Are You a Vitamin Nut? [You should be]

Have you ever been told that “you can get everything you need from your four food groups”?

Has your doctor told you to take vitamins?

Have your heard of the RDA [Recommended Daily Allowance] for nutrients?

BTW- RDA’s are woefully inadequate to prevent illness, read on.

Have you ever wondered why doctors do not recommend taking vitamins?

Do you think taking dietary supplements is unnecessary?

Are you happy with your present health?

Do you get sick a few times a year?

Do you have allergy problems?

Are colds and the flu just part of life?

Do you get frequent sinus infections and bronchitis?

What about asthma or COPD?

Do you think getting sick is just due to exposure to bacteria and viruses?

Are you using hand cleaner frequently but still get sick regularly?

How often do you NEED to take antibiotics? 

Do you take 2-3 medications on a regular basis?

Is ADD medication part of your study habits?

Do you take medicine for high blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes?

Do you have chronic pain and require daily medications?

Have you heard that malnutrition can cause many health problems?

Do you know how that veterinary doctors prevent and treat many illnesses in domesticated animals using nutrition?

………………………………………

Most Americans believe that modern science is driven by the pursuit of knowledge and understanding of the world in which we live. This is true in theory, but not usually in practice.

Logically, one of the primary goals in medical science should be to seek out the better ways to diagnose, treat and hopefully prevent illness and disease.

Great advances have been made in diagnosis and treatment of disease and illness in the past century.

We can transplant many organs [and limbs], replace joints, remove cataracts, repair hernias, bypass blocked arteries, surgically repair/correct aneurysms, reattach severed limbs, and even resuscitate the near dead.

Modern science has given us many miracle medications, lifesaving antibiotics and a long list of immunizations that have reduced human suffering exponentially.

But, in the realm of chronic degenerative illness we have focused on the symptoms and not the underlying causes of disease.

We have a wide array of medications that treat thousands of symptoms – and we even have drugs to correct the symptoms or adverse reactions caused by the medications themselves.

The concept of prevention, true prevention, is only given lip service by mainstream medicine.

If you prevent something, what happens? [easy one] That is correct, NOTHING.

“Nothing” is hard to keep up with, isn’t it?

Where is prevention easiest to see at work? Domesticated animals.

…………

Let me divert our attention to a parallel to human medicine for a few minutes.

When it comes to true prevention Human medicine has not kept pace with Veterinary medicine.

Prevention requires a thorough understanding of the problem at hand – we need to know the underlying reasons WHY the condition occurs.

This understanding was developed out of necessity in the “animal business” – you see, a profitable animal is a healthy animal. [The opposite is true for humans].

Animal life cycles are much shorter than ours. Farmers will see many life cycles in a decade.

During the 1950’s we began using feeds or prepared pellets that contain “everything the animal needs” with our domesticated animals. Simple enough, but this led to a bit of trial and error, AKA PROBLEMS.

One by one, farmers discovered that certain nutrients, if absent, caused illness, birth defects and a list of ailments and disease. 

B9 shortages caused neural tube defects [Anencephaly, Spina bifida, etc].

Zinc deficiency in the expectant mothers led to cleft lip, club foot and chromosomal abnormalities similar to those found in Down’s syndrome.

Tin and Manganese deficiency [trace minerals] resulted in hearing loss and hair loss in sheep.

Copper deficiency was to blame for aneurysms – copper is a co-factor for the enzymes necessary to maintain elastic fibers [Hemorrhoids, varicose veins, stretch marks and crow’s feet are also examples what happens when elastic fibers fail]

A shortage of vitamin E causes Encephalomalacia or softening of the brain in poultry.

Vitamin E, Selenium and the EFA’s when lacking lead to muscular dystrophy that includes Mulberry Heart disease – a fatal cardiomyopathy – seen in pigs.

Domesticated animals do not get diabetes. 

With pigs and cows the goal is for them to gain one pound per day on their way to market. As you might imagine diabetes risk rises with such weight gain – and it does. 

However, scientists figured out that Chromium prevents [and treats] insulin resistance – aka Diabetes.

Chromium is included in every animal feed that is made.

From 1958 to the current day, pigs and cows Do NOT get diabetes in domestication.

Remember we have used insulin from cows and still use pig heart valves. We share physiology and biologic parameters with these animals – including insulin metabolism.

And the list goes on and on……

There are around 60 minerals, 16 vitamins, 12 amino acids and 3 fats that we need for optimal health.

The definition of an Essential nutrient goes like this – A natural chemical compound that is necessary for normal functioning and its absence results in deficiency symptoms. 

The most important nutrients are minerals. 

Plants can manufacture or make vitamins, amino acids/protein and fats.

Plants Can NOT make minerals, if minerals are not in the soil they will not be in the plant.

Our soil has been depleted of minerals for decades. 

Our farming methods [using NPK fertilizer] and our flood control [levees prevent flooding, but also prevent “new” dirt’s delivery] have cause much of this mineral depletion of our farmlands.

This is why farmers and veterinary doctors supplement animal feeds with minerals.

Animals cannot get their nutrition without dietary supplementation and we cannot either.

Back to prevention – 

Many studies suggest that proper nutrition can many prevent illnesses, from heart disease, diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, high blood pressure, stroke and even cancer.

Most of the studies utilizing vitamins use doses much higher than what is available in foods.

Vitamin E – a great example of this problem:

Vitamin E, many researchers believe, prevents heart disease – the optimal dose is 400-800 I.U. per day.

This amount of Vitamin E cannot be easily gotten from foods alone[as with most of our nutrients]

The RDA is 15 IU per day [seems a bit low, does it not?]

Foods that are rich in vitamin E include vegetable oils, seeds, nuts and whole grains. 

Some vitamin E is also found in asparagus, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes and berries. 

But how much vitamin E do these foods contain? 

[one mg of vitamin E = 0.67 I.U. or International Units of vitamin E]

Sunflower seeds [113 IU of vitamin E per pound] 36.5 mg vitamin E or 24.5 I.U. per 100 grams.

Almonds [80.5 IU of vitamin E per pound] 26.2 mg or or 17.5 I.U per 100 grams /3 ½ ounces.

Pine nuts [39 IU of vitamin E per pound] 12.6 mg or 8.4 I.U. per 3 ½ ounces. 

Peanuts [21 IU vitamin E per pound] 6.9 mg or 4.6 I.U. of vitamin E per 100 grams/3 ½ ounces .

Spinach [11 IU of vitamin E per pound] 3.5mg or 2.3 i.U. of vitamin E per 100 grams. 

Let me reiterate – scientists think that 400-800 IU of vitamn E per day is considered optimal

This example clearly shows that we cannot get the optimal amount of vitamin E with foods alone. 

There are similar examples for the B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin A, beta –carotene , minerals and the EFA’s. 

Dietary supplementation of vitamins, minerals and EFA’s is crucial to achieve optimal health and avoid illness.

We can, however, achieve proper and even excellent levels of protein and amino acids from our diets. 

Specific amino acid supplementation can be beneficial in treating a variety of conditions including depression, ADD, obesity, erectile dysfunction, high blood pressure and heart disease.

We must supplement our diets to get optimal nutrition.

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.

5) Vitamin E is difficult to get in sufficient amounts from foods. I advise people to supplement with at least 400 IU per day. 
Natural versions are best, look for “d-tocopherol” but avoid “d-l-tocopherol”- it’s the man-made version and is only 25% usable. Look for a vitamin E with mixed tocopherols that also contains selenium.

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

Health Tips of the Day from TheVitaDoc

1) Cut back on Sugar [Reducing Sugar intake LOWERS Cholesterol]

2) Cut back on carbs [Rice/potatoes/pasta/bread turn into sugar]

3) Avoid processed foods [Fresh/Natural foods are Best]

4) Snack on fruits and vegetables [Nobody gets obese doing this]

5) Try to get 20-30 grams of protein per meal [Muscle burns fat]

6) Use Real Butter [Low fat diets keep you hungry]

7) Never use Margarine aka hydrogenated oil/Trans fat 
[Trans fat Increases Heart disease risk!]

8) Seek out Good Fats – sardines, salmon, tuna, walnuts and flax seeds or oil.

9) Avoid Corn oil, Safflower, Sunflower and Cottonseed oils – very high omega 6 to 3 ratio = bad.

10) Use Olive oil, Peanut oil or Lard – they are “heat stable”, lower in omega 6, high in omega 9.

11) Omega 3 oils are destroyed by heat. [Not “heat stable”]

12) 3% of you calories should come from the EFA’s

13) Take a Flax oil supplement – it helps you burn fat [contains ALA and LA – essential fatty acids or EFA’s]

14) Take a quality Fish oil or Krill oil – helps avoid depression, heart helper [contain DHA and EPA]

15) Eat 2 eggs per day [AHA study showed no increase in cholesterol]

16) Get 30 minutes of Sunlight per day [Boosts Vitamin D]

17) Avoid dark Colas [Phosphorus robs Calcium from our Bones]

18) Take a “Multiple Vitamin” [Chelated versions are best]

19) Consider a MCHA based Calcium supplement [Calcium carbonate = Limestone, a rock]

20) Exercise, stay active, but keep it FUN [Make a Commitment]

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.

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Fibromyalgia/Muscle Pain and Fatigue

Do you have chronic muscle pain?

Do you have unexplained muscle pain?

Do you have trigger points of pain and soreness?

Have you been diagnosed with depression but you think it’s physical?

Do you get tired easily? 

Is fatigue a significant problem for you?

Have you been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia?

Has your doctor put you on medication for overly sensitive nerves?

Are you tired of hurting? Read on.

………………………….

Fibromyalgia/Muscle Pain and Fatigue

If you’ve been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia you are likely to be frustrated and discouraged by the lack of genuine answers or even practical advice from your doctor. 

Here is a link to give you the mainstream thinking. Notice that eating a balanced diet is only mentioned in passing. [During the mid 1990’s doctors argued that Fibromyalgia didn’t exist all and was just depression or anxiety]

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001463

It is the intention of this paper to offer you some hope and encouragement that people with Fibromyalgia do get better and many are able to do so with a nutritional approach. 

Fibromyalgia is a significant cause of pain and suffering. It can have a gradual onset or it may occur suddenly after an illness or injury. It is essentially a failure of the muscles’ integrity and function which results in pain, stiffness and weakness. 

It is a syndrome, meaning its cause or causes are not known and its very existence is not well defined by doctors and medical textbooks, and therefore a source of great frustration for patients who suffer with it. 

The facts support a nutritional/dietary cause. 

Fibromyalgia is increasing in occurrence and could very well be a new condition in the past 30 years. Further, it affects women much more than men. This is probably due to pregnancy/childbearing and body composition differences between the sexes. Women are more prone to certain deficiencies, minerals in particular. [Women have less muscle mass and naturally higher fat percentages – needing fewer calories but often with increased nutrient needs] 

Some fibromyalgia sufferers have consistent symptoms while others have symptoms that wax and wane. The location of pain, its character and association with other co-existing complaints can vary widely. Generally point tenderness and early fatigue are common complaints. 

Patients with Fibromyalgia have many similar complaints but each have their own history making them unique, so each person needs an individualized assessment. 

I’ve seen patients with very similar symptoms respond to very different treatments, everyone is different. Nutrition, digestion-assimilation and detoxification-elimination all interrelate. A doctor versed in each area can systematically optimize all three parameters.

Medical doctors are not formally trained in nutrition, but they do have extensive backgrounds in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, molecular biology (how the molecules of the life work), physiology, physics, microbiology, pathology (the study of disease), so when doctors are unsure or have no answers they tend to think that if it were important, they would know it already. 

There are many illnesses (diagnoses) or let’s say syndromes that reflect this assumption; “auto-immune” – blames the patient’s body – “genetic or hereditary” – blames the parents – “Idio-pathic” – says it’s a “stupid disease” and the list goes on. 

Occasionally, there are “breakthroughs” in getting the basic science or front line biology [usually from animal studies into mainstream medicine. 

Stomach ulcers in animals [pigs] were shown to be caused by a bacteria [H. pylori] in 1958. There was a “breakthrough” in the late 1980’s when human testing verified the same, now it is thought that 90% of stomach ulcers are caused by this bacteria. 

Many medical “breakthroughs are more about breaking into mainstream circles than actual discovery. To say it another way, it is about the reluctant application of proven facts into a fairly rigid system that resists change. Fortunately there is increasing interest in natural or nutritional remedies.

Well done scientific studies do exist and it is my hope these “new” findings will make their way into the mainstream belief systems [ie telling patients/ the public at large about them]

A side note: If the mainstream medical establishment were to say that nutrition can prevent and/or treat disease and illness this would shake the foundation of “medicine” based health care. Further, the suggestion that we must supplement our diets with vitamins, minerals and oils/fats to get optimal nutrition is a slap in the face to our food supply and generally not well received by the food industry. We have several levels of “interests” to overcome before we can look at nutrition honestly as a nation, but luckily we are working on a personal level – therefore more practical.

It is easy to find examples of exaggerated delaying of clinical application from time of “discovery” of new scientific information. 
You are probably aware that Vitamin B9 [folic acid] can prevent birth defects. The connection was discovered in the 1950’s, yet expectant childbearing women were not told to take B9 until the mid to late 1990’s. Now supplemental Folic acid or vitamin B9 is widely recommended to prevent birth defects. Difficult to believe, isn’t it?

Selenium

A particularly scary example [as well as appropriate for this topic] is Keshan’s Disease, a disease of the heart in humans, is due to selenium deficiency. A fatal cardiomyopathy.

Keshan’s Disease has appeared in nearly every medical text book since the early eighties. The story goes like this: In the mid 70’s kids in Keshan’s province of China were dying of a new heart condition, 13 out of a thousand [where 3/1,000 is an epidemic]. 

Children that lived near a railroad line [and got some food from elsewhere, in addition to eating the typical diet] died of this fatal condition at a much lower rate only 1/1,000. 

Soil analyses indicated that selenium [a trace mineral/anti-oxidant] content in the soils were low. 

[Remember plants cannot make minerals – we are designed to get our minerals from plants grown in dirt – plants take rock-like mineral, 3% absorbable and convert them to a colloidal form, 98% absorbable]

A study was done… 36,000 kids… Some got selenium some didn’t and you guessed it. The kids in the non-selenium group had a rate of 13 out of 1,000 while in the selenium group only 1 out of 1,000 contracted this illness and died. Now every medical text book contains this info!! 

To this date I have not found one cardiologist who’s heard of it, however I’ve told a few about it. Initially the tone is somewhat mocking but once they look it up, they usually go out and purchase a selenium supplement. 

I’ll add now that viral cardiomyopathy, idiopathic cardiomyopathy, idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis, post-partal cardiomyopathy and sadly SIDS [sudden infant death syndrome] compare closely to Keshan’s, each named for the given presentation. Also their causes are listed as “unknown”.

The next time you hear of an athlete dying suddenly with no blockages and a failing heart you’ll have new insight. How many people await heart transplants who could benefit from this info? 100-200 thousand? 

White muscle disease, stiff lamb disease and mulberry heart disease are all examples of muscle diseases [“myopathies”] in animals and they were eradicated/prevented with nutrition in the late 1950’s. Vitamin E, Selenium, and the Omega 3 oils are credited in veterinary literature.

Fibromyalgia has just gained widespread acceptance as even existing, much less being appreciated as a preventable or reversible condition. 

Remember it took scientists/doctors more than a hundred years to agree that citrus [vitamin C] could prevent and reverse scurvy. 

The derogatory term “Limey” persists today for the British sailors required to carry/eat a quarter of a lime or lemon per day per sailor around 1795. The merchant ships didn’t follow suit until 1865; it’s worth noting not a single British navy sailor died of scurvy during that 70-year period.

Now, would you believe that in addition to bleeding gums and easy bruising that muscle pain also accompanies vitamin C deficiency?

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is important for muscle function as well, without it, muscle pain. 

Vitamin E also has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer as well as heart disease. 

Vitamin E in two Harvard Studies showed a 77% reduction in heart attacks and 47% reduction in death from heart disease. Check out Dr Atkins book Vita-Nutrient Solution .

CoQ10

CoEnzyme Q10 is also essential for muscle function, its deficiency results in fatigue/ weakness and even heart failure with fluid retention :and interestingly obese patients will often lose weight much easier on CoQ10; about 1/3 of overweight patients studied were deficient.

Interestingly enough: The Statin drugs, the popular cholesterol medications, impair the body’s ability to make CoQ10. Everyone taking a statin is wise to take extra CoQ10.

B Vitamins

Many of the B vitamin deficiencies can lead to pain syndromes.

Thiamin deficiency can lead to pain and noise hyper-sensitivity- small noises, big annoyance]. 

B6 or pyridoxine, B12, B9 or folate are important for nerve and muscle function and pain can result if they are deficient.

B vitamin deficiency can occur – either by dietary shortages or by over utilization – too much sugar in the diet depletes B vitamins – sugar is converted to fat and this burns or consumes B vitamins.

Chromium

Chromium deficiency leads to insulin resistance/hypoglycemia and eventually diabetes. Chromium being short will lead to protein wasting or muscle loss because sugar [glucose] is converted into fat with higher than normal insulin levels [usually sugar cravings will occur]. The brain works mostly on glucose, so the liver will convert protein from muscle into glucose for energy as needed. This loss of muscle can be perceived as weakness. To fix this problem; limit sugars and starches, increase protein intake and optimize chromium levels by supplementing [200-400mcg twice a day – chromium is safe, toxicity occurs above 70,000 mcg per day according to the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA].

Magnesium and Calcium Balance

Magnesium deficiency, either absolute or relative [compared to calcium], can cause significant muscle pain, spasm and weakness. Remember that magnesium is the mineral center of the chlorophyll molecule, the green pigment of plants. Greener vegetables have more magnesium [and those that start out green, tomatoes, in particular] 

Proper Calcium balance is required for proper sleep as well as muscle and nerve function. 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.

Protein and amino acids help prevent muscle pain.

As previously mentioned, protein and it’s building blocks amino acids have very specific functions dealing with cellular structure, membrane function and permeability, enzyme form and function as well as backup energy. 

Protein is important for normal muscle function.

The importance of getting balanced protein in adequate amounts cannot be overstated. Protein is built or comprised of 20 different amino acids [Think of amino acids as being the different railcars of a train with proteins being the whole train].

Remember animal proteins are complete and well balanced where vegetable sources are known for missing one or more of the essential amino acids. 

If any one of the 12 essential amino acids is missing problems ensue [Soy protein lacks the amino acid methionine, a sulfur containing amino acid]- methionine and cysteine [both sulfur containing] are necessary for flexibility of cells, tissues, joints and muscle alike; MSM, glucosamine and bovine cartilage supplements help here when there are shortages. 

Taurine [not strictly speaking an amino acid – actually a sulfonic acid] is also a sulfur containing molecule – that is naturally occurring -it helps equalize the balance of sodium and potassium as well as magnesium and calcium; those who tend to retain fluid benefit from taurine as a supplement without the side effects of medicine’s “water pills” or diuretics.

Tyrosine, an essential amino acid, is converted into several of the brain’s neurotransmitters [dopamine and adrenaline], and utilized in the production of skin and hair pigment [melanin] as well as being one part of the thyroid hormone [the other, Iodine]. 

Tryptophan [an amino acid found in turkey but not in corn] converts to serotonin [one of the neurotransmitters necessary for sleep and also suppresses hunger] and into niacin [Vitamin B3 whose deficiency leads to the four “D’s” of Pellagra diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia and death]. 

l-Carnitine [an amino acid which can be made from lysine, one of the essential amino acids] found primarily in red meat, is essential to carry fats into the body’s furnace [the mitochondria] and hence referred to as a “fat burner”; without it, weakness and fatty accumulation in tissues can occur [fatty liver] ; dose generally 500mg twice a day, up to 4,000 mg per day. 

There are other amino acids that are considered “essential”, that is we cannot make them from other amino acids and therefore they must be present in the diet. 

One final note here: l-glutamine, the most common amino acid in muscle, is not considered essential because we can make it from other amino acids. However, it approaches the essential category for many people because it serves as secondary energy source [it converts to glucose], it donates a nitrogen group [amino group] to help make other amino acids and to balance the body’s acid [when it donates that amino group to make urea] and as a protein reserve. 

l-glutamine is helpful in balancing blood sugar and also curbs the craving for alcohol.

Omega 3 oils and other Fats

The omega 3 fats found in cold water fish and in flax seed oil are necessary for normal brain function, skin, sinuses, lungs, heart, liver, eyes, and muscle, both structurally and for energy. 

Because fats tend to spoil or go rancid, they are taken out or “processed out” of many foods to extend shelf-life (low fat = longer shelflife). 

A big problem with several simple answers. 

Chickens fed flax-meal lay eggs rich in omega 3 fats.

Flax seed oil has twice the amount of the omega 3 fats as fish oil [everybody needs at least 6 grams or 6,000 mg per day, more is needed when deficiency syndromes occur. 

I recommend 2 eggs per day [be imaginative, soft scramble, poach, boil, over easy with butter but don’t fry in grease or overcook]. Also in eggs – carotenoids, B vitamins including lecithin/choline – Choline is not found in many foods and is very important for acetyl-choline production – the major neurotransmitter of the brain and body. 

Use Butter – Never use Margarine (hydrogenated oil) with its “trans” fats – the enemy to the good fats and sabotages the body’s ability to process fats normally. 

Hydrogenated oil [margarine] cannot be avoided completely because it is found in many processed foods like peanut butter, bread and many baked items, again the force behind this is extension of shelf life and reduced cost. 

Taking extra vitamin E, vitamin C and omega 3 fats [like flax seed oil or fish oil] help protect you from trans fats .

It is also wise to avoid the omega 6 rich oils – safflower, sunflower, corn, canola and soy bean oil. Use olive oil.

Quick side note; Vitamin E is difficult to get in sufficient amounts from foods so I advise people to supplement with at least 400 IU per day [the natural versions are best, look for “d-tocopherol” but avoid “d-l-tocopherol”- it’s the man-made version and is only 25% usable]. Look for a vitamin E with mixed tocopherols that also contains selenium.

Adrenal Exhaustion

The adrenal glands are like hormone factories that sit atop the kidneys, named for the adrenaline they produce and they also make a long list of hormones that are based on the cholesterol molecule. In fact over 150 cholesterol based hormones are made there including cortisone, estrogen, testosterone, progesterone and aldosterone. 

If we are “stressed”, physically, emotionally, nutritionally or with toxins/chemicals/medications etc, Adrenal Exhaustion can occur which classically manifests as odor/smell sensitivity to fumes, foods, perfumes or an unusually sensitive sense of smell which will lead to frequent nausea or upset stomach. 

The short answer is this: by taking an Adrenal Extract you can supplement the adrenal glands’ function while you take other measures to support its function like getting more sunlight, supplementing with vitamin C, getting more animal protein and fat (red meat, eggs etc). Women need about 5% of the testosterone [the male hormone] for muscle strength and maintenance as well as for libido. The adrenal glands produce testosterone under the direction of the growth hormone [the trace mineral boron is also necessary for the adrenals to make testosterone].

Another thought: Basal Body Temperature
If your temperature is ever 97.8 or less you probably have an “underactive” thyroid gland, even if the lab tests are “normal”. Taking the temperature orally under the tongue is probably the best way; the typical way axillary or under the arm is too variable and often gives a lower temperature, variations in humidity/moisture cause this discrepancy [the more moisture the better the heat transfer], therefore oral temperatures are more accurate.

Iodine deficiency or lack of dietary iodine will impair the thyroid glands’ ability to make thyroxine, the thyroid hormone [The thyroid hormone works by “setting the thermostat” or the “idle of the body” [like a car will idle too low and die at red-lights or rev if the idle is set too high].

A few interesting tips:
If you apply a 3-4 inch circle of tincture of iodine on your bare skin it should last 24 hours. If your body is short on iodine, the body will eagerly and quickly absorb the iodine, making the stain disappear in 2-3 hours.

This is both diagnostic as well as therapeutic [ie gives your body a source of iodine]. You can re-apply this in different locations repeatedly [the same spot may get irritated]. I’ve seen people with increasing energy in a week or so.

There are products which contain both iodine and tyrosine that can be taken by mouth. Potassium Iodide is the fastest iodine to be utilized [kelp, although more popular doesn’t work as quickly or as completely. 

Sea salt is not a good source of iodine, contrary to popular belief, where iodized salt is, you can buy iodized sea salt.

More symptomatic patients require thyroid replacement medication. See your doctor if you have significant symptoms and do not stop any medication before discussing it with your physician.

In conclusion, Fibromyalgia is very real, yet it’s been largely ignored by Organized Medicine until recently.

Fibromyalgia is not a deficiency of any medication. Medicines can provide much needed symptom relief but we must also consider the underlying causes of these symptoms.

There are answers to help each patient, however, just as we differ as individuals so will the path to recovery. 

Careful evaluation of each patient can help determine the actual causes of the symptoms [Heart, lung, thyroid, kidney or liver problems, diabetes, electrolyte abnormalities, anemia, immune problems and vitamin/mineral deficiency]. 

The depth of testing must be individualized to accommodate each patient’s presentation; often tests are too much of the focus and the history’s value is under-valued [Listen to the patient first]. 

Many Fibromyalgia victims come to me after being diagnosed as depressed or after being treated “unsuccessfully” for depression for extended periods of time, months to years. 

Finally – Depression may make pain worse but Depression does not cause muscle pain but the reverse is true, chronic muscle pain can cause depression.

Summary:

It is very important to be evaluated by a doctor. There are many treatable conditions that cause fatigue and pain.

Balanced nutrition is necessary for optimal health

Consider taking a CoQ10 supplement.

Take supplemental Calcium [MCHA is the best type]

Measure you body temperature.

If your blood pressure is low, consider extra B12.

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.

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.

 

Can You “Get Everything You Need from the Four Food Groups”?

Do you think that you can “get everything you need from the four food groups”?

Doesn’t it seem that Drug companies control Health Care?

Medical studies almost always involve Drug therapies not nutrition – ever wonder why?

Do you have drug advertisement fatigue? [I do]

Have you ever noticed that medication seems to be the first line therapy for most problems?

Doesn’t it seem more logical to put diet and nutrition first?

Have your doctors recommended dietary supplements to you? [Probably not]

Do you have faith in our food supply?

Is there good evidence that we need to supplement our diets? Yes

——-
Our Food Supply:

It is important to realize that we share a lot of biology with animals.

Our nutritional needs are very similar to most animals, including lions, tigers and bears – cows, pigs and chickens, too!

Farmers and veterinary scientists add vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fats to animal feeds, and have been for over 50 years. Are you curious about why this is?

As simple as it sounds – this makes animals healthier.

As I have stated many times:

Our soil is depleted, that is, our farmland has been stripped of minerals. [We need around 60 minerals]

We have used a “fertilizer” for over 100 years, NPK or nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

We have also utilized levees for around 100 years as well.

With 5-7 years of using the same soil without flooding [no new minerals] the minerals are depleted.

[Think of your checking account – all withdrawals and no deposits = trouble.]

Evidence of this is seen in animals’ failure to thrive, birth defects and a long list of illnesses.

Plants and animals both need minerals to live and thrive. [Plants are more susceptible to disease, too]

Plants take metallic or rock-like minerals into their system and turn them into colloidal minerals [98% absorbable].

Plants make Vitamins, Amino acids/protein and Oils/Fats but they CAN NOT make Minerals.

Minerals must be in the soil or they will not be in plants.

Animals, by design, acquire their minerals through eating plants or by eating other animals [who have eaten plants and other vegetation like algae or seaweed].

Animals are not designed or suited to eat rocks for their mineral needs [neither are we]. Metallic minerals are 3% absorbed.

Until we repair our soil and farmland we MUST supplement our diets to ensure complete mineral nutrition.

We have done this is animals for over 50 years. [We deserve a similar effort]

If the Mainstream authorities were to say “Take nutritional supplements to stay healthy” – people will ask, WHY?

The answer is simple, yet unsettling.

Due to our farming methods our food supply is inadequate to provide proper nutrition or put another way – You can’t get your 90 some odd ESSENTIAL nutrients from food alone.

Remember “Essential Nutrients” are those that when absent will lead to symptoms – deficiency symptoms.

The good news is this – Science has provided us with a list of essential nutrients and we can achieve optimal health if we pursue and obtain them.

Many naysayers will say – “show me the evidence” and that is ok.

Unfortunately, in mainstream medicine the “Gold Standard” for evidence has been largely limited to the Double blind, placebo control type studies while many meaningful case studies are ignored.

There are numerous of double blind, placebo control studies that show the value of nutritional supplements – minerals, vitamins, amino acids and oils/fats.

There other ways to show benefit – case studies are valuable and informative.

[How many studies are necessary to show that we need water or oxygen?]

With medications we always have to worry about toxicity, side effects and adverse or unexpected outcomes [like birth defects or increased risk of cancer]

It is easy to see why “less is better” when speaking about medications.

Medications are almost always “disablers” – that is they block a given enzyme or normal cellular process in an effort to target a symptom or symptoms.

Nutrients act as “enablers” – that is they promote normal cellular processes, including vital enzymes.

Nutrients are safer than medications – cheaper and a lot more logical.

With nutrients there are optimal levels that can be sought – or the amounts associated with the best function, brilliant really.

Let me say that many medications are necessary and most are reasonably safe. Medications usually work faster, but they are rarely a good long term option. Talk to your doctor about any medication that you take.

Where possible it is best to use natural alternatives – remember “diet first” is the wisest choice.

I feel that Dr Atkins can assist me here……

…………………………………….

An excerpt from Dr Atkins’ book the Vita-Nutrient Solution

CASE HISTORIES PROVIDE SCIENTIFIC DATA

While these stories are certainly dramatic, others may be more illustrative because they are typical of 80-90 percent of patients with similar problems.

For example, Jack Spanfield came to the Atkins Center at age forty-three with an eleven-year history of ulcerative colitis. Its painful symptoms include frequent bloody diarrhea, mucus, and cramps. Jack had failed to benefit from the strongest of medications and required two painkilling enemas every day when I first examined him. After two weeks of targeted vita-nutrient therapy and a sugarless diet, he began to improve. Within six weeks his bowel function was completely normal, and within three months he was off all medications.

Marian Longstaff, a seventy-four-year-old woman, had had psoriasis for seventeen years. Even with considerable doses of prednisone, she was suffering from itchy, scaly patches on her scalp, knees, elbows, and arms. She improved within six weeks on a vita-nutrient program, and in seven months the scales, the itching, and the prednisone were all gone.

Isabel Palmer, a forty-one-year-old woman, had diabetes, asthma, migraine headaches, and high blood pressure. After a few months on vitanutrients targeted specifically to all of these conditions, every problem was gone or virtually gone.

Karen Wickman, a forty-eight-year-old woman with a complete absence of hair (alopecia areata), complained of fatigue, memory loss, and high cholesterol, for which she took a statin drug. After a few months of taking vita-nutrients she could buy in a health food store, her cholesterol dropped sixty points, even without the medications. Her memory and alertness improved, and best of all, her hair started growing in!

Ronald Dawson, age thirty-six, had migraines so severe that he had been on disability for four years. Within a month of starting vita-nutrients, he was off three different kinds of strong medications and his migraines had stopped.

The great majority of patients I see at the Atkins Center could also tell you stories of how they benefited by upgrading their nutritional intake.

Yet most had been told by well-trained specialists that nothing else— besides drugs—could help them. Don’t believe anyone who tells you that! It simply means that nothing can be done within medicine’s offcially sanctioned surgical and pharmaceutical boundaries.

Beyond these narrow confines, however, is a universe of scientifically validated treatments—vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids, enzymes, and other biochemical substances that exist naturally in our bodies or diet— which the medical establishment chooses not to recognize.

Taking nutritional supplements is not new. But what is new now is that medical science itself, through research and experiment, is beginning to legitimize the nonpharmaceutical prescriptions used for so long by progressive health practitioners.

Together, published studies and real-world clinical evidence prove that a wide range of these nourishing compounds can overcome illness as well as (and usually better than) the best drugs and invasive surgeries that money can buy.

The patients I have described refused the conventional wisdom of the medical establishment. In so doing, they recovered far beyond anyone’s expectations, simply by eating properly and taking nutrient supplements.

From headache to hypertension, diarrhea to diabetes, most modern-day illnesses are diet-related disorders. They result from eating incorrectly and not ingesting enough of the nourishing, naturally present biochemicals that optimize vital bodily functions.

Successful treatment of illness results from replenishing the supply of these substances through diet and nutritional supplements.

Atkins, Robert C. (2011-05-24 00:00:00-05:00). Dr. Atkins’ Vita-Nutrient Solution (Kindle Locations 358-370). Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
…………………………………….

Achieving better health through proper nutrition via wise food choices as well as targeted dietary supplementation is elegantly simple.

Don’t let outdated information keep you back – make an effort to learn about which nutrients are needed and how to get them.

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.

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.