Protect your body from disease with glutathione

protect body with glutathione

Modern life inflicts constant assaults on our bodies in the way of industrialized foods, environmental toxins, chronic stress, lack of sleep, and even electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) from cell phones and computers. Our best defense to protect health is to shore up glutathione, the body’s master antioxidant.

Although the body naturally makes and recycles glutathione, modern life can overwhelm this system, depleting us of this vital compound. When glutathione is low the body is more vulnerable to disease and damage, and your risk for disease rises.

Glutathione as a supplement is not well absorbed by the digestive tract. Fortunately, many nutritional compounds act as building blocks to glutathione, and can help raise and maintain its levels inside and outside of cells. You can also obtain glutathione intravenously.

Below are some of many nutritional compounds that have been shown to boost glutathione levels.

  • N-acetyl-cysteine is a very bioavailable building block to glutathione.
     
  • Alpha lipoic acid helps recycle glutathione already in the cells.
     
  • Milk thistle boosts glutathione.
     
  • Methylation nutrients–methyl folate (5-MTHF), methyl B6 (P5P) and methyl B12 (methylcobalmin)–are methyl forms of B vitamins can help boost glutathione production and recycling.
     
  • Selenium helps the body produce and recycle glutathione.
     
  • Vitamin C help increase glutathione levels.

Diet and lifestyle factors can also affect your glutathione levels. Sulfur-rich foods such as garlic, onions, broccoli, kale, collards, cabbage, cauliflower, and watercress can help boost glutathione. If you can tolerate dairy, whey protein has been shown to increase glutathione (choose bioactive, non-denatured, non-pasteurized, and non-industrially produced whey). Exercise also boosts glutathione; get aerobic exercise daily (such as walking) and strength train two to three times a week.

Preserve glutathione to prevent disease

One of the most important ways to maintain your glutathione levels is to reduce stress on your body. Glutathione’s job is to protect the cells, whether it’s from an autoimmune disease, sleep deprivation, or the toxic ingredients in scented detergents and fabric softeners. Healthy glutathione levels reduce your risk of developing chronic and autoimmune disease as well as food and chemical sensitivities. It is also an excellent anti-aging compound.

Following are some strategies to prevent depletion of glutathione.

  • Find out what your food intolerances are and remove those foods from your diet. Many people are not aware that they are intolerant to common foods, such as bread or cheese. An elimination diet or a lab test can help you determine which foods are stressing your immune system and taxing glutathione reserves.
     
  • Eat an all-natural, whole foods diet. Processed foods and fast foods contain chemical additives, genetically altered foods, antibiotics, hormones, excess sugar, and other ingredients that are stressful to the body and deplete glutathione.
     
  • Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation is very stressful. If you have issues sleeping, it is often secondary to something else. Contact my office for help.
     
  • Manage your autoimmune disease. An autoimmune or chronic disease, such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, or diabetes keeps the immune system on overdrive and damages tissue, depleting glutathione. Ask my office how we can help you manage your autoimmunity.
     
  • Reduce your exposure to toxins and pollutants. Many common environmental chemicals are toxic to the body. They are found in shampoos, body products, household cleaners, lawn care products, and so on. We have enough to deal with in terms of pollutants in air and water, minimize your exposure to them in the home.
     
  • EMFs are a source of “electrical pollution.” Cell phones, computers, WiFi, and other electronics are stressful to the body and exposure should be minimized.

Still have hypothyroid symptoms despite normal lab results?

still have thyroid symptoms

Do you take thyroid hormone medication but still suffer fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, constipation, depression, cold hands and feet, or other thyroid symptoms? Have you been told there is nothing more that can be done for your thyroid symptoms because your lab tests are normal?

Hypothyroidism, or low thyroid function, affects millions of Americans. Many people continue to suffer from hypothyroid symptoms and a worsening of their thyroid condition despite taking thyroid hormones. This is because 90 percent of hypothyroid cases in the United States are due to Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that attacks and destroys the thyroid gland. Although thyroid medications may be necessary to maintain thyroid function, they do not address the immune system’s relentless attack against the thyroid gland.

To identify Hashimoto’s, it’s important to screen for TPO and TGB antibodies on a blood test. If either of these is positive it indicates the immune system is attacking and destroying the thyroid gland, causing symptoms. In this case, the main strategy is not necessarily to treat the thyroid gland (although thyroid hormone medication may be necessary), but to balance the immune system in order to tame autoimmune attacks against the thyroid.

As outlined in the book Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? by Datis Kharrazian, this is a multi-faceted approach that includes:

  • Going on a strict gluten-free diet. Numerous studies from several different countries show a strong link between Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism and gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, and other wheat-like grains. Interestingly, studies show those with a gluten intolerance are genetically more prone to Hashimoto’s disease. Gluten also promotes inflammation and leaky gut, which exacerbate autoimmune disease.
     
  • Adopting an autoimmune diet. For some people, going gluten-free is not enough to manage Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism and they need to follow an autoimmune diet that eliminates common inflammatory foods, such as dairy, eggs, or other grains. A whole-foods diet that emphasizes plenty of produce and eliminates processed foods is important to manage an autoimmune condition such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.
     
  • Repairing a leaky gut. Leaky gut, or intestinal permeability, often plays a role in autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. Leaky gut is a condition in which the lining of the small intestine becomes inflamed, damaged, and porous, allowing undigested foods, bacteria, fungus, and other foreign invaders into the sterile environment of the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream these foreign invaders trigger inflammation and autoimmunity.
     
  • Stabilize blood sugar. Stabilizing blood sugar is vital to managing Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. A diet high in sugars and refined carbohydrates (such as breads, pastas, pastries, and desserts) creates inflammation and hormonal imbalances that make it difficult to tame an autoimmune condition. Energy crashes, fatigue after meals, excess belly fat, hormonal imbalances, mood swings, and sleep issues are all signs you may have a blood sugar handling disorder, such as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or insulin resistance (high blood sugar).

These are just a few of the basics of autoimmune management for conditions such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. It’s important to manage your autoimmune condition to lower your risk of developing other autoimmune diseases, such as pernicious anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, vitiligo, or Type I diabetes.

To learn more about Hashimoto’s and other factors that can cause hypothyroidism, read the book 
Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? by Datis Kharrazian, DHSc, DC, MNeuroSci.

Control insulin resistance to prevent chronic disease

blood sugar and chronic disease

Heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s — chronic diseases are the most common and costly health problems in the United States. What’s worse is they are largely lifestyle diseases, meaning they often can be prevented through changes to the diet.

Many Americans today eat diets that throw their blood sugar out of balance and cause inflammation. Along with lack of exercise, these diets underpin the development of many chronic diseases today.

The body has several ways to keep blood sugar within a narrow range so it doesn’t go too high or too low. For the average American, unfortunately, the body must constantly struggle to manage overly high blood sugar.

This is because people consume diets high in sugars, sweeteners, and refined carbohydrates—pasta, white rice, breads, pastries, soda—that quickly spike blood sugar.

Insulin resistance stepping-stone to diabetes and other chronic diseases

When a person eats too many sugary and refined foods on a regular basis, the body overproduces insulin.

Eventually the constant surges of insulin exhaust the body’s cells and they refuse entry to the insulin, which is called insulin resistance. Now insulin can’t escort glucose into the cells to make energy. As a result you feel sleepy after eating. 

Also, because glucose can’t get into cells, blood sugar climbs too high. The body lowers it to safer levels by converting excess glucose into fat for storage. This is a demanding process that also leads to fatigue after meals. The excess sugar in the bloodstream also damages blood vessels and the brain.

Insulin resistance is a stepping stone to Type 2 diabetes, a breakdown in the body’s blood-sugar handling system. Studies show links between insulin resistance and many chronic diseases, including heart diseasestrokecancer, diabetes, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s.

Reduced uptake of glucose by cells, high triglycerides, and high circulating amounts of sugar in the bloodstream all promote the inflammation and damage that leads to chronic disease. To add insult to injury, people with insulin resistance often feel too tired to exercise, are prone to overeating, and have intense sugar cravings.

Symptoms of insulin resistance

Symptoms of insulin resistance include:

  • Fatigue after meals
  • General fatigue
  • Constant hunger
  • Constant craving for sweets
  • Strong desire for sweets after meals
  • Waist girth equal to or larger than hip girth
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased appetite and thirst
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Migrating aches and pains

One of the best ways to prevent or manage chronic disease is to eat a diet that stabilizes your blood sugar and reverses insulin resistance. This includes a whole-foods diet free of added sugars and refined carbohydrates, plenty of fiber, and healthy proteins and fats. Regular exercise is important to increase insulin sensitivity. Certain nutritional and botanical compounds have also been shown to help improve blood sugar handling and manage insulin resistance.

For support in preventing chronic disease and managing insulin resistance, please contact my office.

Ten things that cause leaky gut

10 things that cause leaky gut

The concept of leaky gut is becoming more widely accepted—even Dr. Oz talked about it on his show recently. It’s important to know the cause of leaky gut can be different for each person. For instance, it could be the result of a junk food diet for one person and chronic stress for another. Knowing why you have leaky gut can help you address the right target to restore gut health.

What is leaky gut?

Leaky gut, or intestinal permeability, is a condition in which the lining of the small intestine becomes inflamed, damaged, and porous, allowing undigested foods, bacteria, fungus, and other foreign invaders into the sterile environment of the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream these toxins trigger the immune system, causing inflammation and leading to a long and varied list of symptoms. Chronic conditions associated with leaky gut include depression, joint pain, Crohn’s disease, food allergies, eczema, psoriasis, asthma, autoimmune diseases, and more.

Ten causes of leaky gut

Although the causes of leaky gut can be ambiguous, Datis Kharrazian, DHSc, DC, MS has identified 10 factors that contribute to leaky gut:

  1. Diet: Most people blame poor diet, and rightly so, as many popular foods can damage the gut. Gluten in particular is associated with gut damage. Dairy, processed foods, excess sugar, and fast foods are common culprits. Excess alcohol is another gut saboteur.
     
  2. Medications: Certain medications increase the risk of leaky gut. They include corticosteroids, antibiotics, antacids, and some medications for arthritis. Some medications may also contain gluten as a filler.
     
  3. Infections: An overgrowth of H. pylori, a bacterium in the stomach, can cause ulcers and leaky gut. Overgrowth of other harmful bacteria, yeast infections, parasitic infections, and intestinal viruses can also cause leaky gut.
     
  4. Stress: Chronic stress raises the adrenal hormone, cortisol, which degrades the gut lining and contributes to leaky gut.
     
  5. Hormone imbalances: The gut depends on proper hormone levels for good health. When estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, or thyroid hormones are deficient or out of balance, this imbalance can contribute to leaky gut.
     
  6. Autoimmune conditions: We often think of leaky gut contributing to autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, or psoriasis. While this may be true, sometimes other factors can trigger an autoimmune condition, including toxic exposures or stress. In these cases, the autoimmune condition can be the cause of leaky gut and managing autoimmunity is a strategy to improving leaky gut.
     
  7. Industrial food processing: The food processing industry uses a variety of methods that can increase intestinal inflammation and leaky gut. These include deamidating wheat to make it water soluble, high-heat processing (glycation) of sugars, and adding excess sugar to processed foods.
     
  8. Environmental toxins: We are surrounded by toxins in our environment. Some of these toxins have been found to break down immune barriers like the gut. One way to shore up your defense against environmental toxins is to make sure your body is sufficient in glutathione, the body’s primary antioxidant.
     
  9. Vitamin D deficiency: Sufficient vitamin D is vital to good health and helps preserve gut integrity.
     
  10. Poor glutathione status: Glutathione is the body’s primary antioxidant and is necessary to defend and repair the gut lining. Poor diet and lifestyle factors deplete glutathione. Ask my office for ideas on how to boost your glutathione status.

These are just some of the factors Kharrazian has identified in the scientific literature as contributing to leaky gut. By better understanding the cause of your leaky gut, you will have more success restoring health to your gut and hence your immune system.

For more information on how to support leaky gut, contact my office.

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