By ICIM Member Alexander Mostovoy HD, DHMS, BCCT: Progesterone and Cancer Prevention

Many articles and papers have been written that implicate estrogen in connection to breast cancer. While this is a well accepted factor now in treatment of breast cancer, less written about is the importance of progesterone for the prevention of breast cancer.

Progesterone reduces estrogen’s stimulating of breast cancer growth with several well known biochemical events that lead to tumour growth:

Progesterone increases the level of enzymes that convert cancer prolific estrogen (estradiol) to inactive cancer protective estrogen (estrone sulfate).

Progesterone inhibits estrogen activity in the breast tissue and decreases the probability of clotting.

Progesterone prevents angiogenesis known to be a major contributor in early stage of breast cancer tumour formation and growth.

Progesterone prevents vasodilatation caused by excess estrogen and thus acts as an anti metastatic agent

Progesterone activates natural killer cells that function as in immune defence mechanism destroying cancer cells.

Progesterone has a calming effect, helps with perceived  stress, thus lowering cortisol production by the adrenals

Here’s the critical point about progesterone for breast cancer prevention: synthetic progestins promote breast cancer and heart disease, while natural progesterone beneficially lowers breast cancer and heart disease risk. Progestin (synthetic) is NOT Progesterone (natural). Unfortunately many physicians believe progestins to be equivalent to progesterone. This is a mistake.

The enzymes needed to metabolize progesterone are present in the human body, not so with progestin. Further, the biochemical structures of several synthetic progestins have carbon-carbon bonds, which are not present in the hormones that humans have. Thus synthetic progestin has well known detrimental effects on women’s health while progesterone has beneficial effects on breast health and cancer prevention.

Of course, your breast cancer prevention strategy has to include other contributing factors, such as healthy diet, physical activity, avoidance of pollutants, stress reduction and possibly natural progesterone therapy. Investigate and see if this will work for you.

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By ICIM Member Rindie Coker DN: Eat Your Way Out of Pain

Eat Your Way Out of Pain

To a large extent, the amount of suffering you do with pain is a function of what you eat. Just as you can take a pill to suppress inflammation, you can make a different kind of chemical change by wisely choosing what you eat.
We experience pain because of our nervous systems, of course, but there is a chemical component to pain. The body produces chemicals that create inflammation in response to injury. Inflammation irritates the nerves and we experience pain. This is why people take anti-inflammatory drugs to get rid of pain.
We take a chemical substance (anti-inflammatory drug) to control inflammation, but few people realize that inflammation is also controlled by our diets. The tendency to have a strong inflammatory response (more pain) or a lower inflammatory response (less pain) is controlled by what you eat.
Let’s take a look at some foods and the effect they have on pain and inflammation:

• Water: Adequate water intake does two good things to help relieve pain; it enables you to eliminate waste easier. Your body can more efficiently dilute and eliminate the chemicals that cause inflammation. Drink water, not coffee, tea or colas. Adequate hydration is necessary to keep the ligaments and discs healthy. If you do not drink enough water, you are more prone to injury—especially back injury.
• Oil: Carefully choose the fats and oils that you consume. Essential fatty acids produce substances called prostaglandins. Some of these prostaglandins cause inflammation, others suppress it. Strictly avoid hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils—avoid trans fats. Also animal fats are pro-inflammatory. You can eat meat, but eat lean cuts, skinless chicken and turkey. Fish is excellent because it contains omega-3 fatty acid, which is very anti-inflammatory. You may even consider taking an omega-3 fatty acid supplement. Also flax seed contains omega-3 fatty acids. Buy some flax seeds and sprinkle them on salads and other dishes.
• Avoid refined sugar and white flour: Insulin is very pro-inflammatory and eating sugar and refined starch causes you to produce insulin. Soda pop, cookies, candy and other goodies will help to keep you in pain.
• Eat brightly colored produce: The bright colors in fruits and vegetables are from bioflavonoids—these are wonderful antioxidants. They protect the cells of the plant from sun and from photosynthesis (which involves oxidation). When we eat them they protect our cells. There is a lot of research that demonstrates that antioxidants help to reduce pain and inflammation.
• Eat raw food: If that produce you are eating is raw, so much the better. Raw food contains enzymes and enzymes help your body to chemically clean up inflammation.

One other thing that you should realize is that pain medications do not correct anything. Actually, in the long term, they make matters worse. Pain medications help you to bear the pain, but they actually destroy cartilage, some of them slow down bone healing, and they cause oxidation. Techniques such as chiropractic, acupuncture, and naturopathy can be very helpful, without the side-effects of drugs. Many herbs can also help to mitigate pain. Natural health care is far superior when it comes to long-term relief.

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Overnight, half of American adults were reclassified as hypertensive: Is it Diagnosis Creep?

December 1, 2017 | By Dr. Ronald Hoffman

Last month, in a move that caught many doctors and patients by surprise, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology moved the goalposts on high blood pressure, lowering the cutoff for normal blood pressure from 140/90 to 120/80.

Previously, blood pressure 120-139/80-89 had been designated “pre-hypertension.”

The changed threshold means that, whereas only 31.9% of Americans were previously said to have elevated blood pressure, now 45.6% are in that category. That’s an additional 31 million people!

The switch is controversial because it flies in the face of several recent studies that have suggested that tighter control of blood pressure in healthy older adults may produce more harm than good, resulting in events such as too-low blood pressure or fainting. This can contribute to falls which cause head injuries and hip fractures.

In fact, just a few months ago, two of the nation’s major primary care organizations, the American College of Physicians, and the American College of Family Physicians, issued recomamendations diametrically opposed to the those from the AHA and ACA: Their guidelines state that blood pressure goals should be relaxed—to 150 systolic for older adults!

Advocates of lower blood pressure goals cite the results of the recent SPRINT study which showed that blood pressure lowering to 120/80, even in patients with borderline blood pressure, helped to reduce heart problems and overall risk of dying.

But what gets missed in the discussion is that the SPRINT study participants weren’t just average folks with high blood pressure—they were deemed at high risk of heart problems, with an estimated 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease of 15% or more. This is a carefully selected population not typical of hypertensives, representing maybe just 15% of Americans with borderline blood pressure—the very ones most likely to benefit from therapy.

Doctors are very literal, so how likely is it that they will precisely vet patients for intensive blood pressure lowering treatment on the basis of a careful assessment of their future cardiovascular risk? More likely, they’ll just uncritically embrace the new guidelines and reflexively prescribe meds for anyone who clocks in with a blood pressure greater than 120/80!

There’s another flaw with the SPRINT study. It based blood pressure determinations on an average of three carefully-measured readings after patients were seated comfortably for at least 5 minutes in a doctor’s office, with no staff members in the room in order to avoid “white coat hypertension.” How often do busy health care practitioners take the time to measure blood pressure so scrupulously?

SPRINT exaggerates the benefits of drug therapy for borderline blood pressure via some statistical chicanery. While it was said that heart events were reduced by an impressive 25% and overall deaths by 28%, these were relative risk reductions; in terms of absolute risk, the results were modest: 1.6% for heart events and 1.2% for overall deaths. Interestingly, and contrary to expectation, there were no differences in heart attacks, strokes or rate of acute coronary syndrome (you would think preventing these would be a major dividend of antihypertensive therapy!).

All-in-all, the number-needed-to-treat (NNT) to reduce deaths from cardiovascular causes was 167, not good at all. That means that 166 people would have to be treated unnecessarily for years with blood pressure meds with all their attendant side effects and expense so that one life could be saved! By way of contrast, when followed for five years, the Mediterranean Diet has an NNT of 61 for preventing stroke, heart attack or death with no harms noted; for preventing repeat heart attacks, the NNT of the Mediterranean Diet is an impressive 18!

Another nuance of the new recommendations based on SPRINT is surely to be missed by most doctors. Despite the reclassification, patients newly-diagnosed with hypertension who fall between 120-129/80-89 are suggested to undergo lifestyle modification—not drug therapy—as a prelude to administration of BP meds. That means exercise, weight reduction, low sodium diet, increased potassium, stress reduction, etc.

How well-equipped is the average primary care doctor or cardiologist to deliver these lifestyle recommendations? Sure, they may pay lip-service to holism by repeating the mantra “eat a low-fat diet, ditch the salt-shaker, and get some exercise,” but after an insufficiently guided and unmotivated patient returns a few weeks later with blood pressure unchanged, health care providers—many of whom are now PAs or nurses in assembly line clinics—are likely to reach for the prescription pad. And that will inevitably result in a bonanza for the drug-makers.

I carefully read the entire SPRINT study, and I only found the word “lifestyle” once—this despite the fact that the average SPRINT subject had a BMI of 30! For reference, if your Body Mass Index (BMI) is between 25 and 29.9 you are considered overweight. If your BMI is 30 or over you are considered obese. What an out-of-shape lot they were!

Weight loss can be a potent anti-hypertensive strategy: in a 2009 study, 52 of 106 patients who normalized their BMI achieved normal blood pressures.

“Diagnosis creep” is a well-known phenomenon in medicine. It happened with osteoporosis, when, in the 1990s, millions of previously healthy women were designated candidates for powerful bone-building drugs; New, overly-inclusive cholesterol goals now render millions more Americans eligible for statin drugs.

As a case in point, lower blood pressure and cholesterol thresholds were tried out in Europe in 2003. As a result, it was estimated that ¾ of the population of Norway would fail the excessively stringent new guidelines. In those over 49 years old, 90% would be potential drug customers!

Evidence that Diagnosis Creep doesn’t work for hypertension comes from a 2012 Cochrane Collaboration meta-analysis of studies evaluating drug management of mild hypertension (BP 140-159/90-99). Contrary to the SPRINT study it concluded: “In 7,080 participants, treatment with antihypertensive drugs as compared to placebo did notreduce coronary heart disease, stroke, or total cardiovascular events.” Moreover, 9% of subjects experienced side effects that caused them to abandon treatment, a figure that considerably underestimates patients’ real world complaints about blood pressure meds.

The reasons for Diagnosis Creep are many. For one, the specialist panels that are convened to review and revise guidelines are comprised of the same professionals who will be implementing those guidelines. It’s rare that a group of doctors would resist the temptation to expand their turf.

Then there’s the pervasive influence of Big Pharma. Many top academic physicians derive considerable proportions of their income from drug company grants. Large studies like SPRINT are, at least in part, underwritten by pharmaceutical interests. It’s hard to resist bias in favor of drug fixes.

In contrast to mainstream physicians, integrative practitioners are well-situated to implement intensive lifestyle changes for the millions of patients newly-designated hypertensive. In subsequent articles, we’ll review some of the non-drug options available for high blood pressure. Maybe some good will come of all the hoopla around the new guidelines, motivating patients to take action before they, too, join the ranks of the tens of millions of Americans who require multiple drugs every day.

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By ICIM Member Martha Bray, FNP-BC: Your Last Diet

The Ideal Protein Weight Loss Method is a medically designed protocol that results in fat loss while sparing muscle mass. The protocol was developed in France 25 years ago by Dr. Tran Tien Chanh, M.D. Ph.D., who focused his career and research on nutrition with a particular emphasis on the treatment of obesity and obesity related issues. Martha’s Winning at Weight Loss Program incorporates the Ideal Protein Weight Loss Method is an easy 4-phase protocol which helps stabilize the pancreas and blood sugar levels while burning fat and maintaining muscle and other lean tissue. This protocol is also an excellent support for cellulite reduction and has been used in well over 2500 Professional Establishments in North America over the last eight years with great success.

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Soon Big Brother Will Know If You Took Your Medicine

This opens the door to all kinds of scary possibilities.

From ABC News:

In a groundbreaking decision on Monday, the Food and Drug Administration approved a drug with a “digital ingestion tracking system,” which senses when a pill is swallowed and sends the data to a smartphone.

The new drug/device combination product called Abilify MyCite is approved for the treatment of schizophrenia and mood disorders. The Abilify (aripiprazole) tablets come embedded with an Ingestible Event Marker (IEM) sensor, the size of a grain of sand, that sends information to a patch the patient wears. The patch then transmits the data to smartphones and online healthcare portals — which can be accessed by health care professionals and caregivers if the patient approves.

Comment: Aside from the creepy invasion of privacy and other opportunities for abuse with this technology, let’s not forget the dangers of electromagnetic fields and Wi-Fi, especially for young children. Cell phones, for instance, include warnings in the fine print about overexposure. And what are the potential health consequences of ingesting a “digital ingestion tracking system”? Orwellian medicine, coming soon unless we object! By the way, here are the possible side effects of Abilify.

 

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Medical Vaccine Exemption Under Renewed Fire

For some in California, doctors writing medical exemptions from the state’s draconian vaccination law are not being punished swiftly enough.

From the LA Times:

A year ago, California officials appeared to be coming down hard on doctors and parents who were reluctant to vaccinate children…. The medical board was threatening to pull the license of Dr. Robert Sears, a celebrity in the anti-vaccine community….

But so far, no doctors, including Sears, have been punished for writing unnecessary medical exemptions. The crackdown many foresaw never materialized.

Comment: The LA Times article may in part be a reaction to the recent announcement that Dr. Bob Sears, who faces charges of gross negligence from the California medical board, has a hearing scheduled for May 2018. As Richard Jaffee, Dr. Sears’s attorney, notes, perhaps May 2018 isn’t soon or severe enough for the LA Times.

What are the allegations against Dr. Sears? He dared to write a letter recommending that a two-year-old be excused from vaccinations because his mother reported that the child had serious adverse reactions to previous immunizations. We pointed out before that the goal of such persecution is to scare other doctors from writing medical exemptions. Are the LA Times’ reporters qualified medical professionals, equipped with the knowledge of when a medical exemption is necessary? We suspect not, but this is how low the conversation has gone on the issue of vaccination—persecuting a doctor for exercising his judgment.

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