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What I’m Reading This Month: Agricultural Robots, the Chemical Industry, and What’s In Your Toothpaste

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.

Common Toothpaste Ingredient May Promote Colon Cancer

The findings involve a common, almost ubiquitous ingredient in household products, the microbiome, and cancer risk. And the DNA expression that may matter most isn’t human derived, but bacteria-based, influenced by chemical exposures even at low levels. Consider that the amount of bacteria DNA in the human body outnumbers human by a factor of 10-100. http://www.bbc.com/news/health-43674270. And a good axiom to remember: genetics loads the gun, environment pulls the trigger.

“Triclosan altered the composition of the gut microbiome significantly. This effect has previously been demonstrated in humans, too.

Triclosan did not have adverse health effects in mice without a microbiome — so-called germ-free mice. To back this up further, they demonstrated that genetically modified mice who lacked toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) did not experience the ill effects.

This is important because TLR4 is known to play an important role in communication between gut bacteria and their host.

Taken together, these findings infer a role for gut bacteria in the destructive effect of triclosan on colon health.”

Could Agricultural Robots Replace Glyphosate?

“Glyphosate is a herbicide that’s used to kill undesired plants. Pulling up plants, or “weeding,” does the same thing without chemicals, but it’s very labor-intensive. What if tireless robots could weed fields cheaply?”

The Chemical Industry Scores a Big Win at the EPA

This is just wrong…

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

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