Volume 14 • Number 2 • February 2013


Interestingly, Isis, the Egyptian Goddess of Reason and Wisdom is symbolized by a dog. Many jokes come to mind at first blush, don’t they? But, with a bit of reflection, especially watching my neighbor suffer while he mourns the death of his dog, the reason the ancients associated Iris with a dog makes sense. Dog owners will agree that we learn from our dear friends. A school of philosophy in ancient Greece led by Diogenes maintained that being like a dog was the best way to be happy. They called themselves “cynikos,” or dog-like.

What is it about a dog, then, that we would do well to emulate? And, what does all this have to do with health? For starters, 85% of happiness depends on our health. Of the many contributions of wisdom to our happiness, a dog’s character embodies some of the most important. First, wisdom teaches us that simple faith is better than vain philosophy, and second, surrendering to the Higher Power that governs the Universe is the end of misery.

Paris, the City of Lights, is symbolized by Isis on a boat whose sail depicts a dog. Paris’ Coat of Arms has a Caduceus in it, the symbol of healing. For such a vaunted city, proud of its sophistication, arts and knowledge to be symbolized by a dog and not a might eagle or a regal lion, speaks volumes.

If you don’t have a dog, get one. It’s good for your health and you might learn something about reason and surrendering. Hugo Rodier, MD

Tomatoes for Everyone

Lycopene, one of the micronutrients in tomatoes, has been associated with better prostate health for some time. [1] We just learned that it also reduces the risk of breast cancer. [2] This may be surprising to those who may still view antioxidants or any nutrient under the pharmaceutical lenses promoted by modern Health Care. Under that dictum, one drug is good for one disease, because a drug focuses on symptoms. But, cutting edge research focuses on the cellular beginnings of diseases, which are shared by all of them. Basically, cells use energy (they metabolize,) a process that, like that of any engine, needs “coolants” (anti-inflammatories,) and mechanisms to neutralize the by-products of energy -making, antioxidants. [3] This is why virtually any antioxidant nutrient will be eventually found to help any disease in its early stages.

Moreover, prostate and breast problems share the same sex hormones exposure and susceptibility to environmental “xenoestrogens,” or environmental toxins that overstimulate those organs. Try to avoid exposure to them; push back against chemicals like BVO, which Gatorade recently took out since it is a flame retardant used to even out taste. Filter your water and air at home, eat as organic as possible, use natural hygiene products, and become active in community environmental issues, like the horrendous air pollution in my hometown, Salt Lake City.

Speaking of xenoestrogens, French men are producing sperm with 32% less mobility. [4] And in the USA, mammograms turn out to be too sensitive, meaning there is a whole lot of over-diagnosis. After three decades of getting them, [5] 30 million women have been unnecessarily treated for breast cancer.

What can you do to lower your risk of prostate and breast cancer? Besides avoiding toxins, eat better, that is more plant-based foods like cruciferous vegetables, berries, kiwis, pomegranates, and soy. Drink green tea, use curry, avoid refined sugars, and supplement curcumin, ECCG, sulpharanes, beta carotene, indole 3 carbinol, capsaicin, etc.-see the reference for more details. [6] Recently, beta carotene has been highlighted in the medical literature for cancer  [7] and macular degeneration. [8]

Education &Prevention

As economies contract some countries cut down expenses across the board while others invest more in things that will bring more savings and better economies in the future, like promoting healthy lifestyles [9] This newsletter is primarily concerned with 2 topics that must get more emphasis and money instead of losing funding. Getting people to come in for a physical and not discuss key health issues, as presented in this newsletter, does not work. [10] What we need is classes at school and clinics where people can understand health at the cellular level:

There is a disconnect at the heart of the U.S. education system that is having a devastating effect on how and what children learn. The most meaningful learning takes place when students are challenged to address an issue in depth, which can only be done for a relatively small number of topics in any school year. But the traditional process of setting standards tends to promote a superficial “comprehensive coverage” of a field, whether it be biology or history, leaving little room for in-depth learning. The curricula and textbooks that result are skin-deep and severely flawed.” [11]

I am afraid that the same process is taking place at all levels of education, even among doctors. [12]

Gut Update

I cannot refrain from discussing gut health for very long. Research continues to pour out of our journals on the concept that healing the gut is the first step towards health in any disease. Occam’s razor: simple answer for complex problems: [13]

“Research Advances With Regards to Clinical Outcome and Potential Mechanisms of the Cholesterol-Lowering Effects of Probiotics:”[14]

The accepted mechanism responsible for the cholesterol-lowering effect of probiotics is the inhibition of intestinal cholesterol absorption and the suppression of bile acid reabsorption. Human metagenomic studies [of] the mechanisms by which probiotic ingestion . treat hypercholesterolemia should be carried out in the future.”

“Divergent metabolic outcomes arising from targeted manipulation of the gut microbiota in diet-induced obesity:”[15]

Both vancomycin and the bacteriocin-producing probiotic altered the gut microbiota in diet-induced obese mice, but in distinct ways. Only vancomycin treatment resulted in an improvement in the metabolic abnormalities associated with obesity thereby establishing that while the gut microbiota is a realistic therapeutic target, the specificity of the antimicrobial agent employed is critical.

“Brain-Gut Interactions in Inflammatory Bowel Disease:” [16]

Psycho-neuro-endocrine-immune modulation through the brain-gut axis likely has a key role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The brain-gut axis involves interactions among the neural components, including (1) the autonomic nervous system, (2) the central nervous system, (3) the stress system (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis), (4) the (gastrointestinal) corticotropin-releasing factor system, and (5) the intestinal response (including the intestinal barrier, the luminal microbiota, and the intestinal immune response). The efferent vagus nerve could be a therapeutic target in IBD through a pharmacologic, nutritional, or neurostimulation approach. In addition, the psychophysiological vulnerability of patients with IBD, secondary to the potential presence of any mood disorders, distress, increased perceived stress, or maladaptive coping strategies, underscores the psychological needs of patients with IBD.Future research may include exploration of markers of brain-gut interactions, including serum/salivary cortisol (as a marker of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis), heart rate variability (as a marker of the sympathovagal balance), or brain imaging studies. The widespread use and potential impact of complementary and alternative medicine and the positive response to placebo (in clinical trials) is further evidence that exploring other psycho-interventions may be important therapeutic adjuncts to the conventional <=”” i=””>.”

[1] J. Nutrition 2008;138:49

[2] J. of the American Medical Association 2013;309:222

[3] “Association Between use of Specialty Dietary Supplements and C-Reactive Protein Concentrations,”
American J. Epidemiology 2012

[4] Oxford J. Human Reproduction, December 2012

[5] “Effect of Three Decades of Screening Mammography on Breast-Cancer Incidence,”

New England J. of Medicine 2012; 367:1998

[6] “Apoptosis by dietary factors,” J. Carcinogenesis 2007;28:233

[7] “Circulating Carotenoids and Risk of Breast Cancer: Pooled Analysis of Eight Prospective Studies,”
J. National Cancer Institute 2012;104:1905

[8] “Secondary Outcomes in a Clinical Trial of Carotenoids with Coantioxidants versus Placebo in Early Age-Related Macular Degeneration,” J. Ophthalmology Epub December 7th 2012

[9] “Moving countries toward healthier lifestyles,” American J. Medicine 2013;126:1,27

[10] “Studies Continue to Show No Benefit From Annual Physicals in Healthy Adults,”
J. of the American Medical Association

[11] ‘Failure of Skin-Deep Learning,” J. Science 2012:338:1263

[12] “Dumbing down” J. of the American Medical Association 2003;289:1349

[13] “Occam’s razor and probiotics activity on Listeria monocytogenes,”

J. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 2013;110: E1

[14] J. Clinical Lipidology 2012;7(5):501

[15] J. Gut 2013;62:220

[16] J. Gastroenterology 2013; 144 :36

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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Information on this blog is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this blog for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Please consult your health care practitioner with any questions or concerns you may have.