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by Milos Pokimica ND

by Milos Pokimica ND

Learn About Nutrition

Detoxification and pregnancy toxicity exposure risk- The vegan argument

"Pregnancy toxicity exposure level for an average woman is tested to be around 35 different chemicals including both banned and contemporary contaminants."

There are thousands of different man-made chemical toxins in the environment and this can be a risk for fetal pregnancy toxicity. Most people are familiar with pesticides because they are used regularly in millions of tons annually. Then they are different industrial chemical pollutants, heavy metals and other men made pollution. There are even levels of prescribed drugs in wild fish. Most of the drugs we take are extracted in urine and can end up in waterways. Drugs that are stable like Prozac, for example, end up polluting waterways. Chemicals we do not drink but use for cosmetics like hair dyes or creams with hundreds of different chemicals like paraben for example also end up in waterways. Several studies had confirmed the presence of trace concentrations of PPCPs (Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products) in all types of waters. Surface water and finished drinking water has it. Do they pose any health risk is largely unknown?

The concentrations are low, but there is concern that some of them can bioaccumulate. The point of this argument is that even the small pills that people take from time to time like ibuprofen can be detected in the environment. Dumping the tens of thousands of tons of chemicals produced in factories every year that do not degrade and stay in the environment for eternity, usually is not a good thing. If we count all of the industries around 700 new chemicals are introduced into the US market. That is just the US without any other country in the world. In the US alone more than 84,000 chemicals are used in processing, manufacturing, and other types of industries. This does not count all the drugs from the pharmacy.

safe to use
Good Old Days

These chemicals are everywhere, but the scary fact is that there is no safety data on most of them. They are in the water, air, soil, our food supply, and everyday products. Some groups of people also have higher exposure to these toxic environmental chemicals than others. For instance, workers who work on farms have higher exposures to chemicals used on the crops.

One especially susceptible group is a pregnant woman. Some pollutants can have a negative impact on fetus development. The amount of pollution in the environment will affect the fetus much more than the mother.

During pregnancy, the baby’s nervous system and all of the other organs are developing rapidly and the baby does not have the immune system and developed detoxifying mechanisms and can be more sensitive to the toxic effects of pesticides. Exposure to these substances directly causes birth defects, stillbirth, and spontaneous abortion.

babys ddt nursery
Good Old Days

We now know that pregnant women exposed to DDT have a significantly increased risk of premature birth. They are also at risk if they go full-term to have low birth weight babies. Studies in mice have found that DDE (DDT metabolite) blocks the binding of the hormone progesterone to its receptors. Home abortion pills like Misoprostol work by the same mechanism by blocking the binding of progesterone. It is the same mechanism of action with no difference. In the environment, DDT in some species that are more sensitive to it can cause the extinction of the entire species. For instance, DDT is linked with severe declines in bald eagle populations due to its effect on the thinning of eggshells. After the DDT ban was in place, it took decades but bald eagle’s numbers had returned to optimal levels, and they are not endangered species anymore. Because of its toxic effects, DDT is banned in the developed world, but in Africa, it is still used. It is cheap and can combat malaria which is two conditions that force the use of DDT to this day. But what about thousands of other toxic man-made chemicals and heavy metals and other forms of environmental pollution?

DDT is good for me
Good Old Days

The logical step is to minimize exposure. One of the ways is going low on a food chain, and the other is eating organic. That is it. The only thing we can do. Go natural. Natural meaning natural human diet. Diet low on the food chain. If not, we will get exposed to neurotoxic substances like mercury and lead and endocrine disruptive substances like POP’s (persistent organic pollutants) and all of the carcinogens and pro-inflammatory compounds with systematic and chronic effects on our health.

Biomagnification in the food chain 2
Biomagnification in the food chain

When they tested the U.S. pregnant woman in a study done in 2011, they found that almost all of the pregnant women had toxicity from multiple chemicals and with some that were banned since the 1970s. Every couple of years CDC measures the number of environmental pollutants in the bodies of Americans across the country. In this study (1) they analyzed biomonitoring data from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES). Analyzing data for 163 chemicals they found that certain pesticides, toxic solvents, endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, and heavy metals were detected in 99–100% of pregnant women.

On average pregnant woman is polluted with around 35 different chemicals including both banned and contemporary contaminants. Chemical cocktail levels of many of these chemicals were comparable to the levels incorporated in investigations and studies dealing with pregnancy and in levels that can have fatal adverse effects. Pregnant women were exposed to multiple chemical cocktails at one time, many of which can affect the same adverse outcomes later in life. Having one or two chemicals is bad enough but having 35 of them all the time and having hundreds of them running through your body from time to time is toxic overload with synergistic effects that will have a significant impact on your health from pregnancy toxicity to chronic inflammation to full-blown disease.

If you want to become pregnant and decide to detoxify the short answer is that you cannot. Detoxification depends on the individual half-life of these pollutants with the presumption that you would never have any pollution in your life again. Which is not possible no matter what you do. In this study (2) aim was to design the diet to prevent or reduce the body load of organochlorines (OC) in humans. Organochlorines are chemical compounds that were widely used after World War 2 as insecticides in the industry but were banned in the 1970s. They are resistant to degradation, so they still continue to be present in most of the food chains, and because they are fat-soluble, they accumulate in the adipose tissue of organisms. Study 1 compared plasma OC concentrations between vegans and omnivores. Study 2 looked into dietary fat substitute olestra. They wanted to test if olestra could prevent the increase in OC concentrations that happen during dieting. What they observed was that OC plasma concentrations were significantly lower in vegans.

In conclusion, there was a trend toward significantly lesser contamination in vegans than omnivores, and olestra did not prevent plasma hyper-concentration of the OC during ongoing weight loss. What surprised the researchers is that vegans had as much as they did because theoretically they should not be exposed to a high degree to these pesticides. Vegans tend to have around 30 to 40 percent lower plasma concentrations. The conclusion was that vegans may be exposed to mother milk at the time of lactation and that becoming vegan or vegetarian is often a decision that is made in adulthood. Thus the omnivore diet during childhood and puberty result is contamination that is still detectable in adults. In addition, vegans may occasionally depart from their diet and eat animal products.

Detoxification is a slow process and cannot be done on a weekend of detox diet cleansing or fasting. Detox starts with clean food. If we chose to go vegan, we would still get exposed because we live in our environment, not in a bubble. Most of the plant food has some pollution in them. Some have more pesticides or heavy metals, or other types of toxins some have less, and even organic food is not truly organic because it will pick up some of the toxins from the environment. We could not have clean food in a filthy environment only thing we could hope for is cleaner food, and that cleaner food is much more expensive, so if we look realistically, we will get exposed no matter what we do.




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Sources:

Passages selected from a book: “Go Vegan? Review of Science: Part 1” [Milos Pokimica]

  1. Environmental chemicals in pregnant women in the United States: NHANES 2003-2004. Environ Health Perspect. 2011 Jun; 119(6):878-85.
  2. Impact of adopting a vegan diet or an olestra supplementation on plasma organochlorine concentrations: results from two pilot studies. Br J Nutr. 2010 May;103(10):1433-41.

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Know Public Health has no rights of this documentary, we just have shared the video for public health interest. All rights go to, Producers and Directors and the media house for this movie.
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Are we omnivores, carnivores or herbivores? It’s important for animals to eat what they are physiologically and anatomically designed to eat, to improve the chances of survival and health. So, what are humans designed to eat? Dr. Sofia Pineda Ochoa discusses this often misunderstood topic.

The first part of the transcript is included below for reference, and the full transcript (which is too long to have here) is available on our website, along with sources and credits, at this link: http://meatyourfuture.com/2015/09/herbivores-carnivores/

[The following transcript is an approximation of the audio in  video. To hear the audio and see the accompanying visuals, please play the video.]

PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT:

Are humans herbivores, carnivores or omnivores? It’s very important for a given animal to eat what they are physiologically and anatomically designed to eat, to improve the chances of survival and health. So, what are humans designed to eat?

When looking at a species to determine what they are in terms of carnivore, omnivore or herbivore, we can look at their behavior or we can look at their biology. From a behavioral standpoint, humans behave as omnivores because we observe many humans in their behavior eating a wide variety of both animal and plant-based foods. Biologically, however, from a physiologic and anatomic standpoint, it’s a different story.

Dr. Williams C. Roberts from the National Institutes of Health and Baylor University — who is the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Cardiology and one of the most prominent cardiologists in the world with over 1,500 publications in peer reviewed medical journals — summarized our answer very nicely. He wrote:

“Although most of us conduct our lives as omnivores, in that we eat flesh as well as vegetables and fruits, human beings have characteristics of herbivores, not carnivores. The appendages of carnivores are claws; those of herbivores are hands or hooves. The teeth of carnivores are sharp; those of herbivores are mainly flat (for grinding). The intestinal tract of carnivores is short (3 times body length); that of herbivores, long (12 times body length). Body cooling of carnivores is done by panting; herbivores, by sweating. Carnivores drink fluids by lapping; herbivores, by sipping. Carnivores produce their own vitamin C, whereas herbivores obtain it from their diet. Thus, humans have characteristics of herbivores, not carnivores.”

That’s right. Humans have characteristics of herbivores, not carnivores or omnivores — because omnivores, like bears and raccoons, actually retain most of the carnivorous characteristics, so that they are still able to digest and hunt their prey, and do so effectively.

[Remainder of transcript, along with sources and credits, available here: http://meatyourfuture.com/2015/09/herbivores-carnivores]

Are we omnivores, carnivores or herbivores? It’s important for animals to eat what they are physiologically and anatomically designed to eat, to improve the chances of survival and health. So, what are humans designed to eat? Dr. Sofia Pineda Ochoa discusses this often misunderstood topic.

The first part of the transcript is included below for reference, and the full transcript (which is too long to have here) is available on our website, along with sources and credits, at this link: http://meatyourfuture.com/2015/09/herbivores-carnivores/

[The following transcript is an approximation of the audio in video. To hear the audio and see the accompanying visuals, please play the video.]

PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT:

Are humans herbivores, carnivores or omnivores? It’s very important for a given animal to eat what they are physiologically and anatomically designed to eat, to improve the chances of survival and health. So, what are humans designed to eat?

When looking at a species to determine what they are in terms of carnivore, omnivore or herbivore, we can look at their behavior or we can look at their biology. From a behavioral standpoint, humans behave as omnivores because we observe many humans in their behavior eating a wide variety of both animal and plant-based foods. Biologically, however, from a physiologic and anatomic standpoint, it’s a different story.

Dr. Williams C. Roberts from the National Institutes of Health and Baylor University — who is the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Cardiology and one of the most prominent cardiologists in the world with over 1,500 publications in peer reviewed medical journals — summarized our answer very nicely. He wrote:

“Although most of us conduct our lives as omnivores, in that we eat flesh as well as vegetables and fruits, human beings have characteristics of herbivores, not carnivores. The appendages of carnivores are claws; those of herbivores are hands or hooves. The teeth of carnivores are sharp; those of herbivores are mainly flat (for grinding). The intestinal tract of carnivores is short (3 times body length); that of herbivores, long (12 times body length). Body cooling of carnivores is done by panting; herbivores, by sweating. Carnivores drink fluids by lapping; herbivores, by sipping. Carnivores produce their own vitamin C, whereas herbivores obtain it from their diet. Thus, humans have characteristics of herbivores, not carnivores.”

That’s right. Humans have characteristics of herbivores, not carnivores or omnivores — because omnivores, like bears and raccoons, actually retain most of the carnivorous characteristics, so that they are still able to digest and hunt their prey, and do so effectively.

[Remainder of transcript, along with sources and credits, available here: http://meatyourfuture.com/2015/09/herbivores-carnivores]

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YouTube Video UExXSlpBTjg5dURrWGF0Wkl0aDlDZG55UE1ZcEZ5dUlrbC5DRUQwODMxQzUyRTlGRkY3

Are humans omnivores, carnivores or herbivores?

GoVeganWay 351K views September 4, 2021 12:32 am

How much is a human life worth? An innovative cancer therapy promises to save lives. But it is extremely expensive. Will the insurance companies pay for it? What is the manufacturer's return on investment? And do lobbyists drive up prices?

In 2018, the Kymriah gene therapy was approved in Europe. Immune cells are taken from the patient, genetically reprogrammed into cancer killer cells and returned to the patient as an infusion. The results of the Kymriah study only cover a period of 18 months. In 40 percent of patients, lymph gland cancer does not return during this time. It is not clear whether Kymriah has a long-term effect. The Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis offers the new therapy - it costs 370,000 Swiss francs per patient. Health insurance companies are not usually prepared to pay that much and are complaining about a lack of transparency. 

But the killer cells were not invented in the Novartis laboratories, but at a US university. When Professor Carl June started his research almost 30 years ago, no pharmaceutical company was interested. It was only thanks to funding from tax money and donations that he was able to develop Kymriah at all. After a story went around the world about a girl with leukemia whose cancer disappeared thanks to Kymriah, the pharmaceutical company contacted Novartis and secured exclusive marketing rights. To launch Kymriah on the market, Novartis funded the necessary clinical trials. It's not an isolated incident: Over 60% of newly approved medicines in the US are developed by small biotech companies or universities. Pharmaceutical companies today frequently act as capital providers, cooperating with universities or buying up biotech companies. 

A paradigm shift has taken place in the pharmaceutical industry: Whereas high drug prices used to be justified by research costs, the industry is now using the value of gained lifetime to argue its case. 

 -------------------------------------------------------------------

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How much is a human life worth? An innovative cancer therapy promises to save lives. But it is extremely expensive. Will the insurance companies pay for it? What is the manufacturer's return on investment? And do lobbyists drive up prices?

In 2018, the Kymriah gene therapy was approved in Europe. Immune cells are taken from the patient, genetically reprogrammed into cancer killer cells and returned to the patient as an infusion. The results of the Kymriah study only cover a period of 18 months. In 40 percent of patients, lymph gland cancer does not return during this time. It is not clear whether Kymriah has a long-term effect. The Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis offers the new therapy - it costs 370,000 Swiss francs per patient. Health insurance companies are not usually prepared to pay that much and are complaining about a lack of transparency.

But the killer cells were not invented in the Novartis laboratories, but at a US university. When Professor Carl June started his research almost 30 years ago, no pharmaceutical company was interested. It was only thanks to funding from tax money and donations that he was able to develop Kymriah at all. After a story went around the world about a girl with leukemia whose cancer disappeared thanks to Kymriah, the pharmaceutical company contacted Novartis and secured exclusive marketing rights. To launch Kymriah on the market, Novartis funded the necessary clinical trials. It's not an isolated incident: Over 60% of newly approved medicines in the US are developed by small biotech companies or universities. Pharmaceutical companies today frequently act as capital providers, cooperating with universities or buying up biotech companies.

A paradigm shift has taken place in the pharmaceutical industry: Whereas high drug prices used to be justified by research costs, the industry is now using the value of gained lifetime to argue its case.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

DW Documentary gives you knowledge beyond the headlines. Watch high-class documentaries from German broadcasters and international production companies. Meet intriguing people, travel to distant lands, get a look behind the complexities of daily life and build a deeper understanding of current affairs and global events. Subscribe and explore the world around you with DW Documentary.

Subscribe to:
DW Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW39zufHfsuGgpLviKh297Q?sub_confirmation=1#

DW Documental (Spanish): https://www.youtube.com/dwdocumental
DW Documentary وثائقية دي دبليو: (Arabic): https://www.youtube.com/dwdocarabia

For more visit:
http://www.dw.com/en/tv/docfilm/s-3610
Instagram:
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Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/dw.stories

DW netiquette policy: https://p.dw.com/p/MF1G

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The power of the pharmaceutical companies | DW Documentary

GoVeganWay 648.6K views September 4, 2021 12:24 am

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