This week, I provide you with an overview of resources for a healthier gut and body, review some important updates in belly bugs and intestinal health, look at the problems relating to a mouth full of mercury, and finish off with a link to the best headlines in health for September 2016. That’s a lot of brain food for one post…maybe it will distract your mind from the candy jar?
A Happy Gut Update
Last Friday, I had my interview for the Healthy Gut Thinner You Summit with my friend and colleague, Margaret LeDane. I couldn’t believe how fast the interview went and I had prepped with research for several days prior. Being my typical geeky self, there was a bit too much information in my 13-page summary of my original 32-pages. Needless to say, Margaret was great at getting me back on track.
The summit started Monday and opened with an interview with Andrea Beaman. You may recognize Andrea from Bravo’s Top Chef and the cooking show, Fed UP! It was a great energetic start to the beginning of the week and you still have time to catch it.
As promised, Margaret is keeping the event easily accessible, understandable, user-friendly, and straight-to-the-point. Each interview is approximately 30 minutes and available for 3 days, for free! This gives you time to explore fully the expert’s information, website, and free gifts. The goal of the summit is to provide you with resources that allow you to care for your belly in order to achieve better health overall. As with all summits, every speaker has their own tools, methods, opinions, experience, and expertise to share. These learning opportunities provide a great chance to find who and what you feel resonates and empowers you the best on your health journey.
After my own interview, I was pumped, and excited to be supporting Margaret’s vision. I also still desire to share some of these additional resources with you that we ran out of time for. I will be doing that in upcoming blogs.
For this week, I realized I never released my Top Holistic and Integrative Health Reads for last month! Dolt!
I was so caught up in an oily-aromatic-trance from my training on essential oils in Utah, I skipped its release and dove right into sharing my experience. So, I’m a little past due for satisfying my BreakFree friends with some reads that they can skim through on cozy fall nights (and in-between visions of ghosts, goblins, and Turkey Day shopping lists).
What You’ll Find in the Blog:
- Appropriately this month, there’s some wonderful highlights on all things belly health. Topics include the importance of those belly bugs in wellness results, surprising factors related to weight, and some new findings with Celiac Disease. I’ve decided to highlight the “hit list of headlines” right here for you below.
- I also wanted to give you an update on a new study that has me even more concerned for those of you who have mercury fillings. Therefore, I reported on this study and provide some resources for you as well.
- Finally, there’s a link for all of top health headlines for September 2016. You can view all of the Top Holistic and Integrative Health Reads here.
Updates on the Gut
Belly Bugs and Health
- The Rise of the Microbiome: From Health to Hype (a slide show on some of the previous research, latest studies, and future directions on this “new organ.”)
- Fecal Poo Bugs Linked to Weight in Adult Twin Sample
- The Fungus-Bacteria-Belly Bug Communication in Crohn’s
- Gut Microbiome Linked to Kid’s Weight
Factors in Weight Loss
- Holiday Weight Gain- Not Just an American Thing
- Nature Over Nurture for Weight Loss
- How Stress Effects Diet – The Stress-Fat Assimilation Connection Revealed…Finally!
Celiac Disease Updates
- Celiac and Associated Risk Elevations Linked to Quantity Not Timing of Gluten Introduction, Study
- Aberrant Epigenetic Regulation Behind Intestinal Symptoms of Celiac Disease
- Not Celiac but Gluten Free- the Numbers of Americans on GF Diets Rising
- My favorite in this category: A New Enzyme Promising in Treatment for Celiac Disease? Here’s an excerpt on this from Science Daily, “Rothia bacteria, found in human saliva, can break down gluten compounds that cause an exaggerated immune response and that are typically resistant to the digestive enzymes that mammals produce. The team isolated a new class of enzymes — gluten-degrading enzymes from Rothia mucilaginosa, an oral microbial colonizer — from Rothia bacteria. The identified Rothia enzymes belong to the same class as food-grade Bacillus enzymes.”
Another article that I felt deserves singling out is one that highlights big data medicine. This is the first preliminary report that includes 6 brain imaging methods done on each volunteer in the brain scanner. Science Daily reports, “UK Biobank will be the world’s largest health imaging study. The imaging is funded by the Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, and the British Heart Foundation. It was launched in April 2016 after a number of years of planning and consultation with a large number of health and scanning experts. With the ambitious goal of imaging 100,000 existing UK Biobank participants, it is creating the biggest collection of scans of internal organs, to transform the way scientists study a wide range of diseases, including dementia, arthritis, cancer, heart attacks and stroke.”
The Dangers That Lurk in Your Mouth
Bad Health News for Mercury Mouths
Did you know that your fillings could be effecting your health? I’ve written on this previously and now will report on a new study that showed how dental fillings can contribute to mercury levels in the body. Click here to get more information on this study and a related one that discusses mercury’s negative affect on exercise benefits.
What To Do Now That You Know of Mercury Woes?
Knowing that it’s a concern is a good place to start. Many aren’t aware of the profound effects our dental health has on our overall wellness. Furthermore, many aren’t aware that their teeth may even have metal fillings!
What is especially concerning with environmental exposures is that many environmental experts believe their risks are underestimated and/or “swept under the table.” This link, Understanding Risk Assessment for Mercury From Dental Amalgam, reviews the caveats of estimating harmful effects of mercury based on current risk assessments. These include:
- variability in genetics for detoxifying mercury (making some more sensitive to its effects)
- there is no definitive Lowest-Observed-Adverse-Effect-Level (LOAEL)
- reproductive data is uncertain
- issues with translating animal studies to human adverse effects
Symptoms of Mercury Overload
How do you know if mercury overload is something that may be affecting you? This is an excerpt from Chris Kresser’s website on mercury. It provides an excellent overview of all the factors and effects of mercury on the system. As written by Amy Nett, MD:
While the variety of ways in which mercury affects each of us is too much to cover in this article, here’s a list of some signs and symptoms that mercury is affecting your health:
- Anxiety (10)
- Depression (11)
- Brain fog or decreased concentration
- Ataxia (decreased control over muscular movements such as with walking or picking up objects)
- Sleep disturbance in children (13)
- Autoimmune disease (14, 15)
- Allergies (16, 17)
- Multiple chemical sensitivity (18)
- Paresthesias or neuropathy
- Hearing loss
- Dysarthria (characterized by slurred or slow speech due to weakness or poor control over the muscles used for speech)
- Muscle tremor
- Movement disorders
- Hair loss (19)
- Hormonal dysregulation including abnormal menstrual cycles and infertility (20, 21, 22).
- Cardiovascular disease including hypertension, coronary heart disease, transient ischemia attacks or stroke, or other vascular diseases (23)
- Kidney dysfunction including proteinuria (or “spilling” proteins into the urine)
If you click on this link, you can follow the references in the article.
What You Can Consider Now If Your Mouth is Full of Metal
Many people who are struggling with chronic health issues may decide to have their mercury or other dental restoratives removed and replaced with more inert materials. Some thorough biological dentists and integrative practitioners will choose to test to see how these metals have impacted immune health.
I believe this article will be a good place to start if you are looking for or working with an integrative practitioner to ensure your body stays optimized when dealing with a heavy metal burden. Many doctors may have been introduced to the concept, but may not specialize in it and welcome the guidance.
Building a Foundation
For most of my clients with metal fillings or extensive dental work in their health histories, I recommend to start with the basics that include implementing a whole food organic diet, replacing toxic products with safe personal care and cleaning products, drinking lots of filtered water, and diffusing essential oils. All of these action steps can provide a good base support for anyone in this toxic world. (Here’s a quick read on some of these tips with resources, such as water filters.)
Getting Ready for Removal
Following building the foundation, the next step is getting people to the point where their bodies can handle removal. Removing metals or toxins too soon can be uncomfortable at best, or, can cause bad side effects and harm at worse. Furthermore, moving forward with chelation straight away can cause stress on the kidneys.
Below are some basic steps I follow before moving to more individualized protocols for metal clearance or referral for chelation. (You can find most of these supplements on Fullscript, if your doc doesn’t have access.)
- Ensuring the gut is not permeable (AKA “leaky gut.”) This is done through nutrition and additional intestinal healing supplement. (I like GI Revive and probiotics. Note, the GI Revive can affect medications, so check with your doc.)
- Making sure the bowels are staying “regular.” (Gentle support can be given with increased dosages of magnesium and vitamin C to “bowel tolerance.“)
- Supporting their detoxification systems, this is more individualized. For those particularly sensitive, it’s great to have a genetic profile to see which detox pathways may need more support. Most people can generally be supported with some vitamin C and the first two steps.
- Using essential oils which encourage endogenous support for detox and support overall wellness during the process.
- I have most of my clients swishing with Silvercillin spray to keep their mouth microbiome optimized. (There is good evidence for modulating many pathogenic microbes and keeping the mouth healthy, here’s a reference). I also suggest an essential oils toothpaste to prevent inflammation in the mouth.
- Ensuring adequate hydration, herbals, and I have found that coQ10 may be helpful in supporting kidney health.
- Basic sleep hygiene, emotional support, and movement are complementary in the process of alleviating body burden.
I hope that I’ve provided you with some solutions and a basic understanding of how what’s in your mouth is an important factor in overall health. Below are some additional references for you:
Mercury Free Dentistry provides resources on how to safely remove amalgams
Dr. Mercola’s mercury-free informative articles and videos