Category: wellness

Category: wellness

Connexins- The Bridges Between our Cells

Okay, I’m about to put my scientific nerdiness on display. I spend a lot of time on PubMed researching topics to help my patients and I came across this article. I have been saving it for a while to do a post on, because it struck me as profound.

It is called The Gap Junction Channel Protein Connexin 43 is Covalently Modified and Regulated by SUMOylation and is from the Journal of Biological Chemistry, May 04, 2012.

In reading this article, it made me realize how complex our bodies really are and how little we still know about how everything works. Looking at the body from a microscopic level is almost like watching a science fiction movie.

This article focused on Connexin 43, which is a Gap Junction Channel Protein. Connexin 43 is just one of many of these proteins that are being studied. I didn’t even realize these specific proteins existed. Gap junction channels are formed by these membrane proteins that link together to make tunnels which connect between adjacent cells. According to the article, “Gap junctions are intercellular (between cell) plasma membrane domains containing arrays of channels that provide exchange of ions (like sodium, potassium, etc.) and small molecules between neighboring cells. Gap junctions have fundamental roles in excitable tissues by allowing electrical transmission between adjacent cells. Gap junction channel proteins are also expressed in nearly all cell types in non-excitable tissues and have critical roles in development, growth control, differentiation, and metabolic homeostasis. Dysregulation of gap junctional intercellular communication has been linked to multiple human diseases, including heart failure, deafness, skin disorders, and neuropathologies. There is also substantial evidence that loss of cell-cell communication via gap junctions is involved in cancer development.”

The researchers involved in this article know something about cancer. They are from the Department of Cancer Prevention, Institute for Cancer Research at Oslo Norway University Hospital, the Centre for Cancer Biomedicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, and the Department of Molecular and Tumor Pathology, Akita Japan.

The importance of this system cannot be overstated. This vital system has fundamental roles in numerous cellular processes, including DNA repair, transcription, cytoplasmic nuclear transport, signal transduction, trafficking of membrane proteins including potassium channels, influencing insulin like growth factor receptors, cell growth, electrical properties of cells and chromosome separation. And, as scientists are constantly finding new associations. Most likely this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

To think that there are these specific proteins (of which they have identified multiple versions with specific functions), that link together and dock to adjacent cells to form channels between them, allowing transport of essential components between the cells is really quite remarkable. And, realizing that there are trillions of cells where this process is constantly going on automatically 24/7, is mind blowing!  It is humbling to realize that there is an innate or intelligent life force running all of these vital and complicated processes in our bodies night and day. This is just one example of millions of these types of complex and coordinated activities that our bodies are constantly orchestrating. And without these mysterious and vital activities, we could not exist. Thank God (as Psalm 139 says), we are so fearfully and wonderfully made!

Glyphosate- The Danger Lurking in your Pantry

Glyphosate, an active ingredient in commercial herbicides, including the now infamous Roundup made by Monsanto, the chemical giant, has been on the radar of health officials for decades. It is used on numerous crops including sugar, corn, soy and wheat. In the 1990’s, regulators at the EPA determined that 1.75 mg per kg of body-weight per day is the safe level of intake. Glyphosate is listed on the EPA web site as a one of the regulated drinking water contaminants. The EPA also states that long-term exposure to Glyphosate at only 700 parts per billion (ppb) can cause kidney and reproductive problems.

Roundup’s glyphosate toxicity numbers:

0.5 ppb Roundup with 0.05 ppb glyphosate altered over 4,000 genes in kidneys and livers of rats [1]

0.1 ppb Roundup with 0.05 ppb glyphosate caused severe organ damage in rats [2]

0.1 ppb is the allowable level in drinking water in the European Union.[3]

700 ppb induces toxic liver and kidney effects in rats. [4]

700 ppb is the allowable level in drinking water in the U.S. [5]

Scientists studying environmental toxicity are looking very seriously at lowering the allowable levels considered toxic. One thing the EPA studies did not consider is the serious impact that glyphosate has on the human microbiome. One study found that glyphosate causes dysbiosis (an unhealthy shift towards harmful microorganisms in the gut). This in turn favors the production of botulinum neurotoxin formation. [6]

A recent analysis [7] of some of the most common cereals and snack foods found in most American’s pantries found shockingly high levels of glyphosate residues. The highest of all? Cheerios! Original Cheerios came in at a not-so-cheery 1,125.3 ppb (1.1253 mg/kg). Honey Nut Cheerios had a level of 670.2. Stacy’s Pita Chips- 812.53. Doritos Cool Ranch- 481.27. Lay’s Potato Chips- 452.71. Other foods listed include Oreos, Fritos, Corn Flakes, Raisin Bran, Goldfish and more. The testing and analysis was performed by Anresco Laboratories, located in San Francisco. They are an FDA registered laboratory that has performed expert food safety testing since 1943. You can download the test results from

The amount of glyphosate containing herbicides has steadily grown over the years. According to a report by Global Industry Analysts Inc., the global glyphosate market is estimated to reach 1.35 million metric tons by 2017. Look at this interactive map showing the growth of the use of Roundup since 1992.

An article published in the British medical journal Lancet Oncology May 16, 2015, called Carcinogenicity of tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, malathion, diazinon and glyphosate concluded that glyphosate is highly suspect as a cancer causer. From the article “Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide, currently with the highest production volumes of all herbicides. It is used in more than 750 different products for agriculture, forestry, urban, and home applications.” According to an environmental working group of the World Health Organization, glyphosate is probably cancer-causing to humans. [8]

[1] Environmental Health Journal 2015;14:70

[2] Environmental Science Europe 2014;26:14

[3] BMC Genomics 2015 Jan 31;16:32. PMID: 25636363

[4] Environmental Toxicological Pharmacology 2012;34:811–8


[6] The influence of glyphosate on the microbiota and production of botulinum neurotoxin during ruminal fermentation. Current Microbiology March 2015



Exercise your body in 3 dimensions-

When we move we often think or feel like we are moving in a single dimension, forward, backward, left or right. It is important to realize that movement of our body requires a symphony of coordinated movement between dozens of muscles working from various angles. It is extraordinarily beautiful when you break it down.

The shoulder and the hip are two of the most important joint complexes in the body because they connect our limbs to our torso. The muscles that hold the arm in the shoulder socket are fan shaped on the front (the pectoralis muscles), and on the back (the rotator cuff). The muscles that hold the leg into the hip socket are also fan shaped in the back and outside (the gluteus muscles and hamstrings) and the inside and front (the adductors or groin muscles and long part of the quad muscles).

Top notch therapists and chiropractors will evaluate an individual in motion as well as statically. They will look for asymmetries in the way the joints are moving. When exercising, it is important to be intentional when working the muscle groups from different angles. Traditional exercises tend to be much more linear and methodical rather than variable and adaptive. Life is all about adaptation, so exercises that maximize the use of different angles and require adaptive learning with provide the body with increased stability and function. So, look to vary the height of the pulley on the cable machine, change the angle of the incline and decline bench, do lunges in a fan like pattern as in the moving hands of a clock. An experienced personal trainer can help you to develop a program that encompasses the multi-directional approach to your training.