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Toxicity & Detox
Technology devices such as our cell phones and iPads have drastically changed the way we do life. When you walk around a public place you see the majority of people with their devices out, looking down, occasionally looking up to make sure they won’t run into anything. It’s gotten so bad now that what we used to call “nursing home posture” - shoulders rolled forward, chin out, slouching - we now call “junior high posture”. Combine the in-hand devices with the heavy backpacks children wear today and this has a dramatic effect on their posture, which can have a huge impact on their overall, long-term health.
Researchers have studied how this abnormal posture affects overall health and the findings are remarkable. One such study, done in 2014 by the Chief of Spine Surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitative Medicine showed that repetitive poor posture, particularly of the head and neck caused severe damage to the structures of the neck - vertebrae, discs, ligaments, and tendons leading to spine surgeries, but also was associated with Low T (testosterone), reduced serotonin (think: depression), and increased cortisol (your body’s main stress hormone). The study was specifically done to provide more information to surgeons who have to surgically reconstruct damaged and degenerated spines, which can be prevented. Some of the highlights of the study were:
The study evaluated the stress using an average head weight of 13.2 lbs. The weight added to the spine dramatically increased when flexing the neck forward to varying degrees.
0° increased weight on the neck by 10 to 12 lbs.
15° increased weight on the neck by 27 lbs.
30° increased weight on the neck by 40 lbs.
45° increased weight on the neck by 49 lbs.
60° increased weight on the neck by 60 lbs.
Loss of the natural curve of the cervical spine leads to incrementally increased stresses on the cervical spine which may lead to early wear, tear, degeneration, and could lead to early surgeries.
Good posture was associated with much more than bad backs or necks. Good posture was linked to higher testosterone, increases in serotonin, decreases in cortisol, and increased feelings of power. Poor posture was associated with the opposite findings.
An average person spends 2-4 hours per day with their head tilted forward for reading and texting on their devices, amassing 700 to 1400 hours of excess, abnormal cervical spine stress per year. It was also noted that a high school student may even spend an extra 5000 hours in poor posture!
The next time you look at a junior high or high-school aged kid, possibly your own, look at the angle of their head looking down and picture 49 lbs of added pressure to their spine and think about them holding that pressure there for 5000 hours (or 208 straight days) - you can imagine how that would have an effect on more than just neck pain!
This is why it’s so important that you get your kids into a chiropractor’s office to be checked and adjusted from birth, regardless of symptoms. Chiropractic care has been proven to be a more effective alternative to medical treatment for symptoms like ear infections, bed-wetting, colic, reflux, digestive issues, but the kids who need it the most are the kids who don’t have any symptoms yet and come and get adjusted regularly for prevention. Hormone issues cause serious life altering disease processes. Low testosterone is epidemic in our men today. Low serotonin leads to depression. Chronically elevated cortisol is linked to almost every chronic disease of aging today. Chiropractic care can help minimize the damage being done to your child’s spine every single day and can help prevent much more serious problems down the road. Get your kids adjusted!
- Hansraj, KK. Surgical Technology International Journal 2014 Nov; 25: 277-9 Assessment of Stresses in the Cervical Spine Caused By Posture and the Position of the Head
The leaves of the melaleuca tree have been used for centuries by the aborigines to heal cuts, wounds and skin infections. Melaleuca oil (Melaleuca alternifolia, or more commonly known as tea tree) has been used for centuries by cultures around the world to soothe. The oil is steam-distilled from the leaves of certain myrtle shrubs and trees, and said to be 12x the purifying strength of phenol. It's a really great oil for immune support and cleaning.
Melaleuca is known for its cleansing and rejuvenating effect on the skin, promotes healthy immune function and protects against environmental and seasonal threats. Yep great to mix with Lavender and Lemon for allergies.
Some common uses for Melaleuca are: acne, antiseptic, athlete’s foot, boils, bronchitis, burns, Candida, cold sores, colds, decongestant, diarrhea, flu, gum disease, immune stimulant, decrease inflammation, infections (bacterial, fungal & viral), insecticide, mites, parasites, rash, shock, skin health & cuts, sunburn, tonsillitis, ticks, tissue regenerator, warts and wounds
· For occasional skin irritations, apply 1–2 drops of Melaleuca essential oil onto affected area.
· Combine 1–2 drops with your facial cleanser or moisturizer for added cleansing properties, or apply to skin after shaving to prevent razor burn.
· Apply to fingernails and toenails after showering to purify and strengthen nails.
· Add a few drops to a spray bottle with water and use on surfaces to protect against environmental concerns.
· Can be used to manage oily skin when applied directly or sprayed on with water.
· This is a powerhouse mix: Mix equal parts Melaleuca & Lavender. Can apply without diluting or add to an empty spray bottle, add water, shake before spraying on. This mix is great for pink eye, ear infections, Owie spray for kid’s scrapes and burns. Never apply an oil directly into an eye or ear. To apply for ear infection get some on your finger and rub around where ear meets head. For pink eye rub on the bone around the eye.
Not So Sweet – 3 Things you MUST DO to Avoid Aspartame
Many people now realize that consuming too much sugar in your diet can lead to health problems such as inflammation, weight gain, hormone imbalance, and even cause diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Many companies have reduced the sugar in their products, and are offering more “sugar free” substitutes. The problem now, however, lies in what most manufacturers and the majority of Americans are using as a substitute for that sugar, and what that substitute does to your brain.
Marketed under the names Equal® and Nutrasweet®, aspartame is the most common artificial sweetener used in the United States. It is added into more than 6,000 products- especially those that are advertised as “sugar-free” or “diet”. It can be found anywhere, but it is almost always found in: breath mints, chewing gum, diet soda, flavored water products, frozen ice cream novelties, fruit spreads, jams, jellies, instant drink mixes, nutritional bars, sugar-free candy, sugar-free cookies, and the list goes on and on.1 I recently took a bite of a conventional protein bar (something I wouldn’t normally do but I was really hungry) and immediately spit it out because I could taste the sweetener. Most people are so used to it they would notice more if it WASN’T present in their food.
Decreasing sugar is great. The downside of this sugar substitution is that aspartame is an excitotoxin that has been linked to over 90 different side effects, including seizures, tremors, irreversible brain damage, brain tumors, birth defects, attention deficit disorders, severe depression, and even death.2
The reason that aspartame wreaks so much havoc on our well-being is because aspartame is what’s called an ‘excitotoxin’ and a ‘neurotoxin’. This means that it can cross the blood-brain barrier and get into the brain, and once in the brain it excites brain cells, and it over-stimulates these brain cells to death.3
According to neurosurgeon Dr. Russell L. Blaylock M.D. -“Excitotoxins play a critical role in migraines, seizures, learning disabilities, ADD, episodic violence, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.”
That means that every time you chew a piece of gum, or drink a diet soda, or eat a piece of sugar free candy that your brain cells are being excited to death, scary! It also means that by the time enough of your brain cells have died off that you finally begin seeing symptoms, it may be too late.
That is why it is so important to avoid aspartame at all costs. I want to give you 3 Steps to Keeping Aspartame out of your life:
Make sure you read your food labels and look for aspartame in the ingredients. It is often one of the first ingredients listed, which means that it has the highest content, but look closely. Avoid any foods or products labeled “low-fat”, “low-sugar”, or “diet”, including diet soda. These almost always contain aspartame!
Detoxification can remove aspartame that has accumulated in your body, decreasing its toxicity potential. Eating a clean, whole-food diet is the first step. Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts) aid in natural detoxification, so do citrus fruits like lemon and lime. Several herbs can help aid in detoxification as well, such as milk thistle, fenugreek, and peppermint. Based on your level of toxicity and the effects it is creating, you may need supplemental detoxification as well.
Find better sugar substitutes. There are three sweeteners that I recommend using in place of both sugar and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame: stevia, xylitol, or something like Lakanto. Lakanto is a combination of a non-GMO fermented sugar alcohol (erythritol, similar to xylitol) and the super sweet luo han guo fruit, creating a sugar substitute that tastes great, creates none of the GI effects that xylitol can sometimes lead to (gas, bloating).
Frankincense is derived from the sap from a specific variety of trees in the genus Boswelia. Harvests are done at various times and the more opaque resins are considered to be the best quality.
Emotionally Frankincense may help a person have a better attitude, which may help to strengthen the immune system.
Aromatically this oil helps to focus energy, minimize distraction and improve concentration. It can alleviate symptoms of hyperactivity, impatience, irritability and restlessness.
In going through this list you will see why Frankincense is called the “King of Oils”.
- Heal wounds from cuts, scrapes, and burns. For even greater benefit, apply Lavender essential oilfirst then layer Frankincense on top. The combination of these two oils together is amazing when it comes to healing wounds.
- Reduce and fade scars. Continue use after the wound has healed to reduce and fade scarring.
- Strong immune system. The antiseptic properties of Frankincense make it ideal for supporting a strong immune system. Massage a few drops into the balls of your feet every day. Also diffusing it throughout your home. This is especially good during cold and flu season.
- Stress, anxiety and depression. Apply a drop at the temples to relieve stress and evoke a feeling of calmness. You can also rub a few drops mixed in a carrier oil on the back of the neck when you feel anxious. Something else you can do is simply inhale the aroma of the oil by rubbing a drop or two between the palms of your hands then bringing them up to your nose and taking a deep breath. Also stops head chatter when applied to neck.
- Anti-aging. None of us likes to look old. Dabbing Frankincense on fine lines and wrinkles will make them less noticeable. A 50/50 blend with a carrier oil (fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil). Also add a drop of Frankincense to your daily moisturizer.
- Relieve itching. A single drop applied to the affected area will bring immediate relief.
- Relieve arthritis pain and swelling. Mix with a carrier oil and rub into aching joints at night before bed and throughout the day,
- Remove moles, skin tags, and warts. Insert a toothpick into the bottle. Roll the toothpick on the skin tag, mole or wart. Make sure the oil only goes on the affected area.
- Reduce swelling from insect bites. A single drop dabbed on an insect bite will reduce the swelling and stop the itching.
- Enhance the efficacy of other essential oils. The best is saved for last. Layer Frankincense over other essential oil to enhance that oil’s properties and drive the oils deeper into the cells. This layering will deliver amazing results for those times when you need to kick it up a notch.
Some common uses for Frankincense are: ADD/ADHD, aging, allergies, antiseptic, asthma, anxiety, bites, bronchitis, cancer, carbuncles, colds, coughs, concentration, diarrhea, headaches, hemorrhaging, inflammation, laryngitis, liver stress, pneumonia, prostate issues, meningitis, mood elevator, respiratory aid, sciatic pain, sores, staph, strep, tension, tonsillitis, ulcers, warts and wrinkles
Article By: Lonni A. (Align Patient)
Lemon is a very versatile and amazing essential oil! It possesses antifungal, antiseptic, and antioxidant properties and is often used to help build the immune system, fight respiratory conditions, aids in digestion and is known as a powerful aromatic, topical, and internal cleanser. Lemon also plays a very versatile role in helping clean around the house. It makes a wonderful natural disinfectant, and it also does a great job of breaking up grease and gum on dishes or in fabrics. In addition to these benefits, the aroma of lemon is naturally uplifting and has been shown in several studies to help reduce stress, depression, and anxiety.
Some common uses for Lemon are: Anxiety, Air Pollution, Allergies, Common Colds, Concentration, Constipation, Depression, Energizing, Furniture Polish, Greasy/Oily Hair, Hangovers, Overeating, Physical Energy, Purification, Relaxation, Stress, Water Purification.
- Pour nickel size amount of shampoo into hand. Add 1 drop off Lemon and mix together. Shampoo hair as normal for greasy/oily hair.
- A Cure for Laundry Neglect. Lemon essential oil takes out ALL odor when you forget and leave your load of laundry in the washer way too long!
- Deactivate the Sticky. Lemon oil can help you avert a hair cutting crisis the next time you deal with gum in hair. Got kids with obsessive addictions to stickers or temporary tattoos? Works for those too. Not for wide receivers.
- Love Your Luster.Bring your furniture back to life with lemon oil! Just add a few drops of lemon oil to olive oil for a non-toxic furniture polish. Lemon oil leaves a beautiful shine, prevents fine wood finishes from drying out, and replaces lost moisture in antique woods as it penetrates worn finishes.
- Stop Cutting Board Bacteria Palooza. Cutting boards can harbor bacteria in your kitchen. Nobody wants to taste the chemicals you have in your cleaning closet, yet most people love the taste of lemon!
- Control an Aphid Invasion, Naturally. Aphids — those pesky little bugs that dine on your roses and other plants. Lemon oil (or peppermint) with water in a garden spray bottle are a natural pesticide that kills aphids and their larvae on contact, but leave your plants looking lovely.
- Clear Thinking & Clear Focus, Made Visible. A clear mind, a clean slate, a fresh outlook. It’s all good. Real good. Diffuse lemon oil and you got it.
- Nice Mood … No Really. Chase away the moody blues (not the band), with a bit of blah-reducing lemon oil. Whether you choose to diffuse it or apply topically, it’s hard to not improve your outlook with lemon oil around!
- A Brighter Complexion.Lemon oil can help remove dead skin cells and exfoliate. For a homemade defoliant, add 4-5 drops to a small amount of oatmeal and water for a homemade scrub. Feels great!
Article By: Lonni A. (Align Patient)
Have you heard of glutathione? It is known as your body’s “master antioxidant” and also your body’s “master detoxifier” because it is such a powerful disease-fighting molecule! It’s been featured on Dr. Oz and many other shows, blogs, websites, and books on every health topic from fighting cancer, to slowing down the aging process, to preventing DNA damage. Glutathione (pronounced glue-tah-thigh-own) is a tripeptide of amino acids that is found inside every cell in your body, and it’s one of the most important factors and measures of your overall health.
Glutathione, or GSH, is comprised of three amino acids: cysteine, glutamate, and glycine. It is different than other antioxidants (like vitamins A, C, E, CoQ10, Zinc, Selenium, etc) in the fact that it is intracellular, or found inside the cell, and it can even help some other antioxidants work better! Your body builds it’s own GSH from these building blocks, but as you age your body’s ability to produce glutathione decreases. Because GSH is used to fight oxidation and cellular damage as well as stimulate detoxification processes, it can be rapidly depleted when a person is fighting an acute infection or especially a chronic disease like diabetes, HIV/AIDs, cancer, autoimmune disease, heart disease, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, when a person has chronic toxicity such as heavy metal toxicity, or chronic inflammation due to a leaky gut. This includes most people in our society! 6
The main function of GSH is to protect your cells, your DNA, and your energy-producing mitochondria from oxidative damage while also playing a central role in defense from infection, free radicals, and carcinogens like radiation. GSH also detoxifies xenobiotics, or foreign compounds like chemicals and toxins. It plays an important role in both phase I and phase II of liver detoxification, your body’s main filtration of toxins. Glutathione is found in every cell, but it is found in highest concentration in the cells of the liver, which is no surprise considering what it does. GSH is your body’s most effective cellular protective system because it participates directly in the destruction of reactive oxygen compounds which damage your cells, while also maintaining and improving the antioxidant capacity of other molecules like vitamin C and E. 1
Glutathione isn’t just an antioxidant fighting free radicals and DNA damage, its synthesis depends on Adenosine Triphosphate, or ATP, your body’s main source of energy, and low glutathione levels are closely related with energy deficiency or low ATP. This is one reason why many people with chronic diseases lose much of their energy, their cellular energy is quite literally being used to fight disease! Because glutathione is so crucial to effectively fight toxicity, oxidative stress, DNA damage and aging, significantly lower levels of GSH have been associated with:
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Inflammatory Conditions like Arthritis
Atherosclerosis (Heart Disease)
Asthma and Allergies
Neurodegenerative Diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
Low levels of GSH have been associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and some have hypothesized that low levels of GSH combined with toxic environmental exposures combined with genetic predisposition will trigger a regression into autism. This theory would explain why some kids become autistic while others do not while receiving the same vaccinations. Another potent depletor of GSH is Acetaminophen, best-known brand Tylenol, which is often doctor-recommended for our infants and children. Our kids are fighting an uphill battle from the beginning. When you combine toxins from Mommy’s body (found and proven in umbilical cord blood studies, read our past articles) + toxins from the environment (air pollution, water, baby formula, etc - read past articles) + antibiotics in the first couple years of life for an ear infection (destroy the gut flora) + children’s Tylenol for teething (depleting GSH) + THEN a child goes in for a standard round of vaccinations with known toxins like Aluminum and Formaldehyde into a child’s bloodstream and crosses their not-yet-formed Blood-Brain-Barrier - THAT SCARES ME! And we wonder why the numbers have gone from 1 in 1500 children to 1 in 88 to now 1 in 45 children on the Autism Spectrum? 2,3
Wait! Don’t rush out and buy glutathione tonight! Glutathione is naturally produced by your body and is poorly absorbed when taken in a supplement form. For this reason, it’s more important to give your body the right building blocks to manufacture its own GSH and help your body fight disease. Several supplements may help boost GSH - including turmeric, vitamin D, alpha-lipoic acid, glutamine, and N-Acetyl Cysteine. 4,5 There are definitely times when supplementing to build your GSH stores could be necessary! We recommend a product called GCEL by Systemic Formulas which provides all the necessary specific GSH building blocks in a proprietary blend along with many other vitamins, minerals, and herbs which are all designed to aid your body’s ability to boost glutathione and detoxification capacity.
The first step is always to start with your food. Your body knows what to do when it’s given the right building blocks and power supply. A balanced diet rich in real, whole foods will provide your body with the right building blocks for glutathione while also keeping out the sugars, trans fats, chemicals, additives, and toxins that will deplete your body’s GSH stores. The foods that provide the most GSH-boosting benefits are:
-Sulfur-containing foods: cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale), raw garlic, onions, leeks, shallots
-Pastured/Grass-Fed Red Meats and Organ Meats contain Alpha Lipoic Acid which may help boost GSH - especially liver meat!
-Pastured Free-Range Eggs (raw is best)
-Pastured/Grass-Fed Raw Milk Products - GSH occurs in the highest concentrations in fresh, uncooked meats and raw milk and cheese and is almost non-existent in pasteurized products!
-Grass-Fed Whey Protein - The best way to boost GSH! Quality (cold-pressed, non-denatured, grass-fed organic source) whey protein provides all the key amino acids and is the most bioactive source of protein available. Whey has also been shown to stimulate metabolism and weight-loss among other benefits. It truly can be a super-food! 6
Your body will create enough glutathione to keep you healthy as long as you don’t deplete it too rapidly. Avoid toxins in your food supply, personal care products, minimize stress (physical, chemical, mental), exercise regularly, get adjusted and look for the cause of any health issue rather than the symptom - and your glutathione will be good to go!
- Glutathione metabolism and its implications for health.J Nutr. 2004 Mar;134(3):489-92. Wu G1, Fang YZ, Yang S, Lupton JR, Turner ND.
- Glutathione-related factors and oxidative stress in autism, a review. Curr Med Chem. 2012;19(23):4000-5.
- The Impact of Neuroimmune Alterations in Autism Spectrum Disorder.Front Psychiatry. 2015 Sep 9;6:121. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2015.00121. eCollection 2015. Gottfried C1, Bambini-Junior V2, Francis F3, Riesgo R4, Savino W5.
- Deficient synthesis of glutathione underlies oxidative stress in aging and can be corrected by dietary cysteine and glycine supplementation.Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Sep;94(3):847-53. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.110.003483. Epub 2011 Jul 27 Sekhar RV1, Patel SG, Guthikonda AP, Reid M, Balasubramanyam A, Taffet GE, Jahoor F.
- Effect of increasing glutathione with cysteine and glycine supplementation on mitochondrial fuel oxidation, insulin sensitivity, and body composition in older HIV-infected patients.J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Jan;99(1):169-77. doi: 10.1210/jc.2013-2376. Epub 2013 Dec 20. Nguyen D1, Hsu JW, Jahoor F, Sekhar RV.
By Dr. Taylor Krick BSc DC
Have you ever walked through a garden or smelled an orange? If so you have experienced an essential oil. Essential oils are found in the bark, seeds, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. For centuries people have been using essential oils to help benefit their lives. There are two ways that essential oils are extracted. They are distilled or cold pressed. From perfumes and colognes, food preparations to personal health-care essential oils are seen in our everyday lives.
How do we use essential oils? There are three ways to use essential oils.
Aromatically: Involves smelling either a fine mist or an essential oil directly. When oils are inhaled you receive powerful mental, psychological and emotional responses. The easiest way to use an essential oil is to open a bottle and simply breathe in the aroma or place a drop in the hands, rub them together then cup them around the nose and mouth and breathe in. Oils can be placed on pieces of cloth or tissue and held close to the nose. Diffusing is great for killing airborne pathogens and helping with your mood. Diffusers are devices that evaporate essential oils into a room or space.
Lemon, Orange and Lavender are great to inhale when feeling emotionally down. Peppermint brings feelings of joy when used aromatically.
Topically: Our bodies love the oils and when applied directly are absorbed into the bloodstream. Moving throughout the body very quickly. Many essential oils are safe to use when applied NEAT (applied with no carrier oil; an oil used for dilution such as Fractionated Coconut Oil). If you ever asking yourself where do I apply this oils? The answer is your feet. When diluting oils this is a great rule of thumb. Babies 1 drop to 1 tablespoon carrier oil, Children 1 drop to 1 teaspoon carrier oil, Adults 3-6 drops to 1 teaspoon carrier oil.
Apply Lavender to your feet just before going to bed or add a couple drops to bath water to relax your body. Peppermint or Rosemary on the forehead and back of neck relieve headaches.
Internally: Dried herbs, teas and plants all contain essential oils but when essential oils are removed from plants they become very concentrated. Small amounts should be used when taken internally. You can apply essential under the tongue (1-2 drops), in tea, food, water even in gelatin cap. Before ingesting an oil make sure it is “Safe for Supplemental Use.” Check the “Supplemental Facts” label on an essential oil bottle to guide you in its use.
1-2 drops of Lemon added to your glass of drinking water aids in body detoxification. For digestive issues use Peppermint or a Digestion Blend.
Over the next weeks we are going to be learning about the top essential oils recommended for you and your family!
Article By: Lonni A. (Align Patient)
The research is clear linking the Standard American Diet to most prevalent diseases of today through many different mechanisms. Today I want to talk about one of those mechanisms - food additives. A recent article from June 2015 in the journal Autoimmunity Reviews looked at how food additives lead to intestinal permeability (or leaky gut) and this leads to Autoimmune Diseases.
Autoimmune diseases are among the fastest growing diseases in our country and others. They have shown a steady rate of increase over the past 3 decades, especially in Western cultures, and it’s now estimated that 25-50 million Americans suffer, making it more prevalent than cancer or heart disease. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates annual direct healthcare costs for Autoimmune Diseases to be in the range of $100 billion. In comparison, cancer costs are $57 billion and heart and stroke costs are $200 billion. Multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel diseases (mainly Crohn's disease), systemic lupus erythematosus, primary biliary cirrhosis, autoimmune thyroiditis, hepatitis and rheumatic diseases (rheumatoid arthritis), and celiac disease are several examples. Over 100 different diagnoses have been considered autoimmune in their mechanism.1
Autoimmunity occurs when the body’s own defense system - the Immune System - has trouble differentiating good things from bad things, or telling “self” from “non-self”. The immune system is designed to attack invaders, which are “non-self” (bacteria, viruses, toxins). It shouldn’t attack your body’s own tissues. When the immune response is altered or abnormal, it will begin to attack “self” tissues. For example, if the immune system mounts an attack against thyroid tissue, this is called autoimmune thyroiditis, often diagnosed as Hashimoto’s Disease.
Your body’s first line of defense against invaders (before the immune system mounts an attack) is keeping those bad things out of your body, such as chemicals, toxins, additives - what are called xenobiotics - or foreign substances. There are four main ways xenobiotics can enter the body - injecting them directly into the bloodstream (vaccines), breathing them in through the lungs (air pollution), absorbing them through the skin (personal care products), or probably the most destructive - entering through the digestive tract. The reason this can be the most destructive method of toxification is because most of us eat every day, we have to eat to survive, and if you are eating any version of an American (Western) Diet you are constantly exposing yourself to a plethora of inflammatory proteins, chemicals, and toxins that are continually making your body sicker and sicker.
Your digestive tract (or gut) consists of not just your stomach or intestines, but the whole food pathway from the mouth to the anus. Each section of the “gut” has a different specific function (the mouth for initial food breakdown via saliva, the stomach for enzyme degradation, small intestine for nutrient absorption, large intestine for water and B12 absorption, etc).
The job of the gut is to let the good stuff in (vitamins, nutrients) and keep the bad stuff out (xenobiotics and waste).
Your gut is lined by a single layer of cells called the gut epithelium. It’s this thin layer of cells that lets the good stuff pass through and keeps the bad stuff out! When this layer becomes damaged, bad stuff gets into the bloodstream and the immune system will then recognize this and mount an immune attack. I always use the analogy of a screened-in porch. The job of a screen is to let the good stuff in (fresh air and cool breeze) while keeping the bad stuff out (mosquitos, bugs). A screen is a very simple yet very effective single layer of protection against these things, just like your gut lining. But what happens if somebody is poking holes in your screen? The good stuff still gets in, but so does the bad stuff. This is what is called a Leaky Gut, and it’s at the root of many disease processes today, including autoimmune diseases. Many factors influence the integrity of your screen, or gut lining (diet, stress, alcohol, antibiotic use, oral contraceptives, etc) but I want to share with you specifically these 7 food additives that this particular study proved cause leaky gut and will absolutely contribute to autoimmune disease.
- Sugar. I always put sugar as number one on my lists of foods to avoid, and it’s no coincidence that this study did the same. Sugar fuels inflammation, it feeds cancer, it feeds candida and bad bacteria in the gut, and according to this study, it pokes holes in your gut lining.
- Salt*. “Cereals and baked goods are the single largest contributor to sodium intake in the US and UK...The salt content in processed foods can be 100x higher than homemade meals.” Added salt not only increases intestinal permeability, but increases inflammation often associated with autoimmune diseases. *This is ADDED salt into PROCESSED foods, it’s not the same as dietary sea salt at home!
- Emulsifiers and Surfactants. “....widely used in the bakery, confectionary, dairy, fat and oil, sauces, butter and margarine, ice cream, cream liqueurs, meat, coffee, gum, beverages, chocolate and convenient food industries...numerous synthetic surfactant food additives have been shown to increase the intestinal permeability through paracellular and/or transcellular mechanisms.” These are seen on the label as things like lecithins (soy lecithin is in everything) or polysorbates (polysorbate-80 is also an ingredient in several vaccines).
- Organic Solvents. “The organic solvent chemicals are genuinely dangerous. Most of them have warning information on the labels as poisons. Examples of organic solvents used in industry are: benzene, xylene, toluene, turpentine, acetone, methyl/ethyl acetates, hexane, ethanol and several detergents…..Some nutrients like glutamine and polyphenols protect TJ barrier integrity (gut lining), in contrast, several organic solvents used in the food and beverage industries, like alcohol and its metabolites impair the TJ barriers.” Alcohol is one of the biggest culprits for poking holes in a leaky gut, not just alcohol that you choose to consume, but added alcohols and other solvents! I have personally tested high for xylene exposure in the past, this is one of the sources.
- Gluten. Gluten has a lot of research showing what it does to the gut lining and its implications in Celiac disease. Gluten’s main antigen called Gliadin has been shown to inhibit cell growth, cause cytotoxicity (cell toxicity), alter cellular metabolism, and destroy the gut lining.
- Microbial transglutaminase (mTG). “Multiple applications of mTG in the food industry exist: improvement of meat texture, appearance, hardness and preservability, increased fish product hardness, improved quality and texture of milk and dairy products, decreased calories, improved texture and elasticity of sweet foods, protein film stability and appearance and improve texture and volume in the bakery industry.” These are fake meat glues and texturizers that make food look, feel, and taste a different way. Gross!
- Nanoparticles. This is the newest and fastest-growing technology in food additives, and we still don’t know a lot about future health implications, but we do know that it causes intestinal permeability. But that never stopped us before!
Some of these additives we may be more familiar with (sugar, salt, gluten) while others we may have never heard of. This is just one paper also, this isn’t an all-inclusive list. (*Another major player in poking holes in the gut lining is Glyphosate, or Roundup. Glyphosate has been shown to not only poke holes in the gut leading to leaky gut, Celiac disease, and autoimmunity but also decrease your body’s own detoxification methods, leading to increased toxic burden.)3
The point that I hope you take-away from this article isn’t to go looking on your food labels for “Sugar-Free” or “Gluten-Free” or to check your ingredients list for soy lecithin (it’s in there!) or nanoparticles. The point is TO EAT REAL FOOD. The food additive business is a multi-billion dollar industry, it’s not planning on slowing down anytime soon. You can choose not to buy processed foods! You are responsible for your health. You decide what you put in your mouth and your children’s mouths and bodies! When you eat real food you can avoid and eliminate these and many many other chemicals, toxins, additives, dyes, preservatives, sweeteners, texturizers, etc and stop causing sickness and disease to be treated with more medicine. Don’t eat food that looks like real food. Like Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness always says:
JERF. JUST EAT REAL FOOD.
- Lerner, A. Matthias, T. Changes in intestinal tight junction permeability associated with industrial food additives explain the rising incidence of autoimmune disease. Autoimmunity Reviews Vol 14, Iss 6. June 2015. Pages 479-489
- Samsel, A. Seneff, S. Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance. Interdisciplinary Toxicology. 2013 Dec; 6(4); 159-184
By Dr. Taylor Krick BSc DC
This is an amazing amazing site/guide that asks:
Have you read your ingredients? What's in your makeup? Are you sure about your lotion? Etc!
They also list "Health Concerns of Ingredients" for TONS of products:
(Ex: Overall Hazard, Cancer, Developmental & Reproductive Toxicity, and Allergies, Etc.)
They offer great, non-toxic alternatives listed in every section, from makeup to soap to sunscreen.
I honestly have played around on this site for hours.
Wouldn't you want to know if a health concern of an ingredient in your nail polish was "developmental & reproductive toxicity"?
Toxicity has proven to be one of the biggest factors at play in our 21st century health epidemic. It has been linked to: cancer, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases and other brain issues, hormone disruption, reproductive complications, heart disease, developmental issues, autoimmune diseases, intestinal permeability (leaky gut)...toxins contribute to almost all disease processes in the body by causing cellular toxicity, oxidative damage, and inflammation.
One of the biggest problems with toxins is that they can bio-accumulate, or stay in your body and build up, especially in your fat cells. I’ve always taught that your body fills with toxins the way a bucket fills with water, and when the bucket overflows, that’s when symptoms or disease processes occur. The more ‘hoses’ or sources of toxins coming in, the faster the bucket fills. This is a great analogy, but it begs the question:
If my adult body is a bucket, what are my 18-month old twin daughters’ - pint-glasses?
What is a newborn - a solo cup?
What is a fetus - a shot glass?
Children’s toxicity is a serious issue that has to be addressed, even before conception. I recommend anyone thinking about or wanting to get pregnant to spend a few months detoxifying their life before they conceive. Your baby wants a healthy home to develop in, and their cells will thank you! (a great book on this topic is called Origins - How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of our Lives, by Annie Murphy Paul)
Think it doesn’t matter to your baby what you eat, what you breathe, what you think? Think again! Research has linked mother’s exposure to pesticides to childhood cancer and particulate matter exposure (PM) in air pollution to autism (especially in the third trimester), impaired mental development, anxiety, ADHD, among others.1,2,3 How do the those chemicals get into the baby? the same way everything gets there - the umbilical cord! According to the EWG:
In a study spearheaded by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in collaboration with Commonwealth, researchers at two major laboratories found an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in umbilical cord blood from 10 babies born in August and September of 2004 in U.S. hospitals. Tests revealed a total of 287 chemicals in the group. The umbilical cord blood of these 10 children, collected by Red Cross after the cord was cut, harbored pesticides, consumer product ingredients, and wastes from burning coal, gasoline, and garbage.
Of the 287 chemicals we detected in umbilical cord blood, we know that 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests. The dangers of pre- or post-natal exposure to this complex mixture of carcinogens, developmental toxins and neurotoxins have never been studied.” 4
This is critically important to the immature, developing brain. As adults we have what’s called a Blood-Brain-Barrier, and it’s just that - a barrier that keeps things in the bloodstream out of the brain. The blood-brain-barrier doesn’t develop until about 1 year of age, so any toxic exposure before 1 year old could potentially wind up in the brain! 6
After birth the exposures don’t stop, quite the opposite! Most babies are then given vaccines with ingredients like mercury, aluminum, and formaldehyde in them; many are fed formula made from corn syrup solids and cheap dairy; they are CONSTANTLY given plastic toys and bottles with endocrine disruptors like BPA and phthalates; and then they lay on bedding that contains flame retardants linked to cancer.5 Oh by the way, this is all before they start eating the standard American food supply filled with sugar, preservatives, trans fats, additives, colorings linked to hyperactivity, and other toxins. This is why allergies have skyrocketed. This is why asthma is through the roof. This is why kids get put on psychotropic ADHD drugs. This is why ‘Type 2 Diabetes’ is no longer called ‘Adult Onset Diabetes’, because it starts in kids.
So what can you do?
Here are my Top 5 Steps for Raising Non-Toxic Kids:1. Feed Kids Real Food - This concept is simple, the application - not so much. Real food helps the body detoxify, fake food is toxic. The problem is today that most kids foods are horrible. They are loaded with sugar, hydrogenated oils, preservatives, chemicals, and colorings - all which have toxic effects. Then a child may exhibit behavioral issues, and what’s the cure? A psychotropic medication! This is wrong. Feed your kids real food, not food that looks like real food. Eat foods that grew on a plant, not foods that were altered in a plant. Even if it is a real food - was it sprayed with pesticides? Read your labels. Eat organic. Avoid GMO’s. Know the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen. Vegetables all have amazing detoxification properties, whether it’s fiber helping to move toxins out of the bowels, a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli or cauliflower which can boost Glutathione and stimulate Phase I detoxification in the liver, or something like cilantro which can help bind heavy metals - eating real food is a must and the first and most important step to raising non-toxic children.
2. Avoid Vaccines and Medications - this is a heated topic that everybody seems to have an opinion on, but regardless of what you think about how well vaccines are able to protect against transmittable diseases, there is no doubt that they are toxic. Vaccines contain metals like aluminum, preservatives like formaldehyde, neurotoxins like MSG, cells from other species, GMO ingredients and aborted fetal tissue cells. You can find the list of ingredients here. Medications are toxic too, especially to children! Antibiotics are the most commonly prescribed to children and they DESTROY the bacteria in the gut (that’s their job after all) which leads to a leaky gut, decreased immune function, allergies, toxicity, inflammation….in fact antibiotic use has been shown to disrupt steroid hormone metabolism (estrogen, testosterone, adrenal hormones, etc), bile acid metabolism, and inflammatory pathways!7 I can’t tell you what to take and what not to take, so do your research. There is a time and a place for medications, but the overuse leads to further disease, and they add to your toxic burden. For my kids, we wouldn’t touch this stuff unless something was life-threatening.
3. Get Rid of (Some) Plastic - this one is basically impossible. Plastics are everywhere in a kid’s life, so you have to limit exposures. For my wife and I, every couple weeks we ‘purge our plastics’, which means we get rid of some or put them up and away, but the amount of plastics our babies are still exposed to is insane. Toys, bottles, cribs, car seats, it’s everywhere. We try to use as many wooden toys as possible. Cloth toys are fun, but I’m sure they have flame retardants all over them. The public has become aware of the endocrine-disrupting Bisphenol-A (BPA) in plastics, so many products are now labeled BPA-Free (careful- there are other Bisphenols like BPS that haven’t received the publicity yet!) However the biggest culprit in plastics is called Phthalates. This compound has been shown to disrupt reproduction and hormone balance in both men and women, and kids have the highest levels of exposure, with levels decreasing with age.8,9 A great book on this is called Slow Death By Rubber Duck. The name says it all :)
4. Look for Other Exposures - So often we hear about something like BPA or Lead on the news or read a blog post and maybe we avoid some things like GMOs, vaccines, or plastics, but there are so many hidden culprits of toxicity. Look for other exposures in your home! Some of the other exposures could include:
-Polyurethane Foam Bedding - cribs, nursing pillows, etc have hormone-disrupting flame-retardants linked to cancer that are getting into your child’s body at alarming rates according to a recent study from Duke University.5
-Heavy Metals (lead, mercury, arsenic) - in our air, soil, vaccines, dental fillings, toys from China, possibly in drinking water (look at Flint MI), etc. Long been known to disrupt brain development and function!
-Air pollution - we just bought an air purifier for our nursery to decrease toxic exposure. This is a huge issue in Utah! Read our last blog post to learn all about it.
-Get a water filter on your sink, get a shower filter on your shower, switch out your teflon cookware for non-toxic (ceramic, stainless, cast iron). Some of these steps are simple, one-time moves that can dramatically decrease exposures over time!
5. Use a Detox Product or Protocol - The last step for raising Non-Toxic Kids is to be used when you feel like your child’s bucket is already full - detoxify them with a more structured detoxification protocol. *If you can keep the bucket from filling up too quickly, you never need to dump it, so if you follow the first 4 steps this may never be a need in your family.* This is the step where I would strongly recommend working with a natural healthcare provider. There are many things out there to help aid detoxification in children, from detox recipes and detox drinks, to magnetic clay detox baths, to even ‘binding’ products that can help bind and excrete toxins. Many parents in the Autism community have tried more in-depth methods of detoxification like heavy metal chelation. You can also measure the toxic burden to know exactly what is interfering with your child’s health, but once again these are more in-depth methods that require the assistance of a healthcare provider. The concern with asking Dr. Google or doing a protocol that you read about online is that it may help and may be effective, but it also may not help. Using cilantro for a heavy metal detox, for example, is known to ‘stir up metals’ in those that are very toxic, but not necessarily excrete them. The analogy is often used of ‘stirring up’ a beehive - not good! Consult with someone who can walk you through this to make sure that it is safe and effective.
We hear so much talk about the inversions here in Salt Lake City, it’s time I write about it.
Everybody in Utah knows about the air pollution and the inversions and knows they are toxic. It’s impossible to deny because you can see it and feel it (and sometimes chew it). As a healthcare practitioner, it’s a hot topic because everybody is expressing symptoms - sore throat, runny nose, hoarse voice. Almost all children in the office had issues this month, including my 18-month old daughters and many infants. The worst case was a patient who is a mail carrier who is out walking around outside in it all day. He is usually in great health but his voice sounded horrible last week!
If you aren’t from Salt Lake City or a place like Houston or L.A., do a quick google image search of the inversions. This is where air pollution gets trapped in the Valley for weeks at a time, our beautiful view of the mountains gets blocked, and we are literally trapped in a toxic bubble. So what is an inversion and why should it matter to your health?
Normally, the higher you go in elevation, the colder the temperature. An inversion is just that - a temperature inversion. Cold air gets trapped in the valley like a bowl, while at higher elevations the air is warmer. Those from SLC know that when there is an inversion, the best place to be is in the mountains, because it is typically beautiful bluebird (sunny!) and warm weather. The air quite literally gets trapped in the valley, so as the inversion lasts longer, the pollution builds and the toxic load continues to increase and increase.
Pollution is measured and rated daily on the Air Quality Index, or AQI. The AQI measures and rates the air on a scale of Good (0-50), Moderate (51-100), Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (101-150), Unhealthy (151-200), Very Unhealthy (201-300), and Hazardous (301-500). As of the writing of this article, Salt Lake City has been rated at least Moderate Danger for 13 of the 18 days this month, with one day in the Red zone of Unhealthy, which comes with the warning “Everyone may begin to experience health effects, members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.” 1
The pollution measured from the AQI measures ozone and something called fine particulate pollution, or PM2.5 (Particulate Matter). Fine particulates are particles that are less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers in diameter. They are measured in micrograms per cubic meter or µg/m3. There are also particles called PM10, but PM2.5 particles are much more prevalent in exhaust fumes and air pollution, and the scientific research clearly shows that the smaller particles are much more dangerous. PM2.5 is categorized as either primary or secondary. Primary PM2.5 is emitted directly as a particle and enters the atmosphere as soot from roads or vehicle exhaust emissions, while secondary particulates form when various chemicals react in the atmosphere. 2
According to the EPA’s website:
The size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. Small particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest problems, because they can get deep into your lungs, and some may even get into your bloodstream.
Particle pollution - especially fine particles - contains microscopic solids or liquid droplets that are so small that they can get deep into the lungs and cause serious health problems. Numerous scientific studies have linked particle pollution exposure to a variety of problems, including:
- premature death in people with heart or lung disease,
- nonfatal heart attacks,
- irregular heartbeat,
- aggravated asthma,
- decreased lung function, and
- increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing or difficulty breathing. 3
The scientific research clearly proves that particulate matter from air pollution causes many disease processes, not just breathing issues. According to a recent review of the current literature (one of many available), “Results from toxicological research have shown that PM (particulate matters) have several mechanisms of adverse cellular effects, such as cytotoxicity through oxidative stress mechanisms, oxygen-free radical-generating activity, DNA oxidative damage, mutagenicity, and stimulation of proinflammatory factors” (emphasis mine). These processes then lead to an increased cancer risk, especially lung cancer. 4,5,6
Cellular toxicity, oxidative damage, and inflammation then lead to downstream disease processes including cellular, gut, and brain inflammation, autoimmune reactions, and intestinal permeability, or Leaky Gut Syndrome, which then lead to downstream chronic diseases and diagnoses which are becoming so prevalent today. In fact, a recent study (2014) out of Harvard found that high PM exposure in mothers was linked to higher rates of autism. According to Harvard, “Women exposed to high levels of fine particulate matter specifically during pregnancy—particularly during the third trimester—may face up to twice the risk of having a child with autism than mothers living in areas with low particulate matter.” 7
This is a huge concern in Utah, where we rank 49th in Autism rates, and as of 2012, as many as 1 in 32 Utah boys was on the Autism Spectrum! 8
What about heart disease, our number one killer? According the the Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment website:
Recent articles in the New England Journal of Medicine and Circulation (the American Heart Association Journal) have shown that along the Wasatch Front, even short-term exposure to elevated PM 2.5 pollution levels resulted in increased risk of stroke and cardiac death (Circulation 2006 114: 2443, 2006). The increased Utah death rate attributable to elevated levels of PM 2.5 has been estimated at approximately 1,000-2,000 individuals per year.9 (emphasis mine)
This isn’t a doomsday article, or a suggestion that you should leave the state (please, decrease the pollution by leaving!). It’s a call to action. Up to 2,000 deaths a year attributable to air pollution, this is insane! 49th in the country in Autism rates, are we going to wait until it gets worse?? Something has to be done on a state, country, and global level, but it starts on a personal level.
Your body is able to handle the toxic burden as long as it’s not overloaded with other stressors (physical, chemical ,or mental). I always teach that your body is like a bucket that gets filled with toxins. When the bucket overflows, this is when major issues arise! When you combine pollution with more toxins from your drinking water, amalgam fillings, vaccines, personal care products, medications, plastic kids toys, etc etc….that’s when the bucket fills up and overflows. Air pollution is only one source of toxicity, but it is one that has to be addressed, or your family’s health could suffer. Stay tuned for more posts about what you can do to detoxify yourself and your family.
Article By: Dr. Taylor Krick
Amazing Bone Broth: By Tara AhQuin For Align Utah
You've heard the old adage "Chicken soup heals the soul". There's actually a considerable amount of truth to this old saying! Most of us haven't even given much thought as to why it was true. Little did we know, the "Chicken Soup" that was spoken about was “Bone Broth”, which, in the present day we are again rediscovering. These old adages came from the era our great-great-grandmothers were raised in. They learned from their mothers, as small children, how to cook one of the main staple meals- chicken soup! I say chicken soup only because, back in that time, chicken was the most affordable cut of meat. Few were even able to afford that. They had much appreciation for what little they had. Since vegetables and animals were their primary source of nutrition, they practiced the method of extracting and demineralizing nutrients through gentle cooking. Therefore, they made it a regular practice to use every part of the vegetable and every piece of an animal. Including the parts of the animal we wouldn’t dream of using. In other words, they had a no-waste mentality and understood the benefits and nutrients that were contained within these foods. Many families kept a pot of broth continually simmering on the hearth at all times. This provided a nourishing base for many meals and it was also a way to keep the broth fresh since this was before the invention of refrigerators. They made broths and stocks to stretch meals. Preparing nutritious soups and stews was the most efficient way to feed a family in that time. This was the context and time frame from whence that familiar adage was taken from.
The practice of making stocks and broths from all varieties of animal parts has been used for centuries. This method of boiling, simmering, demineralizing, and extracting every bit of nourishment as possible, was passed on since ancient times, through all cultures of people from generation to generation.
As the Bible says “there's absolutely nothing new under the sun, what has been will be again.” (Ecc.1:9-10) It's so true! There really is nothing new that we are learning today that wasn't already known long ago by our ancient ancestors, especially when concerning the application of strategies and tools straight out of creation to assist the body in healing. Modern culture is finally catching up to what traditional cultures have known for years… that broth is an inexpensive and versatile source full of nutrients and medicinal properties!
Bone broth may quite possibly be one of the oldest meals on record. Hippocrates was known to extol its value and importance with gut healing. As he once said " Let Food be your Medicine and Medicine be your Food".
The Incredible Health Benefits of Bone Broth
Besides the exquisite flavor that bone broth imparts into any savory dish, it also;
- Has an abundance of minerals
- Fortifies the immune system
- Enhances digestion
- Aids in healing and sealing the gut
- Is a great source of essential amino acids
- Nourishes all body parts related to collagen. This means joints, tendons, ligaments, skin, mucus membranes, and bone
Additional benefits of bone broth include the following:
- Reduces joint pain and inflammation: Courtesy of chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine, and other compounds extracted from the boiled down cartilage and collagen.
- Inhibits infection: Has medicinal properties to prevent cold and flu viruses from forming.
- Boosts Immune System: Recent studies on cartilage, which is found abundantly in homemade broth, show it supports the immune system in a variety of ways.
- Combats inflammation: Amino acids such as glycine, proline, and arginine all have anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
- Promotes strong, healthy bones: Contains surprisingly low amounts of calcium, magnesium and other trace minerals, but "it plays an important role in healthy bone formation because of its abundant collagen. Collagen fibrils provide the latticework for mineral deposition and are the keys to the building of strong and flexible bones." –Donna Gates
- Helps with Hair, Nail, Wrinkles, Stretch Marks, and Cellulite: Contains collagen to make your skin supple and radiant. This delicious, mineral-rich broth can be used to make soup to support smooth, strong skin and reduce cellulite.
Drinking bone broth makes skin supple. Cellulite is not a result of carrying excess fat. Haven’t you ever seen a thin person with cellulite? It’s common! Most people are taught to choose skinless and boneless cuts of meat and to fear animal fats. This is why even those who are slender will not be able to shake cellulite until they change their diet.
- Cellulite comes from a lack of connective tissue.
- The smoothness of skin is from an abundance of connective tissue.
- Collagen-rich bone broth will supply your skin with the tools that it needs to support itself.
- Adding feet, animal joints, and knuckles to a bone broth will increase the amount
of collagen available.
Not sure what kind of bones to use?
Any kind will do. You can even use an assortment of different animals. Just make sure that all bones are sourced from animals that are organic and grass-fed or pastured and free-range. Remember, everything that the animal ate, how it lived, and where it lived all factor into the health benefits of your broth!
You can purchase bones ready to cook, or you can collect bones from meals and store them in your freezer until you have enough to build a good stock. Remember to only use bones and feet from animals that are grass-fed/finished or free range.
Make sure the bones, especially large bones, are cut into small pieces. This reduces cooking time and allows more material to become a part of the broth.
Basic Bone Broth Recipe
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange bones on baking pan to roast for 30-45 mins.
- Place bones into a crock pot or large stock pot and fill with filtered water just till bones are covered’
- Add two-three tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar with "Mother" to water prior to cooking. Acid is necessary component in order to extract important nutrients and minerals from the bones.
- At this time add a good amount of sea salt (Himalayan pink, Celtic, or Real Salt). Optional Add-ins: fresh or dried herbs, free range egg shells (calcium), seaweeds (dried wakame, kombu, dulse, nori (mineral and iodine) also added collagen and gelatin can be added (Brands such as Great Lakes or Vital Proteins are reliable sources use only from grass fed cows)
- Heat slowly. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low to simmer for at least 6 hours. Remove scum as it arises.
- Cook long and slow. Chicken bones can cook for 12-48 hours, if you have a good amount of bones. Beef bones can cook for 12-72 hours. A long and slow cook time is necessary in order to fully extract the nutrients in and around bone.
- After cooking for 12-24 hours you have the option of removing meat, marrow, and fat pieces from bones. That can be used in broth, soups, or in other dishes. Place bones back in pot or crockpot and continue cooking bone broth for the duration of time.
- When broth is finished cooking, remove bones and other additions. Strain broth out with strainer and then pour into glass quart size Mason jars, to cool. Tip: In some cases, it is possible to reuse some bones for next batch especially in the case of the larger beef bones. If the bones haven’t been completely demineralized to the point of becoming brittle and crumbly. Add them to your new bones when making a new batch of broth.
- There will be a layer of fat that will harden on top of each jar. You have the option to use this layer of fat to flavor up your broths, soups, stews, and gravies. Also can be removed and used for other recipes, sautéing vegetables, frying eggs or omelets, sautéing meats etc. Use to cook with, like you would with any other type of healthy oil or fat. Note: This layer of fat is extremely beneficial in healing and sealing the gut. A great source of EFAS, vitally important nutrient for brain and heart health.
- Important note: If broth will not be used within a week or so, freeze broth in quart size Mason jars. When freezing broth in glass jars, only fill 3/4 of the jar to leave room for expansion. Otherwise the jar will crack and explode.
Sip on the broth or use as the base in a nutrient-dense soup, stew, chili, steamed vegetables, steaming ancient soaked grains etc. Use bone broth to perform a nutrient dense healing liquid fast, an incredible ancient medicinal strategy (we will discuss this in a future blog post).
Over 65 million Americans suffer from High Blood Pressure - a very big and real problem - but like most real problems, it has real causes and real, natural solutions.
Most people are addressing the problem with medication, for example: Anything ending in -pril like Lisinopril, anything ending in -olol like Atenolol, diuretics like HCTZ, or blood thinners like Aspirin. Most typically prescribed hypertension drugs are: ACE Inhibitors, Diuretics, Beta Blockers, and Calcium Channel Blockers. These drugs all have major side effects, and they are often used in combination with other medications - even though certain combinations have proven to cause kidney failure! (ACE Inhibitor, Diuretic, and NSAIDs - “The Triple Whammy of Kidney Failure”)1
Fortunately, there are plenty of safe and effective ways to bring down your blood pressure and reduce your reliance on ACE inhibitors and other dangerous drugs. Among the scientific literature, there are hundreds and hundreds of natural substances and practices that have been proven to aid hypertension, like meditation and yoga. Some of the research-proven nutraceuticals that aren’t mentioned below include: flaxseed, cocoa products, grape seed extract, and L-arginine.
Here are my top 6 tips to safely and naturally reduce blood pressure (in no particular order):
- Vitamin D – a new study from the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology has shown that low levels of this essential hormone are a direct cause of elevated blood pressure. Most mainstream literature suggests supplementing with 2000 IU, I recommend taking at least 5,000 IU daily. But, you never know for sure until you get it measured! 50-70 ng/mmol is where I like to be and like my patients to be.
- Fish Oil – the blood pressure lowering effect of fish oil has recently been confirmed in a systematic review of 17 clinical trials (although the changes were small).8 The omega 3’s EPA and DHA from fish oil decrease inflammation and have been shown to reduce stiffness of your arteries.9 I typically recommend between 1000-2500mg/day, but I also strongly recommend that you get your Omega 6: Omega 3 levels and ratios tested!
- CoQ10 – taking 100 to 200 mg a day can reduce blood pressure by up to 17 mmHg systolic and 10 mmHg diastolic, and in a study of hypertensive patients taking 200+mg/day, 51% were able to get off at least 1-3 antihypertensive medications 4 months after beginning taking CoQ10.4 Make sure you take the most bioavailable form of CoQ10, known as Ubiquinol. When doing Customized Supplementation Plans using blood and urine lab testing, this is the single most common deficiency and most needed supplement in our patient base, and many experience great results after beginning taking CoQ10. THIS IS A MUST FOR PEOPLE ON STATINS FOR CHOLESTEROL!
- Garlic – has been found to reduce blood pressure in several studies, including one that showed time-released garlic tablets dropped total blood pressure by more than 10mmHg.5 I think it’s better to include it in your diet, the main ingredient allicin is only potent right after you have smashed it, so freshly smashed garlic is more potent than capsules or pills, although many people choose the capsules for their breath. But it’s good for you!
- Exercise -- Exercise has been shown to improve hypertension for many, many years and is the single most researched health intervention under the sun. There is very little that it hasn’t been shown to improve. I sometimes think it’s obvious, but it’s amazing how many people do not get enough exercise. This probably means you! That means movement, like walking, but it also means actually exercising and getting your heart rate elevated and giving your heart a good workout! THink about it - your heart is having to work harder to pump blood through your arteries. That’s high blood pressure. So what happens if you strengthen the heart? Lower the heart rate? Increase its efficiency? Exercise is a no-brainer for high blood pressure!
- Get Adjusted! There are now dozens of studies looking at chiropractic adjustments and the responses of the nervous system, the stress response, and particularly the cardiovascular system - including many on Heart Rate Variability and Blood Pressure.6 One study has shown a total drop in BP of 27mmHg after undergoing chiropractic care to the upper cervical area!7 Many of these studies are looking specifically at adjustments of the upper cervical area, specifically the occiput or skull and C1, or the atlas bone. The proposed mechanism for the drop in blood pressure is that adjusting the atlas and brainstem area cause a parasympathetic response, which lowers blood pressure, as opposed to a sympathetic response, or fight-or-flight response. Most people today are stuck in a sympathetic dominance from far too much stress (mental, physical, chemical), and the parasympathetic response elicited by an atlas adjustment can help much more than their blood pressure, as the parasympathetic nervous system also controls things like digestion, healing, and hormone balance. So get adjusted!
Article By: Dr. Taylor Krick
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26768241 - The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, news release, June 25, 2014
- Atlas Vertebra Realignment and Achievement of Arterial Pressure Goal in Hypertensive Patients: A Pilot Study - Journal of Human Hypertension 2007 (May); 21 (5): 347–352
- Pase MP (2011) Do long-chain n-3 fatty acids reduce arterial stiffness? A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials” in the British Journal of Nutrition doi:10.1017/S0007114511002819
Disclaimer: These statements are of a general nature and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using any product.
The statistics on Heart Disease in our country are disgusting, yet I still don’t feel like it receives as much attention as other diseases, like breast or prostate cancer for example. It kills more people each year than all forms of cancer combined, it kills more women than it does men, and the worst part is IT IS PREVENTABLE AND LARGELY REVERSIBLE!
- Heart disease (which includes Heart Disease, Stroke and other Cardiovascular Diseases) is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 787,000 people alone in 2011.
- In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds. Every 60 seconds, someone in the United States dies from a heart disease-related event.
- Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined.
- While 1 in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, 1 in 3 dies of heart disease.
- Heart disease causes 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute.
- Only 1 in 5 American women believe that heart disease is her greatest health threat.
- An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease.
- Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.
- Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease.
These are STAGGERING STATISTICS, especially for women!
The downstream effects of heart disease are often seen in middle ages (heart attacks, strokes), but autopsy studies have proven that heart disease begins in childhood. Autopsies of American children have shown up to 50% having atherosclerosis, or plaquing in their arteries, by 10-14 years old! So true heart disease prevention HAS TO START IN KIDS!!!
What’s worse is that the most common methods of treatment have major side effects and are often ineffective at best.
Aspirin - An aspirin a day keeps the heart attacks away right? WRONG. A recent study out of Japan studying over 14,000 people ages 60-85 “…found no major difference in heart-related deaths or non-fatal heart attacks and strokes between people who took aspirin and those who didn’t.” Not to mention there is evidence to support that long-term aspirin use increases internal bleeding and could lead to increased stroke risk. Just because it’s what we’ve always been told to do doesn’t mean it’s true! Who told us - Bayer??
Statins - In the U.S. some 40 million people take cholesterol-lowering medications called Statins - like Lipitor, Zocor, or the generic name Simvastatin. This is the highest selling category of drugs at over $20 Billion, and Lipitor is the highest-selling drug of all time. So do they work?
They do lower cholesterol on a blood test. But they DO NOT DECREASE THE RISK OF MORTALITY/MORBIDITY!! Many review studies have been published showing their lack of efficacy in preventing heart attacks and most importantly, preventing death. One review found that "current clinical evidence does not demonstrate that titrating lipid therapy (trying to lower cholesterol with statins) to achieve proposed low LDL cholesterol levels is beneficial or safe." (emphasis mine) Following up on this, in a major independent review of studies funded by the Ministry of Health of British Columbia, Canada on statins and primary prevention, researchers reported that "statins have not been shown to provide an overall health benefit in primary prevention trials."
So the research does not really support that statins work very well. So what. Can I take it “just in case”? The side effects are even worse than the fact that they don’t prevent death - they can cause it! Statins have been scientifically linked to over 300 side effects, including:
- Cognitive Loss
- Muscle Loss (including the heart!)
- CoQ10 depletion
- Erectile Dysfunction
So many people take statins “just because the doctor told me I had to.” The doctor isn’t your mother. I can’t legally tell you what to take and what not to take, but I would strongly encourage you to do your homework on statin drugs and be well aware of the risks and the rewards.
Blood Pressure Medications - These typically include things like ACE inhibitors and diuretics. ACE inhibitors block the action of an enzyme that breaks down something called bradykinin, which relaxes arteries. So taking an ACE inhibitor means more bradykinin in the bloodstream, more relaxed arteries and lower blood pressure. This can obviously create side effect though, which include:
- Headaches, dizziness, fatigue and nausea;
- A relentless, dry cough that just won’t shift;
- Angioedema, a swelling of the face, tongue and throat that can occur with alarming speed and can cause suffocation by blocking the airway;
- Impaired kidney function, particularly if taken together with diuretics and NSAID-type painkillers.
NSAIDs (like Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Aleve) have been shown to cause high blood pressure and “cardiovascular events” or heart attacks and strokes! Merck’s NSAID Vioxx, one of the most popular drugs ever which was pulled off the market in 2004 due to it’s direct link to heart attacks and strokes, was estimated to have caused between 88,000 and 139,000 heart attacks. I hate this one because my mom was on Vioxx. Heart disease-drug-induced kidney failure is very common among patients who are combining an ACE inhibitor, a diuretic, and NSAID drugs. The medical literature calls it a “triple whammy” of devastation.
The two scariest parts of Heart Disease are:
- It’s happening to EVERYBODY - your parents, your siblings, your KIDS. I have two sisters and a mother - 1 of them will die from heart disease, statistically speaking. I have two daughters and a wife. Prevention starts now. You have to be actively preventing it in the whole family, non-negotiably.
- Very rarely is somebody on only 1 medication for heart disease. More commonly it’s a pharmaceutical cocktail which may include a statin, an ACE inhibitor, a diuretic, an NSAID, an aspirin...and due to the combination of chemicals and side effects, it won’t be long until more drugs are added into the mix. Being on a single blood pressure medication is something that would concern me MASSIVELY because I know what happens next.
The two best parts about heart disease are:
- It’s preventable. Many many things have proven to prevent heart disease, with exercising and following an anti-inflammatory lifestyle at the top of the list.
- It’s reversible. Studies have shown that arterial stiffness can be improved, that arterial plaquing can be improved, that blood pressure can go down, cholesterol can balance out, triglycerides can go down. The body is the most amazing healing machine when you give it what it needs and remove any interference!
That’s what we teach. Schedule a heart health consultation with us in the office. Go back through our archives and listen to podcasts, read articles, and begin implementing the Real Health Lifestyle that will keep you and your family healthy and heart- (and other) disease-free. Then go out and tell someone you love and care about and don’t let them become a statistic.
- Atherosclerosis Cardiovascular Disease Beginning in Childhood http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2812791/
- Bartolucci, A.A., S. Bae, et al. A Bayesian meta-analysis approach to address the effectiveness of statins in preventing death after an initial myocardial infarction. 18th World IMACS/MODSIM Congress. Cairns, Australia. 2009
- Vrecer, M., S. Turk, et al. "Use of statins in primary and secondary prevention of coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke. Meta-analysis of randomized trials." International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics 41(12): 567-577. 2003.
- Hayward, R.A., T.P. Hofer, et al. "Narrative review: Lack of evidence for recommended low-density lipoprotein treatment targets: A solvable problem." Annals of Internal Medicine 145(7): 520-530. 2006.
- University of British Columbia "Do statins have a role in primary prevention? A review by the Therapeutics Initiative of the Department of Pharma cology & Therapeutics of the University of British Columbia." Therapeutics Letter (48). 2003.
- Diuretics, ACE inhibitors and NSAIDS--the triple whammy. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10772593
- Nephrotoxicity associated with concomitant ACE inhibitor and NSAID therapy. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2218652
- Can Pharm J (Ott). 2013 Mar; 146(2): 80–83.
Article By: Dr. Taylor Krick