DETOX OR DIE-Vitality Magazine October 2002
by Helke Ferrie
Dr. Sherry Rogers is coming to town. Rise out of your heavy metal-induced depression, take your pesticide-mediated anxiety seriously, and declare war on whatever ails you by attending the November Health Expo. She and other Environmental Medicine greats (such as Dr. Jozef Krop and Dr. Zoltan Rona) will tell us how to fix what our environment did to you and me and how to clean up this home planet of ours for ourselves ‘and our descendants. Dr. Rogers scared the hell out of us at last year’s Health Expo with her immense knowledge of environmental medical science and also gave us real hope and usable tools for even the most awful illnesses. Author of many excellent books, she has now published a zinger of a book that makes one shout Hallelujah! Its title, in true Sherry Rogers fashion, pulls no punches: Detoxify or Die! The health information she gives adds a whole world of meaning to the great New Testament saying, “The Truth shall make you free.” Have courage and read what is below, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“Those scary media reports of hidden toxins in our environments are a spit in the ocean compared with what really occurs,” Dr. Rogers writes. So, here I am to tell you that it is worse than you thought: the world’s garbage crisis – usually confined to political hot-potato-fights over where to open a municipal dump – has become a profoundly personal crisis within the bodies of every living thing, especially in ours. The line between the personal and the political, which feminist Gloria Steinem once declared to be blurred for women’s issues, has totally disappeared when it comes to the universal human issue of health. For the truth is that it is our bodies that have become the world’s toxic dumpsites. The billions of dollars worth of pesticides, plastics, petroleum products, and heavy-metal containing technology have made the industrial world rich beyond belief and threatens human survival as it conquers the earth. As in the story of King Midas, whose touch turned everything to gold – even his wife and children – our economy is killing us.
“We have conquered the world with pollution. There are no more pristine areas left without a trace of man’s manufacturing might” writes Dr. Rogers. Indeed, every living thing now has DDT in its tissues and its toxic effects are increasing over time. The World Health Organization informs us that for purposes of scientific research, there are no control groups (organisms uncontaminated by toxic synthetic chemicals) to be found on planet Earth. Every aspect of life and all political policy are directly or indirectly affected by the sociological importance of environmental illness (see the excellent survey by S. Kroll-Smith in the sources below).
No environment is untouched. Pollution is found in smoggy and in clean-looking air, murky and clear water, and especially in our food – from the Arctic to the rain forest, from downtown Toronto to the Himalayan village. Smog alerts have increase by 500% in the last 25 years (World Watch Institute). Nothing is too private not to be affected – from our brain cells to our hormones. Every bodily system and organ has its distinctive spectrum of outraged response to this arsenal of artificial stuff against which our organism has no defence, it wasn’t evolved to deal with these chemicals. Without employing detoxification strategies for their elimination, one organ or another succumbs – and so we have epidemics of cancer, chronic disease and immune system failures no amount of fancy genetics will explain away. We are so used to blaming suffering on God or the Devil, that the genetic “program” seemed the perfect new candidate for taking on the responsibility we try so hard not to accept. But neither God nor the Devil, and certainly not our genetic program, will take the blame for what is our responsibility. On June 13th 1999 the New England Journal of Medicine published the results of an international study which examined the lives of more than 90,000 twins to see whether the incidence of cancer was indeed familial – or genetic. It turned out that genetics has absolutely nothing to do with who gets cancer; the environment and unhealthy lifestyles were the only indicators.
Human breast milk is so contaminated with Dioxin (the active ingredient in Agent Orange – another one of Monsanto’s gifts to humanity, along with neurotoxic aspartame and genetically engineered foods) that its disposal would have to be done according to toxic waste regulations. Within the first year of life a baby raised on it may ingest eighteen times a life-time’s quantity of its “safe” limit. The EPA announced that 100% of the North American population carry the carcinogen styrene in their bodies, thanks to styrofoam cups; styrene is the main culprit in the last decade’s 200% increase in childhood cancers.
Semen, human eggs, and our entire endocrine system are so contaminated with the toxic residues from plastic products, heavy metals and pesticides that even conservative scientists agree that detoxification of both parents’ bodies before getting pregnant would be a good idea. Our bodies took some 7 million years to evolve, but not until 50 years ago did our enzymes and detoxification organs encounter the half million different synthetic chemicals never smelled, felt or ingested on this earth before. We are unable to metabolize any of this synthetic garbage. It passes right on to our offspring and damages parent and child in the process. It sabotages the cell replication process in DNA of mother and foetus, causing cancers or chronic diseases; or it blocks the work of hormones which control developmental timing, and then our kids are further damaged during pregnancy.
The carcinogenic phthalates found in plastic products also at the very least, target the brain – “and we sure have enough ADHD to prove that to be true” observes Dr. Rogers. The thyroid is the target organ of pesticides. Dr. Rogers mentions in passing that ex-US president George Bush, his wife and their dog Millie all developed thyroid disease. Since they are three unrelated creatures of two different genera, one can only conclude that their thyroids were unable to cope with whatever chemicals the White House lawns and roach-fighting brigades exposed them to.
The EPA confirms that 100% of all people in the world have traces of heavy metals like mercury, lead and cadmium in their blood which target the immune system, the memory areas of the brain, and the nervous system. These come to us through dental amalgam, paints and the like to give us Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Myasthenia gravis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. These connections are proven, and published in the mainstream literature. This year, the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association published an excellent series of articles (see citation below) reviewing the methods and research of environmental medicine. As anybody knows who has ever read a book by Dr. Rogers, the worldwide scientific proof of both diagnosis and treatment methods are all painstakingly recorded in a bibliography that could scare a seasoned medical researcher.
And so, where are we now? Well, we now live in a time on this precious planet, when a gallon of clean water (the very stuff of life from which all life evolved some 5 billion years ago) costs more than a gallon of gasoline. Dr. Rogers writes that “to get clean ice [for climate research purposes] scientists have to drill a core down to a level that was formed before the 20th century.” We live in a time in which the rapidity of species extinction is greater than in any other previous, natural, geological era before us. And our homes are the most contaminated and dangerous places of all where we encounter, routinely, about 500 of the worst disease-causing chemicals of all. An average carpet outgases about 200 volatile organic chemicals which include carcinogens and neurotoxins like formaldehyde, chloroform, phenol, xylene, toluene and many more. Carpets and perfumes (my personal pet peeve) in aftershave lotion ( guys, take it from me – you smell great without that toxic crap, just wash your pits ), women’s perfume, hair spray and shampoos share the carcinogen benzene. Our drinking water contains some 500 toxic substances last time the EPA looked, and many of those substances are toxic medication prescribed to somebody other than yourself.
Our techniques for understanding the damage we are doing to our environment and our bodies have become so sophisticated, we could begin to use these tricks for crime detection; each compound has its specific speed of entry into the blood stream and its individual time of residence there. Therefore, Dr. Rogers explains: “â€¦if a crackerjack detective wanted to know where you had been all day and what you had done, all he has to do is draw a blood level of your chemicals. Trichloroethylene would tell him that you picked up the dry cleaning . . . benzene would tell him you probably went to gas up the car; and toluene could betray that you might have picked up the your kids at the gymnasium with a polyurethaned floor.”
The good news is that the evidence has become undeniable – oddballs like current US president G.W. Bush proving the exception that proves the rule – and the research basis is all mainstream. The mainstream media and even the movies cover the stories of our toxic world. Close to home, on October 17th David Suzuki’s CBC TV show “The Nature of Things” aired a fabulous program on the toxins found in one’s home and what can be done about it (get a video or text copy of “Up Close and Toxic” from CBC’s customer service). The creative minds of thousands of medical researchers are at work to understand the causes of environmentally-mediated illness, trace the biological pathways, find ways to help living organisms rid themselves of these toxins and develop ways to begin the repair. Nothing in life and death is ever uniform and monolithic, so the inevitable variation gives rise to new ways of understanding. That is why hope is not silly but the only realistic and viable attitude.
Dr. Rogers gives her readers the unvarnished truth, but this is not a tale of doom. She offers a marvelous range of solutions for cleanup, healing, and prevention. This book, she tells us, is not only based on several decades of medical practice as an expert in Environmental Medicine, but on the research results of more than 300 pounds of toxicology textbooks and EPA reports. Best of all, her advice is based on the firm and unshakable ground of personal experience with pesticide and urea formaldehyde poisoning which nearly killed her. (See my biographical article on Dr. Rogers in Vitality’s November 2001 issue.)
The successful treatments of environmentally mediated disease include specialized diets, Far infrared sauna treatment (probably one of the very best detox and healing treatments!), specific detoxification protocols for various substances, and essential clean-up protocols (e.g. removal of mercury amalgam) all clearly explained and backed by sound, verifiable science and personal medical experience. Among the most powerful remedies is food – good food, pesticide-free, non-GMO-contaminated food. Seriously ill people, of course, require far more powerful intervention through nutrient supplementation and other regimes. For example, consider the following deceptively simple study of otherwise generally healthy people, aimed at seeing how far just a tiny little bit of quality food would actually go to guarantee health in the long run.
“To show how powerful food is, in one study they just had folks eat good wholesome foods and eliminate the junk. The diet contained 2 tbs. of sesame butter, 2 slices of whole wheat toast, raisins (3 small boxes) and 2 tbs. almonds or pecans for snacks, ginger tea and (2 cups) green tea, 1 tbs. wheat germ oil, 6 servings of fruits and vegetables, beans, whole grains (1/2 cup each) and optionally 3 oz. Meat, fish, poultry (for the week), nonfat dairy and eggs. Disallowed were white flour, junk processed foods, and whole milk products. The result? Dietary fiber, vitamin E, vitamin C and carotene levels in the blood increased 160, 145, 160 and 500% respectively! Cholesterol dropped 13% and the bad cholesterol, LDL, dropped 16%.” Furthermore, blood tests showed that those substances our bodies use to fight disease, oxidation stress (aging), and to repair DNA damage all increased dramatically as well to optimum levels. “Thus, with a mere whole food diet and getting off the junk, you can dramatically slow down aging and disease, as this study proved. This translates into a small miracle, nothing that any medicine or gene therapy is capable of even coming close to duplicating. Wow! A 500% increase in beta carotene is what Harvard researchers used to turn cancer genes back into normal genes – the chemistry necessary to reverse cancer.”
The implications of this one research example are staggering. By individually controlling our most immediate environment through simple, sound decisions about food (and homes and gardens free of toxic chemicals) we gain control over our health and transform – systematically and most assuredly – the way the world lives and eats. No more need to blame any God or Devil or the faulty genome for the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”. Health is knowable and doable. The journey to healing ourselves is also the journey to healing our polluted world. All problems have hidden within them solutions – often elegant, simple and obvious. In the midst of our dismal personal and planetary mess, Dr. Rogers has provided us with a first rate map showing the way back to health and the celebration of Nature. To hear and learn more, see you at the Expo!
Sources and Resources:
Ashford, N. & Miller, C. Chemical Exposure: Low Levels – High Stakes, 2nd ed. Van Norstrand Reinhold, 1998
Kroll-Smith, S. et al eds. Illness and the Environment: A Reader in Contested Medicine, New York University Press, 2002
Walker, M. et al. The Chelation Answer, Second Opinion Publishing, 1994
Journal of the Canadian Medical Association series by L. Marshall et al., Vol. 166 nos 8-13, April 30th – June 25, 2002
CBC’s October 17th, 2002 program on D. Suzuki’s The Nature of Things: “Close Up and Toxic”
Healthy Home Services Inc. 416-410-4247
DG Medical Corporation, London, Ontario, provides a full line of detoxification products especially for heavy metals which are excellent and I recommend unhesitatingly from personal experience. Call Institute for Integrated Medicine 519-659-7971 (NOTE: I derive no financial benefit from endorsing this or any other source of products.)
The best combo source for truths about toxins and what you can do to prevent illness and heal yourself and your family is found in these two doctors’ books:
Dr. Sherry Rogers, Detox or Die, Sandkey Co., 2002
Dr. Jozef Krop, Healing the Planet ? One Patient At A Time: A Primer in Environmental Medicine, KOS Publishing Inc., 2002 (call 519-927-1049)
Both doctors will be speaking at the HEALTH EXPO on November . . . They will be available to speak to you and sign copies of their new books at their booths.