Varicose Veins

VARICOSE VEINS - Natural Support For This Unsightly Condition
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Dr. Myatt’s Up and At ‘Em formula

Description- A Superior “senior” herb formula with ginkgo, hypericum & ginseng. High-potency liquid tincture. For depression, age-related memory changes, erectile dysfunction.

Contains: Ginkgo biloba, Hypericum, (St. John’s Wort) Eleutherococcus senticosis (Siberian ginseng).

Suggested dose 60-80 drops, 2-4 times per day. Must be used for at least 3 weeks before results become apparent.

 

 

STROKE / thrombosis / phlebitis


Natural Prevention Strategies

Stroke

The term “stroke” refers to a cerebrovascular accident (CVA) where the brain is deprived of oxygen due to blood vessel blockage (80% of strokes) OR  the rupture of a blood vessel which causes bleeding in the brain (20% of strokes). Either of these events deprives areas of the brain of oxygen and can lead to neurological damage. A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a similar, smaller event, resolving in minutes to hours and without permanent damage. Recurrent TIA’s often precede a true stroke, and the causes of both are the same. Stroke (Cerebrovascular disease) is the most common cause of neurologic disability in Western countries.

Twenty percent of strokes are hemorrhagic, resulting from the rupture of a cerebral artery. Causes of hemorrhagic stroke include hypertension, aneurysm, blood vessel defects (inborn) and excess blood-thinning medication.

The remaining eighty percent of strokes are due to blockages resulting from emboli (a clump of blood cells or atherosclerotic plaque) in a cranial artery. Causes of infarct stroke are atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, excess blood-clotting factors (see “conditions predisposing to blood clot formation,” below), blood turbulence (due to arrhythmias, heart valve defects, arteriovenous malformation, and atherosclerosis), diabetes, and vascular inflammation.

A far lesser number of strokes may be due solely to lack of oxygen without a blockage, usually due to sympathomimetic drugs (cocaine, amphetamine), arterial compression caused by bone spurs, or circulatory insufficiency due to decreased overall circulation.

Thrombosis

“Thrombosis” refers to a blood clot that develops in a blood vessel. It is one of the leading causes of death in the Western world.

If a thrombosis forms in a coronary artery, a myocardial infarction may result. When thromboses form in the brain, the resultant oxygen deprivation may result in TIA or stroke. An emboli occurs when a clot breaks free and travels to other parts of the body. If an emboli reaches the brain, again, stroke may occur. Thromboses and emboli can also cause serious damage to lungs, kidneys — in fact, virtually any organ.

Phlebitis / Thrombophlebitis

“Thrombophlebitis,” or deep venous thrombosis (DVT) is the most common presenting vein disorder. Most vein clots begin in the valves of deep calf veins. Tissue substances are released that in turn form clumps of red blood cells (RBC’s). If these clumped blood cells remain in the leg or elsewhere, they cause redness, swelling, and pain. If they dislodge and travel to the brain, they can cause a stroke.

Causes of venous thrombosis include:

  1. Blood vessel lining injury (caused by catheters, septic phlebitis, injection of irritating substances, trauma).
  2. Excess blood clotting (due to malignant tumors, blood cell abnormalities, oral contraceptives and inflammation).
  3. Slowed blood flow (varicose veins, prolonged bed rest, heart failure, dependent immobilization of the legs such as occurs during car or air travel).

Factors which can cause blood clots

Specifically, any one of the following conditions may predispose to blood clot formation:

  • elevated homocysteine levels
  • oxidized LDL cholesterol levels
  • platelet activating factor (PAF)
  • elevated fibrinogen
  • elevated thromboxane A2, prostaglandin E2, lipooxygenase, cyclooxygenase
  • free-radical induced platelet aggregation
  • thrombin activating factor
  • deficiency of tissue-plasminogen activator (tPA)
  • increased blood viscosity
  • increased platelet count
  • increased red blood cell kinase activity
  • inflammation of the arterial wall
  • atherosclerotic plaque
  • elevated triglycerides
  • increased platelet adhesion
  • collagen-induced platelet adhesion
  • arachidonic acid-induced platelet aggregation
  • adenosine-induced platelet aggregation
  • epinephrine-induced platelet aggregation
  • serotonin-induced platelet aggregation
  • antigen-antibody reactions

Fibrin thrombi can be prevented by conventional anticoagulant therapy (heparin or coumarin / coumadin / warfarin compounds), but platelet aggregation is not inhibited by these agents. (Merck Manual p. 586). It is estimated that only 1/3 of all causative agents of thrombosis are blocked by the administration of conventional blood thinning drugs.

Treatment Considerations

Treatment of the underlying cause of thrombosis, and phlebitis which results in thrombosis, are the mainstays of prevention of stroke occurrence and reoccurrence. High blood pressure, high cholesterol (especially with low HDL- the “good” cholesterol), excessive blood clotting (“blood sludge”), and atherosclerosis should be addressed as indicated.  Because of the many and varied causes of thrombosis, a multi-faceted approach to anticoagulation and blood viscosity normalization is surer than conventional anticoagulant (coumadin) therapy alone.

Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations

  • Diet: eat a nutritious diet high in nutrient-rich foods. Plant foods contain phytonutrients which help prevent blood from clotting abnormally.
  • Achieve and maintain a normal weight.
  • Exercise regularly. 30 minutes, 3 times per week minimum.
  • Don’t smoke! Smoking irritates the blood vessel lining and such irritation initiates a chain of events that cause blood to clump.
  • Drink 64 ounces of pure water daily. Dehydration causes blood vessel irritation and can predispose to abnormal blood clotting.

Primary Support

  • Maxi Multi: 3 caps, 3 times per day with meals. Optimal (not minimal) doses of antioxidant nutrients (vitamin A, beta carotene, C, E, zinc, selenium), B6, B12, folic acid, bioflavonoids and magnesium are especially important. Magnesium helps prevent high blood pressure, a cause of stroke.    
  • Omega 3 fatty acids: the anti-inflammatory action of Omega-3’s helps prevent blood vessel irritation.
    Flax seed meal, 2 teaspoons per day with food
    OR
    Flax seed capsules
    : 2-4 caps, 3 times per day (target dose range: 6-12 caps per day)
    OR
    Flax seed oil

    : 1 tablespoon per day
    OR

    Max EPA (Omega-3 rich fish oil): 1-2 caps, 3 times per day with meals (target dose: 3-6 caps per day).

  • MAXI-GREENS: 3 caps, 3 times per day. Maxi greens contains a spectrum of the herbs known to maintain  normal blood viscosity. (grape seed, ginkgo, bilberry, green tea).

Additional Support

(Treat known risk factors. Consult an alternative medicine physician for further assistance):

High Cholesterol or Triglyceride levels:

Diabetes (which predisposes to atherosclerosis):

  • Follow additional recommendations for Diabetes

Atherosclerosis:

High fibrinogen:

High homocysteine levels:

  • B6, B12 and folic acid. (NOTE: Maxi Multi contains optimal doses of these nutrients. Take additional B6, B12 and folic acid only if you are not taking Maxi Multi, MyPacks or the equivalent).

High ferritin (storage iron):

  • Vitamin C: 5,000 mg per day in divided doses.
  • Grape seed extract: 150 mg per day. 

Primary Materia Medica for Stroke Prevention

(Professional descriptions follow. For laymen description of these same herbs, please refer to Twelve Important Herbs to Know )

The following list represents the most well-researched herbs for stroke prevention:

Garlic Allium sativa

Garlic is one of the most important cardiovascular botanicals and best documented blood-thinning agents.  It protects against collagen-induced, arachidonic acid-induced, ADP-induced, and epinephrine-induced platelet aggregation. Garlic inhibits cyclooxygenase and lipooxygenase-induced thromboxane A2 synthesis. Clinical studies have also documented garlic’s effectiveness in treating many factors involved in atherosclerosis, including high blood pressure, high LDL-cholesterol, and high triglycerides. Garlic decreases platelet aggregation while simultaneously increasing HDL cholesterol and fibrinolysis.

Ginkgo Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo exerts considerable effect on platelet aggregation, adhesion and degranulation. Specifically, ginkgo inhibits platelet activating factor (PAF) and reduces platelet aggregation induced by ADP, collagen, and arachidonic acid. It has membrane-stabilizing, antioxidant and free radical scavenging effects, and improves blood flow, oxygen and glucose utilization in the brain. Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) stimulates endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF) and prostacycline.  In animal studies, GBE has shown to stimulate nerve cell regeneration, making it potentially useful both for stroke prevention and post-stroke treatment.

Turmeric Curcuma longa

Curcumin, the yellow pigment of Curcuma longa, has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It inhibits platelet aggregation by inhibiting thromboxanes and leukotrienes and promoting the formation of prostacycline.

<Bromelain Anasas comosus

Bromelain is a mixture of enzymes found primarily in the stem of the pineapple plant. It exerts antiinflammatory effects by inhibition of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins. Bromelain blocks production of kinnins and possesses fibrinolytic activity secondary to plasminogen activator, which may also account for the anti-metastatic properties seen in vivo.

Bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus

The flavonoids in Bilberry, specifically anthocyanosides, promote prostacycline production and inhibit platelet aggregation in a manner similar to ginkgo. The potent antioxidant effects seen in this herb stabilize the vascular system and are therefore useful in treating capillary fragility, venous insufficiency, and varicose veins.

Grape Seed Vitus vinifera

Oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPC’s) from grape seed and other species, such as Landis’ pine, is one of the most potent antioxidants known. OPC’s trap reactive oxygen species including hydroxyl radicals, peroxyl radicals, and lipid radicals; they also delay the breakdown phase of lipid peroxidation. OPC’s inhibit platelet aggregation in part by raising cGMP levels and protecting against epinephrine renewed cyclic flow reductions. In addition, OPC’s inhibit certain proteolytic enzymes, including collagenase, elastase, beta-glucuronidase and hyaluronidase which can damage the extracellular matrix surrounding capillary walls. This makes OPC’s a useful choice for improving vascular fragility and peripheral vascular insufficiency which can lead to thrombophlebitis.

OSTEOPOROSIS


Prevent or Reverse the “Bone Thinning Disease”

Osteoporosis means, literally, “porous bone.” It is a bone-thinning disease that affects an estimated 28 million Americans. Osteoporosis is called a “silent” disease because it comes on with few or no symptoms. Often, a fall resulting in a fracture is the first evidence of weakened bones. Other symptoms and signs of osteoporosis include a decrease in height, spontaneous hip or vertebrae fractures, and back pain.

In elderly women, complications from hip fracture that result in death are far more common than death from breast cancer, yet few people realize the potential seriousness of this condition. Although osteoporosis is more common in post-menopausal women, it also occurs in younger women, men, and in all age groups. White and Asian women are at greatest risk because their bones tend to be less dense to begin with.

What Causes Osteoporosis?

There are a number of factors that can be involved in the development of osteoporosis. These include:

  • Lack of vitamins and minerals. Osteoporosis is caused by a demineralization of bone. Although calcium is one of the major bone minerals, there are a number or other minerals found in normal bone. These include boron, copper, magnesium, manganese, silicon, strontium and zinc. Vitamins B6, K, D, C and folic acid are also needed for normal bone mineralization. A deficiency of any of these can accelerate bone loss.
  • Gastric acid or digestive enzyme deficiency. Hydrochloric acid (gastric acid) and digestive enzymes are necessary for the assimilation of minerals, yet more than half of the general population over age 60 is deficient in one or both of these digestive functions. A gastric acid self-test is indicated for anyone with osteoporosis regardless of age.
  • Lack of physical activity. Exercise that stresses bone causes an uptake of minerals. Conversely, immobility leads to a demineralization of bone. Exercise alone has been shown to increase bone mineral density.
  • Dietary factors. Certain dietary factors can hasten the loss of minerals from bone. These factors include diet high in sugar and starch, excess phosphorus in the diet (as found in soda pop, processed foods, and meat), excess alcohol consumption, and possibly excess caffeine consumption (more than two cups per day).
  • Cigarette smoking.
  • Certain drugs, especially adrenal steroids (cortisone and prednisone).
  • Heavy metal toxicity. Certain heavy metals, which may be introduced into the body through cigarette smoke, drinking water, and a number of other sources, can trigger demineralization of bone by displacing the normal bone minerals. A hair mineral analysis is accurate for evaluating toxic mineral levels. Because there is substantial evidence that fluoride found in drinking water and toothpaste contributes to destruction of bone, use of pure (non fluoridated) water and alternative toothpaste is highly advisable.
  • Stress. Perhaps because perceived stress changes digestive and assimilative abilities, although the exact mechanism is unclear. Stress also increases adrenal steroid hormone output, see factor # 6 above.
  • Sex hormone imbalance. Alterations or decline in sex hormones, including estrogens, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA are significant factors in bone demineralization in both men and women.
    A female hormone profile or male hormone profile should be performed to evaluate potential sex hormone deficiencies and imbalances, especially in those over age 40.
  • Food allergies. When a person is allergic or intolerant to a food, they are unable to digest it completely. Incompletely digested food plus  possible antibodies created by food reactions damage the villi of the duodenum (the finger-like projections of the intestine that are vital for the absorption of nutrients). This reduces the amount of nutrients that are absorbed into the bloodstream.

    Which nutrients are most effected? Calcium, iron, iodine, all B complex vitamins, vitamin C, most water-soluble vitamins, and most of the trace minerals such as zinc, boron, manganese and magnesium— many of the same vitamins and minerals necessary for bone health.

  • Other factors. These include genetic predisposition and various disease states.

What About The New Drugs for Osteoporosis?

A new class of drugs, the bisphosphonates, cause a bone-rebuilding response that is 5% greater than placebo in most women who use them. For some, this is enough of an effect to help prevent fracture. For others, the drugs alone are insufficient to prevent consequences of osteoporosis. Bisphosphonates have side-effects that can be problematic, including GERD (heartburn), diarrhea and immune suppression (one side effect that is rarely mentioned). Their best use appears to be in cases of cancer, to prevent bone destruction.

Read “The Ugly Truth About Bone-Building Drugs” here

Obviously, osteoporosis is not caused by a bisphosphonate deficiency! There are, however, ways to reverse osteoporosis. This is because bone is a living, growing tissue, not a static material as some people wrongly believe. I recommend consultation with myself or another holistic physician for evaluation and recommendations for preventing or reversing osteoporosis. When the potential causes (as listed above) are carefully evaluated and discovered, osteoporosis can be halted and even reversed through non-drug methods.

Diet And Lifestyle Recommendations

  • Eat a nutritious diet. Emphasize soy products, nonfat yogurt and milk, and green leafy vegetables.
  • Avoid soda pop (“pop is slop”) and use alcohol and coffee in moderation if at all.
  • Exercise regularly, especially weight-bearing exercise. Walking and running are some of the best exercises for increasing bone strength.

Primary Support

  • Maxi Multi: 3 caps, 3 times per day with meals. Optimal doses (not minimal doses) of B complex vitamins, C, D, K, calcium, magnesium, vanadium, zinc, and boron are particularly important for strong bones. A “once per day” vitamin supplement does not supply anything close to an optimal daily dose of the necessary bone nutrients.
  • Cal-Mag Amino: Post-menopausal females take 1 cap, 3 times per day with meals in addition to the 1,000:500 mg from Maxi Multi. (Target: 1200-1500 mg/day calcium, 500-800 mg/day magnesium for post-menopausal women. Men and peri-menopausal females get sufficient calcium/magnesium/boron from Maxi Multi).
  • Strontium: 1 capsule, 1-2 times per day with or between meals (take separately from calcium).  One capsule per day is advised for prevention, 2 caps per day for those at high risk of osteoporosis or in already-established cases of osteoporosis. NOTE: Maxi Multi does not contain strontium. There is evidence that strontium should be taken away from calcium and magnesium for best absorption.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D increases calcium absorption. Deficiencies of Vitamin D are associated with cancer, osteoporosis, rheumatic pains, and dental disease. Please learn more in our Vitamin D Special Report. Daily adult dose range: 800-2,000 IU. Doses as high as 10,000 IU may be needed to normalize vitamin D levels. Vitamin D testing is easy and convenient and inexpensive – find Vitamin D tests here.
  • Vitamin K2: a blood clotting factor, it is also important in bone formation. Major deficiency associations include osteoporosis. The optimal adult dose range is 45 to 65 mcg. Vitamin K2 helps to direct calcium to the bone and out of blood vessel wall plaques.

Additional Support

  • Follow the recommendations for menopause if you are a peri-or post-menopausal female, or for male menopause if you are a male.

Dr. Myatt’s Comment

If you have already been diagnosed with osteoporosis, it is best to consult an alternative medicine physician who can order a hormone profile test, evaluate risk factors, and get you on a precise program for bone-remineralization.  Osteoporosis is a reversible condition when treated correctly. Natural hormone replacement therapy is safe and effective for aiding bone loss but must be conducted with a physician’s guidance.

PSA CAPSULES (formerly called Prostate Support)


A PC-SPES-Like Herbal Formula for Prostate Cancer

Prostate Support – now called PSA Capsules – contains a combination of herbs that support the prostate gland and immune system in the presence of prostate cancer. This formula is similar to “PC-SPES” without the undisclosed drugs.

Suggested dose: 1-2 capsules, 3 times per day on an empty stomach.

Dr. Myatt’s comment: It is important to work with a skilled holistic physician when treating any form of cancer.

Each (two) capsules contain:
(Please Note: Due to variances in the processing of these herbs, actual mg amounts may vary slightly)

Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum)………..172 mg
Baikal skullcap root (Scutellaria baicalensis)…..146 mg
Rabdosia root (Rabdosia rubescens) …………….120 mg
San-Qi ginseng root (Panax notoginseng)……….112 mg
Ban Lan Gen root (AKA Dyer’s Woad root)
(Isatis indigotica)…………………………………………………94 mg
Mum flower (Dendranthema morifolium) …………..78 mg
Saw Palmetto berry (Serenoa repens)……………….70 mg
Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)…………………………70 mg

NOTE: This product is only available to Dr. Myatt’s private practice patients.

The Truth about PC-SPES

The product PC SPES worked well for many men. Unfortunately, it contained a number of undisclosed drugs which not only caused some undesirable side effects such as breast enlargement and tenderness, but also side effects that could be downright dangerous, even lethal. When tested, PC-SPES was found to contain diethylstilbesterol (DES), a synthetic form of the female hormone estrogen. This compound can cause a number of negative side effects, the most significant of which is blood clotting which can lead to cardiovascular events including heart attach and stroke, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE).

Another compound found in PC-SPES was Warfarin (aka “rat poison”) – a powerful blood thinner presumably included to counter the potential blood clotting effects of the DES. Finally, the drug Indomethacin (Indocid) – a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID)- was found. This drug has the potential to cause severe gastrointestinal side effects such as GI bleeding, ulceration and blood clotting problems.

It is believed that the great success of PC Spes was due to the undisclosed DES (female hormone). As many have noted, men would vary the dose to achieve the best  effect – from one or two to as many as a dozen capsules per day. This exposed men to potentially very dangerous levels of the other undisclosed drugs in addition to high hormone levels.

I am including a link to a very informative paper on this subject, an essay by Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland, Oregon

ITM Online

Dr. Myatt’s product Prostate Support is the result of Dr. Myatt’s suspicions about the product PC Spes and her analysis of it which demonstrated the undisclosed drugs. She then formulated a replacement which contained the beneficial herbal components, without the potentially dangerous drugs. The drugs that were hidden in PC Spes are all easily available to a physician if they are needed, and Dr. Myatt felt that it was far safer and more effective to use carefully tailored separate doses of these drugs when necessary to achieve the desired effects.

This allowed Dr. Myatt to develop a very effective herbal formulation, without risking the potentially dangerous, even lethal side effects that could result from the hidden drugs. Her further observation regarding the PC Spes formula was that if the manufacturer was willing to hide drugs in it’s formula, what else was it willing to do? The drug were undisclosed – this means that the doses were also undisclosed and could be changed or even eliminated at any time.

As you will have seen from this website, we at The Wellness Club have no love for the FDA. In this instance, however, we believe that they did the right thing by removing PC Spes from the marketplace.

Dr. Myatt has a great deal of experience in treating prostate cancer. She also has a very personal interest – she has been treating her own father for prostate cancer for the two decades. His conventional physicians wanted to do the  “cut, burn, and poison” treatments when it was first discovered. Instead, Dr. Myatt pioneered a then-unconventional form of hormonal suppression therapy. This proved highly successful and she has used these techniques on hundreds of men since then with the same excellent results. Her techniques are now accepted and commonly used in conventional medicine.

Please visit our web pages where we discuss Cancer , Prostate Cancer , Prostate Enlargement , and Man Health & Fitness where Dr. Myatt discusses male hormones. There is information available on hormone testing on our Medical Tests page.

As I mentioned, my recommendation to any man who is dealing with prostate cancer – at any stage of development or treatment – is to run, not walk, to arrange a consultation with Dr. Myatt! Please see the information regarding her alternative medicine consultations  – a consultation with Dr. Myatt is an excellent investment in good health, and her patients find that the cost of her consultations is more than offset by the improved health and the money saved on both prescription drugs and treatments and on other non-prescription “treatments” of questionable value and safety.

Although different in every man who has it, prostate cancer is almost always a disease that can be managed as a chronic condition (like diabetes). Prostate cancer should certainly not be a death sentence when treated appropriately.

A transcript of the original, fully annotated notes for a lecture on Prostate Cancer presented by Dr. Myatt in May of 2000 at the 2000 Pacific Northwest Herbal Symposium may be found at the link below: Botanical and Nutritional Considerations in the Treatment of Prostate Cancer –
Dana Myatt, N.M.D.

 

Vitamin D A Special HealthBeat News Report



Vitamin D – You have been reading about it in the news, and you have wondered what is real and what is hype.

Dr. Myatt and Nurse Mark have researched and prepared this special report for HealthBeat News Readers.


Vitamin D — The Short Course

1.) Vit D is produced in our bodies in response to sun exposure. Vit D is also available from food and supplements.

2.) Vit D is FAR more important to health than was previously realized. I’m talking FAR more important.

3.) Vit D deficiency is widespread, including North America, even in sunny climates like Arizona. Many people who think they are getting enough Vitamin D from sunlight are mistaken.

4.) How to Optimize Vit D Levels for Good Health:

I.)  Vit D test, supplement accordingly, re-test

II.) Supplement at 5,000IU for 3 months, then test your levels.

III.) Don’t test, run the risk of being deficient, but take at least 2,000IU total per day. (This is still an extremely conservative dose, but much higher than the RDA of 400IU which hasn’t been changed yet to reflect the newer findings about Vit D). 

5.) Natural ways to obtain Vit D: Foods, supplements and sun exposure.


Vitamin D — Nutrient of the Decade: Are You Getting Enough?

The Consequences of Low Vitamin D

Vitamin D is called “the sunshine Vitamin” because our bodies make it in response to sun exposure.

Vit D is necessary for normal bone formation in both children and adults. In children, deficiencies of Vit D lead to rickets. In adults, deficiencies are associated with osteoporosis and osteomalacia (soft bones), decreased muscle strength and increased risk of fall. (1,12,14,22,43-48)Until recently, the bone-protecting effect was  about all that Vit D was known for, but the past decade of medical research has changed all that.

The newly appreciated Vitamin D deficiency risks include:

1.) heart disease: myocardial infarction, high blood pressure, heart failure, myopathy, sudden cardiac death, stroke (11,13-26, 30, 49-50)

2.) blood sugar problems: glucose intolerance, diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome (13-14,19,23-24,27-29)

3.) cancer prevention and improved cancer survival rates (7,8,11,14,15,24,31-37)

4.) upper respiratory tract infections, influenza and tuberculosis (24,30,38)

5.) cognitive impairment and low mood (38-40)

6.) autoimmune disease (multiple sclerosis, RA, systemic lupus erythromatosis (SLE) (15,24,26,29,30,32,41,42)

7.) misc. diseases: psoriasis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease

8.) urinary incontinence (54)

9.) and all-cause mortality! (5,6,7,24,30,51)

How “significant” are these associations? Here are some of the conclusions of various studies and meta-analyses (lots of studies looked at together) concerning Vit D. Italics are mine for emphasis.

“Research strongly supports the view … Vitamin D status would have significant protective effects against the development of cancer …. cancers of the breast, colon, prostate, ovary, lungs, and pancreas…” (8)

“High levels of Vitamin D among middle-age and elderly populations are associated with a substantial decrease in cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.” (9)

“Low levels of [Vitamin D] are independently predictive for fatal strokes” (10)

“It is estimated that there is a 30 to 50% reduction in risk for developing colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer by either increasing Vitamin D intake or increasing sun exposure…” (11)

“Oral Vitamin D supplementation between 700 to 800 IU/d appears to reduce the risk of hip and any nonvertebral fractures in ambulatory or institutionalized elderly persons” (12)

” 28 studies including 99,745 participants … highest levels of serum [Vit D] were associated with a 43% reduction in cardiometabolic disorders (cardiovascular disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome) …” (9)

Are Your Vitamin D Levels Optimal? (Vitamin D Deficiency is Widespread)

One billion people worldwide are estimated to be Vit D deficient, and the problem affects us here in the United States as well. (2) One study found that more than half of North American women receiving drugs for prevention or treatment of osteoporosis were Vitamin D deficient. (1) Another study found 48% of pre-adolescent girls to be Vit D deficient (3). Other studies have found that 40% to 100% of older men and women in both the United States and Europe are Vitamin D deficient.[2] Because of the importance of Vit D and how widespread Vit D deficiency is, an estimated $100 to $200 billion is spent (wasted) each year on diseases which may really just be Vitamin D deficiencies. [4]

Age, overweight, dark skin color, use of sunscreen, and overprotection from the sun’s rays are causes of decreased production of Vit D in response to sunlight. (52,52)

How Much Vitamin D Should You Take?

Ideally, you should take whatever amount of Vitamin D puts you in the “optimal” range. Since the amount will be highly variable depending on age, sex, race, weight, daily sun exposure and diet, there is no “one size fits all” answer. Instead, blood testing of Vitamin D levels and increasing intake until optimal levels are reached is the surest way to obtain optimal concentrations of Vitamin D in the body.

Deficiency Insufficiency Sufficiency * Optimal Excess (Toxicity) <20ng/ml 20-32ng/ml 32-100ng/ml 40-80ng/ml > 150ng/ml

* – conventional medicine says that 30 ng/ml is “sufficient.” Chart references (59-62)

At the wellness Club we believe the most accurate and effective way to embark on a program of Vit D supplementation is to perform a Vit D test, supplement Vit D in accordance with the results, and then re-test in 3 months at which time your daily doses of Vit D can be fine-tuned for maintenance. March (right now!) is the best time to test initially because Vit. D stores tend to be lowest in this month.

The Vitamin D Council, a non-profit group dedicated to Vitamin D research and education recommends people take 5,000 IU per day for 2-3 months, then perform a Vitamin D test. They then suggest adjusting the dosage so that blood levels are between 50-80 ng/mL (or 125-200 nM/L) year-round. (55)

Alternately, some people opt to supplement without knowing their initial Vit D levels. A dose of 2000IU is quite conservative but certainly safe for almost anyone. In cases of significant Vit D deficiency conservative dosing such as this may take considerable time to rebuild healthy stores of this important Vitamin.

For those who wish to calculate their own Vit D requirements, 100 IU of Vitamin D could be expected to raise blood level of 25(OH)D by 1 ng/ml. (11)

Can too much Vitamin D can be toxic? Research shows that massive doses may eventually cause toxicity. One source found that in adults a sustained intake of 50,000 IU daily could produce toxicity within a few months (58) and 40,000 IU per day in infants has been shown to produce toxicity within 1 to 4 months. (56) That is ten times the recommended dose for each of those age groups! Vitamin D testing is good insurance that will allow you to safely fine-tune your dosage to your actual needs. Be careful though, since not all testing is the same and lab references and standards vary – be sure that you are comparing “apples to apples” and obtaining useable results when you are tested.

The 25-hydroxyVitamin D blood test (25(OH)D blood test) is a test that measures the amount of calcidiol circulating in the blood. This is the most accurate measure of the amount of Vitamin D in the body. The Wellness Club offers Vitamin D testing – performed by a lab that adheres to standardized references and values so that you know what you are getting when you receive your results. This can is performed at home with a “spot” (finger stick) blood test. Other tests that require a blood draw are also available.

How to Get to Your Optimal Vitamin D Levels

Start Vitamin D supplementation eight to twelve weeks before testing. Dr. John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council suggests a starting dose of 1,000 IU per 25 pounds of body weight. For example, a 150 pound person would take 6,000 IU Vitamin D per day. (150 divided by 25 = 6; 1,000IU x 6 = 6,000). Maintain this dose for 8-12 weeks, then test.

This dose may or may not put you in the optimal target range, but it certainly won’t put you in any “toxic” range. Remember, most adults can safely take up to 10,000IU per day and still be far away from Vitamin D toxicity which typically appears at 40,000-50,000IU taken for several months.

Although this dose should theoretically put you in an optimal range, numerous personal variations alter Vitamin D requirements. Some people will need a higher dose than this calculation affords. However, taking the calculated dose should at least put you “in the ballpark” for optimal dosing.

When you test results come back, you can use the number to help you know whether or not you need to increase your Vit D dose and by how much. It is estimated that each 1,000 IU increase in supplemental Vitamin D will generally produce a 10 ng/ml increase in the Vitamin D blood level (8). If your test result shows that you are 10ng/ml below your target, increase daily Vit D intake by 1,000IU per day for a total of 7,000IU per day from the above example. Continue this dose and re-test in another 3 months to verify that you are now in your optimal range.

Congratulations! You have found your optimal daily Vitamin D intake needed to maintain optimal Vitamin D blood levels.

How to Obtain Vitamin D Naturally

Exposure to sun is the most natural way to boost Vit D levels. Medical scientists have found that the skin produces approximately 10,000 IU of Vitamin D in response to as little as 30 minutes of unprotected summer sun exposure. (57)

Vitamin D can be obtained from food too. Since rickets in children is such a crippling but preventable condition, governments have long encouraged the “fortification” of dairy products and breads and cereals with token amounts of Vitamin D. In the United States and Canada, for example, fortified milk typically provides 100 IU per glass.

It is difficult to obtain optimal levels of Vitamin D from food alone.

Food IUs per serving* Percent DV** Cod liver oil, 1 tablespoon 1,360 340 Salmon (sockeye), cooked, 3 ounces 794 199 Mushrooms that have been exposed to ultraviolet light to increase vitamin D, 3 ounces (not yet commonly available) 400 100 Mackerel, cooked, 3 ounces 388 97 Tuna fish, canned in water, drained, 3 ounces 154 39 Milk, nonfat, reduced fat, and whole, vitamin D-fortified, 1 cup 115-124 29-31 Orange juice fortified with vitamin D, 1 cup (check product labels, as amount of added vitamin D varies) 100 25 Yogurt, fortified with 20% of the DV for vitamin D, 6 ounces (more heavily fortified yogurts provide more of the DV) 80 20 Margarine, fortified, 1 tablespoon 60 15 Sardines, canned in oil, drained, 2 sardines 46 12 Liver, beef, cooked, 3.5 ounces 46 12 Ready-to-eat cereal, fortified with 10% of the DV for vitamin D, 0.75-1 cup (more heavily fortified cereals might provide more of the DV) 40 10 Egg, 1 whole (vitamin D is found in yolk) 25 6 Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce 6 2 *IUs = International Units.

**DV = Daily Value. DVs were developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help consumers compare the nutrient contents of products within the context of a total diet. The DV for vitamin D is 400 IU for adults and children age 4 and older. Food labels, however, are not required to list vitamin D content unless a food has been fortified with this nutrient.

Table courtesy of the U.S. Government National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements

Although cod liver oil is high in Vitamin D, it is also high in Vitamin A which interferes with Vit D uptake, so cod liver oil is not the best supplemental form of Vit D. Keep daily intake of pre-formed Vitamin A to a maximum of 5,000IU per day so as not to interfere with Vitamin D absorption. Beta carotene does not appear to interfere with Vit. D uptake.

Vegetarians need to be sure they are getting plenty of sunshine, because other than tiny amounts that may be found in UV-irradiated mushrooms, there are no vegetable sources of Vitamin D.

The Bottom Line on Vitamin D

Achieving Optimal Vitamin D  levels appears to be one of the most important things we can do for our overall health and life expectancy.

Please click on the image below enjoy an interesting and instructive video which discusses the relationship between Vitamin D and Cancer.

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References

1.) Holick MF, Siris ES, Binkley N, et al. Prevalence of Vitamin D inadequacy among postmenopausal North American women receiving osteoporosis therapy. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005;90: 3215-3224.
2.) Holick MF. Vitamin D deficiency. N Engl J Med. 2007;357:266-281.
3.) Sullivan SS, Rosen CJ, Halteman WA, Chen TC, Holick MF. Adolescent girls in Maine at risk for Vitamin D insufficiency. J Am Diet Assoc. 2005;105:971-974.
4.) GrassrootsHealth. The Vitamin D deficiency epidemic. A call to D*action. http://www.grassrootshealth.org/daction/epidemic.php. Accessed May 8, 2009.
5.) GrassrootsHealth. Disease incidence prevention by serum 25(OH)D level. http://www.grassrootshealth.org/_download/disease_incidence_prev_chart_101608.pdf. Accessed May 8, 2009.
6.) Autier P, Gandini S. Vitamin D supplementation and total mortality. Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(16):1730-1737.
7.) Thomas L. Lenz. Vitamin D Supplementation and Cancer Prevention. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2009;3(5):365-368.
8.) Ingraham BA, Bragdon B, Nohe A. Molecular basis of the potential of Vitamin D to prevent cancer. Curr Med Res Opin. 2008 Jan;24(1):139-49.
9.) Parker J, Hashmi O, Dutton D, Mavrodaris A, Stranges S, Kandala NB, Clarke A, Franco OH. Levels of Vitamin D and cardiometabolic disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis. Maturitas. 2010 Mar;65(3):225-36. Epub 2009 Dec 23.
10.) Pilz S, Dobnig H, Fischer JE, Wellnitz B, Seelhorst U, Boehm BO, März W. Low Vitamin d levels predict stroke in patients referred to coronary angiography. Stroke. 2008 Sep;39(9):2611-3. Epub 2008 Jul 17.
11.) Holick MF. Vitamin D and sunlight: strategies for cancer prevention and other health benefits. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2008 Sep;3(5):1548-54. Epub 2008 Jun 11.
12.) Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Willett WC, Wong JB, Giovannucci E, Dietrich T, Dawson-Hughes B. Fracture prevention with Vitamin D supplementation: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. JAMA. 2005 May 11;293(18):2257-64.
13.) Anagnostis P, Athyros VG, Adamidou F, Florentin M, Karagiannis A. Vitamin D and Cardiovascular Disease: A Novel Agent for Reducing Cardiovascular Risk ? Curr Vasc Pharmacol. 2010 Feb 25. [Epub ahead of print]
14.) Holick MF. Vitamin D: importance in the prevention of cancers, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Mar;79(3):362-71.
15.) Holick MF. Vitamin D and sunlight: strategies for cancer prevention and other health benefits. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2008 Sep;3(5):1548-54. Epub 2008 Jun 11.
16.) Judd SE, Tangpricha V. Vitamin D deficiency and risk for cardiovascular disease. Am J Med Sci. 2009 Jul;338(1):40-4.
17.) Kendrick J, Targher G, Smits G, Chonchol M.25-HydroxyVitamin D deficiency is independently associated with cardiovascular disease in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Atherosclerosis. 2009 Jul;205(1):255-60. Epub 2008 Nov 11.
18.) Lee W, Kang PM. Vitamin D deficiency and cardiovascular disease: Is there a role for Vitamin D therapy in heart failure? Curr Opin Investig Drugs. 2010 Mar;11(3):309-14.
19.) Martins D, Wolf M, Pan D, Zadshir A, Tareen N, Thadhani R, Felsenfeld A, Levine B, Mehrotra R, Norris K. Prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and the serum levels of 25-hydroxyVitamin D in the United States: data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arch Intern Med. 2007 Jun 11;167(11):1159-65.
20.) McConnell JP, Foley KF, Vargas GM. HypoVitaminosis D: a new risk marker for cardiovascular disease. Clin Lab Sci. 2009 Fall;22(4):240-6.
21.) Mertens PR, Müller R. Vitamin D and cardiovascular risk. Int Urol Nephrol. 2009 Dec 29. [Epub ahead of print]
22.) Murlikiewicz K, Zawiasa A, Nowicki M. Vitamin D–a panacea in nephrology and beyond] Pol Merkur Lekarski. 2009 Nov;27(161):437-41.{article in Polish]
23.) Parker J, Hashmi O, Dutton D, Mavrodaris A, Stranges S, Kandala NB, Clarke A, Franco OH. Levels of Vitamin D and cardiometabolic disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis. Maturitas. 2010 Mar;65(3):225-36. Epub 2009 Dec 23.
24.) Pilz S, Dobnig H, Nijpels G, Heine RJ, Stehouwer CD, Snijder MB, van Dam RM, Dekker JM. Vitamin D and mortality in older men and women. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2009 Nov;71(5):666-72. Epub 2009 Feb 18.
25.) Pilz S, März W, Wellnitz B, Seelhorst U, Fahrleitner-Pammer A, Dimai HP, Boehm BO, Dobnig H. Association of Vitamin D deficiency with heart failure and sudden cardiac death in a large cross-sectional study of patients referred for coronary angiography. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Oct;93(10):3927-35. Epub 2008 Aug 5.
26.) Wu PW, Rhew EY, Dyer AR, Dunlop DD, Langman CB, Price H, Sutton-Tyrrell K, McPherson DD, Edmundowicz D, Kondos GT, Ramsey-Goldman R. 25-hydroxyVitamin D and cardiovascular risk factors in women with systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Rheum. 2009 Oct 15;61(10):1387-95.
27.) Baz-Hecht M, Goldfine AB. The impact of Vitamin D deficiency on diabetes and cardiovascular risk. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2010 Apr;17(2):113-9.
28.) Cheng S, Massaro JM, Fox CS, Larson MG, Keyes MJ, McCabe EL, Robins SJ, O’Donnell CJ, Hoffmann U, Jacques PF, Booth SL, Vasan RS, Wolf M, Wang TJ. Adiposity, cardiometabolic risk, and Vitamin D status: the Framingham Heart Study. Diabetes. 2010 Jan;59(1):242-8. Epub 2009 Oct 15.
29.) Holick MF. Sunlight and Vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Dec;80(6 Suppl):1678S-88S.
30.) Ginde AA, Scragg R, Schwartz RS, Camargo CA Jr. Prospective study of serum 25-hydroxyVitamin D level, cardiovascular disease mortality, and all-cause mortality in older U.S. adults. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2009 Sep;57(9):1595-603. Epub 2009 Jun 22.
31.) Grant WB. How strong is the evidence that solar ultraviolet B and Vitamin D reduce the risk of cancer?: An examination using Hill’s criteria for causality. Dermatoendocrinol. 2009 Jan;1(1):17-24.
32.) Holick MF, Chen TC. Vitamin D deficiency: a worldwide problem with health consequences. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Apr;87(4):1080S-6S.
33.) Holick MF. Vitamin D: its role in cancer prevention and treatment. Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2006 Sep;92(1):49-59. Epub 2006 Mar 10.
34.) Ingraham BA, Bragdon B, Nohe A. Molecular basis of the potential of Vitamin D to prevent cancer. Curr Med Res Opin. 2008 Jan;24(1):139-49.
35.) Pilz S, Dobnig H, Winklhofer-Roob B, Riedmüller G, Fischer JE, Seelhorst U, Wellnitz B, Boehm BO, März W. Low serum levels of 25-hydroxyVitamin D predict fatal cancer in patients referred to coronary angiography. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008 May;17(5):1228-33. Epub 2008 May 7.
36.) Pilz S, Tomaschitz A, Obermayer-Pietsch B, Dobnig H, Pieber TR. Epidemiology of Vitamin D insufficiency and cancer mortality. Anticancer Res. 2009 Sep;29(9):3699-704.
37.) Ginde AA, Mansbach JM, Camargo CA Jr. Association between serum 25-hydroxyVitamin D level and upper respiratory tract infection in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arch Intern Med. 2009 Feb 23;169(4):384-90.
38.) Annweiler C, Schott AM, Allali G, Bridenbaugh SA, Kressig RW, Allain P, Herrmann FR, Beauchet O. Association of Vitamin D deficiency with cognitive impairment in older women: cross-sectional study. Neurology. 2010 Jan 5;74(1):27-32. Epub 2009 Sep 30.
39.) Cherniack EP, Troen BR, Florez HJ, Roos BA, Levis S. Some new food for thought: the role of Vitamin D in the mental health of older adults. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2009 Feb;11(1):12-9.
40.) Wilkins CH, Sheline YI, Roe CM, Birge SJ, Morris JC. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with low mood and worse cognitive performance in older adults. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2006 Dec;14(12):1032-40.
41.) Cutolo M, Otsa K. Review: Vitamin D, immunity and lupus. Lupus. 2008;17(1):6-10.
42.) Kamen DL, Cooper GS, Bouali H, Shaftman SR, Hollis BW, Gilkeson GS. Vitamin D deficiency in systemic lupus erythematosus. Autoimmun Rev. 2006 Feb;5(2):114-7. Epub 2005 Jun 21.
43.) Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Willett WC, Wong JB, Giovannucci E, Dietrich T, Dawson-Hughes B. Fracture prevention with Vitamin D supplementation: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. JAMA. 2005 May 11;293(18):2257-64.
44.) Bischoff HA, Stähelin HB, Tyndall A, Theiler R. Relationship between muscle strength and Vitamin D metabolites: are there therapeutic possibilities in the elderly? Z Rheumatol. 2000;59 Suppl 1:39-41.
45.) DIPART (Vitamin D Individual Patient Analysis of Randomized Trials) Group. Patient level pooled analysis of 68 500 patients from seven major Vitamin D fracture trials in US and Europe. BMJ. 2010 Jan 12;340:b5463. doi: 10.1136/bmj.b5463.
46.) Houston DK, Cesari M, Ferrucci L, Cherubini A, Maggio D, Bartali B, Johnson MA, Schwartz GG, Kritchevsky SB. Association between Vitamin D status and physical performance: the InCHIANTI study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2007 Apr;62(4):440-6.
47.) Kwon J, Suzuki T, Yoshida H, Kim H, Yoshida Y, Iwasa H. Concomitant lower serum albumin and Vitamin D levels are associated with decreased objective physical performance among Japanese community-dwelling elderly. Gerontology. 2007;53(5):322-8. Epub 2007 May 29.
48.) Pfeifer M, Begerow B, Minne HW. Vitamin D and muscle function. Osteoporos Int. 2002 Mar;13(3):187-94.
49.) Judd SE, Nanes MS, Ziegler TR, Wilson PW, Tangpricha V. Optimal Vitamin D status attenuates the age-associated increase in systolic blood pressure in white Americans: results from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Jan;87(1):136-41.
50.) Pilz S, Dobnig H, Fischer JE, Wellnitz B, Seelhorst U, Boehm BO, März W. Low Vitamin d levels predict stroke in patients referred to coronary angiography. Stroke. 2008 Sep;39(9):2611-3. Epub 2008 Jul 17.
51.) Melamed ML, Michos ED, Post W, Astor B.25-hydroxyVitamin D levels and the risk of mortality in the general population. Arch Intern Med. 2008 Aug 11;168(15):1629-37.
52.) Jacobs ET, Alberts DS, Foote JA, Green SB, Hollis BW, Yu Z, Martínez ME. Vitamin D insufficiency in southern Arizona. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Mar;87(3):608-13.
53.) Park S, Johnson MA. Living in low-latitude regions in the United States does not prevent poor Vitamin D status. Nutr Rev. 2005 Jun;63(6 Pt 1):203-9.
54.) Low Vitamin D Levels Tied to Incontinence. WebMD March 22, 2010 http://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/news/20100322/low-Vitamin-d-linked-incontinence.
55.) The Vitamin D Council. Vitamin D Council
56.) Wikipedia: Vitamin D. Wikipedia Vitamine D
57.) Holick MF. Environmental factors thatinfluence the cutaneous production of Vitamin D. Am J Clin Nutr. 1995 Mar;61(3 Suppl):638S-645S.
58.) Vieth R. Vitamin D supplementation, 25-hydroxyVitamin D concentrations, and safety. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 May;69(5):842-56.
59.) Holick MF. Vitamin D deficiency. N Engl J Med. 2007;357:266-281.
60.) GrassrootsHealth. Disease incidence prevention by serum 25(OH)D level.Grassroots Heaalth. Accessed May 8, 2009.
61.) Dall T, Anderson J. Vitamin D: merging research into clinical lipid practice. Lipid Spin. 2008;6(3):4-8.
62.) Heaney RP. What is a Vitamin D deficiency?Grassroots Health Vitamin D deficiency. Accessed May 8, 2009.

 

 

Senior Health


Good Health for the Golden Years

Healthy, Active SeniorsAs I wrote in one HealthBeat article, “The ‘golden years’ can kiss my grits.” What I meant was that “The Golden Years” — that time in life when the family is raised and we are “hopefully” financially secure enough to stop working full time, and to travel or work at our favorite hobbies if we so choose — are often tarnished by failing health. I think that’s a pity, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

If you read the discussion on aging at the Anti-Aging Health Solution Center, you know that the human life expectancy should be on the order of 120 years. I’m not talking about just living long, either. I’m talking about spending those years in good health. Many people start crawling toward the grave from young or middle adulthood, plagued with aches, pains and illnesses. That’s not the way it is in many cultures.

By following some Basic Rules of Good Health and choosing natural, corrective measures over often-dangerous drugs and surgical “band aids,” a longer, healthier life is certainly possible.

Please visit these various areas of our site to find out how to be healthy and happy well into old age.

The Health Solutions Center at Left is a Great Place to Begin Your Search for Better Health.

Here are some additional articles for past HealthBeat News that you may find of benefit:

Neurological Disease: What You’re NOT Going to Hear From Your Conventional Doctor

Rejuvenate Your Heart in 9 Simple Steps

5 Proven Ways to Slow Dementia and Alzheimer’s

7 Ways to Decrease Your Cancer Risk

Stay informed! Claim your own  FREE subscription to HealthBeat News here: HealthBeat News

 

Remembering Reagan, Avoiding Alzheimer’s


One More for “The Gipper”

Ronald Reagan was one of America’s most memorable Presidents. Even those who disagreed with his politics were attracted to his unflinching optimism, eloquent speech and fierce belief that America was and should always be the “beacon of light in a world of darkness.” For a moving recount of the life and times of this Great American Dreamer, we offer this link to Newsweek Magazine:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5145917/site/newsweek/?GT1=3584

Alzheimer’s Disease: The “Retirement Robber”

We salute a life well lived in public service, in Hollywood and in politics by a man who kept himself fit, optimistic and intimately involved in life. What should have been a golden last decade in the life of Ronald Reagan was instead spent with a swiftly diminishing mental and physical capacity. Alzheimer’s disease robbed he and his wife of 52 years of the noble retirement they deserved.

What Alzheimer’s Is — and Isn’t

Alzheimer’s disease, first described in 1907 by German psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer, is a degenerative condition of the brain that results in progressive memory loss. In its most severe stage, afflicted people become unable to care for themselves, lose bowel and bladder control and are often unable to swallow and eat. Death usually ensues from infection, often pneumonia.

There are many causes of memory loss besides Alzheimer’s. It is estimated that an approximately equal number of people over age 60 suffer from senile dementia and Alzheimer’s. (Four million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease at a cost of $90 billion annually). While dementia is most frequently caused by atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s is caused by the deposition of an abnormal protein — beta amyloid — in the brain. These protein deposits are accompanied by “neurofibrillary tangles,” (tangles of tiny filaments in the brain) and a loss of many nerve cells. The two conditions are often difficult to differentiate.

Any memory loss with age COULD be serious, but many causes of decreased memory are due to correctable abnormalities such as low thyroid function, nutrient deficiencies, atherosclerosis and tumors. Some decreased capacity to recall names is not necessarily a sign of anything worrisome. One expert described the difference between benign age-related memory changes and Alzheimer’s like this: aging memory is forgetting where you put the car keys; Alzheimer’s is forgetting how to drive the car. Benign aging memory is forgetting an old high school friend’s name; Alzheimer’s is forgetting your spouse’s name.

When to be Concerned about Memory Loss

Any persistent memory changes in a person of ANY age should be evaluated by a physician. Again, there are many correctable causes of memory loss. Many of these corrections are best made as early as possible. For example, deficiencies of B6, B12 and folic acid are associated with increased levels of homocysteine. Increased homocysteine, in turn, is associated with memory loss. This nutrient-related memory decline is felt to be completely reversible within the first 6-12 months. After that, although further memory decline can often be prevented, the existing memory deficits are most often irreversible. (Another good reason to take your daily Maxi Multi, which contains the optimal target doses of these nutrients).

Again, any memory or personality changes should be thoroughly evaluated by a physician. Don’t wait to see your doctor for memory concerns.

Causes of Alzheimer’s

The major abnormalities seen in Alzheimer’s are beta amyloid plaque deposition, neurofibrillary tangles, and loss of neurons. The cause of this collection of abnormalities is not known, although strong evidence exists to support several mechanisms.

1.) Genetics. There appears to be some genetic predisposition to the disease, with 15-20% of cases running in families.

2.) Free Radical Damage (oxidative stress). Brain lesions in Alzheimer’s patients exhibit typical free-radical damage, including damaged DNA, lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation and Advanced Glycosylation end products (AGE’s, see # 3 below).

3.) Inflammation. The same inflammatory cascade that is a known risk factor for heart disease appears in Alzheimer’s at the site of beta amyloid desposition. These inflammatory products accelerate the loss of neurons (brain cells). The hs-CRP test that I encourage all patients to have on an annual basis to help predict heart-disease risk is an indication of this type of low-grade inflammation.

4.) Advanced Glycolsylation End products (AGEs). Glycation is a process whereby a protein binds irreversibly to a sugar molecule, producing an abnormal complex that impairs tissue elasticity. Evidence for AGEs as a cause of Alheimer’s relates to the fact that AGEs are found in the neurofibrillary tangles characteristic of the disease. Many researchers feel that AGEs may be a more important cause of Alzheimer’s that beta amyloid.

5.) Aluminum toxicity. Although this potential cause is dismissed by conventional medicine, the evidence is strong in favoring aluminum as a causative factor. First, the senile plaques chracteristic of Alzheimer’s patients have been found to accumulate aluminum. Lab animals injected with aluminum will develop neurofibrillary tangles as seen in Alzheimer’s. One study (McLachlan, et al. 1996) found a 250% increase of Alzheimer’s disease in people drinking municipal water with high aluminum levels for 10 years or more. Finally, one drug used to treat Alzheimer’s (desferrioxamine) shows a significant benefit in slowing progression of the disease. This drug chelates aluminum.

6.) Homocysteine. This metabolic intermediate, clearly recognized as a risk factor for coronary artery disease, non-Alzheimer’s dementia, and stroke, is now felt to be a significant risk for Alzheimer’s disease as well. Elevated homocysteine levels results from deficiencies of vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid.

Although other theories of the genesis of Alzheimer’s disease exist, the above-listed causes appear to have the most research and relevance behind them.

Avoiding Alzheimer’s: Prevention Steps to Take NOW

With the exception of genetics, all of the most widely supported causes of Alzheimer’s are amenable to preventive and possibly even corrective measures. This is good news, because it means we are not helpless to prevent such a devastating disease. Here are the most-proven methods for addressing the causes of Alzheimer’s:

1.) Prevent Free Radical Damage to the brain and elsewhere. This is a two-step process. First, avoid or minimize exposure to factors that cause free radicals in the body. These factors include first and second-hand smoke, excessive exposure to X-rays, excessive sun exposure, dietary trans fatty acids, heavy metal toxicity. Secondly, take an abundance of nutritional antioxidants to neutralize free radicals in the body. Common antioxidants inlude: vitamin A, C, E, beta carotene, flavonoids, CoQ10 and acetyl-L-carnitine. The herb Ginkgo biloba is also a potent antioxidant.

2.) Prevent and Reverse Subtle Inflammation. The herb turmeric (curcumin), is a potent anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrin substance. It is also a potent antioxidant with liver-protecting properties. Ginkgo is another anti-inflammatory herb (actually mentioned in The Merck Manual of conventional medicine as being helpful for Alzheimer’s). Essential Fatty Acids, such as those found in flax and fish oil, are anti-inflammatory.

3.) Reduce Advanced Glycosylation End products (AGEs). This is best accomplished by means of a lower carbohydrate diet. In the absence of chronic high blood sugar, AGEs form much less, if at all. The Super Fast Diet is an example of a health-restoring diet that minimizes the production of AGEs by lowering average daily blood sugars and insulin levels. Vitamin B1 and B6 decrease AGE formation.

4.) Chelate Toxic metals, especially aluminum. A hair analysis should be employed to evaluate for heavy and toxic metal toxicity. This inexpensive test costs $65. Call 1-800-Dr.Myatt (376-9288) to order a hair mineral analysis kit or see page 135 of the Holistic Health Handbook for more information.  An excess of ANY toxic metal should be chelated with the guidance of a physician. In most cases, this can be accomplished by taking an oral chelating agent (the agent will differ depending on which toxic metal is accumulated). For severe toxicity, IV chelation is sometimes more expeditious.

5.) Lower Homocysteine Levels. This can almost always be easily accomplished by taking optimal doses of B6, B12 and folic acid.

A Simplified Action Plan for Preventing Alzheimer’s

1.) Take Daily Multi Vitamin and Mineral Supplement. This should include vitamins A,C,E, beta carotene, bioflavonoids, B complex vitamins (especially B1, B6, B12, folic acid), and selenium. Maxi Multi contains optimal daily doses of these nutrients.

2.) Max EPA (fish oil): 1 cap, 3 times per day with meals to prevent or reverse inflammation. Take higher doses as directed if your hs-CRP tests are elevated. Flax oil is also beneficial but requires a biochemical conversion in the body which is deficient in many people, so fish oil is more certain.

3.) Extra protection: take any or all of these proven neuro-protective substances:

I.) CoQ10: 50-300mg per day. This powerful antioxidant, produced by the body, diminishes with age. It is especially valuable for all types of heart disease. CHOLESTEROL-LOWERING DRUGS deplete CoQ10.

II.) Turmeric: 1 capsule, 3 times per day (target dose: 900mg). Potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrin herb, turmeric acts by three different mechanisms to help protect the brain from the presumed causes of Alzheimer’s.

III.) Ginkgo biloba: 1 cap, 2 times per day. [target dose: 240mg of a 24% flavoneglycoside formula]. Ginkgo is a potent antioxidant that also improves cerebral circulation. This herb is mentioned in The Merck Manual of (conventional) Medicine as being helpful for Alzheimer’s!

IV.) Phosphatidyl Serine: 1 cap (100mgPS), 3 times per day. PS increases brain cell communication by improving membrane fluidity.

V.) Acetyl-L-Carnitine: 1 cap (500mg), 3 times per day between meals. A-LC acts as a powerful antioxidant in the brain.

VI.) Alpha-Lipoic Acid: 1 cap, 2-3 times per day. This neurological antioxidant chelates free iron from the forebrain, thereby protecting against free-radical induced brain aging.

VII.) Melatonin: this hormone decreases with age. It is a potent antioxidant and one of the only ones to cross the blood-brain barrier. It should be used in almost all cases of any neurological disease and is an important part of longevity and anti-aging programs.

Alzheimer’s disease is not an inevitable part of aging even though it is common in our country. Don’t let this memory-robbing disease deprive you of YOUR Golden Years!

In Health,

Dr. Dana Myatt

 

Consultations With Dr. Dana Myatt

Help Yourself To Good Health

Notice To New Patients:

Because of Dr. Myatt’s reputation of being the doctor to call when conventional medicine gives up she has been inundated with a number of extremely complicated patients.

In order that she may continue to provide all her patients the high levels of care and attention that they have come to rely upon she is accepting only very select new patients.

In order to determine suitability to be added to her caseload Dr. Myatt is requiring all those who wish to be taken on as new patients to first speak with her in a Brief Telephone Consultation.

DANA MYATT, N.M.D.

Member: American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (eligible)
President: ECAFH Foundation, Inc. (Exploring Complementary Answers for Health)
Author: A Physicians Diary
Professor: Atlantic University
Graduate: National College of Naturopathic Medicine

How May I Help You? Herbs Homeopathy Nutritional Evaluations Lifestyle Counseling Chinese Medicine Edgar Cayce Remedies Health Optimization Immune Enhancement Detoxification and Fasting Stress Reduction Health Education Weight Management

 

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DR. DANA MYATT
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Do Doctors Still Make House Calls?

Dr. Myatt And Nurse Mark Make “The Ultimate House Calls”!

Many of our private practice patents and Wellness Club Customers know that Dr. Myatt travels often to speak, teach, and lecture. When her travels bring her to areas where her patients live she is happy to schedule them for an in-person consultation, including examination and other therapeutic treatments. Patients may be seen in Dr. Myatt’s Wellness Club coach or even in the comfort of their own home. When visits can be scheduled to coincide with Dr. Myatt’s travel itinerary her customary consultation fees apply.

Your Own Private Naturopathic Doctor And Nurse – In Attendance:

For those who need the undivided attention of this unique doctor and nurse team, Dr. Myatt and Nurse Mark can travel to your location where they will attend to your holistic health needs 24/7 if need be. This may include not only intensive care for the patient, it may include teaching for family members and caregivers or for staff such as personal chefs, personal assistants, housekeepers, or security staff.

You can be assured of absolute, inviolate confidentiality and respect for your privacy when working with Dr. Myatt and Nurse Mark.

This is a unique and specialized service and it is not inexpensive. Not all patients will qualify for or benefit from this intensive in-home naturopathic medical care. Please contact Dr. Myatt for cost and availability and to determine your suitability for this ultimate health-restorative opportunity.

Is your situation more urgent?

Do you need Dr. Myatt and Nurse Mark to attend you more quickly than is possible with road travel? (for road travel figure 500 miles per day from northern Arizona to your location)

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Dr Myatt can also arrange to travel to your location by private plane. Nurse Mark is a licensed Private Pilot and their airplane allows them to reach you quickly and discretely. Requirements for visitations of this kind will include a destination airport with adequate runways and secure tie-downs and available fuel, appropriate transportation arrangements on arrival and during the visit, and appropriate accomodations for Dr. Myatt and Nurse Mark while on location.

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Brief Consultations

Brief Consultations by telephone are available between 9 AM and 5 PM, Tuesday through Friday, Arizona time. When you checkout please tell us what times and dates would be best for your consultation – we will make every effort to accommodate your needs, subject to prior scheduling commitments. Please be sure that we have both a valid email and telephone number so we can contact you to arrange your appointment.

Please Note: Be sure that you are available at the telephone number you provide, at the time you have arranged, when Dr. Myatt calls you – there are no refunds for missed appointments!

In the very unlikely event that a medical emergency prevents Dr. Myatt from calling at your appointment time, you will be offered a full refund or a rescheduled appointment – your choice.

DO NOT send Dr. Myatt lab reports, medical records or summaries, or any other medical information unless you are booking a New Patient Visit Consultation! Any medical information that is received unsolicited will be treated as confidential medical records and will be destroyed immediately.

Medical records and other documentation can be sent to:

Dr. Myatts Wellness Club
Attn: Medical Records
PO Box 900
Snowflake, AZ 85937

It is of no benefit to send via “overnight” courier – USPS Priority Mail provides timely and inexpensive delivery to our location – usually as quickly as any “overnight” courier!