DDT causes liver cancer

July 24, 2006

High blood levels of the pesticide DDT increase the risk of developing liver cancer according to American researchers working with a population in China. Liver cancer is directly related to the level of DDT in the blood and individuals with the highest serum level of the pesticide DDT have a 400% increased risk of developing liver cancer. DDT breaks down into a metabolite known as DDE, and if the DDT level was high, even if low levels of DDE were detected the risk of developing liver cancer was even worse. The study was performed by researchers at the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland and is published in the July 19th issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph. - The spraying of DDT is tightly controlled in the US and in 11 other countries. It is totally banned in only 26 countries including Canada and Chile. It is still commonly used throughout the world in countries including India, Mexico, Venezuela, Bolivia, and the Philippines. It enters the USA as a contaminant on fruits, vegetables and other food commodities.

More evidence that antioxidants protect vision

Retinitis pigmentosa is a disease where the retina of the eye gradually degenerates ultimately resulting in blindness. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine report that the rods of the eyes die first (the rods provide vision in dim light and also provide side vision) followed by the death of the cones of the eyes (cones see fine detail and color). In this study mice with retinitis pigmentosa had all rods dead by their 18th day after birth and they had lost 85% of their cones by their 35th day. Various antioxidants were supplemented to see if they could prevent the loss of cones and it was found that both Alpha-Lipoic Acid and Vitamin E directly and significantly slowed down the loss of the cones. The study is published in the early on line edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

Studies show it is not the caffeine which helps decrease the risk of developing diabetes but probably the polyphenols.