Monthly Archives: November 2015

December 2015 Newsletter – Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays! Hopefully everyone’s holiday season is off to a great start! All my best for a Happy, Peaceful, and Healthy New Year. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

This month’s newsletter contains the third and final installment of my heart health series. If you have not read the first two articles I would encourage you to do so.

Also, it looks like I need to clarify the lab situation for where you can get great deals on your blood tests. Please see below for details.

One last news of note. I will be out of the office (and country) from December 25 until January 8. Some of you will need supplements during this time period, so I’m asking that you plan ahead so I can have product available for you. I will send out reminders of this as it gets closer to my day of departure.

Nutrients for a Healthy Heart: Part 3 – Toning the Heart
As mentioned in previous articles rate, rhythm, and tone are the key measurements of heart health. Rate is the speed at which the heart beats. This is influenced by the autonomic nervous system and two key minerals: potassium and phosphorus. Rhythm refers to how blood moves through the vasculature. This is influenced by the integrity of the vasculature tissues, electrical signaling and by the mineral calcium. Rate and rhythm were featured in the two previous articles. Tone refers to the muscular strength of the heart. This is influenced primarily by Vitamins B, C, and E. Tone will be addressed in this article. I will focus on Vitamins B and E as Vitamin C was addressed in a previous article.

Tone is influenced by Vitamin B4. Have you ever heard of it? If I were a betting person I’d say probably not (unless you read my earlier articles about it!). Well perhaps there is a reason. Maybe someone doesn’t want you to know what it is you are missing. This is the vitamin you never heard of because there is no synthetic version. It always and only appears in nature with Vitamin B1. The B1/B4 combination helps keep the heart strong (tone) and converts chemical energy into electrical energy working with calcium for keeping up the heart’s rhythm.

For the rest of the article click here: http://brwellness.com/nutrition-news/?p=529

Where to Get Your Blood Drawn
Late last month I learned of a change in the locations where one could use Direct Labs for blood draws. I thought I had a solution. Apparently there are two main players Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp. They work directly with doctors but also have contracts with companies like Direct Labs who offer consumer direct pricing and convenience. It appears there was a bit of shuffling between these two companies and the consumer direct Internet-based companies. I believe it is all sorted out now and actually provides more comprehensive coverage with more locations to choose from for my potential clients. There are two companies that I recommend.

The first is still Direct Labs. However, for most of my clients in the Milwaukee/Ozaukee County area I’d recommend the second company Walk-In-Lab as they are now affiliated with the Mequon Road location. Both companies offer similar tests and similar pricing.

It looks like Walk-In-Lab has a Black Friday special of 20% off good until November 30, so you may want to take advantage of that. Here’s the link to Walk-In-Lab: http://www.walkinlab.com/

Here’s the link to Direct Labs: http://www.directlabs.com/

Once again I wish you and your family and friends a Happy, Healthy, and Peaceful New Year!

Nutrients for a Healthy Heart: Part 3 – Toning the Heart

As mentioned in previous articles rate, rhythm, and tone are the key measurements of heart health. Rate is the speed at which the heart beats. This is influenced by the autonomic nervous system and two key minerals: potassium and phosphorus. Rhythm refers to how blood moves through the vasculature. This is influenced by the integrity of the vasculature tissues, electrical signaling and by the mineral calcium. Rate and rhythm were featured in the two previous articles. Tone refers to the muscular strength of the heart. This is influenced primarily by Vitamins B, C, and E. Tone will be addressed in this article. I will focus on Vitamins B and E as Vitamin C was addressed in a previous article.

Tone is influenced by Vitamin B4. Have you ever heard of it? If I were a betting person I’d say probably not (unless you read my earlier articles about it!). Well perhaps there is a reason. Maybe someone doesn’t want you to know what it is you are missing. This is the vitamin you never heard of because there is no synthetic version. It always and only appears in nature with Vitamin B1. The B1/B4 combination helps keep the heart strong (tone) and converts chemical energy into electrical energy working with calcium for keeping up the heart’s rhythm.

Here’s a little historical background. The discovery of vitamins began in the early 20th Century. One of the leading scientists was Casimir Funk who discovered what he called “vitamines” – short for “vital amines” or chemicals that were vital for life. The vitamins were named sequentially and initially associated with a specific deficiency condition. Vitamin A was for night blindness, B for beriberi, C for scurvy, and D for rickets.

Initially, each vitamin was thought to be its own unique substance. Soon it became apparent this was more complex than originally thought. The B family of vitamins began to emerge, now known as the B complex. This family of compounds was found together in nature (real food), but different foods had different mixtures of the compounds. For example wheat germ and liver each contain the B vitamins, but in different proportions.

The B family grew as B1 became Thiamine, B2 Riboflavin, B3 Niacin, B5 Pantothenic acid, B6 known as Pyridoxine, Pyridoxal, and Pyridoxamine, B7 Biotin, B8 Inositol, B9 Folate, and B12 Cobalamin. But what happened to B4? It seems to be missing in the progression. Certainly that is a logical question to ask.

Interestingly enough back in the early days, B4 was referred to as Vitamin D. Remember the common thinking was that all these factors were different and deserving their own unique letter. In fact at this time two different factors were being considered for the fourth vitamin. What we are now calling B4 and what is now officially recognized as D.

Funk was certain that there were these two unique components to the initial vitamin B. Before they started with the subsequent “B” numbers it would have been logical to call it D. Once the B series started it was B4.

Here’s the important part of the story. In nature B1 and B4 are found together in the B complex as described above. With these two factors this B vitamin is the anti-beriberi nutrient. But, there are two kinds of beriberi: “wet” beriberi which affects the cardiovascular system (the heart) and “dry” beriberi which affects the nervous system. B1 (Thiamin) supports the nervous system while B4 supports the heart.

The more easily identified form of beriberi is the “dry”. This leads to paralysis – which is quite evident. Beriberi is Swahili for “I can’t, I can’t.” The “wet” form with its damage to the heart is a longer process and not as immediately evident.

More specifically B4 has two main functions. The first is to maintain muscle tone. As the vitamin becomes deficient muscle tone, particularly of the heart suffers. The second function is to convert chemical energy into electrical energy which fuels the heart. When the heart is starved of electricity it enlarges. With enlargement it also becomes flaccid (lacks muscle tone) and the tissue responds to the forces of gravity by sinking. This pulls the valves and other structures down causing minor leakages, ultimately compounding the heart disease.

If you remember your basic biology ATP is the source of our energy. Adenine, a critical component of ATP, is part of the B4 complex. Adenine alone does not have the ability to make energy. It only works with the rest of the B4 complex.

As you can see – B4 is essential for heart health.

So back to the original question – what happened to B4? Quite simple – B4 is part of the B complex as found in real foods, for example whole grains. When grain is refined (as in white bread and other white flour products) the B4 is removed. And here’s the kicker. B4 cannot be made in the lab. There is no synthetic version – no one can make isolated B4. The food manufacturers cannot add it back to their grain products during their “enrichment” process (of course this is misleadingly called “fortifying” or “enriching”) when they add back other B vitamins such as Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, and Folic Acid.

Due to our modern diets of refined grain products we become deficient in B4 and over time this leads to the enlarging of the heart, minor leakages, damage to the heart, and simultaneously heart disease.

Fortunately the solution is rather simple. Be sure to eat real food products that have their full assortment of vitamins intact. Another option is to supplement, however this must be done with products that are derived from whole foods and contain B4. In my practice I use Standard Process supplements which fit this description.

Vitamin E helps regulate the rate of oxygen burn in the blood which helps with endurance. Low Vitamin E levels will lead to low energy and fatigue.

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Mequon, WI. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at bernie@brwellness.com, call (262) 389-9907 or go to www.brwellness.com.

Nutrients for a Healthy Heart: Part 2 – Rhythm of the Heart

As mentioned in a previous article rate, rhythm, and tone are the key measurements of heart health. Rate is the speed at which the heart beats. This is influenced by the autonomic nervous system and two key minerals: potassium and phosphorus. This was featured in the previous article. Rhythm refers to how blood moves through the vasculature. This is influenced by the integrity of the vasculature tissues, electrical signaling, rutin (part of the Vitamin C complex), and by the mineral calcium. Rhythm will be discussed in this article with particular focus on vascular integrity. Tone refers to the muscular strength of the heart. This is influenced primarily by Vitamins B, C, and E. Tone will be addressed in the next article.

One of the key elements to cardiovascular health is vascular integrity, particularly of the capillaries, the tiniest component of the circulatory system, that make up approximately 60% of the vasculature. They transfer blood from the arteries to the veins and are considered the weakest spot of the system. Damage to the vasculature will cause leaky blood vessels which may ultimately result in ruptures and clots. This will inhibit the smooth flow of blood through the circulatory system.

Ruptures cause blood and oxygen to leak which will reduce overall energy and efficiency of the heart creating conditions for a variety of disease pathways; while clots lead to strokes. Clots initially will inhibit blood flow, but will eventually break off and float around the blood stream causing more damage when an organ is cut off from receiving oxygen via the blood.

Rutin, part of the Vitamin C complex (note the complex, not ascorbic acid as found in most supplements) is a critical nutrient as it has been found to prevent capillary damage, protect against strokes, break up blood clots, prevent protein degeneration, and even protect against X-rays. While some Harvard researchers claimed credit for discovering this in 2012, it is well documented in writings from 1947!

The best source of rutin is buckwheat, but it is also prevalent in onions and tea. Harvard Magazine said, “Indeed, if scientists had tried to design a clot-preventing molecule, they could scarcely have created one more perfect than rutin.” The Journal of Clinical Investigation calls rutin a “therapy for the prevention and treatment of stroke and heart attack, as well as deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism.”

Rutin (also known as a flavonoid and originally referred to as Vitamin P) is part of the Vitamin C complex. I have written in the past the difference between vitamin complexes and synthetic vitamins. On most vitamin bottles you will see Vitamin C labeled as ascorbic acid. They are not the same! Ascorbic acid is the outer layer of the Vitamin C complex which contains several other factors.

An article in Collier’s (March 15, 1947) points out the failure of ascorbic acid to cure certain deficiency diseases including capillary fragility due to the lack of the full C-Complex. The article continues, “Rutin has been valuable in treating many bleeding diseases due to fragile capillaries…” For a refresher on how vitamin C and ascorbic acid are not the same you can view this article on my blog: http://brwellness.com/nutrition-news/?p=181.

Here’s a little more insight into how this works in your body. The lining of the capillaries is a single layer of cells (endothelium). Behind the endothelium are the muscle cells of the vessels which are made primarily of collagen (the main protein making up these muscle cells and also the main protein in your body holding it together!). Collagen is made from protein, Vitamin C and Vitamin P (rutin). Collagen fibers add strength, density, and flexibility to the walls of the blood vessels; thus making them more resistant to damage.

An injury to the vessel lining exposes collagen fibers which platelets in the blood adhere to. At the same time platelets release chemicals that make nearby platelets sticky and a clot is formed. The most common form of a heart attack occurs when a blood clot blocks a coronary artery. Stroke occurs when a clot obstructs an artery supplying blood to the brain.

But there’s more to the rutin story. A 2012 study published in the International Current Pharmaceutical Journal found that rutin also breaks up existing clots!

In summary, we have learned that rutin prevents clots by strengthening the blood vessels and it also can break up existing clots. That’s powerful stuff! And, while I don’t have space here to provide the details, it also has been shown to prevent harm from exposure to x-rays – again this is due to its properties in strengthening blood vessel walls to prevent hemorrhaging which is a result of excess radiation. This comes from a Science magazine article from 1948!

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Mequon, WI. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at bernie@brwellness.com, call (262) 389-9907 or go to www.brwellness.com.