Gluten and the Whole Body

Gluten Sensitivity is very real. If you don’t test clinically positive to Celiac Disease you could still have issues with digesting and assimilating gluten. Gluten can have huge implications in the body; it impairs the absorption of beneficial vitamins and nutrients, creates inflammation in the gut lumen and circulatory system, and can affect the nervous system by way of balance, stability, mood and sleep.

Here is a list of symptoms NOT related to the digestive system that can be caused by gluten:

• Craving high sugar foods
• Difficulty keeping weight normalized
• Iron deficiency anemia
• Frequent headaches
• Sinus congestion
• Migraine Headaches
• Vertigo
• Poor memory or Brain fog
• ADD or ADHD
• Depression
• Anxiety
• Neuropathy
• Irrational irritability
• Mood swings
• Restless leg syndrome
• Muscle & Joint Symptoms
• Joint pains with or without activity
• Chronic muscle aches or spasms
• Fibromyalgia
• Autoimmune arthritis
• Bone pain
• Fatigue
• Infertility
• Thyroid issues
• PCOS
• Asthma
• Yeast infections
• Eczema
• Psoriasis
• Dermatitis Herpetiformis
• Gall bladder problems
• Elevated liver enzymes

Some common issues with Gluten that are often missed by conventional physicians include:
• Gluten can cause vitamin B12 deficiency
• Excessive gluten consumption can cause both excessive weight gain or loss
• Lab tests for gluten sensitivity may not be accurate and tend to deliver false negatives
• Gluten can cause asthma symptoms
• Gluten can cause iron deficiency anemia
• Gluten can cause seizures
• Gluten can cause migraine headaches
• Gluten can cause thyroid disease
• Gluten can cause liver damage
• Gluten can cause IBS
• Gluten can cause Ataxia
• Gluten can cause many different skin diseases
• Gluten can cause nerve pain and neuropathy
• Gluten can cause gallbladder disease
• Gluten can lower testosterone in men

Science shows us that even the healthiest gut which consumes gluten in the quantity of a breadcrumb, can have intestinal damage that takes three hours to repair. Gluten is one of the leading causes of leaky gut, which comes with its own set of inflammatory and auto immune issues. However, eliminating gluten isn’t always that simple. There are many medications that can mimic gluten sensitivity and cause the same symptoms in a person avoiding gluten. The same inflammation caused by gluten, can be caused by corn, soy, dairy, and parasite infections in some individuals. Processed food that is assumed (or labeled to be gluten free) can be cross contaminated with gluten up to 41% of the time. It is estimated that over 90% of the people following a gluten free diet continue to have health problems because of cross contamination, processed food, and consumption of corn, rice, sorghum and other grains. Gluten can be found in products used at the dentist or orthodontist. Gluten is often found in cosmetics and skin products. Gluten free on the label doesn’t make the food healthy.
There are many proteins found in grains that can mimic gluten and therefore create symptoms in a sensitive individual. In many cases, gluten gets blamed for health problems that are caused by the pesticides found on gluten containing grains. Almost all processed products that contain gluten also contain folic acid which “enriches” the product; this folic acid can also create inflammation in individuals sensitive to it (with or without MTHFR).
The good news
Vitamin C can help heal the damage caused by gluten
Probiotics can help reduce inflammation and enhance digestion while healing from gluten sensitivity
Children with learning disabilities respond well to a gluten free diet
Gluten sensitivity can be recovered, but it can take 3 years
There are thousands of unprocessed whole foods that do not ever contain gluten that are delicious and nutritious and help heal your gut!

For more information check out my book!

Warrior or Worrier? The truth about COMT

 

Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is one of several enzymes that degrade catecholamines such as dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. In humans, catechol-O-methyltransferase protein is encoded by the COMT gene. COMT is mostly found in the peripheral nervous system, and less significantly found in the Central Nervous System, and found in the highest concentration in the liver.

 

There are 2 types of COMT expression, the warrior and the worrier.

 

Warrior

Generally have a higher IQ

do better on tests

better toxin elimination

higher estrogen elimination

higher incidence of ADHD

Higher pain tolerance

Normal magnesium levels

Normalized B12 and folate levels

Even tempered

Worrier

Slower estrogen elimination and estrogen dominance
Lower pain tolerance

Increased probability of addiction and anorexia

PMS worse in females

Enhanced response to stimulants

Red face after exercise & Decreased Sweating

Lower Mg levels

Lower Intracellular b12 and folate

Prone to mood swings and mania

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMT is the enzyme that allows you to spare the “feel good hormones” dopamine and nor-epinephrine. If this enzyme is completely blocked mood swings and addiction can occur. Keeping the gut healthy with probiotics and a good diet assures proper conversion of the amino acids needed to manufacture quality neurotransmitters. Lots of antibiotics and processed food can impair digestion and create impairments in conversion and manufacturing.

One of the most important jobs that COMT has, is to degrade dopamine, in the brain, where it is broken down by MAO (monoamine oxidase). MAO is Another important snp/gene that encodes an enzyme partially responsible for the metabolism of several neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. The monoamine oxidase family of enzymes, metabolize monoamines (neurotransmitters and neuromodulators consisting of a single amine).

COMT is the enzyme that introduces a methyl group to the catecholamine, which is donated by S-adenosyl methionine (SAM). Any compound having a catechol structure, like catecholestrogens and catechol-containing flavonoids, are substrates of COMT. This is why individuals with a COMT mutation are considered estrogen sensitive and estrogen dominant.

By discussing and understanding the biochemistry and intricacies of the COMT enzyme we can begin to see the problems with it when individuals have missing or reduced functioning.

COMT mutations cause great difficulty with detoxing. COMT pathways toss out good and bad minerals indiscriminately leaving low level magnesium (among others), an essential mineral to uptake b12 properly.  B12 levels can be supplemented with success using lithium orotate, please check with a provider about dosing. Supplementing with lithium to enhance transport may in fact cause a b12 deficiency if its not done properly.

Individuals with a COMT mutation are generally volatile susceptible to depression, mood disorders and issues with toxicity.  This means be mindful of your stress and moods and put some supports in place during times of physical and emotional stress. Addiction is common with individuals carrying this SNP too, I highly recommend early and often discussions around drugs, alcohol and other addictive substances or behaviors.

 

COMT mutations can make people sensitive to phenols. Phenols are found in purple and red foods, such as strawberries and red grapes, these slow the function of the enzyme further. When the COMT enzyme slows there can be mood swings, insomnia or anxiety. Symptoms of people with phenol sensitivities are heat intolerant suffer from headaches and insomnia.

 

In a nutshell, individuals with COMT mutations require individualized, targeted treatment and should be addressed on all facets of wellness!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autism and the other A’s (allergies, asthma and atopy/eczema)

the-atopid-triad

Why is it that many autistic children struggle with a lot of other “A”s?

  • Statistics show 25% of kids with autism has asthma too.
  • Statistics show 60% of kids with autism has eczema too.
  • Statistics show 8% of kids with autism has anaphylactic allergies and 40% have seasonal allergies.

Although there are multiple mechanisms for these conditions individually, the focus for this article is the global impairment of the immune system that predisposes kids with autism to other conditions.

The research shows that autistic kids are overburdened with all kinds of immune imbalance. This immune system imbalance initiates improper reactions to toxicity and how the body attempts to make every effort toward elimination (of toxins). Autistic kids have impaired detox mechanisms and altered methylation pathways, which are integral for detox of harmful substances the body comes in contact with frequently. Methylation is an important step in the detoxification of the body, and requires active forms of certain B vitamins in order to function optimally. When methylation is impaired detoxification is impairs and the body is overburdened, sending out signals that the immune system must be prepared for attack. “Attack Mode” for the immune system causes a overwhelming immune response to a normal circumstance.

Allergies…It is not biologically normal to react to food. Food is nourishment and provides the body with essential building blocks for all components to body function. When the body starts to react to its environment (and food) MAST cells are released. MAST cells release histamine, a chemokine that activates gut and brain neurotransmitters resulting in an “ITCH”. Histamine’s job is to activate white blood cells (WBCs) to stop foreign invaders, but when histamine is released by MAST cells that are activated in the absence of pathogens, the body begins fighting its environment. This rebellion causes global histamine imbalance in the body which sends the “ITCH” everywhere!

Imagine if you had an itch in your brain or gut that you couldn’t scratch..that’s how I imagine autistic kids feel every day!

When histamine is high, life altering symptoms can occur, and let’s not discount that histamine has a very vital job in the immune system, but;

  • If histamine is high in the skin >> eczema
  • If histamine is high in the lungs >> asthma
  • If histamine is high in the brain >> mood changes
  • If histamine is high in the gut >> allergies

STOP THIS MADNESS and heal the gut!!

  • Start by removing any chemicals or foods that trigger imbalance.
  • Consider probiotics (but discuss which strains or formulations are best for you).
  • Consider the removal of any and all potential allergens like molds, yeasts, preservatives, chemicals and sugars (which paralyze the immune system, later causing an over shoot and furthering improper balance), for the environment. Of course in most cases this cannot be done overnight but slowly phasing out will improve symptoms quickly!

Once the body is healed, as each healing process is different; many previously offending agents may be able to be reintroduced back into the environment! Make simple and effective changes, support body balance and start your healing today.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24997632

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/721702_2

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/912781-treatment#d10

 

 

 

 

Can’t conceive? Check out this before feeling like all hope is lost

pregnancy-pic

Inability to conceive can stem from a number of causes:

  • Poor nutritional status
  • Genetic mutations
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Hormone imbalances

 

If a mother’s nutritional stores are depleted she will not have enough “supplies” to conceive and grow a healthy baby. Vital nutrients like Magnesium and b vitamins are necessary for proper development of a fetus and proper signaling of hormones from the mother to stimulate cell signaling and growth. Proper hormone balance between estrogen and progesterone is a must. Abnormal levels of either of these can create problems with conception. Be sure to check for low levels of progesterone or estrogen dominance.

Remember almost all pharmaceutical medication deplete some nutrient, this includes anything put on your skin topically too, like steroid creams or even sunblock. Be sure whichever depletions are being caused that they are RE-pleated properly.

 

If there is a genetic mutation present then, the interruption in signaling will not allow for proper conception, impanation or development of a growing fetus. MTHFR and homocysteine levels play an integral part in the conception and development of your baby. Be sure you are speaking with a qualified provider about your nutritional needs or get tested for the MTHFR mutation and treat it before trying to get pregnant. Avoiding all forms of synthetic folic acid and un-methylated B vitamins like cyanoB12 is a good place to start! Always remember Folic acid does NOT equal Folate; Folic Acid a synthetic type of Folate. Folic acid is not found in nature. Folic acid must undergo various transformations prior to utilization and with or without a MTHFR mutation, folic acid can cause problems with fertility. Always look for methylated or activated forms of folate in supplements.

 

Autoimmune diseases affect 30% of our population and repeatedly studied in the correlation with fertility challenges. Autoimmune conditions are often made worse with the above mentioned nutrition and genetic problems. Proper management of autoimmune conditions will maximize fertility and also improve rates of artificial insemination or conventional fertility management. Consider having some lab work done specific to autoimmune markers. Supplements like Zinc, probiotics, and Vitamin D are very helpful in supporting proper immune function. If a mom is struggling with fertility its always beneficial to avoid gluten as 20% of patients with MTHFR, and (estimated) 50% of patients with positive autoimmune markers have gluten sensitivity and gluten is inflammatory.  To that end, reducing inflammation on any level is beneficial to the body pre and post baby! Healing always begins in the gut, and a healthy gut improves fertility!

Common MTHFR Mutations and General Health

mthfr

What is a MTHFR Mutation? An abnormal change in gene structure/mutation, of the MTHFR gene can cause a disruption of the MTHFR enzyme’s normal function of breaking down homocysteine.

MTHFR mutations are common. The mutations can be “heterozygous” meaning they occur only on one strand or “allele” of the chromosome, or they can be “homozygous”, occurring on both alleles. The frequency of a mutation is common, occurring in about 60% of the population. MTHFR gene is directly related to hyperhomocysteinemia (high or elevated levels of homocysteine).

High levels of homocysteine can be attributed to many conditions seen in midwifery such as

  • Decrease in vitamin B-12 levels. Higher incidence of anemia
  • Complications in Pregnancy Due To Neural Tube Defects, posterior Tongue tie, lip tie
  • Anencephaly
  • Other neural tube defects
  • Spina bifida
  • Autism
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis Flares
  • Down Syndrome
  • PEs
  • Altered drug metabolism
  • Low vitamin d levels/ osteoporosis
  • Neuropsychiatric Disorders
  • Gestational Diabetes
  • Early Pregnancy Loss/ SAB (viable fetus)
  • Placental Abruption, Low Birth Weight

The most common MTHFR gene mutations are found at position 677 and/or position 1298 on the MTHFR gene.

Typical amino acids are replaced by others rendering the enzyme defective or inactive

  • MTHFR 677CC = a normal MTHFR gene
  • MTHFR 677CT = a heterozygous mutation which is one mutation
  • MTHFR 677TT = a homozygous mutation which is two mutations
  • MTHFR 1298AA = a normal MTHFR gene
  • MTHFR 1298AC = a heterozygous mutation which is one mutation
  • MTHFR 1298CC = a homozygous mutation which is two mutations
  • MTHFR 677CT + MTHFR 1298AC = a compound heterozygous mutation which is one mutation from two different parts of the gene

MTHFR 677TT + MTHFR 1298CC= DOUBLE Compound Heterozygus

folate-vs-folic-acid-1

Treatment: (of course always speak with a knowledgeable provider)

May or may not include.

  • Getting you or your family members tested (blood, saliva)
  • Avoiding all forms of synthetic folic acid and un-methlyated B vitamins like cyanoB12
  • Folic acid does NOT equal Folate.
    • Folic Acid a synthetic type of Folate. Folic acid is not found in nature. Folic acid must undergo various transformations prior to utilization.
  • Being mindful of all pharmacology and vaccines
    • Antacids (deplete B12)
    • Cholestyramine (deplete cobalamin and folate absorption) – common in gallbladder issues during pregnancy!
    • Colestipol (decrease cobalamin and folate absorption)
    • Methotrexate (inhibits DHFR)
    • Nitrous Oxide (inactivates MS)
    • High Dose Niacin (depletes SAMe and limits pyridoxal kinase = active B6)
    • Theophylline (limits pyridoxal kinase = active B6)
    • Cyclosporin A (decreases renal function and increases Hcy)
    • Metformin (decreases cobalamin absorption)
    • Phenytoin (folate antagonist)
    • Carbamazepine (folate antagonist)
    • Oral Contraceptives (deplete folate)
    • Antimalarials JPC-2056, Pyrimethamine, Proguanil (inhibits DHFR)
    • Antibiotic Trimethoprim (inhibits DHFR)
    • Ethanol
    • Bactrim (inhibits DHFR)
    • Sulfasalazine (inhibits DHFR)
    • Triamterene (inhibits DHFR)
  • Involving yourself with providers who are educated on MTHFR
  • Take supplements that are methylation supportive
    • L-5-MTHF
    • Riboflavin (B2)
    • Methylcobalamin or Hydroxocobalamin
    • Zinc
    • DHA
    • Choline
    • TMG (must be avoided in pregnancy)
    • Magnesium
    • Methyl- B6
    • NAC
    • Vitamin E (natural forms only)
    • Selenium
    • Glutathione
    • Vitamin C
    • Vitamin D
    • Potassium
    • Probiotics
    • Molybdenum
    • Milk Thistle
    • *****Avoid gluten as 20% of patients with MTHFR have gluten sensitivity and gluten is inflammatory

 

What a post-partum mom really wants when you visit her and her baby

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Truth is visits from well-meaning family and friends are always welcome! It’s the unsolicited advice or subtle (pressured) offers to hold/ care for the newborn we could all do without. Research has shown us time and again that the first weeks of life are critical for bonding, proper milk supply and post-partum recovery of the mother.

The best things we can do for mom and her new baby is:

1) Take their other kids somewhere. Older siblings are usually under stimulated by the daily goings on of a newborn. So take the other children for as long as you can, and bring them back exhausted and fed.

2) Feed the mama! Remember she is constantly feeding another human! Be sure to check with here to see if there are particular things she is or isn’t eating. Be sure the dish is disposable or a gift. Post-partum moms do not have the best memory capacity.

3) Collect some cash or a gift card for cleaning services! Who has time for cleaning after you have just spawned a human from your loins! Find a trusted service or person to do the job! Worth every cent!

4) Offer to watch the baby while mom naps or showers. Both those items become scarce in the immediate post-partum period. A few minutes of your time are a huge gift to a tired or smelly mama!

5) Help to recognize signs of postpartum depression. “Baby Blues” can last 6 weeks, anything beyond that that could be cause for concern should be addressed and guided to the proper provider. As you all know regular chiropractic has been shown to reduce post-partum depression. Be Sure to on the lookout for tell-tell signs that mama might be struggling.

6) Invite mamma and baby to get out of the house. We all know what kind of Olympic sport it is to get a newborn fed, changed and clothed to get out; help her get a change of scenery, even if it is only a short walk around the block.

7) Offer to run errands for her, do her grocery shopping in person or online, pick up a few items at the coop, grab that homeopathic for the baby’s prickly stomach (remember #6) it is likely she will gladly accept the help.

8) Make a sign for their door that says “Baby Sleeping” or “please come in..and do some laundry” in early postpartum days sleep is precious get any and all you can! And avoid being disturbed by the UPS guy or the neighbor’s kids who want to play.

Truth is we have all been there and we all need the help. This is an amazing way as women we can support each other and grow together. When mama is recovered she will be ready to help you with your bundle of joy!

Start the school year OFF SWEET!!!

egg-boats-with-sail-healthy-snacks-kids.jpg

School is right around the corner! Back to packing lunch, and managing the nutrition of our kids from a far. In many cases parents may choose foods out of convenience instead of nutritional density leading to a large amount of sugar consumption by kids during the school day. High sugar consumption and processed foods, all be it organic can cause issues for our kids during the school day and beyond!

If your child suffers from:

  • Stomach aches, Constipation and diarrhea
  • Fatigue, joint pain, and muscle pain
  • Frequent infections, especially of the ears and throat
  • Skin irritation and rashes
  • Behavioral issues
  • ADD/ADHD or other problems with concentration
  • Unexplained weight gain or loss
  • Frequent bed wetting
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder

 

Take a look at the diet and their lunchbox selections before making a battery of provider appointments and planning extreme measures with the school.

A good list of things to avoid include:

  • Gluten
  • Sugar and fake sugar substitutes
  • Preservatives (like BHT, TBHQ, MSG, etc)
  • Food Dyes (red #40, Yellow #5, etc)

Of course, dramatic changes in diet, especially for a picky eater can seem overwhelming. Every parent wants their kid to be healthy and fit in, but sometimes “special diets” (even if they are sugar-less and not processed) can make a child feel left out.

palm-tree-snack-477

Some easy tips to help your child (and the rest of the family) adjust:

  1. Empower your child- have your child help with the shopping, teach them how to read labels, or better yet choose foods without labels, like fruits and vegetables. Teach your child which symptoms to look for and how they can articulate or recognize them in their own bodies. Remind kids that food may not affect just their belly that food can affect their brain, skin, and sleep cycles too. And remind them that there is not often a direct ‘eat the food>> have a symptom” relationship.
  2. Emphasize all of the delicious foods that your child CAN eat, instead of focusing on the few they can’t.
  3. Eat what they eat. As parents we have an awesome opportunity to set the exact example we want our children to follow.
  4. Explain to kids about the food industry processing, how sugar (and other substances) can actually change brain chemistry and cause “addiction”.
  5. Teach your kids how to cook, teach them how to ask questions in restaurants and order food that they can enjoy. SKIP the kids menu, there is likely nutrient poor, processed selections that leave kids craving more junk instead of feeling full when they leave.
  6. Eliminate the chance for sneaking foods, or making non-optimal selections by taking all the processed foods, sugar foods and other “offenders” out of your home.
  7. Support them by removing the food from your house. Chances are, the offending food isn’t so great for anyone else anyway. It’s best to remove problematic foods like gluten and dairy before illness has a chance to take root.
  8. Understand this is a process and healing takes time. Kids taste buds will eventually change and their palates will improve.
  9. As parents (and our kids) we can educate other parents and teachers. In many cases the information is welcomed and may be a catalyst for changes in their own homes.
  10. Find support among your peers. The more visibility around healthy eating we can bring the more people will lend support. You many know many people with the same eating philosophy than you think!

Bottom line..change is hard but possible! Kids deserve every advantage we can offer! Enjoy the journey and reap the rewards.

For more information or recipes check out MY BOOK

Autism healing begins in the Gut!

gut.jpg

It has been well reported that autism is intimately connected to the immune system and acts in some way as an autoimmune conditon. Immunity begins to develop during the 14th week of gestation, as undifferentiated developing immune cells, which later become major cells of a human’s immune system, with specific and necessary function. The placenta, provides nourishment for the baby, also secretes hormones, primarily progesterone, which shifts mom’s chemical profile away from Th1 (offers protection to pathogens that pose a threat to get inside of cells) and towards Th2 (response offers protection against pathogens outside of cells).  The baby then will trigger his/her increase in Th1 when travelling through the birth canal and swallowing, sitting and slipping through on its earth side voyage. The development of the Th1 mechanism is continued during breastfeeding, for which the “World Health Organization” recommends at least 2 years, to glean all the necessary immunologic benefits for the baby.  Continued, through childhood with encounters from viruses and bacteria help build this individualized Th1 response to properly enhance the child’s immune system. If at birth immunity is skewed toward Th2, for such reasons as a c- section, multiple exposures to antibiotics in utero or mother receiving passive immunity exposure, breastfeeding is interrupted or cut short; Th2 is accelerated and can predispose a baby toward eczema.  If the baby is prone toward a Th2 response, as they were unable to develop a proper microbiome, autism can be triggered or allergies and asthma may also develop.

The answer to the triggers for these conditions may be found in the gut bacteria that babies are gifted on their way down the birth canal. Since we know, One third of all antibiotic prescriptions given to children are unnecessary (according to medical research). Antibiotics are well reported to disrupt a child’s gut microbiome in ways that a growing amount of evidence suggests may have long-term consequences, including asthma, allergies, and eczema.

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Balancing gut bacteria with proper diet free of chemicals, processed foods, irritants and GMOs help balance the biome. Identifying triggers and reducing or eliminating passive immunity can also help improve these conditions. When a body is inclined toward a Th2 response, the cells will “over react”, with an inflammation response. Passive immunity such as vaccination bypasses the Gut and triggers this over response in the blood stream. This compounds the “inflammation” cascade and revs up the immune system in an “autoimmune” fashion creating a global multi-faceted reaction that will prone the body toward constant “reaction” as seen in eczema, allergies and asthma.

Conventinal Pharmecutical modalities may cause additional “stress” to the body, and since stress and stress hormones can elevate inflammation, they are intimately related.

Autism is rising at epidemic rates with some prognostication that 50% of our children will have autism in the next generation!

Some easy tips to get started on healing the gut and rebuilding your microbiome are:

  • Eliminate inflammatory chemicals in your environment; start with anything with a scent and replace them with non-toxic bio degradable choices
  • Eliminate inflammatory foods such as Dairy, Wheat, Corn, Soy; these are the most common food triggers associated with autism, asthma, allergies, and eczema
  • Eliminate GMOs; these chemicals are not digested or assimilated well in a healthy gut, worse for one that needs healing
  • Use only products you can eat on your skin, like coconut oil, avocado or shea butter for example
  • Check Lab work with a qualified provider, check immune markers, MTHFR status, stress hormones, vitamin and mineral levels; all of which play into the inflammation cycle.
  • Remember there is no one size fits all approach; every child is different and every healing process is different

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2015.04.006

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2684040/

B Vitamins; Better Protection for Baby

It has been well reported that women who conceive in late spring and summer have children with a higher incidence of allergies. The theory behind this finding is (especially in the NorthEast) there are higher levels of pesticides in the air due to farming and a short growing season. Although we all should take extreme care of ourselves walking around in a hypoallergenic bubble is not compatible with a satisfying life.   Luckily for us recent research at Johns Hopkins has shown that if women maintain adequate levels of B vitamins are more likely to get pregnant and stay pregnant. This study also concluded that there are some protective aspects to B vitamins, not only in pregnancy and conception but in the presence of pesticides and pollutants (namely DDT, known for causing reproductive problems in multiple species). While the US banned DDT in the 1970s, it is still used in other countries around the world.

In this three year Johns Hopkins study which looked at women who had early miscarriages showed; Women with high DDT levels and sufficient levels of B vitamins (B6, B12 and folate) had a 42% increased risk of early miscarriage than women with lower pesticide levels. But in those with high pesticide levels and vitamin B deficiencies, women were twice as likely to suffer a miscarriage before six weeks of gestation. The researchers discovered that the risk to a pregnancy was higher with B12 and folate deficiencies and with deficiencies in more than one B vitamin, and one can extrapolate that multiple deficiencies were likely caused by MTHFR mutation, which can increase risk of oxidative stress and miscarriage risk. In addition, researchers found that women with high pesticide loads and low B vitamin levels took almost twice as long to conceive in the first place.

 

“This study tells us that improved nutrition may modify the toxic effects of pesticides, by better preparing the body to cope with environmental toxins and stressors. We have shown that women with high levels of pesticides who also had high levels of B vitamins had a better chance of getting and staying pregnant than those were deficient in those vitamins.”

 

We are exposed to pesticides, herbicides, chemical solvents, xenobiotics, pharmaceuticals, free radicals and industrial chemicals of all kinds from the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. These toxins accumulate in the body and contribute to the total toxic load that can cause a variety of health problems. In the presence of MTHFR mutation when toxic load can be higher due to impaired methylation and inflammation uncontrolled due to the inability of the body to detoxify properly the body can begin to malfunction and the human form can become weak, or worse, infertile.

In my opinion, this study validates the idea that sufficient B vitamins and improved nutrition protect our bodies from environmental toxins, enhance fertility and reduce the incidence of miscarriage in an ever toxic world.  It can also be inferred that B vitamins are protective to the human body and can counteract the toxic effects of pesticides, environmental toxins, and other stressors we get exposed to on a daily basis.

pregnancy pic

But,

The care we give to our bodies in preparation for pregnancy or maintenance of health should not stop with taking the proper B vitamins alone. Because this world can be so toxic it is important to remember to keep our environment as “clean” as possible. Eating a Wholefoods “organics as much as possible”  diet, using non-toxic cleaning supplies, educating our friends and neighbors about the harmful effects of chemical fertilizers and processed foods, reducing or eliminating EMFs and toxicity from our own homes and lives is a great place to start. Also planning in advance for babies and conception, making sure B vitamin levels are adequate BEFORE conception assures a better pregnancy outcome.  Women who have adequate levels of B vitamins in their bodies are more likely to get and stay pregnant even when they also have high levels of pesticides or toxins.

Be sure to discuss with your qualified health care provider the importance of B vitamin levels and to be sure women intending on getting pregnant get adequate B vitamins and micronutrients before they even conceive.

 

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150105141701.htm

This information is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any health condition or problem.  Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own primary care physician or other healthcare provider.

B12…not always created equally

support

B12 is important to build red blood cells and nerves. It also supports proper DNA development. Most individuals who are vitamin B12 deficient on lab work, have  some preexisting condition, such as gastritis, auto immune disease, take multiple medications that deplete b12 stores or are malnourished.  Vitamin B12 tests are not the most accurate way of telling how the cells are utilizing b12, or if they are utilizing it at all. So, in fact individuals with adequate numbers on lab work could actually be deficient.  In the presence of MTHFR, B12 can look adequate or even elevated on lab work but be completely depleted inside the cell where the B12 is needed most.

Experiencing any of the symptoms on this list could mean there is a B12 deficiency in the body

  • Light-headedness, tiredness and fatigue
  • Shortness of breath and elevated heart rate
  • Poor concentration and memory
  • Tingling and numbness of the feet and hands
  • Lack of coordination and balance
  • Diagnosis of persistent anemia
  • Excessively pale skin
  • Sore tongue
  • Rash around the mouth
  • Bleeding gums and easy bruising
  • Upset stomach
  • Abnormal weight loss or gain
  • Hallucinations, depression, mania and irritability

 

Adequately Inadequate vitamin B12 intake

For individuals with a MTHFR mutation, B12 absorption and utilization is faulty. Individuals with any issue with digestion B12 absorption are impaired. In order to make the proper amounts of stomach acid, B12 is needed as a cofactor. Without this digestion IS impaired. Vegan and vegetarian diets are deficient in B12, posing a greater risk of deficiency in individuals with MTHFR, this can lead to other nutrient deficiencies and health problems.

The best foods for boosting B12 are

  • Clams and beef liver
  • Eggs, fish, poultry, meat, milk and other dairy products
  • Nutritional yeasts, some cereals and other fortified foods

 

Suspect B12 deficiency with any of the conditions listed

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  • Anemia with elevated mean corpuscular volume or Pernicious anemia
  • Balance issue, numbness, difficulty with walking, tingling and other neurological symptoms
  • Gastritis, Celiac Disease
  • Food sensitivities
  • Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
  • Any chronic inflammatory bowel disorder
  • Vegetarians and vegans
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Developmental delay and autism
  • Use of “poly pharmacy” drugs such as SSRIs, Metformin and PPIs
  • Vascular disorders such as blood clots, stroke or heart attack

 

B12 deficiency…all B12s are not created equal

It is important to understand that treatment is not a “one size fits all” approach. Not all B12 will react the same in each body depending on SNP expression; there are the 4 Types of B12. Of course its optimal to get the bulk of B12 from the diet, however in cases of deficiency or unrelenting symptoms proper supplementation can help.

Adenosylcobalamin is naturally occurring, but, it is the least stable of the four types of B12 outside the human body and does not translate well into a tablet-based supplement. This is best for individuals who are sensitive to other forms of B12 and require a highly absorbable form of supplementation.

Cyanocobalamin is a synthetic, pharmaceutical version of vitamin B12 is created in a lab. It’s cheap and utilized most often by prescribers, who prescribe B12 for a deficiency. When it metabolizes in the body it breaks the cyano- molecule (cyanide, yes cyanide) off to be absorbed by the body.  Although the amount of cyanide is not dangerous, it does require extra energy of the body to eliminate it from the cells. Extra toxin elimination is not optimal for anyone with methylation challenges.

Hydroxocobalamin is naturally created by bacteria. Hydroxyocobalamin is the form of vitamin B12 most likely found in food; it easily converts into methylcobalamin in the body. Hydroxocobalamin is commonly used in individuals who do not tolerate methylcobalamin supplementation and as a treatment for cyanide (yes, cyanide) poisoning.

Methylcobalamin  is the most active form of B12 in the human body. It converts homocysteine into methionine, which helps protect the cardiovascular system. Methylcobalamin also offers overall protection to the nervous system. Methylcobalamin can cross the blood-brain barrier, this helps to protect and heal the brain. Methylcobalamin is essential for detoxification and as a catalyst for many of the body’s biochemical reactions.

With nearly 40% of Americans having trouble absorbing B12; selecting the proper form of B12 can be tricky business. Absorption of B12 is heavily reliant of digestive health, get digestion working properly and find a provider savvy enough to assess and prescribe the right B12 for your body.

This information is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any health condition or problem.  Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own primary care physician or other healthcare provider.