Wednesday, January 28, 2009

'Breathe, Not Botox'

I finally returned to yoga after a little 'sabbatical' (eg, holiday cheer, parties) and this fantastic teacher gave us incredible instructions (lotta newbies in class as it's still Jan). . . 'Breathe, not botox' for radiant, glowing skin and staying young. HAA aahhaa that's a new one for me!

Well, apparently she's totally R-I-G-H-T ON. Several new beauty products on the market contain neuropeptides (again pricey $$$ Perricone and Kinerase C8) claim to increase skin collagen and prevent/reduce wrinkles and 'AGE CONTROL'. HHHhhhMMMmmm... really...?

She explained that during spinal twists and deep breathing, our spinal fluid (CSF) is manipulated and gently encouraged to circulate more freely...releasing longevity-promoting substances. Wow. Neurobiology in yoga. She remarked that yogi's are known to have youthful looking skin and this is why. (It's true...have you seen Rodney Yee, the master? He doesn't look a day over 17.)

Articles and a Few Rare Scientific Studies

Neuropeptides: Their Significance in the Skin

Neuropeptide (Hexapeptide Argireline):
A synthetic hexapeptide (Argireline) with antiwrinkle activity.
Preparation and stability of cosmetic formulations with an anti-aging peptide.
Nanotechnology, cosmetics and the skin: is there a health risk?

Newest kid on the block (Octapeptide, SNAP-8)
Tech specs

Mammalian Neuropeptide Y (NPY)
Recently, I posted about neuropeptides generated in our nervous tissue like the brain and nervous tissue, as they relate to melatonin and pheromones. CSF bathes our brain and spine (have you heard of 'spinal taps'? not the music... ) and moves all along our spine and through the ventricles of the brain. Neuropeptides work through even our sweat glands and muscles (yeah, wrinkle producing ones) in our skin because our nervous system is like a super duper octupus which has far-reaching tentacles that innervate EVERYTHING. Scientists have found high concentrations of neuropeptides in healing tissue after trauma, burns and inflammatory conditions (psoriasis, vitiligo, atopic dermatitis). Centenarians in Poland have higher concentrations of NPY (neuropeptide Y) in their blood compared to younger folks, elderly (below age 70) and obese individuals. Animals experience many relaxing effects when they were injected with NPY into the brain: lower heart rate, improved energy regulation, enhanced the feeding-induced insulin response, less adrenaline (norepi), and improved parasympathetic responses (eg, calming restorative effects that occur typically when we're feeding or sleeping). Can't find skin radiating and anti-wrinkle benefits for NPY...but I betcha they exist *haHAA*
Neuroendocrine control of metabolic homeostasis in Polish centenarians.
Hormonal and metabolic effects of paraventricular hypothalamic administration of neuropeptide Y during rest and feeding.
Neuropeptide Y: anatomical distribution and possible function in mammalian nervous system.

How is NYP Increased?
Yoga -- which is the equivalent of pro-active R&R. (Interestingly, the below researchers did not find NYP overflow from the brain which I don't know if that is related to tight junctures at the blood-brain-barrier preventing it from leaving the brain confines?) Scientists measured concentrations of NYP and found that at rest human subjects produced the greatest amounts during rest and about 25% as much during exercise.
Region-Specific Neuropeptide Y Overflows at Rest and During Sympathetic Activation in Humans

"The net overflow of neuropeptide Y to plasma observed at rest across the hepatic circulation, but not the cardiac, forearm, or cerebral circulations, indicates that the gut, the liver, or both make a major contribution to systemic plasma neuropeptide Y levels in humans. Sympathetic activation by exercise produced a modest increase in cardiac neuropeptide Y overflow but to only approximately 25% of the resting input from the gut and without a change in arterial neuropeptide Y concentration."

Regress...To Progress??
As new technology emerges to fast track our health and looks, I can't help but be stunned by the simple realization that we can achieve the same exact things by just getting back to the basics (Paleo): twist and play, dance, yoga, meditate, sleep well, and rest/relax.

Do we need to 'regress' to progress...??

The below commentary by Japanese investigators distills many of my thoughts regarding ancient, historical healers recognized in different cultures and times. In modern conventional medicine, where's the harmony..? Here's Dr. Davis take on Prospecting for Health.
--China: Qi Gong Master/Herbalist
--Native America: The Shaman
--India: Ayurvedic Healer
--Ancient Korea/Asia: Gwan-seum, Bodhisattva of healing and mercy; 8th Century statue at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts)
--Ancient Japan: Yakushi, the Buddha of Healing and Medicine
--Ancient China/Asia: Guan Yin medicinal, merciful goddess (see picture)
--Ancient Greece: Asclepius, son of Apollo, and his 5 daughters including Hygiea (pharmacy)

The New World of Medicine: Prospecting For Health.
Go VL, Champaneria MC. Nippon Naika Gakkai Zasshi. 2002 Sep 20;91 Suppl:159-63.
UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Throughout past millennia, human beings have shared the common goal of improving health for longevity. However, different cultures around the world have developed their own approaches to achieve this goal. Various traditions have emerged, rendering distinct medical systems such as Ayurveda, Yoga, Chinese-Japanese medicine, shamanism, and Native American healing. Traditional medicine involves a holistic approach to the human body to integrate healing with culture, environment, and tradition. Modern allopathic medicine originated from Greco-Roman Medicine and Northern European traditions and is built on the science of anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry and the structure-function relationship between cells, tissues, and organs. This foundation focuses on diagnosis, treatment, and cure for acute illnesses via potent pharmaceutical drugs, surgery, radiation, and other treatment modalities. Within this past century, we have doubled the life-span of human beings. Genomic medicine, including stem cell research, cloning, and gene therapy, will increase our capability to treat even more diseases. In the new millennium, we face more chronic illnesses related to aging, environment, and lifestyle, such as cancer, diabetes. osteoporosis, and cardiovascular diseases. Thus, health care providers face the challenge of prospecting for health and disease prevention. Modern science and medical advancements provide the rationale for the integration of various traditional healing techniques, which have been termed Alternative and Complementary Medicine, to promote healing, health, and longevity. Advances in medicine must include the holistic approach of traditional medicine to face the current challenges in health care. Therefore, the New World of Medicine must fuse the antiquity of ancient healing with the innovations of modern medicine to increase life-expectancy and improve quality of life throughout the world.

PMID: 12426761

Finally, yoga significantly improves mood and reduces stress levels (cortisol) significantly in only 2wks in alcohol rehab subjects. After tequila, do you need rehab? Maybe!

Antidepressant efficacy and hormonal effects of Sudarshana Kriya Yoga (SKY) in alcohol dependent individuals. J Affect Disord. 2006 Aug;94(1-3):249-53. Gangadhar BN et al.

BACKGROUND: Sudarshana Kriya Yoga (SKY) has demonstrable antidepressant effects. SKY was tested for this effect in inpatients of alcohol dependence.
METHODS: Following a week of detoxification management consenting subjects (n=60) were equally randomized to receive SKY therapy or not (controls) for a two-week study.
CONCLUSION: Results extend the antidepressant effects of SKY in alcohol dependence subjects. Reduction in stress-hormone levels (cortisol and ACTH) along with BDI reductions possibly support a biological mechanism of SKY in producing beneficial effects.
PMID: 16740317

Friday, January 23, 2009

ONCE . . . People Stop Grains

It's not that h-a-r-d actually...

Many people I know give up g-r-**-**-n-s...

Who? Those at T-Y-P . . . those at Crossfit...reader's of this blog and others of the emerging HAWT new Paleo community...

Some of my faves:
Conditioning Research (Chris H., YOU R-O-C-K, ur #1)
Free the Animal (the 'other' transformed animal...who shares untainted fairy stories and delish food...uuummm...p**rn)
Darwin's Table (transformation...more great food...uuummmm... p**rn)
Asclepius...Feed Your Mind, Grow Your Soul, Work Your Body (god of healing and medicine *luv that name*)
Open Water: Fitness…Science…Fun…Adventure
Hyperlipid hosted by Peter...brilliant THINCer
Matt Metzgar
(and... of course... many many others!!)

Paleo is so

Quitting grains is not just Paleo -- it's the quickest way to a quality life!

What's the Paleo prescription?

Rx: Movement/play/slumber
Rx: Whole veggies, seafood/meat, good fats, seeds/nuts, minimal fruit; feed-feed/fast
Rx: Ancestral vitamin D and EPA DHA levels (Calcidiol [25(OH)D]=70 ng/ml; cod/fish oil to optimization of brain, 5 senses, muscle/heart function)

ONCE people stop grains (primarily wheat) they notice many changes and improvements. To say they undergo a restorative transformation is an understatement. Studies like the FUNGENUT show that wheat and high carb foods like white potatoes trigger a state of chaos and stressful derangements in our bodies (high insulin, high MMPs, high gene expression of 'death' genes).

The promotion of whole grains in the U.S. for 'wholesome' health is simply ridiculously whole cr**p (I'll try to keep it G-rated today *wink*).

Here is what happens when people stop those 'd*mn dirty grains'...Degree of improvement depends on degree of compliance with cessation of wheat... 6-12 months for perceptible permutations. Patience and persistence pays...

ONCE people stop grains...they're IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) eternally ends (essentially, cured of cramping/bloating/constipation) unless re-challenged

ONCE people stop grains...they report their aching knees stop knocking

ONCE people stop grains...their skin glows and ACNE

ONCE people stop grains...I notice their waistline starts to SEXY...many other things... uummm emerge too

ONCE people stop grains...WEIGHT LOSS BECOMES SUPERFLUOUS...easily attained 10 lbs per month

ONCE people stop grains...I notice their thoughts become thoughtful..lucid again

ONCE people stop grains...they can stop 200 units of insulin and/or other diabetes medications and/or their hypertensive medications and/or their gout medications

ONCE people stop grains...all report their skin tags fall off or stop appearing

ONCE people stop grains...the males' ED (erectile dysfunction) reverses...they're uummm... erected... well... sometimes... (Arg and Pycnogenol help greatly to speed this restoration up; see HERE and HERE)

ONCE people stop grains...their PSA (prostate antigen test) plummets (in parallel, Prostate Cancer risks reduce too)

ONCE in a Lifetime (Other link loves, courtesy of
-----Version I: G-rated, Enigma-Gregorian
-----Version II: NAWT G-rated... nsfw...Princessa

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hormonal Imbalances: Oprah, Steve Jobs

Hashimoto's Hypothyroidism and Oprah Winfrey

I love Oprah. My sister 'M' loves Oprah. It would be a gigantic understatement to say that all my girlfriends and co-workers love Oprah.

Now, with that said, I feel extremely, deeply saddened when I see the most well connected woman and influential/popular educator sooooo disconnected with her health and hormones. Have you been there? Unable to control your body or weight? Like a typical Oprah nut, I spent a few nights madly emailing her about year ago in Jan 2008 about vitamin D and weight loss and optimal health (and my 50# weight loss story). Where did it go? Filed in the big phat Oprah-empire round file??

Who has not been in her precise shoes?

Read about Oprah's Thyroid Club HERE (NY Times).

Hashimoto's hypothyroidism is one of the most common female (and male) afflictions of the late 20th and 21st centuries. Nearly every one of my diabetes patients has Hashimoto's.


Why are 45+ million Americans burning their Thyroid to a toast, like Oprah?

In my 20's -- stressed, eating dorm food, trying do everything 'right', instead of gaining the freshman 'fifteen', I gained F-O-R-T-Y lbs (b/c... hey... can you say overachiever?).
[Another college curiosity was observing how my hormones/ cycles/ periods became imperceptibly and immutably N*SYNC with my female dorm-mates. Mense shifts are apparently secondary to pineal gland and pheromones (link and other refs from an astute friend, thanxxx dude). Recall, pheromones are picked up by the nose- vomeronasal system and subsequent hypothalamus/limbic brain (paleopallium).]

What was going on with that college weight gain, mood fluctuations, difficult concentrating, sluggishness, coarse hair/skin, skin tag growth/insulin resistance, cold intolerance, resistance to weight loss/exercise, high cholesterol, mental fog and general feeling of clinical cr*ppiness??

I wish I knew back then...

Oprah... let's try to clue you in, my honeybun... from my sad life lessons.

For me, in hindsight, there were a few situations that may parallel Oprah's, that are backed up by the medical literature that cause thyroid dysfunction.

How to Give Yourself Hashimoto's Thyroiditis 101:

--lack of sunlight/vitamin D/indoor habitation
--mental stress
--more mental stress
--sleep deprivation... (excessive mochas/lattes at Berkeley cafes)
--excessive 'social' calendar
--inherent family history of autoimmune disorders (who doesn't??)
--wheat, wheat, and more wheat ingestion ('comfort foods' craved in times of high cortisol/stress, right? how did I know the carbs were killing me?)
--lack of nutritious food containing EPA DHA, vitamin A, sat fats, minerals, iodine, etc
--lack of play, exercise, movement (or ?overtraining perhaps for Oprah's case)
--weight gain -- which begins an endless self-perpetuating vicous cycle of all the above (Is it stressful to balloon out for no apparent reason? YES)

Of course, it turns out there is a hheeeyyuuggee link between sunlight/vit D/melatonin and the neuroendocrine system.

These four research groups below discuss how our Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Thyroid-Gonad Axis is tightly affected by melatonin, Thyroid Hormones, neuropeptides like brain tachykinins, and our reproductive sex steroids (Estrogen and Testosterone).

Melatonin influences on the neuroendocrine-reproductive axis.
Díaz López B, Díaz Rodríguez E, Urquijo C, Fernández Alvarez C. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Dec;1057:337-64.
The neuroendocrine-reproductive axis designates the functional activity of the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis. A delicate synchronization of many inputs at these three different levels is vital for normal reproductive function. From the median basal hypothalamus, the median eminence releases gonadotrophin releasing hormone into the portal circulation to reach the anterior pituitary gland.

Evidence for pineal gland modulation of the neuroendocrine-thyroid axis.
Vriend J. Neuroendocrinology. 1983;36(1):68-78.
Although melatonin administration has been reported to inhibit blood T4 levels in both rats and hamsters, under certain experimental conditions melatonin administration can be demonstrated to have a counter-antithyrotrophic effect resulting in increased blood levels of T4 and thyrotrophin... The effects of melatonin on the neuroendocrine-thyroid axis are similar to its effects on the neuroendocrine-gonadal axis, leading to the hypothesis of a common site of action for the thyroid and gonadal effects of melatonin.

Modulation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis and the pineal gland by neurokinin A, neuropeptide K and neuropeptide gamma.
Debeljuk L, Lasaga M. Peptides. 1999;20(2):285-99.
Tachykinin concentrations in the hypothalamus and pituitary are regulated by steroid hormones. In the hypothalamus, estrogens and testosterone increase tachykinin concentration. In the anterior pituitary gland, estradiol and thyroid hormones markedly depress tachykinin concentrations.

REVIEW. Melatonin and the thyroid gland.
Lewinski A, Karbownik M. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2002 Apr;23 Suppl 1:73-8.
The confirmation of these relations in clinical studies in humans meets numerous difficulties, resulting - among others - from the fact that, nowadays, human beings, as well as certain animal species, used in experimental studies, have been living far away from their natural and original habitat. It makes almost impossible to compare the results obtained in particular studies performed in different species, on the pineal-thyroid interrelationship.
(Yes...we may be jacking up our hormones with artificial light, computer screens and TV.)

Oprah Likely Needs Vitamin D

Vitamin D ties everything together. The above two pictures come from the below research article (Sunlight--can it prevent as well as cause cancer?). The authors review: "The active form, 1.25D,, is a full member of the endocrine system, and as such interacts with virtually every organ in the body (31, 32). Especially noteworthy is its interaction with the sex and pituitary hormones (32-34), e.g.,the promotion of l-a-hydroxylation of 25D, by prolactin (34), since some of these interactions provide a mechanism for participation of 1.25D, in the control of cell growth in the reproductive organs . . . The Darwinian view of evolution suggests that loss of body hair in Homo sapiens should have some survival advantage, and it is difficult to think of reasons other than that this provides ready access of sunlight to the skin . . . lack of sufficient sunlight contributes to the known high incidence of carcinoma of the prostate in black American men and to the more aggressive progression of carcinoma of the breast in black women."

Vitamin D interacts with all the steroid nuclear receptors especially Thyroid Receptors and Vitamin A/Carotenoid Receptors (The concept of multiple vitamin D signaling pathways. Carlberg C. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 1996 Apr;1(1):10-4.)

Oprah has a few risk factors for low blood vitamin D:
--stress -- our body burns up Vitamin D to maintain cellular processes under stress and infections
--wheat consumption (Stephan discusses this very well: Vitamin D and Celiac/Gluten Sensitivity) (and ?leaky gut prevent absorption of fat soluble vitamins)
--pigmented skin
--indoor lifestyle
--living north of the 37th latitude where UVB solar radiation (the activating wavelength for vitamin D) is scarce for 40-50% of the calendar year

Unless Oprah is receiving bio-identical hormone replacement, then her natural steroid sex hormones are likely to be 'off' and this would affect her Thyroid as well. Women from age 35 yo and up start experiencing declines in sex hormone due to the atresia (dissolving) of the eggs in the ovaries, one of the main sources of Estrogen and Testosterone. After Menopause (average age: 51 yo), nearly all the eggs are gone. Again, as the above emphasizes, the lack of significant sex hormones will profoundly affect the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Thyroid glands.

What can help Oprah's Thyroid and take her to optimal health?
--Richard, at Free the Animal Oprah's Recipe For Failure -- And My Solution For Success, started this conversation and many of his fans chimed in.
--Scott Miller wrote:

"Here are ten quick mistakes I see her making that will sabatoge her efforts:
[1] Eating starches and grains.

[2] Eating low fat foods (like the egg whites rather than full eggs)
[3] Eating too often...How many omnivores in nature eat five times per day, regularly, like clockwork?
[4] Using fat-free dressings.
[5] A stunning lack of variety in salad-type vegetables (pretty much always romaine lettuce).
[6] Having a killer temptation like those blue chips in the house.
[7] Stead-pace aerobics violate the power law of human conditioning.
[8] And doing aerobics too often.
[9] Slow-twitch-fiber-only strength training.
[10] Strength training too often. "

Besides the paleolithic lifestyle, Oprah could use some natural neolithic bio-identical hormone replacement, starting with the big 'D':
--Vitamin D to blood [25(OH)D = 70 ng/ml] which will probably require about 8000 IU daily in the morning (Cannell doses 1000 IU per 25 lbs -- Oprah reports weight is ~200 lbs)
--Cortisol Reduction -- rest, relaxation, meditation, turn off the Crackberry
--Correct hGH Deficiency-- eat enough fat/protein, carb restrict, sleep well and enough, induce some strain/pain/gain on the muscles, food deprivation 18-36 hr 2-3x/wk
--Correct excess insulin -- stop wheat
--THYROID Replacement-- correct gradually to tolerance and mood, energy, cognition (Dr. Davis goal TSH: 1.0; Free T3: upper nl)
--Estrogen (estriol E3 primarily) -- restore to personal youthful levels prior to peri- and menopausal changes; provides cognition (our brains are FULL of estrogen-receptors), mentation/memory, skin/hair/mucuous membrane functioning, immunity, etc
--Natural Progesterone -- calms and restores all the other cycles (Avoid Provera, Levonorgestrol, which are progestins, man-made, associated with cancer and lower HDL 20-30%)
--Testosterone -- yes women need this just like men... provides confidence, vitality, well-being, affiliation, motivation, zest, in addition to libido

How to Stop the Autoimmune Process of Hashimoto's

When one of our organs is jacked how do we recover it? Can we induce our immune system to heal and restore function? Certainly! With time, appropriate nutrients and stimulus, I believe depending on the extent of the incurred damage, our bodies have the capacity to regenerate itself. With Vitamin D repletion and Wheat-Cessation, I have observed a trend of improved TSH (including my own from 1.3-1.9 to 1.0 when my 25(OH)D stays above 60 ng/ml). Why? Vitamin D interacts intimately with thyroid, vitamin A/carenoid and other steroid hormone controls, including the sex hormones.

These below nutrients and lifestyle changes have been shown to aid the Thyroid to heal and restore functionality:
-stopping wheat which triggers our immune systems: innate+humoral
-stopping wheat which triggers genetic expression of stress responses
-stopping wheat which results in rapid rises of insulin
-stopping gluten/wheat/barley/rye
-stopping beans, peanuts, legumes (lectins)
-stopping dairy (which contain opioid-like proteins like wheat)
-stopping grains (rice, corn, etc) -- which are all grass-derived (*ha * I didn't say WEEDS but that's what I mean)
-proper nutrients which are the building-blocks of the Thyroid Gland and Thyroid Enzymes: proteins (taurine, leucine, arginine, OKG, L-carnitine, etc), minerals (IODINE, Mg, Zn, Se, Chromium, Bo, etc)
-B-vitamins (including α-lipoic acid)
-Vitamin D3 (goal 25(OH)D=70 ng/ml)
-Vitamin E (tocopherols, tocotrienols)
-Vitamin K1 K2
-Vitamin A
-Carotenoids (grassfed meat, wild seafood, Krill oil/Astaxanthin)
-EPA + DHA (ditto) -- high dose if extreme inflammation is present
-Antioxidants (Flavonoids, CoQ10, ALCAR/α-LA, Pycnogenol, etc)
-Avoid dietary and environmental toxins (nitrite preservatives, plastic, petroleum, bisphenol, heavy metals (Lead, Mercury), endocrine disrupters, pesticides, dioxins, etc)

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Related to Autoimmune Genes

All autoimmune conditions are related to differences in our immune system. Even Migraines are associated with a certain type of immunity variation (Prevalence of HLA DQB1*0602 allele in patients with migraine). Hashimoto's is strongly tied to HLA DR5 types, vitamin D receptor anomalies, and CYP1 alpha hydroxylase (vitamin D activation enzyme) variations. It turns out also that Addison's Disease is tied to the same Cyp enzyme variant or what is known as a polymorphism.
A promoter polymorphism of the CYP27B1 gene is associated with Addison's disease, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Graves' disease and type 1 diabetes mellitus in Germans.
Association of vitamin D receptor gene 3'-variants with Hashimoto's thyroiditis in the Croatian population.
Vitamin D receptor gene polymorphisms are associated with risk of Hashimoto's thyroiditis in Chinese patients in Taiwan.
Vitamin D receptor genotype is associated with Addison's disease.
Vitamin D 1alpha-hydroxylase (CYP1alpha) polymorphism in Graves' disease, Hashimoto's thyroiditis and type 1 diabetes mellitus.
Vitamin D receptor gene polymorphisms in Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
[Genetic markers in thyroid autoimmune diseases]

Steve Jobs: Addison's Disease?

Via Apple headquarters, Mr. Jobs issued a statement reporting that he was receiving treatment for 'protein wasting' for what doctors believed was caused by a 'hormonal imbalance.' He states he does not have cancer. Could Mr. Jobs be suffering from the same ailment as our late great president John F Kennedy? Mr. Jobs was reported to consume a vegetarian diet which are often devoid of EPA and DHA -- protectors against autoimmune disease as well as pancreatic cancer (see below). EPA and DHA are long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) which ONLY come from animal sources. EPA and DHA are like Comcast and DSL -- they provide the reliable high-spped connections for electronic conductions in our nervous systems (compare v. lame lowtech modem/omega-6). Our brain is comprised of inordinate amounts of DHA and EPA. Every cell membrane. Unfortunately humans do not induce enough of the enyzmes to convert vegetarian omega-3 ALA to EPA + DHA in our bodies. If you are not stressed, then it is unlikely to matter. ALA from vegetarian sources would sufficiently maintain health. Most people however undergo some degree of stress or oxidative damage from daily living (like...umm...breathing or... hard breathing at Crossfit or HIIT). Although Mr. Jobs apparently did not have the most aggressive form of pancreatic cancer, he had surgery a few years ago for a neuroendocrine tumor in the pancreas. Addison's may also originate from metastatic tumors to the adrenal glands.

Has Mr. Jobs been under stress? Maybe...
(1) Cancer survivor
(2) Rolled out the best neolithic tech advances of our times: iPOD, iPHONE
(3) Apple innovator/revivor/evolver

o Modulatory effects of EPA and DHA on proliferation and apoptosis of pancreatic cancer cells.
o Omega-3 fatty acids improve liver and pancreas function in postoperative cancer patients.
o Fish oil and treatment of cancer cachexia.

Do you want Pancreatic Cancer??

Consume a lotta Omega-6 refined veggie oils like Sunflower or Safflower oil
and/or develop Omega-3 Deficiency
and/or eat a lot of Fructose
and/or a USDA Whole Grain Diet:
Opposing effects of n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on pancreatic cancer growth.
Effect of dietary omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids on development of azaserine-induced preneoplastic lesions in rat pancreas.
Carcinogen-induced lesions in the rat pancreas: effects of varying levels of essential fatty acid.
Effect of dietary intake of fish oil and fish protein on the development of L-azaserine-induced preneoplastic lesions in the rat pancreas.
Dietary glycemic load, added sugars, and carbohydrates as risk factors for pancreatic cancer: the Multiethnic Cohort Study.

Dietary sugar, glycemic load, and pancreatic cancer risk in a prospective study.
Etiology of nonresponsive celiac disease: results of a systematic approach.
Aldolase C in neuroendocrine tumors: an immunohistochemical study.
Dietary fructose enhances the development of atypical acinar cell nodules in the pancreas of rats pretreated with N-nitrosomorpholine.

Hormone Imbalances and Organ Failure

Like Oprah, several hormonal imbalances can lead to organ failure due to an autoimmune process. In Addison's, the organ mainly affected is the adrenal glands which provide Cortisol and other cholesterol-derived hormones to the body. Without a minimal amount of Cortisol, we do not make muscles or store fat. Addison's leads to muscle wasting, weight loss, dizziness, and depression. Excessive Cortisol, on the other hand, causes a condition known as Cushing's where excessive abdominal weight gain, moon-face, thin-skin, muscle wasting, fatigue and insomnia occur.

Other Thyroid Sources:

Hormone Balancing Resources:

  • Dr. Uzzi Reiss, MD OBGYN: Natural Hormone Balance
  • Dr. Michael Colgan, PhD: Hormonal Health -- Nutritional & Hormonal Strategies for Emotional Well-Being & Intellectual Longevity
  • Colgan, The Sports Nutrition Guide
  • Dr.Cheryle Hart, MD OBGYN: Hormones By Hart

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bone Marrow: Immunoprotective and Improves Endothelial Dysfunction

Chicken Soup. Do you love it?


Do you know scientifically and medically why it's so beneficial and therapeutic (better than a FLU SHOT)?

What satisfies the soul and combats colds, infections and vascular atherosclerosis (CAD, PVD, PAD, CVD, CKD)?

Bone marrow derived endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs)!!! From bone marrow.

(preferable organic, 80%+ grassfed, from Whole Foods or a reputable ranch)

Pharmacological approaches to improve endothelial
repair mechanisms.

Besler C, Doerries C, Giannotti G, Lüscher TF, Landmesser U.
Expert Rev Cardiovasc
Ther. 2008 Sep;6(8):1071-82. Review.
PMID: 18793110

Cardiovascular Center, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Endothelial injury is thought to play a pivotal role in the development and progression of vascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis, hypertension or restenosis, as well as their complications, including myocardial infarction or stroke. Accumulating evidence suggests that bone marrow-derived
endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) promote endothelial repair and contribute to ischemia-induced neovascularization. Coronary artery disease and its risk factors, such as diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension and smoking, are associated with a reduced number and impaired functional activity of circulating EPCs. Moreover, initial data suggest that reduced EPC levels are associated with endothelial dysfunction and an increased risk of cardiovascular events, compatible with the concept that impaired EPC-mediated vascular repair promotes progression of vascular disease. In this review we summarize recent data on the effects of pharmacological agents on mobilization and functional activity of EPCs. In particular, several experimental and clinical studies have suggested that statins, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockers, PPAR-gamma agonists and erythropoietin increase the number and functional activity of EPCs. The underlying mechanisms remain largely to be defined; however, they likely include activation of the PI3-kinase/Akt pathway and endothelial nitric oxide synthase, as well as inhibition of NAD(P)H oxidase activity of progenitor cells.

The above seminal article suggests that bone marrow may hold the key to improving endothelial problems and inflammation. The astute authors suggest the below pharmaceuticals would be helpful. What are the food analogues if we had to 'deconstruct' these drug components they allude to? Would food be safer? Better? More efficacious? Yes... I belive so. Not just because your momma made it! :)

--Statins: How about fish oil? how about veggie-fibers? how about chol/sat fats? How about plant sterols (like in butter oil)?
--Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors: How about Taurine, L-Arginine (like contained in nuts and seafood/meat?)? how about other essential proteins glutamic and aspartic acid, lysine, hydroxylysine and histidine?
--Angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockers: How about Glycine, Taurine?
--PPAR-gamma agonists: How about high dose EPA DHA fish oil ALA/flaxseed oil? how about Taurine/Leucine proteins? how about exercise/ IF/ starving occasionally? sat fats? how about CLA (like in meat and butter oil)? how about meat-derived Carotenoids which synergize PPAR effects? how about Lutein/eggs? Astaxanthin? Krill oil?
--Erythropoietin: How about eating b o n e m a r r o w ?

Essential fatty acids and their metabolites could function as endogenous HMG-CoA reductase and ACE enzyme inhibitors, anti-arrhythmic, anti-hypertensive, anti-atherosclerotic, anti-inflammatory, cytoprotective, and cardioprotective molecules.
Das UN.
Lipids Health Dis. 2008 Oct 15;7:37. Review.
PMID: 18922179

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors mediate pleiotropic actions of statins.
Paumelle R, Staels B.
Circ Res. 2007 May 25;100(10):1394-5. No abstract available.
PMID: 17525375

What does Bone Marrow contain which is so nutrient dense and fabulously fantastic?
--Hormones: Testosterone, Estrogen, Progesterone, Human Growth Hormone
--Vitamin A D E K
--EPO (erythropoitin)
--Minerals: Magnesium, Calcium, Zinc, etc
--Saturated Fats
--Proteins: L-Arginine (which lowers BP in pre-eclampsic women), Glutamate, Aspartic acid, Lysine, Hydroxylysine and Histidine
--EPCs (endothelial progenitor cells) which improve our BLOOD VESSELS and promote better CIRCULATION AND BLOOD FLOW and healthier endothelium
--Serotonin, mood neurotransmitter (yes, SSRI antidepressants are highly associated with osteoporosis and nonvertebral fractures as we 've recently learned HERE and HERE and HERE); some people reported getting 'high' on bone marrow like marine biologist Dr. Dan, perhaps this is why? Marrow Madness and Its Hidden Secrets

Wow. My cat who can eat whole mice and their lovely bones knows what she's doing!

Peter's fans (eg, Anna of Against the Grain) have listed optimal bone feeding of cats HERE.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

HDL2 = Quintessional Regression Particle and Ways To Maximize It

It's true. We do use some statins at TYP. Primarily they may have value until insulin resistant/hyperinsulinemia/Metabolic situations are improved via diet, hormone, vitamin D, and exercise/wt loss. Also they may have a role for FH (familial hypercholesterolemia) again until diet/lifestyles/vitamin D kick in.

Statins are by no means mandatory for regression or stabilization.

Or maximal health or lifespan extension.

In Dr. Davis' experience, in fact, a great majority of his patients experience statin intolerance and myopathy (muscle pains). Low grade muscle breakdown affects more individuals on statins than probably estimated in the literature. Most of these individuals likely have some kind of mitochondrial dysfunction and/or dietary cholesterol deficiency (and since statins BLOCK CHOLESTEROL SYNTHESIS, the drugs only exacerbate such situations). Muscles cannot function without...cholesterol and its downstream intermediaries...Including... Testosterone... Cortisol. Like 25(OH)D Calcidiol (vitamin D). Like estrogen!! Like DHEA. Like Pregnenolone.

In fact...all the HORMONES that make us what we are. Cholesterol is also a vital component of our BRAIN, myelin sheaths, nervous system, immune system and every cell's membrane.

Statins Indirectly Affect PPAR/Pleiotropy, Therefore Raise HDL2
Statins work marginally because they affect PPAR-alpha. (and other research shows PPAR-gamma as well HERE and HERE)

Recall, again, saturated fats and fish oil hit this receptor known as PPAR too. PPAR is the master controller of pleiotropic actions in our body. PPAR controls CETP reduction and PTLP maximization also.

Pleiotropic PPAR properties: endothelial function, oxidized low-density lipoprotein, inflammation, plaque stability, vascular remodeling, hemostasis/coagulation, vasomotor, cardiac muscle, anti-arrhythmic, and nervous system (brain and conduction pathways to the heart, organs, muscles)

Power up your PPAR...and you will attain immortality.

Not with statin monotherapy.
Clinical significance of pleiotropic effects of statins: lipid reduction and beyond.
Comprehensive lipid management versus aggressive low-density lipoprotein lowering to reduce cardiovascular risk.
Non-lipid effects of statins: emerging new indications.
Statin pleiotropy: fact or fiction?
Ongoing clinical trials of the pleiotropic effects of statins.
Beyond lipid lowering: the role of statins in vascular protection.
[Statins: intervention studies, facts and perspectives] "Questions still remain unanswered. To what extent do we have to lower LDL-cholesterol? What are the risks of an aggressive treatment with statins?"

In fact, a recent EBT trial by Raggi et al (2009 Atherosclerosis) lead to conclusions by leading cardiologists that LDL and LDL-reduction really have nothing to do with plaque.
Non-HDL cholesterol is strongly associated with coronary artery calcification in asymptomatic individuals.

If you have Lp(a), a toxic sticky lipoprotein that accelerates many diseases including coronary and vascular calcifications, then statins won't help you at all. In fact, anecdotally, certain high dose statins (like Lipitor) make Lp(a) concentrations higher. Studies estimate that 17-25% of the population are carriers of Lp(a). I estimate that a much greater percentage have this. In fact, all Metabolic Syndrome individuals appear to me to display very accelerated heart disease even if only a small amount of Lp(a) is present (for instance 6-20 mg/dl). What lowers Lp(a)? Everything that raises HDL2 naturally and non-synthetically. (Not statins, not Zetia, not Fibrates; Actos, a PPAR-gamma drug, a little; fish oil, fats, forgoing carbs/grains -- A LOT)
Increased lipoprotein(a) in metabolic syndrome: is it a contributing factor to premature atherosclerosis? Y E S

The below authors discuss: "bezafibrate as a pan-PPAR activator has clearly demonstrated beneficial pleiotropic effects related to glucose metabolism, insulin sensitivity and pancreatic beta cell protection. Because fibrates, niacin, ezetimibe, omega-3 fatty acids..."
Optimal management of combined dyslipidemia: what have we behind statins monotherapy?

In addition to niacin and omega-3 fats, how about other dietary fats/IF/strength training/anaerobic exercise/LC-diet?

*sigh* ....the best pan-PPAR activators...

HDL2 is Cardioprotective

We like HDL2 at TYP.

HDL2 is like wealth and health...You can never have too much balanced wealth or balanced health!

HDL2 is in fact an antioxidant and provides immunoprotection as well as cardioprotection. One of the labs ordered at TYP to assess health status is the NMR (or VAP) which separate out the lipoproteins by size and density and provide a 'count' of the absolute number of particles. The larger the particles, the better. HDL2 is one of the largest, most buoyant particles, and most desirable.

The more dense, the more deadly. Like dense fuddy-duds, we don't like dense particles. Read more at TYP here (members now; later free).

These are all good: HDL2, HDL1, LDL2, LDL1, Large-HDL, Large-LDL

Bad: sdLDL (small dense LDL), HDL3, Small-HDL, LDL3, Small-LDL

Jimmy Moore recently interviewed our beloved Dr. Davis. Jimmy's Large-LDL (and presumably HDL2's) are phenomenal!! He reported that he had virtually no small dense LDL -- it's all large -- the good stuff.

Jimmy's labs aren't dense!

Strong work Jimmy!!

Many things increase HDL2...

PPAR-alpha drugs, like Fibrates, do certainly hit PPAR -- but not in a natural configuation because these are synthetic/FAKE chemical entities. Fibrates artificially increase total HDL but have been shown adversely affect the particle sizing. They increase HDL3 and lower HDL2.

wtf... bad bad bad...

This explains why fibrate trials are like statin trials. So far only a very limited reduction in mortality, obstructive events and interventions have been demonstrated: approx only 15-25% reductions in CAD.

Remember, it's not the quantity of HDL you have, it's the quality of HDL subparticles -- large v. small.

You don't want... s m a l l. Or dense.

Like small muscles...where's the (sex) appeal?

What's the...point?

These researchers from Switzerland 'get it'... (sorta -- they still push pharmaceuticals *sigh*) "Recent findings suggest that the mechanism of HDL modification rather than a sole increase in HDL-C determines the efficacy of anti-atherosclerotic drug therapy. " Yes, these are my observations from the medical literature and at TYP. The ones who fail to achieve stablization or regression have VERY HIGH HDL-3 and VERY very low HDL-2. Their CAC progresses 10%+ annually and they are befuddled.
Modulation of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol metabolism and reverse cholesterol transport.
Marine lipids normalize cholesteryl ester transfer in IDDM.
Change in alpha1 HDL concentration predicts progression in coronary artery stenosis.

Statins work to regress plaque by affecting PPAR receptors in our body. Yes, LDL reduction is part of their novelty but by and large the regression pattern is secondary to its significant anti-inflammatory effects (via PPAR) and its plaque remodeling effects (via PPAR) and HDL-2 raising effects (via PPAR).

These encompass all the pleiotropic actions of PPAR.

PPAR is powerful.

(And who knows? Statins may help regress plaque by raising vitamin D blood levels as well. Yes, indeedddeeyyy, statins raise [25(OH)D] HERE and HERE.)

Statin-induced inhibition of the Rho-signaling pathway activates PPARalpha and induces HDL apoA-I.
The effects of statins on high-density lipoproteins.
Comparing the effects of five different statins on the HDL subpopulation profiles of coronary heart disease patients.

Low-Fat, Low-Muscle, and HIGH-CARBS Lower HDL2

What degrades HDL2??
--AHA Low Fat/Step 2 diet -- makes you dense, your particles, I mean--Exercise deficiency or excessiveness (eg, overtraining)
--Lack of lean muscle tissue
--Preponderance of belly/visceral fat
--Excessive insulin
--Cortisol (stress)
--Carbs carbs carbs (high carb, grain-based diet)
--Soda, fructose (esp high fructose corn syrup), excessive fruit, grains, wheat (which also triggers stress responses), processed foods, cereal, etc
--Drugs/pharmaceuticals (Zetia, Lipitor high dose, statins high dose, Fibrates: Lopid/gemfibrozil, Tricor/fenofibrate)
--Insufficient dietary cholesterol, fish oil, monoun- or saturated fat intake
--Excessive alcohol (2-3 or more drinks for men; 2 or more, women)

What raises HDL2?
--The paleo prescription, eg, this blog, TYP and other resources--Niacin (see below)
--Intermittent fasting
--Generation of ketone bodies (low carb, mod-high prot/fat)
--Exercise (avoid excessive endurance training)
--Strength/resistance training
--Reduction in belly/visceral fat
--Reduction in insulin (eliminating wheat, reducing carbs)
--Tobacco cessation
--Elimination/moderation of alcohol
--Eating protein, esp Leucine, Taurine, etc
--Vitamin D (see Dr. Davis' blog)
--Carotenoids (astaxanthin, krill oil, seafood, grassfed meat, etc)
--Fish oil/EPA+DHA: supplemention, grassfed meat/dairy; fatty fish, mackerel, tuna, herring, hamachi, trout, cod liver oil, mollusks, krill, crustaceans, etc
--[If high inflammatory state: Ultra high dose 8-10 g/day EPA DHA fish oil for 6-18mos (Goal: fatty acid profile test, omega-6 to omega-3 ratio = 1.5)]
--ALA, monounsat fats: flaxseed oil, olive oil, nuts/seeds, etc
--Casein-free butter oil (rich in phytosterols, vitamin K2, CLA, short-chain and medium-chain saturated fatty acids, EPA+DHA and a bounty of other HDL-boosting nutritional factors); organic, grassfed ghee
--Eating some saturated fats (not TRANSFATS which are toxic to HDL2)
--Eating some CHOLESTEROL (via omega-3 eggs, seafood, grassfed meat/dairy, etc)

Niacin and HDL2

Remember niacin increases HDL2 by 200-300% (and reduces HDL3) in a 18-36 mos period of time... (niacin works indirectly on PPAR too)

Crestor only increases HDL2 by 21%??

Is that why Niacin (+low dose simvastatin) resulted in a 90% reduction in mortality and heart events in the unprecedented HATS trial?
Niacin-based therapy for dyslipidemia: past evidence and future advances.
Effect of niacin and atorvastatin on lipoprotein subclasses in patients with atherogenic dyslipidemia.

May it have anything to do with HDL2 subfractions increasing by 10 - 20 xxx with Niacin Therapy vs. Statin Monotherapy??!

Ten to twenty TIMES greater HDL2 increases...WOWO.

Why do statins fail to STACK UP when compared to niacin???

Billions of dollars have been pored into research (which is great and we're all grateful) but still they fail to regress/stabilize plaque as durably and effectively as Niacin, a common B vitamin which costs $12.99 for #150 tablets at Costco.

Why does Niacin trump all statins?

Niacin trumps Crestor, gorilla-statin... which can have gorilla effects on muscle soreness and kidney failure (via increases MMP-9 in the kidneys; unless one is taking fish oil/vitamin D which reduce systemic MMPs).

Fish Oil and HDL2

Of course, Fish Oil trumps statins in regression as well.

It's a dose dependent and time dependent effect.

(is more better? sorta. depends on your inflammatory status. if you have unstabilized CAD or an autoimmune disorder or cancer, you are inflammed.)
Here is one 1999 double-blind RCT in coronary male patients where low dose ~3 g/d EPA+DHA for 3 mos then switched to low, LOW dose 1.6 g/d EPA+DHA for 21 mos showed more regression than placebo . The Germans are always advanced with CAM (complementary alternative medicine).

The effect of dietary omega-3 fatty acids on coronary atherosclerosis. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

von Schacky C, Angerer P, Kothny W, Theisen K, Mudra H.
Ann Intern Med. 1999

RESULTS: Pairs of angiograms (one taken at baseline and one taken at 2 years) were evaluated for 80 of 112 placebo recipients and 82 of 111 fish oil recipients.

At the end of treatment, 48 coronary segments in the placebo group showed changes (36 showed mild progression, 5 showed moderate progression, and 7 showed mild regression) and 55 coronary segments in the fish oil group showed changes (35 showed mild progression, 4 showed moderate progression, 14 showed mild regression, and 2 showed moderate regression) (P = 0.041).

Loss in minimal luminal diameter, as assessed by quantitative coronary angiography, was somewhat less in the fish oil group (P greater than 0.1).

Fish oil recipients had fewer cardiovascular events (P = 0.10); other clinical variables did not differ between the study groups.

Below: 4.5 g/d x6wks EPA+DHA resulted in a 74% HDL2 increase with a concomitant 19% decrease of HDL3-C
Omega-3 fatty acids selectively raise high-density lipoprotein 2 levels in healthy volunteers.

Below: 4 g/day x6wks DHA only related to 29% increased HDL2 (EPA 4 g/day only reduced HDL2 6.7%) in Obese Men
Purified eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids have differential effects on serum lipids and lipoproteins, LDL particle size, glucose, and insulin in mildly hyperlipidemic men.

Below: 4 g/day x8wks EPA+DHA induced 40% increase HDL2 and reduction in HDL3 (this condition has genetically low HDL/high TG)
An omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid concentrate increases plasma high-density lipoprotein 2 cholesterol and paraoxonase levels in patients with familial combined hyperlipidemia.

Below: 6 g/d EPA+DHA x12 wks increased HDL2 47.8% (reduced HDL3 6.6%)
Dose-response effects of fish-oil supplementation in healthy volunteers.

Fish Oil and Genetics

Fish oil may be even more tremendously beneficial for those with apoE4 (eg, the Alzheimer marker). ApoE4 has also been implicated in the pathogenesis of heart disease and other vascular diseases. In the below trial, low dose fish oil 0.7g/day EPA DHA, compared with higher dose 1.8 g/ day, was also effective at lower TG and raising HDL, especially in men.

Effect of sex and genotype on cardiovascular biomarker response to fish oils: the FINGEN Study.
Caslake MJ, Miles EA, Kofler BM, Lietz G, Curtis P, Armah CK, Kimber AC, Grew JP, Farrell L, Stannard J, Napper FL, Sala-Vila A, West AL, Mathers JC, Packard C, Williams CM, Calder PC, Minihane AM.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Sep;88(3):618-29.

Brain: Be an Evolver

Recently the Wall Street Journal reported findings from marine biologists studying dolphins in Australia's Shark Bay. They found that a group of bottle-nosed dolphins had learned 'fishing' behavior, employing cone-shaped, net-like sponges to capture bottom-dwelling fish. Interestingly, another curious observation was that the mother dolphins taught this foraging/hunting behavior to both her male and female offspring, however only the female dolphins apparently picked up the behavior and continued to display the behavior.
Among Dolphins, Tool-Using Handymen Are Women: In a Sign of Animal Ingenuity, the Marine Mammals -- and One Cross-Dresser -- Are Seen Making Hunting Implements

In the deep, lucid channels of Australia's Shark Bay, wild bottlenose dolphins have discovered tools, raising provocative questions about the origins of intelligent behavior, the nature of learning and the birth of technology.

There, dolphins in one extended family routinely use sponges to protect their noses as they forage for fish hidden in the abrasive seafloor sand, Georgetown University scientists reported earlier this month.

As best the researchers can tell, a single dolphin may have invented the technique relatively recently and taught it to her kin. The simple innovation dramatically changed their behavior, hunting habits and social life, the researchers found. Those that adopted it became loners who spend much more time on the hunt than others and dive more deeply in search of prey. The sponging dolphins teach the technique to all their young, but only the females seem to grasp the idea. (Picture, quote: Courtesy of WSJonline.)

Does the ability to learn and adapt short-term to our ever-changing environment affect survival? Our personal survival? Our progenies' survival?

Be an... E V O L V E R.

Be teachable -- receptive to guidance.

The technology for disease reversal and the tools for lifespan extension already exist. Take advantage! Don't be a de-evolver. Or worse... extinct.

Don't struggle, failing to learn life's soft lessons.

Be blissfully better/bionic...brain...body...being...booty (j/k...NOT).

Stop slowing killing your kids... Here's Richard's take on this topic... (and... we have all been there!)

--Grain-free eating (no wheat, no corn/rice, no gluten)
--Going Eat Wild (grassfed meat, wild seafood) and grain-free
--Grafting functional and muscle intense movement into your life
--Globally assessing health markers and optimizing to your specific youthful levels
--Guard against toxins (environmental, dietary, pharmaceutical, mind, etc)

John Legend "I love... you love..."

Courtesy of

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Brain: Sexual Dimorphisms

Striving to optimize all hormones to evolutionarily-normal youthful levels brings about optimal regression/stabilization of any insulin resistance and vascular calcifications. A side effect is optimal lifespan and vitality. These are lessons learned from trial and error, and backed up by meager medical science (albeit exploding in volume). Though we are all a self-experiment of n=1, I find it astounding that we are more bound by our experiences by our vast similarities than by our vast differences.
--Vitamin D (Calcidiol [25(OH)D] blood levels: 60 - 70 ng/ml)
--HDL-cholesterol (Yes... I believe it is a hormone; HDL-receptor=SR-BI. Large HDL has powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-atherogenic, pleiotropic anti-aging effects. Goal HDL: Concentration greater 60 mg/dl with Large-HDL outsizing and outnumbering Small-HDL by greater than 60% of the total (because HDL2 tracks with longevity). Goal HDL: Avg particle size greater than 9.2 nm on NMR/VAP)
--Insulin (less than 5 mIU)
--Cortisol (stress hormone: low end of normal)
--PTH (parathyroid hormone: lower end of normal)
--Free T4 (active thyroid hormone: upper end of normal)
--TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone: ~ 1.0 mIU)
--Free Estrogen (E2, E3: normal)
--Progesterone (P: normal)
--Free Testosterone (T: normal)
--DHEA-S (normal)
--Omega-6/Omega-3 (Fatty acid profile test: 1.5 to 1.0 ratio (similar to traditional Okinawan and Inuit))
--(Adiponectin, Leptin, Human Growth Hormone, IGF-1, Pregnenolone, Myostatin, Melatonin, Eicosanoids, Retinoids, Essential/nonessential Fatty acids, Saturated Fatty Acids, Essential/nonessential Amino acids (eg Arginine, Taurine), Neuropeptides (eg Tyr-Arg=kyotorphin), etc)

Why are hormones so important? I've wondered this frequently lately after being diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency. Not only are hormones (and pro-hormones like vitamin D) a focus of many disease reversal protocols (i.e. cancer, infertility, etc), but they define who we are... what we are... what gender... social interactions... moods... libido... bone health... inflammatory status...

Our hormones and/or lack of hormones makes us do a lot of things... Sometimes unconscious thoughtless things... A recent study in oral contraception-users demonstrated how hormone-manipulation lead to different mate selection. Millions of women use hormonal contraception to prevent ovluation, control acne or reduce painful PMS/peri-menopausal/fibroid conditions.
The pill makes women sniff out wrong partner
Effect of Putative Male Pheromones on Female Ratings of Male Attractiveness: Influence of Oral Contraceptives and the Menstrual Cycle

Can these be creating a generation of children with less hardy genetic stock? Does how we perceive sexual characteristics and dimorphisms (like a deep baritone voice, sexy/symmetrical body) affect our future progeny?

Evolution-wise it does indeed make sense that 'opposites attract.'

Let's geek out. Science-wise, this could be translated into 'dichotomous Major Histocompatibility Complexes captivate.'

Our body odor in fact may indicate our MHC's which are genes that encode our immunity. MHCs help determine matches between organ donors and organ receivers. Pheromones are emitted from glands and detectable in body odor. How do we sense pheromones?
Body odour preferences in men and women: do they aim for specific MHC combinations or simply heterozygosity?
MHC-dependent mate preferences in humans.
Human body odour, symmetry and attractiveness.

Through our noses which are connected to our reptilian/fish-brain which control unconscious, visceral functions (cardiac, vascular, GI, pulmonary, reproductive), and other roles vital for self-preservation like focus/flight/fright/fight/fertilization/repetition. Dr. Perricone the tan, attractive dermatologist who knows his hormones discusses the benefits of pheromones in reducing cortisol and adrenaline and the effects on mood and mate selection HERE. PBS television endlessly showcase his lectures during pledge drives. I wonder why? He does offer good science (and he's certainly easier on the eyes vs. Weil or Orman) and good entertainment. His line offered a $200 pheromone product previously, but apparently it has been scaled down to a smaller, less expensive solution (probably more suited to the recession... but uuummmm I wouldn't really know). Does having optimal pheromones make you look younger, more radiant, less wrinkly?? More irresistible to the opposite sex?? Does having optimal hormones build better houses, hunt for bigger bison, fish for copious catches? Does having optimal hormones make you smarter? More alert? More strong? Does having optimal hormones guarantee getting laid??!? I sure hope so...*wink* Being a more attractive and 'appealing' mate sort of guarantees continuation of ancestral genes. Would you want to mate a potato? Attraction to opposite immune MHC's guarantees diverse traits which can increase more optimal gene-environment interactions. Makes immense sense to me. In my little n=1 experiment I started on a topical hGH (human growth hormone) product similar to one offered at Bloomingdale's for the skin. After 1-2wks, I noticed that the skin looked fantastically better. Personally I'm convinced that youthful hormones -- even topical ones -- bring about youthful results. With oral Vitamin D for one year, I have already experienced more youth, ageless abundance of hair/nails/skin, lean muscle gains/speed, imperviousness to infections, and breathing easier (no more asthma). Drowning in your own lung secretions is slightly non-conducive to survival.

One fish species in Central America known as the wrasse (see picture) in fact changes genders via hormone changes. When the male leader becomes absent or a pre-ponderance of female wrasses occurs, a female wrasse will undergo a 'sex change' and transform into a secondary male wrasse.

Male sex organs transform into female structures.

I find that a-s-t-o-n-i-s-h-i-n-g.

We don't need exogenous stem cells. Does all life on earth contain an inherent ability to transform when giving the appropriate hormonal cues and environmental triggers? I witness transformations everyday...from my own practice, co-workers and friends' stories, on the cardiology forums and my Crossfit gym/network. Men with 'man-boobs' (who I envy if they're cup-D or higher *wink*) become male-gendered again. Women with testosterone/estrogen (xenobiotic) excess and progesterone deficiency resume feminine secondary traits. An interesting story that Nicki and Robb Wolf told at a nutrition certification at their Crossfit gym in Chico was how they were going to add a disclaimer on their waiver: Paleo nutrition and Crossfit can cause pregnancy; do Crossfit at your own risk! They reported 11-12 pregnancies ALL in the same month among women who stated they couldn't become pregnant for years...!! I wonder why?? (stopping canola/Mazola/toxic-omega-6s + those 'd*mn dirty grains'; eating fats, fish oil, seafood/grassfed, vegs, nuts/seeds, and adding functional movement with intensity)
Sex Change in the Bluehead Wrasse: Temporal Concordance of Changes in Brain and Behavior (See the Table: great review of neuropeptides Arg-vasotocin v. Arg-vasopressin in mammals and brain, behavior, and subsequent sexual dimorphisms)
Surroundings cause tropical fish to change sex: scientists
Crowds cause sex change

Our middle brain is known as the limbic system (PALEOpallium) which is believed to be derived from early mammals. The limbic system controls ludic behavior (not lewd, l-u-d-i-c, from Latin 'to play'). It is also associated with passion, happiness, fear, love, joy. Have you noticed on Planet Earth that only the mammals play? Birds and bees do not. Neither do reptiles. The genetic advantage of 'playing' maybe connecting learning experiences from the past to the present. Can the promotion of curiosity, exploratory thoughts, and artful/inquisitive natures be a survival benefit? A shore-based diet rich in mollusks, seafood and fish is believed to be the turning point for human dominance of the earth and the food chain (yes, it can be argued otherwise, probably depends on the continent? I dunno). Mollusks and seafood are abundant sources of omega-3 long-chain fats known as EPA and DHA. Land mammals also contain EPA and DHA in organ meats and grassfed dairy/muscle meat/adipose. Omega-3 fats EPA and DHA have been shown in infants to raise IQ points and at high dose, improve signs and symptoms of depression and schizophrenia.

DHA deficits of the third brain, the neocortex/neopallium, are severely correlated to brain disorders like bipolar and schizophrenia. R.C. Caspar, a Stanford researcher, wrote "Human neurodevelopment is the result of genetic and environmental interactions. This paper examines the role of prenatal nutrition relative to psychiatric disorders and explores the relationship among nutrients, mood changes, and mood disorders. Epidemiologic studies have found that adults who were born with a normal, yet low birth weight have an increased susceptibility to diseases such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, and stroke in adulthood. (Nutrients, neurodevelopment, and mood. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2004 Dec;6(6):425-9.)" He discusses beneficial placebo-controlled research results of EPA and DHA on depression and bipolar.
Effects of nutrients (in food) on the structure and function of the nervous system: update on dietary requirements for brain. Part 1: micronutrients.
Attention deficit disorders--drugs or nutrition?
A meta-analytic review of double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of antidepressant efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids.
Role of omega-3 fatty acids in brain development and function: potential implications for the pathogenesis and prevention of psychopathology.
The role of omega-3 fatty acids in mood disorders.

Paleo exercise has a component of 'playfulness' and random spontaneity. At Crossfit, we hardly repeat the same routine. In fact, at with paleo and Crossfit, omega-3 fish oils are highly-suggested. EPA and DHA fish oils can affect physical results, performance and notable gains, as well as cardiovascular disease reversal. Omega-3 oils can allow us to play harder and longer. With stronger hearts and muscles. With great endurance. Without electrical conductance disturbances (like atrial fibrillation).
Omega–3 Fatty Acids, Exercise, Physical Activity and Athletics
Fish oil reduces heart rate and oxygen consumption during exercise.
Intakes of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and fish in relation to measurements of subclinical atherosclerosis.
Effect of Erabu sea snake (Laticauda semifasciata *SNAKE OIL he hee*) lipids on the swimming endurance of aged mice.

Strength manifests in a variety of avenues. For survival, it appears to me that mental vigor, intelligence, genetic disposition, and physical power are all indispensable. Is it unusual that a convergence between the best things for our brain/sexual-dimorphisms, our also the best for our body and heart. Maybe not! Finally a 19-year study in the BMJ by Dr. S. Blair demonstrates that superior muscle strength relates to lower mortality from heart disease, cancer, and all cause-death in men, even after adjusting for cardiovascular fitness (on treadmill testing). Full PDF click here. I first came across this landmark trial in my fave mag FitnessRx for Men Jan 2009 issue, p. 142-144. I love this journal... for the ummmmm... in-depth... uummm scientific articles.
Association between muscular strength and mortality in men: prospective cohort study.

As the author Fahey EdD concluded in his review...'Get STRONG and live long.'

Don't be sarcopenic.

Greek: Poverty of the Flesh