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High Cholesterol, Dementia linked to Wheat

High Cholesterol, Dementia Linked to WheatGlycemic index breads

While the subject is not new, there still remains great confusion surrounding the topics of wheat, gluten, Celiac disease, gluten intolerance and gluten sensitivity. While many still consider wheat and gluten to be one and the same, it is important to identify that they are extremely different and should be treated as such. Considering the differences helps to understand the relation to other diseases and conditions that have recently come to light.

In the past several years two physicians have published books focusing on the association between wheat and gluten to even more health conditions and diseases than simply accepted digestive disorders.

Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist and author of “Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health,” found that when wheat was eliminated from a patient’s diet, weight loss and optimal health was attainable. Focused specifically on wheat and its relation to heart health, Dr. Davis found that low-fat dietary plans, which often substituted larger amounts of carbohydrates for fats, were causing increased levels of cholesterol. Furthermore, Dr. Davis discovered that it is in fact high blood sugar levels, caused by carbohydrate-rich meals – primarily whole wheat, that caused elevations in both triglycerides and small low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles (the more dangerous type of LDL Cholesterol).

denise minger food pyramidCurrent guidelines for a heart-healthy diet include whole grains, a recommendation since the 1960s, but recent studies like Dr. Davis’ have shown no positive effect and even harmful results when diets included wheat and gluten. After carbohydrate-rich meals, small LDL cholesterol is elevated for seven days – the longer these particles spend in circulation, the more opportunity they have to be oxidized. Oxidation can damage tissues of the body, and pose a threat to overall heart health.

Dr. David Perlmutter, a neurologist and author of “Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers,” compiles research findings on carbohydrates and their link to chronic diseases like dementia, depression and Alzheimer’s Disease.  Dr. Perlmutter describes a similar series of chemical reactions whereby the consumption of high carbohydrate meals leads to elevated blood sugar and insulin levels, inflammation and which can cause oxidation and subsequently, tissue damage.

As described by Dr. Perlmutter, dementia and cognitive decline like Alzheimer’s Disease are conditions of inflammation and aging in the brain.  Alzheimer’s Disease has also been called Diabetes Type III, due to the correlation between elevated blood sugar and insulin dysfunction in the brain. Additionally, those with Diabetes are at twice the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.

So what does a heart- and brain-healthy diet look like? To start, an ideal diet would eliminate unhealthy fats such as hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils and trans fats, as well as the removal of processed grains and refined sugars. Meals consisting of only grains and easy-to-digest carbohydrates elevate blood sugar, as highlighted by Dr. Perlmutter and Dr. Davis. Consuming a balanced diet high in micronutrients (fruits, vegetables, nuts) can help you maintain your energy, reduce fatigue, eliminate cravings and keep your heart healthy. If you are concerned about your overall well-being, consider contacting a health professional for a complete health assessment and therapeutic lifestyle program to help you achieve your health goals for the New Year.

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Another Happy Client :)

k menech white board note    An adorable 9 year old young lady was referred to me by her pediatrician for back pain.
She told her mother after the first visit “I feel FANTASTIC!”.

Since beginning treatment she has experienced less frequent episodes and less intense
discomfort.  She is excited to feel better and take care of herself!

This is what she wrote for me in a “secret note” on a white board hidden in the office 🙂

My new claim to fame…. I am the BEST BACK PERSON!

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Multivitamins and Minerals Beneficial for Postmenopausal Breast Cancer

breast-cancer-care1Multivitamins are back in the news – this time with significantly positive findings.
The results from a study involving postmenopausal women suggest that women who develop invasive breast cancer may benefit from taking supplements containing both multivitamins and minerals. The research, published today in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, found that the risk of dying from invasive breast cancer was 30 percent lower among multivitamin/mineral users compared with nonusers.

“Our study offers tentative but intriguing evidence that multivitamin/mineral supplements may help older women who develop invasive breast cancer survive their disease,” said Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, Ph.D., lead author of the study and distinguished university professor emerita of epidemiology and population health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.

Read more here


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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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