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Free Radical Therapy Blog » 2010» October

Archive for October, 2010

Fun with National Chemistry Week – A New Perspective on Ancient Beer

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

As a member of the American Chemical Society, I thought a fun way to observe National Chemistry Week would be to review the work of Jyllian Kemsley [C&EN.online.org, pg 48 Oct 18, 2010] on the health benefit of early beer.

The antibiotic tetracycline has long been observed in the bone of Egyptian mummies. At first it was thought to be a contaminant, but closer examination showed that the finding held true for the mummified remains of children and adults alike.

The mystery began to clear with the findings of an anthropology team from Emory University [Armelagos, G., Am J Phys Anthropol 143: 151, 2010], when the same was found within the bones of ancient Nubians (AD 450) as well as ancient Jordanians.

As it turned out, much of the beer in early history was fermented with grain that contained the soil bacteria Streptomyces, and it is the Streptomyces that produces tetracycline upon being fermented. Beer was certainly fermented with other organisms, but the choice of Streptomyces was likely intentional…due not just to alcohol and taste but also to its infection-fighting potential. Some historians believe that this was an early method for preventing gum disease and dental decay as well as other infections, which would account for why children also had tetracycline in their bones. It was their medicine.

Fermented foods have a long history of consumption among early populations, the advantage being that certain organisms tended to produce healthful byproducts as they promoted fermentation. Thus, we have the origin of fermented dairy, soy, and an even wider variety of fermented grain concoctions, not the least of which are the yummy sourdough breads that tend to reduce heart risk. It is this observation that lifts many of our fermented foods into the lofty status of supporting Free Radical Therapy and our Designed2Win model of health!

Blood Chemistry is ESSENTIAL for Safe Supplementation of Vitamin D

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

A doctor who knows my concern with the widespread enthusiasm over supplementing with high levels of vitamin D asks “How low a reading for serum vitamin D would have to occur before we should recommend supplementing with vitamin D? And, how much would you recommend?”

As with all other health questions, it depends upon what the other chemistry data reveals. For instance, I have an editorial coming out in a major scientific journal, in which I’ve noted there are four major reasons for a serum vitamin D reading being low, other than vitamin D deficiency:

1) A low serum protein or inadequate protein status to bind calcium sufficiently will result in an increase in free, unbound calcium accompanied by a (protective) low serum vitamin D – a scenario that may affect at least 30% of the population.

2) A low to low-normal serum phosphate, causing unhealthy rise in free, unbound calcium, which may again cause a protective lower reading for serum vitamin D – a scenario that likely affects 70% of adults over age 45.

3) A negative feedback from vitamin D receptor activity, due to an elevation in active vitamin D, may result in a protectively low reading for vitamin D – a scenario that likely affects just about anyone taking an ultra megadose of vitamin D, regardless of their baseline reading.

4) A low serum reading for total serum calcium in someone who is diseased with calcium deposits will result in the body’s protective lowering-response for serum vitamin D.

In all of these circumstances, high dosages of vitamin D will run the risk of further disease and calcification, often punctuated by a rise in serum calcium to a level that could be life threatening for a variety of reasons. It is my contention that thousands of people are on dialysis today due to taking high levels of vitamin D without considering why the original reading was low. Thousands more are dying of heart disease and various atrophy states due to the same major flaw in interpretation.

Wake up, people! Don’t be misled by those who practice only in accordance to the one-size-fits-all philosophy. Health success often depends on getting a proper chemistry and a health model-based interpretation of the data.

Gene Testing – Great Promise for the Future, but Too Early to Replace FRT Chemistry

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Someone asked me, “I’ve heard about DNA testing where a drop of blood is put into some sort of machine and treatment is determined from the reading. Could this be a path to healing?”

Genetic profiling, the test that’s referred to here, holds great promise for the future. Yet at the current level of understanding it can also grossly mislead – away from evaluating the homeostatic controls, protein status, and toxic footprints of chemistry.

DNA is known to code for specific proteins, which is good, and thus would seem a good way to know if you have the capability to produce the proteins (or not) that associate with health and disease. Yet, only 2% of our DNA codes for protein. The remaining DNA, as revealed in the profile, still contains the same four letter codes, but serves only as a switching and signaling mechanism – the details of which are largely still a mystery. What is not a mystery is the healthful influence that diet, lifestyle, and the environment are able to exert on the support of gene expression and suppression.

In those situations where we may carry an unhealthy gene, then the effort we make toward tailoring the dietary and lifestyle plans can awaken a compensating gene. So until the doctor doing the genetic testing can assure you that he or she understands the switching and signaling genes per the genetic profile, perhaps you are better off avoiding the test. Currently, you are better off performing a health model-based chemistry and tailoring your patients’ health programs from that perspective.