As you know, we are big proponents of detoxification. You should be too and I will explain why. Our bodies are constantly subduing harmful chemicals to keep us alive. Without detoxification we would become very ill and our bodies would shut down. It is in our best interest to optimize this process much like it is in our favor to walk more and sit less. The unfortunate thing about “detoxification” is that it has become a profitable and trendy…scam. Multilevel marketing has brought about all sorts of different “detox” products and cure-alls that are complete and total garbage. These often increase your toxic load and do nothing to reduce it.
It is impossible to know what is actually in most products when you consider the regulations surrounding supplements. Reading the label will tell you just as much as not reading the label because the labels are often fraudulent ingredient lists. (Reference these for examples: FDA Crack down and False Ingredients, some even toxic) I am proud of our patients because they are informed. They often ask questions and that is very good because knowledge is power. One question that has been brought up more than once was (usually from bodybuilders), “I need to detox, what do you think about using lime juice in the mornings before breakfast?”. I would like to thank the social media for once again, misinforming people. Without a significant amount of biochemistry and physiology as a background, how could someone know whether or not that is effective? They couldn’t! Remember, just because a doctor, personal trainer, or nutritionist says something online…does not make it true. You must dig and research to make your own conclusions.
Lime juice (lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, etc.) is one step in maintaining proper detoxification once the “system” is up and running optimally. These processes work in concert together and must take place at the same rate to prevent backlog and cofactor (nutrient) depletion. Lime juice will aid in phase three of the detoxification process in which the urine is alkalized. This is an essential part of detoxification because this is how a lot of the toxins are actually eliminated from the body. However, this step is only relevant to toxins that are currently in the blood and that have been successfully broken down through phases 1 and 2 in the liver. The problem is that most of the time we are not able to successfully detoxify our current toxic burden in the blood…not accounting for the total toxic load already stored in the body. No amount of lime juice is going to effectively reduce the body’s toxic load. In order to remove stored toxins from the body, increase detoxification capabilities of current toxic burden and reduce new toxic burden we must supply the liver with ample calories and nutrients. Every drug, artificial chemical, pesticide and hormone, is broken down (metabolized) by enzyme pathways inside the liver cells.
Many of the chemicals that enter the body have an affinity for lipids, meaning they dissolve in a fatty & oily solution. This is one reason why we have a difficult time detoxifying; instead of being excreted in the urine or feces, these toxins are often stored in fatty areas of our body. Consider this: every cell in the body is composed of fat, including our brains. Toxins are often stored (in fat cells) for damage control if the body cannot eliminate them properly. Anytime someone burns fat as energy, like in exercise and weight loss, these dangerous chemicals are released into the blood and circulate through the body. This leads to free radical damage causing headaches, poor memory, stomach pain, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, stubborn weight loss, and many physiological symptoms that you may not feel. The body’s metabolic cleanser is the liver. From my experience, none of us consistently detoxify efficiently enough to contend with the constant bombardment. If we did, then we would not feel so vibrant after we do our biannual detoxification program in the office.
The liver is a very calorie dependent organ due to its extreme amount of activity. It requires a significant amount of amino acids to perform its hundreds of functions every minute of our lives. The liver is the body’s chief cleanser and is involved with hundreds of processes daily. Detoxification of the blood is one of many functions that we take for granted because most of us don’t understand it. Let’s discuss what is actually happening.
There are two phases of detoxification that occur in the liver, the first phase is actually called “detoxification”. This is when the liver uses cytochrome P450 enzymes (there are over 500 known cytochrome P450 enzymes) to break down the toxin at the atomic level. This will create free radicals in the liver. Free radicals are atoms that are unstable and destroy other atoms around them. Imagine a pinball violently bouncing around in a pinball machine, this is what free radicals do in the body, except they cause damage to everything they touch! The way our bodies mitigate this damage is through the sacrifice of antioxidants. When a free radical comes in contact with another atom (component of a cell membrane) it will steal part of that cell and leave it damaged…this is called oxidization. Think about what happens when an apple is cut in half and it oxidizes…you can see the damage as it turns brown. So antioxidants step in here and are attacked by the free radicals instead of our delicate cells. If you don’t want your apple to turn brown (oxidize), squeeze some lemon juice (antioxidants) on the cut surface to prevent oxidation.
This is why we need an abundance of fruit and vegetables supplying these nutrients. We supplement with antioxidants in our program to supply the body with more than enough antioxidants, that is the only way to sure that the body can keep up with the “system” as it cranks out broken down toxins. In addition to taming free radicals, antioxidants also help create a balanced pH in the body. This is not only beneficial to detoxification but also prevent disease like cancer.
Some less dangerous chemicals can actually be converted into carcinogens here at this stage between phase one and phase two detoxification. It is of upmost importance to have more than enough nutrients available to supply the liver with ample nutrients to continue up to and through phase two detoxification. In fact, people that are exposed routinely to toxins (medications, alcohol, caffeine, fumes, pesticides) can over stimulate the cytochrome P450 activity and create so many free radicals that the body cannot tame them and “induction” damage occurs. Again, we must modify the diet and supplement with ample amounts of specifically targeted components that lime juice cannot supply. Some of these include amino acids, NADH, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, iron, and indoles found in cruciferous vegetables. Diet is crucial to protecting our health. Have you ever heard that people taking certain medications should not eat grapefruit? The reason for this is that a chemical in grapefruit juice can interfere with chytochrome P450 enzymatic activity, which makes toxins (medication) more toxic or potent.
The second phase of detoxification is called “conjugation” and is simply when the liver adds a molecule to the toxin (drugs and hormones included) to make it water soluble. These various molecules, either sulfur-based or an amino acid, help pull the toxin into the urine for excretion from the body. To further illustrate the shortcomings of attempting to use a single fruit juice to increase detoxification, the nutrients cysteine, taurine, glycine, glutamine, choline, inositol and increased glutathione production are also required for successful phase two detoxification.
If everything goes well in phase two then phase three takes place and the toxin will hopefully be excreted in the feces or urine. This depends on bile production, fiber intake, pH, and frequency of bowel movements. You cannot defecate once every other day (or even once a day) and properly maintain an effective rate of detoxification. Lime juice will help only with pH, here. I hope you are starting to see the limitations in using only one fruit to aid in detoxification. This does not take into account kidney detoxification and the importance of water intake combined with specific nutrients for that as well. We have only addressed the liver. You should not be constipated or have diarrhea while detoxifying. Our program helps balance blood sugar, heal the gut, heal the liver and increase your feeling of vitality. It is not a cure for anything, it is simply proper detoxification. Please be very careful where your information comes from. This is a simple explanation not meant to bore the reader with biochemical reactions, however it is important to understand the role certain nutrients have in the detoxification process and why we use them on the program.
Humulus hops are used to increase methylamine kinase production which helps facilitate mobilization of metals from the fat cells of the body and into the blood where the liver can bind them and excrete them. Silymarin is used to nourish the liver and heal hepatocytes. Watercress and Ellagic acid, vitamin B1, B6, B9 and B12 are used with amino acids for a few things like increasing Cytochrome P450 enzyme production. Vitamin A, Chromium, and Methionine help mobilize toxins like dioxins and phalates into the blood. This list could go on for pages, but the take-home idea is that detoxification happens continually in the body. It is a very necessary and complex process that is often hindered due to less than perfect diets and environments. We have the decision to either help support the process or to further hindering it. I encourage you to drink lime juice, in moderation, it can only help you. However, please don’t fool yourself either…it does not replace an actual detoxification program done under doctor supervision in a clinical setting.Read More
The cold weather is coming and for arthritis suffers that means that joint pain and stiffness is coming, as well. This is why many elderly patients have second homes in the deep south which they use as a winter retreat. For the rest of us, we have options to make it more tolerable. That being said, this is general advice and you should have a healthcare practitioner go over your case before implementing any of the advice given. The following is advice that helps many, if not all, of my friends, family and patients…just be careful when trying anything new to you.
First we need to understand what the term “arthritis” means. Well, “artho” means “joint” and “itis” means “inflammation”. So we have inflammation of a joint(s). What can increase or decrease inflammation in the joints? A huge thing often overlooked about pain is that it is often related to the nutrients put into the body. Remember that wheat, gluten, soy, corn, sugar and dairy are inflammatory and cause all sorts of negative symptoms. This is true whether or not we can physically feel it immediately. I always recommend that patients limit their intake of these food ingredients and generally most people see improvements in various ailments.
In addition to watching the bad stuff that goes into the body, we need to increase the good stuff that goes in as well. Obviously, fresh fruits and vegetable should make up most of the diet anyway. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables will help protect the joints from more damage but that is not enough alone. This next recommendation is a key player in management of relief but is 100% dependent on quality. Simply put, high quality can help and poor quality can make it worse. Studies tell us that almost everyone is vitamin D deficient, especially in winter. I supplement with vitamin D all year. It is inexpensive and very important. Vitamin D is not a vitamin at all, it is a neuro-hormone. The catch is that quality counts!
Another amazing nutrient that we are often deficient in is Omega-3 fatty acids. Yes, these have been surrounded by controversy and for good reason. The VAST MAJORITY of supplements are total junk and in some cases, harmful. Poor quality fish oil is rancid and contains heavy metals. This is why quality counts! If you have questions about quality, look up what the FDA found out about GNC, Wal-Mart, Target, & Walgreens back in February of this year when they test their herbal products. This is why I am extremely selective about which products that I use for my family, my patients and myself. Please, come by the office and get educated. These oils have tons of studies supporting their use for helping the body, so please don’t be afraid of the one or two “studies” that come out randomly demonizing these. Omega-3 acids are “essential” acids that we MUST consume and cannot produce. Another benefit is that these do not have the list of side effects that NSAIDS do. Glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM are other components that can both protect the joint and relieve pain. Above and beyond these nutrients, we also use specifically target therapeutic nutrition products or protocols when the patient needs further relief.
Generally, cold temperatures will reduce inflammation. Lay a thin towel down on the skin and use cold packs or frozen vegetables over the area of pain to reduce the pain and inflammation. This works well with injuries as well. You can leave the cold pack on for up to 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes, leave nothing on the area for at least 30 minutes. Some people find that this can make things worse with arthritic pain. I find that alternating 20 minutes of ice with a 30 minute break and then applying 20 minutes of heat works the best. Some people do use heat alone with success, also. Just remember that heat will increase circulation and thus inflammation. While reducing stiffness it may contribute to your pain.
Dr. Zeronis is a Frankfort sports-oriented chiropractor at Align Your Spine Chiropractic. He and his associate, Dr. Dayna Socha, DC, operate a wellness center that is “beyond chiropractic”. These doctors utilize therapeutic nutritional protocols to manage many common ailments and have a far reaching patient base with sports and athletic performance as an emphasis. It is not uncommon for patients to drive from other states to seek their unique approach.Read More
Published October 18th, 2015 in the State Journal
As fall approaches, so does the seasonal weather and holidays. Haunted houses, carving pumpkins and eating candy are an integral part of Halloween for our kids. These bring back memories from my childhood, as I am sure it does for you as well. Now that I am a healthcare provider, Halloween has a new meaning to me. Let me explain why.
One of the most common conditions that we see in America is called Metabolic Syndrome. This syndrome consists of obesity, elevated blood sugar, elevated triglycerides, elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure. Do you have Metabolic Syndrome? – If you have three of these five symptoms then yes, you do. This is a lifestyle induced syndrome that we help people manage by teaching them how to change their lifestyle. This condition usually starts out with a patient having elevated blood insulin levels, which tells us that he or she has insulin resistance. Metabolic Syndrome is a gateway syndrome to many other diseases later in life. Let’s give our children a chance to avoid one of the most prolific syndromes in America. One of the best ways to avoid “Met Syn” is to avoid sugar. In this article I will discuss what sugar will do to your body when over-consumed in the quantities that we eat it. Over the last 100 years our consumption of sugar has doubled; and since 1800 it has risen from less than 5 pounds a year to about 200 pounds per person per year!
One of the most important things to remember is that sugar is a quick source of energy, not only for us, but also harmful yeast, fungus and cancer that may be in our body. Believe it or not, we all have yeast and cancer cells in our bodies! Do not give them what they need to win the battle for your health. I am in no way whatsoever advocating the use of artificial sweeteners, for anyone. These toxins are a topic for another time. Refined sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup are sweeteners included in almost all processed foods. Studies show that sugar and cocaine have very similar effects on the brain and both are chemically addictive. As if that is not bad enough, sugar plagues our bodies with degeneration. This degeneration ultimately comes from the inflammation that sugar causes within the body. Too much sugar in the blood can cause macular degeneration in the eyes which may lead to blindness. Diabetic neuropathy is a something that we hear about often. This is when the nerves are damaged from having too much sugar in the bloodstream. Do you suffer from joint pain? Well cutting down on the processed foods (sugar) may help significantly with joint pain. Remember, sugar is inflammatory and can degrade your joints!
Always be sure to read the ingredient labels, “sugar” comes in many forms. Avoid “white four” or “bleached flour” because this is essentially sugar. Maltodextrin is another common ingredient that should be avoided. High Fructose Corn Syrup is a man-made sugar, consisting mostly of fructose from corn. This may be even worse than refined sugar. The fructose is harmful to the liver in this processed state and this concoction has been shown in many cases to contain heavy metal contaminants. Heavy metals destroy our organs slowly and lead to disease. The reason that HFCS is used in our foods is because it is sweeter than sugar and costs less to produce. Do your body a favor and avoid this. Halloween is around the corner and so is the candy! It is important that children grow up understanding “moderation”. Too often I see patients that live on soda (sugar), processed foods (sugar) and candy/cakes/desserts (sugar). These are coincidently the least healthy people that I know. Encourage children to eat melon and fruit as a tasty treat. If we limit the amount of sugar kids consume (remember it acts like cocaine in the brain) they will appreciate healthier sweets as snacks. Candy should be limited to certain occasions, like Halloween. This may take time to get accustom to, but you and your children will live healthier lives by reducing this “drug” in your diet.
-Dr. Ryan Zeronis, DC
Dr. Zeronis is a Frankfort chiropractor at Align Your Spine Chiropractic. He and his associate, Dr. Dayna Socha, DC, operate a wellness center that is “beyond chiropractic”. These doctors utilize therapeutic nutritional protocols to manage many common ailments and have a far reaching patient base with sports and athletic performance as an emphasis. It is not uncommon for patients to drive from other states to seek their unique approach.Read More
Children are some of the biggest beneficiaries of chiropractic care. Surprised? Those who think of chiropractic as primarily a solution for neck and back problems are surprised to learn that chiropractic can be helpful for many types of childhood health problems.
As we progress through life our bodies are constantly changing and adapting. Often times, it’s not until adulthood that these changes from aging and injuries present themselves. Chiropractic care benefits all aspects of your body’s ability to be healthy as a child and as an adult.
Nervous System Disturbances
The nervous system, consisting of the brain, spinal cord and all the nerves of the body, controls and regulates the entire body. Many childhood health problems are merely the result of nervous system interference, usually along the spine.
—Have you ever wondered how your body coordinates, controls, regulates, creates and destroys the 100 trillion or so cells your body is made up of? How does your body know to kill a virus or bacteria and not your own cells or heal wounds and repair broken bones even stronger than before? All this is done thru the power and intelligence of our innate or inner wisdom.
The body operates with such perfection that most of us are completely oblivious to it. However, thru life’s physical, chemical and emotional stressors there can be interference of innate’s ability to fully function optimally. Chiropractic finds these areas of interference, restores balance and harmony, thus allowing your innate to function at its best. This is the meaning of chiropractic, working with you and not imposing anything on you. It is an inside out approach.
Many of the hard-to-correct problems we see in adults are long-standing problems that began, and remained undetected in childhood. Upon examination, we often find nerve disturbances associated with many types of common childhood health complaints.
Our gentle adjusting techniques help reduce these disturbances so your child’s body can resume working as it was designed. Better health is the natural result when the brain and body have clear communication pathways.
Traumatic Birth. Have your newborn checked shortly after birth to detect the effects of in-utero constraint, C-section, vacuum extraction or other aspects of a stressful birth.
Colic. Birth trauma, even from so-called “natural” birthing experiences can often produce a child’s first nerve compromise. Lacking the ability to communicate, your baby cries and cries.
Ear infections. Biomechanical restrictions in the upper spine can compromise the nervous system and immune system, making your child’s ears a breeding ground for viral infection.
Bedwetting. Nervous system compromise in the lower back can block nerve messages responsible for bladder control. Many children regain their confidence and self-esteem with chiropractic care.
ADHD. Many parents investigate conservative chiropractic care before exposing their children to psychotropic drugs. Reducing tension to the nervous system along with dietary changes has produced excellent results for many.
Asthma. By reducing neurological compromise to the bronchial tubes, lungs and diaphragm with chiropractic care, attacks can often be reduced or eliminated.
Growing Pains. Pain of any type is a warning that something isn’t right. While considered a “phase they’re going through,” it’s usually a sign that biomechanical stress to the nervous system is present.
Scoliosis. Instead of crude bracing or the all too common “wait and watch” approach, chiropractic care has helped countless children with this common disfigurement.
Wellness. An obvious symptom isn’t required! Enjoy the peace of mind of having your infant or child checked to uncover structural or neurological problems before they become serious.
Reducing nervous system tension can improve virtually every aspect of your child’s performance.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care – REPORTED AT ALIGN YOUR SPINE CHIROPRACTIC
- DECREASED PAIN
- DECREASE SINUS INFECTIONS
- IMPROVED RANGE OF MOTION
- DECREASE GROWING PAINS
- ENHANCED QUALITY OF LIFE
- DECREASE HEADACHES
- DECREASED VISITS TO PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN
- DECREASED ALLERGY SYMPTOMS
- DECREASED USE OF MEDICATION
- IMPROVED DIET
- IMPROVED SLEEP
- DECREASED BED WETTING
- DECREASED SYMPTOMS OF COLIC IN CHILDREN
- IMPROVED BALANCE
- DECREASED SICKNESS
- ADHD SYMPTOMS IMPROVED
- DECREASED EAR INFECTIONS
- DECREASED EMOTIONAL STRESS
- ASTHMA SYMPTOMS DECREASED
- IMPROVED ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
- IMPROVED CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME SYMPTOMS
- DECREASED INJURY
“I would like your opinion, is fish oil harmful, Dr. Z…”
This is the question I was asked by a patient after he read an article written by an M.D. that negated the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids. I would like to paraphrase my response and thoughts here in this brief post for those who may be wondering.
Firstly, if the source is not reputable…please do not supplement at all. If you are purchasing 120 tablets of “X” for $9.00, ask yourself if you honestly think that whatever it is that you are buying is a quality product. Common sense should dictate at that point and you need to put it back on the shelf with the rest of the “high quality” items. Fish oil is not any different. Continually, lab studies find many of the brands we see at grocery stores, health stores and pharmacies contaminated with extraction chemicals and rancid oil. These oils are much like olive oil in that they are very sensitive to heat. If you heat the oil during the extraction process, you denature them and they now become inflammatory oils much like the ones we try to avoid. The reason EPA and DHA are sought after is because of the effect they have on inflammatory pathways in the body. Well, think about it…you ingest rancid fats daily in your diet and then supplement with fish oils to reduce the inflammation…shouldn’t you make sure that you are not compounding that problem??
Moving on, so assuming you have a high quality fish oil to begin with, the research tells that these oils are nothing short of elixirs for our bodies. One of thousands of studies, this one done by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, entitled “Eskimo study suggests high consumption of omega-3s in fish-rich diet reduces obesity-related disease risk,” points out that even though this population may be obese, they do not have the diseases that are caused by chronic inflammation found in obesity. “”Interestingly, we found that obese persons with high blood levels of omega-3 fats had triglyceride and CRP concentrations that did not differ from those of normal-weight persons,” Makhoul said. “It appeared that high intakes of omega-3-rich seafood protected Yup’ik Eskios from some of the harmful effects of obesity.”
In Summary, I do not think it is dangerous to supplement with fish oils that are pure. In fact, I think it is necessary which is why personally do. Keep in mind this population consumes 20x the amount in the average American diet! Eat up!
Dr. Ryan Zeronis, DC