SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

February 29, 2012

Bone-density, again

(Sorry, I know that I have posted on this endlessly – there are still millions out there who aren’t getting the message.  .  .  .  Comments follow.   Jan)


Bone-density diagnoses are complicated


As she stood in the shower, Joyce Morison propped one leg on the side of the tub and balanced on the other — the classic leg-shaving stance familiar to women everywhere.    But then Morison heard a sound that was not part of the routine.    “A pop, almost as if you snapped your fingers,” she said. “All at once, I was sitting down.”

Morison’s left femur had snapped. The injury she suffered in 2008 was excruciating and also mysterious: Morison did not have osteoporosis and in fact had been taking Fosamax, a bone-strengthening bisphosphonate, for 12 years.    “I was told that I was a good candidate for osteoporosis,” said Morison, now 65.    A doctor had prescribed medication because bone-mineral-density tests put the Bexley resident in the osteopenia range, a term for low bone density.

But osteopenia isn’t really a diagnosis, and some doctors say too many people are being treated for something that is often wrongly viewed as a precursor to full-blown osteoporosis.    Some researchers also suspect that long-term use of the popular drug Fosamax could actually lead to more fractures by rendering bones brittle. The link has not been proved in clinical trials, but reports of femur fractures such as Morison’s are being tracked.

JEFF HINCKLEY DISPATCH To help your bones stay healthy as you age, exercising and getting enough calcium and vitamin D are key.

Dr. Seth Kantor, an Ohio-Health rheumatologist, said diagnostic problems arise when clinicians and patients focus too much on the result — known as the T-score — read by a scanning machine that measures bone-mineral density.    World Health Organization guidelines say T-scores from minus-1.0 to minus-2.5 mean a patient has low bone density; a T-score of minus-2.5 or below signals osteoporosis.    But that’s only part of the picture. Determining a patient’s actual risk of fracture, and thus the potential need for treatment, depends on a variety of factors such as age, weight, race, family history of osteoporosis, and overall health and fitness. (*1)

“If you ask, ‘At what T-score should I start treatment?’ the answer is: ‘There is no answer,’” said Kantor, who sees patients at the Grant Arthritis and Osteoporosis Center. “What has happened is that a lot of doctors and patients focus on the bone mass and not bone quality.”

Dr. Velimir Matkovic, director of the Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment Center at Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University, has studied bone-mineral density for more than 40 years. Like Kantor, he laments the over use of the word osteopenia.    “Since the mass screening with DXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) machines has taken place, this term has been used as an intermediary level of mineralization,” Matkovic said. “It’s a reading on a machine.”    He said he regularly sees women, especially younger ones, who are taking medicines they probably don’t need.    “In my clinic, I eliminated more of those prescriptions than I was prescribing,” Matkovic said.

Still, osteoporosis is both common and devastating, and doctors must stress prevention. (*2) Although some bone loss is a normal part of the aging process, disease is not.    Getting enough calcium and vitamin D — either through foods or in supplements — can help keep bones strong. (*3)   “I check the vitamin D level on everyone who comes to my office,” Kantor said. “More than 90 percent are deficient.”   (*4) Exercise also is important, and it doesn’t have to be strenuous. Weight-bearing is key, so swimming doesn’t count.    “It just means bearing your own weight, and simple walking is an excellent weight-bearing exercise,” Kantor said. “Don’t park the car in the closest spot at Kroger.  Park in the farthest one.”

Osteoporosis is far more likely to occur in women, but men are not without risk, Kantor said.    “Many people think it’s just women, but 25 percent of hip fractures are in men,” he said.    Morison also suffered a fracture — less severe — in her right leg. The music teacher has surgically inserted rods in both legs now, and although they have healed well, they often ache.    She switched to a different medication for a while but now just focuses on diet and exercise. (*5)   “I’m just taking my calcium and vitamin D,” Morison said, “and hoping for the best.”


Although osteoporosis affects all bones in the body, breaks are most common in the hips, wrists and spine.    More than 40 million people already have osteoporosis or are at risk because of low bone mass. Osteoporosis can strike at any age, although the risk of developing the disease increases with age. In the future, more people will be at risk of developing osteoporosis because people are living longer and the number of elderly people in the population is increasing.

SIGNS    • Sloping shoulders    • Curve in the back    • Height loss    • Back pain    • Hunched posture                            • Protruding abdomen

RISK FACTORS    • Being female    • Getting older    • Menopause    • Not getting enough exercise    • Having a small, thin body (less than 127 pounds)    • Having a family history of osteoporosis    • Smoking    • Drinking more than one drink a day for women    • A diet low in dairy products (*6)  or other sources of calcium and vitamin D

Sources: National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Jan’s Comments:

#1.  All good, but better would be a thorough blood analysis from a complete Blood Count Panel and comprehensive Chemistry Panel;  want the Lipid Panel,  Inflammation Marker Panel and Thyroid Panel.  Then one can see what the body really has to reveal, for this is where the truth lies, no guessing needed.  Strive toward middle of the r0ad to optimum level on every single reference point.  One does this thru these markers, then we adjust the dietary regimen until its as good as it gets.  Where the numbers are off, fix with food.  So many of us are too acidic.  This promotes disease and tons of pain – don’t need it.  You are what you eat.  Adjust it.  Need more plant-based (especially green-leafy)fruits and vegetables.  That is where the minerals are and the delicious alkalinity to make you feel good and be well and have your ” acid-base”  (pH) in balance.  With a diet having high levels of acid, more calcium is lost in urine.  When eating more alkaline foods,  more calcium is retained in the bones

The net acid loads to the body come from ingesting cereals, dairy products, legumes, meat, fish and eggs – – with the worst offenders being the hard cheeses which are rich sources of calcium.  Eating any and all of these without getting enough fruits and vegetables  will promote bone loss and osteoporosis.

Just like having your pH in balance, its good to remember that the calcium thing must be in balance as well.  It is more than how much calcium you take in;  this is balanced by the outgo of calcium from your bones via urine.  Can think of no one who speaks more plainly on this than Dr Loren Cordain in Paleo on Bones (go to the Paleo section up in FIND IT), or buy the book – everyone should have his Paleo Diet book.

#2.  Prevention should not equate to pharmaceuticals, but on dietary needs as found and determined via blood workup analysis.

#3.  Most important is the calcium balance (calcium intake/calcium loss thru urine), already described in 1) and 2).  Essential fatty acids (Fish oil) are so important to every part of body from brain on down;  pH balance,  and of course – Vitamin D-3.

#4.  Be certain you are getting Vit- D3 and not D2

#5.  One could hope that Ms Morrison has given up dairy and stopped taking any kind of calcium supplement whatsoever as it can only lead to calcification in parts of the body and circulating blood;  opting to eat more fruits and vegetables which will naturally and dramatically increase the mineral nutriment for her body.

People who aren’t accustomed to eating the larger quantities of plant food often find it agreeable to take it in the form of juicing.  It is efficient, easy and (for me) so delicious.  I use a lot of carrots.   For my day’s juice I gather a pound or two of carrots, 5 – 6 stalks of celery, a big cucumber,  a couple of apples, a couple hands full of greens on hand like Kale, Bok Choy, etc.   I love Garlic and use it in almost everything but my coffee, so in goes a toe or two of garlic and a piece of fresh ginger 1 1/2 or 2″.   This is just delicious and I love it.  Will drink 2 or 3 glasses a day and miss it when I don’t have it ready to go.   Got these particular ingredients from reading  Charlotte Gerson’s book on the Gerson Therapy.  Still haven’t done the coffee enemas (tho I bought the bag to do it with and the organic coffee). . .but I will – truly.   I want to see just how healthy an old gray mare like me can actually get.   Though honestly, don’t know how much better it can get.  My newest blood report in this week says I’m all but perfect.  Everything possible is in normal range, even those things which they say go down as one ages, are right up there “in range”.  .  .  go figure!  I am blessed.  Be well….good nite      Jan












August 4, 2011

Teen Acne treatments (really?)

Doctors tailor teen acne treatments

Creams, pills, antibiotics, scrubs used to combat zits

                                                                                                                                                                              TAYLOR GLASCOCK DISPATCH

   Dr. Mary Jo Kerns examines patient Lindsay Eyster at the Dermatologists of Greater Columbus.

It’s something every teenager dreads. The social kiss of death, the plague of middle-school pictures and high-school dances.    Acne.

There are many products and methods to fight it — pills, lotions, peels.    But dermatologists say there’s no single way to treat it.    Dr. Andrea Costanza of Signature Dermatology of Columbus said acne typically is caused *by an increased production of oil from sweat glands, dead skin plugging up hair follicles and a change in hormones — especially in girls.    Teens and their parents can spend a small fortune on treating acne, from over-the-counter washes and prescription scrubs to antibiotics and cosmetic procedures.

Depending on the severity of the acne and age of the patient, doctors say they prescribe individualized regimens.    “It’s not just one type of medication they’re getting,” Costanza said. “We need to attack it from all different sides.”    Topical treatments help remove dead skin and use deep-cleaning ingredients to help shrink pores and kill bacteria.

Antibiotics often are used to reduce inflammation.   Birth-control pills can help with balancing hormones. **

Dr. Mary Jo Kerns of the Dermatologists of Greater Columbus said mild creams and washes with medications such as benzoyl peroxide almost always are the first step in treatment.    Many teens say they are willing to try anything.    Lauren Levy, 15, a freshman at New Albany High School, said her regimen includes washing her face twice daily with acne-fighting products.    “I’ve used special creams in the past,” she said. “But I get the same results just washing my face.”

Shannon Richissin, 22, a senior at Ohio State University, still suffers from an occasional outbreak but remembers her acne being much worse as a teen.    She said she used a combination of topical medicines, oral acne treatments and birth-control pills.    “I saw a major difference when I was using a combination of the three,” she said.    For serious acne, doctors sometimes prescribe heavy-duty drugs such as Accutane, which carries warnings about depression and birth defects.    Kerns said she was prescribed Accutane when she was younger.    “That’s one of the reasons I became a dermatologist,” she said. “It was life-changing.”    Kerns and Costanza said they prescribe Accutane to a small number of patients.    For most teens, more simple methods work, Levy said.    “Washing your face — it’s key,” she said.

(My Comment:)

*  . .acne is typically caused by an increase of . . . to my way of thinking this is a symptom [something which is      happening – not a cause]

**  . . Birth control pills can help with balancing hormones.     . . .can certainly affect them, but is this our problem here?

Admittedly,  as a teenager – my own suffering was intense.  I was healthy in every way and never had a clue that anything I was or was not doing had anything to do with my skin and it’s dreadful problems.  It was my fate to carry this mystery almost to my 50’s.  It lessened,of course, but I had meanwhile been buying and using everything which came along and never finding answers until much later in life.

It broke my heart when the perfectly beautiful skin  of my son became inflamed to his utter and extreme distress.   Went through it all again with him, the “stuff”, the doctors,  the anti-biotics.    Had always been told that diet had nothing whatever to do with acne.  The dermatologist had a requirement that parent and child take the time to watch a video in which the scientific thinking on the subject was outlined and made to understand that diet had no impact on the development of acne.   I wasn’t buying into this, not one bit.  Had always been a chocoholic and my experience had shown me that one indulgence of this exotic pleasure today was a guaranteed zit tomorrow for me. So, just from that alone – I believed that what goes into the mouth had an impact.  But I had no real clue how it all worked or why.

I can tell you this however;  I was a lover of dairy, big time – the whole works.  Always drank milk and used real cream, cottage cheese, butter,  cream cheese, sour cream and couldn’t live without ice cream and was big into yogurt.  My selection of cheeses was sophisticated and we were all passionate about our cheeses.  So of course,  this was the reality my son grew up in.  He consumed a minimum of two quarts of milk daily.  When he made an omelet it was with maybe 3 or 4 eggs and a whole lot of grated cheese (the sharpest cheddar we could find)   Do I really need to say more?

Not until discovering Dr John McDougall in the 90’s did I have a chance at understanding the cause of my  problems.  By happenstance, I caught him on TV in California (where I’m from) and bells started ringing for me.  So I bought a book, sent for his tapes and became a devotee.    This was my first eye-opener that dairy is not a suitable food for humans beyond the weaning stage.  It was so hard to adjust to this.  Did not have any arthritic problems yet (this would come later), but it explained why all the torment with my menstrual period throughout life.  They were irregular,  intense and practically put me out of commission each time.  No doctor would ever believe me when I tried to explain my radically heavy volume.  (probably deemed me an overly-fastidious nut)  So Dr John McDougall was blessing #1 to the acne problem.

And to any who inhabit the “Dermatological World”  Diet has everything to do with Acne.  It is a whole body problem with the skin manifesting as our largest organ with an enormous job to do.  Our body is one cohesive unit and should not be treated in the pieces and parts manner conducted by allopathic medicine.  If skin cries out with these massive eruptions, it is SPEAKING LOUD AND CLEAR that something is wrong – and it is trying to let us know.    With heavy dairy consumption,  we are putting our hormonal system out-of-balance ourselves. To try to correct the problem by further tampering with a delicate combination of orchestrated bodily systems by tinkering around with the hormones because of having acne which we caused just makes no sense at all.

Nor does taking these serious antibiotics which further injures our inner eco-system from which we do not recover easily – it takes real work to re-establish the proper intestinal flora and kinds of bacteria which make us healthy and able to be all that we want to be.  There are so many expert leaders in this field, but one I am partial to is of course – Donna Gates who appears all over my blog.   She is the go-to lady and her Body Ecology book is a winner.

Finally, lets look to Dr Loren Cordain, author of the “Paleo Diet” book  AND the Dietary cure for Acne book which is out in paperback:  

. . . I do know is that the information that the notion that diet didn’t cause acne was based on two flawed studies that were published over 30 years ago.

. . . . . The problems with those studies have been pointed out in the scientific literature, but unfortunately, the dermatology community hasn’t yet taken it to heart.   They haven’t changed the dogma in their textbooks. We now have three good epidemiologic studies as well as one dietary intervention that say otherwise, so there is good credible evidence to suggest that diet indeed does underlie acne.

. ..we are just at the beginning stages of understanding how diet causes acne and our research group has proposed that high glycemic foods are one of the major factors underlying the acne. We’ve also proposed that dairy products underlie acne because even though paradoxically they have a low glycemic index, they spike the insulin levels in a manner similar to high-glycemic foods. So we believe that dairy products and high-glycemic load carbohydrates like refined sugars, refined flours, and processed foods are some of the primary factors involved.

. . .  .we believe that it’s because when insulin levels are elevated, the result is a hormonal cascade that causes this improper desquamation process. Elevated insulin also promotes elevated male testosterone levels which in turn increase the sebum production. Furthermore, in the typical Western diet, we tend to have way too much omega-6 fats and reduced levels of omega-3 which tends to promote the inflammation process.

So I won’t try to go further with quoting from a past article  (Dietary Cure for Acne ,   2-15-10) you can go check it out and perhaps while at it, look at Paleo – Hazards of Dairy,  (1-9-10).  Loren Cordain is Aces high with health minded folk,  and naturalists with almost a cult following among the Crossfit people of the world.   Please go to his site and check it out.  The man is a giant among thinkers, yet so down to earth and approachable.   Paleo is the Acne sufferer’s best bet and my blessing #2.    Get the book and go the distance.    Jan

November 28, 2010

Cold and Flu tips

Cold and Flu. . . we can stop this thing

It is reputed to be that time of year – – the cold and flu season.  TV and print advertisements are admonishing us to get our flu shots and so on.   That’s what you hear on the street, in the doctors office and from government officials and your friendly insurance company.    But not here.  Most definitely not here.

My thinking runs more to  preventing these intrusions in the first place without interfering with our body’s ability to  take care of business on its own without numbing it, shutting it down with laboratory chemicals which always bring intrusive side effects.  We want to nourish our physical structure with the best we can possibly provide.  This would include eating at home – as much organic as possible, with more “raw foods” instead of everything ‘cooked’;    keep hydrated and eat more fruits,  vegetables, nuts and seeds;   filter your water at home and greatly increase your mineral content by using Celtic Sea Salt which is actually very beneficial for us unlike the processed varieties which do harm us and do not raise our mineral levels;  increasing the amount of bountiful plant food – – that is where the minerals are.  One would never have to fret over the acid/alkaline balance of the body if  eating an adequate variety of gorgeous, tasty leafy veggies.   And you know what this means,  you could worry less about stuff like catching colds, having a weakened immune system and being a fertile ground for cancer to grow in (an acid soil).  Alkalinity (from plants) is definitely the way to go.  And so much cheaper than alternatives.

By now probably almost everyone knows that adequate Vitamin D is one of the greatest protections we can utilize.  This vitamin/hormone serves us in so many ways (heart, brain, kidney and liver, etc) but I am especially thinking of it’s great benefit to the respiratory system (I have personally been helped so much in taking  10 to 15 thousand mg daily and as recently reported to you, I test at the 70 level now, and have not had a cold or flu for over a year (very rare for me).

Below is a portion from  Dr Joseph Mercola’s newsletter with a helpful solution to rid yourself of a cold, should you get one.  I chuckled because I know it works and had forgotten about it.  I learned about such techniques from   Dr. William Campbell Douglass who was saying much the same thing twenty years ago.  He also recommended using the stronger dosage [35%] orally to cure a number of conditions.  I wanted to believe him and trust his “science”. . . I bought the stuff, mixed a dose but could not bring myself to drink it.  .  .  that was then and perhaps I wasn’t as daring then as I am now. . .  Jan

From Dr. Mercola:

Hydrogen Peroxide: A Simple Trick to Beat a Cold

I don’t advise over-the-counter medications, but one simple treatment you can try that is surprisingly effective against upper respiratory infections is hydrogen peroxide.

Many patients at my Natural Health Center have had remarkable results in curing colds and flu within 12 to 14 hours when administering a few drops of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) into each ear. You will hear some bubbling, which is completely normal, and possibly feel a slight stinging sensation.

Wait until the bubbling and stinging subside (usually 5 to 10 minutes), then drain onto a tissue and repeat with the other ear. A bottle of hydrogen peroxide in 3 percent solution is available at any drug store for a couple of dollars or less. It is simply amazing how many people respond to this simple, inexpensive treatment.

July 30, 2010

About Bones and Vit K2

What’s VitK2 about?

Our Bones

Like me, you have probably noticed  this past year or so more reference to Vitamin K2.  I have wondered what all the fuss was about and why I should care.   After reading Dr Mercola’s latest newsletter,  (don’t you love the way he explains things?). . .it makes sense to me now.   Well, actually the relevance is many-faceted and I would recommend you go straight over and read it all yourself.  What I choose to focus on is the relationship to our bones and why it is seriously positive and helpful.

Just because I don’t speak of it much anymore, doesn’t mean that I don’t STILL worry about Sally Field (2-25-09) but I do respect everybody’s right to do,  act and think as they please, it remains a precious right.  Not just my thinking and/or Dr. McDougall – go see what Dr Mercola says – – pretty much the same thing – stay away from that whole class of pharmaceuticals which some ill-advised doctors are advocating to “strengthen” your bones, up the density and prevent your bones from breaking.    It is so not right!  Having covered this topic frequently, I won’t go into it again now.  If you really want the gorgeously scientific explanation on it run on over to The Paleo Diet and check out Loren Cordain’s archives on bones and how living the Paleo way eliminates all that and why.  We have some great minds at work amongst us – we are living in an age which in many ways is blessed.

Dr Cordain explained about the way healthy bones take care of themselves – it’s built into the cells memory banks and they have much to do,  some of which is tearing down old cells of bones and building up new cells in an ongoing process.  They know what they are doing and have to maintain a balance.  Our main job  is simply to supply healthy, organic sustenance and to move the body around to keep it healthy while enjoying life.  But when taking that class of bone strengthening meds, the bones can no longer break down the old cells and build the new because the meds inhibit them  from functioning, consequently,the thinking is – the bones get denser, which protects from fracturing.  Trouble is,  there have been many fractures occur in these women who have been taking the meds for years – some, more than ten years  and they are breaking in unusual places, like in the upper thigh bones.  It’s a real problem.  It doesn’t pay to mess around with Mother Nature.

The Calcium Trap

A further mistake our rigid medical establishment thrusts on an unsuspecting public is the “Food Pyramid” and the RDA’s for vitamin and mineral needs.  There isn’t an ounce of relevance between them.  But especially harmful is the encouragement to take lots of Calcium (because bones seem to be made of mostly calcium.)  Please remember that huge animals like cows and elephants, etc.,  forage from the fields of green growing flora. Somehow they manage to grow solid, healthy structures of bone that lasts them well for a lifetime without ever taking calcium tablets, or eating ground up shells or rocks.  Just plants.  Let us not forget that humans are a part of that animal classification.  Plants give us all the minerals we need to manifest a healthy bone structure.  To repeat myself  for which I apologize  – I take no calcium, do not use dairy – – and my bones are fine  – so far. . . .  and it was Dr McDougall tapes I bought back in the early 90’s which set me free on that one.

David Wolfe

(I’ll be getting back to K2 any minute now,  just hold on!) I’m trying to get to a point.  Here and there I have mentioned David Wolfe (google him) and some of the great ideas I have picked up listening to his interviews and videos (see YouTube).  In his talks, he speaks of the great harm that over-calcified people are suffering. He describes the taking of increasing amounts of calcium as one of the major cause areas of a number of diseases with which our species is afflicted.   This excess of calcium is gathering in clumps around our joints (arthritis);  plaque build-up in our arteries causing hardening and thickening because it shouldn’t be there.  And it causes inflammation.  So rather than increasing our intake of calcium – we should be looking to find ways to  to rid ourselves of the over supply we now have.


David has a number of suggestions. . . anti-inflammatory supplements help break down the calcium stored in the tissues:

  • MSM  (I use the powder about 1/2 tsp 1 or 2 X daily)  Take with Vit C  1/4 tsp = 1,000 Mg
  • DMSO
  • Vit C  (great anti-inflammatory)
  • all kinds of mushsrooms, reishi, cordaceps, maitaki and so on (great to ramp up immunity)
  • Acai  (can be powerful even break down Cancer cells)
  • Oceans Alive  “marine phytoplankton”  (David takes this)

I can’t really advise on any of this, you are kinda on your own.  I listened to an interview Dr Mercola did with him recently – maybe it is on his site.

A further step in the equation of inflammation and calcium is the “acid/base balance”.  If the foods one eats  result in a net acid load (meats, fish, eggs, dairy, potatoes, legumes and grains and sugars without the necessary offsetting of fruits and vegetables in proportionate amounts – then the high blood insulin levels cause calcium loss.   The acid must be buffered by base in the body like calcium salts which are released from bones and eliminated in urine.  This will lead to osteopenia and ultimately, osteoporosis.  The bones are programmed to maintain the calcium balance, and so they do just that no matter what it costs the body.

When the body is in acid/base balance, it is naturally in calcium balance.  It is just that simple.  When you can see the big picture even in a small way, it becomes easier to understand why it is so important to become familiar with a few basics like acid/base balance,  food combining,  glycemic index and so on.

Dr Mercola – small extrapolation – on VitK2

Vitamin K is unique because it has multiple effects in your body, but doesn’t demonstrate any known toxicity. With research focused on potential effects on your skeletal system, brain, liver, and pancreas, vitamin K is one of the most promising nutrients of our time.*

The vitamin K which I recommend is vitamin K2 – natural, non-toxic, and made in your body as well.

Vitamin K2 includes several menaquinones (MK-n, with the ‘n’ determined by the number of prenyl side chains), such as MK-4 found in meats, MK-7, MK-8, and MK-9 found in fermented food products like cheese and natto.

  • Promote your heart health*
  • Protect and support your skin*
  • Provide the calcium path ‘key’ from your bloodstream to your bones*
  • Boost your overall immune system*
  • Help regulate calcification of your tissues*
  • Provide you powerful antioxidant benefits*
  • Protect your cells against oxidative damage*
  • Aid in supporting your already normal blood sugar levels*

While other nutrients are important for maintaining and promoting your bone health (like vitamin D3, calcium, and magnesium), evidence continues to grow indicating a vital role vitamin K plays in bone metabolism and healthy bone growth.*  In fact it may be the modern day “missing link” to increasing your bone density.   Vitamin K has been linked to osteoblasts, the cells that generate or ‘lay down’ bone and produce a specific protein known as osteocalcin.*

You can think of osteocalcin like the studs in the wall of your house. Basically, osteocalcin acts as the structural framework holding calcium in place in your bones.*    And vitamin K is critical for producing osteocalcin protein.*    Why is this so important? Because osteocalcin cannot perform its job until vitamin K converts it to an active bone-building form.

The bottom line – vitamin K is the ‘key’ that unlocks the door from your bloodstream to let calcium flow into your bones and bone marrow.*

Without this vitamin K key action, you simply wouldn’t have the strong bones you do.* Plus, there’s another area vitamin K plays an important role, particularly vitamin K2.    I mentioned earlier how osteoblasts are important cells responsible for bone formation.    Well, while these osteoblast cells are busy building bone, other cells called osteoclasts are trying to break down bone and remove bone tissue.

Vitamin K2 is so important because, not only has it been shown to stimulate and enhance osteocalcin production, it has also been shown to inhibit osteoclasts and help maintain your bones.*

In his article on K2, Dr Mercola explains that he has produced a special K2 available per his specifications and advises certain foods where we can help ourselves to be sure to get this element into our diets.  It adds an additional amount to our monthly budget which in these days is a touchy thing.   One can eat certain soy products which I won’t do as I can not trust soy any longer due to GMO status.  The fact that it is fermented doesn’t help me – it starts off genetically modified – it can’t get better from there.  Eating large volumes of green leafy won’t do it either because I just can’t eat that much!  The solution is to ingest fermented veggies which I already do.  In point of fact, this may attest to the status of my bones being as healthy as they are at my ripe old age.  (I’ll never tell. . . but the market crashed with my entrance to the planet)

Many people can’t find the time to do the fermented veggies routine.  You can enlist some best buddies to  do it with you – many hands make light work.  Then both families have a supply.  I have some recipes up somewhere on my blog and Wholesome Goodness still has all those fabulous recipes up even though she has quit blogging for now – doing other things.  Alison’s tutorial is what got me going and thru it.  And it was her encouragement when I emailed her with my stunned amazement at how bad it tasted after all that effort and expense!  She admitted it is an acquired taste.  Lets not forget, most of us have lived a lifetime relishing tantalizing, exotic and “sweet” flavors.  So it takes a little training to accustom ourselves to a new and very different set of flavors.  I have an iron will and I was not going to be cheated out of my desire for better health that I sought which Donna Gates at Body Ecology had espoused (and taught).  I have explained this before – – but by the time Alison had got back to emailing me with suggestions on how I could swallow the stuff, I had already overcome my aversion and now craved it.  Apparently, my body was so grateful for it.  It cleared up my particular intestinal problems and I know that I have become healthier because of them.  When one has a healthy intestinal tract, it means you can actually benefit from the good foods you ingest, for this is the very home of the immune system.  If it isn’t workin right, you feel like crap.

And one can get creative.  Some people make it without cabbage.  Some use lots of carrots and apples and   so on.  There are endless possibilities.  I use cabbage, but each batch is different, because I like variety and trying new ideas.       I’m all talked out. . . . .

Take care of those bones. . . . .         Jan

May 25, 2010

Calcium, arthritis, Paget’s disease

(Here I go again showing that my disagreement with the standard protocol is too strong to ignore. Hopefully, it will be understood that I think Dr Donohue seems to be a respectable and concerned physician – – otherwise, why would he be trying to help people?  But since it is my nature to question so many things; and my good fortune to have read plenty of Dr. McDougall and Loren Cordain (Paleo Diet),  well I just gotta speak up.  Later – – at the end of article.  Jan)


Paget’s disease often isn’t treated


Dr. Donohue answers letters only in his North America Syndicate column but provides an order form of available health newsletters. Write him at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.

Q #1: I am a 75-year-old woman who was treated for breast cancer in 2008. What I am concerned about is that my oncologist tells me I have Paget’s disease. I asked how he knows I have it. He said from my X-rays and bone scans.

I went on my computer, and the information I found tells me to have an alkaline phosphatase test. Should I?

Q #2: Will you write about Paget’s disease? My son-inlaw has it, and it has brought pain in his left leg. He went from being an active roofer to requiring a wheelchair. He is in great pain. Do you know anything that could help?

A: Bones are in a state of constant flux. That entails bone breakdown followed by bone buildup.

With Paget’s disease, for reasons that are not clear, bone breakdown goes ballistic. Rebuilding tries to happen, but the new bone is often deformed and easily broken.    Quite often, the new bone is limited to a few small areas and causes no symptoms. It’s discovered when an X-ray or bone scan is done for an unrelated reason. Paget’s disease is found in 3 percent of people older than 40, but few need treatment.

Alkaline phosphatase is an enzyme found in bones. With Paget’s disease, its level in the blood rises and is proof of disease activity. (ya think something might be wrong here?) If an oncologist thought a test was necessary, he would have ordered it.    The pelvis, the backbones, the skull, the femur (upper-leg bone) and the tibia (lower-leg bone) are the ones most often targeted by Paget’s disease.

As treatment, the same drugs used for osteoporosis are used for Paget’s disease. Pain control might be difficult but should be achievable. Perhaps a consultation with a pain clinic would help the son-in-law.
The best friend that Paget’s disease patients have is the Paget Foundation. Call the foundation at 1-800-23-PAGET or visit

Q: What is the difference between regular table salt and sea salt? I always thought salt is salt and, used in excess, something bad for health. I understand that regular table salt has a place in health because it provides iodine.    According to a Hollywood star, sea salt is supposed to be good for you. She claims that it lowers blood pressure. What is your take on this?

A: Sea salt comes from the evaporation of salt water. It has trace amounts of magnesium, copper and iron but not enough to be a health benefit. It can be considered the same as table salt without iodine.

As promised, starting with that pain from the bones.  First, to extrapolate from Cordain at Paleo Diet:

Though calcium intake in our country  is about the highest in the world,  nevertheless,  we also have one of the highest rates of  osteoporosis or  bone demineralization unlike any other country.    As Loren Cordain of the Paleo Diet says,  bone mineral content is dependent not just upon calcium intake but upon net calcium balance (calcium intake minus calcium excretion).  Most nutritionists focus upon the calcium intake side of the calcium balance equation, however few realize that the calcium excretion side of the equation is just as important.

Dr Ccrdain goes on to state that bone health is substantially dependent on dietary acid/base balance.  Foods upon digestion  are seen by the  kidney as either acid or base.  When the diet yields a net acid load (such as low-carb fad diets that restrict consumption of fruits and vegetables), the acid must be buffered by the alkaline stores of base in the body. Calcium salts in the bones represent the largest store of alkaline base in the body and are depleted and eliminated in the urine when the diet produces a net acid load.  The highest acid-producing foods are hard cheeses, cereal grains, salted foods, meats, and legumes, whereas the only alkaline,  base- producing foods are fruits and vegetables.  Because the average American diet is overloaded with grains, cheeses, salted processed foods, and fatty meats at the expense of fruits and vegetables, it produces a net acid load and promotes bone demineralization. By replacing hard cheeses, cereal grains, and processed foods with plenty of green vegetables and fruits, the body comes back into acid/base balance which brings us also back into calcium balance.  The goal is to avoid a net acid load on your kidneys. (Thank you Dr. Cordain, this could not be clearer)

Next, just touching on Dr. McDougall and remembering some of the things he teaches, one does not need to supplement with calcium as the body gets all the substance it needs from the plant food and through its marvelous genius, generates enough calcium from the raw materials of green leafy plants to build and sustain substantial bone structure. (just like the big animals doeating the growing plants of the land available to them.) McDougallers and most vegans do not consume dairy (and its not necessary for good bones!)  He has much more to say in a post I did  – – “I worry about Sally Field” (2-25-09)  Just scroll thru my rambling til you get down to Dr Mc Dougall.

I want to discuss one more subject that I believe can help us all understand in a larger picture just how important it is to eat plenty of the healthful,  organic, unpolluted, chemical free foods we can find.  The words are “FULVIC ACID” and most will not even have heard of this before.  One can go online and google the “Fulvic Acid report”  – – I did and down-loaded it and will now extrapolate just a little to make a point. (The report is around 50 pages):

Fulvic Acid

Although the majority of research and experimentation that has been done on fulvic acid is in relation to plants; it is important to realize that human beings have been ingesting fulvic acid complexes regularly for over 60 years in supplemental form, and for thousands of years from natural food and plant sources. The new discoveries involving fulvic acid are very similar in nature to the recent important discoveries of valuable phytochemicals in vegetables that have always existed, but were hitherto unknown. Fulvic acid has always occurred naturally in organic plants and soils, yet its recent discovery and tremendous value is now just beginning to be recognized.

Fulvic acid is an organic natural electrolyte that can balance and energize biological properties it comes into contact with.  An electrolyte is a substance that is soluble in water or other appropriate medium that is capable of conducting electrical current.   When the electrolyte potential was taken away during the test, the cell ruptured and disintegrated into the surrounding fluid causing death. Upon reintroducing electrical potential the cell reconstructed and became active and healthy.

Fulvic acid has proven to be a powerful organic electrolyte, serving to balance cell life. If the individual cell is restored to its normal chemical balance and thereby in turn its electrical potential, we have given life where death and disintegration would normally occur within plant and animal cells. Fulvic acid has the outstanding ability to accomplish this objective in numerous ways

Enhances Nutrients

Fulvic acid enhances the availability of nutrients and makes them more readily absorbable. It also allows minerals to regenerate and prolongs the residence time of essential nutrients. It prepares nutrients to react with cells. It allows nutrients to inter-react with one another, breaking them down into the simplest ionic forms chelated by the fulvic acid electrolyte.

Fulvic acid has been discovered to be one of the most important natural miracles related to life itself. Fulvic acid is part of the humic structure in rich composting soil It is an acid created in extremely small amounts by the action of millions of beneficial microbes, working on decaying plant matter in a soil environment with adequate oxygen.  It is of low molecular weight and is biologically very active. Because of its low melecular weight, it has the necessity and ability to readily bond minerals and elements into its molcular structure causing them to dissolve and become mobilized fulvic complexes. Fulvic acid from humic deposits usually carries 60 or more minerals and trace elements dissolved into its molecular complexes. These are then in ideal natural form to be absorbed and interact with living cells. plants roots and cells readily absorb high amounts of fulvic acid, and maintain it in their structure. In fact it has been discovered that these fulvic acid complexes are absolutely essential for plants to be healthy

Fulvic Acid is Lacking in Food Crops

It seems obvious that most of the agricultural and food crops of today would also contain adequate amounts or at least some fulvic acid and its related mineral complexes, but few do. As human beings it would be reasonable to assume that we should be consuming fulvic acid complexes in the plants we eat, and consequently have fulvic acid in our systems. It is obvious that this is the way nature intended it. But this not the case, nor has it been for a long time.

Our soils are sick from poor agricultural practices, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, erosion, and mineral depletion as well as sterile conditions brought on by these practices, that prohibit microbial activity. Because of this our plants are sick, containing very little nutrition, especially minerals. For generations adequate fulvic acid that should have been contained in the plants we eat has been missing from our diets, yet it is essential for our cell metabolism. Scientists have found that nutritionally we need 90 different nutrients in our diets. Over 60 of these are minerals and trace elements. We are simply not getting them today from the plants we eat.

Re-mineralization of soils would be of little benefit without fulvic acid and return to better farming practices. Re-mineralization of our bodies without the fulvic acid that should be contained in the plants we eat, has proven just as useless. People are sick with degenerative and deficiency related diseases now more than ever. With fulvic acid supplementation and return to proper diet and farming practices these situations have the potential to be reversed.

There is much information in the Report – hard to pick and choose.  Wanted only to give you an idea of it and if you are interested, check it out yourself.  This coincides with current displeasure with Agri-business and the depletion of the soil, the genetic modification of favorite foods to the point that we can no longer eat them in good conscience and of course, the GMO seeds – no end in sight.

Natural  Celtic Sea Salt is not refined, or demineralized

Finally, the last point – – that of SALT.  Dr Donohue is really off the mark here.  Salt is not all alike.  I used to belong to the Grain and Salt Society and paid what I thought was exorbitant prices for their salt.  Happily, I find it available at Whole Foods and popular usage seems to have brought the price down.

Morton’s salt is a refined product,   is an acid substance and is not healthy.  It contributes to an acid state in the body.  Whereas the Celtic Sea Salt is fully, naturally mineralized with 82 trace minerals and is actually an alkalinizer.  No supplementation can equal the wealth of minerals, in the right balance, found in natural sea salt.

Okay,  I just don’t have common sense anymore – – I’m up too late again!  G”night     Jan

May 23, 2010

Too ACID? try this

Move over Dr. Tullio Simoncini  (Cancer is a FUNGUS  August 9, 2008),  . . . . . ARM and HAMMER has a few other tricks up it’s sleeve.

As I crawled into bed last night (hours too late), I mentally scolded.   .   .   ‘the body is entitled to respect and I was upsetting it’s normal, natural rhythms by ignoring it’s need for sleep.   Shame.   I had begun to cough, but had been paying little attention to it and now as I was nestled, comfortably – – it thundered into awareness – what’s wrong with my THROAT?   As I continued to cough, I realized the presence of the old familiar deep “tickle” behind the cough.  Oh no!  This is generally how my pulmonary afflictions show up  (I’ve been prone to lung/chest problems most of adult life – – afflicted Gemini Moon).  It’s been so long since I’ve had a problem that it caught me off guard.  Drat.

Though I was really tired,  almost 4:00 a.m., the throat tickle continued.  It crossed my mind that this could be a very bad night.  Got up and took 1/4 tsp  of Vitamin C crystals (over 1000 mg) in bit of water.  Since I had no other symptoms, decided that I didn’t need Oregano as well.   Back in bed, the tickle continued.  Not thinking clear,   what am I missing?  So, lying abed, I’m  tapping. . . I need my rest. . . .release this. . . .tap, tap, tap for 2 or 3 rounds.  Crosses my mind that diet wasn’t great today, not enough green, leafy.  Diet?   Possible?   So fast?  What is this – instant karma?  OK.     Maybe I need to quickly balance my acid/base levels. . . . .right!     Up again, back to kitchen,  grab the ARM and HAMMER from the frig. . . .  small glass, 1/2 tsp baking soda, water – stir, drink, back to bed, head on pillow. . .  .  sleep overtakes.

All right,  I’m not so bright-eyed or bushy-tailed today, but you know what?  My throat is fine.   No cough.   Body is good.

So glad my sometime sluggish memory is still serving me this well.  I knew about the efficacy of baking soda (in a bit of water) to  quickly restore alkalinity (especially when you know you have “sinned”)  No question that a plant based diet or at least one heavily concentrated toward green and leafy is preferable to “fixes”  but one must go with the flow at times.   Also, no question that acidity of the body is one of the leading causes of “any” illness.  So this is THE  reason we must endeavor to maintain that alkaline/acid balance to the best of our ability.   That is why the McDougall diet is so profitable.   This is why the Paleo diet plan respects those percentages as well (tho of course with the inclusion of animal protein)

Anyway, just wanted to share with you.    Be happy,  stay well.           Jan

April 4, 2010

Hype on alkaline water

Water, the Elixir of life

Fear is a rotten thing to live with.  It can erode and diminish one’s sense of safety and well-being.  And it is pathetic how many people make a pretty good living  roiling the waters and profiting from the naivety and/or inexperience of those of us who truly want/need to  improve our lives, health and so on.  Any of us can fall victim to hype and gimmicks.  Everybody has to make a living to be sure.  But this is all the more reason that we should be vigilant, check things out on our gut-meter.. . . make sure things pass the smell test.  (You have a gut-meter don’t you?  If you can’t find yours, may I suggest you call and order a copy of David Hawkins’ “Power vs Force”. . . there was never a more fascinating  read and it still blows me away!)

For those with questions about alkaline/ionized water.   The marketing is top drawer and many have spent big bucks to install home systems that claim to  provide alkaline water.  If your system is in sore need of an upgrade – go for it, but not because you are looking for ‘alkaline water’.    What everybody needs is alkalinity in our physical body.  We achieve this through diet alone.  We’ve all heard it – you are what you eat!  Amen.   Drinking alkaline water water will not make YOU alkaline.

Acid/Alkaline balance

All food ingested, once carried through the digestive system and metabolized  arrives in the kidneys and is either recognized as net acid or base.  It is up to each of us  to learn which foods cause the reactions we desire within our body and then endeavor to achieve that goal for this can keep us healthy.  Meats, fish, fowl, grains, legumes and dairy all will result in a net acid load. A body which is too acid offers the perfect soil for most of our diseases (including dreaded cancer) to flourish.  This upsets the chemical balance of the organism and produces trouble for the inner eco-system which Donna  Gates describes in her books and writings of the Body Ecology Diet.

Many do not realize that ingesting cheeses  (especially hard cheeses)  and other dairy products can ultimately lead to a loss of bone density and then on to osteoporosis – – creating the opposite of what one is hoping to achieve, the gaining of calcium to protect the bones. Please refer to the Paleo Diet book for a full explanation of this, but I will try to summarize what I’ve learned here on the subject.  It has much to do with “Calcium Balance” which is a process on the difference between how much calcium one takes in and how much is excreted (in the urine), which is equally important.  One may be “in calcium balance” even on a low intake providing the excretory rate is also low. (I haven’t taken calcium for many years, relying on Dr McDougall’s  truth-telling that we get all the vitamins and minerals we need from whole, natural foods – especially the vegetables) Eating cheese – – especially when one eats  it regularly,  one becomes too acid and the acid/base balance of the body then becomes too acid and too much calcium is  lost.

Getting the balance right

To insure that our bodies are in proper balance, we need to be aware of the acid/base balance and recognize that whole fruits and vegetables are the ideal method for achieving the alkalinity we need.  If you eat more alkaline foods, you will retain more  calcium – the green, leafy,  non-starchy vegetables  – – the low glycemic indices  which have a tendency to normalize your blood glucose and insulin levels, promote weight loss and leave you feeling energized.  It is little known by our  masses that a major benefit of fruits and vegetables is their ability to slow or prevent the loss of bone density or osteoporosis and in fact, those who ate  the most fruits and vegetables had the strongest bones with the greatest bone-mineral densities.  (On the other hand, starchy grains and potatoes which have high glycemic indices, rapidly cause blood sugar to spike).

It is a sorry state, because this (grains and dairy)  has been encouraged within the majority of the medical community and the so-called pyramid espoused from the FDA.  The medical authorities I respect and have followed have been trying to inform people who would listen to these truths for many, long years. . . Dr. John McDougall and Dr Loren Cordain of the Paleo Diet who have been frequently showcased here at  ” smokinchoices.”

With regard  to water, one of the  most important considerations is that almost all tap water is  toxic and unfit for human consumption.  Reverse Osmosis water purification systems are touted  for removing virtually all of these toxins. The alkaline water marketers claim RO systems produce “dead” water that will leach minerals from your bones! While many experts would disagree with that, I frankly don’t know.  I have posted several times on water and candidly admitted that I use distilled water with a little machine I buy at Sears for around $100 which doesn’t ding my budget too much. I have bought 4 or 5 of them and am completely happy with the results.  I’m going on twenty years (processing my own distilled water at home) and when it came to mind that I was not only ridding my water of toxins I don’t want – – I was also losing my minerals, so I have ever since added minerals back in to each gallon as I make it.  FYI I use Thropp’s  Ionic Trace Minerals and it takes about 40 drops per gallon. As an apartment dweller, this works for me.

One need not be a fanatic with regard to acid/base balance.  Its a good idea to acquire some special pH testing paper for a first of the morning urine test for your systemic pH level.  Then test it periodically just to keep an eye on things.  If your body fluids are in the desired range, your urine pH will be between 6.5 and 7.5,  with the ideal 6.8 to 7.3.  If your reading is consistently lower than 6.5 you are too acidic and your body chemistry won’t operate at peak proficiency.  Try to take steps to get the pH up to normal limits through diet choices as already discussed. For most Americans that level is going to be too acidic due to the Standard American Diet (SAD) and that is too bad and so unnecessary because the sources we rely upon to advise us are not telling us about these important but simple processes, what they mean and how they work.

For some people, eating a diet that’s 80% alkaline  (fruits and vegetables and 20% acid (protein) works great and they are happy and healthy.  It depends much on your body, your personal philosophy and what your believe.  As an example, the Paleo Diet suggests around 19% to 35% Protein whereas the McDougallers of course are vegetarian.  Both work and work beautifully.   There are many points of agreement, nix the dairy and sugars, but diverge on grains and the use of animal protein.

Since there is no ideal drinking water any longer,  our polluted earth has pretty much taken care of that – – just do the best you can, any way you can to consume the least toxic water you can get.  It is far more economical and “green” to put the effort in to clean up your water at home and carry it with you in safe containers.

March 1, 2010

Fix it – don’t mask it!

(This is the second time  lately that I have used an article from Dr. Donohue to push against in order to express an opposing view.  Nothing against Dr.Donohue;   he is a good man and uses excellent common sense, but heavily anchored in the allopathic modality [traditional medicine].  My $0.02 has to do with  drug manipulation rather than attempting to correct the cause area.. . more at the end of article.  Jan)


Pneumonia, flu deadly combination


Q: My sister, age 41, passed away unexpectedly. She had an upper respiratory illness that a clinic assured her was neither seasonal influenza nor H1N1, although no testing was done.  During the next several days, she rested and thought she was recovering. She mentioned a bad headache and body aches.   The autopsy identified the cause of her death as lobar pneumonia. How did this happen?
A: Pneumonia is lung infection. Lobar pneumonia indicates that only one lobe of a lung is involved (the right lung has three lobes; the left, two). Bronchopneumonia describes a more diffuse involvement of the lung with widespread patches of infection. Neither term indicates pneumonia’s severity.

Four million new cases of pneumonia arise annually in the United States in people who are active in their communities. Most otherwise healthy young people pull through the infection.  Either viruses or bacteria cause pneumonia. Bacterial pneumonias have an abrupt onset, and the patient suffers from a high fever, shaking chills, sweating, cough and shortness of breath. Viral pneumonias tend to have a milder course.

In the days before antibiotics, pneumonia was the No. 1 cause of death. Now death from pneumonia in a person of your sister’s age is rare. For older people, pneumonia is No. 6 on the list of death causes.  I believe your sister had influenza pneumonia, and probably with the H1N1 influenza virus. This influenza virus is a bigger problem for younger people than for the elderly, because younger people have had no prior experience with it.

The only way the cause of your sister’s death will be known with certainty is when cultures of her infected lung are available. You can obtain that information from the facility where her autopsy was done.
Please accept my profound sympathy for your loss.

: I currently take alendronate (Fosamax) for osteoporosis and omeprazole (Prilosec) for acid reflux.
I read that omeprazole can lead to osteoporosis. Is there another medicine I can take for reflux?

A: Prilosec is part of the family of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors. People who take drugs such as Prilosec for prolonged periods and in high doses run a greater risk of having a hip fracture than do those not taking them. You can ask your doctor whether it would be OK to take a vacation from your omeprazole from time to time. Or you could take an entirely different acid suppressant, such as Zantac.

Dr. Donohue answers letters only in his North America Syndicate column but provides an order form of available health newsletters. Write him at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.

Of course, I am relating to the second question to the doctor who responds to a patient suffering from osteoarthritis (taking Fosamax) and this so upsets her stomach that she is required to take Prilosec to try to offset that.  One pharmaceuticl leads to another and then another as they all give us a terrible price to pay while not delivering on solving the problem in the first place.    (In a February post –  “Stroke or heart attack – – just luck?”,   I laid out my thinking pretty well and sought and finally found an integrative physician who does go after cause area rather than simply treating symptoms with drugs.)

At the core of this blog is the desire to relieve suffering where possible and in the simplest manner.  To first find and understand the problem would seem just logical to me. Then to pursue possible solutions. Labels don’t matter much – results do.  If something is wrong – deal with it and do not abdicate your own responsibility and authority in the process.  Your body will never matter to anyone else the way it does to you, because you live in it.  So take care of it.  Learn what it needs.  What your body needs may not be what mine needs and so on – we are all different.    I have learned from so many different people, going back many years.  But I will limit my chat here to the “experts” I have posted on here at smokinchoices so that you can refer to more complete treatments by referring to cited posts.   That would be Dr John McDougall,  Dr. Loren Cordain of the Paleo Diet) and Donna Gates at Body Ecology (B.E.D.) If we are lucky, we will keep an open mind and allow the new and possible in.

If we provide our bodies with adequate nutrient in our daily food regimen, we should not need a bunch of supplementation.  We can’t always have the luxury of organic so when that is the case,  we need to take precautions of extra washing of fruits and vegetables and careful preparation. We must learn what to eat to properly fortify our bodies.  Food combining is vital but not so complicated that one needs a diploma of some kind to use this benevolent tool.  The standard American diet is wrapped around the ole meat and potatoes idea,  spaghetti and meatballs,  fish and rice and so on.  ALL WRONG!  Meat (of any kind) is OK with vegetables;  Starches are good with veggies. But Meat and Carbs are a NO-NO.  Our sweets should come from fruits – eaten apart from  regular meals.  Nuts and seeds can be mixed in with fruits or veggies.  These are not arbitrary rules. In fact it is because though our stomach can handle all of the above – it just can’t handle it all at the same time because each food type (meat, carb) requires a different digestive process.  Starts in the mouth – that is why we should be chewing our food carefully.  Broken down in the stomach and then reaches the gut where all the important stuff happens like absorbing the nutriment thru the intestinal lining into the waiting cells.  Can’t happen if the food has not been properly digested and broken down and handled right in the gut.  Whole lot of manufacturing goin on here.

The process as given here is over-simplified – ones hope you will look to Cordain’s  Paleo – Acid/Base balance (12-6-09) full  treatment and science to back it up.

Now back to the patient who queried Dr Donohue – what about that Fosamax?. . .would really like you to look back to (2-25-09) ” I Worry about Sally Field”.  No sense trying to remember and repeat it all – have already done it!  After expounding at length, I end with Dr McDougall and interesting info regarding  that kind of medicine.

Whether we cotton more to Dr McDougall or to Dr Cordain milk is a big no-no!.  Dairy is one of the most destructive things Americans do to themselves and practically all of us love it.  Milk, cream, ice cream, yogurt, cheeses of every description, cottage cheese, sour cream and so on.   Humans were not meant to consume dairy – drink milk beyond weaning!  It is the single greatest destroyer in angelic clothing we face.  It causes young girls the pain,  irregularity and heavy bleeding (hemorrhaging)  of menses.  The pain and embarrassment of ACNE comes from dairy and afflicts the majority of our youth and many adults – because we don’t know!  Then as if that wasn’t enough, as we move along through the years – male and female alike, arthritis set in.  Again, the milk.  The people of no country in the world consume more Calcium than Americans, yet we have a higher incidence of arthritis than any other country. We have been deceived by our authorities for decades (for they didn’t know either) to take ever increasing amounts of calcium.  Calcium is not the answer.  It is far more complex.  Actually, why not just read Paleo  and your Bones (6-20-09).

If we could give up all grains and learn to eat the Paleo way; no dairy, and learn something about  food combining and the importance of the glycemic index – there would be no need for Prilosec or any other simple or complex antacid.

There’s a lot to think about.  Happy thinking

February 18, 2010

Stroke or heart attack – just luck?

Some thoughts on our Health Future

Based on our choices made today

The Problem

So can we DO something about our health or must we just go down the path of current expectation of debilitating disease, mounting disability and dependence?  I got to thinking about this after reading an article in the morning Columbus Dispatch on ‘stroke patients’ and the comments of Dr Andrew Slivka, medical director of Ohio State University Medical Center’s stroke program:     “There’s nothing anybody can do to make it so they’re never going to have a stroke.” I completely disagree!

At the conclusion of my thoughts.    I will present the article so you can see what is so disturbing about it.   The article reflects the standard of care not only for stroke sufferers, but people with cardiac problems, high blood pressure,  diabetes and so many other afflictions.  That care is almost totally involved with monitoring vital numbers (blood pressure and weight) and asking about habits (smoking, drinking and exercise) and determining that the patient IS taking his medications and of course, prescribing new meds. This seems more like disease-monitoring rather than giving health-care.  But that’s just me.

Doctors can watch their patients for years as conditions worsen,  gain weight, loose energy and abilities; become more infirm and dependent.  A sad progress,  indeed.  Though we all hate it – – we accept this as the way things go knowing that there is not much one can do about it.  Who would say otherwise?

What we want from a doctor is to ‘fix’ our problems, tell us what to do to get better. That’s why we go to them.   Nothing is more irritating than to have your doctor state (with a smile of course) well, you know, you’re not as young as you used to be.  In other words – suck it up, this is your life now!   Everybody wants to be healthy, free of pain and to remain active and productive with independence and choice in tact.  So who else are we supposed to turn to when something goes wrong? I don’t mean hand-holding or patronizing euphemisms – – I want to know what’s wrong?  How and why did it get this way? What are we dealing with and how do we fix it? Not just treat the symptoms with one prescription and then another.  I am entitled to resolve with an intelligent solution.  Is my body missing something I’m not giving it (malnutrition)?  Are my organs over- burdened with toxins from our polluted world? (resulting in sick organs e.g. pancreas, kidneys, liver etc.,.)?  How can we solve this if we don’t know what is wrong.  DO NOT Just tell me IT IS AGING!  We weren’t designed to fall apart without cause – what is the CAUSE? If our doctors can’t do this for us, then can we still call this “Health-care”? Or is it Disease-care?

It is wonderful to be blessed with a healthy body, the way most of us were born.  When we are young, we take it for granted and can feed it crappy food and it doesn’t break down.. . . seems very forgiving, until one day, it isn’t.  Things start to go wrong.  We pay a price for all our prior indiscretions – stuff catches up with us.  If we are not happy with the pain, lost energy,  stamina and developing problems that weren’t there before, then we can sit up and look around and wonder what happened and try to figure out where to start.  Most people turn to their doctors and come home with a few prescriptions and that long downhill trip starts. Independent rebels such as your truly dig into books and ask a thousand questions.  And go through a lot of doctors because I am not a doctors idea of a good patient – I demand too much time and explanation.  They don’t have it to give, most generally, on any level.

The Quest

One needs to learn enough about what the body requires by way of nourishment in order to have good health and to keep it. You really have no choice, we must give it respectable amounts of time to figure out what works best for us.  We have a couple of very good resources to help get the job done. . . curiosity,  observation,  asking questions of friends and well-informed others and then – – very importantly – –  the Internet.   Doctors have seldom been my source of help.  How often I heard “We just don’t know,”  or “Science has no answers on that,”  and “Tonsils were one of nature’s mistakes, we don’t really need them.”   They just don’t know!  If your physician knows anything about nutritional body requirements, he or she went to extra training beyond traditional medical school with all it specialties.  Old fashioned, common-sense knowledge seems missing

You can buy diet books and try to read and digest them until you are cross-eyed and bombed out of your mind.  No two of them agree on anything.   Hundreds of doctors have written good and excellent books.  Countless celebrities, ditto.  Some quite XLNT.   Its a good idea to scan down the table of contents and check out the index in the rear to be sure whatever you are considering buying covers the essences you seek knowledge and help with.  Don’t just buy a name, no matter how new or hip it sounds.  We are all different with varying needs and experiences (and problems) – so let your inner genie guide you.   I have given away a great many books that I didn’t respond to once I got em home and tried to read and make headway. I don’t seek a ‘story’  in a text like this.  I want facts, lots of them.  I want details on what the organs do and need and what I must do to insure this.  I need to know quickly what the rules of the program are so that I can determine if it is realistic for me or I think I can make it work.

Our government isn’t much help either.  They have their pyramid thing which does nobody any good – – in fact, it is hurtful. The recommended daily requirements on vitamins and minerals are all but useless as well.  These guidelines are about as useless to us as is the FDA in supposedly protecting us from inferior or harmful foods and medications, etc.  So we are in the end,  ‘ on our own.’     That’s  a problem because  modern life has less time to spend in leisure activity than prior generations and so we need easy availability to information that we need.  There is no shortage of information, sadly, we are over-dosed on it.

My Personal Solution

Recognizing my nature and my need (due to relationship with the medical community), in order to help myself out of  (then) current trauma, I solicited help from a health-oriented person who recommended Dr Hulda Regehr Clark’s book, “The Cure for all Diseases”  Apparently, this has been a  popular book at health food stores and with the naturalists crowd, etc.  Though the title was off-putting, my gut approved and I bought it and never looked back.  This is one of the best purchases I ever made.  Dr Clark rose quickly to the top of the list of people I most admired.  An iconoclastic rebel, trained scientist and humanitarian, she dedicated her life to helping people help themselves.  She shares her machinery she invented with total displays of specs in how to build the Zapper,  a Synchrometer and frequency generator.  With all this, one can diagnose, detect and solve many problems.  Can’t you just see the glee in Washington?  Who did she think she was?  They ran her out of the states (like any other original thinker who dares to paint outside the lines) while calling them  “quacks.”Thereafter, she  worked in Mexico – just outside Tijuana.  I have written to her and spoken with her and benefited greatly from her books.  And I lamented her recent passing. Her foundation continues her work and I sometimes post an article here and there from them.  That was 1995.

The year before, I had discovered Dr. John McDougall and he made being a vegetarian sound appealing.  I had leaned toward this for decades, but was always dissuaded by friends and family insisting that it was unsafe.   So I bought his tapes and some of his books and tinkered around the edges for years.  When my arthritis began  troubling  me, I decided  – go for it! And did.  Overnite the pain of arthritis dissipated.  I was overjoyed and encouraged to really go for it.   It was very easy to do.  Lost a little weight, had a good time in the kitchen.  And so easy on the budget.

New to blogging (2008), I began including those I had come to respect and Donna Gates of Body Ecology is a remarkable teacher and I admire what B.E.D espouses.  Big Fan.  Have learned a good deal from her (fermented foods) and used some of her products.  Recommend her Video (11-19-09)

During 2009 I  began to seriously look at Professor Loren Cordain’s message in the Paleo Diet.  Bought the book because my son (Jeff Turner of who is as smart as anyone out there about physicality, strength and conditioning, athletic training and so on spoke so highly of the Paleo Diet and Cordain.  Was really impressed.  Then in conflict.   This Dr Cordain is a scientist like my beloved Dr Clark.  He too, is gifted with an easy writing style and giving as many facts as one can absorb or need.  And the Paleo Diet functions from bases that I have long found vital to health (no matter what plan or program one follows – there are certain physiological things that should be honored if one is to enjoy radiant health:

  • Acid/base balance  (Paleo and B.E.D. both emphasize this)
  • Glycemic Index  (Paleo -great job explaining all this)
  • Food Combining  (both Paleo and B.E.D. discuss and teach this)

After living the McDougaller life (not 100%, but mostly), it was a psychological hurdle for me to accept this much animal protein into my diet again.  But the three issues (above) that are so important to me are well-suited to Paleo.  Also, there is the recognition that certain fats are not only acceptable but extremely beneficial to health and well-being.    The biggies I have to sacrifice are personal passions –  bread, potatoes and rice, as these are high glycemic load foods and not working well for the body.   (Had given up Dairy long ago)  But an offsetting  perk is  allowance for a little wine or occasional cocktail.

No matter what plan or method one uses,  always go for fresh and organic if possible.  Use nothing processed and of course that takes in all cans of anything;  nothing in boxes.  No wheat, grain, sugar or dairy and if you know anyone with the bellyfat problem – this is the eating plan for them (and perhaps, the best one).  This is not just  adipose fat, it is fat girding the inner organs and ruining one’s health. This is one heck of a way to drop the numbers on the scale… . .thanks mainly to observing the glycemic factoring and the increase of healthy protein which fires up the metabolic engine.

Please take this as encouragement to seek your own answers.  I have shared what seems to work for me and admittedly, the enormous popularity of the Paleo Diet  and the McDougall program with the readers of my blog.   There are so many other sources out there  including Gary Null,  Pritikin, Dean Ornish who all occupy prominent shelf space in my library.  But then, I cut my teeth on Adele Davis back in the 60’s.  So for me, this has been going on a long time.  It’s a major interest of mine.

We are all different, have different needs.  Our bodies are miraculous instruments and deserve the best care we can give them and I believe there is no need for heart disease, strokes, obesity and diabetes to be cutting our lives short and ruining the precious time we have in this life to enjoy it to the fullest.  You and I don’t have to be doctors to do this, to learn how to care for our bodies.  Whatever you do, whatever you choose, enjoy it and make it fun.  It is quite an adventure with a big payoff. My heartfelt wish for your bountiful health and pleasure in living.     Jan

Vigilant stroke patients cut risk

Follow-up, life changes essential to future health

By Misti Crane

Stroke patients and their doctors should be vigilant in taking steps to stave off a second stroke, according to the author of a new study that reaffirms the risk of recurrent problems. The study, published in today’s issue of the journal Neurology, looked at 10,399 South Carolina stroke patients in 2002. The risk of a second stroke within one year was 8 percent. The risk of a second stroke within four years was more than double that, 18 percent. The risk of a second stroke among blacks was 16 percent higher than among whites.

“The findings from the study suggest that South Carolina and possibly other parts of the United States may have a long way to go in terms of preventing and reducing the risk factors for recurrent strokes or death,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Wuwei Feng of the Medical University of South Carolina.    Overall, one in four stroke patients died within a year. About 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke each year, according to the American Heart Association.
Recurrent strokes and other risks, including heart attacks, are well-established, and the study is a reminder of the importance of taking medication and making lifestyle changes that lower that risk, stroke experts said.
“There’s nothing anybody can do to make it so they’re never going to have a stroke,” said Dr. Andrew Slivka, medical director of Ohio State University Medical Center’s stroke program. But he said there’s room for improvement in managing those things that can reduce risk.    Patients sometimes struggle to stay on medications that help with problems that can lead to stroke, including high blood pressure and diabetes, Slivka said.
Lifestyle changes are notoriously difficult, said Dr. David Lang, a neurologist with the Mount Carmel Health System.
“If they’re smoking, they need to stop. If they’re drinking heavily, they need to at least cut back,” Lang said.
Access to medical care after a stroke is important, he said. Without good follow-up, patients might fall out of the routine of taking medicines and changing bad habits, he said.
Ted Hoff of Delaware suffered a stroke in 2006 and credits his good health since then to a variety of factors, starting with the intensive inpatient rehabilitation he had at Riverside Methodist Hospital. Since then, Hoff’s primary-care doctor has been vigilant about monitoring his health, including his blood pressure, Hoff said. And although it took a while, he and his doctors found a combination of medicines that works.
Hoff, 67, watches his weight and tries to maintain a positive outlook, something he thinks is essential to life after a stroke.
“The other thing that was very important in my recovery was the support I had from my wife. Everybody I talk to who has a supportive loved one, that really helps,” he said.   When stroke patients leave Riverside, they go with explicit recommendations about how to best avoid problems, said Dr. Geoffrey Eubank, co-director of the hospital’s stroke program.
The hope is that both the patient and the primarycare physician will work to achieve the goals set before the patient left the hospital.   It becomes easier to give patients a blueprint for trying to avoid strokes as more research is conducted to draw links between stroke and other factors, Eubank said.
In addition to obeying doctors, Ted Hoff, who recovered from a stroke, said the help of wife Marilyn was essential.

December 6, 2009

Paleo – Acid/Base balance
Loren Cordain, Ph.D.

December 6, 2009 Volume 2 Issue 2
(Originally published July 1, 2006)

Hello! Welcome to The Paleo Diet Update. For the next few weeks we will be publishing archival issues of The Paleo Diet Update while we work on our new monthly edition of the newsletter. We appreciate your readership, interest, and enthusiasm for The Paleo Diet and hope that you find items of interest from our archival editions of the newsletter.

The Paleo Diet Blog

We’re pleased see the response from the Paleo Diet community to our new Paleo Diet Blog! We will continue to provide useful nutritional information to our our readers, as well as an interactive format for our readers to view past questions submitted from the Paleo Diet community and the answers provided by our team. We encourage you to check out new articles, browse our Q&A, and submit your own questions or comments.

Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor

Loren Cordain, Ph.D.

In This Issue
Dietary Acid/Base Balance is Crucial
Success Story of the Month
Getting a Handle on Health
Dietary Acid/Base Balance is Crucial
Paleo Diet concept lies in its ability to simply uncover a pre-existing diet – a universal diet and dietary characteristics consumed by all humans until very recent times. The notion that omega 3 fatty acids promote health (as demonstrated in the scientific literature) is quite recent – as recent as the past 30 years. The notion that high protein diets may prevent disease and promote health and well being is newer still. Further, the recognition that dietary acid/base balance has anything to do with optimal health is barely in its infancy. Virtually, without exception, each and every one of these so-called nutritional “discoveries” in the scientific literature are treated cautiously, as if they were curious anomalies, rather than the predictable and highly probable findings that they actually are – had only the evolutionary template been employed.

In this and subsequent Paleo Diet Updates I will comment upon the latest scientific findings which increasingly lead to the inescapable conclusion that the evolutionary basis for human nutrition represents the grand unifying theory the discipline so sorely lacks.

Recent Scientific Findings: Acid/Base Balance

One of the major nutritional characteristics of ancestral human diets that have been almost totally ignored in both the lay and scientific literature is acid/base balance. Pick up the latest best selling diet book, be it a reincarnation of Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution, The South Beach Diet or whatever, and I can guarantee you that it will not even touch upon this crucial concept.

Briefly, let me review the basic concept. All foods upon digestion report to the kidney as acid, base or neutral. Acid yielding foods are all cereal grains, meats, cheeses, fish and salt. The only base yielding foods are fruits and vegetables1, 2. Fats, they typically displace base yielding fruits and vegetables, they are partially responsible for the net acid load in the typical western diet3, 4. There are a number of adverse health effects either partially or wholly caused by a net acid yielding diet including: osteoporosis, hypertension, stroke, calcium kidney stones, age-related muscle wasting, asthma and exercise-induced asthma2-6. For more information visit:

In the June issues of both the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition7 and the Journal of the American College of Nutrition8, two articles were published that reinforce the concept that net base yielding diets promote strong bones and may prevent bone mineral loss and osteoporosis.

Study #1

In the first article7, the authors report the osteoporosis preventing benefits of high intakes of fruit and vegetables in a cross sectional study of 125 girls and 132 boys between 16 and 18 years of age, 120 young women between 23 and 37 years of age, and 70 men and 73 women aged 60 to 83 years. Increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables were associated with greater whole body bone mineral densities in the boys and girls aged 16 to 18. In the older women 60 to 83 years of age, greater fruit intake was associated with a greater bone mineral content. No statistically significant associations were found in the younger women or older men between bone mineral measurements and consumption of vegetables alone.

Strengths: This study is rigorous for two reasons. First, actual weights of fruits and vegetables were assessed using a 7 day food diary and secondly bone mineral data were carefully adjusted for body size using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) machines. Without adjustment of body size, DEXA measurements may not truly be reflective of bone mineral content or density. In many dietary studies food intake is compiled not by daily diaries, but rather by 3 day recalls – a process which is notoriously inaccurate.

Weaknesses: This experiment is classified as a cross sectional epidemiological study. All epidemiological studies cannot show cause and effect between diet and disease, but rather only associations. Fruit and vegetable eating is associated with enhanced bone mineral status, but we cannot conclude from this epidemiological study that fruit and vegetable consumption causes greater bone mineral health. In New York City, there are always more fire trucks at bigger fires. Hence, more fire trucks are associated with bigger fires, but more fire trucks do not cause bigger fires.

Conclusions: As far as epidemiological studies go, this is a great one pointing in the direction that fruit and vegetable consumption may improve bone mineral status, but further, more powerful dietary interventions (in which fruits and vegetables are actually fed to humans and markers of bone mineral health are measured) will be required to make a stronger case.

Study #2

In the second article8 researchers led by Bess Dawson-Hughes at Tufts University in Boston conducted a dietary intervention in 40 healthy men and women over age 50. For 60 days, the subjects were put on either a high fruit and vegetable diet (base yielding) or an acid yielding diet in which cereals replaced fruits and vegetables. The subjects consuming the acid yielding cereal diet experienced increases in serum PTH (a hormone marker of increased bone breakdown), a loss of calcium in the urine and increased bone breakdown.

Strengths: In order to show cause and effect between diet and disease, scientists utilized 4 procedures: 1) epidemiological studies, 2) tissue or in vitro studies, 3) animal studies, and 4) human dietary interventions. When there are discrepancies among the various types of experiments, human dietary interventions represent the “trump card,” and these results prevail over the other procedures. This study represents the first long term (60 day) human dietary intervention demonstrating that an increased dietary acid load promotes changes in blood markers of bone breakdown.

Weaknesses: To conclusively demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that net acid yielding diets promote bone mineral loss in humans, this same experiment should be carried out over a longer period (1 to 2 years) and actual changes in bone mineral content (as measured by dual x-ray absorptiometry [DEXA] machines) should be made, along with the blood markers of bone loss that were measured in this study.

Conclusions: The study represents the most powerful experiment to date showing that dietary acid/base balance is crucial for long term bone mineral health in humans. Despite this evidence, the notion of dietary acid/base balance has been completely ignored by the USDA in their My Pyramid Dietary Recommendations for the US public10 and by virtually all of the best selling diet books. Perhaps it is high time that the evolutionary basis for optimal human nutrition be incorporated as a key component when making public dietary recommendations.

Osteoporosis is a huge health problem world wide, afflicting 1 in 3 women and 1 in 10 men over the age of 55 years9. In the US 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, and costs are estimated at $17.9 billion annually9. Healthcare practitioners and the general public need to understand that there is more involved in the prevention of osteoporosis than just calcium intake and vitamin D.

Success Story of the Month: Getting a Handle on Health
Dear Dr. Cordain,

I had a heart attack 2 years ago, I’m only 51, my glucose levels were out of control, my sugar was either too high or too low, I was about 15 lbs overweight. I was exercising 20 or 30 minutes a day on my elliptical machine in front of the TV. I honestly thought I was eating healthy and balanced, but I could never loose 1 pound.

My glucose levels were often in the 180 to 225 range. Sometimes it would drop to 51 and I felt that the end was near. Every morning I woke up it was always high….170 was a low for my morning reading, but it was never any lower and usually higher.

I was on more and more medicines, 10mg of Glipizide in the evening, Actos in the morning, plus 5mg of Byetta in the morning and evening. My Dr. was talking about adding insulin in the evening to bring my morning glucose down. That was the last straw. I always felt like I had a touch of the flu.

I picked up a copy of your book on the advice of my daughters Gynecologist. (She said this diet would cure their acne problems). I read the book and started right away on the healthy diet.

I saw changes in my glucose levels in the first week on the diet. My morning levels were coming down. I cut down on my meds after the first week because I didn’t need so much anymore. Now I take only 5mg of Glipizide in the evening, and still take the Byetta shots morning and evening. But I’m sure I will be cutting that down soon.

I also started walking outside right away. I lost the feeling that I had the flu all the time after the first week also.

I love the diet, it took a little readjustment of my thinking to get used to it. The first week I felt a little tired, weak, but not like the flu!!! I can’t imagine eating any other way now.

I’ve lost 11 lbs, still have a little to go, I’m down to 135, I’m 5’4”. I may want to go to 128. (Instead of my original 132.)

My mom always said, “You are what you eat!” now I believe it.

Because of your book I have my life back. I truly believe that your book saved my life. Thank you and God bless you.

Renee T. Ray
Albuquerque, NM


  1. Remer T, Manz F. Potential renal acid load of foods and its influence on urine pH. J Am Diet Assoc 1995;95:791-797.
  2. Frassetto LA, Todd KM, Morris RC Jr, Sebastian A. Estimation of net endogenous noncarbonic acid production in humans from diet potassium and protein contents. Am J Clin Nutr. 1998 Sep;68(3):576-83.
  3. Sebastian A, Frassetto LA, Sellmeyer DE, Merriam RL, Morris RC Jr. Estimation of the net acid load of the diet of ancestral preagricultural Homo sapiens and their hominid ancestors. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Dec;76 (6):1308-16.
  4. Frassetto L, Morris RC Jr, Sellmeyer DE, Todd K, Sebastian A. Diet, evolution and aging–the pathophysiologic effects of the post-agricultural inversion of the potassium-to-sodium and base-to-chloride ratios in the human diet. Eur J Nutr. 2001 Oct;40(5):200-13.
  5. Mickleborough TD, Lindley MR, Ray S. Dietary salt, airway inflammation, and diffusion capacity in exercise- induced asthma. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2005 Jun;37(6):904-14.
  6. Sausenthaler S, Kompauer I, Brasche S, Linseisen J, Heinrich J. Sodium intake and bronchial hyperresponsiveness in adults. Respir Med. 2005 Jul;99(7):864-70.
  7. Prynne CJ, Mishra GD, O’Connell MA, Muniz G, Laskey MA, Yan L, Prentice A, Ginty F. Fruit and vegetable intakes and bone mineral status: a cross-sectional study in 5 age and sex cohorts. Am J Clin Nutr 2006 83:1420-1428.
  8. Jajoo R, Song L, Rasmussen H, Harris SS, Dawson-Hughes B. Dietary Acid-base balance, bone resorption, and calcium excretion. J Am Coll Nutr. 2006 Jun;25(3):224-30.
  9. Lanham-New SA. Fruit and vegetables: the unexpected natural answer to the question of osteoporosis prevention? Am J Clin Nutr 2006 83: 1254-1255.
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