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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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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)