Category Archives: Chronic Diseases

Leaky Gut Syndrome – Intestinal Epithelial Hyperpermeability

Leaky gut syndrome refers to a set of symptoms that are associated with a “leaky gut.” What we often call “leaky gut” is more scientifically labelled as “intestinal epithelial hyperpermeability,” “intestinal tight junction malfunction” or even “compromised intestinal barrier function” by the medical community.

The gut is supposed to allow absorption of water, small ions and nutrients into our blood system (the gate function). It is also supposed to prevent other material in your gut from entering the blood stream (the fence function).

The barrier consists of a single layer of cells (intestinal epithelial lining) and the secretions of those cells. The cells are bound together by “tight junction” proteins. But, when this barrier become damaged, the undigested food as well as potentially toxic microbes and microbial products can enter the blood stream.

Why is Leaky Gut Important?

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Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 and Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) seems to play a role in Alzheimer’s disease. Though scientists do not yet know exactly how HSV-1 is associated with Alzheimer’s, it appears that the virus or repeated outbreaks of herpes along with a certain gene play an important role.

Basics of Alzheimer’s Disease and Herpes

To start, lets go over some terms you will find in the research that will help you understand what research scientists know.

Objective Measure of Mental or Cognitive Decline

One way to gauge the level of mental decline or cognitive impairment is with the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE). This consists of 11 areas of questions that help determine the level of cognitive impairment. It, or a variation of it, is widely used during annual physicals of seniors to screen for dementia.

Detection of Viral Infections

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Adaptogens Reduce Physical and Mental Stress

Adaptogens are plant based compounds that help you adapt to stress in your environment and reduce damage from that stress. They are found in a variety of plants. Among those found effective in animal and human trials are:

Rhodiola rosea photo

Rhodiola rosea photo by peganum

  • Rhodiola rosea
  • Panax Ginseng
  • Holy Basil
  • Ashwagandha (Indian ginseng) (Withania somnifera)
  • Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus or Siberian ginseng)
  • Schisandra (Schisandra chinesis)
  • Astragalus root
  • Licorice root
  • Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea)
  • Cordycep mushrooms
  • Rubus coreanus (Korean black raspberry)
  • Pseudosasa japonica (Arrow Bamboo)
  • Anoectochilus formosanus (genus of orchid)
  • Camellia sinensis (evergreen shrub)
  • Allium sativum (species of onion)

Your body’s reaction and adaptation to stress typically goes through three stages:

  1. The alarm reaction when stress is detected
  2. Adaptation / Resistance as the body takes measures to counter the stress
  3. Exhaustion when the body can no longer cope adequately

Plant adaptogens can increase the ability of the body to cope with and adapt to various environmental sources of stress without experiencing exhaustion. The role of the adaptogen is to moderate the response so the coping with stress can go on for longer periods of time.

The following timeline shows typical coping scenarios. Without adaptogens the stress response is higher, using more resources, and eventually become exhausted. The response with adaptogens shows a milder response that lasts longer and can continue to cope with the stress. Continue reading

Do You Have a Magnesium Deficiency?

Magnesium plays important roles in the body. It is needed for enzyme activity by over 300 different biological processes. All enzymes associated with ATP require Magnesium. And, you may know that adenosine triphosphate (ATP) provides energy to all cells.

Depending on just how much magnesium in the blood is considered normal, anywhere from 4.8% to 47% of all patients in hospitals are deficient in magnesium. Up to 65% of patients in intensive care are deficient, and low levels of Magnesium are associated with a higher mortality rate.

How Much Magnesium is Required?

The daily dietary allowance for magnesium set by the National Academy of Science and the Institute of Medicine is 6 mg per kg of body mass. On average, this means about 400-420 mg per day for men and 310-320 mg per day for women.

It is estimated that between 50% and 85% of those living in the United States fail to reach these levels of magnesium intake. A major reason for this is the high consumption of refined and processed foods that are deficient in magnesium. One study, for example, showed that refining and processing wheat to white flour, rice to polished rice, and corn to starch removes from 82% to 97% of the magnesium.

What Are the Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency?

Because magnesium is used in all energy producing systems as well as other systems, the symptoms of magnesium deficiency are widespread an varied. Here are some conditions to look for: Continue reading