HealthBeat News

Dear Members and Friends:

As I have discussed with you in the past, your freedom to purchase and use nutritional and herbal supplements is under serious threat. The evidence of benefit for such supplementation is huge, the likelihood of harm is miniscule, but people getting well or staying well by taking supplements is encroaching on pharmaceutical sales. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the regulatory agency for drugs AND the lapdog of the pharmaceutical industry, is working in conjunction with other special-interest groups to make easy access to supplements a thing of the past.

I subscribe to a great health newsletter, one that feeds me a collection of important health news from around the world. A further discussion of today’s topic can be found here. I encourage you to use the provided link and read the entire article. I also recommend that you subscribe to this newsletter. It’s sharp, relevant and costs nothing but your sign-up.

In Health,
Dr. Myatt


Efforts to Reregulate Nutritional Supplements Gain Momentum
By Peter Barry Chowka

(June 1, 2004) The relative freedom that Americans have had to access a wide
variety of nutritional supplements in recent years may be coming to an end.
From a number of different directions, forces are moving forward quickly
and seemingly inexorably to strengthen the government’s regulation of
nutritional supplements. The result will be that the ability of individuals
to purchase and use supplements – vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids,
and so on – freely and without excessive restrictions may soon be in
jeopardy.

(Read more at http://www.naturalhealthline.com )

 

HealthBeat News

In This Issue:

Ten Proven Reasons to take a Good Multiple Vitamin Still think taking your daily Maxi Multi or other optimal-dose vitamin/mineral supplement is a waste of time? See ten recent medical “findings” that should convince you that your multiple is very worthwhile “insurance.” PLUS, be sure to read BOGUS Science to learn about the most recent media/medical “health scam.”

Omega-3: Facts about Flax and Fish You asked for it, you got it! Find out the many benefits of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids from flax and fish. These are two Super-Foods you’ll definitely want to know about!

Member News and Notes
BOGUS Science
Recent “health breakthroughs” that aren’t, and find out this week’s biggest, highly-publicized downright lie about nutritional supplements. A “must read” to protect yourself from bad science and “media spin.”

Upcoming topics: Keep those requests and questions coming! Future issues will detail male and female hormone replacement (natural methods), benefits of soy, and Big Fat Lies about dietary fat (this one will surprise the heck out of you!)

Ten Proven Reasons to take a Good Multiple Vitamin

While conventional medicine and newspaper headlines continue to tell us that nutritional supplementation isn’t important, the results of medical research shows just the opposite. Here are ten recent medical findings that should convince you to keep taking a high-quality, optimal potency multiple vitamin/mineral supplement. If you’re not sure what an “optimal potency” formula consists of or what you should be taking for your age and sex, refer to The Wellness Club web site’s nutritional supplementspage for an up-to-date ingredient list and optimal dose recommendations.

  1. Harvard researchers have found that sub-optimal levels of folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12 are a risk factor for heart disease and colon and breast cancers. (Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) June 19, 2002)
  2. A six-month study showing that folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 helped prevent recurrence of blocked arteries in patients who have undergone coronary angioplasty. (Journal of the American Medical Association, August 28, 2002).
  3. Vitamin K is a critical nutrient for skeletal integrity, with evidence of vitamin K1 supplementation reducing bone loss in healthy postmenopausal women and a significant positive relationship between vitamin K status and indices of bone health in men. (24th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research, September 20 – 24, 2002, San Antonio, Texas)
  4. Alzheimer’s disease: Association with zinc deficiency and cerebral vitamin B12 deficiency. (Journal of Orthol. Psychiatry (CANADA), 1984, 13/2 (97-104))
    Supplementation of the elderly with vitamin E has been shown to enhance immune response, delay onset of Alzheimer’s disease, and increase resistance to oxidative injury associated with exercise. (Proc Nutr Soc. 2002;61:165-171)
    Vitamin E intake
    , from foods or supplements, is associated with less cognitive decline with age. Arch Neurol. 2002;59:1125-1132
  5. Researchers at Cambridge University in England looked at serum vitamin C and how long people lived. People who had the lowest levels of vitamin C were twice as likely to die compared to those with the highest serum vitamin C levels. This study was based on the findings from over 19,000 people. (Lancet 2001; 357:657-63)
  6. 26.4% of esophageal and gastric cancers are attributable to low selenium levels. (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Mark et al., 2000)
  7. Calcium supplementation is associated with a significant – though moderate – reduction in the risk of recurrent colorectal adenomas. The effect of calcium was independent of initial dietary fat and calcium intake. (N Engl J Med (United States) Jan 14 1999, 340 (2) p101-7.)
  8. Data from the Nurses’ Health Study conducted at the Harvard Medical School showed that long-term supplementation with folic acid reduces the risk of colon cancer by 75% in women! 90,000 women participated in the Nurses’ Health Study, making this and especially significant finding. The authors of this study explained that folic acid obtained from supplements had a stronger protective effect against colon cancer than folic acid consumed in the diet. (Annals of Internal Medicine (1998; 129:517-524)
  9. Regarding asthma, the lowest intakes of vitamin C and manganese (a trace mineral not to be confused with magnesium) were associated with more than five-fold increased risks of bronchial reactivity. Decreasing intakes of magnesium were also significantly associated with an increased risk of hyper-reactivity. (Thorax (United Kingdom), 1997, 52/2 (166-170)).
  10. Antioxidant supplements reduce the risk of cataract. One study in the evaluated 410 men for 3 years to ascertain the association between serum vitamin E and the development of cortical lens opacities (cataracts). The men with the lowest level of serum vitamin E had a 3.7 times greater risk of this form of cataract compared to men with the highest serum level of vitamin E. (American Journal of Epidemiology Sept. 1996)
  11. Encouraging moderate exercise and dietary supplementation with calcium and vitamin D… are the major nonpharmacological management measures used to prevent and treat osteoporosis. (Drugs and Aging (New Zealand), 1996, 9/6 (472-477)
  12. Nutrient intake of patients with rheumatoid arthritis is deficient in pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), zinc, copper, and magnesium. (Journal of Rheumatology (Canada), 1996, 23/6 (990-994))

More Research Supporting Benefits of Antioxidants

By Allen S. Josephs, M.D.
President, Vitacost.com

Recent studies further support the need for antioxidants and other nutrients to protect against cell damage, and in some cases even reduce risks of certain forms of cancer. One medical study had very promising results when participants were given a daily dose of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene and selenium. Most multivitamins on the market do not qualify as good because they lack so many important antioxidants and/or use inadequate levels and forms.”

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Also Known As: Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)

——————————————————————————–

Overview

Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids, which means that they are essential to human health but cannot be manufactured by the body. For this reason, omega-3 fatty acids must be obtained from food. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish and certain plant oils. It is important to maintain an appropriate balance of omega-3 and omega-6 (another essential fatty acid) in the diet as these two substances work together to promote health. Also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function as well as normal growth and development.

There are three major types of omega 3 fatty acids that are ingested in foods and used by the body: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Once eaten, the body converts ALA to EPA and DHA, the two types of omega-3 fatty acids more readily used by the body. Extensive research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and help prevent certain chronic diseases such as heart disease and arthritis. These essential fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be particularly important for cognitive and behavioral function. In fact, infants who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk for developing vision and nerve problems.

As mentioned previously, it is very important to maintain a balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the diet. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation and most omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation. An inappropriate balance of these essential fatty acids contributes to the development of disease while a proper balance helps maintain and even improve health. A healthy diet should consist of roughly one to four times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. The typical American diet tends to contain 11 to 30 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids and many researchers believe this imbalance is a significant factor in the rising rate of inflammatory disorders in the United States.

——————————————————————————–

Uses

Studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may be helpful in treating a variety of conditions. The evidence is strongest for heart disease and problems that contribute to heart disease, but the range of possible uses for omega-3 fatty acids include:

High Cholesterol

Those who follow a Mediterranean-style diet tend to have higher HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels. Similar to those who follow a Mediterranean diet, Inuit Eskimos, who consume high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish, also tend to have increased HDL cholesterol and decreased triglycerides (fatty material that circulates in the blood). In addition, fish oil supplements containing EPA and DHA have been shown to reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides. Finally, walnuts (which are rich in ALA) have been shown to lower total cholesterol and triglycerides in people with high cholesterol.

High Blood Pressure

Several studies suggest that diets and/or supplements rich in omega-3 fatty acids lower blood pressure significantly in people with hypertension. Fish high in mercury (such as tuna) should be avoided, however, because they may increase blood pressure.

Heart Disease

One of the best ways to help prevent and treat heart disease is to eat a low-fat diet and to replace foods rich in saturated and trans-fat with those that are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (including omega-3 fatty acids). Evidence suggests that EPA and DHA found in fish oil help reduce risk factors for heart disease including high cholesterol and high blood pressure. There is also strong evidence that these substances can help prevent and treat atherosclerosis by inhibiting the development of plaque and blood clots, each of which tends to clog arteries. Studies of heart attack survivors have found that daily omega-3 fatty acid supplements dramatically reduce the risk of death, subsequent heart attacks, and stroke. Similarly, people who eat an ALA-rich diet are less likely to suffer a fatal heart attack.

Stroke

Strong evidence from population-based studies suggests that omega-3 fatty acid intake (primarily from fish), helps protect against stroke caused by plaque buildup and blood clots in the arteries that lead to the brain. In fact, eating at least two servings of fish per week can reduce the risk of stroke by as much as 50%. However, people who eat more than three grams of omega-3 fatty acids per day (equivalent to 3 servings of fish per day) may be at an increased risk for hemorrhagic stroke, a potentially fatal type of stroke in which an artery in the brain leaks or ruptures.

Diabetes

People with diabetes tend to have high triglyceride and low HDL levels. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil can help lower triglycerides and raise HDL, so people with diabetes may benefit from eating foods or taking supplements that contain DHA and EPA. ALA (from flaxseed, for example) may not have the same benefit as DHA and EPA because some people with diabetes lack the ability to efficiently convert ALA to a form of omega-3 fatty acids that the body can use readily.

Weight Loss

Many people who are overweight suffer from poor blood sugar control, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Studies suggest that overweight people who follow a weight loss program including exercise tend to achieve better control over their blood sugar and cholesterol levels when fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids (such as salmon, mackerel, and herring) is a staple in their low fat diet.

Arthritis

Most clinical studies investigating the use of omega-3 fatty acid supplements for inflammatory joint conditions have focused almost entirely on rheumatoid arthritis. Several articles reviewing the research in this area conclude that omega-3 fatty acid supplements reduce tenderness in joints, decrease morning stiffness, and allow for a reduction in the amount of medication needed for people with rheumatoid arthritis.

In addition, laboratory studies suggest that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids (and low in omega-6 fatty acids) may benefit people with other inflammatory disorders, such as osteoarthritis. In fact, several test tube studies of cartilage-containing cells have found that omega-3 fatty acids decrease inflammation and reduce the activity of enzymes that destroy cartilage. Similarly, New Zealand green lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus), another potential source of omega-3 fatty acids, has been shown to reduce joint stiffness and pain, increase grip strength, and enhance walking pace in a small group of people with osteoarthritis. In some participants, symptoms worsened before they improved.

Osteoporosis

Studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA help increase levels of calcium in the body, deposit calcium in the bones, and improve bone strength. In addition, studies also suggest that people who are deficient in certain essential fatty acids (particularly EPA and gamma-linolenic acid [GLA], an omega-6 fatty acid) are more likely to suffer from bone loss than those with normal levels of these fatty acids. In a study of women over 65 with osteoporosis, those given EPA and GLA supplements experienced significantly less bone loss over three years than those who were given a placebo. Many of these women also experienced an increase in bone density.

Depression

People who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids or do not maintain a healthy balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in their diet may be at an increased risk for depression. The omega-3 fatty acids are important components of nerve cell membranes. They help nerve cells communicate with each other, which is an essential step in maintaining good mental health.

Levels of omega-3 fatty acids were found to be measurably low and the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids were particularly high in a study of patients hospitalized for depression. In a study of people with depression, those who ate a healthy diet consisting of fatty fish two to three times per week for 5 years experienced a significant reduction in feelings of depression and hostility.

Manic/Depression (Bipolar Disorder)

In a study of 30 people with bipolar disorder, those who were treated with EPA and DHA (in combination with their usual mood stabilizing medications) for four months experienced fewer mood swings and recurrence of either depression or mania than those who received placebo. A similar but larger study is currently underway at the University of California- Los Angeles School of Medicine.

Schizophrenia

Preliminary evidence suggests that people with schizophrenia experience an improvement in symptoms when given omega-3 fatty acids. However, a recent well-designed study concluded that EPA supplements are no better than placebo in improving symptoms of this condition. The conflicting results suggest that more research is needed before conclusions can be drawn about the benefit of omega-3 fatty acids for schizophrenia. Similar to diabetes, people with schizophrenia may not be able to convert ALA to EPA or DHA efficiently.

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Children with ADHD may have low levels of certain essential fatty acids (including EPA and DHA) in their bodies. In a study of nearly 100 boys, those with lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids demonstrated more learning and behavioral problems (such as temper tantrums and sleep disturbances) than boys with normal omega-3 fatty acid levels. In animal studies, low levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to lower the concentration of certain brain chemicals (such as dopamine and serotonin) related to attention and motivation. Studies that examine the ability of omega-3 supplements to improve symptoms of ADHD are still needed. At this point in time, eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids is a reasonable approach for someone with ADHD.

Eating Disorders

Studies suggest that men and women with anorexia nervosa have lower than optimal levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (including ALA and GLA). To prevent the complications associated with essential fatty acid deficiencies, some experts recommend that treatment programs for anorexia nervosa include PUFA-rich foods such as fish and organ meats (which include omega-6 fatty acids).

Burns

Essential fatty acids have been used to reduce inflammation and promote wound healing in burn victims. Animal research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids help promote a healthy balance of proteins in the body — protein balance is important for recovery after sustaining a burn. Further research is necessary to determine whether omega 3s benefit people in the same way.

Skin Disorders

In one study, 13 people with a particular sensitivity to the sun known as photodermatitis showed significantly less sensitivity to UV rays after taking fish oil supplements. Still, research indicates that topical sunscreens are much better at protecting the skin from damaging effects of the sun than omega-3 fatty acids. In another study of 40 people with psoriasis, those who were treated with medications and EPA supplements did better than those treated with the medications alone. In addition, many clinicians believe that flaxseed (which contains omega-3 fatty acids) is helpful for treating acne.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

When added to medication, such as sulfasalazine (a standard medication for IBD), omega-3 fatty acids may reduce symptoms of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis — the two types of IBD. More studies to investigate this preliminary finding are under way. In animals, it appears that ALA works better at decreasing bowel inflammation than EPA and DHA. Plus, fish oil supplements can cause side effects that are similar to symptoms of IBD (such as flatulence and diarrhea). Time-release preparations may help reduce these unwanted effects.

Asthma

Preliminary research suggests that omega-3 fatty acid supplements (in the form of perilla seed oil, which is rich in ALA) may decrease inflammation and improve lung function in adults with asthma. Omega-6 fatty acids have the opposite effect: they tend to increase inflammation and worsen respiratory function. In a small, well-designed study of 29 children with asthma, those who took fish oil supplements rich in EPA and DHA for 10 months had improvement in their symptoms compared to children who took a placebo pill.

Macular Degeneration

A questionnaire administered to more than 3,000 people over the age of 49 found that those who consumed more fish in their diet were less likely to have macular degeneration (a serious age-related eye condition that can progress to blindness) than those who consumed less fish. Similarly, a study comparing 350 people with macular degeneration to 500 without found that those with a healthy dietary balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and higher intake of fish in their diets were less likely to have this particular eye disorder. Another larger study confirms that EPA and DHA from fish, four or more times per week, may reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration. Notably, however, this same study suggests that ALA may actually increase the risk of this eye condition.

Menstrual Pain

In a study of nearly 200 Danish women, those with the highest dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids had the mildest symptoms during menstruation.

Colon Cancer

Consuming significant amounts of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids appears to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. For example, Eskimos, who tend to follow a high fat diet but eat significant amounts of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, have a low rate of colorectal cancer. Animal studies and laboratory studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids prevent worsening of colon cancer while omega-6 fatty acids promote the growth of colon tumors. Daily consumption of EPA and DHA also appeared to slow or even reverse the progression of colon cancer in people with early stages of the disease.

However, in an animal study of rats with metastatic colon cancer (in other words, cancer that has spread to other parts of the body such as the liver), omega-3 fatty acids actually promoted the growth of cancer cells in the liver. Until more information is available, it is best for people with advanced stages of colorectal cancer to avoid omega-3 fatty acid supplements and diets rich in this substance.

Breast Cancer

Although not all experts agree, women who regularly consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids over many years may be less likely to develop breast cancer. In addition, the risk of dying from breast cancer may be significantly less for those who eat large quantities of omega-3 from fish and brown kelp seaweed (common in Japan). This is particularly true among women who substitute fish for meat. The balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids appears to play an important role in the development and growth of breast cancer. Further research is still needed to understand the effect that omega-3 fatty acids may have on the prevention or treatment of breast cancer. For example, several researchers speculate that omega-3 fatty acids in combination with other nutrients (namely, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium, and coenzyme Q10) may prove to be of particular value for preventing and treating breast cancer.

Prostate Cancer

Laboratory and animal studies indicate that omega-3 fatty acids (specifically, DHA and EPA) may inhibit the growth of prostate cancer. Similarly, population based studies of groups of men suggest that a low-fat diet with the addition of omega-3 fatty acids from fish or fish oil help prevent the development of prostate cancer. Like breast cancer, the balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids appears to be particularly important for reducing the risk of this condition. ALA, however, may not offer the same benefits as EPA and DHA. In fact, one recent study evaluating 67 men with prostate cancer found that they had higher levels of ALA compared to men without prostate cancer. More research in this area is needed.

Other

Although further research is needed, preliminary evidence suggests that omega-3 fatty acids may also prove helpful in protecting against certain infections and treating a variety of conditions including ulcers, migraine headaches, preterm labor, emphysema, psoriasis, glaucoma, Lyme disease, lupus, and panic attacks.

——————————————————————————–

Dietary Sources

Fish oils and plant oils are the primary dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids. Another potential source of omega-3 fatty acids is New Zealand green lipped mussels (Perna canaliculus),used for centuries by the Maories to promote good health. EPA and DHA are found in cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, halibut, sardines, and herring. ALA is found in flaxseeds & flaxseed oil. FISH and FLAX are the best sources. Other oils that contain significant amounts of Omega-3 are not recommended because they are also high in Omega-6. these include: canola (rapeseed) oil, soybeans, soybean oil, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed oil, purslane, perilla seed oil, walnuts, and walnut oil.

——————————————————————————–

Available Forms

In addition to the dietary sources described, EPA and DHA can be taken in the form of fish oil Capsules. Flaxseed, flaxseed oil, and fish oil should be kept refrigerated. Whole flaxseeds should be ground within 1 week of use to ensure maximum potency.

Be sure to buy omega-3 fatty acid supplements made by established companies who certify that their products are free of heavy metals such as mercury.

——————————————————————————–

How to Take It

Flaxseed

1 TBS. ground flax seed per day AND 1 TBS. flax oil per day OR 2 TBS. flax oil per day. (This corresponds to about 12 flax oil Capsules.

Flaxseed: 1 Tbsp two to three times per day or 2 to 4 tbsp one time per day. Grind before eating and take with lots of water.

EPA and DHA

The adequate daily intake of EPA and DHA for adults should be at least 220 mg of each per day. Two to three servings of fatty fish per week (roughly 1,250 mg EPA and DHA per day) are generally recommended to treat certain health conditions.

Fish oil supplements

3,000 to 4,000 mg standardized fish oils per day. (This amount corresponds to roughly 2 to 3 servings of fatty fish per week.)

Typically, a 1,000 mg fish oil Capsule has 180 mg EPA and 120 mg DHA

ALA

——————————————————————————–

Precautions

Because of the potential for side effects and interactions with medications, dietary supplements should be taken only under the supervision of a knowledgeable healthcare provider.

Omega-3 fatty acids should be used cautiously by people who bruise easily, have a bleeding disorder, or take blood-thinning medications because excessive amounts of omega-3 fatty acids may lead to bleeding. In fact, people who eat more than three grams of omega-3 fatty acids per day (equivalent to 3 servings of fish per day) may be at an increased risk for hemorrhagic stroke, a potentially fatal condition in which an artery in the brain leaks or ruptures.

Fish oil can cause flatulence and diarrhea. Time-release preparations may reduce these side effects, however.

People with either diabetes or schizophrenia may lack the ability to convert ALA to EPA and DHA, the forms more readily used in the body. Therefore, people with these conditions should obtain their omega-3 fatty acids from dietary sources rich in EPA and DHA.

Although studies have found that regular consumption of fish (which includes the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA) may reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a recent study including two large groups of men and women found that diets rich in ALA may substantially increase the risk of this disease. More research is needed in this area. Until this information becomes available, it is best for people with macular degeneration to obtain omega-3 fatty acids from sources of EPA and DHA, rather than ALA.

——————————————————————————–

Possible Interactions

If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use omega-3 fatty acid supplements without first talking to your healthcare provider.

Blood-thinning Medications

Omega-3 fatty acids may increase the blood-thinning effects of aspirin or warfarin. While the combination of aspirin and omega-3 fatty acids may actually be helpful under certain circumstances (such as heart disease), they should only be taken together under the guidance and supervision of your healthcare provider.

Cyclosporine

Taking omega-3 fatty acids during cyclosporine therapy may reduce toxic side effects (such as high blood pressure and kidney damage) associated with this medication in transplant patients.

Etretinate and Topical Steroids

The addition of omega-3 fatty acids (specifically EPA) to a drug regimen of etretinate and topical corticosteroids may improve symptoms of psoriasis.

Cholesterol-lowering Medications

Following certain nutritional guidelines, including increasing the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet and reducing the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, may allow a group of cholesterol lowering medications known as “statins” (such as atorvastatin, lovastatin, and simvastatin) to work more effectively.

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

In an animal study, treatment with omega-3 fatty acids reduced the risk of ulcers from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). More research is needed to evaluate whether omega-3 fatty acids would have the same effects in people.

Copyright © 2002 A.D.A.M., Inc

Member News and Notes

Bogus Science

Bad advice comes in many forms and no branch of medicine is exempt from promoting faulty “science.” Just because you read something in the newspaper, the New York Times, or a health journal doesn’t necessarily make it true. Here is this month’s list of the biggest scams and shams:

    1. Full-body CT scans for “general diagnosis. The CT scan is not useful for a general health-screening exam and has never been proven or even studied for this purpose. Because such scans will almost always reveal some calcifications in the body, people are led to believe that they have problems that require surgery. Let you doctor order a CT scan for specific diagnosis when indicated, but leave the “let’s just scan you for a general exam” far, far alone for now. Save your $1,000 (approximate cost of test, not covered by insurance since it isn’t proven) and take your multiple vitamin/mineral supplement instead.
    2. Coral calcium: There is NO PROVEN SUPERIORITY of calcium derived from coral over other forms of calcium. Further, lead levels have been found to be unacceptably high in many samples of coral calcium.
    3. Lizard spit: being touted by drug companies as a new remedy for Type II diabetes. They claim that it slightly improves glucose control in 12 weeks. Friends, type II diabetes is COMPLETELY CURABLE in 8 weeks using diet alone, but you’ll never hear that from the drug companies. Too much money can be “milked” from adult-onset diabetics who either don’t know the truth of refuse to help themselves through diet.
    4. Vitamin A increases cancer risk: this is the worst of the “breakthrough news” this week. A second study using synthetic beta-carotene shows and increased risk of lung cancer in smokers. MANY population studies show a decreased risk. What’s going on? The fine print researchers forgot to report: synthetic beta-carotene does not function the same as natural beta-carotene. Natural and synthetic nutrients are not the same, that’s the only “take home message” from this study. Don’t stop taking your antioxidants on the basis of this one bit of really bad science!

HealthBeat News

HealthBeat Update: Memory-Boosting Supplements: Improving mental function

Alpha-Lipoic Acid is a neurological antioxidant that chelates free iron from the forebrain, thereby protecting against free radical damage. It also improves mitochondrial function (mitochondria are the energy-producing units of cells). It works especially well in conjunction with CoQ10 and acetyl-L-carnitine to improve energy production. Because of its utility for preventing brain aging and preserving neurological function, plus its use in cataract prevention, diabetes, congestive heart failure and neurological diseases, it can correctly be classified as an important anti-aging/ life-extending nutrient.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine, a derivative of the amino acid L-Carnitine, is a vitamin-like compound that transports fatty acids (“fuel”) into the body cells. It also acts as a powerful antioxidant in the brain. The acetyl form of L-Carnitine (ALC) has been shown to be substantially more active than L-Carnitine in brain cells.

ALC has been the subject of numerous studies. It bears a close similarity to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which led researchers to study its use in age-related memory changes. ALC has been proven to offer significant benefit to patients with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and also for people with memory impairment and age-onset depression.

L-Carnitine and its more active form, A-LC have also been shown to be effective as part of weight (fat) loss programs, enhancing the body’s fat-burning ability. This effect proves true even when no deficiency of carnitine is present, meaning that all overweight people will benefit.

Suggest Dose of Each: Acetyl-L-Carnitine: 500mg (1 cap) per day; Alpha Lipoic Acid: 200mg (2 caps) per day.

Ginkgo biloba: Memory enhancement for those over 50 (and those under 50 too!) Ginkgo biloba is one of the most well studied herbs for age related memory changes. Ginkgo is a potent antioxidant. It also increases circulation to small diameter blood vessels (such as those in the brain and extremities.) Studies have verified ginkgo’s efficacy in early-stage Alzheimer’s, multiple infarct dementia (memory changes caused by “mini-strokes”), age related depression, glaucoma, impotence (erectile dysfunction,) MS and vascular insufficiency. It also has anti-allergy effects that make it useful for treatment of chronic respiratory allergies and asthma.

Ginkgo is one of the best-selling natural remedies worldwide. It should be part of the longevity protocol for anyone over the age of 50.

Suggested dose: 1 cap, 2 times per day. (target dose: 240 mg per day of 24% flavoneglycosides)

Phosphatidyle serine (PS): Improved Brain-Cell Function. Phosphatidyle serine (PS) is responsible for normal fluidity and membrane integrity of the brain cells. These functions allow brain cells to communicate efficiently with each other.

The body manufactures PS. Lowered levels of PS are seen in aging in association with impaired mental function and depression in the elderly.

Eleven double-blind studies have verified the effectiveness of PS. Significant improvements were seen in mental performance, behavior, mood, and age-related cognitive decline.

Suggested dose: 1 cap (100 mg PS,) 3 times per day.

B Vitamins, Magnesium and Maxi-Multi: The B Vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, folic acid, B12) are all vitally important and work together to regulate energy processes at the cellular level, and by doing so they are vital to the function of nerve and brain cells. Magnesium is a mineral that also plays a big role in energy processes and brain and nerve cell function.

Maxi-Multi is your very best way to be sure you are receiving optimal amounts of these vitamins and minerals, without having to take four or more separate formulas each day. Maxi-Multi provides you with: 1. High potency multiple vitamin / mineral / trace mineral supplement, 2. High potency B complex vitamins, 3. High potency antioxidants (A, carotenes, C, E, selenium, zinc & bioflavinoids) 4. High potency calcium / magnesium (1000 mg / 500 mg). If you only take one nutritional supplement, this should be the one! If you are taking any other “daily vitamin” supplement, do yourself a favor and compare the labels – you’ll see why Maxi-Multi is the way to go. The addition of Plant Enzymes ensures absorption of nutrients. This formula is hypoallergenic and suitable for even highly sensitive individuals.

Ask Dr. Myatt: Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy

Q: I am a postmenopausal woman who never took hormone replacement therapy (HRT). I feel I weathered this change of life pretty well. However, I have developed a chronic vaginal itch that my doctor feels is due to a thinning and drying out of the vaginal tissue. He has prescribed premarin vaginal cream (applied intravaginally) starting at twice a week and then just once a week on an on-going basis. I am hoping that there is a more natural way of dealing with this irritating problem. Any suggestions?

A: Natural hormone replacement therapy is one of the best anti-aging measures a person (male or female) can take. Please read more about “The Climacteric” in your Holistic Health handbook, pages 73-76.

Even with only minimal symptoms of hormone deficiency (the vaginal dryness), I still recommend natural hormone replacement therapy (n-HRT). The key word here is “natural.” The hormones used for such are still prescription, but they are custom-tailored to your needs and hormone profile results, not “generic.” Further, they are “bio identical” to your body’s own hormones, meaning that they are the same hormones and given in similar doses to that of a younger female, not synthetic or un-natural hormones, which cause more health problems than they cure. (Premarin is so named because of its origin: Pregnant Mare’s Urine. I kid not! This stuff is natural for a pregnant horse, but not for a postmenopausal human female!)

Natural hormone replacement therapy may include any or all of the three female estrogens, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA. Maintenance of cardiovascular health, bone density, protection against breast and other hormones related cancers, maintenance of youthful skin tone, prevention of age-related mood and mental changes are all part of the benefit you can expect from same.

How to go about this? First, you need a complete female hormones profile. I prefer the saliva test method because it gives an “average” look at your hormones instead of blood testing, which gives only a ‘snapshot” look. Please refer to page 135 in your Holistic Health Handbook. The complete profile costs $129 and that’s a bargain for all the information we get.

Secondly, you’ll need to hook up with a physician who is trained in hormone replacement therapy, especially natural hormone replacement therapy. Since I have been doing this my entire career (14 years now), “I” come readily to mind to help you with this. Since you are post-menopausal, the “finishing touches” on your corrective hormones will take only a few “tweaks,” and won’t change significantly over the years.

Let me know if I can help you get on some corrective natural hormones. You will age more gracefully and gently if you decide to go this route, and minimize opportunities for illness to get a foothold. Oh, yes, and it should take care of your vaginal dryness handily!

The End Of Free Access To Supplements?


Pending U.S. House Bill Will Limit Access to Nutritional Supplements

H.R. 3045 CAFTA, the Central American Free Trade Agreement comes before the House in the next few days, to the President within a week.

CAFTA has already passed the U.S. Senate on June 30 by an unusually close vote (for a big trade agreement) of 54-45. The vote in the House of Representatives is expected to come on Wednesday or Thursday, July 27 or 28, 2005.

The full name of CAFTA is CAFTA-DR, for “Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement.” If approved by the House and signed by President Bush (who is a big supporter), it is estimated that more than 80% of U.S. consumer and industrial exports and over half of U.S. farm exports to the countries involved would become duty-free. The countries are the U.S., Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.

Support for, and opposition to, CAFTA is intense. Most Democrats and many “progressives” oppose it. But so do some elements on the right, including a number of Republicans and Libertarians. Most of the debate has been about the prospect of further U.S. job losses and the decimation of domestic industries like textiles, and the loss of national sovereignty to international trade organizations.

CAFTA will limit Americans’ freedom to access nutritional supplements.

CAFTA, along with NAFTA, GATT, activities of the United Nations’ (UN) WHO (World Health Organization), FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), and CODEX, is one of an alphabet soup of policies, programs, and highly bureaucratized and unresponsive international agencies that, in the context of an increasingly globalized one world economy, are coming together to change the way of life and impact personal freedom in individual nations, including the United States. As has become clear only recently, CAFTA represents a potentially serious threat to Americans’ (that is, residents of the United States’) ability to purchase nutritional supplements, especially at therapeutic (high) dose levels.

Kent Snyder, executive director of the Liberty Committee, issued an “action alert” on CAFTA and CODEX on July 13. In the alert, Snyder writes, “Will the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) finally force you to get a doctor’s prescription just to buy vitamin C, or E, or other dietary supplements you currently pick up ‘over the counter’ in America? Powerful special interests are banking on it.

“Since 1995, Big Medicine has spent billions of dollars trying to get Washington to regulate your dietary supplements just as European governments do. So far, that effort has failed in America. But you may lose the battle for health freedom if CAFTA entangles the U.S. in Europe’s infamous Codex Alimentarius (Codex).

“And if you think CAFTA — the bogus ‘free trade’ agreement — really has nothing to do with limiting the manufacture and distribution of dietary supplements, then why does it specifically mention Codex? . . .

“The pharmaceutical companies want government to ‘manage’ the dietary supplement industry under Codex in order to drive out competitors so only they can manufacture and distribute vitamin C and other dietary supplements. If that happens, as it already has in Europe, the supplements you now take will be available only by prescription and at a much higher cost — if they are available at all.

“We will fight CAFTA, NAFTA, WTO and the like because they subjugate our national sovereignty to the ‘rulings’ of global institutions and the whims of the unelected bureaucrats-for-life who run them. As this web of global governance grows, our freedom to choose shrinks — and health freedom is just one example.”

We at the Wellness Club are VERY worried about this – we believe that if this, and Codex passes you will no longer be able to obtain vitamins and supplements without a doctor’s prescription, and even with that prescription some supplements may be completely unavailable – prohibited, just like heroin! If this passes, it will drive most vitamin and supplement suppliers out of business – and with no one to supply the vitamins and supplements that you are used to taking, it won’t matter if you can get a prescription to buy them or not – you just won’t be able to get them at all, at any price.

Please think about what this means to you, to your health, to your family’s health. Contact your representative today and tell them that you won’t stand for this assault on your health freedoms!

Yours In Health,

Dr. Dana Myatt and Nurse Mark

 

 

HealthBeat News

In This Issue:

A HealthBeat / NurseBeat Update:

Happy Holidays – or are they? How you can beat holiday stresses and safeguard your health.

More FDA foolishness!

Hot Flashes: (Late-Breaking News)

Major study confirms the value of Ginkgo Biloba.

Featured Supplements:

Ginkgo Biloba – Scientifically proven yet again!

Maxi-Multi dietary supplements – a health essential.

Dr. Myatt’s MyPacks – great for travel.

L-5-HTP – the natural alternative to S.S.R.I.’s for depression.

St. John’s Wort – a well-proven natural mood enhancer.

Holiday Gifts Made Easy! Gift Cards from The Wellness Club are an elegant way to say “I love you” for the Holidays!


A HealthBeat / NurseBeat Update:

The holiday season is upon us – like it or not. For most of us this is a wonderful time, filled with joy, and love and giving, and we eagerly look forward to being with family and loved ones over the coming days. Still, even though this is a time of happiness, it is also a time of stress – happy stress for the most part, but stress none-the-less. So what’s wrong with that? Well, stress can leave us tired and compromised in many ways, and susceptible to the colds and flu bugs that make the rounds at this time of year. Many of you will have family visiting from away, or will be travelling to visit family – and are certain to be exposed to colds and flu’s that could make your holidays a misery if you are not prepared. So what can you do? First, make sure you are well rested, and that you are eating healthy, regular meals. Get regular exercise – it helps to boost your immune system. Be sure that you are getting your vitamins and supplements – even if you are away from home. Many “one-a-day” type vitamins claim to be “stress formulas”, but beware – read the label! No “one-a-day” vitamin can really measure up – it takes ‘way more than “one-a-day” of any other brand to equal the potency of Dr. Myatt’s Maxi-Multi dietary supplements. If you want convenience when travelling, check out Dr. Myatt’s MyPacks. These convenient supplement packs have been carefully designed by Dr. Myatt to provide you with the best of what you need, while allowing you to travel light and simple. They are fully described on page 107 of your Holistic Health Handbook, but suffice to say for now that they are a superb “deal” for anyone who wants to be sure they are giving their body the resources it needs to resist the sniffles, colds, and flu bugs that the grandkids are sure to have.

What else can you do? Well, I mentioned exercise – many studies have shown that even a small amount of fairly vigorous exercise is even better than the “head-meds” that your conventional doctor will try to prescribe to you. If you really want to make your exercise effective, and more pleasant besides, combine it with some fresh air and sunshine! The fresh air will help to clear away the “cobwebs” and boost your metabolism, and the sunshine is essential to the body – even a few minutes per day of real, genuine sunshine on your exposed skin goes a long way toward bolstering your immune system and it makes you feel wonderful besides! A daily exposure to sunshine will help those of you who are prone to the “winter blues”, also known as “Seasonal Affective Disorder” (S.A.D.). Some folks really have a bad time with this every winter, and end up being put on medications known as S.S.R.I’s or Selective Seratonin Re-uptake Inhibitors by their conventional doctors. Now, seratonin is essential to the functions of the brain, and these S.S.R.I.’s make it seem like there is more of it in the system by preventing the “re-uptake” of it – that is, by blocking the body’s ability to “recycle” it as it normally would. What if there was a better way? Well, how about giving the body the materials it needs to make seratonin? The supplement L-5-HTP is just exactly that – a “precursor” to seratonin, the raw material needed to keep your neurotransmitters doing their thing the way they should. For a very good discussion of this supplement, see page 115 of your Holistic Health Handbook or click on the featured supplement below.

Other proven mood enhancers include:

  • B Complex Vitamins – these are included in optimal doses in your Maxi-Multi supplement!
  • St. John’s Wort – proven to be as effective, and safer than antidepressant drugs. See page 115 of your Holistic Health Handbook or click on the featured supplement below for more details on this important herbal mood enhancer.

What? You don’t have a copy of the Holistic Health Handbook? Click here to order your copy – every home should have this important reference and information resource! Better yet, join the Wellness Club and you’ll get this and many more benefits included in your membership!

Some more tips for avoiding the holiday blues:

  • Enjoy. Be proactive in planning holiday activities, don’t turn down invitations – go, have fun! Remember though, no one and nothing is ever perfect – don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself or others. Stuff happens – go with the flow.
  • Don’t let others demand too much of you. Don’t over-commit yourself. Set limits and remember to take it easy – the holidays are supposed to be fun!
  • Simplify – wherever possible. Do the important things and enjoy them, and let someone else do the other stuff. Let “Sara Lee” do some of the baking, let the store do the gift wrapping, trim your gift and card and visit list to include the folks that really matter. Chances are that the person who found themselves on your card list ten years ago for reasons you can’t remember now really won’t notice if there isn’t a card from you this year. Perhaps an e-card would suffice.
  • Are you alone over the holidays? Volunteer! Get out and feel good by giving of yourself and meeting others.
  • Make your budget, and stick to it – you’ll head off the January Blues that arrive with the big bills.
  • Avoid over-indulging – in alcohol, or food, or spending.
  • Most importantly, if the blues set in and won’t go away, get help! Dr. Myatt’s Body / Mind videos are a great help, and you can always call and make an appointment to talk with Dr. Myatt herself.

 

More FDA foolishness!

You will remember that both Dr. Dana and I have mentioned the FDA in our recent dispatches. This seems to us like a bureaucracy that can be a little out-of-control at times, to say the least! Well, this little snippet came across my desk the other day, and it made my Canadian blood boil. It isn’t bad enough that Canadians have their own problems with governmental regulatory bodies that do the bidding of the big pharmaceutical companies. Now the FDA is trying to tell Canada what to do.

A recent article in the Canadian National Post newspaper said that FDA commissioner Mark McClellan made a trip to Canada last month to persuade officials to lift prescription drug price controls and put an end to cross-border sales. His reasoning? The U.S. foots the bill for quite a bit of drug research, which has lead to the development of many of the most popular drugs. This argument might be valid if, in addition to funding research, the U.S. government also manufactured and distributed drugs. But it doesn’t – the Big Drug Companies do. Besides, Canada’s Patent Act already gives patent protection and financial incentives to drug companies to develop new drugs. A telling comment was made by a spokesman for the Canadian International Pharmacy Association who told the National Post “What’s the job of the FDA? The FDA’s responsibility is patient safety. They should not be commenting on profit margins or research costs.” And he added, “They’re heavily influenced by the pharmaceutical industry and I think they’re stepping outside their bounds.”

Fortunately good sense prevailed on the Canadian side, and Commissioner McClellan was sent home with little more than an invitation to “come back and visit sometime.” Now, if only we could get them to tend to business here as they are supposed to… by protecting consumers instead of drug company profits. Just my two cents worth of opinion, take it or leave it!


Hot Flashes:

Major study confirms the value of Ginkgo Biloba.

A study released last month by UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric institute has again confirmed the value of Ginkgo Biloba in improving symptoms of age-related memory impairment. Here are a few quotes from the article:

“The UCLA study, released at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, held Nov. 8­12, in New Orleans, LA, used positron-emission tomography (PET) and found that for subjects taking gingko biloba, improved recall correlated with better brain function in key brain memory centers.”

“The research (also) raises questions regarding the significance of supplement quality and treatment duration,” said principal investigator Dr. Gary Small, a UCLA professor on aging and director of the Aging and Memory Research Center at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. “The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate dietary supplements, and the quality of retail supplies varies widely. We used only the highest grade of ginkgo biloba in conducting our research.” (italics and highlighting added)

“Small also noted that the six-month UCLA study is one of the first to measure the effects of gingko biloba over a longer period of time. Most previous studies have measured the effect of the supplement over 12 weeks or less.”

Nurse Mark’s comment: Dr Dana made mention of Ginkgo in the last HealthBeat, and suggested that it should be a part of a longevity protocol for anyone over the age of 50. Well, this just adds credence to that. Take note, however, of the comments of Dr. Small in the second paragraph, above. As I mentioned in my first NurseBeat, the quality and purity of your supplements is incredibly important. You get what you pay for, and those “bargain” supplements from other sources may not be such a bargain after all – some may even contain toxic impurities! Dr. Myatt herself has carefully selected every supplement sold by Dr. Myatt’s Wellness Club, and she will accept nothing but the very highest of quality and purity in her products – so that you know you are getting the very best. Don’t endanger your health by settling for less!


Featured Supplements: Click on any one to get a full description and to order yours today.

Ginkgo Biloba – Scientifically proven yet again!

Maxi-Multi dietary supplements – a health essential.

Dr. Myatt’s MyPacks – great for travel.

L-5-HTP – the natural alternative to S.S.R.I.’s for depression.

St. John’s Wort – a well-proven natural mood enhancer.

HealthBeat News

New and Improved Super Shake recipe. Ever wish that something which tasted like a yummy treat was also good for you? Have I got great news for you! My “Super Shake” recipe is an incredibly tasty, amazingly healthy “milkshake.” Great for snacks, as a meal replacement, and even kids love it! It is also THE recuperation formula after surgery or when ill. Forget the “Ensure” and other sugar and artificial-ingredient laden junk and try a Super Shake instead.

10 Most Dangerous Foods, Part I. Some foods are bad for your health. And then there are foods that are SO bad they shouldn’t even be considered edible. Find out which foods make my Top Ten “Hit List.”

Cancer-Fighting Herb that Drug Companies are Rushing to Imitate. It’s powerful, it’s proven, it’s probably in your kitchen cupboard. But don’t expect to hear about it from your doctor— not until Big Pharma figures out how to duplicate it’s effects and make a patentable, synthetic drug that resembles this amazing herb.

HealthBeat Update:

HealthBeat Update:

The Flu and Colds – How to beat ’em the Natural Way!

Featured Supplements: Your Home Herbal First Aid Kit:

B.A.M. (Broad Anti Microbial)

Immune Boost

Vitamin C

Whey Protein

Energy Rehab

Inspirol

Hot Flashes: (Late-Breaking News)

Flu Makes Headlines All Across The Country!

Ask Dr. Myatt: How can I stay healthy while traveling?


HealthBeat Update: The Flu and Colds – How to beat ’em the Natural Way!

Colds and flu are a fact of life – sooner or later you will catch one or the other. But you can make it easier for your body to resist them, and when you do get sick you can do plenty to help your body get well and to lessen the severity of the symptoms. First, let’s remember one really important thing about colds and the flu – they really do not respond to “antibiotics”! In the medical business we like to explain that your cold will last for about a week if we give you antibiotics, or for about seven days if we don’t give you antibiotics. Now, having said that, what can you do to avoid these two scourges of winter?

First, make sure your immune system is in the very best shape possible:

  • Get regular exercise: exercise stimulates the immune system. Just 10 minutes of good, all-out exercise each day is all it takes!
  • Use immune-enhancing herbal formulas – I’ll describe some of Dr. Myatt’s recommendations below.
  • Practice stress reduction.
  • Use positive visualization and affirmations – Dr. Myatt’s Body / Mind video will help you develop this skill.
  • Practice meditation.

Give your body the materials it needs to keep the immune system fit:

  • Eat plenty of protein. The body needs it for maintenance and repair.
  • Avoid fruit juices and sugars – sugars suppress the immune system
  • Be sure to use a good multi-vitamin. Dr. Myatt’s MaxiMulti is the very best available.
  • Drink 64 ounces (2 quarts) of pure water or herb teas (non-caffeinated) daily.
  • Be well-rested.

Colds and flu are caused by over 100 different strains of viruses. Vaccinations are sometimes useful for people with weakened or compromised immune systems but they do not offer complete protection because there are so many different strains of virus that cause colds and flu. Antibiotics are useless against viruses and can cause harm.

Symptoms of the Common Cold include nasal discharge (runny nose) with sneezing and sore throat, usually without fever. Flu (Influenza) is characterized by fever, cough, headache, malaise (feeling weak, achy & “blah”) and all the other symptoms of a cold.

When is a cold or flu serious? If you are having trouble breathing, or if you (as an adult) have a fever over 104° that is unrelieved by aspirin or ibuprofen (remember – no aspirin for anyone under 21 years of age!), or if you are unable to eat or drink and are becoming dehydrated then you should call your doctor. If you are recovering from a serious illness, are immunocompromised or on immunosuppressive drugs, or have just had or are about to have surgery you should contact your doctor for instructions. Otherwise, it is best to stay out of the Emergency Room or clinic. Those places are just full of sick people!

What else can you do to avoid getting sick? Avoiding crowds will help, frequent hand washing definitely helps (most of these viruses are spread through contact), and avoid those inconsiderate people who insist on going in to work or out visiting when they are sick.

So, what about the “Flu Shots” that are getting so much attention nowadays? Well, as I mentioned above, they only protect from a very few viruses – the ones that the drug companies guessed might be the biggest problems when they designed the shots many months ago. If you are not at special risk, you might want to pass on them, for they can have side effects. There is also a new nasal vaccine, FluMist, that the drug companies are pushing because of the “shortage” of injectable vaccines. It uses a live strain of flu virus, as compared to the injectable vaccines that use a “killed” virus – would I willingly snort a live flu virus? Not likely! There are some new “anti-flu” drugs being marketed, that claim to be able to “possibly” shorten the duration of a flu (by one day!), if they are taken within 48 hours of the very first onset of symptoms. That doesn’t sound to me like a very good bet either, so I’ll just use the tried and proven herbal remedies.

Hot Flashes: Flu Makes Headlines All Across The Country!

Here is just a small sampling of the headlines that have crossed my desk over the past couple of days.

 

  • Flu Outbreak Has Parents in a Frenzy  Associated Press – December 16
  • Flu Vaccine Shortage Highlights Vaccine Woes  Reuters – December 16
  • U.S. Gov’t Buys 375,000 More Flu Shots  Associated Press – December 16
  • Flu Sufferers Across Nation Jam ER Rooms  Associated Press – December 17

 

 

Dr. Myatt’s comment: Is there really that big a problem, or is this just a big marketing push to boost drug company sales? Yes, we have a flu season every year, and yes, every year some unfortunate people do succumb – usually to complications of the flu, like respiratory failure or dehydration. A few simple measures like those mentioned in this newsletter can go a long way toward making this a healthy and safe flu season for Wellness Club Members and their families. Be ready to strike back at the flu with your “Herbal First-Aid Kit,” and keep your immune system as strong as possible with a few simple supplements.


Featured Supplements:

B.A.M. (Broad Anti Microbial) That’s right, we don’t know what’s wrong. It could be a fungus, bacteria, virus, mycoplasma – or any combination thereof – and this tincture gets serious with all of them. Take during an acute infection to put the “bad guys” in their place. A potent broad spectrum “anti-bug” formula designed for acute infections. Contains: Propolis, Pau d’ Arco, St. John’s Wort, Red Cedar leaf, Echiacea Royal, Usnea, Goldenseal root, and Meadowsweet. Suggested dose: 60 to 80 drops, 3 to 4 times a day.

Energy Rehab Infections can weaken the body, drain energy, and prolong recovery time. This formula supports the body’s energy systems typically affected by any type of infection. May be continued after infection to ensure complete energy and immune recovery. Contains: Astragalus, Echinacea, Siberian ginseng, Licorice root, and ligustrum. Suggested dose: one-half to one teaspoon, 1 to 4 times per day.

Immune Boost The immune system has a wide variety of different cells and functions to protect the body. This formula contains herbs to stimulate every aspect of immune function. Potent liquid tincture goes to work “lightning fast” to enhance immunity. Contains: Astragalus, Ashwanganda, Schisandra, Echinacea, Siberian ginseng, Panax ginseng, American ginseng, Licorice root, and Goldenseal. Suggested dose: 1 teaspoon, 1 to 4 times per day.

Vitamin CThe Master Immune Stimulant. Vitamin C is antiviral and antibacterial, but it’s most most potent effect is to enhance immunity. It increases white blood cell activity, interferon production, and thymic hormone secretion.. Levels of vitamin C are quickly depleted during infection. Our vitamin C is specially buffered to reduce acidity. Each capsule contains Vitamin C 1000 mg, Bioflavinoid complex 100 mg, and is buffered with calcium and magnesium. Also available as a potent powder – each 1/4 teaspoon contains the same ingredients as the capsules and mixes easily in water or other beverages. Suggested dose: 500 to 1000 mg every two hours (during acute infection or immune system stress.)

Whey Protein Superior Protein With Immune Factors. The immune system is highly dependant on protein for it’s normal function. Many people consume enough calories to be overweight but insufficient protein calories to keep the immune system strong. Whey contains easy-to-assimilate, high quality protein, plus immune globulins and lactoferrin. Available in chocolate and vanilla, it makes easily into a shake or pudding – see page 130 of your Holistic Health Handbook for more information about this amazing protein, and for great recipes.

InspirolA Super-Powerful Inhalant for respiratory conditions: hay fever, sinusitis, coughs, colds, congestion, and bronchitis. Every household should have a bottle of this on hand! Contains: Tincture of tolu balsam, eucalyptus oil, tincture of benzoin, turpentine oil, rectified creosote in an antiseptic grain alcohol base. The oversized bottle allows fumes to gather. Suggested use: 3 to 4 deep inhalations, 4 to 6 times per day.

Throat Mist Spray on sore throats – it helps instantly! It doesn’t just “numb” a sore throat, but contains herbs which help stimulate immunity. Contains: Echinacea Royal, Propolis, Ligusticum (Osha), Hyssop, Prickly Ash bark, and essential oil of orange. It is sprayed on the inflamed tissues at the back of the throat, as needed up to every hour.

Herbal Cough Elixir II  Not just another cough syrup, but a true respiratory tonic. For children and adults. Contains: Yerba santa, Usnea, Marshmallow, Cherry bark, Elecampane, Ligusticum, Colt’s foot, Rose hips, Lemon grass, Cinnamon, essential oil of orange and lemon in a base of 15% alcohol, water and glycerine. For adults use 1 teaspoonful every hour or as needed, For children see page 18 of the Holistic Health Handbook to calculate dosing.

Dr. Myatt’s comment: The supplements described above are not just “good to have” they should be a part of every household’s “Herbal First-Aid Kit.”  You would not be without bandages for cuts, or aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce fever, or Bromelain as an anti-inflammatory – and so you should have these formulas on-hand to use at the first sign of a cold or flu (or other infection). If you don’t have a Holistic Health Handbook, you need one – it is a goldmine of valuable information! Click here, and order yours now.


Ask Dr. Myatt: How can I stay healthy while traveling?

Q: Is there anything specific someone could take to help prevent catching a virus while flying on a plane.  I leave Friday for the holidays to spend with my family and I will be on the plane for about 10 hours going from a warm climate to freezing temperatures.  What can help keep me healthy?

A: Wow! Ten hours on a plane! You probably know most of the drill… be really well-rested before your flight, avoid caffeine and alcohol while traveling, drink plenty of pure water, get up and stretch frequently, wash hands ~VERY~ frequently (remember, all those things that you touch in the terminal and aircraft have also been touched by a bazillion other people!). I have seen some people even wearing paper masks while in public areas and on aircraft (very common in Japan too) but really, most of these bugs are transmitted by hand contact. Be sure to eat high-protein meals and avoid sugars, fruit juices and simple carbs. Protein keeps the immune system strong, sugars and simple carbs suppress the immune system.

Now to some specifics – you will hopefully have all of this on hand…

  • In addition to your regular daily MaxiMulti (you are taking 3 caps, 3 times daily, right?) you should take an extra 1000 mg of selenium daily from now ’till you get home. Wellness Club doesn’t carry this – any reputable health food or nutrition store should have it.
  • Bromelain, 400 mg of 2400 GDU, one capsule three times daily between meals will help your immune system better resist any bugs, and will also help to prevent blood clots that can form while sitting immobile for a long time on the plane. Product # 183
  • Dr. Myatt’s Immune System Support – one capsule two times daily, and may increase to 2 caps three times daily for additional support if the immune system is under stress (like when travelling) Product # 143
  • Echinacea & Goldensealtincture is a classic herbal immune formula. Dr. Myatt has the most potent available. Product # 402

Now, if the above doesn’t keep you from catching something, your herbal “first aid kit” should contain:

These three, taken AT THE VERY FIRST HINT OF A COLD OR FLU can be a big help to your body and can help to lessen the severity and possibly even the duration of the infection.

Additionally, for nasal congestion you can use INSPIROL inhalant; 4 to 6 times per day (Product # 504), for cough: Herbal Cough Elixer II, one teaspoon every 1 to 2 hours as needed (Product # 481), and for sore throat use Throat Mist every hour as needed (Product # 465).

This is a great question, and really timely – we will be including it in the next HealthBeat! If you don’t have some of the above items, and time is too short to get them before you leave, why not place an order for what you need, and have it shipped to your destination? That way it can be waiting for you when you arrive!

Have a great trip, and a wonderful holiday.

HealthBeat News

Are Your Supplements Safe? What You Should Know

So, why all the fuss? Why are our Senators getting involved? Are supplements really safe after all? How can you be sure that the supplements you are taking are safe and of good quality? “The dietary supplement market is the wild west” says California Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman. He’s right – Dr. Myatt has known this for a decade, and she has worked tirelessly to bring you the very best products through The Wellness Club.

Dietary and herbal supplements have been used safely for thousands of years. But make no mistake, they are as potent as any drug, and must be used with care. Some can have adverse interactions with medications or other herbs, some can cause adverse effects in the presence of certain medical conditions. Some concoctions can be downright dangerous.

Many supplements may not be all that they claim to be. The popular supplement Glucosamine Sulfate, used to stimulate joint repair and to relieve pain is a perfect example. It is a combination of Glucosamine which stimulates the production of glycosaminoglycans (GAG’s) which are the main structural material of our joints, and elemental Sulfate which is a carrier molecule for Glucosamine and which stimulates the production of joint substances (GAG’s) in it’s own right. When it is bound to Glucosamine, Sulfate acts to carry the Glucosamine molecule into the joint and it helps to activate joint substance production. But here is the rub. There is only one manufacturer that produces Glucosamine Sulfate that is molecularly bound together. This is so important that they have a patent on it. Other manufacturers throw glucosamine and sulfate together in the same capsule and tout it’s benefits based on the research done on molecularly bound Glucosamine Sulfate but it just isn’t the same. Dr. Myatt’s Wellness Club is one of the very few places where you can get the “good stuff” – the molecularly bound product. There are lots of other scams like this out there – poor quality or ineffective supplements, often sold at big prices. Other supplement concoctions claim to have amazing effects (like growing certain body parts “larger” or ending menopause symptoms) but contain only trace amounts of effective active ingredients – “fairy dust” we call them.

How do you protect yourself?

First, Be sure they are safe for you. Don’t take supplements based solely on advertising claims you see in magazines, tabloids, the internet, TV, or elsewhere. Don’t believe that what is good for your friend must be good for you too. A few minutes spent talking with a naturopathic doctor (not the clerk or salesperson in the health food store!) could save you a lot of grief. Secondly, be sure you are buying quality supplements. Don’t take the word of the clerk or salesperson – do the research, or let your holistic medical practitioner do it for you. If it looks like too good a deal, it probably is. When was quality ever cheap? Those supplements on sale for such a low price at your local superstore may have been sloppily manufactured, improperly shipped or stored (most supplements must be kept in carefully temperature controlled conditions), may contain impurities, or may just be old stock. There is usually a good reason for a really low price. Why risk it? Finally, if you have a medical condition or are taking any medications, you really must be in a good cooperative relationship with both your regular doctor and with your holistic health provider and / or Naturopathic Doctor. Only that way can you protect yourself from shoddy or unneeded products and potentially harmful side effects or interactions.


Hot Flashes:

Miracle beverage lowers cholesterol, blocks cancer, fights heart disease, and more!

A nice cup of Oriental Green Tea can be a delicious, relaxing, soothing break in your day. But more than that, recent research is pointing out other benefits as well. A recent article in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that enriched green tea extract may be effective in reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). Subjects in a treatment study group showed decreases of 6.7% in total cholesterol and 9.6% in LDL-C after only 4 weeks of supplementation, and reductions of 11.3% and 16.4% after 12 weeks! Another study, done at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University and reported in the journal Carcinogenesis showed that green tea may be useful in the prevention of intestinal (colon) cancer in humans. Yet other studies show it useful in the prevention of heart disease, and there are studies suggesting it may be a potent antiviral, effective in combating HIV. It is further thought to have antimicrobial powers. What is so special about green tea? It is a rich source of catechins – flavinoid phytochemical compounds and polyphenols. Both are potent antioxidants, helping to prevent the damaging effects of free radicals.

Nurse Mark’s comment: Both Dr. Dana and I make green tea a part of our day. Traditional flavors are fine, and newer flavors such as fruit or spice offer a nice change. It is a great pick-me-up, and green tea is thought to have thermogenic properties, helping us to burn fat. There really is no down side, unless you just don’t like the taste of it, in which case you can obtain the benefits of green tea in capsule form as green tea extract capsules from the Wellness Club. Either way, you really owe it to yourself to make this simple, relaxing, and delicious addition to your daily wellness protocol.

HealthBeat News

In this issue:

HealthBeat Weekly Update:

US Government Urges Higher Omega-3 Consumption

Health Protocol:

Heart Disease, Stroke, and Disease Prevention with Omega-3 fatty Acids

Hot Flashes:

Medical Updates, week of September 22, 2003:

* Exercise Improves Diabetes Regardless of Weight

* Parathyroid hormone alone as effective as drugs for treating osteoporosis

* Stress: Warning Signs and Symptoms

Featured Supplements:

Maxi Multi, Max-EPA, Flax Oil, Whole Flax Seed, Flax Seed Starter Kit

Coming next issue: 10 tips for managing stress; how to increase your metabolism; PLUS… the latest-breaking medical news.

——————————————————————————–

HealthBeat Weekly Update

US Government Urges Higher Omega-3 Consumption

The “Old Line”: No Correlation Between Fat Intake and Heart Disease

Once upon a time, the U.S. Government stated that there was no relationship between dietary fat intake and artery disease. Not only did the government publish their opinion, they enforced it at gunpoint.

The basis for this proclamation was an edict by the FDA that made it illegal to even imply that fats and oils played a role in heart and vascular disease. According to the FDA, making any statement about fat consumption and heart attack risk constituted “misbranding,” a serious criminal offense. To quote:

“The advisability of making extensive changes in the nature of the dietary fat intake of the people of this country has not been demonstrated. It is therefore the opinion of the Food and Drug Administration that any claim, direct or implied, in the labeling of fats and oils or other fatty substances offered to the general public that they will prevent, mitigate or cure diseases of the heart or arteries is false or misleading, and constitutes misbranding within the meaning of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.”* [*Federal Register: December 12, 1959. Reaffirmed by the FDA in the Federal Register: May 18, 1965].

The “New Line” on Fats: There IS a Correlation

On May 27, 2003, The White House urged government health to encourage Americans to increase their consumption of omega-3 fatty acid containing foods and decrease their intake of trans fatty acids. The release issued by the Executive Office of The President reads:

“Health researchers have found that Americans can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease with a modest change in their diets. The government should make this life-saving information as widely available as possible.”

This memo cited the “growing body of scientific evidence, both experimental and epidemiological, that suggests that consumption of trans fatty acids increases the risk of coronary heart disease.”

Why So Long?

The heart-protective benefits of cold-water fish have been known for over 20 years, yet the FDA has censored this information based on the junk food industry’s political and monetary clout. It has taken seven years of legal battles between certain factions of the holistic health (non-junk food) industry and the FDA to finally bring this information to public view.

The New Skinny on Essential Fats

Even a modest intake of Omega-3 fats, as found in fish oil, significantly reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death. According to The White House:

“Since coronary heart disease kills over 500,000 Americans each year, even a small improvement in dietary habits could save thousands of lives.”

This “opinion” is certainly understated, since The American Heart Association published a study of 11,323 heart attack patients showing that those who took a 1000 mg fish oil supplement every day were 45% less likely to be dead at the end of 3.5 years.

Approximately 300,000 of the annual heart attack fatalities are the “sudden death” variety. Omega-3 fatty acids found in cold water fish oils are especially protective against these “sudden death” type of heart attacks. Studies show that as few as two fish meals a week reduce heart attack risk by half.

In the opinion of the Life Extension Foundation:

“If all Americans regularly took fish oil supplements or ate about two cold-water fish meals a week, it could prevent about 150,000 sudden death heart attacks a year. During the seven years it took to litigate the fish oil health claim against the FDA, over one million preventable sudden death heart attacks were suffered by American citizens.”

References

1. Iso H, et al. Intake of fish and omega-3 fatty acids and risk of stroke in women. JAMA 2001 Jan 17;285(3):304-12.

2. Sinclair AJ, et al. Marine lipids: overview news insights and lipid composition of Lyprinol. Allerg Immunol (Paris) 2000 Sep;32 (7):261-71.

3.) Thorngren M, et al. Effects of 11-week increases in dietary eicosapentaenoic acid on bleeding time, lipids and platelet aggregation. Lancet (England) Nov 28 1981, 2 (8257) p1190-3.

4. Yam D, et al. The effect of omega-3 fatty acids on risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Harefuah 2001 Dec;140(12):1156-8, 1230.

——————————————————————————–

Protocol

Heart Disease, Stroke, and Disease Prevention with Omega-3 fatty Acids

The following protocol should be consideration by people wanting to decrease their risk of heart disease:

1. An optimal dose multivitamin/mineral supplement such as Wellness Club’s Maxi Multi should be taken daily to fulfill basic nutritional requirements and replace depleted antioxidants. The recommended dosage is 9 Capsules per day.

2. Essential fatty acids found in cold water fish, especially salmon, mackerel, sardines and herring have been shown to decrease risk of sudden cardiac death, atrial fibrillation, and stroke. Max EPA contains a balanced combination of fatty acids that have shown the most potent anti-inflammatory effects. Six Capsules daily of Max EPA are recommended. As an alternative, 6-12 Capsules daily of Flax Oil, or 2 TBS. Daily of ground Flax Seed, may be used.

3. Two servings per week of Essential Fatty Acid containing fish is recommended. Wild-caught salmon, even canned, is a good source. Use like you would use tuna fish. Mackerel, herring and sardines are also good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids.

_____________________________

Featured Supplements

Maxi Multi

Optimal potency multiple formula. This comprehensive formula includes multiple B-complex vitamins, antioxidant nutrients, a full daily dose of bone-building nutrients (calcium, magnesium, born, vitamin D) and Bioflavonoids. If you only take one supplement this should be THE ONE! The addition of Plant Enzymes ensures absorption of nutrients. This formula is hypoallergenic and suitable for even highly sensitive individuals. B complex vitamins (especially B6, B12 and folic acid), magnesium, bioflavonoids, otassium and antioxidants are especially important for heart-health.

Max-EPA

Natural marine lipids (fish oils) in soft gel Capsules supplying high potency Omega-3 fatty acids. Processed at low temperatures without chemicals.

Flax Oil

The richest source of alpha-linolenic acid, an essential Omega-3 fatty acid. Only 100% certified organic flax seed is used, and the oil is mechanically cold-pressed below 96 degrees to ensure potency and purity (Flax oil is heat and light-sensitive).

Flax seeds

Whole flax seeds, ground to a meal, are one of the best ways to obtain Omega-3 fatty acids. Consider these benefits: I.) Flax oil is fragile and goes rancid quickly after processing. When the Omega-3’s are released from freshly ground flax seeds, the oil is absolutely fresh. (The unground seed is very stable). Hence, no problems with rancidity! II.) Lignans: a special class of fiber found in some vegetables and especially high in flax seed. Lignans are anti-cancer agents that help keep hormone levels balanced. Lignans may be more powerful than the anti-cancer drug Tamoxifen for lowering/normalizing female estradiols. ( Potent estrogens associated with cancer). Lignans also add to daily fiber intake and help improve bowel tone and function, and may help protect against colon cancer.

To order from Wellness Club: Click on any underlined link to be taken to the product order page.

——————————————————————————–

Hot Flashes: Medical Updates week of Sept. 22, 2003

Exercise Improves Diabetes Regardless of Weight

Men and women who exercise 3 hours per week (such as walking for 30 minutes per day, 6 times a week), are far less likely to develop type II diabetes, whether they are overweight or not. These benefits are seen in both men and women. Dr. Myatt’s comment: Yet another reason to get off your duff and get moving! It doesn’t need to be strenuous, exhaustive or take hours a day. There are many benefits to moderate exercise, and diabetes prevention can be added to the list! (Ref: Amer Jour of Epidemiology, Oct. 2003)

Parathyroid hormone alone as effective as drugs for treating osteoporosis

Combining parathyroid hormone with the osteoporosis drug alendronate does not seem to increase bone density any more than parathyroid hormone alone.

“It looks like you don’t see the synergism or additive effect that we had hoped to see,” said Dennis Black, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco, and the study’s lead investigator.

Dr. Myatt’s comment: If parathyroid hormone (a naturally-produced hormone in the body) works as well as drug for osteoporosis, why isn’t that the treatment of choice? Hint: osteo. drugs make the pharmaceutical companies a LOT of money, but a natural hormone cannot be patented. You do the math.

This study was published in the online version of the New England Journal of Medicine ahead of schedule to coincide with presentations at a meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research and appears in the print journal on 25 September (2003;349: 1019-26).

Stress: Warning Signs and Symptoms

You’ve probably heard that excess stress is harmful, and information continues to stream from scientific studies about the precise effects of stress on our bodies. Here are the physical symptoms that can be caused by stress:

  • Dizziness or a general feeling of “being out of it”
  • General aches and pains
  • Grinding teeth, clenched jaw
  • Headaches
  • Indigestion
  • Increase in or loss of appetite
  • Muscle tension in neck, face or shoulders
  • Problems sleeping
  • Racing heart
  • Cold and sweaty palms
  • Tiredness, exhaustion
  • Trembling/shaking
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Upset stomach
  • Sexual difficulties

Health effects of stress include:

  • Forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.
  • Seventy-five to 90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
  • Stress is linked to six of the leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared stress a hazard of the workplace. In terms of lost hours due to absenteeism, reduced productivity and workers’ compensation benefits, stress costs American industry more than $300 billion annually.
  • The lifetime prevalence of an emotional disorder is more than 50%, often due to chronic, untreated stress reactions.

Coming next issue:10 tips for managing stress; how to increase your metabolism; PLUS… the latest-breaking medical news.

HealthBeat News

Heart Health Breakthroughs

From the medical journals this month, a lot of important new about heart health. Topics include 4 Major Risk Factors for Heart Disease that can be modified; How and Why eating fish lowers heart rate (and which kind is best to eat); How hormone balancing, including DHEA, fights heart disease; Study shows that diet change works as well as drugs for lowering cholesterol.

Big Fat Lies! A deficiency of Omega-3 Fatty Acid OR an imbalance of Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio is associated with heart irregularities, breast cancer, difficulty losing weight and more.

Sex hormone balance. New studies continue to show the danger of conventional hormone therapy (though this has been known for over a decade), but other studies show benefit of natural hormone replacement therapy. Find out what the difference is and how to go about improving your hormone levels.

Risks and Benefits of Soy Soy and soy-related foods have health benefits including cholesterol-lower and anti-cancer effects BUT there are definite cautions as well. Learn more about this up-and-coming food source.

Body/Mind: The Shaman’s Lesson of Worth What I learned from a Native American Medicine Man may prove of value to you as well.

Member News and Notes

Upcoming topics: What else would you like to see in future editions? Keep those requests and letters coming.

Heart Health Breakthroughs

From the medical journals in the past month come these heart-healthy findings:

    1. The Top 4 major heart disease risks can be modified, and isn’t this great news since heart disease is the major cause of death in our country! Nine out of ten people who suffer a heart attack were found to have at least one of these modifiable risks, including cigarette smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels. It was previously believed that these 4 factors accounted for about 50% of fatal heart attacks, but two studies published this week now estimate the number to be between 87-100%. (Journal of the American Medical Association, August 18, 2003)
    2. Eating fatty fish helps keep heart rate low, which in turn decreases the risk of sudden cardiac death. The exact mechanism is not yet known, but I predict it will be discovered to be due to the “essential” nature of the correct Omega-6:Omega-3 fatty acid ratio. (See “Big Fat Lies”, below). (Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, August 12, 2003)
    3. Diet works as well as drugs for lowering cholesterol levels. The test diets included fiber and soy protein, and worked as well at lowering cholesterol as the major “statin” drugs. There are several advantages to the dietary approach, namely lower cost and most importantly, no nasty side effects. (Statin drugs can damage the liver, hence the need for regular blood tests to monitor liver function). (Journal of the American Medical Association, July 23/30, 2003)
    4. DHEA May Fight Heart Disease. A study of middle-aged men taking DHEA found that insulin sensitivity and endothelial function both improved. (Endothelium is the lining of the blood vessels, the area where plaque accumulates). Since both of these factors are known to contribute to atherosclerosis, it is believed that DHEA will be shown to be beneficial to the heart. (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, July 23, 2003). Dr. Myatt’s Note: Please read the article on “Sex Hormone Balance,” below, and DO NOT attempt to take hormone supplementation without guidance. This study is promising but preliminary, and it is possible to drive estrogen and other sex hormones too high with excessive DHEA intake.
    5. Type “A” Behavior Triggers Heart Disease. Those who have “Type A” behaviors—- impatient, competitive, uptight, holding grudges— are heart attacks waiting to happen, and happen much sooner than they would in a person with similar physical risk factors but non-type A personalities. (Psychosomatic Medicine, July, 2003). The bottom line? Practice relaxation techniques, physical activity to burn off excess “hyper” energy, forgiveness— whatever it takes to ease you into a less stressful personality and behavior mode.

____________________________________________________

Big Fat Lies!

Unlike carbohydrates, fats are an essential macronutrient and also the most misunderstood. The term “fat” actually refers to an entire family of fatty acids, each with very different biological functions. Only two fatty acids are essential, but the way in which all interact with each other plays an important role in how Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) are utilized. Deficiencies, excesses or relative deficiencies of EFA’s are now known to have serious health consequences. Because imbalanced dietary fats are strongly associated with many diseases, any diet aiming for optimal health must correct fat intake. A number of books address the importance of EFA’s, also called “Omegas,” but most contain elements of spurious science.

The New Keto Diet dives deeper into the description and prescription for optimizing fat intake than any diet ever before, shattering some widely held but incorrect beliefs about certain fats and setting the record straight on others. Let’s look at some of the Big Fat Lies about fat that no other diet book has correctly explained, including:

TRANS fats are the real villains among dietary fats, interfering with absorption of the Essential Fatty Acids, damaging cell membranes, elevating cholesterol level and altering the way normal cell membranes function. Trans fats are prevalent in the American diet, including many weight loss and “health” diets, but their intake should be drastically minimized for health reasons. In fact, the FDA recently passed a law requiring the amounts of trans fats to be listed separately on food nutrition labels.

Saturated fats, the kind we get from eating steak, butter, cheese and eggs, are NOT unhealthy as they have been portrayed. In fact, they are so important that the human body produces them internally. Dietary saturated fat intake is not only safe but also necessary. Because “sat fats” do not compete with the EFA’s for absorption, do not turn “trans” or rancid, and maintain their chemical composition when heated, they are preferable for frying and high-heat cooking. The old belief that “saturated fats are unhealthy” was actually started many years ago based on some unscientific “science,” the edible oil industry in this country (who magnified the unsavory science in ads to discredit coconut oil and improve sales of domestic oils such as corn and cottonseed), and one wealthy businessman who mistakenly blamed his heart disease on saturated fats and paid for a huge, negative marketing campaign. Saturated fats are not villains, and some sat fats, such as coconut oil, have significant health benefits. (Coconut oil is antimicrobial, antiviral, is excellent for cooking for the reasons listed above, and can be used easily and directly as a calorie source, hence, it “burns” faster and “hotter” than many other types of calories).

Further, the belief that monounsaturated oils (such as olive oil) are healthful and desirable is another Big Fat Lie. In truth, they are the white bread of the fatty acid family. Although better than Trans fats, “monos” serve no purpose in the body, are not essential, compete with the Essential Fatty Acids for utilization, and can turn into Trans fats with cooking.

Omega-6 Fatty Acids are an Essential Fatty Acid (EFA) that needs to be balanced with it’s EFA partner, Omega-3, for optimal health. The American diet contains far too much of this essential fat and most people should not be taking supplements of O-6 oils.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids, the other EFA, must partner with O-6 in a 4:1 to 10:1 ratio. Unfortunately, this EFA is exceptionally low in virtually every diet, from the Standard American Diet to Atkin’s to Pritiken, and especially the USDA food pyramid. No one has told us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth regarding optimal fat intake until now. On a truly healthful diet (primarily The New Keto Diet), you can have your steak (its “Omega Ratio” makes it far healthier than chicken), lavish butter on your broccoli and bathe your artichoke in mayonnaise, but that dainty olive oil vinaigrette that most would advise should be replaced by a healthier flax oil dressing.

Heart Disease

One of the best ways to help prevent and treat heart disease is to eat a diet low in trans fats and replace foods rich in trans and omega-6 fats with those that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. EPA and DHA found in fish oil help reduce risk factors for heart disease including high cholesterol and high blood pressure. There is also strong evidence that these substances can help prevent and treat atherosclerosis by inhibiting the development of plaque and blood clots, each of which tends to clog arteries. Studies of heart attack survivors have found that daily omega-3 fatty acid supplements dramatically reduce the risk of death, subsequent heart attacks, and stroke. Similarly, people who eat an ALA-rich diet are less likely to suffer a fatal heart attack.

Stroke

Strong evidence from population-based studies suggests that omega-3 fatty acid intake (primarily from fish), helps protect against stroke caused by plaque buildup and blood clots in the arteries that lead to the brain. In fact, eating at least two servings of fish per week can reduce the risk of stroke by as much as 50%. However, people who eat more than three grams of omega-3 fatty acids per day (equivalent to 3 servings of fish per day) may be at an increased risk for hemorrhagic stroke, a potentially fatal type of stroke in which an artery in the brain leaks or ruptures. Keep in mind that 80% of strokes are due to blood clots, and only 20% are hemorrhagic. Further, it is weak blood vessels, not thin blood, that cause this rarer type of stroke. (Grape seed extract, available in supplement form, helps strengthen blood vessels among its other benefits).

Weight Loss

People who have trouble losing weight when dieting, including those who are resistant to weight loss on a ketogenic (Atkins’) diet, are likely to have a deficiency of Omega-3 fatty Acids OR an imbalanced ratio of O-6 to O-3. Improving this ratio of Essential Fatty Acid intake in the diet, without additional restriction on carbohydrates or calories, is often the key to unlocking this “metabolic resistance.”

Arthritis

Most clinical studies investigating the use of omega-3 fatty acid supplements for inflammatory joint conditions have focused almost entirely on rheumatoid arthritis. Several articles reviewing the research in this area conclude that omega-3 fatty acid supplements reduce tenderness in joints, decrease morning stiffness, and allow for a reduction in the amount of medication needed for people with rheumatoid arthritis.

In addition, laboratory studies suggest that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids (and low in omega-6 fatty acids) may benefit people with other inflammatory disorders, such as osteoarthritis. In fact, several test tube studies of cartilage-containing cells have found that omega-3 fatty acids decrease inflammation and reduce the activity of enzymes that destroy cartilage. In some participants, symptoms worsened before they improved.

Depression

People who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids or do not maintain a healthy balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in their diet may be at an increased risk for depression. The omega-3 fatty acids are important components of nerve cell membranes. They help nerve cells communicate with each other, which is an essential step in maintaining good mental health.

Levels of omega-3 fatty acids were found to be measurably low and the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids were particularly high in a study of patients hospitalized for depression. In a study of people with depression, those who ate a healthy diet consisting of fatty fish two to three times per week for 5 years experienced a significant reduction in feelings of depression and hostility.

Macular Degeneration

A questionnaire administered to more than 3,000 people over the age of 49 found that those who consumed more fish in their diet were less likely to have macular degeneration (a serious age-related eye condition that can progress to blindness) than those who consumed less fish. Similarly, a study comparing 350 people with macular degeneration to 500 without found that those with a healthy dietary balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and higher intake of fish in their diets were less likely to have this particular eye disorder. Another larger study confirms that EPA and DHA from fish, four or more times per week, may reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration.

Colon Cancer

Consuming significant amounts of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids appears to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. For example, Eskimos, who tend to follow a high fat diet but eat significant amounts of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, have a low rate of colorectal cancer. Animal studies and laboratory studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids prevent worsening of colon cancer while omega-6 fatty acids promote the growth of colon tumors. Daily consumption of EPA and DHA also appeared to slow or even reverse the progression of colon cancer in people with early stages of the disease.

Breast Cancer

Women who regularly consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids appear to be less likely to develop breast cancer. In addition, the risk of dying from breast cancer may be significantly less for those who eat large quantities of omega-3 from fish and brown kelp seaweed (common in Japan). This is particularly true among women who substitute fish for meat. The balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids appears to play an important role in the development and growth of breast cancer. The tissue levels of women with breast cancer are found to contain much lower levels of Omega-3 fatty acids than breast tissue from healthy controls.

Some researchers hypothesize that omega-3 fatty acids in combination with other nutrients (namely, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium, and coenzyme Q10) may prove to be of particular value for preventing and treating breast cancer.

Prostate Cancer

Laboratory and animal studies indicate that omega-3 fatty acids (specifically, DHA and EPA) may inhibit the growth of prostate cancer. Similarly, population based studies of groups of men suggest that a low-fat diet with the addition of omega-3 fatty acids from fish or fish oil help prevent the development of prostate cancer. Like breast cancer, the balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids appears to be particularly important for reducing the risk of this condition.

Other

Preliminary evidence suggests that omega-3 fatty acids may also prove beneficial in protecting against infections, ulcers, migraine headaches, preterm labor, asthma, emphysema, psoriasis, glaucoma, Lyme disease, lupus, and panic attacks.

Dietary Sources

Fish oils and plant oils are the primary dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids. EPA and DHA are found in cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, halibut, sardines, and herring. ALA is found in flaxseeds & flaxseed oil. FISH and FLAX are the best sources. Other oils that contain significant amounts of Omega-3 are not recommended because they are also high in Omega-6. these include: canola (rapeseed) oil, soybeans, soybean oil, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed oil, purslane, walnuts, and walnut oil.

Available Forms

In addition to the dietary sources described, EPA and DHA can be taken in the form of fish oil Capsules. Flaxseed, flaxseed oil, and fish oil should be kept refrigerated. Whole flaxseeds should be ground within 1 week of use to ensure maximum potency.

Be sure to buy omega-3 fatty acid supplements made by established companies who certify that their products are free of heavy metals such as mercury.

How to Take It

Flaxseed

1 TBS. ground flax seed per day AND 1 TBS. flax oil per day OR 2 TBS. flax oil per day. (This corresponds to about 12 flax oil Capsules.

Flaxseed: 1 TBS two to three times per day or 2 to 4 tsp one time per day. Grind before eating and take with lots of water.

EPA and DHA

The adequate daily intake of EPA and DHA for adults should be at least 220 mg of each per day. Two to three servings of fatty fish per week (roughly 1,250 mg EPA and DHA per day) are generally recommended to treat certain health conditions.

Fish oil supplements

3,000 to 4,000 mg standardized fish oils per day. (This amount corresponds to roughly 2 to 3 servings of fatty fish per week.)

Typically, a 1,000 mg fish oil Capsule has 180 mg EPA and 120 mg DHA

ALA. Do NOT use cod liver oil on a regular basis, as it’s high vitamin A & D levels can become toxic. A physician should monitor high intakes of these fat-soluble vitamins. Regular EPA-containing fish oils do not contain vitamin A & D.

Possible Interactions

If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use omega-3 fatty acid supplements without first talking to your healthcare provider.

Blood-thinning Medications

Omega-3 fatty acids may increase the blood-thinning effects of aspirin or warfarin. While the combination of aspirin and omega-3 fatty acids may actually be helpful under certain circumstances (such as heart disease), they should only be taken together under the guidance and supervision of a knowledgeable nutritionally-oriented physician.

Cyclosporine

Taking omega-3 fatty acids during cyclosporine therapy may reduce toxic side effects (such as high blood pressure and kidney damage) associated with this medication in transplant patients.

Etretinate and Topical Steroids

The addition of omega-3 fatty acids (specifically EPA) to a drug regimen of etretinate and topical corticosteroids may improve symptoms of psoriasis.

Cholesterol-lowering Medications

Following certain nutritional guidelines, including increasing the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet and reducing the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, may allow a group of cholesterol lowering medications known as “statins” (such as atorvastatin, lovastatin, and simvastatin) to work more effectively.

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

In an animal study, treatment with omega-3 fatty acids reduced the risk of ulcers from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). More research is needed to evaluate whether omega-3 fatty acids would have the same effects in people.

________________________________________________________________

Sex Hormone Balance

The so-called “sex hormones,” including estrogens, testosterone, progesterone, DHEA, DHT, appear to play an important role in keeping us health, preventing many known age-related changes. When they are in healthful balance, they also appear to help prevent hormone-related cancers, heart disease, age-related memory changes, osteoporosis and a host of other ills. This is the reason that women, particularly, have been prescribed hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after menopause.

Although it was well-known when I first started practicing medicine 14 years ago, only this year have we “officially” acknowledged that conventional hormone replacement therapy can be dangerous. In fact, such HRT can actually INCREASE the risk of heart disease and breast cancer. Fortunately for men, we have not tended to use HRT at middle age.

In contradistinction, natural Hormone Replacement Therapy (n-HRT) appears to have numerous positive benefits for both women AND men. A decline in these sex hormones is highly associated with undesirable metabolic changes of aging, and altering the levels toward a more “youthful” profile can be seen to reverse or slow the aging process. (See the “Heart Healthy” note on DHEA, above).

In women, youthful hormone balance is associated with lower heart disease risk, protection from osteoporosis, breast cancer, depression and age-related memory changes, to name a few.

In men, youthful hormone balance is associated with increased virility and protection from heart disease, prostate cancer, depression and osteoporosis (yes, men get it to), to name a few.

The key difference between HRT and n-HRT is that n-HRT attempts to duplicate a normal hormone profile of a youthful body. Conventional HRT makes absolutely NO attempt to imitate nature, usually giving high doses of the most potent form of estrogen, which is the likely reason for its dismal failure.

Anyone past the age of 40, both men and women, may benefit from n-HRT. Because the “hormone milieu” is a complicated mix in each individual, the only safe and sane way to take hormones is to have a baseline hormone profile performed, and replacement therapy prescribed by an holistic physician. Because of the broad array of physical functions affected by sex hormone balance, this simple measure of evaluation and n-HRT is worth considering for anyone who wants to delay the aging process and enjoy better health past middle age.

________________________________________________________________

Soy: Risks and Benefits

Like most things in nature, the humble soy bean (Glycine max) can be healthful in moderation, harmful in excess. Because soy and soy products (tofu, miso, soy flour) are currently gaining a lot of media attention and popularity, it is important to understand the risks and benefits of this food and supplement.

Soy contains substances called protease inhibitors. In small to moderate amounts, these substances help prevent cancer and are also useful in controlling cancer. Soy has estrogenic effects, though much weaker than the human estrogen equivalent. For this reason, soy can increase the estrogen effect in someone who is deficient, or decrease the estrogen effect in one who has an excess. (Because it competes for the same receptors as the stronger mammalian estrogens, giving then less available places to bind). Soy may also improve cholesterol levels when eaten with some regularity. Believe me, you’ll be reading and hearing a lot more about this food in the months ahead, but please exercise moderation. Much of what you hear is “hype,” some is valuable medical advice.

Soy is a “goitrogen,” capable of inhibiting thyroid function when consumed in large amounts. In fact, I have seen some particularly sensitive people experience thyroid suppression when eating soy even in modest doses.

Further, soy is a type of protein that many people do not digest and tolerate well. It is especially likely to aggravate irritable bowel symptoms, causing gas and diarrhea, in those who are sensitive to it.

SO, who should eat soy? It appears to be a healthy and even helpful food for many people, 3 to 4 servings per week is my recommendation. If you experience bowel discomfort from eating soy, then this food is not for you. If you elect to eat larger amounts per week than this, consider having your thyroid function tested when you first add more soy to your diet, then again in 3 months to see if it has adversely affected your thyroid hormones levels.

For those who wish to obtain the benefits of soy (such as women desiring alternative to convention hormone replacement, or those with hormone-related cancers under their holistic physician’s guidance), soy supplements can be taken. These contain the isolated active ingredients of soy, primarily genistein and diadzein, without the gut-disturbing proteins that bother many.

I consider soy a useful protein source with positive health benefits when consumed in moderation. Just don’t fall for the plethora of media and soy-growers of America “over-hype” and fall prey to excess. “All things in moderation, including moderation”!

________________________________________________________________

The Shaman’s Lesson of Worth

I was a starry-eyed first year resident when I met the old man, a Shaman (medicine man and spiritual advisor) to his Native tribe in the four corner’s area of New Mexico. It had long been my goal to study with such a healer and learn the “secrets” of the Shaman’s ways. Now here I was, face-to-face with just such a One.

A young man came to see the Shaman about a health problem. From his appearance and description, I guessed him to be no more than twenty. He complained bitterly about the “strange sights” he saw on occasion. By Western standards, schizophrenia was a likely diagnosis. The young man clearly needed help. The Shaman told him that help was available, but that a week-long ceremony would be necessary. Then the Shaman told him the cost. The young man shook his head dejectedly and left. I questioned the Shaman.

What was the fee for the ceremony, and why had the young man gone away without treatment? I wanted to know. The Shaman explained that his fees were approximately equivalent to $6000 in Western money, but that people paid in other means of exchange like goats, sheep, baskets and food items. The man left because he did not have the required fee. Sensing that I was upset by this, the Shaman explained that the young man would return for treatment after he raised the necessary funds.

“But why don’t you help him now and let him pay later?” I wanted to know. “Aren’t there some people that are too poor to afford your services? Do you ever give your services away for free?”

“Never,” he assured me. Then the old man sat me down and carefully explained his reasoning.

“Health is a valuable commodity,” he began, looking to see if I agreed. I nodded. “Like other valuable commodities, the people who want it dearly enough will work to get it. As they work, they increase their appreciation of its value. When I give a man a healing service without a fee, he associates ‘free’ with ‘not valuable.’ The potency of any treatment is not only in the treatment, but also in a person’s belief in its value. When someone pays dearly for a ceremony, they show that they appreciate the value of my treatment. More importantly, they show themselves how much they value their health. A man who values his health will work hard to win it back, and he is more likely to recover.” He paused to let me take his words in.

“But what if someone really can’t afford your treatment?” I persisted.

“People can always afford my ceremonies if they value their health. A poor man will recruit his family to help him raise the necessary funds. If he has no family, he will petition the community to help him raise the necessary funds. By doing this, he will not only value the ceremony he receives, but he will feel the support and good wishes of the community for his recovery. Anyone who truly wants to get well can always find a way to afford the healing ceremony.” With that, the old man stood to indicate that we were through for the day.

In years since, the Shaman’s words have returned to haunt me. How many times have I heard people complain about the cost of supplements, or of my services, while they drive Mercedes, eat out twice a week, own a vacation home in the mountains and subscribe to cable T.V.? I believe that the old Shaman was right. The people who value their health will work to get it. They will pay to get it. And they will value it dearly when it returns.