A well-intended sympathizer of Integrative Health recently reminded me of an insidious issue that causes misunderstandings among skeptics. Her zeal for her companies’ Iodine is often seen as unrealistic and not science-based, which tends to confirm their suspicion that the entire field of Integrative Health is suspect. While everyone needs to make a living, I am afraid that the marketing department of supplement companies may at times claim benefits that are a bit too ambitious. Relying on these claims to promote products may backfire, especially among those we wish to “convert.”
We are all susceptible to this type of bias. Even mainstream doctors who reject Integrative Health concepts are; they tend to unquestionably believe Big Pharma’s claims, which are well known emphasize benefits and minimize problems in many of the studies they finance. They are human, too. Being aware of these tendencies can help us better interpret any health claim. So, if you find yourself depending on the sales of whatever product you promote, it would be well to “curve your enthusiasm” and try to find impartial studies to back up your claims.
Hugo Rodier, MD
Taking Iodine chronically can lead to thyroid problems. It happened to me. This is well documented in the medical literature. Consequently, promoting Iodine supplementation over 100 mcg a day on a daily basis is not a good idea. Some practitioners use a skin absorption test to determine a lack of Iodine. This test has been shown to be inaccurate. Iodine deficiency used to be a concern before transportation of food from one region to another was not common. The main manifestation of Iodine deficiency is a goiter, or benign atrophy of the thyroid gland.
Adding Iodine salt to your meals is probably enough if you are not eating fish. This is recommended in Canada. Today, the main problem behind thyroid issues is endocrine disruptors, or chemicals in the environment that have a negative effect on our hormones, including the thyroid.Consequently, eating as organic as possible, filtering our water and avoiding canned goods are some of the things you may do to minimize exposure.
For more information, including Potassium Iodine to protect the thyroid gland from nuclear radiation, visit MedlinePlus, a service of the National Institute of Health at http://nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/3.5html?print=y.
Food allergies from acid-blocking drugs
We have reported several times that the purple pill and other acid blockers compromise the absorption of key nutrients like B vitamins and minerals, in addition to disrupting the delicate balance of organisms in the gut. The latter is an important factor in metabolizing food; consequently, a disruption of the gut flora has been linked to food allergies.
Studies linking acid blockers to food allergies have been available for a while. A superb study published in 2005 on this topic came to my attention recently. Its impact and implications are enormous given the alarming increase in food allergies and intolerances. I am sure this is the reason why so many people get GERD or reflux. What is the common treatment? The purple pill. Do you see the problem here?
Over-processing of foods redolent with chemicals is also a problem. Add a suboptimal gut flora and you will have gut problems of all sorts. You may want to read my recently published book GUT HEALTH. The answers are strikingly simple: do an elimination diet, replace probiotics and digestive enzymes. Consider apple cider vinegar and cabbage juice; don’t eat so late at night, and, for those who can handle more, consider eliminating dairy and wheat. The latter was prominently featured in CBS News September 3rd 2012. Some people cannot eat grains anymore. Read the PALEO DIET. However, most people do fine with non-wheat whole grains.
Pain is such an insidious problem that it does not hurt to review from time to time what we can do beyond medications that have significant side effects. Omega oils continue to get very good evidence that they are effective in lowering inflammation, especially in preventing it. Here is a superb literature search courtesy of Jeffrey Bland’s Functional Medicine Update. It is include it in its totality to show, as it is our policy that those who continue to believe that Integrative Health has no evidence are likely to be influenced by other interests.
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