Girl on phone


Ah, man! I did it again.

Nerd, geek, crazy research-reviewer, that’s me!

It was time for me to sit and write my monthly “Top Holistic Health Reads” for this month, and I realized something. I got a little (a lot) crazy.

Good thing I had my sacred frankincense on hand for the discomfort in my wrist which resulted as I scrolled down my 50 pages of abstracts, headlines, and article summaries for the month of October.

No, I swear, this is not a trick to scare you…although some of the latest findings I found on our chemical world explosion may make your belly gurgle! In fact, it’s a treat to share the knowledge of natural medicine and the latest news in health that may influence or impact your wellness and everyday life.

stress or relax

It seems that I’m either more of a crazy, avid, reader (it’s possible) or that there is an acceleration of available science on the impact of lifestyle, diet, nutrigenomics, and epigenetics. Why am I so passionate about it?

Well, because my mission is to help others BreakFree from fear of disease and empower them to stay well. This avalanche of research is making it almost impossible to blame our health on genetics alone and provides us with means to get and stay well!

So, here are some of the latest news/ updates that I’m really excited to share with you. I picked out the ones that I just can’t wait until next week to write about. These will provide you with my major geek-out confessions and get you pumped for Part II of next week’s release of the official “Top Holistic Health Reads of October 2014.” I’ve also broken up my findings into two installments for these other reasons:

  • in the interest of my family’s sanity watching me stare at my computer and worrying about EMF exposures
  • not wanting to overwhelm you (or my webpage master)
  • the fact that I’ll be away next weekend for training so I’ll have even more information to share!
    • Sideline- I will be taking advantage of the brain-boosting benefits of essentials oils. Even though they aren’t categorized as such, I use essential oils as nootropics (brain enhancers). They are synergistic, so they modulate your nervous system vs. stimulate it.
    • As an example, you can check out all the cool ways lavender modulates the nervous system and brain activity in this study. If you really did read the whole thing and wonder about the toxicity/safety data, check out this article.
  • the avoidance of a blog appearing as a dissertation on the power of holistic wellness on health outcomes. (That’s a good article idea for a journal, though!)



Major Geek-Out Confessions for the Month of October

water drop


1. Sacred Frankincense

At the beginning of the month, I posted on sacred frankincense and all its amazing wellness properties. I like to think that I’m partially responsible for the low availability of this oil at Young Living. After reading my scientific update, perhaps everyone stocked up so they could support their health by sniffing, rubbing, and imbibing this genuine oil. Alas, I am not that powerful. I think it may be for other reasons. ;-D Read them here.


2. Seneff’s Research, the Sun, & Vitamin D

Last month, I wrote about a researcher’s theory that a pesticide was causing an increase in celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. This month, I was reading more articles by this same researcher.

I find Stephanie Seneff’s work fascinating because she explores how biochemistry and modern themes in health may be connected beyond correlation and modulating one enzymatic pathway. (1-2) Stephanie is taking a spin on these hot topics and connecting the dots in an individualized and unique way. This is how new science and exploration starts. You ask a question and try to find out if the answer is true.

Recently, I was reading her theory on the interconnection between nitric oxide (a cellular signaling molecule) and sulfate. Seneff and her co-writers propose that sulfate plays a major role on cholesterol trafficking, recycling of cellular debris, maintaining proper flow of the cardiovascular system, and is involved in glucose metabolism. She is a big proponent that the effect of sun exposure is not just about vitamin D, but as a means of supplying sulfate in order to modulate the effect of cholesterol in the human body. (1-2)

Here’s the abstract of this inference:

Theoretical inferences, based on biophysical, biochemical, and biosemiotic considerations, are related here to the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other degenerative conditions. We suggest that the “daytime” job of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), when sunlight is available, is to catalyze sulfate production. There is a striking alignment between cell types that produce either cholesterol sulfate or sulfated polysaccharides and those that contain eNOS. The signaling gas, nitric oxide, a well-known product of eNOS, produces pathological effects not shared by hydrogen sulfide, a sulfur-based signaling gas. We propose that sulfate plays an essential role in HDL-A1 cholesterol trafficking and in sulfation of heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs), both critical to lysosomal recycling (or disposal) of cellular debris. HSPGs are also crucial in glucose metabolism, protecting against diabetes, and in maintaining blood colloidal suspension and capillary flow, through systems dependent on water-structuring properties of sulfate, an anionic kosmotrope. When sunlight exposure is insufficient, lipids accumulate in the atheroma in order to supply cholesterol and sulfate to the heart, using a process that depends upon inflammation. The inevitable conclusion is that dietary sulfur and adequate sunlight can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, and other disease conditions. (1)

…Speaking of Vitamin D

 A Cloudy Day

The Vitamin D, Prostate Cancer, & Inflammation Connection

A new abstract demonstrated that there could be a connection between inflammation, prostate cancer, and vitamin D. (3-4) The researchers aimed to see if there was a relationship between the levels of growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15) and prostatectomy specimens. (3) They only found an association in the samples containing inflammation. Their findings demonstrated that GDF-15 was inversely related to inflammation. (4) They reported:

The inverse relationship between GDF-15 and inflammation demonstrates a novel expression pattern for GDF-15 in the human prostate and suppression of NF?B activity may shed light on a potential mechanism for this inverse correlation. (3)

After the results were released, Science Daily reported on this as a potential link between vitamin D and prostate cancer:

A new study offers compelling evidence that inflammation may be the link between vitamin D and prostate cancer. Specifically, the study shows that the gene GDF-15, known to be upregulated by vitamin D, is notably absent in samples of human prostate cancer driven by inflammation.


I have a caveat about this.

Should this molecular pathway that explains one mechanism in which vitamin D may modulate tumor growth be the main focus? Or, is it more proof that excessive inflammation is the key player in our immune response?

In other words, are healthier men better able to form and utilize vitamin D because they have less cellular signaling awry?

For example, according to the National Cancer Institute, many studies show correlations of levels of vitamin D to prostate cancer aggressiveness. However, treatment with vitamin D is mixed results. Here’s where Stephanie’s work might provide an explanation:

  • Vitamin D from sunlight exposure has been studied for possible effects on prostate cancer rates. A 2006 study found that PSA levels rise at a slower rate during the spring and summer compared to other times of the year, suggesting this may be due to higher vitamin D levels during those months. Another study found that while men with low levels of sun exposure had increased risk of all prostate cancers, those with prostate cancer who had less sun exposure showed lower risk of advanced disease.
  • Geographic patterns of deaths in the United States from 1950 to 1994 showed that higher death rates from prostate cancer occurred in parts of the country with lower levels of UV radiation from sunlight. This effect is strongest in places more than 40 degrees north of the equator, where sunlight is weakest during the winter months. These findings support the theory that lack of vitamin D increases the risk for prostate cancer. (5)


More Vitamin D Levels & Health Links

Researchers from the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology reported on the correlational findings with vitamin D and diabetes. They write:

Interpretation: The association between 25(OH)D concentration and type 2 diabetes is unlikely to be causal. Efforts to increase 25(OH)D concentrations might not reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes as would be expected on the basis of observational evidence. These findings warrant further investigations to identify causal factors that might increase 25(OH)D concentration and also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. (6)


Vitamin D Helps Atopic Dermatitis

Yet, there may be a cause-effect in some instances:

A study conducted in more than 100 Mongolian schoolchildren found that daily treatment with a vitamin D supplement significantly reduced the symptoms of winter-related atopic dermatitis, a type of eczema. (7)

Could it be that providing vitamin D in a population which is likely to be deficient at a dose of 1000IU (notice the dose) could be helpful with symptoms?

Would treating inflammation have been as effective as vitamin D in this instance?

That would be a cool scientific follow up! Seneff, I challenge you. ;-D


Almost twins

3. I’ve Inherited Joint Pain & It’s My Kid’s Fault!?

Epigenetics: The Roles Reverse in This Study

I’ve written a lot on how parents-to-be can modulate their children’s risk of developing diseases through lifestyle and nutritional factors that interplay with gene expression. In other words, although we can’t change our genetic blueprint, we can change how it reads.

However, a recent study showed that fetal cells that circulate in moms’ bodies post-natally (fetal microchimerism) can remain for several decades impacting women’s risk for rheumatoid arthritis. According to an article in Medscape from the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2014 Annual Meeting (8):

So far, the researchers have recruited 300 mothers with rheumatoid arthritis, 550 of their children, and 200 of the children’s fathers. The control group consists of 300 mothers without rheumatoid arthritis, 530 of their children, and 260 of their children’s fathers.

Having a shared epitope-positive child significantly increased the risk for rheumatoid arthritis in a shared epitope-negative mother (odds ratio [OR], 2.56; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.43 – 4.58), but not in a shared epitope-positive mother (OR 1.48; 95% CI, 0.83-2.62).

The researchers found that ancestry, parity, and history of transfusion did not affect the results.

According to the same article:

One theory to explain this phenomenon is that a woman’s immune system detects proteins produced by the fetus and mistakenly tags lingering fetal cells as a threat, causing an immune reaction and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, Cruz said. (8)

Now, read on about the gluten-dairy-gene connection and tell me what you think about my thoughts and articles below!

Note: The office will be closed November 6th- November 12th for training. I’ll be back to share with you all I learned!


(1) Seneff S, Lauritzen A, Davidson R, Lentz-Marino L. Is Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase a Moonlighting Protein Whose Day Job is Cholesterol Sulfate Synthesis? Implications for Cholesterol Transport, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease. Entropy. 2012; 14(12):2492-2530.

(2) Mercola, J. How Sun Exposure Improves Your Health and How Glyphosate Disrupts It. Mercola. Com. October 19, 2014.

(3) James R. Lambert, Ramon J. Whitson, Kenneth A. Iczkowski, Francisco G. La Rosa, Maxwell L. Smith, R. Storey Wilson, Elizabeth E. Smith, Kathleen C. Torkko, Hamid H. Gari, M. Scott Lucia. Reduced expression of GDF-15 is associated with atrophic inflammatory lesions of the prostate. The Prostate, 2014; DOI: 10.1002/pros.22911

(4) University of Colorado Denver. Finally: Missing link between vitamin D, prostate cancer. Science Daily. October 22, 2014.

(5) National Cancer Institute. Questions and Answers About Vitamin D. NIH. Questions and Answers About Vitamin D.

(6) Zheng Ye PhD,Stephen J Sharp MSc,Stephen Burgess PhD,Robert A Scott PhD,Fumiaki Imamura PhD,InterAct Consortium ,Claudia Langenberg PhD,Prof Nicholas J Wareham FRCP,Dr Nita G Forouhi FFPHM. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. October 1, 2014.DOI: 10.1016/S2213-8587(14)70184-6

(7) Massachusetts General Hospital. Vitamin D significantly improves symptoms of winter-related atopic dermatitis in children. Science Daily. October 3. 2014. <>.

(8) Harrison, L. Child’s Genes Affect Mom’s Risk for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Medscape Medical News from the: American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2014 Annual Meeting . October 24, 2014.

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