Category Archives: prenatal care

Dr. Seneff 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./

A few loose ends

That last post wandered far afield so I’ll try to wrap up a few loose ends or tie them in a pretty bow perhaps.

Re: Vaccinations and autoimmune disease

Calcium chloride can be used as a safer adjuvant (activates immune system) for use in vaccinations. Aluminum and squalene when used as adjuvants in vaccinations have been associated with increased autoimmune disease.  Aluminum is a metal that is too large for the body to excrete easily so injecting it straight into the bloodstream bypasses the intestinal wall where it would have been to large to enter. Squalene is a type of oil derived from ocean sources (I believe – yes, from shark liver oil, [1] ) and might have triggered autoimmune antibodies developing in some people – perhaps / speculation/.

The excessive number of vaccinations being given to infants and children may also be part of the problem of increased autoimmune risk. Children are now getting as many as 40 vaccinations by the time they are 18 months. [3] In the 1970s only 7 vaccinations were being given to children. [2] The body’s immune system may become over-activated against all allergens and autoimmune antibodies in addition to becoming activated against the diseases the vaccinations were designed to protect against. In animal studies it was found that any number of vaccinations given greater than eight was associated with an increased risk for autoimmune disease later in the animal’s life (mice). For that study the heavy metal preservative mercury or adjuvant aluminum or other additives were not included. Only the disease antigens were included in the experimental vaccination as a test of the animal’s immune system response to over stimulation. Read more: [3]

In looking for that reference I found this from a 2014 research article “Autoimmune diseases affect approximately 8% of the population, 78% of whom are women” [4] (microchimerism may be the reason women are more at risk but I didn’t read that article to find out if it is mentioned, I was interested in looking at the statistics so I’m saving this link for later.)

Vitamin D metabolism is involved in autoimmune disease risk because it is involved in controlling the white blood cells activity against allergens. Too little vitamin D and you have a system that doesn’t work as well as normal and may be overactive against allergens and autoimmune antibodies. so if glyphosate is inhibiting our vitamin D metabolism then it is inhibiting our ability to be less allergic and less prone to autoimmune disease. Low vitamin D has also been associated with some types of cancer including breast cancer. [5] The following explanation is pretty simple but the gist is that activated vitamin D receptors can help identify cancer cells for the immune system to kill or to prevent the cell from multiplying or spreading to other parts of the body:

There are vitamin D receptors in breast tissue, and vitamin D can bind to these receptors. This can cause cells like oncogenes to die or stop growing, and can stop the cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body.  Therefore, it is thought that vitamin D may help in protecting against breast cancer, by making cells in the breast smarter. [5]

So vitamin D when it is activated to hormone D (and if it isn’t being inhibited by glyphosate) can help the immune system’s white blood cells to protect against autoimmune disease and against cancer.

So it’s not that autism is “caused” by vaccinations it’s that in some susceptible children the immune system becomes over activated and the detoxification systems become overloaded by heavy metals and other pollutants. Vitamin D deficiency, iodine, zinc, magnesium and sulfur and B vitamin deficiencies (particularly B12 and folate) may also add to susceptibility to having an overactive immune system that can lead to brain inflammation (encephalitis [6]) and may cause long term changes.

  1. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/367202/
  2.  http://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/development-immunization-schedule
  3. http://naturalsociety.com/publicized-study-vaccination-schedule-bombshell/
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3328995/
  5. https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/breast-cancer/
  6. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/168997.php
Spider silk goat milk appears to be a very real and life saving product:
Cold water fish tomatoes also appear to have been a real experiment that was not continued due to poor results and negative press that resulted. The tomatoes never made it out of the research phase. The experiment was an attempt to develop tomatoes that would be more frost tolerant (Monsanto was not the company):

This was my “worse case scenario” food — tomatoes that might cause a fish allergy (allergies to fish and shellfish, like peanut and bee-sting allergies, can be more life threatening than some other types of allergies). From a dietitian perspective unidentified allergens in a major food ingredient are a worse case educational scenario. The patient either has to just cope with random symptoms occurring occasionally or learn how to avoid all foods that contain the ingredient or contain non-organic versions of the ingredient.

So people with a spider silk allergy would have to avoid all goat milk if spider silk milk was mixed into the general supply (but it is only being used for the non-food purpose. The spider silk is filtered out to use to make strong fibers for use in industry and for medical purposes).

There were probably a few other loose threads but I’ll start with those three.

/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./

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

Individualized nutrition counseling is a little like solving a mystery

Being a nutrition counselor can be like being a detective. Each patient has their own food preferences and cooking skills and their own health history and genetic make up. Basic nutrition recommendations are similar for most people but individualized counseling looks for ways to help the person with more specific ideas for their preferences and health issues.

The goal is to promote improved health and quality of life by reducing any negative health symptoms that might be caused by their dietary or lifestyle choices. The first step for a counselor is building rapport with the patient (which is not always easy either), and then asking about all of their symptoms and their lifestyle and dietary habits and then figuring out which, or if any, might be involved in causing the negative symptoms and which might be helping promote health. Then education is provided regarding which habits are likely to be helpful ones for health and which might need to be modified or limited in order to promote improved health.

Public health can be similar — the nutrient recommendations are basically the same for most people and are used for menu planning — however individual people may still have health or genetic issues that make the standard recommendations less helpful for promoting health or possibly even harmful.

Epidemiology is the study of health statistics at the population level. It can be like detective work also. Statistical trends in health and disease are studied in order to identify outbreaks of infectious diseases before they can spread to more people or to identify other changes in health that might be preventable through educational efforts or that might be due to a change in the environment such as increased asthma in areas with increased air pollution. Identifying a potential problem can then allow solutions to be attempted such as better filters being required for factory smoke stacks to reduce air pollution, or designing and implementing community educational programs to help people quit smoking or encourage them to use air filters in their homes, and then the health statistics can be tracked to see if there were any improvements.

Back-tracking to the 2010 vitamin D video story — my own health history was part of my motivation to research the issue of low vitamin D levels at the population level — but the other reason was I had observed a huge increase in supplementation of vitamin D in many random foods and beverages in varying amounts. I had seen the same thing happen in the past after research suggested a food or nutrient was beneficial. I thought it was funny when oat bran was being added to everything — oat bran is heart smart but it would be less heart smart if only a tiny amount is added to a frozen waffle product, so the box can say “heart smart” or something like that, rather just eating a bowl of oatmeal.

Random fortification of many different foods makes planning a balanced menu somewhat impossible. Liquid milk has a regulated level of vitamin A and D fortification but milk used for cheese and yogurt does not. Some cheese and some yogurt has extra vitamin D added but not all of the types and it can vary quite a bit in how much is added. So a menu planner would need to know the amount of fortification in a specific brand or type of product to be able to fit it within the day’s meals for a balanced diet. Vitamin D is also added to breakfast cereals and snack bar or breakfast replacement type products and it is naturally rich in sardines, salmon, tuna and other fish and is found in egg yolks and can be found naturally in mushrooms or may be increased in mushrooms that were treated with UV light which increases the vitamin D content.

During the 2010 advertising frenzy vitamin D was showing up sports drink type products and larger amounts, 50-100% of the Recommended Daily Value, was being added to some yogurts and meal bar type products. If a person ate a few of those foods plus some milk and cereal and salmon very often then they might end up eating more vitamin D than necessary — and it is just a slightly different form of cholesterol. As an advertising tactic proudly proclaiming that a sports drink is vitamin D fortified likely sounds better than that it is cholesterol fortified but if the person is getting plenty of sunshine or milk and cereal and other vitamin D foods then they wouldn’t need any extra in their sports beverage.

The advertising frenzy did stop eventually as the controversy around the topic increased towards 2012 it became less of a positive sales tactic. The increase in research however did lead to stopping the recommendation for routine screening and use of high dose vitamin D supplements for most people. Now individuals are screened as needed based on individual risk rather than having most patients screened.

Vitamin D is very important but it is one of those Goldilocks nutrients. A moderate amount is essential while health issues may result from too little vitamin D and while average healthy people can break down excess amounts, some individuals may have increased health risks if they have excess amounts in their diet or from supplements.

Transparency — I would be happy to go anywhere and talk to anybody about health, nutrition, politics, PTSD, or do whatever else, but my health has been very bad when I’ve tried to travel in recent months.

Transparency — I am not really healthy enough currently to be a grocery store clerk (part of my job history) let alone be President of the U.S. but my fears in 2011 about the escalating rates of obesity and chronic illness made me feel that the the country was no longer healthy enough for me to not try to share my concerns at the time or more recently. Did I expect to win though? No.

In the current two party system it is historically very unlikely that a Third Party or write-in candidate would win. However it can still make a difference to try because Independent and Third Party platform topics sometimes become incorporated into the main party’s platforms when it seems like there are voters who support the topic. 

Glyphosate use increased greatly over the last ten years and superweeds have already developed that are resistant to it. And now DDT a chemical that was in the dangerous herbicide Agent Orange used in the Vietnam War, which has been proven to have negative health effects, has been approved by the FDA for use in the U.S. with new genetically modified crops. Why should we not expect superweeds to develop resistance to DDT within another ten years then?

Increased rates of autism and Alzheimer’s disease overlapped with the increase in use of glyphosate. How are we to know what a combination of glyphosate and DDT will do to our bodies or our environment over the next ten years? How are we to know what health problems are likely to be present in the next generation of children. Children born within the last ten years will have been exposed to glyphosate for their whole lives; in addition to aspartame, Neotame (sources of formaldehyde) and other food additives and pollutants.

The genetically modified crops have also been shown to be less nutritious than natural crops and may cause health problems for farm animals.

If we care about tradition then we need to let farmers return to traditional seeds and traditional growing methods. Farmers for thousands of years have always saved part of the seeds from the current year’s harvest to plant the next year. The genetically modified seeds are required to be purchased each year as a patented item and farmers have been sued by the patent owning company if windblown seeds from a GMO happen to land in the farmer’s non-GMO field. [2] Increased rates of suicides by farmers has been associated with GMO cotton seeds but the story goes back farther than Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) cotton seeds. High yield cotton had been the first creation but it led to increase in a population of pest insects and so the Bt cotton seeds were created to resist the increased insect problem, read more: [1] http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2015/09/no-gmos-didnt-create-indias-farmer-suicide-problem And more information on the benefits and responsible use of Bt crops, [2]: http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2012/06/gmo-bt-pesticides-crops.

Food is supposed to be nourishment not decorative and addictive food like toxin delivery units. Most of our corn and sugar beets are now Bt GMOs which means they make Bt delta endotoxin within all parts of the plant — we can’t rinse the toxin off if the plant is actually growing it within the seed or within the beet. Supposedly, just like glyphosate, the Bt toxin isn’t supposed to be harmful to humans except that it does seem to cause symptoms for some people, it may be harmful for intestinal bacteria. The Bt protein binds to the gut wall of susceptible insects and causes it to break down and allow the insect’s gut bacteria to enter it’s body and cause septaecemia. More information: [3]https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef130. Other research suggests that the genetically modified plants are producing a slightly different form of the Bt delta endotoxin which may be toxic to a wider range of insects then the older version of the pesticide which was sprayed on the surface of plants. [4] http://earthopensource.org/gmomythsandtruths/sample-page/3-health-hazards-gm-foods/3-8-myth-gm-bt-insecticidal-crops-harm-insects-harmless-animals-people/

The glyphosate and Bt toxins are harmful to bacteria and our intestinal health, and our health in general, depend on having a good variety and quantity of bacteria. We are actually dependent on our intestinal bacteria for some essential nutrients that they produce and they also produce brain neurotransmitters. Some of the beneficial bacteria even help fight off negative bacteria by producing their own version of hormone D which then activates our own immune system to make our internal form of antibiotics. Yes, good guy bacteria in our gut can make hormone D in order to prompt our white blood cells to produce antibiotics that then keep bad bacteria under control.

It’s fascinating what you can learn on the internet these days. What will we have learned ten years from now? That chronic illness has escalated at an even faster rate? A glyphosate plus DDT plus aspartame and Neotame rate?

We don’t know what we don’t know until we learn it — and then ideally we should act on what we’ve learned.

In 2012 I eventually closed the vitamin D video from public display because it had became too controversial and the research about risks had not been reviewed. Research with high dose supplements showing their ineffectiveness or risks had not been completed at that time and I was making a recommendation to be cautious or stop the high dose supplements — opposite of the trend at the time.

This video was from May 2012 about something different I learned online:

Re-watching it four years later was interesting for me from a nutrition counselor perspective. My autoimmune hyperthyroidism was discovered late 2012 / early 2013 but having met other hyperthyroid patients I think this video is displaying symptoms. I was thinner in this video than I ever had been before (or am now) and the flamboyant manner in the early part of the video doesn’t seem like my normal style. Mania and loss of weight even while eating a lot are normal though for hyperthyroid patients. I had been able to eat a lot of cornbread at that time without gaining weight – that was kind of great, but mania is less so.

A note to myself was included in the text on a different video from April 2012:

Stop procrastinating and get a round tuit“, said self to self. [What’s a tuit?]

This is also me in earlier in the year 2012:

Dancing is a healthy form of exercise and stress reduction, I should get a round tuit more often.

Something I’ve been putting off is sharing one other disturbing theory I discovered about the rapid change in rate of autism. Graphs of the timeline when glyphosate and aspartame were introduced to the market and the increasing amount being sold closely parallel the increasing rate of autism. Sadly, very sadly, with a few tears, the graph of increasing rates of breastfeeding also closely parallel the increasing rate of autism. And the rate of autism within families correlated with whether the infant was born earlier or later in the mother’s pregnancy history. First children were more likely to have autism than later children. Children who breastfed longer (and just four months was considered long if I remember correctly) were more likely to have autism. Toxins are filtered out somewhat by the placenta so the developing fetus may be exposed to less than the mother’s stored toxins which collect over the lifespan but breastmilk tends to concentrate toxins which frequently are fat soluble. A mother’s body actually loses toxin load during breastfeeding and second and third children would receive less than the first child. [5] http://www.breastfeeding-and-autism.net/ [6] http://www.pollution-effects.info/  [7] http://www.breastfeedingprosandcons.info/ *These links are long and full of science research, and don’t share how wonderful breast feeding can be. I was in email contact with the author who is concerned that women should have access to the information rather than just hear about the benefits. He would like more people to write about the issue and seemed frustrated that he hasn’t gotten any feedback from people in positions of authority. Um, nobody wants to hear that breastfeeding might be associated with autism.

As a lactation educator and mother of two breastfed children I would never recommend not breastfeeding as a general principle. It is too wonderful of a bonding experience for mother and baby and there are many health benefits for baby and mom. However as a mother and person with similar genetic defects as people on the autism spectrum I was astonished by the information but I had already been aware that a women’s toxin load could be too great for healthy breast milk (see below) and it matched my own experiences as a mother. I breastfed both of my children for two years and a few months and it was the first one, the one who didn’t receive any vaccinations for the first years of life and who was fed mostly organic homemade foods, that was the one who displayed a few symptoms of autism later in life. There weren’t many and it never worsened into an obvious problem but some issues when under stress are still issues that the person has to learn how to handle. The second child who did receive vaccinations, albeit slightly fewer and more spaced out over time than the standard recommendation, and who got processed foods much earlier and more regularly, did not display any symptoms of autism later in life.

So the bad news our bodies may be so overloaded with who knows what toxins that breastfeeding is no longer safe, and yet I breastfed my first child for two and quarter years not just four months. So the good news might be that autoimmune flair up that can lead to autism in a susceptible baby might be preventable by limiting early exposure to toxins with a delayed vaccination schedule and use of mostly organic foods — (and also use of a baby sling and backpack most of the time instead of leaving baby in a car seat, and lots of interaction, eye contact, singing, no TV, art projects, Head Start, etc.). Vaccinations inject amounts of the metal aluminum straight into the bloodstream. The molecule is larger than what would be absorbed easily in the intestines and is difficult for the body to excrete once it has been entered the bloodstream. So the vaccination itself isn’t necessarily a risk to a genetically susceptible infant but the aluminum and formerly the mercury might add to a toxin load that the infant can’t detoxify well. Infants in general don’t have a well developed detoxification system and part of the genetic susceptibility is in the area of toxin removal.

So reducing the use of toxins like glyphosate and Bt foods and the food additives aspartame and Neotame (they break down to formaldehyde which is very toxic to humans and especially to fetuses and infants) might help reduce autism rate and other chronic illnesses and would be better for the environment. Bees and butterflies may be at risk from the genetically modified Bt toxin too not just the pest it was designed to kill. [4] http://earthopensource.org/gmomythsandtruths/sample-page/3-health-hazards-gm-foods/3-8-myth-gm-bt-insecticidal-crops-harm-insects-harmless-animals-people/

It wouldn’t be easy but feasibly a woman could have her body levels of toxins tested and then initiate breast milk production with an electric pump and then pump and dump the milk for a few months — prior to ever trying to get pregnant — in order to help clear her body of toxins before conception. Some of the changes that leave an infant susceptible to autism later in life may occur within the very early days and weeks of pregnancy possibly before a woman is even aware she is pregnant. Vitamin D is involved but that is in a different post. http://transcendingsquare.com/2015/12/22/preventing-autism-perinatally-before-conception/

So individualized nutrition counseling and public health epidemiology are both a little like solving a mystery.

~~

A draft article that I never posted:
Pollutants evaporate in hotter regions of the world and dissipate out over the cold regions of the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans. Indigenous populations of the Arctic region have more contamination problems than the rest of the world. Breast fed babies there were actually sicker than formula fed babies on average – not typically seen when comparing health aspects of human milk versus formula [1].     Fair?    No.
Is the Arctic a big waste producing region? – an industrial factory zone? No, it is just very, very cold and toxins leave the gaseous form – ie get too cold and fall out of the air. They were produced elsewhere and just drifted til it got cold – life isn’t fair – ask a Polar Bear.
  1. by Joe Thornton, Pandora’s Poison, Chlorine, Health, and a New Environmental Strategy, (MIT, 2000) (pages 151-152) * Inuit children exposed to organochlorines in breast milk and had more ear infections and altered T-cell ratios, a sign of immunosuppression compared to formula fed infants. The formula fed infants had lower blood levels of organochlorines than the breast fed infants. [amazon.com]

/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./

Once you’ve seen one flat-headed baby you don’t want to see anymore

I may have been in need of a magnesium bath when I wrote the last post or I may have seen too many babies with flat heads or with little plastic helmets during my career. Their poor little heads weren’t flat on top, they were slightly flattened at the back where normally you have a curve.

I helped approximately 10,000 children and 3000 babies and their parents during a fifteen year career in prenatal health education, so Back to Sleep was an educational public health campaign that I had to talk about regularly at work. And then as helmeted babies became a regular sight talking about Tummy Time during the day and support pillows for necks and heads was added to the job.

To find out later that more than 2000 infants a year might be saved from SIDS by simply using an inexpensive mattress cover or switching to a mattress made with organic material is either exciting or devastating news. Or both.

Disclosure: One of my work-my-way-through-college jobs was sewing covers for all natural organic cotton futon mattresses — they smell great and feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud — while still new, then they get kind of matted down but they still smell good — but they can mold if you have them on the floor and they can’t air out. So I may have some predisposed bias against synthetic crib mattresses that are treated with fire retardant or mattresses that are ruined with mold — Disclosure: mold gives me very severe migraines.

/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./