July 30, 2018

482 Ketogenic Diets [30 July 2018]

Ketogenic diets (keto for short) have become popular lately for weight loss and other reasons. I have run a weight loss clinic based on a 30 year researched, medically designed, ketogenic protocol for eight years now. While it’s possible to do a ketogenic diet on your own, there are significant challenges to consider.

The objective of the diet is to put your body into a state of ketosis in which fat is burned for energy instead of carbs. This is achieved by keeping total dietary carbs strictly below about 40g per day. Any more than that is just a low carb diet, not a ketogenic diet, and will prevent fat burning while starving your body for calories. See #290 “Low Calorie Balanced Diet” Oct 2014.

Getting adequate protein without the carbs is a challenge. Ideally we need 0.5g of protein for each pound of lean body weight. For me with a healthy weight of 200 lbs my protein intake should be at least 100g.

Another challenge is getting nutrients like vitamins and certain minerals. To remain in ketosis, whole food groups must be eliminated including dairy, fruits, grains and many vegetables. Supplementation of vitamins, calcium, magnesium and potassium is a must. For this reason, a ketogenic diet is not recommended for long term, unless designed for a medical reason such as epilepsy, cancer or Alzheimer’s. For weight loss, stick to it to reach your goal weight, then transition to a healthy maintenance diet.

Other challenges you may face while on a ketogenic diet include: temporary hormone changes affecting menstruation, hair loss, or unwanted hair growth; fatigue from low blood pressure or low blood sugar; headaches from low blood pressure or electrolyte imbalances; and the need to see your doctor to periodically adjust dosage of medications for diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.

Our weight loss clinic can help you with all these challenges. It provides a wide variety of low carb, high-quality protein, foods and lists of vegetables to use and avoid. We monitor your weight loss and lean loss weekly to ensure that you are in ketosis and are not burning muscle. And we can guide you through any problems that may arise along the way. There are many benefits to a ketogenic diet besides fat loss, such as normalization of blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol, and reduction in inflammation, as long as it is done correctly and safely.

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

July 23, 2018

481 Chronic Fatigue – another perspective [23 July 2018]

Back in April of this year I wrote about a possible viral cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) as described in a book by Judy Mikovits called “Plague – One Scientist’s Intrepid Search for the Truth about Human Retroviruses and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”. Another book, “Cure – a Journey into the Science of Mind over Body” by Jo Marchant (2016) explores the placebo effect and other examples of the mind controlling the body. One chapter approaches CFS from this perspective.

Regular fatigue, as experienced by athletes and mountain climbers, has a strong psychological factor. The old theories that fatigue occurs when the muscles are depleted of oxygen or flooded with lactic acid have been disproven. A new theory proposes that a “central governor” in the brain protects us by convincing us to quit while we still have some energy in reserve for a possible emergency.

Applied to CFS, the theory suggests that some trigger (often a viral infection) messes up the central governor’s settings, leaving the victims feeling too fatigued to do much of anything. A series of clinical studies, followed by a larger controlled study in 2011, found that graded exercise therapy (GET) to slowly increase activity, and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) to change the patients thinking about their condition, were both moderately helpful in reducing fatigue and improving disability scores. A total of 641 CFS patients, divided into four groups, were followed for a year. The pacing therapy group had no better results than the control which got routine medical care. After one year 22% of the patients in the CBT and GET groups had recovered, compared with 8% of the pacing therapy and control groups.

The reaction to this study was immediate and furious by CFS patient groups who rejected the implication that their condition was “all in their head”. A later re-analysis of the data by other scientists found the recovery rates to be less than 5% for all groups and not statistically different.

The original study’s senior author, Peter White of London, England, sees the problem as the current mindset that illnesses are either biological or psychological, when in fact there should be no such divide. The mind strongly affects the body and, as we have seen in the past few articles, biochemistry definitely affects the mind. White argues: CFS isn’t either biological or psychological; it’s both.

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

July 16, 2018

480 Alzheimer’s [16 July 2018]

Bear with me for one more article from William J. Walsh’s book Nutrient Power – Heal Your Biochemistry and Heal Your Brain. Walsh devotes Chapter 9 to Alzheimer’s disease.

Walsh first describes the discovery of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and outlines the four stages from Early Warning Signs to Advanced AD, and explains the two main types – Familial and Late-Onset. He comments on the role of genetics and epigenetics – certain gene mutations significantly increase the risk, but not to 100%.

Walsh then discusses risk factors including age (more than 90% of cases are diagnosed after age 70); head injuries (have you seen the movie “Concussion”?); education (higher education lowers the risk); mental and physical activity (both lower the risk); alcohol use (a glass or two of wine lowers the risk, excess use increases it); toxic metal exposure (particularly mercury), and deficiencies of zinc and certain vitamins.

Walsh then outlines the various causation theories for Alzheimer’s: low acetylcholine activity; amyloid plaque formation; tau protein tangles; inflammation; oxidative stress; and metal metabolism imbalances. As with depression, schizophrenia and autism, Walsh favors the nutrient imbalance theory.

In a 2003 study of metal concentrations in brain tissue, Walsh found very high copper/zinc ratios in AD brains but not in the controls. Australian research showed that excess copper increases beta amyloid plaque formation. The two enzymes that manage copper – metallothionein (MT) and Cu/Zn SOD – are both depleted in AD brains. In addition to regulating copper levels, MT helps keep toxic metals out of the brain and acts as a powerful antioxidant, protecting the brain from free radical damage. MT’s functions require the cofactors glutathione, selenium and zinc.

Walsh has patented a protocol for promoting metallothionein production in Autism and Alzheimer’s. The formulation includes 22 biochemical factors known to enhance the production and function of metallothionein. About 70 of the first 100 AD patients he has put on the program reported improvements in memory and stabilization of progression for several years. This is more than any other treatment for AD can claim, however the protocol is still considered unproven until larger controlled studies can be done.

Here is a short YouTube interview with Dr. Walsh on the topic of Alzheimer's and nutrition.

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

July 9, 2018

479 Biochemistry of Behavior [9 July 2018]

In his book Nutrient Power – Heal Your Biochemistry and Heal Your Brain, William J. Walsh devotes Chapter 8 to behavior disorders and ADHD.

Walsh believes that progress in criminal rehabilitation has been hampered by the belief that violent criminals are the result of poverty, child abuse, bad parenting and broken homes. He writes “most children with terrible behavior were born with chemical imbalances that predispose them to this conduct. Flawed life circumstances can aggravate this condition, but the underlying cause is usually bad brain chemistry.

Walsh’s introduction to the biochemistry of behaviors began in the 1970s while studying ex-convicts with a history of violence. He and his colleagues discovered a high incidence of trace mineral abnormalities in the violent group, especially the copper/zinc ratio. Carl Pfeiffer learned of this research and tested 500 people with behavioral disorders at his Princeton, NJ center. Pfeiffer found a high incidence of high blood histamine, high urine pyrroles, and zinc deficiency. Pfeiffer developed a nutrient protocol to normalize the chemistry but found that adult criminals were, as Walsh put it, “prone to noncompliance”. He had much better success in treating children with behavioral problems.

Walsh furthered this research over the next three decades, testing 10,000 patients with behavioral disorders and 5,600 with ADHD. He found chemical abnormalities in 94% of the behavior disorder group and 86% of the ADHD group. There was a strong correlation between certain biochemical imbalances and specific behavioral disorders. For example 90% of “Intermittent explosive disorder” children had a very high Cu/Zn ratio along with high urine pyrroles.

Walsh found that the three major subtypes of ADHD also have a specific chemical signature. For example most “Predominantly impulsive and hyperactive” children have a copper overload and zinc deficiency with low dopamine and high norepinephrine and adrenalin activity. Drugs like Ritalin effectively increase dopamine, but nutrient therapy to correct the copper/zinc imbalance may be as effective with fewer side effects.

Walsh sums it up: “The best way to reduce crime and violence is to identify children with antisocial tendencies and to provide effective treatment before their lives are ruined.”

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

July 2, 2018

478 Autism [2 July 2018]

William J. Walsh devotes Chapter 7 of his book Nutrient Power – Heal Your Biochemistry and Heal Your Brain to autism.

Two factors point to an epigenetic cause of autism. There is a definite genetic factor since the probability of a second twin having autism if the first one does is 60-90% for identical twins but less than 10% for fraternal twins. It’s not purely genetic, however, or the risk would be 100% for identical twins.

Secondly the increase in rates – from 3 per 10,000 in the 1940’s and 50’s, to more than 1 per 100 now – is too rapid to have a purely genetic cause. Improved diagnosis cannot explain all of the increase since it has continued to increase after 1990 when autism became well recognized. Furthermore, until 1960 nearly all cases exhibited symptoms from birth, but now about 80% are regressive where the child develops normally to age 1.5 or 2 with a sudden decline in functioning.

There must be some environmental change involved. Autism can best be explained by an epigenetic error during gestation which predisposes the child to autism, plus some environmental insult (the technical term) by age 3 which triggers the regression. As Walsh puts it: In essence, autism appears to be a gene programming disorder that develops in undermethylated persons who experience environmental insults that produce overwhelming oxidative stress.

Like schizophrenia and depression, autism has distinct chemical abnormalities. These include: deficiencies of zinc, magnesium, selenium, vitamins A and B6; elevated copper, mercury, lead and other toxic metals; elevated urinary pyrroles; undermethylation; and low glutathione levels. Gastro-intestinal disorders are very common, usually with dysbiosis (unhealthy gut bacteria).

Walsh rejects the belief that autism is incurable. In his experience, aggressive bionutrient therapy by age 4 provides the most complete recovery, but progress can be made at any age (he reported a 17 year old girl who started speaking after two months of treatment). Without treatment the conditions often remain permanent and very disabling. The objective of bionutrient therapy is to restore the biochemical imbalances, reduce oxidative stress, and heal the digestive tract. Again this therapy is best done under the supervision of experienced professionals.

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