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Managing the Gut-Brain Axis

By Dr. Jen Palmer, Naturopathic Doctor (ND) & NEEDS Education DirectorThinkstockPhotos-864493968.pngDid you know that the gastrointestinal tract communicates with the nervous system? Believe it or not, it’s called the gut-brain axis and through recent research it’s been determined to be an incredibly important relationship for keeping the brain healthy. The gut-brain axis is complex and three primary mechanisms support communication within it: 1) nervous system communication,
2) hormone signaling, and 3) immune system mediators. The gut-brain axis has become a means for treating various diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, and neurodegenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and depression.

Serotonin, also known as the happy neurotransmitter, is key in preventing mood disorders. A lesser known fact is that a large percentage of serotonin resides in the gastrointestinal system, making it a huge component of the gut-brain axis. Serotonin regulates mood, sleep, and appetite. Depression is considered a deficiency of serotonin and the medications designed to treat depression are focused on increasing the availability of this neurotransmitter. People with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases have lower levels of serotonin transporters and, as a consequence, can also suffer from mood and sleep disorders. Serotonin is also believed to be neuroprotective and can protect the brain from damaging factors that could lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s critical to maintain a healthy bacterial environment in the gastrointestinal tract, also known as the “microbiome”—in order to optimize serotonin levels. The microbiome influences the gut-brain axis and can be an effective part of keeping a healthy nervous system. The gastrointestinal tract helps support healthy neuronal development through its communication with the nervous system. But if the microbiome is off-kilter, meaning there is a lack of quantity, quality, and variety of the good bacteria, bad bacteria can take over and there is a potential for neurodegenerative diseases to develop.

Studies show probiotics are fundamental to maintaining a vigorous digestive tract and contribute to the foundation of good health. Of course, probiotics have demonstrated both immediate and ongoing positive health benefits for numerous chronic gastrointestinal conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Additionally, they have been shown to help prevent food and environmental allergies, as well as Candidiasis, and help to degrade toxins. There is even proof that some strains of probiotics bind mercury and other heavy metals, preventing their absorption into the body.

However, many contemporary lifestyle choices negatively impact the quality and quantity of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Antibiotic use, a high-fat/low-fiber diet, and gastric acid-inhibiting drugs disrupt the healthy balance of bacteria and create an environment that favors the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Although probiotics are found in certain foods, such as yogurt and sauerkraut, their viability and amount may be questionable. Many people require a concentrated supply provided in broad spectrum probiotic supplements.

Consider these probiotic options to balance a healthy microbiome and improve your overall health and well-being!

The specific probiotics included in FLORASSIST® Mood have been shown to positively influence biochemical signaling between the gastrointestinal tract and the nervous system, with positive effects related to mood. It contains three billion colony-forming units of two probiotic strains supported by human clinical research to show improved mood—Lactobacillus helveticus strain R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum strain R0175. Human clinical research conducted on this dual probiotic combination demonstrated improvements in mood, reduction in perceived stress, and promotion of relaxation. Two daily capsules of FLORASSIST® Mood is all you need to promote relaxation and improve mood.

Flora Biotic Ultra contains 35 Billion CFUs, providing a broad spectrum of 14 different probiotic strains. Only one capsule per day is required, offering convenient dosing. All strains are specified and guaranteed, through laboratory validation, and only the strains listed are those found in the product. There are nine different Lactobacillus strains and four different strains of Bifidobacterium, creating a well-rounded formula. The addition of NutraFlora™ scFOS, a “short chain” fructo-oligosaccharide, provides nutrition for the microflora and promotes adhesion and growth in the intestinal tract. To maximize delivery of the beneficial bacteria to the intestinal tract, the vegetarian capsules are enteric coated to ensure survival through gastric acid. Disintegration tests are performed on every lot to ensure proper intestinal release.

RAW Probiotics Ultimate Care is a unique High Bifido formula which includes the clinically studied Replenish Blend making it your ultimate complementary probiotic to achieve balance – helping you repopulate your gastrointestinal tract with good bacteria. The small, easy-to-swallow capsule offers 34 RAW probiotic strains promoting flora diversity as found in nature. It provides protein digesting enzymes for added digestive support. Each high-potency RAW Probiotics formula contains a naturally diverse group of over 30 beneficial probiotic strains from Bulgarian yogurt and Eastern European wild kefir, guaranteed to arrive alive.

Primdophilus Original by Nature’s Way is backed by “True Guarantee”, meaning that 5 billion CFUs per vegetarian capsule is guaranteed for the entire shelf life. True Identity ensures only the strains listed on the label are found in the product, and true release enteric-coating ensures stomach acid survival and intestinal delivery.

Multiple strains of Lactobacilli, Bifidobacteria, and other beneficial probiotics help fortify and balance intestinal microflora and support immune health. They come in delayed-release, or enteric coated capsules that may be shelf stable or need refrigeration.

 

Reference: Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences October 2017, Volume 74, Issue 20, pp 3769– 3787. Microbiome, probiotics and neurodegenerative diseases: deciphering the gut-brain axis. Susan Westfall, Nikita LomisImen KahouliSi Yuan DiaSurya Pratap SinghSatya Prakash.

December 18, 2019 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Vitamin D Sunshine for All Seasons

By Melissa Wilson, M.S., and Susan Carlson, R.PHGettyImages-1173388680.jpg

As the days grow shorter and fall moves into winter, supplemental vitamin D is increasingly important. Vital for several functions in our bodies, higher blood concentrations of vitamin D are now associated with good health and strong bodies.

Yet deficiencies of the “sunshine vitamin” are widely prevalent across all age groups, particularly the elderly and institutionalized. The risk of insufficiency increases for those wintering in northern latitudes, as does the need for higher daily intake requirements as we age. Numerous studies report increased rates of vitamin D insufficiency, exemplifying the need for supplementation, often at levels of more than 400 IU per day.

Our evolution has designed us to live in the presence of far more vitamin D than most of us receive now. Our ancestors had considerably greater sun exposure compared to our tendency to cover our skin or use sun block. Studies indicate that one full-body exposure to sunlight (enough time to just start to sunburn) can be the equivalent to an oral vitamin D3 intake of 10,000 IU (250 mcg).

VITAMIN D SUPPORTS…
…Strong Bones
Vitamin D is best known for its role in building strong bones by regulating calcium absorption and metabolism. Deficiencies are often associated with muscle weakness, poor coordination, osteoporosis, and increased fractures. In clinical studies, the use of 800 to 1000 IU per day of supplemental vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol—considered the natural form produced by solar UV rays in humans and animal skin), along with calcium, helped improve bone density, muscle strength, and reduce fractures.

…Proper Insulin Function and Levels
Proper levels of vitamin D have also been shown to offer protection from insulin-dependent Type I diabetes. Normal insulin secretion is dependent on this vitamin. Studies indicate that reduced vitamin D status may contribute to both insulin resistance and reduced insulin secretion.

…Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that is influenced by environmental factors. The British Journal of Nutrition reported that the incidences of MS are greatest in populations having the lowest ultraviolet (UV) exposure, except for those consuming diets high in vitamin D. In the United States, there are higher incidences of MS from the northern to southern areas. The incidences of MS in those living near the equator are close to zero.

It is well-documented that vitamin D levels decline in the winter, a time when SAD is prevalent. An experiment published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging was conducted on 15 SAD patients who were given either full-spectrum light 2 hours daily for a month, or one dose of 100,000 IU of vitamin D (a fat-soluble vitamin, which normally enables its levels to be raised in the body for months). Psychological testing showed the group supplementing vitamin D had greater improvement over the phototherapy group, with an increase in vitamin D of more than double the amount.

Where to Get It?
For those with limited sun exposure, optimal vitamin D can be obtained from food. Unfortunately, it is found naturally in very few foods, i.e., fatty fish (salmon, herring, and sardines), fish liver oils, and eggs from vitamin D-fed hens. This makes dietary supplementation necessary, particularly for those in northern latitudes and with limited sun exposure.

How Much to Take?
The need for vitamin D has been extensively studied by Dr. Reinhold Vieth of Mount Sinai Hospital and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. His 2-to-5 month study of 61 people indicates that 4000 IU daily is safe for healthy adults, and that the current Recommended Daily Values of 400 to 600 IU of vitamin D are set too low to maintain blood levels of vitamin D in absence of skin production of vitamin D with sunlight.

Based on their results, researchers in this study concluded that healthy people seem to use 3000-5000 IU per day of vitamin D.

To meet these requirements, the NEEDS Wellness Team recommends Vitamin D 2000 IU from Carlson Labs.

Research shows that pure, clear sunlight can have measurable, highly beneficial effects on our health, both physiological and psychological. The answer seems to be that, if we can’t go into the light, then we have to bring the light to us.
Excerpts taken from “Vitamin D: Your Sunshine for All Seasons,” by Melissa Wilson, M.S., and Susan Carlson, R.Ph., HealthGems: News for a Healthy Lifestyle, Vol. 1, Issue 2.

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

November 12, 2019 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Maintaining Strong Bones as We Age

By Kathi Head, ND, Executive Director of Medical Marketing at Thorne ResearchGettyImages-624886000.jpg

We don’t often give a lot of thought to our bones, until we happen to break one. We tend to think of our bones as inert structures, like scaffolding that holds us up, as protection for our bodily organs, and the structure that allows us to move about. But bones are actually crucial to multiple functions in the body. Our bones are living, dynamic, and constantly changing tissues.

Just a few years ago, it was discovered that bones are actually endocrine organs.1 Our bones make a hormone called osteocalcin, which is secreted by bone cells called osteoblasts. Even though osteocalcin is secreted by the bones, it behaves like any other hormone by having far-reaching effects throughout the body.

For example, although bone formation is one of its primary functions, osteocalcin also:
• Stimulates the beta cells in the pancreas to secrete more insulin
• Enhances insulin sensitivity in the adipocytes (fat cells)
• Stimulates adipocytes to release adiponectin, which further enhances insulin sensitivity & exerts a powerful anti-inflammatory effect (inflammation in fat cells is associated with obesity)
• Enhances testosterone production in men

The Importance of Keeping Bones Healthy— Startling Statistics
Unfortunately for many individuals, a diagnosis of osteoporosis comes only after a bone fracture has occurred. Here’s a look at the stark statistics compiled by the National Osteoporosis Foundation:
• 10 million Americans have osteoporosis—although many are not aware of it
• Another 44 million Americans have osteopenia (low bone density), which is the precursor to osteoporosis
• Half of adults age 50 & older are at risk for breaking a bone because of low bone density
• Osteoporosis is responsible for more than two million bone fractures every year
• 1 in 4 adults will break a bone because of osteoporosis
• A woman’s lifetime risk of a bone fracture as a result of osteoporosis, is equal to her combined risk for having breast, ovarian & uterine cancer
• Men over 50 have a greater risk for an osteoporotic fracture, than for getting prostate cancer
• 24 percent of hip fracture patients who are older than 50 will die within a year of having the hip fracture

Banking Bone Should Start Early in Life
While it’s never too late to start protecting your bones, “banking” bone early in life is really the key. The more bone that is banked during childhood and adolescence, when more bone is being made than broken down, the more bone a person will have to spare later on in life when more bone is being broken down than created.

A person’s peak bone mass is typically reached in the early-to-mid 30’s. But here’s the issue, low bone density is being increasingly recognized as now existing in children and adolescents—the very time when bone should be banked for later use. Situations or conditions that can contribute to low bone mass in children and adolescents include: malabsorption syndromes, gluten enteropathies, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, eating disorders, a sedentary lifestyle, and childhood obesity all contribute to a vitamin D deficiency.

Female athletes can also present with a condition known as the female athlete triad, which includes decreased bone mass, menstrual irregularities, and disordered eating.

Supporting Bone Health is Key
In addition to a healthy diet and regular exercise, which is extremely important for increasing bone density, several nutritional supplements can provide essential support for bone health.*

The 4 most important nutrients for supporting bone health are 2 vitamins and 2 minerals— vitamin D and vitamin Kcalcium and magnesium. These 4 nutrients help each other do their jobs, among other things, by sending calcium to the bones and keeping it out of the arteries, kidneys, and other soft tissues. All of these essential elements are included in Thorne’s Basic Bone Nutrients.

REFERENCES:
1. Guntur AR, Rosen CJ. Bone as an endocrine organ. Endocr Pract 2012;18(2):758-762.
2. https://cdn.nof.org/wp-content/ uploads/2015/12/Osteoporosis- Fast-Facts.pdf [Accessed July 7, 2017].
3. https://www.thorne.com/take-5- daily/article/what-are-the-essentialnutrients- for-bone-health

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

October 7, 2019 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Getting Ready for School with Seasonal Immune Defense

by Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA

GettyImages-1056299068.jpg
When temperatures cool from seasonal changes and kids start going back to school, it can be stressful on the body. The stress uses more energy to maintain normal body temperature, so many frequently feel “under the weather.” Interestingly, this can also occur when bad weather breaks. Perhaps the body relaxes in response to the improved conditions, allowing our immune systems to take a break and leaving us more susceptible to seasonal ills. Then there are those instances of grand-scale germ exposure and exchange opportunities of crowded spaces like schools, airports, mass transportation, and entertainment venues, at any season, which create extra work for the immune system. At these times, the immune system can concurrently seem both overactive and ineffective, and in the process, make us feel miserable.

In the battle to maintain healthy respiratory function and properly modulate immune response, there are natural nutritional substances that can be helpful. Various vitamins, minerals, herbs, and amino acids support optimal immune function and respiratory health.

Andrographis paniculata has been shown in studies to support a healthy and balanced immune response by modulating the production of immune cells (specifically Interferon gamma [IFNg], Interleukin-2 [IL-2], and T-cells). Clinical studies have demonstrated Andrographis’ ability to significantly increase immune response to stresses, such as those encountered during seasonal changes.

Astragalus is well known for supporting the immune system. This Chinese herb has been shown in non-clinical studies to support numerous aspects of healthy immune function, including the enhancement of T-cell and Natural Killer (NK) cell activity. NK cells can destroy unhealthy cells in the body virtually on contact.

Black elderberry standardized extract may provide protection against oxidative stress and modulate inflammatory cytokines to protect respiratory function. Elderberry provides vitamin A and vitamin C, as well as anthocyanins, which are potent free radical scavengers. Clinical and non-clinical studies have demonstrated elderberry’s immune-supporting properties. Echinacea is also recognized for its immune modulating effects.

Echinacea has been used successfully for hundreds of years to support immune health. Gaia Herbs Echinacea purpurea is grown on Gaia’a own certified organic farm. Concentrated for a fast-acting response. Echinacea Supreme contains the full spectrum of Echinacea phytochemicals – including isobutylamides, the constituents most effective at supporting a healthy immune response.

Chelated zinc is recommended for immunity at a dose of up to 30 mg per day; higher doses could increase the need for copper.

Selenium is also recommended, however, avoid the selenite form. Take 100-200 mcg/day of chelated selenium (selenomethionine).

Pre-formed vitamin A (retinyl palmitate) could be taken in daily doses; however, no more than 5,000 IU; beta-carotene could be substituted or added, but is not as sure a means of making vitamin A, which is essential for immunity. Adding 5,000 to 10,000 IU beta-carotene should be fine.

Vitamin C taken in divided doses supports immunity. Taking about 500 mg at a time enhances absorption and avoids a laxative effect possible at higher doses.

L-arginine is the main amino used for certain body repairs.

DON’T FORGET ALLERGY SEASON!

Whether fall or spring, seasonal allergy sufferers may find relief with nutrients known for their ability to support a healthy histamine response and to optimize overall immune function, in turn enhancing the immune system’s inflammatory response. Vitamin B5 and vitamin B6, as well as vitamin C, support immune function and the inflammatory response system.

Quercetin is a non-citrus flavonoid known for its antioxidant benefits.

Bromelain is an enzyme from pineapple that supports a healthy inflammatory response.

These supplements can help support a healthy histamine response, as well as support other critical immune functions. Moreover, it can be used throughout all seasons.

FUNGUS AS IMMUNE SUPPORT

Medicinal mushrooms are a basic everyday immune-supporting food. Scientific studies have demonstrated that the 1,3 form of beta-glucan found in mushrooms possesses remarkable abilities to support both innate and adaptive immunity. As dietary supplements, look for blends of organically grown mushrooms.

NOW® Immune Renew™ is a potent immune system support formulation combining standardized astragalus extract with a high beta-glucan proprietary 8-mushroom blend. NOW Immune Renew is a potent immune system supporting formulation containing Standardized Astragalus Extract and a High Beta-Glucan Proprietary Mushroom Blend. Astragalus has been shown in non-clinical studies to support a number of aspects of healthy immune function, including the enhancement of T-Cell and Natural Killer Cell activity. Natural killer cells are so named because they destroy unhealthy cells in the body virtually on contact. NOW’s Proprietary Blend of eight organic mushrooms provides additional immune support due to its high 1,3 Beta Glucan content. 1-3 beta glucans are especially valuable to immune system response, though they’re increasingly lacking in today’s typical diet. Scientific studies have demonstrated that the 1,3 form of Beta Glucans found in mushrooms possesses remarkable abilities to support both innate and adaptive immunity. A strong, responsive immune system is the foundation of good health. Use NOW Immune Renew to help support healthy immune function throughout the year. The Organic Mushroom Blend used in this capsule makes up 38% of the total capsule weight.

Change of seasons, starting school, and large crowds are just a few of the factors that can assault the immune system, but including the proper nutrients to any preventive care regime can reduce the stress of these factors and improve health throughout the year.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

 

September 19, 2019 at 10:33 am Leave a comment

Estrogen Dominance

By Holly Lucille, N.D., R.N.GettyImages-1094034168.png

As a naturopathic doctor, I view myself as a partner and facilitator in the healing process. Eighty-five percent of the people I help care for are women. A large majority of these women are experiencing hormone-related issues, with estrogen dominance being quite common. This condition results from an imbalance of hormones—estrogen levels exceed progesterone—throughout a woman’s body and poorly metabolized estrogen. While some women have never heard of estrogen dominance, they are all too familiar with its many frustrating symptoms, including premenstrual syndrome (PMS), unexplained and unfair weight gain, sore and lumpy breasts, irregular periods, loss of sex drive, foggy thinking, irritability, and moodiness.

As a hormone, estrogen is a messenger that carries the message, “be fruitful and multiply.” Estrogen circulates in our bloodstream and comes in contact with every cell in our body. But only certain target cells will respond to its presence. These target cells have receptors on their surface that bind to the estrogen, sending a signal inside the cell which results in certain reactions. For example, estrogen in your bloodstream binds with the receptors on your bone cells. The estrogen sends a signal inside the bone cell that makes yourbone stronger. Once the estrogen has completed its specific action, it is broken down (metabolized), and then moved out of your body in urine and stool. 

While synthetic estrogen, called “xenoestrogens,” mimics natural estrogen, it can cause harmful interference. Due to their ability to pass easily through our skin, the chemicals in pesticides, plastics, soaps, emulsifiers, and fuels (things we use every day), enter our bloodstream and act just like estrogen in our body. Some estrogen mimics bind to receptors and send a false signal inside the cell, which can be stimulating and dangerous. Others block the natural hormone and keep it from binding to its receptor. In addition to their ability to send false signals (if not metabolized properly), estrogen mimickers can accumulate over time and cause havoc.

When estrogen has done its work and is ready to be metabolized, the bloodstream delivers it to your liver. Like all substances metabolized in the liver, estrogen is broken down into “metabolites” through certain pathways. Estrogen can be metabolized by two different pathways in the liver, resulting in two very different metabolites.

The 2-hydroxy pathway results in beneficial, or “good,” estrogen metabolites. These beneficial estrogen metabolites are released into the bloodstream and account for many benefits previously attributed to estrogen in its premetabolic state. These include the prevention of heart disease, the building of strong, healthy bones, and soft, supple skin.

Unfortunately, where there’s “good,” there’s “bad.” The bad estrogen metabolism pathway is the 16-hydroxy pathway. Estrogen broken down in this pathway results in metabolites responsible for many of estrogen’s undesirable actions, including weight gain and an increased risk of breast and other gynecological cancers.

There is no better management for the symptoms of estrogen dominance and proper estrogen metabolism than Indolplex™ with DIM, a safe, all-natural nutritional supplement. DIM stands for diindolylmethane (pronounced: dye-in-dollmethane), a natural plant nutrient found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables. DIM shifts estrogen metabolism to the 2-hydroxy pathway, resulting in healthier estrogen metabolites and restored hormonal balance. DIM acts like a “traffic cop,” guiding used estrogen down the 2-hydroxy pathway.

Two other crucial components are digestive and liver health. Exposure to chemicals in our food, water, and air, along with a diet high in saturated fats and sugar, can cause interference with digestive health and fat metabolism. Calcium D-Glucarate is a patented form of D-glucaric acid complexed with calcium. Calcium-D-Glucarate’s detoxifying and immune support properties are attributed to its ability to eliminate toxins from our liver and intestines. Adding Calcium D-Glucarate to Indolplex with DIM provides a one-two punch against unfair weight gain and toxin accumulation. 

OTHER PRODUCTS FORMULATED FOR WOMEN’S HEALTH THAT I FREQUENTLY RECOMMEND INCLUDE:

  • AM PM Menopause Formula to improve lack of energy, reduce hot flashes, irritability, mood swings in the daytime; and sleeplessness, night sweats, and hot flashes at night
  • Vitex Extract for improved menstrual comfort
  • Soy isoflavones contains phytoestrogens that play a vital role in supporting women’s health
  • Lipotropic Complex liver support formula to help metabolize hormones. This formula provides comprehensive transmethylation support for the liver by combining phytonutrients and bile salts. Choline, methionine, and silymarin from milk thistle act as methyl donors in hepatic transmethylation reactions. Vitamin B6vitamin B12, and folate are required as cofactors for these conversions. In addition, Lipotropic Complex contains botanical cholagogues, such as dandelion, fringe tree, beet, and radish, as well as ox bile and inositol to promote healthy bile flow.

August 15, 2019 at 10:41 am Leave a comment

Break Free From Fibromyalgia

By Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum for Terry NaturallyFree.png

Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread pain throughout the body, fatigue, brain fog, mood imbalances, and sleep disorders. The muscle pain, insomnia, mental fog, and fatigue of fibromyalgia can happen to anyone—especially when you are constantly stressed and required to spend more energy than your body can create. This can include physical stresses too, such as infections, sleep disorders, hormonal deficiencies, and pregnancies. It can also be caused by situational stresses, such as a divorce, death in the family, or loss of job. But, most often it is caused by a combination of both physical and situational stresses. It can be notoriously difficult for people to find a practitioner who can correctly diagnose and treat fibromyalgia, but once you do, treatment can be very effective, especially if one uses a comprehensive medicine approach.

Here is the Formula I Suggest
I have dedicated the last 40 years to researching this illness and making an effective treatment available to everybody. From these explorations came a health protocol that I’ve called “SHINE®”. This acronym refers to the essentials of what is needed to begin the path toward healing: sleep, hormones, immunity, nutrition, and exercise. Our published double-blind, placebo-controlled study showed that 91 percent of people’s symptoms improved with a 90 percent average increase in quality of life when this protocol was utilized.

Additionally, there are some nutrients and botanicals that have proven results in addressing the fatigue, brain fog, and sleep disorders associated with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

I recommend taking a high absorption curcumin, uniquely standardized boswellia, turmerones from turmeric oil, and frankincense oil, twice daily. This combination will:
• Reduce pain and damaging inflammation
• Rejuvenate your energy
• Balance your mood and mental outlook
• Clear away “brain fog” and restore clarity

Curcumin for Pain Relief
Curcumin derived from turmeric has been shown in numerous studies to effectively relieve pain.

Constant stress erodes the ability of the body to produce a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Curcumin from turmeric has been shown in numerous studies to effectively relieve pain and help circumvent the conditions of stress by protecting BDNF levels and reducing the stress response.

A clinical study focused on the effects of an enhanced absorption curcumin combined with turmeric essential oil (500 mg, twice daily) versus the prescription drug diclofenac sodium, one brand name is Voltaren®, (50 mg, twice daily) or a combination of the two in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The curcumin group had the best results, as they experienced the most reduction in joint pain and swelling with no adverse effects. 

Turmerones—Anti-Inflammatory
The curcumin I recommend is blended with turmeric essential oil, which helps increase absorption. Turmeric essential oil contains turmerones (specifically ar-turmerone), which have actions similar to curcumin. In fact, turmerones are a major area of study and research because they have such strong anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.

Additionally, turmerones have been found to increase superoxide dismutase and glutathione levels— natural antioxidants produced by the body that have incredible cellprotecting power and could be considered “fountains of youth” for their abilities to keep us healthy, regardless of age.

Boswellia—Reduce Pain and Inflammaton
Unlike conventional drugs, that usually target only a single molecular pathway, boswelliaaffects multiple pathways in the body. But, one of its most important benefits is probably its ability to modulate a particular inflammation pathway called the 5-LOX (5-lipoxygenase) pathway, which leads to significant reduction in inflammation and pain throughout the body.

Combined with curcuminboswellia has been shown to relieve osteoarthritis pain better than prescription drugs. And because boswellia inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokines, it doesn’t just stop pain, it stops the actual damage in joints and muscles.

Frankincense—Balance Cortisol Levels 
Another natural medicine from boswellia is frankincense oil. Scientific research with constituents of frankincense oil shows that it may balance cortisol levels and boost BDNF, the same brain protein that curcumin preserves. So aside from being an antiinflammatory, frankincense can regulate the HPA axis in a way that prevents stress, anxiety, and emotional fatigue from taking hold. 

Protein Is Essential 
Protein helps stabilize blood sugar levels and provides a reliable energy source throughout the day. One of the reasons that whey protein is a preferred choice, is that it is a complete source of amino acids—the building blocks of the cells throughout the body, including the muscles, nerves, and brain. 

Whey protein has been shown to boost lean muscle mass, reduce inflammation, and help increase strength. Especially in individuals who have lost some of their former muscle tone through inactivity or illness, including rheumatoid arthritis.

You Can Overcome Fibromyalgia
The start of the road back to better health is found in the proper application of clinically-validated nutrients and botanicals, a review of the SHINE® protocol, and sensible exercise. Activity is critical for a mentally and physically healthy life and outlook, which will be much easier to do once your energy levels increase with treatment! 

Curcuminboswellia, turmeric essential oil, and frankincense oil support your health—they don’t just block an unwanted condition. All of these botanicals combined can reduce oxidative stresses and inflammation at a cellular level and heal muscle damage, stop pain, and help you feel re-energized. You owe it to yourself to explore these natural ingredients for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome! 

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

July 11, 2019 at 9:02 am Leave a comment

Nutritional Supplementation and Alzheimer’s Disease

By David Perlmutter, MDGettyImages-531138681 (1).jpgAs we move forward into the 21st century, we are witnessing a staggering increase in dementing illnesses. Approximately 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. By the year 2030, it is estimated that this number will approach 9 million.

A 1999 report from the Department of Neurology and Clinical Chemistry at the University of Heidelberg, revealed that after Alzheimer’s disease, the second most frequent cause of dementia in the elderly, was so called “vascular dementia”, or brain dysfunction, a result of disease of the small blood vessels. Even more striking, was the finding of elevation of a particular chemical in the blood of these individuals called homocysteine. Blood homocysteine levels are directly related to intake of the B-complex group of vitamins, specifically, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12, as well as folic acid. The conclusion of the report provided very strong support for the effectiveness of dietary supplementation with the B-complex group of vitamins in reducing risk of dementia.

To be effective, therapy for Alzheimer’s disease must achieve four tasks—reduce inflammation, limit damaging effects of free radicals, enhance neuronal function, and reduce homocysteine.

REDUCING INFLAMMATION
Essential Fatty Acids 
Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids (EFAs) are key to reducing inflammation and are an integral part of our protocol for Alzheimer’s disease. The best source of omega-3 fats are fish oils, the potency of which is determined by its DHA content. The greatest sources for omega-6 oils are borage seed oil and evening primrose oil. Potency of the omega-6 group is determined by the content of GLAZincmagnesium, and vitamin B3 and vitamin B6enhance the anti-inflammatory effects of both of these essential fatty acids.
LIMITING FREE RADICAL ACTIVITY 
Vitamin E 
The utilization of antioxidants to limit the activity of free radicals as therapy for Alzheimer’s disease has been extensively evaluated over the past decade. Perhaps the most widely studied is vitamin E—a good candidate not only because of its powerful antioxidant activity, but also because of its high fat solubility. This feature is crucial since not only is the brain more than 60% fat, but it is the fat component that is at the highest risk for free radical damage.

Ginkgo Biloba
Perhaps the most convincing validation of Ginkgo Biloba’s effectiveness may be found in a 1997 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The progress of over 200 Alzheimer’s patients was evaluated over a 1-year period. Half the group received Ginkgo Biloba, while the other half received a placebo. At the completion of the study, the placebo group showed a progressive decline in mental function on a standardized psychological test, while the group receiving Ginkgo, on average, actually improved. The authors concluded that Ginkgo Biloba was, “safe and appears capable of stabilizing and, in a substantial number of cases, improving the cognitive performance and the social functioning of demented patients for 6 months to 1 year.”

Alpha Lipoic Acid 
Lipoic Acid is a powerful anti-oxidant that is rapidly absorbed from the gut and readily enters the brain to protect neurons from free radical damage. Further antioxidant protection is derived from its ability to recycle vitamin C and vitamin E, and regenerate glutathione, one of the brain’s most important antioxidants.
N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) 
In addition to increasing glutathioneNAC has an important antioxidant role in and of itself. One of the most damaging free radicals implicated in Alzheimer’s disease is nitric oxide. Nitric oxide production is directly reduced by NAC.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D has been shown to have even more potency as an antioxidant when compared to vitamin E. Remarkably, in a Japanese study published in 1998, it was found that moderate to severe deficiencies of vitamin D were found in 80% of Alzheimer’s patients studied.

ENHANCING NEURONAL FUNCTION

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
Coenzyme Q10 supplementation has been shown to enhance energy production in brain neurons and thus improve function. This powerful antioxidant has also demonstrated its ability to reduce the progression of Parkinson’s disease by more than 40%. Isn’t it then critically important to recognize that two of the most widely prescribed cholesterol lowering drugs, pravastatin (Pravachol®) and lovastatin (Mevacor®), can significantly lower serum coenzyme Q10 levels?

Acetyl-L-carnitine
Acetyl-L-carnitine is readily converted into an important neurotransmitter (brain chemical messenger) known as acetylcholine, proven to be profoundly deficient in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Its second task is to facilitate the removal of the toxic by-products of brain metabolism.
Phosphatidylserine
Phosphatidylserine is one of the key constituents of neuronal membranes—the site where brain cells both receive and transmit chemical messages. Abnormalities of the neuronal membrane have been linked to age-related functional changes in brain performance.

Vitamin B-12 
Standard medical texts have long reported that vitamin B-12 is a critical factor for preservation of normal brain function. Its deficiency is associated with confusion, depression, mental slowness, memory difficulties, and abnormalities of nerve function. Several studies have demonstrated that patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease generally have significantly lower blood levels of vitamin B-12 compared to age-matched, non-afflicted individuals. B12 helps prevent the accumulation of homocysteine, which, when elevated, markedly increases the risk for Alzheimer’s disease as described above.

Folic Acid
Folic acid levels are often markedly depressed in patients suffering from dementia or confusional states. Deficiency of folic acid is associated with apathy, disorientation, memory deficits, and difficulties with concentration. Several studies have correlated low folic acid levels with dementia. Again, the mechanism may involve elevation of homocysteine since like vitamin B12folic acid helps lower this blood vessel damaging amino acid.

June 18, 2019 at 12:53 pm Leave a comment

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