Archive for February, 2019

Surprises

I chose the above photo because it made me smile. 

  • Butter is not bad! Besides making food taste better, it is actually good for us. To begin with it helps us feel satisfied and is a source of the important fat soluble vitamins. Butter contains fatty acids that protect against cancer. One of those fats is butyric acid which helps the health of the intestinal tract and, as noted in this article about diabetes, increases sensitivity to insulin. Next week I may discuss its role in burning fat. Yes, it is “saturated” fat, but as this article explains, we’ve been unduly frightened about saturated fat. Here is another one. I prefer butter from grass fed cows.
  • As pharmacist, nutritionist, author, practitioner, Jim Lavalle, mentioned in his interview February 16th, using litmus paper to test the acidity of the 1st morning urine can give useful insight into health status and future risks. As Gus Kotsanis, MD confirmed in his interview the next week, disease loves it when the reading is below 6.5 (acidic). When it is 7 and above (alkaline), cancer is hampered.
  • I was happy to learn that the Brain Light Pro can also be used on knees, shoulders, etc. (We’ve previously discussed it for brain issues such as depression, anxiety, brain trauma, memory problems, seizures, etc.) Just unhook the Velcro and put the device wherever you want to reduce inflammation. Dr. Einsohn used it to fix a knee he injured while traveling. By the way, there is a device (with the same technology) that is configured for the knee or the foot (e.g. for peripheral neuropathy).
  • Even if you haven’t watched the Netflix series, The Bundy Tapes, about the infamous serial killer, you will be interested in these very helpful one minute police videos teaching us how to avoid getting robbed or kidnapped. 1. Can you spot a bad actor? 2. But, what if you don’t want to hurt his feelings? 3. What to do if you are being robbed. 4. Should you resist an abduction attempt?
  • The diabetes drug, Metformin, and the proton pump inhibitor type heartburn drugs (Nexium and the like) cause vitamin B12 deficiency. That can lead to serious nerve problems. You can take a B12 supplement in both cases, but I’d recommend getting off the heartburn drugs because they cause other serious problems. There are articles in the Digestive Section of the library on this site and lots more details in my book, Natural Alternatives to Nexium, & Other Acid Blockers.
  • Perhaps you read the book, Plant Paradox, and are concerned that most of the foods that you thought you should eat are full of inflammation-producing lectins. First, do not confuse those with leptins that we will discuss on the show Saturday. During a phone chat, Sherry Rogers, MD mentioned that if people heal their leaky gut, the lectins are not a problem. However, like many folks, she does not do well with the lectin containing nightshades (e.g. potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers).

Questions and Answers

Q. A website visitor asked if I had a recommendation about what to drink.

A. The original plan was to drink pure water. That is still the best plan. We’ve always used filtered water at our home, but I finally found a reverse osmosis filter that I really like. It removes fluoride, is compact enough to put on the counter top, simple to use, moderately priced and doesn’t waste a lot of water in the process like many do. LINK HERE for more information. (To add the flavor back to the ulra-pure water, I use a couple of shakes of trace mineral drops.) Instead of coffee which makes me jittery, I like herbal teas. The finest and most convenient brand I’ve found is Pique Tea Crystals. They are uniquely purified, herbally effective and instant in hot or cold water. Right now, the company is offering 20% off and FREE Shipping. You can buy single flavors such as Ginger Digestion and Hibiscus Beauty (2 of my favorites) or save some with collections. LINK HERE

Q. A website visitor liked one of my thoughts that spreading out immunizations might reduce the risk of complications.

A. The whole immunization issue is so emotional that it is hard to have a rational debate. Having experienced a childhood disease does help our immune systems long term and vaccinations can indeed have unintended consequences. (An article by Bill Sardi points to an interesting study about unexpected after effects.) On the other hand, some kiddos are not as well prepared to recover from those childhood infections. Likewise, there is no one-size-fits all answer when it comes to getting immunized. It seems that there are sub-groups of children (and adults) that suffer more side effects. In another brilliant article, Mr. Sardi describes the vaccination detail and some of those side effects. He has also made a great point on the show that kids need nutrients to respond well to vaccines (or to successfully fight the disease if they are unvaccinated). That nutritional angle may be the main point we are missing in all this.

Q. A website visitor asked about insurance that covers supplements.

A. Wouldn’t you think that insurance companies, the government and the medical profession would be much more interested in the mountains of science on nutritional supplements for prevention and even reversal of disease?  After all, the natural approach usually has fringe benefits, not scary side effects. Unfortunately, doctors are not trained on the benefits and even are warned against them. The government has the same negative attitude. It is really no mystery because pharmaceutical companies have purchased undue influence in medical schools, medical journals, the media, Washington, DC and in state capitals across the country. As for insurance companies, it seems to me that they have set the system up so that they effectively work on commission. Therefore they have no real incentive to promote prevention. If you find an insurance company that covers natural methods for consumers, PLEASE let me know. Here is a great article by Bill Sardi on why we don’t hear much about the benefits of supplements.

Getting to the heart of heart health

February is American Heart Month. At some point you will likely hear that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of premature death. Well…not quite. When we add up deaths from medication side effects, medical errors and hospital acquired infections, the practice of medicine is number one. That gives us ample reason to prevent heart disease using natural methods.

Women are rightly very worried about breast cancer, but we are about 10 times more likely to die from heart disease. Roughly 1 in every 4 female deaths is from heart disease and 64% of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms. We don’t know enough because most research has been done on men.  Females don’t necessarily have the same signs of heart attack as men. They may present with extreme fatigue, indigestion, nausea, or shortness of breath. Of course, they can also have chest pain or discomfort or pain in the upper back. After a heart attack, a woman is 3 times more likely to die because the medical care is not as good. Seems we need to take an advocate with us to assure proper attention.

Most of the lifestyle factors that increase risk for heart disease are no surprise. For example: being sedentary and smoking. (Note that more men are quitting than women.) Also on the list, as expected, is stress and excess alcohol consumption. Obviously, poor nutrition is a biggie and adopting the Mediterranean Diet is a great step in the right direction. The more processed foods we eat, the more trouble we are in. A recent study demonstrated that we have a 14% higher risk of early death (e.g. from cancer and heart disease) with each 10% increase in the amount of ultra-processed foods eaten. What are ultra-processed foods? Think of the chip aisle, the cookie aisle and frankly most of the center part of a grocery store.

Of course, we all know that obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure are risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Not everyone knows that women taking oral contraceptives are 2 to 3 times more likely to have high blood pressure. Other medications can also increase risk to the heart. For example, heartburn drugs because among other problems, they interfere with absorption of critical magnesium. Winter is even a risk factor for heart attack and not just because of shoveling snow. We are more likely to be low in vitamin D which is important for the heart.

Let’s see, what am I missing. Oh yes, cholesterol. I saved that for last to make the point that there are a LOT of other things that may be more important. The controversy continues about the wisdom of taking aggressive action to lower cholesterol among those who do not have heart disease. And, Statin drugs have very worrisome side effects such as damage to muscle and liver, increased risk of diabetes, depression, and brain shrinkage. When the legendary Dr. Robert Atkins was on the show years ago, he said he thought high triglycerides was a bigger problem. Research is beginning to confirm his suspicions about this overlooked blood fat.

In addition to improving diet which is a more important step, dietary supplements can certainly help. I recommend taking a great multivitamin/mineral as a base. (E.g. Molecular Multi) Add to that extra magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin C. Vitamin C also helps diabetics. (To get 24/7 protection and stress-responsive C, I take Formula 216.)  If you are concerned about cholesterol or blood pressure or other cardio factors, pick one of Kyolic’s extremely well researched products shown in their Heart Health Section. To help with heart health, eye health and other concerns of aging, Longevinex is an outstanding addition.

Heartburn drugs can slowly kill you!

US consumers spend a fortune each year on heartburn medications ($6 billion in 2012 just on Nexium). Unfortunately, the popular proton pump inhibitor drugs have only been proven safe to use for a few weeks! These drugs are misrepresented as harmless. However, when used for months and years, they can have serious and even lethal side effects. Here are some examples:

  • C-difficile infection (life-threatening diarrhea)
  • Dementia
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Heart disease and stroke
  • Hip fracture
  • Insomnia
  • Kidney disease
  • Pneumonia
  • Premature death
  • Stomach cancer
  • Tremor
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency (which can lead to permanent nerve damage)

The reason for so many side effects is that we must have stomach acid. Some of what it does:

  • Acid in the stomach dissolves invading bacteria and other organisms
  • Performs an important step in the breakdown of protein in food
  • Is needed for the absorption of life-protecting minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc
  • Is needed for the production of vitamin B12 and contributes to folic acid absorption
  • Establishes the correct pH to trigger the stages of digestion that follow and the closing of the Lower Esophageal Sphinter to keep fluids out of the esophagus where heartburn pain is felt
  • Helps create conditions suitable in the rest of the intestines to the proper balance of beneficial bacteria

By blocking acid, the drugs temporarily relieve discomfort but don’t solve what is usually the real problem—stomach acid getting where it doesn’t belong! 

So, to solve the problem permanently and avoid the serious health complications you might develop from suppressing needed stomach acid, it is important to figure out what went wrong and fix that problem. Helping people do that is why I wrote Natural Alternatives to Nexium, Maalox, Tagamet, Prilosec & Other Acid Blockers. Subtitle: What to Use to Relieve Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and Gastric Ailments. It is not expensive or difficult to read, but if you can solve your problem after reading a few free pages on this website, good for you! (Of course you will miss out on a number natural alternatives and a lot of general health information that I put in the book.)

Some of the causes of heartburn and acid reflux:

  • Sugar and starch consumption. Although the mechanisms are just now being revealed in research, what does a person have to lose by reducing these non-nourishing fattening foods? Nothing. And eliminating them often gets rid of heart burn. Read Avoid Diabetes with Low Glycemic Meals.
  • Hiatal hernia. This is a structural problem where the stomach protrudes up through the diaphragm. It can often be remedied by a chiropractor or even a massage therapist. Check out Dr. Bob’s article about how to resolve the problem naturally.
  • Insufficient stomach acid. Counter intuitive as this cause seems, it is common, especially at middle age and beyond. Without enough acid, food isn’t digested efficiently and tends to remain in the stomach too long. That increases the chance that the contents might splash into the esophagus which is not protected against even weak acid. Also, the sphincter that is supposed to keep stomach contents from backing up may not be triggered if stomach acid is too low. Food (especially carbs) and juices too long in the stomach can ferment, bubble up and create alcohol which is also irritating.
  • Imbalance of intestinal bacteria. I discuss this at length in my other book, The Probiotic Cure. It might be useful to take this yeast questionnaire
  • Medications. A large number of drugs cause heartburn. Among them the statin cholesterol-lowering drugs. (There is a natural solution to most health issues.) Antibiotics can trigger reflux by causing an imbalance of microorganisms.
  • InflammationInflammation is the culprit in most chronic disease. An inflamed esophageal sphincter doesn’t close correctly after the food passes by. Trans fats, sugar, chemicals, nutrient deficiencies and Candida Yeasts are causes of inflammation.
  • Sluggish bile. Bill Sardi points out that many cases of heartburn are due to a digestive juice bile that is not being properly processed. Read his article.
  • Spinal miss-alignment. Something may be interfering with the supply of nerve energy to the stomach or the esophageal sphincter. (See a chiropractor.)

Some supplements of interest

Some folks find relief with a teaspoon or two of Apple Cider Vinegar diluted in a little water before a meal. If the vinegar helps, it is a sign that you may need more acid. However, even if you do need the acid for digestion, the vinegar may burn going down if the tissues are terribly inflamed. Follow the vinegar with a few sips of water.

Related pages:

How to get off of Acid Blockers

Reflux Q & A


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