Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Why protect your health from Arsenic....

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 2-10-2015

People from South Asia and other people from Asia have a high risk of heart disease and those from South 
Asia also have a high risk of type 2 diabetes.

That's even more the case if they move to the United States or adopt a similar diet. (That's a double hit since the traditional diet of these people is protective and the Western diet is harmful.)

There are also several other causes for this.  

But even for people in still living South Asia and eating the traditional diet, that's STILL true to some degree!

A few months ago I read the news that the reason for even higher risk in people living in South Asia or who 
grew up and eating the traditional diet there was the relatively high level of arsenic in the drinking water from 
the major rivers in much of India.

1. Arsenic causes type 2 diabetes and quite bad heart disease AND it does so in people who show no outside signs or reasons for these diseases otherwise.

Arsenic causes cancer and nerve damage too!

Found that and a repeat of the reason for this post online just now:

Found this:

"1. What are the possible health effects of arsenic in drinking water?
According to a 1999 study by the National Academy of Sciences, arsenic in drinking water causes bladder, 
lung and skin cancer, and may cause kidney and liver cancer. 
The study also found that arsenic harms the central and peripheral nervous systems, as well as heart and 
blood vessels, and causes serious skin problems. It also may cause birth defects and reproductive problems.

2. Does it occur often?
In a February 2000 report, NRDC analyzed data compiled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on arsenic in drinking water in 25 states. Our most conservative estimates based on the data indicated that 
more than 34 million Americans were drinking tap water supplied by systems containing average levels of arsenic that posed unacceptable cancer risks. We consider it likely that as many as 56 million people in 
those 25 states were drinking water with arsenic at unsafe levels -- and that's just the 25 states that reported arsenic information to the EPA."

The two reasons for this post are:

a) A story recently from Medical News Today which showed this is still a problem in the United States and in which States it's worst.

b) Fracking poisons drinking water nearby in several ways - including sharply increasing its arsenic content
according to the articles I've read.
And, due to the use of fracking for oil and natural gas and its economic value, that is not likely to change 

But this means that arsenic will increase or already has increased in places like Southern California, Pennsylvania, and North Dakota more than the historic information from a few years ago would suggest.

So this is a SEVERE public health problem. And, it may be happening where you live!

Worse, many people have switched away from high extra harmful gluten in wheat flour to using rice flour 
in their breads and baked goods.

(This is a mistake to begin with because the breads and baked goods made using rice flour are just has high glycemic and fattening as the refined wheat flour versions.  

Eating vegetables, fruit, nuts, and quinoa instead of breads and baked goods is better for your health than 
eating ANY kind of grain.  And, there are now creative and tasty breads and baked goods made all or mostly using things like almond flour and coconut flour and sometimes no-gluten buckwheat flour &/or flour made 
from beans or quinoa.)

But even worse, the water used to grow rice has a high enough arsenic level that people who eat these rice 
flour foods often may well ingest enough arsenic to be harmful.

2.  The United States map shows this problem is now worst in the Central Valley of California and West 
Texas; but there are some pockets elsewhere such as South East Wisconsin.  And it's not that good in and around Washington DC.

3.  Since fracking dumps arsenic into drinking water places like Pennsylvania and Southern California and bottled water operations located in Southern California, these areas are headed for extreme levels of risk.

This means that both ways to remove arsenic safely from the body after the fact and ways to filter it from drinking water that virtually everyone has and uses are critical now in South Asia. And, they are critical now 
in much of the United States.  And if fracking continues they will quickly become critical in a much wider area.

I found all this except the fracking and rice problems in a recent Medical News Today story:

:Arsenic is the biggest public-health problem for water in the United States--it's the most toxic thing we 
drink," said geochemist Yan Zheng, an adjunct research scientist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory who coedited the special section and coauthored some of the articles. "For some reason, 
we pay far less attention to it than we do to lesser problems." Much long-term work on arsenic in the United States and southeast Asia has been done via an extensive program at Lamont-Doherty and Columbia's 
Mailman School of Public Health.

Many rocks and sediments have inert, harmless traces of arsenic locked into them. But in recent years geologists have observed that some geologic formations can become enriched in arsenic, and certain 
chemical conditions may cause rocks to react with groundwater and liberate the element into aquifers. Since 
the 1990s, the problem has been identified in some 70 countries; it is worst in southeast Asia, where as many as 100 million people are exposed."

Here's that link:

"Arsenic stubbornly taints many US wells, say new reports

New light on a neglected threat to health, child development. These are hot spots of... "

There are two things you can do to keep arsenic out of your body besides not eating rice or foods made from it.

a)  Keep it out of your drinking and cooking water:

Filter arsenic out or your tap water or bottled water if you use that. Of course drink no soft drinks as you have 
no control over their water they use.

Here's from Natural Resources Defense Council again:

"Can I buy a filter that will remove arsenic from my water?
Yes. You should purchase filters certified by NSF International (1-800-673-8010) to remove arsenic (such as water distillation systems). 

While such certification is not necessarily a guarantee of safety, it is better than no certification at all. It is critically important that all filters be maintained and replaced at least as often as recommended by the manufacturer; otherwise they might make the problem worse.
 I drink bottled water -- do I have to worry about arsenic?
Bottled water is not necessarily any safer than tap water…."
Many bottled waters sold in California come from wells in Southern California which looks headed for an increase in arsenic in its water and filtered for sure only for taste.  

Since such bottled water does taste good and has some things filtered out and as a back up in your home if 
you should have an earthquake and not have tap water or safe tap water for a while I think you should always have some and use it often enough to keep your backup water fresh.

But either way, if you can manage it, it's best to filter both tap water and bottled water with a filter that 
removes arsenic before you drink it or cook with it or make tea or coffee with it.

b)  Eat foods or take supplements often that remove arsenic that's in your body already.

This is the easiest solution and perhaps the best one since the foods particularly also remove lead, mercury, and aluminum from your body.

*The two most readily available foods that have other health benefits that do this are the peel or zest of 
organic citrus fruits and the spice of the leaves of cilantro.

Cilantro as leaves or a spice goes well with salads, salsas, and various kinds of main dishes with meat or beans.

With the organic navel oranges and organic lemons I've tried, eating nearly the whole thing I found to be surprisingly doable.  (The peel or zest also has cancer fighting phyto chemicals!)

With the navel oranges, I cut them in half and juiced them which wasn't much juice and drank it.  Then I 
cut out the ends and ate the rind along with the remaining orange.  It was a bit tart but doable.  

With the lemons, I juiced them, tossed out the seeds, and cut out the ends and ate the remaining lemon 
and the rind.  This was so much less tart than the juice, it was actually enjoyable to eat.

**Dr Al Sears sent an email with four supplement suggestions.
He presents evidence that they are extremely effective.  But except for the modified citrus rinds and 
activated charcoal I have no data on how safe they are to use.

1. " I'm also currently testing one particular class of minerals that promises to be a very safe and powerful heavy metal detoxifier.

These minerals are called zeolites.  They formed between 50 million and 350 million years ago, when 
volcanic ash mixed with ocean water and, under the right conditions, zeolite deposits were created.

Various industries now use them for the treatment and purification of water - but I'm interested in the ability
of zeolites to treat and purify heavy metal toxins.
Recent studies show that one specific type of zeolite - called a clinoptilolite - attracts and captures heavy metals, removing them from the body.

One study had two groups of 11 healthy men take a zeolite supplement for seven or 30 days. These healthy men all released high levels of heavy metals through their urine, with the peak concentration happening on 
the fourth day.

In another study, mice fed this zeolite absorbed less lead through their digestive tract. 

A similar animal model noted zeolites acted like antioxidants and prevented amyloid plaque build-up, a 
common precursor and symptom of Alzheimer's disease."

[My comment:  If the supplement turns out to be unsafe or you don't want to try it before it's well tested,
it does sound like buying the supplements and filtering your water through them and a coffee filter before your other filter would work well!]

2.  "DMSA (Meso-2, 3-dimercaptosuccinic acid): This compound is highly effective at binding up arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury, and eliminating them from the body. It can even remove mercury that has deposited in the brain.

DMSA has receptor sites to which the toxins bind. The toxins live inside cells and DMSA cannot enter the 
cells. Instead, glutathione (your body's natural toxin remover) pushes the metals out of the cell, where 
they're picked up by DMSA and excreted.

This is also a good way to test for heavy metals, because it liberates the toxins, which can then be 
identified in a urine sample. [I did the bolding here.]

DMSA should be taken in on-again/off-again cycles - ideally, three days on and 11 days off, because your 
body needs 11 days to regenerate its glutathione levels."
[Never heard of this one either but if you have reason to believe you have a lot of arsenic or mercury or 
lead or aluminum in your body, by all means check this one out! It sounds extremely effective.]

3.  "Activated charcoal: This form of charcoal has been processed into a very fine, black powder.  It is 
odorless, potent and safe to consume. Hospitals around the world use it as an antidote for drugs, poisons and medicinal overdoses.  It's also a good neutralizing protocol for dental amalgams containing mercury.

It works by a process called adsorption. In other words, when it encounters a heavy metal molecule, it sticks 
to it and then escorts it from your body.

And it only takes a small amount of charcoal to wash out the years of heavy metal build-up. 
You can find activated charcoal, which also eases digestion, gas and bloating, in any health-food store and get a proven heavy metal detox. And it's relatively inexpensive.

Take 20 to 30 grams a day of powdered activated charcoal mixed with water over a period of one to two weeks." 

[I suggest for one week and not too often since this may also remove magnesium and other minerals you 
want to keep in your system.  But it is known to be safe for short periods; health food stores do carry it; and it IS cheap!]

4.  Modified Citrus Pectin: This is a proven detox remedy that comes from the inner peel of citrus fruits. And
 it's one of the most potent detoxifying substances I've ever found.

A clinical study completed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported study participants more than 
doubled the amount of arsenic, mercury, cadmium and lead excreted within 24 hours of taking it. [I did this bolding.]

What's great about modified citrus pectin is that while it eliminates toxic metals and pesticides, it doesn't deplete your body of zinc, calcium or magnesium.

But consult your physician before taking modified citrus pectin to make sure it's the kind used in clinical 
studies and the proper dosage.  [Not at all sure most doctors know this information or would be OK with you taking it instead of a drug or using a medical procedure far less likely to be safe.]

Most pectin is made of large-long-chain carbohydrate molecules, which is too big to digest and will just 
pass through your body. The citrus pectin used in clinical studies is specially formulated for absorption, 
so it can easily find and bind to toxins."

It seems that the controversy on modified citrus pectin is when people take it in the hope it will do for them 
what it did for some animals that were fed modified citrus pectin and had slowed metastatic cancers.  
What evidence there is so far in people is mixed.  

Modified citrus pectin apparently can be taken as 800 mg capsules or 5 grams of powder mixed into a drink.

For heavy metal removal, it sounds like it's fast enough that taking it three times a day for a week or two 
would be effective.

My favorites so far on this list are the foods and maybe the modified citrus pectin for a short periods AND filtering your drinking water if you can manage it.

I look forward to hearing about further research on the others.  And, for people with known high levels of 
arsenic or mercury or aluminum, the zeolite supplements might be justified.

(High levels of arsenic are clearly quite health damaging.  And high blood levels of mercury or aluminum are known to cause Alzheimer's and other dementias.  In some cases removing them from the blood has even reversed what looked like Alzheimer's disease.)

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