Sunday, September 24, 2017

Detoxing: Necessity or Hype?

In previous blogs I discussed how toxins are now ubiquitous to our environment (food, soil, air, water, medications and vaccines, non-tested supplements, skin and hair products, etc.)
, and how many toxins can create major health problems.  But do the multiple touted detox diets work?  Are they just hype or do they make a difference?


Most of us equate detox with deprivation.  Detoxing has also become the umbrella term for a lot of different diets. Sometimes the word may be used positively, as in feeding your body a healthy diet of natural, whole foods, and other times the word typically means drinking nothing but a fluid concoction of lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper or some such for days, which is supposed to flush poisons from the body. 

The fact is we have a natural detox system in our body that works very well when treated well. The liver does a great job of flushing out waste every day, our lungs breathe out pollutants, our kidneys filter out toxins, and our digestive system lets things pass through that we don’t need.

But some of us have genetics that reduce our ability to remove toxins from our bodies, including the MTHFR mutation (see previous blogs).  Others have diseases which reduce their ability to detoxify.  And others have been overwhelmed with toxins and the body doesn't have the capacity to remove them all. With the amount of toxicity currently in our environment, this is more common that we would like to admit.

In our office at Diamond Springs Wellness Center, we encourage all of our patients to get at least a test for heavy metals, either for prevention or as part of their treatment for a chronic illness.  We have found through previous testing that those dealing with increased levels of heavy metals also have increased levels of chemical toxins.  All of these can damage your health.  Sometimes one toxin will show up extremely high, such as arsenic or mercury, but most often there are mild elevations of multiple toxins, which is just as bad when looking at the toxic load on the body.

Steps to detoxification:

1.  Remove toxins as much as possible from your body and your environment.  Remove heavy metal fillings from your teeth by a qualified dentist; use organic foods as much as possible with a healthy diet; use natural skin and hair care products; reduce use of plastic for food and water, etc.  Sweating through exercise and sauna helps.

2.  Support your filters: your kidneys, liver and GI tract.  I usually recommend supplements such as Dr. Christopher's Kidney-Bladder Formula, Liver-Gallbladder formula, and Colon Cleanse, but there are many out there that are effective.

3.  Use GI binders that bind toxins in the intestinal tract such as charcoal (binds mold toxins), clay (binds aflatoxins), chlorella (binds heavy metals), zeolite (binds radiation, heavy metals and some chemicals) and modified citrus pectin (binds heavy metals and many other toxins).

4.  Address detoxification biochemistry:  N-acetyl cysteine increases glutathione, alpha lipoic acid, glycine, etc.  There are many products that assist with this.

SpringTree has developed a product called Detox & Chelate, which uses both GI binders and addresses detoxification biochemistry (  It also contains moderate amounts of EDTA to reduce biofilm in which heavy metals accumulate.

5.  Balance necessary minerals:  High copper and low zinc increases synergistic toxicity with heavy metals in the system. High calcium and low magnesium stops detoxification by restricting magnesium dependent transporters and increasing inflammation.  You must also have adequate molybdenum, selenium and lithium to detoxify.  SpringTree SuperMulti Plus carries good amounts of all of these in balanced levels except lithium.  We usually recommend Lithium Orotate, 5-15 mg/day.

4.  Use chelating agents such as EDTA, DMPS and DMSA.  If your toxic load is high, IV chelation by a qualified practitioner may be necessary.

5.  Other types of detox processes may include frequency generators or pulsed-electromagnetic frequency (PEMF), homeopathics, foot baths, etc.  These are not yet scientifically proven, but many feel they have worked for them.

Remember  that detoxification takes time.  A one time detox juicing or treatment will not remove all of the toxins.  It often takes consistent work for a year or more.  Start slow and work up if detoxing causes negative symptoms.  Some people do better by taking breaks from their detox process every month or so. Preferably work with a  qualified health care practitioner familiar with the detoxification pathways of the body and how the various treatments work.

I do believe that in today's environment periodic detoxification is necessary.  But most important is removing as many toxins from our own personal environment as possible.

Until we meet again,
Dr. Judi

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Mitochondrial Dysfunction--the Root Cause of Your Chronic Illness?


   If you have any of the following symptoms you may be experiencing mitochondrial dysfunction:
  • unexplainable fatigue, easily winded 
  • generally don’t feel well
  • feel pain after moderate exercise
  • headaches for no known reason
  • impaired sense of smell and taste
  • depression, anxiety or mood disorder
  • no motivation or ambition·       
  • feel older than you are
  • brain fog, forgetful
  • sensitive to noise, light, etc.
  • when you get sick it is hard to get better
  • age pigments and liver spots
Mitochondria are cellular organelles that are the “energy packs of the cell.”  Within the mitochondria ATP, the energy currency of the cell, is produced.  But we may not realize that the health of the mitochondria is the underlying foundation to both our physical and our mental health, and learning how to treat mitochondrial dysfunction may be one of the best ways to help treat the underlying cause of chronic physical and mental illness and fatigue.

Mitochondria are found in every human cell except mature red blood cells.  20% of our weight is mitochondria.  Each mitochondrion has a half-life of only 5-12 days, therefore turnover is high.  A single cell may contain 200 to 2000 mitochondria.  A female egg cell contains over 100,000 mitochondria—we inherit our mitochondria from our mothers.

Mitochondrial dysfunction may cause:

Systemic                     Chronic fatigue, failure to gain weight, allergy, autoimmunity
Muscles                      Weakness, cramping, muscle pain

Brain                           Developmental delay, mental retardation, autism, dementia, seizures, neuropsychiatric disturbances (including major depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and personality changes), atypical cerebral palsy, atypical migraines, stroke, stroke-like events, Parkinson’s disease, ataxia, headaches
Nerves                         Neuropathic pain and weakness (may be intermittent), acute and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, absent deep tendon reflexes, fainting, absent or excessive sweating, aberrant temperature regulation
Gastrointestinal           Neuropathic disorders such as gastroesophageal reflux, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome
Lungs                          Frequent lung infections, air hunger
Kidneys                      Proximal renal tubular dysfunction; loss of protein, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and other electrolytes
Heart                           Cardiac conduction defects (heart blocks), cardiomyopathy which can lead to congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, hypertension.
Liver                           Hypoglycemia, nonalcoholic liver failure, primary biliary cirrhosis
Eyes                            Optic neuropathy, ptosis (weak eyelid droops over eye), eye pain and retinitis pigmentosa
Ears                             Sensorineural hearing loss, tinnitus, aminoglycoside sensitivity
Pancreas                      Diabetes and exocrine pancreatic failure
Thyroid                       Increase in Reverse T3, decrease in thyroid function

Mechanism of destruction of mitochondria

  • ·         Genetic and congenital disorders
  • ·         Membrane destruction by toxins (including environmental toxins, metabolic by-products and many medications
  • ·         Oxidative damage by free radicals.  Stress, adrenaline, elevated blood glucose, toxins all increase free radical production in the body and the brain.
  • ·         NAD depletion from low nutrients such as Vitamin B3, CoQ-10, Alpha Lipoic Acid, carnitine, etc.
  • ·         Inflammation increases free radicals, metabolic toxins and nutrient depletion.
  • ·         Chronic infections increase inflammation, free radicals, metabolic toxins and nutrient depletion

These all cause mitochondrial dysfunction and self-destruction.

Testing for mitochondrial dysfunction may include (be aware that insurance doesn’t pay for most of these):

  • ·         D-Lactate (nl: 4-16mg/dL)
  • ·         serum coenzyme Q10
  • ·         copper/zinc ratio (should not be greater than 1.1)
  • ·         carnitine (may be low)
  • ·         pyruvic acid (shouldn’t be higher than 1.50mg/dL)
  • ·         An elevated alanine along with an
  • ·         alanine-to-lysine ratio: > 3 suggests true hyperalaninemia (of long-standing pyruvate accumulation)
  • ·         MTHFR genetic analysis – Coq10 production needs methylation
  • ·         Next level: muscle biopsy and genetic screening,


  1. Remove offending toxins (see SpringTree Detox & Chelate)
  2. Anti-inflammatory, low glycemic diet with whole, nutrient rich foods
  3. Reduce inflammation (see SpringTree Inflamasol)
  4. Treat infections (chronic infections such as Lyme disease should also have mitochondrial support treatment) 
  5. Improve gastrointestinal health and support the liver
  6. Improve elevated levels of glucose and insulin (see SpringTree Glucose Balance)
  7. Balance thyroid, especially T3, necessary for mitochondrial biogenesis and function (elevated Reverse T3 should be treated with mitochondrial support)
  8. Healthy sleep, the time for recycling mitochondria
  9. Interval exercise, which stimulated mitochondrial biogenesis
  10. Relaxation techniques to reduce adrenaline
  11. Supplements:·        
  • Fish oil keeps membranes free flowing  
  • Magnesium, zinc, selenium, adequate B-vitamins including active B-12, antioxidants (all found in SpringTree SuperMulti Plus) 
  • SpringTree Cell Fuel, mitochondrial support with PQQ
Cell Fuel was created to give the mitochondria all the nutrition and co-factors they need to function, to repair membranes and to grow new mitochondria. See

Until we meet again,
Dr. Judi