Make Grounding Part of Your Health Regimen

Grounding -- A Simple, Pleasurable Way to Reduce Inflammation and Chronic Disease

Dr. Joe Mercola

Story at-a-glance

  • Grounding or earthing is defined as placing one's bare feet on the ground, whether it be dirt, grass, sand or unsealed, unpainted concrete (especially when humid or wet)

  • When you ground to the electron-enriched Earth, an improved balance of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system occurs

  • Being grounded cuts inflammation by thinning your blood and infusing your body with negatively charged ions

  • To take advantage of grounding indoors, your best bet is to use a grounding pad to sleep, stand barefoot or sit on

  • Grounding may be one of the most important overlooked factors in public health. When grounding is restored, many people report significant improvement in a wide range of ailments

Did you know the energy from the Earth can help you live a healthier life? The concept is known as earthing or grounding, which is no more complicated than walking barefoot.

In "Down to Earth"1 — which received the IndieFEST Award of Excellence for a documentary short in January 20172 — I speak alongside other experts to shed light on this super simple yet commonly overlooked way to protect and improve human health. As cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra, author of "Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever?" explains in the film:

"[G]rounding is literally putting your bare feet on the ground. When you do that, you're in contact with the Earth, and mother Earth is endowed with electrons, and these electrons are literally absorbed through your feet. It's like taking handfuls of antioxidants, but you're getting it through your feet."

Your Body Needs Grounding
Research suggests a general lack of grounding, also referred to as "electron deficiency syndrome," has a lot to do with the rise of modern diseases. For a visual demonstration of this concept, see this previous article, which features an experiment conducted by Gary Schwartz, Ph.D., at the University of Arizona. Using sunflowers, he demonstrates the biological effects of grounding and what happens when the flowers are not grounded.

It's not unusual for Americans to spend entire days without being grounded. But though it has become the norm, it's completely unnatural, and didn't really become widespread until the advent of shoes with artificial soles that prevent grounding. When you're grounded, free electrons from the Earth are transferred into your body, and these free electrons are among the most potent antioxidants known to man.

As electrons are negatively charged and free radicals are positively charged, any free radicals encountered in your tissues are electrically neutralized or canceled out by these free electrons. This is why grounding is so effective against chronic inflammation. Dr. Laura Koniver, who discovered grounding quite by accident after it seemed to soothe her crying infant, says in the film, "Grounding … supports the body as a whole but it specifically supports organ systems down to the tissues and the cellular function of the entire body."

Also, while you may not think of your body as a generator of electricity, you are very much an electrical being, and this is in large part why it's so important to use grounding to harness the electrical charge of the Earth. In the film, Gaetan Chevalier, Ph.D., an engineer/physicist who has studied grounding, explains:

"Unbeknownst to us, we live inside a battery. The surface of the Earth is charged negatively and the ionosphere, a layer of the atmosphere about 60 miles up, is ionized by the sun. The rays of the sun are so strong that they split the molecules in two, a positive charge and a negative charge.

The negative charges are transferred to the surface of the Earth, through lightening mainly, and the positive charges stay 60 miles up. The problem arises when we don't have a negative charge. We need grounding just as we need air and we need sunshine."

Grounding Reduces Electric Field Induction
There's even evidence that grounding reduces the voltage induced on your body from electricity in your environment — a factor that has become increasingly important in the modern world. As noted in the 2012 review:3

"Applewhite, an electrical engineer and expert in the design of electrostatic discharge systems in the electronic industry, was both subject and author of the study.4 Measurements were taken while ungrounded and then grounded using a conductive patch and conductive bed pad ... Each method (patch and sheet) immediately reduced the common alternating current (AC) 60 Hz ambient voltage induced on the body by a highly significant factor of about 70 on average.

The study showed that when the body is grounded, its electrical potential becomes equalized with the Earth's electrical potential … This, in turn, prevents the 60 Hz mode from producing an AC electric potential at the surface of the body and from producing perturbations of the electric charges of the molecules inside the body.

The study confirms the 'umbrella' effect of earthing the body explained by Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman in his lectures on electromagnetism. Feynman said that when the body potential is the same as the Earth's electric potential (and thus grounded), it becomes an extension of the Earth's gigantic electric system. The Earth's potential thus becomes the 'working agent that cancels, reduces, or pushes away electric fields from the body.'"

Benefits of Grounding
While it may sound "too easy," the simple pleasure of walking barefoot can be a powerful health-promoting activity. A scientific review published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health in 2012 found that grounding can help:5

Improve quality of sleep and feelings of restfulness upon waking.

Reduce muscle stiffness and soreness.6

Reduce chronic pain.

Normalize secretion of the stress hormone cortisol, so that it adheres to a typical cycle of peaking in the morning and dipping lowest at midnight. This in turn helps promote more restful sleep and improve blood sugar regulation and weight control.

Reduce stress and balance your autonomic nervous system by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system (which rules the "rest and digest" functions of the body) and quieting the sympathetic nervous system (which cues the "fight or flight" response).

Reduce the severity of the inflammatory response after intense workouts.

Raise your heart rate variability (your heart's ability to respond to stimuli).

Speed up wound healing.

Improve mood. In one study,7 grounding for one hour significantly improved mood among adults.

Reduce inflammation.8 In the film, grounding pioneer Clint Ober explains how grounding quenches inflammation: "Inflammation is produced by neutrophils, which are white blood cells. [When] you have an injury … a damaged cell … these white blood cells come over and encapsulate the damaged cell and … release reactive oxygen species, which rip electrons from the damaged cell and that destroys the damaged cell.

If there's not enough free electrons there to reduce the remaining radicals, they're going to steal an electron from a healthy cell and in the process damage it. Then the message goes out to the immune system and another neutrophil does the same thing and eliminates that cell, and then you have a chain reaction."

Thin your blood, making it less viscous, by strengthening the negative electrical surface charge on your red blood cells. This improves their ability to repel each other and allows them to flow more easily through tiny capillaries, and is incredibly valuable as cardiovascular disease is correlated with thicker, slow-moving blood. It can also help protect against blood clots.

In fact, this blood-thinning effect is so profound that if you are taking a blood thinner such as Coumadin, you should consult your doctor before you start grounding regularly. You may need to lower your dosage to avoid overdosing on your medication.

Research9 published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine revealed that two hours of grounding increased the surface charge of red blood cells, thereby reducing blood viscosity and clumping. According to the authors, "Grounding appears to be one of the simplest and yet most profound interventions for helping reduce cardiovascular risk and cardiovascular events."

Increase the structure of the water in your cells. Water is in every cell in your body, and this water is highly ordered (structured) and charged. If you don't have properly structured water in your cells, it can impact the functioning of the much larger protein molecules (and others) that interface with the cell. The water inside the cell also interfaces with water outside the cell, which has the opposite charge, creating a battery effect.

Your body's ability to generate electricity is actually a key part of your achieving health. Electrical charges delivered from cell to cell allows for nearly instantaneous communication within your body, and the messages conducted via these electrical signals are responsible for controlling the rhythm of your heartbeat, the movement of blood around your body and much more.

In fact, most of your biological processes are electrical. The water in your cells achieves its ordered structure from energy obtained from the environment, typically in the form of electromagnetic radiation, including sunlight and infrared heat.

But grounding may also play an important role. Just as water increases in structure when a negative charge is introduced by an electrode, the negatively charged electrons you receive when grounded help increase the structure of the water in your cells. By restructuring the water, you promote more efficient tissue healing. So, when you ground, you are charging every single cell in your body with energy your body can use for self-healing.

How and Where to Ground
While connecting just about any part of your skin to the Earth is beneficial, one area that is particularly potent is the center of the ball of your foot; a point known to acupuncturists as Kidney 1 (K1). It's a well-known acupuncture point that conductively connects to all of the acupuncture meridians in your body. Exercising barefoot outdoors is a great way to incorporate earthing into your daily life and will also help speed up tissue repair and ease muscle pain associated with strenuous exercise.

The ideal location for walking barefoot is the beach, close to or in the water, as saltwater is a great conductor. (Your body is also somewhat conductive because it contains a large number of charged ions, called electrolytes, dissolved in water. Your blood and other body fluids are therefore good conductors.)

A close second would be a grassy area, especially if it's covered with dew, and /or bare soil. Ceramic tiles and concrete are good conductors as long as they've not been sealed; painted concrete does not allow electrons to pass through very well. Materials like asphalt, wood and typical insulators like rubber or plastic will not allow electrons to pass through and are not suitable for barefoot grounding.

While any amount of grounding is better than none, research has demonstrated it takes about 80 minutes for the free electrons from the Earth to reach your blood stream and transform your blood, which is when you reap the greatest benefits. So, ideally, aim for 80 to 120 minutes of grounding each day.

How to Ground Indoors
Just as walking barefoot was once widespread, so too was sleeping on the ground. In the modern world, sleeping indoors serves to further insulate you from the Earth. There's also the issue of elevation. When you are grounded, your body cannot carry a charge, which is good. The greater the distance between your body and the Earth, the greater charge your body carries. In fact, this has been precisely calculated. For every meter (3.28 feet) you are above the ground, 300 volts of charge will build up in your body.10

So, if you are in a second story bedroom, your charge would be 1,000 volts, on average, and this increased charge may increase your risk of health problems. For example, one 2009 study11 found a 40 percent increase in stroke risk among people living in multistory homes. Flying can also make you severely ungrounded. When indoors, and/or at elevation, you can ground by:

  • Using a grounding pad or grounding sheet to ground your mattress while sleeping.

  • Keeping your bare feet on a grounding mat while working. Grounding mats work well provided you have a grounded electrical outlet and can be particularly beneficial if you live in a high-rise. A grounded outlet is generally identifiable by the fact it's a 3-prong outlet with a ground port (bottom outlet). Most modern homes built after 1970 will have a grounded electrical system. When using an earthing mat, make sure your bare skin is in contact with it. There should not be a layer of clothing between you and the mat.

  • Using a grounded yoga mat when exercising indoors. Research12 has shown doing yoga indoors on a grounded yoga mat helps reduce blood viscosity and exercise-induced inflammation, the same effects you'd expect from walking barefoot outdoors.

  • Touching the faucet with one hand while shaving or brushing your teeth with the other.

  • Taking off your shoes and placing your feet (bare or with socks) on the steel struts of the chair in front of you when flying in an airplane.

Grounding May Be Essential for Life and Health
It's important to understand that grounding is not a "treatment" or "cure" for any disease or disorder. Rather, it is one of the key mechanisms by which your body maintains equilibrium and health. The human body evolved in constant contact with the Earth, and your body needs this continuous interchange of energy to function properly.

Free radical stress from exposure to pollution, cigarettes, pesticides, processed foods and electromagnetic radiation, just to name a few, continually deplete your body of electrons. The Earth, however is always electron-rich and can serve as a powerful and abundant supply of antioxidant free radical-busting electrons, provided you make an effort to stay grounded.

Without a proper supply of antioxidants, the free radicals can overwhelm your system leading to oxidative stress, inflammation and accelerated aging. "We now know that oxidative stress causes disease. It causes inflammation," Sinatra says. "[But] we have this Earth — Mother Earth — that's going to give us all these free electrons."

Again, exercising barefoot outdoors is a wonderful way to incorporate grounding into your daily routine. Alternatively, simply take off your shoes as much as you can when you're outdoors to take advantage of the Earth's natural healing potential.

 


References:

Compliments of Functional Medicine University

www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com

Mindfulness

"Also known as mindfulness, paying attention simply means becoming aware, watching and observing the present moment. 👀 When you are mindful in this way you notice the ground beneath you as you walk, the sound of the birds, 🦅 or the feel of the wind. You are in the present moment rather than lost in thoughts of the past or future.🕒

Paying attention means watching and noticing without comment. 🤔It doesn't mean judging, criticizing, or feeling guilty.😩 You are just seeing yourself as you are, observing your body, your mind, and your feelings, and how they interact with one another.

Pay attention to your feelings by watching how you respond to different situations and people. Watch your anxieties and fears.😯 See how your feelings stimulate different responses or what is happening emotionally before you get a headache or your back starts aching.🤒

As awareness grows you may find yourself confronting old patterns of behavior or lost memories that have shaped your thinking. Bringing awareness to the interaction between your mind, emotions, body, and behavior can open the door🚪 to whatever has been repressed, denied, or ignored and enables those energies to move out of the darkness 🌧and into the consciousness.🌞

👉 Becoming aware of yourself as you are is the beginning of accepting yourself.
👉 Becoming aware of and accepting your inner pain brings warmth, softness and release.
👉 It may be hard at times. The tendency is to run away to cover the pain a up again. But it is there to help you grow.

-Deb Shapiro
Your Body Speaks Your Mind

mindfulness.jpg

Understanding Leaky Gut

Leaky Gut: Can This Be Destroying Your Health?

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.

Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS) is a major cause of disease and dysfunction in modern society, accounts for at least 50% of chronic complaints, as confirmed by laboratory tests.

In LGS, the epithelium on the villi of the small intestine becomes inflamed and irritated, which allows metabolic and microbial toxins of the small intestines to flood into the blood stream. This event compromises the liver, the lymphatic system, and the immune response including the endocrine system.

Some of the most incurable diseases are caused by this exact mechanism, where the body attacks its own tissues.

This is commonly called auto-immune disease.

It is often the primary cause of the following common conditions: asthma, food allergies, chronic sinusitis, eczema, urticaria, migraine, irritable bowel, fungal disorders, fibromyalgia, and inflammatory joint disorders including rheumatoid arthritis are just a few of the diseases that can originate with leaky gut. It also contributes to PMS, uterine fibroid, and breast fibroid.

Leaky Gut Syndrome is often the real basis for chronic fatigue syndrome and pediatric immune deficiencies.

Leaky Gut Syndrome is reaching epidemic proportions within the population. Historically, the only way bowel toxins entered the blood stream was through trauma, for example by sword or spear.

This quickly led to septicemia that might be treatable, or more probably, ended in death. Outside of trauma, the body maintained a wonderfully effective selective barrier in the small intestine, one that allowed nutrients to enter, but kept out metabolic wastes and microbial toxins rampant in the intestines.

What Modern Event Allowed Such A Break-Down?

Primarily it has been antibiotics, secondarily non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, Motrin, Aleve and Advil) with NSAIDs being the major cause of leaky gut because they so viciously inflame the intestinal lining, causing a widening of the spaces between cells and sometimes hemorrhaging.

Other common causes are chemotherapy, ingested alcohol, inhaled formaldehyde from a new carpet, food allergens, stress emotions, lactase deficiency, gluten/gliaden allergy, abnormal gut flora (bacteria, parasites, yeasts).

The first antibiotic, penicillin, did not enter mainstream health care until 1939. Since the 50s and 60s, antibiotic use has been frantically prescribed for every infection and inflammation, particularly pediatric ear infection, bronchitis, and sore throat.

It is sadly ironic that most of these infections are viral in nature, and not only are the antibiotics damaging, but they are ultimately unnecessary. Antibiotics should be considered a hospitalization level medicine, when bacteria have entered the blood, bone, or organ.

Antibiotics Destroy Beneficial Bacteria

Antibiotics create their damage in two ways. The first is by destroying beneficial bacteria. The small intestine and large intestine host over five hundred different kinds of beneficial bacteria. These bacteria perform hundreds of functions required for healthy metabolism and immune response.

Through enzyme secretions, bacteria transform metabolic and microbial wastes before they are discharged by the body. These wastes include cellular debris, hormones, chemical wastes, bile, pus accumulations, viral toxins, bacterial toxins, etc.

For example, the body creates bile not only as a lubricant to flush wastes out of the liver, but also, to detoxify many of the poisons accumulating in the liver. Bile however is extremely damaging to large intestine epithelium.

When bile enters the small intestine via the common bile duct, beneficial bacteria break the bile salts down into a less toxic compound, making it non-dangerous by the time it reaches the large intestine.

When you take antibiotics you destroy these bacteria and the bile salts freely enter and damage the large intestine. I believe this contributes significantly to the high incidence of colon cancer plaguing today's society.

Beneficial bacteria also break down hormone secretions that are discharged from the liver to the small intestine. If you lack the bacteria to break down estrogen and the intestinal permeability has been altered, the patient is now reabsorbing estrogens in their original state.

The body will deposit these in estrogen sensitive areas such as the breast, uterus, or ovaries, contributing, if not causing, fibroids and tumors. The same scenario is responsible for premenstrual syndrome as well.

Healthy mucosa allows nutrients to pass the barrier while blocking the entry of toxins.



With leaky gut, the barrier is dysfunctional, blocking nutrients at the damaged villi while permitting toxins to enter the blood stream.



Antibiotics Promote the Growth of Fungus

The second way antibiotics damage the intestines is by fostering the growth of Candida albicans and other pathogenic fungi and yeast. This event, more than any other, precipitates Leaky Gut Syndrome. In a healthy situation the small intestine epithelium maintains tight cell junctions, which contributes to the physical barrier involved in intestinal absorption. In addition to the physical barrier, there is an important chemical barrier within the mucus that contains immune agents, which neutralize any toxin that comes in contact.

Candida exudes an aldehyde secretion, which causes small intestine epithelial cells to shrink. This allows intestinal toxins to infiltrate through the epithelium and into the blood. The secondary barrier - immune agents in the epithelial mucus - remain the sole agent for neutralization.

Eventually, the immune system becomes exhausted rising to this challenge.

The damage done by Candida is to the intestinal epithelial barrier, allowing the absorption of serious toxic agents and chemicals, which then enter the blood and affect numerous organs, including the brain.

Food Allergies: The Complicating Factor

When the integrity of the intestinal barrier has been compromised, intestinal toxins are not the only pathogens to be absorbed. The barrier, in a healthy state, selectively allows digested nutrients to enter the small intestine when all is ready.

With leaky gut, nutrients can be absorbed before they are fully digested. The body's immune response, through specific antigen-antibody markers, will tag some of these foods as foreign irritants.

Every time that particular food touches the epithelia, an inflammatory immune response is mounted which further damages the epithelial lining. What started as a Candida irritation with shrinking of the cells has now been complicated with active inflammation every time a particular food is eaten.

Food allergies are a common secondary problem to Candida, and if present, will maintain the leaky gut continuously, even if the Candida is eradicated.

The most common food allergies are dairy, eggs, gluten grains (wheat, oats, rye), corn, beans (especially soy), and nuts. There are seldom real allergies to meat, rice, millet, vegetables, or fruit, although an allergy to garlic is not uncommon.

We have to distinguish a real allergy - that which causes a histamine inflammatory reaction at the site of the small intestine (SI) epithelia - from sensitivity, which may cause uncomfortable symptoms, but seldom is damaging.

Sensitivities are usually due to low stomach acid or pancreatic enzyme secretion, that is, poor digestion.

In the healing of the intestinal lining, exposure to a significant allergy can sabotage the treatment. For example, one may be very good at restricting wheat, dairy and eggs, but then compromises the treatment by taking garlic tablets.

The Role of the Liver and Lymphatic System

The metabolic and microbial toxins that enter the bloodstream during leaky gut end up in the liver, which has the job of detoxifying and discharging the poisons. Under normal conditions, the liver is taxed just by processing the daily metabolic wastes created by cell and organ activity.

Imagine the further load created by dumping serious intestinal toxins on a regular basis. There is a point when the liver becomes saturated; it cannot further detoxify the poisons, and they are returned to the blood circulation.

The blood has sophisticated mechanisms for preserving chemical homeostasis, and will diffuse as much of the toxic chemicals and physical debris into the interstitial fluids as is possible. From here the lymphatic system will attempt to collect and neutralize the toxins, but unable to send the toxins to the liver, the body essentially becomes toxic.

Microbes grow and develop, hence there can be chronic lymphatic swelling, especially in children. Over a period of time, toxins will be forced into distal connective tissue around muscles and joints, causing fibromyalgia, or into the cells, which can precipitate genetic mutation and ultimately cancer.

Stress to the Immune and Endocrine Systems

The immune system is stressed in three major ways. First is at the site of the intestinal mucosa. As toxins and food antigens brush up against the mucosa, the immune system mobilizes to neutralize the toxins. Normally, much of this work would have been done by beneficial bacteria, which have been destroyed by antibiotics.

For toxins that make it to the mucosa, the body will tag them with a chemical secretory IgA (SIgA), which attracts macrophages and other white blood cells to consume the toxins. It is not long before this immune response is overwhelmed and depleted.

This can be measured directly with a stool or saliva test for the intestinal SIgA level.

The second stressor happens in the liver and lymphatic system, which, also overwhelmed, puts demands on the immune system. The third stressor is a consequence: as the immune response diminishes, more microbes (viruses, bacteria, and fungi) multiply, allowing for a chronic state of infection.

The most important organ in the production of immune agents seems to be the adrenal gland, and Leaky Gut Syndrome slowly diminishes adrenal function. In the early and middle stages, there is actually an adrenal excess, as measured by excess cortisol output. Eventually, cortisol levels drop, and one now has exhaustion.

The Role of the Digestive Tract

Candida flourishes when the terrain in the intestines favors it. Just killing Candida is usually not successful, because the chemistry and vitality of the terrain has not been normalized, and Candida returns.

Antibiotics are the original cause of the change on the terrain. By killing acid forming bacteria (Lactobacillus bacteria produce lactic acid, for example), the environment becomes alkaline, which promotes Candida.

Antibiotics and chronic illness reduce stomach acid production, contributing to the alkalinity, and also allowing poor digestive absorption. In fact, many people with LGS are malnourished and will lose excessive weight, no matter how healthy the food is that they eat.

The idea that lactobacillus supplementation is all that is required after antibiotics is somewhat delusional; in fact most of the lactobacillus from supplementation does not survive in the intestine, due to poor terrain. Just to make sure you have a full understanding of the seriousness of Leaky Gut, the following is a summary:

  • When the gut is inflamed it does not secrete digestive enzymes to digest foods properly or absorb nutrients and foods properly. The result can indigestion with gas and bloating, called irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

  • When large food particles are absorbed, food allergies and new symptoms are created (e.g., IBS, gallbladder disease, arthritis or fibromyalgia).

  • When the gut is inflamed, carrier proteins are damaged, so malabsorption and nutrient deficiencies occur.These deficiencies slow down the ability of the gut to heal and can cause any number of other symptoms (e.g., magnesium deficiency induced angina or gut spasms, chromium deficiency induced high cholesterol or sugar cravings, zinc deficiency induced prostatitis or lack acid formation)

  • When the detoxification pathways that line the gut are compromised, chemical sensitivity can arise. Furthermore, the leakage of toxins overburderns the liver so that the body is less to handle everyday chemicals in foods, water and air.

    Now many foods can cause symptoms that never did before, because the gut's detoxification (liver) system is unable to cope with the hundreds of chemical additives, dyes, colorings, preservatives and pesticides common in our foods.

  • When the gut lining is inflamed, the protective coating of the gut antibodies can be lost. With loss of the secretory immunoglobulin A (SigA), the body becomes more vulnerable to infections in the intestines from bacteria, viruses, parasites and yeast and they become resistant to treatment.

  • Ironically, the more resistant the bugs become, the more-high powered antibiotics doctor prescribe, resulting in more overgrowth of resistant fungi (Candida). As the unwanted bugs grow, the gut gets more inflamed and leaky initiating a vicious cycle of worsening condition and major cause of so many incurable diseases.

  • When the intestinal lining is inflamed, bacteria and yeast can translocate. In other words, they can pass from the gut cavity into the blood stream and set up infection anywhere else in the body, including the brain. This is often the mysterious and undiagnosed cause of infections in the teeth and gums, bones, prostate, bladder and sinuses.

  • With the formation of antibodies, the food antigens that leak across the gut wall can sometimes resemble the natural antigens on tissues. Protective antibodies will then attack the antigens, as they should and the tissues, causing further damage.

    It is the very reason why auto-immune diseases begin. Lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, myocarditis, iritis and thyroiditis are some of the members of this ever-growing category of mysteriously incurable auto-immune diseases.

compliments of Functional Medicine University

www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com

Diabetes and Magnesium

Important Mineral Found to Reduce Risk of Diabetes by 10 to 34 percent.

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.

Study finds that adequate amounts of magnesium could reduce the risk of diabetes by 10 to 34 percent.

In a review of three studies of over 85,000 women and 42,000 men, individuals who consumed the most magnesium lowered their risk of developing diabetes more than 30 percent during the next 12 to 18 years compared to those who consumed the least amount. The studies suggest that magnesium influences the action of insulin in the body. A lack of magnesium may worsen insulin resistance, triggering the onset of diabetes. The current RDA for magnesium is 310-320 milligrams (mg) for adult women, and 400-420 mg for adult men. Average intake among Americans tends to lag about 100 mg below these recommended levels. Those most likely to have low blood levels include the elderly and those who take diuretic medications, which increase the excretion of magnesium. The best food sources of magnesium are green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts and dried beans.

References

Wang JL, Shaw NS, Yeh HY, Kao MD. Magnesium status and association with diabetes in the Taiwanese elderly. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2005;14(3):263-9.

Longstreet DA, Heath DL, Vink R. A potential link between magnesium intake and diabetes in Indigenous Australians. Med J Aust. 2005 Aug 15;183(4):219-220

Simsek E, Karabay M, Kocabay K. Assessment of magnesium status in newly diagnosed diabetic children: measurement of erythrocyte magnesium level and magnesium tolerance testing. Turk J Pediatr. 2005 Apr-Jun;47(2):132-7.

Compliments of Functional Medicine University

(www.FunctionalMedicineUniversity.com)

Diabetes and Neuropathy

The Answer to Diabetic Leg Pain?

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.

One of the complications of diabetes is peripheral neuropathy.

Peripheral neuropathy is a result of nerve damage which often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in your hands and feet.

People generally describe the pain of peripheral neuropathy as tingling or burning as well as a loss of sensation compared to a feeling of wearing a thin stocking or glove.

Peripheral neuropathy is a serious disease of blood vessels that supply the nerves as well as the nerves themselves


The most common drug prescribed for people suffering with diabetic related leg pain is Lyrica®.


But it comes with a huge price.


To be quite honest I have to wonder how this drug was ever approved.

One look at the PDR will get you wondering too.


Here is a punch-list of some of the recorded side effects:

  • Has an unexpectedly high incidence of hemangio-sarcoma (which is a cancer of blood vessels).

  • It raises your creatinine kinase (leads to kidney disease)

  • Lowers your platelet count

  • Causes changes in the EKG that can lead to heart block

  • Causes weight gain

  • Causes swelling of the ankles

  • Can cause life-threatening angioedema (swelling of the throat and face inhibiting breathing).

  • Causes retinal atrophy as well as corneal inflammation and calcification. (meaning you can go blind from it as it progresses to macular degeneration)

Can you believe that many of the above side effects are things that the diabetic patient is trying to avoid?


This drug just speeds up the likelihood that you will get the side effects a lot sooner.


To make matters worse any improvement the diabetic patient gets is short-lived and will commonly wear off after one year.


I simply don't understand why the public is not be told about proven solutions provided by thousands of dedicated and respected researchers around the globe.

I simply don't understand why the public is not be told about proven solutions provided by thousands of dedicated and respected researchers around the globe.

--


Yes, the research is overflowing with real non-drug answers to peripheral neuropathy. And the best part is most if not all of these solutions are free of side effects.


Seldom will you hear about physicians specializing in diabetes seeking to identify the underlying cause of this disease.


In the thousands of medical records I have reviewed from patients suffering from diabetes rarely, if ever, have I seen any note of looking for the cause.


Just one look at the medical references below should be quite convincing for nutrients that have actually reversed diabetic neuropathy such as acetyl-L-carnitine, lipoic acid, vitamin E, etc..


Considering these medical studies are from the very journals of diabetic specialists, I have to wonder why a physician would prescribe Lyrica when they have not first measured and corrected something as simple as ALC (acetyl-L-carnitine) for nerve regeneration?


As shown below there is an abundant amount of evidence showing the power of doing a thorough investigation for nutrient deficiencies and diabetic neuropathy.


Sometimes the answer could also be as simple as fixing a vitamins B1 or B6 deficiency. It all depends on what the person is low in. 




References:

*Sima AA, et al, Acetyl-L-Carnitine Study Group, Acetyl-L-carnitine improves pain, nerve regeneration, and vibratory perception in patients with chronic diabetic neuropathy: an analysis of two randomized placebo-controlled trials, Diabetes Care 28; 1:89-94, Jan 2005

*Quatraro A, et al, Acetyl L-carnitine for symptomatic diabetic neuropathy, Diabetologia 38:123, 1995

*Scarpini E, et al, Effect of acetyl-L-carnitine in the treatment of painful peripheral neuropathy is in HIV-positive patients, J Peripher Nern Syst 2: 250-2, 1997

*Zeigler D, et al, Alpha-lipoic acid in the treatment of diabetic peripheral and cardiac autonomic neuropathy, Diabetes 46 suppl. 2: s 62-6, 1997

*Nakamura J, et al, Polyol pathway hyperactivity is closely related to carnitine deficiency in the pathogenesis of diabetic neuropathy of streptozotocin-diabetic rats. J Pharmacol Exp Ther, 287:897-902, 1998

*Tutuncu NB, et al, Reversal of defective nerve condition with vitamin E supplementation in type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 21:1915-18, 1998

*Fedele D, et al, Peripheral diabetic neuropathy. Current recommendations and future prospects for its prevention and management, Drugs 54:414-21. 1997

*Ido Y, et al, Neural dysfunction and metabolic imbalances in diabetic rats. Prevention by acetyl-L-carnitine. Diabetes 43:1469-77, 1994

*Onofrij M, et al, Acetyl-L-carnitine as a new therapeutic approach for peripheral neuropathies with pain, Mt J Clin Pharmacol Res 15:9-15, 1995

*Lowitt S, et al, Acetyl-L-carnitine corrects the altered peripheral nerve function of experimental diabetes, Metab 44:677-80, 1995

*DeGrandis D, et al, Acetyl-L-carnitine in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy. A long-term randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study, Drugs R D, 3: 223-31, 2002

*Abbas ZG, et al, Evaluation of the efficacy of thiamine and pyridoxine in the treatment of symptomatic diabetic peripheral neuropathy, East African Med J, 74:803-8, 1997

*Koutsikos D, et al, Biotin for diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Biotin may also reduce pain, Rimed Pharmacother 44:511-4, 1990

Compliments of Functional Medicine University

www.FunctionalMedicineUniversity.com

Habits That Keep Us Young

In the 2016 Bustle.com article by Carina Wolff titled: 9 habits that keep us young, she explains that the key to staying young lies within the cells. According to anti aging doctor Al Sears, each cell has a set of “clocks” called teleomeres. These are the vital endcaps that seal off the tips of your cells chromosomes to prevent DNA strands from unraveling. The shorter your telomere the “older” the cells. Slowing the loss of telomeres may extend lifespan and keep us feeling younger longer.

Posted on the Science Direct website from the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, it is stated that various nutrients influence telomere length, potentially through mechanisms that reflect their role in cellular functions including inflammation, oxidative stress, DNA integrity, DNA methylation and activity of telomeres (the enzyme that adds the telomere repeats to the ends of the newly synthesized DNA).

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that processed meat intake shows an inverse association with telomere length.

So, in addition to avoiding processed meat, here are 9 habits that can keep us young because of the influence they have on teleomere length (from bustle.com)

  1. Sleeping- less than 5 hours a night shortens teleomeres

  2. Avoid Sugar- in a 3 year study people who consumed a 20 ounce serving of sugary soda daily shortened telomeres equivalent to 4.6 years

  3. Exercise- 3 hours per week can help you obtain younger looking skin. 150 minutes of moderate exercise can add 3.4 years to lifespan

  4. Water- linked to better energy levels, mood and concentration and can lower the risk of coronary heart disease

  5. Combat Stress- Stress is linked to vision ad hearing loss and contributes to the development of Alzheimer’s and other age related disorders

  6. Keep Alcohol Intake to Moderate Levels- No more than 1 to 2 drinks per day

  7. Keep Sun Exposure Down- The sun’s rays account for 80% of skin aging. It’s best to limit exposure to 20 minutes before 10 am daily to assist in adequate Vitamin D levels

  8. Maintain Good Posture- Sitting up straight can help you feel younger, taller and more confident and can help mood, memory and digestion

  9. Think Positive- Johns Hopkins reported that even adults at risk of heart disease due to their family history were less likely to develop heart disease when they maintain a positive outlook. A positive outlook offered the strongest known protection against heat disease even better than maintaining appropriate diet and exercise

For more information about healthy aging be sure to read Mind and Body Fitness Connections September issue newsletter posted on its Facebook page.

https://mailchi.mp/58b9854862c8/mind-body-fitness-connections-january-newsletter-1240633

To subscribe to future newsletters visit www.mindandbodyfitness.net

What Keeps Us Feeling Younger

According to an article in Harvard Health Publishing, Dr. Siegel, faculty editor of Positive Psychology gives suggestions for helping us reach a younger state of mind:

  • Challenge yourself to try new things

  • Bring attention repeatedly to the present moment. This keeps us from becoming lost in regrets of the past or imagining future deterioration

  • Develop a sense of meaning in life by focusing on something larger than yourself

  • Commit yourself to a hobby you love, “when our focus is just on our immediate pleasure or pain we’re much more likely to have difficulty with the aging process” says Dr. Siegel

Other things that can help us to stay feeling younger as stated by the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Disease include healthy eating and regular physical activity. They are key to good health at any age. They lower the risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. They may even help ward off depression and maintain orthopedic health.

As we age the body needs fewer calories but just as many nutrients.

Diet suggestions include Eat more:

  • Fruits and vegetables (range of types with vibrant colors)

  • Whole grains such as brown rice and oatmeal

  • Low fat dairy

Eat Less:

  • Sugar, sweet drinks and desserts with added sugar

  • White bread, rice and pasta (refined grains)

Other tips:

  • Control portion sizes

  • Avoid eating in front of the TV

  • Read nutrition facts (labels and ingredients)

  • Plan meals ahead of time

Understanding Estrogen Testing and Breast Cancer Risks

Risk of Breast Cancer? Do you know your estrogen metabolites?

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.

Estrogen alone is not the issue when it comes to increasing the risk of breast cancer. The real issue is how is your estrogen being metabolized. You want to have your doctor order a test that evaluates the estrogen metabolites. **I recommend the Dutch Test (https://dutchtest.com)

The liver converts estrogens into estrogen metabolites. Three of estrogen's metabolites, the breakdown products of this hormone, are 2-hydroxyestrone, 4-hydroxyestrone, and 16-alpha-hydroxyestrone.

Since the 1980s, 2-hydroxyestrone has been considered a "good" or chemoprotective form of estrogen, while 16-alpha-hydroxyestrone has been associated with the development of cancer. It can fuel the growth and division of hormone-dependent and other cancer cells more than the 2-hydroxyestrones can. The 2-hydroxyestrones, in contrast, have almost no estrogenic effect. Prevailing evidence has shown that the ratio of 2-hydroxyestrone to 16-alpha-hydroxyestrone is relevant as a risk factor for estrogen-sensitive cancers, including breast and cervical cancers. Simply put, when it comes to estrogen metabolites, you want more 2s than 16s. And guess what can help the body do that? Cruciferous vegetables.

Two components in cruciferous vegetables are indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and diindolylmethane (DIM). Studies have found that these compounds can inhibit the formation of the "bad" 16-alpha-hydroxyestrone estrogen metabolite. One study found that DIM had the ability to decrease its production by 50 percent while increasing production of the "good" 2-hydroxyestrone metabolite by 75 percent.

I3C is found in a number of cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radish, rutabaga, and turnip. The highest concentrations are found in garden cress (different from watercress) and mustard greens.

Compliments of Functional Medicine University

www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com

Household Chemical That May Contribute To Breast Cancer

Chemical Triggers Breast Cancer

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S

A study reveals that chemicals found in cleaning materials, textiles, plastics, paper and some personal-care products can trigger breast cancer.

According to the senior author of the study, William Baldwin, an assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of Texas at El Paso, the chemical called 4-nonylphenol binds to estrogen receptors in breast tissue which increases the risk for breast cancer.

Part of the problem is that the chemical, which mimics estrogen, may last longer in the body than natural estrogen.

How the Study was Conducted

Baldwin and his team compared the effects of giving differing doses of the chemical, 4-nonylphenol and estrogen to mice. When they followed mice genetically engineered to readily develop breast cancer over 32 weeks, many of those given 4-NP developed breast cancer while those given equivalent doses of estrogen did not.

Baldwin and other experts estimate that established risk factors such as aging, early onset of periods, late menopause, delayed childbearing and genetics explain only about 25 percent to 50 percent of breast cancers, and that environmental exposure plays a big role.

We can now test for this environmental toxin through a test called Toxic Element Core from Genova Diagnostics. The following is a test from one of my patients:

The good news is you can modify and reduce this toxic chemical. I recommend consulting with someone certified in functional medicine. They will have the training and knowledge to help one reduce this environmental toxin.

Compliments of Functional Medicine University.

www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com

How Long Will You Live?

3 Tests Tell You How Long You Will Live

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., MS

 

Most people have a desire to live life to the fullest with a combination of quantity and quality.

 

 

There are many parameters that may determine how long you live, however,this short article presents the findings of five researchers who identified three simple tests you can do at home to measure your ability to increase years to your life.

The medical paper published in the British Medical Journal in 2014 revealed a 13 year study where they took 1,355 men and 1,411 women in 1999 when they were 53 years old and then checked to see who was alive and well 13 year later in 2012.

The following are the three tests that were evaluated:

Standing on one leg with your eyes closed for 10 seconds or longer, having a strong grip, and being able to stand up and sit back down in a chair many times in a minute.

According to the researchers of this paper, these tests clearly represented tell-tale signs of longevity.

Performed well in all three tests at age 53 or so and you should be healthy and vibrant 13 years later, when you are 66.

Researcher from University College London estimate that a 53 year old who can complete these tests successfully is up to 5 times more likely to be alive and well at 66 than someone who couldn't complete the tests or who did them poorly.

There were far higher death rates among those who failed to complete the tasks.

Officially the tests are called the Chair Test (Standing up and sitting down in a chair 39 times in a minute for a man, and 36 times for a woman), the balance test (standing on one leg for 10 seconds or longer with eyes closed), and the grip test (ability to apply a pressure of up to 54.5 kg)

Compliments of Functional Medicine University www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com

Important Cholesterol Ratio

Prevent a Heart Attack: Know Your Ratio?

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.

 

 

The published evidence is quite clear in documenting that the actual total cholesterol level itself is not the most important risk factor of cardiovascular disease.

 

It is the ratio between the level of HDL-"good" cholesterol and total cholesterol that we need to be concerned about.

 

 

 

Therefore, in adults, the HDL-"good" cholesterol/total cholesterol ratio should be higher than 0.24 (just divide your HDL level by your cholesterol).

 

Or more precisely, the HDL/total cholesterol ratio:

  • 0.24 or higher is considered ideal

  • under 0.24 - low

  • less than 0.10 - very dangerous.

Generally speaking, the higher the ratio, the better (the lower your risk of a heart attack).

 

However, HDL is closely related to triglycerides. 

 

It appears common for people with high triglycerides to have low HDL's, and these same people also tend to have high levels of clotting factors in their blood stream, which is unhealthy in protecting against heart disease.

 

Therefore, in adults, the triglyceride/HDL-"good" cholesterol ratio should be below 2  (just divide your triglycerides level by your HDL).

 

Or more precisely, the triglyceride/HDL ratio:

  • 2 or less is considered ideal

  • 4 - high

  • 6 - much too high

And, since HDL (high density lipoprotein) is protective against heart disease, the lower the ratio, the better. 

 

In other words, the lower your triglycerides, or the higher your HDL, the smaller this ratio becomes.

 

It is now believed that the triglycerides/HDL ratio is one of the most potent predictors of heart disease. 

 

A Harvard-lead study author reported:

 

"High triglycerides alone increased the risk of heart attack nearly three-fold.

 

And people with the highest ratio of triglycerides to HDL -- the "good" cholesterol -- had 16 times the risk of heart attack as those with the lowest ratio of triglycerides to HDL in the study of 340 heart attack patients and 340 of their healthy, same age counterparts.

 

The ratio of triglycerides to HDL was the strongest predictor of a heart attack, even more accurate than the LDL/HDL ratio (Circulation 1997;96:2520-2525)."

www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com

Increase HDL and Lower Lipoprotein (a)

New study demonstrates an increase in HDL and lower lipoprotein(a) in type 2 diabetes patients with this nutritional intervention

Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

 

There are only a few natural products that have demonstrated such a wide range of protective properties as curcumin. Turmeric has three main bioactive components, namely curcumin, desmethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin. These curcuminoids have many biological effects including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumor, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.

 

 

According to a new study published last month in Complementary Therapies in Medicine, another application can be added to this list: addressing dyslipidemia in patients with type II diabetes. Researchers demonstrated that curcuminoid supplementation can reduce lipoprotein(a) and increase HDL-C, which may reduce the risk of a cardiovascular event in these patients. 

This study included a total of 82 patients with type II diabetes, 18 to 65 years of age. Each patient took either 1000 mg of standardized curcumin or a placebo for 12 weeks. Baseline lab testing included serum triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL-C, non-HDL-C, and lipoprotein(a). At the end of the 12 weeks there was a significant reduction of serum lipoprotein(a) and an increase in HDL-C concentrations only seen in the curcuminoid group. There were no significant changes in total cholesterol, LDL-C, and triglycerides in either group.

This is an interesting study since the ability to influence liporotein(a) is very limited. Niacin is one of the only natural agents that can significantly reduce liporotein(a); however, it is not effective for everyone.

Health care providers have many tools today to assess cardiovascular health and support the body's physiology, and it is essential to perform a thorough assessment of these patients. This may include looking at lipid fractionation profiles, chronic inflammatory markers (ferritin, hs-CRP, fibrinogen), nutrient markers (magnesium, potassium, selenium, copper, folate, B12, B6, zinc, and calcium), fat soluble nutrients (vitamins A, D, E & K, and CoQ10), oxidative stress factors (homocysteine, insulin, and lipid peroxidases), heavy metals, and fatty acid profiles. A successful treatment approach should include investigation into these various factors.

www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com

Alzheimers or Brain Diabetes

Alzheimer's or Brain Diabetes?

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.

A growing body of research suggests there's a powerful connection between your diet and your risk of Alzheimer's disease via similar pathways that cause type 2 diabetes.

Back in 2005, a published medical paper introduced a new disease tentatively dubbed "type 3 diabetes".

The researchers learned that, in addition to the pancreas, your brain also produces insulin.

They discovered that without the insulin your brain cells will die.

A drop in insulin production in your brain may contribute to the degeneration of your brain cells, and studies have found that people with lower levels of insulin and insulin receptors in their brain often have Alzheimer's disease.

Studies since 2005 have continually documented that insulin has a much greater role in the brain than previously expected.

Insulin is directly responsible for neuron glucose-uptake, and the regulation of neurotransmitters like acetylcholine, which are crucial for memory and learning.

Scientists have come to understand that cognition is impaired when insulin levels are reduced.

The clinical research has made it quite clear that the same pathological process that leads to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes may also hold true for your brain.

The take away from these studies make a strong point that the over-consumption of sugars and "grains" which are also detrimental to the the development of diabetes may also result in Type 3 Diabetes (brain diabetes).

When the brain becomes overwhelmed by the consistently high levels of glucose, the insulin signaling will eventually become blunted or desensitized. This will lead to impairments in your thinking and memory abilities, eventually causing permanent brain damage.

Healthcare clinicians trained in functional medicine have the training and knowledge to investigate what is at the root of the pathological process that leads to Type 2 diabetes and the new diagnosis of Type 3 diabetes.

The one size fits all approach of prescriptive medications for diabetes, although of some value, will not shut down the physiological cascade of the consequences of poor sugar/insulin control. 

Functional Medicine University

www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com

Insomnia....possible underlying causes

Insomnia Solution

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.

If you suffer from insomnia then you understand the seriousness of simply not getting a good night's sleep. Your whole world around you appears to crumble when you can't get a good 6-8 hours of quality deep REM sleep. Your work life, your family life all suffer.

Today's article will touch on a few "key" things to consider to solve insomnia.

 

To begin remember that the awakening after a few hours of sleep and not being able to get back to sleep is often rebound from what you ate or drank hours before. High sugar, alcohol, highly spiced foods and of course, caffeinated drinks are often the culprits.

If you are unknowingly deficient in chromium, vanadium, manganese and other nutrients you can experience hypoglycemic rebound in a few hours where you abruptly wake-up and are unable to drift back to sleep.

Let's now consider something called the “happy hormones” that lead to a restful sleep.

One of these hormones is serotonin, which anti-depressants like Prozac work on.

We make serotonin from the amino acid tryptophan.

Unfortunately as we age or faced with an overload of stress the level of serotonin suffers.

Dozens of studies show that low tryptophan levels lead to insomnia, awakening feeling unrested, inability to stay asleep after getting there, and just lying there all night watching the clock.

For over a quarter of a century literally dozens of studies have proven this amino produces a great sleep in many, and with no side effects or hangover. In fact, folks have better mental clarity during the day. Furthermore, it improves daytime depression, PMS, fibromyalgia, and anxiety as well as carbohydrate cravings, binge-eating and even alcohol recovery.

Now from a functional medicine position it is important to know that a simple B6 or zinc deficiency can contribute to insomnia. A common vitamin B6 deficiency can keep you awake all night, or low zinc causing impaired conversion of B6, which is needed to make tryptophan work.

If you have an elevated organic acid, kynurenate acid, for example, and a low tryptophan, the correction of B6 may be all you need.

Now don't forget plasticizers in our bodies lower zinc which is needed in the enzyme to convert B6 to its active form so it can then transform tryptophan to a serotonin.

I am disappointed with the number of people suffering with insomnia who could be helped if only their physician understood the significance of nutritional biochemistry.

It comes down to finding the cause of the cause.

Remember that as important as serotonin is for sleep and moods, most of serotonin is not made in the brain.

Ninety five percent of serotonin is made in the gut.

If the gut isn't healthy, then you are going nowhere. If you have gas, bloating, alternating diarrhea or constipation or other gut issues than your chances of solving your insomnia problem may be futile until you fix your gut.

The secret is to find a doctor who understands the probable underlying causes of insomnia and knows how to do the proper testing to discover what needs to be fixed.

It really can be as simple as that.

References

Schmidt HS, L-tryptophan in the treatment of impaired respiration in sleep, Bull Eur Physiopathol Respir, 19; 6:625-9, 1983

Demisch K, et al, Treatment of severe chronic insomnia with Ltryptophan: results of a double-blind cross-over study, Pharmocopsychiatry, 20; 6:242-4, 1987

Hartmann E, Effects of L-tryptophan on sleepiness and on sleep, J Psychiatr Res, 17; 2:1-7-13, 1982

Ashley DV, et al, Evidence for diminished brain 5-hydroxytrptamine biosynthesis in obese diabetic and non-diabetic humans, Am J Clin Nutr, 42; 6:1240-5, 1985

Riemann D, et al, The tryptophan depletion test: impact on sleep in primary insomnia - a pilot study, Psychiatry Res, 109; 2:129-35, 2002

Schneider-Helmert D, et al, Evaluation of L-tryptophan for treatment of insomnia: a review, Psychopharmacol (Berl), 89; 1:1-7, 1986

COMPLIMENTS OF FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE UNIVERSITY

www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com

Link Between Leptin and Fat Burning

The Fat Hormone: How Effective are You at Burning Belly Fat?

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.

 

Leptin, a recently discovered hormone, regulates body weight by suppressing food intake and/or increasing energy expenditure.

Leptin is a very powerful and influential hormone produced by fat cells.

 

 

Science has discovered that leptin is the most powerful metabolic regulator that tells your brain whether you should be hungry, eat and make more fat.

Basically, leptin is the way that your fat stores speak to your brain to let your brain know how much energy is available and, very importantly, what to do with it.

In a perfect world, as you gain weight, you secrete more leptin from your fat cells. This in turn tells your brain you have enough stored fat so it reduces your appetite sending messages to help you burn fat.

But there is a problem!

Unfortunately many people have something called "leptin resistance". This means that no matter how much leptin you create from your fat cells, the brain doesn't see it.  This leads to a cascade of your brain thinking you are starving ======> you burn less calories ====>your appetite goes into overdrive and finally every bit of food you eat gets stored on your belly!

Until you address leptin resistance, you're not going to lose weight!

Optimal Leptin Levels

Your goal is to keep your leptins below 12, however, not too low. Researchers have discovered that leptins too far to the low side has been associated with dementia or Alzheimer's.

A leptin above 12 is not considered healthy.

Leptin levels can now be measured with a simple blood test. Levels above 12 are linked to weight gain, accelerated aging, increased risk of infertility, diabetes and heart attack.  In addition, high leptin levels are associated with belly fat and numerous cancers

Leptin rises if you don't sleep well, and if you have any kind of perceived stress.

Thyroid Connection

If you are having difficulty losing weight, I recommend you get your leptin checked. Remember you want it under 12.  From a thyroid perspective, if your leptin is above 12 you will commonly see low T3 (the most metabolically active thyroid hormone) and elevated reverse T3. This is not good for those trying to lose weight. The thyroid medication Synthroid (Levothyroxine) is aT4 medication and should be used with some level of caution when high leptin levels are seen. The take away from this thyroid connection is the fact that reverse T3 means T4 is not being effectively converted into the metabolic workhorse hormone, T3.

The Solution:

You become leptin resistant by eating the typical American diet full of sugar, refined grains, and processed foods. The solution is to eat a diet that emphasizes good fats and avoids blood sugar spikes. Basically a diet that emphasize healthy fats, lean meats and vegetables, and restricts sugar and grains.

For a full thyroid/leptin work-up, I recommend a practitioner knowledgeable in functional medicine.


 

 

References:

Kozlowska, Rosolowska-Huszcz. Leptin, thyrotropin, and thyroid hormones in obese/overweight women before and after two levels of energy deficit.Endocrine. 2004 Jul;24(2):147-53.

Hsieh CJ1, Wang PW, Wang ST, Liu RT, Tung SC, Chien WY, Lu YC, Chen JF, Chen CH, Kuo MC.Serum leptin concentrations of patients with sequential thyroid function changes. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2002 Jul;57(1):29-34

Ríos, Cisternas, Arrese, Barja. Is Alzheimer's disease related to metabolic syndrome? A Wnt signaling conundrum.Prog Neurobiol. 2014 Jul

 

Compliments of Functional Medicine University

www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com

Link Between the Gut and Brain and Inflammation

The Gut-Brain Axis in Health and Disease

Robert G. Silverman, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, MS, CCN, CNS, CSCS, CIISN, CKTP, CES, HKC, SASTM

 

The brain is the most nutrient-dependent, energy-dependent and toxin- and stress-vulnerable organ in the body. The gut and the brain are very tightly linked. In the gut-brain axis, damage to one is often damage to the other.

 

 

Concussion is a good example. When a blow to the head or severe jolt causes a concussion, the damage to the neurons has a parallel in damage to the gut lining. The tight junctions of the lining almost immediately open up and become permeable. This produces inflammatory cytokines that can penetrate the blood-brain barrier, leading to additional brain inflammation. In other words, when the gut is on fire, so is the brain.

If the sudden intestinal permeability caused by a concussion goes untreated, the concussion symptoms will be worse, due to the additional inflammation. The gut permeability may not resolve by itself, which could contribute to making the concussion symptoms linger on for weeks instead of days. Intestinal permeability may also play a role in those patients who go on to develop post-concussion syndrome by causing ongoing brain inflammation.

So, in addition to treating the concussion itself with nutrition, the intestinal permeability, particularly the release of occludin and zonulin, needs to be immediately addressed.

The intercellular permeability of the gut lining can be treated through repair and regeneration with xanthohumol. A natural phenol derivative of hops, xanthohumol has a very extensive (more than 250 publications in preclinical science) record of efficacy and safety. In the brain, xanthohumol acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory; it also helps with the biogenesis of mitochondria in damaged neurons. In the gut, the polyphenols are strongly anti-inflammatory. They modify the inflammatory kinases in favor of antioxidant pathways and, just as important, block the kinases in the cell-damaging inflammatory pathways for tumor necrosis factor, COX-2, and others.

On a chronic level, we know that neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, depression, and anxiety may not be exclusively triggered within the brain. When the intestinal barrier is breached, so is the blood-brain barrier. Inflammation from circulating gut-derived lipopolysaccharides (LPS) pass through the blood-brain barrier and have been linked to a number of neurodegenerative disorders. In particular, LPS stimulates the production of IgA, IgG, and IgM antibodies that can cross-react with tissues and induce autoimmune disease and neurodegeneration. 

Treating brain inflammation caused by gut inflammation starts with removing the cause through a modified elimination food plan and the removal of pathogens. Anti-inflammatory supplements, such as berberine, and digestive enzymes, such as lipase and amylase, help restore the gut lining. The next step is to reinoculate and regenerate the gut with a powdered nutritional supplement if needed, continuation of the modified elimination diet, and the addition of probiotics, vitamin D, alpha-lipoic acid, and specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs). Xanthohumol is also very helpful for regenerating intestinal mucosa.

Once the process is underway, retesting is important to see the gains and make any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan. As healing progresses, retaining the gains with a better diet and appropriate supplements becomes the focus of treatment.

Healing the intestinal barrier is only half the equation. The brain inflammation needs to be treated as well. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is a valuable tool for improving neurological function. In concussion patients, it has been shown to help reduce inflammation, modulate oxidative stress and nitric oxide production, and down-regulate pro-inflammatory microglial cytokine expression.

LLLT is also valuable for reducing inflammation of the vagus nerve. The longest of the cranial nerves, the vagus is often called the great wanderer for the way is wanders through the visceral organs. A major function of the vagus nerve is preventing inflammation. In the gut, the vagus nerve endings sense the chemical signals of inflammation, such as cytokines and tumor necrosis factor, and send messages to the brain telling it to release anti-inflammatory neurotransmitters via the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway. When the brain-gut axis is disrupted, the vagus nerve is affected and the messages back and forth are garbled or don't get through at all. Decreased vagal nerve activity has some serious effects on the gut. Hydrochloric acid and pancreatic enzyme secretion is reduced, as is bile secretion. The parietal cells in the stomach, which are responsible for producing intrinsic factor, don't work as well, leading to reduced absorption of B vitamins. 

We know that post-injury vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) after a concussion can help prevent the breakdown of epithelial cells in the gut and keep the tight junctions from opening. This only works when administered within 90 minutes of the injury, however. Later on, stimulation of the vagus nerve with LLLT using 405 nm violet lightcan help to restore communications and reduce inflammation.

Treatment modalities such as those discussed here help repair the integrity of the gut lining and the blood-brain barrier. They're a hopeful new approach to restoring the functionality of the gut-brain axis and returning the body to harmony.  

Compliments of Functional Medicine University

www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com