). With nanotechnology, even more toxins will be able to penetrate our cell machinery. Fewer than 5,000 have been tested for safety and none of them have been tested in combinations with others for safety. In the United States, corporations are considered innocent until proven guilty. In the European Union, they apply the Cautionary Principle: corporations must prove new compounds are safe before introduction to the marketplace.

Identifying Toxins

In this country, the CDC in the NHANES studies and the EPA in their human fat biopsy and other studies have both shown that nearly 100 percent of Americans contain numerous different toxins, including leftovers from DDT and other persistent organic pollutants (POPS). Other hormone disruptors include BPA and phthalates, which either magnify or block the effect of numerous hormones in our bodies; and flame retardants, solvents, and other toxins, which can cause cancer, brain damage, birth defects, and immune system dysfunction. And it's not just recognized environmental pollutants like glyphosate, solvents, PCBs and dioxin. Its preservatives like sulfites and nitrites, and additives like NutraSweet® and Splenda®. Its drugs, medications, high fructose corn syrup, and trans fats. Even foods, like gluten in wheat and casein in milk, can be toxic to some. All of these substances may have a detrimental effect on the body.

According to Dr. Sydney Baker, 5 percent of the energy the body makes on a daily basis goes to maintaining the immune system, 5 percent of the energy goes to maintaining the physical structure, 10 percent of the energy goes to the brain functioning optimally, and 80 percent (EIGHTY PERCENT) of the energy the body generates every single day goes to detoxification and elimination. This is not a trivial or part-time process. The body and all of its parts and pieces on every level are constantly detoxifying and eliminating substances to optimize their function and health.

So What Exactly Is Detoxification?

Detoxification is the process of taking fat-soluble toxins and metabolic wastes and transforming them into water-soluble compounds so that they can be eliminated from the body in the stool and urine. It is also a process whereby the body combines compounds with heavy metals to make them less reactive so that they can be eliminated from the body. The liver, kidneys, and gut are all working in concert in this process. Many think of the stool and urine as being the only routes of exit for toxins, but we also eliminate toxins in our sweat, breath, nails, and hair. What is not generally recognized is that approximately two-thirds of the surface area of the small bowel (2/3 of two tennis courts) transports toxins into the lumen of the gut where they are then moved out of the body in the stool. These completely bypass the liver. 

What's the Harm from Toxins?
Toxins damage bodies by increasing the need for nutrients. If one does not increase B vitamins and minerals, which function as co-factors for the detoxification processes, some bodily functions are shortchanged. The sheer amount of toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis also interferes with our ability to detoxify those same toxins by locking up and damaging our enzyme systems. This creates a backlog of toxins that need to be eliminated. This is especially true of the heavy metals. Furthermore, toxins damage the machinery inside the cells. Toxins damage DNA, endoplasmic reticulum (the factorieswhere the cell manufactures proteins), and mitochondria (the powerhouseswhere the cell makes energy).

Toxins damage the cell walls and receptors so that the cells have a difficult time receiving communication from the rest of the body. Thyroid receptors dont work. Serotonin receptors dont work. Toxins also trigger inflammation and oxidation, two processes that cause damage to the cells and tissues. They contribute to autoimmune disease, interfere with neurotransmitters, and as mentioned above they can either interfere with or supercharge certain hormones, including estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, insulin, leptin, and thyroid.

What Are the Symptoms of Toxicity?
Many of the common symptoms patients complain of can be caused by toxinsthe inability to lose weight, chronic pain, fatigue, memory loss, brain fog, chronically low temperatures, feeling too emotional, unusual responses to medications or supplements, allergic symptoms and asthma, bowel problems, joint pain, and poor sleep, among many others. If not recognized and treated, illnesses like infertility, neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and otherscan all be caused by various toxins in our environment.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Notes from My Presentation at the Natural Triad Show

Last Saturday at the Natural Triad Health, Wellness and Green Living Show, I presented a free seminar on detoxification. The following is a compilation of my PowerPoint notes from the presentation:

Reality Check

  • We are full of chemicals
  • The world is full of chemicals
  • Our babies grow in a chemical soup the first 9 months of their lives
  • More chemicals are coming (air, water, food, personal care products)
  • The government and most corporations have not tested these chemicals for safety

10 Americans


In 2005, EWG tested for toxins in the umbilical cord blood from 10 newborn babies immediately after birth. They detected 287 chemicals of 413 tested (69 percent), with a range of between 154 and 231 for each child. Grownups compartmentalize toxins. Babies have leaky gut and blood brain barrier.

Chemicals in Commerce Act

  • Contact your representative: "As your constituent and a supporter of the Environmental Working Group, I urge you to strongly oppose the Chemicals in Commerce Act."
  • Reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is long overdue. But, the Chemicals in Commerce Act (CICA) is actually worse than the current law.
  • As currently drafted, CICA would allow thousands of chemicals to be treated as safe with little or no review. The bill would also fail to protect children from chemical exposures, limit EPA's ability to use sound science and block states from protecting their own residents from dangerous chemicals.
  • Now is the time for real reform that ensures chemicals are safe before they're used in commerce.

Arguments Used by the Industry

  • "It's such a small amount."
  • "People will starve if we don't plant GMO foods."
  • "GMO/GE crops are substantially equivalent to conventional crops."
  • "Cell phones are safe."
  • "Chemtrail conspiracy people are crazy."
  • "Vaccines are safe."

Where do we get exposed to these chemicals?

  • Breathing
  • Eating
  • Bathing/showering
  • Drinking water
  • Getting dressed
  • Using personal care products
  • Living in our homes
  • Spending time at work
  • Cycling, running, driving on roads

Symptoms and Illness from Environmental Toxins

  • Fatigue, sleep disorders, brain fog or poor memory
  • Obesity, inability to lose weight
  • Sensitivity to odors
  • Any chronic illness or infection that doesn't get well with good treatment
  • Neurological, hormonal, allergic or autoimmune disease
  • Chronic pain
  • Cancer
  • Former smoker, dental amalgams
  • Silicone or titanium implants

How do these chemicals hurt us?

  • Generate free radicals and trigger oxidative stress and inflammation
  • Damage DNA
  • Alter our epigenetic expression of our DNA
  • Damage mitochondria
  • Block detoxification
  • Block or hijack enzyme systems
  • Mimic or block hormones 
  • Case allergic reactions
  • Deplete nutrients
  • Damage gut microbiome

Mobilization, Detoxification and Elimination

  • Ongoing, 80% of the body's energy
  • Mobilizing toxins out of the cells into the matrix > lymph > blood stream > liver > gut or kidneys > eliminate it through hair, nails, sweat and breath
  • Enterohepatic recirculation
  • Mobilizing toxins out of the fat cells with fat reduction diets, exercise or sauna into the matrix > lymph > blood stream > sweat

Coal Ash

  • Third-largest coal ash spill in U.S. history
  • Two months ago, a storm water pipe ruptured and as much as 39,000 tons of toxic coal ash was released into the Dan River in North Carolina
  • When previous coal ash accidents have occurred, water samples have found elevated levels of of arsenic, lead, chromium and mercury, which can cause cancer, neurological damage (or both) in humans
  • Duke Energy owns 100 million tons of coal ash in a total of 2,800 acres

For the first source of new toxins, look UP!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Detox NOW and Forever

Defense of Environmental Medicine

GMOs & Disease Incidences

Organic IS Better

Dangers of Glyphosate

Geoengineering/Chemtrails/Climate Control

Other Great Resources