|Occupation||Independent researcher, founder and president of the Council for Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (CONEM)|
Geir Bjørklund (born 20 April 1969 in Mo i Rana, Norway) is an independent researcher and medical/health science writer, and editor. He is founder and president of the Council for Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (CONEM), an international non-profit association based in Norway, engaged research related to heavy metals, autoimmune disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and autism. He is a member of the World Association of Medical Editors.
- 1 Career
- 2 Research on toxic metals
- 3 Autism research
- 4 Rheumatology research
- 5 Toxic metal detoxification
- 6 Council for Nutritional and Environmental Medicine
- 7 Journals
- 8 Awards and support
- 9 References
- 10 External links
In 1995, Geir Bjørklund founded no:Tenner & Helse, the membership magazine of the no:Forbundet Tenner og Helse (Norwegian Dental Patient Association, and was editor until the summer of 1999. In the 1990s he was also a freelance journalist for Sunnhetsbladet, a Norwegian medical journal. In the late 1990s, he had consulting assignments for the Norwegian Board of Health (Statens helsetilsyn). He was co-author of two of their expert reports on the use of dental filling materials. In 2001, Geir Bjørklund founded the (no:Nordisk Tidsskrift for Biologisk Medisin (Nordic Journal of Biological Medicine) He was editor of this journal until its last issue in 2003.
Research on toxic metals
Exposure of dental patients to Hg from dental amalgam fillings is caused by the material properties of amalgam, i.e., mainly by its corrosion, abrasion, and aging. Norway and Sweden have banned amalgam, reportedly due to environmental concerns. However, the use and toxic risk of dental amalgam fillings is still a subject of ongoing debate in many countries. Geir Bjørklund has published articles in peer-reviewed medical journals about the health effects of Hg and dental amalgams. Some of the articles have also been featured in Norwegian newspapers.
Bjørklund's 1991 article published in the Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association about the risk of occupational disease in dentistry due to exposure to mercury and mercury vapour resulted in news coverage in Norwegian newspapers.
According to a 2014 review article by Bjørklund and a team of American researchers, mercury exposure from dental amalgam may cause or contribute to many chronic illnesses. The opinion of Bjørklund and his collaborators is that mercury from dental amalgam fillings may be a potential environmental factor in the development of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Other toxic metals
Autism research continues to receive considerable attention as the options for successful management are limited. The understanding of the ASD etiology has now progressed to encompass genetic, epigenetic, neurological, hormonal, and environmental factors that affect outcomes for patients with ASD.
Neurotoxicants and the vulnerable male brain
Working with American researchers, Bjørklund was part of a team that in 2017 reviewed the gender‑specific neurotoxic effects of recognized neurotoxicant chemicals.
The male brain was found to be more vulnerable to many toxic exposures than the female brain. Some neurotoxicants were found to exhibit consistent gender‑specific effects. That is, exposed males are more affected than equally exposed females. Other neurotoxicants were found to exhibit gender‑specific neurotoxic effects but without consistently affecting more males than females. Also, a group of neurotoxicants was found to exhibit gender‑related neurotoxic effects, but exposed males are not consistently more affected than females.
According to the researchers, several reasons may explain why the male brain is more vulnerable to neurotoxicants than the female brain. The availability of glutathione may be greater in females. They may also have greater sulfate‑based detoxification capacity than males. Co‑exposure to testosterone may increase the harmful effects of neurotoxicants. Males may, therefore, be more vulnerable to neuroinflammatory responses and oxidative stress than the females. Besides, the hormones estrogen and progesterone may have a neuroprotective effect in females.
Metal(loid)s and autism
Studies by Bjørklund and collaborators indicate that autistic children appear to be at risk for zinc deficiency, copper toxicity, and often disturbed metallothionein (MT) system functioning. Their evidence suggests that providing zinc to autistic children may be an important component of a treatment protocol, especially in children with zinc deficiency.
Vitamins and autism
Amino acids and autism
Researchers at Assiut University have in collaboration with Geir Bjørklund (2015) evaluated the neuropsychological status in 78 children with early and continuously treated phenylketonuria (PKU) in Assiut, Upper Egypt. Only 34 of the patients in the study met the inclusion criteria. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was present in six cases (17.6%), and autism was present in 8.8% of the cases. All the patients were diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria and classified according to the CARS. The prognosis for early diagnosed patients with PKU that had been treated from the first weeks of life was good, but they still have an increased risk of neurological complications and behavioral problems. It is also indicated that PKU somehow may be associated with an increased risk for ADHD.
Digestive enzymes and autism
Working with an Egyptian team, Geir Bjørklund and collaborators performed a double-blind, randomized clinical trial on 101 children with autism (82 boys and 19 girls) aged from 3 to 9 years. The autistic children were diagnosed according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th edition, text revision (DSM-IV-TR) diagnostic criteria. Structured interviews of at least one hour were first performed both with the parents and the children. In a later two hours session was the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) applied. After this, the children with autism were randomized to receive digestive enzymes or placebo. It was found that autistic children that received digestive enzyme therapy for three months had significant improvement in emotional response, general impression autistic score, general behavior, and gastrointestinal symptoms. These results indicate that digestive enzyme therapy in the future may be a possible option in the treatment protocols for autism.
Connective tissue diseases
Research indicates that metal-induced inflammation may be an important factor in the pathogenesis of connective tissue diseases. Stejskal, Reynolds, and Bjørklund (2015) examined the frequency of metal allergy in 38 patients with connective tissue diseases. Of these patients, 16 had rheumatoid arthritis, 13 had Sjögren’s syndrome, and nine had systemic lupus erythematosus. For all subjects, the primary source of metal exposure was dental metal restorations. Most of the tested patients (87%) reacted to at least one metal, and many (63%) reacted to two or more of the tested metals. 43% of the healthy subjects in the study reacted to one metal, and 18% reacted to two or more metals. The increased frequency of metal allergy in the patient group compared with the control group was statistically significant (P < 0.0001). The most frequent allergens in the study were nickel, mercury, gold, and palladium.
Bjørklund and collaborators (2018) have reviewed the literature related to the effects of metals and vitamins in pain evaluation of patients with fibromyalgia. Recent research indicates that a disturbance in nutritive components, like vitamins and essential trace elements, may be relevant to the etiology of FM. There has been found a possible connection between muscle pain and deficiencies of selenium, magnesium, amino acids, and vitamins B and D. Mercury and other toxic metals may impact essential nutrients' bioavailability and play a role in muscle pain. When FM patients get an optimized intake of essential nutrients, their pain levels usually get reduced.
Toxic metal detoxification
Bjørklund and Max Chartrand suggested recently (2016) in an editorial article that safe, inexpensive oral chelating therapies can be instituted for children exhibiting developmental disorders.
Council for Nutritional and Environmental Medicine
Bjørklund is founder and president of the Council for Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (CONEM).
As of August 2017, the following CONEM groups exist: CONEM Germany Environmental Health and Safety Research Group, CONEM Poland Chemistry and Nutrition Research Group, CONEM Romania Biotechnology and Environmental Sciences Group, CONEM Ukraine Life Science Research Group, CONEM Kazakhstan Environmental Health and Safety Research Group, CONEM Jordan Environmental Health Research Group, CONEM Int. Cancer and Nutrition Research Group, CONEM Egypt Child Brain Research Group, CONEM Upper Egypt Pediatric Research Group, and CONEM US Autism Research Group. The majority of the groups are based at universities.
In some countries, CONEM collaborates with the Swedish Society of Orthomolecular Medicine and Société Algérienne de Nutrition et de Médecine Orthomoléculaire .
Bjørklund is founder and was the first editor of Tenner & Helse, and the Nordic Journal of Biological Medicine (Nordisk Tidsskrift for Biologisk Medisin). He has also been a freelance journalist for Sunnhetsbladet.
Awards and support
In 2003, the Albert Lindsay von Julin Foundation in Helsinki awarded Geir Bjørklund a scholarship of 10,000 Euros for his work in biological medicine. He has also received support from Eco Foundation and Rana Utviklingsselskap AS (the development company of the municipality of Rana, Norway).
- . Marquis Who's Who Archived 2012-05-24 at Archive.today
- Council for Nutritional and Environmental Medicine
- Kennedy RF Jr. The interwoven global epidemics of mercury toxicity and autism. World Mercury Project 24.10.2017. https://worldmercuryproject.org/news/interwoven-global-epidemics-mercury-toxicity-autism (30.11.2017).
- Articles by Geir Bjørklund in Sunnhetsbladet. Norart.no
- Bjørklund G. The body’s chemical laboratory: the liver (in Norwegian). Sunnhetsbladet 1995, No. 12: 10-11.
- Bruk av tannrestaureringsmaterialer i Norge. Rapport nr. IK-2652. Oslo: Statens helsetilsyn, 1998.
- The use of dental filling materials in Norway. Archived 2011-09-28 at the Wayback Machine Report No. IK-2675. Oslo: Norwegian Board of Health, 1999.
- Bjørklund G. Ny giv for biologisk medisin i Norden. Nord Tidsskr Biol Med 2001; 1: 3-6.
- Christensen B. Ambisiøst og uklart om biologisk medisin. Tidsskr Nor Lægeforen 2001; 121:3096.
- Bjørklund G. Dental amalgam – a threat to our health? (in Norwegian). Teknisk Ukeblad 1992; No. 33: 5 (correction in No. 35: 43).
- Kern JK, Geier DA, Bjørklund G, King PG, Homme KG, Haley BE, Sykes LK, Geier MR. Evidence supporting a link between dental amalgams and chronic illness, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and suicide. Neuro Endocrinol Lett 2014; 35: 537-552.
- Kvikksølv-plomber rammer tannlegen. Østlandets Blad 25.03.1991.
- Kvikksølv helsefarlig. Adresseavisen 25.03.1991.
- Myhr KI. Ungt offer ble amalgam-ekspert. Dagbladet 03.04.1991: 14.
- Bisseberg A. Kvikksølv årsak til senil demens? Aftenposten Aften 21.08.1991: 20.
- Hegge PE. Tvetydig nytt om amalgamfyllinger. Aftenposten Aften 16.09.1991: 5.
- Myhr KI. Farlig for tannlegene. Dagbladet 03.04.1991.
- Bjørklund G. Mercury as a potential source for the etiology of Alzheimer’s disease. Trace Elements in Medicine 1991; 8: 208.
- Bjørklund G. Can mercury cause Alzheimer's disease? (in Norwegian). Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 1991; 111: 2462.
- Hamilton K. Alzheimer's Disease: Mercury. CP Currents 1992; 2(3): 60.
- Bjørklund G. Parkinson disease, mercury and other heavy metals (in Norwegian). Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 1995; 115: 757.
- Bjørklund G. Parkinson’s disease and mercury. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine 1995; 10: 147-148.
- Bjørklund G. Morbus Parkinson und Quecksilber. Journal für Orthomolekulare Medizin 1996; 4: 235-237.
- Bjørklund G. Multiple sclerosis: a dental problem? (in Norwegian). Sunnhetsbladet 1991, nr. 12: 8-9.
- Kern JK, Geier DA, Homme KG, King PG, Bjørklund G, Chirumbolo S, Geier MR. Developmental neurotoxicants and the vulnerable male brain: a systematic review of suspected neurotoxicants that disproportionally affect males. Acta Neurobiol Exp (Wars) 2017; 77: 269-296.
- Tinkov AA, Filippini T, Ajsuvakova OP, Aaseth J, Gluhcheva YG, Ivanova JM, Bjørklund G, Skalnaya MG, Gatiatulina ER, Popova EV, Nemereshina ON, Vinceti M, Skalny AV. The role of cadmium in obesity and diabetes. Sci Total Environ 2017;601-602:741-755.
- Tinkov AA, Filippini T, Ajsuvakova OP, Skalnaya MG, Aaseth J, Bjørklund G, Gatiatulina ER, Popova EV, Nemereshina ON, Huang PT, Vinceti M, Skalny AV. Cadmium and atherosclerosis: A review of toxicological mechanisms and a meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies. Environ Re 2018;162:240-260.
- Bjørklund G, Aaseth J, Chirumbolo S, Urbina MA, Uddin R. Effects of arsenic toxicity beyond epigenetic modifications. Environ Geochem Health 2017. doi: 10.1007/s10653-017-9967-9.
- Fakhri Y, Bjørklund G, Bandpei AM, Chirumbolo S, Keramati H, Hosseini Pouya R, Asadi A, Amanidaz N, Sarafraz M, Sheikhmohammad A, Alipour M, Baninameh Z, Mohseni SM, Sarkhosh M, Ghasemi SM. Concentrations of arsenic and lead in rice (Oryza sativa L.) in Iran: A systematic review and carcinogenic risk assessment. Food Chem Toxicol 2018; 113: 267-277.
- Bjørklund G, Christophersen OA, Chirumbolo S, Selinus O, Aaseth J. Recent aspects of uranium toxicology in medical geology. Environ Res. 2017 Jul;156:526-533.
- Markabayeva A, Bauer S, Pivina L, Bjørklund G, Chirumbolo S, Kerimkulova A, Semenova Y, Belikhina T. Increased prevalence of essential hypertension in areas previously exposed to fallout due to nuclear weapons testing at the Semipalatinsk Test Site, Kazakhstan. Environ Res 2018;167:129-135.
- Bjørklund G. Barn med Aspergers syndrom. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 1998; 118: 1567-1569.
- Endreffy I, Bjørklund G, Dicső F, Urbina MA, Endreffy E. Acid glycosaminoglycan (aGAG) excretion is increased in children with autism spectrum disorder. Metab Brain Dis. Article first published online: 14 Oct 2015.
- Bjørklund G, Skalny AV, Rahman MM, Dadar M, Yassa HA, Aaseth J, Chirumbolo S, Skalnaya MG, Tinkov AA. Toxic metal(loid)-based pollutants and their possible role in autism spectrum disorder. Environ Res. 2018 Oct;166:234-250. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.05.020.
- Bjørklund G. The Role of Zinc and Copper in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Acta Neurobiol Exp 2013; 73: 225–236.
- Li SO, Wang JL, Bjørklund G, Zhao WN, Yin CH. Serum copper and zinc levels in individuals with autism spectrum disorders. NeuroReport 2014; 25: 1216-1220. doi: 10.1097/WNR.0000000000000251.
- Macedoni-Lukšič M, Gosar D, Bjørklund G, Oražem J, Kodrič J, Lešnik-Musek P, Zupančič M, France-Štiglic A, Sešek-Briški A, Neubauer D, Osredkar J. Levels of metals in the blood and specific porphyrins in the urine in children with autism spectrum disorders. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2014 Sep 19. [Epub ahead of print]. doi:10.1007/s12011-014-0121-6
- Skalny AV, Simashkova NV, Klyushnik TP, Grabeklis AR, Bjørklund G, Skalnaya MG, Nikonorov AA, Tinkov AA. Hair toxic and essential trace elements in children with autism spectrum disorder. Metab Brain Dis 2017; 32: 195-202.
- Skalny AV, Simashkova NV, Skalnaya AA, Klyushnik TP, Bjørklund G, Skalnaya MG, Tinkov AA. Assessment of gender and age effects on serum and hair trace element levels in children with autism spectrum disorder. Metab Brain Dis 2017; 32: 1675-1684.
- El-Ansary A, Bjørklund G, Tinkov AA, Skalny AV, Al Dera H. Relationship between selenium, lead, and mercury in red blood cells of Saudi autistic children. Metab Brain Dis 2017; 32: 1073-1080.
- Meguid NA, Anwar M, Bjørklund G, Hashish A, Chirumbolo S, Hemimi M, Sultan E. Dietary adequacy of Egyptian children with autism spectrum disorder compared to healthy developing children. Metab Brain Dis 2017; 32: 607-615.
- Saad K, Abdel-Rahman AA, Elserogy YM, Al-Atram AA, Cannell JJ, Bjørklund G, Abdel-Reheim MK, Othman HA, El-Houfey AA, Abd El-Aziz NH, Abd El-Baseer KA, Ahmed AE, Ali AM. Vitamin D status in autism spectrum disorders and the efficacy of vitamin D supplementation in autistic children. Nutr Neurosci 2016;19:346-351.
- Saad K, Abdel-Rahman AA, Elserogy YM, Al-Atram AA, El-Houfey AA, Othman HA, Bjørklund G, Jia F, Urbina MA, Abo-Elela MGM, Ahmad FA, Abd El-Baseer KA, Ahmed AE, Abdel-Salam AM. Randomized controlled trial of vitamin D supplementation in children with autism spectrum disorder. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 2018;59:20-29. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12652.
- Kałużna-Czaplińska J, Jóźwik-Pruska J, Chirumbolo S, Bjørklund G. Tryptophan status in autism spectrum disorder and the influence of supplementation on its level. Metab Brain Dis 2017; 32: 1585-1593.
- Al-Otaish H, Al-Ayadhi, Bjørklund G, Chirumbolo S, Urbina MA, El-Ansary A. Relationship between absolute and relative ratios of glutamate, glutamine and GABA and severity of autism spectrum disorder. Metab Brain Dis 2018;33:843-854. doi: 10.1007/s11011-018-0186-6.
- Saad K, Elserogy Y, Abdel Rahman AA, Al-Atram AA, Mohamad IL, ElMelegy TTH, Bjørklund G, El-Houfy AA. ADHD, Autism and Neuroradiological Complications among Phenylketonuric Children in Upper Egypt. Acta Neurol Belg. Article first published online: 10 JAN 2015. doi:10.1007/s13760-014-0422-8
- Saad K, Eltayeb AA, Mohamad IL, Al-Atram AA, Elserogy Y, Bjørklund G, El-Houfey AA, Nicholson B. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of digestive enzymes in children with autism spectrum disorders. Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci 2015; 13(2):188-193.
- Bjørklund G, Dadar M, Aaseth J. Delayed-type hypersensitivity to metals in connective tissue diseases and fibromyalgia. Environ Res 2018; 161: 573-579.
- Stejskal V, Reynolds T, Bjørklund G. Increased frequency of delayed type hypersensitivity to metals in patients with connective tissue disease. J Trace Elem Med Biol 2015; 31: 230-236.
- Bjørklund G, Dadar M, Chirumbolo S, Aaseth J. Fibromyalgia and nutrition: Therapeutic possibilities? Biomed Pharmacother 2018; 103: 531-538.
- Bjørklund G, Chartrand M. Nutritional and environmental influences on autism spectrum disorder. J Nutr Disorders The 2016; 6(1): e123.