Tag Archives: toxins

Easy Detox Tip: Eat Broccoli Sprouts

Broccoli Sprouts

Air pollution is an inescapable health threat of our time, and no matter the amount of healthy choices you make, you are still vulnerable to exposure. The health effects of air pollution are many, including allergies, asthma, heart disease, lung disease, and even nerve damage. Even exercising outdoors in urban environments can increase our intake of pollutants, since strenuous exercise increases oxygen demands. Fortunately, specific dietary strategies may protect our body and brain from the effects of air pollution.

An Uncommon Fighter Against Air Pollution

An estimated 7 million deaths occur worldwide due to air pollution. [1] Researchers are constantly looking at bioflavonoids and chemical constituents in natural foods that could possibly reduce air pollution effects. A recent study looking at the effects of air pollution found it may be mitigated by broccoli sprouts, an antioxidant-rich food that is also high in beneficial enzymes. [2] Broccoli sprouts are extremely high in glucoraphanin, which initiates the production of sulforaphane. This compound increases enzymes that facilitate the removal of pollutants.

The study, including 291 participants, consumed a beverage containing freeze-dried broccoli sprout powder, whereas the control group consumed sterilized water mixed with pineapple and lime juice. Individuals consuming the broccoli sprout beverage increased their excretion of benzene, a toxic carcinogen, by up to 61%. Benzene is commonly found in our environment due to toxic emissions from heavy industry. Researchers believe the sulforaphane may be exhibiting the main protective effects, increasing the ability of cells to adapt and survive in the presence in toxic chemicals.

Air Pollution Starts in Your Home

When many people think of air pollution, an image of dirty and smoky downtown cities typically comes to mind. Our homes, however, are probably a major source of pollutants. Furniture, for instance, releases toxic flame retardants that interfere with hormonal health and may increase cancer risk. Since you live and sleep in your home, you’re probably breathing in a variety of toxins from furniture, cleaners, and even the paint on your walls. There are many ways you can reduce indoor air pollution, like finding furniture without artificial flame retardants and using non-toxic cleaning agents.

What do you do to fight air pollution? Do you think you’ll start consuming more broccoli sprouts?

References:

  1. World Health Organization. 7 million premature deaths annually linked to air pollution. WHO News Release.
  2. P. A. Egner, J. G. Chen, A. T. Zarth, et al. Rapid and Sustainable Detoxication of Airborne Pollutants by Broccoli Sprout Beverage: Results of a Randomized Clinical Trial in China. Cancer Prevention Research, 2014; DOI: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-14-0103.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

5 Benefits Of Colon Cleansing

human-colon

With additives in our food, pesticides on our crops, and pollution all around us, many might say we live in a toxic age. Sometimes all that toxic buildup can take its toll on the colon, which encumbers digestion and overall health. When your colon is backed up with toxic material, your entire body becomes sluggish and unable to perform its day-to-day tasks. Luckily, your body does a pretty good job detoxifying itself on a regular basis; however, some toxins remain in the body and require some help to facilitate removal.

5 Benefits of Colon Cleansing

Helping your body detoxify itself isn’t too difficult when you stop and think about it. Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise are two powerful components. But sometimes we need a bit more when it comes to toxins, many of which can easily store themselves in the colon. So, if you think you need a colon cleanse, or you just want to look into the idea, don’t put it off. Here are 5 great benefits of colon cleansing you should know.

1. Improves Digestion and Prevents Constipation

Constipation can make for poor digestion, and vice versa. When digestion is impaired and constipation ensues, waste products can linger in your body. This whole process can lead to the inability to absorb many of the nutrients you’re taking in, leading to a lack of energy and and hampered immune function. Detoxing your colon allows those undigested waste products to be pushed through your system and also puts some ease in your bowel regularity. Since lingering waste can breed bacteria, this purge clears the way for good nutrient absorption, thereby supporting good health.

2. Increases Energy and Concentration

Purging toxins from your colon allows energy from the intestines to place focus elsewhere, meaning your energy levels could improve. Nutrition is very important to mental health, and the weak vitamin absorption before your colon cleanse may lead to loss of concentration. In addition to you having more energy, absorption of crucial vitamins responsible for mental clarity is improved, meaning your concentration may also be supported.

3. Jumpstarts Weight Loss

Low-fiber choices are often the result of a poor diet. These foods are terrible for digestion, and typically hinder the body’s ability to register the feeling of fullness. [1] It’s very challenging to relieve yourself of low-fiber foods compared with high-fiber options, and these foods will often linger much longer in the gut. When you cleanse the colon, this matter is flushed from the system, and, in some, may lead to significant weight loss that stays off. But if you’re looking to lose weight, one study suggests that simply increasing fiber intake can also help you shed unwanted pounds. [2]

4. Supports Overall Colon Health

All the toxins you take into your body will eventually end up being processed, making it to the colon. By not cleansing your colon (and liver), these poisons can linger in the body, causing untold damage. By ridding the body of the waste, you support the many functions of your colon, including digestion and proliferation of beneficial gut flora.

5. Encourages Whole Body Detox

As previously mentioned, your body is extremely intelligent in that it is constantly detoxifying itself every day. But sometimes, in combination with environmental factors and poor lifestyle habits, it’s hard to catch up, and your body may begin showing signs of colon toxic overload. An oxygen-based cleanser may be helpful for encouraging colon–as well as whole body–detoxification by releasing oxygen in the system. Oxygen is very important for facilitating removal of toxins, as is drinking plenty of clean, fresh water.

Something to Keep in Mind

If you find yourself feeling sluggish, a colon cleanse might be just the thing you need. Be sure to research extensively before doing a colon cleanse, and always talk to your doctor to find the best solution for you. While most cleanses can be performed by virtually anyone, you need to listen to your body and do what’s right for you, keeping your past or current health history in mind, prior to making a lifestyle change.

Have you ever tried a colon cleanse or thought about doing one? Tell us about it in the comments below.

References:

  1. Klosterbuer, A. et al. Benefits of dietary fiber in clinical nutrition. Nutrition in Clinical Practice. 26 (5).
  2. Slavin, J. L. Dietary fiber and body weight. Nutrition. 21 (3).

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

The Importance Of A Kidney Cleansing Diet

cranberries

The importance of a kidney cleansing diet cannot be overemphasized. Flushing out your kidneys keeps them functioning at their best. Healthy kidneys are essential to a variety of body functions. Your kidneys help detoxify Your blood by removing toxic compounds and passing them out through the urine. If blood cleansing becomes impeded, toxins can remain and circulate throughout the body to cause harm.

The Function of the Kidneys

Healthy kidneys help manage body fluid stability by regulating the balance of sodium and water. The kidneys also manage the balance between alkalinity and acidity, and they regulate the hormones and enzymes responsible for controlling blood pressure. In addition, as mentioned previously, your kidneys help filter out toxins that build up in response to diet and the environment.

The imbalance of body water caused by toxic kidneys has been linked to negative emotional states, such as stress, paranoia, uncontrolled muscle shaking, general feelings of insecurity and fear, and even panics attacks. Kidney cleansing helps promote the optimal function of the kidneys. When in optimal health, your kidneys can purify your blood up to 60 times per day.

Teas That Cleanse the Kidneys

There are many teas that you can brew yourself that will help cleanse your kidneys.

Dandelion root removes excess water from the body by stimulating urine production. Dandelion root tea can be made by boiling 1 to 2 tsp. of organic roasted dandelion root in 8 ounces of pure water.

Ginger root and turmeric tea can be made by boiling a few dashes of turmeric powder with peeled ginger root. If consumed after lunch and dinner, the tea not only flushes toxins from the kidneys but also helps with digestion.

Cleansing with Fruits and Vegetables

You can also find many organic fruits that will help your body with kidney cleansing. Organic grapes can be eaten raw to provide nutrients and antioxidants that support detoxification. Grapes help flush uric acid and other waste products from the kidneys.

Organic cranberries provide us with quinine, a compound that is sent to the liver. Hippuric acid, which is converted from quinine, helps remove urea and uric acid from the kidneys and urinary tract. It also helps discourage bacteria from attaching to urinary tract walls. Cranberry juice is a great kidney supporter.

Organic apples are one of the best natural foods you can eat, and they also support natural cleansing. Beet juice is another great addition to help you cleanse your entire body. Check out this beets liver cleansing juice recipe.

There are also several organic cleansing vegetables that are readily available in almost every grocery store.

Garlic is a natural diuretic that helps stimulate urine production and flush out the kidneys. Cucumbers also work as a natural diuretic and can help dissolve kidney and bladder stones. Sprouts help flush out the kidneys because they contain so much water.

Onions have been reputed to help people pass kidney stones. The onions are boiled, then liquefied in a blender along with the water they were cooked in. Kidney beans, soybeans, and peas contain a vital amino acid called arginine that helps cleanse the kidneys of ammonia.

A General Rule of Thumb

Eating pure, whole, and raw foods will provide the necessary support for your kidneys as well as every other detoxifying organ in your body. Most raw leafy greens, low-sugar fruits (think berries), and nuts and seeds can support your health in numerous ways, not just for cleansing. Also, it is imperative that you drink enough pure, filtered water every day in order to provide an easier route for toxins to evacuate your kidneys. You can use distilled water for this purpose; simply add 1 tbsp. of raw apple cider vinegar to an 8-ounce glass to give it an extra boost.

What are your experiences with cleansing? Are there any foods listed here that you can’t eat? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments!


Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

The Hidden Toxins In Your Clothing

clothing on rack

Popular clothing stores, like H&M, Levi’s, and Gap, are beginning to turn their attention toward producing healthier and more environmentally-friendly clothing. [1] Increased consumer awareness around the dangers of synthetic dyes, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and phthalates in conventional clothing is fueling a drastic revolution in the fashion industry. Keeping in line with current trends, clothing retailers are finally attempting to appeal to health-conscious buyers as well as appease international health organizations.

How Toxins Invade Your Closet

During the production of clothes, toxic chemicals are used in almost every step. Synthetic fabrics are dyed with man-made chemical dying agents, fabrics are applied with toxins that make them immune to biodegradation, and many clothes contain buttons and accessories that contain known endocrine disruptors. Phthalates, for example, are sometimes found in buttons, and just a few of these worn on a person could, over time, contribute to hormonal imbalance. Common synthetic fabrics like nylon and acrylic are extremely toxic to the body and the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that inhalation of acrylonitrile, the main chemical compound used to produce acrylic fibers, shows carcinogenic potential via inhalation. [2]

Formaldehyde is essentially “baked” into fabric to make it resistant to wrinkling, which is bad news because research shows that this chemical is a human carcinogen. While it’s nice to save time and not have to iron your slacks, at what cost is this convenience factor to our future health? Nonylphenols are another class of endocrine disruptors used in some dying applications, and we’re now detecting levels of this chemical in our water. It is painstakingly clear that, for the future of our health and our planet, we must advocate for a change in the way our clothing is produced. Otherwise, we will be faced with a silent environmental and health crisis, one that may take decades to overcome.

Ways You Can Produce Change

Just as with any health movement, one of the most substantial ways to assist change is to “vote with your pocketbook.” In other words, support companies that produce organic, natural clothing as much as possible. Look for clothes made from bamboo, organic cotton, or flax, and always choose clothes produced using natural dyes. Write to your favorite clothing manufacturers to inquire what they are doing to reduce their reliance on chemicals in their clothing production. Fortunately, choosing clothes made with natural fibers is becoming easier, and the more we support these companies, the faster we will see a change in the clothing industry.

References:

  1. Elizabeth Grossman. Cotton, Cashmere, Chemicals…What Really Goes Into Making Our Clothes? Ensia.
  2. EPA. Acrylonitrile. Environmental Protection Agency.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

Does Your Workout Clothes Contain These Toxins?

jogging

Everyone knows that exercise improves your mood and supports your health. But were you aware that the toxins in your workout clothes could be undermining the health benefits you are seeking? A recent news report covering research done by Greenpeace is showing startling evidence that our clothes may be contributing to long-term health concerns, regardless of whether you exercise or not. [1]

The Chemicals and Toxins in Your Sportswear

Recent research showing that sportswear contains dangerous toxins–namely chemical dyes, polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), and solvents–has spawned an international outcry among environmentalists, health professionals, and consumers. Companies like Nike are working quickly to phase out chemical ingredients, and it’s only through more urging by consumers that other companies will follow suit.

Chemicals in clothing tend to rub off on skin, possibly contributing to endocrine disruption. When you’re active and sweating in these clothes, it may become more problematic. Researchers know that PFCs and solvents are linked with many types of cancer! Many countries, particularly those in Europe, have some type of regulation on these chemicals. In the US, however, chemicals in clothing remain unregulated.

What You Can Do

One of the best things you can do to avoid toxins in your sportswear, and in all your clothes, is to purchase 100% organic and/or 100% cotton clothing. There are also companies that make workout clothes made with hemp, flax, and bamboo. You will have to do your research and ask the company you are purchasing from if their brand uses any chemicals during production.

Are you conscious of the clothes you purchase? What was surprising about this article that stood out for you? Please give us your thoughts in the comments below!

References:

  1. Amy Westervelt. Sweat it out: could your sportswear be toxic? The Guardian.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

Are Your Candles Emitting Toxins?

candle flameCandles are great for encouraging relaxation and creating a calm, serene environment. A candle’s aroma and soft, warm glow sets a nice tone for romance, sophistication, and tranquility. Most candles today feature a variety of aromas. While refreshing they may be, the chemicals used to produce a candle’s fragrance can be toxic and can contribute to air pollution. Fortunately, there are safe options, and it’s just a matter of being conscious during your purchasing decisions.

The Health Dangers of Candles

Let’s take a quick look at the components of many candles, and how each component may be contributing to a toxic environment.

The Health Dangers of Candle Wicks

One of the main concerns over candles, besides the scents, is the wick. Different wicks are used for different purposes and they can be divided into two main categories: cored and non-cored wicks. Non-cored wicks are usually made of a braided or twisted cotton and considered the safest to burn.

Cored wicks are usually made of cotton around a paper or metal core. Zinc, tin, and lead are standard compounds used in its composition. Burning candles with lead-cored wicks is now known to cause lead poisoning, and there are similar concerns about zinc-cored wicks. In 1974, the National Candle Association of the U.S. voluntarily stopped using lead-cored wicks because of risks with airborne lead. [1] Unfortunately, many countries outside of North America still produce candles using dangerous wicks.

In 2000, the Public Citizen’s Health Research Group published a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that indicated candles with wicks containing lead were available at 12 different stores in the Washington-Baltimore area. [2] Testing showed that the candle containing the least lead would, during three hours of burning time, produce enough air lead concentration so that a normally active six-year old would exceed the recommended daily lead limit for children in 45 minutes. The authors concluded that there is no reliable method to distinguish lead-containing wicks from other metal-cored wicks.

The Health Dangers of Candle Wax

The type of wax the candle is made of and and how the candle is burned significantly affects air quality. A candle burned in a draft with a smokey, guttering flame will be emitting particulate matter in every direction. If you prefer a candle that has a metal-cored wick, ask the manufacturer what metal is in the wick. If they can’t or won’t tell you, for safety’s sake, choose another candle.

The Health Dangers of Artificial Fragrances

Beeswax and bayberry wax both contain natural scents, beeswax offering the sweet smell of honey and bayberry a spicy, fresh aroma. Scents added to wax vary in their source and composition. Originally, perfumes came from animal and vegetable sources. In the late 1800s, the first synthetic fragrances were produced and were quickly adopted as a cheaper source of aromas. Many people today are sensitive to artificial scents from perfume, candles, and even air fresheners.

Fragrance oils are specially made for particular uses, such as scenting candles, soaps, cosmetics, and potpourris. They are usually synthetic. Exact formulas for fragrances fall under the trade secrets act in the U.S., but manufacturers of the oils will normally be able to produce a Materials Safety Data Sheet which will cover the physical characteristics of the oil, physical or health hazards, and first aid treatment in case of an accident. Candle scents contain stabilizers and fixatives which allow the oils to mix with wax and give off an aroma when heated.

Essential oils are naturally-occurring oils that are extracted mainly from botanical sources. They are usually more expensive than synthetic fragrances, and may not blend well with candle wax. Natural essential oils are more volatile than synthetics and most of them are difficult to use in candles unless they have added stabilizers or fixatives.

Other Additives

Stearic acid was once the only additive available for paraffin candles and is derived from either animal fat or palm oil. It is now often replaced with Vybar, a polymer which raises the melting point of paraffin, allows scents and colors to blend evenly in the wax, and gives the paraffin some of the qualities of more expensive waxes, allowing candle makers to charge more for a cheap candle.

Microcrystallines are a group of substances derived from petroleum that are added to candles to change the texture of the wax, add gloss, increase opacity, etc. Polyethylenes are produced from natural gas. They add gloss, luster, or clear crystals to wax.

The Bottom Line on Candle Safety

When candles are lit, they emit these chemicals into the air, the air we breathe. Our bodies take the burden of this indoor air pollution with unknown toxic effects. The American Lung Association even warns people from burning scented or slow-burning candles that contain artificial ingredients. In addition, they suggest burning beeswax candles instead with metal in the wick, or candles that are greasy to the touch.

Choosing Safe Candles

Buy candles from trusted countries. Imported candles often come from countries where they employ chemicals no longer used in North America because of health concerns. Find out what the wick is made of. If your vendor can’t tell you, don’t buy it. Cotton or hemp wicks are considered to be the safest. Choose candles made from beeswax or soy wax. Avoid paraffin.

Be aware that many candle manufacturers make claims for their candles or waxes that can’t be substantiated or are untrue. No candle is “soot-free” because combustion causes soot; however, beeswax and soy wax don’t produce sticky, black, petroleum-based soot.

Do you have a safe candle recommendation? Leave a comment below and share it with us.

References:

  1. National Candle Association. FAQs. National Candle Association.
  2. Public Citizen. Millions of Dangerous Candles Sold Throughout U.S. Public Citizen.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

The Benefits Of Organic Shampoo

shampoo

Shampoo seems like a harmless enough item. But in reality, many shampoos contain chemicals that your body absorbs. Chemicals, like parabens and sulfates, interfere with the endocrine system and can up your chances for serious diseases. [1] With this reality staring us right in the face, it only makes sense that we seek out healthier, all-natural options.

Shampoo Ingredients to Avoid

When shopping for shampoo and conditioners, read the labels before purchasing. Here are a few of the specific ingredients you need to look out for:

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfates — Known to cause cataracts in adults and improper eye development in children. Regardless, it’s used in most store-bought shampoos and conditioners.
  • Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate — A surfactant moderately associated with organ toxicity.
  • Derivatives of Lauryl Alcohol — Thought to be harmful to the organ system and can cause irritation to the skin and the eyes.
  • Propylene Glycol (Antifreeze) — High concern for skin and lung irritation and organ toxicity.
  • Olefin Sulfonate (Deodorized Kerosene) — Possibly harmful to organ and hormone function, also highly irritating.

Ingredients Commonly Found in Organic Shampoo

Organic shampoos and conditioners usually contain much safer plant-based products. Tea tree is common and has been used for a long time to support scalp health and dandruff, not to mention fighting bad breath. Certified organic tea tree also has antiseptic elements that can aid in controlling naturally-occurring microbial levels that can result in different forms of scalp irritation.

Another popular ingredient in many organic shampoo and conditioner products is beta glucan. Beta glucan has immune-enhancing properties both internally and topically. [2] It helps to soothe inflamed cells of the scalp, which is particularly beneficial for people who suffer from skin conditions.

The Bottom Line: Organic is Best

True organic shampoo and conditioner products offer a wealth of benefits for your hair and scalp that will be immediately noticeable. Organic products gently infuse your hair follicles and skin cells with natural minerals, herbal extracts, and oils. If you are looking for shampoos that stimulate healthy hair growth, look for products made with aloe vera and coconut oil, as they naturally moisturize your scalp. If you need enhanced shine and moisture for your hair, organic shea butter is an important ingredient to look for in your organic shampoo.

References:

  1. Bledzka D, Gromadzinska J, Wasowicz W. Parabens. From environmental studies to human health. Environ Int. 2014 Jun;67:27-42. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2014.02.007.
  2. Heike Stier, Veronika Ebbeskotte and Joerg Gruenwald. Immune-modulatory effects of dietary Yeast Beta-1,3/1,6-D-glucan. Nutrition Journal. 2014, 13:38. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-13-38.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

What Is Body Burden?

ToxicChem-in-the-body

Every day we are bombarded with toxic compounds. The air we breathe, water we drink, food we eat, and even the homes we live in — all have some level of toxic contamination. It’s just the unavoidable nature of our industrialized world; there’s almost no safe haven. You can’t eliminate every point of exposure but you can reduce and control it. And by reducing your exposure to toxins, you’ll help reduce the effect they have on your health.

What is Body Burden?

Body burden is a term that refers to the total accumulation of toxins in your body. This can include anything from dangerous metals like lead or mercury, to pesticides, unsafe food additives, or fluoride — just to name a scant few.

Certainly your body has self-cleansing mechanisms, but if you expose yourself to more toxins than your body can eliminate, they will accumulate in your fatty tissue and organs. The greater the accumulation, the greater the stresses on your health.

Why You Should Be Concerned About Body Burden

Everyday products like plastic containers and even children’s toys can be tainted with any one of over 80,000 chemicals. Very few of these chemicals have been safety tested and almost all were given rubber stamp approval with no consideration for potential health effects.

In the “Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals,” the CDC reported that the average person in the United States has at least 212 chemicals in their blood and urine. [1] Seemingly innocuous substances like non-stick coating, fire retardants, baby products, and plastic food containers all contain some level of chemical contaminants that contribute to body burden. When you consider the fact that you’re nearly always in contact with something, it’s clear how accumulation happens.

Reducing Your Body Burden

Reducing your body burden requires an active approach. The ubiquity of toxins in the environment — the environment known as nature as well as your personal environment — requires you to be awake and actively defend yourself. Be smart about what you allow into your life. Equip your home with water and air purification devices. Consider routine colon, liver, and kidney cleanses. A comprehensive approach is the best strategy to reducing the accumulation of toxins in your body.

References:

  1. Centers for Disease Control. National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals. CDC.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

5 Ways Air Pollution Is Destroying Your Health

Health_effects_of_pollution

You probably already know about some of the dangers that severe air pollution exposure can cause and how places like stoplights at intersections can increase your exposure to harmful air particles up to 29 times more than the open road. While these facts are startling, you probably don’t know about the almost invisible dangers. [1] Namely the numerous diseases and cognitive issues now being linked to air pollution. Here we’ll get into five ways you’re letting air pollution destroy your health.

The Hidden Dangers of Air Pollution

Despite the slow turn to more sustainable forms of agriculture and industry, air pollution is still a big problem. Here are just some of the ways air pollution negatively affects your health.

1. Air Pollution is Linked to Suicide

It may seem crazy to think that air pollution could lead to something as serious as suicide, but studies in Taiwan, South Korea, China, and now Utah suggest a link. Not only is suicide the 10th leading cause of death in the US, it is the number 8th cause of death in Utah. [2] Obviously, there are many factors that must be considered when discussing causes of suicide; however, suicide rates increased in Utah during the spring and fall (a time when certain aspects of air pollution can be worse).

2. Air Pollution Slows Cognition in Schoolchildren

We all know that air pollution can exacerbate symptoms of asthma and other respiratory-related illnesses and diseases, but did you also know that it can affect brain development? Dr. Jordi Sunyer did a study to see just how affected schoolchildren are by air pollution (specifically traffic pollution). The study concluded that children who attended schools in polluted areas showed overall slower cognition in comparison to those who attended schools in areas with less traffic pollution. “The associations between slower cognitive development and higher levels of air pollutants remained after the researchers took factors such as parents’ education, commuting time, smoking in the home and green spaces at school into account.” [3]

3. Significant Risks to Frequent Flyers

Those who fly frequently (especially pilots or other airline staff) could potentially be more at risk for certain issues, dubbed “aerotoxic syndrome.” Most planes have a mechanism that compresses air from the engines and uses that as air in the cabin, but sometimes, these mechanisms malfunction and allow oil particles to taint the cabin air. Many airline employees have mentioned this, but one pilot, Richard Westgate, passed away in 2012 after claiming to be a victim of poisonous and toxic cabin fumes. [4]

4. Cremations Release Mercury Into the Air

With land for burials becoming more scarce (and also more expensive), many people turn to cremation as an alternate form of honoring the body of a loved one who has passed on. The unfortunate side effect of cremation is mercury emissions. [5] Honoring a fallen loved one should not come at the price of endangering yourself and others, but there are alternatives such as alkaline hydrolysis or “liquid cremation” that are far healthier for the environment and for you.

5. Air Pollution Linked to Autism

Autism and related disorders have been on the rise for some time and research suggests air pollution may be a contributing factor. Several reports noted a link between exposure to toxic metals and other pollutants in children who were more at risk to develop autism. Other studies focused on pregnant women and how closely they lived to freeways and other sources of heavy pollution. All of the studies found similar exposures to a handful of particular pollutants that seemed to increase the risk of autism in newborns. [6]

Air Pollution: No Simple Solution

It’s difficult to remove all air pollution from your life, unfortunately, but you can monitor and limit your exposure. Keep abreast with local news about your city or even check in on a Breathe Cam. [7] Keep plants inside your home to help remove harmful pollutants. [8] [9] Consider an air purification device, they can be a great active approach for purifying the air in your home.

How’ve you dealt with air pollution? Leave a comment and share your tips below.

References:

  1. Baggaley, Kate. Stoplights are hotspots for air pollution. Science News. 2015.
  2. Pappas, Stephanie. Utah suicides linked to air pollution. Live Science. 2015.
  3. CBC News. Traffic pollution tied to slower cognition in schoolchildren. CBC News. 2015.
  4. Campbell, Jaime. Toxic fumes in plane cabin’s pose health risks to frequent flyers, says coroner. Independent.co.uk. 2015.
  5. Lewis, Barbara. EU should curb mercury emissions from cremations, campaigners say. Reuters. 2015.
  6. Arnold, Carrie. Air pollution and ASDs: Homing in on an environmental risk factor. EHP. 2015.
  7. Keane, Jonathan. Keep an eye on your city’s pollution in real time. New Scientist. 2015.
  8. Barboza, Tony. Cleaner air is linked to stronger lungs in Southern California children. LA Times. 2015.
  9. Kinzler, Don. NASA Study: Houseplants remove harmful substances from indoors. Duluth News Tribute. 2015.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

What Is Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?

highlighted-liver

You are probably well aware of the symptoms of liver toxicity due to a poor lifestyle. Liver disease, on the other hand, is commonly prescribed to people who consume too much alcohol. Recently, another type of liver disease has been on the rise. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a different type of liver disease that is not affected by alcohol intake. [1] Instead, it is caused by the high level of accumulated fat within the liver. A normal liver is about 5 – 10% fat. Anymore than that can be harmful and lead to NAFLD or, the more threatening and harmful version, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). At its worst, NAFLD or NASH can lead to liver failure or liver cancer.

Who Is at Risk for NAFLD?

The liver acts as a filter for the body by separating helpful nutrients and discarding harmful substances. Consequently, the liver encounters many hard-to-handle toxins, as well as lipids or fat cells. Since NAFLD is affected by the amount of fat in the liver, individuals who are overweight or obese are often at risk. Also, people with diabetes or high blood pressure can develop the disease. NAFLD has also been seen in people who undergo rapid weight loss. It has been discovered that 25% of Americans are affected by NAFLD. [2] It is more common in women than in men and is also most prevalent in people ages 40 – 60.

What Are the Symptoms of NAFLD and What Does it Do?

Typically, NAFLD presents with few or no symptoms, [3] but possible signs include: fatigue, weakness, weight loss or loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, and jaundice. NAFLD is usually confirmed via blood tests and ultrasounds. The disease affects the body negatively by causing inflammation in the liver. This inflammation can lead to scarring of the liver tissue which can affect liver functions. If left unchecked, the inflammation and scarring can lead to the escalated form of NAFLD which can, as mentioned above, lead to liver failure.

How Can I Prevent NAFLD?

The best way to avoid developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is by leading a healthy lifestyle. If you eat healthy foods, especially ones that support your liver, get regular exercise, and limit your alcohol intake, you should be able to lower your risks of developing NAFLD or NASH. [4]

Has NAFLD affected you or someone you know? Leave a comment and share your experience with us.

References:

  1. Mayo Clinic Staff. Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Mayo Clinic. 2014.
  2. American Liver Foundation. NAFLD. American Liver Foundation. 2015.
  3. ACGI. Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. ACGI. 2012.
  4. Pullen, Lara C. Exercise Improves Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Medscape. 2015.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

6 Facts About Pesticides That Will Make You Angry

danger pesticides

Many Americans recognize pesticides in produce as a problem, but should you really be worried? Well, it definitely pays to be aware, if nothing else. Pesticides are linked to all sorts of health problems, after all. Let me share 6 facts about pesticides that are sure to make you angry.

  1. Pesticides Have Completely Ruined Strawberries

Toxic pesticides like fumigants are all over our strawberries—even organic ones! These poisons are released into the soil to kill off diseases, weeds, and pests before they become a problem, but now you’re left with a toxic gas in the environment—and on the berries. Fumigants are also linked to cancer. [1] Is that really something you want in your body? And while the USDA is researching alternatives, no projects are looking at strawberries. [2]

  1. Pesticides Are Destroying Male Fertility

So if strawberries are treated with fumigants, it stands to reason other fruits and vegetables use pesticides as well. When it comes to pesticides, though, there’s no such thing as safe conventional produce, but avocado, sweet corn, and pineapple seem to have the lowest residue levels. [3] But residues could even be harming male fertility. A study suggested men who eat lots of produce could have sperm counts 50% lower than men who consume smaller amounts of vegetables and fruits, and that the men who at the most fruits containing pesticides experienced 32% more abnormally shaped sperm. [4]

     3. Pesticides Are Polluting the Water Supply

In the Midwest, where farming can be big business, fertilizer runoff is polluting the water supply. Iowa’s largest water utility is even “threatening to sue three rural counties” under the Federal Clean Water Act because of drinking water contamination. [5] The main concern here is nitrates in the water, which could poison—even kill—infants. Pesticides are such a widespread problem that they’re even making their way into our oceans. Whale meat from Norway was imported to Japan; tests confirmed that it had twice the legal limit of the toxins. [6]

  1. Pesticides Are Ruining Good Wine

In some places, toxic pesticides have even made drinking to escape your problems impractical. Take some wines in France, for instance. A report found that some “300 French wines from the 2007 and 2008 vintages of the Rhône and the wider Aquitaine region,” 90 percent of those had pesticide contamination. [7]

  1. Pesticides Lead to Antibiotic Resistance

A recent study suggested glyphosate—the main ingredient in the weed killer Roundup—and two other common herbicides (2,4-D and dicamba) could be connected to antibiotic resistance. [8] After exposure to the toxins, bacteria reacted differently to common antibiotics like ampicillin, ciprofloxacin, and tetracycline. And with glyphosate also recently ruled “possibly carcinogenic to humans” by the World Health Organization (WHO), this latest study is just one more reason to stay away from herbicides. [9]

  1. Pesticides Linked to Autism

Clearly, glyphosate is bad news, but Monsanto Company—its creator—doesn’t think so: it even wants a retraction of that WHO report! But it’s not just cancer that could be a concern; one study suggested that because of glyphosate toxicity in our food supply, 1 in 2 children will have autism by the year 2025. [10] That’s a radical claim, yes, but also a potentially devastating one that can’t be ignored.

One Final Thought

We can’t even rely on the government to protect us. The EPA just says to not worry about pesticide exposure; the agency has even set “tolerance levels” for the consumer—how reassuring. And, in many cases, the laws about pesticides aren’t even being enforced. In Europe, however, they’re trying to further regulate toxic pesticides, and the U.S. is having a fit. After all, if Europe were to strictly regulate the toxins, the U.S. could stand to lose out on a multi-billion dollar import business. Unfortunately, even when our health is on the line, our government can only see dollar signs.

What do you think about pesticides? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

References:

  1. Weisenburger, D. Human health effects of agrichemical use. Human Pathology. 24 (6).
  2. United States Department of Agriculture. National Program 308: Methyl Bromide Alternatives. United States Department of Agriculture.
  3. Environmental Working Group. EWG’s 2015 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™. Environmental Working Group.
  4. Chiu, Y. H. et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and their pesticide residues in relation to semen quality among men from a fertility clinic. Human Reproduction.
  5. Rao, M. A closely watched fight brewing over nitrates in Iowa water. Star Tribune.
  6. The Japan Times. Norway whale meat dumped in Japan after pesticide finding. The Japan Times.
  7. Sciolino, E. In France, Pesticides Get in Way of Natural Wines. New York Times.
  8. Kurenbach, B. et al. Sublethal Exposure to Commercial Formulations of the Herbicides Dicamba, 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid, and Glyphosate Cause Changes in Antibiotic Susceptibility in Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. mBio. 6 (2).
  9. International Agency for Research on Cancer. IARC Monographs Volume 112: evaluation of five organophosphate insecticides and herbicides. World Health Organization.
  10. Alliance for Natural Health. Half of All Children Will Be Autistic by 2025, Warns Senior Research Scientist at MIT. Alliance for Natural Health.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

6 Toxins That Destroy Your Thyroid

thyroid

Some people believe that the thyroid is the “heart” of the endocrine system. As one of the largest endocrine glands, it plays an important role in maintaining energy levels and secreting hormones—among other things. When the thyroid’s working properly, it’s business as usual. Unfortunately, nasty chemicals can play a huge role in problems.

The Dangers of Thyroid Toxins

Toxins are present in our environment, and there’s very little we can do to eliminate all of them. We can, however, limit our exposure to toxic compounds, reducing the likelihood of experiencing issues with our thyroid. Supplementing with iodine is also an important step toward protecting your thyroid from toxic compounds. Learn these 6 toxins that can destroy your thyroid so you can prepare yourself.

  1. BPA

As an endocrine disruptor, BPA can affect hormone levels and throw thyroid function out of whack. While there are many studies documenting BPA’s effects on the thyroid in adults and children, a recent one took a different approach. [1] By looking at newborns and their mothers, the study suggested higher levels of BPA cause a decrease in thyroid function in women. All of the baby boys, though, had an increase in thyroid function from the higher levels of BPA. [2] The theory here is that the women—while pregnant—saw a drop in thyroid function and the sons’ thyroids overcompensated. While the trend did not carry over to newborn girls, avoiding BPA while pregnant just makes sense.

     2. Bromine

Bromine is toxic to the thyroid, but with it in everything from pool cleaner to pasta, finding something without the endocrine disruptor can be tricky. [3] Often, even healthy patients can have high levels of the flame-retardant substance in their bodies. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are even finding their way into the breast milk of American women. [4] One common source of bromine is brominated vegetable oil—which is still found in many drinks—so remember, it pays to read those labels!

  1. Perchlorate

Studies suggest low thyroid function in mothers is linked to neurodevelopmental problems in children. While BPA—as mentioned in number 1—or any score of nasty toxins could be the cause of an unhealthy thyroid, perchlorate is definitely one of the usual suspects. [5] [6] But while there are numerous studies linking it with thyroid problems, the FDA still approved it for use as an anti-static agent in food packaging, making avoiding it a lot more difficult. [7]

  1. Pesticides

When it comes to maintaining a healthy thyroid, avoiding pesticides could also be key. In India, thyroid disorders are on the rise, but there are measures in place to make sure much of the population has sufficient access to iodine, something essential for thyroid function. One recent study suggested this spike is due to pesticide and other chemical exposure, with experts noting almost 60 percent of cases aren’t connected to iodine-deficiency. [8] While the idea of pesticide exposure and thyroid problems is nothing new, maintaining iodine levels and avoiding pesticides could be the perfect combination. [9]

  1. PFCs

There’s a report that a higher level of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in the blood could affect thyroid function in women. [10] Used in the manufacturing of lots of common things, PFCs can even be found in pizza boxes and takeout containers; your mattress might even contain them! Even though the use of the chemicals is being phased out in the U.S., imported products could still be a concern. [11] Endocrine disruptors like PFCs take a long time to break down in the body, so this study is disturbing, to say the least.

  1. Fluoride

Almost 70 percent of the U.S. water supply is fluoridated to help prevent cavities. Many people don’t know, however, that fluoride was actually prescribed as a remedy for an overactive thyroid during the first half of the 20th century. According to some reports, 2 to 5 mg of fluoride per day over a period of months was all it took to lower thyroid function; this becomes a problem when you realize that’s about the same amount people drinking fluoridated water are exposed to daily. [12]

Some Other Tips to Think About

You want to make sure your thyroid is as healthy as possible, so make sure you’re aware of just what can be dangerous. To protect your health, be sure to eat foods that support thyroid health as much as you can. While your family history can also play a role in endocrine problems, avoiding toxic exposure is a smart way to go.

When it comes to protecting your thyroid, how do you avoid toxins? Tell us about it in the comments.

References:

  1. Meeker, J. & Ferguson, K. Relationship between Urinary Phthalate and Bisphenol A Concentrations and Serum Thyroid Measures in U.S. Adults and Adolescents from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007–2008. Environmental Health Perspectives. 119 (10).
  2. Chevrier, J. et al. Maternal urinary bisphenol a during pregnancy and maternal and neonatal thyroid function in the CHAMACOS study. Environmental Health Perspectives. 121 (1).
  3. Allain, P. et al. Bromine and thyroid hormone activity. Journal of Clinical Pathology. 46 (5).
  4. Schecter, A. et al. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in U.S. mothers’ milk. Environmental Health Perspectives. 111 (14).
  5. Martin, JJ. et al. Maternal Hypothyroxinemia in Early Pregnancy Predicts Reduced Performance in Reaction Time Tests in 5- to 6-Year-Old Offspring. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 98 (4).
  6. Wollf, J. Perchlorate and the thyroid gland. Pharmacology Review. 50 (1).
  7. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Threshold of Regulation (TOR) Exemptions. U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  8. Nambudiri, S. Rise in thyroid cases in state related to pesticides, finds study. The Times of India.
  9. Goldner, W. et al. Pesticide Use and Thyroid Disease Among Women in the Agricultural Health Study. American Journal of Epidemiology. 171 (4).
  10. Wen, L. L. et al. Association between serum perfluorinated chemicals and thyroid function in U.S. adults: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007-2010. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 98 (9).
  11. National Resources Defense Council. Groups Petition FDA to Ban Toxic Chemicals Used in Pizza Boxes and Other Food Packaging. National Resources Defense Council.
  12. Galletti P, et. al. Effect of fluorine on thyroidal iodine metabolism in hyperthyroidism. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology. 18 (10).

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

7 Toxins Harming Your Brain Right Now

Brain X-ray001

Some of the most common substances found in everyday life are harming our cognitive function right now. Along with pesticides, you have substances like BPA, phthalates, mercury, lead, benzene, and flame retardants that are affecting you, even if you don’t realize it. Hidden in your home and office, you are exposed to toxic chemicals on a daily basis, and your brain is taking the brunt of it.

7 Toxins Harming Your Brain

Your brain controls every aspect of your body, giving directions to cells and the nervous system. It is essential for supporting good mood and clear thinking, helping to improve your overall quality of life. Here are seven of the most harmful and pervasive toxins you should look out for in order to support brain health.

  1. BPA

BPA is a known endocrine disruptor that interferes with how your body regulates hormones. Not only does it affect reproductive health, but it can also affect brain function, learning abilities, and how your memory works. [1] And it’s not just plastic that contains BPA; items that are BPA free aren’t always much better. The substitutes used for BPA (Bisphenol F and S or “BPF” and “BPS”) have been linked to behavioral issues, as well. [2]

     2. Phthalates

Phthalates are present in more everyday things than you might think. Similarly to BPA, phthalates are found in many products that contain plastic and things like household cleaners, cosmetics, personal hygiene products, and even food. There is a wide variety of phthalates, but the most notable versions are BBzP (butyl benzyl phthalate), DnBP (dibutyl phthalate), and DEHB (di-2-ethyl hexyl phthalate).

Phthalates have been linked to ADHD, asthma, diabetes, neurodevelopmental problems, and more. [3] California is spearheading the move against phthalates by asking that four specific types must be listed on labels (many do not have to be listed at all). Even big corporations like Target and WalMart have promised to reduce the amount of or even eradicate the use of harmful toxins like phthalates in products they stock.

  1. Mercury

I’ve covered the dangers of mercury extensively in other articles. The base reason is that it has been linked to kidney problems, respiratory failure, and other neuromuscular complications; however, the elemental form of mercury is the most toxic. [4] Due to this knowledge, many people have switched off from thermometers and other products containing mercury.

  1. Lead

Lead poisoning isn’t a problem of yesterday, it’s a problem today — a huge problem. The biggest issue is that lead affects so many parts of the body in such harmful ways. Not only can it affect organs and tissues, but it can affect whole systems of the body like the digestive, reproductive, and nervous systems. You absolutely need to take conscious steps to reduce your exposure to lead, including making your home safer for your children.

  1. Benzene

Benzene is found in fuel and motor vehicle exhaust, but can also be found in detergents and pharmaceuticals. [5] Why is something so problematic used so frequently? Benzene is even classified as carcinogen, [6] it’s highly flammable, and benzene poisoning can pass from mother to fetus. The best way to reduce your exposure to benzene is to distance yourself from gasoline or waste plants and to avoid cigarette smoke at all costs. As quoted by the CDC, “Average smokers take in about 10 times more benzene than nonsmokers each day.” [7] Just one more reason not to smoke!

  1. Flame Retardants

Normally, something that helps to quell a fire is heralded as useful and sometimes heroic. However, a disturbing discovery was made by a researcher from Texas. The discovery showed that flame retardants were found in the breast milk of American women. [8] How could this happen? It turns out that flame retardants can be found virtually anywhere in food, furniture, and building materials. We’re around these items every day and breathe in the toxins that emanate throughout the day.

Attributed to the spread of human civilization, it’s unbelievable just how widespread traces of flame retardant chemicals are. Not even bald eagles are safe. Out of 33 dead eagles tested from 2009 to 2011, every one but two had all four flame retardant components for which scientists were testing. [9] It’s important to educate yourself about flame retardant compounds and make sure they’re not abundant in your home. [10]

  1. Pesticides

Mostly everyone is familiar with the negative effects of pesticides, but new developments further strengthen the argument against using pesticides on foods we consume. Perhaps the biggest and most shocking development to come to light is that pesticide exposure is now linked to Parkinson’s disease. [11] The best way to avoid undue exposure to pesticides is to choose organic food!

Protecting Your Brain

Now that you’re a bit more informed about seven toxins you might not have known about before, you can get started on protecting yourself from the harmful effects, both short term and long term. Turmeric shows powerful antioxidant protection for the brain, and it’s often advised to take this in extract form to ensure best results. Eating an organic diet, reducing the use of furniture made with flame retardants, and using glass containers instead of plastic are also helpful steps.

References:

  1. Nordqvist, Christian. What is BPA (bisphenol A)? Is BPA harmful? Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 26 Sep. 2014.
  2. Ketchiff, Mirel. The Scary Truth About BPA-Free Plastic. SHAPE. 2015.
  3. Westervelt, Amy. Phthalates are everywhere, and the health risks are worrying. How bad are they really? The Guardian. 2015.
  4. EPA. Health Effects of Mercury. EPA.gov. 2014.
  5. EPA. Benzene. EPA.gov. 2013.
  6. ATSDR. Benzene. ATSDR. 2011.
  7. ATSDR. Public Health Statement for Benzene. CDC.gov. 2015.
  8. Blum, Deborah. Flame Retardants are Everywhere. NY Times. 2014.
  9. Betts, Kellyn S. More Evidence for PBDEs as Neurotoxicants: Cohort Study Corroborates Earlier Findings. EHP. 2014.
  10. Bienkowski, Brian. Michigan’s Bald Eagles Full of Flame Retardants. Environmental Health News. 2015.
  11. Bret Stetka. Parkinson’s Disease and Pesticides: What’s the Connection? Scientific American.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

5 Unsettling Things In Your Drinking Water

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The public water supply doesn’t just provide us with the water we drink. We use this water to take a shower, to water our plants, and to wash our pets. Water is essential, but the majority of our water supply is full of nasty compounds that are slowly destroying our health, whether we realize it or not. Without the proper filtration system in place, you are being exposed to a large supply of chemical toxins, including pesticides, pharmaceutical medications, and even animal excrement.

5 Nasty Things in Your Water

This post is not just meant to gross you out, it’s meant to inspire positive action in your own home. By reading the following facts about the water you’re drinking and showering in, you’ll be shocked and hopefully lulled into switching to a cleaner source of water. Here are some of the facts you need to know about the water you are exposed to every day.

1. Pesticides Are Invading Our Water

Pesticide and fertilizer runoff is a serious concern in many states, especially recently for the Midwestern states. [1] Pesticides infiltrate every aspect of our life already; our food, clothes, and indoor environments are sprayed with the chemicals. Even if you are consuming an organic diet, not having the proper precautions in place for your drinking water can still, unfortunately, expose you to the toxins you are attempting to avoid.

2. Medications Find Their Way into Drinking Water

Studies have been consistently showing that our water supply is being contaminated with pharmaceutical medications. [2] Antibiotics and antidepressants are commonly found in trace amounts in drinking water these days, possibly contributing to a host of issues. Having antibiotics in your system for a prolonged period, for example, can increase the risk of becoming resistant to antibiotics, potentially compromising your future health in the rare case of illness. Antidepressants, when consumed through the drinking water in small amounts over a long period of time, may also have unseen interactions with proper brain chemistry.

3. Phthalate Water, Anyone?

Phthalates are common chemicals found in plastics, typically used to improve flexibility. They are easily released into the environment, and some research suggests they may be carcinogenic. [3] Other research is showing that phthalates may negatively affect thyroid health which, in turn, affects hormones, weight, and mood. [4]

4. Animal Poop is Hiding in Your Water

You probably don’t want to hear this, but it’s best to know now: animal poop may be lurking somewhere in your water. Of course, it’s just trace amounts; however, isn’t any amount considered unacceptable? A recent study reported that pig excrement and bacteria were found in North Carolina drinking water, so if you live near here, you probably want to contact your local officials to get more information about the water you and your family are drinking. [5]

5. Arsenic Pollutes California Water

A new report shows that California’s public drinking water violated safety requirements more than 1,000 times for the fiscal year of 2012-2013, citing high levels of nitrates and arsenic. [6] Arsenic can cause skin issues and increase cancer risk, so any level of this contaminant in drinking water is totally unacceptable.

Actions You Can Take

Investing in a high-quality water filter is the best way to keep your water clean and free of contaminants. Distilled water is also a great water source that has been purified and can be a great addition if you haven’t yet transitioned to an at-home water filter. Even filtering the water you bathe in can be helpful for decreasing the chemicals you are exposed to on a daily basis. Be sure to continue eating a healthy diet that is rich in antioxidants because these compounds will help protect your body from toxins already present in your environment.

References:

  1. Maya Rao. A closely watched fight brewing over nitrates in Iowa water. StarTribune.
  2. Ben Sutherly. Unused meds go down the drain, worrying environmentalists. The Columbus Dispatch.
  3. Lopez-Carrillo L, Hernandez-Ramirez RU, Calafat AM, et al. Exposure to phthalates and breast cancer risk in northern Mexico. Environ Health Perspect. 2010 Apr;118(4):539-44. doi: 10.1289/ehp.0901091.
  4. Li, N, D Wang, Y Zhou, M Ma, J li and Z Wang. Phthalates in drinking water affect thyroid hormone, finds lab study. Environmental Science and Technology. doi: 10.1021/es101254c.
  5. Brian Bienkowski. Pig poop fouling North Carolina streams; state permitting questioned. Environmental Health News.
  6. Sharon Bernstein. Arsenic, nitrates among pollutants in California drinking water: report. Reuters.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

Poisoned Earth, Poisoned Children

pesticides

For decades, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has known that Dow’s chlorpyrifos pesticide, marketed under names like Dursban and Lorsban, is dangerous to children and farmworkers. And yet, the EPA has allowed the continued use of this dangerous pesticide on golf courses, on parks and on farms—where it drifts onto food. In her recent article, “Pesticides, Birth Defects and Brain Damage in Children,” Dr. Janette Sherman, MD, says that chlorpyrifos “is a serious risk to health and intellect for people working and living in proximity to fields.” Sherman also said that detectable levels of chlorpyrifos in New York City children raises the question of exposure via food. According to Sherman:

Although the neurotoxicity of pesticides has been known for decades, recently, several national magazines, have named the pesticide, chlorpyrifos (Dursban/ Lorsban), as an agent causing loss of intelligence, as well as birth defects and structural brain damage.

Known to damage children’s brains, Dow’s chlorpyrifos is now up for review by the EPA. Will the EPA finally ban Dow’s chlorpyrifos? Or will the agency continue to allow Big Ag to poison our children? Tell the EPA: Stop Letting Dow Chemical Poison our Children with Chlorpyrifos!

Do You Know These 6 Skin Facts?

skin

Day in and day out, your skin gets exposed to a lot — toxins included. Because of that, you want to protect it. Protecting your skin in this day and age is something that should be applauded, so keep on doing what you’re doing! But in case you aren’t as careful with skin care as you should be, I want to share these 6 facts about your skin so you can get a better idea of what it’s exposed to on a daily basis.

6 Basic Skin Facts You Should Know

Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and it is under constant assault by a variety of environmental toxins. UV light from the sun, pollution, and chemicals in our water can all take their toll. Here are a few skin facts you should know, including how to protect it.

1. Indoor Tanning Increases Cancer Risk

Many people already suspect indoor tanning is dangerous; in fact, there’s a growing body of evidence suggesting that it can lead to cancer. A recent review examining current literature on tanning beds noted: “…tanning beds account for as many as 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the United States each year.” [1] And while there are other factors involved in a cancer diagnosis, high doses of UV light from tanning and a person’s age could be big contributors. The World Health Organization (WHO) found indoor tanning “before age 30 was associated with a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma.” [2]

2. FDA Classifies Tanning Beds as Harmful

Once classed as low-risk, tanning beds and sunlamps are now moderate-risk devices, and more warnings have been put in place for children under 18. [3] It’s something, sure, but is it really enough? Despite the age warning and an increase in skin cancer cases in teens and young adults, over half of the nation’s top colleges still offer tanning beds on- or off-campus. [4]

3. It Might Be Best to Avoid Tattoos

You might want to think twice about that tattoo — not because it will upset your mother, but recent reports from New Zealand have suggested there are toxins in the dyes. High levels of arsenic and lead were found in some imported inks. [5] But before you decide on that temporary tattoo instead, “black henna” — not the true reddish henna — tattoos contain dye with p-phenylenediamine (PPD). This ingredient can cause “nasty allergic reactions in some people, including redness, blisters, oozing lesions, increased sensitivity to sunlight and permanent scarring.” [6] Yikes — maybe it’s best to just avoid tattoos altogether.

4. Smoking, and the City, Are Terrible for Your Skin

It seems like everywhere we look, there are products to help us look younger. But did you know if you smoke, you might be drastically aging your skin? A recent study had three people examine 79 photos of identical twins in their forties. The three participants identified the twin who smoked as older 57 percent of the time. [7] The non-smoking twin was also less likely to develop wrinkles around the lips. If you want to keep that youthful look, living in the city could be fairly risky, too. The culprit here: air pollution. Air pollution found in most cities could contain up to 200 chemicals that age your skin. [8]

5. Sunblock Isn’t Total Protection

We wear sunblock to protect our skin from UV radiation, but recent reports suggest that might not be enough. Something as high as SPF 50 can slow the cancer risk, sure, but it won’t take it away. This is definitely more reason to make sure you have the proper sun protection. [9] As if that news wasn’t bad enough, another study reported 2 chemicals in sunscreen can also affect male fertility by up to 30 percent. [10]

6. Your Skin Can Absorb BPA and Other Chemicals

Your skin can absorb quite a bit — even, it seems, toxins like BPA. Receipts printed on thermal paper and the powder that is used to develop the dyes typically contain BPA. We handle the receipts, and, because of this, more and more people actually have elevated levels of BPA. [11] That risk for BPA exposure really increases when you use hand sanitizer. Just how much? “Touching thermal paper after using hand sanitizer can increase the amount of BPA absorbed […] 100-fold.” [12]

Further Actions

With all these risks, what can we do? Well, certainly it pays to be proactive, and with all the technology available to us, it’s easier than ever. Jumping on the craze we have with taking selfies, a scientist recently made a polarized lens you can attach to your phone to detect skin cancer. [13] What do you think? Does that sound like something you could use?

References:

  1. Wehner, MR. et al. International prevalence of indoor tanning: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Dermatology. 150 (5).
  2. El Ghissassi, F. et al. A review of human carcinogens—Part D: radiation. Lancet Oncology. 10 (8).
  3. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. FDA to require warnings on sunlamp products. U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
  4. Pagoto, S. et al. Availability of Tanning Beds on US College Campuses. JAMA Dermatology. 151 (1).
  5. Ministry of Health. Survey of Selected Samples of Tattoo Inks for the Presence of Heavy Metals 2013. Ministry of Health.
  6. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Temporary Tattoos May Put You at Risk. U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
  7. Okada, H. et al. Facial Changes Caused by Smoking: A Comparison between Smoking and Nonsmoking Identical Twins. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. 132 (5).
  8. Spencer, B. Polluted urban air will make you age 10 per cent faster than in the country new research shows. The Daily Mail.
  9. Cook. M. et al. Ultraviolet radiation accelerates BRAF-driven melanomagenesis by targeting TP53. Nature. 511.
  10. Louis, G. et al. Urinary Concentrations of Benzophenone-Type Ultraviolet Radiation Filters and Couples’ Fecundity. American Journal of Epidemiology. 180 (12).
  11. Ehrlich, S. et al. Handling of Thermal Receipts as a Source of Exposure to Bisphenol A. JAMA. 311 (8).
  12. Hormann, A. et al. Holding Thermal Receipt Paper and Eating Food after Using Hand Sanitizer Results in High Serum Bioactive and Urine Total Levels of Bisphenol A (BPA). PLOS ONE.
  13. McRae, T. Smart phone attachment detects skin cancer. 3 News.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

Is Sugar Toxic?

Sugar

There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about the dangers of refined sugars like corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, and more. After decades of research, it appears the serious adverse effects of refined sugars on human health are finally making their way into mainstream attention. According to the CDC, more than 30% of adult Americans are obese. [1] These numbers exploded after health officials began pushing the high-carb, low-fat diet twenty years ago.

The Truth About Sugar

Decades of study on obesity, type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and hormone dysfunction reveal sugar isn’t just dangerous, [2] [3] it’s absolutely toxic. While it’s true that our cells rely on glucose for energy, our body in no way requires refined sugar for proper functioning. Despite this, food manufacturers continue to look for new ways to sneak sugar into every last food sold on market shelves. Here’s just a few reasons why you should reduce–if not eliminate–sugar from your diet:

You Can’t See A Natural Sugar

When it comes to sugar, if it’s not a natural component of the food (like a banana, apple, or honey), chances are it’s not a natural dietary sugar. Any sugar extracted from its plant source, processed, and added to food for sweetening purposes is considered refined. This includes the spoonful of raw, organic table sugar many people put in their coffee each morning. Natural sugars occur as starches and complex sugars and are bound to vitamins and minerals. The digestive process uses these nutrients to break this natural sugar down into monosaccharides, a usable nutrient.

Fruits and vegetables don’t have the same effect on blood sugar as a candy bar for most healthy individuals because fiber in produce tends to slow down the rate at which the sugars are digested and absorbed. Table sugar is created by separating sugar molecules, glucose, sucrose, fructose, etc., from their plant nutrients. This converts them into pure, refined, and empty carbohydrates.

Your Daily Poison

We know sugar eats through the enamel of teeth and causes cavities, but its damage doesn’t stop there. Sugar leaves a path of destruction as it passes through the body, causing inflammation and degradation to blood vessels. It also disrupts the digestive process. When sugar mixes with starches in the stomach, fermentation takes place, creating carbon dioxide, acetic acid, alcohol, and water. Carbon dioxide, acetic acid, and alcohol are all toxic substances.

Sugar causes digesting protein to petrify and creates ptomaines and leucomaines, toxic protein substances. Sugars also kill the ‘friendly’ bacteria that create vitamin B12, an essential nutrient for energy creation at the cellular level. Symptoms of B12 deficiency include depression, psychosis, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease.

As I mentioned earlier, refined sugars have no nutritional value and lack the nutrients needed to encourage digestion. So, the body must steal these nutrients from other processes to digest sugar. This creates nutrient imbalances and deficiencies. From there, the sugar enters the blood stream.

Sugar Rots from the Inside Out

We know high blood sugar causes diabetes, but long before a pre-diabetic condition develops, widespread damage has already occurred. It all starts with one singular component–insulin. The pancreas releases insulin to trigger cells throughout the body to absorb glucose–a monosaccharide sugar–from the blood. The more constant this release of insulin, the more the cells stop listening to it. The liver then takes the excess glucose, converts it to glycogen, and stores it.

As sugar consumption continues, the liver swells and becomes damaged. This condition is known as fatty liver disease, and it’s on the rise wherever the modern carb-based diet is practiced. When the liver can no longer take the glucose, it gets sent to fat cells for storage. Weight gain and modern diseases follow.

Recent research done by Louisiana State University report those who consume sugar-sweetened beverages have a much higher risk of weight gain, type II diabetes, cardiovascular, and metabolic disease. The reason for this has been identified as the sugar load.

But this shouldn’t surprise us. Dr. Weston Price reported decades ago how primitive societies had good teeth and superior health to those in civilized societies on modern diets. Once a group of indigenous peoples were assimilated into modern society, individuals experienced physical degeneration and the onset of chronic disease all within one generation.

How to Avoid Sugar

Those who have given up sugar report greater energy, a more positive mood, and successful weight loss. Plus, abstaining from sugar also reduces the risk of many diseases linked to sugar consumption, like diabetes, obesity, hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, cardiovascular disease, depression, skin disorders, allergies, eye problems, kidney failure, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, hormone imbalance, accelerated aging, and cancer. To go sugar free, avoid it for two weeks. If you’re really ambitious, go for a month. Eat only natural, organic foods, and only use stevia whenever you are wanting to sweeten a beverage.

Here’s a list of refined sugars to look out for when you’re going sugar free:

  • Maltodextrin
  • Beet Sugar
  • Cane Juice
  • Rice Syrup
  • Maple Syrup
  • Cane Syrup
  • Dextrose
  • Fruit Juice Concentrate
  • Corn Syrup
  • Sucrose
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup

Have you given up sugar? How has it made you feel? And did you find it easy or difficult? Share your experiences with us below.

References:

  1. Davy BM1, Zoellner JM2, Waters CN3, Bailey AN2, Hill JL2.. Associations Among Chronic Disease Status, Participation in Federal Nutrition Programs, Food Insecurity, and Sugar-Sweetened Beverage and Water Intake Among Residents of a Health-Disparate Region. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2015 Feb 9. pii: S1499-4046(15)00004-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2015.01.001.
  2. Kostecka M1. Eating habits of preschool children and the risk of obesity, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome in adults. Pak J Med Sci. 2014 Nov-Dec;30(6):1299-303. doi: 10.12669/pjms.306.5792.
  3. Bray GA1. Soft drink consumption and obesity: it is all about fructose. Curr Opin Lipidol. 2010 Feb;21(1):51-7. doi: 10.1097/MOL.0b013e3283346ca2.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.