(NaturalHealth365) Every day, Americans are exposed to over 80,000 different chemicals, found in drinking water, food, consumer products – even in the air we breathe. So it should come as no surprise that researchers tell us that virtually all pregnant women in the United States have measurable levels in their bodies of at least 43 different chemicals -some at levels associated with adverse outcomes. Yet, nearly 4 out of 5 conventionally-trained physicians acknowledge that they don’t counsel pregnant women on ways to avoid or limit exposure to environmental health hazards.
In a national survey of 2,500 physicians across the country, researchers found that while 80 percent of the doctors agreed it is part of a physician’s job to help pregnant patients avoid exposure to environmental toxins, only 20 percent actually did so. The survey, conducted by University of California, San Francisco and published in the science journal PLoS ONE, was the first of its kind. The survey also revealed that half of the doctors admitted they “rarely” took environmental histories.
Why are doctors neglecting their professional duty to counsel pregnant women about their risks?
The short answer: doctors lack the training, time and tools. Only one in 15 of the survey’s doctors reported receiving training on the harmful reproductive effects of environmental pollutants – a truly shocking statistic.
Many doctors said they did not know enough about the hazards of environmental toxins to give clear guidance. And some believed the evidence for harm was inconclusive. While many doctors look to randomized controlled trials as the best source of evidence, research on environmental health and humans is normally conducted through observational studies – which many doctors consider less “reliable.”
However, one of the study’s senior authors, Tracey Woodruff, director of the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment at UCSF, points out that there is strong scientific evidence showing the link between exposure to toxins in pregnancy and adverse health outcomes to children.
Unborn children exposed to mercury and lead, two of the most common pollutants, can suffer from lowered IQ and neuro-developmental problems; exposure to pesticides has been linked to leukemia.
Have these environmental toxins ever been tested on pregnant women?
The short (honest) answer is no. Scientifically speaking, we know very little about how these toxins affect unborn children. In fact, a 2007 study conducted by the California EPA revealed that out of 19 workplace chemicals known to cause developmental harm, 14 were not listed as reproductive hazards.
The issue of environmental toxins and pregnancy takes a back seat to other concerns – a mistake we can ill afford.
Another reason for the lack of counseling on chemicals and pollutants was that the physicians said they consider other health threats to be more important. They listed cigarette smoking, alcohol, obesity, poor nutrition and chronic disease as major concerns in pregnancy; virtually all of the doctors said they routinely counseled pregnant patients on these issues.
Finally, the physicians expressed a sense of futility, saying they were reluctant to cause anxiety, stress and guilt in pregnant women by warning them about the ubiquitous presence of thousands of chemicals found in the home and workplace, when it is impossible to avoid them.
The good news: There are many ways to avoid toxicity
Naomi Stotland, an associate professor in UCSF’s Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and a study co-author, acknowledged that many exposures are in fact unavoidable, but noted that women should still be counseled on practical ways to avoid the most hazardous substances. Past studies have shown that women not only want to know about hazards, they tend to respond proactively when they are armed with information.
Obviously, conventional mainstream medicine must step up and incorporate better training for doctors. A step in the right direction was taken last year, when the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine jointly delivered a Committee Opinion on Exposure to Toxic Environmental Agents, acknowledging and highlighting dangers to women’s health posed by environmental toxins.
As for the doctors themselves – the survey respondents said that evidence-based guidelines would be a good start, along with tools that would help them communicate the risks, such as printed materials with clear, easy-to-understand recommendations.
What you can do to avoid harming your children
Experts say that the best way to limit exposure is to buy organic food. Sharply reduce or eliminate low-fat and non-fat dairy products and meats, and avoid fish high in mercury, such as shark and tilefish.
Avoid chemical-laden fast food, processed foods and canned foods wherever possible. Choose “green” or “environmentally friendly” (non-toxic) household cleaning agents and personal care products. Every woman ought to avoid those imported cosmetics – which contain lead – no matter how ‘pretty’ the product may look or smell.
We, as consumers, must demand more. While it is essential to improve the awareness of physicians on the importance of counseling about environmental toxins, there is also a pressing need to demand more accountability from product manufacturers. On this, the researchers were emphatic, stating that physicians as a group must leverage their voices to put pressure on companies to reveal the truth about their products’ safety – or toxicity.
The time is long overdue. Remember, your voice and purchasing decisions can make this world a better place.
(NaturalHealth365) Toxic heavy metals – generally defined as a group of dense compounds with adverse health effects — are found everywhere: in food, water, soil – even in the air we breathe. So prevalent are these substances that researchers tell us that we all carry a certain amount of these metals in our bodies – depending on age, health and exposure.
Have you ever gotten tested for heavy metal toxicity?
In reality, you don’t need to live near a hazardous waste site, or a manufacturing plant that releases lead or mercury in the form of industrial pollution, to experience exposure to heavy metals. Prolonged use of metal-containing paints, personal care products or pesticides, or ingesting contaminated food, can also cause excessive metals to accumulate in the body.
Acute heavy metal intoxication – the sudden intake of high levels of heavy metals – is a life-threatening condition that can cause kidney failure and damage the central nervous system, heart, digestive tract, liver, endocrine system and bones.
But, what about chronic toxicities from repeated exposures to relatively low levels of heavy metals?
Natural health advocates believe there is cause for serious concern. While conventional medicine considers true clinical metal toxicities to be rare, many natural health experts and naturopathic physicians believe that heavy metal amounts under the classical toxicity threshold can still cause great harm, depleting the body’s store of antioxidants — such as glutathione peroxidase — and increasing the risk of certain cancers and diseases.
At risk are the most vulnerable among us
Children — particularly sensitive to lead intoxication — are exposed to lead in at least 4 million households throughout the United States; there is no identified “safe” level of lead exposure in children. Pregnant women and unborn babies are also believed to be particularly at risk.
A trio of toxins lies at the forefront. Mercury, lead and cadmium, three of the primary heavy metals currently causing concern, all affect the body in different ways.
Mercury, which displaces iron and copper in the body, causes oxidative damage and inactivates natural protective antioxidants; it can also cause a range of adverse effects, from tremors and loss of coordination to kidney failure. Eating coldwater fatty fish, which absorb methyl mercury from the water, is a common source of exposure. Of course, dental amalgams (mercury dental fillings) is another big source of exposure.
Lead displaces magnesium and iron and disrupts calcium metabolism. In toxic amounts, it can cause cognitive deficits, brain lesions, behavioral changes, lowered IQ and anemia. Common sources of exposure are contaminated pipes and lead-based paint.
Cadmium, which binds to red blood cells, disrupts the body’s metabolism of the essential mineral zinc, and can lead to decreased bone mineralization. A known carcinogen, cadmium is absorbed through cigarette smoke. It is also found in soil and ocean water.
Fortunately, new and emerging therapies for heavy metal detoxification feature improvements over the standard methods, offering safer, more focused ways of treating the condition.
Chelation therapy: an old standby gets a new twist
For many years, chelation therapy has been a primary treatment for heavy metal detoxification. Chelating agents, which include dimercaprol, calcium-disodium EDTA and DMSA, bind to toxic metal ions, making it easier for the body to excrete them.
Unfortunately, chelation therapy can also flush essential trace minerals from the body, and can have toxic effects which include kidney overload, cardiac arrest, anemia and mineral deficiency.
Thankfully, scientists are developing safer heavy metal chelators that are highly specific for metal toxins, and which also feature low affinity for essential minerals. A promising new treatment has the tongue-twisting name of polygamma-glutamic acid-coated superparamagnetic nanoparticles; composites of magnetic chitosan and grapheme oxide also show promise. In addition to sparing the body’s essential minerals, these new magnetic chelators can be specifically directed to target affected organs.
Scientists are also tweaking the science of chelation by combining known chelating agents to achieve better effects. In a review published in 2010 in International Journal of Environmental and Residential Public Health, the authors noted the use of DMSA used in tandem with the antioxidant n-acetyl-cysteine.
Scientists have long been puzzled by the fact that elevated blood levels of metals don’t necessarily translate to clinical metal toxicity. On the other hand, metal toxicities can occur in some people with levels believed to be “safe.”
Toxicogenomics, the study of the way toxin exposure changes gene expression, can help determine the true toxicity of metal levels, as well as helping to treat the damage. For example, finding out which genes contribute to resistance to heavy metals not only helps to solve the mystery of individual tolerance to heavy metals, but offers exciting implications for prevention.
In a 2008 review of toxicogenomics published in Journal of Environmental Biology, the authors expressed their hope that identification of novel molecular targets could help treat cancers resulting from heavy metal exposure.
How to reduce toxic metal uptake and minimize your risk
Experts say you can reduce your toxic metal uptake by consuming adequate amounts of the antioxidant vitamin C and E, as well as trace minerals such as zinc, iron and selenium. Carefully reading labels, avoiding mercury amalgam dental fillings, eating pesticide-free organic foods and opting for high-quality fish oil supplements over mercury-heavy fish are also steps you can take to reduce your risk of excessive metal accumulation.
Chlorella, an algae-derived nutraceutical food available in health food stores and online, has been shown in clinical studies to accelerate the excretion of methyl mercury; n-acetyl-cysteine, folate, garlic powder, probiotics and cilantro extract also have detoxifying effects. Although heavy metal accumulations can threaten your health, emerging therapies – along with appropriate personal choices – may be of great use in minimizing the damage and preserving health.
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(NaturalHealth365) This Halloween, instead of your kids gorging themselves on candy, consider playing a game with them. Consider buying their unhealthy candy off of them (and throwing it in the trash) for $0.05 a piece. Trust me… you’ll save money in the long run on medical bills.
Halloween candy is packed with artificial food colorings that were never properly tested on humans before they were allowed into the market. Each of these food colorings are allowed to have certain amounts of heavy metals. Forget about toys and candy from China tainted with lead, the candy here at home is toxic enough to keep the birth defects and childhood diseases coming – for generations.
Halloween candy – a witches brew of heavy metals
Let’s do the math. According to experts, blood levels of lead as low as 5 mcg/dl (50 mcg/liter of blood) is considered toxic in children. A small child’s body contains about 3 liters (30 deciliters) of blood (adults have around 6).
“Double, Double, Boil & Trouble”
So, if your “trick or treater” ingested just 150 mcg of lead, he or she would experience a toxic load. However, according to published research (see below), if the candy your child eats also contains other heavy metals such as mercury, your child only needs to ingest 1/100 of this amount (or 1.5 mcg total) to be considered toxic.(1) Now, throw in a third and fourth heavy metal (e.g. arsenic and metallic- or hexavalent- chromium) and you have created a “witches brew”.
What’s inside that creepy candy?
Unless your child is trick or treating in some make-believe eco-healthy community, he or she is likely to end up with a “cauldron” of lead, mercury, and arsenic in that bag. Below is a list of the amount of lead, mercury, and arsenic allowed in common food dyes – food dyes commonly included in Halloween candy. (Note: 1 ppm (part per million) is equal to 1 milligram per liter (mg/L) or 1 microgram per milliliter (mcg/ml))
FD&C Blue No. 1: Arsenic < 3 mcg/ml; Lead < 10 mcg/ml
FD&C Blue No. 2: Lead < 10 mcg/ml; Mercury < 1 mcg/ml
FD&C Green No. 3: Arsenic < 3 mcg/ml; Lead < 10 mcg/ml; Mercury < 1 mcg/ml
Orange B: Arsenic < 1 mcg/ml; Lead < 10 mcg/ml
Citrus Red No. 2: Arsenic < 1 mcg/ml; Lead < 10 mcg/ml
FD&C Red No. 3: Arsenic < 3 mcg/ml; Lead < 10 mcg/ml
FD&C Red No. 40: Arsenic < 3 mcg/ml; Lead < 10 mcg/ml
FD&C Yellow No. 5: Arsenic < 3 mcg/ml; Lead < 10 mcg/ml; Mercury < 1 mcg/ml
FD&C Yellow No. 6: Arsenic < 3 mcg/ml; Lead < 10 mcg/ml; Mercury < 1 mcg/ml
The bottom line is: stay away from highly colored and dyed candy and other creepy stuff!
When mercury & lead were ingested together – all the rats died!
When you, your partner, or your future baby are exposed to two or more heavy metals, the compounded effects can be devastating. An animal study done on rats looked at what would happen when a mildly lethal dose of mercury was mixed with a mildly lethal dose of lead. The results were shocking.
When rats were given just enough mercury to kill one in 100 rats and then given just enough lead to kill one in 100 rats, researchers expected to kill a total of between one and two rats. Instead, 100 percent of the 100 rats died. While our physiology is much more sophisticated than a rat’s, the research awakens us to the compounded devastation of heavy metal exposure.
Heavy metals, autism & Alzheimer’s disease
Dr. Boyd Haley, retired professor of bio-organic chemistry at the University of Kentucky, has been researching the synergistic effects of heavy metal toxicity on autism and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Haley’s research on birth-hair mineral analysis demonstrated that children diagnosed with autism eliminate less mercury than the average population (and as a result accumulate a higher toxic burden). He also demonstrated that exposure to low levels of mercury vapor causes a dramatic increase in mercury in rat brains, suggesting that mercury (along with aluminum) plays a significant role in autism and Alzheimer’s disease.(3)
Can your body detox heavy metals? Now, you can take a test.
Dr. Haley discovered that a simple genetic test called, Apo-E, could be done to determine an individual’s ability to detox heavy metals, such as mercury. Specifically, the more cysteine molecules present on the Apo-E, the better the person’s ability to detox.
About the author: Dr. Roy Dittman is author of Brighton Baby: A Revolutionary Organic Approach to Having an Extraordinary Child, a ground-breaking, three-book trilogy. To order a copy of Dr. Dittman’s book – visit: BrightonBaby.com
With over 30 years of experience in perinatal and longevity sciences, Dr. Dittman’s life-long commitment to transforming the way in which we conceive, birth, and raise children inspires couples to take action now to protect their future children’s destiny. You can follow him on Facebook, at “Brighton Baby”; and through his weekly blog on NaturalHealth365.com
2. Schubert J, Riley EJ, Tyler SA. Combined effects in toxicology–a rapid systematic testing procedure: cadmium, mercury, and lead. J Toxicol Environ Health, Sep-Nov 1978; Volume 4, Numbers (5-6), pp. 763-76. Available online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/731728
3. Pendergrass J, Haley B, et al. Mercury vapor inhalation inhibits binding of GTP to tubulin in rat brain: similarity to a molecular lesion in Alzheimer diseased brain. Neurotoxicology, 1997; Volume 18, Number 2, pp. 315-324.
(NaturalHealth365) Heavy metal toxicity is a serious health problem due to the accumulating industrial waste products in our air, water and food supply. To make matters worse, your symptoms can not be properly treated by poorly-educated physicians. If you care about your health – get informed (as soon as possible) about the dangers of heavy metals and how to safely detoxify your body.
“Jonathan, I just want to thank you for hosting the NaturalNews Talk Hour. It is very informative and I’m looking forward to the next one!” – Geneva
The definition of a heavy metal
“Heavy metals” are chemical elements with a specific gravity that is at least 5 times the specific gravity of water. The specific gravity of water is 1 at 4°C (39°F). Simply stated, specific gravity is a measure of density of a given amount of a solid substance when it is compared to an equal amount of water. Some well-known toxic metallic elements with a specific gravity that is 5 or more times that of water are arsenic, 5.7; cadmium, 8.65; iron, 7.9; lead, 11.34; and mercury, 13.546 (Lide 1992)
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Exposure to heavy metals can cause major sickness
In small quantities, certain heavy metals are nutritionally essential for life. Commonly known as “trace elements” – iron, copper, manganese, and zinc are commonly found in fruits and vegetables. Health problems can occur when these metals are not properly metabolized and accumulate in the soft tissues of our body. Practically everyone on the planet is being overly-exposed to these metals through the use of pesticides, batteries, alloys, electroplated metal parts, textile dyes, steel, plus much more!
Heavy metals can cause serious damage to your mental capabilities, lower energy levels and harm lungs, kidneys or other vital organs. In fact, many health experts warn that long-term exposure can produce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis. According to the International Occupational Safety and Health Information Centre (1999), even allergies are not uncommon and repeated long-term contact with some metals may even cause cancer!
Top 3 deadly heavy metals
According to The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in Atlanta, Georgia, (a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) – arsenic, lead and mercury are the top three heavy metals to be concerned about with regard to our health.
Arsenic is released into the environment by the smelting process of copper, zinc and lead – as well as by the manufacturing of chemicals and glasses. According to Roberts (1999), lead accounts for most of the cases of pediatric heavy metal poisoning. Lead can be found in pipes, drains and soldering materials for many years. And, of course, mercury exists in three forms: elemental mercury, organic and inorganic mercury. Believe it or not, mercury was added to paint as a fungicide until 1990 and continues to be used in thermometers, thermostats, and dental amalgam. Don’t become a victim – minimize your health risk through education!
This week’s guest: Dr. Chris Shade, heavy metals expert and founder of Quicksilver Scientific (the leading mercury testing lab in the United States)
Heavy Metal Poisoning – A Guide to Detoxification – Thu. Feb. 23
Dr. Chris Shade earned his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois where he studied the environmental and analytical chemistries of mercury as well as advanced aquatic chemistry. During his Ph.D. work, Dr. Shade patented analytical technology for mercury analysis and later founded Quicksilver Scientific.
Dr. Shade’s focus is on the human aspects of mercury toxicity and the human detoxification system. He has developed specific clinical analytical techniques for measuring mercury exposure and a system of products for toxic metals removal.
Detoxify Now! Learn how to safely remove heavy metals from your body – before it’s too late. On the next NaturalNews Talk Hour, we’ll take a closer look at the human detoxification system and provide a step-by-step guide to heavy metal removal. Share this program with your family and friends on Facebook or Twitter and help us save lives!
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About the author: Jonathan Landsman is the managing director of NaturalHealth365.com and host of the NaturalNews Talk Hour – a free, weekly health show sponsored by NaturalHealth365.com and NaturalNews.com. Jonathan is helping millions of people worldwide create health and physical fitness through a variety of educational and entertaining articles, teleconference calls, live shows and special events. Click Here for immediate access to The Inner Circle – a monthly (Online) subscription to exclusive audio interviews, video events plus much more!
(NaturalHealth365) You may be one of the millions of people worldwide taking statin drugs to lower their cholesterol level and lulled into the false impression that reducing cholesterol will reduce risk of cardiovascular disease. The fact is that no study has ever shown statin drugs prevent heart disease. Several studies have shown that both men and women with the lowest cholesterol levels died earlier of all causes.
If you want to reduce your risk of developing heart disease, suffering heart attack or stroke, get a total body burden test for heavy metals. A study reported in the medical journal Circulation found that adults with the very small level of lead toxicity of only 2 micrograms per deciliter, caused dramatic increases in heart attacks, strokes and death. The study found that even after controlling for all other cardiovascular risk factors including high blood pressure, the risk of heart attack increased by an astounding 151 percent, the risk of stroke increased by 89 percent, and the risk of death from heart disease increased by 55 percent.
The aorta, the main artery of the body, is a primary area where lead accumulates. From the heart, the aorta supplies oxygenated blood to the circulatory system. It is no wonder that even small amounts of lead can increase the risk of cardiovascular events and death. Lead anemia is common and often overlooked by traditional healthcare practitioners, who usually advise taking iron supplements. This merely treats the symptom of lead toxicity and allows the lead to cause greater damage. It also poisons the body with excessive iron.
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported in 2003 that high blood pressure in postmenopausal women is strongly correlated to blood lead levels. Bones are another area of the body where lead is deposited. Aging, especially in women, causes bones to decalcify and lead is released into the blood where it can damage the vascular system and accumulate in other areas of the body. The kidney is another organ that may be damaged by lead.
The New England Journal of Medicine reported a study that found using the chelation agent EDTA to remove lead in patients with kidney failure could prevent further loss of kidney function. The researchers concluded that lead detoxification could eliminate the need for dialysis for millions of people worldwide and save billions of dollars. Lead is extremely toxic in the developing bodies of children. “There is no known threshold below which adverse effects of lead do not occur and recent studies demonstrate that lead-associated intellectual deficits occur at lead levels less than 10 ug/dL,” states a report by the American Association of Pediatrics. In other words, there is no safe level for lead in the human body.
There is a highly significant link between lead toxicity and the likelihood of criminal activity in children according to a study by Deborah Denno, Ph.D. The study followed 1000 children from birth to age 22 years. The results found the best predictor of aggressive behavior in school, juvenile delinquency, and eventual criminal violence is the degree of lead toxicity. Several other studies have confirmed the findings of the study.
Where is lead coming from? Industrial waste creates lead dust that can be inhaled and gets into soil and water. Lead based paints were not banned in the U.S. until 1978 so many homes and apartments still have lead paint that creates lead dust. Toys from China have been found to have lead based paints. Lead soldered joints in plumbing can contaminate drinking water and cities with old water mains may be causing lead contamination of water. Washington D.C. had such high levels of lead in their water system that they began to distribute water filters to residents. Other sources of lead include: vehicle batteries, art supplies, bullets, fishing sinkers, radiation shields, some ceramic glazes and sewage sludge.
Cosmetics may contain lead. A study published in 2007 found lead in all 33 brands of red lipstick tested, including an all-natural brand. Even dietary supplements may contain lead. The Australian website, Lead Action News, lists over 60 health effects and symptoms of lead poisoning. The website warns, “Most people who are lead poisoned present no symptoms at all.” That is why lead poisoning is a silent killer. A person can have lead toxicity and have minor symptoms such as hair loss (easily blamed on aging) and then suddenly suffer a massive heart attack.
The most effective testing for heavy metal toxicity is to use a chelation agent such as DMSA, EDTA, or DMPS. Find a healthcare provider who uses a chelation test to learn your full body burden of heavy metals. Blood and hair tests for heavy metals do not provide an accurate total body burden. Chelation agents chemically bind with all heavy metals, drawing the metals from all tissues and allowing the toxins to be safely released in urine. If you do have lead or other heavy metals, including mercury, in your body, there are several chelation methods that can be used for treatment after you have your test results.
About the author: K.L. Carlson is a former pharmaceutical sales representative turned whistleblower. Carlson has been featured in the documentary films “Prescription for Death” and “Making a Killing.” When Carlson was offered an opportunity to work in one of the world’s wealthiest industries, pharmaceuticals, she uncovered the insidious methods drug companies use to create birth-to-grave prescription drug users. Her well-documented book, Diary of a Legal Drug Dealer, One Drug Rep. Dares to Tell You the Truth, provides the shocking evidence of the pervasive control the pharmaceutical industry now has over healthcare; pursuing the industry aim to sell drugs to everyone.