How Stress and Trauma Shape Us: Why You Should Be Thankful for Hardships

Is Stress Really That Bad? 

Nearly every human I know responds negatively to stress. In fact, most of us will do just about anything to avoid trials, tribulations, stress, troubles, roadblocks and any sort of stimulus that pulls us out of our comfort zones. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the words, “why do bad things happen to good people?” I used to be one of those who echoed that same sentiment when I was going through rough patches, but then I started to notice something about myself. When I was in my comfort zone, I usually became complacent. For me, this equalled stagnation. Why would I change? Everything FELT good, comfortable and easy. Only when I fell on my face and had to re-evaluate my values and life, was I willing to change. You see pain serves a very noble purpose. It pushes us beyond what we think we can handle; it cracks us open; it brings us to our knees and molds us into someone stronger.

I remember when I went through my divorce, it was a bit of an ego death. Who I thought I was, what people thought of me and my life in general were all tested. I hit rock bottom, but something beautiful happened in that dark night of the soul. I was cracked open, and as wise philosopher Rumi says, this is where the light can enter. Only in a time of desperation and pain was I able to look through different lenses. I am now fully convinced that without that pain, I would not have seen the world from a different perspective that helped to change my entire career. Again, very few people transform without something painful to push them in that direction.

Stress becomes dangerous when its too much, we perceive it negatively, or it becomes chronic. It is all in our perspective and how we react to things. Chronic conditions occur because there is some sort of stressor, whether it be mental or physical, that is continual. This can lead to inflammation of the body or brain. And remember-inflammation is the heralding cause of all disease. However, the flip side of this argument is that acute stress and acute inflammation can give us new eyes, a new lease on life and push us in a direction we would’ve never entertained without the “bad” experience. Short lived stress is not necessarily a bad thing it seems after all.  There is great wisdom to be gained if one is able to change perspective and see healthy stress as a challenge, puzzle to be solved, or a “push” that leads to growth. Which leads me to ask-Are there really “good” or “bad” experiences or is our perspective just off? And how do we gracefully deal with stress and then let it go so that it does not turn into a chronic problem?

 

Lessons from Science about Stress

And what does science say about stress? We can easily investigate the animal and plant world to see how stress can become a natural (and not necessarily bad) part of life.

For example, in the plant world they actually have a word for it-xenohormesis. Xenohormesis explains how plants undergoing ecological stress produce “extra nutritional constituents” that confer survival advantages upon the animals or humans that eat them. This is exactly what happened in the blue zones of the plant like Okinawa, Japan. The plants there were closer to the equator and had to make more prominent antioxidants and phytochemicals to protect themselves from the damage of the sun. This is one of the reasons why the population there lives longer.

Concerning animals, a study done by Kaufer, Kirby and their colleagues at UC Berkley Neuroscience Institute subjected rats to short lived stress. For them, immobilization in their cages for a few hours. This doubled the proliferation of new brain cells in area of the brain that retains memories. The rats even performed better on a memory test two weeks after the stressful event.

One of the simplest examples of positive stress in humans is exercise. Whether you love it or hate it, exercise makes us healthier and stronger. But it doesn’t do so through pleasure. No pain, no gain. Through sweat and tears, we build the bodies that we desire that promote longevity. This feat is accomplished through ACUTE STRESS-tearing muscle fibers when lifting weights, pushing our heart rates to build more cardiac muscle and production of lactic acid that makes us sore the next day. This acute stress makes us stronger in the long run and actually makes us live better.

Stress can also come in the form of heat or cold. But does it benefit our health too?

  1. The Importance of Heat Shock Proteins and Anti Aging

There is actually new research coming out on what heat can do for healing. (Cold temperatures place a similar stress on the body. For more info, check out my blog on cryotherapy). Saunas are now being shown to trigger the stress response in the body in a similar fashion as exercise. This is great news for those patients who have trouble physically or don’t have the luxury of being able to exercise. The concept is known as Hyperthermic Conditioning and now research has shown that it can affect everything from endurance to growth of new brain cells. In fact, studies are now showing increases in secretion of HGH, or human growth hormone, as well as activation of HSP, or heat shock proteins. HGH increases stamina, promotes longevity and is anti aging. Its levels drop off after age 30 and this is what leads to aging, so you can see how increasing this hormone is very important to overall health. HSP, or heat shock proteins, are also activated during heat exposure and stress. High heat serves a purpose, you see as it can denature or destroy proteins. This is beneficial as it kills off protein capsids of viruses but does not harm the body’s innate proteins due to none other than, HSP. This is HSP’s job-to prevent protein degradation in the body when it is exposed to high heat. They also have the ability to repair damaged DNA. This is why you should not immediately treat a fever until it is dangerously high-around 105 or so.

Take it from the well versed Dr. Rhonda Patrick,

“Heat shock proteins (or HSPs), as the name implies, are induced by heat and are a prime example of hormesis. Intermittent exposure to that induces a hermetic response (a protective stress response), which promotes the expression of a gene called heat shock factor 1 and subsequently HSPs involved in stress resistance. HSPs can prevent damage by directly scavenging free radicals and also by supporting cellular antioxidant capacity through its effects on maintaining glutathione. (Glutathione is the body’s master antioxidant) HSPs can repair misfolded, damaged proteins thereby ensuring proteins have their proper structure and function.”

In one study, rats that were exposed to intermittent heat sessions had a HUGE expression of heat shock proteins that was associated with 30% more muscle regrowth compared to a control group. And the expression lasted for 48 hours after the heat exposure!

There is one specific HSP called HSP70 gene that is now associated with increased longevity, which suggests there may be anti aging benefits.

         2. Heat Shock Proteins and Muscle Soreness

Hyperthermic conditioning has been shown to slow muscle atrophy during disuse, for example, if you broke your leg and couldn’t move around for a few weeks. Not only that, but studies now show that HSP and hyperthermia can prevent against muscle breakdown that can occur in up to 25% of patients on the cholesterol lowering statin drugs.

Many patients are unable to stimulate HSPs through exercise, but now with research indicating that saunas are nearly as effective, this is extremely important for the population to understand.

Moreover, new research is showing HSPs lowering insulin resistance, promoting longevity, and revving up immunity. Stress is not always a bad thing, especially if acute! It actually makes us stronger, no matter how uncomfortable in the moment.

As Above, So Below

Now that we see that the microscopic parts of bodies can perform such wonders when exposed to stress, it only makes logical sense to extrapolate to the environment around us.

  1. Our immune systems become extremely healthy if we are exposed to and live through any disease.
  2. We dread exercise but in the long run, it gives us the body we desire.
  3. Stressful heartbreaks teach us what we do and don’t want in a partner
  4. Fasting can feel mentally stressful, but frees up energy for our immune cells to seek and destroy cancerous or rogue cells.
  5. New business ventures are extremely stressful and take hard work but in the end you can reap great success.
  6. Fevers feel terrible but destroy unwanted pathogens
  7. Speaking our minds can be terribly difficult, but afterwards we usually feel a sense of relief.

Again, let me stress that not all stress is positive or healthy. It all depends on how much, our perspective about it, how long it continues and to what extent. But often, the bad can show us what we do not want to seek out. It can “wake us up” to a new world with new eyes. When we are at our lowest, we become creative and determined. We have nothing to lose. The underlying issue to grasp when dealing with stress is that EVERYTHING IS TEMPORARY. The good, the bad, the sun, the rain, joy or pain…all are temporary and will end. It is up to us in deciding HOW we respond to stress. And perhaps stress is a teacher that we should not avoid at all costs?

Only the greatest of warriors are given the greatest of trials. No one else could survive. No matter what you are going through, know that you will survive and be better and stronger for it. SMILE

Much love

Dr Jess

 

How the Nutrient in Broccoli Sprouts Can Change Genes To Protect Against Cancer

All of us know broccoli when we see it but how many of us know what broccoli sprouts are? I know I didn’t grow up eating them and have been surprised to find out the amazing health benefits of this little but powerful veggie. And this isn’t the only veggie that has the magic….

 

Why Should I Care About Sulforaphane?

I know, I know, why should you care about sulforaphane? Well, it just so happens that it is VITAL. Some of its most important jobs are enhancing brain function, promoting healthy weight, autism, reducing the risk of cancer, neurological diseases, diabetes, and heart disease. Sulforaphane is an organosulfate that provides valuable sulfur that is the building block of so many reactions in our body. Sulforaphane is antioxidant, antimicrobial, anticancer, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective. Lots of great reasons to understand this powerful compound!

Dr. Thomas W Kensler described it as “the most potent naturally occurring inducer of Nrf2 signaling.”

What sulforaphane does is activate and up regulate certain genetic pathways or transcription factors, like Nrf2. Nrf2 is a transcription factor that affects what genes are turned on or off. When I began to see this published in medical journals, I was really impressed. Everyone is beginning to see how nutrition CAN target genes (better known as nutrigenomics) and can therefore, prevent against common killers like cancer. In fact, sulforaphane has been found to be effective against several types of cancer! More and more evidence shows that it is also acts against cancer on several levels, from development to progression. In a study published in Cancer Therapy in May 2010, sulforaphane was found to inhibit breast cancer stem cells. Not even chemotherapy can inhibit cancerous stem cells.

Sulforaphane has shown a potential therapeutic role for protection of cells from DNA damage. It also showed that it could induce modulation of the cell, meaning death if the cell was diseased or old, or protection against cancer and proliferation of cancer cells. In fact, one study out of Harvard demonstrated signifiant improvement in autistic children treated with sulforaphane. They showed an improvement in social interaction, abnormal behavior, and verbal communication.

As previously mentioned, sulforaphane helps to activate Nrf2. It has been shown to be protective against cancer and can modify genes associated with chemoprevention. It does this by ramping up cellular defense mechanisms and detoxification pathways. Basically this little Nrf2 factor turns on genes that activate our cellular military. Their job is to go out and patrol our tissues, blood, organs and each cell to make sure everything is running smoothly with no mutiny anywhere in the body.

Where Do I Get Sulforaphane?

Broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage are all rich in what is known as sulforaphane. In fact, all cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphane! But it doesn’t just happen to occur naturally in plants.

Sulforaphane is only created when the plant is damaged as a stress mechanism. An enzyme called myrosinase is released that then reacts with another compound called glucoraphanin. The result is sulforaphane. You may be wondering how this is a defense mechanism for the plant? Well sulforaphane is actually toxic in high doses, even in humans, especially if large quantities of cruciferous vegetables are eaten raw. So  chewing or chopping up the vegetables trigger them to release sulforaphane.

Can I Eat Cruciferous Vegetables If I Have Thyroid Dysfunction?

Trust me when I say that cruciferous vegetables do not CAUSE thyroid dysfunction. In small and normal quantities, sulforaphane creates a hormetic effect. Remember the poison is in the dose in the natural world concerning herbs, so called poisons and foods. Sometimes, as in the case of sulforaphane, we can gain beneficial effects from something that would be toxic in higher doses. Everything in moderation!

In high doses or if cruciferous veggies are eaten predominantly raw in someone who is susceptible to thyroid disease, goitrins can form in the body. These goitrins interfere with the production of normal thyroid hormones, leading to hypothyroidism. The trade off with this is that cooking the cruciferous veggies past 138 degrees Fahrenheit deactivated the enzyme that helps to make sulforaphane. So the best way to get a satisfactory dose is by eating it raw in small amounts or by eating broccoli sprouts.

One thing you can do to prevent any negative effects from goitrins is to take adequate doses of iodine and selenium. Plus sulforaphane is pretty powerful-you only have to eat 3-5 servings per week to see the anticancer benefits! In fact, one study found that “dose” reduced the cancer risk by 30-40%.

The Highest Dose of Sulforaphane

Now that you know about sulforaphane, you may be wondering what the best source is and how much you need to reap the wonderful benefits! The highest dose is found in vegetables that are more immature and the content actually weans as the plants mature. Thats why young broccoli sprouts have a much higher content than just regular broccoli. They contain 10-100 times the level of glucoraphanin and sulforaphane. This little vegetable is really the panacea of healing.

There are supplements with sulforaphane and broccoli sprouts, but I always believe if you can get the nutrition from food, or the most natural way possible, it is much more bioavailable or absorbable. Try adding broccoli sprouts to your salad or even smoothie every week. Remember you only need 3-5 servings a week to ensure you’re getting the detox, anticancer and immune benefits. Don’t forget to speak with your trusted healthcare professional if you have a thyroid disorder prior to gobbling up too many cruciferous vegetables!

Way to be your own best doctor!

Much love

Dr Jess

 

 

Exposure of primary mouse hepatocytes to sulforaphane resulted in activation of Nrf2 and significant elevation of protein expressions responsible for excretion of arsenic into extracellular space. SFN has the ability to potentially excrete heavy metals like arsenic.

 

 

 

REFERENCES:

  1. www.sciencedirect.com/science/articles/pii/s0014579306002316
  2. www.drperlmutter.com/good-news-nrf2/
  3. www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080//10408398.2016.1259983?journalcode=bfsn20
  4. Sulforaphane and other Nutrigenomics Nrf2 Activators: Can the Clinician’s Expectation Be Matched by the Reality? www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/26881038/

Signs You May Have Candida

Candida albicans, or yeast, is an silent epidemic in modern countries. It is the most common strain of yeast and is found in the vagina, the throat/tongue, the GI tract, and the skin. The infection most often affects those who have a weakened immune system. It can spread to unsafe levels throughout the body. As a doc, I’ve tested many people who have vague symptoms like digestive issues or brain fog for candida. This yeast often overwhelms the body by hiding from the body’s defenses in a sticky biofilm. It also pairs up with other opportunistic pathogens like Lyme, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, or Epstein Barr virus.

Over time, if left unchecked, candida breaks down the intestinal walls and barrier, where it can enter the bloodstream. Candida can then release toxic byproducts like acetylaldehyde into the system, causing its victims to feel almost drunk. These toxins can also lead to leaky gut syndrome, as the stomach barrier is then compromised.

What makes things worse is if the pH of the gut is altered at all. When our guts (not the bloodstream) are too alkaline, this makes it more hospitable to these negative pathogens. Our guts are supposed to be acidic! Healthy stomach acid kills any opportunistic bacteria that may try to enter our bodies through food and water. Processed carbs and sugar raise the pH to alkaline levels in the gut where this allows candida to grow out of control, leading to a fully systemic infection. This can all be prevented with a healthy immune system, healthy food and self care.

So What Causes Candida? 

We aren’t sure what all directly affects candida overgrowth. Most likely anything that negatively impacts our immune systems can help candida production. Here are some known causes:

  1. Standard American Diets of sugar, alcohol, and refined carbs. As I mentioned above, these “foods” change the pH of the gut and can lead to a more hospitable environment for malicious pathogens. Diets full of organic food that our ancestors would recognize are imperative. Think of anything that grows naturally from earth! Fruits, veggies, clean proteins and some pseudo grains like quinoa are the best choices!
  2. Antibiotics. Although antibiotics are often life saving in dire situations like sepsis, infections and injuries, they are absolutely overprescribed today. When this happens, it not only creates antibiotic resistance, but kills off all bacteria-the bad AND the good! This is detrimental as these good bacteria help protect our immune systems. In fact, they are our immune system!
  3. Steroids. Its a fact that people who use steroid inhalers for disorders like cardiopulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma have a higher risk of developing thrush, or candidiasis of the mouth. They are told to wash out their mouths after each inhaler use. Those who have to use systemic steroids like prednisone, for their autoimmune disorders also risk getting compromised with systemic candidiasis. Steroids significantly lower immunity.
  4. Birth Control Pills. This is a less common cause, but nonetheless, should be named because so many women today are on birth control pills! They are labeled a stage 2 carcinogen by the World Health Organization as they are made from synthetic hormones from pregnant mares. When combined with a poor diet, steroids or antibiotics, birth control pills can compound yeast infections. They do this by skewing natural hormone levels. Hormones are integral to a functioning system as they intimately communicate with our immune systems and neurotransmitters.
  5. Anything that Lowers Immunity such as Chemotherapy or HIV. Candida is opportunistic and therefore preys on weaker immune systems for survival. Children, the elderly, HIV patients, or cancer patients are particularly at risk. Inflammation or  an autoimmune condition are favorable for candida as well.
  6. Diabetes or Obesity. Candida LOVES sugar. In fact, this is its primary food source, so it makes logical sense that a high level of sugar in the blood would attract this pesky fungus. Obesity also plays a role in lowering immunity and predisposing one to candidiasis. In the hospital, we would often treat obese patients with antifungals as they would get yeast infections of the skin anywhere that was cool and moist.

What are the Symptoms of Candida?

  1. Brain Fog and Chronic Fatigue-Most people would never expect such infections to cause such vague symptoms. Candida overgrowth can be responsible for inability to focus, migraines, joint pains, lack of initiative and chronic fatigue syndrome. Remember that candida produces the toxic acetylaldehyde, which can lead to impaired thinking.
  2. Bruxism-Bruxism, or grinding the teeth at night, is a sure sign of a candida infection. These critters are often more active at night, which puts a stress on the body. The people infected can often be seen grinding or gnashing their teeth at night due to the stress of the nocturnal movements of the candida.
  3. IT Band Soreness-the IT band runs alongside the outside of the knee and thigh. There are lots of reasons for the soreness such as trigger points, but a less well known cause is candida albicans. If systemic, it can get lodged in the joint spaces like the knees and lead to inflammation, or pain.
  4. Digestive Issues and Bloating-this one should be no surprise. One of the main causes of gut dysbiosis is an out of control candida infection! Candida can cause the lining of the stomach to become permeable, or leaky if they become overpopulated. This can lead to improper digestion and absorption of nutrients which can further impede the immune system.
  5. Vaginal Yeast Infection and Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections-Candida overgrowth is super annoying as many women know! I think most people today know that recurrent yeast infections point to a parasitic infection that needs eradication. But did you know that recurrent urinary tract infections, or UTIs, also indicate the same issue? The fungus can hang onto the cells within the bladder, leading to eventual overgrowth
  6. Persistent toenail fungus-Similar to yeast infections, toenail fungus that is persistent (longer than 8 months), indicates there may be a bigger problem at play. A month long parasite cleanse might really help to clear up the problem.
  7. Oral Thrush-This is common in babies, but can also occur in adults if there is a systemic candida infection or if they are using steroids or inhalers. Thrush is a thick white coating on the tongue that can cause a sore throat or tongue as well as painful swallowing. Remember the mouth is the opening to the digestive tract so it reflects what may be going on in our guts too!
  8. Recurrent or Persistent Sinusitis-A candida infection can be a cause of sinusitis, although there are many causative factors. Its presence can lead to inflammation of the sinus cavities, post nasal drips, sneezing, allergies and pain.
  9. Adrenal Fatigue-When systemic candidiasis is present and left untreated, this can stress the body. Eventually our hormones become askew as cortisol “steals” from progesterone production. This can also plummet DHEA and testosterone levels. A byproduct of candida breakdown is also an “estrogen mimicker” which further compounds the problem.

How Do I Get Rid of Candida?

The candida diet, my Microbiome Master (find it in my store!), avoiding sugar, alcohol, and processed carbs as well finding an educated practitioner are the first steps.

If you’d like a consult with me, be sure to schedule under my consults tab.

Much Love,

Dr Jess

 

How PTSD and Early Emotional Trauma Can Wreck Digestion (plus the tricks that can help correct it)

Stress Affects the Body More than Medicine is Willing to Admit

I went to a Integrative Conference on Anxiety and Depression this past week and was blown away by the amount of information given to us on genetic mutations, stress and emotional factors that play a HUGE role in how we interact and feel about the world. If only allopathic medicine would jump on board, then healthcare in this country could be completely revitalized.

Many healthcare professionals say to me that they don’t believe food or chronic stress can play such a vital role in our health because there are no concrete scientific or peer reviewed studies on this topic. To which I say two words. Takosubo cardiomyopathy. This is a physical heart condition brought about by intense and deep heartbreak. Have you ever heard of an elderly couple that has been together for decades and when one dies, the other passes away shortly thereafter? This is often due to Broken Heart syndrome, or Takosubo cardiomyopathy. The typical scenario is a mother who loses a child or a husband that unexpectedly loses his wife. Takosubo cardiomyopathy is named for the pot in Japan that resembles how the heart pathologically balloons out during this stressful time. All because of heartache, these patients can go into overt heart failure or even sustain a heart attack. Most of them recover, but many of them have permanent disabilities all due to stress or emotional trauma.

One of the main topics that was discussed at the conference was how stress can physiologically disrupt digestion. We all know that when we have to give a public speech, we can get an upset stomach. This is because the vagus nerve connects our guts to our brains. If we are anxious, signals are sent from the brain down the vagus nerve to the gut, where the gut can “feel” those anxious feelings as well. Multiple studies have recently shown that mood disorders as well as chronic brain inflammation can affect the gut. Many of the emotions, cravings and urges that we experience are now being linked to the colonies of bacteria in our guts.

So what does this mean for people who are chronically stressed, whether physically or emotionally? A lot actually. Lets take for example, a Vietnam veteran. These are patients who often have had serious mental trauma because of what they witnessed overseas. They are often plagued by an anxious condition called PTSD, or post traumatic stress disorder, which involves vivid flashbacks, nightmares, and unbearable anxiety that can lead to irritability. All of these symptoms are pointing at emotional trauma that is “stuck” or resides inside the body. And this doesn’t just include PTSD; many people who suffer from anxiety or panic attacks have their sympathetic nervous system in overdrive.

We are constantly stressed, rushed, worried about deadlines or trying to please other people, we do damage to our parasympathetic nervous system, the housekeeping system responsible for digestion. 40% of Americans eat breakfast in the car! This is not the ideal situation for proper digestion, absorption and assimilation of nutrients. The sympathetic nervous system is the “flight or fight” mode of operation and opposes the parasympathetic nervous system. In this state, the brain perceives that there is trouble or danger. Blood sugar, blood pressure and heart rate all increase in preparation for the impending threat (whether real or imagined). This is not a good time to eat and expect the body to perform at peak function. So what exactly happens with digestion when you are in “flight or fight” sympathetic mode?

The Importance of Stomach Acid 

The body nearly shuts down digestive capacity during periods of stress. Production of digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid is blocked. Why is acid in your gut so vital? Well, the stomach should have an acidic pH of around 2-3 when food is present. When we are hungry, smell food, and properly chew our food, the body has time to produce hydrochloric acid from parietal cells that reside in the gut lining. This acid is like a barrier and protects us from invasion from bacteria, parasites, viruses and other pathogens that cannot live in such a hostile, acidic environment. The gut is supposed to be acidic!

The hydrochloric acid also activates the production of digestive enzymes, integral to proper digestion and absorption. These enzymes break down fats and proteins so the body can easily use them. If these proteins and fats do not properly get digested, they become putrefied. Yes, the food in your gut can ferment or begin to rot, causing waste products to become toxic. Without the absorption and assimilation of these nutrients, your body doesn’t get essential amino acids and other building blocks needed to make energy, repair DNA and keep you functioning at peak performance. As you can see, hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes triggered by that acid, are imperative.

Not only that, but being stressed stops digestion and acid production, so food sits in the gut longer, waiting to be digested. This can lead to bloating and eventual putrefaction of the food. Gas is created when the food is putrified, which expresses itself as burping, stomach gurgling, and gas. Putrefaction also causes organic acids to form from the fermentation, and this feels like acid reflux. Most people will readily reach for antacids, but as you can see, this is only compounding the problem. Hopefully, you can now see how detrimental long term use of antacids and proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec can be on the immune system in the gut. This is basically blocking absorption of food and worsening the problem of low stomach acid. We all think that acid reflux is caused by high stomach acid, but this is simply not true. Hypochlorhydria, or low stomach acid can produce the same symptoms due to the slowing of digestion and putrefaction.

How to Help Your Digestion by Destressing

People who have had childhood trauma, PTSD, high stress jobs or chronic anxiety/panic attacks, have a near constant state of flight or fight. They are at high risk for digestive issues like bloating, gas, abdominal pain, malabsorption, acid reflux and inflammation. This is not only bad for digestion, but all housekeeping activities in the body, including sleep, meditation, and deep breathing. When the sympathetic nervous system is in overdrive, the parasympathetic system is pushed aside.

How do we activate the parasympathetic nervous system which can help calm us and encourage proper digestion? The key is the vagus nerve that connects the brain to the gut. It is activated by:

  1. Deep belly breathing or pranayama breathing-you can slightly constrict the back of your throat until you hear an ocean like breathing. Make sure you take full breaths into your belly. Most patients with severe anxiety, trauma or PTSD only breathe into the top third of their lungs. This one exercise can drastically change thought patterns by activating the parasympathetic nervous system through the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve then sends these calming signals back up to the brain where we are told to relax.
  2. Preparing and Blessing your Meals-this may sound a bit out there to some, but appreciation and blessing of the food and its nutritious content sends a mindful message to our bodies. Ancient cultures and religious texts have long encouraged blessings or grace prior to eating. Could there have been an actual emotional purpose to this? The ideal circumstance prior to indulging would be picking your own home grown food from the garden, seeing the colors, picking it with your own hands, smelling it and spending time preparing it. Feeling gratitude and appreciation and sending this energy to the food has been shown in studies to encourage better digestion. You then sit amongst friends and family, full of calm happiness prior to eating. Although our lives today do not often permit this type of lifestyle, being mindful only takes a moment. Make healthy choices, take a deep breath prior to eating, stare at the food and appreciate it. Send good energy and blessings to the life giving nutrients you are about to enjoy. Pausing prior to devouring sends signals to your digestive system to begin to start manufacturing digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid. This makes a huge difference!
  3. Don’t Eat Until You Feel Calm and Safe-take a moment to find a place out in nature or in silence where you can center yourself prior to eating. Do not eat while in a car, in front of a tv, or people who upset you. Do not relish in negative thoughts or anger while eating. Deep belly breathing and happy thoughts!
  4. If All Else Fails, take a Digestive Enzyme with Betaine HCL-this is my last recommendation for digestion as I do feel our bodies can heal if given the correct “recipe,” made for us. If you feel anxious and panicky most days, I encourage you to look into bioneurofeedback to retrain the brain, EMDR work to reset, or mindful mediation practices. Apple cider vinegar or lukewarm lemon water also help to naturally reset the gut pH to a healthy level that will activate your now natural digestive enzymes. If all else fails, then try a good digestive enzyme pill with each meal. Be sure it contains betaine HCL. HCL stands for hydrochloric acid and will help digest the food by exogenously replacing the acid needed. Before going out and buying some, ensure that you do not have an ulcer, are on steroids which erode the gut lining, or have Barretts esophagus. In these cases, HCL replacement is not advised.

I know you can be your own best doctor!

Much Love,

Dr Jess

Recovery Methods for a Brain with Aluminum and Glyphosate Exposure

Please see my previous post on the importance of understanding the pathophysiology of Glyphosate, better known as Monsanto’s RoundUp. This pesticide which has far reaching effects, has been shown to bind up aluminum and bypass the gut barrier, decimating all  immunity and amino acids made by our beneficial gut bacteria.

By popular demand, I will be discussing how to detoxify from aluminum and pesticide exposure. Together, heavy metals like aluminum and Glyphosate have synergistically devastating effects. My previous blog post showed that pesticides provide an easy passage to aluminum where the bloodstream filters it quickly through the brain and the kidneys. The issue with this is that the pineal gland, which sits inside the optic chiasma in the brain, is not protected by the blood brain barrier and gets the brunt of unfiltered blood. If it is exposed to aluminum and/or pesticides, it is at a higher risk to accumulate these toxic substances. The repercussions of this are thought to be far reaching but have not been substantially researched.

Glyphosate

Glyphosate, or RoundUp, is the best selling pesticide in history since going to market in 1974. Nearly 90% of all corn, soy and cotton are aerially sprayed with this toxic pesticide. A recent study showed Glyphosate was found 700 times higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s legal limit in the breast milk of mothers. Another study found that Americans have ten times more Glyphosate in their urine than their European counterparts. Seeing as how recent studies have shown the devastating effects of Glyphosate on our gut bacteria, which helps to sustain mood, immunity, and overall wellbeing, all of this is quite concerning.

Aluminum

Specifically, Dr Seneff’s work has shown how aluminum works with Glyphosate to avoid our body’s defenses as it enters the body. Heavy metals in general have known negative effects on the body. Both mercury and aluminum are highly neurotoxic and can accumulate in the brain. Multiple studies have shown a direct link to aluminum toxicity and Alzheimers. Now Dr Seneff’s work has shown correlation to aluminum and pineal gland calcification, as nearly all Alzheimers patients have a calcified pineal gland. Both mercury and aluminum have vague toxic profiles including emotional instability and lability, lethargy, depression, anxiety and attention problems. Aluminum alone causes flatulence, headaches, colic, dryness of the skin, tendency to come down with colds/flus, and heartburn.

An average adult in the United States eats about 7–9 mg of aluminum per day in their food. Approximately 95% of an aluminum load becomes bound to transferrin and albumin intravascularly and is then eliminated via the kidneys. In healthy subjects, only 0.3% of orally administered aluminum is absorbed via the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, however, this statistic is not taking into account that the bioavailability becomes much higher when bound to Glyphosate.  Only when the GI barrier is bypassed, such as by intravenous infusion (think vaccines), when bound to pesticides, or if the kidneys are diseased, does aluminum have the potential to accumulate. As an example, with intravenously infused aluminum, 40% is retained in adults and up to 75% is retained in babies.

A calcified pineal gland is also linked to high fluoride consumption, which is found added to tap water, medications and toothpaste.

For more information, please revisit my blog post concerning the synergistic effects of Glyphosate and aluminum.

How To Detox From Heavy Metals and Glyphosate

I make an excellent heavy metal detox which you can check out in the Dr Jess store, but for now, lets investigate what you can do to actively clear your pineal gland and the gut of these toxic substances.

  1. Eat organic-One Swedish study showed a family who tested positive for glyphosate at the beginning of the study. They all ate organic for the next three weeks and their urinary excretion of Glyphosate dropped significantly. Avoiding GMO food, which has a considerably higher amount of pesticide used on it, avoiding soy, corn and wheat, as well as educating yourself on foods that help to eliminate these toxins by providing necessary cofactors and nutrients.
  2. Eat sulfur rich foods-sulfur is one of the nutrients disrupted by Glyphosate and proven by the Seneff study. This includes brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, legumes, bok chop, garlic, cauliflower, kale, radish and watercress. The high sulfur content of these foods provide necessary cofactors to make glutathione, the master antioxidant of the body. It is also used in step one and two detoxification in the liver.
  3. Take probiotics-since glyphosate and heavy metals can help decimate the beneficial bacteria in the gut, it makes sense that exogenously replacing these colonies with probiotics would help to rid the body of toxins. Our gut bacteria are life and provide necessary amino acids, building blocks and cofactors for immunity and stable moods, If our guts are not happy, then our brains are likely unhappy too.
  4. Silica-Research published in 2013 showed that drinking up to one liter of a silicon-rich mineral water daily for 12 weeks effectively excreted aluminum via the urine, without detrimental effects on essential metals such as iron and copper. According to the authors: “We have provided preliminary evidence that over 12 weeks of silicon-rich mineral water therapy the body burden of aluminum fell in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and, concomitantly, cognitive performance showed clinically relevant improvements in at least 3 out of 15 individuals.” Think Fiji water.
  5. Melatonin: Research shows that melatonin has a metal binding role and is a useful supplement in the treatment of neurological disorders in which oxidative stress is involved, which includes Alzheimer’s. Melatonin can travel freely across all cellular barriers, facilitating the removal of toxic metals such as aluminum. It also appears to suppress the oxidative activity of aluminum in your brain. Melatonin is also one of the hormones that is blocked by Glyphosate exposure, so exogenous support is quite beneficial to rid yourself of this toxin. New research shows melatonin also has anti cancer properties.
  6. Raise your Glutathione- Your body synthesizes this master antioxidant from three amino acids: “cysteine, glutamate, and glycine. Raw fruits and vegetables, particularly avocado, asparagus, grapefruit, strawberries, orange, tomato, cantaloupe, broccoli, okra, peach, zucchini, and spinach are rich in the precursors glutamate and glycine. Dietary sources of cysteine include eggs, meat, red peppers, garlic, onions, Brussels sprouts,  and wheat germ.” Other helpful treatments for improved glutathione metabolism are exercise and the proper vitamin D levels. (I like my patents around 50).
  7. Chlorella-this ancient blue green algae contains nearly all essential amino acids and is jam packed with protein. It not only works in unison with cilantro, but can remove the heavy metals from the body through urinary excretion.
  8. Cilantro-Cilantro works well with chlorella to chelate, or bind, up heavy metals to excrete them. The issue with cilantro alone is that although it chelates heavy metals, it does not remove them in the urine. This means they can recirculate to deposit elsewhere in the body. This is why I recommend that you always take cilantro with chlorella as chlorella does remove the metals through kidney excretion. In one study, in Japan in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, researchers found that cilantro was able to chelate aluminum. “After the 25-day trial period, the mice were checked for lead. The results showed that both the cilantro and the DMSA had “significantly decreased lead deposition in the femur and severe lead-induced injury in the kidneys.” Moreover, the cilantro increased the urinary excretion of delta-aminolevulinic acid (ALA), which is known to increase with lead intake.”
  9. Iodine/Kelp-iodine dispels fluoride and bromide as well as heavy metals from the body. Iodine deficiency has come into question for a number of cancers including breast, thyroid and prostate cancer.
  10. Avoiding fluoride/Buy a water filter-a Berkley runs around $200-300 and you can order fluoride filters specifically to remove this toxic halide from your water supply. Check them out at www.berkey.com. This absolutely helps heal the pineal gland.
  11. Third Eye Meditation-this meditation involves staring up at the point in between the eyes with your eyes closed. This can send awareness and blood supply to the area.
  12. Epsom salt baths-provide detox baths for heavy metals. Magnesium stores are depleted during heavy metal toxicity and detox. The body uses magnesium in over 300 processes in the body and heavy metal detox is one of them! Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate and sitting in a bath for approximately 30 minutes is a great way to replenish these stores.
  13. MSM supplementation-MSM is a form of sulfur which acts on cell membranes and can help to replenish sulfur stores that are disrupted by Glyphosate exposure. It has also been known to help mercury toxicity.
  14. N-acetyl L-cysteine (NAC) may also be useful. NAC is the rate-limiting nutrient for the formation of the master antioxidant glutathione. So replacing these stores can help boost glutathione levels in the body.
  15. Curcumin- Research suggests that curcumin has a protective effect against aluminum-induced damage by modulating the extent of oxidative stress. Studies have shown that curcumin can help improve memory in Alzheimer’s patients. There are some contraindications that curcumin is not recommended if you have biliary tract obstruction (as it stimulates bile secretion), gallstones, or on a blood thinner. (curcumin is a natural blood thinner).
  16. Other supplements that may help include: Gotu kola, boron, coconut oil, beets, apple cider vinegar, ginseng, bentonite clay (avoid contamination with heavy metals), milk thistle, dandelion root and burdock root.
  17. CHELATION-This is the most effective way to remove all heavy metals. It can bind up other beneficial nutrients that you wouldn’t necessarily want removed. Chelation can also be hard on the kidneys. However, I have witnessed amazing results with IV chelation with EDTA, DMSO or DMPS concerning heavy metal toxicity and heart disease.

REFERENCES:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11535365
  2. Séralini G-E, Clair E, Mesnage R, Gress S, Defarge N, 1, Malatesta M, Hennequin D, Spiroux de Vendômois J. Republished study: long-term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Environmental Sciences Europe 2014, 26:14.
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1130580/
  4. [2] Wolff J (1964) Transport of iodide and other anions in the thyroid gland. Physiol Rev 44:45-90

Monsanto’s Round Up and Aluminum Now Linked to Autism, Alzheimers, Gut Dysbiosis and Pineal Gland Calcification: An Important Article Review

This is, in my opinion, by far the most important blog post I’ll ever write. I wish I could disseminate this information virally on the web so that every doubter could read this groundbreaking information.

This blog is based on an extremely important research article written by Dr Stephanie Seneff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and published in 2015 in Agricultural Sciences (it’s linked below for any of you smarties who’d like to read it on your own) and absolutely blew my mind.

I literally couldn’t NOT write about this.

WHAT IS GLYPHOSATE?

Glyphosate, better known through its popular formation, as RoundUp Ready, is Monsanto’s premier pesticide/herbicide that has increased greatly in use since the early 2000s. It has not been well studied. As glyphosate usage has increased, so has the adoption of genetically engineered crops such as corn, soy and cotton that have been designed to withstand pesticides. Epidemiological data readily available on the web from US government sources indicate a remarkably strong correlation between glyphosate application to corn and soy and multiple neurological disorders, as will be shown via graphs taken directly from the study I am referencing. See below courtesy of this wonderfully conducted study.

All graphs courtesy of http://file.scirp.org/Html/5-3000951_53106.htm

Round Up’s main ingredient is glyphosate, which works synergistically with aluminum, which is often percent in certain foods, water, and vaccines, to induce neurological damage. If you ask Monsanto, they will tell you that in vivo studies showed Round Up to be nontoxic to animals. However, there are two large problems with this assumption. Firstly, the studies were too short as they were only performed for 3 months on average. Secondly these absolutely skewed studies were only performed using pure glyphosate but left out the combination of adjuvants/fillers that have always been contained in the herbicide that is sold on shelves. These adjuvants include polyethoxylated alkylamines (POEAs), which is known to be extremely toxic on its own and can synergistically increase the toxicity of Glyphosate by 125 fold! These authors wrote ([39] Abstract, p. 1): “Despite its reputation, Roundup was by far the most toxic among the herbicides and insecticides tested”. Moreover, Monsanto claims that Glyphosate is not harmful to humans as it disrupts the Shikimate pathway that is present in plants but not in animal cells. This argument overlooks the fact that our gut bacteria also have the shikimate pathway and they use it to make essential nutrients that our cells cannot make! This includes many amino acids, which have been found to be deficient in Alzheimers and Autism cases.

One important study that echoed these results was performed by the researcher, Seralini. Sadly, it was published and then retracted from the journal. It showed rats fed GM corn and soy over their entire lifetime developed mammary tumors, liver and kidney malfunctions. The controversy stemmed from the study sample size and other fraudulent allegations about how the research was set up. However, if you know the power and political pull that Monsanto has, you would question the legitimacy of these claims. Fortunately, the same study has now been republished by another journal.

THE GUT-BRAIN CONNECTION 

Studies are now linking glyphosate alone to disrupted gut bacteria. This matters because a healthy gut micro biome with species like lactobacillus or bacteroides works in unison and harmony with our bodies. However, if our gut permeability is increased, (the membrane becomes leaky, letting things pass through our defenses and into the bloodstream) then this is when we see a rise in chronic conditions like eczema, psoriasis, anxiety, depression, autoimmune conditions and neurologic problems like autism and dementia. Our gut membrane becomes permeable due to an imbalance of pathogenic bacteria or parasites that work against our body’s digestive functions. For example, eating a diet high in sugar/processed carbs feeds pathogenic bacteria like Bacteroides and Firmicutes, which has been shown to alter the natural pH of the gut. This is vital because an acidic pH is what triggers the release of digestive enzymes. Without these enzymes, we don’t properly break down food for absorption. This leads to a bunch of humans that are nutritionally deprived of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that run every process in our bodies.

What connects the gut, or second brain, to the actual brain is the vagus nerve. The gut speaks more to the brain than the brain speaks to the gut. The gut, or should I say the bacteria that make up our gut, decide what cravings we endure, whether we feel happy or sad, how quickly we can gain or lose weight, and how efficiently our immune systems work. Why? Because 80% of our immune cells are contained in gastrointestinal associated lymphatic tissue (GALT) and 90% of our serotonin receptors are inside our intestines! It all begins in the gut! What we now know is that the neuroendocrine system, brain and gut all have a “chemical language” that is not fully understood by modern science. When the gut is disrupted, we see issues with immunity, sleep patterns, digestion, and mood.

So how does Glyphosate and aluminum in Round Up affect neurologic conditions? Well I’ve alluded to it when I described the gut-brain connection via the vagus nerve. But there is another very important organ that is connected to neurologic conditions like Alzheimers, Parkinsons, autism, schizophrenia, anxiety and depression. It is linked to spirituality, yoga and meditation and ancient cultures around the world refer to it as the “third eye.” It is the pineal gland.

THE MAGICAL, BUT POORLY UNDERSTOOD PINEAL GLAND

Sleep is regulated by melatonin. Many of you may have heard of melatonin as it’s now marketed as a popular natural supplement for sleep problems. It is released by the pineal gland at night. The pineal gland is a small pine cone shaped organ that sits behind the optic chiasma. It is highly perfused with blood, second only to the kidney. This is interesting to me that such a small gland would need such a high amount of blood flow. We have long associated the pineal gland with sleep wake, or circadian rhythm cycles, but new research is indicating that we have not understood this gland well. It seems that ancient cultures or even some eastern religions have not forgotten the role of the “third eye,” allegedly the pineal gland. There have been some recently published articles (2) that show Metatonin, related to melatonin, but is DMT based, is produced in the pineal gland of rats. DMT has long thought to be the molecule of consciousness which links the pineal gland to possible higher function than previously thought. Interestingly enough, the pineal glands of those with Alzheimers are completely calcified.  Approximately 40% of Americans have their pineal glands calcified by age 17. By old age, the pineal gland has about as much fluoride as teeth do. Why does this happen? Well the pineal gland is not protected by the blood brain barrier, which guards from many toxins and heavy metals. Therefore anything that enters our bloodstream will be exposed to the pineal gland without much protection. This explains why it is especially susceptible to exposure to environmental toxins such as aluminum, fluoride, cadmium, and mercury. “A study on the neuro- logical effects of occupational exposure to aluminum revealed sleep disturbance as a common complaint, with insomnia being reported in 22.4% of cases and sleepiness in 14.9%.”

Calcification seen in the pineal gland under microscope

Not only is the pineal linked to neurologic disorders if malfunctioning or calcified, but it has a strong connection to sleep disorders too. Its easy to understand how psychiatric and neurologic disorders would also disrupt sleep. In fact, a Hong Kong study found psychiatric conditions were the strongest predictors of insomnia in both men and women. The pineal is likely involved in all of these conditions. In one study, the brains of the deceased were examined and aluminum was found in the pineal glands. It accumulates aluminum at a rate that is twice that of other brain regions.

HOW ALUMINUM & GLYPHOSATE CAUSE DAMAGE TO THE PINEAL GLAND AND GUT

This combo can harm us in three different pathways that I’ll be discussing below via the Seneff study. First, through interfering with the CYP450 detox enzymes that also help to make melatonin. Secondly, by causing anemia that leads to hypoxia (decreased oxygenation) which increases the effect of aluminum on neurons (brain cells). Thirdly, through impaired sulfate synthesis in the liver in combination with vitamin D interference.

1. Enzyme Interference Leading to Disrupted Melatonin and Vitamin D deficiency. Heavy metals like aluminum and mercury are known neurotoxins.  In the Seneff paper, it is shown how these two toxicants work together to induce neurological damage. Many studies have now shown that Glyphosate disrupts the gut flora and this predisposes one to overgrowth from Clostridium Difficile. Better known in medical circles as C. Difficile, this nasty bug gives patients abdominal cramping, diarrhea and nausea. It reproduces by spores and can only be killed by using soap and water, not hand sanitizers. The most worrisome part is this bacteria is now being found outside of hospitals and in the community because our immunity is being lowered, in part due to Glyphosate. Both aluminum and glyphosate can enter the body together to cause major issues. Glyphosate chelates, or binds up aluminum. When this happens it can pass by the gut barrier and enter the bloodstream unchecked. This study also shows that both glyphosate and aluminum disrupt the cytochrome CYP450 enzyme which are involved in a number of detox reactions and in melatonin synthesis. P450 enzymes also help to breakdown medications, drugs, pesticides and other toxins, but if inhibited, the likelihood that we will experience toxicity is much higher. The CYP enzymes also are integral to making melatonin. So if we have glyphosate toxicity, we may be inadvertently harming our natural sleep patterns, leading to insomnia and impaired REM sleep.                                                                                                                 “Pigs fed a diet of GM Roundup-Ready corn and soy suffered from an inflamed stomach, clearly suggesting gut dysbiosis. A leaky gut, associated with gastrointestinal disorders, will facilitate the passage of both Al- citrate and Al-glyphosate past the impaired tight junctions of the gut boundary. Glyphosate is a microbicide, and it preferentially kills beneficial gut bacteria allowing pathogens like Clostridium difficile to overgrow.”-http://file.scirp.org/Html/5-3000951_53106.htm

 

REMEMBER THAT OUR BALANCED GUT FLORA REGULATES MOODS, CRAVINGS, AND IMMUNITY! This is imperative as Glyphosate wipes out good bacteria and promotes a breeding ground for maleficent bacteria.

It has also been noted that vitamin D deficiency, now rampant in the USA, can be caused by interference with the CYP enzymes. The charts from this paper also relates the epidemic of vitamin D deficiency to the correlation of expanding use of Round Up throughout the country.

The Increasing Prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency Courtesy of http://file.scirp.org/Html/5-3000951_53106.htm

There seems to be an important role for CYP enzymes in maintaining the health of the intestinal crypts and the villi in the small intestine, and this paper argues that CYP dysfunction in the gut and liver leads to impaired supply of serotonin, melatonin and sulfate to the brain. It is postulated that celiac disease is caused partially by Glyphosate as it causes CYP enzyme dysfunction as well.

2. Anemia and Hypoxia. The clostridia bacteria produces a toxic metabolite called p-cresol, which it is quite harmful and is linked to autism. Why? P-cresol can increase the uptake of aluminum via a receptor called transferrin. Aluminum can work synergistically with Glyphosate to produce anemia which can lead to decreased oxygen carrying capacity, known as hypoxia. Hypoxia increases the risks of aluminum’s effects on the neurons. This is also dangerous for the pineal as it loves lots of blood flow, but is inhibited from getting enough oxygen when anemia is present. Babies born with hypoxia due to preterm labor have a higher risk for autism as this hypoxia increases aluminum uptake by the pineal gland. (that has no protection because it doesn’t have the blood-brain barrier, remember?) Its a little like choking the pineal gland out; starving it of oxygen while introducing heavy metals that influence calcification.

Hospital Discharge Diagnoses of Anemia and correlation between Glyphosate applied to corn and soy; courtesy of  http://file.scirp.org/Html/5-3000951_53106.htm

3.  Impaired sulfate synthesis caused by vitamin D deficiency. Sulfate is an important ingredient in the phase 2 liver detoxification and is the precursor to the master antioxidant, glutathione. It has long been known that children with autism have impaired sulfate synthesis. In fact, these children are missing some very important building blocks like methionine, glutathione and cysteine. What is thought to occur is that glyphosate blocks the formation of these amino acids in plants and gut bacteria. But everyone is forgetting that these are humans’ sources of sulfate-plants and bacteria! We are all connected intimately to bacteria. When we disrupt their natural systems, we also seem to harm our own.

Furthermore, the CYP enzymes are again needed here to activate vitamin D in the kidney and the liver. With aluminum and glyphosate creating a barrier to vitamin D activation, it is thought that this could potentially be behind the vitamin D deficiency epidemic.

How is this defect in vitamin D related to sulfate?

Well, studies show that vitamin D regulates the uptake of sulfate in the kidneys. When the receptor is defective or we are vitamin D deficient, we are not transporting sulfate into the cells in the small intestines and therefore, the brain, (they’re connected!) which affects the proteoglycans, which are necessary for the health GI tract cells. Experiments on mice with impaired vitamin D receptors found that they had lower blood levels of sulfates and were dumping most of it out in their urine. If our GI tract is sick, then so are our brains and immune dysfunction usually follows.

In the brain, the pineal gland conjugates melatonin to sulfate before shipping it out. Vitamin D, tryptophan (used to make the happy neurotransmitter, serotonin), DHEA (the precursor to testosterone), and estrogen are all also sulfated when they are shipped out. Sulfate is also proposed to be needed in the body’s mechanism to rid itself of toxic cellular debris, plaques, oxidized lipids and old proteins. Can you see how important sulfate transport and utilization is throughout the entire body?

“In summary, evidence from multiple fronts suggests that sulfate insufficiency is a critical factor in neurological disease. A deficiency in vitamin D, which induces sulfate wasting through the kidneys, leads to suppressed serotonin synthesis in the brain and excess serotonin synthesis in the placenta, both of which contribute to the pathology of autism in the fetus and the neonate.

It has become very clear that Alzheimer’s is associated with calcification of the pineal gland, and with sharply decreased synthesis of melatonin. When melatonin levels were measured postmortem in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 85 Alzheimer’s patients and 82 age-matched controls , it was found that CSF melatonin levels in the AD patients were only 20% of the levels found in the control subjects. This was equally true for early-stage Alzheimer’s as for late-stage. Those with two copies of the ApoE-4 marker for Alzheimer’s risk had even lower levels of melatonin than the other Alzheimer’s patients. Computer tomography (CT) was used to show that the amount of calcified pineal tissue in patients with Alzheimer’s disease was significantly more than that in either normal controls, patients with depression, or patients with other types of dementia.”

Although we know calcification can begin very early in life, it is clearly much worse in neurologic conditions, like Alzheimer’s. The pineal gland helps to make sulfate when properly functioning, but calcification has a significant negative effect on its ability to do so. Therefore, aluminum uptake (remember it’s greater in the pineal gland), will disrupt melatonin and sulfate synthesis needed to run many processes in the body that keep us well.

Discussion

I couldn’t have said it better than Dr Seneff so I’ll finish with her discussion quote. I hope you all can see how important it is to raise awareness on this topic. We should all be demanding honest and organic food for our families. We should be speaking out against biotech firms who seeks profit over humanity. We should be looking to natural herbs and vitamins to help detox us from herbicides and pesticides. Take care of yourself. You are your own best doctor.

“In this paper, we have developed the argument that a synergistic interaction between aluminum and glyphosate can lead to severe impairment of pineal gland function, and that this could explain the association of sleep disorder with a wide range of neurological diseases, and likely even help explain the related pathologies of those diseases. We began by showing the remarkably strong correlations between glyphosate application to corn and soy in the US and sleep disorder, autism, ADHD, suicide, anxiety disorder, and dementia. We have shown how glyphosate could assist entry of aluminum into the general circulation through chelation, and how glyphosate would indirectly enhance aluminum absorption by the pineal gland via its induction of p-cresol synthesis by pathogenic gut bacteria. p-Cresol enhances aluminum uptake via transferrin, which is present in large amounts in the pineal gland, and in enhanced amounts under hypoxic stress conditions, induced by both glyphosate and aluminum. We have also discussed the important role of CYP enzyme dysfunction in disrupting vitamin D3 homeostasis and disrupting sulfation and metabolism of melatonin. We have shown that vitamin D3 normally plays an important role in maintaining the health of the intestinal villi in the small intestine, and we have argued that part ofits role may be to supply sulfate to the enterocytes.
Serotonin is the sole precursor to melatonin, and serotonin itself is produced by ECcells in the intestinal villi from tryptophan, one of the three aromatic amino acids whose synthesis is disrupted by glyphosate, through its interference with the shikimate pathway. Since tryptophan is an essential amino acid, we depend upon supply from food sources and/or from our gut bacteria. Thus, it can be expected that glyphosate residues in the food crops introducing exposure to gut microbes would lead to deficiencies in tryptophan and therefore in serotonin and melatonin.”

Much Love

Dr Jess

REFERENCES:

  1. Séralini G-E, Clair E, Mesnage R, Gress S, Defarge N, 1, Malatesta M, Hennequin D, Spiroux de Vendômois J. Republished study: long-term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Environmental Sciences Europe 2014, 26:14.
  2. https://www.cottonwoodresearch.org/dmt-pineal-2013/
  3. Higaki, M., Takahashi, M., Suzuki, T. and Sahashi, Y. (1965) Biological Activities in Animals of Vitamin D III. Biogenesis of Vitamin D Sulfate in Animal Tissues. The Journal of Vitaminology, 11, 261-265.
  4. http://dx.doi.org/10.5925/jnsv1954.11.261 [Citation Time(s):1]
    Higaki, M., Takahashi, M., Suzuki, T. and Sahash, Y. (1965) Metabolic Activities of Vitamin D in Animals. IV. Distribution of Vitamin D Sulfokinase in Animal Tissues and Its Isolation. The Journal of Vitaminology, 11, 266-270. http://dx.doi.org/10.5925/jnsv1954.11.266 [Citation Time(s):1]

4 Little Known Herbs and Foods that Can Control Cholesterol

The number is shocking, but more than 100 million Americans suffer from high cholesterol issues. This means their total cholesterol is above 200. If you guys have followed me for awhile, you know that I am disappointed in the mainstream medicine system for putting every single patient (it feels like) on a statin, like Lipitor. These medications are some of the top prescribed medications in the USA, racking in a shocking 12 billion dollars per year since their advent. But where is the study that shows it is actual cholesterol plaques in the arteries causing the issues? How do we know it isn’t just inflammation? How do we know what the proper levels are for cholesterol? Why is some cholesterol bad and some good?

In my opinion, cholesterol is NEEDED in the proper levels for brain function and memory. It is integral in the formation of cell membranes, vitamin D, sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone, bile acids to emulsify and absorb nutrients, and a wide range of metabolic processes. We actually need it! For years, mainstream medicine touted cholesterol as “bad” and that the lower the levels, the better. Sadly, this is untrue and was a ploy to sell their popular statin medications. Statins, like Lipitor, Crestor, Pravachol and Zocor have approximately a 20% rate of causing liver failure and are also a risk for myalgias, or severe muscle cramping. They have also been linked to heart failure.

If a patient is at risk for angina, heart disease, or strokes, this is a sign that overall lifestyle changes should be made. Diet, exercise, meditation, stress management and emotional burdens should be examined and bravely worked on. This is a journey of self love and everyone will be ready at their own pace.

Many of us know about some natural ways like omega 3 fatty acids, niacin, red yeast rice, or flaxseed to help correct abnormal cholesterol levels. However, there is one combo that even helps extremely high cholesterol like familial hypercholesterolemia, a genetic mutation that causes levels to be over 1000! If you or someone you know is ready to make the change to a more holistic lifestyle including herbs and organic, whole foods, here is where you can start with cholesterol.

  1. Berberine- This is an alkaloid that comes from a number of different plants like barberry. It is widely known to lower risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and to aid in weight loss. But researchers were surprised when they saw what 500mg three times a day for 12 weeks could do for cholesterol.”Dr. Hu Yueshan, Ph.D, and colleagues from the Avera Institute for Human Genetics, in Sioux Falls, SD, had been investigating berberine for its ability to prevent fat accumulation in obese humans and mice. They therefore conducted a study in obese human subjects to determine the safety and efficacy of berberine treatment on cholesterol and a number of other important cardiovascular risk factors such as body weight and markers of inflammation.Taking berberine supplements to lower cholesterol leads to 12% reduction in cholesterol and 23% reduction in triglycerides

The treatment with berberine significantly reduced blood lipid levels. Cholesterol levels decreased by an average of 12% and triglycerides by 23%.The researchers also replicated the lipid-lowering effect of berberine in rats (9% decrease of cholesterol and 34.7% decrease of triglycerides). The human subjects also lost an average of five pounds without changing their diets”(1)  Wow! This means berberine is more effective than the statin, Zetia! In my experience, I have seen berberine work quite well to lower cholesterol and normalize levels…without side effects! If you would like to try berberine, look for a 500mg capsule and try it out three times a day for 3 months.

2. Citrus Bergamot- Is an orange that comes from the Calabria region of Italy. The essential oil in the peel has been popularized around the world for its use in perfumes and aromatherapy as it helps to reduce anxiety. Not just that, but citrus bergamot has high antioxidant ability due to its polyphenol concentration. When examined and then extracted, this citrus has the ability to dramatically lower triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, while raising the “good” cholesterol HDL. Like its counterpart, berberine, it also can help control blood sugars and lower cardiovascular risk.

  “In a placebo-controlled clinical trial, Italian researchers gave either 500 mg or 1,000 mg of bergamot extract daily to study     volunteers with high cholesterol levels. After one month, average LDL cholesterol in the two groups fell by 24 and 36 percent, respectively, HDL cholesterol increased by 22 and 40 percent, and triglycerides—another cardiovascular risk factor—declined by 30 and 39 percent. These are impressive results for any intervention, let alone a nutritional supplement.” (2) Whats really nice about this natural food is that while statins rob your body of the necessary antioxidant, CoQ10, citrus bergamot does not have this effect. It leaves antioxidants alone, while still regulating proper cholesterol levels. Isn’t that what we all want?

       To try out citrus bergamot, take 500mg-1000mg twice a day for 3 months.

Noni (Also named as Morinda Citrifolia, Rubiaceae Noni, great morinda, indian mulberry)

3. Noni Berries- In Polynesian folk medicine, the juice of noni berries has been used for centuries to help remedy heart problems, cholesterol, and reduce pain. The juice comes from the exotic fruit, noni or Morinda citrifolia which grows in the Asia Pacific part of the world. It lowers cholesterol naturally by preventing the absorption of LDL cholesterol, thereby boosting memory as well. It also contains high antioxidants in the form of phytosterols.

To confirm these findings, researcher Mian-Ying Wang, MD performed a study on noni juice. She took 100 smokers who were not on other cholesterol medication and had them drink 1 to 4 ounces everyday for a month. 26 other volunteers got a placebo juice that did not contain noni berries. Total cholesterol in the noni juice drinkers went from 235.2 to 190 after one month! Triglycerides dropped from 242.5 to 193.5. The placebo group had no significant changes.

Noni has also been touted as an analgesic, immune system booster, cancer fighter, and antidepressant, however, more studies are needed to confirm these claims.

Try 60ml of noni juice daily for 3 months to see if it helps you!

4. Jerusalem Artichoke-this special artichoke is an annual plant closely related to the sunflower. Not only do I recommend this veggie as a prebiotic for some gut issues, but it also helps lower cholesterol as well. Why?

Jerusalem artichoke contains a high amount of fiber called inulin (also found in chicory and dandelion). Inulin works by sweeping the bowels clean and works on gut bacteria by encouraging the growth of the healthy bifidobacteria. As it sweeps through the GI tract, it captures some of the fat eaten, preventing its absorption into the bloodstream. This fat (AND CHOLESTEROL) is then moved out through the bowels without being brought into the body to affect levels in the liver. It works well to lower LDL and triglycerides.

Not only does Jerusalem artichoke work on cholesterol, but it helps to regulate digestion, obesity, constipation, colon cancer, and heartburn.

To try it out with the rest of my recommendations, try 900mg to 1000mg twice a day.

Remember these are synergistic and should be used together for the best and most efficacious results! There are other options besides statins and their nasty side effects. Take your health into your own hands.

Remember you are your own best doctor!

Much Love

Dr Jess

REFERENCES:

  1. http://universityhealthnews.com/daily/heart-health/natural-berberine-supplements-to-lower-cholesterol-more-effective-and-better-tolerated-than-prescription-ezetimibe-zetia/
  2. https://www.drwhitaker.com/benefits-of-bergamot/
  3. Wang, M., Kikuzaki, H., Csiszar, K., Boyd, C.D., Maunakea, A., Fong, S.F., Ghai, G., Rosen, R.T., Nakatani, N., Ho, C.T., (1999) Novel Trisaccharide fatty acid ester identified from the fruits of Morinda citrifolia (Noni). Agric Food Chem. 47;4880-2.

5 Herbs That Help To Balance Hormones

If you have been feeling down lately, noticed weight gain or weight loss, you may have an underlying issue that affects millions of people. Sudden changes in your body may be the result of hormonal imbalance. Hormones like estrogen, progesterone, insulin, testosterone and adrenaline help in keeping us healthy.

Hormonal imbalances can be the cause of diseases like diabetes, depression, fatigue, infertility, mood swings, migraines, and especially endocrine disruptors in the environment. These include BPA, plastic, and parabens. Hormonal imbalances are more common in females. Hormonal changes in women happen during puberty, pregnancy, menstruation and menopause. There seems to be more rapid changes in today’s world because of environmental pollution and a poor job of the EPA and FDA in protecting us from this. Because of this, women are more prone to hormonal imbalances.

Weight problems, anxiety, fatigue, irritability, hair loss or hair growth, acne, mood swings are some of the symptoms of hormonal imbalance. You can notice the problem by observing your energy, eating patterns or hunger. If you notice any changes, consult the doctor and start the treatment with lifestyle changes, herbal supplements (see my Hormone Master), dietary improvements, stress relievers and possibly, bioidentical hormones. You can also resort to homemade remedies and herbs to recover from hormonal imbalance.

Natural Remedies for Hormonal Imbalance:

Ashwagandha :

Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, is a popular herb used in Ayurveda, for medicinal purposes. It has positive effects on the mental, physical and emotional health of a person. It helps in balancing the hormones as it acts as an adaptogen and reduces cortisol. Ashwagandha can increase the production of testosterone, androgens and DHEA. This herb is also useful to improve the thyroid function. It is good for menopausal support as it works on the endocrine system to improve the hormonal balance. This reduces the symptoms like anxiety, mood changes, hot flashes, which women experience. Ashwagandha is good for energizing and reducing the fatigue, as it reduces the stress-related disorder. This herb supports sexual health and fertility. Ashwagandha also fights mood fluctuations and helps in relaxing.
Holy basil:

Also known as Tulsi, this herb is wonderful in balancing hormones as it acts as natural adaptogen, meaning it gives you energy when needed or provides calming energy when needed. This assists in the biochemical development of stress by balancing cortisol levels. Tulsi helps balance the blood glucose levels and indirectly balances the secretion of cortisol. High levels of cortisol negatively affects the thyroid gland, pancreas and ovaries. This herb is useful for improving mood and mental health and we all know, a better mood keeps us stress free and calm.
Maca root:

Maca root or Lepidium meyenii, improves normal hormone production. The Maca root has a positive effect on the energy levels, mood and fertility. This herb is endocrine adaptogen, which boost hormone production and contains nutrients which are needed to help normal hormone production. It has minerals like calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc and includes carbohydrates, amino acids and proteins. Consuming this herb, increases the energy levels and reduces fatigue and the stress levels. This is exactly why we put it in our Hormone Master, and have been very successful with this wonderful herb!
Shatavari:

Ayurveda has always recommended Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) to recover from hormonal imbalance and the diseases which might occur as a result of this. It improves hormone levels and increases fertility. The herb nourishes and cleanses the blood and the reproductive organ of women, thus improving female fertility. Shatavari is an adaptogenic herb, so again, it gives you what your body needs. It balances the endocrine system, which affects the production of all the hormones that regulate our response to stress and mood swings. Shatavari can drastically improve hormonal imbalances caused by stress and anxiety. It manages menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings and controls the pain and blood loss during menstruation.
Chasteberry:

This herb is great for hormonal balance for women. It is a natural source progesterone and balances the estrogen and progesterone. Consequently, it reduces the symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome like cramps, acne, bloating, etc. It is beneficial for most menstrual irregularities, pain and mood swings. The herb improves fertility and helps in sustaining pregnancy. It controls the symptoms of perimenopause or menopause. Chasteberry lowers testosterone levels and can assist in preventing prostate cancer.
Before you start using any of these herbs, it is better to consult the doctor. Along with these herbs, it is essential to have a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

5 Herbs That Help To Balance Hormones

Hormonal imbalances can also be caused by irregular sleep or unhealthy diet.

●  A good night’s sleep is essential in keeping the hormones balanced. Proper sleep 
is essential for a good health and to avoid any of the health issues. Most of the health issues are caused because of lack or sleep or irregular sleep. Try to get 7 -8 hours of sleep every day, which restores energy and allows the body to recover.

●  Exercising regularly lowers cortisol levels. Physical activity, absolutely balances hormones. Exercise releases endorphins which makes you happy and relieves stress. Also you can’t beat the healthy weight loss it provides!

●  Vitamin D influences the pituitary gland, which produces hormones. Deficiency of vitamin D can result in an abnormal release of parathyroid hormone. Vitamin D can affect your weight and diet and alleviate the symptom of low estrogen levels. It is actually more of a hormone that vitamin because it has far reaching effects throughout the body!

●  Coconut oil helps in balancing the hormones. Coconut oil has medium-chain fatty acids, which encourage healthy thyroid functioning, as they can be broken down quickly and used by your brain and glandular organs for quick energy. It assists in weight loss, improves immunity, balances blood sugar levels and your metabolism. 
All these remedies reduce the hormonal imbalance and improves the overall health.

This way you can become your own best doctor!

Much Love Dr Jess

Planning a Healthy Diet? Include These Food Ingredients

Planning a Healthy Diet? Include These Food Ingredients

One of the easiest thing about starting a healthy diet is planning the diet.

We check out various healthy diet on the internet, we talk to our friends and colleague about the diet they follow. We check websites related to health or talk with doctors. And after all this, we plan the diet, which think is suitable for our lifestyle and which we would be able to follow. We print our all the recipes for meals and smoothies or shakes. We have the meals planned from Monday to Friday. But, the biggest mistake we make is we just plan it. We don’t take any action.

Mostly, we get derailed from our diet plans is because we didn’t have the healthy food option at the time when we are hungry. Our schedules are weird and we don’t have time to eat. So, when we are hungry, we just pick something to eat or get a takeout. There goes our diet plan. To avoid such situations keep your kitchen stocked with healthy food options.

Yogurt

A favored option to eat as a snack or breakfast. It contains beneficial bacteria which are good for intestine and the gut. It is a source of bone-building calcium. One cup of yogurt daily can help in avoiding ulcers and inflammatory bowel diseases.

Beans

A best ingredient for a fulfilling meal, beans are extremely healthy and affordable. Beans are high in protein, Vitamin B, iron, fiber, magnesium and potassium. It is good for the heart as the fiber soaks up the cholesterol before it can stick to the arteries.

Olive oil

It contains monounsaturated fatty acids and is highly beneficial when included in diet. Olive Oil lowers the bad LDL cholesterol and increases the good HDL cholesterol. Also, it protects the arteries from cholesterol build up as it contains antioxidants. It lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.   

Green vegetables

One of the healthiest component to include in a diet. Green vegetables are rich in Vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, folic acids and dietary fiber. They are low in fat and can help in preventing heart diseases and risk of cancer.

Fruits

Having fruits for snacks is a great option for a healthy diet. Fruits, in general, are low in fats and calories. They are a rich source of proteins and minerals, Vitamin C. As they have potassium, it helps in maintaining normal blood pressure. The fiber in the fruits is important in reducing the cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart diseases.

Broccoli

Broccoli contains sulforaphane, which assists in reducing the risk of cancer. Eating broccoli regularly can boost the production of enzymes which lowers the risk of cancer causing compounds. It contains Vitamins A, C and K. Broccoli is considered one of the most important food component.

Oats

It is one of the most favored breakfast options. Rich in antioxidants and extremely nutritious it can help in lowering the cholesterol levels. Oats contain a soluble fiber called beta-glucan. This is useful in lowering the blood pressure and risk of heart diseases.

Berries

Helpful in keeping the memory sharp, blueberries are filled with antioxidants. They are also useful in avoiding the heart diseases. Raspberries contain ellagic acid, which has anti-cancer properties. All the berries are filled with fibers and are important for a healthy digestive system.

Including these ingredients in your diet is a great of ensuring a long and healthy life.

Thinking About Quitting? Reasons to Continue Your Fitness Regime – Part 1

Thinking About Quitting? Reasons to Continue Your Fitness Regime – Part 1

Enrolling Ourselves In a Gym Or a Fitness Class Is Easy

To motivate ourselves, we also buy new outfits and shoes. But after a few days, the incentives and motivation wear off and we are back to square one. The pain, our body experiences during the first few weeks, is enough to give up. But, then by giving up we are not doing ourselves any favors. We are creating problems for us.

To keep you motivated about fitness, here are some interesting reasons as to why you should continue going out running with your friends. And though at the beginning, you might go through pain, but as they no pain, no gain. In the end, you will reap benefits.

Better control over appetite

Most of us go for dieting and on cheat day, eat as much as we can. This ruins the whole dieting plan. Exercising can help in controlling your diet. This doesn’t mean you will eat less. On the contrary, you can eat to your fill. Exercising makes you aware of the needs of your body and you will eat to fulfill those needs. So, even if you eat an extra cookie, it won’t hurt your body. You will set the limit for the food intake.

Exercise boosts brainpower

Exercise daily provides a mental clarity and improves it. IT enhances the energy levels and increase the serotonin in the brain. According to the experts, those who exercise and are active, are more productive. Having an alert brain and fit body, improve the lifestyle of a person.

Reduces stress

Exercise is a good way to release the stress in the life. Once you start working out, the stress melts out of your body. When you exercise, your body starts to relax, which has a positive impact on your mood. As stress reduces, your mood elevates and you are less irritable and can enjoy your life in a better way.

Energizes you

Working out not just improves your mood and brainpower, it also energizes you. While exercising, endorphins are released into your bloodstream, which makes you invigorate the whole day. Bring energized, you can complete your task and daily activities quickly. The increased stamina and strength makes it easy to complete all the work. You don’t get much tired by the end of the day.

Keeps diseases away

Exercising regularly will keep you healthy and free from any kind of disease. It reduces the risk of coronary heart diseases, diabetes, stroke and hypertension, depression and various kinds of cancers like breast cancer or colon cancer. Routine physical activity assists in keeping the weight in control and energy balance. Staying active reduce the chances of obesity, which is a common health issue faced these days. Exercising slows the aging process. The bones and muscles are strengthened because of exercise, which will reduce the pains people usually suffer in their joints.

Keeps heart healthy

Exercising helps in keeping the heart strong. A strong heart can make any day to day activity or a taxing activity, easy. Physical activity improves the performance of the heart and the cardiovascular system. The heart pumps the blood more efficiently, and lowers the heart rate. So, you won’t face the usual racing of heart after doing any activity. A healthy heart lessens the fatigue and eases the breathing.
These are some of the benefits of a steady fitness regime that will come handy in your life. There is a lot more to it which I will share with you soon. Remember to be your own best doctor,

 

Dr. Jess.