Monthly Archives: November 2016

Bromine Toxicity: Real or Not?

Bromine: Secret Toxin?

Reference: Endocrine Society, Oncology Letter,


What do you know about bromine? I bet not much. It’s in the halide family, meaning the same family as chlorine and iodine and fluorine. Iodine is the biggest size of the lot, then smaller bromine, then chlorine and finally fluorine. They all share a negative one charge, so act the same chemically. They differ only in size and weight. Bromine is easily extracted from ocean salt brine pools, and is used industrially as a fire retardant. It used to be used as an insecticide in the form of methyl bromide, but that turned out to be a potent ozone depletor, so that got nixed. And once upon a time it was used as an anti-anxiety drug, and hence the term, “Bromides” for trite and trivial soothing answers.

The issue of bromine that I want to explore is that of its competition with iodine. We need iodine. Desparately. It is one of the elements that all of us are just barely getting enough of. The WHO considers iodine deficiency the #1 cause of mental retardation in the world. And Americans are prone to it too. In Milwaukee, in the year 1900, 50% of women had goiter, the result of iodine deficiency. Today, 80% of American women have fibrocystic disease, an iodine deficiency illness. There is considerable research that shows iodine to be an anti cancer drug and a cure for fibrocystic breast disease.

So what’s the problem? Here’s the rub. Bromine competes with iodine. In fact, every halide competes with iodine. But bromine may be the worst, not because it’s obvious, but because it is subtle and pervasive. Bromine acts chemically just like iodine. It has never, ever, ever, been in the human nutrient supply chain, until the 1950s when it was substituted for iodine as a stabilizer in bread. Some states ban it, but not all. Then, we added it to every chair, mattress and couch in our lives as a fire retardant. We sold it in Bromo-Selzer until the bromide was removed in 1975 for “toxicity“. Bromine may not be a perfect fit for iodine in the process of making thyroid hormone, or in normal breast tissue, but it’s plentiful, pervasive and competitive.

And then we got our undies in a bundle over the supposed toxicity of iodine. A bizarre little story of iodine toxicity developed around the so called “Wolf-Chaikoff Effect” that was an experiment in rats, extrapolated to humans but never clinically proven in humans. I’m quite interested in it personally because, as a child up till age 18 in India, I used iodine to purify water, and on many occasions used iodine up to 10 pills a day (at 2.4 mg of iodine per pill). That was not uncommon practice. Made the water taste terrible, but killed all sorts of nasties. I don’t believe the Wolf-Chaikoff effect is real, and if it is, it is very short term and harmless. It’s not the bugaboo we think it is.

What the real danger, I believe, is that lots of us have a burden of bromine from environmental exposure (fluorine too). It’s not super toxic, or immediately toxic, but it shows up in many folks having flakey thyroid findings because they just can’t get their thyroid to function right. There appears to be a whole cottage industry in detoxing from bromine with salt water flushes. This idea has its detractors as well.

Szent-Gyorgyi, the Nobel Laureate for Vitamin C, took 1,000 mg a day of iodine until he was 93, claiming it to be his most useful supplement. He might be our most famous credible advocate for iodine supplementation, but he is not alone.

WWW.What Will Work for me. I take iodine as a supplement. 1 mg a day. I think we all should. Every woman worried about breast cancer and every man worried about prostate cancer should too. I’ve now met three people taking over 25 mg a day in the form of Iodoral pills. They feel great. No toxicity as far as I can tell. Szent-Gyorgyi took 1,000 mg a day. It appears to me there is latitude for higher doses. I’m thinking this may be what is missing in some folks whose thyroids otherwise just doesn’t act right. I would really like to hear from someone who had toxicity from iodine. I don’t there there are really too many. And I do think there are many of us with too much fluoride, bromide and chlorine in our food chain, all competing with iodine. Precautionary principle: we have too many halides in our food chain that were never there before, and are skimming along on the edge of insufficient iodine because of unproven fears. The only way to push those halides out, bromine included, is more iodine. So do it.

Pop Quiz:

‪1. Bromine toxicity is a proven phenomenon. T or F

Well, really false if you look at the standard PubMed literature, except for the obvious high dose poisoning, but enough advocates out there are claiming it. Are they crazy? Or is it all mixed up in our overblown anxiety about iodine?

‪2. Bromine can chemically act like iodine, and compete with it. T or F

‪This seems to be true. How much, we just can’t tell.

‪3. Iodine deficiency is real. T or F

Emphatically true. If you consider fibrocystic breast disease as an iodine deficiency disorder, its ubiquitous. If you listen to WHO, it’s our number one cause of mental retardation. Apparently very common in politicians. (Small joke)

‪4. Iodine toxicity is real. T or F

I’m coming down on the side of probably false. Too many anecdotes of much higher doses. And it will never be studied. Way too cheap.

‪5. There are many folks taking more than 12 mg a day of iodine without trouble. T or F

Well, yes. After Fukushima, many Japanese took 65-130 mg a day of iodine, and we didn’t see a huge epidemic of iodine toxicity from that. Think about that for a couple of minutes. I know of many who have taken 12.4 mg a day for years, with no apparent toxicity. Szent-Gyorgyi took 1,000 mg a day until he stopped working at Woods Hole at age 93.  I know, I know, there may be some issue with Hashimoto’s.  I haven’t seen much of it.

Vitamin K2 Builds Stronger Bones

Vitamin K2 Builds Stronger Bones

Reference: European Jr of Endocrinology    Published Nov 21, 2016

Vitamin K2 is going to be the story of the decade when it comes to bone health. Why? Well, hip fracture is currently happening at a rate of 17% of elderly Caucasian women and 6% of Caucasian men. African Americans are lucky, breaking their hips much less frequently than Caucasian women. But the incidence of osteoporosis is increasing around the world with rates dramatically rising in countries where doubling and tripling of rates of fracture in the last few decades is not uncommon. And hip fracture is not safe for you! It dramatically increases your mortality in the following 12 months with as many as a third of folks never escaping hospitals or chronic care facilities after their fractures.

Kids need K2 also. You reach maximum bone density around age 20-25 and that predicts what will happen to you over your remaining 60 years. Did you know that the rate of forearm fracture in kids has increased from 262 / 100,000 in 1969 to 399.8 in 1999? And lots of evidence aligns that with the loss of K2 in our diet, and our kids’ diets.

What’s happening? My interpretation is that around the world we are industrializing our food supply, raising our animals on feedlots. In that context, they are losing grass as a food source, and consequently losing their source of Vitamin K which they change into K2. When we humans eat those animals, or their milk products, we don’t get K2.

And that’s why I believe this article this week ought to raise eyebrows. In this study, 148 postmenopausal women who already had osteopenia were given Vitamin K2. It was randomized, placebo controlled in methodology, so should be valid. And the results were simple and significant. K2 prevented the loss of trabecular bone compared to the placebo group. This is the first study I’ve seen in which Uncarboxylated Osteocalcin was measured and was proven to decrease (that’s good) by 65%. You want your osteocalcin to be carboxylated as then it is able to bind calcium into bone. This validates the COMB study in which 77 volunteers increased bone density in just one year by 2-4 times the amount of those taking bisphonates. The COMB study wasn’t randomized. They were volunteers. So, it’s been questioned.

I’ve had a tricky time finding what happens to food when animals are moved from pasture to feedlot. I remember one reference that compared Gouda cheese from America to Dutch gouda and saw a 90% difference. But I can’t provide that reference. There is lots of evidencethat the bacteria that make gouda actually make K2 themselves. This makes gouda a very good source of K2.

Can you get enough K2 in your diet today? Well, no. To get 45 mcg, the minimum you should have a day, you would need to eat 5 Liters of yogurt, 8 eggs, 5 liters of milk and 8 pounds of beef. Not practical. If your meat is grass raised, well, better. We just don’t know how much.

If you look at guidelines for preventing hip fracture and osteoporosis, you don’t see mention of K2 yet. It should be there. If you know it, you are ahead of national guidelines. Now that we can measure uncarboxylated osteocalcin, it will soon become apparent and it will become part of our annual examination.

www.What Will Work for Me. I think K2 is a critical nutrient that every human should be on. We used to get it when we ate grass raised animals. Back when we were hunter gatherers, or primitive farmers, that was easy. It isn’t easy now. But one in six of us breaking a hip should give us pause and passion. Use that passion to buy some gouda cheese, and take K2 for the rest of your life. Think of the investment in you that makes. Ask your doctor to order your uncarboxylated osteocalcin. (Have a sense of humor…..they will look at you like you were a little daft.)

Pop Quiz

‪1. My risk of breaking a hip is?

‪Women 17%, Men 6%, African American Less, Asian in Asia, Less

‪2. If I take K2 I can expect my osteocalcin to become decarboxylated. T or F

False. It becomes carboxylated, and that is what actives it. Simple put, it completes the basket that holds calcium tightly. Without K2, you can’t hold calcium tightly.

‪3. This weeks study has validity because? It was a randomized, placebo controlled study. Nice work

‪4. The COMB study showed that folks decreased their risk of hip fracture? T or F

False. That wasn’t proven. But their bone density increased up to 8% within one year. And in my practice, I’ve seen several folks hit 7% with a year.

‪5. K2 is widely appreciated in national guidelines. T or F

Not yet. Hardly made a peep.

Statins Lower Men’s Testosterone

Statins Lower Men’s Testosterone

Reference: Pubmed (Endokrynol Pol),  Wikipedia,

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I’ve known this for years. You probably have too. I just wanted to read about it and get it in my data base so that I can refer to it freely. I see so many men who come to me with fatigue, lack of “oomph” (initiative), sexual dysfunction, and most of all, fear of cognitive decline. The topic keeps arising and in my practice, I’m now so convinced about men feeling better with sufficient testosterone, I wanted to explore the precise mechanisms of statin damage and just why so many men are on them.

Statins are effective at reducing mortality AFTER a cardiac event. They are one of the world’s most commonly used medications. Virtually every primary doctor has “guidelines” that require instituting statin therapy when certain thresholds of cholesterol are achieved. They haven’t been proven to have a sufficiently large effect BEFORE, if you take into account their side effects and factor in the cost benefit of those. The argument we have is that you can get the same effect of statins by ridding your diet of high glycemic carbohydrates. More on this later.

This study looked at 237 men on statins in Poland. They found that total testosterone declined from 16.35 nmol/L, to 14.9 ( p = 0.008), free testosterone from 39 to 32 pgms (p < .004), and calculated free from .36 to .32 ngms compared to aged matched controls. It looks like this averages to between 10-20% decline.

It makes complete sense. The mechanism of statin inhibition is the blocking of the HMG-CoA reductase step in the production of cholesterol. Making cholesterol is the first step in the cascade of hormone production. Now, here is where my beef with this strategy comes in. This is a very blunt tool. There are a boatload of other hormones you make that follow the first step. For example, step 2 in the hormone cascade is the production of sex hormones Pregnanolone. That’s your hormone of MEMORY. Some argue that it does, and some that it doesn’t. But then, the cascade of hormones progresses down to cortisol in one pathway, and DHEA, estrogen and testosterone on the other side. There are studies that show it has no impact on hormones or gonadotropins. My question would be to ask who funded those studies. I’m skeptical until I see research not funded by pharma.

But the real issue is to explore how to reduce “bad” cholesterol and raise HDL by lifestyle changes. After all, that should be the first step anyways. And this is the dilemma we find ourselves in today. You are told to ask your doctor about how to do healthy lifestyle changes, and then told to eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. But doctors haven’t been trained in nutrition.

I’ve been stunned by the changes my clients make with their cholesterol when they avoid high glycemic carbs. That means all grains, potatoes, almost all fruits. Their bad cholesterol gets better, (small dense LDLs), their good cholesterol gets better, (Big fluffy LDLs and Big fluffy HDLs). And we can prove this with lab tests within weeks. One by one. What you eat can change your bad cholesterol to good, within weeks. Try it.

And back to testosterone. Men with lower testosterone have higher risk of Alzheimer’s. And their muscles ache. I believe the incidence of muscle damage is underreported because most studies have wash in periods where people with complaints and symptoms are excluded.

You decide. What risk do you want? Want heart disease, or brain disease? You can have neither is you reduce your grains and high glycemic foods.

WWW.What will work for me. Bit by bit we are finding more salads and stews that are made with vegetables and dark green leafy stuff. That includes an occasional dandelion lead or two. And stop being so panicked about the fat.

Pop Quiz

‪1. Testosterone is lowered by taking statins. T or F

True. Plain and simple.

‪2. There are other side effects from statins including such things as muscle aches and memory loss. T or F


‪3. It takes a long time to make those changes. T or F

False if you can change quickly. Many of us take a while to actually develop new habits. And our lizard brains keep gobbling sugar when ever it gets within reach.

‪4. What is your greatest fear of late life morbidity?                 You tell me.

‪5. I trust the literature published to date on side effects of statins. T or F

If you said true, I have a 40 acre plot of great family vacation camping woods down in Louisiana I would like to sell you.

Lipotropic Shots: Fact or Fiction?

Lipotropic Shots: Fact or Fiction

References:  Priority HealthEmpower PharmacyHepatologyAmer Jr Clin NutrBlood Review,

Ever heard of lipotropic injections? I hadn’t, until a few months ago. When a client came to me and asked if I would give them to her, because her doctor in Arizona was using them and she could lose weight with them, I paid attention. When I was asked a second time, I sat up and started reading.

The literature goes back to the 1930s when fatty liver started raising its head as a problem. Charles Best was researching how to help the liver recover from fatty liver. It was his initial research that sparked interest, and discovered many of the agents that worked. Today as many as 50% of Americans over age 60 have fatty liver without even knowing it. It slows down our energy flow, our ridding of toxins, our efficient burning of fat.

We see it as being overweight, and wanting to lose weight. Well, who doesn’t want to do that? What do the shots do? They combine the compounds that have been found to increase your liver’s efficiency of metabolism. The benefits are considered to be the preservation of muscle, the burning of fat, the enhancement of energy and the improvement in liver function. The ingredients include methionine, choline and inositol, along with all the B vitamins and l-carnitine. The ingredients work because together, they have a synergistic effect. And many aren’t well absorbed from the gut. Hence, a shot. Many folks include betaine as an oral supplement along with the shots to enhance it even better. That is well absorbed orally.

From what we now know of mitochondrial function, this is exactly the process of helping the mitochondria access and burn energy more efficiently. In fatty liver, our liver is all clogged up with little fat globules, inhibiting the liver factory from working efficiently. With the ingredients of the lipotropic injections, your liver’s mitochondria start clearing the liver of backed up fat and your peripheral mitochondria to be able to burn more of it.

Suddenly, my lights turned on. All the literature I read shows that lipotropic injections improve the methionine cycle, and help lower homocysteine. So, now I get it. I’ve been trying to help folks lower homocysteine to improve risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Many of us have homocysteines hovering in the 10-12 range, some even higher. For every point over 7 of homocysteine, your risk of AD goes up some 16%. The narrative we use with Alzheimer’s is that we want your brain to learn to run on ketones, or fat. To do that, we need to cut carbs and increase the efficiency of our methionine, homocysteine cycle.

Son of a gun, the Lipotropic Shots do that! Coming at it from a different way.
So, maybe they are fact. The fiction part of me suspects that this is a bit of marketing hooey. Can’t you get all this from food? What does it take a shot to get it into you ?

WWW. What will work for me. I’ve ordered all the ingredients for my office and I’m going to run an experiment for myself. I’m looking for some hard nosed skeptics, who want to lose weight and who are willing to give themselves a shot every week/day. If you are willing to do this, I will set up a regiment of shots for you for cost. I want to take the first 5 people who give the office a jingle and are willing to give feedback. I want your weight before and after 12 weeks of shots. You have to keep exercising, cutting carbs and eating sensibly. Let’s see if this old fashioned idea still has legs.

Pop Quiz
1. Lipotropic shots have ingredients that reduce your ability to burn fat and help you burn carbs? T or F False. Go back and read the column. It appears that lipotropic shots increase the ability of your cells to turn all energy, and preserve muscle.

2. Lipotropic shots got their name from research in the 1930s aimed at reducing fatty liver? T o F True

3. Today, we understand that lowering homocysteine has some overlapping effects, as both processes are aimed at enhancing the methionine, homocysteine cycle, that helps your body get rid of toxins and burn energy more effectively? T or F True

4. Can’t you get all this stuff from food? Apparently not.

5. Is this just a marketing gimmick? Let’s try and find out.