USA TODAY Interview June 2015
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Doctors tell how to protect yourself from a toxic planet

Suzanne Somers doesn’t expect support from doctors for her book on the relationship of toxins and human illness because “They weren’t taught this in medical school.”

But two MDs that support many of Somers’ views are Dr. Hessam Mahdavi, an internist with the Eisenhower Medical Associates physicians group, and Dr. Michael Galitzer, a former emergency ward physician who is now Somers’ integrative doctor. He’s also the author of “Outstanding Health: 6 Essential Keys To Maximize Your Energy and Well Being.”

Here’s what they say about issues addressed in Somers’ book, “Tox-Sick: From Toxic To Not Sick”:

The impact of toxicity:

Mahdavi: Recently, I’ve noticed more patients are interested in this topic. My philosophy is, it comes in two parts: One is personal stresses that cause us to get sick and the second big part is environmental toxicity, whether it’s from the air we breathe, our water supply, the food – whether it’s genetically modified or sprayed with different chemicals — skin products, air fresheners. Some people do not have a way to get rid of these chemicals, so it becomes a toxic burden. As you have a more toxic burden, it starts to damage the healthy cells and that’s when you see diseases occur. Many of us like to blame everything on genetics. The way I like to describe genetics is, you have a loaded gun and adding environment and stress exposure is to pull the trigger. You can have bad genes, but, if you have good stress management and you lead a clean life, the bullet may never go off.

Galitzer: What I’ve found in doing this for 28 years is that different people have different sensitivities to toxin. Some people may be sensitive to heavy metal where other people may be sensitive to pesticides. We all have different abilities to break down toxins. For example, somebody can drink a cup of coffee in the morning and not be able to sleep at night where other people can drink coffee after dinner and sleep perfectly at night. I think everybody realizes there’s too much environmental toxicity on our planet. A new-born baby has 200 chemicals in their blood. Where did that come from? We all know toxins are harmful.

The condition of the environment:

Mahdavi: It’s much worse than 20 or 30 years ago because there are more chemicals introduced in our environment, more pesticides are getting approved every day. Our food supply has dramatically changed over the past 40 or 50 years. They’re talking about genetically modified apples. As a physician, from 20 years ago when I started, you’re seeing different diseases. You’re seeing kids with diabetes that you usually see on average when they’re 50 or 60. There’s an auto-immune epidemic. You’re much worse off than 20 years ago and I think 20 years from now (it could be worse). Already our soil has changed and our water supply has changed. We’re going to see much more chronic disease.

Galitzer: We’re obviously not smoking cigarettes as much as we were in the ’50s and ’60s, but there is increasing amounts of toxicity. There are estimates that there are 100,000 chemicals that we’re exposed to that have never really been tested by the EPA. They can’t test everything and we’ve added things like genetically modified foods, which requires pesticides like Roundup to be added to the mix. We have this notion that we should all eat organic. Well, organic means it’s pesticide free. It doesn’t mean it’s heavy metal free. There are numerous classes of toxins: heavy metal, pesticides, DPA (used to prevent apples from turning brown), pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, salmonella. It’s really impossible to determine the synergistic effect of toxins. One toxin on top of another will create greater amounts of toxicity.

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Posted by:Dr. Michael Galitzer
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