October 30, 2017

444 Pain & Inflammation Protocol [30 Oct 2017]

A webinar by Philip Rouchotas ND of Bolton Naturopathic Clinic in Ontario described his treatment protocol for pain and inflammation. He also explained in some detail the rationale and science behind each item. Most of his patients with pain and inflammation have an autoimmune disease where the body produces antibodies which attacks its own tissues. And a common factor in most autoimmune disease is a hyperpermeable intestinal wall, also known as a “leaky gut”.

Here is a summary of his protocol:
• Eliminate dietary proteins that promote leaky gut and the autoimmune response. Gluten and gliadins from grains and casein from dairy are the most common culprits. Human studies show significant improvements with elimination diets for many autoimmune diseases. Because of the inconvenience, Dr. Rouchotas doesn’t recommend everyone eliminate grains and dairy, but anyone with an autoimmune disease is advised to do a trial even with negative allergy tests. He describes it as “the single most effective intervention for autoimmune disease I know”.
• Vitamin D acts as an immunomodulator, reducing the autoimmune process by increasing production of regulatory T cells (Tregs), while at the same time improving the immune system’s ability to fight infections [see #363 March 2016]
• Probiotics help restore a healthy gut microbiome, reducing the production of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) which cross the leaky gut inducing an autoimmune reaction
• Fish oil (at least 2,000 mg/day of EPA+DHA) replaces some of the arachidonic acid in the (COX) and (LOX) pathways, reducing production of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins and leukotrienes. A meta-analysis found that fish oil reduced joint pain, morning stiffness, and need for NSAIDS.
• Curcumin and Boswellia are the only herbals known to block both the COX and LOX pathways, thus providing double anti-inflammatory protection (Tylenol blocks only COX)
• Egg shell membrane (500mg /day) is another natural anti-inflammatory which has shown significant improvement in joint pain and stiffness after 1 or 2 months
• Glucosamine [see #63 March 2011] and chondroitin (1500 and 1200 mg/day) help rebuild cartilage in osteoarthritic joints [see #63 May 2010]
• Enzymes like bromelain and serrapeptase [see #442] taken between meals reduce inflammation

For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

October 23, 2017

443 ADHD Protocol [23 Oct 2017]

A webinar by Philip Rouchotas ND of Bolton Naturopathic Clinic in Ontario described his treatment protocol for children with ADD or ADHD. He also explained in some detail the rationale and science behind each item.

Here is a summary of his protocol:
• Reduce simple carbs, especially for breakfast. Replacing the typical “bowl of sugar” with some protein and good fats will prevent the mid-morning blood sugar spike and subsequent crash.
• Choose organic food as much as possible. Many studies link pesticides to many human diseases including ADD.
• Go gluten and dairy free. This will make a huge difference in many kids. Be strict with gluten free using a dedicated toaster and butter dish to avoid crumb contamination.
• Multivitamin or B complex with activated B’s (e.g. P5P B6; methylcobalamine B12; L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate). Some ADD kids may be unable to utilize regular B vitamins – in food or supplements – because of missing or inactivated enzymes.
• Vitamin D3, 400 iu for under 5 years of age, 1000 iu for 5 and up. There are no studies showing improvements in ADD with vitamin D supplementation, but many that show that deficiencies in these kids are very common.
• Fish oil with 2:1 EPA:DHA totalling 400-600 mg/day is very important. High EPA fish oil has been shown to improve mood, depression, and ADD symptoms with no adverse side effects. In some cases it works as well as or better than anti-depressants, anti-psychotics and drugs prescribed for ADHD, and is a much safer option.
• Kids with ADD are often deficient in one or more minerals. Supplement with magnesium bisglycinate or, if constipation is a problem, citrate, at 125-250mg/day.
• Test for iron and zinc deficiencies and supplement if indicated (10mg zinc and 11mg iron daily). Deficiencies in these two trace minerals are common with ADD but should not be supplemented without testing first.
• Assess for heavy metals and other toxins, especially lead. Although blood levels of 5 mcg/dL for lead is considered acceptable, studies have found as little as 1 mcg increased the risk of ADD. It appears that the “normal” level is 10X too high.

In addition, something as simple as using an exercise ball for a seat in school will make an improvement in ADHD behavior. The rocking motion calms hyper kids while the bounce keeps inattentive kids awake.

Rouchotas cautions parents not to expect immediate results with his program. But he tells parents if they start now, they will have a different child in 6 months.

For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

October 16, 2017

442 Serrapeptase [16 Oct 2017]

Serrapeptase is a proteolytic enzyme used as a natural anti-inflammatory for a wide variety of conditions. Its full name serratiopeptidase reflects its origin in the bacterium Serratia found in the gut of silkworms.

Serrapeptase is commonly prescribed (as a drug) in Europe and Asia as a safer alternative to pain relievers and NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drug). Robert Redfern explains that serrapeptase works by clearing unhealthy inflammation and affects only dead tissue, and that unlike NSAIDs it has no gastrointestinal side effects (like ulcers, bleeding stomach, and much worse) and has no known interactions with any drug. He has found it safe in pregnancy, breastfeeding (it helps with engorged breasts), and with bleeding disorders. Canadian label requires a warning to check with your physician if pregnant, breastfeeding or taking warfarin.

Serrapeptase has been used for a wide variety of conditions:
• pain of any kind including back pain, osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, diabetic neuropathy, repetitive strain injury, carpal tunnel syndrome
• lung problems including bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, emphysema
• rhinitis, sinusitis, ear infections, laryngitis, hay fever
• varicose veins, peripheral vascular disease, blood clots, arterial plaque
fibromyalgia, cystitis, fibrocystic breast disease
• headaches and vascular migraines
• inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s
• pain and inflammation from trauma (e.g. sprains) and surgery

Despite the safe and amazingly successful use of serrapeptase over 50 years, there are few controlled studies published, so it is underutilized in North American medicine. I have two brands of serrapeptase with 60,000 and 120,000 SU strength.

For more information, download Redfern's free ebook "The Miracle Enzyme".

Note: this is an update from #217 Serrapeptase – the Anti-inflammatory Enzyme [May 20, 2013].

For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

October 9, 2017

441 EPA not DHA [9 Oct 2017]

The two most important Omega-3 essential fatty acids for our health are Ecosapentanaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexanoic Acid (DHA). Both are found in fish oil supplements. As I alluded to in a column last month [#438 Nutrients for Mental Health] EPA is the critical one for mental health.

EPA has been found to be the more effective of the two for depression. A meta-analysis published in 2011 in J Clin Psychiatry found that supplements with an EPA:DHA ratio of 3:2 or higher with doses of 200 to 2,000 mg per day were effective in treating depression, and the higher the ratio, the more effective it was. A 2013 study in Eur Neuropsychopharmacol found that EPA but not DHA improved depression symptoms in adults already taking antidepressant drugs. Another study found that fish oil worked better than Prozac for depression, but both together worked better than either alone.

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) is another condition where Omega-3’s show promise. An Australian study published in J Dev Behav Pediatr in 2007 found significant improvement in attention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. A review and meta-analysis published in 2011 in J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry found a modest but significant reduction in ADHD symptoms with Omega-3 supplementation and concluded that because of its “benign side-effect profile” it “may be reasonable to use omega-3…to augment …pharmacologic interventions or for families who decline other psychopharmacologic options”. Another study [J Atten Disord 2009] found that after 6 months of Omega-3 supplementation, 47% of the children in the study had a reduction of ADHD symptoms to near normal. Of 12 studies on high EPA supplementation for ADD, 11 showed positive results. Of five studies using DHA, only one showed a positive result, and that showed improvement in only 7 of 16 possible markers.

Dr. Philip Rouchotas, ND, of Bolton Naturopathic Clinic in Ontario finds that 1,000 mg of omega-3 daily of a 2:1 ratio fish oil with works best for most conditions but mental health and mood disorders require a higher EPA:DHA ratio with 1,000 mg of EPA. He prefers capsules to liquid as the oil is better protected from oxidation. Rouchotas also finds that the ethyl ester form works as well as the triglyceride form, is less expensive, and allows much higher potency per capsule.

Most of the fish oil supplements in my store are slightly higher in EPA than DHA or at best 2:1. A new line I just brought in has a general purpose 2:1 ratio formula and a higher 10:1 ratio formula with 1,000 mg EPA for healthy mood balance.

For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

October 2, 2017

440 Magnesium Supplements [2 Oct 2017]

Magnesium is a critical mineral that few of us get enough of in our diet so supplementation is required. I have written about it several times over the years: Magnesium – a Crucial Mineral [#209]; Magnesium – Getting Enough [#210]; Magnesium Bisglycinate [#216]; and Magnesium for the Brain [#350]. This week I will compare the different forms of magnesium supplements.

There are two problems with magnesium supplements. First, magnesium is difficult to absorb in our intestines. And the magnesium that isn’t absorbed causes loose bowel movements. Now that may be a good thing when we’re constipated, but we don’t want to go too far!

There are three main types of magnesium supplements: inorganic salts like oxide and carbonate; organic salts like citrate, lactate, gluconate and malate; and protein complexes like bisglycinate and threonate. Generally the organic salts are better absorbed than the inorganic salts, so you get more magnesium into your body and a lower laxative effect. Because much of the magnesium is absorbed by passive diffusion, the absorption rate depends on its solubility which means that a liquid (or powder dissolved in hot water) is better absorbed than a capsule.

Recent research has shown that magnesium citrate, taken as a powder, has as good or better absorption as bisglycinate. Magnesium threonate is also well absorbed and has the added advantage of crossing both the blood-brain barrier and the mitochondrial membrane, improving brain function and increasing cellular energy production.

To summarize:
• Oxide – least expensive, poorest absorbed, strongest laxative effect
• Citrate capsules – inexpensive, better absorbed, mild laxative effect
• Citrate powder – more expensive, well absorbed, mild laxative effect
• Bisglycinate – more expensive, well absorbed, little or no laxative effect
• Threonate (Magtein) – more expensive, well absorbed, no laxative effect, enters brain

I personally take one each of magnesium bisglycinate and threonate daily, at different meals, along with a calcium-magnesium (citrate & oxide).

For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.