Agent Orange was sprayed over Vietnam during the Vietnam War, damaging everyone who came in contact with it. The chemical name for Agent Orange is dioxin. The Veteran’s Administration now has linked Agent Orange exposure to an increased risk for both major types of diabetes. But most Americans were not involved in the Vietnam War. Even so, the average American is being exposed to high levels of dioxin anyway.
Since dioxin is a fat-soluble chemical, it comes primarily from foods that are high in animal fat. Plants grow directly from soil and don’t eat anything typically, so their baseline level is quite low. Indeed, the measured dioxin blood levels of people who avoid all animal fats tend to be the lowest found. When animals eat, whatever dioxin they ingest, stores in their fat. If another animal eats them, this concentrates even further.
Ocean by-catch is a frequent food given to livestock. In fact, according to Captain Paul Watson, of Sea Shepherd, livestock animals consume half of all the fish caught in the ocean in a given year, making chickens a bigger sea predator than seals.
When we consume dairy products, red meats, poultry, eggs, shellfish and fish we are getting high levels of dioxin in our blood; this damages our endocrine system and creates the conditions that foster diabetes.
Dioxin works in your system by mimicking the effects of hormones like estrogen and testosterone. According to some sources it is the most toxic chemical there is.
Short-term exposure of humans to high levels of dioxins may result in skin lesions, such as chloracne and patchy darkening of the skin, and altered liver function. Long-term exposure is linked to impairment of the immune system, the developing nervous system, the endocrine system and reproductive functions.
With an expanding epidemic of type two diabetes unfolding around the world, it seems reasonable and prudent to ask people to remove the foods from their diet that have been clearly linked scientifically to the development of the disease.
The good news, is that many foods that are healthy and nutritious contain very low levels of dioxin.
Starchy plant foods such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, peas, beans, lentils, rice, barley and wheat contain very low levels and are a great source of calories. These are the foods that originally allowed civilizations to develop, and when they are the primary foods for a civilization, diabetes rates reliably remain low.
In China, before 1980, the rates of diabetes were less than 1%. There has been a 10-fold increase. since then.
The Irish in the 19th century got more than 80% of their calories from white potatoes. In 1835, they had diabetes death rates of 2 per million. By 1970 it was 132 per million, a 66-fold increase.
We can’t ascribe the diabetes epidemic to Agent Orange alone, but the foods that contain large amounts of Agent Orange are probably the primary drivers of the epidemic.