Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 entries.

Pottenger’s Cats

  • Posted on April 21, 2014 at 6:29 pm
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pottengerBack in the 1930′s, Dr. Francis Pottenger set up a clever experiment with cats to prove the importance of nutrition and the effect it had on subsequent generations.  He took two groups of kittens one of which was fed nutritious “cat chow” (high protein, raw food, raw milk).  The second group was fed pretty much the same food, only cooked.   He then followed these two groups transgenerationally.

Pottenger was interested in finding out about the effect heat would have on the food the cats were eating.  Back then, they hadn’t yet coined the term vitamins and the factors that were suspected to be in food were called “activators”.  Dr. Pottenger wanted to know if the act of cooking the food made changes to these activators or made these foods less nutritious.  What is now known is that cats can’t synthesize the amino-acid Taurine which they need.  Since heat destroys Taurine, cats can become severely deficient if fed solely cooked food.

The results of his experiment were astounding.  The first generation of kittens from both groups didn’t start to show differences until they got older with the cooked food group beginning to show signs of degenerative diseases.  

The second generation of kittens from the cooked food group began to develop degenerative disease earlier in their lives at around middle age.  The third generation was really a mess!  In this group problems started to show up early and even at birth, with some of the kittens being born blind.  The last generation for the cooked food group was the fourth as they were unable to reproduce thereafter. 

Pottenger continued to follow the raw food group for ten generations in which he observed the kittens thriving and no apparent diseases becoming evident in subsequent generations.

If you are a woman (or man) of reproductive age, please realize that your nutrition will affect generations of your descendants.  Poor nutrition (i.e. high in carbs, processed foods, trans-fats, canned sodas, fast foods, etc…) will, not only have a significant impact on your health, but on the health of all who follow life through you!

March – The Month of Returning to War… “Warrior Within”

  • Posted on March 13, 2014 at 12:07 am
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warriorwomanMarch is an interesting month.  It is named after the planet Mars which rules over war and warriors.  In our quest to gain optimal and vital health, we fight battles and overcome a lifetime of unhealthy habits.  Always remember that, no matter how many battles you have won, true victory is only when the war is won.

Exactly how do you “win the war”?  By gaining the most vital and optimal health you can possibly attain.  Now, the ways in which to accomplish this are many.  New habits need to be established – mentally, emotionally and, most importantly, Spiritually.  Meditate on this concept and what it means to you.  It can be something different for each one of us.  As long as it gives you power and makes you feel more energized toward achieving your goals.  We all have the internal resources and fortitude, we just need to connect with that aspect of ourselves in order to make use of it.

So, how do you get in touch with the “warrior within” in order to tackle those difficult lifestyle changes that you already know you must make?  Well, first of all, summon him/her to come forth and help you.  Ask your warrior to join you in battle and fight alongside you.  You can imagine what your warrior looks like, you can draw or paint your warrior if you are artistically inclined.  Imagine your warrior as real as possible with facial features, attire, personality and even a name!

One sure way to disconnect from your warrior is to take on the victim role.  It is important to recognize when your behavior is victim like (discouraging) and likewise recognize when it is warrior like (encouraging).  To give an example:  Let’s say you are making a lifestyle change to significantly lower sugar consumption.  If your self-talk says, “I can’t have this” or I can’t have that”, you are coming from a victim position which disempowers you and sets you up for failure as it requires way too much energy to struggle against these notions of deprivation and lack.

A warrior makes the statement “I choose not to have this”.  The power is always with you – you can make that choice coming from a stance of strength – not weakness (as if some other entity is making the choice for you).  It is from this perspective, and this perspective only,  where you will begin to tap into and build that “warrior within”.

In this month of returning to war, let it remind us that vigilance and power are always required in order to protect our hard won good health.  Every day there are numerous possibilities and choices.  Let those choices be made by your warrior and realize that there is nothing sweeter than the taste of victory!

Change is Not Easy

  • Posted on December 23, 2013 at 6:19 pm
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Gently Healing Body & Mind

Gently Healing Body & Mind

I have been meditating about writing on this subject for a while now.  I have undergone some sort of metamorphosis as of late which has been fueled by a plethora of life experiences, and knowledge internalized.   I have  become more aware of my limited time here and am making choices to have it really count.

In my profession, I frequently give lifestyle advice to my patients knowing full well that, more often than not, the changes that will be necessary for some measure of healing to occur will be for many,  a near impossible task – I know this first hand.

 
I know how difficult it is to make drastic and permanent lifestyle changes.  I myself have had to give up gluten, dairy, and sugar; and am following a discipline of exercise which I know has improved my brain function.  I also follow healthy heart nutrition which involved eating low carbohydrate and high (good) fats and protein.  A future blog will focus on the reasoning and research behind this optimal heart nutrition.
So, how does one do it?  How does one make that profound change?  It is done in the moment – not tomorrow, not when the new year begins – but now.  Every time you make a healthy decision in the moment, you improve your quality of life and you extend your life.  The improvement in quality may be subtle or obvious profound healing.  The extension may be for one second,  one day, one month or one decade.
The consistency with which you make these moment by moment choices will determine your present and future – physical, mental, emotional and, most importantly, spiritual health.

Our bodies are truly a marvel and a miracle – they are high performance vehicles.  You wouldn’t put regular cheap gas in a Maserati which costs hundreds of thousands of dollars now, would you?  By the same token, our exquisitely designed bodies need very specific and high quality nutrients in order to maintain vitality and health.  Begin by empowering yourself with information – it is out there.  Just ensure you are fully aware of the source of the information and its credibility.

Once you know something and you internalize it, you can’t go back to not knowing it and it changes your behavior.  That is why I encourage and guide my patients to learn as much as possible to that they may then apply this in their lives (as well as their family’s).
A lasting transformation is not easy, and there is no magic wand.  But increasing your understanding and knowledge about how your body works and what it needs to function optimally will yield lasting benefits.  A strong desire to feel better and live your passion is also a motivating force.

It all starts now!

Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy 2014 to all!

 

Difference Between Folic Acid and Folate? BIRTH DEFECTS

  • Posted on October 17, 2013 at 6:29 pm
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Healthy FoodsA large part of my practice is dedicated to infertility and endocrine cases.  When I first learned about the prevalence of genetic mutations in the general population for the gene that provides the code for an enzyme that converts Folic Acid to Folate in the body, I immediately knew this was going to be something I needed to learn about.  Folate is critical during pregnancy as a deficiency can result in Spina Bifida and other birth defects in babies.  Folate is also very important for proper nervous system function and a deficiency can cause many emotional symptoms such as anxiety and depression.

First, let me explain the important difference between Folate and Folic Acid.  Folic Acid is obtained through food.  The word Folic and Folate both stem from the Latin word meaning Foliage.  So, it is obvious that this B vitamin is found mostly in plant based foods.  Now for the difference between the two – Folic Acid is obtained from either a synthetic molecule found in most muli-vitamins, or from dark green leafy vegetables.  It then needs to be converted to Folate in the body in order to be used in the many different functions it serves.

When I first learned about this gene mutation (another word for it is a SNP pronounced “snip” or, single-nucleotide-polymorphism), I would test all my patients that were undergoing pre-conception care.  I felt this was warranted given the large population base that carries this mutation.  I soon began to see a pattern emerge.  As I consistently test for vitamin and minerals during my initial intake, I began to observe that some of my patients who were telling me they consumed large quantities of dark green leafy vegetables were coming back low on Folate.  These patients were the very same whom when I tested, came back with mutations on the MTHFR gene.

MTHFR stands for Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase.  This is an enzyme that is involved in the conversion from Folic Acid to Folate.  There are two genes involved in providing the DNA code which allows assembly of this enzyme, each with two alleles.  Guess what, if you have one out of four possible mutations on these genes, you will not convert 25% of the Folic Acid you consume to Folate.  If you have three out of four, you probably are very symptomatic and have various health problems.  Many times the discovery of these mutations early can prevent many diseases, i.e. blood clots, cardiac, and others.

I am not saying for everyone to rush out and get genetically tested (although this is becoming very affordable now through 23andme.com), but measure your Folate levels and ensure that you are optimal.  The optimal range is above >20.  If it falls below that, I would advise you to eat more dark green leafy vegetables.  If the level does not come up with nutrition, then I would suspect a SNP and am thinking you may be one of those people that needs Folate supplementation.

This is especially important for you moms to be out there.  There is much that can be done to prevent disease rather than wait until it takes its toll on your health and the health of your baby.

Troubleshooting 101

  • Posted on October 15, 2013 at 6:38 pm
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troubleshootAs many of my patients already know, this is my second career.  In the 80′s and 90′s I worked in the dizzying field of computer networking.  I was trained to troubleshoot and repair complex computer networks.  I held various certifications in this field which qualified me to do my work.  One of the first rules of computer troubleshooting is to “try the quickest solution first”.  So, after properly diagnosing the issue, I identified three possible solutions.  Solution A was simple and took five minutes to execute.  Solution B was more complex and required half an hour.  The last solution was the most time-consuming of all and took several hours to execute.  So, as I was trained, I tried the simple five minute solution first.  Many times, this solution worked and everyone walked away happy.

My approach in this, my second career of naturopathic and functional medicine practitioner, is much the same.  For example; there are many health conditions that can result in high blood pressure.  One of these is well documented int he medical journals.  Low vitamin D is a common cause of high blood pressure.  When a patient walks into my clinic with high blood pressure, it’s just common sense to check vitamin D levels first.  I do this consistently in my practice and find that eight out of ten patients are either low or have a frank deficiency of this very important steroid hormone (vitamin D is not a vitamin but a very important steroid hormone – another post).

It is just basic Troubleshooting 101 and it is the way I approach all of my clinical cases, no matter how complex they are.  First, let’s start by evaluating the vitamin and mineral levels.  This is the five minute solution and, if it works (which it does in many cases), everyone walks away happy!

Next time, I will be writing about Folate and the link to a genetic mutation called MTHFR.

Stay tuned!

Acupuncture Treats Infertility

  • Posted on September 9, 2013 at 8:32 pm
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A study found that auricular acupuncture was capable of producing results comparable to those of drug therapy in the treatment of infertility. I. Gerhard and F. Postneek, [Possibilities of Therapy by Ear planttheseedAcupuncture in Female Sterility], Geburtshilfe Frauenheilke 48, no. 3 (March 1988): 165-71. A study examined the effects of moxibustion and acupuncture on 30 cases of infertility in women ranging from 24 to 37 years of age. Results showed that after just one course of treatment 9 women conceived, with another 8 conceiving after 2 courses of treatment.

In China, acupuncture has been used in the treatment of infertility for centuries. The first published account of this is seen in medical literature dating back to 11 A.D. The Chinese look at five principal organs – the liver, spleen, heart, lung, and kidney – and use acupuncture to release blockages from these systems so that energy or chi can move freely. This helps the body return to good health. Promoting fertility is one benefit that can be obtained. Acupuncture to kidney points releases psychological blocks that interfere with reproduction.

The women treated with acupuncture? Twenty-two pregnancies (and no side effects). Finally, a study at the Fertility Clinic Trianglen in Denmark concluded that “acupuncture … significantly improves the reproductive outcome of IVF (in vitro fertilization) and ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) compared to no acupuncture.” Best of all, acupuncture for infertility is truly a “whole person” treatment that looks at the woman as much more than just a dysfunctional reproductive system. Many couples come into my clinic completely unprepared for conception and pregnancy.  Their health has not been optimized and their bodies are just not ready to procreate and support life.

Preconception care is of utmost importance in “preparing the soil to plant the seed”.  This will be the topic of my next blog.

Ain’t That the Truth

  • Posted on September 9, 2013 at 7:24 am
Healthy Foods

Let’s go viral on this!TweetThe other day I was promoting my holistic clinic at a local health event. I was quite amazed and even amused by a particularly rotund gentleman who sashayed his way over to me. Coke and bag of greasy potato chips in hand, he proceeded to tell me about how Diabetes ran in his family and how it was a genetic trait – his mother and his grandfather before him were Diabetic and had both died of its complications. Of course, there wasn’t enough time for me to explain to him that these so called “inherited diseases” are really…

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