Health Update: Micronutrient Deficiencies Worse Than We Thought

Hello to all: A timely new study has revealed that micronutrient deficiencies (vitamins & minerals essential to our body functions and health) are surprisingly common and are causing significant illness around the world, plus they are just as bad in the U.S. as in much poorer countries. This is extremely important considering previous work shows that even chronic insufficiencies can cause disease, so it is even worse with deficiencies. An insufficiency is when you have just enough of the nutrient to prevent deficiency signs and illness, but not enough to function optimally…in other words if you are chronically insufficient it will eventually create a disease or illness. However, if you are deficient, you are unwell on some level and you are brewing illness and trouble. This kind of trouble often becomes very expensive in terms of time, money, and suffering. Here is the news plus ... Read more

Health Update: Omega-3’s Protect and Feed the Brain

11.21.2022   Hello once again everyone: Here is some great news for brain health. Keeping your Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acid (EFA’s) intake optimal results in better brain function and protects us again age-related decline (Alzheimer’s and other forms of cognitive decline). This study is unique because it looks at this issue in middle aged people rather than older populations that are more frequently studied in relation to brain function and health. “Omega-3 fatty acid concentrations in red blood cells were linked with brain structure and cognitive function in midlife, an exploratory cross-sectional study showed. In about 2,200 people with an average age of 46, a higher omega-3 index was associated with a larger hippocampal volume (the memory center of the brain) and better abstract reasoning, according to Claudia Satizabal, PhD, of the University of Texas ... Read more

Health Update: Higher Dietary Inflammation Associated with Brain Aging

Hello to all: In a study from May of this year, we learn that the higher the dietary inflammatory index of the food we consume, the more our brain deteriorates. “Discussion Our findings showed associations between higher DII (Dietary Inflammatory Index) scores and global brain MRI measures. As we are one of the first groups to report on the associations between higher DII scores and brain volume, replication is needed to confirm our findings.” Bottom Line: Poor food choices will certainly destroy our brain, plus most other aspects of health. You might say, well, DUH, and that would be appropriate. However, currently the average citizen is consuming a bit over 50% of their daily calories from ultra-processed foods. Ugh. Want to know more? Read more

Health Update: For Longevity: More Healthy Carbs, Less Protein & Fasting!

Hello to everyone: Articles like this one are very helpful to reduce confusion about what to eat and when. Here are the main findings: “Recently, researchers reviewed hundreds of nutrition studies from cellular to epidemiological perspectives to identify a 'common denominator nutrition pattern' for healthy longevity. In the end, the researchers found that the ‘longevity diet’ includes:

  • A legume and whole grain-rich pescatarian or vegetarian diet
  • 30% of Read more

Nature Walks are Truly Healing More Than You Might Think

10.31.2022                  Hello everyone: We all have stress and many of us are looking for ways to lower stress and improve our health. It looks like walking does it again (please recall my last newsletter/blog) as now we know that it helps take us out of stress mode. Here is a little information to help clarify the quote from the article: The amygdala is primarily involved in the processing of emotions and memories associated with fear, in other words, the stress response also known as fight, flight or freeze. Here is the definition of salutogenic: a 'salutogenic' approach is one that focuses on factors that support health and wellbeing, beyond a more traditional, 'pathogenic' focus on risk and problems. This is the type of healthcare that we offer in our practice. Now as you read the quote below it becomes clear that going outside is an essential ... Read more

Health Update: Walking, the New Medicine to Reduce Dementia Risk 50%

Hello everyone: Here is a new bit of research on findings that are important to all of us. Some of the findings included:

  • People who took 9,826 steps per day were 50 percent less likely to develop dementia within seven years.
  • People who walked more than 40 steps per minute cut their dementia risk by 57 percent while walking only 6,315 steps per day. (This means walking quickly is best)
  • People who walked 3,800 steps per day at any speed cut their risk of dementia within seven years by 25 percent.
  • People who walked at the brisk pace of 112 steps per minute for 30 minutes per day reduced their risk of dementia by 62 percent. (Walking faster is more effective)
  • This research is the latest in a series of studies this year that promote exercise as a way to boost brain health.
  • Experts say you can also lower your risk of ... Read more

Children and Chronic Disease? Worse Than You Might Think!

10.17.2022                                    Hello again everyone: I found this information particularly disturbing for many obvious reasons. Why on earth would a child have a chronic condition? Let’s dig in: Over the last century, the primary burden of disease in children and young people has shifted from infectious diseases towards chronic conditions.1 Improvements in neonatal and pediatric care for chronic conditions mean more children with previously lethal conditions are now surviving into adulthood.2 3 Depending on the definition used, 13–27% of children are affected by chronic conditions.4        https://adc.bmj.com/content/archdischild/101/10/881.full.pdf The most natural question is: where is this coming from??? The answer, at least it seems this way ... Read more

Health Update: Ultra-Processed Foods Are Killing Us!

Hello again everyone:   More news about the disease – food connection. It is straightforward: “Regular consumption of ultra-processed foods was associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer, all-cause mortality, and cardiovascular mortality, according to findings from two studies published in The BMJ.” https://www.medpagetoday.com/gastroenterology/coloncancer/100495?xid=nl_mpt_DHE_2022-09-01&eun=g1207968d0r&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily%20Headlines%20Evening%202022-09-01&utm_term=NL_Daily_DHE_dual-gmail-definition “Consumption of ... Read more

Health Update: Round Up Causes Brain Inflammation (Really NOT Good!)

10.03.2022  Hello again everyone: Recently there has been a great deal of news in the medical press about pesticides and endocrine disrupting plastics and other chemicals. Over the next few weeks, I will be sending you a lot of links about this for several reasons:

  • It is real but invisible, tasteless, odorless, and damages us slowly but surely
  • Exposures are usually chronic and cumulative and build up in our tissues
  • These chemicals distort cellular, hormonal, immune and neurologic function
  • What you don’t know can hurt you, so take steps to reduce your exposure
  • You may think that you are not exposed to Round Up, but over 80% of us have detectable amounts in our urine. This info does apply to you!
In fresh evidence of the pervasive nature of pesticides, more than 80 percent of urine samples drawn ... Read more

Health Update: Artificial Sweeteners Harmless?? Ask Your Gut!!

09.26.22   Hello again everyone: Here is a new article that reveals how artificial sweeteners can damage our health. It appears that the artificial sweeteners alter our gut microbiome that then has a negative influence on blood sugar control which induces insulin resistance. This is not a good or health building result as insulin resistance causes or leads to: type 2 diabetes; weight gain; inflammation; cardiovascular disease; high blood pressure; kidney damage; nerve damage; dementia; brain fog and more. Here is what one study said: Results: The HOMAIR values for Group A and B ranged from 0.9–24.33 and 0.12–10.83 with mean values 7.39 and 2.6, respectively, showing that the ones who used AS had a higher insulin resistance. The study also showed that the duration of use of artificial sweeteners had a direct impact on insulin resistance. Read more

Health Update: The Western Diet is Killing Us!

9.19.2022 Hello once more everyone:  This is a very good article from Medscape.com that highlights how the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.), also known as the Western Diet, is just killing us. Here is what a noted gastroenterologist has to say: “The Western diet has really cannibalized the health of the United States and Western civilizations.  This diet is typically characterized by high intakes of processed and prepacked food items, red meat, dairy, and grains, consisting of high-fat, high-protein, and low-fiber components. These food items have become diets of convenience as opposed to diets potentially promoting health.  They've led to an associated increase in so-called "diseases of civilization," including cardiovascular diseaseRead more

Health Update: Multivitamins Slow Brain Aging (Prevents Other Diseases Too!)

9.12.2022 Hey there everyone: Here is some good news on a very simple way to protect your brain and cognitive health as we age. Just take a multivitamin, please! The underlying hypothesis for multivitamins being a benefit for cognition stems from evidence that essential nutrient deficiencies in B12, folate, vitamin D, and other micronutrients have been linked to accelerated cognitive decline and dementia in observational studies. But there have been few randomized trials of these micronutrients and they have mostly tested individual micronutrients and not a comprehensive multivitamin supplement. The one previous large-scale trial of a multivitamin supplement began cognitive testing 2-3 years into the intervention, so it wasn't a full test of the hypothesis.”  “They found that over the 3 years of treatment, participants who were randomized to ... Read more

Health Update: Dementia and Ultra-Processed Foods = Bad Idea

Hello all: Here is some newer research showing a link between brain health and food. A lot of might say…well…duh! However, the consumption of ultra-processed foods continues without slowing down. Way too many of us eat way too much ‘food like substances’ that substantially harm our brains and overall health. “Background: There has been a growing body of evidence associating consumption of ultra-processed foods (UPF) with adverse health outcomes including depression, cardiovascular disease, all-cause mortality. However, whether UPF are associated with dementia is unknown. The authors investigated the associations between UPF and dementia incidence in UK biobank. Conclusions: In this prospective cohort study, higher consumption of UPF was associated with higher risk of dementia, while substituting unprocessed or minimally processed foods for UPF was ... Read more

Health Update: Western Style Diet Induces Cancer

Hello again:  This paper goes over how a Western Style Diet can induce CRC (Colo-Rectal-Cancer) by altering the gut microbiome and creating systemic and local intestinal inflammation. The key things to note here are:

  • Diet can induce unfavorable changes in our microbiome
  • This leads to systemic inflammation
  • Chronic inflammation can cause, aggravate, or perpetuate diseases of all types
The article states the following highlights: "Our findings successfully linked Western-style diets with this (e. coli type) bacteria in colorectal cancer. Our study supports a hypothesis that Western-style diet can cause colorectal cancer via this bacteria,"  “Western-style diets, which are high in red and processed meat, sugar, and refined grains and low in vegetables and legumes, have been shown to induce systemic and ... Read more

Health Update: Inflammation and Your Heart and Vascular Health

Hello again everyone:  As you know, I pretty much constantly report that inflammation causes, aggravates, and perpetuates virtually all chronic health conditions, but I have never mentioned how it contributes to vascular damage and subsequent heart attacks or stroke. As you know, cardio-vascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in our country, and here is a paper that outlines it clearly. Although this paper is from 2007, it is remarkably up to date: “Inflammation plays a major role in all phases of atherosclerosis. Stable plaques are characterized by a chronic inflammatory infiltrate, whereas vulnerable and ruptured plaques are characterized by an “active” inflammation involved in the thinning of the fibrous cap, predisposing the plaque to rupture. Although a single vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque rupture may cause the event, there are many other types ... Read more

Health Update: Inflammation, Not Serotonin Levels…Linked to Depression

Hello again everyone: Here is some interesting news about depression. The study below found the following data: “The main areas of serotonin research provide no consistent evidence of there being an association between serotonin and depression, and no support for the hypothesis that depression is caused by lowered serotonin activity or concentrations. Some evidence was consistent with the possibility that long-term antidepressant use reduces serotonin concentration.”     https://www.nature.com/articles/s41380-022-01661-0 So, if it is NOT serotonin, then what do you think has been found to correlate with depression? Well, if you know my area of research, then you know the answer is: inflammation. Please recall that almost all inflammation is related to, caused, aggravated, or perpetuated by the ... Read more

Health Update: Round-Up Weedkiller Found in 80% of U.S. Citizens

8.8.2022  Hello everyone:  Here is more news that should make us all want to go organic: “In fresh evidence of the pervasive nature of pesticides, more than 80 percent of urine samples drawn from children and adults participating in a US health study contained a weedkilling chemical linked to cancer and other health problems. The June 30 report by a unit of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that out of 2,310 urine samples collected, 1,885 were laced with detectable traces of glyphosate, the active ingredient in herbicides sold around the world, including the widely used Roundup brand.”  There is some controversy about the main ingredient of Roundup called glyphosate, and how safe it is. Read the following and make up your ... Read more

Health Update: Stress Leads to Inflammation Which Leads to Illness

8.1.2022                 Hello everyone: If you have been reading my blogs over the past 10 years, you know that I repeatedly state that inflammation causes, perpetuates or aggravates every known human illness. There are fundamentally two types of inflammation: purposeful (acute) and non-purposeful (chronic). The first type is necessary and a natural component of our biochemistry and physiology. As a matter of fact, the first phase of healing is inflammatory as the signals generated by damaged tissue, infection, or altered chemistry will elicit molecular signaling that is needed to begin the healing process…and it is always inflammatory. However, under normal conditions this acute inflammation will wax and then wane. The damaged or malfunctioning or infected tissue will send out messengers that call the immune system to come clean things up. Then, as our immune cells ... Read more

Health Update: Exercise Turns Off Brain Inflammation

7.25.2022   Hello to one and all: Here is some useful information regarding why it is important to keep moving and exercise regularly and consistently. As it turns out, exercise is an anti-inflammatory natural medicine with wonderful effects on brain health and aging. Exercise does this by balancing or regulating the brain’s immune cells called microglia. These immune cells release a chemical messenger called cytokines which can be either pro or anti-inflammatory. Healthy signaling keeps the anti-inflammatory chemistry revved up, reduces brain inflammation, and helps the synapses function optimally. Too many pro-inflammatory cytokines can create neurodegeneration. Symptoms of brain inflammation include brain fog, anxiety, depression, memory loss, balance disorders, migraine and other headaches, vertigo, gut issues and more: Accumulating evidence indicates that ... Read more

Health Update: New Anti-Viral for your Natural Medicine Cabinet

7.18.22      Hello again one and all: I just reviewed multiple papers that outline the significant anti-viral effects of the natural substance called propolis. You may be aware that we offer this at our office, and it is called B. Immune Throat Spray from Beekeepers Naturals. I first learned of it at the start of the pandemic in March of 2020 and have recommended it ever since. It is important to note that while this is so promising, there have not been enough randomized trials on humans to recommend this as a standard treatment. That means that there is a strong rationale for using propolis as an adjunct to other/traditional care and that is how it’s use should be considered. Once you read the papers, I think you will agree. Here is some of the science: “Since propolis is nontoxic and practically without side effects, patients should ask for the medical recommendation ... Read more

Balance and Mortality Risk are Linked

July 11, 2022   Hello again everyone: This research supports previous investigations that revealed that poor one-legged standing time as a measure of postural instability, is associated with cognitive decline as well as asymptomatic vascular damage in the brain. Here is how they figured this out: Introduction Ageing is associated with a progressive decline in physical fitnessRead more

Health Update: Vit. D, Brain Health, and Dementia Risk

July 4, 2022      Hello and Happy Independence Day to everyone: Yes, it is so good to be independent…and if we want to stay that way and not be put into a memory care facility as we age then we need to keep our Vitamin D levels up. This research article that was recently published revealed that those with Vitamin D deficiency had a significantly increased risk of dementia. First, we already know that Vitamin D has known beneficial effects on brain health, immune function and keeping inflammation in check. Second, does this have any effect on our risk of dementia? Conclusions Low vitamin D status was associated with neuroimaging outcomes and the risks of dementia and stroke even after extensive covariate adjustment. MR analyses support a causal effect of vitamin D deficiency on dementia but not on stroke risk. Read more

Health Update: Strength, Cognition and Dementia Risk

6.27.2022   Hello again to everyone: Here is some more information about how our brain and body are connected. I have written previously that muscle mass/strength is the most sensitive biomarker for how well we will be as we age. The more muscle mass that we carry into our older years, the better…especially for our brains! In this new research article, they asked the question: Is reduced muscle strength, as measured by handgrip strength, associated with higher risk of dementia, poorer neuroimaging outcomes, and reduced cognition in both men and women?” And the answer was: Findings:  This cohort study of 190 406 adults in the United Kingdom found associations for both men and women across multiple outcomes and with multiple adjustment strategies. Handgrip strength was associated with fluid intelligence, prospective memory, and dementia ... Read more

Health Update: Social Isolation and Loneliness Up Dementia Risk

Hello again everyone:  This is a topic that I covered before, however, it is really very relevant today because of how the pandemic has forced many of us into socially isolated situations. It turns out that…guess what…social isolation and loneliness result in an increased burden of inflammation. “Social isolation was linked with lower volume in brain areas related to cognition and associated with a higher risk of subsequent dementia as well, a longitudinal study showed. Recent research has shown that lonely older adults who otherwise would be expected to have relatively low risk had a threefold greater risk of dementia than those who weren't lonely. Midlife loneliness also has been tied to late-life dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Few ... Read more

Health Update: Don’t Miss Your Chance to Prevent Dementia!

6.13.22  Hello everyone:  Yes, you read that headline correctly…now mainstream medicine is recognizing that our lifestyle is a primary driver of dementia and that many potential cases of brain degeneration may be preventable. Over 10% of surveyed adults reported some level of cognitive decline, a serious indicator of future dementia risk. It is becoming more widely recognized that there is not a single cause of dementia, but that brain degeneration is driven by inflammation that has multiple causes and drivers that lead from subjective cognitive decline to full on dementia. I have included so many links to show how there is an emerging a consensus about how brain and body health are totally inter-related :  “Nearly half of all US adults aged 45 and older have modifiable risk factors for Read more

Health Update: Health Risks of Non-Stick Chemicals (They are everywhere!)

Hello once again: Here is more data on a class of ‘forever’ chemicals that we are exposed to daily. It is worth knowing about them so that you can avoid them. “PFAS are a family of over 9,000 chemicals with many industrial uses that offer water- and stain-resistant, adding flame retardant and chemical stability properties to textiles. They are also found in contaminated drinking water, fast foods, personal care and cosmetic products, and some non-stick cookware. These PFAS accumulate in tissues in the body and are associated with compromised liver, thyroid, kidney, and reproductive health, and an increased risk of testicular and kidney cancers. The abundance of PFAS makes them difficult to avoid, but choosing PFAS-free food packages, filtering drinking water, avoiding stain- and water-resistant coatings and makeup, and limiting highly processed foods may reduce exposure ... Read more

Health Update: Anti-Inflammatory Drugs May Prolong Pain

Hello everyone: Here is some news that has been known for quite some time and is now making headlines once again. The following quote sums it up quite nicely: “A new study questions the conventional wisdom of using steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen to treat low back pain if exercise and other non-drug therapies don't work right away. Those medications offer relief from acute pain but may actually increase a person's chances of developing chronic pain, said the study published in Science Translational Medicine. The study indicates that inflammation is a normal ... Read more

Health Update: Inflammatory Foods Shrink Your Brain…For Real!!

Hello once again everyone: This is definitely news you can use. Diets high in inflammatory foods were linked with global markers of brain aging, brain shrinkage, and cerebral small vessel disease on MRI, a cross-sectional study showed. "Systemic inflammatory processes in the body, including the brain, can be influenced by diet, leading to its important contributory role in brain aging," the researchers observed. "In our study we found evidence of an association between DII (Dietary Inflammatory Index) scores and global markers of brain volumes and vascular brain injury, which are early markers of dementia," they wrote. "Moreover, previous studies have shown associations between the DII and risk factors of dementia. Our findings indicate potential for prevention by dietary modification." Read more

Health Update: Inflammation from Energy Surplus…Say What?

Hello everyone: This is a very intriguing paper on a subject that affects 75% of us and that is the balance of essential fatty acids in our diet. It turns out that the modern dietary changes (which refers to an increase in processed foods loaded with damaged Omega-6 oils and reduced Omega-3’s) alter cellular communications. This translates to reveal that an imbalance in, and/or an excess of nutrients is a form of metabolic stress that leads to negative alterations in the immune system that leads to chronic inflammation and further abnormal function. Gradually this chronic overload of food energy expands fat tissue that leads to oxygen stress and negative alterations in immune function. In our country, there is a profound shift in consumption of greater and greater amounts of saturated and Omega-6 fats, and lower and lower amounts of Omega-3 fats. This in turn results in the ... Read more

Health Update: Vagus Nerve and Long-Covid

Hello everyone: The first link in this blog is a 1-page read from Medscape and highlights several important considerations for those with Long-Covid symptoms. It goes over why these symptoms are from how the virus has damaged the vagus nerve. As a practicing functional neurologist this article caught my eye. We have seen that inexpensive non-invasive transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS) is often very helpful in the recovery of post-virus long-haulers with vagus nerve symptoms and now the information is growing and important to share. “Feb. 15, 2022 -- Several long COVID symptoms could be linked to the effects of the coronavirus on a vital central nerve, according to Read more