Thursday, April 26, 2007
From MSN today: Rare Lung Disease Found in Food-Flavoring Workers
(it seems being "allergic" to so many things is like being a canary in the coal mine! You always hear how going gluten-free is healthier "anyway" - I only hope this spurs change in our food supply and culture!
Lead contamination also high among women workers in battery plants, CDC report finds
By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter
THURSDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- Eight cases of a rare and life-threatening form of lung disease have been discovered among those who worked in food flavoring plants in California between 2004 and 2007, a new study finds.
In addition, levels of lead are elevated among women who work in plants that make batteries, according to a second report in this week's issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Among food flavoring plant workers, a severe lung disease known as bronchiolitis obliterans appears to result from inhaling the chemical diacetyl, which has been known to cause the same problem among workers in the microwave popcorn industry.
"Bronchiolitis obliterans is a severe lung disease that can be prevented with appropriate measures, such as engineering controls, work practices, medical surveillance, and a respiratory protection program," said report co-author Dr. Rachael Bailey, an epidemic intelligence service officer at the CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Diacetyl, which is used in butter flavoring, appears to be the culprit, Bailey said. "But there are literally thousands of chemicals that are used in making these flavorings and not all of them have been evaluated, so other chemicals may cause the disease as well," she noted.
Bronchiolitis obliterans is a rare disease, said Dr. Richard Kanwal, a medical officer in CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. "You don't expect to find this disease in the average worker," he said. "When we find this in a small workforce we get very concerned," he said. "One case is very rare, but when you find more than one in a workforce of 10 or 20 people, it is very striking."
Kanwal noted that there are no regulations that govern food flavoring plants. In addition, there are no regulations that govern the chemicals used in these plants. The CDC has asked manufactures of food flavorings to take steps to create safer environments, including ventilation and respiratory protection for workers in these plants.
Bailey noted that an otherwise healthy flavoring worker who develops a cough or shortness of breath needs to be evaluated to see if the condition is work-related. "That person should be evaluated for bronchiolitis obliterans," she said.
One expert agreed that more must be done to protect workers.
"Occupational lung disease is a hazard in many industries, from mining to farming to automotive work," said Dr. David Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine. "These case reports suggest the need to add the food flavoring industry to the list, and to establish and enforce suitable safeguards so that workers are protected."
But the illnesses hint at something else of far greater importance to the public at large, Katz said. "If the chemicals used in the flavoring industry are this potentially dangerous to the workers handling them, how good an idea can it be for the rest of us to be eating them? Personally, I think artificial flavors should neither be inhaled, nor ingested," he said.
Another report focused on lead levels among women of childbearing age. The CDC researchers found that while lead levels for most of the 10,527 women tested in 10 states were low, there were elevated levels among some working women, particularly those engaged in battery manufacturing.
Women in that industry had 244 cases of blood lead levels above 25 milligrams per deciliter per every 100,000 women employed. That compares with 7.1 such cases per 100,000 women in manufacturing jobs, and 0.6 cases per 100,000 women working in all types of jobs.
In addition, the industry that includes battery manufacturing had a rate of 8.4 cases of blood lead levels above 40 milligrams per deciliter per 100,000 women employed in that industry, compared with rates of 0.4 per 100,000 employed in all of manufacturing and 0.04 per 100,000 employed in any job, according to the report.
"These higher rates suggest that despite the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's recent focus on reducing workplace lead exposures among all U.S. workers, the workplace remains a substantial source of exposure, and clinicians should consider work history when determining whether to measure blood lead levels," according to an editorial comment.
"The difference between blood lead levels that are considered elevated in females who are pregnant and those who might become pregnant has substantial public health implications," the editorial notes. "Identifying and counseling females of childbearing age who might become pregnant and expose children to lead in utero might help to prevent neurobehavioral and cognitive deficits."
Lead is a known neurotoxin, uniquely dangerous to the developing brain, Katz said. "Exposure during pregnancy is of special concern. The finding that work in the battery manufacturing industry appears to place women at increased risk of elevated blood level levels sounds an alarm," he said.
"Minimally, it means that women of childbearing age must be informed of this danger before hire. In many cases, however, a dangerous job may be more attractive than no job at all, so leaving avoidance of this threat to the individual woman is rather unfair. Ideally, working conditions will be altered to eliminate this threat at the source," he said.
A third article notes that, in 2004, the number and rate of nonfatal occupational injuries/illnesses across America remained similar to those in 1996, 1998, and 2003. In 2004, there were 3.4 million nonfatal industrial accidents or illnesses.
"The rate of workers treated in an emergency department for nonfatal occupational injuries/illnesses has not declined substantially in the United States in recent years. Younger workers aged less than 25 years continued to experience the highest rates of injuries/illnesses," the report concludes.
For more information on disease from food flavoring, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
SOURCES: Richard Kanwal, M.D., M.P.H., medical officer, and Rachael Bailey, D.O., epidemic intelligence service officer; both of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; David L. Katz, M.D., M.P.H., director, Prevention Research Center Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.; April 27, 2007, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Copyright © 2007 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved. advertisement
Friday, April 20, 2007
A helpful site for figuring out what pet food would be good at this point in the pet food recall issue. (Now rice is contaminated with melamine also. So this info is a bit dated - just adjust to include no rice, and/or visit the pet food manufacturer's website.)
Here's a podcast of an interview with a celiac vet who has studied nutrition/allergies since his own celiac diagnosis 7 years ago.
Here're his recommended dog foods:
And this list of pet food is from a celiac.com article:
IVD/Royal Canin - L.I.D.s (potato-based diets)
Nutro Natural Choice Lamb and Rice
Canidae and Felidae- Dog and cat foods
Dick Van Patten Natural Balance Duck and Potato, Venison and Brown Rice, and Sweet Potato and Fish Formulas
Solid Gold Barking at the Moon
Natura California Naturals
Canine Caviar Lamb & Pearl Millet and Chicken & Pearl Millet formulas
Eagle Pack Holistic Select®Duck Meal & Oatmeal and Lamb Meal & Rice \ Formulas
Eukanuba Response KO and FP
Your Whole Pet - Bigger than you think: The story behind the pet food recall (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi
Coppinger, Ray and Lorna, Dogs: A Startling New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior & Evolution, Scribner, 2001. 59 -- 78.
Case: Cary, and Hirakawa, Canine and Feline Nutrition, Mosby, 1995. 93.
Morris, Mark, Lewis, Lone and Hand, Michael, Small Animal Clinical Nutrition III, Mark Morris Associates, 1990. 1-11.
Burger, I., Ed. The Waltham Book of Companion Animal Nutrition, Pergamon 1995. 26-27: 10.
Symes, D.M.V., Dr. John B. ("Dogtor J") www.dogtorj.net
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Excerpt: 'How Doctors Think'
by Jerome Groopman, MD
NPR.org, March 15, 2007 · INTRODUCTION
Anne Dodge had lost count of all the doctors she had seen over the past fifteen years. She guessed it was close to thirty. Now, two days after Christmas 2004, on a surprisingly mild morning, she was driving again into Boston to see yet another physician. Her primary care doctor had opposed the trip, arguing that Anne's problems were so long-standing and so well defined that this consultation would be useless. But her boyfriend had stubbornly insisted. Anne told herself the visit would mollify her boyfriend and she would be back home by midday.
Anne is in her thirties, with sandy brown hair and soft blue eyes. She grew up in a small town in Massachusetts, one of four sisters. No one had had an illness like hers. Around age twenty, she found that food did not agree with her. After a meal, she would feel as if a hand were gripping her stomach and twisting it. The nausea and pain were so intense that occasionally she vomited. Her family doctor examined her and found nothing wrong. He gave her antacids. But the symptoms continued. Anne lost her appetite and had to force herself to eat; then she'd feel sick and quietly retreat to the bathroom to regurgitate. Her general practitioner suspected what was wrong, but to be sure he referred her to a psychiatrist, and the diagnosis was made: anorexia nervosa with bulimia, a disorder marked by vomiting and an aversion to food. If the condition was not corrected, she could starve to death.
Over the years, Anne had seen many internists for her primary care before settling on her current one, a woman whose practice was devoted to patients with eating disorders. Anne was also evaluated by numerous specialists: endocrinologists, orthopedists, hematologists, infectious disease doctors, and, of course, psychologists and psychiatrists. She had been treated with four different antidepressants and had undergone weekly talk therapy. Nutritionists closely monitored her daily caloric intake.
But Anne's health continued to deteriorate, and the past twelve months had been the most miserable of her life. Her red blood cell count and platelets had dropped to perilous levels. A bone marrow biopsy showed very few developing cells. The two hematologists Anne had consulted attributed the low blood counts to her nutritional deficiency. Anne also had severe osteoporosis. One endocrinologist said her bones were like those of a woman in her eighties, from a lack of vitamin D and calcium. An orthopedist diagnosed a hairline fracture of the metatarsal bone of her foot. There were also signs that her immune system was failing; she suffered a series of infections, including meningitis. She was hospitalized four times in 2004 in a mental health facility so she could try to gain weight under supervision.
To restore her system, her internist had told Anne to consume three thousand calories a day, mostly in easily digested carbohydrates like cereals and pasta. But the more Anne ate, the worse she felt. Not only was she seized by intense nausea and the urge to vomit, but recently she had severe intestinal cramps and diarrhea. Her doctor said she had developed irritable bowel syndrome, a disorder associated with psychological stress. By December, Anne's weight dropped to eighty-two pounds. Although she said she was forcing down close to three thousand calories, her internist and her psychiatrist took the steady loss of weight as a sure sign that Anne was not telling the truth.
That day Anne was seeing Dr. Myron Falchuk, a gastroenterologist. Falchuk had already gotten her medical records, and her internist had told him that Anne's irritable bowel syndrome was yet another manifestation of her deteriorating mental health. Falchuk heard in the doctor's recitation of the case the implicit message that his role was to examine Anne's abdomen, which had been poked and prodded many times by many physicians, and to reassure her that irritable bowel syndrome, while uncomfortable and annoying, should be treated as the internist had recommended, with an appropriate diet and tranquilizers.
But that is exactly what Falchuk did not do. Instead, he began to question, and listen, and observe, and then to think differently about Anne's case. And by doing so, he saved her life, because for fifteen years a key aspect of her illness had been missed.
[deleted text here-not wholely related or necessary to tell the celiac story.]
"She was emaciated and looked haggard," Falchuk told me. "Her face was creased with fatigue. And the way she sat in the waiting room — so still, her hands clasped together — I saw how timid she was." From the first, Falchuk was reading Anne Dodge's body language. Everything was a potential clue, telling him something about not only her physical condition but also her emotional state. This was a woman beaten down by her suffering. She would need to be drawn out, gently.
Medical students are taught that the evaluation of a patient should proceed in a discrete, linear way: you first take the patient's history, then perform a physical examination, order tests, and analyze the results. Only after all the data are compiled should you formulate hypotheses about what might be wrong. These hypotheses should be winnowed by assigning statistical probabilities, based on existing databases, to each symptom, physical abnormality, and laboratory test; then you calculate the likely diagnosis. This is Bayesian analysis, a method of decision-making favored by those who construct algorithms and strictly adhere to evidence-based practice. But, in fact, few if any physicians work with this mathematical paradigm. The physical examination begins with the first visual impression in the waiting room, and with the tactile feedback gained by shaking a person's hand. Hypotheses about the diagnosis come to a doctor's mind even before a word of the medical history is spoken. And in cases like Anne's, of course, the specialist had a diagnosis on the referral form from the internist, confirmed by the multitude of doctors' notes in her records.
Falchuk ushered Anne Dodge into his office, his hand on her elbow, lightly guiding her to the chair that faces his desk. She looked at a stack of papers some six inches high. It was the dossier she had seen on the desks of her endocrinologists, hematologists, infectious disease physicians, psychiatrists, and nutritionists. For fifteen years she'd watched it grow from visit to visit.
But then Dr. Falchuk did something that caught Anne's eye: he moved those records to the far side of his desk, withdrew a pen from the breast pocket of his white coat, and took a clean tablet of lined paper from his drawer. "Before we talk about why you are here today," Falchuk said, "let's go back to the beginning. Tell me about when you first didn't feel good."
For a moment, she was confused. Hadn't the doctor spoken with her internist and looked at her records? "I have bulimia and anorexia nervosa," she said softly. Her clasped hands tightened. "And now I have irritable bowel syndrome."
Falchuk offered a gentle smile. "I want to hear your story, in your own words."
Anne glanced at the clock on the wall, the steady sweep of the second hand ticking off precious time. Her internist had told her that Dr. Falchuk was a prominent specialist, that there was a long waiting list to see him. Her problem was hardly urgent, and she got an appointment in less than two months only because of a cancellation in his Christmas-week schedule. But she detected no hint of rush or impatience in the doctor. His calm made it seem as though he had all the time in the world.
So Anne began, as Dr. Falchuk requested, at the beginning, reciting the long and tortuous story of her initial symptoms, the many doctors she had seen, the tests she had undergone. As she spoke, Dr. Falchuk would nod or interject short phrases: "Uhhuh," "I'm with you," "Go on."
Occasionally Anne found herself losing track of the sequence of events. It was as if Dr. Falchuk had given her permission to open the floodgates, and a torrent of painful memories poured forth. Now she was tumbling forward, swept along as she had been as a child on Cape Cod when a powerful wave caught her unawares. She couldn't recall exactly when she had had the bone marrow biopsy for her anemia.
"Don't worry about exactly when," Falchuk said. For a long moment Anne sat mute, still searching for the date. "I'll check it later in your records. Let's talk about the past months. Specifically, what you have been doing to try to gain weight."
This was easier for Anne; the doctor had thrown her a rope and was slowly tugging her to the shore of the present. As she spoke, Falchuk focused on the details of her diet. "Now, tell me again what happens after each meal," he said.
Anne thought she had already explained this, that it all was detailed in her records. Surely her internist had told Dr. Falchuk about the diet she had been following. But she went on to say, "I try to get down as much cereal in the morning as possible, and then bread and pasta at lunch and dinner." Cramps and diarrhea followed nearly every meal, Anne explained. She was taking anti-nausea medication that had greatly reduced the frequency of her vomiting but did not help the diarrhea. "Each day, I calculate how many calories I'm keeping in, just like the nutritionist taught me to do. And it's close to three thousand."
Dr. Falchuk paused. Anne Dodge saw his eyes drift away from hers. Then his focus returned, and he brought her into the examining room across the hall. The physical exam was unlike any she'd had before. She had been expecting him to concentrate on her abdomen, to poke and prod her liver and spleen, to have her take deep breaths, and to look for any areas of tenderness. Instead, he looked carefully at her skin and then at her palms. Falchuk intently inspected the creases in her hands, as though he were a fortuneteller reading her lifelines and future. Anne felt a bit perplexed but didn't ask him why he was doing this. Nor did she question why he spent such a long while looking in her mouth with a flashlight, inspecting not only her tongue and palate but her gums and the glistening tissue behind her lips as well. He also spent a long time examining her nails, on both her hands and her feet. "Sometimes you can find clues in the skin or the lining of the mouth that point you to a diagnosis," Falchuk explained at last.
He also seemed to fix on the little loose stool that remained in her rectum. She told him she had had an early breakfast, and diarrhea before the car ride to Boston.
When the physical exam was over, he asked her to dress and return to his office. She felt tired. The energy she had mustered for the trip was waning. She steeled herself for yet another somber lecture on how she had to eat more, given her deteriorating condition.
"I'm not at all sure this is irritable bowel syndrome," Dr. Falchuk said, "or that your weight loss is only due to bulimia and anorexia nervosa."
She wasn't sure she had heard him correctly. Falchuk seemed to recognize her confusion. "There may be something else going on that explains why you can't restore your weight. I could be wrong, of course, but we need to be sure, given how frail you are and how much you are suffering."
Anne felt even more confused and fought off the urge to cry. Now was not the time to break down. She needed to concentrate on what the doctor was saying. He proposed more blood tests, which were simple enough, but then suggested a procedure called an endoscopy. She listened carefully as Falchuk described how he would pass a fiberoptic instrument, essentially a flexible telescope, down her esophagus and then into her stomach and small intestine. If he saw something abnormal, he would take a biopsy. She was exhausted from endless evaluations. She'd been through so much, so many tests, so many procedures: the x-rays, the bone density assessment, the painful bone marrow biopsy for her low blood counts, and multiple spinal taps when she had meningitis. Despite his assurances that she would be sedated, she doubted whether the endoscopy was worth the trouble and discomfort. She recalled her internist's reluctance to refer her to a gastroenterologist, and wondered whether the procedure was pointless, done for the sake of doing it, or, even worse, to make money.
Dodge was about to refuse, but then Falchuk repeated emphatically that something else might account for her condition. "Given how poorly you are doing, how much weight you've lost, what's happened to your blood, your bones, and your immune system over the years, we need to be absolutely certain of everything that's wrong. It may be that your body can't digest the food you're eating, that those three thousand calories are just passing through you, and that's why you're down to eighty-two pounds."
When I met with Anne Dodge one month after her first appointment with Dr. Falchuk, she said that he'd given her the greatest Christmas present ever. She had gained nearly twelve pounds. The intense nausea, the urge to vomit, the cramps and diarrhea that followed breakfast, lunch, and dinner as she struggled to fill her stomach with cereal, bread, and pasta had all abated. The blood tests and the endoscopy showed that she had celiac disease. This is an autoimmune disorder, in essence an allergy to gluten, a primary component of many grains. Once believed to be rare, the malady, also called celiac sprue, is now recognized more frequently thanks to sophisticated diagnostic tests. Moreover, it has become clear that celiac disease is not only a childhood illness, as previously thought; symptoms may not begin until late adolescence or early adulthood, as Falchuk believed occurred in Anne Dodge's case. Yes, she suffered from an eating disorder. But her body's reaction to gluten resulted in irritation and distortion of the lining of her bowel, so nutrients were not absorbed. The more cereal and pasta she added to her diet, the more her digestive tract was damaged, and even fewer calories and essential vitamins passed into her system.
Anne Dodge told me she was both elated and a bit dazed. After fifteen years of struggling to get better, she had begun to lose hope. Now she had a new chance to restore her health. It would take time, she said, to rebuild not only her body but her mind. Maybe one day she would be, as she put it, "whole" again.
Saturday, March 31, 2007
... and I'm healthier! Who are "them?" A tree hugging clean eater. I found Mike Adams through Dr. Mercola's site. Mike has a new fan!
check out: www.newstarget.com for important nutritional info and scams by big business/big pharma/big gov't lost in their ways. I've never worked in big business, but I have in gov't - and they're just status quo mainstreamers who haven't had it bad enough to think outside the box. I would have been skeptical when in my 20s, but after my celiac diagnosis and subsequent reading, I'm shocked how behind our medical system is - and we all know about disappointing the gov't is. It's a difficult beast to change.
We have to do it one person at a time, and it starts with ourselves. We owe it to ourselves to live the best life we can; to teach our children so they can CONTRIBUTE to society via big business/gov't in a better/healthier way. Teach a man to fish and he's fed for a lifetime. ..
Thursday, March 29, 2007
I don't know if anyone's tracking the changes in our cultural health information, but I have. Since being diagnosed with celiac last February, I've gone on a health research odyssey. I've been reading about health since 1980, when I was readying to be married, and a doc warned me about my obesity. Oh that word. It shocked me. I thought I was chubby. The first thing I remember learning about was lecithin. I branched into reading books and the first one I remember was by Susan Powter. Being a happy newlywed I couldn't relate to her sarcasm about her divorce which seemed too much part of a story I didn't want to know about. BUT she taught me how to read labels and figure out fat/serving. She also discouraged dairy - and I loved it, so I ignored her. It only took me 25 years to convert!
Anyway, young and invinsible I was I was. I WAS. Life kept happening despite my trying to do the "right" things by eating well and "balanced." Then DH got a new job; we transferred to LA. It was overwhelming and I felt lost - sank into depression, got food poisoning and about died. And maybe this was the start to celiac? Actually, I have the gene - up to 40% of the gluten-eating population has it (esp if from No. European descent). I may have clicked it 'on' at this time. I had other symptoms prior though: chronic fatigue, depression and eczema, which was exaccerbated by stress. Esp in college. What's funny is I worked at Blimpies and ate a sandwich daily! And my arms broke out in eczema horribly! It seems so obvious now. I digress as usual. ANYWAY, the current trend in medicine as I see it:
Inflammation of the pancreas, GI tract, heart, etc., are inflammatory responses to external sources: food, environment, stress. And food and environment can cause stress, of course.
Dr. Sinatra (drsinatra.com) is a guest on a health program I try to watch daily with Dr. Stephen Becker & wife, Cindy Becker, YOUR HEALTH, out of Texas (bioinnovations.net). Sickies call with questions, and he gives answers based on nutritional healing. He learned from experience as he lives his wisdom after having survived lymphoma. He is a D.O.
From my prior readings/research and listening to him for several months I can't help but answer the questions from callers myself now. It all is quite a circle and it all makes so much sense. I wish everyone knew! I'm such a do-gooder and want the world to be one big healthy place. Is it wrong to dream of a better and healthier world? I'm so tired of seeing pain and suffering. I'm tired of reading posts where people are searching for answers (some can't 'hear', like I couldn't hear Susan Powter "back in the day?") to their pleas for help. I care too much. But I am going to stop so many posts because I need to focus more on my family and start rebuilding my life now that I've been given a second chance. I need to get back to a healthier world "within" myself, then my family. I found SP in the midst of my recovery and it has helped a lot. Since I move a lot, I found a sense of belonging and appreciated the faux friends I've gotten to "know" and have learned to appreciate in cyberspace. And I appreciate learning from others' experiences. Now back to the show about INFLAMMATION!
So today: Dr. Sinatra, 30+ years a cardiologist, is sharing some points from his book REVERSE HEART DISEASE NOW. I'll try to synopsize from tivo. This information crosses forum boundaries!
Dr. B brings up the difference in heart disease numbers between states with the lowest #s(Colorado) to the highest (lower Mississippi Valley, Ohio River Valley) and that if you know what to do, you can change the numbers.
Dr. S agrees that genetics play a role in heart disease, but environment is a MUCH more significant factor. We can't change our genes, but we can change our environment. How? Diet, supplements, exercise, breathing good air, avoiding allergens, avoiding heavy metals, etc.
He's grown, personally speaking, in the 30 years since starting residency. He's not such a robot and much more humble, emotional and spiritual in dealing with life/patients. He respects disease. He believes there are myths about cholesterol and heart disease, ie, In his early years, he used to lecture for pharmaceutical companies touting their drugs, but then he began to question it. In his 20s and 30s, he had thousands of patients with differing cholesterol numbers: some with cholesterol of 300 or 350 in their 70s or 80s wanting to be checked, and they were fine. Then he'd see people with cholesterol in the 150s who were having heart attacks. By 1986 he realized that cholesterol lowering drugs were inhibiting absorption of Co-enzyme Q10. That's when he stopped working for drug companies.
Dr. B asked if it was safe to integrate Dr. S's program with the patient's own doctor's protocol. Dr. S says it complements their program, though their cardiologist may not understand it, as it's not taught in med school. He emphasized that there are cardiologists who DO understand, and that it's a growing field. They are the "New" cardiologists.
Dr. S says to look at drug/pharmaceutical therapies, no matter the illness (high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol [my note: and GERD with Nexium, etc]), all DRUGS DEPLETE NUTRIENTS! Think about:
----Birth Control Pills deplete B vitamins [my note: I wonder if women on birth control pills have a higher incidence of breast cancer ... after my dx I read and printed out the pdr on many vitamins and it says lack of b vitamins causes breast cancer ...]
----Statin drugs and beta-blockers deplete Co-enzyme Q10 ((CoQ10 is a fat-soluble, vitamin-like substance in every human cell. It's involved in key biochemical reactions that produce energy in cells.)
----Dilantin (anti-seizure) medication depletes carnitine (A betaine commonly occurring in the liver and in skeletal muscle that functions in fatty acid transport across mitochondrial membranes.)
----Aspirin depletes folic acid (Folic acid is a water-soluble B vitamin essential in the human diet. It is an important cofactor in the synthesis of DNA and RNA of dividing cells, particularly during pregnancy and infancy when there is an increase in cell division and growth. Its purpose: is important to the field of oncology in two ways. First, prior to neoplasm formation, folic acid is important in the synthesis of DNA and RNA and the repair of damaged DNA. Second, after a tumor develops, a form of folic acid is used to counter the side effects of methotrexate and 5-fluorouracil (also called fluorouracil or 5-FU).
His point? After 35 years a doctor, he sees nutrient deficiencies, environmental and emotional toxicities as what causes cancer. He calls it the unholy trinity.
Dr. B then asks about "natural" methods. Are these "natural" substances nutrients or are they drugs? Dr. S says, indeed if you take too much, any nutrient can act like a pharmaceutical drug. However, things like CoQ10, carnitine, ribose are made by our bodies naturally (Dr. B mentioned that we don't make Lipitor in our bodies, do we?) -- what God gave us. Water is healing. If you pray over water it changes the [cellular] shape. Honeybees are healing. He's looking forward to sharing more about bee propolis for allergies and immune function and will have something in an upcoming newsletter. Bee propolis is good for immune function/ie the heart in this way: heart disease is inflammation or immune "insult" from NUTRIENT DEPLETION, EAND VIRONMENTAL AND EMOTIONAL TOXICITY.
Mrs. B said noone really talks about inflammation as it relates to heart disease. Dr. S said it's simple, yet complex. Think: if you have periodontal disease, dental caries (cavities), bleeding gums, missing teeth - you have a lot of bacteria in your mouth, right? What happens is the bacteria in your mouth sets off a hormonal mechanism in our body, or cytokines (Any of several regulatory proteins, such as the interleukins and lymphokines, that are released by cells of the immune system and act as intercellular mediators in the generation of an immune response.) - basically they become inflammatory messengers that try to help heal the mouth. BUT, in the process of trying to heal the mouth, these cytokines cause a hormonal change/inflammation in the heart. Just as the eyes are the windows to the soul, the teeth are a window to your heart health. Microorganisms are a big factor in heart disease. Commercial break. You too: go to the bathroom. lol
Mrs. B takes advantage of his presence on the set and brings out her lab work for his advice. She's been advised to go on statin drugs. She was told her cholesterol was "high." Her health history: nonsmoker, normal bp, exercises, eats healthy, no HRT, ideal weight. Risk factors are being a 50 yr old female, and the cholesterol #s: Total chol 222, HDL 74, LDL 128, Triglycerides 100. Dr. S said based on this he would not advise statin drugs-no way. For a man who's between 50-70 and has advanced heart disease, statin drugs are a blessing. Dr. and Mrs. B thought her HDL was a good number, and it might be, but Dr. S brought up that there's "dysfunctional" HDL or "toxic" HDL - he'll be talking about it in one of his upcoming newsletters in May or June. Her LDL is 128 and he likes it to be 100 give or take 30 either way, so that's fine. Dr. B asked if LDL is higher than 100, should you take a drug. Dr. S disagreed, and said that LDL is good for you: It lubricates your skin, it helps produce sex hormones progesterone and estrogen, and more importantly, it carries Co-Q10, vit E, and toxic mercury which causes enormous oxidative stress and premature aging. So not all LDL is toxic. The only time LDL IS toxic is when it's in company with his "Dirty Dozen" risk factors; and that causes heart disease. High cholesterol that is not angry, not toxic, non-oxidized is harmless.
Dr. B says that we are overpowered with messages of lowering cholesterol or preventing heart disease with drugs. Heart disease is caused by the Dirty Dozen:
1. Too much insulin: sugar causes heart disease. It plays a much larger role than anything. There are very high numbers of heart disease with those who are diabetic. When you have swings of sugar, you obviously therefore have swings of insulin to metabolize the sugar. Sugar is "endothelial cell unfriendly". It causes irritation to the lining of the microvasculature - or inflammation. Look at our society and all the fast food we have: high fructose corn syrup, soda.
2. Toxic blood: high homocystein, fibrinogen (sp?) -and unintelligible word, and high iron.
3. Oxidative stress: premature aging from free radicals. You can free these up with antioxidants.
4. Poor bioenergenics: having enough ATP(?) in the heart. If you don't have enough energy in the heart from having chronic fatigue or heart disease, you're "behind the 8-ball."
5. Bacterial threats: referred to bacteria in the mouth for one.
6. Toxic metals/minerals: exposure to mercury, lead, cadmium. Or fluoride: one of the reasons for so much thyroid disease today is because there's not enough iodine in the environment and thyroid disease gives us heart disease. There's too many bromides, fluorides, and too much chlorine, which gets absorbed through the skin and inhaled in the shower.
[I'm gonna stray from Dr. S for a moment. My note: what about the pool? And what about fluoride being added to many municipality water systems? - aack. So here's what Mary Shomon says in her "Living Well with Hypothyroidism" book p 272:
The most recognized problem with the ingestion of too much fluoride id dental fluorosis, characterized by the failure of tooth enamel to crstallize properly in permanent teeth. Effects range from chalky, opaque blotching of teeth, to severe, rust-colored stains, surface pitting, and tooth brittleness. There are many other health concerns - including cancer, genetic damage, neuro impairment, and bone problems - from overexposure. Many are increasingly concerned about the level of fluoride added to the water supply. The optimum level was set in the 1940s at approx 1 ppm (equal to 1mg/1 day) This was based on assumptions that the total intake would be 1 mg/day, assuming 4 glasses of water/day. However, current intake of fluoride comes not just from the water supply! A U of Iowa study reported in the Journal of American Dental Assoc found that 71% of more than 300 sodas contained 0.60 ppm of fluoride. Toothpaste, beverages, processed food, fresh fruits and veggies, vitamins and mineral supplements all contribute to the intake of fluoride. Today's estimate of fluoride ingestion: 8 mg/day.
Some experts/researchers believe that fluoride is part reason for the near-epidemic levels of hypothyroidism in the U.S. Fluoride had been used for decades as an effective antithyroid med to treat hyperthyroidism, and was frequently an effective treatment at levels below the current "optimal" intake of 1 mg/day. This is due to the ability of fluoride to mimic the action of thyroid-stimulating hormone. The more fluoride circulating, the more the body thinks there is TSH circulating, which shuts down the thyroid, making it less active.
Researcher and advocate Andreas Schuld has also found that excess of fluoride correlates with other thyroid-related issues such as iodine deficiency. Fluoride and iodine, both being members of the halogen group of atoms, have an antagonistic relationship. When there is excess of fluoride in the body, it can interfere with the function of the thyroid gland. It is possible that iodine deficiency, which is the most common cause of brain damage and mental disability in the world, could be lessened by simply cutting back on the use of fluoride.
Dr. Ken Woliner has some interesting thoughts on fluoride:
My father and I have done an extensive review of the medical and civil engineering literature (he is a civil engineer specializing in water treatment facilities). Topical fluoride (toothpaste, rinses and treatments) DOES help prevent dental caries. FLUORIDATION OF WATER SUPPLIES does NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING, to prevent dental caries. It's a myth, one that has been perpetuated by persons repeating review articles that quote "famous dentists," who quote other review articles, which quoted theoretical arguments. In municipalities that discontinued water fluoridation, the rate of tooth decay continued to decline. Water fluoridation does increase the risk of absorbing lead out of your pipes, leading to lead toxicity (with anemia and mental retardation). It may also contribute to thyroid disorders and other conditions.
[my note again: here's what Mary's missing in this scenario if you ask me: dental caries has risen because nutrition has fallen -- because grains are uber-present in our culture. Grain allergies/gluten sensitivities=nutritional deficiencies. Per Melissa Smith in her book "Going Against the Grain" - whole grains have phytates and other factors which impair zinc absorption. Zinc is vital for strong immunity, proper development and growth, and reproductive health. Whole grains contribute to poor calcium metabolism: the most abundant mineral in the body, calcium is one of the nutrients crucial for bone and dental health. Whole grains indirectly alter metabolism of vit D which functions as a hormone and is important for bone health and strong immunity. Whole grains are NOT good sources of B vitamins as touted. Most vitamin charts are calculated by weight. When the B vit content in equal-calorie servings of foods is compared, whole grains rank poorly. B vitamins are called the antistress vitamins and are important for energy. Whole grains contain anti-nutrients (called pyridoxine glucosides) that reduce B6 status. B6 is important for strong immunity, FEMALE HORMONE BALANCE, psychological well-being, and prevention of elevated HOMOCYSTEINE, a key heart disease risk factor. SEE HOW THIS TIES TOGETHER?! -end of Angel's note]. Back to Dr. Sinatra's "Dirty Dozen:"
7. Emotional stress: when you're under stress, you're putting out a lot of hormones: adrenalin, neuroadrenalin. They cause your blood to sticky, as in the "fight or flight response." Today we're fighting sabre-tooth tigers 50 times a day. You can't run from your stress, so your blood thickens (also called blood viscosity), it gets inflamed, platelets stick together, POTASSIUM, MAGNESIUM goes down, and you get set up for an arrythmia.
8. Gender factors. Women and heart disease. Women who are chronically fatigued are at risk.
Commercial break. Okay, go get a gf snack. ;-)
They end talking about the Dirty Dozen and start talking about other heart diagnosis like CAD-coronary artery disease like atherosclerosis, a stent, bypass, angioplasty, any situation with compromised blood flow to the heart these nutrients would benefit your heart. Dr B asked if someone with angina and a nitro-patch would benefit. Dr. S said yes, he recommends ribose, CoQ10, carnitine all the time. Remember that people with angina have an energy threat to the heart, their heart cramps up cause it needs ATP/oxygen. The heart requires weeks, up to 100 days, to get the required amount of ATP needed. All sick hearts leak out ATP, the energy of life - chi. Mrs. B asked about hypertension and how it's associated with enlarged hearts and he said they usually have diastolic dysfunction. In other words, the heart cannot relax, it becomes stiff, and you've got to have ribose, CoQ10 and carnitine cause they need ATP as well. The same thing happens in heart failure/cariomyopathy.
Dr. B asked why we're seeing more heart failure. Dr. S says over the last 10 years the incidence of coronary disease has gone down, but heart failure is going up. Dr. S believes this is nutritional deficiencies and the onset of statin drugs in the heart market. He repeated that statin drugs inhibits CoQ10. While statin drugs are incredible cholesterol killers, in the process of killing cholesterol, or "knocking out those pathways," it also knocks out the pathways for CoQ10. You MUST have CoQ10 to sustain the pumping energy of the heart. The reason statin drugs cause dyastolic dysfunction or heart failure is because CoQ10 levels go down and the heart begins to sputter over time. He believes doctors should treat the person, not the number. If the patient, unlike Mrs. B, develops leg and/or arm pain, liver problems, and difficulty focusing eyes, etc., then statins can be helpful.
They defined arrythmias: the heart gives out a rhythm. It can be premature beats, atrial or ventricular beats: most are benign or harmless and nothing to worry about. If you exercise, take caffeine, chocolate can affect the beat. However, atrial fibrilation or heart failure, people are prone to ventricular tachacardia are more serious. But they can be treated with carnitine, ribose and CoQ10 + fish oil. Fish oil is phenomenal for arrythmias.
Dr. B asks about a 70-80 yr old aging heart, and valve problems. Dr. S said most people by 60 or 70 will be leaking from two valves, but that's good news cause it's not going to hurt you. However, if you're leaking from 3 or 4, the aortic valve you *wouldn't* want to leak from. Most people leak from mitral and tricuspid, on the right and left side of the heart, and it's okay. When it leaks from 3 or 4, the chambers start to enlarge. They need CoEnzyme Q10. We make it naturally well until age 40, afterwhich is starts to fall off. When you get to be 70-80 yrs old, particularly in women, serious deficiencies happen. When men are 90, it downspikes sharply. Recap important nutrients:
CoQ10, L-carnitine, D-ribose (the natural and essential sugar of life made by the body - D-ribose has a negative glycemic effect!), magnesium, fish oil. And vit K2.
End of talk and start of Q&A with callers.
[end note from me: Inflammation is discussed by Dr. Weil in his book, Healthy Aging. Dr. Perricone, dermatologist to the stars, relates it to inflammation of the skin, Dr. Peter Green (getting more famous by me every day! ;-) -- inflammation of the colon/GI tract discusses it in his book, Celiac Disease: The Hidden Epidemic. Autoimmune responses are inflammatory responses. They all discuss reducing inflammation and diet can obviously help. An anti-inflammatory diet! What comes up all the time when I read nutrition books: fish, esp salmon, vegetables, fruit, WATER.
I loved The China Study - but he did NOT address grains as a source of problem in the U.S. A missing link in my estimation. Grains are NOT a diet staple in China! He discusses meat primarily as not necessary. Grains spike insulin also.
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