Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Glutathione –Essential for Health & Vitality

This fall a guest told me of the remarkable improvement she saw in a friend who saw Dr. Mabray in Victoria. She was not sure what he had done but she was amazed at how it had dramatically boosted her friend’s health. You may remember from Hormones, Health & Happiness that is was Dr. Dick Mabray who introduced Dr. Hotze to Armour Thyroid. I have had the chance to get to know Dr. Mabray over the years and I called him to find out what he was doing that was so effective. Dr. Mabray shared with me that he had recently found a new product and he was seeing remarkable results. I have been using this product myself for a couple of months and I am convinced you need to know about this product created by Dr. Robert Keller to boost glutathione levels.

In February of 2007 Dr John Nielson, the 159th president of the AMA said:
“This product, in my opinion, represents the single most important breakthrough in health that I will witness in my life time. I believe it will revolutionize, change, and transform the practice of medicine world-wide and make Dr Robert Keller more famous than Jonas Salk who created the polio vaccine.”
John Nielson MD, Former president AMA

How many nutritional supplements do you hear leading physicians recommend?
How many times have you heard someone in the medical community get this excited about any medical breakthrough? Have you ever heard a natural supplement described this way?
This article will introduce you to the supplement Dr. Nielson was referring to and why it is so important. MaxGXL™ is a patented natural product which doubles and even triples our intracellular glutathione – a substance essential to our health and well-being.

Why is Glutathione Essential to Health?
Glutathione - pronounced 'gloota-thigh-own' is found in all cells in the body. Our life depends on glutathione. Without it, our cells would be destroyed from unrestrained oxidation. MaxGXL™ has been clinically proven to dramatically increase the amount of intracellular glutathione.

Each and every cell in the body is responsible for its own supply of glutathione and must have the necessary raw materials in order to produce it. Glutathione is always in great demand and is rapidly consumed when we experience any sort of emotional or physical stress, fatigue and even moderate exercise.After age 20 our glutathione levels begin to fall Research shows that levels decline by 8% to 12% per decade, beginning at the ripe age of only 20. Decreased levels of glutathione can be further increased by physical stressors such as injury, inflammation, infections, and toxins such as heavy metals as well as emotional stress.

Glutathione's three major roles in the body are summarized by the letters A-B-C - Antioxidant - Blood Booster - Cell Detoxifier
A - The Master Antioxidant (fights biologic “rusting”)
Over the past thirty years, researchers have explored the role of antioxidants in good health as well as the treatment and prevention ofdiseases involving oxidative damage. As the graph above shows, we have more and more oxidative damage as our glutathione levels drop. This “biologic rusting” causes inflammation which leads to damage throughout the body such as in the blood vessels which can lead to heart attacks or the brain and lead to dementia.
We need to take in antioxidant vitamins like vitamin C and E from our diet and supplements; however, these antioxidants can only work when the “master antioxidant” glutathione is present.

B – Blood & Immune System Health
Glutathione plays a central role in the proper function of the white blood cells. Dr. Bustavo Bounous, a leading glutathione expert, says, 'Thelimiting factor in the proper activity of our lymphocytes (the white blood cells) is the availability of glutathione.' In other words, healthy growthand activity of the white blood cells depends upon glutathione’s availability. Put simply, glutathione is 'food' for the white blood cells and our immune system.
C - Cellular Detoxifier
we are continually inhaling, absorbing & ingesting chemicals that need to be detoxified by our body. Glutathione is one of the primary ways in which our body neutralizes these toxins and eliminates them from our bodies.


Glutathione has been shown to slow down the aging process, detoxify and improve liver function, strengthen the immune system, and reduce the chances of developing cancer. Glutathione also works to help improve mental functions, increase energy, improve concentration, permit increased exercise, and improve heart and lung function - just to name a few.

The Challenge of restoring glutathione
Unfortunately, we can’t raise our body’s glutathione level with ordinary foods or pure L-glutathione. Even though glutathione is present in many fruits, vegetables and meats, this protein is instantly broken down during digestion into its three amino acids. Cysteine, or N-acetylcysteine (NAC), is the most important of these precursors and is the main limiting factor necessary for the body to manufacture glutathione. Alone in the gut after digestion, cysteine is treated as a free radical and rapidly oxidized. Consequently, only a very small percentage reaches our bloodstream and cells.
Furthermore, glutathione is always in great demand and is rapidly consumed, so any glutathione that is made will be used up quickly making it even more difficult to increase this level.

The Solution: MaxGXL™
After years of research and development, Dr. Keller and the Max International scientific team developed MaxGXL, a product that contained the necessary components of glutathione that when absorbed into the body; stimulate the body’s own production of glutathione to be used by every cell.

MaxGXL Patented Formula Dramatically Increases Intracellular Glutathione.MaxGXL provides the proper nutrients needed to promote the body's own ability to manufacture and absorb glutathione. MaxGXL also aids in liver support, thus helping the liver to function as the main production site and storehouse for glutathione.

How Do We Know MaxGXL™ increases Glutathione levels?
The graph below shows the increase in glutathione levels experienced by 4 groups of people. Group 1 was tested after 6 months of use, while Groups 2, 3 and 4 were tested after only 3 months of the MaxGXL regimen.

What are the benefits of taking MaxGXL™ ?
We do not have a formal clinical study on the benefits but we can report that in our experience most who have taken MaxGXL for 1-3 months see noticeable improvements in their health.
Those taking MaxGXL have reported numerous benefits including:
- energy improved
- concentration improved
- improved exercise capacity and performance
- less anxiety and lower levels of stress
- back & joint pain
- restless leg syndrome
- asthma
- brain fog
- improved age related skin changes

How can I order MaxGXL?
The bottom line is this is natural supplement that really works. Dr. Keller is making MaxGXL available widely via distributers. Let me encourage you to see if you do not notice improved health and vitality with MaxGXL. MaxGXL can be ordered by going to http://www.naturalwellnesschoices.com/, click on the MaxGXL graph/picture. If you have questions, you can call Mandy Jacobs at 361-574-9697 (this is at Dr. Mabray’s Victoria office). If you order the MaxGXL I will be happy to send you some additional information by email.

To Your Health!
Don Ellsworth, M.D.

AgingIt is well known that aging is accompanied by a precipitous fall in glutathione levels. Lower glutathione levels are implicated in manydiseases associated with aging including cataracts, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's atherosclerosis and others.Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 47:1021-26, 1994.Antioxidant FunctionsAntioxidants are well documented and known to play vital roles in health maintenance and disease prevention. Glutathione is your cell's own majorantioxidant. Maintaining elevated glutathione levels aids the body's natural antioxidant function.Biochemical Pharmacology 47: 2114-2123, 1994.Neurological Disease Low glutathione levels have been associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as MS (Multiple Sclerosis), ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease),Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. The Lancet 344: 796-798, 1994.
CancerGlutathione plays a role in eliminating many carcinogens/acids and also maintains and optimizes white blood cell function while providing strongeranti-acidic/anti-tumor defenses.Cancer Letters 57: 91-94, 1991.Athletic PerformanceRaised glutathione levels help increase strength and endurance. Those interested in physical fitness can benefit from a definite athletic edge.Journal of Applied Physiology 87: 1381-1385, 1999.Toxins, Pollution and Radiation
Glutathione detoxifies a variety of pollutants, carcinogens and poisons including many found in fuel exhaust and cigarette smoke. It also retardsdamage from radiation exposure due to the eroding ozone layer.Annual Reviews of Biochemistry 52: 711-760, 1983AIDSGlutathione levels correspond to poor survival of AIDS patients. Much documentation demonstrates the role of enhanced glutathione levels in AIDS.Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, USA 94: 1967-72, 1997.Heart Disease, Stroke and CholesterolRaised glutathione levels fight the oxidation of fats circulating in the bloodstream including cholesterol, retarding the process of plaque formationin the arteries leading to most heart attacks and strokes.Nutrition Reviews 54: 1-30, 1996.
DiabetesDiabetics are more prone to infections and circulatory problems leading to heart disease, kidney failure and blindness.
Glutathione protects against the complications of diabetes.Clinical Science 91:575-582, 1996Lung DiseaseDoctors have used glutathione-promoting drugs to treat many lung diseases including asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. New and potentiallytherapeutic roles can be found for cigarette smoke damage, pulmonary fibrosis and other illnesses.American Journal of Medical Science 307:119-127,1994Digestive DisordersGlutathione protects the body from inflammation of gastritis, stomach ulcers, pancreatitis and inflammatory bowel disease including ulcerativecolitis and Cohn’s disease.Gut 42: 485-492, 1998HepatitisThe liver is a major storehouse for glutathione. Glutathione is impaired in alcohol hepatitis as well as in viral (acidic)hepatitis including hepatitis A, B, and C. Raised glutathione levels help restore liver function.American Journal of gastroenterology 91: 2569-2573, 1996
Kidney DiseaseThose with kidney failure or on dialysis suffer from high levels of oxidative (acidic) stress and decreased glutathione levels. Raisedglutathione levels help prevent anemia.Nephron 61: 404-408, 1992Pregnancy, Lactation and ChildbirthGlutathione's role in fetal and placental development is critical. It also acts in the placenta to detoxify pollutants before they can reach thedeveloping child. Many complications of pregnancy have been linked withpoor glutathione levels.Early Human Development 37: 167-174, 1994

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Hypothyroidism – A Major Risk Factor For Atherosclerosis

Conventional medicine is missing the primary causes of heart disease. For example:

60% of all heart attacks occur in people with normal cholesterol levels.

The majority of people with high cholesterol never suffer heart attacks.

What is the rest of the story? Could it be related to low thyroid function?

Broda Barnes initial research
Dr. Barnes noted that before the era of antibiotics, coronary artery disease was almost unknown. A certain percentage of the population was susceptible to tuberculosis and infections in general, and they would typically die young from infectious disease, primarily tuberculosis. Then came antibiotics and an entirely new population of people appeared: people who were susceptible to both infection and to coronary artery disease; except now they were enabled to live long enough to die from the slower of the two diseases: coronary artery disease.
Dr. Barnes noticed that the death rate from coronary artery disease in 1970 was ten times that of 1930. Statistically, the death rate would be expected to be double, not ten times the 1930 rate. The only way he could explain this to himself was that the people who were saved from tuberculosis were almost all dying of coronary artery disease.
Why would this be happening? What common denominator would there be to people susceptible to both severe infections and heart disease? Dr. Barnes knew from with his extensive experience treating thousands of people with thyroid replacement therapy that the incidence of both infection and coronary artery disease is dramatically reduced by thyroid replacement. Dr. Barnes realization that thyroid deficiency is the common denominator in both susceptibility to infection and coronary artery disease.
What about treatment? Does treatment with Armour Thyroid help?
Broda Barnes carefully compared the rate at which heart disease was seen among his patients with the prevailing rates of heart disease Among 1,569 patients that he followed for 8,824 patient-years, only 4 new cases of CHD were observed (Barnes noted they were only taking 2 grains a day and wondered if the dose was too low). This is a staggering 94% reduction in the expected incidence of the disease.

Dr. Barnes observed a 94% reduction in Heart Disease with Armour

Atherosclerosis – coronary artery disease and its associated complications are the most serious side effects of an underactive thyroid. Unfortunately, Broda Barnes work was largely ignored. Some tried using Armour but often ignored the need to start at low doses and in the physicians hast in starting at too high a dose caused problems. Barnes had recommended starting with ¼ grain tabs after a heart attack.

Since Broda Barnes’ research, heart disease remains the number one killer in this country and there are no signs of that changing anytime soon. If you asked most people on the street which they fear more, cancer or heart disease, they'd probably say cancer. But for every person you know who has died of cancer, you can probably think of another 20 who are on cholesterol or blood pressure medication, have had bypass surgery or angioplasty, or have died from cardiovascular problems.

Neutralizing Cholesterol with Thyroid Supplementation
In Russia, experiments with rabbits showed that while feeding cholesterol alone increased heart disease in rabbits, adding thyroid neutralized this effect. Sadly, the medical community latched onto the cholesterol theory and ignored the important role that hypothyroidism plays in producing heart disease.

Additional Research includes:
1. Subclinical hypothyroidism is an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction in elderly women: the Rotterdam Study Ann Intern Med. 2003 Nov 18;139(10):866 Data on thyroid status, aortic atherosclerosis, and history of myocardial infarction were obtained at baseline in a random sample of 1,149 women (mean age, 69 years) participating in the Rotterdam Study (Rotterdam, The Netherlands):
Subclinical hypothyroidism was present in 10.8% of participants. The risk of heart attack was 2.3 times those without hypothyroidism. Additional adjustment for body mass index, total and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level, blood pressure, and smoking status, as well as exclusion of women who took beta-blockers, did not affect these estimates. Associations were slightly stronger in women who had subclinical hypothyroidism and antibodies to thyroid peroxidase with an odds ratio for myocardial infarction of 3.1.
The results of this epidemiological study suggest that subclinical hypothyroidism is a strong risk factor for atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction in elderly women. Moreover, although hypothyroidism is known to increase serum cholesterol levels, the association between thyroid function and cardiovascular disease found in this study was independent of cholesterol levels.
2. Ann Intern Med 1999; 131(5):348-51 showed a connection between low thyroid and increased homocysteine which is strongly associated with heart disease (more below).
3. Archives of Internal Medicine, November 29, 2005 showed that low thyroid function was associated with heart disease risk. Rodondi N et al. Subclinical Hypothyroidism and the Risk of Heart Failure, Other Cardiovascular Events, and Death. Arch Intern Med. 2005;165:2460-2466.
4. Arch Intern Med. 2005;165:2467-2472 demonstrated hypothyroidism was associated with an increased risk of congestive heart failure (hazard ratio of 2.3) Walsh JP et al. Subclinical Thyroid Dysfunction as a Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disease.
5. 1971, Dr. James C. Wren reported an extensive five year study with 347 patients with cardiovascular disease. All were treated with thyroid and saw a 44% lower death rate in his thyroid treatment group than expected.

What is the relationship between the thyroid and heart attacks? Why does low thyroid adversely effect thyroid function?
Research over the past forty years has clearly shown a direct relationship between heart attacks and sluggish thyroid function. A few key concepts emerge as we look at the effect of low thyroid function on the heart:

Mucin deposition from low thyroid activity causes atherosclerosis to develop
Studies have shown that low thyroid levels causes a glue-like substance called mucin (mucopolysaccharides) to accumulate causing a cascade of biochemical changes leading to a degeneration of the arteries. Other studies have shown that the removal of the thyroid gland soon leads to atherosclerosis.
Researchers have discovered that mucin can even develop in children who have insufficient thyroid function. They found out that as long as thyroid is administered, the tissue would be normal. But if thyroid therapy was stopped, mucin rose rapidly. If thyroid therapy was begun again, the mucin content returned to normal. Therefore, one of the many preventive measures that can be done to prevent the possibility of heart attacks is to ensure the proper amount of thyroid is in the body.

The Thyroid/Homocysteine Connection
Studies continue to establish stronger links between even moderately elevated blood levels of homocysteine and heart disease. In the 1992 Physicians' Health Study, men with very high homocysteine levels had a risk of heart attack three times that of men with normal homocysteine levels. In fact, an elevated homocysteine level was such a dominant factor that it indicated increased risk even in the men who had no other cardiovascular risk factors.
Because of the importance of homocysteine levels as a heart attack risk factor, efforts have thus far concentrated on lowering high levels through any means possible. And up until now, the only consistently successful approach has been to increase the intake of the B vitamins especially folate, B6 and B12. However, new research indicates that simply lowering homocysteine levels in this manner may be masking a more serious underlying problem, the one that's causing the elevated levels in the first place. This bigger problem is an underactive thyroid.
Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio have released new findings showing that correcting an underactive thyroid gland normalizes elevated homocysteine levels in the blood. Even more amazing is that the researchers were able to normalize homocysteine levels without having to administer any of the B vitamins. In other words, correcting the thyroid problem in turn corrected the vitamin deficiency. (Ann Intern Med 99;131(5):348-51)

We can now look Dr. Barnes' observations and see how inflammation and free radical mediated heart disease would be mitigated by thyroid replacement. Excess hydroxyl radicals left over from lipid peroxidation cause tiny areas of inflammation, then necrosis (tissue death), in the walls of arteries. When the body tries to repair this necrosis it forms a scar tissue and incorporates into the scar tissue calcium and cholesterol. The body's natural defense this oxidation (which is similar to rusting) is to produce antioxidants, which neutralize hydroxyl free radicals before they can do damage. Thyroid hormones regulate the rate of metabolism and when sluggish metabolism is present the rate at which antioxidants are produced would be slowed. Therefore, there would be less antioxidants, more free radicals and oxidative damage and similar to rusting we would see the vessels damaged and atherosclerosis would proceed more rapidly.

The sequence appears to be that: Low thyroid function à decreased antioxidant production à vascular lesions à scar (plaque) formation àeventual artery blockage à heart attack or stroke ( "brain attack," as it is now called), or gangrene, or any set of symptoms caused, or contributed to, by decreased blood flow to organs.

Low Cardiac Output/Cardiac Muscle Fatigue
The above mentioned Arch Intern Med. 2005;165:2467-2472 study demonstrated hypothyroidism was associated with an increased risk of congestive heart failure. This is basically sluggish muscle function but in this case the muscle is the heart. If you have a weak pump you have a greater chance the flow will be low in plugged arteries and this increases the risk for a heart attack and stroke.

Causes of Hypothyroidism (why is this problem so common?)
Genetics would be one because typically we live with hypothyroidism long enough to have children.

Estrogen Dominance is caused by petrochemicals, fuel exhaust we breath, estrogenic hormones in meat and chickens, plastics, propylene glycol, sodium laurel sulphate in ointments, herbicides and pesticides. These potent estrogenic substances block the production of thyroid hormone and greatly magnify the incidence of estrogen dependent cancers. All males and females in developed nations have estrogen dominance.

Antibiotics, chlorine from our water purification systems, fluoride, and NSAID drugs used for arthritis all kill the healthy bacteria in the intestinal tract. This results in overgrowth in the intestines of candida, fungi, mycoplasma, and anaerobic bacteria (Yeast syndrome). These dangerous organisms release powerful neurotoxic substances into the blood stream that damage the hypothalamus often resulting in multiple endocrine disorders including under activity of the thyroid gland.

Mercury released from our dental amalgams is toxic to the thyroid gland.

Fluoride in our water directly interferes with thyroid function.
Selenium deficiency is related to lack of trace minerals in our soil. The proper conversion of precursors into thyroid hormone depends on a selenium containing enzyme which is lacking.

Lack of iodine in our soil and diet leads to decreased thyroid hormone production.

Diagnostic x-rays injure the thyroid gland (dental, neck, spine).

Perchlorates widely found in drinking water inhibit the production of thyroid hormone by blocking the reuptake of iodine

In the light of these common issues it is remarkable that anyone has normal thyroid function!

Diagnosing Hypothyroidism
Dr. Barnes felt that 40% of Americans suffer from inadequate thyroid. Nobody disputes that hypothyroidism is common and commonly untreated. Even groups that use blood tests alone such as the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists state 20% of Americans are Hypothyroid. Dr. Arnold Jackson reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association that “Hypothyroidism is the most frequent chronic affliction and at the same time the most often overlooked condition…”

I wonder if things are not worse now with the increase in pollution. Since almost ½ of humanity is low on this key hormone, we would expect the addition of Armour Thyroid to the appropriate individuals to save million.

Signs and Symptoms of Hypothyroid
How do you know if you have low thyroid? Primarily it is by the pattern of having typical symptoms and signs of low thyroid (hypo – Latin for low ..thyroid) such as: weakness, dry skin, coarse skin, lethargy, slow speech, swelling of the eyelids, sensation of cold, decreased sweating, cold skin, thick tongue, edema of the face, coarseness of hair, heart enlargement, pallor of skin, impaired memory, constipation, weight gain, loss of hair, pallor of lips, labored or difficult breathing, swelling of the feet, hoarseness, loss of appetite, nervousness, excessive and/or painful menstruation, deafness, palpitations, poor heart sounds, pain over the heart, poor vision, changes in the back of the eye, loss of weight, emotional instability, choking sensation, fineness of hair, cyanosis (bluish skin), difficulty in swallowing, brittle nails, depression, muscle weakness, muscle pain, joint pain, burning or tingling sensations, heat intolerance, slowing of mental activity, slow movements.
One may also see high cholesterol, hardening of the arteries, heart attacks, digestive problems, emotional disturbances, allergies, asthma, recurring infections, anemia, all types of skin problems like eczema and psoriasis.
Sadly, hypothyroidism often goes undiagnosed because blood thyroid values are usually within the broad reference ranges. What blood tests cannot tell us are changes within the range which take us out of our individual range or problems related to the utilization or regulation of thyroid hormone.
Dr. Barnes recommended a simple test, called the basal body temperature test, which anyone can easily perform at home. The temperature test should be done upon awakening in the morning, but before leaving your bed.
If you are male or a non-menstruating female, take a digital thermometer or an oral mercury thermometer (which has been shaken down and placed at the bedside the previous evening) and place it in your armpit for 10 minutes immediately upon awakening while lying quietly in bed. Repeat the test three days in a row. Normal temperature is 97.8 degrees to 98.2 degrees. If your temperature is low, your thyroid gland is probably under active. The temperature should not be checked during menses.

It was the opinion of Dr. Barnes and all of us at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center using the natural thyroid supplement; Armour Thyroid is the best kind because it contains all the essential thyroid components that are not found in other thyroid drugs such as Synthroid®.
Natural Thyroid Supplementation
Add Iodine (Iodoral) and Selenium
Never drink tap water – avoid fluoride and chlorine (see Oct NWC Newsletter on Chlorine)
Eat Organic
Avoid Pesticides, Herbicides & Plastics
Optimize Vitamin D


in addition to the above steps to optimize thyroid function:

- Eat less refined carbs - cookies, white bread, and even fruit juice.
- Eat 9+ servings of vegetables and fruit and supplement with fruit/vegetable capsules which has been clinically shown to lower cardiac score, lower blood pressure, improve vascular compliance, lower triglycerides, lower homocysteine, improve blood sugar control and raise anti-oxidant levels, see the Vanderbilt Study)
- Multivitamin with B-vitamins and Selenium (i.e. Power Pak) 1-2 /d
- Vitamin C, L-Lysine and L-Proline (Dr. Hotze Cardio Powder)
- Exercise (Interval training and not just “cardio”)
- Eliminate all trans fats and partially hydrogenated fats - eliminate corn oil and margarine. Use olive & coconut oil and butter instead.
- Add Fish Oil
- Suspect hypothyroidism and get it treated with Natural Thyroid. Test your basal body temperature first thing in the morning to see if your thyroid function is lower than normal ( 97.8 - 98.2 degrees is normal)

To your health!

Donald P Ellsworth, M.D.
Feel free to pass this information on to others