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It's the Best Medicine!

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Thoughts create reality and focus changes physiology. Here’s an example… stop right now and think about something in your past that was incredible. The birth of a child, marrying the love of your life, the first time you saw the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon or the transparent colors of the Caribbean Sea... anything you remember as magical and transformative… how does that make you feel?

Blessed?
Blissful?
Balanced?

Emotions of joy, happiness, and elation actually begin to energize you and change your body chemistry in ways proven to boost your immune system and relieve stress on your heart! Staying in that place of peace is possible even under the most stressful circumstances! 

As an overwhelmed momma of three young daughters, I unintentionally discovered the therapeutic benefits of laughter therapy in a most delightful way! We enjoyed visiting Barnes & Noble with the girls. They loved it and we loved it. It was free entertainment and we enjoyed exploring and selecting books for each of us. On one excursion, we found a book that seemed age appropriate for the girls, and we plopped down in B&N's comfy kid’s reading area to see what it was all about. It was called "Junie B Jones & the Stupid Smelly Bus". The girls weren't allowed to use the word "stupid" so they immediately began giggling! 😊 I started the first chapter with them, and seriously laughed out loud in the middle of the store with tears rolling down my face! The girls were laughing too. They may have been laughing at me more than at Junie B. We purchased that book and I stalked Barnes and Noble for new releases since 1992 until my collection of this Barbara Park's bestselling series was complete!

Reading these books was very healing for me, and for our young family, but laughter is everywhere that you look… if you're looking! Stop at a local park and watch the children playing - laughter bubbles over in those young, innocent beings, in fact they laugh more than 400 times per day compared to adults who barely average a measly 15 times per day! Watch a funny movie or silly sitcom (mute the commercials). Encourage your animals to do crazy pet tricks! Look at photos of people laughing - like the attached photo of my gorgeous girls before Grace and Graham's wedding! :) Join a Laughter Club - yup, it’s a thing! Just train your brain to laugh easily and laugh a lot. 

Apparently the adage, "Laughter is the best medicine" has research to back up the claim. According to some studies, a healthy dose of laughter has resulted in physical benefits, such as:
* Enhanced oxygen intake resulting in better organ function, lung capacity and cardiovascular efficiency
* Elevated physical and emotional relaxation
* Release of endorphins - the body’s happy hormones
* Relief of indigestion and stomach discomfort
* Elimination of pain
* Balanced blood pressure and heart rate
* Brighter, more radiant skin
* Improved mental function, such as alertness, memory, creativity
* Strengthen social bonds and relationships

In a slumpy slump, or feeling overwhelmed?? Count backwards from 10-1, and then LAUGH out loud! We were born with the gift of laughter. It’s an innate therapy. It lifts our spirits and fills us with joy. It’s contagious and unites people. It can help us feel more alive and empowered. It may feel ridiculous at first, but the more you laugh, the easier it will be! Say a prayer of thanks for rebooting your attitude, and allow this pattern interrupt to dramatically increase your vitality, passion and positivity!

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Therapeutic Beauty!

 Echinacea Purpurea

Echinacea Purpurea

I was checking on our cherry tree today to determine if it was time for Hawk and Noble to help me harvest the ripe fruit. As I walked around, every plant that I observed had been identified, and possibly planted, by my wise and beautiful mom! I love seeing all the unique plants and flowers that come to life each year, and as I examine their petals and leaves, color and fragrance, I can hear her voice whispering information about each one. I am so blessed that she continues to share her wisdom about organic and toxin-free gardening and lawn care with us. She’s been professing the importance of chemical-free living for more than 30 years and I am thankful that she has created such a sturdy foundation of health in our family.

This happy flower with the radiating magenta petals is called Purple Coneflower, which is also known as Echinacea. Native Americans originally discovered Echinacea's medicinal uses when they found that it successfully healed wounds, infections and other physical ailments. It delivers a huge boost of immune support for your entire system stimulating the production of T-cells to fend off pathogenic invaders. I have noticed that by taking Standard Process Echinacea Premium within the first 4 hours of those little pre-sickness signals, feeling “off”, slightly scratchy throat, fatigue, or body aches, that I can usually avoid the illness altogether. It’s something that I keep on hand at all times - liquid and tablet - And you'll find it in my travel bags too! #therapeuticbeauty #thingswevehandeddown #alivingwelllife

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Pediatrics

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Pediatrics

A favorite thing of mine to do on Wednesday mornings (when we typically don’t see patients) is to dive back into the research literature and today I stumbled across a gold mine for pediatric care. The study is titled, “Kinematic Imbalances Due to Suboccipital Strain in Newborns”, that was published in the Journal of Manual Medicines.

Sometimes research literature has impossibly difficult to understand titles, but this one can be broken down fairly easily.

Kinematics is motion. So here we have an imbalance in motion.

The suboccipital area is a group of muscles that begin at the base of the skull and attach into the upper neck bones or the ‘upper cervical spine’. When one of these muscles becomes strained or damaged, it alters the movement and position of the head, among many other things...

There are some basic outward signs you can look for in your own child to determine if they may be affected by this kinematic imbalance:

·         Is your child’s head consistently tilted to one side?

·         Does your child curl towards one side like a “C” when lying on their back?

·         Is there an asymmetrical muscle pattern in their glutes, face, or in the folds of their skin on their legs?

·         Once your child is old enough to stand and walk, is one shoulder lower than the other?

Who is at risk for this?

Honestly, any child who is born could be at risk for damage to this area of the body as it is widely recognized as a point of weakness for the developing fetus and newborns, however, certain things can place them at greater risk:

·         Was your child delivered by C-section?

·         Was the use of an extraction device utilized during the delivery? This could include vacuum extraction, forceps, and even manual traction to the head and neck to aid in delivery.

·         Was there multiple fetuses, as in twins, or was the child ever in a breech position?

·         Was the labor prolonged and difficult?

What can you expect to see in terms of symptoms or secondary conditions in regard to this kinematic imbalance? (This list can vary greatly and is far from being complete).

·         Chronic Ear Infections

·         Seizure activity

·         Colic

·         Bedwetting

·         Digestive issues such as reflux

·         Pathological reflexes

·         Torticollis

·         Foot deformities

·         Headaches

·         Constipation

·         Asthma

·         ADD & ADHD

·         Developmental delays

If your child or someone you know is affected by any of these conditions or is displaying outward signs of kinematic imbalance, we strongly encourage you to have them evaluated by a chiropractor who can gently correct the underlying imbalances to promote healing and development.

-In Health,

Dr. Andrew R. Burns

 

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Measuring Risk of Disease

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Measuring Risk of Disease

Our perceptions of the world and the environment in which we live are sending us to early grave...

More on this in a minute.

There was a time when people roamed the Earth and they needed to constantly be on the lookout. If you happen to have young kids there’s a solid chance that in the past couple of years you have watched a movie called “The Croods”.

If not, it's about a family of ancient cave dwellers who have yet to discover fire. Every time they leave the cave, they are worried about being attacked by predators and in constant worry over where their next meal will come from.

They had every right to be cautious. Poisonous snakes, saber toothed tigers, and giant bears (as if regular sized bears aren’t frightening enough). The continuation of the family genes and ultimately the species relied on a certain amount of paranoia.

There was such a prevailing fear that to this day it is still hardwired into our genes.

This is to say that our default setting is to assume that danger could be right around every corner, when in reality, more often than not in modern day America, we are far removed from that danger.

Few places left on this gorgeous Earth are truly wild, yet we go out of our way to manufacture fear on a routine basis.

Despite what social media, mass media, the commercial industry (particularly the pharmaceutical industry) and our very own governmental organizations would have you believe, fear and loathing should be at an all time low, but because we already have a built in bias for fear, and because we have a hard time prying our eyes away from our smart phones and TV’s we live in a perpetual state of fear that eventually "locks" our brain and our body into fight or flight physiology. Once this occurs, we open ourselves up to all types of chronic disease, a weakened immune system, disregulation of hormones and a brain that reacts slower and less effectively.

Here’s where I can go one of two ways: 1.) I can dive heavily into the research talking about how the hippocampus and amygdala in the brain has a built in system for remembering fearful events and how this affects the prefrontal cortex, hindering our ability to think clearly, negatively affecting our hormones, and how it throws our autonomic nervous system into a state of disarray leading to cancer, cardiac disease, diabetes, stroke, anxiety, PTSD, depression and a plethora of other less than ideal chronic diseases leading to an early death while destroying our purpose in life, or 2.) I could take this information  and let you know that there are ways of reversing this damage?

I’ll go with option 2 (for those interested in option 1, here is a link to one of the best heart rate variability studies out there).

For decades, scientists have struggled to define stress. Because they couldn’t define it, they couldn’t accurately measure it. Because they couldn’t accurately measure it, they couldn’t effectively treat it. Those days are pretty much gone.

There is a device that measures heart rate variability which subsequently measures stress. Here's how it works: It takes readings from the heart via a pulse from a peripheral artery and then measures the minor variations in terms of milliseconds between each pulse. It then takes this information and determines how much or how little sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous control your heart is under.

The heart has dual innervation, partially under sympathetic control and partially under parasympathetic control.

Sympathetic control takes seconds to affect the inter-beat variance. Parasympathetic control takes only milliseconds. As a result, the Pulse Wave Profiler (the device we use to measure heart rate variability) can detect your dominant nervous innervation to the heart and also to what degree you are “locked” into a state of sympathetic or parasympathetic physiology. As with almost all things in this world, balance is the key! The farther you are away from having balance (meaning low heart rate variability), the closer you are to hearing that you have a disease there is no cure for.

So what the heck do you do if you have low variations in heart rate? Glad I asked.

  1. You have to cut off the source of your fears and threats and begin to change your perception! If that means giving up watching the news and scrolling through Facebook for hours on end, so be it. Maybe you need to quit watching those shows that put your state of internal physiology into panic, or you might need to ditch that abusive relationship or quit the job you despise going to everyday. At least this way you’ll have your health long enough to find new ones. Whatever your major stressors might be, the time is now to make them go away.
  2. You have to start moving to the point of sweating. If you haven’t done this in a long time, go slow and build up. This has to be done 3 times per week for at least 20 minutes. If you are capable, I recommend high intensity interval training (HIIT). This is getting long so if you are unsure of what I mean, this link provides not only some useful info about HIIT, but also a video demonstration that requires no equipment (Now what’s your excuse?). This type of movement will balance out the levels of serotonin, glucagon, insulin, cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine, while increasing levels of human growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor.
  3. You need to have a free and clear nervous system capable of adaptation. Find a chiropractor in your area who does heart rate variability testing. If they do more than that, great! Static electromyography, thermography, range of motion and heart rate variability are always tested in our office and are excellent tools for assessing your starting point as well as progression.
  4. Meditate. Quiet your brain at least once per day for about 15 to 20 minutes and do nothing but listen to your breath go in and out. Your mind will wander and won’t know what to do at first. That’s okay. It will eventually shut up. In the meantime, pay no attention to it and focus in on the breaths. Incorporate this with yoga or Thai Chi and you will greatly decrease the amount of time it takes to get your health back!

This is not an all inclusive list by any means but will help get you on your way. You should also understand that in order to get your health back, you will never find a microwavable version. There is no miracle cure for any type of lifestyle disease and simply covering up the symptoms does not equal a cure. If you have any questions feel free to comment and I will do my best to answer in a timely manner.

-In Health,

Dr. Andrew R. Burns

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Outliers

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Outliers

Outliers

We all know someone who's smoked their whole life and died of old age. Or perhaps it was someone who worked out routinely, ate all the right foods and died of cancer. These people are called outliers and a man named Malcolm Gladwell wrote an entire book about these people.

These people are the exception to every rule and when it comes to heart disease (the number one killer of Americans for nearly a century) there was a town in Pennsylvania that had defied all odds and earned the title of a true outlier.

Currently, 1 out of every 4 deaths in the U.S. is the result of heart disease. The losses are catastrophic. Cost alone this year will be 656 billion dollars. Factor in the premature loss of life, kids missing out on the knowledge of parents and grandparents, and worst of all, not having sufficient time to fulfill your life’s purpose.

The town is called Roseto. It’s made up almost entirely of Italians and is strikingly similar to most towns in America, but what was it that kept them from having heart disease? Doctors and scientists were baffled. It must be the water, their diet, their impeccable fitness? It was none of those. Back to the drawing board they went. Was it their occupations, their socioeconomic standing or their genetics? Nope, none of those either. The truth was, they drank copious amounts of wine, ate unhealthy foods, smoked stogies,and most were overweight.

The answer to this mystery was found in a place the doctors and scientists had failed to notice. Hiding behind all of the medical and environmental testing, right there in plain sight resided the basic structure of a family and a communal environment long forgotten in America. A time when families ate dinner together, talked over a game of cards, and routinely attended community events. Crime wasn't an issue in Roseto. Government assistance was unneeded and local businesses were exclusively patronized by the citizens of the town. In the end, it was what they didn't have that made them so unique: excessive financial, social, and mental stress. As a result, most of the people in the town suffered from far less chronic illness than those residing elsewhere in the country. 

The truth is Fairborn, OH is not Roseto, PA. We have crime, poverty, and plenty of disease, but we could all use more family and community. More togetherness and less stress. There is a lot we can learn from science, our doctors and even in this case, the outliers. True health in order to live out our life's purpose must be our goal, and it is our duty to bring our family and community along for the ride. 

In Health,

Dr. Andrew R. Burns

 

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The Lowdown on Supplements

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The Lowdown on Supplements

This is the 795th edition of the supplements blog. I cannot, for the life of me seem to make this topic interesting…no matter how hard I try and believe me I have tried for quite some time now. For some reason, phytonutrients and the direction of bending polarized light comes off to me as lame.  

So rather than attempting to be charismatic, witty, or charming I am simply going to give you the Joe Friday “just the facts, Ma’am,” version.

When I was growing up, taking my Flintstone’s vitamins became a routine part of my morning.

As a teenager playing multiple sports, creatine, protein powder, ephedrine and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory over the counter drugs took the place of Barney, Fred, Wilma, Betty and Dino.  

In addition to the crap I was putting into my body, my diet was sub par at best. Looking back on it all, it’s no wonder why I had recurrent upper respiratory infections and strep throat.

In my heart, I believed what I was doing was healthy for me (minus the suspect dietary choices), but I had no idea canned green beans and corn left much to be desired.

Now as I enter into my early 30’s, my thoughts and actions have, to put it mildly, reversed course.

Here are a few things you need to know:

  1. Cells become sick one of two ways: Toxicity or deficiency. A build-up of toxic chemicals without proper excretion is a recipe for disease. Likewise, the metabolic processes of healthy cells need the proper nutrients to perform the job they were created to do. Lack thereof means you’re well on your way to a diseased process.
  2. Food production today isn’t what it used to be. The soil isn’t as rich. Chemicals abound. GMO’s have taken over. Nutrient content is down. In some instances as much as 60% since the 1960’s creating a real need to ‘add’ or supplement your diet as well as detoxifying your cells.
  3. Your body can recognize food; it cannot recognize molecules that bend polarized light to the left, which is what 50% of synthetic (artificial) vitamins do (remember how I said I wouldn’t bore you with the whole light thing? If you want to know more, google “infrared spectroscopy”).
  4. Your body’s metabolism is beyond complex; therefore, in order to have actual health benefits, you cannot isolate a particular nutrient and expect it to have the same effect as a vitamin that has phytonutrients, cofactors and enzymes all in the proper ratio to allow your body to recognize, digest, absorb and then assimilate into the cells. So if your vitamins turn your pee into florescent yellow, all you have is expensive pee. Health benefits are minimal at best and at worst can even be harmful, which leads me into this…
  5. Numerous studies have shown synthetic vitamins to be harmful and actually deplete your body of nutrients. In particular, one research project where 29,000 male smokers were given synthetic beta carotene and vitamin E had to be halted early because of increased lung cancer, heart attacks and death. Another study involving pregnant women, 22,000 of them to be exact, were given synthetic vitamin A. After a 400% increase in birth defects the study was shut down. You might not want to skimp on the prenatal vitamins by choosing the cheap version, eh?
  6. There is a need for proper supplementation and the vast majority of what you find in the major retailers is essentially garbage. Please check out this study so I won’t have to point any fingers directly. There is a reason why we only recommend certain supplements and it is because they are the best of the best. Standard Process and Innate Choice is the cream of the crop, derived from organic whole foods and meticulously and minimally processed to ensure the highest nutrient content. They have set the industry standard. This is what you will find in our office and in our homes. So the next time you go out for supplements, be it protein powder, vitamins, herbs or minerals, remember that you are what you eat. Don't be cheap and fake!

In Health,

Dr. Andrew R. Burns

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Insurance

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Insurance

Do You Take My Insurance?

 Oftentimes one of the first few questions people ask us has something to do with insurance coverage. It usually goes something like, “Do you take ____ insurance?” Or, “I have ____. Do you take that?”

 While the short answer to this question is, “No”, a brief explanation is in order. 

 The arrangement you have with the insurance company is just that, your arrangement. You select the plan that best suits you and your family’s needs. You agree to the terms laid out (Or, your employer does it for you). We have found that these agreements are usually like a casino experience. If you’ve ever been to a casino you’ll understand. No one goes into the experience intending to “donate” their hard earned money. Everyone would like to think they’ll at least “break even” or maybe come out ahead, or even hit a jackpot. Unfortunately, the odds are not designed to allow the majority of players to do any of the above. Some will, but if everyone came out ahead, there would no longer be casinos. Profitability is important in any industry and the “house” must remain profitable.

 Observations

 Have you noticed that your insurance premiums have increased annually, usually along with your deductible? Even with the mandates that require us to have coverage in the “Affordable Care Act”? The reasons are many and we won’t cover them here, but can we agree that the cost has increased, the service has decreased and the winner is the “house”? To offset losses and increase profits, the industry continues to work in favor of the industry, not those individuals paying into it. We all support it, like it or not, so complaining is not permitted here.

 Another observation is the services covered. Your coverage may be fabulous for services you don’t need. Mandating coverage for pregnancy is great, if you’re a woman of childbearing age, but not if you're the average single male. Covering a hip replacement is wonderful unless you have two perfectly good hips. So while your coverage may be suited to some of your catastrophic needs, if you have no catastrophes, you pay into the system and receive no benefits. In other words, healthy people receive little “healthcare” benefit from health insurance (House wins)! So while having catastrophic coverage is wise, it may have little to do with your actual quality of life. 

 We have elected not to enter into contracts or agreements within the industry. Doing so would drive up our costs, reduce your choices and not allow for optimal results for your health. Our commitment, however, is to you. Our goal is to see that you get as old as possible as well as possible. Our focus is on finding and addressing the cause(s) of your health concerns and teaching you to maintain your most precious gift…your health. 

 Our business philosophy is simple: Provide superior products and services at reasonable fees and serve those that value what we do. We understand not everyone will choose this model of care, and we’re okay with that. But, for those that do, the journey is extraordinary! If you have coverage that helps offset the investment in your life, we’ll provide you with the receipts necessary for reimbursement. Most coverage provides an “out of network benefit” at a slightly lesser rate. That’s us. We will always be “out of that network”.

 Assuming responsibility for your body, mind and spirit is not to be taken lightly. After years of being told, “The doctor will fix it,” and “They (someone else) will pay for it,” many people are waking up to the fact that avoiding illness is much better than fighting illness. Promoting health is easier than recovering it. Research shows that fully 80% of the diseases that shorten and end lives in our country are lifestyle driven. That’s right, 80%. From diabetes and arthritis to most forms of cancer, lifestyle choices drive disease. 

 Latin

 The Latin word for doctor means teacher. Our mission is to teach as many as will learn about the virtues of good health practices. Our teaching will always be centered on caring for the spine and nervous system because it acts as command central for the function of every cell in your body. Nutrition is vital. Movement is vital. Thoughts are vital. We share information on these things regularly. All of these things are processed by the same nervous system.

 Removing interference to that system is what we do. If this sounds like something you should be exploring, join us for one of our evening workshops on spinal care or any of our other topics. See our website or find us on FaceBook for details.

 

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Trigeminal Neuralgia

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Trigeminal Neuralgia

Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) is often regarded as one of the most painful diseases known to man. It is characterized by electric-like shocks to the face and can be unrelenting. The disease itself is not life-threatening but due to the levels of pain, sufferers of this condition will often take their own life, giving the condition the nickname ‘the suicide disease’.

Traditionally TN is treated by analgesics as powerful as morphine and are typically accompanied by anti-depressants. In some instances surgery is performed to cut the sensory portion of the trigeminal nerve and despite sectioning the pain can persist giving credence to the idea that the issue does not in fact lie in the peripheral nerves, but rather in the trigeminal ganglion located in the brain stem.

The brain stem is the portion of your spinal cord that immediately exits the skull and continues down through the first 3 cervical vertebrae. If a misalignment between any of these bones is present, cord distortion and even mechanical pressure can place undue stress on the neurons and their nuclei causing a whole host of issues including TN.

Unfortunately for many people suffering from TN, most medical doctors are unaware of the effectiveness chiropractic has had in alleviating what we believe is the ultimate cause of TN. Analgesics and surgery seek to limit the pain, while our focus is on structural restoration of the spine to as near normal as possible. A wonderful side effect of proper alignment for many people has been the resolution of TN symptomatology.

In Health,

Dr. Burns

 

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Genetically Modified Organisims

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Genetically Modified Organisims

I have been relatively quiet on the whole genetically modified organism (GMO’s) debate. My personal opinion has always been that research is lacking on both sides of the isle, so I have stayed out of the mix (though I personally choose not to consciously consume GM products, due to the research I have read which I will share with you later in this article).

It was not until the Grocery Manufactures Association (GMA) decided to sue the state of Vermont over a bill that was passed mandating the labeling of genetically modified (GM) products that caused me to finally raise an eyebrow to all of this.

Why would a company need to hide behind a false label if their product was pure and had the consumer’s best interest in mind? The answer is they wouldn’t.

The GMA has spent over 100 million dollars in previous years blocking legislation that would mandate all GM food products be labeled as such and cannot contain the words “natural” or “all-natural”, and let’s be honest, there is nothing natural about crossing genetic boundaries.

This in and of itself should have been enough cause for suspicion, but the whole money laundering scheme the GMA pulled in order to cover-up the identity of it's members so that their reputation wouldn’t be harmed as they forked over millions of dollars to stop legislation against GM labels made it abundantly clear this association is scum.

This is the equivalency of a business saying, “our products contain crap and we don’t want people to know because they would stop lining our pockets, so we’ll let the GMA do our dirty work!”

Long story short, I could not, in good conscious sit on the fence any longer.

The only thing this association and their member companies are looking out for is their bottom line. Nutrition and health is hardly of their concern. Do not let the smoke and mirrors fool you into believing otherwise.

A quick glance into the list of members of the GMA (full list found here) and then browsing a few of the company websites that are located here in Ohio painted a clear picture of what we are dealing with.

For the sake of time and my sanity, I am only going to cover one company and a few of their products. I chose Abbot Nutrition because it resides in my home state, and because their products target mostly infants and toddlers.

The tag line for the company’s products is “For Healthcare Professionals”.

Here is a list of their brands:

  • Similac® Advance®, Similac Expert Care® Alimentum®, and Similac® Soy Isomil® in infant formulas
  • PediaSure® and Pedialyte® for children
  • Ensure® and ZonePerfect® for active adults
  • EAS® for elite athletes and fitness enthusiasts
  • Glucerna® for people with diabetes

I won’t pick apart each and every one of their products, though it wouldn’t be difficult to do.

Instead, I’ll start with the best of bunch. The Zone Perfect bars contain far and away the least amount of ingredients. The downside however, is the amount of sugar content (between 15 and 18 grams per bar) and the soy used is genetically modified.

As of right now, Similac Advance Organic infant formula is being sued under a class action lawsuit where of the 49 ingredients making up the formula, 26 of them aren’t even allowed in organic foods!

Pedialyte contains artificial sweeteners, acesulfame K (which is banned from all children’s products in Europe) as well as artificial food coloring that has been linked to hyperactivity disorders in children.

Ensure, which is often recommended to people recovering from cancer is nothing more than sugar water, chalked full of synthetic sweeteners and hallow calories known to deplete nutrients from the body.

And why not save the best for last with Glucerna? This one is a real gem. This drink is touted as a way to manage blood sugar spikes for people with type 2 diabetes (formerly known as adult onset diabetes because it used to be unheard of in kids). One of the ingredients, carrageenan, is also banned in Europe because it causes intestinal irritation. Glucerna also contains acesulfame K as well as artificial colors proven to cause cancer in rats, and…(drum roll please) FRUCTOSE known to cause wait gain and insulin resistance, not to mention tons of carbs, which type 2 diabetics tend to frown upon..

In addition to laundry list of crappy ingredients, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE PRODUCTS LISTED ABOVE CONTAINS GMO’S! In fact, after water, it is the second most abundant ingredient on almost every list!

Bravo, Abbott Nutrition. No wonder you have such a vested interest in keeping these products mislabeled.

Now I know that I mentioned earlier that I would touch on some of the research that is less than favorable for GMO’s, so before I forget, here it is (keep in mind, this list is hardly all-inclusive).

To begin with, GMO’s have only been found safe in superficial “studies” conducted by the same people who create the GMO’s (where I come from, this is considered a conflict of interest).

FDA scientists repeatedly call for long term, deeper studies, which are wholly ignored by the top officials of the FDA, who just so happen to be former executives of the very companies they are now in charge of “regulating”.

Soy allergies increased 50% in humans once GMO soy was introduced. Also found was a reduction in certain digestive enzymes.

Bt 176 corn (produced by Syngenta) has killed native animals and cattle that fed on the GMO crops in the Philippines and India, in addition to causing increased allergic reactions in humans along with weaker immune function.

Rats that were fed GMO potatoes had partially atrophied (smaller & weaker) livers along with excessive cell growth in the stomach lining.

Rats who consumed GMO canola had enlarged livers.

Reports show that despite having GE crops, the use of pesticides and herbicides have actually been on the rise and the toll that these crops seem to be taking on the microorganisms, the soil,  and on other wildlife does not look favorable.

I do not claim to know everything there is to know about genetic modification (be it in plants or animals) but I do know there is NOT enough evidence at this point in time for me to say it is safe, and I especially wouldn’t chance it with my family or my own health.

10 years from now, after more independent research has been collected, and not by those who produce the product, I may change my mind, but until then, label the GMO’s.

A good way to combat GMO's is to vote with your wallet. Take a look at the list of those in the GMA and boycott all of their products. Contact your state and federal elected officials and let them know how you feel about GMO's.

Again, organic products are not supposed to be allowed to contain GMO's, though from the story above, that did not stop Abbott Nutrition from producing an "organic" infant formula. I still feel the best way to prevent their consumption is to buy local from farmers you have personally met and spoken with about their products or to simply grow your own.

In health

-Dr. Andrew R. Burns

 

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Osteoporosis

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Osteoporosis

During my time in chiropractic college, I witnessed some interesting events regarding research.

Sometimes, research goes the way you planned, and other times…not so much.

This is the purpose of research, to find out what works and what doesn’t. This is typically referred to as ‘evidence based research.’

During one research project in particular, there were 4 groups of people with osteoporosis (weak and brittle bones). The first group received a well known medication to help harden bones, known as a bisphosphonate. The second group received a chiropractic adjustment. The third group received a chiropractic adjustment and juiced leafy greens once per day. The fourth group received no treatment whatsoever.

Involved in this process were chiropractors and a medical doctor (in Georgia, where I went to school, there are no prescriptive rights for chiropractors, thankfully, so an M.D. was a necessity).

When the results came back from the DEXA scans (a scan to determine bone density) the medical doctor quit and refused to be a part of the study.

This is the equivalency of a kid losing in a game of backyard football, throwing a temper tantrum, then saying, “This is my ball. I’m leaving and taking it with me so you can’t play anymore!”

The group receiving chiropractic adjustments alone outperformed the medicine. The group receiving chiropractic adjustments and juicing grew more quality bone in 1 month than the medicine could provide in 4 years. The group that did nothing was only marginally worse off than the one receiving the medication.

Ouch!

To my knowledge, this study was never published, and likely never will be. When one of the main players decides the results only serve to undermine their career, it’s an easy decision to not bite the hand that feeds you and walk away (with or without their binky). Anyhow, that is all water under the bridge.

If you’re osteoporotic or osteopenic here is a brief list of items to incorporate (or remove) into your daily diets that will help build the proper bone density so that you can enjoy an active lifestyle well beyond your retirement.

  1. Get plenty of natural sunlight. Use some common sense with this one. Don’t go out and get fried in an attempt to make up for 50 years of living under artificial light. If you’re fair skinned and panic every time you get in the sun, read up on the use of coconut oil for sunscreen. No harmful chemicals and this will still allow your body to absorb vitamin D.
  2. Take cod liver oil. It is a great source of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.
  3. Take a whole food source of vitamin D. Standard Process (Cataplex D) and Innate Choice liquid vitamin D are both good options. Take 1,000 international units (IU’s) per 25 pounds of body weight. So if you weigh 150 pounds, take 6,000 IU’s per day.
  4. Supplement 50 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin K2 for every 1,000 IU of vitamin D you are taking. Again, if you’re taking 6,000 IU’s of vitamin D, take 300 mcg of vitamin K2. Again, whole food supplementation is best. Standard Process has a chlorophyll capsule that has 120mcg per capsule (going a little over with the K2 won’t hurt). Most people understand vitamin K as a crucial compound for blood clotting, however that is K1. K2 activates an important protein that moves calcium to where it should be in the body, particularly the teeth and bones.
  5. Juice or drink a smoothie daily that contains leafy greens. Kale, spinach, bok choy, etc. Add into this either organic kefir, or probiotic yogurt. The leafy greens will provide a good source of calcium and magnesium.  
  6. Eat organic, raw dairy cheese from grass fed cows! This must be raw (unpasteurized) and grass fed. Ideally it will also be organic to limit the low level antibiotics and hormones.
  7. Stop drinking store bought cows milk! I won’t dive into this, as it would take a whole new post to explain the reasons why this is not good for you, your teeth or your bones (I will eventually get around to writing on this topic). If you choose to continue drinking cows milk, do yourself and your family a HUGE favor and enter into a herd share agreement. This is where you pay a monthly amount to own a portion of a dairy cow that you will never have to lift a finger to take care of or milk (unless you’re into that sort of thing) and then receive a portion of the cows milk to be picked up or delivered to you depending on the agreement. Make sure the milk comes from grass fed only cows and the milk does not go through a pasteurization process. If you’re in the Dayton/Springfield area, here is a link to a trusted farmer I personally know who does this the right way.

Spend a little extra time and money investing in your health! In the long run, it is still much cheaper than the bills you’ll wrack up from a broken hip.

In Health,

Dr. Andrew R. Burns

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Forgo the Flu & the shot

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Forgo the Flu & the shot

The cold and flu season is upon us, and rather than reinventing the wheel, I am going to use an article written by Dr. Mercola on the best ways to prevent the flu and many other ailments that may come down the pike this fall and winter.

Why the Flu Vaccine is Your Least Effective Option…

Last fall, the Cochrane group released two new scientific reviews on flu vaccines. Their review of all trials comparing vaccinated versus unvaccinated adults found that, at best, vaccines might be effective against only influenza A and B.

This represents only about 10 percent of all circulating viruses. Under ideal conditions, where the vaccine completely matches the circulating viral configuration, 33 healthy adults need to be vaccinated to avoid one set of influenza symptoms.

In average conditions (partially matching vaccine) 100 people need to be vaccinated to avoid one set of influenza symptoms.

They also found that vaccine use did not affect the number of people hospitalized or working days lost, but did cause one case of Guillian-Barré syndrome (a major neurological condition leading to paralysis) for every one million vaccinations. So please, carefully weigh the risks versus benefits before you opt for vaccination. Also do your research on risk free alternatives, such as those discussed here.

Garlic – As Good or Better Than Tamiflu?

A recent article by PreventDisease.com highlighted the use of garlic, which has natural antiviral, antibiotic, and antifungal activity. “Forget the flu shot. A soup based on more than 50 cloves of garlic, onions, thyme and lemon will destroy almost any virus that enters its path including colds, flu and even norovirus,” John Summerly writes.
Garlic has long been hailed for its healing powers, especially against infectious diseases like cold and flu. This is likely due to its immune boosting effects. According to the featured article:
“…Compounds in this familiar bulb kill many organisms, including bacteria and viruses that cause earaches, flu and colds. Research indicates that garlic is also effective against digestive ailments and diarrhea… A recent and significant finding from Washington State University shows that garlic is 100 times more effective than two popular antibiotics at fighting disease causing bacteria commonly responsible for foodborne illness.”
The respected research organization The Cochrane Database, which has repeatedly demonstrated that the science in support of the flu vaccine is flimsy at best, has also reviewed studies on the alternatives, such as the use of garlic. Unfortunately, such research is harder to come by, as there’s no financial incentive driving it.

Still, in the singular study identified by the Cochrane group, those who took garlic daily for three months had fewer colds than those who took a placebo, and, when they did come down with a cold, the duration of illness was shorter – an average of 4.5 days compared to 5.5 days for the placebo group. While this may not seem overly impressive, it’s still better than the results achieved by the much-advertised flu drug Tamiflu. If taken within 48 hours of onset of illness, Tamiflu might reduce the duration of flu symptoms by about a day to a day and a half. That’s the extent of what this $100-plus treatment will get you. It’s virtually identical to just taking garlic on a regular basis…
However, some patients with influenza are at increased risk for secondary bacterial infections when on Tamiflu, which of course would defeat the plan of being able to jump out of bed a day sooner. Furthermore, adverse events reported include pediatric deaths, serious skin reactions, and neuropsychiatric events, including suicide committed while delirious – side effects you won’t experience if you’re taking garlic.
Furthermore, there are plenty of reasons to doubt the veracity of Tamiflu’s claims. In 2009, conflicts of interest within WHO were unearthed, showing links between Roche, the manufacturer of Tamiflu, and those responsible for creating pandemic flu planning guidelines. Tamiflu is currently on the organization’s list of “essential medicines.” But the Cochrane team could find “no evidence” to suggest that Tamiflu actually reduces complications in cases of influenza. In fact, eight out of 10 clinical trials on Tamiflu are still “missing in action,” as Roche has doggedly refused to release them.
Kind of makes you wonder why, doesn’t it?

If you don’t enjoy garlic, you could opt for a high-quality supplement.

Understanding What Causes Colds and Influenzas Can Help You Prevent Them

Both colds and various influenzas are caused by a wide variety of viruses (not bacteria). While the two ailments typically affect your respiratory tract, there are some differences between them. Common symptoms of a ‘regular cold’ include runny nose, congestion, cough, and sore throat. The symptoms of the flu tend to be far more severe, as the influenza viruses are capable of causing severe lung infection, pneumonia and even respiratory failure. They also tend to affect your joints – hence that allover achy feeling.

The most common way these viruses are spread is via hand-to-hand contact. For instance, someone with a cold blows their nose then shakes your hand or touches surfaces that you also touch. However, the key to remember is that just being exposed to a cold virus does not mean that you’re destined to catch a cold. If your immune system is operating at its peak, it should actually be quite easy for you to fend off the virus without ever getting sick. If your immune system is impaired, on the other hand, they can easily take hold in your body.
So, it’s important to understand that the reason you catch a cold or flu is because your immune system is impaired. It’s not an inevitable event based on exposure alone. Lifestyle factors that can depress your immune system, alone or in combination, include:
• Eating too much sugar and grains. The average person consumes about 75 grams of fructose per day (primarily in the form of high fructose corn syrup found in virtually all processed foods), and when fructose is consumed at that level it can devastate your immune system.
One of the ways it does this is by unbalancing your gut flora. Sugar is ‘fertilizer’ for pathogenic bacteria, yeast, and fungi that can set your immune system up for an assault by a respiratory virus. Most people don’t realize that 80 percent of your immune system actually lies in your gastrointestinal tract. That’s why controlling your sugar intake is CRUCIAL for optimizing your immune system.
It would be wise to reduce your total sugar intake, and limit your fructose consumption to below 25 grams a day if you’re in good health, or below 15 grams a day if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or are insulin resistant or are seeking to recover from an acute illness like the flu.

• Vitamin D deficiency. In the largest and most nationally representative study of its kind to date, involving about 19,000 Americans, people with the lowest vitamin D levels reported having significantly more recent colds or cases of the flu — and the risk was even greater for those with chronic respiratory disorders like asthma. At least five additional studies also show an inverse association between lower respiratory tract infections and vitamin D levels.

• Insufficient sleep. If you aren’t getting enough restorative sleep, you’ll be at increased risk for a hostile viral takeover. Your immune system is also the most effective when you’re not sleep-deprived, so the more rested you are the quicker you’ll recover.

• Insufficient exercise. Regular exercise is a crucial strategy for increasing your resistance to illness. There is evidence that regular, moderate exercise can reduce your risk for respiratory illness by boosting your immune system. In fact, one study found that people who exercised regularly (five or more days a week) cut their risk of having a cold by close to 50 percent. And, in the event they did catch a cold, their symptoms were much less severe than among those who did not exercise.

Exercise likely cuts your risk of colds so significantly because it triggers a rise in immune system cells that can attack any potential invaders. Each time you exercise you can benefit from this boost to your immune system. Ideally, establish a regular fitness program to help you ward off colds and other illness. Exercise can also help boost your immune system acutely, by increasing your body temperature. This helps kill off invading pathogens, similarly to the fever your body produces when sick.

• Using ineffective strategies to address emotional stressors. Emotional stressors can also predispose you to an infection while making cold symptoms worse. Finding ways to manage daily stress as well as your reactions to circumstances beyond your control will contribute to a strong and resilient immune system. Effective strategies include a variety of energy psychology tools, such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).

“Let Food Be Thy Medicine”

As mentioned earlier, the first thing you want to do when you feel yourself coming down with a cold or flu is to avoid ALL sugars and processed foods. (I also recommend avoiding all artificial sweeteners, as they can have a detrimental effect on immune function as well.) Sugar is particularly damaging to your immune system — which needs to be ramped up, not suppressed, in order to combat an emerging infection. This includes fructose from fruit juice, and all types of grains (as they rapidly break down to sugar in your body).

Make sure to drink plenty of pure water. Water is essential for the optimal function of every system in your body and will help with nose stuffiness and loosening secretions. You should drink enough water so that your urine is a light, pale yellow. Ideally, you’ll want to address nutrition, sleep, exercise and stress issues the moment you first feel yourself coming down with something. This is when immune-enhancing strategies will be most effective. Foods that will help strengthen your immune response include:

Raw, grass-fed organic milk, and/or high-quality whey protein

Fermented foods such as raw kefir, kimchee, miso, pickles, sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables

Raw, organic eggs from pastured chickens

Grass-fed beef in small quantities of a few ounces

Coconuts and coconut oil

Organic vegetables

Garlic. Ideally consumed raw and crushed just before eating Turmeric, oregano, cinnamon, cloves Mushrooms, especially Reishi, Shiitake, and Maitake

Does Chicken Soup Really Work?

Short answer, yes, chicken soup can be helpful against cold and flu symptoms. Chicken contains a natural amino acid called cysteine, which can thin the mucus in your lungs and make it less sticky so you can expel it more easily. Processed, canned soups won’t work as well as the homemade version, however. For best results, make up a fresh batch yourself (or ask a friend or family member to do so) and make the soup hot and spicy with plenty of pepper. The spices will trigger a sudden release of watery fluids in your mouth, throat, and lungs, which will help thin down the respiratory mucus so it’s easier to cough up and expel. Making it from scratch is easy. Below, I demonstrate a simple recipe for making your own chicken soup and stock
• Put the chicken bones in a large stock pan (use bones from organically-raised chicken)
• Cover the bones with water
• Bring to a boil and lower the heat
• Simmer for about an hour or longer

Vitamin D – An Excellent Cold and Flu Prevention Strategy

Vitamin D is an amazingly effective antimicrobial agent, producing 200 to 300 different antimicrobial peptides in your body that kill bacteria, viruses and fungi. So optimizing your levels will not only help send a cold or flu virus packing, it can prevent them from invading your body in the first place. Contrary to flu vaccines, this recommendation has been steadily gaining scientific validation. In fact, there’s compelling evidence suggesting cold and flu may actually be symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.

Dr. John Cannell, founder of the Vitamin D Council, was one of the first to introduce the idea that vitamin D deficiency may actually be an underlying cause of influenza, which would help explain its apparent benefits as a flu-fighter. His hypothesis was published in the journal Epidemiology and Infection in 2006, which was followed up with another study published in the Virology Journal in 2008. His hypothesis received further support and confirmation when, in the following year, the largest and most nationally representative study of its kind to date discovered that people with the lowest blood vitamin D levels reported having significantly more recent colds or cases of the flu.

In another study, published in 2010, researchers investigated the effect of vitamin D on the incidence of seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. Over the course of a year, influenza A occurred in just 10.8 percent of the children in the vitamin D group, compared with 18.6 percent of the children in the placebo group. According to the authors:
“This study suggests that vitamin D3 supplementation during the winter may reduce the incidence of influenza A, especially in specific subgroups of schoolchildren.”

Research on vitamin D is moving swiftly, so you’d be well advised to stay on top of the latest developments as recommendations are refined and updated. I will cover the latest developments here, so you may want to share this article with your peers. First, it’s important to remember that sun exposure is the best way to optimize your vitamin D levels as your body has built-in “fail-safe” mechanisms that prevent detrimental side effects from occurring.

The radiation from the sun that reaches the earth’s surface (and hence your body) is partially filtered out by the atmosphere. I had previously stated that UVB rays will only penetrate the atmosphere when the sun is above an angle of about 50° from the horizon, and that when the sun is lower than 50°, the ozone layer will absorb vitamin D-producing UVB-rays while allowing the longer, and more harmful, UVA-rays to get through, which would defeat the purpose of spending time in the sun.
This recommendation is likely too strict. According to experts in the field, you can likely get sufficient amounts of UVB radiation when the sun is as low as 30 degrees above the horizon, or whenever the temperature is warm enough to expose large amounts of skin.
I thank John Hochman, MSME, for bringing this to my attention. According to Dr. Ola Engelsen with the Norwegian Institute for Air Research, the creator of a calculator that takes a number of factors into consideration give you an estimate of how many minutes of exposure you need to produce the equivalent of 1,000 IU’s of vitamin D, the sun must be more than 15 degrees above the horizon during cloudless conditions.
If You Take Vitamin D Supplements, Remember to Take Vitamin K2
Second, based on the latest investigations by Carole Baggerly, director of GrassrootsHealth, the average adult dose required to reach healthy vitamin D levels is around 8,000 IU’s of vitamin D per day if you’re taking an oral supplement. For children, many experts agree they need about 35 IU’s of vitamin D per pound of body weight. Here, it’s important to remember that if you’re taking high dose vitamin D supplements, you ALSO need to take vitamin K2.
The biological role of vitamin K2 is to help move calcium into the proper areas in your body, such as your bones and teeth. It also helps remove calcium from areas where it shouldn’t be, such as in your arteries and soft tissues. Vitamin K2 deficiency is actually what produces the symptoms of vitamin D toxicity, which includes inappropriate calcification that can lead to hardening of your arteries. The reason for this is because when you take vitamin D, your body creates more vitamin K2-dependent proteins that move calcium around in your body. Without vitamin K2, those proteins remain inactivated, so the benefits of those proteins remain unrealized.
So remember, if you take supplemental vitamin D, you’re creating an increased demand for K2. Together, these two nutrients help strengthen your bones and improve your heart health.
While the ideal or optimal ratios between vitamin D and vitamin K2 have yet to be elucidated, Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue, author of Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life, suggests that for every 1,000 IU’s of vitamin D you take, you may benefit from about 100 micrograms of K2, and perhaps as much as 150-200 micrograms (mcg). So, if you take 8,000 IU’s of vitamin D3 per day, that means you’d need in the neighborhood of 800 to 1,000 micrograms (0.8 to 1 milligram/mg) of vitamin K2.
Lastly, remember that your vitamin D requirements are highly individual, as your vitamin D status is dependent on numerous factors, so while 8,000 IU’s of vitamin D3 per day may put you closer to the ballpark of what most people likely need, it is impossible to make a blanket recommendation that will cover everyone’s needs.

Other Supplements that Send Pathogens Packin’
There are a number of supplements that can be beneficial for colds and influenza, but I believe they should be used only as an adjunct to other healthy dietary and lifestyle measures discussed in this article. Some of the more helpful options for cold and flu – above and beyond vitamin D, garlic, and zinc – include: 

Vitamin C: A very potent antioxidant; use a natural form such as acerola, which contains associated micronutrients. A tea made from a combination of elderflower, yarrow, boneset, linden, peppermint and ginger: Drink it hot and often for combating a cold or flu. It causes you to sweat, which is helpful for eradicating a virus from your system

Oregano Oil: The higher the carvacrol concentration, the more effective it is. Carvacrol is the most active antimicrobial agent in oregano oil Medicinal mushrooms, such as shiitake, reishi, and turkey tail

Propolis: A bee resin and one of the most broad-spectrum antimicrobial compounds in the world; propolis is also the richest source of caffeic acid and apigenin, two very important compounds that aid in immune response

Olive leaf extract: Ancient Egyptians and Mediterranean cultures used it for a variety of health-promoting uses and it is widely known as a natural, non-toxic immune system builder.

So please, carefully review the evidence against flu vaccines, and consider using all-natural immune boosting lifestyle strategies as your first line of defense against colds and flu. As you can see, there are many alternatives available, from optimizing your vitamin D levels and taking zinc at the first sign of infection, to incorporating immune boosting foods like garlic into your daily diet.

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Probiotics

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Probiotics

Probiotics

Did you know that the vast majority (roughly 80%) of your immune system comes from your guts?

It’s true! And your immune system not only protects you from foreign invaders like viruses and bacteria but also works around the clock to fight off cells that could become cancerous. In fact, there is an up and coming profession focusing solely on cancer immunosurveillance!

Because of this, it is impossible to address the health of an individual without discussion on how well the guts are functioning, yet in today’s quick fix world, where we believe the cover-up of symptoms and the management of risk factors is an acceptable form of health care, few providers take the time to ask patients about digestion and bowel movements.

By the way, if your bowels move once a week, that is an excellent indicator your immune system is not up to snuff.

Gastrointestinal Tract (GI Tract)

Your GI tract starts at your mouth, goes through your esophagus, into the stomach, down to the small intestines, into the large intestines, down to the rectum and out through the anus. Thusly, it is vitally important that the right kind of foods are being passed through here!

The Gut Flora

Your body is a haven for bacteria and you need these little fellas to thrive! Bacteria actually outnumber the amount of cells in your body, and most of them live in your guts. This collectively is known as your gut flora.

These guys have a vital role to play in keeping you healthy. They not only help you break down the food you eat, but they act as the Marine Corp of the immune system. First to fight so to speak when we ingest something we probably shouldn’t have.

Keeping these guys alive and well is a tall task with our modernized diets.

Low level antibiotics

Anti- means against. Bio- means life. Against life…

When we consume dairy products from cows that were treated with antibiotics, we hurt our gut flora. The same is true for any meat that is consumed from animals that were given antibiotics. We can even find antibiotics in our fruits and vegetables due to the manure used to fertilize the growing plants. It is also found in trace amounts in the water we drink. You must make a conscious effort to avoid this! Your purchases have power. The more people demanding raw dairy, grass fed beef, and animal products produced without antibiotics, the more companies will have to change their practices.

Probiotics

Pro- means for. Bio- life. For life…

When we take probiotics we are reinforcing the troops needed to defend our body from invaders. We are pumping up the surveillance needed to patrol cancerous cells. We are boosting our own ability to digest food and create the necessary compounds for production and use of energy!

So there are a few actionable steps you can take to help restore order in your guts and improve energy levels and the overall functioning of your immune system:

  1. Limit the amount of low level antibiotics you consume. As a side note, low levels and/or antibiotics that are not taken properly (ie. not finishing the prescription) is setting yourself up for the creation of super bugs. Hospitals are breeding grounds for these types of infections. MRSA is a big one you may have heard of. What happens is the pathological bacteria build up a resistance to the medication and it takes larger, stronger doses to them kill them. These bacteria are fast adapters!
  2. Consume more foods that contain beneficial bacteria. Good sources of probiotics that you can get in your diet without supplementation are things like sauerkraut, kefir (great in smoothies), raw (or unpasteurized) dairy, probiotic yogurt, and kombucha.
  3. Supplementation of probiotics. There are a ton of companies producing probiotics these days and not all are created equal. LabDoor.com tested 30 of the best sellers and the results can be found here. We personally carry the Standard Process Prosynbiotics, which is a mixture of 4 strains of bacteria and two prebiotics. Prebiotics are an indigestible fiber used to help harbor the proper environment for the growth of beneficial bacteria, creating a symbiotic relationship.

Your immune system needs proper support. What you consume on a daily basis either helps or hurts 80% of your ability to fend off pathogens and cancerous cells. Please choose your diet and supplements wisely!

In Health

Dr. Andrew R. Burns

 

 

 

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