Monday, January 13, 2014

Antibiotics in agriculture (Foods we eat)

The latest statistics about the amount of antibiotics used in the production of our food in the U.S. is staggering, to say the least.

The New England Journal of Medicine, December, 2013, just published a paper showing that 80% of all the antibiotics used in America ,and that is a lot, are used in some form of agriculture. In other words, food production. Yes, what we eat on a daily basis.

So, how much antibiotics do we use in food production? Between livestock, aquaculture (think fish), and crops we use 30,272,000 pounds per year. You read that right, over 30 million pounds per year. Now, think of the average dose a human might take for a sinus infection. That would be approximately 10 grams for an average 10 regimen, or 0.022046226 pounds. That equates to 1.39 billion doses of antibiotics in human doses. Yes, billions. Now do you see the problem brewing?
I am sure you have heard the term MRSA which stands for Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. And we have also heard the horror stories of the poor folks inflicted with this malady. We have been warned to wash our hands and take other measures to stay safe. All good ideas. Now we have another problem bacteria, and most likely due to the over use of the antibiotics (see above).
Enter carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae. Carbapenum is a class of antibiotics that is usually thought to be the 'drugs of last resort'. In other words, something you don't want to have to use. The enterobacteriaceae family has such members as E. coli and Klebsiella species, all of which are normally found in our intestines and normally cause no problems.

So, why do we need to use all these antibiotics? Because most of our food animals are grown in something called CAFOs, or Confined animal feeding operations (read as just totally unsanitary). If you put any animal in close confinement, and feed them foods that cause them intestinal distress, you are going to have a mess on your hands. Let you imagination go here. Due to this 'mess' of animal fecal matter, which contains the the enterobacteriaceae species, we have to use antibiotics to keep the poor animals from becoming infected. And when you are using over 30 billion pounds of antibiotics, you can see that some of the bacteria are going to survive and be antibiotic resistant. So, when we get infected with one of these 'Super Bugs', we are in big trouble.

Such big trouble in fact that the CDC just issued an alert to high risk patients. Healthy people usually do not get CRE, so you want to stay as healthy as possible. We will talk about that more in a minute. It is the people that are dealing with a long term illness that are most at risk. Patients who use various medical devices, those using breathing machines, catheters for urinary problems, and those that have inter-venous catheter for long term medication delivery, and, of course, those on long term antibiotic therapy. Also those having to be housed in long term care facilities.
As I stated before, healthy people don't usually become infected with these organisms. This is a red flag to use who are healthy indicating that we must protect our health at all costs. One of the best methods of doing this is a simple blood test, the CBC, to determine if your immune system is properly functioning. If there are signs of a sluggish or low functioning immune system there are steps you can take to strengthen that immune function, but you have to know first. But I feel healthy, isn't that enough? Unfortunately, no. We see people that, from all outward signs, look healthy, yet their immune system is a mess. These are the ones that are the most venerable because they will never see it coming until it is too late.

Remember, a simple CBC can alert us to upcoming problems. We are not talking about exotic testing, just routine lab-work and proper interpretation. This is where just being in range may not be good enough. Have you physician do this test for you at least once a year, more often if you are anywhere near the lower quartile of acceptable functioning. If you are having difficulty getting this lab-work done, call Doctor's Nutrition and we can arrange that for you.

Due to the overuse of antibiotics we strongly suggest eating as much organically grown food as possible. Organically grown food does not use antibiotics in the process. We also suggest taking a strong probiotic on a daily basis.

At Doctor's Nutrition our job is to empower you in your quest to Live Healthy and Be Healthy.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Gamma-Tocotrienols may help reduce fat cell numbers

Tocotrienols are a subset of the vitamin E family, and, until now, have not got as much attention. This may change things.

The tocopherols are the darlings of the vitamin E family, and always have been. Alpha tocopherol was the first to be discovered, and for a very long time it was thought to be the only active form. Now we know much more about this family of nutrients and it is getting very interesting.

There are four types of the tocopherols, alpha, beta, delta, and gamma. The natural form of these are noted with the prefix d-. The reason for pointing this out is the fact that much of the vitamin E on the market is the l- form, or synthetic. This brings us to the newest discovery in the vitamin E family, the tocotrienols. There are also four types of the tocotrienols, alpha, beta, delta, and gamma. This brings the total to eight (8) forms of this fat soluble family.

Since the discovery of the tocotrienols much research has been done on them as to various health benefits. They have shown to have good results in protecting the cardiovascular system as well as many other health benefits. Now we have the most recent research that shows they may help in hte battle of the waistline as well.

Researchers from National Taiwan University have found that palm tocotrienols, palm being one of the most readily available sources of tocotrienols, has "inhibitory actions" on fat cells. They tested different forms of the vitamin E for their anti-proliferate effects on 3T3-L1 adipocytes (fat cells).

what they discovered was the gamma-tocotrienol "causes disruption in mitochondrial membrane potential and increases ROS (radical oxygen species) generation, which ultimately lead to fat cell death".

"This particular study further shows that gamma-tocotrienol is the most effective form of vitamin E in reducing fat cell numbers via regulating specific signaling pathways....which underscores the benefit of using it as a natural supplement in managing obesity".

Knowing that there are many other benefits of taking the tocotrienols, this just adds one more reason, maintaining a healthy number of fat cells.

As more research comes to light there are sure to be more interesting benefits found for this little known form of the vitamin E family.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Berberine, may not be magic, but very close!

Berberine. Never heard of it, right? Don't feel alone, unless you have studied alternative medicine for many years, you would have not had the opportunity to 'bump' into Bernerines.

Berberine is a quaternary ammonium salt from the protoberberine group of isoquinolline alkaloids. Ok, so what is it really? It is an extract from, plants like the Oregon grape, goldenseal, Californian poppy, usually from the root and rhizomes. These you have probably heard of. These extracts have been used for thousands of years to treat problems like Candida overgrowth, yeast infections, parasites, even bacterial and viral infections. Recently, in the past 5 to 10 years, research has come to light showing the many other properties of berberine.

One of the most fascinating aspects of berberine use is in the field of diabetic treatment. This recent research has shown berberine to be very good at helping in the insulin resistance problem associated with diabetes. This is very good news for those suffering with diabetes and even the pre-diabetic syndromes, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance (that has not yet developed into diabetes), etc. This alone makes berberine a very important tool that can be used in turning these disease processes around. More recent research, just in the past several months actually, bring more to light on this fascinating compound.

There are many problems associated with diabetes, including eye disease, kidney problems and even the dreaded neuropathy of the lower extremities. Let's start with the later, the neuropathy, which is a very common disability for those with diabetes.

An article published in the November, 2013 issue of the scientific journal Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology demonstrated the effectiveness of berberine in attenuating the high glucose induced neurotoxicity. This neurotoxicity is the cause of the neuropathy in diabetic patients. The research even discovered that berberine could and did "markedly enhance nerve growth factor (NGF) expression and promoted neurite (nerve cell) outgrowth in high glucose-treated cells". What this means is that the berberine can cause new nerve cell growth and possible reversal of the neuropathy. That is a big 'WOW' if you are suffering from neuropathy.

Let's move on to the eyes, another known problem with diabetes. In the October, 2013 issue of Molecular Vision, a peer reviewed journal, looked at the evidence of eye pathology due to diabetes. The evidence has been pointing to the fact that leukocytes (white blood cells) are involved in the pathology known as diabetic retinopathy. Another of the dreaded complications of diabetes.

Here the researchers that, indeed, the leukocytes in diabetic patients kill the retinal endothelial cells, the cells lining the blood vessels and lymphatic vessels of the eye. They also found that berberine can inhibit the leukocyte-mediated killing of vascular endothelium. Just a side note; even though this was done on the vessels of the eye, all blood vessels have an endothelial lining, including the heart, a very important organ.

One of the most disturbing problems associated with glucose (sugar) impairment, including diabetes as well as the pre-diabetic syndromes, is the polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in females. This is the root cause of many of the fertility issues facing the metabolically challenged young female today, and one we see frequently in our practice.

One of the common medical treatments for PCOS is to treat the glucose impairment problem with metformin, a diabetic drug. In a large number of the cases of PCOS metformin can be effective. In the July, 2013 issue of Clinical Endocrinology researchers found "Berberine has a more pronounced therapeutic effect and achieved more live births with fewer side effects than metformin". It seems that with berberine we have a totally new tool to help these female patients with PCOS.

We at Doctor's Nutrition have been aware of the emerging new benefits of berberine and that was behind our development of our recently released formula Berberine Max. In this formula we provide 500 mg of berberine as well as some co-factors needed for proper utilization and further protection of the diabetic or metabolically challenged patient. These include Folate (as 5-MTHF), grape seed extract, phosphatidylcholine, as well as R-lipoic acid. This makes Berberine Max a great tool in the fight against the revenges of high glucose and diabetes. Clinically, we have seen remarkable reductions in the Hgb A1c of those we have used this formula with. Considering all this new and developing research, we have great expectations for this formula. If you, or someone you know, are dealing with diabetes or metabolic syndrome, you need the protection and help provided in Berberine Max.

Monday, November 4, 2013

New research on the Green-Lipped Muscle (Perna canaliculus)

Osteoarthritis is a common problem that we all face as we grow older. Years of wear and tear and possible trauma to the joint and we have aches and pains that even if they aren't debilitating, they are very aggravating. Maybe just enough to stop us from enjoying a hobby or pastime that we love. If you are experiencing this, we have something that can help reduce some of the discomfort and let you start enjoying life again.

As someone with osteoarthritis you have probably been prescribed anti-inflammatory medication at some point. Perhaps you are one of the lucky ones that do not have G.I. (gastrointestinal) problems due to those NSAIDs, but most likely, you have had to deal with the side effects. Maybe you have tried Glucosamine sulfate that a friend recommended and got some relief. If you have contacted us at Doctor's Nutrition for our recommendation you are probably familiar with our PernaMax. PernaMax is our joint formula using the Green-lipped muscle or Perna canaliculus. Over the past 20 years we have had great results with those suffering with osteoarthritis when they began taking our Perna products.

As mentioned, most prescription therapies for osteoarthritis have G.I. complications. And as you may know, when the G.I. system gets disrupted, there are consequences in other areas. Recent research at the University of Queensland, School of Medicine in Australia found that the Green-lipped muscle and Glucosamine sulfate reduced the symptoms of osteoarthritis and did not cause damage to the G.I. tract. Actually, some positive changes were made, especially in the microbiota profiles; the most notable was a reduction of Clostridia bacteria. Clostridia is a potent modulator of colonic Th17 and CD4+ regulatory cells, known to have the effect of increasing inflammation in the G.I. tract. This in itself would be reason to take Perna canaliculus and Glucosamine sulfate. Hopefully you never have to deal with a Clostridia overgrowth in the G.I. tract, however, if you or someone you know has had that to deal with, you know that it is very unpleasant.

As mentioned, we have been using the Perna canaliculus for a long time and have come to refomulate our compound over the years adding extra Glucosamine sulfate to the formula. We also have added Boswellia for its anti-inflammatory effects as well. This makes PernaMax an excellent formula for the reduction of those pesky osteoarthritis symptoms as well as something that can help protect the gut. That is a win win situation.

If you or someone you know suffers with osteoarthritis symptoms, give us a call and try PernaMax. It just may change your life, and that is what we are all about, living healthy and being healthy.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Salmon, farm raised or wild caught?

Is that salmon you are eating farm raised or wild caught? Why should you care? Well, there are some serious concerns about the farm raised salmon.

 Dr. Anne-Lise Birch Monsen of the University of Bergen, Norway, has raised some serious concerns about the high levels of contaminants in farm raised salmon. Wild caught salmon have some of the contaminants as well, thanks to environmental contaminants. But, due to the confinement of the farm raised fish, and the diet they are fed, complete with anti-biotics to keep down disease,  they have even more concentrated levels of these contaminants.

Dr. Monsen states: "I do not recommend pregnant women, children or young people eat farmed salmon. It is uncertain in both the amount of toxins salmon contain, and how these drugs affect children, adolescents and pregnant women. The type of contaminants that have been detected in farmed salmon have a negative effect on brain development and is associated with autism, ADD/ADHD and reduced IQ. We also know that they can affect other organ systems in the body's immune system and metabolism." Some pretty strong words indeed.

But I eat salmon for the omega-3  oils, you say! Another Norwegian article reveals that levels of critically important omega-3 reduced by 50% in farmed salmon, compared to wild caught salmon due to the amount of grain, mostly corn, they are fed. Some have even referred to farmed salmon as "swimming corncobs". Yep, that is what they feed the fish, corn products, and mostly GMO corn at that.

And, Norway just lobbied the EU to raise the permissible levels of toxins in the salmon chow, and they got the okay. Wow. Even Russia has banned Norwegian salmon in 2006 due to excessive levels of lead and cadmium.

Make mine Alaskan, please. You see, if your salmon is labeled as Alaskan, it can't be farm raised. The Alaskans are very protective of their salmon and I, for one, am very glad. It is worth the effort to find out where the food that we eat is produced. Your health could depend on it. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Obesity is now a disease!

It is now official, Obesity is a disease according to the AMA. That is this week, last week it was caffeine withdrawal is now a mental disorder. So, what is next?

Seriously, the AMA has now classified obesity as a disease. That opens the doors for 78 million adults and 12 million children to be covered by insurance plans. The bad thing is, the AMA, and medicine in general, has a very poor record for treating obesity. Sure, we have surgical weight loss procedures, but even they don't have great success. I can't count he number of people that I have dealt with that lost weight and then gained it back after their surgery.

Can you imagine what this is going to do to the already overloaded medical system? And, what is the insurance industry going to do with an additional 90 million folks that they have to cover? I would bet that all our premiums are headed North.

As some of you may know we have been involved in a 40 plus year experiment with the low fat, high carb diet. And now a full one third of the population in America is obese. Maybe it is just me, but after 40 plus years, can't we recognize failure when we see it? At this point I always bring up the meaning of insanity; keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different outcome. And that is exactly what we have done for the past 40 years.

There is some very convincing evidence that with some serious dietary changes we can reverse this trend. At the same time we can also get rid of the many gastrointestinal disorders plaguing America.

No, it is much easier to just 'reclassify' this problem to a disease state rather than what it really is, making bad dietary choices.

If you think caffeine withdrawal is bad, just wait until you try getting away from sugar! You just might be mental after that. :-)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Vegetarian diet tied to fewer deaths over time...

A new study just published in JAMA Internal Medicine ( ) shows that people who limit how much meat they eat and stick mainly to mostly fruits and vegetables are less likely to die over a period of time.

Another study from Europe found that British vegetarians were just as likely to die at any point as the meat eaters. Hmmmmm, is there more to this than meats the eye, (pun intended)? More questions than answers perhaps? We will get to that a little later.

The recent study used data from 73,308 people recruited at U.S. and Canadian Sevent-day Advventist churches between 2002 and 2007.

The participants were asked about their dietary choices and eating habits then seperated into categories. 8% were vegans, no animal products, 29% were lacto-ovo-vegetarians who don't eat fish or other meats but do eat dairy and egg products. The rest of the participants were meat eaters.

The researchers found seven people died of any cause per 1,000 in the meat eating group over a year compared to approximately five to six deaths per year for vegetarians in the same time period. Not a huge difference, but a difference non the less.

It seemed that men benefited the most from the plant based diet. Again, Hmmmmm.

Now we have to ask : Is it the meat or things in the meats that is causing the problem? By things in the meat I mean hormones used in production of livestock here in America or ingredients such as preservatives? Good question, but not one answered in this study. Obviously more studies needed.

No doubt that anyone that eats more vegetables and fruits is better off than one that eats packaged, processed foods, including processed meats. Could it be the added fiber in the veggies and fruits? There have been other studies that show that the added fiber helps with blood sugar regulation and gut health. And we must remember that the gut holds somewhere between 70% to 80 % of the immune system, and since we are looking at total deaths, there may be another connecting link not included in this study.

Also, what was the overall health status and family history of the participants? All this would have to be taken into consideration to fully evaluate the effectiveness of the diet.

Hopefully, in the future, this will be more rigorously investigated. In the mean time, eat more vegetables and fruits, and if you are going to eat meats, make sure the meats are hormone free or organic. For fish, make sure they are 'wild caught' so as to avoid the contaminants of factory farming of fish that is highly suspect as to safety.The lack of hormones and increased fiber will do you good.