Notes on natural health/healing topics: D – G

By Cat, beginning Feb 2018

These notes are from various health documentary videos and websites, as noted for each item. Topics are in alphabetical order. The article was getting too long, so I’ve separated it into four articles. March 2020 update: H-P article was getting too long, so I separated it into two articles for a total of 5 articles. 

See also:

  1. Natural Health Topics Menu;
  2. Notes by section: A-C; D-G , below; H-I; J-P;  Q -Z 

Dandelion: Health Benefits

from Mercola (articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2021/04/23/dandelion-health-benefits.aspx) (Colored bold text and formatting is added by Cat)

Every part of this weed is good for you….

      • Dandelions are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidant compounds that likely contribute to a long list of health benefits, including playing a role in protecting your skin from damage;
      • Evidence shows that dandelion extract benefits cardiovascular health as it is a diuretic, has antiplatelet activity and can lower blood pressure;
      • Dandelions also have hepatoprotective effects and are known to help lower blood sugar;
      • Dandelions contain inulin that helps promote weight loss, reduce liver fat and is a prebiotic for beneficial bacteria;

Ways to consume dandelions: 

Dementia and Other Neurological Diseases

The notes on this topic have been moved to specific links on the Notes on Health Topics Menu, under “Alzheimers, Dementia and Other Neurological Diseases.” 

See also: Brain Health Section of Notes on natural health/healing topics: A – C

Alzheimer’s Disease

Mercola has an interesting article on early signs of Alzheimer’s, one of which is walking gait, which is uneven (articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/10/10/dementia-walking-gait.aspx). He quotes a study (Neuropsychiatric Diseases and Treatment 2008 Feb; 4(1): 155–160): “ Dementia-related gait changes (DRGC) mainly include decrease in walking speed provoked by a decrease in stride length and an increase in support phase.”

He also lists several other telltale signs of dementia, and Alzheimer’s screening tests.

Dental

Dental Crown

I recently got a temporary dental crown that came loose and fell off before the permanent crown was ready. To re-secure it in place, my dentist gave me a package of the following:

  • Kerr (brand) temp-bond (adhesive),
  • sterile gauze,
  • tight cotton rolls (about the size of a cigarette), and
  • toothpicks to help remove dried glue from the temp crown and tooth.

To use the Kerr adhesive, see kerrdental.com/resource-center/tempbond-instructions-use; see my pdf transcription (I’m having trouble uploading it to this site), saved: CATSFORK > PDF Files / ToothCrown_Kerr Temp-BondInstr.pdf. For what the other things are for, see WikiHow (wikihow.com/Fix-a-Lost-Dental-Crown).

Restoring a Temporary Crown

I recently broke off a large portion of my center-right incisor, so will be getting a ceramic crown. While that crown is being made to my measurements, I have a temporary crown that is “glued” in place. Yesterday, after using a tiny brush that goes between the teeth to clean out debris of eating a walnut, the back-side of the crown popped out of place (the front side remained in place. So I pushed the crown back into position on F and B and hope that will last 2 weeks, when my permanent crown will be installed. However, if it doesn’t and I can’t reach my dentist for help, here’s a few helpful links:  

Depression and Anxiety

This section has been moved to it’s own article: Notes on Depression and Anxiety.

Detox Heavy Metals and Other Toxins

See Detoxing from heavy metals and other toxins [Detox (About) title] for complete article; what follows is a summary.

Four Signs You Need to Detox  (from Ty Bollinger of TTAC)

  1. Brain Fog or Cognitive Impairment;
  2. Fatigue, muscle aches, and joint pain;
  3. Body odor, typically due to liver issues;
  4. Chemical sensitivities.

Three Pillars of Detox (from Mercola’s article: Three Pillars of Heavy Metal Detoxification)

  1. Cleanse and clear your GI tract of metals and toxins
  2. Glutathione optimization.
  3. Nrf2 up-regulation (“Nrf2 is a powerful protein that is latent within each cell in the body”)

Diet: 5 foods that enhance & support detoxification (from an email from Dr. Brian Mowll. These foods help support your liver’s ability to clean and detoxify your body (I’ve added a 6th food): broccoli, eggs, lemon, green tea, fiber and butter (for tributyrate).

Top Tips to Detox Your Body

A Mercola article includes:

  • How to detox from:
    • Glyphosate (see also my article How to detox glyphosate (Roundup) from your body);
    • Aluminum, by taking silica-rich herbs for this, such as cilantro, or a supplement: BioSil; Also mobilizing aluminum with citrus such as lemon juice added to a glass of water several times during the day, or apple cider vinegar.
    • Fat soluble toxins with a “combination of sauna and binding agents such as chlorella, ecklonia cava (a brown algae), and enterous gel such as methylated silica and zeolite.” (Dr. Klinghardt’s method as described in Mercola’s article).
    • Toxins harbored by parasites: “especially worms, but also fungi and Candida.” See Mercola’s article for details on this.
  • Avoiding EMF exposure for effective detoxification (by “shielding your home, especially your bedroom. For internal protection, he recommends taking tincture of rosemary and/or tincture of propolis.
  • Addressing retroviruses (like HIV) with “an herbal mix called RetroV powder6 made by Ki Science, which contains 10 herbs. It’s been shown to be superior to the eight drugs available for silencing retroviruses. Citrus tea and broccoli sprouts are two additional powerful tools against retroviruses.”

A Green Med Info article cites a study that concludes that broccoli sprouts (and other cruciferous sprouts) are more effective at detoxing pollutants, especially air-pollutants, than the mature plant; they also have been shown to kill stem cells that make cancer immortal. They contain a compound called glucoraphanin; when chewed, it produces a cancer-protective compound called sulphoraphane. This sulfur-containing compound works best on toxins you’ve been recently exposed to. Theresearchers don’t know if their results hold for toxins that have already been stored in fat cells like pesticides, DDT, or dioxin.

3 – 7 day whole body detox with raw veggie juices

I learned to do this at the Wellness Education Center in Kalispell, MT. There are three segments to the fast that take about 4-weeks to complete: Pre-fast (1-2 weeks); Juice fast (2 – 7 days); and Breaking the fast (1-2 weeks).

Detox with bentonite clay

From Living Clay: “Its astoundingly strong drawing action cleanses by pulling out impurities while its dynamic binding power captures and eliminates toxins.” I use this (mixed with water) when I start itching all over, especially on my scalp, and it starts working right away.

Toxic heavy metals detox

The most common toxic heavy metals are mercury, lead, arsenic, aluminum, and cadmium. Several types of detox are discussed in Detoxing from heavy metals and other toxins, including synthetic detox agents, natural detox agents, and several supplements that support/encourage detox.

Garlic to Detox Lead from the Body: see Green Med Info article: Garlic beats drug for detoxing lead safely from the body

Sweating, such as in a sauna

An article in Green Med Info about a 2011 study published in the Archives of Environmental and Contamination Toxicology, concludes “Induced sweating appears to be a potential method for elimination of many toxic elements from the human body.” This includes heavy metals, petrochemicals BPA and phthalates.

Detox mitochondria

from Wendy Myers (store.myersdetox.com/collections/heavy-metals-summit-collection/products/mitochondria-detox). She uses three supplements for her program: Mitotox, Activated Silica, and CitriCleanse. See her site for more , and to purchase the 3 products in a package. See also Heavy Metals Summit with Wendy Myers (I’ve not viewed the episodes but I did purchase the mp4 files – not yet downloaded).

Detox from sugar

A series of articles from Wendy Myers: Sugar 101 and 10 min Video; She’s down on fruits, even as whole fruit because our fruits today are heavily hybridized to have more sugar (they’re not what cave man ate). She does allow some berries and green-tipped bananas. She references a Mercola article that has a great chart on fructose in fruits.

Detox (Eliminate) Glyphosate From the Body with Glycine (Amino Acid Supplement)

See my article: How to Detox Glyphosate (Roundup) from you Body. The article also includes info on testing for glyphosate levels in your body or your water.

DHEA Hormone Supplements

See Mercola’s article: articles.mercola.com/vitamins-supplements/dhea.aspx

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a steroid precursor for the synthesis of testosterone and estrogen; it is primarily made in the adrenal cortex but can also be made in the brain and testicles (in smaller amounts). Taking it as a supplement does have benefits but also risks. The article delves more deeply into this.

You can also increase your DHEA levels by eating certain foods (which is safer than taking supplements):

  • Organically grown fruits and vegetables, such as dark leafy greens like kale, spinach or broccoli, garlic and celery
  • High-quality protein sources, such as grass fed red meat and pastured chicken
  • Healthy fats sources like organic, pastured egg yolk, lard and butter

Diabetes (Type-2)

It’s important to note that this is not really a blood-sugar disease; rather, the rise in blood sugar is a symptom of metabolic problems at the cellular level: leptin and insulin signaling and resistance. If you have type-2 diabetes and take insulin, you can bring your blood sugar back to normal levels without taking insulin if you resolve your metabolic problems with:

  • Diet: Mercola recommends a ketogenic eating plan – high fat, low carb and moderate protein. He provides lots of good information in his book “Burn Fat for Fuel.” See also “Diet,” below.
  • Exercise: Mercola recommends daily movement, high-intensity interval training, and sitting less/standing more). He sites several studies about this, including one just published (March 2019). For older seniors, see Mercola: How to Get Fit After Age 50; he recommends: walking is most important, but also yoga or tai chi, strength training, meditation/breathing exercises, and stretching..
  • Supplement your diet with myo-inositol, a member of the vitamin-B family that stabilizes cell and mitochondrial membranes, including turning your insulin receptors on. See my posting: Notes on natural health/healing topics: H- P, and scroll down to “Myo- and chiro-inositol” for more.
  • By finding your “Fat Threshold”. See Mike Geary’s sales pitch for his book, “Diabetes Fix”. I believe this is about Type-2 Diabetes. (from a Jeff Hays Films email – he did the GMOs Revealed series).

Diet:

See also Diet and Health Menu for lots more info.

High fat vs Hi carb diets 

(Mercola) discusses why saturated fat and cholesterol are important parts of a healthful diet; and discusses a cyclical ketogenic diet and why it is important for optimal health. See my articles: Ketogenic Diet (Intro) and Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD) and Metabolic Mitochondrial Therapy (MMT).

Digestive Health:

See Foods that Help, and Foods that Harm Digestive Health, for my notes from a Dr. Amy Lee video on how to lose excess body fat and keep it off, and improve your digestive health at the same time.

See also “Gut Health” section, below.

Drugs: Dangerous (prescription) drugs, and safer, natural alternatives

(from sales pitch by Dr. Allan Spree for his book, Miracles from the Vault, that provides more-natural options, than prescription drugs) pro.hsionlineorders.net/p/HSI171117A/EHSIUA26/  or pro.hsionlineorders.net/p/HSI171117A/EHSIUB07/

the article offers more natural options for each category, to help you heal from the cause of the disease rather than erasing the symptoms. A list of the worst 7, in decreasing order of danger:

  1. Sleeping Pills (Abien, Lunesta, Restoril, Sonata, and more). Better options: herbs that lower cortisol if cortisol is elevated.
  2. Cholesterol Drugs (Statins, like Baycol). Better options:  Polycosinol, from leaves/stems of the sugar cane plant.
  3. Blood Pressure Drugs (Beta-blockers, Calcium Channel Blockers and ACE Inhibitors). Better options:  Nitric oxide.
  4. Alzheimer’s Prescription Drugs (Aricept 2.3). Better options:  Lion’s mane mushrooms and particularly extracts from them: amyloban (reverses amyloid plaque formation) and hericenone (stimulates new brain cell growth.
  5. Arthritis Drugs (NSAIDs like Celebrex). Better options:  BMPs (bone morphogenic proteins which include cytokines and metabologens, along with glucosamine and chondrioten. NOTE: if you have inulin resistance, you may want to avoid glucosamine, as it is believed to be connected to the shutting-downs of insulin receptors on cell walls. See
  6. Type-2 Diabetes Drugs (Actose, Avandia, Byetta, metformin). Better options:  DBX-13 – escorts sugar into cells; is all-natural ingredients: Vitamin C, biotin, chromium aspartate, garcinia combogia, gymmneste sylvestri, cinnammon, bitter mellon, betaine HCL, banaba, fennugreek and vanadium.
  7. Chemotherapy (Tamoxifen and others). Better option:  H-86 which is all natural, made from fermented wheat germ extract.

Energy Tonics

This link to the Nutrition Watchdog link is from a newsletter from Dr. Pompa: thenutritionwatchdog.com/3-ingredient-tonics-for-the-best-health-ever/. The article is by Liivy Hess. I moved my notes to a stand-alone recipe article: Energy, Health-Promoting Tonics. See also my Beverages or Tonics Menu.

Livvy states, “These health tonics work best if you keep at it — make sure you drink them as directed for at least a week to begin experiencing the myriad of health benefits they offer.

Exercises important as you age:

(from Mercola: How to Get Fit After Age 50). Walking is most important, but also yoga or tai chi, strength training, meditation/breathing exercises, and stretching.

Exercises

For Spine issues:

Neck Hump: Head is forward, causing lump at base of neck in back

Eye Health

Carotenoids: The Two Most Important for Vision

The following is from Vision for a Lifetime (for a supplement) and Vitalifi (about toxins, and how to limit them in your body).

The two carotenoids are Lutein and Zeaxanthin found in orange marigold; however, you won’t get their maximum benefit without adding the mineral zinc, because it helps with absorption of the carotenoids. However, this depends on the right form, and amount of zinc (the right ratio of zinc to lutein and zeaxanthin).

Vision-20 Ingredients

Once they are absorbed, the body uses them to dissolve Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) Toxins (a.k.a. Oxidative molecules) and support vision health, especially your eyes’ lenses. The ROS are responsible for chronic inflammation. Where do they come from? Blue UV Light, such as on your computer or TV screen.

The supplement, Vision-20 includes 15 mg lutein for 0.75 ratio to 20 mg zinc, and 5 mg zeaxanthin for 0.25 ratio to 20 mg zinc per capsule (see Zenith Labs label image right). That article provides several scientific research articles in their references. There are also several AREDS supplements with similar ingredients (but not necessarily the same amounts).

Eye Health: Top 4 Food Groups:

This info is from a Macular Degeneration Research Newsletter, Summer 2020:

  1. Fruits and Vegetables. Those rich in lutein and zeaxanthin are particularly protective: spinach, kale, collard greens, yellow/orange peppers and yellow corn.
  2. Fatty Fish and certain nuts, seeds and dark, leafy greens. These are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. “Unfortunately, Omega-3 fatty acid vitamin supplements do not provide eye protection.”
  3. Foods with B-Vitamins. Bananas, chicken, beans, potatoes, fish, liver, and pork are high in B6; dairy, eggs, poultry and shellfish are high in B12. See also my article: Vitamin B-Complex.
  4. Nuts are high in Omega-3 oils (especially walnuts), and they may decrease AMD risk. Because nuts are high in calories, it is best to limit amount o no more than ¼ cup/day.

Eye Health: AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration)

AMD and Saffron

(From Lee Euler and his Green Valley Natural Solutions supplement company). One study finds that supplementing with 20 mg of saffron (a nutritional carotenoid) significantly improved vision and decreased light sensitivity in all early AMD patients when compared to the placebo control group. A followup study confirms the method is reproducible. And of course, you can use it in home-cooked recipes, but you likely won’t get enough that way, alone, to do much good.

Reversing AMD is Possible

Some quotes from Green Med InfoBest Kept Secrets to Prevent, Halt, or even Reverse Macular Degeneration:

“Summarizing the Total Approach

  • Aim for an HDL of 61 mg/dl. [Cat’s note: HDL is a form of cholesterol.]
  • Lose weight, if needed, and take a combination of supplements proven to halt or reverse macular degeneration. If overweight, take more than the recommended amount of carotenoids [lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene] or use water-soluble zeaxanthin. In either case, employ the MeDi. It extends life and reduces disease.
  • Take a supplement that supports proper fat breakdown along with a good eye vitamin.
  • Do the 4R program and/or a liver/gallbladder flush in the Spring and Fall to improve fat assimilation. [see the article’s resource reference 9, for more about 4R program]
  • Flush and nourish the liver/gallbladder.
  • Eat a preferably organic diet, rich in the carotenoids, to replenish the macular pigment (MOPD –remember the pictures?). Egg yolk, kale, spinach, collard and turnip greens lightly steamed, romaine lettuce, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, red and yellow vegetables, and fruits are all great sources.”

[A bit more detail from the article]:

  1. “Work from the GI tract outward. …The target nutrients used in past studies[1] to prevent, halt, or reverse ARMD are lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, antioxidants, and fish oil.”
  2. “Micelle formation is essential for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and complicated lipids within the human body.. ….micellizing “magicians” that get the job done: (1) Ox Bile: Supply exogenous ox bile, particularly to post-cholecystectomy patients; (2) Lecithin: (Sunflower or soy) can be added to the diet to aid in fat breakdown; and (3) Taurine: A precursor to bile production, which also thins bile.”
  3. “Sufficient, well-functioning bile, is vital… what is the best kept secret? First, break down the fat-soluble vitamins and then get them to the macula by raising HDL levels to 61 or above.” [Cat’s note: HDL is a form of cholesterol.]
  4. “Lutein and zeaxanthin, critical components to replenish the macula, are carried in the bloodstream to the macula on HDL particles.”
  5. “Strategies to raise HDL [see article for more detail]:
    • Exercise
    • Lose Weight and stop eating trans-fats
    • Drink Red Wine or use Resveratrol
    • Take Niacin and Fish Oil
    • Quit Smoking
    • Get an Oil Change: Remove all transfats from your diet and replace them with healthy, healing oils to raise your HDL.  Employ olive oil, coconut oil, ghee, hemp oil, and flax oil.”

Dry Eye Treatment:

Try using boric acid eye wash; see my post, Administer an Eye Wash for details.

According to Mercola’s sales pitch (products.mercola.com/eye-support/) for his Eye Support supplement (see iHerb code MCL-01235), black currant is important for keeping moisture in the eyes’ aqueous humor (the thick watery substance filling the space between the lens and the cornea). This could help to avoid dry-eye syndrome, because black current contains water-soluble, antioxidant anthocyanins.

Eye, Retina Support:

Lutein (10 mg/day) and Zeaxanthin (w mg/day) from Marigold flowers and other carotenoids. Also hyaluronic acid (50 mg/day) supports the gel-like fluid in the eyes. These can be found in OcuXanthin per Nutrition and Healing article (see also pdf version: EyeHealth–HighVisibilityLight HVL-Carotenoids.pdf. I currently take Jarrow’s Carotenol supplement which has all the carotenoids, but I don’t have a source of hyaluronic acid, which is also helpful for joints. Part of its molecule is NAG (N-acetyl glucosamine, not to be confused with NAC or N-acetyl cystine which is problematic for me). Check out iHerb SOL-01417.

Eyesight: Glaucoma and Cataracts:

11 Foods to Lower Glaucoma Risk (from Green Med Info).  The list is as follows; refer to the article link for more detail: 1. Kale; 2.  Collard greens; 3. Oranges; 4. Peaches; 5. Wild-caught salmon; 6. Green Tea; 7. Cocoa; 8. Red wine; 9. Black currants; 10. Goji berries; 11. Eggplant.

Things to do to keep and improve your vision:

  • Avoid statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs) because they can cause progressive clouding of the lens.
  • Increase curcumin: highly therapeutic polyphenol in turmeric protects agains cataract formation.
  • Increase lutein (found in kale, egg yolks and marigold) improves visual function in patients with age-related cataracts.
  • Increase wheatgrass consumption may actually reverse lens opacity associated with cataracts.
  • 4 Ways to Keep from Losing your Eyesight to Cataracts (From Sayer Ji, Green Med Info): On nutritional ways to slow or even reverse cataract formation. See his article for more detail, and for his references.

Flax Seeds

I add freshly ground flax seeds (I grind them myself) to my daily smoothie, not only for the Omega-3 fats they contain, but for other benefits as well. I have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) which is related in part to excess testosterone in my female body  (yes, women have testosterone levels too), and to low cortisol levels. Flax seeds help both of these hormonal issues by:

  • reducing testosterone levels; and
  • raising cortisol levels which can be problematic for most people, but because of my adrenal issues, my cortisol levels tend to be too low all day.

For more about PCOS, see Web MD article (webmd.com/women/what-is-pcos#1)

Flu (Influenza): Herbal treatment

Asafoetida

from Mercola: Why this stinky herb is so beneficial (articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/01/13/asafoetida-benefits.aspx

Asafoetida has antibacterial, antiparasitic and antiviral properties. In 2009, researchers discovered certain compounds in the herb were more effective at killing the H1N1 influenza virus than the commercial antiviral drug amantadine.”

The article also discusses other medicinal properties of this herb; see my short version: Natural Health Topics, A-C, under Asafoetida

Food Sensitivities: How to deal with them

Moved to Food Sensitivities: How to Deal with Them. See also Dr. Jockers’ article on 7 Ways to Reduce Food Sensitivities

Fulvic and Humic Acids 

See also (on Cat’s Kitchen):

From Green Smoothie Girl: Why Almost Everyone Needs Fulvic Acid and Humic Acid for Better Nutrition and Immunity This excellent article covers so many details about these important nutrients, that I don’t think I can write a better one. [I  note, however, this article is also a sales pitch for her Fulvic/Humic Acid supplement: “Ultimate Minerals.”] See Amazon ASIN B07GL5T69K for this supplement info.

Her article includes the following topics:

  • What Is Fulvic Acid?
  • How Fulvic Acid Works in the Body
  • Health Benefits of Fulvic Acid
  • What Is Humic Acid?
  • Humic Acid Health Benefits
  • How Can You Get More Fulvic and Humic Acid Into Your Diet?
  • Supplementing with Fulvic Acid and Humic Acid
  • TLDR: Fulvic Acid and Humic Acid

If you use her supplement, she suggests starting with 1-dropper-full (about 25 drops) daily and increase to 3-droppers-full (1 dropper-ful, 3-times daily) over 3 weeks. Add the supplement to 8 oz filtered water (chlorine-free); she writes, “Chlorine is toxic to all living cells, and degrades fulvic and humic into un-useable compounds.”

I am currently using Inner Vitality Fulvic/Humic Concentrate added to a glass of filtered water. I use 1/3 of a dropper-full, 3-times daily to achieve the recommended dose of 1-dropper-full/day. See iHerb code MOR-00959 for more about this supplement

Gene Reset

Dr. Mark Hyman sent an interesting email article about epigenetics, “the study of how our environment and behavior can influence which of our genes are turned on or off.” We’ve all been taught to believe our genes determine everything about our bodies and lives; but we are now learning that is not true. In fact, there are things we can do to affect whether our genes are turned on or off; some are better on, and others are better off. Dr Hyman calls this “wash your genes,” as quoted below.  Click on his reference numbers (in bold blue) to see the referenced link.

He also encourages his readers to “check out  my new 10 Day Reset” product, which is an expensive box of special liposomal supplements. Personally, I prefer to do a 3 – 5 day veggie juice fast (see Cat’s Veggie Juice Fast menu to learn more).

Wash Your Genes

Caring for your genes can mean a lot for your health. It means you can stop feeling like a victim and start taking control of the inputs you give your body to achieve your optimal genetic potential!

So what does taking genetic action look like? Here are a few of my favorite ways to change your genetic destiny:

  1. Dial-in your diet. Are you eating a diet high in processed carbs and refined sugars? Cutting the junk is the number one tip for cleaner genes. Poor food choices not only impact your own genes, they also could affect future generations (3). You should always focus on real, wholesome foods (think produce, high-quality animal proteins, healthy fats like olives and avocado, nuts and seeds). The nutrients you get from these support the good genes to work well and help to silence the bad ones. Most people do much better with a higher-fat, lower-carbohydrate diet but we’re all biochemically different, so pay attention to your own needs. 
  2. Fit body, fit genes. You can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet, but exercise is a crucial part of achieving optimal health. The lower your fitness activities, the higher your risk of death. Exercise can come in many forms, and it’s got lots of genetic benefits like impacting energy metabolism, insulin response, and inflammation within muscles (4). So working out your body means working out your genes.  
  3. Step-up your sleep routine and de-stress. Sleep deprivation leads to damaged genes, which probably explains why a lack of sleep makes you fat and leads to depression, pain, heart disease, and diabetes (5). Stress is just as important. When we’re stressed the body releases hormones called glucocorticoids which can cause changes to DNA and specifically affect the brain (6). Lack of sleep contributes to stress in the body, so they both deserve equal attention. Find things that help you relax, whether it’s a walk in nature or some deep breathing exercises, and practice them daily. Give yourself a good 8 hours to get restful sleep in a peaceful environment, your genes will thank you!

Genetics can seem like an overwhelming topic, but it’s actually empowering. We have control and we can change our health, from the very deepest part, inside out.

Glutathione and related biochemicals

See Glutathione and Related Biochemicals for my original, more detailed article. What follows is a summary.

The following is from immunehealthscience.com/alpha-lipoic-acid-benefits.html):

Alpha lipoic acid 

(Or R-Lipoic Acid – the active isomer – is even better) is a powerful antioxidant produced by every cell in the body, and is a cofactor of glutathione production. It is also vital in the cycle of returning glutathione (and other antioxidants) from its oxidized form back to its reduced (active) form, thus increasing glutathione levels by recycling it.

Although small amounts of lipoic acid are found in foods: red meat, organ meats (especially liver), and some vegetables,  the amounts are not sufficient to help with health conditions. Instead, the best source is alpha lipoic acid ( or R-lipoic acid) supplements. The most common recommended dosage is 100-250 mg a day; higher doses have been used for specific problems. Please consult your doctor before increasing your daily dose.

Glutathione

This is a small peptide comprised of three amino acids: glycine, cysteine and glutamine, with a big impact on the health of our bodies. It is a major antioxidant present in every cell, and the primary detox agent in the liver. Taking it as a supplement is controversial; some believe that it is easily broken down into its 3 constituents in the gut, so that it is not absorbed as glutathione. However, its constituents can be absorbed and then used by the liver to make glutathione.

The following about glutathione is from Dr Axe’s article on Top 9 Foods & Supplements to Boost Glutathione).

“Coined ‘The Mother of All Antioxidants’ by Mark Hyman, MD, glutathione is one of the hottest topics in both natural health and medical circles today.” Although our bodies are capable of creating glutathione as needed, an alarming rate of people are deficient because of depletion from modern issues, such as GMOs, artificial sweeteners, and more.

Among its many important functions in the body are (see original article for more detail):

    • Conjugates (“links together”) with drugs to make them more digestible;
    • Is a cofactor for some important enzymes including glutathione peroxidase (which protects you from oxidative damage);
    • Reduces peroxides (natural bleaching agents that are harmful to the body);
    • Helps the liver detoxify fat before bile is emitted, which takes stress off of the gallbladder.

Glutamine, Glycine, and Cysteine

These are the amino acids in glutathione. All are made by the body, and are also available in certain foods, but many people are deficient in them, especially as we age. 

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the blood. One of the best dietary sources is dairy proteins (casein and whey), but it is hard to get enough from food alone. It has many benefits, including (from Dr Axe):

      • Improving gastro-intestinal health, especially healing leaky gut;
      • Playing important role in metabolism;
      • Boosting brain health
      • Promoting muscle growth and decreasing muscle wasting

Glycine is the smallest of the amino acids. It is made by the body, and is abundant in some foods, especially bones (as in stocks and bone broth) and skin. It has benefits for the entire body; here are “key ways it supports the body” (from Dr. Axe):

      • Promotes muscle growth;
      • Repairs and protects joints and cartilage
      • Improves digestion

Cysteine, a thiol or sulfur-containing amino acid, is available in most high-protein foods, and also in the cruciferous (cabbage family) of vegetables. Our bodies can also make cysteine from another amino acid, methionine. If you have deficiency of methionine or if your methionine/glycine ratio is out of balance, you may not be getting enough cysteine. (see Chris Masterjohn’s site: Balancing Methionine and Glycine in Foods: The Data Base for more); see also N-Acetyl Cysteine, below.

N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)

This is a food or supplemental source of cysteine – one of the three amino acids in glutathione.

NAC is considered a precursor to glutathione (GSH), and has recently been proven highly efficient at treating neurocognitive issues like addiction, compulsive behaviors, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Dr. Axe recommends taking 200–500 mg daily. (from Dr. Axe’s article cited above).

Food sources (from Livestrong and My Food Data) include all meats, dairy (such as ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt) and eggs. Plant sources: grains such as granola and oat flakes. Vegetables like broccoli, red pepper and onion are significant sources of cysteine; other plant sources include bananas, garlic, soy beans, linseed and wheat germ. From _”: sunflower seeds, other nuts/seeds, whole grains such as wheat, kamut, oat, barley; wild rice, quinoa, millet, bulgur,

Regarding NAC supplements (from Livestrong): “Consult your medical-care provider before taking NAC supplements. Too much cysteine or methionine can cause health problems, as well. A 2009 study by Temple University found that diets high in methionine can contribute to the development of Alzheimer ’s disease in mice. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, NAC may also raise another amino acid associated with heart disease. Possible side effects of NAC can occur at any dose and include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Oral administration of NAC may cause a severe allergic reaction that swells the soft tissue below the skin of the face, lips and eyes and can develop to a life-threatening condition.

I have a strong food sensitivity to NAC (and other sulfur-containing nutrients); thankfully, taking myo-inositol supplement has helped with other sulfur-containing nutrients such as alpha lipoid acid, but I still have a problem with NAC.

Ginger (the spice)

Both ginger and turmeric (related species) have amazing health benefits. See Individual Herbs & Spices, G – Z for more about Ginger, and my recipe for Ginger Tea. See also Ginger & Turmeric Latte and Golden Milk (Turmeric Tea): Several Recipes for great recipes to enjoy the benefits of both turmeric and ginger.

See also: Herbs & Spices G – Z, for more about Turmeric (the spice)

Gluten sensitivity and mineral absorption:

I don’t recall where I first heard about this, but I googled it and found this helpful article: naturalnews.com/042519_gluten_intolerance_mineral_deficiency_zinc.html

Glyphosate/Roundup (and other toxic herbicides)

Glyphosate is an herbicide designed to kill weeds that grow in your lawn or crop fields. It is also a patented antibiotic that kills, among other things, the microbiome in the soil on which the herbicide is sprayed, and the good bugs in your gut when you eat foods that have been sprayed with it. In order to spray it on crops so that only the weeds (and not the crop) are killed, the crop has to be glyphosate-resistant, which is a genetically modified crop (GE or GMO) that is not killed by the glyphosate sprayed on it. However, the plant takes it up and it then infects every cell of the plant. When you consume its fruit, seeds, leaves, stem and/or root, your body gets the glyphosate.

Other harmful uses for glyphosate (besides killing weeds)

One of the most disturbing uses is as an additive (adjuvant) to vaccines. According to an article by Dr. Mercola:

“Moms Across America sent five childhood vaccines to be tested for glyphosate, and every single one of them came back positive. … one of which was the MMR vaccine. [MMR is Mumps, Measles and Rubella vaccine.] MMR vaccine … causes gut dysbiosis. … Incidentally, practically every child who has autism has gut dysbiosis.”

Could it be that the glyphosate in these vaccines, along with the adjuvant added to the vaccine (mercury, aluminum, etc) are the major cause of autism?

A group of moms switched the diet of their autistic children (and the rest of the family) to 100% Organic that included fermented foods (to help the gut), and found their children recovered from their food allergies and autism.

For more, see Zen Honeycutt’s book, “Unstoppable: Transforming Sickness and Struggle Into Triumph, Empowerment and a Celebration of Community,” you can also learn more by visiting MomsAcrossAmerica.org. Zen Honeycutt is the founder of Moms Across America.

See also my article: How to detox glyphosate (Roundup) from your body

Gut Health

See also “Digestive Health” section, above.

Gut Health, Probiotics and Prebiotics:

I originally got the link to this video from Dr Jonny Bowden (the Sherpa). It is a presentation by Dr Steven Gundry as part of his sales pitch for his prebiotic supplement: “Prebiothrive”. He does share some great info about high-lectin foods to avoid, and how to promote a healthy gut. See pdf file for my notes at GutHealth-Prebiotics_SGundry notes (pdf) [also saved CATSFORK > PDF files / GutHealth-Prebiotics_SGundry notes.pdf ; originally saved HEALTH-NUTRITION > 1_MISC INFO]. Here’s his highlights:

  • Important bugs in a healthy gut (probiotics) includes: H. Pylori and bifidobacteria
  • Prebiotics are essential, as they feed the probiotics. Fiber and oligosaccharides are prebiotics which are present in fruits, veggies, nuts and legumes. They are also available as supplements.
  • Foods, etc. to Avoid:  1. Four Fake Health Foods (lectin-containing seeds); 2. antibiotics, especially meats/milk/eggs from animals treated with antibiotics to grow faster; 3. conventionally raised meats; and 4. artificial sweeteners. Important Note (from Cat): The lectins in seeds are broken down when they are sprouted or fermented, so that the food is no longer toxic; see my post on Cat’s Kitchen post: Toxic Phytates & Lectins in Grains, Legumes, Nuts & Seeds, and How to Avoid Them and also see “Lectins” in Notes: H – P. Also note that stevia is not an artificial sweetener, but rather a healthful natural sweetener.
  • Good Foods and Treats: Dark chocolate, coffee and extra virgin olive oil; and prebiotic foods/supplements.

Gut Health and Metabolism

Sept 2019 article form Mercola: articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/09/30/gut-bacteria-and-metabolism.aspx

Discusses links between probiotics, obesity, frequency of bowel movements, and inflammation.

About Cat

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