Tis the season to be jolly, right?

Help Your Patients Fight Holiday Fatigue

The holidays are supposed to be our chance to take a step back and relax. But, for many of us, the holiday season triggers feelings of anxiety and stress. Every Christmas carol reminds us of our endless to-do list. Our hectic social calendar feels like a full-time job. Suffice it to say, high levels of stress and exhaustion can lead to holiday fatigue.

Of course, it’s important for your patients to recognize the difference between fatigue and feeling tired. Overindulging in eggnog at a holiday party causes us to drag through the next day. Fortunately, our bodies are conditioned to bounce back with sufficient rest and recuperation. Continue reading

Me, My Health and ‘I’

By Dr Jim Fox

Iodine is the one mineral that is often overlooked, yet so critical for much of our bodily functions. Of course we think of thyroid when we think of iodine, but much more of our body depends directly on this magic mineral for proper function. The female breast tissue is a large consumer of our iodine supply, and so is the prostate gland in men. It is very important in neurological development, and indirectly, via the thyroid gland and its hormones, iodine effects the metabolism of every cell in our body. A mineral so important should be at the top of the list for everyone to make sure they are getting enough, right? It isn’t.

Iodine is in the family of ‘halides’ along with fluorine, chlorine, and bromine. You may have noticed that several of these ‘halides’ are in commonly used items like your toothpaste, fluoride for instance. Also you may have smelled city water that smells like your neighbors swimming pool, chlorine in that case. Bromine is not as easy to detect, but widely used in such commonly consumed items as bread and soft drinks. If you are taking any pharmaceutical medication, you might be ingesting halides unknowingly. All the halides bind to the same receptor sites in our bodies, so you can see where the ‘other guys’ can cause problems by interfering with our body using iodine properly. That is if we are getting enough iodine in our diet. Unfortunately, most don’t. Continue reading

Research Review and Clinical Application of Vitamins D and K2

By: Dr. Adam Killpartrick

Vitamins D3 and K2 are among the most recommended nutrients in clinical practice today.  Summarized below are research studies that outline the targeted support these nutrients provide as well as their proposed mechanisms of action.

Girl with Giant Sunglasses

Vitamin D:
A 2009 review in American Journal of Medical Science examines the epidemiologic and clinical evidence for vitamin D deficiency as a cardiovascular risk factor and explores potential mechanisms for the cardio protective effect of vitamin D. In this review the National Health and Nutritional Examination Surveys (NHANES) (1988–1994, 2000–2004) conducted in the United States have provided a means to explore cross-sectional associations between vitamin D status and cardiovascular health. Kendrick, et al, reported that individuals surveyed in NHANES 1988–1994 with vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D <20 ng/mL) had higher prevalence of self-reported angina, myocardial infarction, and heart failure compared with individuals with higher levels of vitamin D.  During another 10-year follow-up period, men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study without previous CVD and vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D <15 ng/mL) exhibited a 2-fold increased rate of myocardial infarction. Continue reading

Beauty From Within

Dr. Fred Pescatore

By Dr. Fred Pescatore, MD

We’ve all heard phrases like ‘beauty from within’, but very little is said about the actual mechanisms that drive healthy, hydrated and radiant skin.  One of the foremost underlying internal processes directly related to skin health is helping to support normal blood sugar levels, more specifically looking at the process of glycation.*

In short, glycation is the nonenzymatic process of covalently bonding sugar molecules to proteins, lipids, or nucleic acids,1 resulting in molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs).2 AGEs have the potential to accumulate in various tissues including the skin1,2 and have been implicated in many chronic conditions such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s,3 end stage renal disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.1 AGEs can be produced in the body under hyperglycemic conditions or they can be consumed in the diet. They are higher in heat-treated foods, rich in proteins and lipids.1,4 AGEs damage the structure and functionality of proteins, lipids, and nucleic acid and therefore interfere with physiology at the cellular level.*  Continue reading

Research suggests that Perna canaliculus (Perna Green Lipped Mussel) May Support Gut Health As Well As Joint Health

The gastro-supportive and potential influence on normal inflammatory response of Perna canaliculus was first reported by Rainsford and Whitehouse (1980). Recently Coulson ( 2012 ) reported that not only did Perna canaliculus ( GLM ) (3000 mg of whole freeze dried mussel administered daily to 21 subjects) significantly support healthy joint mobility and flexibility but also supported normal GI function (by 49 % in the OA patients using the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS ).

In a second study Coulson ( 2013) reported that both Perna (GLM) and Glucosamine Sulfate (GS) contributed to healthy joint function and non-significantly altered the gut microbiota profile , the most notable being a reduction in the Clostridia sp. Quoting from the study, “This study suggests that nutritional supplements such as GLM and GS may regulate some of the metabolic and immunological activities of the GIT microbiota. The decrease in Clostridia, a potent modulator of colonic Th17 and CD4+ regulatory T cell was consistent with a decrease in inflammation; improved GSRS scores and OA symptoms for these OA participants.” Continue reading

The Link Between Testosterone And Blood Sugar/Insulin Sensitivity

By Dr. Jim Fox DC

What do central obesity, high blood sugar, high blood lipids, high blood pressure, and low testosterone have in common?

These are characteristics of metabolic syndrome, which is on a slippery slope toward cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes. Diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome are high insulin and high blood sugar, increased body mass, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL).1

Importantly, hypogonadism, or low testosterone, is emerging as a central feature of metabolic syndrome.1-3 It increases cardiovascular events and is underdiagnosed in primary care.2 Continue reading

Blood sugar shrinks your brain

By Dr. Fred Pescatore, M.D. M.P.H. C.C.N.

If you want to stay healthy, it is becoming clearer and clearer that you have to keep your blood sugar under control. In fact, a new study shows that even blood glucose levels in the high end of the normal range appear to cause some significant problems.

Dr. Fred Pescatore

Dr. Fred Pescatore

In a sample of randomly selected older middle-aged people, high normal levels of fasting plasma glucose were significantly associated with hippocampal and amygdala atrophy over 4 years. In plain English, even if you’re not officially diabetic, elevated blood sugar can literally shrink your brain.

Continue reading

Monitoring Bone Metabolism with the Bone Resorption Test

DEXA scans are an important part of clinical practice but they don’t give you enough information about your patient’s bone health. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scans tell you about your patients’ bone mineral density but not their bone architecture matrix or cortical thickening. DEXA scans don’t tell you about bone loss– until it’s too late.

boneOsteoporosis leads to 8.9 million bone fractures worldwide each year.1 One in three women over 50 years old, and one in five men over 50 years old, will have an osteoporotic fracture this year.1 A fall on brittle bones can lead to death. Perhaps because it is so common and doesn’t immediately interfere with daily life, osteopenia and osteoporosis are underdiagnosed and undertreated.1 Post-menopausal women, men and women over age 50, and patients with long-standing celiac disease are just a few of the patient groups at higher risk of developing osteoporosis. Continue reading

Develop Your Muscles, Build Your Brain

By Dr. Adam Killpartrick

When you delve into the research underlying the connection between skeletal muscle and brain function, it becomes glaringly obvious why exercise is (or should be) a core recommendation for anyone looking to support brain health, be it mood or cognitive function.

One of the most intriguing players in this dynamic relationship is Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). So we’re on the same page, BDNF is a protein that supports the survival of neurons by playing a role in their growth, maturation (differentiation), and overall maintenance. The level of BDNF in the brain is proportional to the level of cognitive function a patient demonstrates. Low BDNF, low cognitive function. Low serum BDNF levels have been identified in patients suffering from mood disorders (as well as patients with coronary artery disease and type II diabetes).1 The theory behind this is that BDNF might impact neurogenesis in the hippocampus, which is thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of mood disorders.2 The bottom line is that adequate BDNF levels are critical for optimal brain function. Continue reading

Clinical Pearl: Metabolic Arthri Benefits

pearl-arthriBACKGROUND
For many years, the mechanical aspects of obesity were blamed for joint health concerns – and that makes sense. It’s obvious that there are mechanical aspects of obesity’s association with osteoarthritis (for example), because our knees, hips and low back have a lot of work to do, including weight bearing. However, the existence of biochemical mechanisms behind joint health concerns are made obvious by the fact that non-weight bearing joints, like fingers, also display both pain and high leptin levels. Continue reading