Part 1 of John Robbins’ Interview with Dr. William Li

The Food Revolution Summit is an annual online event hosted by the father and son team, John and Ocean Robbins. The eight day summit consists of three interviews each day with renowned physicians and experts in the health, wellness, and sustainability space.

Dr. William Li is a renowned doctor, scientist, and angiogenesis expert, and the New York Times best-selling author of Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself. His groundbreaking work has impacted more than 70 diseases including cancer, diabetes, blindness, heart disease, and obesity. Dr.
Li’s wildly popular TED Talk “Can we eat to starve cancer?” has been seen by more than 11 million people. He founded the “Eat to Beat” initiative, which is a community of 50,000 people passionate about using diet to fight cancer, improve immunity, and prevent chronic diseases

Here’s part of John’s interview with Dr. Li.

COVID-19: Not Just a Respiratory Disease


John Robbins: You’ve been very involved in the last year in COVID-19 research. So, it was soon after
the WHO declared the pandemic, which was in March 2020, that we began to see a highly unusual
pattern of disease. COVID-19 patients had problems, not only in their lungs, which was what we would
have expected for a respiratory virus, which was what we then assumed this novel coronavirus to be,
patients were also having serious problems in their brains, their hearts, their livers, their kidneys, even
their toes. They were losing their sense of taste and smell. They had issues with blood clots.
Will, was this one of the first clues that suggested to you that COVID-19 is not just a respiratory disease,
but is also a disease that damages our blood vessels, and that in fact, many of the serious health
problems caused by COVID-19 are due to the damage it causes to our circulatory system?


Doctor William Li: Yeah. Just like everyone else on this planet, I had assumed that it would be a
respiratory infection. So that was my assumption going into this. And so when I locked down along with everyone else I started to observe the same patterns that you just described, that this respiratory infection was causing things that you don’t see normally in a simple respiratory virus, but in following the brain, the heart, the lungs, I mean, lots of different organs. And because my work at the Angiogenesis Foundation has always been about looking at common denominators of disease. And blood vessels being one of them, I began to speculate that maybe blood vessels were involved because that was the thing that linked the brain, the heart, the toes, the kidneys, all the things that we began seeing.


I realized as a medical scientist that the only way we could actually get on top of this pandemic is for
us to really understand it. And the reason that frontline workers were struggling so hard was that there
was almost no knowledge back in the spring of 2020, about how this disease works. So I jumped
in. I was able to, as a researcher, get autopsy tissue of people who died of COVID-19 and helped to
organize a group in Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, and the United States. And we literally dove into
the tissue to understand what was going on.


And we started with the lungs and we did see a lung infection. But the thing that was astounding to
me was we saw for the very first time, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19 invading
and infecting blood vessels. And that confirmed my suspicion that COVID-19 is a vascular disease.
And suddenly the things that we didn’t understand, the blood clots, the strokes, the COVID toe, the
kidney damage, all of a sudden started to make some sense. And it was the first layers of the onion
being peeled back. And so we published this as a lead article in the New England Journal of Medicine
in May. And that opened the gateways to beginning to walk down the path to understanding what this
disease was all about.


John Robbins: Well, you mentioned it being a vascular disease. We each have in our bodies a 60,000 mile network of blood vessels that brings oxygen and nutrients to feed every cell and every organ in
our body. And we each have endothelial cells that coat the inside wall of every artery and every vein
and every capillary in the human body. Will, if the novel coronavirus is wrecking a special kind of havoc on the endothelial cells, does this help explain why COVID complications can appear anywhere in the body?


Doctor William Li: Absolutely. And, in fact, after we started looking in the lungs and found vascular
damage in the lungs, which is the first place after you inhale the coronavirus, the damage is going to
take place. What we did is we went to the brain, the heart, the lymph nodes, the kidney, liver, and even
testicles, and we found organ to organ, the same type of vascular damage.

And that’s what we saw happening after COVID infection in the brain and the heart and the lungs,
everywhere we looked. And we’re seeing this vascular damage is not just in acute COVID, we’ve
also now confirmed that this is also happening in people who have recovered from their disease. So
they’re COVID survivors. But, some of these people wind up having some significant long-term effects
of COVID symptoms that we’re now beginning to explain by having this persistent damage at the
circulation level, what I call the long tail of COVID.


John Robbins: When you mention the long tail of COVID I’m thinking about how very early in the
pandemic, when we were first encountering a virus that no human body had ever experienced before,
and we knew almost nothing about it, you were one of the people, one of the few scientists then
who were raising questions about what happens to people after the virus is cleared, or almost totally
cleared from their body, after they have apparently recovered. And you said something then that I find
today to be remarkably prescient, you said, and this is a quote, “We don’t know yet what the long-term
damages that may occur and may persist in the vascular endothelium. If it turns out that there was
widespread systemic damage to endothelial cells, then that could persist much longer than the actual
infectious component of the virus.”


Will, now a year later, facilities are opening all over the country to care for the growing number of
Americans who suffer from COVID-19 symptoms many months after their diagnosis. And for the people
whose COVID-19 symptoms linger for months, the effects can be devastating. In some cases, there is
a relentless, self amplifying cycle of inflammation throughout the entire body. This is obviously a very
serious problem. But I just want to say that what you said more than a year ago now seems remarkably
prophetic. And what I want to ask you is, is there anything we can do to protect and to repair our
vascular systems? I mean, are there ways we could use food, for example, to help protect endothelial
cells, to prevent blood vessels from breaking down in the first place?

How to Use Food to Protect Your Blood Vessels


Doctor William Li: Such a great question. And, you know, what I would tell you as a vascular biologist,
so my area of research specialty focus is on blood vessels, but I’m also an internal medicine doctor,
and I’m trained to look at young and old men and women healthy and sick. And I’ve always been
focusing on how to make sure we maintain vascular health.


Before we talk about COVID and long-term COVID, let’s talk a little bit about heart health, right?
Because essentially, the number one killer around the world is cardiovascular disease. And what
happens there is you have the damage to the endothelium that doesn’t occur in short order, like with
COVID, but occurs over many years. And we’ve always thought about it as cholesterol buildup, but
what’s really happening, John, is that the lining, the endothelial lining has been compromised. And so
blood doesn’t quite flow quite so easily. And you get blood clots.


And whether you’re talking about a heart attack or stroke, or some of the other organ complications
we’re seeing in COVID, this idea of vascular protection has been paramount long before this pandemic
took place. So what are some of the things that we can do not just to lower cholesterol like that is a
worthy goal, lowering your lipids. I mean, so many people take statins, but, you know, I think there’s a
dietary approach to lowering cholesterol. But what we’re really trying to do is not just lower the bad
guys who want to protect the good guys and get those into fuel yourselves, a lining to be healthy.
So here’s what we can do with food. And this is really remarkable. Plant-based diets comprised of fruits
and vegetables, but especially vegetables of various sorts that contain fiber, contain phytonutrients are
well-known to protect the vascular endothelium. And so when you talk about sulforaphane being found
in broccoli or in kale, those sulforaphanes actually help to boost the activity, boost the strength of the
blood vessels and protect those blood vessels and make your cells healthier.


When you’re talking about fruits like apples, which contain quercetin, but not just the flesh of the apple,
but the peel of the apple as well, which contains another bioactive, natural chemical called ursolic
acid. These are mother nature’s kind of farmacy with an F that actually helps to keep our vascular
endothelial cells healthy.


Another one that does this, by the way, is a substance called hydroxytyrosol.8 Hydroxytyrosol is actually
found in the flesh of the olive. And although olive oil is indeed a healthier oil than many other choices,
it turns out that the hydroxytyrosol is soluble in water, not oil. So it’s mostly found in the fruit of the olive
and when you press olive oil, most of the hydroxytyrosol is thrown away in the flesh of the olive.
So all these things kind of converge into thinking about plant-based foods, Mediterranean cuisine
comes to mind as a vascular healthy cuisine, but also Asian diets. It’s really about the patterns of eating
that would actually help protect our blood vessels.


John Robbins: You know, when you mentioned broccoli sprouts and sulforaphane, we grow broccoli
sprouts in our kitchen and we eat them everyday, primarily because of their stunningly high levels of
sulforaphane.

Will, is there research now showing that eating broccoli sprouts strengthens the immune system’s
ability to fight viruses, including COVID-19?

Broccoli Sprouts and COVID-19


Doctor William Li: So what’s amazing is the work that’s been done specifically with broccoli and
broccoli sprouts, there was a study out of the University of Florida, in Gainesville, where they were
looking at young people during flu season.9 So this is before the pandemic and they wanted to ask,
whether or not food could enhance the body’s natural response, immune system’s natural response to
a vaccine, right?


So one of the things that we do know is that vaccines don’t work evenly in every single person.
Some people respond really well. Some people don’t respond so well. So this research study I was
mentioning, took young and healthy people and gave everybody a flu vaccine, but they gave half of
people a flu vaccine plus a shake made with broccoli sprouts. How many, how much broccoli sprouts?
About two handfuls worth. A couple of cups of broccoli sprouts, you put it into a blender, it turns into a
smoothie, not very easy to drink. The other side, they give a placebo, so no broccoli sprouts at all.
And what they found later, and they gave everybody the flu vaccine, what they found later is that the
young people who received the vaccine plus broccoli sprouts had a 22-fold amplification of their
immune system’s response to the vaccine, 22 times, and with natural killer cells, other immune cells,
which is really remarkable to me, as sort of being able to raise your shields in an absolutely stunning
way.


And when they actually looked for the virus in the patients themselves, they swabbed their nose. They
found zero, no evidence of virus in the people who drank broccoli sprouts and had a shake. And they
found some virus still present in the nose of people who got the vaccine, but no broccoli sprouts.
So this just goes to show that foods can actually combine well with medicines. And it’s really clear to
me that food has a real potential. And sulforaphane is found in broccoli and broccoli sprouts of which
the sprouts have 100 times more than the grown-up adult broccoli, are one of these areas that almost
certainly are going to help.

Mushrooms and COVID-19


John Robbins: You mentioned the people in China who seem to be less likely to get COVID-19 were
people who, it turned out, were drinking more tea, green or black. You have included green tea in a list
that you wrote titled, 10 Things to Eat Right Now to Fight Back Against COVID-19. I’d like to talk to you
about that list. First on the list is mushrooms. Well, what is it about mushrooms that make them helpful
in the fight against COVID-19?


Doctor William Li: So, first of all, mushrooms are one of my personal favorite foods. I love them. I call
them treasures from the forest. I love all kinds of mushrooms, white button mushrooms, chanterelles,
porcinis, shiitake, enoki. I mean, you name it. There isn’t a mushroom that I’ve met that I haven’t loved.
Easy to cook, delicious. They are packed with other good sources of fiber. The soluble fiber is called
beta-D-glucan, and it feeds our microbiome, activates our immune system, and mushrooms contain
another thing that activates our immune system, which is vitamin D.


All the good stuff in the mushroom is found not only in the cap, which is what we all eat, but also in the
stem. And so this is one ingredient that I wanted everybody to know about, fresher, dried, lowly, white
button mushroom, or fancy mushroom, it doesn’t really matter.


John Robbins: You mentioned the stem. I remember in an earlier conversation that you and I had. I
remember you saying that the stem actually has more of some of the beneficial compounds than the
cap, and yet the stems are of course fibrous and not as palatable. What we do with the stems is we boil
them and make stock out of them. Is it, do you see that being a reasonable approach, Will?
Doctor William Li: Absolutely brilliant way of actually using the stems. I mean, many cultures and many
recipes will call for mushrooms and you just cut up the stems and throw them in and saute them or
whatever you’re going to do with them. Making stock is a brilliant way of actually using mushroom
stems. And you can also put the stems into a blender and make a mushroom soup out of it as well. So
if you want to consume a stock or actually a mushroom soup and there’s so many ways to actually use
mushroom stems, I highly encourage it.


One of the things that we can do for our planet by the way is not to waste food. And this example of
we’re giving about mushrooms and stems is that is just another example where when mother nature
gifts us with a food, like a mushroom that is beneficial to our health, usually it’s not just one part that’s
good for us, usually there’s multiple parts, and we’re finding this with broccoli florets, the tree tops, and
the stems, the stems also are rich with good stuff, carrots, the taproot, the orange part is really great for
us, but the greens, for carrots are also packed with vascular health promoting materials as well.
I think that there’s also an opportunity for us, not only to save ourselves, but to save our planet, do
something good for yourself and do something good for the earth as well.

This is part of an excerpt of an interview John had with Dr. Li.

Please share with family and friends who may benefit from this info.

Namaste

Sources

10 Things to Eat Right Now to Fight Back Against COVID-19 – Dr William Li

Sulforaphane reduces advanced glycation end products (AGEs)-induced inflammation in endothelial cells and rat aorta – PubMed (nih.gov)

Sulforaphane protected the injury of human vascular endothelial cell induced by LPC through up-regulating endogenous antioxidants and phase II enzymes – PubMed (nih.gov)

Quercetin attenuates vascular calcification by inhibiting oxidative stress and mitochondrial fission – PubMed (nih.gov)

Quercetin reduces blood pressure in hypertensive subjects – PubMed (nih.gov)

Ursolic acid in health and disease – PubMed (nih.gov)


Effects of mushroom-derived beta-glucan-rich polysaccharide extracts on nitric oxide production by bone marrow-derived macrophages and nuclear factor-kappaB transactivation in Caco-2 reporter cells: can effects be explained by structure? – PubMed (nih.gov)


A Review of Mushrooms as a Potential Source of Dietary Vitamin D – PubMed (nih.gov)

Full Spectrum CBD, Broad Spectrum CBD, Isolate, and PCR: Decoding the Difference

The potential benefits of CBD are a prominent topic of research and discussion. As we explain the effects of CBD, it is important to discuss the different types of extracts. Cannabidiol (CBD) is extracted from the hemp plant in a variety of forms. The type of extract used in a product is shown to impact the effect CBD has on the body, and it’s important for every CBD user to understand the differences between them.

Full-Spectrum-CBD-vs-Broad-Spectrum-1

Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, Isolate, and PCR Oil are four common forms of CBD extract. They vary in the type of cannabinoids and synergistic plant extracts they contain. To help you find and choose the right product for your needs, we’ll look closely at each type of extract, understand the differences between them and discover how these differences influence the intake of CBD.

CBD Isolate

cbd-isolate-looks-like_1

CBD isolate is cannabidiol in its purest form. To produce this extract, CBD is isolated and then refined to strip out any additional cannabinoids, terpenes, and plant components found in the hemp plant. The final product is a fine white powder that contains around 99% cannabidiol.

Shop CBD isolate »

Isolates contain only one cannabinoid: CBD. This means that CBD isolate does not contain any THC, a psychoactive cannabinoid responsible for getting you “high”, making CBD isolate a perfect option for those who seek a THC-free product.

Isolate has no taste or odor and can be used to formulate many varieties of CBD products, such as edibles and topicals. Since CBD isolate is around 99% pure, you have control over exactly how much is added to a product (a milligram of CBD isolate equates to about a milligram of CBD).

When it comes to products like vape juice or tinctures, it’s easy to recognize them as made with CBD isolate if the color is very clear. Although, other ingredients can be added that darken the liquid.

PCR – Phytocannabinoid Rich

Phytocannabinoid Rich or PCR is a term that’s most often used to describe hemp oil containing a wide array of different cannabinoids and zero THC. In other words, PCR is a common alternative term for broad spectrum hemp oil. However, it’s important to note that PCR is often used loosely and could refer to a full spectrum product, which contains up to 0.3% THC.

Full Spectrum or Whole Plant Hemp Extract

Full Spectrum or whole plant hemp extract keeps the full properties of the hemp plant intact. In addition to CBD, this extract includes terpenes, cannabinoids, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, phytonutrients and any other materials that are extracted from the hemp plant. The hemp plant naturally contains over 100 cannabinoids that, similar to CBD, provide their own unique benefit.

full-spectrum-hemp-extract-appearance

Shop full spectrum hemp oil »

The full spectrum extract contains all of the available benefits within the hemp material. By keeping all of the plant components, whole plant hemp extract benefits from the synergistic properties between the components. Scientists have found that plant components interact with one another to create an enhanced effect (compared to the component alone).

According to a theory known as the entourage effect, CBD and other components of hemp work together to improve absorption and effect in the body. These compounds influence each other’s function for a sum greater than its parts.

Since the natural cannabinoids remain intact, whole plant hemp extract contains small levels of THC. However, in order to be considered hemp, whole plant hemp extract must have less than 0.3% THC. This is a trace amount that does not create a high.

Broad Spectrum

Broad Spectrum CBD is basically full spectrum CBD, containing an array of cannabinoids and terpenes, except it doesn’t contain THC. It’s a great option if you want to maximize the benefits of CBD isolate but without the risk of failing a drug test. Broad Spectrum CBD is created by putting products through an additional process to isolate and eliminate traces of THC while still preserving the other natural cannabinoids and terpenes. Because multiple cannabinoids and other compounds are preserved in Broad Spectrum CBD, it can provide the enhanced benefits of the entourage effect, without the psychoactive effects of THC.

An example of this is the Hemp Oil Care tincture, which is full-spectrum but is THC-free. Let us explain the process of manufacturing this product.

cbd-oil-broad-spectrum

Shop THC-free broad spectrum CBD oil »

The Hemp Oil Care tincture starts as a full-spectrum oil. There are various methods of extracting full-spectrum hemp oil from the hemp plant. While CO2 extraction is deemed the cleanest method, other methods, such as solvent extraction, may be utilized. However extracted, the final product will be an oil with varying amounts of THC no greater than 0.3%.

At this point, most manufacturers would combine this oil with several other ingredients or use as is. Using technology called centrifugal partition chromatography (CPC), the manufacturer of the Hemp Oil Care tincture takes an additional step.

CPC is a tool for purifying cannabis extracts. CPC technology separates each compound to remove unwanted compounds, such as THC.

During CPC, raw oil is run through a centrifuge. The oil is pushed through a series of cells that contain a mixture of liquids such as water, methanol, or heptane. Each compound diffuses into one of the liquids depending on their affinity to it; the compounds separate into different cells along the way. The compact CPC unit uses over one thousand extraction cells in a high-speed spinning disk pack to separate and purify the desired compound. Each cell increases the purity of the desired compound until a high purity product is created.

Additional CBD isolate is added to the final product to increase the potency.

THC or no THC?

If CPC technology is available, you may be wondering why all products are not THC-free. THC, the intoxicating compound of the cannabis plant, raises concern for those who do not wish to experience the intoxicating effects of marijuana or must partake in routine drug testing.

While beneficial for these reasons, THC is also being studied for its interaction with CBD in what we have referred to as the entourage effect.

broad-spectrum-or-thc-free-cbd-oil

A Note About Broad Spectrum CBD or THC-Free Full-Spectrum Products

Please note not all products with a label saying full-spectrum or THC-free will be manufactured in this manner. We suggest you be wary of products that claim to be full-spectrum and THC-free. Many times, a THC-free “full-spectrum” product contains only CBD isolate. When in doubt, reference the manufacturer’s COA to determine the levels of cannabinoids in the product.

Conclusion

With CBD isolates, you receive the sole benefits of cannabidiol. In comparison, full spectrum or whole plant hemp extract provides the synergistic benefits of the whole hemp plant, while PCR and broad spectrum CBD allows you to enjoy the health benefits of cannabinoids without the psychoactive effects of THC. Whether you choose CBD isolate, PCR, full spectrum or broad spectrum is dependent upon your health goals. All have proven benefit in certain instances.

As the scientific community learns more about CBD, we are beginning to understand how CBD interacts with the body along with other plant components. Do you have additional questions about using whole plant hemp extract versus CBD isolate? Leave a comment below!
This article first appeared on MadeByHemp.com

Anxiety and the Endocannabinoid System

Anxiety is a normal coping mechanism; however, in excess, it can be detrimental. More than just a situational response, anxiety disorders are characterized by a persistent and oftentimes irrational dread of everyday situations which can interfere with daily activities.

Forty million U.S. adults are affected by an anxiety-related disorder; however, the prevalence of these disorders should not diminish their impact.

Excessive anxiety is a central symptom of several neuropsychiatric disorders including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder (PD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Anxiety is a complex disorder that can develop through various factors including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.

Anxiety and Emotional Response

Anxiety is our body’s response to an emotional situation. Biologically, anxiety activates our “fight or flight” response to warn us of potential threats.

During such time, norepinephrine and cortisol flood our system to boost to perception, reflexes, and speed. These chemicals increase the heart rate, blood flow to the muscles, and air flow. With chronic anxiety, the response is never deactivated, and the physical and emotional effects of anxiety remain.

 

anxiety-endocannabinoid-system_1

 

Anxiety and the Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays an integral role in regulating emotional response.

Specifically, the ECS supports nerve activity that determines our response to emotional or aversive events.

An Introduction to the ECS

As discussed in a previous blog, the endocannabinoid system is a biological system responsible for maintaining homeostasis. The ECS is composed of endocannabinoids, degradative enzymes, and cannabinoid receptors. Endocannabinoids such as anandamide (“the bliss molecule”) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2AG) are synthesized, or created, by our body on demand in response to an imbalance. They interact with the cannabinoid receptors to direct the body back to proper functioning.

CB1 Receptors and Anxiety

CB1 receptors, which are primarily located on nerve endings, are one of the two major cannabinoid receptors.

Studies have found the activation of the CB1 receptor produces anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects.

When discussing conditioned fear, the effect of CB1 receptor activation is complex; however, CB1 receptor activation can reduce fear and prevent the activation of existing memories from the past. Additionally, CB1 receptor activation protects against the adverse effects of chronic stress, which can lead to anxiety. For this reason, CB1 receptor activation has been studied for anxiolytic drug development.

Endocannabinoids activate the CB1 receptor; therefore, a higher level of endocannabinoids can be beneficial for those with anxiety-related disorders. Additionally, chemicals that inhibit the FAAH enzyme from breaking down anandamide increase endocannabinoid availability and are also being studied for their anxiolytic effects.

Living with Anxiety

There are many ways to manage anxiety; however, less than 40% of those with an anxiety disorder seek treatment. Still today, there is a stigma surrounding mental illness that discourages those struggling from seeking help. We can help end the stigma of mental illness by having open conversations about mental health, encouraging mental health education, and showing compassion to those with a mental illness.

If you or a loved one is struggling with an anxiety disorder, we encourage you to learn more about the disorder and the options for treatment.

 

This article originally appeared on MadeByHemp.com

 

Top 10 Endocrine Disruptors to Avoid

We are exposed to endocrine disruptors everyday. Endocrine disruptors like BPA and phthalates lurk in everything from cleaning products to fragrances.So, what are the top endocrine disruptors to avoid? Here is a list of the ones you should completely avoid.

1. Organophosphate Pesticides

These pesticides are sprayed on food to kill common pests. Pesticide residue on vegetables and fruits are one of the most common ways we consume these dangerous chemicals. Organophosphate pesticides have been shown to cause infertility in men, slow brain development in children, and have even been shown to affect thyroid function. Try to choose organic when purchasing food to avoid these pesticides.

2. 17α-Ethynylestradiol

17α-Ethynylestradiol is a synthetic form of estrogen and the only one that remains active when taken orally. Currently, this synthetic hormone can be found in all forms of oral birth control. Studies have shown that it promotes breast cancer complications and cell proliferation. Even the US government has acknowledged its dangerous effects.

3. Fire Retardants (PBDEs)

PBDEs, or polybrominated diethyl ethers, disrupt thyroid function by blocking the uptake of iodine, eventually taking its place in the thyroid. Because of this action, they also mimic and disrupt thyroid hormones. PBDEs have been linked to lower IQ and are proven to negatively affect neural and physical development in children and developing infants.

4. Phthalates

Phthalates are added to plastics to aid durability and flexibility. Their negative health effects have been constantly reported in various studies all across the world. Phthalates can easily leach into water and bottled water is subject to contamination. Research has confirmed that phthalates inhibit sperm cell development. They’re also linked to obesity, diabetes, and thyroid conditions. Always store foods and liquids in glass whenever possible.

plastic containers

5. BPA

BPA is everywhere: Food cans, plastic bottles, cell phone protectors, and even water pipes may contain BPA. BPA has even been found on store receipts and can be absorbed through the skin on contact. According to government research, ninety-three percent of Americans have detectable levels of BPA in their bodies. BPA has been tied to obesity, breast cancer, early-onset puberty, cardiovascular disease, and reproductive problems. Choose BPA-free storage containers and, again, use glass whenever possible. The science varies on how much of a risk these combined exposures pose in everyday life, but recent research shows even very low-dose exposures can be significant.

6. Perchlorate

Perchlorate can be found in rocket fuel, explosives, fireworks, and fertilizers. This common environmental chemical noticeably disrupts thyroid function. Similarly to PBDEs, perchlorate replaces iodine in the thyroid and leads to decreased thyroid activity. Symptoms of decreased thyroid activity include weight gain, poor energy, and depression. Water contains the highest concentrations of perchlorate. The best solution to prevent damage from this endocrine disruptor is to ensure you are getting enough iodine. A high-quality water filter may also help filter out perchlorate.

7. Arsenic

This element naturally occurs deep within the earth’s crust, but can also be released through mining and industrial activities and find its way to water sources.  Exposure to arsenic can result in insulin resistance, immune system suppression, slowed cognitive development, cardiovascular damage, and weight gain/loss. The best way to protect against arsenic is to install a water filter that specifically removes arsenic. Arsenic is found in foods like brown rice. It’s best to buy basmatic brown rice. It has less arsenic.

non stick pan

8. Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs)

It’s estimated that 99% of Americans have PFC accumulation in their bodies. PFCs are commonly used to make non-stick pans. During cooking, some of these chemicals escape into your food and accumulate in your body. PFCs disrupt hormone function and have been tied to infertility, ineffective sperm, heart disease, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, and low birth-weight in babies. One study confirmed PFCs, especially PFOA and PFHxS, negatively affect thyroid hormone levels. Avoid non-stick cookware.

9. Mercury

Mercury is toxic and dangerous to pregnant women and their babies. It’s will bind with a hormone essential to menstruation and ovulation. Mercury also attacks the pancreas to affect insulin production. Suffice to say – avoid mercury! Reducing seafood consumption may be one of the best solutions to reduce mercury intake; unfortunately, fish is no longer the only concern. The new compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) light bulbs contain dangerous levels of mercury. In fact, if one of these light bulbs break, evacuation is recommended.

10. Dioxin

The US government recognizes dioxin as an endocrine disruptor. Dioxin, a byproduct of industrial processes, can create issues such as heart disease, diabetes, reduced fertility, poor sperm activity and low sperm counts, embryo development interference, and spontaneous miscarriage. Meats and other food products which contain animal products provide the majority of exposure to Americans. It accumulates in fat and can remain for years.

Other endocrine disruptors

Other chemicals that are known endocrine disruptors include diethylstilbestrol (the synthetic estrogen DES), dioxin-like compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDT, and some other pesticides.

 

What Can You Do?

Although it may be difficult, it is possible to take steps to avoid endocrine disruptors. If you eat meat or fish, choose organic, free-range, or wild sources. Buy fresh, organic produce as much as possible, and choose glass for food storage. Ask your physician or nutritionist, if you need to take an iodine supplement to protect your thyroid. It is suggested that regular cleansing helps remove toxin accumulation.

You may remember learning in your biology class that your body is run by a network of hormones and glands that regulate everything you do. When thinking about the endocrine system, in the context of puberty, but it actually plays a major role in all phases of development, metabolism, and behavior.

Synthetic chemicals in products like plastics and fragrances can mimic hormones and interfere with or disrupt your delicate endocrine system. We’re exposed to these chemicals daily, and we’re especially vulnerable to them during phases of accelerated development…before and during childhood. “We have very tight windows of when, say, our brain and liver are made,” explains Kristi Pullen Fedinick, an NRDC staff scientist. “When a hormone-disrupting chemical gets in the way during these windows, it can change the ways these processes happen. The change is often irreversible.”

So, is there any good news? Yes, while NRDC works to get better safeguards in place, there are ways you can try to steer clear of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Here’s how.

mother chlld washing hands

1. Wash your hands

If you follow just one piece of advice from this list, make it this small, easy thing: Wash your hands frequently (avoiding fragranced and antibacterial soaps), and always before eating. You’ll rinse a substantial amount of chemical residue down the drain.

vacuum-cleaner-carpet-cleaner-housework

2. Dust and vacuum often

Even though they’re linked to hormone disruption (and cancer, too), flame retardant chemicals are used in many common household products. Research shows that these chemicals escape from electronics, couches, and baby products and collect in your household dust. Most families don’t have the budget to replace all these items with flame-retardant-free versions; however, we all can afford to keep our house clean by dusting with a damp cloth and using a vacuum with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter, which traps small particles of dust instead of blowing them around the house. You’ll also reduce your exposure to other chemicals that can accumulate in your home, like lead (in older buildings), phthalates, and fluorinated chemicals.

dry brush epsom salt

3. Turn up your nose at fragrances

The word fragrance on a label signifies a mix of potentially hundreds of ingredients, and the exact formulas of most companies claim are trade secrets. And we do know that phthalates is one class of chemicals typically found in fragrance and can disrupt hormones. Fortunately, fragrance isn’t necessary for a product to function well or be effective. Choose fragrance-free creams, cleaning products, and laundry detergents. And check ingredient labels to find out where else fragrance lurks; it can show up in unexpected places, such as diapers or garbage bags. And check so-called essential oils that actually have fragrance oils.

For safer ways of freshening your indoor air, open windows, use fans, and empty smelly trash cans and litter boxes instead of trying to cover them up. You can also turn to natural odor-busters like fresh flowers on the kitchen counter, citrus peels in the garbage disposal, or an open box of baking soda in the fridge.

4. Think twice about plastics

You can’t eliminate all plastic, but you can take some easy steps to reduce your plastic use. Swap plastic food storage containers with glass or stainless steel; if you do keep plastic ones, don’t use them to store fatty foods, and never microwave them. Replace plastic baggies with reusable lunch bags, and plastic cling wrap with beeswax-coated cloth. Choose hard wood blocks and cotton baby dolls over plastic ones. In short, anytime you’re in the market for something plastic, research whether safer alternatives exist.

5. Say “no can do” to cans

Canned foods can make meal prep a breeze, but those cans are likely lined with BPA to keep them from corroding. Even though cans labeled as “BPA-free” may use a similar chemical that hasn’t been proved any safer, according to a study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Choosing fresh, frozen, or dried foods (like beans) that aren’t packaged in cans is a smart preventive measure. Aseptic “brick” cartons or glass packaging are both better than cans.

salmon-dish-food-meal

6. Watch what you eat

Certain pesticides have been linked to hormone disruption. Eat organic food as much as you can afford to. If your food budget is tight, choose conventionally grown foods known to have the least amount of pesticide residue. As a general rule of thumb, try to eat food that is as close to whole as possible, i.e. a whole roasted chicken instead of processed chicken nuggets. When you can, avoid food packaging. And consider how you prepare food, as well. EDCs can hide in nonstick pots and pans, so cook in stainless steel or cast iron instead.

7. Filter your tap water

Drinking tap water out of a glass will reduce your exposure to BPA and other chemicals in cans and plastic bottles. But tap water can contain a slew of its own potential hormone disruptors, including residue from birth control pills, according to NRDC’s Drinking Water Project. Running water from the tap through an NSF-certified water filter can, when properly installed and maintained, decrease the level of some endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

8. Rethink kids’ cosmetics

Even though children don’t need cosmetics, there’s a whole slew of kid-related lotions, potions, bubbles, polishes, glosses, and glitters on the market. These can contain a number of EDCs (not to mention chemicals linked to cancer, asthma, and skin irritation) that make them smell good, glide on smoothly, and be otherwise irresistible to kids. Just say no, and leave that perfect baby skin alone!

Check the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. A rule of thumb, the fewer products you use with the least amount of ingredients, the better.

9. Clean smarter

While “cleaning,” many of us actually introduce indoor air pollutants into our homes in the form of harsh chemical products. It’s difficult (and often impossible) to know what chemicals any given cleaning product contains because companies aren’t required to list the ingredients on the label. To encourage transparency and safer products, buy from companies that voluntarily disclose their ingredients and look for the Safer Choice label. You can also easily make your own cleaners from safe household staples like vinegar, borax, and baking soda.

10. Speak out

Tell companies, agencies, and policy makers that we need systems in place to make sure that toxic chemicals like EDCs, phthalates, and fluorinated chemicals stay out of our food, water, or homes in the first place.

 

Healthy Alternatives

Good news! There are more companies that offer eco-friendly products. Some of these companies are:

Skin Care, Bath, and Cosmetics: Beautycounter

Essential Oils/Household Cleaning Products: Young Living, doTERRA

Cookware: Saladmaster

 

Sources

Global Healing Center

NRDC

 

 

About the Author

Shaline Miller is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach specializing in Women’s Hormone Health. Shaline has on-going issues with her gut, thyroid, and liver and incorporates whole foods, yoga, to keep these issues in check.

 

 

 

It’s here! My New eBook: 5 Habits to a Healthy Life including recipes!

ebook cover 1

My new ebook is here! It”s a five-day guide to beginning a healthy lifestyle. This guide shows you how to add whole foods into your lifestyle without giving up what you currently eat. It includes a 21-Day Food and Gratitude journal so you can track how you feel after you eat each meal and to write what you are grateful for each day. This ebook also has chapters that highlight inflammation/anti-inflammatory foods, hemochromatosis (an iron disorder), the acid/alkaline connection, self love, food and balancing your chakras, the top ten toxic cosmetic ingredients to avoid, and the top indoor plants recommended by NASA to purify your home.

My eBook shows you how to incorporate all aspects of your life (nutrition, exercise, relationships, career, spirituality, and self-care) to create a healthier, happier you!

To your health,

Shaline

 

12 Ways to Create a Cancer-Free Home

We live in a toxic world and there are so many things that cause cancer from our diet to the household products we use. We tend to think that if we carry our family’s genes, we will develop cancer. On the flip side, we think that if we don’t have the gene, we will not develop cancer. This isn’t true. We need to consider factors such as diet, lifestyle, and environment.

Here are some ways to to reduce your risk and create a cancer-free home.

 

12 Ways to Create a Cancer-Free Home

 

Step 1. Eat organic fruits and vegetables

Conventional produce is grown with chemical pesticides and herbicides, which are known carcinogens.

The most widely used brand of pesticide, RoundUp, took a major blow in the media when the World Health Organization announced that RoundUp’s active ingredient, glyphosate, is a type 2 (probable) carcinogen.

Even when washed thoroughly, traces of these toxins are still present on and in conventionally grown fruit and vegetables, due to absorption into produce itself, and via its soil and roots.

Note: Clean fruits and vegetable with a small amount baking soda and filtered water..let soak for a few minutes.

When possible, opt for organic produce, grown without the use of dangerous chemicals. Organic farmers use old fashioned methods to keep pests at bay. One such method is planting garlic near the crops, which naturally repels insects.

Check out the Environmental Working Groups’ Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen, to find out which conventionally raised fruits and vegetables are safe to eat and which varieties must be organic.

Step 2. Do not consume genetically modified foods (new terms: Bio-engineered or BE)

Do not eat soybeans, corn, wheat, sugar, cottonseed, or canola unless it is listed as non-GMO or organic. GMOs are extremely dangerous and have been shown to cause tumors.

Genetically modified foods should be eliminated from your diet at all costs, to avoid cancer and other serious illnesses and diseases.

Approximately 90% of U.S. grown soybeans, corn, wheat, sugar beets, cotton, and canola are genetically modified and they are used in nearly every packaged food on the market, especially in the United States.

The ingredients are often concealed with a name that appears to be a natural food source. For a list of ingredients to avoid, check out the Invisible GM Ingredients on the Institute for Responsible Technology website.

For in depth information about GMOs, including how they infiltrated our food supply and why they’re so toxic to all living creatures and our environment, check out Altered Genes, Twisted Truth and Genetic Roulette.

Step 3. Eliminate or reduce sugar consumption

You might say that cancer loves sugar as much as we do and that cancer and sugar have an obsessive love affair with each other.

Sugar is literally the top food choice for cancer and consuming sugar exacerbates cancerous cell activity, causing the formation of tumors as well as increasing the speed of
cancer growth.

As a matter of fact, because sugar is so drawn to cancer cells, certain cancer tests involve the injection of either glucose or sucrose (forms of sugar) into a patient. The sweetened liquid then acts as a tracking device for doctors and radiologists as it leads
them directly to the tumor.

However, sugar found in fruit and vegetables do not feed cancer cells, as proven by the Gerson Cancer Therapy.

It’s important to mention that for most people, the most abundant source of sugar comes from simple carbohydrates, such as white bread, pasta, flour, rice, potatoes, etc… Once
ingested, these foods turn into a form of sugar. Another source of high sugar consumption comes from packaged foods, fast food, and soft drinks.

Often, sugar is hidden or disguised under names that sound like natural substances. You can find more information and a list of names on the Hungry For Change website.
Oncologists know about the sugar-cancer link! So why don’t they tell their patients to reduce their sugar intake? I’ll let you decide on the answer to that question.

Step 4. Avoid artificial sweeteners/sugar substitutes

The majority of artificial sweeteners are carcinogenic and should be eliminated from your diet. That includes the pink stuff, the blue stuff, and any other colorful package that you find on the table at restaurants.

If a product is marked “sugar free”, check the label for toxic, artificial sweeteners, including aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, and high fructose corn syrup (made from GMO corn).

Opt for natural and whole food sweetener sources such as Stevia, Lakanto, honey, coconut cane sugar, molasses, applesauce, maple syrup or granules, xylitol, bananas, raisins, figs, and dates.

Preferably organic and raw products, where applicable. These options have varying textures and tastes so it will take some trial and error to determine which ones are best for each recipe or situation. You can also search for recipes that include these
ingredients.

Step 5. Restrict or eliminate your intake of starchy foods that are baked, fried, toasted or broiled

When starchy, high carbohydrate (high sugar) foods are baked, broiled, fried, or toasted in temperatures exceeding 248˚ Fahrenheit, they form a substance called acrylamide.

Acrylamide has been identified as a “probable human carcinogen” by the National
Toxicology Program as well as the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Foods with the highest acrylamide levels include potato chips, french fries, coffee, breakfast cereals, cookies, and toast.

Longer cooking times also increase the amount of acrylamide, so it’s best to reduce the amount of time that you bake, broil, toast, or fry these foods.

To avoid acrylamide exposure completely, only consume starchy foods that have been boiled or steamed since these alternate cooking methods do not cause the formation of acrylamide.

Step 6. Remove processed meats/foods from your diet

Processed Meats i.e. bacon

After reviewing more than 800 scientific studies, the International Agency for
Research on Cancer classified processed meat as a Group 1 carcinogenic,
meaning that any animal meat that has been smoked, salted, cured, fermented,
flavored, or preserved in any way is definitely carcinogenic to humans. In
particular, this type of meat has been shown to cause colorectal cancer, one of the top three causes of cancer death worldwide.

In addition, the IARC noted that intake of red meat should be limited as evidence suggests an association between this type of animal product and colorectal, pancreatic, and prostate cancer. The study identified red meat as beef, pork, veal, lamb, mutton,
horse, and goat.

Other studies show that consumption of beef and dairy products elevates IGF-1 hormone levels and a nutrient called choline, in humans. Both IGF-1 and choline are linked to an increase in various cancers, such as colon, breast, and prostate cancer.

Most dangerous are commercially raised, factory farm animal products since they’re fed
a diet of GMO grains – primarily genetically modified corn and soy – and other ground up
animals that were given the same genetically modified feed.

Factory farm animals are also loaded with antibiotics, growth hormones, and toxins to help them grow faster and to keep them from contracting diseases due to the unsanitary conditions in which they’re raised. Many of these chemicals have been studied and are
also proven to directly cause cancer or increase cancer risk. Others remain untested so there is no evidence of the safety or long-term effect on humans.

To protect yourself and your loved ones, eliminate processed meats and moderate your intake of other animal-based protein sources, choosing only organic when possible. Also, increase your intake of plant based protein sources such as nuts, seeds, non-dairy milk,
legumes, whole grains, and vegetables. This option provides all the necessary amino acids for optimum health and muscle building plus the added benefits of nutrients, chlorophyll, and minerals which are not found in animal foods.

Package Foods

Packaged foods, most of which are highly processed, are notoriously unhealthy due to the amount of preservatives, additives, excess sugar, and salt they contain. These substances cause inflammation throughout the human body, now recognized as the
basis and catalyst for all disease, including cancer.

Of equal concern, are the preservatives and additives that have been proven to cause cancer by damaging human DNA, disrupting hormone levels, and reducing levels of good gut bacteria which fights disease and infection. These include chemicals such as nitrites, nitrates, sodium benzoate, potassium bromate, and others.

In addition, nearly all packaged foods contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The Seralini Study concluded that these genetically modified ingredients cause the growth of tumors. The DNA damaging effects of GMOs were also discovered by the
scientists who created the genetically altered seeds, although this information was hidden from the public.

Step 7. Eat As Many Cancer Fighting Foods As You Can

There is absolutely nothing that fights cancer and protects your cells from the damage of carcinogenic substances or prevents cancer from developing, more than vegetables and fruit particularly green, leafy vegetables (cruciferous). This is due to the phytonutrients and chlorophyll contained in these super hero foods.

Phytonutrients can only be found in plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. This is what gives plants their color, with each color providing a different type of nutrient, so it’s important to get a variety in your diet each and every day and at each meal.

Mushrooms, onions, and garlic contain a tremendous amount of cancer fighting antioxidants even though they lack any actual color.

Here is a good suggestion from Dr. Joel Fuhrman: Eat G-BOMBS!  That means Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, and Seeds! The Healthiest Anti-Cancer Foods!

Step 8. Use and drink filtered water

Regardless of where you live your tap water most likely contains a bunch of powerful toxic substances including fluoride, chlorine, arsenic, chromium, Atrazine, perchlorate, nitrobenzene, and/or lead.

These chemicals have been shown to cause numerous types of cancer, including bladder, breast, prostate, skin liver, kidney, brain, stomach, and lung cancer.

An affordable Reverse Osmosis system will filter out the majority of these harmful contaminants, as well as other nasty materials. Filtered water should be used for drinking, cooking, baking, and making ice cubes. Kangen is a well-known water system and can be expensive.

Step 9. Eliminate or reduce consumption of food from cans and plastic bottles and don’t store or heat food in plastic containers

The majority of food and water sold in cans or plastic bottles are exposed to a
chemical called Bisphenol A (BPA) in the lining of the container.

BPA has been identified as an endocrine disrupter. Exposure to this chemical
increases the risk of breast and prostate cancer. BPA can even be passed onto infants via the umbilical cord and early exposure to BPA influences and increases the likelihood of contracting cancer as an adult. A recent study also showed that BPA masks markers in the urine, used by doctors to detect prostate cancer. This makes it harder to diagnose this deadly disease in the early stages.

Although some food producers are beginning to switch to BPA alternatives, there haven’t been enough scientific studies to predict the effects of long-term use of alternative materials.

To reduce your risk when storing or heating food, use only glass or corning ware containers and cookware. Likewise, when drinking or storing liquids, use only glass bottles or jars.

Step 10. Avoid non-stick products for cooking and baking

Non-stick cookware, such as those made with Teflon, contain a chemical called
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFOA is particularly dangerous due to the fact that the fumes that come from the chemical burn off can remain in your body and environment for long periods of time.

Animals are apparently highly sensitive to this toxin and the fumes are so potent that they have been traced to the deaths of pet birds.

This substance has been shown to increase the incidence of liver, testicular, mammary gland, and pancreas tumor growth in lab animals. Human studies showed an increased risk of bladder, kidney, and testicular cancer from PFOA exposure.

To reduce your risk of cancer and exposure to this carcinogenic substance, use only stainless steel or cast iron cookware.

Although there are brands on the market listed as “PFOA free” or “PTFE free” (PTFE is
Polytetrafluoroethylene, the trademark name for Duponts’ Teflon product), these products are made with aluminum, another heavy metal that accumulates in your body
(especially your brain), increasing your risk of cancer and other serious health
problems.

Step 11. Eliminate aluminum

Aluminum is a neurotoxic that accumulates in your bones and brain. Scientists have linked aluminum to breast cancer as well as many other disorders and diseases.
A 2012 study showed that aluminum concentration in foods increased by 76% to
378% when cooked in foil. The range was dependent on length of cooking time, temperature, fat content, and pH level of the food and the presence of added substances, such as seasoning.

Other sources of aluminum are baking powder, pancake and cake mix, self-rising flour, frozen dough, and processed cheese.

To avoid aluminum exposure from your food use parchment paper in place of aluminum foil, BBQ foods directly on the grill or on a non – aluminum grill pan, purchase aluminum free baking powder, make dough and batter from scratch, and avoid processed cheese and beverages in aluminum lined containers, such as soda and juice.

Step 12. Get rid of toxic cleaning products

Before you rush to tell your spouse, I must confess that this is not completely accurate.
While it is true that products used to freshen and clean your kitchen, dishes, and utensils may contain toxic substances that promote cancer, cleaning, in and of itself, does not.

Whether you’re eating, cooking, or cleaning in the kitchen, you’re likely ingesting, absorbing, or breathing in carcinogenic substances such as phenols, nitrobenzene, and formaldehyde which can be found in detergents, polishes, floor cleaners, and
air fresheners.

To find toxic-free products for your home visit the Environmental Working Group’s Guide To Healthy Cleaning web page. This organization is not influenced by corporations or special interest groups because they do not make money from advertisements,
as most informational websites do.

Environmental Working Group is a non-profit that performs research for consumers and publishes their findings on EWG.org. They make no money from the products listed on their site, and take no money from the corporations that manufacture the products.

If you’d like information about a product that EWG hasn’t researched yet you can enter the ingredients into their system, which will provide a detailed explanation of the toxicity level of each ingredient as well as an overall toxicity score for the product.
You can also make your own toxic-free cleaning products. White vinegar, lemon, and baking soda are all inexpensive and effective ways to clean and disinfect your kitchen and baths.

Dairy

Another item I would consider is reducing or eliminating dairy products. They contain high amounts of antibiotics and growth hormones. And another factor to consider is that the grains they eat contain pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides.

Lifestyle

Last but not least, lifestyle plays a big role. How stressed are you? Do you meditate to relieve your stress? Do you journal? Do you practice gratitude? Do you have anger or resentment that you’ve carried around for years?

As I listened to Chris Wark speak this morning on the Food Revolution Summit about how he beat cancer, he mentioned that a crucial factor that helped him was FORGIVENESS!  We need to forgive people and then ask God to bless them!  This was so powerful!

To your health and happiness,

Shaline