Why Do We Need Environmental Medicine Research?
In the past five decades, human exposure to synthetic chemicals has increased steadily. Research has found as many as 200 chemicals in umbilical cord blood, putting our youngest members of society at risk even before birth. Cancer, infertility, obesity, heart disease and brain development disorders all have been shown to be associated with synthetic chemicals.
Little research has been done to assess or look at means to reduce chronic persistent pollutants in our bodies.
Although CAM detoxification has been shown to reduce the body burden of chemicals, rigorous research into clinical detoxification is still needed. The Bastyr Clinical Research Center hopes to more closely examine detoxification for weight loss, disease treatment and general wellness.
Current Studies - Environmental Medicine Research
Sauna Detoxification Study
Principal investigator: Jason Allen, ND, MPH
Project period: 2011-2012
Epidemiologic data demonstrate that synthetic chemicals are accumulating in human tissues. Some of these chemicals are associated with adverse health effects, including diseases of significant public health importance such as cancer, neurodevelopmental disorders, infertility, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Although some complementary, alternative and integrative medicine (CAM) detoxification methods have shown promising preliminary data on chemical reduction and effects on wellness, currently no standardized clinical protocols exist.
Project goals: Conduct a methodologically rigorous pilot study on a hyperthermia-based detoxification protocol to assess feasibility, safety, effects on quality of life and wellness, and record changes in PCB concentrations. For three consecutive weeks, study volunteers will attend approximately two- to three-hour visits, including medically monitored one- to two-hour sauna sessions. Vital signs, urine and, occasionally, blood samples will be collected before, during and after the study.
Read more about the Sauna Detoxification Study in the article "Building a Campus Sauna to Sweat out Toxins."