MindBody Fitness

Alzheimer’s: The Gut-Brain Connection

⁃ Very affected by gut – brain connection.

⁃ Disruption to gut microbiome a big player.

⁃ Must look at overgrowth of pathogens in gut.

⁃ Drives leaky gut and inflammation then leading to autoimmune dysfunction and neurodegenerative changes.

⁃ Microbial disruption can also lead to hormonal disruption, insulin resistance and glucose intolerance – all of which are precursors to Alzheimer’s.

⁃ This impacts cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s.
4 subtypes
–  Inflammatory.

– Infections.

– Poor diet – glycotoxic Type 1.5 ( high insulin and glucose)

–  ApoE-4 double mutation.
Blood sugar types:

 –  Inflammatory – high homocysteine, hypothyroid, elevated cortisol , low albumin to globulin ratio, display ApoE-4 gene double mutation.
   Atrophic Subtype

⁃ Estrogen

⁃ Testosterone

⁃ Insulin

⁃ Vitamin D
1.5 Glycotoxic Subtype

⁃ Elevated insulin

⁃ Elevated fasting blood sugar

⁃ Elevated cortisol

⁃ Diabetic / pre-diabetic
Toxic Subtype 

⁃ Mold exposure

⁃ Lyme disease

⁃ Heavy metals

⁃ Chemicals (effect gut wall and increase gut permeability leads to massive endotoxemia – a huge load into bloodstream)

⁃ Total toxic load can come from multiple sources.
  Vascular Subtype 

⁃ Vascular insufficiency

⁃ Blood vessel inflammation

⁃ High homocysteine
  Traumatic Subtype 

⁃ Wrestlers, boxers, football players

⁃ Head injuries
Cognitive Decline

⁃ Want to find early symptoms and early stage of disease

⁃ Otherwise very hard to reverse.
Early Markers and early detection.
⁃ Lab work up

⁃ Neuro Quant ( imaging of hippocampus )

⁃ FDG-PET scan.

⁃ Hippocampal volume can be measured and see changes in atrophy.

⁃ Hippocampus plays big role in memory.

⁃ Hypothyroid often a precursor !
Genetic Testing (23AndMe)
– ApoE-4 gene mutation

⁃ Double homozygous ( 50-90% will develop dementia).

⁃ MTHFR gene mutation.
Course of Action
⁃ Hormone testing ( including thyroid)

⁃ Comprehensive metabolic

⁃ Complete blood count

⁃ Copper /Zinc ratios is critical

⁃ Need to raise zinc levels.

⁃ High copper and estrogen a precursor to breast cancer !

⁃ Zinc raises progesterone which can raise estrogens

⁃ Change the estrogen receptors!

⁃ Glucose Testing – fasting glucose and insulin, A1C
Hormone Testing
⁃ Estrogen.

⁃ Free testosterone

⁃ Total testosterone

⁃ Full Thyroid panel

⁃ Albumin and globulin( low ratios is a risk factor)!

⁃ Folic acid

⁃ B vitamins

⁃ Homocysteine
Markets for Biotoxin Illness 
⁃ C4a

⁃ TGF-beta

⁃ MMP-9

⁃ VEGF

⁃ ADH and osmolality

Would indicate mold, Lyme or other toxins
– Best way to detox: activated charcoal

 
Mast Cell Activation Disorder 
⁃ immunological condition driven by food and environmental toxins in which mast cells excessively release chemical mediators resulting in the following chronic symptoms:
⁃ Abdominal pain

⁃ Dermatographia

⁃ Headache

⁃ Rapid heart beat

⁃ Neuropsychiatric symptoms

⁃ Food sensitivities
The foundation of healthy brain, healthy heart, healthy organs is a healthy microbiome!
Microbiome is the real interface with our environment. It can either protect us from these toxic infections, or it can cause worse symptoms if it’s not in place, it’s like our sentinel army.
Vagus Nerve 

⁃  Super highway from gut to brain.

⁃ Communication  pathway.

⁃ Senses microbiome changes.

⁃ Stimulate it through meditation, deep breathing, thinking and activity.

⁃ All these enhance vagal tone.

⁃ Brain and microbiome in gut influence each other.

⁃ Neuroplasticity affected by the gut microbiome.
Stress and the Micobiome
⁃ Changes composition of microbiome.

⁃ Rebalance through food.

⁃Deal positively with stress

⁃ “Whatever is, is perfect. ”

⁃ Allows you to live in the moment.

⁃ Trigger  for stress = NUTS

⁃ novelty, unpredictability, threat to ego, loss of control.
   Dealing with Stress
⁃ It will come, it’s part of life.

⁃ We are not immune.

⁃ Embrace the stress.

⁃ Find meaning.
Change the Microbiome 

⁃ Food is the core to a healthy microbiome and brain.

⁃ Clean food and water.

⁃ Organic foods are best.

⁃ Fermented foods (if you don’t have histamine issues).

⁃ Chemical and toxin free.

The Real Facts of Alzheimer’s

Much has been written about Alzheimer’s disease and it’s growing numbers. We are looking at some rather staggering realities as our population ages. By 2050 it has been estimated that 60% of our population will be affected by this disease. The big question is what can be done to slow down these numbers and possibly find a cure to this degenerative disease.

What we do know is:

  • Alzheimer’s may actually start in our 30-40’s.
  • Real symptoms may not appear until the 60- 70’s. More people today are dying from Alzheimer’s than from breast and prostate cancer combined.
  • It is identified by the presence of beta amyloid plaquing in the neurons of the  brain which are toxic to the nerve cells. These disruptions cause nerve cells to stop working, lose connections with other nerve cells, and finally die. The destruction and death of nerve cells cause memory failure, personality changes, and problems carrying out normal daily activities. As neurons die throughout the brain, affected regions begin to shrink in a process called brain atrophy.
  • Additionally, tau proteins also seem to be implicated – neurofibrillary tangles that are made of misfolded proteins, which occur in regions of the  brain that are important for memory function.
  • The development and presence of these proteins may have a genetic basis. Possibly, a gene is turned on that directly influences its formation. New research indicates that a variety of lifestyle and environmental factors may be the trigger that turns on these genes.
  • – The hormone melatonin may be effective against amyloid if its used before the formation of the amyloid occurs.
  • – High levels of cholesterol in the  brain may also be an early risk factor.
  • – Chelation therapy, which involves removal of heavy metals from the body, has also been shown to be beneficial in lowering amyloid plaque levels.
  • – The latest research indicates that Alzheimer’s or vascular dementia is an inflammatory condition and that reducing the factors that enhance inflammation may be the key to unlocking the mystery to possibly preventing the onset of the is degenerative condition.
  • – New research indicates that eye scans ( retinal and ocular lens imaging) may reveal amyloid plaque.
  • Billions are spent each year on pharma drugs that are ineffectual in preventing or slowing down this neuro-degenerative disease.

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/aging/study-finds-possible-recipe-preventing-alzheimers-n155586

Risk Factors:

  • The risk of developing Alzheimer’s or vascular dementia appears to increase as a result of many conditions that damage the heart or blood vessels ( high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and high cholesterol).
  • Regular exercise ( aerobic, strength training, yoga, ) has been shown to lower the risk and even help to control the symptoms even after onset. Exercise may directly benefit brain cells by increasing blood flow and oxygen. Varying the type of exercise and challenging the brain may also help by stimulating new neural pathways.
  • Heathy nutrition may have its greatest impact on brain health through its effect on heart health. Eating a clean and true organic diet that features healthy vegetables, grass fed meats, organic and free range chicken/eggs, omega 3’s from wild fish sources, healthy fats ( avocado, dairy, coconut oils, raw nuts and seeds) and eliminating refined sugars, alcohol, processed foods.
  • Alzheimer’s has been termed Type 3 diabetes due to the possible blood sugar connections. Therefore, controlling blood sugar levels might be a real crucial preventable action.
  • Maintaining strong social connections and intellectual pursuits seems to be a key to preventing the onset of the disease. Stimulating conversation, reading, writing, art work, drawing and starting new projects or finding news hobbies all seem to stimulate parts of the brain that help to maintain neural integrity.

What Happens When Your Brain Doesn’t Sleep

Sleep is vital to our health and well-being and might be a critical factor in determining your longevity. More specifically, it is crucial to our brain health. Sleep deprivation can lead to false or impaired memories, mood swings ( including rage and anger) and even hallucinations. We need between  six and eight hours per night for optimal function. Most of us are not meeting this criteria. The following infographic illustrates what happens to the brain when we get inadequate sleep.

The following  infographic published by Mic in cooperation with GE.

IMG_0008

 

 

Brain Health

Brain Facts:

1. The brain has 100 billion nerve cells.

2. There are more connections in your brain than there are stars in the universe.

3. Information travels at over 260 mph in your brain. That speed drastically reduces when the brain has been impaired or injured.

4. The brain is 2%  of the body’s weight, yet uses 20-30% of your total calories.

5. We lose an average of 8200 cells /day. These cells never regenerate.

6. A healthy brain stimulates innovation and creativity while a damaged brain decelerates innovation and creativity, while accelerating aging.

What Hurts The Brain?

1. Brain injury ( traumatic brain injury, concussions, collisional sports).

2. Drugs and alcohol.

3. Obesity ( as weight goes up, function and size go down). A smaller brain is a less functional brain. SIZE MATTERS!!

4. High blood pressure.

5. Diabetes.

6. Standard American diet – processed carbohydrates, GMO’s, refined sugars, trans fats, hormone and anti-biotic laden foods.

7. Environmental toxins – pollutants, chemicals, allergens and pesticides.

8. Lack of exercise – reduces blood flow and oxygen to brain.

9. ANTS ( automatic negative thoughts) – negative thinking effects brain chemistry and neurological function. They are the seeds of depression and anxiety disorders.

Enhances Brain Function:

1. Positive social connections – surrounding yourself with positive people helps to build and enhance healthy habits. Social isolation yields a a sense of disconnection and reduces longevity.

2. New learning – creates new connections and pathways in the brain. When you stop learning the brain disconnects. Pick up a new language, hobby, sport or a new  creative challenge.

3. Healthy diet – food is real medicine or poison. A diet rich in omega 3’s has been touted as a way to enhance and maintain brain health, delaying cognitive aging and dementia.

4. Sleep – need a minimum of 7 hours each night. Less than 7 hours, research suggests that there is a reduced level of blood flow to the brain. Quality of sleep also matters and is impacted by: your nutrition, regularity of exercise, stress and anxiety levels, self-esteem, social connections, intake of alcohol, caffeine, drugs ( prescription or recreational).

5. Exercise – make it regular, challenging, and vary the type and intensity of aerobic and strength training.

6. Mindfulness – yoga, Qigong and  meditation ( activates the frontal part of the brain).

7. Gratitude – best anti-depressant, creating a positive mind set activates brain- boosting chemicals.

8. The best way to prevent Alzheimer’s is to reduce the incidence or onset of heart disease, cancer, hypertension, diabetes. If the body starts to break down the brain will soon follow.  AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A TON OF CURE!!

Healthy Brain:

– Happier,  Healthier, Wealthier, Wiser,  More Creative and  More Innovative.

Unhealthy Brain:

– Sadder, Sicker, Poorer, Not As Smart, Rigid and  Inflexible

Genetic Testing – is it right for you ?

Since the human genome was sequenced back in 2003 the demand and interest in genetic esting has boomed ! As a result, many are interested in finding out if they are likely to develop breast cancer or perhaps Alzheimer’s. This curiosity is part of the new healthcare revolution and is changing medicine as we know it. The question has become whether getting your genetic profile is more helpful or harmful? But one thing is for sure – get an expert to read and analyze your results.

Facts To Consider:

1. Most diseases with the exception of a few are multifactorial, and as such, several factors contribute to their onset. It has been said that “Genes may load the gun, but the environmental factors pull the trigger”- especially for chronic degenerative diseases like cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and Alzheimer’s. Genes are really your potential and require a certain environment in order to be expressed.

In other words, your lifestyle choices – the food you eat, your level of activity, exposure to toxins, your life experiences and even your mindset can override your genetic predisposition.

Beside your genome we all are impacted by the epigenome – a group of chemical compounds that can tell the genome what to do. These proteins and chemicals can modify and regulate gene expression.

The genome is comparable to a computer’s hardware and the epigenome is the software. The fact that our software is influenced largely by environmental factors is good news. This means we can influence the outcome!

2. Genes are also modified by other genes. Current testing is limited to SNPs ( snips) which are small genetic variations that, for example, may indicate how someone metabolizes nutrients or responds to an environmental toxin or specific drug. SNPs can be overridden.

3. Given the complexity of genomics, it’s seems advisable to have trained expert read your results. Traditionally trained physicians are not well versed in understanding or interpreting your genome and the results. Experts in functional medicine who are trained to examine the root causes of disease not just the symptoms will have greater expertise or will put you in touch with someone who does. This doctor, for example,  might use genetic testing to help pinpoint biochemical imbalances or to reveal a compromised detoxification mechanism.

4. How would you respond – positively or negatively knowing your results. Optimists react very differently than pessimists. What will you do with the genetic data? You need to know in advance what and how much information you want or don’t want and make that clear to your healthcare provider.

5. Privacy Concerns – some are concerned that their genetic information will be made public or possibly used against them. 23andMe have struck deals with Genentech and Pfizer  who have struck a deal to access their genetic database- although the information is  supposedly aggragated and anonymous. However, the US Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 prohibits health insurance companies or employers from discriminating on the basis of genetic information. This doesn’t, however, extend to long term care insurance, life insurance or disability insurance. It has been suggested to simply use an alias – ” don’t put a name to your genes.”

6. What do you hope to gain from the testing ? What are your goals and expectations?  Remember, the vast majority of diseases are mutifactorial. From a disease oriented perspective many people fear their genome. They need to realize that genes can be turned on or off!

Disease risk is only partly encoded in our genome. The majority of illness and disease including aging are driven by our environment, lifestyle choices including our mindset,  thoughts and beliefs. Experts point out that our epigenome is variable whereas our genome tends to be quite rigid.

Bottom Line: Most diseases and aging are prevented and driven by healthy lifestyle choices. The real keys to optimal health and living are still eating right, exercizing, managing your stress and getting restorative sleep – whether you test or not !

 

Epigenetics: You Cannot Change Your Genes  But You Can Change Their Expression 

It was once thought that are our genes were our destiny. Our inherited genes would lay out a path from which our destiny and thus longevity would be pre – determined. Fast forward to today and the growing body of scientific evidence to challenge this belief.

In fact, our inherited genes only play a smart part of our health and how we age. More importantly, we now know it’s more impacted by how these genes are expressed – how they are turned on or off and how they can be altered that defines this expression. In fact, thanks to functional medicine research it could be said: ” When you change the way you look at things, the things you are looking at change.”

Thanks to genetic testing – and not all testing is the same in its explanation of the data – we are getting a better handle on how we can alter our health and wellness variables by understanding not only the genes we have but how we can alter their expression and thus prevent or at least slow down their impact on our longevity and quality of life. Combining genetic testing with the identification of specific inflammatory bio -markers we can now better pinpoint the triggers that are pulling on the chains that eventually determine the expression of these genes.

What are the most common environmental triggers that are pulling on the chain? These help us understand what takes us from wellness to illness and eventually accelerating the aging process.

The following can trigger leaky gut, brain, lungs etc by breaking down barriers or walls and  entering the bloodstream and triggering an autoimmune response and inflammation.

1. Food Toxins: processed foods, trans fats, GMO’s, wheat ( gluten), non-organic and conventional dairy ( casein) and meats, refined sugars.

2. Air  and water pollutants

3. Metal and industrial chemical toxins- found in water, paints, furniture and cleaning and health care products.

4. Pesticides and herbicides

5. Plastics

Genetic Testing: Not all testing is the same and can leave you with only partial answers.

Best in class is inDNA Life Sciences. They can personalise disease management with DNA based solutions.

It’s an opportunity to be proactive especially if you have a significant family history of degenerative disease. It can empower you to change if you know you have a weak link and give you the tools to good good stop the pulling action on the chain. You can also learn which bio markers give you valuable information. As one researchers puts it:     “Knowing your genetic profile and the bio markers that measure how these genes are expressed allows you to monitor the temperature gauge before you get a hot light.” This also allows you to be proactive and change any possible disease outcome or at least minimise its impact by addressing the weakest link

Weak Links:

1. Methylation process ( how we break down toxins ). If this is compromised a variety of systems can be affected leading to inflammation and elevated auto immune issues. You would then check the biomarkers associated with methylation.

2. Glutathione – a master antioxidant essential to detoxifying the body and lending support to our immune system. Oxidative stress and free radicals can create cell disintegration when glutathione is low. Your body produces its own but becomes vastly reduced with age and exposure to food, chemical and metal toxins, pollution and stress.

You can boost glutathione:

–  By consuming sulfur rich foods ( garlic, onions, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower etc)

– Consume bioactive whey protein

– Regular exercise boosts glutathione

–   N-acetyl-cysteine and Alpha lipoic acid

– Take methylation boosting nutrients (folate, vitamins B6 and 12)

– Selenium

– Milk thistle

– Vitamin C and E

Look for glutathione production and utilization. If this a weak link – address it by pinpointing the bio marker and fix the weak link !

Ketogenic Nutrition:

Nutritional Ketosis is a state of health in which your body efficiently burns fat as its primary fuel source instead of glucose. Research shows that it may be a crucial link in combating obesity, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, ALS, autism, traumatic brain injury to name a few. This approach helps in managing insulin and leptin resistance. Ketones also spare branched chain amino acids ( BCAAs) helping to maintain and build muscle and increase cardiac mitochondrial biogenesis ( creation of new mitochondria).

Nutritional Ketosis also aids in gene stability, expression and signaling. For example, it can turn on the apoptotic gene that helps combat and destroy cancer cells. By reducing sugars , grains and dairy which trigger inflammation and increase coconut oil, microbiome friendly foods like curcumim, rosemary, garlic, ginger, green tea you can elevate your ketosis conditions. These foods also turn on butyric acid (found in butter or ghee) which aids in bacterial diversity.

Ketosis is positive for epigenetics. It helps upregulate mitochondrial biogenesis and activity. This is crucial for a cellular activity and function.

Intermittent Fasting

In addition to a ketogenic diet, research also indicates that intermittent fasting (calorie restriction) can in fact slow down the cellular aging process This actually helps upregulate mitochondrial biogenesis and density and anti-inflammatory activity and directly on the epigenetic process. It also helps in controlling insulin resistance which we know has profound health implications. Intermittent fasting is best accomplished gradually where you shorten the window when you eat. You start off by fasting for 12 hours then build up to 16-18 hours. It’s important to be consistent with your feeding and fasting window.

This is also helps to control insulin resistance and reset metabolic pathways. Additionally, it’s been shown to help reset circadian rthyms and biological clock genes. An eat early and sleep early approach seems to have a powerful epigegtic effect on aging and longevity!
Best Diet: Combine a microbiome friendly diet with a ketogenic diet. What’s this look like?

– High in fiber ( cruciferous vegetables)

– Phytonutrient dense ( lots of color)

– Eggs, coconut oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, green tea, onion, garlic, ginger, curcumin.

– Non GMO grains

– Minimze animal fats ( which contain inflammatory endotoxins) which can elevate or exacerbate insulin resistance. If you are going to eat animal sources make sure it’s pasture fed and organic certified.

Bottom Line:

Ketosis is very effective at helping with positive DNA expression and gene signaling. It helps in down regulating inflammatory issues and pathways, effective in balancing brain neurochemistry and reducing inflammation ( down regulate glutamine and up regulate GABA). Ketones can down regulate the genes that are responsible for anxiety, depression, ADHD, Alzheimer’s to name a few.

Genetics and Blood Sugar Regulation 

Blood sugar regulation and insulin resistance affects a huge population of people. It’s been estimated that in the US alone about 25% of the population has insulin resistance. It’s also been determined that this defect leads to among others, damage to the lining of blood vessels which puts an individual at risk for heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that insulin resistance and blood sugar deregulation is actually occurring sub-clinically until it’s already becoming a chronic problem.

One way to find out if you are predisposed to insulin resistance or blood sugar regulatory issues is to get genetic testing. Mutation to specific genes can give you this information and but also give you the opportunity to engage in epigenetic changing behaviours that can turn off or alter this gene expression. The experts in epigenetics beiieve that by knowing the genes that are impacted you can reverse this debilitating disease. Lifestyle changes that involve a healthy diet, high intensity or interval-based exercise, restorative sleep and stress management are powerful and effective.

One of the most effective ways to shut off or down regulate the harmful genes is stress management and reduction. Elevated stress increases cortisol which elevates blood sugar and insulin and leads to insulin resistance. Activating the parasympathetic system can help to shift the body into a healthier mode that supports lower inflammation and lead to improved insulin and blood sugar management.

Testing empowers an individual with information about their gene profile. Early detection leads to a more proactive and potentially life saving approach. What you don’t know can hurt you! By having a baseline you can test and monitor your blood sugar and insulin levels and know you are moving in the right direction.

The 5 Keys To Reversing Insulin Resistance and Diabetes:

1. Get your stress levels down by lowering your cortisol levels.

2. Restorative sleep can aid in reversing insulin resistance over time. Studies show that sleep deprivation can lead to insulin resistance and blood sugar disregulation. This can lead to obesity, heart disease, stroke, cancer and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, sleep deprivation reduces the hormone leptin ( signaling satiety) and elevates ghrelin ( increases appetite) which leads to weight gain and metabolic syndrome.

3. Fitness – high intensity or interval training elevates growth hormone which helps to lower insulin.

4. Food timing – it’s better to eat every 4-6 hours then every 2 hours. Eating this way optimizes leptin and aids in fat burning. Additionally, intermittent fasting ( eating during a specific time frame) has proven to help with blood sugar stabilization.

5. Genetics – we now know what genes are involved with insulin resistance and blood sugar regulation. It’s imperative to get insulin resistance and blood sugar regulation under control in order to prevent the onset of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. If any of the following gene mutations show up in testing they can and should be addressed.

– MTHFR gene mutation can lead to elevated homocysteine ( a toxic amino acid) which damages insulin receptors. The receptors can not hear the signal to take sugar out of the blood which leads to elevated blood sugar and insulin resistance.

– MTTR mutation affects B12 methylation. This gene provides instructions for making and important enzyme methionine synthase which plays a role in processing amino acids.

– IGF1R mutation blocks insulin from entering cells because the receptors are not genetically optimized. This gene helps build resistance to and managing oxidative stress.

Testing For Insulin Resistance

–  Positive if fasting blood sugar > 100

– If blood sugar > 120 it’s likey you have peripheral nerve damage.

– If between 120-140 vulnerable to retinal damage.

A1C – above 5.7 pre diabetic. Should be tested about every 4-6 months.

Bottom Line – genetic testing tells you what could happen in the future even if you are asymptomatic now. Genes and gene mutations are very telling and enable you to be proactive and slow down or reverse many chronic degenerative diseases. The great news is that genetic testing is critical information into your inner ecosystem. Epigentic factors like diet, sleep, stress and physical activity can have powerful effects on our genes. Information is empowering.

Genetic Testing and Toxicity

We are all exposed to a variety of toxic compounds and chemicals on a daily basis. Whether it is from air pollution,  industrial chemicals and metals found in water and cleaning products, food toxins from pesticides, GMO’s, engineered wheat, processed foods, molds, vaccines, pharma drugs, antibiotics, etc. – the toxic burden  is enormous. This toxic exposure over time combined with our genetic makeup and physiological susceptibility and ability to eliminate and detoxify sets us up for a cascade of events that can lead to inflammation and chronic degenerative disease.

Industrial Chemicals:

Chronic and repeated exposure to up to 200,000 known toxins is a real assault on our bodies. Some of these toxins are fat soluble and get stored in the body while others are water soluble and the body can easily remove them.

Pesticides ( glyphosates)  which are very ubiquitous in our environment  and vaccines  (aluminum hydroxide ) to name a few, are powerful endocrine disrupters – no amount is safe. Mycotoxins ( molds) and metals like mercury and cadmium ( found in fish) have similar negative affects. Their toxic burden over time can outweigh our bodies ability to detoxify and bio transform them.

The challenge is finding out if you have a genetic susceptability to these toxins. Some of us are more susceptible because we are genetically more hyper sensitive due to having more receptors or deficient in our bio transformation systems. The ability to absorb, bio transform and eliminate toxins is very individually-based.

Need to look at exposure and frequency of exposure to toxins.

  • Pre natal exposure is a factor.
  • In and outdoor pollution via inhalation.
  • Dermal exposure ( our skin is a very vulnerable barrier)
  • Vaccines and pharmaceutical drugs.
  • Carcinogens ( pesticides, chemicals, metals )
  • Food toxins ( gluten, trans fats, GMO,s)
  • Industrial chemicals ( cleaning and health care products)

Detoxification Process:

Reducing the toxic load begins with looking at our genetic profile to assess our susceptability and capability to handle the toxic burden.

Phase 1: Begins in the liver and gut mucosa. Cytochrome p450 enzymes start the process of detox to rid the body of toxins.

Phase 2: Involves glutathione conjugation and SNPs ( variations in DNA sequencing – copying errors) that reduce enzyme speed and function.

The real challenge to medicine is that multiple genes are affected by a vast array of environmental toxins ( pesticides, industrial chemicals, metals, molds, GMO’s etc) combined with individual genetic and epigenetic ( lifestyle) factors that affect susceptability and ability to handle detoxification.

The big question: Will the toxic burden combined with oxidative stress and weak genetics outweigh the body’s ability to bio transform the toxins. Toxic burdens affect cell membranes, enzymes, glutathione production ( master antioxidant) and the nrf2 pathways ( senses and handles oxidative stress ) all contributing to the onset of chronic degenerative disease.

Individual Genetic Testing and Toxic Load

  • Comparative Toxicgenomics Database – CTD
  • Ctdbase.org – which examines the relationship between environmental chemicals and toxins and genes, proteins and diseases.
  • Obtain core data: chemical-gene interactions, chemical -disease associations, gene-disease associations and chemical-phenotype associations.
  • By integrating the above 4 data sets, CTD automatically constructs putative chemical-gene-phenotype-disease networks to illuminate molecular mechanisms underlying environmentally-influenced diseases.
  • Not a single gene is involved in toxicity issues – up to 100 genes may be involved.
  • Besides genetic testing one can do blood and urine testing.
  • Genova Diagnostic Gene test – examines SNP’s that affect phase 1 and 2 detoxification.

Reduction and Avoidance:

  • Besides knowing your genetic profile and susceptability,  its important to engage in epigenetic ( lifestyle ) interventions to reduce your toxic load.
  • Need to identify and eliminate exposure to environmental  toxins.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Use quality air filters in your home.
  • Drink clean water.
  • Increase dietary fiber ( >30g/day)
  • Pre- and Probiotic foods ( onions, garlic, sauerkraut, kimchi)
  • Cruciferous and dark leaf vegetables
  • Phyto nutrients – tumeric,  green teas, dark berries, milk thistle
  • Eggs
  • B Vitamins, folate
  • Omega 3’s ( 1-2 g /day)
  • Alpha lipoic acid

Bottom Line: Must reduce toxic load by reducing total exposure and understanding your individual genetic profile and susceptability so you can target your approach to healing.

MTHFR

⁃ No, MTHFR is not a  swear word !

⁃ The gene helps regulate 200 other genes.

Methylation process:
⁃ MTHFR enzyme needed for the following: folate ( B9) conversion to a usable form methyl folate.

⁃ Which helps homocysteine make SAMe.

⁃ SAMe helps support dopamine and norepinephrine which support gene expression.

⁃ This keeps cycling around !

⁃ Converting folate ( B9) into methyl folate is essential for DNA synthesis and repair, neurotransmitter production, detoxification and immune function.
SAMe

⁃ Helps regulate neurotransmitters levels.

⁃ Binds to the COMT gene.

⁃ Helps clear dopamine and norepinephrine in order to sleep.

⁃ Also can help make these neurotransmitters when needed.

⁃ Helps convert serotonin to melatonin.

⁃ Helps histamine convert to methylhistamine.

⁃ Helps regulate the genes that allow tyrosine to make L- dopa which helps make dopamine.

⁃ SAMe through gene expression than affects depression due to impacting levels of dopamine!
Need to have adequate levels of methyl folate and B12 to keep methylation process working.

Do the following test for methylation function:

⁃ Take 250 mg of SAMe.

⁃ Methylation cycle works by taking SAMe and you sleep soundly. If you take it and don’t sleep well your methylation cycle isn’t working !
Yeast Overgrowth or inflammation in gut interferes with the methylation process.
Oxidative stress ( free radicals ) reroutes homocysteine to make glutathione instead of SAMe.
Low homocysteine indicates oxidative stress and /or inflammation in the gut !
Take away- clean eating fuels healthy microbiome that impacts inflammation and oxidative stress.
Ammonia Production.

⁃ Toxic to cells and mitochondria

⁃ Microbiome ecology affected.

⁃ Gut dysbiosis created by ammonia buildup.

⁃ Liver mitochondria where ammonia detox and methylation happens.

⁃ Combine dysbiosis with high protein diet with tired mitochondria and weak methylation you will feel sick and declining health.
To promote healthy cellular machinery you need to first REMOVE before you ADD!

⁃ Need to remove the triggers !
Meat might be a big trigger of high ammonia build up !

⁃  Need to add more dietary fiber and vegetables and probiotic foods !
Lowering Ammonia is a must !

⁃ Affects brain fog, moods and gut function.

⁃ Prolonged  fasting between meals (overnight best ).

⁃ Acetyl l – carnitine ( biotin and B vitamins help with fat burning, then can lower protein intake )

⁃ 1500mg of acetyl- carnitine

⁃ Omega ratios need to become healthy and balanced.

⁃  Daytime activity crucial.

⁃ Take Liposomal Glutathione (Seeking Health ) use low dose ( use a drop).

⁃ It is a sulfur compound !
Need Electrolytes

⁃ Are needed  for cellular hydration and communication.

⁃ Sodium , potassium, magnesium and chloride.
23AndMe – get genetic information and look for the MTHFR mutation.
Then send to StrateGene.org

⁃ Great genetic testing report !!

⁃ How genes are impacted and work !

⁃ Learn about MTHFR

⁃ Shows how genetic expression is impacted by microbiome and food, toxins, lack of activity that impact our genes.
Microbiome Impact

⁃ Impacted by your interval and external environment.

⁃ Chew your food.

⁃ Slow down.

⁃ Stop eating when you are 80% full!!!

Aggression in the NFL: Who’s to blame?

 Previous actions by star football players like Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens, Ray McDonald of the San Fransisco 49ers and Adrien Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, may be, in fact, a signal of the early stages of CTE.  The murder by and subsequent suicide of Aaron Hernandez might be tied to a very advanced stage of CTE. CTE ( Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) has been a hotly debated subject of interest over the past few years. Unfortunately, there is no medical framework for the accurate diagnosis of such a disease while someone is alive.  Currently, the only current method to diagnose CTE is after death, by analyzing brain tissue and discovering an abnormal protein called TAU protein.  The suicide of Junior Seau – a beloved and passionate football player, who devoted his life to the game and was posthumously diagnosed with CTE, began to shed more light on a growing problem, and subsequently, its implications for the NFL.

A study published in the Journal of Neurology on 9/10/2014 suggests that CTE may start at a very young age. It also points out that when symptoms of CTE emerge at a young age, players  exhibit behavioral and mood problems, whereas symptoms that begin to emerge later in life tend to show up as memory and thinking problems. CTE  is a gradual degeneration of brain function due to repeated head trauma injury consisting of both symptomatic and asymptomatic concussions. Once the initial symptoms fade, months and years later, new symptoms emerge. The onset of new symptoms begins slowly and then builds in severity over time (e.g. concentration, memory, confusion, dizziness and headaches, and then eventually, leading to mood variability,  emotional instability and aggression).

Victims of CTE often turn to drugs and alcohol to numb their pain and issues, or worse, suicide. Since it is evident that CTE is real, and the end result is brain degeneration and often fatal, self-inflicted tragedies such as suicide, something needs to be done soon to address this growing problem. Without exception, all of these players have been playing football at a high level since they were kids and, as with so many gifted players who show early potential, it is virtually impossible to measure and calculate the amount of head trauma they have all sustained. Perhaps their actions are impulsive and involuntary due to the neurological damage they have sustained. We ask them to strap on a helmet and pads ( for which they are well compensated for)  not only every Sunday ( but training camp and off and pre- season as well) and perform a brutal job that we all love as entertainment. We ask them to turn on the warrior personality on the field and shut if off when they are not on the field.

Can this really be switched on and off ? The question is how many more incidents of  criminal or violent behavior ( domestic abuse, weapons charges, assault or substance abuse) are we going to witness? Are the players to blame or is it the game to blame?

The NFL, up until recently, did not want to acknowledge it had a CTE problem. Big lawsuits ( of which there are many still pending), public outcry and undeniable medical testimony forced the NFL to change its tune and face reality. New concussion protocols were implemented to protect the players after sustaining any head injury. New rules are in place to minimize helmet to helmet contact or using your body as a flying missile. Moreover, performance-enhancing drugs (PED’s) which are now banned have probably not helped to minimize the damage that players have  sustained. Recently, the NFL finally added HGH to the banned substance list. Nonetheless,  players are bigger, stronger and faster than ever before. The reality is that every time a player collides with another player or his head snaps back during a hit or after he strikes the ground the brain moves inside the cranium and is bruised. This is unavoidable.

As an entertainment business, the multi-billion dollar success of the NFL depends upon consistent delivery of  great thrills to fans — whether or not that involves brutal hits, etc.  This clearly translates into  huge bucks from the full spectrum (game tickets, merchandising, etc). So it is in the interest of the NFL franchises to keep the aggression on the field alive.

Are we paying these athletes too much money and putting them on the proverbial pedestal until they fall from grace and TMZ releases a video of domestic abuse?  That seems apparent, but what is going to change this? The NFL is a hugely profitable business that is THE ultimate destination for young, aspiring athletes. The new research on CTE and the recent aggressive and physically and emotionally abusive behaviors of our star athletes begs questions that finally deserve some attention from the NFL:  Is there a medically-proven direct correlation? Is the game of football safe for our kids to play (for the record, Terry Bradshaw, Brett Favre, both stated they would not allow their kids to play football today)? Is the risk too great for  both adolescent cognitive development and  longer-term development? And what preventative means are we going to put in place to handle what appears to be individuals with damaged brains committing violent (if not criminal) acts?

Pumping Up Your Willpower

People in general seem to have an overly positive vision of themselves. People have a hard time admitting the one thing they have a real problem with, self-control.

Research shows that people who perceive themselves as having the most willpower actually are the most likely to lose self control when tempted.

For example,  drinkers who are the most optimistic regarding their ability to control their intake are the most likely to fail and overoptimistic  dieters are the least likely to lose weight.

How can we really boost our ability to increase willpower?

1. Develop ” keystone habits“.  A great example is exercise. Exercise seems to lead to other great and even unrelated habits. It tends to lead to better eating habits, improves sleep, stimulates the brain, leads to more productivity, more tolerance and patience. It simply has a “spill over effect”.

2. Leading self-control researcher Roy Baumeister believes that willpower is limited. It is highest early in the day but as we make more decisions it seems to lower as the day progresses. Therefore, he suggests that you do the most important things first. As the day gets longer our self -control and discipline decreases and therefore at night is when you see the most self -control issues ( i.e. late night snacking). Impulsive behaviors are greatest late at night!!!

3. Improve willpower by not depending too much on it. We tend not to use willpower when something is a habit ( automatic behavior). Research suggests that we manipulate our environment so as to make things easy for things we should do and make things hard for those things we shouldn’t do.

Ex: Don’t keep sweets in the house ( when you are trying to lose weight or even worse have blood sugar issues). Put your workout clothes at the end of your bed!

People expose themselves to many temptations when they believe they have a lot of willpower – but eventually give in. So do not rely on willpower.

4. Willpower is like a muscle. When you over use it it fatigues and gives out. But, by exercising it, over time, it get stronger. It is more effective to rely on habits that you build up. You need to tap into your willpower a bit every day. Like building muscular strength – work on it gradually and stimulate it daily, but take some rest days.

5. Eat healthy. Healthy nutrition has far reaching benefits and is a real driver to self-control.

6. Get restorative sleep.  Getting to sleep and awaking at the same time helps to re-balance the brain and body’s biochemistry that has a direct effect on one’s mood, energy and self-control.

7. Postponing self-gratification or deliberate procrastination can also help to build willpower. Research shows the people that tell themselves ” Not know, but later”, is far more powerful than “No, you can’t have that.”  Delay, distraction, or even giving in a defined way can help increase discipline.

8. Giving into temptation is not always the worst thing – it will happen. It is what you do afterwards. Self-blame ( especially in the face of stress and failure) is very defeating and reduces self-control. Showing self compassion actually increases it.

Self-criticism often leads to lowered motivation and research indicates that it can also lead to depression, which drains both “I will” power and “I want” power.

BOTTOM LINE: You are going to make mistakes and that’s ok!!