November 29, 2019: Can You Trust What Medical Journals Publish?

I want to share this important article by a medical expert. It confirms what I have been saying for years: medical “research” is not to be relied upon, especially when motivated by politics or connections to the pharmaceutical companies. I have often pointed out that the vaunted peer review process is nothing more than medical censorship. Read on for more important evidence.

By John Dale Dunn

I have repeatedly questioned the validity of medical journal claims in regards to politically charged issues like air pollution and climate change, as well as global warming here at AT.  More recently, I showed how a major medical journal violates basic rules on scientific inquiry.

There is another important problem with medical research as reported in medical journals and then often expanded by the lay press as big news: that medical journal articles are often proven wrong for unreliable results or promotion of treatments that are not beneficial or not any more efficacious than treatments they propose to replace.

I was reminded recently of this problem by an article in Emergency Medicine News, a medical specialty newspaper, that reported on a study by Dr. Vinay Prasad, a comprehensive review of randomized clinical trials in the Journal of the American Medical Association, The Lancet, and the New England Journal of Medicine identifying 396 medical reversals.  Reversals are cases where medical journal articles are found to be faulty, misleading and just plain wrong.

When high-flying medical researchers on environmental issues use bad methods and report false results, it is motivated by political agendas usually, but when medical researchers report what end up being unreliable results in other areas, it is often due to biases and fallacious thinking and lack of effort to assiduously test their results and repeat them to assure that the hypothesis is valid and reliable and the results are testable and verified.

Some “rules” turned out to be wrong, for example tight blood sugar control, mechanical chest compressions, protocols for treatment of sepsis (infections with severe complications).  The unreliability problem is troublesome, since the study shows that many recommended treatments and strategies are not efficacious.

Here are some additional specifics from the Prasad study:

  • Mechanical compression was not better than manual compressions for CPR. (JAMA. 2014;311[1]:53)
  • Early and aggressive methods for care of patients with sepsis (severe infection) were no better than usual care. (JAMA. 2017;318[13]:1233)
  • The REACT-2 trial found that routine use of an immediate total-body CT did not impact mortality or benefit compared with conventional imaging and selective CT scanning in patients with severe trauma. (Lancet. 2016;388[10045]:673)
  • Platelet transfusion after acute hemorrhagic stroke was found by the 2015 PATCH study to worsen survival in the platelet transfusion group (68%) compared with the standard care group (77%). (Lancet. 2016;387[10038]:2605)

The authors were so alert to the problem that they created a website for best practices that, like other such practice websites, intends to alert physicians to the realities of the research mistakes and misinformation.

Medical reversals and rejection of medical protocols and suggested treatments are too common and the result of bad methods and scientific dishonesty.  Real science honesty would identify the problems and discover the unreliable information, and the studies would not be published.

The reports of this or that new breakthrough should be assessed with care by the public and medical professionals.

In 2005, an obscure Greek physician, John Ioannidis, published a groundbreaking article on the unreliability of medical research, “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False,” and he became famous — so famous that he is now at Stanford, heading a study project on scientific integrity, funded by a philanthropist.  What Ioannidis found was that medical research is driven by ambition, intellectual passion, and fallacious thinking.  He didn’t say researchers are dishonest; he just said they often put out false claims and make false assertions.

I have, in these articles at AT, tried to warn the readers of the problems of dishonesty and malfeasance in medical research — the lay reader is warned to apply these rules as a way to avoid being taken in by bad research methods or just plain cheating and dishonesty.

There are some basic rules to help avoid being taken in by charlatans.

  1. The study should be a human study, or, if it is an animal study, the limits of such a study should be declared.
  2. The study should follow basic rules about how to determine causation, and avoid the trap of claiming that “association” or “coincidence” is proof of causation.
  3. The study should avoid surveys and questionnaires as a source of “evidence” since recall bias is always a problem in survey or response studies.
  4. The study should always be measured in terms of the magnitude of the “effect,” and the rule is that magnitude of effect should be “robust” — at least 2 or 3 times the increase in effect over the baseline.
  5. The study should establish a mechanism to explain the causal effect asserted — for example, ice cream consumption is associated with an increase in drowning deaths, but it is not a cause of those deaths.
  6. Although I could argue that peer review and publication are not a good standard for reliability, the source of the research and the reputation of that source as well as the reputation of the journal the research was published in is often worth something.  How much it is worth is the question.

The important thing is that professionals and citizens should be careful to question and evaluate what is pronounced by medical journals.  Too often, they are overwhelmed by self-esteem and ambition.

John Dale Dunn, M.D., J.D. is an emergency physician and inactive attorney in Brownwood, Texas.
Read more: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/11/can_you_trust_what_medical_journals_publish.html#ixzz66gLJbxwC
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November 29, 2019 at 4:05 pm Leave a comment

IMPORTANT INFO RE CHRONIC INSOMNIA AND RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME

At the last MediHerb conference, the subject of resetting your sleep cycle came up. Since Dr. Bone and his associates travel to the U.S. from Australia, they are seriously jet-lagged. Dr. Bone shared with us his technique for being able to sleep and lecture.

First, some important background about what a normal sleep cycle looks like and why achieving deep sleep is so important. The following is a normal sleep cycle:

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What is important about this graph is that the only time the lymphatic drainage in your brain opens up is at the deep points of the graph. Not sleeping long enough for deep sleep to kick in prevents your brain from detoxing. The result: dementia. So you see, this is more than a casual conversation.

There are several types of insomnia; this protocol is designed specifically for sleep maintenance insomnia, where you wake up several times a night and have trouble getting back to sleep. Difficulty falling asleep can be helped, as well. However, you need to institute good sleep hygiene as well. Establish a regular bed time; disconnect from your electronic devices two hours or so before going to bed; and keep your bedroom a quiet sanctuary where the only thing you do is sleep. Also, make sure you have a dark bedroom, without ambient light (example: bright green or blue lights on electronic devices).

The herbal way to reset your sleep cycle is by using Chaste Tree (ordinary dose one, three times per day). When Dr. Bone travels here from Australia, he takes up to six per day. Then, about 20 to 30 minutes before going to bed, take two Kava Forte to relax your skeletal muscles and your brain. This allows you to rest in deep sleep.

Be patient: With chronic issues, it can take as much as three weeks for the full effect to kick in.

An interesting side note to this prescription is that Kava Forte is the specific for restless leg syndrome. I have suffered from this for years, intermittently. It had gotten so bad that a good friend wrote me a prescription for Requip to deal with it. Honestly, the Rx didn’t work very well at all. After I went to the MediHerb seminar on Saturday, I didn’t sleep all night because of restless legs. I took the prescription without any success. Well, Sunday morning, in the discussion regarding Kava, it was pointed out that it is excellent for relaxing skeletal muscle. My legs were still terrible, so at the first break I went back to see if there were any samples of Kava Forte available. Unfortunately, all of the sample bottles were empty. I asked several of the reps, and it turned out that one of them had two tablets left. The last two in the whole place! Thankfully, they gifted me with them, and within ten minutes all of the discomfort and tension in my legs was gone! Fortunately, the friends I was staying with had just ordered Kava, so I was able to borrow the bottle and use it during the rest of my trip. Believe me, I will never use the Rx again. No need! The Kava has completely resolved my leg issues.

So, if you suffer from disturbed sleep and/or restless leg syndrome, I strongly recommend you try these protocols. For insomnia: Kava Forte and Chaste Tree. For restless leg syndrome: Kava Forte alone, just before bed. I, of course, can order these items for you, and I would love to hear from you re your success.

October 16, 2019 at 3:51 pm Leave a comment

Unreported Vaccine News

If you follow the news, you are probably aware of the young, 18-year-old man who defied his mother’s wishes and got vaccinated. The media is lionizing him and using the event as an outstanding opportunity for a media blitz claiming vaccines are safe and necessary.

In this article, I want to highlight unreported news regarding the vaccine cover-up that is going on.

Why is this important? Because there is growing momentum to create mandatory vaccination laws, removing exemptions based upon religious and personal beliefs. California is the latest state to do so. If you value your health care freedom, you should keep yourself informed.

On January 6, 2019, Sharyl Attkisson posted a video entitled “Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson” wherein she reports on the CDC cover-up of findings that do not conform to the media/drug company narrative.

To summarize her findings, in case you don’t want to take the time to watch the video, in 2007 the CDC hired an expert, Dr. Andrew Zimmerman who is a pediatric neurologist. They wanted him to publish another “study” that vaccines were safe and didn’t cause autism. However, when he found the opposite, that he’d found “exceptions in which vaccines could cause autism,” attorneys from the DOJ immediately fired him. His findings were never revealed until now. Please note: his findings were reported to the CDC in 2007 but the public has never heard anything about it until now, while the CDC continues to insist that vaccines are safe and harmless.

Ms. Attkisson herself has had a similar experience. She did an investigative, in-depth report for her former employer CBS that was critical of vaccine-related health problems, including autism. CBS refused to air the segment, which resulted in Ms. Attkisson launching her own, independent journalism programs. Thank goodness she did so, or we wouldn’t know about these behind the scenes machinations.

March 27, 2019 at 10:59 pm Leave a comment

Natural Alternative to Opioid Use

I firmly believe there is something to be gained from all of life’s experiences — even the difficult ones. What I’d like to share with you certainly illustrates that truth.

As I’m sure you are aware, there has been an enormous amount of news regarding the “opioid crisis” in America. Too many people are getting addicted and even dying from the use of these drugs. Unfortunately, the medical world is limited in what they have to offer for pain relief. Therefore, I think this information is invaluable.

First a bit of background: You may know that I had a severe fall back in September. I tripped and fell forward onto cement and hit a big rock with my chin. My sister said I was practicing flying. Unfortunately, I flunked! As a result, I had pretty terrible pain in my neck, shoulders and low back. Despite regular adjustments, I was having trouble sleeping. For a while, I took 400 mg ibuprofen a couple times a week, but that soon threw me into heart failure. {I do not tolerate pharmaceuticals well.)

The experience prompted me to remember the options available to me. Karuna Corporation manufacturers a product called P.T.I. (aka Post Traumatic Injury, duh! I had forgotten.) It replaces non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS), which is the class of drugs ibuprofen falls into. Not only do NSAIDS inhibit the healing process, they also mildly inhibit the Cox 2 enzymes. You may remember Vioxx and Celebrex, which were briefly taken off the market because they were killing people. (Yes, Celebrex is back, with a warning label.) Well NSAIDS do much the same thing, and in susceptible people can also cause heart failure.

I also have available from Medi-Herb a product called Nervagesic. It is the strongest herbal pain reliever available, designed to combat the kind of pain cancer patients get in the night – with no side effects! My pain was severe enough that I took both for a while.

However, the really amazing part of this is that my friend had her foot reconstructed surgically, and the doctors gave her oxycontin for pain. She had the whole array of negative side effects, nausea, severe constipation, headaches, insomnia. Although it helped her pain, the side effects were unbearable. Based on my recent experience, I sent her a bottle each of P.T.I. and Nervagesic, with instructions to take 4 P.T.I. and 3 Nervagesic at bed time. After seven days, she was able to substitute this protocol for the opioid with excellent results; and, there is no danger of addiction.

Her experience made me realize I needed to share this information for those of you who suffer from chronic pain. It is truly an excellent alternative to dangerous and addictive opioid drugs.

So, for those of us who struggle with pain, I can highly recommend this combination. During the day, if you need the relief, the dose is 2 P.T.I. and 2 Nervagesic every 4 to 6 hours, as needed. If you get too sleepy, you can adjust the dose to a lower level. If you wish to order a supply, simply email me at frontoffice@richardsfamilyhealth.com.

January 6, 2019 at 10:54 pm Leave a comment

Let’s Talk Flu Vaccine

If you’ve been listening to the news, I am sure you have seen the PR campaign promoting flu vaccine. The message is: “You owe it to friends and family to get the vaccine. You need to protect them.” “Thousands of people die every year from being unvaccinated.”

The newest push is for the “senior vaccine.” It’s supposedly “better” for seniors.

There are major problems with all of this and I would like to share the unreported truths with you and give you much safer options than the vaccines.

First of all, let’s address the issue of the number of people who die due to influenza.  In 2005, Peter Doshi, a Harvard graduate student, published an analysis in the British Medical Journal entitled “Are US flu death figures more PR than science?” In this article, he points out that the quoted statistics conflate flu deaths with flu-related deaths, which are quite different. Most of what are called “flu-related deaths” are actually from pneumonia. And, it isn’t viral pneumonia either. It’s a secondary bacterial pneumonia not directly caused by the flu. { BMJ 2005;331:1412}

To quote his article: “[The CDC claims that] influenza and pneumonia took 62,034 lives in 2001; 61,777 of which were attributable to pneumonia and 257 to flu; and in only 18 cases was the flu virus positively identified.” (emphasis added)

Please note: This article was published in the British Medical Journal, not in America. His follow-up article in 2013 was also published in the BMJ. Apparently, the American medical journals simply weren’t interested.

In his second article, he points out that in 2013, 130 million doses of vaccine were sold in the U.S. (up from 90 million in 1990). Of course, there are 315 American residents. If vaccination were so vital, this shortage could be called “medical malpractice.” In that same article he points out that mandatory vaccination laws are popping up all over the U.S. because so many people don’t want the shot.

So, now, let’s examine just how effective the vaccine is; then, I’ll talk about side effects. Finally, I’ll share natural alternatives to protect your immune system. [By the way, I haven’t had the flu in more than a decade, despite treating many patients with influenza, so I am confident the protocol works!]

In the face of aggressive PR campaigns to “get your flu shot,” you may think the flu vaccine is the ultimate solution. “What’s not advertised, however, is just how lackluster the vaccine is. The most commonly used flu shots protect no more than 60% of people who receive them; some years, effectiveness plunges to as low as 1%.” {Science Mag}

So, what is going on? Seasonally, manufacturers produce a vaccine against the strains of flu they expect to circulate that year. This is an “educated guess;” actually, it’s a crapshoot. No one can accurately predict what strains may pop up. An additional problem has been uncovered by more modern genetic testing.

For decades, tests suggested the flu vaccine worked extremely well. However, a better genetic test polymerase chain reaction (PCR), revealed many infections in vaccinated people who would have previously been deemed protected. {Med J Aust} The actual efficacy proved to be between 60% (high) and 10% (low).

Another study conducted in British Columbia suggested that the problems with the vaccine arise in the production process. For years, it was assumed that mutations in the virus caused the vaccine to be ineffective. However, Danuta Skowronski, an epidemiologist at he BC Center for Disease Control in Vancouver, Canada  blames mutations during the culture of the vaccine. The most common vaccine contains an “inactivated” virus, which manufacturers grow in chicken eggs. As Skowronski’s team first reported in 2014, the virus can mutate while it is growing in chicken eggs, resulting in a vaccine that is unable to block circulating strains.

Again, please note that ALL of this information is being researched and published in foreign countries. Access to information in the U.S. is controlled by the pharmaceutical companies.

So, in an effort to boost efficacy, Big Pharma has come up with a “senior” vaccine, which is a “high dose” vaccine that contains four times the antigens of the regular vaccine. The theory is that the extra antigens will boost your immune response and provide extra protection. {source)

However, this increased potency is not without cost. Very common side effects include: myalgia; headaches; tenderness, redness, itching and swelling at the injection site; abnormal crying, malaise and fever; runny nose and nasal congestion; upper respiratory infection; vomiting, nausea and diarrhea; loss of appetite; and irritability. Some of these occur at the rate of 78%!

Merely common side effects include: hemorrhage, chest tightness, chills, shivering, back pain, migraine, sore throat, cough, oropharyngeal pain, rhinorrhea, wheezing, nasopharyngitis, infection and flu-like illness. {source: www.drugs.com re Fluzone} Please tell me how this is different from actually having the flu?!?

Recently, one of my long-time clients had the senior vaccine. She wanted to see her newborn niece. (You are probably aware of the new tactic; family members must receive vaccines in order to visit newborns.) She had a severe reaction, including the central nervous system effects. I recommended she return to her primary care doctor and inform the doctor of the reaction, so it could be noted in her medical records. The M.D. took swift action and specified that my patient should never have any flu vaccine again.

Standard flu vaccine is also a problem. It comes with unrevealed side effects, including: soreness, redness and/or swelling from the shot; headache; fever, nausea and muscle aches. There are also severe allergic reactions, which include: difficulty breathing, hoarseness or wheezing, swelling around the eyes or lips, hives, paleness, weakness, fast heart rate and dizziness.  More seriously, is Guillain-Barre´ Syndrome (GBS), which results in progressive paralysis of the motor nerves, including the nerves that control the muscles of respiration. This information comes from the CDC.

What I found shocking was the extent to which the impact of this life-threatening condition is being minimized. I clearly remember 1976, when the swine flu virus paralyzed 565 infants with GBS; hundreds more suffered major side effects. Eventually the U.S. government paid out $400 million in damages to victims’ families when it was proven that the government had foreknowledge of the risks. {Source: Coulter H, Fisher B, A Shot in the Dark, Avery 1991}

The facts of the case are as follows: The federal agency, the Division of Biologic Standards, is in charge of vaccine safety. Just before the vaccine was released, one of their top research scientists, J. Anthony Morris, was fired by the agency for warning the public that there was no evidence that a swine flu “epidemic” was coming and also that the vaccine had serious side effects. {Ibid}

However, there is an even more serious effect — one that is being not only ignored, but ridiculed by the CDC. The gentleman who revealed this adverse effect, Dr. Hugh Fudenburg, has impeccable credentials in immunology. He published some 850 peer-reviewed papers (the gold standard in medicine). He was a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and an associate professor of immunology at the University of California, Berkeley. He also was the editor of the peer-reviewed journal Clinical Immunology and Immunopathology for 15 years, as well as serving on the World Health Organization’s expert committee on immunology for 20 years. Now, however, he is being demonized for making the following public at the first National Vaccine Information Center International Conference on Vaccination and Vaccine Risks. “If an individual had 5 consecutive flu shots between 1970 and 1980, the chance of Alzheimer’s Disease was 10 times greater than for those . . . getting no shots.” If you Google his name, you will immediately see the attacks against him. Such is the cost of opposing established medical dogma.

So, what is a person to do? Since Medi-Herb’s St. John’s Wort (SJW) is the specific for all encapsulated viruses, it is effective against the influenza virus. For more information, you can read my prior article on St. John’s Wort.

For prevention, the dose is 2 tablets, twice a day, of SJW. They are best taken approximately 12 hours apart. At the first sign of a symptom, increase to 2 tablets, 3 times per day.

To improve your resistance to bacterial pneumonia, you have 2 choices; either Echinacea Premium or Thymunose. (Thymunose is slightly less expensive.) The dose is 1 tablet, morning and evening, of either. Increase the dose to 2 tablets each time if you start feeling ill.

Side effects of this protocol include: alleviation of mild to moderate depression; alleviation of symptoms of SAD (seasonal affective disorder); protection against other encapsulated viruses, including the entire herpes family – oral and genital herpes, shingles, Epstein Barr and cytomegalovirus; also West Nile Virus. Thymunose and/or Echinacea Premium provide protection against secondary bacterial infections by boosting the efficiency of your immune system.

So, it’s really your choice: Take the risk of the toxic pharmaceutical approach; or choose botanicals that provide a host of additional benefits unavailable from the vaccine.

I have stocked up on both SJW and Thymunose, so feel free to place an order if you want to be protected from influenza. You can reach me at frontoffice@RichardsFamilyHealth.com.

November 16, 2018 at 4:17 pm Leave a comment

Nutritional Deficiencies: Symptoms and Solutions for 24 Common Deficiencies

I am often asked why I prescribe (and take) so many supplements. Although this article is very lengthy, I think it contains important information that will help you appreciate the need for supplementation. I hope you find it useful.

When the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion compiled their Healthy Eating Index, they found only a slight reason to smile. Only ten percent of the population had a good diet. (Side Note: the USDA’s standards are very low, as compared to optimum health.)

This was based on ten aspects of diet, including how many servings of fruits, vegetables and meat were being consumed, along with how much sodium and cholesterol and variety were in a person’s diet. (Side Note: Eating cholesterol is not a problem. Your body produces four or five times more cholesterol than you eat. Another symptom of the USDA’s poor standards.)

The rest of their findings left something to be desired:

  • 16 percent of the population had a “poor” diet
  • The rest of the population (74%) ad a diet that “needed improvement”

As the USDA pointed out, poor or inadequate diets are linked to four of the top ten causes of death: heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. As it turns out, most of us have less-than-deal diets that essentially leave our bodies starving for more nutrients.

Along with poor diets, studies have found that key nutrients in foods have greatly declined since 1909. This is most likely because the soil is not as nutrient-dense as it once was; and the processing of foods seriously degrades the nutrients that do exist. So not only are we eating fewer healthy foods, but those we do eat contain fewer nutrients than they once did. You should also understand that fresh produce is not the answer, either, since grocers typically wash produce every 10 minutes or so, and this seriously depletes the B vitamins and minerals in the food.

AS a result, many Americans – even those who think they are eating relatively healthily – may be suffering from nutritional deficiencies. Some of the more common ones in the United States include:

Zinc Phosphorus
Iron Vitamin D
B vitamins Fiber
Magnesium Folic Acid
Calcium Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
Vitamins E and C Chromium
Iodine Copper

(Side Note: nearly everyone I have ever tested is deficient in zinc. Read on to find out just how important that is.)

 

If you are experiencing any unusual health symptoms, a nutrient deficiency could be to blame. Below is a list of common and not-so-common nutrients, along with deficiency symptoms and foods you should eat if you think you need more of those nutrients. Please note that the recommended foods are not generally on the average individuals shopping list. If you are avoiding whole grains and dairy (Paleo diet), you are short-changing yourself even further. I also doubt many of us consume liver (a nutrient super star) on a regular basis. Also discussed are four little known misconceptions regarding copper, magnesium, iodine and chromium.

Biotin

  • Deficiency: Uncommon
  • Symptoms: Dermatitis, eye inflammation, hair loss, loss of muscle control, insomnia and muscle weakness
  • Recommended foods: Swiss chard, cauliflower, liver, salmon, carrots, bananas, cereals (whole grains only) and yeast

Calcium

  • Deficiency: Average diet contains 40% to 50% of RDA
  • Symptoms: Brittle nails, cramps, delusions, depression, insomnia, irritability, osteoporosis, palpitations, periodontal disease, rickets and tooth decay
  • Recommended foods: Spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens, collard greens, yogurt, milk, mozzarella cheese
  • Supplementation: Take calcium supplements. However, DO NOT take calcium carbonate, which is like swallowing rocks that can cause gut blockage, is unabsorbable and can do potentially more harm than good for your digestive tract. Calcium provides a marker for white bloods cells to identify bacteria or bad cells, which is helpful in reducing most fevers. When calcium is deficient, especially when a high fever is present, the white blood cells are unable to find the calcium markers to rid the body of the bad cells. Call your doctor’s office if fever persists.

Furthermore, your body uses protein to transport calcium in your blood stream. So, if you are a vegan or have trouble digesting protein, you can very well be deficient in the beneficial effects of calcium.

Chromium

  • Deficiency: 90% of diets are deficient
  • Symptoms: Anxiety, fatigue, glucose intolerance, adult-onset diabetes
  • Supplementation benefits: May help prevent heart attacks, improve cholesterol and much more
  • Recommended foods: Romaine lettuce, onions, tomatoes, brewer’s yeast, oysters, liver, whole grains, bran cereals, potatoes

Chromium is an essential mineral that we all need – in trace amounts – to help maintain normal blood sugar, insulin and cholesterol levels. However, many Americans are deficient in this nutrient, primarily because modern food processing strips away much of the chromium that naturally occurs in commonly eaten foods. {N.B. French fries have no chromium left in them.}

Chromium can prevent heart attacks

Among the research revealing the importance of getting enough chromium is a study by Johns Hopkins University researchers published in an issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology. Based on a study of chromium levels of 684 men who had previously had a myocardial infarction (heart attack), it was found that low levels of chromium were linked to an increased risk of heart attack. Specifically:

  • The men in the study had, on average, 15% lower chromium levels than men in a control group who had never had a heart attack.
  • Those with the highest chromium levels were 35% less likely to have a heart attack than those with the lowest levels.

Chromium is beneficial for reducing cholesterol levels

A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that chromium significantly lowers cholesterol levels. Among 300 patients, those receiving chromium had cholesterol reductions of 20 points, on average. Several other clinical studies also suggest that chromium is useful for lowering bad LDL cholesterol, while raising the good (HDL) kind.

 

Control diabetes and high blood pressure

Chromium is the active component of glucose tolerance factor (GTF), which primarily increases the action of insulin. When blood glucose levels begin to rise after a meal, the pancreas secretes insulin. The insulin lowers glucose levels in your blood by increasing the rate at which glucose enters your cells. In order for this to happen, insulin must attach to receptors on the surface of the cells; GTF is thought to initiate this process. (Side note: All of the blood sugar regulating nutrients I prescribe do contain chromium.) It is most effective for pre-diabetes, but is also helpful in Type 2 diabetes.

Why many Americans may be deficient

Although you can get all the chromium you need from a healthy diet, many Americans eat a diet that focuses on processed junk foods or other highly refined foods. If this applies to you, you may not be ingesting enough chromium.

Food that is highly processed does not retain its naturally occurring chromium. It is therefore essential to eat fresh, chromium-rich foods (listed above). Chromium deficiency can lead to:

  • Insulin resistance
  • Elevated blood levels of insulin (hyperinsulinemia)
  • Elevated blood levels of glucose
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Syndrome X (a collection of symptoms including hyperinsulinemia, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high blood sugar and low HDL cholesterol levels. All of these factors increase your risk of heart disease)

I remember attending a seminar in the mid- to late 1990s where one of the original researchers presented his data with regard to the beneficial effect of chromium on HDL levels and heart disease. Seems like the medical world is finally catching up!

Are you getting enough?

Although there is no official recommended daily allowance for chromium, the National Institutes of Health say normal daily-recommended intakes are as follows:

  • Birth to 3 years of age: 10 to 80 micrograms per day
  • 4 to 6 years of age: 30 to 120 micrograms per day
  • 7 to 10 years of age: 50 to 200 micrograms per day
  • Adolescents and adults: 50 to 200 micrograms per day

However, be aware that certain conditions can increase the excretion of chromium from your body, which increases the amount of chromium you need to take in. These conditions include: diabetes, heart disease, physical injury or trauma, and mental stress. These levels are low based upon optimum health. I typically prescribe 600 to 1200 micrograms per day.

Copper

  • Deficiency: 75% of diets are deficient; average diet contains 50% of RDA
  • Anemia, arterial damage, depression, ADD and ADHD, anxiety, bipolar disorder (especially in young people), diarrhea, fatigue, fragile bones, hair loss, hyperthyroidism, weakness
  • Deficiency or toxicity tests: Blood, urine, feces and hair testing
  • Recommended foods (only if deficient. Be certain to test for deficiency vs. toxicity especially in children diagnosed with ADD or ADHD): crimini mushrooms, turnip greens, blackstrap molasses, raw cashews, sunflower seeds, spinach, asparagus, dark chocolates (while reducing zinc-rich foods, such as meats)

If copper toxicity is found (high levels of copper): zinc is the primary agent for depletion of copper and is important in the effort to eliminate toxic levels of copper to gain balance. In addition to zinc supplementation, zinc is found in meats while it is also important to reduce consumption of foods listed above that contain copper.

The key is balance. The challenge is the commonness of zinc deficiency and the prevalence of copper water pipes, which increase ingestion of copper.

Copper is so important to your daily functions that in a research paper the World Health Organization (WHO) stated:

Copper is an essential nutrient. The USA and Canada recently established a recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for adults of 900 μg/day. Values for children are 340 μg/day for the first 3 years, 440 μg/day for ages 4 through 8, 700 μg/day for ages 9 through 13 and 890 μg/day for ages 14 through 18.”

             “Copper is required for the proper functioning of many important enzyme systems.”

To put it simply, copper is described by doctors such as Dr. Lawrence Wilson (nutritional consultant and former medical writer and researcher for the U.S. Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health) as having:

“. . .a number of important functions in the human body. . .1. Bones and connective tissue. Copper is required to fix calcium in the bones and to build and repair all connective tissue. . .2. Energy production in the cells. Copper is needed in the final steps of the Krebs energy cycle called the electron transport system. This is where most of our cellular energy is produced. . .3. Immune response. Copper must remain in balance with zinc. When imbalances occur, one is more prone to all infections, in particular fungal and yeast infections that are so common today.”

But that’s not all; Dr. Wilson adds that copper is also important for:

“4.The glandular system, particularly the thyroid and adrenal glands . . .In part, this is due to its nature and how easily it is influenced by the sympathetic nervous system. . .5. Reproductive system. Copper is closely related to estrogen metabolism, and is required to women’s fertility and to maintain pregnancy. . .6. Nervous system. Copper stimulates production of the neurotransmitters epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine. It is also required for monoamine oxidase, an enzyme related to serotonin production. As a result, copper is involved deeply with all aspects of the central nervous system.”

Of the problems associated with too much or too little copper in your system are:

“. . . most psychological, emotional and often neurological conditions. These include memory loss, especially in young people, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and others.. . .”

If you want to know more, read Dr. Wilson’s article on Copper Toxicity Syndrome.

Is your child exhibiting symptoms of ADD or ADHD?

The Canadian Mental Health Organization highlights the fact that diagnosing ADD and ADHD is extremely difficult. In particular, they state: “Children with these disorders are inattentive, overly impulsive and, in the case of ADHD, hyperactive.”

Again, it is important to emphasize that an accurate diagnosis cannot simply be determined on your own. You must seek the meticulous and detailed experience of a healthcare professional, especially one with experience treating these particular disorders.

The problem is that it is impossible to determine zinc/copper imbalances simply by observation. Testing is essential, particularly with the prevalence of copper water pipes in the U.S. (Side bar: New construction is more dangerous than old pipes. See the hyperlink above for more info.)

Essential Fatty Acids

  • Deficiency: Very common
  • Symptoms: Diarrhea, dry skin and hair, hair loss, immune impairment, infertility, poor wound healing, premenstrual syndrome, acne, eczema, gall stones, liver degeneration
  • Recommended foods: wild-caught salmon (avoid farm-raised salmon because they are fed corn which destroys the Ω3:Ω6 ratio), flax seeds and walnuts

A problem in the U.S. is the prevalence of commercial fisheries and feedlots where fish and beef cattle are fed corn for convenience. This “innovation” has seriously changed the balance of Ω3:Ω6 fatty acid ratio. The only statistic I am aware of is that (in grass-fed animals) this ratio is 1:1. Commercially raised animals exhibit a ratio of 1 part Ω3 to 13 parts (or more) Ω6. This is a real problem because Ω3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory, while Ω6s are inflammatory. Sesame seed oil supplements (not cooked oil) can be used to block the conversion of Ω6 to inflammatory prostaglandins. Since Ω6s are ubiquitous in our food supply, I highly recommend everyone take a sesame seed oil capsule with each meal.

Folic Acid

  • Deficiency: Average diet contains 60% of RDA; deficient in 100% of elderly in one study; deficient in 48% of adolescent girls — requirement doubles in pregnancy
  • Symptoms: Anemia, apathy, diarrhea, fatigue, headaches, insomnia, loss of appetite, neural tube defects in fetus (spina bifida and worse), paranoia, shortness of breath, weakness
  • Recommended foods: Romaine lettuce, spinach, asparagus, turnip greens, mustard greens, parsley, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, and lentils. (Yes, parsley is more than just a garnish.)

I don’t know how many of you are aware of the neural tube defect epidemic in the 1970s. Many babies were being born with spina bifida or anencephaly (lack of brain development); research indicated that the problem was a folic acid deficiency. This led directly to the “enrichment” of white flour with another B vitamin – folic acid. As you may know, I don’t consider adding a smidgen of nutrition back into a food that has been denuded of its value (white flour) to be “enrichment.”

In addition, in my clinical experience, people with heart problems respond amazingly to high doses of folic acid. Need is determined by looking at the complete blood count; enlarging red blood cells (RBCs) indicate that the body needs more folic acid and vitamin B12 to produce more RBCs. My experience makes sense with regard to improving heart problems since RBCs carry oxygen to the tissues.

One of the major problems with folic acid, as with all of the B vitamins, is that it is washed out of fresh greens at the supermarket as the grocery attempts to “preserve” freshness with constant misting.

Iodine

  • Deficiency: Often mistakenly believed to be an uncommon deficiency based on the belief that there is enough supplementation of iodine with iodized salt.
  • Symptoms: Weight gain, breast cancer, cretinism (in infants), fatigue, hypothyroidism (leading to heart failure in severe instances), heart palpitations, heat intolerance, nervousness, insomnia, breathlessness, increased bowel movements, light or absent menstrual periods
  • Recommended foods: Seaweed, sea vegetables, yogurt, cow’s milk, eggs, strawberries, and mozzarella cheese. (Side bar: careful regarding seaweed and sea vegetables. Avoid those harvested from polluted waters.)

Thyroid hormone is needed to help the cells of organs and tissues work at night. Thyroid hormone helps your body use energy, helps you stay warm and allows your heart, brain and other organs to work at peak performance.

Thyroid hormone also regulates the formation of other hormones and governs sexual function. If your levels of thyroid hormone drop below normal, your heart, liver, kidneys and endocrine system are all affected.

A shortage of iodine causes devastating changes to your thyroid gland and leads to malfunctions of metabolism and immune response. Many other parts of your body contain large stores of iodine, including the breasts. Next to your thyroid glands, breasts are the body’s second largest storage sites for iodine. That is simply because iodine is needed for proper breast development, function and maintenance of the breasts’ shape and structure. Without iodine your body simply could not function.

Iodine and your diet: Are you getting enough?

One of the most common misconceptions that many people have been sold is that table salt provides you with all of the iodine that your body needs to remain healthy. This could not be further from the truth. With only 10% of iodized salt being bioavailable, it is hardly enough to supply your body with the necessary amounts of iodine. Furthermore, as mentioned in the above article, the substitution of bromine for iodine in baked goods causes further depletion.

Despite all of the data showing the importance of iodine in the body, many people are still unaware of the need to maintain their iodine levels. Recent research shows that iodine levels in humans over the last 30 years have plummeted by an average of 50%. This decline is thought to be one of the most logical reasons for the increased number of many serious chronic health problems, including possibly breast cancer. Another article on thyroid health is linked here.

One researcher who has studied this issue in depth is David Brownstein, MD, author of the book “Iodine: Why You Need It. Why You Can’t Live Without It.” I highly recommend it. Dr. Brownstein tested over 4,000 people, checking their iodine levels. He found that 96% of the people studied had iodine levels that were below normal. What was even worse is that most of them had levels so low, that they were below any detectable limits. It is for this reason that eating a diet rich in iodine is so important for your overall health. Some suggestions for eating a well-balanced diet while boosting iodine include:

  • Seafood: It is recommended that you eat two to three meals of seafood per week in order to get the beneficial fish oils. Eating fish just two times a week will also provide most adults with enough iodine to meet their average iodine requirement. However, you must be careful to choose only wild-caught seafood from non-polluted areas. Also, avoid fish at the top of the food chain (tuna and shark, for example) to avoid mercury contamination.
  • Dairy Products: Milk and cheese are great sources of iodine with one cup of milk having around 55 The fad of avoiding all dairy products further depletes iodine reserves.
  • Organic Yogurt: A natural probiotic, yogurt is a great food full of iodine and is easy to add to your diet. Look for natural varieties that do not contain excess sugar or artificial flavors. My personal favorite is Elli Quark, sweetened with stevia and available online.
  • Seaweed (kelp) and eggs: These foods provide additional dietary sources of iodine; however, as with fish sources the seaweed needs to come from unpolluted areas.
  • Some vegetables: Veggies may contain iodine, but only if they are grown in iodine-rich soils. This is becoming less and less common as agribusiness uses chemical fertilizers.

Iodine deficiency, hypothyroidism and breast cancer

Recent research shows that prolonged deficiencies of iodine can cause or exacerbate breast cancer. Animal studies were conducted over 40 years ago that show breast tissue of animals with iodine deficiency developed cancer when the deficiency was not corrected. The same study showed that the risk of breast cancer was directly related to the length of time the iodine deficiency was present.

Iodine deficiency is also known to cause a condition known as fibrocystic breast disease. It is a pre-cancerous condition of the breast tissue, which makes the breast very painful and fibrous. Due to the fibrous and dense nature of breast tissue in fibrocystic disease, it is very hard for doctors to detect the presence of breast cancer. Several studies have shown that supplementation with iodine significantly decreased breast pain, tenderness and nodules in women with fibrocystic breast disease. This makes it easier to evaluate breast tissue properly when testing for the presence of cancer.

Other studies have shown that women with breast cancer tend to develop an enlarged thyroid (a symptom of iodine deficiency) more often than women who do not develop breast cancer. This is especially true among women who have swelling of the thyroid gland due to iodine deficiency, a condition known as goiter.

Given the fact that both the breasts and the thyroid glands must compete for iodine in the body when a deficiency is present, it makes sense that these conditions would develop in the absence of proper iodine levels.

Additional studies show that women with breast cancer are more likely to develop hypothyroidism, or low thyroid function, than are women who are healthy. The researchers believe an association between hypothyroidism and breast cancer may be due to the biologic effect that the thyroid hormones have on the cells of breast tissue. It is believed that iodine deficiency leads to excess estrogen, which then leads to breast cancer or fibrocystic breast disease. The ovaries normally concentrate iodine, but when iodine is deficient, the ovaries simply produce more estrogen. This exposes the breasts to higher concentrations of estrogen in the blood stream, which makes the risk of fibrocystic breasts or breast cancer much higher.

Iodine is thought to suppress the growth of tumors, induce the death of tumor cells and regulate the genes that influence hormone metabolism, the life cycle of cells, growth and differentiation.

Hypothyroidism and iodine supplements

It is always very important to realize that if you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and are taking iodine supplements, your doctor needs to monitor your situation closely. As the iodine supplements begin to increase the efficiency of your thyroid function, you may require adjustments in the dosage of your thyroid medication.

You should contact your doctor regarding your dosage if you experience any of these common symptoms of hypothyroidism:

Palpitations Fatigue
Heat Intolerance Increased Heart Rate
Nervousness Trembling Hands
Insomnia Weight Loss
Breathlessness Muscle Weakness
Increased Bowel Movements Warm, Moist Skin
Light/Absent Menstrual Periods Hair Loss

Iron

  • Deficiency: Most common mineral deficiency
  • Symptoms: Anemia, brittle nails, confusion, constipation, depression, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, inflamed tongue and mouth lesions
  • Recommended foods: Swiss chard, spinach, thyme, shitake mushrooms, green beans, liver and red meat

Magnesium

  • Deficiency: 75% to 85% of diets deficient. Average diet contains 50% to 60% of RDA
  • Symptoms: Anxiety, confusion, heart attack, hyperactivity, insomnia, nervousness, muscular irritability, restlessness, weakness
  • Recommended foods: Swiss chard, spinach, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, black beans, navy beans

Magnesium rarely edges out other, more talked about nutrients like vitamin E or calcium to make front-page news, but it should. Magnesium plays a vital role in several hundred of your body’s functions, including energy production and normal heart function, but the majority of Americans are not getting enough in their daily diets.

As many as 68% of Americans do not consume the daily recommended amount of magnesium, according to a government study. 19% do not consume even half of the amount they need. Even the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) points out that, “For many people, dietary intake may not be high enough to promote an optimal magnesium status, which may be protective against disorders such as cardiovascular disease and immune dysfunction.” (https://ods.od/gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessionnal/) Please paste into your browser; I could not get it to work as a hyperlink.

According to ODS, “Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body.” It helps to do the following:

  • Maintains normal muscle and nerve function (e.g. quiets restless legs and Charley horses)
  • Keeps heart rhythm steady
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Keeps bones strong
  • Regulates blood sugar levels
  • Promotes normal blood pressure
  • Maintains energy metabolism and protein synthesis

“There is an increased interest in the role of magnesium in preventing and managing disorders such as hypertension cardiovascular disease and diabetes,” says ODS, and it is this increasing knowledge that magnesium is a major player in heart health that has piqued many scientists’ interest. Highlights of studies on the topic include:

  • The American Heart Journal reported that patients with good magnesium levels who had undergone surgery to replace damaged coronary arteries were less likely to die or have a heart attack in the following year than those with poor magnesium levels.
  • A strong link was found between optimum levels of magnesium and a lowered risk of coronary heart disease, as reported in the American Journal of Cardiology
  • In a study of cardiac bypass surgery patients by Duke University Medical Center, it was found that those with low magnesium levels were twice as likely to experience a heart attack or die from al causes as those with normal levels.
  • A long-term study of men by researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine found that those with the lowest magnesium intake were twice as likely to have had coronary heart disease problems than those with the highest intake.
  • Evidence suggests that low magnesium levels increase the risk of abnormal heart rhythms, which may increase the risk of complications after a heart attack, according to ODS.
  • Heart disease patients who received a magnesium supplement twice a day for six months had a 14% improvement in exercise duration and were less likely to experience exercise-related chest pain than those who received a placebo.

“A growing body of evidence,” explains Jerry L. Nadler, MD, division chief of endocrinology and metabolism at the University of Virginia, “suggests that magnesium plays a pivotal role in reducing cardiovascular risk and may be involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes itself.”

Recommended dietary allowances for magnesium are as follows:

  • Boys and girls aged 1-3: 80 mg/day
  • Boys and girls aged 4-8: 130 mg/day
  • Boys aged 14-18: 410 mg/day
  • Girls aged 14-18: 360 mg/day
  • Men aged 19-30: 400 mg/day
  • Women aged 19-30: 310 mg/day
  • Men 31 and over: 420 mg/day
  • Women 31 and over: 320 mg/day

Again, these levels are low by optimum wellness standards. An excellent way to assess whether you are getting enough magnesium is by bowel function. If you are constipated, you need more. Also, if you suffer from nighttime muscle cramps you need more. Serum magnesium is one of the measurements in my standard blood chemistry test. Nearly everyone I test needs supplementation.

A 2011 meta-analysis published in Diabetes Care examined epidemiological studies with more than 500,000 participants and showed a diabetes risk reduction of 14% with every 100 mg increase in daily, dietary magnesium. A later, more rigorous double-blind study confirmed that after four months on magnesium supplementation, both fasting and postprandial blood sugar levels were significantly lower in the intervention group when compared with the placebo. A standardized measure of insulin resistance was also lower in the intervention group than in the placebo group. For more details, click here to link to the article.

Signs of deficiency

What we often call “clues”! Americans may have less-than-optimal magnesium levels and not experience signs of deficiency. For instance, while the recommended daily amount of magnesium for adult men is 420 mg/day, most eat only 327 mg/day. Early signs of actual deficiency include: loss of appetite, constipation, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and weakness.

More severe magnesium deficiency can result in: numbness and tingling muscle contractions and cramps, seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms, coronary spasms. Severe magnesium deficiency can lead to low levels of calcium and potassium in the blood.

How to get more magnesium in your diet

Eating a variety of magnesium-rich foods is the best way to get more of this essential nutrient. Remember that it’s possible to have sub-optimal magnesium levels and not experience any actual symptoms.

“A diet rich in magnesium would benefit everyone especially people with risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, such as obesity, hypertension, elevated blood lipid levels, or a family history of diabetes,” said Monika Waelti, PhD, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland.

Some of the best food sources of magnesium include:

  • Whole grains (only unrefined; refining removes the magnesium)
  • Avocados
  • Squash
  • Almonds
  • Leafy Greens (unfortunately, magnesium is washed out when the grocery stores spray water on the greens)
  • Some Beans and Peas

“Hard” drinking water is also a good source of the nutrient. “Hard” water typically has a higher concentration of magnesium salts than “soft” water.

“Increasing dietary intake of magnesium can often restore mildly depleted magnesium levels,” ODS reported. So go ahead and indulge in some magnesium-rich favorites like guacamole with some whole-grain crackers, baked acorn squash, fruit salad and mixed greens. You’ll be well on your way to a healthy magnesium level and, as more and more research is pointing out, a healthy heart to go along with it.

Manganese

  • Deficiency: According the University of Maryland Medical Center, it is estimated that as many as 37% of Americans do not meet the RDA for this mineral; may be common in women
  • Symptoms: Atherosclerosis, dizziness, elevated cholesterol, glucose intolerance, hearing loss, loss of muscle control, ringing in the ears, Peyronie’s syndrome in men (progressive scarification of the genitals. I have treated this condition and found only one reference to the need for manganese in the work of Dr. Royal Lee.)
  • Recommended foods: Mustard greens, kale, chard, raspberries, pineapple, romaine lettuce, collard greens, maple syrup
  • Foods that inhibit manganese: Foods that contain phytic acid, such as beans, seeds, nuts, whole grains and soy products; also foods high in oxalic acid, such as cabbage and sweet potatoes also affect manganese absorption, but to a lesser degree.

Niacin (B3)

  • Deficiency: Commonly deficient in the elderly
  • Symptoms: Bad breath, canker sores, confusion, dementia, depression, dermatitis, diarrhea, emotional instability, fatigue, irritability, loss of appetite, memory impairment muscle weakness, nausea, skin eruptions, inflammation, arteriosclerosis
  • Recommended foods: Crimini mushrooms, tuna (be cautious of mercury and other pollutants that can be found in fish), wild-caught salmon, chicken breast and asparagus

Corn, molasses and salt pork are all poor sources of niacin and are staples of the Southern diet. When I was a youngster, growing up in rural Florida, the crazy aunt in the attic was practically a cliché. The lack of niacin-rich foods led to pellagra, the late stage of severe niacin deficiency. Its cause and cure were not discovered until well into the 20th century.

Pantothenic Acid (B5)

  • Deficiency: Average diet of the elderly contains 60% of RDA
  • Symptoms: Abdominal pains, burning feet, depression, eczema, fatigue, headaches, hair loss, immune impairment, insomnia, irritability, low blood pressure, muscle spasms, nausea, poor coordination and an inability to relax
  • Recommended foods: Calves’ liver, mushrooms, cauliflower, avocado, broccoli, turnip greens, sunflower seeds

Pantothenic acid is critical to the proper functioning of the adrenal glands – hence the immune impairment and low blood pressure associated with deficiency. High stress increases our need for pantothenic acid and, since we cannot store it, we need adequate intake every day. That’s why I always recommend a complete B-complex as the basis of my nutritional programs.

A low pantothenic acid coupled with high stress results in overtaxed adrenals and an increase in cortisol, which can lead to weight gain (particularly in your abdomen) and water retention. In fact, adequate pantothenic acid can balance your cortisol production in mild cases.

Potassium

  • Deficiency: Common in the elderly
  • Symptoms: Acne, constipation, depression, edema, excessive water consumption, fatigue, glucose intolerance, high cholesterol levels, insomnia, mental impairment, muscle weakness, nervousness, poor reflexes and heart palpitations
  • Recommended foods: Chard, button mushrooms, spinach, avocado papaya, lima beans, lentils, melons, bananas

The biggest problem with potassium is that the more sodium you consume, the more potassium you excrete. The key is balance. The only way to determine whether you have a deficiency or excess of potassium is via a blood test since the symptoms are identical regardless of which side you fall on.

Pyridoxine (B6)

  • Deficiency: 71% of male and 90% of female diets deficient
  • Symptoms: Acne, anemia, arthritis, eye inflammation, depression, dizziness, facial oiliness, fatigue, impaired wound healing, irritability, loss of appetite, loss of hair, mouth lesions, nausea and intertrigo (an inflammation or rash of the body folds – like under the breasts or stomach overhang)
  • Recommended foods: Bell peppers, turnip greens, spinach, tuna, banana, chicken breast, turkey breast

Vitamin B6 is the precursor for a coenzyme that participates in some 100 enzyme-reactions in amino acid, glucose and fat metabolism. It is, therefore, critical to metabolic health and energy production. It is also a co-factor in the absorption of magnesium. If you need it, you simply can’t get magnesium into your system. Again, I determine need based upon your blood chemistry and symptoms.

Riboflavin (B2)

  • Deficiency: Deficient in 30% of elderly Britons
  • Symptoms: Blurred vision, cataracts, depression, dermatitis, dizziness, hair loss, inflamed eyes, mouth lesions, nervousness, neurological symptoms (numbness, loss of sensation, “electric shock” sensations), seizures, sensitivity to light, sleepiness, weakness, neonatal jaundice, cataracts, anorexia/bulimia and cognitive function
  • Recommended foods: Mushrooms, calves’ liver, spinach, spelt, dairy products, eggs and buckwheat

Since riboflavin is water-soluble, there is little chance of an overdose. About the worst that can happen is your urine turns bright yellow as your body excretes what it doesn’t need.

Selenium

  • Deficiency: Average diet contains 50% of RDA
  • Symptoms: Growth impairment, high cholesterol levels, increased incidence of cancer, pancreatic insufficiency (inability to secrete adequate amounts of digestive enzymes), immune impairment, liver impairment, male sterility, thyroid hormone impairment
  • Recommended foods: Button mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, cod, shrimp, snapper, tuna, halibut, wild-caught salmon (watch out for mercury and PCBs in seafood), 2 brazil nuts daily

Thiamin (B1)

  • Deficiency: Commonly deficient in the elderly
  • Symptoms: Confusion, constipation, digestive problems, irritability, loss of appetite, memory loss, nervousness, numbness of hands and feet, pain sensitivity, poor coordination, weakness, liver function impairment
  • Recommended foods: Asparagus, romaine lettuce, mushrooms, spinach, sunflower seeds, tuna, green peas, tomatoes, eggplant, Brussels sprouts

On your blood work, a vitamin B1 deficiency elevates the most sensitive of the liver hormones, Gamma Glutamyl Transferase (GGT). GGT is the first enzyme to elevate when liver cells are dying. Unfortunately, standard chemistry panels prescribed by medical doctors do not include this important marker. It is part of every blood test that I perform.

Vitamin A

  • Deficiency: 20% of diets deficient
  • Symptoms: Acne, dry hair, fatigue, growth impairment, insomnia, hyperkeratosis (thickening and roughness of skin), immune impairment, night blindness, weight loss
  • Recommended foods: Milk, eggs, carrots, spinach, sweet potato, kale, collard greens, chard, red bell peppers

This is one nutrient I watch carefully, particularly in the elderly. It is too easy to induce an overdose, resulting in muscle weakness and bone pain. The reason this happens is that vitamin A is stored in the liver and can accumulate over time. However, vitamin A is very important to eye health, so you definitely want to get adequate amounts.

Some nutritionists recommend beta-carotene as a substitute. The only problem with that approach is that you have to have a healthy gut to convert beta-carotene to its active form: vitamin A. Beta-carotene is found in orange foods; think squash, yams and cantaloupe, for example.

Vitamin B12

  • Deficiency: Serum levels low in 25% of hospital patients
  • Symptoms: Anemia, constipation depression, dizziness, fatigue, intestinal disturbances, headaches, irritability, loss of vibratory sensation, low stomach acid, mental disturbances, moodiness, mouth lesions, numbness, spinal cord degeneration
  • Recommended foods: Snapper, scallops, red meat (N.B. serious absorption issues when the stomach lacks sufficient intrinsic factor; very common in the elderly)

Vitamin B12 deficiency is the biggest challenge faced by vegetarians. There is no vitamin B12 in vegetables. Some nutritionists tout blue-green algae (aka Spirulina) as a source, but the amounts are miniscule and don’t correct the deficiency. I base this conclusion on the hundreds of blood tests I have performed on patients, many of whom are ingesting blue-green algae.

This problem is particularly severe in the elderly, who often have trouble absorbing vitamin B12 due to a lack of intrinsic factor in the stomach. When you add vegetarianism or the avoidance of red meat to this scenario, you are simply asking for trouble. The neurologic symptoms are particularly severe and may lead to a mistaken diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, when simply taking B12 can turn the condition around.

Unfortunately, if allowed to progress unchecked, irreversible damage is done to the spinal cord leading to a very specific gait where the individual has to watch their feet to avoid falling. Also each foot “slaps” the floor, rather than having a typical heel/toe gait.

The vitamin B12 I prescribe is sublingual. You hold it under your tongue to allow the vitamin to absorb directly into the capillary blood under your tongue, rather than swallowing it.

Vitamin C

  • Deficiency: 20% to 50% of diets deficient
  • Symptoms: Bleeding gums, depression, easy bruising, impaired wound healing, irritability, joint pains, loose teeth, malaise, tiredness
  • Recommended foods: Parsley, broccoli, bell pepper, strawberries, oranges, lemon juice, papaya, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, Brussels sprouts

Although I do recommend buffered vitamin C, the best form is an organic vitamin C complex that retains all of the co-factors that aid both its absorption and function in the body.

Vitamin D

  • Deficiency: 62% of elderly women’s diets deficient
  • Symptoms: Burning sensation in mouth, diarrhea, insomnia, myopia, nervousness, osteomalacia, osteoporosis, rickets, scalp sweating
  • Recommended foods: Shrimp, milk, cod liver oil, eggs (you can also get Vitamin D from sensible sun exposure)

Recent research has revealed that vitamin D is essential to human health. Some of its multiple roles include: maintaining the health of bones and teeth; supporting the health of the immune system, brain and nervous system; regulating insulin levels and aiding in diabetes management; supporting lung function and heart health; and influencing the expression of genes involved in cancer development. Pretty important, isn’t it?

You would think that living in So. Cal., there would be no problem with vitamin D levels. That would be wrong. After testing literally hundreds of individuals, I can assure you that vitamin D deficiency is extremely prevalent. I highly recommend you get your blood tested to determine if you need this critical nutrient.

Vitamin E

  • Deficiency: 23% of male and 15% of female diets deficient
  • Symptoms: Gait disturbances, poor reflexes, loss of position sense, loss of vibration sense, shortened red blood cell life
  • Recommended foods: Mustard greens, chard, sunflower seeds, turnip greens, almonds, spinach

The gamma form of vitamin E is critical to heart health. Since almost all vitamin E supplements are the synthetic d-alpha-tocopheral, there is no gamma in the supplements. Therefore, when research on vitamin E and heart health was conducted using d-alpha-tocopherol, it was doomed to failure. That is the source of the medical “fact” that vitamin E doesn’t promote heart health.

Vitamin K

  • Deficiency: Deficiency in pregnant women and newborns is common
  • Symptoms: Bleeding disorders
  • Recommended foods: Spinach, Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, carrots, green string beans, asparagus, red bell peppers, strawberries, eggs, tomatoes, green peas

Zinc

  • Deficiency: 68% of diets deficient
  • Symptoms: Acne, amnesia, apathy, brittle nails, delayed sexual maturity, depression, diarrhea, eczema, fatigue, growth impairment, hair loss, high cholesterol levels, immune impairment, impotence, irritability, lethargy, loss of appetite, loss of sense of taste, low stomach acid, male infertility, memory impairment, night blindness, paranoia, white spots on nails, wound healing impairment
  • Recommended foods: Calves’ liver, mushrooms, spinach, beef tenderloin, pumpkin seeds, green peas

Studies done on mice have demonstrated that zinc deficient mothers passed zinc deficiency on to their offspring through 3 generations, even with supplementation. Since the vast majority of patients I have tested are zinc deficient, supplementation is very important.

It is even more critical for men, since it is a key component seminal fluid and men lose zinc with every ejaculation.

Another key issue to me, as a craniopath, is that zinc is required to produce cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). If you lack CSF, your cranial pump will never function properly, resulting in brain fog, poor memory and other neurotransmitter deficits. CSF carries hormones that coordinate your nervous system and allow your brain to function optimally.

In conclusion, thank you for reading this far. I hope you found this information helpful. I also want to encourage everyone to get your blood work done so that we can optimize your health by allowing me to prescribe the essential nutrients you need. I have access to a professional cooperative that allows me to prescribe blood work anywhere in the country. I will be setting up an account with them as soon as I get settled in Idaho. For those of you in Southern California, I will be maintaining my California license, so prescribing blood work will not be a problem. I can then provide you with the nutrients you need and consult with you by phone, if you have questions. I wish you a long and healthy life.

 

 

August 10, 2017 at 2:18 pm Leave a comment

Aspirin: Risk vs. Benefits

If you follow health care news, you could be led to believe that aspirin is a universal panacea for all sorts of diseases common in the U.S.A. today. Everything from heart disease to cancer is claimed to be improved by taking aspirin. However, the truth is far different.

In the first place, the studies touting the benefits of aspirin therapy are invariably paid for by the pharmaceutical industry. Can you say “conflict of interest?” When a negative outcome occurs and is actually published, the pharmaceutical companies jump in to bury those results in conflicting studies. The result: confusion and dangerous prescribing. Aspirin is a case in point.

It is touted as being able to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Furthermore, the latest hype is that “The benefits of aspirin go beyond the cardiovascular system. There is solid evidence that aspirin use may prevent certain cancers from occurring at all,” says A. Mark Fendrick, MD, an internist at the Univ. of Michigan Health System. He goes on to say, “Also population-based studies report that an aspirin a day will either slow the progression or even prevent dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease. “

Other conditions that aspirin has been found to benefit include migraine headaches, cataracts, gum disease, pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) and prevent blood clots in veins during long plane trips. The irony is that there are safe and effective natural remedies for each of these conditions.

Here are some of serious side effects of aspirin:

  • Results of the Nurses’ Longitudinal Study published in 2003 demonstrated a 58% increase in the risk of pancreatic cancer among those who took 2 or more aspirins per week for 20 years or more. I wrote a second article in 2009 about this problem, particularly among men.
  • According to the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, “the risks of long-term aspirin use may be greater than the benefits if there are no signs of, or risk factors for, heart and blood vessel disease.”
    • Stomach bleeding, ulcers and holes in the stomach
    • Bleeding in the brain and other internal bleeding
    • Kidney failure
    • Certain types of stroke (hemorrhagic)
    • Liver damage in chronic alcohol users
    • Ringing in the ears and hearing loss
    • Allergic reactions (in about 2 out of 1,000 people who are allergic to aspirin, the drug can cause facial swelling and asthma attacks, per the Mayo Clinic)
    • Reyes’ Syndrome in children, which causes brain swelling and fatty deposits in the liver. It can lead to permanent brain damage or death.

So, it is up to you. Do you want to take the risk of “an aspirin a day,” or do you want to explore natural alternatives to whatever health challenge you are facing? If you would like to do the latter, please call and schedule a consultation so that I may give you advice specific to your needs. {626/303-3162}

If you follow health care news, you could be led to believe that aspirin is a universal panacea for all sorts of diseases common in the U.S.A. today. Everything from heart disease to cancer is claimed to be improved by taking aspirin. However, the truth is far different.

In the first place, the studies touting the benefits of aspirin therapy are invariably paid for by the pharmaceutical industry. Can you say “conflict of interest?” When a negative outcome occurs and is actually published, the pharmaceutical companies jump in to bury those results in conflicting studies. The result: confusion and dangerous prescribing. Aspirin is a case in point.

It is touted as being able to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Furthermore, the latest hype is that “The benefits of aspirin go beyond the cardiovascular system. There is solid evidence that aspirin use may prevent certain cancers from occurring at all,” says A. Mark Fendrick, MD, an internist at the Univ. of Michigan Health System. He goes on to say, “Also population-based studies report that an aspirin a day will either slow the progression or even prevent dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease. “

Other conditions that aspirin has been found to benefit include migraine headaches, cataracts, gum disease, pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) and prevent blood clots in veins during long plane trips. The irony is that there are safe and effective natural remedies for each of these conditions.

Here are some of serious side effects of aspirin:

  • Results of the Nurses’ Longitudinal Study published in 2003 demonstrated a 58% increase in the risk of pancreatic cancer among those who took 2 or more aspirins per week for 20 years or more. I wrote a second article in 2009 about this problem, particularly among men.
  • According to the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, “the risks of long-term aspirin use may be greater than the benefits if there are no signs of, or risk factors for, heart and blood vessel disease.”
    • Stomach bleeding, ulcers and holes in the stomach
    • Bleeding in the brain and other internal bleeding
    • Kidney failure
    • Certain types of stroke (hemorrhagic)
    • Liver damage in chronic alcohol users
    • Ringing in the ears and hearing loss
    • Allergic reactions (in about 2 out of 1,000 people who are allergic to aspirin, the drug can cause facial swelling and asthma attacks, per the Mayo Clinic)
    • Reyes’ Syndrome in children, which causes brain swelling and fatty deposits in the liver. It can lead to permanent brain damage or death.

So, it is up to you. Do you want to take the risk of “an aspirin a day,” or do you want to explore natural alternatives to whatever health challenge you are facing? If you would like to do the latter, please call and schedule a consultation so that I may give you advice specific to your needs. {626/303-3162}

March 2, 2017 at 6:30 pm Leave a comment

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