Panchakarma - Scientific Research


PCB's Cause Cancer - Center of Disease Control

Panchakarma Reduces Accumulated Toxins by 50%

"PCB's Cause Cancer "

by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

What are polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)?
PCBs are mixtures of up to 209 individual chlorinated compounds (known as congeners). There are no known natural sources of PCBs. PCBs are oily liquids or solids that are colorless to light yellow. Some PCBs can exist as a vapor in air. PCBs have no smell or taste. Many commercial PCB mixtures are known in the United States by the trade name Aroclor.

PCBs have been used as coolants and lubricants in transformers, capacitors, and other electrical equipment because they do not burn easily and are good insulators. The manufacture of PCBs was stopped in the United States in 1977 because of evidence they build up in the environment and can cause health problems. Products made before 1977 that may contain PCBs include old fluorescent lighting fixtures and electrical devices containing PCB capacitors, and old microscope and hydraulic oils.

How do PCBs enter the environment?
PCBs entered the air, water, and soil during their manufacture, use, and disposal; from accidental spills and leaks during their transport; and from leaks or fires in products containing PCBs.

PCBs still can be released to the environment from hazardous waste sites; illegal or improper disposal of industrial wastes and consumer products; leaks from old electrical transformers containing PCBs; and burning of some wastes in incinerators.

What happens to PCBs when they enter the environment?
PCBs do not easily break down in the environment, so they may remain there for a long time. PCBs can travel long distances in the air to areas far away from where they were released. In water, a small amount of PCBs may remain dissolved, but most stick to organic particles and bottom sediments. PCBs also attach strongly to soil. Small organisms and fish take up PCBs in water. Other animals take up PCBs when they eat these aquatic animals. PCBs accumulate in fish and marine mammals, reaching levels that may be many thousands of times higher than in water.

How can people be exposed to PCBs?
Breathing air that contains PCBs.
Eating food or drinking water that contains PCBs.

Animals that ate food containing large amounts of PCBs for short periods of time had mild liver damage, and some died. Animals that ate smaller amounts of PCBs in food over several weeks or months developed various kinds of health problems, including anemia; acne-like skin conditions; and liver, stomach, and thyroid gland problems. Other effects of PCBs in animals include changes in the immune system, changes in behavior, and reproduction problems. PCBs are not known to cause birth defects.

Can PCBs cause cancer?
PCBs probably cause cancer. Only a few studies of workers associated PCBs with certain kinds of cancer in humans, such as cancer of the liver and biliary tract. Lab rats that ate food with high levels of PCBs for 2 years developed liver cancer.



Panchakarma Reduces Accumulated Toxins by 50%

Banned PCBs and Agrochemicals Reduced 50 Percent By Centuries Old Detoxification Procedure

(Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, (Sept./Oct. 2002), Vol. 8, No. 5: pp. 40-51.)



The study, published in the Sept./Oct. 2002 issue of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, found that a centuries-old purification procedure, known as Panchakarma and derived from the Ayurvedic medical system of India, reduced several fat-soluble toxicants by about 50 percent.

The study shows toxic occupational and agricultural chemicals that are stored in the body--and known to cause disease--can be significantly reduced by the Ayurvedic detoxification procedure Panchakarma.

"This is the first published study on humans to demonstrate that a specific detoxification regimen can significantly reduce levels of lipophilic toxicants in the blood that are known to be associated with disease," says Robert Herron, Ph.D., lead author of the study and Director of Research at the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy.

Cross-sectional and Longitudinal Comparisons

The study consisted of two parts: a cross-sectional comparison and a longitudinal pre- and post-treatment. Eighty-eight subjects, age 45 years and older, participated in the cross-sectional study: 48 had previously undergone the detoxification procedure an average of 18 times and 40 had not.

Blood samples from both groups were sent to the Analytical Laboratory in the Department of Environ-mental Health at Colorado State University that was blind to the treatment status of the subjects.

PCB's and Pesticides Found in Blood Samples

Blood samples from both cross-sectional groups were assayed for 17 lipophilic toxicants, including 9 polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners and 8 pesticides and metabolites, such as DDE, a by-product of DDT. The specific PCBs and pesticides that were studied either had been previously linked to major health problems or have been of high concern for their potential toxicity.

The results showed blood levels of PCBs and several pesticides were significantly lower in the detoxification group than in the controls.

Blood Toxicants Reduced by Ayurvedic Purification Procedure

Herron says that lipophilic toxicants are generally considered to be among the most problematic environmental contaminants and many of them have been banned in the U.S. for decades. Because of their fat-soluble nature and their long half-lives, they tend to accumulate in plants and animals and bio-magnify up the food chain, increasing in humans with age.

Previous studies show that these toxicants have been associated with hormone disruption, immune system suppression, reproductive disorders, several types of cancer, and other diseases.

Lipophil-mediated Detoxification Procedure

In the longitudinal study, blood samples from 15 subjects who participated in the detoxification procedure were assayed, pre- and post-treatment, by CSU's Analytical Laboratory.

Striking Reductions in PCBs and Beta-HCH Levels

The results of the two-month longitudinal study showed that PCBs and Beta-HCH levels were reduced by 46 percent and 58 percent respectively in the detoxification group. Without this intervention, the expected drop in PCBs and Beta-HCH over two months would be only a fraction of one percent.

Previously, no method had been scientifically verified to reduce levels of these lipid-soluble toxicants in the human body without causing negative side effects.

How Lipophil-mediated Detoxification May Work

Lipophilic toxicants are stored in lipids, or fats, in the body, and are fat-soluble in nature. Several modalities in the detoxification procedure use non-toxic, lipophilic materials, such as clarified butter (ghee) in the oleation phase and herbalized sesame oil in the massage and enema treatments. These traditional methods are believed to sequentially loosen and remove lipid soluble toxicants from their deposited sites and stimulate their excretion.

"Our findings were quite striking, given that the half-lives of these toxicants are all several years in duration, and that this comprehensive detoxification procedure removed them in just a few days." says Herron.

PCBs and Pesticide Levels Still High

Herron says an alarming finding of the study was that PCB and DDE levels appear to be unexpectedly high in the general population, and may actually be increasing. "These toxicants were banned decades ago and were assumed to be declining to negligible levels in the U.S. population.

Our findings, however, suggest that they are still entering the food chain and appear to be increasing in humans. One possible explanation is that produce imported to the U.S. from Mexico and Latin America may contain banned toxicants since these hazardous chemicals are still widely used for agriculture in those countries," says Herron.

Reference: Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, (Sept./Oct. 2002), Vol. 8, No. 5: pp. 40-51.