Four Common but Toxic Chemicals to Avoid During Pregnancy, Pre-Pregnancy and Breastfeeding, Plus these are Good Healthy Insights for Us ALL!

 Four Common but Toxic Chemicals to Avoid During Pregnancy, Pre Pregnancy and Breastfeeding,  Plus these are Good Healthy Insights for Us ALL!While it was once thought that fetuses in the womb were largely protected from environmental chemicals, it’s now known that a woman’s exposure while pregnant has the potential to harm the developing baby.

Studies show that babies are exposed to hundreds of potentially toxic chemicals while in the womb.

In fact, a study sponsored by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) tested the umbilical cord blood of 10 newborns and found that the samples contained an average of 200 chemicals … chemicals linked to cancer, brain damage, birth defects and more.

“This is conclusive evidence that babies are being exposed to hundreds of industrial chemicals throughout pregnancy,” said Sonya Lunder, an EWG scientist, told the Associated Press. “The placenta isn’t a magic shield.”

The implications of all these chemical exposures are completely unknown, and while it’s likely impossible to eliminate all exposures (most people already have countless environmental chemicals circulating in their bloodstream), it’s a wise idea to minimize your exposure as much as possible during pregnancy and if you’re planning to become pregnant.

Click here to read more.

Best Wishes for a Happy Holiday Season and a Healthy New Year!

 Best Wishes for a Happy Holiday Season and a Healthy New Year!

I want to wish all my patients and readers a very healthy happy New Year! I hope this new year brings you great health, happiness, and financial and spiritual success.

May you always continue to grow!

Have a great holiday!

Dr. Soram

Happy Thanksgiving !

 Happy Thanksgiving !

I want to wish all my readers and patients a very happy Thanksgiving!

This is the time of year when we all like to settle in with our families and friends and give thanks for all the blessings we have had over the last year.

I am very thankful to all my readers and for the wonderful feedback you give me all year.

Similarly, I am very grateful to all my patients who come to me, and treat me with such love and respect.

All my best wishes to all of you for a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Dr. Soram

Photo credit

Remember to follow me on Twitter and Like me Facebook where you can leave me questions and comments.

i 8r5Fw5m S Happy Thanksgiving !

Also remember to visit my Healthy Living Shop where you can get physician quality supplements for you health!

First time buyers can use the code VPP10FT for a one time discount of 10% (before shipping, handling and tax)

Wishing you the best of health!

Dr Soram

11 Unexpected Things That Are Making You Fat

 11 Unexpected Things That Are Making You FatAdd to your list below the endless series of things that make you fat, many of which have to do with architectural planning and design. compiled this excellent list, which contains numerous waist-expanding phenomena you probably hadn’t thought of …
1. Cul de Sacs: A study by Lawrence Frank of the University of British Columbia found that residents in neighborhoods with grids and interconnected streets traveled 26% fewer miles by car than those who lived in neighborhoods of cul-de-sacs.

2. Cars: The less people walk, bike or use public transit, the more likely they are to be obese. If you don’t have a car, it’s also more difficult to load your fridge with tons of food.

Click here to find out more.

How Adults (and Teenagers!) Can Avoid Acne and Pimples

 How Adults (and Teenagers!) Can Avoid Acne and PimplesAcne is often thought of as one of the rites of passage of being a teenager — one that, fortunately, you get to grow out of. Yet, acne does not always disappear once you reach your 20s and beyond.

Having acne as an adult can lead to feelings of embarrassment, shame and lack of self-esteem.

“Despite the fact that adult acne tends to be generally milder than teenage acne, this common medical condition can have a significant impact on a person’s overall quality of life — regardless of when it occurs,” said dermatologist Julie C. Harper, MD, FAAD, associate professor of dermatology at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

Click here to read more.

You are Burying Your Face in a Hot Zone for Fungal Spores Every Night: Your Pillow

 You are Burying Your Face in a Hot Zone for Fungal Spores Every Night: Your PillowIf you are the type of person who checks your ceiling for spiders before falling asleep, or you cringe at the thought of a bug coming anywhere near your body, you may want to brace yourself. There is a “miniature ecosystem” — complete with dust-mite-eating fungi – -living and thriving in the place you’d least expect it: your pillow.

And it doesn’t matter if you just bought your pillow or have had it for 20 years. In a new study published in the journal Allergy, researchers at the University of Manchester sampled 10 pillows that were between 1.5 and 20 years old. ALL of the pillows had fungal spores — more than 1 million per pillow!

Each sample contained four to 16 different species, and the one that was the most common, Aspergillus fumigatus, is also the one that’s most likely to cause disease. Bread and vine molds and fungus usually found in damp showers and walls were also found.

Click here to read more.

Integrative Medicine News Briefs

Mercury in the Oceans

 Integrative Medicine News Briefs

As my patients know, I have been very concerned about the increasing concentrations of mercury in the oceans, rivers, and lakes of the world. I see patients with increasingly large burdens of mercury. Even salmon, which is what I used to recommend that my patients eat, is now producing significant levels of mercury in my patient’s blood and total body load calculation.

Now a new study, published in Nature News has shown that humans have tripled the mercury levels in the open ocean since the Industrial Revolution.

A quote from the lead author of the article is:

“Study co-author Carl Lamborg, a marine geochemist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, says that the deep water’s ability to sequester mercury may soon be exhausted. Humans are on track to emit as much mercury in the next 50 years as they did in the last 150 years, he notes.

He goes on to say, “You’re starting to overwhelm the ability of deep water formation to hide some of that mercury from us, with the net result that more and more of our emissions will be found in progressively shallower water. That increases the odds that mercury levels in key food species will rise, increasing humans’ exposure. ”

In addition, I do not think the scientists are measuring levels in people now as they say:

Between 5–10% of US women of childbearing age already have blood mercury levels that that increase the risk of neurodevelopmental problems in their children, and an estimated 1.5 million–2 million children are born in the European Union each year with mercury exposure levels associated with IQ deficits. Wildlife and marine life is not spared either. Studies have found that mercury levels compromise the reproductive health and fertility of some fish and birds”

I see very large levels in the blood of men and women who eat fish of almost any variety, especially in women of child bearing age eating the ubiquitous sushi!


Poisoned Seas

New information is showing that Otters in Scotland are only living one third of the lifespan of those who are in mainland Europe because of poisoned seas.

 Integrative Medicine News Briefs

Zoologist Dr Paul Yoxon says that “chemicals in everyday products are accumulating in fish and shellfish on which the mammals feed, weakening their immune systems.” He goes on to say that “Toxicology tests have shown that they have accumulated high levels of cadmium and mercury in their bodies from the fish they eat.”

For this reason the “otters are not living long enough to significantly ?expand the population further.”

Dr Yoxon goes on to say that “‘Another group of chemicals have now appeared in the environment – polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), which are used as flame retardants in carpets, car seats and furnishings. These also accumulate in the environment and become concentrated in fish taken by otters, and can cause problems with the immune system.’’

So the question is what happens in humans who eat fish from this part of the world, if the otters are having trouble surviving at all with their chemical burden?

I used to tell my patients to eat Wild Alaskan Salmon which was very low in mercury. However, I am now seeing my patients who eat salmon-even just occasionally -still getting significant levels of mercury in their blood.

If these women then get pregnant, that mercury will be transmitted through the placenta into the fetus, thereby having an effect on the immune system, the endocrine system, and the nervous system of that baby. As I have shown in previous articles, Mercury is increasingly being linked by scientists as a contributor to the autism epidemic that we now have.

If you are eating salmon regularly, I encourage you to ask your doctor to get a blood mercury level. Make sure you are not getting too much mercury!


Oceana and Mercury

The environmental group Oceana is getting involved in the call to stop mercury pollution of our environment.

 Integrative Medicine News Briefs

They are pointing out that “Mercury is a dangerous chemical finding its way into the oceans and the seafood we eat.”

“Mercury released into the environment from industrial sources ends up in our oceans, leading to seafood contamination. Because it builds up in wildlife through a process called bioaccumulation, animals high on the food chain carry the most mercury.”

In their article, it primarily focus on the large fish as having excessive mercury. They seem a little naïve to me that they are also not looking at the smaller fishes and their mercury load.

Oceana rightfully points out that “A handful of chlorine plants still use mercury in the chlorine manufacturing process. Not only has newer, mercury-free technology been around for decades but more than 100 factories globally have switched to the modern technology due to environmental reasons as well as increased energy savings.”

They have started a campaign to stop seafood contamination with mercury, and to encourage grocery stores to at least post the FDA’s mercury advice about how to avoid high mercury levels. At least this advice is a start. However it needs a major update, to show what I see as the increasing toxicity of fish contaminated with mercury.

Have you had your blood mercury level drawn recently?


The Mercury Policy Project

 Integrative Medicine News Briefs

In my research for this week’s newsletter, I am delighted to have come across a new organization called the Mercury Policy Project which is organizing to create a “Zero Mercury Working Group”!

They have put out a new announcement , which I completely agree with

saying that “A new federal advisory promoting seafood fails to protect sensitive populations from methylmercury exposure, according to an analysis by Environmental Working Group and MPP

You can read here Five Things FDA and EPA Didn’t Tell You About Seafood Safety and get the full REPORT HERE

Lets stay in dialog about this ! Talk to me on Twitter !

Wishing you the best of health!

Dr Soram

Leaky Gut and Multiple Sclerosis

“Leaky gut” is a condition where the lining of the small intestinal tract has been damaged. The small intestine is approximately 20 feet long and is all coiled up upon itself inside our abdominal cavity. It is across the membrane of the small intestine that the nutrients from our foods are absorbed. The permeability of this membrane is now being linked to Multiple Sclerosis in an article that just came out.

 Leaky Gut and Multiple Sclerosis

Normally the cells in the small intestine are lined up like soldiers and tightly held together by “rubber bands” which we call “tight junctions”. If these rubber bands are damaged by anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, stress, gluten sensitivity, food allergies, then small holes develop between the tightly knit cells of the intestinal tract. Then food which normally should be going through the cells to be digested, is able to “leak” between the cells and directly enter our bloodstream. This is called a permeability defect of the intestinal walls.

Because these are incompletely digested food molecules, they are relatively big. Big enough to be recognized by our immune system as a “foreign invader”. The immune system then becomes activated and secretes pro-inflammatory molecules which are not limited to just the gut. Rather they get into our bloodstream and circulate through the entire body. This then can contribute to inflammation in any and all parts of the body, and specifically relates to autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

In the picture below you see the gluten (and other foods) “leaking” between the cells, causing immune cells called T-cells, and inflammatory molcules like Cytokines to be produced:


 Leaky Gut and Multiple Sclerosis

For several decades now, integrative doctors have recognized that there is a link between “leaky gut” and autoimmune diseases. In my practice, for a long time, if a patient comes to me with an autoimmune disease such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or multiple sclerosis, I always have evaluated them for leaky gut. The majority of the time, they do have intestinal permeability problems, and we use diet and nutrients to repair the lining of the intestinal tract. This very often brings great clinical improvement.

However if you read websites from conventional doctors including Wikipedia, you will find that this diagnosis of “leaky gut” is questioned by conventional doctors. They say it does not exist!

However I am happy to say that not ALL conventional doctors are close- minded to the idea of a leaky gut and its connection to autoimmune diseases.

Leaky Gut and MS

 Leaky Gut and Multiple Sclerosis

Just this past week, Shahram Lavasani, Ph.D., and colleagues have published a paper showing a link between animal-model multiple sclerosis and “leaky gut”. In an interview, Dr Lavasani, told the healthline website that this connection has been the focus of his research for more than a decade. He stated “back then, the scientists and professionals did not believe in involvement of the gastrointestinal tract and development of ”extra-intestinal“ autoimmune diseases.”

Because Dr Lavasani, had written another paper showing that a specific probiotic mixture can exert a therapeutic effect in animal model multiple sclerosis, he was spurred on to do this research evaluating gut permeability and animal model multiple sclerosis.

To me, this recent research is extremely exciting, because once again the validity of integrative medicine’s principles of health, are being proven with modern science.

Dr Lavasani states at the end of the abstract for his recent article that “an increased understanding of the regulation of tight junctions at the blood – brain barrier and in the intestinal wall may be crucial for design of future innovative therapies” for multiple sclerosis.

Although the animal model that they use for multiple sclerosis is widely recognized to be a very good model for human multiple sclerosis, we must acknowledge that this study was done in mice not humans. I am happy to see that Terry Wahls M.D. is currently finishing a study on the role of diet and multiple sclerosis. Her study is looking at the benefit of a meat-based Paleo diet for MS. I hope that one day we will be able to do a study with multiple sclerosis and a vegan diet along with nutrients that are known to be able to heal a leaky gut. Ideally, this study will have measurements of leaky gut at the beginning and end of the research.

Do you or your friends or family have Multiple Sclerosis or other autoimmune dieseases? Have you or they been evaluated for leaky gut?

Let me know your thoughts on Twitter and Facebook .


Probiotics and MS

Leaky Gut and MS

Healthline article

Acknowledgments of photos:

Leaky Gut photo

MS photo

Wishing you the best of health!

Dr Soram

Chronic Low Level Toxic Exposures Increasingly Linked to Neurological Problems in Later Life

 Chronic Low Level Toxic Exposures Increasingly Linked to Neurological Problems in Later Life

For years, physicians who practice environmental medicine, including myself, have been advising their patients to avoid toxicants that can produce problems with our neuralogical, endocrine and immune systems later in life.

In my own practice, many patients have taken my words to heart, and let me guide them on a detoxification program to chelate heavy metals and to remove solvents and pesticides. Many of my patients have told me they feel significantly better after they complete this program. Often they will report better cognition when we have finished.

However, the majority of physicians do not pay attention to this and do not encourage their patients to pay attention to this.

Now just in the last 10 days, I am delighted to see several articles all confirming what I have been telling my patients and readers for many years.

The three organ systems that heavy metals, solvents and pesticides , affect are the neurological system, the immune system, and the endocrine system system.

 Chronic Low Level Toxic Exposures Increasingly Linked to Neurological Problems in Later Life

A new article from the prestigious Environmental Health Perspectives, a United States governmental publication, has just come out entitled Time after Time: Environmental Influences on the Aging Brain.

Here are some important quotes from that article:

“The population of Americans aged 65 and older is expected to double between 2010 and 2050, and by midcentury the proportion of the human population made up of people over age 80 is projected to have quadrupled since 2000. So factors that affect this aging population are of increasing importance. Of particular concern are the neurological diseases and disorders typically associated with advanced age, among them Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, dementia, and reduced cognitive function. Investigators are studying the effects of not just present-day exposures and environmental influences such as physical and mental exercise, but also exposures that occurred much earlier in life, whose effects may only become apparent in old age.”

Please note this includes exposures in the womb and in childhood.

“Now, however, there is increasing evidence that the brain is capable of generating new neurons and other functional brain cells even during advanced age. There is also evidence that the older brain can respond quickly and positively to external influences such as physical exercise and intellectual stimulation. This is prompting considerable interest in developing strategies for protecting and enhancing neurological function in the elderly.”

Lead has particularly been studied for its known ability to damage neurological tissue:

One study assessed 466 elderly participants in the VA Normative Aging Study who were environmentally but not occupationally exposed to lead. The study showed that higher bone lead levels were associated with steeper declines in these men’s cognitive skills over several years of followup, even after adjusting for confounding factors. Other work assessed the impacts of low-level lead exposure combined with self-reported chronic stress in 811 older men participating in the same study. It, too, found these exposures to be associated with impaired cognitive ability.”

“Lead and mercury have been associated with liver disease, which itself is associated with adverse neurological health effects, including a condition that produces a type of neuronal plaque associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Chemical exposures that adversely affect kidney and liver function can also hamper the body’s ability to detoxify and excrete environmental toxicants, thus letting them remain in the body—an effect that may be particularly problematic in advanced age when a body’s defense mechanisms are in decline.”

This is one reason I advise my patients to stop eating mercury-laden fish. In addition, many of my patients are getting chronic low lead exposure, due to dishes and drinking glasses that they have bought at common retail outlets. Many of these dishes are made in China where lead is everywhere.

I would advise all my patients and readers to ask their doctor at their next physical exam to get a blood lead and blood mercury level to make sure that they are not in the toxic zone of these harmful heavy metals.

 Chronic Low Level Toxic Exposures Increasingly Linked to Neurological Problems in Later Life

Solvents too are a problem. To quote further:

“More substantial evidence links various solvent exposures to other neurological conditions, including cognitive impairments, neuropathy, and what is sometimes called “pseudodementia,” when temporary neurological dysfunction produces symptoms similar to those of dementia. Organic solvents, including toluene, have also been found to impair color vision, while other solvent exposures have been linked to hearing loss, particularly when combined with noise exposure. Such exposures have been primarily studied when they occur occupationally, but some epidemiological studies suggest there is also potential for adverse effects from ambient environmental exposures.”

I am also delighted to see that this article brings up the role of gonadal hormones in maintaining neural cognition. I have seen this in my practice in many women who choose at menopause not to start on estrogen. I am glad to see that more research will be done on this subject.

Here is what they said:

“Weiss says gonadal hormones (i.e., androgens and estrogens) also deserve far more research attention for their influence on neurological function in the elderly.29 These hormones determine sexual differentiation, but they also are involved in neurogenesis and have demonstrated neuroprotective effects in adult male and female animals.”

The good news about this article is that it ends with looking at protective factors for our precious brains. Increasingly, physical exercise is being found to offer significant protection for the aging brain. Here is what they say:

“Some studies have reported a doubled or even tripled ability of the dentate gyrus to generate new neurons in rodents that exercised. Growth of new dendritic spines, which are important for learning and memory, appears to be stimulated as physical or aerobic exercise increases the expression of genes associated with regulating the secretion of neurotrophin proteins, particularly brain-derived neurotrophic factor, says Kirk Erickson, principal investigator of the University of Pittsburgh Brain Aging and Cognitive Health Laboratory. One hypothesis for this, he explains, is that because exercise stimulates blood flow, it may also increase available levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor”

“In experiments with mice, aerobic exercise has been associated with improved spatial memory.38,40 Such activity has also been associated with increased hippocampus size, Erickson explained in a talk at the 2014 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science,42 and “no pharmaceutical treatment has been able to replicate this effect.” According to Kramer and Erickson, findings from human studies that examined the effects of brisk walking and other aerobic activity have been consistent with those in animal studies.”

Read the whole article HERE or download HERE

In Other New Environmental News

In other news, just released this past Sunday, September 21, 2014, a new study from Duke University has shown that flame retardants in furniture pose significant danger. They were looking for exposure in children who were bornt to mothers who were exposed to it during pregnancy. This is what they found:

“A study by Duke University and the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group found evidence of exposure to a potentially harmful fire retardant in the urine samples of all 22 mothers and 26 children tested. On average, the children had nearly five times more than their mothers of a chemical formed when the fire retardant, TDCPP, breaks down in the body.

TDCPP – a primary focus among the chemicals studied – is often present in the foam used to make sofas, pillows, mattresses and carpet padding, among other household items. California has declared TDCPP a cancer-causing agent and includes warnings on all products using it and selected other chemicals. The Consumer Product Safety Commission lists TDCPP as a probable human carcinogen.

“The general population of the U.S. has constant, chronic exposure to these chemicals,” said Heather Stapleton, assistant professor of environmental chemistry at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. “In some homes, it’s a much higher concentration than in other homes” – depending on myriad factors including the house’s size and ventilation rates, where the furniture was bought and what kind it is, and the type of home insulation.”

Read the Original Article Here

 Chronic Low Level Toxic Exposures Increasingly Linked to Neurological Problems in Later Life

In yet another article just released, the EPA is proposing changing standards for pesticide exposure to farmworkers. This is an effort to give more protection to the workers exposed. But what about us, the consumer who constantly gets exposed to this low-level pesticides on a daily basis? That builds up to create what we call a body burden, which then affects our long-term health.

I am very pleased to see that the EPA is stepping in to change the standards at least for farmworkers.

Read More Here

It is very exciting that this new information is showing that aerobic exercise can bring benefits to our brains. That combined with avoidance of exposure to solvents pesticides and heavy metals, can go a long way towards helping us to stay neurologically healthy.

Drop me  Chronic Low Level Toxic Exposures Increasingly Linked to Neurological Problems in Later Lifea note on twitter! Are You paying attention to these toxicants? Is your doctor getting a blood mercury and lead level on your annually? what your thoughts about chemical exposures in our society today?

I hope to hear from you!

Remember to follow me on Twitter and Like me Facebook where you can leave me questions and comments.

Wishing you the best of health!

Dr Soram

Should You be Worried About Chinese drywall? What it is, and Why Thousands of Homeowners’ Health May be at Risk

 Should You be Worried About Chinese drywall?  What it is, and Why Thousands of  Homeowners’ Health May be at Risk Contaminated drywall from China, used to build more than 60,000 homes in at least a dozen states, may be emitting toxic levels of chemical pollutants like sulfur into new homes.

More than 500 million pounds of potentially tainted Chinese building materials may have been imported into the United States, particularly to Florida, at the height of the housing boom, according to shipping records reviewed by The Associated Press (AP).

The drywall lets off fumes that smell like rotten eggs and are potent enough to corrode copper pipes and make jewelry and silverware turn black. In fact, one of the telltale signs that a home may contain Chinese drywall is corroded piping and wiring that causes electronics and appliances, including air conditioners, to fail.

Click here to read more.