Methylation and what it means to you

For those interested in the way things work!
A couple of weekends ago I was reminded that I really wanted to look at the Methylation Cycle in its relation to chronic health conditions like auto-immunity, thyroid issues, mental health issues, cancer and the list goes on. It is where toxins, infections (bacterial, viral and fungal), heavy metal toxicity etc fits in with health outcomes.
I’d been taught aspects of the cycle particularly in my kinesiology studies courtesy of Dr Igor Tabrizian’s “Visual Textbook of Nutritional Medicine” but hadn’t got to the point of joining the dots until now.  I don’t remember being taught much more than the Kreb’s Cycle in nursing but then maybe they didn’t know the extent of it back in the 80s or maybe I blocked it all back then!


If you’re interested in biochemistry there are some fabulous lectures available on YouTube (I started with the 4 part series called “Methylation Made Easy” and progressed from there!) and some great images of the Methylation Cycle map in Google images to help complete your understanding.


The main point is – stomach acid must be at pH 2-3 (Guyton) and from then on the right balance of proteins, vitamins and minerals in the diet and presence of necessary enzymes needed to cause the chain reactions required for good health.


So when you are told that it doesn’t matter what you eat – the Methylation Cycle tells differently!

Things that can alter your stomach acid pH outside the pH 2 – 3 range:

  • poor dietary choices
    • (high starch carbs like wheat based foods, excess potatoes, rice etc)
    • carbonated drinks – particularly those high in sugar (watch “That Sugar Movie” to see just how much sugar is in some drinks that you may not be aware of)
  • stress
  • medications – particularly those that are designed to bring comfort from reflux and heart burn.

When you are told that supplements “… make expensive wee”.  It is really very important to make sure you are only supplementing under the advice of a qualified practitioner and that you are not buying substandard supplements that can actually cause more harm than good.  An example of this is our milk (dairy and alternative versions) are supplemented with calcium – but not a calcium that is easily absorbed into our body system.  One of the reasons I make my own almond milk if I can’t get the organic version that is not “value”-added.

 

Annual Leave!

Hey!

Just letting everyone know that I will be away from 19 January, 2017 until the 20th February, 2017.

My big adventure this year is travelling via Argentina to Antarctica and it is interesting the process I have been on as a mix of excitement and anxiety!  The excitement is obvious – going overseas, seeing new places and experiencing new things but the anxiety is a different matter!

Back in 1979, I was lucky enough to have spent almost the entire year on the ocean – sailing from Yanchep, Western Australia (a little bit north of Fremantle) in December 1978 to England via the Suez Canal and then home again via Cape Town.

I was on the 12m yacht “Leschenault” that was owned and skippered by my father, Bill Wales.  We, my mum (Gwenda), Dad, and 2 older sisters (Wendy and Sandy) participated in the Parmelia Race which was retracing the route that British settlers used to establish Western Australia as a British colony.

There are many stories that arise from this fabulous adventure but one area that does come attached to some fear is the part of the trip between South Africa and Australia that caused us to sail in the Southern Ocean.  And now I’m going back into that body of water although this time between South America and Antarctica.

So several kinesiology sessions later on the whole idea of going into an area that I remember being enormous seas with the risk of surfing down into a whale – thankfully we were too far north to worry about icebergs – and then swap this for anticipation of being on a much larger vessel, built for the climate, warm dry cabin and crew with a sound knowledge of the region.  Very excited now!

 

Cholesterol – is it the baddy we’ve been taught to believe?

Cholesterol is needed by EVERY cell in your body.  The body wouldn’t be able to make cholesterol if it wasn’t necessary in the scheme of things!  It is necessary for hormone and isoprenoid production and these are vital for life!

Statins (cholesterol medication) action is to block the process of cholesterol and isoprenoid production via the mevalonate pathway.  This pathway enables cell growth and the replication of DNA.  The replication of DNA is what needs to happen for cell division and cell division is necessary for life.

This very abbreviated explanation comes from a summary of a book “How statin drugs really lower cholesterol: and kill you one cell at a time” by James and Hannah Yoseph.  The lit review of the book is by Zoe Harcombe.  See the link below.

http://www.zoeharcombe.com/2013/10/how-statin-drugs-really-lower-cholesterol-and-kill-you-one-cell-at-a-time/

More information about keeping you informed.

How to read your cholesterol blood results.

On the report there should be a breakdown of different results.  These are:

  1. Total cholesterol – as it states.  This number on its own means very little without the breakdown of the total and sometimes this can be the only result the lab sends back to the GP.
  2. LDL – this stands for low density lipoprotein – this is made in the liver and is produced when the body is stressed.  If it is deemed this level is too high, this can be improved by improving your diet to whole foods, and making changes to bring in more calm and relaxation into your life.  It is seen as “bad cholesterol” in mainstream – but it has a very real function in the body and it is just as harmful for the level to be too low.
  3. HDL – this stands for high density lipoprotein – if this is too low then the best food source are the good oils eg. olive oil, avocado etc – the essential fatty acids.  Unfortunately for some, if they have had their gall bladder removed any oil intake can be difficult/painful.  Also, some doctors will tell their patients to stop taking fish oils as it can have consequences with some blood thinners.  It is the blood thinners that should have to work in with the fish oils – not the other way around!  I did actually meet a patient who had that attitude and a balance was reached.
  4. Triglycerides – this is all about what you eat.  If this is raised, then it is up to you what changes you make but you do have changes to make if you want to choose good health.
  5. Cardiac Risk Ratio – based on the ratio of the above results gives an indicator of your heart health.

At the end of the day, what is really important is that we learn to manage the stresses in our lives.  The word ‘stress‘ in this context is anything that upsets our body from operating at it’s best.

Therefore, if your diet could be adjusted to low sugar and starch carbohydrate intake (think ketogenic diet) one slice of bread has equal effect on the body as 6 tsp of sugar (http://www.wheatbelly.com).  Judge your food by how much human intervention was required before you eat it (excluding the farmer – although consider what chemicals he/she may have used!).

Be aware that any carbonated drinks – from soda water to champagne and all those sugary/diet soda drinks in between – will have a negative effect on how your stomach can perform in breaking down food.  The bubbles immediately raise the pH in your stomach.  We need the pH to be low enough (very acidic) to start the breakdown of proteins.  Without the adequate breakdown of proteins your body has difficulty making hormones and neurotransmitters.  If you suffer reflux/heartburn it is more likely that your stomach isn’t acid enough rather than too acidic. There’s a whole other story to write about Proton Pump Inhibitor medications and how they contribute to the down hill slide of our health.  They also raise the pH to minimise symptoms but do nothing for the cause and have their own host of side effects.

Look at the side effects of the medications you are taking.  See the Better Health Channel link further down to assist that search.  When you develop a new symptom that can be immediate or take a couple of weeks for the impact to develop think back to the possibility of it being a side effect.

A GP told me several years ago, there is a professional expectation placed on them that if an individual is diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, then within 12 months that individual could/should be on 5 different medications. Four medications for the side effects of one of the others!  I hope this isn’t the first time you have read this but Type 2 Diabetes is reversible by making lifestyle changes.  I have sat through Diabetic education delivered by Diabetes Educators who teach Practice Nurses and patients alike that their condition is now lifelong.  They are following the guidelines from Diabetes Australia and my research and experience has shown this “fact” not to be true.  Sure, if you go back to bad habits the symptoms will return but you can live without the symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes even if you once had it as a diagnosis.

 

There are some very good texts out there that will help anyone gain information on this type of medication and I encourage everyone to read up and understand what they are about.  Authors include Dr Sandra Cabot and Dr Peter Dingle to name a couple.  There are some great You Tube presentations by well qualified individuals.  Watch the sites that you go to to ensure the information is reliable.  A very helpful website to all things healthy but not necessarily aligned with the mainstream way of thinking is http://www.greenmedinfo.com/

If you want to check side effects to medication you may be taking, the site I use the most for my clients is www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au – put in the drug name and click on the PDF option.  Here you will get a patient-friendly extract from MIMS  (the guide the doctors use) although I suspect it doesn’t contain all the information your doctors have access to.

I smile when I see shared on Facebook the memes that say something like – “disregard my medical / nursing / whatever degree or so many years of study because you know more through Google”.  The thing is, if you have done your research – you can then formulate the questions you want answered.  I see this as taking responsibility – but also take responsibility for finding out from more than one credible source.  This is not easy, is very time consuming and at the end of the day can be confusing.

References:

Cabot, S. & Jasinska, M. (2011).  Cholesterol – the real truth.  Australia.

Davis, W. (2014).  Wheat Belly.  HarperCollins.

Harcombe, Z. (2016).  How statin drugs really lower cholesterol & kill you one cell at a time (Review).  www.zoeharcombe.com

Good websites:

www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au

www.drdingle.com

www.greenmedinfo.com

 

Brain Integration 2

In the middle of May 2015, I completed a week of Brain Integration 2 training.  This involved a very detailed “ins and outs” of the nerve pathways in the brain that may need some help “flowing”again.

In September I am planning to complete Brain Integration 3 and that will see me having gone through the full process of all the Brain Integration units once and Brain Integration 1 twice.

Brain Integration can be useful for anyone but is particularly the kinesiology of choice for learning difficulties and anything that comes under the auditory processing umbrella.

Through the use of formats using the meridian system from Eastern therapies, Dr Charles Krebs has put together a protocol to target neural pathways and get them flowing again. He explains it well in this You Tube presentation.

 

Vitamin D project – and the importance of supplementing your diet

Since the end of December 2014, I set myself a project of writing a journal article on the value of Vitamin D.  I knew it was important for many areas of health but I wanted to understand more of the “why” and decided I would write the article with a focus towards nursing education.  I graduated from my Bachelor of Science (Nursing) in 1988 and then Post Graduate Certificate in Preventive Medicine in 2007, and in neither of those courses do I remember receiving much focus on the biochemical importance of vitamins and minerals.  We studied biochemistry but not with an emphasis on deficiencies or excesses of vitamins and minerals.  So, I knew it was well past time that I did some research.  I thought the article may take about a month to complete and now it is mid March and although it is well on the way to completion – there is more to do to make it a readable and useful document.

Probably the biggest lesson I have learned to date through writing the article is how we have been taught a simplified way of thinking of our physical  health.  Even back in the mid to late 80’s we were being taught to practice holistic nursing – look at the patient as a whole – but this always seemed to me (back then) to be more about the patient’s relationships, environment and just a little bit about their diet.  Let me use Vitamin D as an example of how complex things can get!!

To make active vitamin D we must either have unprotected exposure to direct sunlight – optimally in the middle of the day – and/or ingest foods containing the inactive form [7-DHC].  This inactive form of vitamin D from sunlight and food is then transported to the liver for conversion to another inactive form [25(OH)D3] and then is transported to the kidneys for the final conversion to active Vitamin D [1,25(OH)2D3].  But here comes the if, buts and provisos!

If you have insufficient magnesium then each stage of the conversion process cannot occur (at the skin, liver and kidneys).

If you have insufficient zinc then the vitamin D receptors will not be able to carry the vitamin D through the conversion process and at the cellular level.

If you have insufficient vitamin K2 then your vitamin D cannot perform the function of calcium being transported to the target sites (eg bones).

If you have insufficient vitamin A then vitamin D cannot read the DNA code

And, if you have insufficient Boron then vitamin D cannot effectively play it’s role in mineral metabolism, hormone synthesis and brain function.

So yes, vitamin D is really important – but it just isn’t as simple as supplementing your diet with vitamin D because the other co-factors have to be in adequate supply for the whole process to work!  Not one is more important than the other.

So let us extend our minds to taking this one step further to add to the complexity!  Each of those co-factors also has a set of co-factors!!

If you look at zinc as an example, it can be blocked from absorption by copper, cadmium, mercury, aluminium and antimony.  If you don’t have adequate stomach acidity then you cannot absorb zinc and if you don’t absorb zinc then you can’t make stomach acid!  If your diet is high in sugars (including starch carbohydrates) or you are taking medication that raises your stomach acid pH (making your stomach less acidic) then you cannot make or absorb zinc and this means you cannot absorb vitamin D. (That’s just one nasty story about inadequate stomach acid and would equate to more than one article).

To be told you only have to eat a healthy diet is not helpful. You really need to know that you are eating what you need to be and that you are getting the nutrient value out of your meals.  Know that Western Australian soils are extremely depleted in necessary minerals for our health and so the only way to ensure you are ingesting what you need is through supplementing.  But as I have pointed out already – this is not as simple as taking a supplement but needs a well qualified naturopath/nutritionist that understands the biochemical implications of a vitamin and mineral excess or deficiency to guide you to avoid a biological problem in the form of disease.  Also – only use quality supplements.  Do not buy your supplements from the supermarket – supplements in some forms can actually be harmful and these are usually the cheaper brands. The best place to purchase supplements other than a naturopath/nutritionist is at a health food shop or a pharmacy that has a resident naturopath/nutritionist.  Not all supplements are created equal so get your advice from the professional that has actually studied or been taught the information you are needing.

The bibliography that follows is from my journal article.  I will post the article on this site once it is completed.

Bibliography

Australian Government. (2015). Ultraviolet (UV) Index Forecast. Retrieved from Bureau of Meteorology: www.bom.gov.au/wa/uv/index.shtml

Balch, P. (2010). Prescription for Nutritional Healing. New York: Penguin.

Binkley, N., Novotny, R., Krueger, D., Kawahara, T., Daida, Y., Lensmeyer, G., . . . Drezner, M. (2009). Low vitamin D status despite abundant sun exposure. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 92(6), 2130-2135.

Bowker, N. (2010). Understanding Vitamin D. Retrieved from You Tube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=onSPZ0aBUKM

Chen, T., Chimeh, F., Lu, Z., Mathieu, J., Person, K., Zhang, A., . . . Holick, M. (2006). Factors that influence the cutaneous synthesis and dietary sources of vitamin D. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Vol 460, Issue 2, , 213-217.

Epilepsy Action Australia. (2011, Jan). Seizure Smart. Retrieved from Epilepsy Action Australia: http://www.epilepsy.org.au

Grober, U., & Kisters, K. (2012, April/May/June). Influence of drugs on vitamin D and calcium metabolism. Retrieved from Dermato-Endocrinology Vol4 Issue 2: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3427195/pdf/de-4-158.pdf

Helmer AC, & Jensen, C. (1937). Vitamin D precursors removed from the skin by washing. Studies Inst Divi Thomae, 207-216.

Holick, M. (2004). Vitamin D: importance in the prevention of cancers. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, p362-371.

Holick, M., & Jenkins, M. (2003). The UV Advantage. New York: iBooks.

Johnson, J., Maher, J., DeMaria, E., Downs, R., Wolfe, L., & Kellum, J. (2006). The long-term effects of gastric bypass on Vitamin D metabolism. Retrieved from Annals of Surgery: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1570540/

Lucas, R., & Neale, R. (2014). What is the optimal level of vitamin D. Australian Family Physician Vol 43, No 3, 119-122.

Moorthy, D., Cappellano, K., & Rosenburg, I. (2008). Nutrition and Crohn’s disease: an update ofprint and Web-based guidance. Retrieved from Nutrition Reviews: www.nutritionreviews.oxfordjournals.org/content/66/7/387

National Institutes of Health. (2014). Vitamin D – Fact sheet for Health Professionals. Retrieved from US Department of Health & Human Services: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/

Nowson, C., McGrath, J., Ebeling, P., Halkerwal, A., Daly, R., Sanders, K., . . . Mason, R. (2012, June 18). Clinical Focus: Vitamin D and health in adults in Australia and New Zealand: a position statement. Retrieved from The Medical Journal of Australia 196 (11): https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2012/196/11/vitamin-d-and-health-adults-australia-and-new-zealand-position-statement

NPS Medicinewise. (2012). Retrieved from NPS Medicinewise: http://www.nps.org.au/

NPS Medicinewise. (2014, November). Vitamin D Tests Fact Sheet. Retrieved from NPS Medicinewise: www.nps.org.au

Oh, S. (2011, Sep). Proton pump inhibitors – Uncommon adverse effects. Retrieved from RACGP Reprinted from Australian Family Physician Vol 40, No 9: http://www.racgp.org.au/download/documents/AFP/2011/September/201109oh.pdf

Ontometrics. (no date). D minder. Retrieved from Ontometrics: www.dminder.ontometrics.com

Osiecki, H. (no date). The Nutrient Bible 8th Edition. Australia: AG Publishing.

Rheaume-Bleue, K. (2013). Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a little known vitamin could save your life. Ontario, Canada: John Wiley & Sons.

Tabrizian, I. (no date). Visual Textbook of Nutritional Medicine – First Edition. Australia: NRS Publication Education Series.

US National Library of Medicine, NIH. (2012, Oct 8). Stomach acid test. Retrieved from MedlinePlus: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003883.htm

Vitamin D Council. (no date). How do I get the Vitamin D my body needs? Retrieved from Vitamin D Council: www.vitamindcouncil.org

Wortsman, J., Matsuoka, L., Chen, T., Lu, Z., & Holick, M. (2000). Decreased bioavailability of Vitamin D in obesity. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 690-693.

Yeomans, N. (2000, March). Drugs that inhibit acid secretion. Retrieved from Australian Prescriber: http://www.australianprescriber.com/magazine/23/3/57/9

 

 

 

 

Welcome to my new website!

I am very excited to have taken this step and hope to add interesting bits and pieces over time. I am currently back at the O’Neill Kinesiology College finishing off the Advanced Diploma – hopefully by early 2015.

We are in the middle of a unit called Nutritional Kinesiology which looks at all the systems that are involved in getting the best out of the food we eat. We have covered the renal system – kidney and bladder.

It is amazing what our kidneys have to endure constantly and then all the muscle control required by the bladder some happening without our conscious control and some we may wish we had more conscious control over!

The last weekend looked at the gastrointestinal system – basically from the mouth and all the major organs our food gets processed by on its journey to sustaining us before the waste is eliminated.

We still have many balances to practice that are around how our body metabolises what we eat and drink – lots of work but very interesting.