Posted on

Protein for Breakfast is Key Strategy for Muscle Strength-Mass, and Anti-Aging

Protein for Breakfast is Key Strategy for Muscle Strength-Mass, and Anti-Aging

Source: Journal Cell Reports (July 2021)

Lifestyle Medicine Update (August 11, 2021)

In the typical European and North American diet, most people consume more protein at dinner or lunchtime than they do at breakfast. However, a landmark study published in the Journal “Cell Reports “in July 2021 showed that consuming more protein at breakfast, compared to lunch or dinner, is a more effective way to support your muscle strength as well as promoting more muscle development in people involved in strength training or weight training. It appears that the body has a chrononutrition clock, which means that if you time your protein intake properly throughout the course of the day you can ensure more optimal muscle growth and preservation of muscle strength, which among other things, helps guard against muscle loss and muscle wasting seen in the aging process.

The researchers first showed this effect with mice and then with humans. Initially, they fed mice two meals per day containing either high (11.5% by proportion) or low (8.5% by proportion) protein concentrations. They noted that mice given the high protein intake at breakfast showed increased muscle compared to mice fed high protein for dinner, even though there was more total protein given to the mice consuming the high protein meal at dinner. Specifically, the ratio of muscle growth (hypertrophy) was 17% higher in the mice who were fed more protein at breakfast compared to the mice who were fed the higher protein meal for dinner. They also found that intake of a type of protein called the BCCA (branched-chain amino acids), early in the day increased muscle growth most effectively. This is a significant finding for individuals who are doing weight or strength training or resistance training in an attempt to gain more muscle mass, strength or enhance their body contouring. Branched-chain amino acids are found in high concentrations in whey protein, as an example.

To check if their findings were applicable to humans, the team then recruited sixty women who were 65 years and older into a study and tested to see if their muscle function and grip strength varied if provided with high protein at breakfast versus dinner. Just like the mice the women who consumed more protein at breakfast rather than at dinner showed enhanced muscle strength and muscle mass. I personally have used the strategy of high protein intake at breakfast for many years and it has served well, in terms of gaining and preserving muscle mass and strength. Remember that as you gain muscle or lean mass, you also speed up your metabolism, which makes it easier to lose body fat and easier to prevent the accumulation of excess body fat as the years tick by.

Some practical ways to enjoy a high protein breakfast without eating a lot of bad fats or sugar is the following:

1. Have a protein shake – I personally use a whey protein shake, as whey protein (high in BCAA) really helps support muscle tissue, preventing muscle wasting and helping to increase muscle gains if you do some weight training. The protein shake I use contains less than 1 gm of fat and less than 12 gm of carbohydrates per scoop. I have it with water, ice cubes, and two tablespoons of ground flaxseed.

2. Egg white omelet with vegetables, a side of dry rye or whole-wheat toast, and sliced tomatoes. 3 egg whites provide 21-27 gm of protein – similar to having 2 scoops of the whey protein shake I just discussed.

3. Non-fat Greek Yogurt with a high-fiber, low sugar breakfast cereal. Some Greek yogurts contain 15-20 gm of protein in 8 ounces.

So, in conclusion, more protein at breakfast is one more wellness strategy you can employ that can help you preserve muscle mass as you age, gain more muscle mass and strength with your strength training routine and speed up your metabolism.

I have included the reference for this study in the text below.

 

+References:

  1. Shinya Aoyama, Hyeon-Ki Kim, Rina Hirooka, Mizuho Tanaka, Takeru Shimoda, Hanako Chijiki, Shuichi Kojima, Keisuke Sasaki, Kengo Takahashi, Saneyuki Makino, Miku Takizawa, Masaki Takahashi, Yu Tahara, Shigeki Shimba, Kazuyuki Shinohara, Shigenobu Shibata. Distribution of dietary protein intake in daily meals influences skeletal muscle hypertrophy via the muscle clockCell Reports, 2021; 36 (1): 109336 http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.1033.9814&rep=rep1&type=pdf

2. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/07/210719103109.htm

Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,

Dr. Meschino

Dr. James Meschino

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

Posted on

Melatonin Recommended as First Choice Sleep Aid for Individuals Over 55 yr.

Melatonin Recommended as First Choice Sleep Aid for Individuals Over 55 yr.

Source: Frontiers of Endocrinology Journal (2019)

Lifestyle Medicine Update (August 4, 2021)

If you suffer from insomnia or interrupted sleep problems, you may be interested in the research published in the journal, Frontiers of Endocrinology in 2019. This paper reviewed the role of melatonin in brain function and the prevention of brain degeneration, and it also cited the recommendation from the British Association of Psychopharmacology, which reads,” A consensus of the British Association of Psychopharmacology on evidence-based treatment for insomnia concluded that melatonin is the first-choice treatment when a hypnotic (sleeping aid) is indicated in patients over 55 years.” (1) To put this into context, about 4% of all adults and 10% of those over 65 years of age in this country regularly take prescription sleeping medications prescribed by their doctor for insomnia and sleep problems. But some alarming studies in recent years have suggested that sleeping medications are associated with an increased risk for unsteadiness leading to falls and fractures. In fact, research from Dalhousie University suggested that one-third of hip fractures in people 85 and older may be attributed to the use of prescription sleeping pills. (2) Sleep medication use is also associated with increased risk of pneumonia, memory problems, dependence, and withdrawal problems, according to the same Dalhousie University report, published in 2021. (2) In 2012 and 2018 we had previously seen published reports in medical journals showing that compared to individuals who did not use prescription sleep medications, individuals using these drugs showed a significantly increased risk of cancer, premature death, serious infections (especially upper respiratory tract infections) mood disorders, accidental injuries, suicides, and homicides. (3, 4)

Read More

By contrast, the natural agent melatonin, which has been shown to help individuals get to sleep more quickly and provide a deep, restorative sleep, has been shown to be very safe and non-toxic. (1)  Melatonin not only helps to improve sleep quality but also shows promise in helping to block steps in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and possibly Lou Gehrig’s disease – three very common problems that can develop as people age. (1, 5, 6, 7) Melatonin also modulates immune function, helping to prevent or reverse the decline in immunity seen in aging (8,9) Some recent studies have shown that melatonin can also reverse mild cognitive impairment – the first step in the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and has been used to improve cognition and sleep patterns in early-stage Alzheimer’s disease patients. (1)  Melatonin is also a brain antioxidant, protecting the brain from free radical damage. (1) As well, melatonin shows impressive findings as a natural agent that may help prevent breast and prostate cancer, as well as some other cancers. Most recently it has been used as an adjunct in breast cancer patients undergoing medical treatment. (10, 11). As well, one study showed that melatonin helped to reduce the progression of macular degeneration of the eye – the leading cause of blindness in individuals older than 55 and may help those who suffer from ringing in the ears (tinnitus) fall asleep more easily. (12)

As a sleep aid, I personally like to take low-dose melatonin in a supplement that also contains three other natural agents that include GABA, 5-HTP, and Bacopa monnieri. In short, studies show that the supplements GABA and 5-HTP (5- hydroxytryptophan) work together to improve sleep quality and can counter caffeine-induced insomnia problems, where having caffeine too late in the day can make it hard to fall asleep. (13) Bacopa monnieri is a natural plant-based agent used in the Indian Medical System, which is proven to reverse early-stage memory loss, but it also works with melatonin to protect the brain against free radical damage and other processes that lead to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. As we age these nutrients become increasingly important to brain health and the prevention of brain degeneration, according to many published studies. (1, 14) So, as an alternative to prescription sleep medications, the use of a combined formula of melatonin, GABA, 5-HTP, and Bacopa monnieri, maybe a wiser, safer, and more natural choice, according to emerging published research and clinical trials.

I have included the references for this information in the text below

References:

1. 2019 Update Melatonin and Neurodegeneration(Frontiers of Endocrinology) https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fendo.2019.00480/full

2. Dalhousie University – Dal News) https://www.dal.ca/news/2021/01/25/researchers-takes-aim-at-highest-rates-of-sleeping-pill-reliance.html

3. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/2/1/e000850.full?sid=f0956753-511d-4e70-9230-c1e8aa5df0d3)

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4890308/

5. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1600-079X.2006.00377.x

6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2846661/

7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3652329/

8. Lordan R et al. Dietary Supplements and Nutraceuticals Under Investigation for Covid-19 Prevention and Treatment. National Institutes of Health Preprint Pilot. Feb 3, 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7872359/

9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4946322/

10. https://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/journal/2010-02/overview-melatonin-and-breast-cancer

11. Li Y et al. Melatonin for the prevention and treatment of cancer. Oncotarget Journal, 2017, vol 8, No 24: 39896-39921 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5503661/

12. How to Optimize Sleep: The Sleep Foundation https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-hygiene/healthy-sleep-tips

13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5974066/

14. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/606424/

Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,

Dr. Meschino

Dr. James Meschino

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.


Posted on

Fermented Foods Increase Friendly Gut Bacteria, Reduce Inflammation and Help Regulate Immune Function

Fermented Foods Increase Friendly Gut Bacteria, Reduce Inflammation and Help Regulate Immune Function

Source: Journal Cell (July 2021)

Lifestyle Medicine Update (July 14, 2021)

A study published in the journal Cell in July 2021 showed the value of eating fermented foods in supporting the gut microflora and reducing markers for systemic inflammation throughout the body and helping to regulate the immune system in a positive way. To put this into context, the human large intestine is home to 400-500 different bacteria and other species that are essential to our survival, immune function, and other health parameters.  Studies on patients with inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis indicate that the more diverse the gut microflora (meaning the greater the number of different kinds of bacteria, especially friendly anaerobic bacteria like lactobacillus and Bifidus strains), the less likely one is to develop inflammatory bowel diseases, the more competent is the immune system with less propensity for systemic local gut and system inflammation to occur. 

High numbers of these, and other friendly bacteria, also help to crowd out unfriendly bacteria that can cause diarrhea, gut inflammation, and infection, as well as exerting negative effects on digestion, elimination, detoxification, immune function, and other aspects of health.  As well, having high numbers of unfriendly gut bacteria may also contribute to the development of colon cancer – the second leading cause of cancer death in North America and much of the Western World. On the other hand, having high concentrations of friendly gut bacteria is shown to improve immune function, reduce bowel toxins and improve the digestive process in ways that are beneficial to the management of irritable bowel syndrome, and the suppression of inflammatory processes. As such, studies showing that a dietary strategy can increase the number and diversity of friendly gut bacteria and reduce markers for systemic inflammation are of great significance. No drugs can do this.

In the study published in July 2021 researchers instructed half the subjects to consume a diet that included their choice of various fermented foods (high in friendly bacteria), such as yogurt, kefir, fermented cottage cheese, kimchi (Korean fermented cabbage dish), pickled turnips, sauerkraut, other fermented vegetables, as well as kombucha tea. The more of these fermented foods the subjects consumed over the 10-week trial period the greater became the biodiversity of their gut-friendly gut bacteria, and the lower was their markers of systemic inflammation. This was assessed by pre and post studies of their stool samples and by evaluating 19 blood markers for systemic inflammation. As well, certain immune cells in their body showed less activation, which would be highly beneficial for patients with Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, as well as in Rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases. One of the problems in modern society is that many people are walking around with dysbiosis, which means that the gut microflora contains too little friendly bacteria, lacks diversity of friendly gut bacteria, and is overpopulated with unfriendly gut bacteria that can do harm to us. This common state (dysbiosis) is a direct result of the overuse of antibiotics, which kill gut-friendly bacteria, the consumption of more and more refined, processed foods, less reliance on high fiber foods, like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes, and the use of antibiotics in animal feed to speed their growth (some of those antibiotics find their way into the human food through dairy and meat products.) This combination of factors tends to reduce the gut biodiversity of friendly gut bacteria and set the stage for a host of intestinal tract problems, compromised immunity, greater susceptibility to gut and systemic inflammation, and possibly other health problems like autoimmune diseases.

What this study confirms is that we can make a positive change in our gut diversity and concentrations of friendly gut bacteria by simply consuming more naturally fermented foods, like the ones I have spoken about here. In fact, in just 10-weeks, you can significantly increase your gut biodiversity and colonies of gut-friendly bacteria by doing so. And this can have substantial health benefits for you going forward. It may also be wise to take a full-spectrum probiotic supplement and be more cognizant of consuming higher fiber foods, which provide nourishment for the friendly gut bacteria, enabling them to reproduce, thrive, and crowd out the unfriendly, more dangerous gut bacteria with whom they continually compete for real estate with your large bowel. If you have digestive or inflammatory issues, sometimes adding a supplement with digestive enzymes and prebiotics can also be helpful. With respect to the July 2021 study, maybe think about how you can incorporate more fermented foods into your diet if it hasn’t been something that’s been on your radar to this point.

I have included the references for this information in the test below.

Reference:

Main Reference:

Hannah C. Wastyk, Gabriela K. Fragiadakis, Dalia Perelman, Dylan Dahan, Bryan D. Merrill, Feiqiao B. Yu, Madeline Topf, Carlos G. Gonzalez, William Van Treuren, Shuo Han, Jennifer L. Robinson, Joshua E. Elias, Erica D. Sonnenburg, Christopher D. Gardner, Justin L. Sonnenburg. Gut-microbiota-targeted diets modulate human immune statusCell, 2021;  https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(21)00754-6?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0092867421007546%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/07/210712122151.htm

Other Supporting References:

https://gut.bmj.com/content/53/5/685.abstract

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijbd/2016/2718275/

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/089106000750060305

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6723656/

Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,

Dr. Meschino

Dr. James Meschino

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

Posted on

Get Your LDL-Cholesterol into the Ideal Range to Prevent a Heart Attack

Get Your LDL-Cholesterol into the Ideal Range to Prevent a Heart Attack

Source: New England Journal of Medicine (2004); Cleveland Clinic (2019)

Lifestyle Medicine Update (June 22, 2021)

Recent studies have confirmed the recommendation I have made to patients over the last couple of decades, which entails doing everything possible to get your blood level of the bad cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol) into the ideal range to prevent a heart attack. According to the Cleveland Clinic, “everyone ages 20 and older should have their (blood) cholesterol checked at least every five years. The guidelines recommend you have a complete” lipoprotein profile” that measures total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL, the good cholesterol that may help prevent heart disease), and triglycerides, another type of fat in the bloodstream. The test should be performed after fasting (12 hours).” As they also state, “elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad cholesterol, is a major cause of heart disease. LDL-cholesterol causes the build-up of fatty deposits within your arteries, reducing or blocking the flow of blood and oxygen your heart needs. This can lead to chest pain and heart attack…..and also causes problems such as stroke, kidney failure, and poor circulation.” We’ve known much of this for many years, but what is becoming increasingly clear is the ideal blood level of LDL-cholesterol to prevent heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.

In high-risk patients, the LDL-cholesterol target has been adjusted down to 60 mg/dL or less (1.5 mmol/L) from the previous 70 mg/dL (1.8 mmol/L). The problem is that in medical circles the acceptable target LDL-cholesterol levels is listed as anything value less than 100 mg/dL (2.6 mmol/L) for patients without other risk factors for heart disease and for those who have not had a previous heart attack or stroke. To me, this recommendation makes no sense at all when you consider that cardiovascular is a leading cause of death in our society.

 

In my view, every adult should strive to get their LDL cholesterol down to 60 mg/dL (1.5 mmol/L) or lower as an important means to prevent blockages from forming in the coronary blood vessels in the heart and elsewhere in the body. I have made this a personal goal for myself over the years and have encouraged others to do the same. This is how you prevent plaque from building up in the artery wall in the first place. Now, we know that high LDL cholesterol is not the only risk factor for heart disease and stroke, but it is one of the very most important risk factors.

As such, I recommend that you know your LDL-cholesterol number. If its above 60 mg/d/L. or 1.5 mmol/L, then you should strongly consider becoming more aggressive in your lifestyle practices to lower your LDL cholesterol. This means eating less or no high-fat animal foods like beef, pork, and lamb, as well as any milk or yogurt containing more than 1% milkfat. It also means avoiding cheese, butter, cream, ice cream, whipped cream, sour cream, and other high-fat dairy products. It means avoiding mayonnaise, tahini sauce, cream sauces, and creamy salad dressings, as well as milk chocolate, coconut oil, palm oil, and most pastries, especially pie crusts and the icing on and layered into many cakes. You can also lower your LDL cholesterol by avoiding deep-fried foods and foods containing trans-fats. On the other hand, foods containing soluble fiber help to lower LDL-cholesterol, which include all types of beans and peas (including soybeans and soy products), oats and oat bran, as well as artichokes, ground flaxseeds, psyllium husk fiber, and fibrous fruits such as apples, pears, and plums.

If all these dietary practices don’t get your LDL-cholesterol into the ideal range (below 1.5 mmol/L), then speak to your doctor about taking a statin drug to help you accomplish this goal or consider taking a supplement of Red Yeast Rice, which is a natural source of the active compound used in some statin drugs to lower cholesterol. The natural agent is monacolin K, which, like statin drugs, blocks cholesterol synthesis in your body and possibly the absorption of cholesterol from the intestinal tract. If you use a Red Yeast Rice supplement you must ensure it is a standardized grade (for example 110 mg capsule standardized to 3% monascin and 1% ankaflavin).  However, whether you take a statin drug or Red Yeast Rice, it requires monitoring by your physician for potential side effects, including liver damage, the triggering of diabetes, memory loss and other issues. So, where possible get your LDL-cholesterol level into the ideal range through the prudent dietary strategies I’ve outlined, as well as remaining physically active.

I have included the references for this information in the text below.

References:

1. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/16866-cholesterol-guidelines–heart-health

2. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa040583

 

Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great

Dr. Meschino

Dr. James Meschino

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

Posted on

More Optimal Vitamin D Status Reduces Risk of Opioid Addiction and Withdrawal Symptoms: 2021 Research Suggests

More Optimal Vitamin D Status Reduces Risk of Opioid Addiction and Withdrawal Symptoms: 2021 Research Suggests

Source: J Science Advances (June 2021)

Lifestyle Medicine Update (June 16, 2021)

A study published in the journal Science Advances in June 2021 has strengthened the evidence that individuals who have more optimal vitamin D blood levels are less likely to become addicted to opioid drugs. With the opioid crises we are facing today, this finding may be very meaningful. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 2003-2004), the data reveals that Americans that have low vitamin D levels (below 20 ng/mL; 50 nmol/L) are more inclined to use opioids and develop opioid addiction than Americans whose blood vitamin D levels are at or above 20 ng/mL; 50 nmol/).  This finding remains consistent after factoring in, or controlling for, age, sex or gender, history of fractures, the season of blood analysis, and presence of chronic pain, which often drives people to use opioid drugs for pain control. These finding start to make sense when you understand that exposing our skin to sunlight or tanning beds not only increases vitamin D synthesis in our skin, and thus, our vitamin D blood levels, but it also increases the synthesis and release of endorphins, which provide a certain level of euphoria and feeling of wellbeing. This is one of the reasons why many people crave the feeling of sunlight on their skin and/or become mildly addicted to tanning beds – it’s a bit of an endorphin rush. Of course, too much UV-light exposure causes skin aging and skin cancer.  But scientists believe that humans evolved to crave sunlight because it releases endorphins, which make us feel good, as we simultaneously synthesize vitamin D to prevent vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D deficiency causes malformation of developing bones (osteomalacia), as well as osteopenia and osteoporosis, and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, some cancers, and possibly other afflictions like M.S. Thus, our ancestors who survived the primitive world were the ones who maintained more optimal vitamin D levels by getting sufficient sun exposure. As such, our bodies have an internal program that drives us to crave sunlight to make feel-good endorphins, and in doing so, we increase our survival index by also synthesizing more vitamin D. As stated by Dr. Fisher, a co-author of the study, “consider a surgery patient who receives morphine for pain control after the operation. If that patient is deficient in vitamin D, the euphoric effects of morphine could be exaggerated (because their own endorphin levels are so low), and that person is more likely to become addicted (to morphine and other opioids)”. To bolster this argument Dr. Fisher and his team conducted an animal experiment using mice. The study showed that mice made deficient in vitamin D were more prone to keep seeking the drug morphine than mice whose vitamin D levels were normal. When normal levels of vitamin D were restored in the vitamin D deficient mice, their craving for morphine was reduced significantly as were withdrawal symptoms. Dr. Fisher went on to add that while more research is needed, he believes that treating vitamin D deficiency may offer a new way to help reduce the risk for opioid addiction and bolster existing treatments for the who are presently addicted to opioids. He stated, “our results suggest that we may have an opportunity in the public health arena to influence the opioid epidemic.” As he suggested, addressing the common problem of vitamin D deficiency with inexpensive vitamin D supplements could play a part in combating the ongoing scourge of opioid addiction.

So, the long and short of this story is that achieving a blood vitamin D blood level between 50, or more ideally, between 80 and 140 nmol/L (32 ng/mL – 56 ng/mL) may be one more way to help prevent opioid addiction in your loved ones and yourself. In other words, if you have more ideal blood vitamin D levels there is much less of a high or euphoria experienced with the use of morphine and other opioids, and thus, less addiction potential. As well, vitamin D supplementation should be considered as an adjunctive treatment in those undergoing withdrawal from opioid addiction, especially when vitamin D blood levels are below 50 nmol/L (20 ng/mL), which is often the case.

I have included the references for this information in the text below.

References:

1. Lajos V. Kemény, Kathleen C. Robinson, Andrea L. Hermann, Deena M. Walker, Susan Regan, Yik Weng Yew, Yi Chun Lai, Nicholas Theodosakis, Phillip D. Rivera, Weihua Ding, Liuyue Yang, Tobias Beyer, Yong-Hwee E. Loh, Jennifer A. Lo, Anita A. J. van der Sande, William Sarnie, David Kotler, Jennifer J. Hsiao, Mack Y. Su, Shinichiro Kato, Joseph Kotler, Staci D. Bilbo, Vanita Chopra, Matthew P. Salomon, Shiqian Shen, Dave S. B. Hoon, Maryam M. Asgari, Sarah E. Wakeman, Eric J. Nestler, David E. Fisher. Vitamin D deficiency exacerbates UV/endorphin and opioid addiction. Science Advances, 2021; 7 (24): eabe4577 https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/7/24/eabe4577

2. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/06/210611174042.htm

 

Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,

Dr. Meschino

Dr. James Meschino

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

Posted on

Colon Cancer Prevention: How genes interact with nutrition and lifestyle

Colon Cancer Prevention: How genes interact with nutrition and lifestyle

Source: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (April 2021)

Lifestyle Medicine Update (June 7, 2021)

A study published in the April 2021 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition illustrates perfectly what I have been citing and teaching over the past 35-40 years. When the human genome project was first undertaken scientists and doctors were quite certain that once sequenced it would reveal which specific gene mutations were the direct cause of specific age-related degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and certain types of cancer. Much to their surprise it showed the opposite. There is no one gene mutation that causes age-related Alzheimer’s disease, but rather a collection of gene variants that interact in a way that creates an increased risk. These gene interactions are very complex, and no one knows yet exactly how they influence each other. To complicate matters further, not everyone with these gene variants develops Alzheimer’s disease. Rather, a person’s diet, activity level, and other lifestyle factors are shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease even in people that have a collection of these high-risk gene variants. And the same appears to be true for most cases of colon cancer, as illustrated by the study I’m citing today.

In this study of almost 350,000 participants in the UK Biobank Study, researchers observed that in individuals who had high genetic risk scores for colon cancer, based on the multiple number of gene variants linked to increased risk of colon cancer, those who had high Healthy Lifestyle Scores had a 40% reduced risk of developing colon cancer compared to those, who had the same genetic variants for the disease, but whose Lifestyle Scores were much less healthy.  In other words, in most cases, genes don’t act alone and predetermine that you are going to develop colon cancer, and many other degenerative diseases. Rather, it is the interaction between our genes and our lifestyle patterns that trigger or prevent the onset of many of these degenerative conditions. In the UK Biobank Study, in high genetic risk cases for colon cancer, individuals who were more active, had better body shape measurements with less body fat, who avoided processed meat and red meat intake, who ate more vegetables and fruit, drank no or little alcohol and who did not smoke, showed a 40% reduced risk of developing colon cancer compared to those who had less healthy lifestyle patterns and body shape measurements. Put another way, individuals who had more unhealthy lifestyle practices had a 40% greater risk of developing colon cancer, genetic risk factors being equal.

The point here is that in most cases our genes are not our destiny. Your wellness game plan matters, not only to your longevity, but also to your healthy life expectancy – the number of years you hope to have a highly functioning body and mind. So be mindful of your diet and lifestyle patterns – they really do matter in the long run. I included the reference for this research paper in the text below.

Reference:

Jungyoon Choi, Guochong Jia, Wanqing Wen, Xiao-Ou Shu, Wei Zheng. Healthy lifestyles, genetic modifiers, and colorectal cancer risk: a prospective cohort study in the UK Biobank. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2021; 113 (4):

https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-abstract/113/4/810/6155851?redirectedFrom=fulltext

 

Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,

Dr. Meschino

Dr. James Meschino

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

Posted on

Omega-3 Fat Supplementation (DHA) Decreases Risk of Early Preterm Births

Omega-3 Fat Supplementation (DHA) Decreases Risk of Early Preterm Births

Source: EClinicalMedicine May 2021 (a clinical journal of The Lancet)

Lifestyle Medicine Update (May 26, 2021)

A study published in EClinicalMedicine in May 2021 showed that supplementing pregnant women with a dose of 1,000 mg per day of the omega-3 fat known as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) cut their risk of having an early preterm birth by 50%. Early preterm birth, defined as birth before 34 weeks gestation, is a serious public health issue because these births result in the highest risk of infant mortality, and child disability. This study was a double-blind, randomized, multi-center trial, involving 1100 pregnant women, which yielded eye-opening results with major implications for new DHA intake guidelines for pregnant women. The researchers stated that, overall, women who received 1,000 mg of DHA supplementation during their pregnancy had fewer early preterm births. However, participants with low DHA levels at enrollment had half the rate of early preterm birth (2.0% compared to 4.1%) when they were given a supplement of 1000 mg compared with those given a DHA supplement containing only 200 mg during the last half of pregnancy. This is an important finding because many prenatal vitamins contain only 200 mg of DHA, and this is clearly inadequate for a large percentage of women who don’t routinely ingest sufficient DHA in the years leading up to their pregnancy or during pregnancy. In women who began the study with high DHA levels because they were already routinely taking higher doses of DHA, there was no further benefit to adding an additional 1,000 mg of DHA.

What’s critically important here is that studies show that many North American women consume very little DHA from food. Studies such as this one, suggest that women who are planning to get pregnant and women who become pregnant should increase their intake of DHA through supplementation to reduce the risk of early preterm birth and also to enhance brain development of the fetus in utero, as other studies have shown. In the words of co-author Dr. Carl P. Weiner MD, “This study is a potential game-changer for obstetricians and their patients.” Carl P. Weiner, M.D. is a professor of obstetrics and gynecology and professor of integrative and molecular physiology at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, and a professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy. He goes on to state, “the dramatic decrease in early preterm birth with DHA supplementation will improve short- and long-term outcomes for children, families, and society in a cost-effective fashion.” Dr. Carlson, another co-author of the study, notes that this information should be widely shared with women who are pregnant and those planning to become pregnant. “Women should be consulting with their doctor and getting their DHA levels tested to ensure they are taking the proper dose to prevent preterm birth,” she stated. Funding for the study was provided by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) U.S.A. The study is one more example where the use of targeted nutritional supplementation can improve outcomes for serious and common health concerns.

I have included the reference for this study in the text below.

 

Reference:

Susan E Carlson, Byron J Gajewski, Christina J Valentine, Elizabeth H Kerling, Carl P Weiner, Michael Cackovic, Catalin S Buhimschi, Lynette K Rogers, Scott A Sands, Alexandra R Brown, Dinesh Pal Mudaranthakam, Sarah A Crawford, Emily A DeFranco. Higher dose docosahexaenoic acid supplementation during pregnancy and early preterm birth: A randomised, double-blind, adaptive-design superiority trialEClinicalMedicine, 2021 https://www.thelancet.com/journals/eclinm/article/PIIS2589-5370(21)00185-1/fulltext

 

Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,

Dr. Meschino

Dr. James Meschino

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

Posted on

Stress-Fighting Adaptogen Herbs: Scientific update and practical use in mental and physical health

Stress-Fighting Adaptogen Herbs: Scientific update and practical use in mental and physical health

Source: Various peer-reviewed scientific journals (see references)

Lifestyle Medicine Update (May 13, 2021)

I want to update you today on adaptogen herbs that have been shown to mitigate the negative effects of stress on the body and the brain. My favorite adaptogen herbs are Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, and Schisandra. When we are faced with chronic stress, which is a common feature in our modern world, our adrenal glands are prompted to pump out more cortisol (the stress hormone) than is often desirable for optimal health. Chronically high levels of cortisol can produce many negative effects on the body and the brain, such as:

  • Increasing inflammation and worsening inflammatory diseases like arthritis and autoimmune conditions.
  • Decreasing immunity -increasing risk of infections and even cancer
  • Raising blood sugar levels – triggering or exacerbating diabetes
  • Damaging brain cells in a way that negatively impacts our memory, learning ability, and sleep cycles.
  • And changing brain chemistry in ways that can trigger or worsen mental health problems, such as depression, burnout syndrome, and anxiety.

In 2017, the Georgia State Honors College Undergraduate Research Journal published a review of recent human studies where adaptogen herbs, like Ashwagandha, Schisandra and Rhodiola were used in the treatment of patients who were diagnosed with:

  • Stress/Burnout
  • Anxiety
  • Stress-Induced Fatigue
  • Mental Fatigue from shift work and exhausting work schedules
  • And weight-gain patients where excessive life stress was a factor.

Each of the studies showed that supplementation with adaptogen herbs was effective at not only improving these symptoms along with patient vitality and resilience, but supplementation with these herbs also lowered blood levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in these patients. Other studies published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatric Disease Treatment (2017) and the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine (2012) have shown similar results. Human clinical trials have also shown that, when used in conjunction with anti-depressant or anti-anxiety drugs, patients using adaptogen herbs often responded better to their treatment than do the group not given the adaptogen herbs. An excellent review in the Journal Pharmaceuticals (2010) highlighted the studies showing that adaptogen herb supplementation has also reduced major side effects of drugs used to treat schizophrenia and depression, they’ve improved recovery for patients recovering from influenza and pneumonia, and enhanced recovery from depression and improved physical performance in those who work or train hard physically. Unfortunately, as helpful as they can be, some adaptogen herbs can be dangerous to use in the view of some experts (including me), such as ginseng and licorice extract. These two adaptogen herbs can interact badly with many types of medications causing untoward and even life-threatening side effects. They can also produce adverse effects on blood pressure and the heart, cause skin rashes and impair the normal detoxification of coffee, alcohol, and acetaminophen. On the other hand, the use of Ashwagandha, Schisandra, and Rhodiola has shown a high level of safety and efficacy in human studies, which means that most people can use them without the risk of serious side effects. Based on available human studies and experimental and experiential evidence, here are some examples where a supplement combination of safe adaptogen herbs can be considered as an ancillary measure to help combat the effects of stress, enhance recovery, and/or improve health conditions:

  • General Unexplained Fatigue
  • Over Training Syndrome
  • Recovering from Infectious Disease
  • Weakened Immunity (Chemo, Radiation, Infection, Diabetes, etc.)
  • Mental Health: Prevention and Adjunct in Depression, Anxiety, Stress-Burnout where stress is a factor.
  • Declining Libido and Sexual Performance
  • Menopausal Symptoms not responding to standard and other natural interventions.
  • Signs and symptoms of underactive thyroid in presence of normal thyroid blood tests (high cortisol can block the effects of thyroid hormone)
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Decreased Concentration and Learning Ability in Stressful situations – also consider prior to exams and other mental stressors on the horizon.
  • Decreased Physical Endurance – also consider prior to physical work stress.
  • Early-Stage Memory Loss (along with other nutrients that support memory)
  • Stress-related hair loss (along with a high potency multiple vitamin and mineral supplement)
  • Adjunct to a Weight Management Program, where stress is a factor.
  • In Some Neurodegenerative Diseases (Parkinson’s dis/Alzheimer’s dis)
  • Autoimmune Conditions affecting the Joints (i.e., RA)

 

If any of this sounds like it applies to you then my personal preference is a supplement containing a combination of Ashwagandha, Schisandra, and Rhodiola.I have included the references for these stress-fighting adaptogens in the text below.

References:

2017 Review: Georgia State Honors College Undergraduate Research Journal: Human Clinical Studies on Mental Health https://scholarworks.gsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1057&context=discovery

Kasper S and Dienel A. Multicenter, open-label, exploratory clinical trial with Rhodiola Rosea extract in patients suffering from burnout symptoms.  Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2017. 13:889-898. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5370380/

Chandrasekhar K, Kapoor J, Anishetty S. A Prospective, Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Safety and Efficacy of a High-Concentration Full-Spectrum Extract of Ashwagandha Root in Reducing Stress and Anxiety in Adults, Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine. 2012. July-Sept.34(3):255-262 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3573577/

Panossian A and Wikman G. Effects of adaptogens on the central nervous system and the molecular mechanisms associated with their stress-protective activity. Pharmaceuticals 2010; 3(1):188-224 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3991026/

Dangerous Effects of Ginseng and Licorice Root:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3291795/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/262982

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4452531/#:~:text=Siegel%20%5B16%5D%20described%20the%20unfavorable,and%20hypotension%20(%E2%88%BC10%25).

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3498851/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0928098717304335?via%3Dihub

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3498851/

 

Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,

Dr. Meschino

Dr. James Meschino

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

Posted on

Low Iodine Intake from Plant-based Diets Increasing Risk of Neurological Defects in Children

Low Iodine Intake from Plant-based Diets Increasing Risk of Neurological Defects in Children

Source: Multiple Peer-reviewed Studies (see references below)

Lifestyle Medicine Update (May 5, 2021)

So, let’s talk about iodine. It’s not considered to be a really sexy topic and it hardly gets mentioned in the nutrition and wellness news of the day. But the fact is that recent dietary trends have resulted in a growing number of people who are becoming more and more iodine deficient. More specifically, many young people are now adopting the dietary practices of avoiding consumption of all dairy and animal products, including fish and using sea salt and other salt substitutes in place of common table salt, in an effort to consume all things natural. One of the unintended consequences is that an increasing number of young women now find themselves at increased risk of having children born with impaired neurological conditions, due to poor iodine intake. A small study in South Australia recently showed this finding, but a 2017 U.S. study found that nearly 2 billion people worldwide were iodine deficient, resulting in 50 million experiencing clinical side effects.

Of importance to young women is the fact that just mild to moderate iodine deficiency has been shown to affect language development, memory, and mental processing speeds in their offspring. In fact, the need for increased iodine intake occurs during pregnancy, but studies show that most women do not ingest the amount of iodine that is desirable leading up to becoming pregnant, nor do they consume the increased amount required during pregnancy and lactation, which is 220 and 290 mcg per day, respectively. As was stated at the 1990 World Summit for Children, “Iodine deficiency remains the single greatest cause of preventable brain damage and mental retardation worldwide. “Eliminating iodine deficiency was recognized as one of the most achievable of the goals that the 1990 World Summit for Children set for the year 2000. Unfortunately, the year 2000 has long come and gone and many women who live in modern countries, who have ample access to foods rich or fortified with iodine, are now avoiding these foods.

Dietary strategies such as using plant-based beverages (oat milk, soy milk, etc.) in place of dairy products, avoiding all dairy products, avoiding all meaty foods, including fish, and using Himalayan sea salt and other salt alternatives that are not fortified with iodine, as well as avoiding bread products, have lead to an increased number of young women becoming mild to moderately iodine-deficient, which does not present with any physical symptoms, but does lay the foundation for brain development problems in their children should these women become pregnant. I’m the first person to tell you that a more plant-based diet is desirable for many reasons, including reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and many types of cancer. It’s also better for the environment, and the ecosystem, not to mention the animals themselves. But, it has to be done intelligently, not guided only by philosophical principles. An iodine food fortification program exists in many developed countries for a reason, which is to help avoid the consequences of widespread iodine deficiency and insufficiency, which commonly occurs in populations where iodine-rich and iodine fortified foods are not available.

The daily requirement for iodine for most adults is 150 mcg per day. As little as ¼ teaspoon of iodized salt contains 76 mcg of iodine. As well, many flours and bread doughs are enriched with iodine often providing 180-185 mcg in one slice of bread. Boling pasta with a bit of iodized salt provides 36 mcg of iodine in a 1 cup serving of pasta. Many non-fat yogurts contain up to 116 mcg of iodine in 8 oz. 1 cup of non-fat milk contains 85 mcg of iodine. Some seaweeds contain up to 230 mcg of iodine, whereas other ones contain very little – so you can’t depend only on seaweed as your source of iodine. Most fruits and vegetables and legumes contain very little or no iodine at all and 1 cup of soy milk has 7 mcg (not very much). Of course, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, including soy products are healthy food choices, but they don’t provide iodine in an appreciable amount. You’ll have to find that elsewhere. Some fish, like cod, have as much as 158 mcg of iodine in 3 oz, whereas 3 oz of shrimp only has about 13 mcg, so it varies from fish to fish and from seafood to seafood. For example, 3 oz of tuna has 17 mcg of iodine.

In our society, individuals who tend to ingest less than the desired amount of iodine include:

  • People who avoid iodized salt
  • Pregnant and breast-feeding women (because they have increased need)
  • Vegans and people who eat few or no dairy products, seafood, or eggs.

In addition to increasing the risk of neurological deficits in offspring, mild to moderate iodine deficiency has also been linked to increased risk for thyroid cancer as well as breast and stomach cancer, in a number of studies. Iodine deficiency can also cause fibrocystic breast disease, which can be reversed in many cases via medically supervised iodine supplementation. As a rule, iodine supplementation is not something that is required for most people, as the dosage of safe levels of iodine supplementation is still being debated.  We do know that iodine supplementation can be harmful if too high a dosage is ingested. For most of us, paying attention to food sources of iodine is a prudent strategy to employ. We are fortunate enough to live in a part of the world where iodine fortification and iodine-rich foods are available. We should ensure that we keep iodine intake on our radar and get enough iodine each day to meet our daily requirements, while still being cognizant of the other health-promoting and environmentally and animal-friendly dietary practices we may be seeking to follow.

I have included the references for this information in the text below.

References:

Poor iodine levels in women pose risks to fetal intellectual development in pregnancy https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/04/210422093858.htm

Jane S. Whitbread, Karen J. Murphy, Peter M. Clifton, Jennifer B. Keogh. Iodine Excretion and Intake in Women of Reproductive Age in South Australia Eating Plant-Based and Omnivore Diets: A Pilot Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2021; 18 (7): 3547 https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/18/7/3547

Iodine: National Institutes of Health https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iodine-HealthProfessional/

Iodine and Thyroid Cancer: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4490680/

Iodine and Stomach and Breast Cancer and Fibrocystic Breast Disease: https://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/journal/2014-06/iodine-and-cancer

Health Consequences of Iodine Deficiency Including Mental Developmental Problems in Children https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3074887/

Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great!

Dr. James Meschino

Dr. James Meschino

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

Posted on

Diet and Botanical Agents for Premenstrual Syndrome – PMS

Diet and Botanical Agents for Premenstrual Syndrome – PMS

Source: Multiple Peer-reviewed Research Papers (see References)

Lifestyle Medicine Update (April 28, 2021)

In the previous Lifestyle Medicine Update, I explained the research showing how and why certain vitamin and mineral supplements are shown to help reduce or eliminate the constellation of symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome or PMS. But it’s not just vitamins and minerals that can be helpful. Certain dietary strategies, and the use of certain plant-based nutrients or botanicals, have also been shown to help many women who suffer from this condition. From a dietary standpoint, evidence suggests that reducing refined sugars, caffeine, and alcohol can help to prevent some of the inflammatory aspects of PMS, such as breast pain. But most strikingly, PMS appears to be largely caused by an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone in the final 7-10 days of the menstrual cycle leading up to the onset of menstruation. Normally progesterone is the dominant hormone in this part of the menstrual cycle, but when estrogen levels remain high (or more dominant), this is when PMS symptoms are likely to occur. Studies show that strategies to lower circulating estrogen or mitigate its impact on target tissue like breast and endometrial cells often help to reduce PMS symptoms.

As such, studies have shown that when women lower their intake of high-fat meat and dairy products, as well as deep-fried foods and breaded meats, and use lower-fat alternatives, and/or embrace a more plant-based diet, they begin to excrete more excess estrogen through the fecal route. Adding more dietary fiber, especially wheat bran, has also been shown to increase fecal excretion of excess estrogen. Together, these strategies have been shown to lower circulating levels of estrogen by up 50%, and in doing so, have helped many women reduce PMS symptoms. Exercising regularly also helps the body detoxify more estrogen in the liver and excrete it via the fecal route. Women who exercise regularly are shown to have a lower incidence of PMS. As well, supplementation with the botanical agent Black cohosh as well as Soy extract (standardized to isoflavone content), have been used successfully to reduce or eliminate many PMS problems, including often disabling menstrual cramps.

Black cohosh contains triterpene glycosides and soy extract contains isoflavones. These natural compounds essentially compete with the body’s more potent estrogens for binding to tissue sites. In turn, this reduces the overstimulation effect of estrogen on these tissues, reducing PMS symptoms in many cases. Thus, Black cohosh and Soy Isoflavone tone down the overstimulation effects of estrogen, helping to tame PMS problems. The dosage of Black cohosh shown to be effective is:

80 mg, twice daily (std to 2.5% triterpene glycosides)

For Soy extract, the effective dosage is:

125 mg, twice daily (std to 20% isoflavone content).

Some supplement companies combine Black cohosh and Soy extract into a single supplement product to make things more convenient and to capitalize on the synergistic effects these natural agents have on addressing underlying PMS issues. Some of these products contain other synergistic ingredients, such as Gamma-oryzanol, an extract from rice bran oil that has female hormone-balancing properties as well.

Other strategies to help detoxify excess estrogen, as well as estrogens from the environment known as xenoestrogens, is to regularly consume cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Bok choy, turnips), as they contain the indole-3-carbinol, which speeds up liver detoxification of estrogen and xenoestrogens. Ingesting soy products and a heaping tablespoon of ground flaxseed each day can also help to improve estrogen balance within the body.  In PMS cases where abdominal issues are a problem, such as bloating, constipation, diarrhea, taking a probiotic and/or prebiotic supplement may also be helpful, according to published data. Probiotics are combinations of living-friendly gut bacteria, which are sold in many pharmacies and health food stores. Prebiotics, like FOS (Fructo-oligosaccharide) and Inulin, are the type of soluble fiber that is the main food consumed by the gut-friendly bacteria.

 

Ingesting FOS and Inulin helps foster the replication of our gut-friendly bacteria, which usually then crowds out the problematic unfriendly gut bacteria, improving the gut microflora environment. Chiropractic care has also been shown to help reduce menstrual cramps and low back pain associated with PMS, as shown in various published studies. Combining this with acupuncture may be even more effective, according to some studies.

In summary, the holistic approach to the management of PMS entails the following:

Reduce the intake of refined sugars, caffeine, and alcohol.

Follow a lower fat, more plant-based diet that includes wheat bran and 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed daily.

Consume cruciferous vegetables regularly and consider the inclusion of soy products in the diet as well.

Take a high potency multiple vitamin and mineral supplement, enriched with high doses of antioxidants (like vitamin E), a B-50 complex, 500 mg of calcium, and 200 mg of magnesium.

Take an essential fatty acid supplement containing a combination of fish, flaxseed, and borage seed oil, as an example.

Take a botanical supplement containing the right dosage and standardized grade of Black cohosh and Soy extract, as outlined previously in this update.

Also, consider a probiotic and/or prebiotic supplement if abdominal issues are a factor.

Have a chiropractor assess your low back function in cases of dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps) or if PMS triggers low back pain symptoms.

Engage in regularly endurance-based aerobic exercise.

 

All these strategies working together can address many of the underlying factors that cause PMS, improving outcomes for many women who are looking for natural solutions for this common problem.

I hope this was helpful. I have included the references for this information in the text below.

 

References:

Frachiewicz E, et al. Evaluation and management of premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual syndrome dysphoric disorder. J Am Pharm Assoc 2001;41(3):437-447.

Gorbach SL, et al. Diet and the excretion and enterohepatic cycling of estrogens. Prev Med 1987;16:525-531.

Goldin BR, et al. Estrogen patterns and plasma levels in vegetarian and omnivorous women. New Engl J Med 1982;307:1542-1547.

Longcape C, et al. The effect of a low-fat diet on oestrogen metabolism. J Clin Endocrinal Metab 1987; 64:1246-1250.

Woods MN, et al. Low-fat, high fiber diet and serum estrone sulfate in premenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr 1989;49:1179-1183.

Jones DY. Influence of dietary fat on self-reported menstrual symptoms. Physical Behav 1987;40:483-487.

Aganoff JA, et al. Aerobic exercise, mood states and menstrual cycle symptoms. J Psychosom Res 1994; 38:183-192

Choi PY, et al. Symptom changes across the menstrual cycle in competitive sportswomen, exercisers, and sedentary women. Br J Clin Psychol 1995;34:447-460.

Steege JF, et al. The effects of aerobic exercise on premenstrual symptoms in middle-aged women: a preliminary study. J Psychosom Res 1993;37(2):127-133.

Limon L. Use of alternative medicine in women’s health. Am Pharmaceutical Assoc Annual Meeting. APHA 2000:1-5.

Schildge E. Essay on the treatment of premenstrual and menopausal mood swings and depressive states. Rigelh Biol Umsch 1964;19(2):18-22.

Heck A, et al. Potential Interactions between Alternative Therapies and Warfarin. Am J Health – Syst Pharm 2000;57;13:1221-1227.

McNeil JR. Interactions between herbal and conventional medicines. Can J CME 1999;11(12):97-110.

Dittmar RW, et al. Premenstrual syndrome, treatment with a phytopharmaceutical. Therapiewache Gynakol 1995;5:60-68.

Pteres-Welte C., et al. Menstrual abnormalities and PMS: Vitex agnus-castus. Therapiewache Gynakeol 1994;7:49-52.

Albertzazzi P, et al. The effect of dietary soy supplementation on hot flashes. Obstet Gynecol 1998;91: 6-11.

Cassidy A, et al. Biological effects of a diet of soy protein rich in isoflavones on the menstrual cycle of premenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr 1994;60:333-340.

Patter SM, et al. Soy protein and isoflavones: their effects on blood lipids and bone density in postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr 1998;68(suppl):137-139.

Dalais FS, et al. Dietary soy supplementation increases vaginal cytology maturation index and bone mineral content in postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr 1998;68(suppl):1519 (abstract).

London RS, et al. Effect of a nutritional supplement on premenstrual syndrome in women with PMS: a double-blind longitudinal study. J Am Cell Nutr 1991;10:494-499.

Stewart A. Clinical and biochemical effects of nutritional supplementation on the premenstrual syndrome. J Reprod Med 1987;32:435-441.

Abraham GE. Nutritional factors in the etiology of the premenstrual tension syndrome. J Reprod Med 1983;28:446-464.

Walsh MJ, Polus BI. A randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial on the efficacy of chiropractic therapy on premenstrual syndrome. Journal of Manipulative Physiol Ther 1999 Nov-Dec;22(9):582-5

Liebl NA, Butler LM. A chiropractic approach to the treatment of dysmenorrhea. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1990. Vol.13(2):101-106.

Walsh MJ, Polus BI. The frequency of positive common spinal clinical examination findings in a sample of premenstrual syndrome sufferers. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1999 May;22(4):216-20.

Deadman P. Acupuncture in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome. Journal of Chinese Medicine May 1, 1995:5-14.

Connelly DM. An acupuncturist looks at women’s health. Meridians Jun 1, 1993;1(2):18-20.

de Vrese M. Health benefits of probiotics and prebiotics in women. Menopause International. 2009; 15(1):35-40

 

Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,

Dr. Meschino

Dr. James Meschino

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.