Enzymes and Digestive Health
Unfortunately, medical school does not prepare physicians with much information on proper nutrition or digestive health. Yet, how can your body stay healthy if it can't get the nutrition out of food that it needs? Enzyme deficiencies can contribute to:
- Indigestion, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation
- Arthritis and inflammatory disorders
- Fatigue and muscle aches
- Brain fog/dementia
- Heart attacks
and many other conditions. Proper nutrition is important for all your body's functions. The ability to properly digest your food is critical for proper nutrition and to avoid getting toxic.
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Arthritis and inflammatory disorders
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Probiotic Benefits Begin in the GUT
The first and most overlooked reason that our digestive tract is critical to our health is that 80 percent of your entire immune system is located in your digestive tract! That is an astounding percentage.
ACCORDING TO According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK),
Many people with health issues such as thyroid imbalances, chronic fatigue, joint pain, psoriasis, autism, and many other conditions do not realize that these illnesses originate in the gut.
If these issues and many others are connected to our gut health, then what elements are essential for digestive health? Consider this: “upward of 60 to 70 million Americans are affected by digestive diseases”.
MSM is Effective in Addressing Osteoarthritis
PUBLISHED: AUGUST 28, 2012
Researchers have again found that methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM, protects joint cartilage and reduces inflammation in arthritis patients.
Book Ref: Pain-Free 1-2-3 Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum,
I discuss a very effective 4-step program that effectively addresses arthritis naturally. Step 1 is to rebuild joint cartilage by using glucosamine and OptiMSM, MSM 2500 mg/day, and in severe arthritis, by also adding Chondroitin sulfate 1200 mg/day. These take 6 weeks to work, but can actually help the joints to heal. Step 2 is to decrease inflammation using willow bark, (frankincense) and cherry (all present in an herbal supplement provides relief for muscle pain [with Boswellia and white willow bark; or curcumin, Boswellia, nattokinase, and DLPA]). The study discussed below suggests that MSM helps both to heal the joint and decrease inflammation.
The findings of the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) study were presented at the December 2007 World Congress on Osteoarthritis in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The abstract of this study is to be published in the Osteoarthritis and Cartilage Journal.
The "test tube" study investigated the effect of the MSM on healthy and osteoarthritic joint cartilage from postmortem human knees.
The researchers focused on cytokines-markers of inflammation and are related to cartilage breakdown.
The study "suggests that MSM an /or Hydrolyze Chicken Cartilage II acts as a barrier, shielding cartilage in early stages of osteoarthritis from further degeneration from inflammatory cytokines and cartilage-degrading enzymes," said lead researcher David Amiel, from the UCSD's Department of Orthopedic Surgery.
Why Are Enzymes Important?
In medical school, I was taught that the pancreas and salivary glands made all the enzymes you needed to digest your food. If there was a problem with the pancreas, we could always give digestive enzyme tablets made from an animal pancreas to take care of the problem. This information seems to be woefully deficient!
What goes on in real life is that most of the enzymes we need to digest the food we eat are naturally present in the food. This occurs because enzymes are what a fruit or vegetable uses to ripen. As the ripening process continues, the food digests to where we consider it to be rotten. From the perspective of an apple or grain, for example, this is a perfect stage for the seed to use its food source so it can grow into an adult plant. These same plant enzymes also work in the acid environment of your stomach (where approximately 40 percent of digestion can take place) while animal enzymes can't work until after they get past the stomach.
Many decades ago, food processors realized that they could prolong the shelf life of food from days to years by destroying the enzymes present in the food. They also discovered that using salicylates (the active component of aspirin) is a very effective way to destroy enzymes. Because of this, most of the enzymes present in processed foods have been eliminated over the last 30 plus years. This corresponds to the period of time in which we have seen a dramatic increase in degenerative diseases and indigestion. Meanwhile, your poor pancreas has had to pick up the slack and make almost all the enzymes needed for digestion. Many people realized however that if they juiced or ate a raw food diet (cooking can also destroy enzymes) they felt dramatically better. Food processors are learning new tricks though. By gassing fresh fruits and vegetables, they can destroy the enzymes present even in these fresh foods. This way they can look appealing on the grocery shelf for weeks instead of developing those little brown spots that we don't like to see. Unfortunately, although the food looks good, it has lost much of its nutritional value.
What Happens When I Don't Have Enough Enzymes?
When you don't have enough enzymes to adequately digest your food, several things happen:
- You become deficient in proteins, carbohydrates, and/or fats depending on which enzymes you are missing.
- You then crave the missing nutrient.
- By eating excessive amounts of the nutrient you can't digest, it can build up in your colon and become toxic.
- You absorb large chunks of proteins (instead of breaking them down to their component amino acids). Your immune system then has to address them as outside invaders and use up its energy digesting those foods that make it into your bloodstream. This can exhaust your immune system while contributing to food sensitivities. If you check you may find that your temperature goes up around 40 minutes after eating as your immune system has to make up for a weak digestive system.
- Your body works poorly because of the nutritional deficiencies. You feel poorly and have digestive disturbances.
All in all, you feel lousy, the stomach hurts, and you may have specific food cravings. Sound familiar?
Does It Matter Which Enzymes I Use?
As noted above, it is critical that the enzymes be from plant sources, as animal enzymes do not work in the acid environment of the stomach. They can also easily be destroyed in processing, so quality is critical. I recommend using enzymes manufactured by companies known for high-quality nutriceuticals. If the enzymes irritate your stomach in the beginning (as protein-digesting enzymes might), begin with one that contains licorice to help settle the stomach.
Herbal Joint Support
Joints require other specific nutrients for healing, in addition to what’s in the vitamin powder. So if you have arthritis or back pain from arthritis of the spine bones (vertebrae), get glucosamine sulfate (500 mg 3 times a day), and consider MSM (1.5-3 grams a day for 2 to 5 months) and chondroitin (although this one is less important). MSM supplies the sulfur amino acids needed for healing in general. One study showed an 80 percent decrease in arthritis pain after 6 weeks using 1,500 mg of MSM in the morning and 750 mg at lunchtime.
Unlike aspirin/NSAIDs that do not slow down the destruction of joints in arthritis, Glucosamine has been shown to actually help stabilize and often heal the joints on x-ray. Doses of less than 1,000 mg a day do not have an effect on symptoms; therefore, the standard dose is 750 mg 2 times a day. It can also be taken as 1,500 mg once a day. It can be taken with or without food and has no more side effects than placebo.30 Chondroitin sulfate is sometimes added to Glucosamine or taken by itself. Its benefits are modest as with most forms, less than 10 percent of it is absorbed as compared to 90 percent of the absorption of glucosamine sulfate.31 Because of this, I only use special LMW forms of Chondroitin which are better absorbed. A dose of 1,200 mg a day can be helpful in slowing down arthritis, has been shown to be more effective than placebo in a recent double-blind study and is worth trying if you do not get adequate relief with the other treatments. Chondroitin can be taken all at once or 400 mg 3 times a day with equal effectiveness.
Addressing Stubborn Thyroid Problems
PUBLISHED: AUGUST 10, 2012
What's New in S.H.I.N.E. — Part 7: More on Hormones
This week continues my multi-part series on "What's New in the SHINE protocol." Today I'll discuss hormones — the "H" in SHINE — with a focus on underactive thyroid function, or hypothyroidism.
Physicians too often make the mistake of addressing a patient's test results instead of helping the actual patient. Because of that, they're unwilling to prescribe them the thyroid hormone they need. Fortunately, there are two natural options that can be very helpful — and neither requires a prescription!
These can be taken together and can help you even if you're already on a prescription thyroid hormone.
Step 1: Correct the Iodine Deficiency
Here's a simple and low-cost therapy that offers a powerful breakthrough in healing thyroid imbalances: the mineral iodine. High amounts of iodine can help improve symptoms of thyroid function in many people.
Unfortunately, though many ways of testing iodine levels are discussed, including urinary iodine and speed of skin absorption, the most accurate test is to simply take it for 4-6 weeks and see how you feel. (I recommend taking a daily dose of 6.25-12.5 mg of iodine.)
Interestingly, supplemental iodine may not change your blood thyroid hormone levels. But what people often find is that their energy levels and other symptoms improve considerably! Symptoms such as:
- Fatigue or pain
- Difficulty losing weight
- Occasional "brain fog"
- Breast cysts or tenderness
- If you have these symptoms, I would recommend a trial of iodine. Take 12.5 mg once a for 3 months. It could turn your life around.
Step 2: Another Very Helpful Natural Mix — An Herbal Supplement That Supports Normal Thyroid Function
If you are unable to find a physician who will write a prescription thyroid hormone, there are other alternatives. For many people, special natural thyroid glandular supplements can be very helpful. I recommend an herbal thyroid-support supplement.
Thyroid hormone is made of Tyrosine plus iodine. The thyroid glandular supplies the raw materials needed to optimize thyroid function — and often have a dramatic impact.
The iodine and thyroid-support supplements offer two excellent options that can help optimize your thyroid function (and they can be taken together).
Choosing the right therapy is a little like choosing the right pair of shoes. Working with a holistic physician, you should "try on" different therapies — desiccated; a compounded mix of T3 and T4; or Synthroid — and find the type and the dose that feels best to you.
In another new development, a study suggests that thyroid levels actually start to rise during the night — so the medical tradition of giving thyroid hormone in the morning may not necessarily be the best approach. For the Synthroid (T4 hormone), which stays at a pretty steady level throughout the day, the time of day you take it likely does not matter. But for those taking a T3 containing hormone (like Armour), the blood levels are highest in the four hours after you take it — so the time of day can make a big difference. Some patients do better when they take all or some of their daily dose at bedtime — and it also improves the quality of their sleep.
So work with your doctor to determine not only the best type of medication … and the best dose … but the best timing of the dose as well.
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Vitamin B12 May Be More Effective Than Medications for Diabetic Nerve Pain. PUBLISHED: October 22, 2012
A significant problem faced by diabetics is the development of nerve pain, called "diabetic neuropathy." Traditionally, tricyclic antidepressants such as Elavil or nortriptyline have been the first-line therapy for this pain. Other medications such as Neurontin and Cymbalta can also be helpful.
What has been ignored by most physicians is how powerful nutritional support can be for eliminating and healing this pain. Especially important are:
- Lipoic acid 300 mg twice a day,
- Acetyl-l-carnitine 500 mg three times a day
- Vitamins B6, Liposomal B12, and inositol (all present in a good Multivitamins. capsule https://lookingvibrant.com/collections/featured-supplements/products/multivitamins-organic Or Liquid
- Give these supplements 3-6 months to fully kick in as they are helping the nerves to heal as opposed to simply masking the pain. To help the process occur more quickly, it is very reasonable to add Liposomal vitamin B12 proven to be as effective as shots without the pain or possible infection from an injection. I like 3,000 mcg per dose from https://lookingvibrant.com at whatever speed is convenient (e.g., daily to weekly).
In the study below, vitamin B12 shots were over four times as effective in relieving pain as the medication nortriptyline.
Diabetic nerve pain can be very effectively addressed by both healing the nerve and masking the pain (as well as by controlling diabetes). Unfortunately, most physicians are poorly trained in pain management. The good news is that with the information given here, you can get pain free now!
If your physician will not help you with this, see a holistic physician. There are over 1,200 board-certified holistic physicians listed at www.HolisticBoard.org
Liposomal Vitamin B (12) may be more effective than nortriptyline in improving painful diabetic neuropathy!
Conclusion: In conclusion, Liposomal vitamin B (12) is more effective than nortriptyline for the treatment of symptomatic painful diabetic neuropathy.
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