Monday, January 11, 2010


I recently completed the Chelation Certification Training workshop at the ACAM (American College for Advancements in Medicine) convention in Las Vegas. I was introduced there to many new and some not so new protocols for treating certain stubborn chronic diseases. It is still shocking to me how profoundly our health is affected by toxins in our environment and in our food.

Since humans reside at the top of the food chain, every ingested toxin ends up in our bodies. Physiologically, we are just not designed to handle and detoxify so many poisons. As I’ve discussed in previous posts, we are genetically derived from Paleolithic times. Our genetics may not changed, but our environment is dramatically different. It’s easy to understand then why we can become overwhelmed with toxic substances that didn’t exist as we were genetically evolving.

Eventually, when the accumulation reaches critical levels, normal cellular function begins to fail and we start experiencing signs and symptoms. The most toxic class of substances we deal with on a daily basis are called heavy metals. These toxins are quite widespread in today’s food chain and mostly result from industrialized pollution in the atmosphere that falls as rain into the oceans. As a result, sea life becomes contaminated. We ingest these heavy metal toxins in seafood, and it concentrates in our tissues. Since our bodies were never designed to remove heavy metals, they slowly accumulate in our cells.

Eventually, diseases can result from inflammation caused by metal toxicity. Examples are chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, sleep disturbances, autoimmune diseases, disorders with sugar and cholesterol metabolism, and calcium build-up in the arteries. This last effect can cause arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Other problems include osteoporosis, chronic headaches, an inability to lose weight, low libido, depression, anxiety and more.

Another prominent source of heavy metal toxicity is dental amalgams and implants. Heavy metal toxicity causes inflammation in the body. We’ve discussed before how inflammation is at the foundation of virtually every disease. In addition, other dental problems can lead to systemic inflammation such as root canals and gum disease. Having more than one type of metal in one’s mouth can create a “battery like” effect. The Dental profession is slowly coming around to recognize that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all to use these materials. In the past, dentists have cited lack of defining research to support such claims. Yet, many people report feeling dramatically better once they have their mercury fillings removed and are detoxed. If Dental professionals admitted that these substances were toxic, it might lead to mountains of litigation.

So, it is always a good idea to be checked for heavy metal levels. We are all exposed at different rates and detoxify differently. Our detoxification capacity is genetically determined. As a result, some of us have no problems while others can be incapacitated due to the inability of the body to excrete these toxins. Regular quarterly or biannual detoxifications are a good way to ensure the elimination of toxic metals. Detoxification can be accomplished many ways from nutritional supplements to weekly intravenous chelation, depending on the toxic load and medical condition. We will talk more about detoxification programs in future posts.

Disclaimer: This message is not meant nor intended to diagnose, treat, or otherwise mitigate any health related condition.

FDA Compliance: The nutritional information included in this e-mail and our website or any of our documents regarding our products has not been reviewed by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration or any other regulatory body, including state departments of health.

While to the best of our knowledge we believe the information is accurate and it is intended to be helpful, no warranty is expressed or implied as to the results obtained from the use of the formulations suggested herein, nor any health risks that may arise from using these products. Our products are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Nature’s design of the human body is no more evident than in the function of Vitamin D. Classically considered a vitamin, it also functions much like a hormone. While chemically similar to a hormone in structure, Vitamin D is not excreted from a gland into the blood. Instead, it is miraculously synthesized in the skin from exposure to the sun. What a beautifully designed system!

Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Soram Khalsa on my Blog Talk radio show ( Dr. Khalsa is a wonderful, Integrative Physician who recently published a book on Vitamin D called “The Vitamin D Revolution.” His book offers an eloquent and concise overview of the many benefits of Vitamin D as essential to an optimal health program. I wanted to summarize some of the many health benefits of Vitamin D in this post.

Vitamin D serves a variety of functions in the body. A deficiency can be associated with numerous ailments. Though rarely encountered today, the best known is rickets, a metabolic bone disease. Less well-known problems caused by Vitamin D deficiency include increased risk of heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, osteopenia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune disease, flu, and depression.

Vitamin D deficiency is more common in higher latitudes especially during winter when there is less sunlight. Curiously, these sun-deprived regions also have statistically higher rates of depression, alcoholism, and even diabetes. In addition, we now have also incurred a greater rate of vitamin D deficiency disorders because of our increasing concern about sun damage skin problems such as skin cancer and aging.

The intense concern that our skin needs protection from the perceived harmful rays of the sun is responsible for contributing to many degenerative health conditions. While this approach to “skin care” serves to diminish the risk of some dermatological problems, it can create a new host of other illnesses—all related to Vitamin D deficiency. Another problem results from our industrialized society that requires us to work more indoors. This leads to people getting less sun exposure even in the lower latitudes.

Vitamin D deficiency is so common that I routinely screen all of my patients for Vitamin D levels and rarely find anyone to be in the optimum range. Studies done on children in Finland, for instance, have found 400 times higher incidences of diabetes than children in Venezuela. In one study, when Finnish children were administered 2000 IU per day of Vitamin D3, they demonstrated an eighty-percent reduction in the onset of juvenile diabetes. When pregnant women have their vitamin D levels restored to optimal levels, the incidence of juvenile diabetes was reduced 50% in their offspring.

As discussed, Vitamin D deficiency is more prevalent in winter months due to less sun exposure. This correlates exactly with the time that flu epidemics break out. Evidence supports the position that normalizing Vitamin D levels in winter will significantly reduce the incidence and number of flu cases. Vitamin D deficiency in winter is also correlated with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression.

Adequate Vitamin D is essential for preventing osteoporosis and osteopenia, which are rampant today in Westernized cultures especially after menopause. Women can significantly reduce this problem and their risk of fractures by maintaining adequate Vitamin D levels along with calcium, magnesium, strontium, and Hormone Replacement therapy. Ideal levels are between 50-100 ng/ml. This level can be maintained by simply taking a supplement of Vitamin D3 of usually 2000-5000 IU/day. Alternatively, just twenty-to-thirty minutes per day of sun exposure 
(without sun block) can accomplish the same optimal levels. However, fair skinned persons may require less than dark pigmented people, and people living closer to the equator need less exposure as well.

Vitamin D toxicity is rare due to its wide therapeutic range. Optimal dosing and monitoring is necessary by a physician who understands the importance of this essential nutrient. Further details about the wonders of Vitamin D can be obtained by reading Dr. Khalsa’s informative book.

In summary, Vitamin D is an essential and inexpensive over-the-counter, simple nutrient for preventing many serious and common ailments. Similar benefits can be achieved by regular sun exposure of well-moisturized skin and not using sunscreen.

Disclaimer: This message is not meant nor intended to diagnose, treat, or otherwise mitigate any health related condition.
FDA Compliance: The nutritional information included in this e-mail and our website or any of our documents regarding our products has not been reviewed by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration or any other regulatory body, including state departments of health.
While to the best of our knowledge we believe the information is accurate and it is intended to be helpful, no warranty is expressed or implied as to the results obtained from the use of the formulations suggested herein, nor any health risks that may arise from using these products.  Our products are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


An article in the August 23, 2009 edition of the LA Times reports about the possibility of a “Sin Tax” on junk food. This would be similar to the one currently imposed on cigarettes. The purpose of such a tax would be to deter the purchase and consumption of junk foods and steer people towards eating healthier food.

The thinking behind such a tax is that by directing people to eat healthier food and avoid sweet, salty junk food, we can have an impact on reducing the incidence of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity in this country. In principle, this is a great idea. However, statistics from places already imposing this kind of tax reveal another story.

In Maine, for example, a 5.5% snack tax actually coincided with a doubling of the obesity rate from 10% to 20%. In other countries, such a tax apparently drove consumers from sweet foods to high fat and salt-rich foods. The result of such a diet is well known to have an adverse impact on health by increasing the rate of high blood pressure and heart disease. I think it is essential to move people to eat healthier food in general. But, simple nutritional education or the imposition of new taxes by themselves, just don’t seem to do the trick.

I recently saw a brilliant film called Food Inc. This documentary looks at the US food industry. It not only shows in high relief how our food is processed, but also depicts the politics and financial realities that work behind the scenes of US food production. The picture is appalling.

First of all, it is incredible to see example-after-example presented of how unconscious we are of the foods we consume every day. In addition, it is startling to understand the scope and impact that the massive, food corporations have on manipulating our food, often operating with complete impunity and wielding enough power to make the government genuflect. One frightening projection sees that in the next ten years, one out of three young people in this country will have Type II Diabetes. This statistic is terrifying especially in light of the national debate about universal health care coverage. The prospect of millions more diabetics will see medical costs and insurance rates skyrocket in this country. And guess who is going to pay for it? Not the big food companies.

I think that if we are contemplating universal health care reform, we should also be seriously considering some kind of enforcement of healthy, dietary guidelines. If the government is going to foot the bill, then there should be some accountability from the food industry to help improve our diet. It is a basic fact that eating a healthier diet can dramatically reduce most of the illnesses we face today. If the food industry is allowed to be driven solely by profitability and to continue producing whatever sweet, fat, salty garbage they want to sell to the public, then they should be held responsible for the consequences. After all, there is a successful precedent with reform of the tobacco industry.

The government is not going to be able to afford to pay for health care with such a large percentage of the American population suffering from various preventable illnesses. The stated foundation of health insurance is that the premiums of healthy individuals help to defray the cost of treating the sick. This logic will not work when significant proportions of the population are ill and require health care. If we insist on eating unhealthy food and the food industry continues to produce it, then they should be held responsible for footing the bill for the resultant illnesses and disease. It is logical and more importantly, it is in the public interest to let them reap what they sow.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I read an amazing article in the August 5, 2009 NY Times about Wyeth, the Pharma giant who makes Premarin and Prempro. If you don’t recognize these medicines by name, these are horse hormones that are given to women. They are the same ones that have been shown in the ongoing Women’s Health Initiative study to cause an increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease and stroke. Unfortunately, these horse hormones are also giving ALL hormones a black eye.

In addition, Wyeth is the same pharmaceutical company that is lobbying heavily in Washington to shut down compounding pharmacies and to strictly regulate the production of compounded bioidentical hormones. The Times’ article goes on to report that Wyeth was discovered during the course of lawsuits to have hired ghostwriters to produce 26 so-called “scientific papers”. These were published in respectable medical journals under doctors’ names and all took the position of supporting the use of hormone replacement therapy in women. Written between 1998 and 2005, the articles emphasized the benefits and downgraded the risks of taking hormones. Coincidentally, sales of Wyeth products Premarin and Prempro rose to unbelievable heights of almost $2 billion in 2001.

Wyeth now faces approximately 8400 lawsuits from women claiming that their hormone drugs caused a variety of illnesses. Physicians rely heavily on drug companies for updated information on new treatments. It was reported in the LA Times that in 2005, 90% of all continuing medical education for physicians was paid for by drug companies. The article further reported that at least 75% of all Americans over the age of 65 take a prescription drug on a daily basis.

These statistics has to make you think about where your doctor is formulating his opinions and decision-making data. When doctors tell a patient about a drug or treatment plan, one has to ask—who is really doing the talking? Think about it. Do we ever question our doctors? Do we ever ask them where they got their information? Historically, doctors have been revered for their knowledge and objective judgment when it comes to decision-making regarding a patient’s welfare. I think it is time that we become more circumspect about doctors’ decision making process and how it impacts their patients. It’s a fact that many doctors today are in Big Pharma pockets. And these are very deep pockets.

If doctors are being controlled by Big Pharma both in the literature they read and the conferences they go to, who do you think is directing your medical care? It’s also important to recognize that Big Pharma has been at this game of influence for a long time. They are business people. They are not healers. They routinely calculate and build into their financial projections and bottom line how many deaths and lawsuits will be incurred by bringing new drugs to market. And if the drug looks profitable, they will release it, often knowing full well that people may die as a result. It is a calculated risk. The LA Times reported that most new prescription drugs are expected to show a profit within 90 days. This is unbelievable! How much marketing, lobbying, and “doctor education” must go into a developing the kind of product that can achieve this objective?

I believe that patients must take control of health care now and before it is too late. Doctors certainly don’t always have your best interest in mind. If they did they wouldn’t submit to influence of Big Pharma brainwashing. Doctors would do their own studying and research like they used to do. They would question Big Pharma more carefully instead of dispensing the “free samples” left in their office by that attractive, young Big Pharma rep.

I am sorry to say that medical ethics have fallen to new lows in this country and they continue to decline. Doctors have been pressured and even coerced into a position that is unheard of in the history of the healing profession. They are targeted from every angle. They are told what to prescribe and how much they can charge for their services. In many cases, they have lost control of their professional lives. It is sad. I recognize that I am also unfortunately a part of it, but will try to practice more consciously and with knowledge that the influence of Big Pharma is lurking out there.

Unfortunately, patients are victimized as well. And it starts when we are so young we don’t even realize it. In 2002, the head of the Drug Committee for the American Academy of Pediatrics said, “We are entering what could be the Golden Age for kids and pharmaceuticals”. Can you imagine? Kids and pharmaceuticals? Are there no limits? Where is the outrage and media attention? With media companies and print publications desperate in today’s down turned economy for advertising revenue, Big Pharm is seen as a white knight coming to the rescue—so don’t look for any exposes about this nefarious campaign soon.

I leave you with one last thought. In Ancient Greece, the word “pharmakon” meant both “remedy” and “poison”. It’s in the hands of the provider that modern medical chemistry can represent the former. So, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor about the safety and any medications that he prescribes—and be an informed consumer who reads the labels, contraindications, and does the research, especially on new products. And most of all, BE WELL!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


The journal, Science, recently featured a fascinating study that has huge implications for anti-ageing and longevity medicine. The report said that rhesus monkeys who were fed a calorie-restricted diet for 20 years were two-thirds less likely to die of an age-related disease than counterparts fed on a standard diet. The risk of dying from heart disease, cancer or diabetes fell by more than two-thirds in the calorie-restricted group.

The 76 animal subjects ate 30% fewer calories. Researchers noted, “The rates of cardiovascular disease and pre-cancerous cell growth were twice as high in the control group compared with the calorie restricted group.” Furthermore, none of the calorie restricted (CR) animals became diabetic or even pre-diabetic. Brain scans were also significant and showed that the CR animals demonstrated less atrophy.

The researchers also remarked that the CR monkeys “appear to be biologically younger than the normally fed animals.’ This latest study adds to the pool of data that has been accumulating for decades supporting the low-calorie intake theory of nutrition. Going back to the 70’s, Professor Roy Walford, a researcher from UCLA, studied this theory. He was his own best subject as one of the original Biosphere scientists who lived for two years in the man-made, sealed ecological dome in the Arizona desert. Walford followed a significantly calorie-restricted diet for most of his adult life.

I remember meeting Dr. Walford in 1985 when I was working as a staff physician at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Santa Monica. We were teaching the low fat diet at that time. His approach was even more intense. Walford not only limited the percentage of fat in the diet, but the total calorie intake as well. At Pritikin, the diet we taught reflected similar calorie ranges, and was quite successful in promoting weight loss, blood pressure reduction, and reducing the need for diabetic medications. The major criticism of the diet was that it was difficult to stay on for extended periods of time.

The diet program that I teach now is similar in principle to the CR diet and is called “The Paleo Diet”. I encourage people to follow a regime that is similar to what we understand was practiced in Paleolithic times. I believe this approach works best of all for avoiding age-related diseases because we were genetically designed in that bygone era, and our success as a species was dependent on the kind of food that was available at that time.

It is highly unlikely that people during the Paleolithic period ate more than 1200 to 1800 calories per day—which is the equivalent level of the CR diet. Typical Western diets are 3000 calories per day or even more. It seems logical that lowered caloric intake would dramatically reduce the risk of age-related diseases. One of the simplest ways to accomplish this is to just cut out all man-made, dense starchy carbohydrate foods such as bread, pasta, cereal, and grains. The Paleo Diet ends up looking a lot like a CR diet as long as the target food groups are not over consumed.

A comparison of the incidence of obesity that exists today with what might have existed in Paleolithic times provides food for thought. It is safe to say that obesity simply did not exist in ancient times, and by contrast with today’s diets, is a very good indicator of how much we were originally designed to consume. Just imagine the difference between the volume of food available in today’s local supermarket as compared to what was on the Paleolithic menu. The greatest challenge for early humans had nothing to do with choice—it had everything to do with securing enough food for survival.

One of humanity’s greatest accomplishments has been the ability to produce large amounts of food to assure propagation of the species. But, this achievement has a downside and not only has been detrimental to our health and longevity, but to the environment and survival of other species. As we start out to correct our own eating problems, we must first discipline ourselves to avoid the modern tendency to overindulgence, overproduction, and overconsumption. Our well-being as an evolving species and the health of our increasingly fragile planet are both at stake.

(Thanks to Geico for the Cavemen Dining image)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009


June 8th‘s cover story in Newsweek criticizes Oprah Winfrey for recommending alternative medical treatments. It goes still further lambasting Suzanne Somers and implying that she is a wacko. The article pokes fun at her and cynically describes her health routines as ridiculous.

I have a great deal of respect for Suzanne Somers and Oprah. Both are courageous pioneering type women who use their celebrity in positive ways to help others. If they didn’t disclose alternative styles of medical treatments and technology, who would? Newsweek?

Just opening the front cover of the June 8th issue quickly immediately provides a take on who runs THAT show. Four major advertisements by large pharmaceutical companies leap out at you in this issue alone. Not surprisingly, one of them happens to be Wyeth, the pharma-giant which has been spending millions of dollars lobbying Congress to shut down “Mom and Pop” compounding pharmacies. “And why”? you might ask.

Could it have anything to do with the plummeting sales of their notorious products Premarin and Prempro, the drugs shown in the Women’s Health Initiative study to increase the incidence of stroke, heart attack, and breast cancer in users? In fact, this is the only hormone product that has been proven to cause these diseases, yet this is the same company working diligently to have Estriol, the only hormone shown to PROTECT women from breast cancer, removed from the market.

How confusing! Why would a drug company want to remove a drug from the market that helps women, while still promoting and marketing their own product which has been shown in scientific studies to be harmful? Now this would be a really good question to ask the editors of Newsweek magazine. A magazine that accepts large amounts of advertising dollars from Wyeth while publishing articles criticizing women who want to take bioidentical hormones is certainly suspect. Could there be a connection here?

I cancelled my subscription to Newsweek years ago for similar reasons. This is not a news magazine. While news items may infiltrate the periodical, it is a mainstream media platform for advertisers with deep war chests of dollars to express their opinions and influence public sentiment. There is virtually nothing in their cover story about Oprah that I agree with. There is not enough room here on my blog for me to fully express my opinions.

But, I will say this—there has never been any data to prove that bioidentical hormones are harmful, like Prempro, for example. Bioidentical hormones are not “synthesized” as the article contends. I would even question the use of expert references such as Dr. Nanette Santoro, who are cited to support the article. A reproductive endocrinologist, Dr. Santoro specializes in helping women get pregnant. It would certainly be of interest to qualify how many women she sees in her practice specifically for menopause-related conditions. She is quoted as stating that menopause is a hormone deficiency disease is “discredited”. It might follow then, that she thinks menopause is an antidepressant, sleeping pill, and pain medication deficiency disease.

One major point that the writers, Weston Kosova and Pat Wingert, are insistent about is that hormones—especially as described by Suzanne Somers—are used to “restore youth”. This is absolutely not the intention of replacing missing hormones. It is actually to restore health.

It is well known that the incidence of major illnesses like heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disease, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, and once again—did I say “Cancer”—all increase dramatically after menopause. Young women with super high hormone levels are virtually immune to these diseases. Just the incidence of heart disease rises so dramatically after menopause that the risk to women equals that of men.

My orientation to replacing postmenopausal hormones in women is not to keep them young, but to keep them healthy. Aging does not have to be synonymous with disease. We cannot stop the aging process, but we have more options to preventing disease than ever before. Despite the efforts of Big Pharma and their media mouthpieces like Newsweek magazine, the truth will be told by courageous, intelligent women like Suzanne Somers, Oprah Winfrey, and Robin McGraw. A pioneering, innovative spirit informs the bedrock on which this country is founded and is still alive today. Big advertisers and publishers may have the loudest voice that money can buy right now, but I am confident that the facts will continue to become public knowledge and the search for truth will win out. History shows that it always works out that way.