Saturday, December 6, 2008

Candida, Celiac, Thyroid Connection, Vitamin C, Not Statins for Inflammation

In this post:

The Candida, Celiac, Thyroid Connection
Vitamin C is as effective as statin drugs at reducing inflammation



The Candida, Celiac, Thyroid Connection


Candida can cause celiac disease complications
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that is associated with inflammation and malabsorption when gluten containing foods such as wheat, barley, or rye are consumed.

We are now finding that celiac related problems are much more common than we used to think. Why all the celiac disease? Why would our immune system start reacting to something as common as wheat? Part of the answer is related to a very common condition - the overgrowth of candida in the gastrointestinal tract. If you have ever taken antibiotics, been pregnant or taken birth control pills you most likely have an overgrowth of yeast or Candida. Candida overgrowth in our intestines appears to trigger the production of antibodies that not only attack candida but also react to gluten - found most commonly in wheat. Candida contains amino acid sequences that are identical to or very similar to those found in the celiac induced immune response. When we eat gluten containing foods, we then experience an inflammatory response characteristic of celiac disease.

While anyone can get celiac disease, people of Irish descent are significantly more prone to celiac disease and should be very reluctant to take antibiotics or do anything else that promotes candida overgrowth.

Candida and celiac disease can cause thyroid problems
Celiac disease is not just about the GI tract. The immune response can also damage our nervous system and even our thyroid gland. People with the diagnosis of celiac disease have a high rate of being low on thyroid. About 10- 14% of celiac patients are hypothyroid and they have 10X increased chance of having thyroid nodules and autoimmune antibodies. Candida appears to cause “friendly fire” and the collateral damage is widespread.

Bottom Line: Yeast overgrowth in our intestines causes our immune system to malfunction and it will attack our own thyroid and causes inflammation when gluten containing food is eaten.
If you want to be healthy, a healthy GI tract is essential. If you have not done a yeast cleanse you need to do this. The general approach we have to yeast overgrowth at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center is on my website: www.naturalwellnesschoices.com under Health & Wellness Center Guests/Yeast Free Eating Program.

Vitamin C, Not Statins Should be Used to Fight Inflammation
Recently the media has been reporting the results of the JUPITER study which looked at 17,800 people who had high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) - a marker of inflammation. Ongoing silent inflammation quietly can cause damage to our body and damage the blood vessels causing atherosclerosis/heart disease.

This study simply demonstrated that statin drugs can lower the CRP in individuals with a normal cholesterol level. Since we already knew that statins lower the CRP, what would be the motive for this study? The answer is to boost statin sales by encouraging healthy individuals with normal cholesterol levels to start taking statin drugs - daily for the rest of their lives.

I am afraid that many mainstream doctors will be recommending statin drugs to even more of their patients but this would not be smart medicine. Missing from the press releases concerning statins and the CRP issue has been any discussion of the true causes of inflammation and what can be done naturally to lower it.

Folks, the cause of inflammation is not a deficiency of statin drugs! There are many known causes of inflammation which include:

Gingival disease from not flossing daily
Chlorine in our drinking & bathing water damaging our blood vessels
Low intake of antioxidant fruit & vegetables
Low intake of omega 3 rich foods
Eating partially hydrogenated oils with trans-fatty acids
High consumption of sugar and starchy processed foods
Inadequate Vitamin C intake

Statin Drugs are not the answer
While statin drugs are effective at lowering the CRP, they have far too many negatives to recommend their use for the purpose of lowering the CRP. These negative effects include tripling the rate of cancer, nerve and muscle damage, nausea, irritability, homicidal impulses and poor memory. On top of this, these drugs are not effective at achieving their actual goal – the primary prevention of heart attacks and stroke (the NND – Number Needed to Treat is 70 to 100, i.e. only 1 out of about 70-100 see any benefit in 5 years of daily use. Most who take statins are just getting their side effects and filling the pharmaceutical industries’ pockets). For more details see the blog posting on September 15th and August 3, 2008 at www.NaturalWellnessChoices.com


Natural Solutions to Inflammation

1. Vitamin C 1-6 gram/day
A new study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley found that 1000 mg of Vitamin C is just as good at lowering CRP as statin drugs! The researchers stated that “It has recently been suggested by some researchers that people with elevated CRP should be put on statins as a preventive measure. For people who have elevated CRP but not elevated LDL cholesterol, our data suggest that vitamin C should be investigated as an alternative to statins…..” (emphasis mine)

2. Floss Daily – gingivitis causes inflammation throughout the body
3. Fruits & Vegetables: Eat 5-9 serving of fruit & vegetables and add fruit/vegetable caps if you are not getting enough daily (2 fruit caps in am, 2 vegetable in pm – this can be order via www.naturalwellnesschoices.com)
4. Take Nordic Naturals ProOmega Fish Oil 2-12 caps a day (1/2 -3 tsp) Physicians Preference carries this quality product www.physicianspreference.com
5. Avoid sugar and starches and maintain an optimal weight
6. Use a filter to remove chlorine from your tap water and shower – you can order these from www.aehf.com. For more information read my posting on October 6, 2007 on Chlorine.
7. Eat less processed foods
8. Eat organic to avoid pesticides
9. Get enough sleep


Selected References:

Gut 1994;35: 844-846 Counsell et al. Coeliac disease and autoimmune thyroid disease.

European Journal of Endocrinology 1994;130:137-140 Collin et al. Autoimmune thyroid disorders and coeliac disease.

Lancet. 2003 Jun 21;361(9375):2152-4. Is Candida albicans a trigger in the onset of coeliac disease? Nieuwenhuizen WF, Pieters RH, Knippels LM, Jansen MC, Koppelman SJ.

Free Radic Biol Med. 2008 Oct 10 Vitamin C treatment reduces elevated C-reactive protein Block G, Jensen CD, Dalvi TB, Norkus EP, Hudes M, Crawford PB, Holland N, Fung EB, Schumacher L, Harmatz P.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Avoiding Excitotoxins

Why I am Excited about Excitotoxins

The Dark Side of Aspartame & Processed Food
When we buy processed food or eat out, we are exposing our bodies to hundreds of food additives. In this edition, I would like to highlight the problems associated with a group of additives knows as excitotoxins (named after their property of over-stimulating and injuring the nervous system).

Glutamate containing products (MSG and its chemical siblings) and aspartame are the two biggest groups of excitotoxins in our diet. They are associated with increasing the risk of obesity, cancer, seizures, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Depression.


Aspartame

Aspartame (i.e. Equal or NutraSweet™) is a sweetener made from two amino acids, phenylalanine and the aspartate. Common example include most diet soft drinks, sugar free gums, children’s' medications, and thousands of other products claiming to be 'low calorie', 'diet', or 'sugar free'. Aspartame related complaints accounts for approximately 70% of all complaints to the FDA and is implicated in everything from blindness to headaches to convulsions. The FDA has essentially ignored these concerns.

Not only can too much of the amino acids in Aspartame overstimute the brain, but once aspartame breaks down it produces several more toxic compounds:

1. DKP (diketopiperazine - chemically similar to a powerful brain tumor causing agent)
2. Formic Acid (i.e. ant venom)
3. Formaldehyde (i.e. embalming fluid)
4. Methanol (causes blindness in higher amounts)


MSG & Glutamates

While the presence of Aspartame is relatively easy to identify, MSG like compounds are much harder to spot. Restaurants and food processing companies have long known they can enhance taste and sales with monosodium glutatmate (MSG). A well known MSG Symptom Complex can involve numbness, a burning sensation, tingling, facial pressure or tightness, chest pain, headache, nausea, rapid heartbeat, drowsiness, and weakness. Those with asthma may experience these symptoms as well as difficulty in breathing.


Hidden Sources of MSG
Unfortunately, the excitotoxins that make MSG a problem are found in many sources that are not labeled as MSG. The glutamate (MSG) manufacturers are always on a mission to hide the MSG added to food. Below is a partial list of the most common names for hidden MSG:

According to Dr. Blaylock the following Food Additives that ALWAYS contain MSG *

Monosodium Glutamate
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
Hydrolyzed Protein
Hydrolyzed Plant Protein
Plant Protein Extract
Sodium Caseinate
Calcium Caseinate
Yeast Extract
Textured Protein (Including TVP)
Autolyzed Yeast
Hydrolyzed Oat Flour
Corn Oil

Also, remember that the powerful excitotoxins, aspartate and L-cysteine, are frequently added to foods and according to FDA rules require no labeling at all.


* Food Additives That FREQUENTLY Contain MSG *

Malt Extract
Malt Flavoring
Bouillon
Broth
Stock
Flavoring
Natural Flavors/Flavoring
Natural Beef Or Chicken Flavoring
Seasoning
Spices

* Food Additives That MAY Contain MSG Or Excitotoxins *

Carrageenan
Enzymes
Soy Protein Concentrate
Soy Protein Isolate
Whey Protein Concentrate

Also: Protease Enzymes of various sources can release excitotoxin amino acids from food proteins.


Excitotoxins & Obesity
Animals exposed to MSG were found to be short, obese, and had difficulty with sexual reproduction. This appears to be related to a lesion in the hypothalamus (part of the brains’ appetite and metabolism center). Could the US epidemic of obesity be related to early exposure to food additive excitotoxins? Obesity associated with excitotoxin exposure is not necessarily related to the number of calories consumed. Sadly, many drink diet soda with aspartame (NutraSweet®) which like MSG is an excitotoxin and can produce obesity.

Excitotoxins & Cancer
Rats fed aspartame had a 25 x increase (2500% increase) chance of having brain tumors compared to rats that were on a normal diet. Several possibilities explain the high rate of cancer in these animals. One is that aspartame breaks down in the body into a substance called diketopiperizine or DKP, which chemically closely resembles a group of cancer-causing chemicals. aspartame also contains methanol, which breaks down in the body into formaldehyde and formic acid. Formaldehyde had been shown to accumulate near DNA, causing serious damage that is accumulative. That means that drinking even one diet cola a day can cause formaldehyde buildup in cells, so that the amount of the toxin increases daily.

Breast cancer - a new study on aspartame conducted by the Ramazzini Foundation demonstrated that aspartame causes an increase in cancers. There was a dose – dependent increase in lymphomas, leukemias and breast cancers when consumed at levels consumed by humans in diet soft drinks.
Excitotoxins like Aspartame & MSG can cause seizures, depression and addiction
Aspartame intake produces an unnatural amino acid balance. Unlike amino acids consumed in natural protein sources, aspartame gives large amounts of excitatory amino acids without the natural balance which protects the brain. Large doses of phenylalanine are toxic to the brain and aspartic acid acts as an excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain - stimulating the neurons in the brain to "fire." Both aspartic acid and phenylalanine cause the brain to get out of balance with the inhibitory amino acids. This imbalance can lower the threshold of seizures and cause depression. This altered brain chemistry may also be responsible for the addictive nature of aspartame.

Neurodegenerative diseases

Alzheimer's and autism and ADD and Parkinson's disease have increased dramatically. Why? Normally the brain is protected from toxins in the blood by the Blood Brain Barrier. MSG – Glutamates open the Blood Brain Barrier and create a highway for toxins like heavy metals and excitotoxins to damage our brains. When you add MSG to the diet, you add a toxin which dramatically increase the toxicity of other toxins in the environment and food.


Watch the 60 Minutes Video on MSG http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=599381265368100582



Bottom line

The inconvenient truth is that the vast majority of what we eat needs to be unprocessed food. Buy organic meat, fruit, vegetables and grains and make most of our food at home.

We must definitely avoid all aspartame and diligently seek to avoid MSG containing products.

We need to eat out less and when we do we need to understand it is impossible to avoid all the glutamates used in the restaurant industry.

Finally, we should add supplements which help protect the brain against excitotoxins.

Magnesium – low magnesium dramatically increases MSG toxicity. I recommend taking take 400-1200 mg daily (back off if you get loose stools)

Other key players to protect against neurotoxins are: vitamin E, milk thistle, ginkgo biloba, curcumin (as in the Indian spice turmeric) and lithium Note the recommended dose for lithium is 5-15 mg a day and this can be ordered form the Tahoma Clinic (www.tahoma-clinic.com)

If you are not eating the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables (at least 5 a day), I highly recommend fruit and vegetable capsules (2 fruit in the am, 2 vegetable caps in the pm). You can Order these caps on the NaturalWellnessChoices.com website

Cell and Cordless Phones Increase Cancer rates 4-5 fold in Children, 50% in Adults

Cell and Cordless Phones Increase Cancer rates 4-5 fold in Children, 50% in Adults

Dear friends,

I have been watching this area for a while and I am now convinced that we must dramatically reduce our exposure to electromagnetic radiation from both cell and cordless phones. Future studies will help better define the exact risk but the time to take action is now. Much of the following was from Dr. Joseph Mercola and the recent World Health Organization report (see references below)

Swedish research was reported this month at the first international conference on mobile phones and health. Professor Hardell from Sweden told the conference: People who started mobile phone use before the age of 20 years old had more than five-fold increase in glioma.
Cordless phone use resulted in cancer rates that were four times higher than expected.

A glioma is a cancer of the glial cells that support the central nervous system. The concern is not limited to just cell phones. By contrast, people who were in their twenties before using handsets were only 50 per cent more likely to contract gliomas and just twice as likely to get acoustic neuromas.

Professor Hardell told the IoS: "This is a warning sign. It is very worrying. We should be taking precautions." He believes that children under 12 should not use mobiles except in emergencies and that teenagers should use hands-free devices or headsets and concentrate on texting. At 20 the danger diminishes because then the brain is fully developed. Indeed, he admits, the hazard to children and teenagers may be greater even than his results suggest, because the results of his study do not show the effects of their using the phones for many years. Most cancers take decades to develop, longer than mobile phones have been on the market. David Carpenter, dean of the School of Public Health at the State University of New York – who also attended the conference – said: "Children are spending significant time on mobile phones. We may be facing a public health crisis in an epidemic of brain cancers as a result of mobile phone use." According to a University of Washington scientist: 70 percent to 80 percent of the energy emitted from the antenna of a mobile phone is absorbed in your head. This expert was particularly concerned about kids using mobiles because their younger skulls are thinner and their growing brains much more susceptible to radiation exposure.

Last year, a scientific review of 11 studies found that using your cell phone for 10 years or longer will double your risk of getting a tumor on a nerve connecting your ear to your brain. And earlier this year Toronto's department of public health warned that because of possible side effects from radio frequency radiation, children under 8 should only use a cell phone in emergencies, and teenagers should limit calls to less than 10 minutes. An analysis of early unpublished data, some of which shows just how much higher the electromagnetic radiation absorption rates are in a 5- and 10-year-old’s brain versus that of an adult.

Electromagnetic radiation, the data shows, can penetrate almost straight through the entire brain of a 5-year-old child.



Use “Safer Cell” Practices for both cell and cordless phones


Children Should Never Use Cell Phones Barring a life-threatening emergency, children should not use a cell phone, or a wireless device of any type. Children are far more vulnerable to cell phone radiation than adults because of their thinner skull bones.

IF a child is going to use a cell phone, they need to at least use the speaker phone function or a safe headset, and keep the phone as far away from their body as possible.

Use a Corded Land Line at Home and Work

Do you remember corded phones? They work great when you are sitting & function during power outages.

Pregnant Women Should Also Avoid Cell PhonesWomen who use mobile phones when pregnant may be more likely to give birth to children with behavioral problems.

Use the Speaker Phone function. When I call I ask “do you have me on speaker mode?”Please do not let you loved ones keep a cell phone to their ear.

The most dangerous place to be, in terms of radiation exposure, is within about six inches of the emitting antenna. You do not want any part of your body within that area.

A cell phone that is on in our pocket may effect reproduction. A study showed abnormal sperm movement when exposed to cell phone emissions.

Turn Your Cell Phone Off When Not in Use. As long as your cell phone is on, it emits radiation intermittently, even when you are not actually making a call.

Use Your Cell Phone Only Where Reception is Good: The weaker the reception, the more power your phone must use to transmit, and the more power it uses, the more radiation it emits, and the deeper the dangerous radio waves penetrate into your body. Ideally, you should only use your phone with full bars and good reception.

Consider Safer Headset Technology: Wired headsets will certainly allow you to keep the cell phone farther away from your body. However, if a wired headset is not well-shielded -- and most of them are not -- the wire itself acts as an antenna attracting ambient information carrying radio waves and transmitting radiation directly to your brain. Make sure that the wire used to transmit the signal to your ear is shielded. The best kind of headset to use is a combination shielded wire and air-tube headset – They are called BlueTube (instead of BlueTooth). These operate like a stethoscope, transmitting the information to your head as an actual sound wave; although there are wires that still must be shielded, there is no wire that goes all the way up to your head. References: http://www.who.int/peh-emf/meetings/archive/en/slovenia04_abstracts.pdf http://products.mercola.com/blue-tube-headset/?source=nl

Stevia - A Healthy Sweetener

What is Stevia?

Stevia is a fairly unassuming perennial shrub native to the northern regions of Paraguay. It has now been grown commercially in Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Central America, the United States, Israel, Thailand, England, Russia and China.

If you have not heard of Stevia – you will soon be seeing Stevia everywhere. Despite efforts to suppress Stevia from the US markets, Stevia has many natural qualities which make it ideal for sweetening:

Stevia is an all-natural sweetener that contains no chemicals

Stevia is up to 300x as sweet as sugar and has no calories

Unlike man-made sweetners which have a host of negative effects (i.e. Neutra-Sweet & Splenda), Stevia has a long history of use among millions in Paraguay, Japan and China without any health concerns

Stevia can be mixed with the natural alcohol sweetners Xylitol or Erythitol – allowing less of these to be used and avoid the gas or loose stools associated with the use of higher amounts

Studies indicate Stevia may lower blood pressure and blood sugar

Health & Political Controversy

A 1985 study reporting that steviol (a metabolite of Stevia) may be cancer causing; however, this study has been criticized on procedural grounds that the data were mishandled in such a way that even distilled water would appear mutagenic.

In 1991, at the request of an anonymous complaint, the United States Food and Drug Administration labeled stevia as an "unsafe food additive" and restricted its import. The FDA's stated reason was "toxicological information on stevia is inadequate to demonstrate its safety." This ruling was controversial because it violated the FDA's own guidelines under which any natural substance used prior to 1958 with no reported adverse effects should be generally recognized as safe (GRAS). Many have suspected that the real issue has been to protect the billion dollar interests in the sweetener industry – especially Splenda and Neutra-Sweet.


Recent Studies Support the Safety of Stevia and Even Point to Health Benefits
More recent studies have not shown any problems with Stevia and cancer. At least 1 animal study showed a stevia extract actually produce a decrease in breast tumors. The most recent studies bolster the safety record of steviol and its glycosides. In 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) performed a thorough evaluation of recent experimental studies of stevia extracts conducted on animals and humans, and concluded that stevioside and rebaudioside A are not cancer causing.

The report also suggested the possibility of health benefits, in that "stevioside has shown some evidence of pharmacological effects in patients with hypertension or with type-2 diabetes" but concluded that further study was required to determine proper dosage.
Stevia remained banned until after the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act forced the FDA in 1995 to revise its stance to permit stevia to be used as a dietary supplement, although not as a food additive — a position that stevia proponents regard as contradictory because it simultaneously labels stevia as safe and unsafe, depending on how it is sold.

Today you can find Stevia in grocery stores everywhere but you may notice the word sweetener is often missing to comply with the FDA restrictions.
Bottom line: The best evidence available shows Stevia is Safe and may reduce blood sugar and blood pressure

Stevia may lower blood sugar
Studies have suggested it may be Stevia has been widely used for diabetes in South America and animal studies have had promising results. Studies report decreases in plasma glucose when stevia was taken in normal volunteers. Additional study is needed in this area to confirm these findings.

Stevia may lower blood pressure
Stevioside is a natural plant glycoside isolated from the plant Stevia rebaudiana, which has demonstrated blood pressure lowering effects. Despite evidence of benefits in some human studies and support from laboratory and animal studies, more research is warranted to compare stevia's effectiveness with the current standard of care and make a firm recommendation. Stevia appears to have no major side effects.

Stevia is Catching On
You can get Stevia at grocery stores and health food stores right now and you are going to see a lot more of it as major players are enter this field.

Cargill has begun marketing of Truvia, a no-calorie sweetener made from certain compounds in the leaves of stevia. Truvia is intended to provide a natural alternative to artificial sweeteners such as Sweet ‘N Low, Equal and Splenda. Since Truvia is made only with compounds from the stevia plant, it can be legally used as a natural sweetener

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Max WLX for Weight Loss - Leptin Part 2

The Discovery of Leptin

• Leptin communicates between fat cells and the brain

• Leptin was discovered in 1994 at Rockefeller University by Jeffrey M.
Friedman, MD, PhD, and his team

• Leptin is a hormone made by fat cells that regulates food intake and
energy expenditure

• Leptin’s messages: Stop eating/burn fat or store fat

• Scientists thought if they gave leptin to overweight people they would lose weight

• WRONG! Overweight people have too much leptin due to Leptin Resistance


Too Much of a Good Thing

• An overwhelming amount of leptin makes the brain ignore the weight-loss messages

• So the brain says “keep eating!” and “store more fat!”

• More fat means more leptin messages sent out creating “Leptin Resistance”

• Leptin resistance sabotages your dieting efforts

• It’s a vicious cycle creating fat you don’t need or want!


How Can You Normalize Leptin?

Until very recently the only way to address Leptin Resistance was to follow the Leptin Diet and Exercise.

Now Max International has made available a breakthrough product called Max WLX – Max Weight Loss Accelerator. Max WLX is compositionally patented by the University of Minnesota.

Max WLX is a 100% safe & natural product that lowers leptin resistance and resulted in 90% more weight loss than placebo in a study conducted by the University of Connecticut (notice a 3rd party University tested the product under rigorous conditions).

1. Eat Sensibly

2. Take 2 Max WLX caps 30 min before your 2 largest meals of the day


The Power of Max WLX – University Patented and Tested

In an eight-week double-blinded, placebo-controlled study at the University of Connecticut, the Max WLX group:

• Lost 21.5 pounds of body fat
• Lost 3.96 inches off their waist
• Lost 3.28 inches off their hips
• Lost 1.20 inches off each thigh

Enjoyed a 90 percent greater fat loss than the placebo group!


Why Max WLX WORKS!

• Max WLX gently decreases leptin levels to restore accurate communication between fat cells and the brain

• Max WLX allows the “stop eating” and the “burn fat” messages to be heard

• Max WLX contains no harmful stimulants and is made of all-natural polysaccharides and fatty acids (see patent and supplement information below)

• Max WLX is safe for long-term weight-loss plans

Getting the Most from Max WLX

• Take two capsules 30 minutes before your two largest meals
• Create a sensible diet plan you can live with
• Make exercise a part of your life
Clinical trials showed most of the weight loss was in the 2nd month of taking Max WLX (very little was lost the first month)

How to Order Max WLX (Weight loss Accelerator)
2 options (Click below)

1. Join as a Preferred Customer (make sure the preferred customer option is clicked) Sign up for a monthly AutoShip and receive wholesale pricing. This is the most common way to sign up.

2. Join as a New Associate (make sure the New Associate option is clicked). If you are interested in taking advantage of the business opportunity. This option is best for those who have already seen the results of the Max products and are interested in a helping others get healthy and build a home based business at the same time.
Additional Information

University of Connecticut Study
University of Minnesota Patent
Suggested Use. Supplement information

Statin Drugs - The Misguided War against Cholesterol

Note – much of this material is from “Statin Drugs, Side Effects and the Misguided War on Cholesterol ” by Dr. Graveline, M.D, see www.spacedoc.net. If you are taking a statin drug, you should not stop taking this medication on your own. You should work with a wellness oriented physician to optimize your care and work with your doctor to wean off them. Abruptly stopping these medications can produce a rebound increase in inflammation which may be harmful.

This is a fairly detailed article. As a student of molecular biology I tend to overly enjoy molecular detail. I realize many of you will want to get to the “bottom line.” For a quicker read you can get the main points by covering the first section up to “digging deeper” and skip to the last 2 sections “summary” and “action points” DE

Statin Drugs, Side Effects and the Misguided War on Cholesterol

For nearly four decades, those in medicine have been taught that cholesterol was the culprit in cardiovascular disease because it was found in atherosclerotic plaques.

Guilt by association was the primary justification for the decision back in the mid-fifties to force upon our nation the now infamous low fat/ low cholesterol diet/high sugar diet. Now forty years later, the prevalence of atherosclerosis remains unchanged and we have become a nation of gross obesity and type 2 diabetes. For forty years our doctors and their patients have been told that cholesterol was their enemy.

How did this happen? A lot of the blame must go to Ancel Keys. Ancel Keys published the “Seven Countries Study” which claimed to have found strong associations between the rate of heart disease and the intake of cholesterol and saturated fatty acids in 7 countries. His data combined with the guilt by association mindset of the time led to the low fat dietary strategies which have prevailed to this day.

Problems with Keys research
When Keys data was reviewed by others it was found that actually the majority of the countries he studied did not show any association between the intake of fat and heart disease. Apparently, when Keys did not see an association between cholesterol and heart disease he left them out of the sample which was presented in his famous report. In other words, he “cherry picked” the data to get the answer he wanted. When all the data is used and the missing countries are included we see that the “strong association” Keys reported is completely erased.

Some are now realizing that the 40-year war on cholesterol through the use of drugs and the now infamous low fat/low cholesterol diet has been a terrible mistake. We have become a nation prone to obesity, type 2 diabetes and a rapid decline in the health of our children. Sadly, largely due to obesity and diabetes, children today are now expected to have a shorter life span than their parents. We are not making medical progress.

Unfortunately, the public and physicians continue to use statins because they “know” statins work. The war on cholesterol has become a dogma that is not to be questioned. Ironically, cholesterol never was the issue. Heart disease is caused by inflammation and oxidative damage. For more detail - Please see my posting on December 4th, 2007 in “Preventing Heart Disease.”

Cholesterol deposition in the arteries actually turns out to be a repair mechanism and not the actual cause of the atherosclerosis process. The primary factors leading to the damage of our arteries is related to our poor nutritional status: trans fats, too much sugars, too little fruits & vegetables and omega 3 fatty acids, low vitamin intake such as D and C. Adding to this we have chlorine and fluoride in our water with too little exercise and we have a recipe for disaster.

Cholesterol Lowering Drugs Are Not the Answer
As you know statin drugs are the most commonly used medications to lower cholesterol and Lipitor is the best seller. Ironically, it turns out that the small beneficial effect these drugs have on the heart is not due to lowering cholesterol but rather is a result of their anti-inflammatory effects. While reducing inflammation is beneficial, we have better ways to accomplish this goal.

The mainstream media and medical publications fail to highlight the powerful, natural ways to reduce inflammation that do not have the negative effects we see with cholesterol lowering medications (see below).

Statin drugs block a process that we were designed by our Creator. The enzyme that statin drugs block is called HMG CoA Reductase. Blocking this enzyme produces not only a reduction in the critical nutrient, Cholesterol but also CoQ10, Vitamin D, Bile Acids and most of our hormones. As a result of this we see a long list of side effects of statin drugs such as:
  • Nausea
  • Irritability and short tempers
  • Hostility
  • Homicidal impulses
  • Rapid loss of mental clarity
  • Amnesia
  • Kidney failure
  • Muscle aching and weakness
  • Tingling or cramping in the legs
  • Inability to walk
  • Problems sleeping
  • Muscle damage
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Nerve damage
  • Mental confusion
  • Liver damage and abnormalities
  • Neuropathy
  • Global Amnesia
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Cancer
  • Death

Digging Deeper
Statins are ineffective in the Primary Prevention of Heart Attacks and Strokes
Studies Show Statins do not work in the Primary Prevention of Heart Attacks. The NNT (number needed to treat to prevent an endpoint) for statin drugs in the primary prevention of heart attacks and strokes is 100. That is to say you would need to have 100 people take a statin daily for 5 years in order to prevent 1 heart attack or stroke. Researchers consider a NNT above 50 as worthless. If you were offered an antibiotic for your sinus or urinary tract infection would you be satisfied with a NNT as low as 5 (a 1 in 5 chance of working)? Why do we accept a 1/100 chance with our hearts and accept all the negative effects of statin drugs. It does not make since. Just adding fish oil lowers the risk of heart attacks by 32%! Statins do nothing but raise the risk of cancer and death for 99/100 who take them to prevent a heart attack (note - the benefit is higher if you have already had a heart attack or stroke but again there are safer choices.)
Please see Business Week Cover Story January 17, 2008 http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/08_04/b4068052092994.htm?chan=search

CoQ 10 Depletion (Coenzyme Q10 or Ubiquinone)
Ubiquinone (a.k.a. Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10) is arguably our most important essential nutrient. Its role in energy production is to make possible the transfer of electrons from one protein complex to another within the inner membrane of the mitochondria to its ultimate recipient, ATP.The adult human body pool of this substance has been reported to be 2 grams and requires replacement of about 0.5 gms per day. This must be supplied by our body making it or dietary intake. Our ability to make CoQ10 decreases progressively in humans above age 21, and the average ubiquinone content of the western diet is less than 5 mg/day.


In the June 2004, Archives of Neurology, the Neurology Department of Columbia University reported a greater than 50% fall in plasma Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone) in their group taking Lipitor 80 mg for 30 days, in a striking documentation of the impact of statin therapy on ubiquinone biosynthesis.CHF and CoQ10 Depletion Depriving the body of this important nutrient for energy utilization would be expected to cause damage to the most active parts of our body like the heart and our immune system. Statin drug use has been noted to increase the incidence of congestive heart failure or CHF. This has been documented as well as the prompt response to statin induced CHF to CoQ10.Although the heart may be the first to show effects of ubiquinone deprivation, every cell and every tissue in the body is dependent upon mitochondrial energy supply.

Recently the relationship between chronic fatigue and ubiquinone deficiency has been reportedMitochondrial DNA Damage Our mitochondria enable us to use oxygen and therefore must be in contact with it. This makes having a strong defense against free radicals essential to prevent damage. Without adequate amounts of CoQ10 superoxide and hydroxyl radicals can cause oxidative damage to mitochondria DNA The resulting mitochondrial DNA mutations may contribute directly to many chronic muscle diseases (myopathies), diabetes and even aging itself.Ubiquinol Depletion Ubiquinone is related to ubiquinol which maintains cell membrane integrity. Ubiquinol depletion is felt to lead to the frequently fatal form of muscle damage known as rhabdomyolysis.


Additional Problems Caused by Statin Drugs


Low Levels of Vitamin D: Statins block the production of cholesterol which is the building block of vitamin D which becomes a very important hormone. If you lower your vitamin D and you may double your risk of death. June 2008 new study showed that vitamin-D deficiency is associated doubling the deaths from all causes. (see Dobnig H, Pilz S, Scharnagl H, et al. “Independent association of low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.” Arch Intern Med 2008; 168:1340-1349Low levels of hormones: Low hormonal status in associated with an increase in inflammation, heart disease, impotence, cognitive decline

Dolichol Synthesis Inhibition and Brain Dysfunction

The dolichols are another area of collateral damage from statin use. Dolichols direct proteins to their proper target. Without dolichols the proteins are sent to the wrong address. This results impaired neuropeptide formation which leads to abnormal emotions. The Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego published a paper called “Severe irritability associated with statin cholesterol-lowering drugs” which details even homicidal tendencies due to these medications You can read this article at: http://qjmed.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/97/4/229. Dr. Graveline recounted his experience taking Lipitor for only six weeks. Soon after he went for a walk, Dr. Graveline was found wandering, confused, and reluctant to enter his own home because he didn't recognize it or remember his wife's name. The amnesia cleared but came back again after restarting the Lipitor.

Cancer due to inhibition of NF-κB

NF-κB serves as an important regulator of genes that control cell multiplication proliferation. With this in mind it is not surprising that many different types of cancers have been associated with abnormal NF-κB activity.


Increased cancer deaths among recipients of statin drugs already are being observed. The PROSPER trial demonstrated that statin therapy increased the incidence of cancer deaths, completely offsetting the slight decrease in deaths from cardiovascular disease. The Journal of the American College of Cardiology revealed that driving down cholesterol levels actually triples the risk of cancer (Alsheikh-Ali, A. A. et al. J Am Coll Cardiol 2007; 50:409-418) http://content.onlinejacc.org/cgi/content/abstract/50/5/409


Natural Ways to Reduce Heart

DiseaseIs there a natural way to reduce inflammation and oxidative injury to our heart? Can we keep our hearts healthy? Absolutely! Proper nutrition, exercise, thyroid, hormones, fish oil, vitamins – C,D vitamins B6,12 and folic acid, CoQ10, lysine and proline, avoiding toxins and detoxification programs. Most of us do not eat enough fruit/vegetables (5-13 servings recommended daily). The Framingham Study showed a strong protective effect of fruits and vegetables. I highly recommend adding clinically proven supplemental fruit/vegetable capsules – 2 fruit in am and 2 vegetable caps in pm. These Fruit/vegetable capsules can be ordered at naturalwellnesschoices.com.


Summary

People take statin drugs because they are encouraged to do so by well done commercials & Ads which are reinforced by their well meaning doctors. FDA approval, well done ad campaigns and good intentions do not negate the basic problem: We are ingesting a poison to our delicate intracellular biochemistry and we are paying a heavy toll for it.
Any student of biochemistry and molecular biology would immediately point out the folly of trying to block cholesterol production at the expense of massive collateral damage. Statin drugs block the pathway involved in the production of life essential CoQ10, dolichols, vitamin D and hormones.


Even if you still believe in the cholesterol hypothesis, believe the studies which show their NNT – number needed to treat is 100. They just do not work. Even if cholesterol was the problem, statins would be a terrible solution – they do not work and they have far too much collateral damage.


Action points
Avoid statin drugs and take extra CoQ10 if you have ever taken a statin: 300-400 mg a day
Eat 5+ servings of fruit & vegetables & take fruit/vegetable capsules (see http://www.naturalwellnesschoices.com/ if you eat less
Eliminate Trans fats / partially hydrogenated fats such as corn oil and margarine. Use olive & coconut oil and butter instead
Optimize your Vitamin D status
Take a high quality fish oil like Nordic Naturals
Take Vitamin C, L-Lysine and L-Proline
Minimize intake of refined carbs - cookies, white bread, and even fruit juice
Avoid tap water (contains fluoride and chlorine)
Avoid Pesticides, Herbicides & Plastics
Take a daily combination of vitamins, CoQ10 Selenium, fish oil (i.e. Physicians Preference Power Pak) 1-2 /d
Exercise (Interval training and not just “cardio”
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)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Vitamin D and Mortality

The data continues to mount which strongly suggest a link between low levels of vitamin D many diseases such as cancer and heart disease. This June a new study showed that vitamin-D deficiency is associated doubling the deaths from all causes (known as all-cause mortality).

Why the low vitamin D levels?

We rarely see an optimal vitamin D level in our practice unless we have been helping our guests supplement by checking blood levels and making recommendations.
Over 95% of the results of our new guests show low, often very low vitamin D levels
It is probably related to factors such as urbanization, decreased outdoor activity, use of sun screen, air pollution and decreases in the skin production of vitamin D with age. The highest risk of extremely low vitamin D levels are the elderly and African Americans.

Dangers of low vitamin D

- Bone loss, falls, and fractures
- cancer rates dramatically increase
- immune dysfunction resulting in more infections & autoimmune diseases
- cardiovascular disease (i.e. heart attacks and stroke)
- hypertension – increased blood pressure
- metabolic syndrome (a.k.a. syndrome X or pre-diabetes)
- increased inflammation Low 25-hydroxyvitamin-D levels were also significantly correlated with markers of inflammation (C-reactive protein [CRP] and interleukin 6 [IL-6])
- oxidative stress increase (biologic rusting)
- Osteoporosis (painless) or osteomalacia. With osteomalacia muscle pain and proximal muscle weakness with symptoms such as sensation of heaviness in the legs, rapid fatigue, and problems with climbing stairs and getting up from a chair.
- Autoimmune disease. Any levels below 20 ng/ml are considered serious deficiency states and will increase your risk of breast and prostate cancer and autoimmune diseases like MS and rheumatoid arthritis.
- osteoarthritis and increase in pain experienced from it
- psoriasis
- seasonal affective disorder
- diabetes
- multiple sclerosis
- migraines
- polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Infertility

Vitamin D and Heart Health
Vitamin D has been noted to play a key role in fibrinolysis, blood lipids, thrombogenicity, endothelial regeneration, and smooth-muscle-cell growth.

Vitamin D Status is better than heart catherization at predicting death
The authors also report that the increase in risk of all-cause mortality with lower levels of vitamin D was seen regardless of the degree of coronary artery disease seen on angiography, and they comment: "Low 25-hydroxyvitamin-D and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin-D levels seem to be important mediators of mortality even when there is little or no indication of overt vascular disease."

Low Vitamin D Correlates with Doubling of Death Rate
Now, in addition to all the above concerns about low vitamin D, we have the doubling of the death rate of all causes.
I have noted that people tend to be diligent in taking their hormones than their vitamins. I hope this new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine will help everyone remember to have their vitamin D level checked and take your vitamin D daily (see Dobnig H, Pilz S, Scharnagl H, et al. Independent association of low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. Arch Intern Med 2008; 168:1340-1349).

Action Steps

Know your vitamin D status. The 25-OH Vitamin D level is considered the best test of vitamin D status and is the blood test you would want to get checked. Most labs list 30 100 ng/ml as normal. We consider 50-100 ng/ml to be optimal. We rarely see these levels achieved without supplementation.

Take Vitamin D Supplements
The correct form of vitamin D to take is vitamin D3 (not D2) – this is what we have in Physicians Preference, 1000 IU / cap. We are looking to add a capsule with more D in it to reduce the number of caps.

Pending having your 25-OH (hydroxy) Vitamin D level done I would recommend taking at least 2000 IU of Vitamin D (D3) daily
Note, you may be susceptible to toxicity at lower dosages if you have excess blood calcium levels, hyperparathyroidism or granulomatous diseases such as sarcoidosis

To your health!


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

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Hormones are Critical to Health

Below are some thoughts to help clarify the confusion we hear in the media. If you are really interested there are extensive footnotes at the end for more research.


Hormones Are Critical for Health


Without hormones, we cannot live. Why then do we speak as though hormones are dangerous substances? And why do we assume that the harmful effects of non-hormones will be like those of our endogenous hormones?

The answer is suggested by the fact that medical students and doctors in training have minimal exposure to physiology and massive exposure to pharmacology. Exogenous chemicals, different from the actual hormone they are meant to replace, are used interchangeably in clinical practice, the popular press, and in prestigious medical journals, producing much of the controversy that surrounds hormone replacement

With the increase in life expectancy we enjoy in the 21st century, we can expect to live a substantial part of our lives in a state of hormonal deficiency. The age-related decline in hormones produces many of the diseases associated with midlife. We have several options:

1) Do nothing and experience the adverse effects of hormonal deficiency
2) Take exogenous chemicals (drugs) to ameliorate the effects resulting from this decline; or
3) Treat the root causes of disease by replacing exactly what is missing.

Hormonal decline is associated with a loss of function as well as an increase in diseases such as heart disease. Effects include bone loss, cognitive decline, loss of muscle mass, and thinning of skin.

There are many specific benefits of hormonal supplementation. Testosterone reduces neuronal secretion of Alzheimer's β-amyloid peptides and improves cognitive function. Progesterone increases bone mass. Mood is improved with testosterone and progesterone. Hormones also improve sleep; decrease inflammation; ameliorate chronic fatigue; improve sexual function, mood, muscle strength, and body composition; normalization blood clotting; improved spatial recognition; and induced apoptosis of breast cancer cells.

The Importance of the Identical Structure

Molecular structure determines activity. The smallest of changes can completely change the physiologic effect. Consider how similar testosterone is to one of the estrogens – Estrone. While chemically they are very close to one another – we all know the effects of these two hormones differ radically.


Why the Confusion?
Much of the confusion about bioidentical hormone replacement flows from the failure to distinguish hormones from non-hormones. Obtaining FDA approval for a hormone-mimicking compound, such as medroxyprogesterone (Provera) or conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin), does not turn it into a hormone. Unfortunately, many scholarly articles have even referred to Provera as “progesterone,” and to and conjugated equine estrogens as “estrogen.”

Before the release of the results of the Woman’s Health Initiative (WHI), the medical community expected PremPro to help mitigate the postmenopausal increase in cardiovascular disease. While the extract of pregnant mares urine known as Premarin does contain one human estrogen, Estrone, it also contains numerous equine estrogens foreign to human physiology. The WHI study demonstrated that the combination of Premarin with Provera produces the following adverse effects: a 26% increase in risk of invasive breast cancer; a 29% increase in risk of myocardial infarction or death from CHD; a 41% increase in risk of stroke; and a 200% increase in risk of 200 % increased risk thromboembolism.

The Importance and Safety of Progesterone Supplementation

Many of the adverse effects in the WHI apparently result from the failure to use the human hormone progesterone. We should not expect the exogenous chemical medroxyprogesterone to necessarily have the same physiologic effect. Physicians who prescribe bioidentical hormones emphasize the importance of balancing estrogens with progesterone, rather than progestins. There are critically important differences between the two.

Progesterone is a pregnancy class B drug. It is used in assisted reproductive technology as Crinone and may be useful for pre-term labor. Medroxyprogesterone is a pregnancy class X drug—a compound known to cause birth defects, and never to be used in pregnancy.

Progesterone and physiologic levels of estrogens down-regulate inflammation. Medroxyprogesterone prevents the cardioprotective and anti-inflammatory effects of estradiol.

In contrast to medroxyprogesterone, several lines of evidence suggest that progesterone reduces breast cancer risk. It is known to have an anti-proliferative effect.

Higher Progesterone levels correlate with dramatically lower rates of Breast Cancer

1. A low progesterone level has been correlated with a 500% increase in premenopausal breast cancer risk in women experiencing infertility when compared with infertile women with normal hormone levels.

2. Contrariwise, a higher progesterone level in premenopausal women correlates with lower risk of breast cancer. Comparing the highest with the lowest tertile for progesterone in women with regular menses, the adjusted risk for breast cancer was 0.12 or about 1/8 the risk.


Combined these two studies suggest progesterone may have a dramatic protective effect against breast cancer. A potential mechanism for the protective effect is suggested by an in vitro study that evaluated the effect of progesterone on the growth of T47-D breast cancer cells. It demonstrated increased breast cancer cell death (apoptosis) as mediated by regulation of the controlling genes.

The Essential Balance between Progesterone and Estrogen

Physiologically, progesterone levels fall faster than estrogens; therefore, progesterone supplementation is typically needed years before estrogen declines. The physiologic role of progesterone goes far beyond the need to prevent unopposed estrogen stimulation of the endometrium of the uterus. The French E3N-EPIC study showed that while estrogen alone slightly increased the risk of breast cancer (up 10%) the risk was actually reduced 10% when estrogen was combined with progesterone. Independent of the presence or absence of the uterus, progesterone (not progestins) should always be used to balance estrogen.

Why Estriol?

Although estriol has been used in western Europe since the mid-1900s, most U.S. physicians are not familiar with it. It offers most of the benefits of estradiol, such as relief of vasomotor symptoms and vaginal atrophy, but appears safer.

One argument for the safety of estriol (as well as progesterone) is that human zygotes have been demonstrated to experience healthy embryogenesis and development in a milieu of high estriol and progesterone concentrations—levels present physiologically during pregnancy.


If carcinogenesis does not occur with high levels of estriol during the most fragile phase of life, why should it be expected at much lower levels in mature adults? Estriol has even been shown to protect against carcinogen-induced breast cancer. Clinical studies have demonstrated that daily dosing results in minimal proliferation of breast and endometrial tissue.

Studies on the ability of estriol to prevent bone loss have produced inconsistent results. For this reason many physicians use Bi-Est with 20% estradiol and 80% estriol.
Currently the FDA is banning the use of estriol on the basis that it has not gone through new-drug FDA approval—even though the FDA has said that there is no safety issue with estriol and despite its inverse correlation with breast cancer (i.e. the more estriol, the lower the rate of cancer). This blatant play to big pharma should enrage all who love freedom. Let freedom ring! Please go to www.projectfans.org and let your congressmen hear from you.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Vitamin D & Breast Cancer; The Leptin Diet reviewed

Staying Healthy with …..
Natural Wellness Choices
www.naturalwellnesschoices.com


June 1, 2008,

In this issue:

Vitamin D status dramatically effects breast cancer outcomes
The Leptin Diet


Inadequate Levels of Vitamin D Linked to Sharply Increased Odds of Cancer Spread and Death

Vitamin D deficiency is common among women diagnosed with breast cancer, and it may raise the risk of cancer spread and death, researchers report.

In a new study, women with vitamin D deficiency at the time of breast cancer diagnosis were:
94% more likely to experience cancer spread
73% more likely to die over the next 10 years compared to women with adequate vitamin D levels

More than 1 in 3 women studied had a vitamin D deficiency.

The findings are scheduled to be reported at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago.

Vitamin D Puts Brakes on Breast Cancer
Vitamin D is found in some foods, especially milk and fortified cereals, and is made by the body after exposure to sunlight. It is necessary for bone health, and some studies suggest that it may protect women from developing breast cancer in the first place.
The author of the study, Goodwin, points out that from a biological point of view, it makes sense that vitamin D would put the brakes on breast cancer development and spread. "Breast cancer cells have vitamin D receptors, and when these receptors are activated by vitamin D, it triggers a series of molecular changes that can slow down cell growth, cause cells to die, and make the cancer less aggressive," she says.

For the new study, Goodwin and colleagues measured vitamin D levels in the blood of 512 women diagnosed with breast cancer in Toronto between 1989 and 1995. They were followed for a median of 12 years.

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Poor Breast Cancer Prognosis
After 10 years, 83% of women with adequate levels were alive without signs of cancer spread (metastasis) vs. only 69% of women with vitamin D deficiency. Most of the deaths were from breast cancer.

Vitamin D Testing & Optimal Dosing of Vitamin D
At the Hotze Health and Wellness Center we routinely monitor the vitamin D status with the 25 – Hydroxy Vitamin D level. Some physicians are not aware of which test to order – it should be the 25-OH Vitamin D also written as 25-hydroxy-vitamin D3 level.
If you have not had your vitamin D level checked, I would suggest you take 2000 IU of Vitamin D. Most need more than this dose to be in the optimal zone; however, You should not take more without knowing your blood level. Too much vitamin D can be harmful just like too little. We try to keep the blood level between 50 and 100.
Goodwin and colleagues are now trying to confirm the findings in a second, similar study; results are due by the end of the year. If confirmed, the next step will be a study to determine whether giving supplements actually lowers the risk of recurrence and death in women with breast cancer.

The Leptin Diet
Do you eat after dinner?
Do you snack between meals?
Do you eat a breakfast containing a lot of protein?
Do you tend to eat fast?
Do you regularly eat products with sugar or made from flour such as bread, pasta, pizza, cereal, cakes, cookies, crackers or tortillas?
Do you drink soft drinks? Regular or diet?
Is your waist size (at belly button level) >40 inches (>102cm) for men, and a waist size of >35 inches (>88 cm) for women? (see Appendix A)

If you answered yes to these questions you may a problem you have never heard of: leptin resistance

I recently read “The Leptin Diet” by Byron J. Richards. Before I read this book I had heard of leptin and knew it was involved in fat metabolism; however, I did not appreciate how central it role is. Byron Richards shows that the hormone made by our fat cells called leptin plays a crucial role in our overall health. Leptin also effects our ovaries, thyroid levels, pancreas and pituitary and the brain itself.

One major paradigm shift I have made is that I now think of fat as a major part of our endocrine system. We should start referring to our endocrine system as consisting of our thyroid, ovary, adrenals, pancreas and …fat. Leptin resistance explains a big part of what we address every day in our office. We are not just addressing the age related decline in the production of some hormones but the decreased utilization of all hormones including thyroid and testosterone due to the global hormone resistance produced by leptin resistance.
It is incorrect to assume that if an individual takes Armour thyroid that their weight issues will always resolve. Leptin resistance develops when we keep our triglyceride levels up with too much simple carbohydrates, eating too late in the day and by eating too frequently. I would recommend everyone read this book; especially those who wish to lose weight, lower triglycerides, reduce inflammation (i.e. the CRP) or slow the aging process.

How Leptin Problems Develop
Excessive Sugars à Triglycerides increase à Triglycerides block leptin entrance into the brain causing leptin Resistance à Body Acts like it is Starving: Hunger goes up; thyroid function is down regulated à Fat Cells swell as a result of leptin resistance and this produces low thyroid function à Swollen fat cells activate the inflammatory cascade via NF-kappa B activation which results in the production of adipokines à Inflammation results in global hormone resistance including insulin resistance and peripheral hypothyroidism due to the inhibition of the conversion of T4 to T3 à inflammation and hormone resistance produce the clinical pictures we see daily such as obesity, heart disease, depression, fatigue and premature aging
The pathway to health is to avoid simple sugars, eat protein with complex carbohydrates and work with the circadian rhythm of our body which likes nutrition to be robust in the morning and sparse in the evening. These concepts are summarized in the Five Rules.

5 Rules for Managing Leptin:

Rule 1: Never eat after dinner. Allow eleven to twelve hours between dinner and breakfast. Never go to bed on a full stomach. Finish eating dinner at least 3 hours before going to bed. Leptin follows a 24 hour pattern: it is highest in the evening hours and peaks late at night. It coordinates the function of melatonin, thyroid hormone, growth hormone, sex hormones and the immune system to carry out rejuvenating sleep.

Rule 2: Eat three meals a day. Allow 5-6 hours between meals and do not snack
Most advise eating 5-6 small meals a day or to snack between meals to maintain a steady blood sugar level and to keep the metabolism stoked with food. It is vital to create times during the day when triglycerides are cleared from the blood. If triglycerides build up during the day, they physically impede the entry of leptin into the brain causing leptin resistance.
When we snack we cause a rise in insulin which shuts off our fat burning mode.

Rule 3: Do not eat large meals. Eat slowly

Rule 4: Eat a breakfast containing protein. A high protein meal can increase metabolism by thirty percent for as long as twelve hours (the calorie burning equivalent of a two to three mile jog.) The two signs of a poor breakfast are 1) being unable to make it five hours to lunch without food cravings or a crash of energy and 2) being much more prone to leptin resistance later that afternoon or evening, a condition that sets in motion strong food cravings.

Rule 5: Reduce the amount of carbohydrates you eat
The whole purpose of the Leptin Diet is to create energy and metabolic efficiency to the body. Those with normal weight will get more energy from it and those who need to lose weight will find it will help normalize weight. Richards states that a person needs to be in a normal leptin mode for a good 6 months before the new set point is truly in place. There may be numerous temptations that divert one from the fat-burning mode but we need to stick to the five rules. Our fat cells are waiting to refill themselves at a moments notice. We must avoid breaking the Five Rules to prevent going into the Famine Recovery mode in which we try to put on extra fat to protect us from the next ‘famine’.

TESTING FOR LEPTIN RESISTANCE: THE TAPE MEASURE
An abdominal pouch an important red flag that we are dealing with leptin resistance. Another way of saying this is: “If the waist is resisting staying in – we have leptin resistance.”

Legumes
Richards points out that all long-lived healthy cultures have legumes in their diet. Legumes of Mediterranean people include lentils, chickpeas and white peas. Scandinavians eat more brown beans and peas. Japanese enjoy soy in the form of tofu, natto and miso. Research shows that for every 80 calories of legumes the risk of premature death is reduced by 8%.
We generally should avoid one legume – soybeans. Years ago soy protein was thrown away and considered useless. Then the soy industry got the idea to come up with trying to extrapolate from ethnic soy use and convince people to eat soy protein for health reasons. The idea worked and has made the soy industry millions and is causing digestive problems, poor thyroid function and poor hormone signaling. On top of all this 90% of all soy in the US is genetically modified. Peanuts are actually not a nut but a legume; however, peanuts can be contaminated with aflatoxin (a dangerous mycotoxin). Generally we should be limiting our peanut intake.

Got Isoprenoids?
Whole grains, fruits and vegetables contain nutrients known as isoprenoids. These nutrients often give vegetables and fruit their deep colors and can deactivate oncogenes (cancer causing genes). Cultures with a diet of fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains have a lower rate of cancer. Ideally these foods should be organic since organophosphate pesticides are toxic to living cells and work in the opposite direction of the health benefits.
Most vegetables qualify as an unlimited food. We should eat a variety of colors. Juicing vegetables is okay as long as we get enough other fiber in our diet. However, vegetable juice primarily from carrots has too much sugar.

Corn, squash, carrots and potatoes are higher in sugar content and need to be considered as part of the carbohydrate total of a meal.

If you are not eating at least 5 servings a day, I highly recommend adding fruit/vegetable capsules to your daily regimen. You can order them at www.naturalwellnesschoices.com

Skewed taste buds
The taste of simple sugar is a major source of pleasure based addiction. The tongue has leptin receptors on it – we need to rebalance these receptors. Using no calorie sweetners should be avoided because they numb the receptors to leptin. By avoiding these sweet nothings we get rid of the cravings for sugar.

Glycemic Diet caveats
Potatoes get a bad rap in that if they are eaten with protein they have a much lower glycemic index than when eating separately or with excess calories.
We need more fiber in our diet. Fiber is found in whole grains, fruit, nuts, seeds, vegetables and legumes.

Fat & Milk
A 2004 study from the British Journal of Nutrition found that milk fat intake is inversely correlated with heart disease and the risk for a heart attack. Surprisingly the insulin and leptin levels were lower in relationship to the higher percentage of milk fat in the diet. 2% milk is fine as long as the total calories in a meal does not get too high.

Leptin problems and Addictions
There is a fine line between healthy pleasure seeking, eating and addictions. Individuals who develop leptin problems are at significantly increased risk for developing addictions to substances (alcohol or drugs) as well as addictive behavioral patterns (sexual compulsions, gambling, shopping). The widespread use of brain medications in children, medications which produce dopamine surges or alter appetite signals, it setting the stage for late life problems with addictions. The apparent need for brain meds in children is likely due to poor brain development in the womb and early childhood.

Things to avoid
MSG is a neurotoxin. It damages the structure in the brain that is supposed to be registering the leptin signal of fullness. MSG makes us act like the mouse that makes no leptin and no normal appetite regulation.

HFCS: High Fructose Corn Syrup is devastating to metabolism. The standard way to induce diabetes in rats is to give them high fructose corn syrup and excess saturated fat.

Perchlorates – Lettuce woes and tap water blues
The water supply in many regions of the United States is contaminated with perchlorate, a rocket fuel ignition catalyst. Perchlorates bind to the thyroid gland more tightly than iodine and disrupt metabolism. Almost all lettuce contains high amounts of perchlorates. The only way to avoid it is to buy produce grown in regions which do not have a perchlorate contaminated water supply. Unfortunately, California, Arizona, Texas and Florida all have serious perchlorate contamination issues.

To your health!

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

Appendix A How to measure waist circumference
Fat in your belly is linked with greater health risks than fat from other parts of your body. Measuring the circumference of your waist, or how wide your torso is all the way around, is an easy way to determine whether you have excess fat in your abdominal area. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1. PREPARE
Use a soft tape measure to assess your waist size. Pull up or remove your shirt and lower the waistline of your skirt, shorts or pants, if needed, so that your middle is exposed. Stand in front of a mirror, if possible, to make sure you’re positioning the tape measure correctly.

Step 2. FIND THE RIGHT SPOT
Press your fingers into your torso near the right side of your waist. Push your fingers into your skin to find the bony pelvis. Keep pushing and moving your fingers along the edge of the hip bone until you find the top curve of the bone. This spot is known as the iliac crest. The highest point will be located on the side of your torso, just underneath the lower portion of your ribcage. Generally, this spot will be at around the same level as your bellybutton, and near, or at, the narrowest part of your torso.

Step 3. WRAP THE TAPE MEASURE
Position the tape measure horizontally at this spot at the top of your hip bone. Then circle it around your abdomen and entire torso. Make sure that the tape lies horizontal on all sides of your torso. Place the end of the tape measure which reads “0” at the spot on the tape where the loop circles your waist completely.

Step 4. MEASURE
Avoid sucking in your gut. Stand up straight and exhale gently as you pull the tape so that it stays taut against your body, but make sure it is not squeezing into your skin. Look at the number at the point where the “0” end of the tape intersects around your waist. This is your waist measurement.
A waist size of >40 inches (>102cm) for men, and a waist size of >35 inches (>88 cm) for women is considered high-risk. A high number may indicate that you have excess fat in your abdominal area. If your BMI is 25 or higher, this can increase your risk of certain diseases such as type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia (uncontrolled cholesterol), high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.


Appendix B How To Read Labels On Fruits And Veggies - Yes They Have Labels
We hear daily to read labels on packages of food, pet food cleaning products, vitamins and more, but did you know fruits and vegetables have important labels also? Today the banana might not be just an average banana. If you care about how your food is grown the label tells all.As much as we may dislike them, the stickers or labels attached to fruit do more than speed up the scanning process at the checkout stand.

The PLU code, or price lookup number printed on the sticker, tells you how the fruit was grown.As reported by Maria Gallagher, in the June 26, 2002 issue of the Philadelphia Inquirer, by reading the PLU code, you can tell if the fruit was genetically modified, organically grown or produced with chemical fertilizers, fungicides, or herbicides.Here's how it works:For conventionally grown fruit, (grown with chemicals inputs), the PLU code on the sticker consists of four numbers.

Organically grown fruit has a five-numeral PLU prefaced by the number 9.
Genetically engineered* (GM) fruit has a five-numeral PLU prefaced by the number 8.

For example,A conventionally grown banana would be: 4011

Note: All combinations of the four-digit code beginning with the numeral "4" have been used up, so new labels beginning with the numeral "3" will also be used to designate conventionally raised produce.An organic banana would be: 94011A genetically engineered (GE or GMO) banana would be: 84011

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Are Genetically Modified Foods Safe?

Staying Healthy with
Natural Wellness Choices
www.naturalwellnesschoices.com


April 28, 2008



Inside: Genetically Modified Food (GMO)

As an undergraduate at Vanderbilt, I studied molecular biology and absolutely loved it. In the lab we could do amazing things like take enzymes and isolate genes and insert them into other species to impart new traits (and this was back in the early 1980’s). Now we have strong evidence that despite the wide use of GMO products, they are not safe.

The health information is from the book Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risk of Genetically Engineered Foods, by Jeffrey M. Smith and related websites. I have hear Jeffrey Smith speak twice and have all his books. I highly recommend all of his resources. Please see:

www.seedsofdeception.com
www.responsibletechnology.org
www.truefoodnow.org/shoppersguide
www.truefoodnow.org/documents/guide%208_11%20layout.pdf

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Plastic, Butter, Carotenoids and Smart Gene

Staying Healthy with
Natural Wellness Choices
www.naturalwellnesschoices.com


March 30, 2008



Inside:

Why we should avoid plastic
Butter as a health food
Boosting Carotinoids
Fish Oil & Our Smart Gene



Plastics – We really do need to avoid it

A recent study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered that about 93% of the United States population have bisphenol-A in their body at a median concentration of 2.7 ppb. A group of BPA experts determined that the average levels seen in people are above those seen to cause harm to animals during laboratory experiments.

Why should you be concerned? BPA has been associated with:

Obesity
Type 2 diabetes (and metabolic resistance)
Estrogen dominance – BPA mimics the hormone estrogen.
Abnormal sexual organ development
Hyperactivity
Schizophrenia
Enlarged prostate gland
Breast cells predisposed to cancer
Decline in testicular testosterone
Breast cells predisposed to cancer
Reversal of normal sex difference in brain structure


Bisphenol-A (BPA) is mainly found in polycarbonate plastic, which is labeled with the number 7; in plastic food wrap, and in the resins that coat the inside of metal cans for food. It is so prevalent in today's products that it is even in refrigerator shelving, water bottles, baby bottles, plastic food storage containers, water pipes, flooring and as a fire retardant.Studies have shown harmful biological effects on animals using low-doses of the chemical and harmful effects on humans have been observed outside of studies. Hormone disrupting effects have been shown to occur at levels of application as low as 2-5 parts per billion and many canned foods are within and over this range.

Bottom Line: Plastics including Bisphenol-A can be hard to completely avoid but it is wise to store and heat food in glass or metal – never plastic. This is especially important for women of child bearing age before and during pregnancy as well as small children.


Is Butter a health food?

Speaking of plastic, margarine is similar to plastic. Most of you know that butter is better than margarine – a synthetic material not far from the molecular structure of plastic. I recently reviewed an article on butter by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, PhD. They demonstrate that butter contains ingredients which has numerous positive effects such as: antioxidant, antifungal (yes – it can fight yeast), anticancer, bone building qualities, great source of vitamins A, K2, D & E as well as the important trace mineral Selenium. Butter also contains Lecithin for fat metabolism and cholesterol which has anti-oxidant properties.

Butter contains short and medium chain triglycerides which enhance metabolism and weight loss along with strengthening the immune system.

Butter even has iodine for the thyroid gland.


Got Carotenoids?

I recently had my carotenoid level measured will attending the A4M – Anti-Aging Conference this past December. The person doing the scan said he had only seen 2 with a level higher than mine – out of hundreds. The main source of carotenoids I was taking was fruit/vegetable capsules



Fish Oil & Smart Gene

Did you hear about the discovery of a “smart gene”? It’s called homologene 7245. It codes for “brain-derived neurotrophic factor” (BDNF).
BDNF enhances the growth and health of nearly every kind of brain cell, including:
synapses (the connections between nerve cells)
synaptic transmission (how neurons talk to each other)
the formation of the “glial” cells that support brain tissue
the development of dendrites (your brain cells’ “antennae,” these cells receive signals from other parts of the brain and communicate them to the cell body)
brain cell formation and protection
A nutrient you can take to stimulate BDNF production is already readily available. It is one of the two main components of fish-derived omega-3 –“docosahexaenoic acid,” or DHA.

Evidence has been mounting over the past several years that highlight just how critical BDNF is to brain function – and DHA’s power to activate it:

In a landmark study published in the American Journal of Nutrition, researchers showed that breast-fed infants whose mothers who took 200 mg of DHA per day outperformed DHA-deficient infants at every level. They had better hand-eye coordination, as well as enhanced “gross motor skills” like standing up, walking, going up and down stairs, and keeping their balance.

Researchers at UCLA found that rats given high levels of DHA enjoyed significantly higher BDNF levels. They were far more resistant to injury from brain trauma. And those who didn’t get enough DHA in their diet suffered from learning disabilities.

A recent Japanese study added to the good news: memory and learning ability improved dramatically with boosted BDNF production.

Turning on the “smart gene” is as easy as taking high quality fish oil. I recommend Nordic Naturals – at least 2 caps or ½ tsp a day.

In the first year of life, continue breast-feeding and getting your DHA. Children also benefit from taking at least 100 mg of DHA from six months on.

From years 2-5, ramp it up to at least 200 mg per day. Physicians Preference carries Nordic Naturals for children but I found that my child loves the liquid since she was raised on it.

Cod liver oil is also a great source of DHA as well as vitamin D and A.


To your health!


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

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Absolute Tooth: Dental Related Disease Part 1

Many of you are concerned about the effects of mercury on your health. Below is Part 1 on the issue of amalgam related disease. Please note that only a dentist trained to safely remove amalgams should do so. You can learn more by reading:

http://iaomt.org/

www.hugginsappliedhealing.com


Did you know that “Silver” fillings are 50% mercury?

Dental amalgam has been controversial ever since it was introduced, early in the nineteenth century, because of its mercury content. People of the Napoleonic era knew full well that mercury was poisonous, and the best that anyone has ever claimed about amalgam is that the mercury exposure may be too small to hurt anyone. Over time, though, a great body of evidence has accumulated showing that mercury is release from amalgam in significant quantities, that it spreads around the body, including from mother to fetus, and that the exposure causes physiological harm. This article will sketch out the main points of the scientific case against amalgam.

The toxic effects of mercury, including dementia and loss of motor control, were common knowledge in the post–Napoleonic era, and many dentists objected to the obvious disadvantage of using such a dangerous material in people’s mouths. In 1845, the American Society of Dental Surgeons asked its members to sign a pledge never to use it. The economics were compelling, though as they remain today. At a time when the only other feasible restorative material was gold, amalgam looked to be the restorative material for the masses. Then, as today, patients did not show signs of acute poisoning as they left the dentist’s office, so there did not appear to be a problem. As the use of amalgam grew, the American Society of Dental Surgeons fell apart, and in 1859, the pro–amalgam faction formed the American Dental Association, the same organization that leads the dental profession in the USA to this day, and remains steadfast in its defense of amalgam.

The argument was reopened in the late 1970’s, as modern methods of detecting the presence of trace amounts of mercury were introduced, including mass spectrophotometry and the Jerome mercury vapor detector.

There is a formidable body of evidence establishing the chain of toxic events:

1) amalgam releases significant amounts of mercury

2) the mercury distributes to tissues around the body, and is the biggest source of mercury body burden

3) the mercury from amalgam crosses the placenta and into breast milk, resulting in significant pre- and post-partum exposures for infants

4) adverse physiological changes occur from that exposure on the immune, renal, reproductive and central nervous systems, as well as the oral and intestinal flora

The current best accepted reference on absorbed dose of mercury from amalgam fillings comes from the World Health Organization proceedings of 1991. The conclusion of that group was that the average person in the industrial world with an average number of amalgam fillings, and no occupational exposure to mercury would absorb between 3 – 17 μg per day, with an average of 10 μg, from the fillings; 2.3 μg from all dietary sources; and 0.3 μg from all other environmental sources.

Does the mercury in ‘silver amalgams’ get out of the tooth to effect our body?

You must see “The Smoking Tooth” at: http://iaomt.org/videos/

A pioneer in researching the link between unexplained diseases and our dental practices is Dr. Hal Huggins. The following are diseases that Dr. Huggins has related to the presence of dental mercury and root canals:

Multiple sclerosis
Lou Gehrig's disease
Alzheimer's
Parkinson's
Seizures
Diabetes
Arthritis
High blood pressure
High cholesterol
"Female problems" (long list)
Infertility

Other dental toxins that adversely effect the immune system or overall general health

Nickel
Present in crowns, bridges, orthodontic braces, children's chrome crowns and some removable partial dentures.

Root canals
Anaerobic bacteria within root canal teeth produce toxins that are among the most poisonous chemicals on the planet. For this reason, they can produce disease at little more than the molecular level. Far below what can be seen on an X-ray. Just a handful of molecules can create autoimmune diseases in susceptible people.
Important to know is that the problem is the presence of these toxins in the periodontal ligament - the attachment between tooth and bone, and not in the pulp chamber. While a dentist can sterilize a column of air in the center of a tooth the tooth is dead and a healthy body will reject dead things and this can create an immune action around the dead part.

Implants
This is a bad topic, again, because both dentistry and patients have adopted them wholeheartedly. Financially rewarding and easy to sell. No one wants removable appliances in their mouth, nor the additional care it takes to wear these appliances. Anything implanted in bone will create an autoimmune response. The only difference is the amount of time it takes.

Cavitations
Although described by the Father of Modern Dentistry, Dr. G.V. Black in the early 1900's, and published in many dental articles (mostly outside the US), they are unknown to many dentists. Even the ADA claims they do not exist. When a tooth is removed, the periodontal ligament that attaches the tooth to bone (similar to the afterbirth around a fetus) is left in according to instructions from dental schools. The ligament often prevents bone healing of the socket area. Today, this hole is termed a "cavitation". These holes left unhealed are generally lined with necrotic (dead) bone and many of the same anaerobic bacteria that are found in dead or root canal teeth. The ones that are often related to autoimmune diseases. Porphyrins (the energy producing molecule in the blood stream) are particularly attacked by products within the cavitation, therefore offering less oxygen transport and energy molecules for healing and daily operation of the body

Maternal – fetal transfer of mercury

Babies, with their still-developing nervous systems, are known to be more sensitive to the effects of mercury exposure than adults. Pediatric authorities say: “The developing fetus and young children are thought to be disproportionately affected by mercury exposure, because many aspects of development, particularly brain maturation, can be disturbed by the presence of mercury. Minimizing mercury exposure is, therefore, essential to optimal child health." And “Mercury in all of its forms is toxic to the fetus and children, and efforts should be made to reduce exposure to the extent possible to pregnant women and children as well as the general population.”

Immune System:
The “allergic hypersensitivity” to mercury issue is interesting. It is not very, very rare, as certain dental authorities would have us believe. The North American Contact Dermatitis Group, in 1972, determined that 5 - 8% of the US population demonstrates allergy to mercury by skin patch testing.

Renal System:
Mercury, we now know, concentrates in the kidneys, and experimental evidence shows that it can inhibit kidney function.

Are dentists harming themselves?
One of the statements made to support the use of amalgam has been that dentists’ health status is not different from that of the general population, despite the fact that we are exposed in our work to mercury. One must remember that they follow hygiene rules such as always using gloves, storing scrap amalgam in tightly closed containers under various liquids to prevent vapors from escaping in the office and disposing of it with licensed hazardous waste handlers. Even so, there is some evidence that mercury–exposed dentists and staff do suffer various effects.


In one study, dentists with high baseline urinary mercury levels showed neuropsychological and motor control deficits. In another, dentists and staff with high mercury levels, proven by DMPS challenge, had altered porphyrin (hemoglobin) metabolism, as well as neurobehavioral changes, including impairment of attention, motor and perceptual skills, and increased irritability.
In a survey of 7,000 female dental assistants, a subgroup of 418 women who placed over 30 amalgams per week, and had poor mercury hygiene habits, had a low fertility rate of 63%


To your health!

Don Ellsworth, M.D. naturalwellnesschoices@gmail.com
www.naturalwellnesschoices.com

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Emotional Freedom Technique,Benefits of Tea, Vytorin Study results,Detoxification

Inside:

How to live an extra 14 years
EFT – A Rapid, Free and Powerful Tool
Benefits of Tea
Lessons from Vytorin
Diabetes increased by Organochlorines

How to Live an extra 14 years
Stay active, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, drink in moderation and don’t smoke.
You’ll live an extra 14 years, according to a study of 20,000 people in the U.K. who were between the ages of 45 and 79 and had cardiovascular disease or cancer. Researchers signed the patients up in the mid-’90s and followed them until ‘06. The steps seem remarkably manageable. Being active simply meant having a non-sedentary job or doing some form of recreational exercise for a half hour a day. Lots of fruits and vegetables meant five or more servings a day. And moderate drinking meant between one and 14 drinks per week. Khaw KT, Wareham N, Bingham S, Welch A, Luben R, et al. (2008) Combined Impact of Health Behaviours and Mortality in Men and Women: The EPIC-Norfolk Prospective Population Study . PLoS Med 5(1): e12 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050012

If you are not getting at least 5 servings daily you should increase your intake and I highly recommend adding the clinically proven concentrated fruits and vegetables in capsules.

EFT – Tapping for Health

The first time I ran across EFT about 5 years ago I must say it seemed a bit unusual. If you are unfamiliar with emotional freedom technique, I would ask you to keep an open mind as you look into it. If you stop and think about it, energy travels through the body and we use this all the time to evaluate how the brain and heart are working (EEG and EKG). In the East they take the concept of energy flow to its logical extension – they use it for both diagnosis and treatment. We know from actually measuring the energy on the surface of the body that there are meridians in which the energy travels. When the flow is altered it produces diseases which are both emotional and physical.

These ideas have been largely ignored in the West but recently Gary Craig has developed a modified form of acupuncture that uses no needles and can be done at home. You stimulate well established energy meridian points on your body by tapping on them with your fingertips. The process is easy to memorize and is portable so you can do it anywhere. Emotional Freedom Technique ot EFT works to correct the flow of energy and resolve many issues quickly. Again, I know it sounds strange but take a look at the video and website below and give it a try. I would love to hear your results at naturalwellnesschoices@gmail.com

Why I like EFT?
1. EFT often works where nothing else will
2. EFT is free or very low cost
3. EFT has no side effects
4. EFT works quickly
See the Emofree Video
Visit http://www.emofree.com/


Tea for Health (white, black, oolong, green – they are all good for you!)
Human use of tea began between four and six thousand years ago. Today, tea is the most commonly consumed beverage in the world (after water) and with good reason. In addition to being a delicious, low-calorie beverage, research has shown that tea has numerous health benefits:


  • Promotes a healthier immune system and can help ward off infection
    Helps prevent hypertension
    Can increase thermogenesis which may help aid in natural weight loss
    Antioxidant -destroys free radicals
    Shows evidence of preventing and destroying certain tumors and cancer cells
    Decreases stress
    Decreases food cravings
    Reduce the build up of bacteria-causing plague

What is Tea?
We tend to call many beverages “tea”. Technically, tea is the dried and processed leaves of Camellia sinensis, a tree indigenous to Asia.


There are four main types of actual tea (Camellia sinensis): black, oolong, green and white. Black tea is the strongest in flavor and highest in caffeine content. Black tea is produced when the tea leaves undergo an oxidation process which causes them to turn black. Oolong tea is slightly less oxidized than Black tea and has less caffeine. The term ‘red tea’ may refer to either black or oolong tea. Green tea is steamed, rolled and dried immediately after harvest so that the oxidation process is halted - allowing the leaves to retain their green color rather than turning black. White tea is the least processed - the young tea buds are simply picked and air-dried.


Tea, like all plant materials, contains numerous chemical compounds called phytochemicals. The health benefits of tea have been mainly attributed to a particular group of phytochemicals called flavonoids. Flavonoids have wide-ranging beneficial effects on the body. They act as antioxidants, meaning that they deactivate free radicals that can cause cellular damage. Other mechanisms for their health benefits are currently being studied. Researchers believe that compounds in tea may reduce cancer promoters and neutralize enzymes that are necessary for tumor growth.


Recent research has found that tea may protect against heart disease and many types of cancer, reduce inflammation, reduce blood pressure, increase bone density and boost the immune system. There is enough evidence to become a moderate tea drinker even if only half of these benefits pan out with further research.


Which type of tea is the best for your health? They are all very beneficial. Black only has slightly less antioxidants than the less oxidized green. In a study involving bladder cancer cells, green tea extract seemed to make the cancer cells behave oddly. They matured sooner, bound together tightly, and had a hard time multiplying. Another study found that men who drank oolong tea plus green tea extract lost more weight and total body fat, compared with men who drank plain oolong tea. Also, the green tea drinkers had lower LDL cholesterol.


On average, a cup of black tea contains about one third of the caffeine you would get from the same cup of coffee. Green tea contains about one sixth of that amount. The caffeine content will vary with the particular tea and the brewing time. Unlike coffee, tea has a lot of the calming amino acid L-Theanine which lowers the stress response and gives a sense of calm. EGCG has been studied and has been shown to be an excellent antioxidant, have anti-tumor activity and helps with weight loss.


To get the most health benefits out of your tea, brew it fresh from loose leaves or tea bags. Instant and bottled teas contain less active compounds. To extract the most beneficial compounds from the tea leaves or bags, let them steep for three to five minutes. Beware of bottled, sweetened teas that contain added sugar and extra calories.
Need decaf? Caffeine is superficial on the tea leaf. Just steep regular tea for about 1 minute


Vytorin/Zetia Study Results Are In...Not only ineffective, it can double the rate of atherosclerosis
Why was this ever approved? Why were the results held back for so long before being published?

This month, scientists announced the result of the long-awaited ENHANCE study of the cholesterol-lowering drug Zetia (ezetimibe). This drug alone or in combination with the popular statin drug, Zocor (simvastatin) conveyed no medical benefit to patients. In fact, the company-sponsored study found that the pace at which artery-clogging plaque formed within blood vessels actually doubled in patients taking the two-drug combination.

Both Zetia and Zocor reduced their LDL cholesterol by 41 percent and patients who took Vytorin reduced their cholesterol by a whopping 58 percent. However, despite the greater reduction in cholesterol, patients taking Vytorin actually had more growth of fatty plaque in their carotid arteries than those who were on Zocor alone. Please do not fall for the cholesterol is the enemy line. The problem is inflammation and endothelial damage – not cholesterol.

"This drug doesn't work. Period. It just doesn't work," said Dr. Steven E. Nissen, the chairman of cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic. " This is as bad a result for the drug as anybody could have feared. Millions of patients may be taking a drug that does not benefit them, raising their risk of heart attacks and exposing them to potential side effects." (Nissen recently played a central role in exposing the dangers of Avandia, a drug widely used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.)

"The long-awaited results of a trial of Zetia, a cholesterol-lowering drug prescribed to about a million Americans, shows the drug confers no medical benefit to users." - HealthDay News

"We have no evidence that taking a cholesterol-lowering medication like a statin will prevent them [people like you] from getting heart disease," - Elizabeth Nabel, director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Please see the previous blog postings on http://www.naturalwellnesschoices.com/ for information about reducing the risk of heart disease without statins.

Diabetes increased by Organochlorines
In a study released by the American Diabetes Association, scientists have discovered that herbicide exposure poses a real threat to our health. It can cause high levels of blood sugar and insulin. Both of these can lead to Type II diabetes and can drastically decrease life span. To limit the health risks of herbicides, buy organic foods whenever you can.

The biggest culprits were classes of compounds known as organochlorines. Excess exposure among pregnant women leads to a 2.2-fold higher risk of developing gestational diabetes. Men showed a 47 percent increased risk.

The most commonly used organochlorine in the U.S. is atrazine. Banned in Europe, 76 million pounds of it are dumped on U.S. foods each year. Non-organic corn and coffee can have particularly high levels of atrazine. So choosing organic versions of these foods in particular would be very smart.

Looking for a way to detoxify?
One way to enhance detoxification and remove what we have already absorbed is to use the impressive glutathione boosting ability of MaxGXL. The usual dose is 1 packet of 3 caps twice a day with or without food. Some have detoxification symptoms similar to yeast die off for the first could of weeks – this can be eliminated by reducing the dose to 1 cap twice a day and slowly working up. You can order MAXGXL by clicking on the MaxGXL logo on the homepage of http://www.naturalwellnesschoices.com/



To your health!


Donald P Ellsworth, M.D.
http://www.naturalwellnesschoices.com/
Feel free to pass this information on to others