Wednesday, July 30, 2014

WHO- 85% of Adult Cancers are Preventable: Beyond Celiac

We are so busy every day we often forget that we are what we eat and other lifestyle habits. Simple ( but not necessarily easy) changes make a very large difference in our future health.

If you eat inflammatory foods like grains, and you have inflammatory lifestyle habits like smoking or a sedentary life, you will encourage inflammatory responses in your body which include, but is not exclusive of, cancer. 

The Cytokine Research Laboratory published an article entitled "Cancer is a preventable disease that requires major lifestyle changes" which can be summarized by saying reduce inflammation/cytokines with lifestyle changes.  

The WHO has put out a paper declaring 85% of adult cancers of preventable and known risk factors are overweight, obesity, malnutrition and infection, all of which are higher in gluten sensitive persons. Here is an excerpt. 

Cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx and oesophagus. In developed countries the main risk factors for cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx and oesophagus are alcohol and tobacco, and up to 75% of such cancers are
attributable to these two lifestyle factors (5). Overweight and obesity are established risk factors specifically for adenocarcinoma (but not squamous cell carcinoma) of the oesophagus (6--8). In developing countries, around 60% of cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx and oesophagus are thought to be a result of micronutrient deficiencies related to a restricted diet that is low in fruits and vegetables and animal products (5, 9). 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that 85 per cent of adult cancers are entirely avoidable and, of these, around half are related to nutritional deficiencies in the Western diet. A recent government report showed how nearly 70,000 premature deaths could be prevented each year by simply improving the UK's diet.
Another study carried out by Brigham Young University professor Steven Aldana, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, March, 2005, found that a combination of 30 minutes of cardio exercise a day along with a switch to a healthier diet dropped the participants’ health risks for diabetes, cancer, and heart disease dramatically in just 6 weeks.

Let us all be mindful when we choose our food for the day. Planning our lunches that we take to work or making food on Sunday in preparation for the week goes a long way to being healthier.

Walking is great exercise and with a few sprints added in for the cardio and you will help keep the blood flowing rather than stagnating.

Choose your food wisely. More to come on this topic.

Besides eliminating inflammatory foods and lifestyle habits, how can reverse inflammation and encourage anti inflammation?

-Keeping our microbiota healthy by eating and drinking fermented foods (like water Kefir) and supplementing with good probiotics. 
-Eating fish three times a week, and supplementing with fish oils to keep our omega 3 levels as high as possible. 
-avoiding grains and seed oils and other sources of omega 6's, because the average persons levels are too high. 
-Keeping serum homocysteine levels below 8 with B vitamins and Betaine
-Keeping ones serum high sensitivity CRP ( a blood test ordered by your doctor) below 2. 
-flossing your teeth and seeing a biological dentist for assessment and care.
-moderate exercise, slightly more if you need to lose weight.
-keeping your waist/hip ratio below .75 for women and below 1.0 for men and 
-keeping the waist measurement below 30 inches for women and below 35 inches for men.

To Year Health
Dr. Barbara

Friday, July 25, 2014

There is Still Time to Sign Up for Dr. Tom O'Bryan's Lecture Friday July 25th-available 48 hours

Dear Friends,
We influenced more than 100,000 people around the world with the 30 hours of education that were offered at The Gluten Summit. Even more with the summit follow up webinar, "Now That You Know, Where Do You Go?" about how to converse with your practitioner about testing.

YET, we still have naysayers claiming that gluten sensitivity
without celiac disease is a fad, that it does not exist!

It's always been this way. There are those who fought for the belief that the world was flat, even long after it was proven to be round.

Do you believe it? 
I know it's hard to imagine, but it's true.
This Friday, I will disband the idea that this serious disorder is fictional. Experts and researchers have given us the means to recognize, test and treat non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). Their studies confirm the existence of it without celiac disease. We'll review these studies, and I'll send them to those who attend. Then you'll know it's a fact!


Fantasy, Fad, Fiction or Fact?

A live, online conversation with Dr. Tom O'Bryan

Join me on Friday, July 25, 2014

7:45 P.M. - 9:30 P.M. U.S. PDT

Click Here to Purchase Your Ticket and join me online for this live event!

Enough is enough. It's time to put these untruths to rest. Science now confirms what we've known for years: Gluten sensitivity is a real disorder with defined symptoms that can affect any part of the body.

Here are the details for my live, online event:
  • I will give a live lecture about gluten sensitivity beginning at approximately 7:45 P.M U.S. Pacific Time.
  • It will be followed by a 30-minute Q&A period (you will be able to send in your questions!).
  • The lecture and Q&A will be on demand for 48 hours.
  • Next week, I'll send you access to ALL of the studies that I referenced during the lecture!
  • Admission to the live stream is USD $7.97, with part of the proceeds going to the Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center in National City, California.

Click Here to Purchase Your Ticket and join me online for this live event!

Best to you,

Tom O'Bryan, DC, CCN, DACBN

After an average of 12 years on a GFD, 31% of patients still have increased inflammation in their intestines.
Gut 2005;54:769-774 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fish to Avoid Due to Mercury Toxicity: Natural Resources Defense Council

Learn more about mercury and its effects at the Natural Resources Defense Council web site here:

Consumer Guide to Mercury in Fish

The list below shows the amount of various types of fish that a woman who is pregnant or planning to become pregnant can safely eat, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA recommendation is based on body weight and is, therefore, dependent on a person's size. The guidance below is based on a 6 oz serving of cooked fish for a 130lb/60kg woman. People with small children who want to use the list as a guide should reduce portion sizes. Adult men, and women who are not planning to become pregnant, are less at risk from mercury exposure but may wish to refer to the list for low-mercury choices. For a more personalized recommendation, use NRDC's mercury calculator.

Protecting yourself -- and the fish: Certain fish, even some that are low in mercury, make poor choices for other reasons, most often because they have been fished so extensively that their numbers are perilously low. These fish are marked with an asterisk (read more below).

Eat less than four servings per month: 

Mackerel (Spanish, Gulf)
Sea Bass (Chilean)
Tuna (Canned Albacore)
Tuna (Yellowfin)

Avoid eating: 

Mackerel (King)
Orange Roughy
Tuna (Bigeye, Ahi)

* High mercury: From 0.3 to 0.49 parts per million

** Highest mercury: More than .5 parts per million


Monday, July 14, 2014


Back in March of this year I wrote about Dr. Seneff's work which showed eerily similar damage from GMO crops to the damage from gluten. This is a public health issue as is gluten sensitivity when it is undiagnosed and untreated. 

Since then, I have made a serious effort to eliminate and avoid GMO's, especially corn and soya products. I just threw away a new bottle of a supplement I take, which has been reformulated and contains soya bean. I have contacted a number of supplement companies and reviewed their policies on GMO sourced products. 

We all have to make the personal decision to avoid GMOs or not. One can not make that decision without getting good information on why one should. Below is an article from the Institute for Responsible Technology entitled "Why should I avoid GMOs?". 

I for one believe there should be labelling if the product has GMO's. Without labelling, as things stand now, there is no way to know if any food or product has GMOs in it.

From the Institute for Responsible Technology :

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) recently released its position paper on Genetically Modified foods stating that "... GM foods pose a serious health risk". The AAEM called for a moratorium on GM food, with implementation of immediate long-term safety testing and labeling of GM food. The AAEM is just one of many organizations worldwide calling for these steps to be taken. Read their position paper on GMOs

Hasn't research shown GM foods to be safe?
No. The only feeding study done with humans showed that GMOs survived inside the stomach of the people eating GMO food. No follow-up studies were done.

Various feeding studies in animals have resulted in potentially pre-cancerous cell growth, damaged immune systems, smaller brains, livers, and testicles, partial atrophy or increased density of the liver, odd shaped cell nuclei and other unexplained anomalies, false pregnancies and higher death rates.

And more here:

Why are children particularly susceptible to the effects of GM foods?
Children face the greatest risk from the potential dangers of GM foods for the same reasons they face the greatest risk from other hazards like pesticides and radiation, these include:
Young, fast-developing bodies are influenced most.
Children are more susceptible to allergies.
Children are more susceptible to problems with milk.
Children are more susceptible to nutritional problems.
Children are in danger from antibiotic resistant diseases.

How dangerous, or potentially dangerous, are GM foods relative to other food dangers, e.g., pesticides, irradiation, additives, preservatives?

Since so little research has been done on the safety of GM foods, it is not possible to rank its risks. Unlike the others, GM crops persist in the environment, and may continue to pose risks to health for centuries.

In addition, transfer of transgenes to gut bacteria may present long-term chronic exposure, since the foreign protein may continue to be produced inside of us after we no longer consume the GM food.

View all 65 health risks of GM foods, excerpted from Jeffrey Smith's comprehensive book Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods.

The most concerning to me is the possible permanent changes to one's own microbiota's DNA with the incorporation of  abnormal genetic material that makes the microbiota continue to make glyphosate in the bowel. Healthy microbiota are essential to good general health. 

Lots to think about. 

Here is the link again, and at the top, there is an app available for purchase for a GMO free shopping guide. 

To Your Health
Dr. Barbara

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

How Genes Can Influence Our Mood-And How They Can Be By-Passed For Better Mental Health-Huffpost

Here is an article by Dr. Michael Stanclift ND in Huffpost Healthy Living on how adding gene studies to assess MTHFR status can be used to help people with mood issues, as part of a systemized approach. I've spoken a little bit about how these genes influence enzymes by the same name, MTHFR, that are important in the production of neurochemicals among other things, and can be by-passed with B12, folate and other supplements. As you know, when I first work with someone with mood issues, I do comprehensive testing for gluten sensitivity, serum vitamin D status, nutritional status, infections, hormone and thyroid status.

Thanks to Dr. Stanclift for sharing.
Here is an excerpt, but I suggest you read the whole thing.

Michael Stanclift, N.D. Naturopathic Doctor

How Genes Can Influence Our Mood
Posted: 07/06/2014 2:24 pm EDT Updated: 07/06/2014 2:59 pm EDT Print Article

When Susan* first came to see me, she was feeling pretty low. She had debilitating fatigue, and her body ached all over. Susan had been prescribed an antidepressant, and it helped with her depression a little, but she was still constantly anxious and had difficulty concentrating. Everything seemed "life or death," her performance at work was declining, and she was afraid she would lose her job if things didn't change soon.

..... I agreed and ordered comprehensive thyroid testing, a test to rule out anemia, and some "functional genetic" testing. Her thyroid and anemia tests came back right away: Everything looked normal. The genetic testing came back about two weeks later with some significant findings. Susan had variations in both copies (one from her mother and one from her father) of a gene that converts folate/folic acid into its active form. The gene, called "MTHFR" (think "Mon. THur. FRi.") helps an important biochemical reaction in our body called "methylation." Because of her variations, her body couldn't use folate very efficiently. So how did this factor into her condition?

Folate, in its activated form (5 MTHF), is needed for many important processes in our bodies. In Susan's case it was particularly important with relation to her neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals our brains make to communicate messages to each other, and they have to be available in high enough amounts for us to successfully communicate those messages. Many of us have heard of serotonin, dopamine, and adrenaline (epinephrine), and may even be familiar with their effects on our emotions and mood. In order to make these neurotransmitters, that crucial step called "methylation" must occur. This step can be particularly difficult for someone with MTHFR variations like Susan had................

A few weeks into her treatment she came back reporting her coworkers had noticed a change. In my office I immediately saw the change in her mood, and even our front desk staff reported Susan sounded happier when she called. I know moods can change periodically, so I asked about something that had been consistent with her: exercise. She had exercised at least 50 percent more per week, and wasn't exhausted from it like before. Her sleep had improved, she reported her concentration was no longer an issue, and her libido was starting to return.We're now many months into her treatment and Susan has continued to do well.

Finding the variations in Susan's MTHFR gene was not the end-all be-all of her symptoms and treatment, but it was a significant factor. It opened up a window into why her depression and fatigue were so significant and why her medications weren't giving her satisfactory results. New and inexpensive "functional genetic" tests like this have opened up whole new areas of medicine and offer patients interventions that are personalized and nutritionally based. These tests have taken a significant amount of guess work into what interventions might work and explain why some people require drastically different dosages of nutrients to achieve the same outcomes. To find out if functional genetic testing could be important to you and your health, ask your doctor if these tests could be relevant for you.

In Health,

Michael Stanclift, N.D.Naturopathic Doctor in Practice in Carlsbad, California

"Functional genetic" testing is done in a number of laboratories in Canada, USA, Europe and Asia. Most require a requisition from your doctor. A normal homocysteine can not be used to assess your MTHFR status (because the "short route" may be working overtime). A high homocysteine level means you probably have a MTHFR issue (lower function of the MTHFR enzymes) and a requirement for more B12, folate,zinc, magnesium, vitamin C and other supplements. If you should decide to add genetic testing, it is best to be guided by a doctor who has some experience with MTHFR issues, as there is the rare person who, to avoid unpleasant effects, needs an individualized programme before starting folate in higher doses.

To Your Health
Dr. Barbara 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Serological Tests for The Diagnosis of Celiac and Gluten Sensitivity- Critical Assessment of Utility.

For years I used biopsy and serology tests along with history, physical, elimination diet, diet challenge and lab assessment to make a diagnosis of gluten sensitivity.

I found serological tests,especially IgA tTG, frustrating because they never matched, in clinical practice, their often quoted and promised specificity and sensitivity of 0.98 (95% CI: 0.97, 0.99).

Except in rare circumstances I have abandoned serological testing for celiac and gluten sensitivity and I present two studies that show the tests are less than 60% accurate ( to state it in a general way). In fact, Ontario Health Insurance Plan pays for lab tests in practice, but, for Ontario residents it does not pay for serological tests for celiac and gluten sensitivity, and does not pay for IgA tTG. Have the decision makers at OHIP decided the serological tests are not strong enough utility to be included in the plan while they pay for small bowel biopsy? 

See the Health Quality Ontario report on utility of serological tests for the diagnosis of celiac disease:.

Clinical Utility of Serologic Testing for Celiac Disease in Ontario An Evidence-Based Analysis Health Quality Ontario Ont Health Technol Assess Ser. 2010; 10(21): 1–111.
Published online Dec 1, 2010.
Executive Summary

Objective of Analysis
The objective of this evidence-based evaluation is to assess the accuracy of serologic tests in the diagnosis of celiac disease in subjects with symptoms consistent with this disease. Furthermore the impact of these tests in the diagnostic pathway of the disease and decision making was also evaluated.

Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that develops in genetically predisposed individuals. The immunological response is triggered by ingestion of gluten, a protein that is present in wheat, rye, and barley. The treatment consists of strict lifelong adherence to a gluten-free diet (GFD).

Patients with celiac disease may present with a myriad of symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, iron deficiency anemia, dermatitis herpetiformis, among others.

Serologic Testing in the Diagnosis Celiac Disease
There are a number of serologic tests used in the diagnosis of celiac disease.
Anti-gliadin antibody (AGA)
Anti-endomysial antibody (EMA)
Anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody (tTG)
Anti-deamidated gliadin peptides antibodies (DGP)

Serologic tests are automated with the exception of the EMA test, which is more time-consuming and operator-dependent than the other tests. For each serologic test, both immunoglobulin A (IgA) or G (IgG) can be measured, however, IgA measurement is the standard antibody measured in celiac disease.

Diagnosis of Celiac Disease
According to celiac disease guidelines, the diagnosis of celiac disease is established by small bowel biopsy. Serologic tests are used to initially detect and to support the diagnosis of celiac disease. A small bowel biopsy is indicated in individuals with a positive serologic test. In some cases an endoscopy and small bowel biopsy may be required even with a negative serologic test. The diagnosis of celiac disease must be performed on a gluten-containing diet since the small intestine abnormalities and the serologic antibody levels may resolve or improve on a GFD.

Please take a good look at appendix 3 which summarizes 5 studies of serological tests. If you eliminate Zintzaras et al. (2006) (28) and Lewis et al. (2006) (26), the first listed studies, the ranges of sensitivity and specificity, especially of the most useful test IgA tTG are so much lower, than the first two. I don't see any explanation. And the review did not include Dr. Abrams et al , Dr. Peter Green's Celiac research lab's published study in 2006 which showed much lower sensitivity and sensitivity in field trials of IgA tTG.

Dr. Abrams and Green conclude

The sensitivity of the anti-tTG antibody in clinical practice is not as high as previously reported in research laboratories. The sensitivity is significantly lower in patients with partial villous atrophy. There is also significant variability in test characteristics among major commercial laboratories in the United States. These results need to be confirmed in prospective studies.

This is a partial answer to the question I proposed about the appendix 3 results; variation in condition of the villae needs to be taken into account. In an initial assessment for diagnosis, one would not know the condition of the villae and the treatment does not vary with mild disease or serious disease. Mild disease (with more chance to have a negative serological test) appears to be as dangerous as more severe villous atrophy. But starting the right diet ASAP is very important.  So I just want to know if the person is gluten sensitive and get them started on a GAPS diet and protocol.

In my opinion there is a major weakness of this Health Quality Ontario review as it was designed to only look at English language studies of the utility of serological tests. This is unfortunate as there is a wealth of information coming from the Italian, Japanese, Scandinavian, German and other non English, large celiac research centres.

Does anyone know if there is a "Celiac Research Centre" in Canada? Please let me know if you know of one.

To Your Health
Dr. Barbara