Vitamin D3 and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)

Vitamin D3 Supplements May Help Slow ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)

According to one of several studies unveiled at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, mixed in between a pair of studies further confirming how Vitamin D helps delay the process of neurological decline associated with Alzheimer’s Disease was a potentially groundbreaking bit of research, the cognitive treasure of Chafic Karam, a fellow at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Vitamin D3 and ALSKaram and associates authored a study entitled “Can Vitamin D Delay the Progression of ALS?” The study was conducted throughout the 2011 calendar year.

The study involved 37 patients, all of whom suffer from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). All 37 were examined for a nine month period leading up to the point at which the testing of the hypothesis began. Twenty of the ALS patients were administered 2,000 IU of Vitamin D3 per day, while the other 17 were administered no vitamin D.

The patients were reexamined every three months. During the nine months leading up to the administration of what I can only presume were relatively well-made, top-shelf vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) supplements, both groups showed similar progression in the ALS Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R). However, upon the administration of the vitamin D supplements that began to change.ALS

At the three, six and nine month reexamination intervals, the group being administered the supplements showed slower rate of decline than the test group, which was being given no supplementation.

This suggests a possible relationship between down-the-road ALS treatment regimens and a possible role for vitamin D supplementation therein.

With the seemingly endless list of diseases and conditions which can be prevented or the symptoms of which lessened with regular sun exposure and/or vitamin D supplementation, it wouldn’t come as a major surprise if ALS is just the latest debilitating condition the name of which can be added to the aforementioned list. Or so we hope…

Source:  Karam C, Scelsa SN. Can Vitamin D Delay the Progression of ALS? Med Hypothesis. 2011;76(5):643-645

EGAN Wellness Center Supplements Now Available Online

Supplements Now Available Online

All of the high-quality dietary and nutritional supplements available at the EGAN Wellness Center and Med Spa can now be purchased conveniently online and delivered right to your home no matter where in the world that may be!

For years Nurse Practitioner Egan has identified the very best nutritional supplement manufacturers across the globe and offered a superior collection of the very best of the best at her clinic in Covington. Now, customers and patients no longer need to visit the clinic in person or even place an order by phone in order to purchase these supplements, many of which are available only through a physician.

Customers and patients can browse from the full catalog of health-enhancing supplements from the world’s premiere supplement manufacturers directly from Mrs. Egan’s website. Just visit PamelaEgan.com and click on the link entitled “Supplements” from the main navigation menu (see below).

EGAN Wellness Supplements

Pamela Egan Supplements

From the Supplements menu, simply choose your manufacturer from one of the world’s premiere supplement manufacturers. Just click the link for your preferred manufacturer, select your supplement(s), complete the simple and convenient online checkout and within 2-3 days your supplements will arrive right at your door.

Due to the large selection of products available, Designs for Health and Metagenics each have their own supplement shopping portal specific to their brand of supplements. All other supplement manufacturers’ products will be available through the EGAN Wellness Center & Med Spa’s Bonanza shopping booth. This includes but is not necessarily limited to Douglas Laboratories, Xymogen, Ortho Molecular Products, Newtropin, GHW Supplements, NuLiv Lifestyle and any others not listed here.

If you have a particular request or if the supplement you wish to purchase isn’t yet available through the EGAN Wellness shopping portal, please let us know and we’ll add it to the booth just for you.

Schizophrenia Linked to Vitamin D Insufficiency

Schizophrenia Linked to Vitamin D Insufficiency

By: Pamela Egan

A new study out of Iran has determined that individuals suffering from inadequate serum levels of vitamin D have more than double the chances of becoming schizophrenic than do people who obtain healthy amounts of the letter vitamin/hormone.

Low Vitamin D Serum Levels Doubles Chances of Becoming Schizophrenic

Vitamin D-3 Drops (Supplement)Unlike a traditional study, the research published July 22 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism constitutes what is known as a “meta analysis”. In a meta analysis, unlike a traditional experiment, study or clinical trial, instead of conducting original research using volunteers (test subjects), a control group and different variables to determine how the different variables react (or don’t react) to the volunteers under various circumstances; the researchers instead review previously conducted research. The objective is to review numerous studies which are similar in nature in an attempt to discern any patterns or other data that may surface in the presence of macro-data that may not be as obvious within the context of a single study.

In this particular instance, the researchers reviewed 19 different studies encompassing a combined total of over 2,800 people studied. The purpose of the research was to determine if any discernible link could be established between vitamin D deficiency and schizophrenia.

The scientists were surprised to discover that not only does vitamin D deficiency predispose an individual to developing schizophrenia, a grouping of psychiatric disorders characterized by among other things hallucinations, difficulty speaking, delusions and disoriented thoughts, but did so by a substantial margin. As it turns out, those who suffer from insufficient levels of vitamin D (which is actually a hormone – not a vitamin), a condition known as “vitamin D deficiency” or “vitamin D deficiency syndrome”, are more than two times as likely to become schizophrenic than are people who maintain normal/healthy levels of the hormone/nutrient. The exact figure is 2.16 times more likely for those whose levels are inadequate relative to those whose are.

While co-author Dr. Ahmad Esmaillzadeh expressed hope that his team’s findings “might help psychiatrists in the healing process of patients with schizophrenia,” he cautioned against jumping to any conclusions with regard to the role (if any) vitamin D supplements will play in the prevention and treatment of this mentally trying condition.

“Controlled clinical trials are needed to confirm the effects of vitamin D supplementation,” Esmaillzadeh added.

 

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Schizophrenia – Video

The Probiotic Prescription

The Probiotic Prescription

Probiotics: Listen To Your Gut

November 08, 2013

Let’s start with the facts behind what probiotics are. The root of the word probiotic comes from the Greek word pro, meaning “promoting” and biotic, meaning “life.” The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defines probiotics as “live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.” Yes, they are actually alive, and most of these microorganisms are bacteria. Most people think of antibiotics and antibacterial products when you mention bacteria. Both of those kill bacteria so why would you want to consume anything that has live bacteria in it? It’s all about balance.

Increasing the number of good bacteria in the GI tract by taking probiotics supplements Probiotics Supplementsand eating foods that contain the “good bacteria” may help combat a number of health problems, a growing number of scientists say. New research indicates that specialized strains of these good bacteria could also help alleviate some mood and anxiety disorders.

When University of Toronto researchers gave chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers three daily doses of a Lactobacillus strain for two months, it boosted their levels of good bacteria. “At the same time, we reduced their anxiety,” says lead researcher A. Venket Rao, PhD. When the patients stopped taking the probiotic, their symptoms reverted as well, he says.

Probiotics from YogurtOur stressed-out lifestyle may be our stomach’s biggest enemy. According to María Gloria Domínguez Bello, PhD, a professor of microbiology at the University of Puerto Rico, society’s hectic pace, which leads to our reliance on junk food and overuse of anti­biotics, is throwing our internal ecosystem out of whack; she believes that there’s a link between our gut bacteria and the rise of food allergies and autoimmune diseasesCrohn’s Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis among many others — in the industrialized world. “When there is a loss of balance in the different types of intestinal bacteria, they send signals to our immune system to overreact and become inflamed, leading to disease,” Domínguez Bello says.

See, when it comes to mood, it’s not all in your head — it’s in your gut, too. “The brain influences the digestive tract and vice versa,” says Rebekah Gross, MD, a clinical gastroenterologist at NYU Langone Medical Center. In fact, new research has found that our esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and colon have a big say in how our minds and bodies function and how happy we feel. “The gut is a critical group of organs that we need to start paying more attention to,” says Steven Lamm, MD, the author of No Guts, No Glory. “Doing so may be the secret to improving our overall wellness.”

ProbioticsIf it seems as if your stomach sometimes has a mind of its own, that’s because it does. The gut’s lining houses an independent network of hundreds of millions of neurons — more than the spinal cord has — called the enteric nervous system. It’s so complex and influential that scientists refer to it as “the second brain.” In addition to being in charge of the digestive process, your gut lining is the core of your body’s immune system and defends you against such foreign invaders as viruses and bacteria.

Cells in the gut lining also produce 95 percent of the serotonin in our bodies. (The rest occurs in the brain, where the hormone regulates happiness and mood.) In the gut, serotonin has a range of functions, including stimulating nerve-cell growth and alerting the immune system to germs.

Thanks to serotonin, the gut and the brain are in constant contact with each other. Chemical messages race back and forth between the brain’s central nervous system and the gut’s enteric nervous system. When we’re stressed, scared, or nervous, our brain notifies our gut, and our stomach starts to churn in response. When our digestive system is upset, our gut alerts our brain that there’s a problem even before we begin to feel the symptoms. Scientists suspect that our moods are negatively affected as a result. “The gut is sending messages that can make the brain anxious,” Dr. Gershon explains.

When the digestive tract is healthy, it filters out and eliminates things that can damage it, such as harmful bacteria, toxins, chemicals, and other waste products.

Although more research is needed, there’s encouraging evidence that probiotics may help:

  • Treat diarrhea, especially following treatment with certain antibiotics
  • Prevent and treat vaginal yeast infections and urinary tract infections
  • Treat irritable bowel syndrome
  • Reduce bladder cancer recurrence
  • Speed treatment of certain intestinal infections
  • Prevent and treat eczema in children
  • Prevent or reduce the severity of colds and flu

Side effects are rare, and most healthy adults can safely add foods that contain probiotics to their diet.

Nutrition and Disease Prevention: Poor Nutrition linked to Chronic Disease

Nutrition and Disease Prevention

By: Pamela Egan, NP-C, CDE, ABAAHP, MN

Prioritizing life and health maintenance is essential to achieving health and longevity. Diet, exercise, stress reduction and the avoidance of toxins are all key elements of health.

To operate optimally, the body needs a number of different vitamins, minerals and nutrients. The 13 essential vitamins are divided into two groups, fat soluble and water soluble. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble and can be stored by the body. B vitamins and vitamin C are water soluble – with the exception of vitamin B12 and they cannot be stored.

Medical foods represent an entirely different scientific and medical approach to managing health conditions. They are formulated with macro-and micro-nutrients that are recognized by scientific principles to support the dietary management of a disease or condition, and are to be administered under the supervision of a physician or license healthcare practitioner. Furthermore, they must be specially formulated and processed to provide nutritional support as part of an ongoing doctor-supervised dietary management program to treat a specific therapeutic or nutritional need. Medical foods contain nutrients in therapeutic amounts that typically cannot be acquired through normal dietary measures.

High quality nutrients are different that low quality nutrients such as those that you find inHigh-Quality Multivitamin, Mineral Supplement the drug store or over the counter.

Many of the negative vitamin studies reported throughout the course of the past decade were conducted using extremely low quality, drugstore and supermarket brand vitamins and nutritional supplements. Medical foods that are manufactured and packaged under GMP-certified conditions assure the highest quality and clinical reliability. Nutrisearch by Lyle MacWilliams is a good comparative guide to nutritional supplements or the lack thereof. The effectiveness of medical food programs have been evaluated in numerous clinical intervention and observational studies and published in well-known healthcare journals.

Medical whole food nutrients have been designed to support the management of a variety of chronic conditions including those associated with:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Leaky gut syndrome
  • Atopic disorders

For questions or more information relating to this article, Ms. Egan can be reached at 985-892-3031 or www.pamelaegan.com.

Probiotics and Weight Loss

Probiotics and Weight Loss: How Digestive Baceria Can Actually Help People Lose Weight
By: Pamela Egan, NP-C, CDE, ABAAHP

When supplement marketers attempt to explain to the public the value of probiotics, the discussion typically centers around the fact that probiotics can help to establish a regular pattern of bowel movements, helping to relieve diarrhea, curb constipation and establish a happy medium that constitutes something of a middle-ground – that point when bowel movements occur neither too frequently nor too infrequently, with the consistency being neither too hard nor too soft, minimizing the amount of discomfort one experiences in using the facilities.

Another benefit of probiotics, the good bacterial flora long associated with natural, unprocessed yogurt, with which the public is well familiar is the strengthened immune system that typically accompanies a healthy gut. However, a less noted side-effect of one’s digestive system functioning at peak performance is that a healthy gut can actually help one lose weight and keep off the pounds.

Antibiotics wipe out the good bacterial flora in the gut (intestinal tract) which slows down the metabolism, resulting in fewer calories burned relative to the amount of calories ingested. This results in unnatural weight gain.

In addition, the animals are fed estrogen supplements, which causes them to develop a condition known as estrogen dominance, which also brings about a hefty degree of unnatural weight gain. Hence, hormone balance is essential for weight loss, as is metabolic efficiency.

With regard to the latter, there is actually a quite simple solution for humans who have either been on antibiotics, ingested them indirectly via other food sources (such as beef) or for whatever other reason have an imbalance of intestinal flora inside the digestive tract. High-quality probiotics can actually help to restore the balance of what are often referred to as “good bacteria”. This helps aide digestion, which when combined with routine exercise and at least a somewhat healthy diet results in an enhanced rate-of-metabolism.

This enhanced metabolism typically helps bring about weight loss in overweight individuals provided the average amount of caloric intake were to remain constant from the time period prior to the balancing of intestinal flora to the point at which optimal bacterial flora levels are reached.

The math is really pretty simple: Calories, excess amounts of which are stored as fat, are ingested as food and calorie-containing beverages. Calories also power the human body (as well as all other animal life). The amount of calories stored as fat depends upon a couple of factors: 1) The amount of calories ingested; 2) The rate at which the calories are being burned as fuel; and 3) The amount of time unburned calories remain inside the body prior to being expelled in the form of waste (feces). By reducing the amount of time calories remain in the body from the time they are consumed to the time they are expelled, there is less time for them to be absorbed and stored in the form of fat.

The bottom line is that while probiotics are far from a miracle dietary supplement that will make you lose weight just by taking a little capsule, in conjunction with exercise, diet and hormonal balance, these healthy, all-natural bacteria can indeed help accelerate weight loss by regularing the digestive system, preventing constipation and helping one expel waste in a timely manner relative to the time-of-consumption.

The result is this: probiotics are not magic weight loss solution, but when implemented as part of a complete weight loss regimen that addresses all aspects of the metabolic cycle (caloric intake, rate-of-metabolism, hormonal balance and proper digestive function), can indeed help an overweight individual with poor digestive health lose weight and keep it off.

Related: Health Benefits of Probiotics

Research Shows Those Who Take Vitamin, Nutritional Supplements Are Healthier

Vitamin, Mineral and Nutritional Supplements May Boost Health, According to Study

By: Pamela Egan, NP, ABAAHP Diplomat, CDE

Research indicates that taking a single, daily multivitamin is not adequate to ensure optimal health. What’s more, not taking taking nutritional supplements at all may actually be harmful to your health. This according to a new study consisting of hundreds of individuals that was conducted by a team of scientists from the University of California, Berkley, Out Lady of Mercy Medical Center in New York and the Shaklee Corporation of California.

The results showed that the more vitamins and nutritional supplements individual participants took, the healthier they were. Those who took the most nutritional supplements had better concentration of homocysteine, C-Reactive protein, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides, as well as lower risk of prevalent elevated blood pressure and diabetes. Supplement use showed that when a cell is nourished nutritionally by adequate levels in the blood serum, the optimal concentration reduced chronic disease that results from starvation of the cell.

It is significant to note that the supplement takers took more than just a daily multi-vitamin. They consumed a lot of tablets every day. More than half of them took, a B-Complex, vitamin C, carotenoids, vitamin E, calcium with vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, flavonoids, lecithin, alfalfa, co-enzyme Q10, reservatrol, glucosamine, and an herbal immune supplement. A majority of women consumed gamma linolenic acid, a probiotic, whereas men consumed additional saw palmetto, soy protein and zinc supplements.

According to the conclusion of the abstract:

This group of long-term multiple dietary supplement users consumed a broad array of vitamin/mineral,
herbal, and condition-specific dietary supplements on a daily basis. They were more likely to have optimal concentrations
of chronic disease-related biomarkers, and less likely to have suboptimal blood nutrient concentrations, elevated blood
pressure, and diabetes compared to non-users and multivitamin/mineral users.

The study was published in Nutrition Journal. The full text may be freely accessed at http://www.nutritionj.com/content/pdf/1475-2891-6-30.pdf.

How to Indentify Quality Vitamin and Nutritional Supplements

Not All Supplements Are Created Equal

By: Pamela Egan, MN, NP, CDE, ABAAHP Diplomat

With regard to vitamins and the many various other nutirtional supplements, expert nutritionists have long stressed the importance of supplement quality in terms of both ingredients used to manufacture a given supplement as well as the manufacturing process used to make the supplement. While many health-conscious individuals by now have hear or read that ‘not all supplements are created equal’, for many such a statement is too vague to have any real meaning in terms of understanding which supplements are worth the investment, which are not and how to discern the difference between high-quality and low-quality nutritional supplements.

How is one supposed to know a “trash” vitamin from a “whole food nutrient?” Most of the nutritional supplements that are readily available to the average consumer both in America and abroad are low-grade chemicals stuffed with fillers that contain little-to-no nutritional value to humans when ingested orally (the standard method of ingestion). While the consumer may never know the difference, the overwhelming majority of the so-called “affordable” supplements found in drugstores and major retail chains (or most anywhere else typical health-conscious consumers shop for vitamins and supplements) are not adequete to ensure proper nutrition and avoid or reverse nutritional deficiencies.

“The word is out (that) it pays to take your vitamins”, said Lyle McWilliams, author of the highly esteemed Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements. McWilliams is an author, educator, and biochemist. In his Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements, McWilliams graded 1500 nutrients on absorption, bio-availability, lack of chemicals, dyes, fillers, and if the product is anti-allergenic.

The bottom-line according to McWilliams is that nutritional supplements should be manufactured to pharmaceutical-model GMP, rather than to the food-model GMP that most U.S. supplement manufacturers use. Compliance with pharmaceutical-model GMP gives consumers assurance that the supplements they consume meet stringent pharmaceutical standards for content, potency, and dissolution, and do not contain unwanted impurities.

Amazingly, the nutrients that most Americans have access to have virtually no nutritional value. Some of these include: Centrum, One-a-Day, Equate, Kroger, Members Mark, Nature Made, Puritan’s Pride, Rexall, Rite Aid, Walgreens.

The top-rated products offering the most nutritional value are medical grade and mainly found in clinicians’ offices. Unfortunately, most Americans don’t have access to these without a doctor’s referral. The top-rated supplement brands include Creating Wellness Alliance, Douglas Laboratives, Egan Wellness Clinic, TrueStar Health and USANA. Sadly, the overwhelming majority of people who actually do take supplements on a regular if not daily basis as a means of promoting good health have never even heard of any of the aforementioned brands which actually DO offer high-quality, readily absorbable and bioavailable nutrients.

The good news is that high-quality, pharmaceutical-grade nutritional products are becoming easier to obtain, and no longer require a doctor’s visit and subsequent referral just to get access to them. One place everyday health/nutrition-conscious consumers can find high-quality nutrients is the vitamins and nutritional supplements shop at the Egan Wellness Clinic. Egan carries only those brands considered to be of an elite level of quality as determined by the objective criteria set forth in McWilliams’ supplement guide.

When considering the countless numbers of people who waste big money on our hair and nails, justifying doing so by attempting to make up the difference by saving a few pennies buying cheap supplements from major retailers and even brand-name nutrition shops (where cheaply-made supplements cost a fortune but are substantively no better than the grocery store brands). From a wellness or preventative medicine standpoint, the notion that a person would think nothing of blowing a small fortune on vanity items and/or services while skimping on the quality of nutrients that person ultimately puts into his or her body as a means of promoting good health is beyond rational explanation and defies logic — at least when it involves a person who claims to care about his or her own health.

If your cells are starving to death nutritionally, they will age prematurely, hence disease sets in. When that happens, there will be little to show for all the money spent on looking good while feeling less-than-ideal.

To learn more about the Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements and/or how to learn what to look for in discerning effective supplements versus those that are a waste of money, check out the official website of the Comparative Guide: http://www.comparativeguide.com/.