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THE NEED FOR IODINE SUPPLEMENTATION

Dr. Hank Liers PhD iodine supplementationFred Liers PhD iodine supplementationThe Orthomolecular Medicine News Service (OMNS) published on June 12 “The Need for Iodine Supplementation.” We believe strongly in the need for iodine supplementation, especially given the fact that more than 90% of the US population is iodine deficient. For this reason we make available both Nascent Iodine and Lugol’s Iodine Solution 2 to our customers.

We present the full OMNS article (below), as a source of valuable information to our resellers and Creating Health Naturally readers. The factors contributing to massive-scale iodine deficiency remain virtually unchanged over decades. This has led to a greater need for educating health professionals and individuals about the critical importance of iodine supplementation.

Another useful article discussing the benefits of iodine supplementation was published August 2 by Dr. Mark Sircus, OMD: “Iodine, Thyroid and Low Body Temperature.” ~

The Need for Iodine Supplementation

by Wojciech Rychlik, PhD

(OMNS, June 12, 2017) Feeling tired, having low energy or depression, gaining weight, memory problems, having dry skin, dry mouth, or immune system issues? There is good chance your body needs iodine supplementation. Why iodine? Because this essential to human health element has been singled out as dangerous, for several obscure reasons, and it has been gradually eliminated from our diet, and even worse, replaced by its antagonist, bromine. This trend has been termed, iodophobia (1). It is a cause of widely occurring hypothyroidism in many developed countries.

Iodine: How Much?

Iodine deficiency is associated with (2, 3, 4):

  • Fibrocystic breast disease leading to breast cancer and stomach cancer
  • Goiter (enlarged thyroid)
  • Mental issues from reduced alertness, lowered IQ, autism to cretinism, lack of iodine for the fetus leads to cretinism, and in milder cases to autism and ADHD
  • Slow metabolism, leading to tiredness, sluggishness, fatigue, apathy, depression, and insomnia
  • Inability to produce saliva, dry skin, and lack of sweating
  • Lack of optimal detoxification, especially of bromides, fluorides, and heavy metals
  • Sensitivity to temperature changes, and cold hands and feet
  • Muscle pain, fibrosis, and fibromyalgia
  • Erectile dysfunction, infertility and miscarriages, and low sex drive
  • Overweight
  • High blood pressure, and increased incidence of heart attacks and strokes

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has published probable safe upper limits for dietary intake of iodine (5). They range from 150 micrograms (mcg) per kilogram (kg) per day in newborn infants to 30mcg/kg/day in adults. That is 2 milligrams (2,000 micrograms) daily for a 146-pound adult. The safe upper limit is higher during pregnancy and lactation (40 mcg/kg/day).

Treatments for Hypothyroidism

The simplest method to deal with an underactive thyroid is proper supplementation with iodine, called orthoiodosupplementation. If the thyroid is damaged, then supplementation with thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3, the main biologically active hormone) may be necessary. Supplementation (6). with these hormones should be done under close supervision of a medical professional. However, supplementation with inorganic iodine is generally much safer, as the body “knows” how much T4 and T3 need to make. There are also drugs that change physiology of iodine metabolism, but this subject is beyond the scope of this article. Pharmaceutical companies pressure doctors to avoid inexpensive orthoiodosupplementation, so you won’t likely get a prescription for inexpensive Lugol’s solution from a mainstream practitioner.

One caveat to supplementation with iodine is the autoimmune illness called Hashimoto’s disease, or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, which is one of the potential causes of hypothyroidism. Unfortunately, when hypothyroidism is diagnosed, the possibility that Hashimoto’s disease underlies this condition has not always been properly tested. Therefore, Hashimoto’s disease has often been misdiagnosed. Doctors usually treat this condition with hormone replacement therapy, and some believe that excessive iodine intake may trigger it in susceptible people (7). Always ask your doctor if iodine supplements are right for you.

History of Iodine Usage and “Iodophobia”

This subject has been covered in detail by Dr. Guy E. Abraham (8,9,10). The iodine element was discovered in 1811 by B. Courtois. In 1850–1853 A. Chatin noted that goiter and cretinism are rare in geological zones rich in iodine and frequent where iodine is in short supply, and that goiter can be prevented by iodine supplementation. In 1895 E. Baumann proposed that iodine is the active element in the thyroid gland.

By the time Bauman identified large concentrations of iodine in the thyroid gland in 1895, pharmaceutical and apothecary preparations containing iodine, excluding thyroid extracts, were widely used as a panacea.

To quote Kelley: (11) “The variety of diseases for which iodine was prescribed in the early years is astonishing – paralysis, chorea, scrofula, lacrimal fistula, deafness, distortions of the spine, hip-joint disease, syphilis, acute inflammation, gout, gangrene, dropsy, carbuncles, whitlow, chilblains, burns, scalds, lupus, croup, catarrh, asthma, ulcers, and bronchitis – to mention only a few. Indeed, tincture of iodine, iodoform, or one of the iodides, was applied to almost every case that resisted the ordinary routine of practice; and between 1820 and 1840 there appeared a remarkable series of essays and monographs testifying to the extraordinary benefits to be achieved by this new and potent remedy.”

Unfortunately, these monographs have virtually disappeared from US medical libraries. In the mid-1800s, iodine treatments of some diseases called for ingestion of gram (1,000 mg) amounts per day. However, most treatments were from 5 to 50 mg daily. The recommended daily amount of iodine by Dr. G. E. Abraham is 0.1-0.3 ml Lugol containing 12.5-37.5 mg elemental iodine. This is the amount of iodine needed for whole body sufficiency, based on a recently reported iodine/iodide-loading test (12). Thyroid gland sufficiency for iodide is achieved with a lower dose.

Lugol's iodine supplementation

The first iodophobic authority emerged in early 1900s. Prof. T. Kochler reported that he suffered from overactive thyroid following ingestion of iodide (just a single individual case, not a statistical research study!) Despite this, the number of applications grew. In an International Index published in 1956, and devoted exclusively to iodine pharmaceuticals, no less than 1,700 approved iodine-containing products were listed. In 1948 Wolff and Chaikoff published that a serum inorganic iodide level at a concentration of 1 µM blocks (one micromolar) the synthesis of thyroid hormones, resulting in hypothyroidism and goiter in rats. But this conclusion was erroneous as they even did not measure thyroid hormones in the rats studied, and of course, hypothyroidism and goiter were not observed in those rats. Many organic forms of iodinated drugs were quite poisonous. Unfortunately, medical establishment did not make a distinction between organic and inorganic forms of iodine, and iodophobia became more popular.

Decades ago, iodine was added to bread so that one slice contained 150 mcg of iodine (the current recommended daily allowance). In the 1980s, bromine replaced iodine in bread. Since bromide is an antagonist to iodine (it is goitrogenic), it worsened iodine deficiency in the US. Moreover, a big push to remove salt from our diet (the only grocery item still supplemented with iodine) exacerbated the problem. The only developed nation that resisted iodophobia is Japan, statistically the healthiest and longest living nation on the planet. Their average daily consumption of iodine is around 5 mg, with various reports ranging from 1 mg to 18 mg. In a study of reported daily iodine intake versus total number of clinical symptoms, an intake of approximately 1 mg per day correlated with the lowest number of reported symptoms, that is, the highest level of health (13). Recent popularization of bromides in our food supplies likely increased this amount.

According to Dr. Abraham, (14) “proper amounts of iodine in the food supply should be considered one of a nation’s greatest assets. Removing iodine from the food supply is a major mistake. Supplying a daily intake of iodine sufficient for the whole body (100-400 times the RDA) gives protection against goitrogens and radioactive iodine/iodide fallout; improves immune functions, resulting in an adequate defense system against infection; decreases singlet oxygen formation which is the major cause of oxidative damage to DNA and macromolecules, resulting in an anticarcinogenic effect in every organ; results in a detoxifying effect by increasing urinary excretion of the toxic metals lead, mercury, cadmium, and aluminum, as well as the goitrogens fluoride and bromide; normalizes hormone receptor functions resulting in improved response to thyroid hormones both endogenous and exogenous; and results in better control of blood sugar in diabetic patients; stabilizes cardiac rhythm, obviating the need for the toxic sustained release form of iodine, amiodarone; and normalizes blood pressure without medication in hypertensive patients. Iodine deficiency is the major cause of cognitive impairment, worldwide.”

The Iodine-Cancer Connection

The body requires iodine to metabolize both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. A substance called delta-iodolactone, a derivative of arachidonic acid, which is produced in the thyroid gland and breast tissue, prostate, colon, and the nervous system, is a regulator of a process called cellular apoptosis (“cell death”). Ascorbic acid is required to stimulate intracellular hydrogen peroxide synthesis that, in turn, provides the energy to make iodine free radicals necessary for this reaction. When the level of delta-iodolactone is high enough, the process of apoptosis can then kill cancer cells. (15)

Unfortunately, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for iodine — about 150 mcg per day — will not allow delta-iodolactone to be efficiently formed in the thyroid gland. The thyroid requires higher iodine concentrations to efficiently produce it. Researchers have found that 100 times the RDA amount of iodine is optimal to produce delta-iodolactone. That equates to taking about 15 mg of iodine per day (15,16). These findings are important because they imply that there are some biochemical reactions that require much larger amounts of iodine than the current RDA. The mechanism by which delta-iodolactone induces cell death may be an important pathway for curing some types of cancer.

Forms of Iodine

Inorganic iodine exists in 6 oxidative states, from -1 to +7. The most reduced form (with most electrons) is iodide (I); an example is potassium iodide. The diatomic form of elemental iodine I2, has no electrical charge. Monoatomic iodine also has no electrical charge, but is unstable and highly reactive (free radical, labeled as an I with a dot, I* ). It can be produced by exposing I2 to ultraviolet light. Electric and magnetic fields won’t do it, as is sometimes incorrectly suggested. More oxidized forms of iodine are: hypoiodite (I+1), iodite (I+3), iodate (I+5), and periodate (I+7). The body’s metabolism may convert (reduce) these forms to biochemically available iodide, but at the cost of depleting its antioxidants. All forms of positively charged iodine are relatively poisonous, with established lethal doses (LD50) in the range of 35 to 2100 mg/kg. Elemental iodine (I2) and iodides (I) are non-poisonous. However, a bad “antiseptic” non-culinary taste of iodine (I2) suggests to our senses that this is not so good choice for supplementation.Nascent iodine supplementation

Despite that adverse taste, almost all the research on iodine supplementation has been done using Lugol’s Solution (17). The original solution is called 5% Lugol’s Iodine, but in reality it consists of 12.5% iodide/iodine or (I/[I3]) ions. Two drops of Lugol’s Solution (0.1 ml) contain 12.5 mg iodine/iodide mix. Iodine tablets that are a solid form of Lugol’s solution, were created to mask the taste and make the doses more precise for dietary supplementation.

I should mention a few points about Edgar Cayce’s atomidine. This famous visionary wrote several articles about the best form of iodine supplement (18). Some claim that this was iodine trichloride, but that cannot be true as this compound is toxic by ingestion and damaging to mucous membranes. It decomposes to ICl and poisonous gas Cl2 at 77 degrees C and also in water at room temperature (19). Most likely Cayce’s atomidine was simply a 1% iodine solution (I2) in 95% ethanol. I am surprised that there are educated people, even medical doctors who claim that “elemental monoatomic iodine” preparations (Atomidine, Nascent Iodine etc.) are the best forms of iodine supplements. May be it has something to do with efficient marketing? Elemental Iodine (I2) is soluble in glycerin. Replacement of ethanol with glycerol indeed makes these supplements more consumption-friendly, so they are sold by some vendors as superior products to Cayce’s ethanol-formulated one. Personally, I think glycerol-based I2 supplements are inferior to iodides; however, they are excellent antiseptics.

To defend the validity of Cayce’s vision, in thyroid, I ion and amino acid tyrosine react through a short intermediate step by forming monoatomic I* free radical (selenium and hydrogen peroxide are involved) to make monoiodotyrosine. Diiodotyrosine is formed analogical way, and finally, two of these molecules combine to produce thyroxine. All those steps are carried by the enzyme thyroid peroxidase, which is normally attached to the protein thyroglobulin. So, yes, monoatomic iodine I* exists in human bodies, and it directly reacts with tyrosine, but no, it wouldn’t be healthy to consume iodine free radicals as their high reactivity would prevent safe transport throughout the body.

In the mid-1930s the thyroid hormone thyroxine became available on the market. This was a blessing for people who had damaged their thyroid. Unfortunately, doctors started to prescribe this hormone to just about anybody with hypothyroidism, thinking that they can control better thyroid hormone levels than our bodies can. And, the “iodine is iodine, no matter what form” mentality became a dangerous trend, because most medical professionals do not fully appreciate the difference between the raw nutrient (iodine) and its product (hormone).

The pharmaceutical industry came up with lots of organic forms of iodine (NB: organic, meaning that iodine is bound to a carbon-atom-containing molecule and NOT meaning it’s grown in a pesticide-free environment), all relatively toxic and certainly not to be used without strict medical supervision. Only inorganic forms of iodine, I and I2, are safe for supplementation (20,21). Further, high doses of these supplements should still be supervised by your doctor.

Iodine Uses

Iodine plays critical role in human metabolism. Many researchers believe the RDA value of 150 mcg for iodine is too low, especially when this element is commonly substituted with competing element bromine. Therefore, the main use of iodine in dietary supplementation is to enable optimal thyroid function. There are a number of medical conditions where iodine is either essential or helpful. For best results, iodine/iodide should be supplemented with selenium, magnesium, copper (there is usually enough of it in tap water as copper is widely used in plumbing), vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin). Ask your doctor before taking any iodine supplements, especially if you are on medications.

Elemental iodine (I2) is antibacterial and antifungal, so iodine or iodine/iodide solutions are commonly used topically to sterilize wounds, or internally to fight infections, such as vaginitis and sore throat, and also to sanitize drinking water. Because iodine is antibacterial, drinking it may cause friendly bacterial flora to suffer and result in diarrhea and stomach cramps (the same applies to Lugol’s solution, but to a lesser extent as it contains iodides as well).

Ingestion of iodides prevents the incorporation of destructive radioactive iodine into the body (mainly by the thyroid) in case of nuclear accidents. It also may help flushing already incorporated radioactive iodine from the thyroid, although too much iodine inhibits secretion of T4/T3 from the gland.

Common-Sense Cautions

Overdosing any of the iodine supplements can lead to swollen salivary glands, metallic aftertaste and skin rash and itching (that are usually due to rapid process of detoxification from heavy metals fluorides and bromides), faster heartbeat or palpitations and diarrhea. When supplementation is stopped, these symptoms will usually disappear quickly, often within one day. Iodine stabilizes thyroid hormone production, so it is an adaptogen, but in rare cases, such as acquired allergy to iodine (Hashimoto’s disease), it may actually misbalance it. In some cases, iodine supplementation can cause hypothyroidism, so it’s important to get checked by your doctor to make sure that your thyroid function is not worsened by supplementation. Some authors advising caution are Alan Christianson (22), Jeffrey Dach, (23) and Alan Gaby (24). Testing of levels of thyroid hormones along with testing and supplementation of mineral nutrients such as selenium, zinc, copper, magnesium calcium, and other trace minerals may prevent problems in cases where high doses of iodine/iodide might tend to cause Hashimoto’s disease. (23)

Inorganic Iodine Availability

The most common form of iodine supplement is Lugol’s solution (17). The original solution contains 5% of iodine and 10% iodide. Solid pill forms of Lugol’s solution are sold under several brand names. Potassium iodide (KI), my favorite iodine supplement, is available as tablets as well. Various products with kelp or other seaweed extracts contain iodides as well. Check the label when you buy as some of them are very diluted.

It is difficult to find inexpensive elemental iodine (I2) solution in alcohol. You can buy iodine crystals online and make the proper solution by yourself very easily (using either alcohol or glycerol). The monoatomic iodine concept is simply a marketing gimmick that has been created to inflate the price several fold. Note that if the monoatomic claims were really true, few would really want to drink free radicals, the only monoatomic form that exists. Iodine free radicals are not transported freely in our bodies because they are too reactive. Elemental iodine preparations, including iodine dissolved in glycerol, may be helpful products for external antiseptic use rather than a supplement.

Another form of iodine supplement includes a mixture of algae and thyroid extract in glycerin, water and ethanol. This is likely not harmful because it contains T3 and T4 only in very small amounts, and the recommended serving size is also small. Other complex formulae that contain elemental iodine are a useful antiseptic, but not a good supplement. Iodine trichloride should be avoided as a supplement because it is too toxic.(19)

Summary

The established RDA allowance for iodine (150 mcg/day) is inadequate for many individuals. In order to maintain optimum health, adults need 2-5 mg of iodide daily. Actually, this is in line with the upper safe limit of dietary intake of iodine established by FAO (30 mcg/kg/day). In case of a dysfunctional thyroid or other illnesses, such as fibrocystic breast disease or cancer, 15-50 mg daily may be needed. Ask your doctor about the alternatives to hormone therapy or taking iodine-containing organic drugs, because inexpensive orthoiodosupplementation would usually not be his/her first choice.

The best and safest form of iodine supplementation for a healthy adult is iodide. Iodides are naturally produced in larger quantities by various seaweeds.

Please consult your doctor about iodine supplementation, as in your particular case it may be contraindicated.

References:

1. Abraham GE. The History of Iodine in Medicine Part III: Thyroid Fixation and Medical Iodophobia. http://optimox.com/pics/Iodine/IOD-16/PUB_16.htm

2. Dommisse J. MD Best Kept Secret (2009) http://www.westonaprice.org/modern-diseases/best-kept-secret/#sthash.vdrKPaJw.dpuf

3. http://theiodineproject.webs.com/addadhdautism.htm

4. Hamza RT1, Hewedi DH, Sallam MT. (2013) Iodine deficiency in Egyptian autistic children and their mothers: relation to disease severity. Arch Med Res. 44(7):555-61. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24120386

5. http://www.fao.org/docrep/004/y2809e/y2809e0i.htm

6. Abraham GE. The Concept of Orthoiodosupplementation and Its Clinical Implications. https://www.optimox.com/pics/Iodine/IOD-06/IOD_06.htm

7. http://www.webmd.com/women/hashimotos-thyroiditis-symptoms-causes-treatments#1

8. Abraham GE. The History of Iodine in Medicine Part I: From Discovery to Essentiality. http://optimox.com/pics/Iodine/IOD-14/PUB_14.htm

9. Abraham GE. The historical background of the Iodine Project. http://www.optimox.com/pics/Iodine/IOD-08/IOD_08.htm

10. Abraham GE. The History of Iodine in Medicine Part II: The Search for and the Discovery of Thyroid Hormones. http://optimox.com/pics/Iodine/IOD-15/PUB_15.htm

11. Kelly FC. “Iodine in medicine and pharmacy since its discovery , 1811-1961.” Proc R Soc Med, 1961; 54:831-836. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1869599/

12. Abraham GE. “The safe and effective implementation of orthoiodosupplementation in medical practice.” The Original Internist, 2004; 11(1):17-36. http://www.hakalalabs.com/Research/Abraham_OI_Mar04.pdf

13. Fallon Morell S. The Great Iodine Debate (2009) The WestonA. Price Foundation, http://www.westonaprice.org/modern-diseases/the-great-iodine-debate/

14. Abraham GE. The Wolff-Chaikoff Effect: Crying Wolf? https://www.optimox.com/pics/Iodine/IOD-04/IOD_04.html

15. Brownstein D. The Cancer-Iodine Connection, (2015) http://www.newsmax.com/Health/Dr-Brownstein/iodine-cancer-cell-death-fish-oil/2015/06/10/id/649877/

16. 6-Iodolactone, key mediator of antitumoral properties of iodine, M. Nava-Villalba, C. Aceves, (2014) Prostaglandins & Other Lipid Mediators 112, 27-33. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/263856609_6-Iodolactone_key_mediator_of_antitumoral_properties_of_iodine

17. Bacteriological Analytical Manual, R40 Lugol’s Iodine Solution (2001), http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodScienceResearch/LaboratoryMethods/ucm062245.htm

18. Review of Atomidine, International Wellness Directory, http://www.mnwelldir.org/docs/reviews/atomidine.htm

19. Material safety data sheet, http://www.mnwelldir.org/docs/history/Iodine_Trichloride.pdf

20. Abraham GE. The historical background of the Iodine Project http://www.optimox.com/pics/Iodine/IOD-08/IOD_08.htm

21. Abraham GE and Brownstein D. A Rebuttal of Dr. Gaby’s Editorial on Iodine. (2005) Townsend Letter, The Examiner of Alternative Medicine, http://www.townsendletter.com/Oct2005/gabyrebuttal1005.htm

22. Christianson A. http://www.integrativehealthcare.com/why-i-discourage-high-dose-iodine/

23. Dach J. http://jeffreydachmd.com/iodine_is_safe

24. Gaby A. http://www.townsendletter.com/AugSept2005/gabyiodine0805.htm

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pH ADJUST ALKALINIZING FORMULA – NEW PRODUCT!

Dr. Hank Liers PhD pH Adjust alkalinizing mineral formulaFred Liers PhD pH Adjust alkalinizing mineral formulaToday HPDI launches a new product: pH Adjust. The new formula was created by Dr. Hank Liers, PhD. As its name implies, its primary application is to help balance pH levels in the body. That is, to support the creation of alkaline conditions — or alkalinization.

Because pH Adjust alkalinizes the body, it thereby may effectively counteract overly acidic conditions (acidosis), including acidic conditions in the digestive tract, blood, kidneys, and other organ systems.

 

pH Adjust

Our newest product pH ADJUST

Given the fact that acidosis—including chronic, low-grade acidosis—is common among individuals living in industrialized nations consuming high-levels of processed foods and other acid-forming foods, pH Adjust represents a simple, yet powerful means for achieving a healthy acid-base balance in the body.

HPDI specializes in the formulation of nutritional supplements, including vitamin formulas such as multivitamins and other foundational supplements, advanced antioxidant formulas, high-RNA superfoods, and various mineral products, including magnesium. pH Adjust may be considered a mineral product. Yet, it is different than any other HPDI formula.

That is, pH Adjust is not primarily formulated to provide nutrients to meet nutritional needs. Rather, the formula supports optimal health by facilitating improved acid-alkaline balance in the body. It may be used to effectively neutralize acidic conditions, and help counteract the tendency toward acidosis that persists among many individuals.

THE IMPORTANCE OF pH BALANCE

Health experts know that pH balance is extremely important, and that acidosis in the body contributes to various states of less than optimal health. It is known that acidic conditions can lead to adverse effects in many bodily systems, including the circulatory system, immune system, skeletal system, excretory system, muscular system, and reproductive system.

Chemically, pH stands for hydrogen ion concentration. The pH scale runs from 7 to 14, and pH 7 is considered neutral. A pH value of less than 7 is considered acidic whereas a pH value of greater than 7 is considered basic or alkaline. In the body, the ideal pH is somewhat alkaline: 7.30 to 7.5.

For therapeutic purposes, individuals can for short periods of time (from a few days to a couple weeks) raise their pH levels to 8.0. That is, short-term increases in pH (to 8.0) can be useful for rapidly changing conditions in the body from acidic to basic (alkaline).

DIET AND pH (ACID-BASE) BALANCE

Herman Aihara (author of Acid & Alkaline) and others have contributed to our understanding of acid and alkaline states in the body, and the roles played by foods in creating either conditions of acidity or alkalinity. In general, protein foods are “acid-forming” foods whereas most vegetables are “alkaline-forming” foods. A table of acid and alkaline forming foods are on our website at Effect of Food on Body Chemistry.

Thus, proteins (containing more nitrogen) tend to form acids in the body whether or not they themselves are acid, and vegetables (containing more potassium) tend for form bases in the body whether or not they themselves are basic. This fact supports the importance of vegetables in the diet not only for nutrients, but also as a means for ensuring acid-base balance.

An excellent food that provides a high potassium content is Dr. Hank’s Vegetable Soup. This soup tastes great and can help to keep a healthy acid-base balance in the body.

An excellent article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1998 looked at the key factors that determine acid-base balance in the body. Their conclusion was: “In summary, the results of this study indicate that in normal humans eating ordinary whole-food diets, the major determinants of differences in NEAP rate (net endogenous acid production) among subjects are differences in the protein and potassium content of the diet and that the absolute rate of net endogenous acid production for a given diet can be predicted simply from knowledge of the diet’s protein and potassium content.”

Potassium-containing foods provide the body with potassium that it can use to create alkaline conditions. Sodium can also support alkaline conditions in the body. In fact, potassium and sodium work together in the sodium-potassium pump that pumps sodium ions out of cells and potassium ions into cells using ATP, and that performs many essential functions, including nutrient transport, cell-volume regulation, and nerve conduction.

Danish chemist Jens Christian Skou shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for having discovered this pump, i.e., the ion-transporting enzyme, Na+K+ -ATPase in 1957 while at the University of Aarhus in Denmark.

It is notable that most individuals in Western societies obtain more than sufficient sodium and often less than sufficient potassium. Excessive sodium intake is associated with adverse effects on cardiovascular health.

In an interview with Dr. Richard Passwater in 2001, Dr. Richard Moore said: “When I looked at all the published data for both potassium and sodium in the diet—or in the urine which reflects the diet-and then looked at the incidence of hypertension, I could see that, as the K Factor (ratio of potassium to sodium in the diet) got above one or two, there was significantly less hypertension (high blood pressure). Actually a diet with a K Factor of three or above is not bad, but, for practical purposes, I think a K Factor above four is a better goal. Of course, even higher than that would be better in terms of general health. I say this based upon the fact that our ancestors had a K Factor of about 16 to 1 and we evolved having a K Factor something like that.”

Based upon this information, we have chosen a 3:1 ratio of potassium to sodium in the pH Adjust formula so that it consistent with a heart-healthy diet.

MEASURING pH LEVELS

The best way to measure pH levels is to use litmus paper. HPDI offers litmus paper in rolls (Hydrion brand) for this purpose providing about 100 tests per roll. You can test salivary or urinary pH. In order to test salivary pH, simply use a small strip of pH paper to dip into a small amount of saliva. Advantages of pH paper include rapid results, ease of use, and cost effectiveness.

litmus paper pH Adjust alkalinizing formula alkaline

Using pH paper is a fast, easy means to measure pH accurately

The color of the litmus paper indicates the pH level in saliva. Most litmus paper comes with an indicator chart showing colors corresponding to various pH levels. Alkaline states will generally produce a dark green, blue or purple color (most basic). Acidic states will range from yellow (most acidic) to light green.

Salivary pH and urinary pH are significantly affected by recent food consumption and other factors, so it it best to test pH hours after meals. We prefer to measure urinary pH since results are more consistent. Measuring urinary pH is a simple as placing a few drops of urine on the paper or dipping the paper into a sample cup.

It is best to measure your pH in the morning before consuming foods or drinks. Salivary and urinary pH are affected by recent food consumption, so re-test several hours after eating, and additionally throughout the day.

A consistent pH measurement of less than 7.0 indicates that you are too acidic (values less than 6.2 show extreme acidity). This indicates that you should consume more alkaline forming foods and/or take pH Adjust. A single dose of pH Adjust can change conditions in the body from acidic to alkaline within a few hours.

MINERALS: POTASSIUM, MAGNESIUM, AND SODIUM

As we mentioned, pH Adjust is not primarily formulated to provide minerals or other essential nutrients. HPDI has other products (like multivitamins and single-nutrient formulas) for that purpose.

However, pH Adjust is a mineral providing formula. That is, it provides potassium (in the forms of bicarbonate and glycinate), magnesium (in the form of carbonate), and sodium (in the form of bicarbonate).

And while the levels of potassium (141.6 mg or 4% daily value) and sodium (47.8 mg or 2% daily value) per dose of pH Adjust are relatively small, the level of magnesium is significant (105 mg or 26.3% daily value).

Moreover, the levels of these minerals in pH Adjust are balanced, so that sufficient potassium is obtained relative to sodium, and that sodium remains low in the formula (for reasons previously considered).

Note that the amounts of minerals listed (above) are obtained per dose, so additional doses will correspondingly increase the amounts of minerals. However, multiple doses should not significantly increase sodium levels. For example, more sodium may be obtained from a single salty snack than one or two doses of pH Adjust.

pH Adjust alkalinizing formula supplement facts alkaline

Supplements Facts table from pH Adjust product label.

DOSE INFORMATION

One dose is 1/4 teaspoon. For extremely acidic conditions, you can take 4–10 doses per day, depending on the level of acidity and using pH paper as a guide to ensure that pH levels remain balanced. That is, the goal is to balance pH and to not become too alkaline (a condition of alkalosis may occur above pH 8.2).

INFORMATION FROM THE PRODUCT PAGE (INTEGRATEDHEALTH.COM)

pH ADJUST may be used to increase salivary and urinary pH; counteract overly acidic conditions in the digestive tract, blood, and kidneys; and to supplement the body with the minerals potassium, magnesium, and sodium.  The product contains (in powder form) potassium bicarbonate, magnesium carbonate, potassium glycinate, and sodium bicarbonate. Each serving (about ¼ tsp) contains about 300 mg of bicarbonate, 260 mg of carbonate, 142 mg of potassium, 105 mg of magnesium, 48 mg of sodium, and 100 mg of glycine.

NUTRITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS AND APPLICATIONS

The minerals potassium, sodium, and magnesium are key substances that are involved in many important functions in the body. When combined in bicarbonates (potassium & sodium), carbonates (magnesium), and glycinate (potassium) these chemicals can help to adjust and balance pH that are crucial to body function.

The processed food diets with a high protein content consumed by many people in the US and elsewhere produce conditions in the body of acidity. This in turn leads to decreased oxygenation of our cells and a greater use of anaerobic processes in metabolism. This, in turn, leads in inadequate ATP (energy) production and the presence of unwelcome anaerobic cells and organisms.

BICARBONATE

Bicarbonate is a major element in our body. Secreted by the stomach, it is necessary for digestion. When ingested, for example, with mineral water, it helps buffer lactic acid generated during exercise and additionally reduces the acidity of dietary components. Additionally, it has a prevention effect on dental cavities. Each ¼ tsp of pH ADJUST contains about 300 mg of bicarbonate.

Bicarbonate is present in all body fluids and organs and plays a major role in the acid-base balances in the human body. The first organ where food, beverages and water stay in our body is the stomach. The mucus membrane of the human stomach has 30 million glands which produce gastric juice containing not only acids, but also bicarbonate.

The flow of bicarbonate in the stomach amounts from 24.4 mg/hr for a basal output to 73.2 mg/hr for a maximal output. Thus at least 500 mg of bicarbonate is secreted daily in our stomach. This rate of gastric bicarbonate secretion is 2-10% of the maximum rate of acid secretion. In the stomach, bicarbonate participates in a mucus-bicarbonate barrier regarded as the first line of the protective and repair mechanisms. On neutralization by acid, carbon dioxide is produced from bicarbonate.

Effects of ingested bicarbonate: For digestion, bicarbonate is naturally produced by the gastric membrane in the stomach. This production will be low in alkaline conditions and will rise in response to acidity. In healthy individuals this adaptive mechanism will control the pH perfectly. To modify this pH with exogenous doses of bicarbonate, some clinical experiments have been conducted with sodium bicarbonate loads as high as 6 g. Only a transient effect on pH has been obtained. It is quite possible that bicarbonate in water may play a buffering role in the case of people sensitive to gastric acidity. Thus bicarbonate may be helpful for digestion.

The most important effect of bicarbonate ingestion is the change in acid-base balance as well as blood pH and bicarbonate concentration in biological fluids. It has been studied particularly in physically active people. Among the types of acid produced, lactic acid generated during exercise is buffered by bicarbonate. In a study on sports, a dose of 0.3 g per kg of body weight of sodium bicarbonate was given (15.25 g bicarbonate for a man of 70 kg) to subjects before performing 30 minutes cycling. While blood pH was increased and then maintained constant with this bicarbonate load due to the changes in blood bicarbonate concentrations, increased acidity and decreased bicarbonate blood concentration were observed in controlled subjects.

Prevention of renal stones: Bicarbonate also reduces the acidity of dietary components such as proteins. As an example, adding sodium or potassium bicarbonate to subjects on a high protein diet known to acidify urine and leading to hypercalciuria (high level of calcium in urine) has been shown to greatly reduce calcium urinary excretion. The effect has been observed with 5.5 g of bicarbonate supplement received daily for two weeks. A recent study highlights that a bicarbonate-rich mineral water could be useful in the prevention of the recurrence of calcium oxalate and uric acid renal stones.

Controls water absorption: many oral hydration solutions contain bicarbonate showing the usefulness of bicarbonate to control water absorption in patients at risk of dehydration.

Maintains blood pressure: Sodium intake is restricted in patients with hypertension, but it is demonstrated that the accompanying anion, such as bicarbonate, plays an important role. It is now well established that sodium bicarbonate does not raise blood pressure to the same extent as do the corresponding amounts of sodium chloride.

Decreases dental plaque: Bicarbonate has been shown to decrease dental plaque acidity induced by sucrose and its buffering capacity is important to prevent dental cavities. Other studies have shown that bicarbonate inhibits plaque formation on teeth and, in addition, increases calcium uptake by dental enamel.

CARBONATE

pH ADJUST contains about 260 mg of carbonate (and 105 mg of Mg) in the form of magnesium carbonate. Magnesium carbonate is used as an antacid that gets converted to Magnesium Chloride (MgCl) and CO2 by stomach acid. MgCl is a well absorbed form of magnesium.

MINERALS

The functions of the key minerals in pH ADJUST are described below. Each serving (about ¼ tsp) of pH ADJUST contains 142 mg of potassium, 105 mg of magnesium, and 48 mg of sodium.

POTASSIUM BENEFITS

Potassium levels influence multiple physiological processes, including:

  • Resting cellular-membrane potential and the propagation of action potentials in neuronal, muscular, and cardiac tissue. Due to the electrostatic and chemical properties, K+ions are larger than Na+ions, and ion channels and pumps in cell membranes can differentiate between the two ions, actively pumping or passively passing one of the two ions while blocking the other.
  • Supports hormone secretion and action
  • Improves vascular tone
  • Regulates systemic blood pressure
  • Increases gastrointestinal motility
  • Required for acid–base homeostasis
  • Supports glucose and insulin metabolism
  • Plays role in mineralocorticoid action
  • Supports renal concentrating ability
  • Regulates fluid and electrolyte balance

MAGNESIUM BENEFITS

Magnesium levels influence many physiological processes and functions. These include:

  • Increases energy by greater production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) in cells
  • Supports production and function of over 300 enzyme systems in the body
  • Relaxes muscles / reduces muscle tension
  • Boosts vitality, endurance, and strength
  • Improves cardiovascular / heart health (relaxes cardiac muscle)
  • Relieves pain, including chronic pain
  • Ideal for arthritis / fibromyalgia / joint pain
  • Improves health of skin and mucous membranes
  • Eases headaches and migraine headaches
  • In sports medicine — replenishes Mg levels for energy (combats fatigue, and
    soothes pain and sore muscles)
  • Improves mood and reduces stress
  • Increases memory and cognitive functions
  • Boosts immune system
  • Improves assimilation of calcium / builds stronger bones
  • Balances calcium and magnesium levels in cells
  • Proven antimicrobial and antiseptic
  • Raises DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) levels naturally
  • Eases menopause and premenstrual syndrome (pms)
  • Supports healthy libido (and endocrine system)
  • Anti-aging, rejuvenating, revitalizing
  • Keeps cell membranes flexible
  • Controls cholesterol production in the body
  • Regulates blood sugar levels / needed for insulin production, transport, and
    function in cells
  • Supports antioxidant systems

SODIUM BENEFITS

Sodium levels influence many physiological processes and functions. These include:

  • Helps to regulate fluid levels in the human body.
  • Preventing sun stroke or heat exhaustion by replacing the loss of essential electrolytes.
  • Supports brain function – the brain is very sensitive to change in sodium levels of the body; deficiency of sodium often manifests as confusion and lethargy.
  • Along with properly hydrating the body, it is also important to supplement one’s body with mineral-rich juices (including potassium, magnesium and sodium) to prevent muscle cramps.
  • Is an important hydrating product that defends against the free radicals that accelerate the aging process.
  • Helps to eliminates excess carbon dioxide in the body.
  • Helps to facilitate the absorption of glucose by cells, resulting in the smooth transportation of nutrients in the body’s cell membranes.
  • Supports acid/base balance by altering the proportions of acid-base alkali phosphates in the body.
  • Regulates fluids by balancing the osmotic pressure in the human body
  • Shares an association with chlorides and bicarbonates in maintaining a sound balance between positively charged and negatively charged ions.

pH ADJUST PRODUCT DETAILS

COMPOSITION: One gram (about 1/4 tsp) of pH ADJUST provides the following percentages of the Daily Value

 Amount Per Serving % Daily Value
Potassium (from KHCO3 & glycinate)
Magnesium (from MgCO3)
Sodium (from NaHCO3)
141.7 mg
105.0 mg
47.8 mg
4%
26.3%
2%

Other ingredients:  None

INGREDIENTS: Potassium bicarbonate, magnesium carbonate, potassium glycinate, and sodium bicarbonate.

DIRECTIONS: As a dietary supplement, take ¼ tsp in 4–8 ounces of purified water preferably away from food, or as directed by a health care professional.

For extremely acidic conditions (pH consistently less than 6.2), try 4–10 doses per day, depending on acidity level. you may take multiple 1/4 tsp doses at once—we ourselves often take 1 tsp in a single dose. Use pH paper to ensure pH levels remain balanced, and do not become too alkaline (alkalosis may occur above pH 8.2).

DOES NOT CONTAIN: wheat, gluten, rye, barley, oats, corn, yeast, egg, dairy, soy, GMOs, sugar, wax, artificial preservatives, flavorings, or colorings.

SOURCES & RESOURCES

Acid & Alkaline by Herman Aihara

pH Adjust

Litmus Paper (Hydrion)

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GUT HEALTH – EFFECTS OF GLYPHOSATE AND ANTIBIOTICS

Dr. Hank Liers, PhD leaky gut glyphosateFred Liers PhD leaky gut glyphosateWe recently added a category of products for Gut Health to the HPDI foundational supplements program. We did this not only because there is a documented increase in gut-related health issues, but also because we hear about gut health issues from our clients and resellers. They desire effective means for solving the gut health problems prevalent today.

One of the biggest gut health problems we see today is leaky gut syndrome. The syndrome goes by other names and encompasses various symptoms. These symptoms broadly encompass food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances.

Yet, the symptoms can also include low energy, fatigue, immune disorders, as well as obesity and blood sugar issues. It also encompasses celiac disease and certain brain disorders.

In fact, most of these gut-related conditions and symptoms today go beyond what was historically meant by “leaky gut syndrome.” Today leaky gut and the conditions associated with it largely seem to relate to a combination of factors, including modern agricultural methods, use of antibiotics and certain other pharmaceuticals, and toxic chemicals in foods and the environment.

glyphosate herbicide spray

Studies show the herbicide glyphosate adversely impacts gut health.

TOXIC INDUSTRIAL AGRICULTURE

Agriculture was not so long ago an organic affair. Chemical fertilizers were unknown, soils were healthier, and crops were at least non-GMO.

Things got worse with the introduction of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. The green revolution of the 1960s brought more changes, including the rise of monoculture crops and more dependence on chemicals.

Chemicals used in agriculture destroy soil microbes. These chemicals induce plant growth without simultaneously improving the quality of the soil. Consequently, the result is depletion of nutrients in soils. This has been proven by measurable declines in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in food crops.

When soils are continuously depleted and are nutrients are not replaced or augmented (as in Biodynamic agriculture, for example), soils have fewer nutrients. Eventually crops grown in these soils will be nutrient-poor and therefore not optimal for health. Nutrient declines in soils are significant, and soils continue to be depleted of nutrients.

The combination of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides has created an unsustainable system of agriculture that does not produce nutritious food crops. Herbicides such as 2,4-D and atrazine, and pesticides like DDT (which remains in soils) are examples of chemicals that can significantly harm human and environmental health.

The introduction of genetically modified (GMO) crops has accelerated the negative effects of industrialized farming methods. This is especially true in terms of the lowering soil-quality and adversely impacting soil microbes, reducing nutrient levels in crops, and both directly and indirectly harming human health.

GMO crops have not been properly tested for safety. The dangers of GMO crops are significant. Bt corn is a crop whose genetic modification is associated directly with gut health issues (see charts below). Bt corn was created to damage the intestines of insects, but that also damages the health of the human gut.

When combined with specialized herbicides designed for use on GMO crops, the dangers of GMOs increase significantly. The primary herbicide used for GMO crops is glyphosate, which is a mineral chelator, endocrine disruptor, and biocide with antibiotic effects that kill bacteria (beneficial and harmful) indiscriminately leading to an imbalanced human microbiome.

Glyphosate appears to be associated with an increasing number of adverse health conditions partly because many health problems can be caused or exacerbated by nutrient deficiencies, endocrine disruption, microbiome imbalances, and other toxic effects. These health conditions include leaky gut syndrome which not only may result from an imbalanced microbiome, but also from a loosening of the necessarily tight junctions in the gut wall that protect us from exposure to foreign proteins not unlike the blood-brain barrier protects our brain.

TOXIC GLYPHOSATE

Use of the herbicide glyphosate has increased dramatically in recent years. Glyphosate is the primary (but by no means the only) ingredient in the herbicide RoundUp.

Glyphosate kills plants including weeds, and it does this partly by acting as a mineral chelator that prevents the uptake of nutrients by plants. This starves the plant until it dies. However, plants genetically modified to withstand glyphosate still contain fewer nutrients and are therefore less nutritious.

Moreover, any glyphosate you consume acts as a chelator in your body that  blocks your uptake of minerals and nutrients. This will not be good, especially if the GMO foods you consume are already nutrient deficient. Glyphosate also interferes with how you uptake and process nutrients (like manganese) in ways that guarantee depletion in the body, as will be discussed further below).

gmo crops glyphosate

Source: N. L. Swanson, “Genetically Modified Organisms and the Deterioration of Health in the United States” (2013)

A major reason for increasingly larger applications of glyphosate on crops is the rise of glyphosate-resistant “super weeds.” This was not predicted to happen, but clearly it is happening. Thus, the “solution” to the development of super weeds has been simply to apply more glyphosate. This means greater amounts of poison in crops, and of course, greater profits for the herbicide company.

The problem is that glyphosate is extremely toxic. If there were a perfect storm scenario for herbicide use, then glyphosate would be one component of it. Many scientists are concerned about it, including former genetic engineers like Thierry Vrain, who now advocates growing and consuming organic foods (see more below).

Increased use of glyphosate will in turn accelerate the rise of super-resistant weeds, and accelerate damage to the health of those who consume it.

Not to mention the unknown health risks of the genetically modified (GMO) crops themselves, which are sprayed with glyphosate. How would you be able to tell which is more damaging to health, the toxins embedded in GMO crops or the sprays that soak both GMO and non-GMO crops alike. None have been properly tested, or test results are hidden or suppressed.

Beyond all this, non-GMO crops like wheat, oats, barley, beans, and nuts are routinely sprayed with glyphosate at the end of the season as a means to dry these crops to make harvesting easier. So much for trying to eat verified non-GMO.

You’re likely getting a lot of glyphosate in your diet…unless you eat 100% organically grown foods that are not contaminated with glyphosate by direct spraying, spraying for the purposes of drying, or from drift related to nearby spraying.

And with increased levels of spraying to apply more of this herbicide, the likelihood is you’re getting glyphosate not only from foods, but also from a contaminated water supply (wells, rivers, streams), and from rainfall (with more than 65% of rain samples testing positive).

GLYPHOSATE ADVERSELY IMPACTS HEALTH

A noteworthy article on the topic of glyphosate and genetically modified organisms (GMO) is N.L.  Swanson’s “Genetically Modified Organisms and the Deterioration of Health in the United States” (2013). This was originally published as a series of articles on the Seattle Examiner website.

Scientists may disagree on the level of veracity of the article, and quibble over the finer points of statistical correlation. Meanwhile, people are getting sicker, not healthier. And that is the point.

If indeed glyphosate is impacting human health adversely at even a fraction of the levels argued by Swanson, then individuals should reduce their consumption of GMO foods as much as possible to avoid health consequences.

Foods containing GMOs should be clearly labeled, like they are in many other countries. Consumers have a right to know if foods contain GMO. There is no valid objection to labeling since many other (and far less harmful) ingredients in foods are labeled. This is a transparency issue. It is the least consumers deserve.

In July 2016, the US enacted the so-called DARK Act, which requires labels for GMO products. However, this law is far weaker than the Vermont law that preceded it. The US law preempts state laws. It represents a poor attempt to address consumers’ desire for labeling of GMO foods. It offers no standard labeling requirements, nor any means to enforce compliance for companies that fail to label. And while some may consider the US law progress for consumers, consider that in Europe GMO labeling went into effect back in 1997 – nearly 20 years ago.

In addition, proper scientific testing of the health effects of GMOs and in particular the herbicide glyphosate, as well as the adjuvants and surfactants contained in glyphosate-containing products—and how these ingredients act synergistically—must be carried out. Consumers should never be guinea pigs when science is available that can protect them and help them make informed decisions.

Not unlike tobacco companies that suppressed and downplayed the harm of their products, today’s purveyors of agricultural chemicals (and especially GMOs and glyphosate) are not particularly concerned about the adverse health effects of their products. In fact, it appears to be just the opposite, as studies indicating harmful effects frequently have been suppressed.

Several of the studies used to indicate safety of GMOs were short-term studies (three months) conducted by companies who make and sell the products themselves without peer review or release of data. Whereas longer-term, independent studies indicate probable harm to health, therefore showing the precautionary principle was disregarded in approving GMOs for human consumption.

In order for consumer to protect themselves, GMO labeling is a minimum measure. Most nations already require clear labeling or ban GMOs.

AVOID ANTIBIOTICS IN FOODS AND ELSEWHERE

The use of antibiotics in livestock results in a tainted food supply. This means that foods ingested contain antibiotics that damage and destroy beneficial microbes in the human gut. This contributes to reduced microbiome diversity and paves the way for a takeover by harmful bacteria.

Then there is the overuse of antibiotics in human medicine. The use of antibiotics significantly damages microbiome health and diversity. The importance of the microbiome for human health is such that antibiotic use that kills beneficial bacteria and imbalances the gut flora is proven to reduce overall health and can contribute to major health problems throughout life. This is especially true when antibiotics are used in childhood when the microbiome is establishing itself.

Glyphosate is not considered an antibiotic per se, but it exerts antibiotic-like effects. That is, glyphosate destroys microbes by acting on the Shikimate pathway, and therefore acts like an antibiotic. This pathway is not present in human beings, but is present in plants and most microbes important for the health of the human gut.

Glyphosate interferes with the synthesis by gut bacteria of aromatic amino acids (including tyrosine and tryptophan) as well as methionine. This leads to shortages in critical neurotransmitters such as serotonin and melatonin as well as folate.

There is evidence to show that glyphosate produces resistance to antibiotic drugs, just as overuse of antibiotics themselves contributes to the increase of so-called “superbugs,” or bacteria resistant to most or all antibiotics. This fact is another reason glyphosate contributes to the health problems relating to antibiotic use and to gut health issues, in particular.

The overuse of antibiotics both in humans and animals is an ongoing problem with many authorities calling for a reduction in use so that antibiotics are not rendered useless by the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.

Current policies regarding antibiotics virtually guarantee that not only will microbiome health be harmed by the consumption of antibiotic tainted foods and by the use of antibiotics too easily prescribed, but also that harmful bacteria will become stronger rendering antibiotics less useful in applications where they are truly needed.

An interesting fact in this regard is that Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a gram-negative bacteria, is a major problem in hospitals today due to its resistance to multiple antibiotics. It is one of only three bacterial species that can break down glyphosate. However, it produces formaldehyde as a by-product. Formaldehyde is a well-established neurotoxin. It is likely that the growth of this harmful bacteria is stimulated by the presence of glyphosate in the gut.

Avoidance of antibiotics in foods and when not medically necessary are ways individuals can help keep themselves healthy.

ENDOCRINE DISRUPTION

While this article deals primarily with the topic of gut or gastrointestinal health, it is noteworthy that glyphosate is considered to be an endocrine disruptor.

Endocrine disruption is associated with birth defects, reproductive problems (like infertility), breast cancer, and developmental problems in babies and children before and after birth, as well as a host of other health effects.

Endocrine disruptors are common in the environment, and we have written about them in previous posts. Glyphosate’s role as an endocrine disruptor is important not only because it is another harmful element among its many dangers, but also simply because of its ubiquitousness in the environment.

The amount of glyphosate spray in the US and the world in extraordinary. As weeds have become resistant to glyphosate (leading  to the rise of super weeds), the solution has been to spray more of it. Therefore, the amounts to which individuals are exposed have skyrocketed along with the increase in its application on crops and elsewhere.

Also, as noted, the practice of spraying glyphosate as a desiccating agent on non-GMO crops (such as wheat, oats, sugar cane, and peanuts) contributes significantly to human exposure. So too does “household” use in gardens and use by municipalities for spraying to decrease “weeds” in public places, such as parks and schools.

NUTRIENTS, HORMONES, AND NEUROTRANSMITTERS DISRUPTED BY GLYPHOSATE

Dr. Stephanie Seneff is a leading researcher in the area of the harmful effects of glyphosate. The following YouTube presentation by Dr. Seneff and Dr. Sachin Patel (interviewer) provides a wealth of information for the reader and is highly recommended: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpoGUPwe40c

In Dr. Seneff’s presentations she has pointed out that the following nutrients, hormones, and neurotransmitters are disrupted by glyphosate:

  1. Folate, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and cobalamin (Vitamin B12).
  2. Aromatic amino acids and methionine
  3. Iron, manganese, cobalt, selenium, zinc, and sulfur
  4. Serotonin, melatonin, dopamine, epinephrine
  5. Melanin (skin tanning agent), thyroid hormone
  6. NAD, glutathione (key antioxidant defenses)

Clearly it would be wise to take in foods and nutritional supplements that could replete the body with these  substances.

In order to compensate for these effects of glyphosate Dr. Seneff recommends the following supplements:

  1. Curcumin (see HPDI CURCUMIN C3 COMPLEX)
  2. Garlic
  3. Vitamin C (see HPDI PRO-C™ and Ultimate Protector™)
  4. Probiotics (see Prescript-Assist™)
  5. L-5-Methytetrahydrofolate (see HPDI 5-MTHF)
  6. Vitamin B-12 (see HPDI Methylcobalamin)
  7. Glutathione (contained in HPDI GLU-NAC Plus)
  8. Taurine (contained in HPDI Hepa Plus)

GLYPHOSATE DISRUPTS PROTEINS AND ENZYMES RELYING ON GLYCINE

Recently, Dr. Seneff and collaborators have identified the fact that glyphosate – a glycine amino acid based molecule – can disrupt a large number of enzymes in the body by inserting itself into proteins during the synthesis process where glycine would normally be inserted. When this happens, the function of the enzyme is completely negated. For further details see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snNRfAfSeUk

LEAKY GUT AND BT TOXINS

Another class of worrisome genetically modified crops are Bt corn and other Bt crops (cotton, potato, and soy). Note that there are also glyphosate tolerant/resistant strains of corn (maize), so all types of GMO corn are potentially hazardous to health.

Bt corn is a variant of maize genetically altered to express proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. Thousands of different Bt strains exist that produce proteins toxic to insect pests. Particular strains are chosen to target specific plant pests, such at the European Corn Borer (ECB).

 When an insect consumes Bt-containing plant tissues, one or more Bt proteins become activated in its gut, creating toxins that paralyze its digestive system and form holes in its gut wall.

Bt toxins bind to receptors in the insect’s gut. This causes the  gut wall to break down and allows toxins, as well as normal gut bacteria to enter the insect’s body. Toxins and bacteria proliferate in the insect’s body causing death. Notably, many insects have developed resistance to glyphosate, just as have weeds.

It has been noted by commentators that the human digestive system appears to be damaged in a similar way by proteins in Bt corn. In any event, as the number of acres planted with Bt corn increases, it appears that human digestive disorders also increase.

irritable bowel syndrome gut health bt corn

Source: N. L. Swanson, “Genetically Modified Organisms and the Deterioration of Health in the United States” (2013)

Disorders of the digestive system associated with Bt toxins not only include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and constipation, but also Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

inflammatory bowel disease crohn colitis gut bt corn

Source: N. L. Swanson, “Genetically Modified Organisms and the Deterioration of Health in the United States” (2013)

While the effects of the Bt toxin are different than those of glyphosate and other chemicals in glyphosate-containing crop chemicals, the fact is that evidence shows that the Bt toxins appear to adversely impact gut health.

KEY TAKEAWAY: CONSUME 100% ORGANIC DIET

Among key takeaways from examining the literature of problems associated with antibiotic use, as well as with the chemicals associated with modern agriculture and genetically modified foods (i.e., glyphosate and other herbicides, pesticides, and various surfactants and adjuvants used with them): Choose to eat organic foods as much as possible for best health.

Only by consuming organic foods can individually significantly reduce the amount of glyphosate, pesticides, antibiotics, and other harmful chemicals in the diet to support good health in general, and gut health in particular. Organic foods are also more nutrient dense, and therefore more nutritious.

After it is understood how current industrial agricultural methods contribute to damaging human health, then organic foods can be seen as a solution helping ensure avoidance of most or many of harmful elements in foods.

Organically grown foods may be tainted by drift or by toxins in the soil existing before the adoption of organic farming methods. Yet, the amounts of such toxins will be significantly reduced overall by consuming organic foods. The longer-term solution is adoption of organic methods (and corresponding reductions in use of chemicals and GMOs in agriculture) that will result in a cleaner, safer food supply for all.

Some say that organic foods are no better, or cost too much, or do not improve health. But the truth is that they are better, should not cost more, and are far more sustainable for human and planetary health. In fact, at this point in time, consuming organic foods may be the only practical solution for avoiding health problems, especially gut-health problems, associated with industrialized, chemically based agricultural methods.

Growing food yourself is another option, as is purchasing organic or locally grown organically grown produce at your Farmer’s Market. These foods will not be sprayed with toxins and will not suffer the same level of nutrient declines found in conventional produce. Having even a relatively small garden at home will allow you to supplement organic foods you obtain locally. Some neighborhoods support community gardens where you can grow foods organically.

Between consuming foods you grow, purchasing organic or non-sprayed produce locally and/or at natural foods stores, emphasizing grass-fed, free-range animal products (e.g., eggs and meats), and reducing meals at restaurants that serve conventional foods (as well as ordering organic and non-GMO foods whenever possible), you can largely bypass or reduce the toxicity and gut-health issues associated with the toxins and GMOs in foods sold in grocery stores and ubiquitous in our food distribution system.

A 100% organic diet is recommend, entirely possible, and at the very least a worthy goal. It will pay dividends in terms of good health and how you feel.

Others recommend to detoxify from glyphosate by consuming an organic diet.

AVOID WHEAT, GLUTEN, AND SIMPLE CARBS

Wheat stands out as a singular food to avoid. It been hybridized beyond all recognition with many genes being added because wheat genes are additive. The wheat protein gluten has been linked to many types of health problems.

Gluten has long been a problem for gut health. Now with glyphosate being sprayed directly on wheat crops (as well as oats, sugar cane, and peanuts) as a desiccating agent, it seems that opening tight junctions in the gut and then having exposure to gluten is a prescription for disaster.

glyphosate wheat leaky gut intestinal infection

Glyphosate increasingly is sprayed on wheat (a non-GMO crop) for drying before harvest. How does poisoning wheat this way make sense?

Some commentators (like Wheat Belly author William Davis, MD) show that gluten is linked with obesity, diabetes, celiac disease, and many others.

Avoidance of wheat, gluten, and other simple carbohydrates is a good idea if you would maintain and retain good gut health.

celiac glyphosate wheat goo

Celiac disease has significantly increased with the practice of spraying glyphosate on wheat.

HEALTH EFFECTS LINKED TO GLYPHOSATE

In the article “Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases,” Stephanie Seneff and Anthony Samsel state that there are many pathologies to which glyphosate may contribute:

“The pathologies to which glyphosate could plausibly contribute, through its known biosemiotic effects, include inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, depression, ADHD, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, multiple sclerosis, cancer, cachexia, infertility, and developmental malformations.” (Entropy 201315(4), 1416-1463; doi:10.3390/e15041416)

SUMMARY

Industrial agriculture, including the practices associated with the cultivation of GMO crops, harms the soils and human health.

Dangers to human health from industrial agriculture and GMOs includes harm to gastrointestinal health. This encompasses many conditions, including Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Leaky gut does not always result from a single cause, but can involve multiple factors, including exposure to glyphosate (and its adjuvants), Bt toxins, depleted nutrient levels, wheat and wheat protein (gluten/gliadin) exposure, microbiome imbalances or disruption, antibiotic use or consuming foods containing antibiotics, other chemical exposures, and additional factors.

Ways to avoid leaky gut: 1) Consume a 100% organic diet, 2) Avoid GMOs, 3) Avoid antibiotics, 4) Maintain a healthy microbiome, 5) Avoid wheat and simple carbohydrates (and simple sugars), 6) Improve nutrient levels through diet and dietary supplements, 7) Use specific supplements that help restore and maintain gut health 7) Detoxify on a regular basis using juices, herbs, and other practices.

We will continue writing articles for blog series on the topic of gut health. In coming months, we will write about various means for improving gastrointestinal structure and function. These means include restoring tight junctions in the gut using Restore (lignite formula).

 

SOURCES & RESOURCES

Center For Food Safety (CFS)

Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT)

The Detox Project (Glyphosate Portal)

ARTICLES & STUDIES

Glyphosate-based herbicides are toxic and endocrine disruptors in human cell lines

Genetically Modified Organisms and the Deterioration of Health in the United States“, N. L. Swanson, MIT

Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases

Plants have a microbiome just like humans — and it could transform how our food is produced

Understanding Glyphosate Toxicity: Interview with Genetic Engineer Thierry Vrain (Mother Earth News)

HPDI-RELATED ARTICLES

Gut Health – Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula

Amending the HPDI Foundational Supplement Program

Microbiome, Diet, and Prescript-Assist Probiotic and Prebiotic

Kidney Cleansing with Juices & Herbs

Liver Cleanse with Juices & Herbs

Rejuvenation Program: Part 2 (Detoxification)

Death by One (Or Two) Thousand Cuts

Dr. Mark Sircus’s blog article at www.DrSircus.com:
“Apples – Pectin – Intestinal Formula”

BOOKS

Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain for Life by Dr. David Perlmutter

Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar – Your Brain’s Silent Killers by Dr. David Perlmutter

Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health by Dr. William Davis

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INTESTINAL REJUVENATION FORMULA

PRESCRIPT-ASSIST™ Probiotic Formula (soil-based organisms)

RESTORE For Gut Health (lignite formula)

PROLYT
(proteolytic enzymes)

DIGASE
(full spectrum plant enzymes)

Nascent Iodine

Magnesium Oil, Flakes, Gel

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FOLATE INGREDIENTS – FOLINIC ACID & 5-MTHF

Dr. Hank Liers, PhD 5-MTHF and Folinic Acid folate coenzymeFred Liers PhD 5-MTHF and Folinic Acid folate coenzyme

It is important to know that our scientific knowledge of the B vitamin folate has undergone significant changes in the last 10 years based upon some amazing research studies.

We have come to understand that the biologically active and naturally ocurring folate forms of L-5-methyltetrahydofolate (5-MTHF) and 5-formyltetrahydrofolate (folinic acid) are significantly more effective than folic acid, which is a synthetic oxidized form of folate.

For many years (at least since the 1940s), the only form of folate used in supplements and fortified foods was folic acid. However, a significant body of research has shown that supplemental folic acid may actually accelerate cognitive decline in some older individuals. Folic acid also is being linked to increased risk of colon and rectal cancers, increased risk of childhood asthma born to folic-acid supplemented mothers, and accelerated growth of pre-existing tumors.

Many studies have indicated that a large portion of the population (about 50%) have genetic deficiencies in the enzymes (such as MTHFR) that do not allow the body to properly metabolize folic acid into coenzyme forms needed for proper body function.

Unfortunately, journalists and even many medical professionals haven’t understood that folic acid is not the same as the naturally occurring vitamin folate. Even today, much of the medical mainstream use the terms “folic acid” and “folate” interchangeably. Yet, folic acid is not the same as folate!

The good news is that the folate coenzymes of 5-MTHF and Folinic Acid are now readily available for use in nutritional supplements and are being incorporated into products by knowledgeable companies.

WHAT IS FOLATE?

Folate is a water-soluble B vitamin that is naturally present in foods. Folates are  commonly consumed through a diet of green leafy vegetables, sprouts, fruits, brewer’s yeast, animal products such as milk and dairy products, egg yolk, and liver. Formerly known as “folacin,” folate is the generic term for both naturally occurring food folate and folic acid.

spinach folate

Spinach and other green leafy vegetables provide naturally occurring folate.

When consumed, food folates are often hydrolyzed to the monoglutamate form in the gut prior to absorption by active transport across the intestinal mucosa. Passive diffusion also occurs when pharmacological doses of folic acid are consumed.

Before entering the bloodstream, the monoglutamate form is reduced to tetrahydrofolate (THF) and converted to either methyl or formyl forms. However, both of the metabolically active (coenzyme) forms 5-methyl tetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) and 5-formyl tetrahydrofolate (also known as folinic acid) are found in foods and can enter the cells with no further modification.

Unfortunately folates contained in foods are unstable and susceptible to oxidation; they rapidly lose activity during food processing, manufacturing and storage and have a bioavailability range of 25–50%, depending on the kind of food. Fresh leafy vegetables stored at room temperature may lose up to 70% of their folate activity within three days and a cooking process in water can increase the loss to 95%.

Humans cannot synthesize folate and because of its water soluble nature, the body stores folate to a limited extent. For this reason folate represents a dietary requirement and must be consumed by diet.

FOLATE DEFICIENCY

Folate deficiency represents one of the most common nutritional deficiencies and may occur when dietary intake is inadequate, when an increased need is not matched by an increased intake (particular physiological conditions such as pregnancy, lactation, child growth), when there is altered absorption/excretion (or losses) and when metabolism or drug use interferes with the ability of the body to use folate.

Several conditions can lead to nutritional folate deficiency. These not only include enzyme defects, malabsorption, digestive system pathology, and liver disease, but also conditions with a high rate of cell turnover such as rapid tissue growth (infants, kids and adolescents), and pregnancy and lactation.

In severe cases deficiency can cause many clinical abnormalities, including macrocytic anemia, cardiovascular diseases, birth neural tube defects (NTDs) and carcinogenesis. Folate deficiency is associated with elevated levels of homocysteine, cerebrovascular and neurological diseases, and mood disorders.

MANY BENEFITS OF FOLATE COENZYMES

Folate coenzymes are responsible for the following metabolic functions and benefits:

1) Formation of purines and pyrimidines, which in turn are needed for synthesis of the nucleic acids DNA and RNA. This is especially important during fetal development in the first trimester in preventing birth defects, such as neural tube defects.

2) Formation of heme, the iron-containing protein in hemoglobin

3) Interconversion of the 3-carbon amino acid serine from the 2-carbon amino acid glycine

4) Formation of the amino acids tyrosine from phenylalanine and glutamic acid from histidine

5) Formation of the amino acid methionine from homocysteine (Vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin also is needed for this conversion). Elevated levels of homocysteine have been implicated in a wide range of health disorders including atherosclerosis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression. In the reconversion of homocysteine to methionine the body uses the methionine to make the important amino acid s-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) which is known to be helpful in cases of depression.

6) Synthesis of choline from ethanolamine

7) Formation and maturation of red and white blood cells

8) Conversion of nicotinamide to N’-methylnicotinamide

Numerous drugs are known to inhibit the body’s ability to utilize folate, including: 1) aspirin, 2) cholesterol lowering drugs, 3) oral birth control pills, 4) antacids, and 5) methotrexate when used for rheumatoid arthritis. When taking these drugs (and many others) it is recommended that you take at least 800 mcg daily of folate, preferably as 5-MTHF and folinic acid.

When taking folate it is recommended that you take adequate amounts of Vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin.

DISCUSSION OF FOLATE FORMS

The figure (1.1) shown below provides an overview of how the three forms of folate we will be discussing are metabolized in the cell. Basically the diagram shows that there are two major uses of folate in the body 1) Those dealing with methylation reactions and 2) those dealing with nucleotide biosynthesis, e.g., the production of DNA and RNA.

On the bottom left the diagram shows that 5-MTHF can directly enter the cell and be used for methylation reactions such as the conversion of homocysteine into methionine. On the bottom right the diagram shows that 5-formyl tetrahydrofolate (folinic acid) can directly enter the cell and be used for nucleotide biosynthesis after a few enzymatic conversions.

The top of the diagram shows that folic acid can enter the cell, but must go through a series of enzymatic conversions in order to accomplish what 5-MTHF and folinic acid can accomplish. The box in the lower middle of the diagram indicates where the MTHFR enzyme (see the line with the #5) deficiency can block the metabolism of folic acid.

The diagram shows that all of the important reactions can be accomplished by either 5-MTHF or folinic acid as they can be converted to one another by a series of enzymatic reactions. An important study (see abstract below) has indicated that at least in some cases the presence of a MTHFR enzyme deficiency does not impede the conversion of folinic acid into 5-MTHF.

Folate Metabolism 5-MTHF and Folinic Acid

1.1. Diagram of Folate Metabolism from Vitamin Analysis for the Health & Food Sciences by Ronald R. Eitenmiller and W.O. Lander, Jr.

FOLIC ACID: Once isolated and exposed to air natural folates in food becomes unstable and breaks down, and are generally no longer useful in nutrition. But a small amount of natural folate can be transformed by oxidation (a natural process) into folic acid, a much more stable form with a very long shelf life.

While human and animal cells cannot use the folic acid molecule itself in their normal metabolic processes, human cells (principally the liver) can transform folic acid back into many of its metabolically useful folate forms. That is why folic acid—despite not being found in food—can do so much nutritional good. The best-known example is the prevention of birth defects including spina bifida, cleft lip, and cleft palate.

As we age, however, our bodies become increasingly slower at transforming folic acid into usefully metabolized folates. That’s probably the reason scientists are finding that folic acid (not folate) is associated with cognitive decline in the elderly. Some of these studies have shown significantly elevated levels of unmetabolized (and therefore not useful) folic acid building up in the bloodstreams of supplemented older individuals.

In addition to worsening folic acid metabolism with age, there are also a significant number (as high as 45 percent or more in some populations) of survivable human genetic defects of folate metabolism (MTHFR deficiency) which make it more difficult or, in some circumstances, impossible for sufferers to make metabolic use of folic acid.

We believe it is time to make folic acid supplements a part of history, and use only forms of naturally occurring folate when we use supplements. Although my company produces a liquid folic acid supplement that has been especially useful for some pregnant women who are experiencing gum problems, we have been incorporating the coenzyme form Folinic Acid into supplements for over 10 years, and recently introduced the metabolically active form L-5-MTHF.

A small amount of folic acid (100–200 micrograms, the amount found in many multiple vitamins at present) is not likely to be a major problem for most people. However, more taken daily for years just might raise your long-term risk of colorectal cancer, cognitive decline, or other symptoms of elevated levels of homocysteine. If higher amounts are unavoidable (for example, until all prenatal vitamins switch from folic acid to folate), taking additional folate as 5-MTHF and Folinic Acid will very likely offset the folic acid still found in the multiple. In this regard, I have over the last five years eliminated folic acid from all of the multivitamins and B-Complex vitamins that we now make available.

FOLINIC ACID: Also known as 5-formyl tetrahydrofolate, it is one active form in a group of vitamins known as folates. In contrast to folic acid, a synthetic form of folate, folinic acid is one of the forms of folate found naturally in foods. In the body folinic acid may be converted into any of the other active forms of folate.

Compared to folic acid, folinic acid is expensive costing about 100 times more. However, the fact that the body only requires small amounts (less than one mg) means that one can obtain a two month supply of folinic acid for less than $10.

Folinic acid has been available as a supplement for more than 10 years and as such has been the form most used as a replacement for folic acid.

5-MTHF: Also known as L-5-methyl tetrahydrofolate, it has been difficult to obtain until recently. An Italian company has made a patented form available (Quatrefolic®) that is combined with a vegetarian glucosamine. This form is particularly stable and highly bioavailable.

5-MTHF costs about 400 times more than folic acid. However, because the body requires less than one milligram (1 mg) on a daily basis, a person can buy a two-month supply for about $20.

5-MTHF is now readily available on the market, thereby making it possible to purchase at reasonable prices both coenzyme forms of folate.

ANXIETY, MIGRAINE HEADACHE, AND VASCULAR PROBLEMS

As we noted, the importance of natural coenzyme forms of folate is highlighted by the large number of people who cannot convert folic acid to folate usable in the body because they lack the enzymes necessary to make this conversion due to genetics, aging, or faulty metabolism.

For the nearly half of all persons (in some populations) having the functional variation (i.e., mutation) on the MTHFR gene resulting in MTHFR deficiency makes them unable to convert folic acid to a folate form like 5-MTHF that usable by cells. This not only means that their bodies have problems processing B-group vitamins, but also can mean they suffer significant deficiencies (as well as elevated blood folate).

Folate deficiencies can lead to anxiety and panic attacks. Moreover, they can lead to other mood issues, miscarriages, as well as vascular conditions. Recall that elevated levels of homocysteine are associated with folate deficiency.

Another area of interest is research indicating that up to 20% of individuals who carry the MTHFR gene experience migraine headaches.

The effectiveness of natural folates for migraine headaches in persons with MTHFR deficiency is becoming more widely known. Here is a TEDx talk by Prof. Lyn Griffiths from the Griffith Health Institute in Australia showing her work with MTHFR deficiency and migraine (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOgbmF0jYd4). This aspect of her work is highlighted near the end of her talk.

The use of natural folates to help individuals suffering from migraine headache is an area holding great promise.

SUMMARY

Folic acid is not the same as folate. Folic acid can present problems in persons lacking the enzymes necessary to convert it into usable forms. Folic acid can also build up in the body in potentially toxic ways.

Supplementing with naturally occurring coenzyme folates, such as 5-MTHF and folinic acid makes sense given advances in our understanding of how the body utilizes dietary folates.

HPDI incorporates natural folate forms into all of its multivitamins and folate products.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

ABSTRACTS

Conversion of 5-formyltetrahydrofolic acid to 5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid is unimpaired in folate-adequate persons homozygous for the C677T mutation in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene.

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10958818

Abstract

Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) catalyzes the synthesis of 5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid (5-CH(3)-H(4) folic acid), the methyl donor for the formation of methionine from homocysteine. A common C677T transition in the MTHFR gene results in a variant with a lower specific activity and a greater sensitivity to heat than the normal enzyme, as measured in vitro. This study was undertaken to determine the capacity of homozygotes for the MTHFR C677T transition to convert 5-formyltetrahydrofolic acid (5-HCO-H(4) folic acid) to 5-CH(3)-H(4) folic acid, a process that requires the action of MTHFR. Six subjects homozygous for the C677T transition (T/T) and 6 subjects with wild-type MTHFR (C/C) were given a 5-mg oral dose of (6R:,S:)-5-HCO-H(4) folic acid. Plasma and urine were analyzed for 5-CH(3)-H(4) folic acid concentrations using affinity/HPLC coupled with fluorescence or UV detection. The mean areas under the curves created by the rise and fall of plasma 5-CH(3)-H(4) folic acid after the oral dose did not differ between the two genotypes, 424.5 +/- 140.3 (T/T) vs. 424.1+/- 202.4 h.nmol/L (C/C). There also was no significant difference in the mean cumulative 7-h urinary excretion of 5-CH(3)-H(4) folic acid between the T/T (2.5 +/- 1.4 micromol) and C/C (1.9 +/- 1.0 micromol) genotypes. Under the conditions employed, the conversion of oral 5-HCO-H(4) folic acid to 5-CH(3)-H(4) folic acid is not impaired in persons with the T/T MTHFR genotype. Possible reasons for these findings are discussed.

 

Folate, folic acid and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate are not the same thing.

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24494987

Abstract

1. Folate, an essential micronutrient, is a critical cofactor in one-carbon metabolism. Mammals cannot synthesize folate and depend on supplementation to maintain normal levels. Low folate status may be caused by low dietary intake, poor absorption of ingested folate and alteration of folate metabolism due to genetic defects or drug interactions. 2. Folate deficiency has been linked with an increased risk of neural tube defects, cardiovascular disease, cancer and cognitive dysfunction. Most countries have established recommended intakes of folate through folic acid supplements or fortified foods. External supplementation of folate may occur as folic acid, folinic acid or 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF). 3. Naturally occurring 5-MTHF has important advantages over synthetic folic acid – it is well absorbed even when gastrointestinal pH is altered and its bioavailability is not affected by metabolic defects. Using 5-MTHF instead of folic acid reduces the potential for masking haematological symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, reduces interactions with drugs that inhibit dihydrofolate reductase and overcomes metabolic defects caused by methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase polymorphism. Use of 5-MTHF also prevents the potential negative effects of unconverted folic acid in the peripheral circulation. 4. We review the evidence for the use of 5-MTHF in preventing folate deficiency.

Is 5-methyltetrahydrofolate an alternative to folic acid for the prevention of neural tube defects?

 Abstract

Women have higher requirements for folate during pregnancy. An optimal folate status must be achieved before conception and in the first trimester when the neural tube closes. Low maternal folate status is causally related to neural tube defects (NTDs). Many NTDs can be prevented by increasing maternal folate intake in the preconceptional period. Dietary folate is protective, but recommending increasing folate intake is ineffective on a population level particularly during periods of high demands. This is because the recommendations are often not followed or because the bioavailability of food folate is variable. Supplemental folate [folic acid (FA) or 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-methylTHF)] can effectively increase folate concentrations to the level that is considered to be protective. FA is a synthetic compound that has no biological functions unless it is reduced to dihydrofolate and tetrahydrofolate. Unmetabolized FA appears in the circulation at doses of >200 μg. Individuals show wide variations in their ability to reduce FA. Carriers of certain polymorphisms in genes related to folate metabolism or absorption can better benefit from 5-methylTHF instead of FA. 5-MethylTHF [also known as (6S)-5-methylTHF] is the predominant natural form that is readily available for transport and metabolism. In contrast to FA, 5-methylTHF has no tolerable upper intake level and does not mask vitamin B12 deficiency. Supplementation of the natural form, 5-methylTHF, is a better alternative to supplementation of FA, especially in countries not applying a fortification program. Supplemental 5-methylTHF can effectively improve folate biomarkers in young women in early pregnancy in order to prevent NTDs.

 

 

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Adverse Hormone Impacts from Benzene, Xylene, and Other Solvents

Dr. Hank Liers, PhD vitamin d deficiencyFred Liers PhD vitamin d deficiency

Awareness of the adverse effects on the human hormone system due to endocrine disrupting chemicals is increasing. In particular, four of these chemicals – benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene – are ubiquitous in the air and various consumer products.

HPDI’s Rejuvenation Program offers a comprehensive set of recommendations for health and wellness, including suggestions for avoiding and preventing toxicity, as well as detoxification. HPDI recommends avoiding unnecessary exposure to hormone-impacting (endocrine disrupting) chemicals and solvents, as well as products containing or made from them.

Today we republish a recent article from the Environmental News Network for the benefit of our readers who may wish to avoid unnecessary exposures to benzene, tolulene, ethylbenzene, xylene, and similar chemicals. ~

Scientists Warn of Hormone Impacts from Benzene, Xylene, Other Common Solvents

Researchers warn that benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene may disrupt people’s hormone systems at levels deemed “safe” by feds

April 15, 2015
By Brian Bienkowski
Environmental Health News

Four chemicals present both inside and outside homes might disrupt our endocrine systems at levels considered safe by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to an analysis released today.

hormone

Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene & xylene are extracted from wellheads during oil & gas extraction.

 

The chemicals – benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene – are ubiquitous: in the air outside and in many products inside homes and businesses. They have been linked to reproductive, respiratory and heart problems, as well as smaller babies. Now researchers from The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX) and the University of Colorado, Boulder, say that such health impacts may be due to the chemicals’ ability to interfere with people’s hormones at low exposure levels.

TEDx MidAtlantic
Theo Colborn, who passed away last December, was a co author on the new study.

“There’s evidence of connection between the low level, everyday exposures and things like asthma, reduced fetal growth,” said Ashley Bolden, a research associate at TEDX and lead author of the study. “And for a lot of the health effects found, we think it’s disrupted endocrine-signaling pathways involved in these outcomes.”

Bolden and colleagues – including scientist, activist, author and TEDX founder Theo Colborn who passed away last December – pored over more than 40 studies on the health impacts of low exposure to the chemicals.

(Colborn also co-authored “Our Stolen Future” along with Dianne Dumanoski and Pete Myers, founder of Environmental Health News and chief scientist at Environmental Health Sciences.)

They looked at exposures lower than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s reference concentrations for the chemicals, which is the agency’s estimated inhalation exposure level that is not likely to cause health impacts during a person’s lifetime.

Many of the health problems – asthma, low birth weights, cardiovascular, disease, preterm births, abnormal sperm – can be rooted in early disruptions to the developing endocrine system, Bolden said.

The analysis doesn’t prove that exposure to low levels of the chemicals disrupt hormones. However, any potential problems with developing hormone systems are cause for concern.

“Hormones are how the body communicates with itself to get work done. Interrupt that, you can expect all sorts of negative health outcomes,” said Susan Nagel an associate professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health School of Medicine who was not involved in the study.

Cathy Milbourn, a spokesperson for the EPA, said in an emailed response that the agency will “review the study and incorporate the findings into our work as appropriate.”

The “EPA is screening thousands of chemicals for potential risk of endocrine disruption,” she said. “As potential risk of endocrine disruption is identified, these chemicals are assessed further.”

The four chemicals are retrieved from the wellheads during crude oil and natural gas extraction and, after refining, are used as gasoline additives and in a wide variety of consumer products such as adhesives, detergents, degreasers, dyes, pesticides, polishes, and solvents.

Ethylbenzene is one of the top ten chemicals used in children’s products such as toys and playground equipment, according to a 2013 EPA report. Toluene is in the top ten chemicals used in consumer products such as fuels and paints, the report found.

chart

All four get into indoor and outdoor air via fossil fuel burning, vehicle emissions and by volatizing from products. Bolden said studies that measure the air in and around homes and businesses find the chemicals 90 to 95 percent of the time.

Katie Brown, spokeswoman for Energy in Depth, a program of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, said in an email that the study suggests “products deemed safe by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission are more dangerous than oil and gas development.

“Contrary to their intentions, what this report actually shows is that people should be no more afraid of oil and gas development than products in their home,” she said.

The Consumer Specialty Products Association, a trade group that represents companies that manufacturer consumer goods including cleaning products, pesticides, polishes, would not comment on the study but a spokesperson said that member groups typically don’t use the chemicals mentioned.

In several of the monitoring studies Bolden and colleagues examined, levels of the chemicals were higher in indoor air than in outdoor air, suggesting that people might be exposed within their homes.

“A lot of time indoor air is poorly circulated,” Bolden said.

Nagel cited a “huge need” to look at the impact of exposure to ambient levels of these chemicals. The study highlights “a whole lot we don’t know” about how these compounds may impact humans, she said.

Using human tissue cells, Nagel’s lab has previously shown that the chemicals can disrupt the androgen and estrogen hormones.

The authors said regulators should give air contaminants the same attention they’ve given greenhouse gas emissions recently.

“Tremendous efforts have led to the development of successful regulations focused on controlling greenhouse gases in an attempt to reduce global temperatures,” the authors wrote in the study published today in Environmental Science and Technology journal.

“Similar efforts need to be directed toward compounds that cause poor air quality both indoors and outdoors.”

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Read this article on the Environmental News Network (ENN): http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2015/apr/endocrine-disruption-hormones-benzene-solvents