Monthly Archives: June 2018

What’s So Dangerous About NightShades?

What’s So Dangerous About NightShades?

Deadly nightshade! Dramatic name and well served. It is a very poisonous plant growing in your backyard (at least in mine in Milwaukee). You should know what the berries look like and rid your yard of them before your pets or children chomp on them. Even Shakespeare was well versed about deadly nightshade, as it made Romeo and Juliet, Act IV, Scene 5. The root and vines are equally poisonous, if not more so. Hence, it shouldn’t be a big surprise if other members of the nightshade family are problematic for humans. Well, they are. If you put potato, tomato or eggplant leaves in your salad, you can then arrange for a timely visit to an ER where you will be treated for all sorts of hallucinations if not more ominous symptoms. No kidding. The alkaloids of nightshades kicked off the field of chemistry and anesthesiology, coming out of the traditional healers otherwise known as witches. That’s why your mother told you never to eat any potato that was green. Don’t eat the shoot either. In fact, cut out the eyes of the potato. Whew, pretty dramatic stuff, this nightshade family!
Is the whole nightshade family so awful? Can we not eat tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, chilis? Please, please make an exception for chilis.
Is there any credible science about the dangers of nightshades? It’s not just the alkaloids that are problematic. They contain unique lectins that set off the immune system and your response to it. What are lectins? They are the proteins the mimic your own proteins in a fashion to poison you and keep you away from eating plants. All animals have evolved in ecosystems in which they became tolerant to the local lectins and indeed consumed with impunity. Humans evolved in Africa and came out of Africa just 90,000 years ago. The nightshades are all New World plants. We’ve hardly had evolutionary time to adapt to their toxins.

How important is it for you to be careful about eating them? That’s the rub. Here we enter into the world of functional medicine and away from the world of evidence-based research. We have many, many practitioners who will tell you they have seen amazing things happen when their clients avoid nightshades. Particularly in the field of autoimmune disease, there is lots of anecdotal evidence that the field of nightshade chemistry is one filled with danger. Then why haven’t we seen objective science?
Answer. We haven’t gotten there yet. There are thousands of different lectins and the day has not yet come that modern medicine would endorse research into that field. It’s still too arcane and appears to work only in small subsets of folks. For example, autoimmune diseases. There appears to be some credible evidence from anecdotal reports that anyone with any sort of autoimmune illness should make their best effort to be off nightshades.

We see that same effect with a more prominent lectin source, wheat. By adding 14 plus 14 new chromosomes from two distinct separate grasses to wheat, we tripled the chromosomes and lectins in wheat resulting in many folks being wheat intolerant. Modern medicine looks at the specific immune disease called celiac disease, present in only 1 of 138 people, and dismisses it outright. You don’t have to look far to find someone who feels much better when they avoid wheat.
What’s a conscientious health seeking person to do about nightshades? Oh heck, have a tomato. Enjoy some eggplant. As long as you don’t have any autoimmune disease. But if you come to me with osteoporosis, or arthritis or coronary artery disease…..don’t say you weren’t warned. Those disease get better when you avoid them. And who doesn’t have them?
www.What will work for me. I’m off potatoes, soy and wheat. But I sure like tomatoes, eggplant and chilis. I weed my fence line of deadly nightshade. I don’t think I have any autoimmune illness. Yet. I’m waiting for more research. It’s pretty thin right now. But I’ve been frankly stunned in my functional medicine practice by the people with autoimmune diseases who have gotten better by avoiding them. Some in just a month. I’ve got a few dedicated folks trying out a lectin free diet with severe coronary artery disease. I’m hopeful.

 

Pop Quiz

 

  1. Nightshade plants contain some pretty serious poisons? T or F                  Answer: Even Juliet will tell you yes.
  2. You can safely eat a green potato. T or F                                                         Answer: Please, please, please don’t try.
  3. There is some pretty good proof that lectins are harmful? T or F               Answer: all depends on how you define proof. If you are waiting for a randomized, placebo-controlled trial, you don’t have any proof. If you talk to your neighbor who avoids wheat, just try telling them there is no proof. You will lose a friend and credibility.
  4. Humans are tolerant to what plant-based foods?                                          Answer: Quite a few. Many nuts (not including cashews and peanuts), almost all leafy greens, , olives, avacados……ready Gundry’s book: The Plant Paradox
  5. I free great when I eat a huge green salad with green peppers and tomatoes. Is that so bad? I like the lycopine in the tomatoes for my health.                                         Answer: Come back when you have your first bone density showing osteoporosis. We’ll talk. But until then, I’ll hide behind the concept of conjecture.

 

The One Supplement That Time Magazine Says You Should Take

The One Supplement Time Magazine Says you Should Take

References: Time MagazineNatureOzone TherapyWikipediaScienceScience DailyElysium Health,

If you make the cover of Time Magazine, you must have caught someone’s eye. To see Time Magazine grapple with the intricacies of NAD and NADH surprised me, so I had to follow up. Let’s see if I can get you to understand this.
NAD is a critical cofactor in many functions in your body, most particularly the production of energy. You can get it from the Vitamin called NIACIN, that you have heard about, or you can make it internally by combining tryptophan and aspartic acid (for you chemistry geeks), but you gotta have it. And as with everything else, as we get older, we make much, much less of it.

In one experiment in aging mice published last year in showed that after treatment two-year-old mice looked as healthy as 2 months old mice. In mouse terms, that’s an 80-year-old human looking as good as a 10-year-old. Pretty dramatic.
Call all this be extended to humans? Well, yes. That’s what this article was about. A human experiment taking NAD and another cofactor called pterostilbene (commonly known as blueberries) resulted in sustained elevation of the NAD/NADH ratio. It’s that ratio that falls apart as we age, leading to fatigue, lack of initiative, brain fog etc. Old age in a nutshell. Placebo folks didn’t get any better. Single dose showed improvement. Double dose showed better improvement.

Now, are there other sources of changing that improvement? You bet. This is where it gets really kinky. Almost all medical conditions can be simplified down to the inability to mount enough of an energetic response to fix the problem, so the disease-causing state continues. If more energy could be generated, our bodies had the tools to fix themselves. Hence, as we age we make less energy and get more nasty diseases. (This is the theory espoused by the ozone crowd.) So guess what happens when you give ozone given to you IV? (Can’t have it in your lungs as pulmonary ozone is a deadly toxin on your delicate lungs.) But you can have it in blood and then given back to you. Well, the same thing as above. You change the balance of NAD/NADH dramatically in the direction of making more energy, restoring yourself to a much more youthful state. Ozone and its effect on the NAD/NADH ratio has been talked about for decades now. It’s nice to see Time Magazine catching up. But ozone has a real, measurable, energy enhancing effect when given by IV.
www.What Will Work for me. Well, I can take Niacin and eat blueberries all by myself. Or I can take a pill that made Time Magazine from Elysium Health called Basis. (It has NAD+ and pterostilbene in it.) I suspect there will be a medical test coming soon that can measure your NAD/NADH ratio. In a research lab, you want it to be 700/1. If you are over 50, it’s likely 30-60% less. I suspect you may feel that you are 30-60% off your game. Look up Elysium Health and give it a try. As for me, I just finished a bowl of blueberries.

Pop Quiz

  1. The ideal ratio of NAD to NADH should be?                                        Answer: 700/1
  2. Pterostilbene is a potent antioxidant derived from?                         Answer: Blueberries
  3. As we age, our ability to make NAD from NADH does what?          Answer: Plummets
  4. If you read the Science experiment, the people getting the “BASIS” showed what in their blood?                                                                                                        Answer: More NAD
  5. Has this strategy been proven to make folks live longer?                Answer: Nope. Not yet. But it is really interesting, and it’s safe, as best we know. So, not a bad experiment if you have $ 50 bucks floating around.

 

Leptin Resistance and Inflammation

Leptin Resistance and Inflammation

References: Am Jr Coll CardVitamin HormonesCurr Immunol ReviewCell,

Leptin is the hormone that has several important functions. One is that it is secreted when your fat cells say they are full. It is a feedback loop that tells you that you have had enough to eat, so stop. Fine and dandy. But like everything else in your body, there are layers and layers of delicate complexity far exceeding the first layer of functionality. Another layer is that it essentially mediates the release of fat from fat cells, making it the guardian of your energy stores. When all is well and working properly, your leptin level falls when you don’t have food and your fat cells open up and share their calories. Women have more leptin than men. As a general rule, gaining weight results in a higher leptin level which should result in your feeling full and not eating. Something strange happens, however, when you get inflamed.
The fly in the ointment here is that there is an intersection between metabolism and inflammation. The leptin receptor in your hypothalamus appears to be a critical link. It turns the Proopiomelanocortin system and has you produce melanocortin. MSH. MSH is a potent down-regulator of appetite. With a nice high MSH, you don’t feel like eating. Low MSH, you don’t have a feedback loop. And just what happens with inflammation? Leptin plays a role in that it has a critical effect on innate and adaptive immune response. It promotes the secretion of cytokines like IL-6 and Tumor Necrosis Factor, and there you have it. It sets up the link between metabolism and inflammation. What you see is a dramatic dysregulation of inflammation in folks who become overweight, and thereby establishing the first step in increasing risk for Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disease and just about everything else that ails us. The “Common Soil Hypothesis” is the concept that metabolism and inflammation came from the same source in evolution, way, way back. Here again, we see that nexus and it makes for problems.

What you see happen is as follows. Folks with inflammation, like low-grade mold exposure, have low MSH and high cytokines that damage the leptin receptor in the hypothalamus. Leptin drifts higher in response, trying to bring about control of calorie balance. The person gains weight. Leptin goes higher, but the receptor is damaged and the higher leptin then mediates more inflammation. Around and around you go. If you feel overweight and have chronic pain or chronic fatigue, you likely fit this model. Forget trying to lose weight until you lower your leptin.

How can you lower your leptin most effectively? I suspect the fast mimicking diet will do so, but that is not yet proven. The one good study that shows regeneration of the pancreas beta cell used mice with a genetic defect in their leptin receptor, so they couldn’t be used to proven leptin repair. Right now we can use pioglitizone (ACTOS) which is an old fashioned diabetes drug that has lots of side effects when used for too long, but is dandy at lowering leptin and MMP-9, two mold effects.

Can we reduce leptin with our own lifestyle? Well, quite a lot. If you focus on several key items, you can guide your leptin lower. Keep your daily sleep cycle to a regular pattern. That plays into your POMC system being played every day at the same time. Avoid sugar. Increase fat in your diet. Cut down on your evening meal and increase your daytime eating, making for at least 12 hours of fasting each night. Exercise. Sleep at least 8 hours, starting with at least 3 hours of no food before bed. Consider training yourself to enjoy a cold shower, particularly if you get a nice hot sauna just before. (The Finns had it right.)

WWW.What will work for me. I’m fascinated with leptin and mold illness. I keep seeing women in particular with not only high leptins but super high leptins levels. Just about every one of them has had low MSH levels, meaning some sort of mold or biotoxin exposure. Throw in stress, sugar, lack of exercise, lousy sleep and we make for a perfect storm to elevate leptin, and keep everyone overweight and inflamed.

 

Pop Quiz.

  1. Leptin helps you make MSH which suppresses your appetite. T or F                Answer: Almost right but backward. LACK of leptin results in hight MSH, and then weight loss and lack of appetite.
  2. Inflammation turns on leptin. T or F                                                                      Answer: I’m into backward today. It makes for leptin resistance, which then elevates leptin.
  3. Name a few means by which you can lower your leptin with lifestyle changes. Answer: Regular schedule, exercise, sleep, 12 hours of fasting, weight loss, less sugar….
  4. Leptin allows the release of MSH. What does MSH do?                                     Answer: It’s a potent appetite down-regulator.
  5. The cause of fibromyalgia is likely?                                                                    Answer…….. /biotoxin illness leading to damaged leptin receptors.