|Issue #127 April 2013|
Welcome to this issue of Naturopathic News, issue #127. 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 have a friend or family member who you think would appreciate the information provided, send me their email address. If you would like to stop receiving my newsletter please send me an email and let me know.
2013 OPTIMAL HEALTH LECTURE SERIES
Living Antibiotic Free
Wed, May 8, 2013
6:00 pm until 7:30pm
James V. Brown Library
Steps to Antibiotic Free Living
Live Antibiotic Free
Is it possible to live antibiotic free and why should you? Are there antibiotics in the food you eat? What do you do about antibiotic resistant infections like MRSA? What steps can you take to stay healthy and avoid unnecessary antibiotic use? Find out how to do this in the simplest way possible.
In 2011, 30 million pounds of antibiotics were used on animals. This represents about 80 percent of all reported antibiotic sales that year. Medical experts think that much of the current problem with antibiotic resistant bacteria is being driven by the overuse of antibiotics in CAFOs – Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, where almost all commercial meat and dairy foods comes from.
Come to this free lecture to learn how to avoid unnecessary antibiotics, reduce the antibiotics you eat, and how this will help you be healthier. Dr. Gregory Pais shares his 39 years of nutritional experience to help you stay healthy. Make a difference in yours and your family’s health.
TOTAL IMMERSION WEIGHT LOSS CLASS
Class begins this Saturday, April 20th!
This is a six-week course that detoxifies you mentally and physically. The results are decreased weight, improved energy and health, and a better quality of life.
The class includes 10 interactive lectures, weekly emails, unlimited entrance to group exercise classes, one on one counseling and a whole lot more!
Saturday mornings (9-10:30) and Thursday evenings (7-8). Class starts April 20th and ends June 1st (giving you the opportunity to have the best summer ever).
Mention that you heard about the class through this newsletter and receive the class at the special rate of $245 ($50 dollars off the regular price of $295). Bring a friend and they will receive half off the original class price (group rates are also available).
It’s time for something new.
HUNGER IN AMERICA
A Place at the Table
Freshlife, the natural products supermarket on Williamsport's Golden Strip, is pleased to sponsor the movie, “A Place at the Table”. Produced by the folks who made Food, Inc. - this new documentary examines the economic, social and cultural implications of hunger in America. The movie will be shown at 7 pm at the Community Arts Center on 4th Street in downtown Williamsport this Wednesday, April 17th and Thursday, April 18th. Admission is $5. For more information and a trailer of the film, visit: www.caclive.com
PESTICIDES MAKE KIDS SICK
Pesticides pervade the environment, from the air we breathe to the food we eat, and they are making children sicker than they were a generation ago, a new report warns.
More than 1 billion pounds of pesticides used annually nationwide have contributed to an array of health problems in youth, including autism, cancer, birth defects, early puberty, obesity, diabetes and asthma.
The authors' conclusions were based on dozens of recent scientific studies that have tied chemicals to children's health, and their report sought to bring collective meaning to those findings. "One of the things that is also really clear from science is that children are just much more vulnerable to pesticide exposure," said co-author Kristin Schafer, senior policy strategist at Pesticide Action Network North America.
"In terms of how their bodies work and defense mechanisms work, how much (pesticides) they're taking in pound for pound, they're eating more, drinking more, breathing more than an adult, and are much more susceptible to harms that pesticides can pose."
Some of the strongest recent findings to emerge suggest that exposure to pesticides, even at low levels, can disrupt brain development in children when they are in the womb and throughout their youth, the authors said.
That may explain why rates of developmental disabilities, such as autism and ADHD, have ballooned in the last decade. More than 400,000 of the 4 million children born annually in the United States are estimated to be affected by neurodevelopmental disorders.
One-third of all neurodevelopmental disorders are caused either directly by pesticides and other chemicals or by genetics and exposure to environmental factors, the National Academy of Sciences estimates. Exposure to pesticides has also been linked to lower IQ levels in children.
California has taken significant steps toward becoming aware of pesticides in the environment and reducing them, the authors said. A 2000 state law required school districts to report pesticide use on school grounds, and those in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, among other cities, have adopted programs to manage pests in safer ways.
In 2001, a law passed that allowed for the restriction of pesticide spraying near schools, day care centers and other sites. The authors also commend the Edible Schoolyard Project, a gardening and cooking program founded by chef Alice Waters at Martin Luther King Junior Middle School in Berkeley, for its emphasis on pesticide-free school lunches.
Even with stricter laws in place, the authors said, the pesticide industry should be prevented from selling agricultural products that can harm children. In addition, pesticides should be kept out of homes, schools, parks and other places intended for children, and farmers should ease off pesticides, they said.
Pesticide Action Network, October 9, 2012
DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: Are you using RoundUp around your house? Is it or other pesticides used at your child’s school? What do they used at the golf course you play at? Are you bringing these chemicals home to your kids and your family? Is there methyl bromide on those strawberries you ate for breakfast?
The Pesticide Action Network http://www.panna.org/ is a great resource to start to answer these questions.
Remember, Don’t Panic, Eat Organic!
THE LIE OF BIOTECHNOLOGY
The rapid adoption of a single weed-killer for the vast majority of crops harvested in the United States has given rise to superweeds and greater pesticide use, a new study suggests. This occurs due to bioengineered crops (which manufacture an insect-killing toxin) that end up triggering the emergence of newly herbicide resistant insects.
Farmers spray the herbicide glyphosate, widely sold under the Monsanto brand Roundup, on fields planted with seeds that are genetically engineered to tolerate the chemical. Found in 1.37 billion acres of corn, soybeans, and cotton planted from 1996 through 2011, this “Roundup Ready” gene was supposed to reduce or eliminate the need to till fields or apply harsher chemicals, making weed control simple, flexible, cheap, and less environmentally taxing.
In fact, this system has led farmers to use a greater number of herbicides in higher volumes. By 2011, herbicide-resistant crop technology had increased herbicide use in the United States by 527 million pounds, according to the study. These are corn and cotton crops bioengineered to fend off rootworm, European corn borer and other crop-destroying insects by manufacturing toxins from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt.
Over all, pesticide use on each acre planted with a genetically engineered crop was about 20 percent higher than on acres not planted with genetically engineered crops. And today, Dr. Charles Benbrook, a research professor at Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources writes, “a majority of American soybean, maize, and cotton farmers are either on, or perilously close to a costly herbicide and insecticide treadmill.”
Some farmers, however, seem to be stepping off. Dr. Benbrook said he was surprised to find that cotton farmers started to cut back on glyphosate around 2007-8. “It’s only down a few percent, but the upward trajectory of glyphosate stopped,” he said. The typical rate had risen to around three full applications of glyphosate per crop year. “Farmers basically said, ‘I’m not going to apply it a fourth time — it’s just not worth it,’ ” he said.
The vicious cycle of pesticide use begetting resistance, and ultimately more pesticide use, hardly comes as a surprise. A National Research Council report published in 2010 warned that, “Eventually, repeated use will render glyphosate ineffective.”
Warnings about the mechanisms for pesticide resistance go back as far as the modern environmental movement. The latest study echoes alarms first raised 50 years ago in Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,”, the book that “awoke the public to the manifold dangers for the environment and human health posed by the wanton use of chemical pesticides,” as David Heckel, a professor at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, writes in a comment in the Oct. 2012 issue of the journal Science.
Yet the 50 years since the book’s publication, “a paradigm shift in dealing with this global problem has also occurred,” Dr. Heckel writes. Government mandates require farmers in the United States and Australia to sow a certain percentage of each Bt field with non-Bt seed, with the goal of ensuring that some insects susceptible to the toxin survive and mate with any survivors from the Bt crop.
Research from the University of Illinois and the Center for Science in the Public Interest suggests that the proportion of farmers complying with the mandate is shrinking. Yet the strategy of putting brakes on natural selection by providing “susceptibility refuges” in tandem with high doses of the Bt toxin “are working so far in most cases” to delay resistance, Dr. Heckel writes.
“Forewarned by the long history of insecticide resistance, the deployment of transgenic (AKA bioengineered, ed.) crops for insect control has incorporated resistance management plans from the beginning,” he writes. “Unfortunately, this has not been the case for transgenic crops engineered for herbicide tolerance, and agronomists must now follow entomologists in learning the hard lessons of the past 50 years.”
DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: Like many environmental activists I cut my teeth on “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson. Carson argued that the ecological harm of chemical pesticides is self-multiplying. First, many of these chemicals are indiscriminate, killing not only pests but also the predators and parasites that help to keep them at bay. Second, surviving pest populations become increasingly resistant to the applied toxins with each generation, as those most susceptible to the toxins die off. It’s natural selection in overdrive. As a result, more and more chemicals are required for pest control-as shown in this study. Pesticide resistance has been recorded in more than 450 arthropod species since the publication of “Silent Spring” in 1962.
ORGANIC FOOD: SAFER, HEALTHIER
A September, 2012 meta-analysis by Stanford University received widespread media coverage, casting doubt on the value of an organic diet. Newspaper and television networks declared "Stanford Scientists Cast Doubt on Advantages of Organic Meat and Produce," or that "organic food may not be worth the money.”
The Stanford meta-analysis, which looked at 240 reports comparing organically and conventionally grown food (including 17 human studies), DID find that organic foods ARE safer, and probably healthier than conventional foods—if you are of the conviction that ingesting fewer toxins is healthier and safer for you. Organic foods which are grown in healthy soils are more nutritious than their conventional counterparts grown in depleted soils with synthetic chemicals. In addition, a major benefit of organically grown foods is fewer pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and no GMOs.
At least two reports in the meta-analysis showed significantly lower urinary pesticide levels among children consuming organic versus conventional diets. The risk for contamination with detectable pesticide residues was lower among organic than conventional produce. The Stanford study clearly concurred that organic foods expose you to fewer pesticides – about 30 percent on average. Organic meats also reduce your risk of antibiotic-resistant bacteria by an average of 33 percent.
DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: At my April 10 Brown Library lecture on GMOs a woman in the audience asked me to confirm that organically raised foods were more nutritious than commercial foods. A 2010 study conducted by PloS ONE10, and partially funded by the USDA, found organic strawberries to be more nutrient-rich than non-organic strawberries.
In 2009, the American Association for the Advancement of Science featured a presentation on soil health and its impact on food quality. Their conclusion was that healthy soil leads to higher levels of nutrients in crops.
When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted their own behavioral study they found a higher risk of ADHD in children with higher levels of organophospates pesticides in their bodies. As these pesticides kill by destroying insect nervous systems it’s no surprise that they children in this way.
The University of Stuttgart published the results of a 10-year study last July that found “Organic fruits and vegetables had on average 180 times lower pesticide content than conventional products; and only 5 percent of the samples from organic produce were objectionable.'
When it comes to the cost of organic vs. commercial food, it’s “Pay Now or Pay Later.” I have been eating organic since 1978. While recognizing that my personal experience is a very small sample size, in these 35 years I have never needed to go to a conventional doctor, or to the hospital. At age 59 I have no heart disease, cancer, or diabetes. I’ve needed no surgery. And don’t think that it’s because I have ‘great genes’. I don’t. Most of my large Italian family has had cancer of one sort or another, including both my parents and one brother. In fact, my family history of cancer has been one of the driving forces behind eating organic since 1978. Seems like it’s working so far…
POPULAR ANTIBIOTICS CAUSE LIVER DAMAGE
In a nine-year population study, Canadian researchers determined that at least two fluoroquinolone-based antibiotics – commonly given to patients with respiratory infections, diarrhea, conjunctivitis and other infections — cause acute liver damage.
The research comes from Toronto's Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, the University of Toronto, and the Ontario Departments of Medicine and Healthy Policy, Management and Evaluation. The research team was led by David N. Juurlink, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of clinical pharmacology at the University of Toronto and a leading liver disease researcher.
The researchers analyzed liver injury cases for different antibiotics over nine years in a hospital population from Ontario. The antibiotics studied included moxifloxacin, levofloxacin, cefuroxime, axetil and ciprofloxacin (‘Cipro”). They studied cases where patients were prescribed antibiotics at some point between 2002 and 2011. They matched the patients with other patients of the same age and sex that were given other antibiotics. Liver damage cases were compared to patients prescribed the antibiotic clarithromycin. None of the study population had a history of liver injury or disease prior to the study.
The researchers found that those patients given the moxifloxacin antibiotic had more than double the risk of acute liver injury, while those given levofloxacin had almost twice the risk of liver damage when compared to those taking clarithromycin. Moxifloxacin and levofloxacin are both fluoroquinolones.
The study population yielded 144 patients who suffered from severe liver injury inside of 30 days from the time they began taking one of these antibiotics. Of those 144 patients, over 60% of them – 88 patients – died of liver complications as a result of their use of these antibiotics.
In case you’re thinking that clarithromycin does not cause liver damage, that is not the case. Studies have shown that clarithromycin also can cause two types of acute liver injury. These include increased liver enzymes and jaundice. These forms of liver damage can occur from a week to three weeks after beginning treatment or they can increase over time with longer prescription periods.
Liver damage is not the only risk of fluoroquinolone antibiotic therapy. Other possible adverse side effects of these medications include peripheral neuropathy, toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), photosensivity and phototoxicity (skin damage from sun), pseudomembranous colitis (intestinal cramping), psychotic reactions and intestinal infections including severe Clostridium difficile infections.
DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: At my May 8th lecture I’ll be talking about therapeutic solutions for difficult infections like Clostridium difficile. We’ll also be going over how the consumption of commercial animal foods—beef, pork, dairy, etc., aides and abets the epidemic of antibiotic resistant bacteria we’re seeing in the US. Be there to learn to be Antibiotic Free.
Here are some pages that are of particular interest:
Store: There are 383 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.
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Facebook pages help you discover new artists, businesses, and communities as well as those you already love. On my fan page www.facebook.com/NaturalDoc 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!
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 compel 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