July 2009 – To Your Health
Welcome to the July 2009 issue of To Your Health. As I look out my window at the explosion of flowers and vegetables from my gardens (it’s mid-June as I write), my appreciation for the beauty of spring and the promise of summer grows. More people I know are gardening, building greenhouses and chicken coops, catching rain water in cisterns, biking, carpooling and doing many other things to sustain their lives more locally. So, even in the midst of our economic woes and job losses, I can see the blessings of people working together as friends, in families and in neighborhoods to help each other and to become more self-sufficient. In this issue you will find out information on the toxicity of inorganic (synthetic iron) vs. food-form iron, nutritional support for people who have blood sugar problems (type 2 diabetes) plus the importance of Vitamin D3 during pregnancy.
To Your Health,
Dear Dr. Lee,
I had a consultation in October for ongoing hair-shedding/loss and have followed your program well. My hair loss has slowed down greatly, and I’ve had subtle changes in my health since starting your program. These include healthier skin, better digestion and no more aching gums (and I no longer need periodontal cleanings). My basal temp, resting pulse and blood pressure have all increased, and I feel like my adrenals and thyroid have improved greatly. My energy level is much better, and I no longer experience feelings of “panic.” I really think there are so many variables with regards to hair loss, and for me it was a red flag that my health was not in balance and my body was letting me know. I love the pro-thyroid diet and how good it makes me feel. I really admire your approach to health building — supporting the body naturally with good whole foods and products that support (not stimulate) the body’s own ability to regulate/balance/detox. I’ve learned so much from your writings, your books, your Web site and our conversations, and I share your information with others I work with as clients in my practice as a wellness consultant/coach.
I read your articles on ghostwriters and why Americans are gullible and found them very interesting. I have been to many people trying to feel better since I was about 18, and I’ve not found anyone as knowledgeable as you are. Thanks for being there for us and answering our questions.
I feel very good. I lost 14 kg with a diet (more eating right than diet, cutting out sugars and refined products and sticking to your guidelines for thyroid-friendly foods) while still having my coconut oil every day (2 tablespoons), and I have started using it on my skin recently. I am forever thankful that I read your book and could contact you! In fact I have written an article here in a South African newspaper on coconut oil quoting from “The Coconut Oil Miracle.” Unfortunately it is in Afrikaans, one of the languages here in South Africa, or I could have forwarded it to you. I mentioned you and your Web site in it as well. I heard from my sister-in-law in a small town that everybody was looking for coconut oil at their only health shop after the article appeared!
From Abraham: “Find thoughts that feel good, because it is inevitable that you are going to always be moving toward something. So why not be moving toward something that is pleasing? You can’t cease to vibrate, and Law of Attraction will not stop responding to the vibration that you are offering. So, expansion is inevitable. You provide it, whether you know you do, or not. The only question is, what is the standard of joy that you are demanding for yourself? From your Nonphysical perspective, it's a high, high standard.”
That’s Not My Job!
From the Ho’oponopono Seminar in Milpitas, California, May 23 & 24, 2009 presented by Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len.
This emphasizes being 100% responsible. If you take complete responsibility for your life, then everything you in any way experience is your responsibility because it is in your life. This means that anything or any person you experience and don’t like is up for you to heal. They don’t exist, in a manner of speaking, except as projections from inside you — your experience of them. The problem isn’t with them, it’s with you; and to change them, you have to change yourself, to heal yourself.
That’s Not My Job!
This is a story about four people named: Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.
Toxicity of Inorganic Iron
Iron (synthetic or not from whole foods), Ferrous Fumarate, Ferrous Succinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Hemocyte: Synthetic (inorganic or non-food form) iron is very toxic (ferrous fumarate, succinate, sulfate, etc.). Synthetic iron can have serious side effects. Here is a summary of the adverse health effects of too much iron: liver dysfunction (elevated liver enzymes); increased risk of colon, esophageal and bladder cancer; infections; diabetes and pancreatic disorders; Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and cystic fibrosis; and mental disorders (anxiety, panic attacks, some forms of dementia) often mistaken for mental illness and exacerbation of inflammatory disorders such as arthritis.
Other adverse effects: hypothyroidism and its chronic disabling fatigue; abdominal pain of undetermined origin; gastric problems such as ulcer, gastritis; bouts of diarrhea or constipation and/or nausea and vomiting not due to any known cause; black stool (from blood loss); hair loss, sometimes total head and body; skin may look gray white or slate gray or may turn a deep bronze hue and look like a suntan; headaches including migraines; progressive hearing loss; memory loss and confusion; inability to concentrate or to think clearly and difficulty making decisions; dizziness and loss of balance and coordination; weakness and shortness of breath upon exertion; edema (fluid retention); weight changes; visual disturbances such as blurred or failing vision, difficulty focusing and eye pain; heart disease; and increase in infections.
If you need iron, take an herbal or food form such as Thera-zyme Spl (contains herbal iron and enzymes) or eat raisins and other foods high in iron.
Blood Tests for Iron
There are four tests for iron. Serum iron is commonly measured and the ranges vary among labs but in general the range is 9-30 umol/L. This test measures only the amount of iron present in the bloodstream, but it reflects poorly on the amount of iron in storage, which can be measured with a serum ferritin test. The ferritin level reflects the iron status of an individual and generally is a fairly good measure of the amount of iron stored in the tissues and the organs.
The medical values for "iron overload" have been steadily coming down as medical research has discovered that the toxic levels for iron have been set too high, but not all labs have kept up with this research. Even though they have come a long way, most Canadian labs still consider anything above 200 ug/L as too high for women and over 300 ug/L as excessive for men. In the U.S. the toxic levels are set even lower in many states. For example, in New York State, the upper limits are 65 ug/L for women and 120 ug/L for men. Dr. Randall Lauffer, a Harvard Medical School researcher, suggests that there may be reason for concern even at levels above 40 ug/L for both men and women. Labs vary in their estimates of the lower limit and it varies from 10 to 15 ug/L. To get some idea of how much iron you have stored away, multiply your serum ferritin by ten. This tells you the approximate amount of storage iron in your body, in terms of milligrams (mg). For example, if your ferritin is 50 ug/L, you have about 500 mg or 1/2 gram (500 mg) of storage iron. This is in addition to the 3.5-4 grams or so contained in circulating hemoglobin, bone marrow, myoglobin, liver, spleen and iron containing enzymes.
To find out how much iron you are absorbing, you need the transferrin saturation blood test. Transferrin is a carrier protein in the blood that transports iron from one place to another. In the past, the upper limit of normal was believed to be around 55%. Recent research has shown that the risk of developing an iron related illness begins to increase when transferrin saturation rises above 30%. Values below 15% may be suggestive or iron deficiency but only when other tests are also indicative of low iron. For example, transferring saturation levels tend to decrease during infections, inflammations and other chronic illnesses even when there is no other evidence of iron deficiency anemia.
Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) gives us an estimate of the quantity of iron binding capacity of the blood protein, transferrin that has already been filled with iron. The percentage of transferrin saturation is determined by dividing the serum iron test by the TIBC and multiplying by 100. Unfortunately, neither serum ferritin, transferring saturation nor TIBC tests are routinely performed by most doctors, even when the patient has unmistakable symptoms of iron overload.
How to Get Rid of Iron Excess
The commonest method is phlebotomy (donating blood).
How to Prevent Iron Absorption
Coffee and baking soda will prevent most iron absorption, but using enough organic milk and cheese in the diet prevents the iron overload that can come from some other foods. (Dr. Ray Peat).
Avoid iron-containing substances such as Himalayan sea salt (which is pink or orange due to the iron) or any sea salt that is not white. I do not recommend synthetic vitamins and minerals and many of these contain inorganic iron and other toxins. Refined wheat products (cereals, breads, etc.) contain iron and all of the other nutrients have been removed.
References: Iron Overload Diseases Association, Inc. (IOD), 433 Westwind Drive, North Palm Beach FL 33408-5123561-840-8512 fax 561-842-9881. Practice Parameter for Hereditary Hemochromatosis, David L. Witte et al., in press, College of American Pathologists, Northfield, Illinois. The Iron Elephant: What You Should Know About the Dangers of Excess Body Iron, Roberta Crawford, Glyndon, Maryland: Vida Publishing, Inc. 1992.
Nutrition for Optimum Blood Sugar: The Enzyme and Hormonal Links to Diabetes II
The enzyme connection to diabetes is fat intolerance (poor fat digestion or lipase deficiency) not sugar intolerance. Fat intolerant people tend to eat lots of sugar because they can digest it so they eventually become both fat and sugar intolerant. Fat intolerance can also lead to gallbladder problems. Gallbladder stress can produce a sour taste, intolerance of fatty or spicy foods, nausea after high fat meals and pain or discomfort under the right rib case. Women have six times more gallbladder surgery than men because they are estrogen dominant when hypothyroid. Estrogen releases PUFA — unsaturated (omega-3 and -6) oils from the cells — and this can trigger gallbladder stress. Fat intolerance also can lead to gastric problems (ulcers, acid reflux, etc.). The best protection from PUFA is coconut oil (saturated fat). Animals fed coconut oil never developed diabetes.
The hormonal connection to diabetes is hypothyroidism rarely seen with standard blood thyroid panels as demonstrated by Broda Barnes, M.D., over 50 years ago.
Studies have found that increased levels of iron are linked to a greater risk for type 2 diabetes in healthy women — independent of common diabetes risk factors, such as obesity. For more information, go to http://mercola.com/2004/mar/10/iron_diabetes.htm
Eat only non-iodized white sea salt, not colored salts. The color is either dirt or a toxin. For example, pink, orange or red sea salt has toxic inorganic iron in it. Coffee, milk and cheese prevents the iron overload that can come from some foods. This is the best dietary way to lower iron absorption but if you have excessive amounts of iron, donating blood is an excellent way of reducing it.
Nutrition to Support Optimum Blood Sugar
- Thera-zyme VSCLR is the recommended multiple digestive enzyme for people with blood sugar problems. VSCLR is for nutritional support of normal function and structure in people who may have immune system problems, including viruses, blood pressure problems, difficulty losing weight, a tendency towards high blood sugar, glucosuria, headaches around the temples and dizziness worse upon movement. Usage: 2-4 caps per meal.
Turmeric is recommended for added nourishment of the immune system, gallbladder, liver, colon, eyes and skin. I recommend this for everyone but especially for people who may have gallbladder issues from fat intolerance. Turmeric is a mild curry spice used by millions of Asian people. It supports normal structure and function for healthy DNA, cardiovascular health and for people who may have skin problems, including psoriasis, gallbladder problems, and weak vision. It is a COX inhibitor (inhibits free radicals, like aspirin), and provides a gentle liver and colon detox. Dosage ranges from 1-2 caps per meal 3x/d.
(Gymnesyl) is an Ayurvedic herb used by many people with blood sugar problems.
is also used by many people with type 2 diabetes but is not recommended for a pregnant woman and in fact, one report stated that it is used to induce abortions.
Hormonal balancing with thyroid glandular, progesterone and pregnenolone will support normal blood sugar: Thyroid glandular nutrition: thyroid glandular converts LDL cholesterol into pregnenolone and progesterone. Hypothyroidism
Pregnenolone: opposes cortisol and it’s the cortisol dominance of hypothyroidism plus a high PUFA (omega-3 and -6 oil) diet that can trigger diabetes 2 from a nutritional point of view.Pregnenolone article
Progesterone (for women): Hypothyroid women make inadequate progesterone to prevent female problems including fertility and many others. Progesterone stimulates the release of the thyroid hormone from the thyroid gland. Progesterone article
Baby Bits: Vitamin D and Pregnancy
This Vitamin D Newsletter
(John Cannell, M.D.) article presents health problems that can arise from a maternal vitamin D deficiency. It contains many links to original research. It is reprinted with permission. For the full article, click here
. Possible health problems in vitamin C deficient women (in addition to other known causes, such as poor maternal nutrition and as medical intervention (See To Your Health, January 2009
• Increased C-section rate
• Gestational diabetes
• Bacterial vaginitis
• Preeclampsia Possible infant and child health problems in children born to vitamin D deficient mothers (in addition to other known causes, such as poor maternal nutrition, drugs, vaccinations. etc.):
• Mental health problems
• Mental retardation
• Infantile lower respiratory tract infections
• Lower birth weight
• Juvenile diabetes
• Seizures and epilepsy (related to calcium deficiency)
• Weak bones (related to calcium deficiency)
• Idiopathic infantile heart failure
• Brain tumors
• Craniotabes (softening of the skull bones)
• Early age cavities
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Not intended to diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human disease. The third party information referred to herein is neither adopted nor endorsed by this web site but is provided for general informational purposes. Any person suspecting arthritis should seek the advise of a licensed physician.
"Disclaimer: I am a chemist and an enzyme nutritionist, not a medical doctor. I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human diseases. I do not provide diagnosis, care, treatment or rehabilitation of individuals, nor apply medical, mental health or human development principles. I do not prescribe prescription drugs nor do I tell you to discontinue them. I provide enzymes and other dietary supplements to improve digestion and to nourish and support normal function and structure of the body. If you suspect any disease, please consult your physician."
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Lita Lee, Ph.D.