Health Benefits Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar – The Healing Effects Of Daily Consumption

Using apple cider vinegar is an ancient remedy for a wide variety of ailments. There are many health benefits drinking apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar has anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial properties. Throughout history, apple cider vinegar has been a cherished remedy. I have here included some of the most beneficial usages of apple cider vinegar:

Gastrointestinal discomfort:pexels-photo-735966

I have treated many patients with gastrointestinal discomfort such as bloating, flatulence, constipation/diarrhea by using apple cider vinegar. I here advise on starting the day with drinking a glass of lukewarm water with a splash of apple cider vinegar. Consume this every day for optimal effect.

Fatigue:pexels-photo-271897

Many people suffer from fatigue, and the reasons are multifold. Even so, there is a great likelihood that adding apple cider vinegar to your diet will provide you with some relief. Here I would advise on following the same practice as stated above. Start the day with lukewarm water with a splash of apple cider vinegar, but also add ½-1 teaspoon of raw, unprocessed honey. This is what Hippocrates would call Oxymel.  If you want to read more about the wonderful effects of honey, go to my other article on the benefits of honey.

Skin:treatment-finger-keep-hand-161477

If you have a dry, itchy skin, applying a diluted solution of water and apple cider vinegar to the skin may provide a great deal of relief. Leave it on the skin for about 15 minutes, and then apply a good moisturizer. Alternatively, adding apple cider vinegar to your bath could relieve an itchy skin. Some cases this practice has even proved beneficial for an eczematous skin rash.

Hair:pexels-photo-192474

After shampooing and before conditioning your hair apply some apple cider vinegar to your hair, and massage it in. Then rinse off. This has a very good effect to alleviate scalp issues such as dandruff and dry/itchy scalp

Feet:pexels-photo-266011

If you are suffering from smelly feet, this usually comes from the feet not being allowed to breathe properly, all day long stuffed in socks and tight fitting shoes. This may lead to flora irregularities in the skin. This may then potentially lead to a bad odor coming from the feet. This is a good sign that it is time to treat your feet better. One good way to alleviate this problem with bad food odor is to soak your feet in lukewarm water with a cup of apple cider vinegar. After a good soak dry the feet, and preferably apply a good moisturizer. Also, try to leave your feet out in the open for a while, so the pores in the skin can breathe properly.

Warts:run-fitness-workout-train-163535

If you have warts on your feet or in the genital area you could possibly heal this with apple cider vinegar. Here you submerge a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar, then apply it directly on the wart, and fix it with some tape (you may also use a diluted solution of apple cider vinegar if it stings too much). This can be left overnight. Repeat every day for a period of days to weeks. Initially you may see a reddening of the area, but then the wart turns black/dark, and then gradually goes away.

Insect stings and bites:mosquito sucking blood

Mosquito stings may cause horribly itchy blemishes. Apple cider vinegar will here relieve a lot of the itch by applying a diluted mixture of apple cider vinegar to a cotton ball and dab it on the affected skin every half an hour. Alternatively, you can add the cotton ball to the affected blemish by fixing it with tape. Wasp stings can be very unpleasant, and the pain can also be relieved by using apple cider vinegar. Follow the same steps as above. Mind you that allergic reactions will not be relieved, and if you are prone to allergies, following the right precautions such as taking anti-histamines or even using an EpiPen may be necessary.

There are many other good ways to use apple cider vinegar. Please feel free to add your favorite use of apple cider vinegar here.

All You Need To Know To Heal Your Skin

A few months ago, I started down a brand-new path in my career. Earlier on last year I had quit my job at the clinic I had been at for many years, only knowing that I wanted to do something else with my career.

I then rediscovered an old passion of mine, that of skin therapy. You see, the skin is truly a very powerful organ. Just look at how the skin is supplied with intricate networks of blood vessels and nerves. Our skin is the first barrier against external influences, and is therefore highly specialized in detecting even the finest stimuli, partly to prevent us from harming ourselves.

A delicate touch from someone on the skin will trigger a cascade of sensor impulses and hormones. For instance will a caring touch by someone else trigger a boost in Oxytocin, an important hormone for our wellbeing and feeling of connectivity. This has probably played a big role in our evolution, at we thrive when we are together In a group.

The skin can in many cases absorb nutrients considerably better than if the nutrient is being ingested. For instance, making a vitamin liposomal (bound to fatty acids) may boost the absorption rate of that nutrient. One example of this is if you want to boost your antioxidant effect in the body, applying a good liposomal glutathione gel allow a lot of the active antioxidant capacity to be absorbed, in contrast to liposomal glutathione being ingested, where only about 10% will be absorbed.

Here is a quick guide to how to boost your skin vitality:

  • Drink lukewarm water upon rising, preferably with some lemon squeeze. After a night of sleep the body tends to be more dehydrated. Ingesting a few glasses of tepid water upon rising in the morning will quickly restore the hydration state in the body. Being properly hydrated in the body, will in turn hydrate the skin.
  • Start the morning with dry brushing using a natural brush. This has a good peeling effect for the skin and boost the lymphatic drainage from the skin.
  • Consider alternating with a hot and cold shower in the morning. Even though taking a cold shower in the morning may be the last thing you would want, after getting out of that warm and fuzzy bed of yours, many studies have shown a range of health benefits from doing this simple practice in the morning.
  • Do not use strong chemicals and other irritants on the skin. It is wise to be conscious of what detergents and soaps you use, as many of these products can irritate the skin and rid the natural barrier of beneficial bacteria flora from the skin. It is therefore wise to to for oily soaps with natural ingredients, and the most chemical friendly detergents for your clothing.
  • Use good oils and creams to nourish the skin. A good daily practice of applying a good moisturizer to the skin goes a long way for optimal skin care. This will hydrate the skin, and leave it better fit to handle the days stressors. According to some expert dermatologists, applying a good skin oil in the evening before going to bed, has an additional effect to boost the skins regenerative and rejuvenating capacity.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Along with many other health benefits, drinking regular amounts of clean water will replenish the skin with proper amounts of hydration. This also enable more nutrients to reach the skin and wash away more of toxins being clogged in the skin.
  • Daily supplementation:
    • 25 mg of chelated zinc
    • 2-300 mg of omega 3, preferably from marine sources as the omega 3 contain longer chains that will provide a better and more wholesome effect on the body
    • Gamma linolenic acid
    • Vitamin D 1000-2000 IU daily. Maybe more when severely depleted.
    • Vitamin B6 100 mg daily.
  • Regular exercise: In general, doing regular exercise is essential for your general wellbeing. Also for the skin, exercise proves to provide a lot of benefits.
  • Saunas and infrared saunas to perspire out toxins that circulate in the body and reside in the skin
  • Sleep well and soundly, as this benefits the hormones that enable a more optimal skin health
  • Limit intake of alcohol and other dehydrating beverages
  • Avoid nicotine as it has a detrimental effect of the skin

I would also strongly advice to have an emergency kit for accidents that inevitably may happen. At least make sure that you have some good plasters and bandages stored away. This will save you a lot of trouble when accidents happen. In Stanvanger dermatology department. we are fond of using honey for wound therapy. The reason for this is multifold. Firstly, it has shown to protect against skin bacteria that may prevent skin healing. Honey also provide a lot of nutrients to the wound site, and therefore speed up the healing process. This is particularly true for the honey produced by the leptospermum plants in New Zealand, and many honey products have been created from this healing honey. Mind you, when you apply honey to a wound, and then cover it up, there wound site will generate a lot of fluid. We therefore always recommend covering the wound site with an absorbent patch, such as Aquacell Extra.  I have seen many remarkable healing processes, where next step would have been amputation of the limb, and after application of honey, we could see a gradual healing of the wound.sunblock-skincare-healthy-skin-heart-161608

 

Simple Steps On How To Detox Your Liver

Is there one organ I am thankful of, it is the liver. The more you study the liver, the more you will realize its remarkable abilities.

Did you know that if you cut away 80 % of the liver, it would regenerate itself back to its original size! That is because the liver cells have an enormous regenerative capacity.

So why, when the liver can heal itself so efficiently, will the liver suffer and malfunction, ultimately causing debilitating  diseases such as cirrhosis (scarring of the liver tissue), gall stone generation and tumorous growhts in the liver. I believe the answer lies in the amount of toxin exposure to the liver. Therefore, to let the liver do its remarkable effects, we need to detoxify the liver AND the body.

So, how do we do this? Here is an outline of ways that have had a proven effect in healing the liver:

  • Regular fasting. By fasting for periods of time, you will give the body time and opportunity to let go of the toxins that have built up in the body. When we eat, and the nutrients from the food is broken down and absorbed in the body, it is up to the liver to further assimilate these nutrients, either by storing nutrients in the liver for later usage, or distributing the nutrients around in the body. While this is a very essential process for our existence, the liver has to work hard in order to assimilate and distribute a complex meal. We can therefore say that fasting enable the liver to more easily perform other tasks, such as rinsing the body from toxins.
  • Clean eating. Eating less junk food and greasy food that bombard the liver with more free radicals, and at the same time ingesting highly nutritious foods with lots of good antioxidants and minerals is very beneficial for a healthy liver. I often recommend consuming a green leafy salad prior to eating a heavy meal, as this will help the digestive system and liver work better.
  • Drink less alcohol. I have the habits of omitting alcohol for a month at a time, in the effect to leave the liver less riddled with toxins. During these periods, I find that the energy level increases, and I can think more clearly. I have met people who have accomplished great things, who swear that the reason why they got to that stage was because they completely omitted alcohol for longer periods.
  • Take care of your gut. In my practice, I have a keen interest in figuring out if the gut flora may not be great. One important reason for this is that while a normal gut flora function to balance the immune system in the gut, a dysbiotic gut flora will release toxins and free radicals, riddling the liver with more work. The effect of this is that the energy level may decrease. Therefore, having a healthy gut flora and liver function, is important for thriving energy in the body and mind.
  • Herbal supplements. When my patients ask what supplements are the best to heal the liver I say herbs such as Milk thistle, Turmeric, Dandelion. Even making a tea using these herbs will have a potent liver rinsing effect. In my practice, I have commonly advised people who have elevated blood markers in the liver values to ingest a regular supplement of Bitterstern 10-15 drops in water 2-3 times daily for a period of at least 2 months. This I find to be truly effective in cleansing the liver and gall bladder, consequently normalizing the liver values.
  • Drink lemon water. Start the day with drinking lemon water (1/2 a lemon squeezed in a glass of water), or alternatively apple cider vinegar in water. While it feels good to start with this cleansing drink, it also has a lot of healing effects in the body, including stimulating the liver dexification processes.
  • Liposomal Glutathione. Glutathione is the livers most effective antioxidant, and has an enormous capacity to mop up free radicals circulating in the liver and blood circulation. When ingesting a supplement of glutathione, it is essential to make it fat soluble for easy assimilation, hence the liposomal form.
  • Drink plenty of water. You probably know that we constitute about 70-80 % of water. Providing our body with enough water is also essential for our bodies and liver to detox sufficiently. This is also important for someone fasting, where the effect of the fast is greatly enhanced by drinking plenty of water (and lemon water and herbal teas).
  • Release that pent-up anger. According to Chinese medicine un-channeled anger and aggression will be harmful to the liver. By this, I do not mean to show how angry you are by releasing the anger building up, but rather letting go of the anger, and exchanging it with more positive emotions.
  • Use visualizations. On that note, using visualizations can be a powerful tool. In Chinese medicine, visualizing the liver bathing in green color can have a profound healing effect for the liver. meditate happy

 

How I Got A Patient Pregnant

I know what you are thinking, and that´s not what I mean…

Let´s take this story back a few years.  I was working at the Functional Medicine Center, housed in an 19th century building in Oslo. Rustic and an emblem of Norwegian history, here, I often found myself reflecting on new versus old practices of medicine. It was a regular day at work, and as I enjoyed my first coffee of the morning, the first patients of the day walked into the reception.

As you may know, being a family medicine practitioner, one is confronted with a wide range of scenarios on a daily basis. Some challenges can be tackled easily, such as a minor infection, but some require more work, such as the one I was confronted with that morning.

I found myself sitting with female couple in their late 30s –  One of the women, let´s call her Else, wanted to get pregnant. I am not a gynecologist, and therefore this enquiry was rather new to me. They had seen gynecologists extensively, and Else had completed several IVF attempts. After trying what they thought was everything, they had all but given up hope, until someone had recommended that they consider a more holistic approach and see me for a consultation.

After making sure that all the essential investigations were undertaken, such as fertility control and general bloodwork, as well as an analysis of their working-sleep-stress conditions and eating patterns, we set out on a route that took two years to complete.

Below is the plan I set for Else:

 

  • Chill out. As many women making a career for themselves, it could be very stressful. Stress and anxiety block the fertility producing hormones. If you think about it from a biological viewpoint, in times of stress, this sends signals to the body that it is not “ready” to have a kid. Being more calm, soothes the stress hormones, leaving a natural surge in the fertility hormones.
  • Detoxify. I believe that having too many toxins in the body can stress the body, and make it harder to have a natural production of fertility hormones. With Else, we discovered both a mercury intoxication and a gut flora dysbiosis, causing too many toxins to circulate in the body. These toxins produce free radicals, that promote inflammation. We focused first on balancing the gut flora through diet and supplements such as probiotics and olive leaf extract. Getting rid of too much mercury in the body is rather time consuming and laborious, which includes chelators such as chlorella, DMSA and DMPS. Only after a few years of therapy did these heavy metals leave the body., making the body more in balance, and less riddled with inflammation.
  • Boost your fertility hormones by natural supplements. Here are some of the hormones I used to boost Else’s fertility:
    • GLA (Gamma linolenic acid).
    • Zinc
    • Vitamin B6 and B9 (Folate)
    • Maca
    • Ashwaghanda
  • Acupuncture. What has acupuncture got to do with fertility, you may ask. Well, there are many good studies that prove that women being given regular acupuncture therapy could boost their fertility.
  • Try, and try again. Else had countless IVF attempts, without success. But, she did not give up. Sometimes it is all about giving enough time, and eventually you reap the benefits of sticking to the program.

After two years I got a surprise visit. By this time I had even moved offices and joined Balderkliniken, Oslo´s most prestigious FM clinic and the largest in the world. When I opened my door, I was greeted by a beaming, happy woman, who handed me a beautiful bouquet of flowers. She exclaimed: You changed my life. To which I replied, No, you changed your own life.

These are some of the best moments in one´s practice. To empower people to live healthy and sustinable lives, to provide some perspective into the healing power of natural remedies, and to keep learning.

family-toddler-hapy-happy-160688

How To Take Care Of Your Lungs

We expose our lungs to constant strain, especially if we live in big cities. I remember in med school how I looked at lungs of people living in congested parts of the city (such as London when the air was filled with smog), and was horrified by the amount of soot accumulated in the tissue of the lungs. If you think about it, this is a natural consequence, as the lungs work as a filtration system. Optimally, only clean air is allowed to pass from the lungs and into the bloodstream, where oxygen is then transported to all the cells of the body. Furthermore, carbon monoxide is taken up into the blood stream, and expelled through the lungs. We know that the lungs are affected by the amount of toxins they are exposed to, and may eventually lead to inflammation and damage to the lung tissue. It is therefore advisable to know how to best take care of these precious organs.

Through digging deep into the ground and analyzing the different eras we now know that around 100 million years ago (when dinosaurs wandered the earth) the oxygen concentration in the atmosphere was around 35 %. Around 10 million years ago there was an enormous forest fire, that may be partly responsible for the reduction of oxygen concentration in the air. But chances are that the biggest change occurred during the industrial revolution, as the air quality decreased in the cities as a consequence of fossil fuel emission into the atmosphere. Since then we have had a poorer quality in the air we breathe, with oxygen concentrations usually around 20%. The lack of oxygen in the air is particularly evident in big cities, and has been measured as low as 10% in densely populated cities like Mexico City. Even so, there are ways to compensate for this, such as creating big parks in the middle of densely populated cities. This morning I strolled along Central Park in New York City, and thought to myself how mindful the architects of this big metropole had been in creating such a green lung smack in the middle of it all.

So, back to how to take care of your lungs. One sign that the lungs are inflamed is the production of mucus buildup, with coughing up of thicker mucus. If this is to happen, it is time to cleanse the lungs. Here are my recommendations on how to take care of your lungs:

  • Start the day with fresh lemon water, preferably with honey. This will not only detoxify the body, but also treat a buildup of mucus in the lungs.
  • Ingest turmeric root. For optimal effect for the lungs, it is advisable to ingest a small part of the fresh turmeric root, either by chewing it, or having it in a juice.
  • To expel mucus, eat a few pieces of pineapple or drink pineapple juice on an empty stomach. If this is done consistently over a course of two weeks, it usually relieves symptoms of excess mucus.
  • Drink chamomile tea. This has a general effect to soothe inflammation, and works particularly well for the lungs. Besides, it has a soothing effect on the nervous system, which in turn lower the blood pressure, and allow you to breathe with more ease.
  • Other herbs that may have a curative effect for the lungs are garlic, horseradish and ginger.
    • Garlic has a wide range of medicinal properties, the main effect for the lungs is the ability to cleanse and detoxify free radicals, toxins and other irritants, in addition to work as an antibacterial and antifungal therapy.
    • If you look at Chinese medicine, horseradish is a good herbal tonic for the lungs, just be careful not to overconsume this herb, due to its pungency.
    • Ginger is also an excellent herb, especially in cases of too much coldness in the body. Making a ginger tea, by steeping freshly cut ginger in hot water for 10 minutes, and then adding a small portion of raw honey to it is a very good way to expel some bacterial infections.
  • Some supplements that work very good for the lungs are zinc, vitamin c and Echinacea. In cases of lung problems, taking a regular supplement of 25 mg zinc, 1000 mg vitamin C and a few shots of Echinacea can work wonders.
  • Drink plenty of fresh water. This has a cleansing effect for the lungs, thinning out the mucus, and makes it easier to expel toxins from the lungs.
  • An occasional fast (while drinking plenty of fluids) is usually very curative for the lungs.
  • Using plants can potentially cleanse the air and produce more oxygen. I challenge you to try this out for a few months, and see If you notice any change. If you go to a botanist, you can ask for particularly cleansing plants, such as ferns and peace lilies.
  • Last, but definitely not least, is the healing effect of deep breathing. Even spending 10 minutes each day actively breathing deeply, filling up your lungs, will be very beneficial for the lungs oxygen exchange, and hence leave you more relaxed and energized. Even better is to do this while being out in nature. Also, a brisk walk, or other forms of exercise will make it easier to fill up the lungs with fresh air.Little girl on a swing in the mountain landscape

What Is Food Intolerance?

Around a fifth of the Western Worlds’ population believe that they themselves react to some kind of food. The reasons for food intolerance are many, and vary greatly in severity. I will in this article focus on unraveling various ways someone can react to certain foods, and then what to do about this.

Even though the food we eat is medicine for most, parts of food sources can for some be like a poison. The reason why someone react to foods are multifactorial, and often include a combination of genes and environmental factors.

We can divide food reactions into three main categories: Immune-reactions, enzyme breakdown problems and toxic reactions.food-salad-restaurant-person

Immune reactions to foods are what we call hypersensitivity reactions. Possibly the most familiar way for food immune reactions is food allergy. Even so, this is a relatively rare condition, and occur in only about 2-3 % of the Western population. Common food sources that may give food allergies are wheat, milk, egg white, soy, nuts and shellfish. With food allergy, consumption of the food source will potentially lead to a swift reaction, often occurring within seconds to minutes after ingestion, potentially with a fatal outcome if nothing is done. What is physiologically happening, is that the food activates an antibody called IgE (Immunoglobulin E). This will consequently lead to a surge in histamine, creating an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions can lead to serious, and potentially life threatening conditions, due to the throat and tongue swelling up and obstructing the airways. One can also have allergic reactions to a range of non-food particles such as dust, mold, animal hair, pollen, fungal spores and much more. There is often a cross-reaction to similar biological complexes. We therefore see that for example people with birch allergies could also react to apples.

In addition to IgE mediated food reactions, there are other hypersensitivity reactions to foods. Here other Immunoglobulins are activated by ingestion of the food, with an activation of other immunoglobulins called IgG or IgA. Here the time it takes from the activation of the food substance and activation of the immunoglobulin, to the actual appearance of symptoms may take from half an hour up several days. Even so, in my experience the symptoms often start to appear within half an hour. Common food sources relating to this delayed hypersensitivity reaction can be gluten, milk proteins such as whey and casein, eggs and soy. Here symptoms can relate to gastrointestinal problems, but also generate a whole range of symptoms such as fatigue, migraine, joint/muscle aches, skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis and much more. Many world renowned researchers have shown how ingestion of these proteins can cause an immune reaction. Alessio Fasano, a world renowned researcher at Harvard Medical School and University of Maryland Celiac Research Center have conducted countless studies proving how gluten sensitivity can potentiate a range of issues.gluten

Because it often takes a while before symptoms appear, the origin for the immune-reaction may be obscured.  A famous Norwegian researcher called Peder Brantsæg, have shown the pathophysiology between food intolerances and the evolution of auto-immune disorders, where the immune system not only does their job of fending against invading bacteria and viruses, but over-react, and start to attack ones’ own cells. Common Auto-immune disorders include Diabetes Mellitus Type 1, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hashimotos Thyroiditis and Psoriasis, to name a few.

Breakdown Issues related to food occur due to enzyme failures. The enzymes essential for the breakdown of a certain food malfunction or is lacking. Breakdown problems can relate to proteins, carbohydrates or fat. Breakdown issues related to proteins may lead to undigested protein particles called peptides. Another famous Norwegian researcher called Karl (Kalle) Reichelt proved the co-existence of neurological problems and peptide breakdown problems. The research shows how undigested peptide particle complexes lodge in the neurological opioid receptors, and hence cause a great deal of problem. Opioid receptors are what is the receptor upon what Morphine works, even though there are many different types of opioid receptors, with different chemicals triggering them. Several studies show the link between opioid peptides and diseases such as Schizophrenia, Autism, ADHD and Dementia.

Another example of a breakdown issue is that of carbohydrates. The most common case here is that of lactose intolerance. This is by far more common amongst Asian population, due to the genetic profile, but may also occur amongst all populations. Here a reduction of enzymes leads to less digestion of these carbs in the small intestine, where they then pass to the large intestine. Here these complex carbohydrates may serve as a food source to the wide range of bacteria in the gut, often leading to very distressing gastrointestinal symptoms such as flatulence and diarrhea.milk

Breakdown issues related to fat, implies problems breaking down the fat one has ingested, leading to less absorption of the fat. The definition of fat malabsorption is that over 7% of ingested fat in the food is found in the feces later on. The reasons for this breakdown problem is often due to liver and gall bladder issues, or reduced secretion of digestive enzymes from the pancreas. Certain bacteria dysbiosis may also contribute to fat malabsorption.

Toxic food substances can also give quite severe reactions when eating them. Examples of this is rotten food, infected food and foods containing ample amounts of detrimental chemicals and heavy metals. Ingestion of these foods can give rise to everything from acute to chronic complaints, and vary a great deal depending on what has been ingested. poison-bottle-medicine-old-159296

Examination to evaluate whether someone has got a food intolerance implies a thorough walkthrough of the patient’s diet and food habits, clinical symptoms, genetic and family history, risk of gut flora imbalance, and possible ingestion of toxins.

Investigation to determine whether someone has got food intolerance can start by doing a blood works looking for elevations in the immunoglobulins and enzyme depletions, in addition to signs of malabsorption. When there is a strong suspicion that someone has a food intolerance, it is advised to undertake an elimination/provocation diet, where one first eliminate (stay away from) the suspected food(s) for a period of around 4-6 weeks, and then “provoke”, by introducing the food again. When there is a “positive” reaction, meaning there is an improvement by elimination and a worsening by provocation, it will be advisable to stay away from the food(s) for a while. Eventually, (unless it is purely genetic such as lactose intolerance) after months or years, it may be possible to introduce these foods again, without any problems.

It is not uncommon to see a great improvement in someones’ chronic ailments after eliminating the food that give rise to the symptoms. I have experienced patients with severe migraine and chronic fatigue syndrome to suddenly feel revived and thriving after eliminating those foods. So if there are someone you know that have chronic ailments, with symptoms not passing with standard therapy, it would be wise to consider if there may be an underlying food intolerance giving rise to the problems.Thrive

 

The Miracle of Water

How much water do you drink? Seriously? Let me tell you that water is by far the cheapest and healthiest drink you can have. Do you ever stop to wonder about just how important it is to drink enough water? We literally consist of 70-80 % water (interestingly enough just about the same number as the amount of water covering the surface of the earth).

Water has an enormous healing capacity when you have enough of it. Consumption of water will hydrate the body, while enabling toxins to more easily be flushed out of you. When the body gets rid of toxins, your body will function better and more smoothly. As an extra motivator, having enough water in your body will make your skin smoother, and hence your appearance more beautiful.water showerSo, how much is enough? How much water should you actually drink to make sure that your body stays healthy. Well, that depends. It depends on what you eat, what you drink, your fitness level, the climate where you live, and so much more.

Several drinks could function as a diuretic, meaning you more easily excrete fluids through your kidneys. In some cases, this is a good think, especially for people who more easily retain water in their tissue. Patients who take diuretic medications need to take this to lessen the burden on the heart. Even so, it is also here important to drink enough water.

So what about coffee. Coffee is not in fact a diuretic, but it causes a fluid loss due to its laxative effect. You see, we retain a lot of the water in the colon, and when it goes faster through, we lose more water. Therefore, a golden rule when drinking coffee is: By one cup of coffee, drink two glasses of water. The Italians are usually very good in this respect, where they always provide you with a glass of water with the shot of espresso.

water coffeeSo back to how much water should you actually drink? I have got this question a LOT in my practice. The answer is that there is no one exact answer. This depends on a lot of factors.

Elderly people have a tendency to more easily become dehydrated. If I mention this to my grandmother, who is now 101 years old, she finds the whole concept of drinking water rubbish. She thinks the sight of “all these people walking around with water bottles in their hands” to be amusing. Then again, every elderly person is not like her. I have had many elderly people come to my clinic with obvious signs of dehydration. One of the most obvious is the “skintest”, where you pinch and drag up a part of the skin, then let go, and see how long time it takes before the skin goes back to its normal position. If it takes more than a few seconds it is an obvious sign of dehydration, and I would generally advice on drinking more water (Not more coffee).water drinking

As a rule of thumb I say that it is wise to drink at least 1,5 liters of water, and if you are drinking caffeinated beverages (coffee, tea, chocolate) I advise you to drink around two liters of water. This number could drastically increase if you reside in a hot environment, where you are perspiring profusely. Sometimes, drinking four liters of clean water is essential to stay hydrated.

Of course we will function on less water intake, but we are here talking about how to really feel energized. Drinking water regularly is a great investment for your health. So drink up!Refreshing drink in the gardenYou could try to make water more exciting by infusing it with various herbs or fruits

Things You Didn’t Know About Turmeric

If you have ever eaten Indian food, I am sure you have encountered this colorful herb in your food. This herb is an extremely colorful root, and if you get it on your fingers, you will have an orange pigment stuck to your skin for days! Traditionally, besides using Turmeric in various cuisines in Asia, Turmeric has also been used as a coloring agent, due to its strong color.

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In my practice I have commonly used turmeric to treat chronic ailments, particularly related to inflammatory conditions. Turmeric has lately undergone a lot of research, especially the healing constituent called curcumin, plus a range of healing antioxidants and nutrients.

Research has shown that Curcumin has a potent anti-inflammatory quality. Recent use to treat inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis have shown remarkable effects, when used consequently over time. Also, I have seen great improvement on pulmonary inflammatory conditions upon taking turmeric for a period of time. In fact, in contrast to the NSAIDs (such as Ibuprofen), while Curcumin doesn’t usually have as swift effect, the long term effect has proven as good (or in some cases even greater).

I would argue that the main effect of Turmeric is on the gut lining. We now know that between 70-80 percent of the immune system is located here in the gastrointestinal tract. Upon ingesting Turmeric, the anti-inflammatory qualities will therefore have a direct effect on lowering inflammation related to the gut lining. I would therefore advice those of you suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or other digestive discomforts, to give Turmeric a shot.

Speaking of inflammation, I should also mention neurological inflammation. Recent evidence has linked the most common cause of dementia called Alzheimer’s Disease with the development of neurological inflammation. Due to Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory qualities, it has promising evidence in the treatment of dementia, and other neurological inflammatory conditions.

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One main biological effect of Curcumin is how it mops up free radicals. These free radicals are created when we are exposed to chemical irritants, heavy metals, bacterial or viral infections to name a few. When these free radicals are gathered, they can cause havoc in the surrounding tissue. Therefore, supplementation of Turmeric in the diet can prove to be an important preventative measure in making sure you stay healthier, and have less free radicals roaming around in the body. This also explains why Turmeric is known to have a healing effect on the liver.

I would advise to first heat up turmeric before consuming it. This potentiates the effect of this herb. Also, there is evidence that show the importance of adding other herbs to turmeric, to have a symbiotic effect, and therefore a greater healing effect on the body. Adding piperine (from pepper) or tea (green/black) have shown a better absorption of the healing constituent Curcumin in the gut.

There are several ways you can ingest Turmeric. The most common turmeric extract have a 95% potency. You could also ingest Turmeric (Curcumin) capsules as a supplement. The clue nonetheless is to use Turmeric on a regular basis for its health rewarding effects.

One way to ingest turmeric is to have what in Ayurveda is called “Golden Milk”. We in the west have adopted another name, notably “Turmeric Latte”. So, a daily intake of Turmeric can do you a lot of good, both as a preventative measure, and also if you want to heal any inflammatory conditions. So Cheers!

Turmeric latte

 

What Is Parasite Dysbiosis?

One of the most common complaints I encounter in my practice is gut related conditions, ranging from a ten year old, who have suffered his whole life with stomach pains, to a frail elderly woman unable to digest and absorb nutrients properly. One thing I would consider in these circumstances is if there is some kind of parasite infection in the gut flora. This is where a normal gut flora has been disrupted by infection by one or many types of parasites.

Some parasites cause an acute condition, that may be life threatening. This could be infections with parasites such as Entamoeba histolytica or Giardia lambda. Often due to its severity, these infections usually need a swift therapy to prevent a severe outcome.

What is less evident are all the chronic conditions where parasites do not give a clear picture of what is going on, where symptoms such as chronic fatigue or diffuse stomach ache is the presenting complaint.Nonetheless, these parasitic infections can have a debilitating effect over time.

bed sleep

Imagine having a kid who is in constant pain from his very first years of age. You go to the doctors, hoping that they will figure out what to do. Your family GP can’t find anything wrong, and after repeated visits, where “everything is normal”, your son is refered to a specialist. You have great hopes, but even here no one can find anything wrong. You and your son is left with your problems, and over several years the symptoms persist. Most of his time goes to lying in bed, not being able to do normal activity like other kids in the block. You then eventually come to a functional medicine practitioner, who, due to a different framework of though, manage to find possible solutions. Upon investigation the practitioner find a parasite in the kids gut flora. Your son is given a short antibiotic cure, and after only a few weeks his symptoms starts to fade away, and after a few months he feels completely fine. You are thrilled, and wonder why this hasn’t been addressed before.

Now consider this frail elderly woman coming in to the clinical office. Her health has deteriorated over a course of several years, where she has noticed a gradual wasting, even though she has a good appetite and eats plentiful. Apart from her energy being low, she doesn’t have any other symptoms. Upon seeing her physician, she is told that there is nothing wrong with her. She then comes to a functional medicine practitioner, who, upon a thorough investigation discoveres a parasitic dysbiosis. Also here, her symptoms gradually improves after a gut flora cure, using antibiotics and antibiotic herbs, in combination with other nutritional therapies.

Old tired

These cases are not uncommon for a functional medicine practitioner to encounter. In fact, I have had many similar cases in my practice. It is therefore very touching when they, upon the follow up consultation, have flowers in their hands and crying because of how happy they are of being cured.

Now, why hasn’t this been addressed more in clinical practice. The reason is basically that some of these “gut dysbiosis” are not considered detrimental for ones’ health, and often is difficult to diagnose. One place where a lot of study has been undertaken on the matter of chronic parasite dysbiosis is at Centre for Digestive Disorders in Sydney, CDD. Amongst others, they have found two common parasites called Blastocystis hominis and Dientamoeba fragilis, that may be important to treat if there are chronic and diffuse symptoms that may be related to the ailments.

What usually follows a diagnosis of these parasites in someones gut flora, is the question “How they managed to contract this parasite in the gut flora”. The answer for this is multifocal. First, usually the beneficial gut flora is weakened. Then there may have been a period of stress, or poor diet, that have weakened the gut functioning. Then there follows an infection with one or more parasites, maybe also accompanied by intestinal worms. The parasites is commonly contracted fecal-oraly, meaning the hygiene of someone has been poor, whereupon someone else eats or drinks what has been handled by that person.

What is tricky with these parasites is that there are several subtypes of them, whereas some om them can cause disease, while other types are asymptomatic (and will therefore not cause any harm). Centre for Digestive Disorders have come to the conclusion that if the patient has symptoms that can be related to the parasite located in the gut flora, it is adviced to treat it.

Thinking

What is also tricky is how to treat these parasites. In a smaller study there was evidence that using the herb oregano extract, caused half of the patients to be relieved of the symptoms. What is important if you are to use oregano extract is to use the emulsified form, so that it doesn’t erode and irritate the gut lining.

Centre for Digestive Disorders are very much aware of treating patients with antibiotics. Often, a combination therapy using various antibiotics, including antibiotic herbs, are the best way to rid someone of these parasites. I find it essential when clearing away unwanted parasites, to also make sure to build up with beneficial flora. There are many beneficial probiotics that have a good effect, such as VSL#3/Vivomix, or other probiotics with a broad spectrum effect.

In addition, there are many folk remedies that will possibly have a good effect on treating these parasites. Most commonly garlic. Also, I would consider using lemon water or cold pressed extra virgin apple cider vinegar as well, as this benefits the general gut flora.

herbs gut flora

I think the main message from this article is: Do not give up if you have chronic ailments and are told there is nothing to do. There may be a solution under the next rock, if you look hard enough.

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What You Didn’t Know About Vitamin C – From The Sea, WW1 And Other Stories

Now, here´s a quick history lesson: Vitamin C and its importance was discovered in 1747, during the “Age of Sails”. Seafarers would travel for long distances, set on a mission to explore the world. The diet would often constitute processed beef and biscuits. The seafarers started to get a condition commonly called Scurvy. The condition starts with symptoms such as fatigue, muscle weakness, joint and muscle aches, bleeding gums and leg rashes. Imagine being on board a boat set for “The new world”  in the early 1700’s. For no apparent reason, people around you were loosing their teeth, their skin would turn yellow (due to jaundice), and gradually everyones health would deteriorate.  This mysterious epidemic claimed the life of thousands upon thousands of seafarers, without anyone understanding why. That is, not until a controversial experiment was led under the physician James Lind. James Lind discovered that if seafarers ingested citrus fruits (a common folk remedy to treat scurvy) upon their voyages, the seafarers could avoid this fatal situation. In fact, British Royal Navy officer James Cook then used this advice and his team which enabled him to sail from England all the way to Australia and New Zealand.

Scurvy was also a common disease during the First World War, where soldiers often suffered from malnourishment. It was then proven through studies that 10 mg of vitamin C was the minimal requirement to prevent scurvy in these conditions. This has later been used to set the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance), which later was adjusted to 75-90 mg / day.

citrus vit c

In the 20th century, several well renowned researchers contributed extensively to the importance of vitamin C on health such as Alfred Hess. The two-time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling stated how administering vitamin C was crucial for the treatment of cardiovascular conditions.

Another important name in the vitamin C history book is Dr. Fred Klenner, who conducted many successful studies in the importance of vitamin C to counter viral infections such as polio, herpes zoster, chicken pox, measles, mumps and viral pneumonia. Most of these treatments are described in his book “Injectable Vitamin C: Effective Treatment for Viral and Other Diseases”.

The most convincing evidence comes from Klenners research he did around the Poliomyelitis Epidemic in North Carolina in 1948. Here, 60 patients were suffering from this neurological condition, and after only 72 hours, after taking vitamin C injections, all of the 60 patients were entirely healed.

Some of the reasons why vitamin C is so effective for viral infections are multifold: The ability for immune cells such as white blood cells to accumulate vitamin C in their cells, and henceforth increase the ability of specialized immune cells and interferons to protect against infection. Also, vitamin C boost the mitochondrial energy production, essential for energy production in various immunological cells.

On the other hand, researchers and physicians Goodwin and Tangum published findings that mega doses of vitamin C could lead to kidney stones. But since these “findings” were based on earlier literature stating that there may be a linkage, this statement is inconclusive. There is no conclusive evidence to this day that supplementation of vitamin C will have any adverse side affects.

There are only a few animals on the planet that are not able to produce their own vitamin C, and humans are among them. Since we can’t produce vitamin C ourselves, it´s essential to therefore consume it in our food, and maybe also in the form of supplements.  Species that produce vitamin C create it in their liver by converting glucose into Vitamin C. Humans, apes, and a few other animals lack the final step to convert glucose into Vitamin C. Linus Pauling concluded that one should look at the intake of vitamin C consumption amongst other primates, which like ourselves, can’t produce vitamin C themselves. Specifically, a gorilla ingests on average 4.5 grams of vitamin C, while humans mostly consume an average of 500 mgs a day in their diet!

fruits - vegetables

Now, that´s all you need to know about vitamin C historically, for now, and we will conclude with the health benefits of this necessary vitamin:

  • Vitamin C boosts the immune system to protect against infection and work as an effective antiviral therapy, and a good therapy in the early stages of colds and flus
  • It protects against the harmful effects of free radicals formed by harmful chemicals, heavy metals, nitrites (from pre-packaged foods, which most in the Western world seem to consume a lot of unfortunately)
  • It acts as a to cure against harmful chemicals such as smoke and other chronic stressors that may have weakened the immune system
  • It´s a treatment for cardiovascular conditions, and decreases the risk of cardiovascular risks such as stroke
  • Vitamin C lowers the skin aging process, and there´s less wrinkling and better moisturizing of the skin (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).
  • There is a reduction in general inflammation and a reduced risk of auto-immune symptoms
  • It decreases the risk of developing conditions such as macular degeneration

Now, where to find good sources of vitamin C and other essential vitamins.  I will cover this in later articles. For now you could have a look at this list.