Saturday, March 28, 2015

Stressed Out? Or Magnesium Deficient?

Stress is a funny thing… it seems to pop up at the most inconvenient times, or add an extra hurdle to already difficult situations. It can push emotions to their limits, negatively impact the immune system, and exacerbate pain or chronic conditions.

And unfortunately, often times the stresses of life are unavoidable.

However, despite the fact that stressful stimuli abounds, there are ways to but to truly reinforce your body’s own ability to handle stress. One of these, as you may imagine, is maintaining good health. Of course, in today’s busy world, that can be easier said than done!

Stress = Excessive Magnesium Loss

Research has shown that stress is a leading contributor to many illnesses, as the repercussions are not just mental but overwhelmingly physical as well. As we are faced with difficulties, our body begins to pump hormones – stress hormones – into our system. Adrenaline, norepinephrine, and cortisol are produced by our adrenal glands and, in times of stress they result in Fight-or-Flight and increased body responsiveness. You may notice that when stress begins to build, your muscles tense, breathing increases, and vision improves. All of these are signals that indicate that this cocktail has hit your bloodstream.

In times when heightened senses and a state of alertness is needed, this hormone response is obviously critical. For professional athletes that can mean the differences between winning and losing.

But high levels of stress hormones are not sustainable in the long run. Our bodies are not set up to endure constant states of heightened emotion or physical endurance. Every time we engage this system, other parts of our biology bear the brunt of the impact – including our mineral stores.

Stress has been shown to significantly increase urinary excretion of magnesium, meaning that the more stress you experience, the higher the possibility of a deficiency. Considering that the majority already don’t get enough magnesium to begin with, that means that stress will drive those levels even lower.On top of that, spikes in cortisol can result in inaccurate blood glucose tests, leading to unnecessary pharmaceutical intervention… which, of course, also impacts your magnesium levels.

And what happens when you’re stressed? How do you deal with it? In many cases it can cause people to discard healthful routines such as exercise and proper nutrition, and instead consume higher quantities of processed foods, sodas and alcohol – all of which accelerate the loss of magnesium.

The most frustrating part of this is that it’s a bit of Catch-22, as magnesium is what helps maintains a calm, restful, and relaxed state.

Magnesium Diminishes the Impact of Stressful Stimuli

Numerous studies have displayed the rather remarkable capability magnesium has for battling stress, anxiety, anger and other negative emotional responses.

Magnesium is well known for its ability to naturally relax muscles and reduce nerve excitability, and is often utilized as a means of assisting with pain, muscle spasms, and cramping. As you can imagine, any form of body discomfort can make handling even the slightest stresses difficult. Governing that discomfort is one of the simplest ways to not only reduce the stress caused by the pain itself, but to ultimately change how you react to stress.

Another major factor is sleep. Children are certainly not the only ones who are cranky after being deprived of ample shut-eye. Lack of quality sleep affects our entire system – energy, emotions, memory, efficiency… everything – which also means that we are not as well equipped to deal with potential stumbling blocks in our day. But again, magnesium is a required nutrient for this process, and can be the missing puzzle piece if you are finding yourself tossing and turning night after night.

Beyond that, magnesium is a neuroprotective agent and helps support healthy brain function. In recent years researchers in the field of mental health have finally acknowledged just how critical magnesium is to psychological well-being. It has even displayed its Herculean ability to conquer chronic mental health conditions where prescription pharmaceuticals have failed. When the body has sufficient magnesium stores, not only does it help improve mood, but it creates a shield of sorts that essentially dulls the sharp edges of stressful situations, making them more manageable and decreasing their negative mental impact.

Cause, Effect, or Both?

So which came first… the magnesium deficiency or the stress? Based on statistics, it is most likely a heap full of both. As a society, we are sadly lacking in the magnesium department – diets high in processed foods, our soil depleted of minerals, nutrient-stripping pharmaceuticals, and inefficient digestive systems, combine for a powerful anti-magnesium campaign, so to speak.

The Western Diet as a whole leaves much to be desired – not enough “real food” and too much nutrient-devoid “junk.” However, even those of us who eat nutritionally balanced whole food diets may find ourselves struggling to get enough magnesium if we’re not making a concerted effort to do so.

Add to that environmental factors such as exposure to air pollution or pesticides, as well as economic factors such as unemployment or financial issues, and our magnesium intake isn’t even coming close to what we’re shedding on a daily basis.

The good, of course, is that magnesium deficiency is a rather simple problem to solve (theoretically)… it’s readily accessible, inexpensive, and available in a wide variety of compounds and applications that can fit nearly everyone’s needs. If you find yourself facing a lot of stress, are feeling frazzled or on edge, or just want to maximize your calm, magnesium may be the answer you’re looking for.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

What About Diverticulitis?

Can any colon cleansing help with diverticulosis or diverticulitis?

Not necessarily – it depends on you and on the colon cleansing program. 
According to the AMA, diverticuli are caused by constipation and stasis in the colon. These conditions may be caused by a lack of dietary fiber. When flow is limited or blocked (stasis), the walls of the colon can balloon out and produce a “pocket”. If this pocket becomes infected and inflamed, then diverticulitis is the result.
Many colon cleansing products are based on laxatives and herbal preparations that temporarily relieve constipation. To restore normal flow and proper colon function, check with your personal medical professional, and consider using a cleansing program that is based on fiber and whole food nutrition. This works with the body’s natural healing abilities to build the intestinal musculature of the bowels.
Consider the Springreen Daily Cleansing Drink! Simply a combination of Springreen's #79 Intestinal Cleanser (fine mesh of both Psyllium Seed and Husk) and #77 Detoxificant (a colloidal Montmorillonite – super refined bentonite clay). This combination can provide the necessary fiber and detoxification to restore and support normal colon shape and function.  Combined, these (2) Springreen cleansing products cost under $40! 
In addition, dietary changes can work to your benefit. A diet that includes more fresh vegetables in the form of dark green salads (including kale, spinach, and romaine) and fresh juices. Drinking more water to keep hydrated and stay lubricated. Eliminate or reduce the intake of cheeses, breads, and fried foods.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Practice good medicine, the rest will follow

(White Coat Underground)  Last week I got an incentive check from an insurance company.
That’s how things are moving in health care. Patient out of pocket costs are going up, and doctors are getting reimbursed via incentives that no one seems to understand.

Some companies want special forms filled out, some want us to meet certain arbitrary-seeming benchmarks, and for the life of me, I have no idea how to even figure out all these different programs.
One company now lists me as “meeting quality standards” but not meeting “cost-effectiveness standards”. I requested the data on that one: I’m at the peak of the bell curve. Apparently I need a few more SDs to the left to make it. These results are posted on their website and sent to members.
My best doctor-patient relationships do not develop from an insurance website but from personal recommendations. Yes, patients are paying more of their health care costs, but the decisions whether to spend money happen in the exam room. If I think the patient needs a test, I recommend it. If they feel they cannot afford it, we discuss it some more and come up with a reasonable plan.
I’m not sure I care about what the insurance company thinks, but that’s probably naive.
My incentive check mentioned at the top was for $5.92. I’m going to go with a strange philosophy: practice quality medicine based on the latest evidence to the best of my abilities. Hopefully the rest will fall into place.
I might not be cost-effective when I suspect a cancer and get all the diagnostic studies done at once, but it’s better for the patient, so I’m going with it.

Monday, March 23, 2015

How the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 Weakened the FDA

Quackwatch, Stephen Barrett, M.D.

Most people think that dietary supplements and herbs are closely regulated to ensure that they are safe, effective, and truthfully advertised. Nothing could be further from the truth. Although some aspects of marketing are regulated, the United States Congress has concluded that "informed" consumers need little government protection. This conclusion was embodied in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994—commonly referred to as "DSHEA"—which severely limits the FDA's ability to regulate these products.

Background History

In the early 1990s, Congress began considering two bills to greatly strengthen the ability of federal agencies to combat health frauds. One would have increased the FDA's enforcement powers as well as the penalties for violating the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act [1]. The other would have amended the Federal Trade Commission Act to make it illegal to advertise nutritional or therapeutic claims that would not be permissible on supplement labels [2]. During the same period, the FDA was considering tighter regulations for these labels.
Alarmed by these developments, the health-food industry and its allies urged Congress to "preserve the consumer's freedom to choose dietary supplements." To whip up their troops, industry leaders warned retailers that they would be put out of business. Consumers were told that unless they took action, the FDA would take away their right to buy vitamins. These claims, although bogus, generated an avalanche of communications to Congress [3].
The end result was passage of DSHEA, which defined "dietary supplements" as a separate regulatory category and liberalized what information could be distributed by their sellers. DSHEA also created an NIH Office of Dietary Supplements and directed the President to appoint a Commission on Dietary Supplement Labels to recommend ways to implement the act [4]. The Commission's final recommendations were released on November 24, 1997 [5,6]. 

The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act defines "drug" as any article (except devices) "intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease" and "articles (other than food) intended to affect the structure or function of the body." These words permit the FDA to stop the marketing of products with unsubstantiated "drug" claims on their labels.

To evade the law's intent, the supplement industry is organized to ensure that the public learns of "medicinal" uses that are not stated on product labels. This is done mainly by promoting the ingredients of the products through books, magazines, newsletters, booklets, lectures, radio and television broadcasts, oral claims made by retailers, and the Internet.
DSHEA worsened this situation by increasing the amount of misinformation that can be directly transmitted to prospective customers. It also expanded the types of products that could be marketed as "supplements." The most logical definition of "dietary supplement" would be something that supplies one or more essential nutrients missing from the diet. DSHEA went far beyond this to include vitamins; minerals; herbs or other botanicals; amino acids; other dietary substances to supplement the diet by increasing dietary intake; and any concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combination of any such ingredients. Although many such products (particularly herbs) are marketed for their alleged preventive or therapeutic effects, the 1994 law has made it difficult or impossible for the FDA to regulate them as drugs. Since its passage, even hormones, such as DHEA and melatonin, are being hawked as supplements.

DSHEA also prohibits the FDA from banning dubious supplement ingredients as "unapproved food additives." Before DSHEA's passage, the FDA considered this strategy more efficient than taking action against individual manufacturers. Now the only way to banish an ingredient is to prove it is unsafe. Ingredients that are useless but harmless are protected. Nor is there any practical way for the FDA to ensure that the ingredients listed on product labels are actually in the products.

The 1976 Proxmire Amendment

The DSHEA campaign was not the first time that the dietary supplement industry persuaded Congress to severely weaken the FDA's power. In the early 1970s, after 10 years of study, the FDA proposed new marketing rules to combat public confusion about dietary supplements. Many deceptive claims would be banned, supplement strengths would become more standardized, and doses higher than one and a half times the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) would be regulated as "over-the-counter" drugs. All would continue to be available without a doctor's prescription, except for vitamins A, D and folic acid (a B-vitamin), which pose significant risks in very high doses. The FDA's proposed rules were developed with the advice of leading scientific authorities, but the health food industry and its faithful followers exploded with anger at what they called a threat to "freedom of choice." Industry organizations charged that the FDA was threatening the right of people to buy "non-harmful food supplements" of their choice. As soon as the proposed vitamin regulations were announced, the National Health Federation (NHF) organized a letter-writing campaign that produced more than a million letters to Congress urging passage of a law to stop the FDA's regulations. NHF had fewer than 20,000 members at the time, but they were helped by "health food" storekeepers, chiropractors, and "health food" magazines with a combined readership of several million. Many Congressional representatives received more letters about vitamins than about Watergate—the scandal that brought about the resignation of President Richard Nixon! Most people who wrote throught they were asking for better health and consumer protection. They did not realize that it was the FDA, not the health-food industry, that was trying to help them.

Faced with what appeared to be a massive grass-roots consumer effort, the majority of Congressmen co-sponsored legislation that would virtually remove food supplements from FDA jurisdiction. U.S. Senate Bill S-2801, introduced by Senator William Proxmire and referred to as the "Vitamin Bill," became the rallying point. As it turned out, S-2801 never came to a vote by itself, but Proxmire managed to push it through the Senate by attaching it to an unrelated but popular bill. The bill's harmful effects were softened somewhat by a compromise made through the efforts of Representative Paul Rogers, but a version did pass—much to the detriment of American consumers. The so-called "Proxmire Amendment" prohibits the FDA from limiting the potency of ingredients of vitamin and mineral products that are not "inherently dangerous" and prevents the agency from ridding the marketplace of useless "dietary supplement" ingredients and irrational combinations of ingredients. It became law because the health-food industry misled many of its customers into believing that the FDA intended to greatly restrict the sale of supplement products.

Unknown to Congress and the FDA, a large percentage of those who wrote protest letters to Congress were not merely confused users of vitamin supplements. They were also sellers. Hundreds of thousands of people worked as "distributors" engaged in person-to-person sales for large companies like Shaklee, Amway and Neo-Life. I strongly suspect that these people—who took in hundreds of millions of dollars each year selling unnecessary supplements—formed the core of the letter-writing campaign.

Why DSHEA Is Dangerous for Consumers

Because manufacturers are not required to submit safety information before marketing "dietary supplements," the FDA must rely on adverse event reports, product sampling, information in the scientific literature, and other sources of evidence of danger. Since the FDA is unable to monitor and regulate thousands of individual products, the public is virtually unprotected against supplements and herbs that are unsafe. In recent testimony, FDA Commissioner Jane E. Henney, M.D., even pointed out:
Products that contain substances similar to those found in prescription drugs are marketed for children as dietary supplements. Likewise, products with ingredients that simulate illicit street drugs are marketed as dietary supplements to adolescents via the Internet and shops specializing in drug paraphernalia." [7]
In June 2000, the New England Journal of Medicine published a report by Nortier and others of an outbreak of urinary tract cancers in Belgium among users of a Chinese herbal product that contained aristolochic acid—a known carcinogen found in an herb called Aristolochia fangi [8]. In an accompanying editorial, Former FDA Commissioner David A. Kessler, MD. JD, noted that herbal products containing A. fangi had been banned in several European countries but were available in the United States. Commenting on DSHEA, he stated:
The 1994 Dietary Supplement Act does not require that dietary supplements (defined broadly to include many substances, such as herbs and amino acids, that have no nutritive value) be shown to be safe or effective before they are marketed. The FDA does not scrutinize a dietary supplement before it enters the marketplace. The agency is permitted to restrict a substance if it poses a "significant and unreasonable risk" under the conditions of use on the label or as commonly consumed.
The safety standard may sound as if the FDA has all the authority it needs to protect the public. The problem is that the burden of proof lies with the FDA. Even when the agency is able to act, how is it supposed to know which products contain aristolochic acid, and who sells them? What is the agency supposed to tell people who may have consumed these herbs? Congress has put the FDA in the position of being able to act only after the fact and after substantial harm has already occurred. 
The association of A. fangchi with urothelial carcinoma is not the first instance in which dietary supplements have caused potentially serious harm, although this is the strongest association of an herb with a cancer in humans. Among the other well-documented examples of adverse reactions are the association of germander with acute hepatitis, of comfrey with hepatic veno-occlusive disease, of yohimbe with seizures and renal failure, and of ephedra with death from cardiovascular causes. The use of amino acids, herbs, and a host of other supplements is more likely to arouse concern about public health than is the use of traditional vitamin and mineral supplements at reasonable potencies. Even with the use of conventional medicines, the cause of adverse effects that are not immediate and dramatic is hard to pinpoint. This is especially true for substances that are given outside the conventional health care setting, since there is no adequate system of reporting adverse events that may be associated with these products. 
It took a tragedy—poisoning caused by the use of an elixir of sulfanilamide—to prompt Congress to pass the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938, and it took reports of birth defects among the children of women who took thalidomide during pregnancy to secure passage of the Kefauver-Harris Amendments to that act in 1962. Congress has shown little interest in protecting consumers from the hazards of dietary supplements, let alone from the fraudulent claims that are made, since its members apparently believe that few of these products place people in real danger. Nor does the public understand how potentially dangerous these products can be. Examples like that described by Nortier et al. should persuade Congress to change the law to ensure the safety and efficacy of dietary supplements before more people are harmed [9].

"Nutritional Support" Statements

DSHEA allows dietary supplements to bear "statements of support" that: (a) claim a benefit related to classical nutrient deficiency disease; (b) describe how ingredients affect the structure or function of the human body; (c) characterize the documented mechanism by which the ingredients act to maintain structure or function; and (d) describe general well-being from consumption of the ingredients. The statement "calcium builds strong bones and teeth" is said to be a classic example of an allowable structure/function statement for a food. What constitutes an allowable statement for a supplement has not been established either by law or by regulation.

To be legal under DSHEA, a "nutritional support" statement must not be a "drug" claim. In other words, it should not suggest that the product or ingredient is intended for prevention or treatment of disease. However, the marketplace has been flooded by statements related to organs (such as "supports the eyes" or "supports the cardiovascular system") that are really drug claims.

Actually, few statements about the biochemical or physiologic properties of nutrients have practical value for consumers. By definition, every essential nutrient is important to proper body function. Simple statements about nutrient function are more likely to be misleading than helpful. A statement such as "vitamin A is essential to good eye function" could suggest: (a) people need to take special steps to be sure they get enough, (b) extra vitamin A may enhance eyesight, and (c) common eye problems may be caused vitamin A deficiency or remedies by taking supplements. To be completely truthful, a "nutritional support" statement about vitamin A would have to counter all three misconceptions and indicate that people eating sensibly don't need to worry about whether their vitamin A intake is adequate. In other words, truthful statements about nutrient supplements would have to indicate who doesn't need them. No vitamin manufacturer has ever done this or ever will. Since herbs are not nutrients, the concept of "nutritional support" statements for herbs is absurd.
Under DSHEA, manufacturers who make statements of "nutritional support" must have substantiation that such statements are truthful and not misleading. The law also requires that the Secretary of Health and Human Services be notified no later than 30 days after the first marketing of a supplement for which the statement is being made. The law does not define substantiation.

Historically, the FDA has considered literature used directly in connection with the sale of a product to be "labeling" for the product. DSHEA exempts publications from "labeling" if they: (a) are not false or misleading, (b) do not promote a particular manufacturer or brand, (c) present a "balanced" view of pertinent scientific information, and (d) are physically separated from the items discussed. However, since most "dietary supplements" are either useless, irrationally formulated, and/or overpriced, the supplement industry is has little reason to provide literature that is not misleading. In addition, the FDA does not have the resources to police the huge numbers of "support" statements to ensure that they are appropriately "balanced."

Section 303 of the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act of 1997 authorizes health claims based on current authoritative statements by U.S. Government agencies or the National Academy of Sciences about the relationship between a nutrient and health-related condition [10]. Under this provision, if the FDA considers a claim of this type to be misleading, it must issue a regulation or go to court to stop its use. The fact that these procedures are cumbersome further weakens the FDA's ability to protect consumers. In 1999, an FDA advisory group recommended how to determine whether "substantial scientific agreement" exists for health claims [11].

New Rules in 2002

On April 29, 1998, as required by DSHEA, the FDA proposed rules for statements about the effect of dietary supplement products on body structure and function. These rules included:
  • Disease claims are not permitted.
  • Disease is defined as "any deviation from, impairment of, or interruption of the normal structure or function of any part, organ, or system (or combination thereof of the body that is manifested by a characteristic set of one or more signs or symptoms."
  • "Signs or symptoms" include laboratory or clinical assessments that are characteristic of a disease, such as an elevated cholesterol fraction, uric acid, or blood sugar, and characteristic signs of disease, such as elevated blood pressure
  • A claim that a product helps protect against a disease (e.g., "reduces the stiffness of arthritis") is a disease claim.
  • A product name that implies an effect on a disease, e.g. "Hepatocure" would constitute a disease claim, but names such as "Cardiohealth" or "Heart Tabs" would not.
  • Suggestions that a product helps fight a specific disease or type of disease by stimulating the body's defenses would be disease claims, but "general claims such as "supports the immune system" would not [12].
On January 6, 2000, after receiving more than 100,000 protest messages from the supplement industry and its allies, the FDA published a revised final rule on health claims for dietary supplements [13,14]. DSHEA permits claims that products affect the structure or function of the body, provided the manufacturer has substantiating documents on file. Without prior FDA review, products may not bear a claim that they can prevent, treat, cure, mitigate or diagnose disease. The final rule still prohibits express disease claims (such as "prevents osteoporosis"), and implied disease claims ("prevents bone fragility in postmenopausal women"), including claims made through a product's name ("CircuCure") or through pictures or symbols. The rule permits health-maintenance claims ("maintains a healthy circulatory system"); other non-disease claims ("for muscle enhancement," "helps you relax,"); and claims for common, minor symptoms associated with pregnancy, menopause, or other life stages (e.g., "for common symptoms of PMS," "for hot flashes"). However, osteoporosis and other serious conditions associated with aging, menopause or adolescence will still be treated as diseases.

FTC Jurisdiction Threatened

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has jurisdiction over the advertising of "dietary supplements." In December 1998, it issued "Dietary Supplements: An Advertising Guide for Industry," a detailed document to clarify the need for substantiation [15]. Although the FTC is far too small to control the dietary supplement industry, the threat of FTC action still causes some marketers to be cautious. Bills like the so-called "Dietary Supplement Fairness in Labeling and Advertising Act"—introduced in 1999 as H.R. 3305 by Representative Dan Burton (R-IN) and as S. 1749, by Senator Michael Crapo (R-ID)—would force the FTC to allow the same information in advertising of dietary supplements that the FDA allows in labeling of the same products. Fortunately, no such bill has been passed.

A Token Improvement

The Dietary Supplement and Nonprescription Drug Consumer Protection Act (S. 3546), enacted in December 2006, requires manufacturers of dietary supplements and nonprescription drugs to notify the FDA about serious adverse events related to their products. Beginning in December 2007, manufacturers must report deaths; life-threatening experiences; inpatient hospitalizations; persistent or significant disability or incapacity; birth defects; or the need for medical intervention to prevent any such problems. Manufacturers will also have to place a telephone number or address on product labels so consumers can contact them. The bill was passed in response to concerns about how difficult it was for the FDA to ban ephedra sales even though thousands of people had adverse effects. Congress reasoned that if notification could be increased, the FDA could do a better job of identifying and dealing with dangerous products. However, public protection is only slightly increased because other parts of DSHEA make it very cumbersome for the FDA to ban dietary supplements and herbs.

What Consumer Really Want

Several surveys have determined that consumers really want protection against false claims and unsafe products [16,17]. A Roper survey of 1,480 persons age 50 or older conducted in 2001, for example, found that about 75% of the respondants wanted the government to review safety data and approve dietary supplements prior to sale and to verify all health-related claims before they can be included in advertisements and on product labels [16]. This is just the opposite of what DSHEA permits.

The Bottom Line

The FDA has never had enough resources to cope with the enormous amount of deception in the supplement and health-food marketplace. DSHEA has made the problem worse. If I were FDA Commissioner, I would drop any pretense of being able to protect the public. Instead, I would announce that unless Congress provides an adequate law, the FDA cannot protect the public from the deceptive marketing of what DSHEA calls "dietary supplements." The FTC is still able to take effective protective action, but some federal legislators are trying to cripple it also.

For Additional Information


  1. Food, Drug, Cosmetic, and Device Enforcement Amendments of 1991 (H.R. 2597, 102nd Congress).
  2. Nutrition Coordinating Act of 1991 (H.R. 1662, 102nd Congress).
  3. Barrett S., Herbert V. The Vitamin Pushers: How the Health Food Industry Is Selling America a Bill of Goods. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1994.
  4. Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. [FDA Summary]
  5. The Report of the Commission on Dietary Supplement Labels, November 1997.
  6. Barrett S. Major Recommendations from the Dietary Supplement Commission. Nutrition Forum 14:28, 1997.
  7. Henney JE. Statement by Jane E. Henney, M.D., Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services Before the Committee on Government Reform U.S. House of Representatives March 25, 1999.
  8. Nortier JL and others. Urothelial carcinoma associated with the use of a Chinese herb (Aristolochia fangchi). New England Journal of Medicine 342:1686-1692 , 2000
  9. Kessler D. Cancer and herbs. New England Journal of Medicine 342:1742-1743, 2000.
  10. Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act of 1997. [Full Text]
  11. Food Advisory Committee Working Group. Interpretation of significant scientific agreement in the review of health claims. Final report, June 1999.
  12. Regulations on statements made for dietary supplements concerning the effect of the product on the structure or function of the body. Proposed rule. Federal Register 63:23624-23632, 1998. [PDF format]
  13. FDA finalizes claims for claims on dietary supplements. FDA Talk Paper T00-1. Jan 5, 2000.
  14. Regulations on statements made for dietary supplements concerning the effect of the product on the structure or function of the body; final rule. Federal Register 65:999-1050, 2000.
  15. Bureau of Consumer Protection. Dietary Supplements: An Advertising Guide for Industry. Washington, DC: Federal Trade Commission, 1998. [Summary][Complete Text]
  16. Eskin SB. Dietary supplements and older consumers. Washington, DC: AARP Public Policy Institute, Dec 2001.
  17. Survey of Consumer Use of Dietary Supplements. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, 1999.
This article was revised on February 18, 2015.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

What We are Researching....

Spring is here and time to plan the garden. We are busy running Natural Healing Tools full time, so gardening is not (unfortunately) at the top of the list. 

But this year is going to be very different. What we are reading a website called Profitable Plants plus various articles along this line, and looking into not only growing what we like but what could be a profit center for our home. 

Our property has a lot of forested areas that are key to mushrooms, and other under canopy crops. Some crops are quick to grow, while others seem to take years to cultivate. 

Specifically, we are looking into complimentary plantings of ginger and ginseng. {Checking out Wiki for some how to's.} 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Between Fasts

After the Fast

Are you ready to get started with your own detox program? If you're even the tiniest bit concerned about the many forms of toxic waste that lie dormant in body, time to say, "yes".

This is the last in a series of articles on detoxing the body from Natural Healing Tools. Fasting is an ancient and efficient self-purifying technique. For some unfortunate reason, this rarely talked about "health wonder" has been virtually stripped of its title and is rarely talk about as an ongoing health maintenance routine.

Between fasts, there is much you can do to stay healthy.
• Buy organic! Spend more time consuming organic foods. This is crucial to keeping unwanted chemicals and processed foods out of your system.
• Adapt yourself to eating more raw foods in your diet. Limit the amount of cooked foods.
• Take a digestive enzyme with your meals. This will aid the body during the digestive process by helping to breakdown our food. Most people continue to eat a relatively enzymeless diet.
• A probiotic - maintain a healthy supply of good bacteria. I often get fresh yogurt made from raw milk from my farmer friends. This is an excellent way to replenish the good bacteria in the body.
• Proper elimination through squatting. This may seem ridiculous, but this is important. The modern toilet does not truly support the proper mechanical posture to create a complete elimination. Try the Squatty Potty.
• Incorporate 1 to 3 day fasts throughout the year.
• Drink filtered water. Try steam distilled. Tap water contains a significant amount of harmful chemicals.
• Make sure that the air you are breathing is relatively clean. The air in our homes can become polluted from chemicals in our carpets, furniture, paint or other building materials. The use of an air purifier. Even certain house plants act as excellent filters. You might even enjoy reading this book... "How To Grow Fresh Air"  , by Dr. B.C. Wolverton - 50 houseplants that purify your home or office.
• Exercise - helps to remove the toxins in your body through perspiration. It also increases your blood flow stimulating your lymphatic system. Try rebounding on the Cellerciser! An excellent way to exercise.
• A glass of freshly squeezed lemon juice and water first thing in the morning. This is a great detoxify and it keeps the blood alkaline.
• Reduce stress - stress can interrupt the digestive process contributing to toxic buildup. Learn to manage your stress and create emotional balance. 

Keep the momentum of the fast going by making healthier choices as to what goes into your body and becoming more consciously aware of your life. The body, like a car, needs proper maintenance to keep it running at its best. 
No doubt, caring for your body is a primary necessity and a routine cleansing should be a part of everyone’s livelihood. 


Breaking The Fast

Previous articles have detailed a 7 day fasting. This article covers how to break a fast and why this important step is so crucial to making each fast successful. However trivial this may seem, it may be one the most important topics.
When your body hasn't taken on food for seven days, it’s very important to re-introduce the correct foods back again. Allow your body the necessary time to restart the flow of digestive juices and to properly stimulate the needed peristaltic action in the intestines after a lengthy fast. Once this is accomplished and normalcy to the bowels is restored, you have finally completed what you set out to do...successfully finish a fast.
Ok, so what the reality here is, "Don't go out and stuff yourself with an extra large combo-style pizza or make unnecessary trips to the buffet line at your favorite restaurant". What may happen is one unpleasant trip to the bathroom.
So here's how one way to spend the next 3 days coming off of a 7 day fast and slowly re-introduce food back into your body.
Around the early evening (about 5pm) of the 7th day, try breaking your fast by eating about ½ of a medium sized orange. Eat the other half about 2 hours later. Slowly savor each bite of the orange.
On the morning of the 8th day, start by eating ½ of a medium sized orange again followed by the 2nd half 2-21/2 hours later. By the time evening comes around, eat a total of 2-3 oranges. For an evening meal, lightly steam some fresh organic vegetables (zucchini, squash, tomato...) and squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the top of them. Start with small portions only. 
Next morning (9th day), start off with ½ of an orange followed by the 2nd half 2-21/2 hours later. About 2-3 hours later, try a small salad of fresh chopped cabbage, carrots, tomatoes and celery. Spray the vegetables with a little bit of Braggs Amino Liquid and slowly chew several times before swallowing. This salad can be used for the evening meal 2-3 hours later.
***Don't expect a bowel movement right away. It may take the body a few days before normal bowel activity is restored.
On the 10th day, start off with one whole banana or apple followed by another small piece of fruit 2-3 hours later. For lunch, have a similar salad as the day before. This time you can choose to add some avocados or broccoli to the mix. The same goes for the evening meal. Listen to your body. Be very cautious at this point not to over-eat. Eat only enough to be comfortable…that's it!
By the next day, go back to a normal routine of eating. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Performing a 7 Day Fast

The 7 Day Fast

Ok, let's begin to fast. Please keep in mind these are suggestions. Do your own research and talk to your medical professionals before you fast. 
•  7 Day Fasting Kit  - Springreen's kit includes (intestinal cleaner, detoxification and nutritional supplements). Springreen's kit includes a recommended daily routine to follow.
•  Colema board  - An enema helps with the removal of compacted areas deep within the intestine.
• Steam distilled water or purified water - Have plenty of reserves on hand, especially when planning to do a home colonic. A  colonic can use 5 gallon buckets of steam distilled water with a tablespoon of Epsom salts or 1/3 cup of lemon juice for each colonic performed during your fast. Unfiltered tap water should never be used for an enema.
• Daily schedule - Create a schedule for each day of the fast. This way, you don't feel stressed that you missed something. Just stay relaxed and calm and follow you schedule.
A 7 Day Fast actually should start 3 days prior to not eating. Here's why: this stimulates the elimination process in the body and slowly prepares the body for a long fast. The 3 days prior to a fast, prepare meals containing only raw organic fruits and vegetables (fruit bowl in the morning and fresh green salads for lunch and dinner). For a shorter, 3 day fast - only one day of fruits and vegetables prior to not eating is suggested (you should review your schedule well in advance and monitor with your health professional).
Day 1  -  no more food!  From day 1 through day 7, drink a cleansing drink made up of 10-12 ounces steam distilled water, Springreen detoxificant and intestinal cleaner five times a day about 3 hours apart. About 1½ hours after each cleansing drink, try a combination of nutritional supplements (Springreen, wheat germ oil, Vitamin C and whole beet plant juice tablets). All of this is supplied with a Springreen 7 day fasting kit
The detoxificant is derived from a mineral-rich volcanic clay. The clay is used because of its strong absorptive properties. (Adsorbs over 40 times its own weight in toxic substances). 

The intestinal cleaner contains ground-up psyllium that assists the body with the elimination process. Both to be key ingredients during the detoxification process.
Days 2-3 - Can be the most difficult days. The body is sending out those awful hunger signals. Energy level is low. These are the days that most people want to cheat. Be aware! Once you cheat (even the tiniest bit of food) the detoxification process stops. It will take a full 24 hours of not eating to start the process again. So stick it out!
Colonic - The early evening of day 2 is a good time to perform the first colonic. When fasting, your body dumps a higher level of toxic residue into the blood stream giving you that fatigue feeling.  The colonic helps to restore the energy that is lost during these 2 days by helping the the body to flush the toxic waste sooner. You can continue with the colonic each evening until the end of the fast (a total of 5-6 colonics).
Note: Some people choose to do 2 colonic in a day. If you are feeling extremely fatigued and are dumping a lot of toxins, you may want to perform 2 colonic/day, especially towards the beginning of the week. You may want to consult with a qualified person if you are not sure about performing a colonic on your own. Also, just to clarify, an enema is no substitute for a colonic! They don't reach as far into the intestine as colonic do.
Days 4-6 - The hunger pains are diminishing. This is where a pre-fast schedule is critical. Keep yourself busy. 
By the 4th day, your body is now in "ketosis".  This means that the liver is producing ketones from the fat stores in the body to fuel the brain and other organs...normally fueled by glucose. What is important here is that the utilization of ketones significantly limits the amount of muscle wasting that takes place in the body when we don't eat (the body does not utilize "ketosis" during a juice fast). 
Day 7 - By day 7 it is natural to feel anxious to end your 7 day fast. You've given your body the appropriate time to cleanse the entire bloodstream and feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Now, you are ready to start eating again.
Please note: If at any time during the fast you experience sudden weakness, a noticeable decrease in blood pressure or persistent vomiting - stop fasting!!!  For your own safety, please consult with a qualified health professional that is knowledgeable and has much experience with fasting before engaging in any type of lengthy fast.
Before you start eating solid food again, you must break the fast ever-so-gently. This is one of the most crucial aspects to fasting for long periods of time...breaking the fast.