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Dr. Gregory Pais, ND
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Home arrow Naturopathic News arrow Issue #77 - February 2009
Issue #77 - February 2009

Welcome to this issue of Naturopathic News, issue #77. It's my mission to help you find optimal solutions to health problems. This newsletter is one way to do that. The more educated you are about your health options the better able you will be to take control of your health. If you would like to stop receiving my newsletter please send me an email and let me know. If you have a friend or family member who you think would appreciate the information provided, send me their email address.

Here are some pages that are of particular interest:
Store : There are 244 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 77 issues of my health newsletter, "Naturopathic News".

Optimal Health Points : This is my blog that I update every week. Check out the entry for February 2, 2009 about Mercury contamination of high fructose corn syrup.

Are you confused by the health claims you read on the Internet or hear in the store? Do you think that you're taking too many supplements but not the 'right' supplement for you? Do you never have the time to ask the important questions regarding yours or your family's health?

Then the 2009 OPTIMAL HEALTH LECTURE SERIES is for you!

I am presenting an ongoing series of free health lectures at my Williamsport office on 3rd St., as well as other locations. The topic of these lectures is determined by the interests of you, my community of patients, families, and interested individuals. Each lecture will focus on a health issue that is important to you.

Below is a list of topics that you can pick from. If there is another subject that you'd like to have me speak on, let me know. Whichever topic gets the most requests will be the subject of an upcoming lecture. I'll announce the schedule each month in this newsletter and in the calendar on my website. (or you can email me). Just send me an email and let me know the health questions you want answered.


Do You Need The Flu Vaccine?

How Does Homeopathy Work?

How To Stay Healthy With The Season

Healing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Keep Your Heart Healthy

Preventing Breast Cancer

If you'd like to organize a lecture for your work, your place of worship, or have an interested group of 5 or more, I'll come to you. All you have to do is choose a health topic that is most important to your group and we'll make it happen.

If you can't make it to a scheduled lecture each will be recorded and available for later purchase.

I'm looking forward to seeing you in 2009!

"THE MOST IMPORTANT VITAMIN" is the topic of this month's lecture on Tues., February 24th from 7:30-8:30 pm at my office on 3rd St.

One area that I am involving myself in as we go into the new year, is health care reform. You've probably heard a variety of ideas mentioned regarding the reform of the US Health Care system-universal coverage, single payer, etc. Most of you pay out of pocket to utilize health care you need and value. This is the time to make your voice heard. I highly encourage you to contact your congressional representative, make an appointment to speak to him or her, and express your concerns regarding health care and coverage of traditional medicine (what is euphemistically called alternative medicine). Here is one resource to find your representative's contact information:

If you do not want to voice your opinion directly, let me know what it is. And I will tell my representative. If we all act together we can create a health care system that meets our needs and expands our vision of what's possible.

It just happened again the other day. A patient sent me a copy of the Vitamin D test she just had done. With frustrating results. The wrong test was done. After all these years, and all the information available, MDs and laboratories still order the wrong test. What a waste of money and time.

For the last 6 months I've been looking for a home Vitamin D test. One that would be simple, easy, and accurate to do on your own. I finally found one. ZRT Laboratory in Beaverton OR. ZRT emphasizes research and technological innovation.

Until now, venipuncture blood serum has been the standard medium for testing Vitamin D. ZRT has developed and refined Vitamin D testing in blood spots. A few drops of blood from a quick and nearly painless nick of the finger, placed on a filter paper to dry are all that is needed. The total 25 (OH) Vitamin D is then determined by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). This method has been shown to be as accurate as the assay standard.

Ordering A Vitamin D Test
ZRT allows anyone to order a Vitamin D test kit for $95 plus shipping and have it sent to their home. ZRT will let me prepay for kits and send them to my office for $55 each. I am charging $65 per kit for patients to cover my overhead and analysis of results.

If you are interested in getting a Vitamin D test done through my office please prepay so I can order you a kit. Then you can either pick it up at my office or have it shipped to your home. Once you've taken the sample and sent it back to ZRT it's only a matter of time before your results are sent back to me. I can even look at them online before the mail arrives.

If your doctor has refused to order a Vitamin D test or worse, ordered the wrong one, this is the fastest, least expensive, most accurate way to do it ourselves. Once we know what your Vitamin D levels are, the next step is making sure that you achieve optimum levels for prevention of disease and maintenance of health.

Double Standard
It's a common experience for many people to seek out homeopathic medicine after being abused by the conventional health care system. After years of dangerous side effects, getting worse from the very treatments that were supposed to make them feel better, of their concerns being ignored or made light of; patients are rightfully angry, frustrated, and a bit paranoid (in a healthy sort of way). They become very unwilling to just take something because a health care practitioner recommends it.

I commend and support one's right to know. To seek out information to determine what the best course is to regain one's health. Of course, you have to know your sources. You have to understand the person's bias that is promoting a certain approach. A gynecologist knows how to prescribe anti-yeast medications. That's what they do. So they see solutions in those terms. That's their job. They may be convinced that Diflucan is the best option, maybe the only option (in their view). But what is that opinion based on? They're ruling out nutrition, homeopathy, acupuncture, exercise, herbs, and other options. Not because they have used these options and know they don't work. But because they either have a bias against anything that isn't surgery or drugs, or they are demonstrating their ignorance. It amazes me how even female gynecologists don't tell their patients to use probiotics when they take antibiotics. This single, inexpensive, simple act alone would save much suffering, money, and promote health.

If you've been burned before you don't want to be burned again. Your guard is up and you're going to ask lots of questions. What is that homeopathic medicine? What's it made from? What harm will it do? All reasonable questions, no doubt about it. But there's a double standard in place. You didn't ask those same questions when you took the Diflucan. You don't know what Lipitor is made from, or that it increases your risk for heart disease because it lowers Coenzyme Q 10, an important heart muscle nutrient. And even when you learn these things you'll most likely continue to take these medicines, no matter what. Obviously, that's your choice. I strongly feel that you have to be committed to the approach you take, embracing it completely to enhance your health.

At the end of the day, what do you do? I think trust is a major component. Do you believe that your health care provider has your best interests at heart? Do they listen to you? Do they attend to your concerns? Or do you get the sense that they think 'it's all in your head"? That they really aren't listening to you at all.

What about that homeopathic medicine? First off, back to basics. You have to remember that any homeopathic medicine in a potency higher than 24x or 12c, or any LM potency, has absolutely none of the physical molecule of that substance present (see Naturopathic news #19 April 2004 for in depth information on homeopathic potency). This is why we can use toxic substances like arsenic, snake venoms, tumor samples, etc., as a source for homeopathic medicines without incurring harm. In an Arsenicum 30c potency or an LM1 there isn't a molecule of Arsenic present. So you can't be harmed by Arsenic.

I've been working in the field of traditional medicine-homeopathy, nutrition, Chinese medicine, physical medicine, and herbal medicine for 35 years, almost 2/3 of my life. When I say that I don't know of anything safer than homeopathic medicine I say that from experience and training. Pregnant women can take it, babies can take it, the immune compromised can take it, and the chemically sensitive can take it. There are no built in side effects as there are with prescription drugs. There are no innate allergic reactions like there can be with supplements or herbs.

Does this mean that you should treat yourself or your family for serious conditions without background or training? That you should pick up a homeopathic medicine in the drug store that's labeled for Cough and just take it without regard for dose, repetition, or effect?

Homeopathic medicine is very safe when used with respect, knowledge, and common sense. Any substance that has the power to heal has the power to harm. Especially when used indiscriminately.

On February 4 2009, scientists reported that supplementing with vitamin D could prevent multiple sclerosis (MS). The first causal link has been established between Vitamin D and a gene that increases the risk of MS, suggesting the possibility that the debilitating autoimmune disease could be eradicated.

George Ebers, Professor of Clinical Neurology at the University of Oxford, claimed that there was hard evidence directly relating both genes and the environment to the origins of MS. His work suggests that vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy and childhood may increase the risk of a child developing the disease. He has also established the possibility that genetic vulnerability to MS, initiated by lack of vitamin D, may be passed through families.

It's quite possible to reduce the incidence of MS by giving vitamin D supplements to pregnant woman and young children. "I think it offers the potential for treatment which might prevent MS in the future," Professor Ebers said. As Vitamin D is produced when the skin is exposed to ultraviolet radiation in sunshine (UAB), it may be time to look at the blanket recommendation to stay out of the sun.

Professor Ebers said: "Serious questions now arise over the wisdom of current advice to limit sun exposure and avoid sunbathing. We also need to give better advice and help to the public on vitamin D supplements, particularly pregnant and nursing mothers." Studies have shown that fewer people with MS are born in November and more in May, implicating a lack of sunshine during pregnancy.

Researchers for the World Health Organization said there should be large, randomized trials as there was strong evidence that increased daily intake of vitamin D could significantly improve health.

Professor Ebers and his team have shown that vitamin D affects a particular genetic variant, identified as the one that increases the risk of developing MS 300%. They suggest that a shortage of the vitamin alters this variant, thus preventing the immune system from functioning normally. Professor Ebers said: "Whether it's at the core of MS is going to take some further work, but it does look like a reasonably good chance."
'Vitamin D linked to MS' by NHS Knowledge Service, published online 05/02/09,

DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: This study provides further evidence to bolster the contention that you need to look at Vitamin D status when you have multiple sclerosis. If you don't you're liable to make a very big mistake.

This study looked at 541 women with histologically confirmed endometrial (uterine) cancer and 541 women with an intact uterus and non-cancer diagnoses. The researchers considered the intake of vegetables, vitamin E, dietary fiber, beta-carotene, and folate. These nutrients were found to be independently, significantly inversely associated with risk of endometrial cancer. In other words, the women who ate foods with certain of these nutrients were less likely to be diagnosed with uterine cancer.

Comparing women in the highest versus the lowest groups of intake, there was a significantly lower odd of getting endometrial cancer if one ate: total vegetables, vitamin E, dietary fiber, beta-carotene, lutein, and folate. These results suggest that increased consumption of vegetables and vegetable-related nutrients may reduce the risk of endometrial cancer.
"Higher intakes of vegetables and vegetable-related nutrients are associated with lower endometrial cancer risks," Yeh M, Moysich KB, et al, J Nutr, 2009; 139(2): 317-22

DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: I always find it so interesting when simple foods or nutrients have such a profound effect. None of this is complex or exhaustingly detailed. Eat more veggies, especially these, and you should do better. This applies to much more than just endometrial cancer too.

If you drink diet soda at least daily, you have a significantly greater risk for select incident components of the metabolic syndrome (MetSyn) and Type 2 Diabetes. This according to the results of an observational study reported in the January16 2009 issue of Diabetes Care.

The goal of this study was to evaluate associations between diet soda consumption and the risk for incident MetSyn, its components, and Type 2 Diabetes in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Initial evaluation was performed from 2000 to 2002, at which time baseline food frequency questionnaires measured diet soda consumption. Three follow-up evaluations were performed from 2002 to 2003, 2004 to 2005, and 2005 to 2007. Incident Type 2 Diabetes was defined as fasting glucose levels of more than 126 mg/dL, self-reported type 2 diabetes, or use of diabetes medication. Compared with participants who did not drink diet soda, those who drank diet soda at least daily had a 36% greater relative risk for incident MetSyn, and a 67% greater relative risk for incident Type 2 Diabetes.

"These results corroborate findings from the ARIC [Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities] and Framingham studies and show stronger adverse associations exist between diet soda and Type 2 Diabetes," the study authors conclude. "Diet soda consumption, either independently or in conjunction with other dietary and lifestyle behaviors, may lead to weight gain, impaired glucose control, and eventual diabetes."
Diabetes Care. Published online January 16, 2009.

DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: You probably haven't heard anything about this study. And that's scandalous. It's a common belief held by diabetics and those who are overweight that so-called diet products are a healthier choice. That they're ok to consume if you're dealing with these health problems. If anything, you're told to consume diet products as if somehow they will help you get healthy.

Well, as I've been warning for years, they actually increase your risk for diabetes and contribute to weight gain. How many more studies do there have to be? When will hospital-based and other conventional counseling recognize the science and stop recommending these unhealthy products? Probably never-it would mean admitting they've been wrong for years, which is hard to do.

Steroid drugs are a common treatment for young children prone to wheezing and colds. This research shows that they do not help and may even be harmful. Preschoolers in Britain who were hospitalized with a wheezing attack and treated with the steroid prednisolone stayed just as long as other children who were given dummy pills. In other words they did not help the children at all.

In another study, Canadian children who had previous wheezing trouble and who took the steroid fluticasone as a preventive measure showed modest improvement, but the side effect of possible stunted growth outweighed the benefit, researchers said.

"It is disturbing to contemplate how many unnecessary courses of prednisolone have been given over the years", Dr. Andrew Bush of the Royal Brompton Hospital in London wrote in an accompanying editorial.

Wheezing, a high-pitched whistling noise as a person exhales, occurs when air struggles to get through narrowed airways. It's a frightening symptom that often sends parents to emergency rooms, thinking their kids can't breathe. Hospitals commonly give such children steroids to open up airways, but its effectiveness for children with temporary wheezing is unknown.

In the British study, 687 children ages 10 months to 5 years who were hospitalized for wheezing were randomly given prednisolone or placebo treatment. There was no significant difference in the time spent in the hospital.

In the Canadian study, 129 children ages 1 to 6 years with a history of wheezing were given either inhaled fluticasone or placebo by their parents at the first sign of an infection.
After 10 months, the drug group had smaller gains in height and weight compared with the placebo group, prompting the researchers to urge against using the drug for prevention purposes.

Pediatrician Dr. Sami Bahna of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport said wheezing children who do not have asthma will be better served by a wait-and-see approach. "The majority will do well without intervention," Bahna said.
January 22 2009 New England Journal of Medicine.

DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: This is a couple pieces of great piece research. Kind of surprising that the New England Journal reported on it. The key will be how much practitioners pay attention to the science. Will they just keep giving out the drugs or will they stop to prevent possible harm?

Steroids are suppressive drugs that disrupt the body's ability to heal itself. That's how they work. Better options are available that won't cause stunted growth. One of those is homeopathic medicine.

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
580 E. 3rd. St.
Williamsport PA 17701
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