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 exposure to some synthetic chemicals and metals.
Little research has been done to assess or look at means to reduce chronic persistent pollutants from our bodies.
Although certain CAM detoxification protocols have been shown to reduce the body burden of some chemicals, rigorous research into clinical detoxification is still needed. The Bastyr Clinical Research Center hopes to more closely examine detoxification of environmental pollutants from humans for disease treatment, prevention, and general wellness.
Current Studies - Environmental Medicine Research
Sauna Detoxification Study, Phase I
Principal investigator: Jason Allen, ND, MPH
Project period: 07/01/2013 - 04/30/2014
Epidemiologic data demonstrate that synthetic chemicals are accumulating in human tissues (blood, fat, breast milk, etc.). Some of these chemicals, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are increasingly associated with health problems, including diseases of significant public health importance such as cancer, neurodevelopmental disorders, infertility, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
Promising preliminary data suggests that some complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) detoxification methods may reduce tissue levels of chemicals and increase quality of life, however there are currently no standardized detoxification methods, and no rigorous clinical trials underway.
This is a Phase I randomized 2-arm study. After screening, informed consent and randomization, participants will either first complete a medically-monitored 3-week sauna-based detoxification program followed by a 3-week observation period (and a subsequent End of Study visit between 7-14 days after the last observation visit), OR will first complete a 3-week observation period followed by a 3-week sauna-based detoxification program (and subsequent End of Study visit between 7-14 days after the last sauna visit).
- The primary goal of this Phase I study is to conduct a methodologically rigorous investigation of a hyperthermia-based medically monitored detoxification protocol in order to assess the impact of sauna on potential reductions in blood PCB concentrations.
- The secondary goal of this Phase I study is to assess safety, feasibility, and tolerability of the sauna detoxification protocol as well as how it may affect quality of life and overall sense of wellness in study participants.
Read more about the Sauna Detoxification Research: