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Alkaline Diets

From an evolutionary perspective our diets used to be highly alkaline through the consumption of alkaline water and high quantities of alkaline vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. As the body’s cells are designed to function most effectively in an alkaline environment, current Western Diets which are acidic due to high levels of meats, grains and simple sugars, compromise cellular functioning due to the resultant Metabolic Acidosis.

Metabolic Acidosis causes many adverse physiological effects. In an attempt to buffer excess acid, calcium and magnesium cations are leeched from bones and Glutamine is liberated from lean muscles. This allows excess Hydrogen ions to be safely excreted in the urine. These changes over time can result in Osteoporosis, Kidney stones and Kidney damage, Sarcopaenia and Weight gain. Also, as the likely Metabolic Acidosis supresses’ fat burning (lipolysis), weight gain is more likely.

Optimal tissue pH is mildly alkaline and ensures optimal:

  1. Metabolic enzyme activity
  2. Permeability of cell membranes
  3. Distribution of electrolytes
  4. Structure of connective tissues

Acidic tissues are metabolically compromised. Acidic tissues also activate and sensitise neuronal acid sensing ion channels triggering a pain signal e.g. the pain associated with lactic acid build up.
Urinary pH testing is a useful guide to acid base balance. The first morning urine is tested. Ideal urinary pH is 6.5 – 7.5. Urinary pH <6.5 is acidic indicating a need for a fundamental change in diet, and a urinary pH >7.5 is too alkaline and usually reflects a strict vegetarian diet.

An alkalising diet will:

  1. Improve energy levels
  2. Support detoxification
  3. Enhance fat burning supporting healthy weight
  4. Improve bone integrity (especially important in older individuals)
  5. Increase lean muscle mass

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Bowel Health

The bowel is an Eco System containing billions of bacteria weighing between 2-3kg. To a very large extent our health is dependent on the delicate symbiotic relationship between ourselves and our gut bacteria. When the bacteria are normal and in balance (predominantly Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria) they perform crucial functions including:

  1. Inhibition of harmful bacteria
  2. Production of Folic Acid and Vitamin B12
  3. Production of short chain fatty acids from vegetable fibre which nourish the mucosal lining of the colon
  4. Destroy harmful toxins

Current lifestyles threaten the delicate eco system of our gut. Antibiotics prescribed for infections and that are fed to animals that we eat destroy the good bacteria and unbalance this eco system. This allows unfriendly bacteria and yeasts such as candida to multiply and cause a variety of abdominal symptoms including bloating, pain, flatulence, diarrhoea, constipation etc. The toxins produced from the unfriendly bacteria can cause serious health problems in many body systems, not just the gut. Many people trace the origin of their digestive and other health problems to an Antibiotic course taken in the past. There is testing available to determine whether or not there is an unbalance in this ecosystem. One school of thought believes that most of our chronic health problems start in the gut. Balancing the bowel eco system will often produce major improvement in one’s health.

Other causes for a disturbance in this Eco system includes diets high in sugar or low in fibre, food poisoning, food allergies and sensitivities.

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Brain Neurotransmitters

There are believed to be hundreds of neurotransmitters in the brain. The main ones are:

The serotonergic system regulates a broad range of psychological and biological functions including mood, arousal, and aggression. Serotonin acts like ‘a conductor in an orchestra’ directing the flow of thoughts and information in your brain. When serotonin levels are normal our thoughts flow in an orderly and coherent manner. If serotonin levels drop then thoughts become scattered and unfocused, memory and concentration begin to suffer. During Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep the serotonergic system is switched off and chaos reigns with wild thoughts, vivid fantasies, dreams, and sometimes nightmares. Drugs that suppress the serotonergic system like LSD will cause this to happen when you are awake!

Serotonin is made from the Amino Acid TRYPTOPHAN found in meat and fish. Diets low in good quality protein may be deficient in Tryptophan resulting in Brain serotonin levels falling.

The dopaminergic system is involved in reward – pleasure and is important in learning. It is the principal neurotransmitter involved in addictions and is produced in huge amounts at orgasm. Excessive levels are associated with addictive tendencies, anxiety, compulsions, unhealthy risk taking including gambling and promiscuous sex, and aggression. Reduced levels are associated with depression, anhedonia, lack of remorse about personal behaviour, social anxiety, and antisocial behaviour. Unlike Serotonin the dopaminergic system does not undergo major cyclic shifts in levels during the course of the sleep wake cycle. Caffeine, chocolate, and moderate exercise will elevate Dopamine levels. Amphetamines will cause a sudden huge pulse of Dopamine release followed by a serious depletion which can take days to recover from. Prolonged use of Amphetamines can cause Psychosis.

CATECHOLEAMINES (Noradrenaline):
Similar effects to Dopamine in producing alertness, focus, and motivation.
NOTE: both Dopamine and Catecholeamines are produced from the amino acid TYROSINE which is first converted into Dopamine and then Noradrenaline.

This was the first neurotransmitter to be identified back in the early 1900s. It is the most abundant neurotransmitter in the brain. It is involved in spatial memory, learning, mental focus, alertness, attention span, motivation, sleep and sexual desire. Optimal levels enhance cognition. It is noted to be low in Dementia and Depression. Levels are increased by some Amino Acids (Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Taurine), Omega 3 Fatty Acid DHA, Choline, Vitamins B2,5,12, and C, caffeine and nicotine. Alcohol and the heavy metals Mercury and Aluminium may reduce levels of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine levels decline as part of normal ageing.


  1. Neurotransmitters in the Brain are replenished during sleep. Sleep deprivation / poor quality sleep will result in Neurotransmitter depletion. The lifestyle of young people is very risky for their Mental Health (‘the great brain robbery’) due to the potentially devastating combination of reduced sleep, poor quality sleep, poor diets, and illicit drug use, all combining to seriously deplete the Brain of its Neurotransmitters.
  2. The Brain not only requires adequate amounts of the Amino Acid precursors for normal Neurotransmitter levels but also specific Vitamins, Minerals, and a molecule called SAMe (primary methyl donor). These micronutrients act as cofactors to activate the enzymes involved in Neurotransmitter production.

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In healthy individuals cells grow, divide and die in a highly regulated fashion. Cancer cells arise when damage occurs to DNA, changing the way they function and ultimately defy this natural cell cycle process. This damage can be caused by environmental factors interacting with genetic susceptibility (Epigenetics).

  • 1 in 3 Australian men and 1 in 4 Australian women will be diagnosed with a form of cancer before the age of 75. Cancer does not discriminate, it affects people of all ages (AIHW, 2014).
  • Most people in Australia will encounter cancer at some stage in their lives, either personally or through family and friends. Annually more than 123,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed in Australia. And as our population ages, cancer is becoming more prevalent (AIHW, 2014).

Despite the billions of dollars that are poured into cancer research every year, there is still no clear consensus on the most effective treatment method for any particular form of cancer.  Traditional forms of cancer treatment including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are the majority of cancer treatment. They do not address the underlying causes or promoters of the disease.


  • Epigenetics - Epigenetics refers to the impact environmental factors have on gene expression without alteration in DNA sequence. The study of epigenetics is resulting in treatments that are aimed at altering gene expression to reduce the risk of developing cancer and other chronic illnesses and limiting their progression. DNA methylation cycles and covalent modification of histones are the two primary epigenetic mechanisms that work together along with non-coding RNA to control gene expression and are critical in the normal growth and development of cells. Therefore, any disruption to these epigenetic processes can lead to altered transcriptional control, changing the way genes are expressed and ultimately leading to major pathologies including cancer. Therapies aimed at targeting these epigenetic mechanisms are showing great promise in their anti-tumorigenic effects for some forms of cancer, (Rodriguez-Paredes & M. Esteller, 2011).


  • Diet – Diet is believed to be responsible for approximately 30-35% of all cancers (Anand et al, 2008). Therefore, dietary intervention should be a fundamental component of any effective cancer treatment program.
  • Lifestyle choices – Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, poor sleep patterns and increased stress levels are all modifiable risk factors that are strongly linked to poorer health outcomes through immune suppression, increased inflammation and toxin exposure.
  • Chronic Inflammation – Chronic inflammation caused by environmental factors or exposure to toxic chemicals results in increased cell divisions and DNA damage and can ultimately lead to the development or proliferation of cancer cells.
  • Metabolic Syndrome – Obesity is commonly associated with decreasing cell sensitivity to insulin (insulin resistance). Cancer cells are loaded with insulin receptors. Increased binding of insulin to these receptors causes increased cell division or tumour growth.
  • Chronic Infection – Chronic viral infections in particular can cause mutagenesis eg HPV and cervical cancer.
  • Methylation issues – The biochemical process of methylation in part, tags methyl groups to DNA which helps to silence oncogenes, thereby reducing mutagenesis, (Kulis, M, Esteller, M. 2010).


Genostics Testing - To optimise treatment outcomes, NEMQ uses Genostics CTC Testing to monitor and improve the effectiveness of your cancer treatment.

Natural Substances - This includes the utilisation of natural substances, including Intravenous Nutrient Therapy that have been shown to be effective in the treatment of some cancers.

The NEMQ Integrative Cancer Management Program involves a comprehensive clinical and lifestyle pre-assessment, which may include biochemistry and genetic testing where required so that your management can be individually tailored. For more information or to book an appointment please contact NEMQ reception.

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Chelation Therapy

Chelation Therapy (CT) is “an intravenous treatment aimed at reducing calcium deposits, removing heavy metals that inhibit enzyme systems, controlling lipid peroxidation, and reducing platelet stickiness in the clinical management of atherosclerosis”. Currently the only accepted indication for EDTA Chelation Therapy is lead poisoning. However it is commonly used throughout the world to reduce the burden of Heavy Metals in the body and to treat Atherosclerosis. It has been extensively used throughout the world for many years with more than 800,000 patients being treated annually. As Heavy Metals (Lead, Cadmium, Arsenic, Antimony, Aluminium, Nickel, Thallium, Tin etc) are extremely toxic through their oxidative and inflammatory effects, and inactivation of vital enzymes, they are implicated in many health ailments and disease processes. There are no ‘safe’ levels of Heavy Metals in our body. We have in built mechanisms to detoxify these toxic Heavy Metals but due to increasing environmental exposure and decreased effectiveness of our inherent detoxification mechanisms resultant from aging and poor diet, Heavy Metals slowly accumulate in our tissues including brain and bone. CT effectively reduces the body’s Heavy Metal load and very commonly (87%) results in a significant improvement in one’s general health and specific organ functioning. CT is inherently safe with side effects being rare when administered according to accepted treatment protocols.

Conditions shown to improve with CT:
• Heavy Metal Toxicity (esp Lead)
• Cardiovascular Disease (angina, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, TIAs)
• High Blood Pressure
• Tinnitus
• Memory Loss
• Complications of Diabetes
• Macular Degeneration
• Scleroderma

It is important to note that the only currently accepted condition for CT treatment is the reduction of toxic burdens of Lead. The other conditions very commonly improve with CT but as yet have not undergone the gold standard double blind clinical studies. The major reason for this is that EDTA is no longer a patentable molecule so there is no profit to be made by Pharmaceutical Companies who generally fund most drug trials. However, there is currently a very large multi centre clinical trial underway (TACT) involving several thousand patients to ascertain the efficacy of CT in cardiovascular disease.

Interestingly several large studies have confirmed a correlation between body Lead levels and arterial disease. The higher the lead level the higher the incidence of arterial disease with patients in the highest quartile of lead levels having a 250% greater risk of arterial disease, increased incidence of heart attacks and hypertension.

CT has NO role in the treatment of established cancer. However, retrospective studies have shown that patients who have received CT appear to have a significantly reduced risk of developing cancer. One study showed a reduction in mortality from cancer by 90% during an 18 year follow up of 59 patients who underwent CT. Ten patients in the non CT treated group died of cancer compared to only 1 in the CT treatment group. Although this was only a small sample size the difference is so large it cannot be ignored. The precise mechanism for this observed effect is unknown but logically could be expected to relate to the reduced HM load.

CT is the intra venous infusion of a molecule called EDTA premixed with magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin B complex with 5% Dextrose solution. CT takes approximately 1.5 hours using the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (ACNEM) protocol. A full course is between 20-30 treatments. Patients sit in a comfortable lounge chair and can read, study, or undertake some sedentary work if desired. Side effects are uncommon. Occasionally mild transient nausea, dizziness, or soreness around the IV site may be experienced. Rarely, tingling around the mouth may be experienced which would indicate a lowering of blood calcium and this is managed by injecting a small ampoule of Calcium Gluconate. It is important to have a good meal beforehand and to bring along a snack to prevent lowering of the blood sugar. There have been no severe reactions to CT in over 20 million treatments with currently accepted CT protocols such as ACNEMs. A specific Multi mineral / vitamin supplement is required to be taken whilst undergoing a course of CT as some minerals such as Zinc and Vitamin B6 can be removed by the chelation process.

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Choline is found in egg yolk, liver, yeast, and wheat germ. It combines with fatty acids and phosphoric acid in the liver to form lecithin. It is also synthesized in the body from the interaction of Vit B12 and Folate with Methionine. It is involved with the utilization of fats and cholesterol, prevents fats accumulating in the liver. It is also involved in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which is concerned with the processes of learning and memory and also neuromuscular transmission. It is a component of the myelin sheath.It is essential for liver health helping to regulate liver and gall bladder functioning and to prevent the formation of gallstones.

Deficiency is associated with fatty deposits in the liver, hypertension, liver cirrhosis, and haemorrhage from the kidneys.
It has been used in managing fatty liver, neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, tardive dyskinesia, cirrhosis, eczema, and atherosclerosis.

The RDA is not known but thought to be about 1000mg daily. The therapeutic range is 500-6000mg daily.

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Chromium is found in yeast, black pepper, liver, wheatgerm, whole wheat bread, cheese, oysters, egg yolk, prunes, raisins, nuts, and asparagus. It is an essential trace element necessary for blood sugar control through sensitizing cells to insulin. To be effective it has to be in the form of Glucose Tolerance Factor where it is combined with nicotinic acid and three amino acids found abundantly in yeast. It is important in protection against diabetes, atherosclerosis. It can be used to manage insulin resistance.

RDA is 50-200ug and the Therapeutic range is 100-300ug daily.

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Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinone)

Coenzyme Q10 is a potent fat soluble antioxidant which is normally produced in the body and does not appear to accumulate in the tissues. It is a component of the mitochondrial electron transport chain where Oxygen is reduced to water and the liberated energy used to produce ATP. It is therefore essential for energy production in all muscles including the heart. It protects against oxidative stress. Studies show enhanced heart function in patients with heart failure, muscular dystrophy, and myopathy. It lowers Blood Pressure, improves sugar control in diabetics, enhances the immune system. It also helps Vitamin E to prevent oxidation of LDL Cholesterol. The very commonly prescribed Cholesterol lowering drugs known as ‘Statins’ block the synthesis of both cholesterol and Co Q10. The resultant depleted tissue levels of Co Q10 may be the cause of the muscle pain and weakness some patients experience on these drugs. It makes good common sense to be supplementing with Co Q10 when on Statins. Supplemental Co Q 10 has no impact on the cholesterol lowering and anti inflammatory effects of Statins. It may improve the symptoms of chronic fatigue. It may improve age related macular degeneration. Tissue levels decline with age and illness. It can take 60-90 days to take effect.

Dose range is 40-400mg Daily.

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“All disease begin in the Gut”
Hippocrates (460-370 BC)

This is a condition where there is a disturbance to the normal healthy bacterial population in our colon. There are 4 types of Dysbiosis:

  1. ermentation Dysbiosis: results from a diet high in simple sugars and carbohydrates. The carbohydrates ferment producing bloating, loose motions, and flatulence. This process also produces alcohol which can cause fatigue and contribute to brain ‘fog’ and depressed moods.
  2. Putrefaction Dysbiosis: results in the rotting of protein in the colon as the food is not digested. This results in bloating, diarrhoea, and flatulence.
  3. Deficiency Dysbiosis: results from a reduction in the good bacteria and encourages the growth of bad bacteria which produce toxins that can be absorbed. These toxins can have a far reaching impact on our health as the body recognizes them as foreign and this triggers an immune response.

Dysbiosis can be tested for by doing a Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis which tests for digestion, absorption, microflora balance (good and bad bacteria, parasites, and fungi), metabolic activity, and immune function. Protein putrefaction can be tested by a test on the urine (Urinary Indican Test). The EIS scan provides useful information about the functioning of the bowel and the level of oxidative stress and disturbance in acid base balance both of which are affected by Dysbiosis.

Treatment involves dealing with the underlying cause and prescribing the appropriate Probiotics (good bacteria) and Prebiotics (non digestible food ingredients that may beneficially affect the bowel by stimulating the growth and activity of good bacteria in the bowel).

Fixing the Gut is VERY often the most important first step in recovering from chronic illness.

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Environmental Toxicity

Living organisms are exposed to increasing levels of toxin exposure in a world that continues to become more polluted. It is estimated that several thousand new (novel) chemicals are introduced into the environment every year adding to the total toxin load. These toxins are found in the air we breathe and the food and water we consume. They gain access through the lining of our respiratory and digestive systems and through the skin. There have been improvements to reduce environmental levels of specific toxins such as lead; however it is the total toxic burden that is the major concern. Our body’s have specific detox mechanisms to eliminate toxins. For many people these mechanisms can become overwhelmed from the sheet level of toxin exposure coupled with poor resourcing of detox pathways due to specific nutrient deficiencies. The end result is a net toxin retention.

Occupational groups may have a high exposure to specific toxins found in their industry (e.g. Crop farmers and pesticides). It is common to see people in at risk occupations taking little regard for protective measures when using toxic chemicals. This may be because they observe no or little immediate effect from exposure. However accumulated exposure especially where the detox mechanisms are compromised can result in progressive chronic illness.

Heavy metals (e.g. Hg, Cd, Pb), pesticides (e.g. Organo Phosphates and Polychlorinated Biphenols), Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons (e.g. Chargrilled meat), Formaldehyde (new carpets), Solvents (paint, wood polish), Plastics (Bisphenol-A), personal care products, household chemicals, and pharmaceuticals all add to the toxic load. Specific toxins disrupt specific detox pathways thereby slowing overall detox efficiency (e.g. Hg depletion of Glutathione). The end result of increased total toxic body burden is oxidative damage as these toxins are pro-oxidant increasing Free Radical levels that cause damage to DNA, mitochondria and cell membranes. The organs most affected by free radicals are those with high metabolic activity such as the brain, adrenal and thyroid glands.

Measurement of the toxic loads of specific Heavy Metals is undertaken through hair analysis and urinary provocation testing. Chemical toxins can also be measured in 24hour urinary analyses. Testing is available to measure the efficiency of the specific detox pathways in the liver. Armed with the knowledge of the key nutrients required for specific liver detox pathways and those required to assist in the removal of specific toxins, an effective detoxification programme can be designed.

At NEMQ major improvement in chronic health problems are commonly seen when targeted detox programmes are utilised to remove specific toxins that have been detected at high levels. This can be a complication process as there is not a “one size fits all” detox protocol. A protocol is designed to target the specific toxins identified. Before any specific detox program is started, it is crucial to ensure healthy digestive function (digestion and absorption of nutrients). This requires healthy stomach, pancreas and gall bladder function, healthy gut lining (absence of leaky gut), and optimisation of the bacterial flora in the large bowel. Specific detox protocols may need to be modified with certain illnesses and medications. Careful monitoring is essential. Health improvements are often dramatic.

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Folic Acid (Folate)

Folic Acid is also known as Vitamin B9. It is found in green vegetables, beans, lentils, liver, kidneys, eggs, and wholegrain cereals. It is easily destroyed by cooking. It is absorbed in the first part of the small intestine and stored in the liver for approx 3-6 months.

It acts as a coenzyme in the transfer of one carbon units in the formation of haem in the iron containing protein haemoglobin. It is involved in the synthesis of DNA and RNA, noradrenaline, serotonin, choline, and the metabolism of tyrosine and histidine. It is essential for normal growth and reproduction of all body cells. It is essential for normal brain function, and lowers the levels of the cardiovascular toxin Homocysteine by acting as a methyl donor.

Deficiency can be caused by pregnancy, lactation, smoking, alcohol, stress, children on goats milk, hyperthyroidism, malbsorption seen in inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, anticonvulsants, oral contraceptives, and some antibiotics (trimethoprim / sulphamethoxazole).
Deficiency can lead to neural tube defects (spina bifida), megaloblastic anaemia, cracking at corner of mouth, inflamed tongue, mouth ulcers, increased susceptibility to human papilloma virus and hence cervical dysplasia / cancer, premature graying of hair, apathy, memory loss, irritability, depression, and psychosis.

Some people have a polymorphism of the Methyl Tetrahydrofolate Reductase Enzyme. This means that even in the presence of adequate Folate intake the cells may not be able to convert Folate to its active form (5- Methyltetrahydrofolate). In this situation it becomes imperative to supplement with the active form of Folate which is known as Folinic Acid (5-methyltetrahydrofolate). In this condition Homocysteine levels are high as there is insufficient Folinic Acid to convert Homocysteine to Methionine. High levels of Homocysteine are very toxic and implicated in cardiovascular disease and mental illness.

Supplementation with Folinic acid should be accompanied by Vitamin B12 as Folinic acid supplementation can mask an underlying B12 deficiency. Folinic acid and Vitamin B12 work synergistically to convert Homocysteine to Methionine. Folinic acid is best taken as a sub lingual preparation for maximal absorption.

Folate (RDA is 400-800ug daily and therapeutic range is 5-50mg daily) or Sublingual Folinic Acid 1mg daily.

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Genostics CTC Testing

Treatment Monitoring

Tumours are made up of many different cancer cells and in many cases some cells can break away from the tumour mass and invade the blood stream and form secondary tumours elsewhere around the body. These escapee cells are known as Circulating Tumour Cells (CTC’s) and can be detected by a simple blood test. A CTC count test finds existing escapee cancer cells (CTC’s) and counts them.

CTC count tests are an effective way of monitoring changes in cancer activity over time.  The CTC count is the baseline test for all other testing performed through Genostics Australia.

A CTC count every 3-6 months is an effective way to:

  • Monitor the effectiveness of cancer treatments
  • Assess changes in cancer aggressiveness
  • Determine risk of cancer spread, reoccurrence or relapse


Genostics Australia use state of the art technology that detects, characterises and counts CTC’s. CTC testing through Genostics has been widely recognised and utilised by many universities, Oncologists and cancer clinics world-wide and its Maintrac Technology has been critically validated and published in peer reviewed journal articles for over 12 months.

NEMQ uses Genostics testing to monitor and improve the effectiveness of your cancer treatment.

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Glutathione is a master antioxidant which protects cells from free radical damage. It is crucially involved in the Liver phase 2 detoxification process of heavy metals and other environmental chemicals. It is an essential component of the endogenous detoxification enzyme glutathione peroxidase. It recycles Vitamin C, may inhibit the aging process, and may protect against ionizing radiation. It is a tri-peptide made up of cysteine, glycine, and glutamate. Glutathionine is best supplemented as a soluble diester such as L glutamyl-L-cysteinyl-glycine (300-600mg daily).

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Heavy Metals

Heavy Metal exposure is unavoidable and the impact on our health can range from minimal to devastating. The concentration of Heavy Metals in our environment has increased dramatically during the last 100 years with potential multitude health effects. Heavy Metals that are more commonly seen affecting our health include Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, and Arsenic. They cause tissue damage either directly by oxidative mechanisms or indirectly by metabolic conversion to damaging Free Radicals (unstable single electron molecules). These Free Radicals directly damage DNA, Cell Membranes, and Mitochondria (energy production). They are thought to be a major causative factor in the development of serious disease. Our cells have inbuilt mechanisms to protect them from the toxicity of Heavy Metals including the sequestration of the metals into structures that make them less toxic, biotransforming them into less toxic forms, or excretion of the heavy metal through chelating with specific micronutrient such as Vitamin C and Selenium. The big problem is that Heavy Metal exposure is cumulative over a lifespan and with their long half life a point is reached where our cells capacity to protect from the toxicity is overwhelmed. The symptoms associated with slow exposure and accumulation of heavy metals is vague early on but becomes more overt with age. The Central Nervous System is the most sensitive organ to the toxic effects of heavy metals and consequently will manifest the worst symptomatology - alteration in mood, behaviour, cognition, memory, and motor functions.

Heavy Metal Toxicity must be considered as a potential cause for any chronic illness. A careful history may confirm a high exposure at some time in the past to a specific Heavy Metal (eg renovating old houses painted with lead based paints), Amalgam (Mercury) fillings, and various Occupational Exposures. It can be tested for through Hair Analysis or Provocation testing (Mercury). Treatment is a slow process. It involves removal / avoidance of ongoing exposure, and oral / iv detoxification. Successful detoxification often results in a major health improvement. Early detection and detoxification is crucial.

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Homocysteine and Mehtylathon

The transfer of a Methyl Group (CH3) is a critical step in many important metabolic reactions including the breakdown of the toxic molecule Homocysteine, production of the Brain’s Neurotransmitters and Melatonin, Cognitive Function, Mental Illness including Depression, Schizophrenia, Autism, and Alzheimers Disease, Fat metabolism, and Liver Phase 2 Detoxification (alkylation).

Homocysteine is toxic to the central nervous system causing CNS activation through the NMDA receptor stimulation and toxic to the vascular system by causing endothelial damage, proliferation of vascular smooth muscle, thrombogenesis (clotting), and reduction of Glutathione levels. There are two pathways for the metabolism of homocysteine:

  1. Folate-Dependent Methylation: this requires adequate amounts of the active form of folate (5-methyl THF), Vit B12, and Vitamins B2 and B6. Deficiency in any of these micronutrients will cause elevated homocysteine with its known toxicity.
  2. Folate-Independent Methylation: this is less effective but allows Homocysteine to convert back to Methionine in the absence of sufficient Folate. It requires Betaine which acts as the intermediate Methyl donor (produced from Choline) and Zinc.

It is important in disorders of the CNS including Mental Illness, and Cardiovascular Disease, that Homocysteine, Red Cell Folate, and active Vit B12 levels are checked as part of the initial assessment.

Deficiency in one or more of the enzymes (eg MTHFR) that drive Methylation has been found to be present in some patients with serious Mental Illness.

This refers to the situation where there is a deficiency of Vitamin B12. As the regeneration of the active form of Folate (N5, N10 THF) requires adequate active B12 the inactive form of Folate (N5 Methyl THF) accumulates and therefore DNA synthesis is compromised. One result of this is a condition called Sub Acute Combined Degeneration of the Spinal Cord where there is demyelination of axons of the spinal cord and the cerebrum with consequent serious CNS effects such as incordination, reduced sensory and proprioception, spasticity, and sometimes psychotic behaviour.

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5 Hydroxytryptophan (5 HTP)

 This is derived from the essential dietary Amino Acid Tryptophan and is the precursor of the brain’s Neurotransmitter Serotonin (mood regulation) and Melatonin (sleep). Deficiency of Serotonin is associated with Anxiety, Depression, Sleep Disturbance, Aggressiveness, Panic attacks, Headaches, Migraines, Poor Appetite, and Fibromyalgia. 5 HTP has been shown to positively influence all these Serotonin deficiency related symptoms. Diets lacking in high quality protein can mean insufficient Tryptophan intake and may negatively influence Mood. Methylation problems (including Folinic Acid and Vit B12 deficiencies) and deficiencies in specific micronutrients including Vit B6 and Zinc result in reduced levels of Serotonin. Because Melatonin is produced from Serotonin sleep disturbance is an invariable feature of serotonin deficiency and depression.

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Leaky Gut Syndrome

This refers to a condition where there is a measurable increase in the permeability of the intestinal mucosa (lining of the gut) allowing larger protein molecules and toxins to cross into the bloodstream. Conditions which cause inflammation or atrophy of the intestinal mucosa can result in a ‘leaky gut’. In the healthy gut the lining cells and the junctions between them only allow important micronutrients to cross into the bloodstream and metabolic waste products to be transported into the gut for excretion. However, this crucial function of the gut lining can be damaged with resultant health impacts far beyond the gut itself. These include chronic joint and muscle pain, mood swings, foggy brain, poor immunity, chronic infections, rashes, anxiety, depression, fatigue etc. There is an association with Auto Immune disease, such as Coeliac Disease, Crohns, Ulcerative Colitis, Psoriasis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and other conditions such as Chronic Fatigue and Acne etc.

Anything that can damage the mucosal lining of the gut can cause Leaky Gut Syndrome. These include:

  • Dysbiosis
  • Diets high in simple sugars and carbohydrates
  • Antibiotics, Non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs
  • Food Poisoning
  • Alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, soft drinks
  • Stress (through reduced blood flow to the gut)

Leaky Gut can be confirmed on a special diagnostic test called the Dual Sugar (Lactulose and Mannitol) Technique. These sugars are given as an oral dose and then the urine is checked for their presence. In a normal gut the lactulose / mannitol ratio is 0.03 (normal gut does not absorb lactulose) This is an excellent test and is essential for the investigation of any chronic illness. Retesting will confirm the effectiveness of the treatment.

Treatment involves:

  1. Treat the cause – eliminate causative foods, treat any dysbiosis, stress management
  2. Supplement the gut with what it needs – includes acid, enzymes, and probiotics
  3. Repair the damage – includes the use of slippery elm , zinc, and L-Glutamine (predominant energy source for the lining cells of the gut)

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Liver Detoxification

The liver detoxifies fat soluble toxic molecules by making them more water soluble and less toxic so that they can be excreted via the urine or bile. This detoxification process is used to detoxify and eliminate a vast number of xenobiotics such as heavy metals, toxic chemicals produced by gut bacteria, end products of normal metabolism (endotoxins) and ingested, inhaled, and absorbed toxins (exotoxins). The liver has two mechanisms of action to accomplish this critical task of removing unwanted damaging chemicals.

PHASE 1 detoxification utilizes the cytochrome P450 enzyme system to oxidise toxic chemicals.

PHASE 2 detoxification involves conjugation reactions where a small polar molecule is added to the toxic intermediate (conjugation) to make it water soluble. These conjugation pathways are referred to as Glutathionation, Sulphation, Glucuronidation, and Glycination.

Phase 1 activity is enhanced by alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and some drugs. This results in increased production of reactive intermediate molecules which can be more toxic than the initial toxin entering Phase 1 detoxification. If Phase 2 is slow as well there is then a very high build up of these toxic intermediates. This can result in a variety of symptoms and health issues including muscle weakness, fatigue headaches, nausea, bloating, intolerance to fatty foods, chemical sensitivities, hormonal imbalances etc.

A Functional Liver Detoxification test is available that specifically measures the activity of both Liver Phase 1 and 2 pathways. An understanding of the specific micronutrients that drive each Phase allows for a specific micronutrient prescription to normalize this crucial process with a resultant major improvement in ones health and well being.

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A very important intracellular cation found in almonds and cashew nuts, soy beans, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, wholegrain cereals, figs, and apples. It is a component of Chlorophyll so the greener the vegetable the more Magnesium. As most of the body Magnesium is found in bone and is not readily exchangeable with Magnesium in the extracellular / intracellular fluids, its concentration is a function of dietary intake and kidney and intestinal conservation. Vitamin D is necessary for its proper utilization. It is involved in over 300 enzymes. It plays a role in mitochondrial function and thereby Oxygen utilization and energy production. It is also involved in Nucleic acid synthesis, inhibition of lipid peroxidation, and neuromuscular transmission. It promotes the absorption and metabolism of other minerals (calcium, phosphorous, sodium, potassium), and helps in the utilization of B complex vitamins and also Vitamins C and E. It is crucial for heart and skeletal muscle contractions and regulation of body temperature. It acts as a Calcium channel blocker reducing the reactivity of smooth muscle in the blood vessels and therefore helps to lower blood pressure. It is required to convert blood sugar to energy. It has a role as an anticoagulant, anti platelet agent, and in vasodilatation of blood vessels.

Demand is increased by pregnancy, lactation, coffee, high fat / high sugar diets, alcohol and heavy exercise.

Deficiency can cause anxiety, depression, insomnia, restlessness, anorexia, muscle tremor and fasciculations, incoordination, coronary artery spasm, arrythmias, hypertension, toxaemia of pregnancy, poor growth, wrinkles etc.

The best laboratory test for Magnesium deficiency is red cell magnesium. Interstitial Magnesium levels can also be checked by the EIS Scan. Supplemental Magnesium should always be considered with any of the above symptoms.
The RDA is 270-320mg and therapeutic doses can be used up to 1000mg daily.

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A hormone secreted by the Pineal Gland in the brain. It is synthesized from the Amino Acid L-Tryptophan and requires adequate amounts of this Plus Folate, Vit B12, and Zinc. Melatonin is the primary inducer of sleep with its production increasing at night in response to the dark and peaking at 3-4am. It reduces core body temperature by causing dilatation of peripheral blood vessels. It is also a powerful anti oxidant, immune system stimulator, and anxiolytic, As a supplement it is best taken in the sublingual form to avoid rapid breakdown by the liver. It is very useful in the management of sleep disorders, relief of anxiety, cluster headaches and Migraines, reduction in cancer pain, and to decrease the toxicity of chemotherapy agents and radiotherapy.

Exposure to bright light in the evening will reduce the Pineal Gland’s production of Melatonin and affect sleep. Exposure to sunlight in the morning will improve Melatonin release at night with better sleep.
Melatonin levels can be measured by a salivary test.

Supplemental melatonin is best taken in a sublingual form.

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Oats and Coeliac Disease

There is much confusion about whether or not gluten is found in oats. Oats per se DO NOT contain the gluten protein which is basis for Coeliac Disease. However, oats may cause problems for people with Coeliac Disease due to two unconsidered factors including:

1) Oats are often grown close to the gluten containing grains; wheat, barley and rye. Due to crop rotation oats may be grown in the same soil as these other grains, the oats may be harvested using the same equipment or stored in a silo that may have been used to store other grains. Therefore there is a significant potential for cross contamination.

2) The protein found in oats is called Avenin. A proportion of people with Coeliac Disease will also be sensitive to the Avenin protein found in oats. This can be checked for by specific IgG food sensitivity testing. This testing is offered at NEMQ; please ask one of our friendly staff (07 3831 5111) for a brochure or more information.

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Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)

The two main types of EFAs are omega-3 and omega-6. The number refers to the position of the first carbon double bond. Standard western diets contain a high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids (10:1). From an evolutionary perspective the ratio used to be 1:1. The relatively low intake of 0mega-3 fatty acids has health implications as they dampen inflammation and modulate immunity. They are called ‘essential’ because our cells do not manufacture them and they are critical for health.

The omega-3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The precursor to these EFAs is linolenic acid and is found in fish oil and flaxseed oil. They act to:

• improve the fluidity of cell membranes and therefore the passage of nutrients into and waste products out of cells
• antimicrobial, antivral, antimutagenic, and anti inflammatory properties through their ability to modulate the activity of protein kinase C, and T-cell and B-cell responses.
• decreases platelet stickiness
• decreases triglycerides by up to 65% through inhibition of liver triglyceride synthesis

Clinical Uses:
• improved cardiovascular health, prevents coronary heart disease and sudden death
• anti-inflammatory by inhibiting the production of inflammatory prostaglandins
• mood disorders (anxiety and depression)
• protection against breast and colon cancer
• increasing bone density

Important Facts:
• few people manage to eat the required 3 fish meals per week and hence supplementation is entirely sensible and critical for your vital health
• as our oceans are increasingly polluted with pesticides, herbicides, PCBs, and heavy metals including mercury it is essential that the Omega-s EFA supplement
is one that has undergone molecular distillation to remove all impurities as they are concentrated fish oil
• ensure that you are obtaining a supplement that contains a minimum of 50% EPA / DHA. Many fish oils only provide 30% EPA / DHA and not good value
• the Omega-3 supplement should also have Vitamin E to prevent the oil from oxidising or going rancid
• if being used primarily to stabilise mood disorders then go for a DHA predominant Omega-3 Fish Oil

Daily Dose:
100Omg EPA/DHA twice daily.

NEMQ can advise you on the best available Omega-3 Fish Oils.

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Optimal Water Quantity

Water is the most essential macronutrient we consume. Humans can last for weeks without food but only a few days without water. Our body composition is mostly water, approximately 70% (more for children and less for the elderly).

Our internal fluids are slightly alkaline and it is this alkalinity that is crucial for optimal functioning of our cells. Cellular metabolism is acidifying but this is counteracted by the body’s buffering systems which function to maintain the body fluids slightly alkaline (‘the body is alkaline by design but acidic in function’). A feature of ageing and disease states is a decrease in the effectiveness of the buffering systems coupled with an increasing acid load. The resultant metabolic acidosis has a major negative impact on cellular function and energy production.

Dr. Robert O. Young (Microbiologist and author of The pH Miracle) states that “in a defensive maneuver, the body creates fat cells to carry acids away from your vital organs to try to protect them. When you eat (and drink) to make your body more basic, your body won’t need to keep that fat around anymore.”

Unfortunately our current day lifestyles are very acidifying on our bodies. Diets high in simple sugars, refined foods, alcohol and coffee, sweet fruits, and meats are highly acidic as are corrosive emotions such as anger. Even our drinking (tap) water is acidic with pH around the 5-6 level.
The most important thing we can do to improve our health is to be drinking adequate amounts of healthy water. Minimum daily water consumption is dependent on age, body size, activity levels and ambient temperature. Consuming sufficient water to produce a dilute urine is the best guide. Ensure that your water is:

(1) Adequately filtered to remove all contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, aluminum etc), inorganic chemicals (chlorine, ammonia, fluoride) pesticides, and algae.

(2) Alkaline with a pH of at least 8.0
One way to achieve this is to install a Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System (cleans the water) at home combined with an Alkiliniser. The resultant water is cleaner, alkaline / electron rich, and very health promoting. Try bottling this water in a glass or BPA free jar to take to work or on outings. If you need further convincing a home trial comparing the growth rate of plants watered by tap water or filtered alkaline water will soon change your mind.

Drinking 1.5 – 2.5 litres daily of optimal water is the first step to improving your health.

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Raw Juices (Vegetables and / or Fruit)

Juicing raw vegetables and / or fruits (preferably washed and Certified Organic) is a fun, tasty and healthy way of ensuring optimal intakes of these nutrient dense foods. Few people manage to consume the recommended daily intake of 5 serves of vegetables due to apathy, time constraints, lack of imagination, poor knowledge of preparation or taste concerns. People with ill health who would most benefit from the micronutrition contained in these foods are often least able to consume the optimal amounts due to poor appetite and energy (it requires much effort and energy to eat the recommended variety and volume) when appetite and energy levels are compromised. Juicing these foods in their raw state conserves the micronutrition, allows optimal intakes in an easily digested form, and can be very palatable.

Raw juices’ supply concentrated micronutrition (vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, natural anti-inflammatory substances, antioxidants, and detoxifying compounds including sulphur) and also living enzymes that assists in the digestive process.

Metabolic acidosis (tissue acidity) is a consequence of unhealthy lifestyles (poor diets, insufficient exercise, chemical exposure, medication, impaired detoxification and stress). It impairs cellular functioning and hastens biological ageing. Raw juices have a profound alkalising impact thereby promoting optimal cellular functioning through maintaining a healthy acid-base balance in the body tissues.

Raw juices increase the detoxification and elimination of toxins through their stimulatory action on the gut, liver (including the bile flow) and the kidneys. This is why vegetables feature highly in the detoxification protocols. It is interesting to note that cancer cells and fungi are unable to tolerate an alkaline environment. This may explain in part the miraculous recovery of some cancer suffers who made a fundamental change in their diets to include raw juices.

I recommend selecting fresh Certified Organic produce for juicing as organic foods have been shown to be significantly more nutritious and are chemical free. Organic vegetables and fruit that are more than a few days old can start to go mouldy, a process which produces unhealthy chemicals and fungus, so you will need to buy twice weekly. Include the peel (organic produce only), seeds of fruits, and the stems and leaves of vegetables as these all contain specific micronutrients. Try to drink juice within 20minutes of preparation as oxidation can affect the taste and nutrient quality.

Specific combinations of raw vegetables and fruits can be used to alleviate specific health ailments. However, specific vegetables and fruit can also exacerbate certain health conditions. Speaking to a Nutritional Doctor who can provide the expert guidance is a good place to start.

Purchasing a juicer:

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SAMe is the body’s principal methyl donor and is critical for the synthesis of a wide range of important biochemicals. It plays an important role in mood regulation as the methyl donor for synthesis of the brain’s Neurotransmitters (serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine), synthesis of Glutathione (the body’s principal endogenous cellular antioxidant) via production of Homocysteine and then Cysteine involving transsulfuration reactions.

The SAMe dependent methylation of the Brain Neurotransmitter protein precursors Hydroxytryptophan (Serotonin) and Tyrosine (Noradrenaline and Dopamine) is the rate determining step and therefore critical in maintaining normal levels of these Neurotransmitters and thereby robust mental health. SAMe has been shown to have very positive effects on Mental Health with significant reduction in anxiety and depression scores.

Through the synthesis of Glutathione it improves improves Liver detoxification, secretion and elimination of bile, and reduces Oxidative Stress. Other therapeutic uses include Fibromyalgia and Migraine.

Side effects are rare and usually mild and transient. It is contraindicated in Bipolar Disorders.

Adequate levels of Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 are essential to maintain normal levels of SAMe as they are involved in the remethylation of Homocysteine to produce and maintain normal levels of Methionine, the amino acid precursor of SAMe. Adequate levels of Pyridoxal 5 phosphate (Vitamin B6) are required for the production of Glutathione from Homocysteine.

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An essential Micromineral found in grains, fish, and most wholefoods. It is a powerful antioxidant and when levels are adequate makes Vitamin E 50 times more active as an antioxidant. It is a central cofactor for the enzyme glutathione peroxidase which provides a second line of defence against peroxides before they can damage cell membranes and other cell components. Preserves cell membranes by inhibiting lipid peroxidation. It is essential for correct functioning of the thyroid gland and pancreas. It is involved with the detoxification of chemicals. Sperm contains high amounts and a considerable amount is lost during ejaculation (men have a higher requirement than women). It is essential for reproduction. It enhances the immune system. It inhibits platelet aggregation thus protects against stroke, heart disease, and cancer metastases. It limits the inflammatory response therefore beneficial in inflammatory diseases. It is a very effective Heavy Metal Chelator. It appears to inhibit cancer possibly through protecting against free radicals.

Selenium is deficient in our soils

Supplementation with Selenium is sensible where soils are deficient and in any condition associated with elevated Oxidative Stress including:

  • Cancer prevention (one study showed a reduction in cancer incidence of Prostate 63%, Colo-Rectal 58%, Lung 46%)
  • Heavy Metal poisoning
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Auto immune disorders including Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Currently accepted upper limit for the safe selenium supplementation is 4ug/kg body weight. However, it is recommended that people consuming >200ug Selenium per day over the long term should have their blood selenium levels checked due to concerns re potential toxicity. Interestingly, the standard Japanese diet contains approx 600ug selenium daily. The incidence of Prostate, Colorectal, and Lung cancer is significantly lower in Japan than other countries with selenium deplete soils – despite the higher level of smoking in Japanese people. There are several ongoing studies looking into the cancer protecting effect of selenium.

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We are unknowingly using sunscreens that contain chemicals that when heated on exposure to sunlight have toxicological effects. Heating some of these chemicals results in the production of Free Radicals which directly damage the DNA, Cell Membranes and Mitochondria of skin cells. This may be the explanation for why regular use of sunscreen is associated with an increase in the development of the most form of skin cancer (Basal Cell Carcinomas). A recent case control study from Sweden showed a significantly increased risk of Melanoma from regular sunscreen use. A further concern is the observation that up to 10% of the chemicals in sunscreen actually penetrate through the skin into the bloodstream (esp. sunscreen applied to the face). Furthermore, sunscreens can increase the skin absorption of other chemicals including pesticides and industrial solvents. The overall impact is an increase in the toxic load on the body.

An almost universal oversight is the importance of diet in protecting the skin from damaging UV rays. A diet rich in anti-oxidants is UV protective. These antioxidants are found in abundance in organic vegetables, fruit, nuts and various supplements.

The polyphenolic catechins in Organic Green Tea have been shown in several studies to significantly reduce the UV damage of skin.

What can we use instead of chemical based Sunscreens to protect our skin from damaging UV light? There are skin products available that contain Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Lycopene, and green tea. There is also a black tea gel which protects from both the UVA and UVB. The added advantage of these natural sunscreens is that they both protect and repair DNA damage.

The best strategy for sun protection is:

  1. Diet high in antioxidants from organic vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, regular organic green tea, plus appropriate supplementation
  2. Organic certified sunscreen products containing Vitamins A, E, Lycopene and green tea, or the black tea gel.
  3. Avoiding sun exposure between 11am and 3pm in the summer months
  4. Appropriate protective clothing and hats. However, remember that we require 15 minutes of sun exposure on 30% of our skin daily for adequate Vitamin D production. Vitamin D deficiency is a growing concern with serious potential health impacts (see under Vitamin D).

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Thyroid Disease

The thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped gland located in the neck just below the larynx. It functions as an endocrine gland secreting inactive Thyroxine (T4 – a prohormone) which is converted to active T3 (Triiodothyronine) in the liver and kidneys by the removal of one of it’s 4 iodine molecules. T3 is actively transported into cells by a carrier protein in the cell membranes to bind with receptors in the mitochondria (cell battery) and the DNA. T3 determines our Metabolic Rate. Consequently, abnormal functioning of the thyroid gland has far reaching effects on our health.

Hypothyroidism (under functioning) is the more common thyroid disorder and affects approximately 4% of the population (20 times more common in females). Some of the clinical manifestations of hypothyroidism include fatigue, depression, brain fog, increased sensitivity to cold, weight gain, dry skin and hair, constipation and poor libido. Causes of hypothyroidism are multiple and include stress (adrenal gland dysfunction), iodine deficiency, mineral and vitamin imbalance, chemical pollution, toxic heavy metals, hormone imbalance (oestrogen/progesterone imbalance), excessive halogen exposure (bromine, chlorine, fluorine) etc. A form of Hypothyroiditis called “Hashimotos Thyroiditis” is an auto-immune disease.

Diagnosis of hypothyroidism is not straight forward. Historically doctors have relied on the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) blood level. TSH is produced by the Pituitary Gland in the brain to stimulate the Thyroid Gland to produce T4. If T4 levels are low the Pituitary Gland increases TSH production via an elegant feedback loop to produce more T4 and if T4 levels are too high the TSH production is reduced. However as described above, T4 is an inactive prohormone. Other than primary hypothyroidism which is due to either Iodine deficiency, auto immune disease, or iatrogenic (drugs/surgery) TSH levels correlate poorly with clinical symptoms.

The two situations where TSH levels correlate poorly with clinic symptoms are:

  1. Secondary Hypothyroidism (Pituitary Gland Tumour [rare] where TSH, T4 and T3 may be low).
  2. Tertiary Hypothyroidism (peripheral thyroid resistance) where TSH and T4 are normal but T3 is low due to a block in the conversion of T4 to T3 in the liver (due to a deficiency of cofactor micronutrients selenium and zinc, or functional liver impairment as seen in toxic overload and fatty livers; low Progesterone levels; or where TSH, T4 and T3 are normal but there is an impaired ability of the cellular carrier protein to transport the T3 into cells due to disruption of normal cellular membrane function by rancid and oxidised Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Trans Fatty Acids, Xenochemicals and Toxins such as Poly phenyls (PCBs), or impaired binding of T3 to its intracellular receptor by reverse T3 (produced in response to high levels of stress), elevated levels of heavy metals, fluoride, and oestrogen, low levels of Vitamin D3 and Iron.

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This is a non essential amino acid synthesized from the essential amino acid Phenylalanine. It is the precursor for the Brain Neurotransmitters Noradrenaline and Dopamine. Deficiency of Dopamine is associated with apathy, narcoplepsy, ADHD. Deficiency of Noradrenaline is associated with apathy, poor memory, poor motivation and drive, and poor sleep. Tyrosine supplementation has been shown to increase the levels of both of these Neurotransmitters in the brain with a significant improvement in the above described deficiency symptoms.

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Vitamin B12

A water soluble vitamin found in animal based foods, liver, kidney, brain and to a lesser extent in fish. There is some bacterial synthesis in the gut. Its absorption is dependent on the production of Intrinsic Factor by the parietal cells of the stomach which combines with B12 enabling it to be absorbed by the terminal ileum. It is transported to the liver where it is stored for 3-5 years.

B12 facilitates the conversion of the neurotoxin / cardiovascular toxin Homocysteine to Methionine. It is involved in the synthesis of DNA and RNA. It helps to maintain the integrity of cell membranes and the myelin sheath. It is also involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats and maintenance of a healthy Bone Marrow.

Deficiency can be the result of disorders of the gut lining including anorexia, gastritis, coeliac disease, sprue, pancreatic insufficiency, inflammatory bowel disease etc. Vegetarianism, excess alcohol and nicotine, pregnancy, lactation, ageing, and thyroid disease can cause deficiency also.

Deficiency leads to pernicious anaemia with secondary fatigue due to impaired DNA synthesis, and neurologic disorders possibly due to relative deficiency of Methionine (pins and needs in extremities, spinal cord involvement with loss of vibratory sense, unco-ordination, spasticity, irritability, depression and psychosis). Other signs include retarded growth, red and swollen tongue, weight loss and yellow-blue blindness.

The RDA is 2-5ug per day and the therapeutic range 5-1000ug daily. The most effective form is Methyl Cobalamin as it is best transported across the Blood Brain Barrier. It is best given as an intramuscular injection if there is concern about poor absorption. The sublingual form is the best of the oral supplements.

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Vitamin C

 A water soluble vitamin unable to be synthesised by humans due to the absence of the enzyme L-gulonolactone oxidase. Although it is stable to acid its potency is lost through exposure to oxygen, light, heat, and air due to stimulation of the oxidative enzymes. It reaches maximum blood levels in 2-3hours post ingestion with a half-life of 5-22hours. Therefore it is important to take it several times daily to maintain maximum blood levels when being used therapeutically.

It is found in citrus fruits, green vegetables, liver, kidneys, and potato.

It is essential for collagen formation and helps to maintain the integrity of connective tissue, bone and teeth. It is a strong reducing agent. It also functions as a powerful antioxidant protecting many crucial nutrients from oxidation by neutralising free radicals. It is involved in the synthesis of adrenaline from tyrosine, bile acid formation, steroid production by adrenal glands, and the absorption of iron. It converts folic acid into its active form folinic acid. It plays an important role in wound healing. It is important in fighting infection through the synthesis of a component of the complement system, stimulating the interferon production, and reducing oxygen molecules to molecules that attack the nucleic acids of viruses thereby destroying them. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting synthesis of prostaglandin PGE2. It is a chelator of heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and copper, and reduces the effects of some pesticides. It is involved in blood cell formation, bone and teeth growth, regulation of cholesterol metabolism, and improves sperm motility. It does NOT acidify urine as some authority’s state.

Demand for Vitamin C is increased by stress, surgery, burns, alcohol and smoking, pregnancy, lactation, infection, antibiotics, oral contraceptives, aspirin and alkalinity. Cancer, drug toxicity, exposure to chemicals and heavy metals, high blood iron as in haemochromotosis, and any condition that increases serum copper all increase demand for Vitamin C.

Deficiency may cause fatigue, depression, abnormal brain function, bleeding gums, easy bruising. Scurvy which decimated the British, Spanish and Dutch navies of the 17th century was proven to be due to chronic Vitamin C deficiency and was effectively treated and prevented by ingestion of limes.

Treatment uses include infections, stress, surgery burns, pregnancy, lactation, bone fractures, periodontal disease, exposure to heavy metals and pollutants, heart disease, allergies, cervical dysplasia, cancer, depression, Parkinsonism, inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis.

The RDA is 70 – 150mg daily. Therapeutic range is 250 – 10,000mg daily. Higher doses can be used intravenously (IV) for a variety of conditions including viral infections. Most claims of toxicity have been shown to be false. Even in megadoses Vitamin C is inherently safe. Oral formulations are best combined with flavonoids which enhance the absorption of Vitamin C.

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Vitamin D

A fat soluble vitamin synthesised by the action of the sun on the skin. It is also found in fish liver oils (cod, tuna, herring) egg yolk, sprouted seeds, and milk. As it is synthesised in the skin it is not a true vitamin but more a prohormone which has several active metabolites which behave as hormones. The most metabolically active form (1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol) is formed in the kidneys from Vitamin D3.

Vit D functions to increase the absorption of calcium from the intestine and the assimilation of phosphorus for bone formation and mineralisation. It is required for normal growth of bones and teeth in children. In adults it is required for maintaining all functions related to the supply and utilisation of calcium and phosphorus such as heart and muscle function, nervous system function, blood clotting, and mineralisation of bone and teeth. It also activates a gene that moderates the inflammatory response specifically reducing interleukin 6.

Deficiency leads to inadequate mineralisation of bone causing ricketts in children and osteomalacia in adults. Burning of the throat, myopia, cramps, insomnia, and nervousness are also seen.

There is increasing evidence that Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of Type 1 Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hypertension, Cardiovascular Disease, and many common cancers.

Vitamin D deficiency is commonly identified even in sunny SE Queensland. Office workers get little or no sun exposure during the working week and then again little on the weekends with application of 30+ sunscreen, hats, long sleeves, and glasses. We need 20 – 30 minutes of sun exposure on large areas of our skin daily (outside 11am-3pm). Supplementation with a suitable form of Vitamin D3 is sensible.

RDA is 400IU daily and the therapeutic range is 400-2800IU daily.

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Vitamin E

A fat soluble vitamin composed of a group of compounds called tocopherols with the most active form being d-Alpha Tocopherol. It is found in cold pressed vegetable oils, whole raw seeds, nuts (almonds), soybeans, beef, egg yolk, wheat germ and lettuce. It is absorbed by the gut and stored in the liver, heart, muscles, uterus, and pituitary gland. It is destroyed by Chlorine, ferric chloride, rancid oils, and inorganic compounds.

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant (1 molecule will protect 1000 lipid molecules from oxidation that would otherwise destroy the cell membrane). It works as a ‘brother in arms’ with Vitamin C and Selenium – Vitamin E (fat soluble) is bound in the cell membrane and Vitamin C (water soluble) exists outside the cell. Vitamin C regenerates Vitamin E after it has interrupted the oxidative cascade of the cell membrane lipids. Vitamin E reduces the requirement for selenium by preventing its loss from the body and maintaining it in an active form. Vitamin E and selenium act synergistically reducing each other’s requirement and reinforcing each other in their second line defence against lipid peroxides in glutathione peroxidase. It also inhibits the oxidation of the LDL cholesterol which is an essential step in the formation of artery blocking cholesterol plaques. It protects Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C, Pituitary and Adrenal hormones from oxidation. It also combines with oxygen preventing it from being converted into toxic peroxides. Vitamin E dilates blood vessels, improves blood flow to the heart, and prevents clot formation. It also protects against pollutants such as ozone, NO2. radiation, mercury, and cigarette smoke.

Deficiency causes fragility of red blood cells, muscle wasting, altered fatty acid metabolism, reduced pituitary and adrenal function, and heart, kidney, liver and testes damage.

RDA is 7-10IU. Therapeutic range is 250 – 1000IU daily.

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An essential trace element occurring in the body in larger amounts than any other trace mineral except Iron (1.8g Zn cf to 5g Iron). It is found in muscle meats, chicken, fresh oysters, egg yolk, milk, various nuts, soy lecithin, rye, oats and some vegetables including potatoes and carrots. It is an essential cofactor of many enzyme systems including DNA dependent RNA polymerase which controls the rate of protein synthesis in cells. It is essential for the metabolism of Vitamin A and the normal absorption of Vitamins esp the B group. It is necessary for metabolism of Fatty Acids to prostaglandins. It is essential for normal growth and proper development of the reproductive organs, sex characteristics, all phases of the reproductive process, and normal function of the prostate gland and sperm production. It is important in immune function, wound healing, and bone formation. It is crucial for mental functioning, vision, taste, and smell. It is important in hair growth and skin health.

Treatment uses include skin disorders, bowel and pancreatic disorders, reproductive disorders, anorexia nervosa and bulimia, depression, rheumatoid arthritis, hyper-prolactinaemia etc.

RDA is 12mg, therapeutic range 10-100mg.

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