Sunday, December 06, 2009

Toxins Damage The Nervous System

It is well known that the pesticides in our food supply cause damage to our nervous system. Literature has shown that in increase in neurological diseases like Parkinson's disease can be related to toxin exposure. (1) To reduce your chances of developing chronic degenerative disease, I suggest a regular lifestyle approach that reduces your risk (exercise, organic foods, antioxidant vitamins) and a regular detox program. Call the clinic if you would like more info on our program that is supervised by Dr. Bennett and Dr. Trenciansky.

1) Giasson BI, Lee VM-Y. 2000. A new link between pesticides and Parkinson's disease. Nature Neuroscience 3(December):1227-1228

7 Day Detox Miracle

I wrote the book, 7 day Detox Miracle almost 10 years ago and since then I am amazed at how the book has continued to be a valuable clinical message to all my patients. It is an easy to read guide on how the body heals itself with fasting, diet modifications, supplements and sauna therapy. If you have not read it, I encourage you to do so, if you have read it, check back in with the simple message- spend a week each year cleansing the blood through simple detoxification strategies.

Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Not Folic Acid Supplementation

Good Morning America had Dr. Richard Bresser on the show on November 18th, 2009 and he warned people against taking over the normal daily allowance for folic acid and b12 because of a recent study done in Norway which found an increase in cancer for those taking folic acid. The conclusions in this Norweigan study were flawed from poor research design, yet Dr. Bresser has gone ahead and offered an inflammatory and hysterical opinion, scaring those who take multivitamins with B12 and folic acid into thinking they are increasing their risk for cancer. The benefits and safety of folic acid are well established. Folic acid prevents neural tube defects, prevents stroke (1), reduces the incidence of hip fractures (2) and helps reduce the incidence of migraines (3) Folic acid has even been shown to prevent cancer of the colon in those patients suffering from ulcerative colitis (4)

The study Dr. Bresser is referring to was published on November 18, 2009 in JAMA (5) and the conclusions of the authors were that that lung cancer is caused by folic acid supplementation. This bizarre conclusion comes from data that was taken in a rather unscientific way. It might be surprising to the average person who trusts medical research because medical studies, published in prestigious medical journals, are supposed to be scientific, unbiased and created by intelligent researchers whose job is to provide factual conclusions. And to make matters worse, we now have Dr. Bresser talking on national TV, on Good Morning America, promoting bad science and weakening public confidence in using vitamin therapy.

The dissonance of this Norweigan study encourages a deeper look at how this study was constructed. First, this study was put together from information gathered in two other studies- the NORVIT [the Norwegian vitamin trial, a 2005 randomized trial of homocysteine-lowering with B-vitamins for secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease after acute myocardial infarction] and WENBIT [Western Norway B-vitamin intervention trial presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2007). These Norwegian researchers claiming folic acid increases cancer, did not even do their own study, they took data from two other studies, both of which in the opinion of some experts were in themselves flawed. This recent JAMA study was a secondary analysis from information designed to examine the benefits of folic acid on heart disease. Neither of theses studies (the NORVIT and the WENBIT) study set out to study folic acid and the risk of lung cancer. In fact, almost all the people in these studies were current (40%) or past smokers. Of those individuals who developed lung cancer in these studies, 93% were present or past smokers. There is no credible research conclusions in this Norwegian study to state that if you take folic acid you will be more likely to get lung cancer. This much touted study by Dr. Bresser shows that if you smoke, you are more likely to get lung cancer and folic acid will not protect you from this risk. Last, and most importantly, folic acid has been supplemented in the food supply of North america for 10 years, since 1998, and there has been no detectible increase in lung cancer rate. In fact, lung cancer rates have been falling since the introduction of folic acid.

1) Wang X, Qin X, Demirtas H, Li J, Mao G, Huo Y, et al. Efficacy of folic acid supplementation in stroke prevention: a meta-analysis. Lancet 2007;369:1876-1882

2) Sato Y, Honda Y, Iwamoto J, Kanoko T, Satoh K. Effect of folate and mecobalamin on hip fractures in patients with stroke: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2005;293:1082-1088.

3) Di Rosa G, Attina S, Spano M, Ingegneri G, Sgro DL, Pustorino G, et al. Efficacy of folic acid in children with migraine, hyperhomocysteinemia and MTHFR polymorphisms. Headache 2007;47:1342-1344.

4) Lashner BA, Heindenreich PA, Su GL, Kane SV, Hanauer SB. Effect of folate supplementation on the incidence of dysplasia and cancer in chronic ulcerative colitis; a case-control study. Gastroenterology 1989;97:255-259.

5) Ebbing M, Bonaa KH, Nygard O, Arnesen E, Ueland PM, Nordrehaug JE, et al. Cancer incidence and mortality after treatment with folic acid and vitamin B12. JAMA 2009;302:2119-2126.