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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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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

VIDEOS

PRODUCTS

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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GUT FUNCTION BREAKTHROUGH – RESTORE

Dr Hank Liers PhD restore gut healthI have been excited about the ongoing research concerning the human biome ever since preparing my blog article entitled “A New View of the Role of Bacteria in Health” in June of 2012.

I was particularly impressed by a TED talk of Dr. Bonnie Bassler concerning how bacteria communicate with each other (“Discovering Bacteria’s Amazing Communication System“) on TED.com.

I came away from Dr. Bassler’s talk with a new understanding of who we are and how we are influenced by bacteria. The fact that our bodies house ten times the number of bacteria than the number of cells in our bodies and 100 times the amount of DNA compared to our human DNA is very impressive!! Of particular note was the fact that bacteria conduct both intraspecies and interspecies communication using carbon-based hormones.

TIGHT JUNCTIONS RESTORE GUT HEALTH

Since that time my company switched to a soil-based organisms (SBO) probiotic formula called Prescript-Assist as our main probiotic formula. The formula includes a “prebiotic” called leonardite.

Leonardite is a natural form of humates that is completely organic in nature and provides ideal conditions for “good” bacteria to grow. It is a soft, waxy, black or brown, shiny, vitreous mineraloid that is easily soluble in alkaline solutions.

Leonardite is an oxidation product of lignite, a soft, brown combustible sedimentary rock formed from naturally compressed peat. Lignite has a carbon content of 25–35% and embedded in the carbon are special carbon-based molecules that were produced by soil bacteria millions of years ago.

The amazing part of this story is that Dr. Zachary Bush—a medical doctor with extensive experience in cancer research and mitochondria chemistry—made an accidental and instant connection between the special carbon molecules of lignite and special redox molecules found in mitochondria.

Based upon his recognition of these similar molecules, he developed a formula using the lignite bacterial produced carbon molecules. He found that by adding certain trace minerals and amino acids under special conditions these carbon molecules were activated.

Upon giving his formula to human beings, Dr. Bush discovered dramatic and rapid increases in beneficial gut bacterial counts. That is, the human microbiome was significantly affected in a positive way. This is particularly important since it is known that the human gastrointestinal tract houses about seventy percent of our immune system.

restore gut health

The most amazing part of the story was then discovered. That is when the formula (called RESTORE) was given, the tight junctions in the gut were restored to their optimal condition and “leaky gut” disappeared.

What makes this discovery so special is that “leaky gut” is caused by certain toxic bacteria, gluten, antibiotics, medical anti-inflammatories, and especially the herbicide glyphosate (RoundUp) used for genetically modified (GMO) food crops. This “leaky gut” condition is endemic in our society and getting worse as we continue to take in these toxic substances in ever increasing amounts. In Dr. Bush’s experience with a very broad range of conditions, healing began to occur very quickly when RESTORE is taken.

Additionally, Dr. Bush found that when the tight junctions in the gut were restored to their optimal condition, all of the other tight junctions in the body were restored as well. These include tight junction in the blood brain barrier, the kidney tubules, blood vessels, etc. As a result many conditions in the body dramatically improved.

Dr. Bush discovered that almost all conditions of poor health are caused by chronic inflammation and he has stated that chronic inflammation is caused by a lack of communication within the cells of the body. He has clearly seen that RESTORE reinstates proper communication between the cells and greatly reduces inflammatory conditions!

HOW EXCITING!!! Based upon this almost unbelievable discovery we have decided to carry RESTORE in both 32 oz and 8 oz sizes on our retail website. We take it ourselves!!!

To learn more about RESTORE and its discovery listen to this talk by Dr. Bush.

 

Contact Us:

You can reach HPDI by calling 1-800-228-4265, email support(at)IntegratedHealth.com, or visit the retail website: www.IntegratedHealth.com

Health care professionals and retailers can apply for wholesale account, which includes access to the HPDI reseller website: www.HealthProductsDistributors.com