Category Archives: Uncategorized

BioToxin VII: The Gluten Connection

References: NatureImmunityClinical and Devel ImmunSurviving Mold,

How many folks do you know who are gluten sensitive? You hear some people scoff at the idea but you also know quite a few folks that say they just feel better when they are off gluten. They don’t have celiac disease, at last most don’t. So, what’s up? Would you be surprised if you heard that biotoxins set off your innate immune response, and that sets up for the production of TH-17 immune cells, that tip you in the balance towards autoimmune disease? And gluten does that!
Step 4 in Shoemaker’s Surviving Mold Pathway is to get off of gluten/amylose for at least 3 months if you have antibodies to Gluten. This is the next phase of the Shoemaker protocol: sequentially and progressively cleaning up all the sources of persistent inflammation. And actually, he calls for you being off amylose. Amylose is about 30% of most white carbs. It is composed of long strings of glucose hooked together at the 1,4 positions on the glucose molecule, making for a long, linear chain. Amylopectin is the other component of most starches. It is branched and less dense in formation. Plants can store more energy as amylose. Curiously, it’s structure also binds iodine avidly, making for a dark color indicating the presence of amylose with iodine.
This is where future research is going to have a rich source of discovery. We don’t know all the details yet. What we do see is that lowered MSH (melanocyte stimulating hormone) and elevated TGF-beta 1 leads to unbalanced TH17 immune cells. These are the regulatory cells that march you down the path to autoimmune disease. And oddly enough, we see antibodies to gluten like IGg and IgA antibodies to gluten in biotoxin disease. That’s what leads you to step 4.

Get off of anything that stimulates inflammation. It’s not just wheat, it’s all amylose products like potatoes and rice too. All white carbs.

Now, your brain, your gut and your immune system all make a team, a triad. When you have inflammation in your gut, your brain doesn’t feel so good either. Biotoxins are setting off cytokines all over your body that are then blocking the leptin receptor in your brain, lowering your MSH. Without MSH to direct your immune system, your gut gets dysfunctional. Autoimmunity emerges.  Gluten wasn’t the first step, mold biotoxin set the table.

You thought your gluten sensitivity was set off by the changes made to wheat back in the 1950s when we tripled it’s chromosomes. I thought that. May not be the sole problem The underlying dynamic may be that your innate immune system is goofy because of biotoxins from molds. And you are in the 25-30% of folks sensitive to those biotoxins. If you live and work in clean environments, you might not ever feel the effects. You can eat bread and potatoes all day long. But add in biotoxins and your genetic susceptibility takes over.

We have tantalizing clues that this is what’s happening. Rock solid proof awaits. We do know that Hashimoto’s gets better with wheat avoidance. We do know that Crohns and Sjogren’s appear to be sensitive. Stay tuned.

WWW.What will work for me. I don’t eat much wheat anymore. We just don’t buy bread or potatoes. It becomes a lifestyle thing. Shoemaker asks the same as Functional medicine with wheat, 3 months without any. Now, that’s hard. For those who are sensitive, the rewards are there. I can’t wait for more science to figure out this connection more fully.

 

Pop Quiz

  1. Gluten irritates your gut and sets off autoimmune disease? T or F                          Answer: We used to say this was true. We now think that biotoxins lower your MSH that then makes your immune system unable to protect your gut. That’s the nuance.
  2. To have an effective challenge of being gluten free, you need to be off for how long? Answer: Three months
  3. If I put a drop of iodine into a cup of hot water with rice flour in it, it will instantly turn black, making for a great magic trick? T or F                                                  Answer: True. Amylose binds iodine avidly. It’s kind of fun. You can complete the trick with a tablespoon of green tea after your iodine turns the water black – if you want to really have fun with food chemistry tricks. Poof, clear again. Try it.
  4. Turning off amylose sensitivity is the first step in fixing the inflamed body, once biotoxin is removed from your body and your MARCoNs are cleaned up. T or F               Answer: That’s it. Now we embark on tackling all the sources of inflammation and calming your hot body down.
  5. Biotoxin illness spreads its trouble much further afield than I ever imagined. T or F                Answer: Just wait till we get to hormones! True, true, true.

 

 

 

 

 

glutathione

Biotoxin V: How do I Get Rid of Biotoxins?


References: Biotoxin Journey

You now know that biotoxins circulate endlessly in folks whose immune system can’t “see” the toxin and label it. You know that merry-go-round involves the toxin entering through your nose lungs most of the time, or ingested, or stung, or absorbed. From there the toxin sets off all sorts of cytokines in toll-receptor proteins all over your body. These cytokines descend on your primitive lizard brain, your hypothalamus, and essentially damage the leptin receptor that is the entry point to proper functioning of your POMC (pro-opiomelanocortin) system, that is foundational to your pituitary and most of your hormones.

The net effect of this blockade of the leptin system and POMC system are that you reduce the output of MSH, melanocyte stimulating hormone, which might be considered the “mother of all hormones” as it is so upstream from much of your endocrine system. You have trouble concentrating and remembering. You have a head ache. Your muscles ache. All your symptoms are nonspecific. All your traditional lab tests are normal.

Now, the toxins circulate through your body and eventually find their way to your liver, which politely and promptly dumps them into your bile. From your bile the toxin ends up in your gut. In your gut, it passes down to your colon, where, without an antibody label on it (because your immune system can’t see it) you reabsorb it. The Merry-Go-Round. The toxin circulates endlessly.

And that is the key! That is how we can rid you of it. Cholestyramine (CSM) is an old fashioned cholesterol drug, invented to soak up bile acids in your gut, which was supposed to lower cholesterol as a secondary effect. Turns out that strategy to reduce blood cholesterol was an ineffective remedy. But it is a potent binding agent nevertheless. It binds almost every biotoxin brilliantly while it is in your gut. The shapes of biotoxins make them quite fat soluble, so they pass through membranes easily so binding them is the only way off the merry-go-round. A second drug called cholesevalam (Welchol) also works, but takes 2-3 times the time to do it. It’s a good back up for folks who get too constipated with CSM. It is used as a blood sugar drug in diabetes.

The dose of cholestyramine is 9 grams, four times a day. That is typically one scoop of the standard preparations and the dose recommended by the FDA for cholesterol care.

There are some caveats. Folks who have Lyme will tend to have a flare of symptoms shortly after starting CSM (Herxheimer reaction). Collecting data like C3a and C4a and MMP9 before hand and with a flare will confirm the real perpetrator, and allow countermeasures ahead of time like pretreatment with a no-amylose diet, fish oil or pioglitizone which blocks PPAR receptors and reduces TNF-alpha production).

And in a month you are better. Did you get that? It seems impossibly complex when you read the above, but the cure is easy. One month, binding agent, fixed!

That is totally, unbelievable, factually true (20-40% of the time). But you have to watch the details. Can you get better if you are still living in a contaminated home? No. Can you get better if you have Merry-Go-Round #2 in your nose going on? No. Can you get better if your whole pituitary POMC system is screwed up? No. But those are all reduced likelihood events, and the subjects of coming weeks detail. Keep reading.

Notice, I didn’t mention any of ten other binding agents. You know why? Because Shoemaker has checked all of them against placebo controls and found none of them (charcoal, clay, zeolite,) to work like cholestyramine. So, don’t bother.

WWW.What will work for me.   This is a whole new field of medicine. The cure seems very simple but it has so many caveats that the devil is in the details. Cholestyramine is a magically simple drug, provided you have all your ducks lined up. In the meantime, I’m looking into ways to clean up basements and circulate air. My neighbor has had his basement being vented with an aerator that pushes out air and dries out basements better than dehumidifiers. I’m exploring one for myself.

 

Pop Quiz

  1.  The best way to excrete biotoxins is to snag them in your gut? T or F       Answer: True. You got it. You read the book. Nice work
  2. The best drug to do this is………?                                                                        Answer: Cholestyramine
  3. The right dose is…………..?                                                                                  Answer: One scoop or 9 grams
  4. Many binding agents bind mold toxins? T or F                                              Answer: Well, only one other works (Welchol) and it works at 1/2 to 1/3 the pace.
  5. Taking cholestyramine, one time a day will keep me protected?               Answer:   Nope. Seems to be a threshold of dose to work.   4 grams a day might be the lease you can take to be effective, and at least it keeps your constipation at bay. Ok, we didn’t mention it above but it is in the references.
glutathione

Biotoxin Illness Part III: The Role of Glutathione

References: Toxins (2014)SciWorldJr,

So, you know about your immune system having two layers, the innate or lizard system, and the adaptive or precise mammalian system. A good analogy is like a bomb going off by a terrorist. Your city reacts with a curfew, 911 is activated, the police clear the streets, sirens are wailing. This is your innate immune system – “all hands on deck, but who is it that we are fighting?”. Nonspecific, system wide, reactive. Then, surveillance cameras pick up a suspicious character and his license plate is put out there with a sketch of what he looks like. Then his picture shows up from the driver’s license bureau. This is slower, your adaptive system, but it has precision and accuracy.

What are you using to clear the toxin, once you know what it is? The answer is glutathione. Glutathione is simply three amino acids tagged together but they have sulfur atoms in them, making it able to soak up loose electrons. Every cell in your body has it. It’s your natural defense, in effect, part of your 911 mop up system. It’s sort of like your fire hose cooling off the burning embers of the fire. And as you age you make less of it. Dramatically less.

Turns out, it is a critical player in Biotoxin illness. It enables your body to tag and dispose of mold toxins. The paper we review this week details how we make glutathione through a delicate dance with Nrf signaling and the protein GST or Glutathione S transferase (GsT) . There are 7 GsT types inside a cell, and the first and most common has many genetic variants. Half the adult population has a polymorphism that is dramatically less active. This has been associated with oxidative stress all over the body, most notably in the brain with Alzheimer’s. Mold toxins wreak some of their havoc by down regulating the level of glutathione production. And as we age, our levels of glutathione drop dramatically.

Well, well! If that’s what mold toxins do, what would happen if we gave glutathione to someone with all the symptoms of biotoxin illness, and positive markers of biotoxin disease? Here are two stories. A middle aged woman with three years of asthma symptoms not responsive to typical asthma therapy and cleared of asthma by the traditional medical system becomes symptomatic again. Treatment with one gram of IV glutathione for three days completely reverses her symptoms. In fact, her oxygen saturation surged from 95% to 98% within 10 minutes of treatment.
A second story. Multiple insect stings. A mid seventies women with over 15 hornet stings, treated with traditional Benadryl with only partial success. Insect stings are known to be another entry into the Biotoxin pathway. Two treatments with 1 gram IV glutathione result in dramatic and almost immediate, complete recovery.

Did you get that? Now, you can’t take oral glutathione easily as it is digested in your stomach like any other protein. And not everyone has access to IV glutathione. (It is just 3 amino acids long). But you can take it in “liposomal form” which is widely available in Supplement stores and on the net. And, more importantly, you can take N-acetyl cysteine or NAC and give yourself the rate limiting cysteine combination. NAC is a revolutionary supplement that has been around for 40 years. 40 years ago it revolutionized Tylenol overdoses. Prior to NAC, a Tylenol overdose was a guaranteed death sentence or liver transplant. NAC is so powerful that folks with Tylenol overdoses are now sent home from the hospital with NAC to take a couple of times a day. No wonder NAC makes Bredesen’s supplement list for Alzheimer’s prevention.

WWW.What will work for me. Well, I take NAC in my daily supplement list. If I was still an emergency physician, I would find a way to study glutathione for folks with nasty insect stings. But I’m now adding IV glutathione to my treatment regimen for everyone with Biotoxin illness. The jury is out about randomized, placebo controlled trials. But considering that glutathione is in you already, just less because you are old, means you and I should consider paying attention to our glutathione levels as we age.

Pop Quiz

  1. Glutathione is my natural antibody booster. T or F                                          Answer: False. Nothing to do with antibodies as that is the adaptive, more precise immune system. So called “glut” is your innate immune system’s fire hose. Just calming things down.
  2. As we age we make more glutathione. T or F                                                    Answer: Again, false. Testing to see if you actually red the article. Much, much less.
  3. Biotoxin illness down regulates your production of glutathione. T or F       Answer. Ok, we will give you a true
  4. There is a simple supplement that gives you the amino acid pieces to make your own glutathione. And it is called……………..                                                                 Answer: NAC or N-acetyl cysteine
  5. We all make pretty much the same amount of glutathione. T or F                 Answer: surprisingly false. There are 7 different forms of glutathione converting enzyme inside the human cell, and the first and most dominant one comes in form that is much less active in 50% of us. Why, we don’t know. But every protein has many slight alterations that we inherit in our gene mix called polymorphisms. That happens to be one that is curiously dysfunctional.

Explaining Biotoxin Illness

References: Surviving Mold,

We are all familiar with bacterial illness. We have experienced sore throats, or skin infections, or sinusitis and have been diagnosed and treated with antibiotics. We have also seen traumatic illness, and have had X-rays and casts or stitches for cuts. We understand metabolic illness with thyroid and sugar and other metabolic parameters. But biotoxin illness? Even the spell checker tries to correct me and call it biotin illness. I mean, BIOTOXIN. This is a whole new field of medicine that will become part of internal medicine or family medicine in the future. For now, it’s just being elucidated and clarified. Here goes my stab at it. This will likely take several weeks to make it a clear story.
In introducing this topic, one has to give credit to Ritchie Shoemaker as the first to understand the new field, the paradigm shift. He was a family physician in Pocomoke, Maryland who persisted in believing his patients who said their were ill in the midst of a pfiesteria bloom on the Pocomoke river. The CDC and Johns Hopkins both came to town for the mystery illness and could not name anything to explain the sick folks symptoms. Dr Shoemaker is now clinically retired but actively teaching new physicians to understand the huge new field through his web site, www.survivingmold.com. One of his patients had terrible diarrhea with the mystery illness. He gave her cholestyramine, an old fashioned cholesterol drug now known to be useless for cholesterol and used mostly to control loose bowels in folks with funny guts. She got better in two days. Not just her stool was better, but her fatigue, her brain fog, her aches and pains – all went away. And then, other patients also got better with cholestyramine.
So, what is biotoxin illness? It is a constellation of symptoms brought on by toxins made by a variety of sources. We are still finding them. Mold in water damaged buildings is likely the most common, with about 30-50% of American buildings being damaged with measurable mold detritus. It’s not the mold spore, but the fragments and protein of many different molds, actinomycetes, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), inflammagens and other yet to be identified components that set off the syndrome. Other causes include aforementioned pfiesteria, a water based dinoflagellate. Lyme disease, spider bites, eating Lion Fish, red tides, the antibiotic CIPRO, multiple wasp stings, beruli ulcer, and probably many more. In weeks to come, we will explain how it may be that some 500,000 Americans are getting Alzheimer’s with mold toxin as a participant.
Most folks are likely fine until they have some trigger that sets them off. Some antecedent event makes them more vulnerable. And they have to be capable of being vulnerable. Turns out roughly 24% of us are genetically “vulnerable”. Our immune systems are unable to see and tag those toxins that will make us ill. We can even measure and find those folks with HLA testing, the same testing you do to see your self identifying proteins that make you you when you need to get a organ transplant. There are patterns Dr Shoemaker has identified that represent the vulnerable and susceptible. The rest of us, 70% are capable of seeing mold toxins and have no trouble getting rid of them. Then there are 2% of us that are catastrophically sensitive.

And what does this illness look like? Simply stated, they check out at ok by typical modern medicine. They express fatigue, brain fog, joints pains, rashes, diarrhea, cough and so many other symptoms that their doctors dismiss them as psychiatric. The house of medicine calls it fibromylagia, or chronic fatigue. And if I told you that 80% of chronic fatigue folks had mold in their urine, would you sit up and pay attention? This needs to be a whole new branch of medicine. Every doctor should know it. It affects 25% of us.

WWW.what will work for me. I’m trying to wrap my head around this way of thinking. It’s a whole new field. If you stick with me, I’m going to keep defining it for you, and learning it for my self. I feel like someone turned on the lights. I’ve tested about 50 people with unexplained fatigue and illness. I’m batting 90% mold as best I can tell. Biotoxin illness. Even my spell checker doesn’t recognize the word.

Pop Quiz

  1. Biotoxin illness is caused by rare bacteria or weird molds? T or F                       Answer: No. It’s is caused by the immune reaction to proteins and broken bits of DNA, or to foreign compounds that alert our innate immune system in a human that doesn’t have the genetic ability to adapt. (Lion fish, red ted, ciguatera, pfiesteria, mold, CIPRO, beruli ulcer, wasp stings….and probably many more)

 

  1. Most of us get sick to these biotoxins when exposed. T or F                              Answer: False. Fully 70% of us have immune systems that see the toxins, tag it, excrete it, done.

 

  1. We can get a simple blood test to measure our risk of biotoxin illness. T or F           Answer: Well, if you consider transplant tissue typing a simple test, sure. But right now it costs some $ 600 bucks and takes a week to get back.

 

  1. Mold illness may play a role in many common illness, like Alzheimer’s.                 Answer: True. But unfair. We haven’t gotten to that yet. Just a hint.

 

  1. So you mean to tell me that that whacko person who walked into our church and said, “I can’t stay here, this place is bad for me,” wasn’t whacko?                     Answer: Hang your head in humility. They were likely one of the 2% who are exquisitely sensitized. Be grateful you don’t live in their skin. And make sure your home is not water damaged.

Juicing is Dangerous for You

Juicing is Dangerous.

References: Advances in NutritionAppetiteEating on the Wild Side,

I get asked all the time about juicing or “smoothies”. Most of the smoothies are described as rich combinations of green vegetables, or yogurt, or fruit. Then, I had someone describe to me how their blood sugar went up almost to 1,000 with a seemingly innocuous concoction. What’s going on that can make that happen?

This column has reviewed the science of changing an apple to apple sauce, then juice before. Barbara Rolls and her team at Penn State observed 58 random volunteer adults for a meal once a week over 5 weeks. Each volunteer was provided a precise “preload” of calories weighing exactly 226 grams with 125 calories in it; aka, one really nice apple. After 15 minutes, they eat whatever they wanted for their meal.

This is what they found. Eating a whole, solid apple resulted in a 15% reduction of calorie intake. That is a 62-calorie reduction for the entire meal. That would be interesting enough by itself. You can lose weight by having an apple 15 minutes before a meal! (62 calories a day is 1800 calories a month or 6 pounds a year.)

But wait, it gets better. Here is the heart of the juicing question. When they changed the apple into applesauce with the same weight, calories, rate of ingestion, timing, resulted in eating 91 calories less overall. Then change the calories into juice. It became 150 calories less.. Applesauce reduced total meal calorie consumption a tiny bit, compared to juice which had virtually no reduction in calories.

The final sword in the experiment was to add fiber added back into the apple juice. Now it becomes a drinkable product, aka juicing. You erase the positive effect of eating a whole apple before a meal. The drinkers did compensate for their calories in the meal, but they did not reduce their total overall calories like eating a whole apple did. It’s interesting that juice, with or without fiber had the same effect. Being liquid just doesn’t register in your brain, no matter the fiber content. Did you get that, juicing erases the message to your brain about content of food.

Our brains and physiology are quite complex. Part of a meal is the actual process of “eating” it. Chewing our food makes a difference in how much food we eat. Stretching it out over time makes a difference. The waiting of 15 minutes before the meal may have been part of the impact. We call that part the cephalic phase during which your body starts to get ready to digest and process food. Managing your cephalic phase sounds like heavy science. Or maybe it’s just plain heavy weight gain.

Here’s my take on it. Eating the whole fruit delivers fiber with the sugar and slows the process of absorbing the sugar dramatically. Mechanically grinding up an apple, or any vegetable, is far more efficient than chewing in terms of mechanically disrupting the cell wall and releasing the sugars inside. When you drink it, you get a burst of glucose delivery to your gut. This results in a burst of insulin release. This results in a burst of LDL production to ship fat to your fat cells instead of energy to your brain and muscles. You thought you ate 800 calories for your meal but your body is saving some of it to fat, because of the insulin burst. Hence, you eat more.

Moral of the story: juicing changing the way you get nutrients: the speed, the mechanics of chewing, the rate of glucose rise all are disrupted. You gain weight.
Now, if you are averse to vegetables and you can’t get them any other way……and aren’t overweight. I’ll relent. If your smoothie is just kale and asparagus and yogurt, I’ll concede. But throw in an apple or a banana, and my skepticism goes up. The heart of the matter is that today’s apple is really much more endowed with sugar than nature’s original apple. Malus Sikimensis, the Himalayan apple is the worlds original, and has a very bitter/sour flavor, sort of like a crab apple. We have changed it into a Golden Delicious, with 1% of it’s original phytonutrients and 10 times its sugar. Hmmm.

www.What will work for me. Eat the whole food. Chew. Sit. Wait. Talk. Enjoy. Visit. The calories you drink are the calories you store. Repeat after me. The calories you drink are the calories you store. Plain and simple.

Pop Quiz

  1. Juicing is really healthy for me?                                                                               Answer: Please reread this column
  2. I hate vegetables. If I juice them, I can get some down. Is that ok?                  Answer: if you keep the high glycemic fruits out of it, you are getting some fiber this way, but be careful if you are trying to lose weight.
  3. The calories I drink are…………                                                                                 Answer:                        The calories I store. (smoothies)
  4. The calories I drink are …………….                                                                            Answer: The calories I store (beer).
  5. The hormonal effect of food is more important for weight control than the quality of the food. T or F                                                                                                                  Answer: True. That’s the secret behind this message. Smoothies make glucose be delivered too fast, turning on insulin. Insulin is your storage hormone. The exact same food, delivered slowly and with fiber built in makes for a different metabolic product.

 

 

Upcoming Seminar: The End of Alzheimer’s

Save the Date  Oct 14th, Saturday Morning

“The End of Alzheimer’s”

NO-ONE Should Ever Get This Awful Disease

Yes, that is possible, for you and for your loved ones.

And it is reversible if we catch you early enough.

Dale Bredesen has proven it, and we will explain his methods.  You will learn the details of how you can protect yourself, what life style changes you can make, how you can measure your success, what lab tests you can order and what supplements you should be adding.  We will detail the various pathways by which our brains get injured, resulting in Alzheimer’s.  You will leave knowing at least 10 specific things you can start doing today to keep your brain healthy and vibrant into your 90s.

Dr John Whitcomb and MD Custom Pharmacy are collaborating to bring you this important information.

Saturday Morning:  Oct 14Th 4th.   4 hours and we will feed you lunch.  2 lectures and an hour of questions and answers.  Then, a demonstration luncheon on how you should be eating.

To Register:  Call MD Custom Pharmacy   262-373-1050

Place:  Beautiful Redeemer Church on Townline Road in Sussex (Just south of Townline and Lisbon Road Stop Light.  We will start at 8 am with coffee and greeting.

Price:  $ 35 for the first early registrants.  $ 45 in the last week.  We can only seat a limited number so please call now and save your spot.

Restore Hashimoto’s Thyroid Function with Selenium and Myo-Inositol

Restore AutoImmune Thyroiditis with Selenium and Inositol!

 

References: Eur Rev Med Pha SciInternational Jr of EndocrinologyJr Thyroid Research,

This is quite a remarkable claim. Reversing Hashimoto’s?!! This is like finding the Holy Grail. Hashimoto’s is one of the most common autoimmune diseases in women affecting about 5% of women and 8-15 times as many women as men. There is a robust connection between wheat sensitivity and Hashimoto’s, with celiac disease being documented the most firmly. In the functional medicine world, it goes without saying that Hashimoto’s needs to be managed with the avoidance of gluten. Fasano has been the leading voice in advocating the role of gluten in making leaky gut and subsequent autoimmune disease.
This study took 168 patients with TPO or anti-thyroglobulin antibodies and a TSH between 3-6. That’s quite modest Hashimoto’s. The higher the TPO, the more damaged the thyroid gland is, and the more prolonged course has been already endured. The free T4 and free T3 levels were still “normal”. They were randomized to receive either 83 mg of selenium or 83 ng if selenium and 600 mg of myo-inositol for 6 months. The combination group had a better response and recovered their thyroid function better and felt better to boot. This isn’t the first study to prove this effect, but it is the largest.
Certainly we know the role of selenium, at least to some degree. The enzyme that catalyzes the production of free T3 has to lop off the fourth iodine of T4. It is called de-iodinase. It is based on the selenium atom. If you want to do a deep dive into de-iodinase, the ZRT blog has an excellent summary. Leave it sufficient to understand that there are three forms of de-iodinase which all help conserve iodine, balance thyroid function by maintaining the level of free T3 is a healthful range and responding to stress and starvation. There is less selenium in mid-westAmerican soil, lots in Rocky Mountain soils. Hence, selenium deficiency is common.

Myo-inositol is new player here. It actually looks like glucose, but it is structured differently. It plays a role in changing membrane signaling. It also plays a role in thyroid activation. Several studies demonstrated that myo-Inositol is the precursor of the synthesis of “phosphoinositides”, which are part of the phosphatidylinositol signal transduction pathway across the plasma membrane, via the second messenger 1,4,5-triphosphate that modulates intracellular calcium release. That means it acts as a second messenger regulating the several like insulin, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). And if you understood one word of that paragraph, you get an A.

Bottom line, this unique combination of simple supplements appears to work together to target the missing links in the thyroid dysfunction called Hashimoto’s. That might suggest that anyone might be on the edge of dysfunction, and are then tipped over by an extra stressor, gluten. If we catch you early, you can prevent that tipping and never get in trouble.
WWW.What will work for me. Well, selenium is that critical element we all appear to be a bit short of. If you are reading this in Wyoming, you are likely getting enough because your soils have it. If you are in Wisconsin, you probably need to take a supplement. I’m intrigued that Bredesen considers it a critical part of his Alzheimer’s pathway. That makes me in. Selenium is important.

 

Pop Quiz

1. Hashimoto’s is a rare Japanese thyroid problem. T or F
Answer: False. It is common the world over, with up to 5% of women affected

2. Hashimoto’s damages the thyroid gland leading to all the symptoms of low thyroid. T or F Answer: In a nutshell, yes.

3. You can remarkably improve early Hashimoto’s with selenium and a glucose analog called moo-inositol. Answer: That’s this week’s nugget.

4. The physiology of thyroid function is well understood. T or F Answer: are you kidding, we are just on the surface and continue to be amazed at its complexity and nuance.

5. Getting thyroid right, and selenium right, are critical to healthy brains: Answer: Bingo!!!

 

 

Generosity is Good for YOU

References: PsychNETHealth PsychologyCurr Dir Psychol Sci-FiScience,

Alright! We just had a huge hurricane in Texas, and another on the way in the Atlantic. The TV and radio are all calling out for help with money, time, boats, you name it. They need help. They need your generosity. And here is what is cool, you do too!

Giving, at first, feels hard. You worked hard for your dollars. You earned your good salary. But why does every religious tradition in history consider helping people one of their central tenants? Jesus, as one example, talks more about giving away your wealth than any other topic. Jewish tradition is what Jesus was referencing. They are just as generous. It’s one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Buddhism has “10 Good Deeds“. Hindu’s get to heaven giving alms.

Modern researchers are finally putting some “scientific data” around that. Why is “giving” so important for us to learn to do? What is it about generosity that makes it so compelling, despite the barriers of self interest?

Here is the science of it. In 2013, a study of retired representing a statistical sample of America was conducted. They had to be over 50 and multiple variables were recorded over 4 years of observation. Those who volunteered more than 200 hours in the 12 months prior to the study being started showed they developed less high blood pressure (40% less). That’s about the same effect as taking a pill. They also had high scores on “well being”. This is pretty remarkable. But that’s not all.

Another study looked at elderly folks given $ 40 and told they had to dispose of it in one day. Half were to spend it on themselves. The other half had to give it away. Guess what happened! Those who had to give it away dropped their blood pressure as much as folks taking a pill to lower pressure. This reinforces other research that shows that “Happiness Runs in a Circular Motion.” There is plenty of other research showing that the closer you are involved, the stronger the emotional tie. Up front and personal matters.

I get it. Every religion says it’s good because the geniuses of history expressed their insight into human nature as rules for us to follow for daily living. It’s good for you. Plain and simple. Thank goodness there are folks around who need our help. That applies to the poorest of the poor.

WWW.What will work for me. One of my strongest childhood memories from Bisrampur church in India was the “Muthi Dhan” offering where the local farmers would bring in a “fistful of rice” to share with those more needy. These were folks living on $ 3-5 a day for their whole family. They would qualify in just about anyone’s lexicon as being poor, and needing help. But their own happiness depends on giving too. I’m intending to go to my current congregation and give a meaningfully big check towards hurricane relief. I would ask you do do that same, for your sake.

Pop Quiz

  1. Something about the way we got wired as humans gets into a good spot when we share what is important and precious to us with others? T or F
    Answer: Call it your faith, your duty, your community, but yes, isn’t that true.
  2. We can measure medical consequences of being generous. What is it?               Answer: Blood pressure lowering as much as with a pill
  3. Is this why brain health experts say to keep a healthy brain, you need to be connected? Answer: You decide. Of course!
  4. I’m too poor to give. T or F                                                                             Answer: Research shows the “poor”tend to be more generous, proportionately.
  5. Most money is given by the poor? T or F                                               Answer: actually false. 70-80% of total dollars comes from “wealthy”, but they are giving a lower percentage of their income. So, don’t trash the rich. Praise them for their generosity. It’s really important for them to be connected too.  I suspect that the mind set of “accumulating wealth” becomes a habit, then an addiction, making giving all the harder, and all the more important.  It appears it’s a habit not broken easily, hence the religious admonitions.

The Trouble with Iron – Part II – Your Brain on Iron

The Trouble with Iron – Part II Iron and Your Brain

References: The MindSpan DietNeuromolecular Medicine, Nature CommunicationsJournal Biol ChemUCLA Newsroom,

Ok you got it. You know the “AP” rule, antagonistic pleiotropy, from last week: what’s good for you at one age isn’t so good later. Young women need lots of iron to have babies. Young men need iron for their brains to develop. Young. As we get older, that changes and becomes “ANTAGONISTIC”.

What’s the trouble with iron? First of all, epidemiology. Men accumulate iron faster than women, and get Alzheimer’s younger than women. Women who have hysterectomies start accumulating iron sooner, and get dementia sooner.

Then there is pathology. All major brain diseases (Parkinson’sALSAlzheimer’s) are shown to accumulate iron in their region of damage. Iron is very reactive. With oxygen it’s a deadly combo. On our cars, we call it rust. In our brains, it wreaks havoc.
There are many mechanisms now being understood wherein iron is a problem in the brain. In essence, beta amyloid accumulates as a net effect of excess iron. And chelating that iron, in animal models, reduces the damage.

What do we see in human populations who have very little Alzheimer’s disease and who live to be 100 with healthy brains? First, they eat foods low in iron and live in parts of the world where there aren’t “fortified” grains (added iron). Their average serum ferritin is 20. In America, we call that deficient. More and more research is showing that ferritin in spinal fluid and blood predicts risk for AD. This is the perfect example of Estep’s “AP” rule. The iron we needed in youth to make babies isn’t so good for us as we age. Those, whose scales are tipped to eating more iron by intention or serendipity, are at greater risk.

The question arises, how do I get rid of excess iron? Rule #1: when in a deep hole, the first thing you do is stop digging. Stop eating iron rich foods. That included fortified wheat products. Cereals like Total contain 18 mg of iron per serving. Don’t. Steak. Don’t. Find flour that is not fortified. Find bread that is not fortified. Consider taking supplements that deplete iron. Wheat grass juice is uniquely good. Go to the Blood Center and give a pint. Often. Let them have double red cells. Get your serum ferritin to 20. AKA: KNOW YOUR FERRITIN.

www.What Will Work for Me. I’m changing my meat eating. I’m looking for unenriched flour. I just measured my ferritin and I’m over 100. Hmmm. I just might give some blood away. I threw out our red colored ibuprofen (iron coating).

 

Pop Quiz

 

  1. Iron is good for your brain. True or false                                    Answer: Ha, Trick question. It appears to be important for you when you are young, but too much is a deadly toxin as you get old. That is the AP Rule: Antagonistic Pleiotropy.

 

  1. We have added iron to many of our foods on the belief that it is good for us. T or F        Answer: True.

 

  1. People around the world who have the best functioning brains, the longest, have much lower blood iron in the form of ferritin than we have thought was safe. T or F                  Answer: Yup. Average ferritin of 20

 

  1. Beta amyloid in the brain might be accumulating as a side effect of our brain’s attempt to get rid of extra iron. T or F                                                        Answer: Again. Yup

 

  1. Getting rid of excess iron might be the only way to reduce our risk for the dangers of iron. The easiest way to do that is……?                                 Answer: Donate blood.

 

 

 

The Trouble with Iron

The Trouble with Iron

References: The Mindspan DietEndocrine Society MeetingHow Much Iron in My CerealJr of Nutrition,

Ready to blow your mind with a whole new set of ideas? Want to live a lot longer and have your brain survive with you? Want to have an organizing principle that explains much of the trouble with modern nutrition, that is a complete curve ball from anything you have ever heard before? Here goes. Please read the next couple of weeks of The News with great attention to the details in this column.
Dr Person Estep is not am MD, he’s the smart kind, a PhD at Harvard Medical School, in Genetics and Health Science. HIs research is into those populations of people whose brain survives into their later years, and why. I’ve just devoured his book, and if you want to preserve your brain, you should too. This is a must read.
Let me start with a few core principles and ideas that he presents. First, the concept of MIND SPAN. I want my brain to survive longer than my body. My LIFE span makes me nervous, if it’s longer than my brain span. That’s Alzheimer’s (AD). Get that? Of course your do. We all do, and right now 50% of are getting it if we have the “good fortune” of living to 85. That’s idea #1.
Concept #2 for us to all know is the idea of Antagonistic Pleitropy. (Wow, if you get this, you can skip medical school.) It’s actually a simple idea. What it means is that your bodies needs change as you age. What was good for you once, becomes bad for you later. Biology works by natural selection, and reproduction is the driving force. If you can’t pass on your genes, they can’t change. So, natural selection works only until you stop reproducing. Nature is not interested in you once the pressure of natural selection is over. Get it? What is good for you before passing on your genes, may be bad for you later. Women have to give iron to their babies. The human body needs iron for it’s blood making. And through most of human history, our guts were filled with tiny worms that made us lose iron. In this mix, men have to make sperm. Trillions of them. But sperm doesn’t involve the losing of iron. Making babies does. Lots of iron. The human species has resulted in a model that generally, in both genders, accumulates iron easily. That’s good for women, while they are making babies. And its good for all of us when we keep losing iron from intestinal parasites. What happens to us after we stop reproducing? Well, nature has no way of repairing or changing that tendency to accumulate iron after our reproductive years. What happens if we keep accumulating iron? What happens when we get good plumbing and sanitation and stop getting pin worm? Our iron leak stops.
What happens, if we decide that our society is across the board iron deficient and we add iron to all of our grains? (Look at your breakfast cereal and see how much iron you are getting. Look at your “fortified bread” and see how much iron you are getting. Consider that the USDA says that we need 18 mg of iron a day, and good science shows that actually you probably need much less, like 4 mg a day, once you hit 50. What’s happened is that in America, we have added abundant iron to our diet, to our baby formula, to our grains, our breakfast cerealsour rice, to our whole food chain. And that may be a big problem.
What if I told you that accumulating ferritin in your pancreas pushes you into diabetes? What if I told you that amyloid plaque in your brain may be a side effect of a desperate attempt to get that toxic iron out of your brain. We’ll get to that in the coming weeks.
For now, think about these two core ideas and please, look at your “fortified” flour on your shelf and read the labels for your source of iron. Think about how red meat provides you lots of iron. And next week, we’ll have more details.

WWW.What will work for me. My mind is being totally turned upside down. I can’t wait to tell you the rest. This is a whole new way of exploring the metabolic problems we face with aging. But for now, stop taking any iron in your diet. STOP. Trust me. Stop. Stop your vitamin pill with iron. Stop your fortified cereal. Get skeptical about red meat. I’ll prove it to you. Or else buy the book. Next week.

 

Pop Quiz

  1. The human body accumulates iron easily, too easily. When is that good, and when is it bad?                                                                        Answer: It’s good if you are a young female, having lots of babies and with lots of intestinal parasites – like humans were until 100 years ago when we cleaned up our toilets, our guts and stopped having so many babies. It’s bad when you are male, have a clean gut, live longer than 35 years.
  2. What is this effect called?                                     Answer: Antagonistic Pleiotropy. (Go straight to your third year in medical school.) What’s good for you at one age or circumstance, becomes bad for you later.
  3. We decided, as a society, that every one should have how many milligrams of iron a day?                                                                             Answer: 18
  4. How many milligrams do mature adults, past the age of child bearing need? Answer: Probably around 4.   Certainly no more than 8.
  5. Should I worry about the red color of my ibuprofen pill?                              Answer: Yes, that is actually oxidized iron. Buy another brand. The ibuprofen is good for your brain. The Iron is not.