Eating and Living Holistically:
The purpose of a clean, green and lean lifestyle is to remove inflammation, toxicity, and unnecessary burdens so you can love your life and your health! Negative contributing factors like a high stress job, unhealthy foods, negative emotional patterns, lack or exercise or sleep, and environmental pollution greatly reduce health and can lead to many conditions including Obesity, Infertility, Autoimmune Conditions, Hypertension, Cardiovascular Disease, Pain Conditions and Diabetes.
As a Naturopathic Physician, our mission is to help you overcome these hurdles by discovering the underlying mechanisms of disease, helping you create healthier lifestyle habits, supporting nutritional deficiencies, and working with you to restore balance to your entire spirit-mind-emotion-physical being. The first part of better living and eating is taking a good look at the environment around you and what you are putting into your body.
What Can Pesticides Do For Your Health?
Most pesticides are fat soluble toxins that enter organs with higher fat content and disrupt hormone regulation by mimicking estrogens, leading to changes in metabolism, reproductive function, neurological function, and can even cause chromosomal aberrations. Pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been linked to higher total cholesterol, triglycerides, and increased cardiovascular disease (1).
Obesity has also been connected to ingestion of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), showing increased abdominal girth and fat mass (2). OCPs are endocrine disruptors mimic sex hormones and have been linked with increased risk of breast and prostate cancers (3).
Pesticides have also been connected to children with low birth weight and increased body fat in school age children (4). Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) like PCBs and OCPs have even been linked to Type 2 Diabetes as well. Pesticide exposures can affect multiple organ systems, leading to neurotoxicity, birth defects, delayed fertility, spontaneous abortions, altered growth, skin conditions, and increased chromosomal damage (6).
Green Living Solutions
Ingesting clean organically grown produce (5+ above ground vegetables and 2 fruits) greatly helps lessen toxic burden of pesticide ingestion, but also provides other health benefits. For example, intake of legumes, whole grains, fruits, and cruciferous vegetables (ie foods high in fiber) significantly reduced the risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in a large US NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study containing > 490,000 participants (7).
Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, and Atherosclerosis
Obesity has been linked with having inappropriate bacteria, like theMethanobacteriales, which are petroleum degrading bacteria that digest pesticides and prescription drugs (2). There is good evidence that artificial sweeteners can alter the gut microbiome, leading to glucose intolerance and weight gain in humans (10). Obesity in children has been observed in those with higher levels of Staphylococcus aureus and lower levels of Bifidobacteriaduring infancy (11).
Type 2 Diabetes has also been linked to inflammatory bacterial constituents like lipopolysaccharides (LPS) from gram negative bacteria because LPS can impair glucose metabolism (11). Insulin resistance has even been reduced when butyrate producing bacteria were transplanted from lean healthy donors into obese patients (11). Current studies are even looking at Type 1 Diabetes and links to altered gut microbiota that may be responsible for the autoimmune attack on pancreatic beta islet cells.
There are so many different studies linking microbial pathogens to high cholesterol and atherosclerosis as well. For instance, Chryseomonas, Veillonella, and Streptococcus found in the gut and oral cavity were also found in atherosclerotic plaques (11). While there are many different microbe species, it’s important to note that health status was improved in humans carrying bacteria that produced butyrates, beta-carotene, and did not break choline or carnitine into toxic metabolites (11).
Good Microbes Do Good Things
Lactobacillus spp. can protect cells from E. coli verocytotoxins, inhibit growth ofS. aureus bacteria and reduce their ability to produce enterotoxins (8). Many good bacteria, like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria spp. and others, create SCFAs to feed our intestinal cells, reduce inflammation and cholesterol, improve insulin sensitivity, reduce antibiotic induced diseases, and can reduce numerous metabolic, gut, and liver-related illnesses (12). Gut bacteria also create GABA, vitamin K, vitamin B12, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), breakdown good polyphenols for intestinal absorption, metabolize toxins like p-cresol, offer antimicrobial protection, and trigger intestinal expression of secretory IgA (13).