How-to Edit a Document

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RESTORING NUTRIENTS

                                    RESTORING NUTRIENTS

 We require food to provide us with the 3 key macronutrients1) CarbohydratesSugar and starch, are predominantly used for our immediate energy needs. {Although both proteins and fats can also be converted into ATP for intra-cellular energy, carbohydrates are the primary source for our intracellular energy production and for immediate use from storage as glycogen.} Carbohydrates also provide the structural backbone for manufacturing our DNA and for messenger RNA.  Prebiotics, in the form of indigestible cellulose, help to feed our gut microbiome, and to provide fiber for the effective elimination of toxins by defecation. 2) Fats provide us with a concentrated, energy dense, storage form of energy. We especially need 2 essential fatty acids (FAs)—alpha-linoleic acid, an omega-3 FA, and linolenic acid, an omega-6 FA. These are found in grains, vegetable or nut oils. Fats also provide the building blocks for our various membrane structures and hormones, and for producing the body’s protective padding and insulation. Also, body fat help to store toxins until they can be metabolized and excreted. And, 3) Proteins. Our intracellular ribosomes manufacture chains of amino acids, which are coded in our DNA and transcribed by our RNA. These amino acid chains then fold into unique 3-dimensional structures, which help to determine their function. The enormous variety of proteins provide us with all the building blocks for the structures of our cells, tissues and organs, enzymatic catalysts, molecular transportation, and metabolic functions. Humans require 21 amino acid building blocks. The 9 essential amino acids are: phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, and histadine. There are 6 conditional amino acids, (which means that their synthesis can be limited by pathophysiological conditions, such as infant prematurity and catabolic distress): arginine, cysteine, glycine, glutamine, proline, and tyrosine. And, there are 6 non-essential amino acids, (which means that they can be synthesized in sufficient quantities): alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, serine, and selenocysteine. Generally, since any single food doesn’t provide the complete range of amino acids in sufficient quantities for all of our metabolic needs, consuming proper food combinations are required to meet our needs. An absence of one or more essential amino acids over a period of weeks to months can lead to malnourishment symptoms of apathy, diarrhea, inactivity, failure to grow, flaky skin, fatty liver, and edema of the belly and legs.

We also require: 4) Minerals.  Macro-minerals are incorporated into and utilized by protein structures for essential life functions. They also act as electrolytes to maintain acid-base balance for enzymatic functions, and for inter- and intra-cellular ion transport. They include: calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, and magnesium. The micro-minerals or trace minerals are: zinc, copper, sulfur, iron, chlorine, cobalt, manganese, molybdenum, iodine and selenium. 5) Vitamins. There are 13 vitamins which are essential organic molecules needed in small quantities for metabolic functions that can’t  be synthesized by an organism, and, therefore, must be obtained from the diet. Until 1935, vitamins weren’t extracted nor synthesized, and were only available through the diet. The fat-soluble vitamins: A (retinols and carotenoids), D (calciferols), E (4-tocopherols and 4-tocotrienols) and K (quinones), need to be digested, absorbed, and transported in conjunction with fats. The water-soluble vitamins: the B-complex: {B1(thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folic acid or folate), B12 (cobalamins)}, and vitamin C (ascorbic acid) are dissolved and transported in water.  For example, the B-vitamins act as enzyme co-factors; vitamins C and E act as anti-oxidants, and vitamin D acts like a hormone regulator for our bones and immune system. 6) Phytonutrients, which predominantly provide us with anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants are crucial to manage the free radical by-products from mitochondrial production of ATP for intra-cellular energy. And, 7) Probiotics in order to maintain a healthy microbiome.

Our cells require vitamins and minerals to optimize enzyme functions for metabolism. Also, metabolism results in the production of damaging free radicals which require anti-oxidants to neutralize them. Nutrient deficiencies cause DNA damage. The good news is that correcting deficiencies causes DNA repair. {Collins AR, et. al., 2012 Apr; “Effects of Micronutrients on DNA repair,” Eur J Nutrition; 51(3):261-79.}

WHY ARE WE NUTRIENT DEPLETED?

  1. A) Food Growing and Soil Problems:
    • The leaching of nutrients from our soil and our food preparation and storage practices have produced a problem of nutrient depletion in our food supply. Between 1950 and 1999, there has been an overall 50% reduction of all crop nutrients, varying between 30% to 80%. Also, there has been a 30% over all reduction in nutrient energy.  {USDA Study; Donald R. Davis, et. al., JACN.org}
    • Fertilizers: Most plant crops are produced with the aid of fertilized soils. High use of nitrogen fertilizers tends to reduce the vitamin C content in many fruit and vegetable crops. It does not seem to make any difference to the plant’s nutrient value whether the fertilizer is organic or not.
  1. B) Food Preparation Practices:
  • Milling: Cereals, such as wheat, can be ground to remove the fibrous husks. The husks contain most of the plant’s dietary fiber, B-group vitamins, phytochemicals and some minerals. That is why products such as white bread are less nutritious than wholemeal varieties, even if they have been artificially fortified with some of the nutrients that were lost after milling. It is impossible to add back everything that is taken out, especially the phytochemicals. The ‘fiber’ that is added back to some products is often in the form of resistant starch, which may not be as beneficial as the fiber removed.
  • Preparation of vegetables: Most vegetables are peeled or trimmed before cooking to remove the tough skin or outer leaves. But most nutrients, such as vitamins, tend to lie close to the skin surface, so excessive trimming can mean a huge reduction in a vegetable’s nutrient value.
  1. C) Storage Problems:  For the most part, the body can still use calories, amino acids, fats, and minerals that have been chemically changed during storage. Vitamins are the only nutrient group that can break down to an unusable state. Some vitamins are more stable (less affected by processing) than others. Water-soluble vitamins (B-complex and C) are more unstable than fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) during food processing and storage.  Processes that expose foods to high levels of heat, light or oxygen cause the greatest nutrient loss.
  • Blanching: Before a food is canned or frozen, it is usually heated very quickly with steam or water. The water-soluble vitamins, including vitamin C and B-complex, are sensitive and easily destroyed by blanching.
  • Canning: Food is heated inside the can to kill any dangerous micro-organisms and extend the food’s shelf life. Some types of micro-organisms require severe heat treatment, and this may affect the taste and texture of the food, making it less appealing. Preservatives are generally not needed or used in canned foods.  Water-soluble vitamins are particularly sensitive to high temperatures. Many people believe that canned foods are not as nutritious as their fresh counterparts, but this is not always the case, as fresh food often deteriorates more rapidly than canned foods.
  • Freezing:  The nutrient value of a food is retained when it is frozen. Any nutrient losses are due to the processing prior to freezing and the cooking once the frozen food is thawed.
  • Pasteurization:  Pasteurization involves heating liquid foods such as milk and fruit juices to specific temperatures to destroy micro-organisms. The nutrient value of milk is generally unaffected. In the case of pasteurized fruit juices, some losses of vitamin C can occur.
  • Dehydrating: Drying out foods such as fruits can reduce the amount of vitamin C they retain, but it can also concentrate other nutrients, particularly fiber in plant foods. Dehydrating food also makes food products more energy dense, which may contribute to weight gain. If a dehydrated food is reconstituted and cooked with water, further nutrients are leached out of the food and lost in the cooking water.
  • High pressure processing: This alternative preservation method subjects a food to elevated pressures, with or without the use of heat to kill micro-organisms. This method has been used in foods such as fruit juices. As heat is not required, this process impacts less on the vitamin content, flavor and color of foods.

NOTE: Organically grown foods can have 10% to 370% more nutrients and 30% more antioxidants, and much more flavor. Thus, eat local, wild harvested, organic foods which avoid pesticides and GMOs. And, focus upon whole-food plant-based nutrition.

          Benefits of cooking food: destroying bacteria or other harmful micro-organisms, making the food tastier, breaking down parts of vegetables that would otherwise be indigestible, and making phytochemicals more available, for example, phytochemicals are more available in cooked tomatoes than in raw tomatoes.

Vitamin deficiencies are associated with disease processes and with the overall condition of our health. Vitamin, mineral and anti-oxidant deficiencies have been shown to suppress immune functions, and contribute to chronic and degenerative processes such as arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s dementia, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Every hormone needs vitamins and minerals for production, and to activate receptors. For example, 1) thyroid hormone needs zinc, selenium and iodine, vitamins A, B2, B6, and B12 to be active. Also, optimum thyroid function is dependent on a 25-hydroxy vitamin D3 level >55 ng/ml to be maximally effective. 2) Insulin needs chromium, vanadium, magnesium and vitamin B3 (niacin) to be active. 3) Estrogen needs B-vitamins, iodine, boron, zinc and cobalt to be active. And, vitamin B6 is needed to clean estrogen from its receptors. 4) Progesterone needs chromium, and 5) Testosterone needs boron and zinc.

NOTE: Stress rapidly depletes the B-vitamins. Also, commonly prescribed medications deplete nutrients. For example, 1) SSRIs, taken for anxiety and depression, deplete iodine, selenium, folate {and our hormone melatonin}. 2) Statins, used to manage hyperlipidemia, and Beta-Blockers, used for hypertension and cardiac problems, deplete CoQ10. 3) Birth control pills deplete the B-vitamins, magnesium, selenium, zinc, and CoQ10.

Phytonutrients and antioxidants, found in our rainbow-colored fruits, vegetables and berries, help to protect our internal chemistry by neutralizing oxidative-stress caused by increased free-radicals. Oxidative-stress is associated with every chronic disease, and results in aging and death. Enhanced consumption of whole-food plant-based nutrition results in decreased all-cause mortality.

The best way to correct deficiencies is with food based sources enhanced by the  addition of supplements. However, be aware that you can’t substitute using supplements for a lousy diet or drinking too much alcohol or not having enough exercise!

We can improve our food-based nutrition by eating more vegetables, fruits, and berries (suggested 50% of intake); eating organic produce (which reportedly increases nutrients by 30-40%); optimizing “good fats” (for example, nuts, wild salmon, avocados, coconut oil and olive oil); eating fresh and flash-frozen vegetables, fruits and berries, therefore, avoiding preservatives; and, avoiding processed foods (in boxes and cans), simple sugars, and “bad fats” (for example, fried foods in hydrogenated oils).

Unfortunately, because of our depleted soil and storage practices, we can’t get enough of our necessary nutrients, especially vitamins, through eating our food alone. Thus, I indorse the recommendation to take nutritional supplements. Taking formulated multivitamins and minerals plus eating “super foods” such as green food supplements, bee pollen, spirulina and chlorella, berries, acai, mangosteen, gogi, noni, and many other products, can help to fill our nutrient gaps. For example, a good source for magnesium is raw cacoa. A good source for zinc is raw sunflower seeds. A good source for selenium is Brazil nuts. The best strategy is to consume a wide range of healthy sources instead of over-indulging in a single source, such as soy.

***I have personally used 3 proprietary complementary products from a company called:  “JUICE PLUS+” for many years. The Juice Plus products are concentrated foods, and are not classified as dietary supplements. They contain powdered bioavailable micronutrients. Capsules of dried whole fruits, vegetables, and berries (minus the water and sugars) are called: “Fruit Blend”, “Vegetable Blend”, and “Berry Blend”. I take 2 capsules of each product daily.  I like the medical literature which supports using these products:  studies demonstrate decreased free radicals resulting in decreased DNA damage; decreased chronic inflammation; increased exercise capacity with decreased oxidative stress; increased immune system T-cell, B-cell, natural killer cell activity and increased immunoglobulins; decreased toxic amino acids such as homocysteine; and, assistance with weight management with improved insulin resistance. It makes good sense to me to use whole vegetable products with all their vitamins and micronutrients in a natural balance. Also, especially for people who have difficulty ingesting a large amount of produce daily because of a touchy-gut, this is an easy way to achieve the recommended daily requirements.  {If you are interested in obtaining Juice Plus+ capsules, please contact Rebecca Gerard at: eathealthy@bellsouth.net.}***

          Here’s what to look for in a good multivitamin-mineral (MV/MN) complex: no preservatives, vegetarian capsules, and no dye colors nor chemicals. Look for a complex that includes active B-vitamins– (for example in the 5’ phosphate forms); hormone activating doses of zinc– (for example 50 mg of zinc picolinate or zinc gylcinate); 400 mcg of selenium methionine– (NOT oxide), or chelated selenium glycinate; iodine–12.5 mg; cobalt– (to clear Estrone); and, the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. While there are many good MV/MN complexes, a good source is: called “Two-Per-Day” from www.LifeExtension.com. Another good source is: “DAILYMetrix multivitamin” from www.DAILYMetrix.com. It is a liquid compound which also contains humic and fulvic acids, which are free radical scavengers. The recommended dose is ½ ounce twice per day along with a glass of water.

          THE MOST COMMON VITAMIN AND MINERAL DEFICIENCIES ARE:  VITAMIN D, VITAMIN B12, FOLATE, VITAMIN C, IODINE, MAGNESIUM, ZINC, AND IRON (in menstruating women).

When doing Lab evaluations for nutrients, I want to evaluate:  a CBC, ferritin level, magnesium level, 25-hydroxy vitamin D level, plus vitamin B12 and folate levels.

Oral supplements should generally be taken in divided doses, twice per day for the first three months, and then once daily. (If taken only once daily, then only about 30% gets absorbed.) With divided doses, the body gets a steady flow of the necessary nutrients.

          VITAMIN D3 is critical for cancer protection and for boosting the immune system, bone formation, cardiovascular functions, brain health, wound healing, and thyroid function. D3 is the active form of vitamin D in the body as well as the form that maintains higher storage levels. The fraction to measure in the blood is 25-hydroxy Vitamin D3. A critical low value is <30. Optimal level is >60 but <100. Sun exposure for about 15 minutes to un-tanned skin areas will produce about 10,000 IU vitamin D. If you are deficient, supplement with vitamin D3– 5000 to 10,000 IU per day for 3 months then recheck your levels. (NOTE: almost everyone is deficient during the Winter and Spring in our area of the country.) Maintenance vitamin D3 is typically 2000 IU per day. Adequate vitamin D3 is helpful for pain management, and for managing seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and other psychiatric conditions. Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, it is preferable to take it with a fatty meal, such as at dinner time, for the best absorption.

Many people are functionally VITAMIN B12 deficient.  Vitamin B12 is critical for hormone functioning, brain metabolism, and in the energy cycle for every cell. Most people over age 40 are vitamin B12 deficient. With aging, vitamin B12 is poorly absorbed due to a lack of both hydrochloric acid and intrinsic factor in the stomach. Hydrochloric acid in the stomach is needed to release vitamin B12 from foods, such as red meat, fish and dairy products. “Intrinsic factor” is needed to absorb it. Use of Proton Pump Inhibitors and Histamine type 2 Blockers, for acid reflux and for gastritis, can also create a vitamin B12 deficiency.  An imbalance in the gut flora can also inhibit absorption. The medication Metformin, which is commonly used to manage type 2 diabetes, interferes with the absorption of vitamin B12. {A combination of these medications can make the depletion even more likely.} Because vitamin B12 is water soluble and eliminated if not utilized, it must be consumed on a daily basis. On a complete blood count (CBC) a mean corpuscular volume  (MCV)  >90 suggests a functional vitamin B12 and/or folate deficiency. NOTE: A serum vitamin B12 level can be in the normal range or high even while intracellular levels and especially central nervous system levels are low!!

          Methylcobalamin is the most biologically active form of vitamin B12 that can cross the blood brain barrier without biotransformation in order to nourish the brain. Additionally, its methyl group stimulates the neurotransmitter serotonin’s creation to enhance moods, and it also protects against toxins damaging the brain. For example,  Methylcobalamin protects against glutamate-induced “excitotoxic” neurologic damage. Acute low vitamin B12 levels can manifest as mood changes: lack of motivation and feelings of apathy, mental fogginess, memory impairment, muscle weakness, and fatigue. Chronic low vitamin B12 levels can cause nerve damage, dementia and psychiatric problems that can mimic mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, severe depression, paranoia and schizophrenia. Only about 12% of a dose of the cheaper, manufactured form of vitamin B12, called cyanocobalamin,  is converted to the active form, and, the liver must detoxify the cyanide molecule binding it. I typically restrict using cyanocobalamin to monthly injections in order to avoid accumulation of the cyanide moiety.  I prefer to order methylcobalamin for intramuscular injections. A case can be made for monthly (up to weekly) injections of methylcobalamin. for anyone over 70 years old. However, I prefer using daily under the tongue (sublingual) vitamin B12 lozenges, sprays or drops.

Additionally, you need to take oral FOLATE, 1 mg daily, NOT the oxidized synthetic form of folate known as “folic acid”. Or, methylcobalamin injections can be compounded with 400 mcg Folate, but this makes it much more expensive. The Folate may be found as a part of a multivitamin/mineral complex.  NOTE: sunlight will destroy the natural forms of Folate: methylfolate, and folinic acid. Good food sources of Folate include: spinach and other deep green leafy vegetables, brewer’s yeast, beans (especially lima beans), cantaloupe, watermelon, wheat germ, and liver (from organically raised animals). Folate deficiency is a risk factor for skin cancers, colon, breast and other cancers.

Researchers have found that VITAMIN C promotes a longer lifespan and can help prevent many of the disorders related to aging, including osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases, and cancers. People with higher blood levels of vitamin C were at significantly at a lower risk for heart disease and cancer deaths—and were up to 25% less likely to die from all causes. Vitamin C can reduce inflammatory responses, protect DNA integrity, and reduce biomarkers of cellular stress. Vitamin C can reduce cellular oxidative stress and inhibit inflammatory responses that promote tumor growth. Vitamin C can also reduce damage to human cells caused by exposure to radiation. Vitamin C can generate hydrogen peroxide, which destroys rapidly-replicating cancer cells.

          VITAMIN C and cardiovascular disease: Endothelial collagen binding requires Vitamin C. A Vitamin C deficiency causes less collagen binding which sets up a cascade of reactions damaging to the endothelium, ending in the deposition of calcium within the endothelium, and the plaques (scars) which form. Vitamin C can help to prevent and to reverse this calcification process. It can also help to relax angio-spasms. Vitamin C helps to reduce inflammation and helps to promote wound healing. Also, Vitamin C competes with glucose for intracellular transport. {Note: it can disturb accurate lab glucose measurements, making it appear that glucose is higher than it really is. And, this may also be how Vitamin C helps to manage cancers.}

Daily supplementation with ample amounts of vitamin C can optimize protection of the heart and major arteries:  a) Lipid peroxidation, free radical damage to fats, is a crucial step in the development of atherosclerosis and heart disease. Studies show that vitamin C at doses of 1,000 mg per day lowers levels of oxidative-stress markers in blood, even during the hight oxidative-stress period following a meal. {Mazloom Z, et. al., Pak J Biol Sci., 2011 Oct 1;14(19):900-4.}  b) 2,000 mg of vitamin C restored an important cardiovascular repair system in smokers after just 2 weeks of supplementation, giving them the same healing capacity as non-smokers! {Stadler N, et. al., Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol., 2007 Jan;27(1):120-6.} c) A meta-analysis of 44 clinical trials showed that vitamin C supplementation improved endothelial function. The effect was stronger in those with higher cardiovascular risk. {Ashor AW, et. al., Atherosclerosis, 2014 July;235(1):9-20.} d) A clinical study of older men showed that a dietary intervention to increase vitamin C levels slowed the progression in thickening of the carotid artery. {Ellingsen I, et. al., Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis., 2009 Jan;19(1):8-14.}

Vitamin C and the Immune System:  Vitamin C can help to prevent viral respiratory infections like the “common cold”. {Ran L, et. al., Biomed Res Int.; 2018:1837634.} Immune cells use vitamin C to create chemical “weapons” which destroy invading bacteria and viruses. {Carr AC, et. al., Nutrients; 2017 Nov 3;9(11): “Vitamin C and Immune Function”.}  Vitamin C promotes the actions of phagocytes. It activates and directs both antibody producing B-cells and killer T-cells to fight invaders. It also helps to reduce unneeded inflammatory responses. Vitamin C slows a shrinking thymus gland which is associated with immunosenescense.

Vitamin C and Bone Health:  Higher vitamin C levels are associated with greater bone mass (bone mineral density). A systematic review and meta-analysis in 2018 found that the greater a greater vitamin C intake was associated with a 33% lower risk of osteoporosis, a lower risk of hip fractures, and greater bone mineral density. {Malmir H, et. al., Br J Nutr.; 2018 Apr; 119(8):847-58.} This isn’t surprising because vitamin C is required to produce bone matrix proteins. It helps to restore bone-forming osteoblasts. {Gabbay KH, et. al., J Biol Chem; 2010 Jun;18;285(25):19510-20.}

Vitamin C helps to boost mood: Vitamin C can help to reduce anxiety! It may activate  the neurotransmitter GABAa and GABAb receptors, which boosts mood. Another study showed that vitamin C modulates the human opioid receptors as it exerts its anti-depressant effects. {Rosa PB, et. al., Pharmacol Rep.; 2016 Oct;68(5):996-1001.}

 NOTE:  A person needs about 1 gm ov Vitamin C for every 10 lbs of weight. Thus, a person weighing 160 pounds needs 15 to 16 gm of Vitamin C daily. Goat physiology is similar to human physiology in its requirements for Vitamin C, however, unlike humans, goats can manufacture Vitamin C. When a goat is stressed, it will increase its production of Vitamin C by ten-fold. Thus, it is not a problem for humans taking large doses of vitamin C. However, oral dosing is limited by the osmotic effects in the colon: resulting in loose stools. Thus, for de-toxification and for the treatment of cancers, vitamin C is typically used by the intravenous route OR by liposomal vitamin C in order to take in doses greater than 10 gm daily.

   ***TAKE VITAMIN C: at least 6 gm/day.*** Here is MY FAVORITE WAY TO GET AN OPTIMAL DOSE OF VITAMIN C: Order a box of “Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C, 1000 mg per pack, from www.LivOnLabs.com. One pack is equivalent to 7,000 mg of absorbed Vitamin C!!!***  It is consumed as a “shot” in approximately 1 ounce of juice, once or twice per day. There are NO GI SIDE-EFFECTS.

Most of us are IODINE deficient. We need iodine for thyroid functions. A deficiency creates goiters and hypothyroidism. Also, a deficiency causes the production of fibrocystic breast changes in women. We shower in chlorinated water, brush our teeth with paste containing fluoride, eat bread and pasta, and drink soft drinks, like Mt. Dew and sports drinks, containing bromine— ALL of which displace iodine.  In 1983, the WHO stated we were getting too much iodine in our diet, and eliminated it from table salt supplementation. {It can now, again, be found added to some salts.} And, we typically have a diet low in sea food. In addition to eating sea food, iodine can be obtained by eating green algae, such as Spirulina, Chlorella and Dulse, and in multivitamin/mineral supplements containing iodine. Iodine is most accurately measured by a 24 hour urine challenge test using a loading oral dose of 50 mg iodine. If your iodine is deficient, you can supplement your diet with “Iodoral” (mixed iodine/iodide)– 12.5 mg, 1-2 times/day for 3 months. The major side effect from supplementation is acne.   

          MAGNESIUM: {NOTE: low magnesium levels are commonly associated with low potassium levels.} Magnesium supports muscle and nerve functions. It is a very useful supplement for essential tremors, restless leg syndrome, inducing and maintaining sleep, migraine headaches, “palpitations”– cardiac dysrrhythmias, and, muscle pains and cramps. Magnesium is essential for absorbing and utilizing vitamin D. Magnesium levels are strongly associated with the anabolic hormones: testosterone and human growth hormone. Magnesium is at the center of every chlorophyll molecule, thus, eating green leafy vegetables is a very good dietary source for magnesium. Magnesium is also found in nuts, legumes, whole grains, fruits and fish. However, you cannot reliably expect to obtain consistent and sufficient amounts of magnesium by ingesting these foods. The magnesium content in vegetables has seen a huge decline since pre-1950 levels, because of soil depletion. Additionally, many soils have too much potassium, which competes for absorption of magnesium into the plant. Also, typical grain refining processes– used for making bread and pastas– removes 80%-95% of total magnesium.

Only about 1% of your body’s magnesium is in your blood, the rest is in the cells of your muscles, bones, nerves and organs. If you have a low blood level, then you have a very low intracellular level. If you have a normal level, you may still have a low intracellular level. The WHO found that 75% of Americans take in less magnesium than they need. By age 50 most of us have significant deficiencies. When blood sugars rise, magnesium is excreted in the urine. Thus, people with diabetes frequently are deficient in magnesium. And, supplementing with magnesium can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.  A relatively modest increase in magnesium supplementation/ingestion can also lower the risks for developing pancreatic cancer and colorectal cancer. The symptoms of mitral valve prolapse syndrome are identical to magnesium deficiency, and, if treated with magnesium, often resolve.

The mineral form, Magnesium Oxide 400 mg to 800 mg daily, is the least expensive and works just fine if it is absorbed and if it doesn’t cause you diarrhea. {Magnesium citrate is also fine, but it is commonly used to manage constipation.} Start supplementing slowly, and back off if diarrhea ensues. However, some people don’t absorb the mineral form of magnesium well.  A chelated form of magnesium is usually much better absorbed. The best gut tolerated forms of magnesium include magnesium glycinate –400 mg to 500 mg or magnesium asporatate– 400 mg to 500 mg daily. Also, well absorbed and tolerated, Magnesium L-Threonate– 1,000 to 2,000 mg, taken at bedtime, can be very helpful with sleep management and for neurological conditions. This form of magnesium most easily crosses the blood-brain barrier with comprehensive benefits for sleep, anxiety, cognitive function, and migraines. It can be obtained from www.LifeExtension.com. {Try to AVOID magnesium stearate, which can impede absorption in the gut, and reduce bioavailability of other nutrients.}  As a guideline, a maintenance dosage is: 3 mg per pound of body weight. However, if there is inflammation in your system or if you are stressed, I recommend 5 mg per pound of body weight. Another good proprietary blend of highly absorbable magnesium can be obtained from www.unikeyhealth.com.

Good sources for ANTI-OXIDANTS include: dark chocolate (raw cacoa), resveratrol from red grapes, green leafy vegetables, boiled peanuts, and colored vegetables, such as beets, carrots, squash and eggplant. Additionally, CoQ10 (particularly in its active form– Ubiquinol), vitamin C, vitamin D3, and mixed tochopherol vitamin E are important antioxidants. The body’s primary anti-oxidant is GLUTATHIONE. Glutathione is poorly absorbed orally. However, it becomes very well absorbed using liposomal technology. I recommend: “Lypospheric-Glutathione” from www.livonlabs.com.

          OMEGA-3 fish oil capsules containing, for example, EPA 500 mg and DHA 250 mg, are critical for reducing inflammation. It helps with modifying anxiety, depression, PMS, and ADHD. It improves brain functions and keeps blood from clotting too easily. The oil is best when derived from deep sea fish.  Enteric coated capsules are absorbed 2-3 times better. In order to avoid “fish burping”, consider keeping them in the freezer, and taking them just before bedtime. Maintenance dosing is 3 grams per day; cardiac disease requires 4-5 gms/d; and, neurological diseases require 7-8 gms/d. Recent studies demonstrate a gender specific effect on platelet aggregation: For women, DHA rich oil lowers the risk of blood clotting, and for men, EPA rich oil lowers the risk of clotting. Taking at least 2 gm daily can improve muscle synthesis and muscle functional capacity. Omega-3 fatty acids bound to phospholipids found in Krill oil appears to be more rapidly incorporated into red blood cell phospholipids. This is a biomarker for uptake into the brain. Phospholipid bound EPA and DHA increase cognitive function scores better than when the fatty acids are provided in the triglyceride-storage form. When krill oil and fish oil are combined, enhanced benefits for both the nervous system and the cardiovascular system are found, more than using either form by itself.  Additionally, DHA is the main structural component of brain tissue. It is essential for brain growth and development, and, if you have too little, then you will experience cognitive decline. EPA calms inflammation. It has a significant impact on behavior and mood, and helps to ward off depression. A proprietary product called “Vectomega” can be obtained from www.TerryNaturallyVitamins.com. Taking 2, 600 mg tablets gives you the same amount of omega-3s as 16 standard Fish Oil capsules (7200 mg). Another good product can be obtained from www.LifeExtension.com called “Super-Omega-3 Plus” capsules.

          Other good sources of Omega 3 fatty acids include: walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds and their oils. Taking marine vs. plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids is controversial. Some practitioners believe that the unadulterated parent oils found in plant sources are superior to marine oils. They are concerned by a study in laboratory rats that marine oils will increase the risk of stimulating rapidly growing cancers, and will also increase the vulnerability of cellular mitochondrial membranes to free-radical oxidative damage, and, thus, lower cellular energy production. Although plant-based chia, flaxseed, and walnuts are healthy to eat, don’t expect them to lower triglycerides the same as cold-water fish. That’s because plant derived omega-3s come in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which has to be converted to EPA and DHA. However, the conversion enzyme diminishes with aging.

 

          BORONBoron supports the functions of calcium, magnesium and vitamin D for promoting dense, healthy bone tissue. Boron supports anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. It also supports joint health, and helps maintain normal brain functions. In women, especially using Hormone Replacement Therapy, the higher the boron intake, the lower the lung cancer risk, and decreases cervical cancer related histopathological findings. For men, boron inhibits prostate cancer cell proliferation.  Supplement with 3 mg of boron daily and/or increase ingestion of high boron foods: (in descending concentration)– raisins, almonds, hazel nuts, dried apricots, avocados, peanut butter, Brazil nuts, red kidney beans, cashews, and dates.

 

                      PROBIOTICS ARE A KEY SUPPLEMENT!!!

Good health begins in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. 100 trillion microbes reside in a human body. This is 10 times the number of human cells. The GI tract contains 90% of these microbes in a symbiotic relationship. Approximately 5000 species of microbes reside in a healthy human body. Our unique bacterial inhabitants aid digestion and absorption of nutrients, convert and produce necessary nutrients, detoxify ingested materials and protect us from invaders. The microbial inhabitants of the GI tract stimulate the immune system for optimal functioning. Probiotics are live microorganisms which, when ingested in adequate amounts, confer a beneficial health effect on the host. Most are bacteria. Probiotics are found in fermented foods such as  yogurt, beet kvass,  kefir, sauerkraut;  and, kombucha. Almost every society has consumed some type of fermented food.

          Using probiotics is SAFE. There is no upper limit and no adverse side effects.  ***I strongly recommend using probiotics to help manage constipation;  diarrhea;  irritable bowel syndrome;  infant colic; and, while taking antibiotics.***  The easiest way to consume adequate amounts are in powder or capsule form.  I recommend for children 5 to 15 billion count capsules (which can be opened  onto food or mixed in a drink) daily, and for adults 15 to 30 billion count capsules daily. As we age, we tend to selectively lose one of the main players in our colon, namely Bifidobacterium species. The best way to restore them is to consume them (look for Bifido-rich yogurt or probiotic capsules) and to provide them with the food they need to live on in our colons: lots of vegetables, a little fruit, and limiting (toxic) doses of sugar that might feed competing species.

              THERE IS A GUT-BRAIN-HEART CONNECTION. 

          Probiotics may boost your mood. A gut full of beneficial bacteria seems to promote the production of brain neurochemicals {such as serotonin}  that ease feelings of anxiety and depression, while an abundance of harmful bacteria may actually trigger these symptoms. The combination of Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 plus Bifidobacterium longum R0175 helps to restore normal neurochemical and hormonal balances that obviate the symptoms of anxiety and depression. This combination also helps to decrease anger and hostility scores and chronic stress levels, and improved mood scores, and reduced stress induced abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. A proprietary product is available from www.LifeExtension.com called “Florassist Mood”.

Different probiotics can be helpful. For example, the probiotic Lactobacillus Reuteri lowers cardiovascular risk:  L. reuteri 30242 produces an enzyme called bile salt hydrolase which makes cholesterol less absorbable so that it becomes trapped in the gut and later excreted in fecal matter. Further cholesterol reduction comes from the organism’s ability to increase cholesterol metabolism, thereby promoting its breakdown and excretion. It additionally reduces inflammatory markers.  A proprietary product called “FlorAssist Heart Health Probiotic” is available from www.LifeExtension.com.

Also, S. salivarius K12 can reduce the risk of strep throat as well as viral sore throats by producing locally acting lantibiotics. Lozanges are available called “Florassist Throat Health” also from www.LifeExtension.com. S. salivarius strain BLIS M18 and Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 supplementation results in significant improvement in oral and gum health. S. salavarius produces enzymes that help break down dental plaque and neutralizes acid to maintain a healthy oral pH.  A low pH demineralizes teeth and creates an environment in which bad bacteria thrive. It produces “lantibiotics” that kill competing organisms associated with periodontitis and reduces levels of cytokines associated with gingivitis. Bacillus coagulans competitively inhibits the growth of Streptococcus mutans which contributes to tooth decay and also reduces the production of inflammatory cytokines that promote the inflammatory response. A proprietary product is available from www.LifeExtension.com  called “Florassist Oral Hygiene”.

          Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a yeast found in sourdough bread which helps to normalize intestinal microbial flora and specifically relieve symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome. Perilla frutescens is an herb in the mint family that has beneficial flavonoids, especially vicenin-2 and rosmarinic acid which inhibit excitatory nerve and muscle activity in the intestine which relaxes gut motility and reduces pain perception. It reduces inflammatory signaling molecules. And, it also supports the intestinal barrier reducing permeability–leaky gut. A proprietary product containing 150 mg of Perilla leaf extract plus the probiotic Saccharomyces cerevisiae called “Tranquil Tract” is available from www.LifeExtension.com. Another product combines a 15 billion colony forming unit blend of 6 different probiotics PLUS 4 types of bacteriophages called “Florassist GI with Phage Technology”.  The addition of bacteriophages is designed to remove unwanted bacteria in the intestines to make room for the beneficial probiotics.

A probiotic that is 100 times more potent than the average probiotic is called “VSL#3” containing 3 species of Bifidobacterium, 4 species of Lactobacillus, and 1 species of Streptococcus. There are 450 billion bacteria in each flavored and unflavored packet that can be mixed into cold or room temperature beverage or soft foods, or a vegetarian capsule that contains 112.5 billion bacteria in each capsule. It can be obtained from www.vsl3.com. Prescription strength “VSL#3-DS” (double strength) contains 900 billion live cultures of bacteria. It is particularly helpful for gastrointestinal problems including IBS and Ulcerative colitis. There are no adverse effects nor risk of overdosing.

 

          ***Soil-based spore-forming Bacillus bacteria*** are essential for our health. They are “pseudo-commensuls” because they pass through the gut rather than establishing a home there. Our ancestors regularly consumed them when eating wild foods and drinking from ponds and streams. The spores not only survive traversing through the hydrochloric acid and bile salts of the stomach,  they are activated to viably reach the intestines. An excellent product {that is unfortunately only available through a health care provider}  is called “Mega-Sporebiotic” from Microbiome Labs which contains Bacillus indicus, HU36; B. subtilis, HU58; B. coagulans; B. licheniformis; and B. clausii.

I also strongly recommend reading the book by Dr. Josh Axe, MD called “Eat Dirt”.

 

                      SUPPLEMENTS TO AVOID

 

1)          ***I STRONGLY ADVISE YOU TO AVOID USING CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS for MENOPAUSE-INDUCED OSTEOPOROSIS PREVENTION!!*** 

{Excerpted from the book “Death By Calcium” by Thomas E. Levy, 2013}

“At the time of Columbus, it was self-evident that the world was flat. Modern Medicine isn’t immune to a similar simplistic and wrong thinking. Regarding osteoporosis (OP), since bones are brittle and largely made up of calcium, it is self-evident that calcium should be supplemented. However, this idea is very wrong!  Osteoporosis involves a lack of calcium in the bones. It does not mean that there is a lack of calcium in the body or in the diet. Osteoporotic individuals have toxic excesses of calcium outside the bounds of bone tissue. The typical American menu is laden with calcium-saturated foods. A legitimate body-wide deficiency of calcium is virtually non-existent, but too much calcium is very common and highly toxic, and it reliably leads to great suffering and premature death. The real problem in osteoporosis is that the body is unable to synthesize a new structural bone matrix and to integrate calcium into it. Simply increasing the quantity of calcium in the body does not even begin to remedy this problem. The calcium simply deposits elsewhere in the body where there are no bone proteins. Excess calcium is a killer.

It is this excess of ingested calcium along with calcium chronically released from osteoporotic bone that poses the most dangerous threat to health and life as it moves in and around all of the cells of the body, promoting disease wherever it accumulates. This notably includes heart disease, hight blood pressure, strokes, and cancer. It fuels and accelerates all chronic degenerative diseases.  When a body-wide state of excess calcium already exists, any added calcium is too much as it promotes abnormal cellular, glandular, and bodily functions. That is why supplemental calcium needs to be stopped, excess dietary calcium needs to be curtailed, and all calcium-rich, vitamin D-fortified foods need to be avoided.

The excess calcium in non-bone tissues has been shown to increase mortality from all causes. You are 30% more likely to have a heart attack and 20% more likely to have a stroke if you take an extra 500 mg of calcium per day. Over one-third of Americans over the age of 45 have evidence of arterial calcification. This percentage rises drastically with greater age, literally skyrocketing in postmenopausal women as well as in testosterone-deficient men. The degree of calcium deficiency in osteoporotic bone is actually an indicator of the amount of excess calcium that has taken up residence in non-bone tissue. Not only does increasing calcium intake fail to improve bone strength, it fuels calcium excess everywhere in the body. Calcium supplementation does not prevent bone fractures. However, adequately dosed vitamin D supplementation decreases fracture risks. Calcium migration from the bone is not the cause of osteoporosis, but rather a symptom of it. Giving large amounts of calcium will eventually result in a small amount of it filling in pores in osteoporotic bones. However, it cannot be emphasized strongly enough that this approach is simply cosmetic. It will make the bones look somewhat better on a bone density x-ray test, but it does no more to improve bone strength than blowing finely ground chalk into the cracks of an earthquake-damaged building will to restore its structural integrity, or putting a fresh coat of paint on rotting wood.”

2)       UNLESS ONE HAS IRON DEFICIENCY ANEMIA, BE AWARE OF POTENTIAL  IRON TOXICITY.

          Because of MENSTRUATION, women often have iron deficiency anemia. Good food sources for IRON include prunes (6/day), black strap molasses (1-2 tbs/d) and black sesame seeds. Iron can also be supplemented with the bis-glycinate form– 56 mg/d plus Vitamin C (in order to aid absorption), or by taking ferrous sulfate 325 mg three times daily along with vitamin C. The major side effect for iron supplements is constipation. Also, stools will turn a black color.

          HOWEVER:  {From a Lecture by Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD at the A4M Spring Congress, Hollywood, Florida,  April 7, 2017.}    

  1. AVOID iron supplementation, either deliberate or in the form of “enriched food”, BECAUSE it is always toxic. Multiple forms of iron are added to “enriched” foods, most commonly “reduced iron,” meaning most typically Metallic Iron Filings (Elemental Iron). Iron filings are typically the waste byproduct of the grinding, filing, or milling of finished iron products. Bearing in mind that any Ingredients list that says Enriched or Fortificada is to be avoided, consider part of the range of common foods that are nearly always enriched:  Bread, cake, cookies, baking and pancake mixes, pasta, rice, coating mixes for frying or baking, gravies, and any prepared food in a container utilizing any enriched flours in their preparation (a very lengthy list).  Limit yourself to fresh meats, fruits, and vegetables, along with gluten-free and organic flour products in order to avoid this hidden assault on your foods.

Remember the babies!!!  Virtually all baby formulas and baby cereal products are markedly contaminated with added iron as well. Buy a blender and organic foods and make your own baby foods.  Ever wonder why it is considered the “norm” for so many babies to cramp and cry so often after eating? It’s not just milk allergies. And the allergies might never occur if metallic iron was not chronically inflaming the gut from the moment of birth on. (Another benefit of breast-feeding, at least early on; these babies get to have their gut mature a bit before beginning the daily ingestion of metallic iron.)

  1. The entire population “normal” laboratory reference of ferritin (iron storage) levels is outside of the range of optimal. The optimal range for ferritin is 15 to 25 ng/ml. The incessant addition of iron into all “enriched” foods has rendered virtually the entire adult population as iron toxic to some degree, with increased oxidative stress in all cells and throughout the body. You cannot have a ferritin level too low if your hemoglobin and hematocrit levels are normal.  Ferritin levels average about 25 ng/ml in children and in women prior to menopause but increase in concert with increasing MI risk in women with the cessation of menstrual blood loss. Rates of MI increase earlier in men, in whom ferritin levels begin to increase from childhood levels going into adulthood. Coronary heart disease is relatively rare in third world populations with severely deficient diets and often with evidence of iron deficiency and iron-deficiency anemia. (Sullivan, 1981, 6112609) A ferritin level of about 50 ng/ml is considered by most physicians to be clearly normal, and bordering on being too low. This is not true. Consider the following study:  High-frequency blood donors with a mean ferritin level of 17 ng/ml showed significantly improved arterial elasticity compared with lower frequency blood donors with a mean ferritin level of 52 ng/ml!! This means that a level of 50 ng/ml of ferritin, although vastly more desirable than levels of 200, 300, 400, and higher, is still clearly toxic. (Zheng, 2005, 15961703)
  2. Metallic iron ingestion logically causes chronic gut inflammation and predisposes to and/or aggravates literally all gut-related diseases as well as most non-gut-related medical conditions. Standard “wisdom” says the acid in the stomach dissolves the metallic iron and allows it to be absorbed and assimilated. More fiction: metallic iron + HCl = ferric chloride, a substance that is toxic, highly corrosive, and acidic. Ferric chloride ingestion has significant morbidity and even mortality.  However, it is clear that whether ferric chloride or metallic iron reaches the intestines, both are highly toxic, directly promoting gut inflammation. Good health is virtually centered on having and maintaining a healthy gut. But,  chronic metallic and/or supplemental iron in the gut means that:  Leaky (inflamed) gut results. Some food is incompletely digested and premature absorption occurs.  2. The unabsorbed and incompletely digested food results in slowed gut transit time with increased putrefaction and the production of exceptionally potent toxins, usually related to gastrointestinal infections/overgrowths (Clostridium).  3. The incompletely digested (and sometimes largely whole) foods gain access to the lymphatics and the blood, and autoimmune reactions and food allergies, sometimes severe and life-threatening (eg. with peanuts) can result.  {The association with increased peanut sensitivity may be due to genetic crop manipulation of peanut proteins.} 4. Incomplete digestion results in poor assimilation of quality nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.  5. Focal infections in the gut can appear, in addition to the chronic overgrowth of pathogenic flora. Probiotics can only do so much.  6. Gastric and duodenal ulcers, heartburn and reflux, gas, cramping, and diarrhea/constipation syndromes may occur.  7. Crohn’s disease and chronic ulcerative colitis may result.  8. Celiac sprue and GLUTEN SENSITIVITY can occur.  9. Every disease in the body will be worsened, and many diseases will be given the foundation and basis to be initiated.  10. Very possibly, the main benefit of an organic diet is no metallic iron and a much better digestion due to inherently better gut transit times because food combinations are more optimal.
  3. Gluten sensitivity might be a curable condition, in some individuals, if all food iron supplementation, metallic or otherwise, is eliminated, and the existing gut damage is not severe enough to prevent a complete healing of the gut lining– (probably requiring at least six months off of all dietary added iron).
  4. Even supplemental (versus metallic) forms of iron will promote chronic gut inflammation in addition to increasing the iron levels in the body. More iron inside the cells directly increases intracellular oxidative stress and promotes all chronic degenerative diseases.

Reducing iron levels in the body by phlebotomy lessens lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress. (Salonen, 1995, 7852918)  In 100 cancer-free patients with peripheral artery disease, iron reduction by phlebotomy appeared to lessen the incidence of new cancers, and decreased cancer-related deaths over a six-year period. The average ferritin levels in 23 individuals who died was 135.5 ng/ml. In the 77 survivors the average ferritin level was 83.6 ng/ml. (Depalma, 2010, 20304584)  Blood donation appears to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular events.  (Tuomainen, 1997, 9080998; Meyers, 1997, 9326996) {Phlebotomy is helpful because it not only reduces an excess iron load, it also reduces “sludging” of the circulation.}  

 

                    THE IMPORTANCE OF FIBER

 

Fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet. Fiber includes all plant polysaccharides and lignins which are resistant to hydrolysis by human digestive enzymes. Fiber is found in the undigestible plant carbohydrate and exists in both soluble and insoluble forms. The recommended dietary allowance of fiber for U.S. men is 30 g/day and for women is 25 g/day. The average American, however, eats only 6 to 12 g/day.

Soluble fiber is eaten in the form of pectins (found in carrots and fruits such as apples, citrus, and strawberries) and gums and mucilage (found in plant seeds and secretions, such as oats, barley, legumes, psyllium, and guar). IT IS A PRE-BIOTIC. It dissolves in water to form a gel in the GI tract and is fermented by intestinal bacteria to form short-chain fatty acids which affect hepatic insulin sensitivity and lipid synthesis. Soluble fiber can reduce the absorption of dietary fat (including cholesterol), thus, lowering LDL-cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber also slows digestion and the rate carbohydrates and other nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream. This prevents the rapid rise of blood glucose and insulin after a meal. These fermentable fibers don’t add bulk to the stool nor provide a laxative effect.

 Insoluble fiber is found in lignins (vegetables, wheat, fruits, and edible seeds), cellulose (whole-wheat flour, vegetables, and bran), and hemicellulose (bran and whole grains). It passes through the GI tract relatively intact and provides bulk for stool formation and it helps to increase stool water content. Insoluble fiber speeds up movement of food and waste through the GI system which helps to prevent constipation. Additionally, it can help to dilute carcinogens and reduce their contact with mucosal surfaces.

A meta-analysis of 16 studies showed that dietary fier intake has an inverse relationship to breast cancer risk. {Aune D, et. al., Ann Onc 2012;23(6):1394-402}  Another meta-analysis including 25 studies showed reduced risk of colorectal cancers with increased intake of dietary fiber. {Aune D, et. al., BMJ 2011;343:d6617}

                    

               Nutrient Dense “SUPER-FOOD” Examples

 

          Some of my favorite nutrient dense, embryonic foods which are high in growth factors, so called “super foods”, include: hemp seeds, raw cacao, gogi berries, aloe vera, bee pollen/honey/royal jelly/propolis, spirulina (brackish), blue-green algae (lake), marine phytoplankton, maca, coconut, acai berries, chlorella, camu-camu, Incan berries, dulse, kelp, tumeric, resveratrol, oat grass, barley grass, and wheat grass.

 

Consider the super-food CHLORELLA, blue-green algae. It contains the highest chlorophyll content (which improves breath and digestion), and gram for gram has twice the total protein of beef, with all the essential amino acids. Chlorella can be taken for example as 15 tablets with water at bedtime or mixed into a green smoothie. In addition to nutrition, chlorella can help to detoxify heavy metals such as mercury, protect animals from nuclear radiation, boost the immune system and help protect against cancers. However, be aware of recent concerns about the Cyanobacteria ToxinBeta-Methylamino-L-Alanine (BMAA)– which may be responsible for the neurodegeneration of Alzheimer’s Disease and  Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis, and treatment with the amino acid L-Serine at a dose of 30 gm/day.

Consider eating BLUEBERRIES for boosting longevity by preventing and mitigating cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome (which includes obesity, lipid disturbances, hypertension and glucose intolerance), and cancers. Also, think of them as “brain berries”.  A cup of fresh blueberries eaten daily for 4 months improved memory in patients with cognitive impairment. {American Chemical Society 251st National Meeting, March 2016.}

Plants that live in challenging environments produce a wide array of stress-reducing nutrients to help them cope with extremes of temperature, humidity, nutrient availability, predators, and other threats. When humans consume those molecules, we get the benefit of that genetic stress resistance, which helps our bodies fight off major threats to our own well-being. Blueberries, which grow in harsh, sandy soils, often in dry conditions and at high altitudes, contain the highest known concentrations of many such bioactive molecules. Research shows that, in addition to their ability to protect brain tissue and function from the ravages of aging, blueberries contribute to better health in most body systems.

The health and longevity benefits of eating blueberries are largely due to the presence of pterostilbene. Pterostilbene can extend lifespan by regulating 3 major pathways linked to longevity: a) mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin), b) AMPK (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase), and c) sirtuins (silent information regulators). Pterostilbene, (like resveratrol), is a calorie restriction (CR) mimetic which turns on genes related to long-term survival. mTor is a central signaling pathway that serves as a central regulator for cell growth, metabolism, survival and proliferation. It controls processes that use or generate large amounts of energy and nutrients. Pterostilbene inhibits the mTOR pathway. Meanwhile, it activates AMPK, which regulates the way our bodies use and transform energy. It shrinks body-fat store, lowers blood sugar and lipid levels, and suppresses chronic inflammation. Pterostilbene also stimulates the expression of sirtuin-1 which protects heart cells from apoptosis. Sirtuins also play a vital role in maintaining telomere length.

          MAQUI BERRIES are a tiny deep purple fruit with extremely high polyphenol and anthocyanin levels, particularly the delphinidin content.  This “super food”  can help prevent oxidative stress damage to the retinas of the eyes, improve glucose tolerance/insulin resistance, reduce skin aging caused by UV exposure, protect against lipid peroxidation and atherosclerosis, decrease inflammation associated with psoriasis, and protect against side effects of chemotherapy. For example, a concentrated extract can be obtained from www.herbalultra.com called “Maqui Ultimate with Delphinol”.

          WALNUTS are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and the monosaturated oleic acid. It also contains the highest alpha-lipoic acid content of all edible plants. It contains rare and potent phytochemicals including the quinone juglone, the tannin tellimagrandin and the flavonol morin which are all strong cancer inhibitors. They provide a high level of beneficial gamma-tocopherol plus an array of trace metals. Because of their high fat content, don’t add walnuts to your diet, rather, substitute junk food with nutritious walnuts. Walnuts contribute to neuroprotection. They may reduce the risk or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by maintaining fibrillary amyloid beta-protein in the soluble form. Overweight people with type 2 diabetes who ate ¼ cup of walnuts daily reduced their fasting insulin levels in several months. Consuming walnuts will increase satiety with consequent help with weight management. Men eating ½ cup of walnuts daily improved their sperm quality, morphology and motility.

Consumption of plant polyphenols such as those found in pomegranate, green tea, brassica vegetables and red grapes protect nitric oxide production which helps to restore endothelial arterial lining function. KALE is an outstanding cruciferous vegetable for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Kale is abundant in sulforaphane, the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which helps prevent atherosclerosis. Its high fiber content has protective effects against high levels of CRP and helps to lower cholesterol. It also has a high content of vitamins K, A and C, and the minerals calcium, manganese, copper and potassium. BOILED PEANUTS contain even more resveratrol than red grapes and more than raw peanuts or sugary peanut butter because they are cooked with the shells where resveratrol is found in highest concentrations. Resveratrol (also found in red grape skin and red wine, not white wine) is a highly active primer of the Nrf2/ARE pathway with protective benefits for the cardiovascular, kidney, endocrine and nervous systems and for cancer prevention and treatment.  Resveratrol activates the production of a protein called SIRT1 responsible for keeping cells working longer and better. It also helps to reduce inflammation which can ward off cardiovascular and kidney damage. It lowers two inflammatory markers, TNF-alpha and TGF-beta and reduces production of dangerous molecules associated with oxidative stress known as reactive oxygen species (ROS). Resveratrol also protects kidney function in cases of acute injury through fibrosis by lowering the effect of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins which can deteriorate kidney tissue. Lessening ROS and ECM proteins also helps to diminish damage from kidney stones, and, it helps to prevent kidney stones from forming. Additionally, resveratrol can counteract the acetylation of tau proteins. Acetylation causes the tau proteins to collect and stick together leading to the development of neurofibrillary tangles commonly found in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients. Resveratrol can buffer damage by accumulated glutamate and quiet glial cell activation. It can benefit Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

          AVOCADOS are rich in monosaturated fatty acids (including the powerful oleic acid also found in olive oil), fiber, folate, glutathione, phytosterols, flavonoids and carotenoids which promote joint, eye and skin health and help to prevent cancers, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and obesity. Carotenoid absorption is enhanced by its fatty acid profile which also boosts carotenoid absorption from other foods when eaten along with other foods. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two key carotenoids in avocado which are associated with decreased risk of cartilage defects and also inhibit H. pylori in the stomach. Also, lutein and zeaxanthin help to reduce the development of cataracts. Diets rich in monounsaturated fatty acids are protective against age-related eye dysfunction.  Avocado’s phytosterols (stigmasterol, campesterol, and beta-sitosterol) help prevent excess synthesis of pro-inflammatory PGE2 (prostaglandin) by connective tissue. This helps to prevent both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Oleic acid is converted in the small intestine to oleoylethanolamide which activates an area in the brain responsible for a feeling of satiety. Eating half of an avocado modulates hunger, body weight and lipid metabolism. The monosaturated fatty acids reduce total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol, and the folate helps to decrease homocysteine levels which helps modify cardiovascular risk factors. The high intake of glutathione found abundantly in avocados reduces the rsik of oral cancers; the boron reduces the risk of prostate cancers; the phytosterols decrease chromosomal breaks and aberrations and induce cell cycle arrest, inhibit growth and trigger apoptosis in both precancerous and cancer cell lines.

          BEETS (Beta vulgaris) are probably the richest dietary source of nitrate. The nitrate in beets (best taken as the raw juice or baked) acts as a reservoir by forming nitrite for the production of the local microvascular vasodilator nitric oxide (NO),  which helps with managing angina and with erectile dysfunction. In 2012, a randomized, controlled, single blind crossover trial investigating the effect of eating beets on blood pressure demonstrated that eating beets substantially lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Also, beets make 2 key detoxifying enzymes: glutathione peroxidase and glutathione-S-transferase. The first protects against free-radical damage and the second is crucial for detoxifying chemicals. Inducing activity with beets may protect against cancer.  Additionally, beet fiber increases colon immune CD8 cells which detect and eliminate abnormal cells. This is particularly helpful to protect against colon cancer.  Consider drinking 10 oz of beet juice daily.  

          POMEGRANATE protects the endothelium against atherosclerosis. Pomegranate extracts contain polyphenols, tannins and anthocyanins which:  1) enhance cholesterol outflow from inflammatory white blood cells, helping to reduce the risk of plaque formation. 2) Protect vulnerable LDL molecules from the oxidation that leads to arterial wall inflammation that promotes plaque generation. And, 3) Boost natural antioxidant systems, particularly superoxide dismutase (SOD), protecting vital nitric oxide and allowing the endothelium to recover from the effects of chronic oxidative and inflammatory stresses. Pomegranate also elevates the enzyme paraoxonase-1 (PON-1) activity. PON-1 blocks destructive lipid peroxidation reactions. It is anchored to the surface of HDL which helps to cleanse arterial walls of plaque, protects LDL against oxidation and inhibits chronic inflammation, vascular adhesion molecules and platelet activation all of which leads to atherosclerosis. Pomegranate extract not only reduces cardiovascular risks, it exerts at least seven distinct beneficial effects that confer protection to cells against malignant changes, while making those that do mutate less likely to progress.

Polyphenols are capable of a multitargeted effect. Ellagitannins (the most abundant polyphenol in pomegranate juice) are well absorbed and delivered to prostate, colon and intestinal tissues. Ellagic acid and punicalagin can prevent DNA damage. Punicic acid and luteolin can inhibit the progression and spread of prostate cancer. Pomegranate extract is capable of interfering with abnormal cell-proliferation cycles, thereby impeding aberrant replication. It shuts down inflammatory signals (such as NFkappaB) and suppress the production of other pro-inflammatory molecules. The extract can restore apoptosis to cancer cells, helping to halt continued expansion and if caught early enough may prevent a tumor from forming. Pomegranate extract inhibits angiogenesis. It suppresses the production of tissue-destroying enzymes and signaling molecules which helps prevent metastasis. It slows the growth of many hormone-dependent cancers including those of the breast and prostate. A proprietary product called “Pomegranate Complete” is available from www.LifeExtension.com.

 

          BUCKWHEAT is a nutritious gluten-free grain substitute, which is a rich source of complete protein, fiber and novel phytocompounds. It contains a number of nutrients that deliver cardiovascular benefits, including protection against blood clots, reducing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol and managing diabetes. It contains the richest food source for the flavonoid rutin. Rutin blocks the enzyme protein disulfide isomerase that is excreted by endothelial cells and platelets when a clot forms in an artery or vein. It also helps reduce blood pressure. Buckwheat is a good source of magnesium and has a rich fiber content which helps to reduce inflammation, and lower total and LDL cholesterol. Buckwheat is the greatest natural source of D-chiro-inositol, a compound that increases insulin sensitivity and reduces glucose levels. In studies with women with PCOS, D-chiro-inositol increased insulin sensitivity, reduced testosterone levels and increased ovulation frequency. It also contains quercetin which is known to reduce free radicals and inflammation.  Quercetin is found in onions and apples. It has been shown to preserve mitochondrial function in the heart, brain, liver and skeletal muscles. It triggers reverse cholesterol transport, which results in the removal of cholesterol from the arterial wall by HDL for transport to the liver for safe disposal. It activates the Nrf2/ARE defense system. It boosts cardiovascular function, muscular endurance and performance, protects against loss of brain cells, corrects blood glucose and lipid abnormalities in the metabolic syndrome, and shows evidence of anti-cancer and bone health-promoting properties.

          PISTACHIOS have a beneficial effect on blood sugar. Eating pistachios with a meal high in carbohydrates lowers the blood glucose response. Diets enriched with nuts correlated with better weight control. Pistachios help lower LDL-cholesterol and lower triglyceride levels. They contain a broad spectrum of essential vitamins and minerals as well as protein, fiber and an array of phytochemicals.

          TEFF is a cereal grain grown mostly in Eritrea and Ethiopia because it thrives in harsh climates. It has a mild nutty flavor and is gluten free. It is an excellent source of the amino acid lysine which most grains usually lack. (Lysine is important for building the cross-links of collagen, and helps to limit the process of glycation.) Minerals such as potassium and calcium are abundant and it contains significant vitamin C (which is unusual in a grain). It is rich in fiber and has easily absorbed iron. It can help to control blood sugar levels because it has a low glycemic index because it is made up of  20% to 40% resistant starches.

                              ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS

We all have limited financial resources to purchase supplements and there are a staggering amount of choices available. How do you decide what are the right supplements for you?  There is a free site to help you build your personalized supplement pyramid at www.MySupplementPyramid.com. It addresses the bottom “foundation level”  that include the 5 building blocks: 1) an ideally dosed multivitamin/mineral complex; 2) Omega-3 fatty acids; 3) Coenzyme Q10; 4) Probiotics; and, 5) Curcumin. The middle “personalization level” addresses the right supplements to help you prevent the diseases most likely to affect you personally. And, the top “optimization level” helps address the supplements to assist you in living a longer and healthier life.  {Ref: Michael A. Smith, MD: “The Supplement Pyramid: How to Build Your Personalized Nutritional Regimen”.}  Remember you need high quality products. Stick with a company that has an established track record of selling high quality products using pure and potent raw materials.

I recommend the book “Eating on the Wild Side” by Jo Robinson. Domesticated farming has produced many advantages in the short term including food surpluses, fewer accidental deaths, and an increased population. In the long term it has caused the foods we eat to become less and less nutritious and more likely to lead to chronic diseases. We replaced our once-wild fruits and vegetables with better-tasting, easy-to-harvest varieties that are full of starch and sugar, but lack vitamins, minerals and polyphenols of the original wild versions. For example, the ancestor of our modern corn is a grass called teosinte. Its kernels are about 30% protein and 2% sugar. Old fashioned sweet corn is 4% protein and 10% sugar and some of the newest varieties are as high as 40% sugar. Food researchers have discovered many ways to retain the bionutrients in our produce that makes them more bioavailable. For example, most berries increase their antioxidant activity when you cook them. Canned blueberries have more phytonutrients than fresh ones, provided you consume the canning liquid. Cooking and canning rearranges the structure of the phytonutrients and makes them more bioavailable. To get the most nutrition from blueberries, if you don’t eat them right away, store them in a crisper drawer and don’t rinse off the natural waxy coating until you eat them. Flash frozen berries are almost as nutritious as fresh. Dried berries are convenient but 50% to 80% of antioxidant value is lost in the process because polyphenol oxidases break down their phytonutrients. Also, choose tomatoes by color: the darkest red have the most lycopene. Small, dark red tomatoes have the most lycopene per ounce and they’re also sweeter and more flavorful and have more vitamin C. Nutrients from tomatoes are greater when tomatoes are cooked rather than eaten raw. Simmering a tomato sauce for hours triples its lycopene content. Heat breaks down the cell walls, making nutrients more bioavailable. Heat also twists the lycopene molecule into a new configuration that’s easier to absorb. Processed tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene. The heat of canning makes tomatoes grown for the food industry more bioavailable. Most of our modern variety of potatoes are high-glycemic and give us a sharp rise in blood glucose. You can tame the sugar rush by cooking potatoes then chilling them for 24-hours which transforms them into low or moderate-glycemic vegetables. The cool temperature converts the potatoes’ rapidly digested starch into a more resistant starch that is broken down more slowly. You can reheat them and they’ll maintain their lower glycemic value.

          OR, CONSIDER A 6-WEEK TRIAL OF A PALEO DIET. Keep a journal about your mental clarity, emotional state, sleep quality, and sense of well-being. Check your waist circumference rather than your weight. Check your blood lipids before and after the 6-weeks. For 6-weeks, do your best to avoid grains, legumes, and dairy (however, eating butter is OK). You are encouraged to eat: 1) meats from animals raised on pasture, with a superior nutritional content and less environmental hazard than conventionally raised animals. 2) A wide variety of vegetables. 3) A wide variety of fruits, but think of fruits as desert rather than a staple like vegetables. 4) Butter, tea, coffee, avocado, even dark chocolate (75% cocoa or higher.) Alcohol is OK.  Clear non-grain alcohols or wines are preferred. Beer is off the list since it comes from grains. The idea is to eliminate foods with which our species didn’t evolve (thus, eating foods prior to the advent of agriculture). Plan ahead for social occasions: warn everyone or eat first. After 6-weeks, review your journal and re-measure yourself to determine if there are any significant changes. Additional considerations include a simple exercise program so that movement is incorporated into your daily life and going to sleep when it is dark and awakening with the morning light. For example, all computer and TV screens off by 7:30 pm and start winding down for bed, turning down the house lights, stretching, reading, hanging out with loved ones and then bed by 9:30 pm. After 6-weeks you can try reintroducing sprouted grains or fermented grains such as sourdough and observe how you feel. Resume eating foods which you tolerate. Paleo is a lifestyle choice.

However, some see a Paleo-diet as yet another fad diet. A 2013 study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry determined that the gluten content in wheat has been relatively stable since wheat processing began in the late 19th century. Field studies at the University of Utah suggest that about 3.4 million years ago, the hominin Australopithecus afarensis and other human relatives ate on average 40% grasses, which included gluten rich barley and wheat. 1.7 to 2 million years ago, early humans ate 35% grasses. In the upper Paleolithic ear around 30,000 years ago archeological evidence of flour made from wild cereal grains has been discovered. In the Neolithic era around 10,000 years ago, with the widespread rise of farming and agriculture, bread and cereals became seasonal dietary staples. So, humans have a lot of genetic experience eating wheat. Also, it has been proposed that alpha-gliadin is considered the indigestible toxic form of wheat that is linked to many gluten sensitivity problems. Yet, when researchers compared the gliadin components from two ancient wheat varieties, Kamut and Graziella Ra, with modern varieties, the ancient wheats had total gliadin and alpha-gliadin levels that were almost twice as high as those of the modern wheat. {Please consider that the PRIMARY PROBLEM MAY BE A CHANGE IN OUR MICROBIOME!!}

          OR, CONSIDER A KETOGENIC DIET (LOW CARBOHYDRATES): Eric Westman, MD (Duke University) has published studies showing that a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet (ketogenic diet) results in less hunger, better compliance and greater weight loss than low-fat diets. Patients with type 2 diabetes showed greater weight loss, greater reduction in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) and greater reduction or elimination of required diabetic medications. When carbohydrates are low, the liver converts fats into ketones which can serve as a fuel source for many tissues, including the brain. {Dietary ketosis should not  be confused with ketoacidosis of diabetes, which involves acidity as well as much higher blood ketone concentrations.} Unlike sugar, which stimulates appetite, ketones reduce appetite. Ketones make brain mitochondria more efficient, reduce free radical production, and protect against a variety of brain disease, including epilepsy, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease. A ketogenic diet has increased cognitive performance in aged rats. Cancer cells thrive on the glucose resulting from dietary carbohydrates, but are generally unable to use ketones as an energy source. Ketones have been shown to suppress tumors and prolong survival in mice that have metastatic cancers. Insulin resistance results when excess fat accumulates in muscle, liver, and pancreas rather than in fat cells. But, on a carbohydrate-restricted diet, fats are used for energy rather than stored. On a low-carbohydrate diet, high dietary saturated fats do not increase saturated fats in the bloodstream. Cardiovascular risk factors may be reduced on a high-fat, low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diet, and a low-carbohydrate diet has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity.

          OR, CONSIDER A MEDITERRANEAN DIET: If you have a problem with cardiovascular disease, epidemiological studies have suggested a Mediterranean diet can lower your risks for cardiovascular disease and death. The European PREDIMED study published in the New England Journal of Medicine {2013;368(14):1279-90} examined 7,447 women (aged 60 to 80) and men (aged 55 to 80) who were at high cardiovascular risk. A Mediterranean diet reduced cardiovascular disease and death by 30% compared with a standard low-fat diet. Related studies have demonstrated that polyphenol consumption is the major factor in reducing the risks. Hydroxytyrosol makes up about 50% of extra-virgin olive oil’s polyphenol content and should be given the most credit. Additionally, oleuropein and tyrosol are beneficial along with the monosaturated fat, oleic acid.

In addition to benefitting cardiovascular disease, extra-virgin olive oil reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s dementia. It also reduces the risk of osteoporosis caused hip fractures. {Bone mineral density markedly increased with the addition of CoQ10 supplementation.} If extra-virgin olive oil is added to a high-fat breakfast, weight loss improved by 80% compared to controls. People who ate the highest amount of the polyphenol hydroxytyrosol lived an average of 9.5 years longer (after age 65). {Am J Clin Nutrition. 2017;105(6):1297-304.}

          Both systolic and diastolic blood pressures were reduced using extra-virgin olive oil. Nitric oxide (a vasodilator) was increased {good!}, and, 5 important markers of inflammation were reduced: vascular cell adhesion molecule-1; intercellular adhesion molecule-1; interleukin-6; tumor necrosis factor alpha, and monocyte chemotactic protein-1. Beneficial HDL-cholesterol was increased. Additionally, in a 3-year study at the University of Edinburgh, patients age 73 to 76 eating a Mediterranean diet reduced their brain shrinkage by 50% with resultant improved cognitive benefits compared to their less diet-faithful counterparts {Neurology. 2017}. For people who wish to increase their concentration of polyphenols, www.LifeExtension.com has a proprietary blend called “Mediterranean Whole Food Blend” which combines grape seed extract, olive leaf extract, pomegranate fruit extract, black walnut extract, pecan extract, artichoke fruit extract, and lentil bran extract.

                  RECONSIDERING WHEAT (Ref. John Douillard DC, CAP)

 

An increasing number of Americans have sensitivities to wheat. The underlying problem with eating wheat may be a broken-down digestive system. Our gut microbiome manufactures hormones, vitamins, and neurotransmitters that help detoxify and assimilate nutrients while playing a role in almost every bodily function—including the way we think and how we feel. If you kill your microbes, you will die. The microbiome of the average American today has only about one-third the diversity of people in most other parts of the world. Our microbiome will fluctuate with our circadian rhythms and with the seasons. Consider the following: 1) Wheat is traditionally a Fall harvest that fed people through the Winter. We did not evolve eating wheat three times a day all year long. Too much wheat may inflame the intestinal mucosa. 2) Traditional cooking techniques like soaking, sprouting and fermenting the grains break down the phytic acids (that allow seeds to lie dormant and make them difficult to digest) and reduce the amount of gluten and the glycemic index of the bread (eg. sourdough bread). 3) Jet lag, shift work, nighttime snacking, heavy meals late in the day, and stress can wreak havoc on gut bacteria. Poor meal timing and disrupted circadian rhythms which affect the microbiome may be the more important factor in wheat sensitivity. 4) In humans, the production of digestive enzymes like amylase increases during the Winter months, making the Fall-harvested wheat much easier to digest. Wheat sensitivity and asthma are more likely when wheat is eaten in Spring or Summer. 5) Traditional breads have a short shelf life because they are eaten by microbes. Our processed breads often last for weeks without spoiling; which means microbes are not eating them. Microbes do the heavy lifting for our digestive processes, including breaking down gluten. So if the microbes outside your body won’t eat your processed wheat bread, don’t expect the microbes in your gut to digest it. 6) Monsanto’s glyphosate (Roundup) has been used for the past 15 years to spray wheat fields a few days before harvest to help dryad n ultimately kill the wheat plant to release more seeds. In a study published in the Journal of Interdisciplinary Toxicology, researchers found a strong correlation between celiac disease and the use of glyphosates. These powerful microbe killers are also killing our internal microbes as well. Interestingly, Americans with wheat sensitivity may have no problem eating wheat in France, which doesn’t allow GMO wheat and uses far less pesticides. The French also have higher wheat yields than America, so we are likely poisoning ourselves for no reason.  Our microbiome really doesn’t like eating pesticides, especially under high stress.

 

WAYS TO REPAIR OUR GUT MUCOSA include: 1) Engage your parasympathetic nervous system: Relax. Smell, taste and chew your food. Enjoy slow eating. 2) Make lunch the biggest meal of the day. Your brain as well as your gut needs the night time off from food. 3) Go to bed early and get up close to sunrise. 4) Reboot your digestive system. The Ayurvedic super-food to soothe the intestinal mucosa is called “kitchari”, which is made from watered down rice and mung beans. Additional foods include: sweet potatoes; cooked beets; cooked apples; seeds (rather than nuts); well-cooked or steamed vegetables; oatmeal, rice, quinoa, and millet; small, well-cooked beans and legumes (like mung beans); healthy oils like ghee, coconut oil and olive oil; small amounts of well-cooked poultry or fish; small amounts of raw honey (1-2 teaspoons per day); ginger, cinnamon, fennel, and cardamom tea. 5) ADD a small amount of organic fermented food to each meal such as: unsweetened plain yogurt (may add maple syrup); kimchi; miso; tempeh; fermented vegetables such as sour kraut; kombucha; olives; and, pickles. 6) CBD OIL can help to heal a leaky-gut. And, 7)  BOVINE COLOSTRUM can be very helpful for helping to heal a leaky-gut.

 

LIVE LONGER BY CHANGING HOW YOU COOK

Foods cooked at high temperatures create a) mutagens, which damage DNA and increase cancer risk, and b) advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which increase inflammation and oxidative stress by cross-linking with body proteins, which alters the  protein structure and function causing them to lose their functionality and prematurely age. For example, breast and prostate cancers are sharply increased in people who eat heavily cooked meat such as hamburgers. Heat destroys crucial vitamins such as C, B6 and E, destroys fatty acids, denatures proteins, and limits mineral availability. Heat also creates toxic oxidized lipids, which aggravate vascular disease, and dangerous, gene-mutating heterocyclic amines, which can be carcinogenic, inflammatory, and which can adversely activate the immune system.

The higher the number of kilounits (kU) of AGEs the greater the risk for cancer. For example, deep fried breaded chicken breast for 20 minutes has 8,965 kU/serving, vs. roasted chicken has 5,418 kU/serving, vs. stir fried with canola oil for 7 minutes has 3,726 kU/serving,  vs. boiled chicken breast in water has 1,089 kU/serving. Grilling, broiling, roasting, searing and frying propagate and accelerate AGE formation in food. Cooking methods that produce relatively low AGE levels include poaching, steaming, stewing and boiling. The use of acidic marinades, such as lemon juice and vinegar before cooking also limits AGE formation. Most “junk foods” are cooked at extremely high temperatures, so it makes sense to avoid them.

High blood glucose  levels are another cause of protein glycation. Thus, people with diabetes suffer a disproportionately higher number of diseases. Health conscious people can exert a significant amount of control over how quickly their body proteins are destroyed by toxic glycation reactions by reducing the amount of simple sugars and starches they ingest,  AND by minimizing their exposure to foods cooked at high temperatures.

          Consider eating 70-80% of your food as raw fruits and vegetables (whole or  blenderized rather than juiced) or steamed.  Steaming, boiling or cooking with water (or broth) limits the heat to 212 degrees fahrenheit which is below the threshold of most toxic chemical reactions.  A randomized cross-over study evaluated the difference between one group steaming their food and the other group cooking with higher temperatures. After 1 month, the group cooking with higher temperatures had adverse changes including lower insulin sensitivity, lower plasma concentrations of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, and lower vitamin C and vitamin E levels. Also, plasma triglycerides and cholesterol increased. {Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 May;91(5):1220.} Another 6-week study showed that people with diabetes eating food cooked at lower temperatures reduced glycated LDL by 33%, whereas consuming the same food at higher temperatures increased glycated LDL by 32%. {Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2002 Nov 26;99(24):15596-601.}

Consider supplementing with products that will lower your glycation risk when eating foods prepared at high temperatures. Anti-mutagenic agents have been identified in fruits and vegetables. The most potent are indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and chlorophyllin. I3C is found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. It helps to prevent DNA damage. Chlorophyllin inhibits deadly mutagens by trapping heterocyclic hydrocarbon carcinogens (by reacting with their structure making it impossible for them to form adducts with DNA) which are the precursors to malignant transformation in cells. Additionally, Carnosine, Benfotamine and Pyradoxal-5-phosphate (P5P) are helpful for reducing AGEs and mutagens. Carnosine has been shown particularly in people with diabetes to reduce levels of atherosclerosis. Benfotamine is vitamin B1 in a highly absorbable, fat-soluble form that easily penetrates cell membranes. Pyridoxal-5-phosphate  (P5P) is activated vitamin B6. A proprietary product called “Glycation Protection Formula” containing Carnosine 1,000 mg, Benfotamine 200 mg and Pyridoxal-5-phosphate 100 mg is available from www.LifeExtension.com.

 

                                       MEASURE YOUR NUTRITION

 

          CYREX LABORATORIES can provide you with a detailed analysis of your nutrition and your gut health. It specializes in providing panels of tests to support Functional Medicine analyses.

 

Spectracell Laboratories can also provide you with measurements which reflect the adequacy of your food and supplements; absorption of nutrients; and, utilization of nutrients matching to your activity level.

 

Measure your morning urine pH with a digital pH meter. Your goal is a pH >6.7.

 

                                                 EAT MINDFULLY

 

EAT SLOWLY: take time to chew and to taste your food.  Savor the flavors, texture, and temperature. Be fully present in the moment of eating. Observe yourself: don’t be distracted by TV or reading or your cell phone. Be gentle with yourself and avoid “shoulds”: be non-judgmental. HAVE FUN AND ENJOY EATING YOUR FOOD.

                

 

                                 ADDITIONAL REFERENCES

 

***“EAT DIRT” by Josh Axe, MD***

Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD.

The Simple Mediterranean Diet”  by Ariel Soffer, MD.

“Real Food, Fake Food: why you don’t know what you’re eating & what you can do about it”  by Larry Olmsted.

“In Defense of Food: an eater’s manifesto”  by Michael Pollan.

 

Posted in Misc | Comments Off on RESTORING NUTRIENTS

TOXIN MANAGEMENT

                                      TOXIN MANAGEMENT

We are exposed to more chemical toxins than people in other developed countries. In order to restore our health, we need to reduce our toxic burden.  For example: Up to 90% of cancers in the U.S. are thought to be “caused” by environmental toxins!  The following is a brief list of common toxin examples:

  • Alcohol stimulates the Estrone (E1) receptor sites. As per the Nurse’s Health Study, 3 glasses of wine per week increases breast cancer risk by 40%!
  • Caffeine stimulates an excess production of bile which can deplete the liver of essential nutrients.
  • Formaldehyde, used to produce Decaf coffee, can cause liver impairment.
  • Phthalates, Dioxin and Bis-phenol A (BPA), used to manufacture plastics, are endocrine disrupters which bind to and stimulate E1 (Estrone) receptor sites. Common sources include: plastic bags, Ziploc bags, baby bottles, food wraps, vaginal lubricants, and nail polish.
  • Pesticides, such as Lindane and DDT, which can be found on imported produce, bind to and stimulate E1 (Estrone) receptor sites.
  • Polycyclic aromatic carbons, found in gasoline, oil combustion, cigarette smoke and charred meats, bind to E1 (Estrone) receptors.
  • Artificial sweeteners, such as Aspartame and Sucralose, have been associated with neurological dysfunction.
  • Trichloroethylene, used as a dry cleaning solvent, can impair liver function.
  • Bromine, found in processed and enriched flour, energy drinks, and “Mt. Dew”; chlorine, found in our water supply and in swimming pools; and fluorine, found in tooth paste– all can displace iodine, which can result in goiters and in
  • Heavy metals, such as mercury, lead and arsenic, can be found in deep sea fish– such as tuna and mackerel, dental amalgams, old house paints, and supplements from other countries. These heavy metals can displace lighter metals, such as calcium (by lead) and magnesium (by mercury), and aggravate osteoporosis, dementias, and arthritis.

Generally, we are all nutritionally depleted and suffering from hyper-arousal because our environment has become seriously disturbed because of many factors, including:  1) global warming and climate change; 2) soil depletion and desertification; 3) fresh water decline; 4) mass extinctions and biodiversity loss due to changed ecosystem functions and balance; 5) stratospheric ozone depletion; and, 6) Toxin overload. This creates a cumulative toll upon our health and well-being.

Therefore, start with eating a healthy and nutritious diet, drinking plenty of clean water, doing regular daily physical activity and exercise, having a practice of meditation, prayer or relaxation including deep breathing, getting at least 7 hours of sleep nightly, filling your heart with gratitude and appreciation, taking at least 15 minutes per month walking in a forest, and enjoying your intimate relationships with family and friends. Then, consider regularly de-toxifying your body each season (or quarter) during the year.

***I BELIEVE THAT IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO AVOID AND CLEAR TOXINS, ESPECIALLY PRIOR TO AND DURING PREGNANCY***               

          We live in a “toxic soup”.  Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are natural or synthetic compounds present in the environment which can interfere with both cellular nuclear receptor site stimulation and with nuclear receptor site resistance to functional stimulation resulting in impairment of both hormone synthesis and function and with normal physiological functions.

EDCs have been linked to neurological effects and attention problems (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorders, thyroid disease, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, male and female reproductive disorders (including infertility), and many cancers. EDCs lead to an earlier age for menarche, and disruption in the timing of puberty and the bodily changes of sexual maturation.

Progesterone receptor site resistance, caused by industrial chemicals, can contribute to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and with infertility; uterine fibroids; endometriosis; reduced production and duration of lactation; and, with menopausal issues of reduced mental focus, insomnia and anxiety. Progesterone receptor site resistance can also cause unopposed estrogen stimulation of the breasts, which can be important in carcinogenesis, which, incidentally, is NOT reflected in the blood levels of the sex hormones.

Chemicals used in plastics, herbicides, pest control products, cosmetics, food coloring and many drugs will concentrate in fatty fetal tissues including: the brain, thyroid gland, thymus, breast tissue, pancreas, testes, ovaries, adrenal glands and prostate!! Thus, there is A FETAL ORIGIN FOR MANY ADULT DISEASES!

          Prenatal exposure to EDCs impacts early brain development often manifesting as psychosocial deficits in childhood including: suspected autism spectrum disorders and the attention deficit-hyperactivity syndrome.

For example, adult offspring of women who were previously exposed to DES (diethylstilbesterol), which is no longer used, presently manifest insulin resistance, a 50% increased risk of diabetes, and increased risks of heart disease, hypertension, elevated lipids, osteoporosis, discogenic low back pain, and cancers, especially of the breast and prostate gland.  BPA, phthalates, and organic pollutants, which are deeply imbedded in the products of our modern consumer society and our environment, have similar effects to DES.

EDCs are “obesogens” in children and in adults. The world-wide obesity epidemic is, in part, caused by the environmental pollution caused by these chemicals. There is also a parallel rise in the incidence of pancreatic disorders and pancreatic cancer, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, insulin resistance and diabetes. EDCs also effect thyroid hormone resistance and the consequent rise in hypothyroidism.

 **A 3-WEEK ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOOD CLEANSE**

          I STRONGLY RECOMMEND CONSIDERING A TWICE PER YEAR (UP TO A QUARTERLY) DIETARY ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOOD CLEANSING PROGRAM, along with a “liver cleanse”.   {I have done this program several myself with remarkable results, and experiential knowledge about how the foods that I choose to eat have a dramatic effect on my energy, alertness, weight, overall sense of well-being, and generalized body inflammation.}

          I also STRONGLY RECOMMEND ANY WOMEN WHO PLANS TO GET PREGNANT DO A DETOXIFICATION AND CLEANSING PROGRAM in order to clear endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) from her body that can adversely affect her fetus. Please see your physician to discuss such a program.

1)  Here is just the bare-bones approach with a simple (yet powerful) list of THINGS TO AVOID: All gluten, soy, sugar, milk products, eggs, most meats, and peanuts. Also, NO tobacco, alcohol nor caffeine. And, avoid MSG, artificial sweeteners, and GMO products (including high fructose corn syrup).  IT IS IMPORTANT TO READ FOOD LABELS CLOSELY.

2)  USE Good oils include: Olive oil, coconut oil and walnut oil. Otherwise, try to limit other oils especially canola and rapeseed which are more inflammatory and cause fatty degeneration of the heart and other organs.

3)  USE Good grains include: buck wheat, quinoa, and rice.

4)  It is OK to use honey, coconut sugar and maple syrup in moderation.

5)  It is OK to use almond milk, hemp milk, rice milk or a similar substitute for cow’s milk or soy milk.

6)  Avocados and coconuts are rich in good fats and are consequently very satisfying and filling to eat.

7)  Start each day with ¼ to ½ fresh squeezed lemon juice in warm to hot water. Drink this ½ hour before eating your breakfast.

8)  It is OK to eat chicken and fish for 5 meals per week on weeks #1 and #3. YOUR DIET WILL BE VEGAN FOR WEEK #2: Stick with only fruits, vegetables, non-gluten grains and legumes.

9)  Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Eat slowly and mindfully. Stop eating when you are full and satisfied, whether or not your plate is clean.

10)  Take probiotics 15 to 30 billion count capsules daily.

11)  Green smoothies make a great meal. Also, a Vegan cook book can give you good ideas for simple and delicious recipes (keeping in mind the restrictions from #1 above.) Consider enjoying a green drink daily.

12)  Keep a food journal so that you can remain conscious about your choices as well as to annotate how you are feeling physically and emotionally and to track your weight. Be aware that, especially during the first week, the detoxification process may be uncomfortable. So, remember your motivations for starting this cleanse and “keep the faith” and you will feel so much better once your body clears the toxins and you get into a rhythm with this new way of eating.  You may find that your taste for certain foods will change. For example, once the cleanse has been completed, you may find that sweets are now nauseatingly too sweet. And, notice how you feel when reintroducing gluten products, soy, milk products or meat. Are you more Sluggish? Constipated? Filled with Mucus? Achy? Mentally Dull or Sleepy? You may become motivated to continue a largely vegan diet because you will have more energy, clarity, and feel better physically and emotionally.

13)  If you aren’t losing weight as desired, you may be eating too much fruit, especially dried fruits, and/or nuts. Or, you may wish to manage your food portion size, and avoid eating second helpings and snacking.  Also, consider eating avocados or coconuts to experience fat triggered satiety.

14)  BE AWARE: for the first 3 to 7 days after starting the cleanse,  you may experience mild headaches, irritability, labile moods and fatigue as your body de-toxifies and the released toxins are circulating and being eliminated. THIS WILL PASS.  THEN YOU WILL NOTICE increased energy, mental clarity and emotional stability. Also, you will notice decreased joint pains and body aches.

15)  Consider adding a liver cleanse” on your second week:  Mix: 1 Tbs Safflower oil, 1 Tbs Olive Oil, 2 fresh squeezed lemons, 1 fresh squeezed orange, 1 tsp fresh grated garlic, 1 tsp fine grated ginger, and ¼ tsp cayenne pepper powder and drink upon awakening, preferably 2 hours before eating breakfast. Do this on Mon-Wed-Fri. Then, on Tues and Thurs, mix 1 cup unsweetened organic apple juice, 2 fresh squeezed lemons, 1 Tbs Safflower oil, 1 Tbs Olive oil, 1 tsp fresh grated garlic, 1 tsp fine grated ginger, and ¼ tsp cayenne pepper powder and drink this upon awakening, again preferably 2 hours before eating breakfast.

16)  ***IT IS BEST TO DO THIS CLEANSE WITH SUPPORT***. Invite your spouse or a good friend to join you on this adventure of self-discovery about how food can influence your consciousness and your physiology.

I have a trusted friend, who is a nutritionist, who offers an on-line fully guided 3-week food cleanse experience quarterly that is a gentle and a very effective program. She will contact you daily with very helpful suggestions, encouragement, and supportive information. And, there is also a group forum that adds additional support.  If you are interested, she can be contacted at www.ellenkittredge.com or email her at Ellen_Kittredge@yahoo.com (NOTE: there is an underline spacer between her first and last name.)

       

          TOXINS are one of the primary causes for energy loss and energetic imbalance in the body, and, consequently disease. For example: FATIGUE is a serious and chronic problem in our society. Toxin related imbalances can also result in a wide range of physical, emotional, and mental health issues.

          There are 3 important types of toxins to address:

  1. A) Exogenous, or external toxins are those present in the outside environment. Common problems include tap water, smog, alcohol, sugar and artificial sweeteners, food preservatives, additives and artificial flavorings, tobacco, pesticides, petrochemicals, heavy metals, viruses, bacteria, prescription medicines, and over-the-counter medicines.

Environmental stress puts a demand on the adrenals to produce the “Life Hormone”–Cortisol. Consider that cortisol sits at the base of a pyramid, with thyroid hormones sitting on top, followed by insulin, and the sex hormones. Depleted adrenal function will result in depleted thyroid function which will result in depleted insulin and sex hormones.

  1.  B)  Endogenous, or internal toxins produced in the body as a result of compromised digestion and inefficient metabolism. They result from poor eating habits, pancreatic digestive deficiency, an altered gut microbiome, and re-circulation of toxins because of constipation. Toxins are discharged by the liver, kidneys, lymph, colon, lungs and skin. As more toxins accumulate, they place severe stress on the organs of elimination. Consequently, the kidneys, liver and lymph system become less efficient in their ability to excrete these waste products. The toxins then accumulate in other organs and the connective tissues. The body tries to compensate by having the endocrine glands produce hormones to help stimulate detoxification. Over time these glands become tired/depleted. The end result is an inefficient elimination system with toxin accumulation.  When coupled with reduced organ functioning, an ideal environment is created for illness to flourish. Also,
  2. C)  Toxic thoughts and emotions add to systemic hyper-arousal and stress, hormone over-drive, and general systems compromise.

            STEP 1: REDUCE YOUR TOXIC BURDEN

Although it is impossible to eliminate all toxin exposure, it is important to minimize it so that our bodies can handle the residual load. For example, limit your exposure to LED Blue wavelength light from computer, tablet, and TV screens, and LED  light bulbs, especially at night, which will interfere with your melatonin release, and, consequently your sleep. Use glass containers instead of plastic containers (which contain plastic micro-particles). Avoid inhaling smoke and fumes from gasoline, paint, glue and cleaners. Eat locally grown organic foods in order to avoid pesticides in your food. Avoid eating GMOs—especially corn, including high fructose corn syrup. Avoid using artificial sweeteners. And, avoid using toxic house products, cosmetics, and grooming chemicals.

  • Avoid the following 3 types of PLASTICS:
  1. a) Number 7 plastic is polycarbonate. BPA is its basic building block. BPA is a hormone disrupter with strong estrogen effects. It also disrupts pancreatic cell function and leads to insulin resistance. It can be found in the lining of some single-use metal food and beverage containers, some reusable sports bottles, in single use microwave food containers, and was found in most plastic baby bottles. Heat and sunlight break down the plastic releasing BPA. {Welshons WV, et. al., “Large Effects from Small Exposures: mechanisms for endocrine-disrupting chemicals with estrogenic activity,” Environmental Health Perspective, 2003; 111(8):994-1006; and, Ho SM, et. al. “Developmental exposure to estradiol and bisphenol A increases susceptibility to prostate carcinogenesis and epigenetically regulates phosphodiesterase Type 4 variant 4”, Cancer Research, 2006; 66(11):5624-32.}
  2. b) Number 6 plastic is polystyrene. It is found in foam containers and clear disposable take out containers. It leaches styrene, a suspected human carcinogen. Foods with a high fat and alcohol content will leach out more of the toxin.
  3. c) Number 3 plastic has polyvinylchloride (PVC). It’s found in plastic food wrapping and cooking oil bottles. PVC commonly uses phthalates as a plasticizer in order to make the plastic soft and flexible. Unfortunately, it easily leaches out and acts as endocrine disrupters. They target the steroid hormone synthesis pathway and disrupt male sexual differentiation. Phthalates cause broad health effects, birth defects in baby boys, reproductive problems in men, thyroid and immune system disruption. REMEMBER: even though a plastic container may be labeled “microwave safe”, microwaves release plasticizers from the containers into your food. Instead, use plastic containers that have the numbers 1, 2, 4 and 5. NOTE: By eating clean food and avoiding phthalates, urine levels will diminish after 3 days.

 Therefore, Consider using stainless steel and glass containers for cooking and for storing food.

As reported in the news magazine The WEEK, November 9, 2018, {NationalGeographics.com}, “examining 39 brands of salt from 21 countries including the U.S., researchers found that 90% of the samples contained microplastics—defined as pieces less than 5 mm in size—with sea salt being the most contaminated, followed by lake salt and then rock salt. Plastic levels were highest in samples from Asia, a hot spot for plastic pollution; salt sold in Indonesia was the most polluted. Sea salt is a good indicator of the magnitude of microplastic pollution in the surrounding marine environment. The study estimates that the average adult consumes 2,000 pieces of microplastic every year from salt. In a separate study in Austria, researchers took stool samples from eight individuals in Europe, Japan, and Russia; all tested positive for microplastics. Plastic particles in the gut can affect the digestive system’s immune response, and aid in the transmission of toxic chemicals and pathogens.”

As reported in the magazine The WEEK, 16 November 2018, “Prenatal exposure to a type of chemical found in floor tiles, food packaging, shampoos, and cosmetics could cause language delays in young children, new research suggests. Scientists have long been concerned that phthalates, which make plastics more flexible and long-lasting, can affect the development of children’s brains. The new study—a collaboration between teams in Sweden and the U.S.–looked specifically at their impact on early speech development, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. Researchers tested urine samples from about 1,365 pregnant women, all in their first trimester, for phthalates. When the women’s children were between 30 and 37 months old, the researchers asked the mothers how many words their offspring used. They found that the children of women who had higher phthalate levels during pregnancy were more likely to suffer from a language delay, knowing fewer than 50 words. One of the study’s authors, Shanna Swan from Icahn School of Medicine in New York, advises pregnant women to try to reduce their exposure to phthalates by using scent-free personal-care products and phthalate-free nail polish. But she acknowledges that the chemicals are ‘hard to avoid,’ because they are ‘hidden in many household products, like vinyl floor covering and upholstery.’”

Also, the sheer volume of disposable plastic is clogging our oceans and landfill sites. Our waste plastic pollution is threatening the life forms in our oceans. We need to change our habits!   “The effect of discarded plastic bags on marine life can be staggering. When they are dropped as litter or blow off garbage piles, tey often wind up in storm drains or waterways. The bags then flow to the ocean, where sea creatures like turtles mistake them for jellyfish or some other food. Just consider the beached whale that washed up in the Philippines in March 2019 with 88 pounds of plastic in its gizzard. With humans dumping up to 13 million metric tons of plastic waste into the world’s oceans annually, how many other sea creatures are we needlessly killing?”  {From The Week, 4/12/19}

Here are some suggestions for reducing our plastic consumption: 1) Carry a reusable cloth bag. 2) Use plastic-free containers, such as glass or metal jars. 3) Pack a travel kit with bamboo cutlery, non-plastic food tray, straw, and water bottle. 4) Buy in bulk, to minimize packaging. 5) Consider purchasing second-hand items to avoid buying “new plastic”. 6) Recycle your plastic. 7) Wear natural clothes, and avoid synthetic fibers. 8) Make your own toiletries. 9) Do without products using plastic.

  • AVOID TOXIC HEAVY METALS: There is an hypothesis that neurological conditions such as autism, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other degenerative diseases of the brain are aggravated by mercury toxicity (found in deep sea fish like tuna, and in thimerosol, (which was formerly, but is NO LONGER, used in vaccinations as a preservative), dental amalgams and contaminated supplements. Mercury depletes mitochondrial glutathione {our primary anti-oxidant} by 50% and poisons the cardiovascular system. Symptoms of mercury poisoning include: tremors, insomnia, memory loss, neuromuscular effects, headaches, cognitive and motor dysfunctions.

A protocol has been developed by Dietrich Klinghardt, MD. He first recommends avoiding  allergens and toxic foods in the diet such as gluten, dairy, and processed foods. Then, he adds sublingual vitamin B12 and folate to restore methylation which protects cells from toxins, including mercury. Most people’s immune systems can detoxify some mercury. However, 20% of the population have a genetic methylation defect which compromises their ability to detoxify mercury. He also recommends supplements to restore cellular metabolism {discussed in the book “The Puzzle of Autism” by Dr. Amy Yasko}. Finally, he adds transdermal-2,3-dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid (TD-DMPS) to chelate and eliminate mercury and lead from the central nervous system. {NOTE: if using TD-DMPS, take a balanced mineral supplement to replenish nutritional metals like zinc, copper, and molybdenum. It can be obtained from College Pharmacy at 866-828-8203.} Another approach is to use ZEOLITE (see below).

  • AVOID INSECTICIDES, FUNGICIDES AND HERBICIDES: Pesticides pervade our lives. They are associated with birth defects, cancers, neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis, cardiovascular diseases, and thyroid diseases. Unfortunately, pesticides are pervasive within our foods. NOTE, anything put onto the skin is absorbed even better than when eaten. Thus, avoid direct skin contact (and inhalation) with pesticides. For example: 1) Gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane (Lindane) is a pesticide which is a carcinogen. An oral ingestion study demonstrated it was a liver carcinogen. An inhaled long term exposure study showed it was associated with effects on the liver, blood, nervous system, cardiovascular and immune systems {EPA Hazard Summary, Apr 1992, revised Jan 2000.} 2) The following are known endocrine disruptors: polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs); polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), phenol derivatives, organochlorine insecticides– like endosufan and DDT, the herbicide atrazine, and the fungicide vinclozolin. According to The Week, 4/12/19: “About 70 percent of U.S. Produce has pesticide residue even after being washed, a new study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found. Strawberries, spinach, and kale had the highest levels of pesticides, the advocacy group said.”
  • AVOID TOXIC HOUSE PRODUCTS: Examples include: 1) trichloroethylene, used in dry cleaning, is associated with cancers of the kidney, liver, lymphatic systems and the cervix {EPA Hazard Summary, Ap 1992, revised Jan 2000.} 2) Perfluoroctanoic acid (PFOA) is used for coating house materials (to provide water and oil resistance) such as with: carpeting, carpet care liquids, upholstery, apparels, textiles, wax and wax remover, sealants, dental floss, food contact paper, and cookwares. It is an endocrine disruptor. According to a 2009 study, it is associated with infertility: increasing the time to get pregnant, decreasing semen quality, affecting breast maturation in young girls, and with the late onset puberty. It also alters thyroid hormone levels. Thus, choose house building materials wisely: naturaldeco.co.uk.

          MAKE YOUR OWN BODY PRODUCTS:  Use essential oils (eg. Lemon oil or orange oil) along with coconut, shea or jojoba oils.

MAKE YOUR OWN HOUSE CLEANSERS: use essential oils, lemon juice, and vinegar. Also, bleach is great to destroy viruses.

  • DECREASE OR ELIMINATE DRINKING Ethyl ALCOHOL– (Especially Women). Research shows that drinking, binge drinking, and extreme binge drinking by women are all increasing. While alcohol misuse by anyone presents serious public health concerns, women who drink have a higher risk of certain alcohol-related problems compared to men. Women should be aware of these health risks and make informed decisions about alcohol use. In the United States, a standard drink is one that contains about 14 grams (0.6 fluid ounces) of “pure” alcohol. The percent of pure alcohol varies within and across beverage types: for example: 2 ounces of beer with about 5 percent alcohol content; 5 ounces of wine with about 12 percent alcohol content; and, 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits with about 40 percent alcohol content.  Although the standard drink amounts are helpful for following health guidelines, they may not reflect customary serving sizes. A large cup of beer, an over-poured glass of wine, or a single mixed drink could contain much more alcohol than a “standard drink”.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which are intended to help individuals improve and maintain overall health and reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, moderate alcohol consumption is up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. Studies show that women start to have alcohol-related problems sooner and at lower drinking levels than men and for multiple reasons. On average, women weigh less than men. Also, alcohol resides predominantly in body water, and pound for pound, women have less water in their bodies than men: less lean body mass and more fat mass. This means that after a woman and a man of the same weight drink the same amount of alcohol, the woman’s blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”, the amount of alcohol in the blood) will tend to be higher, putting her at greater risk for harm.

Women are more susceptible to alcohol-related heart disease than men, even though they may consume less alcohol over their lifetime than men. Research suggests that alcohol misuse produces brain damage more quickly in women than in men. In addition, because alcohol can disrupt the development of the brain during the adolescent years, teen girls who drink may be more vulnerable to brain damage than teen boys who drink. Women also may be more susceptible than men to alcohol-related blackouts, defined as periods of memory loss of events during intoxication without loss of consciousness.

 Drinking alcohol is an independent risk factor for developing cancers. Regular alcohol use increases Estrone. There is an association between drinking alcohol and developing breast cancer.  Depending on the study: women who consume about one drink per day have a 5–9 percent higher chance of developing breast cancer than women who do not drink at all. That risk increases for every additional drink they have per day. Also reported, women who drink more than 3 alcoholic drinks per week increase their risk for breast cancer by 20% to 70%. {Smith-Warner SA, et. al., “Alcohol and Breast Cancer in Women: a pooled analysis of cohort studies, JAMA, 1998; 279:535-540; Hamajima N, et. al., “Alcohol, Tobacco, and Breast Cancer—collaborative reanalysis of individual data from 53 epidemiological studies, including 58,515 women with breast cancer and 95,067 women without disease,” Br J Cancer, 2002; 87:1234-45; Nielsen NR, et. al., Int J Cancer, 2008 Mar 1; 122(5):1109-13.} Especially note: any drinking during pregnancy can be harmful.  A woman who drinks during pregnancy puts her fetus at risk for physical, cognitive, and/or behavioral problems.

  • DO CELL PHONES CAUSE HEALTH PROBLEMS?

          According to the National Cancer Institute (in their online publication, updated 1/9/2019), globally there are more than 5 billion cell phone users. The number of cell phone calls per day, the length of each call, and the amount of time people use cell phones has dramatically increased. Many people are concerned that cell phones will cause cancer and other serious health problems. Cell phones emit low levels of radio-frequency energy/radiation (RF). Hundreds of studies in the U.S. and in Europe have failed to show an association between exposure to RF energy and health problems. Low frequency RF energy is non-ionizing radiation, like sunlight and microwaves. In contrast, high frequency ionizing radiation, like X-rays and Gamma rays, strip electrons away from atoms and can damage biological tissues, including DNA. RF energy is not sufficient to ionize atoms. Large amounts of RF energy can create heat and cause tissue damage, especially to the eyes and the testes {because low blood flow to these areas doesn’t carry away excessive heat}. However, the quantity of RF energy from cell phones does NOT create sufficient heat to raise body temperature and to be problematic.

          Analyzing sources of funding behind 49 cell phone and human health studies published in the past 10 years saw no apparent link between the source of funding and the direction of the conclusions: the use of cell phones is not associated with increased risk of brain tumors in humans. A cohort study, conducted in Denmark, evaluating 358,000 cell phone users with brain tumors, demonstrated no association between cell phone use and the incidence of gliomas, meningiomas, or acoustic neuromas, even among people using cell phones for over 13 years. The “Million Women” prospective cohort study, conducted in the United Kingdom evaluated self-reported cell phone use and found no increased risk of gliomas, meningiomas nor other CNS tumors. The largest case-control study of cell phone use, “The Interphone Study”, conducted by a consortium of 13 countries showed no statistically significant increase in CNS cancers related to cell phone use. Although cell phone use has dramatically increased, the overall incidence of brain tumors has been stable-unchanged.

There have been a few studies, which get great fear-mongering press attention, showing some evidence of a statistical association between cell phone use and brain tumors. Reasons for these discrepancies include: recall bias, participation bias, inaccurate reporting, changing technology and methods of use. Older cell phones used analog technology, while todays cell phones use digital technology which operate at a lower power level. And, texting and hands-free technology reduce the distance of the cell phone from the body, which diminishes RF exposure.  There are theoretical concerns regarding children because their heads are smaller, the thickness of their craniums is thinner, and they have the potential of accumulating more years of cell phone exposure than adults. There are several studies under way to evaluate these concerns. Thus far, data does not support these theoretical concerns. A case controlled study called CEFALO, conducted in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland, evaluating children 7 to 19 years old, between 2004 and 2008, found no association between cell phone use and brain tumor risk either by time since initiation of use, amount of use, or by the location of the brain tumor. In February 2018 the FDA and Federal Communications Commission (who share responsibility for regulating cell phone technologies)  issued a statement: “we believe the current safety limits for cell phones are acceptable for protecting the public health.”

THE BIGGEST RISK ASSOCIATED WITH CELL PHONE USE IS TEXTING WHILE DRIVING WITH DISTRACTED DRIVING CAUSING ACCIDENTS.

Studies are on-going. Although fears remain that there is an association between cell phone use and fatigue, headaches, decreased concentration, increased heart rate and increased blood pressure, decreased quality and function of sperm, and decreased melatonin production, there are many other potential causes. However, in order to reduce your fears, consider: 1) reserving the use of cell phones for shorter conversations and for when landline phones are not available; 2) use hands-free technology, such as wired headsets or ear pieces, which place more distance between the phone and your head; 3) don’t sleep with your cell phone next to your pillow; and, 4) DON’T TEXT WHILE DRIVING. {Also, reference an article in VOX, by Julia Belluz, edited by Eliza Barclay, “A comprehensive guide to the messy, frustrating science of cellphones and health”, 11/2/2018.}

  • BLUE (LED) LIGHT PROTECTION:  {According to a presentation by Dave Asprey called: “A Systems Approach to Metabolic Aging Through the Eyes,” at the A4M  International Congress in Las Vegas, 15 Dec 2018:}  Like food, light can be both a both a nutrient and a drug. Light exposure changes our biology and affects our cognitive function. The dominant light spectrum in LED lights is blue.The blue spectrum of light is like the high-fructose corn syrup of vision.”  Exposure to blue light disturbs sleep, increases insulin resistance, increases body fat weight, and increases the incidence of CVD and strokes. Since 1997, LEDs have economically replaced most incandescent light bulbs, and they dominate TV, tablet and computer screens and cell phone screens. Blue light hurts the eyes, slows mitochondrial function and decreases sleep quality. Blue light adversely affects the circadian rhythms, reduces melatonin release, decreases mitochondrial growth, increases depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD), increases cancer risks, and increases anxiety. The main effect of blue light is upon the mitochondria. It produces aging: increasing free radicals and damaging mitochondrial DNA. It also causes the retinal ganglion cells melanopsin receptors to self-destruct—resulting in an increase in macular degeneration.

The red spectrum of light upgrade brain functions, energizes cells, and slows aging.  Red lights also help to quickly resolve jet lag.  Mr. Asprey advise everyone to wear orange colored glasses indoors to block out excessive blue light exposure. It will decrease eye stress, increase energy, improve blood sugar regulation, and improve sleep. Use red light bulbs after sunset, especially if you need to be up and functioning late at night, in order to protect your eyes, and help you to eventually sleep. Also, use red light strips or a red light bulb in your office to improve the ratio of blue to red light wavelengths. You will notice a decrease in your pain and inflammation, improved collagen density in your skin with decreased skin roughness, a reversal of photo-aging of your skin, increased nitric oxide production, and a rescue of neurons from apoptosis. {Additionally, supplementing with bilberry extract, lutein, and astaxanthin in Krill Oil can also help to protect your eyes.}

        STEP 2:  ENHANCE DETOXIFICATION AND THE ELIMINATION OF TOXINS

  • DRINK PLENTY OF CLEAN WATER. A good rule-of-thumb: divide your weight in half and drink that amount of water in ounces each day. {Also, consider adding a pinch of sea salt to each glass to help transport the water better into your cells.}  Volvic water from France and Fiji water are good choices. Also, “Mountain Valley Spring Water” which comes in glass bottles, is a good choice. Or, consider drinking non-distilled, pure filtered water. Our tap water is treated with chlorine which can cause cancer causing hypochlorites, which can also displace iodine, which can result in hypothyroidism.

STRUCTURED WATER:  structure determines function. For example, crystalline silicone dioxide is quartz versus amorphous SiO2 is glass; and, the difference between a diamond, graphite and coal is the structure of carbon. Consuming structured water helps to enhances detoxification. For example, sunlight creates structured water which holds energy through charge separation. Thus, in addition to trapping energy from sunlight by photosynthesis, sunlight can directly give the body energy by structuring water. Approximately 70% of the human body is water: For example, the brain is 70% water, lungs 90%, blood 82%, skin 80%, muscle 75%, bones 22%. The water inside of a cell is in the state of a gel. Functioning molecules are suspended in this gel. Prayer, sunlight and the music of Mozart all can help to enhance the organized structure of water for optimal health. Using a spinner to create vortex (structured) water can also be beneficial. {Ling, Gilbert Ning, “The Physical State of Water in Living Cell and Model Systems,” 2006, Dec 16, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences; 125(2):401-417; Das, Ronnie; Pollack, Gerald H., “Charge Based Forces at the Nafion-Water Interface,” 2013, Feb 26; Longmuir; 29(8):2651-2658; Pollack, Gerald H.; 2001, “Cells, Gels and the Engines of Life: a new unifying approach to cell function”; Seattle: Ebner & Sons; Matveev, VV, “Native Aggregation As a Cause of Origin of Temporary Cellular Structures Needed For all Forms of Cellular Activity, Signaling and Transformations”, 2010 June; Theoretical Biology and Medical Modeling; 7:19; Jaeken, Laurent and Matveev, Vladimir, “Coherent Behavior and the Bound State of Water and K+ Imply Another Model of Bioenergetics: negative entropy instead of high energy bonds”, 2012 Sept; (PDF) The Open Biochemistry Journal; 6:139-159; Shimokawa, Shigezo, et. al., Japan Society of Applied Physics, 2007 Jan 10; “Effects of Sunlight on Liquid Structure of Water”, 46(1).}  Glacier melt and waters with volcanic ash in them are rich in colloidal minerals (held in suspension—the gel state and not dissolved). Flowing rivers, especially with water falls,  create vortices which create structure water which locks in colloidal minerals which provide for regenerative nutrition for plants, and, then subsequently, for animals. MRI studies have demonstrated that chronic diseases have a chaotic water structure. And, they also have demonstrated that eating a good diet can re-order water structure and reverse tissue aging.

DON’T DRINK alkaline ionized water on a regular basis. Tap water, distilled water, bottled water are all acidic. Several poor studies, using an ionizing filtration system (such as obtained from www.enagic.com), which produces Japanese “Kangen water”, (which can also be purchased at a Whole Foods grocery store), have stated that it is beneficial for reducing inflammation because, reportedly it scavenges free radicals and acts as an antioxidant. HOWEVER, it is neutralized by the hydrochloric acid in the stomach and it will also dilute the stomach acid. Reducing stomach acid can be detrimental with long-term usage, because it will impair digestion and nutrient absorption.

Home ozone water purification machines are available. A cost effective machine from Longevity Resources of British Columbia can be obtained by calling 877-543-3398 for information. Ozone can eliminate infectious agents and oxidize organic chemicals in the water. It won’t remove fluoride nor heavy metals from the water. You would need distillation or reverse osmosis to do that. Also, alkaline water plus hydrogen rich water reportedly can be beneficial. A Q-plate Vesta H2 Water Ionizer can be obtained from www.alkalinewaterplus.com for about $3000.

         AVOID  plastic bottle storage. Dehydration increases the body’s acidity (which is problematic). Therefore, consider keeping well hydrated by making and drinking “Adrenal-Aid”: mix 100 to 120 ounces of pure structured water with a pinch of Pink Salt (to taste), 3 tablespoons of lemon juice or raw apple cider vinegar, and raw honey (to taste) and sip it throughout the day. You can test your morning urine with a digital pH meter: desired goal is a pH >6.7 to detoxify. If your pH measures <6.7, then you need to actively detoxify your body.

  • So-called, “Alkalinizing” the body may help to promote detoxification. So-called “alkalinizing” the body helps to reduce inflammation. A) It IS a good idea to limit eating a lot of animal food products: meat, fish, dairy; and, also, to limit coffee, tea, and wheat flour (but not because these are all ostensibly “acidifying”). All alcoholic beverages are also supposedly “acidifying”. B) Using so-called “alkaline foods” are a good idea. It IS important to increase the quantity of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes in your diet (but not because they are ostensibly “alkalinizing”). When digested, all citrus, berries, apples and melons are so-called “alkaline”. Seaweeds and sea salt are also ostensibly “alkalinizing”. Fermented soy products such as tofu and tempeh are also ostensibly “alkalinizing”, as are spices such as chili, cinnamon, curry and ginger.

The systemic acid-base balance, the pH is closely maintained– (7.35-7.45)– through a combination of both intracellular and extracellular buffering and by regulatory mechanisms in the lungs and kidneys. Maintenance of pH is crucial for proper functioning of cellular mechanisms and the normal functioning of all enzymes. Necessary adjustments of pH occur through control of arterial carbon dioxide levels (pCO2—which is acidic and mediated by the central nervous system and the respiratory system) and the plasma bicarbonate level (HCO3—which is basic and mediated by the kidneys.) Under most circumstances, carbon dioxide production and ventilation are matched, and a steady state carbon dioxide level of about 40 mmHg is maintained. The kidneys regulate plasma bicarbonate levels through reabsorption of filtered bicarbonate, formation of titratable acid, and excretion of nitrogen ions (NH4) in the urine. Thus, serum pH is tightly controlled, and deviations are a result of disease processes. ***THUS, It is a MISCONCEPTION that eating so-called “alkaline” and “acidic” foods, and drinking “alkaline” water will significantly affect the serum pH (acid-base balance). While so-called “alkaline” fruits and veggies DO have health benefits, it isn’t because they affect the serum pH.

CONSIDER: doing a 7 day “veggie cleanse” seasonally . The more “raw vegetables and fruits” the better. Minimize canned, boxed, processed, refined, over cooked and microwaved foods. AVOID all meat, fish, dairy, eggs, sugar, alcohol, sodas, coffee and tea. Get family support and participation. Drink lots of plain water. Make a 7-day meal plan and prepare several recipes in advance and rotate eating them. Consider snacking with a small quantity of HEALTHY FATS such as nuts, coconut mana, and avocados between meals and at bedtime in order to avoid hunger.

  • EAT LOCAL ORGANIC FOODS: Organic foods have 40% more nutrients and 30% more antioxidants than cheaper produce. Choosing foods from Farmer’s Markets that are grown locally is important for your overall health and well-being. Choose your fish wisely: avoid fish from Alaska and the Pacific ocean because of the Fukishima melt-down radiation; and, limit king makerel, tilefish, swordfish and sharks because of heavy metal concentrations. It is OK to eat flounder, wild salmon, sardines, herring and catfish. And, READ Food Labels.
  • CONNECT WITH NATURE:
  1. A) GROUNDING or “Earthing” is the direct barefoot contact with the surface of the Earth which promotes electron balance in the body and improves health and reduces inflammation. Normal metabolism creates free radicals. Go outdoors at least twice per day for at least 5 minutes: although, if you are unhealthy, 20 to 40 minutes a day may be needed to restore your energetic balance because chronic conditions require a longer contact. Put your feet directly on the earth. Walking on the grass, sand, dirt or concrete barefooted or with conductive foot wear such as cotton socks, nylons and leather shoes directly connects us to the Earth and discharges accumulated energies, which left alone can precipitate disease states. Rubber and plastic soles are non-conductive and literally keep one from synchronizing and harmonizing the energies.Grounding pads and sheets can also be purchased to be used during sleep. {Reference the book: “Earthing: the most important health discovery ever?” or grounded.com.}  Grounding reduces inflammation, blood viscosity, pain and stress. The nervous system and skin conductance is altered within 2 seconds of grounding your feet into the soil. {Oschman JL, et. al., “The Effects of Grounding (Earthing) on Inflammation, the Immune Response, Wound Healing and Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Inflammatory and Autoimmune Diseases,” J Inflamm Res, 2015 Mar 24; 8:83-96.}
  2. B) FOREST BATHING:  “Connection to Nature increases our general sense of well-being and bolsters our immunity, so we’re not as susceptible to getting sick. Phytoncides are produced to help plants and trees protect themselves from harmful insects and germs; in the process, they help us in similar ways. Negative ions are tiny molecules produced in nature that offer mood-enhancing benefits. When we “forest bathe”–spend time sitting and walking in natural environments—we breathe in phytoncides, negative ions, and soil bacteria; together they provide health benefits. Walking in the woods even once a month boosts immunity.

          Trees emit phytoncides, basically plant essential oils, to protect themselves. We’ve evolved alongside trees, so what protects them will also protect us. Alpha-pinene and beta-pinene are two phytoncides found in the forest—released from trees when the temperature rises above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Inhaling these fragrances lowers blood pressure and increases our sense of comfort and being at ease. Phytoncides also increase our bodies’ natural killer cell activity, which is part of the immune system’s way of fighting off cancer. The immune boost from just 15 minutes in the forest lasts up to 30 days, suggesting that a forest bath once a month is enough to sustain higher levels of immunity.

Negative ions are invisible molecules found in the forest, the mountains, and near water, such as oceans and waterfalls. When you visit these places, you absorb the negative ions into your bloodstream, which produces a biochemical reaction that boosts production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that’s responsible for alleviating depression and relieving stress. The negatively ionized air promotes alpha brain waves and increases brain wave amplitude, creating an overall clear and calming effect.

Additionally, direct contact with Mother Earth provides adsorption of trillions of soil based organisms who are “old friends” to our skin and our gut which help to keep us healthy. A cure to distress can be found in a handful of forest soil. Exposure to the soil bacteria Mycobacterium vaccae can improve our immune health and emotional health by acting as a natural antidepressant that increases the release and metabolism of serotonin in parts of the brain that control cognitive function.”  {Extracted from an article: “The Healing Magic of Forest Bathing” by Julia Plevin found in the magazine Spirituality and Health, March/April 2019.}

  1. C) The electromagetic beat (frequency) of the Earth is synchronized with the human heart and brain. These Schumann waves have a 7.83 Hertz frequency. Astronauts in space required a Schumann wave generator in order to stay healthy. Without experiencing the 7.83 Hz frequency, human health declines. {Wever, R., “The Effects of Electronic Fields on Circadian Rhythmicity in Men,” Life Sci Space Research, 1970; 8(1):77-87.}
  • Focus on your BREATHING and RELAXING: take 25 slow, counted breaths three times per day. Un-commit your time schedule. Soak for 15 to 20 minutes in a tub of hot water with 5-6 cups of Epsom salts (Also, add several drops of Lavender essential oil to promote relaxation.) Pamper yourself and put yourself first for at least ½ hour per day.
  • BREATHE CLEAN AIR: Each year millions of tons of toxic pollutants are released into the air predominantly from factories, automotive cars and trucks, forest fires, and accidental releases. {EPA.gov} Go for a walk in a forest or along the ocean shore to breathe in refreshing clean air and healthful negative ions. The best way to clean the air in your home or office is to fill your space with PLANTS Palms. You can also use HEPA and UV filters. Using an oxygen concentrator, especially when exercising, can be beneficial. A “Platinum 10 O2 Concentrator” can be obtained for about $1000 from PowerMed Regenerative Lifestyles. It helps to reduce reactive oxygen species which can damage body tissues.
  • BOWEL HEALTH: Promote REGULAR BOWEL MOVEMENTS. Our gastrocolic reflex programs the bowels to contract after eating. A healthy bowel moves 3 times per day after meals. Constipation lowers the production of B-vitamins and serotonin; lowers the metabolism of hormones; and, encourages the reabsorption of toxins which were meant to be eliminated from the body. Bowel organisms such as Candida and Mycoplasma can impair absorption of nutrients and cause an acidic environment. It is VERY IMPORTANT to increase plain water intake. Correct thyroid insufficiency. Consider re-training the bowel to contract after eating:  A) Increase dietary fiber and fiber supplementation such as using Metamucil (psyllium fiber)– 2 Tbs in 8 oz water once or twice per day. B) Vitamin C >6 gm daily, along with magnesium oxide or citrate, can be very beneficial. C) Add Senna or an herbal formula such as “CleanseMore” once or twice per day to stimulate peristalsis. D) Add probiotics 15 to 30 billion count capsules with each meal. Also, add soil-based organisms eg. “Megasporebiotics”– 2 capsules daily.  Continue this regimen for a month and then use it as needed.

Consider using BENTONITE (a clay slurry) which helps adsorb and remove toxins from the intestines.

Consider using ACTIVATED CHARCOAL. The preferred source of activated charcoal is heated coconut shells, although other organic materials such as wood, peat or coal can be heated then powdered and turned into capsules or tablets. 1 gram of charcoal has a surface area equivalent to a football field. Thus, a small amount is able to adsorb (condense and bind) a large amount of toxins to excrete them through the stool. Charcoal has been used to adsorb ingested poisons and drug overdoses. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with every toxin. BE AWARE: charcoal not only removes toxins, it can also remove important nutrients, so don’t use it every day. Don’t take it within 2 hours of eating nor at the same time that you take supplements or any prescription medications. Drink a lot of water after taking charcoal to help flush out the toxins. It can also be useful for helping to relieve intestinal gas and indigestion.

          ZEOLITE is a volcanic mineral with a honeycomb crystalline structure which can detoxify and strengthen the immune system. The chambers within the honeycomb structure are negatively charged which attracts positively charged toxins like lead, mercury and nitrosamines. Once bound, the body can then excrete the heavy metals and toxins. Zeolite also helps to “alkalinize the body”. Alkalinizing minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium are within the zeolite crystal structure. Heavy metals impair kidney function. Thus, zeolite helps to bind and rid the body of toxins and consequently helps to improve kidney function and balance the body’s acid/base pH. Zeolite also helps to increase T-cell activity and to increase the number of macrophages. Zeolite can support intestinal wall integrity and decrease excessive “leaky gut” permeability. Because heavy metals like mercury can result in depression, excessive anger, and problems with anxiety, zeolite detoxification can support positive moods. And, zeolites have a powerful antimicrobial activity. It has been used to treat urinary tract infections and dental plaques. It can also adsorb viral particles within its crystalline cages. Treating patients with cancer daily for one month with zeolite can help to restore their immune systems. You need to supplement with a high quality source product that has been properly cleansed and sized for optimal adsorption. A good product is available from Touchstone Essentials and also from MDPrescriptives.

If there is poor improvement, consider heavy metal toxicity, and measure serum levels. THEN, Consider ORAL CHELATION for heavy metals, including mercury, using  a humic and fulvic acid complex, for example: 1 capsule twice daily for 5 days per week– (“Metal Magnet” www.enzy.com). If acutely toxic, then intravenous chelation therapy is indicated. ALSO, Consider removing any mercury amalgam fillings and replacing them with non-toxic substitutes.

  • ENHANCE YOUR NATURAL LIVER DETOXIFICATION SYSTEM: A key function of the liver is the conversion of lipid soluble metabolites and toxins into water soluble products that can be eliminated largely by the kidneys. Phase one detoxification is mainly controlled by the P450 enzyme system. Phase two detoxification is largely managed by the processes of methylation and by donating sulfur groups, followed by elimination of these complexes by the kidneys and the colon.  Thus, to enhance the substrates used for these processes consider supplementing with water soluble vitamin C, and lipid soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Also, consider taking n-acetyl cysteine (NAC). AND, eat cruciferous veggies and garlic for their high sulfur content. And, be aware that Vitamin B12 (in the form of methyl-cobalamin) is a great source for methylation.
  • SKIN ELIMINATION OF TOXINS: EXERCISING and vigorous physical activity is a great way to promote perspiration and elimination of toxins from your body. Enjoy a SAUNA: you can help to flush toxins from your system through your skin by perspiration. Especially, exercising followed by a sauna is also very relaxing and helpful.
  • Detoxify by consuming CHLOROPHYLLIN. It is a water-soluble form of chlorophyll which binds to many chemicals, allowing the body to safely eliminate them. It helps to neutralize major oxygen species and acts to protect mitochondria against oxidative damage by free radicals. It can help prevent the development of hepatocellular carcinoma and other environmentally induced cancers. It protects against breast, pancreatic and colon cancers. A mycotoxin produced by molds, aflatoxin, is a carcinogen and associated with lung cancer and gall bladder cancer. Chlorophyllin binds to the carcinogenic byproducts of aflatoxin metabolism decreasing bioavailability of these cancer producing chemicals. Taking 100 mg of chlorophyllin with the heaviest meal of the day can help reduce dietary and environmental toxins. A proprietary brand is available from LifeExtension.com for about $24 for a bottle of 100 capsules.

          Here is a recipe for a tasty “GREEN DRINK”:  Mix in a food processor: 2 peeled cucumbers, 2-3 large leaves of kale, 4-5 large lettuce leave (preferably not ice berg lettuce), 2 cups of spinach, ½ cup of parsley, a handful of cilantro, ½ cup of beets, ½ jalapeno without the seeds, 2 to 3 celery stalks, a handful of swiss chard or dandelion greens, 2 carrots, 2 green apples, 2 whole lemons or limes freshly squeezed, and 1 cup of coconut water. Enjoy!

  • CONSIDER INTERMITTENT FASTING:
  1. A) ***TIME RESTRICTED FASTING***–eating ad libitum within a specified time frame, during daylight hours or for 7 or 8 hours/day resulting in a 13 to 16 hour fast. This is the easiest way to incorporate fasting within most people’s life-style. It is most useful for managing and maintaining weight loss. It is easy to adapt, minimally disruptive, but relies upon a regular eating schedule. {Owen E, et. al., Adv Exp Med Biol; 1979;111:169-88; Kerndt PR, et. al., West J Med; 1982;137:379-399}.

Align yourself with your natural circadian rhythmsWe are meant to eat during the day and to fast at night.  If we eat later at night: our cortisol response becomes flattened, our glucose tolerance decreases, and we experience changes in our body temperature rhythm. There is increased lipid catabolism and increased leptin secretion: Leptin is a hormone predominantly made in adipose cells that also helps to regulate energy balance. It inhibits the experience of hunger. (The actions of leptin are opposed in balance by the actions of the hormone ghrelin, the so-called “hunger hormone”.) In people who are obese, there is a decreased receptor sensitivity to leptin which results in an inability to detect satiety despite high energy stores and high levels of leptin. Additionally, when eating after sundown, there is increased oxidative metabolism in the muscles; increased gluconeogenesis, mitochondrial biogenesis, and glycolysis in the liver; and, increased glucagon secretion by the pancreas. The body is trying to produce and store-up energy, and enhance energy utilization efficiency when food sources aren’t available. It is a time for enhancing repair mechanisms and clean-up.

          When we eat during the day: our fat cells increase lipogenesis and adiponectin production: {Adiponectin is a protein hormone that modulates several metabolic processes, including glucose regulation and fatty acid oxidation. Adiponectin is secreted from adipose tissue.  It helps with energy metabolism and with weight loss, and it is decreased in people who are obese. It triggers insulin receptors to work more effectively.} Our muscles increase fatty acid uptake and glycolytic metabolism; our liver increases glycogen synthesis, decreases cholesterol synthesis, and increases bile acid synthesis; and, our pancreas increases insulin secretion. Our bodies are primed to effectively use energy for exertional and metabolic work. Do a 24 hour to 36 hour fast weekly. Fasting causes the body to support the healthiest cells and triggers programmed cell death (apoptosis) in older cells and abnormal cells like cancer cells. Thus, regular fasting is a way to flush-out older and less vigorous cells thereby optimizing the body’s healthiest cells.

Fasting triggers a dramatic switch in the body’s metabolism, according to a paper Mattson and colleagues published in February (2018) in the experimental biology journal FASEB. In humans, fasting for 12 hours or more drops the levels of glycogen, a form of the cellular fuel glucose. Like changing to a backup gas tank, the body switches from glucose to fatty acids, a more efficient fuel. The switch generates the production of ketones, which are energy molecules that are made in the liver. ‘When the fats are mobilized and used to produce ketones, we think that is a key factor in accruing the health benefits,’ says Mattson.

One type of ketone flooding the brain is beta-hydroxybutyrate, or BHB. According to a paper published in February (2018) in Nature Reviews Neuroscience, BHB stimulates memory, learning and the cellular housekeeping process of autophagy in mice. BHB also triggers neurons, including those in the hippocampus, a memory center in the brain, to release what’s called brain-derived neurotropic factor, or BDNF, a protein that is important for learning, memory and improved mood. Calorie Restriction doesn’t generate these levels of ketones because glucose stores are never empty.

Mattson points out that, from an evolutionary perspective, the brain power that fasting generates makes sense. Mammals typically go days without food, often hunting on an empty belly. Semi-starved animals with enhanced smarts and energy would be more likely to obtain food and live another day. ‘If you are that wolf or lion, now a week with no food, you better be able to focus your mind and concentrate on what you need to do to get food,’  he says.

Ketones might also help explain several mysteries surrounding brain injuries and disorders. For instance, fasting rodents recover more fully from brain trauma and spinal cord injury, according to several studies.”  {pp. 34-35, Discover Magazine, Oct 2018.}

  1. B) ***INTERMITTENT SHORT-TERM FASTING***: stimulates the body’s protection and rejuvenation modes. My preference is a 3-Day Water-Only Fast done 2 to 3 times per year. There are tremendous health benefits to intermittent short-term fasting: it increases insulin sensitivity, increases PGC1 alpha activity {which is involved in mitochondrial biogenesis, improved thyroid hormone receptor functioning, increased neurotransmitter functioning, and decreasing oxidative stress}, reduces inflammation, and oxidative stress, reduces excess fluids, improves adaptive responses and improves cognition, decreases neuro-degeneration, stimulates human growth hormone (HGH), stimulates brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), enhances weight loss, improves blood pressure and resting heart rate, and provides cancer protection. In a study of normal men who fasted, their HGH levels increased by 5-fold. They also had an increase in lean muscle mass and bone mass. (A low level of HGH causes increased body fat, decreased lean mass and osteopenia.) {Hartman M., et. al., J Clin Endocrinol Metab; 1992:74(4):757-65} And, their BDNF levels improved with improved cognitive functioning; they had improved brain signaling, regulation of appetite, and improved peripheral glucose metabolism; and, they had improved vagal control for their cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems. Potential down-sides: This approach is NOT effective if too many calories are eaten when not fasting. There is a potential rebound effect on ghrelin, the hunger hormone, when not fasting. It may impact the ability to do more intense exercising, and, in animal studies, it can affect fertility. It is unknown if people can sustain compliance with this for the long term. It is important to avoid excessive fasting because it will be catabolic and will compromise your immune system, increase nutritional deficiencies, decrease your muscle mass, and decrease your life-span. {Mattson MP, Ageing Res Rev; 2012b;11:347-352 (22394472); Heilbronn LK, et. al., Obes Res, 2005;13:574-81; Heilbron LK, et. al., Am J Clin Nutr, 2005;81:69-73}
  •  Finally, if your gut remains unhealthy, consider using an Antibiotic Regimen: Intestinal bacterial overgrowth is known to be present in up to 50% of patients with chronic diagnoses of fibromyalgia syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, scleroderma, systemic lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and other arthritides. After re-balancing appropriate hormones, optimizing a plant-based diet and ensuring adequate nutrients, the immune system may be supported by empiric treatment with minocycline (which is better than doxycycline because of its extended spectrum of activity, greater tissue penetrability, less sun sensitization, and higher and more sustained serum levels).  Treat for 1 to 12 months for long standing conditions with severe pain. For Minocin, use 100 mg HS Monday, Wednesday and Friday initially and increase to 200 mg HS. May substitute Biaxin, Zithromax, or Cleocin  3x/week if Minocin is not tolerated. ***IT IS ESSENTIAL TO supplement with high doses of probiotics.***

       STEP 3:  CULTIVATE A HEALTHY ATTITUDE

 

          A field of EPIGENETICS, known as SOCIAL GENOMICS studies how our social interactions change the expression of our DNA. Not surprisingly, positive interactions lead to positive genomic expressions and negative interactions lead to negative effects. Three important triggers for the more common negative genomic expressions include: social isolation, social rejection, and social conflict. Our genetic mechanisms evolved to interpret these messages as a sign that we’re going to experience injury, so it prepares for this. Even in the absence of a physical injury, our DNA prepares for injury by setting off inflammation. Consequently, for example, these negative social experiences trigger protein expressions (such as enzymes) and activation of the immune system that can trigger the development of breast and prostate cancers. Thus, it becomes crucial to consciously address our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and to maintain a confident positive psychology filled with love, hope, kindness, caring, and compassion.

 

The subconscious mind is estimated to be 30,000 times more powerful than the conscious mind. The subconscious mind resides in the emotions of the heart. {Ref. www.HeartMath.org.} Heart rate incoherence impairs our performance. Associated emotions that trigger this incoherence include: frustration, anxiety, worry and irritation. Heart rate coherence promotes optimal performance. Associated emotions include: appreciation, love and caring. The heart produces the strongest electromagnetic field in the body, which consequently affects the  structure of cellular water. The EM field extends 12 to 15 feet around the body in all directions. Thus, it is a communication system. Changing our heart rate coherence changes our EM field which effects animals and people within that field.

 

Here is an EXAMPLE of both a cause of anxiety and a mask for anxiety with devastating consequences: TOXIC MASCULINITY AND MISOGYNY.  Men have been taught that their desire and pleasure is paramount, and that coercion is part of what is needed to get their desires satisfied. This “YANG” expression leads to being unconscious, grandiosity, dominance displays, aggression, and violence. Girls have been taught to be compliant and afraid of men and their power. This “YIN” expression can lead to being submissive, unseen, discounted, and disempowered. The societal programming and expectation has been that men should be sexually aggressive, physically strong and prepared for violence, unemotional, homophobic, and to de-value women. “Locker Room” behavior has been the norm where competition is based upon physical power, self-reliance, risk-taking, sexual prowess, and promiscuity. (These ideals remains presently evident in the “Alt-Right’s” misogyny and the “Incels” dogma.)

For many boys, the fear of not being perceived as masculine (enough) has often  perpetuated these norms. Many boys have learned to make fun of other boys if they step even just a little outside these rigid masculine stereotypes. Fear of rejection often  creates anxiety and anger. Bullying is a terrible consequence, as well as the reactive violence to being bullied, including mass shootings. This toxic masculine stereotype has been extremely damaging for men, women and society as a wholere, and must change.

Fortunately, more men can now recognize that “sexism” is not an acceptable form of behavior. Gender equality, cooperation, and being able to express emotions (other than joy and anger) are becoming our new societal values. Because violence has predominantly one gender, there is a pressing need for parents, the media and society to educate and change the way that boys define and express their masculinity. We need to move away from the values of dominance, emotional constriction, toughness, competition, and self-reliance. Boys need to be taught a variety of tools for managing and expressing their energy and their frustrations. They need to be taught the value of cooperation, and helped to build their emotional resilience.  And, men need to be encouraged to learn healthy ways of emotional expression, so that tears of joy and sadness are acceptable, and so that they can build their own social networks where they can feel free to talk about their feelings. And, through parental teaching, school instructions, and modeling in the media, boys and men need to learn healthy ways to express their sexuality: framed with the understanding that  mutual respect, communication, and sexual joy and expression is a shared experience with mutual pleasures. And, sex should not just be expected (because men are “special”) nor taken. Because of the shift occurring in our societal expectations regarding the masculine role, unless men are educated differently and then change these ancient tribal programs, many men will continue to feel disconnected and anxious, and unable to manage their own energies.  Consequently, they may unfortunately react with violence and reactive repression.

          Wellness is a choice, and health is much more than the absence of disease.

 

  1. a) Our thoughts and beliefs influence our emotions which affect our behaviors and our relationships.

 

  1. b) It is important to make course corrections, without experiencing guilt, in order to grow and develop. The word “SIN” is an archery term meaning to be off the mark. This is a learning process. Since we are developing humans, we will make mistakes and wander off the path of wellness. Simply recognize with humor that we are off the path, and get back on target. That is a sign of maturity and taking personal responsibility for healing.

 

  1. c) “You cannot solve a problem with the same consciousness that caused it.” {Albert Einstein} 1)  Plan with the Mind:  Vision/Belief. 2)  Execute with Might (the Will): Discipline/Work.  3)  Evaluate with the Heart:  Desire/Courage. 4)  Revise with the Spirit: Humility/Service.

 

  1. d) Your attitude affects your sense of hope and your motivation to change. There is power in positive thinking. “Wag more…bark less.” “Ask and you shall receive”, but first you have to ask. Our words reflect our thoughts which affect our emotions and our behaviors. Be conscious of what you say to yourself and to others. If you change the message you can change your behavior.  Enjoy the passage of time. “All things flow/change.”   

 

                                MAKE APPROPRIATE CHOICES

 

  • With practice, new thoughts and actions get easier and then become automatic. Cells that learn to fire together wire together.

 

  • It takes time and patience to change our minds and our behaviors. Since this isn’t quick nor easy, one must be determined to change and be perseverant.

 

  • The mind that opens to a new idea never comes back to its original size. Craziness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

 

  • Consider before speaking: Is it True? Is it Kind? Is it Necessary?

 

  • Be aware of your projections onto others—they are hurtful.

 

  • You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.

 

  • “Everything will be OK in the end. If it is not OK, it is not the end.”

 

  • CHANGE YOUR STORY AND CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Listen to your body. Change your thinking. “Where there’s a will there’s a way.” Decide then Act. Identify your negative emotions and tell yourself a different story.

 

  • “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” {Lao Tzu}

 

  • Set the bar high; stop the excuses.

 

  • “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” {Benjamin Franklin}

 

  • Change the quality of your questions to get better answers. Develop reasons to support your decisions to make a change, and then focus your mind and take action.

 

  • Ask: are my assumptions true? What if I take responsibility? Stop self-delusion: we make things up and then believe them. The fantasy is not the fact. A divergence between desire and reality creates stress and suffering.

 

  • “Grant me the strength to change the things I can change, the courage to accept the things I can’t, and the wisdom to know the difference.” {Reinhold Niebuhr}

 

  • Make movement mandatory. >10,000 steps/day: 5 d/wk. Keep fit: 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week; to prevent weight gain: 60 minutes; to lose weight: 90 minutes. Or, consider getting 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week.

 

  • Critique your calorie consumption: excess intake and unhealthy

 

  • Know your normal numbers: Blood Pressure, Fasting Blood Sugar, lipids, Ideal body weight/BMI, waist measurement.

 

  • Address any addictions and harmful habits that are hazardous to your physical and emotional health: these are expensive, time consuming and a form of enslavement.

 

  • “Be the person that your dog already thinks you are!”

 

  • Graciously give your gifts of time, talent, treasures. “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” {Winston Churchill}

 

  • Passionately pursue your purpose: ponder “Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? How can I serve?”—Surrender to your higher power: “Teach me!”

 

  • Don’t be dangerously distracted and diverted by superficial appearances, entertainment, and money.

 

  • Events don’t control our lives—it is the meaning that we attach to them. e Our mind has a huge influence on our experience of physical pain. Pain is inevitable, suffering is a choice. What is the positive that can come out of an experience? What is the blessing? “Things don’t happen to me; things happen for me.”

 

  • Deal with reality or choose insanity.

 

  • Seek out resources. Practice. We are what we repeatedly do. Don’t be careful—you might hurt yourself. Stop worrying. Worry is a prayer for that which you do NOT want to happen. Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do, but you get nowhere.

 

  • Stifle stress. and sever suffering. Attitude is key. “Life shouldn’t be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty, well-preserved body, but rather, to slide in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly shouting— ‘Wow! What a ride!’”

 

  • Pause, ponder, pray—meditate—be mindful.

 

  • Find common ground: leave the judging to GOD. “We are all in this together. We are either going to all rise, or we are going to all fall.” {Martin Luther King, Jr.}

 

  • FORGIVE. Anger destroys and forgiveness heals. “You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” {Buddha}

 

  • Relish rewarding relationships. “A friend is one to whom you may pour out all the contents of your heart, chaff and grain, together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take it and sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.”

 

  • Be grateful. Gratitude is the highest form of prayer.

 

 

                                                    FORGIVENESS

 “Why We Forgive” by Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho Tutu:  “Are you hurt and suffering? Is the injury new, or is an old unhealed wound? Know that what was done to you was wrong, unfair, and undeserved. You are right to be outraged. And it is perfectly normal to want to hurt back when you have been hurt. But hurting back rarely satisfies. We think it will but it doesn’t. If I slap you after you slap me, it does not lessen the sting I feel on my own face, nor does it diminish my sadness as to the fact you have struck me. Retaliation gives, at best, only momentary respite from our pain. The only way to experience healing and peace is to forgive. Until we can forgive, we remain locked in our pain and locked out of the possibility of experiencing healing and freedom, locked out of the possibility of being at peace.

Without forgiveness, we remain tethered to the person who harmed us. We are bound with chains of bitterness, tied together, trapped. Until we can forgive the person who harmed us, that person will hold the keys to our happiness; that person will be our jailor. When we forgive, we take back control of our own fate and our feelings. We become our own liberators. We don’t forgive to help the other person. We don’t forgive for others. We forgive for ourselves.

We are made to exist in a delicate network of interdependence. We are sisters and brothers, whether we like it or not. To treat anyone as if they were less than human, less than a brother or sister, no matter what they have done, is to contravene the very laws of our humanity. Our whole community suffers, and ultimately our whole world suffers.

If your own well-being—your physical, emotional, and mental health—is not enough, if your life and your future are not enough, then perhaps you will forgive for the benefit of those you love, the family that is precious to you. Anger and bitterness do not just poison you, they poison all your relationships, including those with your children.

Unconditional forgiveness is a different model of forgiveness than the gift with strings. This is forgiveness as a grace, a free gift freely given. In this model, forgiveness frees the person who inflicted the harm from the weight of the victim’s whim—what the victim may demand in order to grant forgiveness—and the victim’s threat of vengeance. But it also frees the one who forgives. The one who offers forgiveness as a grace is immediately un-tethered from the yoke that bound him or her to the person who caused the harm. When you forgive, you are free to move on in life, to grow, to no longer be a victim. When you forgive, you slip the yoke, and your future is unshackled from your past.

Not all harms are equivalent, but this is really not the issue. Those who wish to compare how much they have wronged to how much they have been wronged will find themselves drowning in a whirlpool of victimization and denial. Those who think they are beyond reproach have not taken an honest look in the mirror.

The invitation to forgive is not an invitation to forget. Nor is it an invitation to claim that an injury is less hurtful than it really is. Nor is it a request to paper over the fissure in a relationship, to say it’s okay when it’s not. It’s not okay to be injured. It’s not okay to be abused.  It’s not okay to be violated. It’s not okay to be betrayed.

The invitation to forgive is an invitation to find healing and peace.  Forgiveness opens the door to peace between people and opens the space for peace within each person. The victim cannot have peace without forgiving. The perpetrator will not have genuine peace while unforgiven. There cannot be peace between victim and perpetrator while the injury lies between them. The invitation to forgive is an invitation to search out the perpetrator’s humanity. When we forgive, we recognize the reality that there, but for the grace of God, go I.

I also like the section translated from the Lord’s Prayer by Jesus of Nazareth from the original writings in Aramaic found in the book: “Prayers of the Cosmos” by Neil Douglas-Klotz:  “Loose the cords of mistakes binding us, as we release the strands we hold of others’ guilt. Don’t let surface things delude us, but free us from what holds us back.” Another translation by Gloria Karpinski is: “May we experience all we need to overcome.  Teach us to release and empty that we may be filled. Guide us through the shadows of our fears and free us from the bondage of separation.”

There is a very powerful Hawaiian practice for SPIRITUAL CLEANING— moving from repentance to forgiveness to transmutation– using the process of HO’OPONOPONOHA is the breath of divine inspiration. Pono is the process of making things right, re-balancing. Repeating the word…ponopono… means to a state of completion.  There is a petition to Divinity contained within the translated intention “Thank you; I love you”: I’m sorry Creator for errors in me that manifest as problems that affect my life and others. Please transform them to zero, to completion, so that I and all can be free. A “problem” is understood to be a memory replaying in the subconscious mind under the dominion of a psychological complex that causes a restriction of freedoms. Grace flows from Divinity to erase these memories and to create the “Aloha Mind,” a state of peace and happiness. “Aloha” is like “Namaste” (in Sanscrit) which acknowledges the divinity within each other. By getting into a state of balance and equanimity and by taking complete responsibility (not blame), we can elicit our inner-child innocence to take our message to Divinity in order to clean away that which separates us from knowing who we really are. Since the unconscious is unconscious, my job is to identify my discomfort and begin the cleaning process. “Welcome…anger, pain or whatever emotion or experience…thank you, I love you.” By creating an atmosphere of inner hospitality, it disarms the noxious element and removes the power to chase you from your Higher Self to your Lower Self. Out of this hospitality, compassion comes along with freedom.

By repeating the following mantra (at least ten times) you can enter into a state of deep inner peace.  This enhanced consciousness will also entrain others, just like a struck tuning fork producing a pure tone will affect  another un-struck tuning fork to resonate and begin vibrating in harmony.

I like to sing the mantra as a tone, half-tone up, full tone down descenting chant, alternating between Hawaiian and then English:  “Ho’oponopono, Ho’oponopono, Ho’oponopono, Ho’oponopono, Ho’oponopono, Ho’oponopono, Ho’oponopono,  Ho’oponopono,  I’m so sorry, I love you, Please forgive me, I thank you, I’m so sorry, I love you, Please forgive me, I thank you…(and repeat). {Ref. James Nourse: “Opening The Aloha Mind”}

                              KWAN YIN’S PRAYER FOR THE ABUSER

To those who withhold refuge,

I cradle you in safety at the core of my Being.

To those that cause a child to cry out,

I grant you the freedom to express your own choked agony.

To those that inflict terror,

I remind you that you shine with the purity of a thousand suns.

To those who would confine, suppress, or deny,

I offer the limitless expanse of the sky.

To those who need to cut, slash, or burn,

I remind you of the invincibility of Spring.

To those who cling and grasp,

I promise more abundance than you could ever hold onto.

To those who vent their rage on small children,

I return to you your deepest innocence.

To those who must frighten into submission,

I hold you in the bosom of your original mother.

To those who cause agony to others,

I give the gift of free flowing tears.

To those that deny another’s right to be,

I remind you that the angels sang in celebration of you on the day of your birth.

To those who see only division and separateness,

I remind you that a part is born only by bisecting a whole.

For those who have forgotten the tender mercy of a mother’s embrace,

I send a gentle breeze to caress your brow.

To those who still feel somehow incomplete,

I offer the perfect sanctity of this very moment.

 

Kwan Yin is the Goddess of Compassion and Healing. Her name is translated roughly from Chinese as “She who hears the cries of the world”. She is the Divine Mother we all long for: merciful, tender, compassionate, loving, protecting, caring, healing and wise. She quietly comes to the aid of her children everywhere. Her mantra is “Om Mani Padme Hum”—Hail the Jewel in the Lotus.

 

                                SPECIFIC TOXINS TO AVOID

  • MSG (monosodium glutamate): MSG is a common food additive that can cause neuronal damage in the hypothalamus with resultant weight gain. MSG shuts off the hypothalamic cell’s ability to respond to leptin and, thus, disrupts the regulation of appetite resulting in weight gain. Consequently, more leptin is produced and leptin resistance is the result which also can overstimulate the sympathetic nervous system and cause hypertension. (Leptin is produced by fat cells and activates the hypothalamic appetite-suppressing anorectic cells and prevents orexigenic cells from stimulating appetite.) It is important to read the label on everything that you buy. However, MSG may be hidden on food labels. Samples of foods that have the following ingredients may contain MSG: autolyzed yeast, barley malt, broth, bouillon, calcium caseinate, carrageen, natural flavoring, gelatin, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed oat flour, pectin, plant protein extract, soy protein, soy sauce, textured protein, whey protein, yeast extract. Avoid processed foods and very salty foods: most contain MSG. Buy foods with a short ingredient list. Ask your grocer if the wax used on the fruits has MSG in it. Check the label of your cosmetics and other personal care products because they can contain MSG.
  • HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP: Fructose is a harmful toxin that is a key factor in the development of metabolic syndrome. Like a toxin, fructose is almost exclusively metabolized in the liver where it is converted to dangerous metabolites such as excessive lipids and uric acid. It has a direct harmful effect (glycation) on tissues throughout the body while performing no necessary nutritional function. Between 1970 and 1990, Americans increased their consumption of high fructose corn syrup by >1,000%; an increase that parallels the rapid rise of the obesity epidemic! It has been added to just about every prepackaged product that you can think of. Fructose now makes up to 10-15% of the calories Americans consume. Some adolescents get nearly 30% of their calories from fructose. Excessive fructose consumption directly causes all five components of the metabolic syndrome: abdominal fat, high blood pressure, abnormal lipid profiles, insulin resistance, and inflammation. Fructose is 7-8 times more potent at producing dangerous advanced glycation end products (AGEs) than glucose. AGEs trigger inflammation and are implicated in the development of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative diseases.

When fructose is eaten in fruits and vegetables, the slower absorption enables the liver to safely metabolize it. So, don’t stop eating fruits and veggies! Insulin resistance produced by high fructose consumption not only results in a high blood sugar, it also results in chronically elevated levels of insulin. This is a major contributor to cancer and cardiovascular disease. Fructose doesn’t suppress hunger. It doesn’t  trigger a rise in leptin nor suppress ghrelin which normally signals the brain to stop eating because of satiety. Thus, the brain still signals hunger so that eating continues after sufficient calories have been consumed. Fructose produces a high after-meal triglyceride level due to impaired blood clearing, and induction of genes that increase new fat production. Excessive liver collections of fat, known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are seen in the metabolic syndrome. Fructose is a major contributor so that 30% of adults now have this condition. NAFLD can progress to steatohepatitis which is a precursor to liver cirrhosis and failure. Fructose triggers high rates of uric acid which promotes gout and also triggers excessive sodium retention which contributes to hypertension.

  • ARSENIC: is a toxic heavy metal commonly found in well water, rice and chicken. It is associated with bladder, lung and skin cancers, immune deficiency, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. It destroys beta cells in the pancreas which produce insulin. There are no federal regulations for private wells and it is estimated that 13 million Americans are drinking contaminated well water. You can check if you are living in an arsenic contaminated hot spot at water.usgs.gov/nawqa/trace/arsenic. Most municipal water is screened for arsenic, however, only in 2011 was the limit in drinking water reduced from 50 ug/L to 10 ug/L. Subsequently the FDA introduced new regulations on the amount of arsenic acceptable in apple juice (a childhood favorite.) If tests confirm elevated arsenic levels in well water, then consider a reverse osmosis filter system or drink bottled or distilled water. Arsenic occurs naturally in soil, and our food crops are doused in pesticides and fertilizers. Rice sucks up these toxins more readily than other food crops. Currently there aren’t any regulations about the amount of arsenic allowed in rice or rice products. Because arsenic accumulates in the rice bran, brown rice (which we tend to think of as healthier than white rice) actually has higher levels of arsenic. Rice grown in California or imported from South East Asia has lower arsenic levels than from other parts of the US. Rinsing the rice before cooking it and then cooking the rice in extra water can reduce the amount of arsenic by up to 40% in the final dish. Consider reducing the amount of rice products eaten by you and your family on a weekly basis: one to three servings for adults and kids should eat even less. Since the 1940s chicken farmers have been permitted to use certain forms of arsenic in their chicken feed because it kills parasites, encourages quicker growth and makes the chicken skin pinker for a more appealing presentation in the grocery store. By 2016 the FDA is finally phasing arsenic out of chicken feed. Since organic chickens tend to have lower levels than factory farmed chickens, choose organic birds until safer.
  • The Artificial sweetener ASPARTAME: is made from the waste products of genetically modified E. coli bacteria. Aspartame disturbs amino acid metabolism, protein structure and metabolism, integrity of nucleic acids, neuronal function, endocrine balances, and changes in brain concentrations of catecholamines. {European J of Clinical Nutrition, 2008; 62:451-462.}
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs): About 68% of American markets contain GMO produce and products versus <0.1% of European markets. Monsanto has conducted the world’s largest (unapproved) human experiment with their product “Glyphosate”–”Round-up”. Current approval for Round-up required: no human trials, no post-marketing surveillance, no evaluation of plant changes or effects, untested assumptions, and industry supported studies! A GMO rodent study in 2009 demonstrated toxic effects on the liver, pancreas, kidneys, reproduction, blood and immune systems. {Dona Artemis, “Health Risks of Genetically Modified Foods,” Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 49(2):164-75.} According to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine statement on GMOs:  “animal studies indicate serious health risks…including infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, cell signaling, and protein formation, and changes in liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal systems.”

According to a report in The Week, 3/8/2019: “The World Health Organization concluded in 2015 that the herbicide glyphosate ‘was probably carcinogenic for humans’–a finding rejected in 2017 by the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency. The connection between ‘Roundup’  and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma has long been the subject of fierce scientific debate. New research at the University of Washington analyzed all available published studies on the issue. Focusing in particular on people with the highest levels of exposure, such as farmworkers and groundskeepers, researchers found ‘a compelling link’ between the chemical and disease. ‘All of the meta-analyses conducted to date, including our own, consistently report the same key finding,’ the authors conclude. Glyphosate raises cancer risk by 41 percent. Monsanto, which makes Roundup, and the agro-chemical company’s German owner, Bayer AG, are already facing 9,000 lawsuits from people who claim that glyphosate damaged their health.”

ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS FOR TOXIN MANAGEMENT

  • Eat Raw sprouts: they are rich in vitamins, minerals and enzymes that aren’t readily available in the un-germinated form. However, the benefits may be offset by a risk of contamination with E. coli and other organisms due to contaminated seeds. The risk is greatest in the young, the elderly and in those with a compromised immune system. Washing the seeds and sprouts with water only reduces the contamination very little. The FDA recommends cooking sprouts, however, that is a sure way to destroy nutritional richness. A better solution is to spray the seeds and the sprouts with commercial three-percent hydrogen peroxide and regular white vinegar, rather than bleach. This will virtually eliminate all bacteria on the food, the kitchen utensils, cutting boards and counters. Then, rinse with water before eating.
  • Avoid canola and rapeseed oils which can cause fatty degeneration of the heart and organs. Avoid cottonseed oil which contains a toxic cyclopropene fatty acid that is associated with damage to the gonads, liver and gall bladder. All commercial oils, except those labeled “cold pressed”, are processed with sufficient heat to convert polyunsaturated bonds to a deleterious trans-fatty acid position. A hexane solvent, degumming clarifier and caustic soda for extraction are used in processing, and next to impossible to get completely removed from the product. And, bleaching creates toxic peroxides. Then, the consumer will commonly use the oil for frying, creating oxidative changes generating even more peroxides, which spontaneously break down to free radicals that can damage blood vessels, and DNA resulting in inflammation and immune dysfunction. USE unrefined mechanically “COLD PRESSED” OILS, such as olive oil. Buy oil in GLASS or METAL containers in order to avoid the leaching of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) and phthalates from plastics.

                                         LYMPHATIC CLEANSING

The body has twice as much lymph fluid as blood and twice as many lymph vessels. The lymphatic system includes the lymph nodes, tonsils, spleen and appendix. It aids immune function by filtering out disease-causing organisms, manufacturing white blood cells and generating antibodies. Lymph has no pump. The process of breathing creates a partial vacuum that causes blood and lymph to flow upward so that the lymph can return to the blood stream from which it came. The easiest way to facilitate lymphatic system drainage is to take deep breaths.

  • Consider doing a deep breathing exercise for 5 to 10 minutes three times per day.
  • Another measure to improve lymphatic drainage is skin brushing. Using a dry skin brush, start with your hands and arms brushing with long, firm strokes towards your heart. Then, do the same with your feet and legs brushing upwards. Then, brush along your abdomen and chest moving towards your heart. This not only keeps lymph flowing, it helps to rid the outer layer of dead skin cells and debris, improving overall circulation and helping your skin to “breathe” easier.
  • Regular massages also help move lymph, and, some therapists have learned techniques for deep lymphatic massage, particularly for the chest and the breasts.

                                            KIDNEY CLEANSING

  • Drink plenty of water such as non-distilled, pure filtered water each day. A rule-of-thumb is to divide your weight in half and then drink that amount of water in ounces each day. Volvic water from France and Fiji water are good examples. In order to increase your hydration from the water, add a pinch of sea salt to each glass of water.
  • Kidney friendly foods include: asparagus, blueberries, cranberries, cucumber, grapes, kale, spinach, string beans, and watermelon. Eat a plentiful supply of organic fresh fruits and vegetables that act as natural cleansers because they are high in fiber. Herbs such as dandelion, ginger, nettles, and parsley are recommended. Horsetail tea also promotes kidney drainage.

                                             LIVER CLEANSING

  • Excellent foods include: fresh squeezed lemon juice in water taken upon arising, apples, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, citrus, dandelion greens, squash, watercress, zucchini and the cruciferous vegetables. Dark leafy greens, rich in chlorophyll, helps to eliminate environmental toxins from the blood stream and to neutralize heavy metals. Bitter greens such as arugula, chicory, dandelion and mustard greens help to increase production and flow of bile and toxic residues.
  • A Liver and Gallbladder “Flush”: Mix the following before bed and drink: 5 ounces of Classic Coke; 6 ounces of cold pressed olive oil; and 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. After drinking this mixture, lie on your right side for 20 to 30 minutes. The next morning, drink one 10 ounce bottle of citrate of magnesia and stay home because the laxative will cause you to move your bowels in great quantity and probably more than once. It may be necessary to repeat this process anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months.
  • ALTERNATIVELY: Mix: 1 Tbs Safflower oil, 1 Tbs Olive Oil, 2 fresh squeezed lemons, 1 fresh squeezed orange, 1 tsp fresh grated garlic, 1 tsp fine grated ginger, and ¼ tsp cayenne pepper powder and drink upon awakening, preferably 2 hours before eating breakfast. Do this on Mon-Wed-Fri. Then, on Tues-Thurs, mix 1 cup unsweetened organic apple juice, 2 fresh squeezed lemons, 1 Tbs Safflower oil, 1 Tbs Olive oil, 1 tsp fresh grated garlic, 1 tsp fine grated ginger, and ¼ tsp cayenne pepper powder and drink this upon awakening, again preferably 2 hours before eating breakfast.

                  LIVE LONGER BY CHANGING HOW YOU COOK

Foods cooked at high temperatures create a) mutagens, which damage DNA and increase cancer risk, and b) advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which increase inflammation and oxidative stress by cross-linking with body proteins, which alters the  protein structure and function causing them to lose their functionality and prematurely age. For example, breast and prostate cancers are sharply increased in people who eat heavily cooked meat such as hamburgers. Heat destroys crucial vitamins such as C, B6 and E, destroys fatty acids, denatures proteins, and limits mineral availability. Heat also creates toxic oxidized lipids, which aggravate vascular disease, and dangerous, gene-mutating heterocyclic amines, which can be carcinogenic, inflammatory, and which can adversely activate the immune system.

The higher the number of kilounits (kU) of AGEs the greater the risk for cancer. For example, deep fried breaded chicken breast for 20 minutes has 8,965 kU/serving, vs. roasted chicken has 5,418 kU/serving, vs. stir fried with canola oil for 7 minutes has 3,726 kU/serving,  vs. boiled chicken breast in water has 1,089 kU/serving. Grilling, broiling, roasting, searing and frying propagate and accelerate AGE formation in food. Cooking methods that produce relatively low AGE levels include poaching, steaming, stewing and boiling. The use of acidic marinades, such as lemon juice and vinegar before cooking also limits AGE formation. Most “junk foods” are cooked at extremely high temperatures, so it makes sense to avoid them.

High blood glucose  levels are another cause of protein glycation. Thus, people with diabetes suffer a disproportionately higher number of diseases. Health conscious people can exert a significant amount of control over how quickly their body proteins are destroyed by toxic glycation reactions by reducing the amount of simple sugars and starches they ingest,  AND by minimizing their exposure to foods cooked at high temperatures.

          Consider eating 70-80% of your food as raw fruits and vegetables (whole or  blenderized rather than juiced) or steamed.  Steaming, boiling or cooking with water (or broth) limits the heat to 212 degrees fahrenheit which is below the threshold of most toxic chemical reactions.  A randomized cross-over study evaluated the difference between one group steaming their food and the other group cooking with higher temperatures. After 1 month, the group cooking with higher temperatures had adverse changes including lower insulin sensitivity, lower plasma concentrations of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, and lower vitamin C and vitamin E levels. Also, plasma triglycerides and cholesterol increased. {Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 May;91(5):1220.} Another 6-week study showed that people with diabetes eating food cooked at lower temperatures reduced glycated LDL by 33%, whereas consuming the same food at higher temperatures increased glycated LDL by 32%. {Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2002 Nov 26;99(24):15596-601.}

Consider supplementing with products that will lower your glycation risk when eating foods prepared at high temperatures. Anti-mutagenic agents have been identified in fruits and vegetables. The most potent are indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and chlorophyllin. I3C is found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. It helps to prevent DNA damage. Chlorophyllin inhibits deadly mutagens by trapping heterocyclic hydrocarbon carcinogens (by reacting with their structure making it impossible for them to form adducts with DNA) which are the precursors to malignant transformation in cells. Additionally, Carnosine, Benfotamine and Pyradoxal-5-phosphate (P5P) are helpful for reducing AGEs and mutagens. Carnosine has been shown particularly in people with diabetes to reduce levels of atherosclerosis. Benfotamine is vitamin B1 in a highly absorbable, fat-soluble form that easily penetrates cell membranes. Pyridoxal-5-phosphate  (P5P) is activated vitamin B6. A proprietary product called “Glycation Protection Formula” containing Carnosine 1,000 mg, Benfotamine 200 mg and Pyridoxal-5-phosphate 100 mg is available from www.LifeExtension.com.

                          SUGGESTIONS FOR HEALTHY EATING   

Don’t skip breakfast and eat dinner no later than 8 pm. Eat meals that contain 70-80% alkalinizing foods and only 20-30% acidifying foods. On average, limit total protein to 50 grams. Follow a ratio of 40% protein, 20-40% complex carbs, and 20-40% healthy fats. Consume essential fatty acids (cold water fish and extra virgin olive oil.) Eat fruits by themselves either a half hour before a meal of 2 hours after a meal. Avoid artificial sweeteners; however, stevia is OK. Cut down on total carbs. Be mindful and give thanks for your food before eating.  Eat slowly and chew your food well. Consider using probiotics and digestive enzymes with each meal.

                                                     PARASITES

 

In addition to intestinal problems such as cramping, bloating, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, foul-smelling flatus, and intermittent constipation, hidden parasites can also cause joint swelling and pains, headaches, asthma, fatigue, emotional problems and skin problems including itchy skin. Parasites are more common than most people think. According to the CDC, 60 million Americans are infected with parasites, and the number may be even higher.  The most common parasites are Trypanosoma cruzi, that causes Chagas disease, which can have long-term digestive, cardiac and neurological problems; taenia solium tapeworm which can migrate to brain and muscles and cause seizures; and Toxoplasma gondii which travels in cat feces and undercooked foods causing swollen lymph nodes and muscle aches. Exposure can occur from kissing your beloved pets, international travel, eating sushi and raw crustaceans, eating meats that are served rare or medium rare, drinking unfiltered water, including untreated well water, drinking water from streams or lakes while hiking or camping, getting pool or lake water in your mouth, poor toilet habits, from a child in daycare, and eating unwashed vegetables (beware restaurant salad bars.)

          Testing is very problematic. Since parasites live in life cycles, if the stool isn’t collected at a time of the month when the parasites hatch and are active, they may not be discovered. Also, parasite eggs will perish when exposed to air for more than a few hours. So, unless a fresh stool specimen is quickly examined, then parasites may be missed. Our current testing isn’t designed to test for the majority of parasites. And, colonoscopy won’t reveal them because many live in the small intestine, the prep will eliminate any obvious parasites, and others live in the colonic wall invisible to the camera.

There are some safe and natural methods for ridding your body of these organisms. Various herbs and foods have traditionally been used to tackle parasites including black walnuts, cloves, pomegranate, raw garlic, carrots, beets, pumpkin seeds, papaya seeds, coconut, honey, goldenseal, barberry, anise and wormwood. CONSIDER: 1) A mixture of papaya seeds and honey taken for seven days can be very beneficial. 2) Or, make a parasite killing smoothie: blend fresh papaya including a tablespoon of the seeds, raw pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, coconut water and a dollop of coconut oil, honey, and fresh pineapple. 3) Eat plenty of fiber rich foods and drink plenty of filtered water to flush your system. 4) Add probiotics along with vitamin C and zinc to boost your immune system.

Dr. Louise Gittleman in her book “Guess What Came for Dinner?” outlines a 3-step approach for ridding intestinal parasites. 1) “Para-Key” is a blend of herbal ingredients to help cleanse the intestines. The formula includes: grapefruit see extract (helpful against bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites), cranberry concentrate (helpful for restoring the acid-base pH balance), pomegranate (helpful to rid tapeworms and roundworms) , peppermint (helpful to ease flatulence and indigestion and reduce protozoan infestation) and sweet wormwood (helpful against giardia and other parasites). The recommended dose is 2 caps three times daily 30 minutes before meals. 2) “Verma-Plus” is a blend of black walnut hulls (helpful to expel pinworms, ringworms, tapeworms and other parasites), wormwood (different from sweet wormwood, helpful to eliminate intestinal worms), centaury (helpful for deworming by causing parasites to relax their cling to intestinal walls for expulsion), male fern (helpful to purge larger parasites such as tapeworms), cloves (helpful for relieving gas and spasms, and toxic to giardia), orange peel (promotes peristalsis), and butternut (helpful to eliminate pinworms and other parasites). The recommended dose is one-quarter teaspoon in 4 ounces of water taken three times daily: twice between meals on an empty stomach and once at bedtime. It has a very bitter taste! 3) “Flora-Key” is a combination of 5 probiotic strains: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidus longum and B. bifidum, L. reuteri, L. plantarum, and the prebiotic fructooligosaccharides. It is best to begin taking this 2 weeks after starting Para-Key and Verma-Plus. The recommended dose is one teaspoon mixed into 6 to 8 ounces of water 2 to 3 times daily on an empty stomach. You may experience loose bowel movements, fatigue and skin eruptions (signs that the products are working properly). For the best results, use Para-Key and Verma-Plus for 2 weeks, then take a 5 day break before starting again. After the first course of treatment, introduce the probiotics. It may take up to 6 courses of treatment to completely eliminate parasites. Once eliminated, you can expect to notice a dramatic improvement in your symptoms. “My Colon Cleansing Kit” is available from www.unikeyhealth.com.

 

                            Interesting Documentary Movies on DVD

  • Genetic Roulette: about GMOs
  • Fed Up: about our sugar addiction
  • Future of Food
  • Super-Size Me
  • Food, Inc.

                                                Interesting Books

  • Outstanding Health by Michael Galitzer MD and Larry Trivieri, Jr.
  • Tox-Sick by Suzanne Somers
  • Eat Dirt by Josh Axe, MD
  • Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, PhD
  • Our Toxic World: A Wake-up Call: chemicals damage your body, brain, behavior and sex by Doris J. Rapp, MD

 

 

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BONE HEALTH AND OSTEOPOROSIS

                              BONE HEALTH AND OSTEOPOROSIS

 

                                     THE SCOPE OF THE PROBLEM

           Over 50% of adult males and females over 50 years old have bone loss. Osteoporosis (OP) is responsible for millions of fractures annually, mostly involving the lumbar vertebrae, hips, and wrists. Fragility fractures of the ribs are also common in men.  Although more women than men (80% vs. 20%) suffer with osteoporosis, men are more likely to die from OP related fractures. OP related fractures can result in painful loss of mobility and can be life threatening: if people are bedridden as a result of their injuries, there is increased risks of pneumonia and thrombophlebitis (blood clots) and associated pulmonary embolisms. Hip fractures are responsible for the most serious consequences of OP. Hip fractures usually require surgery. The six-month mortality rate for people age 50 and above following a hip fracture is about 14%. The incidence of hip fractures increases each decade from the sixth through the ninth for both women and men for all populations. Vertebral fractures, while having a smaller impact on mortality, can lead to severe, chronic neuropathic pain as well as kyphosis (hunchback) deformities which can impair ventilation. OP is also associated with atherosclerosis, dementias, depression and cancers. OP fractures are associated with a  reduced quality of life.

                                               THE CAUSES OF OP

Bones are living tissue and not solid and static structures. Bones constantly change in response to environmental stresses.  Bones grow stronger or weaker as a function of movement, exercise and body weight changes. {For example, Astronauts in low gravity have to vigorously exercise in order to limit serious bone loss.} Bones perform four vital roles: 1) structural support, 2) organ protection, 3) production of blood cells, and 4) storage of minerals for on-demand use by other parts of the body. Blood levels of calcium are tightly regulated, perhaps one of the most strictly controlled processes in the body. The two processes of absorption (depositing calcium) and resorption (withdrawing calcium) are constantly changing the structure of the bone in a cycle called bone remodeling.

The underlying mechanism in all cases of OP is an imbalance between bone resorption and bone formation. Like a bank account, bones have counter-balancing cells that make deposits (osteoblasts) or withdrawals (osteoclasts). Osteoblasts produce an organic matrix which contains Type 1 collagen. Bone matrix is the mortar that captures and incorporates calcium and multiple other minerals into the network of interconnected collagen fibers to make the final product of hard bone tissue. In health, the process is kept in balance. With aging, especially because of a lack of supportive sex hormones, withdrawals exceed deposits resulting in reduced bone-mineral density, which results in osteoporosis and increased risks for fractures. The sex hormones estrogen and testosterone are critical for maintaining a healthy balance: they inhibit osteoclast activity (bone breakdown) and promote osteoblast activity (new bone formation).  {Demontiero, et. al., “Aging and Bone Loss: new insights for the clinician”, The Adv Musculoskeletal Dis., 2012; 4(2):61-76.}

Another major cause of osteoporosis is focal scurvy of the bones. Quite simply, scurvy (severe vitamin C deficiency), whether general or localized can be prevented, cured and reversed with appropriate dosing of vitamin C and other important nutrients. Vitamin C maintains a healthy osteoblast—osteoclast balance. In the absence of vitamin C, bone-making osteoblasts fail to form. At the same time, there is an unchecked increase in bone-dissolving osteoclasts, resulting in focal scurvy inside the bones, thus initiating the imbalance that results in a detrimental breakdown of the bone integrity, along with calcium loss. Also, a deficiency of vitamin C directly increases oxidative stress in the bones which attacks cellular structure causing damage and even death of the cells. And, vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen and for creating the fibrous interconnecting collagen cross-linking strands required to optimize the physical strength and resilience of the cones. A vitamin C deficiency results in weaker bones.

Bone remodeling is constant: up to 10% of all bone mass may be undergoing remodeling at any point in time. Cortical bone is the hard outer shell of bones and the middle of long bones. Trabecular bone is the sponge-like bone in the ends of long bones and vertebrae where the marrow is located. Trabecular bone is more active with osteoblasts and osteoclasts, and more subject to remodeling. In OP, not only is bone density decreased, but the naturally weaker spicules of trabecular bone may break with stress and are replaced with an even weaker, disrupted bone micro-architecture. The most common areas of OP fractures have a relatively high trabecular to cortical bone ratio. With aging, women may lose as much as 50% of trabecular bone because of a reduction in their alpha-estrogen receptor activity, while men lose about 30%.

                                               RISK FACTORS

1)  ***The PRIMARY RISK FACTOR for OP is age related SEX HORMONE DEFICIENCY.***  Consequently, the PRIMARYTREATMENT for osteoporosis is Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT). For men, Testosterone therapy is needed. For women, both Estrogen and Testosterone are the KEYS to optimizing therapy.  Estrogen and testosterone treatments also help to prevent periodontitis and tooth loss. If there are no contraindications, If there are no contraindications, it is never too late to start Estrogen and Testosterone therapy. However, it is important to consider the appropriate type of Estrogen to use and the route of administration.  {REMEMBER: always think of using Estrogen and Progesterone together as a single entity; for, Progesterone (but not a progestin like “Provera”) is always required to modulate the adverse effects of unopposed Estrogen stimulation and to enhance receptor functions. However, Progesterone therapy by itself doesn’t help OP.}

2)  Vitamin C Deficiency (Because It Prevents Bone Loss and Fractures):  Vitamin C creates bone-building osteoblasts; suppresses bone-dissolving osteoclasts; prevents bone-destroying oxidative stress; helps to synthesize collagen; and, helps in the formation of bone-strengthening collagen cross-links. {Also, supplemental vitamin C protects against dangerous calcifications, protects against calcium-laden kidney stones, and lowers all-cause mortality.} In the Framingham Osteoporosis study, the subjects with the highest intake of vitamin C had significantly fewer hip and non-vertebral fractures compared to those with the lowest intake. Intake of vitamin C limited to dietary sources alone had no statistically significant reduction of fractures; vitamin C supplementation was required to realize a decrease in risk. Supplementation with vitamin C is non-toxic and safe. Take at least 6 gm daily.

3)  An independent risk factor for both osteoporosis and vascular disease is elevated homocysteine levels. Women with a homocysteine level over 15 compared to women with a level less than 9 had 2.42 increased risk of hip fractures. Effective treatments for elevated homocysteine include:  vitamin B12 (1000 IU injections of methylcobalamin or sublingual therapy), vitamin B6 (50 mg daily), folic acid (800 mcg daily), and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM—1 gm twice daily). Even more effective are BETAINE AND CHOLINE– RECOMMENDED DOSES: Betaine: 500 mg/d up to 2,000 mg tid; and, Choline: 500-1,000 mg/d.

4)  Latitude: Areas of higher latitude, such as Northern Europe, receive less Vitamin D through sunlight compared to regions closer to the equator, and, consequently, have higher fracture rates.

5)  Genetics:  :  White European and Asian ancestry predisposes to OP. Those with a family history of fractures or OP have an increased risk of OP ranging between 25% to 80% increased risk, depending upon the study. At least 30 genes are associated with the development of OP. A small stature is another non-modifiable risk factor for OP.

6)  Modifiable risk factors include: excessive intake of alcohol; Vitamin D deficiency; tobacco smoking; malnutrition; physical inactivity; heavy metal toxicity, especially to cadmium and lead; medications, especially proton pump inhibitors; and, carbonated beverages.

7)  MEDICAL DISORDERS: Our bodies regulate calcium balance with two pathways: one is signaled to turn on when blood calcium levels drop below normal, pulling calcium from bone reservoirs, and one is the pathway that is signaled when blood calcium levels are elevated. Many diseases and disorders influence one or both pathways, disturbing the calcium balance. THUS, it is imperative to have an accurate diagnosis for appropriate interventions. 1)  Immobilization: there is truth to the dictum– “use it or lose it.” Athletes with a high bone turn-over may experience localized osteoporosis after prolonged immobilization of a casted fractured limb. Also, people who are bedridden or who use wheelchairs may suffer similarly. 2)  Hypogonadal states:  such as various genetic disorders including Turner syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome, and Kallman syndrome. Other conditions such as anorexia nervosa, hyperprolactinemia, and hypothalamic amenorrhea affect the endocrine system and can also cause OP. Surgical bilateral oophorectomy and spontaneous premature ovarian failure cause deficient estrogen production. Surgical removal of the testes and andropause cause testosterone deficiency. 3)  Endocrine disorders:  Adrenal diseases such as Cushing’s syndrome (too much cortisol) and Addison’s disease (too little cortisol); thyroid diseases such as hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone) and hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone); both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes; Pituitary gland diseases such as acromegaly; and, hyperparathyroidism. 4) Hematologic and Renal diseases can result in OP.: for example, renal insufficiency, sickle cell disease, hemophilia, thalassemia, multiple myeloma, lymphomas and leukemias. 5)  Malabsorption and malnutrition: inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis; surgeries including gastrectomy, intestinal bypass surgery, and, bowel resection; and, gluten enteropathy, lactose intolerance and milk allergy, bulimia, and cystic fibrosis. 6)  Rheumatological disorders:  (either as a part of the disease or frequent use of corticosteroids) include rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, ankylosing spondylitis. 7)  Systemic disorders: such as sarcoidosis, amyloidosis, vitamin D, vitamin K and vitamin B12 deficiencies. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) can also cause OP.  8)  Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and complex regional pain syndrome.

                                     PRESCRIPTION TREATMENTS

1)  FOR WOMEN:  Both oral and topical Estradiol improve OP. While Estriol can be especially helpful with vaginal dryness and hot flashes, it has no significant usefulness for OP nor Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). If a woman has been menopausal for >10 years and is not on BHRT, it is wise to only consider using a topical Estradiol, particularly if she has any CAD risk factors, in order to avoid vascular plaque rupture and blood clot formation. I will typically a use a compounded Estrogen cream: 2 mg to 3 mg of estrogen daily, {often as “Biest” with a mixture of 80% Estradiol and 20% Estriol}, or an Estrogen patch (such as Climara patches 0.0375 mg up to 0.1 mg once per week or Vivelle dots twice per week), or an Estrogen gel (such as Elestrin 0.06% –1 pump daily). NOTE: Estradiol needs to be used along with oral Progesterone: 100 mg to 600 mg daily.

          Testosterone cream also benefits OP. The standard dose is 20 mg/gm (2%) of a compounded cream: applying ¼ gm daily to the skin or to the vulvar mucous membranes. Women over 60 years old typically require a higher dose: a 40 mg/gm (4%) cream: applying ¼ gm daily to the skin or vulvar mucous membranes. The total and free Testosterone levels  are monitored. A vanishing cream will be used if the cream is to be applied to the vulva, and a lipoderm cream is used if it is to be applied to the thighs and buttocks skin.

2)  FOR MEN:  I use of a topical Testosterone cream or gel, or intramuscular injections of Testosterone is the treatment of choice.

3)  In addition to Estrogen/Progesterone and Testosterone helping to prevent and treat OP, BHRT has a direct effect upon the brain.  Particularly for elders, who have an increased OP risk for death and disability from falls with consequent hip and spinal fractures, BHRT helps to improve their stability and coordination, as well as helping with their memory and with their cognitive impairment.

4)  Be aware that treatment with Human Growth Hormone (HGH) can also be very beneficial. However, it is very expensive, requires nightly injections, and it is typically restricted in its use by State Medical Boards. Thus, I don’t use recombinant HGH. However, I may prescribe an amino acid non-peptide secretagogue, called “Secretropin”, which is used as a sub-lingual spray, if indicated, to help release one’s own HGH.

5)  Don’t be concerned about using Thyroid Hormones when they are monitored and used in balance with Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone. Inappropriate use of Thyroid Hormones, eg. for weight loss, may cause OP because it accelerates bone turnover. In both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism the risk of fractures is significantly increased. Treatment with thyroid hormone is best when thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is not overly suppressed because TSH has a direct bone-protecting effect, and, very low levels of TSH are associated with increased cardiovascular risk.

6)  BISPHOSPHONATES:  ***I generally choose NOT to prescribe Bisphosphonates because they poison osteoclasts (that remodel old, brittle bone) so that they can’t function.  Bisphosphonates are the most popular treatment for OP. They can be useful in decreasing the risk of fractures in people who have already sustained a fracture from OP. Fracture risk reduction is between 25 and 70%, depending on the bone involved.  HOWEVER, be very cautious if you are considering using them. Using them may make you think that you have stronger bones. Simply by preventing the necessary removal of the old brittle bone matrix, your DXA scan will look better. Although these medications will delay or stop bone loss, they don’t facilitate bone growth! The bone appears denser, but the “life has been snuffed out”. Consequently, Bisphosphonates are associated with osteonecrosis of the mandible (bone death of the jaw), spontaneous mid-shaft femur fractures, and an increased risk of esophageal inflammation and cancers. Also, there is often poor patient compliance because of the painful side-effects of esophagitis and stomach upset. Similar medications such as Raloxifene (Evista), and Calcitonin are also available, however, each have a very high side-effect profile and also a high cost. {I find it no surprise that in 2017 the American College of Physicians, endorsed by the AAFP, recommended that adults with OP and no known fragility fracture, limit treatment with bisphosphonates to 5 years. Women who used bisphosphonates for 10 to 13 years had a higher risk of clinical fractures than women who used them for 2 years.} For people with OP but who have not had a fracture, evidence does not support a fracture risk reduction by using bisphosphonates.

7)  I am intrigued by the medication Terparatide (Forteo), because it stimulates osteoblasts, thus, increasing the bone matrix along with producing a heterogeneous mineral content consistent with a younger bone age. However, it can stimulate a rare bone cancer called osteosarcoma. In addition to its expensive cost,  it has risks for lightheadedness—dizziness and hypotension, nausea, leg cramps, arthralgias and pains. It is administered as a 20 mcg subcutaneously injected dose once daily, with a 2 year maximum total lifetime treatment.

                                            MONITORING THERAPY

I monitor effective therapy by measuring serum Estrogen, Progesterone, and Testosterone levels, and by measuring a urine N-telopeptide/creatinine ratio (NTX), which helps to evaluates bone mineral metabolism. An NTX evaluates present bone metabolism.  NTX measures cross linked N-telopeptides of Type 1 collagen and is an indicator of bone resporption by osteoclasts. I prefer to measure the 2nd or later morning urine sample, to avoid over-night concentration. The LOWER the level, the better. The goal is to effect a change in the NTX so that it is less than or equal to 35. The urine can be monitored every 3 to 6 months until stable, and then yearly.  Levels higher than 35 indicate ongoing bone loss.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend that all women 65 years of age or older be screened by bone mineral densitometry. They recommend screening younger women with risk factors. The International Society for Clinical Densitometry suggest bone mineral densitometry for men 70 years old. While bone mineral density X-ray scans (“DXA”, formerly called a “DEXA” scan) evaluate the results of past bone metabolism, it takes 2 to 4 years to see a change on the scan. (That’s why Medicare will only pay for a DXA scan every 2 years.) A DXA scan may look good, however, if the NTX is elevated, then bone loss is certain, and future DXA scans will become abnormal. Bone loss accelerates after menopause with the drop of Estrogen and Testosterone.

A DXA scan is reported as a T-score. 85% of young women have a normal T-score expressed as greater than or equal to -1.0. Osteopenia, or bone thinning, is defined as a T-score between -1.0 and -2.5, and affects about 14% of young women. Osteoporosis is defined by a T-score less than -2.5. Severe OP is defined by a T-score <-2.5 plus a fragility fracture.

***I STRONGLY ADVISE YOU TO AVOID USING CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS!!  {From the introduction to “Death By Calcium” by Thomas E. Levy, 2013}***

At the time of Columbus, it was self-evident that the world was flat. Modern Medicine isn’t immune to a similar simplistic and wrong thinking. Regarding OP, since bones are brittle and largely made up of calcium, it is self-evident that calcium should be supplemented. However, this idea is very wrong!  “Osteoporosis involves a lack of calcium in the bones. It does not mean that there is a lack of calcium in the body or in the diet. Osteoporotic individuals have toxic excesses of calcium outside the bounds of bone tissue. The typical American menu is laden with calcium-saturated foods. A legitimate body-wide deficiency of calcium is virtually non-existent, but too much calcium is very common and highly toxic, and it reliably leads to great suffering and premature death. The real problem in osteoporosis is that the body is unable to synthesize a new structural bone matrix and to integrate calcium into it. Simply increasing the quantity of calcium in the body does not even begin to remedy this problem. The calcium simply deposits elsewhere in the body where there are no bone proteins. Excess calcium is a killer.

It is this excess of ingested calcium along with calcium chronically released from osteoporotic bone that poses the most dangerous threat to health and life as it moves in and around all of the cells of the body, promoting disease wherever it accumulates. This notably includes heart disease, hight blood pressure, strokes, and cancer. It fuels and accelerates all chronic degenerative diseases.

When a body-wide state of excess calcium already exists, any added calcium is too much as it promotes abnormal cellular, glandular, and bodily functions. That is why supplemental calcium needs to be stopped, excess dietary calcium needs to be curtailed, and all calcium-rich, vitamin D-fortified foods need to be avoided.

The excess calcium in non-bone tissues has been shown to increase mortality from all causes. You are 30% more likely to have a heart attack and 20% more likely to have a stroke if you take an extra 500 mg of calcium per day. Over one-third of Americans over the age of 45 have evidence of arterial calcification. This percentage rises drastically with greater age, literally skyrocketing in postmenopausal women as well as in testosterone-deficient men. The degree of calcium deficiency in osteoporotic bone is actually an indicator of the amount of excess calcium that has taken up residence in non-bone tissue. Not only does increasing calcium intake fail to improve bone strength, it fuels calcium excess everywhere in the body. Calcium supplementation does not prevent bone fractures. However, adequately dosed vitamin D supplementation does  decrease fracture risk.

Until you address your toxin exposures and your hormone deficiencies, you will not prevent or resolve osteoporosis regardless of whether you are ingesting appropriate or even elevated amounts of dietary  calcium. Calcium migration from the bone is not the cause of osteoporosis, but rather a symptom of it. Giving large amounts of calcium will eventually result in a small amount of it filling in pores in osteoporotic bones. However, it cannot be emphasized strongly enough that this approach is simply cosmetic. It will make the bones look somewhat better on a bone density test, but it does no more to improve bone strength than blowing finely ground chalk into the cracks of an earthquake-damaged building will to restore its structural integrity, or putting a fresh coat of paint on rotting wood.”

                     ADDITIONAL HELPFUL TREATMENTS

Note: much of the positive impact of these anti-osteoporosis agents results from the increased anti-oxidant impact they ultimately have in the bones and the rest of the body.

  1. a) ***Vitamin D3: 2,000 IU up to 10,000 IU daily. Monitor a 25-OH-Vitamin D level to keep the level 60- 100 ng/ml.
  2. b) ***Vitamin K (for those not on Coumadin)–{especially vitamin K2}– up to 1 mg daily. Vitamin K inhibits abnormal calcification outside of the bones; helps dissolve pre-existing abnormal calcifications; K2 lessens susceptibility to coronary artery disease; K1 may increase bone density and definitely decreases fracture risk; K2 as MK-4 prevents fractures, sustains bone density, and improves bone quality via increased collagen content and collagen cross-linking when administered in pharmacological doses; K2 as MK-4 can compensate for bone weakening induced by magnesium deficiency, can prevent and/or treat some forms of cancer, and,can augment positive bone effects of bisphosphonates; and, K2 decreases cardiac mortality as well as all-cause mortality.
  3. c) ***Boron: supplementation reduces urinary loss of calcium and magnesium and improves levels of Estradiol and Testosterone. Foods high in boron include (in descending order): raisins, almonds, hazel nuts, dried apricots, avocado, peanut butter, Brazil nuts, red kidney beans, cashews and dates. Or, supplement with 3 mg of boron daily.
  4. d) ***Magnesium is nature’s calcium channel blocker. Magnesium and calcium can largely be characterized as biological antagonists. Magnesium levels are strongly associated with the anabolic hormones testosterone and human growth hormone. Magnesium dissolves calcium deposits and keeps them in solution; decreases intracellular oxidative stress by decreasing elevated intracellular calcium levels; regulates active calcium transport; and, increases bone density and decreases fracture incidence. Magnesium is at the center of every chlorophyll molecule, thus, eating green leafy vegetables is a good dietary source for magnesium. Magnesium is also found in nuts, legumes, whole grains, fruits and fish. However, you cannot reliably expect to obtain consistent and sufficient amounts of magnesium by ingesting these foods. Magnesium content is vegetables has seen a huge decline since pre-1950 levels because of soil depletion. Additionally, many soils have too much potassium which competes for absorption of magnesium into the plant. Also, typical grain refining processes for bread and pasta removes 80%-95% of total magnesium. Start supplementing slowly and back off if diarrhea ensues. The mineral form, Magnesium Oxide 400 mg to 800 mg daily,  is the least expensive and works just fine if it is absorbed and if it doesn’t cause you diarrhea.  However, some people don’t absorb the mineral form of magnesium well.  A chelated form of magnesium is usually much better absorbed. The best gut tolerated form is magnesium glycinate 400 mg-500 mg or magnesium asporatate 400 mg to 500 mg daily. Magnesium L-Threonate 1,000 to 2,000 mg taken at bedtime can be very helpful with sleep management and for neurological conditions.  This form of magnesium most easily crosses the blood-brain barrier with comprehensive benefits for sleep, anxiety,  cognitive function, and migraines. {It can be obtained from LifeExtension.com.}
  5. e) ***Lactoferrin 300 mg daily is a potent anabolic agent that stimulates bone growth and bone repair and can help to prevent osteoporosis. Additionally, it has well-documented anti-infective, immune strengthening, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. It can also benefit weight management.
  6. f) ***Vitamin C 6,000 mg daily can help to prevent bone loss and fractures.
  7. g) Strontium: 1 gm/day increased to 1 gm twice daily in 1 to 2 month: caution– it may cause diarrhea. Strontium accelerates the action of bone-building osteoblasts and slows the action of bone destroying osteoclasts, with a net positive result for bones.
  8. h) Ipriflavone: is a synthetic flavonoid derived from the soy isoflavone called daidzein. It promotes the incorporation of calcium into bone and inhibits bone breakdown, thus preventing and reversing osteoporosis. It works by slowing down the action of the osteoclasts, thus, allowing the osteoblasts to build up bone mass. A typical dose is 600 mg daily
  9. i) A proprietary product called “Ostinol” (zycalbio.com) contains bone morphogenic proteins (BMPs) that stimulate osteoblasts to grow new bone and cartilage. There are no negative side effects. For people with normal bone density, it is recommended to use 150 mg daily. For osteopenia, the recommended dose is 350 mg once or twice daily. If there is associated arthritis, the dose recommendation is 2, 350 mg caps twice daily. For osteoporosis, the recommended dose is 450 mg daily. If the bone loss is rapid or if there is associated arthritis, the dose is 450 mg twice daily.
  10. j) Omega-3 Fatty Acids: help to combat calcium toxicity and to create stronger bones and decreased fracture risk. They increase osteoblast activity and reduce inflammation. Men with the top 20% of DHA concentrations have protection from loss of bone mineral density compared to all the other subject. Higher levels of DHA and EPA in the red blood cells was associated with less OP and greater bone mass. {Additionally, Omega-3 fatty acids help protect against the formation of kidney stones; prevent coronary events; decrease new breast cancers; and, lower all-cause mortality.} An upper dose is 0.3 g/kg body weight, meaning a 150-pound person can take 21 g daily (having a content of about 13 g EPA and DHA). Most people do well taking 1 to 3 gm daily.

                                 ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS

1)  FALL PREVENTION:  The increased risk of falling associated with aging leads to fractures. The risk of falling is increased by impaired eyesight (eg. Glaucoma, macular degeneration), balance disorders (eg. Vertigo), movement disorders (eg. Parkinson’s Disease), sarcopenia (muscle weakness),  dementias (eg. Alzheimer’s Disease), cardiac dysrrhythmias, vasovagal syncope, postural (orthostatic) hypotension, and seizures. People with gait or balance disorders and who have had previous falls are most at risk. It is important to remove obstacles and loose carpets in the living areas. Using a cane or walker may also help.

2)  Regular weight bearing ENDURANCE EXERCISING is strongly encouragedAlso, aerobics and muscle resistance exercises help to maintain cognition and increase bone mineral density.

3)  AVOID SOFT DRINKS!!!  The high phosphorus level, required for dissolving the sugar and for contributing to the taste, causes calcium to be pulled from bone storage in order to for the phosphorus level to be biologically balanced.

4)  Consider ALKALINIZING your dietary intake by eating a predominantly vegan vegetarian diet. BE AWARE: Meat, fish, dairy products, refined sugars and alcohol, coffee, tea and sodas all produce acidity in the body.  I encourage quitting smoking cigarettes, eliminating or minimizing alcohol and coffee intake, limiting a diet high in animal protein and milk products, reducing salt intake, and increasing the eating of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Calcium rich foods are necessary on a daily basis. Good sources of calcium include: green leafy vegetables (such as collards and spinach), Soy products such as Tofu, almonds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, black-eyed peas, blackstrap molasses, figs, bok choy, broccoli and sardines.

5)  ***Olive oil increases serum concentrations of osteocalcin (for bone building) and procollagen type 1 N-terminal propeptide (P1NP) which has protective effects against osteoporosis by increasing bone collagen synthesis and bone formation rates. {J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Oct;97(10):3792-8.} Black Olives, especially a variety called Lucques olives, have a high quantity of “oleuropein”, which nudges mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to turn into bone cells instead of fat cells. It also increases osteoblast formation. A proprietary product called “Osteokol Plus” from www.besthealthnutritionals.com combines oleuropein along with vitamin K2, magnesium, manganese and zinc. The recommended dose is 2 tabs twice per day with food.   

 SUMMARY:  LIFESTYLE TIPS FOR BETTER BONE HEALTH

  1. a) Regular weight-bearing exercise helps to strengthen bones.
  2. b) Avoid smoking cigarettes.
  3. c) Limit drinking alcohol.
  4. d) Avoid drinking sodas in order to limit phosphorus intake.
  5. e) Eat a balanced diet with fresh fruits and vegetables, and calcium rich foods such as dark leafy vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Use milk products (if at all) in moderation.
  6. f) Strongly consider BHRT from mid-life onward under medical supervision.
  7. g) Avoid Calcium Supplementation. But, be sure to have an optimal vitamin D3 level.
  8. h) TESTING: Get a DXA scan to evaluate your bone-mineral density. {Be aware that it can pick up blood vessel calcifications and arthritic changes and report them as bone density that doesn’t exist.} A quantitative computerized tomogram or QCT scan is  a better study, however, it is not widely available.  Since it takes about 2 years to notice any changes on these studies,  following a urine N-telopeptide/creatinine ratio: NTX Is the best way to evaluate potential bone loss.

                  COMMON MEDICATIONS can lead to OP

  1. a) Chemotherapeutics for fighting cancers can suppress the sex hormones. Anti-androgens, which suppress testosterone levels, and aromatase inhibitors which reduce estrogen activity contribute to bone loss and fractures.
  2. b) Corticosteroids (such as hydrocortisone, prednisone and dexamethasone) are associated with bone loss and increased risk of fractures.
  3. c) Anti-coagulants eg. Warfarin (coumadin) inhibits calcium incorporation into bone and increases calcium deposition in arterial walls.
  4. d) Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) such as Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid) suppress stomach acid and slow calcium absorption from the stomach. (Also, aluminum antacids can bind phosphate and interfere with calcium metabolism.)
  5. e) Anti-epileptics such as barbiturates and phenytoin (Dilantin) accelerate the metabolism of vitamin D.
  6. f) Anti-Depressants, especially Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) decrease bone mineral density and increase fracture risk.

       OSTEOPOROSIS IS ASSOCIATED WITH ATHEROSCLEROSIS

The more advanced the OP, the more calcium has been released from the bones over time. Calcium goes from the bone to be deposited in the arterial walls. Calcium can also occur in cardiac heart valves leading to a decreased blood flow, cardiomegaly and CHF, and angina pectoris. There is a 5x increased risk of CAD in people who have OP. Also, women with CAD have a 73% increased risk of OP.  Vitamin K2 helps to facilitate eliminating calcium from the arteries and depositing it appropriately in the bones. {Kiel, et. al. “Bone loss and the progression of abdominal aortic calcification over a 25 year period: the Framingham Heart Study”, Calcifi. Tissue Int. 2001;68(5):271-6.}

Arterial stiffening creates a vicious cycle of degeneration and decline. Consequences include: hypertension, myocardial infarctions, strokes, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s dementia, Parkinson’s disease, kidney failure, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and type 2 diabetes. A main contributor of arterial stiffness is calcification. Increased arterial stiffness is a death risk predictor.

          Vitamin K2 activates matrix Gla-protein, which inhibits calcium from depositing in arteries. Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) is found in plants. Some is converted to K2. Vitamin K2 (MK-4) is found in meat, eggs and dairy and is rapidly absorbed and metabolized. It helps to preserve bone health. Vitamin K2 (MK-7) is found in fermented soy beans and fermented cheeses. It remains active for >24 hours. This is significant, because in the absence of vitamin K2, matrix Gla-proteins are quickly inactivated. Processed foods are nearly devoid of vitamin K. Supplementing with vitamin K helps to prevent and reduce arterial stiffness. Arterial elasticity dampens pulse pressure waves, thus, allowing blood to flow smoothly through capillaries without big pressure fluctuations. Arterial stiffening creates pressure induced capillary damage. Thus, hypertension becomes a vicious cycle resulting in end-organ damage.

                                                       SARCOPENIA

          Sarcopenia is a decline in muscle mass that begins in the 4th decade of life. Age related sarcopenia increases the risk for falls, fractures, loss of independence, and, consequently, loss of life. As muscle mass falls, the risk of disability, hospitalization rates and nursing home placements greatly increases. There is an estimated 8% loss of muscle mass per decade after age 40, which increases to 15% per decade after age 70. A vicious cycle is triggered: decreased muscle mass and strength leads to decreased physical activity which leads to further muscle loss.

1)  Resistance training EXERCISE is an important component to help maintain adequate muscle strength.

2)  Another useful component is Beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate or HMB which is a metabolic product of the amino acid leucine. As with bone health, there is a balance between muscle breakdown (catabolism) and muscle build-up or restoration (anabolism). HMB helps to maintain this balance. With aging, HMB declines with a consequent drop in lean muscle mass. Supplementation with HMB helps to preserve and to enhance lean body mass, and promotes improved muscle function. HMB helps to build up muscle and also to prevent its breakdown. HMB also promotes the growth of new nerve branches, and helps to maintain functional connections between nerves and muscles.  A typical dose is 1.5 gm twice per day. {Vukovich MD, et. al., 2001, J Nutr; 131(7):2049-52, and Sanz-Paris, A, et. al. , 2018, J Nutr Health Aging; 22(6):664-75.}   A proprietary product called “Muscle Strength & Restore Formula” is available from www.LifeExtension.com containing HMG and Vitamin D3.

3)  VITAMIN D3 can complement this by enhancing muscle contractile strength and performance, and one’s balance and coordination. Vitamin D3 also improves mitochondrial dysfunction, and has potent immunomodulatory properties linked to improvement in inflammatory markers. Dosage is guided by serum 25-hydroxy Vitamin D3 levels to achieve an optimal serum level 60 to 100 ng/ml.  {Beaudart C, et. al., 2014, J Clin Endocrinol Metab; 99(11):4336-45; Cangussu LM, et. al., 2015, Osteoporos Int; 26(10):2413-21; Gama ZA, et. al., 2008, Rev Saude Publica; 42(5):946-56; and, Girgis Cm, et. al., 2013, Endocr Rev; 34(1):33-83.}

4)  OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS contribute to brain health and neuromuscular function. Higher levels are associated with improved muscle size and strength. A typical dose is 6 to 8 gm daily. {Rodacki CL, et. al., 2012, Am J Clin Nutr; 95(2):428-36; Smith GI, et. al., 2015, Am J Clin Nutr; 102(1):115-22.}

5)  The amino acid derivative CREATINE helps with mitochondrial cellular energy by recycling ATP, and benefits both the nervous system and the muscles. Supplementation with creatine helps to prevent muscle loss and to improve strength and endurance. A typical dose is 5 gm daily. {Kougias DG, et. al., 2018, Nutr Res; 53:1-14.}

 

 

 

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ATHEROSCLEROSIS

                                  ATHEROSCLEROSIS

The following Supplements and information can be helpful in preventing and managing atherosclerosis. Please inform your healthcare provider about any supplements and medications which you are taking in order to optimize your care and to help prevent any adverse interactions. This information is only intended for an educational purpose.

I believe that atherosclerosis is a preventable and potentially reversible nutritional disease which is highly associated with chronic inflammation.  But, what causes the inflammation?

Inflammation is the body’s attempt to heal itself, defend against foreign invaders, and repair tissue damage. Inflammation is part of our innate immunity. It is a protective response involving molecular mediators, immune cells and responsive blood vessels: an immuno-vascular response to eliminate the cause of cell injury, clear out necrotic cells and tissues, and initiate tissue repair. CHRONIC INFLAMMATION lasts for long periods of time; is mediated by monocytes and lymphocytes; continues because of protected viruses and non-degradable pathogens, persistent foreign bodies, and auto-immune responses; and, results in tissue damage, scarring and debilitation. It is now known that chronic inflammation is the fundamental origin for many chronic and degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, asthma and COPD, Alzheimer’s dementia, cancers, chronic allergic conditions, and arthritis. If chronic inflammation can be successfully managed, then these plagues of our modern life styles can be alleviated. {***If you are interested is specific suggestions, please see my detailed handout on Suggestions to Manage Chronic Inflammation.***}

 

                       ***ATHEROSCLEROSIS PREVENTION***  

{per the Linus Pauling and Matthias Rath: “Unified Theory of Human Cardiovascular Disease” (1989).}

Dr. Pauling proposes that a long term deficiency of vitamin C and a relative lack of L-lysine causes the enzyme lysine hydroxylase to be less activated which results in a deficiency of collagen fibril cross-linking strands which weakens the endothelium and surrounding connective tissue. Lipoprotein-a {Lp(a)} sticks to the damaged ends of lysine residues in the areas of the damaged artery, repairing the leakage with a fatty patch. Eventually, these fatty patches accumulate platelets and fibrous tissue, and, calcium deposits which forms an atherosclerotic plaque that is the hallmark of cardiovascular disease.

          ***The Pauling-Rath protocol can help to prevent and repair this damage. For treatment:  consider having a compounding Pharmacist mix the following ingredients together– (in order to deal with only one bottle of supplements, rather than several bottles): Vitamin C 3,000 mg, L-lysine 2,800 mg, L-proline 500 mg; and, take this twice daily. In order to enhance the antioxidant effect of the formula, also include: CoQ10: 200 mg, N-Acetylcysteine (NAC): 300 gm, and, Tocotrienols: 200 mg. {Per Glenn S. Rothfeld, MD; “Nutrition & Healing”, 2017 Feb;23:10.}

HOWEVER, especially consider using ***“Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C”*** from LivOnLabs.com (1-866-790-2107). It comes as a box of 30, 1,000 mg individually wrapped packages of a lipid gel which is squeezed into a “shot” of orange juice or other juice and knocked-back in one swallow. It is pleasant. The lipo-encapsulated vitamin C has  >7 times the bioavailable dose of other products, without GI side-effects.

 

          ***I highly recommend reading the 2013 book by Thomas E. Levy called “Death by Calcium”.***  The calcification of arteries is intrinsically related to CAD. Early stages of atherosclerotic plaques are cholesterol-laden, while advanced plaques are very calcium-rich. 1/3 of Americans >45 years old have arterial calcifications {15337212}. An important screening tool is a Coronary Artery Calcium Score (CAC). It is sensitive, specific and reliable, inexpensive and relatively safe as an indicator of atherosclerosis {26965738, 16365194, 22357989, 11451257}. The radiation dose is only a small fraction of the natural background radiation in the U.S. CAC is a computerized low-dose X-ray test, which takes less than 10 minutes and costs about $100. It can be obtained once or twice per year to diagnose atherosclerosis and to monitor the effectiveness of treatments.

Detectable coronary calcifications in young, asymptomatic men have a 12-fold increased risk of CAD {20730016}. CAC reliably predicts CAD and all-cause mortality {22357989, 23206619}. It is a significant indicator of extracellular calcium deposition which can reliably help to predict death from chronic degenerative diseases. The higher the CAC, the greater the mortality hazard: eg. a CAC 1-100 points has a 3-fold risk; a CAC 101-1000 points has a 6.13-fold risk; and, a CAC >1000 has a 10.93-fold risk {22357989}. Males with the highest Vitamin C levels have the lowest CAC scores {15003962}. Increased markers of inflammation are associated with increased progression of CAC {23340891}, and also associated with low levels of Vitamin C. People with the highest Vitamin C levels have the longest life expectancy, with a reduced rate of all-cause mortality {11247548, 17442130}.

Calcium Channel Blockers (CCB) exert an anti-atherosclerosis effect. The long-term use of these drugs in older individuals without hypertension almost never results in unwanted hypotension. The logical answer is that virtually all individuals using these drugs also have chronic states of excess intracellular calcium, which increases oxidative stress. Calcium channel blockers lower all-cause mortality {10323641, 10923432, 15716708, 19451836}. CCBs reduce intracellular calcium levels, thus, reducing oxidative stress. CCBs reduce methylmercury, associated with damage to the nervous system, and reduce cytoplasmic iron accumulation, associated with malignant transformation {8882354, 21860702}. CCB use is negatively correlated with the incidence of prostate cancer {19451836, 23308170}.

There is a significant association between atherosclerosis and osteoporosis. In addition to a decrease in the sex hormones associated with aging, another major cause of osteoporosis is “focal scurvy” (severe vitamin C deficiency) of the bones. Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen and for creating the fibrous interconnecting collagen cross-linking strands required to optimize the physical strength and resilience of the bones. A vitamin C deficiency results in weaker bones and a fragile endothelium. This can be easily prevented, cured and reversed with appropriate dosing of vitamin C and other important nutrients. Vitamin C maintains a healthy osteoblast (bone depositing)—osteoclast (bone dissolving) balance. In the absence of vitamin C, bone-making osteoblasts fail to form. At the same time, there is an unchecked increase in bone-dissolving osteoclasts, resulting in weakened bone integrity along with calcium loss, which is then abnormally deposited within the arterial system. Also, a deficiency of vitamin C directly increases oxidative stress within all cells causing damage and even death of the cells.

Toxins increase intracellular calcium {23160928, 22927718, 23049237}. Degenerative neurological conditions such as ALS, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s dementia have elevated intracellular calcium {20493207, 21884755, 21697951}. The ultimate mechanism of cell death is a high level of intracellular calcium {23250754, 2220009}. Ectopic calcifications (calcium deposited in soft tissues other than bone), including atherosclerosis, are often found in patients with chronic diseases and cancer {23308170}. Mammograms, used for breast cancer screening, often demonstrate microscopic and macroscopic calcifications which may indicate a need for a biopsy {23370209}. Thus, managing excessive calcium is critical for preventing and reversing chronic diseases associated with aging. ***Treatment with Vitamin C is fundamental for managing excessive calcifications***.

         

          Another highly significant risk factor for developing atherosclerosis is ***GLUCOSE INTOLERANCE*** (otherwise known as: insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, a part of the metabolic syndrome, and “diabesity”), much more than an elevated serum cholesterol level.  Heart disease is more closely associated with inflammation (which is HIGHLY associated with an increased simple sugar load). Saturated fats and cholesterol in the diet do no lead to heart disease. Over the age of 60, the higher your total cholesterol, the longer you are likely to live. Thus, it is very important to manage glucose intolerance with the goal to reduce the marker hemoglobin A1C below 5.

 

***AMPK (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase) activation is very important for both the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis. AMPK is the metabolic master switch:  a) it mitigates LDL oxidation and the resulting endothelial damage, which slows the development of atherosclerosis; b) it reduces the conversion of monocytes into fat laden macrophages (“foam cells”), which reduces their accumulation in vessel walls; c) it increases cholesterol export out of endothelial cells and suppresses the inflammatory stimulus normally produced; d) it offers critical protection of coronary artery endothelial cells against “fat poisoning”—the death of endothelial cells in the presence of high fat concentrations; and, e) it prevents fragmentation of mitochondria (the energy producing organelles) in endothelial cells which is known to be a precursor of atherosclerosis. The prescription medication Metformin activates the metabolic regulator AMPK AND helps to reduce glucose intolerance. In one study, patients who had a heart attack who were taking Metformin had a 75% reduction in the risk of dying after 30 days, and a 68% reduction in their risk of dying 12 months after the attack. {Cardiovasc Drugs Tger, 2015;29(3):265-275.} Metformin reduced the risk of heart attack, stroke, atrial fibrillation and death from all-causes. {Endocr Pract. 2016;22(8):999-1007.}  Alternatively, a proprietary product called “AMPK Activator” is available from www.LifeExtension.com. It contains 2 nutrients shown to boost AMPK activity: 1) Gynostemma pentaphyllum: otherwise known as Southern Ginseng or Jiaogulan, is an adaptogen with powerful anti-oxidant properties, and 2) Trans-Tiliroside: a rosehip extract with anti-obesity and anti-diabetes activity.

Consuming an over-abundance of calories for a long time will suppress the AMPK system. AMPK reduces insulin resistance and supports glucose transport, inhibits the metabolic syndrome associated inflammation, increases utilization of stored fat for energy, improves mitochondrial fat burning, reduces weight gain by enhancing the effect of the anti-obesity hormone– adiponectin, and improves immune functions and other functions that support longevity. Increased AMPK activity normalizes hyper-activated mTOR activity. {Excessive mTOR accelerates cell aging and malignant transformation, and depletes stem cells.} A suppressed AMPK system leaves the body in a state of continued energy storage and reduced energy utilization. Cutting calories forces the body to activate AMPK.  Also, AEROBIC EXERCISE is a powerful AMPK activating strategy. Only when adding exercise will reducing calories be truly effective for weight loss. Hesperidin, found in citrus peel extracts and in orange juice, also activates AMPK.

 

          ***NITRIC OXIDE (NO) plays a key role in the healthy functioning of the endothelium. The AMA has published studies showing that adults over age 40 don’t produce enough NO. In fact, they produce only half of what they did when they were 20 years old. NO is an important signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system that promotes arterial dilation by relaxing smooth muscles which helps the body support healthy blood pressure levels, heart health, and increased circulation throughout the body. Nitrates found in beets and green leafy vegetables begin the conversion to nitrites by bacteria in the saliva. Gastric acid then converts nitrites to NO. Exercise also increases NO levels. A healthy oral microbiome is critical for converting nitrates to nitrites. For example, Chlorhexadine (used in mouth wash) kills these important bacteria which results in decrease NO levels, and, consequently, increased blood pressure. Thus, hypertension may be a symptom of oral dysbiosis.

Decreased NO levels result in endothelial inflammation and oxidative stress. NO helps to inhibit platelet stickiness, increases mitochondrial function and improves longevity, and promote angiogenesis in situations with low blood flow. Also, the PDE5 inhibitor medications (such as Viagra and Cialis) used to treat erectile dysfunction require NO in order to work by causing vaso-relaxation. The enzyme endothelial nitric oxide synthetase (eNOS) is needed to produce NO. The following conditions impair eNOS activity: dyslipidemia, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and aging.

A proprietary extract from the rind of sweet oranges called “Cordiart” contains highly bioavailable hesperidin which reduces the destruction of the enzyme eNOS that is needed to produce nitric oxide which subsequently increases nitric oxide availability.  Hesperidin reduces the inflammation marker CRP, and lowers serum amyloid A which promotes impairment of eNOS. It also lowers levels of E-selectin, an adhesion molecule that can initiate inflammatory infiltration of endothelial tissue. A proprietary product called “Endothelial Defense with Full-Spectrum Pomegranate and Cordiart” is available from www.LifeExtension.com.

          Pomegranate enhances nitric oxide synthesis and supports reverse cholesterol transport by HDL which can result in shrinking of atherosclerotic plaques (see above).  Superoxide dismutase (SOD) protects against damage to eNOS from oxidative destruction resulting in decreased production of nitric oxide. This product also contains an orally active form of SOD called “GliSODin” that supports arterial function and structure. Nitrate rich foods include spinach, beets, carrots, arugula, pomegranate, garlic, cocoa and citrus fruits.

          Beets (Beta vulgaris) are probably the richest dietary source of nitrate. The nitrate in beets (best taken as the raw juice or baked) acts as a reservoir by forming nitrite for the production of the local microvascular vasodilator nitric oxide,  which helps with managing angina and with erectile dysfunction. In 2012, a randomized, controlled, single blind crossover trial investigating the effect of eating beets on blood pressure demonstrated that eating beets substantially lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Also, beets make 2 key detoxifying enzymes: glutathione peroxidase and glutathione-S-transferase. The first protects against free-radical damage and the second is crucial for detoxifying chemicals. Inducing activity with beets may protect against cancer.  Additionally, beet fiber increases colon immune CD8 cells which detect and eliminate abnormal cells. This is particularly helpful to protect against colon cancer.  Consider drinking 10 oz of beet juice daily.  

A patented formula which is available exclusively through physicians may help the body increase Nitric Oxide levels. It is called “Neo40 Pro”. Nitric Oxide indicator strips can measure NO present in saliva which helps to appropriately dose Neo40 Pro and achieve an optimal range. One oral dissolving lozenge use twice daily can help to decrease blood pressure. Also, in a comparison study with aggressive statin use for 3 years where plaque regression was 2.7%, use of Neo40 Pro demonstrated plaque regression by 11% in only 6 months of use.

 

          ***Periodontal disease is a significant cause of atherosclerosis! DENTAL PLAQUE causes gum irritation and activation of immune cells which attack the endothelial lining. Treating periodontal disease reduces endothelial inflammation and damage. See a dental hygienist and have your teeth cleaned every 6 months. Floss or use a water pick after every meal. Consider brushing your teeth with an electric toothbrush. Dunk the brush into 3% hydrogen peroxide then tap it into some baking soda and brush with that mixture: it doesn’t taste very good, but the anti-infectious effects are dramatic. Use CoQ10 (or Ubiquinol) 300 mg daily. And, consider applying ozonated olive oil to your gums before bed and upon awakening. Ozonated olive oil can be obtained from Longevity Resources by calling 877-543-3398. A more palatable form called Olive Gold O3 can be obtained by calling 561-882-4153.

{***Also, I highly recommend reading the book “Hidden Epidemic” by Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD.}  “Oral infections are responsible for most heart attacks and breast cancers, as well as a majority of other chronic diseases. What is alarming is the fact that most of these oral infections are painless and asymptomatic. Frequently, they are even more deadly than when they hurt! The majority of these infections can now be identified using 3D Cone Beam imaging. A general treatment protocol includes: 1) Prevent or minimize daily toxin exposure. 2) Neutralize existing toxins already in the body. 3) Excrete and eliminate toxins in as non-toxic a manner as possible. 4) Resolve existing infections, and eliminate the reasons for contracting new infections. 5) Supplement optimally to maximize the antioxidant and nutrient status in the body. 6) Eat and digest optimally to maximize the antioxidant and nutrient status in the body. Consider regularly using a complete food pulverizer device such as a “NutriBullet”. 7) Correct hormone imbalances, typically deficiencies of testosterone, estrogen, and thyroid hormone. 8) Use prescription medications sparingly and appropriately, when the listed measures don’t resolve or control a significant condition adequately (eg. control of hypertension, angina, significant pain); long-acting calcium channel blockers are of particularly great benefit. 9) ALWAYS include 3D cone beam imaging of the teeth as part of the baseline workup for any chronic degenerative disease, especially heart disease and breast cancer, and repeat this examination periodically for the optimal long-term management of any medical condition. 10) Have the oral surgeon, endodontist, or dentist follow an infected tooth extraction protocol that completely removes the periodontal ligament ad all infected bone, and that incorporates established measures to optimize good healing, including ozone applications and platelet-rich plasma. 11) Always attempt to have your physician communicate with your dentist in constructing your long-term healthcare management, and vice-versa. ***12) Various SUPPLEMENTS can be beneficial:

Vitamin A 25,000/day as beta carotene

Vitamin B complex without iron, copper and calcium daily

***Vitamin C (liposomal encapsulated) 1,000 once or twice-per-day (x7 bioavailability—no digestive upset nor diarrhea; best intracellular delivery; slower excretion rate):  the DOSE is the most critical factor for health and healing: no absolute maximum range.

Vitamin D3 5,000 IU/d–(monitor for optimal range of 50-80 ng/ml)

Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) 800 IU/d

Vitamin K (family: especially K2 as Menaquinone-4) 3-6 mg/d

Lysine 2,500 mg in a 5:1 ratio with Proline 500 mg/d

Magnesium (as a chelated form, eg. Glycinate: 400-1,000 mg/d)

Multimineral complex without iron, copper and calcium

Omega-3 Fish Oil and Krill Oil  3-9 gm/d

Iodine (potassium iodine) 12.5-25 mg/d  {pp. 308-312}

 

                              ***THE ENDOTHELIAL GLYCOCALYX LAYER*** 

 

          Cardiovascular disease begins with endothelial dysfunction. Blood vessel bifurcations create flow turbulence which increases the risk of vascular damage which increases the inflammatory response to injury. A thin glycocalyx (GC) gel layer coats the single cell width luminal side of the vascular endothelium. It is a mesh of complex sugars which makes the vessel wall slippery. It provides a barrier function, maintains platelet inhibition, assists with shear induced NO function, harbors readily available enzymes, and provides many other benefits. Like armor, it protects the endothelium from oxidative stress and inflammation. Damage to the GC layer (by elevated blood glucose, hypervolemia, tobacco smoke, turbulence, inflammation, etc.) causes leakage of substances into the subendothelial layers, which triggers plaque development. Current strategies to improve the GC layer include:  1) Glycemic control eg. Metformin; 2) Decreasing inflammatory mediators; and, 3) Increasing GC regenerating compounds eg. using a specialized sulfated polysaccharide product (SSP).

The Abstract in PLoS One. 2017; 12(10): e0186116, “Regeneration of glycocalyx by heparan sulfate and sphingosine 1-phosphate restores inter-endothelial communication,” by Mensah SA, et. al. states:

 

Vasculoprotective endothelium glycocalyx (GCX) shedding plays a critical role in vascular disease. Previous work demonstrated that GCX degradation disrupts endothelial cell (EC) gap junction connexin (Cx) proteins, likely blocking interendothelial molecular transport that maintains EC and vascular tissue homeostasis to resist disease. Here, we focused on GCX regeneration and tested the hypothesis that vasculoprotective EC function can be stimulated via replacement of GCX when it is shed. We used EC with [i] intact heparan sulfate (HS), the most abundant GCX component; [ii] degraded HS; or [iii] HS that was restored after enzyme degradation, by cellular self-recovery or artificially. Artificial HS restoration was achieved via treatment with exogenous HS, with or without the GCX regenerator and protector sphingosine 1- phosphate (S1P). In these cells we immunocytochemically examined expression of Cx isotype 43 (Cx43) at EC borders and characterized Cx-containing gap junction activity by measuring interendothelial spread of gap junction permeable Lucifer Yellow dye. With intact HS, 60% of EC borders expressed Cx43 and dye spread to 2.88 ± 0.09 neighboring cells. HS degradation decreased Cx43 expression to 30% and reduced dye spread to 1.87± 0.06 cells. Cellular self-recovery of HS restored baseline levels of Cx43 and dye transfer. Artificial HS recovery with exogenous HS partially restored Cx43 expression to 46% and yielded dye spread to only 1.03 ± 0.07 cells. Treatment with both HS and S1P, recovered HS and restored Cx43 to 56% with significant dye transfer to 3.96 ± 0.23 cells. This is the first evidence of GCX regeneration in a manner that effectively restores vasculoprotective EC communication.

 

Dilated capillaries in your cheeks and nose can be a sign of HYPOCHLORHYDRIA or low stomach hydrochloric acid and low pepsin production. With hypochlorhydria, you may not be properly digesting and absorbing important nutrients, supplements or medications. There is an association with atherosclerosis, elevated lipids, and hypertension as well as a long list of other diseases. If diagnosed, then treatment with glutamic acid-hydrochloride-pepsin capsules before meals may be very beneficial for your digestion. Using lemon juice or vinegar may have a similar benefit. NOTE: Hypochlorhydria is induced by proton-pump-inhibitor (PPI) medications, histamine 2 blockers, and antacid use.

 

                                                        SUPPLEMENTS

 

1)  ***VITAMIN K2Matrix Gla-protein is a vitamin K2-dependent protein, and it must be carboxylated (“turned on”) to function properly in order to bind calcium. Poor vitamin K status leads to inactive un-carboxylated (“turned off”) matrix Gla, which enables calcium to accumulate in soft tissues. When vitamin K levels are less than optimal, matrix Gla-protein allows calcium to infiltrate into arterial walls, literally hardening the arteries. Thus, vitamin K functions as a control switch which blocks calcium from entering soft tissues {22416724}. Also, Vitamin K2 helps to dissolve existing calcium deposits {17138823}. Vitamin K2 levels are negatively associated with all-cause mortality and with aortic calcifications {15514282}. Vitamin K2 also helps to improve bone mass and to reduce fractures {19949271}. It helps to take calcium out of tissues and put it back into bone where it belongs.

 It is optimal to supplement with the vitamin K family: I recommend taking 1mg vitamin K1, 1 mg (MK-4) vitamin K2 and 200 mcg (MK-7) vitamin K2. Studies are pending to determine if extended supplementation with high dose vitamin K might induce a regression of arterial calcification.  A proprietary product containing the recommended doses for the vitamin K family is called “Super K with advanced K2 complex” from www.LifeExtension.com.  One might think that taking higher amounts of vitamin K “the coagulation vitamin” would increase thrombotic risk. This concern has no basis in reality. Only small amounts of vitamin K are required to fully saturate coagulation proteins. Once fully saturated, there is no increased thrombotic risk in response to additional vitamin K intake. Vitamin K is critical for blocking calcification of heart valves, arterial linings, and other soft tissues, while helping to keep calcium in bone where it is needed.

 

2)  ***VITAMIN Cat least 6 gm/day.*** Endothelial collagen binding requires Vitamin C. A Vitamin C deficiency causes less collagen binding which sets up a cascade of reactions damaging to the endothelium ending in the deposition of calcium within the endothelium, and the plaques (scars) which form. Vitamin C can help to prevent and to reverse this calcification process. It can also help to relax angio-spasms. Vitamin C competes with glucose for intracellular transport. {Note: it can disturb accurate lab glucose measurements. It may also be how Vitamin C helps to manage cancers.} Also, Vitamin C helps to reduce inflammation. {A person weighing 160 pounds needs 13 to 15 gm of Vitamin C daily. Goat physiology is similar to human physiology in its requirements for Vitamin C, however, unlike humans, goats can manufacture Vitamin C. When a goat is stressed, it will increase its production of Vitamin C by ten-fold. Thus, it is not a problem for humans to take large doses of vitamin C. Oral dosing is limited by the osmotic effects it can have resulting in loose stools. Thus, for de-toxification and for the treatment of cancers, vitamin C is typically used by the intravenous route or by using liposomal vitamin C for doses greater than about 10 gm daily.

 

3)  ***MAGNESIUM: is nature’s calcium channel blocker {10618948}. Magnesium counter-balances calcium deposition in the cardiovascular system. Magnesium can dissolve calcium deposits {2133625}. Additionally, magnesium supports muscle and nerve function. It is a very useful supplement for essential tremors, restless leg syndrome, inducing and maintaining sleep, migraine headaches, palpitations and cardiac dysrhythmias, and muscle pains and cramps. Magnesium helps to increase bone density and to decrease fracture rates {16274367}. There is an inverse relationship between magnesium levels and all-cause mortality {7908076, 12845247}. A magnesium deficiency is associated with increased intracellular calcium, which is the final mechanism for cell death.  Magnesium levels are strongly associated with the anabolic hormones testosterone and human growth hormone. Magnesium is at the center of every chlorophyll molecule, thus, eating green leafy vegetables is a good dietary source for magnesium. Magnesium is also found in nuts, legumes, whole grains, fruits and fish. However, you cannot reliably expect to obtain consistent and sufficient amounts of magnesium by ingesting these foods. Magnesium content is vegetables has seen a huge decline since pre-1950 levels because of soil depletion. Additionally, many soils have too much potassium which competes for absorption of magnesium into the plant. Also, typical grain refining processes for bread and pasta removes 80%-95% of total magnesium.

Only about 1% of your body’s magnesium is in your blood, the rest is in the cells of your muscles, bones, nerves and organs. If you have a low blood level then you have a very low intracellular level. If you have a normal level, you may still have a low intracellular level. The WHO found that 75% of Americans take in less magnesium than they need. By age 50 most of us have significant deficiencies. When blood sugars rise, magnesium is excreted in the urine. Thus, people with diabetes frequently are deficient in magnesium. And, supplementing with magnesium can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.  A relatively modest increase in magnesium supplementation/ingestion can also lower the risk of developing pancreatic cancer and colorectal cancer. The symptoms of mitral valve prolapse syndrome are identical to magnesium deficiency, and, if treated with magnesium often resolve.  Note: Hypomagnesemia is commonly associated with hypokalemia.

Start supplementing slowly and back off if diarrhea ensues. The mineral form, Magnesium Oxide 400 mg to 800 mg daily,  is the least expensive and works just fine if it is absorbed and if it doesn’t cause you diarrhea.  However, some people don’t absorb the mineral form of magnesium well.  A chelated form of magnesium is usually much better absorbed. The best gut tolerated form is magnesium glycinate 400 mg-500 mg or magnesium asporatate 400 mg to 500 mg daily. Magnesium L-Threonate 1,000 to 2,000 mg taken at bedtime can be very helpful with sleep management and for neurological conditions.  This form of magnesium most easily crosses the blood-brain barrier with comprehensive benefits for sleep, anxiety,  cognitive function, and migraines. {It can be obtained from www.LifeExtension.com.}   Try to AVOID magnesium stearate which can impede absorption in the gut and reduce bioavailability of other nutrients.  As a guideline, a maintenance dosage is 3 mg per pound of body weight. However, if there is inflammation in your system or if you are stressed, I recommend 5 mg per pound of body weight. Another good proprietary blend of highly absorbable magnesium can be obtained from www.unikeyhealth.com.

 

4)  ***The sex hormones Estrogen and Testosterone: There is an inverse relationship with coronary artery calcification and with all-cause mortality {23460719, 22747181}. Estrogen decreases inflammatory cytokines and inhibits a protein that promotes calcification {20595654}. The higher the estrogen level, the lower the CAC score {20512078}. Testosterone has a calcium channel blocking effect {21439799}. The higher the testosterone level, the lower the CAC score {22522505}. Bio-identical Hormone Replacement therapy (BHRT) is helpful for both the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis. It needs to be monitored closely by your physician.

 

5)  ***L-Lysine and Proline amino acids in a 5:1 ratio (approx. 2,800 mg lysine and 500 mg proline) helps to prevent and reduce plaque. Lysine binds to lipoprotein a {Lp(a)} and dislodges it from being bound to atherosclerotic plaques. Dr. Pauling observed that the combination of Vitamin C and lysine could significantly reduce angina pectoris.

 

6)  ***Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) is a facilitator of tissue healing. It can stabilize soft plaques which are prone to ulceration by improving the synthesis of collagen. Collagen is a component of the thick caps that hold soft plaque in place. Additionally, it helps inhibit the progression of plaque by reducing the adhesion of monocytes that promote atherosclerosis. The dose is:  4 ml (approximately 1 tsp) of a strong 1:1 liquid extract twice per day mixed in water, or a 100 mg extract.  

 

7)  ***Pycnogenol (French Maritime pine bark extract) is a patented mixture of plant flavonoids with abundant beneficial effects. Pycnogenol can prevent and reverse the oxidative damage that produces blood vessel disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders. Endothelial function improved by 32% compared to a placebo after 8 weeks of supplementation with 100 mg/d in a cross-over study. {Eur Heart J. 2012 Jul;33(13):1589-97.} Pycnogenol relaxes arterial tension in part by stimulating the eNOS enzyme system that produces nitric oxide. Nitric oxide produces a wider artery and increased blood flow. It also reduces the arterial wall content of calcified-collagen (which contributes to hypertension and endothelial damage).  Pycnogenol reduces activation of NF-kappaB, a master inflammatory regulator, responsible for release of inflammatory cytokines. It also inhibits the expression of adhesion molecules that make arterial walls sticky for platelet aggregation, and white blood cell clumping in early stages of plaque formation. It reduces levels of isoprostanes, which are an index of how much oxidized fat is present, and a measure of overall oxidative stress. It helps improve the ejection fraction and heart failure class, improves treadmill walking distance and reduces blood pressure. The typical dose is 100 mg daily.  {Luo H, et. al., 2015 Oct 23, Exp Mol Med; 47:e191; Enseleit F, et. al., 2012 Jul, Eur Heart J; 33(13):1589-97; Fitzpatrick DF, et. al., 1998 Oct, J Cardiovasc Pharmacol; 32(4):509-15.}

          Both Pycogenol and gotu kola individually help to reduce atherosclerotic  plaque progression and promotes plaque stability. They have an enhanced effect when they are used together. {Belcaro G, et. al.: 2014 Feb, Int Angiol; 33(1):20-6; and, 2015 Apr, Int Angiol; 34(2):150-7; and, 2017 June, 26, Int Angiol; (2):95-101.} There is a proprietary dual-compound product from www.LifeExtension.com called “Arterial Protect”.

 

8)  CARNITINE helps mitochondrial function and energy production by facilitating the transport of fatty acids into mitochondria. In a double-blind trial, 160 patients with acute MI received 4 gm/d of L-carnitine or no L-carnitine after hospital discharge for 1 year. After 1 year, the mortality rate was 90% lower in the L-carnitine group than in the control group: 1.2% vs 12.5%; p<0.005. {Drugs Exp Clin RES. 1992;8:355-365.}

 

9)  QUERCETIN is found in onions, buckwheat and apples. It has been shown to preserve mitochondrial function in the heart, brain, liver and skeletal muscles. It triggers reverse cholesterol transport, which results in the removal of cholesterol from the arterial wall by HDL for transport to the liver for safe disposal. It activates the Nrf2/ARE defense system. It boosts cardiovascular function, muscular endurance and performance, protects against loss of brain cells, corrects blood glucose and lipid abnormalities in the metabolic syndrome, and shows evidence of anti-cancer and bone health-promoting properties. A typical dose is 250 mg per day.

 

10)  LUTEIN is a carotenoid that is known to protect vision by reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. An article {in Am. J Clin Nutr. 2016;103(2):481-94} doing a meta-analysis of 71 published papers representing more than 387,000 individuals showed that people with a higher intake of lutein had a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and the metabolic syndrome. Lutein protects tissues from oxidative stress and inflammation.

 

                                         HELPFUL FOODS

 

1)  ORANGES and CV support: patients with an increased risk for CVD ingesting 2 cups of OJ daily for 1 week had a significant decrease in inflammatory markers that accompanied a 38.5% improvement in endothelial function. {Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Apr;95(5):1089-1095.} Oranges contain a lot of folate which enhances homocysteine metabolism. {J Inherit  Metab. 2011 Feb;34(1):75-81.} Oranges favorably alter lipid metabolism. For patients with high cholesterol, 3 cups of OJ daily for 2 months had their LDL-cholesterol decrease by 19 mg/dL without affecting HDL and triglycerides. {Nutr RES. 2010 Oct;30(10):689-694.} In addition to vitamin C, oranges contain pectin fiber which decreases inflammation and enhances immunity by stimulating production of the anti-inflammatory molecule interleukin-4. {Brain Behav Immun. 2010 May;24(4):631-640.} And, remember, oranges are also high in hesperidin which reduces the destruction of the enzyme eNOS that is needed to produce nitric oxide which subsequently increases nitric oxide availability for vasodilation.

 

2)  Essential Fatty Acids have some calcium channel blocking effects, and blood levels are inversely related to all-cause mortality.

 

3)  Watermelon is the richest edible natural source of L-citrulline, a close relative to L-arginine, the amino acid required for the formation of nitric oxide, essential to the regulation of vascular tone and healthy blood pressure. Since consuming L-arginine isn’t a good option for many people with hypertension because of nausea and GI tract discomfort, watermelon is a generally well tolerated alternative. 6 grams of L-citrulline daily for 6 weeks in one study improved arterial function and consequently lowered aortic blood pressure.

 

4)  Grape Seed Extract 150 mg-200 mg per day has been found to improve the capillary microcirculation, especially in the eye, kidney and supplying the long nerves of the body, such as to the legs. Pine bark extract (Pycogenol) has similar properties.

 

5)  The following HERBS can boost microcirculatory health: a) Bilberry Extract: 160 mg twice per day can improve diabetic retinopathy, changes induced by cortisone therapy, and reduce post-op complications. b) Cocoa added raw in a smoothy, or eating 20 grams (about 2/3 oz) per day of 85-90% cocoa dark chocolate can reduce impairment of endothelial function, improve microcirculation and act as an effective anti-oxidant. c) Garlic as a fresh-crushed raw clove or 600-900 mg/day allicin-releasing powder increases capillary blood flow. d) Ginko Biloba 240 mg/day has a positive effect on retinal microcirculation and improves vision in patients with glaucoma.

 

6)  Multiple culprits initiate and promote atherosclerosis by damaging the delicate endothelium such as elevated:  glucose, insulin, triglycerides, LDL, homocysteine, C-reactive protein, oxidative stressors, low HDL, and low testosterone. Also, reduced nitric oxide bioavailability initiates endothelial dysfunction which accelerates atherosclerosis. Endothelial function can be restored by consumption of plant polyphenols such as those found in pomegranate, green tea, brassica vegetables and red grapes which also helps to protect nitric oxide production. KALE is an outstanding cruciferous vegetable for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Kale is abundant in sulforaphane, and the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which helps to prevent atherosclerosis. Its high fiber content has protective effects against high levels of CRP, and helps to lower cholesterol. It also has a high content of vitamins K, A and C, and the minerals calcium, manganese, copper and potassium.

 

7)  OLIVE OIL promotes cardiovascular health. Although olive oil’s health benefits have historically been attributed to its high monounsaturated fatty acid content, new evidence suggests it’s the polyphenols in olive oil, which have anti-inflammatory properties, that may contribute most to the oil’s cardiovascular benefits {J Transl Med. 2014 Aug 3;12:219.} Benefits are greatest when consuming 2 tablespoons of virgin or extra virgin olive oil (rather than a refined one) per day. It decreases total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein levels. Consuming 50 ml of virgin olive oil daily for 3 weeks produced significant reductions in the inflammatory markers associated with increased heart disease risk, interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein. {Eur J Clin Nutr. 2008 Apr;62(4):570-4.} Compared to those who never use olive oil, those with the highest olive oil consumption have a 41% reduced risk of stroke {Neurology. 2011 Aug 2;77(5):418-25,} AND, a 44% lower risk of dying from heart disease. {Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 July;96(1):142-9.} The following olive compounds are some of the most important for your heart: oleuropein (helps lower blood pressure, fight free radicals and has anti-inflammatory effects); phytosterols (decrease LDL cholesterol levels in the blood by interfering with cholesterol absorption in the small intestine); and, polyphenols, especially hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol and verbascoside (helps fight free radicals, lower blood pressure, and slow atherosclerosis.)

 

8)  ***FIBER: If you are an omnivore, you can lower your risk for cardiovascular disease when eating meat, eggs and dairy by increasing the fiber in your diet with supplementation. Trimethylamines are high in animal products and found in lower amounts in peas, beans, peanuts, soy, and cruciferous vegetables. It is also found in popular supplements such as carnitine, choline, phosphatidylcholine and lecithin. Trimethylamines are converted to trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) by intestinal bacteria. However, too much TMAO is problematic. In a study of over 4000 people, the subgroup with the highest levels of TMAO had 2.54 times the chance of a major cardiovascular problem compared with those in the lowest subgroup. Vegetarians and Vegans have significantly lower levels of TMAO than omnivores because they eat more fiber. The amount of fiber in a diet is what determines the overall balance of the bacteria in the colon. If you are an omnivore and eat plenty of vegetables, you will get about 16 gm of fiber from your diet. Vegetarians typically get around 30 grams. By supplementing with fiber, you can lower your risk of CVD. Consider eating a quarter cup of steel cut oatmeal for breakfast which will provide 4 grams of fiber. A good fiber called “Super Immune QuickStart powder” can be obtained by calling 800-791-3395.  It will take your intestines a little time to get used to the increased fiber. So, go slowly. Start by adding a quarter-scoop of QuickStart powder each morning for 2 weeks and gradually increase to a heaping scoop. Then, use a teaspoon of fructooligosaccharides for another 4 grams of fiber. Fructooligosaccharides are special fibers found in vegetables and fruits which balance the different intestinal bacteria. It can be obtained from www.Nutricology.com. Start off by adding a quarter-teaspoon to the QuickStart fiber daily and each week add another quarter teaspoon until you reach a teaspoon daily. You don’t have to give up your meat, you just have to increase your fiber. 

 

9)  POMEGRANATE protects the endothelium against atherosclerosis. Pomegranate extracts contain polyphenols, tannins and anthocyanins which:  1) enhance cholesterol outflow from inflammatory white blood cells, helping to reduce the risk of plaque formation. 2) Protect vulnerable LDL molecules from the oxidation that leads to arterial wall inflammation that promotes plaque generation. And, 3) Boost natural antioxidant systems, particularly superoxide dismutase (SOD), protecting vital nitric oxide and allowing the endothelium to recover from the effects of chronic oxidative and inflammatory stressors. Pomegranate also elevates the enzyme paraoxonase-1 (PON-1) activity. PON-1 blocks destructive lipid peroxidation reactions. It is anchored to the surface of HDL which helps to cleanse arterial walls of plaque, protects LDL against oxidation and inhibits chronic inflammation, vascular adhesion molecules and platelet activation all of which leads to atherosclerosis. A proprietary product from www.LifeExtension.com called “Endothelial Defense” provides pomegranate extracts.

 

10)  BUCKWHEAT contains a number of nutrients that deliver cardiovascular benefits, including protection against blood clots, reducing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol and managing diabetes. It contains the richest food source for the flavonoid rutin. Rutin blocks the enzyme protein disulfide isomerase that is excreted by endothelial cells and platelets when a clot forms in an artery or vein. It also helps reduce blood pressure. Buckwheat is a good source of magnesium and has a rich fiber content which helps to reduce inflammation, and lower total and LDL cholesterol. Buckwheat contains a high concentration of D-chiro-inositol which increases insulin sensitivity. It also contains quercetin which is known to reduce free radicals and inflammation.  

 

                                    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

1)  Sexual Intercourse is good for your heart. It has been reported that having sexual intercourse with your partner twice per week can reduce the incidence of myocardial infarctions by 50%.

 

2)  According to “The Book of JOY”, a conversation between the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Tutu and Douglas Abrams:  “When we help others, we often experience what has been called the “helper’s high,” as endorphins are released in our brain, leading to a euphoric state. The same reward centers of the brain seem to light up when we are doing something compassionate as when we think of chocolate. The warm feeling we get from helping others comes from the release of oxytocin, the same hormone that is released by lactating mothers. This hormone seems to have health benefits, including the reduction of inflammation in the cardiovascular system. Compassion literally makes our heart healthy and happy.” (p. 258)

 

3)  EPIGENETICS:  We are not prisoners of our genes. In the article in Nature 2011 Feb 10; 47:264-268 “9p21 DNA variants associated with Coronary Artery Disease Impair Interferon-gamma signaling response”  the authors demonstrate the 9p21 chromosome as the most robust gene ever associated with heart disease. It is an inflammation driver in the endothelial cells of blood vessels. If one carries this gene they are at a higher risk of coronary and generalized arterial disease. The high risk genotype can be mitigated by consuming a diet high in fruits and vegetables! Both raw and cooked, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables in 5 to 6 servings per day were protective. As we begin to understand the crucial importance of epigenetic factors, we will continue to better understand the significance of our lifestyle choices, thoughts and beliefs, and the impact of environmental toxicity upon our genome expression.

 

4)  Adiponectin is a protein hormone secreted by adipocytes. Adiponectin improves insulin sensitivity and blood lipid levels, and lowers cardiovascular risk factors. High plasma adiponectin levels are associated with a lower risk of myocardial infarctions in men. {Pischon, et. al., JAMA, 2004;291(14):1730-1737.} Increasing AMPK activation will increase adiponectin.

 

5)  Homocysteine is a byproduct of methionine metabolism, and it is a risk factor for atherosclerosis. OBSERVATIONS: 1) oral or parenteral administration of homocysteine thiolactone (a precursor to homocysteine) caused atherosclerosis in rabbits. {Atherosclerosis 1975;22:215-227.} 2) Individuals with homocysteinuria (a rare inborn error of metabolism) develop early-onset osteoporosis, premature atherosclerosis, and thromboembolism, and usually die by age 13. 3) Hyperhomocysteinemia has been associated with an increased incidence of atherosclerosis, thromboembolism, stroke, osteoporosis, recurrent miscarriage, and age-related cognitive decline. 4) The 677C to T variant of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (which is associated with hyper-homocysteinemia) is associated with increased risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia, miscarriage, and osteoporosis. This suggests that the association with hyperhomocysteinemia with these diseases is causalA)  POSITIVE CLINICAL RESULTS: 1) In an uncontrolled trial, supplementation with folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 appeared to reverse carotid atherosclerosis in hyperhomocysteinemic patients. {Lancet 1998;351:263.} 2) Meta-analysis of 8 randomized controlled trials found that folic acid supplementation significantly reduced the risk of stroke by 18%. {Lancet 2007;369:1876-1882.} B)  NEGATIVE CLINICAL RESULTS: Numerous randomized controlled trials have found that homocysteine-lowering regimens failed to reduce various endpoints including all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction, heart disease-related deaths, and venous thrombosis, and failed to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.  POSSIBLE EXPLAINATIONS FOR NEGATIVE RESULTS: 1) Nutrient imbalances from supplementing with just a few nutrients, thus causing, for example, an exacerbation of magnesium deficiency. {J Am Coll Cardiol 1985;6:725-730.} 2) Betaine (and presumably choline, which were not investigated in clinical trials) appear to be more effective than folic acid, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6 for lowering postprandial (i.e. post methionine load) homocysteine levels. {Atheroscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2005;25:379-385.} 

          THUS, the RECOMMENDED DOSES for BETAINE and CHOLINE are: Betaine: 500 mg/d up to 2,000 mg tid; and, Choline: 500-1,000 mg/d. Note: supplementing with Folic Acid sometimes fails because it has to be converted to 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF). As people age, many people lack the enzymes for this conversion. By adding 5-MTHF as a supplement, 5 mg to 10 mg daily, higher than normal homocysteine levels can be reduced.  Adequate amounts of the other B-vitamins are also required, especially vitamin B2 (50 mg), B6 (75 mg) and B12 (300 mcg).  

          Additionally, homocysteine levels can be effectively lowered by taking “NT factor” which supplies phospholipids to damaged mitochondrial membranes.  In addition to helping with energy and stamina, NT factor can help to clear mental fogginess quickly. Studies show that supplementation can help to improve memory and avoid the “Winter blues” and help to stabilize patients with Alzheimer’s Dementia. Additionally, it can be very helpful for lowering fasting insulin levels. High levels  are associated with diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, BPH, kidney and liver disease and cancers.  It contains 10 crucial phospholipids including: 1) Phosphatidylethanolamine, the main lipid found in cell membranes, as much as 45% in the brain; 2) Phosphatidylcholine which helps grow new brain cells and connections; and, 3) Phosphatidylserine, which influences cognitive performance, neurotransmitters and memory. A proprietary product containing NT factor called “Vibrant & Clear Energy Wafers” can be obtained from www.WaferEnergy.com for about $50 for a 60 count bottle. The recommendation is to use 6 wafers in 2 or 3 divided doses, and then 1 wafer daily for maintenance.

 

6)  Use of a far infrared sauna for 10 minutes per day for at least 2 weeks can increase the amount of nitric oxide synthase in the arteries which then produces more nitric oxide which then dilates the arteries and improves heart function and lowers blood pressure. Combining a 20 minute daily sauna with 97% oxygen and 3% ozone in a sauna steam cabinet can increase blood peroxide levels which can reduce cardiovascular disease and other systemic illnesses. The skin penetration of OZONE is equivalent to intravenous administration or to rectal insufflation. A good home unit (which is expensive) can be obtained from Longevity Resources (1-877-543-3398) called the “Cyclone Ozone Sauna System” costing about $6500 with shipping. Home ozone generators can be problematic. Since ozone is a highly reactive gas, it can react with metals, plastics, ceramics, glues, etc. creating toxic substances. For medical application, only pure oxygen should be used, not room air, as the input gas. And, only quartz glass, silicone and kynar (polyvinylidene fluoride) should come in contact with the ozone. Check the website, www.aaot.us  to be informed about safety standards. Using an ozone sauna 1 to 3x/week for 20 to 30 minutes can “pre-condition” your body and improve your resiliency.

 

7)  C-reactive protein (CRP) is an important marker of inflammation. High levels of CRP are associated with cardiovascular disease and with cancers. Abdominal fat can over-produce pro-inflammatory cytokines that cause CRP to increase. People with obesity and with the metabolic syndrome increase their risk of all inflammatory and degenerative diseases. Optimal CRP levels for men are under 0.55 mg/L for men and under 1.0 mg/L for women. Various nutrients favorably influence CRP levels:  for example, Creatine prevents exercise-induced rises in athletes; Curcumin; Fenugreek; Ginger in diabetic adults; Green Tea polyphenols; Isoflavones in post-menopausal women combined with exercise; L-carnitine in end-stage renal disease patients on dialysis; probiotics in diabetic patients; magnesium in overweight middle-aged women; Omega-3 fatty acids; Quercetin when given with vitamin C; Red yeast rice; Vitamin C in smokers; Vitamin D; mixed tocopherol Vitamin E; Zinc in diabetics with kidney disease and in young obese women. Also, statin medications such as Crestor lower CRP levels in patients with elevated blood lipids.

 

8)  Another marker of inflammation is myeloperoxidase (MPO). MPO diminishes the effect of nitric oxide production which causes endothelial breakdownand it also oxidizes LDL-cholesterol. Thus, it is a good predictor for CVD. Elevated MPO levels indicate serious endothelial inflammation. Note: more than half the time it is associated with periodontal disease.

 

9)  TOXICITY:  f you have limited success in lowering your cholesterol by modifying your diet, consider that lead and/or other heavy metals may be contributing to the problem.  ZEOLITE is a volcanic mineral with a honeycomb crystalline structure which can detoxify and strengthen the immune system. The chambers within the honeycomb structure are negatively charged which attracts positively charged toxins like lead, mercury and nitrosamines. Once bound, the body can then excrete the heavy metals and toxins. Zeolite also helps to alkalinize the body. Alkalinizing minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium are within the zeolite crystal structure. Heavy metals impair kidney function. Thus, zeolite helps to bind and rid the body of toxins and consequently helps to improve kidney function and balance the body’s acid/base pH. Zeolite also helps to increase T-cell activity and to increase the number of macrophages. Zeolite can support intestinal wall integrity and decrease excessive “leaky gut” permeability. Because heavy metals like mercury can result in depression, excessive anger, and problems with anxiety, zeolite detoxification can support positive moods. And, zeolites have a powerful antimicrobial activity. It has been used to treat urinary tract infections and dental plaques. It can also adsorb viral particles within its crystalline cages. Treating patients with cancer daily for one month with zeolite can help to restore their immune systems. You need to supplement with a high quality source product that has been properly cleansed and sized for optimal adsorption. A good product is available from Touchstone Essentials and also from MDPrescriptives.

If there is poor improvement, consider heavy metal toxicity, and measure serum levels. Consider ORAL CHELATION for heavy metals, including mercury, using  a humic and fulvic acid complex, for example: 1 capsule twice daily for 5 days per week– (“Metal Magnet” www.enzy.com). If acutely toxic, then intravenous chelation therapy is indicated. ALSO, Consider removing any mercury amalgam fillings and replacing them with non-toxic substitutes. (An intravenous infusion of EDTA for chelation followed by an 8 hour urine collection for testing for heavy metals may diagnose the problem.)

 

10)  Chlorine found in our drinking water is a powerful oxidizing agent which can damage blood vessels. While initially necessary for water decontamination, you should remove it before drinking by boiling the water for 5-10 minutes, or adding a pinch of vitamin C powder crystals to the water, or using charcoal filtration, or using reverse osmosis.

 

 

            LIVE LONGER BY CHANGING HOW YOU COOK

Foods cooked at high temperatures create a) mutagens, which damage DNA and increase cancer risk, and b) advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which increase inflammation and oxidative stress by cross-linking with body proteins, which alters the  protein structure and function causing them to lose their functionality and prematurely age. For example, breast and prostate cancers are sharply increased in people who eat heavily cooked meat such as hamburgers. Heat destroys crucial vitamins such as C, B6 and E, destroys fatty acids, denatures proteins, and limits mineral availability. Heat also creates toxic oxidized lipids, which aggravate vascular disease, and dangerous, gene-mutating heterocyclic amines, which can be carcinogenic, inflammatory, and which can adversely activate the immune system.

The higher the number of kilounits (kU) of AGEs the greater the risk for cancer. For example, deep fried breaded chicken breast for 20 minutes has 8,965 kU/serving, vs. roasted chicken has 5,418 kU/serving, vs. stir fried with canola oil for 7 minutes has 3,726 kU/serving,  vs. boiled chicken breast in water has 1,089 kU/serving. Grilling, broiling, roasting, searing and frying propagate and accelerate AGE formation in food. Cooking methods that produce relatively low AGE levels include poaching, steaming, stewing and boiling. The use of acidic marinades, such as lemon juice and vinegar before cooking also limits AGE formation. Most “junk foods” are cooked at extremely high temperatures, so it makes sense to avoid them.

High blood glucose  levels are another cause of protein glycation. Thus, people with diabetes suffer a disproportionately higher number of diseases. Health conscious people can exert a significant amount of control over how quickly their body proteins are destroyed by toxic glycation reactions by reducing the amount of simple sugars and starches they ingest,  AND by minimizing their exposure to foods cooked at high temperatures.

          Consider eating 70-80% of your food as raw fruits and vegetables (whole or  blenderized rather than juiced) or steamed.  Steaming, boiling or cooking with water (or broth) limits the heat to 212 degrees fahrenheit which is below the threshold of most toxic chemical reactions.  A randomized cross-over study evaluated the difference between one group steaming their food and the other group cooking with higher temperatures. After 1 month, the group cooking with higher temperatures had adverse changes including lower insulin sensitivity, lower plasma concentrations of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, and lower vitamin C and vitamin E levels. Also, plasma triglycerides and cholesterol increased. {Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 May;91(5):1220.} Another 6-week study showed that people with diabetes eating food cooked at lower temperatures reduced glycated LDL by 33%, whereas consuming the same food at higher temperatures increased glycated LDL by 32%. {Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2002 Nov 26;99(24):15596-601.}

          Consider supplementing with products that will lower your glycation risk when eating foods prepared at high temperatures. Anti-mutagenic agents have been identified in fruits and vegetables. The most potent are indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and chlorophyllin. I3C is found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. It helps to prevent DNA damage. Chlorophyllin inhibits deadly mutagens by trapping heterocyclic hydrocarbon carcinogens (by reacting with their structure making it impossible for them to form adducts with DNA) which are the precursors to malignant transformation in cells. Additionally, Carnosine, Benfotamine and Pyradoxal-5-phosphate (P5P) are helpful for reducing AGEs and mutagens. Carnosine has been shown particularly in people with diabetes to reduce levels of atherosclerosis. Benfotamine is vitamin B1 in a highly absorbable, fat-soluble form that easily penetrates cell membranes. Pyridoxal-5-phosphate  (P5P) is activated vitamin B6. A proprietary product called “Glycation Protection Formula” containing Carnosine 1,000 mg, Benfotamine 200 mg and Pyridoxal-5-phosphate 100 mg is available from www.LifeExtension.com.

 

                            ***CONSIDER A MEDITERRANEAN DIET***

If you have a problem with atherosclerosis, epidemiological studies have suggested a Mediterranean diet can lower your risks for cardiovascular disease and death. A Mediterranean diet is predominantly plant based. Meat and fish, eggs, dairy products are added as a condiment. Olive oil is the dominant oil, and red wine is acceptable, in moderation. The European PREDIMED study published in the New England Journal of Medicine {2013;368(14):1279-90},  examined 7,447 women (aged 60 to 80) and men (aged 55 to 80) who were at high cardiovascular risk. A Mediterranean diet reduced cardiovascular disease and death by 30% compared with a standard low-fat diet. Related studies have demonstrated that polyphenol consumption is the major factor in reducing the risks. Hydroxytyrosol makes up about 50% of extra-virgin olive oil’s polyphenol content and should be given the most credit. Additionally, oleuropein and tyrosol are beneficial, along with the monosaturated fat: oleic acid. Both systolic and diastolic blood pressures were reduced. Nitric oxide (a vasodilator) was increased.  5 important markers of inflammation were reduced: vascular cell adhesion molecule-1; intercellular adhesion molecule-1; interleukin-6; tumor necrosis factor alpha, and monocyte chemotactic protein-1. Beneficial HDL-cholesterol was increased. Additionally, in a 3-year study at the University of Edinburgh, patients age 73 to 76 eating a Mediterranean diet reduced their brain shrinkage by 50% with resultant improved cognitive benefits compared to their less diet-faithful counterparts {Neurology. 2017}. For people who wish to increase their concentration of polyphenols, www.LifeExtension.com has a proprietary blend called “Mediterranean Whole Food Blend” which combines grape seed extract, olive leaf extract, pomegranate fruit extract, black walnut extract, pecan extract, artichoke fruit extract, and lentil bran extract.

In addition to benefitting cardiovascular disease, extra-virgin olive oil reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s dementia. It also reduces the risk of osteoporosis caused hip fractures. {Bone mineral density markedly increased with the addition of CoQ10 supplementation.} If extra-virgin olive oil is added to a high-fat breakfast, weight loss improved by 80% compared to controls. People who ate the highest amount of the polyphenol hydroxytyrosol lived an average of 9.5 years longer (after age 65). {Am J Clin Nutrition. 2017;105(6):1297-304.}  Also, both systolic and diastolic blood pressures were reduced using extra-virgin olive oil.

 

  THE GUT-HEART CONNECTION

 

Probiotics can reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressures. The greatest effect is found when the baseline BP is elevated and when the daily consumption is >100 billion colony forming units for over 8 weeks duration. Lactobacilli help to reduce blood cholesterol levels. Some bacteria express the enzyme bile salt hydrolase which affects intestinal cholesterol reabsorption. Yogurts help to decrease total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol and improve the LDL/HDL ratio. There is an inverse relationship between fiber consumption and CVD: the more fiber ingested, the less the risk for CVD. Prebiotics stimulate bacteria to produce butyrate which helps to lower cholesterol, triglycerides and atheroma plaques.

Modifiable risk factors include: 1) Obesity: Germ-Free mice (GF-mice) are a useful model. They are leaner than wild mice. When there is a fecal transplant from obese mice to GF-mice, they become fatter than from lean mice donors. 2) Cholesterol levels: certain gut microbes, such as Eggerthella, Pasteurellaceae and Butyricimonas alter the bile acid pool which modulates hepatic and systemic lipid and glucose metabolism. 3) Toxic burden: microbes can directly alter chemical activity and structure; produce metabolites that compete for detoxification pathways; and, affect expression of detoxification enzymes. 4) Leptin and Insulin resistance: microbial fermentation of dietary fiber produces a short-chain fatty acid called butyrate which increases leptin expression in adipocytes and improves insulin sensitivity. 5) Inflammation: gut microbes mediate inflammatory signals. Age-associated dysbiosis causes increased inflammation and increased CVD. 6) Nutrient deficiency: gut microbes synthesize B-vitamins, vitamin K and vitamin C and some are absorbed by the host. However, “greedy microbes” may preclude absorption. 7) TMAO and Heart disease: Trimethylamine-N-Oxide (TMAO) is produced via microbial metabolism of choline to trimethylamine (TMA) with subsequent oxidation in the liver. An increased amount of TMAO is an independent risk factor of increased CVD. It is microbial dysbiosis, and not dietary choline, which is the problem.

The liver is a key player between the gut and the heart during nutrient deprivation (that is, fasting). In fasted GF-mice, the heart relies upon glucose metabolism for energy. Evolutionarily, because the heart needs a constant supply of energy to function, it has the capacity to use different substrates, depending upon availability. In mammals, fasting conditions cause an increased production of ketone bodies in the liver which results in increased ketone utilization by the heart, brain and other tissues. Gut microbes can cause increased acetate production which increases the pool of hepatic Acetyl CoA which is the starting molecule for ketone production.

Gut pathologies and CVD: 1) Dysbiosis: animals with hypertension have an increased Firmicutes to Bacteroides ratio, and they have decreased bacterial diversity and richness. Also, they have decreased butyrate and acetate microbial metabolites with resultant increased inflammation. People with chronic CHF also have decreased microbial diversity and diminished important bacterial genra. 2) Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO): is associated with increased arterial stiffness and decreased Matrix Gla Protein (MGP), which when activated prevents the calcification of blood vessels. Decreased MGP is related to decreased vitamin K absorption by the small intestines and/or to decreased vitamin K production by colonic bacteria. Also, SIBO causes systemic inflammation which is associated with increased CVD. 3) Infections: Chlamydia pneumoniae and Helicobacter pylori infections are associated with increased CVD. Patients with chronic CHF had increased quantities of pathogenic bacteria, including Campylobacter spp, Shigella spp, Salmonella spp, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Candida spp in their colons. Bacterial DNA can be identified in >50% of coronary plaques. 4) Intestinal Permeability: A “leaky gut” allows bacteria and their metabolites to enter the blood stream, triggering an immune response, and allowing them to become associated with the heart. TLR4, a receptor of the adaptive immune system, binds to lipopolysaccharides which are a component of gram-negative bacterial cell walls. This binding initiates inflammatory signaling. In mice, if the TLR4 receptor is ablated, there is decreased atherosclerotic plaque formation. Increased intestinal permeability both induces inflammation and weakens coronary plaque stability. {Plaque rupture is the trigger for an acute MI.} Patients with chronic CHF have increased intestinal permeability compared with healthy controls.

 

                             EXERCISE AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE

The best exercise for CVD is aerobic exercise.  The WHO and US CDC recommend making your exercising goal be 150 minutes per week (divided however you choose) in order to effectively lose weight, achieve cardiovascular fitness, and enhance your overall health and sense of well-being. {This includes time for twice weekly muscle strengthening.} {NOTE:  For time-conscious people: ***High Intensity Interval Training can produce the same results in half the time.***} Think of your exercise as THE BEST MEDICINE you can give yourself. REMEMBER:  in order to prevent injuring yourself by over-doing it initially, because of your enthusiasm to see results quickly, when starting out: GO SLOWLY, and then steadily build up to your desired goal. And, more is NOT necessarily better. There is a “sweet zone”. Too much exercising can stress your joints and your heart-lung capacity.

An observational study published in Circulation, 5/15/2018, of 11,000 adults in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, demonstrated people doing 150 minutes of vigorous exercise weekly were 31% less likely to develop congestive heart failure (CHF). Couch potatoes who started exercising decreased their risk of CHF by 23%. This study supports the JAMA July 22/29, 2009 study of 20,000 male physicians who had a healthy lifestyle for more than 20 years who developed significantly less CHF. A similar study of 36,000 Swedish women published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, 5/11/2009 who were eating a DASH diet (to manage hypertension) along with doing regular exercise for 7 years had a 37% decrease in CHF.

          Particularly for those of us who are older, WALKING lowers your risks for diseases and probably will extend your life. Walking helps to keep you limber longer and helps to make you feel happier. In a study of 80,000 women, their risk of breast cancer was decreased by 42% by walking for a few hours per week. Other studies similarly demonstrate a decreased risk of kidney and prostate cancer mortality by walking. Walking has the lowest “quit rate” of any exercise. In a study of 400,000 Taiwanese who walked for 15 minutes daily, they lived 3 years longer than their sedentary peers. A 5-minute walk outdoors can elevate your mood and enhance your creativity, decrease your anxiety and depression, and increase your sense of well-being. SUGGESTIONS for success: pick-up your pace so that it becomes a power-walk rather than a stroll. {Maintain a pace that makes you a little breathless when walking and talking.} Count your steps: your goal is 7,000 to 10,000 steps/day, with 3,000 purposeful steps. Break-up your day into 50-step mini-walks every 45 minutes. Walk with a group for mutual support.

                                           THE PERILS OF GLOOMY WEATHER

          According to an article in The WEEK, 16 November 2018, “Cold, cloudy, and gray weather doesn’t just make people miserable—it can also increase their risk of suffering a heart attack. Researchers looked at weather records and the medical data of 274,000 patients in Sweden between 1998 and 2013, reports The Guardian (U.K.), and found an increased incidence of heart attacks during periods with lower air temperature and air pressure, higher wind velocity, and fewer sunshine hours. The most pronounced link was with temperature; heart attack rates increased noticeably when the mercury dropped below 37 to 39 degrees Fahrenheit. The scientists suggested several possible factors: arteries narrowing because of the cold, people exercising less and eating more unhealthy foods on gloomy days, and the seasonal spread of infections. ‘We are very interested in the triggers of heart attacks,’ says study leader David Erlinge, from Lund University. ‘If you know those triggers, you may be able to protect yourself.’”

 

 IMPORTANT REFERENCES

 

  • Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease,” by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD.
  • “The Simple Mediterranean Diet,” by Ariel Soffer, MD.
  • “Death By Calcium,” and “Hidden Epidemic: silent oral infections cause most heart attacks and breast cancers” by Thomas E. Levy, MD.

 

NOTE:  Literature sited as numbers refers to articles that can be fond in the PMID Index in PubMed.com.

 

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BRAIN HEALTH AND DEMENTIA

                         BRAIN HEALTH AND DEMENTIA

  • “I am my ‘connectome’.” Joseph Maroon, MD {mindful.org “The magnificent, wonderful, wild connected brain.”}
  • “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he’s not the same man.” Heraclitus

          There are over 30 million symptomatic individuals with Alzheimer’s dementia worldwide and many more in the pre-symptomatic phase. {According to the 2009 World Alzheimer’s report.} In the US there are over 5 million individuals with Alzheimer’s dementia with an estimated annual cost of $200 billion. The number of individuals is projected to rise to 13 million by 2050.

“Almost 40 per cent of people over the age of 65 experience some form of memory loss. When there is no underlying medical condition causing this memory loss, it is known as “age-associated memory impairment,” which is considered a part of the “normal aging process”. Age-associated memory impairment and dementia can be told apart in a number of ways. Below are some examples.

Normal Aging  Dementia
Not being able to remember details of a conversation or event that took place a year ago Not being able to recall details of recent events or conversations
Not being able to remember the name of an acquaintance Not recognizing or knowing the names of family members
Forgetting things and events occasionally Forgetting things or events more frequently
Occasionally have difficulty finding words Frequent pauses and substitutions when finding words
You are worried about your memory but your relatives are not Your relatives are worried about your memory, but you are not aware of any problems

     Tips for coping with normal age-related memory difficulties

  • Keep a routine
  • Organize information (keep details in a calendar or day planner)
  • Put items in the same spot (always put your keys in the same place by the door)
  • Repeat information (repeat names when you meet people)
  • Run through the alphabet in your head to help you remember a word
  • Make associations (relate new information to things you already know)
  • Involve your senses (if you are a visual learner, visualize an item)
  • Teach others or tell them stories
  • Get a full night’s sleep {According to the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada.}”

About 60 to 70% of dementias are due to Alzheimer’s Disease. “The most common early symptom is difficulty in remembering recent events (short term memory loss). As the disease advances, symptoms can include problems with language,  disorientation (including easily getting lost), mood swings, loss of motivation, not managing self-care, and behavioral issues. As a person’s condition declines, they often withdraw from family and society. Gradually, bodily functions are lost, ultimately leading to death. Although the speed of progression can vary, the typical life expectancy following diagnosis is three to nine years.” {According to Wikipedia.} 2/3 of people with AD are women, and the risk of AD increases with menopause along with a decrease in brain activity.

There is a critical window of opportunity to detect cognitive impairment and to implement strategies for treatment: the earlier the better; preferably <5 years after menopause. A drop in estradiol levels causes a decrease in memory function, increased total body and neuro-inflammation, increased insulin resistance, with increased central adiposity and obesity. Cognitive impairment associated with type 2 diabetes is thought of as “Type 3 Diabetes”. Estradiol is neuroprotective and an antioxidant. The hormone symphony needs to be evaluated: start with evaluating insulin, then adrenal functions, then thyroid functions, then the sex hormones, then estrogen metabolism. Personalized Medicine is required to evaluate the whole picture. When evaluating studies, look at the data and not just the conclusions, because when pooling data in meta-analyses, BHRT results are diluted when included with horse urine estrogen and/or progestin studies.

 Appropriate memory management requires an accurate assessment and diagnosis. 1) Is the file clerk working? The frontal lobes accumulate information and put it into the memory file cabinet. As we get older: a) we don’t hear as well—information needs to be repeated to get it into the file cabinet; b) we don’t move as quickly—it takes longer to retrieve a memory; and, c) we don’t see as well—we need a hint or a cue to find the right memory, so it may take retrieval extra-time. 2) What is the diagnosis? The new memory file cabinet is the hippocampus and related structures. The old memory file cabinet is the cortex. The hippocampus attaches meaning and emotion to a memory. Alzheimer’s disease destroys the hippocampus. Information can’t be retrieved if no information is in the file cabinet. People with AD often get lost, lose things, and repeat stories and questions. Diagnosis occurs along a frequency and a spectrum of symptoms. Rapid forgetting is NEVER normal. 3) What is the cause for the memory loss? Is the dementia due to a vitamin deficiency? Depression? Vascular compromise? Frontal lobe trauma? etc. 50% of people with “mild cognitive impairment” develop AD: someone is concerned about memory, testing confirms impairment, but day-to-day functioning remains normal. With “subjective cognitive decline”: someone is concerned about memory, testing is normal, yet, over time impairment occurs, and by 7 years over 50% develop a diagnosable disorder. 4) Treat your memory loss. Due to an infection? Due to too much amyloid-beta? Tau proteins release sticky tangles which trigger inflammation which kills cells. Cells make acetylcholine. With decreased cells there is decreased acetylcholine available. Treatment with medications that stimulate acetylcholine helps delay symptoms for 6 to 12 months. Treatment is continued because stopping the medication will cause a rapid cognitive decline: losing 6 to 12 months in 2 weeks because the clock can’t be reversed. Mamentine is helpful for late-stage AD by keeping a person more alert and motivated. It is not a disease modifying medication. 5) Modify your lifestyle. Aerobic exercise increases the size of the hippocampus, especially at one year—improving the new memory file cabinet. {Cardiac fitness is best assessed by measuring VO2Max.} Exercise decreases depression and improves sleep. Sleep helps one to pay attention; helps transfer memories from the old storage cabinet to the new cabinet for “consolidation”; and, clears amyloid-beta during NREM sleep cycles. Sleep also triggers brain derived neurotropic factor which improves cell growth and memory. The Mediterranean Diet with extra-virgin olive oil is also supportive. 6) Strengthen Your Memory. Engage in novel, stimulating cognitive activities. Be involved in social activities. Keep a positive mental attitude. Pay attention to names: practice mindful attention; say the name out loud; make connections; create visual images; find something in their visual appearance to remind you of their name; then, repeat their name in minutes, hours, days. If you are trying to recall a name: relax and don’t block it. Think about things that you know about the person. Memory strategies take effort and work, but they are effective. Doing puzzles improves your ability to do puzzles, but does not improve overall brain health. However, they are much better than just watching TV.

                        OUR CONNECTOME

Our brains have over 100 billion neurons, with over 100 trillion synaptic connections. Our thoughts affect the architecture of our brain. Because, the brain is neuroplastic and keeps changing throughout life. “What fires together, wires together.” Certain mental health problems have ‘aberrant wiring diagrams’: such as, autism, early onset schizophrenia, and ADHD. There are functional and structural changes that correlate with the peculiar behavioral activities. There are neuroepigenetic factors responsible for neuroplasticity and modulation of the connectome. Our DNA is not our destiny: modifying epigenetic factors is the key to health. Epigenetic factors affect gene activation (transcription factors) that translate our DNA by RNA transcription for the manufacture of proteins. There are 4 key epigenetic factors: 1) Exercise; 2) Environment; 3) Nutritional factors; and, 4) Emotional Health. Intracellular oxidative stress creates inflammatory cytokines which amplify the oxidative stress and result in chronic inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and cancers.

For example, we can modify certain epigenetic factors involved in mood disorders, and move along the spectrum from vulnerability to resilience. Mental and physical exercises can help to heal traumas by re-wiring circuits with the strength of repetition. Repetition is critical. Neuroconnections are reinforced to enable us to improve and to strengthen our future capability. New learning stimulates neurogenesis. Literally, our thoughts can change the structure of our brains. Key supplements to support this enhancement include: Omega-3s, curcumin, resveratrol, NAD+, carnitine—molecules that support mitochondrial function.

 

CLUES TOWARDS AN UNDERSTANDING OF ALZHEIMER’S DEMENTIA    

 AD is multifactorial, although the causes are poorly understood. It is believed that about 70% of the risk for AD is genetic. Additional risk factors include: head injury, hypertension, obesity and depression.

Various inflammatory processes and cytokines may have a role in the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease. Inflammation is a general marker of tissue damage in any disease, and may be either secondary to tissue damage in AD or a marker of an immunological response. Brain inflammation can be demonstrated approximately 20 years before the onset of cognitive problems. {Brain. 2016 Jan 26.} Neuronal function, measured by glucose metabolism, began to decline approximately 7 years before disease symptoms.

There have been 2 consistent findings in patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease: 1) Neurofibrillary tangles caused by “tauopathy”; and, 2) amyloid-beta plaques.

“The Tau Protein hypothesis proposes that tau protein abnormalities initiate the disease cascade. In this model, hyper-phosphoralated tau proteins dissociate from microtubules within neurons, then mis-fold and begin to pair with other threads of tau forming insoluble aggregates. Eventually, they form neurofibrillary tangles inside nerve cell bodies. When this occurs, the microtubules are destabilized and disintegrate, destroying the structure of the cell’s cytoskeleton which collapses the neuron’s transport and intracellular communication systems. This may result first in malfunctions in biochemical communications between neurons and later in the death of the cells.”  {According to Wikipedia.}

Examining the orthodox “Amyloid-beta Hypothesis”:  “In 1991, the “amyloid-beta  hypothesis” postulated that extracellular amyloid-beta deposits are the fundamental cause of the disease. Accumulation of aggregated amyloid fibrils, which are believed to be the toxic form of the protein responsible for disrupting the cell’s calcium ion homeostasis, induces programmed cell death (apoptosis). It is also known that amyloid-beta selectively builds up in the mitochondria in the cells of Alzheimer’s-affected brains, and it also inhibits certain enzyme functions and the utilization of glucose by neurons. Support for this postulate comes from the location of the gene for the amyloid precursor protein (APP) on chromosome 21, together with the fact that people with trisomy 21(Down’s Syndrome) who have an extra gene copy almost universally exhibit at least the earliest symptoms of AD by 40 years of age. Also, a specific isoform of apolipoprotein, APOE4, is a major genetic risk factor for AD. While apolipoproteins enhance the breakdown of amyloid-beta, some isoforms are not very effective at this task (such as APOE4), leading to excess amyloid buildup in the brain. Further evidence comes from the finding that transgenic mice that express a mutant form of the human APP gene develop fibrillar amyloid plaques and Alzheimer’s-like brain pathology with spatial learning deficits.

In 2009, this theory was updated, suggesting that a close relative of the amyloid-beta protein, and not necessarily the amyloid-beta itself, may be a major culprit in the disease. The theory holds that an amyloid-related mechanism that prunes neuronal connections in the brain in the fast-growth phase of early life may be triggered by age-related processes in later life to cause the neuronal withering of Alzheimer’s disease. N-APP, a fragment of APP from the peptide’s N-terminus, is adjacent to amyloid-beta and is cleaved from APP by one of the same enzymes. N-APP triggers the self-destruct pathway by binding to a neuronal receptor called death receptor 6 (DR6). DR6 is highly expressed in the human brain regions most affected by Alzheimer’s, so it is possible that the N-APP/DR6 pathway might be hijacked in the aging brain to cause damage. In this model, amyloid-beta  plays a complementary role, by depressing synaptic function.” {According to Wikipedia.}

Robert Moir is an assistant professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, who works with Rudolph Tanzi.  On December 18, 2017, Amy Proal published an Interview with Dr. Moir:  In that interview he discussed key concepts:  The “Grandmother Hypothesis” acknowledges that birth is a dangerous and potentially deadly time for women (and for  infants). Especially as a woman gets older, there is an increasingly high risk of death from childbirth. Menopause allows aging mothers to stop reproduction, and to survive to help with raising the younger generations. Because human infants take such a long time to mature to the point of independence, having a grandmother to help successfully raise the grandchildren ensures that their genetic material is passed on to future generations.  Any gene that would negatively impact grandmother survival and their valuable store of accumulated knowledge and experience would be selected against, changed, or eliminated. This is important to understand when considering the impact of amyloid-beta and its association (not cause and effect) with Alzheimer’s dementia. The genes for the production of amyloid-beta have been 100% preserved for over 400 million years. It is one of the most conserved proteins across species in Biology. Thus, amyloid-beta must serve an important purpose.

 THE INFECTION HYPOTHESIS:  Amyloid-beta self-assembles to build multiple differently shaped molecules called “oligomers”. Each particular oligomer structure has a unique antimicrobial activity. Thus, amyloid-beta is a crucial part of the “innate immune system” because it spontaneously generates a population of diverse oligomers able to target a broad spectrum of pathogens, and toxins released during infection. Oligomers are simpler, metabolically cheaper, and a far more ancient immune strategy than antibodies (part of the “adaptive immune system”). Amyloid-beta is found in jelly fish and all vertebrates and contributes to survival fitness. Thus, the initial idea that amyloid-beta was accumulated “junk” that is toxic to brain neurons must be false. In fact, with increasing knowledge about the brain’s microbiome, it is now understood that amyloid-beta is a crucial antimicrobial peptide (that can work against viruses, bacteria and fungi) that is one hundred times stronger than penicillin, and which is needed to prevent brain dysbiosis and disease. Thus, a re-thinking about the etiology of Alzheimer’s disease is required.

 

***THE ANTIMICROBIAL RESPONSE (PROTECTION) HYPOTHESIS OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE***

 

The “antimicrobial response hypothesis” merges the infection hypothesis with the amyloid-beta hypothesis. Amyloid entrapment provides immediate, effective protection from infections. However, chronic infections or dysbiosis results in brain inflammation which triggers a cascade of pathologic responses resulting in Alzheimer’s disease.

 

          The BRAIN HAS A MICROBIOME!!  Not including viruses, there are over 200 organisms in a healthy brain. Perhaps Alzheimer’s disease occurs when there is a disruption of this microbial community {just like with Chron’s colitis}. Certain key pathogens may “push” the community out of balance. Amyloid-beta arises to do battle in cases of brain microbiome dysbiosis (imbalance). Part of this response is inflammation. However, prolonged activation of this innate immune inflammation may lead to tissue damage and neuro-degeneration.

Amyloid-beta was discovered in 1984. Initially it was thought to occur only under disease conditions found in Alzheimer’s dementia. However, for 20 years it has also been found to be manufactured in normal brains. In experiments, if amyloid-beta is added to a broth of microbes, it will inhibit and kill a range of microbes. Further experiments in living organisms demonstrate that amyloid-beta plaques trap and neutralize microbes. There is mounting evidence associating Alzheimer’s disease with infectious organisms. Multiple studies show a positive correlation between Herpes Simplex Virus- 1 (HSV-1) and the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. Several autopsy studies have found HSV-1 DNA in the tangles and plaques in the brains of humans and animals with Alzheimer’s disease. HSV-1 is more prominently found in the frontal and temporal lobes of damaged brains. And, when the classic sticky amyloid-beta plaque (associated with the disease) was placed in a test tube with nerve cells, the production of the classic signs of Alzheimer’s disease in those tissues was slowed. In addition to an infectious process, the immune pathways in Alzheimer’s disease may become dysregulated and pathological. {Ref:  Neuron, June 21, 2018, “Pathogen Hypothesis of Alzheimer’s disease”.} Human Herpes Virus 6A (HHV-6A) and Human Herpes Virus-7 (HHV-7) are associated with the cause and the progression of amyloid plaques, brain tangles, and the severity of Alzheimer’s disease. A Canadian study in 1982 suggested this association. And, a Swedish study in October 2014 also linked “cold sores” to Alzheimer’s dementia.}  In addition to the Herpes simplex virus {which has been detected 60% of the time}, Chlamydia pneumonia is also a candidate for brain infections. And, the slow progression of AD fits with the chronic nature of some systemic fungal infections, which can be asymptomatic and thus, unnoticed and untreated. Thus, there is no single pathogen driving the disease.        

 

THE GUT-BRAIN CONNECTION

The “Enteric Nervous System (ENS)” is separate from the Central Nervous System (CNS). It is composed of 2 thin layers of over 100 million nerve cells—more than in the spinal cord. The ENS lines the GI tract and controls blood flow, secretions and contractions. It also helps us to unconsciously “feel” (like a second brain) what is occurring in the GI tract. It has glial cells to support the gut neurons. It uses over 40 different neurotransmitters. It produces 50% of the body’s dopamine and 95% of the body’s serotonin. L. brevis can produce GABA. It has a barrier, similar to the blood-brain barrier, for protection. It may have its own memory (although it is not capable of thought). The gut and the brain are connected by the vagus nerve with about 90% of the signals going from the gut to the brain. {The vagus nerve also connects cardiac functions.} The bi-directional communication occurs by various physiological channels including autonomic pathways, neuro-endocrine pathways and neuro-immune pathways. {People with Parkinson’s disease have the same protein clumps in the ENS as in the CNS. And, people with Alzheimer’s disease have the same neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques in the ENS as in the CNS. Thus, a gut biopsy may make earlier diagnosis possible.}

Both external and internal STRESS can create a challenge or a threat that disrupts an organism’s homeostatic balance. It can alter the composition and the function of the gut microbiota. For example, maternal stress can affect the fetal gut microbiome directly and through epigenetic factors. This can affect systemic dysregulation in early life and persist into adulthood. Potentiation of heightened anxiety may be transmitted because of this complex mixture of both biological factors as well as psychological factors that act in feedback loops. Chronic stress is associated with dysregulation of the Hippocampal-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis. (Irritable bowel syndrome results from a heightened gut sensitivity and limited ability to modulate an acute stress response.)

Changes in the microbiota may help to ameliorate psychological disorders. For example, if the gut microbiome is disrupted, there is a link with depression. A probiotic cocktail has been associated with improving depression on the Beck Depression Inventory. Also, L. helveticus can improve sustained attention in older adults. And, polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids can modify the gut microbiome resulting in improved cognition, dampened HPA activity with less anxiety and depression, and improved psychological well-being. Products of fermentation, short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) travel via the vagus nerve where immune cells in the brain need them to mature. Also, certain gut bacteria live off chemicals generated in the brain which are transported to the gut. Vagus nerve traffic includes bacterial signaling molecules called “quorum sensing” molecules. It’s a two-way axis. Gut microbes and brain microbes may be “talking” and deciding what to do next!  Additionally, efferent nerves from the nasal bulb trace straight back to brain areas where amyloid-beta formation starts, and may be another primary source of entry for microbes. An important question is: can we modulate disease progression by manipulating the microbiome, or the gut-brain axis?

 

Amyloid has a general role in immunity. For example, diabetes is an amyloid disease. “Amylin” is produced in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. At high levels, amylin is toxic to pancreas islet cells and highly pro-inflammatory. Yet, it is also protective against microbes, including E. faecalis which is a common cause of pancreatitis. Additionally, an amyloid is generated in the heart and has been linked to heart disease. Yet, it has antimicrobial protection. So, is amyloid-beta really the problem? It may be that prolonged microbial exposure with resultant inflammation and dysregulation of the immune system is the primary problem. Amyloid plaques, which trap and destroy microbes, are, therefore, found and associated with the diseases, but are not the cause of the disease.

 

A drug has been produced by Merck which lowers amyloid-beta without slowing the disease. Although, to date, the “amyloid is bad” idea continues to dominate, and most academic efforts are still focused on this model, because of costly drug trial failures, “Big Pharma” is now open to exploring alternative models. Current anti-inflammatory agents target the adaptive immune system, but don’t impact the innate immune system, and also don’t seem to have much impact on Alzheimer’s disease: perhaps because anti-microbial peptides, such as amyloid-beta, are a part of the primitive, innate immune system. For example, one target that is being examined is the gene “CD33”, which is an on/off switch for immune cells in the brain. Research is now being directed to manipulating this gene’s activity. Another line of research is combining anti-herpes virus drugs along with anti-amyloid drugs to influence early Alzheimer’s disease, and then targeting inflammatory molecules to possibly benefit later disease.

 

[***BE AWARE:  There are many supplements to slow viruses down. Consider using the amino acid Lysine, 1,000 mg to 3,000 mg daily, plus Zinc 20 mg/d, and Vitamin C at least 6,000 mg/day to boost your immune system. Other supplements to consider include: garlic, grapefruit seed extract, oil of oregano, and olive leaf extract.]

 

                         ***THE BREDESEN PROTOCOL***   

 

Cognitive decline is associated with a well orchestrated strategic downsizing of synaptic density. When there is a mismatch between the requirements from the many different inputs and what is required to maintain those synapses, something has to change in the neuro-remodeling. Essentially, early on anyway, giving up the ability to learn new information is sacrificed in order to retain all the important things which have already been learned during the rest of one’s life. For example, in younger women, estrogen receptor binding alters the cleavage of APP towards the desirable anti-Alzheimer’s side. However, with menopause and the withdrawal of sufficient estrogen to bind to these receptors, the cleavage of APP pushes towards the pro-Alzheimer’s side. Thus, looking for a “silver bullet” has been expensively unsuccessful. Perhaps what is required is a “silver buck-shot” approach. Dr. Bredesen has identified 36 factors which push APP cleavage towards supporting brain growth and maintenance. In order to prevent synaptic downsizing, all 36 factors need to be supported. His program is “programatic”, personalized and complex, and represents the future for treating chronic ills. Patients on the program noted symptom improvement in 3 to 6 months.

In a pilot study called “Reversal of cognitive decline: a novel therapeutic program” {Aging; 2014 Sept: 6(9):707-1 and, Integrative Medicine; 2015 Oct; 14(5):26-29}, Dr. Bredesen with the UCLA/Buck Institute offered personalized, multi-variate strategies for each patient and demonstrated REVERSAL OF MEMORY LOSS in 9/10 patients in their initial study!! {Now the study participants exceed 70 patients, and the findings remain consistently remarkable, and hopeful. However, when the program is not followed, cognitive decline is noted within 2 weeks!} For chronic diseases, a mono-therapeutic approach is simplistic, not optimal, and unsuccessful. [The paradigm shift began with the successful use of triple therapy for HIV.]  Although no patient followed all 36 recommendations, there seems to be a threshold number of modifications needed, which has yet to be determined, in order for symptom reversal to be noted {and seems to be >12 factors}. On follow-up evaluations, recommendations are “tweaked” to better fit with a person’s life-style, which simplifies yet optimizes its applications.

Dr. Bredesen addresses known associations with Alzheimer’s disease such as mitochondrial health, insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome, metal homeostasis, chronic inflammation, hypertension, hypercortisolemia, hypothyroidism, high interleukin-6 levels, hypovitaminosis D; hyperhomocysteinemia, and hormonal deficiencies. Since there are at least 3 different categories of Alzheimer’s disease, with different responses to therapeutics, people need to be treated differently. A Functional Medicine approach is most appropriate: examining the cause(s) and treating the cause(s). Functional Medicine asks: Why did one develop this problem? How can it be reversed?

Metabolic profiling has distinguished at least three subtypes of Alzheimer’s disease. {Dale Bredesen, Aging, 2015 Aug; 7(8).} 1) Inflammatory: amnesic, occurring in the 70s with hippocampal atrophy, and increased inflammatory markers such as hs-CRP and globulin/albumin. It is associated with the APOE gene. 2) Non-Inflammatory: amnesic, occurring in the 80s, associated with metabolic abnormalities, but inflammatory markers are not increased. It is also associated with the APOE gene. {APOE4 exerts pro-inflammatory effects.} 3) Loss of long term memory maintenance: affecting relatively younger people in their 50s and 60s, with widespread cortical involvement, characterized by dyscalculia and aphasia, and a passive child-like demeanor, and often depression. Individuals are APOE gene negative. There is a striking association with zinc deficiency. Over 300 enzymes require zinc as a co-factor. Zinc deficiency causes increased inflammation, induces insulin resistance, decreases the immune responses, increases susceptibility to toxins and infections, increases harmful reactive oxygen species (ROS), decreases hormone functioning including decreased adrenal hormone support, increases gastrointestinal permeability, and increases susceptibility to copper toxicity. Thus, treatment with zinc can mitigate cognitive decline.

Zinc deficiency is common. Decreased gastric acidity (because of age and the common use of PPIs and antacids for reflux and gastritis) causes decreased zinc absorption. Alcohol use and a diet deficient in zinc, adrenal fatigue due to poor coping with stress, diabetes, toxin exposure, intestinal parasites, and aging all may result in a zinc deficiency. Measuring serum zinc is an insensitive test. If it is low, then zinc deficiency is severe. However, a normal serum zinc level may still indicate a significant zinc deficiency. A more accurate measurement would be evaluating the red blood cell zinc level.

  ***STRATEGIES used in the Bredesen therapeutic program included: a) eliminating all simple carbohydrates, gluten, and processed foods from the diet, and eating more vegetables, fruits and non-farmed fish. b) Meditating twice a day and beginning yoga to reduce stress. c) Sleeping 7 to 8 hours per night, up typically from 4 to 5 hours per night. d) Taking melatonin, methylcobalamin (vitamin B12), vitamin D3, fish oil, folate and CoQ10 daily. e) Optimizing oral hygiene by using an electric tooth flosser and an  electric toothbrush. f) Reinstating bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (if previously discontinued.) g) Fasting a minimum of 12 hours between dinner and breakfast. And, h) Exercising a minimum of 30 minutes, four to 6 days per week.

{Reference: Discover Magazine, December 2018, “Alzheimer’s Under Attack” by Linda Marsa, pp. 32-41.}

                   ARE LEAKY CAPILLARIES A CAUSE OF AD?

According to Nature Medicine {online, 2019 Jan 14 “Blood-brain barrier breakdown is an early biomarker of human cognitive dysfunction:” as reported in The People’s Pharmacy blog}  “Drug companies have invested heavily in medications that could lower levels of amyloid in the brain. To date the results have not been promising. The authors of the new research in Nature Medicine report that leaky blood vessels may play an independent and crucial role in cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. ‘Our data show that individuals with early cognitive dysfunction develop brain capillary damage and BBB breakdown in the hippocampus irrespective of Alzheimer’s Aβ [amyloid beta] and/or tau biomarker changes, suggesting that BBB {blood-brain barrier} breakdown is an early biomarker of human cognitive dysfunction independent of Aβ and tau.’  The authors of the new research in Nature Medicine report that leaky capillaries can be detected long before Aβ and tau show up. ‘Our present findings support that neurovascular dysfunction may represent a previously under appreciated factor contributing to cognitive and functional decline, independent of the classic pathophysiological hallmarks of AD [Alzheimer’s disease].’

What causes leaky brain blood vessels or neurovascular permeability? The answer is complicated. Brain inflammation can do it. So can the resulting tissue trauma after head injury. Toxins and brain infections may also disrupt the blood brain barrier and lead to leaky blood vessels. Whether it is possible to reverse capillary permeability and delay or prevent the onset of dementia remains to be seen.”

IS THE CYANOBACTERIA TOXIN—BETA-METHYLAMINO-L-ALANINE (BMAA)– RESPONSIBLE FOR THE NEURODEGENERATION OF AD AND ALS?

          The ethnobotonist Paul cox has proposed that chronic exposure to the cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) toxin BMAA is linked to the neurodegeneration of AD and ALS. BMAA insinuates itself into protein chains in place of one of the 20 standard amino acids causing a protein mis-folding which triggers neuron death. Cyanobacteria are loaded with BMAA. The toxin gets into the food-chain via crabs, shrimp and other marine life that can be found in algae blooms. Preclinical studies suggest L-serine may benefit those exposed to the neurotoxin beta-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA). Our cells can mistake BMAA for L-serine and misincorporate it into proteins, which can lead to cell death and may increase biological markers of Alzheimer’s. Laboratory studies indicate that L-serine may prevent misincorporation of BMAA and cell death. However, it is unclear whether L-serine affects biological markers of Alzheimer’s in the absence of such neurotoxins.

The amino acid L-Serine at a dose of 30 gm/day may slow the progression of AD by 85% (which is greater than with existing drugs). L-serine is essential for the synthesis of phosphatidylserine which is an essential component of all neuron cell membranes. It is also needed for the growth of neuronal processes.  Supplementation may inhibit brain inflammation. L-serine is safe for humans and relatively inexpensive. [NOTE: This is counter to the prevailing Amyloid-beta Hypothesis.]  L-serine is a naturally occurring dietary amino acid. It is abundant in soy products, sweet potatoes, eggs, meat, and some edible seaweed. (Also Note: there is a lot of L-serine in bacon.)  L-serine is also sold as a dietary supplement in capsule and powder forms. The dose used in an ongoing Alzheimer’s trial is 15 grams, twice daily, in the form of gummies. Most supplements come in the form of 500 mg capsules.   {Reported in Fortune, 1/18/2019 in an article by Rich Tetzeli}

                              SLEEP AND THE GLYMPHATIC SYSTEM

          SLEEP IS CRUCIAL:  The more waste products lying around the brain, the greater the chance for Alzheimer’s disease to take root. Since 25% of the body’s overall energy is regularly consumed by the brain, there are a lot of waste products to be cleaned up. The “glymphatic system” is the brain’s clean-up system. Specialized brain cells scavenge diseased and damaged bits of protein and metabolic waste. With age, these cells become impaired. Also, the neuron surrounding supportive glial cells shrink in size when sleeping, opening spaces between cells by as much as 60% which allows cerebral spinal fluid to be pumped through and clear out waste. Lymphatic vessels surrounding the brain then deliver the waste to the lymphatic system of the body which gets rid of the toxins. With aging, adults often struggle to get enough sleep, which impairs the clean up system. THUS, especially since NREM deep-wave sleeping is crucial for removing toxins, keeping a regular sleep schedule becomes increasingly important with aging. Irregular sleep hours and long day time naps can disturb an effective sleep cycle clean-up process. Also, sleeping on your side, in a fetal position, rather than on your back or stomach, does a better job of cleaning house. And, sleeping on your left side maximizes your body’s circulation, because most venous return travels up your right side and these veins can be compressed when you lie on them. However, getting good sleep is much more important than worrying about whether or not you sleep on your side, and what side you sleep on.

                       DEVELOP STRICT SLEEP HYGIENE HABITS

 

Here are some suggestions to try before considering a prescription medication. AVOID CAFFEINE (coffee, tea, caffeinated sodas), NICOTINE, and other  Stimulants such as chocolate, Sudafed or Afrin nasal spray, or, if that is too much of a challenge, then don’t use any for at least 6 hours before bedtime. AVOID HEAVY MEALS and  ALCOHOL before sleep. AVOID SUGARY OR SPICY FOODS 4 to 6 hours before bedtime. However, if awakening during the night is a problem, then try eating a light snack  of good fats (not carbs) before bedtime. A couple almonds, a few spoons of yogurt, a couple teaspoons of almond butter or peanut butter on a cracker can frequently do the trick. Drinking warm milk and/or eating a banana may help you get ready for bed. The amino acid tryptophan in these foods can help you to sleep.

Allow enough time for sleep. Most people need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Fix a bedtime and an awakening time. Avoid napping during the day. And especially in the evening.  Arrange a sleep environment that is very dark, comfortable, quiet and cool {set the thermostat for 65 degrees in the bedroom} to facilitate falling asleep quickly and staying asleep. Use comfortable bedding and keep the room well ventilated. Block out all distracting noise. Consider a white noise generator. Reserve the bed for sleep and sex. Don’t use the bed as an office, work or recreation space. Let your body learn to associate the bed with sleeping. AVOID TV in the bedroom. Don’t take your worries to bed. Worrying is a prayer for that which you don’t wish to happen. Instead, practice relaxation techniques before going to bed. Yoga, deep breathing, visualizations, progressive muscle relaxation can all help relieve anxiety and muscle tension. Establish a pre-sleep ritual such as a warm bath (especially using Epsom salts—5 cups: the magnesium will relax your muscles), or a few minutes of reading or praying. Get into your favorite sleeping position. If you don’t fall asleep within 15-30 minutes, get up and go into another room and read until you get sleepy. Consider elevating the foot of your bed a few inches to increase circulation to your brain.  Regular AEROBIC EXERCISE is the best way to improve your sleep and modify pain. However, don’t do heavy exercise within 3 hours before bedtime because it raises your core body temperature and it takes several hours to return your core body temperature to normal. The best time for aerobic exercising is in the morning.

 

          COGNITIVE-BEHAVORAL THERAPY (CBT):  is the most effective psychological intervention to help with insomnia. It consists of a comprehensive program for educating and modifying behaviors.  The most effective use of CBT combines several of these methods. Rather than just relieving symptoms, it addresses the underlying cause(s) of insomnia. 1) Sleep Education: understanding the sleep cycles and learning how beliefs, behaviors and outside factors affect sleep. 2) Cognitive Control and Psychotherapy: helps control or eliminate negative thoughts and worries that keep one awake. It may help to eliminate worrisome beliefs about sleep such as a single restless night will make one sick. 3) Sleep Restriction: limiting the amount of time spent in bed rather than lying in bed awake which can become a habit leading to poor sleep. 4) Remaining Passively Awake: avoiding any effort to fall asleep. Worrying that one can’t sleep can keep one awake. 5) Stimulus Control Therapy: helps remove factors that condition the mind to resist sleep. Eg. One is coached to use the bed only for sleep and sex; and, to leave the bedroom if unable to sleep within 15 minutes. 6) Sleep Hygiene: changing basic lifestyle habits that can influence sleep: eg. Smoking or drinking caffeine late in the day; drinking a “nightcap” of alcohol; not regularly exercising; avoid napping; winding-down 2 hours before sleep time. 7) Relaxation Training: learning to calm the mind and body: eg. meditation, progressive muscle relaxation and hypnosis. 8) Biofeedback Training: learning to influence heart rate, skin temperature, muscle tension and skin electrical conduction. 9) Sleep Diary: keeping a detailed record of sleep patterns and influences for 2 weeks.

 

      ADDITIONAL KEYS TO MAINTAINING YOUR MEMORY:

  • Physical Activity and Exercise: Regular exercise is a key to health, wellness and longevity. Regular exercise will help you to sleep better. Exercising increases blood flow to the brain helping to create new brain cells and blood vessels because of the increased Brain-Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF). This repairs and protects the brain cells from degeneration, both by repairing and restoring cellular mechanisms. Exercising releases endorphins and other chemicals that dull pain and improve your mood, especially decreasing your anxiety and lightening your depression. This helps with building and maintaining your resiliency.   Regular exercise enhances memory and quicker learning. Your work will be more productive. Also, you’re medical costs will be less. You’ll have decreased risks for developing chronic diseases: for example, you can help to prevent and treat dementias. The increased blood flow reduces toxins that cause aging and cell death, and reduces inflammation.

Some exercise is better than none, and even a little exercise can do you a lot of good. The goal is 150 min/week of aerobic activity. For time-conscious people: High Intensity Interval Training can produce the same results in half the time.  In addition to regular aerobic exercising, Total Fitness is achieved by enhancing your muscle strength, doing regular stretching, and, improving your balance and coordination. Your physical fitness is perhaps the best tool for minimizing cognitive impairment.

          RESISTANCE TRAINING increases your muscle mass, thus, generating more strength, and faster muscle force (power). Unless you over do it, you won’t become muscle bound. Resistance training also helps to make your bones more dense. Ten million Americans (80% are women) have osteoporosis (thin and breakable bones). {A decrease in sex hormones with aging helps to create this common problem.}  Resistance training also helps to improve your metabolism, increase your glucose tolerance (or, said another way, decrease your insulin resistance) and decrease your risks from type 2 diabetes. It also helps to decrease both coronary artery disease and cerebrovascular disease risks. Other than doing free weight lifting or using a dynamic weight resistance machine, such as a Nautilus device, there are various simple ways to do resistance training such as: Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, using flexible bands, sitting up and down using a chair and your own body weight, swimming, doing Zumba dancing, doing heavy gardening such as raking and digging, doing vigorous house cleaning, taking the stairs rather than using an elevator, jumping rope, etc. The stronger you are,  the more self-esteem, confidence, and positive thinking you will usually have.  However, because resistance training requires work and effort, only about 20% of people actually follow strength training recommendations. PLEASE DON’T BE LAZY.  Resistance exercises have an even greater impact on cognitive function than aerobic exercises. It increases blood flow to the brain, thus, increasing oxygenation and the provision of nutrients. It helps to promote angiogenesis from existing blood vessels and neurogenesis from stem cells in the hippocampus {an area responsible for organizing memories}. It increases the production of neurotransmitters: serotonin {which helps to regulate mood and sleep}, acetylcholine {which helps with cognition, learning and memory}, and GABA {the main inhibitory modulator}. It also increases neurotropins {proteins that regulate neuron survival}.  [Mavros, et. al. “Mediation of cognitive function improvements by strength gains after resistance training in older adults with mild cognitive impairment: outcomes of the study of mental and resistance training,” J. of the American Geriatric Society, October 2016.]

  • The MEDITERRANEAN DIET: A diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and olive oil is optimal, along with eating fish and poultry in moderation, and red meat as a condiment. A 2017 study of 6,000 people eating a Mediterranean diet had a 35% decreased risk of cognitive impairment compared with people who didn’t. Remember: what’s good for the heart is good for the brain AND what’s good for the brain is good for the heart. Additionally, the “MIND” Diet optimizes neurological function: A) Focusing on increasing the ten brain healthy food groups: 1) Green leafy vegetables; 2) Other vegetables; 3) Nuts; 4) Berries; 5) Beans; 6) Whole grains; 7) Fish; 8) Poultry; 9) Olive Oil; and, 10) moderately drinking wine. And, B) Reducing or Avoiding brain damaging foods: 1) limiting pastries and sweets to under 5 servings per week; 2) limiting red meats to under four servings per week; 3) limiting cheese to one serving per week or less; 4) limiting butter or margarine to under 1 tablespoon per day; 5) limiting fried/fast foods to under one serving per week.
  • Friends and Family: The social aspect of activities helps with persistence of activities as well as with providing encouraging feedback, which enhances learning new things. {According to Jo Ann Jenkins: AARP Bulletin, June 2018:}  Cognitive health is maintained with building strong social connections, reducing loneliness and social isolation, realizing a sense of purpose, and developing a more positive and optimistic outlook on aging. Social connections are important for health. People with close friends are more likely to get plenty of sleep, eat healthy foods, maintain peace of mind and have less stress, engage in brain healthy activities, and take on new challenges and hobbies. Loneliness is as bad as inhaling 15 cigarettes daily. It can decrease 8 years of life expectancy; decrease one’s quality of life; increase health care consequences and medical bills; and, mortality risk associated with loneliness is greater than for obesity. For many, having a sense of purpose is more important than making money. Having a meaningful life is associated with better health outcomes. And, optimism adds 7 1/2 years to life: people recover from disabilities better; there is a larger hippocampus (associated with organizing memory); there is less anatomic evidence of Alzheimer’s disease on brain MRI scans; and, there is an 80% decreased risk of CVD. The key is to approach each day with a smile of appreciation, and, then, having someone to share one’s purposeful life with.
  • Managing Blood Pressure: High blood pressure damages small blood vessels in the brain, particularly in women, which is associated with dementia. Normalizing BP is very important.
  • Managing Glucose Intolerance and Diabetes: Glycation is the process where sugar molecules react chemically with proteins in the body causing the proteins to cross-link and lose their functionality. Not only does this cross-linking prevent proteins from doing their intended jobs, it creates harmful molecules called Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs). Glycation causes inflammation that damages mitochondria, and mitochondrial dysfunction exacerbates glycation. This results in an age-accelerating cycle as glycated proteins accumulate in tissues throughout the body. Excess blood sugar causes “glycation” which damages enzymes and also damages small blood vessels in the brain. Insulin resistance sets the stage for neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaque accumulation. Thus, controlling glycation is very important.
  • Smoking Cessation: Smokers have about a 60% increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease compared with non-smokers. Tobacco increases oxidative stress and produces cell-damaging free-radicals. Quitting smoking helps arteries become healthier within 6-months and helps to reduce strokes, which accelerate dementia.
  • Avoiding Falls: Loss of consciousness for at least 30-minutes and repeated concussions can increase the risk of dementia by 4.5 times. Preventing falls can help the brain as well as help to avoid hip fractures and spinal compression fractures (associated with osteoporosis) which can seriously impair the quality of life and longevity.
  • A Healthy Microbiome: Dysbiosis in the gut is associated with dementia. Healing the gut lining by eating bone broth, fresh fruits and vegetables, fermented foods, and supplementing with a mixture of soil-based spore-forming probiotics and a variety of lactobaccilli and bifidobacteria can keep the gut-microbiome healthy and balanced. I suggest reading the book “Eat Dirt” by Dr. Josh Axe.  
  • Bioidential Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT): When BHRT is started with the sex hormones: estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone with menopause (and andropause), cognitive decline can be significantly delayed. Hormones are the strongest tools that we have to promote cognitive vitality: especially, melatonin, oxytocin, and thyroid hormone.

Melatonin helps promote restful and restorative sleep. It helps to decrease aluminum toxicity in the brain, calms nervous agitation associated with “sundowning”, and improves memory and cognitive function. Treatment involves at least 1 mg at bedtime. Sublingual dosing seems to work better than oral dosing. The higher the serum level of melatonin, the better the effects. It often takes 2-3 months for full improvement.

Oxytocin helps one to feel better and to feel cooperative, with decreased aggression, improved eye-contact, and increased facial smiling and flushing. It is the hormone of trust, affection and sociability. {Treatment: The dose is compounded—a  sublingual or nasal spray: 5- 10 IU 1-2x/day can reduce paranoid behaviors, meanness and aggression often accompanying dementias.}

Thyroid hormone helps one to be alert, motivated, and energized. Subclinical hypothyroidism is very common. Symptoms indicative of a low T3: memory is worse early in the morning, and, one is slow to find words (nouns). Treatment with Armour Thyroid to increase the free T3 level will improve blood flow in the brain, increase arousal and alertness, attention and wakefulness, increase brain excitability, increase glucose consumption and brain energy, and decrease brain inflammation. It takes 2 months to note some improvement and 10-12 months for a full improvement.

IGF-1 (associated with human growth hormone), estrogen and testosterone all help with long term memory. If there is a deficiency of IGF-1, there is severe and profound permanent memory loss. There is also a decrease in brain mass. Treatment helps to reverse atrophy, decrease anxiety, and improve both short-term and long-term memory. IGF-1 is inversely correlated with cognitive impairment. A high IGF-1 is linked to increased longevity, decreased cancers, and improved memory and cognition. High IGF-1 levels are linked with increased brain processing speed and increased perceptions. It crosses the blood-brain barrier and is neuroprotective. {Treatment is subcutaneous injections of 0.3-1 mg hs to decrease AD. It takes 2-4 months for initial improvement, then 24-36 months for full improvement. It is recommended that the SQ injections occur around the eyes to be located with vessels near the brain. Intranasal IGF-1 is another effective route through the olfactory bulb to the CNS. It can be used to help decrease infarct size, and repair functions after a stroke.

Vasopressin, pregnenolone, and triiodothyronine (unbound or Free T3) help with short-term memory.  Estrogen therapy decreases the risk of AD by 3 to 7 fold. It improves mood, releases depression, and protects the brain against ischemia. Testosterone helps to decrease hesitations and improve memory loss. Pregnenolone levels are higher in the brain than in the blood. It is a neurotransmitter that improves memory. The dose is 50 mg in the morning. Desmopression nasal spray can be used instead of vasopressin at a dose of 0.1 mg twice per day to help improve short-term memory.

  • BE AWARE:  Microglia are immune cells which shoulder the responsibility for “brain cleanup”. They are rich in lysosomes which breakdown “junk proteins” with bursts of acid. Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) commonly used to manage reflux esophagitis and gastritis pass through the blood-brain barrier and reduce the amount of acid contained in the lysosomes, which means they are less able to clear dangerous proteins which consequently results in cell death, inflammation, and neuronal dysfunction, typical of Alzheimer’s disease. (Eur J Neurosci. 2013;37(12):1949-61.) Even short term use of PPIs impairs cognitive function. In otherwise young, healthy adults, after just 7 days of exposure to a PPI, all had statistically and clinically significant impairment in cognitive functions. Omeprazole (Prilosec) was the worst offender. (Alzheimers Res Ther. 2015;7:79.)  

                           SUPPLEMENTS TO CONSIDER

I follow the principle: “First do no harm.” Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and devastating problem for patients and their families. While there are no definitive studies for the following suggestions, these suggestions will not cause harm by following them.

A)  Supplements to slow viruses down (Anti-Viral)

  1.  The amino acid Lysine, 1,000 mg to 3,000 mg daily
  2.   Zinc 20 mg/d
  3.   Vitamin C at least 6,000 mg/day to boost your immune system
  4.   Garlic, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Oil of Oregano, and Olive Leaf Extract.

B)  Mitochondrial Support: nutrients to refuel the mitochondrion1. 

  1.  D-Ribose 5 gm/tsp: 1-2 tsp up to 3 times/day
  2.   ALA: 300-400 mg/day;
  3.   CoQ10 200+ mg/day;
  4.   NAD+: 100 mg/day; and,
  5.   L-Carnitine: 2,000-3,000 mg/day. Also,
  6.   Membrane phospholipids (NT factor)
  7.   Glycation can also damage mitochondrial function. Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) and Taurine can also help to limit glycation and, thus, restore cellular energy. PQQ is a vitamin-like molecule that promotes the production of new mitochondria in cells. Taurine is an amino acid found in high concentrations inside mitochondria where it regulates the enzymes responsible for harvesting energy from food molecules.

C) Memory Support

  1. ***The Ayurvedic herb known as “Brahmi” or “BACOPA” (bacopa monniera) can prevent and treat dementia without side-effects! It is a cognitive enhancer and neuroprotective agent. Studies demonstrate the improvement of new memory acquisition and information retention. Additionally, studies demonstrate improved accuracy for spatial working memory (which is critical for being able to find things and remember where they are). Bacopa also brings a calmness and clarity of mind. The typical dose is 500 mg/day. Studies demonstrate improvement of anxiety. (Also, in patients with schizophrenia, bacopa helps control symptoms.) Like the patent acetylcholinesterase inhibitor medications (such as Aricept and Exelon), bacopa suppresses acetylcholinesterase. It also increases the enzyme activity of the sodium-potassium pump which helps to repair oxidative damage. It has been found to improve memory, concentration, learning ability, reduce irritability, and improve energy and lessen fatigue. Triterpenide saponins and bacosides in the herb improve brain cell communication. Here’s a source for this: himalayausa.com. Another product combining bacopa plus additional complementary Ayurvedic herbs (from the same source) is called “MindCare”. In addition to improving cognitive function, it helps to ease stress and anxiety, combat mental fatigue, smooth digestive symptoms and bring calmness and clarity. The recommended dose is 2 caps twice daily with meals for about $34 per month.
  2. *** I like a proprietary product from LifeExtension.com called “Cognitex” which combines 11 ingredients for brain protection and optimal function. 3 capsules daily contains: a) 600 mg of Alpha-Glyceryl Phosphoryl Choline which boosts levels of acetylcholine, which enables brain cells to communicate. b) 50 mg of Gastrodin which supports healthy levels of blood flow. c) 150 mg of Grape seed extract which boosts brain oxygen flow. d) 20 mg of Vinpocetine which increases circulation and brain cell conductivity. e) 100 mg of Phosphatidylserine which encourages improved concentration. f) 50 mg of Pregnenolone which promotes mental energy. g) Additionally, it includes 150 mg of wild blueberry extract, 125 mg of Ashwagandha extract, 50 mg of Uridine-5-monophosphate, and a blend of Perluxan hops extract and Rosemary extract which helps to facilitate neuron function and communications. Another proprietary product from the same company is called “Dopa-Mind” which is an extract from wild green oats that improves cognitive health and mental performance by inhibiting the MAO-B enzyme which then promotes healthy dopamine levels. Another proprietary product called “Dr. Cass’ Brain Cell Support Plus” from www.puretango.com contains similar compounds that can be helpful: Acetyl-L-carnitine, Cognizin citicoline, Dimethylaminoethanol, Phosphatidylserine, Ginko biloba, Gotu Kola, Huperzine A and Vinpocetine.
  3. ***GINKGO BILOBA extract EGb 761, a dry extract of the leaves standardized to 22% to 27% ginkgo flavonoids has been extensively studied and a dose of 240 mg per day has similar efficacy to anticholinesterase medications currently approved for treatment of Alzheimer’s dementia (eg. Aricept, Razadyne, Exelon, and Namenda). Adverse effects were infrequent and included headache and dizziness. There were no increased bleeding events nor changes in coagulation parameters. Thus, it is an alternative first-line treatment for dementia. Find a supplement such as “Nature’s Way Ginkgold” that matches EGb 761.
  4. ***MELATONIN: Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the Pineal gland in the brain. It influences stage IV sleep and REM dreaming sleep and improves the sleep pattern as well as the depth and quality of sleep. It is a body energizer and a mood enhancer. It affects the body’s circadian rhythms and modulates our immune function. It increases natural killer cells which helps against infections  and helps protect against cancer. Melatonin scavenges and neutralizes free radicals and it possesses potent anti-oxidative effects. After middle age, melatonin levels drop precipitously leaving our brains increasingly susceptible to the growing impact of oxidative damage. Such damage leads to the increased risk of neurodegenerative diseases and stroke and increased vulnerability to the effects of head trauma. A deficiency of melatonin causes poor sleep, irritability, hypersensitivity and anxiety and depression. Profound reductions in melatonin levels have been found in Alzheimer’s disease patients. “Sundowning” and sleep disorders such as insomnia, restlessness, and poor sleep quality occur in about 45% of Alzheimer’s dementia patients. Melatonin crosses the blood brain barrier and reduces inflammation.  When melatonin is supplemented early in the course of the disease, these changes can be ameliorated. Melatonin is an antioxidant and neuroprotective. It can reduce the damage caused by inflammatory amyloid beta proteins and tau proteins. It helps to reduce learning and memory deficits and slow the progression of cognitive impairment. It also prevents the production of alpha-synuclein, an oxidizing and inflammatory protein that accumulates in brain regions that control movement and balance with patients who have Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, it helps to neutralize existing adverse protein molecules for cellular cleanup, and, it helps to restore the normal activity of enzymes involved in dopamine production. It can be purchased over the counter. The “micronized” form is best. Some people find that an under the tongue product works better for them than an oral product. The dose range is 1 to 30 mg. The starting dose is usually 3 mg and the average dose for women is 3 to 10 mg and for men 5 to 15 mg. Vivid dreaming may be a side effect. If melatonin isn’t tolerated, you can support the production with methionine 500-1000 mg in the morning, 5-HTP 50-100 mg twice daily and a vitamin B complex with tryptophan 100-200 mg at bedtime. Improving sleep improves the immune system and improves the overall quality of life.
  5. ***VIRGIN COCONUT OIL: While there are no scientific studies supporting the use of virgin coconut oil, it is a safe and tasty dietary supplement with no side effects. The proposed dose is 2 tablespoons (solid at room temperature) three times per day with meals. This provides an alternative (to glucose) energy source for the brain. This may also benefit other debilitating neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Reportedly, it bypasses the need for insulin to be able to transport glucose molecules for nutritional energy into brain cells.
  6. ***Magnesium-L-Threonate is a chelated form of magnesium that easily crosses the blood-brain barrier and assists in maintaining neurosynaptic connections, and inhibiting dysregulation of signaling pathways. There are proprietary products from LifeExtension.com called “Neuro-Mag Magnesium-L-Threonate capsules” and another product from www.reddremedies.com called “Brain Awakening” containing “Magtein” (magnesium threonate), Lion’s Mane (a mushroom used in Traditional Chinese Medicine), and “amla”—Indian gooseberry (used in Ayurvedic medicine) which purport stabilizing and improving cognitive function.  Magnesium is the “Great Relaxer”. Over 50% of the population is magnesium deficient due to soil depletion, food processing, and inadequate intake, coffee, tea and alcohol depletion, GI conditions that impair absorption, and medications that cause depletion: such as birth control pills, thiazide diuretics, PPIs, and asthma medications. Magnesium is a co-factor in over 300 enzymes, maintains normal muscle and nerve functions, and is crucial for bone, brain, and heart health. Treatment with magnesium can help relieve headaches, brain fog, muscle twitches and cramps, improve glucose management, alter/improve moods, improve fatigue and muscle weakness, and helps with anxiety and depression. Magnesium stabilizes ATP, signals methylation, and is important for de-toxification supporting glutathione production.
  7. ***Supplementation with Omega-3 fatty acids (7 to 8 gms/day) plus alpha lipoic acid (600 mg/day) slows functional and cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease patients. Also, a study in the Journal of Alz. Disease by Nolan, et. al. In June 2018 demonstrated that supplementing with carotenoids plus fish oil improved memory, vision and mood.
  8. ***Hericium erinaceus, commonly called “Lion’s Mane” mushrooms should be a staple in the prevention and treatment of neurological illnesses such as Alzheimer’s dementia and Parkinson’s disease. “Hericenones” are isolated compounds found to be able to cross the blood-brain barrier and stimulate the production of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). NGF is necessary for brain cells to function and to heal. They also lower cell damage caused by beta amyloid peptide and lessen the apoptosis of neurons and other brain cells. “Dilinoleoyl-phosphatidylethanolamine” (DLPE) is another isolated compound that protects brain cells from oxidative damage in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases. A combined product of hericenones plus DLPE called “amyloban” proved superior to the prescription drug “Donepezil” in memory test of Alzheimer’s disease patients. Additionally, a study of women with mood disorders demonstrated improved standardized tests for depression and anxiety after 4 weeks of using Lion’s mane mushrooms. In a small study, patients with schizophrenia also showed improvement on standardized tests. Healthy subjects reported an improved sense of well-being, energy and mood after using Lion’s mane extract for 2 months. You can find safe, natural and effective Lion’s mane supplements in the form of a pill, liquid extract or powder to add to smoothies or cook with. One source to consider is mushroommatrix.com. Also, check-out writings and YouTube presentations by Paul Stammets.
  9. ***Culinary doses of Sage, Rosemary and Curcumin may preserve memories and alleviate symptoms of dementia. A) SAGE: Salvia officinalis extract: 60 drops/day improved cognitive function and decreased agitation in one small study. In another study, 333 mg/day of sage extract improved thinking, recall and attention. B) ROSEMARY: 750 mg of dried rosemary leaf powder daily improved cognitive function in a small study. The aroma of rosemary’s essential oil improved concentration and cognitive testing performance. C) CURCUMIN prepared from the root of the turmeric plant: 2-8 GMS/day helps to reduce beta-amyloid plaques by pulling apart fibrils and stimulating macrophages to eat toxic accumulations. It is also a potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative agent. There is a combination product called “Sage Memories” that includes 25 mg of lithium, 500 mg of niacinamide and 650 mg of extracts of sage, rosemary and curcumin in 4 capsules/day. This can be obtained on the internet at biotechpharmacal.com or www.tahomadispensary.com. This can be safely used for prevention and for treatment of early Alzheimer’s dementia.
  10. Many people are functionally vitamin B12 deficient. Vitamin B12 is critical for hormone functioning, brain metabolism and in the energy cycle for every cell. With aging, vitamin B12 is poorly absorbed due to a lack of both hydrochloric acid and intrinsic factor in the stomach. Hydrochloric acid in the stomach is needed to release vitamin B12 from foods such as red meat, fish and dairy products, and “intrinsic factor” from the stomach is needed to absorb it. Acid suppressing medications and age impair the release and absorption of vitamin B12, which must be consumed on a daily basis, because it is water soluble, and eliminated if not utilized. Most people over age 40 are vitamin B12 deficient. {Use of Proton Pump Inhibitors and Histamine type 2 Blockers for acid reflux and for gastritis can also create a vitamin B12 deficiency.} An imbalance in the gut flora can also inhibit absorption. The medication Metformin, which is commonly used to manage type 2 diabetes, interferes with the absorption of vitamin B12. {A combination of these medications can make the situation even more likely and worse.} On a complete blood count (CBC) a mean corpuscular volume  (MCV)  >90 suggests a functional vitamin B12 and/or folate deficiency. NOTE: A serum vitamin B12 level can be in the normal range or high even while intracellular levels and especially central nervous system levels are low!!  Methylcobalamin is the most biologically active form of vitamin B12 that can cross the blood brain barrier without biotransformation to nourish the brain. Additionally, its methy group stimulates the neurotransmitter serotonin’s creation to enhance moods and it also protect against toxins damaging the brain. Methylcobalamin protects against glutamate-induced “excitotoxic” neurologic damage. Acute low vitamin B12 levels can manifest as mood changes: lack of motivation and feelings of apathy; mental fogginess, memory impairment, muscle weakness, and fatigue. Chronic low vitamin B12 levels can cause nerve damage, dementia and psychiatric problems that can mimic mental illness such as bipolar disorder, severe depression, paranoia or schizophrenia. Only about 12% of a dose of the cheaper, manufactured form of vitamin B12 called cyanocobalamin  is converted to the active form, and, the liver must detoxify the cyanide molecule binding it.  I restrict using cyanocobalamin to monthly injections to avoid accumulation of the cyanide moiety.  A case can be made for monthly up to weekly injections of Methylcobalamin. for anyone over 70 years old, and certainly sublingual vitamin B12 lozanges should be taken daily.  Additionally, you would need to take oral Folate 1 mg daily (NOT the oxidized synthetic form of folate known as “folic acid”). or the methylcobalamin injections can be compounded with 400 mcg Folate. The Folate may be part of a multivitamin/mineral complex.  Note: sunlight will destroy the natural forms of Folate: methylfolate, and folinic acid. Good food sources of Folate include: spinach and other deep green leafy vegetables, brewer’s yeast, beans (especially lima beans), cantaloupe, watermelon, wheat germ, and liver (from organically raised animals). Folate insufficiency and deficiency is a risk factor for skin cancer, colon, breast and other cancers.
  11. The development of cognitive decline may be linked to oxidative damage. The antioxidant properties of mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols might be helpful in reducing oxidative damage in the brain. Foods that contain forms of vitamin E include: wheat bran, oat oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, meats, eggs, avocados, carrots, cauliflower, blueberries, almonds, and grapes. The best known source is palm oil, rice bran and oats. 100 to 200 mg daily as a supplement up to 1000 mg daily is safe. It is best absorbed when taken with food and separated in time by several hours from taking mixed tocopherol vitamin E.
  12. Consider using Niacinamide (vitamin B3) 1 gm three times per day. Anticipate symptom improvement within 3 to 4 weeks. This treatment is very safe and only occasionally a person may experience nausea. The nausea usually resolves by reducing the dose to 500 mg three times per day. (Incidentally, niacinamide has been used along with vitamin C to help treat schizophrenia.)
  13. Consider using lithium orotate or lithium aspartate 10 mg to 20 mg daily. Low dose lithium can remove aluminum from tissues for excretion from the body. It is speculated that aluminum toxicity is a factor in the development of Alzheimer’s dementia. Also, it can stimulate the growth of brain grey matter. (In an observational study, people with bi-polar disorder using lithium had half the risk of developing dementia as the group not using lithium.)  When using lithium, take flaxseed oil 1 tbs 1-3x/day plus mixed tocopherol Vitamin E 400 to 800 IU per day in order to avoid any possible toxicity. Naturally occurring mineral water containing lithium salts (lithium carbonate and lithium chloride) known as “Lithia water” has many testimonials to its health benefits. Some research demonstrates neuro-protective benefits of lithia water {Stroke 2003;34:1287-92.} Drinking lithia water improves mood and cognition {Biological Trace Element Research 1994;40:89-101.} Communities with naturally occurring lithia waters have lower suicide rates, mental hospital admissions, incidence of crime, and arrests related to drug addiction {British J of Psychiatry 2009;194:464-5.} Long term lithia water consumption is associated with increased life expectancy {Eur J Nutrition 2011 Feb;50(5):387-9.}
  14. Berberine reduces the damage caused by beta-amyloid and reduces cognitive impairment. It also inhibits cholinesterase (similar to Aricept). Consider using 500 mg three times per day. (A high quality product can be obtained from tahomadispensary.com). Some people experience GI discomfort for the first 4 weeks of treatment including diarrhea, flatulence, constipation and crampy pains. Reducing the dose to 300 mg three times per day and then gradually increasing it back to 500 mg three times per day can help resolve these side effects. Also, because berberine isn’t well absorbed from the GI tract, because it isn’t very soluble in water due to P-glycoprotein, taking it along with milk thistle, which is a natural inhibitor of P-glycoprotein, approx. 100 mg (S. marianum containing 60% flavolignans) improves absorption. (Incidentally, milk thistle is good for protecting the liver. Milk thistle extract 600-800 mg/day can benefit any associated liver disease. A product called “European Milk Thistle” from www.LifeExtension.com combines milk thistle extract with phosphatidylcholine to improve absorption of the important component “silybin” which doesn’t dissolve well in water.)
  15. SAFFRON (the spice):  a minimum of 15 mg twice per day: after a 16 week trial it proved to be safe and effective for mild to moderate dementia and was equally effective as Aricept for improving cognitive function scores.
  16. A molecule found in Green Tea, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), prevents the mis-folding of specific brain proteins:  the metal-associated-amyloid-aggregates associated with Alzheimer’s disease. It also broke down existing aggregate structures in the proteins that contained the metals: copper, iron and zinc.
  17. Compounds in Cinnamon (cinnamaldehyde and epicatechin) reduce the aggregation of tau protein and beta-amyloid.  A derivative of cinnamon called MHCP (methylhydroxychalcone polymer) can also help prevent Type 2 diabetes as well as treat Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Any whole cinnamon product can be used if you are prepared to extract the desired water soluble fraction from the fat soluble fraction (which may be carcinogenic and genotoxic in large concentrations.) Anyone planning to use a 1 teaspoon of whole cinnamon daily should first boil it in water and then pour off the watery solution through a cheese cloth for use, discarding the solid remainder which contains the fat soluble fraction. OR, purchase MHCP from a health food store. A brand name product to consider is “Insulife” which contains the equivalent of 1 tsp of whole cinnamon along with chromium and other nutrients to be taken once per day in order to decrease insulin resistance. Choosing the right type of whole cinnamon IS important. Studies show that using Cinnamomum cassia or C. aromaticum  (Chinese cinnamon) is much preferred to the more common Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Ceylon or sweet cinnamon). The effective dose is 120 mg/d of the cassia extract.
  18. Carnosine can help to reduce oxidative stress and prevent oxidative damage that can cause cellular dysfunction resulting in memory loss. Carnosine lowers blood sugar and insulin levels, blocks oxidative and glycation-induced tissue damage, enhances cardiac muscle function and the quality of life in patients with CHF, and improves cognitive function.   The dose is 500 mg twice daily.
  19. ***Resveratrol can counteract the acetylation of tau proteins. Acetylation causes the tau proteins to collect and stick together leading to the development of neurofibrillary tangles commonly found in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients. Resveratrol can also activate the SIRT1 proteins and reduce inflammation and the activity of cell-damaging reactive oxygen species. Resveratrol can buffer damage by accumulated glutamate and quiet glial cell activation. It can benefit Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Resveratrol has no specific dose guidelines—10 mg is effective and high doses are safe. Although a high content is found in red grapes, the best source for Resveratrol is eating boiled peanuts.
  20. ***Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) can help to protect memory and cognition, promotes brain cell survival, and stimulates the formation of new mitochondria and improves the function of existing mitochondria. It also improves gait disturbance seen with Parkinson’s disease. It decreases brain inflammation and lowers the inflammatory markers C-reactive protein and interleukin-6. It stimulates the production of nerve growth factor that supports neurons by maintaining their plasticity and leads to formation of new nerve cells. It also protects nerve stem and progenitor cells from oxidative damage. Using PQQ reduced the size of brain damage associated with an ischemic stroke, even when administered after the stroke, and improved neurobehavioral scores. It reduces excessive glutamate stimulation of brain cells, excitotoxicity, which triggers apoptosis and is a factor in the development of neurodegenerative disorders, stroke and schizophrenia. People with diabetes are 60% more likely to develop dementia. PQQ helps protect the brain against damage caused by high blood sugar. PQQ also reversed the toxicity of beta amyloid proteins and alpha-synuclein, reducing oxidative damage caused by these malformed proteins. Recommended supplementation is 20 mg daily. It is best when combined with CoQ10 100 mg daily. Products are available from LifeExtension.com.
  21. Vinpocetine (a periwinkle extract): It is beneficial for alertness, concentration, memory support and cognitive function. It improves circulation, increases levels of ATP/cellular energy in neurons, improves the brain’s utilization of glucose and oxygen, (in animal studies) accelerates the rate of learning by 40%, improves short-term memory, and increases the length of time that short term memory is retained. Additionally, it improves the circulation to the eyes, improving visual acuity; improves impaired hearing, vertigo and tinnitus; and, improves red blood cell flexibility that may help to prevent strokes. It activates the noradrenaline nerve cluster, the locus coeruleus, in the reticular activating system to improve alertness. It has a very low side-effect profile. The usual dose is 10 mg to 30 mg daily—typically 10 mg three times per day has been found to be most beneficial. While benefits can be noted  after only a few days of therapy, maximum benefit is seen when used for 3 months. High quality, pharmaceutical grade vinpocetine from Europe (rather than from China) can be obtained from TargetedNutrients.com.
  22. Another proprietary product from TargetedNutrients.com is called “AMG” which combines the brain nutrients adenosine triphosphate, methylcobalamin and glucoronolactone.  Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is the primary source of cellular energy which the brain requires in prodigious amounts daily, more than any other organ. Additionally, ATP is required to accompany neurotransmitters for them to be functional. The glial cells (neuron regulators) use ATP to communicate. With inadequate ATP you will feel irritable, tired and depressed, have poor mental functioning, and it will seem like the burdens of stress are causing significant wear and tear. Methylcobalamin is the most biologically active form of vitamin B12 that can cross the blood brain barrier without biotransformation to nourish the brain. Additionally, its methy group stimulates the neurotransmitter serotonin’s creation to enhance moods and it also protect against toxins damaging the brain. Acute low vitamin B12 levels can manifest as mood changes: lack of motivation and feelings of apathy; mental fogginess, memory impairment, muscle weakness, and fatigue. Chronic low vitamin B12 levels can cause nerve damage, dementia and psychiatric problems that can mimic mental illness such as bipolar disorder, severe depression, paranoia or schizophrenia. Hydrochloric acid in the stomach is needed to release vitamin B12 from foods such as red meat, fish and dairy products, and “intrinsic factor” from the stomach is needed to absorb it. Acid suppressing medications and age impair the release and absorption of vitamin B12, which must be consumed on a daily basis, because it is water soluble, and eliminated if not utilized. Most people over age 40 are vitamin B12 deficient. Only about 12% of a dose of the cheaper, manufactured form of vitamin B12 called cyanocobalamin  is converted to the active form, and, the liver must detoxify the cyanide molecule binding it. Glucoronolactone promotes brain energy, enhances mental clarity and induces a mild euphoria. It reduces sleepiness, increases focus, lightens the mood, quickens reaction time, enhances stamina, and produces a sense of well-being. It is produced in the liver from glucose, and can be found in a variety of plant gums and other natural sources, including wine.
  23. The amino acid Taurine  protects the brain from toxic chemicals, stimulates new brain cell formation, prevents brain cell death following a stroke helping to preserve neurological function, decreases the effects of toxic beta amyloid proteins, and improves blood sugar control. Additionally, studies suggest that Taurine can defend liver cells against free radicals and toxins, helping to reduce oxidative stress-induced liver injury that helps both alcohol induced liver disease and NAFLD.  Patients with chronic hepatitis taking 2 gm taurine three times daily for 3 months decreased serum markers of liver damage, markers of oxidative stress, and hyperlipidemia. A typical dose is 3 to 6 gm daily.
  24. Quercetin is a plant flavonoid that can help protect the body and mind against pathological effects of pesticide exposure. Quercetin protects brain cells from excitotoxicity and reduces toxicity of beta amyloid proteins that accumulate. Glutathione is activated which protects against free-radicals. Quercetin increases brain expression of protective paraoxonase 2 which scavenges free radicals that damage mitochondrial membranes and cause them to lose their electrical potential. Quercetin limits brain cell death that produces neurodegenerative diseases. The typical dose is 150 mg to 400 mg/d. A combination of quercetin with resveratrol provides complimentary health benefits. Quercetin inhibits pesticide damage by preserving energy, fatty acid, and sex hormone metabolism, inhibiting oxidative stress, protecting against DNA damage, and preserving kidney and liver function.  NOTE: Pesticides are found in our food, air and water. Systemic pesticides mixed in with fertilizer and absorbed by plants through their vascular systems are impossible for consumers to wash off. Pesticides can result in conditions ranging from learning disabilities to Parkinson’s disease to cancers. Organophosphate pesticides lead to microtubule derangements and tau hyperphosphorylation—a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Serum levels of DDE (a metabolite of DDT) were 3.8 fold higher in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Similarly, 76% of patients with Parkinson’s disease (compared to 40% without disease) had detectable levels of the pesticide beta-hexachlorocyclohexane (beta-HCH).
  25. CAT’S CLAW (Uncaria tomentosa): is from the Amazon rain forest with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory oxidole alkaloids in the bark which stimulate the immune system and polyphenols that impact neuroinflammation: Plaque-Tangles-Inflammation (PTI) for memory improvement {which seems to support the amyloid-beta hypothesis of AD: where plaques come first, then tangles, then inflammation, then microglia release cytokines which cause neuronal impairment and death.) Cat’s Claw is a natural inhibitor for the degeneration process. It decreases neuro-inflammation, decreases astrocytes and microglia, and improves memory. Focus and concentration are improved. {Alan Snow, PhD, “Memory Improvement with Cat’s Claw”, at the A4M conference 12/13/2018.}

                          ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS

Studies in China have demonstrated efficacy for using intranasal near infrared red (NIR) LED light (810 nm pulsed at 10 Hz). The LED is inserted into the nostril and clipped to the nasal ala and used for 25 to 30 minutes per day, up to twice daily in patients with severe symptoms. There are no adverse side-effects. The Vielight 810 infrared LED (cost about $500) has deeper brain penetration than the 633 red (Qi-light—cost about $300). Both light systems have demonstrated improved cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer’s dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and after cerebral infarctions (strokes) and traumatic brain injury. Reportedly NIR can also help with insomnia, migraine headaches, mild cognitive decline, nasal allergies and acne. Depending on the severity of symptoms, results can be noticed from 10 days to several months. The light can destroy beta-amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s disease and  lower serum 3-cholecystokinin-octapeptide levels in Parkinson’s disease.

          Near infra-red light acts like the red light spectrum for optimizing health. For Example:  MACULAR DEGENERATION:  Exposure to ultraviolet solar rays accelerates age-related visual loss. Wearing UV protective sunglasses outdoors can minimize this damage. Our round-the-clock use of smartphones and computers exposes our eyes to unnaturally high amounts of blue light which can damage the retina and other parts of the eye. Chronic exposure to blue light is associated with increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. Retinal damage is irreversible, so early and powerful protection is our only hope. Supplementing with multivitamins and xanthophyll carotenoids that include lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin can help to mitigate this loss. {Lancet. 2012;379(9827):1728-38.} They shield light sensing cells from photochemical damage and slow inflammatory reactions that aggravate light-induced damage, and can prevent development of blood vessel overgrowth that produces “wet” macular degeneration, (the leading cause of age-related blindness.) “MacuGuard” is available from www.LifeExtension.com.

Telomerase maintains telomere length; promotes lifespan; protects mitochondria from oxidative stress, and increases the survival of highly active cells, like neurons. The loss of telomerase can be slowed by using Omega-3 fatty acids, resveratrol, Vitamin D3, and curcumin, and by decreasing homocysteine levels.

According to literature and studies sponsored by the manufacturer, so please consider that there may be an economic influence, the only supplement found (so far) that increases telomerase is a proprietary product called “TA-65” from www.tasciences.com. It is derived from Astragalus membranaceus or “Huang Qi”. Astragalus is a nutritional supplement that has been shown to support immune health, and to help reverse some of the signs of cellular aging. It is a foundational herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine traditionally used to support energy levels and immune function. It contains Astragalosides (antioxidants), which support the integrity of the respiratory tract. The extract is predominantly the molecule cycloastragenol. In addition, the polysaccharides found in Astragalus are known for their immune supporting properties. Astragalus herb also supports deep immune functions by promoting normal levels of specific immune cells, and aids in their function. Astragalus appears especially effective when immune function is stressed by environmental or endogenous challenges.

Increasing telomerase prevents the constant erosion of our telomeres, and our lives, increasing our life span and our health span. Reportedly, TA-65 helps to protect the brain and the memory associated with short telomeres; protects the cardiovascular system by improving plaque stability; and, it is antiviral. It helps to improve glucose tolerance and decrease insulin, increases bone mineral density, reduces inflammation, decreases cytotoxic killer cells, improves BP, and reduces homocysteine levels. It reportedly improves the Metabolic Syndrome in 12 weeks. It also increases the function of the retinal pigment epithelium, thus, helping with macular degeneration. It decreases the number of senescent T-cells, and increases the number of naïve T-cells.

Additional things that can help to stabilize and/or increase telomere length include: the Mediterranean Diet, meditation and yoga, aerobic exercise, improved air pollution, decreasing ionizing radiation exposures, and, decreasing oxidative stress. (Older people are more vulnerable to radiation exposure because of telomere loss.)

Increasing telomerase will reportedly NOT increase cancers. (However, please note that cancers have an elevated amount of telomerase activity which helps to explain their immortality.) Short telomeres will increase the risk of cancers. Anecdotal reports say TA-65 has high bioavailability; improves presbyopic (age related decline in) near-vision, increases energy, increases attention and memory, improves peripheral neuropathy, increases aerobic capacity, decreases viral infections, decreases basal cell skin cancers, improves skin elasticity and coloration. Telomere length can be checked at UCLA Immunology Testing for about $350 with results in 10-14 days. There is no difference in the bioavailability of capsules vs. tablets. A standard dose is a 250 mg cap 1-2x/day. It should be taken on an empty stomach.

A 12 month study of 97 people showed the placebo group lost telomere length while the group taking 250 units of TA-65MD daily significantly increased the length of their telomeres. {Rejuvenation Research; 2016;19(6):478-484, and, Pinglira, et. al., Aging and Disease; 2017 Dec;8(6):868-886.} It helped prevent cognitive decline, decrease oxidative stress, stabilize and/or activate telomerase, improve macular degeneration, and, elongate telomeres which results in an increased lifespan. In a study with people infected with cytomegalo-inclusion virus (CMV) they had 2 times the increased degeneration of their telomeres vs. CMV negative people. Treatment with TA-65 increased their telomere length.

          BLUE (LED) LIGHT PROTECTION:  {According to a presentation by Dave Asprey called: “A Systems Approach to Metabolic Aging Through the Eyes,” at the A4M  International Congress in Las Vegas, 15 Dec 2018:}  Like food, light can be both a both a nutrient and a drug. Light exposure changes our biology and affects our cognitive function. The blue spectrum of light is like the high-fructose corn syrup of vision. Exposure to blue light increases insulin resistance, increases body fat weight, increase the incidence of CVD and strokes, and disturbs sleep. The dominant light spectrum in LED lights is blue. LEDs have economically replaced most incandescent light bulbs, and they dominate TV and computer screens and cell phone screens. Blue light hurts the eyes, slows mitochondrial function and decreases sleep quality. Blue light adversely affects the circadian rhythms, reduces melatonin release, decreases mitochondrial growth, increases depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD), increases cancer risks, and increases anxiety.The red spectrum of light upgrade brain functions, energizes cells, and slows aging. Mr. Asprey advise everyone to wear orange colored glasses indoors to block out excessive blue light exposure. It will decrease eye stress, increase energy, improve blood sugar regulation, and improve sleep. The main effect of blue light is upon the mitochondria. It produces aging: increasing free radicals, damaging mitochondrial DNA, causes retinal ganglion cells melanopsin receptors to self-destruct—resulting in an increase in macular degeneration. Use red light bulbs after sunset, especially if you need to be up and functioning late at night, in order to protect your eyes, and help you to eventually sleep. Red lights also help to quickly resolve jet lag. Additionally, supplementing with bilberry extract, lutein, and astaxanthin in Krill Oil can also help to protect your eyes. Also, use red light strips or a red light bulb in your office to improve the ratio of blue to red light wavelengths. You will notice a decrease in your pain and inflammation, improved collagen density in your skin with decreased skin roughness, a reversal of photo-aging of your skin, increased nitric oxide production, and a rescue of neurons from apoptosis.

METFORMIN is a prescription medication with neuro-protectant properties. It activates AMPK: a cellular energy regulator. It reduces levels of an enzyme that generates beta-amyloid proteins; decreases the harmful effect of beta-amyloid on brain cell function; reduces levels of alpha-synuclein that causes damage in Parkinson’s disease; prevents the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells and improves motor coordination. In a 2016 study {J. Alzheimers Dis. 51(2):501-14}, older adults with mild cognitive impairment using Metformin 1,000 mg twice daily for 12 months had improved memory recall.

15 mg Nicotine patches, used with patients for 6 months who had early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, had neuroprotective effects with improvements in attention, memory and psychomotor speed, with excellent safety and tolerability, compared with using a placebo. While the many chemicals in tobacco (including anabasine, nornicotine, anatabine, cotinine, myosmine, and acetaldehyde) are highly addictive, pure nicotine is generally not addictive.

THIS IS VERY CONTROVERSIAL:  Based upon an hypothesis that autism, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other degenerative diseases of the brain are aggravated by mercury toxicity (found in thimerosol, formerly used in vaccinations as a preservative, and  older dental amalgams), a protocol has been developed by Dietrich Klinghardt, MD. He first recommends avoiding allergens and toxic foods in the diet such as gluten, dairy, and processed foods. Then, he adds sublingual vitamin B12 and folate to restore methylation which protects cells from toxins, including mercury. Most people’s immune systems can detoxify some mercury. However, 20% of the population has a genetic methylation defect which compromises their ability to detoxify mercury. He also recommends supplements to restore cellular metabolism {discussed in the book “The Puzzle of Autism” by Dr. Amy Yasko}. Finally, he adds transdermal-2,3-dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid (TD-DMPS) to chelate and eliminate mercury (and lead) from the central nervous system. {NOTE: if using TD-DMPS, take a balanced mineral supplement to replenish nutritional metals like zinc, copper, and molybdenum. It can be obtained from College Pharmacy at 866-828-8203.}

[Also, see my handout on “Toxin Management”]

A Potential New Test For AD:  The researchers analyzed the participants’ blood for a protein called neurofilament light chain that is released when brain cells disintegrate. The people with a gene for early Alzheimer disease had higher protein levels when first tested. Moreover, their levels of neurofilament rose steadily over time. The other participants had steady low levels of the protein.

Differences in the protein were detectable sixteen years before the expected onset of symptoms. Rapid increases in neurofilament light chain levels were also linked to brain shrinkage visible on scans. This preliminary test is not yet ready for clinical use, but the authors hope that it will someday allow doctor to diagnose Alzheimer disease when intervention might still make a difference.  {Preische et al, Nature Medicine, Jan. 21, 2019;  reported in The People’s Pharmacy, 1/25/2019.}

Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography (OCTA)– a tool for the early detection of AD:  {Reported by Yoon, et. al. Opthalmology Retina, on line March 11, 2019} Researchers at Duke Eye Center reported that by using OCTA imaging people with AD had fewer fine blood vessels and one layer of the retina thinner than people with mild cognitive impairment and with healthy cognitive functioning. This replicates a study done at the Goldschleger Eye Institute at Sheba Medical center in Israel. It is an early way to detect AD.

 

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Hello world!

Hello world!

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INSOMNIA

Dr. Chuck Wile is a supervising physician at Cheng Integrative Health Center/Doctor’s Weight Loss Center, Columbia, SC.  Dr. Wile served in the US Air Force Medical corp and is a retired Air Force Colonel.

          It is exhausting and frustrating when you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Sleep deprivation is not the same as insomnia. In sleep deprivation one has an adequate ability to fall asleep yet an inadequate opportunity to sleep. In insomnia, one has an adequate opportunity to sleep yet an inadequate ability to sleep with sufficient quantity and/or quality of sleep. Insomnia is defined as an inability to have adequate sleep 3 or more times per week for 3 months, without co-existing mental nor physical disorder that causes sleep impairment resulting in dissatisfaction with the quality and/or quantity of sleep AND daytime impairment or distress. 1/9 Americans meet these criteria with equates to over 40 million people. Women are twice as likely as men to suffer with insomnia. African Americans and Hispanic people experience insomnia more than Caucasians. About 2/3 people experience sleep impairment 1 night/week. There is an hereditary aspect to the problem 28 to 45 percent of the time (depending on the study). >$30 Billion per year is spent on medications for sleep in the USA.

          Our sleep-deprivation is caused by many socially engineered factors. Too much light, especially blue wavelength light from LEDs; use of alarm clocks because we have to punch time cards for work; room temperatures too high; the use of caffeine, tobacco and alcohol. Also, internal factors such as aging and worrying have a significant influence. Our over-active sympathetic nervous system  causes a release of the adrenal hormones Epinephrine and Norepinephrine that support a flight-flight-freeze response to threats to our survival {both real and imagined}, which increases our heart rate and blood pressure and keeps us alert). Also, with the release of Cortisol from the adrenals (which supports our ability to sustain stress) there is an additional stimulus to remain alert. These hormones also cause an increased metabolic rate with consequent increased core body temperature; stimulation of the thalamus gate-keeper to remain open for sensory input for processing by the cerebral cortex,; and, for the emotion generating area of the limbic system (the amygdala) plus the memory recollection center (the hippocampus) to remain active. The result is ALERTNESS thwarting sleep. PLUS, our sleep-procrastination is a problem. Due to our fears of missing out we amuse ourselves with late-evening TV and digital entertainments which can interfere with achieving a good sleep pattern.

          A Key Principal for managing insomnia is find the cause then treat the cause.

CAUSES OF INSOMNIA:   1) Acute Insomnia: Transient and short-term cause of insomnia include: jet lag; shift work; high altitude;  poor sleep environment: uncomfortable room temperature—too hot or too cold; excessive or unpleasant noise; situational stresses: illness or death of a loved one, unemployment, separation or divorce, exam prep; acute medical/surgical illness or hospitalization; use of stimulants such as caffeine, amphetamines, tobacco, cocaine, MDMA, methylphenidate, modafinil, and phentermine; withdrawal from alcohol, sedatives, stimulants; and, excessive mental or physical stimulation in the hours before bedtime. 2) Chronic Insomnia: is typically linked to psychiatric or medical conditions including: a) Common Psychiatric Conditions: anxiety with intruding ruminations, depression (which can also trigger hypersomnolence), mania (bipolar disorder), PTSD and schizophrenia. b) Chronic Medical Conditions:  pain, obstructive sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and periodic leg movements, menopause or andropause, coronary artery disease with nocturnal dyspnea or angina, GERD, degenerative neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease with dementia with nocturnal agitation, brain tumors, strokes, brain trauma, circadian rhythm disorder, medications such as stimulants for ADHD and narcolepsy, alcohol and drug users, nocturnal asthma and pregnancy.

          ***A thorough history and physical examination with diagnostic testing, especially considering a sleep lab study, is very important in order to make an appropriate diagnosis and precision treatment recommendations. Suggestions about supplements and medicinal essences are intended for educational purposes and are not prescriptions for managing your health concerns. Be sure to inform your physician of any supplements that you are taking in order to evaluate any possible conflicts with prescription medications.

DEVELOP STRICT SLEEP HYGIENE HABITS:   

           Here are some suggestions to try before considering a prescription medication. AVOID CAFFEINE (coffee, tea, caffeinated sodas), NICOTINE, and other  Stimulants such as chocolate, Sudafed or Afrin nasal spray, or, if that is too much of a challenge, then don’t use any for at least 6 hours before bedtime. AVOID HEAVY MEALS and  ALCOHOL before sleep. AVOID SUGARY OR SPICY FOODS 4 to 6 hours before bedtime. However, if awakening during the night is a problem, then try eating a light snack  of good fats (not carbs) before bedtime. A couple almonds, a few spoons of yogurt, a couple teaspoons of almond butter or peanut butter on a cracker can frequently do the trick. Drinking warm milk and/or eating a banana may help you get ready for bed. The amino acid tryptophan in these foods can help you to sleep.

           Allow enough time for sleep. Most people need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Fix a bedtime and an awakening time. Avoid napping during the day. And especially in the evening.  Arrange a sleep environment that is very dark, comfortable, quiet and cool {set the thermostat for 65 degrees in the bedroom} to facilitate falling asleep quickly and staying asleep. Use comfortable bedding and keep the room well ventilated. Block out all distracting noise. Consider a white noise generator. Reserve the bed for sleep and sex. Don’t use the bed as an office, work or recreation space. Let your body learn to associate the bed with sleeping. AVOID TV in the bedroom. Don’t take your worries to bed. Worrying is a prayer for that which you don’t wish to happen. Instead, practice relaxation techniques before going to bed. Yoga, deep breathing, visualizations, progressive muscle relaxation can all help relieve anxiety and muscle tension. Establish a pre-sleep ritual such as a warm bath (especially using Epsom salts—5 cups: the magnesium will relax your muscles), or a few minutes of reading or praying. Get into your favorite sleeping position. If you don’t fall asleep within 15-30 minutes, get up and go into another room and read until you get sleepy. Consider elevating the foot of your bed a few inches to increase circulation to your brain.  Regular AEROBIC EXERCISE is the best way to improve your sleep and modify pain. However, don’t do heavy exercise within 3 hours before bedtime because it raises your core body temperature and it takes several hours to return your core body temperature to normal. The best time for aerobic exercising is in the morning.

          COGNITIVE-BEHAVORAL THERAPY (CBT):  is the most effective psychological intervention to help with insomnia. It consists of a comprehensive program for educating and modifying behaviors.  The most effective use of CBT combines several of these methods. Rather than just relieving symptoms, it addresses the underlying cause(s) of insomnia. 1) Sleep Education: understanding the sleep cycles and learning how beliefs, behaviors and outside factors affect sleep. 2) Cognitive Control and Psychotherapy: helps control or eliminate negative thoughts and worries that keep one awake. It may help to eliminate worrisome beliefs about sleep such as a single restless night will make one sick. 3) Sleep Restriction: limiting the amount of time spent in bed rather than lying in bed awake which can become a habit leading to poor sleep. 4) Remaining Passively Awake: avoiding any effort to fall asleep. Worrying that one can’t sleep can keep one awake. 5) Stimulus Control Therapy: helps remove factors that condition the mind to resist sleep. Eg. One is coached to use the bed only for sleep and sex; and, to leave the bedroom if unable to sleep within 15 minutes. 6) Sleep Hygiene: changing basic lifestyle habits that can influence sleep: eg. Smoking or drinking caffeine late in the day; drinking a “nightcap” of alcohol; not regularly exercising; avoid napping; winding-down 2 hours before sleep time. 7) Relaxation Training: learning to calm the mind and body: eg. meditation, progressive muscle relaxation and hypnosis. 8) Biofeedback Training: learning to influence heart rate, skin temperature, muscle tension and skin electrical conduction. 9) Sleep Diary: keeping a detailed record of sleep patterns and influences for 2 weeks.

***This handout is intended for sharing information. If you consider trying any non-prescription supplements, please discuss this with me so that we can be sure that there will be no drug-supplement adverse interactions, and to be sure that your choice may be good for your overall care and health.

NON-PRESCRIPTION ALTERNATIVES:

          These products will support and enhance normal sleep mechanisms. Consider using: 1) VALERIAN ROOT capsules– 150 to 300 mg of a standard extract (0.8% valeric acid). Use 1 capsule at bedtime. Note: it smells like dirty gym socks, however, it is an ingredient in many proprietary sleep aids because it is effective. Don’t take with alcohol. 2)  MELATONIN–this comes as capsules, drops and lozenges. Women should start at 1 mg to 3 mg at bedtime and increase the dose every 4-7 days to 3 to 10 mg (may use up to 30 mg); Men should start at 3 mg to 5 mg and increase the dose every 4-7 days to 10 to 15 mg (may use up to 30 mg). 3) LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL (to be used topically)–add to a warm bath before bedtime or use as aromatherapy by placing some drops in an air  infuser or sprinkled on bed clothes/bedding. 4) The following TEAS (which can also be used as tinctures)  have been found to be helpful: a) lemon balm, b) passion flower, c) chamomile, d) catnip, e) hops, and/or rooibos. 5) Consider 5-hydroxy-tryptophan (5-HTP) 50 to 200 mg at bedtime. (CAUTION: Don’t use this if taking an anti-depressant.) 6) Consider GLYCINE 3 gm at bedtime. People fall asleep quicker, drop into delta-wave sleep faster, and report increased alertness with less daytime drowsiness, improved memory performance and less fatigue. 7) Consider using an aqueous extract derived from peeled rhizomes and roots of a non-mouldy Noble KAVA cultivar, limiting use to 250 mg kavalactones daily for acute or intermittent use. This will minimize a very rare hepatotoxicity risk. It is wise to limit its use to 6 weeks at a time and discontinue its use if there is persistent nausea, jaundice or weight loss. Then, get liver enzyme testing if there are any adverse findings. Used wisely, kava is a safe and effective aid for good sleep and to relieve moderate anxiety. 8) ZIZYPHUS seed (Suan Zao Ren; red date; the spiny jujube) is a Chinese herb beneficial for sleep, menopausal symptoms and anxiety. The dose is about 4.5 gm of the dry seed extract. 9) Magnesium L-Threonate 1,000 to 2,000 mg taken at bedtime can be very helpful with sleep management. This form of magnesium most easily crosses the blood-brain barrier with comprehensive benefits for sleep, anxiety and cognitive function. {It can be obtained from www.LifeExtension.com.}  However, magnesium oxide 400-800 mg, magnesium glycinate 400-500 mg, and magnesium asporatate 400-500 mg can also be very effective. 10) SAMe (s-adenosylmethionine) 800 to 1600 mg daily can benefit insomnia. It promotes the function of the enzyme that converts N-acetylserotonin to melatonin. 11) A proprietary blend called “SleepCycle” from www.puretango.com  has Xylaria Nigripes or “Wulinshen” as a main ingredient. It is a fungus containing GABA which improves sleep, shortening the time to fall asleep while helping to stay asleep longer, awakening refreshed without bothersome side effects. In fact, it has the pleasant side effect of improving cognitive function and a sense of well-being. Wulinshen also seems to have a cumulative effect, improving sleep quality with continued use. Additionally, melatonin, 5-HTP, L-Theanine plus a blend of valerian, passion flower, lemon balm, Dong quai, Hops, polygala and Jujube are added to the mixture for additional sleep benefits. The recommended dose is 2 capsules 30 minutes before bedtime. 12)  Lactium is a protein hydrosolate that can be used to relieve stress and promote restful sleep without side effects. Drinking warm milk has often been suggested for promoting sleep. Unfortunately, adults no longer have the enzymes of a newborn child which allows the release of this relaxing milk peptide. Lactium 150 mg taken 1 hour before bedtime improves sleep quality and reduces the time for sleep onset after 2 weeks of use. There is no awakening-sedation nor addiction with continued use.  Additionally, bioactive milk peptides activate brain cell receptors for neurotransmitters that reduce anxiety, such as GABA, serotonin and dopamine. Unlike benzodiazepine drugs, which activate the same receptors but which can become habit forming, bioactive milk peptides induce relaxation and sleep without the disinhibition side effects that are associated with risk taking behavior with such drugs. Studies demonstrate supplementing with bioactive milk products compared with placebo additionally improved digestion, cardiovascular function, cognitive function and social difficulty and reduced the stress response, including elevated blood pressure, heart rate ad cortisol levels. {Eur J Nutr. 2005;44(2):128-32.} 13) If your main problem is an active mind ruminating about things that happened during the day or things that need to happen in the future, then consider using the amino acid L-Theanine 200 mg: take 1 or 2 tabs once or twice per day. 14) Passion Flower rebalances signals in the endocannabinoid system that acts like a dimmer switch to tone down the amount of neurotransmitters that get released. It is useful to help you fall asleep and to stay asleep and to restore your sense of a calm focus. It is safe to use with children. It has been found to be useful helping to calm kids with Autism and with ADHD. A good proprietary product is called “Neural Balance” and is available from www.neural-balance.com 15) “PharmaGABA” is a proprietary product that modifies the natural neurotransmitter gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA) in a fermentation process with the bacteria  Lactobacillus hilgardii. It can help to improve sleep quality and decrease awakenings. Additionally, it can help to relieve anxiety. The dose is 50 mg up to 200 mg daily.

OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICATIONS:

          Antihistamines are used for the side-effect of drowsiness. {Histamine is a key neurotransmitter for alertness.} Typically they contain Diphenhydramine (Benadryl, Sominex, Sleep-Eez, Nytol) or Doxylamine (Unisom). Prescription Hydroxyzine (Atarax or Vistaril) may also be used. Side-effects include: daytime drowsiness, cognitive impairment, dizziness, drunken movements, urinary hesitancy, blurred vision, dry mouth and dry throat. Caution should be exercised in people with glaucoma, benign prostatic hypertrophy and cardiac dysrhythmias. BE AWARE: studies show in people >60 yo who use anti-histamines regularly have impaired memory and an increased risk for developing dementia!!

PRESCRIPTION ALTERNATIVES: 

          Caution: People who are recovering from alcoholism should AVOID using benzodiazepines, Zalepion (Sonata), Zolpidem (Ambien) and Eszopiclone (Lunesta) for insomnia because there is strong evidence of relapse associated with their use. Trazodone up to 100 mg at bedtime is the preferred medication for recovering alcoholics and people with an addiction history.

          “Sleeping Pills” are a misnomer. There is a significant difference between natural sleep and drug-induced SEDATION. Sedation does NOT equal sleep. Sedatives anesthetize the cerebral cortex but do NOT produce the electrical activity that is associated with sleep nor any of the restorative benefits! They produce an imbalance in the chemicals which  signal the brain to achieves normal sleep, and they  significantly limit restorative NREM slow-wave sleep. Also, the unconscious  “limbo state” produced can result in abnormal sleep behaviors which range from the harmless and humorous to the disturbing and dangerous.

          Currently there are no prescription medications used for sleep that enhance health and longevity. They all have serious potential side-effects. Thus, I believe that the risks do NOT outweigh the benefits of their use which, when compared to using a placebo, only minimally shortening the time for falling asleep. Compare this to the real risks of DEATH and CANCERS. The risk of death increases with the quantity used. For example in a 2 ½ year long study: ½ to 18 pills/year increased the risk by 3.6 times and >132 pills/year increased the risk 5.3 times. The risk of death occurs because of increased infections {since there is no immune benefit which is gained with natural sleep}; increased fatal car crashes; increased falls and consequent hip fractures {especially in the elderly}; and, increased heart disease and strokes. Especially worrisome is the fact that >50% of all sleeping pill prescriptions are for the elderly.

           In addition to the above non-pharmacological suggestions, I may be willing to prescribe A SHORT COURSE of medication for people who suffer from chronic insomnia. REMEMBER: the first-line therapy is CBT-I. Medications are intended only for short-term use (7 to 10 days) and really should never exceed 4 weeks. Unfortunately, they are being used off-label for extended periods of time.

          Weighing the risks versus benefits is fundamental. ALL of the sedative-hypnotics carry the risks of dependency, withdrawal and rebound insomnia. These include both the benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepine hypnotics, although the older medications such as benzodiazepines carry a higher risk.  Anti-depressants can also be used for their side-effect of drowsiness.

  1. Benzodiazepines:  non-selectively target receptor sites in the brain that modulate the effects of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). There are 3 categories: a) Long-acting: common brands include: Clonazepam (Klonopin), Diazepam (Valium), Flurazepam (half-life 70-90 hours) and Quazepam (Doral). b) Medium-acting: common brands include: Triazolam (Halcion), Lorazepam (Ativan) and Temazepam (Restoril). c) Short-acting: common brands include: Alprazolam (Xanax) and Oxazepam. These may be useful for air-travelers who want to reduce the effects of jet lag. Side-effects for all the benzodiazepines include allergic reactions, including angioedema of the face; increased depression; respiratory depression; residual daytime drowsiness with risks of motor vehicle accidents and falls in the elderly; memory loss—sleep walking, sleep eating, odd mood states: significantly aggravated by drinking alcohol and using antihistamines; and, urinary incontinence, especially in the elderly. NOTE: I am concerned about some recent studies that show a strong association between using benzodiazepines and significantly increased risks for dementia. When used for 3 to 6 months, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease is increased by 32%. When used for more than 6 months, the risk increases to 84%. Also, these drugs cross the placenta and enter breast milk and should be avoided in pregnancy and with nursing. First trimester use is associated with cleft lip in newborns. Interactions: although relatively safe if taken alone in an overdose, benzodiazepines are potentially very dangerous for respiratory depression in combination with drinking alcohol. Prolonged use creates physical dependence making discontinuation very problematic. Withdrawal symptoms: can last for 1 to 3 weeks after stopping the drug and include gastrointestinal distress, sweating, cardiac dysrhythmias, and, in severe cases, hallucinations and seizures. Rebound insomnia: paradoxically, benzodiazepines can cause nocturnal sleep disturbance and anxiety. There is a higher incidence of these problems especially when using the short-acting drugs.
  2. Non-Benzodiazepine hypnotics: although they have been advertised as causing less physical dependency than benzodiazepines, they are still subject to abuse. a) Ambien: typically induces sedation for 7 to 8 hours. AMBIEN IS A MEMORY ERASER RATHER THAN A MEMORY ENGRAVER. The FDA has recommended lowering the previous typical dose of 10 mg to 5 mg or lower, particularly for women who eliminate the drug more slowly than men. Although very popular, PLEASE NOTE: I choose NOT to prescribe Ambien because I believe that it is a dangerous drug which significantly impairs the memory and cognitive function. b) Lunesta: mayslightly improve both sleep maintenance and daytime alertness. It is the first medication approved to be taken on a long-term basis. c) Sonata: is short-acting lasting about 4 hours and useful for inducing sleep or for people with the inability to return to sleep once awakened in the middle of the night. d) Rozerem: is the only non-controlled medication. It targets melatonin receptors. However, I believe that it is an irrational choice: why not use OTC melatonin instead of the expensive prescription? e) Belsomra (suvorexant): is a new orexin-receptor antagonist being heavily advertised with a cute cuddly cat logo. “It might help you nod off a few minutes faster or stay asleep slightly longer, but that small benefit comes with some big safety concerns, such as being too drowsy to drive the next day or feeling like you can’t move or talk.” {ConsumerReports.com, July 12, 2015.} The FDA initially rejected doses of 30 to 40 mg because they posed too great a risk for causing motor vehicle crashes. The dose of 10 mg is no better than using a placebo. Compare: using Ambien 10 mg: sedated 20 min faster than a placebo and remained unconscious 34 min longer than placebo, with Belsomra 20 mg: sedated 6 min faster than placebo and remained unconscious 16 min longer than placebo. Neither are impressive nor, in my opinion, worth the risk. ***All these medications have serious side-effects: including daytime drowsiness and abnormal sleep behaviors: sleep-walking, sleep-eating, sleep-driving and social interactions with NO MEMORY for what has transpired. They impair short-term memory and can cause hallucinations and sleep paralysis. All these effects are augmented when consuming alcohol.
  3. Anti-Depressants: are used predominantly off-label for the side-effect of drowsiness. They are NOT addictive. They can be useful for modifying the pain threshold if pain is a confounding problem aggravating insomnia. They can be useful for concomitant depressive symptoms. They are my drug of choice for chronic insomnia. The preferred agents block serotonin 5 HT2A or 5 HT2C receptors and lack strong cholinergic activity such as: {for initial dosing} Trazodone (Desyrel) 50 mg, Doxepin (Sinequan) 25 mg and Mirtazapine (Remeron) 15 mg.  Although the older tricyclic agents have a higher side-effect profile because of their strong cholinergic activity, they can also be useful, such as Amitriptyline (Elavil), Nortriptaline (Pamelor), Imipramine (Tofranil) and Desipramine (Norpramin). However, I am not cavalier about using the anti-depressants because they change the architecture and function of the brain. {READ: “Anatomy of an Epidemic” by Robert Whitaker, published in 2010.}

***Also, consider reading “The Sleep Revolution” by Arianna Huffington. AND, “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker, PhD.

          ***THE GLYMPHATIC SYSTEM:  The more waste products lying around the brain, the greater the chance for Alzheimer’s disease to take root. Since 25% of the body’s overall energy is consumed by the brain, there are a lot of waste products to be cleaned up. The glymphatic system is the brain’s clean up system. Specialized brain cells scavenge diseased and damaged bits of protein and metabolic waste. With age, these cells become impaired. Also, the neuron surrounding supportive glial cells shrink in size when sleeping, opening spaces between cells by as much as 60% which allows cerebral spinal fluid to be pumped through and clear out waste. Lymphatic vessels surrounding the brain then deliver the waste to the lymphatic system of the body which gets rid of the toxins. With aging, adults often struggle to get enough sleep, which impairs the clean up system. THUS, since sleeping is crucial to removing toxins, keeping a regular sleep schedule becomes increasingly important with aging. Irregular sleep hours and long day time naps can disturb an effective sleep cycle clean up process. Also, sleeping on your side, in a fetal position, rather than on your back or stomach, does a better job of cleaning house. And, sleeping on your left side maximizes your body’s circulation, because most venous return travels up your right side and these veins can be compressed when you lie on them. However, getting good sleep is much more important than worrying about whether or not you sleep on your side and what side you sleep on.

REF.  Dr. Elsie Taveras “Lack of Sleep linked to behavioral problems I kids”, March 2017, Reuters.com. “ Children who aren’t getting the recommended amount of sleep (>11 hours) have more difficulties with attention, with emotional control, wit reasoning, with problem solving, and also have behavioral problems.” …”The more chaotic and less predictable a sleep schedule, the more difficulty kids tend to have with sleep.” Consequences of sleep deprivation include: problems in school due to poor concentration, falling asleep in classes, problems with teachers; behavioral issues due to poor impulse control and bullying; mental disorders such as ADHD and depression; and, negativity and stubbornness resulting in a poor attitude and poor cooperation, isolation, poor performance, and poor social skills. While adults get lethargic with a lack of sleep, kids speed-up, become emotionally weak and violent, and have mood swings. They are unable to understand what is wrong with them.

SUGGESTIONS:

  1. Maintain a regular bedtime and getting-up time, including weekends and holidays, if possible.
  2. Create a winding-down time in the evening, and a relaxed bedtime ritual—eg. reading or telling stories together, and tucking-in for the night with a lullaby.
  3. Avoid caffeine, colas, and chocolate at night.
  4. Avoid heavy meals and sweets at night.
  5. Keep the bedroom a comfortable temperature (around 65 degrees), with darkness and quiet.
  6. Avoid all screens and music.
  7. Exercise for at least 60-minutes daily, but not within 2 hours of bedtime.
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EXERCISE AS MEDICINE AND ENHANCED PERFORMANCE

EXERCISE AS MEDICINE AND ENHANCED PERFORMANCE

Dr. Chuck Wile is a supervising physician at Cheng Integrative Health Center/Doctor’s Weight Loss Center, Columbia, SC.  Dr. Wile served in the US Air Force Medical corp and is a retired Air Force Colonel.

“Eating alone will not keep a man well, he must also take exercise.” {Hippocrates, 400 B.C.)   

“Exercise is loathsome.” {Mark Twain}   

“The best exercise is the one you like because then you are likely to stick with it over time.” {Martin Bibals}        

“GET MOVING; KEEP MOVING; AND, DON’T STOP.” {Jordan D. Metzl, MD}

          Regular exercise is a key to health, wellness and longevity. In the early 1900s, Medicine shifted its focus from the prevention of disease to its treatment. Simultaneously and coincidentally, Americans fell in love with spectator sports. Physical activity was no longer the medicine for the masses, but it became the privilege of elite athletes. We forgot/ignored the benefits of exercising: Regular exercise will help you to sleep better. Exercising increases blood flow to the brain helping to create new brain cells and blood vessels because of the increased Brain-Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF). This repairs and protects the brain cells from degeneration, both by repairing and restoring cellular mechanisms. Exercising releases endorphins and other chemicals that dull pain and improve your mood, especially decreasing your anxiety and lightening your depression. This helps with building and maintaining your resiliency.

          Regular exercise enhances memory and quicker learning. Your work will be more productive. Also, you’re medical costs will be less. You’ll have decreased risks for developing chronic diseases: for example, type 2  Diabetes is both preventable and treatable, as well as CAD and CVD. Exercising helps to burn fat better for energy, causing fat cells to shrink. {Since muscle mass is heavier than fat, don’t be over-focused on your scales, because your weight may actually increase while your body fat decreases. The real question is do your clothes fit better?} You can help to prevent and treat dementias. The increased blood flow reduces toxins (beta-amyloid and alpha-synuclein) that cause aging and cell death, and reduces inflammation. You can protect your chromosomal telomeres and slow your cellular aging: exercise increases Nuclear Respiratory Factor 1 (NRF1) which protects telomeres from shortening. You can increase blood flow to your skin and help wounds to heal faster. By producing weight bearing muscle contractions, you can make your muscles grow, and, also, increase your bone density. You can decrease your risk for at least 13 different types of cancer, including breast, ovarian and colon cancers. Regular exercising can help with rehabilitation from strokes, and help to  improve other chronic physical diseases and emotional problems.

          You will experience few or no adverse side-effects. Your costs will be low or absent. Exercise is safer and more effective than any drug on the market for health. Although it is much easier to take a pill for what ails you, the risks and side-effects are much more problematic. Exercise benefits both young and old, women who are pregnant, and people who are well or ill. You don’t need a fancy health club, clothes or equipment. JUST MOVE. ***Some exercise is better than none, and even a little exercise can do you a lot of good.

          Humans are notoriously bad at assessing the long-term benefits and risks of their lifestyle choices. The promise that: “exercise is good for you” is not a strong enough motivator to make regular exercising a part of one’s daily lifestyle and choices. Here is a glimpse at the problem: only 20% of Americans get the recommended 150 min of strength and aerobic training per week. More than 50% of “Baby Boomers” take zero exercise per week. Over 80 million Americans (over 6 years old) are inactive. Many schools have eliminated Gym classes from their curriculums. Half of High Schools don’t have weekly PE classes. Only 15% of Elementary Schools require PE 3 days per week. The result is Exercise Deficit Disorder. Long term consequences include: obesity;  increased osteoarthritis; increased low back pain; increased anxiety; increased depression; poor skin complexion; increased risks for heart disease, cancers, dementia, diabetes, and early death.

          Humans are motivated by immediate rewards. Although people are motivated for health and personal growth, knowledge alone is usually not sufficient to motivate change. And, the best motivation is not externally imposed, but, rather, elicited from within the person. The hardest part of any work-out regimen is getting started. Don’t be stopped by the most common excuses: “I’m too…busy, tired, lazy”. Know that exercise releases “feel good” endorphins, and there are ways to manage Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMs).

  1. ***Rather than focus on how good exercise is for your health, {which it really, really is, but it is a nebulous standard}, focus instead upon how exercise will give you an energy boost, improve your mood, enhance your productivity, and improve your sleep.
  2. PICK AN EXERCISE PROGRAM THAT YOU ENJOY. Forget the idea that exercise is supposed to hurt or feel like punishment, or else its not helping you– {“no pain, no gain”}, and, therefore, not worth doing. THIS ISN’T TRUE. If you enjoy something, then you will look forward to participating again, and, thus, you will most likely take the time to make the activity a part of your daily routine.
  3. Make exercising a social opportunity. A friend will offer you encouragement and will help to keep you accountable to yourself (possibly because you want to avoid their judgmental disappointment and disapproval). Exercise can be a time for high quality personal connections with your friend(s).
  4. Don’t back down from a little competition. A competitive atmosphere focuses on different qualities than a chummy  one does. With competition, the most active participants become the benchmarks to beat, and, thus, everyone’s activity level is increased. In a social group, people who drag their feet seem to draw the most attention, draw down the group energy, and give others an excuse for less participation.
  5. Make exercising non-negotiable. Be sure to make yourself prominent reminders, and, become aware of your self-sabotaging triggers. Your goal is to make regular exercising an automatic choice.
  6. Put money on the line. Studies show that people are motivated more by losses than by gains, and that they prefer getting rewards now rather than later. For example, if you are trying to lose weight, consider sending a donation, each day that you don’t meet your exercise goal, to an organization that you hate. AND, give yourself a non-food reward for accomplishing your goal.
  7. Use a Fitness Tracker. {In order to avoid unrealistic expectations, be aware of  the caveat: a tracker can’t force you to change your behavior, it is merely a source of information.} First, establish your exercise baseline for a week. Then start your exercise program and evaluate your data over time, looking for any improvements. Then, understand what you changed so that you can do it again and continue improving. Once you have a realistic assessment of your abilities, it will be easier for you to commit yourself to an individualized program and a long term behavioral change. Remember, “it’s the learning, not the digits.” {Ref. Martin Gibala: “The One Minute Workout.”}        

                                                 AEROBIC EXERCISING:

  1. Doing an aerobic exercise program for at least 30 minutes 3 times per week will maintain your body’s basal metabolic rate (BMR). Your weight will remain stable if there is a balance between caloric input and energy output. If you don’t have an aerobic program, and you restrict calories, your BMR will decrease to conserve energy during relative starvation. In order to lose weight and remain healthy, it is necessary to maintain a normal BMR, and then restrict caloric intake.  The WHO and US CDC recommend making your exercising goal be 150 minutes per week (divided however you choose) in order to effectively lose weight, achieve cardiovascular fitness, and enhance your overall health and sense of well-being. {This includes time for twice weekly muscle strengthening.} {NOTE:  For time-conscious people: ***High Intensity Interval Training can produce the same results in half the time.***} Think of your exercise as THE BEST MEDICINE you can give yourself. REMEMBER:  in order to prevent injuring yourself by over-doing it initially, because of your enthusiasm to see results quickly, when starting out: GO SLOWLY, and then steadily build up to your desired goal. And, more is NOT necessarily better. There is a “sweet zone”. Too much exercising can stress your joints and your heart-lung capacity.
  2. Look OUTWARD (rather than the usual advice to look inward) to support your motivations for exercise. Motivation is often thought of as a quantity of inward reserve, and people often lament its absence as a personality flaw. Instead, manipulate your environment to support your motivation. For example, purchase an audiobook that you’ll really enjoy and look forward to listening to, and make it available ONLY when working out. Your desire to engage with the plot will support your motivation to exercise.
  3. When choosing an aerobic exercise activity, have FUN! Pick something that you will enjoy doing so that you will incorporate it into your lifestyle changes. If you go power walking, walk with a partner that enjoys a good conversation. Or, vary your activities from working out at a gym, to swimming, to dancing in order to keep it fun. Or, create your own energetic music CDs so that you can crank up the volume for an exuberant work out. Try exercising mindfully: bring attention to your breath, your steps, your surroundings, and you will find that your pains will be alleviated.
  4. If you choose RUNNING more is NOT better, especially as we get older. A 2 to 3 mile run is all that is needed. Runners with the greatest longevity ran at a slow to moderate speed for 1 to 2 hours/week. Time is required for recuperation after a work-out. After age 45, people generally have their joints feel better after a brisk walk compared to a run. Women runners have a greater risk to injuring their bodies than men. Women have higher arches, and, when running, point their toes outward, and land with a heel strike which increases their skeletal impact. Also, they generally have less hip and core body strength, have an anatomical shift in their hips and their knee alignments, and have increased body fat. {In contrast, women have more joint flexibility than men, and they are better at pacing themselves in a race.}  Remember that stretching and warming-up your muscles is important to preventing injuries. Also, remember to stretch again after running. If you suffer from arthritis, it is much better to participate in non-impact aerobic activities such as swimming, working out on a glider or an elliptical trainer, or rowing.
  5.           However, a theory proposed by Dennis Bramble and Daniel Lieberman in a paper published in Nature in 2004 proposes that humans are born to run and to run far. The theory proposes that early humans evolved endurance adaptations for running to be able to chase prey animals “until the animals collapsed from exhaustion and heat stroke. Winning the footrace meant dinner. In addition to being furless, we have far more sweat glands than most other mammals, giving us an advantage over furrier animals that have to stop and pant to cool down. A larger gluteus maximus muscle—a big butt—is a distinctively human feature.We rely on it minimally for walking, but it’s crucial to stabilizing us when we run. Our legs have long tendons—that act like springs, helping generate force and reducing the energy cost of running. And they don’t seem to provide much benefit to walking, another piece of evidence that our bodies are made for running.” {Reported in Discover Magazine, July/August 2018, pp. 50-51.}
  6.           “There are 2 types of muscle fibers: Type 1 (slower contracting or slow-twitch fibers) and Type 2 (faster contracting or fast-twitch fibers). Everyone has a mix of both fibers in their muscles. Fast-twitch fibers are for short, powerful bursts; they contract quickly but also fatigue quickly. Slow-twitch fibers have more mitochondria (the cell’s powerhouses that use oxygen to make energy) so they don’t fatigue as easily and are ideal for longer activities. Sprinters have more fast-twitch fibers, while endurance athletes have more slow-twitch. Although partly genetic, there’s some evidence we can train in order to change the proportion of fibers our muscle have.” {Reported in Discover Magazine, July/August 2018, p. 50.}
  7. WALKING lowers your risks for diseases and probably will extend your life. Walking helps to keep you limber longer and helps to make you feel happier. In a study of 80,000 women, their risk of breast cancer was decreased by 42% by walking for a few hours per week. Other studies similarly demonstrate a decreased risk of kidney and prostate cancer mortality by walking. Walking has the lowest “quit rate” of any exercise. In a study of 400,000 Taiwanese who walked for 15 minutes daily, they lived 3 years longer than their sedentary peers. A 5-minute walk outdoors can elevate your mood and enhance your creativity, decrease your anxiety and depression, and increase your sense of well-being. SUGGESTIONS for success: pick-up your pace so that it becomes a power-walk rather than a stroll. {Maintain a pace that makes you a little breathless when walking and talking.} Count your steps: your goal is 7,000 to 10,000 steps/day, with 3,000 purposeful steps. Break-up your day into 50-step mini-walks every 45 minutes. Walk with a group for mutual support.
  8. ***High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) alternates periods of intense exercise with periods of less-intense exercise or recovery time. “If you want the benefits of very time-efficient exercise, then you need to push hard. There is no way around that.” {Martin Gibals} For example, consider riding a stationary bike for 10-minutes 3 days per week for a total of 30 minutes per week: after a 3-minute warm-up, pedal very hard and fast for a 20-second spurt of intense energy, then pedal less hard for a minute, then repeating this sequence two additional times, followed by 3 more minutes of slower pedaling.
  9.                                                       TOTAL FITNESS
  10.           1)   In addition to regular aerobic exercising, Total Fitness is achieved by enhancing your muscle strength, doing regular stretching, and, improving your balance and coordination.
  11.           2)  What counts as moderate-intensity exercise? Brisk walking, playing with your kids, dog walking, carrying heavy groceries, mowing the grass with a push mower, raking leaves, car washing, gardening, snow shoveling, etc. when done for at least 10-minutes at a time. ALL movement counts. Plus, to protect against injuries and to build muscle and bone, you need interval strength training. In addition to using free weights and resistance training, Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates are excellent forms of strength training.
  12.             3)  In studies, dynamic resistance training is superior to static (isometric) resistance training for building muscles through the full range of motion of your joints. Pilates and working out with Nautilus equipment are two example of effective dynamic resistance training.
  13.             4)  RESISTANCE TRAINING increases your muscle mass, thus, generating more strength, and faster muscle force (power). Unless you over do it, you won’t become muscle bound. Resistance training also helps to make your bones more dense. Ten million Americans (80% are women) have osteoporosis (thin and breakable bones). {A decrease in sex hormones with aging helps to create this common problem.}  Resistance training also helps to improve your metabolism, increase your glucose tolerance (or, said another way, decrease your insulin resistance) and decrease your risks from type 2 diabetes. It also helps to decrease both coronary artery disease and cerebrovascular disease risks. Other than doing free weight lifting or using a dynamic weight resistance machine, such as a Nautilus device, there are various simple ways to do resistance training such as: Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, using flexible bands, sitting up and down using a chair and your own body weight, swimming, doing Zumba dancing, doing heavy gardening such as raking and digging, doing vigorous house cleaning, taking the stairs rather than using an elevator, jumping rope, etc. The stronger you are,  the more self-esteem, confidence, and positive thinking you will usually have.  However, because resistance training requires work and effort, only about 20% of people actually follow strength training recommendations. PLEASE DON’T BE LAZY.
  14.               Resistance exercises have a greater impact on cognitive function than aerobic exercises. It increases blood flow to the brain, thus, increasing oxygenation and the provision of nutrients. It helps to promote angiogenesis from existing blood vessels and neurogenesis from stem cells in the hippocampus {an area responsible for organizing memories}. It increases the production of neurotransmitters: serotonin {which helps to regulate mood and sleep}, acetylcholine {which helps with cognition, learning and memory}, and GABA {the main inhibitory modulator}. It also increases neurotropins {proteins that regulate neuron survival}.  [Mavros, et. al. “Mediation of cognitive function improvements by strength gains after resistance training in older adults with mild cognitive impairment: outcomes of the study of mental and resistance training,” J. of the American Geriatric Society, October 2016.]
      1.             5)  In my opinion, Hatha Yoga and Pilates are the best ways to completely stretch your muscles and joints, tone and strengthen your muscles, especially your “core” abdominal muscles, and achieve overall physical fitness, and mental, emotional and spiritual balance, inner harmony, and peacefulness.
      2.             6)  I applaud the American Academy of Sports Medicine’s program: “Exercise Is Medicine”. They recommend that physicians should inquire about exercise with each health visit. They recommend following the 5 A’s approach: Ask, Advise, Agree, Assist, and Arrange. People should be asked about what barriers they face in order to exercise and what helps to facilitate their choice to exercise. After assessing a person’s physical activity level, the practitioner is advised to prescribe physical activities that the person will agree to pursue. Physical activity counseling can be offered along with referral resources to help facilitate the process. Within a person’s social and economic context, it is important to support and empower the person, just like a good coach, by emphasizing that they have both choices and competence. Motivational interviewing is useful to explore and resolve ambivalences and insecurities and to understand and encourage/support internal motivators for behavioral changes. By understanding a person’s values and goals, a health care provider can help people to envision a better future. Depending upon a person’s personality, they may choose to “leap-into the deep end of the pool” and make massive changes in their lifestyle, which can be disruptive and stressful.  Or,  they may choose to ease into the “shallow end of the pool” and take baby-steps, focusing upon small and measurable goals and achievements. Either way, the exercise prescription must be “patient-centered” and individualized in order to be effective for the long term. Setting goals work best when they are realistic, specific and present oriented. Challenges to maintaining changes is the rule and not the exception. Thus, it is very helpful to maintain a continued coaching partnership in order to  encourage and support a person’s health goals.
  1.     SUPPLEMENTS TO CONSIDER FOR ENHANCED ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
  1. Consuming an over-abundance of calories for a long time will suppress the AMPK (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase) system—the metabolic master switch. AMPK activation: reduces insulin resistance and supports glucose transport, inhibits the metabolic syndrome’s associated inflammation, increases utilization of stored fat for energy, improves mitochondrial fat burning, reduces weight gain by enhancing the effect of the anti-obesity hormone: adiponectin, and improves immune function and other bodily functions that support longevity. A suppressed AMPK system leaves the body in a state of continued energy storage and reduced energy utilization. Cutting calories forces the body to activate AMPK. Exercise is another powerful AMPK activating strategy. (Note: Only when you are adding exercising will calorie reduction be truly effective for weight loss.) ***For people who have problems exercising because of physical problems, there are supplements to promote AMPK activation.*** Two documented ingredients include:  a) Gynostemma pentaphyllum and b) Trans-tiliroside. A proprietary product is available, called “AMPK Activator” from www.LifeExtension.com. Also,  Hesperidin, found in citrus peel extracts and in orange juice, activates AMPK, as does the medication Metformin. AMPK activation helps to remove excess stored fat, particularly metabolic abdominal fat, and to decrease metabolic syndrome risk factors. Increased AMPK activity also normalizes hyper-activated mTOR activity. {Excessive mTOR accelerates cell aging and malignant transformation, and depletes stem cells.}
  2. RE-FUEL YOUR MITOCHONDRIA:  “Mitochondrial Dysfunction” results in obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, anxiety, depression, neuro-degenerative diseases, aging, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia syndrome. {Consider: if the blood test Reverse T3 is high, then mitochondrial dysfunction is present.} The following NUTRIENTS can help to re-fuel the mitochondria energy generating centers in each cell:  a) D-Ribose 5 gm/tsp: 1-2 tsp three times per day. b) ALA (Alpha-Lipoic  or R-Lipoic Acid) 300 mg to 400 mg/day. c) CoQ 10 (or its activated form Ubiquinol) at least 200 mg/day. d) NADH (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide –reduced form) 10 mg twice per day. e) L-Carnitine 2,000 to 3,000 mg/day.
  3. Short term supplementation with powdered cherries boosts athletic performance. Using 480 mg of powdered cherries caused half-marathon runners to average 13% faster finish times compared to taking placebos. Inflammatory markers were 47% lower, and there were attenuated markers of muscle catabolism, a better maintained redox balance, increased performance, and post-run muscle pain faded faster. {J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2016 May 26.}
  4.         Tart cherry juice is also helpful for osteoarthritis pain and other inflammatory conditions, particularly gout. It is easier to take when mixed in a fruit smoothie. For example, 100 patients with a history of gout received 1 Tbs of Brownswood Acres tart cherry juice concentrate [which can be obtained at Whole Foods] twice per day. 92% of the patients had >50% reduction in the number of gout attacks. Their uric acid levels did not change. Tart cherry constituents can switch critical genes off and on; modulate cell-signaling molecules like tumor necrosis factor; and, target multiple cardiovascular factors producing a 65% reduction in early mortality. Tart cherries surpass red wine and dark chocolate in antioxidant content. Tart cherries are rich in the flavonoid anthocyanin and contain novel anthocyanins absent from blueberries or bilberries. They also contain higher amounts of phenolics and anthocyanins than sweet cherries. It is useful for treating osteoarthritis, inflammation related to obesity and the metabolic syndrome, and lowering triglycerides associated with cardiovascular disease.
  5.           Rich sources of polyphenolic compounds, such as tart cherries, play a neuro-protective role and exert a variety of anti-carcinogenic effects. 20 women were given 2, 10.5 ounce bottles of tart cherry juice or a placebo for 3 weeks. Those taking the cherry juice had reduced levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein. Obese adults given 8 ounces daily of tart cherry juice for 4 weeks had markedly decreased inflammatory markers: sedimentation rates, tumor necrosis factor levels, and monocyte chemotactic protein. Runners were given tart cherry juice or a control drink for 5 days before, on the day of, and for 2 days after a marathon race. Runners drinking the tart cherry juice had significantly lower inflammation biomarkers (Interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein) than the placebo group. They also recovered isometric strength quicker and demonstrated an accelerated recovery following strenuous exercise. Runners in a double-blind trial participating in a 24-hour relay race drank two 355 ml beverages containing either tart cherry juice or a placebo daily for 1 week prior to the race and during the race. Both groups reported muscle pain after the race but the runners who drank tart cherry juice experienced a substantially smaller pain increase after the race.
  6. Cordyceps sinensis extract is a parasitic fungus that grows on caterpillar larvae native to high altitude regions of China, Nepal and Tibet. It has pharmacologically active anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and lipid lowering properties. It enhances the immune system and increases stamina for endurance athletes through greater aerobic capacity and oxygen use. It stabilizes blood sugar metabolism and increases libido and sexual functionality.
  7. Velvet Deer Antler (VDA) is a pillar of Traditional Chinese Medicine used to strengthen and replenish blood, reduce and reverse signs of aging, relieve pain and inflammation, overcome exhaustion, accelerate wound healing, reduce blood pressure, treat insomnia, relieve headaches, improve mood and memory, help infertility, restore vitality, heighten libido and increase muscle strength and endurance. One key component is a growth hormone called insulin-like growth factor “IGF-1”. This keeps muscles strong and helps to heal cartilage and tendon injuries. Also, glycosaminoglycans are plentiful which help to restore healthy cartilage. It contains Type II collagen along with a rich supply of minerals including potassium, sodium, calcium, copper, zinc, iron, selenium, magnesium and phosphorus. A proprietary product called “VDA Pure” can be obtained from www.VDAPure.com . The recommended dose is 2 caps daily before eating.
  8. Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) and Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) “can be used as a tonic to combat feelings of lassitude and debility, lack of energy and ability to concentrate, and during convalescence,” according to the German Commission E advisory about herbs.  The suggested dose is 1 tsp steeped in a cup of boiling water to make a tea.  Ginseng can improve athletic performance when taken regularly for up to a month, and it can also beneficially stimulate the immune system.  It is an adaptogen for managing adrenal stress, and improves alertness, coordination and memory.
  9. Dimethylglycine (DMG): is an amino acid adaptogen made in the liver which diminishes in quantity as we age. It was formerly promoted by athletes as “vitamin B-15”. DMG aids in critical processes associated with cellular respiration and energy production, immune response, and oxygen utilization in the body. It helps to prevent fatigue, improve physical endurance and performance, and supports mental clarity. DMG stimulates both antibody response and cellular immunity. It has also been used to support cardiac function in heart disease. Additionally, it makes all other nutrients taken with it work better. High quality DMG can be obtained from www.TargetedNutrients.com . Typically usage is 1 cap once or twice daily.
  10. Beetroot juice can raise serum nitrate levels which can improve athletic performance, lower blood pressure and protect against glaucoma. Nitrate is metabolized to nitric oxide which helps to dilate smooth muscles, and improve blood vessel flexibility and tone. It enables athletes to use less oxygen while exercising at the same intensity, which makes exercising easier, and one can continue it for longer. Blood nitrate levels peak two to three hours after consuming beetroot, and remain elevated for six to nine hours. The key is to drink beetroot juice three hours before exercising, and take it daily to maintain higher blood levels of nitrate. One of the leading 2.4 ounce beetroot “sport shots”, called “Beet It”, provides 400 mg. Most blood pressure lowering studies have used 180 mg of beetroot juice daily. So, you could take half of “Beet It” one day and half the next. Serious athletes can use one or two shots daily. Two shots will saturate the blood stream and provide maximum benefits, so larger amounts will have no additional effects. Be aware, your urine may turn pink, but this is a harmless side effect.
  11. Resistance training is supported by key nutrients. And, when used together, they  provide synergistic benefits: a) Whey Protein: helps to preserve lean body mass. Although the Institute of Medicine recommends 0.8 grams/kg body weight (which equals about 58 gm in an aging adult weighing 160 lbs), the optimal dose is 1.0 to 1.3 gm/kg body weight (which equals 73 to 94 gm in an aging adult weighing 160 lbs). b) Creatine:  improves the Type 2 (fast contracting) muscle fibers that commonly atrophy in older adults. It helps to increase muscle force, power and mass and to decrease fatigue. c) Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs):  especially leucine, isoleucine and valine (which are also found in whey protein), helps to promote muscle tissue synthesis. Also, they help to decrease the perception of exertion and mental fatigue during exercising. d) Glutamine:  helps to replenish muscle stores of glycogen (a ready source of stored energy). Also, in healthy adults, taking 2 gm of the amino acid glutamine will increase the output of human growth hormone by four times. e) Vitamin D3:  helps to preserve Type 2 muscle fibers and to protect cognitive function. f) Carnitine:  is an amino acid which helps to transport fatty acids into the intracellular mitochondria for fuel for the production of ATP energy. It supports exercise recovery, enhances performance, and decreases general fatigue. Propionyl-L-carnitine helps to regulate levels of ATP. g) D-Ribose:  helps to facilitate ATP production and to facilitate the speed of muscle function recovery after high-intensity exercising.  h) Omega-3 Fatty Acids:  eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) helps to preserve muscle mass. And, both decosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and EPA are anti-inflammatory, and help to manage sarcopenia. 6 gm of deep sea fish oil can help to eliminate muscle soreness after resistance training.

                   DELAYED ONSET MUSCLE SORENESS (DOMS)

          Immediate muscle soreness is due to the partial metabolism of glucose (for energy) into lactic acid, which accumulates waiting for increased oxygenation after an exertion has finished, in order to be fully metabolize into carbon dioxide and water: the “oxygen debt”. The results of the incomplete oxidation of glucose  into lactate resolves within a few hours after exercise. DOMS occurs a day or two later as a consequence of repairing the micro-tears in the muscles caused by the exercise. The soreness, stiffness, mild swelling, tenderness, decreased strength and decreased range-of-motion will resolve in a few days. And, with your next exercise, you will be stronger and DOMS will be milder. Since it takes time for healing, it is important to space-out your resistance training during the week.

          You CAN have gain without (a lot of) pain. Drinking 2 cups of tart cherry juice can reduce both exercise-induced  inflammation and DOMS. {Be aware of  consuming the extra calories.} NOTE: A pre-emptive use of NSAIDs the day before and the day of a long distance race did NOT reduce DOMS (compared to non-users), and the users had mild endotoxemia due to the consequent drug-induced leaky-gut. Using NSAIDs intermittently for pain management after exercising may be helpful, if needed. BOTH localized Cold Therapy and Heat Therapy can reduce joint and muscle soreness, but cold is superior. However, tub hopping from hot water to cold water and repeating, probably isn’t worth the effort. Therapeutic Massage can help with DOMS. {Most studies look at massage within 3 hours after exercising for at least 20 minutes.} A foam roller is a low-cost alternative for self-massaging.

                  PRECISION EXERCISE RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. For Weight Management:  Initially, focus on adjusting your diet to decrease your total calorie intake.  Adjusting one significant lifestyle change at a time is a successful strategy to increase your own compliance and persistence. {For example, a decreased input of 500 cal/day equals 3,500 cal/week, which equals 1 pound of body fat reduced per week. Compare this to vigorous walking for 2 hours which equals using 500 cal.} In a 12-week comparison study, people who attended Weight Watchers lost about 9 lbs, versus people who simply worked-out at a Gym, who lost about 3 lbs. So, initially establish a structured eating-plan that you will adhere to, that includes reducing your portion size and the amount of food that you actually consume. And, for exercise, at first, simply determine to move more.
  2.           Once you have experienced successful weight loss, then combine your dieting with exercise. {It becomes easier once you have lost some weight and feel better rather than when you feel heavy and lack energy.} Pair cardio training with resistance training. Cardio activities burns calories and resistance training keeps you toned so that you lose fat rather than muscle. People who regularly work-out are twice as likely to keep the weight off than those who don’t. Exercise stimulates hormones which signal burning more fat as fuel. Emphasize to yourself how much better you feel when you are active. This may help to cancel-out any feelings of deprivation which could result in self-sabotaging behaviors. Remember that exercising is NOT a free-license to binge eating.
  3. To improve your Stress level, Self-Esteem and Mood:  In a 1999 study at Duke University, people who did aerobic exercise for 45-minutes 3x/week improved their moods equivalent to matched sedentary people using the SSRI Zoloft. Exercise increased their serotonin levels and their endorphin levels, and decreased their cortisol levels. The effect on mood only lasted for about 24 hours, so, regular exercise is the key to success. Mix-up your activities for fun and fitness: vary the kinds of exercise, frequency, timing and intensity. Remember that you need both cardio and strength training.
  4. To increase your Energy and decrease your Fatigue:  try a low to moderate intensity exertion for 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times per week. You will feel better within 4 weeks for all conditions. The intracellular size and number of your mitochondria {energy centers} will increase. You will increase burning your fat for energy, decrease your insulin resistance with a consequent good decrease in your glycation process, and balance both your intracellular and extracellular salts and fluids. You will sleep better: fall asleep quicker, remain asleep longer, and awaken more refreshed. Exercise energizes you. Don’t give-in to feeling drained of energy. Fake yourself-out: instead of saying that you feel “too tired”, say that you will walk for just 10-minutes—you’ll likely go longer because you will start to feel better.
  5. To ease chronic health problems and limit medical visits:  monitor yourself with a fitness tracking device such as FitBit or a Garmin watch. All movement counts. An encouraging 2013 study compared people doing short activity bursts, such as raking leaves or pacing when talking on the phone, with 150 min/week of aerobic bike riding. The groups had similar BP, lipid levels, waist circumference, and C-reactive protein inflammatory markers. When starting out: be sure to see a Pro and Go Slow. Increased endorphins will ease your pains. Try to minimize IMPACT aerobic activities: your joints will feel happier because they will be better lubricated and respond to inflammation more effectively, thus, easing your arthritis. Your heart rate and blood pressure will decrease, and your glucose intolerance will improve. Anticipate a slow and steady improvement.

                             EXERCISE AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE

          An observational study published in Circulation, 5/15/2018, of 11,000 adults in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, demonstrated people doing 150 minutes of vigorous exercise weekly were 31% less likely to develop congestive heart failure (CHF). Couch potatoes who started exercising decreased their risk of CHF by 23%. This study supports the JAMA July 22/29, 2009 study of 20,000 male physicians who had a healthy lifestyle for more than 20 years who developed significantly less CHF. A similar study of 36,000 Swedish women published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, 5/11/2009 who were eating a DASH diet (to manage hypertension) along with doing regular exercise for 7 years had a 37% decrease in CHF.

                     THE PROBLEM OF SARCOPENIC OBESITY IN AGING

          After age 50 there is an exponential drop in muscle function. (This starts to occur after age 40 and accelerates after age 75.) Sarcopenia means a loss of muscle mass, strength and function. There is a faster decline in Type 2 (fast contracting) muscle fibers compared to Type 1 (slower contracting) muscle fibers. Therefore, there is a decreased speed of muscle contractions with aging. Evaluating muscle function and strength is more important than evaluating muscle mass. Muscle “power” is a function of force-strength and velocity. {Imagine the difference between just placing a fist against the side of a head (force) and then adding velocity to the fist placement (power)}. Power drops quicker than muscle mass. With decreased muscle power, especially in the core and lower extremities, there is decreased capacity to accomplish the functional tasks of daily living and an increased risk of falls and injuries, with an increased risk of consequent death. Because women start out with less power then men, older women have increased problems with a loss of balance and decreased muscle power which increases their risk of falls and hip and vertebral fractures (especially with their additional increased risk for osteoporosis.) This is primarily caused by suboptimal sex hormonal support, inadequate dietary protein intake and nutritional deficiencies, oxidative stress and inflammation. This is most often found in people who are physically sedentary and inactive.

          Obesity has become a significant increasing problem in America. In a study of nursing homes, in 1992 about 15% of patients (mostly women) had a BMI (Body Mass Index: weight divided by stature) of >30 (defining obesity). By 2002 the average BMI had increased to >25%. A fall risk for over-weight people was 15% compared to a fall risk for obese people of 25%. The combination of obesity plus sarcopenia (decreased muscle power) makes the loss of independence 2 to 3 times more likely because of diminished capacity for activities of daily living (ADL).

          Our aging population needs a combination of power training (eg. high velocity dynamic muscle resistance training using lower weights at higher speeds) twice per week along with aerobic interval training three times per week in order to improve their functional outcomes. While aerobic training helps the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular systems, resistance training provides superior protection against injuries. It stimulates human growth hormone which supports cell growth and regeneration. It also supports local mechano-growth factors. And, it enhances bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) interventions.

           A report in the magazine The Week, 6/15/2018, (from reviewing an article on  MedicalNewsToday.com,) states that moving the large muscles of the legs (walking, climbing stairs, running) triggers brain stem cells to renew brain neurons. Researchers immobilized the hind legs of mice for 28 days then they examined the subventricular zone in their brains. They found a 70% decrease in neural stem cell activity. This helps to explain why people who are bedridden often deteriorate rapidly in their cognitive functions.

                                        JUST DO IT!   {Nike Shoes Slogan}

A good reference is “The Science Of Exercise” edited by Siobhan O’Connor and Mandy Oaklander, TIME Inc. Books, 2018.

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Exercise (HIIT)

One of the easy and probably the most effective exercise regimen is High Intensity High Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT can be done at almost all ages, almost anywhere, with or without any special equipment. Best of all, you can do it at home!

This is how to do it:

Warm up for 15 minutes, adding a few 20-second bursts at the end to prepare for the workout. Run, bike, or row for 30 seconds at a nearly all-out effort. Take three minutes active recovery and repeat the 30 on/3 off pattern five or six more times. Finish with a 10-minute cool down.  You can do this on a stationary bike, or in a swim pool, or outside on the grassland, or even up and down the stairs.  Of course, make sure you do this in a safe environment.  You don’t want to hurt yourself nor others who may be around.  Repeat this 3-5 times a week.

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