Self Care is the New Health Care

With rising cost of health care, and its ineffectiveness — we need to take responsibility for our own health. As We have learned more about the human body the last couple years, very important game-changing information … many doctors are slow to adopt it — for one reason or another.

While there has been some benefit from pharmaceutical pills, otherwise it would not have lasted over the past 100 years …. But that is all the older allopathic medicine is … about 100 years. Let’s not forget how our population has survived 1000s and 1000s of years without pharmaceuticals.

We have many old time medical systems; from Ayurveda in India, to TCM in China, to Amazonian medicine in South America, to folk medicine, home remedies, and Native American practices here in the Americas. These are very valid systems that we have used to survive and thrive for a millennia

We are in need of doctors that know all these systems and are able to use various modalities from all these systems to help a person heal — instead of trying to fix everyone with a pharmaceutical approach. Some ailments may respond well to pharmaceuticals — mostly acute or traumatic events. Many others are not responding pharmaceuticals, like chronic diseases. We need to pull on these ancient systems for more of their wisdom.

Doctor by the way does not mean healer! Doctor is a Latin word that means “to teach”. Doctors are meant to teach you how to be your own healer.
I am poised to teach you how to self care in a world where many doctors are not educated about the research over the last few years that are absolute game changers for preventing health and helping the body to heal after health disruptions.

One of the top areas where doctors and pharmacies are not paying attention is our microbiome. Many medications and products we use disrupt our microbiome. It is time to become aware the role good bacteria play in our body and stop decimating it. The microbiome is the good bacteria in our body and makes up 90% of who we are! We are only 10% human. These bacteria:

  • digest food for us and give us back the nutrients
  • keep us lean
  • kill viruses and pathogens — and cancers –and offer a lot of support to the immune system in general,
  • are directly linked to mood, anxiety, ADHD, many depressions are due to bacterial imbalances in the gut
  • bacterial balance is being credited to help prevent age related cognitive decline.
    • “With recent advances in the understanding of gut-brain interactions, there have also been reports suggesting the fermented food’s efficacy, particularly for cognitive function improvements. These results are strengthened by the proposed biological effects of fermented foods, including neuroprotection against neurotoxicity and reactive oxygen species.”
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5216880/

The Vagus nerve is our gut brain link. The vagus nerve goes from our brain, wanders around to most organs in our body and all our senses. With its connection to our senses the vagus nerve is always sensing what is in our outside world and adjusting our inside world accordingly. Keep this in mind as you are working with your health or thinking your body is randomly programmed for disease — it is not. It is responding to our environment.

Things to avoid that disrupt bacterial balance: Chlorinated water
Antibiotics
Antidepressants and many psychotic meds NSAIDS in the aspirin family
Roundup and other herbicides / insecticides
Birth control pills
Fluoride
High sugar diet (sugar feeds the bad bacteria making the bad bacteria increase) Artificial sugars
Corticosteroids
Distilled alcoholic beverages
Chemotherapy

What can we do? The answer is NOT to pop another pill in the from of probiotics (though there are times when this is helfpful). We do not know enough about these bacteria to supplement. Just like vitamins, bacteria play different roles in our body so we need a diversity in bacteria. Most supplements are one type of bacteria, they can get too many of one type of bacteria and still leave an imbalance. Foods supply the bacteria in the right balance.

How do we get this diversity? By eating a variety of fermented foods with each meal.

Foods that increase our good bacteria:

In the dairy family (milk NOT so good for you, fermented milk = good for you:)

  • Plain yogurt, Cottage cheese, sour cream, kefir, raw cheese, buttermilk, creme fraiche, lassi, arayan (pronounced iron)

Other drinkable probiotic beverages

  • Kombucha, beet kvass, wine and beer if no added sulfites or other anti bacterial agents.

Condiments! Are meant to be probiotic — but most store bought condiments are not probiotic due to our over processing of foods and killing all bacteria — the good and the bad.
Fortunately, it is easy to make some condiments yourself; like mustard, mayonnaise, sour cream, etc.
Condiments were meant to be probiotic to help us digest our foods. Once the probiotic element is removed, condiments are not that beneficial … store bought mayonnaise for example is inflammatory with no nutritional benefit whereas homemade mayonnaise is probiotic and nutrient dense.

Condiments that are fermented include:

  • Olives from an olive bar, pickles that have been pickled in a salt brine, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, miso soup, mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, Tabasco sauce, and Worcestershire sauce
  • Fermented fish (popular in Asian cultures), dosa batter used to make Indian dosas, tempeh in Japan, and poi from Hawaii :).

Chocolate 🙂 cocoa beans are actually fermented to make chocolate.

  • Make sure you get dark chocolate 70% or darker.

Fermented vegetables of all types, fermented in a salt brine like:

  • sauerkraut and kimchi and your own homemade fermented vegetables Very easy to do! When you eat at oriental restaurants they bring a little cup of vegetables before your meal, those are fermented vegetables to help you digest the food they are about to serve you. It is very easy to make your fermented vegetables. See below for the simple instructions.

What it looks like to eat a small portion of fermented foods with each meal in a day of my life?

  • Yogurt, cottage cheese, kombucha, or kefir with breakfast and maybe a shot of ACV in my morning turmeric tea.
  • Kimchi, sauerkraut, olives, my own homemade fermented foods, or sour cream with my main meal.
  • I like a light evening supper of sautéed vegetables with a little raw cheese and red wine (without added sulfite).

Here is a link to some simple recipes to make your own fermented vegetables: https://www.befityoga.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Recipes-fermented-foods-making-your-own-pdf-2.pdf

Does Anti-Biotic Resistance really need to plague us?

Home remedies
These “avoid anti-biotic meds” home remedies are for minor ailments, and options to anti-biotics for non-life threatening infections. This advice does not replace seeing a doctor, it is meant to teach some options to anti-biotics so we have them available to us for life threatening situations.

Alexander Fleming, the man who accidentally invented penicillin… went to his death bed warning about the overuse of antibiotics and their building resistance. He said it’s the environment of the host that is most important in resisting disease. This means it’s the inner environment of our bodies that can resist disease causing bacteria— if it is in balance. This ties in to what I spoke about last week and the importance of eating fermented probiotic foods.

Elephant

“Resistance is not a new problem. Alexander Fleming (1881–1955), who discovered penicillin, warned of the risk of resistance developing as far back as 1945. During his Nobel prize speech in 1945 he said: “The microbes are educated to resist penicillin and a host of penicillin-fast organisms is bred out which can be passed on to other individuals and perhaps from there to someone else and to others until they reach someone with a pneumonia which penicillin cannot save. I hope this evil can be averted.”

Furthermore we are talking about vegetables and especially herbs and spices for medicine. When I was in Nepal, I visited a little town called Chitwan (where I got to hang with elephants :). The people of this town (that’s) were spared the malaria while others in towns all around them suffered disease and death … what spared them? They ate the wild herbs (ginger was one of them) that grew on their land naturally. Herbs and spices are powerful medicines.

And this brings me to Essential oils.
Bobbi with ElephantsEssential oils are concentrated herbs and spices, which over the years as we have improved our distilling technologies are now even. more potent than they used to be. They are not just fluff to make you feel good! They are powerful medicinals! Pharmaceutical manufacturers try to replicate their power in meds, but they can not.

NATURE IS SMARTER THAN US

Tea Tree oil and MRSA
With their immune enhancing functions, essential oils are an increasingly important alternative. All essential oils are anti-microbial against funghi, bacteria, and viruses.

Lets take Tea Tree for example; Tea Tree has been tested and proven to resist MRSA! In test tube, in mice, and it is being tested in humans as well.

Lets just look at just one compound in Tea Tree Oil out of hundreds of compounds! Terpene-4-ol is an esther ethol that inject themselves into the cell membrane and:

  1. damage and degrade the cell membrane
  2. suck out potassium ions — the life blood of the bacteria — so it bleeds to death
  3. block the transfer of gasses so it suffocates

This is only one compound with 3 mechanisms of action out of many compounds in tea tree oil! We as humans with all our science can not figure this out. Plants are smarter than us.

We can only seem to create 1 compound and turn it into an anti-biotic that only has one way of trying to kill the bacteria — so the bacteria can figure that out and overcome it. Nature literally puts hundreds of compounds in a single drop off essential oils that attack pathogenic bacteria from all sides.

And the even more bizarre data … The tea tree oil that was used to kill MRSA was only .05% dilution. 99.5% water + .05% tea tree kills MRSA. Whats up pharma companies?

Andrew Weil QuoteIt takes 25-30 years to develop and approve an anti- biotic … and within 1 generation we become resistant to it! There has to be a better way!

I want to point out an important fact; most of the anti-biotic resistance problem is not coming from our medical community … It is coming from meat farmers! Cows, chickens, pigs are all fed anti-biotic meds to make them fatter (and keep in mind anti- biotics will do the same to you). When you eat CAFO meat (Confined Animal Feeding Operation!) you are eating anti-biotic foods and setting yourself up for being resistant to them should you ever need an anti-biotic for a life threatening situation. One good reason to buy meat from humane farmers.

Anti-Biotic = against life, it kills pathogens good and bad
Pro-Biotic = for life, it supports healthy bacteria
Eu-Biotic = regulates the terrain (our inner body)

Essential oils and herbs are Eubiotic 🙂

OLD TIME VACCINATIONS = fire therapy! where they burned large amounts of agar wood, frankincense, or palo santo to immunize the community. Thus diffusers are community immunity 🙂

From floracopeia notes:
Although essential oils are complex mixtures, research suggests that the monoterpenes, being lipophilic, diffuse into cell membranes and cause them to expand, thereby increasing their fluidity, disordering membrane structures, and inhibiting membrane- embedded enzymes. Studies on the effects of essential oils such as oregano, ravensare, and tea tree show that they cause rapid cellular damage to bacteria. By inhibiting the enzymes and cofactors involved in the respiratory electron transport chain spanning the cytoplasmic membranes of bacteria and mitochondrial membranes of yeast, the monoterpenes cause inhibition of respiratory oxygen of microbes. Even slight changes to the structural integrity of cell membranes can detrimentally affect cellular metabolism. In the case of monoterpene toxicity, potassium ions are lost, which disrupts ionic homeostasis and disturbs chemiosmotic control of energy-dependent processes such as metabolism and motility.

Antibiotic drugs interrupt specific metabolic pathways, such as the formation of a particular protein used to build a cell membrane; bacteria can learn how to resist this specific disrupting influence within ten days of being exposed to the drug. The biochemical action of essential oils prevents this from happening; by blocking the entire cellular respiratory function, bacteria are simply suffocated. Some of the strongest anti- microbial compounds, such as the phenols thymol and carvacrol, can completely block oxygen intake in cell membranes.

Essential oils not only neutralize pathogenic germs, but also help to restore and correct the underlying humoral terrain, such as expectoration from congested mucous membranes, as well as enhancing and stimulating the immune system. Used properly, essential oils do not harm or disrupt beneficial intestinal flora. They are effective against bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungus, and yeast. Because of their wide-spectrum action against pathogens and e to antibiotic therapy.

Case Studies of Essential oils over Anti-biotic medications 🙂

Patrick got an infection on his leg last year from cane grass (it happened while I was here in PA and not there with him). He went to the dr. For it and of course was given a round of anti-biotics and steroids … which left whopping side effects and did not cure the infection. (Steroids shut down your immune system, so the inflammation goes away because the body is not coming to heal the area. When you stop the steroids the infection comes right back -sometimes worse). When I got to Maui this is how I treated it — within about a month the infection cleared up:

  • dead sea salts — in baths and rubbed directly on the skin infection in a base of castor oil
  • Honey – rubbed directly on the skin infection
    • Manuka Honey comes from bees that take the pollen from the lepto-sperma tea tree. Tea Tree oils and Manuka Honey are closely related.
  • colloidal silver – directly on the skin infection
  • castor oil – rubbed on the skin
  • And I fed him lots of fermented foods 🙂

Pink eye — Now they prescribe medications for that too. I learned as a young mother to use warm salt compresses for any type of eye infection. And I have since learned black tea bags work great for eye issues too. Instead of anti-biotic meds try:

  • warm salt compress & tea bags

My mother and toe nail infection – After a round of anti-bitoics and no improvement, the doctor wanted to do an even heavier dose of anti- biotics … He said “the infection can not be treated topically”. I proved him wrong. Another round of anti-biotic would be very challenging for my mother; so I made her my essential oil ‘triple-anti-biotic ointment’ alternative and it cleared it up:

  • My “triple anti-biotic” ointment: Oregano, Eucalyptus, & Tea Tree mix in a carrier oil such as coconut or almond. These three oils are your strongest anti-bacterials, with data available showing they out- perform antibiotics and without any side effects!

Minor cuts and scrapes

  • Honey, myrrh, or tea tree are all highly anti-infective. Myrrh is thick and will coat a scratch like a band-aid so I use that often to keep a cut from getting infected.

Any throat soreness =

  • gargle with warm salt water!

Where does Food come in to Self Care?

It plays a big role! Your food choices will prevent disease or make disease in your body. It’s up to you.

Negotiables & Non-Negotiables

I like how the functional medicine doctor Dr. Andrea Nakayama talks about negotiable and non-negotiable foods in our health and wellness path.

What is Negotiable?
Food is very individual — no one diet will work for everyone.
I know working out the food is challenging, but its worth it. It takes some time and effort to figure out what is right for you. This is why I put so much study time into nutrition. Much of the challenge was the “powers that be” kept trying to make one nutrition plan right for everyone — and we kept running into issues with this. We are now understanding there is not one diet that will work for everyone. You need to find your way of eating that keeps you healthy.

It is realizing that some of us thrive on a meat diet (those with a blood line/ genetics from colder climates) and others on a more vegetarian diet (perhaps those with genetics from a warmer climate). Some do ok with a little sugar, others its an inflammation, disease causing food. Some thrive on high fat, others get fat on it . . . Some have a ‘carb gene’ and can eat more carbs, others cannot.
Some of these concerns can now be tested with genetic testing; they can see if you thrive on a high fat or reduced fat diet, a meat based diet or a more vegetarian diet, etc. Genetic testing is going to change the way we do health and health care.

Also if you want a hint at what foods are best for you; visiting an Ayurvedic doctor who can help you determine your dosha—your mix of vata, pitta, kapha—can be helpful as these different body/mind/personality types help to reflect which foods serve who   best.

Also seasons play a role in diet too; in the winter we need more warming heavier foods, in the spring we need lighter fare and less calories, in the summer we need slightly more carbs (from fruit and vegetables!) to get us through the longer working days.

Preparation also plays a role in foods; for example the lectin issue, or gluten sensitivities are not so much that we are now reacting to foods we didn’t used to — it is more how we prepare our foods. Wheat, beans, nuts and seeds produce protective chemicals that make them hard to digest. Our ancient methods of preparation makes food better to digest. Yes it takes time to prepare foods.

Figuring some of this out is easier if you look at how our ancestors — and the old societies that have a strong medical system like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine prepare foods. Prepare your food how your grandparents might have is the best advice right now . . .

At starting point
The simplest diet advice from all the research I have been doing over the last 10 years … the Mediterranean Diet seems to be the best tolerated and most healthy in general

— some may need to modify it a bit; for example personally I follow a Mediterranean based vegetarian diet with slightly less carbs and more fat.

These are our negotiable-s and yes you need to find what works for you and yes it will take some time and effort.
It is worth it.

The Non-Negotiable-s

  • Clean food tops the list — avoid processed foods. In the words of Michael Pollan “Eat real food, mostly plants, not too much”.
    ✴ Organic, NON-GMO food from good farmers, small farms, locally grown, by famers that feed their soils compost and other natural materials. If you eat meat it is imperative to avoid factory farmed meat and find animal farmers that care for their animals with love. Eating lots of vegetables (some need more raw some need more cooked . . .) also is very high on the non- negotiable list, as are including herbs and spices in your diet, and eating a variety of foods in a balanced way.

The other non-negotiable items are:

  • clean water — approx. 1/2 your body weight in ounces.
  • We need to detox!
    • Exercise and/or sweat (sauna, steam bath, etc.)
    • Eat Vegetables everyday containing sulforaphane; these cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mustard leaves, radish, turnips, watercress, and bok choy. For therapeutic benefit, try to consume 1-3 cups per day
    • Drink plenty of water
  • 7-9 hours quality sleep per night
  • low stress lifestyle
  • Find Meaning and Purpose in Life

The new Vitamins on the block 🙂

  • Vitamin L (L for Love) — We need loving relationships in our life; family, friends, romance. Build community.
  • Vitamin P for Pleasure 🙂 We need to do something that brings us pleasure every day — even if it is a 5-10 minute walk around your garden or a path through a wooded area, listening to music, being with a loved one . . .

Chronic Diseases and our Genetics

Our body is an antenna to the outside world. Disease is not the body randomly programmed by genes to self destruct! Disease is the body’s response to something going on outside our body — or something that has gotten into our body from the outside world — that it does not like and is trying to eradicate.

It’s not just our genes that lead to disease; it is our genes coupled with lifestyle that make or break us.

Genetic Testing? How does this play a role in Self Care?
Your genes, its not how you will die — Its how you will not die … its how you will live! Our genes teach us the lifestyle we need to not get chronic disease ever again.

With this information chronic illness will be a matter of choice — NOT BAD LUCK!

IMPORTANT to understand. Because you test positive for a gene mutation toward a certain disease does not mean you will get it. REMEMBER LIFESTYLE IS ABOVE GENES. For example, 80% of women with breast cancer do not carry the BRCA gene vs. people who do carry the BRCA gene but have no signs or symptoms of breast cancer their entire lives.

Genetic testing, while around for over 20 years is recently getting more attention because we are just now learning how to utilize this information. And it’s here to stay … and it may put big pharma in its place 🙂

Definitions:

  • Genetics – Your DNA you inherited
  • Genomics – The study of how all your DNA and their SNPs interact to form YOU and YOUR BODY. In other words how to read your total sequence of DNA and what they mean. Your Genome is all your genes together.
  • SNPs – Single Nucleotide Polymorphism = a change in your gene DNA strand.

While there are many benefits to getting your genetic test, there are many cautions too. On the cautionary side, getting a big report that you don’t know what to do with is not very helpful. Or taking a supplement for an individual SNP is not recommended either.

The problem with treating an individual SNP is the other SNPs we don’t know about yet that interact with the one SNP we are trying to correct. You have to look at your whole genetic picture — your genome— to see how the SNPs interact with each other, we can’t just treat one SNP, like meds — there is no one magic pill.

Ridiculously Complex
Let’s put in perspective what we are learning about our genome … there are about 20,000 human genes … and approx. each person will have anywhere from 1 million to 3 billion SNPs (having a lot of SNPs is not bad and in some cases is proving protective) … we have learned information on about 30-40 genes and their SNPs … and maybe 10 or less very in depth. Understand the complexity of the tiny tiny tip of the huge iceberg we are on with this right now? We understand 30-40 genes and their SNPs out of billions … This area is going to explode very soon into a sea of information, but right now it is RIDICULOUSLY COMPLEX!

Not only are we looking at our DNA and their SNPs but we are also looking at our micro biome, its DNA and its SNPs … understand the complexity? It is beyond human calculation and it is changing everyday because our DNA interacts with our micro biome and our environment.

Our DNA interact on a daily basis with:

  • Our Microbiome
  • Our RNA which are programmable genes which talk to your DNA and tell them how to express. (We used to call mRNA junk DNA!)
  • Our foods. The food we eat talks to our RNA which in turn tells our genes how to express themselves. Food is Information to our genes.

With this technology being beyond what any human can remember or comprehend there is a development of a computerized Artificial Intelligence (AI) by a company called Viome (www.viome.com). This information is on the cutting edge of a whole new era of Personalized Medicine or Precision Medicine. No longer will big pharma be able to push one drug on the masses. It’s about time.

The most useful way to go about getting your genetics tested is to stick to the genes and their SNPs we know about right now. While I am ALL for having direct access to order our own tests without a doctor (BIG woo-hoo!); for interpreting your genetics I feel it is very important to do it with a doctor or genetic professional. Most appointments will last about an hour and a half as they help you learn more about yourself, your genes, and your SNPs.

I personally am planning to take the www.dnalife.healthcare genetic test first. This one comes with an hour and a half skype session with the doctor. I ordered their dnalife4 test which looks at:

  • DNA Diet – provides additional insight into how each individual reacts to carbohydrates, fats, and proteins allowing further personalization of your eating plan to suit your needs.
  • DNA Health – DNA Health tests for 36 gene variants involved in the biological processes that have been linked to risk for diseases of lifestyle:
    • Cholesterol metabolism
    • Bone Health & risk for osteoporosis
    • Methylation and risk for cancer
    • Inflammation and oxidative stress
    • Detoxification
    • Insulin Sensitivity and risk for diabetes
    • Food Responsiveness, including Lactose intolerance, Caffeine processing, Salt sensitivity and blood pressure & Iron overload disorders
  • DNA Estrogen – Research has shown that an increased lifetime exposure to oestrogen is a strong risk factor in the development of breast cancer. DNA Oestrogen tests for gene variants that have been shown to have an impact on how oestrogen is processed in your body and if the processing of oestrogen and related compounds is efficient and healthy.
  • DNA Sport – DNA Sport examines various biological areas that impact training responsiveness and sporting performance. DNA Sport reports on the following areas:
    • structural integrity of soft tissues
    • inflammation & oxidative stress
    • blood flow & respiration
    • energy during exercise
    • fuel during exercise
    • caffeine metabolism
    • muscle and bone composition
    • aerobic capacity
    • power/strength potential

I am going to follow up with the 23&me to look at my genetic make up (I am pretty sure I have American Indian in me) and to have my genetic profile on hand for when we learn more about our individual SNPs.

Here is a little glimpse into some of the ways learning our genetic profile can assist us in Self Care as our new health care:

And another big genetic test on the block: PHARMACOGENOMICS
This one is BIG! And I am considering adding it to my above 4 tests. I initially did not choose it because I don’t do drugs, but in case of a trauma event I want to know what drugs are effective for me.

From dnalfe: The study of the relationship between genes and response to drugs has been  the subject of intensive research over the past two decades. There is a great deal of variability in how a patient responds to medications due to the genes that govern drug metabolism. Pharmacogenomics empowers the doctor to provide patient-specific medical intervention and replaces the current trial and error approach to drug therapy.

A pharmacogenomics test gives insight into how each patient metabolizes, transports, and binds specific prescription drugs, which in turn allows allows physicians to prescribe those compounds that are most likely to prove efficacious, to avoid those that will not, and in many instances to adjust doses to safe yet therapeutic levels. Such a personalized approach to medicine has the power to produce better results, particularly for individuals whose genetic profile puts them at risk of experiencing either treatment failure or an adverse reaction from a given drug.

I want to use this opportunity to teach you about a genetic test for determining how you respond to anti-depressants. They come with a huge side effect (violence) for those who’s genetics can not detox this drug.

In addition Antidepressants disrupt your gut bacteria like anti-biotics, I spoke of the grave harms of that a few pages up. Depression does not always need to be treated! In some cases it is normal life challenges that we need to grow through. In many other cases it is caused by the SSRIs themselves because they cause gut dysbiosis!

Why SSRIs Induce Violence — an excerpt from GreenMedInfo
One major problem with SSRI antidepressants is the risk of self-harm and aggression as a side effect — called athethesia.

Overmethylated, low-folate depressors are intolerant so SSRIs, and evidence suggests this genetic intolerance may have been a factor in many school shootings. Walsh, who has studied this phenomenon, notes:

  • 42 of the 50 major school shootings in the U.S. since 1990 were done by teens or young adults taking an SSRI.
  • The pilot for German Wings that flew his passenger airplane into the side of a mountain was on anti-depressants.
  • Chris Cornell of Soundgarden was on psychotic meds when he committed suicide.
  • Naika, the 14 year old foster child who hung herself on fb lifestream after being traded with 50mg of vyvanse.

The methylation cycle is a specific biochemical pathway that is responsible for influencing a variety of critical biological processes including: the immune system, DNA maintenance, production of energy, and detoxification. It also greatly effects our emotional balance.

You can find out through a genetic test if you will react violently to anti-depressants and other psychotic meds if you are an over- methylated low folate depressant. Everyone and anyone on SSRI anti-depressants should have this test before they take them! Why is this not being done?

Here are a few ways you can use knowing your genetics to assist you in your self care as the new health care 🙂

MTHFR gene mutations
The pop star gene 🙂
About 50% of the population has a SNP in this gene. I like how wellness mama explains it: “MTHFR is an enzyme that adds a methyl group to folic acid to make it usable by the body. The MTHFR gene produces this enzyme that is necessary for properly using vitamin B9. This enzyme is also important for converting homocysteine into methionine, which the body needs for proper metabolism and muscle growth and which is needed for glutathione creation . The process of methylation (detoxification) also involves the enzyme from the
MTHFR gene, so those with a mutation may have trouble effectively eliminating toxins from the body.
Dr. Isabella Wentz explains: “Individuals with low activity of the MTHFR enzyme may present with elevated homocysteine levels, which have been associated with inflammation and heart disease, birth defects, difficult pregnancies, and potentially an impaired ability to detoxify.”

What it means is you may not detox as well as others and have a higher risk for an Auto Immune Disease (among other challenges). This is not a sentence of doom! This means you have to live your life more aware:

  • Avoid toxic foods, heavy metals, chemicals, medications (especially medications that deplete folate in your body), certain supplements, etc.
  • Be extra careful with any supplement or processed food containing Folic Acid. The synthetic version of folate will not be converted to folate in your body and will further disrupt your health.
  • Focus on gut health and support your detox with foods (like cruciferous vegetables and fermented foods).
  • Eat lots of leafy greens
  • Support your detox every day with epsom salts baths, saunas, drinking enough water, and exercise.

This gene mutation can be totally managed with diet and lifestyle. NO WORRIES 🙂

Another big one on the block:
APoE4 gene mutation and your risk for Alzheimers
Alzheimers is now curable! YES that is right! Dr. Dale Bredesen just completed several longer term studies showing proof of reversing alzheimers with diet and lifestyle. His book is :

The End of Alzheimer’s
The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline

If you discover you have this gene, read his book! Also there is up and coming exciting new research on Alzheimers, here is some simple tips you can do at home everyday if you have one or two ApoE4 mutations (and even if you don’t!):

  1. Move your body. If you carry the ApoE4 variation a desk job is not good for you. Exercise and movement all day long is inherently important.
  2. Check how you react to fat, especially saturated fat — we don’t have to worry about fats so much for heart disease anymore but it is coming up as a concern in those who carry the ApoE4 gene.

Preventing alzheimers and dementia By Titus Chiu, DC with excerpts from me 🙂

  1. Use non-dominant hand for daily activities — ex. brush teething or hair with your left hand if you are right handed.
  2. Balance on one foot often — stand more often on your worst balanced side (everyone has better balance on one foot than the other). One reason why yoga classes almost always include balance — it lights up your brain. 2.1.When proficient at this — close your eyes and balance on one foot.
  3. Do daily chores with eyes closed to increase Proprioception. Ex. washing hands, washing dishes, brushing teeth, taking a shower (but don’t fall!), etc.
    1. And if you want to get extra good balance on one foot with your eyes closed while brushing your teeth wth your non-dominant hand … oh and do your yogic breathing too …
  4. Conscious breathing — increase awareness by focusing on one aspect of the breath or the body. Ex. Breathing with bandhas :), feeling the air in your Left nostril as you inhale; or during rest pose place your right hand over the right side of your abdomen and feel the difference between your right and left sides of your abdomen, feel the weight of your hand on your abdomen, feel the heat of your hand, can you feel the organ under your hand? Can your organ sense your hand? Etc.
    1. This is one of the many reason we use bandhas, drishti, and ujjayi type breathing in our yoga practice.
    2. When you get extra good, balance on one foot, using your left hand while brushing your teeth with your eyes closed and breathing deep through your nose …. oh and think of something to be grateful for …
  5. Practice Gratitude … but don’t over do it by waking up every morning and listing 5 things to be grateful for … you may end up with gratitude fatigue. Just remember every day or so to be grateful for something and someone in your life <3

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