10 Natural Steps to Beat Chronic Stress

By Dr. Mark Hyman

February 27, 2015

 "If you really knew what was happening to you when you are stressed, you would freak out. It's not pretty," I said during the 2013 Third Metric women's conference.

I wasn't exaggerating. Chronic stress has become epidemic in our society, where faster seems better and we pack more obligations into our ever-expanding schedules.

Research has confirmed the havoc stress can wreak, with one meta-analysis involving 300 studies finding that chronic stress could damage immunity. Another study found stressed-out women had significantly higher waist circumference compared to non-stressed women.

Experts have connected stress with blood sugar and belly fat. Chronic stress raises insulin, driving relentless metabolic dysfunction that becomes weight gain, insulin resistance and ultimately diabetes.

Insulin isn't the only hormone that becomes out of balance with stress. Your adrenal glands release hormones like adrenaline and cortisol that flood your system, raising your heart rate, increasing your blood pressure, making your blood more likely to clot, damaging your brain's memory center, increasing belly fat storage, and generally doing damage to your body.

Want to reduce stress? Start with your diet.

The right diet can do wonders to reduce stress's impact. When you eat whole, real foods, you restore balance to insulin, cortisol, and other hormones.

Eliminating mind-robbing molecules like caffeine, alcohol, and refined sugars and eating regularly can help you avoid the short-term stress of starvation on your body. You maintain an even-keeled mindset throughout the day, even when things get hectic.

You'll replace those foods with clean protein, healthy fats, leafy and cruciferous vegetables, berries and non-gluten grains. Food is information that controls your gene expression, hormones and metabolism. When you eat the right foods, you balance blood sugar, restore hormonal balance and reduce stress's damaging impact.

Reconsidering Stress

Stress is a thought, a perception of a threat, even if it isn't real. That's it. No more, no less. If that's true, then we have complete control over stress, because it's not something that happens to us but something that happens in us.

Here's where it become interesting. Stressors can be real or perceived. You might imagine your spouse is angry with you. Whether or not they are, you raise stress levels. Real or imagined, when you perceive something as stressful, it creates the same response in the body.

Fortunately, a wide variety of techniques and tools can help effectively manage stress. Among them, these 10 are most beneficial:

1. Address the underlying biological causes of stress.

Find the biological causes of problems with the mind including mercury toxicity, magnesium and vitamin B12 deficiencies, and gluten allergies. Changing your body can change your mind.

2. Begin actively relaxing.

Humans remain primed to always do something. Even when we're not working, our mind is on work. To engage the powerful forces of the mind on the body, you must do something relaxing. You can't just sit there watching television or drinking beer. Whether that means deep breathing or a simple leisurely walk, find active relaxation that works for you and do it.

3. Learn new skills.

Try learning new skills such as yoga, biofeedback, and progressive muscle relaxation or take a hot bath, make love, get a massage, watch a sunset, or walk in the woods or on the beach.

4. Make movement your drug.

Exercise is a powerful, well-studied way to burn off stress chemicals and heal the mind. Studies show exercise works better than or equal to pharmaceutical drugs for treating depression. Try interval training if you're short on time but want a powerful, intense workout.

5. Supplement.

Take a multivitamin and nutrients to help balance the stress response, such as vitamin C; the B-complex vitamins, including B6 and B5 or pantothenic acid; zinc; and most important, magnesium, the relaxation mineral.

6. Reframe your point of view.

Challenge your beliefs, attitudes, and responses to common situations and reframe your point of view to reduce stress

7. Find a community.

Consciously build your network of friends, family and community. They're your most powerful allies in achieving long-term health.

8. Take care of your vagus nerve by using deep breaths.

Most of us hold our breath often or breathe swallow, anxious breaths. Deep, slow, full breaths have a profound affect on resetting the stress response, because the relaxation nerve (or vagus nerve) goes through your diaphragm and is activated with every deep breath. Take five deep breaths now. See how differently you feel?

9. Meditate.

No matter how much or little time you have to commit, find a practice that works for you.

10. Sleep.

Lack of sleep increases stress hormones. Get your eight hours no matter what. Take a nap if you missed sleep. Prioritize it, and if you feel like you're not getting high-quality shut-eye, find strategies to improve it.



Muffin Top Madness by Dr. Michael Colgan

Muffin Top Madness
Dr Michael Colgan 22 January 2014

Even with a stringent diet and exercise program, the Chihuahua on the belly and muffin atop the hips often refuse to leave the building. In many folk who hit this plateau, there is usually a lot more, visceral fat hidden deep inside, plumping them up like a goose.
You can’t see visceral fat. It hides around your liver and kidneys, intestines and reproductive system. Visceral fat really clings. It can add 3-6 inches to your waist and hips long after you do lose most of the pooch and muffin top.

The Internet, Facebook, and YouTube portray hundreds of exercise programs claiming to get rid of muffin tops. The lean and well intentioned young men and women who present the exercises (most of whom never had a muffin top) seem to have forgotten their high school human biology. Fat oxidation and use by the body is unrelated to the particular muscles being worked. Fat is taken from throughout the body, and used by a complex process through the bloodstream. No matter how hard you do these exercises, you will not budge the muffin.

Here’s the bottom line. You are exercising particular muscles. You are not exercising the fat that surrounds them. You are hardly affecting that fat at all. A solid hour of muffin top exercises in the gym uses less than half an ounce of fat.(1) And that is fat from the whole body fat store. You can’t spot reduce fat. No matter how much the muscles ache, only an insignificant amount of the energy comes from the fat surrounding them.

These abominable abdominal exercises, including leg lifts, sit-ups, knee kicks and bum wiggles, usually done lying on the floor. They have zero effect on muffin tops. Standing exercises are just as bad. Often targeted to small muscles like the obliques, standing muffin top “melters” such as side bends with dumbbells, and twists with a pole on your shoulders, may cause you to quickly feel a burn in those muscles. But they burn insignificant fat from that area, less than a tenth of an ounce per hour of work.

These exercises actually make muffin tops worse. Over a period of months the exercises do develop and tone the targeted muscles. Most of the overlying fat remains, while the muscles grow bigger from the work. This is especially so with the obliques, those two muscular bulges at the sides that work to twist the body. The net effect is to increase the size of the waist and make the muffin top look bigger.

Working with top modelling agencies who want their models to have hips the size of their bust, and a waist 10 -12 inches smaller than either, we know that neither particular exercises nor starvation diets work worth a damn. Exercises increase muffin tops, and starvation strips off your facial fat before touching visceral fat, or the last of the muffin. Starvation creates that gaunt, pale, vampire face, and bumpy hips that likely started the Goth craze.
Starving and muffin exercises are useless for models, who depend on their looks for a living. We had to develop some special strategies to remove the muffin and the visceral fat while saving the face. Together with decent proteins, such as Isagenix Isalean every day, and the full complement of micronutrients provided by the Ageless Essentials, these strategies have boosted many a modelling career.

Muffin Top Strategy No 1: Thermogenesis
Thermogenesis means creation of heat. When you are not exercising, the body creates heat through activating a mechanism called brown-adipose-tissue (BAT). Activating BAT permits production of heat directly from bodyfat without going through the energy cycle or being burned in muscular activity.(2) That is, you can lose bodyfat without moving a muscle, even while you sleep. Animals that hibernate, such as the grizzly bear, activate BAT to burn up to one quarter of their total bodyweight during winter, without any exercise at all.

Usual diet and exercise programs do not activate BAT. Just the opposite. If you go on sudden food restriction, yet force yourself to exercise, your body automatically turns on defence mechanisms to conserve its fat. It turns heat production down and use of BAT, and drastically reduces energy. That’s why strict dieters generally feel cold and exhausted, and tend to give up exercise after a while.

Scientists used to think that thermogenesis would not work for people, because, unlike bears, humans cannot hibernate. A hibernating bear can lose 300 lbs of fat while it sleeps, as its body converts fat directly to BAT, which then creates the heat required to keep it from freezing over the winter. Recent technology, however, has allowed us to measure human BAT. Though not as efficient as bears, the body of a 40-year-old man or woman can make sufficient BAT to provide 15% of their total energy, and get all of it from bodyfat, without any exercise.(3)

There are four strategies to activate thermogenesis to burn fat. You need follow all of them carefully to succeed. Make these strategies a daily habit along with IsaLean shakes and Ageless Essentials, and your muffin will slowly disappear without any exercise. Of course, if you want to show a six-pack when the fat goes, you have to do the right ab exercises to develop the muscle heads.

Step 1 Melatonin
The first and most important strategy is to use melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that turns on in the brain for your sleep cycle. It’s no accident that bears turns on copious melatonin to activate BAT during the sleep of hibernation. In both bears and humans, melatonin is essential to convert white body fat to BAT and thence to heat.(4)
After about age 20, melatonin declines in the human body. By age 40, it has declined by half. You can get some melatonin from almonds, sunflower seeds, coriander, cardamom, and mustard greens. Unless you eat a lot of them, however, it is insufficient to activate much BAT.(5)
The alternative is supplementary melatonin. But most melatonin pills do not work. They are about 90% deactivated by digestive acids in the gut and their first pass through the liver. A liquid melatonin spray such as the Isagenix Sleep Spray is much better. Held in the mouth for 30 seconds each night it is quickly absorbed and passes directly through the blood/brain barrier into the brain.
For stubborn fat loss we have used up to 15 mg of liquid melatonin taken right before bed every night and held in the mouth for 30 seconds. Some folk sleep too soundly on that much and wake up groggy. So, if you use it, start with 1-3 mg. Do not miss a single day or the body will strongly turn off BAT. Then you are two days behind.

Step 2. Sleep
Inadequate sleep disrupts BAT activity. So you have to get sufficient, that is, 7-8 hours actually sleeping every night. To ensure an effective melatonin rhythm, sleep in the natural dark cycle where you live, not during daylight hours. Sleep cool, which encourages heat production. And sleep dark (not even an alarm light) which optimizes melatonin release.
Don’t use your cell phone, pad, or computer in bed. The wavelength of light used to backlight these devices effectively turns off your melatonin rhythm.(6) Alternatively, you can get an app called f-lux. F-lux changes the backlight wavelength so that it does not affect melatonin.

Step 3. e-shot for Morning Thermogenesis
To continue the thermogenesis and fat loss after you wake up in the morning, take a strong cup of arabica coffee on an empty stomach. The Isagenix e-shot, with its botanicals from green tea and yerba mate is even more effective.(7,8)
Then do some light exercise for just 5-15 minutes to raise your metabolic rate. We encourage push-ups, crunches, lunges, squats, and high kicks, in the bedroom. But even walking the dog will work. Do only what you know you can do again tomorrow, because missing a day puts you two days behind. Make this routine a habit and thermogenesis can continue for up to four hours afterwards.(7)
Remember, each day you get a new 24-hour circadian cycle of growth and development that controls all the changes that will prevail in your body. Whatever you do during each 24-hour cycle, will reflect in your growth that night. If you miss a cycle it is gone forever. Learn to live in tune with your circadian cycles, each one born pure and new, ready to be made your personal masterpiece.
The botanicals in the e-shot, especially the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), in green tea, make it likely more effective than coffee.(7,8) The Isagenix Brain Boost, designed for use in the morning, is also a good way to get more EGCG. It contains 40 mg per dose. For muffin tops in fitness and fashion models, we use 100-300 mg EGCG every day.
In a recent controlled study, two groups of, healthy men used a moderate reduced calorie diet, plus tea for 12 weeks. One group had green tea extract added to the tea to yield high levels of EGCG. The group consuming the higher levels of EGCG lost an average of 5.4 lbs of bodyfat, approximately twice the loss of the control group. One important finding: was that much of the fat loss was visceral fat from around the organs.(8) Loss of visceral fat always reduces the muffin top.

4. Step 4. IsaOmega for All-Day Thermogenesis
To turn on thermogenesis, the body has to produce proteins called Uncoupling-Proteins. These uncouple the use of some of our oxygen from the production of ATP (our energy molecule). The oxygen can then go direct to production of heat by mixing with and burning the BAT you have activated. But, whenever its visceral fat is under threat, the body turns Uncoupling-Proteins way down.
Recent research shows that high levels of the long-chain omega-3 fats EPA and DHA, from marine sources, strongly turn up the uncoupling-proteins again.(9) With models, we use up to 4 grams of each daily. Isagenix IsaOmega is a great source. You get best results by using 6-12 of them daily. As with every nutritional supplement, you should start low and slow. Spread out use with each meal during the day to aid assimilation.
Summary Steps to Really Melt the Muffin
1. IsaLean shake and Ageless Essentials
2. Melatonin. Sleep Spray held in mouth 30 seconds every night.
2. Sleep. Cool, dark, quiet, and 7-8 hours.
3. E-shot, and Brain Boost, each morning
4 EPA plus DHA, 8 grams from IsaOmega spread throughout the day.

As with all supplementation, because I do not know you, and you are not enrolled in my clinical program, you use these fat loss strategies at your own choice and risk. We will continue this series with further strategies in the near future that I hope will help you achieve the body you desire. Given the right information, your body has ample power to make it so.

1. Melanson, EL, et al. Exercise improves fat metabolism in muscle but does not increase 24-h fat oxidation. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2009 April; 37(2): 93–101.doi: 10.1097/JES.0b013e31819c2f0b
2. Stock MJ. Thermogenesis and brown fat: relevance to human obesity. Infusionstherapie, 1989;16(6):282-284.
3. Giralt M, Villarroya F. White, brown, beige/brite: different adipose cells for different functions? Endocrinology. 2013 Sep;154(9):2992-3000. doi: 10.1210/en.2013-1403.
4. Jiménez-Aranda A, et al. Melatonin induces browning of inguinal white adipose tissue in Zucker diabetic fatty rats. J Pineal Res. 2013 Aug 12. doi: 10.1111/jpi.12089.
5. Colgan M. Sound Sleep. American Fork UT: Sound Concepts, 2012.
6. Wood B, et al. Light level and duration of exposure determine the impact of self-luminous tablets on melatonin suppression. Applied Ergonomics 2013 Mar;44(2):237-40. doi:10.1016/j.apergo. 2012.07.008.
7. Westerterp-Plantenga MS. Green tea catechins, caffeine and body-weight regulation. Physiol Behav. 2010 Apr 26;100(1):42-6. Doi10.1016/j.physbeh.2010.02.005.
8. Wang H, et al. DJ: Effects of catechin enriched green tea on body composition. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2010, 18:773-779.
9. Flachs P, et al. Cellular and molecular effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on adipose tissue biology and metabolism. Clin. Sci. (Lond.) 2009;116:1–16.



Oil Pulling With Coconut Oil to Transform Your Dental Health

March 30, 2013 | by Kris Gunnars

I love it when I learn new things from the comments people leave on my site.

About two weeks ago, I wrote an article about coconut oil – an awesome tropical oil with many health benefits.

A few people commented that they use coconut oil for something called “Oil Pulling” – which is kind of like using an oil as mouthwash.

Apparently, there are quite a few studies that support this process and a lot of people on blogs and discussion boards swear by it.

I have now been doing this every morning for about 10 days… and I am impressed.

What is Oil Pulling and How Does it Work?

Oil pulling has been used for thousands of years as an Indian folk remedy.

It involves putting about a tablespoon of oil in your mouth, then swishing it around your teeth for 10-20 minutes.

There are thousands of different types of bacteria in the mouth. Some of them are friendly, others are not.

Certain bacteria can cause harm, such as Streptococcus Mutans, which is the main culprit behind plaque buildup, gingivitis and cavities.

The bacteria in the mouth create a “biofilm” on the teeth – a thin layer that they use to adhere to the surface. This is what we know as “plaque.”

Having some plaque on your teeth is normal, but if it gets out of hand it can cause all sorts of problems.

The way oil pulling works is simple. When you swish the oil around your mouth, the bacteria “get stuck” in it and dissolve in the liquid oil.

Basically, you remove a large amount of the bacteria and plaque in your mouth each time you do this.

I Personally Prefer Coconut Oil

Traditionally, the Indians used other oils such as sesame oil or sunflower oil.

Oil pulling should work with pretty much any oil you choose.

I prefer coconut oil because Lauric Acid (about half of the fats in coconut oil) is proven to be antimicrobial… it can kill bacteria, viruses and fungi (1, 2).

The taste of coconut oil is also fairly pleasant compared to other oils. I found it rather disgusting at first having my mouth full of oil, but I got used to it after a few days.

Now let’s look at a few studies on oil pulling…

Oil Pulling and Streptococcus Mutans

Streptococcus Mutans is one of the main bacteria in the mouth and a key player in plaque buildup and tooth decay.

In a study published in 2008 with 20 adolescent boys, oil pulling (using sesame oil) caused a reduction in the number of Streptococcus Mutans in the plaque in as little as 2 weeks (3).

It was not as effective as a Chlorhexidine mouthwash, but much cheaper and MUCH less nasty.

Oil Pulling Can Reduce Plaque and Gingivitis

Gingivitis is caused by inflammation of the gums and happens when the immune system starts attacking the bacteria in the plaque.

Another study compared oil pulling and chlorhexidine in adolescents with plaque-induced gingivitis. Both oil pulling and chlorhexidine mouthwash were effective against gingivitis (4).

Oil Pulling Can Reduce Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Bad breath, otherwise known as halitosis, is in many cases (not all) caused by the smell of chemicals and gases produced by bacteria in the mouth.

It makes sense that if you get rid of some of these bacteria, you reduce bad breath.

In a third study of 20 adolescents, oil pulling therapy significantly reduced all markers for bad breath and was just as effective as chlorhexidine mouthwash (5).

Link:  http://authoritynutrition.com/oil-pulling-coconut-oil/

9 Top Foods to Boost Your Brainpower

From www.mercola.com

October 31, 2013 

By Dr. Mercola

If you could protect your brain against degeneration, nourish your neurons and even boost the production of neurotransmitters just by eating more delicious whole foods… would you do it?

There’s good news for those of you who said yes… you certainly can boost your brainpower with the foods you eat. And if you’re wondering which foods are best for your brain, check out the top eight below.

Eat More of These Top 8 Foods for Brainpower

1. Curry

Curry contains turmeric, a spice that in turn contains the anti-inflammatory antioxidant curcumin. Curcumin is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier, which is one reason why it holds promise as a neuroprotective agent in a wide range of neurological disorders.

Research has shown that curcumin may help inhibit the accumulation of destructive beta amyloids in the brain of Alzheimer's patients, as well as break up existing plaques.1 Curcumin has even been shown to boost memory and stimulate the production of new brain cells, a process known as neurogenesis.

A word to the wise… some curry powders may contain very little curcumin compared to straight turmeric powder, so choose the latter for the best health benefits.

2. Celery

Celery is a rich source of luteolin, a plant compounds that may calm inflammation in your brain, which is a primary cause of neurodegeneration. Luteolin has also been linked with lower rates of age-related memory loss in mice.2 In addition to celery, peppers and carrots are also good sources of luteolin.

3. Broccoli and Cauliflower

Broccoli and cauliflower are good sources of choline, a B vitamin known for its role in brain development. Choline intake during pregnancy "super-charged" the brain activity of animals in utero, indicating that it may boost cognitive function, improve learning and memory,

It may even diminish age-related memory decline and your brain's vulnerability to toxins during childhood, as well as conferring protection later in life.3 Eggs and meat are among the best food sources of choline.

4. Walnuts

Walnuts are good sources of plant-based omega-3 fats, natural phytosterols and antioxidants, and have been shown to reverse brain aging in older rats. DHA, in particular, is a type of omega-3 fat that’s been found to boost brain function and even promote brain healing, although it’s more plentiful in animal-based omega-3 sources, like krill, as opposed to walnuts.

5. Crab

One serving of crab contains more than your entire daily requirement of phenylalanine, an amino acid that helps make the neurotransmitter dopamine, brain-stimulating adrenaline and noradrenaline and thyroid hormone, and may help fight Parkinson’s disease. Crab is also an excellent source of brain-boosting vitamin B12.

6. Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)

Garbanzo beans are one of the best food sources of magnesium (aside from kelp and green leafy vegetables). Magnesium benefits brain cell receptors to speed the transmission of messages, while also relaxing blood vessels, which allows more blood flow to the brain.

7. Red Meat

Red meat like grass-fed beef is an excellent source of vitamin B12, which is vital for healthy brain function. People with high levels of markers for vitamin B12 deficiency are more likely to score lower on cognitive tests, as well as have a smaller total brain volume, which suggests a lack of the vitamin may lead to brain shrinkage.4

8. Blueberries

The antioxidants and other phytochemicals in blueberries have been linked to improvements in learning, thinking and memory, along with reductions in neurodegenerative oxidative stress. They’re also relatively low in fructose compared to other fruits, making them one of the healthier fruits available.

9. Healthy Fats

Beneficial health-promoting fats that your body—and your brain in particular—needs for optimal function include organic butter from raw milk, clarified butter called organic grass fed raw butter, olives, organic virgin olive oil and coconut oil, nuts like pecans and macadamia, free-range eggs, wild Alaskan salmon, and avocado, for example.

What NOT to Eat for Healthy Brain Function

We’ve covered some of the best foods for your brain, but equally important is what foods to avoid. In the video above, Dr. David Perlmutter—probably the leading natural medicine neurologist in the US, from my perspective—shares his insights into how to protect your brain health and even prevent Alzheimer’s disease using a key dietary strategy… namely, avoiding sugar and carbohydrates, including gluten.

Gluten sensitivity is involved in most chronic disease, including those affecting the brain, because of how gluten affects your immune system. Unfortunately, many people, physicians included, still believe that if you don’t have celiac disease, gluten is fair game and you can eat as much of it as you like. However, virtually all of us are affected to some degree.

This is because we all create something called zonulin in the intestine in response to gluten. Gluten proteins, found in wheat, barley and rye, makes your gut more permeable, which allows undigested proteins and gut contents such as bacteria to get into your bloodstream that would otherwise have been excluded. That then sensitizes your immune system and promotes inflammation and autoimmunity.

Once gluten upregulates permeability in your gut, it then becomes “leaky” and all manner of previously excluded proteins—including casein and other dairy proteins—have direct access to your bloodstream, thereby challenging your immune system and contributing to the loss of self-tolerance, the very definition of autoimmunity.

According to Dr. Perlmutter, much of our current disease burden, including brain diseases, stems from the fact that we are contaminating our immune systems with proteins to which the human immune system has never, in the history of humankind, been previously exposed to. To learn more, I highly recommend Dr. Perlmutter’s New York Times best-selling book, Grain Brain.

A Healthy Lifestyle Equals a Healthy Brain

Your brain is not “programmed” to shrink and fail as a matter of course as you age. We now know that every activity in which you engage—be it exercise, the foods you eat, the supplements you take, your personal relationships, your emotional state, your sleep patterns—all of these factors dramatically influence your genetic expression from moment to moment. And this, in turn, influences your overall health and risk of disease.

Lifestyle strategies that promote neurogenesis and regrowth of brain cells include the following. All of these strategies target a specific gene pathway called BDNF or brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which promotes brain cell growth and connectivity as demonstrated on MRI scans.

Exercise. Physical activity produces biochemical changes that strengthen and renew not only your body but also your brain—particularly areas associated with memory and learning.

Reduce overall calorie consumption, including intermittent fasting.

Reduce carbohydrate consumption, including sugars and grains.

Increase healthy fat consumption.

Increase your omega-3 fat intake and reduce consumption of damaged omega-6 fats (think processed vegetable oils) in order to balance your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. I prefer krill oil to fish oil here, as krill oil also contains astaxanthin, which appears to be particularly beneficial for brain health. As explained by Dr. Perlmutter, it belongs to the class of carotenoids, and is very “focused” on reducing free radical-mediated damage to fat, and your brain is 60 percent to 70 percent fat.

Sources and References

Forbes October 18, 2013

1 Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 2009; 17(3): 703-717

2 J Nutr. 2010 Oct;140(10):1892-8.

3 J Neurophysiol. 2004 Apr;91(4):1545-55.

4 Neurology. 2011 Sep 27;77(13):1276-82.


10 Signs you are Gluten Intolerant

From: http://www.healthy-holistic-living.com/10-signs-you-are-gluten-intolerant.html

Gluten intolerance, also called gluten sensitivity or Celiac Disease- when it's in its most severe form- can have symptoms that range from no symptoms to life threatening or debilitating chronic health problems and anywhere in between. Often, these symptoms are not consistent from person to person and this is part of what makes gluten testing or Diagnosing Gluten Sensitivity so difficult for medical professionals.

According to Dr. Amy Myers the following are 10 signs of gluten intolerance:

1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, and even constipation. I see the constipation particularly in children after eating gluten.

2. Keratosis pilaris, also known as "chicken skin" on the back of your arms. This tends be as a result of a fatty acid deficiency and vitamin A deficiency secondary to fat-malabsorption caused by gluten damaging the gut.

3. Fatigue, brain fog, or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten.

4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma or multiple sclerosis.

5. Neurologic symptoms such as dizziness or feeling of being off balance

6. Hormone imbalances such as PMS, PCOS, or unexplained infertility.

7. Migraine headaches.

8. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. These diagnoses simply indicate your conventional doctor cannot pinpoint the cause of your fatigue or pain.

9. Inflammation, swelling, or pain in your joints such as fingers, knees, or hips.

10. Mood issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings, and ADD.

According to The Examiner.com below are five not-so-obvious signs of gluten intolerance that you could be missing:

1. "You're a full-grown adult but you still have breakouts like a teenager: Your skin is the body's biggest organ and provides a window into your internal health. That may be why Dr. Alessio Fasano, at the University of Maryland's Center for Celiac Research argues that persistent acne is a sign of inflammation from gluten that can affect other organs.

2. You wake up feeling sluggish, you're fatigued all day, and never feel rested: If you aren't burning the midnight oil every night and you are still hitting the snooze button repeatedly ever morning, your diet may actually be to blame. A gluten-filled diet can not only induce fatigue in someone with gluten intolerance, it can actually disrupt your sleep patterns and create a feeling of general malaise, according to studies.

3. You suffer from mood issues, anxiety, depression, or ADD. A gluten intolerance or allergy might not create anxiety or depression out of thin air, but they can certainly make symptoms worse. A 2010 study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) cited "significant concerns about increased rates of psychological symptoms and mental disorders in celiacs" patients.

4. You mysteriously suffer from join pain in your hands, knees, or hips: Join pain can be signs of several different autoimmune diseases. If you're not hitting the heavy weights, logging serious miles running, or suffering from arthritis, the inflammatory response from a gluten intolerance may be one reason your system is triggering a reaction in your joints.

5. You are plagued by frequent headaches and migraines: The causes of migraines are various and mysterious, but some studies have made a connection between an increased rate of headaches and migraines in Celiac patients, compared to the general population. In a 2001 study, Dr. Marios Hadjivassiliou from the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in the UK documented patients actually lessening their migraine symptom by following gluten-free diets".

And it gets worse, gluten has been linked to over 55 diseases! Yes, I said 55 diseases.

Gluten Sensitivity: One Cause, Many Diseases

A review paper in The New England Journal of Medicine listed 55 "diseases" that can be caused by eating gluten. (iv) These include osteoporosis, irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease, anemia, cancer, fatigue, canker sores, (v) and rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and almost all other autoimmune diseases. Gluten is also linked to many psychiatric (vi) and neurological diseases, including anxiety, depression, (vii) schizophrenia, (viii) dementia, (ix) migraines, epilepsy, and neuropathy (nerve damage). (x) It has also been linked to autism.(ix)

According to Dr. Mark Hyman, "we used to think that gluten problems or celiac disease were confined to children who had diarrhea, weight loss, and failure to thrive. Now we know you can be old, fat, and constipated and still have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

Gluten sensitivity is actually an autoimmune disease that creates inflammation throughout the body, with wide-ranging effects across all organ systems including your brain, heart, joints, digestive tract, and more. It can be the single cause behind many different "diseases." To correct these diseases, you need to treat the cause--which is often gluten sensitivity--not just the symptoms.

Of course, that doesn't mean that ALL cases of depression or autoimmune disease or any of these other problems are caused by gluten in everyone--but it is important to look for it if you have any chronic illness.

By failing to identify gluten sensitivity and celiac disease, we create needless suffering and death for millions of Americans. Health problems caused by gluten sensitivity cannot be treated with better medication. They can only be resolved by eliminating 100 percent of the gluten from your diet."

So, what's a person to do? Well, first get tested by your doctor have him/her do the run down to make sure that there is nothing else going on then try a gluten elimination diet.


(i) Ludvigsson JF, Montgomery SM, Ekbom A, Brandt L, Granath F. Small-intestinal histopathology and mortality risk in celiac disease. JAMA. 2009 Sep 16;302(11):1171-8.

(ii) Rubio-Tapia A, Kyle RA, Kaplan EL, Johnson DR, Page W, Erdtmann F, Brantner TL, Kim WR, Phelps TK, Lahr BD, Zinsmeister AR, Melton LJ 3rd, Murray JA. Increased prevalence and mortality in undiagnosed celiac disease. Gastroenterology. 2009 Jul;137(1):88-93

(iii) Green PH, Neugut AI, Naiyer AJ, Edwards ZC, Gabinelle S, Chinburapa V. Economic benefits of increased diagnosis of celiac disease in a national managed care population in the United States. J Insur Med. 2008;40(3-4):218-28.

(iv) Farrell RJ, Kelly CP. Celiac sprue. N Engl J Med. 2002 Jan 17;346(3):180-8. Review.

(v) Sedghizadeh PP, Shuler CF, Allen CM, Beck FM, Kalmar JR. Celiac disease and recurrent aphthous stomatitis: a report and review of the literature. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2002;94(4):474-478.

(vi) Margutti P, Delunardo F, Ortona E. Autoantibodies associated with psychiatric disorders. Curr Neurovasc Res. 2006 May;3(2):149-57. Review.

(vii) Ludvigsson JF, Reutfors J, Osby U, Ekbom A, Montgomery SM. Coeliac disease and risk of mood disorders--a general population-based cohort study. J Affect Disord. 2007 Apr;99(1-3):117-26. Epub 2006 Oct 6.

(viii) Ludvigsson JF, Osby U, Ekbom A, Montgomery SM. Coeliac disease and risk of schizophrenia and other psychosis: a general population cohort study. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2007 Feb;42(2):179-85.

(ix) Hu WT, Murray JA, Greenaway MC, Parisi JE, Josephs KA. Cognitive impairment and celiac disease. Arch Neurol. 2006 Oct;63(10):1440-6.

(x) Bushara KO. Neurologic presentation of celiac disease. Gastroenterology. 2005 Apr;128(4 Suppl 1):S92-7. Review.

(xi) Millward C, Ferriter M, Calver S, Connell-Jones G. Gluten- and casein-free diets for autistic spectrum disorder. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(2):CD003498. Review.

(xii) Green PH, Jabri B. Coeliac disease. Lancet. 2003 Aug 2;362(9381):383-91. Review.

Sources for Article:






Read more: http://www.healthy-holistic-living.com/10-signs-you-are-gluten-intolerant.html#ixzz2kybAnitf

Recommended Diet CAUSES Heart Disease

Recommended Diet CAUSES Heart Disease

Dr Michael Colgan          25 August 2013

Another prominent heart surgeon, Dr Dwight Lundell, has joined the thousands of physicians urging the US Government to reverse the huge error in current treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Using obsolete classical chemistry, 20th century medical science wrongly concluded that most heart disease results from high cholesterol and high intakes of saturated fat.(1,2)  This error spawned American dietary recommendations resulting in our current high-carbohydrate, high-polyunsaturated fat diet, plus massive overuse of statin drugs.

It’s not working.  America is a lot sicker, and fatter than 20 years ago.  In 2013, more of us will die of heart disease than ever before. The American Heart Association reports that 75 million Americans currently suffer from cardiovascular disease, which is affecting younger and younger people in greater numbers every year.

The new molecular chemistry, which became available about 2001, shows definitively that inflammation of the artery wall is the basic cause of cardiovascular disease.(1)  Cholesterol, an essential body chemical, does not cause the inflammation, but simply gets caught in it.  We know now that cholesterol does not accumulate in walls of blood vessels unless there is chronic inflammation to stick to.

Inflammation is your natural defense to foreign invaders such as toxins, bacteria, and viruses.  The cycle of inflammation is perfect to protect you. Once invaders are destroyed, the inflammation dissipates.  But, if you continually eat foods the human body was never designed to process, the inflammation is continuous, and becomes chronic.

The biggest problem is the overload of processed carbohydrates (sugar, cereals, flour and all products made from them).  Also at fault is excess consumption of processed omega-6 vegetable oils such as soybean, corn, and sunflower, allowed in processed foods to increase shelf life. Eating these foods is a slow form of poisoning.

A diseased artery is rough.  It looks like someone rubbed a scouring pad against its inside wall.  Processed carbohydrates and processed fats scour in the same way, albeit more slowly.  The repeated tiny injuries cause the body to respond continuously with inflammation.  If you spike your blood sugar several times a day, say with cereals in the morning, bread at lunch, and a sugary dessert at dinner, it’s like giving your arteries a pull-through with a Christmas tree.

You get fat too.  Whenever you eat processed carbohydrates, blood sugar spikes.  In response, your pancreas secretes insulin aiming to drive the sugar into cells to store it for energy.  Once cells are full they reject more sugar.  The rejected sugar then causes blood sugar to rise further, thereby producing even more insulin.  The extra sugar and extra insulin are promptly converted to body fat and stored in order to protect you from injury.  Follow the recommended American diet and you will grow plump as a goose.(2)

Fortunately the human system is dynamic. It changes beautifully in response to the right stuff.  You can reverse chronic inflammation, and remove chronic fat from everywhere, simply by dumping all the processed grains and sugars, and all foods with processed polyunsaturated fats.(3,4)

Use virgin olive oil, organic butter, and a good dose of the premium anti-inflammatory, curcumin, every day.(5)  Base your diet on wild fish, and organic meats, seeds and nuts, organic veges and fruits.  Not to say you can’t have a bit of flour.  It’s apple and blackberry season again and the fruit just doesn’t seem right unless it’s in a crust.

Dr Colgan’s articles are now posted on his page, www.facebook.com/michaelcolganspage

1.  Tabas I, Glass CK. Anti-inflammatory therapy in chronic disease: challenges and opportunities. Science. 2013 Jan 11;339(6116):

2.  Tahergorabi Z, Khazaei M. The relationship between inflammatory markers, angiogenesis, and obesity. ARYA Atheroscler. 2013 Jun;9(4):247-53.

3.  Colgan M. The Anti-inflammatory Athlete. American Fork, UT: Sound Concepts, 2012.

4.  Ibanez B, Vilahur G, Badimon JJ. Plaque progression and regression in atherothrombosis. J Thromb Haemost. 2007 Jul;5 Suppl 1:292-9.

5.  Aggarwal BB, Harikumar KB. Potential therapeutic effects of curcumin, the anti-inflammatory agent, against neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, autoimmune and neoplastic diseases. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2009 Jan;41(1):40-59.

Gluten Damages the Brain

Gluten Damages the Brain

Dr Michael Colgan 4 Sept 2013
A ton of recent controlled studies have now proven beyond doubt that gluten damages the human brain.(1-7)  It’s not pretty, and the public should know.  Nevertheless, I am stating the facts from some of the latest scientific reviews for a different reason. 
After my last article on gluten six months ago, parents of a boy diagnosed with Asperger’s contacted me, because he exhibited symptoms described in my article.  I advised that they request gluten antibody tests by his physician.  In a month his physician had positive antibody results.  Now, five months later, on a gluten-free diet, the lad’s symptoms have disappeared, and he is entirely healthy.  If this article can do that for even one more child…
People with gluten sensitivity, can develop varying degrees of cerebellar ataxia, that is, lesions in the cerebellum of the brain that cause loss of balance, inability to coordinate gait in walking, loss of coordination of the arms and hands, and even the eyes.  They can also develop migraines, swelling of the brain, epilepsy, dementia, depression, and symptoms of Asperger’s and ADHD.
The worst part about these brain malfunctions is that they can occur without any symptoms of celiac disease, a well-known manifestation of gluten sensitivity.  We now know that brain damage by gluten can occur with or without celiac disease, and with or without any intestinal symptoms at all.
The main offenders are wheat, rye, and barley in our food supply.  The cereal grains industry, however, is mammoth business that has done everything it can to discount the evidence.  So most of the public do not yet know what medical science has known at least a decade.   What I love most about science is that the truth eventually outs.
The light-speed development of the internet makes it increasingly more difficult every day for vested interests to hide things.  We know that the evidence is getting out there because of the unprecedented growth in public demand for gluten-free foods. 
For example, a gluten-free trade show in Vancouver in 2013, planned for 5,000 visitors.  More than 25,000 showed up, and most could not even get in.  In the US alone, the gluten-free foods industry has grown from small in 2000, to a massive $3 billion a year in 2012.
There is now an explosion of controlled studies on gluten. One summary paper for example, published in 2012, in the open-access medical journal, Bio Med Central, Medicine, is a collaborative effort of 14 universities to highlight the evidence.(1) 
We now know for sure that a much larger proportion of the population suffers from gluten toxicity than previously thought.(2)  Because it manly affects people of European ancestry, many hundreds of thousands of Americans and Canadians have varying degrees of brain reactions to gluten.  These vary from intermittent headaches and brain fog to full blown dementia.
Controlled studies show that gluten is a main offender in the group of disorders now collected under the umbrella of celiac disease (CD). But it is also involved in many cases of autism, Asperger’s, and similar disorders, now collectively called autism spectrum disorders (ASD).(3-7) 
Gluten is also involved in many cases of cerebellar ataxia from damage to motor controls in the cerebellum of the brain, causing loss of balance, dizziness, and learning difficulties (3,5) 
Gluten is also involved in many cases of peripheral neuropathy (death of peripheral nerves, leading to one or several of a large group of disorders). It can also cause herpetiform dermatitis (herpes-like blistering rash mainly on elbows, forearms, and knees (3-7)
It has taken 20 years to bring to public notice that dominant foods, wheat, rye and barley can produce human disease not only of the gut but also the skin, the peripheral nerves, and the brain.  The most unfortunate aspect of the gluten problem is that a child, or an adult, can suffer several different manifestations of gluten toxicity simultaneously, and can easily be mis-diagnosed as suffering from different disorders. 
World expert on gluten toxicity, British neurologist Dr M Hadjivassiliou, has called for physicians and neurologists to learn more about gluten-caused disorders, and treat them promptly before irreversible brain damage occurs. Removing gluten from a child’s diet is much more successful than doing so later in life.
Changing our food to eliminate gluten is a big problem.  Wheat, rye, and barley, are food staples that have been intensively farmed in the US for the last 200 years.  To legislate change would destroy the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people.  The only way to convert farming to crops with low or no content of gluten is to vote with your pocketbook.  Leave foods containing wheat, rye, and barley on the supermarket shelf.  Your brain will appreciate it.
Dr Colgan’s articles are all published on his page www.facebook.com/michaelcolganspage
And on his blog www.drmichaelcolgan.com
1. Sapone A, et al. Spectrum of gluten-related disorders: consensus on new nomenclature and classification. BMC Med. 2012; 10: 13.  Published online 2012 February 7. doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-10-13  PMCID: PMC3292448
2. Bernini P, et al. Are Patients with Potential Celiac Disease Really Potential? The Answer of Metabonomics. Journal of Proteome Research, 2010; : 101213161430042 DOI: 10.1021/pr100896s
3. Hadjivassiliou M, et al. Gluten sensitivity as a neurological illness. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2002 May; 72(5): 560–563.
4. Hadjivassiliou M, et al. Dietary treatment of gluten neuropathy. Muscle Nerve. 2006 Dec;34(6):762-6.
5. Hernandez-Lahoz C, et al. Neurological disorders associated with gluten sensitivity. Rev Neurol. 2011 Sep 1;53(5):287-300.
6. Currie S, et al. Should we be 'nervous' about coeliac disease? Brain abnormalities in patients with coeliac disease referred for neurological opinion. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2012 Dec;83(12):1216-21. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2012-303281. Epub 2012 Aug 20.
7. Bushara KO. Neurologic presentation of celiac disease. Gastroenterology. 2005 Apr;128(4 Suppl 1):S92-7.


Your Transport for Life

Your Transport For Life

Warren Buffett is the most successful investor the world has ever known. His company Berkshire Hathaway has made a return on investments of more than 500,000% since he began in the 1950s. He has beaten everyone on the S & P Index every year for the last 45 years. One share of Berkshire stock sold originally at $18. Price for one share today, 23 August 2013, is $171,400.

Buffett was by far the world’s richest man until 2006, when he gave, $31 billion, yes, GAVE 31 BILLION DOLLARS AS A GIFT, to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to fight world poverty. He continues to give them billions more every year.

He has done all this from nothing. Rejected by Harvard, he went to Columbia U, then started his business with $105,000 from seven of his friends. From such a small beginning, he has used his brilliant brain to dodge the rot of Wall Street, the crooked banks, and the crooked government mortgage institutions, and has remained an honorable and straightforward man. So I was ecstatic to be in a group that got to ask one of the leading minds in the world a face-to-face question that many of us have, “What is the best investment to make for life?”

I guess we were looking for his advice on long-term energy stocks or electronics or some other business that comes within the purview of his blindingly accurate predictions over the years. His answer, however, was quite different. But it was even more important.

Warren Buffett replied, “The best investment in life is yourself. Imagine you are 16 again, and I am going to give you a car, any car you want. But there is one condition. It is the only car you can ever have your whole life.”

Just think. If you could have only one car to transport you lifelong, you would treat it with reverence. . You would learn its manual by heart. You would change the oil and hydraulic fluid more often than stipulated. You would use only the best fuel. You would replace the tires and wipers, and seals and belts at the first sign of wear. You would likely do complete maintenance twice as often as required. You would keep it shining.

Of course, Buffett was referring to the human body, life transport for your brain. Sage advice from the best investor of all time. How well are you looking after yours?


Migraines--What Causes Them, and How You Can Best Address Them

By Dr. Mercola

I am thankful I have never had a migraine or, but migraine headaches are one of the most common health conditions in the world—more prevalent than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined. They're also one of the top 20 causes of disability among adults.

More than 37 million Americans suffer from migraines; nearly five million of them experiencing at least one migraine attack per month. In all, an estimated 13 percent of the world’s population suffer with migraines to a greater or lesser degree.

The condition is more prevalent among women, with about 15-18 percent of women worldwide getting them, compared to six to seven percent of men. About 60 percent of women affected have menstrual-related migraines, meaning they tend to coincide with their menstrual cycle.

Despite its prevalence, migraines are still one of the most poorly understood medical disorders out there. Part of the problem has been that the experiences of those suffering from migraines vary greatly.

Aside from throbbing, searing pain, which may or may not be one-sided, some experience “auras” prior to onset, while others do not. There may also be nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, sweating, and/or sensitivity to light, sound, and smells.

Those who have never had a migraine before can be quite frightened by the neurological symptoms, which can simulate a stroke where you start to have disturbed vision, and even short term visual loss and/or seeing spots or wavy lines, and/or tingling in your arm or leg.

Migraines May Be Linked with Abnormal Blood Vessel Structure

One long-held theory was that a migraine is caused by vascular changes in your brain, from initial blood vessel constriction and a drop in blood flow, followed by dilation and stretching of blood vessels, which activates pain-signaling neurons.

Newer research has negated this theory however, as researchers eventually determined that migraines are not preceded by constriction and decrease in blood flow, but rather by a blood flow increase of nearly 300 percent. Despite that, circulation appears normal, or even slightly reduced, once the attack is in full swing.

Most recently, a small observational study found that so-called migraineurs—people who get migraines—tend to have a different blood vessel structure in their brains compared to those who do not get migraines.

Three types of test subjects were included in the study. Out of 170 subjects, 56 had migraines with aura, 61 had migraines without aura, and 53 were included as controls.

Using Magnetic resonance angiography, the researchers examined the structure of blood vessels and the changes in cerebral blood flow, focusing on a system of arteries that deliver blood to the brain called "circle of Willis."

They found that an incomplete circle of Willis was significantly more common in those who get migraines, with or without aura, compared to the control group (73 percent and 67 percent versus 51 percent respectively).

As a result, compared to those with a complete circle of Willis, those with an incomplete circle had greater asymmetry in hemispheric cerebral blood flow. According to one of the authors of the study, Dr. John Detre, M.D., a professor of neurology and radiology:

“Abnormalities in both the circle of Willis and blood flow were most prominent in the back of the brain, where the visual cortex is located. This may help explain why the most common migraine auras consist of visual symptoms such as seeing distortions, spots, or wavy lines.”

Other Hypotheses

There are other hypotheses as well. For example, a meta-analysis of 29 genome-wide association studies recently identified five genetic regions linked to migraine onset and 12 genetic regions linked with migraine susceptibility. In addition to that, they also found a whopping 134 genetic regions that appear to heighten migraine susceptibility.

Another study published earlier this year suggests that the searing, throbbing pain that is the hallmark of a migraine may be due to overactive pain-signaling from sensory neurons in your brain.

A third hypothesis is that a migraine arises as a result of a disorder of your nervous system, most likely in your brain stem. Although most regions of your brain do not register or transmit pain signals, a network of nerves called the trigeminal nerve system does. Pain is relayed through the trigeminal network to an area in your brain stem called the trigeminal nucleus.

From there, it is conveyed to the sensory cortex in your brain, which is involved in your awareness of pain and other senses. What first activates your trigeminal nerves, setting off your migraine, however, is still under debate, but some researchers believe that a wave release of neurotransmitters across your cortex can directly stimulate your trigeminal nerves, setting off the chain reaction that ends in the transmitting of pain signals. No one hypothesis has yet emerged to explain the occurrence of migraine in all sufferers. Besides those already mentioned, other theories include:

Changes in the brain chemical serotonin. When levels drop, blood vessels including those in your brain become swollen and inflamed, which can lead to migraine pain.
A disruption of the subtle energies circulating throughout your body, along with unresolved emotional issues that manifest in your body as headaches.
Vitamin B deficiency. In one study, vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid supplements were found to produce a two-fold reduction in migraines over a six-month period. Previous studies, such as a 2004 study in the European Journal of Neurology, have also reported that high doses of B2 (riboflavin) can help prevent migraine attacks

Common Migraine Triggers

Environmental factors appear to play a significant role in triggering a migraine attack. While there are many potential triggers (and what triggers a migraine for one might not trigger it in another), the following are some of the most commonly reported:

Food and Drink: Many people experience migraines when they eat certain foods, especially: wheat, dairy, sugar, artificial preservatives or chemical additives, cured or processed meats, alcohol (especially red wine and beer), aspartame, caffeine, and MSG. Caffeine can also trigger an attack - and sometimes excess nuts   Changes in sleeping cycle: Both missing sleep and oversleeping can trigger a migraine    Hormones: Some women experience migraines before or during their periods, during pregnancy or during menopause. Others may get migraines from hormonal medications like birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy
Allergies: Including food allergies and food sensitivities, and chemical sensitivities    Stress/Post-stress: Any kind of emotional trauma can trigger a migraine, even after the stress has passed    External stimuli: Bright lights, fluorescent lights, loud noises and strong smells (even pleasant ones) can trigger a migraine
Dehydration and/or hunger: Skipping meals or fasting are also common triggers    Physical exertion: Extremely intense exercise or even sex has been known to bring on migraines    Weather changes, and/or changes in altitude

Are Food Allergies Causing Your Migraines?

Searching the medical literature in PubMed.gov using the search terms “migraine” and “food allergies” will provide you with nearly 160 different studies11 of this kind, so do yourself a favor and don’t dismiss this potential connection. One randomized, double blind, cross-over study published in 2010 found that a six-week long diet restriction produced a statistically significant reduction in migraines in those diagnosed with migraine without aura. Some of the top migraine-inducing foods identified include:

Wheat and gluten 

Cow’s milk (including yoghurt and ice cream) 

Grain cereals  

Cane sugar







I’d advise you to avoid as many processed foods as possible, as they contain a variety of food colorings, flavors, preservatives, and other additives that might promote headaches and migraines, in addition to other food allergy symptoms. Questions that can help you determine whether or not you might have a food sensitivity or allergy include:

Do you experience bloating after meals, gas, frequent belching, or any kind of digestive problems?
Do you have chronic constipation or diarrhea?
Do you have a stuffy nose after meals?
Do you have low energy or feel drowsy after eating?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you may want to investigate further. Keeping a detailed food diary is the easiest way to start tracking down potentially migraine-inducing foods. Keep in mind that eliminating your migraines is not the only health benefit you can reap from identifying food allergies or sensitivities. Eliminating food antigens is also critical for gut health. I’ve written extensively on this topic, as medical science is now beginning to realize just how important your gut is, not just for physical health, but emotional and psychological health as well.

One of the best things you can do if you believe you are suffering from a food allergy is to do a diet elimination challenge. Simply remove all foods that contain what you believe you are allergic to and see if your symptoms improve over the next several days. If you don’t have an idea of what foods you are allergic to, you can stop all the ones in the chart above. Keep in mind that depending on your typical migraine frequency, you may need to avoid the suspected food(s) for a few weeks in order to evaluate whether it had an effect or not.

To confirm the results, you’ll want to reintroduce the food or drink (on an empty stomach). If the suspected food is the culprit you will generally be able to feel the allergy symptoms return within an hour, although migraines can sometimes have a longer lag time than, say, bloating or drowsiness.

Beware of Aspartame and MSG

Both aspartame and MSG are notorious for causing headaches and triggering migraines. Aspartame can also trigger other neurological symptom such as visual disturbances and tingling in the extremities. I actually diagnosed my sister, who was also my office manager when I started practicing, with a migraine. She had the visual aura that is common and makes you feel like you are having a stroke. She was highly reactive to aspartame and if she even sniffs any she will get a migraine.

One of the primary problems with aspartame is the methanol it forms in your body. Methanol acts as a Trojan horse, being carried into susceptible tissues in your body, such as your brain, where an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) converts it into formaldehyde. This in turn can wreak havoc with sensitive proteins and DNA.

All other animals have a protective mechanism that allows methanol to be broken down into harmless formic acid, but according to aspartame expert Dr. Woodrow Monte, there's a major biochemical problem with methanol in humans, because humans simply do not have this protective metabolic mechanism. Migraineurs will likely recognize several of the symptoms of methanol poisoning, which include headache, throbbing migraine, ear buzzing, dizziness, nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances, weakness, vertigo, chills, memory lapses, numbness and shooting pains in the extremities, behavioral disturbances, and neuritis.

Diet for Migraine Relief

Quite a few people have reportedly rid themselves of migraines on the Paleo diet, which can be summarized as “any food that can be eaten without being processed.” That means no grains, bread or pasta, and no pasteurized dairy, but does include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, some nuts and oils along with wild caught fish, organic poultry and grass-fed lean meats.

I believe a return to “real food” is one of the most profound interventions for the 21st century. We've strayed so far from the foods we are designed to eat, going back to basics and refocusing your diet on fresh, whole, unprocessed, "real" food can improve just about anyone's health, regardless of what health issues you need to address. You can easily mold your diet around the principles of Paleo eating by following my nutrition plan. The full details are described in the plan, but generally speaking, the following key factors apply to anyone seeking a “healthy diet”:

Eliminate all gluten products    Organically grown produce, and grass-fed or pastured animal products that are free from additives and genetically engineered ingredients
Eliminate all artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame. My sister is one of many who will get a guaranteed migraine if she consumes any aspartame. Obviously, even if you don’t have migraines, there simply is no reason to ever consume aspartame    Carbohydrates primarily come from vegetables (except corn and potatoes, which should typically be avoided). Dramatically lowering your intake of non-vegetable carbs could improve leptin and insulin signaling which could also improve migraines
Focus on unprocessed, whole foods, eaten raw or only lightly cooked (ideally, try to eat at least one-third of your food raw, or as much as you can manage)    Food from high-quality, local sources
Quick, Natural Tips to Relieve a Migraine

Preventing migraines begins by avoiding the triggers. Most often this means eating healthy whole foods (avoiding most processed ones) and managing your stress effectively. Following my eating plan seems to reduce migraines by about 80 percent, although it does take some time to work. It’s a lifestyle switch, not a quick and easy fix. Avoiding wheat, grains, sugar and all fluids but water seem to be particularly effective.

Regular exercise may also help to keep migraines at bay by improving your response to stress along with the underlying inflammatory conditions that can trigger migraines. Ideally, those are the things to focus on so that you can reduce your migraines altogether. That said, should a migraine strike and you need immediate relief, you could try one or more of the following:

Stimulate your body's natural painkilling ability. By putting pressure on a nerve just under your eyebrow, you can cause your pituitary gland to release painkilling endorphins immediately    Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). Newcomers who use this simple process by themselves achieve relief 50 percent to 80 percent of the time and, in many cases, the relief is complete and permanent. More sophisticated uses by an EFT expert may be required for some migraine sufferers
Take 10 teaspoons of cayenne pepper in a glass of water. Endorphins are released by your brain when the cayenne hits your stomach lining. Another alternative is to swallow a dollop of wasabi paste    Green apple scent. One study found that the scent significantly relieved migraine pain. This may also work with other scents that you enjoy so consulting with an aromatherapist may be beneficial
Hot/Cold compress: Alternate hot and cold compresses on your forehead and/or behind your neck    Massage your ears, ear lobes, and the "crown" of your head -- the ring of muscles that circle your head where a crown would sit


Modern Wheat a "Perfect, Chronic Poison," Doctor Says

(CBS News) Modern wheat is a "perfect, chronic poison," according to Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist who has published a book all about the world's most popular grain.

Davis said that the wheat we eat these days isn't the wheat your grandma had: "It's an 18-inch tall plant created by genetic research in the '60s and '70s," he said on "CBS This Morning." "This thing has many new features nobody told you about, such as there's a new protein in this thing called gliadin. It's not gluten. I'm not addressing people with gluten sensitivities and celiac disease. I'm talking about everybody else because everybody else is susceptible to the gliadin protein that is an opiate. This thing binds into the opiate receptors in your brain and in most people stimulates appetite, such that we consume 440 more calories per day, 365 days per year."

Asked if the farming industry could change back to the grain it formerly produced, Davis said it could, but it would not be economically feasible because it yields less per acre. However, Davis said a movement has begun with people turning away from wheat - and dropping substantial weight.

"If three people lost eight pounds, big deal," he said. "But we're seeing hundreds of thousands of people losing 30, 80, 150 pounds. Diabetics become no longer diabetic; people with arthritis having dramatic relief. People losing leg swelling, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, and on and on every day."

To avoid these wheat-oriented products, Davis suggests eating "real food," such as avocados, olives, olive oil, meats, and veget

ables. "(It's) the stuff that is least likely to have been changed by agribusiness," he said. "Certainly not grains. When I say grains, of course, over 90 percent of all grains we eat will be wheat, it's not barley... or flax. It's going to be wheat.

"It's really a wheat issue."


Some health resources, such as the Mayo Clinic, advocate a more balanced diet that does include wheat. But Davis said on "CTM" they're just offering a poor alternative.

"All that literature says is to replace something bad, white enriched products with something less bad, whole grains, and there's an apparent health benefit - 'Let's eat a whole bunch of less bad things.' So I take...unfiltered cigarettes and replace with Salem filtered cigarettes, you should smoke the Salems. That's the logic of nutrition, it's a deeply flawed logic. What if I take it to the next level, and we say, 'Let's eliminate all grains,' what happens then?

"That's when you see, not improvements in health, that's when you see transformations in health."






What is the Role of Gut Bacteria in Calorie Restriction

What Is the Role of Gut Bacteria in Calorie Restriction?

July 29, 2013

By Dr. Mercola

Lowering your caloric intake has been scientifically proven to slow down aging, reduce age-related chronic diseases and extend lifespan. The effects have been observed in a variety of species from worms and yeast to rats and fish, with some research showing that restricting calories in certain animals can increase their lifespan by as much as 50 percent.

There’s evidence that calorie restriction has a similar effect on the human lifespan, as well, and one of the key reasons why is likely related to its ability to lower your insulin levels as well as improve insulin sensitivity.

However, researchers recently studied whether calorie restriction also prompts changes to your gut microbiota, which may also be responsible for some of its beneficial role in health.

Calorie Restriction Prompts Significant Changes to Your Gut Bacteria

Science is increasingly revealing that microorganisms living in your gut are there performing indispensable functions. Known as your microbiome, about 100 trillion of these cells populate your body, particularly your intestines and other parts of your digestive system.

There is also an emerging consensus that most disease originates in your digestive system, and this includes conditions that impact your brain, your heart, your weight and your immune system, among others. There’s also evidence that the microorganisms present in your gut can affect how well you age,1 and this, of course, ties in directly with the latest research on calorie restriction and longevity.

One important thing to remember about the microbes in your gut is that they are not static. They can change profoundly throughout your life, for better or for worse, and one of the biggest influences on this change is your diet.

Indeed, the latest study showed that life-long calorie restriction in mice “significantly changes the overall structure of the gut microbiota” in ways that promote longevity.2 So it now appears that one reason why calorie restriction may lengthen lifespan is because it promotes positive changes to the microorganisms in your gut.

The researchers noted:

“Calorie restriction enriches phylotypes positively correlated with lifespan, for example, the genus Lactobacillus on low-fat diet, and reduces phylotypes negatively correlated with lifespan.

These calorie restriction-induced changes in the gut microbiota are concomitant with significantly reduced serum levels of lipopolysaccharide-binding protein, suggesting that animals under calorie restriction can establish a structurally balanced architecture of gut microbiota that may exert a health benefit to the host via reduction of antigen load from the gut.”

Intermittent Fasting May Provide Comparable Health Benefits to Calorie Restriction

While the research supporting calorie restriction is compelling, it’s not a very popular dietary strategy for most people, for obvious reasons. Many are simply not willing to deprive themselves of calories to the extent needed to prompt the beneficial effects.

An alternative that is much more acceptable is intermittent fasting, which can be as simple as restricting your daily eating to a narrower window of time of say 6-8 hours (this equates to 16-18 hours worth of fasting each and every day).

Recent research suggests that sudden and intermittent calorie restriction appears to provide many of the same health benefits as constant calorie restriction, including extending lifespan and protecting against disease. For instance, intermittent fasting leads to:

1.              Increased insulin sensitivity and mitochondrial energy efficiency – Fasting increases your leptin and insulin sensitivity along with mitochondrial energy efficiency, and thereby retards aging and disease, which are typically associated with loss of insulin sensitivity and declined mitochondrial energy.

2.              Reduced oxidative stress – Fasting decreases the accumulation of oxidative radicals in the cell, and thereby prevents oxidative damage to cellular proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids associated with aging and disease.

3.              Increased capacity to resist stress, disease and aging – Fasting induces a cellular stress response (similar to that induced by exercise) in which cells up-regulate the expression of genes that increase the capacity to cope with stress and resist disease and aging.

Intermittent Fasting Switches Your Body to Fat-Burning Mode… With Radical Improvements to Your Gut

If you want to give intermittent fasting a try, consider starting gradually. You can delay breakfast as long as possible and extend the time every day before you eat breakfast until you are actually skipping breakfast. Make sure you stop eating and drinking anything but water three hours before you go to sleep, and restrict your eating to an 8-hour (or less) time frame every day. In the 6-8 hours that you do eat, have healthy protein, minimize your carbs like pasta, bread, and potatoes and exchange them for healthful fats like butter, eggs, avocado, coconut oil, olive oil and nuts — essentially the very fats the media and “experts” tell you to avoid.

This will help shift you from carb-burning to fat-burning mode. Once your body has made this shift, it is nothing short of magical as your cravings for sweets, and food in general, rapidly normalizes and your desire for sweets and junk food radically decreases -- if not disappears entirely.

Remember, it typically takes a few weeks for most to shift from burning carbs to fat-burning mode. Once you succeed and switch to fat-burning mode, you'll be easily able to fast for 18 hours and not feel hungry. The “hunger” most people feel is actually cravings for sugar, and these will disappear once you successfully shift over to burning fat instead.

Another phenomenal benefit that occurs is that you will radically improve the beneficial bacteria in your gut, as occurs with calorie restriction. Along with improving your immune system, you will sleep better, have more energy, have increased mental clarity and concentrate better. Essentially, every aspect of your health will improve as your gut flora becomes balanced.


tain Gut Bacteria are ‘Major Contributors’ to Cancer

As if you needed even more reason to optimize the bacteria in your gut, recent research has revealed an association between different gut bacteria and the development of lymphoma, a cancer of the white blood cells. The study involved mice with ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T), a genetic disease linked to a high rate of B-cell lymphoma in both mice and humans. Those with certain microbial species in their gut lived significantly longer before developing lymphoma, and had less of the gene damage that causes the disease. The researchers also created a catalog detailing which types of bacteria had either promoting or protective effects on genotoxicity and lymphoma.

This is not the first time gut bacteria has been linked to cancer. Findings published in the journal Nature,3 for instance, reported the discovery of microbial-dependent mechanisms through which some cancers mount an inflammatory response that fuels their development and growth. Another study, published in the journal Science,4 suggested cancer may be due to a chain reaction that starts with inflammation that disrupts your gut ecosystem, allowing pathogens, such as E. coli, to invade your gut and cause cellular damage.

Healthy Gut 101: How to Optimize Your Microflora for Better Health

With it now becoming increasingly clear that your microflora influence the expression of your genes, your immune system, weight, mental health, memory, and your risk of numerous chronic and acute diseases, from diabetes to cancer, destroying your gut flora with antibiotics and poor diet is a primary factor in rising disease rates.

As discussed, your diet is crucial in this equation, and it appears likely that calorie restriction, or intermittent fasting, may have a beneficial effect on the makeup of your microflora. But there are other factors, too. Remember, an estimated 80 percent of your immune system is also located in your gut, so reseeding your gut with healthy bacteria is important for the prevention of virtually ALL disease, from colds to cancer. In light of this, here are my recommendations for optimizing your gut bacteria.

                Fermented foods are the best route to optimal digestive health, as long as you eat the traditionally made, unpasteurized versions. Healthy choices include fermented grass-fed organic milk such as kefir, various fermentations of vegetables like cabbage, turnips, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, squash and carrots, and natto (fermented soy).

                Fermented vegetables, which are one of my new passions, are an excellent way to supply beneficial bacteria back into your gut. And, unlike some other fermented foods, they tend to be palatable, if not downright delicious, to most people. Most high-quality probiotic supplements will only supply you with a fraction of the beneficial bacteria found in such homemade fermented vegetables, so it’s your most economical route to optimal gut health as well.

                Probiotic supplement. Although I'm not a major proponent of taking many supplements (as I believe the majority of your nutrients need to come from food), probiotics are an exception if you don’t eat plenty of raw organic and fermented foods on a regular basis.

In addition to knowing what to add to your diet and lifestyle, it’s equally important to know what to avoid, for optimal microflora balance, and this includes:


Antibiotics, unless absolutely necessary (and when you do use them,   make sure to reseed your gut with fermented foods and/or a probiotics   supplement)


Conventionally raised meats and other animal products, as CAFO animals   are routinely fed low-dose antibiotics, plus genetically engineered   grains, which have also been implicated in the destruction of   gut flora


Processed foods (as the excessive grains and sugars, along with   otherwise “dead” nutrients, feed pathogenic bacteria)


Chlorinated and/or fluoridated water


Antibacterial soap


Agricultural chemicals



Symptoms to Expect When You Improve Your Diet

Excerpted From An Article By Dr. Stanley S. Bass, ND, D.C., PhD Perhaps the greatest misunderstanding in the field of nutrition is the failure to understand and interpret the symptoms and changes which follow the beginning of a better nutritional program. A remarkable thing happens when a person improves the quality of the food he consumes. When the food you ingest is of a higher quality than the tissues from which the body is made, the body discards the lower quality tissues, to make room for the higher quality materials to make healthier tissue. During this process of regeneration, lasting about 10 days to several weeks, the emphasis is on breaking down and eliminating lower quality tissue. The vibrant energy often found in the external parts of the body, the muscles and skin, moves to vital internal organs and starts reconstruction. This movement of energy produces a feeling of less energy in the muscles, which the mind interprets as weakness. At this time, more rest and sleep is often needed, and it's imperative to avoid stimulants of any kind which will abort and defeat the regenerative process. Remember, the body isn't getting weaker, it's simply using it's energies in more important internal work rather than external work involving muscle movements. With patience and diligence, a person will soon feel more energy than before. By ingesting higher quality foods, the body begins a process called "retracing". The initial focus is on eliminating waste and toxins deposited in the tissues. However, the process creates symptoms that are often misinterpreted. For example, a person who stops consuming coffee or chocolate may experience headaches and a general letdown. The body begins discarding toxins (caffeine or theobromin) by removing them from the tissues and transporting them through the bloodstream. However, before toxins are passed, through elimination, they register in our consciousness as pain, in other words, a headache. These same toxins also stimulate the heart to beat more rapidly, thus producing the feeling of exhilaration. The letdown is due to the slower action of the heart which produces a depressed mind state. The symptoms experienced during "retracing" are part of the healing process! They are not deficiencies. Do not treat them with stimulants or drugs. These symptoms are constructive, even though unpleasant at the moment. Don't try to cure the cure. The symptoms will vary according to the materials being discarded, the condition of the organs involved in the elimination, and the amount of available energy. They can include: headaches, fever/chills, colds, skin eruptions, constipation/diarrhea, frequent urination, fatigue/sluggishness, nervousness, irritability, depression. The symptoms will be milder and pass more quickly if one gets more rest and  sleep. Understand that the body becomes healthier by eliminating wastes and toxins. Had they remained trapped in the tissues, eventually they would have brought illness and disease, thus causing greater pain and suffering. "The body is becoming healthier by eliminating toxins" Finally, don't expect to improve your diet and feel better and better every day, until you reach perfection. The body is cyclical in nature. Health returns in a series of gradually diminishing cycles. For example,  you may begin eating better and start feeling better. After some time, you experience a symptom such as nausea or diarrhea. After a day, you feel even better than before and all goes well for a while. Then you suddenly develop a cold, the chills and lose your appetite. Without the use of drugs, you recover from these symptoms and suddenly you feel great. This well-being continues for a time until you break out in a rash. The rash flares up, but finally disappears, and suddenly you feel better than you've felt in years. As the body becomes pure, each reaction becomes milder and shorter in duration, followed by longer and longer periods of feeling better than ever before, until finally you reach a level plateau...vibrant health. [A big thanks to Denis Landry for posting this exerpt on Facebook. The complete article can be found athttp://www.drbass.com/symptoms.html.]

Welcome to our "Health" blog

Welcome to our Health blog where there will be a lot of collaboration between Tom and I. I was always interested in nutrition and exercise, though that interest was not always displayed in my lifestyle! I had a nutrition minor in college, but it wasn't until 1993, when I jumped into the world of raw foods, that I really started reading and researching a lot about nutrition. What I've learned over time is that the experts all disagree and the experts also change their minds! Now Tom does most of the nutritional research, and I get to take what he's learning and apply it to what feels right for my body.

Our goal for some time now has been to find an exercise and nutritional plan that works for us day-in/day-out. What we've learned still doesn't always translate into our lifestyle choices, but we've come a long way, that's for sure!! In this blog, we will be sharing what we are learning--and you can follow along as you like! Welcome!