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Dr. James Chandler, N.D., Ph.D

Traditional Naturopathy

Chandler Naturopathic Health Center

Go Natural - Your Natural Health Alternative

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The need for iodine

Posted on June 4, 2012 at 1:49 PM Comments comments (40)
     A somewhat rare element, iodine is utilized by every cell of the body.  It is most concentrated in the glands of the body, especially the thyroid gland.  Large amounts are also stored in the salivary glands, breast, ovaries, gastric mucosa, cerebrospinal fluid and the brain, and the ciliary body of the eye (just behind the iris).  Iodine is considered to be antibacterial, anti parasitic, antiviral (three great reasons why we used iodine tablets to purify water in the armed forces), anticancer, elevates pH, and is a mucolytic agent (expectorant).
     Iodine was discovered in 1811, by accident, by Bernard Courtois during the process of making gunpowder from potassium and sodium compounds from seaweed.  Iodine was first used, medically, to treat goiter (swelling of the thyroid gland) by Francois Coindet.  In the early 1900s, iodine was use to prevent and treat goiter in the United States by adding iodine to table salt.  Since the practice of the US government adding potassium iodide to salt, the incidences of goiter in the US have fallen dramatically.
     Today, probably less than 30 percent of Americans use iodized table salt.  Over the past 30 years studies show that iodine levels have dropped in the US population by 50 percent.  Pregnant women with low levels of iodine have increased by a whopping 690 percent.  Since iodine is vital for fetal development, low iodine levels of pregnant women have been shown to increase the risks  of such birth defects as: cretinism, mental retardation, attention deficit disorder among other health issues in children.
   What can be treated with iodine?   There is a list of conditions that would benefit from supplementing with iodine or eating iodine rich foods.  Some of these conditions are: ADD/ADHD, atherosclerosis, breast diseases (including fibrocystic breasts), excess mucous production, fatigue, thyroid disorders (including goiter), hemorrhoids, headaches (including migraines), hypertension (high blood pressure), infections, keloids (excessive growth of scar tissue), liver diseases, ovarian diseases, prostate disorders, sebaceous cysts, vaginal infections, and weight gain.
     What causes an iodine deficiency?  The problem with salt.  The iodine in regular table salt is poorly available for up take by the body plus the negative medical statements about salt intake have produced a decline in salt intake by the population as a whole.  certain lifestyles and diets are also a major factor in the declining iodine intake.  Diets low in ocean fish and sea vegetables, diets high in refined wheat that contain bromide such as pastries, bread, and pasta, and vegetarian and vegan diets may cause a deficiency.Exposure to perchlorate ( a chemical manufactured for rocket fuel and other industrial uses) can displace iodine.  Perchlorate contamination of our drinking water is widespread and continues to increase throughout the nation.
     Foods that are high in iodine include: dairy products, iodized salt, seafood, saltwater fish, kelp, asparagus, dulse, garlic, Lima beans, mushrooms, sea salt, sesame seeds, soybeans, spinach, summer squash, swiss chard and turnip greens.  Supplementation from kelp tablets may be helpful.
     Foods that can block the uptake of iodine to the thyroid are: Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, peaches, pears, spinach and turnips.  These foods eaten in large quantities and in raw form may block iodine uptake.  It is advised to cook them before you eat them.  If you have an under active thyroid (hypo-thyroid) you should consider limiting your consumption of these foods in their raw form.
 
Source:
Brownstein, David (2009) Iodine, why you need it, why you can't live without it.  West Bloomfield, MI: Medical Alternative Press.
 

Vitamin B-12 Could it be B-12?

Posted on May 18, 2012 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (46)
     Today, I close out the discussion on B vitamins with a lookat B-12, my favorite B vitamin.  VitaminB-12, Methylcobalamin, is said to be the most “chemically complex of all of thevitamins.”  Its beautiful ruby red colorcertainly makes it the most beautiful of all of the vitamins.  It is the name of a group of essential biologicalcompounds known as cobalamins.  Thesecolalamins, similar to hemoglobin in the blood, contain cobalt instead ofiron.  There are two forms of B-12, thefirst is cyanocobalamin.  This is themost common form, it is less expensive and easier to manufacture.   Unfortunately, it is also the most difficultfor the body to absorb.  The very smallamount that is absorb, usually never finds its way into the cell where it isneeded.  People that take this form ofB-12 continue to be deficient in this vitamin although the live does convert avery small amount of cyanocobalamin into the more active and more absorbablemethylcobalamin form.
     Methylcobalaminactively supports the growth and provides protection of the nervous system,especially as we age.  Some studiessuggest that it may be beneficial in treating people with Parkinson’s diseaseand may be able to slow the progression of the disease.  Other neurological disorders that may benefitfrom this form of B-12 are Bell’s palsy, multiple sclerosis, and others.    A study published in the Journal ofNeurological Science (1994), suggested that methylocobalamin could assist inthe regeneration of nerves, a rare feat by any substance.    Methylocobalamin is a crucial component inthe conversion of homocysteine into methionine, which is used to buildprotein.  As discussed in other articles,elevated homocysteine levels play a major role in developing cardiovasculardiseases.  By converting homocysteineinto methionine, it plays an important role in protein synthesis that isnecessary for cardiovascular function.
     I first was shownthe extremely important benefits of B-12 through a television program featuringDr Richard Becker, DO and his guest Dr. Jeffrey Stuart, D.O. and Sally Pacholokauthors of  the book, Couldit be B-12.  He presented afantastic show on this wonderful vitamin. The roles vitamin B-12 has are many. It is needed to prevent anemia (especially in the elderly), it assistfolic acid in regulating red cell formation, it is required for proper digestion,absorption of food nutrients, and the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates,prevents nerve damage, it protects the fatty sheaths that cover and protect thenerve endings, and it assists in treating insomnia by promoting normal sleeppatterns. 
     Though B-12 is awater soluble vitamin, the body does store up to five years of it.  However, day to day stresses, improper diet,aging, people with digestive disorders, pollution, and medication all depleteour stores of B-12 in a relatively short time. It is estimated that 50 percent of the population over age 50 has adeficiency.  Those under age fifty with adeficiency is not well known because of the testing requirements. The mostcommon reason for deficiency in older adults is malabsorption.   Those using anti-gout medication,anticoagulants, metformin and those people taking potassium supplements may beblocking the absorption of B-12.  Deficiency can cause abnormal gait (as inpeople with Parkinson’s), dementia, bone loss, chronic fatigue, constipation, depression(including postpartum) , digestive disorders (which leads to furtherdepletion), dizziness, drowsiness, liver enlargement, disorders of the eyes,hallucinations, headaches, swollen tongue, irritability, labored breathing,memory loss, moodiness, nervousness, neurological damage, palpitations, perniciousanemia, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and degeneration of the spinal cord.
     Good food sourcesof B-12 are:  Meat, kidney, liver,seafood; eggs, milk, and dairy; brewer’s yeast, sea vegetables like: dulse,kelp, kombu, and nori.  Most othervegetables lack vitamin B-12.  Supplementation is always a good choice. The methylcobalamin form is the best supplement source.  Those with digestive and absorptiondifficulties should take a sublingual form or injections.  There are no restrictions on the amount of B-12one can take at this time.   A dailymultiple vitamin is not enough for someone in trouble.   Most people could take 1,000 mcg to 5, 0000mcg daily.  However, those that havedigestive and malabsorption difficulties should consider discussing testingwith their doctor before starting a supplement. Blood serum test are generally not conclusive and you should also requesta test to check methylmalonic acid (MMA) levels.
 
There are so many people that could have a deficiency in B complex vitamins.  All of the B vitamins have simular associated disorders when levels are low.  It is always best to take B vitamins together in a complex formulation.  However, there are times and conditions that require additional supplementation of specific B vitamins.  With most B vitamins there are no toxic levels (B-12 is an excellent example), but there are a few that can be toxic if taken in large doses.  Should you take B complex vitamins?  If so, how uch should you take?  Generally speaking, B complex vitamin formulas in the 25 mg to 75 mg range are reqarded as safe. 
 
If you would like a B complex supplement, go to www.drchandlernd.com and on the "store" page click on the DaVinci Labs link.
 

Vitamin B-11 Pteryl-hepta-glutamic acid

Posted on May 17, 2012 at 4:56 PM Comments comments (45)
    Vitamin B-11 is a member of the B complex family of vitamins.  Sometimes referred to as vitamin S or S factor, B-11 is also considerate a folate (like B- 9) and is a derivative of B-9.  Folate and folic acid derive their names from the Latin word folium(which means "leaf"). Green leafy vegetables are a primary source of this nutrient, however, in Western diets bread and cereals fortified with folate may be a larger dietary source.  An argument can be (and has been) made that enriched sources (bread and cereal) may not provide the absorption  levels from leaf vegetables and in fact, be of no help at all.  This is in part because of the other chemicals(namely bromine) used in the process of making bread and cereal.  Bromine competes with other vitamins and minerals in absorption.
     A lack of folic acid leads to folate deficiency, an uncommon condition in the normal American diet.  A complete lack of dietary folate takes months before deficiency develops.   Most individuals have about 500–20,000 µg of folate stored in the body.  It is not that uncommon to have depleted or less than optimal levels within the body for a variety of reasons, eating breads and cereals and no green leafy vegetables is only one of many.  Stress, (whether from work, home, air pollution, or illness) also depletes stores of this nutrient.  Any type of gut or intestinal illness (IBS, IBD, GERD, diarrhea, constipation, yeast infections, and parasites) blocks the manufacturing and absorption of B-11.   
     A less than optimal level may result in many health problems, the most notable one being neural tube defects in developing embryos.  Symptoms of folate deficiency include diarrhea, anemia with a shortness of breath and/or weakness, lack of appetite, nerve damage,  numbness  and weakness in the limbs, lower immunity, fatigue, pregnancy complications, mental confusion, forgetfulness or other cognitive declines, depression, sore or swollen tongue, peptic or mouth ulcers, headaches, heart palpitations, irritability, behavioral disorders, and weight loss. Low levels of folate can also lead to impaired DNA synthesis and repair which could eventually lead to formation of cancers and homocysteine accumulation.  Homocysteine,though a natural substance made by the body, is thought to irritate the lining of the blood vessels causing them to become scarred, hardened, and narrowed.This increases the work the heart must do, leading to heart disease. High levels of homocysteine levels also cause increased blood clotting.  Folate is required in the synthesis and breakdown of homocysteine.
     The benefits of adequate levels of B-11 are enormous. Vitamin B-11, combined with B-12, is involved in the formation of RNA and DNA.  B-11 is essential for growth and in forming tissue, in developing the brain, is essential for the development of the fetus nervous system and the spinal marrow of the fetus, is essential for cell division, reduces the risk of cardiac functions, is essential for the re-methylation of homocysteine, it plays a very essential role in the immune system and in blood production.
 
Do you need B vitamins?  Go to www.drchandlernd.com and on the "store" page click on Davinci Labs link.
 
 
 

Do you want stronger hair and nails? Vitamin B-7 may be your answer.

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 10:57 AM Comments comments (34)
     Most mothers have encountered the condition called "cradle cap".  The condition is characterized by a baby's dry and scaly scalp.  Biotin deficiency maybe responsible. 
     Biotin assists in cell growth, in the production of fatty acids (omega 3, 6, 9), assists in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and protein, and in the utilization of other B complex vitamins.   Healthy hair and skin depend on sufficient quantities of biotin.  Some studies suggest that supplementing with 100 mg of biotin daily may help prevent hair loss in some men.  Biotin helps relieve muscle pain, promotes healthy functioning of sweat glands, nerve tissue and bone marrow.
     Biotin is produce in the intestines.  People who suffer from intestinal problems, intestinal dysbiosis (altered bowel flora), and other  bowel related disorders may be susceptible to low levels of this B vitamin.  Use of proton pump inhibitors (PPI), antacids, antibiotics, and other drugs such as sulfa drugs, may inhibit the production of biotin in the intestines.
     Deficiency can cause anemia, depression, hair loss, high blood sugar, inflammation of the skin and mucous membranes, insomnia, loss of appetite, muscular pain, nausea, and soreness of the tongue.  Many athletes consume raw eggs in their sakes and smoothies.  This practice binds biotin with an egg protein (avidin) in the intestines and depletes the body of this nutrient.  Also, fats and oils that have been subjected to heat or exposed to air for any length of time block the absorption of biotin.
     Food sources include: brewer's yeast, meats (including poultry and fish), cooked egg yolks, whole grains, milk and soybeans.
 
Looking for Biotin supplements?  Go to www.drchandlernd.com and on the store page, click on the  DaVinci Laboratories link.
 
Source
Balch, Phyllis A., (2010) Prescription for Nutritional Healing, NY: Penguin Group p24
 

The "Beauty" Vitamin: PABA Vitamin B-10

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 10:54 AM Comments comments (36)
     Vitamin B-10, also known as PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid) is commonly used as a skin protector against pollution and sun damage.  Its anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic properties are essential in the growth and regulation of skin cells and in the normal pigmentation of the skin.  PABA helps protect against sunburn by reducing the absorption of ultra violet -B radiation thus, helping to prevent skin cancers.
     PABA is a constituent of folate and helps in the assimilation of pantothenic acid (B-5).  Like most B vitamin, PABA acts as a co enzyme which helps in the breakdown and utilization of proteins and helps in the formation of red blood cells. 
      PABA offers various health benefits such as treating depression, eczema, scleroderma, irritability, loss of skin pigmentation, fatigue, fibrotic skin disorders,and  irritable bowel syndrome. Some researchers suggest that supplementing with PABA may help in restoring gray hair to its original color, if the graying was caused by stress or deficiencies in nutrition.  Other benefits of PABA include: protection against second hand smoke, air pollutants, inflammation in arthritis and improved flexibility.  PABA's anti-inflammatory properties has been shown to help prevent signs of premature aging by diminishing wrinkles, firming sagging skin, and reducing the appearance of age spots on the skin and vitiligo.
     People that have a deficiency of low levels of PABA may have symptoms of de-pigmentation of the skin (patchy white areas), skin related disorders such as eczema,  irritability, nervousness, constipation, depression, hyperthyroidism, and anxiety.
     Food sources of PABA include:  Organ meat (kidney and liver), vegetable sources are green leafy vegetables (spinach), Grains such as: whole grains, bran, mushrooms, eggs, molasses, and yogurt. 
     Looking for PABA supplements?  Go to www.drchandlernd.com and on the "store" page click on the DaVinci link.
 
Source
 
Balch, Phyllis A. (2010) Prescription for Nutritional Healing, NY: Penguin Group

Folic Acid, The Brain Food (B-9)

Posted on May 14, 2012 at 11:48 AM Comments comments (43)
     Pteroylglutamic acid (PGA), also known as folic acid, folacin, and folate (B-9), is needed for the formation of red blood cells and in the production of energy. It is a key player in strengthening immunity through aiding in the formation of and functioning of white blood cells.  B-9 is important in the healthy cell division and replication through it's coenzyme properties involved in DNA and RNA.  Folate also helps in the regulation of homocysteine levels (an amino acid that if is unregulated can lead to hardening of the arteries).  Folate may help people with depression or anxiety and people with uterine cervical dysplasia.
     During pregnancy, folate plays a vital role in regulating embryonic and fetal nerve cell formation.  For this reason, most experts recommend that every woman of child baring age take a folate supplement.  Taking as little as 400 mcg daily may help to prevent premature birth, neural tube defects such as , spina bifida.
     Signs of low levels of folate include:  a sore, red tongue, anemia, apathy, digestive disturbances, fatigue, graying hair, growth impairment, insomnia, labored breathing, memory problems, paranoia, weakness and birth defects in offspring.
     Conditions that may lead to low levels of folate include: inadequate consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, consumption of only cooked vegetables, malabsorption problems, consumption of alcohol and the use of oral contraceptives.
     Foods that contain folate are: Vegetables; asparagus, barley, bran, brewer's yeast, brown rice, green leafy vegetables, legumes, lentils, root vegetables, split peas, wheat germ, whole grains, whole wheat, mushrooms, dates and oranges; dairy products cheese, yogurt and milk, and meats like: beef, chicken,  lamb, liver, pork, salmon, and tuna.
     Cautions:  For best absorption, a folate supplement is better than the food sources (this is rare for a supplement).  Do not take high dose of folate if you have or have had a hormone related cancer or seizure disorder.  It is recommended that you take a folate supplement and eat folate rich foods if you are a woman of childbearing age.
 
Looking for B complex vitamins or folic acid?  Go to www.drchandlernd.com and on the store page click on the DaVinci link.
 
Source
Balch, Phyllis A.  (2010) Prescription for Nutritional Healing, NY: Penguin Group
   

Vitamin B 8 Inositol and IP6

Posted on May 13, 2012 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (48)
     Inositol, also called vitamin B-8, is a widely-occurring nutrient generally considered to fall somewhere within the broad B-complex family of vitamins. Inositol is vital for hair growth.  It has a calming effect and assists in reducing blood cholesterol levels.  Inositol helps prevent hardening of the arteries.  It is important in the formulation of lecithin and in cholesterol and fat metabolism and helps remove fat from the liver.
     Low levels of this important vitamin can lead to arteriosclerosis, constipation, hair loss, high blood cholesterol, irritability, mood swings, and skin eruptions.
     Anecdotal and clinical evidence indicate that inositol offers significant health benefits, although not all claims for the nutrient have been definitively confirmed. Research has shown that high doses of inositol may help in the treatment of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and anxiety disorders.  This is accomplished without the dreaded side effects of medication.
     Inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) is inositol that has six (6) phosphate groups.  This substance is found naturally in many foods and is a powerful antioxidant (antioxidants have a positive effect on the body).  Studies suggest that IP6 may fight cancers, heart disease, kidney stone and liver disease.  IP6 contains a substance called beta-1, 3 –D glucan.  Usually available in health foods stores and is derived mostly from brewer’s yeast.  These glucans are also in mushrooms.   IP6 helps maintain a health immune system, especially for those that are undergoing chemotherapy, and or radiation therapy.
     Foods rich in inositol include unprocessed whole grains, most citrus fruits, unrefined molasses, brewer's yeast, cabbage, cantaloupe, lima beans, liver, some nuts and raisins.
     Looking for Inositol or IP6 supplements, go to www.drchandlernd.com and on the store page, click on the DaVinci Laboratories link
 

About Pyridoxine (Vitamin B-6)

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 1:44 PM Comments comments (47)
     Hi and welcome to the sixth installment of the B-complex vitamins.  This vitamin (B-6 - Pyridoxine) is arguably involved in more functions of the body than most any other single nutrient, affecting both physical and mental health.  Physically, it helps those who suffer with water retention, it is necessary for the production of hydrochloric acid necessary for proper digestion, it assists with the absorption of fats and proteins, assists in maintaining the balance of sodium and potassium within the body, and promotes red blood cell formation.  B-6 activates many enzymes and aids in the absorption of vitamin B-12, in the production of antibodies,  in the immune system functioning, and in the synthesis of RNA and DNA.
     B-6 is needed for normal brain function and the nervous system requires pyridoxine in it's proper functioning.
Some of the important functions of pyridoxine is its role in cancer immunity, the prevention of aterioscerosis (hardening of the arteries), it helps inhibit the formation of homocysteine (a toxic chemical made, and ingested, within the body that attacks the heart muscle and allows cholesterol to accumulate around the heart), its diuretic properties helps reduce symptoms of PMS, it helps in the prevention of kidney stones, is helpful in the treatment of allergies, asthma, and arthritis.
     Who should consider taking extra B-6?  Low levels and deficiencies of vitamin B-6 (as with other B complex vitamins) can be associated with people who are or have conditions such as: anemia, convulsions, headaches, nausea, flaky skin, a sore tongue, vomiting, acne, anorexia, arthritis, conjunctivitis (pink eye), cracks or sores on the mouth or lips, depression, dizziness, fatigue, hyper irritability, slow wound healing, inflammation of the mouth and gums, learning disabilities, impaired memory, hair loss, hearing problems, numbness, oily facial skin, stunted growth and tingling sensations.  One common ailment that is associated with low levels of B-6 is carpal tunnel syndrome.
     What increases the need for more B-6?  People taking medications like antidepressants, cortisone and diuretic drugs (block absorption of B-6), estrogen therapy (HRT), and oral contraceptives.
What is too much B-6?  Taking an excess of over 1,000 mg per day for prolonged periods can be toxic.  Most supplements are well below this amount.
     Food sources of pyridoxine:  Meats (beef, chicken, fish and eggs), vegetable sources: beans, brewer's yeast,broccoli,  carrots, cabbage, corn,  peas, potatoes, soy beans, and spinach.  Other sources include: whole grains, avocadoes, bananas, cantaloupe, alfalfa, catnip and oat straw.
Looking for vitamin B-6 or B complex supplements?  Go to www.drchandlernd.com and on the store page click on Davinci Laboratories link.
 
Source: Balch, Phillis A., (2010) Prescription for Nutritional Healing, NY: Penguin Group.  Pp 22 and 23.
 

Pantothenic acid (B-5)

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 2:53 PM Comments comments (39)
     Stressed out?  Pantothenic Acid is known as the antistress vitamin.  It is used in the production of adrenal hormones, aids in the conversion of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates into energy, aids in vitamin utilization, and in the formation of antibodies.
     B-5 is required and found in all cells of the body with concentrations of the vitamin found in organs.   It is an essential element in the make up of a vital chemical responsible for many necessary metabolic function (Co-enzyme A).
      Like other B complex vitamins, B-5 is involved in the production of neurotransmitters and protects the nerves, enhances stamina, prevents specific anemias, normalizes functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, may help relieve depression and anxiety.
     Deficiencies in this vitamin can  be a causal factor in fatigue, headache, nausea, and tingling in the hands.
     Food sources of Panotenic Acid include:  avocados, beef, pork, organ meats, brewer's yeast, eggs, fresh vegetables, legumes, lobster and salt water fish, mushrooms, nuts, royal jelly, and whole grains.  B-5 can also be found in supplement form.
     Could it be that your problem maybe a B vitamin deficiency?

Adenine (Vitamin B-4)

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 12:35 PM Comments comments (42)
Vitamin B-4 is one of the B complex vitamin.  it shares the same properties as the other in this complex in that it is water soluble.  There is little known about B-4 Adenine and it's characteristics.  What is known is that this vitamin acts as a co-enzyme with other substances.  Some of these interactive substances help to produce energy from the mitochondria (the energy producer of each cell).    B-4 Adenine is involved in that energy production cycle.
Sources of B-4.  Usually, B-4 is not available as a supplement.  However, with most B complex vitamins, B-4 can be obtained by eating foods rich in whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, raw honey, bee-pollen, royal jelly, bee propolis, and Brewer's yeast.  herbs that are high in B-4 are: blessed thistle, blue cohosh, burdock, cayenne, caraway, catnip, cloves, ginger, goldenseal, hawthorn, hops, kelp, rose hips, sage, spearmint, strawberry, and thyme.
How can you tell if you need extra B-4?  Deficiency symptoms include:
  • retarded growth
  • blood and skin disorders
  • contipation
  • nausea
  • gastrointestinal disturbances
  • muscle weakness
  • hypoglycemia
  • depression (mental and physical)
  • dizziness
  • allergies
  • infections
What can lead to low levels of B-4?
Consumption of:
  • alcohol
  • colas
  • coffee and tea
  • tap and well water
  • refined sugars and refined and processed foods
  • cooking oil that have been used more than once
  • over cooked foods
  • most pharmaceutical drugs
Exposures to:
  • polluted air
  • fertilizer, pesticide, herbicide, fungicide exposure (repeated exposures)
 
 

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