All the references quoted in this issue are leftovers from 2014, except for one, which deals with my home state of Utah where prescription drug abuse is a serious problem. Methamphetamines are widely prescribed “legitimately” to treat ADD and all-too-often to lose weight. These drugs have now been associated with a higher risk of Parkinsonism, a disease that afflicts the nervous system. The reason for this association is not yet clear. I suspect it may be more than these drugs directly affecting the brain. They also compromise liver function, which is where we detoxify pesticides associated with this disease.
Our broken health care system overprescribes drugs that only treat symptoms, often satisfied with naming a disease, but not asking WHY it gets started. As we start a new year we wonder what the future will bring concerning our health. I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is that things will get better. The bad news is that things will get worse before they get better. But, that is just my opinion. I am afraid that the system reflects deeply rooted social maladies. Why would health care be spared?
More good news: the rampant abuses in the system, the obvious failure of public institutions in serving the people-they have been taken over by corrupted cabals-is awakening most segments of our country who will increasingly demand change. My crystal ball is in the shop, so, I cannot venture more specifics, but, I advice not to lose any sleep over any of these issues. Be patient. Our collective health will improve after convalescing a little longer. In the meantime take care of your own health by applying the principles and science you find in this newsletter.
Happy New Year! Hugo Rodier, MD
The gut and your skin
I estimate that about 90% of skin problems are a reflection of the health of our gut, more specifically the bacteria therein. The two most common examples are acne and eczema. The latter is now associated with osteoporosis, which should be a clue to said gut association. But, the good researchers write that osteoporosis is due to the treatment of eczema with topical and systemic corticosteroids which are known to thin our bones. Interestingly, they add that “chronic inflammation” is at play, too. My contention is that said inflammation is caused by disturbed gut flora, which then leads to poor absorption of the minerals in our food that support bone health.
Another clue to the gut connection is their statement that “eczema is associated with distraction from itch, mental health comorbidities, and sleep disturbance.” Might these problems be a reflection of the brain-gut connection, too?
So, if you wish to have great looking skin, eat lots of veggies, take care of your gut with probiotics, digestive enzymes and omega oils. Herbs like Berberine may help. If you only slap on a steroid cream you are only treating the symptoms. Avoid antibiotics if at all possible. They unbalance your gut flora which leads to inflamed, poorly absorbing intestinal lining. So, the next time you have a cough diagnosed as bronchitis, remember that antibiotics don’t help with that.
Back to osteoporosis: read the blog “Scary Dairy.”
- Not surprisingly, vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy has been associated with newborn problems like Autism, eating disorders, cognitive and language issues, lung, and, yes, bone density problems. As noted above, these issues are likely to involve chronic inflammation in the gut affecting the brain-gut connection, and leading to poor absorption of nutrients. But, there is more. It turns out that vitamin D promotes the health of the gut flora, which is also critical for detoxification of pollutants associated with problems like Autism.
- A FACEBOOK addiction is now an accepted mental health concern involving not only addictive behaviors, but, also “emotional regulation” issues. How else can we account for some people doing “interesting” things just so that they can post them on line?
- Soon we may be going to the dentist not to get depressed over the pain involved, but to treat depression! Laughing gas or nitrous oxide for one hour can help in resistant depression. Perhaps the benefits are not so much from the gas itself, but from laughing a lot. My favorite philosophers George Carlin and Calvin & Hobbes would agree.
- Yoga is pretty much good for everything, not just mind issues. The Mind-Body connection will undoubtedly get more attention in the future, particularly when a diagnosis of depression will soon become the most common. Yoga can also help in losing weight, both due to improvement of metabolic issues and relieving stress which is often a neglected part of weight loss programs.
- The treatment of seizures also gets help form the Brian-Gut connection: The Ketogenic diet, a diet high in fats just got another high brow endorsement from the Journal Neurology (Epub Oct 29 2014.) Speaking of fats, Trans fats, or artificial fats decrease memory. And, speaking of memory.
- Over treatment with anti clotting drugs like Coumadin increases the risk of Dementia. This is not to say we should stop using them, but, that we need to be more aware of side effects of drugs.
The wrong white crystals
When I was in Medical School in the 80s I was taught that “essential hypertension” was so named because we did not know what caused it. Some people now suspect salt. But, the literature is very clear on the real nature of the white crystals causing the problem: sugar. By inflaming and oxidizing the lining of our arteries, or endothelium, sugar causes the spasms of arteries that lead to hypertension, a problem that affects over 90% of Americans beyond a certain age. Artificial sugars and even natural sugars in excess may increase insulin resistance tendencies. This may affect our kidneys and other blood pressure regulatory systems like the adrenal glands, receptors in the brain, heart and arteries.
Not surprisingly, “Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota.“ More sweet news:
1. “Sulfonylurea Use and Incident Cardiovascular Disease Among Patients With Type 2 Diabetes,” J. Diabetes Care 2014;37:3106. Drugs like Glucotrol increase cardiac problems in diabetics.
2. “Prediabetes and the risk of cancer: a meta-analysis,” J. Diabetologia November 2014. Dr. Warberg won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1931 for linking high sugar diets to cancer. They depress the immune system and our metabolism. The latter also affects the immune system.
3. “Interplay between the immune system and adipose tissue in obesity,” J. Endocrinol 2014;223 (2) R41
4. “Sulfonylurea Use and Incident Cardiovascular Disease Among Patients With Type 2 Diabetes,” J. Diabetes Care 2014;37:3106. Drugs like Glucotrol increase cardiac problems in diabetics.
5. “Maternal Hyperglycemia During Pregnancy Predicts Adiposity of the Offspring,”
J. Diabetes Care2014;37:2996
6. “Inflammation and Lipid Signaling in the Etiology of Insulin Resistance,” http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2012.04.001. Cholesterol is not a problem until it is oxidized, which is in large part due to Insulin Resistance in the liver.
7. “Relationship between whole-body macronutrient oxidative partitioning and pancreatic insulin secretion/β-cell function in non-diabetic humans,” J. Metabolism – Clinical and Experimental Volume 63, Issue 11, Pages 1426-1431, November 2014.Eat a lot of antioxidants-plant based diets-to lower your risk of Diabetes. See below.
8. “Mediterranean diet reverses metabolic syndrome,” Canadian Medical Assoc J. October 14, 2014
9. “Resveratrol and curcumin enhance pancreatic β-cell function by inhibiting phosphodiesterase activity,” J. Endocrinology 2014;223:107. These foods are high in antioxidants. More below.
10. “Beneficial Effect of Pistachio Consumption on Glucose Metabolism, Insulin Resistance, Inflammation, and Related Metabolic Risk Markers: A Randomized Clinical Trial,” J. Diabetes Care November 2014;37:3098
 “Diet Gains Legitimacy as Potential Factor in Acne,” J. Skin and Allergy News, May 2008, page 9
“Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth syndrome,” World J Gastroenterology 2010;16:2978
 “Eczema is associated with osteoporosis and fractures in adults: A US population-based study,”
J. Allergy and Clinical Immunology Epub December 13 2014
 Antibiotics for acute bronchitis,” JAMA 2014;312:2678
 “Maternal Vitamin D affects newborn in many ways,” Epub December 15 2014 J. Pediatrics
 “Pesticides and Autism Spectrum Disorders: New Findings from the CHARGE Study,”
J. Environ Health Perspectives 2014 DOI:10.1289/ehp.122-A280
“Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Prenatal Residential Proximity to Agricultural Pesticides: The CHARGE Study,” J. Environ Health Perspectives 2014 DOI:10.1289/ehp.1307044
 “Nitrous oxide for one hour for resistant depresion?” Epub December 8 2014 J. Biol Psychiatry
 “The effectiveness of yoga in modifying risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials,” European J. Prevent Cardiol 2014; DOI:10.1177/2047487314562741
 British J. Nutrition 2000;83:s49
 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, Chicago 2014
 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, Chicago 2014
 “The wrong white crystals: not salt but sugar as aetiological in hypertension and cardiometabolic disease,”
J. Open Heart2014;1: doi:10.1136/openhrt-2014-000167
 J. Nature 2014;514,181-186