Your Health Vol 1 No. 10

April 15, 2007

This newsletter is provided as a source of information, based on the most current scientific evidence known and or ignored.  To know is to ask the right questions; to make the right choice is to take control. Enjoy!

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Activity & Low Back Pain    

MRI Changes and Pain         

Food Allergy Diagnosis         

Muffins & Hot Flashes          

Chocolate Versus ASA         

Sauna                                   

More on Broccoli                  

Seafood Allergy Common     

Kidney Stones                       

Attention Deficit &

Celiac Disease                  

Toxicity in Body Fat               

The Inflamed Brain –

Mood & Food, Intro.          

Mood & Food Part II         

Meat & Breast Cancer          

Serotonin                              

Pesticides                             

Dried Meat & Fruit               

Beef & Poultry Sources        

 

ACTIVITY & LOW BACK PAIN

A study recently published in the Journal Spine 2002, called ‘The Cochrane Review of Advice to Stay Active as a Single Treatment for Low Back Pain and Sciatica’, states that “research and clinical guidelines are now clear that patients with acute back pain should remain active rather than receive bed rest”.  This review assessed the effectiveness of the typical simple medical advice to stay active, for those with low back pain and sciatica.  Four evalua- tions of this advice, from Fin- land, the Netherlands, the Unit- ed Kingdom and the United States concluded that “advice to stay active alone has little bene- ficial effect for patients with acute simple low back pain, and little or no effects for patients with Sciatica”. (Source: Chiropractic Report 2002)

 

Comment:

 

As indicated in previous editions of Your Health Your Choice, chiropractic management of low back pain by spinal manipulation of dysfunctional (stuck) joints is the most effective means of care.  My experience also confirms the con- current use of ice, heat and exercise with spinal manipulative therapy.  Confirmation

of the benefit of chiropractic management of low back pain is found in the recent “state of the art” research published in theBritish Medical Journal, June 2006 – ‘The Diagnosis and Treatment of Low Back Pain’.  This review article of over 1000 randomized control trials of all treatments for low back pain concludes:

1) chiropractic management with spinal manipulation for both chronic and acute low back pain is recommended;

2) invasive procedures such as facets, and trigger point injec- tions, epidurals, sclerosant injections and all surgery is NOT recommended, with the rare exception of surgical disc removal where conservative therapy and spinal manipulative therapy have failed;

3) taking pictures (i.e. X-ray, MRI) is not helpful, because ab- normalities found with pictures are just as prevalent in people who have NO low back pain;

4) bedrest and specific back ex-

ercises – strengthening, flexibili- ty, stretching, flexion and exten- sion exercises – are not effective for acute low back pain.

 

MRI CHANGES AND PAIN

X-rays are of little value in the evaluation of low back pain. This is because it is lack of proper movement by the joints and muscles which accounts for

the pain and discomfort.  X-rays don’t detect this type of dys- function.  It also appears that

magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which is diagnostic for disc degeneration and disc protrusion, is of little use in the evaluation of low back pain.

A study was recently pub- lished in the European Spine Journal 2002, ‘Changes of Cervical Spine in Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Young Adults’.  This research confirms several studies on older popu- lations, which demonstrated similar disc pathology in those experiencing spinal pain and those who are pain-free.

The same study was done on a young population. “A random sample of 826 high school students was investigated at age 17-19 and then once more at age 24-27.” The researchers concluded that pathology such as disc degeneration and disc bulging are common findings in MRIs of the neck even among young adults.  These changes, verified by MRI in the age 24-27 group, were equally common in pain-free and painful conditions.

These MRIs have shown that the wear and tear on the disc is not the source of the pain in the low back. Rather, as indicated above, pain is caused by bio- mechanical strain on the joints (to which proper movement must be restored) and the accompanying protective muscle tightening (which must be eased).  Regular exercise of the pelvic joints is recommend- ed, as well as periodic checkups of spinal joints and muscles.

 

FOOD ALLERGY DIAGNOSIS

From the journal, Allergy & Immunology (Paris), Sept.2002; 34(7):241-4, author Moneret-

Vautrin, DA.- The golden standard for diagnosis of food allergy is the elimination diet.

 

Comment:

 

Only about 40% of food reac- tions are caused by an IgE (immunoglobulin-E) reaction and classified as a food allergy.  This is the cause of much confusion.  Most food reactions are by other Ig mechanisms or non-Ig mechanisms, and come under the classification of food intolerance.  However, food reactions whether allergic or intolerant are most accurately determined by elimination.

Reasons for food reactions are both genetic & acquired. When we can’t properly digest a food, we react.  Both digestive and cell enzymes necessary for pro -cessing food chemicals may be absent or deficient. Anything that is not adequately processed acts as an irritant, and our im- mune system reacts to the perceived danger, trying to protect us.  As a result we may experience any of a vast range of symptoms:

CNS (brain) – depression, anxiety, memory problems;

CVS (cardiovascular) – fast pulse, skipped beats, high blood pressure;

Gastrointestinal – heartburn, bloating, diarrhea, constipation;

Musculoskeletal – aches & pain;

Skin – rashes, blemishes;

Hormonal – moodiness, anger, irritability.

In summation, the range can include any chronic symptoms of just not feeling well.

 

Effective treatment is removal of the offending foods.  This is necessary if you wish ever to be able to repair cell damage due to food reactions.Testing the urine, saliva, and blood for acidity (pH), electron density or energy (redox), and congestion(resistivity) can objectively determine whether reactive food has been eliminated.

 

Then it is useful to use some basic supplements in the form of minerals, especially magnesium, calcium, fatty acid metabolites, and B vitamins.  Otherwise, you need to get 2-3 cups of green leafy vegetables, preferably organic, 3 times per day.

 

Certainly, foods containing dairy products or grain products must be avoided indefinitely, excepting perhaps the occasional use of low-gluten grains (white rice, corn, teff, amaranth, quinoa or buckwheat) – and even these grains should be avoided by most.

 

Meat, vegetables and fruits are our ancestral foods and those which our DNA is programmed to properly process.  Unfortunately there is currently some promotion of “desensitiza- tion” to reactive foods.  These procedures do not work.  There is no scientific evidence to sup- port such desensitization using acupuncture, homeopathy, herbs, or allergy shots.

Remember, removal of wrong foods is essential.

 

PHYTOESTROGEN MUFFINS & HOT FLASHES

Eating a muffin daily which contains hormone-like plant chemicals does not improve menopausal symptoms, a University of Toronto study reported in the Medical Post, 29 October 2002.

One hundred symptomatic menopausal women received a wheat muffin, either plain or containing soy flour or flaxseed meal, once a day for 16 weeks.

The phytoestrogen muffins had 25 grams of soy or flax; the control muffins had neither.

Eighty-six women completed the study – 26 soy, 30 flax, 30 in the control group.  Analysis of the menopausal symptoms showed no significant difference between the groups. However, all groups showed improvement with time.

 

CHOCOLATE VERSUS ASA

K. Jeejeeboy, gastroenterolo- gist and professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, reports in the Medical Post 9-14-04, that low dose ASA (aspirin) can cause gastroin- testinal bleeding.  He suggests that because 18.75 grams of cocoa powder has almost as much anti-platelet activity as the low-dose (81 mg) ASA tablet, a drink of cocoa daily could be used instead to prevent strokes and heart attacks.

 

He further reports on a 2004 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, that showed that consumption of a 46-gram bar of dark chocolate each day for 2 weeks increases blood flow and reduces blood pressure while increasing the oxygen supply to tissues.

 

Comment:

 

Since a dark chocolate bar is 70-80% sugar it may be advisable to stick to a cocoa drink instead – 4 tsp. cocoa (about 20 grams) plus hot water, and only as much sugar as necessary.  For those of you who do get chocolate cravings, be aware that most chocolate contains milk and/or nuts; dark chocolate is preferable, and even this may have soy and vanilla which for many are not well tolerated.  It is better to make your own chocolate, as in fudge.

 

A GOOD FUDGE RECIPE:

5 Tbsp. cocoa (Dutch is best),

¾ cup sugar, 2 Tbsp. fat (olive, coconut, animal) and ¼ cup water, stirred together and brought to a temperature of 237.5°F. (109° C.) on a candy thermometer; then place pot in cold water bath & stir constantly until almost too thick to stir. Pour and enjoy – a little bit.  If fudge is too sugary, reduce temperature; if too runny, increase temperature 1-2° F.

 

SAUNA

Science News 12-7-02 reports that spending time in a sauna improves heart function in people with chronic heart failure.  Twenty people spent fifteen minutes a day in a 60°C. sauna (approximately 150°F.) five days a week and then a further 30 minutes wrapped in blankets to maintain body heat.  Compared to a control group, after 2 weeks the same group had significantly fewer prema- ture heartbeats and irregular heart rates.  The same group also had lower concentrations of two hormones related to heart damage.  The researchers sug- gest that the “benefits of saunas may even extend patients’ lives”.  For example, hamsters with heart failure having regular saunas live longer than hamsters not using a sauna.

 

Comment:

 

It appears that the optimal temperature is 130°-150° for ½ to 1 hour.  This allows profuse sweating and avoids the heat stress of a warmer temperature.

Sweat and urine are quite similar.  Urine is filtered bloodfrom the kidney’s waste removal system.  When we eat the wrong food, dairy and grain in particular, their proteins damage the gut and leak through, resulting in IgA nephropathy (damage to the kidney by an immunoglobulin A reaction) which causes the kidney to lose its ability to get rid of waste.

As well, excessive starches from grain can cause too much insulin to be released, which also damages the kidney. Early kidney damage can be detected by measuring the resistivity of the urine.  In three to four thousand such tests I have observed, the urine resistivity readings are mostly 2-5 times higher than the recommended 30-45 Ohms.  Often it is even higher.  The only way to correct this is to remove the wrong food and re-test.  If the re-test does not demonstrate adequate improvement then sweating on a regular basis, i.e.Espsom salt bath (or better yet, sauna), should be considered, to compensate for poor waste removal by the kidneys.

In addition, use of essential fatty acid, mineral and B vita- min supplementation should be used, unless one is able to get 8-10 cups of non-starchy green leafy vegetables daily – preferably organic.

It is essential to avoid foods to which we are intolerant.

 

MORE ON BROCCOLI

Broccoli is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, which also includes cauliflower, red and white cabbage, and kale.  These vegetables share common properties.  One such property is their ability to support the

cytochrome p-450 system – the major biotransformation or detoxification system in the body.

New research published in the July issue of the ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’, as reported in theMedical Post of Aug.24, 2004, notes that there is “increasing evidence that the antioxidant ‘sulforaphane’ found in broccoli protects the eyes from damage caused by ultraviolet light, and may help against the develop- ment of macular degeneration.  Other studies have found that sulforaphane can inhibit certain types of tumor growth, kill bac- teria that cause stomach ulcers, and protect against cardio- vascular problems in rats”.

 

SEAFOOD ALLERGY COMMON

The Medical Post of Aug 24, 2004, reports from the ‘Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunol-ogy’ that seafood allergy is more common than previously thought, and is likely to begin in adulthood. Researchers telephone-surveyed 14,948 people, and found that 1 in 50 reported a shellfish allergy, and 1 in 250 a fish allergy.

Fish is among the seven foods with the highest probablilty of not being well tolerated by humans.  This list also includes dairy products, eggs, nuts, soy, citrus fruits and wheat.  An allergy is the way the body reacts to, or rejects with inflammation, a chemical it can’t process.

 

KIDNEY STONES

The ‘Archives of Internal Medicine’, as reported in the Medical Post, 24 Aug.2004,

analyzed the health and diet of 96,245 female nurses aged 27-44 involved in the ‘Nurses Health Study II’ over eight years.  No nurses reported kidney stones at the beginning of the study.  However, during the study period 1,223 cases of kidney stones were noted.  The researchers found that women who consumed more calcium-rich foods reduced their risk of stones; as well, calcium sup- plement use was not associated with stones.  Further, contrary to previous information, eating meatand drinking fluid actually reduced the risk of stone formation, whereas the higher the sugar intake, the greater the risk of stone formation.

 

ATTENTION DEFICIT & CELIAC DISEASE

The most common genetic disorder is the incomplete digestion of cereal proteins such as gluten.  This can cause such problems as diarrhea, abdominal pain, and poor absorption of nutrients, or malabsorption.  Together these complaints are classified as celiac disease.

Recently, as reported in Science News 3 July 2004, researchers at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel, examined 111 children who had been treated for the disease between 1997 and 2001.  A control group of 211 children without these complaints were also examined.  Neurological problems were found in 51% of the celiac group, compared with 20% in the control group.  These neurological problems included epilepsy, migraines, reduced muscle control and attention deficit.  Refer to Newsletter 7 and Newsletter 8 for more on celiac disease.

 

TOXICITY IN BODY FAT

Science News, 17 July 2004 reports on “adaptive thermo- genesis”, which is the slowing-down of metabolism during weight loss.  Researchers suspect pollutants in the blood as the cause.  Many toxic chemicals are stored in fat cells and escape into the blood as fat cells shrink during weight loss.

It is suspected that these pollutants interfere with the thyroid gland (which regulates metabolism) and with mitochondria (which change food into cell energy).

Note: An effective way of removing pollutants from blood and fat is by having regular saunas, drinking 2-3 litres of water per day, and consuming nutrients (in particular cruciferous vegetables) which support biotransformation or detoxification.

 

THE INFLAMED BRAIN –

MOOD & FOOD

Introduction:

Because your parents may have musical, physical or intellectual ability, it does not automatically follow that you will too, even if you inherit the appropriate genes, unless you provide the right environment.  Environment allows the expression of both the familial strengths and the familial weaknesses that we inherit.  In a similar way, our health is the result of both our environ- mental influences and our genetic tendencies.

 

That which we eat, breathe and contact, in association with our activity, is our environment.

 

If our body chemistry can’t properly process that environ -ment, chemical by-products result, which congest and irritate our body tissues.  These irritants will be acted upon by our immune system, creating a protective inflammation as it tries to eliminate the irritants.  As a result, we experience signs and symptoms of not feeling well.  Unfortunately, if we don’t remove the source of the irritant the initially protective inflammation now starts to damage the tissue itself.

 

Food is our greatest potential source of environmental irritants. Individual tolerance to food varies both within and outside biologically appropriate food.  Poorly tolerated food damages the gut, allowing material to leak through the gut wall and deposit in body tissue.  There, inflammation results in poor function of that tissue (we get symptoms) and, over time, in a diagnosed pathology (illness).

 

When food particles deposit in our brain our state of mind is

altered.  This affects our ability to learn, intellectually and

emotionally.  Continued exposure to the wrong food can cause inflamed neurons in the brain, which may become more and more affected until we can no longer function well, and life becomes a continual challenge instead of the joy it should be.  Inappropriate food can damage our mood and affect our state of mind.

 

The following article is a sampling of evidence of how inappropriate food can damage our mental health.  I am trying to convey that your mood is often a result of your food.  And seeing that about 1/3 of our population has various related anxiety disorders it is important to realize, if you are in this group, that if you don’t eat appropriate food you will never get well.  So, be patient and read on, all at once or in bits and pieces.  Discover that the foundation for an intellectually and emotionally healthy state   of mind is the consumption of appropriate food.

 

MOOD & FOOD, PART II –

CONT’D FROM NEWSLETTER 9,

APPROPRIATE FOOD

Appropriate food is the food our ancient ancestors ate.  It is the food our DNA is programmed for.  Time shaped our DNA and now our DNA dictates which food is best. This is animal-source food with vegetables and fruit, our genetic diet.

 

Eaton and Konner were among the first to publish research in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1985, establishing that the appropriate food for humans is our ancestral diet.  Kay Mullis, 1993 Nobel Prize winner in chemistry, noted that “DNA molecules in our cells are our history”.  The book Dangerous Grains by Braly and Hoggan notes that our food requirements are decreed by the millions of years in which na- ture shaped our genes, our bio- chemistry, and our bodies.  It did so by interaction between food and our environment and our ability to use it.  Therefore, “food shaped our genes and our genes shaped our dietary requirements”.

Appropriate food is food one can “tolerate”.  Intolerance to a food means that our immune system recognizes it as dangerous and we then react to the food,  because individually or as a species we can’t properly process (digest) it.  In other words, family health problems occur with increased probability when wrong foods are eaten.  Hence the increased tendency for anxiety disorders when one or both parents have the problem.

Intolerance to any food can occur, but the most probable food is the protein from dairy and grain products, which results in two damaging processes.  One is the exorphin effect and the other is the food reaction.

 

Exorphins

 

The exorphins or opiates are morphine-like compounds.  The principal source of these opiate compounds are wheat and dairy proteins – gliadomorphine from wheat, and caseomorphine from milk.  Evidence of food-derived morphine compounds and their effects was published as early as April 1979 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry’s article, ‘Opioid Peptides Derived from Food Proteins’.  Here, research noted that the morphine effect from wheat is significantly stronger than from dairy.  This morphine effect is the basis of the “comfort food” association of grain and dairy products.  However, there are numerous other effects of these opiate-like proteins; they are involved in psychotic disturbances, autism (disturbed brain development causing children to have problems with learning and interpersonal relations), and immune-system damage.

 

Wakefield, in an article on “enterocolonic encephalopathy”

(gut-injured brain) comments on the suppression in the immune system of lymphocytes (white blood cells), natural killer cells, interleukin-2 and interferon gamma (immune signals which co-ordinate the immune system response to danger).  Perhaps this dairy and grain immune-system suppression offers part of an explanation as to why there is a 43-fold increase in non-Hodgkins lymphoma (cancer of the blood and immune system), as well as a 30-fold increase in overall cancer rates in individuals diagnosed with celiac disease (grain protein intolerance).  These statistics were published in the Journal of Gastro enter- ology and Nutrition, Feb.2004, in the article ‘Chromosome Damage and Celiac Disease’.  (Refer to Newsletter 8 for more on celiac disease.)

 

Food Reaction

The food reaction results in brain inflammation, which inter- feres with brain hormones.  This inflammatory reaction is an immune-system response to an irritating substance.  Wrong food irritates and damages our gut , then passes through the now-leaky gut. Food-related immune complexes deposit in tissue and inflammation results.

In the brain this process creates mental illness, or brain pathology.  Overwhelming evidence points to such inflammation as the basis for depression.

 

A recent paper published in the Journal of Affective Dis- orders, June 1998, established that depression is associated with an “immune inflammatory response” which is correlated with a lower availability of

plasma tryptophan – the raw material which builds the brain hormone “serotonin”.

 

As well, the journal Progressive Neuropsycho- pharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, January 1995, published a review article on the evidence of immune response in major depression.  This immune response is the way our body protects us from antigens or irritants.  The irritant, inappro- priate food, must be recognized, removed and avoided in order for us to feel well.  For example, C. Bates, Ph.D., in discussing research in ‘Treatment Con- siderations: Mood-disordered, Food-allergic Patients’ notes that psychiatric symptoms associated with immune activity in the brain include borderline personality disorder, mental cloudiness and hair-trigger temper, predisposition to chemi- cal dependency, and perhaps most important of all, addiction.

 

Bates observes that the immune-system response (inflammation) in the brain causing the psychic disturbances is commonly due to eating such foods as “sugar, chocolate, dairy products, wheat products, caffeine and nicotine.  Bates outlines anexposure through the digestive tract.  Evidence of the importance of the digestive tract or intestinal barrier is presented in a paper from the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hema- tology May 2003, ‘Intestinal Barrier: An Interface Between Health and Disease’. The intestine is considered to be our largest exposure to the environ- ment.  Therefore, if we eat the wrong food, inflammation and leakiness occur, causing symptoms. 

 

This is the mechanism which allows food proteins to get into body tissue and cause more inflammation.  This is further discussed by Wakefield, in the journal Alimentary Pharmacological Therapy 2002 in ‘Entero-colonic Encephalopathy’ (gut-brain disease).  Wakefield notes that gluten or grain protein in- tolerance causes a leaky gut, which leads to increased absorp- tion of nerve-stimulating protein (grain protein) which in children can result in behavioural prob- lems including depression, irritability and poor school performance.

 

The Evidence – the Brain-Grain Connection

Although many foods can be involved with psychological disorders, the bulk of evidence implicates grain protein.  Unfortunately, grain is often presented as healthy food.

 

Diagnostically, intolerance to grain protein (gluten) is called celiac disease.  This is common-  ly accepted as intolerance to the protein of wheat, rye and barley, but should include the protein of all other grains, due to their similar makeup.

 

There does appear to be better tolerance for rice.  However, in cultures which include a diet high in rice, similar to cultures promoting a wheat diet, anti- bodies and immune inflamma- tion response are evident.  Celiac disease typically involves such symptoms as gas, bloating, fatty stools and weight loss, confirmed by a damaged gut lining with the presence of antibodies to gluten and to damaged tissue, such as anti-reticulin antibody and anti-endomysium antibody. (See Newsletter 8 for more on celiac disease.)

 

Nevertheless, there is scientific evidence showing that people who do not have these digestive celiac disease symptoms may also be intolerant.  The journal Gut, 1992, published ‘Do adults with high gliadin antibodies have sub-clinical gluten in- tolerance?’  As well, the journal Klein Med (Mask), 1998, pre- sented a paper called ‘Anti- gliadin antibodies in the absence of celiac disease’.  J. Murray of the Mayo Medical Centre 1999, in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, stated that more common “are the other diverse ways in which celiac disease (gluten intolerance) presents: for example,diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, depression, irritability and poor school performance in children”.  In addition, a recent publication based on scientific evidence, Dangerous Grains, by Braly & Hoggan, outlines in Chapter 9 a wide range of the neurological effects of gluten or grain protein including problems with seizures, memory, walking, talking, hallucinations, ataxia (loss of balance), senility, neurotransmitter deficiencies, autism, hyperactive disorders, anxiety and depression.  All of this is due to brain inflammation due to inappropriate food leak- ing through our digestive tract membrane (an inflamed bowel) and depositing in the brain causing an immune-system reaction.

 

Further examples in the literature of leaking-bowel conditions and mental health disturbance include:

(1) Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, Oct. 1997:

‘Inflammatory Bowel Disease: a study of the association between anxiety and depression, physical morbidity and nutritional status’;

(2) the journal Gut 1987, Dec.28: ‘Psychiatric illness in patients with inflammatory bowel disease’;

(3) Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 2001, Oct.: ‘Depression and anxiety in people with inflammatory bowel disease’;

(4) Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, March 1998: ‘Depressive symptoms in adult celiac disease’;

(5) American Journal of Gastroenterology, March 1999: ‘Depression in adult untreated celiac subjects; diagnosis by the pediatrician’;

(6) Journal of Affective Disorders, June 1998, from the clinical research center for mental health, Antwerp, Belgium: ‘The inflammatory response system… sleep disorders and depression’;

(7) Progressive Neuropsycho-pharmacological and Biological Psychiatry, Jan.1995: ‘Evidence for an immune response in depression’.

 

MEAT & BREAST CANCER

From the ‘International Journal of Cancer 104:221, 2003’, as reported in Nutrition Action April 2003: a diet high or low in animal protein had no effect on the incidence of invasive breast cancer.  The study was con- ducted over 18 years on 88,000 women including both pre- and post-menopause with or without a family history of the disease.

 

SEROTONIN

Serotonin is a brain hormone

that makes us “feel good”.  When people don’t feel good, a class of antidepressant called “selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors” (SSRIs), are often prescribed.  This class of drug prevents brain cell transporters from reabsorbing serotonin and therefore more is left available, brightening a person’s mood.

Increasingly these SSRIs are being prescribed in young people, and can even reach the unborn by fetal exposure during pregnancy.  This is raising con- cern regarding side effects of SSRIs on the developing brain.  Research in Science News, Oct.30.04 by Gingrich at Columbia University suggests that the serotonin transporter plays a pivotal role in normal brain formation.  Drugs such as Prozac and other SSRIs (Zoloft, Paxil) could permanently disrupt brain mechanisms that control mood, resulting in a greater risk of depression and anxiety in adulthood.

Comment:

Mood disorders, which affect up to 1/3 of our population, could easily be corrected or improved if people would eat the proper food – our genetic diet.  (Refer to Newsletters 9 & 10, “Mood and Food”.)

 

PESTICIDES

There is no safe pesticide.  It is perplexing to see individuals choose to buy goods and services that indiscriminately poison our plants and animals, ourselves, and regrettably our next generations.  As a culture we no longer allow people to smoke wherever they please; instead we have legislation to protect people at work and in public places from second-hand

cigarette smoke.  The research is overwhelming regarding the damage that cigarettes do to our health, and yet in spite of laws and research we still struggle with the irresponsible actions of individuals who smoke, and an industry which persists in promoting that activity.

Although education is slow, it is still the most effective means to make people aware of the harmful effects of cigarettes, but so far we have had to legislate our protection.

Similarly it is time to consider education and legislation with regard to pesticides.  The following is a summary of facts about pesticides – the next time you see your neighbour using pesticides or somebody buying pesticides, give them some of these facts!

1) 85-90% of pesticides can drift from the site of application for hundreds of metres, and are found at increased concentra- tions in homes near its use, carried by the air, by dust, by peoples’ clothing, and by pets.  Once inside your home, pesti- cides can remain for months or even years.  The greatest con- centration is found in carpet dust.

2) The current amount and variety of pesticides now used are greater than at any other time in history.

3) Current regulations do not consider individual susceptibilities to pesticides through age, occupation, diet, geographic region, and ethnicity. Current regulations only look at an “average” exposure for the entire population.

4) Children are more susceptible due to the greater ratio of their

skin surface to their size, their faster breathing rate, their less mature defense systems, and their greater likelihood of

contact with residue on con-

taminated surfaces such as carpets, lawns, furniture and pets.

5) Pesticides can cause both short-term (acute) and long-term (chronic) effects.

Short-term effects include rashes, burning eyes and throat, breathing problems, and flu-like symptoms such as headache, nausea, muscle aches and fatigue.  Pesticides can cause or aggravate asthma, allergies, behavioural problems and multiple chemical sensitivities.

Long-term effects can involve infertility, birth defects, Parkinson’s disease, damage to the brain and nervous system, and cancer in both children and adults.

Such cancer in children includes leukemia, brain cancer, non-Hodgkins lymphoma and soft-tissue sarcoma.

The cancer in adults can be the same as the above, plus multiple myeloma, pancreatic cancer, breast, prostate, kidney, bladder, eye, colon or rectal cancer.

6) Food is a significant source of pesticides.  Allowable levels in food are not based primarily on health considerations, but rather are determined by the agricultural industry as the highest residue concentration under normal conditions of agricultural use.  A recent study published in Science News, 24 Sept.2006, demonstrated that switching to organic food reduced pesticide residue in urine to non-detectable levels in the study subjects.

 

Safer Alternatives to Common Pesticides

INSECTICIDES  (organo- phosphates and carbamates) – such as diazinon, dursban, basudin, sevin (carbonyl), permethrin, endosulphan – inhibit a nerve enzyme, cholinesterase.

Alternatives: boric acid, insecticidal soap, diatomaceous earth, B.T., nematodes, neem, vacuuming.

 

Chlorophenoxy HERBICIDES: Round-up (glyphosate), ‘2,4-D’ (Killex), mecoprop, MCPA, dicamba, trychlopyr, atrazine, diuron, Par III,

Alternatives: hot water, vinegar, hand-pulling, weed whackers, proper mowing and watering, organic lawn care, flaming, corn gluten meal.

 

FUNGICIDES – Daconil, captan, benomyl, maneb, dyrene, PCNB, Bayleton.

Alternatives: sulphur, baking soda, some copper compounds, organic care.

 

For further information:

– Google OACC (Organic Agriculture Centre Canada) /search/pests in organic systems.

– Google ACORN (Atlantic Canada Organic Regional Network) – search for local produce.

Note: Organochlorine (i.e. DDT, aldrin, dieldrin, and lindane) is causing concern over long-term effects in nature – fish & wildlife suffer reproductive and developmental effects. DDT and its derivatives, in particular, have been banned in North America, but because develop- ing countries still use them our greatest exposure is through food imported from such places.

Pet Products

Flea control products contain pesticides. In their place, try using 50-50 vinegar and water, and washing pet and pet’s bedding weekly with hot soapy water.

 

Glyphosate

 

Glyphosate is the most com- monly used herbicide world- wide, industrially and domestic- ally.  Recently (in August 2005) our Department of Natural Re- sources sprayed approximately 30,000 acres with registered brands of glyphosate herbicides such as Forza, Vision, Vision Max and Vantage Forestry.  ‘Roundup’ by Monsanto is a common residential brand.  Surfactants (inactive ingredi- ents) added to the glyphosate vary among the brands, and such combinations are more toxic than glyphosate alone. The industry suggests that glypho- sate and its surfactants are low- to non-toxic, considered not to accumulate in the body, ground or surface water, not to be car- cinogenic, & to be biodegraded into harmless by-products by microorganisms.

 

However, there is a significant body of research which shows that glyphosate does interfere with cell cycle regulation (a “hallmark of tumour cells and cancer”), bio-accumulates in our food and soil up to 1 year after application, gets into our water-ways damaging marine life, causes hormonal disruption and problems with infertility, and kills soil micro-organisms.  Reference material for this information can be found in the Journal of Pesticide Reform, www.pesticide.org

 

Pressure-treated Wood

Another commonly-used pesti- cide is pentachlorophenol (PCP or penta) found in pressure-treated lumber at building sup- ply stores.  It was first used as a wood preservative in 1936, then as a herbicide, insecticide,  microbicide and disinfectant in numerous applications for about 50 years, until overwhelming evidence of toxicity limited it to use as a wood preservative in 1988.  Humans are exposed through the air, from building materials ‘gassing off’, from house dust in homes with penta-treated decks, and by skin con- tact; but food (especially fruit, vegetables and grain) is the primary source of exposure to penta, since it accumulates in the soil.

Penta also accumulates in the body, and research has shown reproductive damage in the DNA of human semen, birth defects in animals, and increase- ed risk of 3 kinds of cancer – soft tissue sarcoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  There is also in- creased risk of aplastic anemia, leukemia, and other blood dis- orders.  So, re-think your pur- chase of pressure-treated wood, and if you do use it, make use of a respirator and gloves when you work with it, dispose of sawdust and pieces as hazardous waste, and don’t walk barefoot on the deck. Better yet, use cedar or hemlock to build your decks or retaining walls.

 

New research demonstrates the relationship between home pesticide use and the two most common brain diseases, dementia/Alzheimer Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. Such a study, ‘Exposure to Home Pesti- cides Linked to Parkinson’s Disease’, was published in

the Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol.283 #23, 21 June 2000 .  It was previously felt that only occupational exposure was relevant.

Further research such as the article ‘Neurodegenerative diseases and exposure to pesti- cides in the elderly’ in the American Journal of Epidemiology, March 2003.  confirms this connection. In the journal Acta Neurol Taiwan, June 2005: ‘Pesticide exposure and …susceptibility of Parkin- son disease’ shows a close rela- tionship between pesticides and Parkinson’s.  In the American Journal of Epidemiology, Jan.2005, the article “Pesticide Use and Breast Cancer” shows this disease modestly elevated among women whose homes were closest to pesticide appli- cation.  The Annals of Epidemiology, Aug.2002, reported that exposure to

pesticides was associated with a high rate of depressive symptoms.

These are all samples from quite recent scientific literature. But as far back as Nov.1994 we find the Journal, Neurology, reporting an increased risk of Alzheimer Disease from occupational exposure to glues, pesticides and fertilizers – just to demonstrate that the know- ledge has been around for some time.

 

Everything is interconnected. People, plants and animals are all made of the same basic elements, with only slight variations in arrangement. Pesticides are poisons for all.

 

Remember, the cigarette industry didn’t tell us the whole truth.

 

So, what to do?

Stop using pesticides, stop supporting the pesticide industry, and start using ‘biology’.  Consume locally grown, certified organic food.  Participate in regular endurance exercise – walking.  Such exercise has recently been shown to produce a brain hormone, neurotrophic factor, which repairs and prevents brain disease.  Start using a sauna on a regular basis to sweat, to remove hydrocarbons from your system.  Above all, start making informed choices.

Steps to a Healthy Lawn: Pesticide-free

 

Use biology to provide nutrients – organic matter, air and water – to feed soil microbes, for healthy plants. It is the microbes that plant rootlets feed on for nourishment. For organic matter use compost, shredded leaves & grass; minerals, especially calcitic lime (high in calcium), not dolomite (high in magnesium).

 

No chemical fertilizers – these are generally salts of nitrogen, phosphorus & potassium (NPK).Salts inhibit microbial growth.  If you feel your lawn needs a boost of nutrients, use compost- ed manure, seaweed or fish meal.  White clover in your lawn will give it extra nitrogen.

 

Do not over-water or water on a schedule – it is best not to water at all.  Have lots of organic matter in the soil to hold water.

 

Do not cut grass too short.  If possible use the highest setting on the mower and use a mulch-mower, leaving grass clippings on the lawn for nutrient re-cycling.

 

Do not use lawn care companies that use pesticides or IPM.  Assure that they use biological methods only.

References for this discussion include the following

1) PubMed: world medical / science database;

2) Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides at www.pesticides.org;

3) Pesticide Education Centre – Dr.M.Moses,

www.pesticides org;

4) Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, www.cape.ca;

5) ‘How to Get Your Lawn & Garden off Drugs’ by Carole Rubin;

6) Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada, Ph. (902) 893-7256;

7) ACORN, Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network.

 

SNACK RECIPE:

DRIED MEAT AND FRUIT

1 cup cooked hamburger

1-3 cups mashed fruit

Mix together, spread on cookie sheet and dry in 130°F. oven for up to 24 hours.  The dried meat texture will vary from crumbly to leather-like depending on amount of fruit.

 

BEEF & POULTRY SOURCES

 

Certified Organic Grass-fed Beef

Maki Farms                      488-3095

David Bunnett                  534-2262

Richard/Heather Brown   832-5683

Jolly Farmer           1-800-695-8300

Organic Grass-fed Beef

Jerry Coburn, Millstream 433-4885

Grass-fed Beef

David Chambers                         433-1200

Jeff & Janice Pearson       485-1100

Winterwood Natural Foods,

Sussex                433-4195

Healthy Start, Rothesay    849-0101

Doug Lounsbury               756-3643

True Food Organics,

Fredericton         459-4333

Bill Mulder                       357-8310

Aura Whole Foods,

Fredericton        454-4240

Kevin/Beth Fullerton        763-2567

Ernie Gorham                   763-2825

Sabine Wieczorek             488-3263

 

Free Range Poultry

Julie Drummond          832-4855

Healthy Start, Rothesay    849-0101

 

Free Range Pork

Murray Bunnett           756-8261

 

Certified Organic Chicken

True Food Organics    459-4333

Larry Slipp                  488-8904

Aura Whole Foods      454-4240

David Bunnett             534-2262

Jolly Farmer      1-800-695-8300

 

Certified Organic Vegetables

Clark Phillips & Susan Tyler

433-3935

Marc & Sylvi Villeneuve 277-1987

Aura Whole Foods           454-4240

True Food Organics         459-4333

Richard/Heather Brown   832-5683

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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