What do you mean, Minerals?

There are over 90 nutrients that we should consider “Essential” to our health:

If we don’t have the proper amounts of these nutrients there are symptoms, mild to severe.

A few examples:

~ Vitamins

The deficiency may be mild like with Vitamin A, you’ll get dry eyes or poor night vision.

A shortage of B12 will give you a low blood pressure [less than 120/80, which is considered optimal].

Too little vitamin C and you’ll have easy bruising, more infections and a tendency to have bleeding gums.

~ Minerals

On average, there are 10 deficiency symptoms for each mineral that we are lacking.

Calcium deficiency, it has been said, can lead to 147 symptoms including osteoporosis, joint pain, joint popping/creaking/cracking etc, sleeplessness, irritability, road rage, PMS, twitching muscles, low back pain and neck pain, sciatica, kidney stones, bone spurs, heel spurs, ringing in the ears and the list goes on and on. [Seizures, Cancer and Death are on the list as well]

With a deficiency of Tin and Manganese you’ll have hearing loss and hair loss.

A deficiency of Selenium increases the risk for cancer [conversely Selenium with beta carotene and vitamin E decreases cancer risk].

A shortage of Selenium also increases the incidence of Keshan’’s disease, a fatal cardiomyopathy.

Selenium deficiency is also associated with SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

~ Essential Fats/Oils

If you are short on the Omega 3 oils you are more likely to have asthma, eczema and high cholesterol.

……

There are similar lists for other minerals, vitamins, amino acids and fats/oils that are considered “essential”.

Remember PLANTS cannot make minerals !!

The list of ESSENTIAL nutrients includes 60 minerals, 16 vitamins, 12 amino acids and 3 fats or oils [plus Vita-Nutrients like cholesterol and CoQ10]

For practical purposes I like to think in terms of 5 groups: Minerals, Vitamins, Protein, Fats and Vita-Nutrients.

Each group can be Optimized.

On a continuum you’ll have “Deficiency” at one end and “Optimal” at the other.

There are key symptoms we can use to guide us and I’ve used many of these for years.

Some practical points;

Three key issues that lead to inappropriate hunger and are also good indicators of nutritional deficiency.

1) Lack of Minerals:

Known as Pica or Cribbing – described as a craving for non-food items or specific salty or sweet items- “pickles and ice cream”. Seen frequently in pregnancy.

Solution:

a. Colloidal Minerals [from HUMIC shale not “IONIC”] 15cc twice a day [in juice or straight]

b. Chromium 200mcg 1-2 pills twice a day [EPA says toxic @ 70,000 mcg, so it’s very safe]

c. Calcium from MCHA [derived from cows] is 40-60% absorbable vs 3% with Calcium carbonate as seen in most brands.

2) Lack of Protein

Solution: Get 30-40 grams of animal protein per meal (eggs, cheese, fish, pork, beef, chicken, etc.) while reducing the amount of starches (rice, potatoes and pasta) to a small serving and avoiding them altogether after 5 PM because excess starches convert to fat. Remember sugar (starches) is burned first, then protein and last, fat is burned. With Body Building it is suggested that we get one gram of protein per pound of body weight per day.

L-glutamine, a non-essential amino acid, suppresses the “sweet tooth” syndrome within 20-30 minutes [usually 2-3 grams per dose]

3) Lack of Good Fats –

Solution:

a. Eat 2 eggs per day – Without a long rant I’ll say you need a certain amount of cholesterol in your diet to produce a variety of items – hormones, cell membranes, healthy skin as well as normal brain function.

You can only make 20% of the cholesterol you need – the remaining 80% must come from the diet.

American Heart Assoc study in 1994 showed no elevation of blood cholesterol with 2 eggs per day.

b. Flax oil – About one tablespoon per day in milk or on bread or in yogurt…. this helps all sorts of things including skin, cuticles, brain function as well as weight loss. [Capsule form is available as well]

3% (or slightly more depending on metabolic state) of our calories should come the Omega 3’s (3% of 2,000 Calories is 60 Cal or about 7 grams)

~ Fish oil has been the GOLD STANDARD for Omega 3’s but Krill oil is comparable and possibly even better than fish oil. Krill oil may be the new “Best Choice” . I have some very good feed-back to support this. [Several people reported improved mental function]

Other things to consider:

Body temperature: If your temp is 97.8 or less your thyroid is underactive due to Iodine deficiency. [Normal range is usually considered 98.6 to 99.4]

~ Use Iodized salt [my new favorite is Morton’s LITE SALT which is 50% Sodium chloride and 50% Potassium chloride….”killing three birds…” so to speak by getting Sodium and Potassium plus iodine] or you can get a supplement of Potassium Iodide, don’t get kelp it’s not as usable by the body).

~ Salt your food to taste. It a persistent medical myth that salt is bad for you

Adrenal Insufficiency: If you startle easily or get sweaty palms or sweat excessively you may have Adrenal Exhaustion.

This is due to a couple of shortages, Vitamin C and dietary cholesterol. [ I take a supplemental Adrenal Extract to support adrenal function and DHEA to facilitate hormone production. You can read about the pairing of pregnenolone and DHEA for wellness.

~ Vitamin C is very important for this application as well as a dozen or more reasons. Most of us are borderline low on C. Without a long lecture, you need around 4,000 mg Vitamin C with rose hips. Start with 1,000 mg twice a day then advance to 2,000mg twice daily after a week.

Interesting Note: C is compartmentalized in the tissues at a fairly steep gradient, ie. If in the blood the level is 1, the lens of the eye has a level of 100 and the adrenal glands are at 150!!! Each tissue has a similar gradient; as do many types of cells like white blood cells in particular but also realize that EVERY cell membrane’s optimal function relies on this gradient formation. So, It is accurate… We do “urinate out excess water soluble vitamins”….. But not before making stockpiles of sorts.

Also of interest, Humans are one of around four species that do not manufacture their own vitamin C. Dogs, cats, lions, tigers and bears all make their own. A mule makes around 13 grams a day where a gorilla makes 4 grams or so; this means they are using that much and it gives us an idea what we need by example. There are many other indicators as well, so much for the short version.

Final thought:

25% of overweight people are deficient in Coenzyme Q10.

As I always Remind you…

To achieve full spectrum nutrition we all need to supplement our diets.

Supplements to consider:

1) Get a good multiple vitamin/mineral product. Versions with “Chelated” minerals are best. I also like those with some plant based vitamins.

2) Take a quality Calcium product. Look for MCHA as the calcium source and one that includes Magnesium, vitamin D and some assorted trace minerals.

3) Take Omega 3 oils. Flax oil is the best to start. Adding Krill or fish oil later [BTW – Krill oil in the container has a distinctive odor – if you place 3-4 desiccant packs in the bottle and refrigerate it, the odor is gone in 12 hours]

4) Find a good Colloidal mineral product for trace minerals. Make sure it’s from Humic shale and NOT ionic minerals. Humic shale is the “fossilized” remains of the dinosaur days. Plant based colloidal minerals are 98% absorbed.

As always, feel free to comment or message questions or concerns.

Do You Have Frequent Headaches?

Are Headaches a Problem?

Have you been diagnosed with tension headaches?

What about migraine headaches?

Do your headaches throb?

Are your headaches dull and constant?

Are you taking OTC medications on a regular basis?

Do you have to take prescriptions to relieve and manage your headaches?

Is your life limited by headaches?

Have you been depressed?

Is your sleep not as good as it once was?

Did you know diet plays a big part in headaches?
………………………………….

Tension and Migraine headaches can range from the annoying to the debilitating.

Headaches affect millions of Americans and cause a lot of suffering, inconvenience and expense.

Many people experience headaches with great regularity and must endure countless hours of pain and suffering.

There are many types of headaches but they can be divided into two groups, Vascular and Non-vascular.

Vascular headaches include Migraine, Cluster headaches and a list of miscellaneous types [Hypertension, exertional, hangover, toxins and drugs to a name a few].

Non-Vascular headaches include Tension headaches, TMJ dysfunction, sinus or dental infections and ear infections to the more serious brain tumor or changes in intracranial pressure.

Tension Headaches:

Tension headaches are fairly easy to diagnose due to their presentation. Usually starting in the back of the head or the forehead and they often have trigger points in muscles of the neck and upper back. Tension headaches can be severe and can have symptoms similar to migraines, including nausea and vomiting.

Migraine Headaches:

Migraine headaches have many variations from the classic, common, complicated and variant types. Some migraines are mild while others are debilitating. There are many presentations, variable duration and severity as well as sometimes unpredictable response to therapies.

There are a number of good theories about what causes migraines. Vascular instability and Serotonin deficiency are the two I’ll cover here.

Here is a quick overview of two different theories with some answers.

~ Vascular instability

An artery has the ability to constrict and relax as needed to maintain proper pressure for the delivery of the blood’s oxygen and nutrients. Blood vessels, especially arteries have a relatively high metabolic need – that is, if certain nutrients are short there can be problems.

If the B vitamins are out of whack there will be problems, especially B2, B6 and B12.

B2 or Riboflavin – A 68% improvement of migraine symptoms in a study using very high dose riboflavin [400mg per day] for 3 months- no side effects – blood vessel energy production falters without B2. [An activated version works better]. Chapped lips can be a symptom of a B2 shortage.

EFA’s [Essential Fatty Acids] are instrumental in proper blood vessel stability and function.

Vitamin E and Vitamin C work together to keep cell membranes and blood vessels safe from undue damage and destruction.

~Serotonin deficiency

Low serotonin levels have been associated with migraine headaches for 50 years.

This theory is supported by over 40 years of success seen in several double blind studies using a supplement 5-HTP [5-hydroxytryptophan] the precursor to serotonin.

Low serotonin levels have also been associated with decreased pain tolerance.

This link between low serotonin levels and headaches is the basis of many prescription drugs for the management of migraines.

Imitrex or its generic twin sumatriptan is very effective in giving relief and quite popular – it is a serotonin booster of sorts or an agonist.

There are many triggers for migraine.

Low serotonin levels [diet, stress and genetics]
Foods [allergies, histamine releasing foods, histamine containing foods]
Alcohol [esp red wine]
Chemicals [MSG, nitrates or nitroglycerin]
Caffeine withdrawal or other drugs
Stress and Emotional changes – strong emotions like anger
Hormonal problems [menstruation, ovulation and birth-control pills]
Exhaustion
Eye strain
Too little or too much sleep
Muscle tension
Weather changes [barometric pressure changes]

Most of these “Triggers” are avoidable or at least manageable.
With proper nutrition, lifestyle, exercise and rest many of these triggers can be minimized.

Proper nutrition can prevent many health problems including headaches.

Various nutrient deficiencies have been linked to headaches.

Headache Overview:

It is important to seek medical attention is your headache feels different than a tension ha or migraine or your ha is severe and unrelenting.

Magnesium is very important to avoid headaches. Vegetables are a good source of magnesium [center of chlorophyll – the green pigment]. Sometimes a magnesium supplement is warranted.

Calcium is also very important. Calcium and magnesium work together with potassium and sodium.

Serotonin is very important for migraine sufferers. It is a neurotransmitter that is made from tryptophan, an amino acid. A shortage of serotonin can cause migraines as well as depression.

5-HTP is an excellent supplement to boost serotonin levels.

The B vitamins are crucial to our bodies and can help prevent headaches, especially B2, B6 and B12. There are activated versions of these three B vitamins – the activated versions work in less than 2 weeks where standard versions may take 3-4 months to give results.

It is best to take a B complex [includes all the B’s] in addition to any individual B vitamins you take to avoid imbalances in the B family.

The EFA’s need to be in your diet- Flax oil and fish oil are sources.

Quick supplement list:

5-HTP – many people take 100mg three times a day with good results.

B6 – 25mg twice a day [look for pyridoxal-5-phosphate the “activated” version of B6.]

B2 – 25mg twice a day [ an activated version is available for faster action riboflavin-5-phosphate].

B Complex or B100 two pills twice a day

Consider taking extra Magnesium ; aspartate, malate, succinate, fumarate and citrate versions are best. Avoid Magnesium oxide, chloride and carbonate versions.

As I frequently tell people – It is advisable to pursue full spectrum nutrition – not only for joint pain but for general health purposes.

Our health [or lack of health] is proportional to our nutrition – good or bad.

As I always Remind you…

To achieve full spectrum nutrition we all need to supplement our diets.

Supplements to consider:

1) Get a good multiple vitamin/mineral product. Versions with “Chelated” minerals are best. I also like those with some plant based vitamins.

2) Take a quality Calcium product. Look for MCHA as the calcium source and one that includes Magnesium, vitamin D and some assorted trace minerals.

3) Take Omega 3 oils. Flax oil is the best to start. Adding Krill or fish oil later [BTW – Krill oil in the container has a distinctive odor – if you place 3-4 desiccant packs in the bottle and refrigerate it, the odor is gone in 12 hours]

4) Find a good Colloidal mineral product for trace minerals. Make sure it’s from Humic shale and NOT ionic minerals. Humic shale is the “fossilized” remains of the dinosaur days. Plant based colloidal minerals are 98% absorbed.

As always, feel free to comment or message questions or concerns.

Do You Have a Sweet Tooth?

Have you been diagnosed with Diabetes?

What about Hypoglycemia?

Have you been told that you have “Metabolic Syndrome”? 

What about PCOS [Polycystic Ovary Syndrome]?

Did you know that Metabolic Syndrome and PCOS both stem from Insulin Resistance?

Are your Triglycerides elevated?

Is your HDL low [good cholesterol] ?

Have your blood sugars been too high or too low?

Did you have gestational diabetes during a pregnancy?

Are starches always on your mind?

Have you had trouble sticking to a diet because you are always hungry?

……………………………………………….

If any questions get your attention, you probably have insulin resistance. 

Insulin resistance can be caused by Chromium deficiency.

Our soil and farmland has been depleted of many trace minerals for decades. Farmers always give supplemental minerals to their animals, including Chromium. 

GTF or glucose tolerance factor was discovered during the 1950’s. GTF is primarily Chromium and with its addition to animal feeds there is no diabetes [that is NONE] in domesticated animals. More on this in a minute.

Let’s talk about insulin:

Insulin is a polypeptide or “small protein” hormone produce by the pancreas in response to elevated glucose or blood sugar.

Insulin is quite powerful. It stimulates hunger or causes an increase in appetite dramatically. It promotes the conversion of sugar to fat and, of course, it signals the cells’ uptake of glucose.

Chromium is “ESSENTIAL” to insulin’s cellular effects, that is without chromium insulin does not work at the level of the cell [sugar can’t easily enter]. 

However the Liver and the Brain effects do not require chromium – You can see how this could cause problems [increased insulin = increased hunger and increased fat storage/creation]

Side note here:

If the liver needs to make “new” glucose it will use protein and amino acid stores – effectively wasting protein that could be used elsewhere.

If you are insulin resistant you’ll shunt protein away from areas that need it.

Hypoglycemia occurs when the blood sugar drops too low. 

This is a result of insulin resistance at the cellular level combined with the liver’s ability to convert sugar to fat [cellular level requires chromium while the liver does not]. 

The liver “sees” the higher insulin level as a signal there is extra glucose that should be stored as fat, which is not necessarily so. 

The cellular response to insulin eventually “kicks in” and in conjunction with the liver’s work there can be a dramatic and detrimental drop in blood sugar – complete with a list of low blood sugar symptoms including fainting, sweating or just fuzzy thought.

It is useful to note that the Normal range of glucose in the bloodstream is 70-120. 

Diabetes is (almost arbitrarily) diagnosed when fasting levels are greater than 200. 

Nestled between “Normal” blood sugar and Diabetes is Insulin Resistance which is functionally referred to as Hypoglycemia. 

BTW a blood sugar below 60 causes significant symptoms, from vision changes, fuzzy thinking, sweating, nausea, tremor and even passing out.

Here are some key points;

First, it is important to know that the primary energy source in the body/cells is glucose or blood sugar. It come from several sources —– certainly processed sugar, natural sugar, complex carbohydrates or it is manufactured in the liver from protein/amino acids using gluconeogenesis—- and it is worth noticing that fats or oils cannot be converted to glucose.

Second, it is pertinent that as we set out to “burn calories” we use glucose first, then protein/amino acids and then finally fats. [This is important because once you store calories as fat, it is used as a tertiary fuel or burned 3rd behind glucose and protein/amino acids]

To Reiterate …………..

Insulin is produced by the pancreas in response to ingestion of carbohydrates/sugars or to elevated blood levels of glucose.

Insulin works on three distinct levels, the cell [cellular], the liver or hepatic level and the brain.

Cellular level – it acts like a key allowing the glucose to enter. Chromium is necessary for this cellular function. If Chromium is lacking then more insulin is needed to do the same job. 

Cerebral level [Brain] – it induces hunger (a very strong response that doesn’t rely on Chromium). The “sweet tooth” that some people experience 30 minutes after a meal is due to elevated insulin levels.

Hepatic level [Liver] – insulin has a third function (also Chromium independent). Elevated insulin levels signal the liver that there is “extra” glucose in the system. 

The liver then converts sugar to fat, thereby reducing blood sugar; this can lead to a precipitous drop in blood glucose – AKA hypoglycemia! 

Hypoglycemia occurs because there is only a perceived excess of glucose, not an actual surplus. 

Therefore insulin resistance leads to the production of fat even though there is no real caloric excess and weight gain ensues.

It is worthwhile to mention that an exercising muscle does not need insulin to allow glucose to enter. This is helpful to diabetics as well as hypoglycemics.

You can see how these competing processes could lead to some problems. Without understanding the underlying physiology it is difficult to fix, but once we look at the components it is relatively easy.

Side note: The idea of eating small frequent meals is an attempt to minimize the effects of these abnormally high insulin levels and their backlash. Although this will help it doesn’t address the underlying problem of Chromium deficiency. 

Chromium is a very safe. It is an essential trace mineral.

The EPA states toxicity is seen above 70,000 mcg per day or a whopping 70 mg. 

Chromium actually increases insulin sensitivity and binding while increasing the number of insulin receptors as well.

In studies people who took Chromium actually lost fat while gaining muscle without exercise…. ( I don’t like advertising the no exercise part)

Typically I recommend Chromium Picolinate 200 mcg twice a day to start [it can be gradually increased to 600mcg twice daily]

The Incidence of Diabetes is rising!

Diabetes was in the 100th position in 1900 (99 ailments more common) however by 1936 it had risen to the 41st most common and today it is 3rd in occurrence (behind only heart disease and cancer)

This is quite alarming. What has changed in the past century to account for this rise?

Doctors like to blame diabetes on genetics but that would mean we’ve all mutated or diabetics have been having more children than non-diabetics (not super likely is it?). 

A Familial link makes more sense [things being more likely in a given family] because families EAT together. Does it make sense to you?

I think two things account for this change. One is our sugar consumption and the other is mineral depletion from our soil (specifically Chromium and Vanadium)

Sugar:
In 1900, each person consumed 3 pounds of sugar per year. 
Currently individuals consume between 100 – 300 pounds of sugar yearly, 30-100 times more!

Minerals:
In Senate document 264 (written in1936) it was noted that our farming methods were depleting the soil of trace minerals. In fact, farming the same land for seven years caused such mineral depletion that animals fed those crops had problems ranging from “failure to thrive”, birth defects and infertility to name a few.

In another report I found the Chromium levels in our soils had plummeted between 1948 to 2001. [1000 times less Chromium in the dirt/soil of our farmlands !] Remember, Plants cannot make minerals.

In 1958 we began supplementing the diets of domesticated pigs and cows with Chromium (Glucose Tolerance Factor), a trace mineral, preventing diabetes in these animals. In spite of gaining of a pound per day (an actual goal), these animals do not get diabetes in domestication (and have not for the past 53 years). Of course, one of the risk factors for Diabetes is weight gain.

It took almost forty years for a worthwhile human study!
Human studies were conducted in 1997 by Dr. Anderson. He utilized a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trial, to show conclusively that chromium supplementation can dramatically improve blood sugars of diabetics (published in the journal Diabetes). 

The average blood sugar in the study group was 210 (normal being 70-120). The treatment group that received 1,000mcg [or one millionth of a gram per day] had the remarkable 80 point improvement [down to an average glucose of 130] nearly normalizing the values. Where the non-treatment group (placebo) had the same average reading of 210. 

Amazing results, Did you hear about this study? I saw it in one “throw away” journal. 

Typically, when a successful small [albeit statistically significant and valid] study like this one is published there are efforts to do a much larger study [with thousands of people], but as of yet no such study is in the works.

Makes me wonder why. Is it Big Business at work or is it just human nature to resist a shift in paradigm ? 

Can the average Diabetic benefit from Chromium ?

Yes, but it is very important educate yourself and measure your glucose readings closely. Always consult with your health care provider before changing any medications.

How long does it take to work? 

In the study above the results were seen in 3-4 months.

People with insulin resistance and a “sweet tooth” may see improvement of symptoms within a few days. 

Final thoughts: All of us can benefit by reducing the amount of sugar we consume. 

Choosing to eat fruit rather than drinking fruit juice is an effective start, for example – apple juice is loaded with sugar with 27 grams per cup where an apple contains around 18 grams and gives 5 grams of fiber

As I frequently tell people – It is advisable to pursue full spectrum nutrition – not only for insulin problems but for general health purposes as well. 

Our health [or lack of health] is proportional to our nutrition – good or bad.

As I always Remind you…

To achieve full spectrum nutrition we all need to supplement our diets.

Supplements to consider:

1) Get a good multiple vitamin/mineral product. Versions with “Chelated” minerals are best. I also like those with some plant based vitamins.

2) Take a quality Calcium product. Look for MCHA as the calcium source and one that includes Magnesium, vitamin D and some assorted trace minerals.

3) Take Omega 3 oils. Flax oil is the best to start. Adding Krill or fish oil later [BTW – Krill oil in the container has a distinctive odor – if you place 3-4 desiccant packs in the bottle and refrigerate it, the odor is gone in 12 hours]

4) Find a good Colloidal mineral product for trace minerals. Make sure it’s from Humic shale and NOT ionic minerals. Humic shale is the “fossilized” remains of the dinosaur days. Plant based colloidal minerals are 98% absorbed.

As always, feel free to comment or message questions or concerns.

Are You Having Back, Neck or Shoulder Pain?

Do your knees creak and pop when you get up from sitting?

Are your joints achy for the first 30 minutes of every day?

Do your hands hurt with activity?

Are you prone to joint swelling?

Have you been diagnosed with arthritis?

Do you take NSAID’s or OTC pain meds on a daily basis?

Does arthritis run in your family?

Does someone you know have osteoporosis?

Did you know osteoporosis or osteopenia puts you at risk for arthritis?

Have you been told you need a joint replaced?

Do you have Lupus or Psoriasis related arthritis?

Are you tired of hurting all the time?

Did you know diet and dietary supplements can affect your arthritis and joint pain?
…………………………………….

If joint pain is part of your daily life I have some good news.

Even if you are taking pain medications regularly you can benefit by improving your diet. 

There are nutrient and vita-nutrient supplements that can help reduce and even eliminate joint pain. 

These supplements are non-toxic, inexpensive and generally effective within a few weeks.

Vita-Nutrients are compounds that occur naturally in healthy people. Although vita-nutrients are not considered “essential” in the standard sense they give benefit and can optimize function – Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM are examples of Vita-Nutrients.

Most people have heard of glucosamine and many have had some success in reducing symptoms. But the average person is confused about where to start, after all – a lot is at stake.

Our joints [and bodies] deserve a thorough approach. 
In my estimation there are three functional types of arthritis.

Wear and Tear
Calcium Deficiency
Inflammatory

I divide them by their underlying problems. In my experience people have a blend of all three types. Most have a majority of one category or the other but also elements of the other two. Evidence of this is seen when people with RA or rheumatoid arthritis respond, in some cases dramatically, to glucosamine supplements. People with documented wear and tear arthritis often will benefit when their calcium balance is optimized. You get the idea. 

1) Wear and tear variety – It presents as transient stiffness in the
AM for 30 minutes or so. It will usually respond to a quality
Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM product within 14-21 days.

2) Calcium deficiency/Osteoporosis variety – this type manifests more gradually with joint popping/creaking/cracking and grinding and finally pain that is worse as the day goes on with exacerbation with increasing usage. This includes low back pain, neck pain and various aches/pains.

Proper Calcium balance can alleviate these symptoms including pain, usually within 3 weeks. This “balance” includes avoiding Calcium detractors like phosphoric acid found in dark colas – one 12 ounce cola contains one gram of phosphorus that will negate two grams of Calcium; the amount found in SEVEN 8 ounce glasses of milk.

The proper/best Calcium is derived from bovine sources [actually cows from Australia -No Mad Cow disease there]

Side note here: Herniated discs, for the most part, do not cause pain in joint area but in the “down stream” nerves – arms or legs – where sensation loss and ultimately weakness may also occur. In one study they found 30% of people have a herniated disc while experiencing NO pain. So, MRI results need to be taken in context of other symptoms, in particular – evidence of nerve impingement. Plenty of patients get back or neck surgery that is un-necessary and join the group known as “surgical failures” as they have persistent symptoms of localized pain. 

Remember the less invasive our approach the lower the chance of side effects or bad outcomes – Diet/Nutrition, Activity modification, various physical therapies, medications and surgery are the choices.

3) Inflammatory Arthritis variety – this includes RA, Lupus and
Psoriatic arthritis. There are many lab tests, clinical criteria and
certainly many clinical presentations that are used to categorize this type of arthritis into its apparent overwhelming complexity.
However, if we consider the common thread here is inflammation and then try to address why the inflammation occurred in the first place we are on a more logical path. 

Strong medications are needed in some cases to avoid irreversible joint damage and deformity. Medical supervision, assessment and follow up is VERY important. But, diet and dietary supplements are essentially an extension of your diet – everyone can benefit – even those on the strongest medicines.

Most of us are familiar with fish oil [and other oils krill and flax
oil] being rich in the Omega 3 oils. But few have an understanding
of the Omega 3’s purposes and uses throughout the body which include structural as well as biochemical functions.

The Omega 3 oils get the spotlight nowadays and are very important.

α-Linolenic acid or ALA 
eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA 
docosahexaenoic acid or DHA 

Dietary sources include cold water fish like tuna, sardines or salmon as well as fresh vegetables, but it is difficult to get enough from diet alone, unless you are an Eskimo.

Other fats or oils are also instrumental to good health; saturated fats found in animal products [including butter] and coconut oil, some Omega 6 oils [Linoleic acid or LA and gamma-linolenic acid or GLA] and the Omega 9’s are all part of the healthy team of good dietary fats.

Omega 3’s should comprise around 3% of your daily calories – or 7-10 grams. The Omega 3’s come from animal and plant sources; fish oil, krill oil and flax oil supplements.

I take a concentrated fish oil capsule along with flax oil capsules.

You can also get liquid versions or combination products.

Saturated fats are rendered harmless when adequate amounts of the omega 3 oils are present. Also, a proper omega 6 to omega 3 ratio is vital to avoid an inflammatory environment in the body. The omega 6:3 ratio is an interesting topic; Omega 9 oils, although not essential, help out by displacing the plentiful Omega 6 oils [corn, sunflower and safflower are loaded with Omega 6’s] and Olive oil is good for cooking being heat stable. 

If the proper ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 oils is not maintained
there will be inflammation. The ratio would ideally be 1:1 but our
American diet gives some awful numbers!! I’ve seen a report of 50:1

[remember 3’s are soothing where 6’s are inflammatory]

Here’s a quick excerpt from an abstract – on the topic of Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratios….

Here is the link www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12442909

An Omega 6:3 “ratio of 2-3/1 suppressed inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and a ratio of 5/1 had a beneficial effect on patients with asthma, whereas a ratio of 10/1 had adverse consequences.”

One of the benefits of using Olive oil [Omega 9] is that the Omega 6:3 ratio is improved where using other vegetable oils loaded with Omega 6’s worsen the balance. [Elegantly simple when you think about it]

Summary:

Modern medical technology has given us medications, procedures and surgery [including the near “miraculous” joint replacement] that provide relief and comfort. We are fortunate to live in these times. 

The “diet first” approach is the most logical route. 

All arthritis patients are encouraged to exercise and eat right, but supplements are rarely mentioned.

I have seen arthritis of ALL varieties benefit from dietary modification and nutritional supplementation.

In addition to the supplements I have mentioned above there are other key nutrients to consider. Vitamin C is probably one of the best nutrients to take for optimal joint function.

As I frequently tell people – It is advisable to pursue full spectrum nutrition – not only for joint pain but for general health purposes. Our health [or lack of health] is proportional to our nutrition – good or bad.

As I always Remind you…

To achieve full spectrum nutrition we all need to supplement our diets.

Supplements to consider:

1) Get a good multiple vitamin/mineral product. Versions with “Chelated” minerals are best. I also like those with some plant based vitamins.

2) Take a quality Calcium product. Look for MCHA as the calcium source and one that includes Magnesium, vitamin D and some assorted trace minerals.

3) Take Omega 3 oils. Flax oil is the best to start. Adding Krill or fish oil later [BTW – Krill oil in the container has a distinctive odor – if you place 3-4 desiccant packs in the bottle and refrigerate it, the odor is gone in 12 hours]

4) Find a good Colloidal mineral product for trace minerals. Make sure it’s from Humic shale and NOT ionic minerals. Humic shale is the “fossilized” remains of the dinosaur days. Plant based colloidal minerals are 98% absorbed.

5) Find a quality Glucosamine Chondroitin and MSM product [bovine source is best].

As always, feel free to comment or message questions or concerns.

Eye Health and Your Vision

How is your Vision?

Has your vision gotten worse over the years?

Do you just blame it on getting older?

Have you let a raccoon in your house, mistaking it for your cat?

How is your night vision?

Do you have dry eyes?

Are your eyes itchy and red?

When was your last eye exam?

Have you been diagnosed with Diabetes?

What about Glaucoma?

Did you know that diet can “make or break” your vision?

Have you heard of Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Lycopene? [you will shortly]
………………….

Let’s face it – Our eyesight is probably our most important sense.

Vision loss and blindness are debilitating and not as rare as some imagine.

The Good News is that most causes are preventable through early detection and treatment.

The BETTER News is that with proper nutrition many of these conditions that lead to vision loss can be prevented altogether.

A Few Factoids:

Cataracts affect more than 22 million Americans.

Glaucoma affects more than 2 million – African Americans over 40 are at greater risk. Glaucoma is 15 times more likely to cause blindness in African Africans than their Caucasian counterparts. Early detection is VERY important.
Glaucoma usually responds to treatment. There is a nutritional component, but diagnosis and medical management is a must.

Diabetic Retinopathy affects around half of the 18 million diabetics in America – with yearly exams and early treatment 90% of blindness from diabetes can be prevented.
Good news for diabetics- Chromium, a trace mineral has been shown to help stabilize blood sugar, learn about it.

Macular Degeneration affects more than 1.75 million individuals in the United States – Age-related Macular degeneration is far more prevalent among white than among African Americans.
Age related Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in those 60 and older.
Medical evaluation is VERY important. The more serious “wet” variety is treatable with Laser surgery.
Nutrition is KEY in both prevention and treatment of Macular Degeneration.

Each of these categories deserves attention and each DO benefit from comprehensive nutrition.

It is not practical to discuss all four in great detail at once.

Macular degeneration is my focus today – especially how diet can prevent and even treat it.

The Macula is the part of the retina where fine focus and vision occurs. The ability to read, to see faces and to do many daily activities all rely on the macula working properly. As you can imagine there is a scale from mild to severe dysfunction. The earlier the intervention, the better.

And you guess it ! Nutrition can help – let’s look the players

Several nutrients are essential for normal eyesight and macula function.

Zinc is important for the macula [remember to take some copper with zinc]. In a study at the Department of Ophthalmology at the Utah School of Medicine 151 patients were given either 100mg of zinc or a placebo [Newsome DA, et al. – 1988]. Those in the zinc group had significantly less loss of vision.

Selenium – a trace mineral and an important anti-oxidant is crucial as well. Scientists hypothesize that macular generation is caused by damage from free radicals – selenium can help prevent this type of damage.

Three carotenoids are very important for the eyes – Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Lycopene. The Macula owes its yellow color to a high concentration of Lutein and Zeaxanthin.

Beta-Carotene and Vitamin A [retinol] also play important roles.

Vitamin C and its associates, the Bioflavonoids, play an important role in retinal health.

Taurine, a sulfonic acid that naturally occurs in the body in limited amounts, can stabilize and protect the retina. A shortage or deficiency of Taurine damages the retina in animals and people alike. Conversely, it protects the retina and macula. Some physicians have used intravenous Taurine with dramatic improvement of Macular Degeneration.

Causes and Risks:

The risks for Macular Degeneration include – Aging, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure and Smoking.

In one study a group of 31,843 female Registered Nurses who smoked more than 25 cigarettes per day had over twice as many cases of Macular Degeneration than non-smokers.

Interestingly, past smokers had to wait 15 years for their risk to return to levels seen in the control [non-smoker] group.

The same things that prevent atherosclerosis [hardening if the arteries] can help prevent Macular Degeneration.

Anti-oxidant formulas have been shown to halt or even reverse Macular Degeneration.

Studies have shown that people who eat a diet rich in green, leafy as well as colorful vegetables, colorful fruits and fish have a lower risk of developing Macular degeneration.

Where are these vital Carotenoids found in nature? [Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Lycopene]

To answer this question…….

Here is an abstract from a study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.
……………………………………………..

Fruits and vegetables that are sources for lutein and zeaxanthin: the macular pigment in human eyes.

O. Sommerburg, J. Keunen, A. Bird, and F. J G M van Kuijk.

Abstract

BACKGROUND—It has been suggested that eating green leafy vegetables, which are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, may decrease the risk for age related macular degeneration. The goal of this study was to analyse various fruits and vegetables to establish which ones contain lutein and/or zeaxanthin and can serve as possible dietary supplements for these carotenoids.

METHODS—Homogenates of 33 fruits and vegetables, two fruit juices, and egg yolk were used for extraction of the carotenoids with hexane. Measurement of the different carotenoids and their isomers was carried out by high performance liquid chromatography using a single column with an isocratic run, and a diode array detector.

RESULTS—Egg yolk and maize (corn) contained the highest mole percentage (% of total) of lutein and zeaxanthin (more than 85% of the total carotenoids). Maize was the vegetable with the highest quantity of lutein (60% of total) and orange pepper was the vegetable with the highest amount of zeaxanthin (37% of total). Substantial amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin (30-50%) were also present in kiwi fruit, grapes, spinach, orange juice, zucchini (or vegetable marrow), and different kinds of squash. The results show that there are fruits and vegetables of various colours with a relatively high content of lutein and zeaxanthin.

CONCLUSIONS—Most of the dark green leafy vegetables, previously recommended for a higher intake of lutein and zeaxanthin, have 15-47% of lutein, but a very low content (0-3%) of zeaxanthin. Our study shows that fruits and vegetables of various colours can be consumed to increase dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin.

………………………………….

As stated above, there are excellent food sources of the carotenes.

Yet another reason to eat your veggies, And Eggs !

As you clearly see [hopefully] the carotenoids are important but easy to miss if your diet is lacking proper diversity.

Dietary supplements are available to help us achieve a proper balance of these important nutrients.

Summary:

The best way to prevent Macular Degeneration is through diet.

Try to eat a wide array of colorful fruits and vegetables.

I recommend Juicing or Blending to complement your diet.

When the diet falls short, dietary supplementation is necessary.

Smoking is a major risk factor for Macular Degeneration – QUIT Smoking.

Many well done studies show that anti-oxidants help prevent Macular Degeneration.

Taking dietary supplements are a good idea.

Macular Degeneration management requires medical supervision with regular exams and monitoring.

Supplement info:

Consider a Taurine supplement. Start with 1,000mg twice a day or 2,000mg divided day and night. [People with stomach or duodenal ulcers should use caution as Taurine increases stomach acid slightly – most have no side effects.]

Taking supplemental Zinc is a good idea for most people. [Be sure that your zinc product also contains copper – to avoid a secondary copper deficiency.]

Selenium helps protect the macula. [It is included in most multiple vitamins and in some vitamin E preparations – separate supplements are usually not needed.]

Vitamin A with associated carotenes is a good choice.

2-4 grams of vitamin C with rose hips per day is a good idea. [I prefer capsule versions – chewable products can damage the enamel of teeth, aka mottling of teeth. Divide your doses of vitamin C – don’t take more than 2,000 mg per dose – vitamin C has no toxicity, one of the only side effects is loose stools.]

Taking a B Complex is another good idea to protect against free radical damage.

Vitamin E [natural version only] at 400iu to 800iu per day makes a lot of sense. Vitamin C and vitamin E work together.

An Omega 3 supplement supports eye health.

As I always Remind you…

To achieve full spectrum nutrition we all need to supplement our diets.

Supplements to consider:

1) Get a good multiple vitamin/mineral product. Versions with “Chelated” minerals are best. I also like those with some plant based vitamins.

2) Take a quality Calcium product. Look for MCHA as the calcium source and one that includes Magnesium, vitamin D and some assorted trace minerals.

3) Take Omega 3 oils. Flax oil is the best to start. Adding Krill or fish oil later [BTW – Krill oil in the container has a distinctive odor – if you place 3-4 desiccant packs in the bottle and refrigerate it, the odor is gone in 12 hours]

4) Find a good Colloidal mineral product for trace minerals. Make sure it’s from Humic shale and NOT ionic minerals. Humic shale is the “fossilized” remains of the dinosaur days. Plant based colloidal minerals are 98% absorbed.

As always, feel free to comment or message questions or concerns.

Are Allergies a Problem?

Do Allergies get you down?

Are you sneezing and sniffling all day?

Do you dread the blooms of spring and summer?

Are you allergic to pets?

Have you ever had an anaphylactic reaction?

Do you have food allergies? 

Do your “allergies” make you more susceptible to illness?

Have you “developed” allergies as an adult?

Are your eyes itchy, scratchy and red?

Are you tired of sinus headaches and post nasal drip?

Do your teeth ache when you sinuses act up?

Have you tried every OTC preparation and still have symptoms?

Are medications the only way you can enjoy the outdoors?

Do you regularly rely on allergy meds, pills, pumps, sprays or 
shots?

Did you know your diet can improve or worsen allergies?

………………………………..

If you have seasonal allergies, hay fever, hives and even food allergies improving your nutrition can help.

A simple definition for an allergy is “an inappropriate response to a normal environmental stimulus”.

Most people do not sneeze when the oaks bloom. The majority of people are not allergic to pollen. Only some of us have an allergic reaction to a bee sting. And even fewer people have anaphylaxis – a life threatening reaction. Have you ever wondered why?

The occurrence of allergic disease is on the rise. 

Many experts blame it on things being too clean [hygiene hypothesis]. I disagree.

Their theory states that if the environment is too clean there is impairment of the normal development of the immune system. [Does this pass the common sense test?]

Let me say this: Allergic reactions can be very serious. Medications can be save lives and make our allergies more bearable, but they treat the symptoms not the causes.

Inheritance or genetics, environment and nutrition, all three, play a role in allergies – We can’t change genetics [and we prefer not to live in a bubble], but we CAN change our nutritional status.

Trust me, Allergies have a HUGE nutritional component and many people have improvement of symptoms when their nutritional state is optimized.

Nutritional deficiencies can lead to many allergies – conversely, there is a list of nutrients that will improve many if not most allergies and associated symptoms.

The “Essential” nutrients are necessary for optimal health – we cannot make them and if they are not in our diets we have deficiency symptoms. 

A little background:

Allergic symptoms range from mild to life threatening – Anaphylaxis.

Humans, guinea pigs, the fruit bat and a few other primates cannot manufacture vitamin C and it must be in their diets.

Scurvy is caused by a vitamin C deficiency. 

Most animals can make their own vitamin C – a mule makes about 13 grams per day, a gorilla makes about 4 grams per day, but we make none!

In animals that make their own vitamin C scientists cannot induce anaphylaxis in the laboratory, a life threatening allergic reaction. Repeat, animals that make their own vitamin C do not experience life threatening allergic reactions.

Animals like the guinea pig that cannot make their own vitamin C, if deficient in vitamin C can suffer anaphylaxis – just like us. 

Vitamin C is needed for normal Adrenal Gland function [where adrenaline, cortisone and sex hormones originate]. 

In the adrenal glands there is a 150 times concentration of the blood level of vitamin C or to say it another way – the body creates a gradient in the adrenal glands that is 150 times that found in the blood. If the blood level of vitamin C is 1 the adrenal level is 150 or if the blood level is a mere 0.1 the adrenal level will only be 15. This fluctuation is not seen in animals that make their own vitamin C.

This scenario illustrates how nutrition is at the center of allergic disorders. 

There are many nutrients that help reduce and stabilize allergic symptoms and their underlying causes.

~ Vitamins

Vitamin C:

Vitamin C with rose hips includes Quercetin, of the C family and a bioflavonoid – it’s helpful with allergies as well. Some do benefit from taking addition bioflavonoids for more severe allergies.

B Vitamins:

The B vitamins, especially B12, pantothenic acid and B6 contribute to the adrenal gland’s function and help assist in the reduction of allergy symptoms.

Remember, it is virtually impossible to get optimal amounts of B vitamins from food alone.

Simply taking a B complex supplement twice a day will help most allergy sufferers.

Some people will need to take individual B vitamins if their symptoms are severe.

Dr Atkins’ book Vita-Nutrient Solution is an invaluable tool to help direct you.

Vitamin E:

Natural Vitamin E is best.

Its natural form is d-tocopherol where the synthetic version is d-l-tocopherol – the difference is subtle when written, but the man-made version only has 25% of the activity of its natural cousin. 
Always use natural vitamin E – d-tocopherol – the natural, more effective and slightly more expensive version. 

I take a natural vitamin E with mixed tocopherols that also contains selenium. 

Vitamin E can make a big difference in sinus allergies.

Vitamin A and the Carotenes:

Many think of Beta-carotene [found in carrots] as vitamin A. 

This is not completely accurate. In our bodies Beta-carotene CAN be, and is converted to vitamin A, BUT this conversion can be a slow. 

So, it is a good idea to seek out vitamin A itself from food sources. Cod liver oil and liver are the best sources; Butter, egg yolks, whole milk and cream are decent sources as well, but skim or 2% milk are not good sources. 

Beta-carotene and related carotenoids are found in a variety of foods, the more the better.

Many people with a shortage of vitamin A will need to take a supplement [especially those with dry eyes]. I’ll give some specific advice in a minute.

When the topic of vitamin A comes up – I am frequently reminded that it can be toxic.

It is important to be safe when taking vitamins. 

Vitamin A is very safe if taken properly.

The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine has established a tolerable upper limit of 10,000 IU per day.

Dr Atkins would use 200,000-500,000 iu per day for a few months in patients with acne without any side effects.[with medical supervision and lab tests]. He also used 100,000 iu per day with patients with psoriasis, again under medical supervision.

Synthetic vitamin A may contribute to birth defects, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Pregnant women should not take high doses and should talk to their doctors about vitamin A.

Natural Vitamin A may also cause birth defects as well but it is less likely.

Avoid the “acetate” version of Vitamin A – it is synthetic, not natural.

Although synthetic or man-made the “palmitate” version mimics our body’s way of storing vitamin A and it is probably ok. [especially for vegetarians and vegans]

BTW Beta-carotene is 100% non-toxic.

I use a product that is 25,000 iu per capsule [containing 60% beta-carotene, 40% fish oil/retinol plus vitamin D3 – This is about 10,000 iu of vitamin A per pill]

~ Minerals:

Selenium, a trace mineral, is important to avoid inflammatory situations like asthma and psoriasis. 

Glutathione peroxidase is a selenium dependent enzyme. 

When glutathione levels are low there is a 6 times increase in asthma incidence. 

Selenium is also important for Thyroid function and even those taking thyroid replacement medication.

Magnesium, the mineral center of chlorophyll – the green pigment of plants – prevents and reduces some allergic activity. 

Another reason why eating your vegetables is a good idea.

If you are not keen on greens there are supplements of concentrated fruits and veggies available.

Calcium serves as our main acid “balancer” in the body – keeping us a healthy, slightly alkaline pH of 7.2-7.4 – if we are acidic illness is near, including “allergies”. 

Take a quality MCHA based calcium supplement [MCHA is derived for bovine sources of bone meal and is 40-60% absorbed vs calcium carbonate aka limestone being 3% absorbed]

Other minerals are important as well – zinc, potassium, sodium and a long list of trace minerals. This is another reason to take a plant derived colloidal mineral product – from humic shale. 

~ Oils and Fats

Allergies improve as we optimize our fatty acid balance and consistently avoid bad fats.

Margarine or hydrogenated oil [Trans Fat] sabotages our bodies. It literally “gunks up” our blood vessels, impairs our endothelial function – sinuses, intestinal lining and lungs and displaces the “good” fats. 

Make an effort to read labels and choose products that do not contain Trans fats.

Use real BUTTER.

Use Olive oil – it is an omega 9 – although not “essential”, it gives benefit by displacing the inflammatory omega 6 oils [found in other vegetable oils]. Olive oil is also heat stable where other cooking oils are not.

Borage oil is 27% GLA, known for its anti-inflammatory qualities, can make a big difference with allergies. 

Taking 1,000 mg of Borage oil once or twice a day can be helpful.

Omega 3’s should comprise around 3% of your daily calories – or 7-10 grams.

The Omega 3’s come from animal and plant sources; fish oil, krill oil and flax oil supplements.

A proper omega 6 to omega 3 ratio is vital to avoid an inflammatory environment in the body. [read about it]

The omega 6:3 ratio is an interesting topic; Omega 9 oils, although not essential, help out by displacing the plentiful Omega 6 oils [corn, sunflower and safflower are loaded with Omega 6’s] 

I take a concentrated fish oil capsule along with flax oil capsules.

You can also get liquid versions or combination products that contain Borage oil [27% GLA]

Saturated fats are rendered harmless when adequate amounts of the omega 3 oils are present. 

Final thought- Taking a comprehensive digestive enzyme supplement can help reduce food allergies.

There are many products to chose from; so let’s look at a sample label of a multi-enzyme product: 

Betaine (as Betaine HCI) (from beets and molasses) 200mg
Pancreatin 4X 200mg
Supplying: Amylase 20,000 USP units
Protease 20,000 USP units
Lipase3,400 USP units
Papain (2M USP units/mg) 50mg
Cellulase (1M FCC units/g) 10mg
Ox Bile Extract (45% Cholic Acid) 100mg
Pepsin Enzymes (NF 1:10M units) 50mg
Bromelain (2400 GDU)(from pineapple) 50mg
Papaya Powder 45mg

……………………..

Take home message for allergy sufferers:

Make sure you are getting extra vitamin C.

Take a B complex supplement.

Get a good multiple vitamin mineral product that includes selenium.

Consider taking extra vitamin A and vitamin E.

Take quality omega 3 supplements.

Look into sources of GLA – Borage oil is my favorite.

Avoid Trans fats. [Margarine or hydrogenated oil]

Consider taking supplemental digestive enzymes.

Finally, get some sunlight every day – 20 to 30 minutes [Vitamin D]

Remember….

To achieve full spectrum nutrition we all need to supplement our diets.

Supplements to consider:

1) Get a good multiple vitamin/mineral product. Versions with “Chelated” minerals are best. I also like those with some plant based vitamins.

2) Take a quality Calcium product. Look for MCHA as the calcium source and one that includes Magnesium, vitamin D and some assorted trace minerals.

3) Take Omega 3 oils. Flax oil is the best to start. Adding Krill or fish oil later [BTW – Krill oil in the container has a distinctive odor – if you place 3-4 desiccant packs in the bottle and refrigerate it, the odor is gone in 12 hours]

4) Find a good Colloidal mineral product for trace minerals. Make sure it’s from Humic shale and NOT ionic minerals. Humic shale is the “fossilized” remains of the dinosaur days. Plant based colloidal minerals are 98% absorbed.

As always, feel free to comment or message questions or concerns.

Cholesterol Trouble? Diet First is the Best Policy

Cholesterol and Heart Disease

Heart disease is on the rise in virtually every western culture except a select few.

In the USA heart disease is the number one killer.

500,000-600,000 patients per year die of cardiovascular disease in America alone while many more are disabled by the disease itself, procedures and side effects to medications.

Cholesterol has been the primary focus for over thirty years and cholesterol lowering medications have been widely used with mixed results.

In spite of billions of dollars being spent the rate of heart disease continues to climb.

Recent reports show that women are now getting more heart disease than ever, scary but true.

What puts us at risk for heart disease?

The traditional recommendations, cut back on eggs, butter and other foods containing cholesterol while increasing the consumption of starches [rice, potatoes, pasta and bread, you know the four food group business or the Food pyramid].

The usual plan is 3-6 months of diet and lifestyle changes and if your cholesterol stays elevated then medications might be necessary.

Guess what?

Like clockwork, the diet won’t work and you’ll have medication offered as the only answer to lower your cholesterol and prevent heart disease.

The cholesterol medications have side effects and a long list of adverse reactions that include liver failure or death, so if other options exist shouldn’t we consider them first?

A little history:

Harvard’s study in 1991 showed margarine and its hydrogenated oil caused almost a four times increase of heart disease over those who used butter. In fact the strongest indicator was margarine!

The French Paradox- Red wine, credited for protecting the French from heart disease, is consumed throughout France, yet in northern regions the rate of heart disease equals America’s and the UK’s!
1) The French along the Mediterranean coast ate four times more butter yet had far less heart disease (they’re eating four times less margarine at the same time)
2) They are also eating more saturated fats, yet far less heart disease [they aren’t eating as much processed foods which are reduced fat and subsequently fortified with “ B vitamin depleting” sugar]

Take home message:

Don’t eat margarine [denoted hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil], use butter. Hydrogenated oil sticks to the artery walls 50 times more than butter.

Limit sugar intake – Table sugar is sucrose which is made up of one glucose plus one fructose. The conversion of fructose into cholesterol burns up B vitamins. [The liver converts fructose, 1/2 of sucrose/table sugar, to cholesterol – this depletes B vitamins]

Women who took folate had 60% fewer heart attacks in a long term study.

In 1970, a small but well done study cholesterol went from 227 to 160 in just four weeks by reducing sugar intake.

Dietary cholesterol has little to do with your lab values. An American Heart Association study in 1994 exemplifies this fact, when given two eggs per day for 6 months volunteers had no significant increases in cholesterol.

Lab work?
The serum Cholesterol on your blood work is categorized as
Total cholesterol – By itself means little, what does count is the ratios: Total Chol / HDL and LDL / HDL.

LDL- aka “Bad” cholesterol, especially when oxidized -this can be prevented with anti-oxidants, vitamin E, C etc.

HDL aka “Good” cholesterol, higher the better
Triglycerides 200 or less is ok, less than 100 best.

Other lab:
Lipoprotein a (Lpa) An independent risk factor for heart disease

Homocysteine- When elevated triples the risk of heart disease.

Let’s start with the mainstream approach of looking at the numbers:

Is there evidence that medications have an advantage over nutritional approaches? Nope, but read on.

In 1994 a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine compared niacin [Vitamin B3] to lovastatin one of the multi-billion dollar “statins”. In summary, niacin out-performed lovastatin hands down.

The Niacin group had 23% reduction of LDL while increasing HDL by a whopping 33% while the Lovastatin group had a 32% reduction of LDL but only a 7% increase in HDL.

A more impressive finding was that Lipoprotein a [chemically similar to LDL, an independent risk factor for heart attack) was reduced by 35% with niacin while the lovastatin group had 0% reduction.

Standard Niacin or vitamin B3 [as nicotinate] has the tendency to cause a harmless flushing of the skin lasting only minutes, therefore the dose must be gradually increased to the needed level.

Fortunately, a no flush version exists, inositol hexa-nicotinate, which can be started at the effective dose on the first day.

It is worthwhile to note that the prescription “slow release, no flush niacin” contains hydrogenated oil as a filler/matrix and has been associated with liver problems.

Dietary answers:
Elevated total Cholesterol and LDL?
Limit sugar intake and minimize hydrogenated oil usage.

Elevated Triglycerides?
Reduce sugar intake and eliminate margarine/hydrogenated oils.
Take extra Omega 3’s like fish oil and flax seed oil.
Supplement with B vitamins [B Complex]
l-Carnitine (the fat carrier or fat burner), found in red meat, helps us process fats – a supplement is available.

HDL is low?
Margarine – will sabotage your body’s ability to make HDL.
Vitamin C, 2,000mg per day increases the HDL.
Omega 3 fats increase HDL, while reducing triglycerides numbers.

Elevation of Homocysteine levels in the blood ? [may be a bigger threat than cholesterol]. The good news is by taking folic acid (VitB9), vit B6 and B12 Homocysteine levels fall into the normal range.

Yet other studies show a preventive role of Vitamin E.

The more vitamin E the lower the rate of heart disease, this convincingly based on two different Harvard studies, one with 40,000 male doctors and another with 100,000 female nurses.

Another study of over two thousand patients taking vitaminE showed a 77% reduction in occurrence of heart attacks and deaths from heart disease by 47%.

Concerning cholesterol, how high is considered high?

There is significant pressure from drug companies to influence doctors, this is nothing new or even secretive.

Over the past 10-15 years the acceptable range for cholesterol has inched downward: where 239 had been considered acceptable 15 years ago now 200 is considered to be that limit and there is talk of reducing that further to 160.

This reduction would double the number (literally) of patients who would “qualify” for drug therapy.

Animals, lions, tigers and bears, all have cholesterol in their systems as we do.

The normal range for them is 220 to 270.

It is worth noting that animals and humans share quite a lot of biochemistry, anatomy and physiology.

From the cell membrane, tissue organization, organ form and function to the ubiquitous red blood cell with its hemoglobin to protein based [made of amino acids] hormones such as insulin and growth hormone and finally to the cholesterol molecule being used in the brain, nerves, kidney… [every cell of the body] as well as serving as the starting point for over 150 sterol hormones [testosterone, estrogen, cortisone, aldosterone, progesterone, DHEA, pregnenolone…].

Some examples of “normal” or physiologic consistency shared by all mammals: the range of glucose [blood sugar], ratios of calcium/magnesium/phosphorus, sodium/chloride/potassium ratios and blood levels, essential fat or oil requirements per calorie consumed and the list goes on and on; so it is not any stretch of logic to say that our cholesterol numbers should also correspond to other mammals’ values.

In history there are many examples of how we’ve misinterpreted and misapplied science for generations.

Remember the saying “mad as a hatter”? Hatters used mercury to suppress mold growth in felts and routinely went mad [ie crazy/insane]. In the 1800’s the derogatory term Quack was coined [German for mercury].

We, as mainstream doctors, used mercury to treat syphilis until 1950. It sounds silly now and it was then. In fifty years the cholesterol story will have a similar ring.

Remember….

To achieve full spectrum nutrition we all need to supplement our diets.

Supplements to consider:

1) Get a good multiple vitamin/mineral product. Versions with “Chelated” minerals are best. I also like those with some plant based vitamins.

2) Take a quality Calcium product. Look for MCHA as the calcium source and one that includes Magnesium, vitamin D and some assorted trace minerals.

3) Take Omega 3 oils. Flax oil is the best to start. Adding Krill or fish oil later [BTW – Krill oil in the container has a distinctive odor – if you place 3-4 desiccant packs in the bottle and refrigerate it, the odor is gone in 12 hours]

4) Find a good Colloidal mineral product for trace minerals. Make sure it’s from Humic shale and NOT ionic minerals. Humic shale is the “fossilized” remains of the dinosaur days. Plant based colloidal minerals are 98% absorbed.

As always, feel free to comment or message questions or concerns.

Are YOU Straining to Hear Lately?

Hearing loss an issue?

Is your hearing not as good as it once was?

Are you missing what people say?

Are two ears not enough anymore?

Do you need hearing aids?

Has your hearing slowly gotten worse?

Do you have ringing or buzzing in your ears?

Have you been having episodes of dizziness?

………………

If you are nodding along to this one, Listen Up.

Hearing loss is very common. 

I have seen people of all ages with varying degrees of progressive hearing loss.

There are many reasons why people can lose hearing from recurrent infections that result is scarring, congenital hearing loss, meningitis, Ménière’s disease, loud noise exposure, tumors, autoimmune problems, medicine toxicity, head injury and of course, aging –Presbycusis or sensorineural hearing loss.

My discussion here is primarily aimed at the last type mentioned – Age related hearing loss – but can also be applicable to young people as well. 

Now for the quick answers:

Tin and Manganese deficiency, both trace minerals, have been associated with hearing loss.

Where are these two characters found in nature?

Aren’t minerals in the foods we eat? 

They should be, BUT Minerals are not reliably in our foods today.

Here’s why…….

A little background:

We are designed to get our minerals from plants grown in soil and from animals that have eaten vegetation, not rocks.

Our soil is depleted of minerals [2/3 of our essential nutrients]

We use fertilizer to make crops grow [NPK is 3 minerals –nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium – we need around 60]

It has been reported that in just 7 years of farming, with or without NPK, there is significant depletion of mineral content in the soil and plants alike. Early symptoms include frail, unhealthy plants and unhealthy/infertile animals that eat this food. 

BTW – flooding, historically, replenishes minerals. We started using NPK about 100 years ago and levees about the same time [preventing flooding].

Remember…
We are not designed to eat rocks. We are supposed to get our minerals from plants and/or animals that have eaten vegetation. Rock like minerals [like calcium carbonate] are about 3% absorbed where minerals from plants are colloidal and 98% absorbed, a big difference!

Take home message:
Our farmland’s soil is depleted of minerals.
Plants cannot make minerals.
You cannot rely on diet alone for your minerals.

Minerals comprise two thirds of our list of essential nutrients.

We can categorize ESSENTIAL nutrients into 4 groups.
1) Minerals
2) Vitamins
3) Amino Acids/Protein
4) Oils/Fats

Minerals:

Many scientists believe there are around 60 minerals necessary for optimal health. On average, for each mineral deficiency there are 10 symptoms.

A Calcium shortage can lead to popping, creaking, crunchy joints, joint pain, low back pain, neck pain, irritability, insomnia, road rage, PMS, twitching muscles and the more serious osteoporosis as well as a few dozen more symptoms. [BTW dark colas containing phosphoric acid rob the body of calcium and acidify our bodies, avoid them]

Magnesium deficiency can cause muscle spasm, allergies, headaches, asthma, migraines, kidney stones/bone spurring and even high blood pressure or seizures; and the list goes on and on.
If you are lacking Zinc you can expect a reduced sense of smell, more infections – including acne, hair loss, prostate problems and the seemingly humorous “smelly tennis shoe syndrome” [no joke- there are no odor producing sweat glands on the feet]. Again, there are more symptoms to list.

Chromium deficiency can cause a “sweet tooth” or insulin resistance, weight gain especially fat, acne and eventually diabetes.

Copper deficiency can manifest as “stretch marks”, loss of elastic fibers in the skin and tissues [crow’s feet, varicose veins, hemorrhoids and aneurysms]. Joints can also be affected by loss of elasticity that can make you more prone to injury.

Other trace minerals like Tin and Manganese can result in hearing loss and hair loss when they are in short supply.

And the list goes on and on.

It is worth noticing that animal feeds are supplemented with minerals, including Tin and Manganese.

This supplementation of our domesticated animals began as early as the 1930’s. 

During the 1950’s many health issues were prevented and even reversed using this approach. Tin and Manganese deficiency related hearing loss was one of them.

As I have stated many times, Plant derived colloidal minerals are 98% absorbed.

Plants can take metallic or rock-like minerals and render them into a colloidal form. 

We are not designed to eat dirt and when we do the absorption is minimal [~3%].

We can get Tin and Manganese from liquid plant derived colloidal minerals made from humic shale.

Humic Shale is the “fossilized” remains of the dinosaur days. It is pulverized and then soaked in water where around 25% of its minerals are re-animated as colloidal minerals.

Ionic or electrically created colloidal minerals are metallic, they are small but possess a positive charge where colloidal minerals have a negative charge.

I recommend taking a quality plant derived colloidal mineral product along with a full complement of nutrients.

Many people and animals alike will have improvement of their hearing over a period of a few months if they are short on Tin and Manganese.

To achieve full spectrum nutrition we all need to supplement our diets.

Supplements to consider:

1) Get a good multiple vitamin/mineral product. Versions with “Chelated” minerals are best. I also like those with some plant based vitamins.

2) Take a quality Calcium product. Look for MCHA as the calcium source and one that includes Magnesium, vitamin D and some assorted trace minerals.

3) Take Omega 3 oils. Flax oil is the best to start. Adding Krill or fish oil later [BTW – Krill oil in the container has a distinctive odor – if you place 3-4 desiccant packs in the bottle and refrigerate it, the odor is gone in 12 hours]

4) Find a good Colloidal mineral product for trace minerals. Make sure it’s from Humic shale and NOT ionic minerals. Humic shale is the “fossilized” remains of the dinosaur days. Plant based colloidal minerals are 98% absorbed.

As always, feel free to comment or message questions or concerns.

Is Acne Troubling You?

Do you break out when you are stressed out?

Does your monthly cycle include worsening acne?

Do pimples ruin your day?

Have you developed cystic acne as an adult?

Are expensive OTC acne products not working?

Have you taken multiple medications yet STILL have acne?

Does your acne seem to come and go without rhyme or reason?

Does your acne depress you?

Have you been told diet or foods do NOT cause acne?

Have you ever noticed that your skin improves with sunlight?

……………………….
If you are still reading this – I’ve hit a sensitive topic.

I experienced acne as a teenager and young adult.

So, I know first-hand the frustration and aggravation
of having acute and chronic acne – both superficial white-heads and deeper cystic pimples.

Mainstream medicine prescribes medications for acne. There are a variety of antibiotics that are given to kill the associated bacteria.

Some are topically applied and others are taken orally. But, the results are inconsistent and this approach has some significant drawbacks.

Antibiotics have tremendous benefit when used properly – acute infections can rapidly resolve – especially for some painful exacerbations of cystic acne.

However the underlying cause of acne is NOT addressed by this approach.

Long-term use of antibiotics is not the answer and can cause other problems like killing off the normal and beneficial bacteria in the intestines.

A side note: OTC preparations focus on skin cleansing – beneficial but not comprehensive.

This focus on bacteria and the cleansing the skin only yields limited results [and a few new problems]

Here’s a quick quote that may open your eyes a bit – on the topic of bacteria and disease.

“If I could live my life over again, I would devote it to proving that germs seek their natural habitat–diseased tissues–rather than causing disease.”
~Rudolf Virchow, father of the germ theory [late in life]

What this quote illustrates is this: If our bodies are well nourished and healthy, we are not likely to get infections – Simple, but verifiably true.
……………

Diet issues/Questions

Do some foods worsen acne?

Are there foods that help acne?

What nutrients have been shown to help?

What about digestive enzymes?

Sugar, in excess, is one of the biggest culprits! Here’s why: Sugar depletes the B vitamins, sugar causes us to lose or spill minerals [like zinc and chromium] and finally sugar is converted to fat [this can disturb the normal prostaglandin balance leading to inflammation]. More on nutrients in a minute.

Using synthetic fats like margarine aka hydrogenated oil/TRANS fat will lead to acne. [Use real butter]

Eating more fruits and vegetables will improve acne. [I drink a blended shake of 6 baby carrots, an apple, a banana, two egg yolks and a handful of baby spinach every morning]

Salting your food to taste can help you produce the proper amount of stomach acid [HCl] which allows us to absorb our food and nutrients [B12, iron, protein, calcium and other minerals need acid to be absorbed]

Eating walnuts can improve your omega 3 balance and improve acne.

The B vitamins, especially B6, Pantothenic acid and B12 have been shown to improve acne.

Flax and fish oil supplements will help as well.

Vitamin A is very important to treat and protect against acne [for a good discussion of vitamin A look at my “Do you have dry eyes?” post on 7-7-12]

GLA found in evening primrose and borage oil is essential to healthy skin [I prefer borage oil, 27% GLA]

Zinc, a trace mineral, is lacking in those with acne [Always take zinc with copper]

Chromium supplementation will improve acne is most cases. It also helps curb sugar cravings and assists in weight loss.

30 minutes of sunlight per day will improve acne.

In summary:
Diet and nutritional supplements can dramatically improve most acne. Some people need antibiotics and even stronger medication to help them get a handle on their symptoms. However, with proper nutrition and selected dietary supplements the majority of acne cases improve and even resolve completely.

Remember…….

To achieve full spectrum nutrition we all need to supplement our diets.

Supplements to consider:

1) Get a good multiple vitamin/mineral product. Versions with “Chelated” minerals are best. I also like those with some plant based vitamins.

2) Take a quality Calcium product. Look for MCHA as the calcium source and one that includes Magnesium, vitamin D and some assorted trace minerals.

3) Take Omega 3 oils. Flax oil is the best to start. Adding Krill or fish oil later [BTW – Krill oil in the container has a distinctive odor – if you place 3-4 desiccant packs in the bottle and refrigerate it, the odor is gone in 12 hours]

4) Consider a Zinc supplement. 30- 60 mg per day is usually enough for most acne suffers. Chelated versions are best. I like zinc products that include copper as well – this help avoid a relative copper deficiency]

5) Consider a Chromium supplement. Chromium picolinate is the least expensive and very effective. Start with 200mcg twice a day – it is very safe [toxic only at 70,000 mcg or more] – some people need more, I don’t recommend more than 1,200mcg per day.

6) Consider a Vitamin A supplement. I use a product that is 25,000 iu per capsule [containing 60% beta-carotene, 40% fish oil/retinol plus vitamin D3 – This is about 10,000 iu of vitamin A per pill]. Women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should probably avoid extra vitamin A due to risk of birth defects.

7) Find a good Colloidal mineral product for trace minerals. Make sure it’s from Humic shale and NOT ionic minerals. Humic shale is the “fossilized” remains of the dinosaur days. Plant based colloidal minerals are 98% absorbed.

As always, feel free to comment or message questions or concerns.

Is Sleep or Lack of Sleep a Problem?

If so, YOU are not alone

~Getting to sleep

Are you not sleeping well?

Do you have trouble falling asleep?

Does your mind race while your body aches?

Are your sleep patterns like a suspense movie, mysterious and unpredictable?

~Sleeping through the night

Once you fall asleep, do you stay there?

Do you wake up a lot during the night?

Do you dream frequently? [to remember a dream you have to awaken from it]

Is your sleep fitful and broken up?

Do you have nightmares?

Do little noises easily wake you?

Do you ever awaken with muscle cramps?

~Rising in the Am

Is getting up in the morning always a chore?

Do you abuse your snooze button?

When was the last time you awakened fresh, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed?

Do you miss “sleeping like a baby”?

~ Medications/Herbal preparations

Do you rely on sleeping pills?

Have you tried every OTC preparation to no avail?

Have you taken various herbal products and had mixed results?

Have you had side effects from these three categories? [Meds, OTC preparations and Herbal products]

Is a Hangover, Am fogginess, Periods of amnesia or bizarre behavior on your list? [Not a laughing matter]

………………………………

If you are more awake with anticipation and interest, read on.

Let’s face it, sleep is one the most important things in our lives.

As I frequently state: I’ve got some GOOD news and some Bad news.

Bad news first:

Insomniacs spend literally billions of dollars per year on sleep aids, fancy pillows, high tech beds, room humidifiers [and room dehumidifiers], noise makers [and “noise cancellers”] and even more on various medications, procedures and tests. And the results are not that impressive, are they?

Now the Good news:

There are key nutrients that improve sleep – Sleep that is restful and satisfying, and let you awaken refreshed and eager to start your day.

A little background info: The “Essential” nutrients can be divided into 4 groups.

Minerals
Vitamins
Protein/Amino acids
Fats/Oils

Each group supplies several talented players for our “Dream Team” ;~!

Every team has its super-star players and the vital utility players as well as those with special skills.

~Minerals [Our soil’s most important ingredient]

Let’s talk about our super-star first, CALCIUM.

Proper Calcium balance is required for proper sleep. Many people are not aware of this fact.

If you are deficient in calcium, you will not sleep well.
Neither do animals……..[and worse]

Laboratory rats, when deprived of calcium become irritable, belligerent and eventually cannibalistic. Yes, you read that correctly. Interestingly enough, these same rats became friendly and docile again when re-fed a proper diet including calcium.

So, it is worthwhile to learn how we can optimize our calcium balance.

I have mentioned the concept of a “calcium balance” a few times, let me explain what I mean.

Our bodies require around 60 minerals for optimal health. As you can imagine, this collection of characters must interact properly or all will be chaos. Some have bigger parts, but all serve a purpose and must be present in the correct ratios.

Calcium has its supporting cast. Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium and Potassium interact and keep us alive.

Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphorus have a love/hate relationship, let’s call it co-dependent but they try their best to get along.

You see, Phosphorus is the most plentiful in our diets [meats, dairy, fiber and colas all provide us with all we need, and more].

Magnesium is very important [some say 300 functions in the body] and, of course, Calcium is the prima donna [140 plus functions] that demands the spotlight.

Our bodies insist upon a 1:2:1 ratio [1 Magnesium : 2 Calcium : 1 Phosphorus]

In other words, if we have 1,000mg of phosphorus we need 2,000mg of calcium to be balanced. Here’s where the trouble starts. If we have a phosphorus burden [say a 12oz cola with 1,000mg of phosphorus] we must go to the bones to “borrow” calcium if we are short. A complicating fact is that the “bone bank” loans out calcium in increments of 10. This overshoots our needs and results in a relative excess of calcium that betrays the 1:2 ratio with magnesium [perhaps 1:8]. In nature and in our bodies there are ways that imbalances are corrected. In this case two things will happen – one is increased spilling of calcium in the urine – Secondly precipitation of calcium occurs [aka malignant calcification] in the tissues, blood vessels and bones in the form of spurring or calcium deposits. I told you there’d be trouble.

Take home message:

~We need to avoid excess Phosphorus in our diets [especially dark colas]

~It is important to get plenty of Magnesium [found in plants’ chlorophyll – YOUR veggies]

~Getting adequate Calcium is a must. [dairy is the primary dietary source, but often impractical]

Which Calcium supplement is best?

~Take 500mg of MCHA [Calcium] twice a day.

~MCHA is derived from cows and is 40-60% absorbed where calcium carbonate products are 3% absorbed.

No animal eats rocks for its Calcium, we shouldn’t either.

Remember calcium carbonate is chemically identical to limestone; so are oyster shells, egg shells, coral and dolomite. Calcium citrate is also an example of a metallic or rock-like mineral and therefore not very bio-available. Save your money.

One final note on minerals:

Iron deficiency can cause insomnia and sleeplessness. Blood tests are needed to check your levels. Talk to your doctor.

Vitamins:

The B vitamins have many functions, so it’s no surprise that they play a role in sleep or sleep problems.

Most people have heard of melatonin helping with sleep.

Vitamins B3, B6 and B12 are needed for proper melatonin production.

B1 or Thiamin is also important for snoozing soundly.

Niacin or B3 is important for proper relaxation and sleep.

Choline, found in eggs, is needed for the production of acetyl-choline, one of the main neurotransmitters in the brain.

Taking a B complex supplement is a good idea for just about everyone. This supplies enough B’s to keep you up to par. Separate or individual B vitamins are usually not necessary.

Protein:

Protein and amino acids can assist in our quest for better sleep.

Most of us have experienced the relaxation after eating turkey at Thanksgiving dinner. Of course, tryptophan, an essential amino acid is the cause.

Many benefit from 5-HTP [an activated version of tryptophan] and sleep more soundly.

Acetyl-Carnitine can also be a plus when sleeplessness is a problem.

With a good supply of balanced protein [animal source] few people need to worry about supplementing with extra amino acids.

However, vegetable sources like corn and soy pose a risk of tryptophan and methionine deficiency, respectively. Methionine shortages can impair sleep as well.

Oils and Fats:

As I’ve stated before, fats and oils are important for proper brain function. Sleep is on the list as well.

The omega 3 oils are prominent on the list, especially DHA and EPA [found in fish oil and krill oil]

Quick tips:

~ Use butter, NEVER margarine, partially hydrogenated oil or hydrogenated oil aka “Trans fats”

~Take a quality flax oil supplement

~Consider a fish oil or krill oil supplement [DHA and EPA]

~Avoid most vegetable oils [corn, safflower, sunflower and soy – all loaded with omega 6 oils]

~Use olive oil instead

In Summary:

~Don’t drink dark colas that contain Phosphoric acid [Phosphorus robs Calcium]

~If you drink coffee – use milk or real cream [this negates the phytates that bind Calcium]

~Use Morton’s Lite Salt with Iodine [50% Sodium and 50% Potassium]

~ Eat more fruits and vegetables [Magnesium and Potassium rich foods]

~ Get 20-45 minutes of sunlight per day – when exposed to sunlight your skin produces Vitamin D. Fair skinned people need less exposure [20 min or so], darker complexions require longer exposure to produce the same amount of Vitamin D . With an average of 30 minutes of sunlight per day you will absorb 10 times more Calcium for a full 24 hours.

~ Avoid caffeine where you can, especially after noon.

~ Regular exercise will improve your sleep.

~ Alcohol , even in small amounts, is not beneficial for sleep.

Remember…….

To achieve full spectrum nutrition we all need to supplement our diets.

Supplements to consider:

1) Get a good multiple vitamin/mineral product. Versions with “Chelated” minerals are best. I also like those with some plant based vitamins.

2) Take a quality Calcium product. Look for MCHA as the calcium source and one that includes Magnesium, vitamin D and some assorted trace minerals.

3) Take Omega 3 oils. Flax oil is the best to start. Adding Krill or fish oil later [BTW – Krill oil in the container has a distinctive odor – if you place 3-4 desiccant packs in the bottle and refrigerate it, the odor is gone in 12 hours]

4) Find a good Colloidal mineral product for trace minerals. Make sure it’s from Humic shale and NOT ionic minerals. Humic shale is the “fossilized” remains of the dinosaur days. Plant based colloidal minerals are 98% absorbed.

As always, feel free to comment or message questions or concerns.