Germs and “I” Cloud

 

In a scene from the current film Embrace of the Serpent an Amazonian shaman blows smoke across the body of a sick woman to heal her. Incense, smoke, and simply the air blown from our lungs have been used in healing for a very long time. Generally ignored by science, these methods  now bear re-examination.

Recent studies* have demonstrated what the ancients knew all along – that

each of us is surrounded by a cloud.

 A cloud that can affect our health. It is, in fact, a cloud of your own unique bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It is so unique that your presence in a room can be positively identified even though you may be long gone. Call it your “I” Cloud.

That cloud of microbial essence is determined by how you live – what you think, eat, drink and breathe. It is also affected by others around you – and their clouds of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It is certainly possible therefore, that if you change your ‘cloud’ you may be able to change your health. The use of incense, for example frankincense,  is not only  pleasant to smell it is also a powerful antiseptic – a powerful healer. Suddenly the notion of traditional methods of healing that can affect a person’s bacterial cloud no longer appear quite so mysterious.

All good medicine,

Dr.R.

*Meadow JF, Altrichter AE, Bateman AC, Stenson J, Brown G, Green JL, Bohannan BJM. (2015) Humans differ in their personal microbial cloud. PeerJ 3:e1258 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1258

Advertisements

Health and Light

Light pollution is a threat to human health, the health of ecosystems, and esthetics.  There is a growing body of studies showing that

we are both overexposed to light at night, and underexposed to natural light during the day.

Light exposure affects our moods, hormones, fertility, and immune system. Excessive night light exposure is associated with increased breast cancers.

Earth Hour is March 24, 2018, 8:30-9:30PM local time. Turn off your lights.

The 12 Elixirs – chapter 21 – the fourth elixir: Sleep –

maintain a totally dark bedroom!

Get outdoors during the day!!!

Logo of envhper

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is ehp-117-a20f5.jpg

Increase in Artificial Night Sky Brightness in North America

Abstract

Temporal organization of physiology is critical for human health. In the past, humans experienced predictable periods of daily light and dark driven by the solar day, which allowed for entrainment of intrinsic circadian rhythms to the environmental light–dark cycles. Since the adoption of electric light, however, pervasive exposure to nighttime lighting has blurred the boundaries of day and night, making it more difficult to synchronize biological processes. Many systems are under circadian control, including sleep–wake behavior, hormone secretion, cellular function and gene expression. Circadian disruption by nighttime light perturbs those processes and is associated with increasing incidence of certain cancers, metabolic dysfunction and mood disorders. This review focuses on the role of artificial light at night in mood regulation, including mechanisms through which aberrant light exposure affects the brain. Converging evidence suggests that circadian disruption alters the function of brain regions involved in emotion and mood regulation. This occurs through direct neural input from the clock or indirect effects, including altered neuroplasticity, neurotransmission and clock gene expression. Recently, the aberrant light exposure has been recognized for its health effects. This review summarizes the evidence linking aberrant light exposure to mood.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2627884/

Transl Psychiatry. 2017 Jan; 7(1): e1017.
Published online 2017 Jan 31. doi:  10.1038/tp.2016.262
Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1998 Jan;48(1):73-9.
grative_Review

Autism and the Mother’s Nutrition

A recent study demonstrated that mothers who took supplements during pregnancy had a lower number of children with autism than mothers who did not take supplements. The study suggests that (!!!) the nutritional state of the mother during pregnancy may have a significant impact on the health of her child.

See chapters 11-14 of The 12 Elixirs for more information on nutrition and the health of our children.

“An international collaboration led by the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Drexel University (Philadelphia, USA) set out to investigate the association between mothers’ use of supplementation during pregnancy and risk of ASD in their offspring who were aged 4 to 15 years.
They analyzed data from the Stockholm Youth Cohort, which included 273,107 mother-child pairs living in Stockholm County (Sweden). Mother’s use of multivitamin, iron, and folic supplementation was reported at the first antenatal visit. Diagnosis of ASD with and without intellectual disability in children was obtained from register data.
The researchers found that the prevalence of offspring ASD with intellectual disability was 0.26% and 0.48% in the maternal multivitamin use group and the non-use group, respectively. This meant that mothers who used multivitamin (with or without additional iron or folic acid, or both) was associated with an average 31% lower risk of ASD in children compared with mothers who did not use supplements. After adjusting for potential confounders and using other analytic methods, similar estimates were found.
However, the association study does not prove that multivitamin use caused lower risk of developing ASD in child. Due to limitations of the data, the study cannot answer how type, timing, and dose of supplement influences the ASD risk. Also, it remains to be determined whether there is a critical window for multivitamin use by mother and whether certain combinations of specific nutrients are responsible for the prevention of ASD.
The study results were published in the journal BMJ (October 2017).
Why is this Clinically Relevant?
  • Maternal nutrition during pregnancy is essential for the wellbeing of offspring. This study indicates it is also associated with lower risk of ASD
  • Clinicians may recommend multivitamin supplement for women who plan to become pregnant or are in early pregnancy
  • It is important to select supplements that are manufactured according to GMP which ensures quality standard

 

References
[1] DeVilbiss, E.A., et al., Antenatal nutritional supplementation and autism spectrum disorders in the Stockholm youth cohort: population based cohort study. BMJ, 2017. 359: p. j4273.”
Thank you to Carl  at NutriDyn for this reference.

Alzheimer’s disease & Leafy greens

For those who need more scientific evidence for the importance of eating dark leafy greens click to the link below. Scientists saw a correlation between cognitive health and the intake of dark leafy greens.

“Consumption of approximately 1 serving per day of green leafy vegetables and foods rich in phylloquinone, lutein, nitrate, folate, α-tocopherol, and kaempferol may help to slow cognitive decline with aging.” Neurology. 2017 December 20

Your great great grandmothers were right – “Eat your greens!” Dark leafy greens are Nature’s wonder food – good for just about everything. They are good for your kidneys (that’s important for brain health). They are potent anti-inflammatory agents ( good for your brain and heart). They are an excellent energy source. They are a natural deodorant. They are important for healthy skin and teeth. etc.etc.etc.

There are many cookbooks offering tantalizing recipes for preparing greens. Children raised on natural food LOVE dark leafy greens. Start them right, please! Here’s one easy recipe for kale:

1. Massage (rub with your bare hands) finely chopped kale until softened ~ 1-2minutes

2. Dress with a shaken mixture of vegetable oil ~ 4T, balsamic vinegar ~ 1T,  and     maple syrup ~ 1/2T. It should have a sweet and sour flavor.

3. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve

4. Add raw, chopped bacon, unsalted pistachios or slivered almonds if you wish.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29263222

All good medicine,

Dr.R.

What’s the best yogurt?

I am often asked by patients: “What’s the best____________?” Whether it is yogurt or vegetables or exercise there is this notion that there is one that is ‘best of all’. There really is no such thing apart from the person doing the questioning. Everything is relative. A more accurate way to phrase the question would be: “What is the best yogurt for me, right now?” i.e. under my particular current circumstances. Different strains of yogurt bacteria have different health effects, and, these effects vary from person to person, and with different health states.

As to yogurt, start with organic, then choose those that are either plain or those not sweetened with white sugar (organic white sugar is still white sugar – not good) then choose full or low fat. As to the brands, go to the link given below for an explanation of what some of the known health effects are of the various bacteria. Use the the chart given to choose the best yogurt for you, for now.

All good medicine,

Dr.R.

http://beneficialbacteria.net/probiotic-yogurt/

Preventing Food Allergies

There have been several recent articles in the lay press about eliminating peanut allergies in children using probiotics with peanut protein. This is very good news for many parents.

For those of us in the natural health care field we welcome the studies and look forward to additional refinement of the therapy. The bacteria in our guts are critical for all aspects of our health. This is not new knowledge. It is quite ancient; it was quite forgotten and dismissed for decades; and it is now enjoying the attentions of the monied research community. At last….

More research is needed. For instance, it is not known which contributed more to the elimination of the allergy – the probiotic or the dosing with peanut protein? (They were given together).  Based on observation, one might surmise that the probiotic had at least a large role to play. Afterall, many children who have no peanut allergy are fine with eating peanut butter without early dosing with peanut protein. It would be interesting to see the state of their gut bacteria compared to the gut bacteria of  children who are highly sensitive to peanuts.

Grannies and mothers from our not so distant past always stressed the importance of babies being breastfed, drinking and eating cultured dairy products, and later, cultured vegetable products as a means to have healthy children. These were all sources of good bacteria for the gut. Mothers were also traditionally encouraged to regularly consume foods high in beneficial bacteria during pregnancy as these bacteria are passed on to the child.

Even if all that is done,  gut bacteria can be easily disrupted by the administration of antibiotics to the child. The presence of thrush or a yeast infection is a sign that gut bacteria are not in proper balance. In fact, the ancient healers often are quoted as saying that all disease begins in the gut. This does not mean that illness be left untreated in children. It does mean that researchers should do more to show the effectiveness of non-antibiotic therapies to treat infection in pregnant women and young children.

For 35 years we at Westside have prescribed sipping sauer kraut juice for the treatment of a host of diseases associated with poor gut bacteria balance. Happily, there is  now a company that now sells JARS!!!! of kraut juice. The product is called Gut Shot and we highly recommend it in addition to your other fermented food products.

Food allergies have been increasing and are far too common. Most food allergies are preventable and reversible. Starting with the gut is a good place to start.

All good medicine,

Dr.R.

 

Gut shot kraut juice ( we recommend starting with the Original Caraway or Garlic Dill):https://www.farmhouseculture.com/gut-shots

Antibiotic prescription and food allergy in young children: https://aacijournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13223-016-0148-7

Administration of a probiotic with peanut oral immunotherapy: http://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749(14)01737-0/abstract

The role of the gut microbiome in the healthy adult status:http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0009898115000170

 

 

 

Music and Memory

Social changes of the past one hundred years have led  many of us to having much less fun than our predecessors. Too often, we allow ‘the professionals’ to do the singing, dancing, and painting for us. This is not natural. As children we are free to engage in dance, song, and art without inhibition, and these activities are critical to the proper development of our minds and bodies. They are also potent preservers of the health of our minds and bodies as we age.

There has been a general loss of age-inclusive community activities such as  weekly dances, long chats,  singing around the fire, community meals, etc. These community meals, dances, and singalongs often followed community work such as bringing in the harvest, barn raisings, quilting bees, canning bees, etc.

Restoring  modern versions of communal arts  can be invaluable in preserving physical and mental health.

If you have a family member with Alzheimer’s I recommend the following amazing film for helping those who seem locked away and non-communicative:

Alive Inside by Dan Cohen – a film about patients and using music from their youth to wake and engage those thought to be totally lost to Alzheimers.

Also, I highly recommend visiting this site:

http://www.givingvoicechorus.org

Talk to people who are involved in this chorus and hear their remarkable stories. Music is medicine, especially for those with Alzheimers and dementia.

 

All good medicine,

Dr.R.

 

 

3 Step Weight Loss

“By the way I’ve lost 12 pounds!” – The loss of excessive weight is one of the most common comments I hear from patients who are coming in for other problems. I do not ‘treat’ obesity. I am not a weight loss clinic. I help patients overcome various acute and chronic health conditions – one of the results of regaining good general health is a natural return to a healthy weight.

So what is it about our program for regaining health that stimulates the body to return to its ideal weight? Although every patient is unique, there are three general actions (that are recommended for most all patients) that generally result in weight loss. They are:

1. Fun

2. Decrease inFlammation

3. Fasting

FUN – it is always important that one be actively engaged in at least one activity that provides great joy. Doing something you really love focuses your mind and metabolism in a positive direction. Focusing on ‘health’ or ‘dieting’ is not usually considered a fun thing to do and I do not recommend it. Focus instead on an activity that is food for your soul. People who do this get well faster, stay well, and lose weight, to boot.

Step I – begin doing something that you love but have been putting off because you were too  ‘busy’  to do. It could be a hobby, a new job, or something else.

INFLAMMATION – most acute and chronic illnesses are caused or aggravated by inflammation in the body. Inflammation also tends to cause the body to retain water and fat. By reducing those things that cause inflammation, the illness is ameliorated or reversed and one loses weight, to boot.

Step II – begin COMPLETELY removing inflammatory foods, etc. These would commonly include:

  • tomato, bell pepper, potato, eggplant (native S.American Indians are OK to eat these)
  • White sugar, white flour, white vinegar
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee, chocolate
  • Red meat, eggs (OK for some)
  • Cow milk, butter, cheese ( low fat, yogurt, kefir, and hard cheeses OK for some)
  • Nut butters
  • Gluten (just fine for some)
  • Environmental toxins
  • Emotional stress

FAST – every other day eat 1/4-1/2 of what you would normally eat – this is a fast day. Drink a lot more water, teas, broths, kombucha, lemon water, etc. on fast days. Eat as much as you wish on regular eating days. Be sure that each organ system is receiving what it needs, especially the liver and thyroid. Do not snack, drink fluids instead. People who regularly fast get sick less often, recover from illness more quickly, are more mentally/physically balanced, and are more likely to stay at their ideal weight, to boot.

Weight should start to come off within days of instituting these changes. Once you have reached an acceptable weight, continue the program for another six weeks before reintroducing the avoided foods. Some of the above should never be reintroduced  ( the ‘whites’ and toxins). During the program, be sure to increase your intake of dark leafy greens, a greater variety of vegetables, whole foods, protein 3x per day (fish, poultry, beans, eggs/red meat?, nuts), whole grains (brown/wild rice, millet, qinoa, etc.), fermented vegetables (kraut), and fresh/dry herbs (rosemary, thyme, basil, etc.).

If the above does not do the trick, or if you experience any sort of untoward symptoms, please see your health care provider for greater guidance.

If you have the health handbook The 12 Elixirs, you may find additional information there:

  • Appendix: sections D,I,L,M (Cleansing, Food, Organ Maintenance, Stress)
  • Part III (Health habits)
  • Part I, chapters 5,6,7 (Adaptation, Environment, The Mind)

(If you would like to purchase a handbook – go to Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or contact the clinic, 952-935-9360.)

Have Fun!   Decrease InFlammation!  Fast!

All good medicine,

Dr.R.

Misconsceptions of Moderation

The Myth of Moderation

A common cause of confusion for patients is the degree to which one should change a diet to get healthy.  Often a patient has been doing ‘everything right’ and yet their health problems persist. A common misconception concerns the appropriate application of the idea of ‘moderation’. “Everything in moderation” and you will do well – a little bit of white sugar every day will not hurt you, junk food is OK once in a while, etc. etc.

The principle is correct –

moderation is the best way to go,

however,

the rule works best once you have achieved general good health. 

A healthy body can handle occasional junk food. A healthy body can process a bit of white sugar here and there. However, if one has unresolved health problems that persist, then one needs to buckle down for a while until the problem is resolved before reverting back to the rule of moderation. It may take a bit of time to get the discipline down that is required to correct a longstanding problem, but how wonderful it then is to not have to worry about ‘doing everything right’ to be vibrantly healthy! A weak system generally requires little insult before it breaks down with symptoms. A robust healthy system can take a lot of insult before any symptoms show.

If you have a leaky roof resulting in your household goods getting wet do you really want a few leaks and cracks to persist? No. Fix the roof. Fix it well. No more worries. The same applies to your body. Fix it. Fix it well. No more worries.

For the average person I see clinically, (and depending on the person’s constitution and illness), once one has been truly strong and healthy for 8-12 weeks, the rule of moderation comes into play with no untoward effects from the occasional intake of junk food or other bad habits. (Strong and healthy means no symptoms of any kind for 8-12 weeks.

All good medicine,

Dr.R.

Sunshine and your Heart

Researchers have discovered that optimizing vitamin D status in the body actually helps congestive heart failure patients. A recent study* published this April in the  Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed improved heart function in CHF patients following one year of vitamin D3 supplementation.

Vitamin D is made by our bodies when our skin is exposed to sunlight. The average human loves sunshine and yet many of us spend most of our time indoors. Even when we do venture out we often cover all exposed skin with sun block.  This has resulted in a dramatic increase in vitamin D3 deficiency associated illnesses.

Exposure to natural outdoor light is crucial for good health. We evolved in a sunlit world. Out bodies do best when regularly dosed with sunshine. People who spend the most time outdoors have the lowest rates of skin cancer. Skin cancer rates are highest among those who spend most of their time indoors with a history of sunburn when they do venture out.

Increase your outdoor time gradually. Start with five minutes of bright sun per day for a week. Increase to ten minutes per day. Then ten minutes twice a day. Eat a good organic whole foods diet. If you are an ‘easy burner’, see your health care provider and have your B vitamin status checked. Improving nutrition can eliminate the tendency to burn instead of tan. Wear hats and clothing to block excess sun exposure.

Sunshine is good for our hearts in more ways than one.

 

All good medicine,

Dr.R.

 

*www.acc.org/…cardiology/…/mon-2pm-vindicate-vitamind-supplement..