Niacin Therapy for Depression

Andrew W. Saul, PhD, is editor-in-chief of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service and has published over 180 peer-reviewed articles. He has written or coauthored more than a dozen books, four of which were coauthored with niacin (vitamin B3) therapy pioneer Abram Hoffer, MD. Dr. Saul is featured in the popular documentary movie Food Matters. In 2013, he was inducted into the Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame. His educational website is www.DoctorYourself.com, the largest non-commercial natural healing resource on the Internet. Dr. Saul is a CONEM member and a board member of both the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine and the Japanese College of Intravenous Therapy.

Andrew W. Saul, PhD, speaks in this excerpt from the documentary film Food Matters (2008) about niacin therapy for depression.

 

Evidence Supporting a Link between Dental Amalgams and Chronic Illness, Fatigue, Depression, Anxiety, and Suicide

Norway and Sweden have banned amalgam, reportedly due to environmental concerns. However, the use and toxic risk of dental amalgam fillings is still a subject of ongoing debate in many countries. Now, a review conducted by a team of international researchers has provided new evidence that mercury exposure from dental amalgam may cause or contribute to many chronic illnesses, as well as depression, anxiety and suicide.

The review article by Janet K. Kern and coworkers is published in Neuroendocrinology Letters (2014; 35 (7): 537-552). Three of the authors, Kern, Geir Bjørklund and Boyd E. Haley, are members of the Council for Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (CONEM). Kern is a director of CONEM. Bjørklund is founder and president of the association. 

 

Janet K. Kern, David A. Geier, Geir Bjørklund, Paul G. King, Kristin G. Homme, Boyd E. Haley, Lisa K. Sykes, and Mark R. Geier

Evidence supporting a link between dental amalgams and chronic illness, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and suicide

Neuro Endocrinol Lett 2014; 35 (7): 537-552 

 

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this review is to examine the evidence for a relationship between mercury (Hg) exposure from dental amalgams and certain idiopathic chronic illnesses – chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia (FM), depression, anxiety, and suicide. Dental amalgam is a commonly used dental restorative material that contains approximately 50% elemental mercury (Hg0) by weight and releases Hg0 vapor. Studies have shown that chronic Hg exposure from various sources including dental amalgams is associated with numerous health complaints, including fatigue, anxiety, and depression – and these are among the main symptoms that are associated with CFS and FM. In addition, several studies have shown that the removal of amalgams is associated with improvement in these symptoms. Although the issue of amalgam safety is still under debate, the preponderance of evidence suggests that Hg exposure from dental amalgams may cause or contribute to many chronic conditions. Thus, consideration of Hg toxicity may be central to the effective clinical investigation of many chronic illnesses, particularly those involving fatigue and depression.

 

ADHD, Autism, and Phenylketonuria

Acta Neurologica BelgicaResearchers at Assiut University have in collaboration with Geir Bjørklund evaluated the neuropsychological status in 78 children with early and continuously treated phenylketonuria (PKU) in Assiut, Upper Egypt. The article was on 10 January  2015 published online first in Acta Neurologica BelgicaThe first author of the study, Khaled Saad, is Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt. Bjørklund is founder and president of the Council for Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (CONEM).

 

Khaled Saad, Yasser Elserogy, Ahmed A. Abdel rahman, Abdulrahman Abdullah Al-Atram, Ismail L. Mohamad, Tarek T. H. ElMelegy, Geir Bjørklund, and Amira A. El-Houfy

ADHD, autism and neuroradiological complications among phenylketonuric children in Upper Egypt

Acta Neurol Belg. Article first published online: 10 JAN 2015. doi: 10.1007/s13760-014-0422-8 

 

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study is to evaluate the neuropsychological status in a cohort of children with early and continuously treated phenylketonuria in Assiut, Upper Egypt. The study was implemented in seventy-eight phenylketonuria (PKU) children. Only 34 patients met the inclusion criteria. Investigated patients were evaluated according to detailed history, neurological examination, Childhood Autism Rating Scale, full scale Intelligence Quotient, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, electroencephalography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This study concluded that the prognosis for early diagnosed children with PKU treated from the first weeks of life is generally good. However, they are at increased risk for neurological complications and behavioral problems. So, neonatal screening for PKU is highly recommended in Egypt, for early detection and management. In addition, neuropsychological and MRI assessments in PKU children should be done.

 

 

Copper Amalgam and Norwegian Dental Health Personnel

Fig 1 Heating of copper amalgam

Fig 1 Heating of copper amalgam

Copper amalgams, consisting 60-70% mercury (Hg) and 30-40% copper (Cu) (1, 2), were used very commonly in Norway for children with caries – allegedly because they were thought to inhibit the development of new caries. But they were used in a way making them far more dangerous for dental health personnel than other types of amalgam because the amalgam powder was heated in a metal spoon in a gas flame until Hg droplets could be observed (Fig 1). In poorly ventilated rooms, this gave an enormous Hg exposure by inhalation to the dental health personnel, but even more to the dental assistants than to the dentists.

The average levels of occupational exposure to Hg among dental health personnel was earlier very high, at least in the Scandinavian countries including Norway, and in some cases (not very infrequently) excessively high (3, 4), especially in public dental health clinics with large numbers of schoolchildren as patients, where copper amalgam was used as a matter of routine to make fillings for the children because of its assumed cariostatic effect. A medical student at the University of Oslo made a student thesis, where he studied the Hg concentration in the air in dental health clinics, and in some of them found excessively high levels far exceeding (by more than a factor of 10) what was at that time the maximal permitted levels of exposure (3). This student thesis was carried out under supervision of his older brother, who was working in a leading position at the Norwegian Institute of Occupational Health. But the older brother, who had been the supervisor, did never inform the Directorate of Occupational Health about his younger brother’s observations, as nevertheless had been his duty (because of his job in a leading position at the institute) to do (Olav Albert Christophersen, personal communication).

The late Dr. Hans Tjønn, who at that time was chief doctor at the Institute of Occupational Health, had suspected that the conditions at Norwegian dental health clinics were not satisfactory from the point of view of occupational hygiene, and had taken up this question in meetings both with the Norwegian Directorate of Health and professors at the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Oslo (Olav Albert Christophersen, personal communication). But he had been assured both by the people in the Norwegian Directorate of Health and the professors at the Faculty of Dentistry that everything was O.K., and that there was no need for him to be worried (Olav Albert Christophersen, personal communication). If he had been informed about the findings of Jon Norseth, he would have had the evidence he needed to tell the people in the Norwegian Directorate of Health that their assumptions about good occupational health conditions in the Norwegian dental health clinics were far from correct (Olav Albert Christophersen, personal communication). And the Norwegian Directorate of Occupational Health had the necessary legal mandate in Norwegian law (Arbeidsmiljøloven) that it would not have been necessary for them to ask the Directorate of Health for permission in order to stop the problems. If that, historically counterfactually, had happened, several hundred Norwegian dental health assistants and dentists might have been spared for sometimes severe health problems caused by Hg poisoning, and also because of poisoning by some of those organic toxic substances that have been much used in dental health clinics, such as chloroform and hydroquinone.

This article is based on/excerpted from material by Olav Albert Christophersen and Geir Bjørklund.

 

References

1. Bjørklund G. The history of dental amalgam (in Norwegian). Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 1989; 109: 3582-3585.

2. Bjørklund G. Health authorities and copper amalgam (in Norwegian). Tenner & Helse 1995; No. 2/3: 3-6.

3. Norseth J. Exposure to mercury in public dental clinics in Oslo–an occupational hazard evaluation (in Norwegian). Nor Tannlaegeforen Tid 1977; 87: 371-376.

4. Bjørklund G. Mercury in dental workers’ occupational environment. A toxicological risk evaluation (in Norwegian). Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 1991; 111: 948-951.

 

Serum Zinc and Copper Levels in Autistic Children

NeuroReport 25 (15) 2014In collaboration with Chinese researchers, Geir Bjørklund investigated the serum levels of zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu) in 60 Chinese children with autism (48 boys, 12 girls) and a control group of 60 healthy sex-matched and age-matched individuals. The researchers also evaluated the severity of autism using the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) score. The mean serum Zn levels and Zn/Cu ratio in the study were significantly lower in the autistic children compared with the control group (P<0.001). At the same time were the serum Cu levels significantly higher in the autistic children compared with the control group (P<0.001). It was in the study found a significant negative association between the Zn/Cu ratio and CARS scores (r=-0.345, P=0.007). 

The original article is published in NeuroReport (2014; 25 (15): 1216–1220). Bjørklund is founder and president of Council for Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (CONEM).

 

Si-Ou Li, Jia-Liang Wang, Geir Bjørklund, Wei-Na Zhao, and Chang-Hao Yin

Serum copper and zinc levels in individuals with autism spectrum disorders

Neuroreport 2014; 25 (15): 1216-1220

 

ABSTRACT

Trace elements play a critical role in the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The aim of this study was to investigate the serum levels of zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu) in Chinese children with ASD. Sixty patients (48 males, 12 females) diagnosed with ASD and 60 healthy sex-matched and age-matched control participants were assessed for serum Zn and Cu content at admission. The severity of ASD was also evaluated using the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) score. The results indicated that the mean serum Zn levels and Zn/Cu ratio were significantly lower in children with ASD compared with normal cases (P<0.001, respectively), whereas serum Cu levels were significantly higher (P<0.001). There was a significant negative association between Zn/Cu and CARS scores (r=-0.345, P=0.007). On the basis of the receiver operating characteristic curve, the optimal cut-off value of serum levels of Zn/Cu as an indicator for an auxiliary diagnosis of autism was projected to be 0.665, which yielded a sensitivity of 90.0% and a specificity of 91.7%; the area under the curve was 0.968 (95% confidence interval, 0.943-0.993). In conclusion, these results suggested an association between serum levels of Zn and Cu and ASD among Chinese patients, and the Zn/Cu ratio could be considered a biomarker of ASD.

 

Metal-Induced Inflammation Triggers Fibromyalgia in Metal-Allergic Patients

Stejskal, Öckert, and Bjørklund studied the frequency and clinical relevance of metal allergy in 15 fibromylagia (FM) patients (1). Metal allergy was measured by a lymphocyte transformation test, MELISA®. Ten healthy age matched women were used as controls. Reduction of metal exposure in the FM patients was achieved by replacement of dental metal restorations and by the avoidance of known sources of metal exposure. Objective health assessment was performed 5 years after treatment. Subjective health assessment was established by a questionnaire, completed 2, 5 and in some cases 10 years after the start of the study. Follow-up MELISA was also performed. All FM patients tested positive to at least one of the metals tested. Objective examination 5 years later showed that half of the patients no longer fulfilled the FM diagnosis, 20% had improved and the remaining 30% still had FM. All patients reported subjective health improvement.

Vera Stejskal is Associate Professor of Immunology at University of Stockholm, Sweden. She is founder and president of the MELISA Medica Foundation. Karin Öckert is a pensioned Swedish dentist/specialist in periodontics. Geir Bjørklund is founder and president of the Council for Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (CONEM).

Reference
1. Stejskal V, Öckert K, Bjørklund G. Metal-induced inflammation triggers fibromyalgia in metal-allergic patients. Neuro Endocrinol Lett 2013; 34: 559-565.

 

Identifying Individuals at Risk of Developing ASIA Syndrome

Vera Stejskal, PhD is Associate Professor of Immunology at University of Stockholm, Sweden. She is founder and president of the MELISA Medica Foundation. Stejskal discusses in a recent editorial article in the Israel Medical Association Journal (IMAJ) how, despite widespread exposure to metals, only a minority of people develop allergic and autoimmune disorders such as ASIA syndrome (1). In order to protect these individuals, identifying clinical and laboratory markers of susceptibility is key. Mercury and other metals can be added to the list of environmental agents that contribute to ASIA syndrome. Together with screening for autoantibodies, metal-specific T cells can be used  to identify at-risk individuals. Dr. Stejskal is a CONEM member.

Reference
Stejskal V. Mercury-induced inflammation: yet another example of ASIA syndrome. Isr Med Assoc J 2013; 15: 714–715.

A Psychiatrist’s Perspective on Antidepressants

Kelly Brogan, MD is a holistic women’s health psychiatrist in New York who believes in root-cause resolution of symptoms over pharma-driven disease-management. In this short video, she talks about four principal tenets that may undermine your current understanding of the efficacy and safety of antidepressant medication. Dr. Brogan is a CONEM member.

 

GI Health and the Autsm Cascade (Lecture)

Liz Lipski, PhD, CCN is academic director of Nutrition & Integrative Health Programs at Maryland University of Integrative Health in Laurel, Maryland. She is author of the books Digestive Wellness, Digestion Connection, and Digestive Wellness for Children. Lipski is also a CONEM member. In this lecture, Dr. Lipski talks about digestive health issues in autism spectrum disorders. Many people on the spectrum have digestive health issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, bacterial and/or fungal infections, heartburn and more. This lecture focuses on understanding what problems can occur and offer practical solutions to enhance overall health by balancing digestive issues. This includes testing, special diets, and use of supplements and herbs for common issues. This lecture was held on 13 October 2012 at the Fall 2012 Autism Research Institute Conference in Garden Grove, California.

MELISA® Testing for Diagnosis and Treatment of Metal-Induced Diseases (Lecture)

VeraVera Stejskal, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Immunology at University of Stockholm, Sweden. She is founder and preident of the MELISA® MEDICA Foundation, which is dedicated to the science of metal allergy and its diagnosis when treating chronic diseases such as chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalopathy (CFS /ME), multiple sclerosis (MS) or other autoimmune and allergic diseases. She is also a CONEM member.

The MELISA® test, invented by Dr. Stejskal, is the only scientifically-proven blood test which diagnoses metal allergy to multiple metals. Further test applications include the diagnosis of Lyme disease. In this lecture, Vera Stejskal talks about MELISA®  testing to diagnose and treat metal-induced diseases and conditions. The lecture was held in September 2008 at IAOMT Annual Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina.