Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Babies and Mapping the Pollution in People: EWG's HUMAN TOXOME PROJECT

I think this is cool (...naught really).

This is a (user-friendly) compilation of the data collected in individual and large studies by the Environmental Working Group's Human Toxome Project. You can click on the right side on the study or an individual to review the toxic metals, pesticides, solvents, PCBs, POPs, and other chemicals found and at what level (low, mod, high).

The data below is from the EWG/Commonweal Study #1.

In each of these 9 adult participants over 150 chemicals, pesticides, solvents and heavy toxic metals were found. Fifty chemicals and metals that have been shown to cause dysfunction of the immune system were detected.  I talked about these factors above at AHS2011 'Rainforest of Your Gut' because not only do they disrupt our immunity but also intestinal barriers and permeability.  Researchers estimate that the intestinal system contains 70-80% of the immune cells.  Once chronic intestinal permeability occurs, all hell breaks loose.  Signs can be acute or terribly subtle....Bloating, dyspepsia, heartburn, hormonal disruptions (men become fem/moobies and grrrrls masculinize), inflammation, insulin resistance, suboptimal adrenals/thyroid, low HDL/high LDL, heart disease, endothelial hardening, penises softening, mental vulnerabilities, autoimmunity, autism spectrum, skin disorders, sinus disorders, candida overgrowth, allergies, oxidative DNA damage, and 50 Shades of F-Cked (cancer).

How do all these multiple industrial neolethal toxic factors influence our health?  From a systems biology perspective, do multiple factors amplify the depth of damage as each organ system one-by-one fails to accomplish what it is designed to do?

People eat whole foods, filtered water, organic, sustainable, ancestral, paleo, et cetera, but is it enough?  What if an individual has a low exposure but genetic variants for particular detox/antioxidant pathways which keeps an industrial toxin or metal hanging around? ApoE4, COMT, MTHFR, MT, and GST are just a few. Granted most of us have decent flux and adaptive mechanisms to survive most assaults but what are the thresholds for coping for multiple exogenous assaults combined with unique endogenous frailities?

On the other hand, what if a person just gets an accumulated butt-load of low exposure from frequent or daily soaked, arsenic- or lead-laced brown rice or heart-healthy omega-3 mercury/flame retardant- and selenium rich wild seafood?  Sorry -- I don't buy that urban mythology.

When I used to go for miles and miles jogging in the neighborhood, on weekdays I watched unprotected city workers spraying pesticides and herbicides on grass edges and around the municipal parks. Where does all the herbicide water run-off go? Where do contaminated water sources originating from Big Agro GMO Monsanto crop fields end up?  How is it tracked? Why not?

67% of the 9 individuals had 'high levels' of mercury detected and 22% 'low levels'.  Mercury used to be in our mouths; my kids and I are amalgam-free for one year now. We rarely eat wild fish with our histories and above is why.

Fukushima radiation is another now (here and here).

Before a first breath of air, 10 babies via cord blood lab analysis (EWG study #4) were found to have 287 heavy metals, pesticides and chemicals. All 10 had mercury (60% moderate levels, 40% low). 100% had dioxin. 100% had PCBs. 100% had organochlorine pesticides.

Recently pesticides from Bt GMO crops were found in 80% of fetuses and 93% of adults (healthy pregnant) randomly tested in one Canadian study (Aris and Leblanc, Reproductive Toxicology, 2011). This herbicide is used as a topical spray as well genetically spliced into the DNA of GMO crops with promoters for high-copy amplification and expression of of a bacterial toxin bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). Bt toxin is also known as Cry1Ab protein.  It is a gut specific delta-endotoxin which exerts toxicity through increasing larvae/insect intestinal permeability causing the death of crop pests like leaf- and needle-feeding caterpillars (lepidopteran insects --butterflies, moths), beetles (coleoptera--weevils, ladybugs, beetles), and the larvae (e.g. babies) of leaf-beetles. It has been designed to be toxic to mosquitoes (dipteran)now.  Fun, no?

Has lateral transfer of Bt DNA to our gut bacteria and microbial communities already occurred (or at least the unborn and adult Canadians in Aris and Leblanc's study)?  Are we transformed? Mutant gut-hybrids of GMO experiments gone awry?

Like advising pregnant moms to avoid fish and seafood to minimize exposure to bioaccumulation of mercury and other pollutants, the American Academy of Environment Medicine (AAEM) issued a GM Foods Position Paper on May 8, 2009 for everyone to avoid all GMO foods in their diets.  Why such adamant recommendations for exclusive GM-free diet prescriptions?

For physicians and healthcare practitioners, they encourage looking at the role of GM foods in health disorders and diseases in integrated medical evaluations.  Why are we fat?  Why does USA obesity trends track and follow herbicide use?  Why are hypothalamus and brain reward centers so SO BROKEN?  How is the global use of herbicides and Bt gut-perforating pesticides related to our health woes and epidemic cancer and diabesity/heart disease/strokes?

In 1998 two scientists fed mice for two weeks potatoes (a) soaked for 30min in a dilute suspension of harvested Bt toxin (from bacterial spores grown in the lab; 1 g/L concentration), (b) transgenic Bt potatoes, and (c) control potatoes. Mild structural changes in the microvilli of the ileum of the transgenic GMO Bt potatoes were seen in.However in the Bt delta-endotoxin soaked potato-fed mice, the ileum changes were quite substantially greater in scale -- '...basal lamina along the base of the enterocytes was damaged at several foci. Several disrupted microvilli appeared in association with variable-shaped cytoplasmic fragments.' The authors further report 'in the group of mice fed on the delta -endotoxin-treated potatoes, the Paneth cells of the crypts of Lieberku¨hn were highly activated and contained a large number of secretory granules. These cells are believed to have an important role in the activation of phagocytes and controlling the bacterial flora of the gut (Ariza et al., 1996; Fawcett, 1997). They contain elevated levels of lysozyme in their large eosinophilic secretory granules, an enzyme capable of digesting bacterial cells walls, and antibacterial peptides called cryptdins (Junqueira et al., 1998). Ouellette (1997) revealed that Paneth cell secretory products seem to contribute both to innate immunity of the crypt lumen and to defining the apical environment of neighboring cells....The antimicrobial polypeptides of the Paneth cell secretory products kill a wide range of organisms, including bacteria, fungi, viruses and tumor cells (Aley et al., 1995).'  Lysozymes are 'cutters' -- they cleave and cut things, for instance, tumour/cancer cells and cell walls of pathogens that take a ride in our food.

Damage to the ileum and small intestines can lead to changes in microbial population and the disorder known as SIBO (small intestinal bowel overgrowth).  An expanding body of knowledge links SIBO with nearly every chronic systemic and skin disease seen in outpatient medicine (John Hopkins Turnbull, Mullin et al)

Bt toxin appears to induce self-digestion -- (increased Paneth cell and lysozymal activity) and damage from the inside out.  Lovely! And it is present in unborn children and adults.


Nutrient tasting and signaling mechanisms in the gut. II. The intestine as a sensory organ: neural, endocrine, and immune responses.
Furness JB, Kunze WA, Clerc N.
Am J Physiol. 1999 Nov;277(5 Pt 1):G922-8.

Adult Women’s Blood Mercury Concentrations Vary Regionally in the United States: Association with Patterns of Fish Consumption (NHANES 1999–2004)
Kathryn R. Mahaffey, Robert P. Clickner, Rebecca A. Jeffries
Environ Health Perspect. 2009 January; 117(1): 47–53.

Blood mercury reporting in NHANES: identifying Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, and multiracial groups.
Hightower JM, O'Hare A, Hernandez GT.
Environ Health Perspect. 2006 Feb;114(2):173-5.

Pesticides in Shanghai and Globally

Pesticides May Cause USA Insulin Resistance and Obesity Trends

Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. (FREE PDF)
Aris A, Leblanc S.
Reprod Toxicol. 2011 May;31(4):528-33.

Fine structural changes in the ileum of mice fed on delta-endotoxin-treated potatoes and transgenic potatoes [GMO Bt toxin] Free PDF
Fares NH, El-Sayed AK.
Nat Toxins. 1998;6(6):219-33.

Principles of Integrative Gastroenterology, Systemic Signs of Underlying Digestive Dysfunction and Disease, Turnbull, Mullin, et al.

Assessing Cumulative Health Risks from Exposure to Environmental Mixtures—Three Fundamental Questions
Ken Sexton, Dale Hattis
Environ Health Perspect. 2007 May; 115(5): 825–832.

Combined toxic exposures and human health: biomarkers of exposure and effect.
Silins I, Högberg J.
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2011 Mar;8(3):629-47.

Shanghai Talk: Balancing Hormones To Improve Mood, Energy, Body Fat and Breast Cancer Prevention

OceanLab, Above and Beyond

I have a talk in Shanghai coming up FYI...You are invited!

Topic: Balancing Hormones To Improve Mood, Energy, Body Fat and Breast Cancer Prevention

Functional/integrative medicine resources: