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Dr. Gregory Pais, ND
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Home arrow Naturopathic News arrow Issue #30 - March 2005
Issue #30 - March 2005

Welcome to this issue of Naturopathic News, issue #30. It’s my mission to help you find natural 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.

“A DAY IN THE LIFE” OF A HOMEOPATHIC CASE

Part 2
What We Bring to the Table

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.

 

VITAMIN C PROTOCOL

It seems many of you missed my article in the 10/04 newsletter about taking Vitamin C when you get sick. Here it is again with some additions.

Humans (along with guinea pigs) do not make Vitamin C. Consequently, we need to get it from our diet. When we become ill our need greatly increases. There is no set amount to take. Bowel tolerance (amount that causes a loose stool) is the method of knowing how much your body needs. Vitamin C was defined as ascorbic acid. It actually is found in foods as a complex with bioflavonoids. This is the preferred form to take as a supplement.

Vitamin C with bioflavonoids, 1 gram tablets. Take 1 gram per waking hour until a loose stool is produced. Then back off 1-2 grams until the stool is normal again. You should stay at this dose for at least 3 days after all of your symptoms have disappeared.

From the store you can get RainbowLite Ultra Gram C or an appropriate store product. From Emerson a good one is Ascorbplex.

 

CARBOHYDRATE CRAZE

It's the kind of carbohydrates you consume, not the number, that becomes a reflection of the number on your bathroom scale. Contrary to popular belief, overweight people don't eat more carbohydrates than those of normal weight. However, it was discovered that overweight people were more inclined to eat an excess of refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta, which trigger a rapid spike in blood sugar.

The culprit of weight gain, refined carbohydrates, can be found in processed foods high in sugar. Refined carbohydrates add on extra pounds through their high glycemic index, which means they cause a quick surge in blood sugar. The sugar is then stored in muscle and if it is not used it turns into fat.

On the contrary, other carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables don't have high glycemic indexes.

Even though statistics showed that people are eating less fat, it was revealed that over the course of the past 20 years the rate of obesity has been steadily increasing.

To determine if carbohydrates played a factor in obesity researchers conducted a study by measuring the height and weight of nearly 600 healthy participants. One of the main requirements of the study was for the participants to document the kind of carbohydrates they ate for one year.

The study revealed two key findings:

  • People with a higher body mass index--a measure of weight that factors in height -- tended to eat carbohydrates with a higher glycemic index.
  • The amount of carbohydrates people ate had no influence on body mass index.


Researchers of the study also noted that some countries are now adding glycemic levels on food labels as a guideline to those who are trying to lose weight or control diabetes.

American Journal of Epidemiology February 15, 2005;161(4):359-367

DR. PAIS’S REVIEW:

The lead researcher in this study hit the nail on the head with the following statement: "These findings suggest that low-carbohydrate diets, which recommend people cut back on all carbohydrates, are missing the mark." Any of you that have worked with me regarding your nutritional intake know that I have been saying this for years. It is the kind of carbohydrates you eat--not the amount -- that determines your risk of obesity. That said, all carbohydrates are not created equal. And some individuals require more carbohydrates than others due to body type, health history, and lifestyle. Generally, the carbohydrates found in vegetables are a better choice as their metabolic breakdown in the body leads to a slow conversion to simple sugars like glucose thereby raising your insulin levels less.

Even with all the focus on carbohydrates it’s still true that most of us eaten too many refined carbohydrates. Consuming excess grain and sugar carbohydrates is one of the primary reasons why so many people suffer from:

  • Excess weight
  • Fatigue and frequent sleepiness
  • Depression
  • Brain fogginess
  • Bloating


We all need a certain amount of carbohydrates, however through our addiction to grains, potatoes and sweets most of us are consuming far too many dangerous carbohydrates that can lead to serious chronic health problems like diabetes.

There is an obvious link between obesity and diabetes. When you consume more carbohydrates than you need they are converted, via insulin, into fat and stored as fat, thus increasing your risk for nearly every chronic degenerative disease.

Any meal or snack high in grain and sugar carbohydrates typically generates a rapid rise in blood glucose. To compensate for this your pancreas secretes the hormone insulin into your bloodstream, which lowers your blood sugar. Insulin is essentially a storage hormone that helps you store the excess calories from carbohydrates in the form of fat in case of famine.

Even worse, high insulin levels that develop as a result of eating grains and sugars suppress two other important hormones--glucagon and growth hormone--that are responsible for burning fat and sugar and promoting muscle development. One way you can protect your body from storing fat and rising insulin levels is through eliminating grains and sugars from your diet.

 

VITAMIN E APPEARS TO REDUCE PROSTATE CANCER RISK

Original findings from the Alpha-Tocopherol Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC) trial, which included nearly 30,000 Finnish men, showed that 50mg of alpha-tocopherol (main form of Vitamin E in blood) per day reduced the risk of prostate cancer by 32 per cent.

In a new analysis, European scientists and researchers from the National Cancer Institute looked at the impact of circulating vitamin E levels on 100 individuals with prostate cancer and 200 cancer-free controls participating in the trial.

Men with the highest levels of alpha-tocopherol in their blood at baseline were 51 per cent less likely to develop prostate cancer than those with the lowest levels, they reported in 3/2/05 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute Vol. 97, no 5, pp396-399. Similarly, men with the highest levels of gamma-tocopherol (main form of Vitamin E in blood) were 43 per cent less likely to develop the disease compared with men with the lowest levels.

Vitamin E is thought to fight cancer through its antioxidant activity, which combats the oxidative stress involved in cancer development. It also has other non-antioxidant properties, such as enhancement of the immune response, which may also play a role in the benefits seen.

DR. PAIS’S REVIEW:

Vitamin E is comprised of two groups of molecules, tocopherols and tocotrienols, each with four forms (alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocopherol, and alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-tocotrienol). Research is beginning to focus on specific tocopherols and tocotrienols, rather than just “vitamin E.” Nonetheless, the vitamin E most often referred to and sold in most stores is a synthetic form called dl-alpha-tocopherol. Only about half of the amount of synthetic Vitamin E can actually be used in the body.

Tocopherols, which are found in corn, soybeans, and olive oil, were the common form of vitamin E because they have been widely accepted by the medical community as useful for reducing the risk of heart disease and other serious illness. However, new research is beginning to emerge that says the tocotrienols, found in palm, rice bran and barley oils, could be an important part of vitamin E. In certain instances it makes sense to supplement with ‘full-spectrum’ vitamin E, which contains a mixture of tocopherols (alpha, beta, delta, and gamma) and tocotrienols (alpha, beta, delta, and gamma), this combination may be needed to protect against disease and provide maximum benefits.

Look at your food consumption for items containing vitamin E. Do you snack on almonds, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds? Eat a lot of spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables? Cook with extra virgin olive oil and organic canola oil? If so, you’re ahead of the game.

This analysis is particularly timely as a recent article in JAMA reported negative effects of Vitamin E in a group of the elderly. As you are bombarded with this negative story in the media and most likely will hear something about it from your MD at some point, keep in mind the following. The form of Vitamin E utilized was not mentioned. Usually this is an indication that the synthetic form was used, with all its attendant problems. More importantly, the group that was studied already had a variety of serious diseases—high-risk heart disease, recent heart attacks, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, kidney failure—at the beginning of the study and they were taking many drugs. This study showed that Vitamin E (again we don’t know which form) did not cure these diseases. Well, hey! No competent nutritionist would suggest otherwise. Prevent, definitely! Cure, No.

Basically, the statistics were juggled to make Vitamin E look bad. This way, when you are talking to your MD about the side effects of whatever drug they want you to take, your MD can say, “Vitamin E isn’t any better”. It’s no coincidence that this study comes out shortly after all the negative studies on Vioxx, Celebrex, Bextra, and cholesterol lowering drugs.

Singling out Vitamin E as this study does, is like examining a 20-year old car that leaks oil, has a blown head gasket, and needs a wheel alignment and blaming the gasoline used for the reason why the engine froze up.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth and populated the Earth with broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach, green and yellow and red vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.

Then using God's great gifts, Satan created Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and Krispy Creme Donuts. And Satan said, "You want chocolate with that?" And Man said, "Yes!" and Woman said, "and as long as you're at it, add some sprinkles." And they gained 10 pounds. And Satan smiled.

And God created the healthful yogurt that Woman might keep the figure that Man found so fair. And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat, and sugar from the cane and combined them. And Woman went from size 6 to size 14.

So God said, "Try my fresh green salad." And Satan presented Thousand-Island Dressing, buttery croutons, and garlic toast on the side. And Man and Woman unfastened their belts following the repast.

God then said, "I have sent you heart healthy vegetables and olive oil in which to cook them." And Satan brought forth deep fried fish and chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter. And Man gained more weight and his cholesterol went through the roof.

God then created a light, fluffy white cake, named it "Angel Food Cake," and said, "It is good." Satan then created chocolate cake and named it "Devil's Food."

God then brought forth running shoes so that His children might lose those extra pounds. And Satan gave cable TV with a remote control so Man would not have to toil changing the channels. And Man and Woman laughed and cried before the flickering blue light and gained pounds.

Then God brought forth the potato, naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition. And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fried them. And Man gained pounds.

God then gave lean beef so that Man might consume fewer calories and still satisfy his appetite. And Satan created McDonald's and its 99-cent double cheeseburger. Then said, "You want fries with that?" And Man replied, "Yes! And super size them!" And Satan said, "It is good." And Man went into cardiac arrest.

God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery.

Then Satan created HMOs.

 

EMERSON ECOLOGICS

I am often asked what supplements I recommend. Many of you have been surprised to discover that I favor food over pills, lifestyle over fads. I have been working with nutrition for 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 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 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 any of you would like to check out Emerson Ecologics online here is the address of their home page: http://www.emersonecologics.com/Main.asp Here you will find information on herbal products and nutritional supplements as well as product specials. 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