Monday, March 7, 2022

2022 Integrative Medicine Review of Toxins


 Toxins and Health: A Personalized Medicine Perspective

Written by: Dr. Bobbi Kline

We are all bombarded by potential toxins every day, all day. Many of these are the result of biological processes that are necessary for normal functioning of our bodies, including hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, oxygen for energy, even common nutrients such as iron or copper. Generally, as long as these processes are supported through the right diet, exercise and lifestyle, our bodies handle these without any problem.

The entire biological process that is designed to transform toxic compounds into nontoxic ones is termed biotransformation, more commonly called detoxification - or detox for short. There are typically multiple biological steps that end with eliminating these compounds from our bodies, and every step along the way involves proper functioning of various proteins called enzymes, transporters, and receptors. To make it even more complicated, these very processes designed to protect us from these toxic chemicals often create compounds temporarily that are actually even more highly toxic, before they are finally eliminated from our bodies in a form that is no longer harmful. 

Getting the detoxification process to function at its best, with everything happening in the right sequence and having the right raw materials relies on our genetic code. If a person’s genetic code has small errors, in the form of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs for short) [see: genetics vs genomics], this can cause one or more of these proteins to function sub-optimally. Over time, this can damage cells and their content including our mitochondria [see: mitochondria review] and DNA. This then predisposes to a wide range of diseases, including cancer. And if that person also has SNPs in the genes that are responsible for repairing this damage, that person’s risk is compounded. 

Now imagine adding in the additional burden of toxins from our environment, and you can see that our natural processes can easily become overwhelmed. These toxins come in many different forms, ranging from the products we use in our daily lives (cosmetics and personal care products, tobacco products, household cleaning products, plastics used for food storage, medications etc) to occupational hazards including manufacturing processes, diesel and other fuels, industrial fires, and military burn pits [see 2/27/2021 Feature on military Burn Pits]. They also come from catastrophic environmental events such as forest fires, petrochemical spills, hurricanes and floods. 

(To be continued in the lower half of this issue)

Toxicology 101: A Threat to Firefighters Health 
(A reprise from Journal of Modern Healing- issued  July 11, 2019By Dr. Robert L. Bard, cancer diagnostic specialist (NYC)

After a decade past the 9/11 disaster, news broke of unique and advanced cases of CANCER arising in droves. A growing number of the same individuals exposed to the toxic fumes and plumes of hazardous particles in the danger zone have recently contracted aggressive cases of CANCER and were in immediate demand for medical care and desperate need for advanced research and support. 
This spike in cases can only come from ‘dormant’ cells or recurrence (usually with a vengeance) – such as cases of cancer tumors in the lung, liver, prostate, kidney, brain, skin and even the eye. To troubleshoot each case, it would be advantageous to take a crash course in toxicology and to recognize the chemical compounds that BATHED all responders during the event.  Understanding these chemicals can help us pursue their behaviors (on the body) and their long and short term effects.

As part of our evaluation of all occupational illnesses contracted by first responders, we enter the world of TOXICOLOGY- the branch of science focused on the effects and detection of poisons.  It is also the discipline overlapping chemistry, biology and pharmacology- studying the adverse effects of chemical substances on living organisms.  In pursuit of first responders’ safety as far as chemical effects on the body, we connected with Professor David Purser of the Hartford Environmental Research (UK), a renowned toxicology expert who conducted major reviews on fire-exposed carcinogens published worldwide. “9/11 was unusual in that a major environmental hazard resulted from the dust cloud released as and after the Towers collapsed,” says Prof. Purser.  “The dust inhaled by responders at the time, and afterwards working at the site, has resulted in serious ongoing and developing health conditions and to this day.  For fires in general, there is also increasing evidence and concern regarding FF exposure to carcinogens, especially from soot contamination to skin and clothing following attendance at incidents and during training.” An abstract from Prof. Purser’s latest presentation – “ Toxins Including Effects of Fire Retardants, During Fires and Post-Fire Investigation Activities” indicates a remarkable breakdown of some of the major toxins and carcinogenic compounds that the average firefighter would be exposed to. (See complete article)

MPR-TV reports on Advanced Cancer Doppler Imaging. Meet Dr. Robert L. Bard (award-winning cancer diagnostician and expert imaging specialist). Get the facts about the many new 9/11 Cancer Cases 18 years since the terror attacks- and how we are waging a new war with advanced technology like the use of 3D/4D Doppler Histogram Scans.


2/11/2022- A 2022 initiative by community leaders launched the PMCC or Post Military Crusaders Coalition to launch an action plan for health resources for injured American veterans. Similar to the First Responders Cancer Resource project, this campaign supports all veteran advocates and service members support organizations by offering educational initiatives, alternative therapeutic modalities, sustainable diagnostic technologies and clinical research programs. 

"GETTING MY LIFE BACK FROM CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME"  2/15/2022- Mrs. Suzanne Wheeler of Minneapolis, Minnesota is celebrated as IPHA NEWS' Researcher of the Month.  After years of suffering a life-altering disorder that currently continues to challenge the scientific community of its root causes, Mrs. Wheeler explored “outside the conventional box” of opioid prescriptions, uncovering alternative solutions that got her back on her feet and joining life again.  Invoking CHANGE against all odds by diligently searching for what’s beyond the convenient takes courage and conviction.  It is this level of academic strength and strategic leadership that comprises the Alternative Health and Wellness community. (see full feature on Mrs. Wheeler's PEMF review)

Public Service Announcement

Toxins and Health: A Personalized Medicine Perspective (continued from page 1)  by: Dr. Bobbi Kline

These toxins enter our bodies through a variety of ways including our lungs, skin, eyes, and digestive tract and get eliminated primarily through sweat, urine and feces. At every point along the way there is the potential for short-term and long-term damage. The reality is that over 80,000 chemicals are currently in use in the U.S.(1), most of them under-regulated or unregulated. While we cannot avoid them, raising awareness of toxin sources and how to minimize exposure is a key part of minimizing their impact on our health. 

This exposure starts before birth, with an EWG study demonstrating 287 toxins present in the cord blood of babies at birth. But these are not limited to newborns, they are found everywhere in our environment and include mercury from coal-fired plants, perfluorinated chemicals (PFC’s) present in nonstick cookware coatings, organochlorine pesticides including DDT, polychlorinated napthalenes present in wood varnish, and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH’S) from burning gasoline and garbage. 

Beyond a person’s genetic code and environmental exposure, there is another powerful element: food. All of the proteins in our bodies require nutrients from our diet to function properly. This is another area where personal choices can make a big impact that toxin exposures will have.  The ultimate health outcomes of various toxin exposures are the result of a complicated equation that takes into account the interaction of total exposures with our ability to handle them. Each person, depending on their genes and their exposures, will have differing levels of risk. This is why two people can have the same apparent exposure, and one person ends up with multiple cancers over their lifetime and another does not.

While we can’t avoid these chemicals, we don’t have to feel hopeless. Some simple strategies that everyone can do are to minimize exposure chemicals in their everyday routines, stay well hydrated, eat the recommended 5 servings/day of colorful fruits and vegetables, and maintain a high fiber intake. Managing emotional stress and regularly exercising at an intensity high enough to sweat are also key components to helping your biochemistry function well.

There are also numerous strategies being used in integrative and functional medicine. These include use of specific herbs, nutrients, and bioactives that both support the body’s natural systems as well as help bind and eliminate toxins more effectively. Other therapies that work on an energetic level, including acupuncture, are also being used with some success.

PERSONALIZED MEDICINE is promising to be an even more effective approach. By leveraging each person’s unique genomic blueprint, we can see where their vulnerabilities are and use that understanding for both prevention and treatment (3). With this deep knowledge of the “hiccups” in each person’s detoxification process due to SNPs, a personalized strategy can be used to reduce both exposure and potential effects of these toxins. 

Newer technologies may further enhance our ability to personalize prevention and treatment. In particular, I feel exosomes are an exciting prospect. (4) While much research still needs to be done, I see the potential to target specific toxins and/or locations after acute exposures to interrupt their damaging effects.


ROBERTA KLINE, MD (Educational Dir. /Women's Diagnostic Group)
Dr. Kline is a board-certified ObGyn physician, Integrative Personalized Medicine expert, consultant, author, and educator whose mission is to change how we approach health and deliver healthcare. She helped to create the Integrative & Functional Medicine program for a family practice residency, has consulted with Sodexo to implement the first personalized nutrition menu for healthcare facilities, and serves as Education Director for several organizations including the Women’s Diagnostic Health Network, Mommies on a Mission. Learn more at



(3) Aronica L et al. Genetic Biomarkers of Metabolic Detoxification for Personalized Lifestyle Medicine. Nutrients. 2022 Feb 11;14(4):768

(4) Harischandra DS et al. Exosomes in Toxicology: Relevance to Chemical Exposure and Pathogenesis of Environmentally Linked Diseases. TOXICOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 158(1), 2017, 3–13

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