|Issue #128 May 2013|
Welcome to this issue of Naturopathic News, issue #128. It's my mission to help you find optimal solutions to health problems. This newsletter is one way to do that. The more educated you are about your health options the better able you will be to take control of your health. If you would like to stop receiving my newsletter please send me an email and let me know. If you have a friend or family member who you think would appreciate the information provided, send me their email address.
15 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
March 6 marked the 15 year anniversary of us finding our farm in Steam Valley. The beginning of April marked 15 years of practice in north central Pennsylvania. Thanks to all of you who have given me the opportunity to help you get healthy.
30 MINUTE FREE CONSULTATIONS
For those of you not currently working with me I want to give you a chance to learn a bit more in depth. For any topic I write about in my newsletter you can ask for a free 30 minute consultation, by Skype or by phone. I have 5 openings available right now. Just another way to say thanks for your support.
PROSTATE CANCER AND AGENT ORANGE
Men who were exposed to Agent Orange chemicals used during the Vietnam War are at higher risk for life-threatening prostate cancer than unexposed veterans, researchers have found.
What's more, those who served where the herbicide was used were diagnosed with cancer about five years earlier than other men, on average, in the new study. "This is a very, very strong predictor of lethal cancer," said urologist Dr. Mark Garzotto, who worked on the study at the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Oregon. "If you're a person who's otherwise healthy and you've been exposed to Agent Orange, that has important implications for whether you should be screened or not screened," he said.
Agent Orange - named after the giant orange drums in which the chemicals were stored - was used by the U.S. military to destroy foliage, mainly in southern Vietnam. The herbicide was contaminated with a type of dioxin, a potently carcinogenic chemical.
The Vietnam Red Cross Society has estimated that up to one million Vietnamese suffered disabilities or health problems as a result of Agent Orange, including children born with birth defects years after their parents were exposed.
Past research has also suggested that U.S. veterans who served where Agent Orange was used are at an increased risk of lymphoma and certain other cancers, including prostate cancer.
For the new study, researchers wanted to see whether exposure was more closely linked to slow-growing prostate cancers or aggressive tumors.
They analyzed medical records belonging to 2,720 veterans who were referred to the Portland VA for a prostate biopsy. About one in 13 of those men had been exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, according to their VA intake interviews.
One third of all men in the study were diagnosed with prostate cancer, about half of which were high-grade cancers - the more aggressive and fast-growing type.
When the researchers took men's age, race, weight and family history of cancer into account, they found those with Agent Orange exposure were 52% more likely than unexposed men to have any form of prostate cancer.
Agent Orange exposure was tied to a 75% higher risk of being diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer, the study team reported May 13, 2013 in the journal Cancer. "The increase in the rate of cancers was almost exclusively driven by the potentially lethal cancers," said Garzotto, also from Oregon Health & Science University.
"Almost all studies have implicated that men with Agent Orange (exposure) either have higher-grade prostate cancer or a more aggressive clinical course," said Dr. Gregory Merrick, head of Wheeling Hospital's Schiffler Cancer Center in West Virginia, who also wasn't involved in the new research.
Cancer, May 13, 2013.
DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: Believe it or not Agent Orange is actually making a comeback of sorts. Dow Chemical has been trying to get its GMO 2,4-D (one of the main toxic ingredients in Agent Orange) resistant corn and soybeans into the American food supply. They could then sell more Agent Orange to farmers who would use it on these GMO crops because they have become resistant to less toxic pesticides and herbicides. Thus perpetuating a cycle of more and more GMO crops, where pests have become resistant to more and more herbicides/pesticides, necessitating an ongoing increase in needed chemicals. Works out pretty well for Dow, not so good for us. Just ask the Vietnamese.
We’ve been given a temporary reprieve on this one as the Dept. of Agriculture has delayed approval until 2015. But unless more stringent environmental review is carried out we’ll probably see Agent Orange being used in America. Doesn’t it make sense that Dow would have to actually prove the safety of its new GMO crops? Instead, we are the experiment. 93% of all soy products are already GMO. 93% of all corn products are already GMO. Unless you buy organic or certified non-GMO varieties, you are already testing the potential danger of these foods. Don’t you feel lucky?
Bottom line, if GMOs are safe, why don’t food companies want you to know what’s in your food?
Just Label It!
THE EPA SAVES US MONEY, 10:1
Critics argue that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation is costly to business and the US economy. But a new report http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/inforeg/2013_cb/draft_2013_cost_benefit_report.pdf from the nonpartisan Office of Management and Budget (OMB) shows that the financial benefits of environmental regulation outweigh the costs ten-fold.
On May 9th, Gina McCarthy’s nomination to head the Environmental Protection Agency was stalled in the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee by a GOP boycott. And while Ms. McCarthy is likely to win full Senate confirmation eventually, the EPA itself is under attack from Republicans who say the agency imposes far too many costly regulations.
But the latest annual review from the OMB shows that the benefits of EPA rules far exceed their costs. The Office of Management and Budget is responsible for coordinating the review of regulatory policy for the every administration. Ever since the Reagan administration they’ve been tasked to work with the regulatory agencies as they develop, propose and eventually finalize regulations, and especially the major regulations - the ones that have significant economic benefits and/or cost to the US economy.
In their role as the coordinator of regulatory policy the OMB conducts this annual review that they submit to Congress. As they found in their assessment of the regulatory program across the government, EPA has a significant role in regulatory policy. The EPA has the largest share of benefits and cost in terms of the federal regulatory program, and importantly, The OMB found that the estimated benefits are significantly larger than the estimated cost of the regulatory actions both in the past year as well as over the past 10 years of the regulatory action.
So if we look back in 2012, the federal government had benefits from the regulatory program in the order of about $50 to $115 billion, and 60 to 80 percent of those benefits were from EPA regulations. And the vast majority of those benefits are actually from reducing premature death from air pollution. The costs in the federal program last year where about $15 to $20 billion. EPA was about half of those costs. So they impose a cost on the economy but their delivering by about a factor of 10 additional benefits to the United States in terms of reducing air pollution and the associated mortality impacts from it. Over the last 10 years that’s something along the order of $500 billion worth of benefits.
The actions of the EPA do impose a real cost. Those costs tend to be concentrated in specific industries. Those industries then express concerns about costs they have to bear. The utility air toxics rule that EPA has promoted will deliver real costs on the utility sector. There are a lot of really old coal-fired power plants that have never done anything to the control emissions of mercury and other air pollutants. They all actually have to incur significant different cost to install scrubber technology to clean up the pollution - or they’ll have to shut down. So there are real costs there.
From a health perspective, over the last decade, the EPA’s been promulgating regulations that make us as a society better off, that deliver public health benefits - when we monetized these public health benefits - that are significantly greater than the cost we as a society bear to deliver those benefits. And that’s the whole point of government regulation—to increase the common good.
When there is a market failure, and the country has to bear the burden of externalized costs-such as power plant air pollution causing disease-implementing new regulations can increase the net benefit to society. And that’s what this OMB report has found again. This should inform the debate about what constitutes thoughtful, prudent, regulatory policy in this country.
DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: A couple of years ago I participated in an open house sponsored by my congressman, Republican Tom Marino. One of his talking points was that the EPA was bad. Bad for business and therefore bad generally. This got a few of the audience members worked up to agree that the EPA was a bad idea. As a physician this just flabbergasted me. The EPA had just proposed arsenic standards for drinking water that were estimated to save thousands of lives each year. I just didn’t see how anyone could argue with that kind of result.
I think that people who raise concerns about these costs, put so much more weight on those costs and don’t realize the fact that especially the elderly, children and those with bad respiratory and cardiovascular health will benefit from having longer healthier lives as a result of health regulations. So I really think it has to do at the end of the day with the concentration of the costs born by industry and how they express their concerns through the political process.
More often than not the costs show up on the corporate balance sheet; the benefits, more often than not, show up with individuals being healthier and not dying. It’s the difference between the balance sheet for a corporation, and the health of families around the country. That fundamentally is the difference between the benefits and the cost of many of the EPA’s regulations.
TOXIC METALS IN LIPSTICKS
Lipstick can put you at risk of ingesting potentially toxic metals, University of California, Berkeley researchers say.
The scientists said they found metals in every one of the 32 lipsticks and lip glosses they tested. Some of those substances, including lead, cadmium and chromium, are banned from cosmetics in Europe, but not in the United States.
Previous studies had detected traces of lead in lipstick, but the researchers said theirs was the first to find a variety of other metals that can be toxic in high doses. Manganese, for example, which was found in varying amounts in the tested products, is linked to neurological defects in humans who inhale it on a continuous basis.
Makeup manufacturers in the United States sometimes use metals as color additives. The researchers believe that potentially harmful metals are present in possibly thousands of lip products beyond the 32 they tested. "The fact that virtually all of them have some metals of some concern leads me to say that it's a concern in general," said Katharine Hammond, a UC Berkeley professor and the study's primary investigator. The report appears in Environmental Health Perspectives.
For the study, Hammond and her colleagues asked teenage girls to identify lip products they use. The researchers then bought those products - eight lipsticks and 24 lip glosses - at drug and department stores. They broke down the makeup and compared the levels of metal they found with those considered safe for humans to absorb in other forms, such as in air and water.
For example, cadmium - a carcinogen that can lead to kidney and bone impairments when chronically ingested - was detected in nearly half the tested products. A woman who frequently applies heavy amounts of some of those products would be at risk of ingesting more cadmium than is considered safe if she were to be exposed to the same levels in drinking water, researchers said.
“Concentrations and Potential Health Risks of Metals in Lip Products”, May 2, 2013 Environmental Health Perspectives
DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: In using lipstick, often several times per day, you can expose yourself to aluminum, manganese, cadmium, lead. And other toxic metals. Lead was found in 75% of the tested products, confirming previous studies - including a 2009 analysis by the FDA- that found lead in all 20 lipsticks it tested. Elevated lead levels in adults can lead to a host of health problems from miscarriages to seizures. Lead exposure among children can lead to permanent brain damage. Here are the top 20 lead containing lipsticks http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/05/study-lead-metals-lipstick-top-20
Most chemicals that are in cosmetics have never been tested for safety. We don't know what many of those chemicals are because they don't have to be put on labels. And the FDA itself doesn't even test the dozens of dyes used in cosmetics or set the maximum amounts of toxic metals in them. It outsourced that job years ago to the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, an organization established in 1976 by a cosmetics-industry-aligned trade and lobbying group. Over the years, the US has banned 22 chemicals outright. For comparison, the EU currently bans more than 1,300 chemicals.
In Europe, more than 1,000 substances are banned from cosmetics. But the FDA's cosmetics law is largely the same as when it was passed in 1938, thanks in part to lobbying from the billion-dollar cosmetics industry.
The Environmental Working Group has a http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ with information on cosmetic products and the risky ingredients that could be in them.
FRANKENFISH COMING TO YOUR TABLE?
The public was misled about the FDA review of GE Salmon. As if we needed another reason to reject approval of genetically engineered (GE) salmon, internal agency documents uncovered by the Center for Food Safety raise serious questions about the adequacy of the FDA’s review of the AquAdvantage Salmon application. Center for Food Safety, Earthjustice, Friends of the Earth, and Food & Water Watch received the previously undisclosed documents through a Freedom of Information Act request.
FDA limited its already minimal environmental review to the local impact of these genetically engineered fish at two isolated locations currently used by AquaBounty (the biotech fish company)—one in Canada and one in Panama—and the agency based it’s finding of “no significant impact” on the U.S. environment largely on the fact that the fish would not be produced or raised in the U.S.
But the internal documents that were found reveal that during the review period, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) was already receiving applications to import AquAdvantage salmon eggs into the U.S. for commercial production.
This raises the question of whether the whole idea of growing the GE salmon in Panama was a regulatory ruse by the company designed to get approval, while their real intent was to sell the eggs to U.S. companies to be grown in U.S. facilities.
Agency documents further revealed that scientists within the FWS questioned the FDA’s ability and authority to review the impact of genetically engineered animals, and that they believed a full Environmental Impact Statement should be conducted before any decision on approval is finalized.
A new bill, the PEGASUS Act, has been introduced in Congress that would prohibit the shipment, sale, transportation, purchase, possession, or release in the wild of GE salmon unless the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service complete a full environmental impact statement and find that it will result in no significant impact to the environment.
DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: The failure to study the impact of U.S. production has grave consequences for our fisheries and the environment. Each year, an estimated two million salmon escape from open-water net pens into the North Atlantic, outcompeting wild populations for resources and straining ecosystems. Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science found that even a small release of GE fish could lead to the extinction of wild populations, wreaking havoc on the fishing industry and the natural ecosystem.
More than 1.3 million people have commented to FDA opposing the approval of the controversial GE salmon. In addition, the market has already started to reject GE salmon. Supermarkets operating more than 2,500 grocery stores are planning to avoid the salmon should it come to market.
Tell your fish purveyor that you won’t buy genetically engineered salmon. Ask them to refuse to sell it.
Here are some pages that are of particular interest:
Store: There are 390 products from Emerson listed on this page. If yours isn’t one of them please let me know and I will add it so you can order online. This is particularly convenient after hours or on the weekend. Of course, you can always order by phone from Emerson at 800-654-4432.
Newsletter: Here you will find all 128 issues of my health newsletter, "Naturopathic News”.
Optimal Health Points: This is my blog that I update periodically. Check out my latest post, “No Deaths From Vitamins, Minerals, Amino Acids Or Herbs”.
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LET ME HELP YOU MAKE WISE SUPPLEMENT CHOICES
As is often the case, a recent new patient asked if I would review their choice and use of supplements and herbs. Why does this happen so often? For many, taking a vitamin or herb is their introduction to natural medicine. Their desire to be healthier drives them to take supplements and herbs. The death, pain, discomfort, and side effects experienced with over the counter and prescription drugs compel people to look elsewhere. It’s very different with supplements and herbs which, when used correctly, have an incredibly low risk of harm.
Some people take this to an extreme and take every supplement or herb that someone tells them is ‘good for them’. It might be a clerk, an internet ‘expert’ source, or a friend who is marketing the latest or greatest fad. Most of these individuals or companies have no professional training or experience in the medical use of the supplements or herbs that they’re selling. The people they’re selling to come into my office with 5, 10, 15, or more supplements that they’re taking. Sometimes it’s been so long since they started taking them that they don’t remember why they’re doing it. When I ask, they can’t tell me what, if anything, a particular product is doing for them. Yet, they can be quite fearful of stopping any of these items, as if their health would careen off a precipice without them.
Why do I think my approach is any different? Partly, it’s because of my background. I’ve literally been working with nutritional supplements since 1974. That’s 36 years assessing the quality and effectiveness of supplements. Beginning in 1980 I started working with Western and Chinese herbs. The quality of herbs used and how they’re combined together has the greatest effect on the efficacy of the final product. Because I’ve grown, identified, harvested, and produced medicinal herbal products I recognize a good formula when I see one.
Licensed naturopaths like me receive the most extensive academic and clinical training in the use of nutritional supplements and herbal medicines of any professional in the United States. Nothing can substitute for such hands on experience, especially when you see, and are responsible for, the results of your treatments. Very different from the clerk in the store, or coworker who’s part of a MLM scheme.
What I’m offering to is easy access to this experience and training. Both for you and your family. If you have questions about the supplements or herbs you are taking, or are thinking about taking, now is the time to ask. Send me an email with the brand and name of the product you’re taking. Let me know that you want to bring the bottles in at your next visit, so I can see what you’re taking. Start a discussion on my Facebook fan page. Either way I’ll give you honest feedback about what I think is good, or what isn’t. We’ll fine tune what you’re taking to maximize effect and eliminate waste.
Let me hear from you and we’ll get started.
GET YOUR VITAMIN D TEST WITH ZRT LABORATORY
It just happened again the other day. A patient sent me a copy of the Vitamin D test she just had done. With frustrating results. The wrong test was done. After all these years, and all the information available, MDs and laboratories still order the wrong test. What a waste of money and time.
For a long time I looked for a home Vitamin D test. One that would be simple, easy, and accurate to do on your own. I finally found one. ZRT Laboratory in Beaverton OR. ZRT emphasizes research and technological innovation.
Until now, venipuncture blood serum has been the standard medium for testing Vitamin D. ZRT has developed and refined Vitamin D testing in blood spots. A few drops of blood from a quick and nearly painless nick of the finger, placed on a filter paper to dry are all that is needed. The total 25 (OH) Vitamin D is then determined by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). This method has been shown to be as accurate as the assay standard.
Ordering A Vitamin D Test
ZRT allows anyone to order a Vitamin D test kit for $95 plus shipping and have it sent to their home. ZRT will let me prepay for kits and send them to my office for $55 each, plus $8 shipping. I am charging $65 per kit for patients to cover the total.
If you are interested in getting a Vitamin D test done through my office please prepay so I can order you a kit. Then you can either pick it up at my office or have it shipped to your home. Once you’ve taken the sample and sent it back to ZRT it’s only a matter of time before your results are sent back to me. I can even look at them online before the mail arrives.
If your doctor has refused to order a Vitamin D test or worse, ordered the wrong one, this is the fastest, least expensive, most accurate way to do it ourselves. Once we know what your Vitamin D levels are, the next step is making sure that you achieve optimum levels for prevention of disease and maintenance of health.
I am often asked what supplements I recommend. Many of you have been surprised to discover that I favor food over pills; lifestyle changes over fads. I have been working with nutrition for over 30 years, herbs for over 20 years. Where and when appropriate I recommend them to my patients. I strive to act from knowledge, experience, and research.
Emerson Ecologics (800-654-4432) carries almost all of the nutritional supplements and botanical extracts that I think are useful. Their customer service is excellent and their delivery is reliable (often only 2-3 days to this region). It’s a great way to get physician quality products at reasonable prices.
To offset the cost of shipping, reference my name when you establish your account and receive a 10% discount on every order. If you have any questions about these items feel free to email me.
That’s it for this issue of Naturopathic News. If you’ve thought a bit extra or learned something new, then I achieved my goal. As usual, if you have questions or concerns brought up by these subjects, let me know.
Gregory Pais, ND, DHANP
580 E. 3rd. St.
Williamsport PA 17701