Archive for the ‘general’ Category

Medications that interfere with nutrients and good bacteria

When Dr. Ross Pelton was on the show last Saturday, he offered our listeners a copy of his FREE Quick Reference Guide to Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletions. Click the title to download it.

One of the topics he covers is the number drugs that damage our friendly gut bacteria. My most recent book, The Probiotic Cure: Harnessing the Power of Good Bacteria for Better Health discusses the myriad ways that our gut buddies determine our health, immune function, emotional state, weight and much more. Here is Dr. Pelton’s list of the classes drugs that disrupt our collection of helpful bacteria (our microbiomes):

  • Antibiotics (well, duh!)
  • PPIs, H2 blockers & Antacids (heartburn drugs)
  • NSAIDs (pain killers)
  • Statins (cholesterol)
  • Metformin (blood sugr)
  • Opioids (pain killers)
  • Corticosteroids (anti-inflammatory)
  • Atypical Antipsychotics (mental illness)
  • Chemotherapy Drugs (cancer)
  • Estrogen meds (OCs & HRT)

Fortunately, there are gut friendly natural alternatives to most of those meds as you learn about from HBN’s guests and in the library. If you must take the drugs, at the least, make sure you supplement with Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics. To protect the bacteria from the meds, allow a couple of hours between them.

Coronavirus—facts, fiction and what to do

When should you worry about coronavirus? Worry if you are trapped indoors in Wuhan, China with people who already have the virus; you have a seriously compromised immune system; and do not have access to sunshine, supplements, or US medical care.

Why “Hair on fire”? That is a colorful term to describe unjustified panic. I do not minimize the loss of hundreds of lives in China or the 3 deaths so far in the rest of the world. My aim is to simply put the issue into a realistic perspective; calm the panic that the media promotes and remind readers of what they can do to protect themselves or failing that, recover. I’ll start there, then detail the facts relating to the media coverage.

What I should do? Don’t plan your vacation in Wuhan any time soon. Get sufficient vitamin D or at least sunshine year-round and extra in the winter because it is so crucial for immune function. (Note that an aggressive amount of vitamin D can help greatly at the first sign of symptoms. Check out those instructions and other remedies on this Library page.) To maintain immune strength, take zinc all year. Eat organic foods for many reasons and to avoid Roundup (which depletes zinc and is hard on our beneficial bacteria). If you begin to feel ill, quickly take natural antivirals like quercetin, resveratrol, elderberry, olive leaf. Eat chicken soup. (Seriously, there is science on this.)

Bill Sardi found a 2003 study showing that glycyrrhizin from licorice root was effective against the similar SARS virus in 2003. Most licorice supplements for regular use remove that component because of side effects which include elevating blood pressure. Here is a product that still contains glycyrrhizin to use short term if you contract a coronavirus-like virus.

Religious healers in India recommend you spread cow dung on your body. I’m not buying that, but it reminded me that our gut bacteria represent 70%+ of our immune competence and so we should protect them; feed them vegetables and fiber; and supplement with fermented foods and Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics.

Media, why aren’t you telling us about these important preventive and natural remedy factors???

Why spread panic? We are warned of a “grave threat for the rest of the world” that “could infect up to 60% of the global population.” One big reason to say the sky is falling is that they are covering their behinds…no authority wants to be blamed for not having warned the public. And there is no real price for them to pay if they hit the panic button in error. The general attitude will be “better safe than sorry”—never mind the damage done to world economies or having caused the creation of virtual concentration camps or having added yet one more unhealthful stress to people who already have plenty. (In 2014 the Ebola scare caused the very expensive monitoring of 30,000 people and found no positives.) Agencies and governments love an excuse to exert more control. Pharmaceutical giants stand to gain from creating a market for vaccines. Sometimes it is just politics. The media, of course, delight in a good panic (or hint of scandal) because they want our attention for their 24-hour news cycles—more viewers means more ad dollars.

The facts:

  • The coronavirus appears to be less dangerous than the annual flu or SARS which caused panic in 2003. And, like the flu, the danger is in complications experienced by a tiny percentage. Those are mostly people who are chronically ill, take immune-suppressing drugs (even aspirin deplete vitamin C which helps immune function) and those who have weak or underdeveloped immune systems—mainly because they are undernourished in immune support. Even dehydration increases the risk of complications. Being toxic certainly makes us more vulnerable. Bill Sardi mentioned that “68% of early coronavirus cases were men which is precisely the exact same percentage of Chinese males that smoke tobacco.”
  • So far, in the United States, there have been zero deaths among the 13 cases—that is 1 case in every 25 million people. (The odds of winning the Texas lottery is about the same! So far, you are about twice as likely to be struck by lightning as to even come down with the coronavirus.) Here is an article I wrote discussing in part the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic scare.
  • The death rate from coronavirus is said to be 2%. That is based on Chinese numbers and the real rate is likely very much lower because they have not been counting the mild cases who were not tested or those who never went in at all. It is hard to rely on their numbers.
  • Also, the conditions in Wuhan are less favorable for recovery than here. For example, forcing Wuhan citizens to stay indoors makes matters worse because they cannot get sufficient vitamin D. That can lead to pneumonia which is a bigger problem.

Will a vaccine save us? Don’t hold your breath. (1) it won’t be available for a year. (2) by the time it is here, the threat will likely be something else (this year, as is often the case, the vaccine isn’t a match with what is going around). (3) the toxins in the vaccine create are statistically more deadly than the typically mild symptoms of the disease. (4) the immune-compromised individuals who are likely to develop complications from the virus are also less able to do what the vaccines require—make antibodies against the disease. Interestingly, in one study, 60% of doctors don’t take the annual flu shot.

Bill Sardi Interview Review

Bill Sardi answered questions on last Saturday’s program. Nothing beats hearing him, but below is a quick review of topics covered:

  • Hangover. The Super Bowl is commonly called “National Hangover Day.” I always advise alternating alcoholic beverages with water and taking extra vitamin C. Mr. Sardi told us about a natural substance, myricetin, which you can buy in a health food store. It stops the hangover problems by blocking the GABA (relaxation) receptor in the brain. After taking myricetin for a while you might not even want to drink. I asked about sugar, but that is another pleasure receptor. He brought up the problem of yeast which causes sugar cravings.
  • Vertigo. The middle ear canal fluid determines your balance. When calcium particles build up and collect in the wrong place, it can cause loss of balance. This seems to happen more in winter when we aren’t getting enough vitamin D from sunshine and are less active. The “Epley Maneuver” is a series of positions that help the crystal move to where they aren’t a problem. Search the web or YouTube for DIY instructions or ask your doctor if he or she can do it for you. If you feel like the room is spinning, that might be a problem in the inner ear such as an infection.
  • The coronavirus. The media is in panic mode about this disease. Here is math to help put the issue into context—the 400 deaths in China, while sad, represent only 1 death in every 3.5 million Chinese citizens. Even the epicenter, Wuhan, that translates to 1 death per 27,700 people. The current disease is not as deadly as previous coronavirus outbreaks like SARS and MERS. The odds are greater for dying of the garden variety annual flu. And, as is the case with flu, being on immune-suppressing drugs increases the odds of trouble.

Mr. Sardi pointed out that coronaviruses are common all year long but can cause more disease in the winter when folks are low in vitamin D and/or malnourished as might be the case in China. Bill Sardi wrote an article covers many things you can do to improve your resistance. (Also check out my library page.) Bill said we must have enough vitamin D to activate the immune cells called neutrophils that destroy virus-infected cells. Also helpful for that are garlic and resveratrol.  Zinc is needed to allow the thymus gland to make the T-cells which create memory immunity to the virus (much better than vaccination) should it return any time during your life.

He says even vaccines don’t work right without sufficient zinc. Most people are low in zinc. That is due in part to the use of Roundup in agriculture. It contains arsenic which depletes zinc from crops. We need 30 mg a day to stay even and Molecular Multi has that in the right form. In conventional treatment, steroids deplete vitamin C, so take more in that case. Summing up, you and your kids need vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc and selenium for proper immune function.

  • Baking soda remedy. The protocol of taking baking soda on an empty stomach is for autoimmune conditions.
  • Osteoporosis. Deficiency of estrogen is the problem with bone weaking. Ask your doctor to test you and prescribe bio-identical hormones if needed. Resveratrol (only 200-300 mg) safely mimics estrogen and helps hold calcium in the bone and rebuilds. Without that (and vitamin K2 and D), supplemental calcium may go into arteries instead. Although the attention is always on calcium, these minerals are also important for bone: magnesium, zinc, manganese and boron to name a few.
  • De-aging. One proven cause of aging is the accumulation of unhelpful minerals. Removing them is one of the ways that resveratrol (BTW, I misstated the name of the Harvard expert…it is Dr. David Sinclair.) Sardi told an interesting story about someone he knows who improved remarkably after a stroke and said his memory was better than before the event.
  • Budget supplement plan: A listener asked how to maximize the effect of a vitamin program and cut costs/ Molecular Multi—buy 3 bottles and get 2 free. That gets the price down to about $1.00 a day. If need be, just take ½ the recommended dose. Vitamin D is not expensive. Magnesium citrate is not expensive. This vitamin C product protects you around the clock which makes it a bargain. Longevinex is the best form of resveratrol. Take it every other day and still get protection.

We did not get to heart disease, but here is his new article on the topic.

The picture above was borrowed from thehill.com.

SOY – finally one bit of good news

Over the years, many Healthy by Nature guests have discussed the many problems with most forms of soy. I’ll review some of that below, but first some good news:

A newly published 11-year Japanese study of almost 93,000 persons showed important benefits from certain food products made from fermented soy. The foods miso and natto were associated with a lower risk of “all cause” mortality. Natto, in particular, showed a significant association with reduced cardiovascular disease. Other forms of soy were not associate with these benefits.

You may only know miso from the soup of that name served in Asian restaurants. I often use miso paste to add flavor depth to dishes—especially vegetable soup. I recommend Miso Master Organic brand found in the refrigerated section of natural foods markets. I tried natto when I was in Japan. To me it tasted as bad as it smelled (something like a rotting used sweat sock). I’m glad to report that Kyolic, put in their blood pressure Formula 109 capsules a concentrate of the active natto property (and no icky smell). Formula 109 also includes wisely the massively studied Kyolic Aged Garlic and the calming amino acid, L-Theanine.

There is NOT GOOD NEWS  for other forms such as soy protein, soy milk, tofu, edamame, etc. 

  • Anthony Jay, PhD talked about hormone disruptors during his January 11 interview. He wrote me later to assure I knew that soy was associated with thyroid
  • Steven Gundry, MD talked about inflammatory lectins in his November 9 interview. He says that lectins (components plants create to protect themselves by being eaten by animals) are a major cause of leaky gut, arthritis, obesity and many diseases. Because soy is very high in lectins, he thinks that it is one of the worst foods. On Facebook he said: ““The soy industry lied to you to make money.” 
  • More than 75% of soy (unless certified organic) is genetically modified (GMO) and contaminated with glyphosate weed killer. Study
  • The following two quotes are from Michael Pollan in his book, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto:

“You may not think you eat a lot of corn and soybeans, but you do: 75 percent of the vegetable oils in your diet come from soy (representing 20 percent of your daily calories) and more than half of the sweeteners you consume come from corn (representing around 10 percent of daily calories).”

“The soybean itself is a notably inauspicious staple food; it contains a whole assortment of “antinutrients” – compounds that actually block the body’s absorption of vitamins and minerals, interfere with the hormonal system, and prevent the body from breaking down the proteins of the soy itself.”

The food industry talks up soy, but there are whole books on what is wrong with it. I’m glad to see the study showing benefits from fermenting soy. Fermentation reduces the problems with foods and makes them more powerful. I am a fan of Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics because it is a concentrate of many wonderful fermented foods.

“The REST of the story”

For more than 50 years, radio commentator Paul Harvey famously surprised us with “rest of the story”. These days, a fly on the wall would often hear me muttering “but what about…” as I read / listen to news reports about health. Here are three examples:

  • “The body’s ‘normal’ temperature has dropped.” As the Scientific American article reports, for nearly 150 years, 98.6° was understood to be the temperature of a healthy human. Now researchers claim based on averages that the new normal is 97.5°.

The rest of the story. Really? It is illogical that the genetics of whole populations could have changed in just a few decades. Hmmm…you know what else has changed in that time period? The incidence of thyroid insufficiency which has gone up markedly and a major symptom of low thyroid is low body temperature! The condition is under-reported and the low-temp symptom is often still present even after treatment with the synthetic thyroid drug. So, are they really talking about a new “normal” or have they basically said that on average we are sicker, so we’ll just call it normal?

Since 40% of the country is obese, should we now call that “normal”? Likewise, several studies have concluded that boys and girls are reaching puberty at younger ages. Do we change the guidelines in the textbooks, or try to control the hormone-disrupting chemicals and plastics in the environment that Dr. Jay said are to blame?

  • Sepsis. According to the CDC, “each year, at least 1.7 million adults in America develop sepsis. Nearly 270,000 Americans die [annually] as a result of sepsis. 1 in 3 patients who die in a hospital have sepsis.” Wikipedia explains: “Sepsis is caused by an inflammatory immune response triggered by an infection. Most commonly, the infection is bacterial, but it may also be fungal, viral, or protozoan.” Sepsis is the leading cause of deaths in hospitals and the incidence of it is rising by 8% per year. 

The rest of the story. Bill Sardi reported: Modern Medicine’s Aversion To Vitamin C Therapy Results In Needless Deaths From Sepsis In U.S. Hospitals Every Year. He also told me that “one published study reveals the prevalence of vitamin C deficiency is ~7% for the public at large but rises to 47.3% among hospitalized patients.  That figure approaches 100% in the ICU.” Intravenous vitamin C is extremely inexpensive.

  • A New Approach to Cancer Treatment Draws Lessons From Darwin. “Adaptive treatment” is a type that takes a break from chemo after the tumor is reduced by a certain percentage. The point is to stop before the tumor cells all become resistant to the chemo drug. Once that happens, the patient is in serious trouble. (Some farmers and smart pest control services do something similar. They leave a few critters behind to compete with the ones that have evolved resistance to the poison.) Cancer treatment is resumed when the cancer begins to grow again. This approach significantly increased the survival rate while reducing both the cost of treatment and side effects. Sounds promising.

The rest of the story. Research continues. In an early study it was projected that the optimum time to suspend treatment was when the tumor had shrunk 25%. However, to make the idea better accepted, the treatment was continued until a 50% reduction was achieved. What interests me most about this is that oncologists have been so slow to learn from the farmers, pest control and the horrible mess we’ve made by creating antibiotic resistance. I’m impressed that our friendly bacteria, which are a huge part of our immune system, can mutate to protect us as the threats change. Too little research is being done on how our microbes can be used to help with treatment and how to avoid killing them off with treatment. (Chemo damages them of course, but so do antibiotics that are used in cancer surgery…often with no thought to replacing the depleted probiotics.)

Environmental estrogens make MEN & WOMEN fat, sick and infertile

During the January 11, 2020 program, we got a wake-up call from Anthony G. Jay, PH.D. about a class of chemicals that are assaulting our bodies and brains. Dr. Jay is a Mayo Clinic researcher and the author of Estrogeneration: How Estrogenics Are Making You Fat, Sick, and Infertile. The quick review below is not a substitute for listening to that show and certainly not for reading his book.

What Xenoestrogens are. There are an increasing number of “endocrine-disruptor” chemicals in our air, food, water, consumer products and environment. (Even some foods such as soy can imbalance hormones.) They can mess with any of our hormones—for example, the thyroid. The category we discussed was xeno-estrogens. “Xeno” means “foreign”. As you know, “estrogen” is a hormone (messenger in the body) that is commonly thought of as for females. Actually, during most of the month, men have about the same blood levels as women. When hormones get out of balance, bad things can happen. Hormone-dependent breast cancer is perhaps the best known example and fake estrogens can have that effect. As the name of Dr. Jay’s book implies, these chemical impersonators can cause many more problems for both genders. The toxic xeno-estrogens can also block receptors for the real thing and interfere with normal benefits.

The problems they cause. We could start with the environment. Xenoestrogens are making whole communities of certain wildlife infertile and killing coral reefs. In humans, the chemicals are linked to Alzheimer’s, cancers (breast cancer up 250% since 1980), depression, diabetes, early-onset puberty, endometriosis, infertility (fertility down 50% since 1960), “man boobs” (even in toddlers), miscarriage and obesity (doubled since 1980). Birth control pills are hormones used to upset the balance on purpose. It appears that high estrogen levels reduce testosterone, which in addition to supporting cardiovascular health and muscle strength in both genders, also improves libido. These compounds affect the way our genes behave and that information is passed along to many future generations. That process is called “epigenetics”.

Sources of xeno-estrogens. Common sources that we discussed on the show are the plastics in water bottles, the linings of cans and paper cups and packaging. BPA is a well known member of this class and it is also sprayed on the paper used for register receipts. Beware of products claiming to be “free of BPA because they may have simply substituted BPS or one of the other BP line that have the same effects. Look at the recycling codes for a clue. Avoid #1.  Better numbers are 3, 4 and 5. Avoid storage of foods and beverages in plastic and certainly don’t microwave food in plastic.

Food additives like red food color and food contaminants such as many pesticides (especially on grains) and herbicides (think Roundup) have estrogenic effects. So, whole, natural, organic food is best. Dr. Jay says to avoid soy foods (unless fermented) because they are too strong a source of plant estrogens. Body care products (e.g. sunscreen, shampoo, and creams) with fragrances, parabens and other additives have estrogenic effects. They are a big problem because they absorb into circulation with no chance of being detoxified in the gut. Also, watch out for laundry detergent and household cleaning products. Wash new clothing because it might have been treated with these chemicals. Marijuana smoked is estrogenic, but not the edibles. This website has a list of sources (and the site I thank for the graphic) and here is another site.

Removing xeno-estrogens from our bodies. The best place to start, of course, is to avoid taking more in. We should also remember that fat cells make estrogen which, even though natural, adds to the estrogen load. Eating a lot of good green foods is a positive start on detox (and weight loss). Dr. Jay says that the Far Infrared Sauna is a big help. Use a water filter because the compounds are now in tap water. Exercise regularly. When Dr. Jay is on the next time we’ll ask him more about detoxification.

“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” Often attributed to Benjamin Franklin

Cancer prevention and patient support options

One hundred years ago, cancer was the #5 cause of premature death. When we began our conventional “WAR on cancer” in 1971 (almost 50 years ago) it was #3. Today it is #2 (unless you count the total of medication side effects, medical mistakes, hospital acquired infections, etc. which would push cancer back to #3). Some of that rise is due to some diseases moving down the list. Yes, what they call “survival”, still alive at 5 years, has improved. That is due mostly to folks giving up cigarettes and excessive sun exposure, plus earlier detection of cancers. However, a shocking number of people still must be treated for cancer and because conventional treatment so damages the immune system, the rates that cancer returns after 5 years are alarming. And, there has been a 250% increase in breast cancer since 1980.

If we were looking at the situation objectively from another planet, we’d have to conclude that Americans must be doing something(s) to generate more cancer and that the current treatment approach is not all that effective…in spite of the near $100 billion spent on research and a like amount spent every year on treatment! The “war” strategy has been mainly chasing some silver bullet (translate that as “drug”) to kill cancer after it has become established—i.e. we’ve been fighting the forest fire. We should be telling people how to blow out the match before it starts the fire—i.e. prevention. Science continues to discover genes linked to certain cancers and big pharma invents sophisticated (and horrendously expensive) drugs to tell the immune system what to do regarding a single gene that affects a particular cancer. Side effects abound.

However, I think the really exciting research is into how nutrients and other natural substances can change how many genes behave to avoid and even cure cancer. Although there are many kinds of cancer, the basic causes and nutritional support for them are very similar. So, don’t be afraid to read about “pancreatic cancer” or “breast cancer” even if that is not what you are worried about. Also, what is good for prevention should also be considered during treatment.

The paragraphs above are the introduction to what is a major new overhaul of the information about cancer in the website Library. If you are interested in prevention you might like to read it. If you know someone with cancer, please do them a service and send them this link. They might just find the life saving answer(s) they have been looking for.

These are the subjects on the cancer page: Causes of Cancer to avoid, Detection Options, Natural Supportive Steps (with sections on diet, gut, various supplements and remedies, body weight, toxins, alcohol, exercise, stress/anger, hormone therapy, sleep/shift work, stem cells), links to Related Pages (Building Immune Function, Pancreatic Cancer, a Survivor Story, 10 steps from Dr. Kotsanis), Treatment Options, links to outside sites with good information, past Radio Shows, Books, Charities and services for patients.

Yes, it is a lot, but for someone in the fight of their life, I think they would want as much good information as they could get and unfortunately, they will not likely hear any of this at the conventional oncology clinic.

New Year’s Health Resolutions Made Easy

Well, maybe not so much “easy” as they are potentially manageable. One reason that “turn-over-a-new-leaf” resolutions often fail is that folks bite off too much thereby setting themselves up to fail. (Some also just set a goal weight reduction rather than working on being healthy first.) Studies at Stanford University offered tips for forming good habits. They also found that making an emotional connection to the desired habit helps.

Consider tackling one of the following tips and working on that until it becomes a habit (which may take weeks). And then try another. Everyone is different, so pick the one you think might make the biggest change in your health and energy. Tackle that first. Or go for one that sounds easy and build on that success. Having the goals written out helps. Perhaps print this out and assign a month to each item (I’ve given more than 12 choices). Post the plan where you will see it daily and remember that a trip of a 1,000 miles starts with a single step.

  1. Reduce sugar in your diet. The more you remove, the better you will feel and the less you will crave it.
  2. Consider reducing your intake of grains like wheat and corn. They are starches that turn into sugar and are at the top of the list of most common allergens, but there are a lot of other reasons. Learn more from my Library article on grains.
  3. Eat more vegetables. Every study that I review, no matter what the disease focus or overall diet plan, agrees that veggies are crucial. One reason is that they are what our intestinal good guy bacteria like to eat. Frozen vegetables are okay if you can’t get fresh.
  4. Choose more organic foods. The Environmental Working Group is a great resource. They rate the foods they have found to be the most contaminated with pesticides and weedkillers and those that are safer. You can download a shopping guide and a list of hormone disrupting chemicals to avoid. CLICK HERE.
  5. Plan meals a week at a time. A lot of our nutrition indiscretions occur when we are very hungry and our survival instincts lead us zombie-like to a vending machine or drive-through window. Twenty minutes a week of planning before going to the market will make sure you have what you need. You can pull something out of the freezer or turn on the crock pot before you head out for the day.
  6. Drink sufficient water. Our cells contain a total of about 30 quarts of water. It is needed to move nutrients in, toxins out and to facilitate all the chemistry of the cells. The standard advice is to divide your body weight in half and drink that many ounces per day. (For example, a 150 lb person would drink 75 ounces.) Measure out that much into a glass bottle or pitcher and monitor throughout the day how you are doing. Of course, I’m talking about pure water, not tap water. Water filtered at home is much better and less expensive than any brand in a toxic plastic bottle.
  7. Get 8 hours sleep. Because of our body runs processes on a clock, hours of sleep before midnight count more. If you are in the habit of staying up late, try going to bed ½ hour earlier each night until you reach your target. Computer work or staring at the phone screen before bedtime makes shutting down your brain harder. A warm bath or shower helps. If prayers or visualizing a relaxing vacation spot doesn’t send you to dreamland, consider a supplement of melatonin.
  8. Improve your digestion. Chewing thoroughly and being relaxed when you eat are a good start. Probiotics are very important. (Learn more in my book, The Probiotic Cure) If you need more help, consider a fiber supplement, enzymes and adequate water (as suggested above). If elimination is slow, try drinking a large glass of very warm water when you get up in the morning. As I discuss in my heartburn book, it is a very, very dangerous idea to corrupt digestion with acid-blocking drugs for more than a couple of weeks.
  9. Get your structure straight. Make a standing monthly appointment for a chiropractic tuneup to make sure you aren’t stressing your body with something being out of place. Miss-alignments can cause interference with nerve supply and/or circulation to almost any body part or system.
  10. Reduce stress in your life. You likely know where unhealthful chronic stress is coming from. Make a plan to get rid of the sources and add in more pleasurable things. Stress Reduction Ideas. At the least, be determined not to let the things you can’t change control you. Don’t forget the little stressors that add up–like clutter or the annoying ding that says you have email. Pay attention to your breathing. Slow deep breaths from the gut are relaxing and cleansing. Count 4 in 8 out.
  11. Reduce toxic chemicals in and around your home. Substitute natural, environmentally safe cleaners like vinegar and baking soda. Use organic pest and weed control—follow the advice of Howard Garrett.
  12. Be regular about supplements. Make up packs (in little zip lock baggies) so that you are more regular with your supplements. These are described in my article on supplements. You can get the right size baggies in the bead department of a craft store or on Amazon. (You can put in a note to take ones that are stored in the refrigerator.)
  13. Take better care of your gums. Gum problems lead to cardiovascular problems and adult tooth loss. Use a Sonicare brush and Water flosser (on low setting and perpendicular to the gum line so you don’t force anything below). Dissolve a Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics gel cap in your mouth as you sleep. Have your teeth cleaned twice a year.
  14. Exercise. I saved this for next to last because advice to exercise is everywhere. Start wherever you are and make gradual improvements. If all you can do today is walk to the mail box, maybe by next week you can get to the neighbor’s. We are reminded less often to do strength training, but it is equally important. You don’t have to go to a gym or even have fancy equipment. I have a page on this website that lists 16 reasons to exercise and here is a site with some useful suggestions: Link.
  15. Lose weight. This is most likely the New Year’s Resolution made and broken most often. (As the joke goes, I vowed to lose 10 pounds…I only have 15 to go.) It too can be turned into steps starting with some of those above, especially the more water / less sugar ones. Another you might not have thought of is to watch for yeast overgrowth because your gut bugs have a lot to say about what you crave.

Unfortunately, no one can do these things for you and it is clear that if we keep doing what we’ve been doing, we will keep getting what we’ve been getting (and maybe some other unwanted stuff we didn’t see coming.) Good luck!

Give your amazing gut buddies a break

Probiotics

Well over 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine taught that all disease begins in the gut. It turns out that he was right—even though he had no way to know then about the crucial role of bacteria. For a long time we thought that bacteria were only bad. Then we became aware that good varieties might help keep our elimination regular. Now, we appreciate that having a robust, diverse, and well-balanced personalized collection of friendly bacteria in our intestinal tracts does a whole lot more. It help us avoid, reverse, or at least improve obesity, depression, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and many more chronic health concerns of our time. It isn’t clear that we can even stay alive without what Steven Gundry, MD calls “our gut buddies”!

We are host to a LOT of these critters—perhaps 100 times more bacterial cells than our own body’s cells. Together they weigh 3-4 pounds, which is about as much as our liver and they have even more jobs! This internal collection of microorganisms is called our “microbiome”. It is a crucial part of the body’s instruction manual because the bacteria have 1,000 times more DNA than our own cells! For a tiny glimpse of how they work, look at this page showing a few of the jobs performed by the 12 species (also known as strains) used in the fermentation of Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics.

A few probiotic basics:

  • Antibiotics are our gut buddies worst enemies. These drugs are created to kill bacteria and they are not like Santa Claus, e.g. checking who’s naughty and nice. Up to 50% of the time, antibiotics should not even be prescribed because, like in the case of the flu, the problem is not bacterial. After a round of antibiotics it may take our gut up to a year to return to normal. We are also getting stealth agricultural antibiotics slipping through in commercial meat and dairy. Glyphosate weed killer (e.g. in Roundup) acts as an antibiotic. It is used so extensively that studies show that 93% of us probably have it in our bodies.
  • Modern life in general is hard on our gut buddies. The assault starts when a child is born by C-section and therefore misses the first donation of bacteria that he or she would have gotten in the natural birth process. Then, mom and baby are both likely to receive antibiotics. Tap water has chlorine added to kill bacteria. The air and a great many consumer products contain toxic chemicals and most medications are hard on bacteria. You can see why we must look out for them.
  • What the bacteria like to eat. Foods they eat are called “prebiotics”. The probiotics thrive on fiber, especially from vegetables and fibrous fruits. Fibers like FOS and inulin that are often added to probiotic products do increase the numbers of bacteria, but not necessarily the important diversity and certainly not the postbiotics that you will read about below. It is smart to eat as much organic produce as you can because the agricultural chemicals are so harmful. The Environmental Working Group makes an annual list of the “Dirty Dozen andclean 15”. Commercial kale is now at the top of the dirty list, so that is a good place to start going organic. Good bacteria appreciate spices like turmeric.
  • What they don’t like to eat. Ultra-processed foods in general are bad for our good bugs because they lack fiber and nutrients and contain harmful chemicals such as preservatives, artificial colors and the like. Sugar from any source is a special problem because it feeds intestinal yeasts that are competing bad guys.
  • “Postbiotics” are the magic. It seems that the main way that probiotic bacteria help us is to digest the good foods we eat and turn them into useful substances…hundreds if not thousands of them. For example, you’ve likely heard that pomegranates are a sort of superfood. An interesting study showed that pomegranate extended the life of mice 50%, but only if the mice were host to the right bacteria that could make Urolithin A (a postbiotic) from the fruit. Click here to see a list of the types of postbiotics our bacteria make.
  • Meaningless marketing claims. It isthe American way to assume that more is better. So, when we see a probiotic ad claiming 50 billion organisms that might sound pretty good. However, without even getting into why the freeze-dried type might not be viable, consider that well fed bacteria in a good environment can double in numbers every 30 minutes. That means that in 24 hours, 100 bacteria can become 28 quadrillion! Obviously, we should get well researched strains and give them a good home.
  • What do I recommend? I think eating a diet with lots of vegetables and fiber plus fermented foods is a great start. Most of us need some extra help and over the years I have not found anything that works as well and as quickly as Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics. That’s because it is a concentrate of fermented foods, not a freeze dried powder. Twelve strains of bacteria are fed dozens of superfoods over at least 3 years. That means you get the postbiotic benefit of untold generations of bacteria. The bacteria are not freeze-dried, they are alive and come in a capsule with their food supply and hundreds of the postbiotics they made for you. Because they are fermented at room temperature, they don’t need to be refrigerated. The usual probiotics are probably not bad, but their benefit is no comparison to Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics. It deserves to be in a different category.

For a more complete story and an indexed guide to solving many health issues naturally, please read my book The Probiotic Cure: Harnessing the Power of Good Bacteria for Better Health

FDA’s war on homeopathy

Access to Homeopathy Threatened by Latest FDA Action

Homeopathy is a system of natural medicine that has been used by untold millions of people around the world since the 1800’s. (Even the British royal family!) People love it and the medical literature includes hundreds of clinical trials demonstrating its safety and effectiveness. Unfortunately, we are facing a serious threat to our freedom to use homeopathy. But, you can help and it isn’t hard.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced a change in policy that, unless rescinded, would make all homeopathic medicines automatically illegal by classifying them as “new drugs”! Why is that a problem? The FDA is allowed to remove any unapproved and therefore illegal drug from the marketplace without notice and without any proof of harm.  Homeopaths as far away as Australia are worried about the likely ripple effects of this impending change—and rightfully so! We only have until January 23rd to stop them!

Obviously, you should care if you stay healthy by seeing a homeopathic physician. But, you should care even if you just enjoy a safe, effective homeopathic sleep spray or if you reduce muscle soreness with Arnica after a workout, or if you appreciate safe children’s homeopathic products that help avoid the need for antibiotics. (Have you ever tried Oscillococcinum® at the first sign of the flu? Amazing!)

For the last 30 years, the FDA had a regulatory system for homeopathy that worked. It allowed manufacturers of homeopathic remedies to thrive while also ensuring the quality and purity of homeopathic medicines. However, the FDA has revoked that framework and proposes to replace it with one that reflects the agency’s extreme bias against any non-pharmaceutical health-related products. (We shouldn’t be too surprised given the well documented incestuous relationship been the industry and the regulators.)

Makers of homeopathic products cannot patent homeopathic medicines like the manufacturers of pharmaceutical drugs do thereby cornering the market and making billions in profit. Therefore, not one homeopathic company can justify spending hundreds of millions of dollars to gain FDA approval. Even if they could, the process takes many years.

The FDA claims to be concerned about safety of active ingredients. Really? The ingredients they say could be a problem are been diluted to the point that there is not even one molecule of the substance in the medium. All that remains is the energetic signature that gently urges the body to correct a problem. This regulatory change supposedly started because several years ago one homeopathic product also administered zinc directly into the nose and may (or may not) have caused a loss of smell. Then teething products were targeted, but the agency could not confirm a connection to the problems claimed. The FDA extreme position on homeopathy seems an especially cruel joke in light of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who die annually due to FDA-approved medications. (And don’t get me started on the fact that USDA that allows toxic Roundup in our approved foods on store shelves.)

What about manufacturing safety? This week, I visited a prominent supplier of homeopathic products. I was extremely impressed with their cleanliness, safety consciousness and finely detailed control procedures. This wonderful US homeopathic company was targeted by the FDA mainly because they couldn’t account for which customers walked away with 3 individual products given as samples at a tradeshow! Once looking for trouble, the regulators found a non-infectious bacteria in a product and all heck broke loose. The company would have had to close if the owner hadn’t used his life savings to fight their way back. (I’ll bet good money that they are safer than the Indian and Chinese pharma companies who make those generic drugs so frequently found to be contaminated. I heard on the news that FDA only cares to inspect foreign makers once every two years or so.)

Don’t depend on a company or organization to solve this problem—the FDA isn’t worried by them. However, when the public gets riled up, the FDA knows that Congress listens—that might affect the FDA’s budget! Protect your access to this extraordinary system of medicine NOW because the comment period ends January 23, 2020. Click this link to submit a comment to the FDA. Say something like this:

  1. Please extend the comment period by 180 days because more of my friends need to express their opinions.
  2. I want to protect my ability buy homeopathic medicines because I know that they work and I trust them.
  3. Please do not classify homeopathic remedies as unapproved drugs because that gives the product makers no protection and your agency too much leeway to act on prejudice.
  4. I request that instead of going after homeopathic products, the FDA should use its resources on much higher priorities such as antibiotic resistance and the unacceptable number of deaths and disability from FDA-approved medications.

Send a copy of this email to friends you know use homeopathics. (Also contact your US Representative and Senator. Ask them to monitor the FDA on this issue.).

Some of the above is copied from an article by The Board of the American Institute of Homeopathy. I confirmed the points with this article and with lawyers who specialize in defending homeopathic companies.


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