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Have You Heard of HBOT?

Image result for michael jackson image hyperbaric oxygen

Image result for michael jackson image hyperbaric oxygen

 

Have you heard of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT)? If not it’s about time you do.

After my blog discussion these last two weeks on FMT (https://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2017/02/05/human-hosts-transplants-promote-health-12/,https://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/human-hosts-transplants-promote-health-22/, I cannot possibly think of another more appropriate topic to talk about this week.

HBOT is a not so new medical therapy.  British physician Nathaniel Henshaw created an oxygen chamber in 1662. Yet clinical use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy did not really start until the mid 1800s. In the early 1930s, the military developed and tested hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) for purposes specifically in the area of deep sea diving and aeronautics. And of course we cannot forget the most famous HBOT user, Michael Jackson. Do you remember the picture above from 1986?

Today HBOT is approved by the FDA for the treatment of 14 medical conditions.

  1. Air embolism
  2. Gas embolism
  3. Acute traumatic ischemia
  4. Burns
  5. Carbon monoxide poisoning
  6. Smoke inhalation
  7. Diabetic foot ulcers
  8. Exceptional blood loss
  9. Decompression sickness
  10. Gas gangrene
  11. Necrotizing infections
  12. Severe anemia
  13. Skin grafts and flaps
  14. Wound healing

But there are more “off label” uses for HBOT. “Off-label” means the prescription medication or medical treatment is being used in a manner that is not FDA approved. Off-label prescribing by physicians is legal and very common. More than one in five outpatient prescriptions written in the U.S. are for off-label therapies, http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/features/off-label-drug-use-what-you-need-to-know#1.

HOW HBOT WORKS

A patient (see above, Michael Jackson photo) breathes in 100% oxygen, normally we breathe in 21% oxygen, while resting in a pressure chamber. The atmospheric pressure is kept up to three times (3 ATA) the norm (1 ATA is normal, ATA is one atmosphere absolute, the average atmospheric pressure exerted at sea level, or 14.7 psi.). This helps to “super saturate” the body’s tissues as the oxygen dissolves in the blood at a 10-15 times a greater rate than normal.

Body tissues that are saturated in oxygen with HBOT help heal damaged external skin conditions and wounds and internal tissues that may have been deprived of oxygen as well. HBOT helps restore blood supply to tissues and aids in developing new networks of capillaries. “Re-oxygenation”, its’ direct influence on genes, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4499900/, and its anti inflammatory actions are reasons HBOT is therapeutically successful and may prove to be safer than many conventional medications that have the potential to pose bodily harm. 

HBOT OFF-LABEL USES

  • ADHD
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Autism
  • Cancer
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Diabetes
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lyme Disease
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Migraines
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Sports injuries
  • Strokes

Internationally HBOT is used to treat even more conditions.

My particular interest in HBOT is in its ability to act as an anti-aging tool. Personally, I get an oxygen facial once a month. If I could bathe my whole body in an oxygen chamber instead of just my face, I would do it.

We typically think of food supplying energy from fats, protein and carbohydrates. Vitamins and minerals are catalysts to the process. Oxygen is also converted to energy via cellular metabolism, so to reemphasize it works on the cellular level.

Like water, oxygen is necessary for life. As you breathe, the lungs filter the air and blood carries oxygen to every tissue, every organ and every cell in your body for life.

However oxygen also has the potential to negatively affect health when free radicals are produced and are out of control (ionized oxygen). HBOT can aid in neutralizing ionized oxygen bringing back balance to unstable elemental oxygen.

Based on the role oxygen plays on cellular life, body tissues, hormones, the brain, DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA is a molecule that contains the genetic instructions an organism needs to develop, live and reproduce.) and, like protein, its involvement in growth and repair are important anti-aging processes), HBOT would seem to be an optimal anti-aging tool that works on both the inside (preventing mental decline and promoting cellular re-oxygenation) and protecting the body’s largest organ on the outside (your skin).

Now you know a little more about a very big player, HBOT, in health and wellness. Explore the benefits of oxygen therapy. It is likely a much safer option than the conventional alternative.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2017 in health, Oxygen, Uncategorized

 

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Human Hosts Transplants Promote Health (2/2)

 Image result for image microbiota transplant

Last week in “Human Hosts” part 1, https://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2017/02/05/human-hosts-transplants-promote-health-12/, I described the safety and efficacy of fecal microbiota transplantation.  But poop is not the only place healthy microbiota bacteria live. Microbiota transplants (MT) from different body regions have  proven equally helpful.

Scientists are studying the relationship between diseases and balancing “good” and “bad” bacteria from different body regions based on 2 simple theories.

  1. “bad” bugs cause inflammation
  2. “good” bugs support the immune system

Consider the emerging evidence:

  • Patrice Cani at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Brussels fed a high-fat, “junk food” diet to mice, the community of microbes in their guts changed much as it does in humans on a fast-food diet. But Cani also found the junk-food diet made the animals’ gut barriers notably more permeable, allowing endotoxins to leak into the bloodstream. This produced a low-grade inflammation that eventually led to metabolic syndrome. Cani concludes that, at least in mice, “gut bacteria can initiate the inflammatory processes associated with obesity and insulin resistance” by increasing gut permeability,” http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/19/magazine/say-hello-to-the-100-trillion-bacteria-that-make-up-your-microbiome.html.

In other words, no matter what your weight is, even for those who are thin, no matter what your age, even a child, male or female,  American or not, no matter who you are and where you are from,  junk food can actually cause inflammation that makes unhealthy changes to your gut.  And in turn, you become ill…heart disease, diabetes, obese…

  • ” When gut microbes from easygoing, adventurous mice are transplanted into the guts of anxious and timid mice, they become more adventurous. The expression “thinking with your gut” may contain a larger kernel of truth than we thought. Our gut bacteria also play a role in the manufacture of substances like neurotransmitters (including serotonin); enzymes and vitamins (notably B vitamins and vitamin K) and other essential nutrients (including important amino acid and short-chain fatty acids); and a suite of other signaling molecules that talk to, and influence, the immune and the metabolic systems. Some of these compounds may play a role in regulating our stress levels and even temperament.”

There is also emerging evidence linking colic, allergies/asthma, eczema, type 1 diabetes, obesity and celiac disease with differences between the microbiota of infants delivered vaginally and those that come into this world through C-section. It seems that Lactobacillius (“good” bugs that help digest milk) in the vagina increases prior to birth. Newborns pass through the vagina and absorb the bacteria. C-section babies are lacking the gut flora and are more prone to colic. So it should not be surprising that in the United States with a 32.7 percent c-section rate in 2013 (well above the “medically necessary” target of 10 percent to 15 percent that WHO says is ideal), that the medical conditions mentioned above are on the rise. 

From birth to near death,  all over the body microbiota transplants that live in healthy humans can help unhealthy humans live healthy lives!

Who would have thought that medical strides would include using human hosts as a treatment options for undesirable temperment and stress, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, allergies/asthma, eczema, celiac disease,  obesity and probably much much more.

 As hosts to trillions of microbes, both good and bad, we may find that the answer to good health and longevity truly rests within ourselves.

 

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Human Hosts Transplants Promote Health (1/2)

Image result for image fecal transplant

Photo credit: Cleveland.com

Heart, kidney and liver transplants can save lives. But…transplanting beneficial bacterial cells from one healthy human to another unhealthy human sounds preposterous; doesn’t it? Yet, so far bacterial transplants seem to produce favorable health outcomes without the adverse effects of many common conventional medical treatments.

You may just be the perfect solution to your family, friends or neighbors medical ills.

Considering  bacterial cells outnumber human cells 10 to 1 and we are hosts to an estimated 8 million non-human genes from bacteria, viruses and other pathogens that are dwelling inside us. This should come as no surprise; but I must admit, I’m surprised.

As we start to understand more about bacteria or “bugs” (otherwise known as our microbiome or microbiota that are living inside us), that inhabit our bodies and their tie in with the immune system, the brain, the gut, unexplained fevers in children, acne etc…medical science is making huge strides in utilizing these bacteria for medical treatments from human hosts.

For example, fecal transplant or fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), http://thefecaltransplantfoundation.org/what-is-fecal-transplant/, also known as “yellow soup” in traditional Chinese medicine is a procedure that has been in practice since the 4th century in China; and for the last few hundred years this same technique has been used in veterinary medicine. During this FMT process, stool is collected from a healthy host “donor” and transferred inside the colon of an unhealthy patient via a colonoscopy.

One purpose of transferring poop from a healthy person into a person who suffers from intestinal issues is to replace healthy bacteria that has been suppressed (typically due to overuse of antibiotics) causing colonization and overgrowth of “bad” bacteria.

Successful transplants have been experienced with those diagnosed with Clostridium difficile (otherwise known as C. diff. an intestinal pathogen normally found in the gut that causes diarrhea and life-threatening inflammation of the colon). “The annual burden of Clostridium difficile infections in the United States is 453,000 cases per year, with 29,300 associated deaths,” http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2015/02/cdc-puts-c-difficile-burden-453000-cases-29000-deaths.”

But because of its winning track record, uses for FMT has expanded and now used for those suffering from digestive or auto-immune diseases (Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, and Ulcerative Colitis) and more findings suggest links between other physical and mental disorders,  like metabolic diseases, neuropsychiatric disorders and autism via the gut brain axis, allergic disorders, and tumors, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4284325/.

Have not heard of  FMT? Let’s be honest not exactly a topic you might want to discuss at the dinner table. But, as disgusting as it sounds and despite the repulsive thoughts, IT WORKS!

Fecal transplants are safe. Since the 4th century, there have been no reports of any serious side effects and it has a 90% success rate, http://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/clinical-updates/digestive-diseases/fmt-demonstrates-consistently-high-success-rates-for-recurrent-cdi.

I’m not just talking sh*t, microbial transplants (MT) from various body regions, and not just the colon, are gaining in popularity. This discovery has expanded the breadth of people bacterial bug transplants are helping.

Next week you can read more about which specific body parts have been studied and learn how body bugs can influence health far beyond conditions related to the gut. In the meantime you may want to meander into some of these links:

 

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Whey-In

Image result for whey protein drink mix

On the heels of my last two blogs on supplements  https://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/supplement-safety-part-1-of-2/ and https://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2017/01/23/supplement-safety-part-2-of-2/, I thought it might be appropriate for this week’s banter to include a dose of whey.

The “whey-in”on whey as a protein supplement is that has proved itself to be safe and effective for enhancing muscle mass and strength. Whey has also been shown to  help slow gastric emptying, positively effect the hypothalmus via the gut-brain axis, reduce inflammation, lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, promote fat burning and weight loss, http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2006/3/report_whey/page-01.

Whey contains two amino acids that likely contribute to its well rounded health and weight loss portfolio: leucine, a growth promoting amino acid, and cysteine which helps boost the cellular antioxidant, glutathione.

Just think, whey as a dietary supplement may have benefits for all of us. It is important for athletes and those who are interested in fitness, the elderly and an aging population (we are all aging daily), those with gut issues (as it is easy to digest), heart disease, type 2 diabetes, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4620107/, and blood sugar control. There is also reason to believe that dieters can benefit too.

In a recently published study, “Whey protein consumption after resistance exercise reduces energy intake at a post-exercise meal” published in the European Journal of Nutrition (2016), pages 1-8, authored by Monteyne, A. et al., 15 volunteers participated  in resistance exercise and then drank either 25 g of whey protein or 25 g of dextrose/carbohydrate. They were then allowed to consume an ad libitum (eating without restriction) meal. Volunteers drinking the protein drink consumed an average
of 430 calories less on an diet.

This is a small study, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24724774, but a meta analysis was done comparing similar variables (protein, carbs and resistance training) in over 600 individuals and the results support the study results from Monteyne, A. et al. There were significant improvements in body composition when whey protein and resistance exercise were used together.

It may be worth a try, try resistance exercise and a post workout whey protein isolate drink and you might just eat less and cut calories without feeling deprived.

  • Whey protein isolate (>90% protein has less than 0.1 gram of lactose per tablespoon) is the best option over concentrate (70-80% protein and lactose) or hydrolysate, which can cause 30-40% greater insulin spikes for those who have concerns with insulin resistance.

How much whey should you take? Generally consuming between 25-50 grams. You can
use the information below to calculate a more accurate dose/bodyweight.

  • .68-1g/lb for athletes or highly active person attempting to lose body fat while preserving lean muscle mass.
  • .45-.68g/lb for athletes or highly active person who is not attempting to lose body fat or for anyone trying to lose body fat but wants to preserve lean muscle mass.
  • .4g/lb for those who are inactive.

Higher doses of whey can cause some side effects such as increased bowel movements, nausea, thirst, bloating, cramps, reduced appetite and tiredness. And if there are unlisted allergens like MSG there may be additional types of side effects like migraines or headaches.

Try this E-Z whey protein recipe:

1 cup unsweetened coconut or almond milk

1/2 avocado

1 scoop whey powder

* you can also add a scoop of high antioxidant greens, http://www.greensplus.com/advanced-multi-vanilla-chai/.

Whey is in! It is a healthy nutrition supplement that has many health applications and just as importantly helps promote weight loss and preserve muscle.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Supplement Safety (Part 2 of 2)

supplements

After reading supplement safety part 1, you may think twice before taking a supplement and you should.

Frivolously using pills, powders, elixirs or liquids do not guarantee any benefit. So it is a imperative you or your health practitioner understand the mechanisms of how  they can actually work in the body to improve health or athletic performance, the signs of aging,  or just maximize your quality of life.

Educate yourself, work with a trusted healthcare professional to understand your goals and which supplements are specifically going to help you. Everyone is different and supplementation is geared to specific individual needs.

Supplement safety (part1) https://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/supplement-safety-part-1-of-2/, describes the potential dangers and drawbacks to Omega-3 supplementation. A popular “mainstream” supplement most people think of as safe and effective.

In addition to the dangers, consumers have complained of unpleasant side effects like stomach upset including belching, indigestion, or diarrhea and more critically can increase bleeding especially for those who take certain medications such as anticoagulants (“blood thinners”) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or prepping for surgery, https://www.drugs.com/drug-interactions/omega-3-polyunsaturated-fatty-acids,fish-oil.html. This is an individual reaction possibly due to contaminants or your own gut health.

However scientific evidence shows a multitude of health benefits for those who use omega-3.

Omega-3 has shown to help improve diabetes, heart disease, ADHD, fertility issues, skin/hair, anxiety, the immune system, inflammation and much more. Potential concerns for contaminants, tolerability and rancidity (oxidation) can be minimized, http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2015/10/advances-in-fish-oil-purity-and-potency/page-01.

Keep in mind all supplements have unique positive characteristics and concerns that should be considered.

EDUCATED CONSUMERS KNOW THIS:

If you have gut issues effecting digestion and absorption, there may be no supplement that will work. However you can try using enzymes or liquid supplements. They are more easily digested it just may take more to reach therapeutic levels.

Check the expiration date. Although the FDA does not require expiration dates to be listed on supplement labels, most reputable companies use an expiration date to target the last date of the supplement’s highest level of potency if properly stored. Exposure to heat, light, and air can cause vitamins to degrade faster. Store the vitamins in their original containers in a cool, dry place.

After that date, the supplement will become less potent. So, if fish oil has a 2 year expiration date  it is not rancid on the date stamped on the bottle but you do not want to hold on to it for another year because as it turns rancid the health benefits become less and the risk is greater.

Buy brand specific pharmaceutical grade supplements or companies that follow USP or GMP standards. These brands ensure continuity between what is stated on the label and what is contained within the supplement. This is like buying health insurance, it adds value and peace of mind to your supplement regimen.  Here is a short list of reputable supplement companies but there are plenty others:

  1. Biotics Research, http://www.bioticsresearch.com/
  2. Bulletproof, http://www.bulletproof.com/
  3. Carlson Laboratories, http://www.carlsonlabs.com/
  4. Douglas Laboratories, http://www.douglaslabs.com/
  5. Dr. Venessa’s Formulas, www.drvenessa.com/
  6. Garden of Life, www.gardenoflife.com/
  7. Herb Pharm http://www.herb-pharm.com/
  8. Klaire, http://www.klaire.com/
  9. Nordic Naturals, https://www.nordicnaturals.com/
  10. Purity Products, https://www.purityproducts.com/
  11. American Biotech labs, www.ablsilver.com
  12. Standard Process, https://www.standardprocess.com/
  13. The Gut Institute, https://thegutinstitute.com/
  14. Thorne, https://www.thorne.com/
  15. Xymogen, https://www.xymogen.com/

Don’t fall prey to a booming supplement industry. Be an educated consumer,  work with an expert who understands the intricacies of how supplements work. Buy reputable supplement brands to get the best return on your supplement investment. Use supplements wisely to help boost your mind, health, athletic performance, weight,  or any personal goal.

 

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2017 in Supplements, Uncategorized

 

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Slavery: We Have a Choice, They Don’t

Valerie's Voice: For the Health of It

Human Trafficking (TV miniseries) Human Trafficking (TV miniseries) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week I started Part 1 of a two part blog on supplement safety. Part 2 will post next Monday. Today, as we observe Martin Luther King Day, I wanted to post on an important topic that should never go under the radar.

My blog is one that is dedicated to health. Although much of what I write about is related to lifestyle and choice. The issue of human trafficking is about health, the physical and mental health of victims whose right to make choices have been stolen and lack of care results in anything but good health for the victims, the community and the world.

This blog is dedicated to the victims of human trafficking and slavery. Abraham Lincoln fought to abolish slavery and Martin Luther King, Jr. (the youngest man to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his peaceful leadership for…

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Posted by on January 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Supplement Safety (Part 1 of 2)

Image result for image fish oil

While there may always be a debate on the “best” diet, there is no question that no matter what diet you eat you are likely supplementing it with some sort of dietary aide. There are 170 million supplement users in this country. According to a 2016 survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, http://www.crnusa.org/newsroom/supplement-use-among-younger-adult-generations-contributes-boost-overall-usage-2016-more.

  • 40-70% of athletes use supplements.
  • 49% of adults used a supplement within the last month: 54% of women, 43% of men.
  • Age influences supplement use: 34% aged 20-39, 50% age 40-59, and 67% over age 60.
  • Health insurance coverage influences supplement use: 53% of those with health insurance  purchased supplements compared with 31% without insurance.
  • Health status can influence supplement use: “excellent” or “very good” health (55%) versus “good” (47%) or fair/poor (44%)
  • Physical activity level parallels supplement use: “low” (43%); “moderate” (54%) ; “high” (56%).

So you see across the board there are a variety of groups of people who take supplements and each group has unique reasons as to why they feel they need to use supplements, https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/who-takes-dietary-supplements-and-why/.

In general, aging, fitness and self care seem to top the list that has created a 37 billion dollar supplement market, http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Markets/NBJ-The-US-supplement-industry-is-37-billion-not-12-billion.

37 billion dollars is not small potatoes. Why has the supplement industry grown to this size? Because those who use supplements believe it benefits them. Otherwise why would they spend the money? In fact, surveys suggest that 78% of Americans are confident in the safety, quality, and effectiveness of the products they use, http://www.crnusa.org/CRNconsumersurvey/2015/.

Yes 78% of Americans are confident in the safety, quality, and effectiveness of the supplements they use.  A very large percent considering supplement manufacturers themselves are responsible for ensuring that a product is safe and effective and that the supplement facts label and ingredient lists are accurate before it is marketed.

Relying on the FDA or supplement manufacturers may not be a good idea. The FDA manufacturing standards allow additives, fillers etc… (such as  FD&C dyes, sodium benzoate, dextrose, ethycellulose, and propylene glycol) in supplements that can be hazardous to your health over the long term.

Take fish oil for example, According to Dr. Mercola, 25-50% of fish oil supplements sold may not be safe or effective for a few reasons.

For one, “The quality of fish supplements can be affected by contaminants (such as mercury, PCBs (Polychlorinated biphenyls ), dioxin, cadmium, lead, chromium and arsenic Radioactive substances like strontium, PDEs (Phosphodiesterases) and PCP’s (pentachlorophenol)”.

Two, Preston Mason, MBA, PhD, Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, at the Harvard Medical School explains “fish are crushed and the oil is exposed to air, it oxidizes which can trigger changes inside human cells that lead to health problems like cardiovascular disease”.  Oxidation (oil reacts with oxygen and initiates an undesirable series of chemical reactions that eventually produces rancidity in oil) during processing may prove to cause more harm than good.

Three, studies have found discrepancies with supplement labeling and actual content; “over 60% of the store brand supplements tested had incorrect labeling, and more than 50% of those tested didn’t contain the advertised ingredient”, this is a very telling image from, https://www.organicnewsroom.com/pharmaceutical-grade-supplements/.

pharmaceutical-grade-supplements-thorne-v-other-guys

So does this mean avoid Omega-3, or any, supplement?

NO! It means Americans purchasing supplements have a NEED and responsibility to themselves to be educated customers.

There is an abundance of scientific evidence supporting the role of supplements and its relationship to a multitude of health benefits especially when guided by a knowledgeable healthcare professional and when used appropriately.

Keep in mind all supplements have unique positive characteristics or conflicting concerns that should be considered.

Always speak with your doctor about using supplements.

How do you know which supplements are better than others? What are the benefits of omega-3 supplements? Next week I continue the supplement talk to give you the answers you want to know.

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2017 in Supplements, Uncategorized

 

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