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Nutrition

Our bodies need fuel to function.  They are fueled by vitamins, minerals, amino acids, carbohydrates, fats, and water. Hundreds of years ago the food that was consumed was locally grown and organic. There were no pesticides. Roundup hadn’t been invented. Our soils were more nutritionally dense. Today we eat processed food, trans fats, artificial colors and sweeteners and far too much high fructose corn syrup.  With the way our food supply is changing, it seems to be getting more and more difficult to avoid some of these unhealthy chemicals.   Recently we have seen a push to remove trans fats from our food supply which is a step in the right direction but there is a long way to go. 

On a more positive note there have been significant advances in our understanding of nutritional biochemisty and there is a developing field called epigenetics, which studies how our gene expression can be altered by our diet and environment.  It is very exciting to be able to change our gene expression in favorable ways to reduce our health risks.   Vitamin supplementation has been around for a long time and the science is starting to catch up to the practice.  We are learning the how and why vitamin supplementation is helpful.  Simple changes in our diet and vitamin supplementation can make a huge difference in how we feel and function.  We offer our patients nutritional assessments. Our goal is provide the resources and tools our patients need to optimize their health and improve their quality of life.

Q: Is there a way to test my nutritional status?
A: Yes, there are some simple tests that give us an idea of your overall nutritional status.  Simple Hair analysis can inexpensively and non-invasively give us an idea of our overall nutritional status.  It is also used as a screen for the potential exposure to toxic heavy metals.

Q: Are people deficient in vitamins today?
A:  In general, yes.   Take vitamin D for example, almost everyone we test is low on vitamin D.  There is a vast body of science showing the many health benefits of vitamin D.  You may be surprised to learn the important role that vitamin D plays in your health.  It is essential for maintaining normal nervous system function, immune system function and has been shown to play a role in preventing cancer.  According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin D may play a role in osteoporosis, alzheimers, cancer and several other diseases.

Q: What types of vitamin treatments do you offer?
A: We offer nutritional counseling on hundreds of different products. We also offer several IV therapies for nutritional support. including multivitamin, felice, gaby, myers cocktails, vitamin C IVs, and others.

Q: What are some of the problems with food today?
A: Today the majority of our food is either processed, contaminated with chemicals, contaminated with pesticides, or contains genetically engineered food?  Our soils are also depleted in nutrition resulting in less nutritional benefit from the food we eat.

Q: Do big poultry producers really bath the chickens in chlorine?
A: Yes. Organic farmers do not use chlorine to kill the bacteria on the chickens, because they do not have to.  The way the chickens are grown and handled results in much healthier chicken and less bacteria. However, big poultry processing plants have chickens with a high amount of bacteria, so they routinely use the lethal chemical chlorine to decrease the amount of bacteria on the chickens after they have been slaughtered.

Q: Are chickens really fed arsenic? And isn’t arsenic toxic?
A: Yes and yes.  Arsenic is toxic to parasites, to chickens and to humans. Some poultry farmers put arsenic in chicken feed to kill off intestinal parasites this results in bigger chickens. However, when humans consume arsenic fed chicken the arsenic is now in the human’s body.  Symptoms of arsenic exposure/poisoning include the following:

Burning sensation in the mouth & throat   Constricted feeling in the throat
Abdominal pain Cramping
Diarrhea Vomiting
Garlicky odor to stools Garlicky odor to breath
Vertigo Delirium
Coma Convulsions
Liver failure Renal failure ensues
Fatigue Weakness

Q: Are chickens fed antibiotics and could this lead to problems?
A: Yes and yes. Chickens have been fed large amounts of antibiotics since the 1940’s. This can lead to antibiotic resistance. Currently, chickens have to have a period free of antibiotics prior to being slaughtered.

Q: Are there any problems with cattle being feed corn instead grass?
A: Up until World War II all beef was grass fed.  The majority of beef today comes from cows which are fed corn, which in the short term is a less expensive option. However, cows fed corn have a more acidic stomach which leads to a plethora of negative health consequences including bloating, diarrhea, ulcers, liver disease, a weakened immune system and infections.  These cattle are then fed antibiotics to help combat all these problems. One organism that can thrive in corn fed cows is E.Coli.  The deadly E. coli strain 0157:H7 is believed to have evolved in the gut of corn fed cattle.  According to the CDC humans become infected with E. coli when they ingest small “usually invisible amounts of human or animal feces.” “This happens more often than we would like to think.”    When we are eating corn fed cattle we are eating meat from cows that are less healthy and this has an impact on our health.

Q: What are genetically modified or genetically engineered foods?
A: According to the World Health Organization, “genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be defined as organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally.”

Q: Is it possible for genes from genetically modified foods to transfer to bacteria or human cells?
A: Yes.

Q: Could gene transfer from genetically modified (GM) foods cause problems?
A: Yes.   According to the World Health Organization, “Gene transfer from GM foods to cells of the body or to bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract would cause concern if the transferred genetic material adversely affects human health. This would be particularly relevant if antibiotic resistance genes, used in creating GMOs, were to be transferred.”

Soybeans Cottonseed
Corn Canola

Q: What percent of food is genetically modified?
A: Since their introduction in 1996 the amount of genetically engineered food has sky rocketed. According to the United States Department of agriculture from 2010 to 2011 ~90% of soybeans, ~70% cotton, ~65-70% of corn were genetically modified.  According to California’s Department of Food and Agriculture, 70% of processed foods in American supermarkets now contain genetically modified food.

Q: How do I know if the food I am eating is genetically modified?
A: In the US, food that is genetically modified does NOT have to be labeled genetically modified.  This results in the majority of Americans not knowing they are eating genetically modified food on a daily basis.  You can read the label if the food contains either soybean, cotton, corn or canola oil there is a good chance it is genetically modified. 

Q: Do other countries have labels on genetically modified food?
A: Yes, the European Union, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Russia and China have laws requiring genetically modified food to be labeled.

Q: What do animals think of genetically modified foods?
A:  Animals, unlike humans, often have a natural sense of what is good for their health.  In the book, Seeds of Deception, author Jeffrey Smith tells a story of cows going out of their way to eat natural non genetically modified corn. They will always choose natural non modified corn if given a choice.  They will only if eat genetically modified corn if forced to do so.

Resources:
http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/ecoli_o157h7/#difference
http://www.ers.usda.gov/Data/BiotechCrops/
http://www.healthytheory.com/corn-fed-vs-grass-fed-beef
http://justlabelit.org/right-to-know/
http://www.organicitsworthit.org/quick/gmos-101
http://www.thedailygreen.com/living-green/blogs/organic-parenting/chlorine-chicken-55063002
http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/biotech/20questions/en/