Aug
13
2016

Avoid BPA

After a lot of bad press as a hormone disruptor we know we should avoid BPA. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a synthetic compound that has been used since 1957 in plastic bottles and as lining inside cans, so they don’t rust.

Study showing why we should avoid BPA

Recently BPA has again hit the media as a new study has shown that there are things we can do to avoid high concentrations of BPA by changing our lifestyle.

This media report is based on a scientific study that Jennifer Hartl and coworkers have done. They followed patients who had consumed various items known to be contaminated with BPA and measured their urine BPA concentration 24 hours later. 9% of their study participants had consumed one can of food or more, while 2% had consumed 2 cans of food or more on the previous day. Researchers compared one can of food consumed to none. They found 24% of higher BPA concentration in the urine. With two cans of food consumed versus none they found that 54% of higher BPA concentration was found in the urine.

Researchers compared one or more specific types of canned foods to none consumed. Some interesting differences emerged. Canned vegetables and fruit showed 41% higher BPA in the urine test. Canned pasta measured 70%, but canned soup 229%. The researchers also tested canned beverages. None of them caused BPA elevation in urine tests.

What BPA does

93% of Americans 6 years and older have BPA in their urine indicating that it is in our bodies, and the body is attempting to get rid of it. It is known as an endocrine disruptor, but how effective BPA is as an endocrine disruptor remains to be seen. This link describes that BPA is 800-times weaker as an estrogen blocking substance in comparison to soy products.

There are two mechanisms of action where BPA interferes with normal body function.

  1. BPA functions as a weak estrogen and binds to the nuclear estrogen receptor. This partially blocks the action of the body’s own estrogen function.
  2. There is also a membrane based estrogen receptor on body cells that is involved in cell signaling and gene expression. BPA can add methyl groups to DNA, which silences gene expression. This latter mechanism is much more sensitive to BPA (probably by a factor of 1000-times) than the traditional effect on the nuclear estrogen receptor.

It is these newer findings that are of concern with regard to fertility in males. It is important that babies are not fed using regular plastic bottles, but rather that BPA-free bottles or glass bottles are used to avoid BPA exposure. Babies and children are particularly vulnerable to the hormone blocking effects of BPA as well as the interference of brain development and maturation by BPA.

Manufacturing of BPA free plastic

In an attempt to avoid BPA in manufacturing of plastic bottles and food containers industry has used other chemicals, among other materials something called BPS. This stands for “Bisphenol S”. A research paper found that BPS is an endocrine disruptor as much as BPA is and causes fat cells to grow rapidly. According to the author of this publication it may be partially responsible for the obesity wave. The author of this study recommends using glass containers as much as possible to avoid transfer of either BPA or BPS to food that comes in contact with plastic materials.

Avoid BPA from receipts

Have you ever thought that you may be able to absorb BPA through your skin from receipts when you buy items at a store? Yes, the machine of the checker prints receipts on heat sensitive paper. It contains BPA on it, which the body absorbs through the skin. If you scratch the printed part of the paper and it leaves a dark mark, it is thermal paper.

In this study workers were handling thermal receipts for four hours and their urine was monitored for BPA the following day. Another group was handling thermal receipts for 8 hours. In the first group that had exposure for 4 hours the BPA concentration in the urine rose to three times higher than the base rate. The second group exposed for 8 hours had BPA levels that were five times higher than the base rate. For comparison researchers measured another group that was wearing surgical gloves and their BPA concentration in the urine showed no change from the baseline.

I have changed my way of shopping. I think about whether I would ever want to exchange the item I just bought. If not, I tell the clerk that I do not want a receipt and he throw it out.

How you can avoid BPA exposure

  1. Do not use plastic containers to heat food in a microwave, use glass containers instead.
  2. Avoid all plastic food containers that have a “7” printed in a triangle on the bottom. Among these is a significant number that will release BPA over time.
  3. Avoid canned soups, such as tomato soup or canned mushroom soup. The paper reviewed at the beginning of this review showed these led to the highest BPA readings in urine tests the following day.
  4. Keep in mind that 2 out of 3 cans in supermarkets are positive for BPA. Eat as much fresh or frozen food as you can, but avoid canned food.
  5. Many canned beverages (such as beer, soda, juice) are acidic; this means that their thermal processing requirement is much different requiring lower temperature where BPA does not leach from the bottle into the stored fluid. These drinks when tested were BPA free.
  6. Among drinking water containers the following have been tested: Aquafina, Dasani, Arrowhead, Fiji and Kirkland Signature bottled water from Costco. They were all BPA free. Most water companies have now switched to BPA free containers, but avoid the containers with the “7” in a triangle as already stated, as some of them may leach BPA into the bottle content.
  7. Use fresh, unpackaged foods as much as possible. For instance, fruit and vegetables can often be had unpackaged. Check the packaging, check the type of plastic and if not sure, don’t buy it.
  8. Whenever possible, avoid handling thermal receipts; if possible, get an email receipt instead to avoid BPA exposure through the skin.
Avoid BPA

Avoid BPA

Conclusion

There has been a silent revolution where more and more plastic and resins have entered our lives. With it came the exposure to BPA, which is an endocrine disruptor. This may have consequences regarding male fertility. There is a change of fat metabolism in both sexes with weight gain as the end result. It also interferes with brain development in the fetus and in young children. BPA behaves like a cell poison.

In this blog I have shown ways to reduce exposure to BPA. We need to eat more fresh vegetables and fruit that merchants sell not in plastic. If merchants sell food in plastic or plastic containers, the wrapping material must be BPA and BPS free. The FDA and/or EPA must make labeling of containers mandatory. Whenever possible return to glass containers that are BPA free. Also bear in mind that heating plastics can release toxins. If you are heating food in a microwave, do not use plastic containers. Instead use glass or ceramics. It is common knowledge that they are safe!

Additional reference (Questions about BPA answered):

http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/assets/docs_a_e/bisphenol_a_bpa_508.pdf

Mar
08
2014

Protecting Yourself From Environmental Toxins

Environmental toxins are toxins that may be in your drinking water, in what you eat, in the air you breathe, or they enter your body through your skin when you swim in contaminated water or walk on a sandy, wet beach.

In the following blog I will address some of these issues and how we can defend ourselves against toxins.

The youngest and most vulnerable

Toxins are particularly bad for infants and premature babies.

The reasons for this are the following ones: their kidney function (tubular secretion) is only 20% to 30% of that of an adult; the cytochrome P-450 enzyme system in the liver, one of the toxin eliminators is slowed down to only 25% to 50% of the adult activity and glucuronidation in the liver, another detoxification process, reaches adult levels only at the age of 3 years. The kidneys and the liver are limiting the removal of toxins by way of urine and bile in the newborn. Stomach acidity in a premature has a pH of 4.7, in a full-term newborn 2.3–3.6 and in an adult 1.4–2.0. This is important to note as a lack of stomach acid increases susceptibility of newborns and infants to gastrointestinal infections and cause diarrhea. Percutaneous absorption in newborns is much higher than in adults, which makes them very susceptible to absorbing toxins through the skin (Ref.1).

Diabetes from environmental toxins

Environmental toxins can cause insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to make polycarbonate and epoxy resins and is found primarily in food and beverage containers. The world population has been exposed to this since 1957 and as a result 90% of US residents have detectable levels of BPA in their urine. Ref.2 explains that the higher the urine concentration of BPA, the higher the risk is for developing diabetes.

Persistent organic pollutants are another source of concern: pesticides and herbicides, dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls, hexachlorobenzene, and hexachlorocyclohexane have all been found in humans. Several investigators have shown that virtually all of the risk in obese patients to develop diabetes comes from the fat-soluble persistent organic pollutants (Ref.2).

Inorganic arsenic is another pollutant that is found in soil and rock naturally and finds its way into the drinking water. About 8% of the public water system of the US exceeds 10 mcg/L for drinking water, which has been set as the safe limit for drinking water by the US Environmental Protection Agency’s standard. Anything above those levels is considered toxic.Ref.2 describes that people who ingest inorganic arsenic will excrete it in the urine; the highest group with arsenic in their urine had a risk of 3.58-fold to develop diabetes when compared to the lowest group. Curiously enough organic arsenic that is found in fish and shellfish is excreted in the urine unchanged and does not cause diabetes. Overall this indicates to me that nobody should consume or cook with contaminated water that contains inorganic arsenic. Reverse osmosis filters will protect you from this risk.

Protecting Yourself From Environmental Toxins

Protecting Yourself From Environmental Toxins

Other toxins around the house

Volatile organic compounds are often contained in carpets, but also in laser and inkjet printers. They are part of everyone’s life as this link shows. Varied symptoms like irritation of eyes, nose or throat, breathing problems, headaches, loss of coordination, damage to the liver, kidneys and the brain have been reported after exposure to volatile organic compounds. Long-term exposure can even cause cancer in animals and has been suspected to cause cancer in humans as well.

Air fresheners and cleaning solutions that contain ethylene-based glycol ethers and terpenes have been the subject of a study that examined concentrations in the air and interaction with ozone that can also be released by some cleaners. As this link shows the investigators concluded that with exposure to high enough concentrations and long enough exposures to these fumes lung cancer can be caused in cleaning personnel. They recommended to use cleaning solutions only in diluted form and to air out the premises well after cleaning. Another component of many air fresheners and cleaning chemicals is paradichlorobenzene, the same chemical that is contained in mothballs.

There have been problems with flame retardants: polybrominated diphenyl ethers, which are cancer producing; they have been outlawed in the US since 2004, but older mattresses, upholstery, television, computer casings and circuit boards may still contain them.

Lead and mercury poisoning, and radioactive pollutants

Manufacturers were not allowed to use lead in paints anymore since 1978. Paint from buildings older than that still may contain lead. There have been serious lead poisonings in children who were gnawing on items painted with lead containing paint. Lead causes problems with your central nervous system, brain, blood cells and kidneys. Just last year a news story about lead found in fashion jewelry surfaced warning about cheap fashion jewelry from China. Lead form these items can be absorbed through the skin and cause lead poisoning. Because of the apparent lack of regulations in China it is my recommendation not to buy anything that goes into your mouth or on your skin, if it has been grown or produced in China.

Mercury from tuna and other predator fish: It is sad that the oceans are polluted to the point where it has become unsafe to eat predator fish as there is an accumulation of mercury through the food chain.

How did things develop this way? Back 100 years and more ago gold panning and the purification process of gold caused mercury to enter into rivers and allow mercury to end up in the oceans where it has since accumulated; it just sits there as it has nowhere to go.

Coal burning (yes, there is mercury in coal) has also contributed to this by smoke being emitted from smoke stacks containing mercury vapors, which ended up returning to earth as polluted rain and drained through the river system into the oceans.

It is monomethylmercury that accumulates in the tissue of humans. It affects many organs, such as the brain, kidneys, lungs, and skin. It causes various symptoms like red cheeks, fingers, and toes; there can be bleeding from the mouth and ears; it can cause rapid heartbeats, high blood pressure, intense sweating, loss of hair, teeth, and nails. It also can cause blindness, loss of hearing, impaired memory, and lack of coordination, disturbed speech and birth defects. You may think all mercury comes from the outside. However, silver amalgam fillings in your teeth could also be the source of mercury poisoning. It is a good idea to replace amalgam/mercury fillings with ceramic fillings.

There are many forms of other marine pollution as this link shows.

One particular concerning aspect is pollution with radioactive materials as the Fukushima disaster in Japan has shown. Following the catastrophe on March 11, 2011 there have been several leaks of radioactive material into the ocean, which are described here. Dr. John Apsley II pointed out that with the explosions in Fukushima there were also several releases of radioactive pollution into the stratosphere. This pollution has subsequently traveled around the globe and has come down as radioactive rain. He has made it his ambition to help people minimize radiation exposure from nuclear accidents such as Fukushima.

Protecting yourself from toxins

Having said that pollution and toxins are problems that we are living with, how can we protect ourselves from all of that?

1. Avoid as many unsafe chemicals around you as you can. This includes checking ingredients in hair care and body care products, toothpaste, hair dyes, cosmetics, mouthwashes and underarm deodorants.  I have written a blog about toxins in the bathroom and what you should watch for.

2. I would recommend you switch from a standard food to organic food. It has become unsafe to eat non-organic meats, leafy vegetables, vegetables and fruit. There are too many residues of herbicides and pesticides contained also in meat, not only in vegetables and fruit. Washing will not remove these substances, even though some merchants may tell you otherwise. Buyer beware!

3. Detoxification methods are available and I have reviewed them in this blog. Briefly, to remove lead and mercury a formal intravenous chelation protocol should be followed.  Depending on how many heavy metal toxins you have on board, you may need only a few treatments or else up to 20. Here is a more conservative website stating that it would be safe to have silver amalgam fillings. I think that gold and ceramic fillings are much safer.

4. Genetically modified food is another danger as I have summarized in this blog. This is another reason why I like to stick to organic food. There is evidence that GMO food causes autoimmune diseases, infertility and chronic inflammation that can eventually lead to cancer. It may take decades to prove this, but I am not willing to be a human guinea pig.

5. I have mentioned in a prior blog that we live in a toxic world. You need to carefully look at your home and remove toxins. You need to assess your drinking water. A water analysis can tell you how good the water in your home is and whether there are concerns about inorganic arsenic. Usually places that sell filter systems can advise you in that regard. Your drinking water should either be bottled pure water or else reverse osmosis water that can be part of a filter system in your house.

6.Vitamins and supplements have been shown to support your cell integrity and have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that protect you from toxins. I discussed this in detail in my NetHealthBook under nutrition. For instance vitamin D3 in doses of 5000 IU or more and CoQ-10 are powerful anti-inflammatories and CoQ-10 is also an antioxidant and preserves mitochondrial function. High fish oil supplements (3 to 6 Grams per day) have anti-inflammatory effects and protect your cell membrane integrity. With these overlapping qualities of vitamins and supplements your body will be in a much stronger position to defend itself against the negative effects of toxins. When you take multivitamins, this translates into telomere lengthening of 5.1% (or converted into a survival advantage of 9.8 years when it is accumulated over a life time). Ref. 4 explains this in more detail.

7. Exposure to radioactive substances is a scary thought, but this is becoming more and more a reality, at least for those who live close to disaster areas such as the Fukushima site in Japan or the Chernobyl site in the Ukraine. But according to Dr. Apsley II low dose radiation that we have already received in the US and in Canada following the Fukushima disaster is equally disastrous (Ref.3). Many of the vitamins and supplements I have mentioned are also cell and mitochondria protective and will help with DNA repair following radiation damage, but you must avoid sugar and other refined carbs and starches to reduce the oxidative effect on cells and on LDL cholesterol to prevent premature aging and cell death. Ref. 3 contains a lot more detail about this and explains what specific supplements can be taken to detoxify your system from specific radioactive elements that function as free radicals. There are specific antidotes for radioactive iodine-129 and iodine-131, radioactive cesium-137 and others.

Conclusion

Many people shrug their shoulders when they hear that pollution has an effect on their lives. They feel that they are powerless and cannot do anything about this. The truth is far from this! Above I mentioned seven points that you can follow to counter toxins. On top of that you can get politically active and urge your government representative to create a nuclear free zone in your area. Ref. 3 contains compelling evidence why this is so important not only for us now, but for future generations and the future of mankind. We need to hold those who provide us with food and beverages accountable for the quality of these. Shrugging it off is not good enough. Get involved. Buy organic food. Avoid the section in the grocery store where sugar and high carb foods are sold. It’s good for your own health, but it will collectively change the mentality of the grocery store owners who will notice that they are stuck with the comfort foods that sold well in the past. This new trend will result in cheaper prices for healthy foods and more availability of organic food.

References

1. Shannon: Haddad and Winchester’s Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose, 4th ed. © 2007 Saunders. Chapter 18:“Toxicologic Issues in the Neonate”.

2. Rakel: Integrative Medicine, 3rd ed. © 2012 Saunders. Chapter 31: “Insulin Resistance and the Metabolic Syndrome”.

3. Dr. John W. Apsley II : “Fukushima Meltdown & Modern Radiation: Protecting Ourselves and Our Future Generations” © 2011. Temet Nosce Publications, Sammamish, WA 98075

4. Xu, Qun, Parks, C.G., DeRoo, L.A., Cawthon, R.M., Sandler, D.P. and Chen, H. Multivitamin use and telomere length in women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 89 (April 2009):1857-63. Full text (PDF): http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/89/6/1857.full?sid=9aab0e13-b4d2-42ad-b44c-15cffc6771c3

Last edited March 8, 2014

Jan
14
2013

Treat The Cause, Not The Disease

At an anti-aging conference the topic of one of the talks was: treat the cause, not the disease. Traditionally, in Western medicine the doctor listens to the patient’s complaints, examines the patient, does some tests and then comes up with a diagnosis. Meanwhile a specific treatment regarding this diagnosis is then developed and a cure is expected. When there is no treatment success, it is disappointing or frustrating to both the patient and the physician. With anti-aging medicine a different approach is suggested with the principal “treat the cause, not the disease”. It is noteworthy that with this approach the doctor can incorporate all of the aspects that play a role with regard to the causes.

Dr. Magaziner: “Treat the cause, not the disease”

Dr. Allan Magaziner gave a lecture regarding this topic at the 20th Annual World Congress On Anti-Aging And Regenerative Medicine in Las Vegas (Dec. 12 to 15, 2012). His talk was entitled “Treat the Causes, Not the Disease…With a Patient-Centered, Integrative Approach”. He explained that there are 12 different categories that need to be taken into account when it comes to delineating causes of an illness in a patient, which he called the “diagnostic dozen”.
1.      Is there oxidative stress?
2.      Is there nutrient imbalance?
3.      Is digestive absorption optimal?
4.      Are there food intolerances?
5.      Is there mitochondrial dysfunction?
6.      Are the hormones and neurotransmitters functioning properly?

More points to consider

7.      Is the patient under excessive stress?
8.      Are there specific electromagnetic field disturbances in the body and would biofeedback be helpful?
9.      Is the body’s toxic burden so high that it requires detoxification treatment?
10.    Has there been environmental exposure to heavy metals?
11.    Are genetic factors making the patient more vulnerable to disease?
12.    Is the immune system weakened and are there signs of inflammation or chronic infection?

Treat The Cause, Not The Disease

Treat The Cause, Not The Disease 

BPA from plastic bottles can cause cancer

A point often overlooked is that life in the 21st century has become more complex. That is to say, we are exposed to various degrees of pollution, such as lead and mercury, but also to BPA from plastic bottles. 93% of Americans, Dr. Magaziner said show measurable levels of BPA in urine. Surprisingly, research showed that many years of exposure to BPA causes breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men!
Specifically, Dr. Magaziner gave an example of a 3-year-old boy with autism with a full discussion of all the diagnostic factors. Notably, conventional medicine treats autism by giving the children special educational programs and speech therapy on the one hand. On the other hand, the physician refers the patient to a physiotherapist to treat their gait problems. That is to say, typically an autistic child does not respond to this approach.

Autistic children often have heavy metal toxicity

In this case, when Dr. Magaziner saw this autistic child, he ordered blood tests that showed heavy metal toxicity. In particular, he ordered several chelation treatments to remove the heavy meals. The child had a leaky gut syndrome, had chronic yeast infection and a gut dysbiosis. It is important to realize that the doctor addressed all of these problems separately. Surprisingly, within a few weeks there was improvement of the child’s condition. First, his balance problems disappeared. Secondly, in addition, there was improvement of his attention span, concentration and memory. Thirdly, the child also started taking an interest in what was happening around him.

A girl with Crohn’s disease

Dr. Magaziner discussed another case, namely a 13-year-old girl that presented with Crohn’s disease. The girl had blood in her stools and had terrible bowel cramps. Conventional medicine including steroid therapy had failed to show improvements. Going through the diagnostic dozen revealed several important positive findings that were unknown before. As a result, attention to these factors led to a complete cure. Important findings in this girl were food sensitivities that could be pinpointed with a battery of blood tests involving IG-G, IG-A and IG-E antibodies to various food groups.

ONDAMED and Lyme disease

The physician used ONDAMED, an electro-diagnostic tool to normalize abnormal electromagnetic fields in the gastrointestinal region.
Perhaps the most impressive case was a patient with Lyme disease. Traditional medicine has very little to offer to such a patient and often the patient will go on to develop a fibromyalgia like arthritic condition leading to chronic disability. The patient responded to a combination treatment consisting of such various things as Curcumin, vitamin D3, cinnamon, CoQ10, D-Ribose, L-Carnitine, magnesium and zinc to help various enzymatic reactions regarding the anti-inflammatory effect. In addition, the patient received  intravenous vitamin C to strengthen the Detox system. All of this helped to detoxify the patient and support the adrenal gland function.

Additional cases of Lyme disease

In addition, Dr. Magaziner gave 10 treatments of ONDAMED involving various frequency settings to assist the body in its recovery. The patient had a complete recovery from severe Lyme disease!
Dr. Magaziner was also one of the speakers in a company sponsored evening about the use of ONDAMED in the treatment of Lyme disease. He presented a total of 7 cases of Lyme disease where ONDAMED was successful in treating this difficult to cure condition! The common denominator in these cases was that various low-grade infections lingered on and other environmental factors weakened the immune system further. ONDAMED helped to strengthen the immune system together with detoxification treatments.

“Treat the cause, not the disease” is true even when multiple causes are present

There is nothing magic about the new approach of treating patients.  Proactive medicine treats the cause of the patient’s illness while conventional medicine focuses on symptomatic treatment of a disease. Often there are several causes that can hide behind a diagnosis and exist parallel in a patient. With treatment of all these causes the patient recovers and regains full health.

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Oct
01
2008

Concerns Over Bisphenol A Bottles

Early in 2008 polycarbonate bottles containing bisphenol A (BPA) have been deemed “toxic” under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. The compound was first identified by researchers that autoclaved (heat sterilized) their polycarbonate flasks. They were studying the growth of breast cancer cells and found that the chemical which was identified from the flasks promoted growth of breast cancer cells. No human research was involved, and the data come from tests in animal research. Nevertheless BPA is an “endocrine disruptor”, that mimics the action of estrogen, reports Dr.Rebecca Sherlock, clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of British Columbia. The question that remained was the leaching of the substance into food. As an experiment, bottles with the content of BPA were subjected to conditions that simulate household use. They were run through regular household dishwashers, but they also were subjected to the use of industrial dishwashers that have higher temperatures. Also the bottles were subjected to scrubbing with steel wool. Dr. Sherlock reported that the final result is that there is leaching of the substance into foods. None of the studies showed that the quantity of BPA is higher than the acceptable daily intake limit set in the U.S.A. and in Europe.

Concerns Over Bisphenol A Bottles

Concerns Over Bisphenol A Bottles

There are animal results that there may be some health effects, especially in the brain, the prostate and other endocrine tissues. Due to these results the federal Health Minister has proposed a ban on manufacture, import, and sale of baby bottles. Newborn babies and infants may be more sensitive to the effects of the chemical. A lot of controversy has surrounded the polycarbonate bottles containing bisphenol A.
In August the FDA has declared them “safe’, but by September a report from the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences cited once again “some concern”. There are potential effects on the behavior, brain and prostate gland in fetuses, infants and children at the current exposure level.

More information about toxins in the environment: https://www.askdrray.com/protecting-yourself-from-environmental-toxins/

85th Annual Conference of The Canadian Pediatric Society (CPS) in Victoria/BC as reported by The Medical Post, Sept. 16, 2008, p. 14

Last edited November 6, 2014