MTHFR Gene Mutation – Methylation Pathway – Infertility, Anxiety, Depression, Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Cancer – Increased Risk

Methylation-cycleEveryday new information and correlations are discovered about our genetic code, the interaction of the environment on our genes (epigenetics) and how our genes can affect our health and experience of life.  The MTHFR (methyltetrahydrofolate reductase) gene has recently received a lot of attention due to it’s central role in the methylation pathway (see chart to left), and the risk for developing chronic disease.

These various genetic variations (mutations) affect different people differently, depending on how many mutations you possess and combined with your previous lifestyle and medical history.  As we get older and have been exposed to more stressors or pollutants, symptoms and discomforts that may not seem related begin to occur.

Common manifestations of these genetic mutations can vary greatly from depression, anxiety and insomnia; to increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure; gout and arthritis; to infertility and hormone imbalances; to an increased risk for cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, and many others.

Children with MTHFR (and other gene mutations) have an increased prevalence of ADD, ADHD and Autistic Spectrum disorders.

Improving quality of life and reducing the symptoms due to these inefficient processes by supporting these mutations is not as simple as some practitioners believe.  Especially in sensitive individuals, great care should be taken to understand each individual’s situation and nutritional status in order to not create a healing crisis and possibly make the person feel worse (even if it’s temporary).

Dr. Slavin has been working with MTHFR mutations for several years and will be attending Dr. Ben Lynch’s comprehensive conference to learn more about recent developments and recommendations for supporting the pathways and physiology appropriately.

If you, or any of your family members experience any of the symptoms or discomforts mentioned above, you do not have to suffer thinking there is no solution for these issues.  Contact Functional Wellness to start feeling better today.

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Grain Brain Dr. Perlmutter

Thank you Dr. Perlmutter!

grain brain

Board-Certified Neurologist and Fellow of the American College of Nutrition, Dr. Perlmutter just released the New York Times Best Seller Grain Brain last week.It is already at #7!

Dr. Perlmutter’s book presents and reiterates detailed scientific data and peer-reviewed articles regarding carbohydrates, wheat and gluten in the diet, and deleterious effects on our health,
and even more importantly on our brain.

Diseases and disorders for which we currently have no cure such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis etc, that for many years, functional medicine practitioners have clinically experienced
significant improvements from gluten and grain free nutrition programs, are now substantiated with Dr. Perlmutter’s detailed and clinically referenced book.

Dr. Perlmutter talks about epigenetics – how our genes are influenced by our environment (including food, sleep and exercise) and that what we have been taught for decades, such as the inability to
stimulate new brain cells is incorrect.  The University of Pittsburgh’s study in 2011 proved that 20 minutes per day can turn on genes to increase brain cells in the hippocampus and improve memory.

But – you cannot put 20 minutes of exercise in a pill, so we don’t hear much about this!  Dr. Perlmutter also notes that you cannot put low carbs and healthy fats in a pill, so there is no research focussed
towards this effort either – but 32 Million dollars have been allocated for developing a pharmaceutical for the treatment of Alzheiemer’s Disease.

Eliminating grains and carbohydrates, and incorporating plenty of healthy fats into the diet, as well as, copious amounts of anti-inflammatory and nutrient rich vegetables can reverse many of
the symptoms associated with dementia, ADHD, epilepsy, depression.

Dr. Perlmutter’s delightful and insightful podcast on Paleo Lifestyle is a great introduction to his book which is an amazing contribution to those of us on the bleeding edge of this nutritional
paradigm shift.

Dr. Perlmutter’s son is currently a 3rd year medical student and has not had one hour nutrition education nor exercise physiology instruction.  He is attending the Institute of Functional Medicine
(IFM) classes in an effort to learn more about the critical and fundamental role of nutrition in our health.

Hopefully in a few years from now the big bruise on my forehead from banging my head against the wall will be gone and this information will be more widely accepted and practiced.

Unfortunately this article is not included in Grain Brain – but Dr. Perlmutter mentioned it – published in August 2013 – New England Journal of Medicine – Glucose Levels and Increased Risk of Dementia

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Adrenal Fatigue – Feel Better with The Kalish Method from Dr. Kalish – Recently Presented on

stressYears of various types of stress including overworking, poor eating habits, skipping meals, not getting enough sleep, emotional stress, taking medications and antibiotics, pain and inflammation, raising kids, basically just burning the candle on both ends, adrenals become impaired and cannot recover.

Emotional, Dietary and Inflammatory issues are the 3 major factors that Dr. Kalish focuses on to improve health.

Dr. Slavin has completed Dr. Kalish’s training program and has successfully helped many clients suffering from “adrenal burnout” or “adrenal fatigue” to feel better, improve their energy, and get health and their lives back.

Saliva testing of hormones, investigating sources of stress on the body (including structural, physical, chemical and emotional), and implementing dietary and lifestyle modifications can return you to health.

Genetic variations, digestive system function, blood sugar imbalances are unique to you, based on your personal, family and medical history.  This is personalized, comprehensive solution for returning you to health.

If you are looking for a practitioner following The Kalish Method, Dr. Slavin can help you.

To watch the interview with Dr. Kalish click the link below.

The Kalish Method with Dr. Kalish on

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Paleo-Inspired Cooking Class – June 18 6-9pm

paleo cooking classDoes “Eating Like a Caveman” Scare You!

Come and learn about “Paleo” or “Caveman” inspired nutrition

Dr. Jaclyn Slavin D.C. will feature a hearty breakfast saute, delicious lunch salad and a tasty one-pot Asian inspired dinner that focus on incorporating a variety of vegetables, protein and healthy fats guaranteed to make your taste buds dance!

Additional food snacks to taste, preparation and time saving techniques, as well as a communal sampling of foods prepared will provide a fun and delicious learning opportunity.

These quick and simple recipes are suitable for gluten-, grain-, dairy- and egg-free diners.

Register today only a few spots available

Call CMC in Edwards at 970-569-2100

Class will be held at BMHS Kitchen

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Statins Can Sabotage Your Efforts to Improve Your Health – New York Times Article

Statins are the most commonly prescribed medication for high cholesterol, yet they come with warnings of “severe but rare” side-effects for which you should “contact your doctor immediately”.  These side effects can include liver damage, and muscle breakdown leading to possible kidney failure and severe pain.  Lesser forms of uncomfortable but common side effects include muscle pain,  joint aches, and muscle weakness, as well as undetectable effects such as decreased production of CoQ10 – an ESSENTIAL nutrient for heart muscle function and the energy producing organelles in all of our cells (mitochondria), which could lead to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, fatigue, reduced brain function and others.

While exercise and changes in nutrition are often recommended as a means to reduce cholesterol and metabolic dysfunction, even without statins, a recent study evaluated the benefits of increased exercise while taking a statin.  The results are a cautionary tale!  Beginning healthy lifestyle measures such as exercising may actually be inhibited if you are prescribed a statin at the same time.

Aerobic fitness increased by approximately 10% in the exercise only group, while the exercise PLUS STATINS group showed an average 1% improvement, while some participants actually DECREASED their capacity after 12 weeks of exercise!

statin nytimes exercise

Kristian Sekulic/Getty Images

The study also evaluated samples of muscle tissue before and after exercise and statins and measured a significant DECREASE (-4.5%) in mitochondrial enzymes (the organelles that make energy) in the participants who received statins, as compared to those without statins.  Without statins mitochondrial enzymes INCREASED by 13%!

Medications, whether prescription or over-the-counter, are often not without side effects.  Some side effects can be dangerous, while others merely annoying.  It is important to understand the various side effects of all the medications (or supplements) you are taking as every persons body reacts differently.  Do not minimize your experiences, check with your doctor or natural healthcare provider to make sure you are not at risk for developing more serious side effects.


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Therapeutic Benefit of Nutritional Supplement – Approved by Federal Canadian Health Department

You may not know that supplement manufacturers and practitioners are not allowed to make claims about the use of nutritional supplements or botanical medicines for the “treatment” of diseases or conditions.  What we are allowed to say is that these items may have been shown to be supportive or adjunctive or palliative to the nutrition or dietary aspects of a person.  Researchers however, through various testing methodologies and trials are allowed to say that a substance has been shown to be therapeutic or provide some type of benefit to patients with a disease or condition.  In the United States the FDA regulates these claims, and every supplement manufacturer usually has a disclaimer on every label of every product they produce stating something to the effect of

fda statement

In a recent announcement however, the Canadian version of the FDA – the Federal Canadian Health Department, Health Canada has approved two significant claims related to the use of two specific probiotic products manufactured Pharmax (a company we use a lot at Functional Wellness), for the treatment of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and for Post Antibiotic Care (usually diarrhea and other gastrointestinal related dysfunction).

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