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Sleep to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

A Normal Brain and an Alzheimer's One

A Normal Brain and an Alzheimer’s One

Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating disorder, not just to the person with it but the entire family of the afflicted. There is some good news on how to possibly prevent it and a new understanding of how sleep can affect it may lead to new treatments. So how does sleep affect Alzheimer’s? Turns out that sleep may help flush out toxins from the brain.

A recent paper published in Science magazine (October 18, 2013) suggested that one of the reasons sleep is so important is that during sleep, the brain and spinal cord fluid flushes the space between brain cells. The toxins and waste material is then sent to the liver for processing. The study, done on mice revealed this operation of what is known as the glymphatic system. The leader of the study, Dr. Maiken Nedergaard of Rochester Medical Center in New York said, “it was almost like you opened a faucet” when explaining what the researchers saw.

While awake, glial cells expand which reduces the space between brain cells and they contract during sleep to allow the fluid to rush in. This swelling and contraction changes the space about 60% between sleep and being awake. Numerous compounds build up in the brain during waking hours including amyloid-beta which has been implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. When you sleep, amyloid-beta decreases but no one understood what the mechanism was. It was thought that enzymes might have been the way amyloid-beta was decreased but now that may need to be reexamined.

Researchers like Dr. Randall Bateman at Washington University in St. Louis said, “I’d be a fool not to pay attention to this.” As was mentioned in an article in Science News (November 16, 2013), “Increasing the brain’s ability to rinse itself off may also prevent or combat Alzheimer’s and similar diseases…”

Whatever your preferred method of getting to sleep, it seems to be critical in preventing any number of neurological disorders as well as allowing you to achieve optimal health.

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Urine Organic Acid Testing – #2

Urine organic acid testing is essential for developing the best possible body composition, increasing fat loss and achieving optimal health. The test is considered a functional test as it reflects the nutritional needs of the body instead of just measuring levels of nutrients and co-factors. This allows it to take genetic, environmental and stress factors into account.

In my book, Achieving Victory Over a Toxic World, I dedicated a chapter to the issue of weight loss and how environmental toxins can effect the energy cycle (Kreb’s or Citric Acid Cycle). Much of our energy expenditure during a normal day is spent by our resting metabolism. As I mentioned in the previous blog on the environmental pollutants test, a block on the Pyruvate/Lactate entry point caused by the toxins can cause carbohydrate metabolism to be shunted towards fat production. The urine organic acid test can pinpoint this issue and using the Lab Assist report, you can develop a nutritional program to break the log jam.

What make the urine organic acid test so valuable is how it can pinpoint disruptions throughout the Citric Acid Cycle, and what can make the energy production more efficient. What I pointed out in my book, is if toxic chemicals depress the cycle by as little as seven percent, you can eat well, exercise regularly but still gain anywhere from ten to thirty pounds a year.

Other issues that can be picked up by a urine organic acid test that have big impact on health include markers for dysbiosis, specific B-complex nutrient deficiencies, excessive ammonia build up (improper detoxification of high protein intake), and much more. It can also see if specific amino acids are inadequate functionally as opposed to a direct measurement as done in a plasma amino acid panel.

In my classes on laboratory testing and the art and science of biochemical individuality, I highlight this test as it is one of the most vital tools available to anyone interested in helping their clients achieve optimal health.

 

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Environmental Pollutants – #3

Environmental pollutants testing is an absolute must if you want to achieve the best body composition and lose fat. This first morning urine test, using dry strip technology is easy to do and does not need overnight shipping. The test results and the ensuing detoxification protocols has done wonders for the many people who have run the test over the years.

The toxins that are tested for using the environmental pollutants panel are the following: benzene, toluene, xylene, trimethylbenzene, styrene, parabens and phthalates. While you may not be familiar with all of them, you should be as they are powerful hormone disruptors and can disrupt energy production causing increased insulin and fat production. In my book, Achieving Victory Over a Toxic World, I devoted a chapter on how these toxins can affect the citric acid cycle (aka Kreb’s cycle). By blocking the entry point to the cycle (lactate and pyruvate) carbohydrate metabolism is greatly affected leading to an inability to create energy and shunting carbohydrates towards fat production.

An important glandular issue that the environmental pollutants can affect is thyroid function. A normal mammalian reaction to being exposed to a toxin is to slow metabolism. The thyroid, being an important organ that regulates metabolism begins to slow down metabolism naturally in the presence of toxins. It is this process that makes me cringe when I see health care practitioners stimulate the thyroid before they deal with any toxicity issues. This is highly detrimental to the long term health of anyone undergoing thyroid hormone therapy. The body is trying to slow down metabolism to protect itself from the detoxification process. During phase I detox, the chemical produced are often times far more toxic than the original substance. If the individual’s phase II detoxification process is impaired, as it is with many people, than you have a more toxic situation than had you left things alone. This is why testing for environmental pollutants is critical along with a urinary organic acid test which I will review next.

I worked with a clinic once that focused primarily on thyroid issues and they ordered quite a number of the environmental pollutants tests but all of a sudden they stopped. I could not find out why until an ex-employee called me to tell me that they stopped the testing was because too many people were no longer hypothyroid. This caused the patients to stop buying their compounded thyroid medication which was a major source of revenue. Money over health in this case.

Another important reason why this test is so important is the testing for the presence of phthalates. This plasticizer, which is found in personal care products, air fresheners and body sprays is a known testosterone disruptor. I once received a call from a large university in the Midwest of the U.S., asking me why they keep seeing so many young men between the ages of 18-25 whose testosterone levels were that of 60 year olds. When we started testing them using the environmental pollutants panel from U.S. Biotek, the results were predictable. Almost every man with low testosterone had high levels of either phthalates or monoethyl phthalates. Detoxfication was able to reverse the low testosterone over a period of time.

One toxin that has to be detoxified carefully is benzene. This petrochemical found in diesel fuel is highly carcenogenic. If you have a dysbiotic gut and you do not deal with that first you run the risk of increasing the toxicity and carcenogenicity of benzene. Using the Lab Assist report will help to avoid that trap and give you carefully researched and safe detoxification protocols.

At my seminars, I carefully go over the nuances of this test as it pertains to achieving optimal health as well as better body composition and fat loss. If you are in Australia, the two classes are in Sydney on February 8-10, and in Melbourne on February 15-17, 2013. The next U.S. seminar will be in Lake Tahoe at the end of April, exact date to be announced soon.

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