Frequently Asked Questions

Why do laboratory testing?

Lab testing can help identify suboptimal nutrient status that can adversely affect function as well underlie many complex, chronic diseases.

What is the difference between functional lab testing and standard lab testing?

Most people are familiar with lab testing that is done with a routine yearly exam.  Functional lab testing examines inflammatory processes, hormone and neurotransmitter regulation, digestion, absorption, barrier integrity, detoxification, oxidative/reductive homoeodynamics, immune function, and structural integrity.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics means “pro-life”.  The digestive tract is home to over 400 species of microorganisms.  Some are ‘good bugs’ and some are ‘bad bugs’ or unhealthy bacteria.  Probiotics are the ‘good bugs’.  Two of the most common strains are lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. It is believed that if a positive balance of good bacteria is maintained, the bad bacteria are less able to cause disease and irritation.

What may be a cause of intestinal symptoms such as bloating, flatulence, or abdominal pain?

Often, the cause, or at least a significant contributing factor to this, is simply mal-digestion and absorption of food, which can in many cases be resolved by supplementing effective digestive enzymes.

How does inflammation affect the body?

Inflammation occurs when a part of the body reacts to trauma or infection.  It can be caused by arthritis, bacterial infection, or strain.  Any organ or tissue of the body, internal or external, can become inflamed.  Experts say that inflammation is at the root of a lot of diseases.  But by reducing inflammation in your body, you can lower your risk of a lot of diseases all in one shot. Diet is very important!

What are some of the health benefits of consuming functional foods?

Top 10 reasons people choose functional foods:

Reduce risk of cardiovascular diseases        Reduce risk of other diseases

Reduce risk of cancer                                Reduce osteoporosis

Weight management                                 Improve mental health

Improve health in general                          Improve reaction time

Improve memory                                      Improve fetal health

How can I tell if something is “really” organic?

The rules for labeling define 4 categories of organic products depending on the amount of organic materials in the finished product:

100% Organic. The most restrictive. All ingredients, with the exception of water, must be certified organic. The USDA organic seal may also be displayed.

Organic. They contain 95% to 100% organic ingredients. The balance of the ingredients must be either from the national list of approved ingredients or from ingredients for which there is not an organic alternative. The USDA organic seal and/or the certifier’s logo may be displayed.

Made with Organic Ingredients. They must be made with at least 70% organic ingredients, three of which must be listed on the package. The remaining 30% of non-organic ingredients must be approved on the National List. These products may display the certifier’s logo but NOT the USDA organic logo.

Less than 70% Organic. Foods that include up to 70% organic ingredients, but can NOT use the term “organic” anywhere on the principal display panel.

What is needed for cell to cell communication?

There are several biologically active sugars that serve a critical role in health by ensuring proper cell-to-cell communication. As cells touch one another, they communicate through this “sugar-code”, everything cells need: nutrition, repair, defense, and hormone response. They are VITAL if you expect to have optimal health and we are only getting 2 of the 8 necessary saccharides in our modern diet.

What is a correcting response?

The body’s ideal response to optimal nutrition is the gradual development of an increased sense of well-being. However, in a significant number of people, a number of uncomfortable adjustments may occur as the body begins to physiologically balance its chemistry.  It is not easy for your body to adjust over night after a long history of inappropriate diet and medication intake. When the body begins to revitalize its immune system through the support of increased cellular communication corrective responses occur. If you recognize these symptoms as a correcting response, it will be easier to accept them as steps on the road to better health. They are only temporary and are but a small price to pay for long-lasting health.

Are there risks to detoxing?

Cleansing or detoxing is very popular these days.  Detoxing is not well researched but has shown real benefits when supervised.  Any type of diet change, taken to the extreme, can cause problems. The effects of the body trying to detox may result in varied symptoms (diarrhea, loss of concentration, lack of energy, vomiting, etc.).  So, typically the “run-in phase” should be as long as the “coming-off” phase.  Meaning, that the same number of days you use for the fast, you should have a run-in phase that’s as long as a coming-off phase.  So if you were going to fast for three days, you would want to take 3 days to get to the fast-maybe stop eating processed foods, then eat only fruits and vegetables, then eat only liquids, and then go to water. There are certain people for whom detoxing can be dangerous.  People with diabetes, low blood sugar and eating disorders and growing children, teens, pregnant women, and older adults are included in this group. The bottom line is that you should talk to a Registered Dietitian and be supervised if you choose to detox.

Can any nutrient change help repel mosquitoes?

Taking 100 mg of thiamine @ 2.00pm would get it into the blood stream by evening and repel mosquitoes. Raw garlic is another option which seems to help but may not be very “socially acceptable”.  Also do not eat bananas because that would make the mosquitoes want to bite more.

What are some treatments for nail fungus?

There are several things that may cause this problem.  Long term antibiotic therapy or Candidiasis (yeast infections) may contribute to this problem.  If this is in your history then the first thing is to begin taking a good, potent, probiotic product (at least 10 parts per billion of active bacteria).  Other treatments may include Tea tree oil and surprisingly, Vick’s Vapor Rub.  These need to be applied daily for 1-3 months.

What is acid-alkaline stress or imbalance in the body?

This is a condition in which the pH of body fluids are abnormally out of balance, leaning generally to the acidic side.  In health, the body makes every effort to remain alkaline, but this is made difficult by the volume of acid produced by normal metabolism.  Rarely does the body experience “alkaline stress”.  Acid stress occurs far more often .. when alkalinity is lost due to the acid challenge.  Acid stress sets the stage for infection and underlies 80% of all diseases.

Is there a relationship between nutrition and blood type?

Over the years, I have found there to be a consistency in the following: O blood type does not typically do well with wheat and dairy and often have cholesterol issues from sugar/starch. They can eat lean meat and usually do better with it in fact. A blood type seems to be the only one that can pull off vegetarian, long term without any ramifications – still have to get enough protein though. They do not do well with red meat. B’s can’t do wheat well and have to watch glycemic index (like corn) as well. That’s about it…can’t seem to narrow it down any further in a general sense anyway. And, as always, one has to take into consideration environmental toxins and other current life events that have shaped someone’s health, including allergens/gluten intolerance that can shake up the apple cart no matter who you are. But the best way to determine food sensitivities is to do LEAP testing.  Refer to the LEAP section of my website for further explanations on this.

Does garlic boost the immune system?

At a Nutrition and Cancer Research Practicum one of the doctors lectured on the topic of garlic.  Garlic contains 30 different compounds that have anticancer properties.  Studies show that modest amounts have benefits.  According to research, the way we handle and cook the garlic determines its benefits. There is no indication that raw garlic has more benefits that cooked garlic, but the handling of the garlic is the important factor in determining its benefits.

Which test is recommended to check for a Vitamin D deficiency?

Measuring circulating D3 is not an appropriate test of vitamin D status.  25-hydroxy-vitamin D or 25(OH)D is what should be measured for vitamin D status assessment.

What is the recommended Vitamin D supplement for a deficiency?

There are basically two types – one is natural and one is synthetic.     The natural one is D3 (cholecalciferol), which is the same vitamin D your body makes when exposed to sunshine.   The synthetic one is vitamin D2, which is sometimes called ergocalciferol.  Once either form of the vitamin is in your body, it must be converted to a more active form. Vitamin D3 is converted 500 percent faster than vitamin D2, and is clearly a better alternative.  Vitamin D2 also has a shorter shelf life, and its metabolites bind with protein poorly, making it less effective. Studies have even concluded that vitamin D2 should no longer be regarded as a nutrient appropriate for supplementation or fortification of foods (although it continues to be used). So if you choose to use vitamin D supplements make sure it is in the form of vitamin D3.

What is trehalose? Trehalose is a naturally occurring biologically active sugar about 45% as sweet as sucrose and has a clean profile which means it has no aftertaste.  It has known protein and cell membrane stabilizing capabilities and may preserve and protect multiple normal biological systems by protecting the cell proteins and interfering with the production of protein cluster aggregates. Trehalose may maintain and help the body’s natural cellular processes of protein turnover and reduce neurological cell stress.

Does eating too many eggs raise blood cholesterol?

You’ve probably heard numerous reports claiming that eggs are too high in cholesterol.  But what studies show is that OXIDIZED cholesterol-not cholesterol itself-can cause atherosclerosis.  That means that the longer and egg yolk is exposed to air the more potential it has to contribute to atherosclerosis.  So, the best way to eat an egg is poached. hard boiled , or sunny side up.  Avoid scrambled eggs because the air and heat can cause the cholesterol in the scrambled egg yolks to oxidize before you even have a chance to eat them.

What is Functional and Integrative Medicine?

Functional medicine looks at a person as a whole, rather than separate conditions only affecting one part of the body. In conventional medicine, chronic disease or conditions are often addressed by only treating symptoms rather than exploring and addressing the root problems. Functional medicine considers how each person’s own biochemical processes, body’s systems, genes, environment and other factors contribute to imbalances and manifest in disorders or disease. Through identifying imbalances at their core or finding the “root cause” a plan for individualized health care can be developed. Integrating mainstream medicine with a natural health perspective is the way of the future and focuses on preventative medicine.