Monthly Archives: April 2017

Have a Sauna, Live Longer

Have a Sauna, Live Longer

References:  JAMA Internal MedDrSinatra,  TimeWikipediaToxic-Mold-SyndromeTownsend Letter,

Saunas make you live longer. Plain and simple. And where in the world do people take saunas? Finland! Lots of saunas. In fact in this current study, 2,315 men in Finland, ages 42-69, were queried as to their sauna habits and only 12 indicated that they never took a sauna. Just about every apartment building in Finland has a sauna built into its structure, just next to the shower and bathroom.

I first came across Finnish sauna when I visited Finland last year to meet my future daughter in law’s family. They live in southern Finland in the city of Salo, home to one of Nokia phone’s main manufacturing hubs 20 years ago. There, in their apartment, was a sauna. We then went on a drive to see their summer home, and in a lovely lakeside cabin, three more saunas, one indoors and two separate wood fired saunas in their own buildings. My take away message, saunas are common in Finland!

Why do you live longer when you take a sauna? Just in terms of cardiovascular deaths, the reductions were quite extraordinary. For those who took 1 sauna a week, 10% died over 22 years of follow up. If they took 2-3 saunas a week, 7.8 % had sudden cardiac death. Of those who took 4-7 a week, only 5% had sudden cardiac death. For all cause mortality, it was 295 (49.1%), 572 (37.8%), and 62 (30.8%). If you understand hazard ratio (the relationship of intervention to control), the benefit of 2-3 sauna a week over 1 a week was 22% better survival and 63% better survival for 4-7 a week. These are unbelievable numbers. Finally, compared to under 11 minute saunas, 11-19 minutes saunas added an extra 7 % benefit, and more than 19 minutes had an additional 52% reduction in mortality risk. So, longer and more frequent were both better.

What specifically does a sauna do? They may do many things, but one thing we do know is that you sweat. Ok. That’s obvious. Why is sweating good for you? You get rid of toxins. In fact, measurements of mycotoxins in urine show you increase excretion of mold (mycotoxins) toxins 6 fold when you do a 20 minute infrared sauna. Pretty good, huh! Considering that many of us can be shown to have some 287 different toxins in us, thanks to research from the Environmental Working Group, most of us are living with a large toxin burden, stuck in our fat tissue. Saunas may be the best way to get rid of it. Do we know that for sure? Well, not sure sure. But we do know you get rid of a lot of gunk with infrared saunas. And that may be the key.

WWW. What will work for me. This data is so powerful, I’m seriously contemplating getting an infrared sauna. If I can clean up my basement enough to get space, this might be one of the best things we can do for ourselves. Having seen saunas in Finland, I now know that this research is very real, and has real implications. The survival data from this research is just about the most powerful intervention we can do for our personal health. Hmm. You can buy or build your own infrared sauna for under $ 1,000.

Pop Quiz

1. You have to get hot to get a benefit from a sauna. T or F Probably true. Sweating is a key feature. But an infrared sauna isn’t as hot as the traditional dry wood fired sauna.
2. More saunas are better than fewer? T or F True. The benefit keeps climbing up to one a day.
3. You only need to get in there for 5 minutes to benefit? T or F Well, we don’t know. Under 9 minutes had a benefit. Under 5 we don’t know. And more benefit with increments up to 30. So, longer is better.
4. It’s too expensive to get a sauna. T or F Well, if it’s true for you, I’m sorry. But you can do it for about $ 1000 if you do most of it yourself, or even less.
5. And just what is it that happens in a sauna.? A: Measurable dramatic reductions in sudden cardiac death, cardiac events, overall mortality with increasing benefit by frequency and length of sauna. 30 minutes 7 days a week is best.

 

Asparagus, Cure for Cancer

Asparagus, Cure for Cancer?

References:  Hope for CancerAICRSnopes,

Does asparagus cure cancer? Any cancer? No. And it might make leukemia worse. I’ve been asked twice this week about it, so it must be a hot topic out there in email-land. Repeat, it doesn’t cure cancer. By itself.

Is there a nugget of truth in it? Now that’s a whole other story. Yes! There is a nugget. There are several and this is important for you to know.

Nugget number one. Asparagus is a strongly alkaline vegetable. That means it has lots of magnesium and potassium in it, making for an alkaline effect. In simplest summary, if you ate only asparagus, your urine pH would be alkaline. Cancer cells don’t like alkali. They depend on lower acidic pH to facilitate blood vessel growth. More on this later.

Nugget number two. Asparagus has a very low glycemic index. That means it has virtually no effect on insulin. Considering that insulin is one of cancer’s most potent growth factors, the lower your insulin, the less intrinsic stimulation you will get. You are much better off eating all your calories in the form of asparagus rather than cookies and ice cream.

Nugget number three. Fiber. Asparagus has tons of fiber. Fiber pushes the calories down to your colon and nourishes all the biome in your colon. That’s good. Healthy gut biome means robust immune system. We like robust immune system.

Nugget number four. Glutathione. Asparagus is one of our best food sources of glutathione. Glutathione helps you rid yourself of all the negative ions that cancer seems to spew out, which help cancer growth. We like glutathione.

So, what’s the full story about alkalinity? Would asparagus apply and work if you only ate vegetables? The integrative cancer fellowship I took has alkalinity as one of its foundational principles, along with eating low insulin inducing foods. A first step in many cancer programs is to eat more vegetables with high “alkaline” qualities – mostly above ground green leafy type vegetables. Or, take two teaspoons of potassium bicarb a day. Measure your urine pH. You have enough vegetables when your pH gets to 7.0 on first morning void.

Mark Rosenberg, head of the University of South Florida Integrative Cancer Fellowship program, uses alkaline therapy strategies with dramatic effect. By combining the vulnerabilities of cancer cells to insulin, alkali, glucose and oxygen, he has demonstrated quite remarkable cancer burden reduction, and in some cases complete remission of Hospice care patients. His strategies will soon become standards of care. In his hospital in Columbia, South America, he combines heat therapy with high dose glucose and oxygen to ramp up cancer metabolism, then blocks acid excretion from cancer cells, forcing the cancer cell to become internally acidotic, and die. No side effects. No human toxicity. Cancer shrinks.

Alkaline therapy works, in the case of making it extreme, like Dr Rosenberg. It should be slightly effective in the single serving of asparagus. Will you be able to demonstrate a cure. No.

WWW.What will work for me. Many of these alleged cancer cures have a tiny nugget of truth. The devil is in the details. I eat asparagus with enthusiasm. But I also eat the widest variety of vegetables I can get, as long as they aren’t root veggies. The roots have too many carbs.

Pop Quiz

  1. You can cure cancer with asparagus? T or F                If you can find a real case, please call me. Until then, it’s false.
  2. Asparagus has some cancer fighting qualities? T or F                  True: here you can say true. To get to a cure, you might need to eat more than humanly possible.
  3. Alkaline therapy, which includes asparagus and other green vegetables, may have a dramatic impact on cancer.            T or F                          Now you are cooking. True. Maybe not yet fully appreciated.
  4. You will get less cancer if you weigh less. T or F                        This is generally true. Your insulin level is lower when your fat cells are smaller. Insulin is a growth factor for cancer cells.
  5. You can fight cancer by eating fat and less carbs. T or F                      This is also true, but it’s a whole other topic. Cancers can’t digest or metabolize fat. Simply that

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VIP: Very Important Peptide

VIP: Very Important Peptide

References:  WikipediaBiotoxin Journey,

Actually it’s VASOACTIVE INTESTINAL PEPTIDE. That’s where it was discovered, in the gut. Though it was found in the gut and pancreas, it is also made, in abundance, in the hypothalamus. It has a huge library of effects from extra heart contractility to relaxation of capillaries to gut motility, gallbladder and trachea muscle relaxation, increasing water and electrolyte secretion into the gut. All of its effects on the gut are to increase its activity and movement. It also helps prolactin secretion, leading to breast feeding. It’s critical to the daily clock function in your brain. It helps women’s vaginas lubricate. It has a very potent effect on heart pumping and peripheral vascular relaxation. This is a huge portfolio of activity.

Did you know that it does one final good deed? Folks who have mold illness CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome) who hurt all over, can’t sleep, can’t lose weight, have no energy and just plain feel miserable, will often have very low VIP levels, which, when replaced, can lead to almost immediate relief. Can you imagine that? Imagine a chronic fatigue patient who has been given pain pills for years, can’t hardly get out of bed, is way overweight and eats like a bird who rises out of their stuporous state to normalcy when they get VIP given to them.
Too good to be true? Well, possibly. For that sort of effect to happen, Shoemaker from SurvivingMold.com has given it to several thousand patients and found it to be the last step of his 11 step program, where it works with great results, if all the prior 10 steps have been followed. He contends that treating with VIP before you have taken the first 10 steps is somewhat akin to painting a burning house. You have to put out the fire first.
Just how is all that happening? CIRS happens in only 25% of the population. 75% of us can get away with being exposed chronically and not get sick to mold toxin. But of that 25%, 2% are wickedly prone to devastating illness. Ironically, their illness is all at the level of cytokines and brain peptides, with typical lab all looking normal. CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome) only shows a few clues around the edges, like high CRP, of normally done lab tests. Routine doctors visits end up with, “You look great” and no answer to devastating fatigue, systemic aches, horrible sleep, lousy brain fog, no good memory and inability to exercise.
How do you put out the fire? Shoemaker’s 11 step list is pretty detailed.
1) You must remove ongoing sources of exposure. That’s absolute or everything else is a waste of time 2) Then reduce the body burden of toxin by binding it in the gut and getting it out by the use of cholestyramine 3) Clean up the nose where you likely have MRCoNS (methicillin coag-negative staph), 4) fix MSH, 5) fix MMP-9, 6) fix ADH/osmolality, 7) fix VEGF, 8) fix C4a, 8) fix TGF beta-1, 9) fix CD4+CD25+, 10) Finally, if VIP is low and symptoms still persist, replace it. That’s when the miracle occurs. Steps 4-9 all have clear methodologies to measure and repair their attendant problems. The treatment with VIP needs to be done with great care, following a careful protocol of treatment, monitoring and followup. It is possible to get pancreatitis from using it, so its use is not without risks.
Does this relate to you? It may not. But there folks who are just crippled with symptoms and nowhere else to turn. If you know one, forward this to them!

WWW.What will work for me. I’m deep into my mold certification. I’ve got the lab lined up and the first folks getting tested. There are more than just a few folks for whom this story rings true. Let’s see if we can bring them relief!

 

Pop Quiz

  1. CIRS stands for…?

A: Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome

Standard Lab tests show what in CIRS? A: Nothing. Maybe a high CRP

  1. VIP is a hormone with fantastic ability to improve fatigue, sleep, pain, brain fog, chronic pain, joint aches…. T or F

A: True, if the person has CIRS and has taken all prior 10 steps of the Shoemaker Protocol

  1. VIP is a widely active hormone: Name two of its actions.

A: Makes heart beat stronger, blood vessels relax, gut make more juice, gallbladder relax, vagina lubricate, brain calculate time….(probably more to come)

  1. VIP is very safe to use and has no side effects. T or F

Not true at all. It can cause pancreatic and requires careful lab and physician monitoring.

ProOpioMelanocortin

POMC: The God Protein

References: Wikipedia, Uniprot,

Proopiomelanocortin. Repeat after me. Proopiomelanocortin. Bet you never heard of that before. What is it? It’s the protein that runs you. It’s a large protein that is in your pituitary gland that is made from pre-pro-proopiomelanocortin, a 285 amino acid long peptide that is activated once the 44 amino acid activating fragment is removed. Then it is ready for activation. It’s all in its name, at least part of it. Opio – it has opioid activity in part of it. Melano – it has melatonin activity. Cortin – it has cortisol activity. The devil is in the details. It is the prototype-hormone that can be split in many directions, depending on what enzymes attack it and chop it up into other pieces. It is those other pieces that become the hormones that run your body. ACTH heads off to the adrenal glands, giving you cortisol for energy and stress response. MSH has all sorts of appetite and sexual activity implications. The appetite part works through leptin. Generally it suppresses appetite as does leptin, when you aren’t leptin resistant. Beta-endorphin manages pain perception and immune function.

The devil is in the details. POMC can be chopped up into at least 10 different hormones, depending on where it is chopped. All the regions are overlapping with each other so any one hormone that is created might nix the making of another. It all depends on which chopping enzyme gets activated, and the activation is managed by adding or subtracting marking sugars or acids attached on certain sites.

An example of how it works goes as follows. You go to the gym and exercise like crazy. Imagine a good Cross Fit workout, or a great tennis match, or a hard 5mile run. Your body is demanding more fuel so you put out the call for more cortisol to mobilize more fuel. To make more cortisol, you need ACTH. First you chop the pre-pro-proopiomelanocortin into proopiomelanocortin. From that you then chop it into ACTH. When you make ACTH, you also, by chance make beta-endorphin. That’s your natural opioid. Presto: you feel a warm glow of happy feelings. The runner’s high.

That’s what happens when it works well. Guess what happens when it gets screwed up? The CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome) as typified by black mold attacks you right at POMC. By downregulating the natural ebb and flow of POMC, you block beta-endorphin, ACTH and leptin which results in your being utterly unable to lose weight, not sleeping well, hurting all over and having no energy. Sound like anyone you know? We shy away from all those folks because it is to awfully overwhelming. We call people with that “Chronic Fatigue” or “Fibromyalgia” and give them pain pills and usher them out as fast as possible.

It might be kinder to investigate why they are feeling so awful. Ritchie Shoemaker, the author of the web site www.survivingmold.com claims that 80% of folks with chronic fatigue actually have CIRS, and positive markers for mold. They represent as many as 25% of the population when you do genetic testing for those who are susceptible to mold toxins. All they need is repeated exposure. 2% of folks are exquisitely sensitive, and 5 minutes in a sick water damaged building will set them off. If you can fix their POMC and get it back to normal function, their suffering will be over and they will claim you were the dispenser of a real miracle: the God Protein.

WWW.what will work for me. I’m totally fascinated with POMC and have started working on being certified as a Black Mold specialist. It’s a couple hundred articles and pages of reading, but if I come out being able to fix those folks who have been blown off by 8 other physicians and given nothing but symptom relief, I’ll be pleased. I am getting awfully hyper about any water leaks in my house. There are roofers up on our roof right now making sure our house stays dry. Mold will happen anytime you let water leak in your house, and don’t fix it promptly.

Pop Quiz

‪1. POMC is the prohormone that modulates your sex drive. T or F

Well, part of it does. There are implications for sexual function in MSH but more of it’s components go to energy and pain control

‪2. POMC can be chopped up to make how many hormones?

A: At least 10 and maybe more

‪3. Can they all be made at the same time?

No, any given combination will only make 2 or 3 depending on where you cleave the protein. This means there is lots of overlap.

‪4. The toxins of mold do their dirty deed by disrupting POMC. T or F

A: Bingo

‪5. Mold illness is rare. T or F

Are you kidding? Probably as many as 25% of our population has the genetic tendency to be affected. Likely only 2% are exquisitely sensitized, but that is still a huge number. (6-7 million exquisitely sensitive, 90 million partially sensitive.)