Page Synopsis: A lot of this page has been gathered from Lyme sites and books. It's remarkable how much overlap there is between Lyme's and CFS in terms of symptomatology

Skill Level  5

Relevance:5 Technical Level:4


page 70

page 72

This is a lot to take in, much less to follow, but as patients we must stand determined in both our willingness and diligence


                                                           Chronic fatigue syndrome following a toxic exposure ***


Step 1 Educate


Step 2 Drain




check the tapwater in your area listed below is what's in my tapwater! Then continue onto steps 4, 5 and 6






Step 5: DETOX

Naviaux believes it will take treating all of ME/CFS/FM. For him, effective treatments “are likely to be achieved by careful attention to nutrition, metabolism, triggers, stressors, and physical activity as an integrated system, combined with a systems biological understanding of the triggers of the CDR and dauer entry and exit”


Berkey shower water filter equipped with the standard black berkey filters WILL remove pharmaceuticals drugs hormones chlorine and heavy metals etc


Detox and procedures


  • by frequently detoxifying and cleansing your digestive system through a quality fiber- or oxygen-based intestinal cleanser
  • by doing a raw (unpasteurized) juice cleanse
  • drinking plenty of purified water and replenishing your good intestinal flora (bacteria) by consuming quality prebiotics and probiotics
  • Avoid environmental exposures
  • Anti biofilm
  • Dr. Ettinger’s Biofilm Protocol for Lyme and Gut Pathogens
  • A specific question has been asked a lot lately, as to what is my protocol for busting through bacterial biofilm.  This question has mostly come from people diagnosed with or those who think they may have H. pylori bacterial infection or Lyme disease.  For additional information on the link between Lyme and biofilm, please check out this 2008 presentation: Biofilms of Borrelia burgdorferi And Clinical Implications for Chronic borreliosis by Alan B. MacDonald, MD. For information on Lyme Disease and Herpes Virus Connection. The reason that I’ve put this “biofilm busting/disrupting protocol” post together is based on this one fact. The day I discovered how to have an effect on bacterial biofilm or its communication, within the human body, was the day that chronic conditions, from the sinus to the prostate, were no longer a ‘project’ to handle.  I hope the data below is helpful to you in your search for information or health restoration.


First a little background on what is biofilm.



Figure 1: The life cycle of biofilm. 1: individual bacterial cells populate a surface. 2: The extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) is produced and attachment becomes irreversible. 3 & 4: Biofilm architecture develops and matures. 5: Single planktonic cells (planktonic – meaning free-floating) are released from the biofilm.


Tuned-Down Biofilm Definition: A complex structure adhering to surfaces that are regularly in contact with water, consisting of colonies of bacteria and usually other microorganisms such as yeasts, fungi, and protozoa that secrete a mucilaginous protective coating in which they are encased. Biofilms can form on solid or liquid surfaces as well as on soft tissue in living organisms and are typically resistant to conventional methods of disinfection. Dental plaque, the slimy coating that fouls pipes and tanks, and algal mats on bodies of water are examples of biofilms. While biofilms are generally pathogenic in the body, causing such diseases as cystic fibrosis and otitis media, they can be used beneficially in treating sewage, industrial waste, and contaminated soil.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary


Tuned-up Biofilm Definition: Direct observations have clearly shown that biofilm bacteria predominate, numerically, and metabolically, in virtually all nutrient-sufficient ecosystems. Therefore, these sessile organisms predominate in most of the environmental, industrial, and medical problems and processes of interest to microbiologists. If biofilm bacteria were simply planktonic cells that had adhered to a surface, this revelation would be unimportant, but they are demonstrably and profoundly different. We first noted that biofilm cells are at least 500 times more resistant to antibacterial agents. Now we have discovered that adhesion triggers the expression of a sigma factor that derepresses a large number of genes so that biofilm cells are clearly phenotypically distinct from their planktonic counterparts. Each biofilm bacterium lives in a customized microniche in a complex microbial community that has primitive homeostasis, a primitive circulatory system, and metabolic cooperativity, and each of these sessile cells reacts to its special environment so that it differs fundamentally from a planktonic cell of the same species. Lappin-Scott HM, Microbial biofilms. Annu Rev Microbiol. 1995;49:711-45


Anti Leaky Gut

Anti Leaky mito

Anti Leaky Blood Brain Barrier, Cytokines

Anti Heavy Metals, chelating agent DMSA


Test Comprehensive Urine Element Profile

Laboratory Genova

Price £130.00

Sample required urine

recommend this test when I suspect metal toxicity as a cause of symptoms. This test is recommended for patients who have not yet carried out a toxic elements in urine test.


The test measures urinary levels of the following elements:- aluminium, antimony, arsenic, barium, bismuth, cadmium, calcium, cesium, chromium, cobalt, copper, gadolinium, gallium, iron, lead, lithium, manganese, magnesium, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, niobium, platinum, potassium, rubidium, selenium, strontium, sulfur, thallium, thorium, tin, tungsten, vanadium, uranium and zinc.


It is performed on a urine sample collected after a dose of DMSA, an substance which chelates metals and allows them to be excreted in urine. The reason for this is that toxic metals get "stuck" in body tissues but DMSA "grabs" them so they are excreted in urine. This is the most reliable measure of toxic metals


Anti Parasite

Test Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis with Parasitology

Laboratory Genova

Price £210.00

Sample required stool

This test gives an idea of how well foods are digested and absorbed, gives some products of gut fermentation, looks for blood in the stool, gives counts of bacteria and yeast, identifies those organisms which should not be there and lists antibiotic and/or antifungal preparations, both herbal and drug, to which that micro-organism is sensitive. It also looks for parasitic micro-organisms such as amoeba, blastocystis hominis, cryptosporydia and giardia lamblia and suggests possible treatment options.

The stool analysis is carried out at Genova Diagnostics in the USA


This test is performed on stool samples collected over 3 days and provides a detailed assessment of gut flora. It reports on bacterial and yeast flora, both beneficial and pathogenic as well as looking for parasitic micro-organisms such as amoeba, blastocystis hominis, cryptosporydia and giardia lamblia etc. . It also provides an overview of available treatments and their efficiency for treating bacterial and yeast dysbiosis.

The analysis is carried out at Genova Diagnostics in the USA


Test Parasitology

Laboratory Genova Diagnostics

Price £111.00

Sample required stool sample

This test is performed on stool samples collected over 3 days and looks for and identifies parasitic micro-organisms such as amoeba, blastocystis hominis, cryptosporydia and giardia lamblia etc.


If a more detailed assessment of gut flora is needed, then Comprehensive parasitology might be useful. This test reports on bacterial and yeast flora as well as looking for parasites in the stool samples. It also provides an overview of available treatments for bacterial and yeast dysbiosis.


The analysis is carried out at Genova Diagnostics


Test Ova, Cysts and Parasites

Parasitic Examination, Stool

Medical science simply doesn't have good "broad" and reliable parasite testing available unless one is in a research lab. There are some species specific antibody and PCR tests but given the thousands of different parasites, its absurd to think a doctor would guess correctly assuming they were willing to try. The Mayo Clinic ran one antibody test and Stanford ran the same antibody test based on my high IgE and EOS. Of course they were negative and that ended their effort.


When I learned that the company Ubiome was beginning to offer a Metagenomic sequencing based stool test, the "Explore Plus" last year that didn't just cover Bacteria and Archaea via 16S sequencing but also virus's and Eukaryotes, I ordered the 4 test kits for $399. Both Fungi and Parasites are Eukaryotes. Because of their wide variety and genetic breadth, using a marker sequencing via PCR just isn't effective as it is in Bacteria. Metagenomic sequencing has the incredible advantage that it doesn't assume or require guessing about "what infection you have" but simply reports all the organisms DNA it found and then a computer sorts out the "junk". Its far from perfect but it avoids the doctor "guessing" and testing.

So rather than more testing, I began empirically treating it with albendazole and Praziquantel and both can cross the BB barrier. They are quite safe being used in the 100's of millions worldwide due to worm infections being common in the third world. On the third day, my constipation stopped like a miracle after 3 years of struggles. The bodywide pain declined in a near magic way. But the neurological symptoms flared including some new problems. Is it Neurocysticercosis? The Cysts are far more difficult to clear in the brain than elsewhere. The CDC says it requires 14-28 days of the anti-parasitics for Neurocysticercosis due to this difficulty.


So here I am after my first week on albendazole and Praziquantel and the changes are dramatic but the jury is still out. I thought I would share my experience here since I've seen so many people describe their symptoms as seemingly revolving around their diet, sugar and gut and IBS like symptoms. But these also include many non-gut such as fatigue, neurological and pain conditions etc..


Parasite Protocols

  • Ivermectin 12 mg 3-4x/day with pyrantel pamoate 250 mg 3-4x/day

  • Praziquantel 600 mg 4x/day or Levamisole 50 mg 4x/day

  • Tinidazole 500 mg 3 – 4x/day

  • Alinia (nitrazoxanide) 500 mg 3x/day

  • Albendazole 400 mg 2x/day


Most Common Fungal Protocols

  • Diflucan (fluconazole) 200 mg 1x/day

  • Diflucan (fluconazole) 200 mg 1x/day + Nystatin capsules 500,000IU 4x/day

  • Diflucan (fluconazole) 100 mg 1x/day + Sporanox (itraconazole) 100 mg 1x/day

  • Sporanox (itraconazole) 200 mg 1x/day

  • Ketaconazole 200 mg 2x/day


Treatment Cycles

Due to parasite resistance to drugs we often use 3 or more anti-parasitic drugs at once.   This is followed by anti-fungal treatment.


Treat parasites for 10 – 21 days

Treat fungus for at least 10 days

Take a break for a week.  On the break week do a gallbladder/liver flush each month for 10 – 12 months.

This cycle is performed at least 4 to 6 times, or even longer as indicated


Ivermectin is an effective anti-parasitic. But it's also virus inhibitory (for COVID-19), blocking certain viral proteins, modulating the immune system, and an anti-inflammatory


So I wanted to get feedback on the parasite angle and alert people that the Ubiome Explorer Plus may be an important tool for looking at whats in their gut besides bacteria. One can see if there are any fungi or parasites that might be at the root of their problems living in their gut. After realizing Medical Science is so poor at finding parasites, I couldn't help but wonder how common long living parasite infections like the various worms are in the CFS/ME population? Love to hear your thoughts plus I'm curious if anyone has had the key markers of high IgE and Eosinophils that seem to be a glaring "hint" doctors just don't realize what it might mean. Humans developed both IgE and Eosinophils as a "worm" defense since early man had serious problems with worms. They have evolved into the "allergy" markers only in recent times. If you know you have high total IgE and odd Eosinophils popping up in CBCs', you should look into this. I'm not a doctor but this is something you should explore with your doctor as it appears to be a glaring hole only rarely discovered due to lack of doctor knowledge and extremely poor testing


buy pyrantel from an online store (such as Amazon). This is the anti-parasitic given to Australian children, it often has instructions for human use, although in the US it's sold as a cat anti-parasitic. In any case, it's safe for human use.


I took it after I cleaned up my cat from a flea and worms infestation. It seemed to also help me feel more energetic, since then I've repeated taking it about three times a year. Every time I feel better for a while. I went to see an infectious disease doctor, it was a disaster, they completely ignored my problems. One of the worst experiences of my life with any doctor.


If your pet goes outside, you must use ivermectin type meds to keep them safe and yourself safe. Only a vet can give your cat that med, at the proper dose, it covers many types of worms although for active tapeworm they may use a different med.


Yes infection can lead to ME/CFS. If you suspect a parasite a visit to a functional MD may be the ticket. Here's one doctor talking about it on her blog:

Dr. Leo Galland concerning research about CFS and parasites. He is a top tier CFS doctor and his quote was the first thing he looks for in CFS is a parasite infection. He gave up on standard O&P tests since they are unreliable (but different now as you mentioned).


I did a multitude of testing and found a protozoa infection in one of the tests. For those who are unfamiliar with parasites, there are different classes, for instance pgrovetom had a worm (which has a few classifications such as nematode, cestode and trematode) while I had a protozoa infection (think of giardia, cryptosporidium etc). They are both parasites classifications but different in treatment strategies.


Education in the medical community is sorely lacking concerning parasites and testing is the big problem, but they are getting better. One of the laughable excuses I heard and read is that since you live in a developed country (US), therefore you cannot have parasites. This is simply false (think of global travel, imported produce etc). In fact, there was a big breakout in Milwaukee that was labelled as CFS. Turns out that cryptosporidium was found in the water supply.


I wrote a blog article that might be helpful (needs editing, so forgive me for the sloppy post).


A very low carb diet and a couple months of Paragone (by Renew Life) cut the brain fog I'd grown up with by about 70%. That product still continues to make me feel better


functional medicine, doctors and holistic practitioners believe that all diseases are a result of a "toxins overload", resulting from diverse toxins and pathogens: parasites, mycotoxins, heavy metals, Lyme & co-infections. (if you're familiar with Hulda Clark's reasearch, you know what I am talking about).


It often takes a comprehensive detox protocol to get better, but some people are seeing huge health improvements with parasites clense alone. So I compiled a few success stories:


Madie's comments:



using cream on foot

Also move jungle conditions away plus Shaman

root canalremove

Avoiding food processing solvents, additives, preservatives, dyes, colorings, sulfates etc

Soybeans are processed using solvents so explosive that the facilities must be bomb proof to protect the people on the outside.

All rice, coconut, almond, soy, fake milks, are toxic gmo enzymatically altered, sugar waters, with arsenic an bleach or titanium oxide in them. and nutrient absorbable, avoid.



The last thing this description of hexane would conjure up in most people’s imaginations is food. Hexane, however, serves another industrial purpose: The food industry uses hexane to extract proteins from soybeans and oils from other grains such as canola and corn. Many soy food additives are derived through a process that uses hexane. Soy lecithin, an emulsifier, is commonly found in a vast array of products on grocery store shelves including everything from chocolate to margarine to bread and beyond. Soy protein isolate is routinely found in everything from breakfast cereals to veggie burgers to soups and sauces; it’s also added to many “health food” products such as protein bars and meal-replacement shakes. Both of these are commonly extracted using hexane. Sadly, even foods labeled as “all natural” may contain soy by-products and other ingredients that were derived using the hexane extraction process.


In addition, cornmeal and soybean meal extracted during this process are given to all grain-fed livestock in the United States, including cows, poultry, hogs, and even some farmed fish that are being raised on completely unnatural grain diets. In other words, when people eat those meats on top of their regular soy- and corn-based diets, they may be consuming an extra dose of hexane residue.


Because it is added to so many foods by its numerous by-products, soy is by far the biggest potential dietary source of hexane. According to the report, “Behind the Bean: The Heroes and Charlatans of the Natural and Organic Soy Foods Industry,” by watchdog group The Cornucopia Institute, “The effects on consumers of hexane residues in soy foods have not yet been thoroughly studied and are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Test results obtained by The Cornucopia Institute indicate that residues—ten times higher than what is considered normal by the FDA—do appear in common soy ingredients.”342


In 1995, the EPA released a report on the emission factors for vegetable oil processing. The report described how there are two main processes for extracting oil from soybeans, and the traditional method of using a screw press is not widely used because the efficiency is much lower than using a solvent.343 The common approach to extracting oil from soybeans and other grains is to literally wash the grains with a solvent, and hexane is the food industry solvent of choice.


Not only are the soybeans washed with hexane/oil mixtures during this process, but they are also eventually washed with pure hexane, sometimes referred to in the industry as a “hexane bath.” To desolventize the oil, the oil/solvent mixture is exposed to steam, pumped through heaters and film evaporators, and run through a stripping column, theoretically separating hexane out to get reused again and again. But not all the hexane gets removed. Ultimately, some hexane residues wind up in the foods created through this process. Even the EPA admits that small quantities of hexane are left behind after the solvent extraction is complete. The EPA has no data on when the hexane volatilizes, but the agency says it will “probably” happen during cooking, as if that is any kind of reassurance to anyone eating this stuff.344


Consumer protection group GM Watch began sounding the alarm, warning that genetically modified foods have shown a pattern of continual increase in the amount of herbicides necessary over the years since they have been introduced, and citing research showing that simply raising the oilseed levels from 20 to 40 ppm elevates them to over 100,000 times the concentration necessary to cause human breast cancer cells to grow in a lab.367,368


A study on the negative health impacts of human exposure to glyphosate concluded that, “Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body.”378 If this study holds true, it indicates that glyphosate could be inflicting long-term, virtually untraceable damage to the health of millions of individuals.


Researchers from MIT and former government environmental contractors found that glyphosate “enhances the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and environmental toxins” by interfering with certain enzymes and healthy gut bacteria levels. By magnifying unhealthy toxins and contributing to chronic inflammation, glyphosate contributes to a wide range of ailments including gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, infertility, and cancer.379,380


Along with both neurological- and endocrine-disrupting toxic effects, atrazine has been shown to synergistically amplify the harmful attributes of other pesticides, such as organophosphates, through an oxidative enzymatic process for a greater total toxicity.386,387 However, this is not the case in every combination with every chemical.


People are primarily exposed to organochlorines through their diet. Organochlorines are most prevalent in animal fats, meat, and dairy,402 but have been known to accumulate significantly in other sectors of the food supply as well.403


DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) was one of the most widely used insecticides during the middle of the twentieth century, playing a significant and celebrated


Pyrethroid compounds have been found to pollute surface waters, impacting the populations of aquatic invertebrates that fish and other wildlife depend on. A study of California’s Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta exposed major contamination from runoff and waste disposal, at levels concentrated enough to pose acute toxicity to amphibians.452 The common use of pyrethroids suggests that such waterway pollution may be widespread.453


Additionally, thousands of textile factory workers in China have been exposed to unusually high levels of pyrethroid insecticides that are used to treat cotton, wool, and other textile materials, highlighting another route of potential exposure that may be occurring on a larger scale in the workplace.454


Among these residues, banned organochlorine pesticides, no longer used in agriculture, were found as a common contaminant among all three categories, as many soils remain contaminated with organochlorine constituents. About 40 percent of the pesticide residues found in organic foods were hits from this source, demonstrating how the past use of discontinued and banned harmful chemicals can continue to impact food safety and pose potential health hazards.


The organic label has grown in popularity in part as a means of avoiding exposure to pesticides. However, some organic farms do employ some types of organic-approved pesticides, though they are banned from using most of the synthetic chemicals that are widely used in conventional agriculture. USDA-certified organic foods490 are allowed to be cultivated with certain chemical additives but are legally required to use chemicals that are classified as not harming the environment or human health.491 While many organic farms may make an earnest effort to produce the cleanest and best foods possible, there is room for concern that some organic-certified producers may in reality be cutting corners and taking advantage of legal loopholes in a way that most conscious consumers would find worrisome and in violation of their reasons for choosing organic options.


For example, some organic produce has been grown using rotenone-pyrethrin, a naturally occurring insecticide and piscicide (fish killer) derived from plant seeds, which is allowed under USDA organic standards but has nevertheless been connected with Parkinson’s disease in rat studies.492,493 Spinosad is another naturally derived insecticide, produced from fermented bacteria, that was given approval for use in organic farming by the USDA National Organic Program (NOP)494 but has been found to produce toxic effects in rats in both chronic and sub-chronic conditions.495


Thus, the use of a thorough home filtration system for all drinking water, as well as for showers and sinks, is advisable.

The 1958 Delaney Clause, an amendment to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938, originally said that the FDA could not approve any additives known to cause cancer in lab animals or in humans and that no carcinogenic agents could be allowed in food whatsoever. This all changed in 1988 when Michael R. Taylor, a former Monsanto vice president for public policy and current FDA deputy commissioner for foods, wrote his de minimis interpretation of the clause published in the International Journal of Toxicology, stating that if the risk of the carcinogen was “de minimis,” or too minor to warrant consideration, then the food should be able to be sold anyway.496


Allowing for de minimis amounts of carcinogens only takes into account acute poisoning and does not consider the chronic, long-term effects of small amounts of cancer-causing agents here and there over time. And it throws the door wide open for additives.

As Dr. Jacqueline Verrett, former FDA member–turned–whistleblower who oversaw the approval of aspartame, wrote in her book Eating May Be Hazardous to Your Health, “Under the guise of basic research the FDA is using your tax money—quite a bit of it—to try to prove a pet theory that carcinogens can be used safely in food, and to subvert the Delaney clause. The experiments will be used, then, to decide not which chemicals are carcinogens and unsafe for you to eat, but how much of a carcinogen you should be allowed to eat.”497


Thus, many confusing, cryptic, and coded ingredients are frequently found in processed foods of all kinds, contributing to high levels of MSG consumption by unwitting food consumers. Among these are “yeast extract,” “hydrolyzed vegetable protein” (HVP), “textured protein,” “torula yeast,” “autolyzed yeast,” “natural meat tenderizer,” “soy protein isolate,” “gelatin,” “textured protein,” “natural flavor,” “amino acids,” “proteins,” and others.


Several vitamins and minerals appear to play a role in minimizing the effects of MSG, including vitamins C and E, as well as beta carotene and vitamins A, D, and K.595 I’ve personally found that high-grade resveratrol appears to greatly diminish the duration and intensity of MSG headaches, especially when combined with L-Taurine (a common amino acid).


Magnesium plays a particularly important role in modulating MSG’s toxic effects, as it is known in studies to block the neurotoxicity of glutamate and other excitatory amino acids, and it acts as a neuroprotectant.596 Specifically, magnesium (Mg2+) maintains a voltage-dependent block on the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) type of glutamate receptor; when the magnesium block is dropped, glutamate is able to “persistently” excite the NMDA receptor and damage neurons.597 Thus, nutritional intake or supplementation of magnesium may be a viable safeguard against some effects of MSG.


As a result of research, the Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center recommended a detailed artificial additive elimination diet for treatment of these issues, which worked for other allergens, too.613 Feingold successfully treated some six hundred children with this method, and found even greater effectiveness after also eliminating the synthetic antioxidant additives butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), which have been linked to possible cancer risk and genotoxicity.614,615,616,617

It concluded that artificial colors and the additive sodium benzoate did indeed agitate hyper behavior, and correlated in frequency with hyperallergic tendencies in the general population.


In fact, according to the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations regarding food coloring additives, a certain number of impurities are allowed in final batches of dye—impurities that include chlorides, sulfates, and carcinogens like azobenzene in addition to toxic heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, and mercury. For example, Red No. 40 is technically allowed to contain “not more than” 14 percent volatile matter (at 135 degrees Celsius) and chlorides and sulfates, 10 parts per million lead, 3 parts per million arsenic, and seven other substances; the total (actual) color in a batch may not be less than 85 percent.629 That means that, according to regulations, up to 15 percent of each batch of Red No. 40 that is certified by the FDA can be made up of potentially dangerous impurities. Now consider for a moment that many foods contain multiple food-coloring additives that all have similar rules for the allowance of impurities. While 10 parts per million lead may not sound like a lot in one batch of Red No. 40, when added with other colors that contain their own small amounts of lead, it starts to add up fast.


Other approved food dyes are not as widespread as Red No. 40 and Yellows No. 5 and No. 6, but further research is clearly needed to determine if they are truly safe. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Blue No. 1 caused chromosomal aberrations in two studies, and another study suggested the dye had neurotoxic potential when it was found to act synergistically with L-glutamic acid.642 Studies also show that up to 5 percent of Blue No. 1 is absorbed via the gastrointestinal tract, meaning it enters the blood stream and therefore has the potential to affect the body’s neurological funtion, cellular function, and DNA.


Benzoic acid and its salts as food preservatives

Benzoic acid (labeled as E210 in the EU) and its salts and esters are commonly used in food production as preservatives and stabilizers, despite known risks to human health. Benzoic acid is used to prevent decay in common foods such as reduced-sugar products, certain meats, cereals, and beverages.661


Potential adverse effects for benzoic acid and its commonly used salts—sodium benzoate, potassium benzoate, and calcium benzoate—include temporary impairment of digestive enzymes and depleted glycine levels, as well as allergenic triggers for hay fever, hives, and asthma. Controlled studies on piglets found that benzoic acid increased feed intake and body weight gain.662 Through its strong antimicrobial properties, benzoic acid reduced the number of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, including many beneficial strains that could potentially affect digestion and immunological factors.


Sodium Benzoate (E211)

Sodium benzoate, the sodium salt of benzoic acid, is one of the most pervasive food preservatives from this class, used to stave off microbial growth and frequently added to acidic foods and beverages, including carbonated sodas, fruit juices, margarine, vinegar-preserved foods, and jellies. Exposure through food has been linked in a number studies to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms as well as to worsening asthma and eczema, especially in children.663


The widely reported and scientifically confirmed allergic sensitivity to sodium benzoate (along with artificial food colorings) among children was most famously investigated in the 2007 Southampton, England, study that found consistent adverse behavior effects and hyperactivity among hundreds of randomly sampled children from the general population in two distinct developmental age groups—three-year-olds and eight- and nine-year-olds.664


This study, compounded with previous data, prompted a UK and European Union mandatory warning label that sodium benzoate (E211) “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”665 However, unlike the artificial colors subjected to a “voluntary ban,” sodium benzoate was not put under further regulation because its use as a preservative was determined to distinguish it from non-functionary colorings.666


Since the end of the twentieth century, researchers have chronicled sodium benzoate’s potential to damage DNA through mutagenesis and promote oxidative stress in the gastrointestinal tract.667


The FDA and the soda and beverage companies have known since the early 1990s that certain formulas with sodium benzoate or other forms of benzoic acids and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) as ingredients were converting into benzene, a known carcinogen and elementary petrochemical classified as a hydrocarbon—but the public was never told.668 More than fifteen years later, the issue resurfaced as a hard-hitting contamination scandal on a global scale, with findings that benzene had formed in beverages during production, particularly those with orange flavoring, including citric acid, leading to subsequent recalls and reformulation in many markets.669,670 Further, a Belgian study found that plastic soda containers were contributing to the acidic reaction that produced benzene in trace amounts, as demonstrated in approximately 47 percent of samples.671


In 2008, Coca-Cola Great Britain hailed plans to remove sodium benzoate from its UK Diet Coke formula,672 while seeking a replacement preservative for sodas with fruit content such as Sprite and Fanta Orange.673 The switch was also made in the United States and Europe, while soft drinks such as Pepsi Max and diet sodas produced by the name brands Sunkist Orange, Mountain Dew, and Nestea continues its use today.


Potassium Benzoate (E212)

Potassium benzoate is also a salt of benzoic acid, frequently used in acidic food and beverages as a preservative to protect artificial flavor enhancers. It is often used as an alternate to sodium benzoate. It is an ingredient in popular low-calorie soft drinks, including Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi, and many of their variants such as Coke Zero and Diet Pepsi Wild Cherry,674 as well as Lipton Diet Iced Tea, all of which reportedly transitioned to potassium benzoate in reaction to the controversy over sodium benzoate.675

Like other benzoic acids, potassium benzoate has been linked to triggering or worsening allergic reactions and contributing to ADHD and hyperactivity, and it also poses a risk of producing benzene when formulated with ascorbic acid.


Calcium Benzoate (E213)

Calcium benzoate is yet another benzoic acid salt used as a beverage and food preservative—appearing in low-sugar products, cereals, and meats—that is connected with allergic reactions and hyperactivity. It has been listed as one of the top ten E numbers to avoid.676


Parabens (E214, E215, E218, E219)

Parabens are chemicals most commonly known for their use as antimicrobial preservatives in cosmetics and skin-care products. Their variants include methylparaben (E218—methyl p-hydroxybenzoate), sodium methyl p-hydroxybenzoate (E219), propylparaben, isopropylparaben, ethylparaben (E214—ethyl p-hydroxybenzoate), sodium ethyl p-hydroxybenzoate (E215), butylparaben, isobutylparaben, and benzylparaben. Methylparaben and propylparaben are the only two parabens classified as generally recognized as safe by the U.S. FDA.677,678 (Paraben food additives approved for use in the EU include the E numbers in the parentheses following the variants above.679)


Parabens are found in tens of thousands of personal care products on the market today, even though the mechanism by which parabens are antimicrobial “is not fully understood.”680


A storm of controversy began brewing in the 1990s surrounding parabens when researchers discovered they acted as xenoestrogens, or chemicals that mimic female hormones, and as endocrine disruptors.681 Fast forward to 2004, when a study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology found five types of parabens in eighteen of twenty breast tumor tissue samples tested.682 Methylparaben was discovered at the highest levels, comprising 62 percent of total paraben discovered. Of the six parabens analyzed (isopropylparaben was not included in the study), benzylparaben was the only paraben not found in any of the tissue. The research team concluded that some of the paraben absorbed through skin-care products or food is able to be retained, although they could not identify the specific route—oral or topical—in which the parabens entered the body. Nor could the study provide conclusive proof that the parabens in the breast tumor tissue actually caused the tumors in the first place. Of the study, Discovery Fit and Health noted, “Paraben may very well be found in all tissue, due to widespread use.”683 Still, the study was cause for alarm and further research, given that parabens are ubiquitous in cosmetic, skin-care, pharmaceutical, and even food products.

Despite their established action as xenoestrogens and endocrine disruptors, the FDA has classified both methylparaben and propylparaben as GRAS for use in food. Parabens can be found in processed foods, cakes, pie crusts, pastries, icings, dried meat products, coated nuts, liquid dietary food supplements, and more.684 Regarding parabens as food additives, the FDA says, “There is no evidence that consumption of the parabens as food ingredients has had an adverse effect on man in the 40 years they have been so used in the United States.”685 While public concern mounted following the 2004 study previously discussed, causing a flurry of companies to remove parabens from their cosmetic and skin-care products altogether and openly noting “paraben-free” on the packaging as a selling point, many health-conscious U.S. consumers may likely remain unaware that paraben is used as a food ingredient and that it has been for over four decades.


In a follow-up to the 2004 study, a study in 2012 analyzed 160 breast tissue samples from forty women with breast cancer for five different parabens. This time, parabens were detected in a whopping 99 percent of samples. Propylparaben and methylparaben were found in the highest concentrations, respectively, but over 60 percent of samples analyzed contained all five parabens considered. While many underarm deodorants contain parabens that have been postulated as a potential breast cancer agent due to the close proximity of the underarms to the breasts and the typical daily usage of deodorants, the researchers noted that parabens were even present in the breast tissue of women who do not use deodorant.686


Even though only methylparaben and propylparaben are listed by the FDA as GRAS, two 2013 studies discovered those weren’t the only types found in food samples tested. The first study involved 267 food samples, including meat, grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, fats/oils, dairy products, and beverages taken from Albany, New York.687 Over 90 percent of the food samples tested positive for parabens, and all five types the researchers were testing for were present: methyl, ethyl, propyl, butyl, and benzyl. The highest concentrations were methyl, ethyl, and propyl. The abstract noted that, to the researchers’ knowledge, it was the first study of its kind on paraben levels in foods.


In a follow-up study, the same researchers looked at food samples from China and determined that, out of six parabens, 99 percent of 282 food samples from thirteen categories collected from nine cities in China contained the chemical preservative. According to the study abstract, “Methyl paraben (MeP), ethyl paraben (EtP), and propyl paraben (PrP) were the major paraben analogs found in foodstuffs, and these compounds accounted for 59 percent, 24 percent, and 10 percent, respectively, of paraben concentrations.”688 The researchers also determined that estimated daily intake levels for the foodstuffs from China for parabens were approximately three to, in some cases, ten times as high as was found in the U.S. study.


The public’s avoidance of parabens in foods is difficult because awareness of the issue is so low; many do not realize they are in foods and not just limited to cosmetics and skin-care products. Worse, when parabens are in foods, they are deceptively labeled as methyl p-hydroxybenzoate or propyl p-hydroxybenzoate instead of methylparaben and propylparaben.689 Knowledge is half the battle and, unfortunately, the public is simply not well informed.


Propyl gallate (E310)

Propyl gallate is the ester of gallic acid and propynol used as a synthetic antioxidant food preservative to keep oxygen from turning the oils in some food rancid. It is commonly found in microwave popcorn products, mayonnaise, chewing gum, soup mixes, frozen TV dinners, and other foods containing oils and fats. It’s also used in personal care products, cosmetics, adhesives, and lubricants. Propyl gallate is commonly used in conjunction with the preservatives BHA and BHT (see pages 149 and 163).

Propyl gallate has been shown in studies to be both genotoxic and cytotoxic, to inhibit and kill human endothelial cells, as well as to cause everything from allergic reactions such as seborrhoeic dermatitis and depigmentation of skin to liver damage. It was also recently identified as a xenoestrogen.690,691,692,693,694,695 Propyl gallate can cause stomach irritation and asthma attacks, and it can negatively affect aspirin-sensitive people; in addition, some countries such as South Africa ban it from use in foods for babies and young children.696 The FDA still considers it generally recognized as safe and has determined there are no safety hazards when used at appropriate levels.697


As it is not used as frequently as some preservatives, it is easiest to avoid by simply reading food labels.


TBHQ (E319), BHA (E320), and BHT (E321)


TBHQ, or tertiary butylhydroquinone, is a phenolic antioxidant-based preservative created with coal tar and the petroleum derivative butane. It is added to bread, pasta, margarine, potato chips, condiments, and other processed foods including fast food to prevent oils and fats from turning rancid. It’s also used in a wide array of manufacturing capacities, including varnish and lacquer production, as well as for the stabilization of explosives. A five-gram dose of TBHQ is known to be fatal.


TBHQ is often used in combination with other preservatives, specifically BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene). These three preservatives are commonly used together. In dozens of studies that have been done on all three since the mid-1970s, a wide range of adverse health effects—including reproductive, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, liver, lung, and skin problems—have been demonstrated, along with severe allergic reactions, nausea, and delirium.698


These preservatives have also been linked in studies to behavioral problems in children, including ADHD. In the 1970s, before TBHQ existed, Dr. Ben Feingold was able to reduce behavioral issues in six hundred children just by removing BHA and BHT (in combination with the removal of artificial colors and flavors) from their diets.699 While behavior improved in 30 to 50 percent of children after the colors and flavorings were taken out, the removal of BHA and BHT improved behavior in 60 to 70 percent of them. That same decade, in 1974, a study found that chronic ingestion of BHA and BHT by pregnant mice resulted in adverse behavior patterns, including insomnia, cognitive deficits, decreased self-grooming, and increased aggression.700 According to the New England Health Advisory, not only has TBHQ been linked to ADHD, but studies have shown it affects estrogen levels in women as well.701 According to the International Programme on Chemical Safety, TBHQ has damaged DNA in vitro and produced stomach tumor precursors in lab animals.


Both the FDA and the European Food Safety Authority have determined that BHA, BHT, and TBHQ are safe at the permitted acceptable daily intake levels. Despite evidence to the contrary, the EFSA ruled in 2004 that TBHQ is not a carcinogen and no further genotoxicity studies would be necessary.702 Consumers eat an estimated 20 milligrams of BHA and BHT daily.703

TBHQ, BHA, and BHT are all required to be listed on food packaging, but unless someone specifically requests the ingredients list at a restaurant, they aren’t going to know whether or not these preservatives are present in the food. In addition, as with many additives, federal laws do not require food manufacturers to disclose if ingredients were already preserved with BHA or BHT prior to being made into a final product. Vitamin A palmitate, used to fortify foods such as dairy products, may contain small amounts of undisclosed BHA and BHT, for example.704


Sulfites (E223)

Sulfites are common preservatives and antimicrobial agents added to foods, medicines, and especially wines to stop the fermentation process. Sulfites also prevent spoilage and can stop the browning process in some fruits and vegetables. They can be found in alcoholic beverages, condiments, modified dairy products, fish, gelatins, puddings, jams and jellies, shredded coconut, processed vegetables, dried fruits, and some snack foods and soup mixes.705 According to natural wine promoter More than Organic, sulfites are present at concentrations of up to 10 mg/L even in unsulphured wine, but conventional wines on the market today contain an average of ten to twenty times that much. In addition, conventional winemakers typically add sulfites to red wine even though its antioxidant properties are such that it is an unnecessary step.706


While sulfur is an essential element found in all animal and plant cells—some foods, such as eggs, onion, garlic, and cabbage, naturally contain high amounts of sulfur—the inogranic chemical compound sulfite created from sulfur can cause adverse reactions in sensitive people, including autistic children who have issues ridding themselves of excess sulfur.707 Some studies show that the sulfites regularly added to wine can actually trigger wine-induced asthma.708 Research has also linked sulfite exposure to an increased risk of liver disease due to the oxidative damage it can cause.709


The FDA requires food manufacturers to list sulfites if 10 ppm or more are present in the finished food or beverage product.710 Still, a rash of twenty-seven deaths between 1985 and 1990 were blamed on sulfite-induced anaphylactic reactions; at least six of those occurred in restaurants, where ingredients lists are either not readily available or not double-checked.711,712 Consensus was the deaths were due to sulfites on potatoes, which prompted the FDA to stop allowing sulfites on fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to establishing the 10 ppm-labeling limit. Still, sulfites are one of the few approved food preservatives that even the government has acknowledged has killed people—and yet, they are still allowed to be added to food with only limited regulation.


A meal consisting of a regular green salad, three ounces of dried apricots, and a four-ounce glass of wine would contain approximately 375 milligrams of sulfite, an amount far in excess of the World Health Organization daily limit of 42 milligrams for a 132-pound adult.713 It’s very likely the average diet contains far more sulfites than recommended, but because they are ubiquitous, it may be unavoidable.



A number of food additives are used to structure or blend otherwise incompatible mixtures of oil and water, or water-soluble ingredients. Thus, these chemicals and naturally occurring ingredients help hold many processed food concoctions together and maintain appearance, texture, and freshness, acting secondarily as preservatives. Ingredients such as cellulose and various gums—including gum arabic, furcelleran, guar, locust bean, and xanthan—frequently serve functions in processed foods as thickening agents, emulsifiers, and/or preservatives with little or no known risks and, in some instances, certain benefits. Guar gum, for one, has numerous positive interactions and possible health benefits.714,715,716,717,718 However, certain other emulsifiers and thickeners may pose significant health risks.


Carrageenan (E407)

Carrageenan, a red seaweed extract, is one of the most commonly added emulsifiers and thickening agent preservatives in numerous cheese and dairy products, alternative nondairy and low-fat products, desserts, cereals, drinks, baby formulas, gums, and other snacks. In many cases, carrageenan works as a fat substitute to bind ingredients together and establish texture.

Carrageenan is even a favorite additive in many USDA-certified “organic” and “natural” foods, despite its unhealthy connection to gastrointestinal inflammation and experimental cancer in lab animals.


Its health risks center on the fact that degraded forms of carrageenan, which have lower molecular weights, have been found to cause inflammation of the gastrointestinal system and colon. The native carrageenan used in foods begins not degraded, but a certain percentage becomes inadvertently degraded through the alkaline-based extraction process. This process contributes a potentially dangerous and inflammatory form of carrageenan seeping into foods.719


In numerous scientific studies, researchers have administered degraded carrageenan to rats as a way to induce adverse health effects for tests, including pain, chronic prostatitis, arthritis, synovitis, pleurisy, insulin resistance, Achilles tendinitis, and edema, just to name a few.720,721,722,723,724,725,726,727,728,729,730


The Cornucopia Institute details how a working group formed in 2005 by the carrageenan industry trade group Marinalg tested samples of food-grade carrageenan produced by its industry members, finding degraded carrageenan in every single sample. Two-thirds of these samples contained levels of this dangerous derivative above 5 percent, the amount considered by the industry as a working limit. However, by 2012, Marinalg was reportedly unable to establish a reliable testing procedure that would allow limits to be set or met, meaning that there is no guarantee of consumer safety of this food additive in spite of its widespread use.731

The U.N. WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer identified degraded carrageenan as a Group 2B “possible human carcinogen” back in the early 1980s.732 The U.S. FDA considered restricting degraded carrageenan, as defined by molecular weight under 100,000, back in 1972, but no action was ultimately taken.733


The FDA has approved carrageenan as safe in its not-degraded food grade form, along with several of its salts and also formulas combined with Polysorbate 80 as stabilizers.734


In a controversial move, the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board first approved carrageenan for use in organic foods in the mid-1990s. The Cornucopia Institute reported that when the food additive came up for periodic review in the spring of 2012,735 one of the NOSB board members over-emphasized the claims of the carrageenan lobbying group Marinalg (whose member companies include Cargill Texturizing Solutions and DuPont Nutrition Biosciences).736


That board member—supposed to be representing public interests—reportedly spent floor time reading direct passages from Marinalg-sponsored studies that asserted carrageenan’s unequivocal safety,737,738 but passed the claims off as if they were authored by United Nations’ Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. Despite strong opposition from every public interest group in attendance, carrageenan was reapproved for use in organic foods for another five years by a slim one-vote margin.739


Dr. Joanne Tobacman has published more than twenty peer-reviewed studies on the health effects of carrageenan, and she has not only studied carrageenan as an associate professor at the University of Illinois College of Medicine,740 but has also used her acumen to be a public advocate for the removal of carrageenan, initiating a petition to the FDA back in 2008, addressing the USDA National Organic Standards Board in 2012, and informing the public through various media outlets.741,742


According to Dr. Tobacman, the food additive is capable of causing inflammation in any of its forms,743 making it not just another inert ingredient but also cause for significant alarm. Chronic inflammation can trigger a perpetual inflammation cycle that invites everything from Parkinson’s to coronary artery disease to rheumatoid arthritis to cancer.


Significantly, Dr. Tobacman found that chronic, low-dose exposure to carrageenan contributed to glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, and impaired signaling, all precursors to diabetes and obesity.744


Another study by Tobacman and her team described how colon cells interact with carrageenan promoters to prolong inflammation caused by the food additive.745 Most recently, Tobacman and her colleagues published a study in January 2014 demonstrating how carrageenan contributes to colon cancer.746


Despite all this, the public is largely unaware of carrageenan’s risks, unlike the attention paid to high-profile ingredients such as aspartame, MSG, high-fructose corn syrup, and other controversial additives.


Ultimately, carrageenan has no nutritional purpose and is nonessential as an additive because it could easily be replaced by alternatives such as locust bean gum or guar gum. Moreover, many foods do not require an emulsifier in the first place but could instead simply prompt consumers to “shake” before eating or drinking.


The Cornucopia Institute has published a shopping guide to aid buyers in avoiding carrageenan.747


Soy lecithin (E322)

With soybeans as one of the most heavily subsidized, widely used, and cheapest sources of raw food material, soy lecithin is one of the most common components of modern mass-produced processed food products. It is relatively non-toxic, inexpensive (due to government soy subsidies), and reduces viscosity while preventing separation and keeping ingredients—such as oils and chocolate—evenly mixed inside product formulas. Made up of the phospholipids phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), and phosphatidylinositol (PI), lecithin is separated from soybean oil through industrial production and can be found on a significantly large portion of product ingredient labels for foods of nearly every kind.748


11.  In almost every case, that soy lecithin is also derived from genetically modified soy, unless the label specifically says it is made from non-GMO or organic soy. About 93 percent of soy grown in the United States and 81 percent of soy grown globally is genetically modified, although food producers prefer to keep that fact off of labels.749


The sordid details of soy lecithin’s history as a food staple was taken on by author Kaayla Daniel in her 2005 book The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food. Though lecithins are naturally occurring in all organisms and can be extracted from many sources, soy lecithin came to dominate the market due to its cheap cost and surplus abundance as a foul-smelling industrial waste sludge that remains from the degumming processing of crude soy oil.750,751


 Daniel cites historian William Shurtleff, who wrote an unpublished history on soy with coauthor Akiko Aoyagi, claiming that German soy oil refiners of the early twentieth century were seeking ways to dispose of this industrial sludge and turned to a vacuum drying method that led to the patenting and marketing of soybean lecithin as a major commodity.752 Reportedly, the German industry hired scientists to develop hundreds of new commercially viable applications; several of the new applications it developed for the food industry now heavily affect the diet of the global consumer.


Shurtleff and Aoyagi further detail how Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), now a massive Big Agra conglomerate, became the first American manufacturer of soy lecithin in 1934, and by 1935, the company had patented a new process for oil extraction—using hexane.753 This displaced the dominant ethanol-benzol extraction method and allowed for a more palatable and appealing soy lecithin product. ADM’s aggressive marketing allowed soy-derived lecithin to overtake egg-derived lecithin and unleashed a whole new era of processed foods into the Western diet.


Using hexane as a solvent to extract soy lecithin underscores the pressing concern in weighing the potential health risks and contamination issues for this industry standard food emulsifier.754 Hexane, a constituent of gasoline and jet fuel, poses significant chronic toxicological health hazards, including damage to the nervous and muscular systems and vision impairment. Hexane is also a known potential carcinogen.755 The Cornucopia Institute found that hexane is persistent in soy lecithin production and thus poses a legitimate health concern.756 This issue is more thoroughly covered in the hexane section of this book (see page 107).


Soy lecithin production supposedly eliminates soy proteins and, with it, the potential for allergic reaction. However, the expectation that mass production and mass consumption of soy lecithin does not carry with it the risks of soy-related allergies is not based on any long-term dietary studies, so it warrants further study. Nevertheless, aside from the hexane, soy lecithin likely carries a low allergenic risk.


Polysorbate 80 (E433)

Polysorbate 80, which is also known as polyoxyethylene (80) sorbitan monooleate, (x)-sorbitan mono-9-octadecenoate poly (oxy-1,2 ethanediyl), Tween 80, and POE (80) sorbitan monooleate, and its fellow polysorbates (including -20, -40, -60, and -65) are emulsifiers traded under brand names such as Tween, Alkest, and Canarcel. Polysorbates are made up of sorbitol, a sugar alcohol, esterified with fatty acids. Polysorbate 80 and polysorbate 60 are widely used in foods, while polysorbate 80 has become a common (and controversial) adjuvant and excipient in vaccines and pharmaceutical drugs, included increasingly in the nanoparticle delivery of medication.


Polysorbate 80 has GRAS status from the FDA and is accepted as safe in Europe as well; it is very frequently found in whipped dessert toppings, ice cream, shortening, desserts, and condiments.


However, few studies have been done on the actual safety of this processed food ingredient in the human diet. While no great potential for harm has yet been demonstrated, and no evidence exists in regards to carcinogenicity or neurotoxicity,757 there is some emerging evidence to cast doubt on the overall safety of dietary polysorbate 80.


Gastroenterology research into the causes and rising prevalence of Crohn’s disease and other gastrointestinal inflammatory diseases has raised significant dietary questions about the developed world’s modern diet of highly processed foods. Does polysorbate 80 play a role?


 In 2010, researchers probed the impact of foods on aiding or inhibiting invasive disease bacteria across the gastrointestinal barrier through transportation on M cells (microfold cells),758 which play a role in immune response and in breaching this barrier during intestinal inflammation.759


The study found that high-fiber foods like broccoli and plantains inhibited the translocation of invasive disease-carrying bacteria, while emulsifiers such as polysorbate 80 from processed food diets facilitated the transport of pathogens, increasing the rate across M cells fivefold.


Researchers now believe that emulsifiers generally may play a significant role in increasing intestinal permeability in patients with Crohn’s disease, particularly as emulsifiers are detergents—and amphiphilic (friendly with water and fats)—which are known to increase intestinal permeability. These researchers noted that in previous studies, “Polysorbate 80 has been shown to integrate within cell membranes, altering their microviscosity.”760,761


This research would support evidence that polysorbate 80 could be affecting transport of disease-causing agents across the intestinal barrier. So far, there has been little investigation into the effect of emulsifiers like polysorbate 80 on gut permeability, but the implications of these initial findings for the emerging rainbow of gastrointestinal disorders is immense.


A 2003 study found that injected polysorbate 80, frequently used as a vaccine adjuvant, was found to increase digestive efficiency, but at the same time, it also caused a toxic irritating effect on the gastrointestinal system at a high dosage.762


In commercial food production, polysorbate 80 has also been combined with carrageenan into a single food additive, which has been approved by the FDA for use in foods.763,764 Now, it need only be labeled “carrageenan” even when it contains up to 5 percent by weight of polysorbate 80. The FDA currently limits the concentration of polysorbate 80 in the final food product to 500 ppm.765 Given the results of the Crohn’s study with polysorbate 80 and the significant and toxic effects of carrageenan with gastrointestinal inflammation (see the earlier section on carrageenan on page 166), there is reason to be concerned that low concentrations of polysorbate 80 may now be hidden in foods.


A study published by Nature in 2015 highlighted the negative impact of dietary emulsifiers on digestive disorders and even metabolic syndrome. Entitled “Dietary emulsifiers impact the mouse gut microbiota promoting colitis and metabolic syndrome,” this study reported:


Agents that disrupt mucus–bacterial interactions might have the potential to promote diseases associated with gut inflammation. Consequently, it has been hypothesized that emulsifiers, detergent-like molecules that are a ubiquitous component of processed foods and that can increase bacterial translocation across epithelia in vitro2, might be promoting the increase in inflammatory bowel disease observed since the mid-twentieth century.766


Avoiding polysorbate 80, along with other synthetic preservatives and emulsifiers, may be prudent under the prevailing wisdom of the precautionary principle and a little common sense, as polysorbate 80 was not an ingredient in anyone’s diet a century ago. It may well be confounding or aggravating to our digestive systems, regardless of how readily it is sold to us in cleverly marketed food products with trendy and inviting packages.


A feeding study from 1956 testing for fertility effects on mice from partial ester emulsifiers found no effect from eating a 5 percent diet of polysorbate 80, but it did find a slight reduction in fertility at the extremely high dietary intake level of 20 percent.767 Though this level of consumption is unrealistic in terms of typical human diets, it may warrant further investigation, as polysorbate 80 has been connected with lowered fertility and birth defects when used in vaccines in animal studies768 and accompanied a spike in fetal loss reports across three consecutive flu seasons while it was in the flu vaccine.769 It is in current versions of vaccines for influenza, HPV, Pneumococcal, Rotavirus, Tdap, and DTap.770


Medical administration of polysorbate 80 in vaccinations caused anaphylactic shock in at least one man, according to a 2005 paper.771 Rats given injections of polysorbate 80 (Tween 80) in saline experienced convulsions and death within minutes.772 It should be noted, when administered capsaicin, the compound that makes hot peppers hot, prior to the Tween 80 shot, the rats’ lives were saved from the Tween 80.


Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO), the notorious odorless killer gas, is used as a color preservative in meat and seafood products to maintain a reddish color that gives the appearance of fresh meat and lasts for up to three weeks.773 Retail cuts are packaged in gas mixtures containing less than 0.5 percent CO. It is approved for use and generally recognized as safe by the FDA.774


Though studies have claimed that the low level of gas used is safe and a highly improbable toxic threat,775 critics have called attention to its use on the basis of potential consumer fraud, by potentially making old foods seem fresh.776,777 If meats or fish appear fresh even after they are past their prime, shoppers could be duped into purchasing spoiled meats, filled with dangerous microbes, which could be hazardous if consumed.778


In addition, low-level chronic exposure to breathing carbon monoxide can cause amnesia, headaches, memory loss, behavioral issues, loss of muscle and bladder control, and vision impairment, although no studies have considered the effects of long-term CO ingestion.779


All in all, the use of such a well-known toxin in food preservation holds a creepy overtone—one more cosmetic agent of food mummification.


Potassium bromate (E924)

Potassium bromate is a preservative and bleaching agent that strengthens glutens and was widely used across the globe in nearly every type of enriched bread for many decades, until it was confirmed to be a carcinogen targeting the kidneys780 and thyroid with oxidative damage.781,782


The food additive has since been banned in numerous countries, starting in Europe and the United Kingdom in 1990, in Canada by 1994, in Sri Lanka and parts of Latin America by 2001, and even in China by 2005,783 while the state of California requires a warning label listing it as a carcinogen under Prop 65.784


Nevertheless, it remains approved for use in the United States by the FDA as an optional ingredient in standardized foods at levels less than 75 ppm in whole wheat flour and 50 ppm in white flour, though use has reportedly declined.785 It remains legal because it was approved by the FDA back in 1958 before the Delaney Clause took hold.786 The EPA classified it as a Group B2 carcinogen in 1993 and established a final rule by 1998, stating that “there is sufficient laboratory animal data to conclude that bromate is a probable (likely under the 1996 proposed cancer guidelines) human carcinogen.”787


In addition to potassium bromate’s direct effects, bromism, or bromide dominance, can develop in the human body, in which long-term chronic exposure to bromide can inhibit iodine absorption, leading to a deficiency that can trigger cancers of the thyroid, prostrate, and ovaries after significant accumulation.788,789


Potassium bromate, where still in use, remains a largely hidden ingredient, typically only listed on the label as “enriched flour,” but occasionally appearing as “bromated flour.” Several fast food chains continue to use it in buns and breads, despite the clear risks.

Used in the United States since the early 1900s, it is added to the brew and dough recipes for enriched flours, particularly after new requirements called for nutritional enhancements and constant refinement to maintain texture, volume, and a palatable taste in industrial scale breads produced for the commercial market. Potassium bromate was considered essential at trace levels to solidify the addition of soy or wheat-gluten proteins. Cereal Chemistry journal articles detail the sometimes disastrous recipe revisions790 and workarounds in 1970s-era cereal-enrichment formulations based on low-quality ingredient mixtures with potassium bromate as a stabilizing agent.791


Documented industrial recipes describe its continued use in 2002 with a raw wheat germ and vital wheat gluten formula.792 Organic flours and baked goods typically avoid the use of this chemical, and are the best bet to avoid intake.


Studies have shown that glutathione, cysteine, and vitamin C protect against the cytotoxic carcinogenic effects and oxidative DNA damage of potassium bromate by blocking its ability to induce oxidative stress.793,794

Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) (E443)


A related bromide preservative is controversially used in the soft drink and beverage industry in sodas and sports drinks with citrus flavors. Brominated vegetable oils (BVO), composed of bromine and corn or soy oils, emulsify these citrus flavor agents and allow them to remain suspended in a cloudy mixture in drinks, including Mountain Dew, Gatorade, Powerade, Amp, Squirt, and Fanta Orange.


BVO was originally approved for use as a flame retardant. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, safety concerns over brominated vegetable oils led the FDA to remove the additive from the generally recognized as safe list back in 1970. However, with behind-the-scenes pressure from the beverage industry, the toxic ingredient continued to be allowed as part of the FDA’s Interim List pending further safety studies.


Decades later, the FDA has indicated it believes the ingredient to be “safe,” while Europe and other countries have banned its use and embraced safer alternatives.795


Long-term exposure to BVOs can cause inhibited growth, adverse behavioral and reproductive effects, heart lesions, and liver damage, according to rat studies, and several isolated cases of human toxicity after extreme overconsumption of sodas, triggering a severe case of bromism.796,797,798,799


Sodium nitrite (E250)

Sodium nitrite, used in everything from pesticides to dyes to pharmaceuticals, is an inorganic compound perhaps best known for its role as an additive in processed meats. The FDA has approved sodium nitrite for use in foods to prevent the growth of botulism spores and as a color fixative.800 Sodium nitrite is added to give meat that seemingly “fresh,” vibrant red or pink color that will make it more appealing to consumers for its potentially lengthy shelf life.


While it may be visually appealing—causing cured deli meats, pepperoni, salami, jerkies, bacon, hot dogs, and sausage to look the way people expect them to—sodium nitrite in processed meats doesn’t look quite so pretty otherwise.


A multitude of studies have associated processed meats with a bevy of cancers and health issues due to the nitrites used to cure them. In just the last decade, researchers have linked sodium nitrite in processed meat to a 74 percent increase in leukemia;801 a significant increase in the risk of esophageal carcinoma according to a thirty-year cohort study;802 reproductive toxicity and interference with normal embryo development;803 the parallel rise of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes;804 an increased risk of gastric cancer;805 a 31 percent increase in ovarian cancer risk with high intake of dietary nitrite;806 obstruction of lung function and increase in risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD);807 formation of a hepatocarcinogen;808 a 67 percent increase in pancreatic cancer risk;809,810 a positive association between red meat intake and bladder cancer;811 nephrotoxicity and oxidative damage in the kidneys of rats;812 a twofold higher risk of thyroid cancer in women with the most dietary intake of nitrite, particularly from processed meats;813 and the list goes on and on.


When sodium nitrite hits the human digestive system, all hell breaks loose. At high temperatures, nitrites in processed meats combine with the proteins in meat called amines, forming toxic, carcinogenic nitrosamines in the stomach that can enter the blood stream and wreak havoc on the body. Nitrosamines were first outed as cancer-causing agents in 1956 when two scientists discovered dimethylnitrosamine gave rats liver tumors, so the dangers have been known for some time.814


In her book Eating May Be Hazardous to Your Health, former FDA aspartame panel member–turned–whistleblower Jacqueline Verrett talks about how Dr. William Lijinsky, a scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, reported that 100 percent of his lab rats fed combinations of nitrite and amine (found in meat, wine, fish, and many prescription drugs, as well as other products) developed malignant tumors in nearly every organ system within six months.815


Although some may try to argue that nitrites in processed meats are safe because some vegetables naturally contain nitrites, those vegetables do not contain the amines that meat does; neither are vegetables heated to the same range of temperatures as meats, so the likelihood of vegetables creating nitrosamines is much lower.


The bacteria found in meat reduces nitrates into nitrite, which in turn becomes the nitric oxide that actually cures the meat. Environmentally relevant concentrations of nitric oxide have been found to induce everything from reproductive and developmental toxicity to colon cancer.816,817

Is sodium nitrite toxic? Without question, it is.


In 2008, a Missouri woman who worked at a meat processing plant filled a capsule with sodium nitrite and gave it to another woman under false pretenses, allegedly in order to hospitalize her so she could have a chance to get close to the woman’s husband. The victim of this poisoning collapsed twenty minutes after taking the pill and was rushed to the hospital. She survived, but only because the quantity of sodium nitrite was deliberately chosen to be nonfatal.818 Sodium nitrite is currently being developed as the main ingredient in a feral hog toxicant for population control purposes.819


As stated on the USDA website in a document extolling the virtues of a sodium nitrite–based feral hog killer:

The toxin, sodium nitrite, a common meat preservative that prevents botulism, had previously been shown to be a quick-acting and low-residue toxicant for feral pigs in Australia and has since been patented. Pigs are particularly sensitive to nitrite-induced methemoglobinemia because they have low levels of methemoglobin reductase, the enzyme required to reverse the effects of nitrite toxicosis.


It raises the question: If sodium nitrite is toxic to feral hogs because they have “low levels of methemoglobin reductase,” isn’t it also possible that some humans may also share that enzyme deficiency due to natural genetic variation?


There’s no question that sodium nitrite is a toxin in both humans and feral hogs. The solution to this chemical contaminant is to stop consuming it. The best way to avoid sodium nitrite is to stop buying processed meat products containing the ingredient all together, and if meat is on the dinner menu, look for fresh meat and meats that explicitly state “no nitrites” on the packaging.

Vitamin C has been shown in studies to protect people from the damaging effects of nitrites


From: 'Mercury Detoxification Protocol'


1. Diet

Avoid all sugar and milk, limit all processed foods and most grains, especially wheat. Read the Optimal Wellness Handout every day for two weeks and follow it. Read the detailed version at least twice.


It will be important to have a high protein diet as the sulfur bearing amino acids in the protein will greatly facilitate detoxification. Do NOT attempt to fast during DMPS mercury detoxification. If you are a vegetarian you will be at HIGH risk for complications from DMPS unless you have a large amount of protein.


Whey protein can be used as a supplement as it is high in glutathione and branched chain amino acids. Two large tablespoons are used per drink and that can be taken once a day and twice a day for the week prior to DMPS chelation.


Autistic children can't use this product as it contains casein. They can use pure branched chain amino acids. You can start with one capsule twice daily and mix with food. Work up to two capsules twice a day for the week prior to DMPS chelation.


2. Beneficial Bacteria

Take one quarter to one half teaspoon once a day of a high potency high quality strain. It is vital to have an optimized bowel flora for detoxification.


3. Maintain two to three bowel movements per day

If you are not having this many bowel movements make certain that your thyroid status has been checked. It is very common for mercury to affect the thyroid. If your thyroid function is fine then you should add some magnesium.


If you are on long-term magnesium it is important to take some calcium with it or after awhile you will develop an imbalance in your calcium magnesium ratio which could result in severe cramping.


Freshly ground flax seed several teaspoons per day will facilitate intestinal movement and also contribute some healthy essential fatty acids.


4. Unload the connective tissue with Chlorella or ProChitosan

Chlorella and ProChitosan are an important part of the detoxification program, as approximately 90% of the mercury in our bodies is eliminated through the stool. Chlorella is an algae and, unlike Protchitosan, has protein high levels of chlorophyll and other nutrients which can be used for nourishment.


The chlorella powder is the most cost effective approach but some people will prefer the tablets or capsules for convenience. A simple way to dissolve the powder is to place it in a container with a lid partially filled with water. Then tighten the lid and shake to dissolve and drink the solution.


Caution: About 30% of people can't tolerate chlorella. This may be due to optimized function of the enzyme cellulase. If you are unable to tolerate this it would be wise to consider adding an enzyme with cellulase in it to help digest the chlorella.


Dose: One can start out with a one quarter of a teaspoon of the powder (one 500 mg tablet) once a day initially to confirm that there is no hypersensitivity present. Work up slowly over one to two weeks to a dose of one teaspoon (ten tablets or capsules) per day. Once you tolerate this dose you are able to use it to bind the mercury. Use this dose starting two days prior to your chelation and for one day afterwards. The chlorella will thoroughly coat your intestine and bind like a sponge to any mercury that the DMPS liberates into the gut.


The above dose is based on a 150 pound adult. If you are using the program for children reduce the dose proportionately. (So a 30 pound child would have have 30/150 or 1/5 (20%) of the dose).


Caution:If at any time one develops nausea or starts "burping up" the chlorella taste then the chlorella should be stopped immediately as a food sensitivity is developing which will only worsen if you continue taking it. If this happens you should switch to ProChitosan. This binds similarly to mercury. Its dose is dependent on your bowel movements.


If you have one bowel movement a day or less you should start two days prior to the DMPS. If you have two or more bowel movements, you can start 24 hours prior to the DMPS. Stay on it for 24 hours after the DMPS. So you will be on it either two or three days. The dose is two capsules three times a day. Be sure to drink it with plenty of water and increase magnesium if constipation develops.


Porphrazyme from Biotics Research is another alternative to chlorella that many clinicians have had success with in mercury detoxification.


5. Start Garlic or MSM

It would be wise to start on garlic regularly to enhance sulfur stores. Use the food, rather than the supplement garlic. Try to get in three cloves per day, but decrease the dose if your odor becomes socially offensive.


Again, as indicated in the chlorella section above, children will have proportionately lower doses.


MSM is a form of sulfur which will help your body to remove the mercury. The initial dose is one capsule twice a day. Increase by one capsule a day until you are at three capsules twice a day. If you have root canals and are chronically sick you may want to increase to five capsules three times a day.


6. Start Cilantro

Cilantro will help mobilize mercury out of the tissue so the DMPS can attach to it and allow it to be excreted from the body. The best form of cilantro is a tincture available from Dragon River (505-583-2348).


The dose is one dropper applied on the wrists and rubbed in twice a day for the two weeks preceding the DMPS IV. It is used the morning prior to the DMPS chlelation but can be stopped for the following two weeks. The tincture is also particularly useful for any joint pain and could be rubbed on the joint that is hurting as an alternative.


You can also augment the tincture with using the herb. It is not as potent, but certainly will add to the program. However, like chlorella, many people are sensitive to oral cilantro. So, if you develop any nausea or discomfort after eating cilantro do not use it orally.


7. Mineral Replacement

It is important to have a generally healthy mineral base. The body works better with toxic metals than no metals at all. Enzymes have certain binding sites that require a metal for them to perform their function as a catalyst. When you are deficient in magnesium, sodium, zinc and other minerals, the body does not let go of the toxic metals very easily.


Selenium and zinc are particularly important trace minerals in mercury detoxification and should be used for most people.


Generally the citrate form of minerals works quite nicely unless one has a low blood phosphorous level. It is important to not take copper or iron though unless a clinician has examined a hair analysis and or blood work and recommended these minerals. Thorne Research has Citramins II which is citrated minerals without copper or iron.


Hydrochloric Acid:

If you do not have a sufficient amount of hydrochloric acid secreted by your stomach then it will be very difficult to ionize mineral supplements to absorb them properly. There is a hydrochloric acid reflex present on the lowest rib approximately one inch lateral to the midline. If this area on the rib is tender to palpation there is a strong likelihood the person is deficient in hydrochloric acid and would benefit from supplementation.


This is especially common in individuals over 50 years old, and also in individuals with food allergies. One to six capsules or more of Betaine hydrochloride is generally taken with the first bite of every meal for proper digestive support. The Betaine can be discontinued once the reflex point in non-tender to deep palpation.


Monitoring Your Mineral Dosing

It will be very important to monitor your mineral levels during the detoxification program. This should be done initially and at least every 6-12 weeks. I only recommend two labs to do this work. Trace Elements and Analytical Research as they are the only two labs that do not wash the hair samples prior to analysis.


8. Digestion and Gall Bladder Support for Autism

Liver and gallbladder congestion are major issues in states of toxicity. To insure that your gallbladder bile flow is functional add magnesium taurate or taurine, butyric acid (Butryex 559-433-3110)

The dose of the Butyrex initially is 1/8-1/4 of capsule. Gradually increase the dose to 5 capsules 3 times daily. The Butyrex has an offensive odor which is lessened by keeping it in the freezer. Additionally inserting the powder in applesauce, raw honey or elderberry cough syrup may improve compliance.


Digestive enzymes (containing lipase) and CCK (stimulates contraction of the gall bladder) can be used one hour after meals containing fat. CCK is taken after dinner (high fat meal).


- young children 1/4 tablet

- older children 1/2 tablet

- teenagers 1 tablet

- adults 2 to 4 tablets


Your ability to clear toxins will be impaired if you do not have proper fats to support digestive function. Your diet should contain adequate fat from unprocessed pure oils. Omega Nutrition, Flora or Arrowhead Mills


- sunflower

- safflower

- sesame


OR fats naturally found in foods:


- seeds

- nuts

- avocado

- free range organic poultry, eggs, or meats


9. Antioxidants

Vitamin C and E. It would be wise to take Unique vitamin E one capsule per day and about 250-500 mg of vitamin C with each meal. If you are exercising aggressively you can take 1000 mg of C 15-30 minutes prior to exercising. It is also wise to consider adding 2-4,000 mg of Vitamin C powder to a half gallon of water and drinking that throughout the day.

It will be VERY important to take 2000 units (typically five of the 400 unit capsules) of vitamin E the day of and the day after the DMPS injection as this will decrease the side effects of the detoxification reaction considerably. You can also take 1-2 grams of vitamin C immediately prior to the DMPS injection.


10. Start Monthly DMPS Injections, Suppositories or Transdermal

You should not have DMPS if you still have amalgam fillings. If they have been removed the injections can be started on a monthly basis. Collection of the urine is then down to analyze how much mercury is being excreted. One must urinate completely prior to the injection.


I perform the analysis at 90 minutes as that is most convenient, but others do four or 24 hour collections. The DMPS injections are generally given about six times or until the level drops into single digits or you are feeling better.


For pediatric patients

You can click here to find out why I don't recommend DMSA mercury chelation. Since an IV is such a traumatic event for most children it is probably wise to use a rectal suppository version of DMPS which is available from most compounding pharmacists. Another alternative is to apply the dose transdermally with DMSO. This is very similar to the way that the hormone secretion is being used for many autistic patients.

The dose is 5 mg of DMPS per kg of body weight and is generally given once a month. The urine collection for pediatric patients incorporates a bag to collect the urine for mercury analysis.


11. DMPS Alternative

Some people do not tolerate DMPS well. This is especially true for those who have damage in the central nervous system, such as those with MS or ALS or children with fragile brain architecture. If this is the case there are several options. PCA (peptid clathrating agent) spray can be used. The dose is 4 sprays under the tongue every day or every other day. One may use a dipeptide amino acid or mixed mineral succinates such as Champion Nutrition Muscle Nitro.


Steps include:


such as Pacing Yourself










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