Environmental toxins have been shown in several studies to be a potential trigger for immune dysfunction and autoimmunity. Now new data, from ex-military personnel, adds to that evidence base.
In this recent study, published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, U.S. veterans exposed to military burn pits and waste disposal were found to harbor more antibody markers for rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that attacks the joints. The study (a case-control design) of nearly 800 veterans found that those exposed to burn pits were 66 percent more likely to have positive lab results for anti-cyclic citrullinated peptides (CCP), one of the antibody markers for rheumatoid arthritis disease activity. And those veterans exposed to military waste disposal were had an even greater risk (74 percent) of having those anti-CCP antibodies. These risks were greatest in those who also smoked and had the HLA-DRB1 genetic variant.
Reducing exposure to environmental toxins is key for immune health and for other chronic diseases. If you’re looking for support to reduce exposure and improve your body’s detoxification capacity, you may be interested in our healthRESET detox program, a self-paced online program that our team like to complete themselves 3-4 times per year. Click here for more information.
Kara Fitzgerald, ND, received her doctor of naturopathic medicine degree from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. She completed the first Counsel on Naturopathic Medicine-accredited post-doctorate position in nutritional biochemistry and laboratory science at Metametrix Clinical Laboratory under the direction of Richard Lord, PhD. Her residency was completed at Progressive Medical Center, a large, integrative medical practice in Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Fitzgerald is the lead author and editor of Case Studies in Integrative and Functional Medicine and is a contributing author to Laboratory Evaluations for Integrative and Functional Medicine and the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM)’s Textbook for Functional Medicine. With the Helfgott Research Institute, Dr. Fitzgerald is actively engaged in clinical research on the DNA methylome using a diet and lifestyle intervention developed in her practice. The first publication from the study focuses on reversal of biological aging and was published 04-12-2021 in the journal Aging. She has published a consumer book titled Younger You as well as a companion cookbook, Better Broths and Healing Tonics and has an application-based Younger You Program, based on the study.
Dr. Fitzgerald is on the faculty at IFM, is an IFM Certified Practitioner and lectures globally on functional medicine. She runs a Functional Nutrition Residency program, and maintains a podcast series, New Frontiers in Functional Medicine and an active blog on her website, www.drkarafitzgerald.com. Her clinical practice is in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.