January 20, 2017

The Truth about Immunotherapy

Clinical Trial Statistics

by Dr. Scott Saunders

I would like to share a few stories about cancer.  This is a very heartfelt topic to me for many reasons.  As a doctor, I have sat with many patients to tell them they have incurable cancer. “THE BIG C” they call it.  I have also treated many who were going through chemotherapy and radiation therapy.  I follow them through surgery. And I have to deal with all the repercussions because I’m their “primary care doctor.”  Oncologists, surgeons, and radiation oncologists treat, and then send the patients back to me.  This is hard work.  But it has hit me even closer to home.

Brain tumor Soon after the turn of the millennium, my best friend called me with a shock. He was diagnosed with cancer –  a brain tumor, lymphoma. I flew to his side that week, and we started researching the best ways to treat this. After finding some promising cancer treatments, I went with him to his oncology appointment at the brand-new Huntsman Cancer Institute. Mr. Huntsman had donated millions of dollars to build a state-of-the-art cancer center at the University of Utah medical school. This was supposed to be the best in the industry.

The oncologist was very nice. But when we asked for her opinion on the cancer treatments we had found, she had none. She was unaware of any of them. I asked her what she recommended. “MOPP therapy and radiation” she succinctly stated. I knew this didn’t work ten years before when I was in medical school… and it isn’t used today at all.

After five years of chemotherapy, radiation, remission, recurrence, and a bone marrow transplant, Eddy finally succumbed to the treatment. I still miss him. I have come to know, first hand, and on many different levels, what Dr. Allen Levin, MD meant when he said about cancer:

“The majority of the cancer patients in this country die because of chemotherapy, which does not cure breast, colon or lung cancer. This has been documented for over a decade and nevertheless doctors still utilize chemotherapy to fight these tumors.”[1]

Nothing has changed in the 25 years since then.  Physicians like me are told what to do. We don’t get to use our own judgment, especially in the case of cancer.  In fact, an oncologist who does not recommend the current fad in chemotherapy is ostracized.  For this reason, oncologists push very hard for their patients to get chemotherapy.  Over twenty years ago, Dr. Braverman explained the belief system of oncologists.

“Many oncologists recommend chemotherapy for almost any type of cancer, with a faith that is unshaken by the almost constant failures.”[2]

Nothing has changed since then. However, when it comes to treating themselves, the story is very different. A study from McGill University included a survey of lung cancer specialists. Of those, 64 of the 79 said they would not use a common chemotherapy, or several experimental cancer treatments, due to ineffectiveness and toxicity.[3]

Because of the research and knowledge available online, patients are starting to be as wise as oncologists and refusing chemotherapy.

Now there is a new fad: immune therapy.

Immunotherapy Statistics

In 2014 a press-release from the National Cancer Institute, a Federal Government Agency, made headlines:

“NIH study demonstrates that a new cancer immunotherapy method could be effective against a wide range of cancers.”[4]

But what did the study really show? The bottom-line is that the results are very similar to chemotherapy agents.

The current study that people are getting excited about is one that used two drugs for malignant melanoma. But first, the natural course of metastatic melanoma if left untreated looks like this:

Patients at stage M1c (unresectable metastatic melanoma) without treatment:[5]

  • The median overall survival: 5.1 months
  • 1 year survival: 22.3%

The study for these two immunotherapy drugs on 945 people with unresectable metastatic melanoma looked like this:[6]

  • Median progression-free survival was 11.5 months for patients taking both therapies.

At one year, the group looked like this:

  • 425 patients stopped taking the drugs because they had disease progression.
  • 194 patients stopped because the drugs were too toxic.
  • 285 patients died during the one year study (1-year survival: 69.8%).

Over half (55%) of the patients taking both drugs had serious adverse events.

About 1/3 (36%) of patients had to discontinue cancer treatment because of adverse events.

There were no drug related deaths reported for the combo cancer therapy group.

Bottom-line for the group selected for this study:

Median survival was more than twice as long as expected. Comparing overall survival to “progression-free” survival makes the immunotherapy look significantly better than doing nothing.

Those surviving at one year were significantly more than expected.

However, looking at the raw numbers we are left with the same issues as with other forms of chemotherapy.

  1. Toxicity – a lot of people dropped out.
  2. It’s not a cure, allowing maybe a few months of “survival” without considering quality of life.

The use of toxic treatments centers on statistics, which do not apply to any single individual. Instead of looking for the optimal treatment for each cancer patient, a percentage is given. The percentage number represents the odds of surviving the cancer, versus the odds of surviving the cancer treatment.

If you’re wondering what a doctor would do, then consider a friend of mine, Dr. Bob Young.

The Merciful End

Seven years ago, a local physical contacted me and asked me to help him in his office.   He had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was using several natural treatments. But he needed help with his patients in the office.  I came in to help several days per week.

As he continued to decline, it seemed that he would be unable to return to his practice. So he asked if I would take over his patients, which I agreed to do.  When I went to his house to sign papers, we sat at the kitchen table. He turned and said to me, “Cancer has been the greatest gift for me.”  Of course, he had my full attention.

“These past two years since I have been diagnosed with cancer, I have been able to wrap-up my life. I have repaired a relationship with my daughter, I have taken care of my wife financially, I have finished all my business ventures, and now, finally, I’m signing the papers to take care of all the patients I have nurtured for over twenty years. I’m done.”

He died two weeks later.

The issue wasn’t about him. He wasn’t grasping at straws to try to gain a few more days of life, rather he was looking to those around him. He refused surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, yet he survived a lot longer than those who submit to these methods. He was using natural treatments to maintain his strength. He had dealt with death many times in his life, and knew the end comes for all. He felt fortunate that he didn’t die suddenly, but was able to tie up all the loose ends of his life before moving on. He was ready. This was a merciful end.

dr hamer cured himself of cancer 2A Whole New Medicine

However, consider another doctor who opted out of chemotherapy for a curable cancer, and founded a whole new system of treatment.

Twenty years ago, Dr. Ryke Geerd Hamer, a German doctor with his own practice in Rome, Italy, received a call in the middle of the night. His 17-year old son had been shot while on holiday in the Mediterranean. Three months later, his son Dirk died. Shortly after, Dr. Hamer, who had been healthy all his life but utterly devastated by this catastrophe, found he had testicular cancer. Rather suspicious about this coincidence, he set about doing research on the personal histories of cancer patients to see whether they had suffered some shock, distress or trauma before their illness.[7]

Dr. Hamer spent some time to deal with the shock of the loss of his son, and cured himself of testicular cancer.  Since that time, he has written many books and articles about the emotional and mental contributions to cancer, and how to overcome them to reverse the disease.  He has many clients who can attest to this.

The list of ways for dealing with a cancer diagnosis can go on and on.  We don’t know in advance what will happen to us. But we can respond well if we don’t act out of fear, looking instead for what is best for us.  Patients need to take responsibility, and not just give in to the latest fad, be it chemotherapy, or vitamin C.  We may seek healing, or not.  We may use chemotherapy, or not.  It is most important to look at the risks versus the benefits of any treatment.

I commonly find cancer patients doing everything out of fear of death.  I have had so many patients with cancer reading about everybody’s cancer cure, and doing all of them at the same time.  I have not seen this approach work.  Some need to feel like they are doing something; but the things they choose aren’t often effective.

3 supplements to treat and prevent cancerIndividualized Cancer Treatment

What if we seek for individual causes of cancer and treat each person independently?  What would that look like?

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Best Turmeric Supplements

updated May 2016

There is a saying that goes, “A teaspoon of turmeric a day keeps cancer at bay!”

This Indian spice is one of nature’s most powerful healers. 

The medicinal properties of turmeric have been slowly revealing themselves over the centuries. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that turmeric is a natural wonder, beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease…and even Lupus.

turmeric the wonder herbTurmeric is also used to treat digestive and liver conditions, arthritis pain, irregular menstrual periods, heartburn, stomach ulcers and gallstones. It has natural anti-inflammatory qualities as well as blood-thinning properties that help rebuild brain cells and repair stroke damage.

Many uses of turmeric relate to the antioxidant or anti-inflammatory activities of curcumin, the primary active compound in turmeric.

This wonder herb can:

  • Help relieve indigestion
  • Prevent ulcerative colitis from intensifying
  • Help reduce joint pain swelling, morning stiffness and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Treat psoriasis
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Reduce the proliferation of a wide variety of cancers, especially pancreatic and colon cancer
  • Improve blood sugar levels by boosting the activity of insulin secreting cells in the pancreas. This lowers the chance that pre-diabetes will lead to diabetes
  • Improve mental functioning in Alzheimer’s patients

However, curcumin capsules or turmeric supplements vary in quality, strength, and purity. So, in choosing the best turmeric capsule, read the label carefully. Look for products standardized for 95% curcuminoids.

The standardization process ensures manufacturing consistency in the amount of curcumin from bottle to bottle. In other words, you won’t be shortchanged on the amount of this key ingredient. This is a significant factor in that many clinical trials and medical studies have shown the best results with turmeric supplementation in dosages containing 95% curcumin.

Products lacking the expected curcuminoids that are NOT recommended for consumption are:

  • Advanced Physician Formulas Curcumin – less than 10% of labeled amounts
  • Paradise Herbs and Essentials Turmeric – contains only 14.7% of labeled curcuminoids

The Best of Turmeric

Top turmeric supplementsThe choice of which turmeric brand to buy can be daunting. Do you go for quality, price, brand recognition, or all of the above?

These turmeric products provide the best value (providing 500mg of curcuminoids at the lowest cost):

  • Doctors Best® Best Curcumin C3 Complex®
  • NOW® Curcumin

If you are interested in bioavailability, these turmeric supplements are recommended with bioperine (black pepper) to enhance absorption:

  • Nutrigold® Turmeric Curcumin Gold®
  • Life Extension SuperCurcumin with Bioperine

New research also shows that products that include BCM-95 may have even greater bioavailability (about 7 times of normal curcumin). Though more expensive, supplements with BCM-95 are a good value:

  • Life Extension® Super Bio-Curcumin®
  • Curcumin Extreme

The good thing is that there are already a lot of curcumin supplements available in the market. These supplements have enhanced curcumin in them, which means your body will be able to absorb them better and keep them where they’re needed for a longer time. These are our favorite supplements that will help your body get the most benefit out of curcumin.

Turmeric and CurcuminHere are the remaining 11 best turmeric supplements according to an independent lab testing company that are safe for consumption according to quality, price and label accuracy:

  • Finest Nutrition Turmeric
  • Jarrow Formulas® Curcumin 95
  • Nature Made® Turmeric Curcumin
  • Nutrigold Turmeric Curcumin Gold
  • Organic India® Turmeric Formula
  • Planetary Herbals Full Spectrum Turmeric Extract
  • Progressive Labs Curcumin BCM-95®
  • Puritan’s Pride® Turmeric Curcumin
  • Solar® Turmeric
  • Thompson® Turmeric Curcmin 300 mg
  • Vitacost Turmeric

Take 400 to 600 milligrams of turmeric, three times per day or as directed on the product label.

Curcumin or turmeric taken orally is best absorbed when taken with black pepper or piperine, a constituent of black pepper responsible for its pungency. When shopping for the best turmeric supplements, we recommend that the one you choose contains bioperine or piperine. Be patient when taking turmeric supplements: the full benefits may not be apparent for eight weeks.

Cooking with Turmeric

If you’re cooking with turmeric, be sure to add some black pepper to the food. Ways to eat it: one of the easiest, fastest ways to get your daily turmeric is just to mix a small spoonful of the powder with some warm water, stir briskly, and drink. Yes, it actually tastes quite good, especially once you get used to it.

Or, sprinkle a spoonful or two on your cauliflower or broccoli, in your soups, seafood or meat. Almost any combination works with this amazingly tasty and healthy spice. To help you get on board with this trendy superfood, we’ve provided recipes on how to cook with turmeric so you can be sure to use it.

Turmeric is one of the world’s great antioxidants. Plus, nothing is more important than maintaining a healthy inflammatory response — and this spice helps your body do just that. It’s a great defense mechanism against cancer, joint pain, Alzheimer’s and Lupus….and so much more!

Taken in normal doses, turmeric should be safe for most people. But as with nearly any powerful herb, taking doses that are too high can produce ill-effects.

We are discovering that more and more disease processes appear to depend on inflammation to wreak their havoc on our brains, arteries and joints. The best turmeric supplements offer us a natural, safe and effective anti-inflammatory agent to help ward off and treat these diseases.

If you liked this article, then you’ll love these:


Metformin and Diabetes: Trouble in Paradise

Popular Drug Damages Your Cells But Fasting Delivers Energy

by Dr. Scott Saunders, M.D.

Jessica came to see me because she had been diagnosed with a condition that is becoming more and more common – PCOS. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a problem of the adrenal glands that causes:

  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Obesity
  • Easy fatiguing
  • And even diabetes

Jessica was prescribed a diabetes medication called metformin (tradename Glucophage) that seems to help metabolic problems. It also allows people to burn fat so they stop gaining weight.

This drug is a first-line therapy for Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) and has been used for many years. It has the effect of making the body more sensitive to insulin and blocking the liver from putting out more sugar. The net effect of this is to lower blood sugar levels.

However, metformin’s specific action reaches deeper into your cells. It blocks the mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cells of your body, from using sugar efficiently. When cells are unable to use sugar, they must switch to fat-burning mode. With the ability to burn fat, the body has lower sugar levels and can actually lose weight!

The effect of metformin has been trumpeted for many years. Metformin:

  • Decreases blood glucose
  • Increases fat use
  • Prevents kidney problems
  • Improves PCOS in women
  • Prevents diabetes
  • Lowers cancer rates [1]

Because of these effects metformin is now being considered and used for many conditions including:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Cancers of all types
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic Syndrome X

Indeed, as one of my professors stated, it seems that metformin should be “included in the drinking water.”  Everyone would supposedly benefit.  Many without diabetes, PCOS, or even pre-diabetes are taking it to prevent diabetes and cancer.

Beware of Treating Disease with Metformin

All of the symptoms and diseases treated by metformin have one thing in common: they are all diseases of metabolism, or energy production.  These conditions actually result when energy is not properly made in the body.  Adding metformin to those cells that need sugar makes them less efficient. They can’t make energy!

This is why people with diabetes develop Alzheimer’s disease, kidney failure, amputations, and nerve damage.  In spite of having lots of sugar, they are unable to metabolize it.

The problem with taking metformin is that it blocks the proper use of sugar.  Some tissues need sugar to function. So when your body is already impaired, withholding cell energy can cause further damage to the liver, kidneys, brain, vision, and muscles.

The list of “side-effects,” or better said, toxic effects, of metformin include:[2]

  • the problem with taking metformin Stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, or constipation
  • Headaches
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Taste problems
  • Trouble breathing
  • Chills
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fingernail and/or toenail disease
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Heart throbbing or pounding
  • Muscle pain
  • Redness of face and neck
  • Increased blood acidity due to high levels of lactic acid
  • Low blood sugar
  • Megaloblastic anemia

These are just the symptoms of the toxic effects of metformin; the underlying cause is the lack of energy production. Basically, cells treated with metformin become energetically inefficient. As a result, your mitochondria, which manage your cell’s energy, become poisoned. Lead, mercury, arsenic, and cyanide, are known to have similar disturbing side effects on your cells.

Not all who take metformin have this unique set of horrible toxic side effects. But it is important to know that there is a risk to taking it. Much of the time, patients with diabetes or other conditions are given the medication without being told about its toxicity.

Metformin and Type 2 Diabetes

The hallmark of T2D is an overload of sugar, which makes it toxic.  Anything we get too much of can poison the systems of our body. Yes, we can get too much of a good thing.  When we eat more than we need for the day, we store the extra as fat and glycogen. Eventually the energy production of the body gets sluggish. The systems designed to regulate and manage your body become inefficient. We feel weak, fatigued, tired and listless. Even though every cell stores millions of calories and many pounds of fat are reserved under the skin, metabolic energy is inaccessible due to overload of sugar.

Many blame their thyroid because low thyroid can cause similar symptoms.  However, these symptoms almost always point to an overload of a sluggish energy system.  This happens because the sugar system is inefficient, and extra insulin blocks the fat system.  We call this “insulin resistance.”

When given metformin, it blocks the cells’ ability to use sugar and stimulates the use of fat.  This allows more sugar into the already bloated cells.  It also prevents the muscles from getting energy from their stored glycogen, which can cause them to die of starvation.  It might seem to make sense to treat the overload of energy by starving the cells. It may work temporarily, but ultimately these cells die of starvation while swimming in energy.  It would be like a person dying of thirst in a swimming pool because he was afraid of drowning.

Metformin and Type 1 Diabetes

A deficiency of insulin does not allow sugar into the cells and they starve of energy.  Before the discovery of insulin, people died of starvation from T1D (type 1 diabetes).  They couldn’t use the sugar so they would switch to fat-burning.  When they ran out of fat, they started burning protein, and when there was no more protein, they died.

Long ago, people with “honey urine” (type 1 diabetes) ate high fat diets to keep them alive. Now we can give them insulin and they can live an almost normal life.  However, some are saying type 1 diabetics should take metformin to block the liver from making sugar and help keep their sugar down.  While this sounds good, it would be a disaster on the cellular level!  With the imminent threat of starving cells, it is unwise to use a chemical that can further disturb energy production.

Studies indicate that metformin side-effects, especially hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), are more likely in T1D, with hardly any blood sugar benefit.[3]

Metformin and PCOS

Polycystic ovary syndrome is primarily a hormone abnormality that is commonly inherited.  The adrenal and other glands have abnormal responses to stimuli that cause either too much or too little of certain hormones.  Cortisol tends to be excessive, as is testosterone. High cortisol and testosterone hormones prohibit other hormones from being produced or used. The net effect on the metabolism is insulin resistance (because of excess cortisol) and even diabetes.

Metformin has been a first-line medication for this problem because it effectively blocks excess cortisol.  However, it is important to note that it works only on the symptoms of cortisol excess, while allowing the disease to progress.

In women with PCOS, high insulin levels can cause the ovaries to make more androgen hormones such as testosterone. Metformin affects the way insulin controls blood glucose and lowers testosterone production. As a result, ovulation can return.

On a side note, the goal to reverse PCOS is to use nutrients to:

  • Decrease sugar cravings
  • Improve insulin sensitivity
  • Improve carbohydrate metabolism
  • Balance blood sugar levels
  • And balance hormones

Meditation, mindfulness, gratefulness, journaling, and any other mind-body techniques can be used to lower cortisol levels.

Metformin Worsens Alzheimer’s Disease

While laboratory studies indicate that making the brain more sensitive to insulin should help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, clinical studies show the cognitive problems actually get worse.[4] It turns out that the ability to use fat actually helps the brain to function better and to repair. However, the toxic effects of metformin on the body’s ability to use sugar lessen this benefit. The brain needs a constant supply of energy from sugar even when the body is burning fat.

The Optimal Alternative to Metformin

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Does Dirty Electricity Cause Cancer?

Exposure To Electromagnetic Radiation Could Be Damaging Your Health

By Rob Fischer

“More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette.” So claimed the ad for Camel cigarettes in 1949.[1] Today, the link between smoking and cancer is indisputable. Was our medical system really so archaic in 1949 that we didn’t recognize this? After all, people had been smoking for millennia by then.

The current generation tends to look on past generations as behind-the-times and even ignorant. The fact of the matter is with science and medicine we often don’t even know what we don’t know. Assumptions we hold onto tenaciously today may be proven false in the coming years.

Does prolonged cell phone use pose a health threat One such assumption may be the safety of something that you and I are increasingly exposed to—electromagnetic radiation (EMR). Electromagnetic radiation is a form of energy that spans everything from radio waves to microwaves, infrared, visible light, ultraviolet (UV), X-rays and gamma rays.[2] The sun emits EMR as does the earth itself.

We already know about the damage that UV rays, X-rays and gamma rays can cause to humans and other living things. UV rays can cause melanoma (skin cancer) and severely damage the eyes leading to: corneal damage, cataracts, and macular degeneration.[3] The danger from a routine X-ray is low, but there’s a reason that X-ray technicians leave the room and cover the non-X-ray portion of your body with a lead shield.[4]

While gamma rays are used to treat cancer (radiotherapy), gamma rays do alter or kill living cells. The Chernobyl Reactor accident in the Ukraine offers an example of the damage gamma rays can inflict.[5] Each of those types of energy (UV rays, X-rays and gamma rays) are progressively more dangerous to humans. What we don’t fully understand yet is the extent of the health risk for exposure to radio waves and microwaves in particular.

In our techno age, we are increasingly bombarded with radio waves, microwaves, and a phenomenon called dirty electricity (also called electrosmog, or transients). Cell phones, laptops, computers, WiFi and virtually any other electronic device produce an electromagnetic field (EMF) that emits electromagnetic radiation. The wiring in our homes create an EMF.

Though most of us willingly allow our teeth to be X-rayed at the dentist, we recognize that the frequency of exposure, the intensity of that exposure and the duration of exposure all contribute to the question of “How much is safe?”

The problem is that we don’t have a long enough history with many of the electronic devices we use today to know whether they are harmful or not. For instance, Cell phones use microwave technology to transmit data. To what extent does holding a cell phone next to your head for a cumulative hour per day expose you to dangerous EMR?

Here’s where the experts begin to disagree. Unfortunately in our country, most research is funded and conducted around finding cures to diseases, not causes. There’s big money in finding cures, but identifying causes offers little financial incentive. Research on cancer in all its various sinister mutations offers a prime example of this.

Who knew that melanoma, thyroid, or uterine cancer could be caused by wiring?As a result, the studies on the effects of EMR on human health are few and far between. Couple with that the relative short period of time that so many people have been routinely exposed to EMR from cell phones and the like and we have seemingly little data to go on.

In spite of that, we want to know! Does prolonged cell phone use pose a health threat? How about sleeping in a home or working in an office where WiFi waves bombard us at all hours of the day?

In 1995, the National Institutes of Health printed a review of findings surrounding the question of whether EMFs generated by high voltage power lines cause cancer. That review concluded, “There is no known mechanism by which magnetic fields of the type generated by high voltage power lines can play a role in cancer development.”[6] End of discussion, right? Hardly!

Incredibly, the same review continues, “Nevertheless, epidemiologic research has rather consistently found associations between residential magnetic field exposure and cancer. This is most evident for leukemia in children.”[7] What?!! Why haven’t we heard more about this?

Epidemiologist, Dr. Sam Milham, MD, has been studying the potential hazards of EMFs for over 30 years. His findings have led him to conclude that many of the diseases with which we suffer are the result of “electrosmog” or high-frequency voltage transients (dirty electricity). [8]

Dirty electricity is actually caused by energy efficient electronic devices like computers, dimmer switches, compact fluorescent bulbs that knock down voltage by means of an inverter.[9]

The human body is made up of cells, all of which function through tiny electrical impulses. The theory is that dirty electricity and EMFs potentially disrupt those electrical signals, playing havoc with our health.

Exposure to dirty electricity can cause symptoms including: skin rashes, sleep disturbances, muscle and joint pain, physical and mental exhaustion, migraines, light-headedness, nausea, loss of cognitive function, irritability, anxiety, muscle spasms, numbness and tingling, pain in the lower extremities and elevated temperature.[10]

In 2007, an international group of scientists and public health experts called the Bioinitiative Working Group issued a 650-page report on the subject of EMF exposure. In their report, they cited over 2,000 studies detailing the toxic effects of EMFs from all kinds of sources. The scientists concluded that continuous exposure, even to low level EMR (e.g., from cell phones), “can cause a variety of cancers, impair immunity, and contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, heart disease, and many other ailments.”[11]

And a study conducted by Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD, demonstrated a link between prolonged exposure to EMFs during pregnancy and childhood autism, ADHD and asthma.[12] “Could a disease whose cause has long eluded scientists be linked to perhaps the greatest practical discovery of the modern era?”[13]

Reduce Your Risk of EMR

There are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of exposure to EMR and dirty electricity. Basically, you want to limit the frequency, intensity and duration of exposure.

7-tips-for-cell-phone-safetyCell phones are of particular concern because they have practically become an indispensable appendage to our bodies. Here are some suggested safety tips:[14], [15]

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8 Ways To Boost Your Lymphatic System

Supporting Your Lymph System to Prevent Disease, Infection and Cancer

by Dr. Scott Saunders, M.D.

Mary is a spry 78-year-old woman with her left arm significantly larger than her right. Several years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The surgeon removed her breast, along with most of the lymph nodes in her right axilla (armpit). Since that time, she has had swelling of the right arm, which bothers her, especially at night.

Two Circulatory Systems

Most people don’t know that they have two separate circulatory systems in the body: the cardiovascular and lymphatic.

The cardiovascular system basically moves blood throughout the body. The blood system is a closed system that keeps the red blood cells and most proteins inside at all times. The blood system allows only the plasma to leak into the tissues and around cells bringing nutrients such as sugar, oxygen, vitamins and minerals – everything a growing cell needs.

Function of Lymph SystemHowever, while most of the fluid is taken up into the veins after it feeds the cells, a significant portion is left behind. This fluid builds up over time and can create a lot of swelling. In order to get that fluid back into circulation, the body has a separate system of vessels – twice as many as the blood vessels – called the lymphatic system.

Rather than blood, the lymph system carries a clear fluid called lymph unidirectionally towards the heart through lymphatic vessels.

Functions of the Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system has three functions:

  1. To bring fluid from around the cells back into the blood circulation
  2. To remove bacteria, viruses, other infections, and cancer
  3. To remove waste from the cells
lymph edema in arm

Lymphedema after left mastectomy with removal of lymph nodes.

Mary’s discomfort came because when the surgeon removed the lymph nodes it cut off the lymph vessels. Now her lymph system can no longer bring the excess fluid back to the heart so her arm just gets bigger as the fluid increases.

Thus, the primary function of the lymph system is to act as drainage of excess fluid that accumulates around the cells. This amounts to about 15% of all the fluid that comes out of the blood to bathe the cells. As we move around, this fluid is pushed through the lymph vessels, which have valves that allow the fluid to move only one way, towards the heart. There it enters the veins, and ends up back into the blood circulation. Amazingly, the vessels themselves also have muscles that contract and push the lymph through them.

Mary needs to wear a pressure sleeve to keep her arm from continuously getting larger. The extra pressure squeezes the fluid into the venous system to get back into the circulation. This doesn’t get all of the fluid back, but it keeps her arm from becoming gigantic.

Even health care professionals ignore the lymphatic system; we take for granted the importance of this system – until it doesn’t work. For example, in many areas of the world mosquitoes can inject a parasite that gets into the lymph system and completely blocks it. The area affected continues to get larger over time without stopping. After this happens, there is no way to clear the lymph system, even after killing the parasites. Without constant treatment the limb just continues to grow, causing a disease known as elephantiasis.

lymphedema from mosquitoes that blocks lymph systemAnother function of the lymph system is to aid the immune system in fighting infection. Lymph nodes contain white blood cells that can detect and fight infection locally. They stop infections from spreading through the body by trapping disease-causing germs and destroying them.

Because the lymphatic system extends to the far reaches of the body, it also plays a role in telling the rest of the immune system where there is an infection.

The lymphatic system is like the fire department in a city.  If there is a small fire, the local fire station is well equipped to handle it on their own. However, if the fire is raging out of control, then the local station calls other stations to send more personnel and equipment to put out the fire.  Each lymph node is like a local fire station, taking care of local infections, and getting help when an infection is out of control.

Cancer is another fire that needs to be extinguished.  The lymphatic system is also important in preventing and destroying cancer cells.  We all have cancer cells that travel through the lymph drainage system and into the lymph nodes, where immune cells eat the cancer and destroy it. This probably happens to everyone every day!  When we are diagnosed with cancer, it is because this system didn’t work properly.

Lastly, the lymph system cleans out the excess waste from cells. Lymph is composed of:

  • Water
  • Protein molecules
  • Salts
  • Glucose
  • Urea
  • Lymphocytes (white blood cells)
  • Other substances

Since the blood vessels only take up fluids and salts, the lymph system has to take care of the larger molecules and debris left behind.

The lymph vessels are very porous, allowing proteins, bacteria, viruses, and cell parts to get into the lymph.  Dead tissue and other foreign matter or invaders are removed by the lymph nodes.  Other debris goes into the blood circulation and is removed by the spleen.

By the same token, the lymphatic system absorbs larger nutrients, like fat, from our digestive system.  The lymphatic vessels transport fat to the veins of your chest, and the blood carries fat to be stored in adipose tissue throughout your body.

Detail-of-the-small intestines with lymph vesselTherefore, the lymphatic system deposits fat directly into circulation, without going through the liver. This has incredible implications for toxicity. The fat is not detoxified by the liver before getting access to our cells.

All the blood from the intestines has to go through the liver first, before it can get to the circulation and the rest of the body.  The liver is our primary defense against toxins because it can detoxify almost any molecule.  However, since the lymphatic drainage from the intestines doesn’t go through the liver, some toxins from your food may be able to get direct access to your body, brain, and organs.

The lymphatic system takes up all the constituents of blood, such as proteins and minerals. But by far the most important component is the absorption of fat. Most of the fats from the diet end up in the lymph system and are dumped directly into the blood.

Lymphatic Issues

Now that you know what the lymphatic system is and what it does, you can guess what will happen if it isn’t functioning well. Some of the problems associated with a poorly functioning lymphatic system include:

  • poorly functioning lymphatic system SymptomsEdema, or swelling
  • Regional pain syndromes
  • Toxic overload, including heavy metals
  • Poor digestion
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Rashes and skin problems
  • Frequent infections, colds/flu or skin infections
  • Cancer, especially lymphoma or Hodgkin’s Disease

Caring for Your Lymphatic System

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What Your Skin Reveals

Skin is so revealing!

Our skin is the largest organ of the body, performing multiple tasks. Skin:

  • Protects us from our environment
  • Regulates our body temperature
  • Warns of etanger
  • Prevents infection
  • Senses the world around us
  • Reveals what is going on inside our bodies

treat rosacea with betaine hcl pepsin and trypsinWhen I was in medical school we had a dermatology class by a professor in his 80s, Dr. Newcomer. He was hilarious. He would never touch the skin of the patients. Instead, he would have them show him what their rash or skin lesion looked like. He would often say, “Yuck-a-roo! You’ve got a rash there!” He would then turn to us and give us the diagnosis of what kind of rash. Whether it was eczema, seborrhea, psoriasis, or urticaria, he told us the symptoms of each skin condition.

But these skin rash names and symptoms did not denote the cause. Thus, we were only taught how to treat the symptoms of skin problems. Over the years, I have found that the skin reveals what is going on inside the body. Using the old system of diagnosing symptoms wasn’t helpful to find the cause, nor to relieve the condition.

One man, John Kortum, who is not a doctor or practitioner, has written a book in which he describes how he can diagnose internal illness simply by looking at the face. He can tell by the texture of the skin in certain locations on the face if a person has thyroid, adrenal, cancer, or other problems.

There may be no end to using the skin for diagnosis, but it’s not easy. The specific skin lesions may reveal that something is wrong, but do not tell us what specifically. We still need to dig to find the underlying cause of the illness.

The skin tells us there is a problem, but doesn’t say what is causing it because it is only one symptom. All symptoms do is tell us that there is a problem. If you have pain, then something is wrong. The pain may tell you where, but not what the problem is. Likewise a rash, or other skin lesion, may indicate that there is a problem, but not what or where the problem is.

Flush Food Sensitivities and Relieve Rosacea

I find food sensitivities to be a common cause of skin problems. One skin ailment I frequently see is rosacea, an inflammation in the skin of the face that causes:

  • Pimples
  • Enlargement of blood vessels
  • And sometimes a bulbous tip of the nose

Dermatologists recommend antibiotics or anti-inflammatories in pills, creams, or gels to try to relieve the symptoms. However, I find that going to the source is much more helpful to prevent permanent skin damage.

Rosacea seems to stem from poorly digested proteins in the digestive tract. Click to Tweet.

The cause may be a lack of

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The 2 Week Healthy Skin Cleanse


Skin care is big business.

  • Dermatologists book appointments at least a month out.
  • Stores line aisle upon aisle with skin care products.
  • Infomercials rave about the latest new incredible skin saving formulas.

Yet even with the latest youth serum, dermatology treatments, and skin care prescriptions, our skin still suffers. Skin creams and prescriptions bring little relief to skin difficulties such as rosacea, acne and chronically dry skin. Furthermore, the effects of youth serums and injections may give the illusion of fewer fine lines and wrinkles, yet the results are merely temporary.

healthy skin cleanseThe key to clear and vibrant skin isn’t contained in a jar…it lays on your plate.  Click to Tweet.

This healthy eating plan and lifestyle change clears the detoxification channels inside your body and leaves you with glowing skin. The purpose of this detox is to eliminate waste and flush toxins from your body so you have supple, clear and youthful skin. The key nutrients in certain foods can also protect your skin from the inside out by:

  • Balancing your hormones
  • Boosting your metabolism
  • Maximizing the efficiency of your eliminatory organs

Following this plan yields positive changes not only for your skin, but also for your entire well-being!

Eating for Healthy Skin

What you put inside your body is reflected by your skin. This makes the food you eat an absolute priority for maintaining healthy skin. Eating fast foods, processed meals, and sugar is akin to dumping toxic waste into your body. These things slow your metabolism and overburden your detoxification system. Your skin reveals the evidence of the foods you eat. Dry, dull and irritated skin declares your poor food choices.

On the other hand, healthy nutrient based foods support healthy skin In a variety of ways:

  • Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants help fight free radicals that cause aging.
  • Healthy fats and proteins support collagen formation and prevent dryness and wrinkles.
  • Water, herbal drinks and supplements flush toxins out of our system to keep skin free from acne and irritation.

The 2 Week Healthy Skin Cleanse

Healthy skin may require a lifestyle change in eating habits. However, giving yourself a jumpstart may be what your body needs to transition to healthy skin. I have put together a two-week plan that I believe will bring you results that would otherwise take months to achieve. If you want to fast track healthy skin, give your body energy or just make healthy choices, then follow this safe and do-able program.

There are 3 essential steps to this 2-week healthy skin cleanse:

  • Skin nourishing foods and drinks
  • Detoxifying supplements
  • Daily exercising and skin brushing

You can achieve beautiful skin results if you accomplish all 3 steps. Don’t take shortcuts or you won’t get the results you’re looking for! This plan may seem strict or inconvenient at first. It will also require some planning and preparation. But, I assure you that bright, glowing skin is worth it! Push through and you’ll see your skin transform!

healthy fats prevent wrinklesDuring this two-week jump-start cleanse, the most important aspect will be your diet. I designed this plan to cleanse your body of accumulated toxins. Your skin is your largest eliminatory organ, therefore toxins inside your body have the potential to come out through your pores and create skin issues. This makes eating foods that facilitate detoxification extremely important.

There are several foods that you CANNOT consume during this two-week plan. These foods cause congestion in the body and the skin, as well as disruption to the detoxification process.

Think of your skin like a sprinkler system. The underground pipes represent your lymph system and the sprinkler heads represent your pores. Eating congestive foods is like adding debris in the water line. At first the debris may only slow the flow of the water, but over time it completely blocks the water’s ability to escape! Congestive foods clog the skin’s natural system of elimination. This creates a toxic buildup, which in turn results in premature aging, irritated skin, and skin eruptions such as acne.

Following the two-week cleanse, you may incorporate some of these foods back into your diet. However, take note to eat only limited amounts given their ability to trigger further skin issues.

Foods to Avoid:

  • Dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.)
  • Wheat (other grains should be eaten very sparingly)
  • Sugar (in all forms, including honey)
  • Caffeine
  • White potatoes
  • Bananas (because they have a high sugar content)
  • Soy

During the two weeks, limit fruit to only 2 servings a day. Also eliminate high carbohydrate vegetables entirely due to their excess sugar. Sugar attaches to collagen in our skin through a process called glycation. When sugar attaches, skin  inflammation occurs and produces enzymes that break down collagen. Collagen is the connective tissue that holds our joints together and keeps the skin elastic.

When collagen breaks down, our skin becomes dull and brittle; wrinkles are a result. Sugar exacerbates acne, as well. Surges of insulin create imbalances in the body, leading to inflammation and acne. The constant rise and fall of blood sugar also disrupts hormone levels, which influence acne breakouts as well.

This plan eliminates grains, aside from a small serving of quinoa each day. This again is due to carbohydrates’ destruction of the skin. Gluten from wheat and other grains contain sticky proteins, which are difficult to digest, and also lead to skin inflammation and skin breakouts.

Dairy can also cause skin issues in many people. Pasteurized milk congests the body’s system and promotes mucus production. Furthermore, hormones to increase production given to cows end up in the milk itself and have been proven in studies to cause acne.[1]

Raw milk is tolerable for many people, as is goat’s milk. You can add these back into the diet after the initial two weeks.

Soy products may seem like a great vegetarian protein option to some. However, the effects of soy on the body are far from healthy. Soy mimics estrogen and promotes hormonal breakouts. Avoiding soy not only prevents skin issues, but also prevents future health issues…such as infertility and cancer! Not to mention that all soy is genetically modified.

Caffeine can also promote hormone disruption by increasing cortisol, the stress hormone. Stress and acne have always had direct connection because of cortisol’s presence. Cortisol increases inflammation in the body, which results in acne and premature aging of the skin.

Although I am a big believer of plenty of healthy fat in the diet, limit fatty foods during this cleanse to help give your liver a much-needed break. After the cleanse, feel free to increase your daily healthy fat intake with coconut oil, olive oil, fish oil or avocados. These healthy fats are essential for skin moisture and suppleness.

The foods recommended for this 2 week skin cleanse help promote:

  • Hydration of the skin
  • Detoxification of the skin, as well as the body’s cells and systems
  • Increase in skin collagen and elastin
  • Reduction of inflammation-based breakout and skin issues

Recommended Foods

  • Unlimited vegetables (excluding carb based, white potatoes and corn)
  • Fruits (2 servings a day only)
  • Eggs (free-range or organic)
  • Chicken (free range or organic)
  • Lean beef (grass-fed or organic)
  • Lamb, veal, and fish
  • Healthy fat (1 tbsp coconut oil per day, olive oil for sautéing)
  • Quinoa or brown rice (½ cup per day only)
  • Lemons or lime (for daily lemon water)
  • Raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • Dandelion tea
  • Green tea
  • Raw almonds (2 tbsp a day only)
  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Full cream coconut milk (2 tbsp a day)
  • Bone broth
  • Gelatin
  • Sugar free rice or whey protein powder
  • Stevia

Healthy Skin Cleanse Instructions

You will begin each day with a liver cleansing drink. Mix water with the juice of half a lemon and drink this on an empty stomach. The lemon stimulates bile flow and encourages liver detoxification. This is a great way to kick-start digestion and cleanse the system.

Fifteen to thirty minutes after drinking your lemon water, eat a protein based breakfast. This is typically an egg dish or protein shake.

The cleanse includes a morning snack followed by lunch, an afternoon snack, and dinner. Some great snacks during the cleanse include:

  • 1 serving of fruit
  • 2 tbsp raw almonds
  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • Veggie sticks with fresh salsa

Lunch and dinner are always served with a glass of bone broth, which is rich in collagen, amino acids and skin enhancing minerals. You can drink unlimited amounts of bone broth throughout the day or whenever you feel hungry. Store bought gelatin can also be mixed into a smoothie or water for a great source of collagen and protein. I recommend Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate, available HERE.

A sample day is as follows:

  • 6:30 am: 1 cup filtered water with ½ squeezed lemon
  • 7:00 am: Omelet with eggs, spinach, onion, and mushrooms or a protein shake (1 scoop protein powder, ⅛ cup frozen berries, 1 tbsp gelatin, stevia and 1 cup unsweetened almond milk)
  • 9:00 am: 1 tbsp almond butter with an apple
  • 12:00pm: Mediterranean Chicken Stir fry (recipe below) with 1 cup bone broth
  • 3:00 pm: ½ grapefruit
  • 6:00 pm: Crockpot carne asada in lettuce wraps (recipe below) with 1 cup bone broth

Hydration is key to detoxification, so be sure to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water each day.

Water benefits the skin by:

  • Hydrating skin cells, which prevents wrinkles and dry skin
  • Encouraging the lymph system to circulate and flush toxins out of the system
  • Supporting kidney detoxification by flushing out toxic waste

Healthy Skin Detoxifying Supplements

detoxifying herbs for healthy skinDetoxification benefits the skin by preventing bodily toxic wastes from accumulating under the skin’s layers, which clog pores and damage healthy skin cells. Adding detoxifying supplements to your cleanse can help speed the detoxification process, help curb caffeine and sugar cravings and facilitate more dramatic results for your skin.

The herbs I recommend during the 2 week healthy skin cleanse include:

Dandelion Root

This well-known “weed” has some amazing benefits for the body. Dandelion stimulates bile flow, promoting liver detoxification. The release of bile is laxative, and accelerates the breakdown of various steroid hormones, causing an indirect, favorable effect on eczema and other skin conditions. It also acts as a mild diuretic and encourages flushing toxins and removal of excess hormones from the kidneys, including those that trigger acne breakouts. Dandelion root also helps the body dispose of unwanted skin bacteria.

For those of you who love to have morning coffee, there is an amazing alternative called Dandy Blend. It is a roasted dandelion coffee alternative that tastes like real coffee!

Dandelion root is one of the best “spring cleansing” herbs, making it the perfect drink for healthy skin! Click to Tweet.

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is named for the milky sap that oozes from its leaves. This powerful liver detoxifier contains active components that not only encourage liver detoxification, but also promote liver cell regeneration!

Researchers from the University of Colorado Cancer Center explain that when a cell is damaged by UV radiation, it must be repaired or killed so that it cannot go on to cause cancer. Their research shows that the milk thistle extract does both.

This means that milk thistle not only protects the liver, it helps heal damage done to the liver from its years of hard work.

Red Clover

This herb is well-known for it’s blood detoxifying properties and it’s ability to heal inflammation of the skin, producing radiant, healthy skin. Red clover also helps balance hormones in the body, which reduces breakouts and premature aging. Red Clover retards the process of skin aging due to its estrogen-like effects and helps maintain youthful and vibrant skin. It also ensures appropriate skin thickness and healthy keratinization and vascularity of the skin.

Burdock Root

A powerful astringent root, burdock expels toxic products from the blood through the urine. It also contains natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties giving it the ability to calm skin irritations and acne. Burdock is an excellent preventative for common skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma. It is used in Russia and India for cases of cancer as many herbalist claim it has the ability to stop cancer from metastasizing.[2]

Exercise and Skin Brushing for Clear, Healthy Skin

A well-functioning lymphatic system is foundational for clear, healthy skin. The lymph system acts like a trash service by transporting toxic waste out of the body. Lymph fluid lies right below the skin’s surface. It is constantly cleaning cells and dumping toxins into the blood in order to keep the body clean. When overloaded with toxins, the lymph system becomes sluggish and the skin suffers. If the lymph system isn’t moving properly, toxic wastes sit below the skin causing irritation to the skin cells. Acne, skin inflammation, and even cellulite can result from a sluggish lymph system. By stimulating the lymph to move and circulate cellular wastes out of the body, you naturally improve skin health!

One of the best ways to stimulate the lymph system is through exercise. Brisk walking, rebounding and swimming are great exercises to keep the lymph moving. The lymph system needs stimulation in order to move. Sitting all day creates a stagnant lymph system, which leads to a build-up of wastes. Take 20 minutes each day during the 2 week healthy skin cleanse to exercise and promote lymph circulation.

Skin brushing is another great method to stimulate the lymph system. It stimulates circulation and also exfoliates dry skin. Skin brushing also clears clogged pores and leaves skin soft and smooth. Skin brushing is performed on dry skin and requires a special stiff bristle brush designed for this purpose.

I recommend brushing once a day body prior to showering. This will help wash away the dead skin cells and wastes off the surface after brushing.

The key to skin brushing is to always brush toward your heart. This is best for circulation and your lymphatic system. Brush your entire body starting at your feet and working up your legs to your arms, chest, back and stomach. Avoid brushing your face because the bristles are too harsh for delicate facial skin.

Benefits of Clay Baths for Soft, Clean, Youthful Skin

Benefits of clay bathsClay has been used for centuries to absorb toxins in the human body.Many different tribes would eat clay along with their meals as a natural food poisoning preventative.

Ingesting clay absorbs toxic microbes present in undercooked or spoiled food. Click to Tweet.

Bentonite clay, in particular, contains the innate ability to absorb toxins not only inside the body, but also topically through the skin. This unique clay carries a strong negative electrical charge that attracts the positive charge of many toxins. When used on the skin or in a bath, it will pull toxins and heavy metals out of the skin’s pores. Using clay baths during your two-week cleanse will increase detoxification, soften your skin and decrease skin inflammation.

During the healthy skin cleanse, take two clay baths a week, using 2 cups of clay in a tub full of hot water. Soak in the tub covering as much of your body as possible for 15-30 minutes.

Clay footbaths are also an alternative to a full body clay bath. Just add 1 cup of bentonite clay to a basin filled with six inches of hot water. Relax and soak your feet for 15-30 minutes.

Bentonite clay is such an amazing “magnet” for toxins, that you can actually feel it pulling them out through your skin! I have taken many clay baths and I am always surprised to feel such a strong pulling sensation. It’s very reassuring to actually feel it working!

Bentonite clay has anti-aging properties, as well. It helps increase oxygenation in cells by pulling out excess hydrogen. This allows the cells to replace the hydrogen with more youth enhancing oxygen instead. Get your detoxing bentonite clay HERE.

A study from Arizona State University found bentonite clay to be highly effective at killing MRSA, as well as salmonella, E. coli and others infectious bacteria![3] This is a tremendous discovery because strains of bacteria, like MRSA, can be highly resistant to antibiotics.

Creating a clay poultice of bentonite clay and applying it to wounds can be more effective than antibiotic ointments! Click to Tweet.

Eating for Healthy Skin 

This two-week skin renewing cleanse can be life changing not only for your skin, but the overall health of your body. It may feel challenging at first to make the necessary dietary changes, but your body will begin to crave the nutrients contained in these skin enhancing foods. Once you have things running smoothly on the inside, revitalized skin will show on the outside.

I encourage you not to stop after the two weeks are over. Once you’ve got a clean slate, so to speak, maintain it. You may add other foods back into your diet, but I urge you not to stray from the nutritional foundations of this plan. This nutrient dense diet is designed for optimal health and well-being. It will increase your energy levels, facilitate healthy weight, and promote daily detoxification.

Below are two recipes for delicious meals you can include in your skin cleansing plan, as well as the recipe for skin supporting bone broth. If you are in need of other recipes, I encourage you to surf the internet and websites like Pinterest to find new and exciting ideas that utilize the foods allowed on this plan.

The popular Whole 30 diet and Paleo diet both include many of the same principles and foods as the healthy skin cleanse. Don’t be afraid to experiment, be sure to keep the list of foods-to-avoid as a reference.

Skin Supporting Bone Broth

skin supporting bone broth recipeIngredients:

  • 1-2 lbs. beef bones, chicken carcasses, lamb bones (usually free from the butchers or use the saved bones from roast chicken or beef)
  • A splash of apple cider vinegar (optional – this can help to extract the minerals from the meat bones)
  • 2 handfuls of any onions, leeks, carrots or celery ends
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • A few dried bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 4 cloves garlic


  1. Place the bones and other ingredients into a large stainless steel or ceramic cooking pot and cover with cold water. The water level should cover the bones by ½ inch while still leaving room at the top of the pan.
  2. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, lid on, skimming off any foam that rises to the top. The longer the bones simmer, the more nutrients are released. Cook chicken bones for 12 hours until the bones begin to crumble and beef bones for 24 hours.
  3. Strain the liquid, using a fine mesh strainer for poultry. Use immediately or leave to cool before storing (preferably in glass/ceramic rather than plastic).


  • You can also use a slow cooker. Just cook on high for 12 hours or more.
  • Beef bones produce a lot of nutritious fat – skim some of it and save it for roasting vegetables.[4]
  • Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to three days, or freeze the stock in a glass container.

Mediterranean Chicken Stir fry


  • 2-3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 zucchini, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, cut into small pieces
  • 14 oz. can artichoke, cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In large oven safe skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Sear the chicken breast on both sides until golden brown.
  3. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  4. In another skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add zucchini and cook until zucchini is just cooked through. Add peppers, artichokes and olives. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Slice the chicken and toss with the veggie mix.[5]

Crock-Pot Carne Asada Lettuce Wraps

steak lettuce wraps recipe for optimal digestion and healthy skinCarne Asada Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. steak
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tbs minced garlic (about 4 cloves, chopped)
  • 2-3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/3 cup bone broth
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tbs cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Lettuce leaves (butter lettuce, romaine, or iceberg)
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Salsa
  • Lime wedges
  • Cilantro


  1. Rinse off your steak and pat it dry.
  2. Liberally cover it with salt, pepper on either side. Set aside.
  3. Chop up your onions and tomatoes.
  4. In the bottom of your crock-pot, add your bone broth.
  5. Place your steak on top of the broth and cover your steak with the onion, tomatoes, and garlic.
  6. Add the lime juice, pouring it evenly over the whole mixture, then the chili powder, cumin and cayenne.
  7. Set your crock-pot on a low setting and cook for 6-8 hours.
  8. Once it is done, shred your beef and serve it on a lettuce cup with your favorite toppings!

Don’t put your hope in the latest skin creams and concoctions any longer. Take the time to cleanse your body from the inside out and watch your skin transform before your eyes.

The fountain of youth isn’t found inside a bottle; it’s contained in the nutritious, revitalizing, and purifying foods you put inside your body. Click to Tweet.

Clear, vibrant, and younger looking skin is just two weeks away!

If you liked this article, then you’ll love these:


Amanda Box, N.D.Amanda Box is a Traditional Naturopath and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 12 years and currently practices naturopathic consulting in the Kansas City, Missouri area. Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic practitioner to turn to for your personal needs, Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.



[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15692464
[2] http://www.naturalnews.com/031524_burdock_root_herbal_remedy.html
[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2413170/
[4] Adapted from nourishedkitchen.com
[5]Adapted from paleoperfectly.com

3 Ways That God Heals Us

By Scott Saunders, M.D.

Cecilia came limping into my office with left knee pain. I examined her knee and found nothing wrong with it, but ordered an x-ray anyway. The report came back showing a normal x-ray of the knee, but a bone lesion was seen just above the knee in the femur. Several tests later proved devastating. She had a bone cancer that was almost always fatal. The surgeon recommended they take her entire leg off at the hip joint – and then start whole-body radiation and chemotherapy. She declined and left the office.

Three months later I noticed she was on the schedule and I was expecting to find a woman with cancer, but I was very surprised when I opened the door. She had both of her legs. She was walking normally, not even a slight limp. I did an exam and found no mass in her leg. I inquired as to what she did.

“When I left your office, I went to Mexico to my family and we had a prayer circle. We fasted and prayed. As soon as it was done I knew I would get better. The next day the knee didn’t hurt me anymore, and I have had no pain since.” Of course, I was very curious to see what her bone looked like so I asked if we could just do an x-ray, but she declined. “I just wanted to let you know I was alright.” She left, and I haven’t seen her since.

This wasn’t my first exposure to a person being healed by the Lord, but it was the most dramatic. The Lord heals all illnesses and all wounds, but we need to have His vision. While we see the healing of the physical body, the Lord cares more about the heart. Each illness, and each healing are given to help us learn and grow, and, ultimately, to heal our hearts.

There are three ways in which God heals us:

  1. Instant healing of body and spirit.
  2. Using the knowledge of the world.
  3. We must wait.

Though all three are miracles, the only the first type, like Cecilia, are generally considered miraculous. Because we have to do something, we often consider the second to be our own efforts, even denying the hand of God. The third is the biggest challenge we have to overcome, but is likely the most important means of changing hearts. Each is a gift from God that requires faith.

The Faith to be Healed

Cecilia had faith to be healed. We have many examples of people healed of terrible illnesses through the power of prayer and faith. Peter would walk down the street and people would be healed by just his shadow falling on them. (Acts 5:15-16)

The Gospel of St. John tells of Jesus spitting on the ground to make mud, applying it to the eyes of a blind man who then washed it off and was healed. (John 9:6-7)

Do shadows heal? Was it the mud? Was it minerals in the dirt? Was it the saliva of the Lord? No, it’s none of these. Those Jesus healed were told, “Thy faith hath made thee whole.” (KJV Luke 17:19) He gave the credit for the cure to those who were healed. It wasn’t just that He had the power to heal them, but also because they had faith in Him that they were healed. God works among His children according to their faith.

Faith is not just belief; it starts with belief, but grows with evidence. Thus, faith is the beginning step to all truth. Click to Tweet.

Elijah had faith that the Lord would answer him when he proposed a contest with the priests of Baal. He taunted them as they begged their god to burn up their sacrifice. Then, he had his own inundated with water, lest anyone think there could be any trickery, and prayed while fire came down from Heaven. His faith was in the one true God, whereas their god wasn’t true. The priests of Baal had belief, but lacked evidence, whereas Elijah gave the Children of Israel evidence of the true God.

faith and chinese language learningThose who believe begin to gather evidence for God, and learn who He is. They learn to communicate through prayer and the Spirit. They recognize His voice, and can distinguish it from the voice of man or Satan.

It is a learning process like any other. If you want to talk to Chinese people you have to take the time to learn Chinese. It is a process that requires a great deal of effort, and will not happen just because you show up in China. Faith is like that, we need to learn the “language of the Spirit” over time in order to understand the will of God. Suddenly needing God does not suddenly give us faith, nor does just showing up in church.

Sometimes all it takes is faith to simply ask. Surprisingly, many don’t turn to the Lord and ask for healing.

When the Children of Israel were wandering in the wilderness, poisonous snakes came and bit them, and many were dying. Moses went to the Lord and was told to make a brass serpent up on a pole. Any who were bitten needed only to look up at the brass serpent on the pole, which represented Christ, and they would be healed. However, many died because they didn’t believe – they just didn’t look! Thus, many are not healed today because they don’t even have the small amount of faith to ask.

“Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not… all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” Matthew 21:21-22

Faith in what God has Provided

Faith is more than believing God will give us what we want, it is the ability to know and do His will. Click to Tweet.

When we pray for healing, God often answers our prayers in ways we don’t expect. If we have faith, we will be able to recognize the voice of the Lord, and receive the gift we desire.

One patient, I don’t remember her name, was vehemently against having chemotherapy for cancer, “I’m never going to take those poisons!” she exclaimed. She was sure God would heal her. Well, events happened as she got worse and her family prevailed upon her to do the chemo – and she got better! We must be willing to use the tools God has prepared for us if we want to demonstrate our faith in Him.

The story is told of a man caught in a flood. As the flood waters rose, the man had to go up to his roof. The water was getting higher so he prayed to God for deliverance. A boat came by, but the man said he was sure God would save him so the boat went on to rescue others. The waters rose more and finally a helicopter came along, but the man waved it on because he was sure God would save him. The waters rose more, he was washed off the roof and drowned.

I had a very similar experience with a woman of faith who was sure God would heal her diabetes. We did some tests and found that with some changes in her eating and exercise, along with some herbs and nutrients she could gain control of her diabetes without insulin. She rejected the program I recommended and to this day is still using insulin.

If we were to catch pneumonia, treatments are readily available so it isn’t reasonable for us to forego such treatment and expect a miraculous recovery. God gives the knowledge we have, and if it is found on the Earth, then we may be expected to find what is already known.

Society grows with more knowledge and understanding over time. Part of this growth is information dispensed from God that helps us to live better.

Only a couple hundred years ago people were treated with all sorts of crazy concoctions, potions, and procedures. George Washington was arguably killed by his own physicians who drained his blood as he lay sick. Old-time treatments for scurvy, which is now easily cured by eating an orange, included mercury, alcohol, barley water, tar water, and burying up to the neck in hot sand (none of which improved the illness, and often made it worse).

Now, we have much more knowledge about the functions of the body, and how to treat and cure illness. Indeed, in spite of the retro patent medicine cartel, doctors can make the blind see, the lame walk, and the deaf hear.

Sometimes, the faith to be healed is found in trusting that God will guide us to a mere mortal who knows how to diagnose and treat our particular illness. Click to Tweet.

The Faith to NOT be Healed[am4show guest_error=’noaccess’]

Again, when we have faith, it is not in our own desires, but rather in the will of God. The purpose of prayer is not always to ask God to give us what we want, but often to ask to know His will for us in our lives. The Apostle Paul is a good example:

“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”  2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (KJV)

The answer came not as Paul desired, but as the Lord willed. Paul, then, submitted to the will of the Lord, kept his “thorn in the flesh” and gloried in it.

Why we are not always healed from all our infirmities.

Our purpose in life is to experience the highs and the lows as we learn and grow through experience. Our hearts are changed gradually as we face life. Paul was given a weakness to keep him humble. There are many other reasons for not being healed.

I acquired a medical practice of an alternative medical doctor who had pancreatic cancer. He did all the treatments he recommended to others, but gradually declined. One day, while I was at his house signing papers he said, “Cancer has been the greatest blessing to me!” Of course, I was curious – he had my full attention! He continued, “Over the last couple of years I have been able to say goodbye to my children, make amends, tie up loose ends, make sure my wife is taken care of, and now I have the peace of knowing my patients are in good hands – what a blessing! If I had died suddenly of a heart attack or something there would have been a lot of unfinished business left behind for others to worry about.” After battling cancer for over two years, he died less than a month later.

On Death and Dying

expiration dateEileen had lung cancer filling one lung and wrapped around the blood vessels of the heart. The surgeons couldn’t operate on it so they gave her three months to live. She came to see us for alternative treatments because, as she gruffly put it, “There ain’t no expiration date stamped on my [bottom], and they can’t put one there!” We started a treatment program and two years later she was still working in East LA as a juvenile parole officer. The tumor in her lung shrunk down, but several years later she got multiple tumors in her brain and died.

Because I have over sixty patients in a nursing home, I am often asked to give an expected date of demise. In order to begin a hospice program, for example, a patient has to have a certified life expectancy of less than six months. However, one of the most surprising things about taking care of sick people is the seeming randomness to healing. Some people we think should pull through from minor illnesses die, while others that aren’t expected to last a day continue on for years.

Death is not random or arbitrary, God has perfect timing. After many years of working with me, one of my office assistants said,

“I think lifestyle improvements don’t determine how long we live so much as how well we live.” Click to Tweet.

I agree; because of my experience with illness I am convinced that our days are numbered. No matter the age at death there are no mistakes. I have seen many people who are bitter and angry at God because of the death of a child, spouse, or loved one. Some said that they prayed with much faith for God to heal them, but He didn’t, and they completely lose their faith, while others come to know that it is the will of God and find acceptance and peace.

Healing the Heart

lifestyle improvementsThe purpose of prayer is to come to understand the will of God. When we fast and pray because we, or a loved one, or even a stranger is sick, we are seeking to know His will. If we come to understand that He desires the person to be healed, we can put our faith and trust that it will be so. If the Lord tells us that the person needs to seek knowledge He has already dispensed to man, we can exercise faith in learning these things. However, if we understand by the Spirit that healing is not to come, then we also show our faith by accepting His will, and, like Paul, having patience and trust in Him.

The big picture, whether or not we are healed, is to do the work of the Lord in the salvation of His children. When Jesus and His disciples came upon a man born blind, “His disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. (KJV John 9:2-3) The man was healed and went on to be a powerful witness for the Lord.

The fact is, no matter what happens to us in this life, if we are faithful we are all ultimately healed. Our time on Earth is brief, whether we live for a day or a hundred years. Some must live with infirmities, others will be miraculously and suddenly healed, while still others will need to use the tools and knowledge God has given to man. No matter which, in the end it is all for our knowledge, understanding and growth that we experience these things.

God really is over all. There is a plan. He knows all things. He has all power.

All healing comes from God, and there is no healing that doesn’t come from Him. Click to Tweet.

While we look on the outward appearance of things, God looks on the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7) Ultimately, His purpose is to heal our hearts – which is the real miracle!

All who demonstrate their faith by seeking restoration, and are willing to put their trust in Him are healed – miraculously.



Dr. Scott SaundersDr. Scott D. Saunders, M.D. (Ask-an-MD) is a practicing physician, specializing in preventative health care, who utilizes eclectic health care for the whole family, including conventional, orthomolecular and natural medicine. He is also the medical director of The Integrative Medical Center of Santa Barbara in Lompoc, CA. He went to UCLA medical school and is board certified in family medicine. View natural remedies with Dr. Saunders at: http://drsaundersmd.com










Do Your Genes Determine Your Destiny?

by Dr. Scott Saunders, M.D.

We have been told that our genes are responsible for everything from how we look, to what foods we like, to whom we marry. The old concept of “fate,” “determinism,” or “pre-destination” now has a physical presence in the genes! Is this true? Do we believe in fate? Is our destiny sealed the moment the sperm from our father penetrates the egg of our mother?

The answer is: no!

We are as free to choose our fate as we could be. Nobody is predetermined to do anything. However, some may have genetic weaknesses to overcome.

I had a patient in my office last week. I’ll call her Becky. Her answer to everything wrong with her was: “My mom had that so I do;” or, “I got that from my aunt.” I could not get through to her that she could make changes in her life that would preclude the need for her medications. She didn’t understand that her genes do not destin her to living with any of these so-called genetic illnesses. Hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes need not be her fate.

On the other hand, there are genetic diseases that don’t respond to the environment. One young woman, Alice, had a “pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency.” Don’t worry…I couldn’t pronounce it either. It caused her to get severely fatigued every day. She didn’t get sleepy, but just felt unable to move for lack of energy.

This enzyme deficiency wouldn’t let her fully use sugar, so she only got a tenth of the energy out of each sugar molecule. Moreover, the acids left over built up in her tissues and she became extremely fatigued by the middle of the day. After she rested overnight the acids would clear out of her muscles and she felt fine in the morning. She would go about her day and the acids would build up until she couldn’t move anymore, and she would have to lie down. Her fiancé finally dragged her into my office saying, “Something is wrong with her!”

five senses turn genes on and offEpigenetics is the study of how the environment affects the genes.

It turns out that everything we:

  • See
  • Hear
  • Touch
  • Smell
  • Taste
  • Think

…affects our genes. Not just “affects,” but actually turns them on and off. I can give you a simple example:

I could say just a few words that produce a vibration in your ear. Your brain interprets the vibration and turns on some genes that dilate your blood vessels in your cheeks and makes you blush. This example produces a temporary effect, but there are other examples that produce permanent effects.

We have amazing mechanisms to turn genes on, or turn them off. Thus, it isn’t the genes that determine what we become, but what we do with them.

The study of all these effects is fascinating. Genetic material functions like the blueprint for creating an organism. But just like the blueprint for a building, there is some leeway in how we follow it.

As a young man, I was a carpenter, building condominiums in Los Angeles. I knew that the final structure of the building is often different from the plans given to us by the architects and engineers. We used to complain that the architects didn’t know what was possible. We thought they should all be required to actually build some structures before they started drawing them.

A very similar situation occurs with our genes. The cell may need a certain protein, but that gene may be turned off so it has to do without, or use something else. It can take time, and a lot of different factors to turn on a gene.

Food has a huge effect on genes. Everything we put in our mouths is turning on, or off, our genes. Click to Tweet.

At the very least, food affects our genes during digestion. But food can have far-reaching effects—even generational.

Eating certain foods during pregnancy may increase or decrease the chance of illness for your child later in life. Take diabetes, for example. Diabetes was unknown to the Pima tribe in Arizona on their original diet. But, since they started eating highly processed American food, they now have a diabetes rate of 80%!

oxygen free radicals damage DNAEight out of ten Pima Indians will have diabetes in their lifetime. What’s more, diabetes is showing up among youths and even young children. These kids are genetically predisposed against diabetes, but sugar turned on their genes that create diabetes.

The nutrients we consume affect our genes. Oxygen free radicals from food damage our genome (our complete set of DNA), causing dysfunction of cells, and even cancer.

However, even if everyone else in our family gets cancer, it doesn’t mean we have to get it. Though we may be predisposed to cancer genetically, we can create an environment that promotes healthy genes.

We need vitamins and minerals, and we need to avoid toxins that cause genetic mutations. (Promoting healthy genes like this also keeps the immune system functional to remove any cancer cells that may arise.)

Even our thoughts can change our genes. Many of us have had the experience of seeing a scary movie that caused our hearts to race and fill us with anxiety. You know that you can think about that movie and recreate the same reaction. If you experience fear over and over again, then you will develop a pathway of fear in the brain. This changes both neurotransmitters and your anatomy. The brain makes more physical connections as a pathway is used.

So, what about all this “epigenetics?” What does it mean for us? Well, this is an extremely empowering concept.

Becky felt doomed to her fate of hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes. But, she can change those genes. She is not destined to die young or slowly because of these genetic illnesses.

In one study, pregnant rats were fed gluten. The rats born from the research only had an increased risk of diabetes if they overate, became obese and didn’t exercise. When rats ate more proteins, less carbohydrates, less food in general, and exercised, then they didn’t get diabetes.

Alice, on the other hand, had a different problem than Becky. She had an enzyme that was defective and didn’t work at all. Luckily, half of her cells are normal, allowing her to live.

Even with Alice we can work around some of these abnormalities.

  • We still used the concept of epigenetics, modifying her environment to work with her genes.
  • We put her on a sugar-free diet so she couldn’t build up the acids in her muscles.
  • This forced her body to use fat and protein (which is made into sugar) for energy.
  • She had just enough sugar from the protein, and enough energy from the fat to allow her to function normally all day.

Several weeks into her new diet Alice was feeling pretty good, planning her wedding, and brought in her mother. Her mother told me, “I have been tired all my life, and the doctors just gave me anti-depressants! I’ve been on every drug for depression, and most of them made me worse! I want to take that test.”

However, we didn’t need to perform the test because we found out the deficient enzyme was on her daughter’s X-chromosome. This means it had to come from her mom because the males with this defect all die before they’re born. We put her on the same diet and her fatigue disappeared almost immediately. This is how knowledge is power!

Recommendations For Good Epigenetics [am4show guest_error=’noaccess’]

1. Avoid toxins:

  • Eat raw, organic fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid all processed foods
  • Avoid GMO (GE) foods

2. Consume antioxidant rich foods:

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables (vitamin C, B-vitamins, Folate, Vitamin A)
  • Raw Almonds (vitamin E)

3. Take your minerals:

  • Selenium – 200 mcg daily for 90 days, then once per week (or a couple of brazil nuts)
  • Chromium picolinate – 1 mg per day for 90 days, then once per week
  • Magnesium – 400 mg per day, take at night (or eat lots of leafy green vegetables)

4. Practice stress reduction:

  • Exercise daily.
  • Forgive everyone.
  • Write in a journal.
  • Have a regenerative hobby.
  • Garden (fresh vegetables from your own garden are tastier and more nourishing than store-bought produce).
  • Meditate and pray – ½ hour per day.
  • Be positive. Looking for the good in everything will dramatically reduce the stress of life, and protect your genes.


This is probably the most important protection for your genes, allowing them to work well by keeping the toxins out of the cells.

You can lengthen your telomeres, repair your DNA and prevent all forms of aging with periodic fasting. Click to Tweet.

Most of my patients fast one day per month.

When they fast, they eat a regular supper on Saturday, drink only water on Sunday, and then a regular breakfast on Monday. I have one patient who does a water-only fast for thirty days once per year. (He goes to a clinic to do this.) Fasting is great for getting rid of toxins and resetting the metabolism.

toxin fastYou can also engage in various modified fasts, such as:

  • Eating only raw, organic foods for thirty days
  • Drinking only fresh vegetable juice
  • Doing the Master Cleanse, which is water, lemon, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup.

There are many ways to cleanse the system. This helps your genes function normally, turning on the ones you want, decreasing inflammation and improving energy efficiency. Cleansing also turns off those genes that promote inflammation, obesity, and metabolic disease. With this knowledge, the Pima people could have a population completely free of diabetes in less than one generation. This is the power of epigenetics!

Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that your genes are coded for a certain predisposition. You are not doomed to live with a disease weakness or cancer tendency all your life.

The study of epigenetics is finally putting the myth of genetic determinism to rest. We now know you can turn on or off your genes by changing the environment inside the cell.

If you eat a lot of toxic substances, such as sugar, you will change your genes to create high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. However, if you avoid toxins, then your genes will function normally.

Provide your genes with antioxidant vitamins, methylation vitamins and minerals, and your cells will make the proteins and enzymes you need to have a healthy body.

If you liked this article, then you’ll love these:


Dr. Scott SaundersDr. Scott D. Saunders, M.D. (Ask-an-MD) is a practicing physician, specializing in preventative health care, who utilizes eclectic health care for the whole family, including conventional, orthomolecular and natural medicine. He is also the medical director of The Integrative Medical Center of Santa Barbara in Lompoc, CA. He went to UCLA medical school and is board certified in family medicine. View natural remedies with Dr. Saunders at: http://drsaundersmd.com




Eating for Healthy Genes

 by Amanda Box, N.D.

Eating right isn’t just about being able to fit into your skinny jeans. What you eat has an effect on a different kind of jeans; the kind of genes you were born with.

These genes make you the unique person you are, from the color of your hair to whether you can curl your tongue or not. When your mother and father’s DNA combined, it formed an exclusive genetic blueprint. This inherited design created a unique you.

In many aspects of who you are, you have every right to shout out, “Take it or leave it! I was born this way!” Embrace your uniqueness because it is what makes you truly beautiful.

However, when it comes to your health, just because you were born with “bad” genes, doesn’t mean you have to “wear” them. Your parents’ and grandparents’ health issues don’t have to determine your fate. You may have been born with a predisposition to a disease, but science has revealed you are not enslaved to what you inherited.

You have a choice not just to make the best of what you were born with, but to alter your body’s genetic design. What you choose to put in your body can change the genetic blueprint passed down to you, as it pertains to health and disease.

Scientists studying the effects of nutrition on our genome have branded this field nutriepigenetics. This study of nutrition’s role on gene expression has proven that we have some control over our genes.

Certain foods and nutrients can turn bad genes off and good genes on, or vice versa.  Our genes are not fixed. A gene might express itself depending on factors like diet, stress and exercise.

This is an exciting discovery because many of us live in fear of the impending diseases that took our family members. What is fascinating is that when you better your genetic blueprint, the new and improved version is passed down to your future children. You have the power, in many ways, to break the disease curses that have passed down through your family for generations. You have the power to create healthy and strong genetic lines for your future children and grandchildren!

Macronutrients and Gene Expression

Knowing what to eat and what not to eat is a powerful tool in controlling your gene expression. Activating bad genes boils down to making poor decisions.

Chemicals, toxins and a sedentary lifestyle are primarily responsible for causing genes to activate disease. Click to Tweet.

Though everyone is different and unique, there are certain foods and lifestyle choices that can have a negative effect on gene expression. Our macronutrient ratios negatively or positively impact our genes the most. These are the amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fats we eat on a daily basis that vitally alter our health.

Carbohydrate Intake

A high carbohydrate diet benefits no one, regardless of their genotype (complete heritable genetic identity). A diet high in carbohydrates is attributed to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and much more.

A recent study in Norway monitored a group of 32 obese men and women.  The group was divided and given a powdered diet formulated with calories to maintain their body weight. However, each group was given a different macronutrient ratio. Specifically, the amount of carbohydrates and protein varied. The first group’s powder was formulated according to USDA recommendations:

  • 65% carbohydrates
  • 15% Protein
  • 20% fat

The second group’s formula included:

  • 33% carbohydrates
  • 33% protein
  • 34% fat

Both groups took turns on each diet. Their blood work and genetic expressions were observed and noted. The studies found, that no matter what a person’s unique genetic makeup was, a high carbohydrate diet exacerbates disease.

Professor Johansen, who spearheaded the study stated, “Genes that are involved in type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and some forms of cancer respond to diet, and are up-regulated, or activated, by a carbohydrate-rich diet.” (1)

This study is a huge step towards our understanding of diet and gene expression. We live in a society overloaded with carbohydrates and, consequently, saturated with disease, as well.

Reducing carbohydrate intake is a huge step towards activating healthy gene expression. Click to Tweet.

If you have been consuming a high carbohydrate diet, it is never too late to change!  According to the findings in this study, it only took around 6 days to change the gene expression of the participants! This means if you lower your carbohydrate intake, you can begin to reap the benefits within a week!


Protein doesn’t seem to have the same detrimental effects on gene expression as do carbohydrates and fats.

Most people don’t eat excess protein, but rather excess fats and carbohydrates. However, it is important to note that more is not better when it comes to protein consumption. A diet balanced in the macronutrients carbohydrates, protein, and fat is best.

Our bodies are constructed of protein. Our organs, muscles, skin, hair, glands, and bodily fluids all contain protein. Our cells need protein to survive and to make repairs in the body. It is also important to consume adequate levels of protein to maintain healthy levels of essential amino acids. Amino acids from protein are crucial on a genetic level in the body.  We need amino acids for coping DNA, RNA, and for gene expression.

Proteins are the building block of life. However, consuming too much protein can create an acidic environment in the body that triggers harmful gene expression leading to disease.  Remember, balance is key when it comes to macronutrient consumption, even with the amazing benefits of protein.


Fat consumption can be a little tricky because not all fat is created equal. Although some forms of fat can cause disease, other fats actually prevent them!

Vegetable oils can actually induce health problems. But because they are unsaturated, many believe they are healthy. The most popular vegetable oils (soy, corn, canola) are genetically modified. When you introduce GMO foods into your body, you run the risk of modifying your own genes.

GMO foods are created by the splicing, dicing, and transferring of genes from one organism to another.  Although GMO foods have their own built-in pesticides and resistance to herbicides, these modifications come at a price, not improvement.

GMO foods not only negatively impact our gene expression, but they change the actual DNA of bacteria in our body! Click to Tweet.

Genetically modified foods convert bacteria in the gut turning our digestive system into a pesticide-producing factory!

Frying with these oils only makes things worse. They create oxygen radicals that negatively impact our genetic expression. Furthermore, these oils produce carcinogens that are linked to cancer and heart disease.

Although canola, soy, and corn oil should be avoided, there are a few healthy unsaturated oils to include. These oils, as with any type of fat should be consumed in moderation and always avoid using them over high heat.

  • Avocado
  • Safflower
  • Olive Oil

Saturated fats are often painted as the bad guy, especially for heart disease. However, coconut oil can be safely incorporated into your diet without causing negative gene expression. Coconut oil contains compounds that improve health by encouraging weight loss and fighting viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

Healthy Foods for Your Genome

BP-Food PlateGood nutrition is key to reprogramming our genes from a state of disease to a state of health and wellness.  However, following the USDA’s Food Pyramid is not going to lead you to wellness. The food pyramid pushes grains and isn’t truly balanced. Instead your diet should be:

  • Low to moderate in carbohydrates
  • Low to no sugar
  • Moderate to high in protein
  • Moderate in healthy fats like coconut oil and omega-3
  • High in colorful vegetable and fruits

I’ve included Barton Publishing’s Healthy Food Plate for a good visual reference.

The foods that seem to have the greatest positive effects on gene expression contain substances called polyphenols. Polyphenols are a compound found in antioxidants that fight inflammation and protect our cells from free radical damage. Protecting cells protects our genes, making these compounds extremely beneficial.  They can also lower blood pressure and increase insulin sensitivity preventing heart disease, strokes and diabetes. Many fruits and vegetables contain polyphenols. Some of the highest levels are found in:

  • Green Tea
  • Red Wine and Grapes
  • Cabbage
  • Garlic
  • Broccoli
  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Dark Chocolate (at least 60% cacao)

Replacing a large part of grain-based carbohydrates with vegetables is a fantastic way to enhance your polyphenol and nutrient content. Skip the bread and add another vegetable to your plate instead. Eating to maximize your good genes doesn’t have to be boring or without flavor. It won’t take long before you begin to crave these healthy foods that boost your health and wellness.

I’m a huge fan of ethnic food, whether it is Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean; you name it. I love the vast array of spices and flavors. Something I feel we lack in the West are dishes that are flavorful, but also are packed full of healthy vegetables. In America, vegetables are often kept separate, as a side dish. However, in other countries they are incorporated into the main dishes adding both flavor and color.

One of my favorite dishes to prepare for my family is a Korean Dish called Bibimbap. You can pick your vegetables making this a great “clean out the fridge” dish. Using quinoa instead of rice bumps up the protein content making it even healthier. This beautiful dish comes packed full of nutrition, polyphenols, healthy fats, and protein.

Korean Quinoa Bibimbap

korean quinoa bibimbap 2Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ red cabbage, finely sliced
  • ½ lb ground beef, sliced beef, or chicken browned
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp Bragg’s Liquid aminos or tamari sauce
  • A handful of raw organic spinach
  • 1 ½ cooked quinoa
  • 1 carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
  • 1 zucchini, cut into thin matchsticks
  • 2 eggs
  • Cilantro, lime, and chili sauce to garnish (optional)


  1. Heat coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes until softened.
  3. Add garlic and cabbage. Cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add beef or chicken. Cook and break up ingredients with a wooden spoon until browned.
  5. Add spices and Bragg’s Aminos or tamari. Cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Add baby spinach stirring until wilted. Remove from heat.
  7. Divide quinoa between 2 serving bowls. Add meat and vegetable matchsticks.
  8. Cook eggs to your liking and top each bowl with an egg.
  9. Top with cilantro, lime, and chili sauce. (2)

Even though sugar is truly bad for your genes, it doesn’t mean that those of you with a sweet tooth need to be deprived! Luckily, there are healthy alternatives to sugar that taste delicious and give you the ability to still have dessert!

Since dark chocolate in high in polyphenols, this dessert is not only delicious, but good for you!  The surprising part of this recipe is the avocado, which makes the mousse not only creamy, but packed with healthy fats. This recipe is a snap to make. It is also raw, vegan, sugar-free and gluten-free!!

Avocado Chocolate Mousse

avocado chocolate mousse_2Ingredients:

  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 2 tsp liquid stevia
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Fresh fruit and nuts for garnish


  1. In the bowl of a blender or food processor, blend avocado until smooth.
  2. Add all other ingredients, blending until mixture is uniform.
  3. Chill for about 2 hours in the fridge or half an hour in the freezer.
  4. Garnish with fresh fruit or chopped nuts.

It is NEVER too late to incorporate healthy food choices into your life. As I stated earlier, studies have shown it only takes 6 days for your genes to change expression.

For those of you headed down a path of disease and destruction, this is incredible news! You can begin creating a life of health and wellness today!  Don’t drag around the ball and chain of your family’s diseases any longer! You have the power to cut that chain and run towards a long future of health and wellness.

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Amanda Box, N.D.Amanda Box is a Traditional  Naturopath and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 12 years and currently practices naturopathic consulting in the Kansas City, Missouri area.  Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic practitioner to turn to for your personal needs, Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.



(1) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110919073845.htm
(2) Adapted from www.iquitsugar.com


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