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International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine


2015 Final PDF

I also had some luck in having friends help me in

a critical juncture of my life. Without their help, I could

not have made all those works.

Of your scientific publications, which are your favorites,

or which do you think are most significant? And can you

give us a short summary of the significance of each?


Lee HK, Song JH, Shin CS, Park DJ, Park KS, Lee

KU, Koh CS. Decreased mitochondrial DNA content

in peripheral blood precedes the development of non-

insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

Diabetes Res

Clin Pract

1998 Dec.


: This paper

showed for the first time that mtDNA depletion is the

‘cause’ of diabetes and closely associated with the

state of metabolic syndrome in a population-based

prospective study.


Fuku N, Park KS, Yamada Y, Nishigaki Y, Cho YM,

Matsuo H, Segawa T, Watanabe S, Kato K, Yokoi K,

Nozawa Y, Lee HK, Tanaka M. Mitochondrial

haplogroup N9a confers resistance against type 2

diabetes in Asians.

Am J Hum Genet

2007 Mar.


: This paper established the fact that

genetic variation of mtDNA is a genetic factor of its

own. Understanding the genetic cause of chronic

disease could not be done by studying only genetic

variations of nuclear genome.


Lee HK, Shim EB. Extension of the mitochondria

dysfunction hypothesis of metabolic syndrome to

atherosclerosis with emphasis on the endocrine-

disrupting chemicals and biophysical laws.

J Diabetes


2013 Jan.


: This paper shows that

mitochondria-based models or



predicts new ways of understanding



Park WH, Jun DW, Kim JT, Jeong JH, Park H, Chang

YS, Park KS, Lee HK, Pak YK. Novel cell-based

assay reveals associations of circulating serum AhR-

ligands with metabolic syndrome and mitochondrial



2013 Jul.


: This

paper describes how one could measure serum AhR-

binding activity and mitochondrial inhibitor activity

with plain serum and how to interpret the significance.


Lee HK. Success of 2013-2020 World Health

Organization action plan to control non-

communicable diseases would require pollutants


J Diabetes Investig

2014 Nov.



This paper points out that current plan of the WHO to

control epidemic of diabetes and related chronic

diseases described in its book will not succeed if the

WHO does not consider the roles of EDCs in this

epidemic. The paper calls for a different approach.

Thank you for letting me ask you about my favorite

paper of yours. Your publication in late 2014 is really a

landmark paper in my opinion, because you extend

your work beyond the laboratory, and beyond the clinic

into the "real world" by noting that, in essence, if A

causes B then C must follow. In this case, A.

mitochondrial toxicity by pollutants appears to cause

or strongly contribute to B. diabetes, therefore C.

environmental pollution control must follow.

What must occur to effect a reduction in environmental

pollution? In this situation, the phrase "environmental

pollution" is misleading and vague, since we are really

talking about polluting and thus poisoning entire

patient populations. What needs to happen to change

this situation?

I agree with you in that plan B should include

environmental pollution control. Also I agree with your

assessment that the phrase "environmental pollution" is

misleading and vague, since we are really talking about

polluting and thus poisoning entire world populations. We

are dealing with Black Death of the 21st century, which is

man-made. We have to set practical and achievable goals

based on sound science and methods. And persuade

people by showing understandable evidence. This is why

I am focusing on the measuring of EDCs and POPs and

trying to find links between exposure to them and the

development of diseases.

If you made a list of problems that you see in society

and the corresponding list of solutions, what would

these be?

How we can arrive at a social solution when billions of

people express their own views, all different and

frequently violent.

Do you have anything else that you would like to share

with our readers?

The WHO and other leading health agencies are actively

incorporating knowledge on EDCs and POPs into their

policies. Mainstream biologists and medical specialists

are still not aware of the progress made in these specialties

and the importance for clinical care. The research needs

some time to get through, into clinical practice. I think

time is ripening to vindicate main features of functional

medicine, which is already being progressively

incorporated into mainstream medicine. I believe this new

medicine will be based on the mitochondrial

DNA/function unit, to accommodate evolution (genetics)

and thermodynamics—the two pillars of biology.


: Dr Lee's 2014 article (#5 above) has been archived

for easy access: