Well Being Journal
Vitamin B12 • Cortisol and Sleep • Coconut Water vs. Statins • Blueberries and Insulin
Sample Edition 2011
Heralding the Integration of Medicine with Physical, Mental, Emotional, Spiritual & Social Aspects of Health
Foods for a Longer Life The Truth About Cholesterol
Regenerating the Brain
Vitamin Reverses Heart Disease Natural Eyesight Improvement
Well Being Journal™
Editor: Scott E. Miners Contributing Editors: Roberta Louis, Lisa Hass Distribution: Martha Miners Layout & Design: Lisa Hass Office Manager: Renae Margolin
Sample Issue 2011
Editor@wellbeingjournal.com Advertising: 775-887-1702 or email@example.com
FEATURES Living Better Longer Nora Gedgaudas, a clinical nutritionist, discusses the evidence that low insulin level is a key indicator of longevity and is associated with caloric restriction, brain and metabolic health and cardiovascular vitality.
Reversing Heart Disease with a Vitamin Daniel Cobb, O.M.D., discusses proven evidence that a single commonly available but essential vitamin reverses heart disease.
Copyright © 2011, Well Being Journal, Inc. All rights reserved.
Regenerating the Brain 7 David Perlmutter, M.D., writes of the research that proves brain neurons regenerate and the optimal ways to live to make sure they do. The Truth About Good and Bad Cholesterol Bruce Fife, N.D., explains that all forms of natural cholesterol are good, and it is oxidized cholesterol that causes health problems.
Natural Eyesight Improvement 11 Esther Joy van der Werf shows how you can regain clarity of vision using a simple method in which eye exercises are unnecessary. A Key to Healthy Digestion: The Mystery of “ The Grey Man” and Low Stomach Acid Jonathan V. Wright, M.D., discusses the importance of hydrochloric, or stomach acid and why too little is more often a problem than too much.
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In Brief Vitamin B12 Absorption Cortisol Levels and Better Sleep Coconut Water as Effective as Statin Drug Blueberries Help Reverse Insulin Resistance Cover photo © iStockphoto.com/Creativeye99
Editorial Review Committee: Martha A. Miners, Eva Urbaniak, N.D., Lisa Hass
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Living in Well Being The Journal has published a collection of some of the most practical health information available. The following topics are just a few of the searchable keywords at www. wellbeingjournal.com that will lead you to research notes or one or multiple issues of the Journal that contain the relevant information. • Acidosis • Acupuncture • ADHD • AIDS • Addiction • Additives • Adrenal • Aging • Alzheimer’s • Amino Acids • Arthritis • Autism • Blood Pressure • Bone Health • Brain • Cancer • Calcium • Cholesterol • Coconut • Colds • Cooking Oil • Dental Health • Diabetes • Digestion • Electrolytes • Emotions • Energy • Enzymes • Exercise • Eyesight • Fat • Fatigue • Fermented • Flu • Fibromyalgia • Allergies • Food Processing • Genotype • Genetically Modified • Gluten • Happiness • Health • Heart Disease • Herbs • Homeopathy • H. Pylori • Immunity • Inflammation • Joy • Kidney • Longevity • Lyme • Lymph • Macular Degeneration • Magnesium Massage • Medicine • Memory • Metabolic Syndrome • Metabolism • Migraine • Milk • Minerals • Multiple Sclerosis • Mushrooms • Nervous System • Nightshades • Nutrients • Nutrition • Obesity • Oil • Organic • Osteoporosis • Probiotics • Prostate • Raw • Rest • Sleep • Soy • Spices• Sprout • Stomach Acid • Statins • Stress • Sugar • Thyroid • Ulcer • Vaccine • Vitamins • Water • Weight Loss •
Sample Issue 2011
Well Being Journal is dedicated to publishing cogent, concise, expert information about natural ways to live healthfully, to prevent and heal illnesses and slow or reverse the aging process. We herald the integration of medicine with physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social aspects of health. We publish substantiated feature articles and research notes covering those subjects as well as personal stories of healing, and we have been doing so for over 20 years. We regularly publish research and personal and clinical experiences about the nutritional and natural healing and prevention of cancer, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, Lyme disease, Alzheimer’s/dementia, diabetes/hypoglycemia and much more. We also acknowledge that right food as medicine, as well as nutritional supplements or other medicines cannot stop misaligned thoughts and negative attitudes from affecting our state of wellbeing. All these pieces play a synergistic role in our lives, affecting our health and happiness. All of us at the Journal bring you this information in hopes of creating a world where we all experience the good feelings of wellbeing. Regarded as a treasure trove by its subscribers, the salient information contained within the 52 pages of each Journal creates a space of healthy reading from cover-to-cover. Beware! By reading the Journal, you may live a life with greater health and happiness; witness these comments from readers:
Regarded as a treasure trove by its subscribers, the salient information contained within the Journal creates a space of healthy reading from cover-to-cover
“Your magazine is just wonderful!! Your health information is the best in the industry. I can’t wait to receive every issue.” —Diane “I just want to thank you for this publication, which gets read over and over again by me, former patients and friends and family. It makes us feel empowered in our own health quests and encourages us to new and exciting experiments in well being.” —S.B., D.C., Spartanburg, SC “I look forward to your Journal. I’m 85, and your journal is like getting a letter from my sister!” —Virginia Horaine, Florida “Yours is the only magazine I subscribe to. One I couldn’t do without! It’s my primary bedtime reading—new issues and back issues.” —S.S., Los Angeles, CA “Your magazine is wonderful! Thanks So Much!” —H.H., Thailand “I love my Well Being Journal. I devour it immediately and am useless for a day after arrival. Thanks for your work with it.” —J.H., Winchester, VA It’s our genuine hope that all of us enjoy ever greater health. —Scott Miners, ed www.wellbeingjournal.com
Well Being Journal
Living Longer Better A Diet the Longest-Living Individuals Have in Common By Nora T. Gedgaudas, C.N.S., C.N.T.
Research across the board has shown that long-lived individuals (animals and humans) share the following characteristics:
Low fasting insulin levels Low fasting glucose Optimally low leptin Low triglycerides Low percentage of visceral body fat Lower body temperature
group? Eighty-seven percent were still alive and only 13 percent had died of age-related causes. Throughout their lives the calorically restricted group maintained superior health and aging-related biomarkers in every area: brain health, metabolic health and rate, insulin sensitivity, and cardiovascular vitality. The caloric restriction group enjoyed a threefold reduction in age-related disease! Also, they lost fat weight but maintained healthy levels of lean tissue mass. They also retained greater brain volume,
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One single longevity marker stands out among all long-lived animals and persons above the rest, however, and thatâ€™s low insulin levels. In July of 2009 the eagerly awaited results of a twenty-year study on the effects of caloric restriction on primates were finally published in the journal Science. Two groups of Rhesus monkeys (selected for their strong similarity to us) were studied: one group of monkeys was allowed to eat as much as they wanted, and the other group was given a sufficiently nutrient-dense diet with 30 percent fewer calories than they would normally consume. Twenty years later only 63 percent of the monkeys that ate as much as they wanted were still alive. Thirty-seven percent of them had died due to age-related causes. And the caloric restriction Sample Issue 2011
Vitamin B12 Absorption Toxins, poor diet and other environmental factors can over time affect the lining of the stomach, which may lose its ability to produce hydrochloric acid (HCL), among other effects. HCL plays a key role in releasing vitamin B12 from food. HCL is an easily attained food supplement, and it could help those who have too little HCL in their stomachs not only with vitamin B12 absorption but also with nutrient digestion in general. Another cause of vitamin B12 deficiency may be food-cobalamin malabsorption syndrome. (Cobalamin is vitamin B12.) This occurs when the stomach lining loses its ability to produce intrinsic factor—a protein that binds to vitamin B12 in order to assist the body to absorb the vitamin. Also, overgrowths of harmful microbes can take place in the gut, according to Jeffrey Anderson, M.D., writing in Optimal Digestive Health (p. 81), particularly yeast and bacteria, in the absence of friendly flora. By regularly consuming active probiotics such as fermented soy products (miso, natto, tempeh), fresh, live yogurt and kefir, and raw fermented vegetable products such as sauerkraut and kim chee, one can prevent secondary damage to the gut wall, including putrefaction and toxins. Additionally, there’s more good news about microflora and vitamin B: Donna Gates, author of the Body Ecology Diet (Hay House, 2011), notes, “The microflora in fermented foods produce B vitamins.” Another key in the chain of vitamin B12 absorption might also be related to the proper assimilation of fats. Gates: “B3, B6, and B12 play a critical role…once your inner ecosystem is established with lots of vitamin B-producing friendly bacteria, you’ll find it easier to digest fats.” —More information on
B12 in Well Being Journal, Vol. 20, No. 5.
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which normally shrinks with age and glycation, but more than that they retained superior cognitive function. The cardiovascular disease rate of the caloric-restricted group was fully half the rate of the control group. Forty percent of the control group developed diabetes (or pre-diabetes). Not one single monkey in the calorically restricted group developed either. Remarkable. The available photos from the study showing examples of age-matched individuals from the two groups, which I was not able to include here, are visually striking. Stunning, even. The caloric-restricted monkeys looked almost literally half the age of the controls. Among the most common misconceptions about monkeys and apes, incidentally, is that they are vegan animals. Though they are better adapted to making use of plant foods in some ways than we are, they also readily eat the same things we eat. All monkeys and apes are known to eat meat, and many even hunt for meat. The one notable exception is the mountain gorilla, and even they get some insects in their diet. Monkeys and apes are omnivores and, like us, will eat whatever might be available to them in their environment. Some even catch and eat fish! One of the reasons Rhesus monkeys were selected for this particular study, in fact, is because of their pronounced similarity to us, even in terms of diet. There are actually several more recent studies showing significant health benefit where caloric restriction in humans is concerned. A newly released study in the Journal of Applied Research, “Clinical Experience of a Diet Designed to Reduce Aging” demonstrated that, in the context of an outpatient medical clinic, a diet high in fat, adequate in protein (50-80 grams per day), and very low in carbohydrate, with some added multivitamin and mineral supplementation, led to significant improvement in recognized serum factors related to the aging process. Patients were told to eat when they were hungry. The results also included a significant loss of body weight, a significant reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and a reduction in levels of leptin, insulin, fasting glucose, and free T3. Despite the predominance of fat in the diet, serum triglycerides were also greatly reduced. …∆
Even while buying the bestquality grass-fed meats, produce, and wild-caught fish, you can find yourself saving considerable money on groceries. The basic guideline to remember is this: greatly restrict or eliminate sugar and starch
Full article, author bio and references in Well Being Journal, Vol. 20, No. 5.
Sleep on this: The trouble with running up sleep shortages day after day is that it’s very hard to make up the loss unless you’re going on vacation. What’s more, when sleep is skimpy, your cortisol levels don’t drop as much as they’re supposed to at night, and growth hormone doesn’t rise as much as it should, which can undermine muscle strength. Remember, you need a daily dose of growth hormone, which gets secreted during deep sleep, to refresh your cells and prepare you for the next day. It not only stimulates cellular growth and reproduction, but it also has strong anti-inflammatory and anticortisol effects— all good things for energy (not to mention weight maintenance!). —Ashley Koff, R.D., and Kathy Kaehler in Mom Energy More information on sleep in Well Being Journal, Vol.20, No. 6.
Well Being Journal
Reversing Heart Disease with a Vitamin By Daniel Cobb, O.M.D.
What is one of the world’s very best treatments for arteriosclerosis (aka hardening of the arteries via plaque deposits)? The treatment doesn’t involve drugs or surgery; it requires only commonly available nutritional supplements, and can substantially improve a person’s condition inside of a month. This therapeutic treatment has been around for 50-60 years, has been effective in tens of thousands of cases, and was championed by Linus Pauling1 who was a two-time recipient of the Nobel Prize in science. The treatment involves supplements that cost less than $90 per month, and the only side-effect is that you become more resistant to colds and flu. An important note is that it’s a mistake to think of arterial plaque deposits as heart disease itself. The plaque deposits lining the walls of arteries are a downstream effect of what begins as damage to artery walls. Under optimal conditions, this damage would be quickly repaired, because the major arteries—particularly coronary arteries—are under significant mechanical stress and having the blood “break through” a major artery wall could be almost immediately lethal and the body uses plaque to keep that from happening.1 The arterial repair process revolves around the creation of new collagen and elastin fibers in the area of the damage. There is a package of nutrients necessary for the creation of these fibers, and almost all of those nutrients are usually available in sufficient quantity in a healthy body. However, one of those nutrients, vitamin C, is often in short supply.2 Vitamin C is involved in hydroxylation reactions, Well Being Journal
and plays a critical cross-linking part in the creation of collagen fibers.21 The cross-linking is what gives the fibers most of their strength. It is possible for the body to make collagen in the absence of vitamin C, but the resulting collagen, that lacks the cross-linking, will be very weak and fall apart easily. Vitamin C performs many functions. It is an antioxidant and it is required by the adrenals for best response to stress.4 Vitamin C plays an important part in the immune system, besides being required to produce collagen fibers, a key component of arterial self-repair.1 It is also used by the body to chelate, or remove heavy metals bit by molecular bit.5 It is important to point out that vitamin C is not stored in the body, nor does the human body produce vitamin C on its own.
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Fortunately, however, vitamin C can be found in most foods. It is present in every fruit, vegetable, and even in meats. Vitamin C, however, is fragile, and heat used in cooking temperatures compromises it.6 So, if most of your food is cooked, dried, preserved, processed, packaged, or canned, then it’s likely you aren’t getting enough vitamin C from your food, thus risking that you might not have enough vitamin C for crucial body functions (such as synthesizing collagen fibers). When artery walls are damaged and vitamin C is in short supply, your body may not be able to fix the damage optimally, but the body has a plan “B.” As in the story of the Dutch boy who sticks his finger in the dike, your body will try to shore up the weak points in the artery walls until they can be repaired. The plaque deposits that heart disease patients have been told to be so afraid of are actually band-aids purposely placed by the body at weak points of the arteries to prevent deadly breakthrough bleeding. The major problem with Plan B, plaque repair of artery walls, is that until very late stages in this disease process, there is no pain, and the person is usually totally unaware of any problem. When there is a lack of vitamin C, instead of using the remedy of vitamin C to repair the damage to the artery walls immediately, the body has to make more plaque that then accumulates. This results in more deposits, and, in places where the artery wall damage is more concentrated, a thicker and thicker buildup of plaque. Eventually the damage in a particular area of an artery may be so great that the body faces a difficult choice—either risk breakthrough bleeding at the point of the greatest arterial weakness or risk having a blood clot close off the artery entirely. When a person finally gets to this stage, a blood clot is often the last step to closing off the artery and bringing about a heart attack. The plaque deposits are actively engaged in saving our lives – by preventing breakthrough bleeding. Because the fear and hysteria about heart disease is so pervasive, it is useful to point out that the plaque deposits and all their component parts, including cholesterol, lipoprotein(a), calcium (remember the dreaded “calcium score”?), are not enemies. The plaque deposits and all their component parts are where they are on purpose, not by accident. They are serving to keep us alive. As long as we respond in a timely manner, plaque deposits and their components do not need to be attacked by drugs, mechanically removed by balloon angioplasty, or circumvented using bypass surgery. If we follow the logic of the “vitamin C” model
of treating heart disease, all we need to do is simply repair the damage to our artery walls. Once we remove the purpose for their existence, these plaque deposits should fall apart and leave without requiring any further encouragement. The vitamin C theory is still just a theory until we try to test it out on real people with the plaque-deposit blockages type of heart disease. So, the question becomes: what happens when we provide abundant quantities of the nutrients required to fix damaged areas of artery walls. The almost universal result is that, as the arterial damage heals, the plaque deposits are released from the artery wall. Eventually this disease condition can be substantially or even completely reversed.7 The unfulfilled potential of this previous statement is that, although there are mountains of anecdotal evidence that the vitamin C approach works, there have been very few controlled scientifically designed studies that come to the same conclusion. In one study, in 1954, Canadian M.D. G. C. Willis showed that doses of 500 mg 3 times per day made very substantial improvements in the arterial blockages of heart patients.18 There is one other study that was designed to prove that chelation therapy does not work. The way that the study design was arranged was to make chelation look impotent by giving both the test group and the controls vitamin C and magnesium IV’s, and then to look only at the additional benefits derived from using IV EDTA in the test group. The study “proved” that chelation didn’t do much good, but what was left unstated in the summaries was that in both arms of the study (test and control) subjects improved their cardiovascular performance in a highly significant way (P < .001).19 Thus, what this study really “proved” was that IV vitamin C and magnesium is absolutely wonderful for cardiovascular function. Why are the studies so few and far between? Heart disease treatment is a huge industry, and the industry at large does not appreciate competition from a common vitamin that can be produced for a handful of pennies per dose, does not require a prescription, and is effective both as a cure and for prevention. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the FDA have found a comfortable niche operating as the Washington D.C. branch office of the pharmaceutical industry trade group. …∆
The treatment involves supplements that cost less than $90 per month, and the only sideeffect is that you become more resistant to colds and flu.
Sample Issue 2011
Full article, author bio and references in Well Being Journal, Vol. 20, No. 4.
Well Being Journal
Regenerating the Brain by David Perlmutter, M.D.
Only recently have researchers discovered the potential of the human brain and come to truly appreciate the positive implications of neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to create new neural networks—both for our individual health as well as for society in general. We now understand how to harness our brain’s neuroplasticity to enhance certain neural pathways. In essence, we can alter our brain function so that we can more fully access those areas that pave the way for freedom from trauma and destructive emotions; this also allows us to express the genes for health and longevity and even enlightenment. Neuroscientists have come a long way over the past 25 years. They have replaced the onceaccepted paradigm of the brain as a hardwired, fixed, and immutable organ with the belief in neuroplasticity, which celebrates its dynamic ability to learn, adapt, and change.
athletes have long known that practice does not necessarily make perfect, because bad practice simply reinforces a less than ideal pathway in the brain. Likewise, repeating a prayer over and over without positive focused intention makes enlightenment less likely. If you want to experiment, try brushing your teeth or holding your fork with your non-dominant hand and notice how much concentration is required to perform this simple task. Likewise, the practice of joy, kindness, and forgiveness take focused attention to develop, but the more you exercise them, the more easily and naturally they come.
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Changing Our Neural Networks Through neuroplasticity, the brain is able to rewire neural pathways, and even establish new neural superhighways. When a person suffers a stroke and loses function in the right hand, for example, the brain can create new pathways that may allow the left hand to perform some of the functions previously done only by the right. Neural networks are created by focused, engaged stimulation. It takes more than simple repetition to create neural networks. Professional Sample Issue 2011
Cortisol Levels & Better Sleep Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands that helps regulate activation of thyroid hormone, bone resorption, muscle strength, energy production, resistance to infection and cancer, resistance to autoimmune diseases, and intensity of allergic reactions. Cortisol is a strong determinant in how rejuvenating sleep will be. Cortisol is produced in a cyclic fashion with the highest levels being released in the morning and the lowest at night…. Any disruption in this rhythm can result in a tendency toward fatigue,…low sex drive, infertility, migraine headaches, adult acne, abdominal bloating, and either low or high blood pressure. A disruption in the cortisol level during the night will affect the quality of sleep. If the cortisol level is high during the night, an individual will have disrupted rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and will wake up non-refreshed, no matter how many hours of sleep. REM sleep is the stage during which an individual dreams. It is accompanied by muscle relaxation and an increase in the breathing rate. …REM-disrupted sleep may be one of the reasons that some individuals can have a full eight hours or more of rest and nonetheless wake up exhausted. Key to rejuvenating sleep is having a normal level of cortisol at night. Key to a normal cortisol level at night is a normal cortisol rhythm during the day and leading up to sleep. Food Glycemic Index & Cortisol Cortisol levels are rapidly responsive to our food intake during each day. …The glycemic index of a food reflects how our blood sugar level is affected by the particular food. continued on next page
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Michael Merzenich, professor emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco, performed a series of experiments in the mid-1990s that demonstrate the need for focused attention in order to learn new skills and behaviors. In one experiment, he applied a tapping stimulus to the fingers of two groups of monkeys. When the rhythm of the tapping occasionally changed, monkeys in one group received a reward of juice for responding to the change. The other group of monkeys was not rewarded for responding. After six weeks, Merzenich examined the monkeys’ brains. The animals who had paid close attention to the stimulus, waiting for the change in rhythm so they could collect their reward, exhibited profound differences in the areas of the brain associated with processing tactile stimuli. No such changes were seen in the brains of the monkeys who were not rewarded for paying attention to the stimulus even though the stimulus, the tapping on their fingers, was exactly the same for both groups.1 This is another reason why all those pats on the back, gold stars, recognition ribbons, and colorful merit badges we earned as children are so important to the brain! Even if those once-cherished prizes are now collecting dust on a shelf or stored in a forgotten box in the closet, the brain still remembers and appreciates the positive reinforcement from that impressionable time. As Merzenich pointed out, the choices you make actually do influence the physical structures, the neural networks, in your brain. He remarked, “Experience coupled with attention leads to physical changes in the structure and future functioning of the nervous system. This leaves us with a clear physiological fact … moment by moment we choose and sculpt how our ever-changing minds will work, we choose who we will be the next moment in a very real sense, and these choices are left embossed in physical form on our material selves.”2 The need for focused attention is further affirmed by Joe Dispenza in his book Evolve Your Brain: “The key ingredient in making these neural connections … is focused attention. When we mentally attend to whatever we are learning, the brain can map the information on which we are focusing. On the other hand, when we don’t pay complete attention to what we are doing in the present moment, our brain activates a host of other synaptic networks that can distract it from its original intention. Without focused concentration, brain connections are not made, and memory is not stored.”3 So, attention matters, whether it is gentle meditation or the intense concentration of an athlete at a critical competitive moment. As Sharon Begley, an
We can alter our brain function so that we can more fully access those areas that pave the way for freedom from trauma and destructive emotions
Utterly amazingly, where I am there has been no looting, no pushing in lines. People leave their front doors open, as it is safer when an earthquake strikes. People keep saying, ‘Oh, this is how it used to be in the old days when everyone helped one another.’ …I find food and water left in my entranceway. I have no idea from whom, but it is there. Old men in green hats go from door to door checking to see if everyone is OK.…” —”Ann,” in Japan during the March, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, from Medical News Commentaries, “Finding Beauty When All the Lights Go Out,” Mark Sircus, Ac., OMD, firstname.lastname@example.org
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award-winning science writer, summarized in a Wall Street Journal article in 2007: “The discovery that neuroplasticity cannot occur without attention has important implications. If a skill becomes so routine you can do it on autopilot, practicing it will no longer change the brain. And if you take up mental exercises to keep your brain young, they will not be as effective if you become able to do them without paying much attention.”4 Neurogenesis: GROWING NEW BRAIN CELLS
On top of the finding that we can create new neural pathways into adulthood, a virtual revolution in neuroscience has been launched by the recent discovery of the process of neurogenesis, the ability of the brain to actually grow new neurons. Stem cell therapy, a hot button of political debate and the focus of leading-edge research, holds the promise of offering a powerful tool in neurodegenerative conditions. We now understand that the human brain is constantly undergoing its own “stem cell therapy” through the process of neurogenesis. Every moment of our lives, several critically important areas of our brains are being replenished with stem cells that are destined to become fully functional brain cells, and there’s a lot we can do to enhance this process. Because neurogenesis had been noted in various other animals, scientists in the 1990s were hard at it, trying to demonstrate that humans indeed retained the ability to grow new brain neurons. In 1998, the journal Nature Medicine published a report by Swedish neurologist Peter Eriksson titled “Neurogenesis in the Adult Human Hippocampus.” Dr. Eriksson had finally succeeded in launching what was to become a revolutionary paradigm shift. As Sharon Begley remarked in Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain, “The discovery [of neurogenesis in the adult human brain] overturned generations of conventional wisdom in neuroscience. The human brain is not limited to the neurons it is born with, or even the neurons that fill it after the explosion of brain development in early childhood. New neurons are born well into the eighth decade of life. They migrate to structures where they weave themselves into existing brain circuitry and perhaps form the basis of new circuitry.”5 Dr. Eriksson discovered that within each of our brains there exists a population of neural stem cells that are continually replenished and can differentiate into brain neurons. Simply stated, we are all experiencing brain stem cell therapy every moment of our lives, a concept that remains iconoclastic in a number of scientific circles. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has stated, “It is a fundamental Buddhist principle that the human mind has tremendous potential for transformation. Science, on the other hand, has, until recently, held to the convention not only that the brain is the seat and source of the mind but also that the brain and its structures are formed during infancy and change little thereafter.”6 The revelation that neurogenesis was occurring in humans and that we retain this ability throughout our lifetimes provided neuroscientists around the world with a fresh and exciting new reference point with implications spanning virtually the entire array of brain disorders. Alzheimer’s disease, characterized by a progressive loss of brain neurons, had long eluded researchers seeking to develop ways to slow the inexorable decline in cognitive function that so devastates patients and families. But with the idea of actually regenerating brain neurons, a new level of excitement and hope was raised in scientists who were dedicated to studying this and other neurodegenerative disorders. So, now that neurogenesis was proven to be ongoing in humans throughout our lifetimes, the question became clear: What influenced this activity? Moreover, what could be done to actually enhance this process? And the fundamentally important question: What can we do to grow new brain neurons? …∆ Full article, author bio and references in Well Being Journal Vol. 20, No. 3. Well Being Journal
Cortisol... Sleep Continued from previous page
Foods containing high sugar and low fiber have a high glycemic index and result in wider fluctuations in insulin levels than foods with a low glycemic index. …High glycemic index foods, such as sugar and refined starches, cause cortisol levels to rise. For individuals who start the day with a normal cortisol level, starchy or sugary breakfast food choices can cause the cortisol to overshoot the normal range. The cortisol will likely remain elevated all day—and all night. Also, any time during the day that one does not eat within five hours of the previous meal or snack, the cortisol level tends to rise. A rise above the normal range during the day almost guarantees that the nighttime cortisol will be high and thus disrupt REM sleep. …Low glycemic index foods such as eggs, meats, poultry, fish, and most vegetables tend to lower the cortisol level. If one starts with a normal morning cortisol, eating foods from the low glycemic index category every five hours during the day is needed to keep the cortisol on its normal downward track. …To prevent the deleterious upward swing of cortisol, one usually does better to balance all sugars and grains, including whole grains, with animal protein. Even given what we know about the various pitfalls of animal protein, it probably remains better to eat animal protein with each meal at which we have sugar, including fruit, and/or grains. If animal protein is not tolerated for medical, religious or social-consciousness reasons, it is probably better to remain vegan than to be carbo-vegan. —Excerpted from “Eat Your Way to Better Sleep,” by Pauline Harding, M.D.; see full article in Well Being Journal, 2008, Vol. 17, No. 2, www. wellbeingjournal.com or 775-8871702.
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Coconut Water as Effective as Statin Drug
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Sample Issue 2011
By Bruce Fife, N.D. There are several different types of cholesterol. The ones we hear most about are often referred to as the “good” cholesterol and the “bad” cholesterol. LDL cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein, has gotten a bad name, although it is needed in order for the body to transport cholesterol through the bloodstream. It has been called the bad cholesterol because, in the process, it provides the cholesterol that might become trapped in artery walls and form plaque. HDL cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein, is considered the good guy because it brings cholesterol back to the liver for reprocessing and possible elimination from the body. Although HDL and LDL cholesterol are commonly referred to as the good and bad cholesterols, this really isn’t the case. All forms of natural cholesterol, the type normally found in the body, are good and necessary. Whether it is transported as LDL or HDL, cholesterol provides the body with building blocks needed to manufacture hormones, cell membranes, vitamin D, etc. Cholesterol is absolutely vital to good health. Something that is good, however, can become bad under certain circumstances. When cholesterol becomes oxidized, its bad side comes out. When researchers analyze arterial plaque, what they find is oxidized cholesterol. Oxidized cholesterol is the only form of cholesterol that collects in arterial plaque. Normal, healthy cholesterol does not build up in artery walls. When fats and oils are oxidized, they become rancid and, consequently, toxic. Cholesterol is the same way. Natural cholesterol is harmless, but when it is damaged by oxidation, it turns bad. Years ago, researchers discovered that if they put oxidized cholesterol into test diets, lab animals developed atherosclerosis in a matter of weeks. If they fed normal cholesterol to animals, it was nearly impossible for them to develop atherosclerosis, even when they were fed large amounts of it. Blood cholesterol levels could rise to over 800 mg/dl, and still atherosclerosis would not develop unless oxidized cholesterol was used. Today, oxidized cholesterol is routinely used in cholesterol research to induce atherosclerosis in test animals. …∆ Full article, author bio and references in Well Being Journal Vol. 20, No. 2.
A recent study indicates that coconut water contains many nutritional and therapeutic properties. It is a natural acid and sterile solution that contains several biologically active components: L-arginine, ascorbic acid, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, all of which have beneficial effects on lipid levels. The research authors state, “Recent studies in our laboratory showed that both tender and mature coconut water feeding significantly…reduced hyperlipidemia in cholesterol-fed rats.” The current study evaluated the hypolipidemic effect of coconut water (4ml/100g body weight) compared to the lipid lowering drug lovastatin (0.1/100g diet) in rats fed a fat-cholesterol enriched diet ad libitum for 45 days. The authors state in their summary of the study, “Coconut water has lipid lowering effect similar to the drug lovastatin in rats fed the fatcholesterol enriched diet.” Full report: Sandhya, V.G., Rajamohan, T., 2006. “Beneficial effects of coconut water feeding on lipid metabolism in cholesterol fed rats.” J. Med. Food 9, 400-407. See study reference online at www. greenmedinfo.com. —More information on Statins in Well Being Journal, Vol. 20, No. 6.
The Truth About Good and Bad Cholesterol
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Natural Eyesight Improvement By Esther Joy van der Werf
nearsightedness. I really didn’t want to deal with the big picture at that time. I started squinting, which my parents noticed, and I was sent to an optometrist to get glasses. I couldn’t get used to my glasses, so I decided they weren’t worth wearing. The slight blur was easier to live with than the sense of separateness that the glasses caused. After 16 years of squinting and making do with approximately 20/50 blurry vision, I was fortunate to meet Tom Quackenbush of the Natural Vision Center at a health expo in San Francisco. Although I was skeptical, I bought Tom’s book Relearning to See. A few months later, I took the time to read it, and I began using the bet-
Seeing, like breathing, is something we do without much conscious thought. However, some of us have stopped breathing fully, now breathing shallowly instead; and some of us have stopped seeing effortlessly, now straining to see instead. Somewhere along the line, something interfered with our natural habits, and we started on a downhill slide. Can you remember a time when your vision was perfect? What happened when it began to deteriorate? Were you doing lots of reading or close-up work? Did you go through a stressful period? Was there an accident? When I ask these questions, many people discover a link between the beginning of their vision problems and a major change in their lives. For one person, it was a neck injury, someone else went through divorce, yet another had a hard time living up to expectations during college, and one person realized his vision problems began when he got a job involving long hours working indoors without windows. Tracing the initial cause may help us understand the current problem and can be the first step toward healing our eyes. Improving my own vision
My visual blur began when I was 17 and in a relationship that my parents didn’t approve of. The emotional turmoil caused mental strain, which caused visual strain, and it resulted in Well Being Journal
Sample Issue 2011
Blueberries Help Reverse Insulin Resistance New research findings reveal one of America’s favorite colorful fruits, blueberries, have properties that help to improve factors related to pre-diabetes and decrease inflammation in obese men and women. Chronic low-grade inflammation related to obesity contributes to insulin resistance, a major factor in the development of type 2 diabetes.… The Pennington Biomedical Research Center (PBRC) conducted the blueberry study in a clinical trial with participants who had insulin resistance, a condition present in prediabetes. The results of the Center’s study are highlighted in the October edition of The Journal of Nutrition. According to PBRC, the study was conducted over a six-week period with 36 obese subjects diagnosed with insulin resistance, but who had no evidence of type 2 diabetes. The participants were assigned randomly either a blueberry-rich or nutritionally equivalent blueberry-free smoothie twice daily over the 42-day period. “The participants who consumed the blueberry smoothies had improved insulin sensitivity compared to those consuming no blueberries,” said PBRC researcher April Stull, Ph.D. Type 2 diabetes and obesity are characterized by elevated blood sugar and represent a public health crises in the United States.… “We now know that compounds in blueberries may help obese, nondiabetic individuals maintain healthy blood glucose levels,” said Stull. PBRC is urging additional research to determine whether the same effects would be found in people with type 2 diabetes. Source: Pennington Biomedical Research Center press release, September 5,2010; http://www.pbrc.edu/ news/?ArticleID=102. —More information on diabetes in Well Being Journal, Vol. 14, No. 2.
Sample Issue 2011
ter vision habits he described. It only took two weeks for my visual acuity to get back to 20/20. I was happily surprised. Not only did acuity improve, colors became brighter and depth perception increased. A few months after that, my acuity improved even further to a delightfully sharp 20/15. So my own experience proves that clear vision can return quickly, under relaxed circumstances and with conscious awareness of better vision habits. Can your eyesight improve too?
Can you regain the clarity of vision that you once had? Is there a chance for you to rid yourself of those cumbersome glasses and contact lenses, without resorting to the risks of laser surgery? Many students of the Bates method, including myself, have done exactly that. We relearned natural vision habits, regained our clear My own vision, and no longer need those eye “crutches.” One of my students went from -2.50 diopter of experience nearsightedness to passing the DMV eyesight test proves that without glasses in less than four months; she also clear vision can eliminated her light sensitivity during that time. One man came to see me because he had failed return quickly, the drivers’ eyesight test for the first time and didn’t want to get glasses. After one hour of pracunder relaxed ticing good vision habits, he passed the test eascircumstances ily; his acuity had improved from 20/50 to 20/30. (Most states in the US require 20/40 vision to and with pass the drivers’ test.) Such fast progress may conscious happen for you too, while others may take longer. If it took years for your eyes to reach your awareness of present state of blurry vision, then you may get better vision frustrated if you expect your eyesight to clear up habits overnight. The good news is that natural vision improvement works at any age, and it can help solve or reduce many vision problems, such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia/presbyopia), astigmatism, cross-eye (strabismus), amblyopia (lazy eye/suppression) and others. Vision fluctuates
Have you ever noticed times when your vision is better or worse than usual? Perhaps you find that sometimes you see more clearly in the morning after a restful sleep, and that your eyesight gradually gets worse during the day as visually intensive work demands attention. Or perhaps you see better during a relaxing day spent at the beach in the sunlight, while indoors under artificial light, you need your glasses all the time. Vision is clearly not static; it is subject to fluctuation. So, if your visual acuity can fluctuate, it makes sense that there must also be a way to reverse the downward visual slide that so many people are on and start improving your vision on a more permanent basis. …∆ Full article, author bio and references in Well Being Journal Vol. 20, No. 1.
It is not possible for Love To not hear us, And whatever happens The perfect teacher Staged. —Catherine of Sienna, 1347-1380, Love Poems from God, Daniel Ladinsky, tr.
Well Being Journal
A Key to Healthy Digestion: The Mystery of “The Gray Man” And Low Stomach Acid By Jonathan V. Wright, M.D.
Tahoma Clinic, he was known as the “Gray Man.” He got the nickname after our staff agreed they had never seen anyone with his skin tones. His visible skin was devoid of any pink tones, had scarcely any brown, and instead was a peculiar whitish-gray. I’ve not seen anyone like him before or since. The Gray Man hadn’t come in to find out why he looked gray—although his wife had mentioned it to him “a time or two.” Actually, he explained, he didn’t have any symptoms or illnesses but was just plain tired. Really tired! Further questioning turned up little but the fatigue. In the past, he’d had chronic indigestion and intermittent but persistent heartburn. He noted that both symptoms had gone on for over 20 years and that he’d taken “plenty of those Tums and Rolaids and other antacids” since his 40s. However, he reported he hadn’t had any indigestion or heartburn problems at all since he’d started taking Tagamet every day since it came out. Now that I mentioned it, he guessed he had been taking Tagamet for seven years by now. “You know that stomachs are naturally designed to secrete enough acid to turn even large meals into the equivalent of soup?” I asked. “Yeah, I know that in general, but all the doctors told me that indigestion and heartburn are due to too much acid,” he replied. t the
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“Did anyone ever actually measure your stomach-acid production?” “No…but the symptoms sure have gone away since I blocked all that acid out.” “And a river will dry up if we stop all the rain,” I said. “Maybe that’s an advantage for a little while if the river has been overflowing, but what happens if we stop the rain permanently?” He thought for a moment. “Permanently?” “At least seven years.” “Quite a drought. Nothing would grow.”
Sample Issue 2011
“Right. And if we shut off or neutralize our stomach’s isms aren’t as helpful to us as the friendly ones. Worse, natural acidity for more than brief intervals, there are some of them excrete substances toxic to our own body similar consequences. First, we don’t break down foods cells, that are absorbed and spread all around our bodies.” as well, and many nutrients, especially essential amino The Gray Man shifted uncomfortably in his chair. “So acids, certain minerals, and at least two B vitamins, not only have I been semi-starving myself but also maybe aren’t made as available by natural acid digestion as encouraging toxins from my gut to enter my system?” they usually are, and aren’t properly absorbed into our “Afraid so.” bloodstreams. So our cells don’t have the normal amounts “Could blocking my normal stomach function be the of nutrients for nourishment. Second, when that acidibasis for this fatigue?” fied soup empties out of the stomach “Very likely. Let’s work on restoring into the upper small intestine—the normal digestion as much as possible, duodenum—it triggers the secretion Hypochlorhydria make up for at least seven years of of hormones that in turn stimulate the unintended malnutrition, and, if neces(low or no stomach pancreas and gallbladder to make or sary, work to restore normal gut flora. release their own digestive secretions, Then we’ll see.” acid) is one of the such as enzymes, bicarbonate, and “I guess the first thing is to stop this bile. Without the acid trigger, these most common digesTagamet. But then I’ll have indigestion hormones are under-produced, and the and heartburn all over again, won’t I?” next stages in digestion don’t work as tive malfunctions, “Most of the time there are natural well as they should either. This makes ways to stop indigestion and heartburn another whole group of nutrients less & it’s often accomwithout blocking stomach acid.” available to our cells.” panied by other, “How?” “So it’s like a cascade of events. If “First, we need to find out if your the acidity isn’t there, then other parts seemingly unrelated, stomach really does make too much of digestion aren’t triggered properly acid. Chances are very high—over 90 either.” health problems percent—that it doesn’t, and that the “Exactly. And we don’t even know if real culprit is likely underproduction of we know absolutely all the ‘cascades’ stomach acid, along with some of that in the digestive stream.” small amount of acid turning up in the “No wonder I’m tired. I’ve literally dried up a lot of wrong place, causing burning. Let’s wait until we do a my digestion for years. Why didn’t anyone tell me about test or two.” this?” “Don’t know. It’s all right there in the basic textbooks Inadequate Digestion for medical students. But that’s not all: The same basic You can eat all the right foods but still slowly starve to textbooks list a third consequence of low or no stomachdeath. Like the overwhelming percentage of individuals acid production. Let’s think about it this way: What with indigestion and heartburn, the Gray Man found, after happens if I put bacteria or parasites into an acid in a test some testing, that his stomach had actually been under tube?” producing acid for all those years. Hypochlorhydria (low “Not sure, but I’d guess a lot of them die.” or no stomach acid) is one of the most common digestive “Right. They die and turn into a minor protein supplemalfunctions, and it’s often accompanied by other, seemment. Textbooks of gastroenterology actually call stomingly unrelated, health problems. Unfortunately, inadach acid the acid barrier to intestinal-tract infection. Also, equate digestion becomes even more frequent with age. everyone knows that farther down the intestinal tract is So, even if you’re following the best possible diet plan home to a wide variety of micro-organisms—sometimes in general or for a particular ailment, if the food you’re called intestinal microflora—that help with digestion, eating is incompletely digested or assimilated, your body secrete a few important vitamins, and generally behave won’t get the nutrients possible from it and it won’t be themselves. But if the acid-alkaline balance, technically effective. …∆ called the pH, isn’t just right, then many of the friendly Full article, author bio and references in micro-organisms literally die out and are replaced by notWell Being Journal Vol. 20, No. 6. so-friendly germs. At best, these unfriendly micro-organ“There is something very special about our being alive. It’s important to focus on what occurs in those living moments when we are in contact with others in our surroundings. Among the many consequences of being in the world as living, embodied beings is that it is impossible not to spontaneously respond to one another. The outcomes of such responsive activity emerge through dialogue in ways that cannot be predicted beforehand.”
—From Healing the Mind through the Power of Story, by Lewis Mehl-Madrona, M.D., Bear & Company Books, 2010
Sample Issue 2011
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Well Being Journal
Sample Issue 2011