Thinking about friends and the residents of Florida and the Carolinas and hoping for the best for anyone touched by the devastating hurricane Ian.
It’s a stressful time for anyone living there or for anyone who has loved ones in these areas.
Stress and anxiety are definitely on the rise in general in our society.
As a fun(tional medicine doctor, I always look for the most natural treatments to support the body and the mind to find balance and healing.
Glycine is one of the tools in my fu(tional medicine tool box that can help. It's one of my favorite amino acid supplements for its calming and relaxing benefits.
When we are unable to manage stress, it can lead to much greater health issues down the road including chronic diseases or even cancer.
The mechanism through which glycine relieves stress is its action as a neurotransmitter in the brain and spinal cord where it plays a critical role in neurotransmission.
And its very well studied. In fact studies show that elevating glycine concentrations in the brain can be an effective approach for treatment of schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and addiction.
More recently, research indicates that increasing levels of glycine may also provide neuroprotection, assist in the treatment of autism spectrum disorders, and alleviate symptoms associated with pain, Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy.
I also like glycine because it is used by the body to make glutathione, the body’s chief antioxidant and a critical component of detoxification processes in the liver.
Patients also seem to notice benefits right away, and they don't have the side effects that they have when they try medication.
If you would like to learn more click the link in my bio to watch video on the Benefits of Glycine.
Telomeres are structures that help protect the DNA within each chromosome. Think of them as the plastic caps on the ends of your shoelaces that prevent the fabric from unraveling.
Telomeres are long when we are born and play an important role in DNA replication that allows us to grow and develop.
Telomeres get shorter with each DNA replication and, therefore, shorter as we age.
When telomeres get too short, they can no longer create the protective cap for the DNA.
While there isn’t an anti-aging magic pill that turns back the hands of time, telomeres may be an important biomarker of premature aging that reflects how our environment and lifestyle promotes, or slows, the aging process.
Why it’s so important to eat the right kinds of fats.
We need a balance between the unsaturated fats and the saturated fats for cell integrity and communication.
Both omega-6 fats and omega-3 fats are PUFAs or polyunsaturated fats. Omega-6 fats are used to make communication messengers, that can send more inflammatory signals. Poultry, meat, eggs, nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils are sources of Omega-6 fats.
Omega-3 fats are also used in communication and send more anti-inflammatory signals. Fish, other seafood, seeds, and fish oils are sources of Omega-3 fats. Too much omega-6 may cause a more inflammatory state in the body and consequently predispose to or exacerbate many inflammatory diseases.
A normal omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is somewhere between 4:1 or 2:1, however, since the rapid increase of industrial foods, like high omega-6 vegetable oils, this ratio has increased to 16:1 or even higher in many people. Excessive consumption of high omega 6 PUFAs causes oxidative stress and damages cell membranes which can lead to mitochondria and DNA damage, diabetes, and heart disease.
You may see nutrition recommendations that suggest avoiding the high omega-6 vegetable oils such as corn, soy and safflower oils, but also and other PUFA sources in the diet. Proponents claim that wildly reducing PUFAs will improve diabetes and blood sugar balance, risk for heart disease and even boost thyroid health, leading to improved metabolic health. But is this true, or even necessary?
With personalized medicine we look at each individual and make health recommendations that consider food allergies, sensitivities and other factors. But generally, when it comes to PUFAs, I recommend consuming natural food sources, like fish oils, fish, nuts, and seeds – so that we get PUFAs the way nature intended, and we avoid the unnatural processed industrial oils like GMO industrial oils (corn, soy, canola, etc.).
To learn more read my blog What is Polyunsaturated Fat – PUFA Foods and Personalized Medicine - link in bio.
When you’re experiencing fatigue your healthcare practitioner will likely run a few standard labs.
If tests come back normal, you may be feeling unsettled and unresolved.
In Fun(tional Medicine, we typically dig a bit deeper…and look at several non-traditional, more “outside the box” lab tests to get to the root cause and help resolve.
✅ Parasite infections, bacterial overgrowth, malabsorption, and other imbalances in the gut microflora/microbiome, can increase intestinal permeability and increase pro-inflammatory cytokine and oxidative stress and can be an underlying cause of fatigue. Abnormally high levels of these microorganisms can cause or worsen fatigue and many other conditions.
✅ Yeast overgrowth, food allergies, heavy metals, or other toxins, are other potential causes of inflammation – which can impact many systems in the body and cause fatigue.
✅ Nutritional deficiencies are often another factor at play when it comes to fatigue.
The first image above lists the more traditional labs healthcare providers will order to look for answers to your fatigue.
The second shows the comprehensive list of fun(tional medicine labs (minus the traditional labs that we also order) that look for underlying causes of fatigue.
Taking a good look at your diet, and making positive changes like eliminating processed foods, consuming a variety of organic fruits and vegetables, and good sources of protein, can help improve energy.
Testing for nutritional deficiencies can also help determine if supplements are needed to help restore levels.
Here are a few energy boosting supplements:
✴️ CoQ10 ✴️ B Vitamins ✴️ D-Ribose ✴️ L-Carnitine ✴️ Adrenal Support ✴️ NAD+ ✴️ Vitamin D
If you have unresolved fatigue, find a healthcare provider who will order these or similar tests or click the link in my bio for DIY labs.
Have you been diagnosed with Celiac Disease or Gluten sensitivity and you’re still suffering with symptoms even after adhering to a strict gluten-free diet…for months?
You’ve likely heard of gluten cross-contamination, but have you heard of gluten cross-reaction?
Cross-reaction is when your immune system reacts to a food as if it is gluten because that food has a similar molecular structure to the gliadin protein found in gluten. This phenomenon is also known as Molecular Mimicry.
The casein protein in MILK, for example, closely resembles gliadin – which is why anyone who is celiac or gluten-sensitive should be avoiding dairy.
Many people who go on a gluten-free diet tend to substitute with foods made from alternative flours like rice, amaranth, and sorghum…or they overconsume foods like potato, rice or corn which can lead to the development of new sensitivities.
In a nutshell, certain foods can make your body think you are eating gluten when in fact you are not (but causing a similar immune response as if you were eating gluten).
To determine if this is happening, I'll often order a test from a company called Cyrex labs (Array 4). It’s a simple blood test that will let us know if the body is having cross-reactions with specific foods and help us determine what is causing continued gluten-like reactions.
If you think you may be reacting to one of the foods on the list, ask your doctor for this test. The foods that you test positive for will need to be eliminated for 3-6 months – to give your immune system time to calm down and the intestinal wall to repair itself.
If you don’t have access to the test, talk to your healthcare provider about eliminating the cross-reactive foods to see if your symptoms improve. Usually after several months many of these foods may be added back into the diet, one at a time.
To test if you have a Gluten allergy or gluten sensitivity, I like Enterolab or the Vibrant Wheat Zoomer tests.
Did you know that changes in the brain occur years before the onset of dementia symptoms? 🤔
While conventional medicine will say there is no cure for dementia, Functional Medicine is uniquely poised to offer personalized medicine and understand each individual’s root cause.
It’s important to note, however, that when it comes to dementia, or Alzheimer’s, there typically isn’t one answer, but a collection of areas to work on.
One important piece, and a pillar of my practice, is nutrition. Specifically, how we eat either contributes to metabolic changes and inflammation in the brain or maintains function and prevents disease.
Some interesting and emerging research is looking at diet as both a treatment and prevention strategy for Alzheimer’s.
Eating organic vegetables and fruits appears to be protective of dementia, suggesting that nutrition is a modifiable risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer’s. Simply by including colorful, whole foods in your diet you may be protecting your brain and memory.
Be sure to incorporate a variety of selections from these food lists 👆and choose the highest quality, organic options available.
A few small shifts in your diet now are truly an investment in your future health!
To learn more, read my new blog, Nutritious Foods to Help Prevent Dementia and Cognitive Decline click the link in my bio.
Content on this website is not considered medical advice. *Statements on this site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Please see a physician before making any medical or lifestyle changes.Our company may receive a commission for purchases made when clicking external affiliate links on our site.
Content on this website is not considered medical advice. Please see a physician before making any medical or lifestyle changes. Our company may receive a commission for purchases made when clicking external affiliate links on our site.