Detox: Science or Sales-pitch?

Detox: Science or Sales-pitch?

Cohen, M. Detox: Science or Sales-pitch? Australian Family Physician, 2007, 36(12) 1009-1010

Abstract

 

There is no question that the world is becoming increasingly toxic, with worldwide dissemination of industrial chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals and radioactive elements. Many of these toxins have demonstrated harmful effects including cancer, reproductive, metabolic, and mental health effects. It is also known that many toxins undergo bioaccumulation through the food chain and that synergistic effects can occur whereby combinations of toxins can be more potent than the sum of individual toxins.

Wellness and the thermodynamics of a healthy lifestyle

Wellness and the thermodynamics of a healthy lifestyle

Cohen, M. (2010) Wellness and the Thermodynamics of a Healthy Lifestyle, Asia-Pacific Journal of Health, Sport and Physical Education 1(2) 5-12

Abstract

 

Wellness has recently emerged as an industry sector and a multidimensional academic discipline that includes psychological, physiological, social, demographic and ecological dimensions. Wellness enhances resilience and is therefore a survival imperative that is fundamental to life, yet current Western definitions of wellness do not refer to fundamental a priori principles.
Eastern medicine on the other hand does refer to universal principles and suggests that bliss is a natural homeostatic set-point
and that wellness can be achieved by living according to the Tao. Congruence between Eastern concepts and thermodynamics
further suggests that Qi is related to information and flow, and that wellness arises from maximal flow and minimum entropy production. These principles, which can be represented by an Illness-Wellness Vortex, suggest that the healthiest lifestyle provides maximal enjoyment with minimal waste. Thus, conscious consumption and cultivation of psychological flow can provide the means for achieving wellness through aligning internal and external states.

Assessing diet as a modifiable risk factor for pesticide exposure

Assessing diet as a modifiable risk factor for pesticide exposure

Oates, l, & Cohen, M, (2011) Assessing Diet As a Modifiable Risk Factor for Pesticide Exposure, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 8(6): 1792-1804 doi:10.3390/ijerph8061792

Abstract

 

The effects of pesticides on the general population, largely as a result of dietary exposure, are unclear. Adopting an organic diet appears to be an obvious solution for reducing dietary pesticide exposure and this is supported by biomonitoring studies in children. However, results of research into the effects of organic diets on pesticide exposure are difficult to interpret in light of the many complexities. Therefore future studies must be carefully designed. While biomonitoring can account for differences in overall exposure it cannot necessarily attribute the source. Due diligence must be given to appropriate selection of participants, target pesticides and analytical methods to ensure that the data generated will be both scientifically rigorous and clinically useful, while minimising the costs and difficulties associated with biomonitoring studies. Study design must also consider confounders such as the unpredictable nature of chemicals and inter- and intra-individual differences in exposure and other factors that might influence susceptibility to disease. Currently the most useful measures are non-specific urinary metabolites that measure a range of organophosphate and synthetic pyrethroid insecticides. These pesticides are in common use, frequently detected in population studies and may provide a broader overview of the impact of an organic diet on pesticide exposure than pesticide-specific metabolites. More population based studies are needed for comparative purposes and improvements in analytical methods are required before many other compounds can be considered for assessment.

Environmental chemicals in clinical practice: unveiling the elephant in the room

Environmental chemicals in clinical practice: unveiling the elephant in the room

Bijlsma, N., Cohen, M. (2016) Environmental chemicals in clinical practice: unveiling the elephant in the room. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 13(2), 181; doi:10.3390/ijerph13020181

Abstract

 

A growing body of evidence suggests chemicals present in air, water, soil, food, building materials and household products are toxicants that contribute to the many chronic diseases typically seen in routine medical practice. Yet, despite calls from numerous organisations to provide clinicians with more training and awareness in environmental health, there are multiple barriers to the clinical assessment of toxic environmental exposures. Recent developments in the fields of systems biology, innovative breakthroughs in biomedical research encompassing the “-omics” fields, and advances in mobile sensing, peer-to-peer networks and big data, provide tools that future clinicians can use to assess environmental chemical exposures in their patients. There is also a need for concerted action at all levels, including actions by individual patients, clinicians, medical educators, regulators, government and non-government organisations, corporations and the wider civil society, to understand the “exposome” and minimise the extent of toxic exposures on current and future generations. Clinical environmental chemical risk assessment may provide a bridge between multiple disciplines that uses new technologies to herald in a new era in personalised medicine that unites clinicians, patients and civil society in the quest to understand and master the links between the environment and human health.