Category Archives: prenatal care

Dr. Herbert wrote a book about autism for parents and general readers

“The Autism Revolution” is available in paperback form on Amazon and more information is also available at the website http://www.autismrevolution.org/ . I haven’t read the book yet but it was recommended by a neuroscientist who has attended a conference held by Dr Herbert which was for parents of children with autism spectrum disorder. He said it was quiet the entire time as the audience paid such close attention.

Children with more severe symptoms can hurt themselves banging their heads on the wall or by tearing the curtain rods off the wall or by wandering away and getting lost outdoors. Having a child with autism can mean that society loses the productive work of at least one parent if not both – someone needs to sleep some of the time. Improving nutrition and changing lifestyle routines can sometimes make an enormous difference in the severity of symptoms – normal is likely not possible but less severe symptoms may be possible — with guidance.

The metabolic issues that can be due to genetic defects underlying autism symptoms can be complex to try to cope with through changes in diet and supplements – but with guidance, symptoms can improve with better nutrition and health of the gastro intestine tract (and our good guy bacteria which help protect us against the more harmful microbes in our microbiome).

  • The Autism Revolution: Whole-Body Strategies for Making Life All It Can Be, by Dr Martha Herbert, MD, PhD and Karen Weintraub, Paperback – March 12, 2013 [link]

/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./

Glyphosate, a consensus statement; a link

The following link is to a long but very thorough paper regarding the herbicide glyphosate and what has been discovered about its potential risks to health:

In my last post I described glyphosate and glycine as being similarly shaped puzzle pieces on one side but not the same on the other side. Another way to visualize the possible way glyphosate may be substituting for glycine would be to consider a lock and key. If the lock is being built with glyphosate instead of with glycine then the shape of the keyhole changes and the normal ‘keys’ will no longer fit in the lock in order to activate the desired function of the protein (a protein that normally contains glycine would be the lock in this example, an enzyme or other type of messenger chemical that activates it might be the key).

/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./

Updates regarding glycine, health, and glyphosate

9/20/2016 Updates to a couple previous posts [1, 2]: See the following post on my other website, lpaad.org  for more about use of dimethylglycine as a supplement and the gene defect that can affect its metabolism:

A recent post included details from Professor Seneff’s talk on dietary and lifestyle tips for reducing exposure to glyphosate and which nutrients might be affected by the chemical and food sources. Increasing intake of a substance that is being inhibited can sometimes help overcome the inhibitory effect. Roughly, the theory being suggested is that glyphosate acts as a puzzle piece that can fit in one side of the puzzle but won’t fit with the other pieces, as it is partially filling the remaining open spot on the piece. Glyphosate also does not provide methyl groups as glycine would. Methyl groups help protect against cancer among other important functions such as re-methylating molecules of vitamin B12 and  folate.

The presence of glyphosate in vaccines almost confirms that theory being presented by Professor Seneff. If it was being built right into the animal collagen  that was used in the Petri dishes for culturing the vaccine microbes, then they would be building their own growing microbe bodies out of glyphosate too.

A building block is a building block, a puzzle piece is a puzzle piece —  whether they fit well together or not, is an important question to ask before strewing them all over the landscape and food supply, and injecting them straight into tiny infants and pregnant women.

/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./

 

Glyphosate was found in vaccines; and tips for reducing dietary exposure

The nonprofit organization Moms Across America paid to have five types of vaccines tested in an accredited laboratory for the presence of the herbicide glyphosate. The chemical, which was originally patented as an antibiotic and mineral chelator, has never been tested or marketed as an injectable drug. Vaccines are injected directly into the blood stream which bypasses the protection of the gastrointestinal system.

The World Health Organization has advised that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen and it may affect hormones which would make it dangerous potentially for pregnant women and their expected infants:

“Honeycutt continues, “The public must know that their vaccines likely contain glyphosate, a toxic weed killer, which is acknowledged by the EPA as a “reproductive effector” ( i.e.: endocrine disruptor) which “can cause liver and kidney damage” and has been shown to be a neurotoxin. The WHO has deemed glyphosate a probable carcinogen.” – Moms Across America

The MMR II vaccine by the Merck company was found to have the highest level of glyphosate, 25 times more than what was found in the other four types of vaccines that were tested: “had levels up to 25 times higher than the other vaccines, at 2.671ppb.” The MMR II vaccine has been associated with autism as an adverse reaction (possibly due to an encephalitis reaction which then leads to the more extreme brain damage seen in patients with autism).

This supports the theory discussed by Professor Seneff, that glyphosate may be in vaccinations due to the use of animal products in the gelatin based Petri dishes in which the antigens for the vaccinations are grown. The theory suggests that glyphosate is similar enough to the amino acid glycine that it may be being built right into the protein structure of the animals body parts which include the collagen that is used to make gelatin. The glyphosate would be acting like a puzzle piece that kind of fits in one side of the protein but has the wrong shape on the other side of the puzzle piece so no other pieces of the puzzle can be added afterwards. One part of glyphosate would fit well into the protein structure but then another part wouldn’t be able to do what glycine does – which is donate methyl groups – which can help protect against cancer.

Some genetic canaries in the coal mine, such as myself, may have errors in the methylation cycle that disrupt the glycine function without needing any help from glyphosate. While filling my vitamin boxes for a week’s supply I was reminded that one of the supplements I added after getting my genetic methylation cycle results is . . . DMG . . . which is Dimethylglycine. I’ve been taking one of the capsules in the morning and one in the evening — but there is no guidance for how much of it I might need with my particular genetic defect.  My favorite phrase – or least favorite: “More research is needed.” Current information available suggests 2 grams of glycine per day may be a typical amount provided by the diet but ten times that amount may increase health benefits, no toxicity upper limit has been set; https://draxe.com/glycine/

Professor Seneff included tips for how to possibly reduce your exposure to glyphosate and some strategies that have been used on farm animals who were made sick by acute exposure to glyphosate.

Professor Seneff’s slides for her discussion lists”Some Important Nutrients“:

  • Curcumin
  • Garlic
  • Vitamin C
  • Probiotics
  • Methyl tetrahydrofolate – (this is the bioactive form of folic acid)
  • Cobalamin
  • Glutathione
  • Taurine
  • Epsom salt baths  [My how to tips for Epsom salt baths]

She also recommends:

  • Get Grounded” — ie work on general lifestyle and stress reduction strategies;
  • Eat organically grown foods whenever possible;
  • Eat foods containing the mineral manganese; (as glyphosate is a mineral chelator which may limit manganese’s availability for essential functions.) She mentions a few foods and shares an image which appears to include: organic whole grains, seeds, organic tofu and other beans, shellfish, tea, dark green leafy vegetables. This list provides more information — for example cardamom and pumpkin pie spice are sources of manganese:  http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-000126000000000000000.html
  • Eat foods containing sulfur; (and/or take the Epsom salt baths which would supply magnesium and sulfur.) She mentions a few foods and shares an image which appears to include: beer, cabbage, organic eggs, especially the yolk, crab, shrimp and scallops, cheese, onions, garlic, organic liver, chicken, and something I’m not going to try to guess. Based on this list of the sulfur content of many foods the image may include a picture of dried apricots:  http://apjcn.nhri.org.tw/server/info/books-phds/books/foodfacts/html/data/data5g.html

Professor Seneff speaks very quickly, I may have missed some of her tips for trying to protect yourself from exposure to glyphosate.

She includes information about extracts from common plants that can treat glyphosate poisoning including:

Extracts from common plants such as dandelion, barberry, and burdock can protect from damage, especially if administered prior to exposure.”* (*C Gasnier et al. Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology 2011, 6:3). [https://occup-med.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1745-6673-6-3]

And cows with glyphosate poisoning have been treated with:

Activated charcoal, bentonite clay, humic and fulvic acids, and sauerkraut juice have been shown to be effective in reducing glyphosate and improving animal health.“** (** H Gerlach et al., J Environ Anal Toxicol 2014, 5:2). [http://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/oral-application-of-charcoal-and-humic-acids-influence-selected-gastrointestinal-microbiota-2161-0525.1000256.pdf]

See the research papers for more detail and a functional medicine professional may be able to help guide individualized treatments with some of the items that are mentioned such as activated charcoal– but seek guidance, professional help is recommended even when using natural treatments.

/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 herbicide glyphosate is similar to glycine, an amino acid

The herbicide glyphosate was originally patented as an antibiotic and as a mineral chelator (a protein that can bind and transport minerals). It has been in use as an agricultural herbicide since 1975. However it’s use greatly increased in the last ten years since genetically modified Round-Up Ready crops were developed. A professor from Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been researching glyphosate and it’s possible role in the development of autism.

Professor Seneff gave two presentations at an Autism One conference earlier this year. The PowerPoint slides to the lectures are available in links included in the Tweets below, click these links for the pdfs to each video: people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/2016…

The first video includes more information about the chemical similarity between glyphosate and glycine. Glycine is an amino acid that provides methyl groups. Glyphosate is very similarly shaped but has an extra side chain and it wouldn’t provide methyl groups. It is possibly similarly shaped enough, however, for glyphosate to be incorporated into the structure of proteins instead of glycine. It would be like a puzzle piece that fits into another piece but won’t allow any other pieces to be added. Glyphosate may fit in glycine’s spot within a protein but then wouldn’t provide any methyl groups and the extra side chain could interfere with receptor function – like having an extension cord with prongs that no longer can fit into an electric socket because the socket is already blocked with something else.

The risk to health if this is true could be significant. Many proteins contain glycine and any one of them might be important in a variety of ways which glyphosate could disrupt. This is in very early stages of research but the impact could also affect vaccinations because the collagen used to culture material for vaccinations could contain glyphosate instead of glycine if the animals from which the collagen was obtained had been raised with feed containing glyphosate residue.

Zika virus that grew in an environment that contained glyphosate might have it incorporated into proteins instead of glycine which could be making the disease far more dangerous prenatally than it had been in past decades before glyphosate became widely used. Zika infections had not been associated with microcephaly until recently. The second video goes into more detail about how glyphosate could be making Zika more dangerous.

Professor Seneff explains in more detail about the glycine/glyphosate similarity in the first video:

I will get back to this topic after rewatching the videos and taking notes on the recommendations she makes about food and lifestyle strategies for reducing glyphosate exposure or reducing glyphosate levels that may be stored within the body.

9/20/2016 Update: See the following posts for more about glycine and glyphosate:

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.

Environmental toxins and neurodevelopmental disorders in children

A consensus statement has been released by the Project TENDR group regarding environmental toxins and the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders in children which include ADHD, autism, and learning and other neurodevelopmental disabilities.  Read more: http://scienmag.com/scientists-physicians-and-advocates-agree-environmental-toxins-hurt-brain-development/

An excerpt lists the environmental toxins the group has identified as potentially  increasing children’s risk of developing ADHD, autism or other neurodevelopmental or learning disorders (the bold font was added by me):

The chemicals and pollutants highlighted in the consensus statement as contributing to children’s learning, intellectual and behavioral impairments are:

* Organophosphate (OP) pesticides

* Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) used as flame retardants

* Combustion-related air pollutants, which include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter

* Lead, with primary sources of water pipes and paint

* Mercury

* Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), industrial chemicals that were commonly used in electrical equipment and now pollute landfills and water

More information on each of these compounds and how families can protect themselves from them is on the Project TENDR website: http://projecttendr.com.

A comparison to  a checklist on one of my older post’s for toxins to avoid in the hopes of preventing autism included four of the groups: 2. PBDEs, 6. PCBs, 4. lead and 5. (methyl) mercury. And 3. formaldehyde is also a combustion-related air pollutant but I will need to add the other combustion-related air pollutants and 1. Organophophate pesticides.

Other risks for neurodevelopmental disorders developing in children may include:

A list of toxins to avoid can be useful for generating a list of foods and lifestyle choices that may be more beneficial or more of a risk for an expectant infant.  Note the phrases “May be,” “might help,” or “might harm” are suggestions rather than firm claims; there are no guarantees in life. Evidence based medicine likes to suggest that there is enough evidence to support a recommendation as being conclusive but the evidence typically does not provide guidance that is clearly 100% for or against something and generally is averaging results for a large group of people so the “average” patient may not even exist in real life. Results might have been clustered at extremes, with a group that was helped and a group that was harmed by the research substance. The average statistic would be from the middle of both groups and might suggest that all people will be helped that middle amount of a little bit rather than that half the people may be helped a lot and half the people may be harmed a lot. People vary in their body’s ability to detoxify and in their body’s supply of nutrients available for detoxifying or for growth and repair. Evidence based medicine frequently looks at the averages of all patients rather than looking at individual results.

Preventative health guidance can suggest that something may help or may be more harmful ,but on an individual basis a health suggestion can not be guaranteed to prevent ADHD or autism in every case, anymore than vaccinations can be guaranteed to be safe for every individual or to never have been associated with autism as an adverse reaction in a few individuals. Vaccinations have been associated with encephalitis as an adverse reaction that leads to autism like symptoms over time.

Rates that are increasing exponentially are likely to plateau or slow down at some point but do we really want to find out how much worse an exponential rate can get before trying to do something about it? Autism used to occur at a rate of about 4.5 children in 10,000 just a few decades ago (1966), in 1994 the rate was as high as 15-40 children per 10,000, and now it is somewhere closer to 1 child in 68 or 1 child in 45 depending on which study or group of children you’re looking at. In 2012 the rate was 1 child in 88.

Excerpt:

Clinicians can identify ASD in children as young as two years old, although children from ethnic minority groups are usually diagnosed at a later age than their Caucasian counterparts. ASD is commonly comorbid with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorders, intellectual disability, epilepsy and other genetic conditions like fragile X syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, neurofibromatosis, congenital rubella syndrome, Down syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, and Angelman syndrome. Until recently, there was little, if any, epidemiological research focusing on the prevalence of ASD in adults. In 2011, one study reported the prevalence of ASD in an adult sample to be 1%, with higher rates for men (1.8%) than women (0.2%) (Brugha T et al, Arch Gen Psych 2011;68:459–466).

Similarly, there are few studies evaluating outcomes and prognosis for adults with ASD. Given current prevalence rates, the population of adults with autism is expected to rise 625% by the year 2030, and the estimated lifetime cost per individual with autism, including caregiving costs and lost productivity, can reach up to $3.2 million (Ganz M, Arch Ped Adol Med 2007;161(4):343–354).

White male children seem to be the group most at risk for developing autism, currently, and Asian children may be the group least at risk (the iodine content in sea weed may be a protective dietary factor and rice may have less risk of having the pesticides that are suspected of being neurodevelopmental toxins than wheat or corn).

The 2010 U.S. census showed a total of 138,053,563 males (49.1% of total population) and 143,368,343 females (50.9% of 281,421,906 total population). http://www.infoplease.com/us/census/data/demographic.html

If approximately 1.8% of adult men have autism and 0.2% of women have autism that would mean approximately 2,484,964 men and 286,736 women may have autism (2,771,700 total) and which might cost up to  $8,869,440,000,000 dollars in lifetime caregiving costs and lost productivity (almost 9 trillion dollars) — and that estimate would just be for the 2010 total. The rate of autism occurrence has increased since 2010. If the rate increases 625% by 2030 then we may expect 17,323,125 adults to have autism at a cost up to $55,434,000,000,000 in caregiving and lost productivity costs (55 trillion dollars)(and approximately 90% would be males, 15,590,812, (with a 1.8% incidence rate) and 10% females, 1,732,312 (with an 0.2% incidence rate)).

Males are more at risk and white males in particular are at greater risk for developing autism. Female hormones may be helping protect the female infants brain development or a milder form with less behavior changes may not be being diagnosed based on the current diagnostic criteria. If we would like infants to have traditional health expectations in the future then it might be worth considering that the baby factories (pregnant women) are malfunctioning at increasing rates, (autism seems to be set up during the prenatal stage that flairs up in the child later in life), and with a personal cost of increasing rates of autoimmune disease (one in nine women of childbearing years are estimated to be diagnosed with some type of autoimmune disease – (see excerpt below). Glyphosate may be inhibiting the ability to activate vitamin D which is essential for the pregnancy and the baby’s development and the woman’s autoimmune risk. Taking Vitamin D supplements can be great but expected benefits might not be seen if the CYP enzymes necessary for activating the vitamin aren’t functional due to glyphosate.

Iodine, zinc, and folate and B12 deficiencies during pregnancy also seem to be involved in increased risk of autism developing in the child later in life. And vitamin D is involved in autoimmune disease risk. Vitamin D receptors work within the immune system and help the body to be less allergic to self or for the mother to be sensitized to the expected infant’s DNA. Low vitamin D in the mother could be increasing her risk for autoimmune disease later in life (microchimerism – a few cells with infant’s DNA in the mother or cells with maternal DNA in the infant may be involved in autoimmune antibodies developing) and increasing the infant’s risk for developing autism later in life. Just giving more vitamin D might not be helping as expected if the herbicide glyphosate is inhibiting the enzymes necessary for activation of the vitamin.

Depending on which diseases are called autoimmune disease, minimally 23.5 million people in the U.S. have some type of autoimmune disease. Excerpt:

Or slice these statistics another way: while one in 69 women below the age of fifty will be diagnosed with breast cancer, according to estimates, as many as one in nine women of childbearing years will be diagnosed with an autoimmune illness, which strike three times as many women as men — and most often strike patients in their prime. According to the National Institutes of Health, autoimmune disease affects far more patients than the 9 million Americans who have cancer and the 16 million with coronary disease.

Rates of type 1 diabetes are perhaps the most telling. Data over the past forty years show that type 1 diabetes, a disease in which immune cells attack the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, has increased fivefold. The story regarding childhood-onset type 1 diabetes is more disturbing. Studies show that the number of children with type 1 diabetes is skyrocketing, with rates increasing 6 percent a year in children four and under and 4 percent in children aged 10 to 14.

Type 1 diabetes researchers insist that today’s rapid rise in this disease cannot be explained by either better diagnostics or by more people suddenly becoming genetically susceptible to type 1 diabetes; rather, a change in environmental factors is the “more plausible explanation.”

The average patient with autoimmune disease sees six doctors before attaining a correct diagnosis. Recent surveys conducted by the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association reveal that 45 percent of patients with autoimmune diseases have been labeled hypochondriacs in the earliest stages of their illnesses. Some of this, no doubt, has to do with the fact that 75 percent to 80 percent of autoimmune disease sufferers are women, who are more easily dismissed by the medical establishment when hard-to-diagnose symptoms arise. In half of all cases, women with autoimmune disease are told there is nothing wrong with them for an average of five years before receiving diagnosis and treatment. Patients — most especially women — are often left feeling both confused and marginalized, or worse, labeled as psychosomatic malingerers.

http://www.alternet.org/story/80129/the_autoimmune_epidemic%3A_bodies_gone_haywire_in_a_world_out_of_balance

Also from that article: the rates of autoimmune disease have been increasing in many industrialized countries, not just the U.S.. And autoimmune disease seems to be more associated with living in urban areas than rural ones. Rates of Type 1 diabetes in children under four years old  has increased six percent and four percent for older children — that is just not right, not traditional, and not fair to our children or their future world. They will have to take insulin shots for the rest of their  (potentially shorter than expected) lives.

If glyphosate inhibits CYP enzymes then it may be affecting the pancreas as CYP enzymes play a role in detoxifying toxins within the pancreas. Chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer may be associated with malfunction of CYP enzymes in the pancreas.  http://www.flandershealth.us/chronic-pancreatitis/the-role-of-enzymes-in-pancreatic-diseases.html

Inhibition of the CYP enzymes might not be involved though, another reference suggests the CYP enzymes in the pancreas of patients with chronic pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer are elevated — but maybe the levels are elevated because the enzymes are not functioning as normal and the body may be making extra to try to compensate for the malfunction – we don’t know what we don’t know until we learn it or admit that we already learned it a long time ago but have been in denial.  https://books.google.com/books?id=J38lUlOxgoEC&pg=PA143&lpg=PA143&dq=CYP+enzymes+role+in+the+pancreas&source=bl&ots=EMkv-013SF&sig=ONq1DMQh6NaVs3uZc77Ay9cKHL0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjsqZ6G1NzNAhXE2R4KHaWLBAAQ6AEIJTAB#v=onepage&q=CYP%20enzymes%20role%20in%20the%20pancreas&f=false


/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./

CYP enzymes are needed to produce both 25 vitamin D and 1, 25 hormone D; and more on glyphosate

The CYP enzymes that were mentioned as being inhibited by glyphosate and necessary for the conversion of 25 hydroxy D into the active 1, 25 dihydroxy D form turn out to also be essential for conversion of vitamin D3* into the 25 hydroxy D form [12] — so glyphosate could be the smoking gun that explains why U.S. citizens on average had lower 25 hydroxy D levels than Canadians (who presumably live farther North and receive less direct sunshine over the course of a year).

  • *I have read more recently that supplements of the D3 version are active in the vitamin D receptor so it may not need the same CYP enzymes to be activated as the D2 supplement form does but the D2 form is more commonly available in supplements, double check the supplement bottle when shopping to see which type is included.  See: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19944755

And this could help explain why taking high doses of supplemental vitamin D has not been found effective to help raise patient’s 25 hydroxy D levels — if the person has glyphosate within their body inhibiting the CYP enzyme then they wouldn’t be able to convert the vitamin D supplement into the 25 hydroxy D form that the lab test is checking for and the supplemental form wouldn’t show up on lab tests for the 25 hydroxy form (which in normal health would then be available as needed to be converted by a CYP enzyme into the active 1, 25 dihydroxy D form whenever the active form was needed). There are multiple types of CYP enzymes with a variety of roles. Breaking down the active form, 1, 25 dihydroxy D, also requires a type of CYP enzyme.

CYP enzymes are also involved in the production of bile salts which help with the digestion of fat. Intestinal problems with symptoms of fatty diarrhea can occur when there is limited bile salts available and fat soluble nutrients may be more poorly absorbed (which includes vitamin D as well as vitamin A and E).

Glyphosate was not originally developed as an herbicide it was first used medically as a mineral chelator (binds with minerals) and as an antibiotic:

It’s important to realize that glyphosate is not “just” an herbicide. As explained by Dr. Huber, it was first patented as a mineral chelator. It immobilizes nutrients, so they’re not physiologically available for your body. [4]

“You may have the mineral [in the plant], but if it’s chelated with glyphosate, it’s not going to be available physiologically for you to use, so you’re just eating a piece of gravel,” Dr. Huber says. [4]

Glyphosate is alsopatented as an antibiotic—and a very effective one at that— against a large number of beneficial organisms. Unfortunately, like all antibiotics, it also kills vitally important beneficial soil bacteria and human gut bacteria. [4]

“Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Enterococcus faecalis—these are organisms that keep you healthy either by providing accessibility to the minerals in your food or producing many of the vitamins that you need for life. They’re also the natural biological defenses to keep Clostridium, Salmonella, and E.coli from developing in your system,” Dr. Huber explains. [4]

“When you take the good bacteria out, then the bad bacteria fill that void, because there aren’t any voids in nature. We have all of these gut-related problems, whether it’s autism, leaky gut, C. difficile diarrhea, gluten intolerance, or any of the other problems. All of these diseases are an expression of disruption of that intestinal microflora that keeps you healthy.” [4]

Glyphosate first came into use as an agricultural herbicide in the U.S. in 1974. Use of the herbicide in the U.S. increased significantly around 2005 when the use of genetically modified Round-UP Ready crops became more common.  “Nearly 67 % of total agricultural glyphosate use in the U.S. since 1974 has occurred in just the last 10 years (Table 2).” [3] Table 3 from the same reference shows a significant increase in use of glyphosate also occurred between 1995 to 2000 but then the total use doubled again between 2000 and 2005 and has not quite doubled again between 2005 and 2014. Table 4 shows that the timing of use and increase of use is similar for global averages. And Table 5 simplifies the information by showing the amount used each decade since 1974 as a percentage of the total; 71.6% of the total agricultural use occurred in the years between 2005 and 2014. Glyphosate is also used as a spray along railroad tracks and other areas where an herbicide that kills all types of plants is desired (and frequently glyphosate used for non-agricultural purposes may be used in those areas at higher concentrations than recommended for agricultural uses or it may be sprayed more often).  [3]

It is unethical to use humans as research test subjects for assessing the toxicity of a substance but when a substance is approved for use in the food supply then the entire population become test subjects (whether they know or not). Comparing health data between communities or countries that don’t use glyphosate products and those that do then becomes a way to assess toxicity of the substance — without having to worry about any pesky ethical issues in research design — the government says the stuff is safe so it must be safe right? The entire population where a product is in use can be assumed to be in the experimental group on average; individuals may or may not be consuming the same amounts of the substance but on average within the country or community where a product is in the use the average person may be assumed to have been exposed to an average amount that would be more than the average amount of exposure that an individual living in a country or community where the product is not in use making those individuals part of the control group — less exposed to the substance in question.

Assessing the health of populations that may be exposed to larger amounts of the suspected toxin can be another way to do “human” research without directly giving toxins to experimental test subjects in one group and not giving the toxins to the control group.

Agricultural workers might be exposed to more of an agricultural herbicide or pesticide than people who simply are eating foods that might have herbicide or pesticide residues. And sure enough agricultural workers do seem to be suffering from negative health affects due to glyphosate. Kidney failure has been a problem among sugar cane cutters and glyphosate is now used as a desiccant applied to the crop just before harvest. Kidney failure has also been observed in agricultural workers in Costa Rica and India:

Agricultural workers in Costa Rica and India are experiencing high rate of kidney failure.” – [2]

Looking at the rates of increase in disease compared to the rate of increase in use of the suspected toxin can be another way to do “human” research without directly giving an experimental group toxins and not giving the toxin to the control group. When looking at the rate of disease increase there are over thirty diseases including autism and Alzheimer’s Disease with increasing rates of incidence that overlap the increased rate of glyphosate and genetically engineered proteins in our food supply:

2. Epidemiological patterns show there’s an identical rise in over 30 human diseases correlated with our increased usage of glyphosate and the increased prevalence of genetically engineered proteins in our food. [4]

Genetically engineered proteins refers to the mystery substances that can be created during the process of developing genetically modified organisms. Genes from one species are inserted into the DNA of the organism that is being modified. The segment of DNA that is inserted may contain many individual genes that encode a variety of proteins in addition to the desired one (such as resistance to glyphosate). New allergenic proteins can be created in addition to the desired goal (of resistance to glyphosate for example). [4]

Do we want a food supply based on traditional foods that nourish the body as nature designed? Or do we want a corporate profit system that sells food like substances that are actually man-made, untested experiments? Genetically modified crops have been shown to have less nutrient content and more herbicide and pesticide residue than traditional crops as well as the mystery genetically engineered proteins.

To give a gross but memorable example – what if the makers of clam tomato juice (a real product used in some alcoholic drinks) wanted to save their product from the risk of ocean acidity or increased temperatures in fresh water ecosystems [5] causing a reduction in the number of clams available for making clam juice and so they decided to develop a genetically modified clam flavored tomato?

The segment of DNA that encodes for clam aroma might be selected for insertion into a tomato seed’s DNA. The segment of DNA from the clam, however, might also include a few other genes that encode for shellfish proteins that cause allergies. If the genetically modified tomato incorporates not only the clam aroma gene but also incorporates some allergy causing shellfish protein genes then the resulting genetically modified clam-tomato would be an allergy risk to people with shellfish allergies.

This would not be a problem if the GM clam-tomato was only used to make clam tomato juice as consumers with shellfish allergies would have a product label that suggested there was clam content in the substance but if the GM clam tomatoes ended up being grown as a replacement for most of the tomatoes and were used in most tomato products  then the shellfish allergic person might not know to start avoiding all tomato products in addition to having to avoid all shellfish products. (This is a smelly and not realistic example; if the GM hybrid worked as hoped then the clam aroma would be obvious whether the label mentioned GMO or not and so shellfish allergy sufferers would likely learn to avoid tomato products after having a few bad reactions or to at least sniff them before eating.)

I digress and am now giggling, sorry for the smelly example. Except that people with fish allergies actually may be at risk from a different type of genetically modified tomatoes:

Tomatoes have been developed that resist frost and freezing temperatures with antifreeze genes from a cold-water fish, the winter flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus). [9]

The cold-water fish-tomato GMO has not been approved yet for general use so fish allergy sufferers can eat tomato products without worry (yet, tomato isn’t on this list of GMO crops that have been approved for general use: [10] *and I haven’t cross checked this reference for validity, it may be a joke, I read it on the internet after all aplogies to the scientists involved if it isn’t a joke.

But do we really want a food supply based on man-made untested experiments? Or on man-made untested herbicides that may have originally been designed as mineral chelators or antibiotics? Or on man-made untested experiments that produce pesticides within the portion of the plant that is intended to be sold for human or animal consumption? (Bt GMOs are designed to produce a bacterial toxin within all parts of the plant so insects eating any part of the plant will be killed by the bacterial toxin. The GM Bt toxin turns out to be a slightly different shape than the type of Bt toxin that was traditionally used as a surface spray pesticide and which was used as a basis for safety expections about the Bt GMOs. [8] More on Bt crops and other references are in the last post.)

Genetic modification is not well controlled with one specific gene being inserted into the plant to by modified.  A segment with many genes may be inserted and a number of changes can occur within the new species of plant. We are playing with Mother Nature or God’s roles in the creation of life. Genetic modification may be profitable for the agribusinesses or chemical company but it may be costing our environment and individual health more than we realize. Our food supply is not the only species at risk for human manipulation. Goats have been genetically modified to produce spider silk proteins within their milk which is then filtered out to be used to “make a lightweight, ultra-strong silk with a wide range of industrial and medical uses.” [9] *I didn’t cross check this for validity.  (While that’s great for humans is it healthy for the new species baby spider-goats? *my term. The article does not mention whether baby spider-goats are allowed to nurse from their mother’s or if they are bottle fed goat milk from normal goats.)

If there’s a summary point it may be that we really need to stop the use of glyphosate and Round-Up Ready genetically modified crops and Bt crops and any others that have been associated with up to or over 30 diseases. “Proof” that something is harmful can be difficult to provide when human clinical trials can’t ethically be performed due to the risks of the experimental substance. We have to rely on the less clear but increasing large amount of circumstantial evidence that humans (and animals and insects and soil microbes) are being harmed by the man-made and largely untested experimental crops and chemical herbicides and pesticides. Agricultural workers as a group are among the most at-risk group of industrial workers for suffering acute or long-term health problems due to chemical exposure [6] — they are producing our “food” or are they producing our “food-like toxin delivery units“?

Lack of protective gear and safety information in a foreign language are part of the problem of farm-worker poisonings. The majority of acute (short-term high dose exposure) poisonings occur in developing nations even though the they don’t use the majority of total pesticides used globally. “As a result of the frequently problematic handling of pesticides in developing countries, 70% of all pesticide poisonings and 99% of resulting deaths occur in these countries, despite the fact that of all pesticides used globally, only 25% are applied there.[41]” [6]

It’s a little unrealistic but individually if enough consumers stopped buying all of the Round-Up Ready GMO crops and crops that use it as a desiccant and Bt crops then maybe eventually the agribusiness profit margin would be affected enough to lead to their spontaneously stopping the use of those products. I won’t hold my breath though, I will just continue avoiding the products myself as I have found they do make my autoimmune symptoms worse.

This is likely an incomplete list but just for starters:

The glyphosate avoid list: “corn, soy, sugar beets, canola oil, and cottonseed oil, as well as wheat and sugar cane” (glyphosate is used as a desiccant on wheat and sugar cane) [http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/roundup-the-nontoxic-chemical-that-may-be-destroying-our-health/]

The Bt avoid list: corn, cotton (the cotton crop may be used to make cottonseed oil which is used in prepared deep fried foods, in margarine, and other oily packaged foods). [9, 10] *I’m not sure if this means cotton clothing should also be avoided as a source of glyphosate exposure or if it is just in reference to the cottonseed oil products.

And soy has been modified not only to be glyphosate resistant but it has also been developed to produce two types of Bt toxin. [11]

At least 90 percent of the soy, cotton, canola, corn and sugar beets sold in the United States have been genetically engineered. The adoption of herbicide-resistant corn, which had been slower in previous years, has accelerated, reaching 89 percent of U.S. corn acreagein 2014 and in 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. [9]

Genetically modified products can be life saving, and they may even be able to help save species at risk from widespread infections (papaya was at great risk from a virus and the genetic modification made a GMO virus resistant strain of papaya), but they can also be a wild-card with unknown effects on the environment and within humans and other species. The genetically modified papaya may have risks for allergy sufferers as the virus protein that was used has similar chemical structure to a known allergen and wind is causing cross-pollination and hybridization of the virus resistant strains with organic farmer’s natural strains of papaya which can then leave them at risk of being sued by the chemical company Monsanto for use of patented crop. [12]

“If you control the seed, you control the food; if you control the food, you control the people.” – an old saying shared by Hawaii Co. Councilwoman Margaret Wille at a “March against Monsanto” rally. [13]

Hawaii has had a significant amount of herbicides and pesticides and GMO crops used on the chain of islands because the Monsanto company has been raising the GMO seeds there. Hawaii Co. councilwoman Margaret Wille also shared the concern of farmers who would like to be able to sell their crops to Japan and European countries that have banned GMO crops. If wind can cause cross-hybridization of an organic crop that not only places the farmer at risk of a lawsuit by Monsanto it also makes the crop unable to be sold to Japan or other countries that have banned GMO crops. [14]

There is a market for non-GMO food. Crops and soil microbes and weeds are at risk of incorporating genes from genetically modified crops into their own genetic structure through cross pollination with the GMO pollen or horizontal gene transfer. The segments of genes that are inserted into a plant to create a GMO can transfer to some other types of species such as soil microbes directly in a way somewhat similar to the way the scientist made the GMO. The gene segments were designed to invade and be incorporated into the species being modified and once they are in widespread use in nature they may be continuing to invade and be incorporated into many other life forms to create super weeds and possibly may be adding to the problem of increasing varieties of drug resistant bacteria and the more virulent viral diseases that are being spread at increased rates by mosquitoes. [14]

Human health and Vitamin D and hormone D are important but so is protecting the environment and all of its many life forms from mobile mutant gene segments. Humans are not Mother Nature or God and so we need to stop pretending that random genetic experiments are automatically safe for widespread use with only minimal testing.

Increased rates of over thirty diseases have been associated with the introduction of GMO crops and the increased use of glyphosate and 70% of the glyphosate has been used in just the last ten years. What are we to expect regarding chronic illness and more virulent virus and drug resistant bacteria in another ten years?

*This veered away from glyphosate’s inhibition of the CYP enzyme and vitamin D and whatever my original point might have been (that glyphosate may be inhibiting the conversion of supplemental vitamin D into the form the lab tests look for — 25 hydroxy D as well as inhibiting the activation of 25 hydroxy D into the hormone form 1, 25 dihydroxy D which is essential for many things including immune health), into a more general discussion of GMOs and the environment, but the connection is that most species have many similarities in how their bodies work. And problems in human health are going to suggest problems will be occurring in other mammals’ health — our pets, livestock and wildlife. The enzymes for vitamin and hormone D and the functions of  vitamin D receptor act in the same ways across many species and types of life. Health problems are likely to show up throughout the food chain due to the glyphosate being applied on food crops and for non agricultural purposes.

It lingers in the environment and in our bodies as it’s not readily broken down. Ten years of heavy use has already led to super weeds and health problems and the approval of DDT for GMO use — we need to stop risking we don’t know what kind of consequences as more toxins add up and interact in ways we also don’t know the consequences of. GMOs are very helpful but should be tested in small isolated areas for many years before being released into general use. And the issue of horizontal gene transfer and risk of more super-weeds and more virulent or drug resistant bacteria developing is a serious one that should be considered also. Genetic modification may need to be limited for use in general — it is an ethical question facing future generations as the chemicals linger.

As individuals we can avoid using glyphosate products on our own lawns and gardens. We can also try to buy more organic choices of the foods listed above but truly avoiding all of those foods is extremely difficult as they are used as ingredients in many types of processed foods that you wouldn’t think of as corn or soy or cottonseed oil (deep fried snack foods like chips). But for people who are really sick it may be worth trying to use less of the listed foods and see if you feel better. Food is our fuel and our building blocks to repair and regrow.

/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./

  1. Jones G, et. al., Cytochrome P450-mediated metabolism of vitamin D, J Lipid Res. 2014 Jan; 55(1): 13–31. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3927478/
  2. Seneff, S., Roundup (C): The Elephant in the Room, MIT CSAIL, Oct. 16, 2013,  [https://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/glyphosate/glyphosate_wellesley.pptx]
  3. Charles M. Benbrook, Trends in Glyphosate herbicide use in the United States and globallyEnvironmental Sciences EuropeBridging Science and Regulation at the Regional and European Level 2016 28:3 (Feb. 2, 2016)
    https://enveurope.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s12302-016-0070-0
  4. Dr. Mercola, Toxicology Expert Speaks Out About Roundup and GMOs(Oct. 16, 2013) http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/10/06/dr-huber-gmo-foods.aspx
  5. by Guy Woodward, Daniel M. Perkins, Lee E. Brown, Climate change and freshwater ecosystems: impacts across multiple levels of organizationhttp://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/365/1549/2093 *Interesting but unrelated to CYP enzymes or glyphosate: Increased freshwater temperature can be expected to impact species’ need for nutrients as the basal metabolic rate (BMR) is increased at higher temperatures and it also increases with larger body size. So larger species may have a difficult time increasing their foraging enough to meet their increased calorie needs as their environment becomes warmer on average.

    “Essentially, because individual basal metabolic rate (BMR) is set by body size and temperature, respiratory costs will rise as BMR increases, and this will be most pronounced among larger organisms at higher temperatures (Brown et al. 2004; figure 4a).”

  6. Pesticides and Health Hazards: Facts and Figures, Pestizid Aktions-Netzwerk e.V PAN Germany, (2012)  http://www.pan-germany.org/download/Vergift_EN-201112-web.pdf
  7. [http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/roundup-the-nontoxic-chemical-that-may-be-destroying-our-health/]
  8. http://earthopensource.org/gmomythsandtruths/sample-page/3-health-hazards-gm-foods/3-8-myth-gm-bt-insecticidal-crops-harm-insects-harmless-animals-people/
  9. http://www.livescience.com/40895-gmo-facts.html
  10. http://time.com/3840073/gmo-food-charts/
  11. http://www.nationofchange.org/2015/01/11/new-double-bt-toxic-soy-just-approved-us-department-agriculture/
  12. http://butterbeliever.com/trouble-in-paradise-gmo-papayas-from-hawaii/
  13. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/05/us/on-hawaii-a-lonely-quest-for-facts-about-gmos.html?_r=0
  14. Hawaii Co. Councilwoman Margaret Wille on bill to ban GMO on the islandhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OY_nYv_7uI4

Methylation Cycle Defects – in me – genetic screening “for research purposes only”

I purchased an independent genetic analysis which clearly states that it is “For research purposes only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.” The screening is for informational purposes as there isn’t a physician providing individual care. But that is okay since I enjoy research with an experimental group of N=1 (me).

The genetic screening panel, is self pay, not covered by insurance, and while the company provides free information it also sells nutritional supplements designed to support the special metabolic needs associated with defects in the methylation cycle, which can affect levels of B12 and folate in particular. The screening assessed my genes, (from a finger stick blood sample that I provided by mail), for thirty different gene mutations known to be involved in the methylation cycle, and found — drum roll — eleven mutations in my genes. Four of them are double mutations which I think means that the mutation is on both genes – no normal genes for that protein for me, means that my body has no recipe card to make four types of proteins.

And — drum roll — one of the single gene mutations is on my Vitamin D Receptor gene — specifically of the Fok1 type which has been associated with an increased risk for autoimmune disease.  With a single gene mutation I think roughly half of my Vitamin D Receptors might be normal and half might be three amino-acids longer than normal as described in the following excerpt from a research article about Type 1 Diabetes:

“Variants of the VDR gene have been associated with susceptibility to several autoimmune processes. The roles of the VDR gene polymorphisms depend on their locations (Slattery, 2007). FokI polymorphism is within the DNA binding domain, near the 5′ end, and the rest of the SNPs are in the 3′UTR region within the ligand binding domain. The FokI polymorphism creates an alternative ATG initiation codon in exon 2 leads to a 3 amino-acids longer VDR protein by directly introducing a start codon. A functional impact of this polymorphism on the immune response has been demonstrated (Colin et al., 2000; van Etten et al., 2007). However, VDR gene SNPs influence on VDR expression differ in different populations.” – Elham O. Hamed et. al., “Vitamin D Level and Fok-I Vitamin D Receptor Gene Polymorphism in Egyptian Patients with Type-1 Diabetes,” [http://app.egyptlearn.com/eji/pdf/june2013/1-Elham-Sohag.pdf]

I’m not sure if having an extra “start” codon on half of my Vitamin D Receptors makes them more “startable” / more over active, or whether it would make them less effective. The article suggests the mutation does leave patients more likely to become calcium and vitamin D deficient but it never mentions whether hormone D levels were ever measured or not.

Additional link 7/14/16, suggests that the Fokl polymorphism may have long and short versions and the long version may cause over activity of the vitamin D receptor and the short version may be under active. And it mentions that defects in the VDR gene may increase risk for hyperparathyroidism, osteoarthritis, cancer and infection risk. Increased intestinal absorption of calcium and increased bone turnover may be a factor in the increased risk for osteoarthritis. Excerpt:

“In a series of 20 fibroblast cell lines of different VDR genotype, the relative transcription efficiency was measured of the endogenous VDR protein which was differing by the genotype at the FokI RFLP (F and f alleles) and the poly(A) stretch with long (L) and short (S) alleles which is acting as a transcription factor for a 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3-responsive reporter gene. This study provided evidence for so-called high (of the “FL” genotype) and low (of the “fS” genotype) VDR activity.”

“Indeed, the VDR gene has been found associated with a number of different phenotypes of which, especially, the associations with osteoarthritis, hyperparathyroidism, cancer and infection-susceptibility, so far are supported by several independent and large studies reporting similar associations.” “For example, VDR gene variants can influence calcium metabolism through differential absorption in the intestine and, at the same time, influence bone turnover, while also the occurrence of osteophytosis (as a part of osteoarthritis) can be influenced, together resulting in a net effect on BMD measured at a certain site, at a certain age and in a subject with a certain diet.”

[Uitterlinden A., et. al., Vitamin D receptor gene polymorphisms in relation to Vitamin D related disease states. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 89–90 (2004) 187–193http://web.udl.es/usuaris/e4650869/Morella06/BB/VDR%20related%20diseases.pdf] [via http://questioning-answers.blogspot.com/2015/07/vitamin-d-metabolic-gene-variants-and-risk-for-autism.html]

That is interesting as I’ve had osteoarthritis symptoms in two of my toes for years (there’s an increased risk for dancers and people in other sports to have osteoarthritis develop due to overuse or injury and I had broken two toes as a teen. The toes healed at the time but lost range of motion later in life. I’ve also experienced secondary hyperparathyroidism which was diagnosed more recently and the hormonal imbalance can cause significant mental health symptoms. Maintaining my calcium and magnesium intake in balance  while limiting intake of vitamin D and exposure to excessive sunlight seems to be adequate for helping me to be able to keep my parathyroid hormone level within normal limits without further medication or other treatment.

A different older post has a citation that clarified the roles of vitamin D and hormone D. Vitamin D is actually only associated with a carrier protein that seems to act as an “off” switch and prevents it from activating the Vitamin D Receptor. Any free D that is not carried by the special carrier protein, becomes activated to the hormone. And since there are typically many, many more open Vitamin D Receptors in the body than the supply of active hormone could ever fill, any free D, if there is a deficiency or lack of the carrier protein, is likely to become activated to hormone D and then proceed to activate a Vitamin D Receptor. My lab tests and symptoms have always been worse when I have excess D so I’ve been wondering if I might have a genetic mutation in my D carrier protein gene, but this methylation cycle panel didn’t check that gene.

The four double mutations are in the genes: MTHFRC677T (Call – T), MTRR/A66G (Call – G), BHMT/1 (Call – T), and MAO A/R297R (Call – T).

The seven single mutations are in the genes: SHMT/C1420T (Call – Hetero), MTR/A2756G (Call – Hetero), BHMT/8 (Call – Hetero), CBS/A360A (Call-Hetero), COMT/V158M (Call-Hetero), COMT/H62H (Call-Hetero), as well as the VDR/Fok1 (Call-Hetero) mutation.

Genetic defects in the methylation cycle of expectant mothers or in the expected infant have been associated with an increased risk for autism developing in the infant later in life. Children with a COMT mutation were at increased risk to develop autism, but I will have to dig through old posts, (1, 2), to find that citation: [4: Schmidt RJ1, Hansen RL, Hartiala J, Allayee H, Schmidt LC, Tancredi DJ, Tassone F, Hertz-Picciotto I., Prenatal vitamins, one-carbon metabolism gene variants, and risk for autism., Epidemiology. 2011 Jul;22(4):476-85, [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21610500] I didn’t include the specific genetic mutations in the old posts; the article mentioned two for mothers and one for the child. The COMT 427 AA gene in the child turns out to be a slightly different mutation than the COMT mutations reported in my genetic panel, however I do have the double T mutation in my MTHFR 677 gene mentioned in this article as placing expectant mothers at increased risk for having a child with autism. But my CBS mutation is single and also different than the one mentioned in the following excerpt:

Excerpt from the Abstract:

“Significant interaction effects were observed for maternal MTHFR 677 TT, CBS rs234715 GT + TT, and child COMT 472 AA genotypes, with greater risk for autism when mothers did not report taking prenatal vitamins periconceptionally (4.5 [1.4-14.6]; 2.6 [1.2-5.4]; and 7.2 [2.3-22.4], respectively). Greater risk was also observed for children whose mothers had other one-carbon metabolism pathway gene variants and reported no prenatal vitamin intake.”

Excerpt from the article:

“However, children with the COMT 472 AA genotype were at increased risk for autism if their mothers reported having taken periconceptional prenatal supplements (OR = 1.8 [CI = 0.99–3.5]), and were at substantially higher risk if their mothers did not (7.2 [2.3–22.4];”              [4, full text article available]

The four double mutations are in the genes:

  1. MTHFRC677T (Call – T), Methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase, This version of the gene may have less activity than the more typical version of the gene (the T stands for Thymine, the more effective version has a C, cytosine). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methylenetetrahydrofolate_reductase  It may cause hyperhomocysteinemia especially if levels of folate, B6 and B12 are deficient. [http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/test-catalog/Clinical+and+Interpretive/81648] May make deficiency of methylated folate more of a risk and make folic acid supplements not useful.
  2. MTRR/A66G (Call – G), 5-methyltetrahydrofolate-homocysteine methyltransferase reductase or methionine synthase reductase, This mutation may increase risk for elevated levels of homocysteine and may affect folate and vitamin B12 methylation. Levels of B12 might be normal but not functional due to the lack of methylation. [http://mtrra66g.com/] * this site is commercial and recommends a methyl form of B12 however one of my other mutations might be affected negatively by excess methyl donors, see the selfhacked.com link in the #4 “warrior gene” within this list.  [https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/gene/MTRR] [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/gene/4552]
  3. BHMT/1 (Call – T), Betaine-homocysteine methyltransferase (BHMT),  This enzyme helps produce  the amino acids methionine and Dimethylglycine (DMG). DMG has been found helpful in ADHD, autism, allergies, alcoholism drug addiction, and chronic fatigue syndrome among other chronic issues. Methionine has been found helpful in treating depression, allergies, alcoholism and schizophrenia among other chronic issues. Hypothyroidism may be associated with over expression of this gene: [http://www.wikigenes.org/e/gene/e/635.html] Choline deficiency disease and hyperhomocysteinemia (a heart disease risk factor) may be associated with this gene — (not necessarily with this specific mutation though). The protein that the gene normally produces is necessary in metabolism and in the CDK-mediated phosphorylation and removal of Cdc6 SuperPath: [http://www.genecards.org/cgi-bin/carddisp.pl?gene=BHMT] And the CDK-mediated phosphorylation and removal of Cdc6 SuperPath involves 97 other pathways which include a Calcium2+ pathway and a Parkinsons Disease pathway and creatine metabolism (important for muscles) and synthesis of DNA and many other metabolic paths/chains of chemical events  (so a double mutation in this gene may make it difficult for me to make phospholipids endogenously, but this information is out of my depth, organic chemistry wise): [http://pathcards.genecards.org/card/cdk-mediated_phosphorylation_and_removal_of_cdc6] This double mutation in combination with the single mutation (+/-) in (#3 below) BHMT/8 and (#4 below)CBS/A360A may exacerbate each other’s negative effects on my body, causing an up-regulation of the CBS pathway and also may make it more difficult for me to remove toxic heavy metals from my body – see #4 in the next list for the link.
  4. MAO A/R297R (Call – T). “Monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) is an enzyme in the brain,” Nick-named “The Warrior Gene” because levels need to be just right because it causes the breakdown of neurotransmitters and too little or too much can cause different symptoms from increased violence to increased anxiety and less aggression. “The G or GG allele indicates higher levels of the enzyme, while the T allele indicates lower levels (T is the ‘risk’ allele). (R)   In females, the G allele was associated with higher outward anger (p = 0.002) and it seems like G allele also causes aggression in males. (R)” The T version of R297R mutation is associated with generalized anxiety disorder (which was one of my earlier “diagnoses” but it was from talk therapy with a MSW so it never really “counted” with psychiatrists that I saw more recently.) “Females with TT reported higher levels of ‘‘angry temperament’’.  Female suicide attempters with TT reported higher ‘‘self-aggression’’” “Women are less likely to have these genes.” “People with the low activity MAO-A gene (2R, 3R) are overall more prone to violence. Specifically, when these people feel very provoked or socially isolated their aggression will come out. People with low MAO-A are more likely to be risk takers.  They are are also more likely to take revenge and use greater force if they get screwed over, but not for small screw overs. Mice with low MAO-A are also more aggressive in general and are more likely to start turf wars. People and mice with low MAO-A are more impulsive and aggressive. People with low MAO-A who are abused as kids show more aggressive behaviour as an adult.” The herbal supplement Gingko biloba, riboflavin (vitamin B2), bio-identical progesterone, and keeping to my circadian rhythm, (keeping a regular day/night wake/sleep cycle instead of pulling all-nighters and then sleeping in), may help me if I have low levels of the enzyme (and excess aggression/anxiety): [http://selfhacked.com/2014/12/07/about-mao-a-and-what-to-do-if-you-have-the-warrior-gene/] Reserpine, a drug based on an herb called Rauwolfia serpentina, or Indian snakeroot or sarpagandha may also help: [http://www.warriorgene.info/] * a commercial site.

The seven single mutations/polymorphisms are in the genes:

  1. SHMT/C1420T (Call – Hetero), Serine hydroxymethyltransferase, This polymorphism was not found to have an increased risk of Down’s Syndrome (DS) (thought possible because it affects folate) and levels of metabolites of the folate pathway seemed similar between the experimental groups of mothers (had children with DS) and control groups of mothers (did not have children with DS).  A protective role was actually found for this polymorphism (which sounds nicer than mutation, allele is another word for variations of the same gene.) [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21687976]
  2. MTR/A2756G (Call – Hetero), methionine synthase gene, This mutation may cause up-regulation of the conversion of homocysteine to methionine which requires and might use up stores of methylated B12. [http://mtra2756g.com/] * a commercial site.
  3. BHMT/8 (Call – Hetero), see #3 above for general information about this gene’s protein.
  4. CBS/A360A (Call-Hetero), “CBS (cystathionine beta synthase) is a gene that converts homocysteine into cystathionine. 
The CBS pathway is the gateway into a number of essential biochemical processes. 
The biochemical pathways that follow and are linked to CBS are Transsulfuration and Glutathionine Synthesis.

 It is essential to address that Glutathione (GSH) is among the most important endogenously-produced antioxidants in every cell of the body. Glutathione activity in cells is critical for normal detoxification and defense mechanisms in every cell.” (I’m suggested to eliminate eggs from my diet — too late, they are already gone, but also cruciferous vegetables, onions and garlic – sad face. but I’m also suggested to avoid excess methyl donors like choline — and coffee is a methyl donor – sad face – it is already gone too, very sad face): “Restriction of supplemental methyl groups is important. We all need methyl groups, but those with active CBS up-regulations 
need to be cautious with how much sulfur and how many methyl groups they are taking in daily.
 This includes common supplements such as: L-methionine, L-cysteine, L-taurine, MSM, Glucosamine,  L-Glycine, DMSO, SAMe, NAC, methylcobalamin, methyl-folate, Betaine HCL, Choline. Restricting Vitamin B6 may also be warranted in CBS up-regulations. P5P (pyridoxal 5 phosphate), however, does not appear to increase CBS activity.” [http://metabolichealing.com/metabolic-gateways-cbs-gene-mutations-glutathione/] *That link is to a clinic. (So when my B6 runs out, I should special order the P5P version — which a pharmaceutical company is trying to patent as a prescription medication, if it can gain the FDA’s approval to make the more biologically active form of an essential nutrient unavailable without a prescription because it would interfere with their potential profits: “How does Medicure think it can get away with this? Its petition states rather candidly: “Pharmaceutical companies developing new drugs must be protected from companies that may seek to market the ingredients in those drugs as dietary supplements. The marketing of such products has the potential to undermine the incentive for the development of new drugs because many people may choose to purchase the supplements rather than the drugs.”” An essential nutrient is not a drug — companies have to tack on a fluoride or bromide or something else that makes the new chemical slightly different in order to be able to patent a chemical within the normal process. Bio-identical nutrients are not usually able to be patent protected – because they are essential, especially for people with metabolic defects in their ability to convert less active forms to the more active form. In my state, the Michigan Consumer Protection Act of 1976 is supposed to protect people from having their disability used against them in business transactions such as buying a supplement or prescription medication. 445.903x: “(x) Taking advantage of the consumer’s inability reasonably to protect his or her interests by reason of disability, illiteracy, or inability to understand the language of an agreement presented by the other party to the transaction who knows or reasonably should know of the consumer’s inability.“, And products aren’t supposed to misrepresented such as calling an essential nutrient a prescription medication: 445.903e: “(e) Representing that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality, or grade, or that goods are of a particular style or model, if they are of another.”  [http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(45hcye5dzt3luno152p33nku))/mileg.aspx?page=getobject&objectname=mcl-445-903])
  5. COMT/V158M (Call-Hetero), Catechol-O-Methyltransferase, Variations of this gene may lead to swings in dopamine levels that can cause mood swings. Red and purple foods may not be processed well and also may cause problems in mood swings for some people (like purple berries and red food dye (?) just reading, aghast that I’ve survived this long. Red food dye was one of my earliest migraine triggers.) [http://resqua.com/702188759/what-does-the-comt-gene-mutation-mean] Defects in this gene are associated with ADD/ADHD. [http://www.snpedia.com/index.php/Yasko_Methylation] And with panic disorder. [http://www.genecards.org/cgi-bin/carddisp.pl?gene=COMT]
  6. COMT/H62H (Call-Hetero), see #5 above.
  7. VDR/Fok1 (Call-Hetero). – the gene for the Vitamin D Receptor, see the excerpts within the earlier text of this post. And: “VDR Fok is involved with Blood sugar regulation. VDR mutations oppose COMT mutations in the regulation of dopamine levels. A VDR mutation means that a person is less sensitive to methyl group supplement levels. (Mood swings.) A VDR mutation can result in behaviors opposite to a COMT mutation. See Dr. Roberts comments at http://www.heartfixer.com/AMRI-Nutrigenomics.htm#VDR%20Taq:%20%20Vitamin%20D%20Receptor%20Taq%20Abnormality ” [http://www.snpedia.com/index.php/Yasko_Methylation] Dr. Roberts comments suggest that my normal VDR Taq gene helps balance the COMT +/- genes so that I have reasonable dopamine production but might have increased risk for mood swings. hmmmm

So I went and bought some more wild yam progesterone cream because I had run out a while ago and forgot to buy more and it has helped my mood and other peri-meopausal symptoms in the past. I also bought some Gingko biloba because I have also used that in the past with no problems and mood swings and self-aggression are no fun.

/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 voices that people with schizophrenia are hearing are probably their own inner thoughts

This is kind of breaking news — new news: A research scientist, with the aid of a powerful microphone, was able to record a patient with schizophrenia speaking to themselves in a sub-vocal voice. The patient was not aware that they were speaking at the time.

The research is very early, a first in its field perhaps, but the theory seems to suggest that the patient’s with schizophrenia symptoms may have some disconnect with the normal ability to identify internal thoughts and sub-vocal speech as being self generated and instead are interpreting the internal thoughts as coming from some external source of whatever type the person might think.

(Example of my interpretation of sub-vocal speech: the almost silent muttering under your breath that you don’t notice yourself doing, until suddenly you do notice that you’re talking to yourself, and then you stop because you don’t want anyone to notice. The brain of a someone with schizophrenia may no longer recognize the voices of self-talk, or those of voices in memories or in imagined conversations, as being internally self-generated and instead probably tend to make up some explanation for  whatever or whoever might be doing the talking that is being heard — hearing voices. Our internal chatter can get busy and sometimes pretty mean, it would be scary to not realize that it is just yourself. )

Read more, of the actual article:  [http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2016/03/schizophrenia_and_subvocal_speech_why_schizophrenics_hear_the_voices_of.html]

This seems like very important news — patients with schizophrenia may be able to be gently reminded that those voices are just brain mumbles, and to try to ignore them.

People with schizophrenia are generally not associated with violence unless there is also a history of violent behavior, alcohol or drug abuse, or more persecutory fantasies. [citation missing, I don’t remember where I read that recently, but I posted it in a comment somewhere.]

Mental health symptoms sometimes may be due to underlying issues that could be easily fixed, rather than considering the patient as being ‘mentally ill’ for the rest of their life and likely being placed on medications that tend to have severe side effects. Effective health care would seek for any underlying causes that can be returned to a state of normal function with the simplest solutions possible, “Let food be thy medicine,” the first part of the quote by Hippocrates may be the most important part.

There are several different nutrient deficiencies that can cause symptoms similar to schizophrenia or may be involved in an underlying cause for the condition, this information was from an older post of mine but it was not grouped together:

/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./

Aluminum toxicity and acute onset Alzheimer’s Disease

An industrial worker developed early onset Alzheimer’s Disease after working for several years exposed to air that was contaminated with aluminum dust. Another woman had developed early onset Alzheimer’s years after her local water source had been contaminated with a significant amount of aluminum. [1]

The link between Alzheimer’s Disease and aluminum has been suspected for many years because brain autopsies of patients who died with the disease were often found to have elevated levels of aluminum compared to average. Not all studies found the same increase in aluminum however: “Some studies have reported that the aluminium concentration in the bulk brain samples, neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) and plaques was higher in AD subjects than controls. Other studies have found no difference.” [2]

As a potential neuro-toxin — a brain toxin — aluminum could also be adding to the risk of neurological problems developing in children. Aluminum is used as a preservative in many vaccinations and children are getting more vaccinations in total now than were given in the 1970’s. “In the 1970s, children got only four aluminum-containing vaccines in their first 18 months of life, but now they typically receive 17.” The following article includes a list of sources of aluminum in food and other products, Read more: [1]

I’m tagging this prenatal care because women who are pregnant or who might conceive would be advised to avoid sources of heavy metal toxins such as aluminum. “Modest evidence of an effect exists for reproductive toxicity following oral exposure, for neurological toxicity following either oral or injection exposure, and for bone toxicity following injection exposure. All other effects were judged to be supported by either limited evidence or no clear evidence at all.” [2]

  1. Mercola.com, Aluminum Toxicity and Alzheimer’s Disease, [http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/22/aluminum-toxicity-alzheimers.aspx]
  2. Human Health Risk Assessment for Aluminum, Aluminum oxide, and Aluminum hydroxide, [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2782734/] *Low iron intake might increase risk of absorption of aluminum. bone abnormalities are more prevalent than symptoms of cognitive impairment in cases of people with aluminum exposure. However, “Occupational aluminium exposure was significantly correlated with a variety of neuropyschiatric symptoms including; loss of coordination, loss of memory, and problems with balance.” “The majority, but not all, of epidemiological studies identified, reported a positive association between aluminium levels in drinking water and risk of cognitive impairment dementia, or AD. There is some evidence to suggest silica in drinking water is protective against the development of dementia.
  3. Siegfried Gursche, MH, Silica – The Forgotten Nutrient, [http://www.alive.com/health/silica-the-forgotten-nutrient/] (I forgot about it, but pregnant woman might want to remember silica: “Pregnant women benefit greatly from adding silica to their diets, as it prevents stretch marks.” According to this article the nutrient silaca might also be helpful for people suffering from Crohn’s Disease, diarrhea, and other intestinal problems. And silica may be protective against cancer, and is important for healthy hair and skin. Food sources include: oatmeal, millet, barley, potatoes, whole wheat, Jerusalem artichoke, red beets, corn asparagus, and rye.)

/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./