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Prevention of Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is an autoimmune condition, and this is a disease that actually has its origin in the gut! The gut, as you know, regulates inflammation in the body and plays a huge role in regulating immunity. As it relates to MS, we want to implement a diet that improves gut health and preserves the gut lining. The tenets of that diet include being low in carbohydrates, rich in healthy fats, and stocked with plenty of prebiotic fiber. It’s also possible, as recent science is discovering, that vitamin D could have a role to play too.

osteoporosis_osteopenia

Healthy Microbiome – Healthy Bones

Osteoporosis and osteopenia (meaning low bone mass) are extremely common problems here in America. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recently released data indicating that approximately 54 million American adults, age 50 or older, are affected by these issues. Shockingly, this figure is expected to increase to approximately 71 million by the year 2030. Bone fractures, including those involving the hip or spine, will increase in lockstep as the bone health of Americans continues to decline.

By and large, the emphasis in mainstream medicine seems to be focused upon the development of new treatments for bone thinning. Just watching the evening news often provides information about one or more osteoporosis products that may enhance bone density. Continue reading

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Low Vitamin D Status in Athletes

As the years go by it is certainly being made clear that clinicians like myself, and scientists alike, have dramatically underestimated the importance of vitamin D in human physiology. As it turns out, we are now in a position to recognize that we have been significantly off-base in terms of what it means to have a  “healthy vitamin D level.” Continue reading

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Vitamin D and Dementia

We’ve all grown up knowing that vitamin D is important for strong healthy bones. After all, that was the reason that labels on milk cartons stated that the product was “fortified with vitamin D.” But research now demonstrates that the role of vitamin D in human health and disease resistance is much more vast than we ever imagined. Even brain health is significantly affected by vitamin D!

ScienceDaily, a well-respected web site for health and other science related information, has published a review of research performed at Peninsula Medical School, the University of Cambridge and the University of Michigan. The research collected data on close to 2000 adults, aged 65 years or older, and evaluated both cognitive function as well as vitamin D levels. The researchers clearly demonstrated that as vitamin D levels declined, so did brain function. In fact, those whose vitamin D levels were the lowest had double the risk of being diagnosed as cognitively impaired. Continue reading

Starting the Day with Supplements

While we can use food to nurture and protect our bodies and our brains, supplements play an important role in preventing inflammation and helping us achieve total health. In both Grain Brain and Brain Maker, in addition to laying out the lifestyle plan you should follow to avoid brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, I mention some of the most important supplements you can take for your health.

However, I’m often asked what my own daily routine is. Well, today I’m here to tell you.

Martina

Martina was fed up with taking medicines for ten years that weren’t working, but she was afraid to quit. At the time she was taking an antidepressant, as well as a non- steroid anti-inflammatory for chronic pain in her arms and legs that had previously been diagnosed as fibromyalgia. In reviewing her history, I noted that she began to have issues with depression in her early 20s but hadn’t started medication until her mid 40s. She had been born naturally but not breastfed. She had been on multiple courses of antibiotics as a child for throat infections that culminated in a tonsillectomy. During her teenage years she had been placed on the antibiotic tetracycline for eighteen months because of acne. Bowel movements had always been a problem; Martina said she’d suffered from either chronic constipation or diarrhea for “as long as I can remember.”

My first order of business was to order some laboratory studies. That’s when I found out that she was significantly sensitive to gluten. Her vitamin D level was low, and her LPS level, again, a marker of gut permeability and inflammation, was sky high.

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Grain Brain – Scientific Validation

Last month I had the great honor to serve as program chairman for an integrative brain symposium held in Hollywood, Florida. What was so exciting for me was the fact that I was given the opportunity to invite some of our most well-respected thought leaders in the field of brain science to lecture on their research.

One of our esteemed presenters was Dale E. Bredesen, M.D., an Alzheimer’s researcher at the Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research at UCLA. Dr. Bredesen provided a unique assessment of the current approaches to dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. It was very clear from his presentation that the idea of focusing on a single drug or single intervention was simply not going to be appropriate if we are ever going to be able to offer up any meaningful therapy for the more than 5.4 million Americans who are afflicted with this devastating condition.

Dr. Bredesen described a “systems approach” to dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, looking at a variety of factors that seem to conspire, ultimately leading to brain degeneration that we know recognize as representing this disease. Using his approach which he termed, “systems therapeutics,” which integrates a variety of parameters, he has actually been able to reverse cognitive decline in this devastating condition. Continue reading