Archive for the ‘diet and nutrition’ Category

How Good Nutrition Can Help You Recover From Lyme Disease

https://www.lymedisease.org/how-good-nutrition-can-help-you-recover-from-lyme-disease/

Focus – Opinions and Features
LymeDisease.org
08 DEC 2021

How good nutrition can help you recover from Lyme disease

By Lindsay Christensen, MS, CNS, LDN, CKNS

Your immune system, brain, and gastrointestinal system, not to mention the rest of your body, require optimal nutrition to function properly.

Improving nutrition can help your body fight Lyme disease, allow your immune system to work optimally and reduce the adverse effects of Lyme disease (and Lyme treatments) on the gut, brain, musculoskeletal system, and hormones.

Unfortunately, nutrition is often placed on the back burner and sometimes wholly overlooked in Lyme disease treatment protocols

Why does nutrition matter for Lyme disease recovery?

Lyme disease, contracted from the bite of an infected tick, is one of the fastest-growing infectious diseases in the United States. At least 476,000 people are diagnosed with and treated for Lyme disease annually in the nation. Up to 1.5 million people in the U.S. may suffer from persistent symptoms of the illness.

I count myself among those 1.5 million people with chronic Lyme disease. After an arduous four-year battle with a mysterious chronic illness, I was diagnosed with Lyme in my early twenties.

However, my journey wasn’t over once I received my Lyme diagnosis. Instead, this was just the beginning of a multi-year trek through countless Lyme disease treatments. While I saw some improvements, it wasn’t until I took my nutrition seriously that I saw significant, sustainable progress in my health.

This led me to pursue my Master of Nutrition in Human Nutrition, become a clinical nutritionist, and ultimately specialize in working with clients who have Lyme disease. I have also written a book called The Lyme Disease 30-Day Meal Plan: Healthy Recipes and Lifestyle Tips to Ease Symptoms.

While nutrition alone cannot cure Lyme disease, it can significantly ease your symptoms, accelerate your healing process, and create a stronger, more resilient body capable of healing from Lyme. In addition, nutritional treatment is a powerful complement to both antibiotic and herbal protocols for Lyme disease.

For the Lyme patient struggling with treatment decisions, chronic fatigue, pain, and brain fog, sorting through nutrition information to figure out what to eat can feel daunting. Let’s discuss five steps you can take starting today to maximize your nutrition and support Lyme disease recovery.

Step 1: Remove inflammatory foods

Infection with Borrelia and co-infections induces a profound inflammatory response in the body. This can affect the gut, joints, brain, cardiovascular system, eyes, and skin.

When working with clients who have Lyme disease, I begin by having them remove the most common dietary inflammatory triggers, including:

  • Processed foods
  • Refined carbohydrates and sugar
  • Industrial seed oils, such as canola, corn, cottonseed, soybean, and safflower oils.

Refined carbohydrates and added sugars, such as cane sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, also promote the growth of inflammatory gut bacteria.

Between 70 and 80 percent of your immune system resides in your gut, so when your gut microbiota is unhealthy, your immune function and thus your ability to combat Lyme disease will suffer. Removing refined carbohydrates and added sugars is essential for reducing inflammation and regulating the immune system in Lyme.

I also find that many of my clients do best avoiding gluten and conventional dairy products from grain-fed, industrially-raised animals, since both of these foods are potent inflammatory triggers.

Step 2: Eat anti-inflammatory foods

In addition to removing inflammatory foods from our diets, we also need to incorporate foods that actively reduce inflammation. Work on including the following anti-inflammatory foods into your diet:

  • Wild-caught seafood

IL-17 is a pro-inflammatory cytokine (an immune signaling molecule) made by the immune system during Lyme infection. However, chronic IL-17 production can promote rampant inflammation and even autoimmunity. Metabolites of omega-3 fatty acids called “specialized pro-resolving mediators” or SPMs, blunt the production of IL-17 and can thus help calm the inflammatory response.

Try to eat several servings of fatty cold-water fish per week to bolster your omega-3 intake. Choose from the “SMASH” seafood, which are low in mercury and high in omega-3’s. SMASH stands for “salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring.”

  • Cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower, contain compounds called glucosinolates that increase the body’s glutathione production.

Glutathione, an antioxidant and immune-signaling molecule, plays a crucial role in the immune response to Borrelia.

  • Blueberries

Borrelia spirochetes stimulate macrophages, including glial cells in the brain, to release the inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-α. Excessive production of these molecules has neurotoxic effects on the brain.

In animal studies, blueberries have been found to reduce IL-6 and TNF-α production and may thus help protect the brain and dampen overall inflammation.

  • Extra virgin olive oil

Oleuropein, a major component of extra virgin olive oil, also reduces the production of the inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-α involved in the Lyme-induced inflammatory response. Be sure to choose organic olive oil to avoid consuming pesticide or herbicide residues, which have immune system-disrupting effects.

Step 3: Support your immune system

Your immune system requires an array of nutrients to function at its best. Furthermore, infection and stress deplete the body of critical micronutrients. Let’s take a look at several of the micronutrients needed for a well-functioning immune system:

  • Vitamin D

Vitamin D is frequently low in patients with persistent Lyme disease On top of that, Borrelia burgdorferi directly reduces vitamin D receptor expression in immune cells, increasing the need for vitamin D.

Vitamin D is critical for Lyme disease recovery. Daily sun exposure and the consumption of vitamin D-rich foods, including fatty cold-water fish and pastured egg yolks, support a healthy vitamin D status. However, supplementation is often necessary, especially during the fall and winter months.

  • Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin (a vitamin that dissolves in fats and oils) that regulates both the innate and adaptive branches of the immune system. The innate immune system is our set of frontline immune defenses, whereas the adaptive immune system is composed of specialized cells that target specific pathogens.

We need both branches of the immune system to battle Lyme, and vitamin A can help. Interestingly, vitamin A deficiency worsens Lyme arthritis in mice, whereas vitamin A replenishment reduces the harmful inflammatory response.

Retinol, the form of vitamin A the immune system requires, is found only in certain animal foods, such as egg yolks and liver. In addition, your body can create retinol from carotenoids, vitamin A precursors in yellow and orange plant foods, such as winter squash and carrots. However, this conversion process is not efficient in many people, necessitating vitamin A intake through animal foods.

  • Zinc

Zinc is the second most abundant micronutrient in our bodies after iron. It plays several roles in the immune system, including supporting the intestinal barrier, the layer of cells that lines the gut and maintains the intestinal immune system.

Zinc also inhibits complement activity. Complement is a part of the immune system that is excessively activated by Lyme infection and contributes to inflammation.

The World Health Organization reports that one-third of the world’s population is at risk for zinc deficiency. Vegans, vegetarians, the elderly, and those with gastrointestinal issues that compromise nutrient absorption are particularly at risk for deficiency. To support your immune system, emphasize foods rich in zinc, including oysters, red meat, organ meats, and poultry.

Step 4: Support your gut health

Many individuals with Lyme disease have gone through multiple rounds of antibiotics. While antibiotics can offer significant benefits to many Lyme sufferers,  they also reduce levels of beneficial microorganisms in the GI tract. This allows less desirable opportunistic and pathogenic organisms, including various yeasts and bacteria, to proliferate.

The resulting imbalance in the gut microbiota can compromise immune function, digestion, and nutrient absorption. Furthermore, preliminary research suggests that Borrelia may directly infect the gastrointestinal tract. It is thus crucial to support the health of your gut if you have Lyme disease.

A growing body of research indicates that diet profoundly impacts gut health. There are certain foods you should prioritize to support your gut health, including:

  • Fiber: Dietary fiber found in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and legumes supports the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, which positively impact our immune function and digestion.
  • Fermented foods: Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, beet kvass, and yogurt (for those who tolerate dairy products), provide probiotics that support gut health and immune function. Try to consume a serving of fermented foods daily. Remember to rotate fermented foods since each food offers unique probiotic microorganisms and health benefits.
  • Bone broth: Bone broth is a slow-cooked broth made from boiling animal bones and connective tissues in water. It is gelatinous and rich in glycine and proline, amino acids that help create a healthy gut. I encourage my clients with Lyme disease to consume bone broth regularly to support intestinal health.

Step 5: Support your joints and brain

Borrelia can cause extensive damage to collagenous tissues in the body, such as skin, tendons, and ligaments. Vitamin C is a cofactor for enzymes involved in collagen synthesis. Optimize your vitamin C intake by consuming foods such as bell peppers, citrus fruits, berries, and broccoli.

The brain is severely affected in many cases of chronic Lyme disease, referred to as “neuroborreliosis.” Lyme infection promotes brain inflammation and impairs energy production in neurons, making it difficult to think clearly and maintain a balanced mood.

Vitamin B12 and DHA are two nutrients necessary for healthy brain function. B12 is supplied through meat, poultry, fish, and eggs, while DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that we can consume through seafood, such as wild salmon and sardines.

There are many other nutritional factors that can support healthy brain function in Lyme disease, but vitamin B12 and DHA intakes are two of the most important.

Try a recipe from my book

Sesame Chicken Salad

This refreshing salad manages to be both sweet and savory, with a lovely crunch thanks to the addition of slivered almonds. It requires very little prep time, especially if you make the shredded chicken ahead of time in a slow cooker.

The short amount of prep time required is perfect it you’re short on time or energy for cooking. This salad contains several functional food ingredients beneficial for those with Lyme disease, including vitamin C-rich oranges and lime juice, folate-rich leafy greens, and anti-inflammatory extra-virgin olive oil.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free

Ingredients:

FOR THE SALAD:

  • 3 cups mixed greens
  • 4 ounces cooked chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • ½ cup sliced cucumber
  • 1 cup fresh orange segments
  • 2 scallions, chopped

FOR THE DRESSING

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger root
  • 2 tablespoons tamari sauce (be sure to select gluten-free tamari sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the greens, chicken, almonds, cucumber, orange, and scallions.
  2. In a glass jar or other lidded container, combine the sesame seeds, ginger, tamari sauce, rice vinegar, honey, scallions, lime juice, olive oil, orange juice, and sesame oil. Cover and shake well.
  3. Add the dressing to the salad and gently toss to coat.
  4. Serve immediately or refrigerate the salad and dressing in separate airtight containers for up to 2 days.

Lindsay Christensen has a Master of Science in Human Nutrition and is a Certified Nutrition Specialist and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist. In her private clinical nutrition practice, Ascent to Health, she specializes in nutrition care for individuals with Lyme disease and other environmental illnesses.

For more:

Will Treating My Gut Flora Put Lyme + Coinfections into Remission?

https://rawlsmd.com/health-articles/will-treating-my-gut-flora-put-lyme-coinfections-into-remission?

View LaWill Treating My Gut Flora Put Lyme + Coinfections into Remission?

by Dr. Bill Rawls
Posted 10/29/21

Often, irritating gut symptoms seem to be part and parcel with Lyme disease. So then, can working on your gut health actually help you feel better? In this webinar short, Dr. Bill Rawls discusses how microbes throughout the body, including the gut, contribute to the symptoms of chronic Lyme disease and how balancing them may help you reach remission. Read Dr. Rawls’ personal story here.

Video Transcript

Question: Will treating my gut flora put Lyme and coinfections into remission?

Tim Yarborough: Our next question here is a really good one. This is from Kim: When I treat my gut flora for my Lyme, will it help or put my Lyme coinfections in remission? Will it help with any other symptoms such as vibration and ringing in my ears?

Dr. Rawls: It all goes together. It’s not one thing; everything is tied together, and it’s all about microbes trying to get at the cells of our body. So whether that’s microbes from the gut, or microbes coming in from tick bites, or microbes that we picked up as children, and if we’ve had them all our lives like Epstein-Barr, and CMV (cytomegalievirus), and Mycoplasma, they’re all affecting our cells. And so getting over Lyme disease is a process of healing cells and protecting cells. Weak cells, stressed cells, are more vulnerable to microbe invasion.

So for Lyme disease, you can imagine your whole body just being peppered with microbes — normal tissue, like normal muscle with normal cells and just cells that have been infected by microbes peppered throughout your tissues. Your immune system has to go in and take those things out individually, and they’re in your brain, and they’re in your heart, and they’re in your lungs.

And we all have a lot more microbes than just the Borrelia; we all have a spectrum of microbes. And then, you add the gut microbes on top of that, that are all invading your cells and basically peppered your body. So to get over that, part of it is healing the gut. We want to do that; we want to stop that flow, and we want to nourish our cells properly to keep them strong.

So herbs offer some big advantages in that you can take antimicrobial herbs for a long time, and they don’t disrupt gut flora. This is really important. And that’s the separating fact between herbs and antibiotics. Antibiotics are indiscriminate and kill everything. Herbs are discriminant. Plants have to take care of their normal flora and suppress the pathogens just like we do so that phytochemistry is very sophisticated.

So I took herbs, pretty high doses of antimicrobial herbs for about eight years, and I still take them regularly every day, not at the same doses, but pretty significant doses for a long time. And my gut just kept getting better every year, along with all of my other symptoms.

So when we’re treating the thing holistically, that we’re treating the gut, we’re using the herbs to not only help balance the gut, but we’re using the herbs to suppress the microbes in our system and also protect ourselves from free radicals and other damaging factors. So that the cells can heal themselves, then everything continues to get better as you move along. And that’s what it’s all about.

Dr. Rawls is a physician who overcame Lyme disease through natural herbal therapy. You can learn more about Lyme disease in Dr. Rawls’ new best selling book, Unlocking Lyme.
You can also learn about Dr. Rawls’ personal journey in overcoming Lyme disease and fibromyalgia in his popular blog post, My Chronic Lyme Journey.

___________________

For more:

How to Get Unstuck With the Lyme Recovery Roadmap

https://rawlsmd.com/health-articles/how-to-get-unstuck-with-the-lyme-recovery-roadmap

How to Get Unstuck with the Lyme Recovery Roadmap

by Dr. Bill Rawls
Updated 10/15/21

During your Lyme disease recovery, it’s not unusual to find yourself stuck from time to time, not knowing what to do to further heal and reduce undesirable symptoms. To overcome this all too common circumstance and experience progress again, you’ll want to pay careful attention to potential obstacles that can impede wellness and remove them.

While eliminating microbes and reducing symptoms are crucial pieces of the recovery puzzle, there’s always more to the story. The biggest reasons symptoms occur in the first place are because our bodies’ cells aren’t getting enough nutrients, oxygen, or water, and the waste and toxin removal mechanisms are compromised. Ultimately, getting well is a matter of minimizing the factors that are disrupting the health of your cells to the best of your ability.

Building a Strong Foundation of Natural Support

So then, what direction do you go in if you need to get unstuck? Start by building a strong foundation in your Lyme disease recovery.

key steps in building your foundation: suppress microbes, protect cells, inhibit inflammation, cellular connectivity, good flow

The bedrock of any comprehensive natural protocol should contain these three critical elements: antimicrobial herbs, immune-modulating herbs, and methylation and cellular support.

antimicrobial, immune-modulating, and methylation and cellular support

While many herbs have the potential to be of benefit to your recovery from chronic Lyme disease, certain ones rise to the top because they tackle the myriad of cellular stress factors you endure, helping to quell an environment where chronic illness flourishes.

My preferred herbs and supplements from the 3 categories above include:

1. Antimicrobial Herbs to Suppress Microbes

Many herbs have antimicrobial effects against borrelia, bartonella, babesia, mycoplasma, and more. In fact, recent research from Johns Hopkins University has shown that herbal therapy may be more effective at combating borrelia and babesia than medications. The following is a list of herbs to help form the basis of your Lyme protocol.

antimicrobial herbs andrographis, berberine, cats claw, sarsaparilla, garlic, and more

2. Immune-Modulating Herbs

Herbs with immune-modulating properties help to normalize the functions of the immune system, inhibiting dysfunctional chemical messengers called cytokines and restoring the immune system’s communication pathways.

Medicinal mushrooms, in particular, are a great way to modulate the immune system, but other herbs are helpful as well.

immune-modulating herbs reishi mushroom, cordyceps, rehmannia extract, and chinese skullcap

3. Methylation + Cellular Support

Finally, combining herbs with supplements that address methylation — the body’s biochemical process that switches on and off genes, regulates metabolism, mood, detoxification, and more — will amp up the cellular protection.

methylation and cellular support: activated b vitamins, glutathione, alpha lipoic acid, and more

Removing the Obstacles to Healing

When trying to remove obstacles to healing, it’s vital to understand this: It’s generally not one factor but multiple factors that set the stage for chronic immune dysfunction associated with stealth infections and chronic illness. Besides microbes, other stress factors compounding the problem include:

  • Unnatural diet
  • Toxic environment
  • Chronic Stress
  • Sedentary lifestyle

Let’s take a look at each of these obstacles, how they impact healing, and what we can do about them:

1. Poor Diet

The foods you eat equate to fuel for the body so that you have the energy you need to repair tissues and curb inflammation. Without sufficient nutrients, the opposite is true: your body is starved of the nourishment it needs to restore itself. And while the occasional slip-up might not be enough to through your recovery completely off track, repeatedly consuming foods devoid of nutrients presents significant challenges for the body.

excess carbohydrates leads to increased insulin levels, insulin resistance, immune suppression, and more

evaluate your diet with the self-assessment tool to determine if it's an obstacle to healing
answering no to one or more items in the diet assessment suggests diet is an obstacle to healing

General Diet Guidelines

To keep your diet as nutrient-dense as possible, consider the following guidelines.

general diet guidelines cook your vegetables, avoid fried foods, minimize carbohydrates, and chew your food

Some foods are problematic for many people because they contribute to food allergies, sensitivities, digestive issues, or increase the body’s toxic burden. Foods to consider nixing from your diet altogether are as follows:

foods to eliminate include lectins, dairy, alcohol, artificial preservatives, and artificial sweeteners

2. Toxins

Toxins are present in the foods you eat, the air you breathe, personal care products, household cleaners, and more. Toxins can have a profound influence on the body.

toxins compromise cellular energy production, disrupt hormones, promote inflammation, and more

evaluate your environment with the self-assessment tool to determine if it's an obstacle to healing
answering no to one or more items in the toxin assessment suggests toxins are an obstacle to healing

Although toxins can come from a variety of sources, you’re probably most familiar with mold and its mycotoxins. Unfortunately, mold exposure can curtail your efforts to get well — regardless of whether it’s “toxic” or even whether you’re allergic to mold. More than 50% of homes and more than 85% of commercial buildings in the U.S. have water damage and mold, even if you can’t see or smell it outright. Symptoms can range from mildly disruptive to serious and truly life-threatening. To clean up mold and your environment, put these tips into action:

eliminate mold by removing visible signs of it and cleaning heating units and air conditioners
eat organic food, filter your water, replace HVAC filters, and quit smoking to minimize other toxins

3. Stress

Chronic stress is very pervasive in modern life. Often people suffering from stress don’t realize that their symptoms are stress-related. Stress has the potential to disrupt all normal functions of the body and mind.

stress disrupts functions of the body like digestion, immune system, daily maintenance, and tissue repair

evaluate your stress levels with the self-assessment tool to determine if it is an obstacle to healing
answering no to one or more items in the stress assessment suggests stress is an obstacle to healing

Stress sends the sympathetic nervous system — the part of the nervous system associated with the “fight or flight” response — into overdrive, leading to issues like poor sleep, feelings of irritability or anxiousness, increased pain levels, among others. Since you can’t outrun stress, learning to manage it is one of the best steps you can take for your health.

dedicate time to stress relief by mediating, gardening, walking, or using herbs to support the stress response

dedicate time to improving sleep by taking a hot bath, blocking out excess light, and sleeping in a cool room

4. Inactivity

If you’re highly symptomatic or experiencing a relapse, moving your body might be the last thing you want to do. But even gentle, restorative exercise (restorative yoga, qigong, taking a stroll, doing leisurely laps in the pool) can help counter the pitfalls of being too sedentary.

inactivity decreases blood flow, increases toxin retention, disrupts immune function, and zaps energy

evaluate your activity level with the self-assessment tool to determine if it's an obstacle to healing
answering no to one or more items in the activity assessment suggests inactivity is an obstacle to healing

if you have limited activity levels, consider gentle exercises like restorative yoga, pilates, or qigong

if you are bedridden, avoid exercise until you feel ready or consider using an infrared sauna

What if Symptoms Persist?

Sometimes, you can do all the right things and still wind up perplexed as to what’s going on or what to do next. The good news, however, is there are still several options to consider.

First, do you need to add additional herbal support to combat coinfections? Some herbs to think about include:

if symptoms persist, try additional herbal support like cryptolepis, black walnut, neem, or red root

Second, do you need the assistance of a heroic therapy — more potent interventions for when you feel like nothing else is moving the needle? For Lyme disease, the ones you’re most apt to be prescribed or recommended are:

heroic therapies are more potent interventions like antibiotics, rife machines, ozone, and hyperthermia therapy

Wellness is Within Reach

Treating Lyme disease requires persistence as you slowly chip away at layers of dysfunction and cellular stress factors. While it can be overwhelming, whenever you get stuck, go back to the basics and look for the areas where you might have gotten off track.

self check-ins are crucial each week to make sure you're staying on track toward your goal of healing

Review this recovery roadmap, and do weekly self check-ins. Remain consistent with your protocol and celebrate all of your healing milestones — no matter how big or small they are. Soon, you’ll find yourself turning the corner.

Dr. Rawls is a physician who overcame Lyme disease through natural herbal therapy. You can learn more about Lyme disease in Dr. Rawls’ new best selling book, Unlocking Lyme.
You can also learn about Dr. Rawls’ personal journey in overcoming Lyme disease and fibromyalgia in his popular blog post, My Chronic Lyme Journey.

________________

**Comment**

If you are a newbie, or even an “advanced” patient, this article may really stress you out as there’s so much to learn, consider, and address.  The intent is never to overwhelm, but to enlighten as this is probably the toughest thing to treat and encompasses every bodily system.  Please, just learn what you can and take one thing at a time.  Most things cost money and time and patients are typically short on both so don’t beat up on yourself. 

The Manufacturing of Bone Diseases & 8 Natural Osteoprotectives

https://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/osteoporosis-myth-dangers-high-bone-mineral-density

The Manufacturing of Bone Diseases: The Story of Osteoporosis and Osteopenia

The present-day definitions of osteopenia and osteoporosis were arbitrarily conceived by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the early ’90s and then projected upon millions of women’s bodies seemingly in order to convince them they had a drug-treatable, though symptomless, disease

Osteopenia (1992)[i] and osteoporosis (1994)[ii] were formally identified as skeletal diseases by the World Health Organization (WHO) as bone mineral densities (BMD) 1 and 2.5 standard deviations, respectively, below the peak bone mass of an average young adult Caucasian female, as measured by an X-ray device known as dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA, or DEXA). This technical definition, now used widely around the world as the gold standard, is disturbingly inept, and as you shall see, likely conceals an agenda that has nothing to do with the promotion of health.

Deviant Standards: Aging Transformed Into a Disease

A “standard deviation” is simply a quantity calculated to indicate the extent of deviation for a group as a whole, i.e., within any natural population there will be folks with higher and lower biological values, e.g., height, weight, bone mineral density, cholesterol levels. The choice of an average young adult female (approximately 30 years old) at peak bone mass in the human lifecycle as the new standard of normality for all women 30 or older, was, of course, not only completely arbitrary but also highly illogical. After all, why should an 80-year-old’s bones be defined as “abnormal” if they are less dense than a 30-year-old’s?

Within the WHO’s new BMD definitions the aging process is redefined as a disease, and these definitions targeted women, much in the same way that menopause was once redefined as a “disease” that needed to be treated with synthetic hormone replacement therapies (HRT); that is, before the whole house of cards collapsed with the realization that by “treating” menopause as a disease the medical establishment was causing far more harm than good, e.g., heart disease, stroke and cancer.

As if to fill the void left by the HRT debacle and the disillusionment of millions of women, the WHO’s new definitions resulted in the diagnosis, and subsequent labeling, of millions of healthy middle-aged and older women with what they were now being made to believe was another “health condition,” serious enough to justify the use of expensive and extremely dangerous bone drugs (and equally dangerous mega-doses of elemental calcium) in the pursuit of increasing bone density by any means necessary. 

One thing that cannot be debated, as it is now a matter of history, is that this sudden transformation of healthy women, who suffered no symptoms of “low bone mineral density,” into an at-risk, treatment-appropriate group, served to generate billions of dollars of revenue for DXA device manufacturers, doctor visits and drug prescriptions around the world.The Manufacture of a Disease

WHO Are They Kidding?

Osteopenia is, in fact, a medical and diagnostic non-entity. The term itself describes nothing more than a statistical deviation from an arbitrarily determined numerical value or norm. According to the osteoporosis epidemiologist Dr. L. Joseph Melton at the Mayo Clinic who participated in setting the original WHO criteria in 1992, “[osteopenia] was just meant to indicate the emergence of a problem,” and he noted, “It didn’t have any particular diagnostic or therapeutic significance. It was just meant to show a huge group who looked like they might be at risk.[iii] Another expert, Dr. Michael McClung, director of the Oregon Osteoporosis Center, criticized the newly adopted disease category osteopenia by saying, ”We have medicalized a nonproblem.”[iv]

In reality, the WHO definitions violate both commonsense and fundamental facts of biological science — sadly, an increasingly prevalent phenomenon within drug-company-funded science. After all, anyone over 30 years of age should have lower bone density than a 30-year-old, as this is consistent with the normal and natural healthy aging process. And yet, according to the WHO definition of osteopenia, the eons-old programming of your body to gradually shed bone density as you age, is to be considered a faulty design and/or pathology in need of medical intervention.

How the WHO, or any other organization that purports to be a science-based “medical authority,” can make an ostensibly educated public believe that the natural thinning of bones is not normal, or more absurdly, a disease, is astounding. In defense of the public, the cryptic manner in which these definitions and diagnoses have been cloaked in obscure mathematical and clinical language makes it rather difficult for the layperson to discern just how outright insane the logic they are employing really is.

So, let’s look closer at the definitions now, which are brilliantly elucidated by Washington.edu’s published online course on Bone Densitometry, which can be viewed in its entirety here.

The Manufacture of a Disease Through Categorical Sleight-of-Hand

bone mineral density loss

The image above shows the natural decrease in hip bone density occurring with age, with variations in race and gender depicted. Observe that loss of bone mineral density with age is a normal process.

Bell Curve Bones

Next is the classical bell-shaped curve, from which T- and Z-scores are based. T-sores are based on the young adult standard (30-year-old) bone density as being normal for everyone, regardless of age, whereas the much more logical Z-score compares your bone mineral density to that of your age group, as well as sex and ethnic background. Now here’s where it gets disturbingly clear how ridiculous the T-score really system is:

WHO definitions osteoporosis

Above is an image showing how within the population of women used to determine “normal” bone mineral density, e.g., 30-year-olds, 16% of them already “have” osteopenia, according to the WHO definitions, and 3% already “have” osteoporosis! According to Washington.edu’s online course, “One standard deviation is at the 16th percentile, so by definition, 16% of young women have osteopenia! As shown below, by the time women reach age 80, very few are considered normal.”

Osteopenia and Osteoporosis Rates with Age

Above you will see what happens when the WHO definitions of “normal bone density” are applied to aging populations. Whereas at age 25, 15% of the population will “have” osteopenia, by age 50 the number grows to 33%. And by age 65, 60% will be told they have either osteopenia (40%) or osteoporosis (20%).

On the other hand, if one uses the Z-score, which compares your bones to that of your age group, something remarkable happens: a huge burden of “disease” disappears! In a review on the topic published in 2009 in the Journal of Clinical Densitometry, 30% to 39% of the subjects who had been diagnosed with osteoporosis with two different DXA machine models were reclassified as either normal or “osteopenic” when the Z- score was used instead of the T-score. The table, therefore, can be turned on the magician-like sleight-of-hand used to convert healthy people into diseased ones, as long as an age-appropriate standard of measurement is applied, which presently it is not.

Bone Scans or Scams? How Dense Bones Can Harm Your Health

Bone Mineral Density Is NOT Equivalent to Bone Strength

As you can see there are a number of insurmountable problems with the WHO’s definitions, but perhaps the most fatal flaw is the fact that the DXA is only capable of revealing the mineral density of the bone, and this is not the same thing as bone quality/strength.

While there is a correlation between bone mineral density and bone quality/strength — that is to say, they overlap in places — they are not equivalent. In other words, density, while an excellent indicator of compressive strength (resisting breaking when being crushed by a static weight), is not an accurate indicator of tensile strength (resisting breaking when being pulled or stretched).

Indeed, in some cases having higher bone density indicates that the bone is actually weaker. Glass, for instance, has high density and compressive strength, but it is extremely brittle and lacks the tensile strength required to withstand easily shattering in a fall. Wood, on the other hand, which is closer in nature to human bone than glass or stone, is less dense relative to these materials, but also extremely strong relative to them, capable of bending and stretching to withstand the very same forces that the bone is faced with during a fall. Or, take spider web. It has infinitely greater strength and virtually no density. Given these facts, having “high” bone density (and thereby not having osteoporosis) may actually increase the risk of fracture in a real-life scenario like a fall.

Essentially, the WHO definitions distract from key issues surrounding bone quality and real world bone fracture risks, such as gait and vision disorders.[v] In other words, if you are able to see and move correctly in your body, you are less likely to fall, which means you are less prone to fracture. Keep in mind also that the quality of human bone depends entirely on dietary and lifestyle patterns and choices, and unlike X-ray based measurements, bone quality is not decomposable to strictly numerical values, e.g., mineral density scores.

Vitamin K2 and soy isoflavones, for instance, significantly reduce bone fracture rates without increasing bone density. Scoring high on bone density tests may save a woman from being intimidated into taking dangerous drugs or swallowing massive doses of elemetal calcium, but it may not translate into preventing “osteoporosis,” which to the layperson means the risk of breaking a bone. But high bone mineral density may result in far worse problems.

High Bone Mineral Density & Breast Cancer

High Bone Mineral Density & Breast Cancer

One of the most important facts about bone mineral density, conspicuously absent from discussion, is that having higher-than-normal bone density in middle-aged and older women actually INCREASES their risk of breast cancer by 200% to 300%, and this is according to research published in some of the world’s most well-respected and authoritative journals, e.g., Lancet, JAMA, NCI. (see citations below).

While it has been known for at least 15 years that high bone density profoundly increases the risk of breast cancer — and particularly malignant breast cancer — the issue has been given little to no attention, likely because it contradicts the propaganda expounded by mainstream women’s health advocacy organizations. Breast cancer awareness programs focus on X-ray based breast screenings as a form of “early detection,” and the National Osteoporosis Foundation’s entire platform is based on expounding the belief that increasing bone mineral density for osteoporosis prevention translates into improved quality and length of life for women.

The research, however, is not going away, and eventually these organizations will have to acknowledge it or risk losing credibility.

High Bone Density: More Harm Than Good

The present-day fixation within the global medical community on “osteoporosis prevention” as a top women’s health concern is simply not supported by the facts. The No. 1 cause of death in women today is heart disease, and the No. 2 cause of death is cancer, particularly breast cancer, and not death from complications associated with a bone fracture or break. In fact, in the grand scheme of things osteoporosis or low bone mineral density does not even make the CDC’s top 10 list of causes of female mortality. So, why is it given such a high place within the hierarchy of women’s health concerns? Is it a business decision or a medical one?

Regardless of the reason or motive, the obsessive fixation on bone mineral density is severely undermining the overall health of women. For example, the mega-dose calcium supplements being taken by millions of women to “increase bone mineral density” are known to increase the risk of heart attack by 24% to 27%, according to two 2011 meta-analyses published in Lancet, and 86% according to a more recent meta-analysis published in the journal Heart. Given the overwhelming evidence, the 1,200+ milligrams of elemental calcium the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) recommends women 50 and older take to “protect their bones” may very well be inducing coronary artery spasms, heart attacks and calcified arterial plaque in millions of women. Considering that the NOF named calcium supplement manufacturers Citrical and Oscal as corporate sponsors, it is unlikely their message will change anytime soon.

Now, when you consider the case of increased breast cancer risk linked to high bone mineral density, being diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis would actually indicate a significantly reduced risk of developing the disease. What is more concerning to women: breaking a bone (from which you can heal) or developing breast cancer? If it is the latter, a low BMD reading could be considered cause for celebration and not depression, fear and the continued ingestion of inappropriate medications or supplements, which is usually the case following a diagnosis of osteopenia or osteoporosis.

I hope this article will put to rest any doubts that the WHO’s fixation on high bone density was designed not to protect or improve the health of women, but rather to convert the natural aging process into a blockbuster disease, capable of generating billions of dollars of revenue.

Learn more on the GreenMedInfo.com database:


References

[i] WHO Scientific Group on the Prevention and Management of Osteoporosis (2000 : Geneva, Switzerland) (2003). “Prevention and management of osteoporosis : report of a WHO scientific group” (PDF). Retrieved 2007-05-31.

[ii] WHO (1994). “Assessment of fracture risk and its application to screening for postmenopausal osteoporosis. Report of a WHO Study Group”. World Health Organization technical report series 843: 1-129. PMID 7941614.

[iii] Kolata, Gina (September 28, 2003). “Bone Diagnosis Gives New Data But No Answers”New York Times.

[iv] Ibid

[v] P Dargent-Molina, F Favier, H Grandjean, C Baudoin, A M Schott, E Hausherr, P J Meunier, G Bréart Fall-related factors and risk of hip fracture: the EPIDOS prospective study. Lancet. 1996 Jul 20;348(9021):145-9. PMID: 8684153

How About Health As a COVID Exit Strategy?

https://lacrossetribune.com/opinion/columnists/opinion-how-about-health-as-a-covid-exit-strategy/article

Opinion: How about health as a COVID exit strategy?

Frank Edelblut
Frank Edelblut

Excerpts:

What is common among many of these health conditions are the significant influence lifestyle choices have in controlling them. This is particularly true for the top three causes of severe COVID-19. Of course, hereditary factors play a role in these conditions for some people, but for many people, these health conditions can be controlled with lifestyle choices.

The lesson we might take from this is health and wellness should be a key strategy in the avoidance of severe COVID-19 effects.  (See link for article)

The article points out that anxiety and fear-related disorders increased the chance of death from COVID-19 by 28%, which is the second-highest health condition accompanying death from COVID-19.

The author then astutely points out that for over 18 months the media has done nothing but emphasize and focus on risks, dangers, and tragic outcomes with little coverage on making healthy choices as a strategy.  To demonstrate this, a German paper finally came clean and apologized for its fear-mongering.

The media should be reporting on the complete censorship of doctors who are trying to truly help patients with effective, safe treatments and saving lives.  Instead, they are complicitly spreading the government’s misinformation.

For more:

There are also many, many success stories of people who have survived COVID. You never read about these cases – only fear, gloom, doom, and more fear.  The healthiest thing you can do for your mental health is turn off mainstream media.  Just turn it off. 

A NY Times reporter just got caught lying about a COVID surge in schools that didn’t actually happen.