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Be Grateful Live Healthier

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December 2, 2014

gratitude

One of the sweet moments of our current holiday season is the sense of gratitude. We should have more of such holidays.

People who are thankful for what they have are better able to cope with stress, have more positive emotions, and are more able to reach their goals, all of which is associated with improved health and a longer better life!

And they get invited back to things

Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what a person receives. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their and many other lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result, gratitude also helps folks connect to something larger than they. This could be family, friends, employers, society or a higher power.

Here’s something else

Studies have shown that gratitude can produce a number of measurable effects in our body. These include elevation of Mood neurotransmitters (serotonin and norepinephrine), Social bonding hormones (oxytocin), Cognitive and pleasure related neurotransmitters (dopamine) and a decrease of Inflammatory and immune systems (cytokines) as well as Stress hormones (cortisol)
Your gratitude will also add to an already lovely time of the year.

If you start each day by thinking of all the things you should be grateful, your mind will start on the right track. Our future thoughts depends largely on what we think today. So each moment of every day is an opportunity to turn our thinking around–not just for the moment, but for the days, weeks, months, years ahead.

You know this already, but be appreciative for what you have. Plenty of reasons to cry, to regret, but as much as possible, focus on what’s good right now – in the present moment. Look around: your children, your pets, your spouses (okay, that could be tricky)–you’ll find something.

Practicing gratitude this time of year is relatively easy, but do it every day. Those around you will thank you. Your health will thank you.

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Warrior or Worrier?

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November 24, 2014

There are the have and the have-nots. Amongst our many genes is the one that will determine our determination. It is called COMT (Catechol-Oxygen-Methyl-Transferase). With todays medical technology we and many other physicians routinely preform this insurance paid for test from a DNA cell sample with a swab from inside of the cheek.

Improved working memory, executive function and higher IQ are governed on whether there is mutation of the COMT gene. It controls hormone levels, pain sensitivity, toxin elimination, anxiety, mood swings and dozens of drugs. The COMT neurotransmitters are dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine and cancer causing hormones and levels could be four-fold higher in those that have compared to people that do not have not this genetic mutation.

Amongst other duties this gene carries the assembly code for an enzyme that clears dopamine from the prefrontal cortex. That is the part of the brain is where we plan, make decisions, anticipate future consequences and resolve conflicts. Dopamine changes the firing rate of these neurons, speeding up that function of our brain. The brains work best when dopamine is maintained at an optimal level-not too much, or too little. By removing dopamine, the COMT enzyme regulates neural activity and maintains the status quo mental function.

There are two variants of the gene. One variant builds enzymes that slowly remove dopamine. The other variant builds enzymes that rapidly clear dopamine. We all carry the genes for one or the other, or a combination of the two.

In lab experiments, people have been given a variety of cognitive tasks such as computerized puzzles and games, portions of I.Q. tests etc. The researchers have consistently found that, under normal conditions, those with slow-acting enzymes have a cognitive advantage. They have superior executive function and all it entails. They can reason, solve problems, orchestrate complex thought and better foresee consequences. They can concentrate better. This advantage appears to increase with the number of years of education. The brains of the people with the other variant, meanwhile, are comparatively easygoing. The fast-acting enzymes remove too much dopamine, so the overall level is too low.
It seems that having slow-acting enzymes sounds better, but there is a trade-off, to these slow enzymes in how they handle stress. In the absence of stress, there definitely is a cognitive advantage. However under stress, the benefit goes away and makes these events worse.

Stress floods the prefrontal cortex with dopamine. A hit of dopamine is normally a good thing, but a surge brought on by continued stress is an adversity for people with the slow-acting enzyme. They cannot remove dopamine fast enough and it backfires causing anxiety.

A study of Beijing schoolchildren calculated the advantage to be 10 I.Q. points. But outside the security of the lab environment the cognitive advantages disappeared. The I.Q. advantage dissipated under stress and their performance declined. The students with the slow-acting enzymes decreased by 8 percent than those with the fast-acting enzymes.
The ‘Warriors’, a The New York Times Magazine article on the subject referred to as the natural type. They only focus when stimulated, as in battle. The others who had too much dopamine, were the ‘Worriers’. Continuous focus under high stress caused them to function poorly. Worriers get better grades but Warriors do better on tests. Some anxiety during tests means better results.

The Worriers with too much of these neurotransmitters are more prone also to have ADHD, aggression, gambling, alcoholism and insomnia. Due to higher estrogen in female Worriers, premenstrual syndrome, migraines, carbohydrate craving, breast soreness, heavy periods and cramping worsens. In both men and women panic states, irritability, obsessive-compulsiveness, phobias, and sleep disturbance are more common. Increased sensitivity to pain and but not response to narcotic pain medicine are also characteristic. With less stimulation, Warriors have a harder time getting work done. Warriors can improve productivity and school performance without prescription medicine.

Other gene mutations add insult to injury by making one prone for autoimmune disorders, Tourette’s syndrome, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and fibromyalgia. Moreover, response to stimulants, including caffeine and Ritalin, is magnified.

Nutrition, exercise, herbs and drugs can neutralize these symptoms and protect against hormone-related disease.

In our genetic panels are we also assess the response to pain meds (OPRM 1) and the detoxifying gene, MTHFR.
 and treat mutations with activated folate (MTHF). For Worrier’s, we recommend nighttime magnesium and GABA In the morning super B complex containing methycobalamine, L-5MTHF, and pyridoxine- 5 phosphate. Detoxification strategies of sweating, fasting, infrared sauna, and liver support such as Milk Thistle, reduce risk and improve quality of life. Modulating estrogen can eliminate PMS.

Mutations of MTHFR and Worrier COMT added to mercury amalgams and vitamin D deficiency add to the recipe for autoimmune, heart, and psychiatric disorders, neuropathies, diabetes, and thyroid and kidney failure. COMT, OPRM 1, and MTHF assessment with natural remedies rather than the weight-promoting, sex-inhibiting anti-anxiety antidepressants, and narcotics are less expensive and safer.

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A NO REMORSEFUL MORSEL

November 23, 2014

Starting with Thanksgiving, we enter the holiday season with hope in our hearts and finish on New Year’s Day with fat on our butts. During this time, Americans amass five extra pounds. Subsequent hard-working exercise may help to diminish this,…

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Your Unwritten Story

November 9, 2014

An abundant life is vitality and verve to the very end. However this is a pretense and not true in todays modern world. Ninety percent of us won’t die with peace and dignity. Therefore, our story needs not only a…

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GONE EBOLA

October 20, 2014

Ebola is a disease of humans, monkeys and fruit eating bats. These three species cannot make their own Vitamin C, a phenomenon of more than interest of which we will discuss later. Initially discovered in 1976 on the banks of…

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Too Much Exercise Is Bad

October 5, 2014

Cardiac overuse injury can occur with too much or over aggressive aerobic/cardio exercise. Typically there is a rising straight line if more is better, but if a J shape curve is emblazoned then this is unhealthy. J is not for…

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Garbage Men For Your Brain

September 21, 2014

New research shows a good night’s rest is not just a luxury. It is critical for our brain’s health. Revitalizing,by recouping, repairing, and regrouping is a must for a happy healthy brain. When we sleep our focus on sensory cues,…

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BELLA SOMA AND GOOD NIGHT

September 14, 2014

Dulces Sueños! It is about time the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new non-benzo sleeping pill. But, Belsomra is a controlled substance (Schedule-IV) because it can be abused or lead to dependence. The drug, Belsomra (suvorexant) will be…

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Safe Versus Dangerous Foods Or DO NOT EAT CRAP

September 14, 2014

I have been recommending celery, particularly its seeds for Blood Pressure control and Kale for being extremely nutrient dense without the lousy unneeded calories. Focus on buying certain organic items, while “settling” for others that are conventionally-grown. To do this, familiarizing…

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Choosing Essential Habits

September 14, 2014

Everything we do is based on choice. Not our genetics, past relationships, employment, the economy, the weather, an argument, or the ozone layer. We alone are responsible for every decision and choice we make. If we just avoided the 4…

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