Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Facts About BPA

Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a harmful chemical found in some plastics. Governor Brown recently signed legislation that will ban the use of BPA in baby bottles and child sippy cups as of July 2013. While this is great news, use of BPA is widespread, and I strongly recommend you avoid using products that contain it.  It is commonly found in plastic bottles (#7 in particular) and in the lining of canned goods. It is also used in thermal cash register receipts, so it's important to throw such receipts away rather than recycle them to help break the cycle of BPA in our environment.

BPA is xenobiotic, meaning it mimics life. Its structure is similar to that of estrogen, allowing it to get into the body and act like a toxic estrogen. This results in weight gain and loss of DNA integrity. Young women are experiencing periods earlier in life due to BPA, and for older women BPA makes menopause worse by blocking healthy estrogen. In men it contributes to breast development, lack of sex drive, and prostatitis. It's also linked to other conditions such as infertility, PCOS, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

The Environmental Working Group has a great guide on how to avoid bisphenol A.  [edited on March 27, 2012 to add:]  Real Age has also published an article on how to avoid BPA. Educate yourself and lower your chance of BPA's adverse health effects.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Vitamin Use and Longevity

A study published in the October 10 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine claims that multivitamin use is associated with an increased risk of mortality in women in their 60s. There is no cause for alarm: this study is flawed. It was poorly done, with a small population, and with wildly broad variables, including lifestyle factors and the person’s overall toxicity burden to begin with. Around 39,000 women were surveyed in 1986, 1997, and 2004. The results were based on questionnaires these women filled out. There was no control study group; the results were just measured against statistics from the general population. Essentially, 39,000 women were measured against another 39,000 women, but where did those other 39,000 women come from? What slice of the population were they in? A response by Thorne Research points out “it must be emphasized that… the study is a retrospective study of already collected data. It is not a prospective, controlled intervention study, i.e., it is not a ‘clinical trial,’ in which participants would be given a specific dietary supplement or a placebo and then followed closely over time to observe not only the specific outcomes but also the factors possibly contributing to those outcomes.”

We need to take into consideration who funds multimillion dollar studies such as the one published in Archives of Internal Medicine:  the pharmacological companies who want exclusive rights to patent these ingredients. They are not a source to be trusted.

Additionally, there is no mention of the quality of the brand of multivitamin used. Commonplace multivitamins like Centrum always show up as toxic when I test them on my patients. In this way, the findings of this study are accurate: they prove that taking a toxic supplement will shorten your life span.

The supplements I recommend for my patients are purity-certified with consistent third party testing to confirm that purity. They’re made under the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) seal, which means that they’re high quality, pure, and that their ingredients contain exactly what is listed on the label. Countless studies prove that quality micronutrients signal to your DNA to express health and promote efficient detoxification.

Avoiding toxic supplements is just as important as avoiding toxic household products and cosmetics. Check the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetic Safety Database to find out what’s in the cosmetic products you are exposing your body to every day.  I am happy to test you on all supplements, medications, and cosmetics you use to ensure that you are not putting toxins into your body. Together we will put you on the path to well-being and longevity.