Fish Oils Reduce Inflammation and Treat Diabetes

November 11, 2010

Finally, a study has identified the mechanism by which omega-3 fatty acids appear to effectively fight chronic inflammation, insulin resistance and diabetes. The study found that there is a key receptor in obese body fat and that omega-3 oils – specifically docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) – activate this receptor, which results in broad anti-inflammatory effects and improved systemic insulin sensitivity. (There is a strong connection between obesity and diabetes.) The effect of fish oil was powerful, according to the researchers, and, “The omega-3 fatty acids switch on the receptor, killing the inflammatory response.” The study team warned that more study is required to determine how much fish oil constitutes a safe and effective dose. Researchers suggested that the study could eventually lead to a natural dietary remedy for the more than 23 million Americans who suffer from diabetes. This study was published in the journal, Cell. The full-text version is now available online by clicking here.

In health,

Dr. G


Proper Zinc Levels Cut Your Pneumonia Risk in Half!

September 24, 2010

A study of 600 nursing facility residents has found that those with adequate zinc levels were about fifty percent less likely to develop pneumonia than those with low body concentrations of zinc. Also, those with sufficient levels of zinc received fewer prescriptions for antibiotics, had shorter durations of pneumonia and had lower mortality rates. The researchers suggested that zinc supplementation for zinc-deficient elderly persons may result in a lower incidence of pneumonia and that further study is required to determine whether zinc supplements may be an effective and low-cost intervention to reduce pneumonia deaths among vulnerable populations who already have low zinc intakes. (An earlier analysis of the same data had shown that those who consumed 200 international units (IU) of vitamin E were less likely to get upper respiratory infections, such as colds.) The study was released August 10, 2010 and will be published in a future issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In the meantime, it can be read online at by subscribers to the journal or those who pay the article access fee.

The evidence is mounting that proper nutrient levels keep us well.  In general licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctors will not, however, advise that everyone run out and buy a high potency vitamin and mineral supplement. We are all unique, and what we have discovered at our office is that one person may have toxic levels of zinc in their body, while another may have a deficiency.  That is why we are strong proponents for testing to discover what your unique nutrient, amino acid and fatty acid needs are. Armed with objective information on your body, we can then create a plan for you of what supplements to take, in what form, how often, and what dietary and lifestyle changes you can make to keep you healthy, well and safe!

Dr. G


Heavy Metals Increase Risk of Depression and Panic Disorder

June 10, 2010

Even at low levels generally considered to pose little or no risk, exposure to environmental lead might increase – by as much as 2.3 times – the risk of depression and panic disorder but not of generalized anxiety disorder. That was the suggestion of a Canadian study appearing in the December, 2009 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. Gender and ethnicity were also factors and the researchers stressed that lead exposure cannot be determined to be a cause of these psychological problems.

One of the main, and often overlooked, sources of heavy metals, including lead, is our water supply-both drinking water and shower water.   I recommend investing in a quality water filtration and ionization system to all of our patients.  The link between heavy metal exposure and mental illness suggested in this study and proven in many others (including practical, real life studies completed with patients at LTP Medical) is one of the reasons why we always test patients with mental health challenges for exposure to environmental toxins including heavy metals and treat them using the LTP Medical Custom Purification Program to remove the toxins from their systems.  This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to see immediate benefit in patients suffering needlessly with these challenges. Other treatments include custom amino acid therapy, fatty acid therapy, orthomolecular therapy, hormone therapy and food allergy testing and treatment.

In health,

Dr. G


Protect Your Access to Quality Nutritional Supplements

February 28, 2010

Protect Your Access to Safe and Effective Dietary Supplements

I am reprinting an urgent Action Alert from Citizens for Health. Senators McCain and Dorgan have introduced a destructive bill that threatens your access to safe and effective nutritional supplements. I urge you to read the bill and take action today!

-Dr. Gina

S. 3002 Must Be Overhauled or Scrapped – Act Now!

Senate Bill 3002 (S. 3002) is the worst bill we at Citizens for Health (CFH) have seen in the last 34 years, since the “Vitamin Volstead” Act was introduced.

Introduced by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) on February 4th as the “Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010,” it is designed, says the bill preamble, to “more effectively regulate dietary supplements that may pose safety risks unknown to consumers.”

The bill follows a surge of anti-doping initiatives and announcements dating back to September 29, 2009 (when the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs heard the testimony of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency USADA), and to a December 2nd, 2009 USADA press conference. If passed, the proposed bill would:

Dramatically harm consumers;
Cripple the nutritional products industry; and
Do absolutely nothing to stem the tide of laboratory-concocted, performance-enhancing drug hybrids masquerading as dietary supplements.

Once this bill is shelved, CFH will be happy to work with Senators McCain and Dorgan to come up with solutions directed at increasing and improving U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) enforcement against labs-for-hire that spike food products with steroids and other banned drugs.

Click here to send your letter today, and urge Congress to preserve DSHEA and your access to supplements by opposing S. 3002!


Help Bring Integrity Back to the Agricultural Industry

October 29, 2009
It appears that the USDA is appointing key executives with questionable backgrounds, and an apparent bias towards
Perfect tomato.

Agribusiness in question

the use of Genetically Modified crops and pesticides.  I am reprinting below a call for action from Food Democracy Now! which outlines the current concerns and offers an easy action step for you to take to help bring integrity back to the US agricultural industry.  Please let your voice be heard and also please join me in donating money to Food Democracy Now! so they can continue with the good work they are doing on our behalf.
President Obama has found himself with some strange bedfellows lately.

While on the campaign trail in Iowa, Barack Obama boasted, “We’ll tell ConAgra that it’s not the Department of Agribusiness. We’re going to put the people’s interests ahead of the special interests.”1 Despite that promise, it seems that ConAgra’s friends at Monsanto and CropLife are still finding their way into the USDA.

Last month, President Obama nominated two “Big Ag” power brokers–Roger Beachy and Islam Siddiqui–to key agency positions, putting agribusiness executives in charge of our country’s agricultural research and trade policy. Please join us in telling the President that this isn’t the change we voted for. We don’t want Big Ag running the show any more.  

Siddiqui’s confirmation hearing is set for next week. Please help us reach our goal of 50,000 signatures to make a real impact.

http://fdn.actionkit.com/go/65?akid=35.63486.sfhQtX&t=1

Obama’s first agribusiness selection is Roger Beachy, to be head of the USDA’s newly created National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Beachy is the founding president of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, MO. It may sound innocuous, but the Danforth Center is essentially the non-profit arm of GMO seed giant Monsanto; Monsanto’s CEO sits on its board, and the company provides considerable funding for the Center’s operations.2

As the head of the USDA’s new research arm, formerly known as the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CREES), Beachy is responsible for deciding how U.S. research dollars will be spent in agriculture.3 Translation: more research on biotech, less research on how to scale sustainable and organic agriculture.

Unfortunately, Beachy has already started work at the USDA, but the next nominee—Islam Siddiqui—still must be confirmed by the U.S.Senate. Siddiqui, the Vice President of Science and Regulatory Affairs at CropLife America, was recently nominated to be the Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the Office of the US Trade Representative.4 Amazingly, when Michele Obama planted her “organic” garden on the White House lawn, Siddiqui’s CropLife MidAmerica sent the First Lady a letter saying that it made them “shudder”.5

During his career, Siddiqui spent over 3 years as a pesticide lobbyist, an Undersecretary at the USDA and a VP at CropLife. In defending Siddiqui, the White House has stated that he played a key role in helping establish the country’s first organic standards.6 What they neglect to mention, though, is that those original organic standards would have allowed irradiation, sewage sludge and GMOs to undermine organic integrity! The standards were so watered down that 230,000 people signed a petition for them to be changed, which they eventually were.7

Fortunately, the organic community stopped Siddiqui and his cronies then, and we need your help now to do it again. If Siddiqui’s nomination is allowed to go through, then agribusiness will continue to control the seeds, the science, and the distribution of global food and agriculture.

Please join Food Democracy Now! and a broad coalition of other groups, in calling on President Obama to keep his campaign promise of closing the revolving door between agribusiness and his administration.  

Please click here to add your voice.  

http://fdn.actionkit.com/go/65?akid=35.63486.sfhQtX&t=1

Thanks for standing with us and our coalition partners from across the country, including: The Pesticide Action Network (PAN), National Family Farm Coalition, Food & Water Watch, Farmworker’s Association of Florida, Institute of Agriculture & Trade Policy, Greenpeace and the Center for Food Safety in calling for President Obama to live up to his promises to put people’s interests ahead of special interests

Sustainably Yours,

Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! Team.

If you’d like to see Food Democracy Now!’s grassroots work continue, please consider donating. Your donation of $5 or more will help us continue our work. We appreciate your support! http://fdn.actionkit.com/go/25?akid=35.63486.sfhQtX&t=1

Sources:

1. Obama slams corporate agriculture, two Illinois firms, The Chicago Tribune, November 10, 2007
http://fdn.actionkit.com/go/58?akid=35.63486.sfhQtX&t=1

2. Another Monsanto man in a key USDA post?, Grist, September 24, 2009
http://fdn.actionkit.com/go/59?akid=35.63486.sfhQtX&t=1

3. A New Direction on Research at the USDA? The Experts Weigh In, The Huffington Post, October 15, 2009
http://fdn.actionkit.com/go/60?akid=35.63486.sfhQtX&t=1

4. Obama’s attempt to tap an agrichemical-industry flack runs into trouble, Grist, October 10, 2009
http://fdn.actionkit.com/go/61?akid=35.63486.sfhQtX&t=1

5. Michelle’s green garden upsets pesticide makers, The First Post, April 23, 2009
http://fdn.actionkit.com/go/62?akid=35.63486.sfhQtX&t=1

6. Agriculture nomination steams greens, Politico, October 10, 2009
http://fdn.actionkit.com/go/63?akid=35.63486.sfhQtX&t=1

7. USDA Enters Debate on Organic Label Law, The New York Times, February 23, 2003 http://fdn.actionkit.com/go/72?akid=35.63486.sfhQtX&t=1


Chemicals in your Cosmetics

July 1, 2009

cosmeticsI am always amazed when I read the fine print on the ingredient labels of cosmetics, even some of the natural ones.  The skin is our largest detoxification organ and what we put on it affects how well our body is able to remove the burden of exposure to chemicals in the environment. In that spirit, I am including an article below written about this topic that offers resources on where to go to find out what chemicals are in your cosmetics and where to turn for cosmetics that are safe and nourishing to your skin.

In health,

Dr. G


Chemicals in your Cosmetics
by Dr. Gina Nick

It’s 7 AM, and time to get ready for your workday. First, touch up your nails with ethyl methacrylate and then line your lids with chromium hydroxide green. Brush some titanium dioxide across your cheekbones, pizzazz your pucker with some D&C Red No. 27 (the pearly effect courtesy of bismuth oxychloride) and you’re good to go!

Or are you? While your appearance may be great, behind the scenes there is a chemical war being waged on your body, courtesy of all the health and beauty aids you sprayed, rubbed, brushed and rolled on. Choosing makeup involves more than selecting the right shade and formulations for your skin color and type. You also want cosmetics that won’t have a negative impact on your body.

What’s in your makeup?
According to the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), (established in 1976 by the Cosmetic, Toiletry & Fragrance Association with support of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the Consumer Federation of America.), chemicals used in cosmetics fall into four main categories[i]: ingredients found safe , ingredients found safe with qualifications, ingredients for which there are insufficient data and ingredients found unsafe.

However, critics of the findings have pointed out that there may be flaws in some of the research. For example, the decision to categorize phthalates (which, according to research mimics estrogen in the body-which is implicated in hormone-specific cancers and conditions such as PMS, premature menopause and infertility) as safe for cosmetic formulations overlooks information gaps, according to the Environmental Working Group. These include[ii]:

• The failure to establish a NOEL [No Observed Effects Level] for the male-specific reproductive side effects of the phthalate DBP.

• The failure to determine the amounts of DBP that are absorbed in people’s bodies from cosmetics.

• The failure to determine the full range of products that include DBP (among them, deodorant, hair spray, and fragrances)

Phthalates aren’t the only chemicals that are under fire. Breast tumor tissue has shown estrogenic industrial chemicals called parabens, and, noted the Environmental Working Group (EWG), even the hormone systems in wildlife have been disrupted thanks to common water pollutants such as personal care products that enter the water system by way of your bathroom drain.[iii]

Surprising enough, except for cosmetics containing color additives, cosmetic manufacturers do not need to gain FDA premarket approval before putting their product on the shelves. Instead, they are expected to authenticate “the safety of their products and ingredients before marketing,” says Safe Cosmetics[v] — rather like asking the fox to check the performance of the lock on the hen house door.

With at least 25 percent of women and one out of every 100 men using at least 15 products daily (according to the EWG 2004 product use survey), this adds up to quite a lot of chemicals being applied to our skin (and possibly ingested into our body) in a 24-hour time period![vi]

What you can do
So what is the solution? Do you cross your fingers and hope for the best each time you apply blush or nail polish, roll on deodorant, highlight your hair or chemically de-fuzz your legs? Or do you avoid the risk and go au naturel?
Strike a balance between the two extremes by following these tips:

1. Read the labels. While the multi-syllabic chemical recipe might look overwhelming at first glance, reviewing the components at a database such as http://www.deancoleman.com/cosmetics.htm or http://www.smartskincare.com/ingredients/glossary is the first stage of your “Cosmetic Chemical Class.” Also check for a “Warning Label” that would indicate any health hazards associated with the product.[vii] The label (or packaging) will also alert you to products that are “past their prime.” At Aubrey Organics you can find a list of 10 synthetic cosmetic ingredients to avoid. Your local health food store is another great place to check out labels of “better for you” cosmetics and body products.

2. Review product ratings. Don’t buy products based on advertisements, recommendations or out of habit. Sites such as The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’ Skin Deep (a searchable product guide covering 14,838 products and the 7,084 ingredients that form them) will help you choose safer products for you and your family. [viii]

3. Understand “Cosmeceuticals.” Multi-tasking has entered the cosmetics industry with a myriad of products that purportedly not only make you look better but actually improve your skin by virtue of addition of active ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids and vitamins. Some research, particularly on topical vitamin C, certainly demonstrates benefit with regard to cell regeneration and cancer prevention. However, some experts have voiced concern that there has been a lack of clinical trials measuring their effectiveness and overall safety. [ix]

4. Support your body’s natural detoxification mechanisms. On a daily basis, your system is exposed to a variety of toxins and environmental attacks. Give it a boost by eating broccoli, radishes, and green vegetables and drinking fresh vegetable juice or wheatgrass juice. Focus on exercises that encourage deep breathing (such as yoga) and consider a trip to an infrared sauna to “sweat out” the toxins.

Here are a list of companies that offer safer options for your skin:

Product Recommendations

Aubrey Organics (http://www.aubrey-organics.com/)

Aztec Secret

Certain Dri

Chandrika

Crystal Body Deodorant

Jurlique (http://www.jurlique.com)

Longview Farms

Natra Bio

Simplers Botanical Company

Valhalla Essences

Weleda (a personal favorite)

References:

[i] http://www.cir-safety.org/findings.shtml

[ii] http://www.ewg.org/issues/cosmetics/20021119_panelmtg.php

[iii] http://www.ewg.org/reports/skindeep2/info_why.php

[v] http://www.safecosmetics.org/about/policies.cfm

[vi] http://www.ewg.org/reports/skindeep2/info_why.php

[vii] http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/%7Elrd/cfr740.html

[viii] http://www.safecosmetics.org/your_health/skindeep.cfm

[ix] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmeceutical


Reminder: The Mother’s Act is Headed to the Senate… Please Act Now

April 14, 2009

I previously posted on the Mother’s Act. This Act would mandate  that all new mothers be screened for mental healthStop! challenges based on a subjective analysis.  This is a concerning issue that appears to serve Big Pharma rather than new moms.  Please act now to protect new mothers from unnecessarily being prescribed psychiatric medications that can cause an addiction that is difficult to overcome later on.

Oftentimes post-pregnancy depression is associated with a deficiency of progesterone, low adrenal gland function, and some specific nutrient deficiencies that can easily be tested for and treated naturally.

Below I have reprinted a plea from Sheila Matthews of http://www.ablechild.org regarding the significance of this Act and what you can do today to help prevent it from coming into law.

In health,

Dr. Gina

A sweeping government policy for all new births in the United States has just passed the House of Representatives and is now headed to the Senate.  The Mother’s Act, if passed, will mandate that all new mothers be screened by means of a list of subjective questions that will determine if each mother is mentally fit to take their newborn home from the hospital.   Just imagine that after your child is born, you are told that you can’t take them home since a multiple choice questionnaire wasn’t answered correctly.  Just imagine being told that the only way you can take your child home is if you or your spouse goes into treatment or on anti-depressants which we know causes psychosis, delusions, and even homocidal thoughts.  It just doesn’t make sense.  Unfortunately, this bill is on a fast track–No public debate, no public disclosure of the broad impact on our society and that is why we need you to act now!

The Mother’s Act violates our Constitutional right to privacy and your right to liberty and it is just outright dangerous.  That is why we need you to help stop this.  We urgently need you to call and email each Senator on the HELP Committee and tell them you STRONGLY OPPOSE the MOTHER’S ACT and that you are OUTRAGED that there was NO public debate or disclosure on the impact this would have on our society as a whole.

Send a letter by going here:  http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/1918/t/7870/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=26855

Please call the following Senators on the HELP Committee and tell them that you want the Mother’s Act to die in committee.

Lisa Murkowski, R: 202-224-6665, AK

John McCain, R: 202-224-2235, AZ

Christopher Dodd, D: 202-224-2823, CT

Johnny Isakson, R: 202-224-3643, GA

Tom Harkin, D: 202-224-3254, IA

Pat Roberts, R: 202-224-4774, KS

Edward Kennedy D: 202-224-4543, MA

Barbara Mikulski D: 202-224-4654, MD

Richard Burr, R: 202-224-3154, NC

Kay Hagan, D: 202-224-6342, NC

Judd Gregg, R: 202-224-3324, NH

Jeff Bingaman, D: 202-224-5521, NM

Sherrod Brown, D 202-224-2315, OH

Tom Coburn, R 202-224-5754, OK

Jeff Merkley, D 202-224-3753, OR

Bob Casey, D 202-224-6324, PA

Jack Reed, D 202-224-4642, RI

Lamar Alexander R 202-224-4944, TN

Orrin Hatch R 202-224-5251, UT

Bernard Sanders, I: 202-224-5141, VT

Patty Murray, D, 202-224-2621, WA

Michael Enzi, R, 202-224-3424, WY

Thank you so much for caring enough to call and take action!  Remember “We The People” are in charge!

Respectfully,

Sheila Matthews

Cofounder http://www.ablechild.org


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