Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Top 8 Cooling Spices for Summer

The Top 8 Cooling Spices for Summer

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The Top 8 Cooling Spices for Summer

Posted: 29 Mar 2014 08:00 AM PDT

Also known as pitta (or fire season), summer heat can lead to excess skin irritation, acne, rashes, sweating, and even heat stroke. To keep the body cool during the summer months, ancient Indian medicine (Ayurveda) recommends consuming spices that promote cooling. Spices are one of the most potent plant foods in terms of antioxidants and bioactive compounds. According to Ayruveda’s 5,000 year old food philosophy, there are plenty of everyday spices that can even help cool the body when outside temperatures become unbearable. Here are the top 8 cooling spices, according to Ayruveda, to include in your diet to feel fresh and comfortable.

1. Organic Mint

Mint is more than just a remedy for bad breath; in fact, this perennial herb is an excellent cooling spice. Picked fresh, mint makes an excellent heat-busting addition to a summer lemonade or fresh fruit salad. Growing mint in the backyard garden is easy to do; however, mint can become invasive, so it’s always best to plant in containers to avoid competition with neighboring plants.

2. Organic Fennel Seed

Although you may not even know what a fennel seed is, this readily-available spice is thought to be highly cooling for those hot summer months. Fennel seeds also have the added benefit of stimulating intestinal juices, promoting proper digestion, and reducing acid reflux. [1] Try chewing a teaspoon of fennel seeds before and after your next main meal. These cooling seeds also keep the breath fresh and promote good oral hygiene.

3. Organic Fresh Cilantro

Fresh cilantro leaves have been used in Thailand and Mexico for thousands of years. A staple in many homemade salsa recipes, cilantro counteracts the spicy flavors found in many international dishes. If thinking about growing cilantro, try sowing seeds in pots that receive plenty of daily light.

4. Organic Coriander

Ayurvedic medicine considers coriander one of the most cooling spices. Treasured in India and China as well as Europe and North Africa, coriander is highly revered for its many health promoting properties. Coriander is actually the seed of the cilantro plant and is often used to flavor meat and vegetables. You can use coriander in a BBQ rub or in a savory Indian curry. Coriander may also help ease digestion and stabilize blood sugar. [2]

5. Organic Cardamom

Cardamom, another excellent digestion aid, makes a great addition to a summer morning tea. Add a dash or two of cardamom to some chilled rooibos tea laced with almond milk for a cooling iced herbal beverage. Cardamom is also delicious when added to your morning smoothie, granola, or yogurt.

6. Organic Saffron

The striking yellow color of saffron-seasoned dishes can lift any spirit, and consuming this spice may also raise your mood. [3] Another cooling spice that is extremely versatile, saffron is known for its prominent place in paella, curries, and rubs; it is also a great addition to tea and beverages. To make a cooling tea this summer, boil water and add some saffron powder and a couple of cardamom pods. After boiling the saffron mixture and removing it from the heat, add tea bags and steep to desired strength. Sweeten with stevia or serve as is for a refreshing twist on your summer tea.

7. Organic Dill

This cooling, savory spice can be used in its fresh and dried forms; however, fresh forms of the spice are often more potent in flavor. Try adding some fresh dill to many of your summer recipes to fight the heat. Grilled veggies and fish taste great with the addition of fresh dill and a dash of lemon juice.

8. Organic Cumin

In small amounts, cumin seeds and ground cumin can be cooling for the body. Not only that, cumin may also aid detoxification [4] and remedy gas and bloating. Cumin is a savory spice that can be used in grain dishes, vegetable recipes, and soups.

What are your favorite summer spices? Do you have a favorite recipe? Please leave us a comment below and let us know!

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM


  1. Valussi M. Functional foods with digestion-enhancing properties. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2012 Mar;63 Suppl 1:82-9. doi: 10.3109/09637486.2011.627841. 2011 Oct 19.
  2. Deepa B1, Anuradha CV. Antioxidant potential of Coriandrum sativum L. seed extract. Indian J Exp Biol. 2011 Jan;49(1):30-8.
  3. Hausenblas HA1, Saha D, Dubyak PJ, Anton SD. Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) and major depressive disorder: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. J Integr Med. 2013 Nov;11(6):377-83. doi: 10.3736/jintegrmed2013056.
  4. K.S. Muthamma Milan, Hemang Dholakia, Purnima Kaul Tiku, Prakash Vishveshwaraiah. Enhancement of digestive enzymatic activity by (Cuminum cyminum L.) and role of spent cumin as a bionutrient. Food Chemistry. Volume 110, Issue 3, 1 October 2008, Pages 678-683.

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Friday, March 28, 2014

What are Probiotics and Prebiotics?

What are Probiotics and Prebiotics?

Link to Natural Health & Organic Living Blog

What are Probiotics and Prebiotics?

Posted: 27 Mar 2014 08:00 AM PDT

Probiotic colony

You may have seen probiotic yogurt advertised as having “live active cultures.” This indicates that the yogurt contains living, beneficial organisms intended to help your body with digestion. Many people wonder if there’s any truth in that or if it’s just a marketing ploy. Well, considering the nature of advertisers, you might be surprised to know that although “probiotics” has become a hot buzzword in health food advertising, it’s not just a bunch of hype. In fact, probiotics do promote healthy digestion. What’s not often discussed is that, like all living organisms, probiotics need nutrition. That role is taken on by prebiotics. Let’s explore the world of probiotics and prebiotics and their relationship.

Prebiotics and Probiotics: What’s the Difference?

Probiotics is the term most people are familiar with, especially individuals who indulge in fermented foods like kefir and kombucha. When consumed, probiotics populate and colonize the digestive tract with beneficial bacterial colonies. Many people consume probiotics because illness, environmental pollutants, processed food, and even stress can cause a bacterial imbalance in the gut. When there are more bad bacteria than good bacteria, health problems may result.

Unlike probiotics, prebiotics aren’t living organisms. Prebiotics are the food and nutrients that feed probiotics to stimulate probiotic activity in the gastrointestinal tract. Probiotics are fighting a constant battle and need prebiotics from fiber-rich foods (among other sources) to stay strong. They have the added benefit in that not only do prebiotics encourage probiotic colonies to thrive, they also promote general well being. [1] [2]

What are the Other Benefits of Prebiotics?

Other benefits associated with prebiotics include metabolic support, mineral absorption, vitamin utlization, laxation, and immune system benefits. [3] Prebiotics may also encourage normal blood sugar. [4] It is worth mentioning that prebiotics affect everyone differently and the current intestinal health of the individual taking prebiotics needs to be considered. Some research has shown that people suffering from gastrointestinal illnesses like Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome may upset their symptoms by taking prebiotics. [5] It’s necessary to achieve internal harmony before it can be optimized.

What are the Benefits of Probiotics?

Probiotic bacteria supports digestion and offers many benefits to long-term health, even at the earliest stages; intestinal health has a substantial impact on early childhood development. [6] Probiotics have been recommended for inflammatory bowel diseases and intestinal distress. Oral and periodontal health also respond positively to probiotics. [7] Since antibiotics do not discriminate in which bacteria they destroy, probiotics are commonly taken during antibiotic therapy to maintain internal balance.

Studies suggest that some probiotics can even suppress the mechanisms that lead to autoimmune disease and sensitivity to pollens, dust, and other environmental debris. [8] Breathing ability has also shown to be positively affected by probiotic bacteria. [9] Researchers have even determined that probiotics reduce intestinal transit time, which can help to promote regular bowel movements. [10]

In animal studies, probiotics have even exhibited some benefit with regard to serotonin levels, thus providing additional support against anxiety and cognitive decline. [11] Considering that 90% of serotonin production and regulation occurs in the gut, these findings aren’t terribly surprising. [12]

Sources of Prebiotics and Probiotics

Prebiotics are mainly derived from fiber, like inulin. Often, yogurt marketed as probiotic yogurt will contain inulin (prebiotic) and live active cultures (probiotic). Other good sources of prebiotics include acacia gum, dandelion greens, garlic, asparagus, beans, oats, and chicory root.

Two of the most well-known strains of probiotics are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. These strains can be found in yogurt, kefir, other fermented foods like sauerkraut, miso and tempeh, and pickled vegetables. If you don’t eat these foods, probiotic supplements are a really easy way to enjoy the benefits of probiotics. However, be aware that quality can vary substantially and it’s important to choose a product from a known company that has a production process you can verify.

Do you take probiotics? Got a favorite probiotic food? What benefits have you noticed? Leave us a comment below and let us know how probiotics affect your own intestinal health.

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM


  1. Gibson GR, Roberfroid MB. Dietary modulation of the human colonic microbiota: introducing the concept of prebiotics. J Nutr. 1995 Jun;125(6):1401-12.
  2. Roberfroid M. Prebiotics: the concept revisited. J Nutr. 2007 Mar;137(3 Suppl 2):830S-7S.
  3. Macfarlane GT, Macfarlane S. Fermentation in the human large intestine: its physiologic consequences and the potential contribution of prebiotics. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2011 Nov;45 Suppl:S120-7. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e31822fecfe.
  4. Barengolts E. Vitamin D and prebiotics may benefit the intestinal microbacteria and improve glucose homeostasis in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Endocr Pract. 2013 May-Jun;19(3):497-510. doi: 10.4158/EP12263.RA.
  5. Whelan K. Mechanisms and effectiveness of prebiotics in modifying the gastrointestinal microbiota for the management of digestive disorders. Proc Nutr Soc. 2013 Aug;72(3):288-98. doi: 10.1017/S0029665113001262. Epub 2013 May 17.
  6. Oozeer R, van Limpt K, Ludwig T, Ben Amor K, Martin R, Wind RD, Boehm G, Knol J. Intestinal microbiology in early life: specific prebiotics can have similar functionalities as human-milk oligosaccharides. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Aug;98(2):561S-71S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.038893. Epub 2013 Jul 3.
  7. Singh VP, Sharma J, Babu S, Rizwanulla, Singla A. Role of probiotics in health and disease: a review. J Pak Med Assoc. 2013 Feb;63(2):253-7.
  8. Özdemir Ö. Any role for probiotics in the therapy or prevention of autoimmune diseases? Up-to-date review. J Complement Integr Med. 2013 Aug 6;10. pii: /j/jcim.2013.10.issue-1/jcim-2012-0054/jcim-2012-0054.xml. doi:10.1515/jcim-2012-0054.
  9. Das RR, Naik SS, Singh M. Probiotics as additives on therapy in allergic airway diseases: a systematic review of benefits and risks. Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:231979. doi: 10.1155/2013/231979. Epub 2013 Jul 15.
  10. Miller LE, Ouwehand AC. Probiotic supplementation decreases intestinal transit time: Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. World J Gastroenterol. 2013 Aug 7;19(29):4718-25. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i29.4718.
  11. Luo J, Wang T, Liang S, Hu X, Li W, Jin F. Ingestion of Lactobacillus strain anxiety and improves cognitive function in the hyperammonemia rat. Science China Life Sciences. 2014 March;57(3):327-35. doi: 10.1007/s11427-014-4615-4.
  12. F De Ponti. Pharmacology of serotonin: what a clinician should know. Gut. October 2004; 53(10): 1520-1535

The post What are Probiotics and Prebiotics? appeared first on Natural Health & Organic Living Blog.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The 10 Best Stress Relieving Foods

The 10 Best Stress Relieving Foods

Link to Natural Health & Organic Living Blog

The 10 Best Stress Relieving Foods

Posted: 26 Mar 2014 08:00 AM PDT

What it Feels like to be Stressed Out!

Feeling stressed? Get some exercise! It’s one of nature’s most underutilized activities and perhaps one of the most effective and natural stress reducers. Studies consistently indicate that exercise is a helpful tool for alleviating stress and improving overall mood. [1] However, exercise is only one component of a healthy lifestyle. Your diet also plays an important role in how your body reacts to stress. While a general healthy diet devoid of processed foods is ideal for promoting good health, some foods are better than others in the way they combat stress. Here are the top 10 best stress-relieving foods that can easily be incorporated into any diet.

1. Dark Chocolate

Commonly seen as a comfort food, chocolate’s sweet and bold flavors are enjoyed by millions of people every day. It turns out that science actually supports chocolate as a stress-relieving, mood-boosting food. Recent human studies have demonstrated that chocolate is a beneficial food that may be helpful for reducing the stress hormones cortisol and catecholamines. One study found that participants, who rated themselves as being highly stressed, experienced a significant drop in stress hormone levels following a two-week dark-chocolate eating period. The amount of dark chocolate consumed during this study was 1.4 ounces per day, or a little over half a pound per week. [2] Make sure you choose one that’s organic and extremely low in sugar!

2. Walnuts

One of the physiological symptoms of stress is hypertension, or high blood pressure. [3] The abundance of alpha-Linolenic acid and linoleum acid in walnuts has shown some ability at promoting health blood pressure. [4] [5] A 2010 study also found polyunsaturated fatty acids, a type of fat found in walnuts, helpful for promoting normal circulation and cardiovascular response to acute stress. [6]

3. Salmon

High in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is often considered a brain food. There is also some research to suggest that salmon has the ability to reduce metabolic stress. One study found that omega-3 fatty acids, which are readily-available in salmon, reduced cortisol levels in men who were experiencing stress and anxiety. [7] Cortisol is a stress hormone that is increased in the body during times of psychological and physical stress. This hormone, when produced in excess, has been commonly associated with uncontrolled weight gain.

Salmon also contains vitamin D, much more than other types of fish. Vitamin D3, which is often manufactured by the body in response to safe sunlight exposure, is important for a number of physiological mechanisms within the body, including managing mood and protecting against the effects of stress. [8] [9] During times of stress, the body’s stores of vitamin D typically fall, increasing the need for this valuable nutrient. [10]

4. Garlic

Similar to salmon, garlic inhibits cortisol levels, thereby preventing unhealthy stress responses before they start. Sulfuric metabolites in garlic, such as allicin, have also been associated with healthy blood pressure, cholesterol, and cardiovascular protection. [11]

5. Figs

Fresh or dried, figs offer a potent source of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. As a bioavailable source of potassium, calcium, and magnesium, figs offer nutrients necessary for maintaining healthy blood pressure and muscle function. The antioxidants in figs have the potential for protecting against oxidative stress, a type of stress that is facilitated by diet, pollution, and tobacco use. [12]

6. Oatmeal

Natural rolled and steel cut oats provide a high-quality source of fiber, a non-digestible carbohydrate necessary for digestion and satiation. The complex carbohydrates found in oatmeal encourage healthy serotonin levels, which may help to improve mood. [13]

7. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds, an autumn favorite, may provide stress-relieving benefits through their high levels of various nutrients, like omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, zinc, and potassium. Pumpkin seeds also have a high phenolic content, and some research indicates that these phenols may promote antioxidant activity. These antioxidants have the potential to control glucose absorption and protect against oxidative stress and hypertension. [14]

8. Swiss Chard

This dark-green leafy vegetable is packed with essential fat-soluble vitamins (A, C, E, and K) as well as minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Chard also contains a specific class of antioxidants known as betalains. These compounds have been found to protect the body against high blood sugar and high blood pressure, two conditions commonly associated with stress. [15]

9. Dulse Seaweed

Similar to swiss chard, dulse seaweed offers a high-quality source of nutrients and antioxidants. In addition to essential vitamins and minerals, dulse also contains iodine. Necessary for thyroid health, iodine is required by the thyroid gland for the proper production and regulation of hormones. Considered to be a superfood, this purple sea vegetable may help fight the effects of stress by maintaining proper hormone levels within the body.

10. Citrus Fruits

Aromatherapy has promoted citrus scents for centuries as a natural means to relax. Not only can the aroma of citrus fruits, like oranges and grapefruit, provide a relaxing effect, its natural vitamin C content may also provide additional benefit. One study evaluated the physiological impact of vitamin C in obese children suffering from mental stress. A specific concern of these patients was their blood pressure. Results showed that this high-risk group experienced a blood pressure reduction to levels much more consistent with lean children experiencing little to no stress. [16]

How Do You Relieve Stress?

Who would have thought such an array of different foods could offer so much? Using food to provide a complete spectrum of nutrition is a powerful way to protect your health, as natural foods are often used to support a healthy lifestyle. Which of these foods do you enjoy? Do you find that eating a healthy diet has helped you better deal with stress? Leave a comment below and let us know!

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM


  1. Voss MW, Vivar C, Kramer AF, van Praag H. Bridging animal and human models of exercise-induced brain plasticity. Trends Cogn Sci. 2013 Sep 9. pii: S1364-6613(13)00166-6. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2013.08.001.
  2. Francois-Pierre J. Martin, Serge Rezzi, Emma Pere-Trepat, Beate Kamlage, Sebastiano Collino, Edgar Leibold, Jirgen Kastler, Dietrich Rein, Laurent B. Fay, and Sunil Kochhar. Metabolic Effects of Dark Chocolate Consumption on Energy, Gut Microbiota, and Stress-Related Metabolism in Free-Living Subjects. Journal of Proteome Research, 2009, 8 (12), pp 5568-5579. doi: 10.1021/pr900607v. October 7, 2009.
  3. Marshall IJ, Wolfe CD, McKevitt C. Lay perspectives on hypertension and drug adherence: systematic review of qualitative research. BMJ. 2012 Jul 9;345:e3953. doi: 10.1136/bmj.e3953.
  4. Takeuchi H, Sakurai C, Noda R, Sekine S, Murano Y, Wanaka K, Kasai M, Watanabe S, Aoyama T, Kondo K. Antihypertensive effect and safety of dietary alpha-linolenic acid in subjects with high-normal blood pressure and mild hypertension. Journal of Oleo Science. 2007;56(7):347-60.
  5. Miura K, Stamler J, Nakagawa H, Elliot P, Ueshima H, Chan Q, Brown IJ, Tzoulaki I, Saitoh S, Dyer AR, Daviglus ML, Kesteloot H, Okayama A, Curb JD, Rodriguez BL, Elmer PJ, Steffen LM, Robertson C, Zhao L. Relationship of dietary linoleic acid to blood pressure. Hypertension. 2008 August;52(2):408-14. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.108112383
  6. West SG, Krick AL, Klein LC, Zhao G, Wojtowicz TF, McGuiness M, Bagshaw DM, Wagner P, Ceballos RM, Holub BJ, Kris-Etherton PM. Effects of diets high in walnuts and flax oil on hemodynamic responses to stress and vascular endothelial function. J Am Coll Nutr. 2010 Dec;29(6):595-603.
  7. Barbadoro P, Annino I, Ponzio E, Romanelli RM, D’Errico MM, Prospero E, Minelli A. Fish oil supplementation reduces cortisol basal levels and perceived stress: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial in abstinent alcoholics. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2013 Jun;57(6):1110-4. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201200676. Epub 2013 Feb 6.
  8. Shaffer JA, Edmondson D, Wasson LT, Falzon L, Homma K, Ezeokoli N, Li P, Davidson KW. Vitamin D Supplementation for Depressive Symptoms: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Psychosomatic Medicine. 2014 March 14.
  9. Kuhne H, Schutkowski A, Weinholz S, Cordes C, Schierhorn A, Schulz K, Konig B, Stangl GI. Vitamin D receptor regulates intestinal proteins involved in cell proliferation, migration and stress response. Lipids in Health and Disease. 2014 March 19;13(1):51
  10. Quraishi SA, Camargo CA Jr. Vitamin D in acute stress and critical illness. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2012 Nov;15(6):625-34. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e328358fc2b.
  11. Butt MS, Sultan MT, Butt MS, Iqbal J. Garlic: nature’s protection against physiological threats. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2009 Jun;49(6):538-51. doi 11.1080/10408390802145344.
  12. Vinson JA, Zubik L, Bose P, Samman N, Proch J. Dried fruits: excellent in vitro and in vivo antioxidants. J Am Coll Nutr. 2005 Feb;24(1):44-50.
  13. P M Lyons and A S Truswell. Serotonin precursor influenced by type of carbohydrate meal in healthy adults. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
  14. Kwon YI, Apostolidis E, Kim YC, Shetty K. Health benefits of traditional corn, beans, and pumpkin: in vitro studies for hyperglycemia and hypertension management. J Med Food. 2007 Jun;10(2):266-75.
  15. Ninfali P, Angelino D. Nutritional and functional potential of Beta vulgaris cicla and rubra. Fitoterapia. 2013 Sep;89:188-99. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2013.06.004. Epub 2013 Jun 7.
  16. Fernandes PR, Lira FA, Borba VV, Costa MJ, Trombeta IC, Santos Mdo S, Santos Ada C. Vitamin C restores blood pressure and vasodilator response during mental stress in obese children. Arq Bras Cardiol. 2011 Jun;96(6):490-7. Epub 2011 May 6.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What is Perchlorate? 7 Shocking Facts

What is Perchlorate? 7 Shocking Facts

Link to Natural Health & Organic Living Blog

What is Perchlorate? 7 Shocking Facts

Posted: 25 Mar 2014 01:57 PM PDT

Perchlorate is one of the ingredients used to make rocket fuel

With similarities to toxins like bromine, fluorine, and radioactive iodine, perchlorate has gained a lot of attention in recent years. It’s a chemical commonly used in rocket fuel, explosives, fireworks, batteries, bleaches, fertilizers, and airbags; and that barely scratches the surface. Perchlorate has completely proliferated the environment and the health consequences are disastrous. The following facts about perchlorate will shock you and give you strong reason to take the necessary steps to protect your health.

1. Perchlorate is Absolutely a Known Toxin

By all accounts, perchlorate is a horrible toxin to human health and it’s absolute poison to the environment. According to the EPA, perchlorate is detrimental to the thyroid gland, metabolism, and hormonal balance. [1] The California Department of Toxic Substances Control classifies perchlorate as a toxin that seriously threatens the environment and human health. [2]

2. Perchlorate Exposure is Very Common

As a result of rampant industrial pollution, perchlorate has thoroughly contaminated the environment. Lakes, groundwater, tap water, and bottled water have all shown high levels of perchlorate. [3] Environmental pollution seeps directly into the food supply; research shows that the food we eat and the water we drink can be extremely contaminated with perchlorate. [4] Industry fat cats might tell you that it’s “trace” exposure and “not harmful”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Harmful health effects can emerge even from minute exposure. But that doesn’t even matter since we’re well past that point. Contamination has been reported in 49 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. [5]

3. Perchlorate is Poison to the Thyroid

Thyroid gland receptors are especially vulnerable to halogens. If we’re talking about iodine, this is good. If we’re talking about fluorine, bromine, and chlorine, it’s bad. Unfortunately, perchlorate is chemically similar to the harmful halogens and interferes with thyroid function in similar fashion. [6] In fact, because of perchlorate’s limiting effect on the thyroid, it’s even been used to treat an overactive thyroid. [7] According to an article in the American Thyroid Association’s monthly journal, exposure to perchlorate significantly increases the likelihood of developing autoimmune thyroid disease. [8]

4. Children and Pregnant Women are Especially Vulnerable

When perchlorate interferes with iodine absorption and utilization, iodine deficiency can result. Iodine deficiency during pregnancy is known to increase the risk of having a child with mental retardation and stunted growth. [9] Although the United States and Canada have “iodine fortification programs” in place, one study has found that iodine deficiency among pregnant mothers is still common. [10] Women need to be aware of this, as sometimes iodine deficiency causes less apparent early childhood issues like developmental delays and reading problems. [11]

5. Breastfeeding Women Ought to Take Notice

Recent research has noted that breastfeeding women and their babies have a much higher vulnerability to perchlorate than previously thought. Drinking water is only one of many sources of perchlorate exposure that can eventually contaminate breast milk. In fact, research shows perchlorate levels in breast milk are unacceptably high. [12] While using infant formula instead may sound helpful, formula-fed infants also show noticeable levels of perchlorate. [13] [14]

6. The Work Place May Not be a Safe Place

Individuals who work with chemicals containing perchlorate typically have higher levels of the chemical in blood and urine samples. How does this affect their health? In addition to what we already discussed — high blood pressure, reduced lung function, and skin irritation are all common complaints. Additionally, T3 hormone levels (responsible for metabolism, body temperature, heart rate, and development) are often significantly lower. [15]

7. Getting Enough Iodine May Be the Best Defense

Individuals who do not get enough iodine often experience increased effects from perchlorate, even at very low levels of exposure. Without adequate iodine, perchlorate can easily bind to thyroid receptors. [17] As noted by researchers, this can lead to reduced thyroid function and thyroid disease.

Protect Yourself

The ugly truth is that perchlorate contamination is everywhere and avoiding this chemical can be difficult. Proactive defense is the best plan of action. If you’re not drinking purified water, start. If you’re not consuming organic foods, now is the time to begin (even though it’s not a total safeguard). Periodic chemical and toxic metal cleansing, along with supplemental iodine, can also be helpful.

Are you actively on the offense against perchlorate? What steps do you take? Please leave a comment below and share your experience with us.

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM


  1. EPA. Perchlorate. (last accessed 2013-03-20)
  2. California Department of Toxic Substances. Perchlorate. (last accessed 2013-03-20)
  3. Wu Q, Zhang T, Sun H, Kannan K. Perchlorate in tap water, groundwater, surface waters, and bottled water from China and its association with other inorganic anions and with disinfection byproducts. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2010 Apr;58(3):543-50. doi: 10.1007/s00244-010-9485-6. Epub 2010 Feb 17.
  4. Lau FK, deCastro BR, Mills-Herring L, Tao L, Valentin-Blasini L, Alwis KU, Blount BC. Urinary perchlorate as a measure of dietary and drinking water exposure in a representative sample of the United States population 2001-2008. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2013 Mar;23(2):207-14. doi: 10.1038/jes.2012.108. Epub 2012 Nov 28.
  5. EPA. Contaminated Site Clean-Up Information: Perchlorate. (last accessed 2013-03-20)
  6. Steinmaus C, Miller MD, Cushing L, Blount BC, Smith AH. Combined effects of perchlorate, thiocyanate, and iodine on thyroid function in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007-08. Environ Res. 2013 May;123:17-24. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2013.01.005. Epub 2013 Mar 7.
  7. Leung AM, Pearce EN, Braverman LE. Perchlorate, iodine and the thyroid. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Feb;24(1):133-41. doi: 10.1016/j.beem.2009.08.009.
  8. Brent GA. Environmental exposures and autoimmune thyroid disease. Thyroid. 2010 Jul;20(7):755-61. doi: 10.1089/thy.2010.1636.
  9. Melse-Boonstra A, Mackenzie I. Iodine deficiency, thyroid function and hearing deficit: a review. Nutr Res Rev. 2013 Dec;26(2):110-7. doi: 10.1017/S0954422413000061. Epub 2013 Jun 12.
  10. Swanson CA, Pearce EN. Iodine insufficiency: a global health problem? Adv Nutr. 2013 Sep 1;4(5):533-5. doi: 10.3945/an.113.004192.
  11. Bath SC, Steer CD, Golding J, Emmett P, Rayman MP. Effect of inadequate iodine status in UK pregnant women on cognitive outcomes in their children: results from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Lancet. 2013 Jul 27;382(9889):331-7. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)60436-5. Epub 2013 May 22.
  12. Kirk AB, Kroll M, Dyke JV, Ohira S, Dias RA, Dasgupta PK. Perchlorate, iodine supplements, iodized salt and breast milk iodine content. Sci Total Environ. 2012 Mar 15;420:73-8. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.01.045. Epub 2012 Feb 13.
  13. Shelor CP, Kirk AB, Dasgupta PK, Kroll M, Campbell CA, Choudhary PK. Breastfed infants metabolize perchlorate. Environ Sci Technol. 2012 May 1;46(9):5151-9. doi: 10.1021/es2042806. Epub 2012 Apr 20.
  14. Kirk AB, Dyke JV, Ohira S, Dasgupta PK. Relative source contributions for perchlorate exposures in a lactating human cohort. Sci Total Environ. 2013 Jan 15;443:939-43. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.11.072. Epub 2012 Dec 18.
  15. Chen HX, Shao YP, Wu FH, Li YP, Peng KL. [Health survey of plant workers for an occupational exposure to ammonium perchlorate]. Zhonghua Lao Dong Wei Sheng Zhi Ye Bing Za Zhi. 2013 Jan;31(1):45-7.
  16. Lumen A, Mattie DR, Fisher JW. Evaluation of perturbations in serum thyroid hormones during human pregnancy due to dietary iodide and perchlorate exposure using a biologically based dose-response model. Toxicol Sci. 2013 Jun;133(2):320-41. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kft078. Epub 2013 Mar 27.

The post What is Perchlorate? 7 Shocking Facts appeared first on Natural Health & Organic Living Blog.

Dr. Edward Group and Dr. Joseph Mercola Present Groundbreaking Information at California Jam 2014

Posted: 25 Mar 2014 09:57 AM PDT

The most important natural health conference of the year, California Jam 2014, took place in Costa Mesa California last month. Along with amazing individuals like Dr. Joseph Mercola and Andrew Wakefield, I was invited to speak. I have to say, it was an incredible experience. We had brilliant presentations by many chiropractic and natural health experts and thousands of great people were in attendance. It was an honor to be a part of the it!

Stay tuned, we’ll soon be offering a video set of selected presentations. Whether you attended or not, this is definitely a collection you’ll want to add to your library.

I also want to give a huge congratulations to Billy DeMoss for orchestrating such an awesome event and let everyone know to mark their calendars NOW for California Jam 2015 next year!

On Stage Photos

Dr. Edward Group on Stage at Cal Jam 2014

Dr. Edward Group on Stage at Cal Jam 2014

Dr. Edward Group on Stage at Cal Jam 2014

Dr. Edward Group on Stage at Cal Jam 2014

Dr. Edward Group on Stage at Cal Jam 2014

Dr. Edward Group on Stage at Cal Jam 2014

Dr. Edward Group on Stage at Cal Jam 2014

Dr. Edward Group on Stage at Cal Jam 2014

Dr. Edward Group on Stage at Cal Jam 2014

Dr. Edward Group on Stage at Cal Jam 2014


Check back, videos will be added soon!

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

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