Teenage dieting and osteoporosis

The seeds for osteoporosis are often laid in the early teens. Osteoporosis involves both the mineral (inorganic) and non-mineral (organic matrix composed primarily of protein) components of bone. In fact true lack of dietary calcium results in a separate condition known as osteomalacia or softening of the bone.

Frequent dieting during the teen years or significant caloric restriction do a couple of negative things to the body. First they shock the body and may disrupt the hypothalamus, pituitary adrenal axis (this is like the main switch board for the hormonal and nervous system center). Next as people fast, they normally use up minerals in the body’s attempts to keep vital functions going. Initially the minerals come from whatever is circulating. Then the minerals stored within the bone matrix are used up.

As this goes on, more and more minerals are used up. If these same women become pregnant, most other their nutrients are used up by their babies as well. If they were supplementing throughout those years, these mineral loss effects can be mitigated or ameliorated. Most young women who typically do yoyo diets, fast repeatedly or have bulimic type behaviours in my experience do not do adequate supplementation.

Caloric restriction without malnutrition is a technique that can be used for effective weight loss as well as for anti-ageing. This needs to be distinguished form the caloric restriction programs that young women on weight loss or yo yo diets go on. On these amazing sounding but quite dysfunctional diets there is no adequate nutritional supplementation. This is what leads to the loss of calcium.

Research done by Dr. Michael Colgan show that maximum permitted reduction in calories is from two hundred to five hundred calories a day. Furthermore such a program must be supplemented by a complete vitamin and mineral supplement program to shut down the body’s malnourishment defenses. If the caloric reduction is more severe than the above, the fatpoint defenses are triggered. The whole cycle of metabolic shutdown and appetite explosion begins anew.

Such a program yields a maximum weight loss of between 1.5 to 1 pound a week. Gradually over the course of a year, the fatpoint edges down as the body remodels itself around the new weight, always on the low side of the existing fatpoint. The minor changes in calories slip by the fatpoint defenses and the supplements keep the nutritional defenses quiet. Within a year, you can lose between twenty-five and fifty pounds. The great difference between this loss and most other losses by dieting is that the ravenous hunger, binging, sickness, nausea and other hazards of dieting do not occur. With normal cell turnover the body adopts its enzyme levels, its muscles, its skeleton, its glands, to the new lower weight. The fat point drops to suit.

Osteoporosis that is not due to disease can develop from malnutrition and malabsorption of Calcium and or Vitamin D. It can also be triggered by a Vitamin C deficiency and a high acid ash (high protein) diet. A high phosphate intake or an iron overload can aggravate the condition as well.

When a group of scientists began to study the incidence of osteoporosis in different countries, they found the highest incidence in countries like UK, Sweden, the United States of America and the lowest in China where the diet avoids all of the risk factors metioned above as well as including all of the protective items that follow below.

The ideal diet for preventing osteoporosis is high in vegetables and fruits, but low in fat and animal products. Refined carbohydrates and alcohol are to be held at a very low level and carbonated drinks loaded with phosphates should be eliminated. Flavonoid rich food like dark blue-black berries, citrus rinds and colourful fruits should be liberally consumed. It should also include exercise. A 45 minute to an hour’s walk, three to five times a week is the minimum exercise that is recommended.

According to Dr Maurine Tsakok, head and senior consultant of Singapore General Hospital’s department of obstetrics and gynaecology, women taking soy bean products from dougan to miso soup to legumes like peanuts and beans were naturally increasing their oestrogen levels.

This is because soya products contained plant oestrogens and if sufficient quantities are consumed (which was about three times more soya products a week than normal). In a retrospective study of 98 menopausal Singapore women only half were found the need Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Dr Tsakokk also found that two-fifths of the women who did not need HRT exercised regularly compared with about one- tenth of those on HRT. This is one of those times when soya in the right amounts is actually useful and helpful.

The supplements below are suggested; Calcium Citrate 1000 mg a day Magnesium Citrate 500 mg a day Pyridoxine 100 mg a day Folic Acid 1000 mg a day Vitamin B12 1 mg a day Phylloquinone (K1) 1 mg a day Boron 3 mg a day Strontium Lactate 100 mg a day Botanical medicines that are useful are herbs like dong quai (Angelica sinensis), liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), unicorn root (Aletris farinosa), black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and false unicorn root (Helonias opulus). These herbs contain phytoestrogens which are suitable alternatives to oestrogens in the prevention of osteoporosis in menopausal women. They will also help with symptoms like hot flushes and mood swings.

Be well

Dr Sundardas

How to keep children safe

I have a special soft spot when it comes to children. Every time I see a disabled or handicapped child my heart goes out to the child. I also feel for the parents. When it comes to children in the Autism Spectrum Disorder however I also feel a little angry. Why? I am not angry with the parents (I feel for them). Nor am I angry with the children.

Sometimes when I look at them my heart breaks. I am angry that there is so much misinformation about the nature and conditions that surround the problem.

Of course every time I surf the web and read what others have to say, there seem to be a range of opinions. However, the bottom line is that no one concerted school of thought apart from the Defeat Autism Network and its philosophies and practices has consistently helped ASD children recover and experience a fuller range of life and experiences.

I don’t wish to outline a treatment protocol here for ASD ( this is covered in my clinic website http://www.NaturalTherapies.com). What I want to do is to outline an overall procedure so that children have a reasonable chance of growing up well physically, emotionally and mentally. This is based on my experience of working with 10, 000 people of which 1,000 were children suffering from ASD, infections and allergies and emotional issues. Every adult was a child once and when I saw them , I saw the scars of inappropriate parenting.

I think parents need to make sure that they are physically, emotionally and mentally prepared to have a child. Both parents need to prepare themselves physically first. Stop smoking, drinking alcohol and the use of recreational drugs. If that seems like too much work, then the next question to ask is, “Are you sure that you are ready for the rigours of childbirth and child raising which will last for at least twenty years?” If you have been smoking or drinking then make some attempts to detoxify your liver. Ensure to the best of your ability that you have lowered the level of toxic chemicals in your system like heavy metals like mercury and PCBS like dioxin. Correct as much of your deficiencies as possible. If you are both are physically healthy, your baby has that much more chance of being physically healthy.

The next step is to be in a happy marriage or relationship. Why this provisio? It stands to reason doesn’t it that if you and your partner are happy with each other when the baby is in the womb, the mother will produce “happy molecules of emotion” (neuropeptides). This will bio-chemically program the baby in utero to be a “happy little camper”. The positive emotions will also program the baby to have positive emotions and high self esteem. In many Asian cultures, the concept of in-utero programming was practiced. Now we have “hot- housing” for producing smart kids. I have spent twenty years researching the impact of all these variables and a few books on the topics are planned. What I am outlining here are the takeaways from the research.

The baby is born. Minimise as much trauma as possible. You cannot legally avoid vaccines. However you can delay them until they are at least 1 year old. The baby’s innate immune system is at an all time high for the first 6 months. Thereafter it starts declining and other mechanisms kick in. In my experience of working with ASD children, none of whom are born with ASD just the tendency towards it, the trigger seems to be some kind of infection or vaccine (normally MMR) impacting the baby’s immune system within the first few days to few months of the baby’s birth.

Thereafter breast feed to child for at least 9 months to a year. When you start weaning them and adding solids, go slow. Notice their responses to new items and watch out for skin responses (rash, itch, cradle cap), digestive responses (colic, diarrhoea and constipation). All of these are markers of food intolerances which will eventually lead to significant health issues.

Maintaining close contact between mother and child in the first 24 hours of birth creates close bonding that results in a young person who will bond with others and be emotionally healthy and well-adjusted. Birth trauma of any kind, lack of close emotional bonding will create a young person who can grow up to be angry, distant and even psychopathic and suicidal.

It is interesting to note that the care and concern that the that parents demonstrate in the first seven years of the child’s life will critically impact him/her for thye rest of their lives. This behaviour by the parents provides the basis for imprinting that would condition the child physically, emotionally and mentally if not spiritually as to what type of person he is and what type of world he lives in. This sets the Blueprint for his Life. The role modeling they provide creates the basis for healthy well functioning happy person or a chronically dependent dysfunctional person.

The Imprint period from birth to about age 7 is the time when we are like a sponge. We pick up and store everything that goes on in our environment. The basic programming occurs between the ages of 2 to 4, by which time the bulk of the programming is complete. We also get our basic programming, which includes drivers and the script at about this age many of the cases of child abuse and or incest that is repressed normally occur about this time frame.

During this time frame the child unconsciously picks up the parents’ behaviour. Many cases of deep-seated dysfunctional attitudes also tend to originate from this time frame. The very notion of imprinting comes from Konrad Lorenz who studied the behaviour of ducklings when they hatched. He discovered that baby ducks would imprint a mother figure in the first day or so of life. So if you wish your children to have happy, positive experiences, you the parents need to live powerfully positive and happy lives.

Be well
Dr Sundardas

When politics and medicine collide {mercury, vaccines, HRT}

On a daily basis when I work with my clients and I have to present to them information that upsets their mental models, I get a variety of responses. These responses range from

1) Are you sure about this? (mildly skeptical)
2) Why did my doctor or dentist not tell me this?
3) How come the FDA passed this?
4) Why isn’t the government doing anything about this?

For the mildly skeptical responses (its only mildly skeptical now because those who come to me know about my somewhat unorthodox views), I simply give them the facts and let them decide. They are of course shocked that the precious antibiotics that the doctor gave them for their viral influenza was quite useless and it was in the best (or worst) case scenario (depending on your perspective) meant to protect against the possibility of a secondary bacterial infection (if it occurred). Most people believe however that the cold got better because of the antibiotics. It is because of the indiscriminate use of the antibiotics we now have “flesh eating bacteria” proliferating and
the development of antibiotic resistant bacterial species.

The next scenario is that of “Why did my doctor or dentist not tell me this”. I have a good friend of mine who is a general practitioner who regularly tells his patients when they have a cold that they do not need antibiotics. Some of his patients love him. His relatives when they see him professionally for a cold and are told they do not need antibiotics go away disgruntled grumbling under their breath, “What kind of doctor are you?” This is one reason doctors do this. They do not want to lose patients. If a patient feels he needs antibiotics and nearly everyone else is doing it, than “I must do it as well’.

On the subjects of mercury fillings, I can wax lyrical but I won’t. I will simply say that in many countries until quite recently, a dentist could lose his license for suggesting that mercury was not a suitable material to be used in the teeth. Now there are states in the US outlawing the use of mercury. One wag once said that

1) If they used the same standard of double blind studies on mercury as a dental filling that they do on drugs, it would never have cleared clinical trials

2) If the US government were to openly ban mercury as a dental product, it would go bankrupt under the weight of the lawsuits filed by its military serviceman

In Singapore, dentist are advised not to use mercury for pregnant mothers by the Ministry of Health. Makes you wonder doesn’t it? Is it not safe for pregnant mothers or is it not safe for the babies? If its not safe for mothers and babies, how about the rest of us poor mortals?

One of the other major issues is that of vaccines and its safety. A certain percentage of the cost of the vaccines goes towards legal fees. There are legal companies in the good old USA who specialize in cases of vaccine damage in children. They take these companies to court and win. I will let you ponder on the meaning of a purported medical procedure that is supposed to protect children but leaves 2 % of the children handicapped and brain damaged and autistic some way. Before the serious advent of modern vaccines, the incident of autistic features was 0.1% to 0.2 % . Ahh…the wonders of modern medical science.

For the longest time, the FDA has been held up as the bastion of medical safety and reliability. I have already written about the makeup of the FDA committees when they sit in deliberation. However let me add a new piece to the puzzle.
In what may be among the longest-running and widest-ranging cases of academic fraud, one of the most prolific researchers in anesthesiology fabricated much of the data underlying his research, said a spokeswoman for the hospital where he works.
The researcher, Dr. Scott S. Reuben, an anesthesiologist in Springfield, Mass., who practiced at Baystate Medical Center, fabricated data in some or all of the 21 journal articles dating from at least 1996, said Jane Albert, a spokeswoman for Baystate Health.

The reliability of dozens more articles he wrote is uncertain, and the common practice — supported by his studies — of giving patients aspirinlike drugs and neuropathic pain medicines after surgery instead of narcotics is now being questioned.

The drug giant Pfizer underwrote much of Dr. Reuben’s research from 2002 to 2007. Many of his trials found that Celebrex and Lyrica, Pfizer drugs, were effective against postoperative pain.
“Independent clinical research advances disease treatments and improves the lives of patients,” said Raymond F. Kerins Jr., a Pfizer spokesman. “As part of such research, we count on independent researchers to be truthful and motivated by a desire to advance care for patients. It is very disappointing to learn about Dr. Scott Reuben’s alleged actions.”
Last but not least, the government of any country is the last resort in the chain of medical responsibility. When all else fails and there is a epidemic, pandemic or global financial meltdown than the government steps in.

My question to you my dear reader is, how responsible are you going to be for the health care of you and your family?

Be well
Dr Sundardas

Is the FDA looking after your Medical Safety?

Research shows there are 2,000 deaths/year from unnecessary surgery; 7000 deaths/year from medication errors in hospitals; 20,000 deaths/year from other errors in hospitals; 80,000 deaths/year from infections in hospitals; 106,000 deaths/year from non-error, adverse effects of medications – these total up to 225,000 deaths per year in the US from iatrogenic causes which ranks these deaths as the # 3 killer. Iatrogenic is a term used when a patient dies as a direct result of treatments by a physician, whether it is from misdiagnosis of the ailment or from adverse drug reactions used to treat the illness. (drug reactions are the most common cause).

Based on the findings of one major study, medical errors kill some 44,000 people in U.S. hospitals each year. Another study puts the number much higher, at 98,000. Even using the lower estimate, more people die from medical mistakes each year than from highway accidents, breast cancer, or AIDS. And deaths from medication errors that take place both in and out of hospitals are aid to be more than 7,000 annually.

A statistical study of hospital deaths in the U.S. conducted at the University of Toronto revealed that pharmaceutical drugs kill more people every year than are killed in traffic accidents.

The study is said to show that more than two million American hospitalized patients suffered a serious adverse drug reaction (ADR) within the 12-month period of the study and, of these, over 100,000 died as a result. The researchers found that over 75 per cent of these ADRs were dose-dependent, which suggests they were due to the inherent toxicity of the drugs rather than to allergic reactions.

The data did not include fatal reactions caused by accidental overdoses or errors in administration of the drugs. If these had been included, it is estimated that another 100,000 deaths would be added to the total every year.

The researchers concluded that ADRs are now the fourth leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease, cancer, and stroke.

According to a USA Today (Dennis Cauchon, Sept 25,200) study, more than half of the experts hired to advise the government on the safety and effectiveness of medicine have financial relationships with the pharmaceutical companies that will be helped or hurt by their decisions. These experts are hired to advise the Food and Drug Administration on which medicines should be approved for sale, what the warning labels should say and how studies of drugs should be designed. The experts are supposed to be independent, but USA TODAY found that 54% of the time, they have a direct financial interest in the drug or topic they are asked to evaluate. These conflicts include helping a pharmaceutical company develop a medicine, then serving on an FDA advisory committee that judges the drug.

The conflicts typically include stock ownership, consulting fees or research grants.

Federal law generally prohibits the FDA from using experts with financial conflicts of interest, but according to the article, the FDA has waived the restriction more than 800 times since 1998. These pharmaceutical experts, about 300 on 18 advisory committees, make decisions that affect the health of millions of Americans and billions of dollars in drugs sales. With few exceptions, the FDA follows the committees’ advice.

The FDA reveals when financial conflicts exist, but it has kept details secret since 1992, so it is not possible to determine the amount of money or the drug company involved.

A USA Today analysis of financial conflicts at 159 FDA advisory committee meetings from Jan. 1, 1998, through last June 30 found:

At 92% of the meetings, at least one member had a financial conflict of interest.

At 55% of meetings, half or more of the FDA advisers had conflicts of interest.

Conflicts were most frequent at the 57 meetings when broader issues were discussed: 92% of members had conflicts.

At the 102 meetings dealing with the fate of a specific drug, 33% of the experts had a financial conflict.

“The best experts for the FDA are often the best experts to consult with industry,” says FDA senior associate commissioner Linda Suydam, who is in charge of waiving conflict-of-interest restrictions. But Larry Sasich of Public Citizen, an advocacy group, says, “The industry has more influence on the process than people realize.”

In an article written by Andrea Knox for Knight Ridder Newspapers appeared on January 7, 2001 in “The Star,” a Ventura County Newspaper.

“In the past four years, 10 prescription drugs and a vaccine have been taken off the market after killing and injuring thousands. According to the article, it is estimated that US drug fatalities runs 100,000 a year. There is no way of confirming the numbers because there is no reliable way to track and investigate problems with drugs. Doctors are not even required to report bad drug interactions.”

It also doesn’t help that the FDA has cut the time for routine drug approvals, making the real-life test for drugs coming after it has actually been approved. Without a proper monitoring system, it takes longer to discover what drugs could be causing problems.
The above is to show that unless as an informed consumer to take responsibility for your own health, nobody else out there in terms of a regulatory body is looking after the safety of drugs. While nutritional and natural medicine products are being stringently regulated in nearly all first world countries, drugs which are infinitely more deadly are not regulated to the same degree.

For example in Singapore, there was a scare about skullcap. Based on adverse drug reports on a handful of individuals in Germany and Switzerland, the drug was banned in Singapore. Compare this with the drug Vioxx. Dr. Graham told the Senate Finance Committee (US) that Vioxx may have caused 55000 deaths alone, more than the 28000 projected by the FDA. Only then did Merck take it off the shelves.

So the next time the next wonder drug comes up, let someone else check it our first. The FDA is too busy doing things other than safeguarding the medical safety of America and the world.

Be well

Dr Sundardas

Why are children becoming more toxic?

Technological developments have dramatically reduced mortality resulting from many diseases. In many instances, however, disease incidence is increasing, although for some conditions without standardized tracking mechanisms, trends are difficult to determine accurately. The burden from current patterns of disease and disability is enormous and extracts a terrible toll from individuals, families, and communities. Nearly 12 million children in the U.S (17 percent) suffer from one or more developmental disabilities, including deafness, blindness, epilepsy, speech defects, cerebral palsy, delays in growth and development, behavioral problems, or learning disabilities. Learning disabilities alone affect 5 to 10 percent of children in public schools, and these numbers appear to be increasing.

Small exposures to substances like lead, mercury, or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which have no discernible impact on adults, can permanently damage the developing brain of a child, if the exposure occurs during a window of vulnerability. Early exposures to dioxin or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chemicals from industrial activities that bioaccumulate in dietary fat, damage the developing immune system, making the child more prone to infections. Risks of asthma and high blood pressure are increased by early environmental exposures. Recent research from Sweden concludes not only that environmental factors play a more important role than genetic inheritance in the origin of most cancers, but also that cancer risk is largely established during the first 20 years of life.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder conservatively affects 3 to 6 percent of all school children, and the numbers may be considerably higher. The incidence of autism seems to be increasing, though much of this apparent increase may be due to increased reporting. The age-adjusted incidence of melanoma, lung (female), prostate, liver, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, testis, thyroid, kidney, breast, brain, esophagus, and bladder cancers has steadily increased over the past 25 years.[ Some birth defects, including disorders of the male reproductive system and some forms of congenital heart disease, are increasingly common. Sperm counts and fertility are in decline in some areas of the U.S. and other parts of the world. Asthma is more common and more severe than ever before.

Genetic factors explain far less than half of the population variance for most of these conditions. Although smoking and sun exposure are well-recognized risk factors for some conditions, improved understanding of development of the brain and the immune, reproductive, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems leads to the conclusion that other environmental factors play a major role in determining current patterns of disease.

Infants of mothers who smoke may receive greater exposure to the products of tobacco smoke through breast milk than through environmental exposure, according to a study led by researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). The study showed a 10-Fold Increase Over Environmental Exposure Alone According to the report appearing in the June issue of the American Journal of Public Health, urine levels of cotinine, a substance produced by the breakdown of nicotine in the body, were 10 times higher in breast-fed children of smoking mothers than in bottle-fed children of smoking mothers.

Maria A. Mascola, MD, MPH, first author of the study says, “While we don’t know for sure whether the compounds present in breast milk are related to any of the harmful health effects seen in some children of smoking women—from reduced lung function to greater incidence of asthma and other illnesses—this does stress how important it is to help mothers refrain from smoking both during pregnancy and while they are nursing.” Mascola is director of Perinatal Epidemiology in the Vincent Obstetrics and Gynecology Service at the MGH.

This investigation was part of the Maternal/Infant Lung Study, a long-term project conducted by the Channing Laboratories at BWH in collaboration with the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center. The researchers examined data from 330 mother/infant pairs who received prenatal, obstetric and pediatric care through the East Boston Center, analyzing information about maternal smoking and the presence of other smokers in the home along with results of urine tests taken from the infants in the first year of life. While cotinine, the substance tested for, is not known to have any harmful effects itself, it is generally used as a marker for the presence of nicotine and other tobacco products.

As expected, cotinine levels in bottle-fed infants of smoking mothers were about eight times higher than in bottle-fed infants of non-smoking mothers. But among children of smoking mothers, infants who were breast-fed had cotinine levels ten times higher than those of bottle-fed infants. Type of feeding had no effect on the cotinine levels of infants of non-smoking mothers.The researchers also found significantly higher cotinine levels in infants of non-smoking mothers who were exposed to tobaccco through smoking by another household member, with no difference related to feeding. For infants of smoking mothers, the presence of another smoker in the household caused a small, statistically insignificant increase in cotinine. In addition, children of mothers who smoked in the same room as their infants also had a small, statistically insignificant increase in cotinine over children of mothers who always smoked in rooms away from their infants.

“Our 10-year study has looked at a lot of factors related to the ways kids can be exposed to tobacco smoke on a prenatal and postnatal level,” says John P. Hanrahan, MD, MPH, of the respiratory epidemiology section at Channing Laboratories and BWH, the study’s senior author. “A lot of people have assumed that the inhalation of passive smoke is totally responsible for the adverse health effects seen in children of smoking mothers. This study has widened our view of the ways smoking may be detrimental to the health of children.”

What are we doing to protect our children?

Be well

Dr Sundardas