As a requirement for graduation, all the 9th and 10th tri interns have to do a Grand Rounds presentation. In Tri 9, the presentation has to be on a health topic, and in Tri 10, case studies are presented. This week Monday, I attended two Grand Rounds presentations.
Lorinda Bricker talked about hormonal balancing. With naturopathic medicine, we look at the liver’s role in detoxifying and metabolizing hormones in the body, as well as external hormonal exposures such as environmental toxins. There are two main phases of detoxification: Phase I (oxidation) and Phase II (conjugation, glucuronidation, sulfation, etc.) and different genes that are involved in each phase. Specific foods, nutrients, and botanicals can influence detoxification pathways. Our goal is to optimize these pathways to clear contaminants from the body and decrease the total body burden.
“What’s in Your Water” was the title of Denise Shostek’s presentation. Water is essential to life, yet water sources are not free of all contaminants. The EPA was established to protect public health and set standards for drinking water. The Safe Drinking Water Act in 1974 became the main federal law that sets the standards for water, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) follows. Every five years, the EPA must publish a list of unregulated contaminants that are known or may occur in drinking water. From this contaminant candidate list, the EPA must choose five contaminants to start regulating every five years. Therefore, although there are regulations set for some contaminants, there are thousands of contaminants that are in the water unregulated.
Pharmaceuticals have been detected in drinking water for over 40 years. Chlorination removes about 50% of pharmaceuticals. Chlorine is an “anti-vitamin,” it binds to vitamin A, B, C, E, and fatty acids. Therefore, drinking chlorinated water may be detrimental to health. Other countries use other methods of killing pathogens in water instead of chlorine. Two high-quality ways of drinking purer water are to use distillation or reverse osmosis. These two methods remove many contaminants thereby further purifying tap water.
Grand Rounds are always educational! They are on Mondays at noon in the NUHS Whole Health Center, and the public is welcome to attend. I look forward to researching a topic and presenting next trimester.