Monday, August 3, 2020

Inflammation Relief - A New Supplement

Patients come to Healing Arts with all sorts of health concerns. Headaches, bloating, acne, constipation, insomnia, fatigue, infertility, eczema, brain fog, the list can go on and on.  My answer is always the same, muscle test the body to see what toxins the body is holding in order to reduce inflammation.  Inflammation in the head is a headache or migraine.  Inflammation in the joints is pain.  Inflammation in the gut is bloating and so on.  The root cause of all dis-ease is inflammation.  What we find with the muscle testing is why.  Is the reason for the inflammation heavy metals, heavy chemicals, bad flora, parasites, or a food sensitivity?  I fell in love with the technique of muscle testing because it is so fast and noninvasive, giving me and my patients answers.  

When starting to detox and supporting the body with the right nutrition it takes time to get the inflammation down and yet I want patients to get symptomatic relief as soon as possible and I have noticed throughout the years I would have to give 2-3 different anti-inflammatory supplements to do the job so I decided to make my own supplement, called Inflammation Relief, that contained everything to help lower the inflammation.  It contains  Curcumin, Pepperine (Black Pepper), Fenugreek, Gotu Kola, Quercitin, Boswelia, Bromelain, and Magnesium lactate.



Curcumin is a well known anti-inflammatory.   It is the active ingredient in turmeric and works ten times better with black pepper so add both to your cooking every chance you get or buy in supplement form.  Make sure the supplement has black pepper in it too. I do about a teaspoon of turmeric in my superfood protein shake with a pinch of black pepper every morning.  Curcumin specifically is great for reducing inflammation in joints, lungs and brain.  For the brain it works by encouraging the immune system to send white blood cells called macrophages to the brain in order to destroy any abnormal proteins, restoring proper brain function. Now the reason I added fenugreek to the supplement is because fenugreek helps curcumin absorption into our bodies. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1756464616000426
So black pepper helps curcumin work and fenugreek helps it’s bioavailability.  

Magnesium is another great supplement to help with inflammation.  Magnesium can help with lots of different things including sleep and bowel movements.  It helps with those things because it lowers the inflammation.  

Boswelia also known as frankincense is amazing at reducing inflammation especially in joints with cartilage breakdown,  rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and osteoarthritis (OA).  It’s also used to treat symptoms of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease and inflammation in the gut in general.  

Bromelain is an enzyme find in pineapple that breaks down protein and has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects comparable to NSAIDs.  It too can help with bowel inflammation and help boost up the immune system and fight bacterial infections .  When the immune system is stronger it can fight or get rid of whatever is causing the inflammation in the first place. 

You’ve heard the old saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Today, researchers in the field of antioxidants and the effects of micronutrients are beginning to explain why this old adage is more scientifically true than we may have thought. Apples, as well as many other colorful fruits and vegetables, contain a rich amount of a particularly powerful antioxidant called quercetin. Onions have the highest known quercetin content. Other common foods with significant levels of quercetin include:
Apples
Cauliflower
Grapes
Nectarines
Spinach
Strawberries
Tea
Tomatoes
Although quercetin is commonly found in many of the foods included in a healthy diet, I use it in this supplement at a therapeutic dosage because it’s such a strong antioxidant.

Quercetin has potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, antiviral, immune-boosting, and other biological properties. Quercetin works in multiple ways to help prevent or alleviate the symptoms of a variety of conditions, including:
Cancer
Canker sores
Heart disease
Herpes
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
Nasal allergy relief
Respiratory infections
Quercetin’s antioxidant properties also appear to offer sunscreen protection against damage to the skin from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.


Gotu Kola is great for improving circulation which of course, the more blood flow the less inflammation.  Studies suggest supplementing with gotu kola may help you improve your blood circulation. A study conducted on 87 participants diagnosed with poor circulation showed noticeable improvement when given 30 to 60 milligrams two times a day for 60 days.  Additionally, eight more studies reported gotu kola effectively improved circulation while alleviating poor circulation symptoms, including pain, heaviness in the legs and swelling.  Gotu Kola also helps reduce chronic inflammation by triggering antioxidant activity within the body.  

So those are the details of why I put those ingredients in my third personally formulated herbal supplement.  With the right nutrition the body truly can heal.  For more information on the Healing Arts supplement, Inflammation Relief, go to our website: https://healingartsnyc.com/shop/inflammation-relief

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Poison and the Blood Brain Barrier

The Blood-Brain Barrier, or BBB, is a single-layered lattice of cells joined together by tight junctions that keep most substances out and allow few substances into the brain.Toxic substances typically kept out include heavy metals, pesticides, germs, plastics as well as damaging proteins while substances allowed in are oxygen, hormones, and nutrients.  Your bbb has tight junctions that become loose or broken with a protein called zonulin. Zonulin also breaks down the protective layer of your intestinal wall creating leaky gut.  Zonulin is increased in the body due to glyphosate (an herbicide found in our food from Roundup made by Monsanto).  To find out what foods contain glyphosate go to Detox Project website. Zonulin is also made in response to eating wheat.  With too much zonulin the bbb leaks letting toxins come into the brain causing damage and inflammation on the brain.  In other words, a Leaky Brain is an Inflamed Brain.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Leaky Brain?
Leaky Brain manifests as multiple signs and symptoms, so pay attention to these as opposed to ignoring them:

ADD/ADHD/Autism spectrum disorders
Brain fog or difficulty concentrating
Chronic fatigue that does not improve with rest or sleep
Headaches or migraines that come on suddenly, become worse with standing, and grow more severe as the day progresses
Memory loss or another cognitive decline which may lead to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
Mood disorders, particularly anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia
Peripheral neuropathy 
Seizures
It is important not to ignore these signs and symptoms because those living with Leaky Brain are at an increased risk of developing neurological or psychiatric conditions. 



What Causes Leaky Brain?
The profound connection between the brain and the gut cannot be underestimated as research repeatedly confirms that microbes living in the gut affect the brain both positively and negatively.

In fact, the stomach and small intestine contain a lining similar to the blood-brain barrier which also keeps harmful substances from entering the gut.

Therefore, many of the same factors that cause a leaky gut—poor gut health, unhealthy diet, food intolerances, food sensitivities, toxins and infections—can also create a leaky brain. For more information on Leaky gut listen to my podcast #13 Digestion Leaky Gut and Lectins.


Studies from Harvard show that wheat creates leaky gut because it contains  a protein called gliadin, which increases the zonulin.  Again it’s this Zonulin that weakens the tight junctions of the gut lining and BBB thereby contributing to leaky gut and leaky brain.

Five causes of Leaky Brain:
1.Gut Dysbiosis (infections)
2.Leaky Gut
3.Autoimmune Disease
4.Mental Health Conditions
5.Stress & Vagus Nerve Dysfunction

All five of these categories have inflammation as a basis for the problem, yet they become even more problematic in the following disease states:

Bacterial infections deteriorate the BBB allowing bacteria into the brain where they do not belong.
Mold toxins trigger inflammation, promote oxidative damage in the brain, and disrupt the BBB.
Excess glutamate overstimulates nerves causing the BBB to breakdown increasing permeability to potentially harmful agents.
High blood sugar and diabetes represent dramatic changes in blood sugar which produce oxidative stress and inflammation
Elevated homocysteine, seen in individuals living with heart disease, autoimmune disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative disease or those who survive a stroke, changes tight junction function and prevents the BBB from functioning properly.
Obesity increase oxidative damage and deprive the brain of oxygen.
Low quality sleep interrupts the sleep-wake cycle interrupting the uptake of nutrients and offload of toxins while increasing inflammation.


While it is more obvious that leaky brain causes inflammation which then drives mental health conditions, it is less known that mental health conditions can also drive inflammation and leaky brain.  The contributing factors could be:

The Brain-Gut Axis: The Vagus Nerve Connection
The brainstem connects to the vagus nerve, which in turn connects to all the digestive organs. The brain sends signals through the vagus nerve to the organs. The organs also send signals through the vagus nerve to the brain.

The vagus nerve initiates many important digestive functions such as stomach acid secretion, enzyme production, gallbladder function and intestinal motility.

If there is poor brain communication to the vagus nerve there can be many negative effects including:

Chronic inflammation
Poor digestion
Leaky gut
Inflamed brain

How to Reverse and Heal a Leaky Brain – Stop, Start, and Seek
Treating a leaky brain starts by healing a leaky gut. This involves eliminating all the causative factors of leaky gut and leaky brain and then adding dietary and lifestyle factors that support brain health.

Following these steps will lower inflammation in the body and brain, maximize the transport of oxygen, glucose, and other nutrients into the brain, facilitate better removal of toxins out of the brain, reduce oxidative stress, and help rebuild tight junctions to restore the integrity of the BBB.

STOP:
Consuming gluten and foods that you cannot tolerate including sugar and processed foods in meals
Ignoring stress
Allowing bacterial and viral infections to fester before getting treatment
Drinking alcohol in excess
Exposure to environmental toxins in air, water and food
Eating nonorganic food that contains glyphosate

START:
Detoxifying the body of pesticides,  and heavy metals
Taking in probiotic foods to keep the gut balanced
Eating essential fatty acids, which are vital for the brain, including avocado, coconut oil, flaxseed, hemp seed, oily fish, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts
Reducing inflammation through the diet  - Listen to our podcast on Chronic Inflammation
Making quality sleep a priority
Reducing psychological and emotional stress through exercise, meditation, journaling

SEEK:
Figure out what supplements you need to take to help repair the BBB including:
Acetyl L-Carnitine, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Alpha-GPC, Angelica (Dong Quai) Extracts, Astragalus, Astaxanthin, Apigenin, B12-B6-Folate Mix, Berberine, Bitter Melon, Butyrate, Catechins, Chlorogenic-Acid, Citicoline, Collagen, Curcumin, Vitamin D3, Fish Oil, Ginseng, Licorice, Luteolin, Lycopene, Myoinositol, Magnesium, Melatonin, Methylene Blue, Olive Leaf Extract, Oxaloacetate, Parthenolide (Feverfew), Progesterone, Pterostilbene, Resveratrol, Rosmarinic Acid, Shilajit, Selenium, Sulforaphane, Ursolic Acid

There's lots of different supplements for support so it's best to get muscle tested for your exact nutritional support. 

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Understanding COVID-19 Antibody Testing

I have been getting a lot of questions lately about the Coronavirus antibody test so I wanted to take the time to explain it here.  If you have gotten tested for the antibodies and it is positive, that’s good news but experts aren’t sure exactly how good it is and here’s why.

If you have antibodies it means you have had a past infection with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Antibodies are proteins that help fight off infections and can provide protection against getting that disease again (you have immunity). Antibodies are disease specific. For example, measles antibodies will protect you from getting measles if you are exposed to it again, but they won’t protect you from getting other bacteria or viruses.  

When fighting an infection your white blood cells can produce these proteins to build immunity.  For every infection the body could make two different kinds of antibodies.  There are IgM antibodies, which happen early in an infection and IgG antibodies, which are more likely to show up later. But the body doesn’t always make antibodies when fighting an infection.  It is possible to have gotten infected with the coronavirus and not make antibodies.  



Most people have IgG antibodies about 14 days after symptoms start. They usually stay in your blood long after the infection goes away, but we don’t know how long that is for the new coronavirus.

Across the US, Americans are anxious to learn whether they may have been infected with the coronavirus – which they hope would offer some immunity. In New York, researchers found that 19.3%, which is well below the estimated 67% needed to achieve community immunity.  

But while the tests may be helpful in understanding how the virus moves through a population, researchers say much remains unknown: not all tests produce consistently accurate results, and scientists are still researching whether and for how long antibodies offer immunity from reinfection. The recommendation is to not change any social distancing or other practices based on an antibody test results, simply because we don’t know how long or even if there is protective immunity against reinfection if you’re antibody-positive. There are still too many unknowns, both about the accuracy of the antibody tests that are available and about the nature of the virus itself.

The World Health Organization, in late April, released a scientific brief that said, "There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from Covid-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection."  While studies of blood samples taken from people who have recovered from Covid-19 do show an immune response to the virus, some have "very low levels of neutralizing antibodies in their blood," WHO said.  It's possible that immunity may need to occur on a cellular level as well as via antibodies circulating in the blood.  "The body also makes T-cells that recognize and eliminate other cells infected with the virus. This is called cellular immunity," WHO explained.  Along with antibodies, the "combined adaptive response may clear the virus from the body, and if the response is strong enough, may prevent progression to severe illness or reinfection by the same virus," WHO said.

Antibody tests should not be used to diagnose a current COVID-19 infection. An antibody test may not show if you have a current COVID-19 infection because it can take 1–3 weeks after infection for your body to make antibodies. To see if you are currently infected, you need a viral test. Viral tests identify the virus in samples from your respiratory system, such as a swab from the inside of your nose.

There are plenty of antibody tests floating around that haven't been reviewed or validated by the US Food and Drug Administration. According to the FDA, there are currently over 130 unvetted antibody tests in use, along with the dozens of diagnostic tests. The agency recently announced it was tightening its policy to keep unproven and even fraudulent tests from entering the market by requiring commercial test makers to meet new standards of accuracy and submit information proving testing quality. The FDA maintains a public website with the performance rates of the 12 EUA tests, showing how likely a certain test is to give false positive confirmations of the antibodies, and sensitivity, how likely the test will give a true positive result when someone has the virus. But the numbers can be hard to interpret by consumers who don’t have medical background

To date, the antibody test that seems to be the most accurate is made by Roche but that could be changing soon.  For more info on the Roche test, https://www.roche.com/media/releases/med-cor-2020-05-03.htm

Saturday, June 27, 2020

For the Health of It: Bounce!

The Health Benefits of Rebounding

Rebounding is a form of exercise that has been scientifically proven to improve the immune system and flow of the lymphatic system.  Rebounding involves jumping on a mini trampoline; this increases both blood and lymph circulation. The body contains 5-6 quarts of blood, which is circulated by the heart. There is three times more lymph in the body than blood and it does not have a pump like blood does.  We have to depend on our muscles to contract in order to move the lymph.  Yet there is so much of it that if a person’s lymphatic system were to stop functioning loss of fluid volume and swelling tissue would cause death within 24 hours. That is how important circulation of both blood and lymph is for the body.  Blood carries protein, oxygen, nutrients to the organs.  Once inside the organs it exchanges it's nutrients and carries wastes and carbon dioxide away.  Lymph is the leftover blood that leaks from blood capillaries into the tissue that the lymphatic vessels pick up.  Lymph fluid contains water, proteins, salts, lipids, and white blood cells that must return to the blood.  It also filters toxins like pathogens, damaged cells, cellular debris and cancerous cells in lymph nodes on it’s way to the chest where it is connected to a blood vessel and gets dumped back into the blood supply.  

I love how Dr. Samuel West puts it, ’Toxins are carried through the body by blood. These toxins include impurities of what we eat, inhale and ingest.  This causes an increase in blood protein and water to leak out of the capillaries into the interstitial space around the cells causing swelling (edema).  The swelling prevents oxygen from getting into the cells, causing cellular stress which can lead to various forms of diseases.’  Dr. Samuel west was  One of the first doctors in U.S. to talk about the importance of the lymphatic system in the healing process of disease and injuries. He believed that the #1 cause of diseases and pain are a lack of oxygen due to a congested lymphatic system.  Rebounding gets circulation moving.  All  forms of exercise work on the principle of opposing gravity, rebounding utilizes the forces of gravity, as well as the forces of acceleration and deceleration.  When you land on a rebounder, every cell in the body has to adjust to the increased deceleration. When the springs take over and push the body up into the air, then the body has to adjust to a weightless condition for only a moment at a time. But that weightless condition is throughout the entire body regardless of where the cells are.  Having the body adjust to an environment that it is not used to, which is deceleration at the bottom of the bounce promotes the flow of lymph, thereby helping the body flush out toxins and strengthening the immune system and making it more effective.



The way the lymphatic system works is the lymphocytes, the white blood cells, are moved through the body via one-way valves. You’ve got these valves from the bottom of the feet upwards throughout the entire body – and the valves from the legs all point upwards, from your neck they go down, from the arms they go towards the chest. So when you move the body around, the lymph fluid is always moving in one direction, that is towards the collarbones.
It’s here, at the top of the chest, the lymph valves allow the lymph fluid to flow into the bloodstream.  By activating the one-way valves  of the lymphatic system, you cause an increase in lymph circulation by 10-30 times of what the lymphatic system is able to circulate during periods of rest, lymph flow is sluggish and almost zero.  So when you bounce on a rebounder, or jump on the floor, or use a jump rope, the one-way valves open and close about 100 times a minute, circulating the lymph fluid, removing toxins and getting the white blood cells to areas of the body where they need to be.

Without adequate movement the lymph does not move and the lymph vessels can’t even pick up the lymph from the tissue.  This means the cells are left stewing in their own waste products and starving for nutrients and oxygen, a situation that contributes to arthritis, cancer and other degenerative diseases.  

Rebounding is great for the lymph system because the lymph vessels move the lymph in one direction, towards the heart that makes the  vertical up-and-down movement of rebounding more effective than horizontal motion workouts, such as jogging and running.  It’s nice for the joints in general too because the rebounder gets rid of the pressure the joints take when hitting the pavement.  

Poor lymph flow is common in sedentary people; this is one reason why less active individuals are more susceptible to illness. Sedentary people who have poor diets or choose to live on junk food are often unwell because the body sends all the toxins and waste to the lymphatic system. The lymph flow is poor due to a lack of exercise, so toxins accumulate in the body.

Additional benefits of rebounding include:
Increased lymphocyte activity 
Physically strengthens muscles
Helps improve balance
Improves cardiovascular function
Linda Brooks says gently bouncing on a rebounder for two minutes every hour is an ideal protocol for fighting against cancer. Within just two minutes the entire lymphatic system is flushed, creating a demand for more lymphocytes, including killer T-cells. The white blood-cell count is approximately tripled during this two-minute rebounding session.

Approximately one hour after rebounding, the white blood-cell count returns to normal, so it is time to rebound again to flush out the lymphatic system and to create another army of defensive cells. The object of this pattern is to keep the immune system operating optimally and naturally, hour after hour, day after day.

Rebounding exercise also strengthens each cell of the body so that healing can occur. Every process of every cell is enhanced allowing each organ to do its job more efficiently: digestion and absorption are enhanced; elimination is improved, thus removing more toxins from the body; and the body is relaxed and de-stressed so healing hormones are produced.

She explains that practice of rebounding against cancer is done using the “health bounce”.  Here is an explanation of the health bounce along with other rebounding exercises you can do.  

The Health Bounce
The health bounce is where the feet never leave trampoline. This still has positive effect. You’re getting all the one-way valves to open and close at the same time, increasing the activity of the lymphatic system throughout the entire body. 

The Basic Bounce
This can be done instead of the Strength Bounce below until you develop more balance.
1 Stand on the rebounder with your feet shoulder width apart.
2 Relax shoulders and arms and keep arms slightly bent at the elbow.
3 Gently bounce up and down while keeping your knees slightly bent. Your feet should never leave the trampoline surface more than a few inches.

The Strength Bounce
1 Stand on the rebounder with your feet shoulder width apart.
2 Relax shoulders and arms and keep arms slightly bent at the elbow.
3 Gently bounce up and down while keeping your knees slightly bent. Your feet should leave the trampoline surface approximately 8-12 inches.

High Knees
This is a terrific exercise that gets your heart rate up while working the muscles of your core.
1 Stand on trampoline surface with your feet hip distance apart.
2 Raise your right knee, lower it, then raise your left knee and lower it.
3 Once you feel able, begin doing the knee raises as if you are running in place.
4 Variation: Sprints – go as fast as you can in short bursts.

Butt Kickers
1 Stand on trampoline surface with your feet hip distance apart.
2 Begin jogging in place.
3 When your knee goes up, kick yourself in the tush with your heel.

Jumping Jacks
This will increase your heart rate while working both the inner and outer thighs.
1 Stand on the rebounder with your feet together
2 Jump up off the trampoline surface a few inches while extending arms out, up and overhead
3 Return to the starting position and repeat.

Twisting Jumps
1 Stand on the rebounder with your feet together
2 Jump up off the trampoline surface a few inches while twisting your body to the left.
3 On your next jump, twist your body to the right.

One Leg Jumps
1 Stand on the rebounder with your feet shoulder width apart
2 Begin jumping on one leg for 3-10 bounces.
3 Switch legs and jump on the other leg for 3-10 bounces.
4 Variation: kick out the leg you are not jumping on.
5 Variation: alternate legs every bounce, kicking out non-jumping leg.

Sample Beginner Routine
These are perfect rebounder workouts for beginners.
1 Health bounce for two minutes while breathing deeply.
2 Strength bounce for 3 minutes (do the basic bounce if you don't have enough balance for the strength bounce).
3 Health bounce for an additional 2-3 minutes while breathing deeply.
4 Repeat three times daily.

Sample Advanced Routine
1 Health bounce for 2 minutes while breathing deeply.
2 Strength bounce for 3 minutes.
3 High knees alternating with butt kickers for 3 minutes.
4 10-15 second sprint.
5 Jumping jacks for 3 minutes.
6 Twisting jumps for 2 minutes.
7 10-15 second sprint.
8 Strength bounce for 1 minute.
9 Health bounce (cool down) for 2 minutes.

For stability, most retailers of rebounders sell an optional handlebar to attach to the rebounder to help with balance. For balance you can also place the rebounder beside a wall or in a doorway and using the door frame or wall to help keep you balanced while performing rebound exercise.


I have seen improvement with my patients doing as little as 5 minutes a day of rebounding.