The Risk of Birth Control Pills and The All Natural, Alternative Way to Prevent Pregnancy Without Hormones

I took birth control for nearly 20 years before I realized the toll it was having on my body. At age 34, I got the Mirena IUD which works by releasing synthetic progesterone into the local area of the uterus. But there are progesterone receptors all over the body that are neglected when the IUD is in place, since it acts only locally. It seemed like it aged me overnight, made me anxious, interfered with my sleep and caused cystic acne. I had it removed after only one year, but the damage was done–at least temporarily. It took me nearly 2 years to get back to feeling like “me.” Once the IUD is pulled, the body has not been accustomed to making its own natural progesterone so progesterone bottoms out, however estrogen is still present. This leads to a relative estrogen dominance which can be pretty miserable. I was one of those girls that was always moodier on birth control too. But underneath the irritability was a slight chronic sadness that I could not put my finger on. I almost felt like the world was not as bright when my hormones were synthetically supplemented. Trees looked less green and the sun didn’t make me smile quite as much. I also realize that, statistically birth control pills are not supposed to cause THAT many girls to gain weight, but I was one of those girls. And it seemed that the more women I spoke to, the more I realized I was not the only one who had these symptoms.

Approximately 98% of sexually active women have taken birth control at some point in their lives and 62% of women are currently on birth control. Hormonal contraceptives, better known as birth control pills, are synthetically-made hormones that aim to mimic the effects of our body’s own natural hormones. They can do this a number of ways including:

  • Preventing ovulation by blocking the release of the egg through the use synthetic hormones
  • If ovulation does occur: stopping uterine wall implantation by disrupting sperm cilia, affecting the buildup of the uterine wall or stimulating cervical mucus which prevents implantation

THE RISKS THAT COMES WITH THE PILL AND THE IUD

So lets be real. How good or bad are synthetic hormones? Well they aren’t as bad as Premarin, the hormonal replacement therapy made from pregnant horse urine, but they still are not healthy. More than 20 studies have shown the connection between birth control pills and breast cancer. Other studies have linked birth control pills to altered gut bacteria, immunity, increased risk of heart attack and strokes.  The World Health Organization conducted a study that found that women who have taken the pill for 5-9 years are 3 times more likely to develop cervical cancers (as compared to non pill takers). Hows that for decreasing immunity since cervical cancer is mainly caused by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)? The World Health Organization also categorizes oral contraceptives as a Type 1 carcinogen. Women who take low dose birth control are nearly twice as likely to have a stroke or heart attack. Birth control pills have been linked to insulin resistance and a higher risk of diabetes. They also increase your risk for clotting and pose a real problem to young women who choose to take the pill and smoke, which together cause a pro-clotting state. In fact, one  of my best friend’s suffered a blood clot in the leg, that then broke off and went to her lungs. This is called a pulmonary embolism and can sometimes be life threatening! And thats not all…a recent study showed a convincing link between the pill and depression…which I think most of us gals can agree on! Its easy to feel down when your hormones are askew.

The IUD comes with its own risks as well. Not only does the Mirena mess with the natural hormone ratio and cycles, but additional risks of ALL IUDs include uterine perforation, infections like PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) or an ectopic pregnancy, which is when an embryo implants in the Fallopian tubes rather than the uterus. More rare consequences are cramping, painful periods or sex and even fertility. Even the copper IUD can lead to copper toxicity, which is especially prominent in those with adrenal dysfunction. Copper overload can also cause Phase 2 liver detoxification problems.

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOUR HORMONES ARE IMBALANCED?

  • mood swings
  • weight gain around the abdomen
  • painful, heavy or scant periods
  • fibrocystic or “lumpy” breast tissue
  • endometriosis
  • insomnia, waking up in the early morning ruminating about things you have to do the next day
  • anxiety, flightiness
  • brain fog
  • hives
  • aging skin
  • adult acne, especially around the jawline and chin
  • low libido
  • night sweats, hot flashes
  • migraines
  • ovarian cysts and fibroids

I’m sure many of us, even men included, have some of these symptoms. Conventional medicine and OB/gyns often prescribe birth control pills to “control” acne, mood swings, irregular periods, and to balance hormones. This works for some women, but at what long term cost? Could there be a better way to naturally balance hormones and get to the root of the problem? Trading out personal care products, food, and plastics for healthier, organic, or glass substitutes can help hormones as many of these contain endocrine disrupters. For hormone balancing herbs, check out my blog post here. https://drjess.com/5-herbs-help-balance-hormones/

LIFESTYLE TIPS FOR IMPROVING HORMONES:

  • Pranayama breathing from yoga. Think the Darth Vader breath that everyone in yoga uses! This breath stimulates the vagus nerve that controls our relaxation system and helps to calm the nervous and hormonal systems.
  • Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness all help to foster a sense of gratitude. Gratitude stimulates serotonin and oxytocin production, two hormones responsible for happiness and love.
  • Forgiveness and quelling reactivity can help replace negative feedback patterns that control thinking and behaviors
  • Heal any adrenal fatigue since the stress hormone cortisol can steal progesterone, throwing off the whole hormonal cascade
  • Omega 3 fatty acids, like fish, krill or flaxseed oil can help to balance cholesterol which makes the sex hormones
  • Hormone Master, Vitex, licorice, DIM, and Maca can all help to balance hormones
  • Liver cleanses and liver cleansing herbs/foods help to balance hormones by preventing recirculating estrogen and include milk thistle, burdock root, beets, carrots and NAC.
  • Check Vitamin D levels and cholesterol levels as both are tied intimately into the balance of hormones.
  • Cut out dairy, processed sugar and carbs

WAIT THERES A WAY TO PREVENT PREGNANCY SAFELY WITHOUT CHEMICALS, HORMONES OR IMPLANTS?

Some people are surprised to learn there is a extensively researched computer that can track your cycle down to pinpoint accuracy using core body temperature. This is the basis for some old rhythm methods but has come a loooong way!

  1. My number one choice (and the one I’ve used for years now) is the Daysy Fertility Monitor https://ca.daysy.me which uses the fertility awareness method (FAM) by learning your own unique cycle. It is 99.3% accurate! It is a German computer built inside a thermometer that measures temperature down to 1/100 of a degree precision. Each morning, before getting out of bed, take your temperature. It takes the Daysy about a month to learn your own cycle. Once it does, it flashes a green light if it is safe to have sex or a red light if you are fertile. If yellow, this means Daysy is still learning about your cycle. It costs anywhere from $350-450 and has been a Godsend.
  2. OvaCue Fertility monitor is a close second at 98.3% accuracy. It uses the Electrolyte Method to predict ovulation and has been tested by the National Institute of Health. Throughout a woman’s cycle, different electrolytes increase or decrease and are quite measurable. HELLO-think sodium retention right before you start your period? I haven’t personally used this one but do know it is a safely and accurate alternative method.
  3. Queen Annes Lace has been used for centuries by ancient cultures to prevent pregnancy. PLEASE NOTE THAT QUEEN ANNES LACE, OR WILD CARROT SEEDS, CAN BE USED AS THE MORNING AFTER PILL AND THEREFORE IS KNOWN AS AN ABORTIFACTANT. Not a lot of human studies exist on Queen Annes Lace as birth control but there are some small animal studies which show the seeds disrupt the implantation process or can cause the fertilized egg to be released from the wall. Take one teaspoon immediately after sex and continue for seven days.
  4. Neem Oil has also been paired with Queen Annes Lace to help prevent unwanted pregnancy. Neem is a spermicidal and the gel can be used as such.
  5. Smartweed infusions can be used after intercourse to also prevent implantation. It contains elements of gallic acid, quercetin and rutin. The period should begin shortly after consuming.

Trust me one of the best ways to prevent aging and prolong your health is to take care of your hormones!

You are becoming your own best doctor

Dr Jess

 

 

Energy Drinks: Have We Ignored a Surprising Gateway Drug?

Since Red Bull was introduced in the USA in 1997, its popularity has soared and given it wings. (Haha you know you love my corny jokes). From festivals to bars, this drink and the other competitor, Monster Energy, are super convenient to find. I never liked them, but growing in West Virginia, you learn to do what your friends do to be accepted. I drank a Monster energy drink once and felt nauseated and light headed. That was my first and last experience with energy drinks.

Which leads me to ask, just how safe are these sugary, mood boosting drinks?

How Much Caffeine is in an Average Energy Drink?

Energy drinks contain anywhere from 50mg to 500m mg of caffeine per can. Many other countries have set rigorous standards for warnings and cautions surrounding energy drinks. The United States unfortunately, has very lax regulations compared to others. Iceland, Norway, Scotland, Denmark and Turkey have recently limited the amount of caffeine in any alcoholic drinks to 150 mg per liter. The absence of regulation in the USA has led an explosion of marketing of energy drinks, especially to male teenagers for the purposes of performance enhancing and stimulation.

There are increasing reports of young adults being rushed to the ER, suffering from caffeine intoxication (yes this is a thing!) or even dying from the effects of these drinks. In May 2017, a 16 year old boy passed away after consuming an energy drink, a latte and a Mountain Dew. The coroner ruled the cause of death as a cardiac arrhythmia. Although this is rare, more and more research is revealing that energy drinks may not only be different than “normal caffeine sources,” but may be a gateway drug for adventure seeking teens. As surprising as this may sound, when you look at the science, it makes sense.

How are Energy Drinks Different than A Normal Cup of Joe?

        Caffeine chemical molecule structure. 

There are approximately 320 mg of caffeine in four cups of coffee. Plenty of people drink 4 cups of coffee in a day without any ill effects. Energy drinks, however, contain 4 ounces of sugar, several synthetic B vitamins and a proprietary “energy blend” of taurine and other secret ingredients are found in Red Bull, Monster or 5 Hour Energy. It seems that this blend effects the body somewhat differently. I don’t know about you guys, but I had one friend who had physical withdrawal symptoms from Red Bull.

For example, in one study, Sachin A. Shah of David Grant Medical Center on Travis Air Force Base and University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, and colleagues measured the participants’ blood pressure and used an electrocardiogram (or EKG) to measure heart electrical activity for 24 hours after the subjects consumed the drinks versus a caffeine only placebo.

“The QT interval is the measurement of the time it takes ventricles in the heart, the lower chambers, to repolarize, or prepare to generate a beat again,” the researchers said. “It’s the pause from the end of the electrical impulse generating the heart to beat to the next impulse. If this time interval, which is measured in milliseconds, is either too short or too long, it can cause the heart to beat abnormally. The resulting arrhythmia can be life threatening.” This is how the 16 year old mentioned above actually died. Very scary indeed.

In the study, compared to the caffeine-only group, those in the energy drink group had a corrected QT interval 10-milliseconds higher still at two hours. Most medications require a warning if they prolongate the QT interval longer than six milliseconds! As would be expected, both caffeine and the energy drinks had an increase in blood pressure, however after six hours, the blood pressure of the placebo had returned to normal while the energy drink group had not.

This suggests that the other ingredients in energy drinks may purport other effects on the body that we are not aware of…..

With that being said, lets dive into how energy drinks could lead to other pleasure seeking activities that infer a higher risk for drug use.

Energy Drinks: A New Gateway Drug?

Caffeine withdrawal alone is listed as as a research diagnosis in the Diagnostic Manual IV which is kinda like the Bible of Psychiatry diagnoses. Not saying all caffeine is bad. Don’t get me wrong I love it too. But here, as in  most things on earth, the devil is in the dose. Most things are toxic when used in extreme.

According to Psychology Today, adolescent brains, which are still developing, react differently to caffeine than adult brains. Long term caffeine consumption leads to greater tolerance faster suggesting it produces changes in the brain chemistry. Moreover, long term caffeine consumption in teens leads to greater sensitivity to amphetamines like Ritalin, used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). “Recently a new study highlights how adolescent consumption of caffeine actually altered the brain’s neurochemistry so that the adult brain’s response to cocaine was enhanced!”

A paper in the Journal of Addiction Medicine reported that 1/3 of teens consume energy drinks and the kids that do also report higher rates of alcohol, cigarette or drug use. Once adjustments for other factors were made, it still found that personalities which are attention and stimulation seeking, may be more likely to seek out not just energy drinks, but other feel good substances as well.

Energy drinks are also promoted for use with alcohol, which masks the intoxicating effects of alcohol, leading to higher consumption. One theory is drinks like Monster, mask the depressant effect of alcohol when consumed together. Alcohol boosts levels of adenosine in the brain, whereas caffeine blocks it, leading to the feeling of less intoxicated than one actually is. It seems we have perhaps been programmed to think one thing is a drug when another is not?

“In one 2006 survey Published in the Academy of Emergency Medicine,  4,271 students from ten universities in North Carolina, some 24% said they had consumed alcohol mixed with energy drinks in the previous 30 days. This group was significantly more likely than other students to engage in binge drinking, and got drunk twice as often. Even after adjusting for the amount of alcohol they consumed, this group was at increased risk of alcohol-related consequences including being taken advantage of sexually, taking advantage of another person sexually, riding with an intoxicated driver, being physically hurt or injured, and requiring medical treatment.

In another study published in 2010 in Addiction Behavior, researchers interviewed approximately 800 people as they left bars near a university area, and then measured their alcohol concentrations with breathalyzers. Those who had consumed alcohol mixed with energy drinks were three times more likely to be leaving the bar highly intoxicated, and four times more likely to be attempting to drive home, compared to other patrons! Yikes not good huh?

Let me note that this not exactly a open and shut case for cause and effect. These studies do not PROVE that energy drinks lead to substance abuse, although circumstantial evidence is convincing.

Final Words…..

So are caffeinated energy drinks a gateway drug? Possibly and the evidence so far is quite convincing. Although energy drinks vary greatly from plain old caffeine, it seems both infer a risk to the developing teenage brain and should possibly be treated more like a drug than a daily food.

Be Your Own Best Doctor

Much love

Dr Jess

 

REFERENCES:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18439201?dopt=Abstract&holding=npg

Thombs, D. L. et al. Add. Behav. 35, 325-30 (2010).

Walters Kluwer Health

 

 

Food (+Herbs) That Can Destroy H. Pylori, the Bacterium Responsible for Stomach Cancer and Acid Reflux

If you guys read my blog, you know I’m currently obsessed with broccoli sprouts and try to use them in my salads or smoothies frequently. Not only do broccoli sprouts turn on the NRF-2 gene pathway which can turn off genes that lead to cancer, but they have shown promising benefit in being able to eradicate Helicobacter Pylori, better known as H. Pylori.

WHAT IS H. PYLORI

H. Pylori is a corkscrew shaped bacterium that affects 50% of the American population and about 1/3-2/3 of the rest of the world. This little bug is classified as a carcinogen, or cancer-causing, by the World Health Organization as well as the International Agency for Research. It is strongly linked to the development of stomach issues like gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) and stomach cancer. Sadly, due to antibiotic resistance, the proton pump inhibitors and antibiotic combo given by allopathic medicine is not as effective as it once was and many patients are now failing the standard treatment. Since everyone is different, the efficacy of a particular therapy may vary with each patient, environment, genes, age, food and hygiene.

STANDARD TREATMENT:

As mentioned above, the standard treatment for H pylori eradication is to administer a proton pump inhibitor, like Nexium or Prilosec. Unfortunately these medications have risks associated with them-like the new study that just showed a 25% increased risk of death after a year of use. These acid blocking agents are paired with a several antibiotics for two to three weeks.

WHY WE SHOULD ALL BE EATING BROCCOLI SPROUTS:

My very favorite, and probably the MOST natural alternative to wiping out this pesky bacteria is BROCCOLI SPROUTS! When you chew or cut the sprouts, they release a stress chemical that eventually forms sulfurophane, the potent anti tumor agent and natural antioxidant, that fights H pylori. Studies show that this biochemical appears to trigger cells in the body, including the gastrointestinal tract, to produce enzymes that protect against free radical damage and inflammation.

In a small pilot study published in 2009 in Cancer Prevention Research, the researchers found that eating 2.5 ounces of broccoli sprouts every day for two months may protect against H pylori. They did note that the levels of a very specific byproduct called HpSA released by H pylori, had decreased by 40% in the stool of these patients but reappeared after they stopped the broccoli sprouts two months later. This indicates that broccoli sprouts prevent full colonization but by themselves, don’t eradicate the bacterium. I don’t know about you, I would choose broccoli sprouts over a proton pump inhibitor. Nexium also does not often eradicate H pylori and comes with a host of other side effects.

In earlier animal studies performed at Johns Hopkins University, mice infected with H pylori ate broccoli sprout smoothies for eight weeks daily. The H pylori in their stomachs decreased by 100 fold while there was a concomitant four fold increase in enzymes like sulforophane that protect against oxidative damage!

In another study published in 2004, consumption of oral broccoli sprouts was temporarily associated with eradication of H pylori infection in only three out of nine patients.

It looks like it may be more ideal to prevent rather than ridding yourself of the bug, so what else can you do?

OTHER NATURAL ALTERNATIVES YOU WONT HEAR FROM YOUR DOCTOR 

My best advice is to pair some of these options with daily broccoli sprouts

  1. Pau D’Arco: This South American leaf also revs up the NRF-2 pathway just like broccoli sprouts! The results of a 2014 study published in the Journal of Toxicological Sciences found that the activation of NRF-2 could mediate the beneficial effects of Pau D’Arco in the intestine and with inflammation. It is also antibacterial, antiviral and anti fungal. It is known to fight candida and cancer. That is one of the main reasons I chose to put it in Microbiome Master, which has been successful at eradicating antibiotic resistant H Pylori in a handful of patients.
  2. Cranberries: This fruit is native to North America and has been shown to keep H pylon at bay. They work by preventing bacteria from adhering to cell walls-like in the bladder or stomach, hence why they are known for treating urinary tract infections. This is also why they are beneficial in preventing H pylori from taking hold in the stomach mucosa. In one study, a 90 day trial of cranberry juice compared to placebo in 189 patients, exhibited an increase in eradication rates of H pylori.
  3. Garlic: Garlic and its active ingredient, Allicin, produce organosulfphur compounds that deter oxidative damage by scavenging free radicals. Allicin is also revered for its potent antibacterial activity. Again this is another reason garlic was chosen for my gut cleanse, Microbiome Master.
  4. Curcumin: Although In-vivo tests in humans are lacking, one study did show benefit for long term cucurmin, the active ingredient in turmeric, in aiding in healing peptic ulcers and possibly, H pylori. Ulcers measuring up to 1.5cm were found in the duodenum of the stomach were treated with 300mg, five times a day of turmeric. 4 weeks of treatment revealed no ulcers in 48%. After 12 weeks, 76% had no ulcers!
  5. Ginger: Ginger has been used for centuries for ailments like nausea and dyspepsia due to its anti inflammatory and anti ulcer properties. Ginger has been shown in one study to restrict the growth of H pylori by inhibiting hydrogen and potassium released for gastric acid secretion. Gingerols and extracts, present in ginger, inhibit the development of H pylori in vitro in 19 clinical strains.
  6. Pistachia or Mastic Gum: This gum is produced by the Pistachio lentiscus plant in the Greek isles. It has been studied since the 1980s for its positive effects on the ulcers and stomach ailments. Mastic gum seems to work by inducing protrusions, or poking holes, in the cells of H pylori! A 2011 study proved that mastic gum prevents H pylori inflammation by inhibiting our white blood cells’ reaction in vivo. However, other animal and human studies have not replicated these findings.
  7. Artemisinin: This antimalarial drug has shown remarkably strong activity against H pylori infections. It was proven to have activity in vivo in a study published in 2012
  8. Zinc/Probiotics/Digestive Enzymes: Since H pylori is able to take hold of us due to lowered immunity, anything that helps us reset the bacterial balance and digestive properties in our guts will aid in an immune boost and also help fight this bacteria. Probiotics help to tip the bacterial balance in a favorable manner so that the improper bacteria can be recognized and disposed of. Digestive enzymes should not be supplemented forever but do help the body breakdown nutrients especially if the pH or digestion is off. Zinc works in tandem because it is necessary to help produce hydrochloric acid, which triggers our own natural digestive enzymes. Zinc also works to protect the stomach lining. It helps in wound healing and is anti inflammatory.

Check out my Microbiome Master in the Dr Jess which has eradicated H pylori in antibiotic resistant patients before!

You are becoming your own best doctor!

Dr Jess

 

REFERENCES:

  1. Zhang L, Ma J. Pan K, Go VL, Chen J., You WC Efficacy of cranberry juice on Helicobacter pylori infection: a double blind, randomized placebo controlled trial. 2005; 10:139-145
  2. Shmuel, H. Domniz, N. Yahav J Non-Pharmacological treatment of Helicobacter pylori: World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  3. Prucksunand C, Indrasukhsri B, Leethochawalit M, Hungspreugs K, Phase II clinical trial on effect of the long term turmeric on healing of peptic ulcer. Southeast Asian J Tropical Medical Public Health 2001: 208-215
  4. Malady GB Pendland SL, Yun GS, Lu ZZ, Soia A, Ginger and the ginger’s inhibit the growth of Cag A+strains of Helicobacter pylori. Anticancer Research. 2003: 23: 3699-3702
  5. Goswami S, Bhakuni RS, Chinniah A, Pal A, Kar SK, Das PK Anti-Helicobacter pylori potential of artemisinin and its derivatives. Antimicrobial Agents in Chemotherapy 2012

8 Foods That Are Making Your Depression Worse

In recent years, a plethora of research has emerged that show that diet and inflammation play a huge role in our moods. Food and nutrients change the trillions of bacteria in our gut micro biome, whether for better or worse. Good food absolutely does equal a good mood. And for whatever reason–convenience, flavor, or lack of sheer will–most of us still reach for some of the most inflammatory foods, which lead to increased gut permeability, or leaky gut. This sets us up for a lifetime of chronic inflammation.

Many studies have shown that people who eat an anti-inflammatory diet have significantly lower risks of depression  and anxiety. (2-4). So what exactly is an anti-inflammatory diet and why is it so beneficial? Think healthy fats like avocado or almonds, antioxidants, loads of organic veggies and fruit, and organic grass fed or plant based proteins. In fact, a recent study that tracked about 6,500 women over 12 years showed that women with the most anti-inflammatory diet had an approximately 20 % lower risk of developing depression compared with women with the most pro-inflammatory diet. (5) Sadly the majority of people’s diets in the United States contain pro inflammatory foods as the main dishes. These eight inflammatory foods are the most frequent offenders I see when treating patients for depression:

  1. Sugar-This may come as no surprise to many of you, but not only can sugar pack on the pounds, feed cancer and disrupt immune function, but it can also lead to a depressed mood. This is because sugar disrupts the gut micro biome, feeding the wrong bacteria as well as affecting our hormones. The deadly white powder causes a surge of insulin that subsequently plummets blood sugar levels. Stress hormones, like cortisol, are then stimulated to come in to support the body during this crash. High cortisol levels are linked to disrupted sex hormones  caused by a progesterone steal. This leads to yo-yo dieting and cravings. Not only that, but sugar intake is linked to inflammation and lowered immunity. It is as addictive as cocaine and lights up the same areas on MRIs. You can imagine how this craving and addiction can lead to depression. Rather than reaching for sugar, try Stevia, raw honey or dates instead. Your body will thank you for feeding it ingredients grown from the earth.
  2. Artificial Sweeteners-You can see from my answer above that I did not list any sweetener like Aspartame (diet Coke), sucralose, or high fructose corn syrup. Thats because these sweeteners are also linked to a disrupted gut micro biome, obesity and diabetes. Yep you read that right, the one thing artificial sweeteners are trying to prevent, they may actually be contributing to–diabetes. And many studies have linked these fake sugars to depression, brain fog and headaches.  A study in 2012 researched over 250,000 people and found depression was more common among frequent consumers of artificially flavored beverages. (6) See above for alternative sweeteners that are healthy!
  3. DairyI admit, I’m a reformed dairy addict. I understand how hard it is to let go of cheese! Studies have given us a very revealing reason for this. Cheese contains exorphins, the opposite of feel-good endorphins, that can cross the blood-brain barrier. By binding to our morphine receptors, they facilitate a similar mechanism as opiates for creating addiction. They also are linked to hormone disruption like estrogen dominances, schizophrenia, cancer, and mood disorders like depression. (8) I personally believe a lot of that has to do with the disgusting factory farming conditions, antibiotics and hormone injections. Many people can tolerate raw or lightly pasteurized milk. I truly do love almond and cashew cheeses. Check out the Heido-Ho brand for some of the best spreads.
  4. Wheat-Many people may have a gluten allergy, better known as Celiac’s disease, but in my opinion, most are not reacting to a protein that has been around for millions of years (unless they tested positive for Celiacs). Many more sensitivities are due to the fact that Glyphosate, or Round Up, is being sprayed on the wheat as a pre harvest treatment. Pre-harvest application of the herbicide Roundup to wheat and barley as a desiccant was suggested as early as 1980. It has since become routine over the past 15 years and is used as a drying agent 7-10 days before harvest within the conventional farming community. In my professional opinion, this is the “gluten sensitivity” that many people believe that they have. Instead opt for quinoa, rice, buckwheat, and amaranth.
  5. Potato Chips and French Fries-this one literally kills me. Anyone who knows me knows that I love some french fries on a cheat day! The reason I have them listed is because the FDA recently approved GMO potatoes in 2015. Potatoes are already one of the more heavily pesticide ridden foods, so you can bet that the GMO variety will not help this issue. If the potato is engineered to resist pesticides, then even more will be added to the crops. Moreover, nearly all french fries bought in fast food restaurants are cooked in vegetable oil, a mix of genetically engineered canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with tertbutylhydroquinone (TBHQ), citric acid, and dimethylpolysiloxane. Ewww…Instead, try beet/veggie chips, lentil chips, quinoa chips….or get your crunchy fix from some carrots.
  6. Vegetable OilI mentioned it above so lets dig a bit further. Canola, corn, safflower, and soybean are all considered vegetable oils. Many of these oils are made through genetic engineering and high processing with chemical solvents (like TBHQ) that are not recognized by our bodies and sound the alarm for inflammation. Let me explain. Canola oil is nowhere close to being natural. It is made from the genetically engineered rapeseed plant. Canola comes from the name “Canada” and “oils.”  These oils are considered ‘processed’ because there are many high-heat and high-pressure steps, as well as chemical solvents required to create them. Further, many of these oils are made from GMOs.(9) Stay away from these oils; they’ve been linked to heart attacks, thyroid issues, cancer and mania in bipolar disorder. (10) Reach for olive, peanut or sesame oil for lower temperatures and almond, avocado, coconut, or ghee for higher frying temperatures.
  7. GMOs-sadly over 85% of our food supply is now genetically modified. GMOS contain much higher percentages of herbicides and pesticides like Roundup containing toxic glyphosate. Glyphosate is now linked to Alzheimers, autism, cancer and gut dysbiosis. (11). It disrupts the Shikimate pathway in plants and bacteria, but the problem is thats where WE get our amino acids that are the necessary building blocks of every reaction in the body. The World Health Organization just named RoundUp as a probable carcinogen. Also, GMOS have never definitely been proven as safe by an independent study over a long period (>20 years). Try to eat as organic as possible. Even organic food can be junk or premade/boxed foods that aren’t healthy. Read ingredients on labels and be sure you know what they are and recognize them as something you would cook with at home.
  8. CornCorn does not bother everyone, but has proven to be more inflammatory than other foods. Over 90% is genetically modified and contains BT toxin herbicide within the kernels. Recent studies have linked BT toxin to toxicity in human kidney cells and other pathologies. (12)(13). Swap corn for organic or reach for other veggies that your tummy can easily digest.

You’re doing a great job becoming your own best doctor,

Much love

Dr Jess

 

REFERENCES:

  1. http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/1/6/6ra14
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26344165
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27592562
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4167107/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27498949
  6. https://www.aan.com/PressRoom/Home/1128
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27498949
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4524299
  9. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/047167849X.bio018/abstract
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25499313
  11. http://www.scirp.org/Journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=53106#.VLmJKydGqDc
  12. www.i-sis.org.uk/Bt_toxin_kills_human_kidney_cells.php
  13. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jat.3252/full

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/

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