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

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

No How: Supporting Vascular Health

Dr. Jeff Gladd MD

Dr. Jeff Gladd MD

One of my goals as a provider is truly preventative medicine. It’s essential to get out ahead of disease or event rather than deal with the consequences. One tool in this fight is to understand the strategies for treating the condition when it’s already established and find low side effect and natural ways to support the body. To me, that’s the essence of building a solid nitric oxide (NO) support plan for my patients.

Next to aspirin, nitroglycerin is the other essential medication given to the patient who shows up to the emergency department with a myocardial infarction. Why? It is a drug that works by increasing NO release from endothelial cells allowing for the vasodilation essential to protecting the heart. NO, a signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system has been recognized for its role in smooth muscle relaxation, inhibition of leukocyte aggregation and attenuation of vascular cell proliferation; all essential components of a healthy blood vessel.

Long thought to be second in line to arginine as the NO support nutrient, citrulline has demonstrated it capacity to be as good, if not entirely surpass, arginine in this area. In reality, the mechanism of citrulline rests entirely on its conversion into L-arginosuccinate and subsequent conversion to arginine itself. The research relating to arginine directly supporting healthy nitric oxide levels has been mixed. However, the American Heart Journal conducted a meta review in 2011 that looked at L-arginine’s role as a substrate of nitric oxide synthase as well as the relationship to blood pressure. They identified 11 RDBPC trials that clearly demonstrate arginine’s role as a substrate and the subsequent ability to support healthy blood pressure levels.

Most of the literature focuses heavily on lysine’s necessary inclusion to an arginine formula to prevent a potential viral exacerbation. But lysine both on its own, and along with proline, has many attributes worthy of inclusion in a vascular support product. In 2014 it was found in an animal study that lysine intake was able to aid in supporting the health, integrity and mitigate the level of calcification of the vessel wall. It is theorized that proline aids in the binding of lipoprotein (a) thus diverting aggregation along the vessel wall and subsequent oxidative stress.

The dire consequence of cardiovascular disease is the heart attack. At that point, NO is stimulated by nitroglycerin to protect the heart and the patient’s life. Why not get out ahead of this and put a plan in place to support as much NO as possible in an effort to support your patient’s cardiovascular health?

Am Heart J. 2011 Dec;162(6):959-65

J Am Soc Nephrol. 2014 Sep;25(9):1954-65

The Latest Research On K2

Reviewed by: Adam Killpartrick, DC CNS

Author: Knapen MH, et al.

Reference: Menaquinone-7 supplementation improves arterial stiffness in healthy postmenopausal women. A double-blind randomized clinical trial. Thrombosis and Haemostasis. 2015 May;113(5):1135-44.

Objective: Investigation of long-term effects of MK-7 (180 µg MenaQ7/day) supplementation on arterial stiffness in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Continue reading

Broader Application of CoQ10 and Curcumin

Dr Ronald Hoffman

Dr Ronald Hoffman

By: Dr. Ron Hoffman, MD

CoQ10 and Curcumin have long been applied in clinical practice, and are considered a staple for many, to support healthy cardio function. One unique aspect to consider about these nutrients, while recommended on their own or together, is not just their impact on cardiovascular health, but the breadth of application they have in practice beyond the heart. A couple of areas they support might actually surprise you. Continue reading