How to Improve Your Sleep and Stress Levels with Prebiotics

31 Mar

 

Prebiotics are nutrients that the probiotics (good bacteria) in your gut microbiome require for best health.

The bacteria in the gut help the body to digest and metabolize the food we eat and numerous research studies demonstrate that these bacteria are vital to our overall health and well-being. These bacteria also activate hundreds of genes and the immune system.

Prebiotics are the nutrients that allow the friendly bacteria in the gut to multiply and these probiotics are most commonly found in fiber-rich foods.

The friendly bacteria thrive on the indigestible fiber and inulin is one of these types of water-soluble fiber that is most commonly found in foods such as asparagus, onions, leeks and garlic as they help to nourish the friendly bacteria in the gut.

How Prebiotics Can Support Sleep

Researchers have now found that taking a dietary probiotic can have a positive effect on rapid-eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep cycles, all of which can positively affect sleep quality.

The researchers studied the effects of gut health and prebiotics and how it benefits REM sleep of certain animal test subjects. They were given a diet rich in prebiotics, starting from the age of 3 weeks old.

Previous studies into this noticed that the results suggested daily stress can alter the gut microbiome in a manner that also affects the sleep-wake cycle. The goal of their research was to determine if taking a prebiotic may help to improve sleep quality when placed under stress.

For four weeks, the test subjects were fed a manufactured diet containing prebiotic fiber or a control diet. After this time, the researchers analysed excrement and found that eating prebiotics had an increase in beneficial gut bacteria, compared with the control group.

When the friendly bacteria metabolize the prebiotic fiber, they don’t just grow and multiply, they also excrete a metabolite that’s known to be beneficial for brain health. The test subjects eating a diet rich in prebiotics were also found to spend more time in restful and restorative NREM sleep than those on the control diet.

Scientists therefore concluded that with the right nutrition and sufficient NREM sleep, it’s possible to impact brain development and function, to improve sleep problems. Taking a prebiotic in early life could greatly improve your sleep quality, along with promoting optimal brain and psychological health.

Stress levels were also found to improve due to increased REM sleep. Prior research has also shown that people who have more REM sleep after a significant trauma are less likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Why Prebiotics Are Important

Fiber rich foods are important prebiotics for friendly bacteria but in many foods they are often accompanied by sugar and carbohydrates, causing the unfriendly bacteria to grow and multiply. Processed foods and refined carbohydrates can affect the gut microbiome, especially if you don’t have enough beneficial bacteria to stay healthy.

The test group involved in the study didn’t experience any stress disruption in their gut microbiome as the control group of test subjects did and they even returned to a normal sleep pattern more quickly than the control group too.

This study therefore highlights the importance of prebiotics on gut health and its role with inflammation, obesity, depression, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.

All prebiotics are fiber but not all fiber has a prebiotic effect on the friendly bacteria. To be classed as a prebiotic, fiber must resist gastric acidity, resist any absorption in the upper gastrointestinal tract, be fermented by intestinal flora and stimulate the activity or growth of beneficial bacteria.

Add More Healthy Prebiotics Into Your Life

Raw whole foods containing fiber are the most healthy and beneficial prebiotics to include in your diet. Some of these foods include:

  • Asparagus
  • Beetroot
  • Chickpeas
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Green peas
  • Leeks
  • Lentils
  • Onions
  • Pomegranate
  • Pistachio Nuts
  • Seaweed

However, it’s not always possible to get enough prebiotic fiber from foods alone, especially if you want them to nourish your good bacteria. For this reason it’s worth including a healthy prebiotic supplement into your daily routine to increase beneficial gut bacteria.

Robert Redfern

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How Supporting the Liver is the Key to Recovering From Thyroid Disease

17 Oct

 

Adverse Reactions to Helpful Supplements

Some people with Hashimoto’s have reported adverse reactions to various supplements, in addition to an increasing list of food and environmental allergies. Addressing your gut health and any underlying deficiencies can help many people, but what if you find yourself reacting to recommended protocols that are supposed to help you?

Investing in some supplements only to discover you are sensitive or reacting to them may be discouraging. You may even be scared to try a new intervention in case you have an adverse reaction to it. But don’t throw in the towel — there’s a way to address this hypersensitivity and reclaim your healthy self!

An accumulation of toxic buildup over time can result in an overburdened detoxification system that may show signs of stress. Oftentimes, people may find that supporting the liver makes a significant difference in their well-being and can improve many of their other symptoms too. So, the first step to being a “liver” of life again may just lie in supporting the liver.

Liver Function 101 (What does the liver do?)

The liver is an important organ that is responsible for a multitude of processes: it filters the blood, stores glucose for energy, produces and secretes bile for fat digestion, and is necessary for converting T4 to the active T3 hormone. It’s also our primary detoxification organ.

The liver has two pathways for detoxification. The elimination of toxins is done through a two-step enzymatic process. In the first step (known as Phase I), fat-soluble toxins undergo processes such as oxidation, reduction, hydrolysis, hydration, and dehalogenation. This pathway requires B vitamins, folate, glutathione, and flavonoids. The toxins are metabolized into intermediary substances that make them easier to process as they move along and prepare for the next phase.

In the second step (known as Phase II), the substances undergo conjugation, sulfation, glucuronidation, glutathione conjugation, acetylation, amino acid conjugation, and methylation reactions. These processes detoxify the substances and make them water-soluble so they can be excreted via the stool or urine. Folate, magnesium, glutathione, vitamin C, B5, B12, and the amino acids methionine, cysteine, glycine, taurine, glutamine, and choline are needed in Phase II.

In other words, to support both detox pathways, the liver needs to be given vitamins and nutrients. The liver is an office worker who needs the right kind of tools to process an incoming stream of paperwork — this may be the right kind of office supplies, the right kind of computer programs.

Liver Backlog and Toxic Overload (What is liver backlog and what are the symptoms of toxic overload?)

However, when the office worker keeps getting more and more paperwork dumped on her desk without replenishing the tools she needs to complete her work, a backlog can occur. A similar situation happens with our liver and toxins. Our detox pathways may become overwhelmed and overburdened, and we end up with a toxic backlog. Toxins may build up and circulate in our bodies or become stored in our fat instead of being properly excreted. This often results in multiple symptoms, as well as reactions to substances that are normally harmless… Imagine asking an overworked colleague for a small favor — there’s a chance she may snap at you — or it may take her way too long to do something that should take a minute or two.

Symptoms of toxic overload may include digestive problems, bad breath, fatigue, weakness, constipation, headaches, hormonal imbalance, itchy skin, rashes, breakouts, joint pain, brain fog, irritability, chemical sensitivity, and weight loss resistance — just to name a few! Your liver may also show signs of stress in the form of right-sided chest pain, gas, and diarrhea.

Liver Impairment and Thyroid Disease (How is it related to Hashimoto’s?)

It is important to note that in addition to causing impaired detoxification symptoms which may mimic those related to thyroid disease, liver dysfunction can also affect the thyroid. If your liver is impaired, your body may be unable to convert T4 to the active T3 hormone correctly, which can cause symptoms of hypothyroidism. (It’s important to have sufficient levels of the active T3 version as it’s our “go” hormone that tells our body to grow hair, boost metabolism, and create more energy!)

Some Hashimoto’s patients with a sluggish liver may also notice an extreme sensitivity to foods and drugs. Many of my clients who have reported chemical sensitivities and allergies to different foods and medications would frequently react to just about any benign and helpful supplement that I would give them. These reactions are often due to the toxic backlog that is present in their body, which can cause them to react to everything in their environment as well.

 

Causes of Toxic Overload (What causes liver congestion?)

I like to say that we are the canaries in the coal mines, and our symptoms are the signs of the invisible dangers surrounding us. Unfortunately, escaping toxins in our environment can be challenging — they’re everywhere! In fact, in 2006, the Centers for Disease Control reported that the average American has 116 out of 148 synthetic compounds in their body!

Whatever we inhale, ingest, and absorb into our skin eventually ends up circulating in our body. From our cosmetics and skin products to pesticides and exhaust fumes, we’re exposed to thousands of chemicals a day — many of which are especially detrimental to our thyroid health.

Xenoestrogens such as BPA, soy, phthalates, and parabens, for example, are chemicals that mimic the effect of estrogen. These chemicals may increase TSH and perpetuate the autoimmune attack on the thyroid. BPA, found in plastic containers and even store receipts, antagonizes T3 receptors in the thyroid. Xenoestrogens can be found in personal care products, plastics, and foods.

Triclosan, found in antibacterial soaps, toothpaste, deodorants, and hair sprays, has a structure that resembles that of thyroid hormones and has recently been banned by the FDA due to thyroid toxicity.

Furthermore, halogens like bromide and chloride may take up receptor sites in the thyroid gland, build up in thyroid tissue, and lead to inflammation and thyroid cell death, as they are structurally similar to iodine. This can lead to the development of autoimmune thyroiditis. Studies have shown that those exposed to high levels of halogen-containing substances have been found to have a higher incidence of thyroid antibodies. These halogens can be found in swimming pools, baked goods, and even our mattresses! (They’re everywhere!)

Fluoride is another halogen that can wreak havoc on the thyroid. Common sources of fluoride include supplements, bottled beverages, toothpaste, black and red tea, canned foods, chewing tobacco, black/red rock salt, and certain medications. Fluoride has been added to most water supplies in the United States, Canada, and some parts of the UK to prevent dental decay. However, it is also an endocrine disruptor. Although fluoride was actually used to treat hyperthyroidism up until the 1950s as it is an effective thyroid suppressor at daily doses of 0.9 to 4.2 mg, studies confirm that most adults in fluoridated communities ingest between 1.6 and 6.6 mg of fluoride a day, effectively suppressing their thyroid function.

Who’s at Risk (Are you at risk of having an overburdened liver?)

Some people may never be exposed to heavy toxins but may have the perfect storm of vulnerabilities that may lead to a greater accumulation of toxins and put them at a greater risk of having an overburdened liver.

For example, some people may have the MTHFR gene mutation that elevates their homocysteine levels. Elevated homocysteine levels have been associated with difficult pregnancies or miscarriages, birth defects, inflammation, and heart disease. Individuals with the MTHFR gene variation may also have a difficult time processing folic acid (a manufactured version of folate that is present in low-quality multivitamins and added to processed foods). Moreover, they are more likely to be deficient in folate, B6, and B12 and may require activated versions of these nutrients to address these deficiencies. The MTHFR gene mutation also prevents people from properly methylating, which is one of the body’s key detox processes. Methylation impairment can result in a liver that needs a little extra help when it comes to clearing out heavy metals from their body.

Furthermore, those with an autoimmune disease, and Hashimoto’s in particular, are especially prone to liver congestion. This risk can increase when one’s intestines are damaged. A healthy intestine allows for nutrients to be absorbed and blocks the absorption of toxins and pathogens. Studies have shown that everyone with an autoimmune disorder, including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, has some degree of intestinal permeability, or “leaky gut.” Intestinal permeability is defined by gaps in the gut lining that can develop as the result of various factors including:

  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Food sensitivities
  • Gluten
  • Gut infections
  • Stress
  • NSAIDs
  • Toxins

The gaps in the gut allow for irritating molecules and substances to “leak” into the bloodstream. A leaky gut can result in the absorption of potentially problematic substances and lead to impaired detox abilities.

Additionally, the decreased ability to sweat, which can be common in those with hypothyroidism (and a great “perk” of thyroid disease in social settings ;-)), can make you more prone to liver congestion.

Gluten intolerance, low HCl levels, and other absorption issues present in Hashimoto’s can also prevent us from properly absorbing nutrients needed for our detoxification pathways.

Finally, food sensitivities, which are particularly common among those with Hashimoto’s, can contribute to liver congestion. When you continually ingest the proteins of foods that you are sensitive to, you could develop antibodies to them. Reactive food proteins can attach to these antibodies, creating what’s referred to as circulating immune complexes (CICs). When the body becomes overwhelmed by too many CICs, the complexes accumulate in the liver, leading to impaired liver function.

So, those with Hashimoto’s are especially more likely to develop a chemical backlog in their body!

The Potential Dangers of Conventional Treatments (Why strong detox therapies may not work)

I’ve discovered that people who do not begin with liver support (and instead start with addressing the gut or adrenals, or taking supplements in general) are more likely to react to medications, supplements, and even foods. Supporting the liver can really kick-start your healing and even make you feel brighter, happier, and more alive.

You may have heard about intensive “detox” strategies such as taking high dose iodine, coffee enemas, or chelating agents like spirulina, chlorella or DMSA. However, “forceful” detox methods may, in fact, be potentially harmful to your health and lead to serious consequences.

High doses of iodine, for example, can cause increased thyroid gland destruction.

Meanwhile, coffee enemas may result in perforated bowels or colitis when people don’t perform them correctly, or have an adverse reaction to the coffee. Unfortunately, I’ve had clients who had to be hospitalized due to coffee-induced colitis, resulting in inflammation of the inner lining of the colon.

Chelation is another popular and “powerful” detox method. It causes the metals to detach from your body and allows them to start moving freely around it. Unfortunately, “powerful” doesn’t always mean “effective”! If you can’t get rid of these metals via the liver, they are just going to circulate and attach themselves to other types of body tissues — which could be problematic and potentially make you feel even worse.

I learned this the hard way – I once tried a “forceful” detox with spirulina, which led to the development of a new autoimmune condition called giant papillary conjunctivitis. This resulted in giant pimples on the inside of my eyelids, and yes, it was as awful as it sounds! Don’t make the same mistake I did!

Furthermore, forceful strategies can make those with autoimmune thyroid disease feel worse — especially when done without medical intervention — as aggressively drawing out toxins can overwhelm the detox pathways that are already overburdened due to Hashimoto’s.

I can’t stress enough the importance of being gentle on the liver. I don’t recommend “intensive” and potentially dangerous detox interventions until you’ve had your liver properly supported, your adrenals balanced, your nutrients supported, and your gut function restored (as covered by the Fundamental Protocols of my book, Hashimoto’s Protocol).

When it comes to healing, being gentle and putting safety first is key.

Natural Treatment Options (What is liver support? How can it help you?)

Start with natural protocols to support the liver and detox pathways, so this is where liver support comes into play. Liver support is different from detox and can help a person feel better in as little as two weeks.

It is one of the things recommended for everybody with Hashimoto’s, especially those who report severe issues with allergies, have a lot of breakouts, and score really high on toxicity level tests. When people have a lot of reactions to different supplements, it’s usually a liver issue. I would recommend supporting your liver by following the Two-Week Liver Support Protocol in my book, Hashimoto’s Protocol.

There are four steps to my Liver Support Protocol:

  1. Remove potentially triggering foods
  2. Add supportive foods.
  3. Reduce toxic exposure.
  4. Support both detoxification pathways.

Benefits of Liver Support

Dr. Wentz has a 4-step liver support that is going to be helpful for most people, and it really kicks off your healing. In fact, 65% of people who completed the Liver Support during the Hashimoto’s Self-Management Program – many of whom had been sick for over 10, 15, 20 years – said they felt significantly better after completing the Liver Support Protocol.

Some benefits of a doing liver support include a reduction of many of your symptoms, as well as clearer skin, improved vitamin and mineral absorption, and better bowel function.

As triggers are removed and nutrient deficiencies are addressed, the liver is able to clear out toxins and process hormones more efficiently. This means that estrogen and progesterone levels will be better balanced. Those with thyroid disease will also begin to feel better because as more of the liver enzymes are freed up to work on hormones instead of toxins, the body will have more access to T3.

Since the body produces the active T3 hormone through a conversion process from either endogenous T4 that’s produced in the body or exogenous T4 that is taken as a medication, having a healthy liver means that our bodies can utilize our own thyroid hormones, as well as our thyroid medication, much more efficiently! This means more energy, better hair growth, and even effortless weight loss for some!

Step 1: Removing Triggering Foods

The first thing you should do is remove all the foods that could be causing toxin buildup or are irritating the gut and disrupting nutrient absorption.

Triggering foods should be removed from your diet if you have Hashimoto’s regardless if you are doing the Liver Support Protocol because they cause compounding issues. For example, these foods contribute to leaky gut syndrome which, when coupled with Hashimoto’s, can result in confusing symptoms and make it difficult to identify root causes and treatments.

If you’ve already removed these foods from your diet, that’s great news! You can skip to step two and begin adding liver-supporting foods.

Potentially triggering foods include:

  • Gluten*
  • Dairy*
  • Sugar
  • Soy
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine

Step 2: Add Supportive Foods

During this Protocol, it’s very important to support your liver because it’s doing a lot of heavy lifting. By introducing the following foods to your diet, you’ll be supporting a gentle and effective detoxification process, while adding superfoods to your diet.

Here are the 11 most supportive foods I recommend, listed in order of importance:

  1. Hot lemon water
  2. The Root Cause Green Smoothie
  3. Beets
  4. Cruciferous vegetables
  5. Cilantro
  6. Fiber
  7. Sprouts and seedlings
  8. Green juices and chlorophyll
  9. Fermented foods
  10. Turmeric
  11. Berries

About an hour after your morning cup of hot lemon water, It is recommended you make a green smoothie for breakfast in a blender. The Root Cause Green Smoothie is nutrient-dense and packed with plenty of protein, fat, and fiber to help you support your body’s detox pathways. Since the smoothie is blended into tiny particles, it’s much easier to digest compared to a regular breakfast, and the nutrients are more readily available so they can fuel your body and help you feel energized throughout the day. You can find go-to green smoothie recipe here!

Adding supportive foods such as cilantro to get rid of heavy metals, and beets, which are rich in folate and betaine which help to break down homocysteine and can be particularly helpful to those with the MTHFR gene mutation, can also aid your body in eliminating toxins.

Step 3: Reduce Toxic Exposure

You might be surprised by some of the sources of toxins in our lives today. The problem is that more chemicals are constantly popping up without testing, and it’s hard to know which ones will and will not hurt us.

Also, sometimes common products like household cleaning supplies and personal care products are packed with toxins. During the Liver Support Protocol,  pay extra attention to every chemical source you encounter throughout the day.

Some common toxins that are found in our day to day life include:

Herbicides and pesticides – Unfortunately, our agriculture system uses hundreds of herbicides and pesticides that are known to contribute to toxin burden. The herbicide Atrazine (which is banned in the EU but not the United States) has been linked to mitochondrial dysfunction, obesity, insulin resistance, and hormonal dysfunction. (2)

Foods with the highest herbicide and pesticide presence include apples, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, grapes, and celery. Consider buying organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible, especially for anything with a soft skin. Keep in mind that organic food has a higher nutrient content, which may make it worth the added cost. (3)

Mercury – Mercury is most commonly found in dental fillings and in fish, such as tuna. Mercury is known to interfere with thyroid function, especially in those with Hashimoto’s.

Mercury vaporizes when heated, and chewing food can cause mercury to be released from dental fillings into your blood. Removing mercury fillings can reduce Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPO antibodies) in the blood.

Mercury consumption from fish can be controlled by avoiding species with the highest mercury content such as tuna (ahi, bigeye), mackerel (king), and swordfish. I also recommend limiting your intake of species with moderate mercury levels to a couple times a month. These include tuna (yellowfin, canned), mackerel (Spanish, Gulf), and sea bass.

Aluminum – Aluminum is found in many cooking pans and antiperspirants. Scratched non-stick pans are a common source of aluminum toxicity, which is why it recommended that you use stainless steel pans. It is also recommended switching to an aluminum-free deodorant.

FluorideFluoride is a thyroid-suppressing halogen found in our water, toothpaste, and even black and green tea. A 2015 British study found that medical practices in areas with fluoridated water were twice as likely to have patients with hypothyroidism.

I strongly recommend using a reverse osmosis filter to get rid of the fluoride in your water and avoiding toothpaste with fluoride in it. One of the most cost-effective reverse osmosis filters out there is AquaTru’s countertop filter.

Other common toxins include:

  •      Xenoestrogens: chemicals that mimic estrogen
  •      Bisphenol A (BPA): common chemical found in plastics
  •      Chlorine: found in water systems and swimming pools
  •      Bromine: found in plastics, baked goods, sodas, and even mattresses (as a flame retardant coating)
  •      Lithium: used as a medication and found in drinking water
  •      Other heavy metals: lead, cadmium, cobalt, etc.

Beauty Products – The average woman applies an estimated 168 chemicals to her body every single day and many of them are known to contain toxic impurities. This is a staggering number of chemicals we are applying to our skin each day. Please check out Dr. Wentz’s post on beauty products for more information and more non-toxic options.

Air Pollution

Have you ever walked into a building and just felt off? Sick Building Syndrome is a recently coined term to describe a collection of health symptoms experienced by one or more people due to exposure and time spent within a specific building.

This is due to poor indoor air quality that may be caused by various airborne toxins, such as off-gassing building materials, volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), air pathogens, pollens, or molds. This is usually combined with faulty heating, air conditioning and/or ventilation systems.

It is recommended that you get an air purifier for your home (especially your bedroom where you sleep) to clear out airborne toxins. The AirDoctor is an excellent air filter.

Less industrial and more decorative options include getting houseplants! Plants of the Golden Pothos, Corn Plant, and the Sansevieria species have been used as purifiers and have gained a reputation for even being able to mitigate the effects in sick building syndrome! Sansevieria absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen at night, making them excellent bedroom plants. However, as their leaves are poisonous if ingested, they should be kept out of reach of children (2 and 4 legged).

Step 4: Supporting Detox Pathways

Finally, you’re going to want to support your detox pathways. Since the lymph system is responsible for transporting and eliminating toxins, you can’t go wrong with a little skin brushing and exercise to increase lymphatic flow and help push the toxins out. Massage therapy is another great option!

Additionally, since the skin is the body’s largest elimination organ, I also recommend engaging in activities that induce sweating. (Hot yoga and sauna therapy are excellent sweat strategies!)

Potential Liver Support Side Effects (What are the potential side effects of Liver Support?)

Although the liver support protocol is generally well tolerated by 80% of people who utilize it, some people may experience symptoms that may appear to be an adverse reaction to the liver support supplements. However, since removing caffeine and processed foods — which can result in detox and withdrawal symptoms — is part of the protocol, this may well be what they are actually experiencing.

Headaches, fatigue, breakouts, nausea, and changes in bowel function are some withdrawal symptoms to expect. These should not be really painful, however, they should be more or less well tolerated and the effects should peak around day 3. After that, most people will feel better.

About 65% of people actually report positive things such as feeling lighter, being less inflamed, being less reactive to a variety of substances, and having more energy, within the first week or so!

Causes of Liver Support Side Effects (What causes these symptoms?

There are many factors to consider when looking for the root cause of your liver support side effects. Perhaps you are also implementing a few other major lifestyle changes while getting your thyroid health back on track. Have you recently started following a new diet such as the Root Cause Intro Diet recommended in Hashimoto’s Protocol, which restricts certain foods like caffeinated drinks and processed foods?

Dietary changes can have a big impact on your body. Caffeine, for example, is an addictive substance, so some people may get withdrawal headaches, nausea, irritability, diarrhea and even vomiting — especially if they quit cold turkey instead of weaning off gradually.

You may also experience withdrawal symptoms if you’re reducing your sugar intake.

Likewise, if you’ve recently cut out gluten or dairy (common dietary Hashimoto’s triggers) from your diet, you may also experience various “withdrawal” symptoms!

It has been hypothesized that when gluten is digested, opioid peptides called gluteomorphins are released into the gastrointestinal tract and taken up into the bloodstream. These peptides are considered exorphins, as they have morphine-like effects on the brain. In other words, they can have “addictive” properties, so suddenly cutting gluten out of your diet can cause strong withdrawal symptoms. Similarly, casomorphins, which are ingested via the consumption of milk products, have been suggested to cause similar withdrawal symptoms when removed from the diet. As such, a sudden removal of gluten and dairy products from your diet may trigger some discomfort similar to that of liver support side effects.

If you’ve already been gluten, dairy, sugar, and caffeine-free and still react to liver support, there’s a chance a nutrient deficiency may be to blame.

The main reason why people have an adverse reaction, and only about 5% of people do, is because of magnesium deficiency. If you are irritated, anxious, experience insomnia, menstrual cramps, leg cramps, pain or constipation, you are likely magnesium deficient. Taking a magnesium citrate supplement can help tremendously. Most importantly, the citrate version of magnesium has a slight laxative effect, making sure we are clearing our bowels properly and not recirculating the toxins. Interestingly, magnesium becomes depleted as toxins begin to leave the body, so please note that magnesium requirements may increase while taking liver support supplements.

Troubleshooting (How to mitigate the side effects with diet and supplements)

There are lots of strategies you can implement to mitigate the side effects of detoxification with the help of supplements, as well as dietary and lifestyle changes.

As mentioned earlier, a deficiency in magnesium can cause unwanted side effects during a detox, so it recommended that you take a magnesium citrate supplement, at bedtime. Please note, you should not take magnesium within 4 hours of your thyroid medications — the doses of magnesium in most supplements can lead to impaired absorption of thyroid hormones.

Epsom salt baths are also beneficial for magnesium depletion. All you need is 1 cup of Epsom salts in a bath of hot water. (Don’t overdo it though — you can overdose on Epsom salts!)

Adding supportive foods and beverages is another thing recommended to help mitigate detox side effects. Drinking hot lemon water first thing in the morning and throughout the day will not only support your liver’s detox pathways but also your stomach acid. Green juices are also wonderful for maintaining energy levels and the chlorophyll can help with binding toxins. You can drink hot lemon water or green juices instead of caffeine and you’ll see a marked difference in your energy levels.

As I mentioned earlier, cruciferous vegetables are great greens that can help us detoxify. Please note, however, that if you find you’re sensitive to them, you may have a CBS mutation and sulfur sensitivity, which may be exacerbated by crucifers. If you suspect that this may apply to you, be sure to test for the CBS gene mutation using a genetic test like the one offered by 23andMe, as well as check out the Sulfur Toxicity Protocol in the Advanced Protocols section of Hashimoto’s Protocol! (So, there may be an explanation as to why you’ve always disliked broccoli since you were a child! ;-)) If you can tolerate them, however, they’re very helpful veggies to add to your meals as you follow the Liver Support Protocol.

Closing Action Steps (Some encouragement for you…)

My goal is to empower you and encourage you that it’s definitely possible to heal from what you’ve been going through – and the first step is supporting the liver.

It is recommended that you use the supplements that are listed in the Liver Support Protocol chapter, such as the ones from Rootcology. This will ensure both liver pathways are properly supported and will create a foundation that will make your further interventions and protocols successful.

Please note, it is important to individualize the protocols to your needs under the supervision of a functional medicine practitioner who will be part of your health care team and who will best know your personal needs. You can find our list of recommended practitioners here.

Remember, what some people may experience may not be an allergic reaction to the Liver Protocol supplements, but rather a sign that there is something else going on, and you may want to check for magnesium deficiency.

Supporting the liver may be daunting at first, but it is well worth it. You may notice a significant amount of change in a significantly short amount of time. Your body will thank you for taking action and being your own health advocate. And, you will feel much better!

The word “liver” comes from the Old English word lifer, which is etymologically related to “life” — so it makes sense that the liver plays a key role in helping you restore your LIFE!

I hope this encourages you, and I wish you all the very best on your healing journey!

Dr. Isabella Wentz

References

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  12. Friedmann A. Atrazine inhibition of testosterone production in rat males following peripubertal exposure. Reproductive Toxicology. 2002;16(3):275-279. doi:10.1016/s0890-6238(02)00019-9.
  13. Bajaj J. Various Possible Toxicants Involved in Thyroid Dysfunction: A Review. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research. 2016. doi:10.7860/jcdr/2016/15195.7092.
  14. Sterzl I, Procházková J, Hrda P, Matucha P, Bartova J J, Stejskal V. Removal of dental amalgam decreases anti-TPO and anti-Tg autoantibodies in patients with autoimmune thyroiditis. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2007.
  15. Peckham S, Lowery D, Spencer S. Are fluoride levels in drinking water associated with hypothyroidism prevalence in England? A large observational study of GP practice data and fluoride levels in drinking water. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. 2015;69(7):619-624. doi:10.1136/jech-2014-204971.

13 Core Nutrients for Gut Health

4 Oct

 

 

Are you eating right for your gut? When it comes to healthy digestion, there are certain nutrients that ensure success. If you want to support your inner ecosystem and seal a leaky gut, make sure to focus on these 13 core nutrients for gut health.

 

Magnesium is critical to your overall well being, including the health of your gut and its related systems.

Restore and Heal: 13 Core Nutrients for Gut Health

1. Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1 (or thiamin) supports brain health. Some research has found that it might even protect against Alzheimer’s disease. In the body, thiamine supports the digestion of carbohydrates, protein, and cholesterol.1

While you’ll most often hear about thiamin in the context of alcohol abuse, a growing number of people who have had gastric bypass surgery are diagnosed with both thiamin deficiency and SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth).2 Often, SIBO shows up in those with multiple deficiencies in B-complex vitamins.3,4 Also — drinking large amounts of coffee or tea can deplete thiamin.5 

2. Vitamin B6

 

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient, and deficiencies have been linked to serious gut disorders like inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Probiotics, found in a probiotic drink like Passion Fruit Biotic, can help to naturally increase levels of vitamin D.

Vitamin B6 is another micronutrient that can run low in those who drink alcohol. Vitamin B6 supports the production of brain chemicals and the synthesis of blood. It also helps to safeguard against inflammation.6

Typically, the active form of vitamin B6 (known as P-5-P or Pyridoxal-5′-phosphate) is taken with the mineral magnesium. This is because a deficiency in magnesium will limit the uptake of vitamin B6.7

3. Folate

Folate is a group of water-soluble B vitamins that helps to control gene expression and protect against rogue cells multiplying into cancer. Because the wall of your gut is perpetually renewed as new cells get pushed to the surface and old cells slough off into your digestive tract, you need nutrients to safeguard this replication process. Folate is one of these nutrients.

In the gut, research has found that enough folate can protect against stomach cancer and colon cancer.8 However, folic acid — a type of folate that is commonly found in supplements — is not easily transformed into active folate. Folks who supplement with folic acid end up carrying a large store of toxic folic acid in the liver.9 In the large intestine, excess folic acid has been linked to cancer.10 When supplementing folate, do your best to avoid folic acid.

Along with vitamin B12, folate also helps to control inflammation and the markers of chronic disease, including metabolic syndrome and dementia.11

4. Vitamin A

Vitamins A, D, and E collectively impact your immune system and strengthen your gut barrier. For example, in weaning babies, a diet rich in vitamin A can help to seal a leaky gut and protect against infection.12 Besides working with your immune system to protect against gut infection, research shows that vitamin A also helps to harmonize your gut microbes.13

It’s important to note that in order to use vitamin A, you need zinc and iron. Both zinc and iron are minerals that your body uses as it moves vitamin A around the body.14,15

5. Vitamin D

Like vitamin A, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. You can find vitamin D in a limited number of foods — salmon, sardines, cod liver oil, and egg yolks. You also make vitamin D in your skin when it’s exposed to sunlight.16

Vitamin D deficiency has been tied to a number of gut disorders, including: 

  • Colon cancer
  • Diverticulitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

The good news is that probiotics can increase levels of vitamin D.17 In turn, this signals your immune system and helps to soothe intestinal inflammation.18 Vitamin D also acts as an anti-bacterial in the gut and wards off infection.19

6. Vitamin E

Both vitamin E and vitamin C are antioxidants. Antioxidants combat inflammation and help repair a leaky gut. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant, whereas vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant. You can often find vitamin C hanging around vitamin E, helping to reboot vitamin E’s antioxidant abilities.

As a fat-soluble antioxidant, vitamin E helps to manage levels of bad cholesterol, which have been linked to heart disease.20 Trouble digesting fat can interfere with your uptake of vitamin E as well as other fat-soluble vitamins, like vitamins A and D. You can find plenty of vitamin E in plant seeds, such as sunflower seeds, almonds, and hazelnuts.

7. Vitamin C

While the latest research shows our bodies may make some vitamin C, Vitamin C is an anti-aging nutrient that you must mainly get from food. You can increase how much iron you absorb from plant foods by making sure your meal contains plenty of vitamin C.21 

Some of the richest sources of vitamin C include cultured cabbage and papaya.

8. Zinc

Digestive enzymes depend on a number of minerals. One of those minerals is zinc. Zinc activates digestive enzymes, ensuring your meal is fully broken down and used. Zinc also strengthens the barrier of the gut wall, making it an indispensable trace mineral for those with leaky gut.22,23

Zinc deficiency is common. Roughly one in 10 Americans consumes less than half of the recommended dietary allowance for zinc.24 Some of the best sources of zinc include oysters, liver, seafood, beef, and amaranth.25

9. Selenium

Selenium is your antioxidant mineral. Selenium is found in antioxidant enzymes that minimize the damage of free radical stress and reduce inflammation. Selenium is also needed to make active thyroid hormone.

There are no telltale signs to indicate you’re not getting enough selenium — mostly, your body is simply unable to handle stress. People with long-term gut troubles or autoimmune thyroid disease (like Graves’ or Hashimoto’s) are at a greater risk for selenium deficiency.26

10. Manganese

Many of your digestive enzymes rely on manganese. Manganese “turns on” the enzymes that break down carbohydrates, amino acids, and cholesterol. For this reason, manganese deficiency is linked to poor blood sugar regulation. But manganese deficiency isn’t common — what’s more common is an excess in manganese.27 While food generally won’t push manganese levels too high, well water, tap water, and supplements can.28

Manganese also has an important relationship with iron, magnesium, and calcium. Iron limits the absorption of manganese, whereas magnesium decreases its bioavailability. In other words, low levels of iron or magnesium can make manganese toxic to the body.29

11. Molybdenum

Molybdenum is a relatively unknown trace mineral that is critical to your overall health. Most importantly, it acts as a co-factor to four major enzymes — helping your cells to produce energy and your body to detoxify alcohol, drugs, and the noxious byproducts of mold and yeast.30

When fighting yeast overgrowth or managing allergies, getting enough molybdenum is particularly important. The best sources of molybdenum are properly soaked and fermented grains, grain-like seeds, and legumes — including peas and soy. Animal liver also offers small amounts of molybdenum.31

12. Magnesium

Magnesium is critical to your overall wellbeing, including the health of your gut and its related systems. Low levels of magnesium are associated with systemic inflammation. For example, your magnesium levels can influence blood sugar control, and magnesium deficiency has been linked to metabolic syndrome. In addition to type 2 diabetes, this can mean high blood pressure and heart disease.

Research also shows that a diet with low levels of magnesium can lead to depression — and a shift in the microbes that make up your inner ecosystem.32 Other studies confirm changes in good gut bacteria when there’s inflammation in the presence of magnesium deficiency.33 Finally, magnesium deficiency can decrease the excretion of the mineral molybdenum, allowing it to build up in your liver.34

Long-term use of prescription antacids known as PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) can pillage your magnesium levels.35 And those with ongoing gut troubles tend to run low in magnesium anyway. In general, processed foods usually carry far less magnesium than their whole, unprocessed predecessors.36 If you’re looking to boost your magnesium levels with food, focus on green leafy vegetables, whole grain-like seeds, and almonds.

13. Arginine

Arginine is an amino acid that supports intestinal cells and your immune system, helping to maintain the gut barrier.

Supplementing with arginine can safeguard against infections and reduce intestinal inflammation.37 Research also shows that, along with omega-3 fatty acids, arginine can significantly lower the risk of infection and length of hospital stay after gastrointestinal surgery.38

What To Remember Most About This Article:

If you’ve been struggling with your gut health for some time, there could be a perfectly good reason why.

A healthy and robust gut needs 13 core nutrients to thrive:

  1. Vitamin B1 – Helps to support the digestion of protein, carbohydrates, and cholesterol.
  2. Vitamin B6 – Can protect the body — and the gut — against dangerous levels of inflammation.
  3. Folate – May protect against stomach and colon cancer and helps support the replication of new cells in the gut wall.
  4. Vitamin A – Helps to strengthen immunity and the gut barrier and can also seal a leaky gut in weaning babies.
  5. Vitamin D – Deficiency may lead to several gut disorders, including colon cancer, diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and irritable bowel syndrome; probiotics can help to naturally increase levels of vitamin D.
  6. Vitamin E – Provides antioxidant protection to calm inflammation and help repair a leaky gut.
  7. Vitamin C – Can help to increase iron absorption from plant foods when eating foods rich in vitamin C, like cultured cabbage.
  8. Zinc – Helps to activate digestive enzymes to fully break down food.
  9. Selenium – Deficiency makes it harder for the body to handle stress and may be linked to long-term gut problems.
  10. Manganese – Activates digestive enzymes to better break down amino acids, carbohydrates, and cholesterol.
  11. Molybdenum – Lesser-known trace mineral that can help the body to detoxify and combat allergies and yeast overgrowth.
  12. Magnesium – Essential mineral for overall wellbeing, and especially gut health and its related systems.
  13. Arginine – Protective amino acid that supports immunity and intestinal cells to maintain the health of the gut barrier.

REFERENCES:

  1. Karuppagounder, S. S., Xu, H., Shi, Q., Chen, L. H., Pedrini, S., Pechman, D., … & Gibson, G. E. (2009). Thiamine deficiency induces oxidative stress and exacerbates the plaque pathology in Alzheimer’s mouse model. Neurobiology of Aging, 30(10), 1587-1600.
  2. Shah, H. N., Bal, B. S., Finelli, F. C., & Koch, T. R. (2013). Constipation in patients with thiamine deficiency after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. Digestion, 88(2), 119-124.
  3. Parlesak, A., Klein, B., Schecher, K., Bode, J. C., & Bode, C. (2003). Prevalence of small bowel bacterial overgrowth and its association with nutrition intake in nonhospitalized older adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 51(6), 768-773.
  4. Moss, C. J., & Mathews, S. T. (2013). Thiamin status and supplementation in the management of diabetes mellitus and its vascular comorbidities. Vitam Miner, 2(111), 2.
  5. Lakhani, S. V., Shah, H. N., Alexander, K., Finelli, F. C., Kirkpatrick, J. R., & Koch, T. R. (2008). Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and thiamine deficiency after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery in obese patients. Nutrition Research, 28(5), 293-298.
  6. Morris, M. S., Sakakeeny, L., Jacques, P. F., Picciano, M. F., & Selhub, J. (2010). Vitamin B-6 intake is inversely related to, and the requirement is affected by, inflammation status. The Journal of Nutrition, 140(1), 103-110.
  7. Planells, E., Lerma, A., Sanchez-Morito, N., Aranda, P., & Llopis, J. (1997). Effect of magnesium deficiency on vitamin B2 and B6 status in the rat. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 16(4), 352-356.
  8. Barker, N. (2014). Adult intestinal stem cells: critical drivers of epithelial homeostasis and regeneration. Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology, 15(1), 19-33.
  9. Patanwala, I., King, M. J., Barrett, D. A., Rose, J., Jackson, R., Hudson, M., … & Jones, D. E. (2014). Folic acid handling by the human gut: implications for food fortification and supplementation. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 100(2), 593-599.
  10. Fineschi, V. (2013). Chronic, supra‐physiological doses of nandrolone decanoate and exercise induced cardio‐toxicity in an animal‐model study. Acta Physiologica, 208(2), 141-143.
  11. “Folate.” Linus Pauling Institute.
  12. Thurnham, D. I., Northrop-Clewes, C. A., McCullough, F. S. W., Das, B. S., & Lunn, P. G. (2000). Innate immunity, gut integrity, and vitamin A in Gambian and Indian infants. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 182(Supplement 1), S23-S28.
  13. Christian, P., & West, K. P. (1998). Interactions between zinc and vitamin A: an update. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 68(2), 435S-441S.
  14. Jang, J. T., Green, J. B., Beard, J. L., & Green, M. H. (2000). Kinetic analysis shows that iron deficiency decreases liver vitamin A mobilization in rats. The Journal of Nutrition, 130(5), 1291-1296.
  15. Kau, A. L., Ahern, P. P., Griffin, N. W., Goodman, A. L., & Gordon, J. I. (2011). Human nutrition, the gut microbiome and the immune system. Nature, 474(7351), 327-336.
  16. “Vitamin D.” Linus Pauling Institute.
  17. Jones, M. L., Martoni, C. J., & Prakash, S. (2013). Oral supplementation with probiotic L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 increases mean circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D: a post hoc analysis of a randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 98(7), 2944-2951.
  18. Ferguson, L. R., Laing, B., Marlow, G., & Bishop, K. (2015). The role of vitamin D in reducing gastrointestinal disease risk and assessment of individual dietary intake needs: Focus on genetic and genomic technologies. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.
  19. Hewison, M. (2011). Antibacterial effects of vitamin D. Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 7(6), 337-345.
  20. “Vitamin E.” Linus Pauling Institute.
  21. “Vitamin C.” Linus Pauling Institute.
  22. Sturniolo, G. C., Di Leo, V., Ferronato, A., D’Odorico, A., & D’Incà, R. (2001). Zinc supplementation tightens “leaky gut” in Crohn’s disease. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, 7(2), 94-98.
  23. Wang, X., Valenzano, M. C., Mercado, J. M., Zurbach, E. P., & Mullin, J. M. (2013). Zinc supplementation modifies tight junctions and alters barrier function of CACO-2 human intestinal epithelial layers. Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 58(1), 77-87.
  24. Ho, E. (2004). Zinc deficiency, DNA damage and cancer risk. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 15(10), 572-578.
  25. “Foods High in Zinc.” Whole Food Catalog.
  26. “Selenium.” Linus Pauling Institute.
  27. O’Neal, S. L., & Zheng, W. (2015). Manganese Toxicity Upon Overexposure: a Decade in Review. Current Environmental Health Reports, 2(3), 315-328.
  28. “Manganese.” Linus Pauling Institute.
  29. Kim, Y., Lobdell, D. T., Wright, C. W., Gocheva, V. V., Hudgens, E., & Bowler, R. M. (2015). Blood Metal Concentrations of Manganese, Lead, and Cadmium in Relation to Serum Ferritin Levels in Ohio Residents. Biological Trace Element Research, 165(1), 1-9.
  30. “Molybdenum.” Linus Pauling Institute.
  31. “Foods High in Molybdenum.” Whole Food Catalog.
  32. “Magnesium.” Linus Pauling Institute.
  33. Winther, G., Pyndt Jørgensen, B. M., Elfving, B., Nielsen, D. S., Kihl, P., Lund, S., … & Wegener, G. (2015). Dietary magnesium deficiency alters gut microbiota and leads to depressive-like behaviour. Acta Neuropsychiatrica, 27(03), 168-176.
  34. Kim, K. H., Funaba, M., Yoshida, M., & Matsui, T. (2013). The effects of magnesium deficiency on molybdenum metabolism in rats. Biological Trace Element Research, 151(1), 100-104.
  35. Toh, J. W. T., Ong, E., & Wilson, R. (2014). Hypomagnesaemia associated with long-term use of proton pump inhibitors. Gastroenterology Report,
  36. Jahnen-Dechent, W., & Ketteler, M. (2012). Magnesium basics. Clinical Kidney Journal, 5(Suppl 1), i3-i14.
  37. Fritz, J. H. (2013). Arginine cools the inflamed gut. Infection and Immunity, 81(10), 3500-3502.
  38. Braga, M. (2012). Perioperative immunonutrition and gut function. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care, 15(5), 485-488.

Donna Gates

Essential Oil Protocol for Cancer

3 Oct

Before Dr, Eric Z dives into a sample Essential Oil Protocol for Cancer Patients, it’s important to keep in mind this truth about cancer and essential oils It’s important to realize that natural therapies can and, in his opinion, SHOULD be used in conjunction with conventional medicine (unless obvious contraindications are present). It’s not an all-or-nothing thing. Meaning this – people oftentimes tell me they feel that they only have two options:

  1. Either go the “all-natural” route,
  2. Or, follow the allopathic model.

But this is NOT the case! Many don’t realize that a balanced-approach works well too, and may even be more effective than one or the other. In the words of a 2014 article in the journal BioMed Research International, (1) EOs have also been reported to improve the quality of life of the cancer patients by lowering the level of their agony [2]. EOs-mediated therapy cannot be a substitute to the standard chemotherapy and radiotherapy but can be used in combination with cancer therapy to decrease the side effects of the drugs. Hence, EOs can be used for improving the health of the cancer patients and as a source of novel anticancer compounds….Use of the EOs as dietary supplements and coadministration with drugs can enhance the response to the treatment.

This last sentence is REALLY important! Like I always say, everything is better with oils. Even chemo! My personal recommendation is to work with an oncologist who is open-minded to alternative therapies, and find the right protocol for YOU!

An Important Note

Essential oils are transdermal and work at the cellular level, and each species has distinct properties that can help cancer patients. Also, please recognize that specific species that a given company sells will NOT be addressed in this protocol, and we cannot correlate these data to species that your favorite brand(s) may sell. However, the chemical constituents in various species are so similar, that it is quite possible that all of the species will contain similar properties.

Also, let’s remember peer-reviewed articles discuss the success clinical researchers have experienced in using various essentials oils to prevent, stop and even reverse the growth of various cancer lines in animal and human cell studies. It is important to keep in mind that a vast majority of these studies are based off of cells in a petri dish. Subsequently, many experts and critics of using essential oils for cancer therapy insist that we cannot extrapolate the data from these studies to live, in vivo cancer patients. Even though there is merit to what these people say, let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water.

In my opinion, the burden of proof is on the critic in this case. Thousands of thousands of testimonials and case studies alone should awaken us to the realization that EOs can be quite effective in helping cancer patients.

Essential Oil Protocol for Cancer Patients

(Focusing on Tumor Apoptosis and Immunity Enhancement)

Below is an easy-to-follow essential oil protocol based off of several peer-reviewed clinical studies that I have researched, as well as countless hours of helping cancer patients all over the globe. In addition, you may be interested to read some information that I put together with my friend Dr. Josh Axe, 10 Natural Cancer Treatments Revealed. Here are some key takeaways about the article:

  • To learn more about the Gerson Therapy, click HERE.
  • Before you proceed, the Gerson Institute directly cautions following the protocol for chemotherapy and brain metastases patients without first consulting Charlotte Gerson’s book, Healing the Gerson Way, or without the supervision of a Gerson doctor.
  • You may want to consider doing a “modified” Gerson/Budwig combination protocol by employing the Gerson juicing protocol, plant-based diet and coffee enema detoxification along with the Beyond Budwig Therapy as Dr. Axe recommends HERE.
  • As Dr. Axe also mentions in his article, the significance of essential oils cannot be underestimated.

Frankincense essential oil was recommended by Dr. Budwig especially when it comes to fighting brain tumors. Rub this essential oil on your body (neck area) 3x daily and take 3 drops internally 3x daily. As many experts claim, cancer cannot thrive in an environment where the body’s immune system is functioning at 100%. The underlying theme of any good natural cancer protocol, therefore, is to systematically enhance immune function and capitalize on the body’s God given ability to heal itself.

After combing through the research, I have found that several oils in addition to frankincense have the ability to trigger tumor apoptosis (“programmed cell death”) and enhance immunity. You will find some ways to use oils below. Be sure to consult with your physician before following these suggestions, particularly if you’re taking chemotherapy or any other pharmaceutical medications.

Topical

  1. Apply diluted Immunity / Cellular Rejuvenation Blend directly on tumor location, and bottoms of feet and along the spine twice daily.
  2. Remember to mix it up – we want to keep the cancer guessing and we don’t want to promote resistance. Consider mixing up the protocol every other week.
  3. Always be sure to dilute at least 3% with a carrier oil using these conversions:
  • 1% dilution: 6 drops of EO per oz of carrier oil (1% of 600 drops is 6)
  • 2% dilution: 12 drops of EO per oz of carrier oil (2% of 600 drops is 12)
  • 3% dilution: 18 drops of EO per oz of carrier oil (3% of 600 drops is 18)

If working with tablespoons are more comfortable for you, 1 oz. = 2 tablespoons. So, there are 300 drops of EO in a tablespoon.

  • 1% dilution: 3 drops of EO per tablespoon of carrier oil (1% of 300 drops is 3)
  • 2% dilution: 6 drops of EO per tablespoon of carrier oil (2% of 300 drops is 6)
  • 3% dilution: 9 drops of EO per tablespoon of carrier oil (3% of 300 drops is 9)

Oral

  1. Ingest 2 drops of your personalized Immunity / Cellular Rejuvenation Blend in a capsule twice daily with food.
  2. Find what works best for you. Listen to your body, and see how you react to varying mixtures.
  3. For extra added frankincense benefit, apply undiluted frankincense directly under the tongue – being sure that you don’t experience any sensitivity. If you do, discontinue use immediately.

Aromatherapy

  1. Diffuse 3-5 drops Immunity / Cellular Rejuvenation Blend to promote immune function
  2. Diffuse 1 drops each Lavender, Chamomile, and Sandalwood at night to promote healthy sleep.
  3. Diffuse 3-5 drops of your personalized Joyful Blend (see below) throughout the day.
  4. Be sure to include Melissa, which has been shown clinically to help with brain tumors like glioblastoma. (2, 3)
  5. Promotes positive mood. As the ancient proverb goes, “A happy heart does good like medicine,” and we cannot discount the psychogenic aspects of health and wellness

Miscellaneous Useful Tips

  • Anti-Inflammatory — Consume 1 drop of lemon oil diluted in a teaspoon of carrier oil like coconut, or in a gel capsule (depends on your esophageal sensitivity)
  • “Liquid Morphine”/Anti-Inflammatory — Consume 1 drop frankincense, lemongrass, marjoram in gel cap.
  • Healthy Gut Function — Consume 1 drop a personalized Digestion Blend (see below), and 1 drop lemon diluted in a teaspoon of carrier oil like coconut, or in a gel capsule (depends on your esophageal sensitivity).
  • Colds/Flus — Consume 1 drop of oregano and tea tree in a gel capsule twice daily.
  • Colds/Flus — Take 2 drops of Immunity / Cellular Rejuvenation Blend twice daily in a gel capsule.
  • Immune Support — Apply 2 drops Immunity / Cellular Rejuvenation Blend to bottoms of feet diluted. Diffuse 3-4 drops Immunity / Cellular Rejuvenation Blend throughout the day. Take drops of Immunity / Cellular Rejuvenation Blend in gel capsule.
  • Respiratory Support — Diffuse 3-5 drops of diluted, personalized Respiratory Support Blend (see below), and apply directly on chest.
  • Pain ReliefApply 1-2 drops personalized Muscle Soothing Blend (see below), topically as needed to ease sore muscles, arthritic joints and for headaches.

DIY Blends

To make an Immunity / Cellular Rejuvenation Blend, combine equal parts of several of the oils below. There is no “magic formula.” You’ll need to find something that works for you.

To make a Joyful Blend, combine equal parts of several of the oils below. There is no “magic formula.” You’ll need to find something that works for you.

To make a Digestion Blend, combine equal parts of several of the oils below. There is no “magic formula.” You’ll need to find something that works for you.

To make a Respiratory Support Blend, combine equal parts of the oils below. There is no “magic formula.” You’ll need to find something that works for you.

To make a Muscle Soothing Blend, combine equal parts of several of the oils below. There is no “magic formula.” You’ll need to find something that works for you.

  • Balsam/White Fir
  • Birch
  • Chamomile
  • Clary Sage
  • Cypress
  • Frankincense
  • Helichrysum
  • Juniper
  • Lemongrass
  • Marjoram
  • Osmanthus
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Yarrow
  • Wintergreen

References

Breast Cancer Specific Research

Resources:

  1. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/154106/
  2. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/154106/#B12
  3. http://www.researchgate.net/publication/261762686_Apoptosis-Inducing_Effects_of_Melissa_officinalis_L._Essential_Oil_in_Glioblastoma_Multiforme_Cells

Dr. Eric Z

Can Frankincense Kill Cancer and Boost Immunity

28 Sep

The gifts of the Magi – gold, frankincense, and myrrh – were carried a great distance specifically for the new King that their star-watching indicated. In the past, scholars and health researchers have mused and debated over them. Who were the Magi? What was the significance of the gifts? Were they for the infant Jesus or for a much bigger purpose? Did they give Him frankincense oil or just the resin?

In 2013, the University of Leicester conveniently published just before Christmas that has rekindled this theory. According to their press release, the Omani government-funded research has (for the first time) uncovered that frankincense has the ability to target cancer cells in late-stage ovarian cancer patients. And this all appeared to be due to AKBA (acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid).(1) According to lead researcher Kamla Al-Salmani,

“After a year of studying the AKBA compound with ovarian cancer cell lines in vitro, we have been able to show it is effective at killing the cancer cells. Frankincense is taken by many people with no known side effects. This finding has enormous potential to be taken to a clinical trial in the future and developed into an additional treatment for ovarian cancer.”

Boswellic Acid and Beta-Elemene

It has become glaringly obvious that boswellic acid (BA) is a compound fit to kill cancer cells, and researchers have tested frankincense essential oil to determine if it should role to play in oncology.

Although there is some debate whether or not BA is too large a compound to survive conventional essential oil filtration systems, there are studies in the literature that claim they are indeed part of frankincense oil; as we will see below. Subsequently, the jury is still out as to the exact mechanism(s) explaining why frankincense essential oil is so beneficial to cancer patients. However, advances in recent research suggest that Beta-elemene – a cancer fighting terpene found in frankincense and myrrh with the ability to cross the blood brain barrier – may be partly responsible.

As stated by the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center,

“Beta-elemene is a compound found in plants such as celery, mint, and in many others used in traditional medicine. Although the pure form is not used as dietary supplement, some cancer patients use herbs high in beta-elemene as treatment. Beta-elemene was shown to prevent growth of cancer cells in laboratory cells by different mechanisms. A few poorly designed studies done in humans showed that it may improve quality of life in cancer patients. It is unclear if raw herbs containing beta-elemene have the same effects in humans. More research is needed.” (2)

Some even suggest that the amount of β-elemene that frankincense and myrrh contain could very well explain why so many people claim that both oils have been instrumental to them beating cancer God’s way. (3) At the end of the day, once we know the basic properties of an herb, root and resin we are able to determine the best ways to utilize it. Let’s take a closer look at what the components of frankincense mean for our daily lives…

Frankincense Cancer Research

Used because of its anti-inflammatory properties, the various Boswellia species have been a “go-to” or natural healers for centuries because of its ability to help with a myriad of health concerns like learning disorders, gastrointestinal dysfunction and skin conditions. New cancer research, has uncovered that the medicinal uses of frankincense can reach well beyond this.

While we do know that the various forms of frankincense (essential oils, extracts, pure resin, etc.) have the potential to fight cancer, much is left to be understood, making this a controversial topic in the natural health and research world.

Current research demonstrates anti-mutagenic and apoptotic (programmed cell death) abilities. Though the results have occurred in lab tests and we have yet to see how to best replicate these results in active cancer in humans, the demonstrated results remain. Researchers found that boswellic acids are “cytotoxic to ovarian cancer cells at pharmacologically achievable concentrations” and “may form the basis of a novel anticancer treatment for ovarian cancer, perhaps alongside conventional chemotherapy.” (4)

Studies continue to emerge, demonstrating similar effects on bladder (5), breast (6), colon (7), skin (8), stomach (9), and pancreatic cancers. (10)

For those who have added frankincense essential oil to their cancer care plan, the benefits may go beyond anti-tumor effects. Conventional treatment is often still required, but can be more painful and difficult than the symptoms of cancer itself. Brain cancer patients, for example, sometimes experience swelling in the head called cerebral edema after their tumors have been removed. Steroid treatment is common but also associated with difficult side effects and complications.

Frankincense, on the other hand, has shown remarkable effects against this particular problem. In 2011, a clinical trial evaluating 44 individuals monitored frankincense as a remedy for cerebral edema. In 60% of the patients, the swelling was reduced by 75% or more. The concluding remarks called for frankincense to be prescribed for cerebral edema in these circumstances, avoiding the struggles of steroid therapy. (11)

Overshadowed the past several hundred years by its role in the “Christmas Story,” frankincense is finally getting the attention it deserves as one of the most viable healing agents on the planet. The journal Oncology Letters published an article late last year that highlights the ability of this Biblical tree to kill cancer cells; specifically the MCF-7 and HS-1 cell lines, which cause breast and other tumors. (12) The essential oil has also been used with much success to treat issues related to digestion, the immune system, oral health, respiratory concerns and stress/anxiety.

Another promising property of frankincense is its potential to fight cancer. In several studies, frankincense has demonstrated anti-cancer properties and the ability to mitigate many different kinds of cancer cells. (13) As more studies are conducted, the implications of this ability will be exciting to watch unfold!

Arguably the most potent medicinal EO out there, recent research studies suggest that frankincense not only kills cancer cells, but it also promotes health and vitality in neighboring non-cancerous cells! To help prevent getting sick and boost your immune system, simply follow the advice below and take some frankincense with a carrier oil!

An Important Note

Essential oils are transdermal and work at the cellular level, and each species has distinct properties that can help cancer patients. Also, please recognize that specific species that a given company sells will NOT be addressed in this article, and we cannot correlate these data to species that your favorite brand(s) may sell. However, the chemical constituents in various species are so similar, that it is quite possible that all of the species will contain similar properties.

Also, let’s remember peer-reviewed articles discuss the success clinical researchers have experienced in using various essentials oils to prevent, stop and even reverse the growth of various cancer lines in animal and human cell studies. It is important to keep in mind that a vast majority of these studies are based off of cells in a petri dish. Subsequently, many experts and critics of using essential oils for cancer therapy insist that we cannot extrapolate the data from these studies to live, in vivo cancer patients. Even though there is merit to what these people say, let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. The burden of proof is on the critic in this case. Thousands of thousands of testimonials and case studies alone should awaken us to the realization that EOs can be quite effective in helping people with cancer.

To read more about the abundant life giving benefits of frankincense check out my new article Ancient Healing Benefits of Frankincense.

H.K. Lin, PhD

In addition to being an Associate Professor Department of Urology (University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center), Dr. Lin is quickly becoming the essential oil research guru of the 21st century. He’s actually a pretty big deal. His research on frankincense essential oil is unparalleled and he’s been able to uncover some pretty profound findings such as:

  • Frankincense oil derived from Boswellia carteri induces bladder tumor cell and Boswellia sacra does the same with breast cancer cells; meaning that they target cancerous cells by killing them and leave the healthy cells alone.
  • Frankincense oil derived from Boswellia sacra represses signaling pathways and cell cycle regulators that have been proposed as therapeutic targets for cancer.
  • Suppression of cellular network formation and disruption of spheroid development of cancer cells, suggests that frankincense oil derived from Boswellia sacra may be effective for advanced breast cancers as well as for cancer prevention.

Having already published several articles supporting the cancer-fighting characteristics of essential oils, Dr. Lin has set out to change the course of healthcare by developing scientific evidence to support the use of essential oils to fight cancer and other diseases.

Recently, Dr. Lin reached out to me via email with this message:

Dr. Zielinski, I just want to let you know we had a bladder cancer case report published by Integrative Cancer Therapies early this week. (14)

Based on university policy, I cannot be affiliated with any commercial company and cannot endorse any commercial product, I used a generic name in this report.

Along with our previous publications on frankincense oil, we have reported the following observations:

  1. Frankincense oil induces potent cytotoxicity in various types of cancer cells but not their normal counterparts.
  2. Unlike chemotherapy drugs, frankincense oil specifically targets tumor cells but not fast-growing cells. This might be “no observable adverse effects” using frankincense oil.
  3. Frankincense oil prevents cellular network formation of tumor cells.
  4. Frankincense oil causes the breakdown of multicellular tumor spheroids, which might be the cause of drug resistant.
  5. Frankincense oil simultaneously activates multiple signaling pathways including the caspase pathway leading to apoptosis. Is this similar to the use of “drug cocktails” in complicate diseases?

Based on we reported human case studies so far, we described the following observations in humans:

  1. Frankincense oil induces apoptosis of tumor cells.
  2. Frankincense oil does not have no noticeable adverse effects when appropriate dose is applied.
  3. Frankincense oil attracts infiltration of inflammatory cells to the tumor site with unknown mechanism.

A few months ago, the federal government announced a “Cancer Moonshot Cancer program” led by Vice President Biden. They vowed to conquer cancer using lots of resources and modern technologies. Unfortunately, no one is, or willing to, pay any attention on any botanical product; there is just no resource in this “forgotten” field.

All participants involved in the Cancer Moonshot Program described that they will have “solutions” for cancers few years later. However, my main concern is how about the people who are fighting against cancers now. Can we provide anything to do the help while they are dealing with the deadly disease?

Interesting, huh?

More Than Just Cancer

People who have added Boswellia into their natural health cancer care plan may find themselves experiencing double-benefits from this miracle essential oil.

For many cancer patients, there’s a time when the treatment becomes worse than the cancer itself. It is as this point that quality of life and symptom suppression is the focal point for many diagnosed with this deadly disease. Debilitating in-and-of itself, these cancer treatment side effect can make having cancer absolutely miserable.

Take, for instance, brain cancer patients who experience cerebral edema (swelling in the head) after having their tumors irradiated. Typically, these people are treated with dexamethasone and other corticosteroids to control the swelling, but this is done at a great cost because the deadly complications of steroids are limitless. Unfortunately, these people suffer toxic overload from the drugs that are supposed to help them in the first place and get headaches, migraines, and may even deal with blurred vision because of the steroid treatments.

Thankfully, frankincense offers a natural, viable solution to this horrible issue. Back in 2011, the journal Cancer published the results of a 44 person clinical trial evaluating how brain edema fared in brain cancer patients that were randomly assigned to radiotherapy. Astoundingly, 60% of the patients displayed 75% reduction or greater in cerebral swelling after being treated with 4200 mg/day of frankincense! (15) These results are so significant that scientists are urging the medical community to consider prescribing this potent essential oil instead of steroids for cancer patients assigned to radiotherapy.

We hope this spreads like wildfire within cancer treatment circles. Who knows what could happen if more people utilized this approach. As we’ve seen above, if Boswellia serrata can kill cancer cells and prevent tumors from growing, the sky’s the limit for folks who follow natural health guidelines.

Frankincense and Immune Function

A growing body of research has recently unlocked the doors to our understanding of why frankincense is so beneficial to our health. In a study published by Phytotherapy Research, for instance, when mice took 1-10 mg of Boswellia serrata orally it was discovered that multiple levels of their immune systems were stimulated including: (16)

  • Cytokines (interferon gamma, interleukin-4, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha)
  • Delayed hypersensitivity reaction (early 24 hours, delayed 48 hours)
  • Immunoglobulins (IgG and IgM)
  • T-cell interactions (i.e. CD4/CD8, which are generally low in AIDS patients)

In layman’s terms, frankincense can boost the immune system like no other! Two fundamental ways this is accomplished is by proliferating lymphocytes (white blood cells, which are the body’s primary defense team) and by keeping inflammation at bay (which is arguably the primary risk factor for most chronic diseases). This may also explain why Boswellia serrata is so effective in treating autoimmune conditions like bronchial asthma, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colitis.

Implement frankincense into your natural health regimen today. The essential oil can be used in vaporizers with ease to treat respiratory conditions. A salve is effective for skin issues. And, an all-natural, organic supplement is fantastic for everything in between!

Frankincense Oil Recommendations

To help boost immunity and as a cancer prevention technique:

  • Add 1 drop of frankincense oil in 1 teaspoon of carrier oil (like coconut), and consume first thing in the morning.
  • Put the oil in a soft gel capsule to prevent esophageal irritation.
  • Add 3 drops each of frankincense and myrrh oils to a diffuser.

To address tumor and malignant growths consider:

  • Applying diluted frankincense on the tumor directly, and on the bottoms of your feet. 2 drops of carrier oil per drop of frankincense is a popular approach

References:

  • Ammon HP. Boswellic acids in chronic inflammatory diseases. Planta Med 2006; 72(12): 1100-16.
  • Bible History Daily. Why Did the Magi Bring Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh? Available at: http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/people-cultures-in-the-bible/jesus-historical-jesus/why-did-the-magi-bring-gold-frankincense-and-myrrh/.
  • Khajuria A, et al. Immunomodulatory activity of biopolymeric fraction BOS 2000 from Boswellia serrata. Phytother Res 2008; 22(3): 340-8.
  • Kirste S, et al. Boswellia serrata acts on cerebral edema in patients irradiated for brain tumors: a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind pilot trial. Cancer 2011; 117(16): 3788-95.
  • Park B, et al. Boswellic acid suppresses growth and metastasis of human pancreatic tumors in an orthotopic nude mouse model through modulation of multiple targets. PLoS One. 2011; 6(10): e26943 [epub].
  • Suhail MM, et al. Boswellia sacra essential oil induces tumor cell-specific apoptosis and suppresses tumor aggressiveness in cultured human breast cancer cells. BMC Complement Altern Med 2011; 11: 129.
  • Takahashi M, et al. Boswellic acid exerts antitumor effects in colorectal cancer cells by modulating expression of the let-7 and miR-200 microRNA family. Carcinogenesis 2012; 33(12): 2441-9.
  • University of Leicester. Christmas gift brings treatment hope for cancer patients. Available at: http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/press/press-releases/2013/december/christmas-gift-brings-treatment-hope-for-cancer-patients.
  • Yuan Y, et al. Acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (AKBA) prevents human colonic adenocarcinoma growth through modulation of multiple signaling pathways. Biochim Biophys Acta 2013; 1830(10): 4907-16.
  • Zhang YS, et al. Acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKBA) inhibits human gastric carcinoma growth through modulation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. Biochim Biophys Acta 2013; 1830(6): 3604-15.

Dr. Lin’s Publications:

  • Frank, M. B., Yang, Q., Osban, J., Azzarello, J.T., Saban, M.R., Saban, R., Ashley, R.A., Welter, J.C., Fung, K.-M., and Lin, H.-K.: Frankincense oil derived from Boswellia carteri induces tumor cell specific cytotoxicity. BMC Comple. Altern. Med. 9: 6, 2009. PMID: 19296830.
  • Wu, S., Patel, K.B., Booth, J.L., Metcalf, J.P., Lin, H.-K., Wu, W.: Protective essential oil attenuates influenza virus infection in MDCK cells. BMC Comple. Altern. Med. 10: 69, 2010. PMID: 21078173.
  • Suhail, M.M., Wu, W., Cao, A., Mondalek, F.G., Fung, K.-M., Shih, P.-T., Fang, Y.-T., Woolley, C., Young, G., and Lin, H.-K.:Boswellia sacra essential oil induces tumor cell-specific apoptosis and suppresses tumor aggressiveness in cultured human breast cancer cells. BMC Comple. Altern. Med. 11: 129, 2011. PMID: 22171782.
  • Woolley, C.L., Suhail, M.M., Smith, B.L., Boren, K.E., Taylor, L.C., Schreuder, M.F., Chai, J.K., Casabianca, H., Haq, S., Lin, H.-K., Al-Shahri, A.A., Al-Hatmi, S., Young, D.G.:Chemical differentiation of Boswellia sacra and Boswellia carterii essential oils by gas chromatography and chiral gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. J Chromatogr A. 1261, 158-163, 2012. PMID: 22835693.
  • Ni, X., Suhail, M.M., Yang, Q., Cao, A., Fung, K.-M., Postier, R.G.,Woolley, C., Young, G., Zhang, J., and Lin, H.-K.: Frankincense essential oil prepared from hydrodistillation of Boswellia sacra gum resins induces human pancreatic cancer cell death in cultures and in a xenograft murine model. BMC Comple. Altern. Med. 12, 253, 2012. PMID: 23237355.
  • Fung, K.-M., Suhail, M.M., McClendon, B., Woolley, C.L., Young, D.G., and Lin, H.-K.:Management of basal cell carcinoma of the skin using frankincense (Boswellia sacra) essential oil: A case study. OA Altern. Med. 1, 14,
  • Lin, H.-K., Suhail, M. M., Fung, K.-M., Woolley, C.L., and Young, D.G: Extraction of biologically active compounds by hydrodistillation of Boswellia species gum resins for anti-cancer therapy. OA Altern. Med. 1, 4, 2013.

Dr. Eric Z

The Truth About Essential Oils for Cancer

27 Sep

 

As more research is being conducted on natural therapies, it is becoming more than obvious that people do not need to use conventional practices like chemotherapy and radiation to eradicate cancer. Holistic remedies abound and a cursory glance on “Dr. Google” will rank several on the top of most people’s list. Of all the popular natural solutions out there, essential oils for cancer research has gained significant fanfare and for good reason.

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The truth about essential oils for cancer is four-fold.

First – the research suggests that oils can help prevent and treat cancer at the cellular level. Additionally, and oftentimes overlooked, essential oils have been shown to be exceptionally effective at managing the side effects related to cancer itself and the side effects people suffer at the hands of medical interventions.

Second – it is critical to recognize that this is not an all-or-nothing approach. Just because you’re taking chemo doesn’t mean that you can’t use oils. The same is true on the flip side of that coin. Far too many patients and healthcare practitioners dichotomize natural from allopathic therapies, and do not give enough emphasis on the practicality of using both together.

Third – we need to put things into proper perspective and remember that the peer-reviewed articles we have that evaluate the ability of essential oils for cancer to prevent, stop and even reverse the growth of various malignant lines are in vitro. In other words, we don’t many live human trials with hundreds or thousands of participants, we have studies that are testing human cells in a petri dish. This is not to say that these studies are useless. The point we need to take from this is that essential oils for cancer is still experimental.

Fourth – with this said, there are literally thousands upon thousands of testimonials of people on the Internet claiming that EOs cured them of cancer. And this cannot be disputed because a vast majority of them are your normal, not-trying-to-make-a-buck kind of people who are not trying to sell a product. These are legitimate medical “miracles,” which are ultimately going to be the basis for further research.

Of all of the studies in the medical literature, this is just a sample of those that suggest essential oils for cancer therapy can benefit patients.

 

Citrus Oils

The most prominent and noteworthy component of citrus oils is d-limonene, confirmed to be a potent cancer-fighting agent. In the words of the U.S. National LIbrary of Medicin’s open chemisry database, PubChem,

“D-Limonene is an oral dietary supplement containing a natural cyclic monoterpene and major component of the oil extracted from citrus peels with potential chemopreventive and antitumor activities. Although the mechanism of action has yet to be fully elucidated, limonene and its metabolites perillic acid, dihydroperillic acid, uroterpenol and limonene 1,2-diol may inhibit tumor growth through inhibition of p21-dependent signaling and may induce apoptosis via the induction of the transforming growth factor beta-signaling pathway. In addition, they inhibit post-translational modification of signal transduction proteins, resulting in G1 cell cycle arrest as well as differential expression of cell cycle- and apoptosis-related genes.”

Clary Sage

Sclareol, the primary component of clary sage essential oil, has promising anti-cancer effects in laboratory evaluations. During studies dating back to 1999 to just last year, it has been shown to impact the way that cancer cells proliferate by literally killing through a process known as apoptosis. (1, 2)

Apoptosis is interesting because it literally triggers the cell to commit “suicide,” more formally known as programmed cell death, which suggests that clary sage oil could have profound effects on the prevention and treatment of cancer lines.

This discovery is particularly promising for clary sage, because it also contains phytoestrogens, which are commonly avoided in people with estrogen-induced cancers. Further research will hopefully help reshape the current medical recommendation that cancer patients avoid specific oils because of their phytoestrogen compounds, which can (in theory) feed into cancer.

Frankincense

Of all the cancer-fighting essential oils, frankincense (Boswellia sacra, B. carterii, B. frereana, and B. serrata) is the most controversial. The research out there has been scrutinized because of its industry-bias, and some claim that there are no chemical compounds in frankincense oil that can kill cancer. With that said, just do a search on the Internet and healing stories abound. It is hard to dispute with the thousands of people who state their cancer was cured after using frankincense.

The biggest issue some chemists and Aromatherapists have is regarding boswellic acids (BAs), which have been proven to be “cytotoxic to ovarian cancer cells at pharmacologically achievable concentrations” and “may form the basis of a novel anticancer treatment for ovarian cancer, perhaps alongside conventional chemotherapy.” (3) A known compound in frankincense resin, the issue is that boswellic acids are too large and heavy to be included in the volatile (evaporated) components that make up essential oils.

In other words, BA’s are not in the essential oils, but why who cares? Studies continue to emerge demonstrating the anti-cancer effects of frankincense essential oil on bladder (13), breast (14) and skin (15) cancers!

Additionally, adding frankincense essential oil for cancer to a healthcare protocol goes well beyond the anti-tumor effects. For people utilizing conventional medical treatments, the pain and other side effects can be worse than the cancer itself! This is especially true for brain cancer patients who oftentimes experience cerebral edema (swelling in the head) after their tumors have been surgically removed or at the hands of radiation therapy. To make matters worse, steroid treatment is commonly administered, complicate the side effects even more.

Frankincense extract, which contains the essential oil, can possibly help this particular problem. A clinical trial published in 2011 evaluated 44 patients with cerebral edema and, after taking 4200 mg/day of a Boswellia serrata (BS) extract was administered, the swelling was reduced by 75% or more in 60% of the participants. The researchers conclude that, “BS could potentially be steroid-sparing for patients receiving brain irradiation. (10)

Also shown to help manage depression, pain and boost the immune system. (11, 12)

Lavender

A popular theme in the natural health discussion is that antioxidants are the super healers that we all need. Free radicals created by chemicals, pollutants, stress and toxins are the culprits for a cascade of cellular damage, immune inhibition, and limitless unforeseen health risks – including cancer and chronic illness.

Suffice it to say that, if free radicals are the super villains, antioxidants are the super heroes.

The body itself creates antioxidants in the form of the enzymes catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) among others. Unfortunately, our bodies are exposed to a constant onslaught of free radicals that drain our naturally occurring antioxidants and we are forced to supplement.

Believe it not, lavender essential oil for cancer joins the ranks as an effective natural antioxidant support.

Of the major antioxidant enzyme mentioned above, Chinese researchers observed that lavender essential oil can upregulate levels of all three in mice within the first day of treatment and protect brain cells again stroke and injury! (13) Romanian researchers noted similar activity by simply inhaling lavender for an hour each day. According to the study, “Taken together, our results suggest that antioxidant and antiapoptotic activities [of healthy brain cells] of the lavender essential oils are the major mechanisms for their potent neuroprotective effects against scopolamine-induced oxidative stress in the rat brain,” that can lead to cancer and other illnesses. (14)

Lemongrass

Several studies have evaluated the potential cancer-fighting properties of lemongrass essential oil. (15)

In 2009, an article was published that evaluated the essential oil of Cymbopogon flexuosus (a variety of lemongrass) for its in vitro cytotoxicity ability against 12 human cancer cell lines; as well as its anticancer effects on mice in vivo. The results were remarkable. Researchers discovered that the essential oil triggers a variety of mechanisms that kill cancer cells. “Our results indicate that the oil has a promising anticancer activity and causes loss in tumor cell viability by activating the apoptotic process as identified by electron microscopy.” (16)

Myrrh

The role that myrrh essential oil plays in natural cancer therapies is a becoming a popular topic in the scientific community. Particularly, with how it interacts with frankincense essential oils. In 2013, one of the most thorough studies on the topic was published in the journal Oncology Letters, and this is what researcher discovered:

“The effects of the two essential oils, independently and as a mixture, on five tumor cell lines, MCF-7, HS-1, HepG2, HeLa and A549, were investigated using the MTT assay. The results indicated that the MCF-7 and HS-1 cell lines showed increased sensitivity to the myrrh and frankincense essential oils compared with the remaining cell lines. In addition, the anticancer effects of myrrh were markedly increased compared with those of frankincense, however, no significant synergistic effects were identified.” (17)

Don’t think that researchers are evaluating frankincense and myrrh together as complementary therapies because of the Christmas story. Oh, no. The resins from frankincense and myrrh trees have been traditionally prescribed simultaneously in Chinese medicine for years. Used primarily to treat inflammatory diseases, blood stagnation, frankincense and myrrh therapy is exceptionally effective to relieve swelling and pain. (18) Even though researchers have not observed a synergistic effect regarding cancer, “A previous study identified that the combination of frankincense and myrrh oils exhibited synergistic effects on harmful bacterial infections Cryptococcus neoformans and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.” (19, 20)

Peppermint & Spearmint

In 2014, the journal BioMed Research International published an article uncovering that peppermint and spearmint is highly effective at managing common side effects people that suffer at the hands of medical cancer therapies; especially vomiting and nausea. Taken directly from the study we find that these oils, as well as some others, can help with a variety of conditions cancer patients suffer from:

  • “Cancer patients suffer from different side effects which can be preferentially reduced by alternative methods. EOs are used in the aromatherapy for reducing the agony of brain cancer patients [21]. EO is efficient in depression and reduction of anxiety in cancer patients [22]. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, one of the most frequently used treatment method in cancer, are prone to various side effects [23]. These are nausea and vomiting.
  • Mentha spicata [spearmint] and M. piperita [peppermint] have been found to be effective in overcoming these emetic conditions (chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, CINV) along with the reduction of expenditure on treatment in the cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy [24].
  • EOs of Leptospermum scoparium [Manuka myrtle] and Kunzea ericoides [Karo Greenfingers] were reported to prevent mucositis in the head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy when used in the preparation of mouthwash [25].
  • Some cancer patients having metastatic tumorigenic ulcers of skin develop necrosis and malodour [26]. Patients suffering from such malodour were reported to have improvement in their state on treatment of these ulcers with the mixture of EOs having eucalyptus, melaleuca, lemongrass, lemon, clove leaf, and thyme on a 40% ethanol base [27].
  • Lavender EO is widely used in aromatherapy and is found to be beneficial in reducing the distress in cancer patients [28]. Hence, EOs serve as the valuable preparations in amelioration of the side effects and sufferings of the cancer patients.”

Thyme

The journal Molecules published a study in 2010 that evaluated how cancer cells were evaluated could stand up against ten powerful essential oils. Included was thyme and it stood out from the crowd as the most beneficial against prostate, lung carcinoma, and breast cancers. (29)

As one of the primary herbs to facilitate estrogen binding, thyme oil can help balance and regulate hormones. (30) Like we noted above with clary sage, thyme is not the only potential estrogenic essential oil noted for its anticancer potential. It should be interesting to note that, because cancer frequently holds receptors for estrogen and can theoretically be “fed” by any compound that is estrogenic, people at risk of developing certain cancer lines are oftentimes advised to avoid estrogen.

With the potent anticancer properties that we have seen in just the few studies noted above, it is more than likely that we will soon discover that the so-called “cancer-causing” plants and foods people are avoiding actually hold the key that our bodies need to unlock the cancer-fighting potential we all contain!

Resources:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10071073
  2. http://pubget.com/articles/elasticsearch_show/25672419
  3. http://www.researchgate.net/publication/270275886
  4. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/9/6
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22171782
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23850473
  7. http://www.oapublishinglondon.com/article/656
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23500016
  9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22066019
  10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21287538
  11. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18753801
  12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=frankincense+essential+oil+cancer
  13. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22895026
  14. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/s0944711312005120
  15. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=lemongrass+essential+oil+cancer
  16. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19121295
  17. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3796379/
  18. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3796379/
  19. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3796379/
  20. http://pubget.com/articles/elasticsearch_show/22288378
  21. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/154106/#B199
  22. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/154106/#B200
  23. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/154106/#B201
  24. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/154106/#B202
  25. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/154106/#B203
  26. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/154106/#B204
  27. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/154106/#B205
  28. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/154106/#B206
  29. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/20657472/
  30. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9492350

Dr. Eric Z

Curcumin ‘Faster And More Effective’ At Shrinking Aggressive Mesothelioma Tumors

25 Sep

Curcumin could be used as a possible treatment for malignant mesothelioma. Scientists have managed to successfully shrink one of the most malignant mesothelioma tumors in test subjects with this powerful antioxidant.

Curcumin is a plant polyphenol that has been the subject of numerous malignant mesothelioma studies within recent years, partly because of its powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

The Curcumin study into its use in malignant mesothelioma treatment, was carried out by French scientists at several different research centers. Cells were taken from rats who had been induced with malignant mesothelioma, so they developed one of the deadliest and most aggressive sub-types of asbestos cancer, known as sarcomatoid mesothelioma.

The rats were found to develop sarcomatoid mesothelioma tumors in their abdomens within weeks of being injected with asbestos. French scientists tested Curcumin on the cells from these tumors to determine the ideal killing dose.

Curcumin May Be ‘More Fast And Effective’ Than Drugs At Destroying Tumors…

 

When compared to an epigenetic drug called SAHA, Curcumin was found to be be more effective at destroying tumors in less than two weeks, when injected directly into the peritoneal cavities of sick rats.

The SAHA drug produced necrosis (tissue death) in mesothelioma tumors but the damage to the tumors was not as extensive and scientists still found there were pockets of resistant mesothelioma cells throughout the abdomen of rats.

The results showed that small residual mesothelioma tumors were left behind after the Curcumin treatment. Scientists also found that there were fewer of them and they tended to be surrounded by cancer-killing T cells.

The tumors themselves were also different and expressed less of the chemicals associated with growth and aggression compared to the tumors left behind after the SAHA treatment. The lead author of the report, Dr Pouliquen, concluded that “The data opens up interesting new prospects for therapy of sarcomatoid mesothelioma with curcumin and its derivatives”.

Previous studies from early 2017 conducted by scientists in the Department of Experimental Medicine at the University of Rome found that intraperitoneal curcumin extended survival in the mice with mesothelioma.

What causes Malignant Mesothelioma?

It is often a deadly consequence of asbestos exposure and although this kind of membrane cancer often develops on the lining around the lungs, the peritoneal form that grows on the abdominal wall makes up about a fifth of the cases in the US each year.

Curcumin could provide a fast and effective natural solution for finding relief from a wide variety of health conditions. This recent study highlights how powerful Curcumin can be when it comes to treating malignant mesothelioma and ensuring optimum cell health.

Robert Redfern

How Food Effects Hashimoto’s

20 Sep

 

There are six potential trigger types in Hashimoto’s: food sensitivities, nutrient depletions, an impaired ability to handle stress, an impaired ability to handle toxins, digestive issues, and chronic infections.

Each person with Hashimoto’s will have his or her own combination of these unique root causes…

One person may have a food sensitivity to gluten and nutrient deficiencies of selenium and vitamin D and get into remission and become 100% symptom free by going gluten free and taking some supplements on their own!

Another person may have all six root cause types, with numerous food sensitivities, infections, toxins, nutrient depletions, stress hormone depletions, and digestive deficiencies. This person has to keep peeling back the layers to reach symptom resolution and remission!

Most of us fall somewhere in the middle with a combination of root causes, however, I’ve found that just about every person with Hashimoto’s has food sensitivities, and most people benefit from nutrition interventions!

Food sensitivities can create a bit of vicious cycle situation. For example, gluten sensitivity can trigger Hashimoto’s and gut permeability which causes us to react to even more foods and prompts a further attack our thyroid gland.

Food sensitivities are different types of reactions to foods than food allergies. Food allergies are immediate and often cause life-threatening reactions (think the child who stops breathing after eating nuts), and are readily acknowledged and tested for by conventional medical doctors, especially allergists. These reactions are known as type I hypersensitivity reactions and are governed by the IgE branch of the immune system.

There are also type IV delayed-hypersensitivity reactions, governed by the IgG branch of the immune system, and as the name implies, they do not occur right away. In fact, it can take up to 4 days for them to manifest, and this is one of the reasons why it’s so hard for most people to correlate food sensitivities with symptoms. For example, you may eat corn on Monday and have a panic attack on Wednesday!

Here’s the connection I’ve made… Hashimoto’s is also considered a type IV delayed hypersensitivity reaction and often presents with IgG antibodies to the thyroid gland.

Whenever we eat foods that flare up our IgG system, this also seems to flare up thyroid antibodies, in my experience. Here are additional symptoms caused by IgG food reactions:

  • Post nasal drip, congestion, cough, asthma
  • Constipation, diarrhea, cramping, bloating, nausea, gas, acid reflux, burning, burping
  • Increased pulse, palpitations
  • Acne, eczema, itchiness
  • Joint aches, pain, swelling, tingling, numbness
  • Headache, dizziness, brain fog, anxiety, depression, fatigue, insomnia

The silver lining? When you eliminate your reactive foods, you eliminate your symptoms (and often the attack on your thyroid!).

Food Research

While I have seen tremendous improvements in my health (as well as the health of my clients) through eliminating reactive foods, there is not much support for using nutrition to address Hashimoto’s within the medical system. (The only exception is that most physicians will admit that there is a connection between celiac disease and Hashimoto’s!)

This is why most conventionally trained doctors and endocrinologists will tell you that you do not need to change your diet with Hashimoto’s—despite the real world data that shows that diet does make a difference!

This remains true years after I wrote my first book and then spent a great deal of time spreading awareness about the role of food with Hashimoto’s.

I thought for sure that a research center would try out the various methods I found to be helpful, but that never happened. However, two years later, I realized that I didn’t have to wait for a research center—I could do my own research with the help of my Root Cause Rebel community!

I conducted a survey of my readers from May 10, 2015 to May 31, 2015. In total, 2,232 people answered the survey, and 1,991 of them reported to have Hashimoto’s. Only seventy-eight (3.5 percent) were also diagnosed with celiac disease. It should be noted that this method of conducting research has limitations by traditional research standards: it was directed at a biased group (they were all my educated readers, after all!), and I did not have a control group. Nonetheless, it revealed a lot of exciting trends, mirroring the same patterns I’ve seen in my private clients but in a much larger sample size. If you trust people who are just like you, then you will find this information helpful.

Many of my readers and clients have experienced noticeable benefits from removing the following foods:

  • 88 percent reported feeling better gluten free
  • 87 percent reported feeling better on a sugar free diet
  • 81 percent reported feeling better on a grain free or Paleo diet
  • 79 percent reported feeling better on a dairy free diet
  • 63 percent said they felt better soy free
  • 48 percent felt better egg free
  • 47 percent felt better on nightshade free diets (tomato, potato, pepper, eggplant restriction)
  • 15 percent of people saw improvement with a nut free diet,
  • 7 percent reported feeling better off seeds
  • The Autoimmune Paleo diet, which excludes all of the above listed foods, helped 75 percent of people feel better overall

Each person with Hashimoto’s has unique root causes, but I’ve found that there are protocols that help most people feel better—regardless of what triggered their condition. Food is a crucial first step! Following a nutrient dense diet will always help a person with thyroid disease but you may need to modify the diet according to your food sensitivities.

I’ve spent the last couple of years researching the best diets for people with thyroid issues, and I’ve discovered that the gluten free diet, the Paleo diet and the Autoimmune Paleo diet all can help eliminate thyroid symptoms and, in some cases, even thyroid antibodies!

For some people, the gluten free diet is all that’s needed. Others need to dig slightly deeper with the Paleo diet… But with my health, I realized I needed to dig even deeper and found success when I started following the Autoimmune Paleo diet. It’s a great option for people who feel like they’ve “tried it all” and still aren’t seeing improvements in their health.

Dr. Isabella Wentz

 

Fish Oil Can Repair Stroke Damage Within the Brain

5 Sep

Fish oils can help repair brain and eye cells that are damaged by a stroke, and neuro-degenerative and retinal diseases.

The omega-3 fatty acids contain proteins that help the cells reprogram themselves, scientists have discovered this week.

Cellular rebuilding can begin within an hour of taking the fish oils, say researchers from the Louisiana State University, led by Nicolas Bazan. The oils automatically produce a ‘signalling molecule’, neuro-protectin D1 (NPD1), which Bazan discovered and named in 2004.

In his new research, Bazan has found that NPD1 triggers the production of a protein that protects against toxic free radicals, and repairs injury in the brain and retina, such as from a stroke. The protein “turns out to be key for cell functioning reprogramming and subsistence,” says Prof Bazan.

His findings add to research that has already established that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in omega-3 is vital for healthy brain function, and helps develop the nervous system and vision.

DHA’s mechanisms were discovered when Bazan and his team tested it on laboratory cells that had undergone two hours of ‘stroke’. The healing effects started within an hour, and peaked after six hours.

He believes it can repair damage caused by a stroke or by a disease that affects the brain and vision.

(Source: Cell Death and Differentiation, 2017; doi: 10.1038/cdd.2017.55)

Source: www.wddty.com

 

Eczema Homeopathic Treatments

30 Aug

What is eczema?

The term ‘eczema’ is used for a group of conditions that show a similar pattern of changes in the skin, giving rise to specific changes on the surface. The word itself comes from the Greek and means ‘to boil or flow out’ – anyone who has had acute eczema will understand how appropriate this is.

In acute eczema, intense inflammation leads to the formation of  little blisters (vesicles) in the skin, which soon burst or are scratched open, leading to weeping and the ‘flowing out’ of fluid. Even if there are no vesicles, a section of skin affected by eczema looked at under microscope shows fluid between the skin cells, tending to push them apart. This produces an appearance reminiscent of a sponge- hence the term ‘spongiosis’ that is used by doctors. All the different conditions called eczema would be expected to show this spongiosis, together with some degree of inflammation around some superficial blood vessels, which are dilated, producing the hot, red feeling and appearance.

Clinical features of eczema

Acute eczema

  • Weeping and crusting
  • Blistering-usually with vesicles but, in fierce cases, with large blisters
  • Redness, papules and swelling- usually with an ill,-defined border
  • Scaling

Chronic eczema

  • Less vesicular and exudative
  • More scaly, pigmented and thickened
  • More likely to show lichenification- a dry leathery thickened state, with increased skin markings, secondary to repeated scratching or rubbing; and
  • More likely to fissure

Causes of eczema

  • House dust mites
  • Animal dander
  • Mold
  • Certain foods (e.g., milk, nuts)
  • Pollen
  • Certain fabrics
  • Soaps, cosmetics, perfumes
  • Detergents and other cleaning fluids
  • Water
  • Some people report that emotional stress can also make their eczema symptoms flare up.

Myths about eczema

  • Frequent bathing of the affected areas is helpful and soothing – frequent bathing and long, hot showers should be avoided: moisturizing preparation instead of soaps should be used and moisturizers also applied liberally after bathing should be helpful.
  • Eczema is contagious – eczema is not contagious, and one can’t acquire the condition by coming in to contact with eczema suffers or their belongings.
  • Only children get eczema – although it is common in children. The condition is often seen later in life.

Homeopathic treatment of eczema

The core wisdom of the body is to push illness from a more vital to less important tissue. Thus, though eczema is a completely curable condition, this often requires professional, constitutional prescribing. Simultaneously clearing up associated allergies or overall immune weakness, If eczema co-exists or alternates with asthma or hay fever, merely treating the skin will not resolve the whole syndrome, Nonetheless, the remedies listed here can give considerable relief, and in fact are the ones most commonly used to cure eczema on the deepest level. Sulphur is often indicated if there has been suppression by various ointments. Sulphur and other remedies can also cause skin “aggravations”- the condition gets worst first as part of the cure. Calendula is the best and usually only medicine that should be used to soothe itchy, chaffed or broken skin.

Following remedies are important in the path of homeopathic treatment of eczema

Arsenicum

  • Intense itching. Turns to burning when scratches till raw; when burning stops, itching returns. Skin dry as paper. Flaking. Pussy. Small vesicles.
  • Eczema worst on uncovered parts or areas. Chilly, weakness. Sips cold water.
  • Restless. Anxious, worried about health, death, security, picky, miserly.
  • Worse: after midnight, cold air or bath, wet; better: hot bathing, warm room.

Graphites

  • Red itching pimples; oozing of honey like liquid, which crusts over.
  • Infects and scars easily, heals slowly. Overweight, sweaty, constipated.
  • Scalp. Hairline, behind ears, genitals, back of hands, palms, skin folds.
  • Thickened skin. Deep cracks in fingers, heels, etc. nails thick. Grooved.
  • Worse: night, menses, heat (though chilly). Better: cold application.

Mezerium

  • Violent itching; smarting, crawling, but parts feels cold, as if cool breeze.
  • Acrid oozing, forms hard, thick crusts with pus under them or white scabs, matting the hair. Intense burning after scratching. Eczema after vaccines.
  • Scalp, margins of hair, face, lids, eyebrows, hands and feet, cracked lips.
  • Worse: night, heat of bed or bath, drafts, damp, touch. Better: open air.

Nat Mur

  • Small itchy blisters with corrosive fluid; skin becomes red, raw, inflamed.
  • Margins of hair; bends of joints, behind ears. Dry flaky crusts form after.
  • Craves salt, thirsty. Greasy, oily hair. Dry skin in general. Underweight.
  • Eczema from suppressed emotion, inner grief. Avoids consolation, fuss.
  • Worse: warmth, salt, seashore, And menses, better: cool weather or bathing.

Petroleum

  • Red, raw, moist surface: burning and itching: oozing after scratching.
  • Deep cracks in folds, fingers. Bleed easily, become infected. Ulcerations.
  • Eruption of the palms, fingerprints, bends of joints, behind ears, genitals.
  • Itching, scratches until it bleed; the part becomes cold after scratching.
  • Worse: winter, cold air, moving vehicles, night. Better: warm air, dryness.

Sulphur

  • Moist, weeping eruptions, foul odor. Intensely itchy; scratches till it bleeds, causing burning. Skin bleeds easily. Dry, scaly, cracked areas.
  • Unhealthy skin, pimples, easily infected. Burning hot feet at night.
  • Hair margins, face, areas of perspiration, feet, bends of elbows, knee.
  • Intellectual dreamer. Lethargic, unmotivated. Tired and always hungry
  • Worse: night, warmth of bed, heat, bathing, wool. Better: dry, cool bathing.

Reference

  1. Tim Mitchell, Alison Hepplewhite; Eczema 2005; 7.
  2. Richard P. j. b. Weller, J. A. A. Hunter, Mark V. Dahl; Clinical Dermatology 2008; 81.
  3. Rebecca Fox-Spencer, Tim Mitchell; Eczema 2006; 24.
  4. Asa Hershoff; Homeopathic Remedies; 152-153.

10 Things I wish My Endocrinologist Would Have Told Me

28 Aug

en Things I Wish My Doctor Would Have Told Me…

  1. You are not going crazy! The anxiety, depression, irritability, mood swings, and emotional numbness you are feeling could be related to your thyroid. Thyroid antibodies are a marker that lets us know that the immune system is destroying thyroid tissue, which can cause a release of hormones into your bloodstream causing a transient hyperthyroidism and the related mood alterations, followed by an onset of hypothyroidism.
  2. Selenium deficiency has been recognized as an environmental trigger for Hashimoto’s, so you may want to consider using a selenium supplement. A dose of 200 mcg of selenomethionine has been shown to reduce thyroid antibodies by about 50% over the course of three months in people with Hashimoto’s. In my experience, this can help people feel calmer and can also improve energy levels and hair regrowth.
  3. Going gluten free is a strategy that everyone with Hashimoto’s should try. In some cases, we see a complete remission of the condition; in other cases (88% of the time), the person feels significantly better in terms of bloating, diarrhea, energy, weight, constipation, stomach pain, reflux, hair regrowth, and anxiety.
  4. If you are having symptoms of subclinical hypothyroidism—like fatigue, weight gain, sadness/apathy, hair loss, fertility challenges, cold intolerance, brain fog, and joint pain—it may be helpful to start thyroid hormones. Studies have found that starting thyroid hormones can make us feel better and even slow down the progression of the condition!
  5. Some people may not convert thyroid hormones properly, and thus taking a T4-only containing medication like Synthroid or levothyroxine may not relieve all of your symptoms. There may be an advantage to taking a combination T4/T3 medication. Read about which thyroid medication is best.
  6. Your thyroid may function and work on its own again at some time in the future. There is a test we can do to figure out if you can be weaned off from medications. Innovative new therapies like low level laser therapy may also help people improve the function of their thyroid and wean off meds!
  7. Hashimoto’s and iodine deficiency hypothyroidism should be treated differently. Iodine excess may aggravate Hashimoto’s in some cases, leading to anxiety, irritability, brain fog, palpitations, and fatigue, as well as accelerated damage to the thyroid gland. For people with Hashimoto’s, the low doses of iodine that are found in multivitamins and prenatal vitamins (150 mcg–220 mcg) are generally safe.
  8. Thyroid antibodies, thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO antibodies) and thyroglobulin antibodies (TG antibodies), are a marker of how aggressive the attack is on your thyroid gland and can be used as a marker to track your condition. You should retest your antibodies every 3 months to see if your lifestyle interventions are working.
  9. Your hair loss could be caused by low ferritin. Ferritin is a stored form of iron that is often depleted in Hashimoto’s.
  10. Your diet could be helpful in eliminating your thyroid symptoms, reducing thyroid antibodies and some people even have been able to eliminate their thyroid antibodies through diet alone

Dr. Isabella Wentz