|Issue #60 - September 2007|
As of Friday October 6, 2006, my website is up and running.
Here are some pages that are of particular interest:
Store: There are 183 products from Emerson listed on this page. If yours isn't one of them please let me know and I will add it so you can order online. This is particularly convenient after hours or on the weekend. Of course, you can always order by phone from Emerson at 800-654-4432.
Newsletter: Here you will find all 60 issues of my health newsletter, "Naturopathic News".
Optimal Health Points: This is my blog that I update every week. Check out the entry for Aug. 27 to learn what simple change could prevent 600,000 cases of cancer each year.
Gluten refers to a group of proteins found in wheat and related grains. Gluten flour can be made from several different grains. Most commonly gluten flour is made from wheat. Seitan is a processed gluten protein food that is a common fake 'meat' substitute. It is made by washing the starch away from wheat. To make it palatable it's usually spiced and salty.
Here are the grains that naturally contain gluten:
Wheat, spelt, kamut, farina, semolina, triticale
Rye; Barley, barley malt, malt vinegar
These grains are gluten free:
Amaranth, buckwheat, corn, millet, quinoa, ragi, rice, sorghum, teff, wild rice
Pure oats do not contain gluten but can be contaminated by mixing with other gluten containing grains in handling, production, or storage.
Asparagus is a nutrient-dense food high in vitamin B3 (folic acid) and is a good source of B1 (thiamine), vitamin B6, vitamins A and C. It is very low in cholesterol and sodium, and does not have any fat. For a vegetable, asparagus is a good source of iron, magnesium and zinc. It also contains the trace minerals copper, manganese, and selenium.
Asparagus is high in glutathione, a powerful antioxidant. Glutathione is particularly active in the liver where it helps to detoxify harmful substances.
Asparagus also contains rutin, a bioflavonoid that is related to quercitin and hesperdin. It helps eliminate high cholesterol, develops more elasticity in the walls of the arteries, promotes greater blood flow, and protects the capillaries.
Getting good results with homeopathic care depends on a number of different factors. One is how well the homeopath perceives the person that is sitting in front of them. The homeopath strives to be an unprejudiced observer. In it's most basic application this means that they can't assume what the homeopathic remedy will be before the case is taken. Just because the last case of Lyme's disease responded to Apis doesn't mean that the next case will. Every person needs to be received with an open mind. No a priori assumptions allowed.
No judgment, categorization, or generalization is allowed either. Homeopaths hear the deepest parts of people's lives. Personal experiences, beliefs, religious views can all stand in the way of truly understanding the patient. It's a journey into the state of health of another person. You can't bring any of your own baggage. The homeopath must remain ever vigilant to prevent this from occurring.
The patient also brings much to the table for the initial interview. There are at least one, if not several, health problems that they are concerned with. Between the Internet and self help books and shows there are multiple sources of health information. As a result, many express their symptoms initially as a diagnosis instead of just stating their experience.
"I'm stressed out" is a common statement that means very different things to different people. For one it means that they are anxious all the time. For another their stomach is upset. For a third it's a headache. This very common phenomenon is actually a very individualized response to a specific situation. That's what the homeopath needs to hear is what your response is. What actually triggers the specific stress response.
State your experience; don't just rely on the medical diagnosis. Everyone's strep throat, migraine, PMS, etc. are not the same. Some are better with heat, some not. Some are worse at night, others the morning. The more you can tell your story, in your own words, the better your homeopath will understand you.
MOMS, TAKE MORE VITAMIN D
The Canadian Pediatric Society is recommending that pregnant or breast feeding women consider increasing their vitamin D intake to 2,000 international units (IU) a day. This increase is designed to reduce the chances that their children will develop such ailments as cancer, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis later in life.
For the second time this year a major Canadian public health advocacy group has decided the evidence for taking vitamin D has become so compelling that it is making new recommendations. In June of this year, the Canadian Cancer Society said adults should take 1,000 IU a day. At the same time a U.S. study found that taking vitamin D at levels above those deemed adequate by Health Canada reduced cancer risk by 60%.
During 2007 there has been a growing body of evidence that increased exposure to vitamin D in fetal and infant development may offer protection against cancer, asthma, osteoporosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and dental cavities. "New findings suggest that adequate vitamin D status in mothers during pregnancy and in their infants may have lifetime implications," the recommendation said.
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: This is a striking nutritional recommendation by a conventional medical organization. For such a group to suggest 2,000 IU Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) per day, you know the evidence must be compelling.
It would be very difficult to get this much Vitamin D each day simply by food. And many supplements provide the inefficient form of Vitamin D-D2 or ergocalciferol. It's a good idea to get the correct vitamin D test done before you supplement so you know how much you need and can track how long it takes to reach optimum levels.
JOHN GOFMAN, RIP
One month ago one of my favorite people in the United Sates died, Dr. John Gofman, M.D. Unless you heard me mention his name you won't know who he was. Gofman was a medical researcher and nuclear pioneer whose research showed back in 1969 that radioactive reactor emissions were killing at least 32,000 Americans per year. These atomic reactor casualties were dead, they just didn't know it yet. For it would take 20 years for them to begin to die. Interestingly enough, this time period coincides exactly with the great increase in cancer death rates seen in the US.
At the time, Dr. Gofman was the chief medical researcher for the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). He told the AEC that reactor emissions must be almost totally eliminated. The AEC demanded he change his report, then fired him when he refused.
Ever since then anyone that supported nuclear reactors has unsuccessfully tried to prove Gofman wrong. But he ceaselessly attacked an industry that he thought was "insane''.
Besides being a top nuclear chemist, Gofman was an important heart specialist. His original research helped us understand the role of cholesterol, and, more importantly, identifying essential fatty acids. This information is fundamental in understanding the connection between dietary choices and heart disease.
Dr. Gofman was a full professor at the University of California when he was chosen to manage health research for the Atomic Energy Commission. When the public began to question the health impacts of nuclear reactor emissions, Gofman's dictate was to prove the industry safe. But he and co-researcher Arthur Tamplin showed that reactors were killers. They were both removed from their jobs.
His research is the best concerning the health impacts of radiation. As the nuclear industry is once again looking for billions of dollars of handouts from the federal government to protect itself against its own ineptitude and prevent citizen control, Gofman's words in front of Congress are still appropriate:
"The decision to build nuclear power plants," he said, "may very well be, for the first time, a decision that can result in the desecration of the Earth with respect for life for all future generations.
"Why do we want to put every city and hamlet of the United States at risk by building a thousand of these plants? We can get the power from sunshine, very easily and economically.
"When we're talking about a mass of a hundred tons or so of material, melting 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit, with water around, with hydrogen being generated and burning explosively, melting through concrete into soil, when someone tells me that we're sure it isn't going to go far away, I say that I've heard various forms of insanity, but hardly this form.
"Even if this hazard of a meltdown were securely answered, it doesn't alter for one second my opposition to nuclear power, because I'm concerned about the fact that whether it melts down or doesn't melt down, you've created an astronomical amount of radioactive garbage which you must contain and isolate better than 99.99 percent perfectly, in peace and war, with human error and human malice, guerilla activity, psychotics, and malfunction of equipment (add in terrorist attack), do you believe that there's anything you'd like to guarantee will be done 99.99 percent perfectly for a hundred thousand years?"
"Radiation and Human Health", John W. Gofman
"Poisoned Power: The Case Against Nuclear Power Plants Before and After Three Mile Island", John W. Gofman, Ph.D., M.D., and Arthur R. Tamplin, Ph.D
ARTIFICIAL INGREDIENTS CAUSE HYPERACTIVITY
Artificial food colors and additives (AFCA) commonly found in children's food increase the average level of hyperactivity in children aged 3 years and 8 to 9 years, according to the results of a community-based, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge study published online September 6 2007 in The Lancet. This joins recent research that showed significant effects of AFCA on children labeled with ADHD.
The investigators gave 153 three-year-old and 144 eight- to nine-year-old children a challenge drink containing sodium benzoate and 1 of 2 artificial-food-color-and-additive mixes (A or B) or a placebo mix. "Artificial colors or a sodium benzoate preservative (or both) in the diet result in increased hyperactivity in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the general population," the authors write.
Lancet. Published online September 6, 2007
DR. PAIS COMMENTS: This definitely falls into the category of, "Been There, Done That". Dr. Feingold's research proved that AFCA caused hyperactivity 30 years ago.
In my practice I've seen all the artificial colors and preservatives be the culprits. Especially the yellows and reds. Citric acid can also be a trigger. One of the first steps to take, before you even consider giving your child an amphetamine drug like Ritalin is to totally eliminate all these substances from the diet. You may see a dramatic change in your child's behavior. The only cost-long-term increase in their health and well being.
HPV VACCINE FOR BOYS-HOW RIDICULOUS CAN IT GET?
Two weeks ago media stories started appearing suggesting that school age boys should be advised to get vaccinated with Gardasil, Merck's cervical cancer vaccine. Up to this point this unnecessary vaccine was only recommended for girls.
The new recommendation is based on the idea that boys could get throat cancer if they have oral sex with an HPV-infected girl. It doesn't take much to realize that targeting teenage boys through fear tactics can increase market share. This goes along with the advice to give mandatory Gardasil vaccinations to young girls-disease mongering at its worse, designed to sell vaccines. For girls with HPV do not automatically get cervical cancer. In fact, if they have healthy immune systems, and practice healthy lifestyles, they have little risk of developing cervical cancer from HPV. It is only girls who have compromised immune systems that may be vulnerable.
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: It takes real chutzpah to try and sell a cervical cancer vaccine to boys. Last I looked, boys don't have a cervix. Hey, double the market, double the profit. Shareholders will be happy, right? Seriously though, cancer is an easy subject for a fear campaign. Don't succumb to it. Whether you are considering this vaccine for a girl or a boy, educate yourself. Don't just go with the crowd. Know your rights.
COFFEE CAUSES HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
According to a recent Finnish study, anyone who drinks coffee increases their likelihood of having to start drug treatment to control high blood pressure, or hypertension. And it didn't matter how much was drunk. You increase your risk no matter how much you drink.
In a related study, performed by the Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care in the Netherlands, those who didn't drink coffee were found to have a lower risk of hypertension than did those who drank up to three cups per day.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition March 2007; 85(3):718-23
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition August 2007; 86(2):457-64
The average American adult drinks more than 10 pounds of coffee per year, which amounts to a total of 2.4 billion pounds a year in the United States.
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: This result is no surprise if you know some basic physiology. Caffeine stimulates hormones that can increase blood pressure. Even a small amount will do this to some degree.
As I've explained to many patients, caffeine is just another addictive drug with side effects and withdrawal problems. It just happens to be a legal one.
Some diseases associated with coffee consumption are heart attack, bladder cancer, high blood pressure, kidney stones, headaches, miscarriage, birth defects, anxiety, panic, and heart palpitations.
STATIN DRUG SIDE EFFECTS IGNORED
According to a survey of 650 patients who were taking statins-cholesterol-lowering drugs-their concerns about drug side effects were often made light of by their doctors.
Statins, such as Lipitor and Zocor, are common drugs with widely known side effects that include liver damage, muscle problems, memory and mood changes, and more. If the side effect of muscle problems is not recognized it can progress to a potentially fatal condition called rhabdomyolysis.
Even so, patients who responded to the survey said that they had to initiate a discussion about side effects with their doctor, and when they did:
47% said their doctors dismissed their muscle or cognitive problems, and said they were not statin-related
51% with a type of nerve pain called peripheral neuropathy said their doctors denied a connection to the drugs
32% said their doctors denied a connection between their symptoms and statins
29% said their doctors "neither endorsed nor dismissed the possibility of symptom link to statins"
According to the survey, rather than attributing the patients' complaints to the drugs, many doctors instead blamed the "normal aging process" or denied the symptoms entirely. Besides not addressing the health concerns of the patient, this denial of a potential adverse drug reaction (ADR) means that no "adverse event report" is submitted to the FDA. According to a Harvard Medical School expert, side effects are already underreported by 90-99%, and the FDA relies heavily on such reports to gauge a drug's safety once it hits the market. Basically, the survey suggests that the FDA is missing out on a wealth of ADRs because doctors are not acknowledging them in patients.
The study's authors believe that statin-related side effects are not the only one's being missed. They suggest that many other drug side effects are also being ignored.
Drug Safety August 2007 30(8):669-675
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: This report matches the experience of many of my patients. For the many that have been told they need to take stain drugs to lower cholesterol, few if any are told of the potential side effects-before or after they start the drugs. They're just told that they need to have periodic blood tests.
I am often asked what supplements I recommend. Many of you have been surprised to discover that I favor food over pills; lifestyle changes over fads. I have been working with nutrition for over 30 years, herbs for over 20 years. Where and when appropriate I recommend them to my patients. I strive to act from knowledge, experience, and research.
Emerson Ecologics (800-654-4432) carries almost all of the nutritional supplements and botanical extracts that I think are useful. Their customer service is excellent and their delivery is reliable (often only 2-3 days to this region). It's a great way to get physician quality products at reasonable prices.
To offset the cost of shipping, reference my name when you establish your account and receive a 10% discount on every order. If you have any questions about these items feel free to email me.
That's it for this issue of Naturopathic News. If you've thought a bit extra or learned something new, then I achieved my goal. As usual, if you have questions or concerns brought up by these subjects, let me know.
Gregory Pais, ND, DHANP