While there certainly are various medications that prove somewhat helpful in the treatment of symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease, it’s important to recognize that these medications are not actually treating the underlying disease itself.
We now understand that one of the pivotal mechanisms in Parkinson’s disease is the compromise of energy production at the mitochondrial level. This ultimately manifests as various problems, not just in the brain but throughout the entire body. With this understanding, specifically targeting mitochondrial function makes sense as a way of addressing this fundamental and underlying abnormality in Parkinson’s. Continue reading
Antibiotics play an important role in medicine. Without a doubt, they can be absolutely life-saving. However, our own CDC tells us that about 30% of antibiotics used in America are used inappropriately or unnecessarily. That said, we are all generally familiar with the consequences of antibiotic abuse, including the creation of antibiotic-resistant organisms, as well as changes that can happen to the gut microbiota.
But there’s a new discovery with reference antibiotics that is turning out to be very important. We as physicians have always been trained to believe that antibiotics, while affecting bacteria, have no effect on the cells of the human body. We are now learning that this may not be the case. As you will see in the video, new research is demonstrating that antibiotics may have a dramatic effect in terms of damaging mitochondria, the energy-producing organelles that live within our cells. When we recognize that problems with mitochondrial function underlie many of our degenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, the idea that commonly-used antibiotics might threaten mitochondrial function becomes quite important.
Ask any neurologist how Parkinson’s disease is treated, and you’re sure to get a long list of medications. Truth is, none of the medications actually treats the disease. The medications that are used are clearly effective, but only focus on the management of symptoms, not the underlying disease. Continue reading
Despite so many highly publicized breakthroughs in medical science, cancer remains a formidable disease. Deaths from cancer are actually continuing to rise, at a rate of 3.5 to 4% each year.
My interview today is with Dr. Thomas Seyfried. Dr. Seyfried believes cancer isn’t primarily caused by damage to the genes living in the nucleus of the cell, a widely held belief, but rather represents a problem of how cells produce energy from their mitochondria. Ultimately, this defective energy production leads to increased free radical production which may then go on to damage the DNA of the cell nucleus as a secondary event.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than a quarter billion courses of antibiotics are dispensed to outpatients in America each year. That means that five out of every six people, on average, are getting a prescription for an antibiotic. The CDC tells us:
At least 30% of antibiotics prescribed in the outpatient setting are unnecessary, meaning that no antibiotic was needed at all.
There are many reasons for concern as it relates to the overuse and inappropriate use of antibiotics. Creating antibiotic-resistant organisms is a major global issue. In addition, new research indicates that antibiotic exposure may significantly increase the risk for obesity, as well as type II diabetes. Continue reading
As we age, it’s almost expected that we will experience greater levels of physical fatigue, mental fatigue, muscular wasting, and even cognitive impairment. So what can be done? No doubt there is clear merit to the recommendations to stay both mentally engaged and physically active, and there is excellent scientific research to support these recommendations.
Much research is carried out in the area of the nutritional supplementation as it relates to these factors of aging. Certainly one of the most attractive nutritional supplements is carnitine as it is fundamentally important in the transport of fatty acid fuels to the energy producing parts of the cell called the mitochondria. So for energy production in, for example, muscles and in the brain, carnitine is a fundamental player. The bottom line is, whatever can be done to enhance mitochondrial function may very well enhance various performance parameters as we age.
In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers needed to identify individuals who were likely to be suffering from the effects of aging, including those issues described above. So they decided to look at a group of 66 individuals who were at least 100 years of age. The study, which was placebo-controlled and double blinded, had a control group receiving a placebo pill while the treatment group received carnitine, a nutritional supplement, 2 g daily. Continue reading
When talking about a Grain Brain lifestyle, and the very similar ketogenic diet, it’s frequently mentioned that we are aiming to keep our bodies in ketosis. However, if you’re new to my work, it may be that you’re not exactly sure what ketosis is, or why we should be worrying about getting our body into this state. Allow me to explain.
Ketones are a special type of fat that can stimulate the pathways that enhance the growth of new neural networks in the brain. A ketogenic diet is one that is high in fats, and this diet has been a tool of researchers for years, used notably in a 2005 study on Parkinson’s patients finding an improvement in symptoms after just 28 days. The improvements were on par with those made possible via medication and brain surgery. Other research has shown the ketogenic diet to be remarkably effective in treating some forms of epilepsy, and even brain tumors.