Friday, May 9, 2014

How Environmental Toxins Can Make You Sick

By Jake Paul Fratkin, OMD, LAc
Environmental toxins have created burdens on the human body that put demands beyond our evolutionary development. Modern diseases that historically did not exist to any great degree have been rising sharply in the last 40 years.
These include autoimmune disease, diabetes, obesity, infertility and miscarriage, chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivities, irritable bowel, leaky gut, hypothyroid and adrenal fatigue.
The Present Crisis
The World Health Organization, back in 2006, stated that 25 percent of chronic illness in adults and 33 percent of illness in children under the age of five, is due to accumulation of environmental toxins. That number has gone up since then and may now approach 40 percent of chronic illness. That means that many of our patients' chronic conditions are due to accumulations of solvents, plastics and heavy metals, which damage the liver, kidney, lung, brain, lymphatic drainage system and gut lining.
Most of the toxic burden has been in the last 40 years. Currently, more than 80,000 different chemicals are used and released into the environment in the U.S. alone. At least 10 percent of these have been labeled carcinogenic. The reason only 10 percent are labeled carcinogens is because only 200 of the 80,000 chemicals have been tested by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Only five chemicals have actually been prohibited.
The Toxicant and Disease Database links chemical contaminants to 180 human diseases and conditions, including most cancers, birth defects, asthma, organ failure, infertility, miscarriage, Parkinson's and Autism. Unborn fetuses are affected the most. The cord blood of the average baby in the U.S. contains 200 chemicals that shouldn't be there. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) in its Bio-Monitoring Study (2005), found accumulated toxins in all age groups. Plastics and solvents comprised 48 percent of the toxic load, heavy metals 27 percent, phytoestrogens 14 percent and pesticides 11 percent.
Here are more facts to consider: leukemia, brain cancer and other childhood cancers have increased by more than 20 percent since 1975. Breast cancer went up by 40 percent between 1973 and 1998. Asthma prevalence approximately doubled between 1980 and 1995 and has stayed at the elevated rate. Difficulty in conceiving and maintaining a pregnancy affected 40 percent more women in 2002 than in 1982. The incidence of reported difficulty has almost doubled in younger women ages 18–25. Since the early 1990s, reported cases of autism spectrum disorder have increased tenfold.
I would like to offer some basic information about the main environmental toxins and their health consequences.
Pesticides And Herbicides
Glyphosate is the main ingredient in Montesano's Round-Up. Its use in the U.S. has increased 6,500 times between 1991 and 2010, and is now being integrated into the seeds of GMO wheat, corn and soy. The use in GMO seeds negatively affects both beneficial bacteria surrounding the root of the plant and upsets the healthy biosis of our own guts, leading to impaired permeability, serotonin metabolism and obesity.
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been banned since 1979 as a carcinogen. Unfortunately, they are still found throughout the environment in discarded electrical transformers and motors, and have affected the ground water especially along the Hudson River and Great Lakes. It is neurotoxic, an endocrine disruptor, and disrupts intestine epithelial integrity. It is chemically similar to dioxin (Agent Orange).
Bisphenol A (BPA) was originally developed as a synthetic estrogen in 1930, which explains why it is such a potent endocrine disruptor. Since the 1950s, it has been used as an additive in plastic production, and is found in baby and water bottles, thermal paper, CDs and DVDs. It is the plastic that coats the inside of cans. The FDA lists it as hazardous to fetus, infants and children. It reduces immune response and promotes inflammation, and negatively affects the glycogen/insulin balance. Its use has been linked to diabetes, obesity and infertility. It is one of the highest volume chemicals produced worldwide, with six billion pounds produced a year, and 100 tons released into the atmosphere. BPA has been found in 95 percent of urine samples tested.
Phthalates are used to soften plastics, and are found in plastic wrap, furniture stuffing, cosmetics, perfumes, and so on. They are found in food and the air. It is slowly being phased out because of carcinogenic evidence. High levels have been linked to asthma, eczema, estrogen receptor cancer, male infertility, insulin resistance, low thyroid, and so on. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), usually combined with up to 40 percent of phthalates, are ubiquitous – the third most widely produced plastic. It is easily breaks down into “micro-plastics” and is consumed in food and water. If burned, it releases dioxin (Agent Orange) into the atmosphere. Styrenes, made from benzene, is used in Styrofoam, rubber, insulation, automobile parts. It has been found in every blood sample ever tested since 1970. It is non-biodegradable. If liver detoxification is compromised, it is carcinogenic. It negatively affects the gut lining, liver, kidney and pancreas.
Parabens are similar to phthalates (above) in heath and toxicity issues. It is an anti-microbial preservative, and is used in cosmetics, shampoo, deodorants, toothpaste, etc. It is a strong estrogen mimic, and has been found in breast cancer tumors. Formaldehyde (and its degraded form as formic acid) is used as a preservative in vaccinations and livestock feed. It is used in the making of many glues and resins, especially particleboard and furniture padding, and out-gases easily. It is also in cleansers, paints, automobile parts, etc. It is released into the atmosphere when burned. Formaldehyde is highly toxic.
Cosmetics including lipstick, body lotions, perfume, sunscreen, mascara and deodorant, contain phthalate plasticizers, parabens, and triclosan, a pesticide. Many of the chemicals are potent endocrine disruptors, and have been linked to breast and uterine cancers.
Gasoline Additives, Solvents And Glues
Benzene and Toluene are gas additives that boost octane rating, and are also used as solvents. They are found in glues, paints, nail polish, furniture wax and detergents. Cigarette smoke accounts for 50 percent of exposure in the U.S. They have been linked to cancer, bone marrow failure and leukemia, and target the liver, kidney, lung, heart and the brain. Xylene is the leading cause of smog, and 600,000 tons are released into the atmosphere yearly. It can cause asthma, birth defects (especially cleft palate) and is a neurotoxin.
Heavy Metals
These are probably the most toxic molecules in the environment, and include mercury, lead, aluminum, and cadmium, with mercury being the worse. Most mercury exposure is from coal burning plants in the U.S. and China, and in 2010, 6,500 tons of mercury was emitted into the air. Besides affecting the air that we breathe, coal mercury precipitates in cold air down into the ocean, lakes and streams, affecting the fish we eat.
Mercury concentrations in the upper 100 meters of the oceans have doubled in the past century. Top marine predators in the Arctic Ocean including polar bears, tuna and seals, contain up to 12 times more mercury than in pre-industrial times. The other main source of mercury comes from dental amalgams, with even one metal filling emitting toxic levels into the body. Anyone seeking to detoxify mercury from their bodies should first have their amalgams removed, otherwise, the therapies will leach mercury from the amalgams into the body.
Make sure to read labels and educate yourself on the toxins that are in your daily products, a simple check can save your health. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any symptoms that can be attributed to toxins in the environment.

Jake Fratkin, OMD, LAc, has been in the practice of Oriental medicine since 1978. Following undergraduate and graduate training at the University of Wisconsin in Chinese language and philosophy and pre-medicine, he pursued a seven-year apprenticeship in Japanese and Korean style acupuncture with Dr. Ineon Moon and a two-year apprenticeship in Chinese herbal medicine with Drs. Zhengan Guo and Pak-Leung Lau in Chicago. He also spent a year in Beijing hospitals interning in advanced herbal medicine, specializing in gastrointestinal and respiratory disorders, and pediatrics. Dr. Fratkin is the author of several books, including Chinese Herbal Patent Medicines: The Clinical Desk Reference, and is the editor-organizer of Wu and Fischer's Practical Therapeutics of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In 1999, he was named the "Acupuncturist of the Year" by the American Association of Oriental Medicine.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Toothpaste and Mouth Wash

Here's a link to information about toothpastes and mouth washes and what it does to your teeth and your health.

For some reason, I couldn't copy and paste some of the information from the website.  No matter, just click on the link.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

What life is about..

Whoever tihs guy is, he understand life :)

 "When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that Happiness was the key to Life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘Happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand Life". ~ John Lennon

What to do when you have burn?

What to do when you have burn?

  A young man sprinkling his lawn and bushes with pesticides wanted to check the contents of the barrel to see how much pesticide remained in it. He raised the cover and lit his lighter; the vapors ignited and engulfed him He jumped from his truck, screaming. His neighbour came out of her house with a dozen eggs and a bowl yelling:"bring me some more eggs!" She broke them, separating the whites from the yolks. The neighbor woman helped her to apply the whites onto the young man's face. When the ambulance arrived and the EMTs saw the young man, they asked who had done this. Everyone pointed to the lady in charge. They congratulated her and said: "You have saved his face." By the end of the summer, the young man brought the lady a bouquet of roses to thank her. His face was like a baby's skin.

  A Healing Miracle for Burns:

 Keep in mind this treatment of burns is being included in teaching beginner fireman. First Aid consists of first spraying cold water on the affected area until the heat is reduced which stops the continued burning of all layers of the skin. Then, spread the egg whites onto the affected area. One woman burned a large part of her hand with boiling water. In spite of the pain, she ran cold faucet water on her hand, separated 2 egg whites from the yolks, beat them slightly and dipped her hand in the solution. The whites then dried and formed a protective layer. She later learned that the egg white is a natural collagen and continued during at least one hour to apply layer upon layer of beaten egg white. By afternoon she no longer felt any pain and the next day there was hardly a trace of the burn. 10 days later, no trace was left at all and her skin had regained its normal color. The burned area was totally regenerated thanks to the collagen in the egg whites, a placenta full of vitamins.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Another Reason Not to Eat Too Much Sugar

To Your Health
November, 2011 (Vol. 05, Issue 11)

People are quick to say that the reason we are so overweight in this country is because we eat too much and don't exercise enough. But if that was so, how do you explain the epidemic of obese six-month old babies? Are they not spending enough time on the treadmill? Any theory that tries to explain the obesity and diabetes epidemic must also be to explain this as well, or it's not a fully accurate theory. Let's look at what actually does explain this.

Everyone knows that fructose is the sugar found in fruit. And if it's found in fruit it must be safe, right? Wrong. This misconception is being perpetrated by the food industry and we are falling for it, simply because most people don't know the details or the impact. Let's take a look at those details.

First, a few basics. Fructose is the simple sugar found in fruit. Glucose is the simple sugar that our body runs on, and is the result of carbohydrates being broken down. Sucrose (white table sugar) is a 50-50 makeup of fructose and glucose. So the first thing to remember is that white table sugar also has fructose in it. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which everyone demonizes, is a combination of 55-45 makeup of fructose to glucose (typically), and since fructose is quite a bit sweeter than glucose, that little bit makes HFCS sweeter as well. You'll see in a moment, though, why white table sugar and HFCS should be viewed with the same suspicion.

The corn industry has a campaign that argues that sugar and HFCS are basically the same, which is accurate. But they're arguing that they are both safe, and that we cause health problems because we all eat too much of both. The 1986 FDA report said sugar was safe when consumed in the current amounts, which, at the time, was an average of 40 pounds per year of added sugars. It would be great if people were eating 40 pounds per year — the average these days is 140 pounds. The health problems we see are coming because of the overload and because fructose metabolizes differently and with different damage, than glucose.

We have forgotten that nature designed fruit so that we couldn't overeat fruit because one, the fiber would fill you up, and two; fruit was seasonal (you'll notice now it's not — we have blueberries available all year) so it's easy to eat too much. Keep in mind also that fruit and vegetables have been bred over the years to have a much higher sugar content than their wild counterparts.

We've been trained to think that sugar merely causes your teeth to rot, makes PMS worse, and makes people fat. But those things are mere inconveniences compared to the bodily damage glucose and fructose do — some of the results are the same for the two sugars, and some are substantially different. You could eat the same amount of calories for glucose and for fructose, but the health consequences are quite different.

Let's talk about how fructose behaves in your body. For starters, it's not at all like glucose — it doesn't trigger insulin at all, but goes directly to the liver to be metabolized. The term "low-glycemic" is often used with high fructose products (like agave nectar) which is totally accurate — it doesn't put glucose into the bloodstream at all because it has no glucose; it's all fructose. That doesn't mean it's safe, though. Because it doesn't trigger insulin, the body can't tell that it's full. And fructose also suppresses leptin (which would tell you if you were full) and does NOT suppress ghrelin (which makes you think you're hungry). The end result? Fructose has you eat more.

Fructose is also seven times more likely than glucose to make AGE's — Advanced Glycation Endproducts. They are named AGE's for a reason — they cause you to age faster. You know how if you cook sugar long enough it caramelizes? That's basically what happens in your body with glucose and fructose. When proteins in your body are caramelized like that (glycated), they are permanently damaged and can never recover. And AGE's are implicated quite strongly in Alzheimer's, cardiovascular disease, stroke, cataracts, nephropathy, heart attacks, atherosclerosis, arthritis, etc. The list is quite long. This is one of the main reasons diabetics have such health problems.

The liver takes the biggest beating in the metabolization of fructose, even more so if the fructose coming into the system is in liquid form (juice or soda, for example), as it hits the liver all at once (versus an apple, which has fiber to slow the fructose down).

The chemical reactions in the liver result in a few things, one of which is higher uric acid (which increases inflammation, and also causes high blood pressure), and the other of which is a fatty liver. A fatty liver is one of the major causes of insulin resistance, as the liver is the first tissue to become resistant. Studies are being done at the University of California to see how quickly a high fructose diet can cause a fatty liver in adults. The researchers are estimating that, with three juice or soda drinks a day; it could be as quickly as in two weeks. The research hasn't been released yet, but it has already been shown in lab animals.

The implications start to become staggering, because, between the damage that simply glucose and insulin do from high carb diets, the addition of fructose damage is starting to be linked to the shocking increase of obesity and diabetes in the last three decades. In damaging the liver, this speeds up the process of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is the conglomeration of severe health impacts from insulin resistance: high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, and a higher incidence of cancer. About 75 million Americans have metabolic syndrome — that's 1 in 4 people. And the very first symptom? An expanding waistline. Why is that? The one big fact that people often don't know is: fructose turns into fat faster than any other sugar.

Fruit juice, next to soda, is one of the biggest offenders of high fructose intake (and that's the 100% juice drinks — the ones that are 10% juice, for example, are sweetened with sucrose or HFCS). Juice has been directly correlated to increasing BMI scores in children and low-income children ingest the most, as government programs cover the cost of processed, inexpensive food.

Many people argue that HFCS is much more damaging than regular sugar but that's only slightly true in the sense that it has more fructose than glucose. But since the average American is eating 140 pounds of sugar a year (and remember, sugar is a 50-50 mix of fructose and glucose), does it really matter? It's simply an overload. It's not the bit of sugar in the holiday cookies you ate, it's that there is also fructose in the bread they had that morning (try finding a supermarket bread that doesn't have HFCS in it's ingredients), in the crackers/snack food they had that afternoon, in the soda they drink, in the spaghetti sauce out of a jar they used for dinner.

Children have it even worse. It starts with drinking formula: over 40% of formula is corn syrup solids, and over 10% is sugar (and a high sugar intake as an infant is linked to increase sugar cravings as an adult). As they get older, they are presented more and more with processed foods — fruit roll-ups, juice, candy, popsicles, lemonade, crackers, cereals... it just goes on and on. Then they go to school and with sodas in most schools, they add to the fructose load. This would be why nearly 1 in 5 children is obese.

Diabetics used to be advised to use fructose as a sweetener because it didn't trigger insulin, but you can see that the evidence is now showing that it accelerates all the health problems of diabetes, and has now stopped being recommended. And for those of us who aren't as sick, it's basically impossible, without a lot of intention, to grow up (and be an adult) and not have a high fructose intake.

So what do you do? Read the labels — most processed foods have sugar or HFCS added. Remember that sucrose is half fructose. Make as much of your own food as you can. Avoid all fruit juice and soda — this is key. Avoid crystalline fructose, which is now being added to sodas and juices — this is an even more concentrated form of fructose.

And remember not to fall for the marketing. Sugar and high fructose corn syrup are basically the same thing — and the fructose in both will, or already has, damaged you faster than you think.

Marlene Merritt, DOM, LAc, is a licensed acupuncturist and runs a wellness center in Austin, Texas. She specializes in Oriental medicine and nutritional protocols.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Wiggles and Chiropractic

Wiggling His Way To Wellness

By Brenda Duran, Senior Associate Editor

Anthony Field is one of the founding members of "The Wiggles," whose popular children's television show has spawned CDs, DVDs and even live concerts. Entertaining and teaching children is Field's passion, but the rigors of the job were taking a toll on his health. That's why Field - and the entire Wiggles group - turned to chiropractic care as a way to improve their health and keep doing what they love to do.

Eight years ago, Anthony Field, also known as the "Blue Wiggle" of the most popular and successful children's performing act out of Australia, "The Wiggles," was smiling in front of the cameras and the crowds, but grimacing in pain backstage.

 "I was more of a wobble," Field said. "I would go backstage during a show because my back was hurting so much, my knees also hurt and I had a bad neck. It was always the same; I would miss a couple of songs and then go back on."

Back in those days, Field, now 48, was also overweight and taking daily Valium and anti-inflammatory drugs for pain to get through the day. He said he was depressed and lost.

"I was eating poorly and I was slouching and not strengthening my core, and my back gave way and I got into a terrible cycle of pain. I didn't know any better until chiropractors came into my life," said Field.

Fortunately, Field has never had to return to this low point in his life, thanks to a friend's tip about trying chiropractic.

"When I first starting seeing chiropractors, it was mainly to get me out of pain. I thought, I am just going to go and get myself out of pain ... that's what I thought it was all about," Field said. "Later on, I realized they [chiropractors] can help rebuild you into the $6 million man. That's what I feel like now."

Continue to read at

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Millions of Kids' Antibiotic Prescriptions Unneeded

Children's Health - HEALTH

Study: Millions of Kids' Antibiotic Prescriptions Unneeded

Published November 08, 2011

| Reuters


Pediatricians write more than 10 million unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions—for conditions like the flu and asthma—every year, suggests a new study.

Those ailments, and others not caused by bacteria, don't respond to the drugs. But misuse of antibiotics contributes to drug resistance—so those same medications might not work in the future when they're really needed.

"Antibiotics are wonderful. There are times you really need them, the question is just being judicious about when we use them," said Betsy Foxman, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor who was not involved in the research.

The new study involved a nationally-representative sample of almost 65,000 outpatient visits by kids under 18 in 2006 through 2008. Using medical codes, researchers were able to determine the type of diagnosis kids were given, as well as what kind of drugs, if any, they were prescribed.

In total, doctors prescribed an antibiotic at one in every five visits. Most prescriptions were given out for kids with respiratory ailments, including sinus infections and pneumonia.

Some of those infections are caused by bacteria, and antibiotics are warranted. But almost one-quarter of all antibiotic prescriptions were given to kids with respiratory conditions that probably or definitely do not call for antibiotics—such as bronchitis, the flu, asthma and allergies.

That translates to more than 10 million antibiotic prescriptions each year that likely won't do any good but might do harm, Dr. Adam Hersh of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and his colleagues reported today in Pediatrics.

Half of all antibiotics prescribed were "broad-spectrum" drugs—meaning they act against a wide range of bacteria. Those "kill more of the good bacteria in our bodies and can set the child up for infections with antibiotic resistant bacteria down the road," Hersh wrote in an email to Reuters Health.

"In many of these instances antibiotics are not indicated at all," he added.

Broad-spectrum antibiotics include macrolides and certain types of cephalosporins and penicillins.

Foxman said that wiping out the non-harmful bacteria in the intestines has been linked to asthma and, recently, to obesity.

"We think of antibiotics as being wholly beneficial, but they are not very specific, they hit everything in your body," she said. "By making our microbes that are supposed to be with us disappear, we can be causing other health problems we don't know about."

And even when the drugs are prescribed for just a few days, giving them to lots of kids unnecessarily raises the risk of antibiotic-resistant infections in the kids themselves, and for society as a whole, she added.

"It's been known for a very long time... that people are prescribing antibiotics for upper respiratory infections where they have no benefit," Foxman told Reuters Health.

"To me this wasn't a big surprise, though it's certainly disturbing."

Hersh said that there are a number of reasons why doctors might prescribe antibiotics when they're not likely to help. "One reason overuse occurs is because the diagnosis is often unclear—this is common with ear infections. The decision is made to prescribe an antibiotic even though the diagnosis isn't certain, just 'to be on the safe side,'" he said.

In those cases, a "wait and see" approach in which the kid comes back to the office a couple days later might avoid an unnecessary prescription, he added.

"If your doctor suggests an antibiotic prescription, for instance for an ear infection, ask how certain the diagnosis is. If the diagnosis is still a little unclear, ask if it would be safe to wait a day or two with close follow up rather than starting the antibiotic right away," Hersh advised.

Dr. Aditya Gaur, who has studied antibiotic prescribing at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, said that parents should ask doctors why their kids are getting whatever particular medication, including antibiotics, they're being prescribed.

"Parents and families should be part of the decision and ask why (something) is being done," Gaur, who wasn't linked to the study, told Reuters Health. They should also know "not to expect an antibiotic every time an infection is diagnosed."

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