Dr. Bray Links

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Simple Screening Test for Heavy Metal Toxicity

A random urine porphyrin profile is a good screening test for detecting heavy metal (and aluminum, which is technically a light toxic metal) and organotoxin toxicity. Many clinicians order the wrong test for heavy metals. Intracellular heavy metal testing, provoked urine testing, and hair analysis testing are options. However, I see over and over again clinicians (and confident specialists) ordering an unprovoked spot blood or urine heavy metal test and telling people they are all clear and normal.


https://www.gdx.net/product/porphyrins-test-urine (usually $191; not covered by insurance)
http://www.questdiagnostics.com/testcenter/TestDetail.action?ntc=36592 (usually maximum $90; sometimes covered by insurance)

Of course there are more specific tests available at Genova (appx $200 to $600; not covered by insurance):
Mixed Panel: https://www.gdx.net/product/toxic-effects-core-test-urine-blood
PCBs: https://www.gdx.net/product/pcbs-test-serum
Phthalates/Parabens: https://www.gdx.net/product/phthalates-parabens-test-urine
Heavy Metals: https://www.gdx.net/product/toxic-element-clearance-test-urine


40th Ekotofilm Festival Winner :: FIPA France :: Reykjavik International Film Festival :: Transilvania International Film Festival :: Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital

Aluminum is everywhere in our modern lives. This video helps open the conversation about our exposure to this toxic metal that can poison many of our biologic systems. It is particularly important for people with MTHFR mutations or are on dialysis (dialysis doesn't remove aluminum) to consider this exposure.


Some of the more common sources of "avoidable" aluminum (from here):
1) cooking utensils—aluminum pots, teflon pans and foil-wrapped foods;
2) beverages in aluminum cans – the phosphoric acid in soft drinks leaches aluminum from the walls of the can; also - aluminum drink pouches like CapriSun (which has been associated with ADHD).
3) added as an anti-caking agent to salt and sugar;
4) baking powder;
5) antiperspirants;
6) bleaching agent in white flour;
7) used as an emulsifier in some processed cheeses;
8) cake mixes, self-rising flour and frozen dough;
9) commercial teas;
10) toothpaste, sunscreen, lotions, powders/talcs and cosmetics;
11) infant formulas – soy formulas contain 10 times more aluminum than milk based formulas;
12) cigarette filters;
13) anti-acids, buffered aspirin and many other over-the-counter medications;
14) occupational—welding and smelting and;
15) vaccines.

YouTube link #1: http://youtu.be/jsDKP9rXLkg
YouTube link #2: http://youtu.be/9k6p3Zem9G0
*warning, short clips of medically related exposure*

Quantities of Aluminum in Vaccines
Pneumococcal vaccine0.125 mg/dose
Diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine< 0.17 to < 0.625 mg/dose
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine0.225 mg/dose
Hib/ Hep B vaccine0.225 mg/dose
Hepatitis A vaccine (Hep A)0.225 to 0.25 mg/dose (pediatrics)
0.45 to 0.5 mg/dose (adults)
Hepatitis B vaccine (Hep B)0.225 to 0.5 mg/dose
Hep A/ Hep B vaccine0.45 mg/dose
DTaP/inactivated polio/ Hep B vaccine< 0.85 mg/dose
DTaP/inactivated polio/Hib vaccine0.33 mg/dose
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine0.225 mg/dose
Japanese Encephalitis (JE) vaccine0.25 mg/dose
Quantities of Aluminum in Other Things
Breast milk0.04 milligrams per liter (mg/L)
Ponds, lakes, streams0.1 mg/L
Infant formula0.225 mg/L
Soy-based formula0.46 to 0.93 mg/L
Buffered aspirin10 to 20 mg/tablet
Antacid104-208 mg/tablet

One strategy for removing aluminum from the body is drinking water high in silica:

20 Ultimate High Fiber Foods - Dr. Axe

1. Avocados
2. Asian Pears
3. Berries
4. Coconut
5. Figs
6. Artichokes
7. Peas
8. Okra
9. Acorn Squash
10. Brussels Sprouts
11. Turnips
12. Black Beans
13. Chickpeas
14. Lima Beans
15. Split Peas
16. Lentils
17. Nuts
18. Flax Seeds
19. Chia Seeds
20. Quinoa


Monday, December 29, 2014

Methylation Defects

This has been one of my favorite sites for reference on methylation issues.


Understanding how to incorporate the science of Methyl Cycle Genomics in to your treatment program, and how best to monitor your individual response, will be a challenge to both of us.  If we accept this challenge, and spend time, energy, and resources in dealing with your Methyl Cycle Abnormalities, then you can take strides forward in improving your health.  If we do not – well, most of you are undergoing Methyl Cycle testing because you have a health problem that makes little sense; you have seen multiple doctors and you are not getting better – if we do not address your Methyl Cycle abnormalities then we cannot expect that you will get better – because it is the Methyl Cycle Abnormality that predisposed you to ill health.


The Microbe Discovery Project

ME/CFS: a devastating neuro-immune disease as disabling as multiple sclerosis, affecting one million Americans and 17 million people worldwide.

The study: a cutting-edge hunt for the causes of ME/CFS in the gut "microbiome" – the bacteria, viruses and fungi in the digestive system – led by "the world's most celebrated virus hunter", Dr W. Ian Lipkin at the world's largest and most advanced center for microbe discovery and diagnosis at Columbia University in New York.

The payoff: a world-class study with the potential to swiftly lead to treatments using drugs, probiotics or exclusion diets.

Our challenge: to raise $1.27 million (£760,000; €910,000) to fund the project and do it fast! The scientists are ready to go and can complete and publish the study within 12 months. The sooner we fund it, the sooner it starts.


Prolonged use of some sleeping pills may raise Alzheimer’s risk

Insomnia is a beast that leaves you feeling miserable and affects every part of your life.

It's no wonder, then, that people who suffer from insomnia will try nearly anything to get a good night of rest. Exercising more, counting sheep, sleeping pills, reducing caffeine intake, fancy pillows and mattresses … if you're a bonafide insomniac, you've probably tried it all.

But in the desperate bid for precious ZZZZs, there's something important to know about sleeping pills. New research has found a link between taking some commonly used sleeping pills for a few months to a greater risk of Alzheimer's disease.

The drug in question is benzodiazepine [ben-zoh-dahy-az-uh-peen] (Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, etc), which is used in numerous commonly prescribed sleeping pills and also in some anti-anxiety medications.

Researchers from France and Canada studied the medical history of nearly 9,000 people age 66 or older in Quebec. About 2,000 participants had Alzheimer's disease.

The data showed people who had taken benzodiazepine medications for at least 91 days straight had a significantly higher rate of Alzheimer's disease … about 50 percent higher to be exact. Participants' risks of Alzheimer's grew even more if they took the drug for longer.

Even when the researchers adjusted for conditions such as depression, insomnia and anxiety, which can indicate the early stages of Alzheimer's, benzodiazepine users still showed higher rates of the disease.

No matter how badly you want some shuteye, that's a risk insomnia sufferers should take seriously.

Still, more investigation of the possible link between benzodiazepine and Alzheimer's disease is needed.

If you are seeking insomnia relief and want to avoid the drug, talk to your doctor about alternatives. Or, start with the website of the National Sleep Foundation for tips on habits to cultivate and avoid in pursuit of good sleep

Sunday, December 28, 2014

What Causes Acid Reflux? Learn the Cure! - Dr. Axe


Gallbladder Diet - Dr. Axe

These foods can help reduce gallbladder distress and are easier for the body to digest. Try this gallbladder diet for fast relief from gallbladder distress.

High fiber foods – Aim for 30-40g of fiber per day which can help reduce the risk of gallstones.

Beets, artichoke, and dandelion greens – These vegetables help improve bile flow which break down fat.

Coconut oil – Coconut oil contains easiest form of fat for the body to digest which are MCFA’s.  Still, don’t do more than 1 tbsp at a time.

Sprouted seeds – Sprouted flax, chia, hemp, and pumpkin seeds are easier to digest and can reduce inflammation.  But only consume 1-2 tbsp of sprouted nuts and seeds at a time because you don’t want to over consume fat.

Raw food diet – People who eat a diet high in raw plants like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds tend to have lower occurrence of gallstones.

Lean Protein – Including lean sources of organic protein in a gallbladder diet can relieve stress. Consider chicken, turkey, grass-fed beef, bison wild caught fish and organic protein powder.

Gallbladder Problem Foods to Avoid

Fried foods and hydrogenated oils – These foods can worsen gallbladder problems.

Sugar and simple carbohydrates – Sugar can increase the likelihood the gallbladder will form a gallstone.

Foods you might be allergic too – Gallbladder problems are potentially related to food allergies.

Pork and conventional meats – Pork and conventional grain-fed animals are high in fats that increase inflammation.

Conventional dairy products – These foods are pro-inflammatory and can cause your body to produce more gallstones.

High fat foods – Any food high in fat including healthy vegetables oils like olive oil can cause issues as well as healthy fats like almond butter.

Top 5 Natural Gallbladder Remedies

#1 Lipase Enzymes (2 caps with meals)
The enzyme lipase helps improve fat digestion and the use of bile.  Take 2 caps with meals.

#2 Bile Salts or Ox Bile (500-1000 mg with meals)
Bile salts and ox bile improve the breakdown of fats and can greatly improve gallbladder distress.  Take 2 caps with meals.

#3 Milk Thistle (150 mg 2x daily)
Milk Thistle increases bile flow and aids the liver and gallbladder in detoxification.

#4 Turmeric (1,000mg daily)
Turmeric and its compound curcumin have anti-inflammatory properties and improves bile flow.

#5 Dandelion root (500 mg with meals)
Helps improve bile flow.


Herbal Teas ... with pesticides? - Food Babe

A recent third-party analysis by Glaucus Research and discussed here found that 91 percent of Celestial Seasonings tea tested had pesticide residues exceeding the U.S. limits. For example, Sleepytime Kids Goodnight Grape Herbal contained 0.26 ppm of propachlor, which is a known carcinogen under California’s Propsition 65.

Many popular tea brands get away with using the ingredient “natural flavors” to trick the consumer into thinking they are buying better, cleaner ingredients; however companies are just covering up the inferior taste and low quality of their tea. Fortunately, there are brands that are putting the kibash on the use of natural flavors and using all real ingredients. I was happy to learn that Ahmed Rahim, CEO of Numi Tea is just as disgusted by this ingredient as I am. He said to me “You can breakdown anything that is found in nature and if it ends up tasting like the flavor you wish to use – you can add it to any product and call it NATURAL FLAVOR on the ingredient label. It could come from a stone in the ground and you’d never know.” This is why when I see the words “natural flavor” listed on a label – I put the product down and run far far away. I want to know what I am eating! Don’t you?

Also according to Dr. Mercola, many “paper tea bags are treated with epichlorohydrin, a compound mainly used in the production of epoxy resins. Considered a potential carcinogen by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health2 (NIOSH), epichlorohydrin is also used as a pesticide. When epichlorohydrin comes in contact with water, it hydrolyzes to 3-MCPD, which has been shown to cause cancer in animals. It has also been implicated in infertility (it has a spermatoxic effect in male rats) and suppressed immune function.”


Histamine and endometriosis

30-40% of patients with endometriosis are infertile (but many go on to have kids even after being warned they may never manage it!) [4]. A fascinating study, in humans this time, outlined that pelvic adhesions can arise due to pelvic infection (no doubt why I was misdiagnosed), endometriosis, peritonitis or surgery. They also found that women with dense pelvic adhesions had significantly elevated concentrations of histamine in follicular fluid, when compared to adhesion-free women. They concluded that this may lead to premature ovulation during a normal cycle, resulting in the release of immature eggs.

"It's possible that this may contribute to the lower fertility in women who have pelvic endometriosis but patent fallopian tubes, and in those patients where tubal patency has been restored following tubal surgery," they noted [5].

There's quite a few studies out there on the relationship between histamine and just generally inflammation, and endometriosis. Enough to make you wonder how diet plays a role.

In my case, six months on a very high nutrient diet cleared up my uterine fibroids (much to my doc's shock), but the pelvic glue took longer…how much longer I'm not sure of, but I got there in the end!

Bee Pollen for Allergies

"My Top 10 Tips to Remain Allergy Free This Year
  1. 2 - 3 months before summer (the earlier the better), gradually introduce quality bee pollen into your diet. Take 1 - 2 tablespoons per day after you have gradually introduced it into your diet.  Read my article on how to properly desensitize yourself. Remember to start with very small amounts.
  2. Try removing gluten from your diet for 4 weeks.  Foods containing gluten are highly allergenic due to their overconsumption and GMO status.   Observe if your symptoms get better or worse.
  3. Remove any dairy products from your diet for 4 weeks.  Observe if you symptoms get better or worse.  
  4. Take extra Vitamin C and Quercetin.  I recommend taking 3 - 5 grams during allergy season.  These are both natural anti-histamines.
  5. Take 1 – 2 tablespoons of raw, local honey each day. Click here to read a great article on using local honey for allergies.
  6. Control your stress levels (exercise, sleep, mediation, yoga, breathing)  If stress is an issue, try taking the product Ultimate Anti- Stress to help you deal with stress.
  7. Use an immune balancing product like ImmunoSmart.  This will help your immune system to react properly to allergens that you encounter.  It will balance out your immune system.
  8. Change your fabric softener, laundry detergent, household cleaners to natural, green non-allergenic brands with no fragrances. Chemical overload stresses the liver and weakens the immune system.
  9. Remember to change your furnace filter every 3 months.
  10. Avoid sugar and food with added sugar.  Sugar suppresses and confuses your immune system for up to 8 hours after ingestion."

RELEVANCE: The bee pollen is used in folk medicine to alleviate allergic reactions. The bee pollen phenolic extract (BPPE) consists in phenolic compounds (flavonoids) from plants picked by Apis mellifera bee.
RESULTS: The BPPE treatment (200mg/kg) showed inhibition of the paw edema, IgE and IgG(1) OVA-specific production, leukocyte migration to the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and EPO activity in lungs. In addition, BPPE treatment showed partial protection on the anaphylactic shock reaction induced by OVA. Treatment with myricetin (5 mg/kg) also inhibited pulmonary cell migration and IgE and IgG(1) OVA-specific production.
CONCLUSIONS: These results support the hypothesis the myricetin is one of the flavonoids of BPPE responsible for the anti-allergic effect and a potential tool to treat allergies.

A new report, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, describes the case of a 30-year-old woman who started to take bee pollen and a few other supplements. On day two of her new supplement regimen, she had to be rushed to the emergency room because her eyelids, lips and throat began to swell, and she had difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath and felt faint. Doctors discovered she had suffered from seasonal allergies in the past. The bee pollen apparently put her over the edge.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance

Celiac disease, and, more generally, gluten intolerance, is a growing problem worldwide, but especially in North America and Europe, where an estimated 5% of the population now suffers from it. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, skin rashes, macrocytic anemia and depression. It is a multifactorial disease associated with numerous nutritional deficiencies as well as reproductive issues and increased risk to thyroid disease, kidney failure and cancer. Here, we propose that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide, Roundup®, is the most important causal factor in this epidemic. Fish exposed to glyphosate develop digestive problems that are reminiscent of celiac disease. Celiac disease is associated with imbalances in gut bacteria that can be fully explained by the known effects of glyphosate on gut bacteria. Characteristics of celiac disease point to impairment in many cytochrome P450 enzymes, which are involved with detoxifying environmental toxins, activating vitamin D3, catabolizing vitamin A, and maintaining bile acid production and sulfate supplies to the gut. Glyphosate is known to inhibit cytochrome P450 enzymes. Deficiencies in iron, cobalt, molybdenum, copper and other rare metals associated with celiac disease can be attributed to glyphosate's strong ability to chelate these elements. Deficiencies in tryptophan, tyrosine, methionine and selenomethionine associated with celiac disease match glyphosate's known depletion of these amino acids. Celiac disease patients have an increased risk to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which has also been implicated in glyphosate exposure. Reproductive issues associated with celiac disease, such as infertility, miscarriages, and birth defects, can also be explained by glyphosate. Glyphosate residues in wheat and other crops are likely increasing recently due to the growing practice of crop desiccation just prior to the harvest. We argue that the practice of "ripening" sugar cane with glyphosate may explain the recent surge in kidney failure among agricultural workers in Central America. We conclude with a plea to governments to reconsider policies regarding the safety of glyphosate residues in foods.


Tropical Traditions has sold organic grains for years. After reading new research about the issue of “crop desiccation” done by using glyphosate on wheat and other grains just prior to harvest, Tropical Traditions decided to first test some commercial wheat products with wheat grown in Montana, North Dakota, and Canada. They sent the commercial samples to a well-known and respected laboratory to test for glyphosate.

All tested positive for glyphosate residue. The range was from 0.07 mg/kg to 0.09 mg/kg. Keep in mind this is glyphosate found in non-GMO crops. For a GMO crop such as GMO soybeans, which are sprayed heavily with glyphosate, the range is typically between 3.3 and 5.7 mg/kg. (Source.)

Next, Tropical Traditions tested the USDA certified organic grains from suppliers they had been using, sourced mainly from western states such as Montana and Idaho. Sadly, the presence of glyphosate residue was found in organic wheat and other organic grains, including organic barley, oats, spelt, and einkorn. The range was from 0.03 to 0.06 mg/kg, just slightly lower than the conventional grains that were tested.


An approach to curing celiac disease, with microbiome adjustments?

Four strains from the species Lactobacillus ruminis, Lactobacillus johnsonii, Lactobacillus amylovorus and Lactobacillus salivarius showed the highest peptide-degrading activities. Strains displayed different degradation rates and cleavage patterns that resulted in reduction but not complete removal of immunotoxic epitopes.
CONCLUSIONS: We employed a unique enrichment process to select for bacteria adapted to the conditions of the proximal gastrointestinal tract with the ability to partially detoxify well-characterized peptides involved in coeliac disease.


Roundup used on wheat, why? It's not GMO

Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a professor at MIT, says in a quotation [this is a long quotation, but it has useful information that explains how glyphosate used on wheat could cause digestive–and immune system–issues]:

The use of glyphosate on wheat crops has risen in tandem with the rise in celiac disease. In fact, it correlates to a greater degree than glyphosate usage on corn and soy. 
According to Dr. Seneff, desiccating non-organic wheat crops with glyphosate just before harvest came in vogue about 15 years ago. Interestingly enough, when you expose wheat to a toxic chemical like glyphosate, it actually releases more seeds. “It ‘goes to seed’ as it dies,” Dr. Seneff explains. “At its last gasp, it releases the seed.” 
This results in slightly greater yield, and the glyphosate also kills rye grass, a major weed problem for wheat growers that is resistant to many other herbicides. What they’re not taking into consideration is the fact that rye grass helps rebalance the soil, and from that perspective is a beneficial plant. 
So, most of the non-organic wheat supply is now contaminated with glyphosate. A large percentage of processed foods are made from wheat, and this helps explain the explosion of celiac disease and other gut dysfunction. 
What happens is that the villi in your gut get destroyed by the glyphosate, which reduces your ability to absorb vitamins and minerals. Also, wheat contains gliadin, which is difficult to break down. Normally, a reaction takes place that builds connections between different proteins in the wheat. 
But glyphosate gets right in the middle of that process too, resulting in wheat that is highly indigestible. Dr. Seneff and her co-researcher Dr. Anthony Samsel believe the glyphosate may attach to the gliadin as a consequence of a chemical reaction. The end result is that your body develops an immune reaction.


Advanced Testing for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Vectra DA is an advanced blood test that helps you and your doctor to better understand your RA disease activity. Vectra DA can be used to measure the level of disease activity at a specific point in time and to track changes in disease activity over time. The more you and your doctor know about your RA, the better you can manage it.

Vectra DA measures the levels of 12 proteins in blood (also called biomarkers) that have been linked to RA disease activity in clinical studies. These 12 biomarkers are combined into a single score that indicates your current level of disease activity. The Vectra DA score can help you understand what's going on below the surface - beyond those signs and symptoms you and your doctor can see and feel. It does not replace your doctor's evaluation, but adds a precise, objective measure of the biology driving RA disease.

Vectra DA is intended for adults who have been diagnosed with RA. Over 100,000 people with RA have already been tested with Vectra DA, and new patients every day are getting a more comprehensive look at their RA disease activity with this advanced blood test.
The 12 Vectra DA biomarkers

Adhesion molecules
 VCAM-1 (vascular cell adhesion molecule-1) is an adhesion molecule expressed by endothelial and synovial cells. VCAM-1 may contribute to cellular recruitment to synovial tissue, as well as to cartilage invasion and destruction by fibroblasts. Vectra DA measures the soluble form of VCAM-1.12-15

Growth factors
 EGF (epidermal growth factor) is a growth factor secreted by macrophages, fibroblasts, and endothelial cells in RA joint tissue. EGF is associated with proliferation and differentiation of stromal cells (fibroblasts, chondrocytes, endothelial cells) and can induce production of inflammatory mediators and proteinases in these cells. EGF may also modulate the hepatic acute-phase response.16-19

 VEGF-A (vascular endothelial growth factor A) is a potent angiogenic growth factor and vascular permeability factor expressed by various synovial cells including fibroblasts and macrophages. VEGF-A promotes inflammation, fluid accumulation, and bone erosion.20-22

Cytokine-related proteins
 IL-6 (interleukin 6) is a cytokine produced by multiple cells, including leukocytes, fibroblasts, and skeletal cells in RA. IL-6 is a major driver of RA inflammation, cartilage degradation, bone erosion, and the hepatic acute-phase response.23-25

 TNF-RI (tumor necrosis factor receptor, type 1) is a receptor for TNF-α that is expressed on the membranes of numerous cell types. TNF-RI-mediated signaling contributes to multiple effects of TNF-α, including induction of cell death. Vectra DA measures the soluble form, TNF-RI, which binds to and neutralizes TNF-α.26,27

Matrix metalloproteinases
 MMP-1 (matrix metalloproteinase-1 or collagenase-1) is a collagen-degrading enzyme that contributes to cartilage destruction in RA, and to leukocyte invasion and angiogenesis in the synovial tissue.28

 MMP-3 (matrix metalloproteinase-3 or stromelysin-1) is an enzyme that degrades glycosaminoglycan components of cartilage and also activates the collagenase MMP-1.29-31

Skeletal-related proteins
 YKL-40, or human cartilage glycoprotein 39, is secreted primarily by chondrocytes and differentiated macrophages. YKL-40 may promote chondrocyte and fibroblast proliferation and antagonize cartilage destruction. YKL-40 reactive T cells have been found in RA patients, suggesting that they may contribute to RA autoimmunity.32-36

 Leptin is a hormone secreted by adipose tissue, synovial tissue, and bone. A satiety factor associated with obesity, leptin can also activate leukocytes and regulate bone remodeling.37-41

 Resistin is also a hormone associated with the adipose tissue. Like leptin, it can be secreted by synovial tissue and bone and promotes inflammation and bone remodeling. Resistin has been associated with obesity and diabetes.42-45

Acute-phase proteins
 SAA (serum amyloid) is a major acute-phase protein secreted by the liver in response to inflammation. Like CRP, elevated SAA may be associated with cardiovascular risk. SAA may also be produced by synovial fibroblasts and chondrocytes, and may induce proinflammatory activation of fibroblasts, macrophages, and T cells.46-50

 CRP (C-reactive protein) is another major acute-phase protein secreted by the liver in response to inflammation. Elevated CRP levels are associated with an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease.51-54


Friday, December 26, 2014

Saturated Fat Is Not A Bad Fat - Grassfed Network

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Doubling or even nearly tripling saturated fat in the diet does not drive up total levels of saturated fat in the blood, according to a controlled diet study.

However, increasing levels of carbohydrates in the diet during the study promoted a steady increase in the blood of a fatty acid linked to an elevated risk for diabetes and heart disease.

The finding "challenges the conventional wisdom that has demonized saturated fat and extends our knowledge of why dietary saturated fat doesn't correlate with disease," said senior author Jeff Volek, a professor of human sciences at The Ohio State University.

"It's unusual for a marker to track so closely with carbohydrate intake, making this a unique and clinically significant finding. As you increase carbs, this marker predictably goes up," Volek said. The researchers found that total saturated fat in the blood did not increase – and went down in most people – despite being increased in the diet when carbs were reduced. Palmitoleic acid, a fatty acid associated with unhealthy metabolism of carbohydrates that can promote disease, went down with low-carb intake and gradually increased as carbs were re-introduced to the study diet. In the study, participants were fed six three-week diets that progressively increased carbs while simultaneously reducing total fat and saturated fat, keeping calories and protein the same.

When that marker increases, he said, it is a signal that an increasing proportion of carbs are being converted to fat instead of being burned as fuel.Reducing carbs and adding fat to the diet in a well-formulated way, on the other hand, ensures the body will promptly burn the saturated fat as fuel so it won't be stored.
"When you consume a very low-carb diet your body preferentially burns saturated fat," Volek said. "We had people eat 2 times more saturated fat than they had been eating before entering the study, yet when we measured saturated fat in their blood, it went down in the majority of people. Other traditional risk markers improved, as well."

The research is published in the Nov. 21, 2014, issue of the journal PLOS ONE.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Walk for GMO Labeling

A self-described, lifelong adventurer, Lancaster's decision to walk took root in his 2007 sojourn across New Zealand working on organic farms. Lancaster visited the island nation to shed a stressful Los Angeles–lifestyle filled with junk food, drugs, and long, stressful work hours.

"I was just sluggish and tired and depressed, and I wondered why I was so unhappy. It wasn't until I had gone to New Zealand and started eating fresh vegetables every day, walking a lot, exercising, and living a healthy lifestyle that I realized the food I was consuming was hurting me," he said. While shearing sheep and planting flower bulbs, he connected with the local growers and Kiwi culture, and found in their earthiness the model for a newer, better lifestyle. "I realized there was a whole life to be had around the advancement of organic food and growing methods," he said.

The Big Six - Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, BASF, Dow and Dupont

Corn, soy beans, alfalfa, sugar beets. All these crops have been genetically modified by Monsanto and its GM brethren to the point where there are virtually no alternatives for farmers. GM corn accounts for 86% of the country's supply. More than 90% of the soy beans have been altered. Sugar beets are half the country's sugar supply, and 95% of those seeds are from Monsanto.

All told, Monsanto, DuPont  (NYSE: DD  ) , and Syngenta  (NYSE: SYT  ) control 53% of the world's seed production, yet their control of our food supply is almost all-encompassing, because they cross-license their technology between themselves and with other companies.

Monsanto recently agreed to share its technology with Dow Chemical  (NYSE: DOW  )  and Bayer (and vice versa), while DuPont and Bayer similarly expanded their collaboration. Syngenta is cross-pollinating Dow's AgroSciences division with its GM technology.

Yet, the one crop that has been saved from being altered up until now has been wheat. Not that Monsanto hasn't tried, as it experimented with modifying its DNA to make it resistant to its Roundup herbicide. Fields in 16 states including Arizona, California, Florida, Nebraska, and Oregon were used to test Roundup Ready wheat seed.

Bayer CropScience ... The Next Monsanto?

There are glufosinate-resistant transgenic varieties of several crops, including cotton, canola, corn, soybean, sugarbeet, and rice. Of these, canola, cotton, soybean and maize are currently on the market. This includes Bayer's LibertyLink genes, used in over 100 hybrids.

Health and Environmental Effects
Reproductive Effects: Yes (6)
Neurotoxicity: Yes (8)
Birth/Developmental Yes (8)
Potential Leacher: Yes (8)
Toxic to Fish/Aquatic Organisms: Yes (8)


Bayer CropScience announced today its plans to construct a glufosinate-ammonium herbicide production plant in the U.S. near Mobile, Ala. The new facility will more than double the company's global production capacity for this active ingredient. The start-up of the new plant is anticipated for the fourth quarter of 2015, in time for the 2016 growing season. Discussions with the local authorities in Alabama are progressing well, and Bayer CropScience says it will initiate the next planning steps for the new facility soon.

"In planning this facility, we are responding to urgent calls by farmers and agronomists for an alternative weed control technology to help combat the increasing problem of weed resistance to glyphosate-based products," said Liam Condon, Bayer CropScience CEO. "The use of glufosinate-ammonium, marketed as Liberty herbicide and used with LibertyLink seed, continues to grow as farmers experience the powerful performance benefits of this unique system for nonselective control of grass and broadleaf weeds. The rotation of crops, herbicide tolerant traits and herbicidal modes of action are important elements of a sustainable cropping approach," he said.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, IBS - Any Connections?

<<A Norwegian study of ME/CFS patient records that found two age peaks in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, one starting from ages 10-19, the other from 30-39, could tell us something about the disorder.

Two age peaks in the incidence of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis: a population-based registry study from Norway 2008–2012   Inger Johanne Bakken, Kari Tveito, Nina Gunnes, Sara Ghaderi, Camilla Stoltenberg, Lill Trogstad, Siri Eldevik Håberg and Per Magnus Bakken et al. BMC Medicine 2014, 12:167


Females Dominate
The high rate of females with ME/CFS combined with the unusual pattern of incidence points a finger directly at female hormones.   Three periods of major hormonal fluctuations occur in women; during puberty, during pregnancy and during menopause. Spikes in ME/CFS incidence occurred during two of these; puberty and when women often get pregnant, but not during menopause.

Sex Hormones, ME/CFS and IBS
A CDC study indicating women with ME/CFS have greatly increased rates of gynecological disorders also suggested that sex hormones could play a major role in the disorder. Despite the female predominance in ME/CFS and FM sex hormones have not been well studied in either disorder, but they have been better studied in another female dominated disorder  that often co-occurrswith ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia – irritable bowel syndrome.

The same pattern of disease development over time is found in IBS. The incidence of IBS peaks in women from their teens to about their mid-forties and then declines over time. By the time women reach their seventies their incidence of IBS drops to that found in men.

Estrogen is the major female  hormone produced. Its many effects on the body and its widely varying production had made it difficult to  study, but Broderick’s ME/CFS model suggests that estrogen triggered dysregulation of the HPA axis may play a key role the development of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in females.

That’s Low Estrogen – If estrogen plays a role it’s probably low not high estrogen levels that are the problem. Estrogen effects neurotransmitter production and activity and electrical excitability, and has a neuroprotective effect on central nervous system functioning.

Pain Connection – Some evidence suggests low estrogen level may play a role in chronic pain.  The greater degree of emotional arousal women with IBS display in response to pain could reflect reduced estrogen levels. The association of high estrogen levels with increased opioid receptors suggests higher estrogen levels may reduce pain.

Gut Connection – Female hormones not only influence gut motility – a key feature of IBS – but also gut secretions, gut contractions, immune functioning and pain sensitivity. The fact that about a third of women with IBS issues have them only during menstruation again suggests reduced sex hormone levels could play a role.  Reduced hormone levels during menstruation have been linked to abdominal pain and bloating.

Overall, the evidence suggests that estrogen probably plays a protective role in IBS, multiple sclerosis, pain disorders and possibly chronic fatigue syndrome.  However, the lower incidence of ME/CFS during menopause – when estrogen levels tend to be low – suggests that more than estrogen is  involved.

A Positive Role for Male Hormones
In contrast to women, age appears to play little role in the development of IBS in men:  they experience no significant changes in IBS incidence throughout their lifespan.

Male hormones often get a bad rap :) but the lower rates of incidence and the lack of a discernible pattern of incidence in men suggests they may have a protective function. Broderick’s modeling studies suggest that male hormones such as testosterone are protective in ME/CFS and some evidence suggests the same may be true in IBS.

Testosterone also appears to have pain reducing properties that provide protection against the development of pain disorders.  Low testosterone levels in men, for instance, have been associated with increased sensitivity to rectal pain.  Some men with ME/CFS have find testosterone supplementation helpful.

Hormones, or the lack of them, may very well be a contributing  factor to getting ME/CFS, but the spikes in incidence also point a finger at two other factors: viruses and autoimmune disorders.>>


10-Day Detox - Mark Hyman

You’d probably be skeptical – most people, including doctors, don’t think you can create radical health transformation in a few days, but I do. And that’s because I see it every day and have seen it for the past 20 years with over 10,000 patients.

And that’s exactly why I created the 10-Day Detox Diet – I wanted to teach you how easy, fast and delicious it can be to lose weight and create health. Just follow this proven program, and in 10 days not only can you lose up to 10 pounds, but you may also turn the tide on chronic health problems including type 2 diabetes, asthma, joint pain, digestive problems, autoimmune disease, headaches, brain fog, allergies, acne, eczema and even sexual dysfunction.

How is that possible? Because what makes you sick can make you fat, and what makes you fat can make you sick. It’s all connected. You know when your computer freezes up? What do you do? You reboot. Well, the 10-Day Detox can do the same thing for your metabolism – by following my diet and lifestyle practices, we can reset your metabolism to factory settings. You can lose weight without going hungry, and possibly even clear up a whole list of health symptoms. And all it takes is 10 days.



Printable PDF Summary:

Tobacco Free Florida


1. Talk to a Quit Coach who can help you quit tobacco. 1-877-U-CAN-NOW 1-877-822-6669 TTY/TDD 1-877-777-6534]

2. An online program to help you quit tobacco is a click away. www.quitnow.net/florida

3. Looking for local face-to-face help? Find classes near you.

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Surprising Ways That Chickens Changed the World

"There have been several scientific studies in the past decade or so that show quite clearly that chicken soup contains something that helps us get over a cold. It won't cure your cold. But it will definitely help take care of some of those symptoms, like a runny nose or fever. In the ancient world, the chicken was considered a kind of two-legged pharmacy. If you had diarrhea, if you were depressed, if you had a child who was a bed wetter, you name it, there was some part of the chicken that could cure you.
We have some friends who have free-range chickens. They thought they were just getting eggs, but they're getting a number of other benefits: They have no slugs in their garden, no mosquitoes and no ticks in their yard. What else do chickens do that are good for us?
As I said before, I think one of the most important things that chickens can do for us urban folk is to remind us where our food comes from. In earlier times chickens ate the scraps that the housewife threw out the door after dinner. The chickens took care of insects. In West Africa, they were important for exterminating pests. So chickens were welcome around the house, unlike, say, pigs and cows, which traditionally were kept farther away from dwellings. When archaeologists study ancient sites in the Middle East, they find chicken bones right in the living area. That's because the chicken does a lot of things for us. It cleans things up, gets rid of bugs, and provides us with those eggs we like to have for breakfast."

iPads, tablets, smartphones disrupt good sleep

<<Basking in the blue glow of iPads, smartphones and other electronic devices before bedtime could be messing up our sleep patterns more profoundly than we realize, and even affecting our long-term health, according to a new study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"It may be having a greater impact than we previously thought," said Anne-Marie Chang, a professor at Penn State University and a co-author of the study, which was conducted at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

A growing body of evidence has suggested what many people have experienced firsthand - that the pervasive glow of electronic gadgets can hinder a good night's sleep. But researchers behind Monday's study, which was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, set out to decipher what changes in the body cause those disruptions.

During a two-week inpatient experiment involving a dozen adults, some participants were asked to read on an iPad for four hours each night before bedtime, for five consecutive nights. Others read printed books in dim light. After a week, the groups switched.

Researchers found that participants using iPads displayed reduced levels of melatonin, a hormone that typically increases in the evening and helps induce sleepiness. They took longer to fall asleep, and spent less time in restorative REM, or rapid-eye movement, sleep.

In addition, the iPad readers reported being sleepier and less alert the following morning, even after eight hours of sleep. They also displayed delayed circadian rhythms.>>

Low Dose Naltrexone For Fibromyalgia

The Stanford researchers believe  fibromyalgia is a neuro-inflammatory disorder characterized by 'hyper-sensitive' microglial cells; the main immune cells in the central nervous system.
Structurally similar to the macrophages found in the body, resting microglial cells display little activity but transform themselves, after being activated by inflammation, infection or cell death, into 'hairy monsters' that spew out pro-inflammatory cytokines, excitatory amino acids such as glutamate and nitric oxide with glutamate being a primary agent of damage. (Interestingly,  glutamate production appears to be associated with reduced glutathione levels that occur during microglial activation. )
Microglial cells are  responsible for producing neuropathic pain and flu-like symptoms such as pain, fatigue, etc.  (eg sickness behavior). Rodent studies suggest LDN blocks the activity of toll-like receptors (TLR4) found  on the  microglial cells.
It is usually best to start with 1.5 mg and every week or two increase. Go to 3 then 4.5 then 6mg. Most people find 1.5 isn't enough and 6 is too much and 3 or 4.5 is the best. Finding what is not enough and what is too much helps pinpoint the right dose. Every few months decrease and increase again to check that your requirement hasn't changed.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Know Your Gut


What is the Microbiome?
Our microbes outnumber human cells 10:1. Like the rainforest, the healthy human microbiome is a balanced ecosystem.

Microbes perform essential functions such as digesting food and synthesizing vitamins. Studies have also linked the microbiome to human mood and behavior, as well as gut health, human development, and metabolic disorders.

Sample Your Microbiomes
Our sample kit contains everything you need to swab and submit your microbiome. Whether for your mouth, ears, nose, gut, or genitals, your kit will allow you to learn more about your microbiome.  You swipe the sample swab across the corresponding site and send the kit back to us.



Watch "Jessica Richman - uBiome - TEDMED Talk" on YouTube

Jessica Richman - uBiome - TEDMED Talk: http://youtu.be/LJ41t8422Z8

Ghee Benefits Better than Butter?

So how is ghee better than butter? Ghee has a unique nutrition profile with no lactose, no casein, but rich in short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids and butyrate. For people that are lactose or casein sensitive, they can use ghee as the process has removed these allergens. If you've been told to stay away from dairy and butter, experiment with ghee made from grass-fed beef!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Biodegradeable clothing - from hemp and flax

A new trend in the clothing industry. A good one.

"We've already got biodegradable shoes and bikinis, but how about just regular ol' shirts and pants? Well, while existing natural materials such as cotton and wool will biodegrade under the right conditions, Zurich-based clothing manufacturer Freitag is producing clothing made from fabric that's specifically designed for quick and easy composting.

Known as F-abric, the material is made from a blend of flax and hemp fibers, along with modal fibers (a type of rayon) made by spinning cellulose obtained from beech trees. Additionally, a special weaving process contributes to the textile's ability to readily disintegrate once composted, as does the use of wood pulp-based Tencel yarn for sewing the sheets of F-abric together."


Cooking Oils

We know there are a lot of oils on our shelves! Here are a handful of our favorites, along with quick details on how they're made and the best ways to serve them:

Avocado Oil: Pressed from avocadoes, this smooth, nutty oil is more than 50% monounsaturated, making it a heart-nourishing choice. Use it in salad dressings or to sauté fish, chicken, sweet potatoes or plantains.

Canola Oil: Canola is actually a cousin to cabbage and Brussels sprouts. In fact, it's a variety of rapeseed that's part of the mustard family, which includes those above-mentioned veggies. It's beneficial for heart health thanks to its fatty acid profile and omega-3 and low saturated fat contents and perfect for light cooking, sauces and desserts like homemade mayo or tender cakes.

Coconut Oil: Pressed from the fruit of the coconut palm tree, coconut oil is ideal for light fair and subtly flavored dishes. This oil is particularly mouth-watering to use for making popcorn and hash browns.

Corn Oil: Most corn oil is extracted only from the germ of the corn kernel and is golden yellow in color; unrefined oil will have a darker color and richer corn taste. Use in salad dressings and dips with stronger flavors like peppers or garlic.

Grapeseed Oil: Grapeseed oil is extracted from the seeds of grapes, a byproduct of the wine-making industry. Use it on salads and raw veggies or in dips, sauces and salsas. Mix grapeseed oil with garlic and basil, then drizzle it on toasted bread.

Olive Oil: A mainstay of the Mediterranean diet and one of the oldest known culinary oils, olive oil contains predominately heart-friendly monounsaturated fat. Extra virgin olive oil results from the first cold-pressing of olives while mild "pure" olive oil is a blend of refined olive oil and extra virgin olive oil. Drizzle over hummus or grilled vegetables.

Peanut Oil: Peanut oil comes from where you'd expect…peanuts! It's relatively high monounsaturated content makes it heart-healthy. Peanut oil is superior for frying, light sautéing and stir-fries.

Sesame Oil: The seed of the sesame plant provides sesame oil, which has a high antioxidant content. Unrefined sesame oil is great as a key flavor component in sauces or dressings. Use refined sesame oil for high heat applications like frying and toasted sesame oil for stir fries and Asian sauces and dips. (Still need a little convincing? Lemon Sesame Asparagus will prove our point.)


Smoke Points:

225 F: Canola Oil, Unrefined
     : Flaxseed Oil, Unrefined
     : Safflower Oil, Unrefined
     : Sunflower Oil, Unrefined

320 F: Corn Oil, Unrefined
     : High-Oleic Sunflower Oil, Unrefined
     : Olive Oil, Unrefined
     : Peanut Oil, Unrefined
     : Safflower Oil, Semi-Refined
     : Soy Oil, Unrefined
     : Walnut Oil, Unrefined
325 F: Shortening, Emulsified Vegetable†
330 F: Hemp Seed Oil¥¥
350 F: Butter (Good Eats)
     : Canola Oil, Semi-Refined
     : Coconut Oil†
     : Sesame Oil, Unrefined
     : Soy Oil, Semi-Refined
356-370 F: Vegetable Shortening
361-401 F: Lard
375 F: Olive Oil (Good Eats)
389 F: Macadamia Nut Oil††

400 F: Canola Oil, Refined
     : Walnut Oil, Semi-Refined
406 F: Olive Oil, Extra Virgin*
410 F: Corn Oil (Good Eats)
     : Sesame Oil**
420 F: Cottonseed Oil†
     : Grapeseed Oil¥
     : Olive Oil, Virgin**
430 F: Almond Oil***
     : Hazelnut Oil***
435 F: Canola Oil (Good Eats)
438 F: Olive Oil*
     : Rapeseed Oil***
440 F: Peanut Oil†
     : Sunflower Oil†
450 F: Corn Oil, Refined
     : High-Oleic Sunflower Oil, Refined
     : Peanut Oil, Refined (Good Eats)
     : Safflower Oil, Ref. (Good Eats)
     : Sesame Oil, Semi-Refined
     : Soy Oil, Refined
     : Sunflower Oil, Semi-Refined
460 F: Olive Pomace Oil**
468 F: Olive Oil, Extra Light*
485 F: Grapeseed Oil**
495 F: Soy Bean Oil†

510 F: Safflower Oil†
520 F: Avocado Oil, Refined


What Experts Say About the Advice on Dr. Oz and The Doctors | TIME

Reporting in the BMJ, Canadian researchers analyzed two medical TV talk shows—The Dr. Oz Show and The Doctors—and found that only 46% of the recommendations on The Dr. Oz Show and 63% on The Doctors were supported by evidence. 15% of advice given on Oz and 14% of advice on The Doctors contradicted the available published evidence in journals.
"The bottom line message is for people to be really skeptical about the recommendations made on these medical television shows," says study co-author Christina Korowynk, associate professor of family medicine at the University of Alberta. "They should look for more balanced information to be presented, and understand that they need all of that information in order to make an informed decision."
They measured 80 major recommendations made on the two shows from January to May 2013 against evidence gleaned from published studies in medical databases. They looked at both consistency—how much the conclusion was supported by the studies—and believability, which included the quality, number and type of study.
On average, Korownyk's group found that both shows mentioned how the advice might specifically help a person in only about 40% of the recommendations, and they mentioned the amount of benefit, another aspect of useful health advice, in less than 20% of recommendations. (Harms were mentioned in less than 10% of the recommendations, and costs in less than 15%). She says that without such information on how much benefit and harm a particular recommendation might have, it's hard for people to make informed choices about whether the advice is right for them.
Korownyk and her colleagues aren't the first to cast doubt on the quality of advice given on the shows. In June a Senate subcommittee heard testimony from Oz on false advertising of weight loss claims and Sen. Claire McCaskill queried the doctor about the statements he made on the show. "I do personally believe in the items that I talk about on the show," he said at the hearing. "We have to simplify complicated information. We have to make the material seem interesting and focus on the 'wow' factor."
Representatives for The Doctors said in a written statement to TIME: "The Doctors was never contacted about the study or the article. Our producers and doctors all do their due diligence to make sure information provided on the show is sound, relevant and timely—often debunking the myriad of medical myths that abound in the media and across the internet."
Members of The Dr. Oz Show wrote: "The Dr. Oz Show has always endeavored to challenge the so-called conventional wisdom, reveal multiple points of view and question the status quo. The observation that some of the topics discussed on the show may differ from popular opinion or various academic analyses affirms that we are furthering a constructive dialogue about health and wellness."

Korownyk acknowledges that the exact impact of television health advice isn't clear, since the study didn't investigate how many of the recommendations people adopted and whether they had an effect on their health. But the advice is clearly reaching people. "What we'd love to see is a process on these shows where the evidence is reviewed in a critical manner, and presented in a balanced, objective way so the audience can understand," she says. "As physicians, we are moving toward that, and we'd love to see the broader television personalities doing the same sort of thing."

Hugelkultur: the ultimate raised garden beds

Hugelkultur is nothing more than making raised garden beds filled with rotten wood. This makes for raised garden beds loaded with organic material, nutrients, air pockets for the roots of what you plant, etc. As the years pass, the deep soil of your raised garden bed becomes incredibly rich and loaded with soil life. As the wood shrinks, it makes more tiny air pockets - so your hugelkultur becomes sort of self tilling. The first few years, the composting process will slightly warm your soil giving you a slightlylonger growing season. The woody matter helps to keep nutrient excess from passing into the ground water - and then refeeding that to your garden plants later. Plus, by holding SO much water, hugelkultur could be part of a system for growing garden crops in the desert with no irrigation.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cheap Natural Compound May Help Smokers Quit

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The naturally occurring plant compound cytisine may be more effective than nicotine replacement therapy in helping smokers quit, a new study suggests.
Cytisine, an acid-like chemical found in the seeds of the golden rain tree, has been used in Eastern Europe for decades to help smokers quit, researchers say. But it's not widely available.
"Cytisine is one of the most affordable smoking cessation medicines available," said lead researcher Natalie Walker, an associate director of the Center for Addiction Research at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Local Rates of Cancer

Highest Rates of Cancer (Overall) in Florida Counties:
1. Union
2. Duval
3. Okeechobee
4. Lake
5. Gulf
6. Baker
7. Nassau
8. Alachua

Highest Rates of Breast Cancer
1. Baker
2. Alachua


North Central Florida Cancer Report - 2013:

National Rates of Cancer: