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9 Unexpected Triggers Of Diabetes

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Diabetes has become an epidemic, instances of those developing type 2 diabetes are increasing at an alarming rate. We know that a poor diet that is high in sugar and animal protein combined with inactivity are two  common factors of the typical Western diet and way of life that can lead to type 2 diabetes. What is not very well-known and not often discussed is that there are many are dealing with this disease for lesser-known reasons that are sometimes completely out of their control.

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Recommended: Free iThrive Docu-series. Learn how to reverse diabetes and obesity. 

In this day and age, we are exposed to thousands of chemicals in our environment, usually every day. Chemicals are found in everything from the food we eat, the air we breathe, the clothes we wear, the water we drink and, quite frankly virtually every aspect of our lives, and a lot of them are bad. The effects of all these chemicals (the bad ones) is almost like the elephant in the room, it’s not often that fingers are pointed to these chemicals and the potential harm they are doing to our bodies. Certain chemicals like the BPA found in plastic and canned goods, vehicle exhaust and phthalates, these common environmental chemicals can alter our health in several different ways.

A cost analysis published in the Lancet in 2016 stated that diseases related to everyday household chemicals cost the United States $340 billion annually, let that sink in for a moment. An increasing amount of research has been pointing towards many other environmental contaminants and chemicals that can drastically increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In fact, there are much more important factors to be aware of, it’s not only diet and physical activity like we have been led to believe.

What Chemicals Can Trigger Type 2 Diabetes?

1. Arsenic – Research has shown that chronic exposure to arsenic can interfere with insulin secretion, which can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A study published in the American Journal of Physiology in 2017 stated that arsenic, “contaminates the drinking water of approximately 100 million people globally and has been associated with insulin resistance and diabetes.”  

2. BPA – Also known as Bisphenol A is a synthetic compound that is often used to produce certain types of plastics in toys, canned foods, drink liners, even medical devices. Research has shown that BPA is associated with many health disorders. The Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, human and lab studies suggest that BPA exposure is linked to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This chemical acts directly on pancreatic cells and impairs insulin and glucagon secretion which can trigger an insulin resistant state.

Best ways to avoid BPA? Limit your exposure to plastic of all kinds, choose glass or stainless steel whenever possible and say no to the receipts from the cash register which are usually coated with BPA or similar chemical compounds.

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3. PCBs – Or, polychlorinated biphenyls are chemicals that are used in hundreds of industrial and commercial applications. They were officially banned in the U.S. in 1979, however these chemicals tend to linger. Research shows that PCB’s will remain in the human body for a long time after exposure because the toxins accumulate in our fatty tissues.

Bob Weinhold, a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists examined studies conducted on mice that showed how exposure to PCB was associated with significant impairment of glucose and insulin tolerance. Researchers also found that exposure to PCB increased the concentrations of cytokines which are also related to insulin resistance.

There are ways to reduce your exposure to PCB chemicals, you can read more about that HERE.

4. PAHs – Or, Polyacrylic Aromatic Hydrocarbons are naturally occurring chemicals that can be found in gasoline, crude oil and coal. They are produced when coal, gas, oil, tobacco and garbage are burned and contaminate the air we breathe with vehicle exhaust, cigarette smoke, burnt wood, and burnt meat.

A study published in 2014 in Occupational and Environmental Medicine indicated that high urinary levels of PAHs in participants who were monitored over a 5 year period are associated with the development of type 2 diabetes in U.S. adults between the ages of 20 to 65 years. Researchers pointed to previous studies that have also reported that chronic exposure to PAHs is linked to oxidative stress and inflammation also playing a major role in the development of type 2 diabetes.

Smoking cigarettes and consuming PAHs in food are the primary sources of PAHs in the U.S. To limit your exposure, do not smoke, and do not cook meat or other foods at extremely high temperatures. Limit your intake of grilled and charred foods.

5. Phthalates – Are chemicals that again are used in plastics, in order to increase durability, flexibility and transparency of many plastic products. A study conducted in Australia detected phthalates in 99.6 percent of the participant urine samples and were able to find that phthalate concentrations were positively associated with type 2 diabetes as well as hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Researchers adjusted for other factors that normally contribute to these health factors such as alcohol consumption and smoking, but the link between the phthalates and the disease stayed the same.



6. Mercury – We all know that mercury is a dangerous substance and should be avoided at all costs, but research has also shown that specifically mercury can induce hyperglycemia by altering the function of pancreatic beta cells. A systematic review published in Environmental Research looked at 34 studies that measured the increased risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome due to exposure to mercury.

7. Cadmium – Is found naturally in the environment and is released through smelting and mining. It’s used in many industrial processes such as metal plating, stabilizing plastics and producing pigments. It can contaminate food that comes from soil or water that contains cadmium.

In 2017, a meta-analysis evaluated 9 different studies with a combined total of 28,691 participants in order to determine if there was an association between cadmium exposure and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Researchers found that for every 1 microgram per gram of urinary cadmium the risk of diabetes increased by a whopping 16 percent.

Exposure to cadmium through diet alone isn’t believed to be a cause for concern, but smokers and those exposed to high levels of cadmium through their occupations are at a greater risk. A full list of occupations that increase the risk of toxic cadmium exposure is provided by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

8. Pesticides – These are chemicals that are used abundantly in agriculture to prevent and destroy pests and insects that might interfere with the growth and productivity of crops.

A systematic review and meta-analysis published in Environment International reviewed the role of pesticides in the pathogenesis of diabetes. Included were 22 studies and a positive association between increased pesticide exposure and the prevalence of diabetes. The adverse effects of pesticides can be chronic or acute depending on your level of exposure. To reduce your exposure, go organic whenever possible, but especially when purchasing any foods from the dirty dozen list, these are the foods that contain the highest levels of pesticides.

9. Nickel – Nickel is a metal that is used to make coins, jewelry, batteries and heat exchangers. This metal is released into our environment from the stacks and large furnaces at power plants or trash incinerators. It is also released in industrial waste water and ends up in the soil.

A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology looked at the association of nickel exposure with the prevalence of type 2 diabetes among adults in China. What was found was that the median concentration of urinary nickel among the 2,115 participants observed was 3.6 milligrams per liter and the prevalence of diabetes was 35 percent. These elevated levels of urinary nickel were positively associated with higher fasting glucose levels and insulin resistance.

Watch the FREE 9 Part docu-series called iThrive to learn more about reversing diabetes and obesity.

H/T: Dr. Axe

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“I Tried Every Diet & Nothing Worked” How Mucus Free Living Saved This Woman’s Life

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    After a year on a high-fat/high-protein lifestyle, Livia Macdonald nearly died. After adopting a 'mucus-free' lifestyle, a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, she cured her depression, anxiety, and health issues.

  • Reflect On:

    True healing takes time and commitment, and a willingness to face the emotions and trauma buried beneath our eating habits.

In 2011, Livia Macdonald was looking for answers to her health. At nearly 300 lbs and stuck in the despairs of chronic illness, she was ready to make a big change. The first step—divorcing allopathic medicine all together. Like many others stepping away from conventional medicine, Livia found herself enveloped by the siren of holistic healthcare, adopting the protocols laid out by natural-health celebrity and functional medicine doctor, Mark Hyman.

Following Hyman’s vitality guidelines, Livia cut out grains, starches, and processed sugars, while incorporating more vegetables, ‘healthy’ fats and animal products into her diet.

I was told that high protein and high fats is the way to go because our brain needs fat. I even made my own ghee and ate loads of coconut oil and eggs every day,” she told Collective Evolution.

At first the high-fat diet did wonders for Livia’s health. She felt more energized, had more mental clarity, and even began to drop weight. “I lost almost 80 lbs the first year on the [high-fat] diet,” she said.

But after twelve months of a high-fat lifestyle, Livia said her body began to shut down.

“I started to feel awful. Like everything turned on me. I got severe depression, anxiety, shaking, internal tremors, my organs started to really hurt, I had them checked and my pancreas had so many fat deposits all over it and my cholesterol was through the roof after being optimal. My entire body started to shut down and I became bed ridden for an entire year.”

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During this difficult time Livia came across the work of Dr. Robert Morse, a regenerative detoxification specialist well known in the natural health world. One of the foundations of Dr. Morse’s teachings is that man is a part of the primate family, and therefore we are primarily a frugivore species whose bodies thrive off of fruit, some vegetables and herbs. Livia says that a lightbulb went off in her head immediately upon reading Dr. Morse’s work.

My intuition was screaming that this was the missing piece of my puzzle, and that he speaks the absolute truth.”

Arnold Ehret wrote “The Mucusless Diet Healing System,” a resource for the chronically ill. Ehret’s protocols implement systematic fasting, as well as a diet of raw fruit and vegetables.

Next, Livia discovered the work of a 19th century natural health educator named Arnold Ehret. Ehret’s rise to fame came through his in depth knowledge about the body, specifically in healing chronic disease through systematic fasting and a diet similar to what Morse prescribes—raw fruit and vegetables.

His magnum opus, The Mucusless Diet Healing System, detailed his many years working in a clinic for the chronically ill while implementing his detox protocols to cure their diseases. Ehret’s work garnered a cult-following throughout the early 20th century and inspired the works of well-known detox specialists like Robert Morse himself, Paul Braggs, and Alfredo Bowman.

Adopting A Mucus-Free Lifestyle

But Livia said her biggest aha moment did not come until she discovered the work of South-African detox specialist  Alexandra Cousins. Inspired by the teachings of Robert Morse and Arnold Ehret, Cousins takes their healing principles and merges them with the shamanic and emotional work which she feels is the missing piece for those seeking full-bodied healing.

What I am witnessing is that trauma, PTSD, OCD, addictions are running everyone’s lives,” she writes in her Facebook group, Living Mucus Free. “The degree will vary but we all have it unless we have specifically addressed it. It is safe to say that all my clients, especially the chronically ill suffer from some form of unresolved trauma. If you have adrenal, hormonal, thyroid, or CFS issues, you are dealing with trauma residue. Living mucus free tends to bring up all our unresolved trauma. As we no longer consume foods that numb us or stimulate us, trauma rises to the surface so that it can be felt and dealt with.”

Having endured years of ill-health herself and having tried almost every diet trend out there, Cousins eventually found solace through a lifestyle termed Living Mucus Free (LMF). Mucus, for those wondering, is the residue which builds in the body from eating non-species-specific food, i.e., animal products, grains, or most cooked food. This mucus putrefies and plaques to the intestinal walls, eventually causing acids to build up in the body and damage our organs and glands.

LMF does away with mucus-causing foods while utilizing fruit, vegetables, herbs, systematic fasting, lymphatic movement, and various trauma-release therapies. Today, Cousins teaches what she’s learned at detox retreats around the globe and inspires thousands through her fierce social media presence.

Alexandra Cousins; founder ‘Living Mucus Free’. Cousins teaches people how to heal their chronic illness through the principles of cellular detoxification.

Sweet potato pizza via Living Mucus Free.

Photo by Livia Macdonald.

Livia says she has dedicated herself to the Living Mucus Free principles with great results, incorporating daily intermittent fasting, herbal tinctures, movement and breathing practices targeted at draining the lymphatic system, as well as raw food diet.

“I have been vegan one year and living mucus free for 10 months now. My anxiety and depression cleared up within two months, never to return. I have so much more clarity and mental focus now and that is getting better with time, not worse. I am slowly healing my endocrine system and gaining more energy back, I am no longer bed ridden since the first couple of months on this lifestyle.. all my spiritual and emotional stuff has surfaced to be healed and it’s truly a fascinating and incredible journey to learn the truth and realize just how wrongly we have been conditioned in such a deep way.”

The emphasis in Living Mucus Free is elimination—getting out of the body’s way and allowing it to do its job of eliminating acids, toxins, undigested food material and mucoid plaque. This is primarily achieved through daily dry fasting and eating watery, astringent fruit, which pulls out toxins as it transits the digestive tract.

Another principle to the Living Mucus Free lifestyle is eating little to no fat while detoxing, a principle that goes against many of the high-fat diet trends of today. But as Alexandra Cousins explains, in the case of those who are cellularly degenerate, fats only serve to cover up their issues. Fats are anti-inflammatory, buffering the acidity in the body but never pulling the acids out. A temporary bandaid for true healing.

Livia feels this is what happened in her case, and it is why she thinks so many initially feel great adopting a high-fat diet.

“I feel the high fat diet works for some because it suppresses and clogs their lymphatic system so naturally they will feel instant relief. But now that I understand how the body actually works, of course you are going to show improvement at the beginning if you remove junk food, sugars/grains, dairy etc.”

Cousins also speaks much to the notion that fats, salts, animal products, and processed foods are stimulating to our nervous system which cover up our emotional wounds, so when we begin to remove these foods and focus on detoxifying the body, we are suddenly faced with old emotions or traumatic memories, and this, Alex says, is mostly what Living Mucus Free is about.

“When we detox on a cellular level, we are consistently clearing old information, old cellular memory in the form of emotion which is held in physical waste stored in the body, replacing it with new cellular information,” Alex Cousins, Living Mucus Free.

For those looking for a quick fix, Living Mucus Free probably isn’t the right fit. Those living the Mucus Free lifestyle don’t make false promises that you will be healed after a 30 day detox. The journey is slow and steady, one with bumps along the way known as healing crises. During a healing crisis any number of uncomfortable symptoms can arise as the body expels old debris and toxins. But as Livia says, walking through the discomfort is the only way towards true healing.

I believe that our society has everything so backwards,” says Livia. “We are taught to chase feeling good, and run away from feeling bad, and Living Mucus Free isn’t going to feel good in the beginning as it brings up our weaknesses for healing.”

The reward, as promised by Cousins, Morse, Ehret, and thousands of others who have healed through regenerative detox principles, is beyond anything we can imagine:

Unimaginable health and vitality, weight loss and reversed ageing, improved energy levels, mental clarity and confidence, liberation from anxiety, mood swings and self-doubt, resolution of stored trauma and a deeper connection to source, vastly improved sex life and orgasms.”

Is Living Mucus Free really the key to such incredible feats? The answer, it seems, is to be discovered only by those willing to walk through the fire to find out.

For more information about Living Mucus Free, visit Alexandra Cousins’ website, Living Mucus Free.

For amazing mucus free recipes and to continue following Livia’s journey, check her out Instagram or Facebook, or her website, LiveAlittleRaw.

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Two Doctors Explain Autophagy, How To Induce It (Fasting) & What It Does To The Human Body (Video)

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Dr. Guido Kroemer and Rhonda Patrick sit down and discuss autophagy, how to induce it and it's health benefits.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do we never hear about fasting interventions as an 'official' treatment for certain from our federal health regulatory agencies when there is so much scientific proof?

Fasting and caloric restriction, if done correctly in a healthy and appropriate manner, combined with a healthy diet can have tremendous benefits for the human body. Interventions like fasting are gaining tremendous amounts of popularity, and that is in large part due to the fact that this information is being spread across the world via alternative media outlets and independent websites, youtube channels, etc. It’s not really a health topic that we’re hearing from mainstream media sources or our federal health regulatory agencies. Why? Because you can’t make money off of fasting. Perhaps when drugs are developed that mimic the effects of fasting, that’s when its popularity will skyrocket; but unfortunately, modern day health authorities don’t really seem to be as concerned with our health and wellbeing as they are about profiting and making money, and nobody is going to make any money if people starting eating less. That being said, the information revolution cannot be stopped, and fasting is now on the minds of many, and for good reason.

On October 3rd, 2016, the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Yoshinori Ohsumi for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy, a term that translates to “self-eat.” In short, autophagy is the body’s self-cleaning system, a mechanism in which cells get rid of all the broken down, old cell machinery (organelles, proteins and cell membranes). It is a regulated, orderly process to degrade and recycle cellular components.

The process of autophagy is like replacing parts in a car—sometimes we need a new engine or battery for the car to function better. The same thing happens within each of our cells. During autophagy, old cellular debris is sent to specialized compartments within the cell called “lysosomes.” Lysosomes contain enzymes that degrade the old debris, breaking it down into smaller components to be reused again by the cell.

Scientists have found that fasting for 12 to 24+ hours triggers autophagy, which is thought to be one of the reasons that fasting is associated with longevity. There is a large body of research that connects fasting to improved blood sugar control, reduced inflammationweight loss, and improved brain function, and Oshumi’s findings provide greater insight into this research.

“Sporadic short-term fasting, driven by religious and spiritual beliefs, is common to many cultures and has been practiced for millennia, but scientific analyses of the consequences of caloric restriction are more recent… short-term food restriction induces a dramatic upregulation of autophagy in cortical and Purkinje neurons. As noted above, disruption of autophagy can cause neurodegenerative disease, and the converse also may hold true: upregulation of autophagy may have a neuroprotective effect.

Food restriction is a simple, reliable, inexpensive and harmless alternative to drug ingestion and, therefore, we propose that short-term food restriction may represent an attractive alternative to the prophylaxis and treatment of diseases in which candidate drugs are currently being sought.”

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If you look at the plethora of studies that’ve been published regarding caloric restriction and fasting, the benefits are overwhelming. These benefits are seen across the board, not just in humans, but in animals as well. Some of these benefits are talked about below in a fascinating interview and discussion between Dr. Rhonda Patrick  and Dr. Guido Kroemer. Dr. Patrick, as her website states, “is dedicated to the pursuit of longevity and optimal health and shares the latest research on nutrition, aging, and disease prevention with her audience. She has a gift for translating scientific topics into understandable takeaways for all levels of education and interest.” She has a lot of great content on her Youtube channel with some very interesting people who are leaders in their respective field.

Dr. Guido Kroemer is currently a Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Paris Descartes, Director of the research team “Apoptosis, Cancer and Immunity” of the French Medical Research Council (INSERM), Director of the Metabolomics and Cell Biology platforms of the Gustave Roussy Comprehensive Cancer Center, Deputy Director of the Cordeliers Research Center, and Hospital Practitioner at the Hôpital Européen George Pompidou, Paris, France. He is also a Foreign Adjunct Professor at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

The Takeaway

The takeaway here is to recognize the potential of dietary interventions for certain ailments. It’s also to recognize the importance of seeking out knowledge and wisdom, and not just relying on your doctor for advice or prescription medications.

Related CE Articles on Fasting

How To Activate Autophagy: Your Body’s Self-Cleansing System

Autophagy, Fasting & Exercise: Scientist Reveal Multiple Ways You Can Slow Down The Process of Aging

The Complete Guide To Fasting & Reversing Type 2 Diabetes: A Special Interview With Dr. Jason Fung

Neuroscientist Shows What Fasting Does To Your Brain & Why Big Pharma Won’t Study It

Scientists Explain How Fasting Fights Cancer, Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration & Changes Your Brain (In A Good Way)

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Ladies, Ditch the Bra

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    There is evidence of a relationship between bras and breast cancer may rethink the societal convention of wearing bras.

  • Reflect On:

    Have you looked into the research about how bras can be contributing to poor health?

I realize it may feel some combination of uncomfortable, unprofessional, or unnecessarily provocative. Societal convention has most of us trussing up before going out.

If you are reading this at home, do me a favor and unhook. Then keep reading.

There’s Some Evidence of a Relationship Between Bras and Breast Cancer Yes, seriously.

Dressed To Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras

Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer authored a book called Dressed To Kill. They interviewed 4,000+ women in five major U.S. cities over two years. Half the women had been diagnosed with breast cancer. They found:

  • 75% of women who slept in their bras developed breast cancer
  • 1 in 7 who wore their bras 12+ hours per day developed breast cancer
  • 1 in 168 who did not wear a bra developed breast cancer
  • Within one month of ditching their bras, women with cysts, breast pain, or tenderness found their symptoms disappeared.

Breast Size, Handedness, and Breast Cancer Risk

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A 1991 article in the European Journal of Cancer found that premenopausal women who do not wear bras had half the risk of breast cancer compared with bra users. The data also suggest that bra cup size (and breast size) may be a risk factor for breast cancer.

Cancer Is Not a Disease

Andreas Moritz revealed that Japanese, Fijians, and women from other cultures were found to have a significantly higher likelihood of developing breast cancer when they began wearing bras. His book explains how cancer is an adaptive healing mechanism, arguing that people would die more quickly if the body did not form cancer cells.

Bras and Girdles Can Reduce Melatonin Levels

Japanese researchers found they can lower melatonin by 60%. Melatonin has anti-cancer properties. And Spanish researchers wrote about the use of melanonin in breast cancer prevention and treatment.

There’s No Downside to Being Cautious.

Am I suggesting this scanty fact base offers definitive proof of a causal relationship? No.

Am I suggesting you should be comforted that the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and the New York Times all believe it to be bunk? No.

That’s a longer discussion, but it’s sufficient to say that politics and economics create active bedfellows and the absence of a commercial imperative might have something to do with the dearth of research.

Many of us don’t need to wait in order to do something that intuitively seems to make a lot of sense. Frankly, in view of the alarming rate of breast cancer prevalence in this country (12.3% of women) and the growing trend to remove body parts in an attempt to improve our odds, it seems we might be receptive to a bit of behavior modification.

Things to Consider Doing:

Go braless as much as possible.

It actually gets easier. When these muscles and ligaments are forced to bear the weight of our breasts, muscle tone returns. The more you wear a bra, the more you need to wear a bra. Chest muscles and breast ligaments atrophy, which then makes it feel uncomfortable to go braless.

15 year French study conducted by Besancon CHU professor Jean-Denis Rouillon found that “medically, phyisiologically, and anatomically, breasts gained no benefit from their weight being supported in a bra.” There was some evidence that eliminating bra use helped ease back pain. He described bra wearing as a “false need.”

Remove your bra when you get home. Don’t wear a bra to bed. And if you’re self-conscious when going out, try wearing camisoles, thicker material, or nipple pads. It does make sense to wear a support bra while exercising.

Wear Loose Bras in Softer Materials and Avoid Underwires

Tight bras and underwires restrict lymphatic drainage, promoting congestion and stagnation of toxic waste materials that are supposed to be flowing out for excretion. Further, the closing of lymphatic vessels reduces the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the cells.

Michael Schachter, MD, FACAM wrote that bras and tight clothing can impede lymph flow and contribute to the development of breast cancer.

John MacDougall, MD wrote in The Lancet that repeated inflammation from constricting bras are implicated in painful breast cysts and lumps, scar tissue develops, and milk ducts become plugged, all of which is associated with a higher risk of breast cancer.

The metal in underwire bras can create an “Antenna Effect” according to the father of Applied Kinesiology, George Goodheart, DC. Repeated pressing of metal over an acupuncture point can cause longer-term stimulation of neuro-lymphatic reflex points corresponding to the liver, gallbladder, and stomach. “It will likely make her sick; slowly and quietly,” said John Andre, ND, DC.

Here’s a list of no-underwire bras recommended by Donna Eden, Vicki Mathews, and Titanya Dahlin. Donna adds that plastic underwires have the same negative impact as metal underwires.

Slide the Wires Out!

There’s no need to toss your expensive underwire bras. If you cut a small opening at one end of the wire, you can manually remove it from each cup. You’ll probably find that your bra supports you nearly as well without them. Oh, and don’t be fooled. They make look like plastic, but they’re actually plastic-coated metal. If you find you still need the support, you can buy and insert plastic wires. Andre explains how.

For additional research on the harms of bras read our article Breast Cancer Cover-Up Continues or get the book “Dressed To Kill: The Link between Breast Cancer and Bras.”


Originally published: 2014-07-14 13:06:54 -0500

Article updated: 2019-03-10


Louise Kuo Habakus is the co-author of Vaccine Epidemic, the Executive Director and co-founder of the Center for Personal Rights, the founder of Fearless Parent, and the Executive Director of Health Freedom Action.


For more info from Greenmedinfo, you can sign up for their Newsletter HERE


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