In a book I reviewed earlier this week, How Everyday Products Make People Sick, by Dr. Paul D. Blanc, there is one part that both angered and sickened me. It had to do with a review of the effects of lead by the conservative think tank – the American Enterprise Institute – Brookings Joint Center AEI/BJC on Regulatory Studies. The comment shows the kind of denial and obfuscation that the conservative right uses to protect industry’s ability to dump toxins on us despite overwhelming research.
Lead is a well known neurotoxin that was used in both gasoline and paint prior to the 1970s. According to numerous studies, lead causes IQ levels to drop, especially in children. What amazed me is that the AEI/BJC did not dispute the fact that lead was neurotoxic but that economically parents gain only $1,100 per IQ point while their children gain $1,900 through lead abatement. Are they kidding me??? Do we measure life benefits in terms of parents versus children? What kind of moral system do these people hold dear? One of their comments was “This analysis suggests lead standards will redistribute resources from parents to their children, because the benefits to parents are less than the costs of the standards. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development should reconsider their lead standards.”
Appalling? You bet. Morally corrupt? Closer to the truth. My parents came to this country back in 1953 to make their kids lives better, not at our expense but at theirs. The AEI/BJC is one of the many groups that our present administration looks to for advice. What does that say for us when the argument used to reconsider reintroducing lead into our environment is that parents should make more money at the expense of their children?
But lest this be a Bush-Bashing party, let me make it clear that this kind of disgusting government behavior has been going on for centuries and by just about every government in this world. In 1868, the British Fisheries Preservation Authority wrote a pamphlet entitled On Pollution of the Rivers of the Kingdom. they saw the problems back than.
Dr. Blanc even points out that in 1549 writers talk about things like sick building syndrome (not that term exactly) in a paper called Aerarium Sanitatis. We know that pollution and the dumping of toxins are killing us and causing incalcuable damage to our children and generations to come. As long as it is business as usual, we will continue to be dumped on and lied to about the dangers that surround us.
Please get this book. I don’t care if you get it through clicking on the link below or through any portal you chose, get it. It is one of the finest books on the effects of environmental toxins on human health I have ever read and believe me, I have read a lot of them.
My post today is from the lovely town of Bogota, Colombia where I am lecturing at a major medical conference on the topic of obesity and toxicity as well as testing protocols for environmental toxins. My hosts, Heel of Colombia (wonderful homeopathic products) heard my talk in Baden Baden, Germany last year at Medical Week and asked me to come here and bring my message to South America. To view the PowerPoint presentation, click on the link below.
Toxicity and Obesity
Tomorrow, I will post my second lecture on laboratory testing for environmental toxins.
Thanks to the people at Tishcon, here is the weekly review of nutrition research.
- Lipoic acid (ALA) was reported to be helpful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Of all of the reasons given for its efficacy, the ability to chelate mercury from the brain was not listed. For more information about that, go to Dr. Andrew Cutler’s website and pickup his book Amalgam Illness.
- Supplementing with vitamin C and garlic may help people with marginally high blood pressure bring it back to normal. What was interesting is that vitamin C alone did little to lower either systolic (top number) or diastolic (bottom number) and garlic only affected the systolic blood pressure. Together they worked on lowering both. The dosage for the vitamin C was 2,000 milligrams and the garlic was supplemented at 650 mg/d of bulb powder.
- Vitamin K1 along with vitamin D and calcium work synergistically in building bone density. Seems that together, these nutrients build more and denser bone than when alone.
- Curcumin – the active agent found in Turmeric – May Prevent Breast Cancer Metastases. As many of you have see, I LOVE curcumin and this is just another reason to make it a part of your everyday supplement regime.
- Probiotics have been shown to benefit the immune system in immune compromised people. If you are sick or in the hospital, get some high-potency probiotics in you.
- L-Carnitine is showing benefits in handling stress according to a study from the journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. The authors of the study concluded that, “… both the 1- and 2-g doses were effective in mediating various markers of metabolic stress and of muscle soreness. Use of LCLT (L-Carnitine-L-Tartrate) appears to attenuate metabolic stress and the hypoxic chain of events leading to muscle damage after exercise.”
- In a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition it showed that increased carbohydrate intake lowers HDL (good cholesterol) and increases triglycerides. Basically put, if people were to lower their sugar and high fructose corn syrup intake, they would have a better lipid profile and they would lower their risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
- The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that taking multivitamin/multimineral supplements decreased C-Reactive Protein levels by up to 43%. CRP is a known risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease along with other diseases. Yet another study showing the benefits of nutritional supplements. Do you think the mass media picked up on this one? Of course not but if some lousy study on how nutrients are not beneficial came out, man would that ever get a big write-up.
- Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) has been the predominate nutritional supplement form for people who want to add extra D to their diet. In a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol is the only one that has shown real benefits and should be the one people supplement with.
If you want more detailed information about the studies mentioned above, go to www.vitasearch.com
Curcumin – the active agent found in Turmeric – May Prevent Breast Cancer Metastases
I just picked up a book from Amazon called “How Everyday Products Make People Sick” by Dr. Paul D. Blanc and he made a comment about environmental polluter denialists that seems to fit so well to the stubborn people who continue to deny that global warming is occurring. He says that it “…follows a pattern of responses analogous to the Kubler-Ross four-stage “death and dying process”: denial, anger, bargining, and acceptance.” He further elucidates “…the strategies used to block any effective action are:”
- “characterizing scientific information as limited, overblown, conflicting or simply “junk”.” I have seen this time and time again where they bring up one or two “scientists” who deny global warming has anything to do with humans and they use it as a defense shield.
- “blaming the victim and simultaneously charging that regulation is overly costly and ineffectual to boot.” The denialists say that we can’t afford to change our habits as it is economically infeasible. I say that if we want to do it and give incentives to be greener, it will make more money than if we stand idly by. Case in point is how much money we can save if we switch all of our incandescent blubs to the newer fluorescents. You can be green and economic at the same time.
- “labeling opponents as unrealistic visionaries or, worse yet, seditioninist Luddites standing in the way of inevitable progress.” I can’t tell you how often I get “yelled at” in online forums by conservatives who follow the FOX News line who feel it is their goal in life to stop anything that might be called environmentally positive. Tree-hugger, animal fascists, and other unprintable labels have been thrown at me for daring to say that we need to change our habits or else.
- “reaching out to the invisible hand of the marketplace as the best partner for corrective action, if such action is really needed.” Basically, we won’t do squat unless the market forces us to. Without consumers demanding it, we won’t do it. Where is America’s leadership on this? We used to lead the world on innovation but now we sit idly by while the rest of the world takes control.
To all of the denialists of global warming out there, please don’t waste your time emailing me with “proof” that it isn’t happening. At this point in the debate I will be using the delete key not because of arrogance but out of frustration at those out there who somehow believe that it is their duty to fight for a cause that is somewhat indefensible. My motto on the argument is; If we are wrong and global warming isn’t happening by man’s hand and we do something to stop our polluting than what have we done that is so bad? If we are right and we do nothing, what cost to humanity? If we are right and we do something now, we may pull or your know whats out of the fire and save our world for generations to come.
I highly recommend this book. It is compelling, powerful and chock-full of rich information on the effects of toxins on health by a Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
My friend James Larsen sent me a article from the HealthDay website which reports that where you live may have an impact on the chance of having a heart attack. Coming from the February 16th, 2007 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, researchers looking at the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System found that living in West Virginia had a three-fold higher rate of heart attacks than living in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Other findings included:
- Men had higher rates of coronary heart disease and non-fatal heart attack and angina than women (8.2 percent vs. 5 percent).
- Asians had the lowest rates of heart disease (4.7 percent), while American Indians/Alaska Natives had the highest rates (11.2 percent).
- People with less than 12 years of education had a higher heart attack rate than those with a college degree.
- The states with the highest heart attack rate were – Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.
- The states with the lowest heart attack rate were – , District of Columbia, Hawaii, Montana, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Utah, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
- People with type 2 diabetes, smokers, hypertension, were physically inactive or obese were also more likely to have a heart attack.
While not earth shattering news, hopefully this data will help public health officials focus on heart health issues in those states with the highest incidence. Another real good idea to lower someones risk is to get checked out by you physician or if you are up to it, get a cardiovascular risk assessment done through Direct Lab Services. Ask them for the LabAssist Interpretive report as well to get the most information possible. Bottom line though, take an active role in your health and you’ll live a happier and healthier life.
While browsing the book shelves at the local Barnes and Nobel, I came across this handy book that I believe is a must own for anyone interested in being earth-friendly. It’s practical, readable and worth the effort to get. Click on the link below to pick up your copy.
Here are a few tips from the book:
“Always cover pots when cooking. It speed up cooking and uses less energy.”
“Reuse water leftover after common household uses to water plants instead of pouring it down the drain (e.g., from a double boiler, washing produce, steaming vegetables, cookin pasta, soaking beans, soaking frozen meat in its packaging, etc.) Transfer leftover water to a watering can for later use. Make sure water is cool beofre using it to water plants.”
“Before discarding empty latex paint cans, leave the top off and allow the remaining paint to dry completely. Latex paint is not hazardous once it iis solidified.”
“Fix slow drains. Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain and follow it with half a cup of white vinegar. Let it sit for twenty minutes to a half hour, then pour boiling water down the drain (about two quarts).”
“When buying packaged products, all other things being equal, buy the brand that uses the least amount of packaging.”
Some of you may know about my involvement in Rotary, an organization dedicated to helping people around the world. Starting on July 1st, 2007, I will become the President of the Rotary Club of Reno Centennial Sunset. Because of this position, I will be able to guide the club towards charitable actions that I feel are important. As you can see from my previous posts, I am very dedicated towards resolving environmental issues so one of my first goals as Club President, I will propose a 1,000 bulb switch out program for the needy.
The 1,000 Blub Switch Out (BSO) Program will help poor people switch from using energy wasting incandescent bulb to the more efficient compact fluorescent blubs (CFB). Not only will these blubs save the people money (estimate are from $3.50 – $7.00 a year) but they will lower CO2 emmisions substantially. According the the New Scientist, it will reduce 1000 tons of CO2 over the bulbs lifetime. Of course, this may not seem like much but if I work this project through Rotary and the 32,000 other clubs, I estimate that I can get that number to 1 million bulbs in the next 5 years which would lower the CO2 emmisions by over 1 million tons. Not a bad little project!
Of course, this won’t be my only environmentally focused project. I will be looking into a bunch more. If anyone of you has an idea please post it and I will take a look at it and see if it is something we can do.
I know this is a volatile issue but I think we need to at least clarify why there is a need for embryonic stem cells (ESC) versus adult stem cells (ASC). Whether you feel that it is a moral issue or not, the bottom line is that ESC is superior because you can generate vastly more cells with them as opposed to ASC.
Human embryonic stem cells are known as pluripotent, which means they can become any type of cell in the body. The same cannot be said for adult stem cells. You may object to using ESC due to religious or personal beliefs but it is wrong to delude the public, which the present administration has done, that ASC is just as good. It isn’t.
My concern is that other nations, more scientifically enlightened than the U.S. will further the research, come up with the technology to make ESC work, and we will be left behind. The present administration has continually thwarted real science advancement because of religion. I am not in any way, shape, or form an atheist but I do believe in a separation of church and state. If our country is to continue to be the leader of the free-world, we need to change the way we approach science.
If you believe that we should not use ESC, then I respect your opinion. If the majority of people in this country believe that we should not use ESC, then we should not use them. That is simply not the case though as the majority of Americans are for the use of embryonic stem cells. What we should not do is lie to the American people and tell them ASCs are as good. It isn’t true, and it isn’t science.
It is getting to the point where yours truly is starting to get suspicious of every research paper that gets published anymore. The latest fiasco, is a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that states that low-carb, high protein diets were superior to other diets like the Zone or the Ornish diet. In reality this study shouldn’t have seen the light of day much less being published in a well-respected, peer reviewed journal. This study had so many holes in it that I am surprised it wasn’t sent in the the National Enquirer for publication except that rag may not have wanted something so poorly put together.
While I am not a fan of Dean Ornish’s diet plan, his response to the study is well crafted and should be read by anyone interested in finding out the truth about this remarkably poor study.
What none of the diet guru’s ever seem to get is that each and every one of us is unique and we need to create diet changes specific to our chemistry and time in our life. What works for you might fail for me or might work for me today but not next month. Dieticians and nutritionists might be jumping for joy at my comment because they are supposedly trained to treat people as individuals but in my years of consulting, I have found that some of them have innate prejudices that favor one type of diet over another thus defeating the concept of biochemical individuality. Another problem is the complete lack of any talk about the link between obesity and environmental toxicity, something I harp on in many of my lectures.
I usually am pretty hard on journalists when it comes to health and nutrition due to conflicts of interest or just plain lack of knowledge in the field but I was heartily impressed by an article on weight loss written by Karen Collins, R.D. on the MSNBC website. Most R.D.’s and I do not see eye-to-eye but here, I whole heartedly agree with her.
Portion size is a true American problem. We think more is always better, especially when it comes to our eating habits. What Ms. Collins rightly points out is how we can easily cut hundreds of calories a day simply and without stress just by cutting down our portions. One tip I especially liked was the one about french fries and how you should leave 1/2 on the plate (when eating at a restaurant) and not eat it to cut out 100-170 calories. If you are able to cut 500 calories a week, you will lose 1 pound. Do that for one year and you’ve trimmed 52 pounds off. Not bad for a one year trial.
Of course, it will require a pickup in physical activity but that shouldn’t be too hard either. How about trying to park farther away from the store front when you go shopping? Don’t find the closest spot, find one way out there and walk a little more. Do that everyday and you can burn off a 100 calories or so every week.
Sensible eating patterns can be had with just a little work and effort and you can still enjoy all of those great foods you love. Next week, I’ll be reviewing a book that smashes all those low calorie myths and how everything you know about eating isn’t the truth.