Bromine Toxicity and Hyperthyroidism

Posted February 14th, 2011 in Breast Cancer, Bromine, Hormone Disrupting Chemicals HDCs, Vitamins by Rebecca Lane

Dr. David Brownstein – whose blogs I follow – posted this information today. I’ve just added in some nutritional information for your health!

Recently, the U.S. EPA reported that common chemicals (polybrominated diphenyl ethers– PBDE’s) found in nearly all our homes are contributing to a rash of thyroid problems. This class of chemicals is mainly used as a fire-retardant. PBDE’s are also found in a variety of household items including computers, televisions, carpeting, furniture and mattresses. PBDE’s are made from bromine. Bromine is also used to keep swimming pools and hot tubs clean. It is used as a pesticide, as well as in brominated vegetable oil which is used as an emulsifier in many citrus flavoured soft-drinks. (Source:

Bromine is from the family of halides. This chemical family contains iodine, fluoride and chlorine as well. The reason we are seeing such a high prevalence of iodine deficiency and thyroid disorders in humans is due, in large part, to the excess exposure of bromine from our modern conveniences. Bromine exposure causes our bodies to excrete iodine. If we don’t supplement with extra iodine, bromine will bind to receptors in the body that are supposed to be binding with iodine. In effect, bromine will replace iodine throughout the body.

What are the consequences of excess bromine levels?
The consequences are severe; increased rate of cancer of the breast, thyroid, ovaries, uterus and prostate are due, in part, to bromine toxicity. Also, we are seeing dramatically increased rates of autoimmune illnesses including autoimmune thyroid disorders. People with a serious illness have markedly elevated bromine levels.

So, what can you do?
The main treatment for excess bromine is to avoid bromine exposure.  Eat foods that do not contain bromine such as organic fruits and vegetables. Avoid bread, pasta and cereal that contain brominated flour and citrus-flavoured soft drinks like Mountain Dew. Next, supplement with enough iodine to allow your body to detox from bromine – excellent food sources of iodine include sea vegetables (sea vegetables like dulse, kombu, kelp can be added to your cooking water, and soups and stews, and you can sprinkle it on top of food to replace salt – for more recipes, visit

Finally, supplement with antioxidants like Beta Carotene, vitamins C and E, selenium and zinc that help your detoxification system function optimally.  It’s easy to recognize foods rich in antioxidants because they have the brightest colours. Enjoying a spectrum of different coloured foods will allow you to enjoy the benefits of a spectrum of antioxidants.

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Breast Cancer – Intro and Stats

Posted February 3rd, 2011 in Breast Cancer by Rebecca Lane

Our entire body is composed of cells which contain their own DNA (genetic blueprint). In a healthy body, cells divide at a controlled rate and are used for growth and tissue repair and replacement.

If cells keep multiplying when new ones are not needed, a mass of tissue cells develops causing a growth or tumour. These tumours can form anywhere in the body and can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

A malignant tumour that forms in breast tissue is called breast cancer. Malignant tumours grow uncontrollably and interfere with normal organ and metabolic functioning and have the ability to metastasize (spread to other parts of the body) and invade other organs or tissues. Breast cancer spreads principally through the lymph system and metastases are frequently found in the lungs, liver, brain and bone.

There are several different types of breast cancers, depending on where the tumours develop, with different doubling times and levels of metastases. Most often cancer cells start within the ducts (ductal carcinoma) or within the glands (lobular carcinoma). Ductal carcinoma is the most common type of breast cancer. (Canadian Cancer Society)

While a diagnosis of cancer can be frightening, the tumour itself is a symptom of a systemic underlying problem or combination of issues. When the immune system is healthy, it can kill off cells that have mutated and are not working properly. So the tumour is a symptom of an impaired immune system. There are many factors causing abnormal cell growth (more on this to follow), including damage from free radicals and imbalanced hormones.

Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women, with more than one million cases occurring worldwide annually and is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer.  The lifetime risk of developing breast cancer for Canadian women is one in nine. In 2010, it is estimated that 23,200 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer (only 180 men) and 5,300 will die from it (50 men). The 5-year survival rate is about 87 percent for women (84% for men). (Canadian Cancer Society)

Raw Foods Witch

Posted February 1st, 2011 in Breast Cancer, Meatless, Raw Foods by Rebecca Lane
Today I found a wonderful voice on the web – the Raw Foods Witch. Her site is fun, informative and really does take the scary out of raw food. Further, she has taken her passion for food and made a fabulous, interactive, versatile site for everyone to use. You can input your recipes and it will “magically” make a grocery list for you. Even more, she has some great posts that really bring the whole in holistic to mind. When you get a chance, go visit her site, and stop by this great post: Make sure that you sign up for her Cues – you’ll find yourself waiting for Wednesdays!Way to go Nathalie – great job! Thanks for providing valuable information without being militant about it.

Breast Self-Examinations

Posted January 24th, 2011 in Breast Cancer by Rebecca Lane

I’ve just added several breast self-examination video links to the resource section. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.There are two types of breast exams that are best done monthly so that you become familiar with your breasts and can recognize any changes. The first is a visual exam of the breast which includes looking at your breasts a. with your hands on your hips, b. with your hands above your head, c. with your hands behind your head, d. with your hands in front of your head, palms together and e. with your upper torso bent forward and hanging. With the visual exam, you are watchful for any changes to the breasts including dimpling, puckering, bulging, irregularities or changes in size. Also look for any changes to the nipples.The second type of breast exam is a palpation exam of which there are three different techniques: Spiral (move the 3 middle fingers from the outside of the breast toward the nipple in a circular motion), clockwise (move the 3 middle fingers toward the nipple then back out again through each of the time zones) or zig zag (move the 3 middle fingers from the underarm area from above the breast to below the breast moving slowly up and down until the whole breast has been examined). Choose the method that feels the most comfortable for you.  Regardless of the method that you choose, your objectives are to 1. Examine the entire breast; 2. Observe any abnormal changes; 3. Check under the arm and above the breast areas too. It is important to do it the same way every single time and create a breast map (I’ll be adding a pdf of a breast map for you to use) so that you can recognize when there are any changes.