Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Vitamin D and Your Health

Vitamin D is well known for helping increase calcium absorption, but did you know that vitamin D is important for many other things, as well.

Vitamin D can be obtained in two ways. One is from sun exposure and the other is from diet. Vitamin D from sun exposure is formed in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight (particularly UVB rays), with no sunscreen or other interference. Those with darker skin routinely absorb less vitamin D from sun exposure. Whether it comes from food or from exposure to sunlight, vitamin D can not be utilized by the body until the liver and then kidneys have processed it into a usable form.

Vitamin D has been shown to aid in the reduction of cancer, regulate mood, reduce inflammation, supress autoimmune disease, and boost the immune system.

There is concern that people who suffer from cardiovascular events in the winter time may be low in vitamin D, and when levels are below 34ng/ml the risk of cardiovascular disease has been shown to be twice as high. Vitamin D may also be beneficial in reducing high blood pressure as well.

In type 2 diabetes, managing vitamin D levels can improve insulin sensitivity by 21%. If you compare that to metformin, which only raises insulin sensitivity by 13%, vitamin D seems like the better and safer option.

Other conditions that may benefit from optimal levels of vitamin D are:

Multiple Sclerosis
Enhance Insulin and Leptin Sensitivity
Prevention of Type 1 Diabetes
Migraine Headaches
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Musculoskeletal Pain
Autoimmune and Inflammatory Conditions
Cancer Prevention and Treatment

The optimal level for a healthy adult is between 50-80 ng/mL
A blood test to determine your level of Vitamin D $39.00.

There is a link between Lung function and Osteoporosis. Often people with COPD also have osteopenia, which is the beginning stage of osteoporosis. Take advantage of our special price to ensure that your health is at its best this winter.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sniffles, Coughs and Congestion

It's that time of year! Along with cooler temperatures comes ragweed and other inhaled allergens, which seem to irritate just about everyone this time of year.

Over the counter antihistamines for symptom relief are not the best option, because they can dry the sinuses and actually thicken mucous which traps irritants and can lead to infection. Much more, they lead to fatigue, lethargy and generally an unwell feeling.

Believe it or not, that runny nose and those watering eyes are doing just what they are designed to do. Get the irritants out of your body. Unfortunately, blowing your nose until you look like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is not really much fun.

The cells which release histamine are called mast cells. These cells are specifically designed to be sensitive to allergens and when they come in contact with an allergen they burst. This releases histamine and leukotrienes into the blood stream which causes symptoms such as; runny nose, watery eyes, itchy red skin and other reactions commonly associated with allergies. These symptoms can be mild or, in some cases, life threatening depending on the level of sensitivity.

So what do we recommend? Prevention, of course!
In this day and age, exposure to toxins and other allergens cause the body to become fatigued, over sensitive and over stimulated. Because of this, more people experience allergies than in past generations. Our solution to most allergy type reactions is to help the body be less sensitive. Strengthening the immune system and empowering the mast cells to be a little less sensitive can reduce allergy symptoms by preventing the release of histamine and leukotrienes. We recommend a product called Hist-X which helps to desenensitize mast cells to outside stimulus and prevent those pesky symptoms from happening.

Hist-X is only available at our office and it works well for most allergy symptoms.

If you would like to see a video of how this mast cell process works you can view it on you tube here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis

A hair tissue mineral analysis is a screening test that measures the levels of twenty-one minerals and toxic metals present in a sample of hair. Minerals are the “spark plugs” of life and play many important health related roles within the human body. Providing a “window into the cells”, hair makes an excellent biopsy material and reveals a clear record of mineral metabolism. Hair, like all other body tissues, contains minerals that are deposited as the hair grows. Although the hair is dead, the minerals remain as the hair continues to grow. The minerals and toxic metals are locked inside the hair during the growth stage as the body uses it for the storage and elimination of minerals.

A hair tissue mineral analysis reflects long term metabolic activity as it measures an average of mineral accumulation over a three month period of time. This is often an advantage as the test results are not influenced by day-to-day variations in the body chemistry due to stress, diet or other factors. Creating a blueprint of one’s individual stress, blood sugar and carbohydrate imbalances, metabolic rate, biochemical energy production, and glandular imbalances. Hair tissue mineral analysis is used worldwide to measure environmental contamination with toxic metals in the soil, plants and human and animal populations.

Screening tests (like all tests) do have limitations and ideally should be used in conjunction with other laboratory tests, medical histories and physical examinations. This test is provided to assist the health care professional in identifying nutritional and toxic elements that play a role in human health. The contents of this analysis are not intended to be diagnostic.

Electrolytes patterns
Calcium is mainly found in the bones and teeth, but is also required for the nervous system and for muscle contraction and relaxation. It is a primary extra-cellular element.

Magnesium is required for the bones and nervous system. It is also essential for over 600 vital enzymatic reactions in the body. It is a primary intra-cellular element.

Sodium is an essential mineral for maintaining water balance and blood pressure in the body and is a primary extra-cellular element. Low sodium may point to an adrenal dysfunction and may contribute to fatigue and low blood sugar. Low sodium does not necessarily mean that a person is consuming too little salt.

Potassium is a primary intra-cellular element required for fluid balance, nerve activity and muscle activity. Low potassium on a hair analysis could mean adrenal weakness, and may contribute to fatigue and low blood sugar.

Nutrient Mineral Patterns
Iron is required for energy production, blood formation and antioxidant formation (catalase). An excess of iron or toxicity may also occur and contribute to liver and artery disease, dementia and behavioral difficulties. Low iron on a hair analysis is often associated with fatigue.

Copper is required for connective tissue health, women’s fertility, cardiovascular health, blood formation, energy, production, neurotransmitter activity and the immune system. High copper may contribute to fatigue, joint pain, headaches and skin problems. It may also be a contributing factor in anemia, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, insomnia and PMS.

Manganese is required for sugar metabolism, tendon and ligament function, energy production, and thyroid activity. Low manganese may be caused by consuming processed foods and white sugar.

Zinc is required for over 50 functions including all protein synthesis, vision, digestion, prostate health, skin, hair and nail health, and immune system activity. Low zinc levels may be associated with mood swings, digestive disturbances, skin problems, vision problems, prostate problems, and a reduced sense of taste and smell. It may also help to balance sodium/potassium ratio.

Chromium is required for sugar and carbohydrate tolerance and cholesterol metabolism. Low levels may be associated with blood sugar imbalances, cravings for sweets or starches, fatigue, elevated cholesterol, hypoglycemia or diabetes.

Selenium is required as an anti-oxidant nutrient to convert T4 to T3 and for detoxification of heavy metals and toxic chemicals. Low selenium level may contribute to impaired detoxification and thyroid gland activity.

Phosphorus is an essential mineral that is involved in protein synthesis and energy production within the cells. All proteins contain phosphorus and thus are a significant source of organic phosphorus. The hair tissue mineral level of phosphorus is often associated with the adequacy of protein synthesis in the body. This depends on the diet, lifestyle, condition of the intestinal tract and liver and the levels of other nutritional minerals such as zinc and copper. Improper eating habits that interfere with digestion may also contribute to low phosphorus levels.

Toxic Metals and Chemicals
The presence of toxic metals and chemicals can potentially present a serious health hazard. A serious problem today is that a large number of babies are born high in toxic metals due to toxicity in the mothers. A review of over 400 medical studies by the US Environmental Protection Agency revealed that hair tissue mineral analysis is a meaningful test to detect toxic metals.

Toxic metals can cause hundreds of symptoms and contribute to many serious health conditions. There are no safe levels of toxic metals and reducing the presence of toxic metals is a primary goal of your nutritional balancing program.

Magnesium - a critical nutrient

"Magnesium is a critical co-factor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the human body, and many are tied to energy production."

Taken from Tuesday Minute, Joe Buishas, LDN, CCN

Magnesium Utilization

  • Buffers excess acid

  • Acts as an antioxidant inside the cell

  • Protects DNA & intracellular proteins

  • Is a direct chelator for lead

  • Indirectly protects us from mercury, aluminum & other toxins like fluoride

  • Controls glutamate receptors in the heart

Contributing Factors In Magnesium Deficiency

  • Reduced dietary levels

  • Ratio of calcium to magnesium

  • Stress hormone

Magnesium is a critical co-factor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the human body. Many of them are tied to energy production. Deficiencies in magnesium ultimately yield lower energy states, which means cells can't maintain homeostasis, which means they are more susceptible to environmental toxins and infections, which causes free radicals to increase.

Free radicals "inside the cells" damage DNA and mitochondria which further reduce energy production and healthy cell replication. The average American diet creates a relative acidic chemistry. Excess acids can also cause free radicals. Magnesium helps buffer excess acid as it is a key alkalizing mineral. Also, if we are deficient in magnesium, this lowered energy state can cause the nervous system to be compromised which means muscles can't fire properly and spasms can occur anywhere but especially in the heart and vascular tissue. Magnesium acts as an antioxidant inside the cell and protects DNA and intracellular proteins. Although magnesium is a direct chelator for the heavy metal lead, it indirectly protects us from mercury, aluminum and many other toxins like fluoride.

Another one of magnesiums' principle jobs is to control glutamate receptors in the heart called NMDA receptors. When magnesium in the heart is low, the receptors become oversensitive. As a result, a minor stress becomes a major event. Animal studies have shown that as a magnesium deficiency gets worse, the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interlukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor -alpha increase. Over 95% of magnesium is in the cell, so lowered magnesium levels translate into increased levels of inflammation in the cell.

Three major factors are pushing magnesium levels toward deficiency: Reduced dietary levels, one study by the National Institute of Health showed 68% of the American population was depleted in magnesium, while other experts put the number closer to 80%.

Then comes the next factor, the ratio of calcium to magnesium. One way to reduce a mineral is to increase another mineral that competes with it. For example, if we want reduce copper, we use zinc. The National Institute of Health now recommends that the optimum calcium intake be further increased to 1500 mg/day to prevent osteoporosis.

This recommendation disregards the already substandard American magnesium intake, which is less than 300 mg/day. That would bring the Ca/Mg ratio to 5/1 - which is above the 4/1 ratio of Finland. Finland has the highest ischemic heart disease death rate for young to middle-aged men. Speaking of osteoporosis, bone loss is accelerated in the face of magnesium deficiency. The presence of magnesium spares calcium from osteoclastic activity. So, excess calcium in magnesium deficient patients, will further exacerbate the deficiency.

The third factor is the amount of stress that we experience. Dr. Mildred Seelig, formerly one of the world's authorities on magnesium, stated that stress, both physical and emotional, evokes release of the stress hormones catecholamines and corticosteroids. Stress hormones mediate the release and utilization of substrates for greater energy production and for improved skeletal and cardiac muscle performance. However, their excesses cause magnesium loss and inactivation and can be implicated in cardiovascular disorders.

True prevention is really about making the cell as healthy as possible which will allow it to utilize its own defense mechanisms. So although we need magnesium, we want to make sure we have a balance of the other nutrients necessary for energy production. That's why we always recommend a multivitamin/mineral and a mixture of EFAs.

Feel free to stop in or call with questions on supplenting with magnesium. We do have magnesium and calcium together in a supplement and several multi vitamins if you are in need of them.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Whats going on in your gut?

The digestive system is more complex than most people realize. Most people know that the food they eat goes in their mouth and out the other end, but few people really understand what happens in between. It is a subject that people do not like to discuss, but digestion is something that everyone should understand and pay attention to.

Food should stay in your body for about 12-18 hours. If it moves through faster than that, proper digestion and nutrient absorption is not taking place. If it is slower than that, proper digestion and elimination are not happening, and this can cause a build up of toxins in the colon and the body.

This process can cause a myriad of symptoms such as;

  • Chronic Allergies

  • Jaundice

  • Acid Reflux

  • Indigestion

  • Kidney Disease

  • Candida Overgrowth

  • Acne

  • Psoriasis and Eczema

  • Headaches

  • Joint Pain

  • Depression

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

  • IBS

  • Diarrhea

  • Constipation

  • Leaky Gut Syndrome

  • Immune System Dysfunction; ie autoimmune disorders and/or antibody dysfunctions

  • and more

If you would like to know how long it takes your body to digest and eliminate waste, you can do a simple test. Eat something that doesn't digest all the way, like corn, and see how long it takes to show up on the other end. You might be surprised.

Food, which is meant to nourish the body, should be chewed into tiny particles and swallowed. The chewing process activates the salivary glands in the mouth and hydrochloric acid production in the stomach. Digestion begins with the chewing process by releasing the enzyme amylase, which acts directly on carbohydrates. This is why infants, who are learning to eat solid, food must have it gound into tiny particles. Infants do have plenty of saliva, but do not have the ability to chew their food into digestable sized pieces. Breaking the food into small particles releases the foods natural enzymes which aid in digestion. Children and adults should pay special attention to chewing their food into similar tiny particles so that digestion begins immediately upon consumption.

As food is swallowed, it proceeds down the esophagus to the stomach, where the second step in digestion takes place. The stomach, which normally produces hydrochloric acid, churns the partially digested food to help break it down further. The enzymatic break down of proteins begins in the stomach with hydrochloric acid. Without the proper amount of hydrochloric acid proteins are not broken down completely and can pass on into the small intestines. This can cause gas, bloating and other digestive upsets. If the process of digestion is hindered the hydrochloric acid can be forced back up and into the esophagus and cause acid reflux. As the broken down food empties into the small intestine both liver (bile) and pancreatic enzymes need to be adequate to buffer the acidity of the stomach contents.

If food particles enter the small intestine that are not broken down properly, the final stage of digestion is compromised. The small intestine utilizes additional enzymes from the liver and pancreas along with bacteria that lives in the gut to complete the digestive process. Fat digestion begins in the small intestine by using bile and bile salts from the gallbladder and liver. If the liver or gallbladder is not functioning properly, digestive upset can occur due to the inability to break down and absorb fats. The surface area of the small intestine, when stretched out has the surface area of about the size of a football field, however the small intestine itself is only about 22 inches long. This is made possible by the tiny villi that line the wall of the small intestine, which resemble fingers. These villi absorb the particles of digested food that have been broken down into small enough pieces for use. If the food particles are still too large, or not broken down properly, they are passed on as waste.

The large intestine is used for storage of fecal matter and the re-absorption of water. If the body is not properly cleaning itself out, or if waste matter is sticking to the sides of the colon, the water that should be recycled is either not able to be absorbed, or is absorbed and full of toxins. This water is of course filtered through the liver to clean it. This detoxification process can put unnecessary stress on the liver and kidneys. To keep the colon clean it's very important to have the proper amount of non-soluble fiber going through it every day to help clean the walls, and absorb undigested fats and sugars too.

Friendly bacteria are a necessary component of the digestion process. Most people live a lifestyle which is not "friendly" to friendly bacteria. Something else to keep in mind is, if there is no room at the inn... then taking a supplement with friendly bacteria may be of little help. When opportunistic bacteria, which are fed by processed foods, drugs and other lifestyle choices, take up too much space in the gut, it leaves little room for friendly bacteria. Likewise, friendly bacteria can also push out the non-friendly types if done properly. Bacteria is a necessary part of the digestive system, and often antibiotics, steroids, sugar and other things kill off the beneficial bacteria and feed the non-beneficial bacteria, by allowing yeast to flourish.

The immune system begins in the gut with proper digestion, detoxification and elimination. In order to have a healthy body, a healthy gut is very important.

So you ask... how do I have a healthy gut?

Avoid these things:

  • Antacids and proton pump inhibitors - acid killers

  • Antibiotics (unless absolutely necessary)

  • NSAIDS - non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

  • Steroids - including birth control pills

  • White sugar

  • Processed foods

  • Carbonated beverages

  • Antihistamines

  • Coffee

  • Chlorinated and flouridated water

  • Meat which has been given antibiotics

Do these things:

  • Completely chew every bite of food until it's liquid - looks like baby food

  • Eat fresh vegetables and fruits - as raw as possible

  • Eat fiber - from high fiber vegetables or as a supplement (psyllium husk is best)

  • Take probiotics - daily, you should flood your system at first to build up good bacteria

  • Walk regularly - 210 minutes a week or more to help the intestines move

  • Drink lots of clean water - avoid chlorinated and flouridated water

  • Take digestive enzymes if needed

  • Have your indican level tested - an indican test is a simple urine test to determine the level of bowel toxicity

For an indican test please call our office. If you wish to take probiotics we do recommend that you do a one week intensive booster for friendly bacteria. We also have a great psyllium husk fiber supplement. Please call our office for more information.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fruit and Vegetable Wash

The Clorox bath (it must be Clorox) is 1/2 teaspoon per gallon of tap water. Soak produce between 10 and 30 minutes depending on the thickness of the skin.
. Leafy veggies 10 to 15 minutes
. Root or thick-skinned veggies 20 to 30 minutes
. Berries, peaches, thin skinned fruits 10 to 15 minutes

Triple rinse to remove all residual Clorox, which is 100% water soluble (this is why the finest labs in the world clean up with Clorox).

In the early 80's a client at Complete Health Services decided to put the Clorox bath to the test. She organized a before and after Clorox bath experiment at Sommer Frey Lab in Milwaukee (est 1900). She knew from her research that commercial peaches were exposed to chemicals containing mercury. (Interesting that peaches are currently at the top of the list of chemically contaminated fruit.) The people at the lab thought it was a cute idea promoted by some health nuts but quickly changed their demeanor after the Clorox bath consistently removed 70% to 75% of the mercury. The average was 72%. We passed out the report in all future cooking classes, Love at First Taste, which we taught for 20 years from 1978 to 1998.

Then, in the mid 90's a client I was working with moved to Seattle. We stayed in touch and she mailed me an extensive study performed by a holistic community magazine in Seattle that promoted local alternative services. This publication ran a series comparing the purity of organic and non-organic produce by meticulously testing for chemical contamination.

Shockingly, organic produce sometimes tested as contaminated as commercial produce.

Personally, I was slow to accept the Clorox bath. The chef in our cooking class, Roger Ullenberg -- owner and chef of Au Natural Restaurant, loved the Clorox bath and insisted on teaching it to students. During class he demonstrated it's effectiveness on bananas.*

Roger learned about the Clorox bath from an icon in natural health; Dr. Hazel Parcells, a well known naturopathic healer who lived to 106. Dr. Parcells based her work on radionics using pendulums and other devices, but she did not delve into the chemistry. During class I was so impressed with improvement in the quality of the produce washed in Clorox I couldn't help but be won over, even against my will (which was definitely the case). Later, when the Sommer Frey experiment was done, I became fully aware of how right-on this technique is.

To this day our household uses it on commercial produce, and maybe we should on organic items as well. However, I now trust the purity of organics more than in the past.

If you try it you'll be impressed.

*Class Experiment: Roger would take bananas from the same bunch and separate them into two groups -- one group went into tap water and the other into the Clorox bath (1/2 teaspoon per gallon of tap water). Only Roger, Karen and I knew which was which. After 15 to 20 minutes in the Clorox bath (bananas are thick skinned) they were triple rinsed, peeled and cut into bite size pieces. Everything was kept separate -- one platter of Clorox washed bananas and another platter of tap water washed bananas. So, the taste test was on.

Each platter was passed around the class and without fail in every class for over 20 years virtually every single student specifically preferred the Clorox washed bananas. Why? Because they didn't have the metallic after taste so common with bananas. It was very distinct. I could tell the difference every time. This was a fun way to introduce a serious subject. Give it a try. I think you'll be convinced.

Jim Ehmke, CN
Provided by Biotics Research Corporation

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Poison Ivy and Poison Oak Prevention

Are you one of those people who is afraid to cut grass or go out in the springtime in fear of coming in contact with Poison Ivy or Poison Oak?

The annoying and often painful rash is an allergic reaction to the oil in the plants. Poison Ivy itself is not contagious, but the oil is long lasting and can be transferred from objects, clothing or skin which have come in contact with it. Some people, who are very sensitive, do not even need to have direct contact with the oil to have symptoms. Burning the plants can also make the oil airborne, which may affect skin and lungs. The oil from a poison ivy plant can stay on a surface for 5 years.

If you think you have come in contact with Poison Ivy, Oak or Sumac, you should wash thoroughly with soap and water. It may be a good idea to remove any clothing immediately and wash them, so that no one else comes in contact with the oil on the material.

If you already know that you are sensitive to Poison Ivy or Oak you should use some preventive measures to avoid exposure, like wearing gloves and long sleeves when doing yard work or walking in wooded areas. Something else you should consider is building your immune system up so that your body is not as sensitive to outside stimuli. We have a couple of products which can assist you in this.

Homeopathic products, which have been used for centuries, are one way to help build up your tolerance of specific substances. We have a homeopathic, which can be used for prevention as well as treatment in the case of a reaction. If used as directed, the homeopathic could prevent a reaction completely, or reduce the duration and/or symptoms in the case of extreme exposure. If you are interested in finding out more about this product, stop by our office.

Nutritional products can also be beneficial in preventing allergic reactions. D-Hist, which is commonly used for sinus irritation and allergies, is also very beneficial in the prevention of allergic reactions, because it helps the body "toughen up" and not be as sensitive.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Causes

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Causes

Causes of Impotence
There are many underlying physical and psychological causes of erectile dysfunction. Reduced blood flow to the penis and nerve damage are the most common physical ED causes. Underlying conditions associated with erectile dysfunction include the following:

Vascular disease
Hormone imbalances
Neurologic conditions
Pelvic trauma, surgery, radiation therapy
Peyronie's disease
Venous leak
Psychological conditions

Vascular Disease
Arteriosclerosis, the hardening and narrowing of the arteries, causes a reduction in blood flow throughout the body and can lead to impotence. It is associated with age and accounts for 50% to 60% of impotence in men over 60.

Risk factors for arteriosclerosis include:
• Diabetes mellitus
• High blood pressure
• High cholesterol

Smoking, which can lead to any of the above risk factors, is perhaps the most significant risk factor for impotence related to arteriosclerosis.

Diabetes Mellitus
Chronic high levels of blood sugar associated with diabetes mellitus often damage small blood vessels and nerves throughout the body, which can impair nerve impulses and blood flow necessary for erection. About 60% of men with diabetes experience impotence.

Over 200 commonly prescribed drugs are known to cause or contribute to impotence, including drugs for high blood pressure, heart medications, antidepressants, tranquilizers, and sedatives. A number of over-the-counter medications also can lead to impotence. Long-term use of alcohol and illicit drugs may affect the vascular and nervous systems and are associated with erectile dysfunction.

Hormone Imbalances
Hormone disorders account for fewer than 5% of cases of impotence. Testosterone deficiency, which occurs rarely, can result in a loss of libido (sexual desire) and loss of erection. Among other conditions, an excess of the hormone prolactin, caused by pituitary gland tumor, reduces levels of testosterone. Hormone imbalances can also result from kidney or liver disease.

Neurologic Conditions
Spinal cord and brain injuries (e.g., paraplegia, stroke) can cause impotence when they interrupt the transfer of nerve impulses from the brain to the penis. Other nerve disorders, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease, may also result in impotence.

Pelvic Trauma, Surgery, Radiation Therapy
Trauma to the pelvic region or spinal cord can damage veins and nerves needed for erection. Surgery of the colon, prostate, bladde, or rectum may damage the nerves and blood vessels involved in erection. Prostate and bladder cancer surgery often require removing tissue and nerves surrounding a tumor, which increases the risk for impotence.

New nerve-sparing techniques aimed at lowering the incidence of impotence to 40 to 60 percent are now being developed and used in these surgeries. Temporary impotence is also associated with these procedures, even those in which nerve-sparing techniques were used. It can take as long as 6 to 18 months for full erections to return.

Radical cystectomy (for bladder cancer) and prostatectomy (for prostate cancer) require cutting or removing nerves that control penile blood flow. These nerves do not control sensation in the penis and are not responsible for orgasms; only erection is affected by these procedures.
Radiation therapy for prostate or bladder cancer also can permanently damage these nerves.

Peyronie's Disease
Peyronie's disease is a rare inflammatory condition that causes scarring of erectile tissue. Scarring produces curvature of the penis that can interfere with sexual function and cause painful erections.

Venous Leak
If the veins in the penis cannot prevent blood from leaving the penis during erection, erection cannot be maintained. Venous leak can be a result of injury, disease or damage to the veins in the penis.

Psychological Conditions
Depression, guilt, worry, stress, and anxiety all contribute to loss of libido and erectile dysfunction. If a man experiences loss of erection, he may worry that it will happen again. This can produce anxiety associated with performance and may lead to chronic problems during sex. If the cycle is inescapable, it can result in impotence. Psychological factors in impotence are often secondary to physical causes, and they magnify their significance.

Physician-developed and -monitored.
Original Date of Publication: 09 Jun 1998
Reviewed by: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 03 Dec 2007
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2011
© 1998-2011 Healthcommunities.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Read more: Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Causes - Erectile Dysfunction - Urology Channel http://www.urologychannel.com/erectiledysfunction/causes.shtml#ixzz1LEENChjI

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The 'Other' Sweetener That's Made from Sugar, but is Closer to DDT

Posted By Dr. Mercola | April 26 2011

Researchers recently investigated sucralose (Splenda) to see if it could reduce hunger and keep blood sugar steady. They found that it could not.

The researchers hoped to find that sucralose could cause the intestine to produce a hormone that reduces blood sugar and decreases appetite, which prior study had indicated might be a possibility. But the effect did not occur when it was ingested orally -- hunger remained the same and the blood sugar remained the same.
According to FYI Living:

"Worse, other research has shown that artificial sweeteners might contribute to weight gain ... [when the] sweet taste is not accompanied by the calories (energy) our brain expects it to be, the complex systems our bodies have to regulate energy balance may be thrown off kilter. The result is that a diet high in artificial sweeteners may possibly, over time, cause people to seek out more calories from other sources".

FYI Living March 10, 2011
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition April 2011; 65(4):508-13

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Avoiding sugar is a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle, but, instead of consuming a naturally low-sugar diet based on whole foods, some people are still trying to have their cake and eat it too.

Unfortunately, the belief that artificial sweeteners can allow you to have the best of both worlds is simply not based in reality. It's a carefully orchestrated deception. So if you're still consuming artificially sweetened foods, snacks and beverages because you think it'll help you manage your weight, please understand that you've been sorely misled.

In reality, "diet" foods and drinks ruin your body's ability to count calories, thus boosting your inclination to overindulge. This effect appears to be true for all artificial sweeteners.

Unfortunately, most public health agencies and nutritionists in the United States still recommend these toxic artificial sweeteners as acceptable and even preferred alternatives to sugar, which is at best confusing and at worst seriously damaging the health of those who listen to this well-intentioned but foolish advice.

Artificial Sweeteners INCREASE Your Risk of Obesity
Contrary to popular belief, research has shown that artificial sweeteners can stimulate your appetite, increase carbohydrate cravings, and stimulate fat storage and weight gain. In fact, diet sodas may actually double your risk of obesity!
How's that for being misled?

Studies have repeatedly shown that consuming artificial sweeteners may be ruining your ability to control your food intake and body weight. For example, I have listed the results of six studies on aspartame that found it increases hunger and body weight on my Aspartame Studies page, and research on other artificial sweeteners have come to the same conclusion.

It's thought that consuming artificial sweeteners breaks the inherent connection between a sweet taste and a high-calorie food, thereby changing your body's ability to regulate your intake of calories. The end result is that by consuming artificially sweetened foods and beverages, you end up gaining more body fat than if you were to eat the same foods sweetened with regular sugar!
But weight gain isn't the only health-harming side effect of these man-made chemical sweeteners.

Splenda Destroys Your Gut Flora
Different artificial sweeteners have been found to wreak havoc in a number of different ways. Aspartame, for example, has a long list of studies indicating its harmful effects, ranging from brain damage to pre-term delivery.

Splenda (sucralose) has been found to be particularly damaging to your intestines.
A study published in 2008 found that Splenda:
• Reduces the amount of good bacteria in your intestines by 50 percent
• Increases the pH level in your intestines, and
• Affects a glycoprotein in your body that can have crucial health effects, particularly if you're on certain medications like chemotherapy, or treatments for AIDS and certain heart conditions

They also found unmistakable evidence that Splenda is absorbed by fat, contrary to previous claims.

In response to this study, James Turner, chairman of the national consumer education group Citizens for Health issued the following statement:
"The report makes it clear that the artificial sweetener Splenda and its key component sucralose pose a threat to the people who consume the product. Hundreds of consumers have complained to us about side effects from using Splenda and this study ... confirms that the chemicals in the little yellow package should carry a big red warning label."

I agree. It's truly disturbing that Splenda can destroy up to 50 percent of your healthy intestinal bacteria, as these bacteria are absolutely vital for supporting your general health! Many people are already deficient in healthy bacteria due to consuming too many highly processed foods. This is why a high quality probiotic is one of the very few supplements I highly recommend for most, if not all, people.
Believe me, if you continually destroy up to half of your gut flora by regularly consuming Splenda, then poor health is virtually guaranteed!

Splenda has Never Been Proven Safe for Human Consumption
Splenda was approved by the FDA as a tabletop- and general-purpose sweetener in processed foods in 1998. The FDA claims the approval was based on more than 110 animal and human safety studies. However, what they don't specify was that out of these 110 studies, only two were human studies, consisting of a combined total of 36 people, of which only 23 people actually ingested sucralose.

Additionally, the longest of these two human trials lasted only four days and looked at sucralose in relation to tooth decay, not human tolerance!

Many people have sent me stories about their adverse reactions to Splenda, which are posted on my site. This list alone contains more people than were formally studied in the research submitted for FDA approval!

The remainder of those 110-plus "safety studies" were done on animals, and they actually revealed plenty of problems, such as:
• Decreased red blood cells -- sign of anemia -- at levels above 1,500 mg/kg/day
• Increased male infertility by interfering with sperm production and vitality, as well as brain lesions at higher doses
• Enlarged and calcified kidneys (McNeil stated this is often seen with poorly absorbed substances and was of no toxicological significance. The FDA Final Rule agreed that these are findings that are common in aged female rats and are not significant.)
• Spontaneous abortions in nearly half the rabbit population given sucralose, compared to zero aborted pregnancies in the control group
• A 23 percent death rate in rabbits, compared to a 6 percent death rate in the control group

Common Side Effects of Splenda
The web site www.truthaboutsplenda.com lists a variety of consumer complaints from Splenda consumption, such as:
Gastrointestinal problems Blurred vision
Migraines Allergic reactions
Seizures Blood sugar increases
Dizziness Weight gain

You can also read the first-hand accounts of many of my readers here, at least one of whom say that allowing Splenda on the market is "worse than chemical warfare" based on the adverse effects she suffered before she figured out the cause. Just as with aspartame, many Splenda users complain of general malaise or "feeling under the weather," along with a variety of neurological changes, such as foggy-headedness, lack of concentration, and "bad mood."

If you have ever suffered any side effects from taking Splenda or any artificially sweetened product, I strongly recommend reporting it to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in your area.

Splenda—"Made from Sugar" But More Similar to DDT...
That's right.
The catchy slogan "Made from sugar so it tastes like sugar" has fooled many, but chemically, Splenda is actually more similar to DDT than sugar.
Sucralose starts off with a sugar molecule, yes, but that's where the similarity ends. (A sucrose molecule is a disaccharide that contains two single sugars bound together, i.e. glucose and fructose.) Then, in a five-step patented process, three chlorine molecules are added to that sucrose (sugar) molecule.

This process converts the sugar molecule to a fructo-galactose molecule.
This type of sugar molecule does not occur in nature, and therefore your body does not possess the ability to properly metabolize it. As a result of this "unique" biochemical make-up, McNeil Nutritionals makes its claim that Splenda is not digested or metabolized by the body, hence it has zero calories.

But, if you look at the research, you will find that an average of 15 percent of sucralose IS in fact absorbed into your digestive system, and ultimately is stored in your body. To reach the average number of 15 percent means that some people absorb more and some people absorb less, depending on your biochemical makeup.
If you are healthy and your digestive system works well, you may be at HIGHER risk for breaking down this product in your stomach and intestines, so for you the adverse reactions may be more acutely felt.

How to Kick the Artificial Sweetener Habit
Sweet cravings are very common for the simple reason that sugar is as addictive as cocaine. Unfortunately, switching to artificial sweeteners will neither reduce these cravings nor increase your satiety. On the contrary, as discussed above, you're likely making matters worse.

Your body also craves sweets when you're denying it the fuel it needs. Sugar (and grain carbs) is very quick fuel and can give your body a boost when it's running low. Again, using artificial sweeteners does not trick your body into thinking it has had its fill; rather it wants more sweets because it didn't get the energy boost with that sweet taste!

A powerful solution to help curb your cravings is to determine your nutritional type, which will tell you which foods you need to eat to feel full and satisfied.
It may sound hard to believe right now, but once you start eating right for your nutritional type, your sweet cravings will disappear. To help you turn your health around, I now offer the full nutritional typing program online for free, so please take advantage of this opportunity to dramatically change your health for the better.

Interestingly, nutrition- and fitness expert Ori Hofmekler recently shared a fascinating benefit of caffeine that can be helpful here. If you like coffee, drinking organic black coffee (meaning without sugar or milk) can help eliminate sugar cravings because the caffeine is an opioid receptor antagonist.

As you may know, sugar binds to the same opioid receptors as cocaine and other addictive substances. But once an opioid receptor antagonist occupies that receptor, it prohibits you from becoming addicted to something else. Therefore, caffeine may attenuate the addictive impact of sugar.

There are a few caveats to using this strategy however, including:
• Only drink organic coffee (as it's one of the most pesticide-heavy crops there are)
• Drink it black, sans sugar/artificial sweeteners or milk
• Only drink coffee in the morning, prior to exercise
• Limit your consumption to one or two cups

In addition to eating right for your nutritional type, I highly recommend addressing the emotional component of your food cravings, using a tool such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). It's one of the most profoundly effective tools I've ever used or researched to help overcome food cravings and reach dietary success.
Turbo Tapping is particularly useful if you're addicted to soda. It's an extremely effective and simple tool to get rid of your addiction in a short period of time.

Related Links:
The Potential Dangers of Sucralose (Splenda)
Sucralose (Splenda) U.S. Product List
The Potential Dangers of Sucralose—Reader Testimonials

Monday, April 18, 2011

Are you a Fat Burner or a Sugar Burner?

Did you know that you can change your body from its preferred metabolism of fat, to a sugar based metabolism?

Did you know that even if you have accidentally changed your metabolism to a sugar burning metabolism, you can choose to change your body to a fat burning, lean machine?

Sugar, in the form of glycogen, is utilized by the body in times of stress for rapid bursts of energy. Glycogen is stored by the liver, and when the adrenals call out for emergency energy, the liver releases glycogen. Living a high stress lifestyle, or eating a diet high in processed foods, can cause the body to get spoiled and lazy. This is because, burning fat for energy is a tougher process than burning readily available, easy to burn, sugars.

Your body also naturally burns sugar when you exercise. Which is why aerobic activity, such as walking, helps to reduce blood sugar.

If you have read my book, Maintain Your Weight, then you already understand my concept about your metabolic furnace. If not, then a simple way to understand it is, sugar and processed foods are like dead leaves when thrown on a fire. They flame up instantly, and then die out very quickly. Larger more dense pieces of wood burn slower, and hotter, and the energy they produce lasts much longer.

If a person eats too much sugar and/or processed foods, or they have insulin which is sluggish & isn't doing its job, these sugars are not processed as they should be. Unused sugars are sent back to the blood stream for disposal and since the body doesn't know what to do with the extra sugar it gets saved as fat. The problem is, sugars do not stoke up your metabolic furnace; so you need energy sooner, and because your body is trained to use sugar for energy, you start to crave more sugars and simple carbohydrates.

I am guessing by this point you can name several people, you know, who probably have a sugar burning metabolism. You may even be saying, "Wow, that sounds like me." Would you like to take charge of your body and teach it to burn fat? It is possible.

First of all you need to let go of the myths you have learned about what to eat, and what not to eat. Here are some common dieting myths:

  1. Fat is bad. NOT TRUE. Fat is necessary for building cells, protecting your organs, making skin soft and supple and other necessary functions. More specifically cholesterol, which is made from fats, is very important to the body. Every cell in your body uses cholesterol. The truth is; Healthy Fats are a vital part of everyones diet. About 30-40 percent of your diet should come from healthy fats.

  2. You can eat as much protein as you want. NOT TRUE. Protein is absolutely an important part of a healthy diet, but a variety of protein is important. If you eat meat, about 20% of your diet should come from lean animal protein or beans and legumes. Remember that vegetables, and grains like oatmeal also have protein, so you are not going to be without enough protein if you eat right.

  3. Grains should be a staple in your diet. NOT TRUE. Grains should be a small part of your diet, and they should be whole grains, like real steel cut oats. Not the kind that comes in a package you can pour hot water on and eat. In order for grains to be a healthy part of your diet, they must be difficult for your body to break down. Make your body work for those calories... and make sure the calories you provide are nutrient dense and high in fiber.

  4. Red meat is bad for you. NOT TRUE. Meat which has visible fat is bad for you. Lean cuts are acceptable, but remember a portion of meat is about 3-4 ounces.... which is about the size of a deck of cards. Some individuals tolerate red meats better than others. There are lots of other meats you could consume also. Consider chicken, white fish, salmon and tuna, deer, bison etc. Pork tends to have fat cells which are not visible, and you can not cut off, so we often recommend that people who have inflammatory conditions or are trying to manage their weight, avoid pork.

  5. Fiber is yucky! NOT TRUE. Vegetables have lots of non-soluble fiber. This fiber helps to balance blood sugar, and keep the pipes clean. Vegetables are also high in phytonutrients and are also known to help fight cancer. Vegetables are so important for your body you should eat some with every meal. 8 out of 10 bites of food should be a fruit or vegetable.

  6. Fruit is too high in sugar. NOT TRUE. Fruit is best eaten away from large meals, because it gets processed much faster than meats and vegetables, and can cause some gas or bloating if eaten on top of a meal. If you have fruit with your meal eat it about 15 minutes before the rest of the meal. Fruit has water soluble fiber in it, which also helps keep the pipes clean, and can help with constipation. If you are diabetic, you may find that fruit can raise blood sugar because your body is not utilizing sugar properly. It's absolutely necessary to get your body burning fat for energy if you are pre-diabetic, or already dependent on medications for blood sugar management.

So you need to know how to do this... right? Well, I recommend the Leptin Diet. If you would like a printable form of this diet click here. Below is a simple run down of how it works.

Eat These Foods:

Healthy fats, such as; nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, salmo, tuna etc.

Lean proteins, such as eggs, seafood, chicken, turkey, fish etc.

Vegetables and fruits, such as asparagus, cucumbers, spinach, lettuce, beans, green beans, garlic, peppers, apples, bananas, grapes, kiwi, pineapple, cherries, blueberries etc.

Foods to avoid:

Cows milk, frozen custard, fatty cheeses, processed meats, peanuts, barbeque sauce, ketchup, mayo, cakes, candies, processed foods, sugar, etc.

For the full diet and its explanation click on the link above. If you have questions please don't hesitate to call the office. By the way, this diet is a great maintenance plan for people who just finished their diet drops.

One of the most important things to remember is: Chew your food thoroughly. Chew it until it is no longer recognizable, then swallow it. Also, remember to drink plenty of water. You should drink about half your body weight, in ounces, of water a day.

Recommended supplementation:

L-Carnitine to help your body burn fat. L-Carnitine is to Fat, as Insulin is to Sugar. We do have a couple of different options at our office for this product. Recommended amount is 1000 mg at breakfast, and lunch, daily.

EFA's (Essential Fatty Acids) I always recommend that a person take 2000-4000 mg a day of a good quality, pharmaceutical grade fish oil or vegetarian based EFA product while trying to lose weight.

CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) Check out my blog from a week or so ago for more information on this great product. I usually recommend about 1500 mg three times a day while trying to lose weight.

Vitamin D is also very important in this process. Unless you live near the equator and spend a lot of time outdoors with very little clothing and no sunscreen, you probably need to take about 5000-8000 iu a day of a good quality, proven to be absorbable, product. We have two different types at our office, come by and ask about it.

Probiotics which are non-dairy in nature. Since you will be completely avoiding most dairy products during this program, you should find a good non-dairy probiotic. There are many available. We have one at our office that you only need to take 1 a day of, which is way less than most products suggest.

Enzymes are also very important for general health. We have a few different kinds which work well to aid in digestion if taken with meals, but they also work great to help clean inflammation out of the body when taken away from meals, on an empty stomach. We typically recommend enzymes for anyone who needs to lose weight, or may be dealing with food sensitivities.

I hope this information is helpful, and if you need someone to discuss it with, you can always make an appointment at our office. If you would like a printable form of this diet click here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Colon Cancer Can be Prevented

The below article was printed in the March 10, 2011 issue of The Rolla Daily News. I thought this would be a great time to remind everyone that there are several options for screening for all types of cancer.

The best option to prevent cancer from forming, is of course, eating a healthy diet that includes lots of different colored fruits and vegetables, fiber, lean proteins and healthy fats... and making sure you get enough exercise.

For prevention and early detection, we offer an indican test. This test checks the urine to detect any bacterial or toxic buildup on the walls of the colon. If the colon is caked with fecal matter which is not being eliminated as it should, this sludge can become toxic, and since the colon has two main jobs, one of them being storage of waste material and the other being reabsorption of water back into the body, it's important to make sure that the colon is clean. If the colon is crusted with toxins, these toxins can be reabsorbed into the body. These toxins are also what cause infections, polyps and diverticulitis. An indican test is $33 and it's one of the best ways to prevent future problems.

It's important to know when you have a colon issue. We recommend that you have an indican test occassionally to check your colon status, and you should also check for blood in your stool. There is a simple test for blood in the stool. This test is great because you can do it in the comfort of your own home and it can detect blood which may not be able to be seen by the naked eye. You just drop it into the commode and it changes colors if it finds blood. This packet is only $25 and can be picked up at our office any time.

We also offer blood testing for all tumor markers. The AMAS test checks the entire body for cancer antigens. There are several specific tumor marker tests that you can also choose to look for, such as; breast, pancreas, colon, prostate and liver... If you are concerned about your cancer risk, stop in and discuss your options with one of our helpful staff.

Here is the article I mentioned...
Each year when Kelly Kibirige celebrates another birthday, it's not just a mark of being a year older. For Kibirige, 50, it's another year being cancer free.

"I always told people I had rot gut," said Kibirige, a registered nurse, who was diagnosed with colon cancer when she was 46. "At least three times a week I'd have a combination of indigestion, bloating, abdominal pain, and other issues. It wasn't until I saw blood in my stool that I went to the hospital."

That was August 2006. It took several more months of similar symptoms appearing and disappearing with treatment before she had a fecal occult blood test (FOBT). The test showed Kibirige had Stage 1 colon cancer.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Kibirige hopes that Missourians in Dunklin County make sure to get routine visits and screenings for colon cancer. Making the decision can be a life-saver. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States.

Colorectal cancer, also known as colon cancer, caused more than 50,000 deaths in 2007. With routine screenings like colonoscopies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that as many as 60 percent of these deaths could be prevented. That would mean more than 8,000 lives saved in Missouri, based on Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) data from 1998 and 2008, or 103 lives in Dunklin County.

You can take steps to help colon cancer. Colon cancer occurs when an unusual growth, or polyp, forms in the colon. If these growths go untreated, they can become cancerous and begin to spread. This is why early detection is very important.

Colon cancer affects men and women equally, but African Americans are at a higher risk than other ethnic groups. Because 90 percent of all cases affect those 50 and older, the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that everyone begin colon cancer screening at age 50. Those with a family history of the disease should talk with their doctor about beginning screening tests earlier. Those who show symptoms like Kibirige did should talk to their doctor, too.

When colon cancer is detected early, there is a 90 percent survival rate. However in 2008, only 61 percent of Missourians over the age of 50 had ever had one of these screenings.

"I often wonder if the cancer could have been a small polyp when I was in the hospital in August 2006," said Kibirige, who works in the St. Joseph's Health Department. "I should have insisted the nurse tell my doctor. Blood in stool is not normal. It may be something small or it could be cancer. Now, I tell people to ask questions, insist on getting answers or get a second opinion. It is your body."

There are several steps everyone can take to prevent colon cancer. The ACS and Health Literacy Missouri recommend the following :

* Get screened. Most medical insurance will cover a colonoscopy starting at age 50. An FOBT costs only $10-25.

* Eat a balanced diet. Foods high in fat and cholesterol increase your risk of colon cancer. Limit the amount of processed and red meat in your diet. A healthy diet includes five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day and whole grains.

* Exercise. Obesity increases the risk of colon cancer. As little as 30 minutes of exercise, for five days each week, will lower your risk.

* Avoid tobacco and limit alcohol. Smoking cigarettes or using tobacco products can increase the size of polyps. Men should not have more than two drinks per day. Women should stop at one.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Crohn's Disease

Chron’s disease is caused by food allergies - 100% of the time.

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory condition of the intestine. Modern science has linked it to an immune response, which causes chronic inflammation. Commonly, prescription drugs are administered to alleviate some of the symptoms, and frequently surgery is performed to remove inflamed portions of the intestine, in an attempt to avoid infection and reduce symptoms.

It is well documented that certain foods cause discomfort, cramping and diarrhea, in people who have this condition. Because each person is different, there is no one diet that can be followed to prevent symptoms. The most important thing to understand, is that, IBS and Chron’s are always caused by food allergies. Common food allergens are cows milk and wheat/gluten, but often a food, such as; broccoli or carrots, will show up as an allergen. Some victims of Crohn’s disease may find relief by avoiding milk and wheat, but in reality, the foods that are chosen most frequently (favorite foods) are often the foods which are the most damaging. Eating a food which causes inflammation actually causes an adrenaline boost, which in turn causes the person to crave that particular food.

Food sensitivities that cause inflammation do not often cause an immediate response, which makes it difficult to pick out which foods are causing the problem. Often, food sensitivities like these do not cause noticeable symptoms for up to 2-3 days after consumption. If the food which causes inflammation is eaten every day, the symptoms increase over time.

The best way to determine which foods are causing inflammation is to run an IgG Rast Test, which tests 96 different food groups, and provides a rotation diet to clear the body of the inflammation. Removing the source of inflammation gives the intestines a chance to heal. Once the inflammation is gone, foods which are sources of inflammation may then be consumed in small amounts, on occasion. This information is very valuable to the person who suffers from Chron’s, because they are in control of their situation, and can choose to avoid foods which cause inflammation in their body.

Another concern for people with symptoms of IBS or Chron’s is malnutrition. The inability to properly digest and absorb nutrients can cause weight loss and fatigue, along with other symptoms. It is recommended that nutritional supplementation be utilized to help the body absorb these lost nutrients. It may be necessary to use liquid, sublingual or intramuscular injections to increase the absorption of these nutrients.

Each individual person has their own unique needs. There is no cookie cutter plan which can resolve symptoms in every situation. It’s necessary to discuss symptoms, nutrition and health with your health care provider regularly, and make changes as needed to maintain balance. Avoiding foods which cause inflammation is a very important part of this health plan.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Re: Am I overusing Antibiotics?

Antibiotics are often prescribed and requested for many different types of symptoms, such as; ear aches, colds, flu's, runny noses, and a host of other types of illnesses. Many of these symptoms are caused by viruses, which can not be fought off with antibiotics. Taking antibiotics for a virus will not help you feel better faster, and can actually be dangerous. Resistant bacteria are a growing concern in the medical community. The use of antibacterial hand soaps, laundry detergents and other antibiotics have created bacteria which can resist antibiotics.

MRSA/STAPH is very difficult to treat, because of the resistance to many antibiotics, and the occurrence of this type of infection is rapidly increasing. Your chances of contracting infections increases if you are admitted to the hospital.

According to data from
www.aware.md use of antibiotics is rising. Here are some startling statistics...
  • In 1954, two million pounds of antibiotics were produced in the US . Today the figure exceeds 50 million pounds. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000)
  • In one year in the US , of the 51 million physician visits for colds, upper respiratory tract infections, and bronchitis, 50% to up to 66% of those visits culminated in an antibiotic prescription. (Annals of Internal Medicine, July, 2000)
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae, the most common bacterial cause for illness such as meningitis, middle ear infections, and community-acquired pneumonia causes an estimated 700,000 to 1 trillion middle-ear infections in children a year, 50,000 cases of pneumonia, hundreds of cases of meningitis and blood stream infections, and 4,000 deaths per year. (CA Dept of Health Services, 2001)
  • In California , out of the three main classifications of antibiotics tested for effectiveness against streptococcus pneumoniae; penicillins show a 30% resistance level, erythromycin-like antibiotics 22% resistance and fluoroquinolones 1%. This means one in three people who receive a penicillin type antibiotic, it may not work. (CA Dept of Health Services, 2001)

What does all of this mean?
It means that about 1/3 of Americans receive a prescription for antibiotics every year. Of course some people get multiple scripts each year, which is another entirely different concern.

Antibiotics can not kill a virus... What are viruses? Organisms that mask themselves within our tissues and the cause of:

  • all colds and the flu
  • most coughs
  • most sore throats
  • viruses usually involve several parts of the body

They can also cause infectious diseases such as;

  • chicken pox
  • yellow fever
  • most childhood respiratory diseases
  • diarrhea
  • most upper respiratory infections
  • viruses are usually the precursor to bacterial infections

Bacterial infections include...

  • strep throat
  • urinary tract infections
  • most ear infections
  • some sinus infections
  • usually are localized to one part of the body

Antibiotics can kill bacteria that are not resistant. Bacteria adapt to their surroundings, which is the basis of antibiotic resistance.

What's the answer?
Use antibiotics only when you are absolutely in need of them. Your body can fight off many bacterial infections and viruses itself, if given proper nutrition and rest. Most of you have heard a doctor say "it just has to run its course," this is true in many cases. Occasionally a person whose immune system is already challenged will need additional support to recover quickly, but antibiotics should only be used when it's absolutely necessary to fight off the bacteria.

Increased vitamin C, under a physicians guidance, up to 4000-6000 milligrams a day has been shown clinically to absolve strep throat in acute stages.

To avoid getting sick you can do the following

  • wash your hands thoroughly often, especially when in public
  • eat a healthy diet with fresh fruits and vegetables
  • avoid sugar and high fructose corn syrup
  • supplement daily with vitamin C, D, E, and other antioxidants
  • utilize monolauric acid (Lauricidin) to help prevent viruses
  • normalize gut flora
  • have your zinc level tested with a zinc tally test

What if I get sick?

  • supplement with additional vitamin C to bowel tolerance
  • have your zinc levels checked
  • drink lots of water
  • take Lauricidin to 3 times a day (8 hours apart)
  • get some rest - stay home in bed if you need to

Talk to your natural health provider about options for your specific symptoms, often there are natural ways to reduce symptoms, and get you back to normal quicker.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Are you getting what you pay for? Discount Supplement Dangers

The supplement industry is a very large industry. As with any industry there are honest, hard working, reliable companies who work very hard to make sure their supplements are the best available, hpwever there are companies who spend less time worrying about quality and more time on the end result ... profit.

What does this mean? It means that you may be getting a better price for what you think is Vitamin X, but you may not be getting vitamin X. It's also possible that you may be getting something in addition to the vitamin, such as Lead, Cadmium, Arsenic, and a whole array of other toxins or chemicals. Currently, the supplement industry is not required to follow any specific labeling or manufacturing standards which would prevent this from happening.

ConsumerLab.com in their November 9, 2010 posting, discussed this very topic. They analyzed 10 different forms of valerian root (often used for stress and relaxation) and found that only 3 met their label claims. They also tested for heavy metals, such as lead. They found that only 5 out of those 10 met label claims. In their study for potency (content of the substance advertised) they found 0%, 26.7%, 36.8%, 57.1% and 82.5%. 3 of these 10 products showed measurable amounts of lead from 1.2 mcg to 3.5 mcg.

Why is this information imortant? First, if you purchase the supplement which has 0% in it... guess what? You have no idea what you are consuming. It could be any type of filler, or other substance, but its definitely not what you thought you were buying. Often people will say, I can't take vitamin such-and-such, because it breaks me out in a rash. More than likely, it's the fillers they used that you are sensitive to. Even if you purchased the supplement that had 82.5% in it, you never know what else is in there!

This is important information for you to understand.

The products that we recommend to our friends, families and patients are all tested and are guaranteed to be accurately processed and labeled. Many of our suppliers take an additional step, and voluntarily adhere to pharmaceutical standards and practices. When possible, all of our products are created without allergens such as soy, wheat, gluten and casien. When it's not possible to avoid commonly known allergens, the products are accurately marked to prevent any type of reaction by the consumer.

I always tell people that it is this simple. If it's on the label it's in there, if it's not on the label... it's not in there!

When it comes to the health and safety of yourself and your family, it's important to stay educated and know that you have options. It's ok to challenge the things you hear and read. Do your own research, ask questions and get answers from people and sources you trust.

We hope that we have earned your trust over the years, and we will continue to provide what we hope is useful information. Feel free to call or stop by the office if you need more information or have any questions!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

The old addage "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" actually does have some truth to it. Apples contain quercetin, polyphenols, antioxidants, water soluble fiber and vitamins. They come in many colors and thanks to modern technology, there are also many different flavors of apples. I would think it would be hard to get bored with apples, if you change it up and eat a different kind from time to time.

Apples, in general, are what we consider a negative calorie food. Meaning, if you eat an apple which is 50 calories, the digestion of the apple may burn 150 calories during the digestion process. Making the caloric intake of that apple a negative 100 calories. Talk about a winner, that's almost a pound a month!

Apples actually support the liver by thinning bile, which can help reduce the symptoms of heart burn. In addition, apple cider vinegar is often used to help with weight loss, and to reduce heart burn. Most people choose to mix it with a little water and stevia to take the pucker out. There is a recipe for this drink on the HCG page of our website.

In mideval times apples were considered good for eye function, flatulence, digestive concerns, kidney health and respiratory health. Science is yet to prove these claims, but old wives tales are believed to hold some truths. Maybe someday science will agree that apples are one of the best foods you can consume.

Adding an apple a day to your diet can help reduce hunger, and prevent binge eating. They also may delay the absorption of sugar and carbohydrates, which helps you feel more satisfied. Keep in mind that a diet rich in variety is best for everyone, but there is no reason why you shouldn't add an apple a day to your diet. You might be surprised!