What I’m Reading This Month: The Benefits of Microbes, the Lead In Happy Meals, and a New Biochemical Method for Diagnosing Autism

The sheer volume of health, wellness, and medical news and commentary available on the internet can be overwhelming. Every month, get a taste of what integrative medicine leader Dr. John Gannage finds interesting (and digestible) on the web.

  1. New Biochemical Method Accurately Diagnoses Autism: This, as happens often in CAM/functional medicine, validates the biomedical approach to management of ASD, where for years doctors have been recommending methyl B12 and specific forms of Folate to address the metabolic needs of children with #autism; and focussing on methods to increase glutathione synthesis; and on the need to unload the body of contaminants, including viruses and toxic metals, that burden the glutathione anti-oxidant system; and testing for genetic variations, such as MTHFR and other defects in the methylation cycle, that make these metabolic challenges in autism operative, when combined with key environmental exposures. Follow the lead of CAM practitioners and eventually the rest of medicine catches up. The Jill James study from 2004 was landmark.

2. Microbes Over Antibiotics For Developing Immunity:  “….blasting away tiny organisms called microbes with our hand sanitizers, antibacterial soaps and liberal doses of antibiotics is having a profoundly negative impact on our kids’ immune systems.”

3. 2017’s Dirty Dozen List for Produce: “For the Dirty Dozen list, EWG [Environmental Working Group] singled out produce with the highest loads of pesticide residues. In addition to strawberries and spinach, this year’s list includes nectarines, apples, peaches, celery, grapes, pears, cherries, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, and potatoes. Pears and potatoes were new additions to the list, displacing cherry tomatoes and cucumbers from last year’s list.

The Shoppers Guide also includes ‘Clean Fifteen’ — a list of produce least likely to contain pesticide residues. This year’s Clean Fifteen included, in descending order, sweet corn, avocados, pineapples, cabbage, onions, frozen sweet peas, papayas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplant, honeydew melon, kiwis, cantaloupe, cauliflower and grapefruit.”

4. Bacteria From Celiac Patients Influence Digestion of Gluten; Immune Response: Celiac disease: a classic example of genetics loading the gun, environment (in this case gluten and the microbiome alterations) pulling the trigger. “Partially digested gluten peptides can trigger symptoms in genetically susceptible individuals, expressing HLA-DQ2 or DQ8 genes. While necessary for disease development, the expression of DQ2/DQ8 is not sufficient for disease development, suggesting a critical role for environmental factors. Alterations in the intestinal microbial composition have been described in celiac disease.”

5. The Genius in People With Learning Disabilities: “[We’re] very invested in fixing, and we tend to be focused on the negative, whatever the negative is. Make it better so everything is good. It’s an understandable means of reacting, but it becomes so embedded, and it’s not really the best path … many experts, such as in autism, say 20% of time should be spent working on the problem and 80% on exploring and enhancing strengths.”

6. The Lead In a ‘Happy Meal’: Another reason to avoid the “Happy Meal” … irksome to say the least.

“Out of 35 electronic kids’ meal toys distributed by McDonald’s and Burger King between 1997 and 2015, an analysis found that 22 ‘contained lead in concentrations above permitted federal limits and enough to classify them as hazardous waste.’

The most recent toy analyzed for the study and found to contain the high lead levels was a McDonald’s “Minions” toy from 2013.”

7. Air Pollution Leads To More Drug Resistant Bacteria: See how this works? … Environmental toxicity and infection are not mutually exclusive. The former impacts the latter. Air pollution and resistant bacteria. Toxic metals and microbes. Climate change (related to burning fossil fuels) and tick-borne disease, like Lyme, on the rise. Interfaced in between is human health. Prevention needs to address our contaminated environment.

8. Effect of Radiation from Wi-Fi Devices on Release of Mercury from Amalgam Fillings: WiFi + dental amalgam (50% mercury) = greater release of mercury from those fillings.

Question: in this day and age, what’s easier to remove, the almost ubiquitous WiFi exposure or an individual’s fillings (very carefully)?

At MIM, I have 20 years experience assisting those who want to pursue amalgam removal, and we have networked with dentists that are mercury conscious and outfitted their clinics for safe removal.

9. Study: Vitamin D Protects Against Colds, Flu: Test levels … dose accordingly. Multinational study involving 11,000 participants and published in the BMJ.

“Vitamin D supplementation is safe and inexpensive, so reductions in acute respiratory infections brought about by vitamin D supplementation could be highly cost-effective.”

“Overall, the reduction in risk of acute respiratory infection induced by vitamin D was on a par with the protective effect of injectable ‘flu vaccine against ‘flu-like illnesses.”


Still hungry for information? Find previous month’s picks here.