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Phthalates and their effect on human health

Phthalates are one of the most ubiquitous chemicals in our environment today. The effect of phthalates on human health has been the source of research for many years. What has surprised me over the years is the amount of denial from both the medical field and industry. In this blog post, I will link the reader to a number of studies on the effect of phthalates on human health. If you want to review the long list of studies on phthalates, you can click here.

Phthalates

The Phthalate Molecule

Part of the activity of phthalates is its depressing effect on testosterone. This may be why I’ve been approached by a number of universities asking why they are seeing young males between the ages of 18-25 having testosterone levels of 60-70 year old men. I thought it was likely due to exposure to phthalates and lo and behold, when a mid west university tested a number of boys, they indeed had high urinary phthalate levels.

The question that needs answering of course is, ‘where are they getting all of those phthalates?’ The answer that we came up with was a popular body spray that is marketed to young males which contains five  different forms of phthalates. The ads for the product tout how using it will attract women to the user but the problem is the males won’t know what to do when they get there.

Here are a few links to show the negative effect of phthalates.

There was a study published in my favorite journal, Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), that suggested a link between breast cancer and phthalates, in particular, diethyl phthalate, in 2010. You can read it here

In the September 2012 issue of, data gathered from NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey), showed a link between urinary phthalate levels and diabetes in women. Click here to read the paper.

Allergy in adults has been linked to urinary phthalate levels in an October 2013 paper you can read by clicking here.

Phthalates effects on adults is considerable, but the issues it causes with children and developing fetuses is even more dramatic. In this study, published in October of 2011, phthalates were negatively implicated in mental and psychomotor development in infants, with the greatest impact on males.

May of 2014 was when a study showing a mothers exposure to phthalates linked to behavioral problems in young 6-10 year old boys.

Next time, I will link a few more studies implicating phthalates and other illness and negative health and behavioral outcomes.

Don’t forget to click on the library link above to see what books I’ve recommended.

 

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TahoeFest 2013 Price Lowered

We’ve listened to you and decided to lower the price for TahoeFest 2013 to $495. Also, we are offering scholarships and discounts to anyone who needs them just as my mentor Robert Crayhon had done with his Boulderfest conferences. It is my sincere wish that everyone has the opportunity to come to this conference and learn from the phenomenal speakers we have lined up for you. I also don’t want cost to hold anyone back.

The tools that will be taught to the attendees are the kind that will have a large impact on the health and well being of countless people which is why I so want to get as many people to TahoeFest as possible. Not only that, but the venue is one of the most beautiful in the world. To sign up, call 775-851-3337 or go to the Knowledge Through Solutions website.

 

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New Speakers for TahoeFest 2013

Lake Tahoe Hyatt

Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe

Just wanted to announce some new speakers for TahoeFest 2013. The first is Dr. Thomas O’Bryan, D.C. whose topic will be “Differentiating Tools for Gluten Sensitivity and Celiac Disease: In-Office and Laboratory Assessments.” He will review this new-kid-on-the (science)-blocknon-celiac gluten sensitivity, how to identify it, and more importantly how to treat it.

The next addition is Dr. Rachel Fresco, L.Ac., PhD. developer of Biocidin, one of my favorite herbal products on the market. I’m sure anyone who has attended any of my seminars will be familiar with the product for its many uses as nutritional support associated with intestinal ecology, systemic wellness and detoxification. Her talk will be on how to use the botanical combinations she has developed to help your clients achieve optimal health.

I also want to stress what the theme of TahoeFest 2013 is – Practical Tools For Your Clinical Practice. When I mean practical tools I mean things you can use right away to help improve your clients health as well as improving your practice whether as a physical trainer, naturopath, chiropractor, MD, DO or clinical nutritionist. Everyone will benefit from this seminar, especially your client.

To register, click on this link. Hope to see you at TahoeFest 2013!!!

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TahoeFest 2013 – Practical Tools For Your Practice

 

Lake Tahoe Hyatt

Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe

TahoeFest 2013, to be held to the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Incline Village, Nevada on the shores of Lake Tahoe is shaping up as the go to seminar of the year. Hosted by yours truly, Mark Schauss, it will provide the attendees practical tools to help improve their practice. The prestigious group of speakers includes Luke Bucci, PhD, Ryan Bentley, DC, John Young, MD, Karen Hotchkiss, MD, and Mark Newman, MS. When the TahoeFest 2013 conference is over, you will be able to put all of the information presented into use the first day you are back at your practice.

Here is a run down on some of the topics and speakers that will be presenting at TahoeFest 2013:

Dr. Ryan Bentley, DC – Sex, Lies and Cholesterol and  Hitting the Target in Diagnosing and Treating Thyroid and Carbohydrate Metabolism Dysfunction

Dr. Luke Bucci, PhD – Joint and Arthritis Supplements and the Real Facts Behind Them

Mark Newman, MS – A New Paradigm in Hormone Testing: Diurnal Urine Testing

Mark Schauss, DBA – Advanced Ways to Utilize Laboratory Testing to Get Maximum Results,  Elite Athlete Case Studies, and  Safe and Effective Heavy Metal Detoxification Protocols

Karen Hotchkiss, MD – Reversing Rheumatoid Arthritis – A Case Study

John Young, MD – Reversing Type II Diabetes in 6 weeks

To sign up for TahoeFest 2013 just click this link.

For reservations and special room rates of $159 per room (this is an incredible deal for this world class resort), please use the link below or call the Hyatt at 888-421-1442 and say that you are attending the Lab Interpretation Informational Talk. Hyatt Room Reservations

The conference location is one of the most beautiful spots in the world. Come and spend some time relaxing in their indoor-outdoor pool or just take in the incredible scenery that is sure to make the trip a memorable one.

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Comprehensive Blood Chemistry – #1

The number one lab test to improve health, optimize body composition and fat loss is unquestionably a comprehensive blood chemistry. In my 28 years of working with lab tests and health care practitioners the world over, I have come to the conclusion that a comprehensive blood chemistry should be the cornerstone of every health program. There is more information that can come out of this test than any other one. The only caveat is interpreting the results which is something I have been researching since 1985.

So what does a comprehensive blood chemistry consist of? In simple terms, it includes what is known as a Chem Screen, typically a Chem 25, a CBC and thyroid panel. If you were to go to the lab for this test, chances are there are a few important variables that would be left out. The ones that are most often not included are phosphorus, uric acid, LDH and GGT. Other add-ons that I heartily recommend that be included are: vitamin D3, C-Reactive Protein, RBC Magnesium and Fasting Insulin. Put that together with my Lab Assist report and you will find out more about a person’s chemistry than any other test. Also, more importantly, it can tell you what to do to balance things out.

So why is a comprehensive blood chemistry so valuable? First off, in order to optimize health, you need to optimize the electrolyte balance of sodium, potassium, chloride and CO2. In order to have a proper flow of nutrients and waste materials in and out of cells, these four items must be in balance. Also, in order to have a proper functioning adrenal gland, both sodium and potassium must be optimized. Few health care practitioners know that a low CO2 is often found in people with low HCl in their stomach leading to poor digestion. If your electrolytes are out of balance, no amount of working out will accomplish weight control or fat loss.

In my lab and biochemistry classes (Sydney and Melbourne so far Lake Tahoe tba), I spend about 2 hours teaching all the incredible information that can be gleaned out of a comprehensive blood chemistry. Here are just a few tidbits I cover: low Alkaline Phosphatase is associated with low zinc which is an essential trace mineral. Uric acid is one of the most predominant anti-oxidants in the human body, too much and it indicates excessive oxidative stress, too low and you may not be able to handle oxidative stress. Also, a little known medical fact is that no one with Multiple Sclerosis has ever had high uric acid.

I could go on and on about how important and impactful a comprehensive blood chemistry is on health, body composition and fat loss but that is for the book I’m working on as well as being covered in my class. Still, keep coming back to this blog and I will share more as time goes on.

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Urine Organic Acid Testing – #2

Urine organic acid testing is essential for developing the best possible body composition, increasing fat loss and achieving optimal health. The test is considered a functional test as it reflects the nutritional needs of the body instead of just measuring levels of nutrients and co-factors. This allows it to take genetic, environmental and stress factors into account.

In my book, Achieving Victory Over a Toxic World, I dedicated a chapter to the issue of weight loss and how environmental toxins can effect the energy cycle (Kreb’s or Citric Acid Cycle). Much of our energy expenditure during a normal day is spent by our resting metabolism. As I mentioned in the previous blog on the environmental pollutants test, a block on the Pyruvate/Lactate entry point caused by the toxins can cause carbohydrate metabolism to be shunted towards fat production. The urine organic acid test can pinpoint this issue and using the Lab Assist report, you can develop a nutritional program to break the log jam.

What make the urine organic acid test so valuable is how it can pinpoint disruptions throughout the Citric Acid Cycle, and what can make the energy production more efficient. What I pointed out in my book, is if toxic chemicals depress the cycle by as little as seven percent, you can eat well, exercise regularly but still gain anywhere from ten to thirty pounds a year.

Other issues that can be picked up by a urine organic acid test that have big impact on health include markers for dysbiosis, specific B-complex nutrient deficiencies, excessive ammonia build up (improper detoxification of high protein intake), and much more. It can also see if specific amino acids are inadequate functionally as opposed to a direct measurement as done in a plasma amino acid panel.

In my classes on laboratory testing and the art and science of biochemical individuality, I highlight this test as it is one of the most vital tools available to anyone interested in helping their clients achieve optimal health.

 

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Environmental Pollutants – #3

Environmental pollutants testing is an absolute must if you want to achieve the best body composition and lose fat. This first morning urine test, using dry strip technology is easy to do and does not need overnight shipping. The test results and the ensuing detoxification protocols has done wonders for the many people who have run the test over the years.

The toxins that are tested for using the environmental pollutants panel are the following: benzene, toluene, xylene, trimethylbenzene, styrene, parabens and phthalates. While you may not be familiar with all of them, you should be as they are powerful hormone disruptors and can disrupt energy production causing increased insulin and fat production. In my book, Achieving Victory Over a Toxic World, I devoted a chapter on how these toxins can affect the citric acid cycle (aka Kreb’s cycle). By blocking the entry point to the cycle (lactate and pyruvate) carbohydrate metabolism is greatly affected leading to an inability to create energy and shunting carbohydrates towards fat production.

An important glandular issue that the environmental pollutants can affect is thyroid function. A normal mammalian reaction to being exposed to a toxin is to slow metabolism. The thyroid, being an important organ that regulates metabolism begins to slow down metabolism naturally in the presence of toxins. It is this process that makes me cringe when I see health care practitioners stimulate the thyroid before they deal with any toxicity issues. This is highly detrimental to the long term health of anyone undergoing thyroid hormone therapy. The body is trying to slow down metabolism to protect itself from the detoxification process. During phase I detox, the chemical produced are often times far more toxic than the original substance. If the individual’s phase II detoxification process is impaired, as it is with many people, than you have a more toxic situation than had you left things alone. This is why testing for environmental pollutants is critical along with a urinary organic acid test which I will review next.

I worked with a clinic once that focused primarily on thyroid issues and they ordered quite a number of the environmental pollutants tests but all of a sudden they stopped. I could not find out why until an ex-employee called me to tell me that they stopped the testing was because too many people were no longer hypothyroid. This caused the patients to stop buying their compounded thyroid medication which was a major source of revenue. Money over health in this case.

Another important reason why this test is so important is the testing for the presence of phthalates. This plasticizer, which is found in personal care products, air fresheners and body sprays is a known testosterone disruptor. I once received a call from a large university in the Midwest of the U.S., asking me why they keep seeing so many young men between the ages of 18-25 whose testosterone levels were that of 60 year olds. When we started testing them using the environmental pollutants panel from U.S. Biotek, the results were predictable. Almost every man with low testosterone had high levels of either phthalates or monoethyl phthalates. Detoxfication was able to reverse the low testosterone over a period of time.

One toxin that has to be detoxified carefully is benzene. This petrochemical found in diesel fuel is highly carcenogenic. If you have a dysbiotic gut and you do not deal with that first you run the risk of increasing the toxicity and carcenogenicity of benzene. Using the Lab Assist report will help to avoid that trap and give you carefully researched and safe detoxification protocols.

At my seminars, I carefully go over the nuances of this test as it pertains to achieving optimal health as well as better body composition and fat loss. If you are in Australia, the two classes are in Sydney on February 8-10, and in Melbourne on February 15-17, 2013. The next U.S. seminar will be in Lake Tahoe at the end of April, exact date to be announced soon.

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Hair Elements – #4

A hair elements test is one of the easiest, cost effective and best ways of assessing heavy metal burden if interpreted properly. Toxic metal accumulation is one of the biggest hurdles that people need to overcome to achieve their health goals and accelerate fat loss. Understanding how heavy metals can interfere is complex but important in helping people attain optimal body composition.

Over the 30 years I have been in the health care industry I’ve met quite a number of amazing and brilliant people. One of them is Dr. Andrew Cutler who I believe is one of the most knowledgeable individuals when it comes to heavy metals and hair elements testing. His clear understanding of the chemistry involved is second to none. Dr. Cutler is also the author of two books on the subject, Amalgam Illness and Hair Test Interpretation: Finding Hidden Toxicities.

His theories on the effect of the heavy metal mercury on health and how it effects the results of a hair elements test is impressive. Here is an excerpt from his book Amalgam Illness on how mercury poisoning can cause critical disruptions to important biochemical processes. “Cytochrome P450 system – the heart of phase 1 metabolic processes, oxidative phosphoylation, and also of steroid biosynthesis. Mercury inhibits the different enzymes in this system to different extents. Cysteine dioxygenase is one of the CYP450 enzymes that makes hypotaurine (which becomes taurine) from cysteine. Mercury inhibition of this enzyme will lead to low taurine which can only be corrected with taurine supplementation, as well as high cysteine which must be controlled by dietary restriction.”

When I talked about plasma amino acid testing, I mentioned how important taurine was in fat metabolism. When a person is mercury toxic, their ability to produce taurine is impaired. It is not enough to take taurine though as this is merely a cover-up of the problem.

The question I keep getting when I recommend hair elements testing is why not do a urine provocative test instead. There are two important reasons why I don’t use urine. First problem is that there is a potential for serious side effects from a DMSA or DMPS challenge in a small percentage of people. The risk outweighs the information you might get. The other is it is not an accurate method for testing many of the heavy metals that can be picked up in the hair elements test. The interpretation of the results of hair testing is something that I teach at my classes, the first pair coming in February in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia.

Another important issue that comes up post hair elements testing is what to do if you find elevated levels of toxins like mercury, lead, arsenic, and cadmium. Each has a particular protocol for chelation that is effective and most importantly safe. My Lab Assist report helps the health practitioner to determine the best method available.

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Amino Acid Testing – #5

Today’s blog is the first in a five part series to uncover what I believe are the best tests to help increase fat loss, improve muscle production and achieve optimal health faster. I’m sure there will be disagreements and differing opinions, but I come at this from experience. Over the past 27 years, I’ve seen over 60,000 lab tests and feel that these tests really make a difference.

Today’s blog is an overview of what I feel is optimal to achieve maximum results. It would be impossible short of a 400-500 page book (it’s in the works) to give you all the information I’ve learned over the years. But, if you come to one of my classes (Sydney and Melbourne, Australia in February, Lake Tahoe at the end of April) I guarantee you will walk out with more immediately usable information than any class you will take.

#5 – Plasma Amino Acids

As many of you know, amino acids are the building blocks of hormones, muscle, collagen, neurotransmitters and so much more. They are every personal trainer’s best friend and are essential to good health. The problem lies in the quality of protein that most of us get in our diet and the co-factors that allow the amino acids we take in to be processed and metabolized properly.

Imbalances in amino acid composition are an issue I see all the time, regardless of the fitness of the individual. Over the years I dealt with world class athletes, weekend warriors, generally fit people and the full spectrum of the chronically ill and I have seen only a handful with truly balanced amino acid profiles. Having a properly balanced amino acid profile is not that hard to achieve but you have to know what it looks like to get maximum benefits.

People trying to get fit or maximize fat loss can gain a lot from a plasma amino acid profile. Here are some examples. In order to improve fat metabolism, you need adequate taurine. To build muscle you need the branch-chain amino acids (BCAA’s), leucine, isoleucine and valine. But there is a problem with branch-chains that I’ve seen over the years especially with highly fit individuals. Many of them have elevated BCAA’s which indicates a lack of proper metabolism.

Without giving away the farm information wise (you’ll have to come to my classes for that) here one issue with high levels of the BCAA’s is that they may cause a blockade at the site of the blood brain barrier and can interfere with the ability of tryptophan to enter into the brain which can cause a problem with serotonin metabolism and other tryptophan related pathways. In my classes, I review case studies with high BCAA’s in plasma and how to get them to metabolize properly. I also make the case why I recommend plasma or bloodspot testing over urinary amino acids.

Other amino acids that can make a huge difference in fat loss and improved health include glycine (a potent detoxifier), arginine (helps improve circulation) and lysine and methionine (helps to create carnitine which is essential in fat metabolism). Deficiencies in any of these can hinder your bodies ability to metabolize fat properly. Excesses can point out nutrient deficiencies in a biochemically individualized manner.

This is just a scratching of the surface of everything you can get out of an amino acid panel. The amount of information available is enormous. Because no one can hope to remember every nuance, I developed the Lab Assist™ Report which provides all the information possible to interpret the results in an easy to understand and easy to use format.

Tomorrow lab test #4.

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Dr. Mark Schauss, DB – The Need for Metabolic Testing

In this interview from May, 2004, Robert Crayhon talks to Dr. Mark Schauss about the need for metabolic testing.  Thanks to Complementary Prescriptions for the use of this recording.

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When Robert Crayhon contacted me about doing this interview I was, to say the least, excited. He was a person I so looked up to that it was an honor to go into the studio to talk about a subject I am very passionate about, the need to do metabolic testing to achieve optimal health.

I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did doing it.

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