Author Archives: Dr John Whitcomb

About Dr John Whitcomb

Dr John Whitcomb is one of Milwaukee's premier functional medicine and Anti-Aging doctors. He is in private practice in Brookfield. He is board certified in Anti-Aging Medicine, Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine and has a Masters Degree in Nutrition and Metabolic Medicine. He is also now developing Wellness University, an innovative course to teach the fundamentals of nutrition and self care to individuals and companies.

Heart Disease is a Sulfate Deficiency Problem

Heart Disease is a Sulfate Deficiency Problem

References:  Theor Biol Med Mod,

Half of us, men and women, die of this scourge. I have spent a career battling heart disease in Emergency Medicine and now Functional Medicine. And I’m still puzzled why it happens. We explain, as best we can, that we think it’s caused by the agglomeration of small, dense LDLs into our arteries. White cells then come along and try to digest those packets of fat, and can’t do it. They die. Cholesterol accumulates. All this is the theoretical foundation of the cause of heart disease. And it falls short.

Stephanie Senneff from MIT, suggests a different consideration that fits all the present criteria better than the cholesterol hypothesis. We may have been barking up the wrong tree. Here is her construct.

It starts with the “structure” of water. In a glass, water flows freely. At the microscopic level, it has a tiny electrical magnetic orientation that adds up, making for slight stickiness at interfaces. This gets to be an issue on the surface of biological entities, like cell walls and the surfaces of arteries. Friction builds up and necessary movement is slowed down. We can’t have that in blood vessels. This is where cholesterol-SULFATE and SULFATED-glycosaminoglycans line the surface of blood vessels, creating a tiny electrical and magnetic charge that leads to what is being called “structured water”.

This is where it gets really interesting. Red blood cells, covered with electrically charged particles, moving through blood vessels lined with “structured water” create a tiny micro voltage. When you have moving voltage, you create a tiny magnetic field that becomes a signaling device – just like a radio, or an electric motor. (EVSP: electrokinetic vascular streaming potential) The lining cells of the capillary repel the red cells, and get the signal to release NO, nitric oxide. The capillary relaxes and the red cells gets pushed through to the other end of the capillary. Blood flows. Oxygen gets delivered. The organism thrives. (A topic for another day is that this magnetic field is then subject to outside low levels of electromagnetic radiation. Hmmm!)

Where does heart disease come in? With insufficient sulfate on the surface of arteries and red cells, a lower you have an alteration of the voltage potential, fixed with elevation of blood pressure. The natural result is a desperate search for sulfate to make the blood vessel and its environment slippery. Sulfated cholesterol, made by sun exposure, provides the sulfate. Cholesterol accumulates. Plaque develops. Eventually, heart attacks occur. The detail is much more elegant but the paper is fascinating. This sounds real, plausible and explains heart disease down to the molecule.

What is the takeaway? Heart disease isn’t caused by LDLs or cholesterol. If all this is true, heart disease is caused by sticky red cells being unable to pass through capillaries with a drop in nitric oxide and a scavenging of sulfated cholesterol as a means to garnish enough sulfate to keep blood flowing. Certainly cholesterol plays a role, but the problem lies in lack of sulfate, not excess of cholesterol. The accumulation of cholesterol is a secondary phenomenon.

To test this hypothesis, one would presume you could fix heart disease if you eased the lack of sulfated compounds. Here we circle back to Lester Morrison and his work in the 50’s and 60’s, reversing vascular disease with SULFATED-chondroitin. Did you get that? It’s been proven clinically already. This hypothesis has legs.

WWW:What will work for me. This is enormously satisfying to me. It feels right. We have the physics of fluid flow match the observation of biological compounds relationship to sulfated compounds, to external electromagnetic forces. It also fits that our diet, which has shifted to more manufactured, carbohydrate laden food, has lost the key food items that supplied us with sulfate: eggs, crucifers, alliums, garlic, animals. Eat the WHOLE animal. It’s cartilage that has sulfate in it.  Bone broth is rich in sulfate. Back to gnawing on chicken bones. I’m in.

Pop Quiz

  1. When you push two magnets against each other, and they push back against each other, you create the same effect as red cells lined with cholesterol sulfate have in capillaries.   T or F                                                    Answer: Bingo. You got it. That’s the key.
  2. Lack of sulfate leads to accumulation of cholesterol as a secondary, dysfunctional way of harvesting sulfate, needed to make an artery lining slippery. T or F                                                                                            Answer. If you answer true, you now have become an A student
  3. Cholesterol plays a role in heart disease. T or F                                            Answer. True. It plays a role but only as a garbage dump after it’s relinquished its sulfate, indicating that it’s the lack of sulfate that really drives the bus.
  4. It makes sense for me to take a statin to reverse my heart disease.   T or F

If you said true, read [the paper]( three more times and then write on the blackboard 100 times: cholesterol is a secondary player. Then report back to the class.

  1. Bone broth has magical properties. T or F                                                       Answer.   No, not magical. Just good old fashioned Grandma’s food chemistry. We need the protein of meat, but also the sulfate of cartilage leached out be gentle simmering of bones all night, ……. or eggs, broccoli, garlic, onion, kale, cabbage.

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.

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 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.


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 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.)