Managing Acid / Alkaline Balance

July 30th, 2013

I’ll be teaching about pH tonight at my office and thought this would be a good subject for everyone to read about.

pH is the measure of acid and alkaline.  pH ranges from 0 to 14; 0 being most acidic and 14 being most alkaline.  If you want to be healthy, you’ll want to stay alkaline.  Stress, pain, lack of sleep, poor nutrient content because of digestive issues or poor soil conditions, and a diet high in sugar, grains, alcohol and processed foods, are a few causes leading to more acidity.  An acidic system may lead to pain, degenerative diseases, such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis;  immune and autoimmune conditions, such as Lupus or Thyroiditis, and cancer.  The longer one is acidic, the worse all of the above symptoms become.

Foods that can help raise alkalinity include all vegetables, all fruits except cranberries, plums and prunes; almonds, Brazil nuts, mushrooms, amaranth, millet, vegetable oils, and my favorite, clean water.  Water is the only substance that flushes out acids from the system.  A great daily remedy to neutralize acid is drinking 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in water twice daily.  Consider these options and enjoy good health.

 

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Vitamin D and Sun Exposure

July 7th, 2013

Since it is summer, many of us are able to get more Vitamin D.  Thanks to a patients suggestion, here are some simple facts about why sun exposure is the superior method of achieving adequate vitamin D.

Vitamin D is produced in the body after UV-B sun exposure on the skin.  When 80% of the skin becomes a slight pink, you have absorbed the maximum amount  for that day.  We can absorb between 15,000-20,000 IU of vitamin D from the sun per day.   Being out in the sun enough every 2 days to turn the skin pink will have you achieve around 80 on a blood test, which is ideal.  Sunscreen blocks UV-B rays and should not be warn if you are hoping to acquire Vitamin D from the sun.  If you have a darker complexion, you may have trouble absorbing D from the sun.

There are a few reasons why vitamin D levels may not rise adequately.   Conversion in the body  requires adequate liver, kidney and small intestine function.  If kidney function is compromised or the liver does not produce enough bile, vitamin D levels will remain low.    If the intestinal absorption is an issue,  D levels will not be within the normal range.  Celiac disease, leaky gut syndrome, Crohn’s, food allergies/sensitivities to casiene and gluten are all examples of conditions that will impair small intestine absorption of vitamin D.  Some supplements are not well absorbed.  Avoid Vitamin D2 and only use D3.   Obesity is correlated with lower vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D supports a healthy bone structure, immune system, cardiovascular system, helps to maintain a healthy weight, hormonal balance and helps absorb calcium and phosphorus, to name a few benefits.  So enjoy your summer, enjoy the sun and get healthier in the process.

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Medication Effects On The Immune System

June 30th, 2013

The immune system is primarily affected by the good bacteria in our intestines. Using antibiotics is intended to kill bad bacteria, but it kills both the good and bad, leaving the intestines susceptible to pathogens.    Previously, I wrote about the need to take good bacteria after a course of antibiotics here but there are many more medications that cause the same problem.

All medications create side effects, but the detrimental  effect on the immune system is not well publicized.   Common medications such as, antifungals (Diflucan, Nystatin, etc.), pain meds (Aspirin, Ibuprofen, etc.), the birth control pill, corticosteroids (prednisone, steroid inhalers, etc.), chemotherapy and others all deplete the good bacteria in the intestinal tract.  Often these meds are taken long-term which requires daily use of probiotics to keep healthy immune and digestive systems.  I wrote about the side effects with taking antibiotics here  and these apply to all of the meds listed above.

The good bacteria produce more B-vitamins than we can consume orally each day.  The good bacteria help the intestinal cells to produce enzymes that digest proteins and carbohydrates. The good bacteria also create the proper pH to maintain the perfect balance of bacteria for a healthy immune system and the ability to fight off strep, E. Coli, staph and parasites to name a few.

The loss of these valuable healthy bacteria leads to inadequate digestion, growth of bad bacteria,  creating an increased likelihood of allergies, candida, parasites, and any digestive disorder.  The disrupted digestive function impairs absorption of nutrients, affecting neurotransmitters that may cause  emotional disorders and psychological diseases, such as ADHD, depression and even Schizophrenia.

I consider probiotics to be like seeds for a healthy garden in your intestines.  If you take any of the above medications, take a daily supply of at least 15 billion probiotics and eat mostly perishable foods such as vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat, nuts and seeds and very little processed foods to keep a healthy immune system.

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The Benefits of Indoor Plants

June 21st, 2013

If you have been to my office recently or my home, you’ve experienced my belief in the benefits of indoor plants; here is why.

Factories, coal burning and auto emissions are the big contributors of outdoor oxygen depletion.  Indoor pollutants include tobacco smoke, perfumes/colognes, room deodorizers, aerosols, paint fumes, dry cleaning and the many toxins released from furniture, carpeting, and fabrics.   We are constantly exposed to these poisons and contaminates by exposure and through internal metabolic processes.  Plants are known to increase the oxygen content of the air.  Oxygen cleanses the cells and purifies the blood by breaking down toxins, chemicals and pathogens.  Oxygen is the key factor in maintaining good health.

Plants are great for hospital stays to decrease pain meds, lower blood pressure, decrease heart rate and speed recovery time.  In the office, plants can increase focus and attention, and help decrease anxiety, fatigue, headaches, colds, coughs and sore throats.

Spider plants, Philodendrons, Snake plants and Dragon Trees are great for removing formaldehyde; English Ivy, Gerbera Daisy and Dragon tree for removing benzene and the Peace Lily for removing mold.  Orchids and succulents continue releasing oxygen and utilizing carbon dioxide even during the night when photosynthesis cannot occur; and are therefore ideal for bedrooms.  Having one plant for every 100 square feet is ideal for causing the great health benefits listed above.

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Truvia Dangers

June 6th, 2013

Stevia is an herb known to be very sweet and a great substitute for sugar.  It is also known for its ability to help balance blood sugar.  Due to its popularity, some companies have developed products made from Stevia that do not provide the same benefits and in fact, may be harmful.

Truvia, unfortunately, is not the same as Stevia, but is advertised as if it is.  In fact, the company that manufactures Truvia has taken only 1 active ingredient from Stevia and all of the minerals and inactive ingredients that support health are eliminated.  The 3 ingredients in Truvia are Stevia extract, erythritol and natural flavors.  Erythritol is a sugar alcohol considered a food additive that may cause abdominal gas, diarrhea and headaches.  Natural flavors are products that are made in a laboratory by combining chemicals from plants and synthesized chemicals and this term may be used as another name for MSG.

There are a list of symptoms associated with the use of Truvia and none of these are caused by consuming pure stevia.  These symptoms include abdominal cramping, pain, diarrhea and loose stools; severe migraines, mouth sores, metallic taste, hives, insomnia, low back, shoulder or neck pain. Although Truvia might be advertised as being “natural”, the symptoms are nearly identical to consuming the artificial sweetener aspartame.  Pure stevia will not produce any of these side effects.

If you’re interested in the real stevia, consider buying the brand named “Sweet Leaf” and enjoy the benefits Stevia can provide.

 

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The GMO Labeling Debate

May 30th, 2013

There are 64 countries that have labeled GMOs and several that have completely banned them.   Here is a timeline and list of countries and continents that chose to label.

  • 1998     Europe
  • 2001    Japan, Australia, New Zealand
  • 2002   China, Saudi Arabia, South Korea
  • 2003   Thailand, Indonesia
  • 2004   Brazil, Venezuela
  • 2005   Taiwan
  • 2006   Russia, India, Chile
  • 2011    South Africa

So why doesn’t the U.S. label?  Money!  The big chemical companies fighting for patents and increased pesticide, herbicide and insecticide chemical use make a lot of money.  AND this money feeds government pockets.  Other countries are more concerned with the health of their citizens.

Another reason is, not enough people here know about GMOs or have been given misinformation.  Genetic engineering is a process of injecting the genes of one species into another species.  This is very different from natural cross-breeding within the same species.   GE foods are linked to the increased allergies we see in children, especially anaphylactic allergies causing death.  Research demonstrates tumors in animals exposed to GE foods.  Infertility is linked to GE Foods.  And gastrointestinal issues are strongly related to GE products.

Its upsetting to hear misinformation being shared because it confuses the American public.  What you can do is avoid the main GMO crops:  corn, soy, cottonseed oil, canola, beet sugar and dairy products that are not organic.  Labeling would make it much easier to avoid these products, so we have to vote with our purchases.  As companies notice a drop in sales they will want to avoid GMOs in their products and choose labeling so the consumer will buy their goods.

 

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Minerals, The Key for Good Health

May 17th, 2013

Minerals are the most important nutrients one can consume for good health.  Minerals are needed for hormones, enzymes, metabolism and even vitamins to function.  Inadequate farming procedures, poor eating habits, compromised digestion and the wrong supplements all contribute to extreme mineral deficiencies and poor health in the U.S.

The farming industry used to rotate crops and use manure to retain and balance the minerals in the soil.  Today crops are not rotated from year to year and chemical pesticides and chemical fertilizers with very few minerals are used.  In addition to the minimal amounts of minerals round in our food, processed foods further deplete mineral content.  Age, medication use and high stress compromise the ability to properly absorb nutrients.   Here are a few tips for maintaining or raising the minerals in your body.

Minerals are best absorbed in an ionic form.  Chelated, colloidal minerals or those found in pill-form, which use fillers, are not absorbed well.  Plants convert minerals into the ionic form and are easily absorbed by animals and humans.  Eating unprocessed fruits, vegetables and animal products contain many different minerals. To get a variety of minerals eat a variety of colors.   Organic produce and grass fed, organic animal products have a higher content of minerals than those conventionally grown with pesticides.  Processed foods, such as breads, pastas, cereals and sugar have very few minerals and deplete minerals during the digestive process.  To ensure you are getting enough minerals, buy a high quality, ionic form of liquid minerals.

If you drink reverse osmosis or distilled water, this water is absolutely pure, but devoid of all minerals, which over time will lead to poor health unless a few steps are applied.  Add a lemon, lime or celery stick to each glass of water.  Adding Himalayan sea salt until there is a slight taste of salt will add many minerals back to the water.  Take an ionic mineral supplement daily and enjoy less symptoms and a higher quality of life.

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Cholesterol Meds May Cause Memory Loss

May 4th, 2013

A 2012 Report indicates that 32 million Americans use statin drugs to lower cholesterol.  36% of females between 65 – 74 years of age  use statins, while 50% of the same age group in males use them.  After monitoring these patients, the FDA added additional warnings to statin drug labels.  These warnings include memory, impairment, confusion & even memory loss.  Elevated cholesterol is an indication that there is a metabolic problem.  Medication relieves (masks) the symptoms while one is on them, but may have lasting side-effects and never resolve the cause.

Many patients have approached me  with concerns of memory loss and even Alzheimers.  Prevention is always much easier than reversing symptoms, so consider the FDA warning on cholesterol lowering meds.   Even Johns Hopkins Hospital is advising the use of dietary changes for reducing cholesterol.  If you are interested in reading more about cholesterol click n the following links.

Does High Cholesterol Warrant Using Meds?

How To Lower Cholesterol Naturally

Lower Your Cholesterol By Cleansing your Liver

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Why You Should Only Eat Organic Strawberries

April 16th, 2013

During this week, as I spent time with my 4 year old niece Brittney,who told me about her weekend, she mentioned that she ate a strawberry as part of her dessert.  Of course wanting her to be the healthiest child possible, I told her “only eat organic strawberries”.  She asked why (of course) and I said, “they do not contain bad chemicals that can hurt you”; but there’s a lot more to the story.

There is a group of produce called the “Dirty Dozen”.  This is a list of the top 12 fruits and vegetables to avoid because the pesticide/chemical content is so high.  Strawberries rank as number 5 this year.  Strawberries are sprayed numerous times, and the chemical used on strawberries in California, is one that you want to avoid.

Nearly 90% of all strawberries are grown in California.  The pesticide used is called methyl iodide and is considered to be one of the deadliest chemicals on earth.  This highly volatile poison is known to cause DNA damage, thyroid issues, reproductive issues, cancer, late-term miscarriages, and neurological damage.

The 2012 “Dirty Dozen” from EWG.org ranks produce in order from highest pesticide residue to lowest.  The list, starting with the most toxic, is apples, celery, sweet bell pepper, peaches, strawberries, imported nectarines,  grapes, spinach, lettuce, cucumber, blueberries and potatoes.  There are claims that consuming organic versions of these 12 foods will eliminate your exposure to pesticides by 80%!!

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How To Avoid Fluoride

April 10th, 2013

Last week I discussed the detriments of ingesting fluoride (click here to read that tip).  Today is about how to minimize your exposure.

Children are particularly susceptible to a condition called Fluorosis.  This concern is primarily because their higher metabolisms have them consume more fluoridated water and juices AND they often swallow fluoridated toothpaste.  Fluorosis is a condition caused by excessive ingested fluoride compounds disturbing teeth enamel and creating white spots on teeth.  Many companies recognize the concern with fluoride, therefore provide toothpastes and tooth powders without fluoride.  Some companies sell toothpastes with and without fluoride, so labels must always be checked.  Another option is a combination of hydrogen peroxide, which kills bacteria in the mouth on the gums, baking soda as a gentle cleanser and/ or the use of sea salt for extra scrubbing capability.

Fluoridated water is the more difficult source to eliminate.  Carbon filters, found in the Brita or Pur, can remove chlorine, but do not remove fluoride.  Using distillation and reverse osmosis filters do remove fluoride, however they remove all minerals, therefore these necessary minerals must be replaced.  Ceramic filters remove fluoride but Ultraviolet does not.  There are many filtration systems that have a combination of filters in their devices, which is the best overall method of providing healthy, clean water.  There is a several hundred dollar initial investment necessary for adequate fluoride removal, but these will last many, many years with only periodic, low cost filter replacement.  Another source of fluoride is store-bought juice which is often made with fluoridated water.

Since there is no difference in the frequency of tooth decay between countries with and without fluoridated water, I strongly suggest reducing fluoride ingestion for you and your family.

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Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Julie Wilson, unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Julie Wilson and her community. Dr. Wilson encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.