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

When to Eat is as Important as What to Eat: Simple Rules to Follow

Hello everyone:  The good news is that all of us have probably heard that the pandemic phase of Covid has ended. Lockdowns and working from home have caused a significant number of sub-optimal issues with food that have resulted in poor health outcomes. But now we can move on…and one important strategy that is easy to implement is meal timing. As it turns out, when we eat is as important as what we eat. There is more and more evidence to support this finding as reported in the research literature and why this is so important: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0748730419892105 “When your biological clocks are out of sync with the environment, health can be negatively affected. For example, we know that the body expects to use certain kinds of fuel (i.e., fat, sugar) at specific times of ... Read more

Covid-19 & Health Update: Brain Loss Begins 30 Years Before Symptoms

Hello again everyone: As you know from previous blogs, inflammation causes, perpetuates, or aggravates every known human chronic condition…from brain health to immune capabilities. Thus, it is important to consider that the early signs of Alzheimer’s can begin as early as 30 years before being diagnosed. Did you know that AD (Alzheimer’s Disease) has some estimating that it is the third leading cause of death…or that half of those that reach 85 will have dementia? If you are a baby boomer, your rates are expected to triple? AD is known to have a significant inflammatory component that has multiple drivers that at some point are mediated through the immune system. As you know, as of today there is no official treatment for AD. We know a lot about it, and the area that has the greatest success has been shown to be functional medicine approaches. These are comprehensive lifestyle ... Read more

Covid-19 & Health Update: Inflammatory Foods Increase Dementia Risk

Hello everyone:  As you know, I have consistently said that inflammation causes, perpetuates, or aggravates every known human ailment, and that includes dementias of all types. Previous blogs have directed you to lists of pro or anti-inflammatory foods, cookbooks, supplements and more to allow you to get in on the ground floor of this anti-inflammatory movement. Now we can add that as part of a comprehensive individualized protocol, the anti-inflammatory food plan is a definite must. Background and Objectives:                Aging is characterized by a functional shift of the immune system toward a proinflammatory phenotype. This derangement has been associated with cognitive decline and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of dementia. Diet can modulate systemic inflammation; thus, it may be a valuable tool to counteract the associated risk for cognitive ... Read more

Covid-19 & Health Update: Pesticides Prematurely Age Immune Function

Hello again: Here we share some information that chronic exposure to multiple low-level pesticides (which mimics real life) results in a prematurely aged, unbalanced and inefficient immune system. These articles acknowledge that “The general population is chronically exposed to multiple environmental contaminants such as pesticides. We have previously demonstrated that human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) exposed in vitro to low doses of a mixture of seven common pesticides showed a permanent phenotype modification with a specific induction of an oxidative stress-related senescence. (premature aging and thus immune-incompetent).” They went on to conclude: “Our results show common characteristics of an aged tissue induced by exposure to a mixture of pesticides, long culture and to some extent MSCs from aging donor, suggesting that accelerated cellular ... Read more

Covid-10 & Health Information: Updates on Sleep, Belly Fat and Alcohol

Hello everyone:  I got a lot of feedback regarding my last blogs on sleep and alcohol, so just to give some pushback to the pushback I received, I want to share these two articles with you. Here are the fundamentals: Even very light alcohol intake is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease compared with not drinking at all, and the risk increases exponentially as alcohol intake rises, even at moderate levels, a new study shows. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2790520 A controlled study of sleep-deprived young adults has provided the first causal evidence linking the lack of sleep to abdominal obesity and harmful visceral, or ... Read more

Covid-19 & Health Update: Sweeteners & Immune Dysfunction & Cancer

Hello everyone: The good news is that Spring is here and it is always a great time for renewal and upgrading of healthy habits. One ‘habit’ that we should all ditch are artificial sweeteners, and this includes Stevia. Here are the highlights for the problems associated with consumption of artificial sweeteners: ·      Weight gain ·      Intestinal inflammation ·      Alteration of the gut microbiome (in a bad way) ·      Imbalanced immune functions: increases inflammation & decreases defense ·      Causes or contributes to significant increased cancer risk ·      Increases cravings for sweet/bad carb consumption ·      Alters hormonal functions, such as insulin Bottom Line: There does not appear to be any upside to using artificial sweeteners, so simply avoid them. Do not replace them by consuming more ‘natural’ sweeteners like fructose, or table sugar ... Read more

Covid-19 & Health Update: Sleep, Immunity, and the Pandemic

Hello everyone:  Sleep is an important topic for all of us during these stressful times at home and abroad. This is really an enormously important issue for most of us. The first link below shows how a lack of quality sleep ignites the fight or flight response in us all night and why this can be very detrimental to your health. The second link shows how sleep is critically related to immune function. Here are some quotes: “Sleep and the circadian system are strong regulators of immunological processes. The basis of this influence is a bidirectional communication between the central nervous and immune system which is mediated by shared signals (neurotransmitters, hormones, and cytokines) and direct innervations of the immune system by the autonomic nervous system (vagus nerve). Many immune functions display prominent rhythms in synchrony with the regular 24-h ... Read more

Covid-19 & Health Update: Fiber, Gut and Brain Immune Connection

Hello everyone:  A new study has revealed that a diet with higher fiber intake, and one that has a lot of soluble fiber, is now linked to a lower incidence of disabling dementia…25% lower risk which is very consequential. How does that work? It turns out than higher fiber feeds the gut bacteria which then positively enhances brain neuroplasticity and brain function. For example: our gut bacteria convert some fibers into short chain fatty acids (butyrate, acetate and proprionate) which not only mend our gut lining (reduce leaky gut) but also downregulate inflammation via immune mechanisms as well as assist with the creation of BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor) to enhance brain function, maintenance, and development. Please note that this new information supports previous blogs about how to reduce inflammation and upregulate/balance the immune system via a plant-based ... Read more

Covid-19 & Health Update: FAQs about Alcohol Consumption

Hello everyone: I get this question a lot: can I still drink some wine or alcohol while on this food plan to reduce inflammation, heal my gut, detox my body etc.? The short answer is…no. For some this is hard to hear, so I pulled together some links to share with you that you can check out for yourself…but research is now showing that literally no amount of alcohol is beneficial. Anyone who reads my blogs knows that inflammation causes, perpetuates, or aggravates ALL human ailments…every single one including immune suppression (not a good thing to have in a pandemic), aging, dementia, fatigue, fogginess, cancer, depression, anxiety, allergies, gut problems, stress, nutrient deficiencies, insomnia, arthritis, digestion problems, and especially leaky gut…etc., etc. It turns out that alcohol consumption, even the amount in only ½ of a beer will induce health damaging inflammation. ... Read more

Covid-19 & Health Update: Chronic Stress = Inflammation & Illness

Hello again everyone: Stress is an inevitable part of life, and we do need some stress to function optimally. Without any stress we would atrophy and wither across all of our systems including muscular, bone, brain, heart, immune etc. However, too much stress for too long is degenerative across all systems as well. We can measure our stress response to see if it is normal by looking at the normal ups and downs of the primary stress hormone, cortisol. This hormone is highest in the morning and lowest at night. When this normal up and down curve happens, researchers find we have the fewest health problems…yet when the curve is flattened or reversed, we have the most health problems. Highlights

  • Meta-analysis shows flatter diurnal cortisol slopes are associated with worse health
  • Results are significant for 10 out of 12 health outcomes and across multiple age ... Read more

Covid-19 & Health Update: Food as Medicine Gains Momentum

Hello again:  If you have read my blog posts in the past, you will see that I will frequently say that inflammation causes, perpetuates, or aggravates virtually every human ailment. I also go on to elaborate on the primary causes of inflammation, such as latent or active infection, gut dysbiosis, toxin exposure, stress chemistry, allergies, dental health issues, detoxification pathway problems, air pollution and more…but the greatest single contributor is the diet. The foods we choose to eat can either help us keep a balance between purposeful and non-purposeful inflammation or create massive inflammation that leads to illness of all types. When we are in a state of chronic low-grade inflammation, it is like we have placed our body into a slow cooker Crock Pot to let it simmer till it falls apart. It turns out that food choices really turn up the heat on the cooking process. Here ... Read more

Covid-19 & Health Update: Diet Lowers Risk of Moderate to Severe Covid

Hello everyone and Happy Valentine’s Day! Here is some great news that shows that diet can be an effective strategy to reduce the risk of moderate to severe Covid infection. Many people know that the level of comorbidities that we carry can significantly increase our risk of severity and death from SARS-CoV2 infection and illness. Few know that 80% of those comorbidities are a direct cause of food choices and thus if we upgrade our food choices, we not only can reduce our comorbidities, but we can also reduce our risk of progressing into moderate to severe Covid infection. Here is what the researchers have to say: What This Paper Adds:  In 2884 front-line healthcare workers from six countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, USA), individuals who reported following plant-based diets and plant-based diets or pescatarian diets that were higher in vegetables, legumes, and nuts, ... Read more

Covid-19 & health Update: Long-Covid Reduced with Probiotics

Hello everyone: Data shows that over 50% of those with Covid-19 who were hospitalized are now suffering with Long-Covid symptoms such as fatigue, fog, muscle aches and fatigue, and cognitive disturbances or fog. There is also the issue that post-Covid can cause the re-emergence of old infection issues like Epstein-Barr (mono), shingles, and Lyme’s. So, anything that can help has the potential to assist a lot of our community as about 30% of those that had Covid who were not hospitalized are reporting some Long-Covid issues. Here is a hopeful article demonstrating how probiotics and systemic enzymes can help to alleviate some symptoms to some degree. “This study demonstrates that a 14 days supplementation of ImmunoSEB + ProbioSEB CSC3 resolves post-COVID-19 fatigue. The proposed supplement regimen significantly reduces the burden of both, physical and mental fatigue and is ... Read more

Covid-19 & Health Update: Exercise, Inflammation, Immunity and Goldilocks

Hello again everyone: The title of this blog refers to the fact that just the right amount of exercise will boost the immune system and that too much exercise can be immune-suppressive. In other words, we need to get it right especially during this pandemic. There are many articles on this phenomenon so here are a few quotes from these two links: During exercise, no matter acute or chronic, there exists a marked difference in the circulating levels of immune cells and other factors that have immunomodulatory effects by influencing leukocyte (white blood cells) trafficking and functions. The effects of exercise on the normal functioning of the immune system have been widely agreed to be profound.  Data accumulated from preclinical experiments have demonstrated that exercise can directly regulate the immune system and has the potential to indirectly regulate ... Read more

Covid-19 & Health Update: Exercise as Medicine During the Pandemic

Hello again friends:  As I recover from Covid, I had some time to think about what I might have done differently regarding prevention and recovery strategies. As a normal part of my lifestyle, I routinely perform around 4 hours of yoga every week. After doing a bit of research, I think I will add a bit more exercise. Here is why I think that this information is critical for all of us, and especially those of us over 50 as this demographic was the hardest hit by Covid-19 and its variants: “Physical exercise is seen as the main ally for health promotion, preventing and protecting the organism from several diseases. Additionally, it is well-established that the practice of physical exercise is essential for well-being in the elderly population.   Recently, the world population started the confrontation against (COVID-19), which today is the most significant ... Read more