Volume 17 • Number 8 • August 2016

Americans spend over 9% of total health care expenditures on “complementary health” approaches out of their own pockets.

The NCHS study estimated that one in five Americans aged 4 years and over spent money on at least one type of complementary health approach, which could include message therapy, tai chi, chiropractic manipulation, homeopathic treatment, hypnosis and energy healing therapy.” In addition, “Americans were more likely to have spent money on natural product supplements…than on visits to complementary approach practitioners or self-care approaches.”[1] [Add to the list Integrative Medicine Doctors who don’t take insurance].

Now consider the following article highlighted in a previous edition of this newsletter:

Health Care delivery accounts for only 10% of preventable deaths, with the remainder attributable to personal behaviors, social and environmental determinants, and genetic predispositions. As currently constituted the Health care delivery system has little direct control over these other factors… To create a culture of health will require creating a market for health, moving away from the current market for treating disease.”[2]

Integration of both articles: you, an educated health consumer, have realized you must take health matters into your own hands.

Hugo Rodier, MD

The Brain-Gut connection

Thirty five years ago while in medical school I began to see articles about the powerful connection between the gut and the brain in reputable medical journals. Over a decade later Doctor Gershon’s book THE SECOND BRAIN (1998) brought this critical health issue out of those apparently neglected journals. Much like he and many other doctors I have faced significant criticism for this “alternative” view. I wonder what detractors are now saying as the Brain-Gut connection has become a mainstream novelty. Check out some of the latest evidence:

Regulating inflammation with microbial metabolites – J. Nature Medicine 2016;22:581 – 583

Gut bacteria produce inflammatory metabolites that affect the brain.

CARD9 impacts colitis by altering gut microbiota metabolism of tryptophan into aryl hydrocarbon receptor ligands – J. Nature Medicine 2016;22:598 – 605

Gut bacteria affects your “digestion” of the amino acid Tryptophan (cashews) which is indispensable for you to make your own Serotonin neurotransmitter. Prozac-like drugs work through its degradation in the liver. Over 90% of Serotonin is found in the gut, not the brain.

Type I interferons and microbial metabolites of tryptophan modulate astrocyte activity and central nervous system inflammation via the aryl hydrocarbon receptor – J. Nature Medicine 2016;22:586 – 597

The studies noted above show that the gut microbiota produces metabolites from dietary tryptophan that regulate inflammation in the gut and central nervous system.

Multiple sclerosis patients have a distinct gut microbiota compared to healthy controls. J. Scientific Reports 2016; 6: 28484

MS patients generate inflammation metabolites in the gut that end up in the brain where they cause the infamous “amyloid plaques” associated with MS symptoms.


More gut-related articles-Sorry! I can’t help it![3]

Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration is inversely associated with mucosal inflammation in patients with ulcerative colitis-Am J Clin Nutr 2016 104: 113

Vitamin D is not a vitamin-it’s a pre-hormone that optimizes the health of our gut flora. This in turn helps reduce gut inflammation from unbalanced gut flora; this is the root of not only colitis, but Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Most people should take 2-5K IU of vitamin D3. The prescription vitamin D2 is not as active as D3 over the counter.

Soluble Corn Fiber Increases Calcium Absorption Associated with Shifts in the Gut Microbiome: A Randomized Dose-Response Trial in Free-Living Pubertal Females- J. Nutr. 2016 146: 1298

Calcium issues like Osteoporosis result from poor gut flora undermining calcium absorption. Add this fact to the one above and you may see why osteoporosis is so common in people with bad diets.

A Gut Feeling about Thrombosis– N Engl J Med 2016; 374:2494

Unhealthy gut flora increases the chances of clots.

Altered Microbiota Contributes to Reduced Diet-Induced Obesity upon Cold Exposure—J. Cell Metabolism Volume 23, Issue 6, p1216–1223, 14 June 2016

New way to lose weight-lock yourself up in a walk-in freezer! As noted ad nauseum the gut flora affects your ability to metabolize the food you eat. An unbalanced gut flora may cause weight gain. Translation: “calories in= calories out” does not apply to some of us.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/lowres.cartoonstock.com/retail-frozen-shops-grocery-aisle-stuck-kkin168_low.jpg Sorry; I am a very visual person…



Mitochondria update

Mitochondria cells within body cells transform the food we eat into Energy to fuel the latter. When the Mitochondria cell membrane oxidizes, or gets inflamed we become ill. Poor nutrition, toxins and gut flora imbalances cause most of these problems. I see practically all health problems improve by addressing those factors with Mitochondrial antioxidants like Alpha Lipoic Acid, D-Ribose and CoQ10. Here are some other things one may try:

Combined epigallocatechin-3-gallate and resveratrol supplementation for 12 wk increases mitochondrial capacity and fat oxidation, but not insulin sensitivity, in obese humans: a randomized controlled trial- Am J Clin Nutr 2016 104: 215

Green tea and grapes. Other articles do show a salutary effect on insulin sensitivity.

The resurgence of NADJ. Science17 Jun 2016 :1396-1397

NAD is another mitochondrial antioxidant. Its effectiveness is somewhat controversial (buyer beware). But, it is worth a try since it can only hurt your wallet. This article revives the concept that NAD may help with aging. I would try the ones above first.

SOY Update

I still find patients who have not been updated on the salutary effects of soy. One again, soy is not going to increase cancer, nor mess with your hormones!!!!!! Soy has been fully rehabilitated. That you don’t want to eat GMO soy is very true, as true as it is for ANY crop. Eat fermented soy: the gut flora determines how it is going to affect you by turning it into Equol.

Use of Plant-Based Therapies and Menopausal Symptoms: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis—JAMA June 21, 2016, Vol 315, No. 23

Reuters (6/21, Doyle) reports a review of 62 studies which examined the effects of some plant-based therapies on menopause symptoms showed that using “phytoestrogens was associated with fewer hot flashes during the day and with less vaginal dryness, but did not influence night sweats.” Using black cohosh was linked to “a lessening of overall menopause symptoms score,” but not to a specific symptom. Chinese medicinal herbs, meanwhile, “were not associated with a decrease in menopause symptoms.”

Can supplementation of phytoestrogens/insoluble fibers help the management of duodenal polyps in familial adenomatous polyposis?—J. Carcinogenesis (2016) 37 (6): 600

Phytoestrogens found in Soy help control colon polyps that may turn cancerous.

  1. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/06/22/study-americans-spend-billions-non-conventional-health-approaches/86200430/
  2. “Bridging the divide between health and health care,” JAMA 2013;309:1121
  3. The few habitual readers of this newsletter know ALL disease start in the gut. Eating a bad diet modulates our gut flora with drastic consequences. Most issues of this newsletter provide a few of the latest articles on this issue.
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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