Archive for the ‘Nutrition & Supplements’ Category

A possible decline in breast-cancer incidence in 2003

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

These are confusing times. The media quickly alerts us to potential health disasters and keep us ever-weary of the risks for cancer. Yet in all the hype and excitement, the value of bio-identical hormone replenishment is often discounted or overlooked. The New England Journal of Medicine April 19, 2007 issue releases a report about “The Decrease in Breast-Cancer Incidence in 2003 in the United States.” Assuming that the statistics are correct, then much can be speculated about the causes of this overall decline in the disease. And the authors certainly do speculate about this, without much information to truly lead them.

One speculation is the decreased use in Premarin and Prempro since the announcement of the WHI conclusions. The transition to fewer women replacing their hormones with synthetic derivatives could have played a role, but given the short interval between the reports from the WHI study and the change in breast-cancer incidence data, this seems unlikely. Also of note, the report states “No sudden decrease has yet been reported for breast-cancer incidence in heavily screened populations.” So speculation about routine screening also may enter the equation. Clearly, much still needs to be evaluated.

What the authors completely overlook, or at least fail to mention in their speculation, is that a great paradigm shift has begun. More people are realizing the healthy benefits of having their hormone levels measured and then replenished to levels of wellness, not replaced with a foreign hormone. They are seeking balance in their hormones, not supra-physiologic dosing or replacement.

They mention the change in diet that many women have chosen. More and more women are learning that substances such as Diindolemethane, CoQ10, anti-oxidants, vitamins A, E, & D, and iodine are important for breast health. Furthermore, they recognize the benfits of replenishing melatonin, progesterone and DHEA, as they all play a role in decreasing cancer states.

So by choosing bio-identical therapies, or by avoiding synthetic hormones that further suppress endogenous bio-identical hormones, women may be finding better breast health.

Further investigation is definitely warranted to elucidate the true correlations to this possible decline in breast-cancer incidence rates. Guesses are being made without getting the full information. Have prescription rates increased for compounded and pharmaceutical bio-identical hormone therapies? What are the serum DHEA-S , estradiol, progesterone, Vitamin A & E, 25 hydroxy vitamin D, free and total testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, melatonin, homocysteine, anti-oxidant levels and 24 hour urine iodine challenge test results of the women that do present with breast cancers? And those that never get cancer?

The other issue at hand is whether anabolic steroids should be available over the counter. Despite the fact that vitamin D is a very beneficial steroid hormone, it is not receiving the same scrutiny for access as dehydroepiandrosterone is. Where does this put us in our understanding of the value of DHEA? Researchers have found a potential benefit in using DHEA to kill androgen receptor-positive breast cancers. Another study suggests, however, that there no relation exists between DHEA-S or DHEA and overall breast cancer risks. There may be some association of DHEA with estrogen receptor-positive/ progesterone receptor-positive breast cancers, but it’s unclear how these levels were balanced in the study with the subjects’ other hormones and nutritional statuses.

Such fragments of data can be confusing. This is why it is so important that patients work with physicians who are thorough in their approaches to care, and understand the value of balancing hormones bio-identically, instead of suppressing them synthetically.

I am hopeful that breast cancer rates are truly declining, not just in 2003. We have much to assess, and it is far too soon to jump to full blown conclusions. May true health prevail.

Ravdin PM, Cronin KA, Howlader N, Berg CD, Chleblowski RT, Feuer EJ, Edwards BK, Berry DA. The decrease in breast-cancer incidence in 2003 in the United States.
New England Journal of Medicine. 2007 April, 356(16):1670-74

Tworoger SS, Missmer SA, Eliassen AH, Spiegelman D, Folkerd E, Dowsett M, Barbieri RL, Hankinson SE. The association of plasma DHEA and DHEA sulfate with breast cancer risk in predominantly premenopausal women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006 May; 15(5):967-71.

Labrie F. Dehydroepiandrosterone, androgens, and the mammary gland. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2006 Mar; 22(3):118-30.

Hardin C, Pommier R, Calhoun K, Muller P, Jackson T, Pommier S. A new hormonal therapy for estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer. World J Surg. 2007 April 4.

Aceves C, Anguiano B, Delgado G. Is iodine a gatekeeper of the integrity of the mammary gland? J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2005 Apr; 10(2):189-96.

Natalie Kather, MD
Family and Anti-Aging Medicine physician

The Metabolic Plan

Monday, May 1st, 2006

Now at Best Seller status with 250,000 sales, “The Metabolic Plan” by healthy aging expert Stephen Cherniske is a must-read for anyone interested in a high quality of life. Cherniske has the great understanding and insight that healthy aging requires much more than a good diet and exercise. As an international expert on DHEA, he reveals his own aging process. The before and after photos strikingly demonstrate his healthy recovery and on-going improvement. Quite frankly, he shows how the metabolic approach to health improved his cholesterol levels, blood pressure, lean muscle mass, and appearance. Page 40 shows photos of him at 40 years old and 48 years old. At 48 years old, he looks much younger, healthier and more handsome. Cosmetic physicians are astounded when I share this book with them and explain that he’s had no cosmetic procedures done. With over 400 scientific references, the concepts and data presented in this book are very true and tested. Healthy aging is not just for the elite. When can use the benefits of nature to grow younger and healthier naturally. Cherniske shows us how we are all able to attain a level of health that is above average, without having to spend outrageous amounts of money on outrageous procedures. His book focuses on the wisdom of nature and science to create health.
For longevity gurus, this book serves as a strong foundation for studying anti-aging medicine. I am particularly grateful for this book as it helped me to understand important concepts in preparation for my American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine exams. The Metabolic Model of Aging is an important concept for us to understand at any age for healthy living. It is a delightful read and great reference. It lists important tests that are needed to assess longevity and health. Read this book now and get 5 more copies to give to friends- they will appreciate it!

Hot Pepper Kills Prostate Cancer

Saturday, March 18th, 2006

U.S. and Japanese researchers have announced results of a study showing that capsaicin, the chemical that makes peppers hot, can cause prostate cancer cells to kill themselves. ‘Capsaicin led 80 percent of human prostate cancer cells growing in mice to commit suicide in a process known as apoptosis, the researchers said.’ This led to tumors one fifth the size of those in untreated mice.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Soy Isoflavones

Monday, February 13th, 2006

Do your heart and that of your lover’s some good with including soy isoflavones in your diet. A heart-shaped block of tofu may seem like an unconventional Valentine, but it promises more health than a powdery sugar confection with the message “Be Mine” inscribed on it.

Give it to Some Bunny you love:
Soy isoflavone diets have been tested on rabbits, with positive results seen in decreasing atherosclerotic plaques. In other words, it helps decrease hardening of the arteries. To create hardening of the arteries, the research bunnies were fed casein, a protein found in cheese and some “nutritional” drinks (yikes!). But some bunnies were also fed 5mg/kg/day of isoflavones with this casein diet. The isoflavone plus casein diet bunnies showed 36% less bad cholesterol (LDL), 36% less aorta wall cholesterol, and twice as much good cholesterol (HDL) than the other group. They also had lower rates of the heat shock proteins related to atherosclerosis. (1) These isoflavones, especially genistein, has been found to protect the cells in the walls of human blood vessels at the DNA level. So the picture of vessel damage is not just about cholesterol levels and deposits. Genistein inhibits and reverses the cell death propcess that the toxic amino acid homocysteine creates. (2) It heals and protects!

Go at it like rabbits!
Nutritional supplements like soy isoflavones, vitamin E, selenium and lycopene can help protect against prostate cancer . (3) Some worry, though, that the hormonal modulation effects of soy isoflavones may interfere with fertility. A metabolite of isoflavones called Equol has the potential to decrease 5 alpha dihydrotestosterone, a very potent form of testosterone. (4) However, a study done in 2004 showed no alteration in male rabbit fertility, even at doses of 5 mg/kg/day. Some of the biochemistry in the rabbit semen even improved, like HDL levels.(5)
So when you want to make your true love a heart-healthy, sex healthy treat this Valentine’s Day, include soy isoflavones like that in tofu, on your holiday menu! Happy Valentine’s Day!

1 Rosier Olimpio Pereira I Saes Parra Abdall D. Soy isoflavones reduce heat shock proteins in experimental atherosclerosis. Eur J Nutr, 2005 Nov 24
2 Fuchs D, et al. Genistein blocks homocysteine-induced alterations in the proteome of human endothelial cells. Proteomics. 2005 Jul;5(11):2808-18
3 Kucuk O. Chemoprevention of prostate cancer. Cancer Metastis Rev2002;21(2):111-24.
4 Lephart ED, et al. ILAR 2004; 45(4):443-54
5 Yousef MI, et al. J Environ Sci Health B. 2004;39(5-6):819-33

Natalie Kather, MD

Bioenergetic Substances: Do you get enough in your diet?

Saturday, January 28th, 2006

Bioenergetic substances are chemicals that help your cells’ energy production improve in a healthy, non-stressful way. Stimulants, like caffeine and nicotine stress the adrenals and central nervous system, but bioenergetics just help the body’s energy system work better. Inside each cell are many, many power houses called mitochondria. These little factories incinerate fatty acids and turn them into ATP, the currency of biologic energy. Bioenergetics benefit this process by either improving the mechanics of the process, or by providing anti-oxidant protection to the mitochondrial structure.
For example, L-carnitine acts like a worker that stokes the fire by putting or pulling fatty acids into the mitochondrial incinerator. Co Q10 and alpha lipoic acid are important anti-oxidants that protect the incinerator structure from the “rusting” that occurs with this highly oxidative process. The fire of this process is the Kreb’s Cycle. Components of this cycle and processes feeding into it also act as bioenergetics, including magnesium aspartate, potassium aspartate, alpha ketoglutarate, and pyridoxal-5-phosphate (the MOST bioavailable form of vitamin B6).
It’s best to combine the substances that improve the mechanics with those that serve as anti-oxidants so that these energy factories run optimally and also stay in good shape . In other words, protect the Kreb’s cycle with anti-oxidants. So if you’re feeling sluggish, don’t reach for that cafeinated drink, reach for a great bioenergetic supplement instead! Your body will love you for it, and you will have better energy all around in the long run.
This is Dr. Natalie’s personal list of bioenergetics and anti-oxidants that she takes to optimize her energy and health:
acetyl L-carnitine (it helps brain function too! She gets this in her Oasis Life Sciences Ageless Prime.)
pyridoxal-5-phosphate (Oasis Life Sciences Ageless Prime and AgelessXtra)
alpha lipoic acid (Oasis Life Sciences AgelessXtra)
Selenium (Vitaline formulas)
Zinc (Solaray)
Vitamin E ( mixed forms are best, not just alpha tocopherol. Gamma tocopherol is a better choice. Did you know there are at least 8 different forms of vitamin E, including tocopherols and tocotrienols?)
Vitamin C
Magnesium malate
Anti-oxidants from fruits and vegetables (Oasis Life Sciences Metagreens, Metaberry, Aloe Gold and AgelessXtra)
N-acetyl cysteine (detoxifies the brain and liver! Oasis Life Sciences Ageless Prime)
CoQ10, EPA, DHA (purified fish oil Metapower from Oasis Lifsciences)
Bio-identical hormone replenishment (Yep! They are bioenergetics too! Just remember to also include the above substances also because with hormones, the speeds of processes are increased. So what little supply of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and etc. are there, will get used up even faster.)
Vitamin D (cholecalciferol. It’s actually an anabolic steroid!)
Thyroid hormone
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
7-keto DHEA

Bioenergetics are awesome substances, helping the body to function better and become healthier! Include them in your diet everyday!
Best Wishes in Health,
Dr. Natalie

Anti-Aging Humor

Thursday, January 5th, 2006

Patient: “There are just so many nutritional supplements to take! Is there anything I can stop?”

Anti-Aging Physician: “Are you eating potato chips?”

Patient: “Well, yes.”

Physician: “Stop that.”

Cancer fighting agent found only in hops

Monday, November 28th, 2005

A Healthy Beer is already being developed, due to an important cancer fighting agent found only in hops.

Probiotics :Good Bacteria?

Saturday, November 12th, 2005

Probiotics :Good Bacteria?
A new study shows that some bacteria actually make us healthier. One type — called probiotics — can stimulate the immune system and help protect against colds and flu.

A diet rich in antioxidants alone may not be enough

Saturday, July 30th, 2005

A recent study suggests that a diet rich in antioxidants alone may not be enough. Apparently, other factors are at work too. The BBC article on the study is a little confusing. The researchers agree that oxidants damage cell DNA – and that cells die off when their DNA is damaged(which is a good thing: no one wants errant cells running amok and reproducing). The BBC article teaser contends that an aging theory has been proven wrong, but the body of the article – and comments by the researchers – do not seem to agree. Anyone have comments? What do you think?

Fighting Aging With Nutritional Supplements

Monday, July 25th, 2005

A nutritional supplement company named Oasis has a relatively new product out called AgelessXtra. It is different from other products on the market, providing powerful anti-inflamatories and huge amounts of antioxidants.

The anti-inflammatories can help heal inflammation throughout the body; not just joint inflammation. The substances have long been used in Eastern medicine, and may not have the side effects of typical pharmaceutical drugs, like VIOXX or CELEBREX. Inflammation can imobilize and damage your body. Use AgelessXtra to fight back!

The antioxidants are equivalent to the amount in 10 servings of fruits and vegetables, and are perfect for users who do not get enough of these in their diets. Antioxidants help remove the free radicals that damage our cells, and cause the breakdown of vital tissues.

More information coming soon on the other supplements are added to the blend.