Thursday, March 26, 2009

Vitamin C: Controlling Stress in Diabetes

The body stores 20% of its glucose supply in the liver. The body has an emergency response to stress which releases sugar, along with cortisol, into the blood when in emergency situations. The point is there is a lot of blood sugar produced in the body aside from digestion of foods. A great deal of this additional glucose stored in the body is released from stress situations. The NoBetes formula produced in 1998-2002, designed to combat stress in diabetes, contains one method to help control blood sugar. Any alternative formula intended to help control blood sugar, that does not address the sugar load the body can produce, is not a complete formula.
One of the ingredients we chose to help combat stress in diabetes was vitamin C. There are several reasons why we felt a 1 gram dose of vitamin C would be valuable to diabetics. First of all, a serious side effect in diabetes is heart disease. One out of three people that die from heart disease in the United States is diabetic! The primary way that heart disease occurs is along the part of the artery wall that has contact with the bloodstream. There are several layers of the artery wall, but the basement membrane is the part we are concerned with in this discussion. The basement membrane is where lesions and plaque can form that lead to heart disease. Collagen helps bind and keep the basement membrane strong and not leaky, which helps to keep calcium and fats from forming lesions at these cell levels. Vitamin C is necessary in the formation of collagen. Without adequate levels of vitamin C to help produce the collagen necessary in the basement membrane, artery walls are at greater risk of being leaky and porous, which can allow greater infiltration by fats and calcium. This can eventually lead to degeneration of the area, followed by proliferation of plaque lesions and inflammation. This is the perfect setting for plaque to eventually rupture the artery wall and form clots which can lead to heart attack and stroke.
Diabetics typically have high blood pressure, excess body weight, side effects from diabetes, and many other disease conditions. The body fights degeneration and disease with antioxidants and ORAC’s. Antioxidants help repair the body and ORAC’s help donate electrons to the body (which helps stop damage from occurring - see article in this blog on ORAC’s). Vitamin C can act as an antioxidant and ORAC, repairing the body and donating its electrons to vitamin E to help vitamin E work better and longer in the body. Vitamin C can also be an electron donor in conjunction with other substances in the body. Donating electrons is a powerful way for the body to combat stress. The stress of diabetes requires more repair and support for the body than non-diabetics, which is why we chose 1 gram of vitamin C, 20 minutes before meals, 3 times each day. We felt that the combination of high blood pressure, greater blood sugar levels and other diabetic side effects demanded a higher dose of vitamin C to regulate the diabetic’s stress level. An additional reason we included Vitamin C in the NoBetes formula, is its’ ability to bolster the immune system. We felt that with all the different diseases that a diabetic can be subject to at any given time required a hearty immune system to repel them. Given the necessity to find a dosage that would meet the needs of all users of the diabetic formula, we felt 1 gram 3 times a day would give the greatest benefit to the greatest number. We would suggest that diabetics need great amounts of antioxidants and ORACs to help combat the stress of diabetes. Contact us for information about high supplement ORAC products.

Note: Consult a doctor who has experience with supplements. Additional support may be required for a diabetic as their load of stress increases. An alternative doctor, such as those specializing in Orthomolecular science or the power of supplements and other natural means of healing, may have additional recommendations to help a diabetic combat the stress that comes along with their ailment.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

N-Acetyl-Tyrosine: More Dopamine for Parkinson's

If you’ve been following our blog, you may remember my 65 year old brother who has Parkinson’s. In 5 years, he has improved to the point where he has only small shakes in the left arm and mild tremors in the right, and though he suffers from Parkinson’s dementia, it has not worsened since he began his supplement protocol.

One of the supplements he has taken over the past 5 years is N-Acetyl-Tyrosine at 2 grams a day. You may have heard of a Parkinson’s medication called Carba-Dopa. Well, Carba-Dopa is really an amino acid that is processed and eventually converted by the body into dopamine. Tyrosine is part of the chain that leads to dopamine production and tyrosine is actually processed and eventually converted into Carba-Dopa. (I prefer N-Acetyl-Tyrosine because it is more stable and water soluble than typical L-Tyrosine, which can result in greater bio-availability.)

There are a few advantages of Tyrosine over Carba-Dopa:

  1. It’s less expensive!

  1. There is a lot of controversy over the safety and benefits of Carba-Dopa, in that it seems to have benefits for Parkinson’s, but in the long term may actually lead to the Parkinson’s getting worse.

This seems like a no-brainer. Tyrosine can lead to more dopamine production, is less expensive than drug counterparts, and does not seem to have any side effects for a Parkinson’s patient when taken at dosages that are known to be non-toxic


My brother also takes an un-denatured whey protein shake daily. There are many excellent reasons to get whey protein into your diet every day. We’ve all been sold on the idea that we need a multivitamin and mineral daily, yet our body needs the building blocks of proteins everyday as well. These building blocks are known as amino acids, and whey protein contains all the essential amino acids in natural amounts. It’s important that it possesses the natural amounts, as many times these amino acids can cancel out each other when they are of equal amounts. Regular whey protein is fine for a protein shake, but un-denatured protein leads to greater absorption so I chose it over other whey protein.

There are many other reasons to drink an un-denatured whey protein shake daily and I will discuss these reasons in other posts, but for now the fact that you get all your essential amino acids in the right amounts is what matters. It also helps balance the 2 grams of Tyrosine. Amino acids interact with each other and if you supplement a single amino acid in high quantity, you are bound to deplete or affect other amino acids. The protein shake helps add back any amino acids that become depleted or otherwise made inefficient from frequent overuse. I always find it wise to consider balancing single supplements whenever possible. For example, I take 1 gram of niacin (vitamin b-3) a day. I try and balance this by taking a multivitamin and mineral high in B vitamins or a B-100, which has most of the B complex in dosages of 100 milligrams, to help balance my single dosage of niacin.

So, to review, the first supplement I recommended to my brother was Inositol to help with nerve conduction, followed by N-Acetyl-Tyrosine to increase the ability of his brain cells to help produce more dopamine. The next supplement we will discuss is included to calm the brain. This is vital in a condition like Parkinson’s where the body is hyper excitable and the symptoms themselves keep the cycle of excitation repeating endlessly.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Changing Acid to Alkaline

There is a great deal written and told of the possible threats to a person with high acid levels in their blood and body. Through the utilization of pH strips (litmus paper), a person can consistently keep track of their urine pH which lets them know where they stand in terms of body and blood pH levels. The scale of the pH strips runs from around 4.5 to 8.3, with 4.5 being the most acidic reading. A reading of 4.5 is ten times more acid than 5.5 which is ten times higher than 6.5 and so on.

A rating of 4.5 to 5.9 is considered strong acid. From 5.8 down to 4.5, calcium is generally lost. The body needs to replace this lost calcium and will often do so by stealing what it needs from our bones. This can eventually result in osteoporosis. It’s also important to recognize that recent research has pointed to high acid environments being a fertile field for cancer to thrive. High acid decreases oxygen levels and cancer has been discovered to thrive oxygen levels are low. Best case scenario is a rating of 7.0 to 7.5, which is considered a stable and neutral level of acid/alkaline balance. If your pH level reaches 7.6 or higher you’re alkaline.

Many people desire to neutralize their acid balance and assume that the best method is to use alkaline substances. For instance, I once heard someone mention that he was taking an 11 pH alkaline drink to regulate his acid. It seems rational to assume that the stronger the alkaline drink you take, the easier it would be to shift your acid towards a more stable number, such as 7.0, but unfortunately, this is simply not true. In chemistry the strongest changes are those that are within 1 point of the measurement you are trying to change. For instance, if you had a high acid reading of 5.5, you would need to use weaker acid substances that measured from 5.6 to 6.5 to become more alkaline. If you measured in at 6.0 then you would use even weaker acid substances from 6.1 to 7.0 to push the 6.0 closer to a neutral reading.

Now let’s assume you have constant acid readings when you check your urine pH. You also have a family history of cancer and you are concerned that your acid readings may help cancer cells thrive. With this in mind, you set out to neutralize your acid. From a chemistry standpoint, you would need to start eating foods that have high phosphorus levels, because phosphorus is the key mineral in our body that helps us maintain acid levels around 6.0 to 6.9. Remember that to change a strong acid such as 5.5 you will need a weaker acid. Weaker acids fall into the 6.0 to 6.9 category and generally are buffered and maintained by phosphorus which, luckily for you, is contained in most green vegetables.

As stated in my previous blog post on pH management, I also drink a solution consisting of a ¼ teaspoon of baking soda mixed into water around 20 minutes after I have finished eating, as this also helps alkaline the acid content of your stomach. If you measure urine pH after this baking soda and water beverage, you will see your pH changing towards more neutral levels. Even Perrier water 20 minutes after a meal can help alkaline your stomach acid.

Super Fats and HDL

Not all fat is bad for you. There are a variety of fats which can be either good or bad, depending on their balance in your body. For today, we’ll focus on the importance of the relationship between HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein), a “good” fat, and its “bad” cousin, LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein).

About 50% of heart conditions are related to heart disease, which is commonly referred to as the “clogging” of arteries. One of the main culprits in heart disease is LDL fat. The oxidizing of these fats leads to a great deal of free radical production and can eventually cause the rupturing of artery walls, heart attacks and strokes. HDL fats stop this process from taking place by clearing the LDL from your bloodstream before it becomes a problem.

If you were to picture our arteries as streets, the HDL serves as garbage trucks picking up the LDL trash and taking it to the dump to be destroyed. If the trash were left on the streets it would eventually degrade and destroy the neighborhood. The ratio of HDL to LDL in our bodies should not be greater than 1:4. When the amount of LDL becomes 4 times greater than that of the HDL, the HDL can no longer remove enough LDL to prevent it from oxidizing and degrading your body.

There are two methods that you can use to regulate the ratio between the two fats. You can eat foods and supplements to increase HDL and reduce LDL. In addition, statin drugs are available to lower your LDL. Foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids, such as fish and the fruit of the maranga tree are an excellent source of good fats that may help boost HDL.

Everyone: Each day determine you will eat foods high in Omega 3 oils (that help produce HDL fats) and supplement your diet with Omega 3 products of high quality. At the same time, eat low cholesterol foods and take supplements like Policosanol to lower your LDL. Focus on getting your HDL to LDL ratio down below 1:4. Good Luck!

I usually take two tablespoons of UDO’s oil (a brand of high quality Omega Acid blend available at most vitamin stores) to get my supplement of Omega 3 oils. I also take a supplement that is composed of the oil from NZ Mussels that has helped boost my HDL levels by 8% in two weeks! (I took two separate blood tests, two weeks apart)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Fast Relief from Colds and Flu!! (Pt. 2)

At the first hint of infection or sickness, I make sure to take Olive Leaf Extract, which acts as a natural antibiotic. I have not found a supported recommended dosage so I have managed to invent my own via years of trial. First of all, I treat Olive Leaf Extract exactly like an antibiotic. I take it for the length of my symptoms and then add seven days beyond that point to guarantee that most of the bacteria are destroyed. Once I have stopped using Olive Leaf, I won’t use it again until I am sick to retain its potency and prevent the development of resistant bacteria. I take a high dosage of 10 or more grams a day because I have found no evidence that it is toxic and have done so for ten years without any side effects.

During the seven day period after my symptoms have ended, I usually start winding down the dosage. As a side note, some people may experience what is known as Herxheimers Reaction, which may give one the feeling that the symptoms are temporarily worsening. This is most likely a sign that the Olive Leaf Extract is working! This is due to a detoxification reaction that results from the death of so many harmful germs so quickly. If this should happen, consider decreasing your dosage by half for three to four days and increasing your water intake to as many as four glasses between each dose.

Another important step I take is to increase my ORAC units to 10000 per day. In a previous blog post regarding ORAC, it was noted that Tufts University studies have shown that a man needs about 3000-5000 ORAC units per day. I reason that when we are sick we need more ORAC units and therefore increase my levels during a sick period. I drink a high ORAC juice blend for my ORAC supplementation.

My final tip involves the supplement N-Acetyl-Cysteine (N-A-C) which serves many purposes, one of which being the reduction of mucous. As I mentioned before, I once was sick with Rocky Mountain spotted fever. I almost died, and the thing that almost killed me was mucous. The Rocky Mountain spotted fever led to a major increase in my mucous production. I had to sleep in a reclining chair for three nights because I couldn’t lie down without being choked with mucous. I kept taking large amounts of everything mentioned in this article including drinking lots of distilled water. You wouldn’t believe the amount the dosages I was taking. In the end, it was the N-A-C which served to relieve me of my most vicious symptom which was too much mucous.. Whenever you’re affected by an illness that leads to a large amount of mucous build up, I strongly recommend you think of N-A-C.

There are many other supplements and herbs you can take to help your body fight sickness. I usually add a few others depending on the specific condition. The supplements I mention above serve as my special fighters against any condition. Good luck.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fast Relief from Colds and Flu!! (Pt.1)

People are often confused about what they can do at home to battle colds and viruses. Well, there are many recommended supplements, herbs, formulas and drugs, but the main purpose of them all is to bolster the immune system so it can do the hard work and kill the germs. I like to help my immune system out even more by following a few steps which can kill many of the germs in our throat, mouth, and sinuses and ease the burden on the immune system by stopping germs before they get into the body.

The idea is to kill as many germs as possible. I’ll usually gargle with a disinfecting mouthwash almost every hour when I first begin to feel sick. Each time you gargle you are cleansing your mouth of tons of germs. In addition, I use a nasal solution several times a day to kill the germs in the sinuses. You can make your own nasal solution by mixing one teaspoon of buffered Vitamin C powder in about four ounces of distilled water. The best method of use is to dip your nose into the mixture without sniffing; take your nose out of the mixture; and then sniff the mixture left on your nose. Personally, I only use ‘buffered’ vitamin C when sniffing into the sinuses.

The first thing I do when I feel I’m coming down with any type of cold, flu, or infection is take a dose of vitamin C. I usually take about 5 grams in the morning and at night. Vitamin C helps bolster the immune system, serves as a powerful antioxidant and is an electron donor (which we’ve discussed the value of previously in our ORAC post). It should be noted that too much vitamin C can soften your stool and cause diarrhea and that if this happens I recommend you cut back your dosage until your stool returns to normal. In the end, I try to take the highest possible dose that I can without affecting my bowel movements. I once was unfortunate enough to catch Rocky Mountain spotted fever and took a dosage of about 60 grams of vitamin C per day and surprisingly, I wasn’t afflicted with diarrhea despite the amazingly high dosage!

My second technique for fighting infections is to take large dosages of selenium. Though Selenium is toxic at high dosages (most doctors would not recommend over 400 mcg per day), I find that 800 mcg of selenium per day, for a few days, serves as a powerful adjunct to bolster the immune system. I lower these high dosages after a few days and in my experience, a couple of days at that dosage has shown me no ill effects over the past ten years. Regardless of my personal observations, I would not recommend high dosages of selenium for anyone until they have done research and spoken to their doctor about this mineral. The form of selenium I take is called methylselenocysteine. I also boost my vitamin E intake from 400 IU to 800 IU. Vitamin E is an important antioxidant in the body. I take the Gamma form of vitamin E which is mixed with Tocopherol. There are multiple forms of vitamin E and I prefer to use supplements that combine several different vitamin E ingredients.

Be sure to check back in the next few days for the second part of my method for finding quick relief from the flu, colds and infections!