By Dr. Sarah LoBisco

Whew…that was a whirlwind of a trip….so much to know about safely cleansing and detoxifying in such a toxic and chemicalized world! Here’s a little taste of what I learned in Arizona. I can’t put all 34 pages of notes I took from the 1000 + PP presentation slides, but would you really want to read all that anyway….you know I do (and yes my dear patients, I did think of you all this weekend and took notes!)! Did you know that the average women have exposed herself to over 129 chemicals prior to leaving her house? These chemicals are found in her makeup, hair products, and other personal care items. Furthermore, nursing a child releases 20% of the mother’s toxic load into the baby!

So, what I decided to do in this blog is to give some pertinent information on how to empower yourself in a world that is full of toxic insults (scary, huh)?  Now, as you’re contemplating switching over to organic personal care products, let’s start with the first major action step as the foundation of protection—through your mouth.

DO you Know What Is in Your FOOD?

One of the major learning points in Arizona that was drilled into our little eager doctor brains is to always start with the foundation of health, FOOD! That is, we can’t control our environment, but we can control what we put in our mouth. Food is information, not just calories. It’s cool to know that we can eat yummy, nutritious food that not only provides potent phytochemicals to assist our detoxification systems in removing pesticides, herbicides, and other toxins, but these same foods actually help to rebuild and heal from their toxic effects. (ATTN: Patients-if you want a copy of the new core food plan at your visit, please ask, it’s a great tool for healthy eating!)

A big obstacle to society’s health is the mass marketing that encourages choosing to put  food quality at the bottom of our priority list. We are lured  to spend money on entertainment and eating out on poor quality, nutrient depleted foods, rather than on investing in foods that will heal our bodies. Let me give you some information to munch about why the public may want to reconsider their options. Ronnie Cummins from OCA explains:

Food Democracy or Corporatocracy?

Did you ever vote to allow corporate agribusiness to spray a billion pounds of toxic pesticides, and dump 24 billion pounds of climate-destabilizing chemical fertilizers on U.S. crops and farmlands every year? Did you give the OK for factory farms, so-called Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), to feed billions of hapless creatures massive amounts of genetically engineered grain, antibiotics, hormones, steroids, blood, manure, and slaughterhouse waste? Did you give Monsanto, Dow, and Dupont permission to “modify” so-called “conventional” supermarket, school cafeteria, and restaurant food with genetically engineered bacteria, viruses, foreign DNA, and antibiotic-resistant genes? Did you sign a permission slip for the USDA or your local school system to feed students, including your children, greasy, fatty, unhealthy, chemical food in the cafeteria?

If we intend to break the stranglehold of the corporatocracy over the economy, including what and how American farmers grow and what most people eat, it’s time to stand up. If we believe that a healthy, organic, and equitable system of food and farming are essential to our health and the health of the planet, we need to think twice before we pull out our wallets at the supermarket or sit down for a meal in a restaurant or a fast food joint. Do you want to be supersized by Monsanto, Wal-Mart, or McDonald’s, and allow biotechnocrats, factory farms, and chemical food manufacturers to dictate your food choices?

It’s time to vote with our food dollars at the grocery check-out aisle. It’s time to rein in elected public officials who take money from corporate agribusiness and Monsanto in the voting booth. It’s time for the Great Boycott of Big Food Inc., and a culinary strike against all of their chemical, genetically engineered, sugar, and fat-laden processed foods and beverages. It’s time to put the fat cats on a diet, shrink the profits of Wall Street,  and drastically reduce the collateral damage of chemical agribusiness, Big Box food stores, and billion dollar junk food restaurants. It’s time to Occupy our food chains, kitchens, lunchrooms, and school cafeterias, and transform our $30 billion local and organic food and farming system from being the niche alternative to being the norm in the nation’s trillion dollar food economy.

Without Detox Power: Glutathione Example

So,we now know that food is a priority. The next step to preserve health is to build ourselves up to be able to handle the removal of everything that is creating symptoms in our body. Day one in Arizona started off with a blast of facts and figures, charting scientific evidence on the connection between chemicals and their contributing and causative factors to many diseases. You may ask, “why isn’t the whole world displaying symptoms then!??” Well, they probably are. They just don’t realize that their constant headaches, hot flashes, and drug sensitivity are actually from their cumulative toxic load and compromised gut and liver function…not from an ibuprofen deficiency, hormonal pill deletion, or psychosomatic issue.

The issue is total toxic load, which I explained in a previous blog. Dr. Drisko gave us examples of the many kinds of genetic susceptibilities that cause some to be hypersensitive to environmental toxicants and display symptoms more readily. In fact, just one little snip in a genetic sequence can make one person a powerful detoxifier and another predisposed to multiple chemical sensitivity. (That’s why my master teachers use genetic sequencing in their practice, to determine which phase of detoxification is stuck (phase I CYP450 pathways or phase II enzyme pathways such as the conjugation reactions of acetylation, sulfation, glucorinidation, amino acids, hydroxylation, and glutathione!)). Dr. Hyman explains in patient friendly language how he assesses and modulates one of these important enzyme pathways in his patients:

Glutathione is a very simple molecule that is produced naturally all the time in your body. It is a combination of three simple building blocks of protein or amino acids — cysteine, glycine and glutamine.

The secret of its power is the sulfur (SH) chemical groups it contains. Sulfur is a sticky, smelly molecule. It acts like fly paper and all the bad things in the body stick onto it, including free radicals and toxins like mercury and other heavy metals. Normally glutathione is recycled in the body — except when the toxic load becomes too great. And that explains why we are in such trouble …

In my practice, I test the genes involved in glutathione metabolism. These are the genes involved in producing enzymes that allow the body to create and recycle glutathione in the body. These genes have many names, such as GSTM1, GSTP1 and more.

Nearly all my very sick patients are missing this function. The one-third of our population that suffers from chronic disease is missing this essential gene. That includes me.

These genes impaired in some people for a variety of important reasons. We humans evolved in a time before the 80,000 toxic industrial chemicals found in our environment today were introduced into our world, before electromagnetic radiation was everywhere and before we polluted our skies, lakes, rivers, oceans and teeth with mercury and lead.

That is why most people survived with the basic version of the genetic detoxification software encoded in our DNA, which is mediocre at ridding the body of toxins. At the time humans evolved we just didn’t need more. Who knew we would be poisoning ourselves and eating a processed, nutrient-depleted diet thousands of years later?

Because most of us didn’t require additional detoxification software, almost of half of the population now has a limited capacity to get rid of toxins. These people are missing GSTM1 function — one of the most important genes needed in the process of creating and recycling glutathione in the body.

Phew, that’s a lot to know. But within the next weeks, I’ll be providing you more clinical pearls.  For now, I hope I have sparked your interest in prioritizing the intake of safe, healthy foods in order to protect your special bodies everyday. Until next week, here’s two more clinical pearls to wet your appetite:

  1. You need to sweat—your sweat glands are your second kidney and release toxins that other organs of excretion can’t! If you can’t sweat, you may be toxic, and if you don’t move and sweat, you aren’t mobilizing toxins for removal. CAUTION: using a sauna to mobilize toxins without proper excretory function and nutritional support can cause severe side effects! HYDRATION with lots of water is key to various functions.
  2. Even bio-identical hormones can pose a problem in those with a SNP in CYP4502C (a liver enzyme that clears hormones), Glutathione, and methylation pathways, because hormonal excretion is compromised!


Rountree, B. Using the FM Model in a Toxic World. IFM Phoenix, AZ. December 9, 2011. IFM. Detox Advanced Practice Module. (Presented by Kristi Hughs, ND)

Ronnie Cummins. Organic Consumers Association. December 7, 2011.

Hyman, M. Essential Glutathione: The Mother of All Antioxidants. December 10, 2011.

Bock, K. Recognizing Neurotoxicity and Immunotoxicity within the Functional Medicine Model. IFM. Detox Advanced Practice Module. Phoenix, AZ. December 9, 2011.

Drisko, J. Review of Underlying Processes in Elimination and Biotransformation. IFM Detox Advanced Practice Module. Phoenix, AZ. December 9, 2011.

Mayfield, R. Key Nutrientional Modulators in Detoxification. IFM Detox Advanced Practice Module. Phoenix, AZ. December 9, 2011.

Drisko, J. Laboratory Assessment in the Patient with an Elevated Toxic Load. Detox Advanced Module. IFM. December 10, 2011. Phoenix, AZ

Be sure to check out my informational blog on which includes:
1. Naturopathic Philosophy Highlight Fun Facts:

  1. Don’t Eat Here- unless you want infected chicken salad—YUM!
  2. The “kindness gene”—biology speaks nice to itself

2. Happenings:

  1. Upcoming Essential Oils Workshops with Terry Quigley at the Healing Garden. Contact Terry at 518-831-9469
  2. My latest publication on NDNR (Available online)
  3. PATIENTS: Please review follow ups and cancellation policy below:

Cancellation Policy: Due to the administrative work, training, work, and time Dr. LoBisco puts into individualized treatment plans between visits, patients are subject to a $25 cancellation fee for missed appointments or cancellations the day prior to the appointment. Patients who give no notification via telephone of cancellation of appointments or less than 24 hours will be billed via PayPal the cost of the full assessment. Please note that it if one wishes to stay moving forward, regular assessment is critical and follow ups are generally re-scheduled within 3-4 weeks with adequate notice. Read the rest of the policy here.
Look for Top Reads-Flora and GMOs highlighted to bring in good cheer.

3. Radio For Your Body-Mind-Soul:

The Light Within with Dr. Northup
In the Northern Hemisphere, we’re in the darkest season of the year. But deep inside each of us, something is growing in the light. In fact, scientific experiments prove that our bodies emit light. In this episode of Flourish, Dr. Northrup focuses on the light within, and what you can do to shine yours.

4. Book of the week: Healing the New Childhood Epidemic. Kenneth Block, MD.

Did you know that fact mothers with high toxic exposure + genetic predispositions in faulty gene protecting enzymes (methylation SNPS) can lead to increased risk of Autistic Spectrum children. Children are more sensitive to these toxins due to their unformed immune response and decreased excretory potential. Furthermore, children today are exposed to the most detrimental diet available in human time. Did you know high fructose corn syrup in most processed foods contain mercury?? In his book, Dr. Bock explains this new childhood epidemic of ASD, allergies, asthma, and ADHD which is now present in 1/3 of children!

Dr. Bock was a key lecturer at the Institute for Functional Medicine’s Detoxification Advanced Practice Module in Arizona. Dr Bock’s specialty is working with children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and other pediatric epidemics. Dr. Bock is a genius in assessing the multi-factorial effect of toxins on children and how they impact their metabolic processes, mitochondria function (our energy producing cells), immune function, endocrine function, and gene regulation and DNA.

Last weekend, Dr. Bock specifically discussed a detailed case study of one of the many children he has helped recover from a diagnosis of an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. This book is a crucial read for all parents. We are passing our future over to children, and unfortunately, mothers and fathers are passing there toxicity to their children. Dr. Bock provides guides on how to prevent and work with our genetics and environments to assist in raising healthy children.

Bock, K. Recognizing Neurotoxicity and Immunotoxicity within the Functional Medicine Model. IFM. Detox Advanced Practice Module. Phoenix, AZ. December 9, 2011.

5. Don’t miss out:

  • Click here to subscribe on my homepage in order to receive my latest blogs via email and add in my goal of promoting Integrative Health to the Masses!
  • My interview on 360menopause Radio Show on Panic Attacks and Menopause is still available. While you’re there, browse through the archives of other health experts.
  • Check out my latest answer and more on Dr. Oz’s Sharecare: The Safety Considerations of Liver Cleansing
  • View the Updated Link Resources on my homepage
  • Updated vaccine links
  • Resources for finding healthy organic meats and non-GMO guides