Technology, innovation, medical advances, increased yield of crops… All of these innovations, which have been nothing short of astounding, in the last 100 years does come with a price. In a series of blogs to come I will take several of these innovations, several of which I myself cannot live without, and detail some of the inconveniences and risks many of these advances pose to your health and what you can do to minimize those risks.
Now, however, I will bullet some of these topics to come and summarize who is winning this 100 year “battle”.
Let me start by refreshing you on an absolute truth that Darwin taught us. Animals (humans included) evolve. Now, I am in no way stating that we all “evolved” from meteoric bacteria, that is another discussion for another time and probably in another forum. What I AM stating is that organisms change according to the stresses put on that organism. Some of the best “evolvers” in the world (because they are only one celled organisms) are bacteria. Have you ever heard of the dreaded “SUPER BUG”? This is not some bacteria with a cape and horns trained in ninja skills. It is a bacteria that, simply put, “evolved” so that its genes produced the bacteria in such a way so as to be immune to penicillin, amoxacillin and most any other “illin” out there. That’s right, gene “evolution”, or call it adaptation, if that makes you feel better.
So, adaptation happens quickly, for one celled creatures. But what about for us more complex creatures, those of us composed of trillions of cells. Well, science says that we (our genes to be precise) adapt in about 10,000 years. What does that mean for our health and the extraordinary technological “evolution” that has occurred over the last 100 years. See below for a brief (and chilling) synopsis.
* Trans Fatty Acids (ie, margarine, Crisco, hydrogenated/fractionated any oil). These cannot be metabolized by the body. They alter receptor sensitivity and the function of neurotransmitters (think nervous system) and hormones.
* Refined carbohydrates (sugars!): Increases insulin production (see diabetes), increases aging of all our systems AND increased inflammation (fyi, scientists are finding that the majority of diseases can be tied back to inflammation, more on this later).
*High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). This one makes me laugh because I just saw a commercial that stated that HFCS is utilized the same as sugar in our body, and this is just not true. Look at the data of diabetes and then look at the incidence of HFCS being utilized in every processed food you can think of. This is an important topic.
* Antibiotics (see SUPERBUG): Not only does this increase the evolution of bacteria some thousand-fold, it also increases (guess) INFLAMMATION! However, this is the antibody type inflammation (for you med-heads IgE), thus leading to allergies and autoimmune disorders (how fun).
* Plastics: Have you ever left a bottled water in the sun and then drank it (please don’t)? That ucky-yucky taste=Phthalates! I know, a mouthful. Well, those Phthalates are hormone disruptors and carcinogens (cancer causing).
* Chemicals, such as insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, etc. They are neurological (nervous system) disruptors and carcinogens. Oh, and guess what? “Our drinking water, outdoor and indoor air, and foods are laden with over 60,000 chemicals, the average person being exposed easily to well over 500 every day.” -Sherry Rodgers, MD, The High Blood Pressure Hoax, 2005, pp. 40-41.
* Vaccines: Found to disrupt the maturation of the immune system as well as increase the incidence of allergic and autoimmune diseases.
* Aspartame/Glutamate/most artificial sweeteners: Increases incidence of chronic pain and neuro-destructive (nervous system) diseases.
* Deficiencies of vitamins and minerals in good foods because of soil depletion and vitamin destruction from (wait for it) Microwave Ovens!
*And, last but not least: Our increasingly sedentary lifestyle, primarily from television, computers and video games. It decreases the body’s ability to balance, move, stretch and thus, LIVE.
And, all these changes have happened predominantly in the last 100 years. As human beings, we have not had enough time to “evolve” to these radical changes. However, there are things you can do. Avoid as many of those toxins as you can and use technology to your advantage. Nutrition is more cutting edge today then ever before, but, you need to understand what is happening around you in order to make informed, intelligent decisions for you and your family.
Fish oil combats the ravages of trans fatty acids, antioxidants combat sugar and high fructose corn syrup aging. Vitamin and mineral supplements are essential, even for those who eat raw fruits and vegetables. Foods with a high ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity, a way of measuring a food’s antioxidant ability) score will combat inflammation in the body (one of my favorite web sites, www.aging-no-more.com/orac–rating.html).
This all may seem like doom and gloom for our body, or you may feel that there is no way that you can avoid everything, so why try at all. The truth is you can be healthier and happier than you have ever been by only making a few changes to your lifestyle. Yes, it does take effort, getting out of a rut does. Just imagine a healthier, happier you. I tell you this so you can understand and see that through chiropractic (taking care of the spine and nervous system) and proper nutrition, your life can change.
Dr. Matthew C. Huseboe, Chiropractor