Mouth Bacteria Can Cause Disease? Wait, What?
Sounds far fetched, right? With better technology, came better instruments, came the studies showing mouth bacteria getting into places in our body and contributing to disease. Read on.
Today we are going to talk about mouth bacteria sometimes referred to as oral bacteria or oral microbiome. The reason this is important is because oral bacterial infections can cause all sorts of health problems including interacting with our gut bacteria.
How Does Mouth Bacteria Get Into Our Body?
Part of my training when I went to school to become a holistic nutritionist was the connection to the health of our mouth and how oral bacteria could affect our overall health. We also learned how in Chinese medicine the teeth are connected to our organs. When I first moved to Phoenix Arizona I had to seek out a new biological dentist and was lucky to find one.
When I walked into his office he showed me a chart on the wall of all the teeth in the mouth. As he was handing me the chart in paper size I could keep, I recited the organs connected to the teeth. He was floored. He had never met a nutritionist who knew the organs connected to teeth.
This is the power of Canadian Holistic training. It seems the American functional association is just starting to realize the impact of the oral microbiome and the connection to teeth and the rest of the body.
What goes on in our mouth affects our overall health. Now we have a few good reasons to take care of our mouth. Research has found connections between oral bacteria and cardiovascular disease, migraines and now Alzheimer’s disease.
Sounds far fetched? Not really. Every tissue in our body is connected to one another. What happens in the mouth can travel to other parts of the body via the blood and digestive system.
Under our tongue we have direct capillaries connecting the entire blood circulation. These capillaries are so reliable, when rushed to a hospital for a heart attack, attending health professionals will give medication under the tongue to stop the heart attack.
In one study, patients who underwent cardiovascular operations, Streptococcus mutans and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, weredetected in cardiovascular tissues and in their dental plaque. How does bacteria in the mouth get into the cardiovascular system? Under our tongue we have direct capillaries connecting the entire blood circulation.
In epidemiological studies of the oral and systemic disease connection, evidence suggests a moderate association—but not a causal relationship, between periodontal infection and a contributing risk factor for heart disease. In some of the case case-control studies, ubgingival periodontal pathogenic infection may be associated with myocardial infarction, oral bacteria have been found in carotid atheromas and some oral bacteria may be associated with platelet aggregation. Another study found oral pathogens, can produce systemic disease and are known causative agents of infective endocarditis.
Could Your Relentless Migraines Be Connected To Your Mouth Bacteria?
I'm going to be straight up here with you. For the last 5 years as I have entered into Peri-menopause, I have suffered with debilitating migraines. As I got closer to menopause the worse they got. Sure, I had imbalanced hormones. I took the hormones and felt worse. How can this be?
The more I studied the gut microbiome and its connection to the oral microbiome the more I realised it was not my hormones rather, how my gut bacteria was affecting EVERYTHING including my mouth bacteria and triggering my migraines.
It may sound crazy, but if you have done the research I have, it makes sense. You see, our gut microbiome changes in accordance to our hormonal cycle. Protective bacteria goes way down during our Progesterone phase, This is the perfect environment for less than desirable bacteria to release its toxins and disrupt hormones and lead to all sorts of unhealthy symptoms including migraines.
Once I started working on my gut microbiome and my whole digestive system along with my liver the migraines are far and few between and only last a couple of hours when I do get one. This I can live with!
According to a study connecting oral bacteria and migraines showed for the first time a potential link between bacterial nitrate, nitrite, and nitric oxide reducers and migraines, by reporting their higher abundances in the oral cavities of people with migraines than in the oral cavities of those who do not suffer from migraines. In other words, some bacteria help convert nitrates from foods into nitric oxide. In some, if they high counts of these types of bacteria has a higher likelihood of triggering migraines.
The Connection to Alzheimer's May Be In Our Mouth Too?
There is a connection with Alzheimer’s and the bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis. (P. gingivalis).
Source; "A Novel Approach for Purification and Selective Capture of Membrane Vesicles of the Periodontopathic Bacterium, Porphyromonas gingivalis: Membrane Vesicles Bind to Magnetic Beads Coated with Epoxy Groups in a Noncovalent, Species-Specific Manner
What is Porphyromonas gingivalis?
Porphyromonas gingivalis is a gram-negative, rod-shaped anaerobic bacteria found in the oral microbiome. It is when it is in its pathogenic state contributes to chronic periodontitis. This nasty rouge bacteria will also make its way into the upper gastrointestinal tract, the respiratory tract the colon and recent evidence has shown in the brain.
Porphyromonas gingivalis, the key bacteria in chronic gum disease and has been found after death in the brains of people who had Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers have found the toxic enzymes called gingipains created by the bacteria in the brain. What the research is showing is, gingipains are causing damage to human proteins and destroying brain cells and nerves.
Studies of brains with gingipains are found more often in the brains of those inflicted with Alzheimer’s than those without. In the same study, researchers found gum infections can worsen symptoms in mice genetically engineered to have Alzheimer’s; and that it can cause Alzheimer’s-like brain inflammation, neural damage, and amyloid plaques in healthy mice. Researchers, suggest P. gingivalis could be a cause of Alzheimer’s but, it is not a result.
Of course, drugs are now in trial phase to reverse Alzheimer’s disease and perhaps gum disease.
Why wait for a drug? There are things you can do NOW to help prevent gum disease potentially leading to other health issues.
See a holistic or biological dentist. If you have any dental appliances in your mouth have them tested for pathogenic bacteria. In fact, have your whole oral microbes tested so you know what to work on.
This is extremely important if you are suffering with cardio vascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, migraines and Alzheimer’s disease (and have the genes predisposing you).
What About My Toothpaste and Mouthwash? Should I change these?
Great question. If you are using conventional toothpaste and mouthwash you need to do a switch up for sure. Let’s explore why Fluoride is not the answer
According to a a guest post on GreenMedInfo
"Fluoride is best characterized as a poison that is used as a drug in a misguided attempt to prevent cavities.”
This statement is not to be taken lightly. It is backed up with quite a lot of science. Several National Institute of Health sponsored studies published have shown low doses of fluoride consumed by pregnant women and bottle-fed infants can lead to permanent brain damage.
In the same GreenMedinfo article,
"Major findings from evidence-based science relevant to dietary fluoride confirm:
Why on earth, would you want to use or drink fluoride?
There are tons of fluoride free products on the market and I have some really fantastic products in my free online store. All you have to do is sign up for a free account and then search by name. I’ll also include the product code to make it even easier for you. All you have to do is put in the code and the product will pop right up.
Why Do Non-Fluoridated Products Work?
Another great question, The reason why non-fluoridated products work is because, there are no harsh or harmful chemicals or sugars which can damage your gums, teeth and oral microbiome. Some of these products you can also find at your local grocery and health food store. I always offer 10% off whatever you purchase through me.
And, I will be honest, it helps me a bit as it is a great way to say ’thank you for the time you put into this article to keep me healthy and happy.”
You are most welcome!
The products I recommend you should be able to find else where. I of course do have them in my online private store. After each product I recommend you will find a code. Once you sign up for a free private account you can copy the code into the search function and the product will pop right up.
If you must use a mouth wash check out Spry Oral Rinse or Mineral Mouth Rinse by Trace Minerals.
Trace Mineral’s Mineral Mouth Rinse
is a gentle rinse that helps to promote fresh breath, and a clean feeling the natural way. It’s made with ConcenTrace® ionic trace minerals. This unique blend helps rinse your teeth and gums of food debris while the minerals help to neutralize odors and acidic foods that cause bad breath, leaving your mouth clean and your breath fresh.
Trace Mineral’s Mineral Mouth ( T82861 )
Spry Oral Rinse
in combination with proper brushing and flossing, it helps eliminate the build-up of bacterial biofilm-that slimy film that collects on healthy teeth. Spry doesn't use any artificial sweeteners, fructose or sucrose, and is sweetened only with natural Xylitol that has clinically proven oral health benefits. Spry contains Aloe Vera, chamomile and Echinacea for their soothing properties, and calcium glycerophosphate, which aids in the development of stronger teeth. In addition, Spry contains just the right amount of germ killing alcohol that doesn't produce an over-powering burning sensation found in some mouthwashes.
Spry Oral Rinse; comes in
Cool Mint ( XL0520 )
Cinnamon ( XL1206 )
Wintergreen ( XL1237 )
Make Your Own Mouthwash
If you do not want to use mouthwash or want to save some green, try using coconut oil and some essential oils well known for their ability to kill pathogenic microbes including fungi and parasites. Essential Oils such as
This is not magic or quackery. Essential oils have been used for centuries for ailments which are typically caused by a microbial imbalance. One study found essential oils contain a wide variety of secondary metabolites capable of inhibiting or slowing the growth of bacteria, yeasts and moulds.In fact, in the study, researchers are turning to plant based oils because the increasing resistance of microorganisms to conventional chemicals and drugs.
What Coconut Oil Should I use?
You are just so on the ball with these great questions! Well done you! When it comes to coconut oil please use raw coconut oil. No, make that non-GMO raw coconut oil. America is about to be hit hard with Genetically modified (engineered) coconut products. So sad!
When I was working in Mexico at an integrative Medical Centre, I was just finishing up my contract as the staff were getting ready to put the theory of oil pulling to the test. They had all read the book on oil pulling and it did not mention using raw coconut oil. What was really missing in the book was the fact oil pulling was done with raw sesame seed oil not coconut oil.
I was getting into a bit of a struggle because the so-called expert failed to mention it does matter what type of oil you use. And the doctor in charge of the staff study did not see the advantage of raw over processed. I was kind of glad I was not going to be apart of the study however, I did go out of my way to purchase them all raw coconut oil for them.
Why Raw Coconut Oil?
Oil, in this case sesame and coconut oil have all of their properties intact. Coconut oil contains three essential medium-chain fatty acids; lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid.
Lauric acid which when digested converts to monolaurin. Monolaurin is an excellent anti-microbial and can eliminate bacteria, viruses and fungi. 1, 2, 3.
Caprylic acid (octanoic acid) also contains anti-microbial properties including antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Capric acid is converted through digestion in to monocaprin. It has strong antiviral and antimicrobial properties and can combat viruses. An Icelandic study found solutions containing monocaprin may be used as a denture disinfectant.
Raw coconut oil is going to contain all three of these fatty acids, so why not stick to raw, right?
When looking for Non-GMO raw coconut oil look on the back label. It should list the three
Health Benefits of Raw Sesame Oil
Sesame oil is from sesame seeds. High in minerals, and antioxidants, sesame oil is something to consider adding to your diet or, at the very least, oil pulling.
Studies have shown using raw sesame oil for oral pulling reduce the amount of streptococcus mutants in both teeth plaque and mouth saliva. Like coconut oil, sesame oil has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties can help with a toothache.
I believe the only reason why coconut oil for oral oil pulling became popular over sesame oil is because coconut oil tastes better.
Which Sesame Oil Should I buy?
Ahh, glad to see you are willing to give sesame oil a go. It was after all, the first oil pulling used for mouth bacteria. In fact, this is as important as raw coconut oil. You want organic, raw sesame seed oil that is hexane free. If it is organic, it will be hexane free. If it is not, It will say right on the label “hexane free.”
Hexane free sesame oil oil does not involve any chemical aid for the extraction process, so the oil is safe and pure. And, organic is just a better step up. But, if you can only find non-organic sesame oil make sure it clearly states "hexane free" then go for it!
I have a bunch of wonderful organic hexane free sesame oil in my online store. I will include some products to look for plus the code if you are going to purchase on my online store. Just copy the code, plunk it into the search bar and it will pop right up! Pretty simple.
Banyan Organic Sesame Oil comes in two sizes; 34 oz, 128 oz. The Pure, unrefined and certified organic product also comes in a glass bottle so that you do not have to worry about plastic and exenoestrogens leaching into this wonderful product. Code SESA2
Organic Black Sesame Seed Oil has one of the richest antioxidant profiles among plant oils. For thousands of years it has been used in ancient Indian Ayurvedic traditions for health conditions of the body, oil pulling and therapeutic massage. Black sesame oil is also anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antiinflammatory. Code FAL966
Dessert Essence Coconut Oil Pulling Rinse contains coconut, sesame and sunflower oils. This signature dual-phase formula is a healthy solution to help support teeth and gums, helps remove impurities, plus a layer of Australian Tea Tree. Wintergreen and Spearmint Oils to freshen your mouth. Code D34370
What the Heck Is Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurveda, practice where you swish oil in your mouth, ‘pulling’ it through your teeth. It is believed the anti of pulling the oil through your teeth pulls bacteria and microbes from your gums and possibly your tongue.
You can do this as well as use it like mouthwash, which can kill some of the harmful bacteria in the mouth, improve dental health and reduce bad breath.
When I first gave this a go, I was having some discomfort in my gums and my teeth were yellowing. After a week of oil pulling with coconut oil the inflammation in my gums was gone. My teeth were also brighter, which I did not expect. Thinking about giving it a go? Grab one of the bottles of oil mentioned above and let me know how it goes!
My Oil Pulling Recipe
As promised in my newsletter to my subscribers, here is my Coconut oil and sesame oil recipe.
I have little individual jars for our bathroom. This is for a couple of reasons. The biggest reason so that what is in husband’s mouth does not end up in the jar. If it does, it’s all his.
I would rather have my own jar-thank you very much! The other reason is, oil can get messy, so a little jar is quicker to manage and use up than a big jar.
So, to a little 4-6 ounce jar During the winter;
Get your coconut oil and sesame oil at room temperature. It will still be in a solid state however, easy to scoop out and put into the little jar.
Fill the jar with a little coconut oil, say 1 ounce for a 4oz jar and 2 oz for a 6oz jar.
1 drop clove oil
1 drop rosemary oil
1 drop oil of oregano
2 drops of one of the following; spearmint, wintergreen or peppermint
fill the rest with sesame oil, leaving room at the top for another round of the essential oil.
1 drop clove oil
1 drop rosemary oil
1 drops of one of the following; spearmint, wintergreen or peppermint
Then mix the oils together with a knife.
Your coconut oil and sesame oil will be in a liquid state one you leave it in your bathroom so just fill up with 1/2 coconut oil and 1/2 sesame oil then add;
2 drops clove oil
2 drop rosemary oil
1 drop oil of oregano
2 drops of one of the following; spearmint, wintergreen or peppermint
You are more than welcome to play around with adding more or less of the essential oils I recommended or add different ones. This is the nice thing about doing it yourself.
Give it a shake before use.
For both recipes, add a heaping teaspoon to your mouth and swish and pull for at least 20 minutes. Spit into a trash receptacle. Do spit oil into the sink or toilet. It will clog your pipes. Then you can scrape your tongue with a tongue scraper and then brush your teeth as you usually do with a good fluoridated toothpaste.
What is a Tongue scraper?
It is a long, thin, flat piece of metal that is bent in a "U" shape. See the picture above? Pretty simple concept.
Simply hold the two ends of the scraper in both hands, sticking out your tongue, and place the scraper as far back on your tongue as possible. With gentle pressure, scrape the surface of your tongue in one long stroke, repeat 5 to 10 times. You can do this before you oil pull if you like or after.
Tongue scrapers are pretty easy to find in health food stores, or online. If you are picking up supplies from my online store, the tongue scraper pictured above is also available. Use code TONGU to get yours today. it is from the same company as Banyan Organic Sesame Oil I recommended above for oil pulling.
Toothpaste, Tooth Gel and Tooth Powder
We are so luck there are so many brands to choose from today that are sugar and fluoride free. Thank goodness! For Toothpaste, you are looking for gel, paste or powder which contains no fluoride. Brands like Spry, which contain Xylitol and Himalaya USA containing Neem & Pomegranate Toothpaste.
Himalaya USA Neem & Pomegranate Toothpaste
A trusted formula that helps fight plaque. Contains time-tested herbs including NEEM, Pomegranate, and Triphala. Plus Xylitol from Himalayan birch, a remarkable natural sweetener known to enhance your oral care experience and sparkling smile.
Himalaya USA Neem & Pomegranate Toothpaste ( H20007 )
Designs For Health PerioBiotic Toothpaste.
If you would like to strengthen your teeth and help balance your oral microbiome Check PerioBiotic™ Toothpaste which contains xylitol and calcium glycerophosphate, two active ingredients shown in research to promote dental and oral health. Periobotic toothpaste also features Dental-Lac™, a patent pending functional lactobacillus dental hygiene probiotic not found in any other toothpaste product. Research on Dental-Lac™, a specific Lactobacillus paracasei strain, has shown it competes with strains of oral bacteria, thereby helping to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
PerioBiotic Fennel Toothpaste ( PEFEN )
PerioBiotic Spearmint Toothpaste ( PERISP )
Bio Botanical Research Inc Dentalcidin Toothpaste Biocidin
Whew! What a Mouthfull (hehehe pun intended) This is by far my favourite for balancing the oral microbiome.
Dentalcidin Toothpaste Biocidin contains anti-microbial essential oils;
Bio Botanical Research Inc Dentalcidin Toothpaste Biocidinwellevate.me/karen-langston ( B02173 )
Change Your Diet
Of course, you know I was going to talk about diet. Your diet affects your health and your mouth. Your gut microbiome is connected to your mouth microbiome. If you have a diet high in refined, packaged, processed foods, sugary drinks and little to no vegetables, nuts, seeds and quality animal protein your overall oral health is negatively affected.
When I used to suffer with Crohn's disease, in an active disease state my gums were in an inflamed state too. When I was in a remissive state, my gums and overall oral health was better; a reflection of what was going on in the inside. As my diet improved and my health improved to the point of no evidence of Crohn's disease, my mouth and the pockets between my teeth improved to that of a healthy mouth. There is power in diet!
Get the sugar, refined carbohydrates and sugary drinks out of your mouth. These cause your delicate oral microbiome to become unbalanced. Mainly because you are feeding the bacteria which can overgrow. One of these happens to be Porphyromonas gingivalis. We now know what this wee little pathogenic bacteria can do to sabbatouge our health.
You do not have to wait for a miracle cure for what ails you or the perfect drug. You can take action Right Now to prevent illness such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, migraines and Alzheimer’s by incorporating these tips and really working on your oral microbiome.
The 4 things we discussed today
Sign up for your free membership and get 10% off of your oral health care products where you also get free shipping.
What happens in your mouth does not stay in your mouth. If you have an unbalanced microbiome, the once protective bacteria can become pathogenic and travel around your body causing illness. Who wants that?
Let me know in the comments, which tips are you going to incorporate? Why or why not? Do you have any tips you can share? Looking forward to your comments.
If these tips do not help you successfully reverse the symptoms or, you have had enough let’s work together. Email me at Karen@IamWorthit2.com or leave me a voice mail at 623 226.7003
I look forward to celebrating in your success.
What My Email Subscribers Had to Say About this post....
I had originally posted this in my email and my subscribers LOVED it. I hope you did too. Of course, I would LOVE to have you on my email list too! All you had to do is subscribe, confirm and you are in! OK, what are you waiting for? I have some free gifts for you too! Sign up now.
Good morning Karen,
I have always suspected this. Fantastic blog.
You are amazing! Everything you write is of
importance and of great significance to our
over all health. I love that you span your topic
to all different issues.
Thank you Karen!
Thank you Dean, I try hard to bring the world of the gut and the microbiome full circle into all perspectives of illness and health. I have a friend who sends me studies and articles every Monday. When she first came across a study connecting bacteria and Alzheimer's she sent it to me with a little note that said "Karen, you are on to something, there is a connection with the gut-way to go."
As much as I would like to take credit, honestly, it was when I read the studies from Stephanie Seneff on amyloid plaque (which leads to Alzheimer's) from glyphosate. I started to wonder if there was a connection with the microbiome. Glyphosate wipes out our beneficial bacteria which then allows for other commensal bacteria to become pathogenic. I think we are in our infancy on this subject, however, when you look at the gut dysbiosis and relate it to the increase in illness, to me, it makes sense to work on the gut microbiome regardless of what the illness is.
Thank you Dean
I loved, loved, loved (did I say loved? LOL) your email today. You talked about a biological dentist that was taken over by a holistic dentist. What is the difference between a holistic dentist and a biological dentist? How can I find one in my area?
I really enjoy reading your emails and keep up the great work. I also share them with my co-workers in the office. They like them too.
Thanks for the love! Your co-workers can sign up and get their own subscription too the link is at the bottom of the email. Thank you for sharing my emails I appreciate you. The difference between a biological and holistic dentist I believer is much the same as a holistic nutritionist and a functional nutritionist; sign of the times. "Holistic" was the buzz word of the 90's -2000 or so, then it has slowly progressed from "integrative" to "functional" the new buzz word.
I believe the same thing happened in Dentistry. First it was "biological" and now "holistic" however some call their practice "Integrative" or "Natural-Biocompatible Dentistry." They are licensed, they just have slightly different interests that integrates the mind, body, mouht connection. It could also depend on the country. When I was leaving Toronto, my holistic dentist was helping me to find a biological dentist because in the states "holistic" was not a buzz word. Seems now, Holistic dentistry is a thing. Confusing, I know.
Biological, holistic, Integrative, dentists beliefs are
In Phoenix we both see Dr.Lisa Butler in Scottsdale.
If you are looking for a holistic dentist in the USA check out The Holistic Dental Association or, if you are in another country including the USA and Canada check out the International Academy of Biological Dentistry & Medicine and Talk International.
For Canada check out Holistic Dental Association.
Hope that helps and good luck!
Wow I had no idea that there could be a connection to oral bacteria and Alzheimer's. My mother has Alzheimer's and she has really bad teeth. Now I am wondering if there was a connection. I am also thinking of having her tested. Is there a special way to test for bacteria in the mouth? Do I need to go to a holistic or biological dentist? Where do I find one?
Thank you so much for sharing this information with me. I really appreciate it. wow you have me thinking.
You are welcome and I am sorry to hear about your Mum. Excellent question. I am not sure how dentists check for bacteria in the mouth. I would suggest getting in touch with either a holistic or biological dentist and ask if they test the oral microbiome. You can try the links I provided above to find a holistic/biological dentist in your country/area. Good luck, and if you do find one and get your Mum tested, let me know.
Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and comments. If you have a question you would like answered, please send me an email and I will get it answered in an upcoming email. I would rather answer your questions instead of me finding something to talk about. This is an email service all about you, so what's on your mind? Email me
Are You Suffering with GERD symptoms?
One of the most asked questions I get about acid reflux or GERD, Karen, why I am always suffering with pain and burning and no one seems to know how to fix it? I take the drugs I avoid the spicy foods, I do every thing right and I am still suffering..what can I do?
The answer might surprise you.
Here is a GERD definition….Acid reflux sucks!
OK, you probably need a better GERD definition. But, if you ask any one suffering with Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD for short), also known as acid reflux, they will tell you it is no fun!
What causes acid reflux?
There are numerous causes including too little stomach acid. I hear you saying it.. what?? Karen, isn’t it usually too much acid?
No, quite the opposite. If we do not have enough stomach acid our stomach becomes alkaline instead of acidic and leads to our food fermenting in our stomach creating bubbles-these bubbles then explode pushing open our esophagus and splashing acid where it irritates and burns the lining. If you are looking for a more technical answer to what causes acid reflux or GERD according to WebMD;
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach. Gastroesophageal refers to the stomach and esophagus. Reflux means to flow back or return. Therefore, gastroesophageal reflux is the return of the stomach's contents back up into the esophagus.
Simple terms, acid reflux is actually the result of not enough stomach acid. What happens is, the food you eat sits in your stomach and ferments. Of course there will be some stomach acid, which then gets pushed up via fermentation bubbles into the esophagus causing the painful burning sensation.
We have a special lining in our stomach to protect agains acid. Because the essophagus is a one way tube, and stomach contents are not supposed to be in there, there is not special lining. This is why it hurts and you can feel the burning in your throat.
The stomach is meant to be quite acidic; think battery acid, quite corrosive. This is designed on purpose so that the proteins in your food can be cleaved apart, minerals released and a glycoprotein called intrinsic factor attach to the cobalamin (B12) in your food for absorption. The stomach is about breaking apart and separating your food into subcategories. It is done with the help of pepsin enzymes which can only be activated by stomach acid (hydrochloric acid; [HCl]).
When the food begins its journey to the bottom of the stomach, the Ph changes ever so slightly, and triggers the shut off (if you will) of HCl production. Then in the small intestine other mechanisms are at work to further break down the food.
When there is too little stomach acid, the ph of the stomach (including the pyloric canal) becomes more alkaline. This does not trigger the production of stomach acid to the degree it needs to be for incoming food. There is not enough enzyme production and the food sits and ferments, uncleaved, unchanged. This results in lost nutrients.
If you have ever made beer, kombucha or fermented vegetables, you know that there are bubbles (or gas) production. If food is sitting and fermenting, it is going to create gas. Gas rises up towards the esophageal sphincter, and the pressure forces the ring open and splashes acid into the esophagus which causes burning.
Think of a burn on our outer skin, what does it do? It bubbles up and depending on the severity may lead to a rougher, tougher type of skin. The cells change the tissue matrix. The same thing can happen inside. So, we have damage to the cells making them vulnerable to bacteria.
Why are GERD symptoms a problem?
Why are GERD symptoms a problem?
Besides the fact GERD symptoms are painful, annoying and downright bothersome. They can also lead to damage of the intestinal lining and lead to other conditions. Studies have shown an association with chronic GERD symptoms and
What causes GERD or Acid Reflux
This is where it can tricky. There are numerous things which can lead to GERD symptoms. We already talked about one which is low stomach acid. Food sensitivities can lead to GERD symptoms. The top most common allergens or sensitivity foods include milk, (dairy) eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybean. There can be other foods because sensitivities are individualized to the person. In other words, what bothers one person may not bother another. Foods such as
Other non GERD food items which may contribute to GERD symptoms include
With these types of symptoms it surprising that not everyone suffers from GERD. More than 60 million American adults experience acid reflux-symptoms at least once a month, and more than 15 million adults suffer daily.
What Are Reflux and GERD symptoms?
There are numerous GERD symptoms and you may experience some or one of these. Which ones are you suffering with?
What is the typical GERD treatment plan?
The Typical GERD treatment includes taking either over the counter acid blockers or reducers or a prescription including what are called proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s). These prevent the body from producing stomach acid. The doctor then may advise you to stay away from the typical foods that lead to acid reflux or GERD symptoms. OR, some will simply say “take these” and you can eat what you want.”
When you go back to the doctors because the PPI is not working, you may be put on another one. Up to 4 is the standard treatment these days.
When this does not work, then the doctor may refer you to a specialist for some exploratory procedures to see if there may be something else going on.
I find this so sad. There are so many other options that could have been explored because no one has a deficiency of acid blockers.
Perhaps it was a food allergy, food sensitivity, or perhaps just needed a boost with a diet change. Maybe it was a gut overgrowth of bacteria. You will never know because these strategies are never discussed because it is beyond the scope of the medical profession's practice.
One of my email subscribers Sandra, asked
Don’t acid reducers increase the alkalinity in the stomach?
To which I replied;
Acid reducers and acid blockers either block acid production or greatly reduce it. PPIs, inhibit the proton/potassium pump of parietal cells in the stomach from producing the digestive acids. This then causes the pH to raise slightly in the stomach; to the point of alkalinity? Probably not, but, the proper lower pH will not be the case. This then affects the bacteria not only in the stomach but the small intestine including the duodenum. The bacteria then release substances which can then change the environment to help regulate a higher pH so they can continue to grow and cause infections.
What Your Doctor Won't Tell You About GERD
Like I said above, the doctors know of a short list of GERD foods to avoid however, they do not talk about testing for food sensitivities or allergies as possible culprit. The GERD diet plan from a doctor is to avoid acidic foods and take medications either prescribed or over-the-counter or, sometimes a combination of both.
Have you ever heard your doctor talk about how your gut microbiome could be related to your GERD symptoms?
Let’s talk about what the medical profession seems to poo-poo; your gut microbiota and how it may be the answer to alleviating your burning, painful symptoms.
One of the most important parts of my virtual practice is having my clients complete a stool test especially if they are suffering with symptoms of acid reflux or are taking any type of acid reducer or blocker.
Numerous studies have indicated what is going on in our intestinal tract has a direct link to acid reflux symptoms. Take for instance the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, previously known as Campylobacter pylori, or H. Pylori for short.
H pylori is often a culprit when it comes to GERD symptoms. H Pylori is a part of our microbiome and has beneficial effects in our body. We need H Pylori.
But when our stomach acid has been altered or can no longer properly produce stomach acid… this changes the pH of the stomach which allows for an overgrowth of this bacteria.
Studies have shown an association with low stomach acid, an overgrowth of H pylori and its virulence factors with
The very early warning signs of an overgrowth of H Pylori include those often associated with acid reflux.
When the stomach is working properly, it has a very low pH (1.5 to 3.5) keeping it quite acidic. This helps protect the stomach and the digestive tract from hitchhiking pathogens that could make us sick.
In other words, if you drink or eat something that has a bug that could make you sick such as listeria, e.coli, salmonella even parasites, your stomach acid should be able to burn them up or greatly reduce their numbers to the point we don’t get sick.
If you watch the news with all of the food borne outbreaks happening in Canada and the US, I think we have an epidemic of low stomach acid.
When there is low stomach acid, or if someone is put on one or more acid blockers (also known as PPIs) the pH of the stomach dramatically shifts making it more alkaline and now alkaline loving bacteria can attach to the stomach wall and burrow.
This causes inflammation which helps feed the bacteria and then they release what are called virulence factors (or toxins) which are more dangerous than the bacteria. These virulence factors can lead to more serious complications. H. pylori pathogens have been linked to peptic ulcer disease, gastric adenocarcinoma, and gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma.
It is not the H Pylori itself, rather its virulence factors. In fact, in this study H. pylori has been described by some as being “protective” against esophageal adenocarcinoma. In the same study, it is also hypothesized among patients with established GERD, H. pylori status does not appear to influence the risk of Barrett’s esophagus development.
I have had clients with severe GERD and their GI MAP did not show H Pylori infection. But they did have moderate to severe bacterial overgrowth of commensal bacteria in their upper small intestine. When we cleared the bacteria, balanced their microbiome, upgraded their diet, they no longer had GERD symptoms. When there is a disruption in how the body is supposed to work, cells change, our physiology changes to try and protect itself. We must look at the microbiome.
Studies including this one indicate we need gastric acidity and it is likely a key factor shaping the diversity and composition of microbial communities found in our gut. We must maintain the gut microbial community by filtering out novel microbial taxa before they pass into the intestines.
H Pylori can not become a problem unless there is a disruption of the microbiome and, a problem with the pH of the stomach and duodenal.
How Does SIBO Contribute to GERD Symptoms? Is there a connection?
Here’s the thing, unless you find out, you will never know for sure if it is H Pylori or another bacteria. With this said, not all acid reflux symptoms will be associated with H Pylori overgrowth.
One of my clients who was on two acid blockers was having a tough time eating anything because no matter what she ate, she would be suffering with the effects of burning and pain. And, this is while taking 2 PPI’s.
She was tired all the time, and was really at her wits end when we started working together. She had a stool test done and it revealed no detectable limits of H Pylori but, she did have an overgrowth of bacteria associated with Small Intestinal Overgrowth or SIBO.
You are probably thinking, wait a second Karen, I thought SIBO was in your small intestine……how can this be affecting my GERD symptoms of burning and pain in my chest?
Comparison of stomach pH (mean±S.E.) across trophic groups with gastrointestinal tracts of representative birds and mammals.Differentletters above error bars represent statistically significant differences (P<0.05) using ANOVA and Tukey-Kramer post-hoc test. Obligate scavengers(1.3±0.08), facultative scavengers (1.8±0.27), generalist carnivore (2.2±0.44), omnivore (2.9±0.33), specialist carnivore (3.6±0.51), hindgut herbivore(4.1±0.38) and foregut herbivore (6.1±0.31). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0134116.g001
Your small intestine is attached to your stomach via the pyloric sphincter all the way down to your colon. In the case of SIBO, it can be anywhere along the small intestinal tract.
In the case of my client it was in the upper part of her small intestine. This meant constant burning pain, belching and just plain feeling miserable from the constant pain.
When she was eating certain foods it would feed the bacterial overgrowth. In return the bacteria would then release its own gasses and toxins changing the pH of the small intestinal tract and affecting the stomach and giving her those GERD symptoms.
Keeping a food journal, we quickly found which foods were affecting her the most, removed them from the diet, while we worked with natural products to get her stomach acid ramped up, her liver and gallbladder flowing well, and supported her pancreas so we could change the ph back to that which the bacteria would not like thus, getting rid of the overgrowth contributing to the awful GERD symptoms she was having.
Then we introduced most of the foods back into her diet and the symptoms were no longer a problem. At this point, her doctor weaned her off of the PPIs and she was finally not reliant upon acid blockers to try and eat food and, no more GERD symptoms.
What can you do to relieve the GERD Symptoms?
If you have been suffering a long time with acid reflux-like symptoms get a stool test done. Especially, if you have tried everything else under the sun, and the diets and food elimination have failed.
Here is the thing, It could be one bacteria causing all of your symptoms or it could be some or more. You will never know unless you find out.
The stool test I trust is the GI MAP by Diagnostic Solutions.* If you are in the USA, this FDA approved stool test is covered by some insurance companies and is used by integrative and functional Gastroenterologists.
If you were working with me I would insist on you having a GI MAP done by Diagnostic solutions. I don't actually order it because I can not for the scope of my practice. But, this has not stopped me from spending the last 10 years investigating the gut microbiome connection to gut illnesses including GERD and acid reflux. I have taken numerous courses and programs learning about gut bacteria, fungi, yeast and parasites and how it affects our health. I have also taken numerous courses on different stool test and the best and the easiest to understand is the GI MAP.
What I do is tell my clients about the GI MAP, have them call Diagnostic Solutions (who have incredible customer service) to find out if their insurance covers it. If so, then go to the doctor and have them sign up for an account and get the kit shipped to the doctor for the client to pick up.
Here in the USA, Medicare for some also covers this FDA approved test. This should give you a better validity of this test. I wish it was covered for everyone (me included).
Some doctors are not willing to do this simple task for a million reasons including malpractice or simply not having the insurance billing codes. If the client happens to live in a direct to consumer lab testing state they can order the test themselves, however, it will not be covered by health insurance.
If this is the case, I have a direct link to the GI MAP you can order yourself. I use this link with my clients because it is not easy to find. Please note, I have no monetary affiliate with MyMedLab and I can not see what you order or your results. It is merely a convenience link I give to my clients when their insurance won't cover it and/or the doctor refuses to participate (which happens 50% of the time).
Here is the direct link to MyMedLab's GI MAP
All you have to do is create an account, order the kit and it will come to your home. It also comes with a prepaid FedEX envelope to send it back or you can schedule a pickup. You will get the results in your accounts portal. If we were working together you then have the option to "share" your results with me, or send me the PDF via email. It is this simple.
Other options include going to a Naturopathic doctor or a Chiropractor so long as they have an NPI number (see, I told you there are options).
Although Diagnostic solutions has just an H Pylori panel, I do recommend getting the entire GI MAP which will include the H Pylori and 8 virulence factors plus other pathogens, parasites, commensal bacteria, fungi and a nice immune and digestive panel.
Remember my client who showed no detectable limit for H Pylori? Getting the whole GI MAP we were able to see which culprits were causing her GERD symptoms and reverse the symptoms.
Are there other tests for GERD problems?
You could have an H Pylori breath test done a on the same day you have your GI MAP done. It is not conclusive, meaning it can end up in a false negative or false positive. The other problem is you need at least 4 weeks to prepare for the test. No antibiotics or over the counter medications of acid blockers, which, could be quite painful.
You could also have a SIBO breath test done, however, there are too many false positives and negatives. The GI MAP would be the better way to go so long as you have someone who knows how to read it correctly. The GI MAP is a snap shot of the colon. Depending on what bacteria come back outside or normal ranges, will indicate where the overgrowth is.
Food sensitivities also play a role here. However, I would not get a food sensitivity test done because just about everything on the list will come back as a sensitivity especially if the zonulin test comes back high. This is because the digestive system is more than likely leaking food proteins which will adversely effect the test; essentially a false positive.
For GERD relief, some of the GERD foods which are known to cause problems include gluten, sugar, caffeine, soda, processed and refined foods. Spicy foods are the not the problem, unfortunately, they cause grief and should be avoided.
Most GERD Associations including the American Gastroenterological Association states that coffee as well as alcohol, chocolate, fatty foods and acidic foods that may precipitate heartburn (eg, citrus, carbonated drinks, spicy foods should be avoided.
What is a good GERD diet plan?
Here are some remedies for GERD relief you can try to help alleviate occasional acid reflux. There is no one GERD diet plan because there is not a one set of GERD foods causing the problem. It is going to be different for everyone.
In the beginning, it is best to stick to soft foods; mushy green veggies as they do not require a lot of digesting, high quality 100% pasture raised pork, beef, poultry, wild game. Add in fatty fish such as salmon and sardines for their rich omega fatty acids. Be sure to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day.
Once you have calmed your gut microbes down and the GERD symptoms are better, You can also incorporate the polyphenol foods as much as possible because they will help feed the bacteria in your gut which will increase short chain fatty acids. The short chain fatty acid we really want is butyrate. Butyrate decreases inflammation particularly in the mucosal lining. If you have not downloaded the Polyphenol chart I put together, you can get it here.
Are there any GERD Home remedies?
The following recommendations may seem too simple to be true. Seriously, there are GERD home remedies you can try from properly eating to things in your cupboard. Check these out and give them a try.
Chew your food. When you chew your food you release enzymes and other properties into your saliva that start to break your food down, as well aid in your stomach having a better chance of breaking it down and decreasing the effects of acid coming up through the lower esophageal sphincter. Chewing also increases properties in saliva such as bicarbonate (natural baking soda) that can help protect the esophageal mucosal barrier. Aim to chew your food 20-50 times before swallowing.
Start moving; do something gentle, walking or yoga, which would be the easiest to do. This will help with metabolism and help your food to be metabolized better. Numerous research indicates that people who are over weight have a greater incidence of occasional or chronic GERD symptoms than those who get at least 30 minutes a day of exercise.
The best remedy I have found with my clients and personally is ice and ice water. The cold water turns stomach acid off and dilutes what is present. Every time you feel the burning sensation sip some cold water and chew some ice. Fair warning, you will end up drinking several glasses of ice water but it will alleviate the pain.
I have also found apple cider vinegar to be helpful. Sounds awful right? Try a tablespoon at first. It may burn a little but then it soothes. You may have to try it 1-2 times to neutralize the acid. If this does not work, go back to the iced water.
Keep a food journal. Seriously, can you remember what you ate yesterday? Everything you ate? Probably not. Keeping a food journal will quickly show which foods are affecting you. Take them out for a period of time while you work on healing the gut; at least. 30 days, then give them a try again.
Are there Natural GERD Relief Remedies?
I use a gut healing powder with L-glutamine and zinc carnosine in it. It is quite effective. Studies show that zinc and L-carnosine has a long history of more than 20 years of clinical use in Japan for the treatment of any condition that requires a mucosal protection and mucosal repair within the gastrointestinal tract including GERD. The product I use is GI revive. Hop on over to my store and use Code GIREV in the search bar and it will pop right up. You always are guaranteed what is in the bottle is safe. I also give you 10% off your order and free shipping.* I would love your business.
Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL) stimulates normal defense mechanisms that research shows can prevent duodenal and gastric ulcers as well as enhance the quality of mucus excreted and increase the span of surface epithelial cells. Some findings reveal that taking DGL before a meal can help protect the mucosal lining of the esophagus and stomach. Take 20 minutes before eating twice a day. The product I use is GastroMend-HP. Code GAS21
Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) is a supplement containing licorice with glycyrrhizin removed os there is no worry about high blood pressure. Taking this before you eat will help coat the esophagus and protect from acid eruptions. You can also take it after you eat.
Melatonin is another supplement you can try for alleviating chronic, hard to treat acid reflux. Melatonin is something I use with my GERD clients and we get good results. Taking melatonin daily at bedtime might improve symptoms of acid reflux, as well as help you get a good nights sleep. It is better to start with a low dose melatonin (like 1mg) until you know how your body responds. Some may find melatonin makes them groggy the next morning. I always start with the lowest dose possible and work up to body tolerance.
There are reports that beta-carotene (found in orange fruits and vegetables-naturally occurring vitamin A) may help those with esophageal lesions due to Barrett’s esophagus.
What else can I do to protect myself for GERD symptoms?
The biggest indicator on what to do next will be dependent upon the GI MAP results. Please do not skip this step. This simple test is what can make the biggest impact on healing from the symptoms of GERD and acid reflux. Especially when everything else has failed.
I would also encourage having a CMP blood panel done and include ferritin, vitamin B12, magnesium and a urine MMA test especially if you are taking any type of acid blocker.
Stomach acid is required for the absorption of minerals and vitamin B12. When these are low it will result in low energy, and the inability of the cells to repair the tissue lining.
If magnesium range comes back low, the rest of your minerals will more than likely be low. If MMA comes back high this also indicates a vitamin B12 deficiency. I would add in a good multi/mineral complex. I like to use Mediclear which helps support the liver, and is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Use this Code T45016 in the search results and it will pop right up.
How Do I Avoid GERD symptoms in the Future?
To avoid acid reflux in the future try these tips.
If you are thinking about trying Melatonin or Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) and need help picking out a supplement. Sign up for a free account to get 10% off, then contact me, I can help you pick out the right one.
If you would like to work together to get you back to enjoying life from GERD symptoms, you know I am here to start working with me. Schedule your free 15 minutes with me right now. Stop hurting and start healing. You have a life to get back to.
Karen Langston is a Certified Nutritionist trained in Functional Nutrition and Functional Health. Overcoming and living Crohn's Free has made her the most sought after for reversing the symptoms of gut issues. Are you on her email list? If not get on it now.
*supplement orders over $49.00 qualify for free shipping. But you always get 10% off your order. The GI MAP, I have no affiliation with, I do not have the credentialing to work with this stool test. I ave however in an indirect way have taken functional medicine courses which has given me the ability to learn, understand and from a nutritional standpoint interpret the results.
What Is Vitamin K2
You have probably heard of vitamin K1 especially if you have known someone on blood thinners. Physicians usually advise not eating dark green vegetables, high in vitamin K1 to prevent against blood clotting. Have you heard of vitamin K2? Not many people have and seems to cause some confusion when trying to understand the difference between vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 . Let me help you clear up the confusion.
Vitamin K is a group of fat soluble vitamins found mainly in green leaves and include vitamin K1; phylloquinone, vitamin K2 ; menaquinone (subtype of K2 called MK-7, menaquinone-7 and MK-4.1) and vitamin K3; made naturally in our body; and menadione is a synthetic form.2 Phylloquinone (K1) is naturally found in plant foods like leafy greens. Menaquinone (K2 ) is found in animal and poultry foods3 such as raw cheese, yogurt and eggs. Menaquinone is also found in animal organs and fats such as rendered duck fat, and the fat of bison, cow and other animals that graze on grass. Finally, vitamin K2 is found after the fermentation process of vegetables such as sauerkraut and is particularly abundant in a Japanese fermented bean dish called nattō.
Where Does Vitamin K2 Come From?
Vitamin K2, is deficient in the standard North American diet consisting mainly of highly processed foods and conventional meat and poultry. You are probably thinking, Karen, you just said that vitamin K2 is found in dairy and animal fat which, we are eating a ton of. True, but it comes down to the type of foods we are eating and when we are eating them. According to Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal article4
“In general, the typical Western diet contains insufficient amounts of vitamin K2 to activate MGP adequately, which means that approximately 30% of the proteins that can be activated by vitamin K2 remain inactive. The percentage of K deficiency increases with age. Vitamin K, particularly as vitamin K2, is nearly nonexistent in junk food, with little being consumed even in a healthy western diet. Although vitamin K1 is present in green leafy vegetables, only 10% of the total amount is absorbed from that source in the diets of people in industrialized countries. The only exception seems to be the Japanese diet, particularly for the portion of the population consuming high quantities of foods rich in vitamin K2, such as natto.”
What is interesting about vitamin K2 when it comes to animals, especially cattle is how vitamin K2 is produced. Cows do not digest like you and I. Instead, when cattle eat grass which is loaded with chlorophyl and vitamin K1 (remember the dark leafy vegetables?) their bacteria ferments the grass during the digestive process and creates an abundance of vitamin K2.5
Like us, animals take nutrients and use them throughout their body. In the case of cattle, their milk would contain vitamin K2, which we then make butter, cheese and yogurt from. In the case of chickens, their eggs would also be a great source of vitamin K2. We can also see vitamin K2 in the fat of animals which most remove before cooking (not me, I keep all the fat and eat it too).
Here is the catch; there is always a catch right? There are two parts to getting the best vitamin K2 for your health buck. One, conventionally raised cows and chickens that are not raised on grass and weeds will contain less amounts of vitamin K2. Instead they are raised on an unnatural diet of genetically altered silage, corn and soy that is loaded with GMO’s antibiotics and synthetic nutrients. This in turn affects beneficial bacteria that aids in the fermentation process of vitamin K2.
Which leads me to point two. Remember, I said that it is the grass and weeds that are fermented by bacteria that allow for an abundance of vitamin K2? If animals are fed a diet of grass and grain there is very little vitamin K2 production. The same holds true for the time of the year. Grass grows in the summer. In the summer we have beautiful dark green blades of grass full of vitamin K1 and chlorophyl. The animals happily munch and during the digestive process create vitamin K2; therefore in the summer months there will be more vitamin K2 present than during the winter months.
I purchase my meat from Butcherbox because it is sustainable, pasture raised and humane raised beef, pork and poultry.
In the summer I see wonderful yellowish- orange tinted fat and I get excited because that is the vitamin K2. Conventionally raised meat fed GMO grains and silage usually has a thick white fat with no color-tinge at all.
Rendered Duck Fat
I also see this with rendered duck fat; I purchase mine through Thrive Market PlaceI purchase mine through Thrive Market Place, if you are purchasing a jar of rendered duck fat, especially during the summer months, look at the bottom of the jar and you will see a nice layer of orange; that my friends is vitamin K2 yumminess. In the winter months you may not see the lovely orange or as intense of a colour.
Check out the video it shows you what I am talking about.
Nattō beans (なっとう or 納豆 )
In the Japanese culture nattō beans are as a popular as french fries in the western culture. A traditional Japanese food6 made by soaking whole soybeans for a couple of days, then steamed or boiled, cooled, then bacteria Bacillus subtilis culture is added to the beans and allowed to ferment until it becomes a gooey, stringy mass. It is during this fermentation process Bacillus subtilis creates an enzymes called nattokinase which produces high amounts of vitamin K27 (also Menaquinone-7 [MK-7] a highly bioactive homologue of vitamin K2.8 I have not tried fermented nattō however, from those I know who have, say that it has a strong pungent smell (that can stop one from trying it) however, if you get past the smell the dish itself is quite tasty so long as you like slimy texture-stringy type foods. Some day, I will give this a try.
If you have a picture of Nattō send it to me and I will post it here.
Vitamin K2 Benefits and Uses
Like other vitamins, Vitamins K1 and K2 work together in the body. Vitamin K1 is mostly used by the liver to activate calcium-binding proteins involved in blood clotting, while K2 is used to activate proteins that regulate where calcium ends up in the body.9
I spent two years on the road talking about gut health and part of my talks included vitamin K2 because bacteria fermentation process creates vitamin K2 ( I am big into talking about the gut microbiota). After reading Weston A. Price’s book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration and Kate Rheaume-Bleue’s book Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life who cracked the code on Price’s mysterious vitamin-like activator X which is vitamin K2, I was hooked! I felt like vitamin K2 was the final puzzle piece of a 5000 puzzle set. I get excited talking about vitamin K2.
Pick up these books
Vitamin K2 activates the calcium-binding activity of two proteins called Matrix gla protein and osteocalcin, which help to build and maintain bones. Everyone thinks that calcium is the bone builder. True, but requires other nutrients including phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin D3 and vitamin K2.
There was a study that came out a few years beck about the potential adverse effects of excessive calcium loading from supplements on arterial calcification and risks of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in older adults.10 In fact, there have been several studies. The studies indicate that it is the over supplementation of calcium exceeding the recommended daily allowance or intake of older adults, that may accelerate arterial calcification and raise the risk of cardiovascular events. There has not been a study indicating a problem with calcium deposition when it comes to whole foods containing vitamin K2 and the deposition in arterial pathways or tissues. This is basically because food can not be over consumed causing wonky cell signaling. That is the power of whole foods, our body recognizes it, utilizes what it can, stores what it needs and releases what it can’t into the toilet.
What the studies neglect to talk about is why this may be happening. I believe it has to do with the fact that the diet is lacking in vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 is the messenger that tells calcium where to go which is the bones; after all, that is what calcium does; keeps our bones healthy and strong. Basically, vitamin K2 signals the calcium to go in the bone to keep them strong. When there is not enough vitamin K2 and one is taking supplemental calcium (and probably vitamin D3 and magnesium because studies indicate there is better absorption) the calcium does not know where to go it starts depositing and collecting in the arterial pathways and in the tissues. So this makes sense. When we take into too much of a nutrient, in this case the mineral calcium that is not in its natural state it confuses the body. This is why I believe it is so important that we are getting our nutrients from natural sources and making sure that our digestive process and microbiota can receive, process and absorb properly.
Two observational studies found that those who had the highest intake of Vitamin K2 were 52% less likely to develop calcification of the arteries, and had a 57% lower risk of dying from heart disease, over a 7-10 year period.11
Another study of 16,057 women found that participants with the highest intake of vitamin K2 had a much lower risk of heart disease. For every 10 micrograms of K2 they consumed per day, the risk of heart disease was reduced by 9 percent.12
Essentially Vitamin K2 plays a role in
What is Vitamin K2 good for?
In studies vitamin K2 has been helpful;
Vitamin K2 Deficiency Symptoms and Causes
The questions I get most often are what is vitamin K2 deficiency? Is there such a thing? And, what happens if you get too little vitamin K2? Let’s get these questions answered.
Deficiency symptoms of vitamin K2 may include those of the cardiovascular system, oral health and joints including osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.24 We now know that calcium is reliant upon vitamin K2 to send it into the bones where it belongs. Think about what happens when calcium is allowed to deposit throughout the body. There may be problems with calcium deposits and an association with
The myelin sheath that protects our nerves also uses vitamin K2 therefore, think of conditions that affect the myelin sheet such as Parkin’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis and other neurological conditions including, Alzheimers,25 dementia and problems remembering. We can also look at medications such as antibiotics and statin medications and others.
According to an article on Dr. mercola.com, Dr. Hogne Vik, chief medical officer with NattoPharma, a leader in vitamin K2 research and development, says:26
"We are not only finally seeing recognition that vitamin K2 is woefully insufficient in the diet, but there is a growing body of evidence that pharmaceuticals further exacerbate the problem of our limited vitamin K2 status, delivering potentially dangerous consequences for human health."
According to Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal article27
“It appears that suboptimal levels of vitamin K2 in the body may disadvantage the activation of specific proteins that are dependent on vitamin K2. If those proteins cannot perform their function in keeping calcium in the bones and preventing calcium deposits in soft tissues (eg, in arterial walls) during situations of increased calcium intake, then general health, and—in particular—cardiovascular health, may suffer due to an inefficient and misdirected use of calcium in the body.”
Risk Factors for Low Vitamin K2
Risk Factors for Low Vitamin K2
Vitamin K2 Side Effects and Precautions
Can too much vitamin K2 be toxic? Through food sources, it is highly unlikely one could get too much vitamin K2. However, in a society that does not eat well and thinks supplementing with an attitude “more could be better” there is a chance of overdosing. With this said, studies using manufactured supplemental vitamin K2 have observed no side effects or signs of poisoning including studies where extremely high doses of vitamin K2 have been given over a period of several years.
If you are taking blood thinners (Coumadin) please consult with your doctor before taking vitamin K2 as it may cause heart-related problems. There are numerous medications that may negatively interact with vitamin K2 therefore discuss wth your physician before supplementing with vitamin K2.
What Foods are High In Vitamin K2?
Vitamin K2 foods include;
What fermented foods have vitamin K2 ?
The beneficial nutrients in fermented vegetables will rely upon the vegetables used. What is important to note is that during the fermentation process the nutrients are more readily available than there non fermented types. Of course during the fermentation process there will be a ton of beneficial bacteria and lactic acid as well as B vitamins and vitamin K2, essential fatty acids and enzymes. Of course, if you use organically grown veggies for your fermentation you will tap into greater nutrition29,,30 than it pesticide/glyphosate counterparts.
Vitamin K2 in Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut made from cabbage and sometimes carrots along with fennel seeds is an excellent source of vitamin A, C, vitamin K2 and B vitamins, iron, copper, calcium, sodium, manganese and magnesium. Go for raw, unpasturized organic sauerkraut as it will be higher in nutrients, bacteria and enzymes.
The second most thought of fermented food are pickles. Pickles are great source of vitamin K, molybdenum, pantothenic act, potassium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, vitamin C, B1, biotin, magnesium and also contains phytonutrients valuable for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits.31
Nattō beans a popular Japanese dish that is also popular for breakfast. It is made from nattō soybeans fermented with Bacillus subtilis var. natto.32 Japanese black bean NATTO is made from black soybeans. Nattō is a rich source of vitamin K2 and pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) a vitamin-like compound found in plant foods is an essential nutrient that is well researched as having cofactor properties for a special class of enzymes involved in cellular function including cellular growth, development, differentiation, and survival. It was first recognized as an enzyme cofactor in bacteria.33
Nattō is also a good source of amino acids tryptophan, threonine, isoleucine, leucine, lyseine, methionine, cystine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, valine, argineine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, blycine, proline and serine. As well as vitamin C, K2, folate, choline, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium.34
Vitamin K2 in Raw Cheese
The best source of raw goat, sheep and cow’s milk cheese is coming from pasture raised, grass fed animals as it will also contain more vitamin K2. Look for block cheese over shredded or sliced. There is less manufacturing involved which means less chances of bacterial overgrowth. Also, many shredded cheese will contain anti-caking ingredients that we do not need in our cheese or our body.
Look for raw, unpasteurized, grass fed, pasture raised from cows, sheep, goats Look at purchasing local in the spring/summer months, and imports from countries where it is the opposite season like New Zealand and Australia during North America’s winter months
Vitamin K2 in Eggs and Butter
Again, The best source of raw goat, sheep and cow’s milk butter is coming from pasture raised, grass fed animals as it will also contain more vitamin K2.
Look for raw, unpasteurized, grass fed, pasture raised Look at purchasing local in the spring/summer months, and imports from countries where it is the opposite season like New Zealand and Australia while it is winter in North America. Eggs are the same thing, look for eggs from pasture raised hens, it means they are not cooped up, but are outside eating grass, weeds and insects like they are supposed to do. You will know you have pasture-raised hen’s eggs because the yolk will be a bright deep yellow to orange color. The package must say “from pasture raised” Organic, cage free, free range will not be from hens that are grazing on pastures.
Vitamin K2 Benefits
Clearly you can see that there are a ton of vitamin K2 benefits. Check out this infographic. It pretty much sums up the benefits as well as the benefits of vitamin K2 foods
When it comes to Vitamin K2 you can do something to ensure you are getting enough following these simple guidelines. Please keep in mind, that if you are eating food rich in vitamin K2 you do not have to worry about taking other supplements.
It is always better to get your nutrients from quality food sources like I mentioned in this article.
I use Butcherbox because it comes to my door, and I know I am getting quality, humane raised, grass fed, grass finished, pasture raised animals. Look, I make no excuses for eating animals. I am blood type O and require it. I don't like it, but I can make a choice on the type I do consume. You can check out Butcherbox here. and you can watch my fun 48 second video below (you can spare me 48 seconds right?)
I also use Thrive Market Place to order my pantry items. What I like about it is that I do not have to worry about products with GMOs and they source true organic foods. I like the idea that I do not have to sit and scrutinize a label-it is that simple. You can check out Thrive Market here.
Oh, and they also have started carrying meat, poultry, pork and seafood. I was not too happy with their seafood-I am still testing it to see if I will recommend to others (I just believe in being 100% honest with you all).
If you are going to supplement with Vitamin K2 there are different brands and types on the market such as MK7 and MK4 bottom line, make sure it is sourced from Nattō. If you are interested in ordering please contact me and I can help you source the right one for your needs.
If you feel that you are not getting enough from your diet alone or, perhaps there is something going on with your gut, diet and health I am here to get you back on track and absorbing again. I am a phone call or an email Karen@iamworthit2.com away
How are you going to incorporate more vitamin K2 rich foods into your daily routine? Be sure to comment below.
Looking for the References? They are right here.
California Warns the State About Acrylamide In Coffee
A California judge ruled that sellers of coffee must post warnings about possible cancer risks from acrylamide in coffee to comply with Prop 65. I have talked a lot about coffee lately from the effects of caffeine to the potentially endocrine disrupting effects of the lining of the coffee cup. And, now back in the news, kind of like a re-birth of 2013 is acrylamide in coffee and its potential cancer causing effects.
Coffee "May Cause Cancer" Labels
California judge rules that coffee companies apart of the National Coffee Association
must display warning labels on coffee such as “may cause cancer” to comply with Prop 65. The National Coffee Association includes Dunkin' Brands, Inc., International Coffee & Tea, LLC, Starbucks Coffee Company and Tim Hortons among numerous others. You can check out the entire list of companies by goinghere.
It is not just coffee producing companies, the Council for Education and Research on Toxics, filed a lawsuit in 2010 against establishments that sell coffee such as Starbucks, gas station vendors, convenience stories like 7-Eleven, and others to add the toxic warning to the cups of coffee they sell.
According to an Associated Press article, about a dozen of the defendants in the 2010 case have previously settled and agreed to post warnings on coffee cups, with some defendants dismissed or affiliated with larger companies about 50 defendants remain. Among the latest to settle was 7-Eleven, which agreed to pay $900,000.
BP West Coast Products, which operates gas station convenience stores, agreed to pay $675,000. According to the California attorney generals office any business violating Proposition 65 could face penalties of up to $2,500 per day for each violation.
What is California's Prop 65?
The California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, known as Proposition 65 passed in 1986 requires businesses importing and selling goods to California to provide warning labels when exposing consumers to any of the hundreds of chemicals listed that California considers to cause cancer or negatively impact reproductive harm.
Does Acrylamide in Coffee Cause Cancer?
You will find that there are numerous studies indicating that acrylamide coffee does not cause cancer including studies that are not funded by the National Coffee Association. So, why is it that the California judge ruled in favor of Prop 65?
It comes down to studies reviewed by the American Cancer Society. A 1988 review found data showing that acrylamide is capable of inducing genotoxic, carcinogenic, developmental, and reproductive effects in tested organisms. Thus, acrylamide may pose more than a neurotoxic health hazard to exposed humans.
What is Acrylamide?
Video; California Coffee Shops Will Warn Customers About This Possibly Cancer-Causing Chemical. Here's What to Know About It. TIME Health
What is Acrylamide?
"Acrylamide is a potentially toxic and potentially cancer-causing substance that can be naturally present in uncooked, raw foods in very small amounts. But for this substance to pose a risk of toxicity or cancer, it must be present in foods in much larger amounts, and these larger amounts do not occur unless those foods have been cooked. "
Outside of food, According to theU.S. Department of Health and Human Services; National Cancer Institute
"Acrylamide is a chemical used primarily to make substances called polyacrylamide and acrylamide copolymers.Polyacrylamide and acrylamide copolymers are used in many industrial processes, such as the production of paper, dyes, and plastics, and in the treatment of drinking water and wastewater, including sewage. They are also found in consumer products, such as caulking, food packaging, and some adhesives."
According to a 2006 study measuring urinary mercapturic acids in smokers versus non smokers indicate that acrylamide, used in the manufacture of polyacrylamide and grouting agents, is also present in the diet and tobacco smoke. The same review advises since there is
'sufficient evidence' of carcinogenicity in experimental animals as outlined under the U.S. EPA proposed guidelines for carcinogen risk assessment, acrylamide should be categorized as a 'B2' carcinogen and therefore be considered a 'probable human carcinogen.'
A 1995 review of Acrylamide genotoxicity and an assessment of heritable genetic risk looking at exposures of male parents to acrylamide via inhalation, ingestion, and dermal routes found that
"offspring from fathers exposed to acrylamide via drinking water are up to three offspring potentially affected with induced genetic disease per 10(8) offspring. Estimates for inhalation or dermal exposures suggest higher risks for induced genetic disease in offspring from fathers exposed in occupational settings."
Looking at two specific studies; lab animals and humans the American Cancer Society finds it’s not yet clear if acrylamide affects cancer risk in people. According to a2014 Report on Carcinogens, the National Toxicology Program has classified acrylamide as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” based on the studies in lab animals. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies acrylamide as “likely to be carcinogenic to humans” based on studies in lab animals.
Which Foods Have Acrylamide?
Acrylamide In Coffee and Other Foods; Here's What You Need to Know.
According to the American Cancer society acrylamide is found in both home-cooked and in packaged or processed foods. Levels of acrylamide in foods vary widely depending on the manufacturer, the cooking time, and the method and temperature of the cooking process.
Think you are off this hook because you eat and drink only organic? Think again. Acrylamide foods is not reserved for just conventional foods, it also includes organic.
In natural foods, including organic, acrylamide is produced naturally when starches in foods are subjected to high temperatures (above 250 degrees Fahrenheit, or 121 degrees Celsius). Think of anything roasted, toasted, grilled and baked foods with a crust. High-carbohydrate foods produce more acrylamide than high-protein foods.
It Comes Down to the Maillard Reaction
Acrylamide foods is also known as the Maillard reaction named after French chemist Louis-Camille Maillard, who first described it in 1912 while attempting to reproduce biological protein synthesis. It is a whole complex of chemical reactions between reducing sugars and principally free amino acids and peptides (usually from proteins) when heated; whose pathway and outcomes depend critically on factors such as pH and temperature.
It is this reaction that gives browned food its distinctive flavor. Seared steaks, pan-fried dumplings, cookies and other kinds of biscuits, breads, toasted marshmallows, as well as many other foods, undergo this reaction.
What About Coffee and Acrylamide?
A 2013 study looked at commercial samples of roasted, instant coffee and in coffee substitutes and the influence of coffee species and colour intensity of coffee on acrylamide level. The study found roasting process had the most significant effect on acrylamide levels in natural coffee, however there were no relationships found with coffee species. Due to the high acrylamide levels demonstrated in coffee substitutes, recommended amounts should be defined and manufacturers should be obliged to reduce such levels in these products.
How much Acrylamide Is In Coffee?
According to CBS News Article, Coffee cancer warning: What Science Says About the Actual Risk
"Food and Drug Administration tests of acrylamide levels found they ranged from 175 to 351 parts per billion (a measure of concentration for a contaminant) for six brands of coffee tested; the highest was for one type of decaf coffee crystals. By comparison, French fries at one fast food chain ranged from 117 to 313 parts per billion, depending on the location tested. Some commercial fries had more than 1,000."
When looking at the studies California’s Judge Elihu Berle wrote in a proposed decision that coffee companies failed to prove the health benefits of coffee taking into account acrylamide.
Acrylamide In Food and Acrylamide Foods (during manufacturing)
For a complete acrylamide in food list including baby foods check out the following;
How To Reduce Acrylamide In Cooking
According to the American Cancer Society here are some tips on reducing Acrylamide levels.
Does Acrylamide in Coffee Cause Cancer?
The studies cannot conclusively agree if coffee or any other food causes cancer. When it comes to foods and coffee research it is usually focusing on one compound. In the case of coffee, coffee has numerous antioxidant compounds. Researchers will pick a compound and research its health benefits through studies. The problem is one compound does not show the overall effect, the interaction with physiology and each person's genetic make-up.
There are other foods on the market that in their singular component do not cause cancer however, when combined with body fluids there may be a chance. The problem is there are numerous variables including, the metabolism and physiology of the person, age, weight, gender and so on. What is being revealed about studies including processed refined foods and cancer is showing there is a relationship to illness including cancer.
According to a study in theJournal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), data on 43,404 Swedish women were evaluated from the years 1991 through 2002. During the time period of the study, out of the 43,304 women, there were 667 cases of breast cancer. For all the women, their lifestyle and dietary habits were scrutinized. Looking at acrylamide levels in their diet it was found that
“Compared with the lowest quintile of acrylamide intake, there was no significantly increased risk of breast cancer in the higher quintiles and no evidence of a linear dose response.”
What About Acrylamide In Coffee Brands?
If you want to air on the side caution, according to a Natural News Article, Love coffee but not the toxicity? Minimize health risks with these tips, reported the Journal Royal Society of Chemistry, University of Porto in Portugal found that there was a difference of acrylamide in coffee brands.
Looking at coffee with lowest acrylamide the study found
"...specific types of coffee have lower levels of acrylamide. Alves and her team found that light roasts contain significantly more acrylamide than dark ones. Bean type also appears to affect acrylamide levels and Robusta espressos contain almost twice as much acrylamide as their Arabica counterparts.”
If you are looking for coffee with lowest acrylamide
“opt for higher levels of Arabica beans and a darker roast. A short espresso rather than a 'lungo', which takes twice as long to prepare, may also have a lower level of acrylamide because the chemical has less opportunity to transfer to the drink.”
Graphic courtesy AuthorityDiet.com Acrylamide in Coffee: Cancer and Heart Disease Risk?
Does Organic Coffee Have Acrylamide?
I could not find any specific articles on acrylamide in organic coffee. A bit disappointing, indeed. I would like to assume that acrylamide in organic coffee is lower, but I am not going to make that claim especially after learning there are indeed different levels of acrylamide in coffee brands. And, given the fact that acrylamide is in coffee in general it would be in organic too.
I know personally, if I was to drink coffee I would choose shade grown, free trade, organic coffee from the Arabica beans and a darker roast (as mentioned above). At the very least, I would make sure those coffee beans were not from genetically altered plants to avoid any potential effects of genetically altered coffee. Since we do not know fully how GMOs work and interact with our body chemistry I would rather aire on the side of caution.
After looking at the numerous studies on GMOs and genetically altering foods for the ease of growing, the long term effects are unknown. I think about things like acrylamide. Could it be that an adverse reaction during the alteration process produces more acrylamide in coffee? I don’t know, I do not have the answer on that.
Is there Acrylamide in Cold Brew Coffee?
What about cold brew coffee? Is cold brew coffee good for you?
Cold brew coffee is created by steeping medium-to-coarse roasted ground coffee in room temperature water for 12-24 hours or longer. This allows for the natural extraction of essential oils, caffeine and flavour. To have the perfect cold brew coffee you then filter out the grounds.
Here is the problem I see with acrylamide and cold brew coffee. The cold brew coffee method uses roasted coffee beans. The chemical, acrylamide, is produced during the coffee bean roasting process.
It would come down to the beans used and how those beans were manufactured before you cold brew them. It would mean, if you want to choose the lowest acrylamide you would need to choose coffee with lowest acrylamide just like its hot coffee counterpart discussed above.
Acrylamide and Cancer, Could It Be An Accumulative Effect?
Think about it, if the average person is drinking 1-2 cups of coffee (usually 32 ounce sizes-acrylamide) and food choices consist of some form of bread (muffin, toast, bagel-acrylamide) hamburger for lunch (charred meat, toasted bun -acrylamide ) with french fries (acrylamide) and a quick microwaved pasta (acrylamide) for dinner; what’s the accumulative effect? How is the accumulative acrylamide calculated over a year, ten or thirty years? We do not know.
Now take into effect the environment. Studies indicate acrylamide is found in drinking water, cosmetics, personal care products, tobacco, second hand smoke and vinyls along with other products. Since acrylamide can be ingested through the mouth, nose and skin; what is the accumulative effect? What is the accumulative effect plus the accumulative acrylamide in food? We do not know, this has not been studied.
What I have seen personally over the years working in integrative centers and in my own practice, is those who have inflammatory type conditions, disease and cancer have a similar type of diet. Unfortunately their diets involved processed refined, packaged foods, caffeinated beverages and little whole foods. Is there a connection? We may never know.
Now It's Your Turn
What are your thoughts on Acrylamide in Coffee and in foods?
Are you willing to change your diet to avoid acylamide in foods?
What are you not willing to change or give up regadrless of how much acyrlamide is in the foods
Your comments, thoughts, views and praise are always appreciated.
Let's get the conversation started with you commenting below.
Today we are going to be talking about horizontal ridges on nails.
Do you have horizontal ridges on your fingernails? What about horizontal ridges on thumbnails? Do you have those?
Horizontal ridges on fingernails
Horizontal ridges on fingernails
But before I get into what causes horizontal ridges in fingernails and what this could possibly mean. I want you to understand that your body is talking about you. Your face, eyes, skin, hair and your nails can tell you a lot about nutritional deficiencies, for to add, lifestyle changes and possibly guide you to what tests to focus on if there may be a health concern.
Did you know that your fingernails are a window into your health? Not only right now but can tell us what was going on 3 to 6 months ago.
In Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine the outside of our body is the window to the inside functioning and can guide us on possible nutrient deficiencies to help turn around symptoms that are keeping you from feeling amazing all the time. We should feel amazing all the time… you should wake up singing
This is gonna be the best day of my life
Keep in mind that many factors can adversely affect fingernails such as biting your nails, damaging your nail; by hitting it with a hammer, bumping them, and so on.
With these possible reasons out of the way, raise your hands and take a look at your fingernails and let’s dive into Chinese medicine’s interpretation of fingernail health
What Does Our fingernails Say About Our health
Fingernails and Health
Unhealthy toenails may represent unhealthiness
When it comes to health we can also look at our feet especially our toenails because we may also find horizontal ridges on toenails. In general toenail health in Chinese Medicine represents the following;
Take a look at not only your fingernails, and don’t forget your toenails. Do you have horizontal lines on your fingernails and horizontal ridges on your toenails? They may look like horizontal bumps on your fingernails, grooves, horizontal lines or ripples or bumpy nails. You may or may not have the same horizontal ridges on toenails left or right.
We also want to look at the colour, thickness, strength and sheen of our fingernails along with the moons when it comes to referencing the fingernails and of course tie in all the other physical and emotional symptoms and referencing the skin, face and eyes for an overall picture. There are so many clues.
We can look at nails and health problems and cross-reference to an associated organ. In Chinese medicine, the nails are considered a by-product of the soft tissues or sinews of the liver and blood flow which nourishes and moistening the nails.
If there is a deficiency of liver-blood chi the nails will reflect with dry and brittle nails, ridges, spots, cracks and discolouration of the nailed or a pale look.
Right now, take a look at your fingernails look for peeling, cracking, spots, lines, bumps dents.
Pay attention to where they are on your fingernails, are they at the top, the middle or the closer to the tip of the fingernail? Where the imperfections are may also represent an illness or trauma timeline.
It takes on average 6 months to grow a fingernail from the top of the bed to the tip. So, if the damage is at about the middle of your fingernail or thumbnail this represents what was happening about 3 months ago.
There was enough of a trauma whether physically, emotionally, a diagnosis, surgery something that was traumatic enough for the body to interrupt the growth of the nail. We can also look at the depth of the lines to determine the severity of the illness.
What Causes Horizontal Ridges On Nails
Depending on the nail may represent previous trauma to the nail bed, so must be ruled out first. It could also be medication related to many medications including over the counter remedies may require the increased need for certain nutrients.
If it is in the middle of the fingernail it represents 3 months ago; think back to three months ago, what was going on 3 months ago? Fingernails can also be affected by medications, chemotherapy, immunosuppressive therapies, or a heart attack, severe infection; something traumatic enough to the body that it caused a disruption in the growth of your nail.
Horizontal Ridges On Nails Indicate Malnutrition
Horizontal ridges on nails may also indicate malnutrition. Take a look at what you are eating. What’s your diet like? Is your diet void of foods high in zinc and B vitamins? Is there a possible stomach acid deficiency?
Could Horizontal Ridges On Nails Be A Zinc Deficiency?
Horizontal Ridges On Nails and Zinc Deficiency
A severe zinc deficiency could possibly cause horizontal ridges on nails. Zinc aids in making proteins and DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Our nails are made up of keratin and keratin is a protein.
Are there also white spots on the fingernails? The same fingernail as the horizontal ridges or other fingernails? White spots on fingernails may also indicate a zinc deficiency.
Perhaps all you need to do is add zinc-rich foods such as
Foods highest in zinc
Karen, I am eating foods high in Zinc what gives?
Maybe you are eating foods high in zinc and B vitamins and yet, you still have horizontal ridges on your fingernails and possibly white spots. Check in with your digestion. How well are you digesting and absorbing your foods?
Are the horizontal ridges on the right middle fingernail? The right fingernail represents the gastrointestinal tract.
Zinc requires good stomach acid for absorption. There are numerous things that can affect stomach acid including age. Hydrochloric acid naturally begins to decrease around age 35. Medications such as antacids, acid blockers and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) affect stomach acid secretion. Stress and the lack of chewing your food may also negatively impact stomach acid production thus zinc along with other vital nutrients including B vitamins and protein may not be properly utilized. Remember, fingernails are made up of keratin, keratin is a protein, zinc aids in protein structures.
Other Zinc deficiency signs
How much zinc do I need?
According to the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), the average daily recommended amounts for different ages are listed below in milligrams (mg)
Horizontal Ridges On Nails and Thiamine Deficiency
Horizontal Ridges On Nails and Thiamine
Horizontal ridges on nails may also indicate a Thiamine, vitamin B1 deficiency. Thiamine plays an important role in maintaining a healthy nervous system and improving the cardiovascular functioning of the body. horizontal ridges on the index fingernail represent the chest area,
high blood pressure can be seen in the left index fingernail.
A vitamin B1 deficiency may negatively affect the cardiovascular system, as can zinc.
Since lungs are on both sides of the body, it would represent both fingernails. Lungs problems include pulmonary issues, Peripheral artery disease, Raynaud’s disease, systemic infection; asthma, bronchitis may be indicted in both fingernails.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that having higher blood levels of certain B vitamins are linked with a substantially lower risk of lung cancer. Other studies have found that those with symptoms of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and multiple sclerosis
tend to have lower levels of thiamin in their blood.
Thiamine is a part of the B vitamin complex. I will list some foods that are an abundant source of vitamin B1 however, it is better to look at foods that are a great source of all B vitamins as B vitamins work synergistically. In other words, if 1 B vitamin is in a deficient state, probably there are other B vitamins in the same state. Thiamin is important for the growth, development, and function of the cells in your body.
Other Thiamine decency signs may include
How much Thiamin do I need?
According to the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), the average daily recommended amounts for different ages are listed below in milligrams (mg)
A nutrient test can help you determine what nutrients you are lacking, Something I can help you with. Email me and let’s talk.
Foods highest in Thiamine
Horizontal ridges on thumbnails
In Chinese medicine, thumbnails represent the head including ears, eyes, nose, mouth and throat.
Going back to zinc for a moment, let’s say there are horizontal ridges on thumbnails, white spots and some of the symptoms of low stomach acid or gastrointestinal problems are present.
There may be a problem with absorption of zinc. Zinc is needed for vision. According to the American Optometric Association suggests 40 to 80 mg daily of zinc is needed to slow age-related macular degeneration (AMD) progression. According to a University of Texas at Arlington study can significantly inhibit the proliferation of oesophagal cancer cell.
Zinc is essential to almost 3,000 proteins in the body including essential for wound healing, vision, senses of taste and smell. Take another look at the horizontal ridges on your thumbnail perhaps what is happening in the head, ears, eyes, nose, throat and mouth is transcribed on your thumbnails.
Like most minerals, the average North American is deficient in zinc. According to the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the recommended dietary allowances (RDA) for both men and women need to be increased by nearly one-half of the current values in order to meet their requirements for absorbed zinc.
Horizontal ridges on nails don’t mean the end of the world. Do not look at your fingernails and think you are doomed. Instead, think of your fingernails as your Snapchat account; constantly dinging you and showing you that you need to pay attention to your story. The clues are right there on your fingernails.
Your Fingernails Are the Window to Health
You have to look at all aspects of your health history, important factors are diet, movement, outlook on life, how well you deal with stress and your level of spirituality, chemicals in your environment all of which impact our health.
We can look to our fingernails and our body to give us clues years before an actual diagnosis has been given. All it takes is a trained eye who can then put the right tests in place, tweak your diet and lifestyle and possibly prevent and reverse symptoms. All it takes from you is a willingness and readiness. Are you ready to live the vision you have of your best life?
Is your low-calorie sweetener making you fat? Wait, what?
How can my low calorie sweetener be making me fat? Isn't that the point? Low calories sweeteners so that I can eat what I want and not get fat? What gives?
Diabetics are told by the doctor and dietitians to consume products that are low in sugar. Usually these low- calorie or no sugar products are laced with artificial sweeteners. In fact, we have been led to believe that we can have our sweets and eat them too if we consume those containing artificial sweeteners. We can sweeten our drinks, flavor our water all without guilt because artificial sweeteners keeps our weight in check.
I just cringe when I see someone drinking a “diet” soda, or a “no sugar added” food. When I first started dating my husband he drank Diet Coke. I did not care what he was drinking, and I do not judge however, I made it quite clear that if he was going to drink Diet Coke, to switch to plain Coke as it is much better for him than a Diet Coke. This was not so much for the waist-sparing effect rather the brain effect.
How did we become a society that just believes what we read on a label and never question?
Why is it we don't ever look past what it says on the label? Is it clever marketing that silently gives sinful permission to indulge? We think to ourselves If a product says “sugar free” or “no sugar added” it must mean that I can’t gain weight, right?
I think more than this, if we took the time to look into what the ingredients is, how it made, we probably would not eat. At least if we stay ignorant to the truth and blindly put our faith into the truth of label we are not only given permission but have someone else to blame when something goes wrong. After all, this is much more convenient than spending the time educating ourselves to make our selves better, right?
Sadly, I will see someone on the street, let's call her Jane, sucking back her diet sodas with artificial sweeteners, eating the “no sugar added” bonbons and treats, the low-fat diet and her waist-line keeps expanding. I can’t help but think of how Jane must feel when she looks in the mirror. She gets up turns the shower on, slowly undresses, gazes into the mirror looking at the bulges and wonders why this is happening? Jane stares disgustingly at her bulging thighs and thins I am doing everything right and yet I can’t seem to get rid of the bulge. Why me?
No guilt, No Pain
We have been led to believe that Sucralose and aspartame are the gifts from the heavens taking away our guilt and shame for sinfully lusting after sweet desires. We have been led to believe we can have our sugar-free cake and eat it too.
A George Washington University study suggests that we may have been blindly led indeed. According to the study, artificial sweeteners may actually increase a person’s risk of becoming obese. Looking at metabolic syndrome, consumption of low-calorie sweeteners could promote metabolic syndrome and predispose people to prediabetes and diabetes, particularly in individuals with obesity.
Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors--high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels and abdominal fat--that double the risk of blood vessel and heart disease, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes
According to the findings of the study
"Our stem cell-based studies indicate that low-calorie sweeteners promote additional fat accumulation within cells compared with cells not exposed to these substances, in a dose-dependent fashion--meaning that as the dose of sucralose is increased more cells showed increased fat droplet accumulation," said Sabyasachi Sen, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. "This most likely occurs by increasing glucose entry into cells through increased activity of genes called glucose transporters.”
If you are not worried about gaining weight, still be leary. According to the cell culture study, researchers found that sucralose appears to promote oxygen radical accumulation - a highly reactive particles that can cause disease and inflammation inside cells. Most diseases, autoimmune conditions and cancer are an inflammatory state. The underlying cause is inflammation. These oxygen radicals interfere with cell activity and slow down metabolism, which promotes accumulation of fat in the cell. According to the researchers "This provides another explanation of how sucralose may interfere with metabolism.”
You CAN have your Sweets and Eat them TOO!
I have always advocated that when it comes to eating something sweet at the very least stick to something that is in its natural state, or pretty close to it. Honey, maple syrup and dates are the better choice. And, of course, do not make a daily habit of consuming just sweet things. You have to have balance. A diet of
Having something sweet that is made with nut flours, quality oils and a natural sweetener is by far the better choice to maintain your waist line. Sticking to a Paleo type diet, or low carb diet is the healthier choice in my opinion. I find that when I switch my clients to this type of a lifestyle they can have their paleo cake and eat it too without guilt or detrimental health effects.
If you are struggling with your weight, what to eat or just need some guidance, I am here to help. If you need help weaning yourself off of the neurotoxic effects of artificial sweeteners I am a phone call or an email away. I do offer 20 minute free consolation session so that I can learn more about you and how I can coach you to the greatness you envision!
A 'Grueling and Grotesque' Biohacking Experiment; Would you eat your friend's poop to get better?
I came across this article/video and thought I would share it with you for so many reasons. Whatever you do, if you do watch this short 12-minute documentary I would not be eating any food, especially if you are squeamish.
The video and story are about former NASA scientist Josiah Zayner who checks himself into a hotel, sterilizes his body, and embarks on a 4 days journey to completely replace all of the bacteria contained in his body. This doesn’t sound too bad right?
Ugh! I had a hard time watching Josiah Zayner swallow another man’s poop (friend or not). I actually paused the video to collect my wits.
Zayner has made headlines for pushing the boundaries of do-it-yourself genetic experimentation from this documentary on changing his microbiome, to injecting himself with CRSPR gene-editing technology to modify his muscle genes to give him bigger muscles. Worse, he is selling his “DIY Human CRISPR Guide” online and selling $20 DNA that promotes muscle growth. Is he ethical and of sound mind?
The activity of exploiting genetic material experimentally without regard to accepted ethical standards, or for criminal purposes
Biohacking body modification
Why does he do these so-called biohacks? In his opinion, cutting-edge biology tools like CRISPR should be available for people to do as they wish, and not be controlled by academics and pharmaceutical companies.
Back to the video; Why did Josiah Zayner decide to embark on this experiment?
It was because he had suffered a lifetime of intestinal problems (AHA! ) including ulcers—another big AHA! We know that ulcers usually indicate an overgrowth of H Pylori and possibly their virulence factors. I wonder if he knew this?
Unfortunately, like many institutions in our understanding of health care only look at one aspect of health. They do not look at the entire picture;
• how a child is born and fed during its first year of life
• antibiotic use
• outlook on life
• and others
There were some clues in the video. Zayner grew up on a farm; could there have been viruses, pathogen bacteria and parasites at play that are not easily detectable? What if he had worked with someone who understood the environmental connection to the microbiome. Perhaps this video of extreme recklessness would not have been made.
For the experiment
Zayner checks himself into a hotel, scrubs himself clean and the hotel room and takes antibiotics to eliminate his gut bacteria. He then swallows poop and injects bacteria into his skin from his friend over a 72 hour period and waits 8 weeks.
After 8 weeks, through bacterial sequencing, Zayner’s gut bacteria changed to that of his friends. His digestive problems diminished and according to Zayner he developed a sweet tooth. His skin microbiome did not change.
Do not attempt this on your own
Although Josiah Zayner did receive positive results I cannot stress enough that this experiment did not have enough controls. And, I would not recommend doing this yourself (even if you can get past the ick-factor of eating your friend’s poop).
Doctors now have access to faecal transplants and are often used in the case of trying to control Clostridium difficile when antibiotics fail or with severe Crohn’s disease. However, faeces used for faecal transplants have been thoroughly cleaned and monitored for parasites and viruses. In this experiment Josiah Zayner did not do this, it was unfiltered friend’s poop.
What it did show is that we can change our microbiome. There have been studies taking a sterile skinny mouse and transplanting the bacteria from a fat mouse and the skinny mouse got fat. The same thing happened with a fat mouse injected with a skinny mouse bacteria; it got skinny. Zayner’s experiment helped showed this is possible; that we can transplant another’s bacteria and take on the characteristics of the donor’s symptoms (the sweet tooth he developed).
We do not have to go to these extremes, we can alter our gut bacteria by eating the right foods and this has been documented in numerous studies.
Prebiotic foods; vegetables and low glycemic fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and some starches. We can also eat fermented foods and some fermented drinks like kefir and komchuca. We can also take multi-strain probiotic supplements and prebiotic fibre to help boost our intestinal flora.
I know I keep saying this, and I will say it again; we can get a DNA picture of our colon with the GI MAP stool test. A great tool to let us know what is going on, what is overgrown or present that should not be such as
• Pathogenic bacteria overgrowth
And then we have a baseline to work with to help rebalance our intestinal microbiome without having to eat a friend’s poop.
Why did Josiah Zayner develop a sweet tooth?
Oh, and one more observation, I think I know why Zayner developed a sweet tooth; his friend's poop was more on the yellowish side instead of a nice brown chestnut colour. Brown or chestnut brown coloured poop (think milk chocolate) usually indicates the person is eating good protein sources and there is a rich mixture of bile, iron and protein.
A caramel colour or very light brown (kind of brown-yellowish) indicates more grains and dairy were eaten (which is going to feed the bacteria that ferments sugars) And, this may be why Zayner developed the sweet tooth. In a study done with fruit flies, researchers found that Acetobacter and Lactobacillus could suppress the flies’ protein cravings and increase their appetite for sugar.
Just a little more food for thought
we seriously are what we eat
Would you eat your friend’s poop for better health?
Constipation Relief Is Not Rocket Science
You colon works optimal when it is full of water and indigestible plant fiber. This means lots of vegetables, fruits, raw nuts and seeds that create bulk and decrease the chances of constipation. In fact, the best remedy for constipation are high fiber foods, water and probiotics.
Did you know that the average North American transit time (having a poop) is 72 hours to 1 week when it should be 12 – 24 hours? What this means is the average North American is suffering with chronic constipation!
You should be having 2-3 easy and formed bowel movements per day that does not require any straining or a ton of toilet paper. Essentially the meal you put in your mouth today once it has gone through the digestive process should be plopping into the toilet bowl about 12 -24 hours later!
Are you pooping more than once a day? If not you too could be constipated!
Best Remedy For Constipation Includes Fiber
What is Fiber?
Fiber is considered a complex carbohydrate. It is the part of the plant material that cannot be digested, instead it is broken down into nutrients. There are two types of fiber; insoluble and soluble dietary fiber. Soluble fiber retains water and turns into a gel in the digestive tract which, slows digestion aiding in nutrient absorption in the small intestines. Insoluble fiber speeds the passage of foods and adds bulk to the stool. Where does the fiber come from? Vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruit.
Fiber for Health
What is really interesting is the fact that we humans lack intestinal enzymes to break down the fibrous parts of vegetables on purpose. These undigested fibers make their way down to the colon where the commensal bacteria squirted out by the appendix breaks it down and creates nutrients, lactic acids to keep the environment happy for good bacteria and creates positive colon-immune system communication.
Fiber is important because it will clean mucus along the colon, pull and bind toxins, and aids in balancing hormones by binding to and removing excess estrogens in your body.
Research has shown that inulin and oligofructose creates a bifidogenic shift in the composition of the colonic microbiota and its function. Inulin-type fructans may reduce the production of potentially toxic metabolites while inducing important immune-mediated effects. In other words prebiotic fiber has the ability to increase gut microbiota thus boosting your immune system.
What are Prebiotics?
Prebiotics are non-digestive fiber found naturally occurring in carbohydrates such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and whole grains. When fibrous material are digested by microorganisms in your gut it promotes an environment that will allow for the colonization of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus to flourish while strengthening colon cells. If you are getting your daily recommended amount of fiber you are going to feel renewed less bloated, less irritable, fuller longer (which may help you to lose weight), full of energy and want to make it a part of your healthy lifestyle.
You need to replenish and build up with the right bacteria that are going to keep you healthy. A healthy intestinal microbiome provides a barrier from opportunist bacteria and fungi like Candida setting up shop and making you ill. Strong diverse numbers mean your good bacteria can fight off invading bacteria so that you do not get sick. You need good bacterial diversity for the synthesis of some vitamins such as B12 and produce enzymes that aid in helping your liver to work better. Let’s face it, without a good strong healthy microbiome you are setting yourself up for symptoms that may lead to other problems down the road. Your microbiome when in a healthy state keeps your immune system healthy and protects you from illness.
What Are The Best Probiotics?
Along with foods to eat to avoid constipation you need to incorporate into your healthy lifestyle probiotic supplements that are cultured from human strains, resist stomach acid and bile salts and are capable of colonizing the digestive tract. You want to make sure you are taking top rated probiotics from companies that have a quality assurance management system. Quality assurance guarantees that quality, type and numbers of microorganisms stated on the label exist when you get the product.
You also want to make sure you are taking a multi-strain probiotic supplement so that you get a variety of good bacteria. If you take the same probiotic supplement with just one strain you are not going to help keep a healthy intestinal diversity. Remember we are made up numerous types of bacteria fungi and other microbes. In fact bacteria out number human cells by a ratio of at least 10:1 in the human body.
You can also incorporate probiotic strains from fermented foods. Fermented vegetables such as cabbage and kimchi have multiple beneficial probiotic strains. You can also incorporate kombucha and Jun; a type of fermented tea. There are also fermented dairy products such as yogurt and kefir and other fermented foods such as Poi and Umeboshi plums that can all help with digestive symptoms like gas, bloating and constipation.
What Happens When Probiotics and Fiber Make you Feel Worse Instead of Better?
A word of caution when it comes to fiber; please consult with your healthcare practitioner before implementing fiber. Do not take medication or supplements within 1 hour before or after taking fiber. Sometimes the medication will not be absorbed because it gets bound to the fiber.
If you decide to take a fiber supplement, start slow, especially if you have never taken fiber before. For now, do not follow what it says on the label, which is the full dosage. Instead start with a ¼ teaspoon in an 8 oz glass of water and increase every 3-5 days until you have reached the recommended dosage on the label. Be sure to drink at least 8-10 8 oz glasses of water throughout your day to allow the fiber to work properly.
The same goes for incorporating fruits, vegetables and other high fiber foods. Start slow. Your bowels are not used to having to work for a living. In the beginning they will protest with gas and bloating and should subside in a couple of days.
If you find that after incorporating probiotics, fiber, fruits and vegetables and you are still gassy, bloated and are having a hard time pooping you may want to investigate your symptoms with me. Sometimes there can be bacterial overgrowth in the small intestines that can lead to a host of miserable symptoms.
When your friendly bacteria migrates into the small intestine it can cause a host of tummy troubles including acid reflux, fatigue, skin issues, gas, bloating, cramping, constipation or a combination of constipation and diarrhea and generally feeling awful. This is where a stool test can come in real handy. It is a matter of ordering the stool test, scooping a little poop into the specimen jar and mailing it back to the lab.
I have included a snapshot of the GI MAP that my clients get done. Notice how many different microbes are being tested for? When these are not in the right numbers they may be part of the culprits causing your constipation symptoms. When you get your stool test report back it can tell you what bacteria is overgrown, the levels of your good bacteria, inflammation and much more. When you are working with me I can then put the right foods and supplements in place (right down to the perfect probiotic supplement) so that you can poop with ease!
If you try these tips and you still can not get constipation relief it may be time time to explore your symptoms a little bit more in depth. I have suffered both ends of the scale; major diarrhea and constipation so bad that you are praying through tears to end the suffering!
It could be time for you to invest in what is really going on with your never ending symptoms. Order your stool test, get in touch with me and I can help you interpret your results and get you on the right plan of action so that you can eat healthy and feel healthy and get back to enjoying your life! Are ready to end the constipation madness? Click here and let’s get started.