Rob Brown, MD

A Physician's Unique Perspective on Wellness

Month: May 2020

EMF, Cancer, and Chronic Disease

Miscommunication within a cell or between cells is a common cause of disease. Mixed messages and altered signals can result from biochemical contaminants as well as electromagnetic interference. Most people scan down a list of potential adverse health effects to see if a toxin can cause cancer. The risk of developing a chronic inflammatory condition such as autoimmune disease or a hormonal disorder like diabetes doesn’t raise the hair up on most people’s necks like the thought of potentially getting cancer. 

Do electromagnetic fields (EMF) cause cancer?
In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified EMF as a Group 2B carcinogen, i.e. possibly carcinogenic. This determination was based on the potential increased risk of developing brain cancer from mobile cell phone use. That means, as far as the World Health Organization (WHO) is concerned, EMF may cause cancer. We might have thought that over the years, with thousands of peer reviewed journal articles in the scientific literature, this uncertainty would have been resolved. But unfortunately, for political and economic reasons, the WHO placed a majority of members tied to industry on this important influential core research committee. Their conflicts of interest render the indecision suspect.

What causes cancer? 
At a most basic understanding, two conditions can lead to cancer. The first is an improperly functioning immune system. The second is an agent causing an excessive number of cells to go rogue and reproduce uncontrollably. Most of us think of something “causing” cancer as being the latter. Studies on EMF have shown the radiation can play an influential role in both processes.  

EMF and the Immune System
In a real sense, the cure for cancer has always been within ourselves. A properly functioning immune system is designed to knock out crazed, uncontrollable cancer cells before they get a foothold. Immune cells called natural killer cells are tasked with this chore. Short term exposure to EMF can excite the immune system and increase immune reaction, but prolonged, chronic EMF exposure has been shown to cause a drop off in the immune system’s response and a reduction in the number of natural killer cells. Most of us now live with chronic exposure to radio-frequency (RF) EMF through our cell phones, wifi routers, and other sources, ELF-EMF emitted by 50 Hz and 60Hz electrical currents running through our homes also negatively impact the immune system. Magnetic fields over 1 microtesla generated by some appliances and neighborhood power lines have also been found to cause a drop off in NK cells.  

EMF, Cellular Miscommunication, and Oxidative Stress
Cancer starts with one cell going haywire and loosing its “sense of purpose and community. The diseased cell no longer communicates properly with its surroundings and begins to incessantly reproduce itself. One of the important mechanisms by which this can occur is through an internal imbalance called oxidative stress. When a cell is experiencing oxidative stress, molecules within the cell are missing electrons. These charged molecules then look to steal electrons from other sources in the cell, setting off a cascade of events potentially damaging DNA, mitochondria (the energy generating powerhouses of the cell), and the cell membrane, among other important intracellular structures. 

EMF causes oxidative stress even at non-thermal levels! Yes, EMF, along with many other environmental toxins, can cause oxidative stress. Many diseases, including ALL inflammatory diseases, heart disease, and cancer, can arise from oxidative stressChronic oxidative stress in the brain can also lead to mental illness, stroke, and dementia. There is evidence that cardiovascular disease is increasing because of oxidative stress from chronic EMF exposure. And, some researchers have uncovered evidence that the diabetes and childhood obesity epidemics may also be the result of increasing EMF fields in our society.  

What can you do?
1. Limit your exposure to EMF as much as possible during the day and at night.
2. Hardwire your computer and accessories including keyboard, mouse, and printer.
3. Use ethernet cables for all internet based appliances you utilize most often, such as smart TVs, to directly connect them to the internet router. 
4. Turn off wifi while you sleep. Cable companies typically provide a router that emits wifi 24 hours a day. Much better to turn off this capability (ask your cable provider how to do this). With wifi disabled, your cable router will remain in communication with the cable company and hardwired devices will still have internet access. A second wifi router can then be plugged into the cable router when wifi is needed and unplugged before heading for bed. Alternatively, the accessory wifi router can be plugged into an appliance timer so it automatically shuts off 30 minutes before bedtime, and turns back on in the morning.
5. Distance yourself from EMF emitting devices wherever possible. As technology becomes more pervasive in our society, this is becoming increasingly difficult.
6. Place wifi routers far away from the living spaces you spend most of your time in. 
7. Increase your daily consumption of antioxidants. These foods and supplements provide extra electrons to cells undergoing oxidative stress and can help mitigate damage. There are tons of great antioxidant rich foods. I recommend you eat a variety of them and often.
Vitamin ACarrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli
Vitamin ESunflower seeds, almonds, leafy greens
CysteineCheese, sunflower seeds, chicken
CoQ10Organ meats, spinach, oranges
FlavonoidsTea, Citrus fruit
GlutathioneAsparagus, avocados, squash
Additional suggestions:Artichokes, dark chocolate, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries
A Few Recommended Antioxidants 

COVID-19, Blood Clots, and Possible Exacerbation from Electromagnetic Fields (EMF)

covid 19 blood clots

The relationship between COVID 19 and blood clots has caused considerable alarm.

This past week, the New England Journal of Medicine published a report that an increased number of strokes are being seen in young patients with COVID-19. Coincidentally, while working last week, I read the CT scans of 3 emergency room patients who had uncommon blood clots. I found the cluster of cases to be unusual. The first patient was a 54-year-old man with a blood clot in the artery supplying his spleen. The loss of blood flow killed (infarcted) a portion of his spleen. The second case was a 71-year-old woman who clotted the artery supplying her intestine (the superior mesenteric artery (SMA)). Her small intestine died. Gas from the dead gut was then pushed into the liver, shown in the following image, and she soon passed away.

Portal venous gas due to SMA thrombosis and ischemic bowel

Portal venous gas due to SMA thrombosis and bowel necrosis

The third patient, a 57 year old man, developed a clot in his portal vein, a large vessel that carries blood and nutrients from the intestine to the liver. Although I didn’t have clinical history providing a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, I did speak to the ER physician and recommended she test these patients for the virus.

Blood clots in veins versus blood clots in arteries

Many people understand that veins can become clotted if you are inactive. Laying in bed for days and sitting for prolonged periods, such as when on a long plane flight or car ride can result in a deep venous thrombosis (DVT). These venous blood clots are dangerous because they can dislodge and float downstream to the heart where they are propelled into the artery leading to the lungs. It is here these clots can block blood flow to the lungs and cause serious health problems, including death.

Blood clots in arteries are different. An arterial clot doesn’t typically come from blood stagnation. Instead, an abnormality in either the clotting characteristics of the blood or a disease of the blood vessel lining which then incites an immune response, can both cause clotting. The parts of the body receiving diminished blood flow become deprived of nutrients and oxygen, a condition called ischemia. In time, the affected structures may die. This process can occur in the arteries supplying the brain (a stroke), those supplying vital organs, the limbs, or anywhere else.

It is now recognized that COVID-19 causes blood clots, both in arteries and in veins. The cause for this appears to be multifactorial. The virus damages the cells that line the blood vessels, the endothelium, and causes an immune response which, in itself, may cause increased viscosity of the blood. Dr. Maria Pavlis, a cardiologist working in a suburban hospital of NYC, told me last night that most of their patients with COVID-19 are now being placed on blood thinners.

Where does EMF fit into the relationship between COVID 19 and blood clots?

Evidence that EMF can cause a reaction in endothelial cells, increasing the risk for blood clot formation, was first described in 2004. EMF exposure may also induce Rouleaux formation, a reversible condition where red blood cells adhere to one another and become stacked, one on top of the other like a stack of coins. This phenomenon may occur with many conditions, including infections, connective tissue diseases and cancer. Rouleaux formation can be associated with increased viscosity of the blood and can cause the blockage of small arteries.

Normal Blood Cells
Same Patient – Rouleaux formation of red blood cells after 10 min exposure to 2.45 GHz

Dr. Magda Havas, PhD and Professor Emeritus at Trent University in Ontario, provided me with the following images. Both slides demonstrate blood smear specimens from the same patient and were collected within twenty minutes of each other. The first image was obtained before EMF exposure and is a normal blood sample. The second image was obtained after exposure to 10 minutes of EMF from a 2.45 GHz wifi router (at levels considered safe by international standards and well below FCC guidelines). Red blood cell stacking in the irradiated sample is easily appreciated.

My concern is that given the prevalence of the COVID virus and the ubiquity of EMF in our society, could it be that EMF generated Rouleaux formation is exacerbating the propensity for thrombosis in some patients with COVID-19?

Whether or not you have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, we should all seek ways to reduce our EMF exposure, particularly during sleep. Hardwire computers, accessories, laptops and TVs wherever possible. Turn off EMF emitting devices, such as wifi routers and cell phones at night. Rouleaux formation should reverse, sleep will improve, melatonin production will increase and we will wake up better refreshed and healthier. I’ve made these changes in my own life and highly recommend you do the same!

For more information on possible interrelationships between EMF and COVID-19, please read Dr. Havas’ blog here.

See also: Preparations for an Incipient War on COVID-19

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