Even if you eat all organic, many oat-based foods such as cereal, granola, instant oats, and bars contain glyphosate, the toxic weed-killer in Roundup.
The independent study commissioned by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) measured levels of glyphosate in 45 samples of products made with conventional oats, and 16 samples made with organically grown oats. The results were shocking.
Thirty one of 45 samples made with conventional oats had 160 ppb or more of glyphosate, higher than what the EWG considers protective of children’s health.
In the organic products, glyphosate was detected at concentrations of 10 ppb to 30 ppb in 5 of 16 samples — well below the EWG health benchmark, but still present.
Organic farming prohibits use of glyphosate, so how does it get in organic food? It could drift on the wind from nearby conventional crop fields or enter by cross-contamination at a facility that handles non-organic crops.
According to the EWG, “The EPA has calculated that 1- to-2-year-old children are likely to have the highest exposure, at a level 2x greater than California’s No Significant Risk Level and 230x EWG’s health benchmark.”
Glyphosate: Not just an herbicide
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, the most heavily-used weed killer worldwide. Used widely in the US on at least 70 crops from corn, soy, oats, and wheat, to fruits, nuts and vegetables, the EWG states that more than 250 million pounds of glyphosate is sprayed on American crops yearly.
A systemic herbicide, when applied to the foliage of broadleaf plants, weeds, and grasses, glyphosate is absorbed through the tissues to kill them.
While most of the public knows of Roundup as an herbicide, it is also commonly used in a pre-harvest application called “dessication.” Applied 7 to 10 days before harvest, it has the following effects:
Acts as a drying agent on crops where uneven drying might risk ruining the harvest.
During wheat harvest it can result in slightly higher crop yield by triggering plants to release more seeds.
Pre-harvest application can initiate early harvest if weather conditions threaten the crop.
Encourages earlier ripening for earlier replanting of a new crop.
Reduces green material in fields that would otherwise strain farm machinery during harvest.
The “dessication” method was first suggested in the 1980s and has become routine in North America in the past 15 years. It is also catching on widely in the UK.
Most people assume glyphosate and Roundup are used only on GMO products, but it is also sprayed just before harvest on non-GMO oats, barley, wheat, and beans.
While hundreds of other Roundup-related court cases are pending, in a 2018 landmark case, Monsanto was ordered by a California jury to pay $289 million in damages to a man dying of cancer, reportedly caused by repeated exposure to Roundup and other glyphosate-based weed killers in his job as a school groundskeeper.
Cancer not the only concern being researched
In addition to cancer risk, glyphosate also harms our gut bacteria.
Glyphosate also enhances the damaging effects of other chemical toxins in the environment. The effects manifest slowly over time damaging cellular systems throughout the body.
Monsanto claims that Roundup is harmless to animals and humans because its mechanism of action (called the shikimate pathway) is absent in all animals.
However, this pathway is present in bacteria, which is key for understanding how it can cause systemic harm in humans and animals.
Glyphosate disrupts beneficial bacteria thus allowing pathogens such as the highly toxic Clostridium botulinum to overgrow and take over the gut environment.
Disruption of the gut biome is an issue which underlies many diseases and conditions including:
In addition to the direct concerns for human health, environmental concerns exist as well:
Mounting weed resistance to the toxin, requiring stronger and stronger applications.
Honey bees exposed to glyphosate lose some of their beneficial gut bacteria and become more susceptible to infection and death from harmful bacteria.
Despite resistance from herbicide producers, glyphosate has been banned or restricted by the following countries:
In addition, towns in many states have taken a stand against the chemical.
Organic or not, check your brands
What can you do to reduce the impact of glyphosate for yourself and your family? First, eat organic produce whenever you can. Secondly, look out for the following products from the EWG study and know their risk level:
Potentially dangerous to children:
Back to Nature Classic Granola
Quaker Simply Granola Oats, Honey, Raisin and Almonds
Nature Valley Granola Protein Oats ‘n Honey
Giant Instant Oatmeal Original Flavor
Quaker Dinosaur Eggs, Brown Sugar, Instant Oatmeal
If you’re getting your TSH levels checked to monitor your thyroid health, it’s best to get that done in the morning. Otherwise, your results may come back normal even though you have hypothyroidism.
All the body’s hormones follow a daily rhythm, including thyroid hormone. This means there are times of the day when it naturally higher or lower. Researchers tested the blood of hypothyroid subjects both before 8 a.m. and again between 2 and 4 p.m.
In hypothyroid patients both untreated and on thyroid medication, TSH dropped was substantially lower during the afternoon test. This means an estimated 50 percent of people with hypothyroidism are not being diagnosed.
In the untreated group, TSH was 5.83 in the morning and 3.79 in the afternoon. In the treated group, TSH was 3.27 in the morning and 2.18 in the afternoon.
A 2004 study also showed late morning, non-fasting TSH was 26 percent lower compared to the early morning, fasting TSH. This means even a late morning blood draw could result in a failure to diagnose. Do you really want to know what is going on with your thyroid? Schedule a FREE 15-Minute Consultation with Dr. Celaya.
TSH blood test timing and functional medicine ranges
The timing of your blood draw plays an important role in reading a thyroid panel. However, there is more to it.
Even with an early morning blood draw, many doctors will still fail to diagnose hypothyroidism because they use lab ranges that are too wide and that do not reflect genuine thyroid health.
Many doctors still use a hypothyroidism TSH range of 0.5 to 5.0 even though the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommends 0.3 to 3.0.
In functional medicine, we use an even narrower range of .25 to 1.25. We also know that only looking at TSH can miss hypothyroidism.
For example, TSH may be normal but other thyroid markers are off. That’s why it’s important to order a thyroid panel that includes total and free T4 and T3, reverse T3, free thyroxine index (FTI), T3 uptake, and thyroid binding globulins. Many conditions can cause poor thyroid function, including inflammation, hormonal imbalances, and chronic stress. Ordering these other thyroid markers provides more insight into such imbalances.
Always include a test for autoimmune Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism
In addition to these markers, anyone with symptoms of hypothyroidism should also test for Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that attacks and destroys the thyroid gland.
Why? About 90 percent of hypothyroidism cases in the US are caused by Hashimoto’s. To screen for Hashimoto’s, order TPO and TGB antibodies.
Thyroid medications may be necessary to support thyroid function, but they do not address the autoimmunity attacking the thyroid gland. Failing to manage Hashimoto’s increases the risk of developing other autoimmune diseases such as pernicious anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, vitiligo, and Type I diabetes. It will also make it more difficult to manage your symptoms.
The Epstein-Barr virus infects more than 90 percent of people in the United States by the age of 20. At least one in four of those infected will develop the commonly-known disease mononucleosis, or “mono,” experiencing a rash, enlarged liver or spleen, head- and body aches, and extreme fatigue.
However, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is not only related to mono. Recent studies indicate it may be a catalyst for at least six more diseases, most of which are autoimmune in nature. These include multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, Type 1 diabetes, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
EBV isn’t the only virus associated with autoimmunity. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) has been linked to Sjögren’s syndrome, upper respiratory viral infections and human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) have been linked to multiple sclerosis (MS), and EBV has previously been linked to lupus.
Chronic viral infections can contribute to chronic inflammatory diseases
It has long been thought that viruses play a part in the development of chronic inflammatory diseases, especially autoimmunity. Many healthcare practitioners report there is frequently a hidden infection that either precedes or seems to trigger an initial autoimmune attack, or subsequently appears when the immune system is weakened once autoimmunity is activated.
This creates a vicious cycle of infection and illness. Infections are opportunistic and often travel together — many autoimmune patients find they host multiple infections that are bacterial, viral, parasitic and/or fungal, driving the inflammation that leads to symptoms.
The relationship between viral infection and autoimmune disease is multifaceted, involving numerous complex processes in the body. Scientists believe that a variety of factors must usually be present for an infection to result in an autoimmune condition. This includes not only a genetic predisposition but also lifestyle and environmental factors such as:
Poor sleep habits
Dietary inflammatory triggers
In a nutshell, chronic disease develops as a result of an improper immune response to a viral infection due to other predisposing factors. The virus acts as the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Chronic viruses can prevent autoimmune remission
Remission from autoimmune symptoms is possible with proper diet and lifestyle management. However, if you already have an autoimmune condition, a chronic viral infection can prevent you from alleviating your symptoms and halting progression of the autoimmunity. In fact, a chronic virus is a deal-breaker in recovery for many patients.
If you have an autoimmune condition and suffer from symptoms that don’t get better after addressing inflammatory triggers through diet and lifestyle, contact my office to ask about testing for the viruses associated with your condition.
Viral infections can occur years before developing autoimmunity
Viral infections usually occur well before any symptoms associated with autoimmunity develop (sometimes years), so it can be difficult to make a definitive link between a particular infection and a yet-to-be autoimmune disorder. However, if you have not been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition but have had any of these viruses in the past and have unexplained symptoms now, it’s worth getting tested for autoimmunity and a chronic virus.
For more information on chronic viral infections and how to test and treat them, please contact my office.
Dark circles under the eyes are a common medical condition of both men and women, although they can sometimes be observed in young ages or children. Dark circles under the eyes do not necessarily indicate tiredness, but stress and exhaustion are likely to aggravate the facial appearance of many individuals, including their likelihood to develop dark circles. People who suffer from dark circles under their eyes often look older, sadder, more tired and more stressed out than they are. In most cases, dark circles under the eyes are not a sign of a serious medical condition.
But, what causes these dark circles under eyes?
There is no single cause for this problem, but it may occur due to various reasons such as sleep deprivation, excessive smoking, excess alcohol consumption, allergies, eczema, aging, heredity factors, malnutrition, gluten intolerance, mold exposure, candida, stress, and illness. Sleep deprivation is considered the primary reason, and the easiest to prevent. But oversleeping can also cause dark eye circles. Allergies and nasal congestion can dilate the blood vessels that drain from the area around the eyes, causing them to darken. There is also a direct relationship between dark circles under the eye and age. As we get older, we lose some of the fat and collagen surrounding our eyes. This loss, joined with the thinning of our skin, intensifies the development of dark circles. In addition, heredity factors also play a leading role. For example, dark circles under the eyes that appear in childhood are often an inherited trait. Some children will outgrow them, but others will not. Some people notice that dark circles under the eyes tend to run in families as well.
Malnutrition can cause dark circles under eyes. A common cause is low iron and/or low vitamin B12 and sometimes folic acid. This can be especially seen with vegetarians. The deficiency may prevent the blood from providing enough oxygen to eye tissues, resulting in the appearance of dark circles. Take a look at MegaMulti which is a great multiple vitamin to pick up the deficiencies.
Wheat or gluten intolerance can also contribute. Try eliminating wheat, barley, and rye from your diet for a couple of weeks to see how you do. This is not foolproof though. There are other products that can have gliadin cross contamination issues with gluten. Also, when someone stops their intake of gluten, they can increase their consumption of certain foods that also can cause problems, such as buckwheat, sorghum, hemp, sesame, amaranth, quinoa, tapioca, teff, and potato. The only way to find out what you are sensitive to is to have the right testing performed; otherwise, you are just guessing.
Mold exposure can also cause chronic dark eye circles. This very common problem can decrease your immunes ability to deal with detoxification. There are several types of mold, and some may just cause allergies, while black mold (Stachybotrys), Penicillium and Aspergillus can be toxic. Not only can they cause black circles under the eyes, they can be linked to memory problems, brain damage, leukemia, and cancer of the kidneys, esophagus, and liver. These molds can weaken the immune system and damage DNA in the cell. This can cause chronic illnesses, birth defects, infertility, and miscarriages. Here again, testing for you and your environment can help you know if this is causing issues.
Candida, which is a fungus, can also cause dark circles. Making sure you do not have an overgrowth of candida can make a difference. Of course, certain diets high in carbohydrates and processed foods can feed candida. When someone has a problem digesting food due to a lack of stomach acid and or digestive enzymes, food can putrefy or ferment, which can cause an increase in opportunistic or pathological bacteria. Candida then can become a problem since the beneficial bacteria are not in large enough numbers to keep the candida under control. Taking a digestive aid with HCL and enzymes and a probiotic can be beneficial. See my digestive supplement Digest and probiotic ProBio in my website store.
People who drink too much coffee can have difficulty getting enough sleep. Fluid retention, as may occur with excess salt in the diet, can cause dark circles. Pregnancy or weight gain may be considered an additional risk factor. Bacterial infection of the eyelid such as Periorbital cellulitis can carry an additional risk for these dark circles.
How to get rid of these black circles under your eyes?
The first and most important step is to get plenty of sleep at night. It’s not fully understood why insufficient sleep may result in dark circles under the eyes, but it seems that lack of sleep does reduce circulation and increases the tendency of the skin to become pale (thus increasing the appearance of darkness under the eyes). It is advised that you remove all eye makeup before going to bed at night. Make sure that you sleep seven to nine hours per night. You should also abstain from alcohol and drugs because they can negatively affect the quality of your sleep.
One of the most common causes of skin discoloration under the eyes is an allergy. If an allergy is the root of the problem, you shall treat the allergy or avoid the allergen. If there are persistent dark circles under the eyes, you may have an undetected food allergy or an allergy to a chemical or mold in your home. People with allergies also tend to be deficient in B6, folic acid, and B12, so taking a multivitamin can be beneficial.
A stuffy or congested nose can result in dark circles under the eyes because the veins around sinuses are darkened and dilated. Here again, you need to think about how your immune system is working, and how to boost it. Watch my video, antibiotic resistance to get some ideas on how to boost your immune system.
You must eat a healthy, balanced diet. Inadequate antioxidants, vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, and vitamin K deficiency may lead to skin problems such as dark circles and puffiness under your eyes. Hence, you must eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, especially cabbage, spinach, and other leafy green vegetables. Many doctors advise people to take a multivitamin supplement daily. Drinking adequate fluids is necessary to improve circulation. Fast or processed food should be avoided. It is also recommended that you should reduce salt intake since excess salt causes the body to retain more water, and this may lead to the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. Too much salt can also impair your circulation and cause the blood vessels under the skin to appear blue.
Dark circles can appear in heavy smokers because smoking leads to vascular or blood vessel problems that make your blood vessels appear more prominent and bluer.
Last but not least, relaxation can help you get rid of stress and anxiety that are preventing you from sleeping, eating and resting properly. Adrenal issues can be a major cause. Hence, relaxation can lead to very positive results for many people who suffer from these dark circles.
In conclusion, if you have these dark circles under your eyes, do not worry. Simply, eat healthy food, sleep well, quit smoking, take a multivitamin supplement, reduce your exposures, and finally relax! If you would like help finding out if food sensitivities are contributing to your dark eye circles, Click Here to set up a free consultation.
Have you ever wanted to know everything there is to know about your thyroid? This 7-part video series will cover thyroid lab testing, nutrition and infections that affect the thyroid, toxins, thyroid hormone conversion, lifestyle, and adrenal interplay.