Thursday, September 18, 2014

Who has a brain disorder?

by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath

Brain disorders are definitely on the rise. It is now recognized that 1 in 8 senior citizens will develop Alzheimer's but this is not just and aging issue because 1 in 8 children are also diagnosed with brain development disorders such as autism, ADD and ADHD. Estimates share that people living with incidents of dementia have been estimated to be as high as 24 million people with the number predicted to double every 20 years until at least 2040.

Add to this that anxiety disorders, obsessive/compulsive disorders, learning disabilities and depression are extremely common these days. On top of this, sleep disorders, poor mental clarity mild depression and moodiness are actually very common.

With all this said, it is no surprise the antidepressants are the most prescribed drugs in the United States. Brain disorders have now become what we would consider commonplace.

Since I witnessed both my mother and grandmother deteriorate with severe dementia before their deaths, I can share that you want to do everything you can to prevent this and other brain disorders.

Over the next few newsletters, we are going to discuss some of the common factors leading to brain disorders. Pay close attention to those areas where you think, "that sounds like me."

Did you know that the extreme mood swings associated with premenstrual syndrome, perimenopause and menopause are most often hormone driven brain imbalances and brain inflammation? Unfortunately in our culture most women are taught that this is actually normal, when it is anything but normal.

OK guys, before you start thinking "whew, I don't have to worry about that" your not out of the woods. This is the same for men as they drop into andropause, also referred to as male menopause. When a man's hormone function is in disarray this can lead a lack of motivation, weight gain, the typically "grumpy old man" syndrome or what has been come to be known as the "mid-life crisis."

Both menopause and andropause create and environment for early brain degeneration that is most often preceeded by a poor functioning brain. And round and round we go...

Another hormonal area to understand in regard to brain function is the thyroid. Did you know that an estimated 27 million Americans are living with thyroid dysfunction and that this can profoundly impact brain health? This combination can lead to brain fog, depression, anxiety and other brain based challenges. This can often accelerate brain degeneration and even coexist with brain autoimmunity.

With this understanding of hormone driven brain chemistry imbalances, it is always important to get to the bottom of the hormone imbalances. Most hormone imbalances originate as adrenal insufficiency.

Over my career we have reviewed approximately 4,500 adrenal test kits and have only seen 5 come back normal. Yes, ONLY 5!

In fairness, at Depke Wellness, we work with health challenged individuals but this tells us that if you have a health issue, there is only about 1/10 of one percent chance that you have healthy adrenal function. Based on what we have discussed earlier in this article in regard to brain function, menopause, andropause and thyroid dysfunction, take a guess at what affects all of these areas.

If you guessed adrenal function, you are right on!

While your adrenal function plays a role in so many areas of your body, this will directly affect thyroid function, ovary function, inflammatory states and neural connectivity. So when we are looking hormone drive brain based disorders, it is essential to understand your personal adrenal function.

Based on years of this focus here at Depke Wellness we always recommend adrenal saliva testing so you can understand adrenal function throughout the day. We would look at cortisol production at four times during the day, a total cortisol and a DHEA average but that's not all. We also look at estradiol, estriol, progesterone, testosterone and melatonin. This provides us the necessary information to make recommendations to assist your body in balancing adrenal function. With proper adrenal function, you can begin to enjoy further balance with the thyroid, ovaries, inflammatory states and brain function.

While adrenal function may not be the "end all" for your brain disorder, it is the most significant starting point for hormone related brain disorders. So call our office today at (949)954-6226 and request a #205 adrenal saliva test kit and move forward with your goals of health and happiness. 

If you have any comments or questions, please post these below for us to address personally.







Sunday, September 14, 2014

Why are your hormones crazy?

by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath

As you are most likely already aware of, hormone balance is a significant focus of Depke Wellness. We have reviewed over 4,500 adrenal test kits in our history and out of these 4,500 health challenged individuals, we have seen only 5 tests return with normal adrenal function. Yes I said ONLY 5! Recognize that this is about 1/10 of 1%. So in essence, if you have a health issue, you most likely have an adrenal issue.

Now while we have assisted thousands in regaining their adrenal balance and reset their HPA axis there can at times be some "hiccups" with a small percentage of clients. Understand that about 90 to 95% of our client base responds very well to the adrenal protocols that are recommended at Depke Wellness, there is still about 5 to 10% that will have some challenges.

Some clients simply feel as if their hormones are truly going crazy.

So why is it that so many will progress with relative ease and others seem to struggle regardless of fact that they addressed their triggers for adrenal insufficiency, they follow their protocols to a tee and the even look at other chronic factors such as their gut health and chronic inflammation?

The reason for this is very often tied into liver function.

Understand that the liver is the body's primary detoxifier and keeping it healthy is critical to your overall health, which includes proper metabolism and function of your hormones.

If you are wondering if your liver function is up to par, ask yourself the following questions:
  •     Are you overweight?
  •     Are you having problems with your hormones?
  •     Do you engage in heavy alcohol or tobacco use?
  •     Do you have high exposure to chemicals such as herbicides or pesticides?
  •     Have you been diagnosed with gallstones?
  •     Have you been diagnosed with a liver disease?
 Overall the function of the liver is key to the:
  • Production of bile, which helps carry away waste and break down fats in the small intestine during digestion 
  • Production of certain proteins for blood plasma 
  • Production of cholesterol and special proteins to help carry fats through the body
  • Store and release glucose as needed
  • Processing of hemoglobin for use of its iron content (the liver stores iron)
  • Conversion of harmful ammonia to urea (urea is one of the end products of protein metabolism that is excreted in the urine)
  • Clearing the blood of drugs and other harmful substances
  • Regulating blood clotting
  • Resisting infections by producing immune factors and removing bacteria from the bloodstream
  • Clearance of bilirubin (if there is a buildup of bilirubin, the skin and eyes turn yellow)
  • Manufacturing testosterone and the estrogen hormones
  • Regulating sex hormone levels and eliminating excess hormones
While all of these functions are of utmost importance, I want to put our focus on the two at the bottom that are in italics and bold.

The liver plays a major role in the body's use of hormones. This is for both the hormones that are produced naturally in our bodies as well as those hormones that are utilized in  hormone protocols. The liver can be viewed as a hormone processor because it will manufacture and/or regulating some hormone levels. In the end this will be directing various hormones to perform their proper function in other parts of the body. But when the liver is not converting hormones properly due to liver congestion, a fatty liver or more, this would likely cause a hormone imbalance.

A major focus for most women is the liver's role in regulating estrogen hormones. This is a consideration for women undergoing their adrenal protocols. Of course if the liver is functioning normally this is not an issue, but if your hormones are going crazy, this needs to be assessed.

Today there is new insight into how estrogens are metabolized and the effects of that metabolism. They found that estrogens break down into estrogen metabolites that have varying levels of estrogenic activity, and that the stronger the estrogenic effect, the greater the risk of developing estrogen related cancer.

The liver metabolizes hormones and other substances using two primary phases known as the Phase I and Phase II pathways.

During Phase I, some hormones or substances are metabolized directly, but often they are converted into intermediate forms, which are then further metabolized in Phase II.

Cumulatively, these two phases of biological transformation are how the liver provides the body with nutrients and supports the excretion of excess or toxic substances in the urine, liver bile, perspiration and exhaled air.

The pathways depend on a large number of nutrients, including enzymes and amino acids, and their availability (or lack thereof) seems to have a significant influence on the
metabolic outcome. For example, the Phase I pathway is the main metabolic pathway for the estrogen hormones. In premenopausal women, the ovaries produce approximately 1/3  of the estrogen while the adrenal glands will produce most of the remaining 1/3. The primary estrogen hormone produced is estradiol, most of which the body converts to estrone, and eventually estriol. The liver then metabolizes the remaining estradiol and the converted estrone, breaking it down further, and excreting the excess from the body. This excretion occurs in via the colon based on proper bowel movements.

Most now believe that the liver's ability to metabolize estrone is the key factor in estrogen related cancer risk. During Phase I metabolism estrone is converted into various metabolites including 2-hydroxyestrone, a very weak estrogen, and 16-alphahydroxyestrone, a very potent estrogen. If the conversion process favors the stronger form(s) rather than the weaker form(s), then tissue that has an abundance of estrogen receptors, such as the breasts and uterus, may be more vulnerable to excessive estrogen activity, potentially leading to the formation of fibroids or the stimulation of estrogen-sensitive cancers.

Phase I processing can be affected by many factors, including extreme overload, the effects of alcohol or drugs, a lack of nutrients, or interference from other substances. For example, grapefruit juice can slow down the enzymes in Phase I, potentially altering hormone balance. Many prescription drugs are metabolized in Phase I, which can also interfere with the liver's ability to handle the estrogen hormones. On the other hand, Indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a phytonutrient derived from cruciferous vegetables (e.g., broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts), stimulates enzymes that promote the metabolism of estrogens into milder forms, potentially reducing the risk of estrogen-dependent cancers.

Each reaction in the Phase I pathway produces an intermediate form called a free radical. As you have probably heard, free radicals can be very damaging to body tissues if they are not quickly neutralized by antioxidants. Nutrients such as vitamins C and E, minerals such as selenium, and other substances such as lipoic acid and glutathione are antioxidants that help protect against free radicals. The intermediate forms produced in Phase I are in a highly reactive state until they are fully converted in Phase II.

During Phase II, a process known as conjugation begins, in which nutrients such as amino acids are combined with hormones and other substances, to convert them to water-soluble compounds that can be excreted efficiently in the urine or stool. This is one of the reasons you hear me talk about healthy bowel movements so much. If you are not enjoying two healthy bowel movements per day, you are likely reintroducing the excess hormones back into the blood thus creating an additional hormone imbalance.

Of the various types of conjugation that may occur in Phase II, the following are most relevant to hormone metabolism:

  • Methylation, also known as methyl metabolism, is the process in which small parts of molecules, called methyl groups, are passed from one molecule to another. Once estrogens are methylated, they can be easily excreted. In order for the liver to have an adequate supply of methyl groups available, an adequate intake of vitamins B6 (e.g., whole grains and legumes) and B12 (primarily from animal products), and folic acid (such as from green leafy vegetables) are necessary. An over-the-counter dietary supplement known as SAMe (s-adenylmethionine) is also a rich source of methyl groups and sulfur. For more information on methylation visit our recent article on this subject on this link.
  • Sulfation is the process in which sulfur groups are added to estrogen or other molecules to prepare them for easy excretion. Adequate amounts of foods containing sulfur should be in the diet, including egg yolks, garlic, onions and brussels sprouts. Animal protein is another important source of sulfur. At Depke Wellness we will at times recommend a liquid ionized form of sulfur that is very easily assimilated by the body.
  • Glucuronidation is another process by which estrogens can be conjugated. This type of conjugation may be affected by the condition of the intestines. If the intestines have an abundance of abnormal bacteria, an enzyme produced by these bacteria may cut off the conjugated part from the estrogen. The estrogen that would have been excreted is then reabsorbed back into the body, allowing even estrogens produced by the body to build up to excessive levels. The supplement calcium D glucarate (also found in fruits and vegetables) can render the enzyme inactive and prevent this buildup.
  • Gluthathione conjugation is the process in which glutathione, another sulfur-containing molecule, is added to estrogen for easy excretion. Foods such as avocado, walnuts and asparagus are rich in glutathione, and vitamin C stimulates the body to produce more of it. Glutathione depletion can be due to a lack of the essential nutrients and amino acids (found in fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and meats) that are needed to synthesize it.

Glutathione deserves special mention as a crucial detoxifier because it also behaves as an antioxidant in Phase I. Glutathione neutralizes the free radicals produced in the Phase I reactions, and combines with them to produce water-soluble compounds that can be excreted.

Glutathione is also needed for the detoxification of alcohol. Studies have shown that even a small amount of alcohol intake can increase estrogen levels in the blood because alcohol competes for the available glutathione, preventing estrogen excretion.

Smoking is also known to deplete glutathione levels, as do chronically stressful conditions such as infections or inflammatory disorders.

As we assist our clients at Depke Wellness, we will often recommend either a herbal tincture of Hepatica to assist in drainage of the liver, gall bladder and colon and/or A/C Glutathione to assist with detoxification along with a powerful antioxidant activity. For those with deeper liver detoxification factors we would most often recommend deeper liver detoxification and drainage therapies for a minimum of 30 days.

For further information on this subject I would suggest an article from Connections be visiting this link. This was a helpful source for research on today's article.

Also watch your Depke Wellness newsletter for an upcoming webinar presented by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath for Hawthorn University on Tuesday October 7,2014.

If you have any comments or questions in regard to this article, please leave a post below for us to address personally.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Nothing taste as good as...

by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath

...as feeling good feels!

Just in case you missed me putting together the title of this article with the first line, let me repeat.

Nothing taste as good as feeling good feels!

While you may have heard this in the past and though, yeah right, I have a recent story to share with you that will help you understand this comment.

For those that have been following Depke Wellness for some time, you already know that I am not shy at all about sharing when I have a health issue personally. You may remember when I first tested for gluten cross reactive sensitivity in February of 2013.

To refresh your memory, a cross reaction test will assess your potential sensitivity to proteins that are similar to the proteins in gluten. This  potential sensitivity is to the food choices listed below.

  • Rye, Barley, Spelt, Polish Wheat
  • Cow's Milk
  • Casein
  • Casomorphin
  • Milk Butyrophilin
  • Whey Protein
  • Milk Chocolate
  • Oats
  • Yeast
  • Coffee
  • Sesame
  • Buckwheat
  • Sorghum
  • Millet
  • Hemp
  • Amaranth
  • Quinoa
  • Tapioca
  • Teff
  • Soy
  • Egg
  • Corn
  • Rice
  • Potato
Well, out of this list I was personally sensitive to the foods listed below.
  • Casomorphin
  • Milk Butyrophilin
  • Whey Protein
  • Yeast
  • Coffee
  • Sorghum
  • Millet
  • Hemp
  • Amaranth
  • Tapioca
  • Teff
  • Soy
  • Egg
  • Corn
  • Rice
If it seems as though I was repeating the list, that is because out of a possible 24 different cross reactive foods, I was personally sensitive to 15 of these.

As I discuss with all of my clients, once you have a recognized gluten cross reactive food sensitivity, you should eliminate this for anywhere from 12 to 18 months prior to reintroducing. I say this because it takes this time period for you gut to reestablish itself on a cellular level. Yes that's right, in about 1 year to 1 1/2 years, you will have a brand new gut. 

So what's next?

At this point, you can go on a rotation type of diet to add in the foods that you have originally eliminated while watching for symptoms and preparing for a retest. Well, here I am 18 months out and a have been rotating these foods in over the past 3 weeks. I have to say, I originally was very excited about this! After all, it has been more than 1 1/2 years since I have had cheese, butter, corn tortillas, eggs and rice, all of which I had missed on some level.

I started by adding back eggs and rice both of which did not seem to create any issues for me, but I did recognize that I had put on about 2-3 pounds at this time. I figured this could have been due to some other life event and didn't think much about it. 

Well than dairy came up next. Yikes! I had dairy along with my favorite birthday treat, which is a gluten free chocolate cake with a homemade whipped cream frosting. First of all, I was shocked by how much this simply tasted like cow. I know this may sound funny but that is the only way I can explain it. That was not the scary part though, since what happened after was the "yikes." After eating this I put on about 3 inches of girth around my waist and I felt like this ripped me up. All from the butter in the cake and the whipped cream frosting.

That was nothing though compared to the corn added in this past weekend. I originally was very excited about this because I have always enjoyed corn and have missed some corn products over the past 1 1/2. The though of having a taco on a corn tortilla sounded amazing and I always enjoyed an occasion treat of some corn chips with salsa and guacamole. This past weekend's trip to Mexico was the perfect place to add some corn in and "holy cow." Not only did I gain almost 10 pounds over the weekend but the amount of pain and discomfort I felt from this was truly not worth it. My whole body felt inflamed. I could not comfortably fit into my cloths, my gut was extremely bloated and I felt aches and pains in both my knees and ankles. Heck, somebody even asked me what I did to my ankle since it looked so inflamed. I laughed and told him that I ate corn and dairy.

So even though I was very excited about adding back in these foods again, it truly was not worth it. While off these foods my health has hit new heights, my weight reached levels that I have not seen in almost two decades and aches and pains that I have had for some years have almost completely diminished. But within three weeks I put on a bunch of weight, gain many inches in my gut and have reestablished some levels of pain and discomfort.

So do you get what I am saying when I shared, "nothing taste as good as feeling good feels!"

Thankfully my reintroduction period is over and I will retest to see what I am still sensitive to. Obviously I already know that both corn and dairy are still out and to be honest with you, if I do not get any of these foods back into my diet this would not be a concern at all, I simply love feeling health and happy. That's what is most important!

Please use my experience to look deeper at your food choices and how this can be affecting you. Most do not understand that eating foods that you are sensitive to will most often lead to:
  • Inflammation
  • Weight gain
  • Inches gained
  • Aches and pains
  • Detoxification issues
  • Immune system dysregulation
  • Leaky gut
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • And more....
There are three ways that we assist our clients at Depke Wellness in understanding food sensitivity. We either recommend a Cyrex Labs (array #4) gluten cross reactive blood test or an Immunolab Bloodprint154 blood test. For those that do not have the available finances to complete these blood tests, I always recommend a book "The Plan" by Lyn-Genet Recitas. This is one of the most comprehensive books I have seen to walk you through the process of discovering food sensitivity.

Remember, nothing taste as good as feeling good feels!

If you have any comments or questions in regard to this email, feel free to post below for us to respond to personally.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Looking for Inspiration?

by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath

Every once in a while I love to share experiences from others that may lead to inspiring you to create change in your life. The story listed below is from a client that I have not seen in years. I reached out to him recently to simply check in to see how he was doing and his response simply left me speechless.

I really do not want to take much credit here as I only played a role at the onset of his journey, reviewing adrenal function, recommending a gluten free diet, Nutritional ID and focusing on his fundamentals of health.

Well, this gentleman took his health choices to a whole other level and as I mentioned, this is truly inspiring for us all.

Hello Glen,

I am doing well.  In the last 1-1/2 years I lost 140 pounds through healthy eating and exercise.  I went off Insulin injections, Insulin pills, Blood Pressure pills, Cholesterol (Statin) pills + most of my other medications 100% and my blood work is better than it ever has been in the past 15 years.  My last A1C was 5.7 without any insulin medication which is within a normal non-diabetic range.  1-1/2 years ago I was taking 34 units of insulin per day + 2 x 10mg pills with each meal.  I no longer eat any processed food, no sugar, no artificial sweeteners, no wheat or grains of any kind, no dairy (except for cage free organic eggs occasionally), no carbohydrates other than complex carbohydrates (primarily non-starchy vegetables), no bad fats (only coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil), no corn, no soy, no peanuts, no genetically modified products of any kind, and no fruit other than berries, and an occasional apple.  I no longer miss any of the foods that I used to love including fried food, french bread and butter, pasta, pizza, ice cream, desserts etc.

I try to eat everything organic as much as possible including grass fed and grass finished beef on occasion, cage free non corn and non soy fed organic poultry, some low mercury wild caught fish, a limited amount of beans, a controlled portion of nuts and berries every day, and lots and lots of non starchy organic vegetables of all kinds, but primarily green in color.  For a special treat I eat several squares of 70-80% dark chocolate.  I limit my meat/fish intake to no more than 3-4 oz. per meal. I drink 4-5 quarts of alkaline water every day.  I also eat seeds every day (chia, hemp hearts, pumpkin, etc.).  I eat naturally fermented sauerkraut every day too, so with these three things added to my diet I get lot and lots of good natural probiotic antioxidants daily. 

I walk one mile each day, ride my stationary bike 5 miles/day, and go to the gym for an hour every day.  I also do Yoga, Tai Chi and stretching exercises on occasion.  1-1/2 years ago I was so out of shape, because I had neuropathy so bad I couldn't walk one block.  My traditional medical doctors told me nothing could be done for the neuropathy other than taking pain medication, but they were wrong.  I still have some large nerve damage from my stroke 18 years ago but my neuropathy has been completely gone since October 2013.  

I have learned so much in the past 1-1/2 years I feel I could write a book why we spend so much more than any other nation on medical care, and we just keep getting sicker and sicker.  The U.S. ranks #38 by the World Health Organization for the quality of health care and Cuba ranks #39.  What does that say about all of the money we spend on medical care in the United States compared to a third world nation like Cuba?  I am not totally against everything that our medical profession does; but I do think they grossly over prescribe prescription drugs, and recklessly perform surgeries when they are not necessary.  I believe in what ever works and now believe that drugs and surgery should only be taken as a last resort.  I also believe that there is a lot wrong with a lot of so called "health foods", but as long as a cure is natural and non invasive at least it is less likely to hurt you.  Every person needs to take responsibility for and control of their own health and do whatever works for them.

I am not a fanatic on any one specific type of diet either, and I believe that every person is different and what might work best today may not work best tomorrow even with the same person.  As long as you follow a natural whole food diet free of chemical additives that is what I feel is important.  I have gone from the SAD diet 1-1/2 years ago to a vegetarian diet,  to a vegan diet, to a whole food diet including limited amounts of organic meats and fish with nuts and berries for snacks and lots and lots of steamed or raw vegetables.  I seldom eat out at restaurants any more, and 1-1/2 years ago I probably ate half of my meals at restaurants or take out food,  with a majority of the other half of my meals some combination of different processed foods. 

Since you asked all is good on my end.  Thanks for thinking of me.

Jerry

I trust that you found this story as inspiring as I have and will use this as a platform to move forward into your desired state of health and happiness. As Jerry shared "all is good on my end."

If you have any comments and questions regarding this article, please leave a post below and we will address this personally.

 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Are you feeding your BRAIN?

by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath

What foods does your brain love? 

Understanding that nearly 60% of your brain is made up of fat, it would make sense of getting more of them as a primary source of fuel. 

This is not getting just any fat though...

The artificial trans fats are some of the most damaging fats for your brain and overall health, leading to factors associated with memory loss, depression and so many challenges in your body. Add in the fact that an over-consumption of fats like omega 6 fatty acids can actually work against your goals by fueling pro-inflammatory pathways. Unfortunately with all the vegetable oils in our standard American diet we are now getting a 20:1 ratio, or more, of omega 6 fatty acids to omega 3 fatty acids. This should be closer to a 3:1 ratio.

This is important to understand since these may be the reasons that your memory may not be as sharp as it used to be, among many other challenges.

So what fats are the key?

Your brain loves a variety of fats.

Some of the best fats associated with enhanced cognitive function are Medium Chain Fatty Acids, with many studies even hinting towards the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases like Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. 

You can get more medium chain fatty acids by consuming coconut oil. There has even been some recent information available as a strong benefit of coconut oil for those diagnosed with ALS.

Another important “Brain Fat” are omega 3 fatty acids, specifically the super charged omega 3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The DHA component of your omega 3 simply put, is brain food.

DHA has been found in your brain’s cell membranes and retina. The consumption of DHA has also been associated with a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s Disease in the early stages. 
One of the more recent studies from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that people who regularly eat DHA and EPA rich fish have larger and healthier brains than those who don’t.

Many experts believe that DHA achieves its cognitive effects by limiting the impact of stress and enhancing the synaptic neuron connection in your brain. You have heard me mention many times in the past that stress has an accumulative effect on the brain and this absolutely needs to be addressed.

In a recent randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study, elderly people with mild cognitive impairment received either DHA fish oil or placebo capsules. After a year, the fish oil group showed significant improvements in short-term working memory. 

The next study is very interesting because medical students acted as test subjects.
In this recent double- blind study, coming from The Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at Ohio State University, 68 healthy medical students were given EPA and DHA supplementation for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, supplementation with EPA and DHA showed a significant decrease in inflammatory markers and reduced symptoms of anxiety on the student’s test day. 

These studies are just some of the impacts on why I take omega 3 fatty acids myself and why I recommend these to my clients. Actually every adrenal client I work with is recommend a EPA/DHA-CoQ10 liquid supplement.

If you’re struggling with memory loss, poor cognitive performance, or depression, take a good hard look at what you are using to fuel your brain. Is it the high omega 6 fatty acids in vegetable oils or the high omega 3's in high quality fish, grass fed beef or a quality liquid omega 3 fatty acid supplement.?

Only you can answer this question...

Let's not forget the medium chain fatty acid in coconut oil also.

If your fats are processed and pro-inflammatory, your brain will NOT like it, and your brain will let you know by being slow, unhappy, and not sharp enough when you most need it. 

The point is to cut out the junk food and the foods that promote pro-inflammatory pathways and you can easily do this by reducing your omega 6 intake. That means moderation on the nuts and seeds and simply saying no to industrial and highly processed vegetable oils.  


Simply put, give your brain the what it craves!

So I do recommend you increase your intake of omega 3’s (DHA and EPA to be more precise) by eating more wild caught fish and grass fed beef while using a high quality liquid omega 3 supplement.

As mentioned above, I recommend the Pure Encapsulations liquid EPA/DHA-CoQ10 to my clients and take this myself. I always recommend liquid omega 3's for two reasons. Number one, the liquids are much easier for your digestive system and allow for an ease of absorption and assimilation into your body. The second reason is tied into the importance of consuming a "fresh" omega 3 fatty acids. It has been brought to my attention that the gel caps of omega 3 fatty acids run to risk of actually being rancid and adding a rancid fat into your body is not a good idea. With the liquid, you would absolutely know if this was rancid because you would recognize a foul odor that you would not recognize if you were taking a gel cap.

Note that you can bite into your gel cap to see for yourself if your product is fresh or rancid. Trust me, you'll know that difference.

The other benefit of the EPA/DHA-Coq10 liquid is the CoQ10 aspect. CoQ10 is a coenzyme that is the driving force behind every mitochondria, which is the little engine that drives every cell in your body. Sounds kind of important, huh?

If you have any comments or questions, feel free to post these below. I will respond personally.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Something Illegal?

by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath

On  a recent trip back to the Chicago area to visit my father, I just happened to be listening to a sports talk radio show as a I was driving. The shows host were talking about LeBron James and some other well known athletes that have seemingly overnight, become very lean as compared to the past. Now they did not insinuate that they had done anything illegal but they did mention that in professional sports, it is hard to not question the use of some type of illegal drug when witnessing a quick change in somebody's body. Heck, I get it, as we recently witnessed the "steroid era" in baseball as well as so many other recent "questionable" acts by professional sports icons.

So I guess the question may be, can these athletes become so lean seemingly overnight without the use of any illegal substances? The answer to this question is a resounding YES! 

It is first important to understand that for many of us, of our weight or "puffy" issue is really not an issue with too much fat on our body, but rather an inflammatory issue. I will share that when people address their personal triggers for inflammation and actually follow a rather simple, yet effective, anti-inflammatory protocol, the inflammation can fall off extremely quickly. This can leave you with a lean, healthy body in a short time frame and honestly, shock most people that witness this shift. I have seen this many times with programs that I have used with clients in my office as well as those that I have worked with online via programs that are delivered within webinar series.

Actually, such a program will be released soon referred to as "The PAIN of Inflammation." In this program we address the triggers for inflammation, the inflammation itself and the feedback loops that recycle inflammation.

What are the triggers?

The most common triggers for inflammation would be the SAD or standard American diet, high in processed foods and sugar, food sensitivity, infection and chronic stress. These are the most common but we could also include obesity, addiction and the use of chemotherapy as secondary triggers. Understanding and addressing your triggers are a key because following an anti-inflammatory protocol without getting to the core cause of this is futile.

Addressing the inflammation is not as easy as simply taking an anti-inflammatory supplement either. Yes, using a powerful anti-inflammatory protocol is important but you to create a high level of success quickly you also have to support other areas that play a role in inflammation such as your immune function, gut health, gut/brain connection and detoxification. When you pull all this together, it provides optimal support in assisting your body in the anti-inflammatory process.

It is also essential to address the missing piece of the puzzle for most anti-inflammatory programs which is the recycling of inflammation in your body. Understand that even once you remove your triggers, there are feedback loops that can continue your chronic inflammatory response. Here are four feedback loops that cannot be ignored.
  • Inflammation - rise in cytokine production - autoimmunity - more inflammation
  • Inflammation - breakdown in the tight junctures of the gut - leaky gut - autoimmunity - more inflammation
  • Inflammation - poor liver biotransformation - inadequate phase I & phase II liver detoxification - more inflammation
  • Inflammation - increase in fat cell production - insulin resistance - insulin surges - more inflammation
So you see, addressing inflammation is more than just taking your omega 3 fatty acids and when inflammation is not taken care of properly, this can leave us in a very challenging space. This is due to the fact that chronic inflammation is not just about looking "puffy" or being overweight, chronic inflammation is actually at the core of almost every chronic illness known to man.

This PAIN of inflammation can show it ugly head in many ways such as:
  • Obesity
  • Chronic aches and pains
  • Mental/emotional disorders
  • Chronic disease states
  • And so much more...
With this information provided today, I truly hope you understand that chronic inflammation is a significant issue for almost everyone with a health issue. More importantly, these inflammatory challenges can be overcome and much quicker that most would be led to believe. When using these programs in the past, I have seen people lose more than 30 pounds in 6 weeks and often 10 pounds or more in just the first 7 to 10 days. So when you see recent pictures of LeBron James or other athletes that have achieved that "lean" look very quickly, recognize that any one of you can achieve this naturally also. Of course this does not mean we are all going to look like LeBron James, but we can tap into the athlete within us that is much leaner, much happier and much healthier.

Look for the upcoming "The PAIN of Inflammation" coming out soon and until then at least make sure you begin by cutting back on processed foods and sugar and assess the most common food sensitivity which is gluten sensitivity. Get your complimentary gluten assessment by visiting www.DepkeWellness.com and visiting the Gluten Intolerance page. Here you will find a complimentary gluten sensitivity assessment to gain a simple understanding of your personal challenges with gluten.

If you have any comments or questions about this article, please feel free to leave a post below for us to answer personally.



Sunday, August 10, 2014

What's the BUZZ about Methylation?

by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath
Methylation Pathway

What's the buzz about? How about the fact that methylation is essential to regulate genetic expression in the body. Kind of like the traffic cop for your genes and genetic expression. In essence, you need proper methylation to function at a high level and to heal properly.

Before we go any further, let's define methylation in the simplest way possible:

The methylation cycle is part of the basic biochemistry of the body, and is believed to operate in every cell. In biological systems, methylation is catalyzed by enzymes; such methylation can be involved in modification of heavy metals, regulation of gene expression, regulation of protein function, and RNA processing. Methylation of heavy metals can also occur outside of biological systems.

Lower levels of methylated DNA could lead to over activity of genes, including over activity of the genes that control immune responses  and the body's tendency to attack its own cells. Methylation also regulates proteins, histones and stem cells. This is not simply methyl group regulation at a DNA level, this is truly a holistic regulation.

It is also my intention to make methylation understandable. When researching this subject, the technical aspects can be overwhelming to most health care practitioners as well as the general public. I sincerely hope this article, and more to come, will shed light on methylation that is easily understood.

There are critical roles that methylation plays in your body's biochemical reactions. 
  • Without an adequate supply of methyl groups, you cannot form certain base molecules that make DNA and RNA and without these, the function of making new cells that your body needs to renew itself as the old ones die and slough off is impaired
  • You are not likely to be able to form cells with fast turnover as quickly as you need them and red blood cells are especially vulnerable to this problem
  • Other fast growing cells that are impacted by low methyl group availability are the white blood cells needed to mount an immune response
  • Cells of your gastrointestinal mucosa normally turn over very rapidly, thus creating a challenge will slow cell formation
  • You age more rapidly
  • You do not learn new tasks readily or have the ability to adapt to the changes in your environment easily
  • Your energy may sink to new lows
  • You may develop high homocysteine and the vascular inflammation and heart disease that come with this condition
  • It takes methyl groups and methylation to deactivate histamine and to reduce the inflammatory response to the allergen, thus leaving individuals suffering with chronic inflammatory responses
  • If you do not have adequate methyl groups and you are pregnant, you are at risk for having a child whose spinal cord does not fuse properly, a child with a neural tube defect, or spina bifida
  • A child's ability to grow may be impaired by insufficient methylation
  • One of the causes of Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is the inability to properly regulate the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine due to the lack of proper methylation needed to deactivate
  • The metabolism of tryptophan, the precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, and melatonin formation requires proper methylation
  • Methylation is essential for neuronal cell survival, development, function, and longevity

What are some common challenges with methylation?

Heavy metals:
Heavy metals is to impair your ability to make methyl groups, thus hindering your ability to methylate other molecules is reduced. Ultimately, reduced methylation diminishes your body's capacity to rid itself of heavy metals. So you are less able to deal with toxins if you can't methylate properly. And round and round we go...

Low protein intake or poor protein absorption:

A major source of methyl groups in your body is the amino acid methionine. It comes from meat and other protein sources in your diet. The answer is not just eating enough protein but also protein absorption. This is why I am such a strong proponent of a quality Prebiotic/Probiotic Formula, a quality full spectrum enzyme such as the Prime Enzyme Support and stomach acid supplementation such as the Prime Stomach Acid Support. All three of these can be found in the 1, 2, 3 of Digestion.

Low lithium:
Lithium enhances the uptake of B12 and folic acid into your cells. As such, it is critical to methyl group production. At the same time that you are activating the shortcut pathway, you are holding B12 supplementation to minimal amounts until you see from the Hair Elements Analysis test in particular, and the Urine for Toxic Metals and Essential Elements test to some degree, that lithium has increased in your body. Too much B12 before this time can further deplete lithium and lead to a stalemate. After lithium has come more into balance, you add B12 carefully so as not to deplete lithium again.

Low vitamin B12:
When there isn’t enough methylcobalamin, methionine synthase has to slow down its reaction. Its reaction lies at the junction of the methylation cycle and the folate cycle, so when this reaction slows down, it affects both these cycles. This is why the use of vitamin B12 in the liquid methylcobalamin form is essential. A key with both the methylcobalamin form of B12 and folate below is to start slow because this can activate a fast release of toxins and further symptoms. I always recommend the Pure B12 5000 liquid in the methylcobalamin form.

Low folate levels:
The importance of folate to the human body’s ability to remain in optimal health has recently been emphasized. Folate is a member of the B vitamin family of supplements. Its main function is to enhance the body’s metabolism and promote and restore cellular growth.The vitamin folate is a key source of the one carbon group used to methylate DNA and low levels of folate can also lead to homocysteine accumulation. The use of vitamin B12 as mentioned above will likely assist in the conversion of folate but it would almost always benefit to supplement with folate. In my office I recommend a liquid sublingual product called Folidreen, which contains Folic Acid (folate), B6 and B12 (methylcobalamin). A key with both the folate and methylcobalamin form of B12 above is to start slow because this can activate a fast release of toxins and further symptoms.

Low glutathione levels:
Glutathione plays many important roles in the biochemistry of the body, including serving as the basis of the antioxidant enzyme system, participating in the detoxication system, and supporting a cell-mediated immune response. The key here is to understand the implication that glutathione plays with methylation. When an individual is undergoing protocols to lift the partial methylation cycle block, this value usually rises into the normal range over a period of a few months. This is very important, because glutathione normally participates in the intracellular metabolism of vitamin B12 and if it is low, a deficiency of vitamin B12 results, leading to an insufficient methylation cycle. This means that when you are suffering from glutathione depletion methylation will also suffer. At Depke Wellness we recommend an A/C glutathione to build up glutathione levels, then switching to a glutathione recycler to assist in maintaining these levels.

So in the end I want you to understand that methylation plays a significant role in your personal health and happiness and if this process is dysfunctional, the ability to heal can and often will be severely hindered or restricted. For those challenged with methylation due to lifestyle issues, correcting these challenges and using the recommended supplementation can assist your body into achieving this natural cycle over time. For those with genetic challenges in methylation, life long supplementation may be needed. With that said, I would also argue that the many of the "so called" genetic issues can also eventually balanced when addresses your underlying triggers.

If you have any comments or questions on this topic, feel free to leave these below and I will address this personally.