Friday, April 29, 2011
“GMO” foods? What's the big deal, anyway?
SentinelSource.com Submitted by Rebecca Montrone, www.wondrousroots.com
I am as sick as you are of all of the “health scares” out there! I wish I could just ignore it all and go on my merry way, don’t you? It seems everyday, however, our environment closes in a bit more, leaving even those of us among the most vigilant with fewer choices for promoting truly optimal health. As a health practitioner, I am confronted too often with the sobering reality that we simply can’t just ignore it all.
The most recent big scare has been nuclear radiation fallout in Japan and its potential threat to health due to radiotoxicity and around the globe to the safety of the food supply. I’m actually having difficulty locating sources for one of the supplements I have regularly recommended to my clients for years, a combination of iodine and potassium iodide! I’ll be talking about all of this soon, but first…
An unsettling concern that has been in the nutritional headlines for a longer period of time is that of “genetically modified organisms,” commonly referred to GMOs or GM foods. Vaguely, we all get the idea that they aren’t good for us for one reason or another, but when it comes time to buy groceries, we tend to simply rely on our usual purchasing habits and hope for the best.
Genetically modified foods are foods that have been changed in their genetic structure for the sole purpose of making them more capable of tolerating higher doses of pesticides. The big name in all of this is Monsanto, the company that makes the pesticide RoundUp. With crops able to live and thrive in spite of gross contamination with pesticide application, Monsanto is able to enjoy financial gain not only through the sale of RoundUp but through the sale of its genetically modified seed.
Unfortunately, Monsanto hasn’t figured out a way to make genetically modified people yet! We – who consume their GM foods – have not been altered in our genetic structure to be able to withstand the heavy pesticide contamination of RoundUp!
THE “ROOT” OF THE PROBLEMThe active ingredient in RoundUp is isopropylamine salt of glyphosate. This ingredient contains dioxane, which is carcinogenic and known to damage the liver, kidneys, brain, and lungs. Dioxane is an estrogen “mimic” known as a xenobiotic. It is the agent all the fuss is about when we talk about shampoo and sodium laurel sulfate and cancer, etc. Herbicides and pesticides are a significant source of hormonal disruption, with all of the health issues that come with it, including the increase of hormonally-driven cancers.
Eating foods that are xenobiotic rich contributes to the growing problem of widespread obesity we observe in our country, affecting insulin resistance and blood sugar regulation. Synthetic estrogens abundant in our entire food supply are being attributed to many health problems, from precocious puberty, to polycystic ovarian disease, fibroids and fibrocystic breasts, infertility in both men and women, and cancers of many kinds, including colon cancer and the more predictable hormonal cancers of the prostate, ovaries, and breasts.
Compounding the problem and multiplying our consumption of GMO foods is the fact that most of the nations poultry, meat, and dairy supply is from animals raised on GMO foods.
HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF AND FAMILY?• Purchase as “clean” as you can, choosing organic produce and “clean” meat, dairy, fish, and poultry products. Of course, by now the ground water of our agricultural regions are polluted from years and years of toxic pesticides, it isn’t a perfect world. But, we can at least try for as pure a food supply as possible.
• Avoid the most heavily GMO-influenced crops: corn, soy, and sugar beets (unless organic, of course).
• Wash produce well. There are a number of suggestions for helping better get rid of the toxins; one is to soak in a 50/50 percent vinegar/water solution for ten minutes then rinse.
• Avoid packaged, processed foods entirely. This will be a boon to your health for many more reasons than simply avoiding GMOs; you will also be avoiding hidden sweeteners, modern soy additives that impede thyroid function, inflammatory polyunsaturated oils, “excitotoxic” food additives (hidden sources of MSG), and more.
• Boost your glutathione levels. Glutathione is a peptide made by all of our cells and found to be low in virtually every disease process. Glutathione detoxifies the body of mercury and other heavy metals, but it also detoxifies PCBs and other hormonally-based contaminants such as dioxane. Further, once our cells are glutathione rich, they resist further intoxication.
Until quite recently our only significant resources for raising glutathione levels were N-acetyl-cysteine as a precursor to glutathione, or IV or nebulized glutathione. N-acetyl-cysteine as a precursor has problems of its own and doesn’t sustain higher glutathione levels for long.
Simply taking a glutathione capsule is worthless as it is destroyed by the acid in the stomach and never makes it into the cells. Milk thistle contains Silymarin and is known for its liver-health promoting properties. It works by modestly raising glutathione levels. One of the primary functions of lipoic acid is to boost glutathione. Methylating nutrients, such as vitamins B6, B12, folic acid; MSM (methylsulfonylmethane); trimethylglycine (betaine), and SaME also help boost glutathione levels. Whey protein also helps with this.
I know of nothing more powerful, however, than the recently “invented” acetyl form of glutathione known as acetyl-glutathione. This is taken in capsule form and passes through the stomach acid just fine, is easily taken up by the cells throughout the body, and has a very long half-life of action. I have used high-dose acetyl-glutathione in serious disease and witnessed a sharp reduction in inflammatory markers and improved health. Glutathione is the master anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifier. I take 200 mg daily myself as part of my own wellness program.
HOW CAN I MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE “BIG PICTURE?”Sign up for the Organic Consumers Association newsletter (www.organicconsumers.org). Get involved with their grassroots effort to oppose Monsanto and others of their ilk; a very powerful force. The big push from Monsanto right now is to protect food suppliers from having to indicate that their foods are genetically modified and/or that their foods were fed genetically modified foods on their labels.