Feel free to contact us at theherbdoctor@yahoo.com or call 719-930-1829. Patients are seen at The Klein Holistic Center by The Herb Doctor herself, Dr. Tiffani Huckels.

The Acute Effect of Various Glycemic Index Dietary Carbohydrates on Endothelial Function in Nondiabetic Overweight and Obese Subjects

A new kind of sugar shock.

“Looking inside” the arteries of students eating a variety of foods, researcher’s visualized exactly what happens inside the body when the wrong foods for a healthy heart are eaten. They found that foods with a high glycemic index distended brachial arteries for several hours.

Elasticity of arteries anywhere in the body can be a measure of heart health. But when aggravated over time, a sudden expansion of the artery wall can cause a number of negative health effects, including reduced elasticity, which can cause heart disease or sudden death.

“We’ve explained for the first time how high glycemic carbs can affect the progression of heart disease,” say the researchers. During the consumption of foods high in sugar, there appears to be a temporary and sudden dysfunction in the endothelial walls of the arteries.

For more information on glycemic index and managing your health call us about our FirstLine Therapy program at 719-930-1829 or e-mail theherbdoctor@yahoo.com

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The Preventable Causes of Death in the United States: Comparative Risk Assessment of Dietary, Lifestyle, and Metabolic Risk Factors


A number of modifiable factors are responsible for many premature or preventable deaths. For example, being overweight or obese shortens life expectancy, while half of all long-term tobacco smokers in Western populations will die prematurely from a disease directly related to smoking. Modifiable risk factors fall into three main groups. First, there are lifestyle risk factors. These include tobacco smoking, physical inactivity, and excessive alcohol use (small amounts of alcohol may actually prevent diabetes and some types of heart disease and stroke). Second, there are dietary risk factors such as a high salt intake and a low intake of fruits and vegetables. Finally, there are “metabolic risk factors,” which shorten life expectancy by increasing a person’s chances of developing cardiovascular disease (in particular, heart problems and strokes) and diabetes. Metabolic risk factors include having high blood pressure or blood cholesterol and being overweight or obese.

Why Was This Study Done?

It should be possible to reduce preventable deaths by changing modifiable risk factors through introducing public health policies, programs and regulations that reduce exposures to these risk factors. However, it is important to know how many deaths are caused by each risk factor before developing policies and programs that aim to improve a nation’s health. Although previous studies have provided some information on the numbers of premature deaths caused by modifiable risk factors, there are two problems with these studies. First, they have not used consistent and comparable methods to estimate the number of deaths attributable to different risk factors. Second, they have rarely considered the effects of dietary and metabolic risk factors. In this new study, the researchers estimate the number of deaths due to 12 different modifiable dietary, lifestyle, and metabolic risk factors for the United States population. They use a method called “comparative risk assessment.” This approach estimates the number of deaths that would be prevented if current distributions of risk factor exposures were changed to hypothetical optimal distributions.

What Did the Researchers Do and Find?

The researchers extracted data on exposures to these 12 selected risk factors from US national health surveys, and they obtained information on deaths from difference diseases for 2005 from the US National Center for Health Statistics. They used previously published studies to estimate how much each risk factor increases the risk of death from each disease. The researchers then used a mathematical formula to estimate the numbers of deaths caused by each risk factor. Of the 2.5 million US deaths in 2005, they estimate that nearly half a million were associated with tobacco smoking and about 400,000 were associated with high blood pressure. These two risk factors therefore each accounted for about 1 in 5 deaths in US adults. Overweight–obesity and physical inactivity were each responsible for nearly 1 in 10 deaths. Among the dietary factors examined, high dietary salt intake had the largest effect, being responsible for 4% of deaths in adults. Finally, while alcohol use prevented 26,000 deaths from ischemic heart disease, ischemic stroke, and diabetes, the researchers estimate that it caused 90,000 deaths from other types of cardiovascular diseases, other medical conditions, and road traffic accidents and violence.

What Do These Findings Mean?

These findings indicate that smoking and high blood pressure are responsible for the largest number of preventable deaths in the US, but that several other modifiable risk factors also cause many deaths. Although the accuracy of some of the estimates obtained in this study will be affected by the quality of the data used, these findings suggest that targeting a handful of risk factors could greatly reduce premature mortality in the US. The findings might also apply to other countries, although the risk factors responsible for most preventable deaths may vary between countries. Importantly, effective individual-level and population-wide interventions are already available to reduce people’s exposure to the two risk factors responsible for most preventable deaths in the US. The researchers also suggest that combinations of regulation, pricing, and education have the potential to reduce the exposure of US residents to other risk factors that are likely to shorten their lives.

Additional Information

Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1?000058 .

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Children who avoid drinking cow milk have low dietary calcium intakes and poor bone health

In 30 girls and 20 boys between 3 and 10 years of age who avoided milk intake due to various reasons, in general, the milk avoiders were shorter, had smaller skeletons, had a lower total-body bone mineral content, and lower z scores for areal bone mineral density at the femoral neck, hip trochanter, lumbar spine, ultradistal radius, and 33% radius than did control children. Twenty-four percent of the children had previously broken bones.

Whey Cool™ is a non-denatured whey protein concentrate that maintains the full range of the fragile immune boosting and regenerative components naturally present in fresh raw milk, and is produced using a unique low temperature drying and filtration method. The vast majority of whey proteins available use high heat pasteurization, which does irreversible damage to the majority of the components of milk and may cause intolerance even in individuals who have no history of milk allergies. You can also find many farmers going the natural raw milk option which keeps all the enzymes in tact. Check out Larga Vista Ranch.

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Deficiency of Lung Antioxidants in Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

A recent study shows that a loss of antioxidants in the endothelial cells that line blood vessels in the lungs contributes to the loss of vasodilator effects and, ultimately, to the development of pulmonary hypertension. Additionally, the researchers determined that this process may contribute to low levels of nitric oxide, identified in IPAH and a fundamental component in the pathogenesis of pulmonary hypertension.

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Vitamins and Chemotherapy, Do They Mix?

by Jeffrey Dach MD

Occasionally a relative or a friend will ask my opinion about taking vitamins along with chemotherapy. The usual scenario is they are starting a course of chemotherapy and the oncologist has ordered them to stop the vitamins because of possible interferance with the chemo.

Perhaps my friend wants to continue the vitamins because he feels that the vitamins and added nutrition would help to fortify against the toxicity of the chemo drugs and improve chances of surviving not only the malignancy but also the toxic chemo. Perhaps they are looking for someone to tell them it’s OK to continue with the vitamins against the oncologists wishes. Perhaps they are looking for another opinion from someone who has researched the medical literature and says that vitamins are not only OK to take, they are recommended during chemotherapy.

First of all, let me state that I would not knowingly interfere with a doctor-patient relationship. If a doctor advises a patient to follow a treatment plan, then as a general rule, that is between them.  Having said that, doctors disagree all the time and have been known to give conflicting advice.  So for anyone reading this, I would advise discussing this issue with your own physician and following the advice of your personal physician in the matter.

Getting back to my friend, it was not necessary for me to even reply because this question has been asked, researched and answered by other high powered docters many times over.   Here are the conclusions of a few other knowledgable doctors:

Dr. Block reviewed 19 trials and found that antioxidants reduced toxic side effects, and increased survival without reducing efficacy of the chemotherapy.  He concluded.” None of the trials reported evidence of significant decreases in efficacy from antioxidant supplementation during chemotherapy. Many of the studies indicated that antioxidant supplementation resulted in either increased survival times, increased tumor responses, or both, as well as fewer toxicities than controls” (6)(7)

Dr Prasad reviewed 71 scientific papers, found no evidence that antioxidants interfered with the therapeutic effect of chemotherapy and, on the contrary, suggest the hypothesis that it would increase the efficacy.(3)

Dr Prasad concluded, “Antioxidants such as retinoids, vitamin E, vitamin C and carotenoids inhibit the growth of cancer cells. These antioxidants individually, and in combination, enhance the effects of chemotherapeutic agents. Antioxidants individually protect normal cells against some of the toxicities produced by these therapeutic agents. Therefore, the fear of oncologists and radiation therapists that these antioxidants may protect cancer cells against free radicals that are generated by these agents is unfounded. (4)

Again, the conclusion is that antioxidants increase the killing effectiveness of chemotherapy, while increasing patient survival:  “Since the 1970s, 280 peer-reviewed in vitro and in vivo studies, including 50 human studies involving 8,521 patients, 5,081 of whom were given nutrients, have consistently shown that non-prescription antioxidants and other nutrients do not interfere with therapeutic modalities for cancer.   Furthermore, they enhance the killing of therapeutic modalities for cancer, decrease their side effects, and protect normal tissue.In 15 human studies, 3,738 patients who took non-prescription antioxidants and other nutrients actually had increased survival.” (5)

Here is another article of intererest: ANTIOXIDANTS AND OTHER NUTRIENTS DO NOT INTERFERE WITH CHEMOTHERAPY OR RADIATION THERAPY AND CAN INCREASE KILL AND INCREASE SURVIVAL, (5) by Charles B. Simone II, MD; Nicole L. Simone, MD; Victoria Simone, RN; Charles B. Simone, MD (5)

Links to the above article:  Part one , and part two .

“The fear of oncologists and radiation therapists that antioxidants may protect cancer cells against free radicals that are generated by these agents is unfounded.”  quoted Abram Hoffer (1)

Three Interactions to Look Out For and Avoid:

“(1) flavonoids with tamoxifen, (2) NAC with doxorubicin, and (3) beta-carotene with 5- fluorouracil” (8)

What about Folate and Methotrexate?

The vitamin, Folate, is needed for DNA synthesis.  Folate serves as a 1-carbon donor for synthesis of purines and thymidine as well as in the remethylation cycle of homocysteine to methionine.  Methotrexate is specially an anti-folate drug.  It blocks the conversion of inactive Di-Hydrofolate to the active form of Tetrahydofolate.  Therefore supplementing with folate would seem counteractive to the action of methotrexate.  However, folate is present as a vitamin fortification in cereals and flours, and in many foods, so it is not practical to avoid dietary sources of folate.  However, food sources of folate do not appear to be adequate to counteract methotrexate related toxicity and treatment related deaths.

Toxicity of Methotrexate Reduced with Folate Supplementation

Nutritional supplementation with folate and folinic acid has been advocated in the oncology literature to avoid methotrexate related deaths while preserving anticancer activity.  Dr Calvert writes in Seminars of Oncology 2002, “A policy of nutritional supplementation (with folate) was introduced and led to a marked reduction in toxicity and the abolition of treatment-related deaths with apparent preservation of anticancer activity.(13)

Rescuing the Patient from Folate Deficiency

To counteract the toxicity of methotrexate, folinic acid (lecovorin) is used as the more active form of folate.  It is common practice for patients receiving methotrexate for autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis to be given folate supplements along with the methotrexate to protect from folate deficiency.  Studies show that the additional folate does not reduce clinical efficacy of the methotrexate.(11)(12)

Disclaimer: None of the above is to be considered as medical advice.  The reader is advised to consult their personal physician and follow their advice concerning the above issues.

Jeffrey Dach MD
4700 Sheridan, Suite T.
Hollywood, Fla 33021


(1) http://www.tldp.com/issue/11_00/hoffer.htm
High Doses of Antioxidants Including Vitamin C Do Not Decrease the Efficacy of Chemotherapy by Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D.   Reprinted with permission of the author and the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, 911 Tyler Street, Pt. Townsend WA 98368; (360) 385-6021 

(2) http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v04n12.shtml
(Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, October 7, 2008

(3) http://www.jacn.org/cgi/reprint/18/1/13.pdf
Prasad KN, Kumar A, Kochupillai V & Cole WC.
High Doses of Multiple Antioxidant Vitamins: Essential Ingredients in Improving the Efficacy of Standard Cancer Therapy. Journal American College of Nutrition 18:13-25, 1999.

(4) http://www.hopeforcancer.com/research/Prasad_Multiple_Dietary_Antioxidants.pdf
Prasad KN, Cole WC & Prasad JE.
Multiple Antioxidant Vitamins as an Adjunct to Standard and Experimental Cancer Therapies. Z.Onkol/J. of Oncol 31:1201-1078, 1999.

(5) Part one Click Here:

Part two Click Here:


(6) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18623084
Int J Cancer. 2008 Sep 15;123(6):1227-39.

Impact of antioxidant supplementation on chemotherapeutic toxicity: a systematic review of the evidence from randomized controlled trials. Block KI, Koch AC, Mead MN, Tothy PK, Newman RA, Gyllenhaal C.

Much debate has focused on whether antioxidants interfere with the efficacy of cancer chemotherapy. The objective of this study is to systematically review the randomized, controlled clinical trial evidence evaluating the effects of concurrent use of antioxidants with chemotherapy on toxic side effects.

We performed a search of literature from 1966-October 2007 using MEDLINE, Cochrane, CinAhl, AMED, AltHealthWatch and EMBASE databases. Randomized, controlled clinical trials reporting antioxidant-based mitigation of chemotherapy toxicity were included in the final tally. Searches were performed following a standardized protocol for systematic reviews. Only 33 of 965 articles considered, including 2,446 subjects, met the inclusion criteria. Antioxidants evaluated were: glutathione (11), melatonin (7), vitamin A (1), an antioxidant mixture (2), N-acetylcysteine (2), vitamin E (5), selenium (2), L-carnitine (1), Co-Q10 (1) and ellagic acid (1).

The majority (24) of the 33 studies included reported evidence of decreased toxicities from the concurrent use of antioxidants with chemotherapy. Nine studies reported no difference in toxicities between the 2 groups. Only 1 study (vitamin A) reported a significant increase in toxicity in the antioxidant group. Five studies reported the antioxidant group completed more full doses of chemotherapy or had less-dose reduction than control groups. Statistical power and poor study quality were concerns with some studies.

This review provides the first systematically reviewed evidence that antioxidant supplementation during chemotherapy holds potential for reducing dose-limiting toxicities. However, well-designed studies evaluating larger populations of patients given specific antioxidants defined by dose and schedule relative to chemotherapy are warranted. 

(7) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17367938

Cancer Treat Rev. 2007 Aug;33(5):407-18. Epub 2007 Mar 23. Links
Impact of antioxidant supplementation on chemotherapeutic efficacy: a systematic review of the evidence from randomized controlled trials. Block KI, Koch AC, Mead MN, Tothy PK, Newman RA, Gyllenhaal C.

PURPOSE: Much debate has arisen about whether antioxidant supplementation alters the efficacy of cancer chemotherapy. Some have argued that antioxidants scavenge the reactive oxygen species integral to the activity of certain chemotherapy drugs, thereby diminishing treatment efficacy. Others suggest antioxidants may mitigate toxicity and thus allow for uninterrupted treatment schedules and a reduced need for lowering chemotherapy doses. The objective of this study is to systematically review the literature in order to compile results from randomized trials that evaluate concurrent use of antioxidants with chemotherapy.

DESIGN: MEDLINE, Cochrane, CinAhl, AMED, AltHealthWatch and EMBASE databases were searched. Only randomized, controlled clinical trials that reported survival and/or tumor response were included in the final tally. The literature searches were performed in duplicate following a standardized protocol. No meta-analysis was performed due to heterogeneity of tumor types and treatment protocols used in trials that met the inclusion criteria.

RESULTS: Of 845 articles considered, 19 trials met the inclusion criteria. Antioxidants evaluated were: glutathione (7), melatonin (4), vitamin A (2), an antioxidant mixture (2), vitamin C (1), N-acetylcysteine (1), vitamin E (1) and ellagic acid (1). Subjects of most studies had advanced or relapsed disease.

CONCLUSION: None of the trials reported evidence of significant decreases in efficacy from antioxidant supplementation during chemotherapy. Many of the studies indicated that antioxidant supplementation resulted in either increased survival times, increased tumor responses, or both, as well as fewer toxicities than controls; however, lack of adequate statistical power was a consistent limitation. Large, well-designed studies of antioxidant supplementation concurrent with chemotherapy are warranted.

(8) http://www.thorne.com/media/antioxidants_cancer_part1.pdf
Antioxidants in Cancer Therapy; Their Actions and Interactions With Oncologic Therapies Davis W. Lamson, MS, ND and Matthew S. Brignall, ND Alternative Medicine Reviews, 1999;4(5):304-329

Conclusion: Frequently, the effects of using antioxidants concurrent with chemotherapy and radiation are synergistic. Except for three specific interactions outlined above (flavonoids with tamoxifen, NAC with doxorubicin, and beta-carotene with 5-
there is no evidence to date showing that natural antioxidants interfere with conventional cancer therapeutics in vivo. Studies have shown patients treated with antioxidants, with or without chemotherapy and radiation, have many benefits. Patients have been noted to tolerate standard treatment better, experience less weight loss, have a better quality of life, and most importantly, live longer than patients receiving no supplements. It is time to research the role of these agents in conventional oncologic treatment, rather than dismiss them as a class based on theoretical concerns.

(9) http://www.naturalissues.com/?p=6
Fallacies Abound: Do natural treatments interfere with traditional chemotherapy and radiation?  The joke, of course, is that the same oncologists who pontificate on the dangers of natural treatments also prescribe amifostine and dexrazoxane, 2 prescription antioxidants generally used during chemo and radiation treatments.

(10) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folic_acid#cite_note-Oldref_53-50
Folic acid, wikipedia

(11) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/93611641
Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 1997 Nov;23(4):969-80.
The use of folates concomitantly with low-dose pulse methotrexate.Shiroky JB.

(12) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7978695
Ann Intern Med. 1994 Dec 1;121(11):833-41.
Supplementation with folic acid during methotrexate therapy for rheumatoid arthritis. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Morgan SL, 

CONCLUSIONS: Folic acid, an inexpensive vitamin, is safe in a broad range of doses and protects patients with rheumatoid arthritis who are taking methotrexate from toxicity while preserving the efficacy of methotrexate.

(13) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12023786
Semin Oncol. 2002 Apr;29(2 Suppl 5):3-7. Folate status and the safety profile of antifolates. Calvert H.

Throughout the history of cancer chemotherapy, the control of drug-related toxicity has been a major concern. Antifolates such as methotrexate also have a reputation for sporadic and unpredictable toxicity. Pretreatment levels of plasma or red cell folate have not been found to be useful in predicting which patients will develop toxicity. During the phase II development of pemetrexed, the plasma levels of homocysteine and methylmalonic acid were studied as sensitive surrogate markers for folate and vitamin B(12) status, respectively. These were found to be strongly correlated with the subsequent development of serious drug-related toxicities (myelosuppression, diarrhea, mucosal toxicity, and infection), suggesting that toxicity was related to relative folate deficiency in some cancer patients. A policy of nutritional supplementation was introduced and led to a marked reduction in toxicity and the abolition of treatment-related deaths with apparent preservation of anticancer activity.


Semin Oncol. 2002 Dec;29(6 Suppl 18):24-9. Links
Pemetrexed safety and dosing strategy.Niyikiza C, Hanauske AR, Rusthoven JJ, Calvert AH, Allen R, Paoletti P, Bunn PA Jr.Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, IN 46285, USA.

Pemetrexed is a novel antifolate/antimetabolite that inhibits several folate-dependent enzymes, including thymidylate synthase, dihydrofolate reductase, and glycinamide ribonucleotide transformylase. As a class, antifolates have been associated with sporadic severe myelosuppression with gastrointestinal toxicity. Although infrequent, a combination of such toxicities carries a high risk of potentially life-threatening complications. Severe toxicity from pemetrexed-based therapy has become more predictable using the vitamin deficiency marker homocysteine and, to a lesser extent, methylmalonic acid. Evidence now suggests that reducing total plasma homocysteine levels by supplementation with folic acid and vitamin B(12) leads to a better safety profile for pemetrexed, while not adversely affecting its efficacy.

Link to this article:

Jeffrey Dach MD
4700 Sheridan Suite T
Hollywood Fl 33021

Disclaimer click here: http://www.drdach.com/wst_page20.html

The reader is advised to discuss the comments on these pages with
his/her personal physicians and to only act upon the advice of his/her personal physician. Also note that concerning an answer which appears as an electronically posted question,  I am NOT creating a physician — patient relationship.
Although identities will remain confidential as much as possible, as I can not control the media, I can not take responsibility for any breaches of confidentiality that may occur.
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(c) 2008 Jeffrey Dach MD All Rights Reserved
This article may be reproduced on the internet without permission, provided there is a link to this page and proper credit is given.

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Breast Cancer Prevention and Iodine Supplementation

mammogram jeffrey dach d breast cancer

A good friend of ours just went through an ordeal with breast cancer. The incidence of breast cancer has increased to 1 in 8 women, with 4,000 new cases weekly. You might ask, could there be a preventive measure which is safe, cheap and widely available that has been overlooked? The answer is YES , and it’s the essential mineral, Iodine , which was added to table salt in 1924 as part of a national program to prevent Goiter. It turns out that this same Iodine in table salt is the key to breast cancer prevention as proposed by the following list of prestigious doctors: Guy Abraham, MD (1), Robert Derry MD PHD (2) (3), David Brownstein MD (4)(5), George Flechas MD (6)(20), Donald Miller, M.D. (7)(8)

Above Left Image: Mammogram showing small spiculated breast cancer

Our Diet is Iodine Deficient

Iodized salt jeffrey dach md

The problem is that we have been told to avoid salt because it causes high blood pressure, so dietary intake of iodine has dropped to low levels, and we have a generalized iodine deficiency in the population. Currently 15% of the US adult female population is classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as iodine deficient. (9) We consume a large queatity of salt in processed food, however, the salt in processed foods is not iodized salt.  Unfortunately iodized table salt is not a reliable way to supplement with Iodine, It makes sense to use an Iodine supplement.

Image upper left Courtesy Hain Salt: Iodized Sea Salt available at grocery store

The RDA for Iodine is too Low for Optimal Health

iodized salt jeffrey dach mdAccording to Guy Abraham MD, our dietary intake of Iodine is too low, set at 150 mcg by the government RDA. Dr. Guy Abraham tells us that a healthier level of Iodine intake would be 100 times greater at 12.5 mg, which is the average Iodine intake for Japan, and this higher Iodine intake could explain why the Japanese have the lowest rates for cancer of the breast, prostate and thyroid.

Image Left: Courtesy Morton Iodized Salt

How Safe is Iodine Supplementation?

Iodine is purple

Very Safe. Iodine is the only trace element that can be ingested safely in amounts up to 100,000 times the RDA. For example, potassium iodide has been prescribed safely to large numbers pulmonary (COPD) patients in amounts of up to 6 grams per day for several years. This potassium iodide is a well known treatment for COPD which helps mobilize lung secretions. (18) The FDA has officially stated that Iodine supplementation is safe and actually recommends 165 mg of Iodine for adults in case of Radiation Emergency to protect the population from thyroid cancer. (17) “Iodine allergy” is a misnomer since this name applies to allergy to iodinated radiographic contrast agents, and not to elemental iodine which is quite different. (10)

Iodine Deficiency causes Fibrocystic Breast Disease,
Breast Cancer and Thyroid Cancer
Povidone iodine Jeffrey Dach

Iodine, a well known topical antiseptic and antimicrobial agent, also directly kills cancer cells and serves as the key player in our body’s surveillance system for removing abnormal pre-cancer cells. There is considerable medical research to support this statement. Dr. B.A. Eskin published 80 papers over 30 years researching iodine and breast cancer, and he reports that iodine deficiency causes breast cancer and thyroid cancer in humans and animals.(11)(12)  Iodine deficiency is also known to cause a pre-cancerous condition called fibrocystic breast disease. (13) Ghent published a paper in 1993 which showed iodine supplementation works quite well to reverse and resolve fibrocystic changes of the breast, and this is again the subject of a current clinical study.(14)(15)

Upper Left Image: Povidone Iodine, a topical antiseptic, available OTC at the grocery or drugstore

Despite its obvious potential, not much has been done with Iodine treatment over the past 40 years in the United States. Since iodine isn’t patentable and is therefore unlikely to be profitable to market, there is no money to fund studies for “FDA approval”. However, FDA approval is not required since Iodine is already an additive to table salt at the supermarket.

Iodine Deficiency Diseases

As an interventional radiologist working in the hospital for 25 years, a large part of my job was evaluating thyroid abnormalities, nodules, and cysts with ultrasound, radionuclide scans, and needle biopsy. Although it was obvious these common thyroid abnormalities were due to iodine deficiency, I often wondered why none of the patients ever received iodine supplementation. The obvious answer is they should have been and that this is a blind spot in mainstream medicine.

Another part of my day was spent reading mammograms and breast ultrasound studies. Fibrocystic breast disease was quite common, and these women would return for needle aspiration procedure of the many breast cysts, and needle biopsy of the benign solid nodules. Many of these ladies returned multiple times for the procedures because the medical system had no useful treatment to offer them. Well, as we have just discussed, we now know there is a very useful medical treatment, namely, Iodine supplementation which not only resolves breast cysts and fibrocystic breast disease, it also resolves ovarian cysts and thyroid cysts. Actually Iodine supplementation has always been available, but again this is a blind spot in mainstream medicine, and hospital based physicians are unaware of it.

Which Iodine Supplement ?

iodoral jeffrey dachThere are many Iodine supplements. Lugol’s Solution has been used for many years. A new one is the 12.5 mg Iodoral tablet from Optimox (16) and is the iodine supplement tablet made by Dr. Guy Abraham, a former professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UCLA who started “The Iodine Project” in 1997, and engaged two family practice physicians, Jorge Flechas and David Brownstein to carry out clinical studies of the hypothesis that the body needs 12.5 mg of iodine a day. More than 4,000 patients in this project consumed Iodine supplements from 12 to 50 mg per day, and in those with diabetes, up to 100 mg a day. They reported their findings that Iodine does indeed reverse fibrocystic disease; diabetic patients require less insulin; hypothyroid patients require less thyroid medication; symptoms of fibromyalgia resolve, and patients with migraine headaches stop having them.

Image upper left Courtesy of Optimox: Iodoral, Iodine tablets

The Nobel laureate Dr. Albert Szent Györgi (1893–1986), the physician who discovered vitamin C, used Iodine freely in his medical practice. The standard dose of potassium iodide given in those days was 1 gram, which contains 770 mg of iodine.

Dr. Albert Szent Györgi writes: ”When I was a medical student, iodine in the form of KI (Potassium Iodide) was the universal medicine. Nobody knew what it did, but it did something and did something good. We students used to sum up the situation in this little rhyme: If ye don’t know where, what, and why Prescribe ye then K and I”

Iodoral Tablets

In view of all the above, I take one Iodoral tablet (12.5 mg Iodine) daily as do all of my family members. Iodoral is available without a prescription as a nutritional supplement from VRP (Vitamin Research Products).(21)  A bottle of 90 tablets is about 25 dollars plus shipping.(21)  Visit the hypothyroidism page on my web site for more thyroid related information.(22)

See David Brownstein’s Book on Iodine(4), and The Iodine Group for more information.(19) Above Image Courtesy of David Brownstein MD

Jeffrey Dach, M.D.
4700 Sheridan Suite T
Hollywood Florida 33021
Visit the web site


(1) http://www.optimox.com/pics/Iodine/opt_Research_I.shtml
Publications by Guy Abraham MD on Iodine references at Optimox.com

(2) http://www.amazon.com/Breast-Cancer-Iodine-Prevent-Survive/dp/1552128849
The book, Breast Cancer and Iodine : How to Prevent and How to Survive Breast Cancer by Dr. David Derry M.D., Ph.D.

(3) http://thyroid.about.com/library/derry/bl1a.htm
Dr. David Derry Answers Reader Questions Brought to you by Mary Shomon, Your Thyroid Guide. Discussion of Iodine as Breast Cancer Prevention 

(4) http://www.drbrownstein.com/singleproduct.asp?id=787
Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It (2nd Edition)  by David Brownstein MD, Book.

(5) http://www.optimox.com/pics/Iodine/IOD-09/IOD_09.htm
Clinical Experience with Inorganic Non-radioactive Iodine/Iodide by David Brownstein, M.D.

(6) www.optimox.com/pics/Iodine/IOD-10/IOD_10.htm
Orthoiodosupplementation in a Primary Care Practice by Jorge D. Flechas, M.D.

(7) http://www.lewrockwell.com/miller/miller20.html
Iodine for Health by Donald W. Miller, Jr., MD on Lew Rockwell Blog

(8) http://www.donaldmiller.com/Iodine%20Talk.doc
Iodine in Health and Civil Defense Presented at the 24th Annual Meeting of Doctors of Disaster Preparedness at Portland State University, August 6, 2006 by Donald W. Miller, Jr., M.D.

(9) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8979164
Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1996;66(4):350-62. Total diet study: estimated dietary intakes of nutritional elements, 1982-1991.Pennington JA, Schoen SA. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Washington, DC 20204, USA.

(10) http://www.optimox.com/pics/Iodine/pdfs/IOD01.pdf
Optimum Levels of Iodine for Greatest Mental and Physical Health by Guy E. Abraham, MD, Jorge D. Flechas, MD, and John C. Hakala, RPh THE ORIGINAL INTERNIST September 2002 page 5.  Effect of daily ingestion of a tablet containing 5 mg iodine and 7.5 mg iodide as the potassium salt, for a period of 3 months, on the results of thyroid function tests and thyroid volume by ultrasonometry in ten euthyroid Caucasian women  See Table 7.

(11) http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/cgi/reprint/35/9/2332
Bernard A. Eskin et al. Rat mammary gland atypia produced by iodine blockade with perchlorate. Cancer Res. 1975 Sep;35(9):2332-9

(12) http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/cgi/reprint/46/2/877
Dietary Iodine Deficiency as a Tumor Promoter and Carcinogen in Male F344/NCr Rats Masato Ohshima and Jerrold M. Ward. Cancer Research 46, 877-883, February 1, 1986 

(13) http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/353/3/229
Benign Breast Disease and the Risk of Breast Cancer. Hartmann, Lynn C. N Engl J Med Volume 353;3:229-237 July 21, 2005

(14) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8221402
Ghent,W.R., Eskin,B.A., Low,D.A., Hill, L.P.. Iodine replacement in fibrocystic disease of the breast. Can J Surg 1993; 36:453-460.

(15) http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct/show/NCT00237523?order=1
Clinical Trial for Iodine treatment of Fibrocystic Breast Disease
Study for Treatment of Moderate or Severe, Periodic, “Cyclic”, Breast Pain. This study is ongoing, but not recruiting participants. Sponsored by:  Symbollon Pharmaceuticals ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00237523

(16) http://www.optimox.com/pics/Iodine/opt_Iodoral.htm
Iodoral from Optimox

(17) http://www.fda.gov/cder/guidance/4825fnl.htm
Guidance on Potassium Iodide as a Thyroid Blocking Agent in Radiation Emergencies, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), December 2001

(18) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/5395878
Bernecker C. Acta Allergol. 1969 Sep;24(3):216-25. Intermittent therapy with potassium iodide in chronic obstructive disease of the airways. A review of 10 years’ experience.

(19) http://iodine4health.com/index.htm
The Iodine Group

(20) http://cypress.he.net/~bigmacnc/drflechas/index.htm/iodine.htm
George Flechas MD Web Site

(21) http://www.vrp.com/ProductPage.aspx?ProdID=9139&zType=1
VRP Vitamin Research Products Offers Iodoral Online, no prescription needed.

(22) http://www.drdach.com/wst_page10.html
Hypothyroidism Jeffrey Dach MD web site

Click Here for All Previous Newsletters

Other Articles: 

(1) Lipitor and “The Dracula of Modern Technology”

(2) Osteoporosis, Bisphosphonate Drugs and Toulouse Lautrec

(3) Prozac, Paxil and SSRI Drugs - Part One

(4) Prozac, Paxil and SSRI Drugs - Part Two

(5) Max Essex and Virological Failure in the NEJM

(6) The Origins of HIV

A Medical Article that I Published in 1980:

(7) Dach J, Patel N, Patel S, Petasnick J. Peritoneal mesothelioma: CT, sonography, and gallium-67 scan. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1980 Sep;135(3):614


Don’t forget to visit my web site for more information, and we you might like to attend one of our free seminars on Wednesday Nights. Please call for reservations for the seminar, though.

Do you have a testimonial, or a question for the newsletter? Send it in via email reply.

Sincerely Yours
Jeffrey Dach, M.D.
4700 Sheridan Suite T.
Hollywood, Fl 33021

Dr. Dach is Board Certified by the American Board of Radiology and a member of the Board of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. He has 25 years experience in the Memorial Hospital System as an interventional radiologist. He is the founder of TrueMedMD a clinic specializing in natural medicine, natural bio-identical hormones, and natural thyroid therapies.

Disclaimer click here: http://www.drdach.com/wst_page20.html

The reader is advised to discuss the comments on these pages with his/her personal physicians and to only act upon the advice of his/her personal physician.  Also note that concerning an answer which appears as an electronically posted question, I am NOT creating a physician — patient relationship.  Although identities will remain confidential as much as possible, as I can not control the media, I can not take responsibility for any breaches of confidentiality that may occur.

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This article may be copied or reproduced on the internet provided credit and a link is given. Link to this article:  http://jeffreydach.com/2007/05/05/jeffreydachdrdachiodine.aspx

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The Safety Of Bio-Identical Hormones

by Jeffrey Dach MD

Are Women’s Bio-identical hormones safe? Bio-identical hormones exist naturally in the human body, so it is axiomatic that these are safe.  However, we are interested in a slightly different question. What is the safety of bio-identical hormones as routinely used in medical practice?  Let’s try to answer this question.

The Safety of Water compared to Bio-Identical Hormones

Water Droplet Impact Jeffrey Dach MDWater is safe, beneficial and required for health.  Yet, even so, drinking excess amounts of water causes death from Fatal Water Intoxication.(1)

Left Image: Water with Droplets Courtesy of Wikimedia

Similarly, just like water, bio-identical hormones are safe and beneficial when used at proper dosages.  Like excessive water, excessive hormone dosage may result in their own adverse side effects.  Excess estrogen, for example, causes fluid retention, breast sensitivity and enlargement, and  disordered mood.

Humans Have Bio-Identical Hormones.

Another answer to the safety question is that bio-identical hormones are found in the human body naturally.  Any harmful substance in the human body would impair survival, and over millions of years of evolution would be eliminated by natural selection.  This is the basic concept of Darwinian evolution which is accepted by mainstream medical science.

A 50 Million Year Medical Experiment

Consider the following medical experiment, performed over the last 50 million years with the help of our friend, Darwinian evolution.(2)  Bio-Identical Hormones have been present in the human body for 50 million years, and we humans are still here on the planet.  I would consider that a successful medical experiment, wouldn’t you?

Either Excess or Deficiency of Anything Can be Harmful

One of our routine labs tests called the Chem Panel measures electrolytes and glucose levels in the blood. The body automatically maintains these within narrow ranges to maintain health.  If levels deviate above or below these normal ranges, this causes a serious health disturbance.  For example elevated potassium levels causes cardiac arrest.  Magnesium deficiency causes muscle spasm and arrythmia. Excessive amounts of Vitamins A and D are toxic.  Hormones levels enjoy a considerably wide range of acceptable limits.  Even so, a deficiency or an excess of women’s bio-identical hormones can produce adverse symptoms.  This is called estrogen deficiency/excess, and progesterone deficiency/excess, and they each have typical signs and symptoms easily recognized.(3)

Common Signs of Estrogen Deficiency (4)

Mental fogginess
Minor anxiety
Mood change
Difficulty falling asleep
Hot flashes
Night sweats
Temperature swings
Day-long fatigue
Reduced stamina
Decreased sense of sexuality
Lessened self-image and attention to appearance
Dry eyes, skin, and vagina
Loss of skin radiance
Feel balanced 2nd part of cycle
Sagging breasts and loss of fullness
Pain with sexual activity
Weight gain
Increased back and joint pain
Episodes of rapid heartbeat
Headaches and migraines
Gastrointestinal discomfort

Common Signs of Excess Estrogen (takes longer to notice)

Breast tenderness or pain
Increased breast size
Water retention, fingers, legs
Impatient, snappy behavior, but with clear mind
Pelvic cramps

Common Signs of Progesterone Deficiency

No period at all (no ovulation)
The period comes infrequently (every few months)
Heavy and frequent periods (large clots, due to buildup in the uterus)
Spotting a few days before the period. (Progesterone level is dropping)
Cystic breasts
Painful breasts
Breasts with lumps
Most cases of endometriosis, adenomyosis, and fibroids.
Anxiety, irritability, nervousness and water retention

Above list courtesy of Uzzi Reiss MD OB GYN. (4)

No Reported Adverse Events from Bio-Identical Hormones

Over-the-counter pain pills (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen are considered fairly safe.  After all, you don’t need a prescription to buy them, yet they cause an estimated 16,500 deaths in the US annually, mostly from gastric bleeding.(5)  Compare this to no reported adverse events from bio-identical hormones last year, according to an FDA press conference January 2008.(6)

Do Bio-Identical Hormones Cause Breast Cancer?(7)
Eiffel Tower Jeffrey Dach MDThe answer is no. According to the French Cohort study, there is no increase in breast cancer in women using bio-identical hormones.(8)  However, having said that, avoiding excess environmental estrogens as well as excessive estrogen levels from any source, is the key to preventing breast cancer.(9)  My previous article covers our program for breast cancer prevention which includes iodine supplementation, Indole-3-carbinol and fiber. To read about this, see: Breast Cancer Prevention and Iodine Supplementation by Jeffrey Dach MD.(10)

Left Image: Eiffel Tower Paris France Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Do Bio-Identical Hormones Cause Heart Disease ?

Again, the answer is no. A study of CAT calcium scores by JoAnn E. Manson in the June 2007 JAMA actually showed less heart disease in the women taking unopposed estrogen (they had hysterectomies and were not given the synthetic progestins).(11)  These same results had already been published 2 years previously in a calcium score study by Budoff in J Womens Health 2005. (12)

A Closer Look at the Women’s Health Initiative WHI Study

Understanding the Women’s Health Inititative (WHI) study is not difficult, and is very important to answer the question of hormone safety.  The WHI study was the large NIH sponsored medical study which compared synthetic hormones to placebo in two large groups of women.  The WHI study consisted of two arms.  The first arm used the synthetic hormones Premarin and Provera,  and the second arm used Premarin alone.(13)(14)

What is Premarin and Provera?

Premarin and Provera are not bio-identical hormones.  Premarin is a hormone obtained from pregnant horses, which contains Equilin, a horse hormone not found in humans.(15Provera is a synthetic hormone which is not found anywhere in the natural world (see provera diagram below).(16)   The Premarin and Provera combination is called PremPro, a synthetic hormone pill commonly prescribed by mainstream medicine.  Prempro was the hormone preparation used in the first arm of the WHI study.(13)

WHI study First Arm:

The WHI study (first arm published in JAMA 2002) was terminated early because the combination of premarin and provera (Prempro) caused increased breast cancer and heart disease.(13)Immediately after this study was published, there was a massive switch by women to bio-identical hormones which resulted in a 4 billion dollar loss for Wyeth, the maker of Prempro.  Wyeth is still trying to recoup that money by manipulating the FDA.  They want the FDA to ban their competition, the bio-identical hormones or their components.(36)(37)(38) Use this easy tool to email your Congressman and voice your opposition to Wyeth’s attempts to ban estriol and other bio-identical hormones.(17)  While you are at it, tell your Congressman that synthetic hormones are chemically altered monsters that should be banned.

WHI Study (Second Arm):

All the women in the second arm of the WHI study had prior hysterectomies (uterus absent), so they did not need the synthetic progestin, provera commonly given to  prevent endometrial cancer.   Rather, they were only given Premarin (the horse hormone, also called CEE, for Conjugated Equine Estrogen).  Unlike the first arm of the study, these women had no increase in breast cancer risk.(18) (see chart below)

WHI sacond arm jeffrey dach mdLeft Chart: This chart shows data from the  second arm of the WHI in JAMA 2004.(14
The blue bars represents adverse events in the placebo group. The red bars represents adverse events in women (ages 50-59) on premarin only, with no Provera (progestin).  Note that the Red bars are all Lower than the Blue bars. The Red bar (Premarin-only) group shows LESS heart disease, LESS breast cancer and LESS Mortality when compared to placebo (blue bar).  Chart Courtesy of Susan Ott MD Bone Physiology.(19)

Premarin causes endometrial cancer, so the mainstream medical system always gives Provera (progestins) to prevent endometrial cancer, unless of course, the uterus is absent from prior hysterectomy.(20)

The WHI Culprit was the Synthetic Progestin (an altered form of Progesterone)

Back to the first arm of the WHI which used Prempro, it is clear from the data that the  culprit which caused breast cancer and heart disease was Provera, a synthetic monster hormone.  This is nothing new.  For years, Provera has been known to cause heart disease and breast cancer.(21)(22)(39)

Provera Proven to Cause Breast Cancer

In fact, medical studies prove that Provera causes breast cancer.  In these studies, Primates were treated with either Progesterone or Provera showing that the Provera causes breast cancer, while the Progesterone provides protection from breast cancer.(22)

Monster Hormones are Chemically Altered

boris karlov frankenstein jeffrey dach mdChemically altered hormones were used in the WHI study, and are routinely handed out by the medical system.  These altered hormones are monsters that should never have been approved for marketing to the American people.  They should be banned.

Image Left:  Another Monster: Boris Karloff from Frankenstein 1931.Courtesy of Wikimedia.

The Media Says Hormones Cause Cancer and Heart Disease

If bio-identical hormones are so safe, then why do the newspapers say that women’s hormones cause breast cancer and heart disease?(23)

The answer is that the media and the medical profession routinely confuse synthetic chemically altered monster hormones with the bio-identical hormones.  The drug companies intentionally create this confusion because they want to hide the fact that synthetic hormones are monsters that should be banned.

Chemically altered hormones were made because of a quirk in our legal system which grants patent protection for chemically altered versions of a natural substance.  The natural hormones were chemically altered so that they could be patented to protect profits from competition.  Naturally occurring bio-identical hormones by law cannot be patented.

Examples of monster synthetic hormones are provera, all progestins, and birth control pills which are never found in nature. These are the monster hormones.

A Listing of a Few Monster Hormones:

Chemically Altered forms of progesterone:
Dienogest, Desogestrel, Drospirenone, Dydrogesterone, Ethisterone, Etonogestrel, Ethynodiol diacetate, Gestodene, Gestonorone, Levonorgestrel, Lynestrenol, Medroxyprogesterone, Megestrol, Norelgestromin, Norethisterone, Norethynodrel, Norgestimate, Norgestrel, Norgestrienone, Tibolone

Chemically altered forms of estrogen:
Dienestrol, Diethylstilbestrol, Ethinylestradiol, Fosfestrol, Mestranol

Chemically alered hormones in BCP’s Birth Control Pills:
levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol [oral contraceptive] (ALESSE 28, AVIANE, NORDETTE, SEASONALE, TRIPHASIL, TRIVORA-28); norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol (COMBI PATCH, LOESTRIN FE 1/20, NEOCON 1/35, ORTHO-NOVUM 7/7/7, OVCON 35); norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol (ORTHO-CYCLEN, ORTHOTRI-CYCLEN, TRINESSA); norgestrel and ethinyl estradiol (LO/OVRAL 28, LOW-OGESTREL), desogestrel and ethinyl estradiol (DESOGEN, MIRCETTE, ORTHO-CEPT), drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol (YASMIN)

Chemically altered forms of testosterone:
Androstanolone, Fluoxymesterone, Mesterolone, Methyltestosterone

How to make a Monster Hormone, Add a Side-Chain (in Red below)
Below Images: Courtesy of wikemedia commons.

Human  Progesterone Provera - the Monster Hormone

Take a good look at human bio-identical Progesterone (Upper left), and the chemically altered version (upper right) Provera (medroxyprogesterone).  The added side-chain is labeled in RED on the right side of the Provera molecule.  This side-chain (in red) has been added in order to make a totally new structure that can be patented, and is the only difference with progesterone (upper left).  In the process of adding this side-chain, a Monster was created.  In the opinion of John R Lee MD,  “to prescribe a chemically altered version of progesterone called Provera is medical malpractice”, and yet this practice is common in mainstream medicine.

An Illustration which Explains the Problem  of Synthetic Drugs

Supposing a biochemist working for a drug company has an idea to alter the chemical structure of vitamin C so a patent can be obtained.  The biochemist adds a chlorine molecule to the vitamin C carbon ring, and gives is a new name “super-Vitamin C”, which is really a chlorinated version of vitamin C.  Next they do a one year medical study with 5,000 people taking the chlorinated vitamin C tablet every day, and another 5000 people taking a placebo.  After the year is up, they count a .5 per cent incidence of heart disease events in the Super Vitamin C group and a 1.0 percent in the placebo group.   FDA approval is easily obtained based on  reduction in heart disease events by 50 per cent (.5 per cent is 50% of 1.0 %).  The drug company is at liberty to spend million dollars on television advertising designed to rake in millions more for the new heart prevention miracle drug.  This absurd scenario is now the norm for our medical system.  Why would anyone want to spend money for a monster version of vitamin C when the real thing is available for pennies?  Why use a monster hormone when human hormones  are available?  Compared to their monster counterparts, Bio-Identical Hormones are more effective, have fewer adverse side effects, and are less costly.

High Hormone Levels of Early Pregnancy Confer Protection from Breast Cancer.

pregnancy 36 weeks jeffrey dach md During the 16th century in Italy, breast cancer was quite rare.  An Italian doctor, Bernardino Ramazzini, noted in 1713 the relatively high incidence of breast cancer in nuns and wondered whether this was related to celibate lifestyle.(24)  Recent studies confirm that early pregnancy and multiple pregnancies confer protection from breast cancer, while no pregnancies (as in the nuns) leads to increased risk of breast cancer.(25)  This protection is thought to be confered by high levels of progesterone.  This was confirmed in a 2007 study by Rajkumar who showed that hormone treatment protected genetically engineered mice from developing breast cancer.

Left image Pregnancy, courtesy of wikipemedia commons.

Progesterone, the Great Protector

Progesterone is so safe, it is available over the counter without a prescription.  In addition, a deficiency of progesterone is associated with an increase in breast cancer risk.(27)  Progesterone is known to be protective and prevents breast cancer.(28)

Why Don’t Birth Control Pills use Natural Progesterone?

Birth Control Pills, BCP’s, are very effective at preventing pregnancy by suppressing ovulation. However, BCP’s contain synthetic hormones which have adverse side effects.(29)(30)(31)  To avoid these monster hormones,  the IUD (intra-uterine device) is available.

Here is a listing of people involved in the early  development of birth control pills: Russell Marker, Percy Lavon Julian, Carl Djerassi, Luis E. Miramontes, George Rosenkranz, Gregory Pincus, Min Chueh Chang, John Rock.(32)

In the future of medicine, I predict that progesterone will replace progestins as oral contraception .  The bio-identical hormone, Progesterone, will be used in the birth control pills of the future.  Early research on contraception was done with progestereone, and research was switched to synthetic progestins to obtain a patent and make a profit. Another consideration was ease of use of the oral tablet, at the time available only as a progestin.  Bio-Identical progesterone suppresses ovulation and was the original agent investigated in early research for a contraceptive agent.  However, timing and dosages were never officially worked out, so we currently are left with the synthetic birth control  pills by default.  Again, the IUD can be used instead to avoid the monster hormones.   I predict that new research outside the US in the next decade will establish progesterone as the hormone of choice for birth control.  Most likely, funding for this research will come from a foreign government agency, in a country with universal health care which has economic incentives to make a healthier pill.

More on Breast Cancer and Hormone Levels

If high estrogen levels were the primary cause of breast cancer, we would expect to find more breast cancer mortality in women with higher hormone levels at age 30, and less breast cancer in women with low hormone levels at age 60 (post-menopausal).  However, what we find is the exact opposite.  According to the CDC, mortality from breast cancer is 7 times higher in the older women aged 60 (0.7 per cent), compared to younger women aged 30 (0.1 per cent).  Mortality from breast cancer is 700 % higher in post-menopausal women with low hormone levels.(link)


In conclusion, bio-identical hormones used at appropriate dosages are safe, effective, and beneficial for health.  On the other hand, any chemical alteration of a human hormone creates a monster hormone, which is not bioidentical.  These monster hormones should never have been approved for marketing and sale to the American people.  These monster hormones are unsafe, causing cancer and heart disease, and should be banned immediately.

Read more on this topic at The Importance of BioIdentical Hormones by Jeffrey Dach MD .

Three Excellent Articles on the Safety of BioIdentical Hormones

(1) For a good summary and explanation of the issues, I recommend the article, The Case for Bioidentical Hormones Steven F Hotze MD. 2008.(33)

(2) Another excellent article is The Safety of Bioidentical Hormones — the Data vs. the Hype by Jacob Teitelbaum, MD From the Townsend Letter June 2007.(34)

(3) A third excellent article: Bioidentical vs. Synthetic HRT, A Review of the Literature
by the Bio-Identical Hormone Inititiative, Erika Schwartz MD, David Brownstein MD, Kent Holtorf MD.(40)(41)

Recommended Reading: books by John R Lee MD (35)

WHAT YOUR DOCTOR MAY NOT TELL YOU ABOUT MENOPAUSE: The Breakthrough Book on Natural Progesterone (Warner Books, 1996)(35)

WHAT YOUR DOCTOR MAY NOT TELL YOU ABOUT PREMENOPAUSE: Balance Your Hormones and Your Life from Thirty to Fifty (Warner Books, 1999)(35)

WHAT YOUR DOCTOR MAY NOT TELL YOU ABOUT BREAST CANCER: How Hormone Balance Can Help Save Your Life, (Warner Books, 2002)(35)

Jeffrey Dach MD
4700 Sheridan Suite T
Hollywood Fl 33021 


Fatal water intoxication. D J Farrell1 and L Bower. J Clin Pathol. 2003 October; 56(10): 803–804.

(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Darwin
Charles Darwin, theory of natural selection.

(3) http://www.johnleemd.com/store/premenstrual_syndrome.html
Balance Your Hormones and Your Life from Thirty to Fifty. PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF ESTROGEN AND PROGESTERONE. How Hormone Balance Can Help Save Your Life. by John R. Lee, M.D., David Zava, Ph.D. and Virginia Hopkins. Warner Books 2002

(4) http://www.uzzireissmd.com/book_naturalhormone.html
Natural Hormone Balance for Women: Look Younger, Feel Stronger, and Live Life with Exuberance. by Uzzi Reiss MD

(5) http://www.drtheo.com/news/NSAIDs.pdf
Medical Progress. p 1888. June 17, 1999 The New England Journal of Medicine

(6) http://www.fda.gov/bbs/transcripts/transcript010908.pdf
Transcript of FDA Press Conference on FDA Actions on Bio-Identical Hormones
FTS HHS FDA Susan Cruzan January 9, 2008

(7) http://www.womentowomen.com/breasthealth/estrogenbreastcancer.aspx
Causes of Brea6t Cancer- the Estrogen Controversy, Dixie Mills MD

(8) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12626212
Climacteric. 2002 Dec;5(4):332-40. Combined hormone replacement therapy and risk of breast cancer in a French cohort study of 3175 women.de Lignières B et al.
French Cohort Study.

(9) http://www.johnleemd.com/store/cancer_progest.html
Breast Cancer Book Intro. WHAT YOUR DOCTOR MAY NOT TELL YOU ABOUT BREAST CANCER. How Hormone Balance Can Help Save Your Life
By John R. Lee, M.D., David Zava Ph.D., and Virginia Hopkins INTRODUCTION

(10) http://jeffreydach.com/2007/05/05/jeffreydachdrdachiodine.aspx
Breast Cancer Prevention and Iodine Supplementation by Jeffrey Dach MD

(11) http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/356/25/2591
Estrogen Therapy and Coronary-Artery Calcification. NEJM Volume 356:2591-2602  June 21, 2007  Number 25. JoAnn E. Manson, M.D., et al.

(12) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15989413
J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2005 Jun;14(5):410-7. Effects of hormone replacement on progression of coronary calcium as measured by electron beam tomography.Budoff MJ, et al.

(13) http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/288/3/321
Risks and Benefits of Estrogen Plus Progestin in Healthy Postmenopausal Women
Principal Results From the Women’s Health Initiative Randomized Controlled Trial
Writing Group for the Women’s Health Initiative Investigators JAMA. 2002;288:321-333. First Arm.

(14) http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/291/14/1701
Effects of Conjugated Equine Estrogen in Postmenopausal Women With Hysterectomy
The Women’s Health Initiative Randomized Controlled Trial.  JAMA. 2004;291:1701-1712. Second Arm. This is the Second Arm of the Study. Premarin Only.

(15) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Premarin
Premarin From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(16) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medroxyprogesterone
Provera, Medroxyprogesterone, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(17) http://homecoalition.org/TakeAction
Take Action. Write a letter to your elected officials using our online advocacy tool.
Act now to defend your right to bio-identical hormones! Please contact your
congressional representative, senators, and the White House immediately.

(18) http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/295/14/1647
Effects of Conjugated Equine Estrogens on Breast Cancer and Mammography Screening in Postmenopausal Women With Hysterectomy. Marcia L. Stefanick, PhD et al. for the WHI Investigators. JAMA. 2006;295:1647-1657. Conclusions  Treatment with CEE alone for 7.1 years does not increase breast cancer incidence in postmenopausal women with prior hysterectomy.

(19) http://courses.washington.edu/bonephys/opestrogen.html#WHI
Osteoporosis and Bone Physiology, Susan Ott, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Washington.  A Review of the results from the Women’s Health Initiative.

(20) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3358913
The dose-effect relationship between ‘unopposed’ oestrogens and endometrial mitotic rate: its central role in explaining and predicting endometrial cancer risk.Key TJ, Pike MC.
Br J Cancer. 1988 Feb;57(2):205-12.

(21) http://atvb.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/24/7/1171
Should Progestins Be Blamed for the Failure of Hormone Replacement Therapy to Reduce Cardiovascular Events in Randomized Controlled Trials?
Kwang Kon Koh; Ichiro Sakuma. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 2004;24:1171.

(22) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16841178
Effects of estradiol with micronized progesterone or medroxyprogesterone acetate on risk markers for breast cancer in postmenopausal monkeys.Wood CE et al. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2007 Jan;101(2):125-34.

(23) http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1002897,00.html
The Truth About Hormones Monday, Jul. 22, 2002 Time Magazine. By CHRISTINE GORMAN AND ALICE PARK

(24) http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2006/04/17/hlsa0417.htm
AMA Medical NEws. Collecting clues: Cancer registries might have an answer. By Kathleen Phalen Tomaselli, AMNews correspondent. April 17, 2006.

(25) http://breast-cancer-research.com/content/7/3/131
The protective role of pregnancy in breast cancer. Jose Russo et al.Breast Cancer Research 2005, 7:131-142doi:10.1186/bcr1029

(26) http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=17257424
Hormone-induced protection of mammary tumorigenesis in genetically engineered mouse models
Lakshmanaswamy Rajkumar et al.Breast Cancer Res. 2007; 9(1): R12.

(27) http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/114/2/209
LINDA D. COWAN et al. American Journal of Epidemiology Vol. 114, No. 2: 209-217

(28) http://www.annclinlabsci.org/cgi/content/abstract/28/6/360
Progesterone inhibits growth and induces apoptosis in breast cancer cells: inverse effects on Bcl-2 and p53.  B Formby and TS Wiley. Annals of Clinical and Laboratory Science, Vol 28, Issue 6, 360-369

(29) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birth_control_pill
Combined oral contraceptive pill. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (Redirected from Birth control pill)

(30) http://www.worstpills.org/results.cfm?disease_id=26
Oral Contraceptives on Worst Pills.org. The pill can cause many adverse effects. Some of them are merely a nuisance, while others can be life-threatening. The pill can cause headaches, bloating, nausea, irregular bleeding and spotting, breast tenderness, weight gain, or vision changes. Other more serious adverse effects that can occur from a few months to a few years after starting oral contraceptives include high blood pressure, gallbladder disease, liver tumors, depression, and metabolic disorders, such as diabetes. Temporary infertility has been associated with the period of time right after pill use is stopped. But the two most dangerous risks associated with taking birth control pills are blood clots and cancer.

(31) http://www.jeffreywarber.com/hc%20pages/pillsideeffects.html
Birth COntrol Pill Adverse Side Effects by Jeffrey Warber MD

(32) http://www.quickoverview.com/reproductive/birth-control-pill.html
History and Development of an effective combined oral contraceptive. People Involved.

(33) http://www.jpands.org/vol13no2/hotze.pdf
Point/Counterpoint: The Case for Bioidentical Hormones Steven F. Hotze, M.D.Donald P. Ellsworth, M.D.Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Volume 13 Number 2 Summer 2008

(34) http://www.townsendletter.com/June2007/painfree0607.htm
The Safety of Bioidentical Hormones — the Data vs. the Hype by Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

(35) http://www.johnleemd.com/store/main_books.html
Books by John R Lee MD

Wyeth and the FDA

(36) http//:naturalnews.com/022595.html

FDA’s Assault of Bioidentical Hormones Demonstrates Pro-Pharma Loyalties, Disregard for Consumer Choice Tuesday, February 05, 2008 by: Mike Adams

February 16, 2008. Women, Doctors Wage Crucial Battle With FDA To Save Bioidentical Hormones From Wyeth’s Wrath. A major coalition of informed women and their doctors have launched an all out war on the Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA) cynical and corrupt decision to ban compounded hormones containing Estriol.

(38) http://jeffreydach.com/2008/01/11/fda-declares-war-on-bioidentical-hormones-by-jeffrey-dach-md.aspx
FDA Declares War on BioIdentical Hormones by Jeffrey Dach MD

Provera and Heart Disease

(39) http://atvb.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/17/1/217
Medroxyprogesterone Acetate Antagonizes Inhibitory Effects of Conjugated Equine Estrogens on Coronary Artery Atherosclerosis. Michael R. Adams; Thomas C. Register; Deborah L. Golden; Janice D. Wagner; J. Koudy Williams .Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 1997;17:217-221.

Bio-Identical Hormone Inititiative

(40) http://www.drerika.com/pg/jsp/bhi/bioidentical_vs_synthetic.pdf
Bioidentical vs. Synthetic HRT, A review of the literature

(41) http://www.bioidenticalhormoneinitiative.org/
Bio-Identical Hormone Inititiative, Erika Schwartz MD, David Brownstein MD, Kent Holtorf MD

Additional References

The Safety and Effectiveness of Bio-Identical Hormones: Natural (Bio-Identical) vs. Synthetic HRT
Kent Holtorf, M.D. Dr. Holtorf is the Medical Director of the Holtorf Medical Group, Inc, Center for Hormone Imbalance and Fatiguing Conditions in Los Angeles, specializing in CFS, FM, hypothyroidism, chronic illness and the treatment of complex endocrine dysfunction. He is board certified and is a Board Examiner for the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. He is also chief of the Medical Advisory Board for the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers, Inc.

A Comprehensive Review of the Safety and Efficacy of Bioidentical Hormones for the Management of Menopause and Related Health Risks Deborah Moskowitz, ND.  Altern Med Rev 2006;11(3):208-223)

Hormone Replacement References.  Most references below are linked to the National Library of Medicine (MEDLINE)

Special Article: Addressing Postmenopausal Estrogen Deficiency: A Position Paper of the American Council on Science and Health January 26, 2001 Sander Shapiro, MD Medscape General Medicine 3(1), 2001.

Scientific Literature on Hormones on Dr Erika.com

research available women in balance.

Fatal Water Intoxication

Woman dies after water-drinking contest

Natural and Synthetic Substances in Medicine

The Promise and Problems of Natural Substances in Medicine Stephen L. DeFelice, M.D.

Natural and synthetic substances related to human health. The dubious honor of being the most powerful toxic substance goes to a protein produced by the bacterium, Clostridium botulinum. This protein is responsible for fatal food poisoning—botulism—being produced when the bacterium grows in the absence of oxygen in canned or preserved food. 2002 IUPAC, Pure and Applied Chemistry 74, 1957–1985

Synthetic Hormones and Breast Cancer

Menopause Hormone Therapy and Breast Cancer. National Women’s Health Network

BMJ 1995;310:598 (4 March) Letters Risk factors for breast cancer

Hormone Levels, Age and Breast Cancer
Risk of Breast Cancer by Age, CDC .Percent of U.S. Women Who Die from Breast Cancer Over 10-, 20-, and 30-Year Intervals. According to Their Current Age, 2002–2004. Age 30 is 0.1%  age 60 is 0.7% .

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The reader is advised to discuss the comments on these pages with his/her personal physicians and to only act upon the advice of his/her personal physician Also note that concerning an answer which appears as an electronically posted question, I am NOT creating a physician — patient relationship.  Although identities will remain confidential as much as possible, as I can not control the media, I can not take responsibility for any breaches of confidentiality that may occur. Finally, the material produced by myself may be reproduced for personal use, provided that appropriate credit is given.

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The Importance of BioIdentical Hormones

by Jeffrey Dach MD

Natural Red Head This article answers the question, why are bioidentical hormones important?  What do they do and why do we need them?

What is a bioidentical hormone?

First of all, let us look at the definition of a bioidentical hormone,  and how they differ from the synthetic hormones offered by the mainstream medical system.

Left Image: Natural Redhead courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

How is a Synthetic Hormone Different from A Bioidentical Hormone?

Bioidentical hormones are the hormones that exist in the human body naturally.  Synthetic hormones are these very same human hormones that are chemically altered.

Why Chemically Alter a Human Hormone?

The drug company hires chemists to alter the structure of human hormones in the laboratory so the drug company can obtain a patent on the new chemical structure, which is a new drug.  This alteration is required in order for the drug company to obtain a patent which gives exclusive marketing rights to the drug company.  The patent is necessary to protects profits.  Because of a quirk in our patent laws, only chemically altered substances can be patented.  Natural substances like human hormones cannot be patented, and are therefore generally not as profitable to manufacture.

Chemically Altered Hormones Are Monsters Chemically Altered Hormones are Monster Hormones

Hormones fit onto their receptors just like a ”lock and key”, so any slight alteration of their chemical structure creates a “monster hormone”.   These resulting “monster hormones” are never found in the human body or anywhere else in nature.  The reality is that these synthetically altered monster hormones should never have been approved for marketing and sale to the American People, and yet that is exactly what your mainstream medical doctor will offer you if you ask for hormones.

Left Image: Boris Karlof in Frankenstein 1931 Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.  Respresents Monster Hormones.

Examples of a chemically altered hormone (see below):

Above left image: Bioidentical Progesterone    Above Right: Chemical alteration (see red side group) creates a monster hormone called Provera, a synthetic altered version of progesterone(left).

Why do we use the word bio-identical to describe natural human hormones?

You are probably wondering why do we use the word, “bioidentical”?  That’s an excellent question.  I can remember back when I was in first year medical school learning biochemistry at the University of Illinois in Chicago.  Our class used Lehninger’s classic textbook of biochemistry.  Lehninger never used the word, bio-identical hormones, because all hormones are by definition, bioidentical hormones.  They simply used the word, “hormone”.  Using a word like “bioidentical” was simply redundant and unnecessary for a biochemistry textbook, as it should be today.

The Information War and Terminology

Years ago, after the invention of synthetic monster hormones, an information war was launched by the drug industry creating confusion in the public and even among medical professionals about the difference between natural human hormones and synthetic monster hormones.  Because of this information war, we must now use the terminology, ”bioidentical” hormones which really means human hormones in order to different these from the monster altered hormones.

So it is an embarrassment to medical science that we are forced to use the word “bio-identical” for natural hormones found in the human body.  We shouldn’t feel that we are forced to do this.  It should be sufficient to  use the same old names in the biochemistry text books.  The simple word  ”hormone” should suffice.  Yet here we are again finding ourselves using the word “bio-identical hormone” thanks to the “Information War” going on between natural medicine and the drug industry.

How do Hormones Work?

Hormones are messengers that attach directly on to the DNA of trillions of our cells and influence gene expression.

See diagram below showing hormone attaching to DNA in the Nucleus:

Hormones attach to  Receptors and to DNA
Hormones Bind to DNA and Turn on Protein Synthesis

The hormone enters the cell, attached to a receptor, and then enters the nucleus of the cell where it binds directly to the DNA.  Once bound to the DNA, the hormone messenger turns on DNA expression of protein synthesis.   DNA contains the source code for the manufacture of proteins.  The Hormone is a messenger that tells the DNA to produce these proteins.

Why Are Proteins Important ?

Proteins are the major building block for the human body, and all life for that matter.  Proteins serve a variety of functions.  For example, “structural” proteins make up the structural elements of the body such as bones, skin, arteries, hair, connective tissue, ligaments, tendons, muscles.  Other proteins called enzymes are involved in energy production.  There are proteins involved in communication, neurological function,  and cognition called  neurotransmitters.  There are proteins involved in the immune system called antibodies, and the list goes on.  The types of proteins are a very important part of the makeup of the organism.

Regenerative and Reparative Proteins

We need a constant supply of proteins to repair the body’s wear and tear.  A marathon runner, for example, suffers wear and tear on the tendons, ligaments and muscles used in the marathon run.  Recovery time after a marathon depends on the speed of repair of these injuries.  During recovery,  new proteins and new cells are manufactured and used for repair.

Diagram below shows the hormone (red molecule at upper left) entering cell, attaching to the DNA, and turning on protein synthesis.(see below)

New Cell Layers Needed for Life

In order to live, we need to make new cells.   As our older cells and cell layers age and eventually die, we must have the ability to manufacture new cells.  Examples are blood cells that must be replaced by the bone marrow every 90 days, the skin cells that slough off as the outer layer to be replaced by new layers of cells underneath.  The gastrointestinal lining is generated at the basal cell layer.  THese basal cells mature as they migrate to the surface where they eventually live out their life span, die and slough off.

All of the parts of our bodies are require new cells to replace old ones.  These new cells are made of proteins , so regeneration of new cell layers requires the DNA to be “turned on” to make these new proteins and cells.

Hormone Levels Decline with Age

We know from observational studies that hormones levels decline with age.  Starting around age 50, hormones levels decline to low levels.  In women, this is sudden decline in hormone levels is called menopause around age 50 with cessation of ovulation.  In men, hormonal decline after age 50 is called andropause,  with a gradual in testosterone levels.

Chart of Life Span from 1600 to 2010. (see below)

Above chart courtesy of : Broken Limits to Life Expectancy Jim Open and James W.Vaupel

Starting around 1820, the time of the Industrial Revolution, we see a linear increase in life span.  I suspect this is due to the improved living standards, better nutrition and mass production of goods and services.  Before 1900, most people did not live past 50, so hormonal decline was not an issue.  However, after 1900, an increasing population was living longer after the age of 50 with hormonal decline.  This is an even greater trend now, with the largest over 50 population in the history of western civilization.  All of these people are living with hormonal decline, and the accompanying degenerative diseases associated with hormonal decline.

Lack of Reparative Proteins Leads to Degenerative Diseases of Aging

Without the hormone message attached to the DNA, which turns on DNA expression and protein synthesis, we all begin to suffer from the lack of reparative and regenerative proteins leading to the degenerative diseases of aging.

Natural Medicine will provide bioidentical hormone replacement which will serve to prevent or reverse these degenerative diseases of aging.  Here is a list with the mainstream drug treatment offered.

List of the Degenerative Diseases                 Drugs Used

Osteoarthritis Naprosyn, Ibuprofen
Osteoporosis Fosamax Actonel
Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease Lipitor
Cognitive Dysfunction Aricept
Immune System Dysfunction Cipro, Z-pack
Loss of Libido Viagra
Depression Prozac, Zoloft

Degenerative Disease Means Great Profits for Drug Companies

The major drug companies make most of their profits on blockbuster drugs aimed at one of the above degenerative diseases of aging.

BioIdentical Hormones Prevent Degenerative Diseases of Aging

Since all of these degenerative diseases are directly caused by hormonal decline, they can be prevented or reversed (at least partially reversed)  with the use of bio-identical hormones, representing direct economic competition with the drug industry which sells a drug for each degenerative disease (see above chart).

Natural Medicine Means Lost Profits for the Drug Industry

If bio-identical hormones were widely used, this would mean massive lost sales and lost profits for the drug industry.  It is not difficult to understand why there is animosity and competition between the drug industry and natural medicine, and especially between the drug industry and natural bioidentical hormones, with a raging information war going on.

For more on this topic, read my previous articles:

The Safety Of Bio-Identical Hormones by Jeffrey Dach MD

The Battle for BioIdentical Hormones by Jeffrey Dach MD

BioIdentical Hormones, Cook Book or Tailor Made? by Jeffrey Dach MD

FDA Declares War on BioIdentical Hormones by Jeffrey Dach MD

Breast Cancer Prevention and Iodine Supplementation by Jeffrey Dach MD

Does Testosterone Cause Prostate Cancer? by Jeffrey Dach MD

Jeffrey Dach MD
4700 Sheridan Suite T
Hollywood Fl 33021 


The Safety Of Bio-Identical Hormones by Jeffrey Dach MD

The Battle for BioIdentical Hormones by Jeffrey Dach MD

BioIdentical Hormones, Cook Book or Tailor Made? by Jeffrey Dach MD

FDA Declares War on BioIdentical Hormones by Jeffrey Dach MD

Breast Cancer Prevention and Iodine Supplementation by Jeffrey Dach MD

Broken Limits to Life Expectancy Jim Oeppen and James W.Vaupel*

Disclaimer click here: http://www.drdach.com/wst_page20.html

The reader is advised to discuss the comments on these pages with his/her personal physicians and to only act upon the advice of his/her personal physician Also note that concerning an answer which appears as an electronically posted question, I am NOT creating a physician — patient relationship.  Although identities will remain confidential as much as possible, as I can not control the media, I can not take responsibility for any breaches of confidentiality that may occur.

Link to this article:

This article may be copied or reproduced on the internet provided a link and credit is given.

For more information on Bio-Identical Hormones contact your Medicine Shoppe pharmacist at 719-471-3600 or 719-630-3154 or e-mail us at theherbdoctor@yahoo.com.

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Forward-thinking Family Feasts

By Marcia Whyte Smart
Greenlight Magazine in partnership with Earth 911

Sitting down to a beautiful family meal is all the more meaningful when you know that the ingredients are free of toxic pesticides and other worrisome chemicals and that the dishes have been prepared with care, keeping our earth’s most precious resources in mind. Here’s how you can be earth-conscious while creating menus that fit seamlessly into any family’s traditional festivities.

The Basics

It almost goes without saying: Steer clear of prepared, processed and canned foods as much as possible. For your staples, use organic vinegars and extra virgin olive oil, fresh organic fruits and vegetables, and home-made stocks from organic and free-range poultry. You may also want to try hand-raked sea salt from Brittany (as opposed to iodized salt made in gigantic salt mines).

Healthy & Festive

An elegant trout and endive appetizer special enought to take to a party, a hearty root vegetable medley in place of a goo-topped sweet potato casserole, fresh pumkin custard instead of a store-bought pie.

These Earth-friendly recipes make use of traditional ingredients and flavors and should fit perfectly into your family’s winter dinner events.

Link below to the recipes:

Know Your Labels

Organic: Produce labeled “organic” is grown in compliance with the USDA’s Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, which requires that no pesticides, toxic fertilizers or genetically modified seeds be used in their cultivation.

Natural: Food labels that say “natural” don’t necessarily mean that the contents are organic (if they are, this will be specified). “Natural” can actually be very misleading, because it may simply mean that the food was produced without one of the following: additives, artificial colors, hormones and/or antibiotics. Naturally raised meat is typically meat from animals that have been raised without growth hormones and/or antibiotics or that weren’t fed any animal by-products. Animals from the most respected meat producers receive no antibiotics, hormones or animal by-products.

Grass-Fed: “Grass-fed” means just that: The animals were raised in a pasture, eating natural vegetation instead of the fattening whole corn given to cattle and other livestock at feed lots. Meat from grass-fed animals contains none of the hormones and chemicals found in industrially raised cows because the animals are not forced to grow fat in an unnaturally short time. Grass-fed cattle also benefit from not eating corn, which is not part of the animals’ natural diet. Though it can damage their digestive and immune systems, it is used by feed lots because it’s easier and cheaper (thanks to government subsidies). Grass-fed meat is more natural because the cows are eating the diet they were made to eat. Grass-fed meat is also lower in calories and fat, and higher in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Look for labels that say “100 percent grassfed” or “pasture-finished.” While some argue that traditional corn-fed beef has better flavor, it’s worth noting that the famed steaks of Argentina are grass-fed.

Heritage Main Courses

Consider ordering meats that come from a heritage breed, such as Lasater beef, American Bronze or Bourbon Red turkey, and Kurobuta or Red Wattle pork. These animals tend to be raised in pastures and don’t receive antibiotics or hormones. Fifty years ago, heritage breeds were common on family farms, but with the industrialization of the livestock industry many have become nearly extinct. In encouraging farmers to keep raising heritage breeds. You’ll be doing your part to continue the cultivation of rare livestock and to ensure genetic diversity. Organic holiday ham can take on myriad savory flavors, including smoke, honey, bourbon, pepper, apple and maple. More and more supermarkets now carry organic items.

What About Kosher Meat?

Kosher meat is considered safer and cleaner than conventional meat. Jewish law requires rigorous inspections, and Kosher beef inspectors reject about 50 times as many animals as USDA inspectors do. The animals must be active and healthy before slaughter, and some people consider the slaughtering process to be more humane and hygienic. But safer, cleaner meat doesn’t guarantee that it’s better for you: Kosher animals are raised on conventional farms, which often administer growth hormones and antibiotics. Kosher hot dogs can be loaded with nitrates and saturated fat. If health is your goal, choose organic Kosher meat.

Other Sources for Earth-Friendly Meats and Foods

Other earth-friendly meats and foods include kosher turkeys; organic turkeys; organic produce; the bounty of local organic farms, farmer’s markets and organic meat producers.

Finishing touches

Consider serving kosher or organic wines, which are made from pesticide-free grapes. Round out your meal with organic and fair-trade coffee.

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Is Stress Getting You Down?

Signs and Symptoms of Excessive Stress

  • Circulatory: Angina, sensations of pressure in the chest, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, elevated blood pressure
  • Digestive: Chronic indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, ulcers, irritable bowel, Crohn’s disease
  • Muscular: Stiff neck and shoulders, chronic muscle tension, low back pain, tension headaches, migraines, muscle tremors or twitching, teeth grinding
  • Skin: Skin eruptions, hives, eczema, cold hands and feet, profuse sweating, sweating palms
  • Respiratory: Allergies, asthma, shortness of breath
  • Energy: Fatigue, disturbed sleep patterns, insomnia or sleeping too much, anxiety, panic attacks, depression
  • Adrenal Exhaustion: Dark circles under eyes, quivering tongue, pulsing pupils, craving for sweets, blood sugar problems (hypoglycemia and diabetes)
  • Mental: Absent mindedness, loss of concentration, confusion, loss of memory
  • Emotional: Fear, withdrawal, negative self-talk, loss of interest in life, emotionally sensitive, moody, irritable, loss of sense of humor, apprehension
  • Social Behavioral: Change is social activities, antisocial behavior, inappropriate social responses, intense pacing, increased alcohol intake

Reading the Signs of Stress

It’s been said that the only sure things in life are death and taxes, but in this modern world we can add a third sure thing we’re all likely to experience-stress. Stress is just a fact of life in modern society and it has a very negative impact on our health.

While we have all experienced stress, we may not be aware of what stress is from a biological standpoint, or what we can do to prevent it from damaging one’s health.

The body is programmed to survive. When something threatens a person’s survival there is a series of reactions in the body which prepare the body to cope with the threat. Dr. Hans Selye (1936), was the first researcher to document the effects of stress on health. He conducted experiments in laboratory animals and found that stress, coupled with nutritional deficiency, plays a role in the development of every disease.

As a result of the work of Dr. Selye and other researchers, we now have a very clear picture of what happens in the body when survival is threatened. When the mind perceives danger, a series of chemical reactions, sometimes called the fight or flight response, is triggered. The brain signals the hypothalamus to secrete the adrenocorticotrophic hormone releasing factor which travels to the pituitary where it stimulates the production of the adrenocorticotrophic stimulating hormone (ACTH). ACTH travels to the adrenals causing the increased production of epinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol.

Epinephrine is both a hormone and a neurotransmitter in the sympathetic nervous system. It heightens physical alertness and activity. Cortisol is an anti-inflammatory hormone that suppresses the immune response. There are other changes in body biochemistry as well, including alterations in enzyme systems and prostaglandin production.

The net effect of all of these changes is to prepare the body for action. The body is “tweaked” physically to be able to fight the dangerous situation or escape from it. On the following page, you’ll find a list of some of the changes that take place in the body as a result of the release of these chemical messengers.

Following are some of the physical changes that take place in the body under stress, you can sew how this coping mechanism could help the body when the danger is real and physical, such as facing a bear or a mountain lion, or charging an enemy in battle. The body is operating at peak efficiency to defend itself or flee the situation.

Physical Changes in the Body Resulting from Stress:

  1. Blood is shunted away from digestive organs and outward to the muscles to ensure we are prepared for action.
  2. There is a decrease in ?digestive activity and peristalisis of the intestines.
  3. The heart rate and blood pressure increase. This increases the blood flow both to the brain and to the limbs.
  4. Sugar is released into the blood stream to provide energy for brain and muscle activity.
  5. Muscles tense for action
  6. Blood clotting occurs more rapidly so the body can prevent blood loss if there are internal or external injuries.
  7. The skin becomes less sensitive as blood withdraw3s from the skin (so injuries will not be felt as acutely), while the pupils dilate to allow for increased visual perception…

One problem is that this mechanism is triggered whether the danger is physical or psychological. It is even triggered if the danger is imagined and not real. (Think of what happens when you watch a scary movie.) In modern’ society the dangers we encounter are more psychological than physical. A stack of unpaid bills, a lawsuit, and congested freeway traffic are still perceived by the brain as a threat to survival, but there isn’t much one can do physically about these problems. However, the same physical reactions occur.

Soldiers who have been at war for a long time experience a phenomenon that used to be called shell shock. In World War II it was called battle fatigue. Today it is called by the fancy name of post -traumatic stress disorder. Whatever the name, the cause and the effects are the same, and one doesn’t have to go to war to experience it. Anyone who is exposed to repeated stress   over a prolonged period of time will eventually experience battle fatigue.

After any stressful experience, it takes some time for the biochemistry of the body to return to normal. Even with a minor stress which causes one to tense up a little, it can take as much as 20 minutes for the stress hormones and chemicals to dissipate and muscles to relax. When the stress is repeated at frequent intervals, the body is never given a chance to recover.

Dr. Seyle identified three stages to the stress response. The first stage occurs when a stressful event causes shock. The shock is followed by a mobilization of the stress-coping mechanisms we’ve just described.

Dr. Selye called the second stage of stress the general adaptation syndrome. During this stage the body appears to return to normal, but if another stress is added, then the body has a more difficult time dealing with it. With continued exposure to stress a person may develop disease conditions like those listed at the beginning of this article.

Exhaustion is the third and final stage of stress. At this point, the stress overwhelms the organism and the person or animal dies.

Millions of Americans are in the second (general adaptive stage) of stress. Drs. Thomas H. Holmes and Richard H. Rahe, psychiatrists at the University of Washington Medical School, updated Seyle’s original list (1937) in their Social Readjustment Scale (1967). See at end of this article. Different life events are scored with different amounts of “stress points.” They found that if a person had less than 150 points during a year, they had only a 30% chance of developing a stress related disease. 150 - 299 points meant there was a 50% chance of a stress induced illness. Over 300 points meant an 80% chance of a stress-related illness.

Take this little test for yourself and look at the list of stress-related signs and symptoms at the beginning of this article. If you scored high on the Social Readjustment Scale and are suffering from some of the symptoms listed, try reducing your stress using some of the natural aids discussed that follow.

Tools for Reducing Stress

Before we reach for an herb or supplement to help us deal with stress, let’s look at the first-and most important- thing we ) need to do to reduce stress in our lives. Since most of the stress we encounter in the modern world is psychological, we need to deal with the problem at its source-the mind.

Although we may be conditioned to respond to those unpaid bills or that freeway traffic as a threat to our existence, it really isn’t. If we can retrain our mind, we can actually retrain the way our body responds to these events and avoid triggering the cascade of stress- producing hormones in the first place.

The Relaxation Response
In 1976 Dr. Herbert Bensen wrote a now famous book, The Relaxation Response. Dr. Bensen documented how using a simple meditation technique can reduce stress levels and stress-related illness. Dr. Benson’s contribution was to remove the religious overtones from meditation and document its benefits scientifically. He devised a simple non-religious meditative technique that anyone can use to reduce stress levels

There are three steps to doing a relaxing meditation. First, get into a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down, and consciously allow the muscles of your body to relax. Second, start breathing slowly and deeply. Third, create a single point of mental focus so that you can stop the flow of obsessive thoughts in your brain (sometimes referred to as monkey chatter).

Dr. Benson simply had the person repeat the word “one” over and over again in their mind. Another simple technique is to count with your breathing. As you breath in and out you think, “In-two-three-four, hold-twothree-four, out-two-three-four, and hold-two-three-four,” and repeat this pattern over and over again. Quieting the mind allows the brain to stop signalling the release of stress chemicals through the hypothalamus, resulting in a rapid reduction of stress levels.

This simple technique, if practiced daily for only 20-30 minutes can profoundly reduce a person’s stress level. Of course, when the body is severely worn down by stress, supplements can help the body repair and rebuild.

When it comes to dealing with stress, the most important supplements a person can turn to are a class of herbs called adaptagens. Adaptagens get their name from their ability to mediate Selye’s general adaptive syndrome. Adaptagens work on the hypothalamus and pituitary glands to reduce the output of stress hormones, thereby lowering stress responses in the body.

The first herb recognized to have adaptagenic properties was Eleuthero root (formerly known as Siberian ginseng). Russian researchers discovered this distant cousin of ginseng improved stamina and endurance in athletes, reduced errors in workers, and helped improve the immune response. It acts as a tonic to the adrenal glands and helps the body withstand heat, cold, infection, and physical stresses, including radiation.

When Americans first went into space they came back very ill. Russian cosmonauts were not experiencing the same problems. Dr. Bruce Halstead, a California M.D. and researcher, asked the Russians to share their secret. Now American astronauts also use Eleuthero root to help them adapt more easily to weightlessness in space.

Since the discovery of eleuthero root, numerous other adaptagens have been identified. One of these is schizandra berries, a tonic used in Chinese medicine. Schizandra helps with many of the health problems brought on by chronic stress, including disturbed sleep patterns, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of concentration, forgetfulness and irritability. It is the primary herb in Nervous Fatigue Formula, a Chinese adaptagenic blend that treats the effects of mental and emotional burnout.

Nervous Fatigue Formula is an amazing product for exhausted adrenals, chronic stress, fatigue, restless sleep, and chest pains brought on by anxiety and stress. According to Chinese tradition, it helps “calm the spirit,” promoting deeper sleep, reduced stress levels, a calmer mind and more energy. It is particularly indicated for people who are tired after a long bout with stress but cannot sleep peacefully through the night. Four capsules twice a day or three capsules three times per day will usually have a person sleeping more peacefully within two to three days.

Schizandra is also an ingredient in Nutri-Calm, an antistress vitamin supplement. This blend is very helpful for people who are always restless and “on the go,” having difficulty relaxing. One tablet two or three times each day often helps people feel less restless and more relaxed without losing energy.

Supporting the Adrenals
Both Nutri-Calm and Nervous Fatigue formula support the health of the adrenal glands. However, sometimes when the adrenals are severely depleted a stronger formula is necessary. Adrenal Support is a powerful formula for rebuilding exhausted adrenals. Combining some of the same antistress vitamins found in Nutri-Calm with schizandra and other adrenal-supporting herbs and nutrients, Adrenal Support also contains an adrenal glandular.

When symptoms of severe adrenal fatigue are present (exhaustion, extreme sensitivity, etc.) just one or two capsules of Adrenal Support can help a person begin to feel normal again in as little as two or three days. This powerful blend is not intended for long term use, however.

After three to six months, a person should use Nervous Fatigue Formula, Nutri-Calm or Suma Combination if they feel the need for continued support of the adrenal glands.

Suma is another herb shown to have adaptagenic properties. Suma has been called Brazilian ginseng because of its tonic properties. Suma Combination combines suma with eleuthero root, astragalus, ginkgo, and gotu kola. In combination, the herbs in Suma Combination reduce stress levels, enhance immune function and improve memory and concentration.

A recent addition to the arsenal of stress-fighting formulas is AdaptaMax. This formula combines a variety of adaptagenic herbs including: Korean ginseng, eleuthero root, rhodiola, ashwaganda, gynostemma, schizandra, and suma. The formula also contains rosemary, astragalus, reishi mushrooms, alfalfa, kelp, and ginkgo. Together, these herbs not only reduce stress responses, they also enhance immunity, reduce oxidative damage, brighten moods and support the immune system.

Besides adaptagens and adrenal tonics, nervine herbs can also help the body cope with stress. One of the herbs that can be extremely helpful for reducing stress levels is Kava Kava. This Polynesian herb is a powerful muscle relaxant and mood elevator. It helps to relax the body without dulling the mind. For people whose stress is creating chronic muscle tension and difficulty “unwinding,” kava kava can be taken at the end of the day to help the body unwind from the stress of the day.

Other nervine formulas that can help the body relax, countering the tensing effects of stress, include Stress-J and Stress Relief. These herbal blends can reduce anxiety, tension, and nervousness associated with stress.

Other Aids to Reducing Stress
Moderate exercise is another way to reduce stress levels. Since stress produces chemicals designed to promote heightened activity, exercise can help burn off these stress related chemicals. Just taking a walk when you feel distressed or tense will often help both the body and mind to relax and let go of the stress and tension.

Avoiding sugar, alcohol, and caffeine can also help to reduce stress levels. Caffeine whips the adrenals by overstimulating them, which contributes to adrenal fatigue and feeling burned out. The fatigue that accompanies the exhausted adrenal glands prompts the person to consume more caffeine in an effort to increase their energy level, resulting in a vicious downward spiral. Sugar tends to have similar effects.

Even if we can’t eliminate all of the stressful events in our life, we can reduce their impact on our body and our health by following some of these simple steps.

Now Here is Your STRESS TEST:Scale Life
Events Death of spouse - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 100
Divorce - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 73
Marital separation from mate - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -63
Detention in jail, other institution - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  - 63
Death of a close family member - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  - 63
Major personal injury or illness - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 53
Marriage - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  - 50
Fired from work - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 47
Marital reconciliation - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  - 45
Retirement - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 45
Major change in the health or behavior of a family member - - - - - -44
Pregnancy - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -40
Sexual difficulties - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  39
Gaining a new family member (through birth, adoption, oldster moving, etc.)-  39
Major business readjustment (merger, reorganization, bankruptcy)- - - - - -39
Major change in financial status - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  - - - - - - - - - -38
Death of close friend - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - — - - - - - -  - - -37
Change to different line of work - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -36
Major change in the number of arguments with spouse- - - - - - - - -  35
Taking out a mortgage or loan for a major purchase - - - - - - - - - - - -31
Foreclosure on a mortgage or loan - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  - - - - - - -  -  30
Major change in job responsibilities - - - - - - - - - - - — - - - - - - - - - - - 29
Son or daughter leaving home (marriage, attending college)- - - - - -29
Trouble with in-laws - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  29
Outstanding personal achievement - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 28
Spouse beginning or ceasing to work outside the home - - - - - - - - - 26
Beginning or ceasing formal schooling - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -26
Major change in living conditions - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  25
Revision of personal habits (dress, manners, associations, etc.)- - - 24
Trouble with boss - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  23

change in working hours or conditions - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  20
Change in residence - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -20
Change to a new school - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 20
Major change in usual type and/or amount of recreation - - - - - - - -19
Major change in church activities (a lot more or less than usual)- -  19
Major change in social activities (clubs, dancing, movies, visiting)- 18
Taking out a mortgage or loan for a lesser purchase (for a car, TV, freezer, etc.) - -17
Major change in sleeping habits - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 16
Major change in the number of family get-togethers - - - - - - - - - - - -15
Major change in eating habits - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -15
Vacation - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 13
Christmas season - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -12
Minor violations of the law (traffic tickets, etc.)- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 11

If a person had less than 150 points during a year, they had only a 30% chance of developing a stress related disease. 150 - 299 points meant there was a 50% chance of a stress induced illness. Over 300 points meant an 80% chance of a stress-related.

For More information contact:

Dr. Tiffani Schilling, Pharm.D/Herbalist with The Medicine Shoppe (719)930-1829        E-Mail: theherbdoctor@yahoo.com
Web: www.theherbwoman.com

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