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GMOs and Health: Any Risk?

What are GMOs? Are there any risks? If so, what are some of those risks?

This article will attempt to answer those and other questions.

What Are GMOs?

GMOs are Genetically-Modified Organisms. Basically scientists change the genetic code of a plant or animal, often by including part of the genetic code of a different species into it.

Here is one definition and comments:

What are GMOs?
GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.

Virtually all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.

GMOs (also referred to as genetically-engineered foods) are intended to increase crop yield and tend to support the profitability of a USA-based company called Monsanto (and another company, the Switzerland-based Syngenta).

Monsanto and USA government officials tends to insist that GMOs are safe.

Which Items in the Food Supply Have GMOs?

GMOs are sold in grocery and other food stores.

More and more foods and products are being genetically engineered or contain genetically engineered ingredients. Here are eight of the most common to look out for. If a product contains these ingredients and is not labeled non-GMO Verified or Organic Certified, there’s a good chance  it contains GMOs:

  1. Alfalfa
  2. Canola
  3. Corn
  4. Cotton
  5. Papaya
  6. Soy
  7. Sugar Beets
  8. Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash

ALSO high-risk: animal products (milk, meat, eggs, honey, etc.) because of contamination in feed…

What product ingredients commonly contain genetically engineered crops?

Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Ethanol, Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum (

The first GMO in the food supply was the “Flavor Savr” tomato in 1994, but it was not a particular commercial success, and left the food supply in 1997. The company that introduced it, Calgene, was later acquired by Monsanto. Genetically modified (GM) items are all around in the USA.

Notice that synthetic vitamin ingredients, such as Ascorbic Acid, which most companies tend to call Vitamin C, are often GMO (probably because they tend to come from GM-corn.

Frankenstein and GMOs

It is not just plants that are affected by the GMO world.

In Canada, they display some “spider goats”:

Two genetically engineered (also called genetically modified or GM, transgenic) goats are now on display at the Canada Agriculture Museum, Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa. The goats were engineered with genetic material from spiders to create spider silk from their milk, for making military grade textiles. ( viewed 06/05/13)

Mixing arachnids with goats seems naturally crazy. Health Canada is also considering approving some type of GMO pig so it will have less phosphorus in its feces.

There have also been GMO experiments to put human genes into cows to make a different type of baby formula, sponge genes into potatoes so that the top portion will wilt to alert farmers when they need to irrigate, mixing mouse genes with cows, etc.

GMOs may be able to destroy the natural environment and produce odd type of plants, and possibly people. Notice the following from Harvard and the World Health Organization (WHO):

Modified organisms can, in addition, escape from greenhouses and fields and aquaculture cages into natural, or quasi-natural, ecosystems, and disrupt their biodiversity. 

GM foods may also damage biodiversity, for example, by promoting greater use of certain pesticides associated with GM crops that are particularly toxic to many species, and by introducing exotic genes and organisms into the environment that may disrupt natural plant communities and other ecosystems. (Harvard. Genetically Modified Foods. ©2012 Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College. Published by the Center for Health and the Global Environment. viewed 06/05/13)

Gene transfer. Gene transfer from GM foods to cells of the body or to bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract would cause concern if the transferred genetic material adversely affects human health. This would be particularly relevant if antibiotic resistance genes, used in creating GMOs, were to be transferred. …the probability of transfer is low

Outcrossing. The movement of genes from GM plants into conventional crops or related species in the wild (referred to as “outcrossing”), as well as the mixing of crops derived from conventional seeds with those grown using GM crops, may have an indirect effect on food safety and food security. This risk is real, as was shown when traces of a maize type which was only approved for feed use appeared in maize products for human consumption in the United States of America…

Issues of concern include: the capability of the GMO to escape and potentially introduce the engineered genes into wild populations; the persistence of the gene after the GMO has been harvested; the susceptibility of non-target organisms (e.g. insects which are not pests) to the gene product; the stability of the gene; the reduction in the spectrum of other plants including loss of biodiversity; and increased use of chemicals in agriculture. The environmental safety aspects of GM crops vary considerably according to local conditions. (WHO. 20 questions on genetically modified foods. World Health Organization. viewed 06/05/13)

Also, GMOs may contaminate the natural environment, produce unnatural plants, cause humans to get genetically affected, and are a risk to food security.

Bees and GMOs

There have been massive drops in the honey bee population. So much so, some have suggested that the food supply of the USA, for example, is at risk (see Nearly One Third of American Bees Died: Is Famine Coming to the USA?).

It is such a concern overseas that the Europeans have banned certain pesticides for three years to see if that may help their population recover. But it is not just Americans and Europeans that have concerns. Russia is very concerned as the following shows:

The shocking minutes relating to President Putin’s meeting this past week with US Secretary of State John Kerry reveal the Russian leaders “extreme outrage” over the Obama regimes continued protection of global seed and plant bio-genetic giants Syngenta and Monsanto in the face of a growing “bee apocalypse” that the Kremlin warns “will most certainly” lead to world war.

According to these minutes, released in the Kremlin today by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation (MNRE), Putin was so incensed over the Obama regimes refusal to discuss this grave matter that he refused for three hours to even meet with Kerry, who had traveled to Moscow on a scheduled diplomatic mission, but then relented so as to not cause an even greater rift between these two nations.

At the center of this dispute between Russia and the US, this MNRE report says, is the “undisputed evidence” that a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically related to nicotine, known as neonicotinoids, are destroying our planets bee population, and which if left unchecked could destroy our world’s ability to grow enough food to feed its population.

So grave has this situation become, the MNRE reports, the full European Commission (EC) this past week instituted a two-year precautionary ban (set to begin on 1 December 2013) on these “bee killing” pesticides following the lead of Switzerland, France, Italy, Russia, Slovenia and Ukraine, all of whom had previously banned these most dangerous of genetically altered organisms from being used on the continent.

Bees are needed to pollinate many foods. Losses of bees truly put the human food supply at risk. Syngenta recognizes a problem with bees, but does not seem to believe that its products are part of the problem:

There is a lot of publicity throughout Europe blaming pesticides called neonicotinoids for the decline in honey bees and other pollinators…It is clear that the honey bee, which is vital to farming and food production, is beset by a range of different and complicated health threats. (Plight of the Bees. viewed 06/05/13)

The interaction between agriculture and bees is a sensitive one. The balance is very precise, as is the ecology…In the past few years, Europe has experienced a decline in the health of managed honey bees which has resulted in damage to colonies and populations. Many different possible causes have been suggested and promoted. But the overall scientific consensus is that the health decline is caused by many different factors acting together, and principal among them are the parasitic mite Varroa, viruses carried by mites, Nosema ceranae, and the loss of suitable habitats and nutrition. The declines in Europe and the USA are not replicated in other regions. (Plight of the Bees. 06/05/12)

At least Syngenta recognizes that the ecological balance needs to be precise. Yet, adding GMOs into the mix affects the ecological balance.

An Improper Defense of GMOs

Some contend that GMOs are essentially identical to real food, thus are not a threat. Do they have a point?

Notice the following improper defense of GMOs:

June 5, 2103

Perhaps the most difficult thing about being a science journalist is combating and extinguishing malevolent myths, which always seem to spread faster and further than the actual truth. The largest falsehood currently in circulation is that GMOs represent a threat – to our health, to our environment and to our food supply. But nothing could be further from the truth.

GMOs are nutritionally indistinguishable from their non-GMO counterparts…Like agriculture or hunting-and-gathering, GMOs leave an impact on the environment. Some of it is bad, like when farmers overuse the herbicide glyphosate, which in turn may speed the evolution of “superweeds.”…

But the science consistently shows that GMOs pose no threat to our health. Therefore, it would make about as much sense to put a warning label on GMO corn as it would to place a warning label on corn grown in Nebraska. In summary, GMOs really aren’t controversial in the scientific community.

While GMOs may not be controversial to the parts of the “scientific community” that does not look into it in depth, as well as scientists affiliated with certain corporations and government entities, the reality is that they are controversial and are not “nutritionally indistinguisable” to there non-GMO counterparts.

The fact is that GMO “foods” are not chemically-identical to non-GMO foods. One reason, for example, is that many produced by Monsanto are designed to be resistant to their trademarked herbicide called Round-Up. Round-Up kills most non-GMO plants, but not the ones that Monsanto sells that are “Round-Up” resistant.

Thus, they cannot be nutritionally-identical because they are not chemically-identical.

Everything with GMOs is Not Good

Some cracks in the vulnerability of GMOs have been discovered.

For example, a type of corn humanly engineered to thwart a certain bug now has resistance to what was supposed to kill it:

Monsanto Corn Plant Losing Bug Resistance
Wall Street Journal – Aug 29, 2011

Widely grown corn plants that Monsanto Co. genetically modified to thwart a voracious bug are falling prey to that very pest in a few Iowa fields, the first time a major Midwest scourge has developed resistance to a genetically modified crop.

The discovery raises concerns that the way some farmers are using biotech crops could spawn superbugs.

Iowa State University entomologist Aaron Gassmann’s discovery that western corn rootworms in four northeast Iowa fields have evolved to resist the natural pesticide made by Monsanto’s corn plant…

This news item provides further secular proof that my long-held beliefs concerning the risks of genetically-modified foods are getting more current scientific validation. Corn, more properly known as maize, is a very important food crop in the USA.  Furthermore, as Wikipedia reports, 85% of the US maize crop was genetically modified in 2009.  This increased dependance upon genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) for the American food supply is putting the USA at tremendous risk

Superweeds pose GM-resistant challenge for farmers

BBC – Sept 18, 2012
US farmers are facing a growing challenge from weeds resistant to chemical sprays, and enduring millions of dollars in losses as a result. The so-called “superweeds” have arisen because of the success of genetically modified crops, which now account for the vast majority of US corn, soya and cotton.
Genetically engineered (GE) crops are often discussed as the way to feed the world’s growing populations and to mitigate the affects of climate change. But the spreading of those same genetically engineered traits to weeds is now well documented. Invasive plants become “super weeds” and insects develop resistance to the trait, making them even tougher to fight than they were before the use of GE crops.

How Genetically Modified Corn Is Creating Super Worms

There’s “mounting evidence” that Monsanto Co. (MON) corn that’s genetically modified to control insects is losing its effectiveness in the Midwest, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said.

Monsanto’s worst resistance problem is with crops engineered to tolerate its Roundup herbicide. “Superweeds” that Roundup no longer kills have invaded as many as 20 million acres (8.1 million hectares) of corn and soybeans, according to a Dow study. As many as 28 million acres of cotton, soybean and corn may host Roundup-resistant weeds by 2015, according to Basel, Switzerland-based Syngenta.

Corn fields in four states — Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Nebraska — were overrun by rootworm last year, prompting the EPA to say in a November memo that Monsanto’s bug-killing corn may be losing its effectiveness. The agency also said at the time that Monsanto’s program for monitoring suspected cases of resistance was “inadequate.”

I have been warning about GMOs for some time. Back in 1999, I started to get published for my positions against genetically-modified foods (Thiel R.  Labeling of genetically modified foods should be a fundamental consumer right.  HealthKeepers, 2000; 2 (3):16-19; Thiel R. ANMA’s official position on genetically-modified foods.  ANMA Monitor, 1999;3(4)5-8). 

GMOs Present Health Risks

Are GMOs safe. Notice the following:

Are GMOs safe?
Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe. In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale. Increasingly, Americans are taking matters into their own hands and choosing to opt out of the GMO experiment…

In the U.S., GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed food. Click here for a current list of GMO risk crops.

Some have claimed that rats fed GMO corn developed tumors and organ damage:

Rats fed a lifetime diet of Monsanto’s genetically engineered corn or exposed to the company’s popular Roundup herbicide developed tumors and suffered severe organ damage, according to a French study…The study links varying levels of both the Roundup herbicide and the transgenes in Monsanto’s patented NK603 corn to mammary tumors and severe liver and kidney damage.

The rats were either fed the NK603 corn alone, corn treated with agricultural levels of Roundup, or given water treated with Roundup at low levels commonly found in contaminated drinking water and used in agriculture in the United States. In each group, there were two to three more deaths among female rats compared to control groups, and the rats on the Monsanto diet tended to die more quickly. (Ludwig M. French Study Finds Tumors and Organ Damage in Rats Fed Monsanto Corn. September 19, 2012. viewed 06/05/13)

While some have dismissed the above study, the reality is that it is giving humans an indication that GMOs do present health risks. Notice also:

A delegation of politicians and community activists gathered on August 7 in La Leonesa, a small farm town in Argentina, to hear Dr. Andres Carrasco speak about a study linking a popular herbicide to birth defects in Argentina’s agricultural areas.

But the presentation never happened. A mob of about 100 people attacked the delegation before they could reach the local school where the talk was to be held…Carrasco is a lead embryologist at the University of Buenos Aires Medical School and the Argentinean national research council. His study, first released in 2009 and published in the United States this past summer, shows that glyphosate-based herbicides like Monsanto’s popular Roundup formula caused deformations in chicken embryos that resembled the kind of birth defects being reported in areas like La Leonesa, where big agribusinesses depend on glyphosate to treat genetically engineered crops.

The deformations resulted from much lower doses of herbicide than those commonly found on crops, according to the study.

Biotech chemical giant Monsanto patented glyphosate under the trade name Roundup in the 1970’s. (Ludwig M. War Over Monsanto Gets Ugly. November 9, 2010. viewed 06/05/13)

Notice also the following:

“Is Genetically Modified Food Killing Us?” Alex Daley asks in today’s Daily Reckoning. “Probably not,” he confidently responds to his own question. But the worldwide scientific community is slightly less confident. The long-term effects of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are simply unknowable…

No, the problem with GMOs is not that they might kill us; the problem is that we have no idea how they might kill us. We have no idea if they might harm us quickly, or slowly…or not at all.

More importantly, we have no idea if — down the road — they might catastrophically alter the genetic traits of various organisms — in particular, the human organism. Therefore, the entire GMO experiment promises feast or famine…literally. (Eric Fry)

The new wheat is in early-stage field trials (i.e., it’s been planted to grow somewhere, but has not yet been tested for human consumption), part of a multi-year process on its way to potential approval and not unlike the rigorous process many drugs go through. The researchers conducting this trial are using RNAi to turn down the production of glycogen. They are targeting the production of the wheat branching enzyme which, if suppressed, would result in a much lower starch level for the wheat. The result would be a grain with a lower glycemic index — i.e., healthier wheat.

This is a noble goal. However, Professors Heinemann and Carman warn, there’s a risk that the gene-silencing done to these plants might make its way into humans and wreak havoc on our bodies. In their press conference and subsequent papers, they describe the possibility that the siRNA molecules — which are pretty hardy little chemicals and not easily gotten rid of — could wind up interacting with our RNA.

If their theories prove true, the results might be as bad as mimicking glycogen storage disease IV, a super-rare genetic disorder which almost always leads to early childhood death…the wheat might cause very severe adverse reactions in humans. (Alex Daley) (Daily Reckoning. November 28, 2012)

Here is a report from Harvard:

The decrease in glutelin levels in rice, for example, was associated with an unintended increase in levels of compounds called prolamines, which can affect the nutritional quality of rice and increase its potential to induce an allergic response. (Harvard. Genetically Modified Foods. ©2012 Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College. Published by the Center for Health and the Global Environment. viewed 06/05/13)

The fact is that GMOs are not natural foods and pose a lot of health risks. Despite what various science and health professionals wish to imply, the plain truth is much about nutrition is simply not known. What is known is that humans survived on non-GMO foods for millenia. GMOs simply have not been tested enough to insure that they will not cause problems.

Monsanto Has Special Legal Protection

As happens in politics in the USA, a bill that was supposed to do one thing, had an attachment to do something not related to the intent of the bill:

Critics slam Obama for “protecting” Monsanto

There’s no love lost between Washington and the American public, it seems, five days after Congress for the first time in years managed to handle a budget-related issue without reaching the brink of crisis.

Protesters have descended on Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House this week, enraged at a potentially health-hazardous provision they allege lawmakers inserted surreptitiously into a continuing resolution (CR) that will fund the government through the remainder of the fiscal year. The bill sailed through the Capitol on Friday; President Obama signed it into law on Tuesday.

Opponents have termed the language in question the “Monsanto Protection Act,” a nod to the major agricultural biotech corporation and other like firms geared at producing genetically modified organisms (GMO) and genetically engineered (GE) seeds and crops. The provision protects genetically modified seeds from litigation suits over health risks posed by the crops’ consumption.

Obama signs ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ written by Monsanto-sponsored senator

United States President Barack Obama has signed a bill into law that was written in part by the very billion-dollar corporation that will benefit directly from the legislation.

On Tuesday, Pres. Obama inked his name to H.R. 933, a continuing resolution spending bill approved in Congress days earlier. Buried 78 pages within the bill exists a provision that grossly protects biotech corporations such as the California-based Monsanto Company from litigation.

With the president’s signature, agriculture giants that deal with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically engineered (GE) seeds are given the go-ahead to continue to plant and sell man-made crops, even as questions remain largely unanswered about the health risks these types of products pose to consumers.

Overseas, this is not making the USA popular.

Around the world, thousands marched against the Missouri-headquartered multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation called Monsanto:

May 26, 2013…

Organizers said “March Against Monsanto” protests were held in 52 countries and 436 cities, including Los Angeles where demonstrators waved signs that read “Real Food 4 Real People” and “Label GMOs, It’s Our Right to Know.”

Genetically modified plants are grown from seeds that are engineered to resist insecticides and herbicides, add nutritional benefits or otherwise improve crop yields and increase the global food supply. Most corn, soybean and cotton crops grown in the United States today have been genetically modified. But critics say genetically modified organisms can lead to serious health conditions and harm the environment. The use of GMOs has been a growing issue of contention in recent years, with health advocates pushing for mandatory labeling of genetically modified products…

Protesters in Buenos Aires and other cities in Argentina, where Monsanto’s genetically modified soy and grains now command nearly 100% of the market, and the company’s Roundup-Ready chemicals are sprayed throughout the year on fields where cows once grazed. They carried signs saying “Monsanto-Get out of Latin America”

In Portland, thousands of protesters took to Oregon streets. Police estimate about 6,000 protesters took part in Portland’s peaceful march, and about 300 attended the rally in Bend. Other marches were scheduled in Baker City, Coos Bay, Eugene, Grants Pass, Medford, Portland, Prineville and Redmond.

Across the country in Orlando, about 800 people gathered with signs, pamphlets and speeches in front of City Hall. Maryann Wilson of Clermont, Fla., said she learned about Monsanto and genetically modified food by watching documentaries on YouTube.

“Scientists are saying that because they create their own seeds, they are harming the bees,” Wilson told the Orlando Sentinel. “That is about as personal as it gets for me.”

In order to take full control of the global food chain the world’s largest owner of patents on seeds Monsanto is lobbying, bribing, suing small farmers out of business and altering scientific research, geopolitical analyst F. William Engdahl told RT.

Hundreds of thousands around the world gathered on Saturday in a global move dubbed ‘March Against Monsanto’.

Protesters all across the US joined the march calling for a boycott of Monsanto products, following the Senate’s decision to turn down a bill which requires the labeling of GM food.

RT: What’s wrong with GM food?

William Engdahl: The fundamental problem with GM food that it’s genetically and biologically unstable. There’s no genetic modification known to science and this I have from some of top scientists in the world on this question that’s stable – it’s always mutating. And No.2, all the GM products that are in the human and animal food chain over the last 20 years are modified primarily to do one thing – 80 per cent of all the GM is modified to accept chemicals, the pesticides. Monsanto Roundup being the most prominent of them, which are highly, highly toxic and they’re modified to be resistant to that deadly chemical so that it kills everything inside, except the Monsanto corn or the Monsanto soy beans or what will you. All those chemicals are equally as dangerous to the human food chain as the GMO seeds themselves.

There are many, many risks with GMO crops.

As far as bees go, their population keeps dropping (see Nearly One Third of American Bees Died: Is Famine Coming to the USA?).  Furthermore, there are a lot of unanticipated problems from GMOs.  For example, because of the use of GMO corn, the amount of milkweeds have diminished–hence the herbicide intent of GMOs  has negative side effect.  This in turn has diminished the amount of monarch butterflies as they benefit from milkweed.  Additionally, scientists are combining a variety of animal genes as well as creatures like spiders.  This is not going to end well.  As far as nutritional benefits of GMOs, many of those ‘benefits’ are based upon a lot of assumptions that I do not believe hold up well in the real world and will leave at that for now.

While the supposed intent of GMOs is to increase the food supply and provide crops that are resistant to pesticides, the reality is that the GMO thrust is essentially based upon lust for profits. Notice also the following:

GMOs didn’t come to dominate our agricultural system simply because they’re awesome, and they’re not struggling for acceptance because the public is fearful and/or misinformed. Corporations made billions on GMOs and all we got was ethanol and an unsustainable diet. (Laskawy T. Frankenfoods: Good for Big Business, bad for the rest of us. May 2013 viewed 06/05/13)

The production of GMO crops places massive amounts of the food supply at risk for destruction.  While in nature, there is variety of crops, with GMO-crops there is a uniformity that is unnatural.  This uniformity puts the entire crop at risk as if one plant succumbs to a pesticide, the entire crop is susceptible as well–this can lead to famines. 

While multiple thousands have protested in the USA and internationally, the GMO industry pushes forward.

GMOs Have “Unexpected” Results

Many things associated with GMOs are unknown, and most of what has gone wrong so far was “unexpected” by Monsanto and the government.

In the last few years, however, there have been unsettling “incidents”: a shipment of organic corn from Texas was rejected by France (GMO foods are banned in Europe, Japan, Brazil, and other nations) because it contained the altered genes, apparently the result of pollen drifting from farms growing altered corn onto the fields of the organic farmers; a load of GMO corn not approved for human consumption ended up unannounced in Taco Bell’s corn products; scientists found that Monarch butterflies were sickened and dying from exposure in the Midwest to GMO grain; Mexico, which does not allow GMO corn it its country, has found native varieties deep in the country’s interior to be tainted by Monsanto’s corn pollen, which had drifted hundreds of miles, much farther and in a much quicker time than the industry and our government thought possible. (Hightower J. Frankenfood Corporate bioengineers tinker merrily and dangerously with the DNA of food bioengineers tinker merrily and dangerously with the DNA of food. Utne, June 2004. viewed 06/05/13)

Although ‘experts’ have claimed that there is no GMO wheat in the food supply, the USA government now has reason to doubt that (note bolding below is from me):

WASHINGTON — A strain of genetically engineered wheat never approved for sale or consumption by authorities was found sprouting on a farm in Oregon, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Wednesday.

The wheat was developed years ago by biotechnology company Monsanto Co. but never put into use because of worldwide opposition to genetically engineered wheat…

Roughly half of the U.S. wheat crop is exported and most of the crop is used in making food such as breads, pastries, cookies and noodles. USDA officials said the Food and Drug Administration determined years ago there is no health risk to humans from the strain, though.

“Hopefully, our trading partners will be very understanding,” Michael Scuse, the acting U.S. deputy agriculture secretary, said at a briefing with reporters.

Scuse said trading partners and major customers for U.S. wheat had been informed of the discovery over the past day.

Genetically modified crops cannot be grown legally in the United States unless the government approves them after a review to ensure they pose no threat to the environment or to people.

Monsanto entered four strains of glyphosate-resistant wheat for U.S. approval in the 1990s but there was no final decision by regulators because the company decided there was no market.

The genetically modified wheat sprouted this spring on an Oregon farm, in a field that grew winter wheat in 2012.

When the farmer sprayed the so-called “volunteer” plants with a glyphosate herbicide, some of them unexpectedly survived. Samples were then sent to Oregon State University and to USDA for analysis…

Scuse and Michael Firko, who oversees USDA’s biotechnology approval process, said USDA was investigating how the strain appeared on the farm when no seeds should have been available for several years.

“I think it will have a significant impact,” said Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Association, which battled to keep genetically modified wheat out of the marketplace years ago.

The U.S. Senate last week rejected by a wide margin a measure to allow states to order labeling of food made with genetically engineered, or GE, crops. Cummins said the discovery of the rogue plants in Oregon would accelerate efforts to require GE food labels. (US Finds Unapproved Genetically Modified Wheat in Oregon. Reuters. May 29, 2013. viewed 05/29/13)

There are many, many risks with GMO crops.  Notice that this crop allegedly occurred because “some of them unexpectedly survived.”

No matter what the USA government or other officials claim, there is no humanly possible way to guarantee that genetically-modified organisms ” no threat to the environment or to people.”

The fact that this GMO strain of wheat survived when presumably USA government and/or Monsanto scientists did not think that it could is further proof (there have been other “unexpected” incidents as well).

Some of the results are affecting the USA economically:

It has already begun: Japan has just cancelled a large contract to purchase U.S. wheat. “We will refrain from buying western white and feed wheat effective today,” Toru Hisadome, a Japanese farm ministry official in charge of wheat trading, told Reuters…Now we’re already seeing the result: the ditching of U.S. wheat by world nations that want nothing to do with GMOs.

Monsanto is a ticking time bomb for U.S. agriculture

This proves, without any question, that Monsanto’s genetic experiments which “escaped” into commercial wheat fields are now going to devastate U.S. wheat farmers. Expect the floor to drop out on wheat prices, and watch for a huge backlash against the USDA by U.S. farmers who stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars on this.

As the USDA has now admitted, Monsanto’s GMO experiments from 1998 – 2005 were held in open wheat fields. The genetically engineered wheat escaped and found its way into commercial wheat fields in Oregon (and possibly 15 other states), causing self-replicating genetic pollution that now taints the entire U.S. wheat industry.

“Asian consumers are keenly sensitive to gene-altered food, with few countries allowing imports of such cereals for human consumption,” writes Reuters. It continues:

Asia imports more than 40 million tonnes of wheat annually, almost a third of the global trade of 140-150 million tonnes. The bulk of the region’s supplies come from the United States, the world’s biggest exporter, and Australia, the No. 2 supplier.  Another incredible Monsanto achievement: the genetic contamination of the U.S. wheat supply

Nice job, Monsanto. You’ve managed to spew your genetic pollution across the fields of innocent U.S. farmers who are now going to lose huge sums of money due to the reject of U.S. wheat by all the other world nations that refuse to feed their populations GMO…

Genetically modified wheat is only the beginning. Monsanto has no doubt unleashed genetic pollution across many other crops as well. We’re now living in an age where Monsanto is essentially ejaculating its patented seed across all the farms of America, then claiming to “own” the contaminated crops. (Adams M. Monsanto is a Ticking Time Bomb for U.S. Agriculture: Japan halts Imports of U.S. Wheat after USDA’s Finding of Genetic Pollution from GMOs. Natural News, June 2, 2013. viewed 06/02/13).

There are many risks of GMOs. And what may happen to the USA because of them will also be considered as “unexpected” by most government officials.

Are GMOs Putting the USA at Risk for Famine?

Notice also:

Now it appears that GMO crop failures are growing. Do we face the risk of famine as well?

In 2009 the South African Corn Crop Failure was linked to GMO seeds(1). “On January 17 [2010], internationally recognized plant pathologist Dr. Don Huber, wrote a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack warning of the discovery of a new pathogen and a possible link between Roundup Ready® (GMO) corn and soybeans and severe reproductive problems in livestock as well as widespread crop failure.”(2)This past March, scientists with the Natural Society called for immediate action to stop the GMO crop failure threat(3).

The USDA did nothing…

The Biotech system, that provides through “user fees” most of the FDA and USDA budget, can never be questioned.

Could it be, though, that GMO cloned monoculture itself is to blame? Are these chimeric species failing when they face stressed conditions?…

GMOs literally invade natural species and infect them with “alien” DNA. We need to rid the planet of these dangerous species that could lead to famine if not checked. (Bert G. Famine in America. July 11, 2012. viewed 06/05/13)

As the above suggests, the reality is that hunger is not just something that will affect children and poor outside the USA.

Concluding Comments

GMOs are not real food. Humans are supposed to eat real foods.

The increasing reliance on genetically-engineered “foods” is putting the USA’s food supply at risk.

The consumption of synthetic vitamins is one way that many in the USA consume GMOs.

Do you avoid GMOs? Something to think about.

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Dealing with 21 Types of Energy Complaints using Food Nutrition

Natural health professionals have long seen people with energy complaints.  Energy issues appear to be the number one complaint that even medical doctors hear [1].  Some people seem to think that everyone benefits from the same product for energy complaints, but that simply has not been my experience.  Many causes, including various nutritional deficiencies have been postulated as potentially contributing to low energy [2-8]. 

One clinical trial I conducted involving 101 people with long-term energy complaints found that the average low energy person had 2.4 reflex factors that possibly contributed to low energy [9]–which suggests that some had only one factor, while most had multiple factors.  It is important to note that Reflex Nutrition Assessment (RNA, a form of “muscle-testing”), which was used in this trial, is not a diagnostic tool.  It should also be noted that reflexes are not medical conditions; they do not necessarily correlate with any medical condition, even if the names are the same or similar to a medical condition (many of the reflex names were developed last century based upon eastern and western views of energy systems and meridian patterns, by acupuncturists, chiropractors, nutritionists, and naturopaths, but not medical doctors).

I should mention here that one does not have to be a “muscle-testing” doctor or master RNA in order to benefit from the information here on energy concerns.  Many of the specific types of energy complaints that I plan to discuss are independent of the need to muscle-test.

That being said, RNA itself is based on the holistic premise that each individual is unique.  It is based on the premise that generalized nutritional recommendations not only do not meet the optimal nutritional needs of every person; there is no conceivable way that they could.  RNA is also based on the belief that the human body is capable of recognizing some of its nutrient needs.  It is presented as an interesting source of ancillary information for nutritional assessments.  Many authorities considered as health experts do not believe that assessment techniques like RNA can have any value while other health practitioners utilize the technique

Reflex assessment revealed that some participants had problems with as many as five energy reflexes.  The following table lists the frequency of subjects with issues for each reflex:

Table 1
Frequency by Reflex
Thyroid             57.4%
Adrenal             33.7%
Pancreas            29.7%
B Vitamin         24.8%
Heart             15.8%
Blood             10.9%
Umbilicus             8.9%
Collar Lymphatic       5.9%
Jaw Lymphatic           5.0%
Colon                 5.0%
Lower Lymphatic            2.0%

With nutritional intervention, 88.12% of participants reported improved energy within 30 days. 99.01% reported improved energy within 60 days; this trial did not attempt to quantify the degree of improvement.

The high incidence of thyroid reflex involvement (57.4%) appears consistent with a medical study which found that 61% of people with long-term energy complaints ate little, if any, salt or highly salted foods [7].  Consumption of iodized salt is the main way that most Americans receive iodine [11].  The other way is to eat foods that naturally contain organic iodine such as sea vegetables [12].  The only known need for iodine in the human body is to nutritionally support the normal function of the thyroid gland [11]. 

Perhaps I should add that I had two other holistic studies related to energy concerns published.  One showed that 30 out of 30 (100%) [13] had energy improvement and the other had 128 out of 130 (98.46%) [14] people reporting higher levels of energy based upon my recommendations.  My recommendations were based upon the diets and history of those with specific energy complaints, normally combined with RNA or some other form of muscle-testing.  And in our clinic, I still regularly see and help people with energy complaints.

There are dozens of different types of energy complaints that can respond to nutrition.  This article will discuss the individual factors—and expect you to figure out combinations.  And it will list the causes in alphabetical order, which is not generally the order of predominance in the general population.

•    After meal low energy.  These people may or may not have normal energy levels but tend to have less after eating certain, or even all, foods.  I tend to recommend GB-Support and/or Digesti-Pan, or for vegans, Pro-Enzymes, to nutritionally support a healthy digestive system.  Muscle testing professionals may wish to check the gall duct, stomach, pancreas and umbilicus reflexes, the first three of which are located below the ribs in a consecutive order from right to left, with the Umbilicus reflex located over the naval.  If the Umbilicus reflex presents an issue, also consider the last section later here called Umbilicus reflex low energy.

•    Athletic energy.  These people may or may not have normal energy levels but tend to want more in order to maximize energy because of various goals that they may have.  Science, of course, supports the view that nutrition and foods can be helpful here [15].  I often recommend Cardio-Power, Metabolic Thyro, Simply Adrenal, and/or Anxie-Tone to nutritionally support a healthy circulatory system.  For vegans I tend to recommend Co-Q10 Cardio, Vegetarian Thyro, Vegetarian Adrenal, and/or Vegetarian Tryptophan.  Muscle testing professionals may wish to check the heart, thyroid, adrenal, and mental fatigue reflexes, which are located in the center of the chest (heart reflex), middle of the throat (thyroid reflex), under either arm (adrenal reflex), and the right side of the head (mental fatigue reflex).  Another way to check the Heart reflex is by having both arms outstretched in front with both hands together, while applying pressure to the wrists.

•    B vitamin energy complaints.  These people tend to have cyclical dips in their energy levels, but do not complain of regular dips in afternoon energy, only occasional dips.  Obviously, I am only recommending 100% food B vitamins here. I have written papers on the dangers on synthetic B vitamins [16], as well as specifically on folic acid [17] which I do not feel is safe to recommend for simple energy complaints.  I might recommend B Stress Complex or Food Vitamin B-6, B-12, & Folate, if additional food B vitamins may be helpful.  Of course, I tend to put most of my clientele on the best multi that I know of, Food Vitamin-Mineral, which contains a spectrum of B vitamins, as well as other vitamins and minerals.  Muscle-testing professionals may wish to check the B Vitamin reflex, which is located on the upper left side of the chest.

•    Circadian reflex low energy.  It is fairly common that people with energy complaints also have problems with the circadian reflex.  There is normally not one-size that fits all, especially in this situation.  Depending on how they muscle-test, I tend to recommend Restful-Mind Support, Calcium Complex, Cal-Mag Complex, Magnesium Complex, Anxie-Tone, Simply Hypothalamus, and/or Vegetarian Tryptophan to nutritionally support a healthy circadian system.  For the same system, some women tend to sometimes benefit from Le Feminine Advantage, Simply Mammary, and/or Simply Ovary.  Muscle-testing professionals may wish to check the Circadian reflex, which is located on the left side of the head.

•    Collar Lymphatic reflex low energy.  These are often people with limited energy on good days and even less other days.  If I confirm this through RNA, I tend to recommend Thymo-Immune; and Vira-Bac-Yst for vegans, and sometimes both for non-vegans in order to support a healthy lymphatic system.  Muscle-testing professionals would want to check the Collar Lymphatic reflex, which is located just inside the collar bone.  If the Collar reflex is involved, I almost always also consider recommending Zinc Complex.

•    Colon reflex low energy.  It is not that uncommon for people with energy complaints to also have problems with the Colon reflex.  The Colon reflex is located on the lower left of the abdomen and is normally checked with the three middle fingers of one hand (if checked with one finger, then I tend to recommend Magnesium Complex and/or Detox-N-Cleanse).  For the three finger check, I tend to recommend Para-Dysbio-Zyme, which is a vegan formula, to nutritionally support a healthy digestive system.  People normally take it in between meals.  It contains raw almonds, and raw nuts naturally contain enzyme inhibitors [20], which theoretically allow Para-Dysbio-Zyme to pass further into the digestion system.  If it is taken with food, the body secretes more digestive fluids which tends to not allow Para-Dysbio-Zyme to go as far.  When stubborn Colon reflex problems are encountered, I also will tend to add Probio-Zyme-Yst, Arginase Bladder, and/or Vira-Bac-Yst.  Nutritional support for Colon reflexes sometimes cause temporary complaints of nausea and/or gurgling sounds.

•    Constant energy complaints.  There are many possible causes of having constant energy complaints.  Many people like this have multiple factors that make them feel that way.  Food iron is sometimes indicated here.  One of the reasons that I like food iron is that it is not constipating like the “normal” iron-containing supplements that almost everyone else supplies.  If that food iron is what I think is needed, I tend to recommend Hematic Formula. If this is the right product, people tend to notice energy improvements within a month.  Muscle-testing professionals may wish to check the Blood reflex, which is located on the middle of the chest.

•    Jaw Lymphatic reflex low energy.  These are often people with limited energy on good days and even less other days.  Dairy can sometimes make the energy situation worse, though most people with this energy issue this do not see any direct connection.  If I confirm this through RNA, I tend to recommend Thymo-Immune; and Vira-Bac-Yst for vegans, and sometimes both for non-vegans in order to support a healthy lymphatic system.  Muscle-testing professionals would want to check the Jaw Lymphatic reflex, which is located just under the jaw bone.  or the strep reflex, which is just inside the collar bone.  If the strep reflex is involved, also consider recommending Zinc Complex.

•    Low afternoon energy.  These people tend to complain that their energy dips most in the afternoon.  Some of them also tend to have other cyclical dips in their energy levels.  Nutrition to support a healthy thyroid is sometimes indicated here.  I tend to recommend products such as Metabolic Thyro, Simply Thyroid, or Vegetarian Thyro, and aging people sometimes prefer Migratrol.  Nutritional support for the thyroid is normally best taken in the morning and/or lunch time. Thyroid nutritional support can keep some people awake if taken late in the day and can temporarily increase appetite.  While I like bovine glandular-containing supplements, there are also various herbs and food nutrients that I like as well [18]. Muscle-testing professionals may wish to check the Thyroid reflex, which is located on the throat.  Supporting the thyroid nutritionally tends to take between a couple of weeks and three months for people to notice improvement. 

•    Low mineral energy.  People like this have low energy because their mineral levels are low.  Food magnesium, calcium, chromium, iron, or zinc are most often indicated here.  I tend to recommend Magnesium Complex, Calcium Complex, Cal-Mag Complex, Gluco-Sugar Balance (source of food chromium), Hematic Formula (source of food iron), Zinc Complex, and/or Vitamin Mineral (source of essential trace minerals.  Sometimes, I will recommend the Vitamin-Mineral Shake, especially for people that prefer not to swallow tablets or capsules.  Muscle-testing professionals may wish to check the calcium reflex, which is located on both sides of the throat to check for calcium and/or magnesium needs.  Chromium needs can often be determined by the Pancreatic reflex, which is on the left middle side of the body just below the ribs.  Iron needs can sometimes be determined by the blood reflex which is in the middle of the chest.  Zinc needs can sometimes be checked with the Thymus reflex which is at the base of the collar bone or the Prostate reflex, which is located a few inches below the naval. 

•    Low morning energy.  These people tend to complain that their energy is really low first thing in the morning.  Some of them also tend to have other cyclical dips in their energy levels.  Nutrition to support a healthy adrenal system is sometimes indicated here.  I tend to recommend products such as High Stress Adrenal, Simply Adrenal, or Vegetarian Adrenal, and some people sometimes prefer Vegetarian Tyrosine.  Muscle-testing professionals may wish to check the Adrenal reflexes, which can be found under the arms or on the back. 

•    Low mental energy.  These people complain that they have low mental energy.  If I do not believe that the thyroid or adrenal glands need to be supported nutritionally (and they might, see Low afternoon energy and Low morning energy respectively), I tend to the try to nutritionally support healthy brain function. I most typically recommend Serious Brain Enhancer or Simply Brain, or Simply Hypothalamus, and Vegetarian Tryptophan for vegans. Muscle-testing professionals may wish to check the Brain reflex, which is located on the upper right portion of the forehead. 

•    Low premenstrual energy.  These are women who tend to have low energy complaints several days per month, normally before or around their menstrual cycle.  Although mycotic infections can play a role [19], nutritional support for a healthy thyroid can be helpful.  I most typically recommend Simply Thyroid for 4-9 days per month, and Vegetarian Thyro for vegans. Muscle-testing professionals may wish to check the Thyroid reflex, which is located on the throat.

•    Low sexual energy, female.  These are women who once had a sex drive, but who now have diminished sex drive.  For many women, nutrition to support a healthy thyroid will help enough here.  Others need to take the same type of products that men with prostate reflex concerns take and/or herbal support is often indicated.  I tend to recommend Libida-Life, Metabolic Thyro and if something else is needed, sometimes Prosta-Power.  Muscle-testing professionals may wish to check the Master Female Hormone reflex, which is located at the tip of the nose.

•    Low sexual energy, male.  These are men, who, like most men, show diminished sexual energy as they age.  Nutrition to support a healthy prostate is sometimes indicated here.  I tend to recommend Prosta-Power and Libida-Life, and less often, also Simply Orchic.  Muscle-testing professionals may wish to check the Prostate reflex, which is located a few inches below the naval.

•    Lower Lymphatic reflex low energy.  This is one of the stubborn types of low energy complaints as it accompanies concerns about the Lower Lymphatic reflex.  Herbs such as wild oregano, olive leaf extract, and buckwheat leaf are often helpful.  So, I tend to recommend Vira-Bac-Yst which contains all of them in order to nutritionally support a healthy immune system.  Muscle-testing professionals may wish to check the Lower Lymphatic reflex, which is located a half inch below the naval.

•    Recurring low energy complaints.  These are often people with limited energy on good days and even less other days.  Dairy can sometimes make the energy situation worse, though most like this do not see any direct connection.  If I confirm this through RNA, I tend to recommend Thymo-Immune, and Vira-Bac-Yst for vegans to nutritionally support a healthy thymus gland.  And sometimes both for non-vegans.  Muscle-testing professionals may wish to check the Jaw Lymphatic reflex, which is located just under the jaw bone.

•    Severely low energy.  There are some people who have severely low energy for no apparent reason.  Sometimes, nutritional support for a healthy heart, healthy thyroid, healthy adrenals glands, or healthy blood might be tried.  As I have already gone over nutritional support for the thyroid, blood, and adrenal glands, I will mention that nutrition to support a healthy heart includes Cardio-Power or Simply Cardio; and for vegetarians, Co-Q10 Cardio.  I tend to recommend that the cardio-glandulars (Cardio-Power, Simply Cardio) not be taken late in the day as they can sometimes affect sleep.  People sometimes notice energy improvements in days, while others take many weeks if the supplements are a match to the people’s needs.  Muscle testing professionals may wish to check the heart reflex which is located in the center of the chest.   Another way to check the heart reflex is by having both arms outstretched in front with both hands together, while applying pressure to the wrists.

•    Thymus reflex low energy.  If I confirm this through RNA, I tend to recommend Intracellular Cough and/or Thymo-Immune, and Vira-Bac-Yst for vegans to nutritionally support a healthy thymus gland, and the thymus is part of a healthy immune system.  Muscle-testing professionals would want to check the Thymus reflex, which is located at the meeting of the collar bone.

•    Toxic reflex low energy.  These are often people with limited energy.  If I confirm this through RNA, I tend to recommend vegan DeTox-N-Cleanse, vegan Aller-Lung-Support, and/or Liva-DeTox & Support to nutritionally support a healthy lymphatic system.   Muscle-testing professionals would want to check the Toxic reflex which is located just above the breast on the left side (this can also be checked by having female clients touching this spot, and checking the reflex through her elbow).  Sometimes the Lung reflex, which is located at the junction of the collar bone and right shoulder or the Bowel reflex, which is located to the left of center of the abdomen can also or instead be an issue for toxic low energy.

•    Umbilicus reflex low energy.  This is a stubborn type of low energy complaint and it accompanies concerns about the umbilicus reflex.  Sometimes avoiding wheat, gluten, alcohol, sweets, and/or refined carbohydrates is indicated.  I tend to recommend vegetarian Probio-Zyme-Yst and frequently vegan Vira-Bac-Yst to nutritionally support a healthy digestive system, as well to sometimes support healthy skin.  Sometimes, for the same reasons, I will also recommend GB-Support, Thymo-Immune, Arginase Bladder, and/or Digesti-Pan, or for vegans, Pro-Enzymes.  Muscle-testing professionals may wish to check the umbilicus reflex, which is located at the belly button.

If you master and understand what I hope to have taught you, you should be able to help the overwhelming majority of people who come to your office with energy complaints.

For years I have been teaching naturally inclined health professionals how to use food nutrition to help people with energy complaints [20].  I even have been consulted by athletes and professionals involved with the International Olympics.  But your clients do not have to be star athletes to benefit from nutrition.  There are many types of energy complaints, for which food nutrition should be considered as a first line of support for human energy systems. 

Some of the papers the related video referenced can be found at and all of the products that I mentioned can be found at (non-USA based professionals may wish to go to for suppliers in their area).

Those interested in learning even more may wish to get our book Serious Nutrition:  Incorporating Clinically Effective Nutrition Into Your Practice, which is available at or

Those interested in muscle-testing, may wish to get our chart on Reflex Nutrition Assessement, which is  available by calling 1-805-489-7185

[1] Kroenke, Kurt. Interviewing the patient with chronic fatigue syndrome. Infectious Disease News: 2, Oct 1991
[2] Demitrack, Mark. Chronic fatigue syndrome: A disease of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis? Annals of Medicine 26: 1-3, 1994
[3] Defreitas, E. et al. Evidence of retrovirus in patients with chronic fatigue immunity deficiency syndrome. CFIDS Chronicle: 1, Sep 1990
[4] Galland, Leo. Giardia lamblia infection as a cause of chronic fatigue. Journal of Nutritional Medicine 1: 27-30, 1990
[5] Lathan, Robert. Chronic fatigue? Consider hypothyroidism. The Physician and Sports Medicine 19 (10): 67-70, Oct 1991
[6] Lapp, Charles and Cheney, R. Chronic fatigue syndrome: Self care manual, February 1991. The CFIDS Chronicle Physician’s Forum 1 (1): 14-17, Mar 1991
[7] Bou-Holaigah, Issam. The relationship between neurally mediated hypotension and the chronic fatigue syndrome. Journal of the American Medical Association 274 (12): 961-967, Sept 1995
[8] Williams, David. Chronic fatigue syndrome: The search for a cookbook solution instead of eliminating a true problem? Alternatives for the Health Conscious Individual 6 (6): 41-46, December 1995
[9] Thiel, Robert.  Chronic fatigue assessment and intervention: the result of 101 cases.  Townsend Letter for Doctors, 1997;172:91-92
[11] Clugston, Graeme A. and Hetzel, Basil S. Iodine: 252-263. In: Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 8th ed. Phil.: Lea & Flebinger, 1993
[12] Jensen, Bernard. The Chemistry of Man, Vol II. Escondido: Bernard Jensen, 1983
[13] Thiel, Robert.  Natural interventions for people with fibromyalgia.  Townsend Letter for Doctors, 2000;208:66-67
[14] Thiel, Robert.  Nutritional interventions for the thyroid.  ANMA Monitor, 2000;4(1):6-14
[15] Bonci LJ.  Eating for Performance: Bringing Science to the Training Table.  Clin Sports Med. 2011 Jul;30(3):661-670
[16] Thiel, Robert.  Natural vitamins may be superior to synthetic ones.  Medical Hypotheses, 2000; 55(6):461-469
[17] Thiel, Robert.  Folic Acid is Hazardous to Your Health.  What About Food Folate?  The Original Internist, 2010 Jun; 17(2):88-90
[18] Thiel Robert and Fowkes Stephen W.  Down syndrome and thyroid dysfunction: Should nutritional support be the first-line treatment? Medical Hypotheses, 2007; 69:809-815
[19] Thiel Robert.  Systemic mycoses: An overview for modern natural health professionals. The Original Internist.   2010 Sep; Vol. 17, (3):119-128
[20] Howell E. Enzyme Nutrition. Avery Publishing, Wayne (NJ), 1985
[21] Thiel Robert. Food nutrients for 35 forms of energy complaints.  Presentation at the Health Freedom Expo, Los Angeles, CA, February 25, 2005

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Folic Acid is Hazardous to Your Health

Folic acid gets a lot of press coverage.  There are many reports that folic acid should be taken by pregnant women and may prevent birth defects.  Folic acid has also been claimed to help prevent cardio- and cerebral-vascular diseases.  Yet few reports have mentioned that folic acid is unnatural, folic acid is synthetic, and that the body cannot properly convert much folic acid into a usable folate form.  Furthermore, concerns about folic acid feeding cancer are now a real concern in the 21st Century—too much folic acid may kill you.

“Folic acid is a synthetic folate form” [1] and was not developed until the 20th Century [2].  Folic acid is chemically known as pteroylglutamic acid (PGA) and is a crystalline substance (no food vitamins are naturally crystalline in structure) [2,3].  Folate, once also known as vitamin B9, exists in foods, yet crystalline folic acid does not [1-4].  Folates also differ from folic acid “in the extent of the reduction state of the pteroyl group, the nature of the substituents on the pteridine ring and the number of glutamyl residues attached to the pteroyl group” [1].

An Irish study found that the body has trouble converting more than 266 mcg of folic acid per day [2]. “(C)onsumption of more than 266 mcg of synthetic folic acid (PGA) results in absorption of unreduced PGA, which may interfere with folate metabolism for a period of years” [2].  A 2004 paper from the British Medical Journal confirmed what many natural health professional have known all along: since folic acid is unnatural and the body cannot fully convert large amounts of it into usable folate, this artificial substance can be absorbed and may have unknown negative consequences in the human body [4].  One of the biggest scientific concerns about folic acid is that even in amounts close to official daily recommendations, some of it is absorbed in unreduced form into the bloodstream with potentially dangerous results [2,4].  Also, “(i)n vitro studies do show that PGA derivatives act to inhibit certain enzymes, including those associated with nucleotide biosynthesis” [4].  In spite of this, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has required that uncooked cereal grains and flour products be fortified with folic acid [1].

A JAMA study recently concluded that “studies have suggested that folate intake decreases risk of cardiovascular diseases. However…[f]olic acid supplementation has not been shown to reduce risk of cardiovascular diseases” [5].  This is because studies using folate (the natural form) show it works, yet folic acid (the synthetic form) does not.  Food folate is clearly superior.

Since food folate is natural and is absorbed through a different pathway than folic acid [2], long-term consumption of folate does not result in an accumulation of a foreign substance in the body, but instead has many benefits. 

Initially, food folate was given for people with a pregnancy-related anemia in the form of autolyzed yeast; later the synthetic form, folic acid, was developed [2].  Folic acid, as it exists in most supplements, is not found in foods, folates are [2].  USDA reports show that broccoli and alfalfa sprouts contain food folate [6,7] and they are considered to be the best food supplement source by some.  Furthermore, “folates are ubiquitous in nature, being present in nearly all natural foods…50 to 95% of folate in food may be destroyed by protracted cooking or other processing” [2].  Yeast, dark green leafy vegetables, and oranges have the highest folate content [1,2].

Folate is an important nutrient for healthy blood; the absence of any of it can trigger various forms of anemia (especially pernicious anemia) [2,8].  Subclinical deficiencies of folate may impair cognitive function [9].  Folate deficiency is the most important determinant in high homocysteine levels [9], and supplemental folate is effective in reducing homocysteine [10,11].  (Homocysteine is highly implicated in vascular diseases such as cardiovascular and other vascular disorders.)  “The major forms of folates found in food are methylTHF and formylTHF” [12]. 

While insufficient folate can result in fatigue, depression, confusion, anemia, reduced immune function, loss of intestinal villi, and an increase in infections [1,2,8], it is not totally clear what dangers long-term consumption of folic acid will cause [2,4].  Certain scientists believe that excessive consumption of folic acid may actually interfere with folate metabolism [2]—this could be expected to worsen conditions that would have otherwise benefited from real food folate.  Furthermore, “(v)ery large amounts of folic acid in its pharmacological oxidized (PGA) form may be noxious to the nervous system…and have provoked seizures in patients otherwise under control on anticonvulsant therapy” [2].

Excessive Folic Acid is Becoming a Health Concern

A 2010 report states, “”The more we learn about folic acid, the more it’s clear that giving it to everyone has very real risks,” says folic acid researcher David Smith, PhD, a professor of pharmacology at the University of Oxford in England…The risk experts worry about most: colon cancer. Last year, health officials in Chile reported that hospitalization rates for colon cancer among men and women age 45 and older more than doubled in their country since fortification was introduced in 2000. In 2007, Joel Mason, MD, director of the Vitamins and Carcinogenesis Laboratory at the Tufts University School of Medicine, described a study of the United States and Canada suggesting that rates of colon cancer rose — following years of steady decline — in the late 1990s (around the time our food was being fortified)” [13].

The same report also states, “Other research links high doses to lung and prostate cancers. In one study conducted in Norway, which doesn’t fortify foods, supplementation with 800 mcg of folic acid (plus B12 and B6) daily for more than 3 years raised the risk of developing lung cancer by 21 percent. Another, in which men took either folic acid or a placebo, showed those consuming 1,000 mcg of folic acid daily had more than twice the risk of prostate cancer. And a new worry recently came to light when scientists discovered the liver has limited ability to metabolize folic acid into folate — which means any excess continues circulating in the bloodstream. “Unlike folate, folic acid isn’t found in nature, so we don’t know the effect of the excess,” says Smith. Indeed, many scientists have grown increasingly concerned about mounting research — including a study published last winter in the Journal of the American Medical Association — suggesting that all the extra folic acid might increase your odds of developing cancer” [13].

Even foods “fortified” with folic acid may cause serious neurological problems in patients deficient in vitamin B12 [12].  Furthermore, “no folic acid dose can be considered as truly safe in the presence of untreated cobalamin deficiency” [12].

Laura Bell correctly reported, “We all need the natural folate found in leafy greens, orange juice, and other foods, and diets high in these foods are perfectly healthy; many researchers, though, believe that folic acid may be both friend and foe. When cells in the body are healthy, folate helps shepherd along the normal replication of DNA. But when cells are malignant or in danger of becoming so — and as many as half of adults older than 60 could already have precancerous colon polyps, while most middle-aged men have precancerous cells in their prostates — animal studies suggest excess folate in the form of folic acid may act like gas on the fire… lowering your intake to 400 mcg won’t hurt — and might help save your life” [13].

It is clear that since folic acid is unnatural, is synthetic, is chemically different, is structurally different, and is not absorbed in the same pathways as folate, long-term folic acid consumption may be hazardous to human health.  Folate in foods is what is safe and is the preferred form of folate for human consumption. Excessive folic acid may make cancer worse. And unlike folic acid, humans have been safely consuming food folate for thousands of years. 

I have been warning people against folic acid for many years [3,14].  Now it is becoming clearer and clearer that those warnings should have been heeded by more people.  Everyone should be concerned about taking synthetic/isolated USP vitamins like those containing folic acid.

[1] Hendler SS, Rorvik D, eds.  PDR for Nutritional Supplements.  Medical Economics, Montvale (NJ), 2001
[2] Shils ME, Olson JA, Shike M.  Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 9th ed.  Williams & Wilkins, Balt., 1999
[3] Thiel R.  Natural vitamins may be superior to synthetic ones.  Med Hypo, 2000;55(6):461-469
[4] Lucock M.  Is folic acid the ultimate functional food component for disease prevention?  BMJ, 2004;328:211-214
[5] Bazzano LA, Reynolds K, Holder KN, He J.  Effect of folic acid supplementation on risk of cardiovascular diseases: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.  JAMA. 2006;296(22):2720-2726
[6] Broccoli, raw. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 18 (2005)
[7] Alfalfa seeds, sprouted raw.  USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 16-1, 2004
[8] Whitney EN, Hamilton EMN.  Understanding Nutrition, 4th ed.  West Publishing, NY, 1987
[9] Gonzalez-Gross M, Marcos A, Pietrzik K.  Nutrition and cognitive impairment in the elderly.  Br J Nutr 2001;86:313-321
[10] Verhoef P.  Homocysteine metabolism and risk of myocardial infarction: Relation with vitamin B6, B12, and Folate.  Am J Epidemiol 1996;143(9):845-859
[11] Brattstrom L.  Vitamins as homocysteine-lowering agents: A mini review.  Presentation at The Experimental Biology 1995 AIN Colloquium, April 13, 1995, Atlanta Georgia
[12] Carmel R.  Folic Acid.  In Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 10th ed.  Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, 2006:470-481
[13] Bell L. Is your breakfast giving you cancer? Research links too much folic acid to certain cancers.  Prevention. March. 29, 2010. 
[14] Thiel R. Is Folic Acid Hazardous to Your Health?  The Original Internist, 2004;11(2):39-40

Above article is expected to be published as Thiel R.  Is Folic Acid is Hazardous to Your Health.  What About Food Folate?  The Original Internist, June 2010.
Some of these studies (or citations) may not conform to peer review standards, therefore, the results are not conclusive.  Professionals can, and often do, come to different conclusions when reviewing scientific data.  None of these statements have been reviewed by the FDA. 

Doctors’ Research, Inc.  ”Nutrition from food, what a concept!”
1248 E. Grand Avenue, Suite A, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420 WEB:   FAX: 1-805-489-0334

Call 1-805-489-7185

For folate supplementation try Vitamin B6, B12 & Folate; Vitamin-Mineral; and Vitamin-Mineral Shake.   

Some of these studies (or citations) may not conform to peer review standards. Therefore, the results are not conclusive. Professionals can, and often do, come to different conclusions when reviewing scientific data. None of these statements have been reviewed by the FDA. All products distributed by Doctors’ Research, Inc. are nutritional and are not intended for the treatment or prevention of any medical condition

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Looking for an Easy Way to Incorporate Nutrition into YOUR Practice?

As a doctor of chiropractic, you have been taught that there is a relationship, a “Chiropractic Connection”, between the spine and other body systems.

The three primary causes of vertebral subluxation complex are physical, chemical, and mental.  Adjustments treat the physical, proper nutrition treats the chemical, and feeling better can help treat the mental.

Now, here are three easy steps to combine Chiropractic with nutrition:

1)   After determining which vertebrae have problems, chiropractically treat as you normally would.

2)   Then, further help your patients by advising nutritional supplements for each problem vertebra.  Look at the Chiro Nutrition Chart™  (this link opens a window).  In general:

3)   Since most people take a synthetic multiple vitamin, it would be better for their health to take 100% Food Vita-Mineral directly from you – so consider recommending this unique 100% Food multi-vitamin.  Since it is 100% Food, Vita-Mineral does not contain toxins and unnatural compounds—is not that the type of product you should recommend?

Now, Inflam-Enzymes is the primary supplement used by many chiropractors.  It can be an excellent choice when inflammation and/or pain are present.  Inflam-Enzymes contains herbs like acerola cherry, bromelain, papain, serrapeptase, plus 100% Food manganese, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin C.

Magnesium Complex is a great choice when muscle tightness is involved.  Since it is 100% Food, it is better retained in the muscles and does not cause diarrhea like the commonly-used mineral salt forms of magnesium can.

Advance Joint Complex is the best knee and hip product we know of.  Unlike other formulas, it DOES NOT CONTAIN isolated chondroitin or glucosamine, nor does it contain any mineral salts.   Advance Joint Complex contains herbs, Food minerals, and glandulars which have been shown to be beneficial for joint and connective tissue health (including knees).

Doctors’ Research, Inc.

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Some of these studies (or citations) may not conform to peer review standards. Therefore, the results are not conclusive. Professionals can, and often do, come to different conclusions when reviewing scientific data. None of these statements have been reviewed by the FDA. All products distributed by Doctors’ Research, Inc. are nutritional and are not intended for the treatment or prevention of any medical condition.

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Biofilm: What is it? Can enzymes or herbs help?

“Microorganisms attach to surfaces and develop biofilms … Biofilms have great importance for public health because of their role in certain infectious diseases and importance in a variety of device-related infections. A greater understanding of biofilm processes should lead to novel, effective control strategies for biofilm control and a resulting improvement in patient management …A biofilm is an assemblage of surface-associated microbial cells that is enclosed in an extracellular polymeric substance matrix … Several studies have shown that treatment of adsorbed cells with proteolytic enzymes caused a marked release of attached bacteria” [1].

“Biofilmaccounts for 65-80 % of microbial infections in humans” [2].

“Candida albicans … cells proliferate in a planktonic (suspension) state, but they also form biofilms, organized and tightly packed communities of cells attached to a solid surface. Biofilmscolonize many niches of the human body and persist on implanted medical devices, where they are a major source of new C. albicans infections” [3].

“Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most important causes of morbidity and health care spending affecting persons of all ages. Bacterial biofilms play an important role in UTIs, responsible for persistent infections leading to recurrences and relapses” [4].

Betagluconase is an enzyme that breaks down beta-glucans, a substance that has been implicated with bacterial caused biofilm plaque [5]. Furthermore, glucanaseand protease, degraded fungal cell walls to clear up biofilm [6].

Bilberry is a plant rich in antioxidants known as anthocyanins and polyphenols. “Urease-producing bacteria are known to produce crystalline biofilms and encrustation on catheters” and bilberry is a plant extracted urease-inhibitor, hence can be helpful to deal with biofilm and UTIs [4].

Black Walnut hull “is widely used in traditional medicine for alleviating pain and treating skin diseases” [7]. It has antioxidant properties [7] and has also long been used in traditional medicine as a blood purifier [8] and to treat parasites.

Cellulase is anenzyme that helps break down cellulose. The cell walls of fungi, including Candida, is made of cellulose. Cellulase can “Break down harmful microbial biofilms … In vitrostudies show that the cellulase enzyme can stop the growth and increase the breakdown of biofilms produced by the bacteria Pseudomonas. This may help detoxify the intestinal tract, as well as the body’s major organ systems … Other tests found an improvement in immune function for the patients. Furthermore, when the enzyme supplement was withdrawn, the positive benefits ended” [9].

DPP IV(“DPP 4”) is the acronym for the enzyme Dipeptidyl Peptidase IV. It has been found to inhibit bacterial caused biofilm [10]. DPPIV has gluten-detoxification abilities [11].

Echinacea Echinacea purpurea can help prevent viral and other infections and seems to reduce types of biofilm [9].

Endopeptidase is a proteolytic enzyme that breaks peptide bonds other than terminal ones in a peptide chain. Exopeptidase is any peptidase that catalyzes the cleavage of the terminal (or the penultimate) peptide bond; the process releases a single amino acid or dipeptide from the peptide chain.“A peptidaseis a catalytically active protein that cleaves one or more peptide bonds in a protein or peptide by hydrolysis” [12].

GarlicAllium sativahas antimicrobial properties [9]. Allicin from garlic has been shown to inhibit infectious biofilm [13].

Glucoamylase are inverting exo-acting starch hydrolases/enzymes releasing β-glucose from the non-reducing ends of starch and related substrates. “Glucoamylase, when combined with other enzymes may ease the negative effects of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) … Studies show that glucoamylase combined with other enzymes can promote a normal autoimmunity response. In the case of autoimmune disorders, antigens, and antibodies, when not cleared out over time, can create tissue damage in the body” [14]. Hence, glucoamylase can help in detoxification.

Goldenseal Hydrastis Canadensiscontains berberine “Berberine has broad-spectrum antibiotic activity … and immune-enhancing properties. … Berberine has shown antimicrobial activity against bacteria, protozoa, and fungi … Berberine, a constituent of goldenseal, when used to treat urinary tract infections, is known to reduce synthesis of Escherichia colifimbrae, thus preventing adhesion to the bladder lining” [9]. “Berberine has been … found to reduce biofilm [15].

Grapefruit Seed Extract has certain antimicrobial properties [16,17]. It seems to help prevent biofilm when used with other substances [18].

Hemicellulase is an enzyme which “breaks down hemicellulose, which is a type of cellulose and a key component of the cell wall in all plants … Some research suggests that an increase in this enzyme can help prevent and reduce yeast infestations such as Candida. This is perhaps related to the fact that the cell wall of candida is composed of hemicellulose” [19].

Lysozyme is an enzymecatalyzes the breakdown of some carbohydrates found in the cell walls of certain bacteria that can reduce biofilm [20]. Lysozyme has been shown to inhibit Candida biofilm [21].

Milk Thistle Silybin marianum “has been shown to have a positive hepatoprotective effect in the treatment of liver cirrhosis associated with alcohol or viruses” [9]. Silymarin (a constituent of Milk Thistle) seems to have inhibitory effects on bacterial biofilm [22].

Pectinase is an enzymethat breaks down pectin, a polysaccharide found in plant cell walls. It also helps inhibit bacterial biofilm [23].

Proteolytic enzymeslike various peptidases and proteases have been shown to reduce bacterial [e.g.24] and fungal biofilm [e.g. 1,3].

Serrapeptase Serratia pepitase is a proteolytic enzyme. Its use as a biofilm buster has been speculated for Lyme disease [25]. It has also been claimed to reduce toxins associated with Alzheimer’s disease [26].

Shiitake MushroomCang Er Zi has positive immune-enhancing [27] and anti biofilm properties [28].

 Wild OreganoOrganum vulgare has “antibacterial and antifungal activity” as well as antiparasitic effects [9]. Its constituent carvacral has antibiofilm effects against pathogens such as Escherichia coli [29].

Naturopathic philosophy teaches that one is susceptible to infection if one there is an accumulation of toxins that the body does not eliminate which makes an environment that infections can thrive in [30-32]. Biofilms are such an environment.

Even those not interested in natural health realize that biofilm is a major cause of infectious disease.

Herbs and enzymes are “novel approaches’ that more health care professionals may wish to try.


[1] Donlan RM. Biofilms: Microbial Life on Surfaces. Emerg Infect Dis. 2002 Sep; 8(9): 881–89
[2] Aynapudi J, et al. Involvement of signal peptidase I in Streptococcus sanguinis biofilm formation. Microbiology. 2017 Sep;163(9):1306-1318
[3] Winter MB, et al. Global Identification of Biofilm-Specific Proteolysis in Candida albicans. MBio. 2016 Sep 13;7(5). pii: e01514-16
[4] Delcaru C, et al. Microbial Biofilms in Urinary Tract Infections and Prostatitis: Etiology, Pathogenicity, and Combating strategies. Pathogens. 2016 Dec; 5(4): 65

[5] Honma K, Ruscitto A, Sharma A. β-glucanase activity of the oral bacterium Tannerella forsythia contributes to the growth of a partner species, Fusobacterium nucleatum, in co-biofilms. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2017 Oct 27. pii: AEM.01759-17

[6] Ni M, et al. Identification and comprehensive evaluation of a novel biocontrol agent Bacillus atrophaeus JZB120050. J Environ Sci Health B. 2018 Sep 10:1-9

[7] Meshkini A1, Tahmasbi M. Antiplatelet Aggregation Activity of Walnut Hull Extract via Suppression of Reactive Oxygen Species Generation and Caspase Activation. J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2017 Jun;10(3):193-203
[8] Gruenwald J, Brendler T, Jaenick C, eds. PDR for Herbal Medicine, 4thedition. Thomson, 2007

[9] Group E. The Health Benefits of Cellulase. Global Healing Center, June 19, 2018

[10] De A, et al. Antidiabetic “gliptins” affect biofilm formation by Streptococcus mutans. Microbiol Res. 2018 Apr;209:79-85

[11] Ehren J, et al. A food-grade enzyme preparation with modest gluten detoxification properties. PLoS One. 2009 Jul 21;4(7):e6313

[12] RawlingsND, Barrett AJ. Peptidases. Wiley ELS, Published online: July 2014

[13] Ranjbar-Omid M, et al. Allicin from garlic inhibits the biofilm formation and urease activity of Proteus mirabilis in vitro. FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2015 May;362(9)pii: fnv049

[14] Group E. The Health Benefits of Glucoamylase. Global Healing Center, June 19, 2018
[15] da Silva AR, et al. Berberine Antifungal Activity in Fluconazole-Resistant Pathogenic Yeasts: Action Mechanism Evaluated by Flow Cytometry and Biofilm Growth Inhibition in Candida spp. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2016 May 23;60(6):3551-7
[16] Kanmani P1, Rhim JW. Antimicrobial and physical-mechanical properties of agar-based films incorporated with grapefruit seed extract. Carbohydr Polym. 2014 Feb 15;102:708-1

[17] Choi JS, et al. Antibacterial effect of grapefruit seed extract (GSE) on Makgeolli-brewing microorganisms and its application in the preservation of fresh Makgeolli. J Food Sci. 2014 Jun;79(6):M1159-67

[18] Kim JH, Hong WS, Oh SW. Effect of layer-by-layer antimicrobial edible coating of alginate and chitosan with grapefruit seed extract for shelf-life extension of shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) stored at 4 °C. Int J Biol Macromol. 2018 Dec;120(Pt B):1468-1473

[19] Group E. The Health Benefits of Hemicellulase. Global Healing Center, October 5, 2015

[20] Hou Y, et al. Lysozyme Associated Liposomal Gentamicin Inhibits Bacteria. Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Apr 9;18(4). pii: E784

[21] Sebaa S, Hizette N, Boucherit-Otmani Z, Courtois P. Dose‑dependent effect of lysozyme upon Candida albicans biofilm. Mol Med Rep. 2017 Mar;15(3):1135-1142

[22] Vimberg V, et al. Hydnocarpin-Type Flavonolignans: Semisynthesis and Inhibitory Effects on Staphylococcus aureus Biofilm Formation. J Nat Prod. 2015 Aug 28;78(8):2095-103

[23] Villa F, Secundo F, Polo A, Cappitelli F. Immobilized Hydrolytic Enzymes Exhibit Antibiofilm Activity Against Escherichia coli at Sub-Lethal Concentrations. Curr Microbiol. 2015 Jul;71(1):106-14

[24] Shukla SK, Rao TS. Staphylococcus aureus biofilm removal by targeting biofilm-associated extracellular proteins. Indian J Med Res. 2017 Jul;146(Supplement):S1-S8

[25] Lacout A. Biofilms busters to improve the detection of Borrelia using PCR. Med Hypotheses. 2018 Mar;112:4-6

[26] Fadl NN, Ahmed HH, Booles HF, Sayed AH. Serrapeptase and nattokinase intervention for relieving Alzheimer’s disease pathophysiology in rat model. Hum Exp Toxicol. 2013 Jul;32(7):721-35

[27] Vetvicka V, Vetvickova J. Immune-enhancing effects of Maitake (Grifola frondosa) and Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) extracts. Ann Transl Med. 2014 Feb;2(2):14

[28] Papetti A, et al. Components in Lentinus edodes mushroom with anti-biofilm activity directed against bacteria involved in caries and gingivitis. Food Funct. 2018 Jun 20;9(6):3489-3499

[29] Lee JH, Kim YG, Lee J. Carvacrol-rich oregano oil and thymol-rich thyme red oil inhibit biofilm formation and the virulence of uropathogenic Escherichia coli. J Appl Microbiol. 2017 Dec;123(6):1420-1428

[30] Tilden JK. Toxemia Explained. Life Science Institute reprint. Written circa 1926

[31] Cordingley EW. Principles and Practices of Naturopathy. Health Research reprint. Written 1924

[32] Thiel R. Naturopathy for the 21stCentury. Whitman Books, 2011.

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