INSOMNIA


Natural Strategies For Sound Sleep

Insomnia is defined as several types: difficulty falling asleep (sleep onset insomnia) or in staying asleep (maintenance insomnia). Insomnia may be caused by low blood sugar, caffeine, tobacco or other stimulant use, prescription medications, hormone or neurotransmitter imbalances and psychological factors. Stress reduction and non-drug treatments should be employed in all but a very few cases of insomnia due to the side-effects of common sleep medications. A neurotransmitter evaluation should be performed if the self-help measures listed below to do not provide relief.

Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations

  • Exercise regularly. Exercise improves sleep quality. Exercise earlier in the day, not before bed.
  • Follow the Ten Rules for Good Health . Nutrient deficiencies and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can cause insomnia.
  • Go to bed and get up at a regular time.
  • Do not work or perform other non-sleep/sex activities in bed.
  • Practice stress reduction techniques, especially in the evening before going to bed. Do not end the day by watching violent movies or the news.
  • Drink a glass of warm whey protein powder before bed, especially if low blood sugar is a problem.

Primary Support

  • Maxi Multi: 3 caps, 3 times per day with meals. Optimal (not minimal) doses of  B complex vitamins and magnesium are particularly important for insomnia.
  • Melatonin: this hormone decreases with age. Melatonin is a potent antioxidant that helps regulate Circadian rhythms. It should be used in almost all cases of insomnia. Melatonin is also an an “anti stress” hormone.
  • Kavinace potentiates GABA, one of the main inhibitory neurotransmitters. Higher GABA levels can relieve anxiety and promote restful sleep. 1 to 2 capsules at bedtime can be highly a effective sleep aid.

Additional Support

  • L-5-HTP (5-Hydroxy-Tryptophan) 100 mg: 1 cap, 3 times per day, twice with meals and once before bed. Dosage may be increased to 2 caps, 3 times per day after 2 weeks if response is inadequate. L-5-HTP is a neurotransmitter precursor; most neurotransmitters decrease with age.
  • Magnesium (amino acid chelate): 2 tabs, 45 minutes before bedtime. (In addition to what is contained in Maxi-Multi)

If anxiety is present:

If myoclonus (muscle jerking) causes secondary insomnia:

  • Vitamin E: 200-400 IU per day with meals. (This amount is already found in Maxi Multi)

For sleep onset difficulty in the elderly:

  • Melatonin: 1-3 mg, 45 minutes before bed. Increase in 3 mg increments as needed for sleep. Melatonin is only effective for sleep onset insomnia when a person has low melatonin levels. This occurs more commonly in older people.
    AND/OR
  • 5-Hydroxy-Tryptophan (5-HTP) 100 mg: 1-3 caps, 45 minutes before bed. Start with 100 mg and increase dose as needed.

Dr. Myatt’s Comment

Consistent practice of the sleep hygiene techniques listed under Diet and Lifestyle above, plus improved nutrition and correction of low or unstable blood sugar, are often all that is needed to correct insomnia. If stress is a problem, follow  advice for Mood Disorder. Alcohol intake is a commonly overlooked cause of secondary insomnia.

 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)


Natural Strategies for Cranky Bowel

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a motility disorder of the upper and lower GI tract. Symptoms include some combination of constipation, diarrhea, or alternating constipation and diarrhea, flatulence, colic (gas pains) relieved by bowel movement, abdominal distention after eating, or mucous in stools.

The cause of IBS is unclear, since no anatomical lesion is consistently found.

Contributing factors may include food allergy, altered bowel flora, intestinal parasites or yeast overgrowth, lack of dietary fiber, and lack of digestive factors (enzymes, hydrochloric acid (HCL), bile salts). Highly refined Western diets are implicated. Psychological factors often play a role.

DIET AND LIFESTYLE RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Include fiber-rich foods in the diet (vegetables, fruits, and whole grains).
  • Chew food thoroughly. Do not eat when rushed or under strain.
  • Evaluate for food allergies and avoid aggravating foods.
  • Avoid GI-irritant foods: caffeine and caffeine-containing substances, chocolate, alcohol, white sugar, white flour, fatty foods.
  • Drink 64 ounces of pure water daily. Dehydration contributes to constipation and altered bowel flora which can trigger the cycle of IBS.
  • Regular exercise, especially walking, helps normalize bowel function.
  • Practice relaxation techniques if stress seems to aggravate or initiate the condition.

PRIMARY SUPPORT

  • Maxi Multi: 3 caps, 3 times per day with meals. Optimal (not minimal) doses of vitamins A, C, E, beta carotene, folic acid, B12, and zinc are particularly important for correcting IBS.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids:
    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).
  • Fiber: Maxi Fiber, 1-2 teaspoons, 3 times per day before or between meals, OR Fiber Formula: 3-6 caps 2-3 times per day between meals. Be SURE to take a full 8 ounces of water with each dose. Start with smaller doses and gradually work up, since sudden increases in fiber can cause aggravation.
  • Similase: 1-2 caps, 3 times per day with meals. Take an additional 1 cap with snacks.
  • SupremaDophilus (high potency probiotics): 1 capsule once a day before bed.

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT

For acute symptoms:

  • Mentharil (enteric coated peppermint): 1-2 caps, 2-3 times per day between meals. Peppermint acts as an anti- spasmodic BUT it must be “enteric coated” so that it is not absorbed before reaching the lower bowel.

For diarrhea:

  • Activated charcoal: 6 caps with water. If symptoms persist beyond one hour, take a second dose of 6 charcoal caps.

DR. MYATT’S COMMENT

It may take some time and exploration to find the causative factors in IBS, but patients tell me it’s well worth the effort. Refer to the complete bowel retraining program, Healthy Colon Priority Protocol on page 9 in your Holistic Health Handbook. If self-help measures fail to bring relief, I am available for telephone consultations.

 

 

LBC-LAX


Aid Constipation with this Superior Bowel-Toning Formula

LBC-Lax - A Superior Formula To Aid Constipation And Tone The BowelConstipation is no fun, and it’s not healthy for the body either. Although LBC-LAX used alone is a laxative formula, used with fiber according to my instructions it becomes part of a “bowel re-education” and toning program.

When used as part of my bowel protocol, this formula will NOT cause laxative dependence.

Each (one) capsule contains: Cascara sagrada 95 mg in a proprietary base of Barberry root bark, fennel seed, Ginger root, Goldenseal root, Lobelia, Red raspberry leaves, Turkey Rhubarb root and Cayenne.

LBC-Lax is no longer available – Dr. Myatt now recommends 3A Magnesia to her patients.

 

Larch (Larix occidentalis)


Natural Anti-Metastatic and Immune Stimulant

Larch ArabinogalactansLarch is a deciduous conifer that contains an arabinogalactan similar to those found in other “immune-enhancing” herbs such as Echinacea, Baptisia and Turmeric.

Larch arabinogalactans have been shown to reduce the number of liver metastasis in multiple studies, perhaps by acting as a “reverse lectin” and blocking tumor binding sites. A similar effect has been noted for Modified Citrus Pectin. Larch also nourishes the gut flora and acts as a source of dietary fiber. A summary of the benefits of Larch are:

  • stimulates the immune system
  • helps prevent cancer metastasis
  • improves bowel flora (friendly gut bacteria)
  • acts as a source of dietary fiber

Larch and/or Modified Citrus Pectin should be considered by anyone with cancer to help prevent or delay metastasis.

Suggested Dose: two teaspoons, 2-3 times per day. This may be added to your Super Shake.

REFERENCES

1.) Hagmar B, Ryd W, Skomedal H. Arabinogalactan blockade of experimental metastases to liver by murine hepatoma. Invasion Metastasis 1991;11:348-355.
2.) Beuth J, Ko HL, Oette K, et al. Inhibition of liver metastasis in mice by blocking hepatocyte lectins with arabinogalactan infusions and D-galactose. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 1987;113:51-55.
3). Beuth J, Ko HL, Schirrmacher V, et al. Inhibition of liver tumor cell colonization in two animal tumor models by lectin blocking with D-galactose or arabinogalactan. Clin Exp Metastasis 1988;6:115-120.
4). Hauer J, Anderer FA. Mechanism of stimulation of human natural killer cytotoxicity by arabinogalactan from Larix occidentalis. Cancer Immunol Immunother 1993;36:237-244.

 

Hiatal Hernia


Natural Support Strategies For This Uncomfortable Condition

Hiatal hernia a condition where part of the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm (herniates). This condition is caused by overweight, overeating and / or a weakness of the esophageal sphincter muscle. Hiatal hernia is a common cause of GERD (Gastro-esophogeal reflux disease). Being overweight greatly aggravates the condition.

Diet And Lifestyle Considerations

  • Do NOT overeat!
  • Avoid coffee, alcohol, and chocolate. Also avoid known food allergens.
  • Maintain a normal body weight.
  • Do not eat within three hours of bedtime.
  • Elevate the head of the bed in 2-3 inches.
  • Do NOT use peppermint within two hours of meals. (Unless it is enteric coated).
  • Don’t smoke! The nicotine in tobacco relaxes the esophageal sphincter.

Primary Support

Dr. Myatt’s Comment

Be sure to perform a Low Gastric Acid Self-Test. Over half the population over age 60 is deficient in hydrochloric acid production. Low stomach acid allows food to remain too long in the stomach and can cause or aggravate a weak esophageal sphincter.

Chronic indigestion indicates that something is wrong —- diet, digestion, etc. You should not continue to take over-the-counter stomach medicines without seeing a doctor for correct diagnosis. Self-help measures are effective in all but a few cases.

Naturopathic and osteopathic physicians are trained in soft tissue manipulation. Hiatal hernias often respond to manipulative therapy. 

 

Dr. Myatt’s Super-Shake


Why You Should be Drinking My “Super Shake”

Ever wish that something which tasted like a yummy treat was also good for you? Have I got great news for you! I have found myself giving individual patients the recipe for what I call my “Super Shake” so frequently in the past few weeks that I realized it’s high time for me to encourage everybody to drink this incredibly tasty, amazingly healthy “milkshake.” Before I discuss the recipe and what the individual ingredients will do for you, let’s take a look at the overall health benefits of The Myatt Super Shake.

What My “Super Shake” Will Do for You

Taken at least once, and better yet twice per day, this tasty treat provides a basket full of health benefits. I’ll describe the “whys” and “wherefores” of individual ingredients below so you can see how my Super Shake works it’s “magic,” but first let’s look at all the good this amazing recipe accomplishes. I believe you’ll see why I recommend it so often in my practice.

  • If you are overweight, the Super Shake will help you lose.
  • If you are underweight, the Super Shake will help you gain.
  • The Super Shake helps preserve and build better muscle tone.
  • The Super Shake strengthens the immune system.
  • The Super Shake helps normalize blood sugar levels, so it improves both diabetes and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
  • Ingredients in The Super Shake help lower cholesterol levels.
  • Whey and gelatin in the Super Shake strengthen ligaments, tendons, and bones.
  • Antioxidants and protein contained in my Super Shake help renew, rejuvenate and heal skin.
  • EZ Fiber and L-glutamine help normalize bowel function and correct constipation, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome.
  • The Super Shake is high in flavonoids, especially the kind useful for preventing or halting eye diseases such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and
  • retinopathy.

  • These same flavonoids plus other ingredients work together to prevent and reverse varicose veins, atherosclerosis, neuropathy and neuralgia (nerve disease and nerve pain).
  • Whey and L-glutamine help protect normal cells during radiation and chemotherapy.
  • My Super Shake is so easily assimilated and so healthy that it is THE beverage of choice when recovering from illness or surgery. Whey is known to speed wound healing.

Best of all, this is a truly delicious drink, not a “choke-it-down” health concoction. Sound too good to be true? Here’s the recipe and an individual breakdown of the numerous benefits of each of the ingredients.

Dr. Myatt’s Super Shake Recipe

1 scoop vanilla whey protein (with both whey protein concentrate and isolate)
1 Tablespoon EZ Fiber
1 TBS. flax oil
1 scoop Red Alert
1 TBS. frozen blueberries
1 teaspoon L-glutamine
1 cup crushed ice
1 cup water (1 cup for a soft-serve ice cream consistency, 2 cups for a milkshake)

Add 1 cup ice (crushed is best) to the bottom of an electric blender. Add water. Add blueberries and all dry ingredients. Blend until smooth. This will be the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. If you want it to be a “shake,” add an additional cup of water AFTER the first ingredients are well-blended. Drink or eat and Enjoy! You’re going to love this and so will your body!

Featured Supplements: What’s in the “Super Shake” that Makes it So Great? Let’s take a look at the individual ingredients and see why this Shake is a “Miracle Food.”

Whey Protein: When processed correctly (to retain whole protein concentrate and at low temperatures to preserve immune factors), whey supplies a biologically superior protein with natural immune factors, including lactoferrin and immunoglobulins. Milk-derived whey protein has been shown to:

  • boost immune function
  • improve liver function
  • bind and safely remove heavy metals
  • speeds wound healing
  • aid muscle growth. (Body builders have long known about the muscle-building benefits of whey).
  • promote healing of bones, skin, and muscle
  • heal cartilage and strengthen joints, tendons and cardiac muscle.

In cancer medicine it has been found that whey offers “considerable protection to the host” over that of other types of protein including soy, especially during chemotherapy and radiation. At low concentrations, whey inhibits the growth of breast cancer cells. Whey also protects cellular glutathione (a body-produced antioxidant) in normal cells during radiation. This effect is not seen with other proteins.

Because the milk-sugar portion is removed, whey is suitable for people who are lactose intolerant. The Super Shake made with whey provides a high quality protein, high nutrient, low carb meal replacement or between-meal snack.

NOTE: NOT ALL WHEY PROTEINS ARE CREATED EQUAL! Many whey powders contain the “isolate” form only, but many of the immune benefits of whey are found in the Whole Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC). Our Wellness Club brand of whey is specially processed to preserve all of these important nutritive factors.

Flax Seed Oil: You’ve heard me wax eloquent numerous times about the importance and benefit of Omega-3 fatty acids (Flax and fish oil are the primary sources). The American diet is grossly deficient in Omega-3 fatty acids (Which are Essential Fatty Acids, or EFA’s). Deficiencies of Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to subtle body-wide inflammation which in turn is associated with over 60 known diseases including heart disease, stroke, arthritis, allergies, asthma, cancer, overweight and obesity, autoimmune disease, neurological disease, psoriasis, eczema, high blood pressure to name only a few. Daily supplementation of Omega-3 fatty acids, derived primarily from flax and/or fish oil (salmon is a rich source) are one of the healthiest things a person can do to prevent these many EFA-deficiency associated diseases. The essential fats are SO important that the Government officially recommended in 2003 that Americans get more Omega-3 fatty acids in their diet.

L-Glutamine: This amino acid is a major component of muscle tissue. It is also a major source of energy for cells of the GI tract. It stimulates the production of Growth Hormone (GH) and decreases sugar and alcohol cravings.

Athletes use Glutamine to help build muscle (anabolic), but it can also be used by non-athletes, even the frail elderly, to help prevent muscle tissue breakdown. It is useful for rejuvenating the lining of the GI tract and can therefore assist in healing after GI surgery and in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Glutamine stimulates the immune system and should be used when recovering from any surgery or illness. In weight loss, it is useful for reducing alcohol and sugar cravings. Because it crosses the blood-brain barrier and acts as a ready supply of energy for the brain, it is also used in Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD).

EZ Fiber A delicious mild berry flavor fiber complex of Brans, Gums, Mucilage, Cellulose, Hemicellulose and Pectins. Each level teaspoon provides 7 grams of fiber and 7 grams of carbs. (Zero grams effective carbs). Mixes easily, does NOT go “gummy” and tastes great.  Fiber is known to:

  • Bind intestinal toxins and soften and bulk stools
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Helps correct constipation and diarrhea 
  • Helps remove heavy metals and toxins 
  • Clears out excess bowel mucous and alleviates gas 
  • Deodorizes and cleans the digestive tract 
  • Helps heal and soothe the G.I. tract

Blueberry: (and its cousin bilberry which can be taken in capsule form if preferred) is an herb which acts as a potent antioxidant and serves to strengthen and stabilize veins. It is used for: Atherosclerosis, cataracts, diabetes mellitus, neuropathy and neuralgia, retinopathy, varicose veins, and macular degeneration. Bilberry has a special affinity for the eyes and veins. It also improves skin tone because of its antioxidant and capillary-strengthening properties.

BOTTOM LINE on My Super-Shakes: Why not have at least one, and better yet two, of these wonderful health-enhancing drinks per day for one month and give yourself the opportunity to experience a great number of health benefits in one tasty glass? And DO drop me a line and tell me of your experiences. I get “fan mail” for the Shakes on a daily basis and I’d like to hear yours!

32 Million American suffer from IBS

(Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a motility disorder of the upper and lower GI tract. Symptoms include some combination of constipation, diarrhea, or alternating constipation and diarrhea, flatulence, colic (gas pains) relieved by bowel movement, abdominal distention after eating, and mucous in stools.

The cause of IBS is unclear, since no anatomical lesion can be found. Contributing factors may include food allergy, altered bowel microflora, intestinal parasites, lack of dietary fiber, and lack of digestive enzymes. Highly refined Western diets are implicated. Psychological factors often play a role.

Protocol for treating IBS

DIET AND LIFESTYLE RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Include fiber-rich food in the diet (vegetables, fruits and whole grains). Be aware that a percentage of people with IBS are sensitive to gluten, which includes wheat, oats, rye, and barley.
  • Chew food thoroughly. Do not eat when rushed or under strain. (This impairs digestion).
  • Evaluate for food allergies and avoid aggravating foods. (See “Food Allergy,” page 61 in your Holistic Health Handbook. Don’t have a Handbook? Click here, and order yours now.)
  • Avoid GI-irritant foods: caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, white sugar, white flour, fatty foods.
  • Drink 64 ounces per day of pure water. Dehydration contributes to constipation and altered bowel flora which can trigger the cycle of IBS.
  • Practice relaxation techniques if stress seems to aggravate the condition.
  • Regular exercise, especially walking, helps normalize bowel function.

PRIMARY SUPPORT

  • BASIC PROGRAM: Maxi Multi, 3 caps, 3 times per day with meals. (Or equivalent optimal potency multiple vitamin/mineral formula to include A,C,E, beta carotene, folic acid, B12 and zinc, all of which are especially important in correcting IBS).
  • Omega-3 fatty Acids: [Function: Anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic]
  • Fiber: [Function: detoxifies the bowel; adds bulk; holds water and fat to help form stool]
    • Chitosan: 3 caps, 3 times per day between meals (especially if fatty foods aggravate)
    • OR Keto Fiber: 1-2 teaspoons per day before or between meals (especially if constipation is a predominant symptom.)
    • OR Fiber Formula: 3-6 capsules, 1-3 times per day.
  • Similase: (digestive enzyme formula): [Function: improves digestion and assimilation of nutrients]1-2 caps, 3 times per day with meals. Take an additional 1 cap with between-meal snacks.
  • SupremaDophylus (high potency “good” gut bacteria): [Function: replaces normal GI tract bacteria] 1 capsule at bedtime.
  • L-glutamine: [Function: speeds healing of GI tract; improves immunity; decreases sugar and alcohol cravings] 1 teaspoon, 1 to 3 times per day in water or cold beverage.

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT

  • Mentharil (enteric-coated peppermint): [Function: anti-spasmodic]. 1-2 caps, 2 times per day between meals.
  • Activated Charcoal [Function: detoxificant; absorbed irritants and binds fluids. Especially useful for diarrhea of all types, including food poisoning]. Dose: 4-6 caps, 2-4 times per day as needed.

Dr. Myatt’s Comment: It may take a bit of time and exploration to discover the cause of IBS, but patients tell me it is well worth the effort to relieve the problem. Refer to the complete bowel retraining program titled Healthy Colon Priority Protocol, page 9 in your Holistic Health Handbook. If self-help measures fail to bring permanent relief, I recommend a consultation with me or another holistic physician for assistance.

 

HealthBeat News

Do You Really Take All That Stuff ???

I was in a local store today; the owner and I are on friendly terms. In fact, we had given her a Wellness Club Holistic Health Handbook as part of her Christmas gift. Apparently, she has been reading it. She asked me today when I was in, “Do you really take all that stuff you recommend? Can’t you just get adequate nutrition from a good diet?” Good questions, and I was shaking my head “yes” and “no” before she even finished asking.

Yes, I really take a lot of my own Wellness Club “stuff” (more in a minute). In fact, one of the main reason I started The Wellness Club almost 10 years ago was to ensure myself easy access to “the good stuff” (highest quality nutritionals). And “no,” you can’t get adequate, much less optimal, nutrition from diet alone. Here are the reasons I take supplements.

Why a “good diet” is not optimal. First let’s define some terms: “Adequate” means barely enough to sustain life. Yes, you can probably achieve that from an exceptionally good diet. Who eats an exceptionally good diet? But you can’t get “optimal nutrition” — vitamins and minerals at levels known to promote longevity— from even a very good diet.

That’s because our food supply isn’t what it used to be. To see a complete chart of Optimal doses of vitamins and minerals, click here.

Vegetables without Vitamins. The nutritional value of foods is rapidly declining. According to the USDA food tables, most commercial vegetables contain at least 50% less of the nutrients than they did in 1975. For example, broccoli has 50% less calcium than it used to; watercress has 80% less iron, cauliflower has 40% less vitamin C. The National Academy of Sciences reports that it takes twice as many vegetables as it used to to get the same amount of nutrients. The reason for this decline appears related to growing and agricultural practices. That, plus many foods are heavily contaminated with pesticides, synthetic fertilizers instead of the natural nutrients, and picked before their prime (full nutrient content) so they can be shipped to far away places for consumption. If the nutrients aren’t in the soil, they won’t be in the plants grown in that soil. The recommended 3 to 5 servings per day should rightly be changed to 6 to 10 servings per day of fruits and vegetables to get a basic complement of plant-derived nutrients. Do YOU eat this much in a day? Few Americans do.

Meat without Omegas. The Omega-3 fatty acids, along with Omega-6 fatty acids, comprise the “Essential Fatty Acids” (EFA’s), so-called because they must be obtained from diet. The average American diet is far too high in O-6 fatty acids and drastically deficient in O-3 fatty acids. The result is that our immune systems tend to be hyper-reactive in many ways (allergies, autoimmune disease, heart disease, certain cancers and overweight are intimately related to this O-3 deficiency). The primary sources of O-3 fatty acids are meat (especially beef), eggs and seafood, particularly salmon, and flax seed. But even these “good foods” are not what they should be. The way we raise animals drastically alters— for better or worse— their Omega-3 fatty acid content, and therefore their Omega Ratios. [NOTE: as a reminder, a healthy Omega Ratio should be between 4 to 10. Less than 4 is super-healthy, more than 10 is an unfavorable ratio. Many nutritional scientists believe that the healthiest ratio is no more than 4]. Instead of grass-fed beef with an Omega ratio of 2.3, feed-lot and corn-fed beef has a less favorable OR of 8.6 or higher. (Still a decent OR). Feed-lot raised beef is also high in human hormones and antibiotics. Eggs raised from chickens fed a diet of Omega-3 rich grains and allowed to free-range will lay high Omega-3 containing eggs with an OR of 2.6, but most industrially-raised hens today lay eggs with an OR of 13.0. Salmon is by far the superior food for Omega-3 content, but there’s a wide variability in this, too. Wild-caught Pacific salmon has an OR of 0.5 and very low levels of contaminants. New information released this month shows that farm-raised salmon tend to have high levels of contaminants including methyl mercury and PCBs, antibiotics, pesticides, synthetic coloring agents, growth hormones and GMOs. The OR for farm-raised and Atlantic salmon is far less favorable at 6.8. (Still a good Omega Ratio, but is the toxicity worth the risk?).

Even a diet that includes the USDA recommended fruits, vegetables and meats is still unlikely to be “adequate.” Inadequate nutrition plus additional contaminants in the food mean that even a well-meaning diet may be less-than-adequate. But even if it were “adequate,” adequate isn’t good enough for me.

Why “Adequate” isn’t Enough

Much is known about how to keep a human body healthy for life and maximize longevity. The sciences of nutrition, biochemistry, pharmacology, exercise physiology, and psychology have contributed much to improving both quality and quantity of life. Although drugs can be helpful and sometimes curative, they are not the surest option for maintaining good health. I take advantage of those diet and lifestyle methods that have proven to help hedge the bet for a long, healthy life.

Studies have been done on elders (over 60 population) taking a multiple vitamin-mineral supplement. Those on low potency formulas (the “one little tablet per day” variety) did nothing more than placebo, but those taking higher potency formulas had a 60% lower rate of upper respiratory infection plus overall stronger immunity. Optimal, not merely “adequate” doses of various vitamins and minerals have far-reaching effects in the body. Consider the numerous benefits I get just from taking Maxi Multi — my ultimate basic multiple nutrient formula.

A few of the many known deficiency/disease connections:

A deficiency of antioxidant nutrients (especially beta carotene, vitamins C & E, and selenium) is associated with higher incidence of cancers of the colon, breast, prostate, mouth, lungs and skin. Some researchers believe that antioxidant deficiencies may be related to higher incidence of all cancers. Antioxidant deficiency is also associated with cataracts, macular degeneration, cardiovascular disease and premature aging.

A mineral deficiency, especially magnesium and potassium but also calcium, is associated with high blood pressure.

Deficiencies of vitamin E, C, B6, B12, folic acid (a B vitamin), and bioflavonoids are associated with cardiovascular disease. The connection between vitamin E and heart health is so well established that conventional medical cardiologists are instructed to recommend vitamin E to their patients.

Healthy bones, and the prevention of osteoporosis, depend on sufficient levels of minerals, including calcium, magnesium, boron, zinc, copper, B vitamins, and vitamin D. Calcium deficiency is also associated with overweight and colon cancer.

In males, benign prostatic hypertrophy and prostate cancer is associated with decreased levels of zinc and selenium. Zinc deficiency also correlates to decreased immune function. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and diabetes (high blood sugar) occur more frequently in people who are chromium deficient. After diabetes is present, low levels of vitamin A, C, E, plus zinc, selenium, choline, bioflavonoids and B complex vitamins are associated with more complications from the disease.

Deficiencies of B complex vitamins are associated with heart disease, fatigue, muscle weakness, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and senile (age-related) dementia.

The list above represents only some of the diseases that nutrient deficiency can cause. Studies show that people who do not have nutrient deficiencies have a greatly lowered risk of these diseases. I’m hedging my bet by making up for any gaps in my diet by taking a high quality multiple vitamin/mineral supplement.

What I Used to Take & Recommend for Patients

Some years ago, patients and wellness club members recall that I recommended 4 separate supplements in order to get the solid daily basics of good nutrition. I would use the following nutrients for my “Basic daily formula:

I.) High quality multiple (Usually Tyler’s brand called Nutrizyme; daily dose is 6 capsules)

II.) Extra antioxidants (A formula with higher potencies of Vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin C & E, and selenium. I would usually use Carlson’s brand of “ACES” for the extra antioxidants.(1 cap, 3 times per day with meals).

III.) Extra calcium/magnesium and trace bone nutrients (boron, vanadium). I used one of several different formulas to “make up the difference” that the multiple didn’t contain. (3-6 capsules per day).

IV.) Multi-B-Complex: extra-potencies of B complex vitamins, higher than even a good multiple, for the many proven health benefits. (1 capsule, 2 times per day).

All together, this Basic program was 17-20 capsules per day of the finest nutritional supplement available. 4 separate products, but well worth the effort and money in my book. Many agreed with me. Then I decided to make it simpler. It was state-of the-art supplementation. Because this protocol is still valuable today (the individual formulas have been kept up-to-date), this is still a good program to follow. I just decided to make it simpler.

The Best Made Better

That above-listed regimen is the one I followed and recommended for many years, with outstanding results. Still, 4 separate products to achieve Optimal vitamin/mineral supplementation seemed like a lot of work, so I decided to make it simpler. After all, I “take all this stuff” myself, remember? And I knew I intended to continue taking my nutrients for the long-haul, making improvements in my program as new discoveries caused me to make dose or formula changes, but intending to stick with it because many studies also show that the benefits from nutritional supplementation accrue over the long-haul. I took the “optimal dose” list I had constructed from the medical literature and decided to put the “four separate items” into a single formula. That is when Maxi Multi was “born.”

Maxi Multi: The Four-in-One Formula for Optimal Supplementation

Yes, I “take my own stuff.” The benefits of optimal potency supplementation on health and potential lifespan are clear-cut in my medical opinion. I knew I was “in it for the long haul,” and so were many of my patients. In order to make such optimal supplementation easier and more cost-effective, I devised a formula that had these optimal potencies in a single supplement. Maxi Multis have the combined benefits and nutrient levels as the previous four-supplement regimen I was prescribing. There were and still are other benefits to making my own formula, too.

When I new bit of nutritional science is discovered, such as higher doses of vitamin E appear to be better at preventing heart disease, breast cancer and cataracts, I can and do make adjustments in the formula to keep up with the science. I also pick and choose each individual nutrient — it’s form, potency and purity— and I’m a stickler for these ingredients. It’s got to be that way, because there are little quality controls in the health and nutrition industry right now. I am the “Dragon Lady” when it comes to my formulas, because I want them to be the best. Remember, I “take this stuff” myself for health reasons and intend to for life. I want to best, so it will perform as I expect. I take my own stuff. [NOTE: and the newly proposed FDA regulations, the legislation that we’ve been urging you to write to your senators and congressmen about, will not solve this problem, only restrict your freedom to purchase even the high-quality “stuff.” (For more on this legislation see your HealthBeat from December 2, 2003.)

My Personal Protocol for Good Health

1.) Supplements:

I.) Maxi Multi: 3 caps, 3 times per day with meals, without fail.

II.) Maxi Greens: 2 caps, 3 times per day with meals, without fail.

III.) CoQ10 (50mg): twice per day.

IV.) Flax oil: caps or liquid, daily.

I take additional supplements, but this list forms the basis of my program. Please keep in mind that I do not have any medical conditions that I am treating. If I did, my basic program would reflect additional nutrients and/or herbs targeted to whatever my medical problem was.

2.) Foods: I choose organic fruits and veggies whenever possible. I also look for wild instead of farm-raised salmon and grab organic beef whenever I find it. I search out Omega eggs (available in the regular grocery store). I follow The Super Fast Diet (low carbs, high in Omega-3 essential fats).

3.) Exercise: every day in the outdoors. I live in an area where the air is clean. If I didn’t, I’d have an indoor and car air purifier.

4.) Pure water: 64 ounces a day without fail.

No one can guarantee us a long, healthy life. Some of this “equation” is up to fate: genetics, luck. Much of our health, however, is within our control. We can optimize our “healthspan” (how long we stay healthy) and our lifespan (actual years that we live) by taking reasonable and good care of ourselves. Given what I know about nutrition, basic supplementation in optimal doses seems a small price to pay for the return I anticipate on my investment. So “yes”, I really do take “all that stuff.”

HealthBeat News

The Ten Most Dangerous Foods: Part II

For those of you who have been waiting for the other shoe to drop, here are the “other five” of my top ten list of most unhealthful foods. If you did not get the first half of this list, please refresh your memory by clicking here: http://www.drmyattswellnessclub.com/HealthbeatV8I7.htm

6.) Margarine: no matter what it’s made from, margarine is largely “trans fat.” (Remember, trans fat is “Franken-fat,” the really bad stuff). Even good oils are converted into “trans” when they are made into margarine. There isn’t much “trans fat” in nature; the body is not well equipped to deal with this strange substance. Corn oil margarine has an Omega Ratio of 88.5, but even “good” margarine made with soy margarine has an OR of 12.9 (not to mention an unknown amount of “trans,” which all margarines have.

SUBSTITUTE: Butter, with an Omega Ratio of 1.5, is an absolute health food. I’m not sure how it got a “bad rap,” but it is totally undeserved. Use butter for a bread spread and for low-heat sautéing. DO NOT use margarine of any kind!

7.) Vegetable Oils: Some oils are bad, some are really bad. Corn oil and peanut oil take the prize for having such an unnatural Omega Ratio (82.9 & infinite, respectively), that the body simply does not have the capacity to use it properly. These high Omega-6 oils create inflammation in the body, predisposing to cancer, heart disease and over 60 other disease processes. Other unhealthy vegetable oils include: soy, sunflower, safflower, cotton seed and sesame. Olive oil is neutral, not healthful. Why use this when you can use flax seed oil with a positive health benefit?

SUBSTITUTE: For salad dressings and no-heat uses: Flax oil (Omega ratio: 0.23) is a health food, so is walnut oil (OR: 5.0) and canola oil (OR: 2.18). Be SURE to use organically processed canola (the label will brag about this). Most commercial canola oils are chemically processed and contain too many chemical residues to make them safe.

8.) White Sugar: This pseudo-food contains NOTHING but simple, “empty” calories. It has no fats, hence no Omega Ratio. (That’s the best news about white sugar). White sugar rapidly elevates blood sugar and taxes the pancreas tremendously. Can you say “hypoglycemia, Syndrome X and diabetes”? The calories in sugar have no food value but are stored rapidly as fat. White sugar requires B complex vitamins for its utilization, creating a B vitamin deficiency. Why does this matter? Low B-6, B12 and folate are major causes of depression, heart disease, ovarian cancer (and probably other cancers), and birth defects.

SUBSTITUTE: “brown sugar” and honey are NOT acceptable substitutes. Their nutritional content is only minutely better than refined white sugar. Try stevia (an herb) or artificial sweeteners, especially saccharine and Splenda.

9.) White flour: With an Omega ratio of 17.7 and no redeeming nutritional value except empty calories, white flour teams with white sugar as the top “white trash” foods. All of the B complex vitamin deficiencies occurring with white sugar also happen with white flour. Now think a minute: why is it white? Because it has been BLEACHED. No fiber, no nutrients (except carbohydrate calories), a huge tax on the pancreas, PLUS bleach. What a bargain!

SUBSTITUTE: whole grain flour (which usually has a lot of refined flour), or skip flour products altogether. Soy flour products make the most tastefully and healthfully acceptable products.

10.) Non-Dairy Creamer: Made from “pseudo-edible oils” (see # 7 above), creamers have a lot of trans fats. Why do I call the “Franken-fats”? “Trans” is the REALLY BAD kind of fat; Franken-fats are from Trans-silvania, get it?

SUBSTITUTE: want cream in your coffee? Use cream! Or half-and-half! With an Omega Ratio of 1.55 and no trans fats, the “real deal” is much more healthful than these “Franken-fakes.”