Your body’s innate intelligence is designed to remove substances that are of no physiological worth. However, no two people are alike respective to symptom, cause or recovery. Any symptom can be the manifestation of chemical sensitivity with any target organ being vulnerable. Genetic polymorphism means we look different from each other on the outside; however, we are biochemically and genetically unique on the inside. There is a genetic predisposition for some individuals for failure, based on the absence of necessary enzymes. For example, inborn errors like phenylkentonuria – the enzyme that is necessary to metabolize phenylalanine is missing, causing the amino acid to build up causing death. Another example is the absence of aryl hydroxylase hydratase (AHH) causing the inability to detox debrisoquine (antimalarial drug) that leads to Parkinson disease.
In addition to inborn deficiencies to our enzyme network, there is enzyme depletion caused by continued exposure to toxins, commonly known as xenobiotics which are common to our food and environment. What is a xenobiotic? A xenobiotic is a foreign chemical substance found within an organism that is not normally naturally produced by or expected to be present within that organism. Xenobiotics will engulf metabolic pathways containing necessary enzymes to detoxify the material. Competition for these enzymes will lead to back up of toxins which in turn attack proteins and other enzymes, leading to cell death, followed by organ death, leading to system death and overall death.
Enzyme deficiencies and/or depletion will lead to six (6) physiological stages that cascade with one another leading to disease. (1) Spreading Phenomenon means that individuals become reactive to xenobiotics that never before bothered them. For example, brain fog resulting from exposure to pesticides. The allopathic community will treat brain fog while completely missing neurological and endocrine damage related to the original exposure/dysfunction. (2) Adaptation involves the endoplasmic reticulum. Within the cell membrane there is a chain of molecules known as Cytochrome P-450. These chemical groupings attach to the xenobiotics to increase size, polarity and solubility. This alteration of the xenobiotic will allow them to be dragged from the body through our excretory pathways. However, this enzyme network will become depleted when the body is overwhelmed with continued exposure to xenobiotics, leading to a build up of toxins. (3) Certain toxins will cause enzyme induction which involves energy expenditure. The need for more enzymes means that the body does not react as it first did causing a greater load of the toxin to exhibit the same symptom. The increase in energy expenditure causes imbalances to homeostasis. In other words, there becomes a lack of innate energy needed to carry out normal physiological functions. (4) De-adaptation is when xenobiotics will overwhelm the detox-enzymatic pathways. Not completely metabolized, the xenobiotic will cause a symptom that was never before elicited. For example, glutathione is used in detoxification and requires the amino acids cysteine and lysine. Too much disappearance of glutathione with cysteine leads to reduction in taurine. The disappearance of taurine is associated to recalcitrant conditions of inflammation, infection and heart problems. (5) Bipolarity, which means the toxin will first cause stimulation, then depression. For example, alcohol may lead to an excitement reaction, but when it is metabolized to the aldehyde depression occurs. Finally, (6) the Switch Phenomenon that causes the physician to be stumped because upon exposure to the xenobiotic the affected target organ switches from one to another. For example, an asthmatic person developing cardiac abnormalities or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), meaning one disease becomes active while the other is quiescent.
There are three (3) categories of substances that lead to physiologic impact: (1) work and environmental toxins, (2) food additives, such as preservatives, color and taste additives; and (3) pharmaceuticals.
Environmental toxicants include: plasticizers (TMA, Trimellic anhydride) which are complex antigens that impact the immune system; dry cleaning fluids that are cardio toxins; solvents which are associated with panic disorders; hydrocarbons (paint solvents, gasoline, and the like) that cause glomerulonephritis (inflammation of the kidney cortex); formaldehyde linked to fatigue and cancer; pesticides linked to brain fog (loss of concentration, poor memory, irritability and depression). Please refer to the following resources:
The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency establish safe exposure limits to chemicals found in the work place and environment, respectively. However, always inform your physician of your occupational and environmental histories.
In the category of food there is celiac disease linked to wheat intolerance (gluten); retinal degeneration linked to MSG (monosodium glutamate); milk may contain r[Bovine Growth Hormone] that causes hypochlorhydria; and/or one’s diet that includes the inappropriate combination of protein, carbohydrates and sugars, which will lead to fermentation of carbohydrates and putrefaction of proteins, causing catarrh to infiltrate the extracellular fluid.
Regarding food additives, food manufacturers have added Advanced Glycation End Products (AGE) to foods, especially in the last 50 years as flavor enhancers and colorants to improve appearance. Biomolecules function through glycosylation which occurs at defined target molecule sites. However, glycation (non-enzyme glycosylation) is the result of sugar molecule, such as fructose or glucose bonding to a protein or lipid molecule without the controlling action of an enzyme. Glycation can occur inside the body (endogenous Glycation) or outside the body (exogenous Glycation). Glycation is a haphazard process that impairs the functioning of biomolecules.
Exogenous Glycation may also be referred as dietary or preformed when sugars are cooked with proteins or fats at temperatures of 120o C (~248o F). For example, glycation results when sugars are added to products such as french fries to enhance browning. Glycation will contribute to the formation of acrylamide, a known carcinogen. AGE contribute to inflammation, retinal dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes. Foods with significant browning, carmelization or with directly added AGEs are proinflammatory and disease initiating compounds. Examples include donuts, barbecued meats, cake and dark colored soda pop.
Endogenous glycation occurs in the blood stream to a small proportion of absorbed simple sugars: glucose, fructose, and galactose. Fructose and galactose have ten times the glycation activity of glucose. AGEs are more reactive than the sugars they are derived from, and are implicated in many age-related chronic diseases such as:
- Type I and II diabetes (beta cell damage)
- Cardiovascular disease (endothelial, fibrinogen, and collagen are damaged)
- Alzheimer’s (amyloidal proteins are side-products of reactions progressing to AGEs
Reference material on Glycation: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-glycation.htm
One can control glycation. Scientists have developed a method to break glycated protein cross links. Pyridoxamine is effective in inhibiting the formation of AGEs. Pyridoxamine is a vitamer of pyridoxine (Vitamin B6). Unlike the standard form of B6, pyridoxamine will not cause peripheral neuropathy as does large doses of Vitamin B6. Both B6 and pyridoxamine are metabolized to pyridoxal-5-phosphate. However the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may ban the availability of pyridoxamine to favor drug manufacturers wanting to make it available as a prescription drug. Marketability for drug companies include the remarkable biological effects of efficacy of pyridoxamine in protecting against diabetic complications, namely end-stage kidney disease. Pyridoxamine is found naturally in chicken, walnuts, eggs, and other foods.
Additional reference material is located in the following resources:
What about drug induced nutrient depletion? Antacids deplete the body of calcium and phosphorous; sodium bicarbonate depletes the body of potassium; antibiotics deplete the body of good bacteria, vitamin B and vitamin K; isoniazid depletes the body of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and vitamin D; anticonvulsants deplete the body of Vitamins D & K, calcium and folic acid; anti-diabetics deplete the body of Coenzyme Q10; anti-inflammatory drugs deplete the body of Vitamin C, folic acid, iron, potassium and sodium; non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) deplete the body of folic acid, also cause circulating immune complexes (CICs) causing auto-immune reactions; corticosteroids deplete vitamins C&D, calcium, potassium, zinc; antiviral drugs deplete the body of carnitine, vitamin B12, zinc and copper; bronchodilators deplete the body of pyridoxine; cardiovascular drugs deplete pyridoxine and Coenzyme Q10; loop diuretics deplete calcium, magnesium, B1, B6, potassium and Vitamin C; Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) inhibitors deplete the body of zinc; centrally acting antihypertensive deplete Coenzyme Q10 and zinc; cardiac glycosides deplete calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and B1 from the body; beta blockers deplete Coenzyme Q10; cholesterol lowering drugs deplete Coenzyme Q10; electrolyte replacement depletes B12; bile acid suppressants deplete Vitamins A,E,K, D as well as iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and zinc; female hormones deplete folic acid, B6, B12, B2, magnesium, zinc and Vitamin C; estrogen replacement therapy depletes magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B6; gout medications deplete sodium, potassium, B12 and beta carotene; laxatives deplete Vitamins A, D, E, calcium, beta carotene potassium; psychotherapeutics deplete B2 and Coenzyme Q10; ulcer medications H-2 receptor antagonists deplete B12, folic acid, Vitamin D, calcium, iron, zinc; proton pump inhibitors deplete B12. For more information on nutrient depletion from pharmaceuticals visit: http://www.chiro.org/nutrition/ABSTRACTS/Nutrient_Depletion.shtml
Therefore, ensure that you supplement the necessary nutrients when you are prescribed any of the aforementioned pharmaceuticals.
Dr. David Brancato PhD, ND, CPT
Dr. Brancato’s cumulative experience in nutrition, alternative medicine, chemistry, toxicology, physiology directed him to holistic approaches in human physiology to correct system imbalances. He maintains his professional certifications as a Naturopath from the American Naturopathic Medical Certification and Accreditation Board; the National Federation of Professional Trainers; Black belts in Kick Boxing and Kenpo.