Caring about others may mean caring about our food supply too

I care about others and that is why I worked in a very demanding job for a reasonable but not large salary for my profession and credentials, and why I shared health information online after resigning my demanding job. Good news I thought, about health being obtainable with some attention to neglected nutrients, however it was met with more difficulty than I expected or could ever have imagined, but also with an outpouring of love and support, that was more than I could ever have imagined. I realized that we are a very divided nation, and so I’ve continued to try to share the good news that health can be obtained – with a lot of effort and a very restricted diet in the current food climate.

Whether standard or “health” foods our modern food supply has too many negative chemicals and not as many nutrients as food would have contained prior to about 1950-1985. Modern humans are no longer built out of the same ingredients that we once were. Toxins have been found in most people and types of body fluids that have been sampled in some areas/some research. Many things are not tested for however and that lack of testing is not shared.

In 1983 there was concern that the rate of infertility in women of childbearing age had increased significantly from 6% to 9%. A type of birth control that was used at the time was thought to have been involved in the increased rate. http://www.nytimes.com/1983/02/10/garden/infertility-increases-in-young-women.html

Today 12% of women aged 15-44 (the range considered of childbearing age) have sought fertility services – 7.3 million women. Of the 15-44 year old group of women 6.7% are considered infertile and 12.1% are considered to have impaired fecundity (–> dictionary “fecundity” ~ the ability of females to produce great numbers of offspring – or ideas – or for the planet’s level of fruitfulness and fertility). https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/infertility.htm

I share information because I’m concerned about individual and planetary fecundity. As a health professional I trusted that my recommendations were based on adequate research, however once I resigned and I had more time to look into the background information I was very dismayed to find out that much of the nutrient guidelines are based on very old research or research that seems skewed by corporate or political goals or lack of common sense. Medical research in the for-profit industry is skewed towards finding a way to hijack a step in physiology and substitute a pharmaceutical medication that modifies a symptom or lab test slightly more than a placebo.

The worse news is that the placebo isn’t necessarily no treatment but may be a comparison of the ingredients of the test substance that are considered inert/inactive, however they may not be safe either. A better comparison would be the test substance or treatment compared to no treatment or just whatever dietary and lifestyle recommendations that are part of the standard treatment for the experimental condition.

Roundup is an herbicide that contains glyphosate but it also contains other ingredients that are considered inactive/inert and safety tests are primarily only done and only required to have been performed on the glyphosate. Studies have not been required to continue for an entire animal’s lifespan in the U.S. or for a few generations. I recently learned that generational research was performed elsewhere.

“A Russian study found that feeding hamsters GMO soy resulted in complete sterility after 2 or 3 generations.”  page 35 http://farmwars.info/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Glyphosate-Destructor-of-Human-Health-and-Biodiversity-2.pdf

The combination of the ingredients in Roundup may be even more harmful than the glyphosate alone and may particularly affect aquatic species, particularly amphibians. http://stopthespraybc.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Literature-Review-of-Impacts-of-Glyphosate-Herbicide1.pdf

The rate of infertility and spontaneous abortions has increased in a variety of animal species in the wild and raised domestically for the food industry. A new infectious pathogen has also been identified that is more prevalent in animals raised with more Roundup Ready GMO foods in their diet. “The pathogen is also found in the fungal causative agent of SDS (Fusarium solani fsp glycines).”  http://farmandranchfreedom.org/letter-dr-huber-roundup-animal-miscarriage-infertility/ However that research claim has not been followed up by more substantiated work in peer reviewed journals. He mentions a specific pathogen that includes the word glycines – more recent research suggests a risk that glyphosate is being incorporated into proteins in place of glycine. That is a wild card scenario that nature never experienced in such quantity. We as humans are unlikely to have any idea what differences might occur in a pathogen that is formed with glyphosate in the place of glycine within proteins.

Tests to detect the DNA of a pathogen based on it containing glycine might not detect the pathogen if it is present but made with glyphosate in the place of glycine. The following article discusses testing for the presence of the Fusarium solani fsp glycines pathogen and failing to do so when preliminary tests suggesting that it would be found were positive. See the discussion section regarding the PCR assay that was developed for the study: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1365-3059.2003.00797.x/full

In later articles online that aim to disprove his (unpublished in peer reviewed journals) work he is asked about genetic sequencing of the organism that was discovered and he didn’t provide samples and said it didn’t have DNA and was more like a prion (a protein that can replicate like a virus but which contains no nucleus with DNA). https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2014/10/13/robyn-obrien-defends-anti-gmo-crusader-don-huber-whistleblower-or-crank/#.VDvzVVfLnVk.google_plusone_share

Prions are an infectious protein that does not contain DNA or RNA but which can infect humans and animals and be replicated by the infected cells. Brain damage can be a long term result that causes physical symptoms of loss of muscle control. An active section of the prion does contain several molecules of glycine. https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/recent-research-advances-in-the-glycinexxxglycine-motif-of-mammalian-prion-proteins-2167-0501.1000e151.php?aid=24132 So in an environment/food supply where glycine was in limited supply and glyphosate was prevalent it is possible that prions might occur that are different in structure and activity because they were built with the similarly shaped molecules of glyphosate instead of glycine.

An earlier concern about unknown prion production from the GMO process as a long term potential human health hazard was expressed by a scientist who actually was working with Monsanto during development phases and who quit because of ethical concerns. http://responsibletechnology.org/allfraud/monsanto-whistleblower-says-genetically-engineered-crops-may-cause-disease/

If pathogens exist that are actually other types of pathogens but which were formed with glyphosate instead of glycine, we don’t know what they might be capable of doing because they would be brand new. Canadian research suggested there is an increased risk for Fusarium infection in glyphosate crops.  https://www.organicconsumers.org/old_articles/ge/monsanto121503.php

If we impair the base of the food chain than all species who eat those smaller species will also be at risk of lack of food if not also being at risk of impaired health and fecundity due to the toxins in the environment. If we raise our domesticated animals who are used directly for human food on crops that contain increased amounts of a toxin than we are also increasing our own intake of the potential toxin.

Humans are intelligent but are we also wise?

/Guidance that might be helpful to avoid negative effects of glyphosate – supplemental vitamin D3, coQ10, and trace minerals may help and bathing or soaking in magnesium sulfate salt (Epsom salt) for about 20 minutes every few days. The skin’s ability to make bioactive sulfate and vitamin D may be impaired by glyphosate. To avoid the glyphosate itself – choose as much organically grown ingredients as you can afford. Organic foods used in dietary change research has shown a reduction in the body’s load of toxins before the dietary switch was made. – a summary, use at your own risk as the standard recommendation is that standard food is fine for promoting health for everyone.

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

 

Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause long term nerve degeneration

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin):

Neurological symptoms of B12 deficiency may include:

  • numbness and tingling of the arms and legs; problems walking; disorientation; memory loss; mood changes that may resemble schizophrenia; and dementia.  Damage may occur to the myelin sheath which surrounds and insulates nerves like the plastic coating around an extension cord.  Nerve damage and mental health symptoms may become permanent with long term deficiency of vitamin B12.

Digestive symptoms may include:

  • loss of appetite, a painful tongue, and constipation.  The reason for there to be digestive symptoms associated with B12 deficiency is not well understood.  One theory suggests that undiagnosed digestive problems might have been an initial cause of the  B12 deficiency.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency may also include:

  • pernicious anemia and megaloblastic anemia which are hemoglobin deficiencies that have symptoms of tiredness.  Folate deficiency symptoms are also possible because B12 is necessary in folate metabolism.  Increased heart disease risk from elevated homocysteine levels may result from B6,  B12, or folate deficiency.

People who may be more at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency include:

Those with malabsorption problems, or people with chronic use of antacids and those who are over age 60.  A specific protein cofactor called the intrinsic factor and normal stomach acidity levels are necessary for B12 absorption to be able to occur.  Some individuals receive monthly injections of B12 after reaching older age and some people need to receive them monthly throughout life due to having chronically low vitamin B12 for other reasons than normal aging such as a genetic issue with their production of the intrinsic factor protein.

Sublingual tablets of the supplement are also available which are absorbed in the mouth, bypassing any problems with the rest of the digestive system.

A genetic difference may exist that causes some individuals to require the methylated active form of B12 rather than being able to benefit from the more commonly available supplement which is an unmethylated and therefore inactive form.  [More about methylcobalamin.] A genetic screening test would need to be ordered to find out if there were any differences in the gene that might cause an inability to methylate vitamin B12 or folate/(folic acid is the commonly used supplement which is also in the unmethylated form, and therefore inactive for someone with a genetic inability to perform the methylation reaction – meaning an enzyme is malfunctioning somewhere in the complex chemical chain of events.)

A problem with lower digestive acidity in the stomach could also be managed simply by adding a side dish or condiment to meals that contains vinegar or acidic ingredients. Examples from around the world include chutneys, pickles, lime or lemon juice/fresh wedges, vinegary salad dressing, salsa or Tabasco Sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.

  • What is Worcestershire Sauce? (thespruce) (and how do you spell it?)- It is an interesting story – featuring the chemists Lea and Perrins. (Lea & Perrins is still the best selling brand of Worcestershire Sauce). Who knew chemistry could be so delicious?

Schizophrenia may also be associated with an increased risk for low levels of vitamin B12. Read more: (askdrgonzalez.com/deficiency-of-vitamin-b12-and-schizophrenia/)

Low stomach acid may be an underlying issue with symptoms of schizophrenia and in other mental health disorders. The balance and variety of microbes living within the gastrointestinal tract also may be involved in symptoms resembling mental illness. (Digestion & schizophrenia /PMC4437570/)

Pickles that are made fresh and need to be refrigerated  can be a source of healthy intestinal microbes, in a similar way to the healthy bacteria found in yogurt with active probiotics or Kefir drinks.  A variety of traditional products with live cultures are listed here – and a new one, probiotics are being added to chocolate in some products: (health.com/probiotics & chocolate) Scientists studying the microbiome tend to recommend the live culture foods rather than supplements of probiotics – based on my overview impression of multiple sources. An overview regarding the current recommendations about probiotic supplements is available here: (washingtonpost/people-love-probiotics-but-do-they-really-help/2017/05/19)

Probiotics refers to products that contain actual good guy bacteria, while prebiotics refers to foods that contain fiber or other nutrients which the good guy bacteria need to eat in order to survive and flourish – in competition with the more negative strains of bacteria or with yeasts or other microbes which might be found within our gastro-intestinal tract.

Eating vegetables and other foods that are good sources of some types of fiber also helps support healthier intestinal microbes, a few foods that provide the types of fiber that our intestinal microbes need to eat in order to flourish and protect us from more negative types of microbes, are listed here: (pcrm.org/seven-foods-to-supercharge-your-gut-bacteria)

It is a very good idea to get adequate fiber in the daily diet – because starving microbes will start breaking down and consuming edible portions of the intestinal cells for nourishment – if forced, and it may leave the body more at risk for infection (labblog.uofmhealth.org/gut-bacteria-eat-colon-lining-when-starved-for-fiber) – but why starve your good guy microbes? Our intestinal microbes may also help prevent anxiety. (neuroscienceresearch.wustl.edu.pdf)

Food Sources of Vitamin B12 include: 

  • shellfish, fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, cheese, dairy products, Nutritional or Brewer’s yeast.  Vegetarians who don’t eat dairy, eggs, fish or other meat products may need a supplement or nutritional yeast, a vegan food source of vitamin B12. (nutritional yeast/pubmed/11146329)
  • See the post on Vitamin B6 for more information about how the group of B vitamins work together in energy metabolism and cell growth.

Reference for more information:

An Evidence-based Approach to Vitamins and Minerals:  Health Benefits and Intake Recommendations, 2nd Ed., by J. Higdon & V. Drake, (Thieme, Stuttgart / New York, 2012)

  • A description and source for purchasing the text: (thieme.com)
  • A review of the text: (ajcn.nutrition.org/content/79/5/892.full)
  • The text is produced in cooperation with the Linus Pauling Institute. He is a researcher who used large doses of vitamin C to cure cancer tumors. His work was met with skepticism. More recently research supports his work in that a specific type of cancer cells is very susceptible to vitamin C – while to the rest of the body it is water soluble and non-toxic at the level that was toxic to the cancer cells. (sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213231716302634)

Last reviewed and revised on 9/30/2017.

Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a service for locating a nutrition counselor near you at the website eatright.org: (eatright.org/find-an-expert)

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxal, pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P5P), pyridoxine, and pyridoxamine, ):

nutrient B6 (2) Food Sources of Vitamin B6 include:
  • fortified cereal, barley, buckwheat;
  • avocados, baked potato with the skin;
  • beef, poultry, salmon;
  • bananas;
  • green leafy vegetables;
  • beans;
  • nuts; sunflower and pumpkin seed kernels.
Symptoms of a B6 deficiency may include:
  • A severe deficiency of vitamin B6 may cause seizures;
  • other neurological (nervous system or brain) symptoms affecting mental health may include irritability, confusion, and/or depression;
  • the earliest signs of a B6 deficiency might be observed first in the mouth where the tongue may be swollen and painful and become smooth looking and have a bright magenta color; mouth ulcers and cracks or fissures at the corners of the mouth may also occur;
  • and a weakened immune system may occur with a deficiency of vitamin B6.
  • Three B vitamins, B6, B12 and folate, are all necessary for the breakdown of homocysteine, which at elevated levels may increase risk of heart disease. So deficiency of any one of the three B vitamins, B6, B12 and folate, may be involved with symptoms or a diagnosis of heart disease.

  • Symptoms of PMS (Pre-menstrual Syndrome) and symptoms of prenatal nausea and vomiting may be helped by supplemental B6 intake. This suggests a deficiency may be involved in the underlying cause of the symptoms or that an increased need for the nutrient occurs before menstruation and during pregnancy. All B vitamins are important during pregnancy as they are involved in the growth of new cells and are needed for converting sugar into usable energy.

The skin & GI tract have a rapid cell growth rate which requires energy.
B vitamins are involved in both cell growth & energy metabolism.

B vitamins work together as a group to help breakdown the sugar glucose into a usable form of energy.

Areas of the body that have a short life cycle for cells are the first areas affected by deficiency of B vitamins because new cells need energy to grow and the B vitamin group are also involved in other chemical reactions that are necessary for the growth of new cells. The lining of the intestinal tract can have a cell turnover rate of just one week and the tongue is part of the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract and has a similar quick rate of cell growth.

The skin at the corners of the mouth and the lips in general may also have a slightly quicker rate of cell turnover than other areas of the surface skin. Our outer skin and the lining of the GI-tract are similar and considered part of the same organ system.

“Deficiencies of niacin, riboflavin, pyridoxine, folic acid, or vitamin B12,  resulting from poor diet or from the administration of antagonists, may cause a sore, beefy-red tongue without a coat. In the chronic vitamin deficiency state, the tongue may become atrophic and smooth.”                   – “The Tongue – Clinical Methods – NCBI bookshelf  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK236/

Pyroluria:

Pyroluria may be a genetic problem that causes increased urinary loss of B6 and zinc for some people. For patients with the condition adequate amounts of the nutrient cannot be readily obtained from food sources and large dose supplements are needed on a daily basis of both vitamin B6 and the mineral zinc. The condition is generally not assessed for or treated by the current medical system as it is not easy to diagnose. Anxiety is a primary symptom, migraine headaches and reduced tolerance for stress may also be symptoms. This post of mine has links and sources for more information: http://transcendingsquare.com/2014/09/22/pyroluria-anxiety-and-deficiency-of-b6-and-zinc/

This post by a medical doctor discusses the mental health and other symptoms in more detail. Emily Dickinson and Charles Darwin had similar symptoms. Daily supplements of zinc and B6 and/or the more bioactive form, pyridoxal-5-phosphate, (P5P), can quickly restore more normal health: http://www.judytsafrirmd.com/pyroluria-mental-health-and-the-immune-system/

Lack of dreaming at night is a symptom of pyroluria likely due to a long term deficiency of vitamin B6. Once treatment with the large dose supplements has been underway for a while it is common for patients to report remembering dreaming at night again. Whether the deficiency of B6 is causing less time to be spent at night in the stage of sleep when dreaming is more likely to occur, or whether it interferes with the ability to remember dreams the next morning, is not known.

Reference used for food sources & symptoms of Vitamin B6 deficiency:
Other References used for the food sources of Vitamin B6:

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.