Sunday, May 31, 2009

Become B-I-O-N-I-C

Hormesis...and cold showers...

I should... *ahaaa* more often (besides tri-training)

As I wish I could shut my playboy mouth...(Lady Gaga)

Mark Twight, founder of Gym Jones and former-Xfitter, was the coach hired to whip the '300' Movie actors and stuntmen into astounding warrior-shape. He employs several techniques to induce hormesis.

One technique: C O L D S H O W E R S (WSJ article, Training That's Beyond Boot Camp by Mr. M. Ybarra)
Other techniques: Mr. Cosgrove, '300' Workout

A researcher in Denmark, Dr. S. Rattan, has written about the benefits in extending lifespan via hormesis (Ageing Res Rev. 2008 Jan;7(1):63-78). "Hormesis in aging is represented by mild stress-induced stimulation of protective mechanisms in cells and organisms resulting in biologically beneficial effects. Single or multiple exposure to low doses of otherwise harmful agents, such as irradiation, food limitation, heat stress, hypergravity, reactive oxygen species and other free radicals have a variety of anti-aging and longevity-extending hormetic effects. (me thinks the torture umm... the WODs at X-fit fit this definition) Detailed molecular mechanisms that bring about the hormetic effects are being increasingly understood, and comprise a cascade of stress response and other pathways of maintenance and repair. Although the extent of immediate hormetic effects after exposure to a particular stress may only be moderate, the chain of events following initial hormesis leads to biologically amplified effects that are much larger, synergistic and pleiotropic. A consequence of hormetic amplification is an increase in the homeodynamic space of a living system in terms of increased defence capacity and reduced load of damaged macromolecules. Hormetic strengthening of the homeodynamic space provides wider margins for metabolic fluctuation, stress tolerance, adaptation and survival. Hormesis thus counter-balances the progressive shrinkage of the homeodynamic space, which is the ultimate cause of aging, diseases and death. Healthy aging may be achieved by hormesis through mild and periodic, but not severe or chronic, physical and mental challenges..."

Brief cold stress appears to improve our immune systems by stimulating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal and hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axes as described HERE research is reviewed including an experiment where T. gondii-infected-rats had improved survival with cold-hydrotherapy x8days.

Exposure to periodic, repeated, short term (like 2-7mins) cold stress induces hormesis which can help to rebuild and regenerate our bodies and minds... making us... stronger, better, more powerful...

B I O N I C .

And...BTW make sure you don't consume too much sucrose (carbohydrates) and make sure you have healthy adrenal function (good quality/quantity sleep, reduced mental stress, adrenal support if needed, etc), otherwise the beneficial stress-responses will be shut down:
Sucrose intake and corticosterone interact with cold to modulate ingestive behaviour, energy balance, autonomic outflow and neuroendocrine responses during chronic stress.
Bell ME, et al. J Neuroendocrinol. 2002 Apr;14(4):330-42.

Dr. W. Bushell from MIT wrote a review called "From molecular biology to anti-aging cognitive-behavioral practices: the pioneering research of Walter Pierpaoli on the pineal and bone marrow foreshadows the contemporary revolution in stem cell and regenerative biology" in 2005 (Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Dec;1057:28-49). Stem cells are the backbone of rebuilding organs and other body parts. He suggests that a revolution is going on in medicine and science... ya think...???

Evidence is accruing that a cognitive-behavioral regimen integrating cognitive techniques (meditation-based anti-stress, anti-inflammatory techniques, others), dietary modification ("dietary restriction" or modified dietary restriction), and certain forms of aerobic exercise, may prolong the healthy life span in humans. Recent research has identified some of the likely molecular mediators of these potentially broad-ranging, health-enhancing and anti-aging effects; these include DHEA, interleukins -10 and -4 (IL-10, 1L-4), and especially melatonin. Relatedly, what some are calling a revolution in biology and medicine has been emerging from research on stem cells and regeneration processes more generally.

Dogma regarding limitations on the regenerative capacities of adult vertebrates is being cautiously yet enthusiastically revised in the wake of rapidly accumulating discoveries of more types of adult stem cells in mammals, including humans. For example, a recent review by D. Krause of Yale concluded that "in the [adult] bone marrow, in addition to hematopoietic stem cells and supportive stromal cells, there are cells with the potential to differentiate into mature cells of the heart, liver, kidney, lungs, GI tract, skin, bone, muscle, cartilage, fat, endothelium and brain." In addition, very recent studies have shown that DHEA, ILs-10 and -4, and melatonin all possess potential regenerative, including stem cell-activating, properties.

More than a quarter of a century ago, Walter Pierpaoli initiated a series of extraordinary studies that demonstrated in experimental animals the potential for dramatic regeneration associated with changes in the pineal gland and bone marrow. This appeared to be not only retardation of aging, but also its REVERSAL.

Furthermore, as Pierpaoli was attempting to understand both anti-aging regeneration and oncogenesis, he was focusing on both pro- and anti-mitotic mechanisms: recent research now suggests that there is a nonpathologic, "healthy" form of regeneration that is actually antagonistic to oncogenesis, and that melatonin may be important in this form of regeneration.

This paper explores Pierpaoli's pioneering studies in light of recent developments in stem cell and regenerative biology, particularly as related to the regenerative potential associated with certain cognitive-behavioral practices, and includes evidence on this subject presented for the first time.

Prior relevant animal pharm posts:
Melatonin: Evoke Tranquility
Thyroid: Hormonal Imbalances
Bone Marrow: Immoprotective and Improves Endothelial Function

Saturday, May 30, 2009


I've briefly read DR. Carolyn Dean, MD ND's book at Border's once (took about 20min); it's short and easy-peasy. We apparently deplete out Mag a VARIETY of ways:

--generating ATP those little packets of energy produced by mitochondria in every cell (even sperm)
-- remember the Ca-Mg-ATPase enzymes from bio?
--high cortisol, chronically elevated cortisol (eg, insomnia, stress, physical/mental stress, injections for joints or orally for tx of autoimmune d/o or allergic reactions, etc)
--chronic pain syndromes (see above)
--autoimmune diseases (Grave's, Hashimoto's, RA, psoriasis, T1DM, etc)
--high elevated blood glucoses (due to high urination)
--exercise (esp endurance types)
--diuretics: HCTZ, furosemide/LASIX, bumetanide, metolazone, chlorthalidone, etc
--growth (pregnancy, lactation, weight gain, etc)
--acute syndromes (preeclampsia, V-tach, DKA, acidosis, etc)
--high phytic acid and high whole grain intake (binds iron, minerals including Magnesium)
--consumption of nuts/seeds/fruits/veggies grown on depleted soils
--consumption of livestock and fowl raised on grain/depleted-soils

Also, with high calcium supplementation (eg, pregnant/lactating women, post-menopausal women, osteopenic/-porotic individuals) and/or consumption of highly processed food/beverages that are 'calcium-fortified', the minerals Ca++ and Mg++ compete for the same carriers for uptake from the stomach and intestines which prevents uptake of magnesium. Of course, we require Calcium, approximately 300-500 mg daily however minimal dietary calcium is absorbed if blood levels of vitamin D are low (eg, 25OHD less than 20-30 ng/ml).

When initiate vitamin D therapy is initiated, a baseline Mag level and a repeat 1-2mos out should be checked. Unless someone is supplementing Mag, the blood levels typically drop... and I would assume the more accurate assessment, the RBC Magnesium, does critically decrease as well.

Not good.

Initially with vitamin D therapy, Mag will appear 'high' or normal. This is deceptive. Often PTH is also mildly suboptimal (eg, greater than 20-30 pg/ml) though within 'normal standard range' or clinically elevated (eg, greater than 65 pg/ml) which indicates bone resorption and breakdown. The serum Mag is being 'sourced' from degradation of the bone matrix until minerals/hormones are re-balanced.

Many conditions are highly associated with low serum Magnesium:
--atrial fibrillation
--irregular heart beats (PVCs, PACs)
--muscle spasms/cramping/Charley horses
--impaired insulin secretion, insulin resistance
--chronic pain, fibromyalgia, back pain, body aches
--headaches, migraines
--low HDL, high Triglycerides
--high blood glucoses
--dysmenorrhea, PMS, peri-menopausal symptoms
--impaired clotting
--rapid-cycling bipolar

Magnesium (like thyroid hormone) is required by every cell and tissue for every second of our lives to produce ATP and the function of a variety of other vital celllular processes (according to Dr. Dean ~375 but I bet there are more than this now). Maintaining the high end of 'normal' serum levels for Magnesium (2.2-2.5 mg/dl) is extremely prudent if you lack access to RBC Mag measurements. Go by symptoms too -- take enough to eliminate muscle cramps/Charley horses, migraines/headaches, and other overt signs, etc.

Taking warm baths with Epsom salts helps Magnesium status and is very soothing prior to bedtime. (thank you Ted H. for the link)
Bathing in a magnesium-rich Dead Sea salt solution improves skin barrier function, enhances skin hydration, and reduces inflammation in atopic dry skin. Proksch E, et al. Int J Dermatol. 2005 Feb;44(2):151-7.

What form to take?

(a) FOOD -- whole, organic, from farmers and ranchers who rotate crops, compost, pasture-raise livestock/chickens, etc

(b) Safe well water (why your tap water sucks)

(c) Mineral water (variety of brands)

(d) Supplementation:
--Magnesium Aspartate (ZMA w/Zinc used by body builders and X-fitters)
--Chelated Magnesium (Citrate, Amino Acid, etc)
--Magnesium Glycinate ($$$$)
--Magnesium Malate (preferred by many cardiac patients, esp GI-intolerant)
--Magnesium Taurate (Cardiovascular Research brand is raved about)
--Magnesium Orotate (very popular too)
--Magnesium Citrate (CALM makes a liquid kids like)
--Magnesium Ascorbate
--Magnesium Gluconate (weak potency)
--et cetera

Magnesium oxide is the least favorite of members for its poor GI tolerability (more laxative effects, think Mg...'must go') and poor absorption compared with other salt forms.

I started thinking about Magnesium after I came across this provocative article about how potentially statins 'work' to increase HDLs 2-5% initially (not at high dose Zocor/simvastatin and Lipitor/atorvastatin which LOWERS HDLs 2-5% over time by 12 to 24wks) like Magnesium.
Comparison of mechanism and functional effects of magnesium and statin pharmaceuticals. Rosanoff A, Seelig MS. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Oct;23(5):501S-505S. Review. PDF here.

Several Magnesium-dependent enzymes exert control on inflammation:
--Mg-ATP complex controls HMG-CoA Reductase, the rate limiting step in cholesterol formation. The authors report "When cellular Mg is low, this ratio tilts towards the active form, and when such a state occurs, more cholesterol, more mevalonate and more of the pathway’s other intermediates will be produced."
--Lecithin cholesterol acyl transferase (LCAT) which lowers LDL and triglyceride levels and raises HDL-cholesterol levels
--Desaturase and other vital enzymes involved in lipid metabolism and balance. "Desaturase catalyzes the first step in the conversion of essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6s) into prostaglandins, which, like the prenylated proteins, have a cascade of stimulating and inhibiting cellular effects important in cardiovascular and overall health."

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Vitamin D: Disease Prevention

Image: courtesy of (and

Cancer and Vitamin D
Few prospective vitamin D trials exist in the literature in humans for cancer. Our best data exists as epidemiological observations. The above wonderful graphic depiction of the relationship between disease prevention and serum concentrations of vitamin D [25OHD] was complied by Dr. Davis attended a conference last year and learned that the NIH budget for studying cancer and vitamin D will be increased by $200 million. Heartening to know that funding is being put to actually good use. Cancer has now superceded heart disease to take the #1 spot for mortality in the U.S. Hopefully we'll learn more in a decade or a two! I believe it is difficult to expect Pharma or other large deep-pocketed research giants (backed by lobbyists) to fund a trial where the preventive treatment (OTC at Trader Joe's or Walmart or Target or Costco or costs as little as $2 per month and prevents a $150,000+++ cancer treatment paid for by Medicare and most insurance companies.

In the meantime...can you afford to wait for the research results?

Hopefully NIH scientists will 'get it right'... and...
(1) Use the therapeutic doses of vitamin D 4000-8000 IU daily (not 400-800 IU daily which are literally doses recommended for babies, infants and toddlers by the Academy of Pediatrics),
(2) Use vitamin D3 (not synthetic D2 which is not metabolized well by majority of the globe, esp Indo-Asians, and is linked to toxicity compared to natural D3)
(3) Use 'tracking' of [25OHD] blood concentrations
(4) Use results where [25OHD] is greater than 50 ng/ml (not just greater than 30 ng/ml... see above graph). [25OHD] of 30 ng/ml accomplishes nearly N O T H I N G... except rickets prevention greater than 99%.

Don't you deserve greater than 35%, 83%, 17%, 60%, 18%, 66%, 50%, 72%, 54%, 30%, 49%, 37% prevention, respectively for the cancers and conditions listed above?

And your family and friends?

Vitamin D, Safety and Dosing
Dosing depends on a variety of factors. You really don't know if you have the right dose unless you check 4-6 wks after initiating supplementation. Everyone is uniquely different and so are the enzymes which activate and de-activate vitamin D and its derivatives, the skin protective melanin/pigmentation which blocks excessive activation, how much time spent indoors, how much makeup/sunscreen/clothes are worn, etc.

Dr. Cannell, Dr. Davis and other vitamin D experts advise starting at vitamin D3 5,000 IU daily in the morning/daytime if you receive no sunlight or live in an area devoid of UVB radiation (~half of the year nearly zero UVB above the 37th latitude).

The below graph is from a prominent vitamin D researcher, Dr. Vieth, in Canada where vitamin D supplementation is nearly mandatory (Vieth R 1999). I've superimposed the dose I take to achieve 60 - 70 ng/ml, vitamin D 5,000 IU daily. In winter I take 8,000 to 10,000 IU daily which is more similar to the dosing curve Vieth has determined in his clinical research.

For U.S. standard lab values, to convert nmol/L to ng/ml, divide by 2.5.

Dr. Vieth writes that "The clinical trial evidence shows that a prolonged intake of 250 mug (10,000 IU)/d of vitamin D(3) is likely to pose no risk of adverse effects in almost all individuals in the general population; this meets the criteria for a tolerable upper intake level (Vieth R 2007)."

Dose response for vitamin D intake versus final serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentration reported. Circles indicate group means from Tables 4 and 5. Points indicated by "X" represent single values from Table 5 for people reported as intoxicated with vitamin D. The arrow indicates the lowest dose reported as causing hypercalcemia, but which is an outlier because vitamin D was given as a single dose of 7500 µg (300000 IU)/mo, instead of 250 µg (10000 IU)/d (77). If authors reported 25(OH)D for several time points, only the final serum 25(OH)D is shown in the figure. The line representing the dose response passes through the points that represent group data.

Low wintertime vitamin D levels in a sample of healthy young adults of diverse ancestry living in the Toronto area: associations with vitamin D intake and skin pigmentation.
Gozdzik A, Barta JL, Wu H, Wagner D, Cole DE, Vieth R, Whiting S, Parra EJ.
BMC Public Health. 2008 Sep 26;8:336.

Vitamin D from dietary intake and sunlight exposure and the risk of hormone-receptor-defined breast cancer.
Blackmore KM, Lesosky M, Barnett H, Raboud JM, Vieth R, Knight JA.
Am J Epidemiol. 2008 Oct 15;168(8):915-24. Epub 2008 Aug 27.

Evidence for genetic regulation of vitamin D status in twins with multiple sclerosis.
Orton SM, Morris AP, Herrera BM, Ramagopalan SV, Lincoln MR, Chao MJ, Vieth R, Sadovnick AD, Ebers GC.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Aug;88(2):441-7.

Vitamin D toxicity, policy, and science.
Vieth R.
J Bone Miner Res. 2007 Dec;22 Suppl 2:V64-8. Review.

Vitamin D supplementation, 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations, and safety.
Vieth R. PDF here.
Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 May;69(5):842-56. Review.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Trifecta. . . and More Confection

Speaking of fellowship and... confection, a week ago I was so grateful to experience a trifecta of TYP/Paleo encounters and delights! First had a workout at the most awesome Crossfit gym on earth where ~80% of owners/ trainers/ members are ~80-100% wheat/grain free, taking omega-3s, and, now, a growing number, the right 'roid, vitamin D! Where candy is a given and made EVERYDAY. Xfit helps me stay on track . . . with the help of 2 sorts of M'LFS: military, law enforcement, fire-fighters and the bad*ss female-warrior MiLFs.

Alright... then the other day, after walking my children to school I ran into both my favorite neighbor and favorite room mom. In fact, my wonderful blond-n-beautiful neighbor went wheat/gluten free just a month after our family last summer and buys her vitamin D from me (yeah, can u say official neighborhood drug dealer? *HAA* Currently, I'm diversifying into... coconut oil). WOW. We chatted about the immediate improvement in energy and health she had noticed -- asthma, GI, bloating, general malaise, thyroid, and blah blah blah ALL GONE zippo. And... these age-reversing remedies are... LEGAL. If it's even possible, she looks even more hawt and MILFy each day. She says she feels like she is in her 20's again, pre-kids. As we were talking about a favorite conversation topic of mine (eg, wheat dangers) my favorite room mom told us she has been contemplating but hasn't QUITE made the important jump yet. Just as she said this, a friend of theirs joined SO serendipitously. She was a friend who had apparently been wheat-free for... like... SEVEN YEARS after a celiac diagnosis. Obviously a very bright young woman, but she let us know that she is worried about her BRAIN (despite the gut and damaged villi being impaired the most). Never would she had thought she had celiac disease however being anemic for years started an exploration for a solution and diagnosis. Her gut was not absorbing vitamin B12 (from fermented products and/or seafood/meat sources) hence inducing macrocytic anemia (large-celled low blood counts). Chronic deficiency of B12 she explained leads to brain damage. She revealed that even now she doesn't feel like her brain is completely what it was before. Naturally, I have hope for her (eg, vitamin D, fish oil, low carb eating *ahaa*). B12 deficiency causes Wernicke's in alcoholics, a form of neuropathic degradation. She's right on. I did learn that once in Nutrition 101. Vitamin B12 is necessary not just for bone marrow and red blood cells, but every organ, every cell and every neuron. But what I never learned is that brain damage from leaky gut from GLUTEN/wheat (those d*mn dirty grains) is prevalent and growing like a silent epidemic. Like a task force, we talked about 'spreading the word' to other moms and sharing our resources, info, etc. There is an urgency. It aint no Tupperware party.

Epidemic. Brain damage.

Worse than Swine Virus.

Our encounters and conversations certainly made my day. And when my favorite room mom converts, she'll make my y-e-a-r! *haa* Yeah I can be a persistent, persuasive, omni-present little bugger.

Lastly at our April b-days party (yes, incl mine - another year, another year younger), my favorite gal-pals in the galaxy met. About 50% are semi-wheat free -- and I'll take that, as I'll take ANYTHING that will keep us together longer on our limited days on earth. My bestest best-friend baked the most loving, most thoughtful, most delicious, most C H O C O L A T E Y . . . moistest almond/European wheat-free dairy-free chocolate cake. Recipe HERE (coconut oil of course sub'd for butter). How old am I? *haa* Seventeen again and . . . counting backwards.

How young are you?


Friday, May 1, 2009

Warrior Race: Provoke...MY ENVY...

Totally underappreciated roles were Hannibal King's and Parker Posey's in Trinity: Blade III . . .

What is trinity?

How is it important? Why might duoism be oddly unbalanced? Where's the fulcrum?

Whether it's a war on heart disease, inflammation, cancer, unhealthy habits out-dated-medicine, or unbalanced hormones, when we are engaged in a 'war', how do we do we achieve success alone? Defined by movie buff Mr. Broaddus "ultimately, the trinity is about relational unity and fellowship." Personally I find fellowship at a variety of unusual places -- comfort like an oasis and warmth like sunlight -- where similar Paleo people exist. A sorta weird amalgamation between the energy of the online communities (Crossfit, Evo/Paleo, Primal, etc) and the Xfit gym community has unexpectedly occurred! When people ask me what I do... (um... 4how i look. yeah can u believe?) I actually find it hard to separate all of it. Where does it begin? Where does it meld? I don't know anymore!

We need neolithic science, tracking, testing for optimal paleolithic lifestyle changes and maintenance.

Transformative change CAN trickle around. It does. Even when people embrace just a tiny bit of it... they notice more energy, elimination of bloating and IBS stomach issues, better athleticism in their kids, reversal of bipolar/PMS/femi-shrill-tendencies, normalization of NASH-fattyliver-tests, melting of 2-4 inches of belly waist circumfrance, and even PSA-prostate improvements in only 2-4 weeks.

For genetic expression and physical phenotypical transformation, how long does it take?

Well... if I had known about evolutionary lifestyles and Paleo -- not FIVE yrs like my case to lose 50 lbs. Maybe just FIVE months maximum. Definitely mental, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal changes are noticeable in only TWO to FIVE weeks.

Examine the hero Blade and his journey -- he's a chimera/hybrid of the best between vampires and humans. He understands both... fights an internal battle for both. Even King too (in the comic bk -- naught... the movie wtf). We are all products of an embarrassing past/genetics/culture and trying to optimize what we understand to be the best.

Yes. It conflicts with the SAD mainstream.

Yes. It conflicts with your doctor who is still trained on 20+ year old textbooks and data.

Yes. It conflicts with the whole-grain baloney dogma as well. Keep eating your grains, lottsa fruit and corn oil. Yeah. Stay fat and unfit.

Suck at life.

Don't reach your genetic expression potential.

Don't be disease-free.

Don't take a few supplements.

Shorten your lifespan.

Blade III: Trinity
I find the cast quite curious for this little movie.

Cast (in credits order)
Wesley Snipes .... Blade
Kris Kristofferson .... Abraham Whistler
Ryan Reynolds .... Hannibal King
Jessica Biel .... Abigail Whistler
Parker Posey .... Danica Talos

Nearly every line King uttered was like... SNL's best years condensed... Who knew comic timing was part of Mr. Reynold's repertoire... AND PALEO-LIKE FAB ABS... Mr. Reynolds has admitted in interviews that he has to work hard 1-3 hrs a day to gain and maintain the 40 lbs muscle mass he packed on for the Blade Trinity role (did he eat non-Paleo crap? no. if u watch the interview. but who f**@+#$*!% cares). Anyhow, revel at his hard-earned results... frames 1:49 3:06 and 4:02...!

Best HILARIOUS Part of Blade 3:

Good guffaws for Friday evening...

  • Lines from one of the funniest scenes in vampire movie history... can't-shut-his-mouth-nightstalker-HannanibalKing-quotes.
  • Parker Posey is the vampire with fangs in her *** and her lines are CLASSIC
  • As y'll know I'm a BIG fan of OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS (*ha* and candy... except candy getting beaten up *OUCH*): Danica: [after licking one of Hannibal's wounds] 'ur tasting a little bland, Lover... r u getting enough fatty acids in ur diet? have you had lake trout...? mackerel?'
  • Second best line: 'Okay, I'm - okay, seriously now. It's in the meat of my b*tt, just below the Hello Kitty tattoo.' omg S O . . . F U N N Y. . .
  • Posey's hair -- nuf said (I've had good hair days like her *haa* Also, don't miss her in the quest for the 'O' in OHIO movie *haaaaa* God she's so good)
  • Finally. Danica Talos: 'And how about everyone here not saying the word "****" anymore? It provokes my envy.'

OK... Per the actors and actresses... To achieve less than 10% body fat, they attributed it to Physical Training and Diet. DIET DIET DIET.

--45min cardio, 1 hr WEIGHTS, 1 hr martial arts/boxing, 1 hr archery (Jessica Biel), yoga, SLEEP
--Diet: low low carb, veggies, protein protein protein (no large meals -- several small ones)
--CLICK HERE for their secrets!

Random great G-radio finds:
  • Infra-Red by PLACEBO: "I'll Find You (tyd)...can't see in the dark..."
  • Under the Rose by H.I.M.: "I dream of the winter in my heart turning to spring. While the ice gives way under my feet . . . To prove you wrong and scare you away. I admit my defeat and want back home. In your heart under the rose . . . "
  • Somebody Help Me by Full Blown Rose
  • Pain by Three Days GRACE
  • One Girl Revolution -- Hot girl-warrior power: Abigail Whistler
  • The Highwaymen -- 2nd voice, the wise samurai peace-loving poet-warrior Kris Kristofferson