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Posted by: | Posted on: December 6, 2019

How trace minerals help to heal the body

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/trace-minerals-heal-3210.html
by: Natalie Robins, staff writer

sea salt(NaturalHealth365) Even if you try to eat a healthy, organic diet – you could be at risk for nutritional deficiencies without realizing it.  In fact, the National Institutes of Health concluded that “the vast majority of people in both affluent and emerging industrialized countries do not reach even 75 percent of the RDAs for numerous trace minerals.”The importance of nutrient status (and deficiencies) cannot be overstated. For example, magnesium deficiency is widespread among Americans. One study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, shows that 68% of Americans are magnesium deficient and, some experts like Carolyn Dean, MD have been warning the public for years.

Editor’s note: Sea salt is an excellent way to get trace minerals into your diet.  But, beware, most brands of sea salt are contaminated with microplastics.  Click here to discover our top pick for sea salt.

What is the importance of trace minerals?

Some minerals, such as calcium, potassium, and phosphorus, are more common in food and in your body. Trace minerals, on the other hand, are essential minerals that you only need in trace amounts.

The following is a condensed look at certain minerals and their purpose in the body:

  • Chromium is necessary for proper regulation of blood sugar and improves insulin sensitivity.
  • Cobalt is present in vitamin B12 and it is necessary for generating healthy, red blood cells.
  • Zinc allows for proper immune response, growth, antioxidant function and wound healing.
  • Selenium is necessary for proper antioxidant function and liver detoxification. It is also essential for healthy muscles and hair.
  • Iodine is necessary for your body to make thyroid hormone – which is involved in almost every process in your body including energy metabolism and temperature regulation.

Bottom line, trace minerals are essential to protect against common health issues, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cognitive decline. Without enough trace minerals, you’re also susceptible to contamination from heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury and lead.

Do NOT ignore the health dangers linked to toxic indoor air.  These chemicals – the ‘off-gassing’ of paints, mattresses, carpets and other home/office building materials – increase your risk of headaches, dementia, heart disease and cancer.

Get the BEST indoor air purification system – at the LOWEST price, exclusively for NaturalHealth365 readers.  I, personally use this system in my home AND office.  Click HERE to order now – before the sale ends.

Why modern farming techniques MUST change to help save humanity

Why aren’t Americans getting enough trace minerals from their food supply?  Obviously, we should be looking at soil content.  Over the past century, the quality of our soil has been depleted by 85 percent – mainly due to modern methods of farming.

The agricultural sector is driven by crop yield, using every possible method to increase the number of pounds harvested. Intensive farming, combined with soil erosion, has resulted in soil with a lower mineral content. To make matters worse, chemical fertilizers are insufficient to replace the minerals needed for optimal health and poison the environment.

The singular focus on agricultural yield comes at the expense of nutritious food products and the nutritional status and health of Americans. Fruits and vegetables are now grown in soil with a lower nutrient content than in the past. A study in Canada found that tomatoes, spinach, cabbage, and lettuce have on average one-eighth the mineral content today than they did at the beginning of the 20th century.

The ocean provides a natural way to correct mineral deficiencies

If you just can’t depend on the produce section of your supermarket, how can you give your body the nutrients it needs to heal your body? The answer may lie in the ocean, which is rich in minerals.

They’re in their complete, non-denatured form, which is the form most beneficial (and recognizable) to the human body.

If you have the time and space, you can grow your own fruits and vegetables using ocean trace minerals to fertilize them. Another option is to eat seaweed, either as a food or as a supplement. Sea vegetable capsules are another source of minerals, and sea vegetables also contain health-promoting compounds such as fucoidan – which can help lower your risk for disease.

Of course, like with any other food, it’s important to know the source – to minimize the risk of consuming toxic chemicals in the food supply.

Editor’s note:  If you want to avoid mineral deficiencies – I encourage you to investigate the health benefits of QuintEssential Optimum Mineralization 3.3.  This super clean product is now available, in limited supply, at the NaturalHealth365 Store.  And, yes, I’ve personally been using this high-quality product for over 4 years!

Sources for this article:

Personalhealthfacts.com
Healthy-Vegetable-Gardening.com

Posted by: | Posted on: December 3, 2019

An Avocado a Day Boosts Your Brain

© 27th November 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.health/blog/avocado-day-boosts-your-brain

LeanMachine Note: Lutein with Zeaxanthin is available as a supplement.
Posted by: | Posted on: December 2, 2019

Why Your Brain Craves PQQ


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/12/02/pqq-for-brain-health.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph MercolaFact Checked
December 02, 2019
pqq for brain health

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is particularly important for the health and protection of your mitochondria. It also helps regenerate new mitochondria
  • PQQ has been shown to improve the function of beta amyloid-damaged brain cells — a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease — and prevent the formation of alpha-synclein proteins associated with Parkinson’s disease. It can even help prevent neuronal cell death in cases of traumatic brain injury
  • Studies show PQQ improves mental processing and memory. It also works synergistically with CoQ10, producing better results than either of these nutrients alone
  • PQQ lowers C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, which are inflammatory biomarkers, and upregulates Nrf2 expression — a biological hormetic that upregulates beneficial intercellular antioxidants
  • PQQ has also been shown to boost the activity of primary life span extension transcriptional factors, which led the researchers to surmise that PQQ may play a role in longevity

While your diet is one of the most important tools you can use to take control of your health, certain supplements can be helpful, especially when it comes to improving your mitochondrial function. One particularly powerful supplement in this regard is pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ),1 which has been shown to promote the growth of new mitochondria (mitochondrial biogenesis).

Your mitochondria also require PQQ to catalyze energy producing reactions, and it’s critical in protecting your mitochondria from damage. Your mitochondria are the tiny energy producers inside your cells, which is why mitochondrial dysfunction is at the heart of just about all chronic diseases, old age and death.

In order for your body to function properly, it needs sufficient energy and, for that, you need well-nourished, well-functioning mitochondria. PQQ is an important player in this regard.2 As noted by Dave Asprey, founder of Bulletproof and author of books on energy, life span and brain power:3

“Anti-aging starts at the cellular level and PQQ is an easy way to protect your cells, all while helping to improve the most mitochondrial-dense parts of your body like your brain and heart.”

PQQ Enhances Mitochondrial Density and Function

PQQ is relatively unique in its ability to enhance mitochondrial biogenesis, i.e., the creation of new, healthy mitochondria in aging cells, which is the basis of so many of its health benefits. As reported by Better Nutrition magazine:4

“In addition to improving energy production, this characteristic of PQQ shifts some of the aging process into reverse gear. In a study5 at the University of California, Davis, researchers gave a small group of men and women PQQ supplements and tested the effects 76 hours later.

Using blood and urine tests, researchers found that PQQ improved mitochondrial performance and reduced chronic inflammation. The effective dose was 0.3 mg of PQQ per kilogram of body weight — 20 mg of PQQ for a 150-pound person, as an example.”

One mechanism by which PQQ lowers inflammation, improves mitochondrial function and stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis is by upregulating Nrf2 expression — a biological hormetic that upregulates intercellular antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase and catalase.

PQQ has also been shown to boost the activity of primary life span extension transcriptional factors, which led the researchers to surmise that PQQ may play a “novel role” in longevity.6 Indeed, it modulates a variety of signaling pathways, including mTOR, which plays a role in aging and cancer,7 and helps repair DNA,8 all of which suggests it may help you live longer.

PQQ also enhances NADH,9 which is converted to NAD+ as food is broken down into energy.10 When DNA damage is repaired, NAD+ is used up, and if you run out you can’t repair the damage, which is likely the central cause for most of the diseases we are seeing in the modern world now.

How PQQ Protects and Benefits Your Brain

PQQ’s ability to shield your brain cells and their DNA from harm also suggests it can be a powerful preventive aid against neurodegenerative diseases. Mitochondrial DNA is quite prone to damage from free radicals and pro-oxidants. Most of the free radicals in the body are produced within the mitochondria themselves, which is why they’re so susceptible.

Free radicals are an unavoidable artifact of converting food into cellular fuel, and your food is ultimately metabolized in your mitochondria. PQQ has been shown to protect against this kind of damage. It also activates your mitochondria’s built-in repair and replication mechanisms.

In your brain, the practical end result is an overall improvement of neurologic function,11 including improved cognition, learning and memory,12 and a reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Research13 has shown PQQ protects and improves the survival of neurons by stimulating the synthesis of nerve growth factor (NGF) in certain glial cells found in your central nervous system.

It’s also been shown to improve the function of beta amyloid-damaged brain cells14 — a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease — and prevent the formation of alpha-synclein proteins associated with Parkinson’s disease.15

According to a 2012 study,16 PQQ can even help prevent neuronal cell death in cases of traumatic brain injury. According to the authors of this study, “PQQ may play an important role in recovery post-TBI.”

Adding CoQ10 Provides Synergistic Benefits

Both animal and human studies using doses between 10 and 20 milligrams (mg) of PQQ have demonstrated improvement in mental processing and memory on its own, but combining it with Coenzyme Q10 could potentially be even more beneficial.

One study found PQQ in combination with CoQ10 produced better results than either of these nutrients alone, so there appears to be some synergistic effects. I recommend using the reduced form of CoQ10, called ubiquinol, as it is more readily available for your body.

Both CoQ10 and PQQ are fat-soluble, so they’re best taken with a small amount of fat in your meal rather on an empty stomach. In addition to being a powerful antioxidant in its own right, CoQ10/ubiquinol also facilitates the recycling (catalytic conversion) of other antioxidants, so when taken in combination with PQQ, you’re really turbocharging your body’s antioxidant capacity.

PQQ Is a Powerful Antioxidant and Immune Booster

Another reason why PQQ is so beneficial has to do with its powerful antioxidant activity. It’s capable of undergoing upward of 20,000 catalytic conversions. A catalytic conversion is when an antioxidant neutralizes a free radical. In other words, PQQ is a remarkably efficient antioxidant. For comparison, vitamin C can only go through four catalytic conversions before it’s used up.17,18

Research has shown PQQ lowers the inflammatory biomarkers C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 in humans at doses between 0.2 mg and 0.3 mg per kg.19

PQQ also supports your immune function and PQQ deficiency has been linked to immune dysfunction.20 In one study,21 PQQ supplementation increased the responsiveness of B- and T-cells (white blood cells that play central roles in your immune response) to mitogens (proteins that induces cell division or mitosis).

PQQ Activates Metabolic Master Switch

The list of potential applications for PQQ is extremely long, as its metabolic effects go well beyond improving mitochondrial function. For example, it helps activate adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which is an important molecular target for metabolic health.

AMPK is an enzyme inside your body’s cells. It’s sometimes called a “metabolic master switch” because it plays an important role in regulating metabolism. As noted in the Natural Medicine Journal:22

“AMPK induces a cascade of events within cells that are all involved in maintaining energy homeostasis … AMPK regulates an array of biological activities that normalize lipid, glucose, and energy imbalances.

Metabolic syndrome (MetS) occurs when these AMPK-regulated pathways are turned off, triggering a syndrome that includes hyperglycemia, diabetes, lipid abnormalities, and energy imbalances …

AMPK helps coordinate the response to these stressors, shifting energy toward cellular repair, maintenance, or a return to homeostasis and improved likelihood of survival.

The hormones leptin and adiponectin activate AMPK. In other words, activating AMPK can produce the same benefits as exercise, dieting, and weight loss — the lifestyle modifications considered beneficial for a range of maladies.”

With age, your AMPK level drops naturally, but poor diet can reduce AMPK activity at any age. This enzyme plays a major role in body fat composition, inflammation and blood lipids, so boosting its activity can go a long way toward improving blood sugar control, reducing visceral fat and lowering LDL cholesterol.

AMPK also stimulates mitochondrial autophagy (mitophagy) and mitochondrial biogenesis, as well as five other critically important pathways: insulin, leptin, mTOR, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and proliferator-activated receptor gamma co-activator 1-alpha (PGC-1α).

It is important to note that PQQ will not likely work well, if at all, if you are eating around the clock, as elevated insulin levels will activate mTOR and inhibit AMPK, thus limiting PQQ’s ability to increase it.

Other Benefits of PQQ

PQQ has also been linked to several other health benefits, including:

  • Improved reproductive outcomes in animals23 (PQQ deficiency has been linked to abnormal reproductive performance24)
  • Reduced risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in offspring when given to obese mouse mothers during pregnancy and lactation25
  • Improved sleep (by modulating the cortisol awakening response)26

As you can see, the list of PQQ’s health benefits is quite long. And, while PQQ is found in foods such as natto, parsleygreen pepperspinachpapaya, kiwi and green tea,27 the amounts you get from your diet are likely to be insufficient if you want to reap all of its beneficial health effects.

When taking a PQQ supplement, you’ll know within a few weeks whether the brand and dosage is working for you. Overall, you should feel better, with greater energy and clearer thinking.

– Sources and References
Posted by: | Posted on: November 30, 2019

Do Synthetic Thyroid Hormones Work?

© 19th November 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC.
This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC.
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Reproduced from original article:
https://www.greenmedinfo.health/blog/do-synthetic-thyroid-hormones-work

Posted on: Tuesday, November 19th 2019 at 11:45 am
Written By: Kelly Brogan, M.D.

Originally published on www.kellybroganmd.com
If you walk into a doctor’s office and tell a conventional doctor that you’re depressedgaining weightfatigued, having trouble concentrating, cold, and constipated, chances are that the doctor would tell you that it’s depression, aging, or just stress, and that’s why you’re feeling the way you do. They might prescribe you some medication and off you go.

But one thing that the doctor might fail to realize is that those very symptoms of depression also double as symptoms of a commonly underdiagnosed condition–namely hypothyroidism. An underperforming thyroid (hypothyroidism) is one of the most underdiagnosed conditions in America, yet it’s incredibly common–especially in women. Over 20% of all women have a “lazy” thyroid but only half of those women gets diagnosed. Science has known about the relationship between a dysfunctional thyroid and symptoms of depression for a long time.1 2 Depression often occurs concurrently with changes in the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis, which is a hormonal feedback control loop that regulates metabolism.3

So exactly how many patients are told they have depression when it’s really a thyroid problem?   A new study published in the peer-reviewed journal BMC Psychiatry is shedding a bit of new light onto that very question.

New Insight into Subclinical Hypothyroidism

In a 2019 study, researchers from several Malaysian universities used a meta-analysis technique to evaluate the association between subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) and depression amongst 12,315 individuals, hoping to further clarify the prevalence of depression in SCH and the effect of levothyroxine therapy, the most common synthetic thyroid hormone drug that is sold under the brand names of Synthroid, Tirosint, Levoxyl, Unithroid, and Levo-T.4

Though the relationship between depression and hypothyroidism has been evident to scientific research since around 200 years ago, the association between depression and hypothyroidism‘s sneakier and more subtle cousin, subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) has historically been more controversial. Subclinical hypothyroidism is an early, mild form of hypothyroidism where free hormones are low, but TSH is normal, a condition in which the body doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones.5 It’s estimated that a whole 3-8% of the general population (usually more women than men) is affected by SCH.6

In the study results, which the researchers found by compiling the data of many other studies, researchers found that:

Patients with SCH had higher risk of depression than patients with normal thyroid function controls, which means that patients with SCH were more likely to have depressive symptoms.

In individuals with SCH and depression, levothyroxine therapy didn’t help improve their depression or symptoms.

What does that mean? The researchers found that thyroid imbalance seems to be a driver of depression–and that trying to replacing those missing hormones with the most commonly prescribed synthetic T4 hormone, levothyroxine, doesn’t actually help alleviate depressive symptoms.7

This is an interesting finding because around 20 million Americans, mostly women, have some type of thyroid problem and are prescribed synthetic thyroid hormones such as Synthroid, a brand of the levothyroxine.8 Instead of using synthetic chemicals to “fix” our bodies, which apparently isn’t really working, we should be finding the root cause of the thyroid dysfunction and take a more holistic approach in healing our bodies.

The Thyroid

To better understand why this study was interesting, we first need to understand more about the thyroid in general. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits at your throat just a little under the Adam’s apple. The gland produces a range of hormones, but its two most active substances are T3, the active form of thyroid hormone, and T4, the storage form of thyroid hormone. A healthy thyroid regularly secretes T3 and T4 into the bloodstream so that most of the T4 can be converted into its active form, T3, around the body, including the brain.9 To do that, the process depends on a wide variety of factors: the amount of available specialized enzymes, optimal cortisol (your stress hormone) levels, and certain nutrients such as ironiodinezincmagnesiumselenium, B vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin D.

But thyroids do much more than pump out hormones; they also take information in from the body to adjust its own pace. The thyroid sits in the middle of a complex and dynamic web of hormones and chemicals that controls metabolism, which is how fast and efficiently cells can convert nutrients into energy. In conversation with the brain, adrenal glands, and more, the thyroid indirectly affects every cell, tissue, and organ in the body–from muscles, bones, and skin to the digestive tract, heart, and brain.

One major way that thyroids affect us is through our mitochondria, the organelles in most cells that are widely considered to be the powerhouses of the cell. Mitochondria not only help generate energy for our body to do things, but they also determine the time of cell death and more. Our mitochondria are maintained by our thyroid hormone–which is why patients whose thyroids are underperforming experience an array of symptoms, including fatigue, constipation, hair loss, depression, foggy thinking, cold body temperature, low metabolism, and muscle aches.10 That’s partially why thyroid problems have such resounding and far-reaching effects on the body. When your mitochondria aren’t being properly cared for by your thyroid hormone, everything in your body has less energy to do the work it needs to do, and everything slows down.

What Makes the Thyroid Misbehave?

It’s no surprise that so many factors go into keeping the thyroid happy. The thyroid can be thrown off balance by all sorts of reasons: chemicals and food additives, like emulsifiers (found in commercial soda), synthetic plastic chemicals, fluoride (found in much of our tap water), and mercury (from large fish), or immune responses. Importantly, this circuitry is also influenced by another hormone, cortisol,11 which is produced by your adrenal glands at the command of your brain.

When we look at adrenal function, we have to take our analyses one step farther and understand what is causing adrenals to be stressed out.12 From there, we know that the adrenal glands are affected by gutdiet, and environmental immune provocation and that many lifestyle and environmental factors can influence this relationship, which in turn, can disturb the thyroid.

Thyroid Disease is a Psychiatric Pretender

The point of all of this is to say that because of how interconnected the relationship between the thyroid and other parts of the body are, thyroid imbalance often leads to the symptoms of depression when the culprit is an unhappy thyroid. The study that we talked about earlier is helping us better understand just how prevalent mistaking thyroid imbalance, particularly subclinical hypothyroidism, for depression is.

Of course, it doesn’t help that symptoms listed above are a vague bunch and could have many causes, so conventional doctors frequently write them off as a symptom of aging, depression, or stress in the few minutes they usually spend talking with patients. The way that lab tests for hypothyroidism (both subclinical and hypothyroidism) are run and the way reference ranges are established aren’t very accurate.

Keeping a thyroid healthy is an exercise in holistic medicine that requires you to pay attention to all aspects of your lifestyle. Check out our free symptom checker to see if your thyroid might be affected, or if you have any of the other Top 5 “Psychiatric Pretenders” (common physical imbalances that show up as mental or emotional symptoms).

Interested in step-by-step support to help you optimize your health?

Vital Life Project is a community for like-minded wellness seekers in search of a better way to live with vitality in a world that can make it challenging to move toward this goal.

This monthly membership provides guidance and accountability to help you make small changes in mindset and daily routine that can lead to radical shifts in health reclamation.

Click below to be the first to know when our doors open this Spring!


References

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15745924?dopt=Abstract

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16723325?dopt=Abstract

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3246784/

4. https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-018-2006-2

5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2664572/

6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2664572/

7. https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-018-2006-2

8. https://www.thyroid.org/media-main/press-room/

9. https://www.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/physrev.00009.2005

10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11174855

11. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/06/19/mental-illness-hypothyroidism.aspx#_edn4

12. https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article-abstract/75/6/1526/2655345

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.
Posted by: | Posted on: November 27, 2019

Valerian: Everything You Knew and Everything You Didn’t

© 6th November 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.health/blog/valerian-everything-you-knew-and-everything-you-didnt
Posted on: Wednesday, November 6th 2019 at 10:30 am

Posted by: | Posted on: November 18, 2019

Better Than Zoloft for Depression: Rhodiola

© 30th October 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
https://www.greenmedinfo.health/blog/better-zoloft-depression-rhodiola

Posted on: Wednesday, October 30th 2019 at 5:00 pm

Will doctors ever opt for an herb over a drug for depressed patients? It may sound unlikely but researchers from the University of Pennsylvania think they should consider it

In a randomized placebo-controlled trial doctors tested the herb rhodiola rosea against the conventional antidepressant therapy sertraline (Zoloft) in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).[i]

A diagnosis of MDD means a patient exhibited two or more major depressive episodes, depressed mood and/or loss of interest or pleasure in life activities for at least 2 weeks. In addition, they show signs of significant unintentional weight loss or gain, insomnia or sleeping too much, fatigue, diminished ability to think or concentrate, and recurrent thoughts of death.

The study looked at 57 adults diagnosed with major depressive disorder. The patients received treatments of either rhodiola rosea extract, sertraline, or placebo.

After 12 weeks there was no statistically significant difference between the rhodiola and the Zoloft. Compared to the placebo, rhodiola patients had 1.4 times the odds of improvement while the Zoloft patients had 1.9 times the odds of improvement.

Other evidence is mounting that Zoloft and other SSRIs are no more effective than placebo for depression symptoms.

In the Penn study the researchers concluded that rhodiola may possess a more favorable risk to benefit ratio for individuals with mild to moderate MDD because it produced only half the side effects of Zoloft. In fact, a whopping 63% of patients on Zoloft reported side effects – most commonly nausea and sexual dysfunction. That compared to only 30% of patients on rhodiola.

The authors suggested that “herbal therapy may have the potential to help patients with depression who cannot tolerate conventional antidepressants due to side effects.”

An earlier placebo controlled study found rhodiola effective for patients with mild to moderate depression.

Rhodiola rosea is a hardy yellow flower native to the arctic mountains of Eastern Siberia. It’s sometimes called the “Root of the Arctic” or Tibetan ginseng.

Ancient healers used rhodiola to treat infections, anemia, stomach upset, and depression. In the old Soviet Union scientists used rhodiola to help soldiers improve mood, brain function and physical performance.

Human studies show that just one 200 mg dose of rhodiola helped volunteers improve their exercise endurance.[ii]

It’s also been shown to relieve mental fatigue. In one study of doctors on night call just 170 mg of rhodiola per day for two weeks helped the doctors think and remember better, concentrate, calculate, and respond to audio and visual cues.[iii]

And taking 100 mg of rhodiola every day for 20 days helped students improve their capacity to work, their coordination, and their general sense of wellbeing. Their learning ability increased 61% and their fatigue levels dropped by 30%.[iv]

Another study showed rhodiola may be helpful in smoking cessation.

For more information visit GreenMedInfo’s page on rhodiola/Tibetan ginseng. For an extensive list of natural anti-depressive agents take a look at GreenMedInfo.com’s depression page. Or, read a summary article titled, 23 Natural Alternatives for Depression.

Originally published: 2015-06-08

Article updated: 2019-10-30


References

[i] Jay D. Amsterdam et al. “Rhodiola rosea versus sertraline for major depressive disorder: A randomized placebo-controlled trial.” Phytomedicine, 2015 Mar 15;22(3):394-9. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2015.01.010. Epub 2015 Feb 23.

[ii] De Bock K, Eijnde BO, Ramaekers M, Hespel P. “Acute Rhodiola rosea intake can improve endurance exercise performance.” Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2004 Jun;14(3):298-307.

[iii] Darbinyan V, Kteyan A, Panossian A, et al. “Rhodiola rosea in stress induced fatigue—a double blind cross-over study of a standardized extract SHR-5 with a repeated low-dose regimen on the mental performance of healthy physicians during night duty.” Phytomedicine. 2000 Oct;7(5):365-71.

[iv] Spasov AA et al. “A double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of the stimulating and adaptogenic effect of Rhodiola rosea SHR-5 extract on the fatigue of students caused by stress during an examination period with a repeated low-dose regimen.” Phytomedicine. 2000 Apr;7(2):85-9.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

LeanMachine Notes:

I have been recommending Rhodiola for years to my patients, with a high degree of success.
This Solgar brand is high quality, coming in a darkened glass container for purity and freshness.
I am told the American Astronauts were sick after landing from prolonged space missions, while their Russian counterparts were out playing tennis, their recovery attributed to Rhodiola.

Posted by: | Posted on: November 18, 2019

The Damaging Effects of Oxalates on the Human Body


Reproduced from original article:
articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/11/10/oxalic-toxicity.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph MercolaFact Checked – November 10, 2019

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Oxalic acid or oxalates are very tiny molecules that bind minerals like calcium and form crystals. It is found in a variety of seeds, nuts and many vegetables. It’s only two carbons and four oxygen molecules. It’s a highly reactive compound that is attracted to positively charged minerals
  • Oxalates not only can cause kidney stones (calcium oxalate kidney stones) but also may be responsible for a wide variety of other health problems related to inflammation, auto-immunity, mitochondrial dysfunction, mineral balance, connective tissue integrity, urinary tract issues and poor gut function
  • Oxalic acid can harm glandular function, connective tissue function, neurological function and the function of the tissues of excretion, particularly the kidneys and bladder
  • Having a damaged gut lining will increase your absorption of oxalates. An inflamed or damaged gut lining is a very common problem, thanks to frequent antibiotic use and the presence of a number of chemicals in our food supply, including glyphosate. Other plant compounds such as phytates and lectins (such as gluten) can worsen gut health and exacerbate the impact of oxalates
  • Tissue destruction, fibromyalgia and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are all issues that can be related to oxalates

Sally Norton,1 who has studied nutrition and has a graduate degree in public health, is one of the leading experts on oxalate poisoning — a topic you don’t hear much about. Chances are you may never have heard about oxalates, or have any idea why they might matter.

As is often the case with experts in any health field, her expertise is an outgrowth of her personal struggles with health problems that didn’t respond to more conventional treatments, including healthy living (Norton was a vegetarian for 16 years).

“Like so many other people who are now discovering this, I was the kind of person who, no matter what I did, I could not create the vibrant robust health that I felt that I wanted, that I felt was intended for me to have.

It was just perpetual frustration, which is kind of amazing because the more you try to be healthy, the less it works — even when you’ve got a degree in nutrition from Cornell University and a degree in public health.

I worked in integrative medicine and knew all the holistic and complementary healing modalities … Here I was, the health expert who was not healthy …

The Vulvar Pain (VP) Foundation started educating people 25 years ago and making a big effort to get foods properly tested to know about oxalates in food because the story here is that we’re eating foods that are full of a toxin called oxalate …

We’re not paying attention to how this chemical’s affecting our physiology … [Oxalate] is a natural chemical that plants make, and we even make oxalate in our own metabolism.”

Chances are, if you have heard of oxalates, you’ve heard of them in relation to calcium oxalate kidney stones. A vast majority of the scientific information available on oxalate refers to this. However, while it certainly contributes to kidney stones, it can also have other detrimental health effects.

Interestingly, from the 1850s through the early 1900s, oxalate poisoning was well-recognized. Back then, it was referred to as oxalic acid diathesis. It was known to be a seasonal problem that got worse in the spring and summer, when fresh greens were available, when people’s oxalate consumption would go up.

Unfortunately, it has since gotten lost and left out of clinical science. As noted by Norton, there’s scientific evidence showing oxalic acid can harm glandular function, connective tissue function, neurological function and the function of excretion routes, particularly the kidneys.

Oxalate 101


Oxalic acid or oxalates are tiny molecules found in a variety of seeds, nuts and vegetables. It’s only two carbons and four oxygen molecules. It’s a highly reactive compound that is attracted to positively charged minerals. Norton explains:

“Calcium has a particular love of oxalate, and vice versa. The two of them seek each other out quite easily. We often see very abundantly the calcium oxalate form of oxalate. We see it in the plants. The plants form crystals and have the smaller individual ions and nanocrystals.

But they do form these bigger constructions, these kinds of plant pyramids, rocks and sticks and diamonds and things that the plants make, probably deliberately for many … plants are making use of oxalate for self-defense.

In the body, you’re going to see these other forms … A molecule that has less strong a bond — potassium oxalate, sodium oxalate and so on — those are the soluble forms. When you see oxalate in nature, you see the big calcium oxalate crystals — that’s the same thing that the kidney stone is made of. The major ingredient of the classic kidney stone is oxalate.

Unfortunately, in our parlance in medicine, we think of it as calcium … We just generalize to calcium because there are multiple types of calcium stones. But in the case of oxalate stones and oxalates causing calcification in the body, the oxalate part gets sort of dropped.

Medicine is not taught that you need the substrate to make a kidney stone. You need to provide enough oxalic acid or oxalate, soluble oxalate, the potassium oxalate, the sodium oxalates and so on. You can provide enough of that to perform this calcification in the kidneys and elsewhere in the body.

The plants that we’re eating have these oxalate crystals. The big ones just cause abrasion … They’re very small, but at the cellular level they’re quite big and abrasive. They just cause mechanical damage …

These soluble oxalates are the ones that easily — because they’re so tiny — pass through in between cells. Just with passive transport, we end up absorbing oxalates. The amount we absorb depends on a lot of factors, especially the health of our digestive tract.

Those of us with any inflammation in the digestive tract are more prone … to absorbing more of that soluble oxalate and even nanocrystals of calcium oxalate. At least 1% of calcium oxalate from food is also absorbed, in addition to the soluble oxalate.

But you see, soluble oxalate is not content being potassium oxalate. It would much rather be calcium oxalate, iron oxalate or magnesium oxalate. Right away, it starts grabbing minerals. It starts messing with mineral metabolism. It even can create bouts of acidosis.”

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Conditions That Can Worsen Oxalates’ Impact

As mentioned, having a damaged gut lining will increase your absorption of oxalates. Most people, in fact, have damaged gut lining, thanks to a number of assaulting compounds and chemicals.

The presence of glyphosate in our food supply is one of these problematic compounds. If you’re not eating mostly organic food, you’re bound to be consuming glyphosate, which can wreak havoc on your gut function, as described in “Glyphosate: Pathways to Modern Diseases.”

Other gut-destroying exposures include frequent antibiotic use, which can lead to various forms of microbiome imbalance, including small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

Some processed foods contain mucus-destroying emulsifiers. Even a number of naturally occurring plant compounds such as phytates and lectins (such as gluten) as well as the sharp oxalate microcrystals are trouble for gut health. These and other compounds found in foods can worsen gut inflammation and exacerbate the impact of oxalates by allowing oxalates easy entry into the blood stream.

Many of the foods that have become popularized in the modern diet are also high-oxalate foods, which means exposure is higher in general.

High-Oxalate Foods

Examples of high-oxalate foods include potatoes, peanuts, nuts, spinachbeets, beet greens, chocolate, blackberrieskiwifigs, black beans, buckwheat, quinoa and whole grains. Norton ate a lot of beans, soy, Swiss chard, and sweet potatoes when she was a vegetarian; these are all high oxalate foods. When she cut wheat and soy from her diet, sweet potatoes became a daily staple in her diet.

Eventually, she discovered the healing value of animal foods such as bone broth, but it took many years of painful disease before she made the connection between her arthritis and her favorite plant foods.

Nuts and seeds tend to contain high amounts of oxalates, so any seed is suspect if you’re sensitive. Pumpkin seeds, watermelon seeds, sunflower and flax are among the safest, as they contain lower amounts. Oils and fats, even when extracted from plants, are all low in oxalates.

“When you extract an oil or fat, you do not take with you the oxalates. It could have been from a peanut. The oil’s still low. Olives are pretty high, but olive oil’s low. It’s really simple. It’s not in the animal foods, and it’s not in the oils and fats. But it’s in most things that are seeds,” Norton says.

“It’s also in several green vegetables, mainly spinach, Swiss chard and beet greens. Those are really the bad ones. There are a couple of kales that are not so good.

Collards are kind of medium bad. The mixed greens that people like now … those baby mixes are loaded with little beet green leaves, little Swiss chard leaves, which are high [in] oxalates …

Certain fruits are really high: kiwi … clementine … Anjou pears, guava, figs, elderberries, apricots, blackberries, unripe avocados … Starfruit is so high it’s really dangerous.”

Signs and Symptoms of Oxalate Poisoning

Tissue destruction, fibromyalgia and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are all issues that can be related to oxalates because oxalate in tissues trigger the inflammasome reactions of the body’s innate immune system.

“This reactive compound kind of trashes your basic building blocks of connective tissue,” Norton says. Oxalates also cause inflammation and interfere with your body’s natural healing and repair mechanisms that usually happen overnight while you sleep.

Needless to say, this can worsen a wide variety of ailments, and trigger just as many. Norton tells the story of her own health problems, and how she finally identified oxalates as the culprit causing them all.

“Glycoproteins are where the oxalates get stuck on cells. We tend to see oxalates keeping old injuries in place where you don’t fully recover all the way. That’s one symptom. You’ve got things that don’t completely clear up. For me, it was my feet … I was forced to leave school and go get these feet dealt with. I just could not function anymore.

I had surgery. I stayed out of school for four years because I wasn’t getting better … I was getting weird vulvar symptoms, arthritis, fatigue, difficulty focusing and cognitive problems. There are a lot of neurological neurotoxicity [effects from oxalate] that interfere with cognitive function and sleep.

Fast forward years later to 2009 when I learned about the Vulvar Pain Foundation and connected the bout of vulvar pain that I had to my diet. But it took me years more of flipping around with complete disability. I could no longer work … I basically was sofa-bound.

I had to have a hysterectomy … There was endometriosis in there. The ovaries were trashed … and I didn’t recover well from that. My endocrinologist sent me off to this sleep lab because he said, ‘You’re eating great. You look awesome by way of blood tests. But, obviously, you can’t read, function or exercise.’

I was surprised to see that my nervous system was so toxic that my brain was waking up 29 times an hour … I developed irritable bowel syndrome, and then eventually it turned into chronic constipation, which is very common amongst us oxalate-poisoned people.

Part of what’s going on there is those nerves and muscles are almost paralyzed. They’ve lost their control. Their sphincters aren’t working well. The muscle tone in the colon is not functioning well because of this constant stream of oxalates coming …

It looks like you have SIBO, or you probably do, because of all the antibiotics. Of course, … emulsifiers in our [processed] foods are eroding away the mucous layer. The mucous layer is another layer of protection that we’ve lost and increases our absorption of oxalates.”

Eventually, you may develop signs and symptoms that look very much like an autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. Norton realized she needed to get her gut healthy. The question was how. She’d already tried everything she could think of.

An experiment with a kiwi diet in 2013 finally made the oxalate issue hit home. Her arthritis flared up and she couldn’t sleep from the pain. At that point, it dawned on her that the kiwi — a high-oxalate fruit — and the arthritis were connected.

In about 10 days on an oxalate-free diet, all of her symptoms improved. Six months after that, her feet, which had never properly healed after her surgery, were completely fine.

Lectins and Oxalates Are a Problematic Mix

On a related note, lectins — another plant chemical — can also wreak havoc on your health, and Dr. Steven Gundry, author of “The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in ‘Healthy’ Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain,” strongly believes lectins are at play in many autoimmune diseases. Norton warns that together, lectins and oxalates can “gang up on you.”

“Plants have many other chemicals too. In my research, it looks like the main target of plant chemicals that are aggressive and harmful to us is the gut … Lectins are going to create that leaky damage and make you vulnerable to infection and absorbing oxalates.

Basically, these [oxalate] nanocrystals and ions are the most toxic forms. The bigger ones that later on you can see in … kidney stones, they’re actually less toxic than the little ones.

Nanocrystals are known to interfere with the charge on cells. They depolarize cell membranes and start disabling the functions of membranes, which means your mitochondria are not working. The oxalate slows down the mitochondrial ability to produce energy.

The nanocrystals of asbestos and oxalates have basically the same level of harm. It’s just that we don’t eat asbestos three times a day and call it health food.”

How Oxalates Contribute to Heart Failure

Oxalates can also contribute to heart arrhythmia, heart failure, endothelial disorders or generalized endothelial distress. Endothelial cells are the cells that line everything, including your vascular system. Oxalates floating around your vascular system can do considerable damage, causing irritation and injury to endothelial cells.

“You set up the conditions for vascular problems,” Norton says. “Oxalates are grabbing minerals. It’s taking calcium out of the blood … and probably other minerals as well. It also has the potential to take the place of the normal chelator that would hold iron in your transferrin …

What we see in people who are post-keto, where they’ve been doing the almond bread and spinach smoothies a lot (these are the kind of people who come to me — ex-vegans and ex-keto dieters), they are getting attacks of heart rates of 130, 150. They’re getting attacks of arrhythmia … A few of them get hospitalized and they’re seeing T-wave inversions … In this case, people have stopped eating the almond bread and the spinach smoothies …

Now the body is so ready to be done with the oxalate that’s gotten stuck in all these tissues that it starts removing too much at one time. Then you get localized acidosis. You get effects in the blood. You get effects in the heart rate.

We see this electrolyte disturbance, which involves continued wasting of potassium and other minerals. We have to keep re-adding these minerals. Also, it’s almost like tissue dehydration. I really like to push salt, potassium, calcium and magnesium to help manage this sort of flushing …

Diaphragm hiccups, by the way, are a bad sign … hiccups are a neurotoxicity symptom; the vagus nerve and the whole diaphragm is getting flipped up by being poisoned … The literature … shows that one of the last symptoms before the rats die or the humans die from oxalic acid poisoning is hiccups …”

Dental tartar and even dental caries are other signs of excessive oxalates. I struggled with chronic tartar buildup myself, until I learned it was related to oxalates. When clearing out oxalates you may also experience sinus pain. Your sinuses, eyes, teeth, jaw and salivary glands are all prone to oxalate buildup, as are your fingers, toes, feet and joints in general.

Do You Need to Ditch High-Oxalate Foods From Your Diet?

If you’re eating a lot of high-oxalate foods and are struggling with any kind of chronic health issue that doesn’t seem to respond to other sensible lifestyle changes and treatments, you’d be wise to give a low- or no-oxalate diet a try.

In my own case, I was eating a lot of sweet potatoes because they’re a good source of “healthy” carbs, but they are also loaded with oxalates. All potatoes are. There is no potato that’s not high in oxalates, so get rid of the potatoes. Norton offers the following advice:

“Turning this around, you have to make a decision that you’re willing to walk away from group think because everybody around you thinks that plants are so great and you need the spinach smoothies … If you’re willing to get some facts that are science-based, then I’ve got a lot of free information on my website.

The way I understand one of the major mechanisms is this something called a trigger-maintenance theory of the oxalate accumulation in the body. The body is really smart. It’s holding onto oxalates because it’s trying to protect you from that heart arrhythmia and all that vascular damage.

The nonvascular system … the body is willing to sacrifice in order to keep the vascular system well … If you’ve got too much oxalate in your blood, the other cells will deliberately hold on to it as a temporary deal …

The body’s holding on to oxalate is meant to be temporary. Every tissue that’s holding oxalate so wants it to be gone. You give it that opportunity when you stop eating oxalates. But there can be so much already onboard. If that stuff starts moving at the same time, you could release oxalate from tissues at a [toxic] level … We’ve got to be careful about how quickly and how we go about moving [oxalate out] …

There are simple things you can do to start lowering your oxalate. Pick the foods that you don’t need in your life and then eventually get down to the chocolate and cut that too …

On my website you can get a beginner’s guide2 that explains the basics and has a graphic that shows that your spinach smoothie is 20 times what your level of oxalate should be on a whole day’s intake. It has a list of the safe bet foods and the worst offender foods that you’ve got to start cutting back on and then eventually eliminating altogether …

The two main causes of disease are toxicity and nutrient deficiency. Oxalate is causing both … You’re losing both B-vitamins and minerals. It’s very toxic. It is a poison. It’s fundamentally messing with the basics of metabolism that allows tissue recovery, repair, [that] allows growth and flourishing.”

The Carnivore Elimination Diet

Norton has for several months now been doing the carnivore diet as described in “Health Effects of the Carnivore Diet,” which features my interview with Dr. Paul Saladino. Norton discusses her transition:

“I kept seeing allergy, intolerance and colon intolerance to a lot of plant foods. I had already worked my way down to eating lemon juice because citric acid … helps weaken in bonds of the [oxalate] crystals and make them quite easy to come apart.

Citric acid protects your kidneys and is a great way to dissolve kidney stones. A half a cup of lemon juice a day and a low-oxalate diet will help your kidneys release all this oxalate painlessly. You just start peeing out all your kidney problems without pain.

I was using a lot of lemon juice, four or so lemons a day, and eating coconut products and coconut water, often from fresh young coconuts, sometimes bottled or dried coconut, and very little else for like a year. It really does help the colon repair and recover. It’s such a nice elimination diet.

April 1, 2019, I dropped the lemons and a few more supplements I was taking, like vitamin E, and dropped the coconut products … I went full carnivore.

I, myself, think that the mitochondrial and metabolic damage that’s happening from the oxalates is also being promoted by PUFAs, the polyunsaturated fatty acids, which I did not have a lot in my diet.

But some of us still need some sugars in the diet to keep the mitochondria happy. I’m back to using some maple syrup and some mangoes and a little bit of carbs to keep my legs from cramping up with low muscle glycogen.

I still love a high-fat diet. I eat a lot of beef fat and pork fat. I really enjoy a meat-centered diet. I think it’s a fabulous elimination diet that can help us. Then figure out how to bring back into the diet, as much as you wish to, low-oxalate foods like lettuce, apples and coconut stuff and some rice, some blueberries … things that you may want in your diet.

There’s a whole lot of vegetables in the cabbage family that are low in oxalate, if your digestive tract likes them, [that] … have resistant starch in them and can be useful … Transitioning from a high-oxalate diet to a low-oxalate diet, maybe even all the way down to the carnivore-style elimination diet, needs to be gradual.

Because if you create a big microbiome die-off, you’re just going to feel sick from that as well. When the oxalates start coming out, that makes you feel sick. That’s another reason why we need supplements.”

Recommended Supplements for Oxalate Poisoning

Supplements recommended by Norton for those struggling with oxalate poisoning include calcium citrate, potassium citrate, magnesium citrate and potassium bicarbonate. These are all simple mineral salts that you can easily buy in bulk powders, which I recommend doing as readymade capsules contain amounts that are so low you’ll have to swallow a whole handful of pills to get the dosage you need.

If you dislike the taste of potassium bicarbonate (which has a flavor reminiscent of baking soda), you can purchase large empty capsules and make your own. Natural unprocessed salt (such as Himalayan salt) is another important “supplement.”

“Some people go through these waves of feeling ill again as their body starts pushing out oxalates because, when you stop eating oxalate, that doesn’t fix your oxalate problem in the short run, because you’re still full of oxalates …

It’s just that the acute phases that were occurring post-meal aren’t there anymore. But you’re going to have some other phases that are often circadian in nature where you have waves of not feeling good.

We want to be aware that some of what’s going on there is a form of acidosis … The combination of lemon juice and bicarbs — about a quarter cup of lemon juice and about one-eighth teaspoon of sodium bicarb and one-eighth teaspoon of potassium bicarb — makes a lovely Alka-Seltzer Gold, made with natural citric acid …”

Again, any changes you make, whether removing food items high in oxalate or adding supplements, make sure you do it slowly and incrementally. If you have a lot of oxalate in your body, too-rapid a change can shock your already fragile system, causing you to get worse rather than better.

Over time, work your way up to 1,200 milligrams of calcium citrate, about 400 to 500 mg of magnesium and 2,500 – 4,000 mg of potassium per day. The purpose of the calcium citrate is to help release oxalates from your tissues, so when looking for calcium citrate, make sure it does not have vitamin D in it, as the vitamin D encourages absorption of oxalates.

“The bicarb is wonderful because it’s not citric acid [which, for some, can irritate the gut]. It is also alkalizing, as is the citric acid and the minerals. All of this helps with alkalization. You’re replacing the minerals. You’re also providing it citric acid, which protects your kidneys and other tissues from oxalate accumulation and damage.

They’re really helpful. You want to take as much as you can tolerate, because the more the merrier when it comes to the minerals. I think general liquid mineral for a broad spectrum is really good, [and] taking [natural unprocessed] salt to help pull hydration and pull potassium back into the bones and the muscles.

A lot of us, if you get any muscle numbness, like fibromyalgia pains, that’s the potassium deficiency showing up in the muscles, where they end up in chronic rigor and you get hypoxia from the poor circulation going on there.

Once you’ve got enough potassium that will disappear completely in about five or six weeks … I have salt and potassium bicarb, potassium citrate always in my drinking water … I drink it all day long, all the time …”

If you don’t want to drink it throughout your day, Norton recommends taking a third of your daily dose at bedtime, as this is when your body is repairing and recovering and needs these nutrients most. Take another dose in the morning, and a third dose with a meal. An additional dose can be taken if you’re having an episode you think might be related to oxalate release.

More Information

Norton currently has a book in the works. Until then, the best place to find more information is her website, SallyKNorton.com. There you can find symptom lists, guidance on oxalate-elimination, low-oxalate recipes, free articles and additional interviews and talks,3 along with more details on the science behind oxalates’ devastating health effects.

For a quick look at your own intake of high oxalate foods and the signs of oxalate-related health issues, check out Sally’s Symptom and Exposure Inventory, HERE.

“If you work your way through the various tabs on my site, you will get a huge education there,” Norton says. “And then work your way … through my blog … There’s enough reading there. You’ll be busy for a while. That will really help a lot.”

 

 

Posted by: | Posted on: November 18, 2019

Low Magnesium Linked to Diabetes and High Blood Pressure


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/11/18/low-magnesium-diabetes.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph MercolaFact Checked – November 18, 2019
low magnesium diabetes

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Magnesium is involved in more than 600 different biochemical reactions in your body, and deficiency can contribute to significant health problems. Two common pathologies associated with magnesium deficiency are Type 2 diabetes and heart disease
  • Low magnesium levels have been linked to insulin resistance, a precursor to Type 2 diabetes, as it impairs your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, which is important for the prevention of Type 2 diabetes
  • Recent research links low magnesium levels with diabetes and high blood pressure, both of which are risk factors for heart disease
  • Magnesium has been shown to improve Type 2 diabetes. Diabetics who took 250 milligrams of magnesium per day for three months improved their insulin sensitivity by 10% and reduced blood sugar by 37%
  • The best way to ascertain your magnesium status is to do an RBC magnesium test, which measures the amount of magnesium in your red blood cells, along with tracking any signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency

Magnesium1 is involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions in your body,2,3 and deficiency can contribute to significant health problems. Two common pathologies associated with magnesium deficiency are Type 2 diabetes4,5 and heart disease.

According to one scientific review,6 low magnesium may actually be the greatest predictor of heart disease, and other recent research7 published in Open Heart journal suggests even subclinical magnesium deficiency can compromise your cardiovascular health.

As noted in a 2018 scientific review8,9 published in Open Heart journal, a “vast majority of people in modern societies are at risk for magnesium deficiency” due to “chronic diseases, medications, decreases in food crop magnesium contents, and the availability of refined and processed foods.”

According to this review, most fail to meet the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium; 48% of Americans do not get sufficient magnesium from their diet. Among postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, the rate of magnesium deficiency is 84%.10

Type 2 diabetics also tend to be more prone to magnesium deficiency, and magnesium depletion has been found in 75% of patients with poorly controlled Type 2 diabetes, the review states.11

Magnesium Protects Your Heart Health

Low magnesium has been linked to a higher risk for high blood pressure,12 stroke13 and sudden cardiac death.14 According to the Open Heart study authors,15 “most people need an additional 300 mg of magnesium per day in order to lower their risk of developing numerous chronic diseases,” and this includes heart disease and diabetes. Magnesium supports healthy heart function and helps prevent heart disease by:16

  • Combating inflammation, thereby helping prevent hardening of your arteries
  • Normalizing blood pressure
  • Improving blood flow by relaxing your arteries and preventing your blood from thickening, allowing it to flow more smoothly

Magnesium Status Impacts Diabetes and Blood Pressure

Magnesium also plays an important role in diabetes, and this is not nearly as recognized as it needs to be. Low magnesium levels have been linked to a higher risk of insulin resistance, a precursor to Type 2 diabetes,17 as it impairs your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, which is important for the prevention of Type 2 diabetes.18,19,20,21

In one study,22 prediabetics with the highest magnesium intake reduced their risk for blood sugar and metabolic problems by 71%, compared to those with the lowest intake. High levels of insulin in the blood, common with insulin resistance, also lead to further loss of magnesium.23

Most recently, a study24 published in October 2019 in the online issue of Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice again linked low magnesium levels with both diabetes and high blood pressure, both of which are risk factors for heart disease. As reported by the authors:25

“Across the quartiles of serum magnesium from high to low, the prevalence ratios for diabetes were 1.00, 1.35, 1.88, and 2.70, respectively. The presence of hypertension significantly increased the probability of diabetes along a wide range of low serum magnesium. A low intake of MRDP [magnesium related dietary pattern] was also positively associated with diabetes and high HbA1c.”

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Other Studies Linking Magnesium Status to Diabetes Risk

An earlier meta-analysis,26 published in 2007, also found that magnesium intake was inversely associated with Type 2 diabetes incidence. This analysis included seven cohort studies looking at magnesium from either food or diet and supplements combined. According to the authors:

“All but one study found an inverse relation between magnesium intake and risk of Type 2 diabetes, and in four studies the association was statistically significant.

The overall relative risk for a 100 mg day increase in magnesium intake was 0.85. Results were similar for intake of dietary magnesium and total magnesium. There was no evidence of publication bias.”

Magnesium supplementation not only can lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes, but also has been shown to improve your condition if you already have full-blown diabetes. This was demonstrated in a 2018 study27 in the journal Nutrients.

Type 2 diabetics who took 250 milligrams (mg) of magnesium per day for three months saw a significant improvement in insulin levels and HbA1C (hemoglobin A1c, which is a marker of long-term glucose control) compared to controls.

As noted by the authors,28 “The results of this study matched previous studies that concluded that daily oral Mg supplementation substantially improved insulin sensitivity by 10% and reduced blood sugar by 37%.”

Are You Deficient in Magnesium?

The best way to ascertain your magnesium status is to do an RBC magnesium test, which measures the amount of magnesium in your red blood cells, along with tracking any signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency, such as:29,30

Seizures; muscle spasms, especially “charley horses” or spasms in your calf muscle that happen when you stretch your leg, and/or eye twitches
Numbness or tingling in your extremities
Insulin resistance
High blood pressure, heart arrhythmias and/or coronary spasms
Increased number of headaches and/or migraines
Low energy, fatigue and/or loss of appetite
The Trousseau sign31 — To check for this sign, a blood pressure cuff is inflated around your arm. The pressure should be greater than your systolic blood pressure and maintained for three minutes.

By occluding the brachial artery in your arm, spasms in your hand and forearm muscles are induced. If you are magnesium deficient, the lack of blood flow will cause your wrist and metacarpophalangeal joint to flex and your fingers to adduct (illustrated in the video below).

A more exhaustive list can be found in Dr. Carolyn Dean’s blog post, “Gauging Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms,”32 which will give you a checklist to go through every few weeks. This will also help you gauge how much magnesium you need to resolve your deficiency symptoms.

Get Tested Today

GrassrootsHealth, which is conducting consumer-sponsored research into vitamin D and omega-3, has now added magnesium to its nutrient research.

Their Vitamin D, Magnesium and Omega 3 PLUS Elements test kit is an excellent and cost-effective way to check the status of several vital nutrients, along with the essential minerals selenium, zinc and copper and the harmful heavy metals cadmium, lead and mercury.

Each kit contains instructions for how to collect your blood sample. You then mail in your sample and fill out a quick online health questionnaire through GrassrootsHealth.

Your participation in this research project will enable GrassrootsHealth researchers to provide accurate data about the magnesium status in the population, the level at which disease prevention is actually obtained, and guidance on dosing to achieve optimal levels.

All of this is crucial information that can go a long way toward improving public health. As explained by GrassrootsHealth, questions about magnesium that this particular project aims to provide answers for include:33

  • What specific health outcomes are associated with this nutrient for me, for the total group?
  • How can I figure out how much to take? What’s the dose-response relationship for all? For me?
  • Does it matter if I’m also taking vitamin D? Omega-3?
  • Does it matter what compound of this nutrient I take? What time of day? How often?
  • What are the demonstrated health outcomes used to create this nutrient’s recommended range?

Your test results will be emailed to you in about 10 to 20 days after your samples are received. Your health data are used anonymously. Please note that 100% of the proceeds from the kits go to fund the research project. I do not charge anything extra as a distributor of these test kits.

check magnesium levels

Why Most People Need More Magnesium

One of the reasons why magnesium insufficiency or deficiency is so common, both among adults34 and teens,35 is in part due to the fact that most people don’t eat enough plant foods. Magnesium is actually part of the chlorophyll molecule responsible for the plant’s green color.

If you frequently eat processed foods, your risk of deficiency is magnified. That said, even if you eat plenty of greens you might still need to take a supplement, as most foods are grown in mineral-depleted soils and are thus much lower in magnesium than they have been historically.

Magnesium absorption is also dependent on having sufficient amounts of selenium, parathyroid hormone and vitamins B6 and D, and is hindered by excess ethanol, salt, coffee and phosphoric acid in soda.

Sweating, stress, lack of sleep, excessive menstruation, certain drugs (especially diuretics and proton-pump inhibitors) also deplete your body of magnesium.36 For these reasons, most people probably need to take supplemental magnesium. Taking a magnesium supplement is particularly advisable if you:37

Experience symptoms of insufficiency or deficiency38
Have high blood pressure
Engage in strenuous exercise on a regular basis — Research39 shows just six to 12 weeks of strenuous physical activity can result in magnesium deficiency, likely due to increased magnesium demand in your skeletal muscle
Are taking diuretics or medication for high blood pressure, especially thiazides, which have been shown to induce undetectable magnesium deficiency40 (while patients may have normal or even high serum magnesium, their bodies are actually depleted of magnesium)
Have had or are planning heart transplant or open heart surgery
Are at risk for or have had a heart attack, or if you experience ventricular arrhythmia
Have congestive heart failure
Are insulin resistant or diabetic (as this increases magnesium depletion)

Eat More Magnesium-Rich Foods

The recommended dietary allowance for magnesium is around 310 to 420 mg per day depending on your age and sex,41 but many experts believe you may need 600 to 900 mg per day.42

Personally, I believe many may benefit from amounts as high as 1 to 2 grams (1,000 to 2,000 mg) of elemental magnesium per day, as most of us have electromagnetic field exposures that simply cannot be mitigated, and the extra magnesium may help lower the damage from that exposure.

If your veggie consumption is low to begin with, consider including more magnesium-rich vegetables in your daily diet. Dark-green leafy vegetables lead the pack when it comes to magnesium content, and juicing your greens is an excellent way to boost your intake.

Other foods that are particularly rich in magnesium include natto, raw cacao nibs, unsweetened cocoa powder, avocados, pumpkin and sesame seeds, and herbs like chives and basil.43 One way to check your daily magnesium intake from foods is to use a free online nutritional tracker such as Cronometer.

Other Ways to Boost Your Magnesium Level

If your magnesium intake from food is found lacking, it would certainly be wise to supplement, either orally or topically. For oral supplementation, my personal preference is magnesium threonate, as it appears to be the most efficient at penetrating cell membranes, including your mitochondria and blood-brain barrier.

As a general rule, I recommend starting out on a dose of 200 mg of oral magnesium citrate per day, gradually increasing your dose until you develop slightly loose stools. To use this method, you need to use magnesium citrate, as it’s known for having a laxative effect. Once you know your cutoff, you can switch to other forms if you like. Other effective ways to boost your magnesium level include:

Taking Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) baths, as the magnesium will effectively absorb through your skin.

Using a topical solution — I prepare a supersaturated solution of Epsom salt by dissolving 7 tablespoons of the salt into 6 ounces of water and heating it until all the salt has dissolved. I pour it into a dropper bottle and then apply it to my skin and rub fresh aloe leaves over it to dissolve it.

This is an easy and inexpensive way to increase your magnesium and will allow you to get higher dosages into your body without having to deal with its laxative effects.

Magnesium can be taken with or without food. If you’re also taking calcium, take them together. If you exercise regularly, consider taking your calcium and magnesium in a ratio of one part calcium to two parts magnesium with your pre-workout meal.

While the ideal ratio of magnesium to calcium is thought to be 1-to-1, most people get far more calcium than magnesium from their diet; hence, your need for supplemental magnesium may be two to three times greater than calcium.

Sources and References
Posted by: | Posted on: November 12, 2019

7 Foods and Nutrients Proven to Cut Macular Degeneration Risk

© 20th September 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.health/blog/7-foods-and-nutrients-proven-cut-macular-degeneration-risk

Posted on:  Wednesday, October 30th 2019 at 4:15 pm

As the baby-boomers age, blindness from age-related macular degeneration is on the rise. More than 3 million more people will become victims in the next five years. Eating right can lower your risk

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss among people 50 and older. It affects more than 1.75 million people in the U.S. and is expected to strike as many as 3 million in the next five years.

The macula is the small spot near the center of the retina. The eye needs it for central vision to see objects straight ahead. When the macula becomes damaged, it severely limits your ability to see things in your central line of vision.

As AMD progresses, a blurred area develops near the center of your vision. Objects may not appear as sharp or bright as they used to. Colors seem faded. That loss of central vision can interfere with daily activities like recognizing faces, reading, driving, working, cooking, or watching TV.

Besides age, the biggest risk factor for AMD is smoking. Other risk factors include sun exposure, high blood pressure and obesity.

Studies have found certain nutrients protect against the progression of AMD. Researchers at the National Eye Institute conducted two Age-Related Eye Disease Studies (AREDS and AREDS2).[i]

The first AREDS study showed that a combination of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc, and copper reduce the risk of late-stage AMD by 25%.

The AREDS2 study found that a combination of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin in place of beta-carotene was just as effective. [ii] Carotenoids were also believed to be safer than beta-carotene for smokers at higher risk of lung cancer.

The AREDS2 nutrient combination is widely available in supplement form. But in addition to those nutrients studies show other foods and compounds are effective to reduce the risk and progression of AMD and improve vision.

Multiple studies show that supplementing with carotenoids and antioxidants improves AMD. In one randomized, double-blind placebo controlled study from a Veterans Administration Hospital 90 patients were assigned to receive 10 mg of lutein alone, or 10 mg of lutein plus a combination of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, or a placebo. After 12 months they found that either alone or in combination with other nutrients, lutein improved visual function.

But it’s not just supplements. Eating more foods high in lutein and zeaxanthin reduces AMD risk. In a prospective cohort study published in JAMA, Harvard researchers followed more than 100,000 people from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study in the United States. Based on diet reports the researchers found that those eating the most foods containing lutein and zeaxanthin had a 40 percent reduction in AMD risk compared to those eating the least. Other carotenoids including beta-cryptoxanthin, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene, were linked with a 25 to 35 percent lower risk.

Here are seven foods and nutrients proven to support eye health and reduce your risk of AMD.

1. Olive Oil

In an Australian study of 6,734 people aged 58 to 69 years, researchers collected dietary information over five years. Ten years later they measured the participants’ macula for signs of early or late AMD. They found that eating 100 ml of olive oil every week cut AMD rates by 52 percent compared to lower olive oil intakes. That’s just about seven tablespoons, or less than a half cup of olive oil a week.

2. Goji Berries

Swiss researchers found that goji berries may reduce the risk of AMD. They conducted a double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study of 150 people aged 65 to 70 years. Half the subjects received 13.7 grams per day of a milk-based formulation containing goji berry – also called wolfberry – or a placebo for 90 days. Goji berries are high in antioxidants and zeaxanthin.

The subjects were tested for blood levels of zeaxanthin and antioxidants. They were also examined for the appearance of drusen in the macula. Drusen are yellow deposits under the retina. They are made up of lipids, a fatty protein, and their presence indicates an increased risk of AMD. In the study, drusen increased in the placebo group but remained stable in the goji berry group.

In addition, zeaxanthin blood levels increased by 26 percent in the goji group and antioxidant capacity increased 57 percent. Those measures did not change in the placebo group.

3. Rosemary

A study from Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute found rosemary may protect against macular degeneration. Researchers discovered that carnosic acid, a component of rosemary, protects your retina from degeneration and toxicity. They treated retinal cells with carnosic acid found in rosemary and found it triggered the production of antioxidant enzymes in the cells. That in turn lowered cell-damaging free radicals. They also tested carnosic acid in animals, finding that mice treated with it suffered less vision damage when exposed to light.

4. Saffron

Australian and Italian researchers proved the Mediterranean spice saffron helps slow progression of AMD and improve vision. They conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of people with early stage AMD. One group in the study supplemented with 20 mg per day of saffron. After just 90 days the researchers saw significant improvement in the saffron group.[iii]

Then the researchers tested a group of 29 patients aged 55 to 85 with early-stage AMD. The patients received 20 mg per day of saffron as a supplement for about 14 months. All of the patients reported an improvement in their quality of vision. They experienced improvements in contrast and color perception, reading ability, and vision in low lighting. All of that added up to a substantial improvement in the patients’ quality of life.[iv]

The researchers noted that saffron from the crocus flower contains chemical compounds called crocin and crocetin. These are antioxidant derivatives of carotenoids. Crocin protects photoreceptors from light-induced death. Crocetin increases the availability of oxygen to the cells.

5. Ginkgo Biloba

French researchers tested ginkgo biloba against a placebo on 10 out-patients with senile macular degeneration. In spite of the small group, the researchers concluded that ginkgo biloba extract led to a statistically significant improvement in long distance visual acuity.

6. B Vitamins

A Harvard study found that daily supplementation with B vitamins may reduce the risk of AMD. Researchers conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 5,442 female health care professionals 40 years or older. Participants were randomly assigned to receive a daily combination of 2.5 mg of folic acid (vitamin B9), 50 mg of pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), and 1 mg of cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12), or placebo. After an average of 7.3 years of treatment and follow-up, the vitamin B group had a 34 percent lower risk of AMD. For visually significant AMD the risk dropped 41 percent. The researchers indicated that B vitamins may reduce high homocysteine levels which have been linked to AMD.

7. Egg Yolks

Studies show that egg yolks have the highest percentage levels of lutein and zeaxanthin.[v] Other sources containing both of these carotenoids are corn and honeydew melon, as well as dark leafy greens such as kale, turnip greens, collard greens, and romaine lettuce.

Foods highest in just lutein include kiwi, red seedless grapes, zucchini, yellow squash, pumpkin, cucumber, spinach, peas, green peppers, butternut squash, celery, Brussels sprouts, scallions, and broccoli.

Other foods high in zeaxanthin include orange peppers, oranges, and mango.

For more information visit GreenMed Info’s page on macular degeneration.

Originally published: 2016-04-14

Article Updated: 2019-10-30


References

[i] Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group, “A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss: AREDS report no. 8,” Archives of Ophthalmology, vol. 119, pp. 1417-1436, 2001.

[ii] The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) Research Group. Lutein + Zeaxanthin and Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Age-Related Macular Degeneration: The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2013;309(19):2005-2015. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.4997.

[iii] Benedetto Falsini et al, “Influence of saffron supplementation on retinal flicker sensitivity in early age-related macular degeneration.” Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010;51(12):6118-24. Epub 2010 Aug 4. PMID: 20688744

[iv] M. Piccardi et al, “A Longitudinal Follow-Up Study of Saffron Supplementation in Early Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Sustained Benefits to Central Retinal Function.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 429124, 9 pages https://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/429124

[v] O. Sommerburg, J. Keunen, A. Bird, and F. J G M van Kuijk. “Fruits and vegetables that are sources for lutein and zeaxanthin: the macular pigment in human eyes.” 1998 Aug; 82(8): 907-910.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.
Posted by: | Posted on: November 12, 2019

Tylenol in Pregnancy Doubles Risk of Autism


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/11/12/tylenol-during-pregnancy-causing-autism.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph MercolaFact Checked  –  November 12, 2019
tylenol during pregnancy causing autism

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Abnormal hormonal exposures in pregnancy can influence fetal brain development, and research published in 2014 warned acetaminophen is in fact a hormone disruptor
  • According to that 2014 study, use of acetaminophen during pregnancy was associated with a 37% increased risk of the child being diagnosed with hyperkinetic disorder, a severe form of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • A 2019 study found that, compared to children of mothers with the lowest acetaminophen burden, children of mothers with the greatest exposure had a 286% higher risk for ADHD and a 362% higher risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by the time they were about 9 years old
  • Findings published in 2016 revealed use of acetaminophen at 18 and 32 weeks of pregnancy were associated with a 42% higher risk of conduct problems and a 31% higher risk of hyperactivity symptoms in the child
  • Another 2016 investigation found children of both sexes whose mothers used acetaminophen during pregnancy were 41% more likely to present with ADHD symptoms at age 5. Boys were also more likely to have ASD

Many view over-the-counter (OTC) drugs as safe because they don’t require a prescription. Nothing could be further from the truth. Acetaminophen, for example, (also known as paracetamol and sold under the brand name Tylenol among others) is actually one of the more dangerous drugs you can get your hands on.

Despite statistics showing acetaminophen is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the U.S.,1 most people don’t think twice before downing those pills. Acetaminophen is also found in a wide variety of products designed to treat headache, fever and cold symptoms, as well as in prescription pain medications mixed with codeine or hydrocodone.2 And, most households have more than one of the over-the-counter products, which could easily lead to overdosing.

Although it was initially hailed as a safe drug for pain, by 2013 lawsuits were piling up, citing 50,000 trips to the emergency room every year, all due to Tylenol causing liver and kidney failure.3 The grim truth is that as early as 2005 scientists already knew that “severe acetaminophen hepatotoxicity leads to acute liver failure.”4

Not only that, reports also showed that unintentional overdoses accounted for hundreds of suicide attempts, deaths and liver transplants. Along that line, statistics from national database analyses in 20065 showed that acetaminophen accounted for an estimated 56,000 emergency room visits and 26,000 hospitalizations annually. The average annual death toll from acetaminophen overdose was 458.

A number of studies have also linked acetaminophen use during pregnancy with lifelong repercussions for the child, raising their risk of developing conduct disorders, hyperactivity and autism.

Acetaminophen Use Linked to Hyperactivity in Offspring

In 2014, a study in the journal JAMA Pediatrics6 revealed that “Research data suggest that acetaminophen is a hormone disruptor, and abnormal hormonal exposures in pregnancy may influence fetal brain development.” This is a significant concern, considering many pregnant women are likely to reach for an OTC pain reliever at some point during their pregnancy.

According to that 2014 study, use of acetaminophen during pregnancy was associated with a 37% increased risk of their child being diagnosed with hyperkinetic disorder, a severe form of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Their children were also 29% more likely to be prescribed ADHD medication by the time they were 7 years old. The strongest associations were observed in mothers who used acetaminophen in more than a single trimester, and the greater the frequency of use, the more likely their child was to experience behavioral problems. As reported by Forbes at the time:7

“Acetaminophen can cross the placenta, making its way to the fetus and its delicate developing nervous system. The drug is a known endocrine (hormone) disrupter, and has previously been linked to undescended testes in male infants.

Since the maternal hormone environment plays a critical role in the development of the fetus, the authors say that it’s ‘possible that acetaminophen may interrupt brain development by interfering with maternal hormones or via neurotoxicity such as the induction of oxidative stress that can cause neuronal death.’”

Similar findings were published in 2016. This study,8 also published in JAMA Pediatrics, found use of acetaminophen at 18 and 32 weeks of pregnancy was associated with a 42% higher risk of conduct problems and a 31% higher risk of hyperactivity symptoms in the child.

When the mother used acetaminophen at 32 weeks of pregnancy, the child also had a 29% higher risk of having emotional problems and a 46% higher risk of “total difficulties.”

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Tylenol in Pregnancy May Double or Triple Risk of Autism

A study9,10,11 published online October 30, 2019, in JAMA Psychiatry further strengthens the link between acetaminophen use and ADHD, while also noting an increased risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). According to the authors:12

“Prior studies have raised concern about maternal acetaminophen use during pregnancy and increased risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in their children; however, most studies have relied on maternal self-report …

In this cohort study of 996 mother-infant dyads from the Boston Birth Cohort, cord plasma biomarkers of fetal exposure to acetaminophen were associated with significantly increased risk of childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder.”

Compared to children of mothers with the lowest acetaminophen burden (first tertile, based on cord plasma biomarkers for acetaminophen), children of those in the second tertile had a 226% higher risk of being diagnosed with ADHD, and a 214% higher risk for an ASD diagnosis by the time they were about 10 years old (average age 9.8 years).

Those with the greatest (third tertile) acetaminophen burden had a 286% higher risk for ADHD and a 362% higher risk for ASD. As noted by the authors,13 their findings “support previous studies regarding the association between prenatal and perinatal acetaminophen exposure and childhood neurodevelopmental risk.”

More Evidence Against Taking Acetaminophen During Pregnancy

In addition to the studies already mentioned, a number of others have also documented this disturbing link between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and neurological problems in the children. Among them:

A 2013 study14 published in the International Journal of Epidemiology found “children exposed to [acetaminophen] for more than 28 days during pregnancy had poorer gross motor development, communication, externalizing behavior, internalizing behavior and higher activity levels” than unexposed children at age 3. Use of ibuprofen was not associated with these neurodevelopmental effects.

A 2016 Spanish investigation15,16 published in the International Journal of Epidemiology found children of both sexes whose mothers used acetaminophen during pregnancy were 41% more likely to present with ADHD symptoms at age 5. Boys were also more likely to have ASD. As noted by the authors:

“Prenatal acetaminophen exposure was associated with a greater number of autism spectrum symptoms in males and showed adverse effects on attention-related outcomes for both genders. These associations seem to be dependent on the frequency of exposure.”

Aside from a higher risk of neurodevelopmental problems, studies have also shown:

Use of acetaminophen during pregnancy may increase your risk of pre-eclampsia and thromboembolic diseases17

Taking the drug for more than four weeks during pregnancy, especially during the first and second trimester, moderately increases the risk of undescended testicles in boys18

Using acetaminophen in the third trimester increases your risk of preterm birth19

Acetaminophen After Birth Also Linked to Autism

The use of acetaminophen after birth may also lead to problems. In fact, some argue the increased risk of autism we see following childhood vaccinations may in fact be due to the inappropriate use of acetaminophen after the shots are given — not the vaccines.20

In my view, it seems irrational to give toxic injections a free pass, but acetaminophen administration could certainly make matters worse. A small preliminary study21 published in 2008 concluded “acetaminophen use after measles-mumps-rubella vaccination was associated with autistic disorder.”

Debunkers of the vaccine-autism connection point to statistics showing that, in the early 1980s, when the autism trend began its precipitously steep incline, vaccines were not only being added to the vaccination schedule, but pediatricians were also told to start using acetaminophen instead of aspirin, as aspirin had been linked to Reye’s syndrome.22

A 2017 study23 even claims “The use of acetaminophen in babies and young children may be much more strongly associated with autism than its use during pregnancy, perhaps because of well-known deficiencies in the metabolic breakdown of pharmaceuticals during early development.”

While parents give babies and infants Tylenol for numerous reasons, one instance in which Tylenol is routinely used is after childhood vaccinations, and according to research24 published in the journal Lancet in 2009, acetaminophen might actually render vaccinations less effective when administered together, which is yet another reason to avoid giving acetaminophen to your baby.

Infants who received acetaminophen right after getting a vaccination experienced lowered immune response, developing significantly fewer antibodies against the disease they were vaccinated against.

The vaccines used in the study were for pneumococcal disease, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, polio and rotavirus. The authors concluded that:

“Although febrile reactions significantly decreased, prophylactic administration of antipyretic drugs at the time of vaccination should not be routinely recommended since antibody responses to several vaccine antigens were reduced.”

Understand the Risks Associated With Acetaminophen

Pregnant women are not the only ones that need to be careful in their use of this common pain reliever and fever reducer. Acetaminophen overdose is responsible for nearly half of all acute liver failure cases in the U.S.,25 and its use has also been linked to three serious skin reactions; two of which typically require hospitalization and can be fatal.

These problems can happen to anyone. A major problem is that while acetaminophen is considered safe when taken as recommended, the margin between a safe dose and a potentially lethal one is very small.

Provided you have a healthy liver and do not consume more than three alcoholic beverages a day, the recommended oral dose of acetaminophen is up to 1,000 milligrams (mg) every four to six hours, not to exceed 3 grams (3,000 mg) per day.26 As noted by U.S. San Diego Health:27

“To appreciate how easy it is to exceed the safe limit, consider that one extra strength Tylenol tablet contains 500 mg of acetaminophen. Take two tablets at a single dose three times a day and you are at the maximum recommended dose.

If you then inadvertently consume an acetaminophen-containing allergy medication or cold medication in addition, you risk damaging your liver … The key is to be aware of how much acetaminophen you are consuming.”

What’s more, research28 has shown taking just a little more than the recommended dose over the course of several days or weeks (referred to as “staggered overdosing”) can be riskier than taking one large overdose. So, in summary, please be aware that your risk of severe liver injury and/or death increases if you:

  • Take more than one regular strength (325 mg) acetaminophen when combined with a narcotic analgesic like codeine or hydrocodone.
  • Take more than the prescribed dose of an acetaminophen-containing product in a 24-hour period.
  • Take more than one acetaminophen-containing product at the same time — Make sure to read the list of ingredients on any other over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription drug you take in combination.
  • Drink alcohol while taking an acetaminophen product — Research29,30 suggests acetaminophen increases your risk of kidney damage by 123% if taken with alcohol, even if the amount of alcohol is small.

Why You Should Keep NAC in Your Medicine Cabinet

Given their health risks, I generally do not recommend using acetaminophen-containing drugs for minor aches and pains. There are many other ways to address acute and chronic pain that do not involve taking a medication. For a long list of pain-relieving alternatives, please see this previous article.

That said, pain relievers like acetaminophen do have their place. Post-surgical pain, for example, or other severe pain may warrant its temporary use. For those instances, I recommend taking it along with N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), which is the rate-limiting nutrient for the formation of the intracellular antioxidant glutathione.

It is believed that the liver damage acetaminophen causes is largely due to the fact that it can deplete glutathione, an antioxidant compound secreted by your liver in response to toxic exposure. Glutathione also helps protect your cells from free radical damage.

NAC is the standard of care in cases of acetaminophen overdose, approved in 1985 by the FDA as an antidote for acetaminophen toxicity.31 Mortality due to acetaminophen toxicity has been shown to be virtually eliminated when NAC is promptly administered. So, whether you are taking Tylenol in prescription or over-the-counter form, I strongly suggest taking NAC along with it.

Keep in mind, however, that there’s no data showing whether taking NAC would ameliorate the autism or ADHD risk for pregnant women, so if you’re pregnant, I would recommend just avoiding acetaminophen. If you absolutely need an OTC pain reliever, ibuprofen appears to be a safer choice. The same caveat for lack of data goes for infants.

Tips for a More Toxin-Free Pregnancy

I believe it’s imperative to be aware of, and abstain from, as many potential neurotoxins as possible during pregnancy to protect the health of your child. Our environment is saturated with such a wide variety of toxins, and you may not be able to defend yourself against each and every one of them, but you do have a great degree of control within your own immediate household.

The food and drinks you ingest, and the household, personal care and medical products you opt to use during pregnancy can have a distinct impact on your child’s development and long-term health.

ADHD and autism have both skyrocketed in prevalence the past few decades, signaling that something is going terribly wrong. Our environment is becoming overly toxic, and children are paying the price for our chemical-laden lifestyles. OTC drugs like acetaminophen are part of this toxic burden that infants have to contend with.

Avoiding any and all unnecessary drugs is one aspect you have a large degree of control over. Below are several more. Rather than compile an endless list of what you should avoid, it’s far easier to focus on what you should do to lead a healthy lifestyle with as minimal a chemical exposure as possible. This includes:

As much as you’re able, buy and eat organic produce and grass fed, pastured animal foods to reduce your exposure to agricultural chemicals like glyphosate. Steer clear of processed, prepackaged foods of all kinds. This way you automatically avoid pesticides, artificial food additives, dangerous artificial sweeteners, food coloring, MSG and unlabeled genetically engineered ingredients.

Also avoid conventional or farm-raised fish, which are often heavily contaminated with PCBs and mercury. Wild caught Alaskan salmon is one of the very few fish I still recommend eating, as well as small fatty fish like anchovies, sardines, mackerel and herring. If you don’t eat these on a regular basis, consider taking a krill oil supplement to optimize your omega-3 level.

Store your food and beverages in glass rather than plastic, and avoid using plastic wrap and canned foods to avoid exposure to plastic chemicals known to disrupt endocrine function.
Install an appropriate water filter on all your faucets (even those in your shower or bath).
Only use natural cleaning products in your home.
Switch over to natural brands of toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste, antiperspirants and cosmetics. The Environmental Working Group has a great database32 to help you find safer personal care products. I also offer one of the highest quality organic skin care lines, shampoo and conditioner, and body butter that are completely natural and safe.
Avoid using artificial air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners or other synthetic fragrances. Relinquish the idea that fragrance equals “clean.” It doesn’t. Clean laundry need not smell like anything at all.
Replace your nonstick pots and pans with ceramic or glass cookware to avoid toxic PFOA chemicals.
When redoing your home and/or shopping for baby items, look for “green” toxin-free alternatives. Avoid plastic toys, especially teething toys, and make sure items like mattresses, car seats and nursing pillows do not contain toxic flame retardant chemicals.
Replace your vinyl shower curtain with one made of fabric, or install a glass shower door. Most all flexible plastics, like shower curtains, contain dangerous plasticizers like phthalates.
Avoid spraying pesticides around your home or insect repellants that contain DEET on your body. There are safe, effective and natural alternatives.
 Sources and References