Heart And Body Extract

Low thyroid: the unsuspected cause of heart disease (Pt. 4)

02 Feb 2017 no comments HAB Extract

According to Tom Brimeyer M.S., in order to properly address hypothyroidism, one must address all facets of thyroid health and the thyroid hormone pathway. This includes several steps, which he explains are:

  1. Addressing the ENTIRE thyroid hormone pathway:

The intricate thyroid hormone pathway we explained before has to be taken into account. The key is not in how much thyroid hormone the thyroid gland can produce or how much thyroid hormone we supplement with, because if a problem develops anywhere along this pathway, the cells will not effectively utilize that thyroid hormone and hypothyroidism will remain.

In his opinion, the underlying causes of hypothyroidism have to be addressed and this means all the many steps of this hormone pathway down to the cell level, including the cell hormone receptors themselves.

  1. Addressing the diet:

Diet plays an extremely important role in the health of the thyroid. “It’s well known in science and human physiology that cells and organs require specific nutrients that we extract from our food in order to function properly.” (4) A good example is the liver. Simply missing certain key ingredients in our diet can inhibit our liver’s ability to convert T4 to T3 that our cells need and will quickly contribute to hypothyroidism. When our liver doesn’t get enough active T3 thyroid hormone it quickly becomes sluggish and congested, which further impairs T4 conversion.

This step also includes removing any food that is causing a reaction in the body (12).

  1. Addressing other hormones that directly affect thyroid function:

Most hypothyroidism sufferers make too much of the stress hormone cortisol, which inhibits the conversion of T4 into T3.  But stress hormones are just some of the hormones that need to be properly balanced in order to truly heal and rebalance our thyroid.  All the different hormones that directly affect thyroid function have to be balanced.

Seven simple steps to overcome low thyroid function

Dr. Brimeyer recommends following a program with seven simple steps to start healing your thyroid.

Step 1. Balance Your Estrogen Levels

Excessive estrogen levels are also becoming an epidemic health problem, according to Dr. Brimeyer.

Estrogen is a very obvious problem in women during menopause when progesterone levels naturally drop, in women on birth control or hormone replacement therapy. But it is becoming a problem for men too, not only because they also have estrogen in their bodies, but because of all the many different sources of estrogens present in food (soy, herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides), plastics, etc.

Estrogen’s role in hypothyroidism has been well documented. Estrogen directly affects the thyroid gland by inhibiting its ability to secrete thyroid hormone. Regulating estrogen levels is imperative to truly heal the thyroid.

When estrogen becomes predominant there is not enough progesterone to balance estrogen out. Please check our blog titled ‘Heart disease in women’ to learn how the mistletoe in the ‘Heart and Body Extract’ can help balance estrogen levels.

Step 2. Manage your stress hormones

The stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol inhibit the conversion of T4 to T3. They also increase production of Reverse T3, which blocks the body from properly using thyroid hormone. Both of these effects cause hypothyroidism.

As a survival mechanism, under stress, our body naturally down regulates the thyroid in order to conserve energy.

Another problem with the stress hormone adrenaline is that it forces our body to increase the concentration of free fatty acids in our bloodstream. Because most people have large concentrations of polyunsaturated fats in their fat cells, when these fats are forced into the bloodstream they block thyroid hormone from reaching the cells.

In addition, in order to reduce stress hormones it is imperative to balance blood sugar levels. This will keep cortisol, from breaking down protein from our muscles in order to raise blood sugar when it drops too low.

Lastly, it’s important to balance sodium levels, because under conditions of hypothyroidism the body will lose this mineral easily, which will drive adrenaline up. Just adding enough salt to the diet can help.

Please check our blog titled “Stress” to learn more on managing stress.

Step 3. Restore your liver function

Approximately 2/3 of the active thyroid hormone T3 that our body uses is converted from T4 by our liver. Liver congestion can keep this conversion from happening causing hypothyroidism. When this happens T4 tends to accumulate in the body, which slows thyroid production, perpetuating hypothyroidism even more.

Another problem that occurs with a congested liver is that it loses its ability to properly store sugar. It is this stored sugar in the liver that plays an important role in helping us maintain steady blood sugar levels throughout the day, starting the stress reaction we mentioned before and once again, causing hypothyroidism.

For more information on how to keep the liver healthy, please check our blogs on liver health.

Step 4. Eat the right proteins

Protein intake is an important part of a healthy diet. We should consume at least 70 to 100 grams of high quality protein per day. Dr. Brimeyer recommends bone broth for its anti-inflammatory properties and for being a good source of amino acids.

Step 5. Balance your blood sugar

Low blood sugar both decreases the conversion of T4 to active T3 in your liver and it signals the body to increase production of the stress hormone cortisol, which breaks down muscle tissue in order to keep blood sugar from dropping to dangerously low levels.

Step 6. Avoid polyunsaturated fats

Polyunsaturated fats are especially problematic for the thyroid because they block the enzymes that signal the thyroid gland to release its hormones. When these fats enter the bloodstream, they also block the active thyroid hormone within the bloodstream from being transported to the cells that desperately need it. They also block cells from properly responding to the thyroid hormone that they do get, which makes the hormone much less effective to cells.

Healthy fats for the thyroid are coconut oil and butter. These saturated fats promote healthy thyroid function and increase the cells’ response to thyroid hormone. They can also cancel out the negative effects of polyunsaturated fats.

Please check our blog on fats for more information.

Step 7. Stop Over-Exercising

Too much exercise or very intense exercise can stop our body from producing T3 even long after exercise.

However, there are some extremely beneficial forms of exercise for hypothyroidism that naturally promote your thyroid and the body’s hormonal health. One example is Tai Chi.

For anyone struggling with signs or symptoms of heart disease, autoimmune issues, fatigue, depression, digestive issues, food allergies, etc., Dr. Brimeyer recommends to stop treating them like they are separate problems and start understanding that hypothyroidism plays a big role in each and every one of them. Healing your thyroid and rebuilding your health from the ground up can be a complex process that requires careful planning, but going directly to the source and correcting the underlying causes will assure we are successful in doing so (4).

Testing your thyroid at home

Under normal circumstances, the amount of heat produced in the body depends on the amount of fuel (food) burned, but with low thyroid hormone, burning of fuel is not possible. Some of the earliest studies in hypothyroid patients showed that they had temperatures below normal. In his early years of practice, Dr. Broda Barnes started to instruct his patients to take their temperature upon awakening, before getting out of bed. He established the ‘basal body temperature test’ as a reliable simple test patients could do at home. Just by increasing their temperature with thyroid therapy, he was able to set straight erroneous diagnoses, lower their blood pressure and decrease heart palpitations and fast pulse.

However, this simple technique of measuring basal body temperature as a guide to determining thyroid function did not appeal to the medical profession. Despite this, axillary or underarm temperature has been used for several decades and, based on thousands of readings, it has been established that normal values for underarm temperature are in the range of 97.8 to 98.2 degrees Fahrenheit. A temperature below 97.8 indicates hypothyroidism, above 98.2, hyperthyroidism. As low temperature rises with thyroid treatment the symptoms associated with hypothyroidism usually disappear (1).

The basal temperature is not a perfect test for thyroid function, because other conditions aside from hypothyroidism can give a low reading: starvation, pituitary gland deficiency or adrenal gland deficiency, but these are easier to diagnose (1).

Taking the test

The basal temperature can be taken by any man any day of the week. Women during their menstrual years see a fluctuation of the temperature during their cycle so it is best measured the 2nd or 3rd day of the period after flow starts according to Dr. Barns. After menopause, it can be taken any day.

The procedure consists of taking one’s temperature immediately upon awakening in the morning. A reading below the normal range of 97.8 to 98.2 strongly suggests low thyroid function. A reading above that is suspicious of some infection or overactive thyroid gland.

Dr. Broda Barnes did not address auto-immune thyroid disease since obviously it was not prevalent back then, but much is being researched today and new ways to help our thyroid are being successfully used. Dr. Brimeyer, for example, has been able to use Dr. Barnes’ temperature test with his patients and has found that adding a pulse test provides very insightful information. He recommends taking one’s temperature and pulse always at rest, 20 minutes after a meal, three times a day: right upon waking, after breakfast and in the afternoon around 3 p.m.

Other ways to help our thyroid

Following an anti-inflammatory diet is a very important part of healing our thyroid. One food that has been found to be very helpful is ginger. According to Dr. Jockers, ginger can be used for its anti- inflammation properties just like aspirin and ibuprofen. “Ginger is a digestive stimulant that promotes gastric flow and contains enzymes which aid in proper digestion… can be used to treat pain associated with intestinal inflammation by relieving contractions of the gut lining. Individuals with leaky gut are likely to have an unhealthy balance of bacteria in their gut resulting from toxic foods and gut inflammation. Ginger exhibits powerful antimicrobial and natural antibiotic properties as well… ginger has been extensively found to combat strains of bacteria linked to leaky gut. Unlike synthetic antibiotics, ginger has been effective against both standard and drug resistant microbes in treating gastrointestinal infection.” (13) You can find ginger as an active ingredient in the “Heart and Body Extract”.

Other nutrients are beet root and papaya, which can also be found in the “Gland Extract”. Beets are a highly nutritious root that contains vitamins A, B, and C, potassium, magnesium, folate, soluble fiber, protein, carbohydrates, and antioxidants. Beets help lower blood pressure, prevent inflammation, help with gut motility and help detoxify the liver and the blood (14).

The “Gland Extract” also contains fo-ti-tieng, which nourishes the glands, and contains kelp and watercress.

Other things to consider

Dr. Jockers stresses that low vitamin D3 is associated with thyroid disorders and should be addressed.  Vitamin D levels play a very important role in immune regulation, calming down autoimmunity and keeping inflammation levels under control.

Also, both iron and B12 deficiency are a common finding with thyroid disorders. He recommends a complete blood count as well. This will look in detail at red blood cell counts, iron stores and white blood cell levels, as well as liver function, kidney health, digestive health and blood sugar regulation.

A ‘C Reactive Protein’ (CRP) reveals the inflammatory status of the body. This is important because increased inflammation impedes the T4-T3 conversion (7).

Similarly, lowered magnesium is a common deficiency and will also affect thyroid function (10). It is also very important for blood sugar stability and healthy adrenal-pituitary and hypothalamic function. A magnesium deficiency can lead to chronic inflammation and increased pituitary gland stress that alters proper TSH production (7).

Concluding, thyroid health has a very strong link to the health of the rest of the body, and more importantly, the heart. Iodine supplementation is a key part of thyroid function. In the case of auto-immunity, addressing the diet is a crucial aspect in resolving thyroid conditions.


(7) http://drjockers.com/how-to-properly-test-thyroid-function

(12) http://theglutensummit.com/team/tom-obryan/


Low thyroid, the unsuspected cause of heart disease (Pt. 3)

02 Feb 2017 no comments HAB Extract

An underactive thyroid can affect every cell in the body and be a major contributor to degenerative diseases (1). In previous blogs we looked at hypothyroidism caused by nutritional deficiencies. We saw how the ‘Heart and Body Extract’ and the ‘Gland Extract’ can help the thyroid because they contain iodine, a key nutrient for all the glands. We looked at Dr. Broda Barnes’ research on the link between low thyroid and heart disease.

While hypothyroidism was not very prevalent when Dr. Barnes was doing his research, he already observed this condition was on the rise in the American population. What accounted for the increase in thyroid disease, according to Dr. Barns, was the introduction of antibiotics around 1945, which allowed millions of hypothyroid children to live long enough to reproduce and pass on their low thyroid to their children. Included in this group were those with heart disease and perhaps other major degenerative diseases.

The major problem with why hypothyroidism remained prevalent, according to Dr. Barns, was that it was still widely unrecognized (1). Today, hypothyroidism is one of the fastest rising health conditions in the US. An estimated 27 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease, women being five to eight times more likely than men to develop the disease. Despite this, hypothyroidism still remains unrecognized, misunderstood and undiagnosed, with up to 60% of thyroid disease sufferers not being aware of their condition (2).

New evidence points to the fact that thyroid disorders should be taken more seriously, especially when it comes to how low thyroid affects heart health:

“Hypothyroid patients have increased diastolic blood pressure…, (and) altered lipid profileHomocysteine, C-reactive protein, increased arterial stiffness, endothelial dysfunction and altered coagulation parameters have been recognized as “new” risk factors for atherosclerosis in patients with thyroid hormone deficiency. The plasma total homocysteine concentration, an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis, is moderately elevated in overtly hypothyroid patients and it decreases with thyroid replacement therapy.” (3)

Something that makes thyroid disorders hard to address is the fact that they rarely affect only the thyroid. In the majority of cases, thyroid disorders involve a myriad of different imbalances, all of which have to be addressed before the thyroid to heal.

In what follows we will look at what other factors, apart from iodine deficiency, affect the health of our thyroid. We will learn about the thyroid’s ‘chain of command’, what the most prevalent type of thyroid disease is and what we can do to start taking care of our thyroid.
What is the thyroid?

The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland that is located within the neck, just below the trachea. It is not to be confused with the parathyroid, located on the thyroid too, whose function is to release hormones that control calcium and other minerals within the blood.

The thyroid’s main function is to produce the hormones known as T3 (tri-iodothyronine) and its pro-hormone T4 (thyroxine). Both of these hormones are tyrosine-based hormones and are partially composed of iodine; however T4 has four iodine molecules, while T3 has three. Also, T4 is much more abundantly produced in the thyroid than T3 and is consequently much more abundantly released in the bloodstream than T3, at a ratio between 14:1 and 20:1.

T4 is the inactive form of thyroid hormone, and it is also known as ‘storage form’ because it is stored in the body until it is needed. T4 has to be converted to the active form T3 within the cells to be usable. Inside the cells, T3 is three to four times more potent than T4.

A deficiency in iodine can lead to decreased production of T3 and T4, enlarges the thyroid gland and will cause the disease known as goiter (5), which is why supplementing with iodine is key for thyroid health. Please check our “Heart and Body Extract” and “Gland Extract”.

 The importance of the thyroid

 Scientist Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize for demonstrating that “cancer develops and thrives when cells become dysfunctional and are unable to efficiently produce energy” (4). This is exactly how cells suffer under conditions of low thyroid, they cannot produce energy.

This will influence:

  • The body’s metabolic rate
  • Bone growth
  • Neural maturation
  • Protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism
  • Vitamin metabolism
  • Heat generation, etc (5)

The thyroid’s chain of command

Dr. John W. Larson DC, Clinical Nutritionist and Hormone Health Expert for over 18 years, explains that the thyroid follows a very specific and highly coordinated chain of command. Before the active free T3 can reach our cells and be used to make energy, it has to go through different steps in an orderly fashion (10).

For this reason, thyroid function does not start in the thyroid itself, but in brain and the liver, in this order:

1) In the brain: Thyroid hormone is operated by the action of the pituitary and the hypothalamus (2). The pituitary is a very important gland that secretes hormones that help control: growth, blood pressure, certain functions of the sex organs, thyroid, and metabolism as well as some aspects of pregnancy, childbirth, nursing, water/salt concentration at the kidneys, temperature regulation and pain relief (6).

When thyroid hormone is needed, a signal known as ‘Thyrotropin Releasing Hormone’ (TRH) travels to the pituitary and triggers this gland to release another hormone called ‘Thyroid Stimulating Hormone’ (TSH). TSH is sent directly to the thyroid (7) where another hormone called ‘Thyroid Peroxidase’ (TPO) transports iodine into the thyroid gland, adds this iodine to tyrosine and with both of these, makes thyroid hormone (8), about 93% T4 and 7% of T3 (7).

This process is so tightly regulated that the brain is constantly ‘reading’ thyroid hormone levels in the bloodstream. If the brain senses too much hormone circulating in the blood, it will slow down the levels of TSH, and the thyroid will slow down its release of thyroid hormone accordingly. On the contrary, when the levels of thyroid hormone drop in the blood, the pituitary releases more TSH, and more thyroid hormone is produced.

2) In the liver: Once thyroid hormone is made in the thyroid, it is carried into the bloodstream by Thyroxine-binding globulin (TBG). (TBG) is synthesized in the liver as a protein (another word for ‘globulin’) as one of three transport proteins (along with transthyretin and serum albumin) responsible for carrying thyroid hormone T4 and T3 in the bloodstream. Of these three proteins, TBG has the highest affinity for T4 and T3 but is present in the lowest concentration. Despite its low concentration, TBG carries the majority of T4 in the blood plasma (9).

The liver is responsible for converting about 60% of T4 into T3. Any form of liver congestion will interfere with this conversion. Stress hormone will convert another 20% into a permanently inactive form of T3, known as reverse T3. Healthy gastrointestinal flora is responsible for converting the last 20% of T4 into T3 (7).

Apart from being converted in the liver, the main nutrient that helps the conversion of T4 to T3 is selenium. Selenium is another important trace mineral that is also becoming depleted in our soils (10).

Bound T4

Not only does TBG transport T4 and T3 into the bloodstream, it also binds them. In the human body every hormone is found bound to a protein: thyroid hormones, adrenal hormones, sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone), etc. This ‘bounding effect’ is a way the body has to control the powerful effects hormones have in us. It is not until hormones become free or unbound that they can have effects on our cells. In the case of the thyroid, this means that T4 is not in an active form that can be used by cells to produce energy (7).

Free T3

This whole chain of command has the important purpose of making active free T3 available to all cells. This happens inside the part of the cell called the mitochondria, where energy is produced.

Reverse T3 (RT3) dominance

RT3 is like an anti-T3 hormone in that it blocks T3 from getting to the cells by binding to the receptor site that is normally occupied by T3.

The role of diagnosis 

According to Dr. Larson, there are many tests used to check thyroid function. However, on many occasions, practitioners will only use one of these. He recommends having a complete thyroid panel that includes six different tests:

  1. TSH: It is a good indicator of thyroid function so this test is the most widely used test by most practitioners. There are two problems with it though, one, sometimes it is the only test used and two, it can show healthy levels of TSH even when the person still has low thyroid symptoms. This adds to the confusion and frustration that is normally seen in thyroid disease. According to Dr. Larson, more detailed testing is needed to show other factors that may be contributing to low thyroid function.

Something that needs to be taken into account is that if the patient is on thyroid medication, TSH levels can show up as too low.

When it comes to the ranges, the optimal level of TSH would be between 1.00 and 2.50, with 0.00-0.44 being clinical low and 4.51 or higher being clinical high.

  1. Free T3: Optimal ranges are between 2.8 and 3.8.

High levels of T3 are a sign of an overactive thyroid. If free T3 is low it is a sign that the conversion process may be suffering.

  1. Reverse T3: Optimal levels are between 0.0 and 19.9.

RT3 mimics free T3 in the body but does not carry out the active duties for metabolic processes in the same way. There are several reasons why RT3 can be high. One is high levels of T4. Another reason is too much of the stress hormone cortisol, which causes what is known as ‘stress induced hypothyroidism’ (7).

  1. Free T4: Optimal levels are between 1.03 and 1.56.

If T4 is high, this tells us that the thyroid is overactive and producing too much thyroid hormone. It could also mean that the conversion of T4 to T3 is not occurring in the liver and/or gut. If Free T4 is low, this points to an underactive thyroid. However, it does not tell us if the problem is functional or autoimmune related (7).  

  1. Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody: This is one of the tests done to check for an auto-immune thyroid condition. The optimal level is from 0 to 19. As we saw before, Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) transports iodine into the thyroid. In the case of an auto-immune thyroid disease, antibodies attack this enzyme, which can cause keep enough thyroid hormone from being available, even if the person is supplementing with iodine.

There has been some concern expressed by practitioners which explain that taking too much iodine, 50 mg or more, can actually be hurtful in the case of TPO antibodies. Dr. Edwin Lee, MD, Board Certified Endocrinologist explains the extra iodine can actually fuel the antibodies even more, therefore, he recommends to stay at a low dose of 1-2 grams until the auto-immune condition is addressed.

  1. Thyroglobulin Antibody, also known as Anti-Thyroglobulin Antibody, is also a test that measures auto-immunity. When the body is creating anti-bodies toward this protein, the one that carries thyroid hormone into the bloodstream, it can keep T3 from reaching the cells.

Auto-immune thyroid disease

Approximately 80 % of hypothyroidism cases are autoimmune based (7). It is called ‘Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis’ when it causes low thyroid and ‘Graves disease’ in the case of hyperactive thyroid.

Auto-immunity can be caused by different things, among them, leaky gut, food allergies or intolerances, invading organisms, heavy metals that have entered the thyroid, inflammation, etc.

The most prevalent is related to the gut. According to Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo MS, DC, CCN, DACBN, the health of the thyroid is dependent on the health of the gut. She explains that around 70 % of our lymphatic system is located in the gut, known as GALT (Gut Associated Lymphatic Tissue). Eating the wrong kind of foods can irritate the cells lining the gut (enterocytes) and produce inflammatory chemicals which will over-sensitize the immune system, create more inflammation and ultimately lead to leaky gut (11).

Dr. Tom O’Bryan, DC, CCN, DACBN explains that the dendritic cells in our immune system are like guards that check every food we eat. When we constantly eat inflammatory foods we over stimulate these cells to produce inflammatory chemicals called ‘cytokines’. They are like ‘chemical bullets’ that destroy any invader by making antibodies against invaders. In the case of protein foods like wheat and grains, the problem is that they contain a long chain of 33 amino acids, called ‘alpha gliadin’ that is not broken down correctly. This is a problem because any food that is not broken down completely will alert the immune system that an invader is present. When it comes to the thyroid the problem is that our thyroid is made out of exactly the same chain of amino acids that is found in these foods. Once our immune system is activated against wheat and grains, it will start attacking our thyroid too and making antibodies against our own thyroid. This is what is known as ‘collateral damage’.

The immune system can attack the thyroid itself, or any of the hormones, or proteins that are part of the thyroid’s chain of command. This is why it is important to have a complete thyroid lab panel to check for all the possibilities.

There is only one thyroid dysfunction that is not shown in any test: when antibodies attack the thyroid receptors in the cells. If these receptors are damaged or destroyed, the cells are unable to receive T3, however, all the tests will show normal levels of TSH, T4 and T3 but the patient will still have symptoms of low thyroid.

Once auto-immunity becomes chronic, and we surpass our oral tolerance for problem foods, thyroid antibodies will become self-perpetuated (12). This will make the sufferer over-sensitive to any other minor irritants like pollen, dust, even less evident things like perfumes. It will also make the sufferer more prone to other auto immune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, etc if the problem is not addressed at the root level.

The treatment usually given for thyroid disorders is T4 thyroid hormone, but this doesn’t solve the problem, because as long as the offending agents are present in the diet the damage will continue. What is more, giving the patient T4 hormone can lower thyroid function even more.

So what can we do to start reversing thyroid dysfunction? Please find out in our next blog.



Low thyroid, the unsuspected cause of heart disease (Pt. 2)

04 Jan 2017 no comments HAB Extract

Nutrition for your thyroid

The main hormone produced by the thyroid is known as T4. This is a storage form of the hormone, which means that T4 is circulated throughout the bloodstream and stored in tissues so that it is available when needed. It is also inactive, thus,  in order for the body to use it has to go through different steps to be activated. (1)

T4 thyroid hormone is comprised of the amino acid tyrosine and four iodines. (2) Because of this, the thyroid gland is the main user of iodine in the body. Deficiencies in this key nutrient can cause goiter.  Due to depletion of our soils, supplementing with iodine should be a priority.

Both the ‘Heart and Body Extract’ and the ‘Gland Extract’ contain kelp, which helps to nourish  the body and supports healthy thyroid function. The ‘Gland Extract’ also contains:

  • Papaya,  a digestive aid  that can help assimilate nutrients from our food
  • Beet root, which assists the gallbladder in keeping bile thin and is rich in nutrients and trace minerals
  • Chapparal, which cleanses the lymphatic system and the liver
  • Comfrey, contains allantoin, which promotes cell proliferation, helps to carry nutrients and minerals into glands, and assists in digestion
  • Watercress, a nutritive herb rich in vitamins and minerals, especially iron, iodine and calcium
  • Fo-ti-tieng, which strengthens the body and balances the endocrine gland system

Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo also recommends Coleus Forskohlii, and He Shou Wu (Fo ti). Both of these can be found in the ‘Heart and Body Extract’.

Not only is iodine the thyroid’s raw material, every gland in the body needs iodine. According to Benjamin Fuchs R. Ph., iodine “can be helpful for the adrenals and the pancreas, (it)“resolves nearly every case of breast cysts”…can heal ovarian and skin cysts too (20 % of the body’s iodine stores are in the skin and one of the signs of iodine deficiency is dry skin). Muscles may benefit, ie: muscular pain and fibromyalgia are associated with iodine deficiency”  (3)

This makes the ‘Gland Extract’ a very important supplement not only for the health of the thyroid but all the other glands.

When iodine is present, it is absorbed from the gut into the blood and from there it goes to the thyroid. There it is removed from the blood, trapped in the gland, and incorporated into compounds which in turn are assembled into thyroid hormone secretions. The tiny amount of iodine that is needed for the thyroid to work properly is enough for the body to make thyroid hormone not just once but several times.

In cases of deficiency, the thyroid may enlarge in an attempt to add to its output. It may become so enlarged, that it may interfere with breathing or swallowing.  In goiter regions of the world, like mountains or inland areas of the globe, the amount found in food or water is not enough for proper functioning of the thyroid.  (4)

Other key nutrients for the thyroid are the B vitamins, magnesium, vitamin D, zinc (5) and selenium. (6)

Get in charge of your thyroid health today. Thank you for reading.


(1)  http://drjockers.com/how-to-properly-test-thyroid-function/

(2) http://drritamarie.com/blog/radio-show-the-thyroid-gut-connection/

(3) http://pharmacistben.com/nutrition/iodine-essential-nutrient-thyroid/

(4) Barnes, Broda O., and Lawrence Galton. Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness. New York: Crowell, 1976. Print.

(5) http://drjockers.com/how-to-properly-test-thyroid-function/

(6) http://drjockers.com/how-selenium-helps-to-detoxify-mercury/

Low thyroid, the unsuspected cause of heart disease (Pt. 1)

04 Jan 2017 no comments HAB Extract

Hypothyroidism or low thyroid function is according to Dr. Broda O. Barnes, M.D. “the most frequent and often overlooked chronic condition affecting people”. Despite being one of the causes of many health problems, and being easily and inexpensively corrected, low thyroid is also the most unsuspected, unverified and untreated. (1)

“According to the organizers of the International Thyroid Awareness Week, more than 300 million people worldwide are thought to suffer with a thyroid gland disorder (un)aware … Even doctors have difficulty recognizing and treating thyroid disorders.” (2)

In today’s blogs, we will look at the importance of the thyroid for the health of the heart, especially in controlling hypertension and blood cholesterol levels. We will also see how the ‘Heart and Body Extract’ and the ‘Gland Extract’ can help the thyroid.

The endocrine system

When the endocrine glands were first discovered, it challenged the notion that the nervous system was ‘the’ single controlling force in the human body. The pituitary, adrenals, pineal gland, thymus and the islets of Langerhans were found to play a remarkable role in the body’s economy by pouring their hormones into the blood stream. However, the thyroid was found to be the ‘Master gland’ (3), the ‘quickener of the tempo of life’ (1). As such, the thyroid controls the metabolic rate of every cell in your body, that is, how quickly the body is able to burn oxygen and glucose and turn it into fuel. The thyroid does this by producing and releasing hormones, the most important of which are T3 and T4.

When the thyroid is functioning properly, it keeps things balanced and running smoothly and all your organs and glands function well.  In other words, this small butterfly shaped gland located in the neck and weighing less than an ounce, controls the body’s metabolism. The term ‘metabolism’ refers to the process by which food is transformed into energy and many vital chemical changes take place. Every organ, tissue, and cell is affected by the ‘sometimes less than a spoonful a year’ thyroid hormone released into the bloodstream. (1) This is very important to understand, and it is the reason the thyroid is the regulator of ‘EVERYTHING’ in the body. And because there is a receptor for thyroid hormone in every cell of the body, low thyroid can potentially affect any and all of the systems in the body. (4)

This can mean heart problems, if the cells affected are the heart cells, gut problems if the cells affected are the cells in the gut, and so on. In the case of impaired digestion this can translate into inability to  produce enough stomach acid, enzymes, bile, etc. And because thyroid hormone is activated in the liver and gut, this in turn will affect the thyroid, becoming a ‘self feeding’ downward spiral .

The microscopic cell

Each cell in the body is like a microscopic power plant, it burns food and sets energy free in the form of heat. Thyroid secretion is essential for the work of the cell and determines how the fire gets inside the cell and the speed of activity in the cell. Since we have several trillion cells in the body, we could say that anything that influences how the cell operates is of extreme importance for all the organs of the body.

The minute secretion of thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid gland is also responsible for:

Regulating the rate at which the body utilizes oxygen and the speed with which the body utilizes food

Regulating the body’s heat production. The thyroid is a kind of thermostat

Maintaining the circulatory system and blood volume

Maintaining muscle health (the heart is a muscle). With marked thyroid deficiency the muscles may become sluggish and infiltrated with fat

The thyroid also plays an important role in growth processes. With low thyroid, growth and maturation fail to take place normally: growth of the skin, hair, and nails may be retarded in thyroid deficiency and accelerated by thyroid treatment. Healing of the bones is delayed in thyroid deficiency. Severe anemia may also develop. Thyroid hormone is essential for normal nervous system functioning and reaction time, thus hypothyroidism  may produce slow reactions  and mental sluggishness. (1)

Symptoms of low thyroid

Because the thyroid controls everything in the body, an underactive thyroid can have many different symptoms:

  • Cretinism: An extreme case of low thyroid which will cause the sufferer to underdevelop
  • Circulatory disturbances
  • High cholesterol levels (5)
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Severe headaches
  • Repeated infections
  • Slow and thick speech
  • Weakness and listlessness to the point of apathy
  • Dry and flaky skin and and brittle hair (5)
  • Menstrual disturbances,  and anemia caused by blood loss
  • Memory and concentration difficulties
  • Depression
  • Paranoid symptoms
  • Feeling cold even in warm temperatures
  • Muscle soreness and pain (5)
  • Unexplained weight gain (5)
  • Sleeplessness
  • Eye inflammation
  • Nervousness

Any person with hypothyroid fatigue fights an uphill battle, getting physically tired sooner and taking longer to recuperate. That person is more prone to mental as well as physical fatigue, and even after extended rest, the brain, like the rest of body, gets something less than adequate circulation. The mental fatigue, if severe enough, can be much like that of the battle fatigue suffered by soldiers  during prolonged front line duty in war. (1)

Many of the symptoms of low thyroid will vary greatly from one victim to another. In the milder forms of hypothyroidism, we can also see many systems of the body affected, although not all may show the same degree and different organs may be affected. Many times the symptoms may look opposite, like low energy and hyperactivity.

According to the observations of Dr. Broda Barnes, after removal of the thyroid gland, excess amounts of water, salt, and protein are retained within the body, and blood cholesterol also goes up.

When fatigue and the impaired circulation that contributes to it lead to an accumulation of fluid in the tissues this can lead to headaches.

The thyroid-heart connection

One of the areas in which low thyroid can impact us is heart health, especially when it comes to  controlling blood cholesterol levels.

Dr. Broda first started being aware of the importance of the thyroid for heart health when he realized the patients he was treating with thyroid hormone didn’t have heart attacks. At that time he was working with a group of 490 women aged 30-39, 60 and over, 172 of which were high risk women (high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels). There were also 382 men aged 30-39, 60 and over, 186 of which were at high risk of heart disease. Of the 19 cases of heart disease to be expected, only 2 developed heart disease among women and one among men. This meant that 94% of them were protected by thyroid therapy.

This realization made him eager to continue researching thyroid hormone. Dr. Broda found some studies on the thyroid that corroborated his observations. Two medical investigators in two different series of patients studied the frequency of symptoms and signs of hypothyroidism. They found that heart enlargement was present in 68% of 77 cases, palpitations were 31%, poor heart sounds 30%, and pain over the heart 25%.

A life’s work

One of Dr. Broda’s first jobs in graduate school was to teach endocrinology to medical students. Lab animals were used to demonstrate the influence of each of the endocrine glands: A gland would be removed and the results of its removal would be noted over a period of time. One of the most graphic demonstrations of low thyroid was when the thyroid gland was removed from baby rabbits  and their fur  became dry within 2 weeks. One week later they started losing weight and, as time passed, repeated infections became prevalent till they died at less than half the normal age. When thyroid was administered to some of these rabbits, there was a quick relief for their multiple problems and a seemingly miraculous return to health.

After obtaining his Ph. D. and going back to medical school, Dr. Broda saw many patients with health problems whose cause didn’t seem clear, or fit any usual category of disease. It was not long before he realized he was seeing patients who reminded him of those rabbits in the lab.

After graduating from med school, the tragic death of two of his patients changed the way he practiced medicine. He learned to never ignore any physical complaint from a patient even when there was not an immediate explanation for it. He started screening for hypothyroidism in any patient who showed symptoms that didn’t fit any disease category.

Dr. Broda continued to research the link between the thyroid and heart disease extensively. Evidence had been accumulating proving that the thyroid gland may play a role in hypertension. One of the first physicians  to point out the role of hypothyroidism in artery disease was Dr. A. M. Fishberg. In ‘The Journal of the American Medical Association’, he cited the case of a 21 year old man who had died of pneumonia. The only physical abnormality he had was a blood pressure of 175/135. When the autopsy was performed his thyroid gland was found to be almost nonfunctioning, and had been almost replaced by fatty tissue. The deceased patient also had generalized atherosclerosis, which affected his kidney and other arteries. Dr. Fishberg suggested that hypothyroidism had caused the atherosclerosis and that it led to hypertension. After hearing about this case, Dr. Broda started being interested in the possible link between hypothyroidism and hypertension.

When he started studying goiter patients, all of them had high blood pressure. He found out that surgeries to remove an enlarged thyroid in order to prevent choking, caused their blood pressure to increase. The more thyroid gland that was removed, the higher the pressure was. When these patients were put on thyroid hormone, 95% showed satisfactory declines in blood pressure.

After learning this, Dr. Broda started paying attention to patients that had high blood pressure and treating them with thyroid hormone. The only patients that didn’t respond to thyroid medication were those with kidney disease. If the kidney artery became clogged, thyroid medication could not  improve the circulation to the kidney.

He continued to study these two conditions: hypothyroidism and high blood pressure, this time in a heart disease follow up study he had in progress. The aim of the study was to determine what influence the correction of low thyroid function might have on heart disease. Patients on thyroid therapy showed improved protection against the development of elevated blood pressure if they didn’t have it when they entered the study. Those that did have the disease saw a decrease in their blood pressure even without antihypertensive medication. Only seven patients required antihypertensive medication.

Through his extensive research, Dr. Broda learned that thyroid deficiency tends to reduce the strength of the heartbeat. Also, the amount of blood pumped out to the body with each beat is reduced. In severe hypothyroidism, studies had shown that the blood circulation through the body may be reduced by as much as 40%, thus, the effective oxygen carrying capacity of the blood is only 60% of the normal. In milder cases of low thyroid function, the reduction of circulation is not that severe, but just a mild reduction can mean that less than normal amounts of oxygen are reaching the tissues.

The blood pressure system

Blood pressure is simply the force or push against the walls of the arteries as blood flows through them. Each time the heart beats, pumping out blood, the pressure in the arteries increases, and each time the heart relaxes between beats the pressure goes down. It is completely normal for blood pressure to fluctuate. It decreases during sleep and increases during physical exertion or emotional excitement. The body has the ability to adapt instantly to the need for blood in all organs and tissues. During sleep there is less effect of gravity and less pressure is needed to get blood to the brain so the pressure goes down. Pressure automatically goes up when we stand up as the body counters the gravity effect. It also automatically adapts to meet the different demands during work, exercise, etc.

There is a wide range of normal blood pressure. At rest, a 100/60 to 140/90 is considered normal, above that, on single instances,  it can still be considered normal. The problem is when the elevation is continuous.

Hypertension can be present for years without symptoms and even when it presents symptoms like headache, dizziness, weakness or fatigue they may not be attributed to high blood pressure because they are common to other diseases. The problem with hypertension is that it can be doing damage without any symptoms.

When the heart must pump against excessive pressure, it has to pump harder. To accommodate to the extra burden, the heart must enlarge  and carry on for years, this overstretched muscle may weaken and heartbeat abnormalities may follow. Just like a garden hose under a lot of pressure, the coronary arteries that feed the heart muscle may damage the artery walls and eventually narrow the arteries, reducing the blood flow to the heart. Not only this increases the likelihood of a heart attack but also its deadliness. The likelihood of a stroke too is increased, up to five times higher. According to Dr. Broda, “thyroid dificiency is the most potent factor in the development of atherosclerosis and heart attacks” (1)

Hypertension has also been found to be the principal  reason for congestive heart failure. The failure develops when the heart’s pumping power becomes so impaired that not enough blood is circulating to provide sustenance for all tissues. The kidneys, from lack of circulation, can no longer  remove enough water from the blood, and urine output drops while the retained water accumulates in the lungs and other tissues.

The causes of high blood pressure are numerous: narrowing of the aorta, obstruction to normal flow in a kidney artery, etc. However, the majority of high blood pressure, around 85-90%, has been considered to be ‘essential’ or ‘idiopathic’, meaning there is no definite physical cause. Dr. Broda believes the explanation is in the thyroid.

The low thyroid-high blood pressure link

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is usually a silent, potentially disabling and exceedingly common health problem. “Heart attacks are three to five commoner in hypertensives  than in others, strokes, four times commoner, congestive heart failure, five times commoner. The risk of potentially fatal kidney failure- and also of blindness- is increased. The higher the blood pressure, the greater the risk. But even mild elevation of pressure, left untreated, can shorten life…Hypertension is not reserved only for certain age groups or for certain types of people. It affects men and women of every national origin and at every age.” (1)

The thyroid and cholesterol

In the human body, cholesterol is found in every cell in the body. Every cell has enzymes for the local production of cholesterol when needed. At the time of birth, the brain contains the enzymes for making cholesterol and as a child develops much more cholesterol is added to the central nervous system. In adults, cells in the brain and spinal cord are not replaced and enzymes disappear from these tissues. All other tissues in the body though continue to  replace worn or damaged cells and the enzymes needed for production of cholesterol remain through life.

Even a vegetarian , who gets no cholesterol in his diet, has the normal amount of cholesterol in his blood and tissues because enzymes are capable of making the cholesterol that is needed. Non vegetarians, on the contrary, consume cholesterol and, in this case, the liver breaks down some of the excess cholesterol into bile salts and they are excreted in bile. In other words, if the diet does not contain enough cholesterol, the body will synthesize more cholesterol as need arises.

Cholesterol can be formed from the simplest foods, only a molecule containing two carbon atoms is necessary for the formation of the complex cholesterol molecule. Cholesterol rapid synthesis is a wonder of nature, and the fact that it is so quickly and easily manufactured from simple compounds is a proof of its importance.

A hen’s egg is high in cholesterol because the material is needed for the chick to develop. In the human body, the adrenal glands contain the highest concentration of cholesterol of any other tissue in the body. Cholesterol is the starting material for the synthesis of adrenal hormones needed for the maintenance of mineral and glucose metabolism and to ready the body for quick action in emergency situations. The brain and spinal cord contain one fourth of the body’s total cholesterol in the body. Some of it is in connective tissue and some is also believed to be part of nerve fibers’ insulation. The skin contains 10% of the body’s total cholesterol and sunlight converts this cholesterol into vitamin D, essential to bone metabolism. Cholesterol is also found in bone marrow, where red blood cells are formed.

Rudolph Virchow, the father of pathology, demonstrated that when tissue degenerated, large amounts of cholesterol were liberated. He clearly showed that cholesterol did not cause the damage to the tissue, but rather, it was released as a result of the damage. Repetedly, other pathologists confirmed this same idea: cholesterol is not present in great amounts at the beginning of the degenerative process but after this is well advanced. A significant discovery was that when artery lining is healthy, cholesterol in the blood moves in and out the lining, but when the lining is damaged, cholesterol moves in more readily than out, and this happens even when cholesterol levels are normal.

In experiments with rabbits resistant to cholesterol, they found that removing thyroid hormone quickly increased their levels of cholesterol and atherosclerosis developed. When administered thyroid hormone the opposite effect happened.

Despite all these significant findings, evidence began to build against cholesterol, which according to the author has caused much confusion.

In 1950, Dr. Broda started pretreating new patients with a chest X-ray for heart size, an electrocardiogram and blood studies including checks for cholesterol levels. He decided to run a scientific study in which 1,569 patients were encouraged to eat abundant fat, eggs and extra butter. While thyroid was being administered, 95% of the patients showed blood cholesterol within normal range. Even those that had higher cholesterol levels never had heart attacks. The majority of the subjects stayed in this diet for 20 years, and all of them stayed a minimum of 2 years. At the end of the 20 years, only 4 heart attacks occurred, all in men, the youngest was 56, the oldest 61. In these four cases, the thyroid dosage was only 2 grains a day, which may have been low.

A government’s study known as the Framingham study in 1949 and officially termed ‘The Heart Disease Epidemiology Study’, followed more than 5,000 men and women in order to determine who would develop coronary heart disease. None of the participants received thyroid hormone and around 800 died of a heart attack. This represented a 94% of protection with thyroid hormone.

Low thyroid and artery degeneration

There was a total of 30 heart attacks among those patients that stopped thyroid therapy. The autopsy of one of these victims revealed that both coronary arteries were almost completely closed off by arteriosclerosis. Other patients’ autopsies, this time performed by Dr. William M. Ord, revealed that the thyroid was almost completely destroyed, the heart was enlarged and many arteries diseased, containing deposits of foreign material that narrowed them greatly.

Upon  researching the topic, Dr. Broda found that the influence of thyroid deficiency on the artery system had been well studied in the early 1900’s, a group of doctors defined the condition in which the arteries become prematurely damaged by arteriosclerosis as ‘myxedema’ and ‘myxedema heart’. They treated patients with enlarged hearts with thyroid hormone, after which their heart shrank to normal size.

Despite the importance of these findings, Dr. Broda thinks this knowledge has been forgotten because heart disease was not prevalent in the early 1900’s.


Thyroid deficiency can produce  many changes in the body which encourage heart problems. One of the most important is the deposition of foreign substances in the arteries. Other changes are high blood pressure, but thyroid therapy has proven to lower it. Blood clots are also more prevalent and heart attacks occur more often because the clot blocks a completely narrowed atherosclerotic artery. However, with thyroid therapy, blood clotting activity returns to normal. “A rational approach to the prevention of heart attacks calls for the recognition of thyroid deficiency.” (1)


(1) Barnes, Broda O., and Lawrence Galton. Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness. New York: Crowell, 1976. Print.

(2) “VITAL Solutions: Dr. Ritamarie’s Nutritional Strategies for Restoring and Maintaining Thyroid Health.” Dr Ritamaries Vibrant Living and Energy Recharge Natural Health Solutions VITAL Solutions Dr Ritamaries Nutritional Strategies for Restoring and Maintaining Thyroid Health Recording Series Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Dec. 2016.

(3) Loscalzo, Dr. Ritamarie. “Thyroid Revive and Thrive.” Gluten Free Diet, Living Foods and Raw Foods for Vibrant Health, Adrenal Fatigue, Irritable Bowel and Chronic Exhaustion. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Dec. 2016.

(4) http://drritamarie.com/blog/radio-show-the-thyroid-gut-connection/

(5) “7 Signs of an Underactive Thyroid.” DrJockerscom. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Dec. 2016.


The importance of bile for healthy arterial flow (Pt. 2)

01 Dec 2016 no comments HAB Extract

Diseases of the circulatory system. Coronary heart disease

The circulatory system is comprised of:

  • The blood circulatory system. Including the heart, and the blood vessels through which the blood circulates
  • The lymph system.  Consisting of lymph nodes and lymph vessels through which lymph flows. There is three times more lymph fluid than blood and this may be because lymph takes waste products from the cells, cellular debris, and removes them from the body

Under normal conditions, the liver filters more than one quart of blood per minute, leaving only the acidic carbon dioxide for elimination through the lungs. After it is purified in the liver, the blood passes through the hepatic vein into the inferior vena cava, which takes it directly into the right side of the heart. From there the venous blood is carried to the lungs where carbon dioxide is excreted and oxygen is absorbed. After leaving the lungs, the oxygenated blood passes into the left side of the heart, from where it is pumped into the aorta. This supplies all body tissues  with oxygenated blood. In this fashion, the liver thoroughly detoxifies and purifies the blood. (1)

Because the liver influences the entire circulatory system, including the heart, the liver could be considered the greatest protector of the heart. Proof of this is that long before the heart begins to malfunction, the liver loses much of its major vitality and efficiency. “A heart attack is actually the final stage of an insidious disorder that has been years in the making.” (1)

Gallstones affect the blood vessels supplying the liver, reducing internal blood supply. “A congested liver can obstruct the venous blood flow to the heart, leading to heart palpitations or even heart attacks.” It is obvious that toxins that are not neutralized by the liver end up damaging the heart and blood vessel network.

Another consequence of this is that proteins from dead cells and unused food protein are not sufficiently broken down, which raises protein concentrations in the blood. Ultimately the concentrations of hemoglobin in the blood begins to increase, giving rise to red complexion on the face or chest. As a result of all this red blood cells become enlarged and are unable to pass through the tiny vessels of the capillary network. This high concentration of protein in the blood causes the blood to become too thick and slow moving, increasing its tendency toward clotting, heart attacks or strokes.

This slow moving blood will also compromise delivery of nutrients and oxygen all through the body as well as elimination of waste, all of which can increase blood pressure and  damage the blood vessels. In the meantime, the excess proteins are stored in the blood vessel walls, where they are converted into collagen fiber. This in turn decreases the amount of oxygen, and essential nutrients to the cells including those of the heart. Heart muscle weakness and arteriosclerosis will be the end result.

Liver congestion can cause high cholesterol

We have seen how critical cholesterol is for health. The main producers of cholesterol are the liver and the small intestine, respectively. They release cholesterol right into the blood stream where cholesterol binds to the blood proteins called ‘lipoproteins’, whose job is to transport cholesterol through the body: High density lipoprotein (HDL), Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and Very low density lipoprotein (VLDL).

The difference among these three is that LDL and VLDL are larger cholesterol  molecules than HDL. Because of this size difference HDL can pass through blood vessel walls but LDL and VLDL have to use a different pathway, the liver’s blood vessels (sinusoids). Once they have passed through the liver they are rebuilt and excreted along with bile into the intestines. There it combines with fats, and it is absorbed by the lymph in order to enter the blood again. Gallstones in the liver inhibit bile production, blocking cholesterol’s escape route. Under these circumstances, bile production drops from a quart or more of bile per day to a cup or less. This prevents much of the cholesterol (VLDL and LDL) from being excreted with the bile, and causes it to be ‘trapped in the blood’ and its concentration to rise in the blood.

What is more, digestion is impaired, especially fats, which prevents cholesterol to be available for basic cell metabolism. The liver then starts producing more cholesterol, increasing LDL and VLDL even more in the blood.

Gallstones can cause poor circulation, enlargement of the heart and spleen, varicose veins, lymph congestion, and hormonal imbalances

When gallstones impede blood flow through the liver, venous blood pressure in the liver and in all of the organs of the body that drain used blood into the liver’s portal vein is increased: spleen, stomach, esophagus, pancreas, gallbladder, small and large intestines. This can lead to enlargement of all these organs, a reduction of their ability to remove cellular waste and clogging of their respective veins.This can show up as ‘varicose veins’ in the legs and ‘hemorrhoids’. (1)

“Poor blood flow through the liver always affects the heart. When the organs of the digestive system become weakened by an increase in venous pressure, they become congested and begin to accumulate harmful waste, including debris from cells that have been broken down. The spleen becomes enlarged while it is dealing with the extra workload associated with removing damaged or worn-out blood cells. This further slows blood circulation to and from the organs of the digestive system, which stresses the heart, raises blood pressure and injures blood vessels. The right part of the heart, which receives venous blood via the inferior vena cava from the liver and all other parts below the lungs, becomes overloaded with toxic sometimes infections material. This eventually causes enlargement, and possibly infection, of the right side of the heart. Almost all types of heart disease have one thing in common: blood flow is being obstructed” (1)

The lymphatic system removes harmful waste products

Reduced blood flow through the liver affects blood flow in the entire body, which in turn has a detrimental effect on the lymphatic system.

“The lymphatic system, which is closely related to the immune system, helps clear the body of harmful metabolic waste products, foreign material and cell debris. All cells release metabolic waste products and take up nutrients from a surrounding solution called ‘extracellular fluid’ or ‘connective tissue’. The degree of nourishment and efficiency of the cells depends on how swiftly and completely waste material  is removed from the extracellular fluid. Since most waste products cannot pass directly into the blood for excretion, they accumulate in the extracellular fluid until they are removed and detoxified by the lymphatic system. The potentially harmful material is filtered and neutralized by lymph nodes that are strategically located  throughout the body. One of the key functions of the lymphatic system is to keep the extracellular fluid clear of toxic substances” (1)

“Poor circulation of blood in the body causes an overload of foreign, harmful waste matter in the extracellular tissues and in the lymph vessels and lymph nodes. When lymph drainage slows down or becomes obstructed, the thymus gland, tonsils and spleen start to deteriorate rapidly. These organs form an important part of the body’s system of purification and immunity. In addition, microbes harbored in gallstones can be a constant source of recurring infection in the body, which may render the lymphatic and immune systems ineffective against more serious infections.” (1)

“Owing to the restricted bile flow in the liver and gallbladder, the small intestine is restricted in its capacity to digest food properly. This allows substantial amounts of waste matter and poisonous substances, such as cadaverines and putrescines (breakdown products of putrefied food) to seep into the lymphatic ducts. These toxins, along with fats and proteins enter the body’s largest lymph vessel, the thoracic duct. Toxins, antigents and undigested protein from animal sources as well as leaked plasma proteins, cause these lymph sacks to swell and become inflamed. Viruses, fungi and bacteria feed on the pooled wastes, in some cases allergic reactions occur. This results in lymph edema which can cause middle or low back pain and abdominal swelling, which is considered a ‘normal part of aging’ but it is nothing more than a lymphatic congestion.” (1)

“Some 80% of the lymphatic system is associated with the intestines, any lymph edema in this important part of the lymphatic system can lead to potentially serious complications elsewhere in the body. Whenever a lymph duct is obstructed the lymph nodes can no longer properly neutralize the following things: dead and live phagocytes and their ingested microbes, worn out tissue cells, cells damaged by disease, products of fermentation, pesticides in food, toxic antibodies contained in most plant foods, cells from malignant tumors, and the millions of cancer cells every healthy person generates each day. Incomplete destruction of these things can cause these lymph nodes to become inflamed, enlarged, and congested with blood. Infected material may enter the bloodstream, causing septic poisoning and acute illnesses. In most cases, the lymph blockage occurs slowly, without symptoms other than swelling of the abdomen, hands, arms, feet, ankles or puffiness in the face and eyes, this is referred to as ‘water retention’,  a major precursor of chronic illness. All this congestion can manifest in any part of the body, like in enlargement of the left half of the heart, and congestive heart failure. This can also cause these toxins to be passed into the heart and its arteries, stressing the heart and allowing these toxins to enter the general circulation.” (1)

We can prevent gallstones 

What can we do about this? One answer could be to change the way we eat: more fresh , unprocessed, organic, clean foods can take the load off our liver and gallbladder. Supplementing would be another way. Some of the nutrients required for detoxification via the liver detoxification pathways are:

  • In phase 1: the B vitamins, folic acid, glutathione, vitamin E and C
  • In phase 2: selenium, sulfur, and the amino acids taurine, cysteine, glutamine, and glycine. (2)

Taurine is a very interesting amino acid, it is not only used by our body for detoxification , according to Benjamin Fuchs, R Ph “It helps lower blood pressure and improves the excretion of excess fluid which takes pressure off of blood vessels. It strengthens heart muscle and helps maintain calcium balance in heart cells. (It is also) Critical in maintaining heart muscle contraction.” (3)

A great supplement we can use to help bile is lecithin. Lecithin is “an active ingredient in bile” (4)

The “Heart and Body Extract” can improve circulation, digestion and detoxification

We have seen how critical proper blood circulation and lymphatic flow are to heart healt. Each of the ingredients in the “Heart and Body Extract” can help with circulation and lymphatic congestion by themselves, but their properties are improved when they are combined  together. For example, cayenne has vascular dilation properties, improves circulation in the extremities and  stimulates lymph flow. Garlic is a great blood cleanser, it is antiseptic, antiparasitic, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. Garlic then can assist bile’s antibacterial activity, by stimulating the action of the liver and gallbladder. To this we can add that garlic stimulates digestive enzymes and improves the immune system. This is why many people find that taking the “Heart and Body Extract” helps their digestion. Ginger is also a great digestive aid, but it also helps with circulation and it is a catalyst for other herbs, meaning it improves the properties of other herbs it is combined with. Ginger is also great for nausea, increases lymph flow and aids elimination of mucus from upper respiratory areas, especially the lungs. It also lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, prevents blood clotting and it is useful post strokes. (5)


In conclusion, bile flow is critical for overall health. Obstructive gallstones can become a major source of congestion and toxicity in the body. Luckily, there are many things we can do to prevent this. The “Heart and Body Extract” together with a clean diet can keep the detoxification pathways in our body clear.

Be pro-active and take your health in your own hands today. Thank you for reading.


(1) Moritz, Andreas. The Liver and Gallbladder Miracle Cleanse: An All-natural, At-home Flush to Purify and Rejuvenate Your Body. Berkeley, CA: Ulysses, 2007. Print.

(2) http://drjockers.com/sulfur-a-critical-nutrient-for-optimal-health/

(3) http://pharmacistben.com/nutrition/top-12-heart-nutrients-part-1/

(4) http://pharmacistben.com/health/lecithin-protective/

(5) Morse, Robert. The Detox Miracle Sourcebook: Raw Foods and Herbs for Complete Cellular Regeneration. Prescott, AZ: Hohm, 2004. Print.

The importance of bile for healthy arterial flow (Pt. 1)

01 Dec 2016 no comments HAB Extract

We have seen the key role the liver plays in digestion and detoxification: the liver is a digestive organ, makes bile and cholesterol  and it is the body’s major detoxification organ. By breaking down complex chemicals, alcohol, toxins, bacteria and parasites, the liver converts these into less toxic substances. But the liver has hundreds of other functions, each of them connected with different parts of the body. According to Andreas Moritz, author of the book “The liver and gallbladder miracle cleanse”, the liver “With its intricate labyrinth of veins, ducts and specialized cells feeds  the 60 to 100 trillion cells of the body…. supply(ing) these cells with a constant stream of nutrients, enzymes and hormones.” (1)

To perform all of these functions the liver needs to be completely unobstructed. But what happens when this is not the case? Gallstones are a hazard to all these vital tasks because they obstruct bile flow, leading to high levels of toxicity in the liver and ultimately to liver diseases. According to the author, “Liver congestion is among the leading health problems” (1) and in his opinion it is not something that  conventional medicine  considers, not until advanced liver cell destruction shows up as elevated liver enzymes in the blood.

The good news is that it takes many years for this congestion to happen, which means there are many things we can do to prevent this. In this blog, we will look once again at the liver and the gallbladder. We will give special attention to the importance of bile and how it can be key to the health of our heart. We will also look at how the liver influences the entire circulatory system, and how the “Heart and Body Extract” can help keep our liver and gallbladder work properly.

The liver has many jobs

“The liver is the largest gland in the body, weighing up to 3 pounds…It can also be the most complex and active organ in the body.”  (1) A healthy liver receives and filters 3 pints of blood per minute. Most of the filtered waste products leave the liver via bile. The liver also produces 1-1.5 quarts of bile every day. This ensures that all the activities in the liver and in the rest of the body run smoothly and efficiently.

The liver is also responsible for hundreds of other different functions,  the main ones are:

  • Manufacture of cholesterol, an essential building material  of organ cells
  • Manufacture of bile
  • Production of hormones and proteins that affect the way the body functions, grows and heals
  • Manufacture of new amino acids
  • Conversion of existing amino acids into proteins: These proteins are the main building blocks of the cells, hormones , neurotransmitters, genes and so forth
  • Break down of old, worn-out cells and the nitrogen part of amino acids, the byproduct of which in both cases is uric acid, which is excreted through urine
  • Recycling of protein and iron
  • Storage of vitamins and nutrients
  • Growth and functioning of every cell in the body

Reduced bile availability is the source of almost all health problems

In order to perform all of its functions, the liver needs these 1-1.5 quarts of bile per day, anything less than that, as it is the case of gallstones, will dramatically compromise our health (1). Bile availability is so important that the author asserts “Almost all health problems are a direct or indirect consequence of reduced bile availability.” (1)

But, what is bile exactly? “Bile is a “yellow/green aqueous solution…(made up of) bile acids, cholesterol, phospholipids (mainly phosphatidylcholine) and the pigment biliverdin (bili = bile, verdi = green).” (2)

Bile has a key role in digestion.  “Without sufficient bile, food remains undigested or partially digested. For example, to enable the small intestines to digest and absorb fat and calcium from food, the food must first combine with bile. When fat is not absorbed, calcium is not absorbed either, leaving the blood in a deficit. The blood subsequently takes its extra calcium from the bones. Most bone density problems (osteoporosis) actually arise from insufficient bile secretion and poor digestion of fats, rather than from not consuming enough calcium.” (1)

Bile is antimicrobial and antibacterial

This detergent and emulsification ability that allows bile to solubilize fats “also confers potent antimicrobial properties on bile and gives it an important role in the body’s physicochemical defense system.” (2) Bile primarily exerts its antibacterial effects on cell membranes, cells then become shrunken and empty after exposure to bile. “Bile salts at high concentrations can rapidly dissolve membrane lipids and cause dissociation of integral membrane proteins ….This nearly instantaneous solubilization results in the leakage of cell contents and cell death” This antibacterial role bile plays explains why many substances are mixed into bile.” (2) This is the case of:

Immunoglobulin A and mucus, which are secreted into bile to prevent bacterial growth and adhesion.

Tocopherol, which may prevent oxidative damage to the biliary and small intestinal epithelium

Many endogenous substances (endobiotics) may be secreted in bile and undergo enterohepatic cycling (recycling). These include lipovitamins (particularly the biologically active forms of vitamin D 2), water-soluble vitamins (particularly vitamin B 12, folic acid and pyridoxine), all estrogenic steroids, progesterone, testosterone, corticosteroids and essential trace metals. Many other substances like antimicrobials and drugs are also mixed into bile and undergo this enterohepatic cycling. (2)

Bile also functions as an excretory fluid by eliminating substances that cannot be efficiently excreted in urine because they are insoluble or protein bound, like it is the case of cholesterol. (2)

Other jobs bile has are:

  • To maintain normal fat levels in the blood
  • To help maintain proper acid/alkaline balance in the intestinal tract
  • To keep the colon from breeding harmful microbes
  • To feed the body’s cells in the right amounts

Enterohepatic circulation: Bile recycles itself

One of the lesser known extremely important functions of bile is to deacidify and cleanse the intestines. (1) Bile performs this very important role by going from the liver to the intestines in a circular motion up to 10 times a day, (2-3 times for each meal). (3) This is actually where bile recycles itself and as it does it cleanses itself and the intestines. This is what is known as ‘enterohepatic circulation’ (2) and it is of great importance for the health of our digestive system in regards to “microbial defense, maintaining intestinal barrier integrity, setting the microbiome, optimizing detoxification, inhibiting inflammation, promoting fat and fat soluble nutrient uptake, and the regulation of glucose and lipid homeostasis throughout the body.” (3)

It is also the reason why the many toxic substances we mentioned above are usually ‘dumped’ into bile in order to be detoxified too.

While the majority of bile in our body is recycled and put back in use by this process known as ‘enterohepatic circulation’, a small amount of bile is lost in stool everyday. This loss is “compensated by an equal daily synthesis of bile acids by the liver, (which allows) the size of the bile salt pool to be maintained.” (2)

Bile is synthesized in the liver, stored in the gallbladder and secreted into the duodenum

The gallbladder is not essential for bile secretion but it facilitates its storage in preparation for fat digestion. The liver is where bile is synthesized. After synthesis, bile leaves the liver and enters the duodenum at a junction regulated by the ‘sphincter of Oddi’ (2)

Half of this hepatic bile is then diverted to the gallbladder where water and electrolytes are removed and bile is acidified. The other half bypasses the gallbladder and enters the duodenum in order to undergo the continuous recycling we mentioned before (enterohepatic cycling). (2)

When food enters the small intestine, acid and partially digested fats stimulate secretion of two hormones that are important for the secretion and flow of bile: ‘secretin’ and ‘cholecystokinin’. Secretin stimulates biliary duct cells to secrete bicarbonate and water to expand the volume of bile. Cholecystokinin (cholecysto = gallbladder, kinin = movement) stimulates contractions of the gallbladder and the common bile duct. As a result, the gallbladder contracts, the sphincter of Oddi relaxes, and up to 80% of the gallbladder contents are discharged into the duodenum. (2)

Bile acids are 50% of the content in bile

Bile acids constitute approximately 50% of the organic components of bile. They are synthesized in the liver from cholesterol by a multienzyme process.  “All bile acids are conjugated with either glycine or taurine before secretion….for this reason both taurine and glycine conjugates are often called ‘bile salts’.” (2) Conjugation is a process by which a substance is bound to an acid in order to deactivate it and make it water soluble, thereby facilitating their excretion (1). Bile acids then “promote concentration of bile” (2)

Bile acids emulsify fats and act as ‘lipid carriers’

“Bile acids play an essential role in digestion by emulsifying and solubilizing fats. Bile acids are secreted into bile…and mix with phosphatidylcholine and cholesterol. When bile enters the small intestine, phosphatidylcholine is hydrolysed and absorbed and cholesterol precipitates from solution enhancing its elimination. …Bile acids…have (a) detergent action on particles of dietary fat, which causes fat globules to break down or be emulsified into minute, microscopic droplets…. Emulsification greatly increases the surface area of fat, making it available for digestion by lipases, which cannot access the inside of fat droplets.” (2) This is a very key aspect of fat digestion, it basically means that without bile, even if we are supplementing with digestive enzymes, fats cannot be completely digested.

“Bile acids also function as ‘lipid carriers’ in that they can solubilize lipids …and thus allow their transport in an aqueous environment, which is critical for the absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins… In addition, … the ability of bile acids to act as detergents also allows them to interact with bacterial membrane lipids thereby conferring potent antimicrobial properties on bile. ” (2)

“Decreased concentrations of bile acids in bile may also result in bile being supersaturated with cholesterol and may lead to the formation of gallstones.” (2)

Gallstones prevent bile from flowing in sufficient amounts 

“The gallbladder is a sac-like organ that expands to the size and shape of a small pear when full” (2). A normal gallbladder generally holds about 2 fluid ounces of bile. Also, the gallbladder adds mucus to bile, which turns it into a thick, mucus-like substance with a different consistency than that from the liver. Its high concentration makes bile the powerful digestive aid that it is.

The muscular walls of the gallbladder contract and eject bile when acidic foods and most protein foods enter the duodenum from the stomach. This is even more the case if the food is high in fat. The body uses the bile salts contained in bile to emulsify the fat and facilitate its digestion. Once the bile salts have done their job and left the emulsified fat for intestinal absorption, they travel on down the intestine. Most of them are reabsorbed in the small section of the small intestine (ileum) and carried back to the liver. Once in the liver the bile salts are collected again in the bile and secreted into the duodenum.

Diminished bile salts concentration in the bile causes gallstones and leaves large amounts of fats undigested, this is hazardous to the intestinal environment. Gallstones in the gallbladder may contain cholesterol, calcium, pigments such are bilirubin, bile salts, water mucus, toxins, bacteria, and sometimes dead parasites.

“Gallstones  in the liver and gallbladder continuously block the liver’s bile ducts, …thus prevent(ing) the necessary amounts of bile from reaching the intestines” (1). Lack of sufficient bile will interfere with:

  • The digestion of food
  • Elimination of waste
  • Detoxification of harmful substances in the blood
  • Maintenance of the nervous and endocrine systems and all other parts of the body

Gallstones are ‘sticky’ hardened bile

As we have seen in previous blogs, gallstones are a lifestyle problem. Food toxins and food chemicals, heavy metals, drugs, etc all can add up and increase toxicity in the body. These toxins have to be detoxified in the liver,  and leave the liver via bile. Too many of these toxins will not only overload the liver’s detoxification abilities, but also the  bile system. Bile then can become ‘sticky’ and saturated with its unabsorbed constituents. Since they cannot be filtered, they begin to harden, which is what gallstones are.

In the same way, a diet high in processed carbohydrates will force the liver to manufacture extra cholesterol. In normal circumstances cholesterol is dissolved in bile, but when there is too much, it can precipitate out of the bile solution and come out as crystals, causing gallstones.

“Because these stones are congealed clumps of bile or organic matter, they are practically ‘invisible’ to x-rays, ultrasonic technologies and CT. Only when excessive amounts of cholesterol-based stones, or other clumps of fat, block the bile ducts of the liver may an ultrasound test reveal what is generally referred to as ‘fatty liver’…A dilation of bile ducts caused by larger and denser stones or by clusters of stones may be detected more readily through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)” (1). In the case of the gallbladder, tests can more easily detect these hardened stones with X rays or ultrasound. (1)

Gallstones can cause diseases of the gallbladder and bile ducts

Gallstones can be very painful, condition known as ‘biliary colic’. Gallstones can also cause irritation and inflammation of the lining of the gallbladder and bile ducts, condition known as ‘cholecystitis’. Ulceration of the tissues between the gallbladder and the duodenum or colon is also common and is known as ‘fistula formation and fibrous adhesions’.

Gallstones can cause many diseases of the liver

“A healthy liver and immune system  are perfectly able to destroy viral material…however, when large amounts of gallstones are present, the liver becomes congested and toxic.” According to the author Andreas Moritz, all liver diseases are preceded by extensive bile duct obstruction caused by gallstones. Gallstones distort the liver lobules, subsequently, blood circulation to and from these lobules and the cells of which they are composed, becomes increasingly difficult. Under these conditions, the liver cells have to cut down bile production and nerve fibers become damaged. Prolonged suffocation due to the presence of stones eventually damages or destroys liver cells and their lobules. Fibrous tissue gradually replaces damaged cells, causing  further obstruction and an increase in pressure  on the liver’s  blood vessels. If the regeneration of the liver cells does not keep pace with this damage, liver cirrhosis is imminent.

As opposed to liver cirrhosis, liver failure can be reversed once the cause for blockage is removed, whether it is alcohol, drugs or gallstones. Liver failure occurs when cell suffocation is so severe that the liver’s vital functions cannot be carried on. Once the cause is removed, cells grow again and the liver can return to normal.

Acute hepatitis results when whole groups of liver cells begin to die off. Because gallstones harbor large quantities of viral material, this can invade and infect liver cells, causing cell degenerative changes. As gallstones increase in number and size and as more cells become infected and die, entire lobules begin to collapse and blood vessels begin to develop kinks. This greatly affects blood circulation to the remaining liver cells. The extent of the damage that these changes have on the liver and its overall performance largely depends on the degree of obstruction caused by the gallstones in the liver bile ducts. Cancer of the liver only occurs after many years of progressive occlusion of the liver bile ducts.” (1)

When the movement of bile through the bile channels (canaliculi) is blocked, and the liver cells can no longer conjugate and excrete bile pigment (bilirubin) there is a buildup in the bloodstream of both bile and the substances from which it is made. As ‘bilirubin’ begins to build up in the blood, it stains the skin, causing the characteristic color.

Gallstones can also harbor many live viruses. Some of these break free and enter the blood, condition  known as ‘chronic hepatitis’.

What other consequences can we find for the presence of gallstones?

The liver loses its ability to detoxify any harmful substances in the blood: chloroform, alcohol , drugs, etc. The presence of these toxins can cause the body to develop hypersensitivity to these toxic substances. Many allergies stem from such conditions of hypersensitivity

The liver cannot deliver the proper amounts of nutrients and energy to the right places in the body at the right time. This upsets the delicate balance in the body, known as ‘homeostasis’,  leading to disruption of its systems and stress on its organs. A clear example of such a disturbed balance is an increased concentration of the endocrine hormones estrogen and aldosterone in the blood. These hormones, produced both in men and women, are responsible for the correct amount of salt and water retention. These hormones may not be sufficiently broken  down  and detoxified. Their high concentration in the blood causes  tissue swelling and water retention  which causes toxins and harmful waste matter to accumulate in various parts of the body and further congests the pathways of circulation and elimination.

Gallstones interfere with digestion and increase toxicity

Gallstones in the liver and gallbladder drastically reduce the secretion of bile, which weakens the ability of pancreatic enzymes to digest carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and prevents the small intestine from absorbing fats, calcium and vitamin K. Vitamin K, as we have seen, is used by the liver to produce the compounds responsible for the clotting of the blood.  In case of poor vitamin K absorption, hemorrhagic disease, heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer may occur.

Calcium is also essential for bone and teeth, coagulation of the blood, muscle contraction and some other vital activities. Poor bile secretion can undermine the uptake of calcium, vitamins A, E and D. Vitamin A in low levels can damage the epithelial cells of all the organs, blood vessels, and lymph vessels. Vitamin A is also important for eyesight and to reduce microbial infection.

What is more, and as we have seen in previous blogs, undigested food tends to ferment in the small and large intestines. In order to speed up the process of decomposition, they attract a great number of bacteria. The breakdown products and the  excretions produced by these bacteria are very toxic, all of which irritates the mucus lining (the body’s main line of defense against disease causing agents). These toxins also impair the body’s immune system, mainly located in the intestines. When the small and large intestines are burdened with a great amount of toxins, different digestive disorders  can occur like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

All of these situations we have listed can lead to complex diseases such as congestive heart failure. This will be explained fully in part 2.


(1) Moritz, Andreas. The Liver and Gallbladder Miracle Cleanse: An All-natural, At-home Flush to Purify and Rejuvenate Your Body. Berkeley, CA: Ulysses, 2007. Print.

(2) http://femsre.oxfordjournals.org/content/29/4/625.full

(3) https://hackyourgut.com/2016/11/11/the-most-important-thing-to-know-if-you-have-ibs/

Enzymes, the life force

02 Nov 2016 no comments HAB Extract

When it comes to health, an anti-inflammatory diet could be said to be our first line of defense. We have seen how important digestion is and how we can support it with foods that heal our digestive tract. Only when this is the case can we ensure nutrients are absorbed and our immune system works at peak performance. A very important role in an anti-inflammatory diet is played by enzymes. Enzymes can be used to strengthen our gastrointestinal health and support all the different organs in the body. For example, did you know that just your arteries have 98 different enzymes, each with a unique job? Did you know that the act of thinking is made possible by a specific enzyme? You could say that every action in our body is controlled by enzymes. We have over 5,000 enzymes that create perhaps 25,000 different reactions. Stephen Blauer, in his introduction to the book ‘Enzyme nutrition’ (1) asserts that without enzymes we would be ‘nothing more than a pile of lifeless chemical substances, vitamins, minerals, water and proteins. In both maintaining health and in healing, enzymes and only enzymes do the actual work. They are what we call in metabolism, the body’s labor force’. In fact, enzymes are responsible for all functions of a living body: movement, breathing, heartbeat, thinking, etc. According to Dr. Hiromi Shinya, MD ‘Life itself is an ‘integration of enzyme reactions’ and it will end when the worn-out metabolic enzyme activity of the body drops so low that it is unable to carry on vital enzyme reactions’.

Since enzymes are so important, it would be in our interest to learn to improve our enzyme potential. How can we do this? Mainly through diet, highly processed foods lack the enzymes our body needs. But also through lifestyle, stress, smoking, alcohol, etc can exhaust the enzymes in our body. In our previous blogs we mentioned enzymes as part of the supplementation protocol to heal the gut. In this blog, we will look closely at what enzymes are, how they benefit our health and what functions they have in the body. We will focus on Dr. Hiromi’s research on enzymes as detailed in this book ‘The Enzyme Factor’ (2) and Dr. Edward Howell’s book ‘Enzyme Nutrition’.

What are enzymes?

An enzyme is a generic term for a ‘protein catalyst’ that is made within the cells of all living things. The definition of ‘catalyst’ is ‘a substance that causes a chemical reaction to happen more quickly’. (3) This means that without enzymes, any of the many reactions that happen in the body on a daily basis could potentially take decades to happen.

Enzymes are also unequivocally tied to life, in this sense, whenever there is life, whether in plants or animals, enzymes always exist. This is why enzymes take part in all actions necessary to maintain life:

  • Synthesis
  • Decomposition
  • Transportation
  • Excretion
  • Detoxification
  • Supply of energy
  • Digestion and absorption
  • Metabolism of old cells being replaced by new cells
  • Breakdown of toxins
  • Maintenance of homeostasis
  • Repair and regeneration cells
  • Support of the nervous, endocrine and immune systems
  • Maintenance of the immune system and other life activities

According to Dr. Howell, enzymes are ‘the life element without which many chemical reactions cannot occur…In the human body, enzymes have a life force of their own that doesn’t come from the food that enzymes metabolize. Instead, enzymes use this life energy to metabolize food…This life force can be seen by a radiation they emit… From a biological point of view, enzymes contain proteins and some vitamins and it’s the proteins that act as carriers of enzyme activity factors.’

Living things would not be able to sustain life without enzymes. More than 5,000 of these vital enzymes are produced in the cells of our body and we also produce enzymes from the enzymes in the food we eat daily. There are so many different types of enzymes because each has a specific job. Dr. Edward Howell in his book ‘Enzyme Nutrition’ explains there are three different kinds of enzymes: metabolic, digestive and from raw foods. Digestive enzymes are probably the ones you have heard of, we will first explain these, followed by metabolic enzymes and enzymes from raw foods will be the topic of our next blog.

Digestive enzymes

Generally speaking, there are just a few types of digestive enzymes: Proteases digest protein, amylases digest carbohydrates and lipases digest fats.

Digestive enzymes start working from the moment we put food in our mouth. In this sense, we could say digestion starts in the mouth and it is why a very healthy habit that we can start implementing with every meal is to make sure we make a conscious effort to chew our food thoroughly, at least 30 times for each mouthful. This will ensure that food is broken down into small particles that can be absorbed and will take a load off our digestive system. The act of chewing stimulates release of saliva which contains a starch digesting enzyme named ptyalin. This enzyme operates only on cooked starches.

As the food moves through the digestive system, digestive juice in the stomach contains hydrochloric acid and pepsin. Hydrochloric acid provides the level of acidity in which pepsin is most active and it is pepsin that does most of the work breaking down proteins, not the acid. Pepsin is known as a proteolytic enzyme, with chymotrypsin and trypsin being the other two proteolytic enzymes. (5)

But pepsin doesn’t break down proteins completely, so there is more work to be done. As the strongly acidic food mixture from the stomach enters the small intestine pancreatic juice is released, a strong alkaline secretion. Then, one of the electrolytes, sodium, neutralizes the acid from the stomach so the digestive enzymes in the small intestine can do their work. The enzyme amylase begins breaking down starches (both raw and cooked) into sugar. Lipases start breaking fats into fatty acids and glycerol. Bile is secreted into the intestine along with pancreatic juice, and the bile salts in the bile act like soap, combining with the fat so it can be more easily acted on by the lipases.

When the pancreatic juice and bile have completed their work, finely broken up food particles are drawn into the intestinal wall where more enzymes complete the work of digestion. Then the digested food particles are assimilated into the blood and lymph vessels, where it is distributed throughout the body where the body needs it.

The food enzyme stomach

Something very interesting regarding enzymes and digestion concerns raw foods and what Dr. Howell called the ‘food enzyme stomach’. He asserted that in humans, the upper part of the stomach has no enzymes but instead, this part of the stomach is where raw foods go to be digested by the enzymes present in them. The carbohydrates, proteins and fats from raw foods are initially digested by saliva. After chewing and swallowing, digestion continues in the food enzyme section of the stomach for 1/2 to 1 hour or until the rising acid is inhibited. Then, stomach enzyme pepsin takes over. If food is cooked and therefore lacks enzymes, it sits in this food enzyme stomach waiting, where harmful bacteria possibly swallowed with the food, may attack the contents of the stomach while they are waiting, causing digestive distress. This is the reason he recommends raw foods and/or enzyme supplements.

The ‘Law of Adaptive Secretion of Digestive Enzymes’

Dr. Howell coined this term to refer to the optimal scenario in which the enzymes from food help with digestion so the body can save enzymes and use them to run the entire body. According to it, enzymes have biological and chemical properties that when ingested, whether from food or supplements, increase digestion, lowering the drain on the body’s own enzyme potential. He emphasized that cooking foods destroys its enzymes, forcing the body to produce more and enlarging digestive organs, specially the pancreas. When this happens, the enzyme potential may be unable to produce an adequate number of metabolic enzymes to repair the body and fight disease. In most people, enzymes are being used up and never replenished.

He explained that the body makes less than two dozen digestive enzymes and it uses up more of its enzyme potential supplying these than it uses to make the hundreds of metabolic enzymes needed to keep the organs and tissues functioning. ‘The body values its enzymes dearly and won’t make more than needed. If enzymes are present in the food, the body will produce less concentrated enzymes for digestion.’

Enzymes and disease

For Dr. Howell, health is directly tied to how much we conserve our enzymes. He believed that most of the human race are at least “half sick” because they live in the “minus diet” (food minus its enzymes). He compared our enzyme potential to a “checking account which could become dangerously deficient if not continuously replenished”. With this concept he introduced a new way of looking at disease. In this sense, the human body is at all times working to maintain homeostasis (balance). That is why when large amounts of highly toxic free radicals accumulate in the body, enzymes in the body work to detoxify these free radicals.

Food enzymes add life

Dr. Howell believed that enzymes are the most precious assets we have. We should take care of them and not depend on the ones we inherit only. Wasting them can lead to disease and even death. For this reason, he saw that disease could only be explained in terms of the ‘food enzyme concept’. In this regard, he saw diseases as having only two causes:

  • Enzyme deficiency, which speeds up the development of cancer, heart disease, arthritis, premature aging silently and treacherously.
  • When cause number one is well advanced in its progress, then things like carcinogens, bacteria, smoking, food additives etc can really wreak havoc.

Metabolic enzymes

While digestive enzymes are crucial, they only have the job of digesting food. Metabolic enzymes, on the other hand, are used everywhere in the body, they literally run the body. Each and every organ and tissue in the body has its own particular metabolic enzymes that do a specialized work. According to Dr. Howell, good health depends on each of these enzymes doing their job. A shortage is certainly a problem.

Metabolic enzymes take the protein, fats and carbohydrates which digestive enzymes helped us digest, turn them into a healthy body and keep everything working properly, repairing damage and healing diseases.

Another very important job enzymes have is producing energy. Bernard Jensen, in his book ‘Come Alive!’ states: ‘Without energy, you and I couldn’t walk a step or wink an eye, and most of us never stop and think how we get that energy. Energy is created in the cells of our bodies by a nine-step process that requires an enzyme-assisted change at each of the nine steps. Your ability to walk or wink depends upon nine enzymes and sugar. Sugar is the food source of energy and it comes from carbohydrates manufactured by the action of sunlight on chlorophyll in plants. And what do you suppose is in the middle of each chlorophyll molecule? A magnesium atom. The process is called photosynthesis- a multi-step process with an enzyme at work in each step.’

Dr. Jensen further explains that enzymes cooperate with each other. ‘Dozens of enzymes may cooperate in making a big change on some substance, each enzyme making a small change, then passing the substance on to the next enzyme. When we consider that there are over a thousand enzymes at work in the human body, we may begin to see how important it is to provide all the nutrients needed for all these processes to work correctly.’

He further stated: ‘Studies show that the substances enzymes work on have to become linked to the enzyme before any chemical reaction can take place. There is a particular part of the enzyme molecule that must be attached to a particular part of the substance molecule for action to begin. This active site is a physical-lock-and-key connection. Each ‘key’ will only fit into one kind of ‘lock’ and that is how enzymes can be so specific in their activity with only one substance. What is important about this enzyme activity is that it changes the substance it operates on in order to fit into a certain place at a certain time in a step-by-step digestive process.’

Enzyme nutrition

To get enzymes, we have to eat raw. Cooking destroys enzymes (at 300 degrees), pasteurization (at 145 degrees) will destroy them too although not as much as cooking. When we eat raw food the body does not have to secrete as many enzymes as with cooked food and less stomach acid is secreted. Digestion in this case takes longer and more food is digested. Also, food enzymes lessen the strength of excessive high digestive enzymes such as pancreatic juice and saliva. According to Dr. Howell, the food enzyme stomach gives our digestive organs a break.

Cooking destroys enzymes

Dr. Howell put so much emphasis on the fact that cooking destroys the delicate enzymes in food that he went as far as to assert that disease and cookery originated at the same time. He supported his theory by saying that animals living in the wild subsist on raw foods high in enzymes and do not have the degenerative diseases we have. This, despite the fact that animals have a highly stressed life (running from predators). Humans, on the contrary, are exposed to less physical tension, yet our health is inferior. He believed that the theory that stress causes all disease is not accurate. The proof he gave for this is that animals in the wild are free of disease, it is only lab animals that are fed our diet that develop diseases. He further supported his theory by saying that wild animals have adrenal glands that are double the size as that of lab animals, proving they produce more adrenalin. On the contrary, lab animals do not have the need to stress reactions triggered by adrenals so their adrenals are smaller. If the stress theory was right, wild animals should be amongst the sickest, but they are not. The reason they are healthy is their raw enzyme diet.

Enzymes at varied temperatures

Something remarkable about enzymes that Dr. Howell observed is that they do more work at slightly warmer temperatures, at least four times more work on food at 100 degrees F than at 80, 8 times more at 120 and 16 times more at 160, but at this temperature, they wear out in 1/2 hour and no longer do any work. In other words, while enzymes do more work at higher temperatures they are used faster. This fact points to something you may have experienced at least once in our lifetime: fever. The increased temperature in a fever induces faster enzyme action and hence is unfavorable for bacterial action, while white blood cells assisted by enzymes eat up the germs. The extra work enzymes do during a fever causes some to wear out and be expelled through urine.

Strenuous physical exercise will have the same exhausting effect on enzymes. This is what the author calls ‘wear and tear’, ‘the waste products and ‘spent’ fractions of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and enzymes are excreted as feces, urine and sweat, as well as by the lungs, after serving as food’. Since enzymes are used up, they have to be replenished through raw foods or supplementation.

Enzymes and your heart

Dr. Howell performed an experiment in his lab where he demonstrated that excessive physical work followed by rapid heartbeat and other body functions associated with rapid living resulted in an exhaustion of enzymes. In his experiment, at cooler temperatures the lab animals were sluggish, their heart rate was slow but the animal lived longer. When the temperature was higher, the heart beat faster and the movements were faster, but in both cases the total number of heartbeats was the same, proving that the organism has a fixed amount of enzyme activity to use up.

With his experiments he concluded: ‘Life is an enzyme process, ending when the enzyme potential becomes depleted beyond a certain point…the enzyme potential determines not only the length of life, but how effectively the organism can maintain a high state of health and deal with disease’.

He also observed that enzyme activity in the human body becomes weaker with age, for example the enzyme in saliva is 30 times stronger in young adults than in older people. Unless enzymes are supplemented, the pancreas must ‘steal, beg and borrow’ those stored in the whole body to make enough enzyme complex. Not only does this tiny organ (which weighs 3 oz) need vast amounts of enzymes, it needs protein to equip the enzyme complex.

The solution to a highly stressful lifestyle is to eat raw foods and/or supplement with enzymes in order to ‘cut down the secretion of digestive enzymes and allow the body to make enough metabolic enzymes’. He believed we should take supplemental enzymes as faithfully as vitamins and minerals, especially when not eating raw foods.

The enzyme factor

Dr. Hiromi Shinya, M. D. is considered another pioneer in the world of enzymes and nutrition. He began seriously researching the relationship between food and health over 40 years ago. Having examined many stomachs and intestines of Americans he has found a close connection between diet and gastrointestinal health. Dr. Hiromi is the pioneer of colonoscopy surgery, he developed the technique, which is named after him, and helped design the instrument used. He also worked with Dr. Leon Ginsburg, Dr. Burrill Bernard Crohn and Gordon Oppenheimer, the discoverers of Crohn’s disease. He was also the first person in the world to successfully excise a polyp using a colonoscope without having to perform an incision into the abdominal wall. Through his years of experience, he learned that ‘when a person’s gastrointestinal system is clean, that person’s body is easily able to fight off diseases of whatever type.’

Dr. Hiromi believes all the functions in the body are intertwined, a problem in one will impact the health of all. Ignoring this interconnection is counterproductive when it comes to health. He was also the first doctor to recommend breast cancer patients to have their colon examined, because he believes in treating the patient’s body as a whole unified organism. The basis of his philosophy is the relation between diet and the health of the digestive system.

He also believes that enzymes are so important that ‘our health depends on how well we maintain, rather than exhaust, the enzymes in our body’. He calls these enzymes ‘source enzymes’ because they are a general type of enzyme that are then converted into each of the 5,000 specialized enzymes, depending on the need and specific activity. He also calls them ‘miracle enzymes’ because they have the key role of healing the body.

Like Dr. Howell, Dr. Hiromi believes that we are born with a limited number of enzymes. If we exhaust them, they are not available in sufficient numbers to properly repair cells, so over time cancer and other degenerative diseases develop. Many factors in our modern society consume our precious enzymes: processed foods, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, food additives, agricultural chemicals, environmental pollution, electromagnetic waves, emotional stress, etc.

The deterioration he has observed in the intestines of many patients show a direct correlation between life-style and diseases like fibroids, hypertension, arteriosclerosis, heart disease, obesity, breast cancer, prostate cancer and diabetes. ‘When your intestines are unhealthy, your body is gradually weakened from the inside’.

Some of the contributors to poor intestinal health according to him are:

  • High consumption of meat and milk without enough fiber.
  • Medications like stomach acid suppressors, H2 blockers and proton-pump inhibitors.

All of these further accelerate the deterioration of the stomach lining. He explains that if stomach acid is suppressed with medication, the gastric mucosa atrophies and this may lead to the development of stomach cancer. Also, if stomach acid secretion is suppressed, the secretion of pepsin and hydrochloric acid which activate digestive enzymes is also suppressed resulting in indigestion. Moreover, insufficient stomach acid makes it more difficult to absorb iron and minerals such as calcium and magnesium. People who have had gastrectomies (removal of the stomach) are always anemic because they no longer secrete stomach acid and are unable to absorb iron. Furthermore, suppressing stomach acid destroys the bacterial balance in the intestine, resulting in a weakening of the immune system.

Dr. Hiromi asserts there is not such a thing as too much stomach acid. According to him, acid is produced because it is necessary to maintain the balance and overall health of the body. By overriding such natural mechanisms we will also shorten one’s life. To avoid these medications, he explains, it is necessary to understand how heartburn occurs in the first place, so it can be prevented.

This is how it happens: Overeating and/or indigestion cause acid to build up and flow back into the esophagus. Because the esophagus is alkaline, it is susceptible to acid and can result in scratch-like sores/erosions. If stomach acid flows up to the esophagus, it is like rubbing alcohol on a wound, causing symptoms of pain or discomfort commonly known as heartburn. The relief one feels after taking antiacids comes from suppression of further stomach acid secretion. Suppressing stomach acid makes the symptoms of heartburn disappear, but it puts a lot of stress and damage to all the parts of the body. By taking digestive enzyme supplements, however, stomach conditions will markedly improve.

In addition, in the stomach mucosa there are tiny projections called villi that secrete stomach acid. Acid suppressants make the villi shorter, weakening their function. This is what is known as ‘mucosal atrophy’. As this condition progresses the gastric mucosa becomes thin, causing inflammation, which will make the sufferer more prone to H. Pylori and other types of bacteria, worsening the stomach inflammation and in the end increasing the chances of stomach cancer.

Liver and enzymes

An organ where enzymes are of extreme important is the liver. This key organ uses enzymes to detoxify some very toxic compounds that if not broken down could be deadly. Breakdown of toxins is so important for health that the liver has a two-step detoxification system that uses enzymes at each step to accomplish this task. When the liver is overloaded, like in the case of excessive consumption of alcohol, the body will use more of our source enzymes, leaving other organs lacking. This is why it is important to maintain our enzymes and not use them up.

The liver detoxifies toxins by a 2-step process:

  • Phase 1 is responsible for breaking things down into smaller raw materials. These are then shunted to….
  • Phase 2, which builds new substances from the raw materials, by adding molecules to them (this process is called ‘conjugation’).

For this to be possible ‘enzymes work to subtract molecules from substances and break them up into smaller more useful units, just like the process of food digestion in the gut. Phase 1 is completely dependent on these enzymes, whose speed of metabolism is in turn affected by things like genetics, exercise and the presence or absence of certain substances/supplements in the diet that can either speed them up (induce them) or slow them down (inhibit them). After the enzymes have broken down some of the substances, some very toxic end products (metabolites) remain and they must quickly be shunted to phase 2 pathway in order to make them safer for the body to use. Heavy metals in particular can make these enzymes dysfunctional.’

In Phase 2, new substances are added/conjugated to the toxic and good metabolites produced in phase 1 in order to make them easier to transport, more stable and/or more functional for the body…particular enzymes are waiting to add something else and create a new substance. Mostly specifically, amino acids are added, such as glycine and taurine, as well as other substances such as glutathione, sulfate, and methyl.

Where do these conjugation substances, used in phase 2, come from? We must supply them via our diet and/or make them in our body through enzyme-dependent chemical reactions….many of these conjugation substances can be derived from big proteins that you eat’. (6)

According to Dr. Lam in his article ‘Detoxification and Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome’, ‘Toxin overload can burden our liver, triggering Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome” (7). Similarly, Dr. Keith Nemec in his article ‘The brain body connection. The first of the four major systems that maintain health’ asserts: ‘A weakened digestive lining allows chemicals and toxins to enter the blood. This overloads the liver and when the liver can no longer “detoxify” these chemicals they spill over into the general circulation causing premature cell death. This is seen as organ and gland dysfunction which produces symptoms, conditions and diseases.’ (8)

Dr. Hiromi’s research showed him that if a part of the body needs and consumes a large number of enzymes, other parts of the body tend to lack their own necessary enzymes. For example, if a lot of alcohol is consumed a higher number of enzymes will be used up by the liver to break down alcohol, creating a shortage of necessary enzymes for digestion and absorption in the stomach and intestines.

Enzymes made by intestinal bacteria

Of the more than 5,000 types of enzymes working in the human body Dr. Hiromi distinguishes between two main types of enzymes: those made inside the body and those coming from outside in the form of food. Among enzymes made in the body about 3,000 kinds are made by intestinal bacteria. What creates an intestinal environment that allows intestinal bacteria to produce enzymes? Eating high enzyme foods. Because the number of enzymes we are born with is finite, it is then key to consume and efficiently use enzymes made by other living things.

To sum up, all of the more than 5,000 types of enzymes are needed in order for people to conduct their life activities. The reason for this number is that each enzyme has only one function. If one specific organ uses up an excessive number of enzymes, it will deplete the source enzymes and create a shortage of enzymes in those other areas. The body then will have a difficult time maintaining homeostasis, repairing cells, supporting the nervous, endocrine and immune system, etc. Homeostasis is so important that the body is able to up regulate itself to the number of enzymes it needs if this balance is affected. This is only made possible if we have enough source enzymes stored in the body. Since the levels of source enzymes decrease with age and they are not produced automatically, eating in a manner that doesn’t waste enzymes allows our body to produce the energy it needs. This is the secret to living a long healthy life and keeping disease at bay, according to Dr. Hiromi.


The High Enzyme Diet

02 Nov 2016 no comments HAB Extract

We have seen how enzymes control all human life. Everything we do, whether it is moving our hands, or using the brain, depends on enzymes. Also, the body is equipped to maintain homeostasis (balance). A cut healing is just an example of the body returning to homeostasis. In this sense, the body always works to respond sensitively to any abnormality and tries to return to its original health and normal conditions. What helps the body regulate homeostasis? Enzymes. If abnormalities occur once in a while, the body will be able to adjust to them. However, if the abnormalities are repeated or became chronic, source enzymes get exhausted, collapsing the internal balance of the body’s enzymes. This is why leading a well-regulated diet means preventing the excess consumption of source enzymes.

In this blog we will look at the High Enzyme Diet. We will see how many diseases deemed as caused by old age are actually caused by lifestyle choices, specifically by a diet that exhausts our source enzymes. We will also see how the products from the ‘Healthy Heart Club’, rich in enzymes, minerals and amino acids are the perfect addition to a high enzyme diet.

Not only there is a correlation between diet and adult illnesses like Crohn’s disease, connective tissue disease, and cancer, but also heart disease, hypertension and high cholesterol, liver disease, diabetes, and the list goes on. Dr. Hiromi believes we can strengthen our gastrointestinal system, and thereby our overall health, by following a diet high in enzymes that avoids exhausting our source enzymes and thus prevents many of these diseases.

The diet

The diet that Dr. Hiromi recommends and the one he practices is a very simple diet of fresh foods. His day starts every morning with 2-3 cups of good water at 70 degrees F, 20 minutes after drinking the water he eats fresh fruit rich in enzymes. Fruits prepare the way for breakfast 30 minutes later and help the functions of the gastrointestinal system, raising the blood sugar level, thus preventing overeating. For breakfast he has brown rice mixed with 5-7 types of grains, with a side dish of steamed vegetables, natto, dried seaweed and a handful of reconstituted wakame seaweed.

After 11:00 a.m. he drinks two more cups of water, followed by some fresh fruit 30 minutes later. For lunch he recommends eating something that has not been cooked like a salad. A main course consists of animal proteins like fish or meat and some vegetables that have been blanched or steamed for no more than two minutes.

Around 4:30 he drinks two more cups of water, then after 30 minutes he eats some more fresh fruit before eating dinner. Supper should not be finished after 6:00 or 6:30 and he recommends going to sleep on an empty stomach.

In general, he recommends a diet consisting of fresh foods. The fresher the foods are, the more enzymes they contain: Fresh vegetables, sea vegetables, fruits and fish, whole grains and beans. Sea vegetables are a great source of fiber. Insoluble dietary fibers that are indigestible absorb water in the intestines, adding bulk to the intestinal walls and accelerating peristaltic movement. In this way, they prevent the accumulation of toxins in the colon.

The enzymes present in this high enzyme diet can later be transformed into the 3,000 enzymes the body needs to function. Processed foods, on the contrary, are mainly dead foods that contain no enzymes and cannot be digested, therefore should be avoided.

The foods we chose have to be as fresh as possible because, apart from containing many enzymes, they are not oxidized. Oxidation occurs when oxygen bonds to matter and rusts, free radicals are then created when these oxidized foods enter the body. While free radicals in small amounts have important roles like killing viruses, bacteria, molds and suppress infections, when the numbers increase above a certain level, the cell membranes and DNA of normal cells start to be destroyed. When the number of free radicals is too high our body is equipped to neutralize them with antioxidant enzymes, like SOD (superoxide dismutase). However, after the age of 40 the levels of this enzyme decreases. When this happens, it is the source enzymes that battle free radicals, if they are available. If they are scarce, they cannot prevent the health damage caused by free radicals. Eating fresh food rich in enzymes, will limit the number of free radicals and will limit the depletion of source enzymes in the body. Foods to avoid in the high enzyme diet will be detailed next.

Processed milk is oxidized fat

Before being processed, milk contains many good elements. Enzymes like lactase which breaks down own lactose, lipase, which breaks down fats and protease which breaks down protein. Milk in its natural state also contains lactoferrin, known to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and immune regulatory effects. When milk is homogenized, the fat bonds with oxygen, changing it into hydrogenated fat (oxidized fat). Dr, Hiromi has observed that oxidized fat damages the intestinal environment, increasing the amount of bad bacteria and destroying the balance of the intestinal bacterial flora. As a result, toxins such as free radicals, hydrogen sulfides, and ammonia are produced in the intestine.

Apart from this process of homogenization, milk is pasteurized and this heats the milk at a temperature that destroys the enzymes. Enzymes begin to breakdown at 118.4 degrees F and are completely destroyed at 239 F. This heating also increases the amount of oxidized fat, changes the quality of proteins and destroys lactoferrin.

Dr. Hiromi does not recommend drinking milk even if its raw fresh milk in excess for the following reasons:

  • It can deteriorate the intestines, causing constipation and stagnant stools, diverticulitis (pocket-like cavities) on the intestinal walls where toxins and stagnant stools can accumulate causing polyps and cancer.
  • One of the biggest misconceptions about milk is that it helps prevent osteoporosis. It is believed that the calcium in milk is better absorbed than the calcium in other foods like small fish. However, he explains that when we drink milk the calcium concentration in our blood suddenly rises (it is normally fixed at 9-10 mg). The body then tries to return this abnormal level back to normal by excreting calcium from the kidneys through urine, ironically decreasing the overall level of calcium in the body. Dr. Hiromi has observed that the countries with the highest milk consumption, have the highest rates of hip fractures and osteoporosis. For these reasons, he recommends small fish, shrimp and seaweed instead because in these foods the calcium is not so quickly absorbed that causes a rapid increase in blood calcium.

What kind of meats?

Dr. Hiromi recommends eating only meats of animals with a body temperature lower than our own. Meats like beef and chicken whose body temperature is higher than ours will cause their fat to solidify in the human bloodstream. Fish, on the contrary, is better because fish oil liquefies in our body and even flushes out the arteries instead of clogging them. He also recommends plants oils like olive, animal fats like butter, lard, fat from meat and fish oil. Fish oil in particular he recommends because it is good for the brain. High blood levels of DHA found in fish oil has been linked to mathematical and other mental abilities. It also has been postulated that DHA lessens the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, lowers triglycerides and the incidence of blood clots.

Create an enzyme surplus in the body

Apart from eating the right kind of foods, Dr. Hiromi explains there are many things we can do to conserve our body’s enzymes. Some of these things are:

  • Chewing food properly. Chewing is one of the simplest things one can do for health. The human body is built in such a way that the salivary glands secrete more saliva the more one chews. Saliva has digestive enzymes that when mixed with food, improve digestion and absorption, and as the contents of the mouth get mixed with stomach acid and bile the digestive process proceeds smoothly. Hiromi recommends chewing each mouthful at least 30-50 times. Food that is so soft that doesn’t require much chewing can encourage overeating and maldigestion, because it does not stay in the mouth long enough to allow enzymes to be mixed in. This is the case of cooked oatmeal or soft breads that almost melt in your mouth. By chewing well you get the feeling of fullness more quickly, your appetite is naturally suppressed, which will also helps conserve enzymes. Another benefit of chewing well is that it kills parasites. Fish can be a source of parasites especially bonito, squid and freshwater fish. These parasites can be killed inside our mouth if we chew properly. In addition, the intestinal wall of a person can absorb up to 15 microns in size, anything larger than that will be excreted without being absorbed. Decomposition and abnormal fermentation occur inside the intestine when foods are not digested and absorbed, just as in the case of excess consumption. Decomposition gives rise to various toxins, which exhaust large amounts of enzymes.
  • Creating an intestinal environment conducive for good bacteria. About 300 different types of microorganisms and a total of about 1,000 trillion intestinal bacteria live inside each human intestine. One very important function these bacteria fulfill is to create source enzymes. Intestinal bacteria are believed to create approximately 3,000 types of enzymes. These additional enzymes supplement the ones we are born with. For this to be possible, we need to eat foods rich in enzymes that allow good bacteria to propagate. A bad diet will impact our ability to digest and absorb nutrients, damaging our intestinal tract, which will make our intestinal bacteria disappear over time. Dr. Hiromi believes that when the right kind of bacteria are missing , it causes the free radicals to not be able to be neutralized causing inflammation of the extremely delicate villi, destroying them and causing ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. Also, the undigested food will start to rot in our intestines, becoming food for the bad bacteria which will begin to produce a lot of toxic gases. Intestinal walls that have been destroyed by free radicals give rise to polyps and cancer.
  • Minimize stress, air pollution, bacterial and viral infections, drinking, smoking, food additives, oxidized foods, etc.
  • David Jockers, in this article ‘Your body’s battle for enzymes’ asserts: ‘To create an enzyme surplus in your body you will want to incorporate a diet high in raw and living foods…at least 75-80% raw and living foods with 20-25% high quality cooked foods. Healthy cooked foods would include brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes and cruciferous vegetables.  Cruciferous veggies are great to steam as boiling will steal valuable water-soluble nutrients.  Steaming these veggies breaks down the outer cellulose wall that is challenging for the digestive system to metabolize.  This actually makes the food more bioavailable. Organic and grass fed animal products are to be cooked in a medium-rare fashion.  This will break down the thicker proteins but keep much of the powerful nutrition still intact.  Fresh squeezed lemon and apple cider vinegar should be added to any cooked food and especially to meat in either a pre/post cooked marinate or just before serving. Lemon and apple cider vinegar provide organic acids, enzymes, probiotics and anti-oxidants that help to pre-digest the cooked meal and neutralize any free radical formation.’ In addition, he explains ‘To boost enzymatic potential it is essential to soak and sprout all grains, seeds, nuts & legumes.  The practice of soaking, fermenting and sprouting breaks down challenging proteins and activates key enzymes that improve the bioavailability of the nutrients.  Sprouted legumes, seeds, cruciferous veggies and nuts are basically a pre-digested food that has unlocked its full potential of enzymes and nutrients. Broccoli sprouts may be the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. The fermentation process unlocks huge nutrient potential within the seed. Sprouted foods have five to ten times higher B vitamins, double the vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc, calcium and iron content of its pre-soaked and sprouted counterpart . The enzymes will also make the protein much more bioavailable for consumption.’ (1)


Because enzymes need vitamins and minerals to work properly, Dr. Hiromi recommends we make sure they are part of our high enzyme diet both from foods and as supplements (enzymes supplements, multivitamin and mineral supplements).

Minerals include: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, copper, zinc, iron, selenium and iodine. Minerals play as important a role as that of vitamins in preventing diseases, hypertension, osteoporosis and cancer. They work synergistically with vitamins and enzymes as well as antioxidants in eliminating free radicals. Minerals strengthen immunity and healing and support your own body’s enzyme factor.

Minerals come from the soil where plants are grown, while vitamins come from these plants and animals. The mineral content of foods depends on where the foods are grown as well as the quality of the soil. Minerals are usually lost with the use of pesticides, fertilizers and food processing. This makes our diet deficient in these vital nutrients and translates into loss of vitality, attention deficit, irritability, overweight, and other unhealthy states.

The importance of calcium

Animal protein and sugar demand increased calcium and magnesium leading to calcium deficiency. Calcium deficiency irritates the nervous system, contributing to nervousness and irritability. Calcium prevents cancers, resists stress, reduces fatigue, lowers cholesterol and prevents osteoporosis. Dr. Hiromi recommends to take calcium with vitamin D, as this helps calcium absorption from the small intestine and stimulates bone formation. It should be taken with food, because on an empty stomach calcium thins gastric acid promoting an imbalance of intestinal bacteria and poor absorption of iron, zinc and magnesium. He recommends to take from 800-1500 mg taken in divided doses with meals. Calcium has to be balanced with other minerals and vitamins.

Please check the ‘Calcium Extract’ from the ‘Healthy Hearts Club’ store.


Magnesium activates hundred of different enzymes and it is a treatment for migraines and diabetes. Magnesium is an important mineral and it is needed in high amounts. Its deficiency is manifested in irritability, anxiety, depression, dizziness, weakened muscles, muscle spasm, heart disease and hypertension. A recent study indicated that patients who had a heart attack had low magnesium levels. Low magnesium impairs glucose tolerance, hence diabetics are recommended to keep their magnesium levels up.

Sodium and potassium

A balance of sodium and potassium is a prerequisite of life. Sodium is known as salt, and despise the bad press it receives, unprocessed salt keeps the correct alkaline/acid pH in the blood and is indispensable for the correct functioning of gastric acid, muscles and nerves. Deficiencies can occur from excessive use of laxatives, diarrhea and profuse sweating. The right balance between sodium and potassium is necessary to keep the balance between the inside and the outside the cells. In this sense, sodium is normally found outside the cell and potassium outside. When potassium inside the cell’s fluid is low, sodium with fluid rushes inside the cell, causing it to swell. This increase in cell size places pressure on the veins, narrowing the vessel’s diameter and causing hypertension.

The ratio between sodium and potassium is one to one. High intake of processed foods can affect this balance and affect our health. For this reason Dr. Hiromi recommends plenty of fresh homemade raw vegetables juices to balance the amount of sodium present in the body.

Trace minerals

Small quantities of trace minerals work synergistically with vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Trace minerals are essential for the balance and harmony of our body functions. After they have been absorbed through the intestines, these minerals are ferried through the circulatory system to cells entering through the cell membrane.

This is the case of:

  • Boron, which is important for the absorption of calcium and maintenance of teeth and bones
  • Copper, which generates bone, hemoglobin and red blood cells, elastin and collagen, and lowers cholesterol.
  • Zinc, which helps in the production of insulin, metabolizes carbohydrates, creates protein and absorbs vitamins, especially B from the digestive tract. Zinc also maintains prostate function and male reproductive health.
  • Iron, which is a key component of hemoglobin, plays a key role in the function of enzymes, the B complex vitamins and resistance to disease.
  • Selenium, which prevents free radical formation when combined with vitamin E. Studies show that low levels of selenium increase the incidence of prostate, pancreatic, breast, ovarian, skin, lung, rectal colon and bladder cancers as well as leukemia.
  • Chromium, which facilitates the metabolism of carbohydrates and protein, and glucose metabolism, helping maintain the levels of blood glucose without the need of excess insulin.
  • Iodine, which is critical for the functioning of the thyroid and the prevention of goiter.

Enzymes are present in herbs

The ingredients in our herbal formulations contain enzymes that can support our ‘source enzymes’. For example, ginger contains enzymes that can help turn cholesterol into bile acids, help tone the heart, stimulate the liver and strengthen the intestines. Cayenne enzymes trigger stomach secretions that help digestion. (2) Cayenne also contains a high amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, sulphur, iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. (3)

To sum up, eating a diet that is high in fresh raw foods and supplementing with enzymes, vitamins and minerals can help us live a long and healthy life.


The gut-heart diet

02 Oct 2016 no comments HAB Extract

An anti-inflammatory diet is essential for the health of our heart. Not only will it help our heart, but as we have seen  it will feed our microbiome, the universe of bacteria that live in our gut, thus strengthening our immune system. With so many different diets and food trends, it can be very challenging to choose what to eat. What most diets fail to consider, in my opinion, is the health of each individual’s digestive system. Since it is the enterocytes in our gut lining that digest and break down foods, it is of key importance that for a diet to work it considers the health of these enterocytes.  In this blog, we will look at how the proper diet can improve digestion and absorption, minimize inflammation and heal our gut. For this purpose, we will continue to focus on the work of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and her research on human nutrition. According to her research, problem foods are a constant source of toxicity for the body and the very important enterocytes, damaging them and compromising digestion and absorption of nutrients. All of which will make healing impossible, turning into a vicious cycle of malnutrition and toxicity. In the case of the heart, toxicity from the gut will start an inflammatory process that will thicken and clot the blood which will put a heavy load on the heart.

We will also see how the products from “Healthy Hearts Club” are the perfect complement for an anti-inflammatory diet. They are all easy to digest and many of the ingredients support the microbiome because they are antibacterial.

Finally, we will look into detail at the key aspect for the success of a healthy diet: the unhealthy gut ruled by abnormal microbes. These pathogens that populate the gut have to be removed first. Once this is accomplished, the gut can heal, many food intolerances will disappear and digestion can become normal. If you have tried different diets and have seen no results, I want to invite you to keep reading.

It is all about digestion and absorption

A successful diet should take into account proper digestion and absorption of nutrients. Before we look at the different diets, we need to understand how the enterocytes perform their job of breaking down food. For this we will divide foods into carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

Absorption of digested foods happens in the small intestine, mainly the first two parts: duodenum and jejunum. The walls of these two have finger-like protrusions called villi that increase absorption. These villi are lined with enterocytes, which are the cells that absorb food and pass it into the bloodstream to nourish our bodies. The importance of these cells is tremendous, without them digestion and absorption cannot be possible.

These cells are constantly dying and being renewed, which is accomplished by the beneficial bacteria that live on these enterocytes. When we lack beneficial bacteria the part of our intestine that absorbs foods is populated instead by pathogens. This means that these enterocytes cannot do their job of digesting and absorbing food, their shape changes and they become cancerous. In other words, lack of good bacteria means unhealthy enterocytes, which translates into compromised digestion and therefore lack of absorption.

The job of these enterocytes is so important that there are specific types of enterocytes according to the food they break down. This is the case of:

1. Carbohydrates. All carbohydrates are made of tiny molecules called monosaccharides. There are many of them, most common are glucose, fructose and galactose. They do not need digestion and they can easily penetrate the gut lining. Glucose and fructose are found in fruit and vegetables. Honey is made of both fructose and glucose. Galactose is found in soured milk products like yogurt.

The next size carbohydrates are disaccharides, made out of two molecules of monosaccharides. Most common are:

sucrose (table sugar)

lactose (milk sugar) 

maltose (starch)

All of these require some digestion. The microvilli on the surface of the enterocytes produce enzymes called disaccharidases that digest these double sugars. People with digestive problems do not have these enzymes, so these double sugars cannot be digested. Instead, they stay in the gut where the pathogenic bacteria ‘feast’ on them: bacteria, viruses, candida, fungi, etc. As these release toxins they damage the gut wall and poison the whole body. This results in all sorts of digestive disorders.

People who cannot digest these double sugars have to remove these foods to give the gut time to heal. Starch is the main source of carbohydrates we consume, they are in the grains and some root vegetables (potato, yams, sweet potatoes, Jerusalem artichoke). Starch is made up of huge molecules with hundreds of monosugars connected as many long strands. Digestion of starches requires a lot of work even for healthy people. Due to its complex structure, a lot of starch goes undigested making it the perfect food for pathogenic bacteria and allowing them to thrive and release toxins in our body. When starch gets digested, it is broken down into maltose, which is a double sugar that cannot be absorbed until it is split into monosugars by the enterocytes. In a person with unhealthy gut flora, enterocytes cannot split this double sugar so it goes undigested and feeds pathogens. To allow enterocytes to heal starches have to be removed from the diet, this means no grains or starchy vegetables are allowed until the gut has healed. Research shows that when given enough time to heal, these foods can be reintroduced again with no side effects.

Unripe fruit contains some sucrose which is a double sugar, this is why it is important to eat ripe fruit. Most vegetables and some fruit contain a little bit of starch, however the amounts are small compared to grains, starchy vegetables and table sugar, so even people with digestive problems can eat these tiny amounts of fruit and non-starchy vegetables.

2. Proteins. Pepsin in the stomach and pancreatic protein-digesting enzymes in the duodenum break down protein so it reaches the enterocytes in the form of peptides, which are small chains of protein, and which should not be absorbed until they are broken down into single aminoacids. This process is done by enterocytes, which have peptide digesting enzymes called peptidases. Each peptidase is specific to a certain peptide chain and even to a certain chemical bond in this chain. These enzymes break the peptides into single aminoacids, so they can be absorbed. Patients with digestive problems are unable to produce many different peptidases to accomplish this last step in protein breakdown and absorption of aminoacids. At the same time, the pathogenic bacteria, fungi and viruses damage the gut wall, allowing undigested peptides to leak through. This is the case of gluten from grains and casein from milk, but there are many others that haven’t been studied and which may not be digested properly and absorbed as peptides. Hopefully research will show more about these issues.

In the meantime, proteins are very important part of our diet. The best easy to digest sources of protein are eggs, meat and fish, boiled, stewed and poached are much easier to digest than fried, roasted or grilled. Eggs are a perfect food with protein, B vitamins, zinc, etc. Unless the patient shows a clear allergy to eat, they should be part of their diet.

3. Fats. To be absorbed, they require bile. The enterocytes don’t have to do much work to digest fats. However, in people with abnormal gut flora, because the gut lining is a mucous membrane, when it is under attack by pathogens, it produces a lot of mucus to protect itself. This is problematic because excess mucus can interfere with digestion of food including fats. Mucus coats food particles and does not allow bile and digestive enzymes to get to them. As a result fats pass undigested and come out as pale greasy stools. This also causes fatty vitamins to be undigested: vitamin A, E and K. Research shows that when starch and double sugars are removed from the diet, mucus production goes back to normal and fat absorption improves.

The diets

The most well known diets and the ones you have probably heard of are the gluten free and casein free diet. These two are important but very limited according to Dr. Natasha because many other problem foods have to be eliminated too: processed foods full of sugar, processed carbohydrates, denatured and altered fats and proteins, etc. This is essential because, as long as the source of toxicity and the pathogens are present in the gut, the person will not make any progress, inflammation will persist and the gut will stay leaky, allowing hundreds of undigested and toxic substances into the body. Which foods should be avoided? These are, among others, gluten, processed foods and sugar.

No gluten please

Gluten, once absorbed turns into a glue-like mass, it can literally stick to the walls of your stomach or if you have leaky gut, to any other part of the body, including joints and brain. ‘Gluten free’ products are no better, they usually contain many other problematic substances in them.

No processed foods 

According to Dr. Natasha, any processed food has undergone a major change in its chemical structure and is no longer the same food, therefore they should not be part of our diet. What is more, to compensate for lack of nutrition these foods have added chemicals that have been proven to cause hyperactivity, learning and psychological disorders, not to mention rapid heartbeat and arrhythmias.

The supermarket shelves are filled with high carbohydrate foods that get digested as glucose very quickly producing an unnatural rise in blood glucose. In their natural form carbohydrates get absorbed slowly, producing a slow increase in blood sugar, which our body can handle. Blood glucose is one of those key markers for health that our body goes to great length to keep within certain limits. This means that both high and low levels are harmful. A rapid increase in blood sugar levels leads to hyperglycemia, which puts the body in state of shock, making it ‘pump’ lots of insulin to help with the excess glucose levels. This leads to hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. This high-sugar-low-sugar roller coaster is extremely stressful for the heart.

Also, all these processed foods are detrimental for the beneficial gut flora, they feed the pathogenic bacteria in the gut and encourage their proliferation, as well as worms and parasites. Some of the most popular processed foods are soft drinks and cereals. Cereals are advertised as high in fiber. But according to Dr. Natasha but this fiber is the wrong kind of fiber because it is full of phytates which bind essential minerals and take them out of our system, contributing to the person’s mineral deficiencies. Analysis of these breakfast cereals has shown that the box, made out of wood pulp, has more nutrition than the cereal itself. Even when they are fortified with vitamins and minerals these are synthetic which have very low absorption rate. Processed foods are also high in trans fats which we have seen are detrimental for the heart.

Another harmful ingredient found in most processed foods is soy. It is a natural goitrogen, which means it impairs iodine absorption and reduces thyroid function. It is also high in phytates, which bind minerals and prevent them from being absorbed. Since soy is found in many processed foods like margarines, salad dressings and sauces, bread, biscuits, etc the best way to avoid it is to avoid processed foods all together.


Sugar was once called the ‘white death’ and according to Dr Natasha it deserves this name. Not only it harms the immune system, refined sugar, once consumed robs the body’s stores of vitamins, minerals and enzymes at an alarming rate. To metabolize 1 molecule of sugar, the body requires around 56 molecules of magnesium. Magnesium is one of the key minerals for the heart. Low magnesium can lead to high blood pressure, neurological, immune and other problems.

Interestingly enough, according to a recently published article in the New York Times some newly released historical documents show that “The sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960’s to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and promote saturated fat as the culprit instead.” (1)

What about dairy? 

When it comes to digestion, two of the most problematic foods are milk and wheat. Around 25-90% of the planet’s population cannot digest lactose due to their lack of the lactose digesting enzyme lactase. Lactose is a milk sugar with a double molecule, therefore, it needs proper digestion.  GAPS people and those with gut problems cannot digest it. Well-fermented milk products are not problematic  because the fermenting bacteria consume lactose as their food.  Another problematic protein found in milk is casein, which is also hard to digest if the person has unhealthy flora. When casein is not digested properly it gets through the damaged gut lining and crosses the blood brain barrier (BBB) affecting the brain just like an opiate would do.  The good news is that when milk is properly fermented at home casein is also digested by fermenting bacteria and produce lactic acid (soothing and healing for the gut lining), enzymes and many vitamins as a result of their digestion.

Store bought fermented milk is not fermented long enough to remove the problematic substances and they are pausteurized which destroys the probiotics and vitamins. This is why only home fermented milk is allowed. If you are still not sure you can have fermented food, you can do a sensitivity test. Take a drop of this homemade milk product and put it on the inside of the wrist, let the drop dry. Do this at bedtime, in the morning check the spot, if there is a red spot then that is a sign of an allergic reaction. In this case, it is recommended to follow the introduction diet without dairy. This test can be used again at every step of the diet. It is also recommended to follow the ‘dairy introduction structure’, which we will explain shortly.

Digestion of dairy and gluten happen the same way: first digestive juices in the stomach have to break milk and wheat into peptides (some have morphine like substances called gluteomorphines). These peptides then move to the small intestine where pancreatic juices act on them and when they reach the intestinal wall they are broken down by enzymes called peptidases. This is the step that is missing in people with abnormal gut bacteria, GAPS patients, people with food intolerances, allergies, celiacs and lactose intolerant. These gluteomorphines then get absorbed into the blood stream unchanged and cause problems with brain function and immunity. When the gut flora is restored, however, many patients can digest casein and gluten without their symptoms returning.

Having the right kind of bacteria in the gut will allow the patient to digest lactose too. E. coli is the lactose digesting enzyme in the human gut. This comes as a surprise to many, but E. coli appears in the gut of a healthy baby right after birth, and stays high in numbers provided they are not destroyed with antibiotics. E. coli also makes vitamin K 2, B 1, B 2, B 6, B 12, produces antibiotic substances (colicins) and controls other members of their family that could cause disease. Having E. coli in the gut is the best protection against pathogenic species of E. coli.

Also, milk can create allergies and intolerances due to the wide range of antigens it contains. Breastfed babies can develop colic if the mother is consuming milk that she is not digesting properly, however, this disappears when the mother gives up milk.

These antigens or immunoglobulins are considered the main cause of children’s colic. The mother can pass these antigens through her breast milk. When breastfeeding stops the colic goes away.

In the case of antigens, fermenting bacteria will also consume immunoglobulins, so the milk ceases to be a problem.

A note on raw milk

Raw milk comes directly from the animal without any pasteurization, homogenization or tampering. Raw milk is alive and full of enzymes so it doesn’t require much digestion. Many people with milk allergies can drink raw milk without problems. When milk is  pasteurized its chemical structure is altered and this makes it hard to digest causing allergies. For thousands of years people drank raw milk and gave it to their babies with no problems. The logic behind pasteurizing milk is that it kills pathogens, however, these only come from sick animals. A healthy animal will not produce bad milk. In fact E.coli, salmonella etc cannot live in raw milk because of the enzymes, beneficial bacteria and immune complexes present in raw milk. However, if a pathogen gets in processed milk it will thrive. A good farmer will make sure the animal is healthy, the problem nowadays is that since milk is pasteurized farmers are not pressed to check the health of their animals as much. For a list of farmers that offer raw milk visit www.westonprice.org and www.realmilk.com

According to this last website ‘Raw milk contains many components that kill pathogens and strengthen the immune system. These include lacto-peroxidase, lacto-ferrin, anti-microbial components of blood (leukocytes, B-macrophages, neutrophils, T-lymphocytes, immunoglobulins and antibodies), special carbohydrates (polysaccharides and oligosaccharides), special fats (medium chain fatty acids, phospholipids and spingolipids), complement enzymes, lysozyme, hormones, growth factors, mucins, fibronectin, glycomacropeptide, beneficial bacteria, bifidus factor and B 12-binding protein. These components are largely inactivated by the heat of pasteurization and ultrapasteurization.’ (2)

GAPS patients need to go through the introductory stage (explained shortly) before trying raw organic milk, no other milk should be tried and it should be started slowly too. If raw milk cannot be obtained, organic pasteurized milk can be fermented at home.

The GAPS diet

The GAPS diet is based on the SCD (specific carbohydrate diet). The SCD was created by American pediatrician Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas, and has a 60 year record of helping people with all sorts of digestive disorders. He found that people with digestive problems could tolerate fats and proteins well but not grains, starchy vegetables, sugar, lactose and double sugars. His diet was accepted by the medical community and was considered the official cure for celiac disease. Back then celiac included all sorts of inflammatory digestive disorders. However, the diet was changed to refer only to ‘gluten’ intolerance, leaving all the people with other conditions without a proper diet. The gluten free diet gained popularity even though it is not very effective. Dr Natasha explains that it is very rare to find just gluten intolerance in a person with digestive disorders and even when this is the case, the GF diet is not effective.

The SCD was almost forgotten, but one day a mom desperate to help her little daughter who had severe UC (ulcerative colitis ) and neurological problems went to see Dr Haas.  After 2 years on the SCD her daughter completely recovered. This mom was  Elaine Gottschall ( author of the classic book “Breaking the vicious cycle”).  Since then she has helped thousands of people with all sorts of digestive ailments but specially children with behavioral problems. Dr Natasha adopted this diet for her patients, (mainly autistic children, but also ADHD, ADD, dyslexic, depression, schizophrenia, etc.)  and with time her patients called it GAPS diet, which stands for Gut And Psychology Syndrome.

Implementing the diet

The purpose of the GAPS diet is what Dr. Natasha calls to ‘heal and seal the gut lining’. It achieves this in three ways:

  1. The gut lining renews itself every few weeks by shedding off old and worn out enterocytes and giving birth to new ones. In order to produce new enterocytes the gut lining needs a special nourishment. This is why the GAPS diet consists of large amounts of nutrition for the gut lining: amino acids, gelatine, glucosamine, fats, vitamins, minerals, etc, all the substances the gut lining is made from.
  2. Many people have ulcerations and inflammation in the gut lining that might or not show symptoms or they may be sore and sensitive. The GAPS diet removes fiber and other foods that may irritate the gut lining and interfere with the healing process.
  3. The cell regeneration process of the gut lining is accomplished by the beneficial bacteria that live on the surface of this gut lining. Without gut bacteria there cannot be healing.

Why do the diet?

Even if you don’t have major digestive problems, the GAPS diet is so gentle and soothing to the digestive system that it is a great way to give your digestive system a break, detoxify the body and heal the gut. If you are one of those people with obvious digestive problems, food allergies or intolerances, then you should seriously consider following the whole GAPS protocol, which is outlined with detail in her book. For the sake of brevity, we will only look at the first stage of the introduction diet here. This can be used for anybody, even kids that come down with a stomach virus or a cold. So let’s get cooking!

Homemade meat or fish stock

According to Dr. Natasha ‘Meat and fish stocks provide building blocks for the rapidly growing cells of the gut lining and they have a soothing effect on any areas of inflammation in the gut’. They aid digestion and have been known for centuries as healing folk remedies for the digestive tract. A note needs to be made that these are homemade foods. Any commercial soup stock granules or bullion cubes are highly processed with detrimental ingredients that will hinder healing, therefore they should be avoided entirely.

Chicken stock is specifically gentle on the stomach and is very good to start with. To make good stock you will need joints, bones and a piece of meat on the bone. This can include a whole chicken, giblets from chicken, goose or duck, whole pigeons, pheasants or any other inexpensive meats. It is essential to use bones and joints as they provide the healing substances, not to much the muscle meats. If you buy at a local butcher, ask him to cut the large tubular bones in half so you can get the bone marrow out of them after cooking.

Put the bones, joints and meats into a large pan and fill it up with water (Filtered water, not tap water), add natural unprocessed salt to your taste at the beginning of cooking and about  a teaspoon of black peppercorns, roughly crushed. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer on a low heat for 2 1/2- 3 1/2 hours or over night if using a slow cooker. You can make fish stock the same way using a whole fish or fish fins, bones and heads and cooking them for 1-1 1/2 hours.

After cooking them take the meats out and sieve the stock to remove small bones and peppercorns. Strip off the soft tissues from the bones to add later to soups. It is important to eat all of the soft tissues on the bones. The gelatinous soft tissues around the bones and the bone marrow provide some of the best healing remedies for the gut lining and the immune system. They need to be consumed with every meal.

Extract the bone marrow out of large tubular bones while they are still warm, to do that bang the bone on a chopping board.

The stock will keep well in the refrigerator for a week and can be frozen. It should be drunk all day long with meals and in between meals. Microwaves should not be used because they destroy the foods. It is very important to consume all the fat in the stock and off the bones as these fats are essential for the healing process.

With this meat stock you can make homemade soup, bring it to boil, add chopped or sliced vegetables like onions, carrots, broccoli, leeks, cauliflower, etc avoiding the very fibrous ones like celery and cabbage. Simmer for 25-35 minutes until the vegetables are very soft, then add 1-2 tablespoons of chopped garlic, bring to boil and turn off the heat. This soup should be eaten with the bone marrow and soft tissues from the bones you separated before and boiled meat.

Also, adding some probiotic foods from homemade sauerkraut or fermented vegetables  is essential. In the first stages of the diet only the juice without the vegetables should be drunk so as to avoid any reaction. They should be added to the meat stock and soups without the vegetables yet as they are too fibrous. Also making sure that when added the food is not too hot which will kill the probiotic bacteria. They should be introduced slowly, 1 tsp the first five days, then 2 teaspoons until the patient can take a whole 1/2 cup. These fermented foods will introduce probiotic bacteria and help restore stomach acid production. In the case of severe diarrhea, well-fermented homemade whey, yogurt or sour cream are good options to add to the fermented vegetables as the lactic acid in these foods slows down food transit through the intestines and bowel, firm up the stools and soothe and strengthen the gut lining. In the case of constipation, dairy should be used with caution, in general, patients with constipation tolerate high fat dairy products like ghee, butter and sour cream, but high protein dairy can aggravate constipation ( yogurt, whey and kefir).

Ginger tea, mint or chamomile tea with a little honey between meals is also very helpful. To make ginger tea, grate some fresh ginger root (about a teaspoonful) into your teapot and pour some boiling water over it, cover and leave for 3 – 5 min. Pour through a small sieve.

The GAPS diet has several stages that follow this first stage, you can read about all of them in this website http://www.siboinfo.com/diet.html or in Dr. Natasha’s book “Gut and Psychology Syndrome’ revised and expanded edition.

The anti-candida diet

This diet could be said to be an extension of the GAPS diet. Many patients with an abundance of pathogenic bacteria often also have an overgrowth of candida, which also has to be addressed.

Candida could be said to be a modern day phenomenon caused by the overuse of antibiotics. The candida diet is a very thorough diet that takes care of some very dangerous pathogens that poison the whole body. It is important to understand what candida is.

In a healthy person candida lives in the body under the control of the good bacteria. In the last few decades, the widespread use of antibiotics has killed the good bacteria in many people, allowing candida to grow out of control. When this happens candida grows long stringy hyphae and puts roots through the tissues of the body: digestive system and other organs, producing a lot of toxins, alcohol and acetaldehyde. Every chronic degenerative disorder has been connected to candida overgrowth, from arthritis to MS (multiple sclerosis), chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, neurological disorders and cancer.

Because candida feeds on sugar, the candida diet aims at removing every source of sugar: fructose, maltose, lactose, maple syrup and honey. Also, because candida can cause an allergy to other fungi and moulds, all fungi and fermented foods are also eliminated: yeast and baked foods made with yeast (bread, pastries, etc) soured milk products, all cheeses, all fermented beverages, vinegar, malt, mushrooms, tea and coffee, dried fruit and fruit juices. Grains are also excluded: corn, barley, wheat, rye, millet, oats, rice, as well as starchy vegetables: potato, yams, sweet potato and Jerusalem artichoke. The reason for this restrictive diet is that candida is never alone in the digestive system, it lives with over 500 or more different microbes which can also cause disease.

One of these is the clostridia family. These pathogens and their toxins damage the gut lining, making the enterocytes (the cells in the gut that digest foods) unable to do their job of splitting carbohydrates into smaller molecules that can be absorbed. The result is that complex carbohydrates (grains and starchy vegetables) do not get digested and become food for the pathogens in the gut. They ferment and putrefy in the gut, instead of being digested and thus become a source of toxins, which furthers damage the gut wall and undermine the immune system. Most pathogens, bacteria, fungi, protozoa and worms feed on these undigested carbohydrates.

Dairy introduction structure

The dairy introduction structure is for those that have allergy to dairy and for those that don’t want to start with the introduction diet but want to do the full GAPS diet (without severe digestive problems).

The dairy introduction diet allows the gut to heal and recover more quickly. The stages for introducing dairy follow a very specific pattern in which dairy is introduced very slowly to minimize reactions:

  1. Ghee: Ghee, also called clarified butter, is pure milk fat. Milk fat has virtually no milk proteins or lactose so is generally well tolerated by most people, even those with allergy to other dairy products. It is easy to make at home (recipe will follow). Store bought ghee has preservatives so it is not recommended. Ghee has a lot of nutrients and can be used for cooking/baking. Some people with severe dairy allergy cannot tolerate it so they have to avoid it.  These people might be able to introduce it in the second stage of the diet, after doing a sensitivity test.
  2. Butter: After ghee, the first dairy to introduce is butter. It should be organic as non-organic has pesticides, hormones and antibiotics. Sensitive individuals should introduce it after 6 weeks in the diet. A sensitivity test will indicate if the person is ready for it. The butter should also be unsalted, many salted products have flow agents and additives.
  3. Yogurt and sour cream:  After ghee and butter, approximately 6-12 weeks,  protein containing lactose-free milk products like yoghurt and sour cream can be introduced. The yogurt Dr. Natasha is referring to is homemade yogurt and sour cream (cream fermented with yogurt culture). Both should be started slowly, one teaspoon a day, and build up from there until you can have 1-2 cups. Never rush through it . Each person is different so it should be introduced very slowly, one at a time and just a tiny amount, watching for reactions. Any kind of reaction will mean the person is not ready. The reactions are also very personal, each of us will react a particular way.
  4. Kefir: Once you can tolerate both yogurt and sour cream, you can start on kefir, doing a sensitivity test first. Kefir is similar to yoghurt but has a different combination of yeasts and bacteria. The only difference is that kefir might cause more die off reactions than yogurt. You should continue with the yogurt and sour cream.
  5. Cheese: Once all these, yogurt, sour cream and kefir are well introduced, natural organic cheese can be introduced (cheddar and parmesan, etc). The cheeses can be more problematic than the other foods because they contain very concentrated milk protein. This means they also should be introduced slowly, one cheese at a time and only one mouthful per day, watching for reactions.
  6. Live yogurt: After all these foods have been introduced, commercial live natural yogurt, sour cream and creme fraiche can be introduced.

Ghee recipe

To make homemade ghee, preheat oven to 140-250 F (60-120 C), put a big block of organic salt-free butter on a pan and keep it in oven for 45-60 minutes. Take it out and carefully pour the golden fat from the top (ghee) in a glass jar and discard the white liquid, refrigerate. In some varieties of butter the white liquid accumulates on the top, so it can be refrigerated and the ghee will solidify so the liquid can be poured out and the ghee wiped out with a paper towel.

This ghee can also be done with goose or duck fat, just cook the birds as usual and collect the fact. This fat can be used for all cooking, baking and frying. The same for beef, pork or lamb, specially the internal fat layer of the animals. In all cases the animals should be antibiotic free.

So, what’s for dinner?

The only carbohydrates allowed are mono-sugars: fruit and non-starch vegetables. All complex carbs: grains and starchy vegetables have to be excluded, no exceptions!

Pathogens will make the person crave processed carbohydrates. Instead of wheat flour, nut flours can be ground up and used.

For recipes Dr. Natasha recommends these websites: www.gaps.me, www.scdiet.org, www.breakingtheviciouscycle.com, www.geocities.com, www.pecanbread.com and www.uclbs.org

The recommended foods in the GAPS diet are:

1. Meats and fish: Meats, game, organ meats, poultry, fish and shellfish. They all have the highest concentration of vitamins, aminoacids, fats, minerals, etc. Many vitamin charts show grains providing all the vitamins, but this is misleading according to Dr. Natasha because grains are hard to digest. Meats, on the contrary, have more vitamins than grains: B 1, B 2, B 3, B 5, B 6, B 12, biotin, folic acid and vitamin A are all found in liver, heart, kidneys, eggs, milk, poultry and butter. Real vitamin A can only be found in animal products, carotenoids, found in carrots have to be converted to the activated form of vitamin A. The problem is that many of us are unable to make this conversion because of disease or toxicity. If you don’t consume animal foods you can develop impaired immunity, eye problems, and impaired learning and development.

Folic acid is specially important for pregnant women, this is why traditional cultures made sure women age enough liver. It is easy for the human digestive system to extract nutrients from animal foods. The best sources of vitamin K 2 are organ meats, butter and cream, full fat cheese, animal fats and egg yolks. K 2 is essential for calcium metabolism, its deficiency leads to calcium deposition in soft tissue and inflammation while bones and teeth don’t get enough. Our own gut flora make vitamin K 2. Also, fermented foods provide K 2, natto being the highest plant source of K 2.

When it comes to the combination of foods, fruit should not be eaten with meat of fish, except for avocado, as it interferes with the digestion of meats. Vegetables are the perfect companion for meats and/or fish. After digesting meat and fish our body accumulates acids, and alkaline after digesting vegetables, so these two balance each other well. Dr. Natasha recommends to buy meats that are fresh or frozen, not preserved, these have lots of additives (E numbers, preservatives, starches, sugar, too much salt, lactose, etc) which will not allow the digestive system to heal. She does not recommend any commercial seasoning or sausage mix either or MSG.

Meat, bone and fish stock are a wonderful nutritional and digestive remedy. As you cook these in water a lot of nutrients get extracted into the water. Meats cooked in water are easier to digest for a person with sensitive digestive system. Avoid lean meats, the human digestive system is built to eat meat with fat, collagen, skin. Fish should be descaled before cooking. Dr. Natasha also stresses that all stock granules and cubes have to be avoided.


Eggs are one of the most nourishing and easy to digest foods there is. Raw egg yolk has been compared to human breast milk because it can be absorbed almost 100% without needing digestion. It also provides most essential aminoacids, vitamins (B 1, B 2, B 6, B 12, A, D, biotin, essential fatty acids, zinc, magnesium, B 12 , choline, specially when uncooked, etc. Choline is present mostly in the yolk, particularly, it is an essential amino acid essential for the nervous system and the liver. It is a building block for the neuro-transmitter acethylcholine used by the brain for cognitive, memory as well as other functions. Choline is prescribed for people with liver problems.

Despite all this wonderful nutritional value, eggs have received very bad press because of their cholesterol content. However, there has been a number of studies proving that people who consume eggs show a lower percentage of heart disease and arteriosclerosis.

We have talked extensively about cholesterol but it would be prudent to remember that 85% of cholesterol in our body doesn’t come from food but it is produced in the liver in response to a diet high in processed carbs and sugar. The best way to lower cholesterol would be to reduce the consumption of these two, not cholesterol.

Another concern regarding eggs is salmonella, however, according to Dr Natasha salmonella is only a concern when eggs come from infected hens. Free-range  organically reared hens are less likely to have salmonella because they have a healthier immune system, they are not fed antibiotics or chemicals and are exposed to fresh air and sun. According to the ‘National Egg Marketing Board’ around one in every 7,000 eggs may have Salmonella. This number corresponds to battery eggs laid by hens in cages.

What is more, raw eggs have more nutrition than cooked eggs, but if you are concerned about a possible contamination you can cook them cooking to destroy the salmonella.

When it comes to allergies, the part of the egg we are potentially allergic to is the egg white because they contain very complex proteins and antigens. Egg yolks contain single amino acids that virtually need no digestion. If you suspect an egg allergy you can do a sensitivity test, testing egg yolks and whites separately. For this, take a drop of egg yolk and place it on the inside of the wrist at bedtime, let the drop dry on your skin and go to sleep. In the morning, check the spot, if there is an itchy red reaction that means there is an allergy to eggs. If this is the case Dr. Natasha recommends to avoid egg whites for weeks and then retest until you see no reaction. Do the same for egg yolks on a different night .

Dr Natasha recommends eggs as part of a healthy diet, from 4-8 a day raw or lightly cooked with or without whites.

Non-starch fresh vegetables

In this category we can find the following: Artichoke, beets, asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, cucumber, celery, green beans, eggplant, garlic, onions, kale, lettuce, mushrooms, parsley, green peas, peppers (all colors), pumpkin, runner beans, squash, spinach, tomatoes, turnips, watercress. They can be frozen or fresh as long as they do not have any sugar or anything else added. If diarrhea is present all vegetables should be peeled, deseeded and cooked until it clears, then raw vegetables can be slowly be introduced with meals or as snacks. Organic vegetables are better since a sensitive digestive system will react to pesticides and other chemicals present in non-organic vegetables. Some people are sensitive to the nightshades (tomatoes, eggplant and peppers). Dr. Natasha recommends to avoid these until the introduction diet has been introduced, then they can be consumed slowly and one at a time.

Fruit including berries

Fruit can be consumed in moderation, but always away from meats because it interferes with the digestion of meats, except for lemons, avocado and sour apples. All fruit should be ripe, as unripe fruit has too much starch. All berries are wonderful powerhouses of nutrition, but need to be avoided if diarrhea is present.

Nuts and seeds

Both are very nourishing, rich in minerals, amino acids and fats: magnesium, selenium, zinc, omega 3 and 6 all of which are important for the heart. Research shows that people who regularly consume nuts and seeds have lower rates of heart disease, cancer, etc.

Nuts and seeds should be bought in their shells or freshly shelled, never roasted, salted, coated or processed in any way. Peanut allergies are an issue but Dr. Natasha asserts they are caused by contamination with molds and their toxins. To avoid this they should be of good quality.

If diarrhea is present nuts and seeds are quite fibrous so they should be avoided until it clears. Both can be ground up and turned into a flour. They can also be sprouted by soaking them in water for 12 hours. Sprouting increases their nutritional value and are easier to digest because of the high content of enzymes sprouting produces. Sprouting also takes care of the enzyme inhibitors known as phytic acid that all seeds naturally contain and which could be a problem for some people.

Beans and pulses

White navy beans, lima beans, string beans, lentils and split peas are all allowed for people with digestive problems. All other beans are too starchy. Before cooking, dry beans should be soaked at least 12 hours, then drained and rinsed  under running water to remove lectins and starches. Beans, lentils and other legumes are generally very hard to digest as they contain many anti-nutrients such as phytic acid, lectins, enzyme inhibitors and starches. This is why they should be introduced slowly and fermented at first. For this, they need to be soaked for 12 hours minimum, rinsed then cover them with water and whey (2 cups of water with 1/2 cup of whey) and leave them to ferment for 4-5 days at room temperature.


Cold pressed natural honey is allowed with moderation. However, in the case of candida, all sweets including honey should be excluded. Many honey producers heat up the honey to speed up the process of extraction but this damages the microelements in the honey. Honey is sweeter than table sugar and contains two monosaccharides: fructose and glucose, which are easy to digest.

Honey used to be the only sweetener used before the introduction of sugar in the 17th century, with it came all the health related problems of our modern era. Honey is far more natural for our bodies than sugar and has a lot of health benefits: it works as an antiseptic, it has vitamins, minerals and aminoacids as well as other bio-active substances depending on the flower it came from. Traditionally honey has been used to treat digestive disorders, chest and throat, arthritis, anemia, insomnia, headaches, etc. It can be applied topically to wounds , eczema, skin rashes as well.


Best drinks are water, freshly pressed juices and meat/fish stock. Herbal teas are allowed as long as they are made from fresh single herbs not commercial tea bags. Freshly made ginger tea is a good digestive.

Water should not be chlorinated, tap water is usually always so. Chlorine damages the gut flora so it is best to drink mineral or filtered water. It is a very good habit to start the day with a glass of water on an empty stomach. Some freshly squeezed lemon juice or apple cider vinegar added will improve the benefits of the water. Water can be drunk during the day, around 1 or 1/2 a gallon but not during meals as it could interfere with digestion. With meals it is best to drink homemade meat stock as it stimulates the production of digestive juices in the stomach.

Freshly pressed fruit and vegetable juices are highly recommended, specially vegetable juices as too much fruit can upset our blood sugar. Homemade fresh organic vegetable juices will help detoxification and the liver.

Commercially produced vegetable juices are pasteurized so they are not recommended. Soft drinks should be avoided completely.

Fats and oils

We have looked in depth at fats in previous blog, but let us just remember some basics about fats.

All the fats present in meats contain great nutrition to heal the gut, the nervous and the immune system. They are the best to cook with because cooking doesn’t change their chemical structure when heated as opposed to cooking oils that turn into dangerous trans fatty acids.  Dr. Natasha doesn’t recommend any of the commercial oils for cooking, except ghee and butter, which are also good for cooking as well as non-hydrogenated coconut oil. Cooking with virgin cold pressed olive oil destroys the nutrients and turns unsaturated into trans fats.

Other cold pressed oils like flax seed, evening primrose oil and avocado should not be used for cooking. All margarines and butter replacements and all other artificial fats should be avoided entirely.


Whole sea salt contains all the minerals and trace elements the body is made out of, so in its natural state salt is not only good for us, it is essential. Table salt is far from this natural salt. Dr. Natasha describes it as a ‘villain’ because it upsets the balance of minerals in our body. Our body, she explains, is made to receive sodium chloride together with all the other minerals and trace elements present in natural salt. Pure sodium chloride alone pulls water to itself causing water retention, edema, high blood pressure and poor circulation. As the body tries to get rid of excess sodium chloride harmful acids and gallbladder and kidney stones are formed. Excess sodium chloride also causes the other minerals  and trace elements to get out of balance: potassium , calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, manganese, etc affecting the heart. Natural salt is just as fundamental to our body as water is. Himalayan crystal salt or unprocessed sea salt (celtic sea salt) are great options.

Summing up, diet should take into account digestion and absorption as well as support the healing of our digestive system. This is accomplished by introducing foods that build up our stomach lining and minimize inflammation. In our next blog, we will study how supplementation is critical for an anti-inflammatory diet.

Thank you for reading.


(1) http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/09/13/well/eat/how-the-sugar-industry-shifted-blame-to-fat.html?_r=0&referer

(2) www.realmilk.com


02 Oct 2016 no comments HAB Extract

In our previous blog we looked at how the anti-inflammatory diet can help us. Of great importance as well is how supplementation can support the healing benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet. According to Dr. Natasha when it comes to digestive disorders we have to be very careful what we introduce into the gut of the patient, because a lot of supplements may irritate an already inflamed gut lining and interfere with the healing process. However, some supplements can be very beneficial and some are essential. The supplementation protocol she recommends consists of:

  1. An effective therapeutic strength probiotic
  2. Essential fatty acids
  3. Cod liver oil
  4. Digestive enzymes
  5. Vitamin and mineral supplements

In this blog we will look at how to choose the right probiotic. We will also see how the ‘Healthy Heart Club’ products are the perfect companion for the diet outlined by Dr. Natasha, as they all support digestion, and have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.


Probiotics are an important part of getting our gut health back in order. The problem is that there are so many products in the market, it can be confusing. Many probiotics in the market are not strong enough. In other cases, the labels can even be misleading, so how do we choose the right probiotic? Dr. Natasha explains that a good probiotic has to include all of the following:
1. It has a mixture of strains from different groups of probiotic bacteria rather than just one group.  A good product should contain some of the following:

a. Lactobacilli: members of this family are L. acidophilus, L. bulgaricus, L. rhamnosus, L. plantarum, L. salivarus, L. reuteri, L. johnsonii, L. casei and L. delbrueskii. They are the most numerous inhabitants of the stomach and intestines, they allow cell renewal process in the gut, keeping the gut lining healthy and intact.

b. Bifidobacteria. The most common belonging to this family are B. bifidum, B. breve, B. longum and binfantis, although there are around 30 different species identified. In the human gut these are seven times more numerous than lactobacilli. They are important because they synthesize amino acids, proteins, organic acids, vitamin K, B 5, B 1, B 2, B 3, folic acid, B 6, B 12, assist in calcium, iron and vitamin D absorption. They are the second most numerous family of bacteria found in probiotic supplements, after lactobacilli.

c. Saccharomyces boulardii. This yeast is effective in treating diarrhea in children and adults. Recently there has been a lot of interest in this yeast to treat candida.

d. Escheridia coli or E. coli. This is a large family, the pathogenic members of this family can cause serious infections, however, physiological strains of E. coli are normal and numerous in the healthy human gut. They are found in the bowel and lower parts of the intestines, but if they are found in the mouth, stomach and duodenum that indicates an abnormality of gut ecology (gut dysbiosis). E. coli digests lactose, makes K and B vitamins and amino acids, produces antibiotic-like substances called colicins and improves immunity. E. coli is very active against pathogenic microbes including pathogenic e. coli. A product called ‘Mutaflor’ contains this bacteria.

e. Enterococcus faecium or Streptococcus faecalis. They live in the bowel where they control pathogens by producing hydrogen peroxide and reducing pH to 5.5. They break down proteins and ferment carbohydrates. There are studies showing they are effective against diarrhea, they are quite common in supplements.

f. Bacillus Subtilis or soil bacteria. This bacteria is resistant to stomach acid, most antibiotics, temperature changes, etc. It is specially effective for allergies and immune disorders. It produces a whole host of digestive enzymes, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, etc. This bacteria doesn’t stay in the gut but passes through it doing a lot of work. Humans used to get these ‘transitional’ bacteria when we drank from wells and streams. In Dr. Natasha’s opinion, probiotics that contain soil bacteria are the most effective probiotics in the market.

2. One that has at least 8 billion units of bacterial cells per gram.

3. One that the manufacturer has tested for strength and bacterial composition and even  published the results of testing.

Once you find it, you need to know how to use it. A good one will always produce a ‘die-off reaction’. What is that? As you introduce probiotic bacteria they start destroying pathogenic bacteria, viruses and fungi. When these pathogens die, they release toxins, the very toxins that made us sick. Consequently, symptoms may get worse temporarily. You may also feel more tired, ‘off-color’, or develop a skin rash. This is all temporary and can last a few days or weeks. To make this as mild as possible, she recommends to build the intake of probiotics as slowly as possible. If in the first dose no reaction is seen, the dose can be increased until reactions appear, when this happens, she recommends to stay on this dose until die-off symptoms disappear. Then increase the dose again until a therapeutic level is reached. This process of building up the dose can take from weeks to months depending on the patient. It is very individual and depends on how much overgrowth of pathogenic microbes the person has in the gut.

A healthcare professional can be consulted about this. There is an increasing number of GAPS practitioners who can be found in her website www.gaps.me

Some guidelines for dosing are:

Adults should have around 15-20 billion of bacterial cells per day.

Infants up to 12 months: 1-2 billion/day.

A toddler (1-2 years old): 2-4 billion/day.

Child (2-4 years old): 4-8 billion/day.

Child (4-10 years old): 8-12 billion/day.

For ages 12-16 the dosage should be 12-15 billion/day.

Once the patient has reached this therapeutic dose, he should keep it for 6 months average. This is how long it takes to remove the pathogenic flora and how long it takes to start re-establishing normal gut flora. Adhering to the GAPS diet is absolutely necessary in this period. Feeding the pathogens in the gut with sugar and processed carbohydrates will prevent the probiotic from having any effect.

After the therapeutic dose period is over, the probiotic dose can be reduced to maintenance dose level, and be kept there for years. It is important to reduce the dose as gradually as you have been increasing it and observe any reactions in this period. Maintenance dose is very individual, usually it is half of the therapeutic dose. But in some cases the maintenance dose is the same as the therapeutic.

Some people are concerned about stomach acid destroying the probiotic. Dr. Natasha recommends to take them with food or after eating, because then stomach acid is bound to food particles. She doesn’t recommend enteric coating probiotic products because the stomach also needs these probiotics. In cases of low stomach acid, there are lots of pathogens growing so the probiotics are needed there. Also, some patients have problems breaking up these enteric coating and these probiotic pass through the entire digestive system without being absorbed at all. Dr. Natasha asserts that even if some probiotic strains are killed by stomach acid, even dead they will do a lot of good in our gut: the cell walls of our digestive system can stimulate immune responses and absorb toxins, removing them from the body.

In conclusion, probiotics are absolutely vital for treating any digestive condition. In conjunction with diet, probiotics provide a great deal of improvement. A great amount of new research points to their role in improved immune function. They are said to “ ‘chat’ with the immune system part of the gut (epithelial cells, Peyer’s patches M cells, and immune cells) encouraging them to have a response to pathogens and to contribute to the mucosal barrier, among other beneficial activities.” (1)

The immune boosting power of garlic 

Nobody can deny the healing properties of garlic, it has been used for millennia for its many benefits. According to Dr. David Jockers garlic is ‘one of nature’s natural anti-biotics. Due to the powerful sulfur containing nutrients and immune stimulators within garlic it is classified as a superfood herb. Consumption of garlic daily may be one of the best defense’s against infection and inflammatory based disease’.

Garlic has several healthy benefits:

  1. Antimicrobial: antiprotozoal, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral.
  2. Antioxidant.
  3. Anticarcinogenic and antimutagenic properties.
  4. In the cardiovascular system garlic is works well for high cholesterol, thrombosis, high homocysteine and high blood pressure.
  5. Other healthy benefits are as a prebiotic and immuno-modulatory.

Because of all these properties, garlic is a great addition to an anti-inflammatory diet. Dr. Natasha recommends cooking with it, as we have seen. For the purpose of today’s topic we will say garlic’s most notable benefit is in strengthening the immune system. In this sense, ” Garlic is one of nature’s most powerful immune boosting secrets. Garlic contains over 100 biologically active components including alliin, allicin, alliinase and unique sulfur compounds.” More specifically, “Researchers have found garlic to be more powerful at destroying pathogenic bacteria than the popular anti-biotics penicillin and tetracycline. It is also very effective against viruses and yeasts like candida” (2)

The role of ginger

Of equal importance is ginger. Ginger is ‘rich in anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties…(it) boosts immunity, improves digestion, relieves pain, and treats asthma and cardiovascular disease. Ginger is also known as a powerful remedy for infections and liver cleansing.” (3). Because of all these properties, ginger is also a great addition to our anti-inflammatory, immune boosting and digestive enhancing protocol.

The “Heart and Body Extract” contains both ginger and garlic synergistically blended to increase its other’s health benefits. Ginger is also an active ingredient in the “Kidney/Bladder extract” and the “Gland Extract” from contains papaya, which also aids in digestion.

Summing up, we have seen the importance of an anti-inflammatory diet for improved immunity and absorption of nutrients. Supplements like probiotics and the products from the “Healthy Hearts Club” are the perfect addition.

Thank you for reading.


(1) http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/probiotic-strains-matched-by-health-problem/

(2) http://drjockers.com/the-immune-boosting-power-of-garlic/

(3) http://mrhealthguide.com/2016/09/25/ginger-tea-dissolves-kidney-stones-cleanses-liver-kills-cancer-cells-recipe/