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Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a chronic condition where endometrial-like cells proliferate outside the uterus causing pain and disability. Limited treatments are available, but symptom management is essential for social and economic participation.

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a chronic and usually painful condition where the endometrium (uterus lining) escapes the uterus, and adheres to the surroundings, forming adhesions. These adhesions can thicken and bleed as they would in the uterus. They can form on the fallopian tubes, ovaries, other organs, pelvic lining, and can sometimes spread outside the pelvic area.
It is fairly common, affecting some 5 million women in North America alone, most diagnosed their 20 to 35 age group.

In one study of 46 women, 12 GP’s, and 1 gynecologist, women reported that healthcare providers may dismiss symptoms, lack essential knowledge and provide inconsistent advice, and treatments are seldom successful or without adverse side-effects. GP’s admitted limitations in expertise and challenges in achieving best practice.

Symptoms

Painful periods, pelvic pain, constipation, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, bloating, cramping and/or excessive bleeding during menstruation, sometimes for days before and after a period, sometimes even between periods, and sometimes during ovulation, intercourse, urination or bowel movements.
Pain can sometimes occur in the lower abdomen and/or the lower back, occasionally also causing sciatica (shooting or burning nerve pain in the legs).
It is also associated with infertility – see below.

Research and Risk Factors

Excess body fat is linked to an increase in estrogen. Estrogen is mainly produced in the ovaries, but also in every fat cell in the body. Overweight or obese women have a much higher risk of infertility, endometriosis, diabetes, blood pressure, cardiovascular events, kidney disease, and cancer. These are all diseases that were almost non-existent a hundred years ago, but now becoming rampant, all more than likely caused by inflammation, which itself is caused by processed foods and toxins in the diet, water and the environment.

Recent research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, shows that those with endometriosis may have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, especially in women under 40. 120,000 women were tracked for 20 years, and almost 12,000 (or 10%) were diagnosed with endometriosis. Heart disease rate for all patients under 40 was 21 per 100,000 women, but for the group with endometriosis, heart disease tripled to 65 per 100,000 women.
Endometriosis patients had a 52% higher risk of heart attack, 91% higher risk of angina (chest pain related to heart disease), and 35% higher risk of requiring a stent surgically placed to clear blocked arteries. A Brazilian study showed that a hallmark of endometriosis is systemic inflammation, which is a factor in heart disease development. However, it is not clear if one condition develops first, increasing the risk of the other disease, or if inflammation starts first, leading to the development of both endometriosis and cardiovascular disease. LeanMachine strongly believes that scrapping junk food and eating real, natural, unprocessed food, is the first step in avoiding inflammation and all of the “modern” diseases that follow.

Reproductive disorder

Women with endometriosis can have reproductive problems as well as issues during and after pregnancy. The adhesions formed can trap the egg, preventing the normal passage. These women are three times more likely to have an ectopic pregnancy, where a fertilized egg implants itself outside of the uterine wall, and develops unsustainably. It is vital that ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed and treated early to avoid physical damage to the fallopian tubes. Any subsequent pregnancy requires close monitoring, as the risk of another ectopic pregnancy is higher.
There is also a higher risk of miscarriage, pre-term births, problems relating to the successful implantation and development of the placenta, and hemorrhaging before or after birth, requiring closer monitoring throughout the pregnancy.
Women with endometriosis and these risks should be under the care of a Gynecologist from start to finish of the pregnancy.
Being overweight is also an important risk factor for reproduction.

Traditional Treatment

There is no “medical” cure for endometriosis.
Doctors may recommend surgery to remove uterine growths that have migrated to other parts of the pelvic region (and sometimes beyond). Although normally performed with a laparoscopic procedure, (through small incisions), still a major procedure requiring anesthesia, with risks such as infection, bleeding, scar tissue and organ damage. Surgery may relieve some endometriosis symptoms, but does not address the cause, so recurrence and further surgery is likely.
Doctors will also offer pain relief, with the first option invariably Paracetamol (Panadol) in Australia, called Acetimophen (Tylenol) in the USA. This is a dangerous practice. Not only does Paracetamol damage the liver, even at the recommended dose, but an enzyme in the body works with Paracetamol to destroy the body’s reserves of L-Glutathione, which is the body’s most powerful agent to fight inflammation and disease.

Natural Treatment

There is no natural cure either, but medical examination should be the first step to rule out other possibilities.
Once diagnosed, usually after an ultrasound examination, there are things which can help reduce symptoms, which will also reduce risk of cardiovascular disease:

  • Reduce excess weight
  • Exercise more
  • Eat only healthy, natural food
  • Avoid environmental estrogens – see below
  • Remove BPA and other toxins from the environment
  • Avoid Canola oil, margarine and other bad fats
  • Avoid trans fats (hydrogenated vegetable oil – most things fried in canola oil)
  • Consume healthy fats such as coconut, walnut, avocado, flaxseed oils
  • Avoid sugar, replace with Xylitol or preferably Stevia, or lose the sweet-tooth
  • Avoid refined grains – bread, pasta, cakes, biscuits
  • Avoid MSG (in nearly all processed foods)

Estrogen Dominance (not just Women)

Exposure to fake estrogen chemicals is a significant factor in endometriosis as well as cancers, fibrocystic breast disease and many other “modern” diseases which were almost non-existent a hundred years ago. Fake estrogens also cause food cravings, bloating, weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, mood swings, depression, migraine headaches, poor libido, and menstrual issues such as cramps, short cycles, heavy bleeding and fibroids.
Fake estrogens are found in herbicides, pesticides, and petrochemicals and include dioxins, BPA (bisphenol A), and PCB’s (polychlorinated biphenyl’s), and are used in cosmetics, glue, plastics, upholstery, carpets, and thousands more products.
Food containers should always be glass where possible. BPA-free plastic sounds good, but these containers usually have BPS instead. BPS is not absorbed by the body as readily as BPA, but once absorbed, it is much harder for the body to eliminate, so is capable of building up to even higher concentrations, so “BPA-free” products are no better. Go for Glass.

Excess estrogens

Estrogens come in over 15 forms naturally created in a woman’s body, including the three main types:

  • E1 (Estrone)
  • E2 (Estradiol)
  • E3 (Estriol)

We also have metabolites of estrogen including 16-alpha-hydroxyestrone which can aggravate endometriosis as
well as many types of cancer, especially breast cancers and endometrial cancers, while other estrogens such as the 2-hydroxyestrone metabolites actually prevent cancers and may improve endometriosis.
One supplement known to help this estrogen ratio is Calcium D-Glucarate (tetrahydrate form), which helps the body excrete cancer-causing 16-alpha-hydroxyestrones and other toxins, and promote liver, prostate, and breast health, while retaining and promoting the cancer-preventing 2-hydroxy-estrones.

Aromatase Inhibitors

Aromatase is an enzyme required to make estrogen, part of a complex manufacturing process in the body where hormones are built from other hormones in a long conversion series. Aromatase converts androgens (testosterone) to estrogen, and exists at high levels in breast cancer tissue compared to healthy tissue. Fat Cells contain the aromatase enzyme, so we should strive to reduce fat cells. The leaner we become, the less aromatase we have to deal with, and the less our risk of endometriosis, cancers and other diseases. For men, the same applies for prostate cancer which is generally estrogen-driven, and men too can develop breast cancer, so weight loss and aromatase inhibitors are vital for good health.
Insulin promotes weight gain, fat accumulation, and the aromatase enzyme, and the best thing we can do to prevent excess insulin is to eliminate all sugar, all refined carbohydrate, and all MSG (monosodium glucomate) from the diet.
There are prescription (synthetic) aromatase inhibitors, which bring their own side-effects (like impotency for men) but we can also reduce aromatase naturally, with chrysin, flavonoids, flavones, flavanones, isoflavones, resveratrol, oleuropein and CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid), all beneficial for breast and other cancers as well as other hormone-sensitive conditions. Generally, colourful foods are great, so “eating the rainbow” is a healthy decision.

Foods containing natural aromatase inhibitors are:
Flavones (plant chemicals which can inhibit aromatase), like celery, parsley, fenugreek.
Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, all contain indoles, which improve estrogen metabolism and reduce cancer risk. DIM (diindolylmethane) is derived in the body from indoles. This product also contains Calcium D-Glucarate and Chlorophyll, both beneficial. Just one DIM capsule a day gives us the same cancer-fighting benefit as a kilogram of cabbage, so this is one of LeanMachine’s preferred supplements. It’s not that I don’t like cabbage – I just think I would have trouble eating a kilogram every day…

Plastics

Plastics usually contain many chemicals, usually derived from petro-chemicals. Many plastic containers have a number on them signifying some of the main ingredients:

  • #1 is PET (or sometimes PETE, actually polyethylene terephthalate)
    PET is mostly used for water and other drink bottles, and containers for TV dinners and many other food items. PET uses antimony (a toxic metal) in manufacturing, which leaches into food, especially when storing food for a long time, exposing to sunlight, heating to high temperatures such as a microwave, which causes much greater leaching. The pH (acidity level) of the contents also affects the leaching. Microwaved TV dinners leach 100 times more antimony and other chemicals. Antimony in the body can cause pneumoconiosis, gastrointestinal problems, antimony spots on skin, respiratory irritation, depression, dizziness, headaches, vomiting, kidney or liver damage, and Adams-Stokes syndrome. Antimony trioxide is believed to be carcinogenic (causes cancer).
    Brominated compounds can leach into PET containers, displacing iodine, causing paranoia from depression of the CNS (Central Nervous System). PET is considered safe by Government agencies, but it is NOT safe
  • #2 is HDPE (high-density polyethylene)
    HDPE is used in shampoo bottles, food box liners, grocery bags and many food containers. Shown to release estrogenic chemicals, but still considered a low-toxin plastic. One study showed that 95% of every plastic product tested positive for estrogenic activity, meaning they disrupt hormones and change cell development, so children have even higher risk. PET is NOT safe
  • #3 is PVC (polyvinyl chloride)
    Used in bottles, wrappers, shrink wrap, sandwich baggies, plastic toys, lunch boxes, table cloths, blister packs for medications, shoes, jackets, furniture, vinyl flooring, water pipes. Contains lead and phthalates. Phthalates cause males to become more female in humans, animals, fish, etc by disruption of the endocrine system, causing testicular cancer, allergies, asthma, autism, genital deformation, low sperm counts and infertility. Possibly the worst health and environmental offender, but still considered safe by Government Health Agencies. PVC is NOT safe!
  • #4 is LDPE (low-density polyethylene)
    Used in food bags, squeezable bottles, coated paper milk cartons, beverage cups. Does not contain BPA but will leach estrogenic chemicals. Take-away coffee cups are often styrofoam, with a paper lining coated with polyethylene that makes the paper water-tight. Next time you order a coffee to go, forget that LDPE container, as the very hot water will leach a hundred times more LDPE into the coffee. Instead, sit down in the Cafe and have your coffee in a regular porcelain cup. Relax and enjoy it
  • #5 is PP (polypropylene)
    Used in straws, food containers, and medicine bottles. A study found that polypropylene plastic products leached at least two chemicals, but is considered a low-toxin plastic, tolerant of heat, and safe. Again, it is NOT safe!
  • #6 is PS (polystyrene)
    Commonly known as Styrofoam. Used in many disposable plates, cups, bowls, take-away containers, coffee cups, meat trays, packing materials. Polystyrene leaches styrene and other toxins when heated, so never use them in the microwave. Styrene is a probable nerve toxin and carcinogen, and NOT safe
  • #7 is Other – all other plastics
    Products made from other plastics not listed above, or those being a combination of plastics. There are many types of #7 plastics, commonly used for very large water bottles, baby bottles and other polycarbonate plastics. Number 7 plastics vary considerably, but mostly they are polycarbonates containing BPA (Bisphenol-A) or BPS (Bisphenol-S). BPA and BPS both disrupt hormones, affecting growth, development, metabolism, mood, sexual function and reproductive ability. More than 2.6 million tons of BPA are manufactured every year, and studies show that 93% of American people over the age of 6 have BPA in their urine and bloodstream, and this exposure may lead to chromosomal errors, spontaneous miscarriages, genetic damage, decreased sperm quality, early puberty, stimulation of mammary gland development in males as well as females, disrupted reproductive cycles and ovarian dysfunction, cancer, heart disease, obesity, insulin resistance, and other chronic diseases
  • BPA Free plastics? Manufacturers are heeding the growing public concern about BPA in food and drink containers, so they are now marketing their products as “BPA Free”. However, when they take out BPA, they replace it with BPS. True, BPS is not absorbed by the body as much as BPA, but when BPS is absorbed, the body has trouble excreting it, so keeps building up in the body, eventually reaching toxic levels. The only way to be safe from plastics is:
    • Buy fresh food, nothing processed. This avoids plastics and a host of chemicals added to processed foods
    • Grow your own veggies
    • Use glass containers to store food

    HRT – Hormone Replacement Therapy

    HRT causes estrogen dominance and endometriosis. The hormones used are not natural human hormones. HRT Estrogen is made from the urine of pregnant horses. Progesterone is an incomplete synthetic copy, doing more harm than good, and typically testosterone, the most important, is missing altogether. Women need testosterone as much as men, but are more sensitive to it and do not need as much.
    HRT got such a bad name, it is now called HT (Hormone Therapy) which is an attempt to fool people into thinking it is something new, but it is the same thing.

    Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy is a different case. These hormones are normally prescribed by a doctor conversant with hormones. These doctors are very rare, but if you search hard enough, you will find them in most cities. Bio-Identical hormones are just that – hormones absolutely identical to those found in the human body, and normally individually adjusted after blood and/or saliva tests and consultation with the patient. Bio-identical hormones are normally made to order by compounding chemists and not available from regular chemists.

    Doing the Detox

    Detoxing receives a lot of publicity and advertising, but it is not something to once a year like spring cleaning the house. We must detox all the time by eating non-toxic foods, drinking non-toxic water, and living in a non-toxic environment. The body has an amazing ability to get rid of toxic elements, except when our overworked liver and kidneys eventually give up due to toxic overload.

    Toxic Water

    In Adelaide, Australia, and most other Australian cities, we are forced by stupid Governments to drink water where toxic Fluoride has been added. Fluoride gets in the way of Iodine absorption, which is essential for correct Thyroid function. Other halides such as Chlorine and Bromides are also toxic. Chlorine is added to water to destroy pathogens, but it can react with organic matter in the water to form dangerous, carcinogenic Trihalomethanes. Drinking water should always be from a reverse-osmosis system, which can remove most fluoride, chlorine, arsenic, lead, aluminium and parasites.

    Toxic Food

    Many toxins are fat-soluble and accumulate in animal fat, and eating animal fats can cause significant exposure. Studies prove the animal fat link, and also show that fruit and vegetables have a reduced risk. Dioxons are prevalent in some oceans, contaminating fish. Where I live in South Australia, we are fortunate in having relatively clean water from the Southern Ocean. Be careful of fish coming from the polluted Northern Oceans of the world, and from fish farms, where fish are fed grains instead of natural food from the ocean.

    Foods which can help with Endometriosis

    • Lignans and fibre from flaxseeds also benefit estrogen conditions.
    • Foods to limit estrogens: cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, onions and garlic, apples, parsley, tea, olives, olive oil, grapes, black currants, cranberries, all dark berries like blueberries, blackberries, bilberries, raspberries and cherries, and red wine (in moderation).
    • Naringenin helps, and comes from all citrus fruits: lemon, orange, lime, tangerine. Also in grapefruit, but this is NOT recommended as it inhibits the cytochrome P450 isoform, an enzyme which we need to break down excess estrogens and remove toxins.
    • Apigenin helps, and comes from chamomile, thyme, parsley, celery, artichokes, basil, peppermint, gingo biloba, horsetail herb, lemon balm herb, perilla herb, vervain herb, and yarrow.
    • Genistein helps, and is an isoflavone from red clover, parsley, sage, green vegetables, fruits and especially legumes like chick peas, beans, and soy, BUT the fake estrogens (phytoestrogens) in soy compete with our natural estrogens, messing up our endocrine system. We should never consume soy, especially the GMO kind, although the fermented kinds consumed in Asian countries is not as bad. Soy is used as a cheap “filler” ingredient in thousands of processed foods, so fresh, real, unprocessed food is the only way we can eliminate it from the diet.
    • Diadzein is another isoflavone from soy foods, but the dangers from soy outweigh any benefit of diadzein.
    • Oleuropein is helpful, and comes from olive oil and the leaves of the olive tree.
    • Resveratrol is from the seeds and skin of red grapes and all black and red berries.
    • Linolenic and Linoleic Acid comes in multiple forms, all helpful:
      • GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid) in Borage Oil, an omega-6 fatty acid, found in mushrooms, vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, seeds, oils of safflower, sunflower, corn, soya, evening primrose, pumpkin, olives and wheat germ
      • ALA (Alpha-Linolenic Acid), an omega-3 fatty acid. Chia seed is an excellent source. The body cannot easily make these fatty acids, so they must come from the diet. Suppresses the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, reducing excess estrogens.
      • CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) comes from red meat (grass fed, preferably wild such as kangaroo), eggs (free range, not grain fed) and dairy, so supplementation is even more important for vegetarians and vegans. Reduces fat, increases muscle, fights cancer, and excretes bad estrogens

    Supplements which can help Endometriosis

    • Calcium D-Glucarate helps the liver eliminate harmful toxins and cancer-causing 16-alpha-hydroxyestrones
    • DIM (Diindolyl Methane) helps flush toxins and bad estrogen metabolites from the body
    • Quercetin and Bromelain. Quercetin works even better in conjunction with the digestive enzyme bromelain, found in pineapples
    • Chrysin is a flavonoid from passion flower, bee pollen and raw honey. Best used as a cream rubbed into the skin, available from compounding chemists in Australia. Oral supplements have less bioavailability, but this can be improved with piperine (from black pepper, preferably freshly ground)
    • Resveratrol Complex supplements provide the most benefit. Eating red grapes also gives the complete polyphenol group, with improved function working together. We could also drink red wine, but we would have to drink 15 glasses of wine every day to receive benefit from resveratrol, and this would obviously not benefit our health, so supplements or grapes are a preferred option. Eat the grape skin as well, that contains the most resveratrol
    • Zinc is nature’s best mineral, involved in many enzymatic reactions, the immune system and fertility. Most of the zinc in a woman is in the ovaries, and in men, the testicles. Foods containing zinc include oysters, liver, meat, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pecan nuts, brazil nuts, spinach, mushrooms and other vegetables
    • Omega-3 from Fish Oil, or much better from Krill oil with extra DHA. Studies show benefits of omega-3 for endometriosis sufferers, as growth of endometrioal tissue is reduced, and omega 3’s can reduce prostaglandin E2, an inflammatory chemical in the body. Good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, most deep-sea cold-water fish, walnuts, avocados and coconut oil
    • Astaxanthin is up to 550 times stronger than vitamin E and 6,000 times stronger than vitamin C. Shown to protect skin from sun damage without blocking vitamin D absorption, and helps prevent other hormones from converting to bad estrogens
    • Ginger can sometimes help to ease nausea, which is a common symptom of endometriosis

    Avoid Chronic Stress

    Stress is good for us from time to time. A body in stress produces the hormone Cortisol, also known as the “fight or flight” hormone. High cortisol increases blood flow to the muscles so we can fight well or run fast, reduces blood flow to the extremities in case of wounding, and affects organs and other areas. This is fine for short bursts of energy when we need it, but chronic stress will kill us. Cortisol levels are typically much higher in women with severe endometriosis compared to healthy women. Modern society is full of stress. A nasty boss, traffic lights, running late, deadlines, family issues, money problems, screaming children, noise, scary movies, terrorism, spiders, all can cause stress, and the stress triggers can be different for each of us. The danger is that CHRONIC STRESS, or continual stress with no relief, causes many problems in the body due to the permanently high cortisol levels. Too much cortisol reduces progesterone, causing a hormonal imbalance, and increasing the risk of endometriosis.
    The first thing to do is de-stress the mind and the body. Meditation for a few minutes a day in a quiet, dimly lit corner can be of great benefit, as can a Yoga or Tai-Chi class, or reading a book instead of watching TV.
    Supplements can also help with stress reduction:

    Meditation

    Meditation, deep breathing through the diaphragm, relaxation, all can help.

    Nature

    Spending trime in nature – a park or other green area, can reduce stress levels, even if only for a few minutes a day.

    Hobbies

    Spend some time doing things you like – hobbies, sport, dancing, volunteering, community groups, any activity away from the stress triggers.

    Avoid Loneliness

    Feeling lonesome? Join a group, go out and meet people, call an old friend to meet for a coffee.

    Shrink

    Many people resist going to a Psychologist, Counselor, etc, but often talking to a professional can help us use mental tools to ease our problems.

    Yoga or Tai-Chi

    Gentle exercise can also help deal with stress.

    Hydrotherapy – running Hot and Cold

    Some therapists recommend a “contrast sitz bath”, although this may help relieve pain rather than treat the actual condition. A similar method using hot and cold showers is often used to relieve migraine headaches, very successfully for some people. Contrast Sitz treatment involves sitting in a bath of hot water for three minutes, then sitting in a cold-water bath for one minute, then repeating the process three times. Usually not carried out during menstruation. The method for migraines is to shower in the hottest water we can stand for two minutes, then turn off the hot tap and stand in cold water for two minutes, repeating the process several times. I think the shower method is the simplest, as not many people have two bathtubs handy. In both cases, I thought originally that the benefit may be that it is so uncomfortable that one forgets about the original pain, but it seems to work, presumably by de-sensitising our nerves, reducing our reaction to pain, as well as perhaps alternately stimulating and reducing blood flow to our extremities, and inversely to our internal organs.

    Prescription Medication

    Progesterone is an excellent aromatase inhibitor, so can be very beneficial for Endometriosis, and can also inhibit growth and even cause cell death of breast cancer tissue, by affecting p53 and Bcl-2 gene expression, but ONLY natural bio-identical progesterone should be used. High doses of progestin (synthetic progesterone) is an incomplete artificial copy of real progesterone, and can have the reverse effect by stimulating breast cancer cells. This is the main reason why conventional HRT causes increased cancer. Progesterone can sometimes slow abnormal growth of endometrial tissue, and although not a cure, may help relieve period pain and pelvic pain. Seek a supplier of bio-identical hormones. In Australia you will still need a prescription for a compounding pharmacy. Many doctors have no understanding of the difference, so always seek a specialist in hormones. Some naturopaths recommend wild yam cream, which is similar to natural Progesterone, but unless processed in a laboratory, the body cannot convert it to true progesterone. Bio-Identical Progesterone is normally supplied as a cream, which is rubbed into thin areas of skin, where it is absorbed into the blood directly. It cannot be taken orally, as it will not survive past the stomach acid, enzymes, etc. Avoid other methods, like surgically implanting a pill just below the skin, as this gives a varying amount over several months as the pill breaks down at different rates, and the dose cannot be controlled without surgical removal. Patches and injections are other methods, but the cream is generally easier and more acceptable for most people. Progesterone levels should be monitored with regular blood tests. Too much may cause depression, fluid retention, weight gain, mood changes, abnormal (or sometimes absent) menstrual bleeding.

    Many doctors prescribe Tamoxifen to reduce estrogens, but this has nasty side effects including stroke, blood clots, uterine cancer, and cataracts. A better natural alternative is Calcium D-Glucarate which one study showed that is just as effective as Tamoxifen, and was able to reduce the number of estrogen receptors by 48%, and to lower serum estrogen levels by 23%.
    This works for men as well, helping to reduce man-boobs (Gynecomastia), excess body fat and risk of prostate cancer by reducing estrogen.

    Many doctors will recommend anti-depressants, even if we are not suffering from stress!
    This is a big mistake, as the disadvantages (like double the risk of suicide) far outweigh any benefits, and the benefits are poor anyway. Some say that the feel-good benefit of an extra teaspoon of sugar is about equal to that of taking an anti-depressant. I am not saying we need sugar, far from it, I am simply illustrating the poor benefit of anti-depressants. For more info, read my article on Antidepressants

TMG Benefits

TMG (Trimethylglycine) is a powerful nutrient, much like a vitamin, functioning as methyl donor, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, energy booster, toxin remover, immune booster and more.
Also called betaine (first isolated from sugar beets) but different from Betaine Hydrochloride.

TMG the Methyl Donor

The TMG molecule comprises three methyl groups (CH3) joined to one molecule of glycine (C2H5NO2). The benefit of TMG is that it releases easily one, two, or all three of the methyl groups.
Releasing one methyl group then leaves behind DMG (Dimethylglycine) which is just TMG with only two methyl groups. Releasing all methyl groups leaves just Glycine, which is the smallest molecule of all of the amino acids, which allows it to go almost anywhere in the body, including crossing the blood-brain barrier.
DMG is considered a B-complex vitamin, shown to help:

  • Behaviour and speech in autistic children and adults
  • ADHD (Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder)
  • Neurological function
  • Reducing seizures
  • Stress tolerance
  • Oxygen utilisation
  • Liver activity
  • Athletic performance
  • Anti-aging
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-viral and anti-bacterial
  • Immune boosting
  • Shrinking tumours
  • Allergies
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Alcoholism, drug addiction.
  • Cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Blood pressure
  • Blood glucose

Although DMG has all of these benefits, and is available as a supplement, LeanMachine recommends that people supplement with TMG as we then receive all of the benefits of DMG plus the benefit of 50% better methylation.

Methyl groups (CH3) are essential for millions of biochemical reactions every second in the body, these are a few examples:

  • Lowering homocysteine, an amino acid, which inflames arteries when levels rise, leading to “hardening of the arteries”. Homocysteine levels are a much better indicator of cardiovascular disease than cholesterol. High homocysteine is commonly caused by insufficient methyl groups. The body gets methyl groups from TMGActive FolateActive Vitamin B-12, SAM-eDMAEMethionineTaurine, Cysteine and Vitamin B-6.
    Other causes are mercury and copper toxicity. High homocysteine also causes methionine deficiency, in turn causing SAM-e (S-Adenosyl Methionine) deficiency which can lead to depression. Methionine is required for protein synthesis
  • Excess homocysteine also leads to osteoporosis, birth defects, cancer, ageing and free radicals, all helped by TMG
  • Methyl groups are required for the Phase 2, P450 liver detoxification pathway, a critical biochemical sequence of events. Fat-soluble toxins are joined to a methyl group, enabling a greater water solubility, then allowing the liver to remove them from the body. For toxins unable to be removed, methylation helps render them less toxic
  • TMG increases production of SAM-e, helping to reduce depression
  • TMG reduces risk of diabetes, as insulin release and insulin activity rely on methyl group donation
  • TMG donates methyl groups for protein synthesis (biosynthesis), the copying of genetic code from DNA to RNA (genetic transcription), then to the synthesis (formation) of every chemical in the body
  • TMG insufficiency causes biosynthesis slowing, telomeres shortening, and genetic errors (transcription errors) raises cancer risk from DNA mutations

The Methylation Process

This is a vital and most common chemical process in hundreds of essential chemical reactions, including:

  • Methylation is essential for manufacture of all the chemicals for the body
  • Stops certain viruses that could damage DNA
  • Stops the production of trophoblast (fast-growing cells that may lead to cancer)
  • Suppresses replication of DNA in areas where the body does not want it replicated
  • Important for neurological chemicals and blood chemicals
  • Corrects timing problems of the X chromosome in cell replication
  • Causea a genetic trait to come from only one parent, and not both
  • Prevents some genetic diseases
  • Helps prevent shortening of gene telomeres
  • Methylation is a primary method of removing toxins in the phase 2 liver detoxification system
  • Methylation converts toxins of all kinds from insoluble, less soluble or fat-soluble compounds into water-soluble compounds to allow excretion. Larger molecules are eliminated through the bile, smaller ones are excreted in the urine
  • Methylation is required for synthesis of dopamine and serotonin, improving mood, energy, wellbeing, alertness, concentration, and visual clarity
  • Methylation helps with liver detoxification
  • Methylation is required for conversion of homocysteine to methionine, which converts to other amino acids by various pathways
  • Methylation helps balance hormones such as estrogens, reducing risk of estrogen-related cancers
  • Reduces inflammation by removing toxins, balancing hormones, synthesising neurotransmitters and other methods
  • Methylation protects the mitochondria and adaptive energy production to stop us from becoming very tired
  • Restores SAM-e in spinal fluid, working as a methyl donor when restored by methyl groups
  • Methylation is required for the body to make CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10), vital for heart health and energy production in the mitochondria
  • Methylation increases muscle mass, important in cancer and other wasting diseases, and for general health
  • Methylation may improve libido in some people

Who needs TMG?

Almost everyone needs supplemental TMG, even healthy people with a healthy diet, to provide enough methylation for modern life. Those subject to stress, toxins, cardiovascular disease, mental illness, depression, fatigue, exhaustion or almost any other medical condition, almost certainly need extra TMG.

Other benefits of TMG

The Parasympathetic System

TMG can improve the parasympathetic system, helping balance the autonomic nervous system. Hair mineral analyses show about half the population has an autonomic nervous system imbalance (sympathetic dominance), where the sympathetic (fight-or-flight) nervous system is “switched on” too often and too long, usually due to stress, causing many chronic health conditions. TMG may help reverse any imbalance, contributing to healing. Some doctors use “sympathetic dominance” in a different context such as “a sympathetic state of body chemistry” which is different from “sympathetic dominance” used here.

The MTHFR Defect

Almost half the people on Earth have the abnormal MTHFR gene expression, where the biosynthesis of folate is reduced, sometimes marginally, sometimes largely.
Often incorrectly called a “genetic defect” when it is actually a transcription error, polymorphism or abnormal gene expression where errors occur in copying the DNA code rather than a problem with the actual DNA code.
This is why Active Folate has benefits, as it is already in the (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate form required by the body, while regular folate must be converted in the body to this form.
TMG can help supply the methyl groups where insufficent folate cannot. Active folate can be up to 700% more useful in the body, compared to regular folic acid. Note that folic acid is a cheap folate substitute used in many foods claiming to be “folate enriched” but folic acid may prevent absorption of real folate in foods or active folate supplements, and LeanMachine advises total avoidance of foods or supplements containing folic acid.

Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory

There are not many reports on these properties, but they do exist, possibly as a result of methyl group donation

Effects on the Brain

TMG has a positive effect on the brain, likely due to methylation and SAM-e production. Recommended for those at high risk for Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinsons, depression, anxiety, seizures, migraine headache, ADHD (Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder), MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and other brain conditions.

SAM-e Benefits

1. Heart Disease

SAM-e is used for heart disease, also for fibromyalgia, abdominal pain, osteoarthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, chronic lower back pain, ageing, CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), improving mental performance, liver disease, spinal cord injury, lead poisoning, to break down bilirubin or porphyrin (or precursors).

2. PMS

SAM-e is often taken for PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) and a more severe form PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder).

IV use of SAM-e

IV (Intravenous) use of SAM-e is used for depression, osteoarthritis, AIDS-related nervous system disorders, fibromyalgia, liver disease, cirrhosis, and intrahepatic cholestasis (a liver disorder in pregnant women)

SAM-e Injections

SAM-e is often injected for fibromyalgia, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Effects on Digestion

TMG aids digestion, again likely because of positive methylation throughout the body.

Glycine

Glycine is the component left over when all three methyl groups have been donated from TMG.
Glycine is the smallest of the amino acids and very important for collagen formation and many other functions. Collagen, the most abundant protein in the body, is used for connective tissue: Tendons, ligaments, cartilage, skin, nails, arteries, veins, etc. Without collagen, we could not stand up, our body would be a pile of mush on the floor!
Glycine, in large doses (up to 3000 mg daily), has been found helpful for sleep and alertness. Although not recommended as a first-line supplement for sleep, it may help if other supplements like Valerian fail to work. This may explain why TMG helps induce restful sleep in some individuals.

Natural sources of TMG

TMG is normally made in the body, but not enough when there are toxins present or the diet is poor or absorption of nutrients is a problem.
TMG can come from the diet. Foods high in TMG include broccoli, quinoa, spinach, lamb, chicken, and beets. A vegetarian or vegan diet tends to be very low in TMG. Foods high in TMG are usually also high in folate, and both are methyl donors.
However, most people do not eat enough of these foods, and even eating large amounts will not provide enough TMG for optimum health.

Risk factors for low TMG

Generally, the body cannot make enough, the modern diet is poor in TMG, and the number of pesticides, chemicals, heavy metal contamination uses up all TMG available.

  • Mercury is a poison that lowers TMG production in the body, and at the same time increases the need for TMG in the body. Almost everyone is mercury toxic now, as mercury is everywhere in the environment, especially in seafood and in dental amalgam fillings
  • Copper toxicity also interferes with TMG, and most people today are toxic from copper pipes, tapware, cookware even if blood or urine tests are negative. While copper is essential for the body to build hemoglobin in blood, we need Chelated Copper from food or supplements, not metallic copper from copper pipes and cookware. Zinc deficiencies cause accumulation of copper in the body, and women have a higher risk than men. Causes headaches, female organ problems, depression, anxiety, skin conditions. Too much zinc (and/or magnesium) competes with copper for absorption, often leading to a copper deficiency.

Supplements

Supplementary TMG is helpful for most people because of low body production, low in the diet, and higher requirements in our toxic world.
TMG 1000mg 100 tablets (most popular, best value).

Stress

Stress, inflammation, inflammation and some diseases increase our need for more TMG.

Dosage of TMG

  • Women: Up to 1000 mg daily
  • Men: Up to 3000 mg daily
  • Children: Less than adults, in proportion to body weight

There are no reliable guides or tests to determine TMG dosage, but the figures above should be a good starting point.
If the sodium/potassium ratio is low, extra TMG may help.
Do not overdose, as too much TMG may lead to over-methylation, causing fatigue, nausea, hair loss, dizziness or other symptoms.
Most people have no side effects from TMG apart from feeling better, getting better sleep and having more energy.
Cautions:
Do not continue a high dose for extended periods.
Children need proportionately less TMG than adults, depending on their size and weight, but babies generally do not need TMG. Older children may need about 250 to 500 mg daily.
TMG is available as tablets, liquid capsules or crystals. Some children and the elderly may have problems with swallowing tablets. TMG has a sweet taste, so TMG crystals can be simply added to food.
Some people have problems tolerating TMG, so they may need a smaller dose. Try reducing the dose until any symptoms disappear.
People who have unresolved resentments seem to have more problems taking TMG, as an enzyme is activated which can cause anger, fear, depression or anxiety symptoms. These symptoms disappear if the dose is reduced or eliminated, but if one can tolerate the symptoms, TMG may help the person resolve their issues of conflict.
Some reports suggest that too much TMG may cause diarrhea and nausea, and may raise cholesterol levels, so those with high cholesterol should keep the level monitored.

Poor Methylation

Several factors affect poor methylation, such as:

  • Raw vegetables are considered healthy, but cooked vegetables provide more dietary methyl groups
  • Sugars in any form appear to harm correct methylation, and are bad for our health anyway
  • Fermented foods are healthy, but are problem for methylation because:
    • Some contain aldehydes (toxic to the liver), including kombucha tea, kimchi, and most fermented grains
    • They contain ferments, which are bacteria or yeasts

    Safer fermented foods, eaten in moderation, include yogurt, kefir, miso and most good quality cheeses

  • Too much animal protein in the diet can cause high methionine and reduce methylation
  • Fighting inflammation or infections consumes methyl groups, requiring more methylation
  • Heavy metal toxicity, especially copper and mercury, interfere with methyl group formation
  • High-dose niacin or niacinamide cause the body to use up methyl groups to detoxify and excrete niacin through the liver. Doses less than 50 mg daily are generally tolerated well
  • Any liver toxins will reduce formation of methyl donors, also liver detoxification pathways require methyl groups, using up more methyl groups
  • Methyl donor production seems to decrease with age, so seniors need more TMG
  • Women of child-bearing age have much better methylation than men. Men always need more TMG than women

Methylation and Cancer

Cancer increases the need for methylating agents like TMG. People often die with cancer because they cannot eliminate their toxic metals and chemicals because of poor liver methylation, so toxins accumulate until death occurs.

Hair Mineral Analysis

More TMG may be required if a hair mineral test reveals:

  • High zinc level, which may indicate presence of hidden toxic metals
  • “Four lows pattern” meaning all four electrolyte minerals low: Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium. Indicates impaired methylation
  • High mercury, becoming more common
  • High copper
  • High levels of the other toxic metals

These results indicate long-term toxic metal exposure.

LeanMachine online supplemments

Disclaimer

LeanMachine is not a doctor, and everyone should consult with their own health professional before taking any product to ensure there is no conflict with existing prescription medication.
LeanMachine has been researching nutrition and health since 2010 and has completed many relevant studies including:
Open2Study, Australia – Food, Nutrition and Your Health
RMIT University, Australia – Foundations of Psychology
Swinburne University of Technology, Australia – Chemistry – Building Blocks of the World
University of Washington, USA – Energy, Diet and Weight
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Health Issues for Aging Populations
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – International Nutrition
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Methods in Biostatistics I
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Methods in Biostatistics II
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Principles of Human Nutrition
TUFTS University, USA – Nutrition and Medicine
TUFTS University, USA – Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease I and Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease II
Technical Learning College, USA – Western Herbology, Identification, Formulas
Bath University, England – Inside Cancer
WebMD Education – The Link Between Stroke and Atrial Fibrillation
WebMD Education – High Potassium: Causes and Reasons to Treat
Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands – Anatomy of the Abdomen and Pelvis
MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) – A Clinical Approach to the Human Brain
LeanMachine has now examined thousands of studies, journals and reports related to health and nutrition and this research is ongoing.

Updated 9th January 2020, Copyright © 1999-2020 Brenton Wight and BJ & HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine abn 55293601287

14 Evidence-Based Medicinal Properties of Coconut Oil

© 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.

While coconut oil has dragged itself out of the muck of vast misrepresentation over the past few years as a ‘deadly saturated fat,’ it still does not get the full appreciation it truly deserves.  Not just a “good” fat, coconut oil is an exceptional healing agent as well, with loads of useful health applications.

Some examples of this “good” saturated fat’s therapeutica properties include:

  • Fat-Burning: Ironic, isn’t it? A saturated fat which can accelerate the loss of midsection fat (the most dangerous kind). Well, there are now two solid, human studies showing just two tablespoons a day (30 ml), in both men and women, is capable of reducing belly fat within 1-3 months.
  • Brain-Boosting: A now famous study, published in 2006 in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, showed that the administration of medium chain triglycerides (most plentifully found in coconut oil) in 20 subjects with Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment, resulted in significant increases in ketone bodies (within only 90 minutes after treatment) associated with measurable cognitive improvement in those with less severe cognitive dysfunction.[i]
  • Clearing Head Lice: When combined with anise spray, coconut oil was found to be superior to the insecticide permethrin (.43%).[ii]
  • Healing Wounds: Coconut has been used for wound healing since time immemorial.  Three of the identified mechanisms behind these healing effects are its ability to accelerate re-epithelialization, improve antioxidant enzyme activity, and stimulate higher collagen cross-linking within the tissue being repaired.[iii]  Coconut oil has even been shown to work synergistically with traditional treatments, such as silver sulphadizine, to speed burn wound recovery.[iv]
  • NSAID Alternative: Coconut oil has been demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic and fever-reducing properties.[v]
  • Anti-Ulcer Activity: Interestingly, coconut milk (which includes coconut oil components), has been shown to be as effective as the conventional drug sucralfate as an NSAID-associated anti-ulcer agent.[vi]
  • Anti-Fungal: In 2004, 52 isolates of Candida species were exposed to coconut oil. The most notorious form, Candida albicans, was found to have the highest susceptibility. Researchers remarked: “Coconut oil should be used in the treatment of fungal infections in view of emerging drug-resistant Candida species.”[vii]
  • Testosterone-Booster: Coconut oil was found to reduce oxidative stress in the testes of rats, resulting in significantly higher levels of testosterone.[viii]
  • Reducing Swollen Prostate: Coconut oil has been found to reduce testosterone-induced benign prostate growth in rats.[ix]
  • Improving Blood Lipids: Coconut oil consistently improves the LDL:HDL ratio in the blood of those who consume it.  Given this effect, coconut oil can nolonger be dismissed for being ‘that saturated fat which clogs the arteries.’
  • Fat-Soluble Nutrient Absorption: Coconut oil was recently found to be superior to safflower oil in enhancing tomato carotenoid absorption.[x]
  • Bone Health: Coconut oil has been shown to reduce oxidative stress within the bone, which may prevent structural damage in osteoporotic bone.[xi] [Note: Osteoporosis is a Myth, as presently defined by the T-Score]
  • Sunscreen: Coconut oil has been shown to block out UV rays by 30%. Keep in mind that this is good, insofar as UVA rays are damaging to the skin, whereas UVB rays are highly beneficial (when exposure is moderate).[i]  Make sure to check this list of other sun-blocking oils.
  • Insect Repellant: Amazingly, coconut oil was recently found to be more effective than DEET at repelling insects. Read our article on the topic here: Coconut Oil Beats Toxic DEET at Repelling Insects.

Of course, when speaking about coconut oil, we are only looking at one part of the amazing coconut palm.  Each component, including coconut hull fiber, coconut protein and coconut water has experimentally confirmed therapeutic applications.


References

  • [i] Mark A Reger, Samuel T Henderson, Cathy Hale, Brenna Cholerton, Laura D Baker, G S Watson, Karen Hyde, Darla Chapman, Suzanne Craft . Effects of beta-hydroxybutyrate on cognition in memory-impaired adults. Neurobiol Aging. 2004 Mar;25(3):311-4. PMID: 15123336
  • [iii] K G Nevin, T Rajamohan . Effect of topical application of virgin coconut oil on skin components and antioxidant status during dermal wound healing in young rats. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2010 ;23(6):290-7. Epub 2010 Jun 3. PMID: 20523108
  • [xi] Mouna Abdelrahman Abujazia, Norliza Muhammad, Ahmad Nazrun Shuid, Ima Nirwana Soelaiman. The Effects of Virgin Coconut Oil on Bone Oxidative Status in Ovariectomised Rat. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012 ;2012:525079. Epub 2012 Aug 15. PMID: 22927879

Originally published: 2012-09-03  updated: 2019-06-29

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.