Friday, December 31, 2010


Make yourself a New Years Resolution. Don’t be a Lout eat THIS Sprout. Edible sprouts are germinated plant seeds. They are usually produced by soaking the seeds at regular intervals over a 4-10 day interval. Broccoli sprouts are highly nutritious with magnesium, chlorophyll and rich in enzymes and electrons which promote good health as mitochondrial enhancer and antioxidandants. Studies of compounds in broccoli sprouts have been shown to reduce the risk of prostate, breast, liver, stomach, bladder and colon cancer and to act as an anti-bacterial agent against Helicobacter pylori, an organism associated with causing duodenal ulcers. Also broccoli sprouts decreases the risk of stroke, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease as well as osteoarthritis.

Research has shown that broccoli sprouts are rich in glucoraphanin, a compound that when eaten is converted in our body into Sulforaphane ((sul-FOR-a-fane) glucosinolate, which is a “phase II inducer”. In 1997, Paul Talalay, Ph.D who founded the Brassica Chemoprotection Laboratory, at Johns Hopkins identified chemo protective nutrients and finding ways to maximize their effect. Also in a study funded by the British Heart Foundation discovered sulforaphane could "switch on" a protective protein which is inactive in parts of the arteries vulnerable to plaque formation. Scientists already know that arteries don't clog up in a uniform way, but that there are bends and branches of blood vessels in which blood flow is disrupted (turbulance) and are much more prone to the build-up of fatty plaques that cause heart disease. In the more vulnerable areas, a normally protective protein known as Nrf2 is inactive. Sulforaphane protects those regions by switching on the Nrf2.

Brassica is a plant in the genus of the mustard family, and includes in addition to broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, cauliflower and turnips. Three-day-old broccoli sprouts contained more than a 40 times higher concentration of the protective molecule than mature broccoli. In Addition cooking destroys three quarters of the active compound. Eating a few tablespoons of the sprouts daily can supply the same degree of cancer and vascular protection as 20 pounds cooked broccoli eaten weekly.

Broccoli sprouts can be frequently obtained at Health Food stores or in concentrated juices or capsules, but they may not be as good as producing this fantastic food yourself and eating them fresh. The seed and sprouting trays are easily obtained and the growing initiated by soaking 4 tablespoons in a 8 oz jar of water overnight. (about 8 hours). Pour the soaked seeds onto the sprouting tray. These trays and the organic seeds can be purchased at most Health Food Stores and on line such as the Cover the tray so the enclosure provides a greenhouse effect. Rinse by showering the seeds with fresh water twice per day. Try not to dislodge the seeds with the force of the rinse water. Allow the seedlings to root themselves into the small holes of the growing tray. Keep the tray away from strong light for the first 4 days, then move to a brighter area, avoiding direct sunlight and heat. In 3 to 4 more days they will be green and ready to harvest. Pluck from the surface to allow the younger sprouts to continue to grow. In the next 3 days, they should all be sprouted. With prayer and luck you should have 2 pounds of health from them. They can be used in cooking and as sauces, they are healthier used as salads or in sandwiches made with Red Cabbage leaves or Kale rather than bread. Do yourself a healthy favor and you will be well rewarded well beyond the minimal work it takes to eat this wonderful delicacy that will add life onto your years and years onto your life!

Monday, December 27, 2010


Micronutrient deficiencies (vitamins, amino acids, minerals, antioxidants, metabolites) contribute to a broad range of both minor and serious health conditions. Identifying and correcting them is an important component of management and/or treatment of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, chronic fatigue and other so called chronic degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis. The Journal of the American Medical Association, (Volume 287, 3116-3129, 2002), Vitamins For Chronic Disease Prevention in Adults, states, “although clinical syndromes of vitamin deficiencies are unusual in Western societies, suboptimal status is not. There are many serum nutritional tests but they only measure static quantities of vitamins and minerals present in serum, such as magnesium or B 12 reflecting dietary intake and what can not get into our cells rather than the true cellular content and function. But there is a test that can assess long-term intracellular requirements using each patient’s own lymphocytes. Under a variety of nutrient depletion conditions, scientists can now measure the growth response of these cells to something called mitogenic stimulation. This determines intracellular deficiencies, which might not be detected by standard serum tests giving us a true window on Intracellular Function.

In 1949 Dr. Roger Williams, who previously discovered five vitamins, coined the word Genetotrophic disease which means having both genetic (geneto) and nutritional (trophic) roots. Later (1956) he published the book Biochemical Individuality: The Basis for the Genetotrophic Concept. William Shive, Ph.D., who was chairman of the department of biochemistry and a researcher in the field of nutrition at the University of Texas, began work on a diagnostic test for clinicians in 1978. His work was strongly influenced by Williams. Dr. Shive first identified appropriate cells for the functional assays. He selected lymphocyte cells because they are simple to collect (via venipuncture), easily isolated from other whole blood components, and maintainable in culture for days to weeks.

These harvested lymphocytes are in a resting state in terms of cell division. Since they have a 4 to 6 month lifespan, the nutrient levels accumulated in these lymphocytes represent a history of an individual's nutrient status. This is analogous to using HbA1c measurements to approximate a diabetic person's glucose levels over the preceding 3 months. Thus, lymphocytes provide a history rather than a snapshot of nutrient intake. Resting lymphocytes can be stimulated by a lymphocyte-specific mitogen to undergo cell division and grow in culture. The degree of growth that the lymphocytes can maintain is directly related to the nutrients they have available. The cells are stimulated to grow in the control media containing optimal amounts of specific micronutrients. As each micronutrient is removed from the media, the cells must use their own internal mechanisms (reserves or metabolic processes) to grow. If cells grow optimally, they are functioning adequately and thus are not deficient. If cells do not grow optimally, then a deficiency is indicated. For example, when Zinc is removed from the media and cell growth is not sufficient, this indicates that the lymphocyte cells have a functional intracellular deficiency of Zinc.

A functional deficiency encompasses any of the factors that reduce the efficacy of a nutrient. Thus, a given nutrient may be present, but it may not be properly activated, appropriately localized or have sufficient cofactors to function at a normal level of activity. Whatever the cause, the result will be a defect in the biochemical pathways that depend upon that nutrient for optimal function. A deficient or defective pathway may operate at a sub-optimal level for many months, or even years, before a clinical symptom becomes apparent. Micronutrient deficiencies aren’t just a reflection of diet. Since we are all biochemically unique, nutrient deficiencies will vary from person to person, and do not necessarily correlate directly with nutrient intake, even among those with similar health conditions. Many factors beyond diet determine whether nutrient function is adequate. These include biochemical individuality, genetic predisposition, absorption and metabolism, age, disease conditions and medications. Some folks spend hundreds of dollars a year and don’t need to. Others need a few inexpensive supplements to stay healthy and this test will detail the best for each of us. This is Personal Medicine at its highest level, rather than what most of us doctors practice “One Size Fits All”.

You can be deficient in micronutrients and not even know it until it is too late and, for example, develop Cancer. Studies have shown that 50% of patients taking a multivitamin are functionally deficient in one or more essential nutrients that are vital to long-term health. Deficiencies suppress the function of the immune system and contribute to degenerative processes. Propetology is another word coined by Dr Williams which is the potential science of the “leaning” (Greek) of individuals toward certain diseases. This is a genetic or other predisposing factor that gives one person the tendency to have a given medical problem, but another with the same exposure not have any difficulty.

SPECTROX is a total antioxidant function test that assesses the ability of cells to resist damage caused by free radicals and other forms of oxidative stress that is included in the study using the same technology as the micronutrient testing.

The micronutrient test was prohibitory expensive until recently when it not only became commercially available from Spectracell Laboratories that is the descendant of Drs Williams and Shive and is paid for by most insuranc plans including Medicare and Medicaid except for a $160 co-pay.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Why 9? The number nine has long been used as a superlative. Classical mythology gave us the Nine Muses of Arts and Learning. The Nine Worthies were characters drawn from the Pagan and Jewish history and from the Bible. This distinguished group consisted of Hector, Alexander, Julius Caesar, Joshua, David, Judas Maccabaeus, King Arthur, Charlemagne, and Godfrey of Bouillon. This then is a takeoff of the main constituent, Arginine, the 9 chaperone ingredients and it is exceptional for total body health.

In 1998, the Nobel Prize was awarded to Louis Ignarro for the discovery of EDRF(endothelium-derived relaxing factor), a chemical produced in the lining of the blood vessels, which keeps them healthy. Several years earlier, Stanford's Dr. John Cooke and other investigators had found that specific nutrients enhance EDRF production and improve blood flow in people with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, or other risk factors for heart disease. 
The atom of cardiovascular health--a tiny molecule called Nitric Oxide. NO, as it is known by chemists, is the signaling molecule produced by the body, and is a vasodilator that helps control blood flow to every part of the body. Dr. Ignarro's findings led to the development of Viagra and other patented and supplemental products such as Pro-Argi 9.

Arginine, or more correctly L-Arginine is the natural molecule in our body that produces NO in that one-cell-thick lining of our blood vessels called the endothelium. NO has a beneficial effect on the whole cardiovascular system. It relaxes and enlarges the blood vessels, prevents blood clots that can trigger strokes and heart attacks, regulates blood pressure and the accumulation of plaque in the blood vessels. Current research indicates that NO may help lower cholesterol by facilitating the actions of statin drugs like Lipitor or lower lipids by itself. It also has been shown to improve the immune system, facilitate healing, prevent cancer, enhance nerve and brain function and act as an antiaging molecule by stimulating HGH (Human Growth Hormone). It is also the promolecule of Argmantine which decreases pain and promotes better cognitive health which is a subject of a whole discussion that will be forthcoming.

Arginine is a conditionally nonessential amino acid, meaning in healthy young folks it can be manufactured by the human body, and does not need to be obtained directly through the diet. But in older people or those with other diseases including stress, the biosynthetic pathway does not produce sufficient amounts, and must be consumed through diet. Arginine is found in a wide variety of foods, including red meat and dairy products. However, these need to be consumed in large quantities such as two pounds of steak or three quarts of milk daily. This so called “food” is inflammatory and causes poor health in the majority of 21st centurions.

In our body, Arginine is synthesized from another semi-essential amino acid, citrulline, by several cellular enzymes. But it is a very energy costly, with each molecule produced two ATP equivalents are used up. In healthy humans, synthesis of arginine occurs principally in the intestine and kidney. The lining of the small intestine produces citrulline primarily from glutamine which naturally is in our diet if we eat healthily. The kidney extracts citrulline from the circulation and converts it to arginine, which is returned to the circulation. Consequently, poor diet, impairment of small bowel or kidney function can reduce arginine and NO. To make matters worse there is a competing molecule that some of us have in our body, ADMA, that causes an even lower level of NO and health. More about ADMA later.

Since the early 1970’s L-Arginine has been used as a supplement with only placebo effect, but in the last five years there have been several good products available. Engineered by Dr Ignarro himself are Niteworks and most recently Pro-Argi 9. These have at least 4 grams of L-Arginine. 200mg of L-citrullene , and chaperone molecules such as Vitamin C, Folic Acid, and Alpha Lipoic Acid. It comes in a canister or packets of powdered product. One scoop or packet is taken at least 90 minutes after eating and immediately before sleep. Carbohydrates and protein inhibit its intestinal absorption and taken at bedtime stimulates HGH release as well as insuring a good nights sleep. Certainly one could double and even triple the dose for better and quicker health benefit, but it is not necessary.

Pro Argi 9 is available from certain clinicians in the Tulsa area and on line. When a clinician or a patient feels that this product is needed, a special test called a Pulse Max to be described later is preformed. Most clinicians charge $50 for the study, but in most cases is paid for by insurances. This details the health of the cardiovascular system. The study is repeated three months later and if there is not considerable improvement in the test and how the individuals feels, the price of the product is returned by the organization that markets it. The cost is about $ 180 for three months and well worth it. For further information, call or ask at our front desk.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Although many of us eat and maintain a healthy life style to look and feel better, there is a superior reason. That is to BE BETTER and LIVE LONGER. One can be productive and happy as a centenarian (living 100+ years. Over 70,000 centenarians in America!). How can you know how long and well you will live? There is a laboratory study for it, called TELOMERE TESTING. Until the summer of 2010, the test was prohibitively expensive, but now for less than $400, you can obtain your report card and intervene on life style to get a better and better score and either achieve your goal or come very close to it.

Telomeres are sections of DNA at the end of each chromosome whose primary function is to prevent chromosomal “fraying” when a cell replicates. As a cell ages, its telomeres become shorter. How much shorter is governed by genetic factors and environmental stressors. Eventually, the telomeres become too short to allow cell replication, the cell stops dividing and will ultimately die which is a normal biological process. The more of our cells die, the older and frailer we become until we ourselves die in that all our reserves are gone and we succumb to disease or just old age. The Telomere Test can determine the length of a patient’s telomeres in relation to the chronological age. The Patient Telomere Score is calculated based on the patient’s telomere length on white blood cells (T-lymphocytes). This is the average compared to telomere length on lymphocytes from a sample of the American population in the same age range. The higher the telomere score, the “younger” the cells and the longer and better that person will live. Yearly, the test can be repeated and you can work harder or do other interventions that will enhance your score and your life.

Diet plays a large role in telomere length. The best but the most difficult is caloric restriction to the point of just sustenance, a step away from starvation. Far easier and almost as good is eating correctly for your Apo E type, going easy on meat, with eating whole nutrient dense foods, as raw as possible, consumption of Omega 3s, and staying away from grains and processed foods. According to a study of patients with established cardiovascular disease in the January 20, 2010 issue of JAMA, increased telomere and survival rates occurred among individuals who had a high dietary intake of marine omega-3 fatty acids. In this 5 year study, the researchers found that individuals with the lowest DHA+EPA experienced the most rapid rate of telomere shortening, whereas those in the highest had the slowest rate of shortening. Levels of DHA+EPA were associated with less telomere shortening before and after sequential adjustment for established risk factors and potential confounders. For each 1-standard deviation increase in red cell Omega 3 levels was associated with a 32 percent reduction in the odds of telomere shortening! Both the micronutient and the Omega 3 levels tests are available at some labs and physicians offices and is preformed by Spectracell Laboratories.

Minimizing emotional (psychological) and physiological (infections, trauma and surgery) stress will keep your telomeres longer and you healthier. Additionally, increasing antioxidants slows telomere shortening. Physical excerise with adequate antioxidants will also give longer telomers. Common sense dictates that decreasing cardiovascular risk factors (Lipids, Homocysteine, Blood Pressure, Hs-C Reactive Protein, Glucose etc.) and correcting micronutrient deficencies such as Vitamins, Minerals, and Glutathione will preserve the telemomere length. Periodically getting rid of our poison buildup by colonic, and liver cleanses and from the skin by sweating (artificially by sauna or by heavy exercise) and minimizing the toxins in our water, air and food will go a long way in keeping our telomers longer. Keeping our hormones (Thyroid, Sex and Adrenal hormones) in balance and not getting sick also keeps our telomers longer. To not get sick means keeping our immune system healthy to include the consumption of Pre and Probiotics such as high-amylose-resistant cornstarch laced with Lactobacillus rhamnosus (PL60) and other Bacteroidetes spiecies. Staying out of harm's way for bodily damage in our daily pursuits such as not over indulging in alcohol and dangerous sports and occupations will keep our telomers and our lives longer.

Monday, November 22, 2010


PROBIOTICS are live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host. Our intestines have been populated with friendly bacteria since birth. We carry, as an adult, eight pounds of this biomass. It is another independent living organ inside of us that has evolve with us since ancient times. Periodically, to maintain a healthy environment after ingestive problems, and certainly after taking antibiotics, I recommend replanting our gut with probiotics. These are a live culture of both bacteria and yeast that are dedicated not only to discouraging unfriendly organisms from taking up residence in our gut, but proper pH, gas production and stool consistency.

Probiotics also help decrease the incidence of intestinal diseases. These diseases include peptic ulcer (caused by a hostile bacteria: H. pylori) “colitis,” gallbladder disease, and colon cancer. A whole host of non intestinal problems such as hypertension, Vitamin K production, hyperlipdemia, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, better immunity, and urogenital disease. They also produce signaling chemicals that go to our liver that improve or worsen our body structure and function such as in our skin acne and rosacea. Antibiotics wipe out dozens of spieces and end up making us less healthy in the long run.

Composition of an individual’s gut microflora is a recently recognized factor in diet-related obesity. Two groups of the bacterial phylum of micro-flora are dominant in the human gut, the Bacteroidetes and the Firmicutes. The relative proportion of Bacteroidetes is decreased in obese people by comparison with lean people, and that this proportion increases with weight loss
An obese phenotype has been associated with a relative abundance of the bacterial phylum Firmicutes, resulting in increased ‘energy-harvest’ or caloric extraction from the diet. Firmicutes are predominantly Clostridium, but include Lactobacillus, some of which are in the probiotics we unknowingly recommend!

In terms of effects on intestinal carbohydrate and lipid-digesting enzymes, it has been shown that if the population of Firmicutes outnumbers Bacteroidetes, partially digested complex carbohydrates are broken down rather than eliminated through the stool. These, then, form simple sugars that are easily absorbed in the blood stream. A special chemical is elaborated by this bacterial digestion. This encourages the sugar to be directly made into triglycerides by the liver and preferentially stored by fat cells rather than burned! Additionally the certain stains within the Bacteroidetes produce a lipid digesting enzyme. The net result of having more Bacteroidetes and less Firmicutes is a decrease ‘energy-harvest’ or caloric extraction from the diet and a loss of 100 calories a day which represents 12 pounds a year just by having the right ratio of the B/F. There have been some specific bacteria of the Bacteroidetes group such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus PL60 which produces conjugated linoleic acid and in itself has anti-obesity effects. The combination of pre- and probiotics, known as synbiotics, has been proposed to characterize some functional foods with interesting nutritional properties that make these compounds candidates for a weight loss program. One such is high-amylose-resistant cornstarch laced with Lactobacillus rhamnosus PL60 and other Bacteroidetes spiecies. Some scientist have even proposed to rid the gut of most of the Firmicutes with Xifaxan and then repopulate with Bacteroidetes.

It is by no accident that we have thes two opposing groups of bacteria. With famines, these floral reverse ratios were life savers, but in modern times, with too much food and too little activity, it is a killer. Therefore, a high B/F ratio causes weight loss and a low ratio, weight gain. Some scientists have proposed that High Frutcose Corn Syrup is a prebiotic for the Firmicutes group thus favoring the spread of this fattening factor to modern human kind. This adds insult to injury to the high empty carb load for more fat gain.

Monday, November 15, 2010


The only real treatment is to tackle of the main causes of AD which are inflammation/oxidation, glucose dysregulation, obesity, gluten sensitivity, stress (excess cortisol), vitamin deficiency, toxins, and abnormal gut flora. A novel and very powerful approach is to improve the micro-anatomy and circuitry of the brain by enhancing neuroplasticity.

The best and safest anti-inflamatory for the brain is Aspirin (81 mg twice daily), and Omega 3s particularly DHA (2,400mg daily) Some of the biologic drugs used for Rheumatoid Arthritis such as Embrel or Humira may be used in extenuating circumstances. The NSAIDs like Ibuprofen also work, but the side effects outweigh the good. Increasing our natural anti-oxidant Nrf2 will be discussed later. To improve the brain sugar, Actos (45 mg/day) and perhaps Metformin (1500 mg of ER/day) is prescribed. To fuel the brain more, Medium Chain Fatty Acids (3000 mg/day) or less expensive, 3 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil which causes a nutritional ketosis, makes the brain work better. Inositol (3000mg/d) can also be added for this purpose.

To protect itself, the supporting cells, the microglia, for the brains neurons make a super antioxidant, Nrf2, which is activated by a variety of natural things. Nrf2 both reduces inflammation and increases the antioxidation in the brain, particularly, the Hippocampus that is the part that suffers the earliest and the most in AD. There are other compounds including Garlic, Green Tea, NAC/Glutathione, Curcumin/Tumeric, Pterostilbene and Sulforaphanes. is chemically related to resveratrol. It is found predominantly in blueberries and grapes that exhibit anti-cancer, anti-hypercholesterolemia, anti-hypertriglyceridemia properties, as well as fight off and reverse cognitive decline. It is believed that the compound also has anti-diabetic properties. Additionally, it is also touted as a potent anti-fungal. I recommend 100mg two times daily. Sulforaphane is in broccoli sprouts, which, of the cruciferous vegetables, have the highest concentration of sulforaphane. It is also found in brussel sprouts, califlower, bok choy, kale, collards, chinese broccoli, broccoli raab, kohlrabi, mustard, turnip, radish, arugula, and watercress. One can also buy what is thought to be the active chemicals in this compound, which is DIM (200 mg/d) or I3Carbinol (400 mg/d).

The Vitamins that have been shown to improve Brain function and perhaps protect the neuron are Vitamin D (20,000 u/d), Vitamin C (3,000 mg/d), Vitamin E (Gamma E 1,000 mg/d) and Co Q 10 (200 mg/d). Other natural nutritionals that work in concert with these are Acetyl Carnitine (400 mg/d) and Alpha Lipoic Acid (600 mg/d). The supplements that work like the FDA approved drugs (Areceipt etc.) that increase the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, are DMAE (300 mg, 2xs/d), Phosphytlserine (300 mg/d), and Phosphytlcholine (500mg/d). Lecithin Granules (2 t/d) is another good source of Phosphytlcholine. Staying away from all grains should be a matter of good health for all, but in particular gluten does play a detrimental role in not only AD, but in MS. Stress causes release of cortisol from the adrenal glands. This is accumulative over ones lifetime. When too much, too often occurs, destruction of brain cells, principally in the memory/retrieval bank of the sensitive hippocampus happens.

The bacterial flora in the gut is important in AD. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) function in the brain as immunomodulators that control the release of neuro-cytokines and play a role in the formation of the amyloid plaque. Candida, certain species of E. coli, and S. fecalis have been show to influence the neuronal health. To take a good grade of probiotic with the prebiotic Xylitol could be helpful. Of course losing fat with the destructivness of adipokines that cross the blood-brain barrier is literally a no brainer! In that viruses like Herpes Simplex have been linked to AD, one might take the long acting Valtrex indefinitely. Having a history of a fever blisters gives one twice the risk of AD. Detoxing for removal of both fat and water soluble pollutants should also be considered.

The brain not only can but does grow new cells. There are at least 8 neurotrophic stimulating chemicals described. The best studied is BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor). This endogenous molecule is released by vigorously contracting muscles, crosses over into the brain and grows news cells! Also learning new words, movements or paradigms, develops and remodels the dendrites, the fine root-like connections at the end of our axons. This allows them to connect to other dendrites in other areas of our brain. Hence there is an augmentation of Neuroplasticity, which allows the brain Connectome to increase. NIH has dedicated $40 million in research to elucidate the neural pathways that underlie brain function. Deciphering this complex wiring diagram reveals what makes us uniquely human and what makes every person different from all others. This comprehensively maps the human brain circuitry giving us information on the aging and regeneration of our brain.
Using our non-dominant hand for writing, writing our name upside down and inside out (mirror image) and reading upside down also increases the brain volume. Cross-word puzzles, Sudoku, surfing the internet, learning a new instrument to play or dancing also grows new brain cells and improves the dendritic connections of the old ones. It also may raise the IQ by 10-20 points. This plus some of the supplements noted above should keep us out of harm's way if we were destined to get AD.
So what is a person who has a family history of AD, an ApoE-4, and a few other risk factors to do? Taking Aspirin, Omega 3s, using coconut oil, losing fat and doing both mental and physical gymnastics should be done as minimal protection. However, it is a very personal decision as to how much and hard one should try. It is one thing to die suddenly after a relatively productive life, but quite another to have AD with all the negatives that only a devil could invent to suffer beyond one's imagination without hope except for death!! The choice is yours, but make it soon. Every day of delay is a step closer to ending up in irreversible disaster.


ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE (AD) is the most common form of dementia. This incurable, degenerative, and terminal disease was first described by German psychiatrist and neuro-pathologist, Alois Alzheimer in 1906 and was subsequently named after him. Generally, it is diagnosed in people over 65 years of age, although the less-prevalent “early-onset” of Alzheimer's does occur before this age. In 2010, there were 30.6 million sufferers worldwide. Alzheimer's is predicted to affect 1 in 85 people globally by 2050 and after age 80 half will have it. The risk factors for this malady include family history, gluten intolerance, heavy metal excess, fever blisters, high blood sugar, physical and psychological stress, obesity, head trauma, drugs and age. There is a Tsunami of fat-related AD brewing as obese Baby Boomers go from grey to white hair.

The earliest observable symptoms are often mistakenly thought to be “age-related” senior moments. The inability to acquire new memories, the difficulty in recalling recently observed facts are noted first by the individual, then by loved ones and lastly friends. These individuals, particularly those with a high social IQ, cover up these mental lapses with believable excuses. As the disease advances, symptoms include confusion, irritability, aggression, mood swings, language breakdown, long-term memory loss and the general withdrawal of the sufferer as their senses decline. Gradually, bodily functions are lost, ultimately leading to death. AD develops for an indeterminate period of time before becoming fully apparent, and it can progress undiagnosed for years. The mean life expectancy following diagnosis is approximately seven years. Fewer than three percent of individuals live more than fourteen years after diagnosis. When AD is suspected, the diagnosis is usually confirmed with behavioral assessments and cognitive tests, such as a MMSE. A Psychological Inventory Test (see later) that checks 9 different brain areas of function also helps in diagnosis. It is best to pick up the disease in its earliest stages when much can be done to delay or even prevent it. Often I order a MRI to look at the hippocampus volume, and if in real doubt, do a PET scan with a PIB contrast. Individual prognosis is difficult to assess, as the duration and severity of the disease varies much from patient to patient. AD develops for an indeterminate period of time before becoming fully apparent, and it can progress undiagnosed for years.

If Alzheimer’s is in your future, much can be done to greatly delay, or better yet, prevent it. Despite the many ways to determine if you are in harm's way, there is no guarantee that it will arrive until after it is too late. Therefore, an ounce of prevention should be considered before a ton of care. One cannot change their genes (Apo E or Family History), but can certainly amend them in what is termed epigenetic modification. There are at least 7 methods to do this. The research indicates that AD is an inflammatory process and we should quench the continuing fire, rather than what most of us Physicians do, which is to get rid of the smoke or smoky thinking. The 3 drugs that are FDA approved today increase an important chemical in neuro-transmission, Acetyl Choline. They are Aricept, Exelon and Razadyne. The other FDA medication is Nemanda which tries, but unsuccessfully, to put out the fire. Unlike the cardinal signs of acute inflammation in the rest of the body, Calor, Dolor, Tumor, Rubor {Heat, Pain, Swelling and Redness), they are not manifest in the brain in this chronic condition. The Brain is not easily accessed and Alzheimer’s is a slow ongoing oxidative smoldering process with neuronal damage by the slow release of free radicals.

Recently it was determined that a toxic protein found in Alzheimer's patients, (amyloid-beta derived diffusible ligand, or ADDL), removes insulin receptors from nerve cells making them insulin resistant and stopping brain insulin signaling crucial for memory. The binding of ADDLs to synapses somehow prevents insulin receptors from accumulating at the synapses where they are needed. Instead, they are piling up where they are made, in the cell body near the nucleus. Insulin cannot reach receptors there. This finding is the first molecular evidence of why nerve cells become insulin resistant in Alzheimer's disease. This is termed by scientists as Type 3 Diabetes. The pathologic Tangles and Amyloid plaques are the result rather than the cause of the process. That is why the vaccine and recently hopeful drugs have not worked.

The best time to prevent or treat Alzheimer’s is ASAP. The difficulty is to determine who needs therapy. Minimal Cognitive Dysfunction (MCD) was once thought to be a natural part of aging and called, until recently, Benign Forgetfulness of the Age. We now know that as many as 70% of these folks develop AD. To determine these, a Neuro-Cognitive test should be performed. This gives a rapid and valid assessment of a suspects brain function. Abnormal results are sometimes referred to the neuro-psychologist for a full evaluation. These studies bridge the gap between current paper-based testing methods and more expensive clinical options. This assessment provides greater certainty by providing a standardized, precise and objective test. The test that I use is CNS Vital Signs, which gives a specific, tangible measurement of a base line and with serial testing a determination of the rapidity of the onset of AD. It is standardized, objective, valid and reliable with millisecond timing accuracy. It provides measurement of minute changes such as those associated with superimposed drug effects and cognitive impairment. This instrument which is done at the office, or in the patient's home in about 30 minutes, is automatically scored. The scores are then compared to normal standards and are then integrated into clinical domains such as Verbal Memory. It is also paid for by insurances with the CPT code of 96101/02/03 or 96118/19/20. With this information one can decide how aggressive one should be in an intervention.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


With pollutants in our food, drink and air during our daily living, we all accumulate lots of toxins in our vital organs. These toxins not only damage organs, but also produce oxidants that literally "rust" our entire body and cause a myriad of degenerative diseases such as atherosclerosis, arthritis, and Alzheimers. Moreover, it greatly shortens our lives and makes our latter years miserable. Many Doctors recommend detox cleanses as part of a weight loss program. The rationale is that excess toxins are absorbed into our fat cells, then our bodies, acting to be self preserving, enlarge (i.e. take on more fat) to store these poisons.

The body eliminates toxins through our liver, kidney, and skin. The liver enzymaticlly degrades them to less harmful products by well studied pathways (phase I, phase II etc.), then excretes them into the bile and blood. The water soluble substances are expelled through the kidney into the urine. Those that are fat soluble, including heavy metals such as Mercury, are the passed on to the fat which comprises 90% of our nervous system.

One of the oldest and least expensive programs is just fasting. Drinking lots of water helps renal excretion. As an add-on some Doctors recommend a Bowel Cleanse that may even include High Colonic Enemas. To detox the liver are herbs that encourage the above mentioned enzymatic reactions. The skin eliminates both fat and water soluble toxins in our sweat. Some clinicians even recommend herbs that cause sweating. However, I advise heavy exercise, occasionally saunas and rubbing down with a towel after a shower. Some practitioners believe that gently brushing the skin in the direction of the lymph flow detoxifies the lymphatics.

It is a good idea to have both a fall and spring cleaning. Many experts know this is the start of a shift in certain nutrient consumption for winter and summer, since food availability and temperature change do cycle seasonally. Our bodies need to be rebooted periodically for its best functioning. On a cellular level our tissue heals better when it can rest from its other functions such as the daily work of digestion, absorption, and metabolism. Moreover, our gut enzymes are relieved of their responsibility and replenish its store for the next onslaught of “nourishment”.

Many physical cleanses are combined with spiritual uplifting. There are 32 references to it in the Christian Bible, it is done by Moslems on holy days as well as by Native Americans. In Judaism, the Jewish New Year (day of atonement), God is asked to forgive the sins of his people.

As part of the HcG program, many health care givers advise a cleanse. We have been doing this to varying degrees in the past, but some were very difficult, others expensive and still others downright dangerous. In collaborating with Dr. Doug Pray, a specialist in nutrition, I have been recommending Novolife ( I have even done it myself. I also encourage folks to buy his popular book, I DON’T GO OUT WITH FAT BOYS, published this year that well explains the plan. The ease of the implementation coupled with the leg up on a weight/fat reduction agenda makes this ideal. For an investment of this magnitude ($124 and a week of minimal deprivation) not only will one have a clean body (and heart) but if overweight, a 8 to 12 pound weight loss!!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010


For years, eating according to scientists, PLANTS are healthier than meats, but since the 25 year China Study published in 2002, and the September NEJM latest Nurses Health Study, there has been no doubt about it. MEATS (bovine, sheep, pork, goat) SHOULD BE EATEN IN MODERATION OR NOT AT ALL depending on one's genetics particularly the APO-E. Poultry and principally fish are indeed good sources of protein. When eating the bulk of this plan, which is the vegetables, it should be the leaves, flower, and stems rather than the roots and fruits that should be consumed. Nutrient Density is an important concept in recommending dietary advice. Not merely vitamins and minerals, but adequate consumption of phytochemicals is essential for proper functioning of the immune system and to enable our body’s detoxification and cellular repair mechanisms that protect us from gaining fat and the consequences of chronic disease. To guide people toward the most nutrient dense foods, a scoring system called ANDI (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index), or HANDY ANDI, which ranks foods based on their ratio of nutrients to calories, was developed by Dr Joel Fuhman. The following index and pyramid is taken directly from his Website


Nutritional science has demonstrated that colorful plant foods contain a huge assortment of protective compounds, mostly of which still remain unnamed. Only by eating an assortment of nutrient-rich natural foods can we access these protective
compounds and prevent disease and obesity that afflict our current civilization. We need the whole orchestra, not just the woodwinds to make Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony sound wonderful. That is why multi-supplement pills do not work.
FISH contain Omega 3s which increases insulin sensitivity in the muscle, and preserves the production in the pancreas. The Omega 3s should come from farmed Salmon which has 6,000 mg per 6 0z severing compared to the wild with 4,500. If these came from Chile, Scandinavia, British Columbia, or Australia, they are without pollution compared to Asian farmed salmon. Wild fish are not richer in omega-3 fish oils than farm-raised varieties. Farm-raised fish such as salmon and trout won't grow without omega-3 fatty acids in their diet, so fish farmers add it to the fish- meal. Farmed catfish and tilapia, however, do not need omega-3 fatty acids, so these farm-raised fish have little or no omega-3s. In the wild, fish get their omega-3s from algae, plankton and other fish that they may eat.
Escolar (Ivory Tuna) has even more omega 3s. This essential fat should be consumed as the working DHA and/or EPA rather than ALA, a precursor of the active form that many of us cannot convert to EPA and DHA. If eating salmon, daily is too much, obtain it as a liquid. One tablespoon has 6000mg needed. I put it in my smoothie. Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids decrease risk of arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats), which can lead to sudden death. Omega-3 fatty acids also decrease triglyceride levels, raise the super good cholesterol (HDL-2), slow growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque, and lower blood pressure. Fish is also a good source of protein and unlike fatty meat products it’s not high in saturated fat. Although having a bad reputation in the past are the tropical oils (palm kernel, palm, and coconut) which are saturated fats, but are metabolized to Medium chain triglycerides that produce healthy nutritional ketosis. These protect our blood vessels, do not go into our fat cells and are used by our body to enhance the functioning of our heart and skeletal muscle as well as our neurons.

Some types of fish may contain high levels of mercury, PCBs, dioxins and other environmental contaminants. Levels of these substances are generally highest in older, larger predatory fish. Avoid eating those fish with the potential for the highest level of mercury contamination (e.g., shark, swordfish, king mackerel or tilefish). Eat a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury i.e.: Escolar, Salmon, canned light Tuna, Pollock (in artificial shell fish like crab), and catfish. Albacore ("white") tuna has more mercury than canned. Check local advisories about the safety of fish caught by us as well as family and friends from local lakes, rivers and coastal areas. Perchlorate, an ingredient in rocket fuel, has infiltrated 80% of our inland farm streams and ponds. It is a thyroid receptor inhibiter causing low thyroid in millions of folks who docs are telling them there is nothing wrong with them. This (Type II) Hypothyroid does not show up on any of the blood studies we do but does on the old fashion BMR (Basic Metabolism Rate) which are done by only a handful of physicians in our modern highly technical medical society.
In summary a non red meat, fish and high nutrient dense vegetable-based diet offers a diet healthy protein, high Omega 3s as well as low refined carbohydrates. This program emphasizes a liberal intake of vegetables, some beans, a few tree nuts, but low in high glycemic fruits and minimal grains and almost no bad carbs (sugar and starch). Weight loss is sustained in patients who followed this and even more substantial in those who have good adherence to these recommendations. Favorable changes in the lipid profile and blood pressure are noted. In fact in our successful patients who were hypertensive, diabetic, and had bad lipids, we were able to “cure” them of their disease and stop all their medications! This diet then has the potential to provide sustainable, and significant, long-term weight loss, and provides substantial lowering of cardiac risk and potential disabilities in patients who are so motivated.

Monday, October 18, 2010


At times medications are needed in our obesogenic society. There are at least 43 different neurotransmittors (serotonin. nor-epinephrine, ghrelin, leptin, neuropeptide-y etc) involved with our gaining and maintaing excess weight in the form of fat. Research conducted at the University of Texas at Austin provides evidence of a vicious cycle created when individuals overeat to compensate for reduced pleasure from food. It appears that obese individuals have fewer pleasure receptors and overeating further down regulates these pleasure receptors. For example food intake is associated with dopamine release. The degree of pleasure derived from eating correlates with the amount of dopamine released. Obese individuals have fewer dopamine (D2) receptors in the brain compared with lean individuals thereby the obese individual may overeat to compensate for this reward deficit.

This year alone the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been reviewing three new anti obesity drugs for government approval. Although drugs that seem promising early on sometimes prove ineffective and/or dangerous after they are released into the market.

Amphetamines in the 1960s and 1970s were touted as the answer until they proved to be habit forming. In the mid-1990s the disaster with fen-phen (fenfluramine and phentermine) leading to heart valve disease. Then just a few years ago the FDA denied approval for several new weight-loss drugs because of the potential for suicidal behavior.

Only two drugs to date have been FDA-approved for long-term treatment of obesity yet they are not without concern. Earlier this year the European Union banned one of the compounds, sibutramine (Meridia) after reports of heart attack and stroke and recently the FDA is posturing to take them off our market. The other drug, Orlistat, now sold over the counter in half strength size as Alli, causes gastrointestinal distress and has been associated with liver damage in some patients.

Obesity has a neuropsychiatric component, which creates difficulty in finding the “magic bullet”. Yet there are three new drugs that will target the brain, each in a different manner, facing FDA review. Contrave takes aim at the brain's reward pathway yet bupropion, an ingredient in contrave, has been linked to anxiety and neurological effects. Lorcaserin affects serotonin, which involves many brain processes such as emotion and cardiovascular regulation. In July, an FDA advisory panel narrowly voted against the third drug, Qnexa, due to side effects such as memory problems and other unwanted neurological effects.

Our appetite is controlled by the central nervous system present in the hypothalamus. When food enters our stomach, an enzyme called Cholecystokinin-Pancreozymin (CCK-PZ) is secreted from the pancreas. Presence of food is sensed and a number of complex signals are sent to this control center. The neurons there acknowledge it, then send another signal back to tell the body that our stomach is full. These signals are carried by some of the neurotransmitters mentioned above.

There are medications that work by increasing serotonin or catecholamines, two neurotransmitters (chemicals) in the brain that affect both mood and appetite. This class of medications, used most often for weight loss, is commonly referred to as “appetite suppressants.” The FDA approved them in 1959 and has been the most popular prescription weight loss medications sold in the United States. These medications promote weight loss by helping to suppress appetite, and by increasing the subjective feeling of fullness
The prescription medications prescribed in this class are Generic name Phentermine (trade name: Adipex-P, Fastin, Ionamin), Generic name Phendimetrazine (trade name: Bontril, Plegine) and Generic name Diethylpropion (trade name: Tenuate, Tenuate Dospan). Since many of the medical weight loss clinics use them, they will be discussed in more detail later.

The goal of prescribing weight loss medication is to help the medically at risk obese patient “jump start” their weight loss effort and lose at least 10% or more of their starting body weight. Usually anywhere from 5-22 pounds on average will be expected. When this can be accomplished, it usually leads to a reduction in risk for obesity related illnesses, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Potential Benefits of Appetite Suppressant Treatment:
Short-term use has been shown to modestly reduce health risks in obese individuals. These medications have shown to lower blood pressure, blood cholesterol, blood fats (triglycerides), and decrease insulin resistance (the body’s ability to utilized blood sugar). There have been recent studies mentioned in the American Society of Bariatric Physician community that long term use of these medications resulted in lasting reductions in health risks and should be looked into further.

Potential Risks of Appetite Suppressant Treatment:
All prescription medications used to treat obesity, with the exception of orlistat, are controlled substances. This means that doctors need to follow rigid guidelines when prescribing them. Although abuse and dependence are not common with non-amphetamine appetite suppressants, caution is still advised, especially for those with a history of drug abuse or addiction.

Side Effects:
Appetite suppressants such as phentermine, phendimetrazine and diethylpropion are chemically similar to amphetamines. Thereby these medications can likewise cause insomnia, restlessness, constipation, excessive thirst, sweating, light-headedness, drowsiness, headache, stuffy nose, nervousness and rapid heart rate. Most of these side effects will decrease within the first week to two weeks.

Development of Tolerance:
Studies of appetite suppressant medications indicate that an individual’s weight tends to level off after four to six months of treatment. Is this due to drug tolerance, or reduced effectiveness of the medication over time? Studies are not clear. Yet experience shows that things can be adjusted to extend that timeframe and give the patient a few extra months, at minimum, to accomplish further weight loss.

When considering taking any anti-obesity drugs there are different ways to get them. For many years now there have been websites offering anti-obesity drugs online by simply filling out a form, giving your credit card and having them mailed to your home. Some of these drugs come from countries that do not stand up to the quality assurance that the United States requires for the safety of the recipient. These are not over-the-counter (OTC) medications and need to be strictly monitored. It is best to entrust your overall health and safety to a licensed physician. It is partially due to the quality assurance that these medications should be obtained from a reliable source who has done their home-work rather than a undependable one.

Fringe Benefits
These drugs in addition to weight loss help with ADD, ADHD, Depression, PMS, and Migraines.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Some supplements are a must for weight loss diets, and others are helpful, but not necessary. Since diets are deficient in some necessary micronutrients, it is mandatory to take at least a high quality Multi-Vitamin, Mineral Supplement. Inferior to some, but price worthy is taking daily two generic CentrumR tablets/capsules daily. The following is a partial list of OTC (Over-The-Counter) supplements one could take to enhance fat loss in addition to the real foundation of a successful diet which is as low a carb intake as one can do and muscle building exercise. Prescriptive medicines (Phenteramine etc.) will be discussed at some other time.

Fiber, particularly Propolmannan swells in the stomach after ingestion with water to help reduce calorie consumption. These bind to bile acids in the small intestine and helps transport them out of the body. These bile acids otherwise facilitate the digestion and assimilation of dietary fat into the bloodstream. It also slows the rapid emptying of ingested food into the small intestine, thereby reducing the surge of glucose entering the bloodstream. LuraLean® from Life Extension works better than other fibers in that its own enzymes have been removed, thus sparing it from degradation in the digestive tract. This enables LuraLean to form a stable viscous barrier to help impede calorie absorption and maintain its sponge-like activity throughout the digestive tract. In placebo-controlled studies, additional fiber (supplemental plus food fiber) to equal 50 gms/day induces moderate weight loss along with significant reductions in fasting lipid and post-meal glucose and insulin levels. Guar Gum, or sugar free Metamucil, Ground Flax Seed, can be substituted for similar results. Flax seed is 28% fiber about half soluble and half insoluble. Most Americans consume less than 10 gms/day, but a healthy diet is 30 to prevent cancer and heart disease. Our ancient ancestors ingested at least 60! Eating plants for food is healthier than meats according to many authorities, but it should be the leaves, flower, and stems rather than the roots and fruits that should be consumed. There are much carbs in the former and lots of fiber in the later. Some berries and cherries are OK. No grapes though because of their high sugar content.

Whey influences food intake through its effects on cholecystokinin and other mechanisms. Cholecystokinin is a regulator of appetite. During the digestion of food, the gastrointestinal tract secretes cholecystokinin, a small peptide with multiple functions in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Cholecystokinin is largely responsible for the feeling of fullness or satiety experienced after a meal, and that controls appetite, at least in the short term. Also whey is almost all protein which naturally reduces body fat by increasing insulin sensitivity. Whey protein is rich in branch chain amino acids (valine, leucine, and isoleucine) that are used as fuel for working muscles and stimulate protein synthesis for muscle repair. There is a large amount of information on the various types and preparations of whey which I will not go into. Good quality whey has no gluten or lactose. It is usually available as a powder and may have a flavor and a sweetener added. I add 2-3 oz to my smoothie.

Xylitol and D-ribose are not only a good sugar substitutes but makes us healthier. Xylitol is a prebiotic, feeding our intestinal friendly bacteria and killing our bad ones such as staph, strep and fungus. Not only does it give strong bones and teeth, but fortifies our immune system. It cost $8/ pound has 60% less calories than sucrose, but can do anything that it does. Xylitol dissolves in water, is sticky, caramelizes, bakes, and can be used topically for superficial infections. D-ribose on the other hand is expensive but very, very healthful. Costing $35/ lb, it cannot be obtained from any food, but is made naturally in our body as is Xylitol. It is the backbone our DNA and RNA (Ribo Nucleic Acid) and figures into our immune and energy production. It is the metabolic forerunner of our ATP, the fuel that powers our cells particularly the cardiac and skeletal muscles. It is these cells that have the most mitochondria, the engines of our body that use the most ATP for energy. Many scientific studies indicate it strengthens and builds these. Used by body builders for years, doctors have recently prescribe this for Fibromyagia, Chronic Fatigue, Weakness, and Heart Failure with excellent results. It is available in 1000mg (1 gram) capsules, with the dose of 5 grams three times a day. Better is to buy it as a powder using 1 teaspoon as a sweetener 3 times a day. As noted above, Xylitol is a prebiotic that is the food for our probiotic.

Probiotics are the 6 pounds of “friendly” bacteria that coexist in our intestines. There are those that make us fat, and those that help us loose it. The fat bugs digest the insoluble fiber that is naturally in our food to simple sugars that are easily absorbed. Additionally, they elaborate an absorbable “hormone” that stimulates insulin to immediately take them into our fat cells to make them fatter. The thin bacteria oppose these and are bad in times of famine but good in our over abundant food society to help us loose weight. Probiotics can be bought as capsules at all health food stores. I recommend one that has at least 6 different ones such as PB-8 that has 8 strains.

Green tea epigallocatrchin gallate or EGCG for short boosts resting metabolic rate by stimulating our brown fat and increasing insulin sensitivity. Also the tea extract impedes lipase which causes some decrease of fat absorption. To get this effect 5 cups a day are needed. The caffeine in it also contributes to weight loss by increasing the burn even more.

White kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) extract inhibits amylase, the digestive enzyme that breaks down starchy carbohydrates that are then absorbed into the bloodstream as glucose,

Irvingia gabonensis – Like white kidney beans, Irvingia has amylase-inhibiting properties. Moreover, it also favorably regulates: leptin to decrease appetite and facilitate triglyceride removal from adipocytes.

This promotes the hormone, adiponectin, to facilitate insulin sensitivity and glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase to inhibit glucose from converting to triglyceride fat in adipocytes.

Curcumin prevents dietary-induced fatty liver, prevents activation of the liver inflammatory cells that produce the condition, and can also ameliorate fatty liver, common in our obese and diabetic population. In 2009, it was shown that curcumin achieves these effects by suppressing destructive lipid-handling genes, simultaneously stimulating PPAR-gamma activity to improve liver cells’ energy utilization.

Carnitine is an amino acid-derived molecule used by cells to shuttle fats into mitochondria, where they are burned for energy. Both aging and obesity reduce carnitine levels, contributing to mitochondrial aging and loss of metabolic control. That makes carnitine a very appealing supplement for its ability to promote mitochondrial health and fat/sugar utilization. L-Carnitine tartrate seems to work better than other salts. At least 3 grams daily are needed.

Omega 3s increase insulin sensitivity in the muscle, and preserves the production in the pancreas. The Omega 3s should come from farmed Salmon which has 6,000 mg per 6 0z severing compared to the wild with 4,500. If these came from Chile, Scandinavia, British Columbia, or Australia, they are without pollution compared to Asian farmed salmon. This essential fat should be consumed as the working DHA and/or EPA rather than ALA, a precursor of the active form that many of us can not convert to EPA and DHA. If eating salmon daily is too much, obtain it as a liquid. One tablespoon has 6000mg needed. I put it in my smoothie.

Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA) stimulates our brown fat, increasing thermogenisis-the burn. And decreasing fat accumulations obtained from seed oils in evening primrose, blackcurrant, borage (the most concentrated), and hemp. GLA is also found in considerable quantities in edible hemp seeds and from spirulina. This has also lots of good minerals and amino acids. It is best to take daily the natural pure 1000mg GLA oil, rather than the caloric seed oils.

5 Hydro TryptoPhan (5 HTP) promotes weight loss by causing satiety-the feeling of satisfaction. This leads to consuming fewer calories at meals. To obtain the early satiety it may take several weeks Take initially 50mg twenty minutes before a meal. In a week it can be increased to 100. It will still work some if you forget and take it with that meal. 5 HTP is an amino acid that is directly metabolized to serotonin, our happy hormone that decreases carb cravings.

Bitter Orange extract (and bitter orange peel) is a dietary supplement and an aid to fat loss and appetite suppression, although in traditional Chinese medicine it is always prescribed in concert with other support herbs, not in isolation. Bitter orange contains the amphetamine metabolites N-methyltyramine, octopamine and synephrine, substances similar to ephedrine, or the now illegal ephedra which acts on the adrenergic receptor to constrict blood vessels and increase blood pressure and heart rate. However it does not only increase the burn, but gives more energy to have additional hours of caloric utilization. I prefer to use the better quality controlled prescription when I recommend this type of drug.

Glutamine is used for muscle growth. Evidence indicates that glutamine when orally loaded may increase plasma HGH levels by stimulating the anterior pitutitary gland. Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid, meaning it can be produced by the body and is involved in a variety of metabolic processes. Glutamine has recently been re-classified as a conditionally essential amino acid. This means that while the body can make glutamine, under extreme physical stress the demand for glutamine exceeds the body's ability to synthesize it. During times of stress glutamine reserves are depleted and need to be replenished through supplementation. It is the most abundant amino acid in the body and is involved in more metabolic processes than any other amino acid. It is converted to glucose when more glucose is required by the body as an energy source. Glutamine also plays a part in maintaining proper blood glucose levels and the right pH range. It serves as a source of fuel for cells lining the intestines. Without it, these cells waste away. It is also used by white blood cells and is important for immune function. It is the basis of the building blocks for the synthesis of RNA and DNA. Supplementation is effective at eliminating junk food cravings. Taking approximately 30 grams (6 teaspoons)of glutamine powder per day in two divided doses, it takes a week to realize the effects.

Conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) are found especially in the meat and dairy products derived from ruminants consuming natural grass. It is also found in eggs of free range chickens and in specially farmed raised fish. CLA has been shown to reduce body fat by increasing lean muscle mass. CLA is a naturally occurring derivative of the Omega-6 essential fatty acid, linoleic acid. The adult dose for weight loss is 3,400mg of pure CLA daily (the amount found in 6 soft gels).

Nicotine is almost like a weight-loss wonder drug. It naturally suppresses appetite, causing you eat less. It also increases your heart rate, which burns more calories, and acts as a diuretic to remove fluid from your body. When this drug is removed from your system, your body reverts back to normal, and you begin to put back the pounds. 
People who don't smoke and want to take nicotine as a weight-loss treatment should be cautioned that it is an addictive drug, and you may become dependent on the nicotine in the same way that smokers are dependent on cigarettes. Beware, if you are not a smoker and take too much, nausea, light headedness and rapid heart action can occur. Its natural properties do help weight loss, and if used with proper diet and exercise, I recommend this drug. Nicotine spearment drops are available from Economy Pharmacy in Tulsa as a prescription. Each drop contains 0.25 mg of nicotine. Take 2-3 drops 20 minutes before a meal, it decreases the amount one eats during that meal. It also can be used as a “snack”.

Other supplements that are of value that may be considered are Chromium, choline, methionine, inositol, Coenzyme Q10, Biotin, Magnesium, Cinnamon , Ginseng, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Hoodia, Gymnema Sylvester and Banaba Leaf.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Magnesium (Mg)

In a recent study, 75% of Americans were found to be deficient in magnesium because our soil has been depleted of his important mineral. Drugs such as diuretics and steroids lower our magnesium. It functions as a catalyst in over 1000 of our enzyme systems. This is the mineral, rather than calcium, that prevents and treats osteoporosis. It helps in PMS, mitral valve prolapse, kidney stones, hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia and migraines. Deficiency causes apathy, depression, kidney stones, disorientation, muscle weakness and spasms, poor memory, irritability, tremors, arrhythmias and seizures. Although magnesium can be found in foods including chard, pinto beans, avocados and oatmeal, I recommend supplements. rather than food since our modern farming methods produce magnesium poor crops.

The most commonly taken supplement is the inexpensive Magnesium Oxide, a poorly absorbed inorganic salt. Better would be the chloride salt. My choice would be Magnesium chelates. These are organic salts such as glycinate, malate, and lactate are much better absorbed. One of the better products is magnesium citrate which comes in a capsule or powder. Calm by Peter Gillam is particularly good. It comes in a variety of citrus flavors and is effervescent. I recommend 3 teaspoons a day, usually at night for better sleep, As the name implies it does relax the mind. Occasionally some get a little diarrhea with this dose. If this be the case, back off a little to 2 and a half teaspoons. This substance can be use with some absorption on the skin such as Epsons Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) or in a variety of lotions.

In general, magnesium is very safe. In fact, have never seen an overdose or toxic patient (hypermagnasemia) with this supplement. In that this is a intracellular ion, a serum test is not useful. I occasionally recommend the cellular magnesium test which is done by an under-the-tongue scrapeing as this reflects the true body amount. The RDA is 400 mg daily and our diet supplies only half of that. No prescription is needed to obtain this wonderful mineral

Monday, September 6, 2010


Cholesterol is only part of the story. Most heart attacks occur in folks who have not only normal cholesterol, but decent levels of its subtypes, HDL (Healthy Dynamite Lipids) and LDL (Lousy Darn Lipids). Also some who have elevated cholesterol and LDL with a low HDL have no cardiovascular disease. Actually it is the oxidized LDL that is the villain. But there is more to the tale. There have been new, more comprehensive lipid tests available to doctors in the last 10 years and most don’t even know about, let alone use them. There are two Labs that do these: the VAP test (short for Vertical Auto Profile), developed at the University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB) Medical Center, and the LPP (Lipoprotein Particle Profile) test offered by SpectraCell Laboratories in Houston. 

These tests are a boon for doctors and better for their patients who do not want to be just treated for heart disease, but rather prevent it. More information is needed if we are to utilize blood lipids as a reliable risk assessment. Thanks to medical science, we now have better studies that can break down the many components of cholesterol, and most importantly, single out the most dangerous fractions. You can now get a much more accurate picture of what may or may not be a cholesterol problem. 

Here are just a few of the key readings these tests give you that the old ones do not. Your LDLs are considered to increase the risk of heart attack and necessitate treatment. But LDL, for the most part, is really a good guy-a sheep slapped with a wolf's reputation. Your basic cholesterol is mostly LDL, a fatty substance produced in the liver and wrapped in a protein coating (Lipoprotein) that allows it to circulate in the bloodstream. Cholesterol is essential in the body as a raw material. Enzymes convert it to vitamin D, steroid hormones (like estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and cortisol), bile acids needed for digestion and as part of our cells membranes. It also makes up 28% of our Brain!

LDL can be bad or good. The new tests identify if your LDL is bad or not. LDL becomes dangerous when it is oxidized or overly present as a small dense particle as opposed to a larger, fluffy more "buoyant" particle (Pattern A}. 
The small dense LDL is nefarious and if too many is labled Pattern B. B for Bad!! This is because the smaller Beebe like particles are more easily able to penetrate the endothelium. There also is a Pattern I, for intermediate, IDL and indicates that most LDL particles are very close in size to the normal gaps in the endothelium (26 nm).

The tests also indicates a subtype of LDL called Lp(a). When this substance rises abnormally in the bloodstream, the result of genetics, it can increase the risk of heart attack up to 25 times. This is a highly inflammatory and thrombotic molecule. There is no conventional medication for Lp(a), but niacin (vitamin B3), high dose vitamin C with Proline, and N-Acytel Cysteine (NAC) may help. When using Niacin beware that Homocysteine, another risk factor in the blood does not build up and hence should also be monitered. I also recommend a small dose of aspirin and acetomenaphin as a blood thinner. 

A high level of HDL-the so-called good cholesterol-is generally associated with protection against heart attack. We now know that HDL is further classed into HDL2 and HDL3. The difference between the two is HDL2 is far superior to HDL3 in providing protection for the heart. Triglyceride level, are of course measured too and anything above 100 (fasting) is considered abnormal. With these tests, various triglycerides are singled out.

The one to be concerned about is called VLDL3, the most inflammatory triglyceride, considered a prime indicator for coronary artery disease progression, insulin resistance, and type II diabetes. Triglycerides are fat globules in the bloodstream. In a concentrated form, they create the fatty "love handles" around your midsection. This then increass HsCRP that “rusts” our arteries. A better test incorprated in the VAP is the PLAC-2, which, more specifically, reveals not only how much plaque we have, but how stable it is. Unstable plaques rupture causing a sudden heart attack or what is even worse, A STROKE !!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Thick and Thin Bacteria

The most important biomass on the planet for us is our individual intestinal population of bacteria. It influences many physiologic, immunologic and nutritional processes, including how fat we are.

The stomach and early small intestine with acid conditions and rapid flow contains only 100 bacteria per gram (20 drops) of content. Immediately before the large intestine, there are 300 and in the large intestine where the bacteria multiply and ferment, there are over 1,000 bacteria per gram. These intestinal bacteria evolved independently from us. They perform functions such as the breakdown of indigestible sugars and production of fats. When these bacteria are not functioning at their best it can contribute to obesity, insulin resistance and even diabetes!

The intestinal flora is a 12 lb. adaptable metabolic organ. Many diseases are caused by a disordered state of our microbiological ecology. The term for this is Dysbiosis. Our gut flora is more than just friendly and hostile bacteria: it’s a changing population of living organisms that can help or harm. Not only do they use our foodstuff for their own sustenance, but produce messengers that govern much of our body’s functions. Inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune disorders, atopic dermatitis, food allergies, unexplained fatigue, mental/emotional disorders, arthritis, breast and colon cancer, and malnutrition are caused by Dysbiosis. One of the main causes of Dysbiosis is gluten, when eaten by the 30% of us who are intolerant. We, then, develop leaky guts and a variety of disorders including acne, fibromyalgia, (including body myopathy), migraine, celiac coronary artery disease, seizures, autism, ADHD, Alzheimers, multiple sclerosis, and peripheral neuropathy, to name a few.

Dr. P. J. Tutbaugh (Nature,12/21/06) reviewed the science of germs and obesity. Various classes of bacteria metabolize large molecular sugars (polysaccharides) into simple sugars and short chain fatty acids. These are easily absorbed and go directly to the liver where they are converted to the storage form of fat. Moreover, Firmicutes secrete a chemical called lipoprotein lipase activator that helps the fat cell to become fatter with these newly produced fats.
Contrarily, another group of bacteria (Bifido) is a poor producer of these fat makers. In ancient times with famines, these floral reverse ratios were life savers, but in modern times, with too much food and too little activity, it is a killer. Therefore, a high B/F ratio causes weight loss and a low ratio, weight gain.

In both mice and men, natural, healthy methods (pre and probiotics) alter our microbes for weight without changing diet or exercising. Folks who are put on a low carb and/or low fat diet and avoid Gluten successfully lose weight and increase their B/F ratio. Thin people have a higher B/F ratio than the obese.

Monday, August 23, 2010


There is a metabolic disadvantage from eating carbs, particularly high glycemic ones. They are directly converted into glucose, which raises insulin. Too much insulin output is the culprit hormone of weight (fat) gain and heart attacks. Yes, insulin is atherogenic (causes blood vessels to clog up and "harden"). Not only does insulin transport glucose into our cells for fuel, but it prompts the liver to make and release fat (triglycerides) as well as encourage its storage in our adipocytes (fat cells). This not only makes us fatter, but also causes the adipocytes to release their toxic cytochymes promoting chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis.

Unlike carbs which are 100% burned or stored, with fats and proteins, it costs our metabolism about 10% more to convert it to usable glucose. With time our poor pancreas becomes overtaxed and cannot keep up with the insulin demand of our foolish brain for over consuming those lousy carbs and it starts to fail. That is the real beginning of the end with the rise of blood sugar that denatures our living tissue with AGE (Advanced Glyciated End products), ALE (Advance Lipid End products), and APE (Advance Protein End products). This is before we even get diabetes which, with a carb-based diet, is inevitable. Although Agriculture was an important part of the survival of our species, time will show it was the worst mistake of human history for our personal longevity and the primary cause of degenerative disease. Not only, cardiovascular, but dementia, arthritis, and cancer is caused by awful carbs.

HIGH glycemic carbs and prepared foods are indeed weapons of mass destruction. Fructose is particularly sweet and dangerous. Half of every sugar molecule and over half (55%) of high fructose corn syrup, the most abundant sweetener in our society, is treacherous fructose. As noted above it is not the calorie, but from where the calorie comes that determines its health benefit or detriment. ALL CALORIES ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL! It is not how many calories we consumed but what our body does with these calories that count! Of course there are ADIPOGENIC (fat producing) Risk Factors-that include birth weight, age, sex, genetic metabolism, friends, activity and endocrine balance.

Indeed we are all biologically different. But despite this we can loose weight if we really want. No matter a how much you imagine you eat, if you wish to lose weight you must eat less. And no matter how much you imagine you exercise, to lose weight you must exercise more. It can be done, but for some with Adipogenic Risk Factors one must eat like a bird and exercise like a horse. But don’t despair, there is good science to help and I will detail ways to successfully not only loose weight, the somewhat easier part, but to keep it off which is the harder part. There is no magic diet, but suggestions for a lifestyle that will guarantee success, not just for looks but also for health and longevity in your future.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


There is no best diet, only fundamental nutrition. There is an ideal diet for any individual for a given time, depending on their genes, biology, age and their environment. Having an understanding of this new nutrition will enable a person to choose the correct foods for both health and longevity. The following information should help you make the right choices.

The underpinnings of our food and drink is for what we were genetically adapted. However, there are rarely two of us who are exactly alike in how we look, how we act or metabolically. Our genes have been in existence since the very beginning of life on earth but our current chromosomes have been here for 2.4 million years and have sustained man as a species for the last two hundred thousand years. But eating habits, desire and in particular food availability have determined what consumption in Homo sapiens was best for their, and now our, health and fitness. This time line represents 99% of our evolutionary history.

It is only in the last 25 thousand years that we evolved from gathers, pickers, fishers, pluckers, and ghouls* to hunters. As a species, we hunted small game and fish with hands and cunning for eons. With the advent of tools such as nets, spears and clubs, big game became obtainable for hunting groups about 15 thousand years ago. In the last 10 thousand years agriculture and animal husbandry developed. Most importantly, in the dawn of the industrial revolution refined foods became available. But our metabolic machinery was not prepared for this. We are still in a state of evolution and may never be prepared for the junk we consume in the name of food!

No one would argue that an infant needs a different diet than an adult, or a Type 1 diabetic a dissimilar diet from a “healthy” individual or an elderly person different fare than a younger person. But a female diet being different from a male may be a stretch for some. In the broader sense, scientists and pseudo scientists organized special diets for metabolic types based on Blood type, body shapes (apples vs. pears), personalities, or anthropomorphic measurements such as arm span and variations of tooth anatomy. In the future, we will be able to look at ones genes and give a precise diet for ones best health.

The best recommendation for diet is the new VAP (Vertical Athrogenic Profile), which in the last two months was priced at less than $100 so that everyone, even those not insured could afford to know about them. With the right information, one can predict their own destiny in what could cause them disease and when it will happen. The premise of the VAP is the detection of not just the good HDL cholesterol, but also its division of inert HDL and the active HDL for reverse cholesterol transport. Also included are the small dense nefarious lousy LDL and the not so bad light fluffy LDL. These and the glucose/insulin ratio gives the best metabolic indicator of both cancer and cardiovascular disease. The Metabolic Syndrome in which insulin resistance is the genetic predisposition for poor health and an early demise (which is now epidemic in America) can be detected before it starts to impact our health. This is added to some basic truths for human food consumption and life and a few more for a healthy existence:

• The human body (and most mammals) has a given requirement for protein and fat, but none for carbohydrate other than disposable energy.

• Carbohydrate is a fuel that is converted to glucose for immediate usage or is stored in the liver as animal “starch”, glycogen.

• Micronutrients (Vitamins, Macro-minerals, Trace minerals) are needed in adequate amounts for proper metabolism.

• Essential Fatty acids are necessary for both structure and function of the organism.

• Essential Amino Acids are also obligatory for formation and working of the living being.

• Glyconutrients (on cell walls for inner communication) from sugars can be internally produced from non-carbohydrate foodstuffs.

• Enough water is required to maintain the shape and flow in our life form.

• Fiber is needed to give substance to the food in our alimentary tract to properly propel it forward and to feed our gut flora.

• Bacteria (Probiotic) and its food (Prebiotic), which is soluble fiber, are required to complete our digestion and to produce micronutrients such as Vitamin B12.

*Ghoul- Early man ate bone marrow and brains from carrion because he had rocks and the ability to open bones.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Silver has been used since antiquity for its healing and preserving powers. The ancient Greeks kept their medicinal liquids (and expensive foods) free of contamination by placing them in the silver jars. Since the Middle Ages, silver was a staple for cooking ware and eating with silver pans, plates, and utensils. Silver and its salts have been used for centuries for disease treatment, one hundred-fifty years ago for syphilis, in the last hundred years for eye and nose drops, gargles, douches, and the recent 40 years topically for burns, skin ulcers, and impregnation into the material from which medical devices are made including urinary and venous catheters as well as surgical instruments by mainstream physicians.

Silver and its compounds have an electrical/oligodynamic effects that are toxic for bacteria, algae, and fungi and some parasites. The is typical for heavy metals like lead and, mercury. Among the elements that have this, silver is the least toxic for humans. The medicinal action of silver is dependent on the electrical aspects of the silver ion, which irreversibly damages key enzyme systems in the cell membrane of certain pathogens to include staph and the internal organization of some viruses.

Today colloidal silver is made in ultramicroscopic particles in a solution suspended naturally in deionized water by natural electromagnetic charges. This ultra fine 99.999% silver has a particle size from 0.0001 to 0.001 microns (1 to 100 ug). A red blood cell is a giant compared to this being 7 microns or 7 million times bigger! After ingestion, this metal enters the blood stream within 20 minutes and all over our body Colloidal silver can be obtained for less than $4 an ounce at health food stores. Or with equipment costing less than $100, one can make gallons of it for $5. Since it is light sensitive, the silver should be kept in darkly tinted glass bottles in a cool place. Plastic containers magnetize easily and the silver particles will stick to the sides. Also keep it away from magnetic fields such as electronics or motors since they will interfere with the ions, holding the colloid in solution. If placed in the refrigerator, the silver may fall out of solution.

Colloidal silver is predictably safe. As a pre-1938 medicinal it is out of the control of the FDA. In general, silver exhibits low toxicity in the human body, and minimal risk is expected due to excess intake. Argyria is usually benign and limited to blue skin discoloration. There are isolated reports of more serious neurologic (seizures), renal, or hepatic complications, as well as headaches, stomach distress, fatigue, and skin irritation. Colloidal silver may react with certain drugs, such asthyroid, and antibiotics (quinalones and tetracyclines). The reference dose, published by the EPA, is the daily exposure that is unlikely to incur a appreciable risk of deleterious effects during a lifetime, is 5 µg/kg/d; meaning 5 micrograms of silver per kilo of weight per person each day – about 1 liter of 10 ppm colloidal silver per month for a 66kg person.

In order to guarantee the effectiveness of colloidal silver, it is necessary to buy a product that provides 10 particles of silver per million of water. Do not consume more than a quart daily for safety sake. Review the label or the specifications in the literature with the product. It is essential to get this health supplement from suppliers that have good feedback from customers and the above specifications. Some products like American Biotech Labs combines oxygen with purified silver, which is said to disrupt the pathogen’s ability to produce energy even more and increases the bioavailability of the silver particles.

My opinion on Colloidal Silver is not as bullish as it has been a decade ago. There has never been a good randomized double blind study to support it in Evidence Based Medicine, but in my experience (Experience Based Medicine), it should be considered in mild infections when antibiotics are not only more expensive but more dangerous! It should also should be considered in hard to eradicate infections along with other therapies such as HIV and Lyme Disease. No doubt it is very helpful when used topically in wounds. Again watch the label for 10 ppm and 5 ng particle size and no more than a quart a day! My colleagues may not agree with me but to those that believe no evidence is necessary and to those that do not believe no evidence is sufficient.

Friday, July 30, 2010


Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women aged 20-59. Cancer of the breast will happen in 15% of all women during their lifetime. Approximately 200,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. each year, resulting in 40,000 deaths annually. An early diagnosis may be helpful, but a before time indication may be curative! A PAP test for the Breast is the ultimate early warning that the lady is in harm's way. In the past this procedure called for a needle aspiration of the milk duct for NAF (Nipple Aspirate Fluid) and was not only uncomfortable but occasionally elicited pain.

A newer, more comfortable test can be performed in the physician’s office using a small device called the HALO with two adjustable cups that go over the ends of the breasts. Unlike a Mammogram, these do not cause much, if any, discomfort. There is a compression at the end of the breast to help elicit the fluid and then suction, which actually draws the fluid out. After five minutes, the practitioner will check to see if any fluid has been elicited, it will be put into a non-gynecological cytology container then sent to the lab doing the cervical paps. The results are usually given back to the patient or doctor, within 24 to 36 hours.

Dr. Papanicolaou discovered the “pap” in 1938 to look at the epithelial cells in the lining of a woman’s milk ducts and the cervix for precancerous predispositions. At that time cervical cancer was the number one cancer found in women. Doctors and women marched in lock step to eradicate this scourge. As a result of the cervical pap, that cancer now kills less than 3,000 women a year in the U.S. So few women have cervical cancer, I no longer do cervical paps. With the advent of the papilloma vaccine, there will be even less of this venereal disease. The cervical smear is relatively easy to obtain through a pelvic exam, but not so with a breast smear, unless the women have an abnormal discharge.

In 1958 Dr. George Papanicolaou et al., first demonstrated the ability to find abnormal cells in NAF with the purpose of identifying women at high risk for breast cancer. NAF and the Pap test are both based on the cytological examination of changes in epithelial cells to determine risk for developing cancer. The presence of abnormal cells, or atypia, in NAF, which is secreted from the milk ducts where nearly all (95%) of invasive breast cancers begin, is a trait proven to increase a woman's chance of developing breast cancer. Multiple studies have concluded that atypia increases a woman's likelihood of developing breast cancer four to five fold.

The examination of NAF can provide insight into a woman’s breast health. Finding atypia (abnormal changes) years before it might develop into a lesion enables a woman and her doctor to develop the appropriate "care path" for optimal management of her breast health. The problem is finding an easy non-invasive way to collect the breast fluid. Historically it has been gathered in three ways. One is the Sartorius Method, which is warm towel’s compression and that takes at least a half hour and is successful in only 25% of the cases. Another way of eliciting the fluid is a fine-needle procedure going into the nipple to draw out the fluid. The third way was a product that came out a few years ago called ductal lavage, or First Cyte. This involved putting a small tube or cannula, into the nipple, lavaging the milk ducts then analyzing the fluid and the epithelial cells cytologically as we do for atypia. The HALO is a wonderful collection device. By having a fully automated, five-minute, non-invasive procedure, we can now get nipple aspirate fluid in an efficient way. In a 500 patient trial, women rated the pain of the HALO procedure as a three to four on a scale of 1 to 10. A mammogram was rated 8!

The best current screening to assess a woman’s breast health and risk of developing breast cancer is review of family history, personal history, physical breast exam, plus the new guidelines of regular mammography for women over 50. Mammograms have 30% false positives and 38% false negatives. Some scientists even believe that putting the breast under pressure and irradiating it can cause cancer. Also clinical experience has shown that the vast majority of women who develop breast cancer have no risk factors that are identifiable with these methods and go unnoticed for years until an abnormality, a lump, is accidently discovered.

Mammography is often not as effective for women on Hormone Replacement who tend to have dense breasts that make it harder to detect abnormalities. Though young women do not develop breast cancer as often as women over 50, the disease in this population tends to be more advanced and have less favorable outcomes. A recent study found that younger women’s tumors tend to have a set of biological and genetic factors that made them more aggressive and more difficult to treat than cancers in older women. Digital Imaging Thermography has only limited utility and is not accepted by the majority of practicing physicians.

The medical community’s focus has traditionally been on detection and treatment. But by the time an abnormality can be identified via mammography, it has been growing for approximately eight years. As a result, more emphasis is now being placed on individualized “risk assessment and prevention.” Taking bio-identical progesterone, and testosterone eating broccoli sprouts or taking supplements such as DIM or I3Carbinol, limiting alcohol, fat and smoking will go a long way in reversing early atypia and preventing breast cancer.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Music is Healthy

Youthful Aging by Norm Shealy, is one of the e-Newsletters I receive. He, like I, feels that some, but not all, music is healthy and to some extent anti-aging. In addition to binaural music which entrains the brain waves to the Alpha (relaxed) and the Delta (sleep) state, there are other ways music heals as noted by an expert in the field. If a frequency is imputed into one hear with a simple earbud and the other side another frequency, the brain will “subtract” one from another in time and the result will be the difference. For example the same tune with an effective frequency of 186 Hz is piped into the left ear and 180 into the right, the brain will resonate at 6. This is the tranquil alpha state. Steve Halpern details much more on this with his interview with Dr Shealy. Steve is a true scholar of modern meditational and healing forms of music. Norm Shealy MD, a former neurosurgeon, whom I had the pleasure to meet and dine with, is a true genius of metaphysical medicine. His website is

Steven Halpern is widely acknowledged as the pre-eminent composer of music for health and healing. He is a pioneering sound healer who brought the art and science of healing music into the field of complementary/integrative medicine and to the mainstream public through his best-selling recordings, including CHAKRA SUITE, SOUND HEALING and RELAXATION SUITE. Hear samples at I have been a great fan of Steven's music since the mid-70s (Norm Shealy)

The Power of Steven Halpern's Healing Music
Considerations on Choosing and Using Music for Relaxation and Healing
(c) Steven Halpern 2010
The healing powers of sound and music have been revered for thousands of years, but only recently have leading edge researchers and musicians begun to understand fully the deeper and more subtle implications of this most ancient of the healing arts.Over the past 40 years, key secrets have been identified that expand greatly upon the classical bias of orthodox music therapy and disinterest of the entertainment-oriented music industry.

The field has attracted the attention of millions of individuals who want an easy way to reduce stress, enhance health and well-being while simultaneously being pleasant listening. A great deal of misinformation, however, has made it confusing for many listeners to know how to choose and use healing music in their personal and professional lives. In this short article I will share my perspective both as an artist and as a customer.

In a few moments you'll know more about the field than is taught in most colleges, and will be empowered to make more informed choices to get the most benefit for your time and money.

A Personal Note
I am often asked, "How did you get into this field?" The answer is simple: "It got into me! On one hand, about 40 years ago, I began hearing beautiful music in my mind's ear that made me feel so peaceful and relaxed, I longed to be able to hear it with my physical ears. On the other hand, my doctor told me that if I didn't learn how to reduce my stress level, I would soon suffer from many of the stress-related diseases like hypertension, difficulty sleeping and concentrating, and getting sick more often.

Having read in books about that music was used in ancient societies for healing, I searched for suitable soundtracks for health. There was very little music composed expressly for this purpose, and even less research into the healing powers of music. As a trained musician, I realized I was in a perfect position to combine my personal and professional proclivities.

When I performed my healing music in public, people always asked me for a recording that they could use at home. I was encouraged to establish my own independent record label, and soon discovered that composing the music was the easy part. I soon learned that I had to educate the public, as well as the growing ranks of holistic, alternative and integrative health care practitioners about healthful and stress-reducing aspects of music that had not been addressed before.

Keynotes of Sound Health
How do we respond to music? Many individuals never consider this topic. Traditionally, this question was answered with respect to the elements of melody, harmony and rhythm. tone color/timbre was added in more modern textbooks. The psychology of music, as a field, and music therapy, historically focused on our emotional, psychological and physical responses. Physiological responses were limited to gross motor responses, like the knee jerk response, or blood flow through a finger. Until I conducted landmark research studies using brainwave biofeedback EEG), Galvanic Skin Response(GSR) and Kirlian(subtle energy field/aura) photography, no one had researched music's effect on subtle energies and consciousness.
In my work, I have identified deeper levels of response-ability, building upon the pioneering research of Hans Jenny (cymatics) and quantum physics. Here is a brief overview. For this discussion, I'll limit my remarks to focus on an understanding that self-healing occurs most effectively in a state of deep relaxation. Sound and music can be a potent force to engage this response. But most music may NOT be your best choice if your goal is health rather than entertainment.

Most music was not composed for true relaxation purposes. (Nor am I suggesting that music should ONLY be composed for that purpose. But using the wrong music virtually sets you up for failure if you with regard to healthful responses. It would be like drinking three cups of coffee and trying to go to sleep. That's not the function of caffeine-laden coffee. Why would you use the musical equivalent of coffee to help you relax?

Lesser known is that most music evokes more of a stressful response than people realize. The reduction of stress, and enhancement of relaxation, is therefore fundamental to most all healing music. (Herbert Benson, MD, bestselling researcher and author of"The Relaxation Response") That is why my CDs are composed with the intention and compositional constructs that provide stress the speed of sound.

Your One Minute Guide to Understanding Healing Music

1.The Rhythm Factor:
The law of rhythm entrainment describes the phenomenon in which a stronger, external stimulus overrides the natural internal rhythm of the heart and causes it to synchronize to its stronger beat. If you listen to music whose tempo is faster than a relaxed heartbeat, (top range about 60 beats per minute) then your heart will be forced to beat in time to the music, which is commonly from 90-140 beats per minute !
That's also like drinking three cups of coffee and trying to go to sleep. You essentially set yourself up for failure. And you'll be awake all night to think about it!

It's easy to identify for yourself whether the music is relaxing for you. Measure your resting heartbeat, and then measure your heartbeat while listening to the music. If your heartbeat is faster, this would NOT be a good choice for your relaxation library. (although it might be a fine choice for other uses). This is precisely the reason that my own recordings do not have a strong central rhythm. I was inspired by my yoga training to compose with the implicit rhythm of a deep, slow yogic breath. (Most reviewers, likely listening after drinking three cups of coffee, were unable to perceive this secret). But your heartbeat will immediately appreciate the opportunity to reset its rhythm into the natural rhythm of a deep breath. This is as apparent to many first-time listeners as well as long-time fans.

2. Melody and Harmony
I'd like to discuss melody and harmony together as 'distraction factors' in evoking the relaxation response. For psychological responses, much has been written. We have been culturally conditioned (by Western classical and pop music) to respond to familiar patterns in predictable fashion, when we hear scale-based melodies or harmonic progressions. We are unconsciously forced to project into the future...where the music is going.

In live presentations, I always demonstrate this secret by singing a scale....and stopping on the seventh note. I do not complete the sequence with the eighth tone of the octave note. You can prove it to yourself right now: Take a moment to imagine me singing a scale..(Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La- Ti....) and notice that you are predictably holding your breath because I did not finish the pattern!

I coined the phrase 'scalus interruptus' to describe this phenomenon, and why you are left feeling 'future tense.' In other words, simply listening to 'ordinary music' CREATES stress and tension!

Relaxation, on the other hand, happens only in the present moment.' You can't relax 'in the future.' You can only relax ' in the now'. Or, to paraphrase spiritual teacher Ram Dass,(Be Here Now), I say, "Hear. Now. Be." tm Remember, we are human be-ings, rather than human do-ings.

Trying to relax while listening to music that keeps you off balance and out of the NOW is therefore not an effective choice if you want to relax. Listen to even 30 seconds of my Chakra Suite, Relaxation Suite, or Ocean Suite and you can feel the relaxing change that comes over your body .It's that easy, and that quick.

Your body is hard-wired to shift gears into a state of relaxation, if you only give it a chance. That's why people the world over enjoy being out in nature, at the ocean, by a lake, on the farm or in a mountain meadow. And when you can't get out in nature, properly composed relaxing and healing music can bring nature to you by giving your 'human instrument' the chance it wants and needs for optimal health.

3. Resonance
Resonance describes the reality that every atom, molecule vibrates at a specific frequency, and functions as both a transmitter and receiver of vibrations at that frequency. Therefore, every organ, gland and muscle in our body has a specific natural frequency which exist within the range of audible sound.
In essence, when you listen to music, you are receiving a vibrational massage. If the music is organized to resonate specific frequency-specific areas of the body, like my Chakra Suite, than we can use sound to assist our body to resonate at a higher level of coherence and efficiency.

Resonance is what you feel when part of you is tingling or buzzing when you hear quartz crystal bowls or Tibetan singing bowls being played, The tones of the Rhodes electric piano are produced by precisely tuned 'tuning forks' that are struck lightly by a hammer attached to the keyboard. It is not a synthesizer. That is the secret of why its tone is so pure, and why it changed my life the moment I bought one: I now had the most beautiful healing instrument at my fingertips, ready to play and record healing music.

4, Tonal Color and Timbre
In my earlier career as a professional performing musician, I played trumpet and electric guitar. The basic sound of these instruments is not intended for relaxation. That was one of the reasons I had to switch to the gentler sounds of electric and grand piano, and atmospheric, psycho-active sounds I could play with electronic keyboards, Many acoustic instruments, like violin and oboe, actually produce waveforms that are irritating and stress-inducing for many people, whether they are aware of them or not.

In my dreams and meditations, I heard music that sounded like celestial bells and heavenly harps. When the instrument was invented, I became one of the early advocates of the Rhodes electric piano, which is featured on my Chakra Suite and many other recordings.

I also learned how to adjust and record the glorious grand piano to remove the harsh attack and enharmonic overtones that interfered with my relaxation as I composed or listened. Every instrument on my recordings is chosen for its relaxation and healing effects. There's a time and a place for brittle and dissonant tones, but not in my healing music.

5. Intention and Music: Thought Field Resonance
In my experience, there is an additional dimension that should be discussed with respect to subtle energy factors. When I first went public with my music and theories in the early l970s, I described the power of intention of the composer or performer as being a critical factor determining what the overall effect would be. For instance, the same melody or notes could have a positive or negative effect depending on the stress level of the performer.

It's as if this 'meta-information' is broadcast and transmitted by the musician to the listener, albeit in an inaudible manner. Quantum physicists have now proven what mystics and musicians have known for millennia.

I coined a phrase to describe this phenomenon thusly: "Music is a carrier wave of consciousness." Now that intention has become such a popular concept, it's easy to understand that it's not just the notes, but the energy that comes thru the notes, that must be considered when choosing healing music.

Depending on the sensitivity of the listener, music intended for meditation and healing can help the listener to quiet the mind, and get into the gap between thoughts. Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer have written eloquently about this. I have always described my own compositional process as 'getting into the spaces between the notes'.

In either case, by quieting the mind, such music creates the proper vibrational resonance in which the individual's brainwaves more easily attune to the natural harmonic resonance of the earth (Schuman resonance , 7.83 Hz) It may therefore be impossible to calibrate how much healing happens because of the music itself, vs how much occurs 'automatically' when the listener gets into the proper alpha brainwave state facilitated by the music.The bottom line is that some music is much more effective in this regard than others.

My approach to sound healing has always been first and foremost to compose soundtracks that will serve the highest good for the highest number of listeners, rather than to impress the listener with the complexity of my compositions or technical virtuosity. I believe that the large and growing international audience that my music has created provides a strong testimonial that it has succeeded in its intention.

Listening at low volume creates a soothing mood and relaxing ambiance for general background use at home, at school, at work, for yoga, or massage, pain control, post-operative recovery, in clinics, hospitals and hospice care.
Many individuals have also discovered the beauty, benefits and blessings of listening with intention and focused attention (especially with headphones, and not multi-tasking), and thus enjoy a greater depth of experience. Listening to this music in this way can indeed transport you into the gap between thoughts, leaving you feeling uplifted, relaxed and renewed, at peace with yourself and the world.

Sound Matters - For The Record
Most people have no idea how profoundly the sounds and music in our life affects us, for better or worse. Here are just a few of the most significant effects:

Common effects of stressful music and noise pollution include (cf "Sound Health", Steven Halpern, Harper & Row,l985): Hypertension, higher stress levels in general, as well as higher cortisol hormone levels, irritability, difficulty sleeping, concentrating, fatigue, digestive problems, weight gain, alcoholism and hyperactivity (especially in children)

Common Effects of Healththy Music
Reduced stress, enhanced relaxation, improved sleep, enhanced concentration and focus, improved digestion (less gas and more efficient digestion, which also often promotes weight loss, better dispensation, greater ease in holding and stretching into yoga postures, enhanced rapport with one's significant other both emotionally and sexually. In sum, the music one listens to can make a significant addition to one's personal health and wellness program.

When choosing which music to buy for your own relaxing and healing sound library, consider that appropriate music should include the above-identified universal commonalities as well as your personal preferences and history. Making more informed choice empowers you and allows your body/mind/spirit the most benefit and pleasure in terms of your own health and self-healing.

Steven Halpern is widely acknowledged as the pre-eminent composer of music for health and healing. He is a pioneering sound healer who brought the art and science of healing music into the field of complementary/integrative medicine and to the mainstream public through his best-selling recordings, including CHAKRA SUITE, Music for SOUND HEALING, GIFTS of the ANGELS, PEACE of MIND and RELAXATION SUITE. Read more about sound and healing at