Archive for March, 2018

Dangers lurk in the center of the grocery store

The “foods” on which industry makes the most profit are displayed in the boxes, packages and cans displayed in the middle of the store. Interestingly, that is also where we find the products we should avoid to become or stay healthy. For example:

  • Cereals, cookies, crackers, breakfast and energy bars, candy, starchy snacks, lunch cakes, pastries, pancake mix and so on. As I’m sure you know, those contain refined flours and sugar that play havoc with our blood sugar leading to prediabetes. They are also fattening. Not only is the starch and sugar harmful to our important gut bacteria, so are the artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and manufacturing ingredients in them.
  • Breads and other grain products present a variety of challenges. Read this blog on 12 reasons to cut back and this one on moldy corn.
  • Do I really have to discuss the soft drink aisle? (Sigh. I suppose you know someone that needs to be told.) High fructose corn syrup and chemicals provide a jolt to our blood sugar and pH. Also, as we discussed during the interview with Dr. Seneff from MIT, corn syrup is typically contaminated with mercury. Then there are the “diet” sodas. Except for those sweetened with stevia, the low-calorie drinks are really no better for weight loss. See Splenda® in the next item.
  • In the juice aisle, some of what is marketed to look like fruit juice is really a bunch of chemicals and high fructose corn syrup. Even the fruity looking drinks that are real fruit deliver a lot of sugar that is hard for the body to handle. The ones that are “lite” are often sweetened with Splenda® (sucralose). The makers of that artificial sweetener poo-pooed early reports that it was hard on intestinal bacteria. A new study shows the problem is worse than we thought. It promotes the wrong kind of bacteria and worsens the imbalance that creates trouble for those dealing with Chron’s Disease.
  • Cans are lined with BPA which is a hormone disruptor. Inside many of them are foods that have had the life processed out of them and contain many added chemicals.
  • I could go on. While there are certainly good products in the middle of the store, we must be a lot more careful and read labels.

But then, we should be careful around the perimeter as well. Produce is usually produce, but dairy is a mixed bag. Sugary strawberry milk sits next to plain milk. Yogurt can have a lot of sugar or Splenda. (See above.) American “processed cheese food” sits next to healthier Swiss. In the meat section, we should watch out for processed meats with additives.

And, all that is before we start upgrading to organic produce and pasture-raised animal products and wild caught fish. Getting healthy is indeed a journey, but hopefully we are headed in the right direction. If you know someone just getting started, maybe refer them to ABC’s of Healthy Eating,

Even tiny doses of poison will add up to big trouble

In murder mysteries, sometimes the villain adds a drop of poison to someone’s daily tea or muffin. The damage silently accumulates over time and then the poor victim dies “suddenly” of unknown causes. No one suspects the culprit.

Unfortunately, the same thing is happening to all of us and there are many villains. Multitudes of entities are responsible for chemicals in tap water; herbicides and pesticides on produce; antibiotics in chicken; hormone disruptors in plastic bottles; cans and register receipts; formaldehyde and other chemical fumes coming from new furniture; pesticides sprayed in neighborhoods (by the city); dangerous lawn treatment chemicals; heavy metals in vaccines and secondhand smoke; mercury in sodas; and industrial chemicals spewed into the air we must breathe. As you will see below, body care products can also be trouble. The list goes on and on and on.

None of the many culprits will take their share of the responsibility when we turn up with obesity, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disease, fibromyalgia, thyroid trouble, dementia, infertility, and so on. Each perp says, “who me?” and declares that the amounts are too small. They also point to short term animal studies of low amounts and claim there is not harm. Not only are there scant long-term studies, I have seen none that look at the combinations of toxicants or at their negative effect on our critical but delicate gut bacteria.

Humans are made to detoxify normal stuff.  But, never in our time on earth has it been necessary to get rid of soooo much crap constantly. To make matters worse, not all of us have sufficient nutrients that the body requires to complete the detoxification processes. Therefore, the junk accumulates in our cells and tissues. That breaks Healthy by Nature’s “prime directive #2”—Don’t gum up the works. (Directive #1 is to give the body everything it needs for optimum function.) We can end up like the camel graphic. (My friend, the late William Crook, MD allowed me to tweak it.)

We discuss detoxification on the radio show periodically (and in my Digestive Wellness Course). However, it is obviously best to avoid as many toxicants as possible thereby lightening the body’s load. But, we need to know where the poisons are lurking. I am fond of the Environmental Working Group for their broad, in-depth coverage of chemical threats and their activism. They offer a list of the “Dirty Dozen” most pesticide-contaminated types of produce and the “Clean 15”. The government site, Consumer Product Safety Commission covers all kinds of hazards…even safety problems with “fidget spinners”.

ConsumerSafety.org is a helpful site that provides information about dangerous products, recent recalls and even lawsuits. Lawsuits can compensate victims (if there is money left after the lawyers cut) and they can nudge companies into making products safer. The Consumer Safety folks called my attention to an article about the risks of ovarian cancer and lung disease from talcum powder. Talc is used in baby powder, eyeshadow, bronzer, blush and lip balm. Some products contain heavy metals and asbestos. (Article) Other worrisome ingredients are included in some brands of moisturizers, shaving creams, shampoo, and mascara. Another scary example is lead that is found in 61% of lipsticks even though it is not listed on the label! List of lead’s health effects.

The Consumer Safety site and EWG.org both offer details of specific ingredients to avoid. At least we should control the things we can. Going natural makes a lot of sense.

Healthy by Nature only supports products that do not use those dangerous ingredients. The personal care products from Lily of the Desert are a good example of ones we recommend. Visit DirtDoctor.com to learn about non-toxic materials for house and garden.

 

 

Bill Sardi answers tough questions

Yikes! I can’t take notes fast enough when Bill Sardi is the guest—especially when we take several listener calls…each with a different health issue. I imagine that many listeners have the same problem and so I listened to the show again and summarized his advice in this blog. This also gives me a chance to ad lib a few tidbits that I might not have been able to squeeze into the show.

  • Intro. Bill Sardi said he is frustrated with the mercenary and often callous nature of modern medicine. Even though the supplement industry suffers a lot of bashing and bullying, he thinks that it has the high moral ground because, although money is made, everyone wins.
  • Natural killer cells. These powerful immune agents kill cancer cells and viruses. Certain drugs have been created to boost their effectiveness, but sadly they are withheld until the later stages of disease. They also have side effects. However, nutrition can also keep natural killer cells active throughout life. And they have fringe benefits instead of side effects. For example: a great multivitamin/mineral, resveratrol, quercetin, Ip6, and ample amounts of the right type of zinc. Link to his article.
  • Needless hysterectomies. Abnormal pap smears can result in hysterectomies. Birth control pills deplete the B-vitamin folate and that can cause the cervical abnormalities that show up on pap smears. Supplementing folate (which helps repair the damaged DNA) and vitamin C can reverse the problem and avoid surgery. He says that science indicates that most abnormal findings reverse eventually…at least by menopause. Read his article.
  • Vertigo. Bill discussed mainly the type where you roll over or stand up dizzy and/or lose your balance. It is caused by calcium crystals in the ear canal. He suggested that older folks stay off ladders! One solution is the Epley maneuver (video). Persons low in vitamin D are at 23 times the risk for this problem. With some types of vertigo, there may be a connection to the same factors that cause migraine headaches. (An example is low magnesium. And by the way, vitamin D is needed to absorb magnesium. We are generally too low in vitamin D.) As we age, diet alone (even if it is good) is usually not enough to supply magnesium (and other nutrients). The US is a dairy country, so we get plenty of calcium, but not enough magnesium. Consider as a supplement BASE: an iron free multi, plus extra magnesium and omega 3.  I would add probiotics (Dr. Ohhira’s), Extra vitamin D, Jarrow’s Famil-E, a Kyolic garlic supplement, vitamin K2 and Longevinex. With a foundation like that, you will need fewer extras. Write him for a review of your program: [email protected]
  • Digestive infections. Ruth’s 84-year old mother is battling C. Diff (an ugly GI infection that causes hard to treat diarrhea) and a urinary tract infection. Rounds of antibiotics have not solved the problem. (Plus, in my book, The Probiotic Cure, I discuss a lot of the serious problems these drugs cause. Last week’s blog reveals that some antibiotics can kill heart patients.) Ruth says her mom is on probiotics, but it may not be the right kind or enough. I suggest S. Boulardi (a friendly yeast that is not killed by the antibiotics), Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics (I’m waiting on an answer about the paste form) and another multi-strain for good measure. Do this for at least 3 months (C. Diff leaves seed-like spores behind and it takes a while to rebuild balance anyway). Give her vitamin D, up to 50,000 IU per day for a few days because it so critical for the immune system. It revs up our production of internal antibiotic activity. Mr. Sardi suggested these natural antibiotics to get off the roller coaster: oil of oregano (at her age, 3 caps 3 times a day), zinc of 30 mg., 25 mg of B6, and the mineral selenium which keeps the zinc from being bound up. There is 120 mg in Molecular Multi. Single supplements are usually 200mg. Even a marginal shortage of selenium causes big problems. These nutrients help rev up the thymus gland so it will make the naïve T-cells needed to recognize a new threat like C. Diff.
  • Osteoporosis. Kathy asked about this and said she takes Jarrow’s Boneup. Unless you do not eat dairy, I recommend taking ½ the dose. Bill says the problem is lack of estrogen to keep minerals in bone. One can use bioidentical hormones from the doctor. Or use plant estrogens (phytoestrogens) such as from soy or better yet, resveratrol. It protects bones but does not stimulate unwanted growth like estrogen drugs of yore. It is really important to get adequate vitamin D (sensing a theme here?) and vitamin K2 to get calcium into the bones, not the arteries. He discussed a twin who was losing height but gained ¼ inch back when taking Longevinex.
  • The calcium cancer protocol. Terry asked how to take the supplements discussed when he was on the show in February. He wrote this article that involves flooding cancer cells with calcium. You can get 1000 mg size calcium without the added D and magnesium making it easier to control the dosage of the various nutrients. He says to take the calcium, vitamin D3, selenium and IP6 rice bran all together basically on an empty stomach. We suggest also going to knowledgeofhealth.com and searching “cancer” for more articles on other approaches. He says that after chemo resistance sets in you are on your own and have nothing to lose by trying alternatives.
  • Whooping cough vaccine for grandparents. Audrey is being blessed with her first grandchild but is being pressed to get the vaccine. Sardi says the disease (and some others) are not usually a problem except in high immigrant areas where folks are undernourished. If Mom is breast feeding, it is important for her to get a good supply of zinc to keep her immune system up. (Really all of us should.) The baby may not benefit from vaccine because its immune system not ready.
  • Folic acid genetic variant. Ruth had a follow up question. Can she take folic acid if she has a particular genetic defect? Bill said she (and most of us) should take the “folate” form because it is not a problem like folic acid can be. Folate is the type in Molecular Multi..

So that you don’t have to go back and hunt for it, here is what I recommend as a supplement BASE: an iron free multi (Molecular Multi), plus extra magnesium and omega 3. I would add probiotics (Dr. Ohhira’s), Extra vitamin D, Jarrow’s Famil-E, vitamin K2, a Kyolic garlic supplement and Longevinex. I don’t think Bill will object.

3 noteworthy revelations from recent research

What if a drug could do this? A new study shows that in just 30 days of restoring low levels of the mineral magnesium, the following were significantly improved: poor memory, sexual energy, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, asthma, hand tremors, headaches, muscle weakness/cramping/spasms, craving of salt or chocolate and a lot more. (Can you just imagine the hoopla and pressure to take it if a drug were found with this kind of power?) We know that magnesium is involved roughly 500 processes in the body. So, that list of benefits is probably just a small sample. Unfortunately, the investigators noted that low magnesium levels are a widespread problem. I’ve always suggested magnesium as a foundational supplement. (E.g. along with a great multivitamin, probiotics and fish oil at least.) Study abstract. As for types, magnesium oxide is cheap, but poorly absorbed. Magnesium citrate is better but taking 400-800 mg a day may cause a loose stool. I like to mix it up. I use a magnesium malate in the morning and an asporotate form at night because it is more likely to be transported to the cells.

Antibiotics are a double-edged sword. We’ve talked in the past about the gastrointestinal trouble and yeast infections that can result from antibiotic use. Now, a 10-year study links an antibiotic to increased risk of death in heart patients. The drug, clarithromycin (or Biaxin), is commonly used to treat infections of the lungs, ears, sinus and skin. Article about it. Another antibiotic, Z-Pak, was previously shown in a 14-year study to more than double the risk of death among heart disease patients. Yes, these studies were of heart patients, but if it can kill them, surely there are also dangers to the rest of us. I have a major section on many antibiotic side effects in my book, The Probiotic Cure.

An alternative to Tamiflu.  Studies funded by drug companies show a modest shortening of symptoms (a day or so) with use of the antiviral Tamiflu. However, independent studies do not confirm any benefit. That is especially disheartening in light of the side effects which can include hallucinations, seizure-like events, deterioration of the disease and even death. Article. Natural antivirals are much safer. I list some in my Colds and Flu Remedy Kit article. This article by Bill Sardi discusses licorice to alleviate the lingering symptoms of the flu. (No, a box of Good & Plenty candy won’t do. He is talking about an herb.)


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