Sunday, November 14, 2010

Is Your Gut Helping You or Hurting You?

Dear Friends and Clients,

We all know that what we eat is important, but that is only the beginning. What happens next is major. There is nothing more fundamental to health and wellness than proper function in the digestive tract.

You probably never asked yourself the following questions; but the answers may have major consequences, like fatigue, frequent illnesses, depression, anxiety, insomnia, muscle or joint aches and many others,

Asking the right questions!

  • Do I have parasites, like giardia, E. histolytica, or whipworm in my intestines?
  • Do I have yeast overgrowth in my bowels?
  • Do I have overgrowth of toxin producing bacteria in my small bowel or colon?
  • Am I unable to digest my food completely because of insufficient digestive enzymes?
  • Do I have reactivity to gluten or dairy?

These 5 problems are very common BUT in order to treat them we need to be aware of them.

Testing or Basic Treatments?

Get started: Do a state of the art gastrointestinal stool test from my office and get answers.

Not ready for testing? If you want to work on your bowel health try some basic interventions. There is very little potential for negative effects and a very big upside potential Try

  • Probiotics
  • Natural Antibiotics
  • Digestive Enzymes
  • Eliminate dairy and gluten

Bring in the good guys!

Probiotics. Sometimes we need to supplement the beneficial bacteria that live in our intestines to improve our health and overall immune function. These are two of the major good bacteria.

Lactobacillus is very important in the small intestine and will dampen down overgrowth of yeast or toxic bacteria and will decrease inflammation and can improve absorption of nutrients.

Bifidobacter is a very important good bacteria found in the large bowel which produces lots of butyrate which lowers colon cancer risk.

Brands to consider: Culturelle- a lactobacillus gg, UltrafloraDF- high concentrations of both lactobacillus and bifidobacter VSL#3- very very high concentration for serious bowel issues.

Studies of Ulcerative colitis show cure rates up to 77% with VSL#3. Email me for references.

Knock out the Bad guys!

Natural Antibiotics. Many botanicals or other plant based substances can help dampen down bowel overgrowth of yeast and toxic bacteria. Here are a couple of my favorites.

Grapefruit seed extract controls both yeast and abnormal bowel bacterial overgrowth

Emulsified oil of oregano is also excellent for yeast and bacterial overgrowth in the intestinal tract.

Get it Digested!

If you can't digest it you don't get the nutrients!

Stomach enzymes: You may need more Hydrochloric Acid and Pepsin for the 1st stage of digestion

Intestinal Enzymes: You could be short on protease, lipase and amylase from the pancreas

Bile Salts: from the gall bladder to break down your fat may be inadequate.

Try Going off Allergic Foods!

We can be reactive to any food but the most common foods causing problems are

Gluten and Dairy.

Doing a trial of 3 to 4 weeks off gluten and dairy can be a life changing experience!

Even if you have no symptoms when you eat these foods!

Hope your intestines are doing all they can to help your immune system fight off winter colds and flu, reduce aches and pains, improve your spirits and make you the strongest and healthiest you can be.


Dr. Ann

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Remember: The best food for one person

is often not the best food for the other person.

“To each her own”

Here are some guiding principles:

1. Emphasize whole, unrefined, unprocessed foods. Keep sugar out of your diet. Avoid white flour, processed cereals, health food bars. As much as possible eat foods that do NOT come in packages.

2. Eat organic as much as affordable and available.

3. Avoid trans fats. Trans fat is a very toxic fat usually called “partially hydrogenated vegetable or soybean oil” on the package.
READ LABELS. Avoid margarine or butter substitutes.

4. Use organic olive oil or nut oils for salad dressing, and coconut oil, peanut or sesame oil or organic canola oil for cooking. Eat plenty of high quality vegetable fats like avocado, nuts and seeds.

5. Avoid high fructose corn syrup found in most soda and many sweets. And also avoid chemical sugar substitutes like aspartame and saccharine and alcohol sugar like splenda.

6. Eat vegetables, lots and lots, include variety, different colors and groups, A good quantity is about 4 to 5 cups per day.
Consider some raw vegetables and some steamed or sautéed.
Important groups: cruciferous (broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage and kale) orange vegetables: carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables.
*****Actual vegetables are much better than green drinks*****

7. Eat sufficient protein: Fish, poultry, beef, lamb, eggs, nuts, seeds, beans, dairy.

8. Go for low mercury fish: wild, cold water fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel, white fish like sole and tilapia and shellfish like crab, scallops, shrimp, and oysters.
Avoid large high mercury fish: tuna, halibut, and swordfish.

9. Eggs, free range chicken, turkey, some grass fed beef, lamb and pork are also fine protein sources.

10. If you do not eat meat or eggs or eat them seldom, you should check your cholesterol, iron and B 12 to make sure they are not low.

11. Dairy protein is great for people who are not lactose or casein intolerant (or allergic) Yogurt and some cheeses are especially good. However many people are reactive to dairy and don’t realize that it’s the cause of their intestinal symptoms or other medical problems like headaches, fatigue or joint pain. If you are curious or feeling unwell I recommend a trial of 3 weeks to 3 months off dairy to see if you benefit.

12. Good Protein sources for everyone but especially vegans are soybeans, other beans, nuts and seeds.

13. Vegans should take extra vitamin B 12 as a supplement unless they have had their B 12 blood levels checked and know they are high normal.
If you are a vegan and you are fatigued it is highly likely that you are low in B12 and/or iron and you may also be low in protein.
Have your doctor check your blood count for anemia but also check for B12 and iron deficiency.

14. Eat whole fruits, not fruit juices. The best fruits are berries:
blueberries, raspberries, blackberries. The least healthful fruits, because of higher sugar content are tropical fruits, pineapple, mango and higher carb fruits like banana. All fruits are fine in small servings. If you have a weight issue you may need to consider limiting fruits or no fruits.

15. Eat whole grain carbohydrates like brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats or real whole grain breads without additives. Again, read labels. If you find a long list of chemical sounding ingredients don’t buy it.

16. Some people with weight problems do better with no carbs or very minimal carbs to get better blood sugar and insulin regulation.

17. Some people, most of them unaware, have gluten intolerance and would be much healthier without gluten (wheat, rye, barley and some oats). Consider trying 3 weeks to 3 months off gluten to see if you benefit.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010

Brain Health

Dr Ann’s Health Spot. March 2010

Dear friends,

There’s lots in the news these days about the baby boomers living to be well into their 90s or 100s. How are we going to make that a lively, enjoyable, and rich time for ourselves? No way our generation is going to retire at 65, play some golf and bridge, spend a lot of time and money on medical problems and then drift into “waiting to die” mode. Many octogenarian friends are still working full time at professions they enjoy, volunteering in service projects, traveling to exotic spots and taking up new creative pursuits.

With all this life span to look forward to I’ve been talking with some of my friends about how to keep our brains in good shape. Here’s what we came up with.

  • Alright, you may be very tired of hearing me say to eat lots of vegetables but that’s the reality folks. Lots of color means lots of antioxidants. Dark colored fruits are great too.
  • Consuming good fats daily like nuts, avocado, olive oil and wild cold water fish is beneficial to your brain. Your brain is 60% fat and you need to feed it good fats.
  • Don’t eat junk! No sugar, trans fats, aspartame or highly processed foods. Read labels! and they should be short.
  • Exercise, 30 to 60 minutes per day is optimal. Build up to that slowly if you do not currently exercise regularly. It’s critical to find something you like to do!
  • Stress-It’s hard on your brain-need I say more?

OK, what supplements do I take for my brain?

  • Methyl B12, B6, activated 5 methyl folate
  • EPA/DHA omega 3 fish oil 2000mg per day
  • Coenzyme Q 10 200mg per day
  • Acetylcarnitine 1000mg per day
  • R lipoic acid 200mg per day
  • Phosphatidyl serine

Everyone’s different and there are some supplements that are especially helpful for memory problems. In my experience Huperzine A, DMAE, and vinpocetine have been the most helpful for age related memory decline. Huperzine A must be used with some caution concerning the dose and the quality of the preparation.

On the other hand if the issue is poor memory because of depression, stress or anxiety then a different set of supplements would be more useful:

  • Tryptophan or 5HTP
  • tyrosine
  • theanine
  • taurine
  • higher doses of B6, or inositol.

It’s always best to talk to a health practitioner skilled in nutrition and supplements to help guide your choices!


Dr. Ann

Saturday, February 13, 2010


In 2009 researchers reported the first clinical trial of vitamin D in preventing internal cancers and found a 60-percent reduction in cancers by increasing vitamin D levels from 29 ng/mL to 38 ng/mL with 1,100 IU per day. This study left open the possibility that higher doses may prevent even more cancers.

Low vitamin D is associated with increases in cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, osteoporosis, periodontal disease, macular degeneration, mental illness, propensity to fall, and chronic pain.

A recent review presented considerable evidence that influenza epidemics, and perhaps even the common cold, are brought on by seasonal deficiencies in cathelicidin, a natural antibiotic made in our cells in response to vitamin D. Results of a research study support the theory, finding 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day for one year significantly lowered self-reported incidence of colds and influenza.

Even the current triple childhood epidemics of autism, asthma, and type 1 diabetes, all of which blossomed after sun-avoidance advice became widespread, might be increased by gestational or early childhood vitamin D deficiencies partially caused by medical advice to avoid the sun.

Claims that vitamin D may help prevent such a wide variety of diseases seem incredible until one realizes vitamin D is not a vitamin; rather, it is a hormone with multiple repair and regenerative functions. Previously, many practitioners thought vitamin D’s activity was simply the regulation of serum calcium – and was thus mainly involved in bone metabolism. Vitamin D deficiency, if severe, will result in rickets, a severe bone mineralization deficit.

Adult vitamin D deficiency is the rule rather than the exception in industrialized nations. A high number of otherwise healthy children and adolescents are also vitamin D deficient especially breast-fed infants. Severe deficiencies are common in newborn infants and pregnant women, especially African-Americans.

Furthermore, the definition of vitamin D deficiency changes almost yearly as research shows the ideal vitamin D ranges are higher than were previously thought. Only 10 percent of the subjects in any of the above studies had vitamin D levels > 40 ng/mL

Sufficient Vitamin D levels are said to be 33 to 100 ng/dl. Many experts now believe that optimal vitamin D levels are between 55 and 80 ng/dl. Very few people will attain this level without supplementation of 2000 to 4000 IUs per day.