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Natural Health Products. May not be so Natural or so Healthy.

I have written in prior emails that some substances that should be very healthy, aren't; often because of pollution in the modern era. A striking example organic kale: which may contain high levels of Thallium and Cesium. Foreign made health products especially from South East Asia may not contain the nutrients that that they claim to have, and some may contain the exact substance you don't want to have, like glyphosate. I have described this as Caveat Emptor (buyer beware).

Most recently one of my favorite GDD patients brought to my attention that she was stumped by why her urine contained such a high level of aluminum. It turns out she traced it to the natural toothpaste she had started using some months back, which has as a major ingredient bentonite clay. She read up on it and it turns out bentonite clay, and other clays, are principally composed of aluminum phyllosilicate. So 'natural toothpaste' but now a lot of aluminum in your body, and aluminum is associated with dementia. Demented, but atleast clean (or maybe clean) teeth.

It is difficult to know what the learning lessons are to all of this. Probably most important is to pay attention to new information as it comes available, and to make sure it is vetted by atleast another separate source. This is true for most things. Be careful where you get things from, some distant places may not have good quality control. Natural things that are a complex chemical, why should they be any different than any other complex chemical- that is, having a good chance of being harmful.

I basically think the starting point for health is consuming natural foods that have anti-inflammatory properties, and I am not sure exotic variants of these are any better than ones that are more readily (and more affordably) obtained.

Richard Semelka, MD


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