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Christian Natural Health

Christian Natural Health is the podcast that teaches you about natural health from a biblical perspective. I'm Dr. Lauren Deville, a practicing naturopathic physician in Tucson, AZ. In this podcast, my guests and I will cover topics ranging from nutrition, sleep, hormone balancing and exercise, to specific health concerns like hair loss, anxiety, and hypothyroidism. Once a week, I'll include a bonus episode, meditating on a Bible verse or passage. I'll also interweave biblical principles as they apply throughout the podcast--because true health is body, mind, and spirit. Learn more about me at http://www.drlaurendeville.com/
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Now displaying: June, 2018
Jun 22, 2018

Today's meditation comes from Proverbs 4:20-23. 

Background music courtesy of Ben Sound at www.bensound.com

Jun 15, 2018

Dr. Joseph E. Pizzorno is the President of Salugenecists, Inc. and Chief Medical Director for Village Green Apothecary. Dr. Pizzorno is one of the world's leading authorities on science-based natural medicine, a term he coined in 1978 when founding Bastyr University. He led Bastyr to became the first fully accredited, multidisciplinary university of natural medicine and the first school of its kind to receive research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has been on the Advisory Panel on the Safety and Efficacy of Dietary Supplements for the U.S. Congress in 1993, an ad hoc advisory committee member for the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements in 1996, the first naturopathic doctor to receive an appointment to the Seattle/King County Board of Health from 1996-2002, on the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy (appointed by President Bill Clinton in 2000-2002), and on the Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee (appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 2003-2005). He is also the author of numerous publications, most recently of The Toxin Solution.

  1. How many years have you been in practice now? About half a century.
    1. Over that period of time, around when do you think, roughly, you started to see more cases due to toxicity than before? When he was first in practice, in the 1970s, chronic illness occurred as a result of the choices patients were making: smoking, lack of exercise, excess sugar, etc. But about 20 yrs ago, maybe further back, the passive determinants of health—things that happen independent of one’s decisions—are having a stronger effect. These include contaminated water, food, personal care products, etc. We’ve put a huge amount of chemicals and metals into the air, food, and water. The primary drivers of disease are now toxins.
    2. At this point, what percentage of chronic illness do you believe can trace their roots to toxic exposures? The research is evolving, but regarding Type 2 Diabetes especially: when he was in med school in the early 70s, this made up less than 1% of the population. The lifetime risk is now 39%, and 15% of the population already has it. Genetics didn’t change. It turns out sugar consumption hasn’t changed over the last 50 yrs either (sugar consumption peaked about 70 yrs ago). There’s a small correlation between diabetes and sugar, but it’s not very big. Obesity isn’t a cause; it’s the toxins.
  2. You’ve stated in The Toxin Solution that those in the top 10% of toxic body burden have a 12-fold increase in the risk of diabetes. What are some of the biggest toxic offenders that contribute to this risk? Organic pesticides are a big factor, and they’re in 25% of our food supply. Phthalates are also a big factor: these are used to solubilize and stabilize beauty aids. Phthalates bind to insulin receptor sites, leading to insulin resistance. If you look at people with highest levels of phthalates compared to those with the lowest, diabetes risk increases by a factor of 2. But people have so many phthalates: these account for about 1/4 of diabetes cases. Arsenic: 10% of the water supplies in the US have arsenic levels known to induce disease in humans. This poisons the pancreas, such that it cannot produce insulin. BPA also doubles the risk of diabetes, but everybody has these. In addition to cans and plastics, BPAs can also be found on receipt paper.
  3. You’ve pioneered a mountain of research into the effects of toxins on chronic disease. Can you explain what the data gathering process looked like, so we have some context? He’s looked at this data for almost 10 yrs, but he started to get really serious about it 3 yrs ago bc he was working his way through the research on diabetes and toxins first. Then he started putting together the research in PubMed. He found enough to get an advance for a book, and with the advance money, he hired two graduate students to mine through the data and help him answer this question: what percentage of chronic disease is associated with toxins?
  4. You describe how toxins oxidize LDL, damaging the endothelial lining and contributing to 24 percent of heart attacks. Which toxins specifically are associated with this? The PCBs are one of the worst by far. PCBs were banned in the US 40 yrs ago, but they are persistent organic pollutants. They’re very hard to get rid of, and persist in our bodies. The half life can be as little as 3 yrs, or as long as 25 yrs. The difference depends on how much halogenation they have (addition of chemical halogens: Chlorine, Fluorine, or Bromine). Our bodies aren’t good at de-halogenating compounds.
  5. Our non-organic soil is low in micronutrients—you discuss how this leads to increased absorption of heavy metals like cadmium. So this means not only are we getting fewer minerals, but in their absence, we’re getting toxins instead? I assume this is a great argument for why we should be eating organic? How much does that help? He can’t overstate the importance of eating organic. Our bodies are enzyme machines. Enzymes are composed of proteins that are made by our DNA, but the protein is inert until it has a cofactor: these are vitamins and minerals, and particularly the trace minerals. The problem is, in the last 50 yrs, the trace mineral content in our soil has decreased 50-75%. There aren’t enough of them to go around. Not only do we not have enough minerals to make our enzymes work properly, but now, the toxic replacements are so prevalent that they’re displacing the nutrients from enzymes and they don’t work anymore. Unforunately, the “powers that be” put a lot of loopholes into what can be called organic. So if at all possible, get organic from a local farm, so that you can see what they’re actually doing to grow the food. Or grow your own food.
  6. You also include endotoxins among the total body burden associated with diabetes, heart disease, mitochondrial damage, etc. Can you explain what endotoxins are and how we end up with them? Endotoxins (or LPS) come from bacteria in our gut. Some of them come from even our normal bacteria, and when gut permeability is in proper control, we’re fine. But if we have leaky gut, even the LPS from healthy bacteria will leak out into the bloodstream and add tot he body burden. Another even bigger problem are the toxic bacteria that are producing LPS.
  7. HDL is traditionally called ‘good’ cholesterol, because it shuttles fat back to the liver to get broken down as fuel. But you bring up the point that HDL has another job involving toxic elimination, too—can you expound on this a bit? Most detoxification is in the liver, so you have to get the toxins there. HDL is very good at this. HDL is associated with lower heart disease. We’d been thinking that was because it was harder to oxidize than LDL. But now we have another mechanism: the HDL cholesterol takes toxins back to the liver for elimination, which means fewer toxins available to trigger heart disease.
  8. You said you use the indican urine test to measure toxins from the gut. Where do you order this from, and what red flags signal to you that a patient needs this test? Do you just run this on everyone you suspect to be toxic? He used this a lot when seeing patients: indican tests measure indoles and skatoles, primarily from clostridia bacteria. These break down tryptophan and eat serotonin for their own purpose, and produce toxic chemicals. Indoles and skatoles are also called putrecin and cadavarine. Anytime a patient has any indication of a toxic gut, he’ll run this test. In the past, he used to run this test himself. You can also order it online, and monitor people over time to see if they’re detoxifying. A person with low levels of toxicity will get a clear solution. When there’s more toxicity, it turns more and more blue. As you treat, you can track improvement.
  9. Can you explain the connection between alcohol and leaky gut syndrome? The cells that line our guts play an important part in liver detoxification. The problem is, when they do the liver detoxification, they deplete glutathione in the cells. When this happens, they can’t protect themselves from all those toxic chemicals in the gut. Essentially glutathione depletion from excess alcohol consumption leads to leaky gut.
  10. You mention that fiber specifically absorbs toxin-saturated bile. Does this mean it’s as good as colonics for eliminating toxic bile, or is it just something you do in addition to, rather than instead of? Colonics have been an age-old naturopathic therapy. If a person has a toxic gut, this can help as long as you put good healthy bacteria back in. That’s theoretical, though — there aren’t any studies to back it, whereas there are for using fiber.
  11. You mention that people can go to thetoxinsolution.com for daily nutritional recommendations based on their genetics. So they upload their 23 & Me txt file there and just give their email address, or how does that work? They’re developing tools people can license that will allow them to download it. It’s not quite ready yet though.
  12. Is there anything I have not asked you that you want to make sure you communicate to our audience? We have a huge problem with toxins. That was so clear when trying to determine the extent to which toxins were the cause of disease: they couldn’t even find a control group! Instead, they just compared those in the top 10% to the bottom 10%. The first recommendation is avoidance: don’t let toxins into your body in the first place, bc they’re coming from everywhere and they’re extremely persistent.
Jun 8, 2018

Dr Lynch received his Cell and Molecular Biology, BS from the University of Washington and his doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine (ND) from Bastyr University. His passion for identifying the cause of disease directed him towards nutrigenomics and methylation dysfunction. Currently, he researches, writes and presents worldwide on the topic of MTHFR, methylation defects and genetic control. You may learn more about Dr Lynch and his work at www.drbenlynch.com. Dr Lynch is the President of www.SeekingHealth.com, a supplement company oriented towards disease prevention and health promotion. He lives in Seattle, WA with his wife, Nadia, and three boys, Tasman, Mathew and Theodor.

  1. Your book, “Dirty Genes” strongly emphasizes the importance of lifestyle modification before beginning to add supplements. Can you expound a little on why this is so important?  Lots of experience prove this to be the case. He wanted people to be able to swallow a pill and get better, but usually that isn’t the case. The word supplement means to add to, or enhance. So if you’re living a lifestyle that’s go-go-go, not getting sleep, eating fast food on the run, swallowing food like a snake bc you’re trying to get to your next meeting, it’s detrimental to your health.
  2. The MTHFR gene was your “gateway” of sorts into the world of genetics, and while you spotlight several main genes in your book, this one seems to be the kingpin, affecting all the others. Can you just briefly give an overview on why it is so important? It was the first gene he read about, ironically— but it’s also the first domino. Its role is simple: it’s to make one type of folate which enables other genes to work. If it’s not working, these other 200 genes can stay asleep. You have 200 other genes waiting for MTHFR to give them what they need.
  3. Why is it that a dirty MTHFR can present with depression on some days, and anxiety or irritability on others? What’s going on with the neurotransmitters? If MTHFR is “dirty,” not functioning at its best, homocysteine levels increase. Homocysteine is a valuable component in the body that does certain things, but if it’s too high, it causes genes to turn off or cause inflammation and destruction to other parts of the body. This can directly affect a gene whose job it is to support a compound to help make your neurotransmitters. This gene is NOS3. If you have a dirty MTHFR, NOS3 is also dirty, and if that’s dirty, the neurotransmission and cardiovascular system is also dirty. It can affect all your neurotransmitters. That’s why there’s such a huge range in the moods you can experience, and why there’s no set disease or set mood disorder. It can fluctuate.
  4. You point out how important it is to not take any supplements containing folic acid, though folate is ok (and methylfolate is even better). Can you explain why this distinction matters? The body doesn’t inherently do anything with folic acid. Nothing. The body has to open it, and unpack it and then it can start using it. You have to have readily available nutrients so you can move forward. The body wants active types of folate. (Folate also comes from the word foliage — leafy greens! So that’s a great place to get it from.)
  5. Can you explain what people typically describe when they “over-methylate”, or take too many methylation supplements? What does this usually look like clinically? The term ‘over-methylation’ is like fingernails on a chalkboard. These are terms used bc they give us a quick understanding of what might be going on, but it’s a gross oversimplification. When someone takes too much of a methyl donor: you can get anxiety, irritability, depression, insomnia, etc. There are no set symptoms. What happens: methylation is the action of taking a methyl group and moving it from one place to another. You’re just taking one thing and attaching it to something else and by doing so, you change its function. You can’t really predict what your body will do with the extra compound that is created.
  6. Your Pulse Method of dosing supplements is very unique, to make sure each person is taking exactly what he or she needs and no more. Can you explain it briefly? The bell shaped curve: the top of the mountain is the middle and the bottom is on L and R. You can have an extreme situation, current symptoms on the lower L which is deficiency. Over a period of time you keep taking the folate and you feel fantastic. Then you keep taking it and slide down the other side, bc you have an excess of that nutrient. Now the symptoms are changing. You have to tune in to your body and see how you feel right then and determine if you need to continue the supplement or not. Remember that a supplement is just something to add to or enhance.
  7. You talk a lot about how “dirty” genes can act clean with a clean lifestyle, and vice versa. Is this true primarily for people with a heterozygous version of a gene, or is it equally true for people who have two good copies as well? Maybe they’re not necessarily “bad” - maybe they’re just different. Having an MTHFR that is working more slowly might have been advantageous for ancestors where they were actually living. Maybe a slower COMT is not bad, it’s actually good—and maybe a faster COMT is actually good in some ways. That said, if someone is born with a slower MTHFR, it’s going to be reduced in function. If you don’t have the cleanest lifestyle and don’t support it, that by itself may be enough to dirty the MTHFR. If someone was born with a faster MTHFR, meaning they were not homozygous of a variant, they also live the same lifestyle and may be able to get away with more bad habits. Look at it as a measure of resiliency.
  8. When you see that there are mutations—let’s say COMT or MAO—how can you tell if they’re a “speed up” or a “slow down” mutation? Is this just clinical, or are there specific mutations that are always one or the other? It depends on the report. Reports should tell you if it’s slower or faster. StrateGene is their genetic report. It tells you the degree to which the gene is slower or faster, according to published papers. They’re also working on their own genetic chip as we speak — they’ve found more clinical and lifestyle relevant genetic mutations that they’re excited to provide. It should be the end of 2018 when their own test comes out. 23 & Me is very accurate; they’re running a good clean show with their chip. There are a lot of Mom and Pop companies popping out where testing is very inaccurate, though.
  9. An article just came out in Nature, suggesting that 40% of variants in a variety of genes reported in direct-to-consumer raw data were false positives. Do you have any comments to shed some light on this? This is not 23 & Me, it’s the Mom and Pop groups mentioned above. For their chip, they’re looking at having a university process their samples. He tours their facilities and it’s spot on. Talked to them about that article: they run controls with every single sample that comes through. They don’t just process the sample; they do a control at the same time, too.
  10. Are the people with DAO mutations typically the ones who end up with elevated whole blood histamine when their guts get inflamed? (I’ve definitely noticed that only some people with gut inflammation end up with histamine intolerance, but not everybody.)  The half life of whole blood histamine a minute. Urinary histamine typically comes from the stomach. Acid reflux is high histamine, as histamine stimulates acid release (which is why there’s no DAO in the stomach). Having a DAO ++ does make you more susceptible to having high histamine, though. If the DAO enzyme gets burdened, you absorb the histamine into the blood stream. Then methylation has to deal with it. But bacteria also produce histamine themselves, and the immune system response utilizes histamine as well. Histamine will stimulate immune cells to take action. So there’s a lot going on — not just the food and drink, and also probiotics. Certain strains will increase histamine. Probiotics that are good for high histamine levels: the entire bifidobacter genus is very effective for modulating histamine. But there are certain strains of lactobacillus that are outstanding at this too. Seeking Health does produce HistaminX to support this.
  11. In the PEMT section, you mention how important it is for your liver to stop eating when you’re about 80% full. Can you explain why this helps the liver specifically? The liver has to process a lot of things. When you overeat, it depends on what you’re overeating. If you’re overeating carbs, you’re creating a ton of inflammation — which is why diabetics have a hard time with eyesight and etc. If it’s fats, the liver has to deal with bile production. If cholesterol ratio is higher than phosphatidylcholine, then bile doesn’t come out very well. You need 10 parts phosphatidylcholine to 1 part cholesterol: and methylation produces this. About 70-80% of your body’s methylation goes toward making phosphatidylcholine. If someone has high homocysteine and they’re pregnant, then we know immediately that their methylation cycle isn’t working very well. Pregnancy is a high methylation time, and women get gallstones, R sided pain, or R shoulder pain. Overeating fat can contribute to this, which can lead to fatty liver, SIBO, fat nutrient malabsorption, etc. Then if you overeat protein, your kidneys and your mitochondria everywhere, including your liver, get overworked bc it’s your mitochondria which get rid of ammonia. We need protein to help us repair our cells—but if you overeat, you have too much ammonia. That is toxic to your brain and cells.
  12. Is there anything I haven’t asked you that you want to make sure you communicate to our audience? No matter where you are, if you’re bedridden and can’t move, or you’re an athlete and high level, finding one simple thing that you can change can make a big impact. If you’re a sprinter, by changing how you breathe while your sprinting, that can make a huge impact. If you’re bedridden and change your breathing, that too can make a huge impact. It’s the basics that keep us going, but they’re easy to forget that. Start with one change. Don’t read Dirty Genes and think you’re going to change everything all at once. Read through it once, and then when you hear something the second time around, stop and put the book down and start working on it. It’s not a book you read once and absorb.
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