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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


Chronic fatigue syndrome is defined as intense exhaustion for 6 months or more. Some people find they can’t function without chemical stimuli like coffee or stronger stimuli, although the benefits eventually wear off and their suffering continues. It is often associated with these common symptoms: 

sleeping, headaches, brain fog, mood swings, allergies, joint pain, sore throat and memory issues.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is defined as intense exhaustion for 6 months or more. Some people find they can’t function without chemical stimuli like coffee or stronger stimuli, although the benefits eventually wear off and their suffering continues. It is often associated with these common symptoms: 

Although doctors are unclear on the causes, there have been two common hypotheses about the underlying reasons for chronic fatigue syndrome.

  1. Adrenal Fatigue – Cortisol level cycle and constant high stress creates a situation where the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis) produces cortisol “stress hormone” all day.
  2. Leaky Gut contributing to NAFLD (non-alcohol fatty liver disease)


Leaky Gut

When the increase in harmful bacteria and yeast (candida) within the intestine reaches a tipping point, the intestinal wall is breached. This is in part caused by the aldehydes released when candida are in such high concentrations that they stand in competition with each other. The aldehydes that are secreted to ward each other off, breakdown the soft tissue holding our intestinal cells together called "desmosomes". This subsequent breach allows food particles to pass through the intestine wall and the immune system becomes overwhelmed. The liver, which receives 70% of its blood flow from the intestine, is charged with detoxify the blood.

If the necessary compounds for gluthione replenishment, methylation, acetylation are are in short supply the liver simply shuttles the toxins into fat cells to keep them from invading the rest of the body.3 These fat cells are stored in the liver and elsewhere throughout the body. This was the reason we developed Hepatiben, which contains the ingredients that can perform these activities and support proper liver function under these conditions.

In addition to finding a good natural supplement, find ways to alleviate stress and adjust your diet. Studies show that reducing stress and taking an adrenal support supplement in this regimen significantly speeds up recovery.


Metabolic Syndrome

METABOLIC SYNDROME


Having Metabolic Syndrome doubles the risk for heart disease and multiples the risk of diabetes by five.It is not a disease itself but describes a host of related risk factors (high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, obesity and insulin resistance) all with a common cause originally coined 20 years ago effecting 47 million Americans affected.

Notice that Metabolic Syndrome closely mirrors the symptoms found in those suffering from NAFLD . NAFLD can be thought of as the liver’s state of Metabolic Syndrome. Following the progression of Metabolic Syndrome and NAFLD, one has a hard time disputing the causal relationship.

Cause & Effect

We need to begin with the American diet, which has changed significantly over the past fifty plus years. Americans now consume far too much of the following:

“sugar, caffeine, harmful fats, antibiotics,
preservatives, pesticides, GMOs and hormones.”

These are all considered toxins to your body, especially sugar. In fact, the sugar is the major reason for the build-up of candida, which displaces the good bacteria. Why are we discussing the digestive tract? What does that have to do with obesity? Everything.

The digestive tract has a very complex function; it simultaneously does two operations.

  1. Create specific enzymes to breakdown digested food into smaller particles used in the body.
  2. Selectively allow nutrients through without passing the harmful invaders; virus, bacteria and toxins.

Our digestive tract is not alone in this work; it has between 3-5 lbs of bacteria in the gut to help. However, our new American diet promotes rapid growth of harmful bacteria.

Leaky Gut

When an increase in harmful bacteria and yeast (candida) within the intestine reaches a tipping point, the intestinal wall is breached. This breach allows food particles to pass through the intestine wall and the immune system becomes overwhelmed. The liver, which receives 70% of its blood flow from the intestine, is charged with detoxify the blood. If the necessary chemicals (i.e. Glutathione, NAC, Tocotrienols) are in short supply the liver simply shuttles the toxins into fat cells to keep them from invading the rest of the body.These fat cells are stored in the liver and elsewhere throughout the body. 2

“The liver receives 70% of its
blood flow from the intestine”

This fat cell build-up stored in the liver and elsewhere around the body, is producing an obesity epidemic.

Excess accumulation of fat cells in the liver begins a destructive cycle where the liver becomes less efficient, leading to a build-up of toxins including fatty acids and insulin. This spike in oxidative stress and unprocessed insulin leads to insulin resistance in type II diabetes. Tests confirm the overload of fatty acids called lipotoxicity. This cascade explains the risk factors relating to Metabolic Syndrome.

What Works

Fortunately nature provides us with the solution. Studies have shown Silybin (an active compound in milk thistle), SAMe, Vitamin E (specifically highly concentrated tocotrienols), NAC, Phosphatidylcholine and Glutathione to work best with repeatable results. The success of these natural ingredients relies on rapid replenishment of Glutathione, a critically important liver antioxidant.

Extracts from milk thistle have a long history of being used for liver protection. We are just now starting to rediscover this through scientific discovery. One very effective combination including; Silymarin, Vitamin E and Phosphatidylcholine improves insulin sensitivity, while reversing liver cell damage. This is accomplished by reducing oxidative stress and improving Glutathione levels in the liver.

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a sulfur-rich compound used primarily to neutralize the damaging effects of aspirin on the liver. It rapidly restores Glutathione. A recent animal study showed it to prevent NAFLD in a liver disease diet. Similarly, SAMe had been found to increase Glutathione levels in humans with Non-Alcohol Fatty Liver Disease.

Very few if any products on the market today contain all these ingredients and they are very expensive when purchased individually. To address this Liver Medic formulated a more complete liver detox supplement to make fighting this battle easier, more effective and less expensive than the alternatives.

While we have discussed the mechanism and treatment for the liver, we can’t ignore the source of the problem. A healthy diet promotes a healthy gut, this is critically important to ensuring that fatty liver disease does not return.

Often missed in attempts to return to a healthy gut balance is the removal of candida and biofilm, a major obstacle in improving gut health. We have addressed this with other gut support products specifically formulated for candida removal and biofilm removal. Take these along with power liver supplements and the body will begin to regulate itself without the toxic interference.

The proper use of these products not only reverses liver damage but also protects against future damage.*


References

  1. http://www.webmd.com/heart/metabolic-syndrome/metabolic-syndrome-what-is-it
  2. http://obesity.bodyecology.com/leaky-gu
  3. Kwon do Y, Jung YS, Kim SJ, Park HK, Park JH, Kim YC. Impaired sulfur-amino acid metabolism and oxidative stress in nonalcoholic fatty liver are alleviated by betaine supplementation in rats. Journal of Nutrition. 2009 Jan;139(1):63-
  4. Caballero F, Fernandez A, Matias N, et al. Specific contribution of methionine and choline in nutritional nonalcoholic steatohepatitis: impact on mitochondrial S-adenosyl-L-methionine and glutathione. J Biological Chemistry. 2010 Jun 11;285(24):18528-
  5. Loguercio C, Federico A, Trappoliere M, et al. The effect of a silybin-vitamin E-phospholipid complex on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a pilot study. Digestive Disease & Sciences. 2007 Sep;52(9):2387-95.
  6. Serviddio G, Bellanti F, Giudetti AM, et al. A silybin-phospholipid complex prevents mitochondrial dysfunction in a rodent model of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 2010 Mar;332(3):922-32.
  7. Baumgardner JN, Shankar K, Hennings L, Albano E, Badger TM, Ronis MJ. N-acetylcysteine attenuates progression of liver pathology in a rat model of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Journal of Nutrition. 2008 Oct;138(10):1872-9.
  8. Vendemiale G, Altomare E, Trizio T, et al. Effects of oral S-adenosyl-L-methionine on hepatic glutathione in patients with liver disease. Scand Journal of Gastroenterology. 1989 May;24(4):407-15.
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Food Allergies


Food Allergies: Origins & Treatments


A food allergy is an abnormal reaction to food that triggers an immune response. In more severe cases such as Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) the body can’t defend itself and differs from a simple allergy. MCS affects over sixteen percent of Americans. 1

Food allergies often take place after a reduction of "friendly" bacteria in our gut's microbiome that allow pathogenic organisms to move in, which initiates leaky gut. Particially digested foods accompany virus, bacteria and other organisms that now stream past the gut lining non-selectively. This process stimulates our immune system and identify foods we are commonly eating as problematic. Our immune system will mount a counter attack and create what we call a food allergy. 

The liver also has a role to play in all this. Suffering from leaky gut, the liver is often in a state of over capacity and can no longer function effectively to perform acts like reducing toxins in the body. The increase in free floating toxins exacerbates an immune response already on high alert in an effort to protect itself from foreign particles from the gut. [See: Leaky Gut]

Treatment

Removing all toxins from the environment is the first step in recovery. This includes all toxins from meals containing pesticides, GMOs, molds and fungi. Also, take a look at personal care products including; shampoos, soaps, deodorants, perfumes, lotions and makeup. Many of these contain endocrine disrupting chemicals reviewed in a separate article. Secondly, the sleep environment must be cleared of mold, dust mites and mattresses treated with flame retardant chemicals. Investing in a HEPA filter would further improve air quality.

The causes of more severe cases are usually two-fold; liver toxicity and an imbalance of intestinal flora. The compounds in Hepatiben suport liver health and reductions in free floating toxins. Bringing the gut back into balance requires a reduction in opportunistic organisms like candida and biofilm, which can serve to protect deleterious organisms from our IgA (immune system compounds on the lumen side of our digestive tract. We recommend using a strong enzyme like Serrapeptase, to breakup biofilm and incorporating Candida Complex, is a great way to support candida rebalancing and reduction of GI tract parasites. More severe cases of leaky gut also benefit from repair ingredients of Leaky Gut Repair, so the soft tissue can recover. This will enable a surface that friendly bacteria can then bond to and flourish.


High Cholesterol

High Cholesterol & Chronic Inflammation


Chronic Inflammation is the true enemy, although the depth of this danger has only recently come to light in the last decade or so. It is the source of many health issues that are trending up in the past 50 years. It is difficult to find accurate statics on chronic inflammation, but it causes cardiovascular diseases and a host of other health issues.

Cholesterol, Chronic Inflammation Connection

When suffering from chronic inflammation, the body is literally under attack and produces cholesterol in greater amounts to help mend damaged tissue often in places such as blood vessels and arteries. It was thought that Cholesterol was the source of the problem, now we know it was the body’s defense against damage due to inflammation.

Causes of Chronic Inflammation

Listed below in order of importance are the drivers for chronic inflammation:

  1. Sugar
  2. Fatty Liver Disease
  3. Leaky Gut (Discussed in Obesity post)
  4. Stress
  5. Imbalance of Omegas 3 & 6 fatty acids
  6. Lack of sleep
  7. Poor Diet 

including: caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, processed carbs, antibiotics, GMOs, pesticides. Often giving rise to leaky gut, which can lead to NAFLD.

Poor diet cannot be overstated as a driver of chronic inflammation and within this category; sugar is one of the worst offenders. Free floating sugar in and of itself creates inflammation and makes the body chemistry acidic in addition to a myriad of other issues such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

A balance between Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids is essential; when Omega 6 outnumbers Omega 3 the result may cause the body’s organs to become inflamed. Unfortunately, Americans consume 15 times more Omega 6 than Omega 3 fatty acids.

Fatty Liver Disease is often silent in the early stages, and those with high cholesterol may suffer while the disease goes undiagnosed and untreated. Any discussion regarding interrelated health issues should include liver disease or NAFLD in its many forms.

It’s important to note, that high cholesterol isn’t always associated with NAFLD or other more severe fatty liver diseases, but it often occurs in people with Type II Diabetes. The liver is the organ that keeps toxins safely neutralized and away from the rest of the body when functioning correctly.

With chronic inflammation, the liver most likely is inefficient or not working correctly. In addition to or as a result of inflammation, the body can suffer from hepatic lipotoxicity. This is found in NAFLD when the liver is overwhelmed by fatty acids and other toxins beyond its capacity to neutralize them.

For those not suffering from NAFLD, simple exercise and changes in diet can make a dramatic improvement. It’s vital to avoid all saturated and trans fats from the diet, but do not make the mistake of cutting fats. Some fats are very important to good health such as those found in fish oils, nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, and avocados to name a few.


Type II Diabetes

How To Reverse Type II Diabetes


The trend for adults with diagnosed Type II Diabetes in America is staggering. In just the past thirty years it has ballooned three fold from 493,000 to 1.8 million new cases each year.

There are age, gender and race differences highlighting genetic influences, but all groups are trending in the wrong direction. Those with family members with diabetes have a dramatically greater likelihood of becoming diabetic themselves. We are also witnessing massive increases in pediatric Type II Diabetes.2

Type II Diabetes Background

Unlike those with Type I Diabetes, Type II Diabetics produce insulin. Type II Diabetes glucose spikes occur when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or where there is a lack of insulin sensitivity. The lack of insulin sensitivity is known as insulin resistance. Insulin resistance produces excess glucose that circulates throughout the body. It leads to damaged nerves and small blood vessels in the eyes, kidneys, and heart. The body’s health is further compromised when it then becomes dehydrated.

"Type II is the most common form of diabetes, affecting 90-95% of the 26 million American Diabetics."3

Cause & Effect

There is some debate in the scientific community about the causes of this increase. Most nutritionists would agree that diet is mostly, if not entirely to blame. It is also influenced by a lack of physical activity.

There are two main drivers of this new insulin resistance:

  1. Increased oxidative stress. 4
  2. Sugars with high glycemic indexes, especially high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). 5

The body’s high oxidative stress environment is explained in our NAFLD post. These factors are interrelated as toxins present in the body compromise the intestinal wall overwhelming the liver and immune system resulting in oxidative stress.

This type of oxidative stress disrupts sensitivity to insulin in the body. The terms to describe this condition are known as Metabolic Syndrome 6 or Diabesity. 7 This is in addition to the chronic inflammation oxidative stress causes and leads to a multitude of other health issues.

Metabolic Syndrome is defined by common pathologies: obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. Recent studies have also concluded that high fructose corn syrup has a similar outcome in reducing insulin sensitivity. The use for HFCS has increased 1000% in the past 40 years.8

Recently the food industry introduced agave a ‘natural’ as an alternative to sugar. Unfortunately, agave has an even higher glycemic index and might even accelerate this process. In response to this the American Diabetic Association has recommended that agave be limited in diabetic diets.9


Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease – NAFLD


Non alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) affects about one-third of Americans and most people are completely unaware and undiagnosed. Symptoms of NAFLD range from diabetes, obesity, Irritable Bowel Syndrome ( IBS) to chronic fatigue, food allergies and metabolic syndrome.

Disease Progression

Left untreated NAFLD morphs into more advanced stages like non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis, and liver failure. Adults are not alone; shockingly 10% of children in America are also effected .1 Statistics for people living with advanced liver diseases are grim.

Mechanism

NAFLD is the accumulation of fat cells in the liver, interrupting normal liver function in the absence of alcohol consumption. Although this kind of liver damage is common among alcohol consumers, this disease now effects those with diets high in processed foods with similar results. This typically causes inflammation and in more severe cases tissue death and fibrosis.

Excess fat cells accumulate in the liver beginning a destructive cycle and the liver becomes less efficient, leading to a build-up of toxins including fatty acids and insulin. The result is insulin resistance in type II diabetes. Tests that confirm the overload of fatty acids known as lipotoxicity can lead to metabolic syndrome and NAFLD.

In the past, the scientific community had been confused about the causes of NAFLD; now recent studies point to a leaking gut with an influx of free floating food particles and toxins in the body as a culprit. Leaky Gut is an improper balance of bacteria in the body leading to intestinal wall breach with a destructive cascade of health problems.

When the liver can no longer detoxify the influx of foreign substances they are swept into fat cells to be broken down later. While the obesity it produces can be observed externally, dangerous conditions compromise the health of the body’s organs internally.

There are two main systems designed to remove these invaders–the immune system and the liver. As Americans consume increasing amounts of sugar, caffeine, antibiotics, GMOs, pesticides, and hormones these two systems become overwhelmed. A further discussion on how the liver works including the two main phases is located here.

What Doesn’t Work

The pharmaceutical industry has been working on cures for NAFLD and related diseases with little success. Thus far Metformin has had the only successful attempt by the industry. Metformin has limited effectiveness as it is an insulin-sensitizing drug that only addresses part of the issue, though it represents a marked improvement over preceding pharmaceutical alternatives.

What Works

Fortunately, nature provides us with the solution. Studies demonstrate that Silybin (active compound in milk thistle), SAMe, Vitamin E (specifically, highly concentrated tocotrienols), NAC, Phosphatidylcholine and Glutathione work best with repeatable results. The success of these natural ingredients relies on rapid replenishment of Glutathione, a critically important liver antioxidant. 2, 3

Extracts from milk thistle have a long history in liver protection. Its rediscovery by science offers a renewed appreciation for its properties and health benefits. One very effective combination of silymarin, Vitamin E and Phosphatidylcholine, is an improvement in insulin sensitivity while reversing damaged liver cells reducing oxidative stress and improving Glutathione levels in the liver. 4, 5

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a sulfur-rich compound used primarily to neutralize the damaging effects of aspirin on the liver. It rapidly restores Glutathione. A recent animal study finds it prevents NAFLD in a liver disease diet 6. Similarly, SAMe had been found to increase Glutathione levels in humans with Fatty Liver Disease. 7

Very few, if any products on the market contain all these ingredients and they are very expensive when purchased individually. To address this Liver Medic formulated Hepatiben to make fighting this battle easier, more effective and less expensive than the alternatives.

While we have discussed the mechanism and treatment for the liver, we can’t ignore the source of the problem. A healthy diet promotes a healthy gut and is critically important in ensuring that fatty liver disease does not return.

Often missed in efforts to restore healthy flora is the removal of biofilm, which is a frequent obstacle in improving gut health. Serrapeptase is nature’s most powerful weapon in this fight. Our enteric-coated Serrapeptase breaks apart biofilm to remove viruses, parasites and other harmful organisms. In combination with Candida Complex, is a great way to remove the bad actors and get healthy again.


References

  1. Polyzos SA, Kountouras J, Zavos C, Tsiaousi E. The role of adiponectin in the pathogenesis and treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2010 May;12(5):365-83.
  2. Kwon do Y, Jung YS, Kim SJ, Park HK, Park JH, Kim YC. Impaired sulfur-amino acid metabolism and oxidative stress in nonalcoholic fatty liver are alleviated by betaine supplementation in rats. J Nutr. 2009 Jan;139(1):63-8.
  3. Caballero F, Fernandez A, Matias N, et al. Specific contribution of methionine and choline in nutritional nonalcoholic steatohepatitis: impact on mitochondrial S-adenosyl-L-methionine and glutathione. J Biol Chem. 2010 Jun 11;285(24):18528-
  4. Loguercio C, Federico A, Trappoliere M, et al. The effect of a silybin-vitamin E-phospholipid complex on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a pilot study. Dig Dis Sci. 2007 Sep;52(9):2387-95.
  5. Serviddio G, Bellanti F, Giudetti AM, et al. A silybin-phospholipid complex prevents mitochondrial dysfunction in a rodent model of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2010 Mar;332(3):922-32.
  6. Baumgardner JN, Shankar K, Hennings L, Albano E, Badger TM, Ronis MJ. N-acetylcysteine attenuates progression of liver pathology in a rat model of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. J Nutr. 2008 Oct;138(10):1872-9.
  7.  Vendemiale G, Altomare E, Trizio T, et al. Effects of ora oral S-adenosyl-L-methionine on hepatic glutathione in patients with liver disease. Scand J Gastroenterol. 1989 May;24(4):407-15.

Metabolic Syndrome: Compelling Research & Connections

Metabolic Syndrome:
Compelling Research & Connections


Almost a third of Americans have Fatty Liver Disease although most people aren’t aware they have it. A recent report by “Trust for America’s Health” indicates that a third of Americans are also obese. While growth of these diseases is not surprising to many, the causes are becoming much better understood.

Dr. Robynne Chutkan, Medical Director at Digestive Center for Women, finds that leaky gut is at the center of an epidemic. Leaky gut is the widening of junctions allowing viruses, whole food, bacteria and other toxins to pass through the intestinal wall. Once in the body, the immune system is triggered and over time this produces chronic inflammation.

“Chronic Inflammation is but one condition of Metabolic Syndrome that includes Type II Diabetes, high blood pressure and other ailments.”

When the immune system and the liver become overwhelmed, fat cells are manufactured to imprison these toxic invaders leading to Fatty Liver Disease.

Dr. Chutkan and others agree that sugar, antibiotics, pesticides, GMOs and chronic stress contribute to this rise in leaky gut. . A strong case can be made that an increase in fructose corn syrup coupled with candida increases development of Metabolic Syndrome.

“Sugar is a poison like ethanol"
Dr. Robert H. Lustig, Nueroendocrinologist University of California 

This is especially true of fructose because fructose doesn’t trigger insulin or suppress appetite like other sugars. In the past twenty-five years Americans average 25 pounds more in body weight, consuming 63 pounds of fructose every year. This is seven times the amount Americans consumed 100 years ago.

Our fiber intake also decreased from 200 to 300 grams per day to 20 grams. Fiber is necessary to slow the absorption of fructose toxicity, which the liver must then neutralize. The key to preserving one’s health is avoiding diets high in carbohydrates that include sugar and processed foods. Healthy alternatives must include an increase in fiber and protein to maintain proper gut and liver health, which will also prevent the growth of candida.

“Candida can be controlled through supplements, but once the path to recovery is chosen and candida die off, they release over 75 toxins that must be processed by the liver.”

So liver supplements must also accompany this so the individual doesn’t feel tired and sluggish by toxin overload damaging the body.