Toxins and Autoimmunity: Dr. Aly Cohen. Episode 33 Show Notes

Subscribe to Autoimmune Adventures on iTunes. If you like what you hear, leave a review! Thanks in advance.

Podcast: Listen below or Download (56 min, 55mb)


How do toxic chemicals affect autoimmune disorders and what can you do to protect yourself?

Around 87,000 chemicals are currently in commercial use, and very few of them have been studied with regard to their impact on health. Yet the evidence is growing that many of these chemicals, such as Bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, and heavy metals, have a negative affect on the human body, and may contribute to autoimmune disorders.

Dr. Aly Cohen, rheumatologist and environmental health specialist, explains how these chemicals can enter the body, and some of the havoc they can inflict once there. We explore both how to minimize exposure to these toxins and how certain foods can help the body eliminate them. Dr. Cohen also explains her take on the current fad of detoxing and the importance and value of a lifestyle based approach over a quick fix. Learn key doable steps that you can implement immediately to avoid chemicals and support your health and environment.

What Dr. Cohen and I talk about

  • How Dr. Cohen’s dog’s autoimmune disease got her into environmental health
  • An overview of the scope of the problem with environmental chemicals
  • How toxins in the environment contribute to autoimmunity
  • How toxins can enter the body
  • Evidence for the impact of toxins on the immune system and autoimmunity
  • How dietary changes can help with heavy metal toxicity
  • All the factors that affect the epigenome (expression of the genes)
  • The battle of eating in this country
  • The faith of prevention
  • Detoxing: scam or not?
  • Dr. Cohen’s top 3 (or 4 or 5) recommendations to start minimizing exposure to toxic chemicals
  • How consumers can help shift the number of chemicals being used

Notable Quotes

“I believe that doing the more difficult job of cleaning up lifestyle is by far more beneficial than an instantaneous fix, which is what a lot of people tend to look for.”

“I literally call it the battle of eating in this country.”

About Dr. Cohen

Dr. Aly Cohen is a board certified internist, rheumatologist, and integrative medicine practitioner who specializes in arthritis, immune system disorders, environmental health and wellness. Dr. Cohen received her medical training at Hahnemann UniversityHospital School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and is also trained in medical acupuncture and Environmental Medicine. Dr. Cohen is currently in private practice in Monroe Township, New Jersey. Her practice focuses on both traditional western medical management of rheumatologic ailments, as well as integrative options for total “wellness”, such as biofeedback, acupuncture, cognitive therapy, diet and exercise counseling, environmental toxin counseling, smoking cessation, stress management and sleep evaluations. Dr. Cohen is also writer and producer of health programs for network and cable tv, a published medical author, and a national speaker on the topic of endocrine disrupting chemicals and their effects on human health and development.

Find Dr. Cohen Online


Environmental Working Group has a host of helpful guides, including the following:

Women’s Voices For The Earth ( also has a lot of helpful information, including how to avoid toxins in feminine care products and salons.


Did you like this episode?

If you liked this episode, please subscribe to the podcast through iTunes, and consider leaving a rating and review! Reviews and subscriptions help boost the standing of the podcast in iTunes, which helps others who might benefit from the information to find it and join the adventure. See this post for instructions on how to subscribe and leave a rating/review. Thank you!


Comments are closed.