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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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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.”

===

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

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DEATH BY ONE (OR TWO) THOUSAND CUTS

Fred Liers PhD avoidance toxins thousand cutsI’m not too much of an alarmist. Or a sensationalist.

But lately I’ve been thinking about how to build optimal health. I’ve written and edited a series of articles about Rejuvenation, including the topics of detoxification and avoidance of toxins. I’ve  also blogged on liver and kidney detoxification, intestinal cleansing, and juicing for health.

I agree with individuals (nutritionists, herbalists, and others) who say, “the strongest defense is a good offense.” Meaning that when you start implementing many healthy practices, they tend to build health in ways that mere avoidance cannot. For example, when you combine regular juicing with a great diet, exercise, nutritional supplements, and a powerfully positive outlook.

However, today I’m thinking about avoidance. About defense. About how difficult it can be for many people to avoid the very things in their environments that undermine health.

Knowing what things to avoid is a matter of education. But it’s also about vigilance, establishing healthy routines, and developing a mental filter that emphasizes “natural” thereby supporting a systematic system of avoidance that centers on natural living.

Toxins are everywhere avoidance

Preventing exposures to toxins is one key to optimal health.

AVOIDANCE IS PREVENTION

One might well ask why avoidance is so necessary. It’s probably the least enjoyable and most difficult aspect of creating optimal health. It’s not even fun to talk or write about. Because who wants to spend their time thinking about things to avoid?

It’s obvious that avoiding toxic pesticides is desirable. But it’s not so much fun asking your neighbor not to spray 2,4-D on her lawn. Or finding out which ingredients in snacks at your child’s school or camp are genetically modified (GMO). Yet, these are often very essential things.

NOT UNLIKE YOUR CAR

Another way to view avoidance is to take the analogy of your body as a automobile. You routinely spend time taking care of it, changing the oil and other fluids, rotating the tires, etc. You never wait until the oil is degraded, the tires go bald, or the timing belt is about to break before taking the actions necessary to keep your vehicle in good operational order.

But then you find yourself facing bad roads, potholes, extreme temperatures, bad weather, and other challenges. Some challenges are expected and that’s part of the reason you take good care of it. The conditions of the road are rarely under your control even if you can select your route. But that doesn’t mean you drive recklessly or pretend real dangers don’t exist. They do. And once your car lies stuck in a ditch, it’s much harder to get it out than simply preventing it from going there in the first place.

Keeping your car out of the ditch is the essence of avoidance. Because just preventing your vehicle from getting stuck in a ditch gives you far more options for taking evasive actions. Most of which will help keep your vehicle operational.

Avoidance of toxins is prevention. It’s taking care to ensure your “vehicle” (i.e., body) is kept as clean and pure as possible in a toxic world. It’s defensive driving at its finest.

 DEATH BY A THOUSAND TOXINS?

The title of my article may sound extreme. But what’s more extreme is the actual situation we face in our toxin-laden, industrial civilization. The truth is that there are toxins prevalent in our air, water, soil, homes, and in foods that make it nearly impossible not to have a significant level of exposure and contamination.

The toxins I’m talking about include everything from pesticides and GMOs to heavy metals, VOCs, plastics and endocrine-disrupting chemicals, halogens like fluoride and chlorine, as well as toxin-laden household and personal products.

There are many reasons why we face toxic exposures not just daily, but continuously. And that’s the problem. Each toxin we face may be mildly harmful, dangerous, or even deadly by itself (especially in large quantities or when a person is acutely exposed).

But when the effects of these toxins are considered together, they act synergistically in ways that can be complex and not always easily measured by studies that focus solely upon one of them.

That’s a problem with traditional toxicity studies. A particular chemical may exhibit moderately toxic effects, but when combined with one or more other toxins may result in a “cocktail” that is many times more toxic than (would ever be guessed by looking at the data for) any one of them. Moreover, when toxins combine in such mixtures, they interact in unexpected and unpredictable ways. Mixtures can exhibit exceptionally adverse effects.

Furthermore, toxic substances affect different individuals in different ways (depending on things like biochemical individuality, genetic predisposition, previous exposures, and even blood type).

For example, it is now known that contaminants (e.g., endocrine disrupting chemicals) interact with genes in ways that traditional scientific analytical methods used to assess toxicity did not acknowledge. These interactions can occur even at extremely low levels.

While toxins harm everyone, unborn children as especially at risk. That is, exposures in the womb can set in motion health conditions that will play out over the course of a lifetime.

One thing is certain: our bodies are under assault. In fact, studies show the blood of the average person (including babies) contains hundreds of synthetic chemicals, including hormone disruptors like bisphenol A (BPA).

The effects of exposure to the many toxins prevalent in our homes and offices, as well as in the air, water, and soil are not always cumulative effects resulting in death, as they are overall reductions health, vitality, and wellness.

Adverse effects may include weakened immunity, toxicity in the body, reduced capacity to detoxify, allergic responses, nutrient deficiencies (e.g., due to increased requirements for nutrition), and other health-harming effects.

SELF RESPONSIBILITY – BECAUSE NO ONE WILL DO IT FOR YOU

One of the foundational elements in the HPDI Rejuvenation Program is “self responsibility.” That is, if you really want to become healthy, then you must take it upon yourself do whatever it takes to become healthy. That means focusing on what creates health. And that almost always means “natural.”

Self-responsibility doesn’t mean you don’t learn from others (of course, you will!!), but it means self-reliance in the sense of discovering the truth about what works best for you. Again, that will almost always mean “natural.”

TOXINS, TOXINS EVERYWHERE

Just one US state has passed anything resembling comprehensive legislation regarding toxic chemicals, for example. That law is California’s Proposition 65 (Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act). It covers about 800 chemicals and substances known to the state to cause certain types of harm (cancer, reproductive health issues, etc). There are plenty of things it doesn’t cover (like GMOs). Other states and the Federal government should follow the lead of California, and go even further with the intent to protect consumer health.

The failure of the federal government to go beyond banning or reducing “acceptable” levels of specific substances (think asbestos or leaded gasoline) to pass comprehensive legislation with respect to toxics underscores the reason taking responsibility for your health is the only choice when it comes to protecting yourself and your family from the onslaught of environmental poisons we face every day.

For the most part, governments and corporations are simply not looking out for your health. Things are changing for the better (in many instances), but there is a long way to go.

For example, experts guess that there are approximately 50,000–80,000 unregulated chemicals in the United States. Many have been in use for decades with no safety testing. In recent years, there has been increased discussion about comprehensive testing for toxicity, yet only about 300 have been tested. And just a handful restricted for use as a result of testing. It has been noted that higher standards in Canada and Europe show about 10–30% of US chemicals require a stricter level of control. That adds up to at least 5,000–10,000 chemicals requiring restrictions (or bans) on their use.

…AND WEAK LAWS FAIL TO PROTECT US

A major problem is that US Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) has little power to regulate toxic chemicals. Most of the chemicals that were already in use at the time were considered “safe.” Under that law, a chemical must be proven to be harmful in order to restrict its use instead of needing to be proven safe. Essentially, if there is no requirement for testing, then chemicals cannot be proven unsafe. Certainly, chemicals once presumed “safe” should be tested, and their use restricted if testing shows them to be unsafe.

Lawmakers agree TSCA is ripe for reform and negotiations are ongoing in the US Senate and House of Representatives. A major problem is that attempts to enact stringent “safe chemical” laws face strong opposition from the chemical industry both at federal and state levels. This results in compromise bills that appear to improve safety, but in many ways are weakened to such a degree as to render them ineffective for the purposes of significantly protecting health.

Environmental advocates point to the difficulties in revising US chemicals policy at the federal and state levels as indicative of competing interests hindering the process of developing and enacting comprehensive chemicals policy reform. At the state level, environmental groups see revisions to the California Green Chemistry Initiative (CGCI) as eliminating and weakening important provisions that would make the law effective for regulating toxic substances.

Avoidance of toxins would be easier if our laws did not permit a wide range of toxic chemicals to be used without proper regulation.

avoidance toxic pesticides herbicides consume organic foods avoid prevent

Genetically modified foods (GMOs) (soybeans above) are the most heavily sprayed of food crops.

(THESE ARE) A FEW OF THE MOST TOXIC THINGS

Toxins to which we are routinely exposure abound and surround us daily. (That sounds alarmist, and perhaps it is!!). It almost seems like a conspiracy (and perhaps that’s true, too!).

What I mean is that when one looks around and examines the toxins to which we are exposed routinely, it begins to appear that we are being poisoned intentionally. I don’t mean to suggest that someone decided we all needed a certain amount of poison daily (not unlike King Mithridates intentionally exposing himself to poisons in order to immunize himself from them in A.E. Houseman’s poem “A Shropshire Lad”).

Instead, it appears that high-level decisions made in the past (and some in the recent past) based on then-current knowledge (or no knowledge) have not been reviewed in the wake of newer, more current knowledge. That is shameful, harmful, and unnecessary. We thereby are exposed to toxic substances known to cause harm and in mixtures magnifying adverse effects in unexpected ways.

Here is a partial list of toxic substances to which routinely we are exposed:

• GMO foods and seeds (e.g., soybeans, corn, canola)

• Pesticides

• Herbicides (including RoundUp and 2,4-D)

• Fluoride (toxin halogen)

• Chorine (another toxic halogen)

• Bromine (halogen used in brominated flame retardants and certain foods)

Pthalates (plastic softeners used in vinyl, cosmetics, and thousands of other applications)

Plastics (endocrine disruptors) (especially avoid consuming foods or liquids from plastic or plastic-lined containers)

• Artificial Sweeteners (Aspartame / Nutrasweet, Splenda / Sucralose, Saccharin)

• Brominated Vegetable Oils (BVO)

• Household Chemicals (containing too many toxins to list individually)

• Lawn and Garden Chemicals

• Fracking Chemicals (typically not required to be disclosed)

• Food Additives (including artificial colorings, flavoring, and preservatives)

• Toxic Foods. A list of toxic “foods” may differ depending on individuals’ sensitivities, but for many people these are commonly toxic: wheat and/or wheat gluten, high fructose corn syrup, soy foods, etc. There are a few recent instances where harmful “foods” or ingredients have been banned (think partially hydrogenated oils), typically years after scientific studies indicated their toxicity.

• Endocrine Disruptors: A major health hazard is consuming foods or liquids from plastic or plastic-lined containers. Everyone knows about the dangers of bisphenol A, but that is just one of many of ingredients in plastics and resins exhibiting hormone mimicking effects in the body. In fact, endocrine disruptors are everywhere in our environment.

We are routinely exposed to endocrine disruptors not only because of the ubiquity of plastics, but also because many other substances (pesticides, heavy metals, phthalates, perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) (e.g., in non-stick cookware) disrupt endocrine function. This is just one of 800-pound gorillas sitting in the room. Science has shown the dangers of endocrine disruptors, but minimal efforts have been implemented to act upon this knowledge.

Our Stolen Future by Theo Colborn, et al. is a tour de force examination of the scientific studies proving the adverse effects of endocrine disruptors. Lindsey Berkson’s Hormone Deception offers practical steps you can take to protect yourself from them endocrine disruptors.

• Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs). As the world becomes ever more wired, studies are conclusively showing the adverse health effects of electromagnetic fields on human health. This topic is large enough to be subject of a future blog article.

However, there are things you can do to reduce EMF exposure, including: limiting mobile-phone use and talk time, using a speaker phone or headset for extended conversations, keeping routers and hotspots far away from users, disconnecting networks when not in use, keeping bedrooms free from electronic devices (e.g., at night), and avoiding use of devices while they download large amounts of data.

You can test the field strength of computers, laptops, “smart meters,” and wireless devices using a TriField Meter (or similar). Many different types of devices exist for homes, offices, and mobile devices that are designed to counteract the adverse effects of EMFs. Consider trying one to reduce the adverse effects of EMFs.

TOTAL TOXIC LOAD

I re-emphasize that by themselves, any one of these substances may only be mildly toxic. But when you add them up and consider their combined effects (which better reflects the reality of the environments in which most people live), they are a major force adversely affecting health. They contribute to a lack of optimal well-being, dis-ease, reduced quality of life, shortened lifespan, and earlier than necessary decline (e.g., disability, dis-ease, dementia, death).

The lack of consideration regarding the total toxic load to which the average person is exposed from unregulated chemicals and GMOs to toxins in air, water, and soil is one of the travesties of our time. Future generations will probably look at the 20th- and early 21st-century as a dark age filled with ignorance with respect to the widespread use and distribution of substances harming health.

PRACTICAL STEPS FOR AVOIDANCE

There are several important steps you can take to avoid exposures to common toxins, and thereby reduce the total load on your body and detoxification organs.

• Consume Clean Foods and Water. This means eating 100% organic (or whenever possible), avoiding GMO foods, and usually shopping at natural foods stores or growing your own foods. It also means limiting processed foods, which are usually nutrient-depleted and filled with preservatives, additives, and fillers.

My list (above) includes many items you should avoid, but artificial sweeteners are absolutely to be avoided at all costs. This means no diet sodas containing aspartame and other artificial sweeteners (as if I needed to repeat this information). Stevia and certain sugar alcohols (polyols) like erythritol are healthier alternatives, if you must use a sweetener.

Water should always be filtered. Use an undersink, countertop, or whole-house filter or filtration system to remove/reduce chlorine, fluoride, heavy metals, industrial contaminants, and other chemicals found in tap water.

Avoid plastic containers and cookware. Use glass, ceramic, stainless steel, or wood. Never use non-stick cookware. Avoid aluminum cookware.

• Clean Green. This means throwing out toxic household chemicals, including toxic cleansers and degreasers, tub and tile cleansers, glass cleaner, laundry detergents and fabric softeners (and chlorine bleach), kitchen and bathroom chemicals, etc. Replace these chemicals with natural substances baking soda, borax, vinegar, and lemon juice. In many instances, you can replace commercial products with natural products found in natural foods stores.

Read labels carefully. If you cannot pronounce an ingredient, it probably isn’t very natural and is most likely something to avoid.

• Take Care of your Body. Avoid toxic commercial personal care products. This includes most commercial soaps, shampoos and conditioners, toothpastes, deodorants, etc. Replace with non-t0xic equivalents found in natural foods stores or available online.

For example, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps offers personal care products that are much better than conventional commercial products. Uncle Harry’s Natural Products makes non-fluoridated toothpaste, organic toothpowders, and other natural products.

Use a shower-head filter, faucet filter, or whole-house filter to remove chlorine and other chemicals from shower and bath water.

• Home, Garden, and Garage. Throw out your pesticides and herbicides. Use natural alternatives like cedar oil (e.g., Red Texas Cedar), boric acid, diatomaceous earth, vinegar, or cayenne pepper (fresh, powder, or tincture). Weed by hand or use a weeder. Avoid gasoline fumes from mowers or leaf blowers. Instead use electric-powered tools and appliances.

Store paints, solvents, and automotive chemicals in minimal quantities and (as far as possible) away from where people and pets are likely to be exposed.

Place spa/pool water filters on garden hoses. A good spa/pool water filter will remove chlorine, fluoride, heavy metals, and industrial contaminants from the water you use in your yard, garden, and for pets. It will help preserve the quality of your soil. I purchase PreFresh spa/pool filters by the case and these work nicely for all purposes. (Note: If you already have a whole house filter, you may not require additional filters attached to garden hoses. But it won’t hurt, either.)

• Think ‘Natural.’ While I’ve discussed foods, household cleaners, and personal products, I haven’t covered every conceivable instance where toxic exposure require avoidance. The key is to “think natural” and to apply a “natural” mindset toward every type of product, appliance, chemical, or item you purchase, use, or store. Ask questions like “Is this something potentially toxic?” and “Is it the most natural?”

Thinking “naturally” and applying a mental “filter” that emphasizes natural (e.g., versus untested, unregulated, synthetic chemicals) among the best means to help you to maintain the most natural lifestyle possible, and systematically avoid toxins. In fact, consciously “thinking natural” can help you more than almost any type of education (especially because most of us will never take a toxicology course) in keeping your life as natural as it can be.

avoidance toxic chemicals household

Avoid toxins in commercial household products by choosing natural alternatives.

AVOIDANCE WORKS

Avoidance works extremely well when properly implemented. Today there are so many toxins in our environment that just avoiding toxic foods, household products, lawn and garden chemicals, and personal care products can mean significantly greater health for you and your loved ones.

Simply substituting natural foods and natural substances (e.g., simple, non-toxic cleaners like baking soda and vinegar) can means big differences in how you (and your loved ones) feel, look, perform, and live.

Avoidance is just one part of the HPDI Rejuvenation Program. The Rejuvenation Program is comprised of a series of practices, protocols, supplements, and health-building elements that together are designed to help create and support optimal health, healing, and well-being.

I hope you find this information useful and applicable. Avoiding and removing toxic substances from your life is one of several important foundational practices upon which stronger health can be created and maintained.

 SOURCES & RESOURCES

Preventing Toxicity: Rejuvenation Program, Part Two

HPDI Rejuvenation Program

Chemical & Environmental Toxicity Syndrome (supplement schedule)

Foundational Supplements

Rejuvenate!™ Superfoods

Ultimate Protector (Nrf2 formula)

Dr. Hank Liers Original Formulas

HPDI Main Site

BOOKS & WEBSITES

Our Stolen Future

Our Stolen Future: Revisited 15 Years Later (video)

Hormone Deception

Home Safe Home

DIY Natural Household Cleaners

Dirty Dozen List of Endocrine Disruptors (EWG)