|Issue #112 - January 2012|
Welcome to this issue of Naturopathic News, issue #112. 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.
2012 NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE LECTURE SERIES
Free 1 hour lectures
Healing From Irritable Bowel Syndrome-Natural Approach for Success
Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012
Please RSVP by email to insure your place. Seating is limited.
HERE COMES THE SUN
My eBook, "Here Comes The Sun: Preventing Chronic Disease With Vitamin D", is now available for purchase. Thanks for your patience as publication was delayed by my ankle injury, and my work with Cogan Hose Families For The Environment.
For now the best way to order my book is to mail a check (made out to Dr. Pais) for $9.95 to my office address below. Drop me an email saying your "check is in the mail" and I will immediately email you my book.
I would appreciate any comments or feedback once you've finished reading it. Enjoy!
BPA MAY BE KEEPING YOU FAT
High urinary levels of bisphenol A in older adults are associated with increased weight and waist size, both indicators of obesity that can lead to serious illness and disease.
Researchers in China have found that adults over the age of 40 with higher levels of bisphenol A (BPA) in their urine tend to be obese, have more abdominal fat and be insulin resistant. These metabolic disorders can lead to harmful health problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
BPA exposure is widespread – almost all people in the United States carry it in their bodies. This means that many people have a significant health risk from exposure to the contaminant. BPA is a chemical used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics, in epoxy resin linings of food cans, and in some receipt paper. The chemical contaminates food and drink and enters the body through diet. BPA can also be absorbed through the skin or breathed in.
Previous lab studies have correlated BPA with an increase in fat cells and increases in insulin hormone levels. These, in turn, can lead to high insulin, insulin resistance and obesity.
In this study, BPA levels were measured in 3,390 adults older than 40 from the Songnan Community, Shanghai, China. Sociodemographic, medical and lifestyle backgrounds were collected from each person. Glucose and insulin levels were also measured. Body mass indexes (BMI, the weight divided by height) were calculated for each person.
"Overweight" was considered as a BMI from 24 to 28 while a BMI over 28 was considered "obese." Abdominal obesity was defined as a waist circumference more than 35 inches in men and 33.5 inches in women.
BPA was measured in a morning urine sample. The BPA levels were classified into groups by increasing concentration levels (from low to high), and the groups were compared. These levels where well within those typically seen in the U.S. The highest BPA levels were associated with both an obese BMI and waist circumference and higher concentrations of insulin in the blood.
In participants with a BMI under 24, the prevalence of insulin resistance was increased by 94% in groups with the highest levels of this contaminant – an increase more prominent than in the obese BMI groups.
"Urinary Bisphenol A (BPA) concentration associates with obesity and insulin resistance", The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism November 16, 2011
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: Insulin resistance is a precursor for diabetes, and obesity. Losing weight is a process that involves identifying and removing the obstacles to a leaner you. Every obstacle you remove brings you closer to your ideal healthy weight.
Common Sources of BPA
* Plastic water bottles
* Baby toys, bottles, pacifiers, and sippy cups
* Canned foods and soda cans (most have plastic lining in the cans)
* Plastic gallon milk bottles
* Plastic microwavable plates, ovenware, and utensils
* Tooth sealants
VITAMIN C HELPS PREVENT STOMACH CANCER
High doses of vitamin C may help prevent infection with Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria thought responsible for stomach cancer (gastric cancer).
J. Pal and colleagues of Dana Farber Cancer Institute in the U.S. reviewed several clinical studies and found that high prevalence of H. pylori is correlated with low vitamin c concentrations in the blood and stomach fluids.
H. pylori is strongly associated with gastric adenocarcinoma or stomach cancer, according to P. Correa and M.B. Piazuelo of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville who published a report on the issue in the June 2011 issue of U.S. Gastroenterology & Hepatology Review.
The authors of the current study further reviewed the existing literature and found high levels of vitamin C in stomach fluids may inactivate H. pylori urease - which otherwise helps the bacteria to survive in the acidic stomach.
They suggested that high concentrations of vitamin C may not cure the infection, but prevent infection or reinfection of H. pylori. They recommended that people infected with the bacteria undergo start vitamin C supplementation to prevent reinfection of the bacteria.
H. pylori infects about half of the world's population. Higher prevalence of the infection is found in developing countries. More than 80 percent of people infected with the bacteria are asymptomatic.
The bacteria release cancer-causing chemicals in the stomach when a person eats salty foods. Eating preserved fish, which contains high salt, has been associated with increased risk for stomach or gastric cancer.
The current study suggests that taking vitamin C supplements or eating vitamin C rich fruit and vegetables may help prevent stomach cancer.
Nov 2011 Indian Journal of Pharmacology
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: Foods high in vitamin C include red and green chili peppers, dark leafy greens like kale, mustard greens, and collard greens, guavas, bell peppers, thyme, parsley, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, kiwi, papaya, strawberries, grapefruit, tangerines, and oranges.
Just think. The next you follow the Vitamin C protocol for your cold symptoms, allergy symptoms, or general immune support, you're also reducing your risk of stomach cancer. That's one of my favorite things about most natural therapies. They are multifactorial in their positive effects and mostly absent in their negative effects.
CINNAMON LOWERS BLOOD GLUCOSE
The results of this study reaffirmed a benefit for cinnamon in lowering fasting blood glucose in diabetic or prediabetic men and women. "The epidemic of type 2 diabetes worldwide has resulted in a pressing need to explore low-cost therapeutic approaches that reduce diabetes risk," note authors Paul A. Davis of the University of California, Davis and Wallace Yokoyama of Western Regional Research Center in Albany, California.
Drs Davis and Yokoyama selected 8 randomized, placebo-controlled trials of cinnamon and/or cinnamon extract in patients with diabetes or prediabetes for their review. Three trials were new and five were included in previous meta-analyses. While the intake of cinnamon or cinnamon extract was associated in a decrease in fasting blood glucose, analysis of cinnamon extract alone also confirmed a significant reduction. Water extracts of cinnamon contain concentrated amounts of compounds known as procyanidins, which are believed to be the ingredients responsible for lowering glucose levels.
Drs Davis and Yokoyama concluded that the analysis' results "show that consuming cinnamon, especially cinnamon extract, does produce a modest but statistically significant lowering in fasting blood glucose."
September, 2011 The Journal of Medicinal Foods
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: I enjoy cinnamon. The smell of it. The taste of it in foods. Something about the smell of cinnamon and apple together is so special. It is extra special when the simple changes you make are pleasant tasting and easy to do. Just add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to a glass of water every day as a start. If that doesn't work then you might need to use a water extract as described in the study.
LOWER VITAMIN D LEVELS ASSOCIATED WITH GREATER RISK OF DEATH Meta-analysis (looking at the results of more than 1 study) shows that reduced vitamin D levels are associated with a greater risk of dying over follow-up periods ranging from 1.3 to 27 years.
For their review, Sara Gandini of the European Institute of Oncology and her associates selected 14 studies in which serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels were determined for a total of 62,548 men and women with an average age of 45 to 80 years. Over the studies' varying follow-up periods, 5,562 deaths occurred.
When the studies were analyzed according to highest versus lowest vitamin D levels, a 29% lower average risk of dying was observed for those whose levels were highest. 11 other studies showed that this reduction ranged from 14-31% as Vitamin D levels increased.
Although the mechanism of vitamin D involved in life span is not clear, the authors mention that mice in which the vitamin D receptor has been knocked out exhibit cardiovascular and metabolic disturbances and have shorter lives than normal mice. Vitamin D deficiency in humans has been associated with cardiovascular disease, several cancers, type 2 diabetes and respiratory infections and other chronic diseases. Additionally, vitamin D levels have been positively associated with the length of telomeres, which protect the ends of the chromosomes and shorten during aging.
Researchers stated, "Because many adults do not achieve this 25(OH)D value, large prospective randomized trials are urgently needed to investigate whether vitamin D supplementation is able to reduce mortality risk in the general population."
December 14, 2011 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: Randomized trials with large populations will give us more definitive answers. In the meantime, there would be no harm in testing Vitamin D levels and then raising them to optimum levels over time--50-80 ng/dl on average.
TEFLON LINKED TO HIGH BLOOD PERSSURE IN PREGNANCY
A three-person team of scientists has found a "probable link" between C8 and high blood pressure among pregnant women. C8 is another name for perfluorooctanoate acid, or PFOA. In West Virginia, DuPont has used C8 since the 1950s as a processing agent to make Teflon and other nonstick products, oil-resistant paper packaging and stain-resistant textiles.
Members of the C8 Science Panel issued the findings, which are the first major conclusions of their six-year study of the DuPont Co. chemical. The Science Panel's work is part of a class-action lawsuit settlement between DuPont and Mid-Ohio Valley residents whose water was contaminated with C8 by DuPont's nearby Washington Works plant.
Panel members said evidence they reviewed was "insufficient" to conclude a probable link between C8 exposure and birth defects, preterm births, low birth weight, miscarriages and stillbirths. But the group said scientific studies show a probable link between chemical exposure and pregnancy-induced hypertension, which is high blood pressure among pregnant women who did not have the condition prior to pregnancy.
Panel member David Savitz of Brown University said the condition "is certainly a serious complication of pregnancy," which can threaten the health of the mother and the baby. When combined with leakage of protein into the urine, this high blood pressure is an especially serious condition called pre-eclampsia.
While the high blood pressure can "resolve itself" after birth, Savitz said in an interview that the condition also puts mothers at increased risk of high blood pressure during future pregnancies and later in life. The condition can also prompt reduced fetal growth and early delivery, raising concerns about developmental problems for babies. "This is a medically significant problem," Savitz said.
Three of four analyses of Mid-Ohio Valley residents showed small elevations in pregnancy-induced hypertension or pre-eclampsia among women with the highest C8 exposures, the Science Panel said. The evidence was "not completely consistent across the studies," but "is strong enough to conclude there is a probable link," the panel said.
Along with four reports on their probable link findings, C8 Science Panel members were also issuing new "status reports" related to updated figures on C8 blood levels in Mid-Ohio Valley residents, outlining a connection between C8 exposure and thyroid disease, and a more detailed look at C8 and reproductive health outcomes.
Savitz and panel members Kyle Steenland and Tony Fletcher were appointed to study C8 and determine if there is a "probable link" between exposure and illness. If they conclude there is, DuPont could be on the hook for up to $235 million for future medical monitoring for area residents. A finding of no "probable link" for a particular potential health effect eliminates the ability of residents to sue DuPont for personal injuries related to such a health effect.
The term "probable link" isn't a standard one for scientists who study toxic chemical exposure. It's defined in the DuPont legal settlement as whether "based upon the weight of the available scientific evidence, it is more likely than not that there is a link between exposure to C8 and a particular human disease" among Mid-Ohio Valley residents taking part in the suit.
Savitz said that panel members did their own studies and reviewed papers by other scientists, using standard statistical tools to determine if C8 exposure was associated with increased risk of disease. Then, Savitz said, the group used the settlement agreement's language to determine if those associations were likely caused by C8 exposure. "This is a judgment that we made," Savitz said. "The balance is tipped if it's more than 50 percent likely."
DuPont and other companies have reduced their emissions and agreed on a voluntary phase-out of the chemical, but researchers are still concerned about a growing list of possible health effects and about the chemical's presence in consumer products, as well as continued pollution from waste disposal practices.
"This is just the tip of the iceberg," said Parkersburg resident Joe Kiger, one of the plaintiffs in the original suit against DuPont. "This is not something we wanted, but something we've been afraid was there."
C8 Science Panel, December 5, 2011
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: Kudos to the science panel for publicizing their findings and informing the public. Be sure to understand the implications of these findings. Stating that the evidence they reviewed was "insufficient" to conclude a probable link between C8 exposure and birth defects, preterm births, low birth weight, miscarriages and stillbirths, is an admission that there is evidence of such a link. It just wasn't enough to convince them. For those affected by the tragedy of such birth related health problems they can choose not to use Teflon.
Here are some pages that are of particular interest:
Store: There are 342 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 112 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”.
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LET ME HELP YOU MAKE WISE SUPPLEMENT CHOICES
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.
GET YOUR VITAMIN D TEST WITH ZRT LABORATORY
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