Monthly Archives: May 2017

Sulfate: Maybe it All begins with Sulfate

Sulfate: Maybe it All begins with Sulfate

References:  Holistic Primary Care,  Theor Biol Med Model,

You’ve probably heard the term -sulfate added on to many medical terms. For example: chondroitin sulfate. You might have shrugged it off like it was just an add on salt, and no big deal. In that, you may be very, very wrong. At least, you are if Stephanie Senneff from MIT is right. At last March’s Clinical and Scientific Insights Conference in San Francisco Dr. Senneff had a breakout session on sulfate and it’s importance. In sum, she argues this is one of the foundational causes of most diseases. Whoa! That’s big. How can she claim that?

Here is her logic based on proven experimental literature and known chemical principles. The sulfate anion, a combination of sulfur and oxygen, is the fourth most common anion in out bodies. It plays many critical roles detoxing drugs, digesting food, building our intracellular matrix, preventing blood from coagulating when passing through tiny capillaries. Lots and lots of roles. And where does it start? Ironically, in your skin with exposure to sunlight. A combination of red cells, cholesterol, sunlight and vitamin D are all necessary ingredients to make the sulfate anion. Senneff describes our skin as our solar powered battery because it extracts the energy of sunlight through the enzyme Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthetase that turns the energy of sunlight into the sulfate anion in your skin.
At this point, sunlight and sulfate make two new and unrecognized molecules, vitamin D sulfate and cholesterol sulfate. The Vitamin D sulfate is water soluble and can travel everywhere. The Vitamin D you take in a pill doesn’t have the sulfate attached, so can’t dissolve in water (blood) so doesn’t have near the effectiveness of the sulfated form. But ditto for the cholesterol. It’s hard to get sufficient Vitamin D from oral supplementation alone, making sunlight a critical link for good health. Hmmm….don’t you just plain feel better when you get sunlight. The principle remains, many hormones, vitamins, fats have to be sulfated to be transported in the blood.

The foundational necessity of sulfate comes down to the physics of fluid flow in your blood and blood vessels. Cholesterol sulfate lines the outside of red blood cells creating a negatively charged field so that red cells repel each other, allowing them not to stick together as they travel through all your tiny capillaries and not rupture. That same negative charge carried by sulfate creates a behavior of water atoms on the surface of blood vessels that make them super slippery, almost like a teflon surface. In fact, that effect of sulfate may be central to the actual biology of how heart disease gets started. That’s for next week.

WWW.What will work for me. If sulfate is important, where can I get it in my diet? Well, ever wondered why garlic is such a potent herb? Loaded with sulfate! And the whole broccoli, kale, cabbage family. Loads of it. Eggs. Ditto. And sunshine? Yeah, I know the dermatologists goes nuts over too much of it. But without it, you don’t make the sulfate ion in your skin. This may be another clue why Vitamin D studies haven’t always panned out. You can’t just take the pure D3. It’s sulfated D3 that’s the portable form. Like cholesterol sulfate, the portable form. That role of sulfate making our blood vessels slippery makes sulfate central to our bodies being able to be multicellular. It allows us to distribute energy and get rid of gunk. After all, glutathione is based on sulfur. On and on and on. Eat more garlic.

Pop Quiz

1. Sulfate ions are key to making water insoluble compounds soluble and that has its impact felt on what crucial vitamin/hormone?                                Answer: Vitamin D


2. Humans can live without sunlight? T or F                                    False. We get sick, not just from lack of Vitamin D,but also lack of sulfate creation by sun in our skin.


3. Human red cells don’t stick to each other because they have a halo of?                      Answer: Negatively charged sulfate atoms.


4. Blood vessels are slippery because they have a surface layer of water atoms set up by…?                    Answer: Negatively charged sulfate atoms


5. I can get more sulfate in my diet by eating what foods?                                   Answer: Kale, garlic, eggs, broccoli, Brussel’s sprouts.


Bergamot – a Food Answer for Statins

Bergemot – a Food Answer for Statins

References:  International Jr of CardiologyScientific ResearchWikipedia,  BioMed ResearchReggio do Calabria,

Ever heard of Bergamot? Not me! You should. It’s an ancient hybrid of mandarin oranges, pumalo and lemons but is now grown as its own fruit mostly in the Reggio de Calabria region of Italy and a few other isolated Mediterranean locations. It’s not been used much outside of Italy, except perhaps as the flavor of Earl Gray Tea. There is an herb called bergamot but that is in the mint family and completely unrelated. This article is about the orange-like fruit with its unique compounds melitidin and brutieridin which have statin like qualities.

Yes, statin like qualities. We know red yeast rice has statin like effects, but bergamot has not been well known. In one study, bergamot was added to rosuvastatin to see if there was similar or additional effects. There were! The bergamot lowered the LDL fraction all by itself, but additionally lowered markers of oxidative stress. This is the real driver of blood vessel damage. You can measure markers like malondialdehyde, oxyLDL receptor LOX-1 and phosphoPKB, (in research labs, not in practice) which are all biomarkers of oxidative vascular damage, in peripheral polymorphonuclear cells.

Another study from Italy looked at both cholesterol and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease markers against the use of bergamot. These are both independent markers of risk for subsequent heart attacks and strokes. Bergamot had pretty impressive effects. In the group receiving the bergamot extract of 650 mg twice a day, a statistically significant reduction of fasting plasma glucose ( 118 to 98) , serum LDL cholesterol (162 to 101) and triglycerides (232 – 160) alongside with an increase of HDL cholesterol (38 to 49) was found. Liver functions showing fatty liver dropped too. ALT went from 54 to 36 and AST from 54 to 41. Wow!
Now, all of those same changes can be made by eating less high glycemic foods. Cut out all grains and sugar and eat lots of greens, healthy oils and vegetables and you can get much of the same. Or get ketogenic with 20 grams of carbs a day and you will see all the same effects.

WWW. What Will work for me. My eternal struggle to find a sensible role for statins keeps coming up short. And when I find a natural food that nature has made for us, I get great satisfaction. Bergamot has just been released as a supplement you can purchase. I’m adding it to my protocol for heart disease reversal. I am looking for folks who want to try it for three months and see what happens to an otherwise stable situation. I suspect it will have overlap for any condition that benefits from lower blood sugar: Alzheimer’s and cancer to name two.

Pop Quiz

  1. Bergamot is an herb that helps heart disease. T or F
    False. Get the details right. It’s an orange family fruit. The herb smells nice but is unrelated.
  2. Bergamot appears to lower heart disease risk factors more than any other single food. T or F
    That is probably true
  3. We have great research showing that it reduces heart attacks. T or F
    False. And we never will. There is no money behind this. It costs millions to follow people for years. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t. It just hasn’t been clinically proven. These two papers simply show that it has the same chemical effect as statins and lowers the key risk factors. You have to make a leap of faith to assume it would help. Probably reasonable well founded leap, but still not proven.
  4. If you have fatty liver, you should take bergamot. T or FAbsolutely true. Fatty liver is a dangerous marker for both vascular disease, but also for sudden, unexpected liver failure. That’s worse! Getting rid of fatty liver is a big deal.
  5. I need a prescription to get Bergamot. T or FFalse. I have it in my office. MD Custom Pharmacy has it. Amazon has it. Don’t get the essential oil. You want the orange extract. The oil is a mint family extract.


ADHD: Zinc and Copper

ADHD: Zinc and Copper

References:  ZRT BlogProgress in NeuropsychopharmacologyActa Paediatrica,

We have been reporting on the roll of Zinc and Copper in cognitive decline in adults. It should come as little surprise that children have cognitive issues when their zinc and copper aren’t properly tuned. With all the recent reporting about lead in Flint, Michigan, increased awareness about the dangers of lead are now common knowledge. But imbedded in the Flint story has also been data showing excess copper in many water systems, including Flint’s.

The human body needs a very fine balance of copper and zinc. Copper is needed to make dopamine. Dopamine is a happy hormone when properly balanced leads to alertness and good motivation. But too much copper makes for too much dopamine, which then turns into norepinephrine, leading to irritability, hyperactivity, impulsivity, agitation and aggressiveness. Hmm. Sounds like ADHD to me. Most ADHD meds work by increasing dopamine. But with excess copper, that won’t happen. In fact, you get the opposite. And excess copper blocks the production of serotonin, another happy hormone resulting in depression and anxiety. A randomized trial of adults with ADHD showed the same thing; those with higher copper levels had worse response to treatment than those with lower copper levels. Conclusion: too much copper isn’t good for you.
What about zinc? Well, zinc and copper behave a bit like a teeter-totter. One goes up when the other goes down. Living in a world of copper pipes that leach copper, just like lead pipes leach lead, we are all getting too much copper. And as a consequence, most of us have too like zinc. What impact does that have on ADHD? Many studies have proven that zinc deficiency plays a strong role in ADHD. A recent study from Egypt showed a direct inverse relationship with zinc levels and hyperactivity. Those with the lowest levels of zinc had the worst problems with conduct, anxiety, hyperactivity. Hence, it’s not hard to show that kids with the lowest levels of zinc have the worst symptoms.
Guess what happens when you resupply zinc back? Your teeter totter balances back. Rising zinc lowers copper. And research in ADHD has shown exactly that. When 400 kids with ADHD were given zinc at 150 mg a day for 12 weeks, those given the zinc had markedly less (statistically significant) hyperactivity, oppositional behavior and improved attention. 150 mg is a whopping big dose of zinc and is safe only in the short term, like 10 weeks. But even 15 mg a day for 10 weeks results in significantly better behavior and attention.
Did you get all that? We know zinc plays a big role in adults but this was news to me, it’s effect on kids with ADHD. Considering that zinc is so critical to a healthy brain, it’s not surprising. Particularly considering the diet of most American kids, not a lot of: oysters, beans, nuts, clams, and whole grains and dairy. Maybe the dairy. But then, there is the issue of A1 milk with dairy, so nix that.
WWW.What will work for me. I’m taking zinc myself to keep my Zinc level above my copper as a function of brain health. Most of the folks I’ve measured it in require 25-50 mg extra a day to increase their zinc above their copper, and even then it takes a year to get there. I have seen so many people with zinc levels in the 50s, when it should be in the 90-100s, I’m not surprised that it has an effect. That low has to be problematic, when hundreds of enzymes use zinc as their focus. Our immune system requires it for proper functioning. I’ve heard of one serious zinc toxicity case, so I do know you can take too much. Get it measured.

Pop Quiz

  1. Zinc supplementation is helpful in ADHD. T or F

Bingo. In a nutshell.

Zinc is common in fruits and vegetables. T or F

Well, more so in sea food like oysters and clams, nuts, whole grains and dairy.

There are studies showing that 150 mg of zinc is safe? T or F

It’s true, if you only take it for 12 weeks, the length of the study here. Otherwise, it can lower copper too far.

4.  Zinc and copper are both in some odd relationship to each other, with copper driving zinc down, and vice versa. Like a teeter totter.

Yup, yup, yup

Too much copper is bad for ADHD. T or F

Again, yes. And that is why you need zinc supplementation to lower your copper level. I suspect we are going to find that too much copper is bad for lots of mental health problems. To follow


Chondroitin; The Cure For Heart Disease, Right Before Our Eyes

References:  Exp Med Surg 1969Atherosclerosis 2017,Knowledge of HealthAngiology,

This is strong language. CURE for heart disease. But I think it’s real. What is fascinating to me is that this is not new. It was published in 1969 and disappeared. My eyes were opened when a new client came to me with a story of curing himself, following this method. He had catheterization data to prove it.

So, what’s the deal? It’s really the story of the life work of a cardiologist named Lester Morrison from Loma Linda, California. He was the head of the atherosclerosis research institute there, and dedicated his life to figuring out how to reverse heart disease. And in nut shell, he did. He figured it out and published it.

Here is his logic and his data. He used chondroitin sulfate, which he called the glue of life, because it was the substance that held cells together and appeared to be the first line of defense against the invasion of abnormal fat, or bacteria, or LDLs. He liked it because it appeared to make the arteries more stretchy when the problem was that they were stiff and hardened when they got invaded with LDLs full of fat. He first treated rats, then monkeys with high cholesterol diets and showed that their arteries got typical vascular disease (just like humans), a trouble that he could completely prevent with chondroitin.

He then moved on to humans. This study was published in Angiology in 1973. He had four groups of 60 patients each. First, heart attacks. Of 60 patients on chondroitin who had a heart attack, only 4 died. In 60 heart attacks of folks without chondroitin, 14 died. That’s a big drop. Then, comparing two groups of 60 men with or without chondroitin, he had 10 non-fatal heart attacks in the non-chondroitin group, and ZERO in the chondroitin group. Again, very impressive. The only folks on chondroitin who got in trouble were the four who had fatal heart attacks. The remainder of the chondroitin patients had no heart attacks at all.

Now that was data from the 1960s and 70s. It might have been forgotten had not recent research showed that folks with arthritis taking chondroitin had a 7 fold reduction in coronary events. That sparked interest. Bench research done looking at monocytes and endothelial cells shows that chondroitin dramatically downregulates the inflammatory markers that make all that happen. Those are the cells involved in the first stages of heart disease where lipid pools develop within the artery wall.

Is it registering with you how huge this might be? We can reverse coronary artery disease. Do you realize how significant a hit this will be on our health care industry? Might that be a clue to you about why it hasn’t been widely exposed and talked about before? If you have coronary artery disease, if you have high calcium on your CT scan, if you have angina, claudication, had a TIA, stroke….you should be holding this up to your spouse right now and talking about getting some chondroitin asap. How about you treating yourself. The regimen Dr. Morrison followed can be found in the case studies in the Knowledge of Health Link. Roughly speaking, you need to be on 6-10 grams a day of chondroitin sulfate for a couple of months, then gradually drop down. You might benefit by getting some lab tests to prove to yourself that you are getting better. If you can’t find anyone who will help you, I will. The only fly in the ointment was that this was one doctor, self reporting. A larger, multi-centered trial has not been conducted. Nor will it. This stuff is competing with expensive procedures and drugs. (Forgive me if I have a certain tone of righteous indignation.)

Where is chondroitin from? Most of it is obtained from beef tracheas, which aren’t used for much else. But it’s also the white stuff you see in a chicken’s breast bone and the end of a drum stick.

WWW.What will work for me. This changes my approach to heart disease. I’m chasing down source of good chondroitin sulfate and I will be using it in all my clients going forward. You should be thinking about what and when you will take too. And just because I’m a bit anxious about why this hasn’t been known and loudly recommended for the last 4 decades, doesn’t mean it isn’t true. I’m all in. Now, I have a habit of chewing the white cartilage off the ends of chicken bones. Guess what it contains……? You got it. It is a rich source of chondroitin.

Pop Quiz:

  1. Chondroitin Sulfate has been widely used for arthritis for the last 40 years. T or F


It has been shown that folks taking chondroitin for their achy joints has a 7 fold reduction in coronary artery disease. T or F Now isn’t that interesting!

Lester Morrison was a heart researcher in the 1950s-70s who showed that chondroitin had a very dramatic reduction in risk from heart attack death. T or F

That’s the key nugget

Dr Morrison showed that animals with experimental atherosclerosis had dramatic reductions in artery damage when they were treated with chondroitin. T or F

Exactly. That’s what justified his human work

You can get chondroitin from what fat food source?

KFC – chew the white stuff off the ends of the drumstick – it’s a rich source of chondroitin. Too bad it came with all sorts of other less beneficial stuff.

Magnesium: Supermineral for Bones

Magnesium: Super-mineral for Bones

References: European Jr Epid April 2017,

When you get to be 65, as a women, your highest risk of premature disability and death comes from a broken bone. Higher than heart disease and cancer. Tell me about it. Much the same for me as a male. At age 65.5, I have fallen and broken my calcaneus (heel bone) and five months later, am still limping around. We don’t die from all of our fractures, but hip fractures result in a huge mortality. About one in 8 women will have a fractured hip and as many as 30% of them will never return home once it happens. Again, I carry a personal grudge against fractured hips having lost my mother-in-law to that event. Her mail was still on the dining room table when she died, four months later. 
Hence, my intense interest in this research. Magnesium isn’t something we talk about much in traditional medicine. It’s hard to measure. Your bones contain about 50% of your bodies total magnesium supply, albeit it is only 1% of your bone’s content. Your serum magnesium only represents 1% of your total body reservoir, so that is just a tiny sample. By the time your serum magnesium is low, you have a massive deficit, and to get that deficit, your bones have to be awfully deprived. 
The core physiology of what happens with lower magnesium is that the crystals of calcium in your bone get larger and more brittle. Brittle isn’t good. Taking calcium won’t help. Nor will vitamin D help. There appears to be a spooky relationship between Vitamin D deficiency and magnesium. Your low Vitamin D status may be tied up with low magnesium. 
Through most of human history, where did we get our magnesium from? Green plants. Raw. When we cook plants, their cells break down and all the internal magnesium leaks out. When we eat bread and grains instead of vegetables, our magnesium intake drops. When we add animal and sugar, our magnesium drops further. When we deplete our soils with intensive industrial farming, forcing our plants to grow with large doses of fertilizer, our soil magnesium drops, and our food intake of magnesium drops further still. And when we measure our serum magnesium, we really don’t see the deficit until the cow is out of the barn and in the neighbors pasture. 
The study was fairly robust. It looked at 2,245 middle aged Finnish men and followed them for 20 years. They found that those with the lowest magnesium had 44% more hip fractures. Only 22 men had a serum magnesium about 2.3. None of them had a fracture. Notice, only 1% of the men had that blood level. And you should come back to me and say, “Serum doesn’t catch it until way too late.” 
I measure Red Cell Magnesium and rarely, ever, find someone over 6.0. Most of us are in the four range.  There are studies showing that magnesium supplementation helps prevent cognitive decline. And red cell magnesium of 5.5 and above is often the minimum recommended. I aim for 6. To date, of several hundred folks tested, I have only seen 2 who have come to me with a magnesium level of 6. Both were taking daily supplements of magnesium. 
What’s my conclusion? Over 95% of us are functionally low on magnesium. The very best way to get it is with a diet of abundant green vegetables. Or just buck it up and take a supplement. Magnesium threonate is the most recent popular model for brain health. Without good bones, your brains can’t get you anywhere.

WWW.What will work for me. I’m taking magnesium threonate every day. My red cell level was only 4.9 when I tested. Second test pending still. Your should know your red cell magnesium. Aim for 6. Eat more spinach.