We like to stay on top of the latest news in functional medicine and nutrition. If you do too, you’ll find our monthly, easy-to-digest compilation of research and news articles right here. Check back regularly to find updates, or follow us through our newsletters and social media to ensure you don’t miss any.
Cell Phone Radiation and Cancer – When Will We Know?
Can cell phone radiation lead to cancer? New research, based on a 2-year study by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), shows that heavy cell phone use leads to increased rates of cancers in rats. Critics caution against extrapolating these data to human outcomes, but we still absolutely recommend caution. The study still found that exposed animals had significantly increased levels of damage, which we know is a mechanism for cancer initiation in humans. Previous human observational research also correlates heavy and cumulative cell phone usage with brain cancer incidence. Apple also seems to think there’s reason to cover themselves legally – they recommend using speakerphone or headphones to reduce radiation exposure. Don’t carry phones in your pocket, or (worse) in your bra ladies!
What are Microplastics and Why Are They in Your Poop?
Plastics are in our poop – every sample tested recently by a gastroenterology team at the Medical University of Vienna contained them. Scientists have shown that small plastic particles, termed ‘microplastics’, have deeply permeated our food chain – originating with the dumping of plastics into the environment, especially into oceans. Over long periods of time, the plastics do break down. But the resulting microplastics are then mobilized throughout the food chain. Animal studies show that microparticles of plastic can infiltrate the blood stream and may also collect in the intestines, causing potential harm to the digestive organs, as well as hormonal regulation.
The Important Role of TET Enzymes in Methylation Status and Gene Regulation
Did you know – de-methylation is just as important as methylation. DNA methylation changes are a critical way that we regulate our gene expression – which genes are ‘turned on’, and which are ‘silenced.’ While we often focus on active methylation, it’s important to consider de-methylation too, carried out in part by TET enzymes. In humans, excess gene methylation can lead to silencing of important tumor suppressor genes and can therefore contribute to cancer growth. Appropriate TET enzyme activity reverses inappropriate gene silencing, and TET enzymes can be activated by dietary inputs such as vitamin C. Find out more about eating and living for optimal gene expression here.