Volume 12 • Number 3 • March 2011

There are a couple of health providers in my neighborhood who give thyroid hormone and a cocktail of sex hormones to practically everyone who walks in the door. Most of their patients also get Ritalin-like stimulants, new (read expensive) psychoactive drugs and other pharmaceuticals, and if weight loss is an issue, HCG, or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, the hormone made during pregnancy is thrown in for good measure. The common denominator to this potentially dangerous overuse of pharmaceuticals is “stimulation” and avoidance of responsibility, traits that may well define our modern society.

This newsletter has addressed these issues before; still, new articles make it necessary to rehash them. For instance, the article Weight Loss after Therapy of Hypothyroidism Is Mainly Caused by Excretion of Excess Body Water Associated with Myxoedema[1] confirms the notion that low thyroid, unless it is dramatically low in standard tests, is not associated with weight gain. But, contrary to evidence, some practitioners administer their own tests that show that just about everyone needs thyroid. Why not put it in the water, then?

Hugo Rodier, MD

Breaking into a Sweat… and Risk of Osteoarthritis[2]

I am afraid this is the title of an article that needs to be widely disseminated, particularly among exercisers. The sad news that the risk of “osteoarthritis, OA, specifically at the knee, continues to rise into the septuagenarian and octogenarian decades of the life span. In addition, gender is clearly related to risk of disease, with women experiencing higher rates of OA than men, at the hand, knee, and hip joints, after age 40 and beyond.”

Hopefully no one will stop exercising because of this article; instead, I hope serious runners consider less jarring modes of staying in shape. Several articles have hinted about this problem for a while, now; this is why I quit running when I turned 50. Pollution in SLC, UT, contributed to my decision to hang my sneakers in favor of fast walking on my treadmill set at its maximum inclination; ironically, I get a more intense work out that way compared to my abandoned running. But, I still run when I am up in the mountains and when I travel to places I want to experience more intensely, like Paris, or some beach in Mexico.

So, consider saving your knees: quit pounding the pavement and breathing polluted air along busy streets while running the risk of getting hit by some car whose driver is distracted by texting or phoning. How about a treadmill, of just going up and down your stairs at home? Or, buying that gizmo that elevates your bikes’ back wheel? Even walking would be good; it has been shown to lower the incidence of cognitive decline . [3] Exercise in general increases the good cholesterol, HDL, thereby lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.[4] If you have more time and money, consider swimming. But, whatever you do for exercise make it fun, often (1 hour-5 times a week). and safe.

 

Vindication: antibiotics and acne; beware

When I worked for an HMO some 12 years ago, I tried to dissuade the parents of a teenager from using antibiotics for acne. I had recently read an article linking that practice with lupus, an arthritic condition, often life threatening. The parents, unconvinced, and despite walking out with a prescription for antibiotics, turned me into the HMO brass for “scaring them.” Since then, many articles have vindicated my attempt to warn them (including the one quoted last month), but none as good as the 2 articles I recently reviewed:

Potential Association Between the Oral Tetracycline Class of Antimicrobials Used to Treat Acne and Inflammatory Bowel Disease[5] shows that antibiotics compromise our intestinal flora, which is a large part of our immune system; the consequences are widespread and include inflammatory problems in the gut. Often, they are associated with arthritic conditions. However, addressing the more toxic bacteria in the gut in a laser-like approach, that is, with an antibiotic that specifically targets them, has been shown to treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome.”[6]

“Association Between the Use of Antibiotics in the First Year of Life and Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease”[7] makes it clear we should not be as cavalier as we have been in giving antibiotics to toddlers for conditions that are often viral and worsened by their high sugar diets. As already covered in this newsletter, acne is a nutritional problem. Get off milk and sugar and eat more veggies. what a concept. If you want to put something on your skin, try tea tree oil, aloe and even prescription antibiotics. And, don’t forget berberine and omega oils.

Related articles: “Colicky Baby? Here is a Surprising Remedy,” (probiotics,)[8] and “Periodontal Disease and Preterm Birth.”[9]

The Gut’s Clostridium Cocktail[10]

Sorry, but this article is a game-changer in addressing the common root of most diseases; I feel obligated to sharing it with you, on top of the numerous similar reports I have recently addressed on this newsletter. When the journal Science tackles it, it is time for doctors to pay attention:

Specific components of the microbiota-the microorganisms that normally colonize the body-can affect disease progression in mouse models of arthritis, central nervous system inflammation, diabetes, intestinal inflammation, and obesity. Indigenous species of Clostridium bacteria, a large component of the mammalian microbiota, promote anti-inflammatory immune responses by expanding and activating regulatory T (Treg) cells. The finding has important implications for understanding how gut-resident bacteria affect both intestinal and systemic immune responses.

Food for Thought

Sure, depression and assorted mental diseases have a lot to do with inherited tendencies and emotional/psychological stresses. What gets ignored, however, is the “fuel” our brain and heart need to cope with the above factors. As previously shown herein, refined foods, particularly sugars, increase the risk of not only depression, but, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. Now, we may add to that the artificial, overly refined fats widely used in processed foods. Specifically, they increase the risk of depression.[11] After all, our brain is 80% fat. This is why good oils, like omega 3 fatty acids found in fish and vegetables have a significant beneficial effect on our brain and moods.[12]

Doctors prescribe antidepressants, which are only successful in 45% of cases and often, they have side effects that may be worse than depression. For example Tricyclic antidepressants like imipramine increase the risk of cardiovascular events by 35%.[13] Some practitioners like the ones mentioned in the editorial treat depression with Ritalin-like drugs, arguing that most of those patients suffer from ADD. This practice ignores the fact that almost all mental disorders show hyperactivity and a compromised ability to focus one’s attention.[14]

While some patients may need a pharmaceutical approach, most would do much better and with less side effects if they were to eat good food, eliminate potential food allergies,[15] exercise, and address their emotional/psychological issues, particularly aided by psychotherapy, and/or a good listening, caring friend or loved one. Adding items like St John’s Wort, SAMe (a B vitamin derivative,) borage, folate, saffron and tryptophan (an amino acid) have been shown to be as effective as the tricyclic antidepressants and/or better than placebo. Lavender has even been shown to be superior to imipramine.[16]

The above non pharmaceutical treatments have been found to be extremely safe. The review article quoted rehashed the worn out and false concern that tryptophan may cause a rare blood disorder, the eusinophilic-myalgia syndrome. It is amazing how myths perpetuate themselves, quoted by those who would like to discredit simple Mother Nature solutions to advance and protect Big Pharma’s agenda from competition. Once again, I herein review the fact that the eusinophil problem “associated” with tryptophan was due to the genetically modified bacteria used to industrially produce the amino acid, not tryptophan itself. The same corporation producing the tainted tryptophan was also accused of polluting coastal waters inJapan with mercury and hiding their culpability.

Telegraphed articles

Daily Low Dose Aspirin Cut Cancer Death Rate 30-40%,”
J. Lancet 2001;377;1

Bisphenol A (in plastics) associated with sterility,”
J. Proceedings Nat Acad Sci 2010;107:20405

Why Starving Cells Eat Themselves,”
J. Science 28 January 2011;331:410

Habitual intake of flavonoid subclasses and incident hypertension in adults,”
Am J Clin Nutr 2011;93:2338

Diet-induced weight loss reduces colorectal inflammation: implications for colorectal carcinogenesis,”
Am J Clin Nutr 2011;93:2234

Mediterranean diet reduces endothelial damage and improves the regenerative capacity of endothelium (lining cells of arteries),”
Am J Clin Nutr 2011;93:2267

Marine Fatty Acid Intake Is Associated with Breast Cancer Prognosis,”
J. Nutrition 2011;141:2201

Food Prices Are Associated with Dietary Quality, Fast Food Consumption, and Body Mass Index among U.S. Children and Adolescents,”
J. Nutrition 2011;141:2304

Is Cinnamon Safe and Effective for Treating Lipid Disorders?”
J. Family Practice 2011;60:43

Picture This: the average US child has nearly 8 imaging tests by age 18,”
JAMA 2011;305:456

[1] J. Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 2011; 96: E99

[2] J. Rheumatology 2011;38(2):188

[3]Walking Linked to Slower Cognitive Declines,” J. Family Practice News, January 2011, p1

[4]High HDL lower risk of AD,” J. Archives of Neurology, December 2010

[5] American J Gastroenterology 2010;105: 2610

[6]Rifaximin Therapy for Patients with IBS without Constipation,” NEJM 2011;364:22 Editorial page 81

[7] American J. Gastroenterology 2010;105: 2687

[8] J. Family Practice 2011;60:34

[9] J. Family Practice News, December 2010, p76

 

[10] J. Science 21 January 2011;331:289

[11]Trans-Fats Linked to Increase Depression Risk,” J. PLoS ONE, January 2011

[12]Omega 3s Affect Brain Signaling,” J. Nature 2011;470:8

[13]Tricyclics Tied to 35% Higher Cardiovascular Risk,” J. Family Practice News, Dec 2010, p58

[14]Structure and Diagnosis of Adult ADD/Hyperactivity Disorder,” J. Archives General Psychiatry 2010;67:1168

[15]Elimination Diet May Improve ADHD Symptoms,” MedScape Medical News 2011;0:4

[16]Which Nutritional Therapies are Safe and Effective for Depression?” J. Family Practice 2011;60:99

Hugo Rodier, MD is an integrative physician based in Draper, Utah who specializes in healing chronic disease at the cellular level by blending proper nutrition, lifestyle changes, & allopathic practices when necessary.

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