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Dr. Gregory Pais, ND
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Home arrow Naturopathic News arrow Issue #100 - January 2011
Issue #100 - January 2011
Welcome to this issue of Naturopathic News, issue #100. 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. 

These are the first planned lectures for the 2011 season. It would be great to see you there. Final place and time will be on my website calendar, on my Facebook page, and in this newsletter. Please remember to RSVP by email or phone when you’re planning to attend.
Diabetes Prevention
Breast Cancer Prevention
Heart Disease Prevention
Alzheimer's Prevention
Vitamin D and Your Health
How Does Homeopathy Work

Note: New Place and Date
Place: Loyalsock Community Center (Old Becht School) 1225 Clayton Ave. Williamsport
Date and Time: Monday January 24, 2011 7-8pm

Thousands are being exposed every day to the air, water, noise, and radioactive pollution that is a direct result of drilling for gas in the Marcellus shale. There is little support from conventional medicine that addresses this problem. This lecture will focus on 3 or 4 of the main culprits. I will discuss nutritional and lifestyle factors that can improve quality of life and help you let get your health back. Learn the best that natural medicine has to offer.
Be sure to RSVP early as seating is limited.

A concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) is defined as any facility with more than 1000 animal units confined on site that discharges pollutants (e.g. manure, wastewater) into any ditch, stream, or other water conveyance system, whether man-made or natural. These industrial ‘family farms’ actually push out traditional family farms that raise animals on pasture.

Here are the number of animals that must be confined to be designated a CAFO:

Animal Type Number
Slaughter/feeder cattle 1,000
Mature dairy cattle 700
Swine 2,500
Sheep or lambs 10,000
Horses 500
Turkeys 55,000
Laying Hens or broilers 100,000

There are community and public health issues when CAFOs proliferate in an area, as they have in the Susquehanna Valley. People living within 2 miles of a 4,000-hog unit in Iowa had more breathing symptoms. North Carolina residents close to a 6,000-feeder pig unit had diarrhea, breathing problems, burning eyes, and headaches. They also experienced more confusion, fatigue, tension, and depression. Utah residents near a large hog unit had more breathing and diarrhea illnesses than people in Utah overall. CAFO wastes cause odor pollution and at low concentrations cause stomach and intestinal symptoms, and stress-related diseases. 

Water contamination from CAFOs, from feces, antibiotics, and nitrogen increases with livestock concentration. The animal manure from CAFOs is not treated (unlike human waste). Manure contamination runoff of streams and watersheds destroys the quality of use for that water. Nitrates in drinking water can cause blue baby syndrome. They also can form nitrosamines in the human gut, which are carcinogenic.

Animal waste can carry E. coli, Salmonella, and Campylobacter, significant causes of food-borne illness in humans. The widespread use of antibiotics in CAFOs contributes to antibiotic resistance in humans as these drugs end up in the water through the waste. About 70% of antibiotics used in the U.S. are fed to livestock, often to compensate for the stress and health risks of confinement. 

CAFOs are almost always located in poor or economically disadvantaged communities with promises of jobs and economic stimulus. As large-scale CAFOs concentrate in the area, rural communities can experience declines in local business purchases—the majority of feed and other supplies are bused in from outside areas. Any real estate—homes, businesses—located in environmental proximity to a CAFO loses sales value. 

Many farmers and rural residents are concerned that large-scale CAFOs are undermining the social and economic structures that support family farms and rural communities. They point to the tax incentives, cheap grain, and subsidization of manure management that help CAFOs make a lucrative profit.

A 10,000 hog facility has been proposed for Cogan House Township, not far from where I live. The proposed location has 3 different gas wells being fracked within 2 miles. What a match made in Hell-gas drilling and a CAFO. A Nutrient Management Plan has been submitted by the corporate owner. The time for public comment will come soon.

Not In Any of Our Backyards!

Vitamin D3 is 87% more potent at raising blood levels of the vitamin than vitamin D2, according to a new study from the US.

In addition to the increase in potency, results published in Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism indicate that vitamin D3 also produced a 2- to 3-fold increase in the storage of the vitamin, compared with vitamin D2.

Scientists led by Robert Heaney, MD, from Creighton University in Nebraska supplemented 33 health adults with 50,000 International Units (IU) of either vitamin D2 or D3 per week for 12 weeks. Results showed that about 17% of the D3 ingested was stored by the subjects, and the rest was consumed or metabolized or both. Optimal levels of vitamin D are considered to be between 50–80 ng/mL.

Vitamin D refers to two biologically inactive precursors - D3, also known as cholecalciferol, and D2, also known as ergocalciferol. Both D3 and D2 precursors are transformed in the liver and kidneys into 25- hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH) D and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D.

The relative body availability of the two forms of vitamin D is an area of intense interest and debate. Several studies have reported that vitamin D2 is between 30-50% less effective as the D3 form in maintaining blood levels in humans. 

“Given its greater potency and lower cost, D3 should be the preferred treatment option when correcting vitamin D deficiency,” concluded the researchers.
Vitamin D3 Is More Potent Than Vitamin D2 in Humans, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 10.1210/jc.2010-2230
DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: For many years commercial milk was ‘fortified’ with D2, not D3, and then they finally got smart and used D3. For years, commercial labs and MDs ordered the wrong test to check Vitamin D status. Now they’re getting it right-for the most part. 

Because of studies like this I try never to recommend a supplement that uses D2 instead of Vitamin D3.

Adequate vitamin D levels may boost the body’s immune response and protect against urinary tract infections, says a new study from Sweden. Vitamin D supplementation was found to promote production of a natural antibiotic-like substance called cathelicidin in the urinary tract. 

The Stockholm-based scientists analyzed vitamin D blood levels in 22 postmenopausal and six premenopausal Swedish women. An additional eight women with a median age of 62 were recruited to participate in a supplementation trial (2000 IU per day of Vit. D3 for 12 weeks). Five women completed the trial.

Results from the supplementation trial showed that Vitamin D3 was associated with an induction in the expression of cathelicidin when bladder biopsies were exposed to E. coli. “Here we show that oral 25D3 supplementation of healthy postmenopausal women prepares the bladder tissue to fight E. coli infection by increased production of cathelicidin upon bacterial contact,” report the researchers. “The increased production in turn enhances the direct antibacterial effect on uropathogenic E. coli,” they added.

“In light of the emerging resistance to antibiotics used against UTI, new treatment strategies are needed,” report the researchers. “Our data suggest that vitamin D can stimulate an increased production of the antimicrobial peptide cathelicidin. By inducing and activating cathelicidin with vitamin D, a local rather than a systemic effect can be achieved.

“Determining the vitamin D status of individuals with a history of UTI may be of importance to evaluate their ability to fend off intruding bacteria. Supplementation to restore proper vitamin D levels may therefore help preparing the bladder epithelium to mount a stronger and faster immune response once bacteria enter the bladder.”
Vitamin D Induction of the Human Antimicrobial Peptide Cathelicidin in the Urinary Bladder, PLoS ONE 5(12): e15580. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015580 
DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: While our bodies do manufacture vitamin D on exposure to sunshine, the levels in some northern countries are so weak during the winter months that our body makes no vitamin D at all, meaning that dietary supplements and fortified foods are seen by many as the best way to boost intakes of vitamin D.

And the science supports maintaining adequate levels, with vitamin D deficiency in adults reported to precipitate or exacerbate osteopenia, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, fractures, common cancers, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases. There is also some evidence that the vitamin may reduce the incidence of several types of cancer and type-1 diabetes.

This new study indicates that the benefits of the sunshine vitamin may also extend to urinary tract.

This article may be reprinted free of charge provided 1) that there is clear attribution to the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, and 2) that both the OMNS free subscription link and also the OMNS archive link are included.

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, January 5, 2011 
(OMNS Jan 5, 2011) There was not even one death caused by a dietary supplement in 2009, according to the most recent information collected by the U.S. National Poison Data System.

The new 200-page annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers, published in the journal Clinical Toxicology, shows zero deaths from multiple vitamins; zero deaths from any of the B vitamins; zero deaths from vitamins A, C, D, or E; and zero deaths from any other vitamin. Additionally, there were no deaths whatsoever from any amino acid, herb, or dietary mineral supplement. 

60 poison centers provide coast-to-coast data for the U.S. National Poison Data System, "one of the few real-time national surveillance systems in existence, providing a model public health surveillance system for all types of exposures, public health event identification, resilience response and situational awareness tracking."

Over half of the U.S. population takes daily nutritional supplements. Even if each of those people took only one single tablet daily, that makes 155,000,000 individual doses per day, for a total of nearly 57 billion doses annually. Since many persons take more than just one vitamin or mineral tablet, actual consumption is considerably higher, and the safety of nutritional supplements is all the more remarkable.

If nutritional supplements are allegedly so "dangerous," as the FDA and news media so often claim, then where are the bodies?
Bronstein AC, Spyker DA, Cantilena LR Jr, Green JL, Rumack BH, Giffin SL. 2009 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers' National Poison Data System (NPDS): 27th Annual Report. Clinical Toxicology (2010). 48, 979-1178. 
The full text article is available for free download at
The data mentioned above are found in Table 22B, journal pages 1138-1148.

For Further Reading:
Download any Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers from 1983-2009 free of charge at

DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: So the nest time your MD tells you that vitamins aren’t safe, ask them how many people die from prescription drugs each year.

Here are some pages that are of particular interest:

Store: There are 324 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 100 issues of my health newsletter, "Naturopathic News”.

Optimal Health Points: This is my blog that I update periodically. Check out my latest post, “No Deaths From Vitamins, Minerals, Amino Acids Or Herbs”.

Come join my fan page at 
Help me bring information, news, and stories about natural medicine to the Facebook community. 

For those of you who don’t know, Facebook is a social networking website. Users can add friends and send them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves. Additionally, users can join networks organized by city, workplace, and school or college. 

Facebook pages help you discover new artists, businesses, and communities as well as those you already love. On my fan page I post discussions that you can join in with and relay breaking health news related to disease prevention, clinical nutrition, and ways to make you healthier. 

I’m looking forward to exploring this community with you. See you there!

As is often the case, a recent new patient asked if I would review their choice and use of supplements and herbs. Why does this happen so often? For many, taking a vitamin or herb is their introduction to natural medicine. Their desire to be healthier drives them to take supplements and herbs. The death, pain, discomfort, and side effects experienced with over the counter and prescription drugs compels people to look elsewhere. It’s very different with supplements and herbs which, when used correctly, have an incredibly low risk of harm.

Some people take this to an extreme and take every supplement or herb that someone tells them is ‘good for them’. It might be a clerk, an internet ‘expert’ source, or a friend who is marketing the latest or greatest fad. Most of these individuals or companies have no professional training or experience in the medical use of the supplements or herbs that they’re selling. The people they’re selling to come into my office with 5, 10, 15, or more supplements that they’re taking. Sometimes it’s been so long since they started taking them that they don’t remember why they’re doing it. When I ask, they can’t tell me what, if anything, a particular product is doing for them. Yet, they can be quite fearful of stopping any of these items, as if their health would careen off a precipice without them.

Why do I think my approach is any different? Partly, it’s because of my background. I’ve literally been working with nutritional supplements since 1974. That’s 36 years assessing the quality and effectiveness of supplements. Beginning in 1980 I started working with Western and Chinese herbs. The quality of herbs used and how they’re combined together has the greatest effect on the efficacy of the final product. Because I’ve grown, identified, harvested, and produced medicinal herbal products I recognize a good formula when I see one.

Licensed naturopaths like me receive the most extensive academic and clinical training in the use of nutritional supplements and herbal medicines of any professional in the United States. Nothing can substitute for such hands on experience, especially when you see, and are responsible for, the results of your treatments. Very different from the clerk in the store, or coworker who’s part of a MLM scheme. 

What I’m offering to is easy access to this experience and training. Both for you and your family. If you have questions about the supplements or herbs you are taking, or are thinking about taking, now is the time to ask. Send me an email with the brand and name of the product you’re taking. Let me know that you want to bring the bottles in at your next visit, so I can see what you’re taking. Start a discussion on my Facebook fan page. Either way I’ll give you honest feedback about what I think is good, or what isn’t. We’ll fine tune what you’re taking to maximize effect and eliminate waste. 

Let me hear from you and we’ll get started. 

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 a long time I looked 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, plus $8 shipping. I am charging $65 per kit for patients to cover the total. 

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.

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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