Saturday, September 7, 2013

Natural Supplements to Reduce Pain and Inflammation, the Underlying Cause of Most Chronic Disease

Inflammation is the underlying cause of most of the chronic diseases of modern society:   conditions like chronic pain, arthritis, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, dementia, Alzheimer’s, depression, cancer, and even ADHD and autism.  A study of a generally "healthy" elderly population found that those with the highest levels of C-reactive protein and interleukin 6 (two markers of systemic inflammation) were 260 percent more likely to die during the next 4 years. The increase in deaths was due to cardiovascular and other causes.

There are many traditional herbs and treatments used throughout the world that scientific studies have shown to have anti-inflammatory affects.  There are many that are not listed here, but these are some of my favorites.

The most common natural anti-inflammatory used in Germany is Proteolytic enzymes, including protease, bromelain from pineapple, and papain from papaya, and have long been used to reduce inflammation and promote tissue healing. They appear to down regulate the activities of several chemical mediators of inflammation and pain transmission, including PGE2, bradykinin, , and substance P.  Studies show their use helps reduce swelling and edema associated with arthritis, injuries, and other inflammatory conditions. To achieve the best effect they must be taken between meals.

Serrapeptase is a proteolytic enzyme produced by bacteria in the gut of silkworms and is used to digest their cocoons.  It has been used in Europe and Asia for over 25 years. Because the enzyme digests or dissolves all nonliving tissue, including blood clots, cysts and arterial plaque, it is used to treat a variety of conditions, including sprains and torn ligaments, postoperative swelling, venous thrombosis (clots in the legs), ear, nose and throat infections and atherosclerosis. Studies show that it may reduce pain and inflammation by:   1. thinning the fluids formed from injury, and facilitating the fluid’s drainage. This in turn, also speeds tissue repair, 2. inhibiting the release of pain-inducing amines called bradykinin, and 3. It may enhance cardiovascular health by breaking down the protein by-products of blood coagulation called fibrin. Conveniently, Serrapeptase is able to dissolve the fibrin and other dead or damaged tissue without harming living tissue. This could enable the dissolution of atherosclerotic plaques without causing any harm to the inside of the arteries.

Tumeric has a long history of use in Asia as a spice and for medicinal uses. It contains a polyphenolic compound called curcumin that exerts widespread modulatory activity on NF-κB, TNF, COX-2, IL-1, IL-6, and a number of other inflammatory mediators. It has been shown to reduce Cardio-CRP, a blood marker of inflammation in the vessel walls which correlate with heart disease risk.

Galangin is a dietary bioflavinoid which is found in the medicinal plant Alpinia officinarum and in propolis, a natural beehive product.  It down regulates the expression of interleukin-6 and TNF-alpha, potent pro-inflammatory cells.  Galangin has shown anti-cancer activity in vitro in several studies, causing the hypothesis that it may also prevent cancer.  Galangin also prevented rise in plasma glucose, insulin and triglycerides and improved insulin sensitivity, one of the causes of inflammation.

MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) is one of nature’s richest sources of sulfur. Sulfur is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body, stored in every cell with the highest concentrations in the skin, hair, nails and joints. Sulfur is necessary, along with Vitamin C, for collagen synthesis. Studies have reported reduced pain and improved physical function in osteoarthritis.

Phenylalanine, an amino acid, has been shown in studies to assist in relieving both acute and chronic pain.

Goji berry extract increases the body’s own Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD), which is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

Mangosteen extract contains xanthones, which have been shown to be direct COX-2 inhibitors.

Nopal cactus pear contains betalains, which may be potential COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitors, and has been shown to reduce c-reactive protein (CRP).

Boswellia, also known as Indian frankincense, has long been recognized as an herb with anti-inflammatory properties. The gum resin of boswellia contains boswellic acids, the most potent being AKBA, which inhibids 5-LOX activity, downregulates TNF-induced gene expression and blocks the activation and nuclear translocation of NF-κB. In 2 separate double-blind, placebo-controlled studies, Boswellia extract significantly reduced pain and stiffness and improved joint function in persons with osteoarthritis of the knee. Clinical trials also showed symptom improvement in inflammatory bowel disease and in asthma.

Rutin is a flavonoid found in foods such as buckwheat, asparagus, tomato, carrot, sweet potato, berries, citrus fruits and black and green tea. Rutin might be therapeutic for varicose veins, rheumatoid arthritis, and other conditions associated with inflammation, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and autoimmune diseases by inhibiting oxidative stress and inflammatory cytokine production.

Holy Basil Leaf is a tropical herb used in ayurveda. Research shows that holy basil contains powerful anti-inflammatory agents which significantly reduce inflammation and enhance detoxification. It is considered a sacred plant to the Hindus.

Green tea (decaffeinated) contains the polyphenol EGCG, which has been shown to significantly downregulated inflammatory mediators IL-8, macrophage inflammatory protein-3α, and PGE2. It has also been shown to inhibit NF-κB activity.

Devil’s claw, native to southern Africa, has been used for thousands of years by the Khoisan peoples of Madagascar and the Kalahari Desert to treat pain and inflammation. Scientific evidence supports the use of devil’s claw root to help relieve pain and inflammation in osteoarthritis and other pain. In a study on mild-to-moderate back and neck pain it was shown to be equivalent to Celebrex in symptom relief.

Capsicum, red pepper, has been shown through studies to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects.  It has been used as a digestive aid to ease intestinal inflammation, stimulate protective mucus membranes of the stomach, and also relieve pain caused by ulcers.  It is commonly used to buffer pain from other ailments, including arthritis, varicose veins, headaches, menstrual cramps and respiratory conditions such as asthma.  Capsicum is also used, through its circulatory effects, as a catalyst to increase the effectiveness of other herbs.

Trace minerals—it has been shown in studies that abnormal distributions of trace minerals may aggravate oxidative damage and inflammation. The dynamic equilibrium that takes place with liquid ionic minerals and trace minerals has created the same basic balance in sea water that is found in healthy blood plasma and lymphatic fluid and is necessary for proper cellular function.

Piper Nigrum extract is from Black Pepper. It has been shown to increase the bioavailability of other nutrients, in this case the curcumin from the turmeric.  It also has shown anti-inflammatory effects.

Homeopathic cell salts are a group of 12 homeopathic remedies made from minerals which are important constituants of human cells and enzyme activity.

Astaxanthin is thought to be one of the  most powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories in nature, and only a low dose is needed for its effect.  It crosses the blood brain barrier to reduce inflammation in the brain, and the blood retinal barrier to affect the eyes.  It absorbs UVB and reduces DNA damage.  Astaxanthin suppresses a variety of inflammatory mediators—including tumor necrosis factor alpha, a major prostaglandin and a major interleukin, nitric oxide, COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes. It takes longer to produce effects than NSAIDS, but this means it doesn't result in the dangerous side effects.  

We are proud to announce SpringTree Health’s new and improved Pain and Inflammation.  Pain and Inflammation may be one of the most potent natural products for pain or inflammation on the market, with good levels of all of the ingredients above.  The supplements in this product have been shown to deal with inflammation not only in acute injuries and problems such as tendonitis and arthritis, but also in chronic inflammation which may be causing chronic disease.

Taking the recommended dose of Pain and Inflammation along with the recommended dose of SuperMulti Plus gives a potent 6 mg of astaxanthin.  SuperMulti Plus also has high levels of anti-oxidants to reduce the effects of inflammation.  Together, they provide a potent anti-inflammatory and anti-aging combination.  

Yes, this is a shameless sales pitch, but the reason I developed this product is because I believe reducing inflammation to be an extremely important part of disease prevention and treatment.  The majority of my patients who have used this product notice a definite difference in their pain levels when they use it.  If you are using chronic anti-inflammatory medications, it may be worth it to see if you can reduce the amount you take by using these healthy, natural and reasonably priced products.

Until we meet again,
Dr. Judi

Healing Chronic Inflammation Naturally: Protect Yourself from the Most Common Causes of Death

We have learned that acute inflammation assists the body's healing mechanism and should not be overly suppressed or it increases healing time.  However, long-term, chronic inflammation damages the body and causes, among other diseases, chronic diseases that are the most common causes of death:  heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, stroke and diabetes.

Medications do reduce the amount of inflammation but don't deal with the cause and have a high rate of serious side effects.  See my two previous blogs.

The following are steps that can be taken to deal with the causes of chronic inflammation.

1.  Look for the cause.  An elevated C-reactive protein or cardiac (hs) C-reactive protein is the most common sign in blood tests that there is inflammation in the body. Lp-Pla2 levels show inflammation in the arteries. Causes are varied and can include:

  • SAD diet (standard American diet, high sugar, trans-fats, gluten, dairy, low nutrient diet)
  • inflammed intestinal tract from poor diet, candida, food allergies, not enough good bacteria, parasites, etc.
  • Psychological stress
  • low grade infection, including gum disease and teeth infections, low grade infections causing chronic fatigue such as Epstein-Barr and Cytomegalovirus, or Mycoplasma Pneumonia and Chlamydia pneumonia which are associated with chronic joint pain, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune diseases, etc.
  • hormone imbalance including insulin, thyroid, and sex hormones
  • weight gain--fat cells produce inflammatory cytokines
  • allergies--both environmental/inhalant and food allergies
  • environmental pollutants and toxins, heavy metals
  • arthritis--often caused by one of the above

2.  Improve Your Diet.  Foods implicated to cause an increase in inflammation are:

  • Processed foods including soda and fruit juice cocktails.  Processed foods tend to be high in sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and many chemicals.  Also be careful as well with the processed "gluten-free" breads and other products, as they also tend to be high in sugar and chemicals.
  • White sugar, high fructose corn syrup, other sweeteners and flour products.  These turn into glucose quickly in the body, causing a rapid rise in blood glucose.  This causes insulin to rise which causes inflammation. 
  • Polyunsaturated vegetable oils and Trans-fatty acids (Crisco, vegetable oil, corn oil, margarine, etc.). These have too much omega 6 fatty acids, which are pro-inflammatory.  The trans-fats replace the healthy fats on the cell membranes and don't have the capacity to do the job of the omega 3 and 9 fats, and the cells cannot function to full capacity, causing inflammation.  They also increase free radicals which trigger inflammation.
  • Excessive meat (in some situations too little meat can also cause inflammation).
  • GMO (genetically modified) grains and gluten (cause inflammation in the intestinal tract); etc.

Above is Dr. Andrew Weil's anti-inflammatory pyramid, eating mostly fruits and vegetables.  The only problem I have with this pyramid is that he puts grains on the second level.  Many people are allergic to various grains, especially since most grains (especially wheat and corn) are genetically modified.  This will increase inflammation in the gut.  Many people with insulin sensitivity will have their insulin rise when they eat grains, which also will increase inflammation.  It is important to determine if you have allergies or insulin sensitivity if you are eating grains.

The other concern I have is soy.  Many people are allergic to soy, and unfermented soy has some inflammatory effects.  If you eat soy, eat the fermented versions, such as fermented bean paste, miso, natto, real soy sauce, tempeh, pickled tofu, etc.

Some foods have anti-inflammatory effects.  Papaya and pineapple have proteolytic enzymes (papain and bromelain), which "digest" the inflammatory cells.  Salmon has omega-3 fatty acids which are used by the body to stop inflammation.  It also has astaxanthin which has high anti-inflammatory properties.  Tomatoes are high in lutein which has anti-inflammatory properties (though some people with arthritis are aggravated by plants from the nightshade family such as tomatoes and peppers).  Red peppers, avocados, and cruciferous vegetables also have anti-inflammatory properties. Walnuts have healthy anti-inflammatory fats. The spices tumeric, ginger, rosemary and oregano are also on the anti-inflammatory list.

Generally a low simple carb, high complex carb, and palm size amount of protein at each meal with healthy fats is an anti-inflammatory diet.

3.  Heal the Gut.  The intestinal tract has more immune cells and receptors than anywhere else in the body.  It also has more neurotransmitter receptors than the brain, and is often considered the "second brain."  The immune system and the neurotransmitter system are intertwined, each one affecting the other.

The bacteria in the intestinal tract is like a living organism.  Then the bacterial colony is healthy, it performs many important functions for the body.  When it is sick (dysbiosis) with not enough good bacteria, too much yeast or fungus such as candida, or bad bacteria and parasites, inflammation results and important body processes are not completed efficiently.

Inflammation causes leaky gut (the glue between the cells holding them tightly together does not function well) which allows larger molecules of food to enter the blood stream. The immune system sees these particles as a foreign invader and cause more inflammation to fight them, causing food allergies and sensitivities.

It is important to clean out excessive candida.  This is most effectively done with medication for 1-2 weeks, followed by a good anti-candida supplement for a month or so.  My anti-candida diet for 2-4 weeks is no sugar, no grains, no dairy, no fruit juice, yeast or alcohol.  You can eat meat, fish and eggs, any vegetables (though limit the starchy vegetables), fruits, nuts and seeds and legumes.  This is different than many candida diets out there but it works well for my patients.  This is accompanied by a good probiotic, at least 100,000 billion units a day.  Continue the probiotics at a level of 20-30,000 billion units per day.

There are many products on the market to heal the lining of the gut.  We use one called GI Fortify from Pure.

Have food allergies tested through an IgG and/or IgA blood food allergy test.  If there are a high number of reactions follow a food rotation diet, which is usually described with the results of the testing.  Or do a food allergy elimination diet.  You find instructions at many websites.

4.  Deal with any underlying infections.

5.  Balance thyroid, insulin, and sex hormones.

6.  If inflammation continues, is chronic or severe, test for heavy metals and environmental toxins.

7.  Take anti-inflammatory supplements.

The next blog will be dedicated to describing anti-inflammatory supplements.

Until we meet again,
Dr. Judi

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Anti-Inflammatory Medications for Chronic Pain and Inflammation: They Don't Always Work Well and They May Not Be Safe

Being in pain, especially chronic pain, is debilitating.  We naturally want to do anything we can to get out of it.  Most types of pain are related to inflammation, but chronic inflammation can also cause other diseases besides chronic pain.

The last blog was on how inflammation is a necessary part of dealing with micro-organism invaders and important in the process of healing from infection and injury.  However, when inflammation does not properly stop and becomes chronic, it can cause damage to the body, such as in tendinitis, arthritis--both osteo and rheumatoid, acne, interstitial cystitis, peripheral neuropathy, autoimmune diseases, and even depression and mood disorders from inflammation of the brain and intestinal tract.  Long term chronic inflammation is at the basis of most of the chronic diseases that bring death:  cardiovascular disease, diabetes type 2, dementia and Alzheimer's, cancer and more.

Most doctors use immune suppressors and anti-inflammatory medications to stop the effects of inflammation. They work very well to reduce pain, but they don't cure the inflammation (the inflammation returns when the drugs are stopped) and their side effect profile is high.

The strongest are some of the chemotherapy drugs for cancer.  Methotrexate is a chemotherapy drug often used in rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases to suppress the immune system. The next are biologic response modifiers, such as Enbrel.  This drug works quite well in reducing painful joints in RA and other autoimmune diseases.  The largest problem with immune suppressors is that the immune system can't do its proper job, and those using these medications are at high risk of developing a serious infection.  (For a more effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and sometimes other autoimmune diseases see my blog

Steriods such as prednisone are given for conditions such as arthritis, asthma and autoimmune diseases. They are also injected into joints, the spine and the epidural space of the spinal cord to reduce pain.  Again, they usually work well to reduce inflammation and pain, but they can't be used long term because of the high level of side effects and the suppression of the adrenal glands and the immune system.

Opioid pain medications are often used to reduce the symptoms of pain, but do not deal with the inflammation or the cause of inflammation.  The pain receptors become tolerant to the medications easily and often more and more medication is needed to reduce the pain.  Often it reaches the point where the pain is as bad on the medication as it was when starting the opioids.  After chronic use the pain becomes much worse when the body doesn't get it because of withdrawal symptoms.  When the body goes through withdrawal the pain is higher, so often what a person may consider as high levels of pain needing medication is only withdrawal from the medication.

There is a high physical and emotional addiction potential, and these medications are very hard to come off of.  They affect the brain and worsen mood disorders.  They are often made with acetaminophen or aspirin and taking frequent daily doses can increase the toxic affects of those.

In my experience my patients who come to me already on chronic opioid pain medication do not get better with the treatments I do until they get off of their medication.

The most common anti-inflammatory medications are the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, diclofenac, naproxen, meloxicam, etc.  These do make a difference, but in chronic pain the difference isn't as much as might be expected, as the following study shows.

In a new US study from Northwestern Health Sciences University, more than 270 adults with chronic neck pain were divided into three groups. For three months, one group received brief chiropractic sessions at least once each week, one group got instructions for simple neck exercises from a physical therapist, and one group received over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen or prescription drugs such as NSAIDs and muscle relaxants.

Overall, these were the percentages of the results in each group:  
Chiropractic group — 57 per cent pain reduction
Exercise group — 48 per cent pain reduction
Drug group — 33 per cent pain reduction  

In a follow-up, one year later, pain relief was still significantly higher in the chiropractic and exercise groups. Many subjects in the drug group said they needed to increase dosages and frequency to maintain the lower level of pain relief.

This study didn't have a group doing nothing.  Often up to 30% improve over time anyway.  So it is hard to tell if it was the medications working or the patient improving with their innate healing capacity.

NSAIDS have been shown to cause gastrointestinal damage, ulcers and bleeding, kidney damage and cancer, increased risk of heart problems and heart attacks, drug dependency and other side effects.  They can exhibit a "rebound" phenomena similar to the withdrawal symptoms from opioid medications, in which if a dose is missed the pain is worse not from the chronic physical problem but from the drug withdrawal.

A recent study from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland shows that an alarming number of patients with ischemic heart disease or cardiovascular risk factors are being inappropriately prescribed NSAIDs for RA, musculoskeletal diseases, and other chronic pain-related conditions.  Dr. Carl Orr, the lead investigator, said that the cardiovascular risks of long-term NSAID use have been well documented, but it is less well known that even short-term use increases the risk for recurrent heart attacks and death.  Diclofenac shows the highest increased risk for heart disease and heart attacks.

Acetaminophen (Paracetamol in Europe and  South America) is not a true anti-inflammatory but is most often used for pain.  Most people believe because it is an over the counter medication that it is safe.  It is true that acetaminophen has a fairly good safety profile when used in proper doses and not with alcohol or other medications which affect the liver, but liver damage can occur with misuse and overdose.  In fact, in the US acetaminophen toxicity has replaced viral hepatitis as the most common cause of acute liver failure and is the second most common cause of liver disease needing transplantation. 

Just last month, in August of 2013, the FDA issued a safety warning concerning the use of acetaminophen.  They advised that anyone who has a skin reaction such as a rash or blister while taking the drug to stop and seek immediate medical care, because of the risk of three rare but fatal skin disorders:  Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis.

Aspirin has been the miracle drug of the last century, and when used judiciously for acute pain and inflammation can be very effective.  However chronic use can cause microscopic gastrointestinal bleeding leading to ulcers and major bleeding, abdominal pain, nausea, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and more rarely kidney and liver damage.

If you must take one of these medications to deal with your chronic pain or chronic inflammation, take them only according to directions, take the least amount that reduces the pain, and be sure you are aware of the safety profile of the medication and how it relates to your other medical problems.

But better yet, use diet and supplementation for chronic inflammation.  The next blog will be about natural treatments for chronic pain and inflammation.

Until we meet again,
Dr. Judi

Monday, September 2, 2013

Inflammation: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly; The Cause of Most Chronic Diseases

Inflammation is very important to our bodies.  It is a protective part of our immune system to fight infection and other foreign invaders and to initiate the healing process.  Inflammatory cells aid the body's healing mechanism.  Inflammation is not the same as infection.  An infection is caused by a micro-organism. Inflammation is the body's response to fight the micro-organism.

Acute inflammation is the initial response of the body to harmful stimuli, causing and increased movement of plasma and leukocytes (especially granulocytes) from the blood to the injured tissues.  It usually appears within a few minutes or hours and ceases on the removal of the injurious stimuli.  The classic signs of acute infection are pain, heat, redness, swelling and loss of function.  Without inflammation the body would not be able to heal well.  For example, when inflammation causing heat is generalized, we experience it as a fever.  The fever is part of the body's immune response to fighting the infection.  It has been shown in studies that reducing a fever with medicine increases the length of time of an infection.  It has also been shown that taking anti-inflammatory medications continuously after an injury increases the time it takes to heal the injury.

However, when inflammation becomes chronic, it can cause damage to the body, either locally (such as in tendinitis, tendinitis, knee arthritis caused by injury, etc.) or systemically.  These can be caused by overuse (not allowing the injury to heal), using enough anti-inflammatory medication so that it cannot completely heal, genetics, chronic low grade infection, the SAD diet (Standard American Diet), dysbiosis (an alteration in intestinal bacteria), toxins such as heavy metals and environmental pollutants, improper healing from surgery, etc.  Common chronic inflammatory illnesses are:  acne, allergies, asthma, autoimmune diseases, celiac disease, chronic urinary tract infections, interstitial cystitis and prostatitis, chronic kidney disease, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, etc.  Inflammation of the brain and gut has been implicated in ADHD and autism, depression and other mood disorders.

In the last couple of decades, more evidence is being found through research that most of the chronic diseases leading to death are also caused by chronic inflammation, including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and cancer.  For example, atherosclerosis, which causes heart attacks and heart disease, was considered to be caused by high cholesterol.  More recent studies show that inflammation is implicated in every stage of this disease.  Most scientists studying the inflammatory cause of heart disease believe the moderate success of the statin drugs in lowering cardiovascular events is more from their anti-inflammatory effect than by lowering the LDL.

Studies are also showing that inflammation plays a large role in cancer.  It is felt that inflammation can cause cell mutation leading to cancer, and inflammation has been shown to promote tumor growth and metastasis.

Once chronic inflammation has set in a cascade of problems results, making it more difficult to heal.  For example, inflammation can cause an increase in insulin, which also causes inflammation.  Elevated insulin holds onto fat in the body and causes obesity.  Fat cells also secrete inflammatory chemicals and increase inflammation in the body.  This increases insulin further and leads to insulin resistance.  This can lead to Diabetes Type 2, which increases inflammation in the macro- and micro-circulation, causing damage to the arteries.  The arterial wall damage causes a release of inflammatory cells and chemicals to repair it, which can lead to platelet aggregation and plaque deposition.  This can lead to heart and vascular disease.

Most of us are dealing with one or more of these problems and have no idea of how to heal it.  Most doctors simply treat the symptoms rather than dealing with the root cause:  inflammation.  My next blog will look into medications generally used for the chronic inflammation that threatens our health and our lives, how well they work and if they are safe.

Until we meet again,
Dr. Judi

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Is Your Medication Depleting your Nutrients?

The right medication at the right time can be a life-saver.  But pharmaceutical medications are foreign chemicals to the body.  That is why they may have side effects, because it doesn't quite match up to your own body's chemistry.

And some medications may actually make you sicker by depleting your levels of critical nutrients.  This doesn't mean you should stop the medication without the advice of your physician, but make sure you are supplementing the nutrients that are being depleted.

The following is a list of medications and the nutrients they deplete:

Proton Pump Inhibitors (antacids such as Omeprazole, Nexium, AciPhex, etc.) interferes with the absorption of minerals (they have been proven to increase osteoporosis and cause iron deficiency because of this), B-vitamins (especially B-12), amino acids (resulting in lower than optimal protein levels), and vitamin C. 

If you are taking a Proton Pump Inhibitor (and I believe I will write another blog on this alone, because there are ways to get off of them), I would recommend taking 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar at the beginning of each meal to increase your stomach acid while eating for better absorption of nutrients.  Take your nutrients during mealtime for the same reason.  If you are older than 55, have diabetes or another chronic disease, you may need something stronger, such as betaine HCL, which turns into hydrochloric acid in the stomach.

Blood pressure medications of the class Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone inhibitors (ACE inhibitors, renin inhibitors, angiotensin II blockers, aldosterone blockers--a large list of brands)--depletes zinc, which impairs the immune system, slows wound healing, causes abnormal cell division, reduces appetite, and causes a bitter or sour taste in the mouth when it is empty.

Daily aspirin can deplete vitamin C, iron (through microscopic GI bleeding) and folate.

Metformin--depletes B-12, which increases the risk of diabetic neuropathy, increases fatigue, causes depression, increases bruising or bleeding.  If you are taking both Metformin and a Proton Pump Inhibitor you may want to get B-12 shots.  Metformin can also deplete folate and Thiamine (Vitamin B-1) which is necessary to protect the body from high levels of blood glucose.

Insulin can deplete magnesium.

Cholesterol lowering statin drugs--deplete coenzyme Q10, critical for muscle health, including heart muscle, and mitochondrial health, which makes the energy for the body.  These medications also deplete Vitamin D, which is proven in adequate levels to lower heart disease and mortality.

Acetaminophen can deplete glutathione, which is an important antioxidant in the body, and is important for the detoxification process.

NSAIDS can deplete iron through microscopic GI bleeding, and some folate dependent enzymes are inhibited by some NSAIDS.

Antibiotics can deplete many B-vitamins and vitamin K through the destruction of normal bowel flora.

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics (Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox, Floxin, etc.) can deplete calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc.

Penicillin antibiotics can deplete potassium, so especially if you have vomiting or diarrhea, supplement potassium.

Tetracycline, Doxycycline, Minocycline can deplete calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium.

Antifungal Fluconazole (Diflucan) can inhibit potassium.

This does not come close to naming all of the medications and what nutrients they may deplete.  If you are taking a medication that is not listed in this blog, go to, which has a chart with a fairly comprehensive list.

The take home message is, if you are taking a medication, make sure you are taking a high potency multivitamin-mineral supplement such as SpringTree Health's SuperMulti Plus (, and research to find if there are any other nutrients that need to be supplemented to keep yourself as healthy as possible.

Until we meet again,
Dr. Judi

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Emotions and Healing from Physical Illness

I spoke with a previous patient tonight that I hadn't seen in many months.  He had been severely ill with Lyme disease, in severe pain, and very depressed.  As Lyme disease often affects the brain, depression and anxiety are common.  He had been on opioid drugs for the pain and was struggling to find any hope in life. 

This patient fell on hard times, had no more money for medications, and moved away.  He told me that at that time he finally decided, after we had spent a couple of years of working on it, to go completely off the opioid drugs and face the pain.  He went through withdrawals and had a rebound increase in pain, but as the drugs completely left his body he was surprised that he didn't hurt any more than he had while using the pain meds, and even felt somewhat better.

What he found the hardest was now he had to face all of his emotions, which had been suppressed by the pain meds.  He had been going through some difficult life challenges which aggravated his emotional pain, and he said, "All I had was me and my emotions.  I had to feel them because there was no other choice."  As he allowed himself time to feel the pain of the difficult events of his life and his relationships, his physical pain lessened.  He feels that he grew in ways he never would have if he had continued to suppress his emotional pain with the medication.  And he continued to heal from the Lyme disease even though he had no antibiotics or other prescription drugs.  He found how much his suppressed emotions were affecting his immune system and his ability to heal.

I had intermittent and severe low back pain from the time I was 16 until I was over 40.  At times I could barely walk.  I kept a cane in my closet for the times it "went out."  It would last a week or two and then begin to get better.  I tried multiple treatments, many helped, but none resolved the pain.

After becoming a physician, I read a book by John Sarnos, MD, called "Healing Back Pain."  His experience was that over 90% of back pain is caused by the physical reactions to suppressed emotions.  His treatment was simple:  feel the emotions.  He said that the issue causing the emotions didn't have to be resolved; often we have no control over the problem.  But when we allowed ourselves to feel the emotional pain, then we wouldn't have to feel the pain in our backs.

I went back to my diary that I had kept when I was 16.  I found out that two weeks before my back pain started, my first serious boyfriend had broken up with me.  I realized that I didn't know how to deal with the pain of my teenage heart, so I had suppressed it and it went to my back.  I took time to allow myself to imagine myself at 16, and what the pain of losing that first love was like.  I allowed myself to feel the angst and the heartache.

I went through other times that I remembered my back had been bad.  I was usually able to find something that had happened within a week or so, or was happening at the time, that created strong, painful emotions in me.  With a large and growing family, I hadn't had the time to deal with emotions, or even the knowledge of how to.  I took time to remember those times, write about them if it would help bring up the painful emotions, and simply feel the emotions.  It didn't take long to feel them, maybe a few minutes for the most part.  A few issues took several sessions of "feeling" before I felt that I could let it go.

Miraculously, my back pain didn't return for awhile.  Whenever it did, I would ask myself, "Is this physical or emotional?"  Even though I may have done physical things that could have aggravated my back, the answer was always "emotional."  I would take time to discover what had happened that I wasn't feeling, and allow myself to feel.  The back pain would always go away.  Now it is years between backaches, but my back will always remind me if I have emotional things happen and I'm too busy to feel.

That set me on a course that changed my medical practice.  I read "Molecules of Emotion" by Candice Pert, PhD, who discovered that there are neurotransmitter receptors on our immune system cells.  This started the science of psychoneuroimmunology, or how our psychology affects our immune system.  I ended up writing my own book about the effect of emotions on the body, "Healing from the Heart: the Power to Heal from Within."

As a society, we have not taught our children how to feel.  We tell them to stop crying, that to be angry is bad, to hide our feelings, to not show our feelings.  We are supposed to put on a happy face all of the time.  We have no idea how to really allow ourselves to feel.  This has a profound effect on our bodies. The suppressed emotions cause chemicals to release that create disease in the body.

I have found that the majority of people with chronic illness that come into my office are suppressing their emotions in some way.  It may be through opioid drugs or antidepressant medications.  It may be through addictions--alcohol, drugs, sexual, food.  It may be through excessive activity or exercise or work to keep their mind occupied on something besides their negative emotions, and to get that "runner's high".  It may be through video games or sleeping too much.  It may be even through generalized anxiety or OCD.  When obsessive thoughts are focused on one thing, it keeps the psyche from focusing on something more painful.  This doesn't mean that pain pills or medications or exercise, etc. are bad, but if they are partly used to suppress emotions it will be very difficult for the body to heal.

We tend to be afraid of negative emotions, because we are afraid of pain in general.  We are afraid we will get stuck in the emotional pain.  But in my experience, if we allow ourselves to deliberately feel the emotion that we are dealing with, but don't use it to hurt others, it doesn't last that long, and we move through it.  When the pain is acute and we are grieving, it may come back multiple times, but if we allow ourselves to take time to feel, we move through it and our body's are not nearly as affected as if we use some way to avoid it.

Even if we don't know the cause of why we are feeling this way, allowing ourselves to feel the depression or the fear rather than fight it allows it to dissipate, and often opens our minds to greater knowledge of what really is causing the emotions.

More recently, Bruce Lipton, PhD, a cellular biologist, is lecturing and writing books about how our emotional environment and beliefs can affect our DNA though epigenetics, and can be carried through generations.  But they also can be changed by changing our thoughts and beliefs and working through our emotions.

It is time to become aware of what we are thinking and believing and if these thoughts and beliefs are affecting us negatively.  As we become more aware of our thoughts and beliefs and what feelings they cause, we can feel the feelings and change our beliefs from fear based to love based. 

We are each special in the sight of God.  We each have our own purpose on earth just by being who we are, and letting go of trying to be who we are not.  Our weaknesses have the purpose of helping us learn.  Our gifts and talents have the purpose of fulfilling our purpose.  It is good to be ourselves, even if we are "different" or "don't fit in."  In reality we are all different from each other.  Pretending to be the same, pretending to be what we are not to please someone else, only causes stress and pain, and causes our body to get sick.

There are many books on the market related to healing emotions in order to heal the body.  I recommend each person do what it takes to learn to recognize, feel and work through any emotions that may be having a negative effect on their bodies.

If you desire to read "Healing from the Heart: the Inherent Power to Heal from Within", it can be ordered from

Until we meet again,
Dr. Judi

Monday, May 27, 2013

The One Thing That Will Lower Your Risk of Dying Prematurely

If you could do only one thing to lower your risk of dying prematurely, what would it be?  Exercise?  Lose weight?  Become vegetarian?  Or eat paleolithic?  Take a statin drug to lower cholesterol?  Quit smoking?  All of these have been espoused for longer life.

Of course all of these (well, maybe not taking a statin drug) will improve health and possibly prolong life.  However, the one thing that beat these hands down was having enough vitamin D in the body.

A new German study was published in the April 2013 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (ACJN).  (  The German scientists measured vitamin D levels in almost 10,000 people ages 50 to 74 years.  They were followed for an average of nine and a half years, recording all deaths, which ended up being about 10% of the study participants.  43.3% died from cancer, 35% from heart disease, and 5.5% from respiratory diseases.

People with the lowest vitamin D levels were more likely to die of all causes.  The lower the vitamin D, the higher the mortality rate.  Low vitamin D specifically increased death rate from cancer, heart disease and respiratory diseases.

Of course vitamin D deficiency is famous for causing rickets in children, and has been considered a third world disease.  There is a belief that rickets no longer exists in the US since vitamin D was added to infant formula and milk.  However, stories are showing that the rate of rickets in children is growing.

Vitamin D is made from cholesterol after being exposed to UV light from the sun.  Being in the sun has been so maligned that we cover our children and ourselves in suntan lotion (which, by the way, has never been proven to protect from skin cancer).  The sun is a life giver and a life saver.  When we have adequate vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in our body, the sun does not cause cancer.  We should be taking a high potency multivitamin-mineral supplement rather than use sun block.

Vitamin D is also in fish, beef, and eggs.  Beef and eggs went on the no-no list when doctors decided cholesterol was the bad guy.  So they stopped everyone from eating beef and eggs and gave them medicine to lower cholesterol.  Because we were already staying out of the sun, there is a huge epidemic of low levels of vitamin D.  The great majority of my patients who are not supplementing are low in vitamin D. 

(It has never been proven that low cholesterol prevents heart disease.  However, it has been proven that low cholesterol in the elderly increases overall death rate.  Besides being the pre-cursor to vitamin D, cholesterol is the molecule that makes all of the sex hormones, along with cortisol, the body's stress hormone, and aldosterone, which controls the body's fluid level and blood pressure.  Cholesterol is important for a healthy immune system.  Also, dietary cholesterol is NOT a strong contributor to body cholesterol levels.  The body increases cholesterol to deal with stress and illness. It needs it.  However, inflammation can cause cholesterol to attach to the walls of the arteries.  Inflammation is usually the culprit, generally not cholesterol.)

Other studies show that:
  • Low vitamin D is the leading cause of osteoporosis; not low calcium.
  • Low vitamin D increases the risk of pneumonia.
  • Vitamin D improves muscle function
  • Pregnant mothers taking at least 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 improved their rates of infection, premature labor and premature birth.  The newborns had higher levels of vitamin  D and lower rates of infection
  • Women who were in the sun at least 1 hour a day had a 40% lower rate of fibroid tumors. 
  • Vitamin D is important for gene expression that assists in DNA repair, immune response and response to stress.  The genes affected by vitamin D act on more than 160 pathways linked to cancer, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune disorders.
  • Taking vitamin D and calcium while on a healthy weight loss diet increases loss of body fat.
So this summer, go out in the sun (start slowly and work your way up--it is still not safe to burn a lot), eat fish, beef and eggs, and supplement with vitamin D3. 

Because of the importance of vitamin D, SuperMulti Plus contains 2,000 IU of vitamin D3, more than almost any other multi, along with good levels of antioxidants to protect from sun damage.

Until we meet again,
Dr. Judi


Friday, May 3, 2013

The Liver Disease Affecting 1/3 of American Adults

Over the past ten years of my practice I have observed a rapidly increasing number of patients with elevated liver enzymes. On investigation, the majority of them suffer from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.  Alcoholic fatty liver disease has been the major cause of cirrhosis of the liver until recently.  Now roughly one in three Americans suffers from the stealth condition known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD.

Most of those with fatty liver disease don't know they have it.  NAFLD may go undetected for years, and may progress to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), liver inflammation and scarring (cirrhosis) or full-blown liver failure.

Cause of NAFLD
NAFLD is linked to obesity, metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes and diabetes.  It is related to poor dietary choices, but genetic factors can also play a role in NAFLD’s progress.  High fructose corn syrup is implicated in the dramatic rise in NAFLD.  But the Standard American Diet (SAD) of high sugar, high flour (processed grains) and high fat diet is the biggest culprit.

Diagnosis of NAFLD
The early stages of NAFLD are without signs or symptoms.  As it progresses there may be no physical symptoms, or there may be a vague feeling of discomfort in the right upper part of the abdomen, which many people mistakenly cosider to be a gallbladder problem.  As the problem gets worse there may be elevated liver enzymes.  On this finding many doctors will do a liver ultrasound, but until it progresses the ultrasound may be normal.  The gold standard of diagnosis is a liver biopsy. 

If a person has elevated liver enzymes, does not drink a lot of alcohol or use a lot of tylenol, and has not had viral hepatitis, more likely than not they are suffering from NAFLD.

Treatment of NAFLD
Medical science has proven relatively helpless at preventing or treating NAFLD and NASH, leaving millions of Americans vulnerable to their effects. The only medication shown to help somewhat is the diabetic medication Metformin.

However, when a person goes on a healthy diet such as my Sugar Stabilization Program (which can be accessed in earlier blogs or downloading my free e-book on diabetes on, lose weight, exercise, and stay away from alcohol and tylenol, the level of fat in the liver can decrease.

I add for my patients Dr. Christopher's Liver-Gallbladder Formula (I use the Western Botanicals brand), 2 capsules twice a day until liver enzymes come down, then 2 capsules per day. I also add SpringTree Glucose Balance, 2 with each meal, to balance the insulin.  Insulin increases sugar conversion to fat.  I will recommend SpringTree SuperMulti Plus for the high levels of mixed tocopherols (Vitamin E) and antioxidants, and recommend 3-4,000 mg of high quality fish oil per day to lower triglycerides.  I may also recommend L-carnitine 500-1,000 mg for better fat utilization in the cells.

In every instance, if the patient is consistant with this regimen, the liver enzymes will decrease and go back into the normal range, which is proof of improvement.  This will guarantee that the problem will not progress to cirrhosis and death.

Prevention of NAFLD
Prevention is through diet:  reducing sugar, flour, high sugar drinks (including large amounts of fruit juice) and processed food intake, avoiding high fructose corn syrup, changing to healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil, grape seed oil, walnut oil, etc.).

Exercise changes how much insulin is produced and how the body utilizes fat. 

A recent study has shown that Vitamin E prevents NASH in mice with a genetic propensity to NAFLD.  SpringTree SuperMulti Plus has 800 mg of mixed tocopherols.

If you find that you have metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes or diabetes, follow the Sugar Stabilization Program.

Ask your doctor to check your liver enzymes, your Hemoglobin A1C, and your triglyceride levels.  If any of them are elevated, you either have or are at risk of having NAFLD. 

Until we meet again,
Dr. Judi

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Insulin Can Be Deadly for Type 2 Diabetes

 Insulin is an absolute lifesaver in Type 1 Diabetes, where the body doesn't produce enough insulin.

However, I have resisted giving insulin to my Type 2 Diabetic patients because they already make too much insulin.  Elevated insulin levels increases inflammation in the vessels which can cause hypertension and increase heart disease and stroke risk.  It can also cause blood disorders.

When I first started my medical practice over 20 years ago, most doctors were touting the oral medications for Type 2 Diabetes as better than insulin.  Insulin was rarely given unless a patient was completely uncontrolled.  However, over time, many of the oral agents have proven to increase risk of heart disease and other major complications, and we have seen in the last 5 years an increase in the use of insulin for Type 2 Diabetes again.
A new study was released in February 2013 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism following over 84,000 patients over 10 years and the clinical outcomes of their diabetic regimen, which confirms my reservations about using insulin in Diabetes Type 2  (

Compared to using Metformin alone, those using insulin alone had an increased risk of a major cardiac event, cancer, or early death by 80 per cent.  Insulin use nearly doubled heart attack risk, and more than doubled neuropathy risk.

Patients who took metformin and insulin together were also at high risk of suffering a major cardiac event, cancer, or early death.  And those who took sulfonylureas (Glucotrol, glipizide, glyburide, and Glucovance in combination with metformin) also had increased risk of heart disease and death over metformin alone.  This is because sulfonylureas increase insulin levels as well. 

The increase in cardiac events and death rates was independent of the average levels of blood sugars.

The conclusion of the study reads:  "In people with T2DM, exogenous insulin therapy was associated with an increased risk of diabetes-related complications, cancer, and all-cause mortality. Differences in baseline characteristics between treatment groups should be considered when interpreting these results."                    

Most doctors assume that decreasing blood sugar levels is the end point in maintaining health in diabetes.  Flooding the body with more insulin forces blood sugar into the cells and out of the blood stream, so increasing insulin works in the short term.  But the long term effects of excess insulin are not taken into consideration.

When patients come into my office on insulin it is hard to get them off because the body is used to the high levels.  When weaning from the insulin the blood sugar spikes high enough that it scares the patients.  However, if someone is determined to get off the insulin, we use a combination of diet, exercise, metformin, SpringTree Glucose Balance, SpringTree SuperMulti Plus, fish oil and krill oil to get them off. 

The blood sugar may spike in the beginning, but over time it often begins to come down.  The supplements help protect the body from the damaging effects of the high blood sugar, and the insulin levels come down rather than increasing, which protects the body from the inflammatory effects of high insulin.  Most patients feel better, even if their blood sugar readings are a little higher.  I would rather have higher blood sugar readings and protect the vessels through supplements than have higher levels of damaging insulin.

WARNING:  Do not stop insulin if you have Type 1 Diabetes or if your insulin level is proven to be too low.  Insulin is necessary in these situations.  However, if a Type 1 patient follows the typical advice of "eat what you want and cover yourself with insulin," more and more insulin is usually needed over time, which can cause insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes along with Type 1.  Then the problems caused by high levels of insulin can happen in this situation as well.  It is best to eat a diet as that recommended in the free e-book along with exercise to use as little insulin as possible to keep the blood glucose under control.

For a free booklet on diabetes go to

Until we meet again,
Dr. Judi

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Pain Relievers (NSAIDs) Increase Risk of Heart Disease

Diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam) and rofecoxib (Vioxx) were shown in the following study to increase significantly the risk of cardiovascular disease and deaths. Diclofenac increased the risk 91% and rofecoxib inreased the risk 66%. Vioxx was removed from the market in 2004 because of this problem, but diclofenac is still a very popular non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.

Even ibuprofen showed a small, dose-dependent trend for increase in cardiovascular risk. The only NSAID that didn't show an increased risk was naproxen.

Two NSAIDs Were Associated With Increase in Heart Risks

by Diana Mahoney

The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs rofecoxib and diclofenac were linked to increased cardiovascular mortality and morbidity in a nationwide cohort of otherwise healthy Danish residents, while naproxen appeared to be associated with the least cardiovascular risk, researchers reported.

Dr. Emil Loldrup Fosbøl of Gentofte University Hospital in Hellerup, Denmark, and colleagues reported that
patients in the study taking the nonselective NSAID diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam) had a 91% increased risk of cardiovascular death, compared with patients with no NSAID history, and patients taking the selective cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor rofecoxib (Vioxx), which was withdrawn from the market in 2004 because of poor cardiovascular safety, had a 66% increased risk.

The investigators also observed a small, dose-dependent trend for increase in cardiovascular risk associated with ibuprofen, while no such relationship was observed with naproxen, they wrote (Circ. Cardiovasc. Qual. Outcomes 2010 June 8 [doi: 10.1161/CIRC OUTCOMES.109.861104]).

The epidemiologic study included data for
1,028,437 individuals, median age 39, collected from 1997 through 2005. Approximately 45% of the cohort had a history of some NSAID use during this time....

Ibuprofen showed a dose-dependent association with coronary and stroke event risk in the Cox analyses, with a decreased risk of coronary death, nonfatal MI, and stroke in low doses and trend for increased risk in high doses, and, as in the crossover analysis, “naproxen was associated with a trend for neutral or decreased risk of all the examined end points,” they wrote.

In repeat analyses conducted on a population of NSAID users and sex-, age-, and time-matched NSAID nonusers,
a trend for a higher increase in cardiovascular risk was associated with use of all of the NSAID drugs, the authors reported.
Disclosures: The authors report no financial conflicts relevant to this investigation.

Family Practice News, Volume 40, Issue 12, p. 18 (July, 2010)

Dr. Judi here: NSAID use has shown increased risk of ulcers and intestinal bleeding which has lead to death, increased risk of kidney failure which has lead to death, increased risk of kidney cancer which has lead to death, and now increased risk of heart disease.  As with any drug, even over-the-counter medications, do your homework and make sure that the benefit of taking them is greater than the risk.

When people are in pain now, it is hard to ignore the painkilling effects of NSAIDS.  Acetaminophen has it's own problems causing liver damage and failure.  What can be used instead, without going on to opiate medications?  This will be addressed in future blogs.

Until we meet again,
Dr. Judi

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Astaxanthin--The New Magic Antioxidant

Astaxanthin is a more recently discovered antioxidant being heralded as the new anti-aging miracle. The studies on astaxanthin that are coming to light are showing how versatile it is and how much of the body it has a positive effect on.

Astaxanthin occurs naturally in nature. It is a carotenoid, a pigment, which means it gives color in the organisms that it appears in. The majority of red, orange and yellow plants, as well as flowers and fruits with red, orange and yellow coloring, derive their color from astaxanthin. Birds, fish and insects who eat foods rich in astaxanthin also derive their coloring from the pigment.

Astaxanthin occurs in photosynthetic plants and plays an important role in the photosynthesis process (the process by which plants ingest carbon dioxide and produce oxygen). It also occurs in some simple bacteria and algae which do not engage in photosynthesis, where it serves to protect these simple organisms from light and oxygen. Most pink or red plants have high levels of astaxanthin, and animals who eat astaxanthin-rich foods also have a pinkish color.

Shrimp, crawfish, crabs, lobsters, krill and other crustaceans are high in astaxanthin. Wild salmon also has high levels of astaxanthin. It is also found in trout.

Commercially produced astaxanthin may be derived from natural sources, such as the microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis, which is the primary natural source, or the pink yeast Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous. It may also be extracted from byproducts of crustaceans such as krill and shrimp. It also can be chemically synthesized.

The secret that makes astaxanthin such an potent antioxidant is that it is both fat soluble and water soluble.  Most antioxidants are either one or the other, which causes some to be better for your heart, some for your eyes, some for your immune system, etc.  So this antioxidant can go anywhere in your body, and can even go to areas of the body where others can't.  Astaxanthin has up to 500 times the antioxidant power of vitamin E, and 6,000 times stronger than vitamin C.

Though astaxanthin is a carotenoid, like beta-carotene, lutein, and canthaxanthin, its unique structure allows it to work differently than the other carotenoids.  Astaxanthin is a powerful anti-inflammatory, acting on at least 5 inflammatory pathways, and can handle far more free radicals at any given time than other antioxidants.
The combination of its high-potency antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties allows it to address a vast array of health concerns, including joint problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow; protection from UV radiation, improving skin health; improved athletic performance; heart health; brain health, including protection against age-related dementia; and protection against age-related macular degeneration—the most common cause of blindness in the US.
Over the last few years, there have been at least 17 studies on brain health showing that astaxanthin protects neurons, and can slow the effects of age-related cognitive decline, as well as decline in psychomotor functions.  Studies have also shown that it improves blood flow and decreases blood pressure. It’s very beneficial to your heart’s mitochondria membranes, and can have a positive effect on blood chemistry, increasing HDL (the good cholesterol), and decreasing triglycerides.
There seems to be no or very little toxicity associated with astaxanthin.  “We really have not seen any kind of adverse reactions or negative effects on people taking astaxanthin,” Dr. Cysewski, an expert on astaxanthin, says. “There have been some acute toxicity studies done [with] as high as 50 or 75 milligrams dosage per day. No bad effects.”
The most common doses are 2-4 mg per day, though some with chronic inflammation may choose to go higher.
We are very excited to announce the release of our "New" SuperMulti Plus.  We have added 3 mg. of astaxanthin to each serving to create a supreme preventative and anti-aging supplement.  Besides adding astaxanthin, we have also added lutein and zeaxanthin for added eye protection, lycopene for added prostate protection (don't worry ladies, it also has health benefits for you as well), and grape seed extract and CoQ 10 for added heart protection.  We also increased the Vitamin D from 1000 to 2000 IU, and doubled the amount of Vitamin K.
This is added to the already potent ingredients for bone health, tissue health, high level antioxidant power, high levels of B-vitamins, and good levels of minerals and trace minerals.
Our patients keep telling us that once they use SuperMulti Plus they can't use other multivitamins because they don't feel as well.  Many tell us that they never could tell any difference using any other multi, but they can with SuperMulti Plus.  Now with the new ingredients our SuperMulti Plus will be that much more powerful.  And the best is the price, which we have kept below $25, and with multiple purchases the price is even lower.
The goal of creating this supplement was to give a high quality, high potency vitamin at a reasonable cost that most people could afford.  We have worked very hard to find a manufacturer that uses high quality ingredients while keeping the cost down.  The ingredients in this cover a multivitamin, calcium/magnesium supplement, B-complex 50, Vitamin D 2,000 IU, Vitamin C with bioflavinoids, Trace Minerals, Eye supplements, antioxidants and carotenoids.  Buying all of this separate would be much over $100.  Now you can afford to maintain your health for less than $25 a month!
To purchase our new SuperMulti Plus go to
Until we meet again,
Dr. Judi

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

More Dietary Sugar Increases Diabetes Risk

In what would be considered a "Duh..." to most people but not to doctors and hospital nutritionists, scientists have now shown that eating more sugar increases the risk of diabetes.

Those who have been in the hospital with a diagnosis of diabetes are often surprised that they are served sugary foods.  I was taught in medical school, and the dieticians are taught that a carb is a carb is a carb.  It doesn't matter if it is fruit or a cup of pudding, when it has the same amount of carbohydrates the body treats it in the same way.

Doctors have always considered obesity to be the "only" risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes.  They thought it was the amount of calories people were eating that created the problem and not the type of food.  However, in this landmark study, lead author Dr. Sanjay Basu, an assistant professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, and colleagues examined data on global sugar availability and diabetes rates from 175 countries over the past decade.

The study, published in the journal PLoS One, found, after accounting for obesity and a large array of other factors, increased sugar in a population's food supply was linked to higher type 2 diabetes rates, independent of obesity rates.

"It was quite a surprise," Basu said in a statement. The research was conducted while Basu was a medical resident at University of California, San Francisco, and working with senior author Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

"We're not diminishing the importance of obesity at all, but these data suggest that at a population level there are additional factors that contribute to diabetes risk besides obesity and total calorie intake, and that sugar appears to play a prominent role," the researchers said.

For every additional 150 calories of sugar available per person per day, the prevalence of diabetes in the population rose 1 percent, even after controlling for obesity, physical activity, other types of calories and a number of economic and social variables, the study found.

With the dramatic addition of sugar and high fructose corn syrup to processed foods over the last fifty years, this finally explains to doctors and scientists the major epidemic of Diabetes Type 2 that has exploded in the last 20 years and continues to rise.  Children and teens are now being diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2 at rates that have never been seen before. 
Sugary foods have become so engrained in our society that they are almost impossible to escape.  Sugar cereal for breakfast, a can of soda with lunch, candy bars or sugar laden granola bars for snacks, desserts after dinner, a bowl of ice cream before bed, have become the Standard American Diet (SAD).  It is rare to find any processed food without fairly high levels of sugar in it.  The "Low Fat" craze became the high sugar phase to keep the taste palatable.
Simple sugars when eaten in higher amounts than found in nature have a drug-like effect on the body, and it is easy to become addicted.  It acts as a powerful neurotransmitter to give a high to the brain.  In today's stress-filled world, we often reach for a sugary snack or drink to calm down without really realizing it.
It takes a lot of work and effort to eat a healthy diet low in sugar.  The less processed the food the better, but this is hard in today's society of eat and run, where our young people are no longer taught how to cook homemade, nutritious meals.  But it is amazing how much better most people feel when they cut sugar our of their diet and eat more whole, natural foods.
To learn more about diabetes or pre-diabetes, how to know if you have it, the best diet for prevention and treatment, about the medications and how to treat it more naturally, download my free e-book on this page:
Until we meet again,
Dr. Judi