The Problem With Folic Acid

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What is folic acid?

We hear it all the time when trying to conceive or during pregnancy: the importance of folic acid. Your doctor prescribes vitamins containing this, baby books talk about it, but what exactly is folic acid?

Folic acid is an oxidized synthetic compound of the vitamin Folate (B9). Humans did not ingest folic acid until the 1940’s when it was synthesized due to the overwhelming research that it prevented neural tube defects. Folic acid was then put in supplements and pushed by EVERYONE to take before and during pregnancy, it is even fortified in foods. 

There is research showing high levels of un-metabolized folic acid have been found in the blood, as well as a higher instance of colon cancer with the use of folic acid. Many of our foods are fortified with folic acid, including flour, cereals, and granola bars. Basically anything that is packaged has the possibility of being fortified with folic acid.

A better choice: Folate

Folate is a water-soluble vitamin B9 and that is found naturally in foods such as asparagus, avocados, brussels sprout, and leafy greens (spinach and lettuce).  We really should be eating plenty of folate, or take a methyl folate supplement instead of taking a folic acid supplement. Our bodies were made to digest folate and not the synthetic form (folic acid).

 What does folate do and how is it important during pre-conception and pregnancy?

Folate prevents neural tube defects. Neural tube defects are serious problems that can arise in utero with the spinal cord, such as spina bifida and even the brain (anencephaly).  These neural tube defects occur during the first 28 days of gestation that is why getting enough folate before you even become pregnant is very important. 

MTHFR and folic acid

When someone eats folic acid, our body uses the enzyme called MTHFR to make 5-methylenetetrahydrofolate. This is vital for different processes of the body such as: building cells, vital to serotonin and melatonin processes, converts homocysteine to methionine, and so much more! It is an INCREDIBLY important enzyme in the body.

When someone has a genetic mutation, such as with the MTHFR gene, they are unable to turn folic acid into a useable form to support the above processes! It can build up in your body and make you feel unwell. Many times patients with MTHFR mutation have anxiety, depression, inflammation, cardiovascular disease, digestive issues, etc. It is estimated that 40% of the world’s population has the MTHFR gene mutation, myself included. There are different types of the mutation, homozygous, heterozygous, and compound heterozygous. Each form can affect the amount of folic acid you can turn into the useable form (5-methylenetetrahydrofolate).

You can get tested for MTHFR, I highly recommend this if you are trying to conceive.  There are many options for testing, but the easiest and most affordable is 23 and me, and ancestry DNA. Once you have your raw data from the test, you can input the information into nutrahacker, nutrahacker will tell you which genetic mutations you have.

In Summary

Avoiding folic acid is good idea for anyone; even if you don’t have the MTHFR mutation as there is evidence our bodies do not synthesize folic acid well.

Making good choices on vitamins is key, they should contain methylated forms of B vitamins such as methyl folate and hydroxyl B12.

Add more leafy greens into your diet to get the best type of B9 (folate).

There are many physicians out there learning more and more about the MTHFR mutation. If you are interested in learning more about it, I recommend asking around your community to find a family doctor, chiropractor, or naturopath who is familiar with it and can guide you on your journey to wellness and being free of folic acid!

Supplement brands I like:

Well Labs

Seeking Health

Smarty Pants

Ortho Molecular

References:

https://kellybroganmd.com/folate-perfect-together/

https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/439234#section=Top

https://chriskresser.com/folate-vs-folic-acid/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17617936

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18038944

https://drwillcole.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-gene-mutation-that-affects-40-of-the-world/

 

Chiropractic and Kids

Chiropractic and Kids

 

As a chiropractor that sees patients of all ages, I hear this particular question very often: “Can kids get adjusted too?” My answer? Of course! I actually recommend children to be adjusted as soon as they are born.

The reason? Birth is hard. As a mother myself, I am too familiar with the birthing process, much like many women out there. Not only do us mamas go through a lot during birth, so do our babies! Sometimes their little necks get twisted as they are born, especially during a c-section when they have to be pulled out.  As a chiropractor and mom, I believe it never hurts to get a newborn checked out!

There are so many ways chiropractic can be beneficial for children. Some of the things I have treated in my office are the typical things you would expect a chiropractor to treat, a sprained ankle, headaches, and back pain. Other things you might not have thought a chiropractor can help with: constipation, upset stomach, developmental delays, and ear infections. For a newborn’s case, chiropractors are able to help the little ones by treating them with an adjustment if they experience: colic, not latching properly while nursing or bottle, spitting up, and/or wanting to keep their head to one side.

Chiropractic is extremely safe for children and babies; it’s a great first stop for any ailments your child may be experiencing. A typical first visit for a baby or child would consist of some paperwork, a brief examination of the child (I make it fun, and it goes by fast), questions for the mom/dad/child, and then an adjustment. The adjustment is very light force, I use an activator when adjusting babies 6 months and older, for newborns just very light pressure with my finger tips. Kids love getting adjusted! They feel great afterwards and enjoy all the fun stuff they can do at the office. We have a coloring station, stickers, toys, child size activators to practice on a teddy, and possibly the most favorite- pushing the buttons on the adjusting table.

As a chiropractor I always knew I would adjust my kids, and adjust them often, but I never realized how wonderful the results of that would be. Cash and Aislinn are healthy little toddlers, rarely getting ill! They get adjusted every 1-2 weeks and they love it, they even ask me to adjust them without me bringing it up, it’s incredibly cute. Of course, I also adjust teddy bears, baby dolls, and maybe a stuffed tiger or two!

My recommendations on how to find a chiropractor that works with kiddos:

Ask other parents! So many people are taking their children to a chiropractor, I’m sure you will find a friend, relative, or on one of your facebook groups that can give you a great local referral.

At your fist appointment make sure you like the doctor, you are on the same page with treatment plans, and your child feels comfortable at the office.

www.icpa4kids.org – this website lists doctors who have attended pediatric and pregnancy seminars. This website also has lots of great articles and research on chiropractic and children.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C

A couple weeks ago, I received a call from Kevin. Getting calls from him is nothing from the unusual, but the reasons surrounding this call, took me by surprise. One thing to know about Kevin is he loves his job and he works a lot. However on this particular day, he told me something shocking: he was leaving work because he felt ill.

Once he told me the news, I started asking him about the symptoms he was experiencing. What he was describing sounded a lot like the textbook description of influenza. I told him to call our family physician, Dr. Gunnett and see if he can get in for a visit and receive an influenza test. Unsurprisingly, it came back positive for Influenza A.

My first course of action was to adjust Kevin, because I’m a chiropractor and that’s what I do! Then, I remembered watching some Facebook live videos in the fall with Dr. Suzanne Humphries, she discussed the importance of high dosing vitamin C during times of illness. When I watched that video, I ordered all her suggested vitamin C products (powdered ascorbic acid, powdered sodium ascorbate, and liposomal C). Fortunately, I had all of these on hand when Kevin got sick and right away got the whole family started on vitamin C.

Kevin said he felt significantly better Wednesday morning with no fever; he still had a cough and some congestion, though. By Friday he was back to work in the morning with a slight cough. Wednesday night I started to feel the chills and body aches that normally come along with influenza. I experienced those for ONLY TWO HOURS. The symptoms subsided and I felt much better Thursday morning. The twins had slight fevers Thursday, and some congestion and coughing that lasted into Friday, but they largely acted like themselves. I kept the whole family home into the weekend because I knew we were likely still contagious, but we all felt really good considering we had gone through Influenza A, I was so impressed!

So what do all these names and types of vitamin C mean?

Ascorbic acid is the chemical name for vitamin C. Many animals can produce their own vitamin C, but humans cannot, therefore we need to get ours from diet. Unless you eat a really healthy diet, you will need vitamin supplementation.

Sodium ascorbate is just a mineral buffered vitamin C, which makes it easier on the stomach and not as acidic. I think sodium ascorbate also tastes very mild and is barely perceptible in water.

Liposomal vitamin C has a much higher absorption rate because it is encapsulated in liposomes (fat) so it is not absorbed as rapidly as other forms of vitamin C.  Liposomal C is great when someone is really ill, because it is fast acting and more efficient.

In summary, I recommend keeping two forms of vitamin C on hand, either ascorbic acid/sodium ascorbate, and liposomal C. That way you have some to take daily (ascorbic acid/sodium ascorbate), and liposomal C on hand in case of illness. I have now started carrying three forms of Vitamin C in the office. If you are interested in learning more about how to take Vitamin C, call the office and schedule an appointment with me!

Some interesting Facts about vitamin C:

·      Goats are recommended to take 13,000 mg of Vitamin C/day in health and up to 100,000 mg/ day in times of illness. Humans are only recommended to take 75 mg/day.

·      There has been studies and cumulative medical literature on vitamin C’s effectiveness since the 1940’s.

·      It has been reported that people with serious infections can ingest up to 50 GRAMS daily of vitamin C.

·      A 2013 study gave 36 men 50 mg of vitamin C either in the form of kiwi, or in supplements containing vitamin C. There were no significant differences in the amounts of vitamin C measured in body fluids and tissues, regardless of the form of vitamin C they took.

References:

http://drsuzanne.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/vitamin-C-and-kidney-stones.pdf

http://drsuzanne.net/dr-suzanne-humphries-oral-intravenous-vitamin-c/

http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/5/9/3684

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4915787/

Turmeric

Turmeric

Turmeric is a plant and when we eat the turmeric spice, we are eating the root of the plant.  Turmeric has been used in foods for thousands of years, the residue of turmeric has even been found in ancient bowls! Ayurveda medicine has been using turmeric since 500 BC medicinally for inhalation, wound healing, and skin conditions. Curcumin was found to be an active part of the turmeric root in the early 1800’s and has been since extracted from the root (mostly in the Western world). In India, most studies and usage of turmeric is of the whole root.

Curcumin was extracted from the turmeric root because it was found to have great healing properties. Curcumin was also likely extracted from the turmeric root because it made it easier to study the curcumin, and to sell curcumin as a supplement versus turmeric as a spice. Turmeric root in its natural state is best because ALL active ingredients are able to work together.

There are many exciting research findings on turmeric. Turmeric has been found to be anti-inflammatory. It has also been effective in MRSA as turmeric is antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial, in a study, 262 of 300 people had favorable results treating MRSA with turmeric. Turmeric has been found to inhibit formation and/or the break up of amyloid plaque found in Alzheimer’s patients. It was found to be neurologically protective in multiple degeneration pathways associated with Parkinson’s disease, including mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, protein aggregation, and restoring dopamine levels. In cancer patients it was found to inhibit the growth of new blood vessels that were feeding tumors.

The best way to ingest turmeric is by making golden turmeric paste. Golden turmeric paste is turmeric root powder cooked in water to help aid digestion, then adding coconut oil and black pepper. Turmeric is fat soluble, so the coconut oil is the fat which helps with absorption, and the black pepper helps to slow down the metabolism of the turmeric so it stays in your body longer.

Adding golden turmeric paste to your daily meals is ideal. Try it with soups, sandwiches, and savory dishes. It works well with Thai, Indian, and Mexican cuisines. There are also ways to make turmeric paste “pills” you can freeze and take if you do not like the taste of it.

If you would like to know more about turmeric, how to make the paste, or any other nutritional concerns, call our office and schedule and appointment with Dr. Luke.

https://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/turmeric

https://www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-benefits/turmeric-and-mrsa-infection

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2781139/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cancer/expert-answers/curcumin/faq-20057858

Chiropractic and the Aging Population

Chiropractic can be immensely beneficial to you as you age. Have you heard the saying “If you don’t use it, you lose it?” Well, that is basically what chiropractic helps you do! An adjustment helps you move better, so you don’t lose muscle tone.

In my office I use the Activator Methods technique; I bring this up because I have a lot patient, especially aging patients that are afraid to be “cracked.” This is why the Activator is so great for them. It is instrument adjusting, which means I use an instrument that gives a short thrust into the joint area. You will not be twisted or hear any cracking sounds. And, unless I’m on a particularly sore spot, it usually doesn’t hurt! This technique is also immensely safe and effective.

An adjustment to a fixated joint helps open up the joint space. This allows for easier movement and decreased muscle spasm/tightness in the surrounding areas. Therefore, you can move more and enjoy life! I see many patients as they age, and I can promise you, the ones that keep active on a daily basis, either by walking, swimming, etc FEEL BETTER. Along with chiropractic adjustments they stay fit, age well, and happily.

Healthy Eating

 

 

I will be the first one to tell you, it’s a struggle everyday in the Luke household to eat vegetables! I have one little boy that is a very picky eater, you know what I’m talking about, right moms?! Every meal he asks for pizza or macaroni and cheese. So how do you incorporate those healthy foods for you little ones, and maybe even your husband (ahem, Kevin) into your meal plans?

One thing that helps is meal prepping on Sunday nights. I grill/roast/steam vegetables that I know everyone will eat, then keep them in the fridge for an easy re-heat during the week. Our favorite vegetables are sweet potatoes, broccoli, carrots, and zucchini. The kids will eat these because they like the soft texture when they are cooked, also, letting them dip the vegetable in a sauce makes it more fun for them.

For fruits, we keep on hand plenty of fresh berries and melons. Why berries and melons? Berries are high in antioxidants and are lower in carbohydrates versus a banana or apple. And where do I start on melons, they are just the best! Once again, melons are a low carbohydrate fruit. They also aid digestion, have a good amount of fiber, are high in vitamins, and kids love to eat them. It doesn't matter if it watermelon, cantalope or honeydew, they are all great for you.

The goal is to get in 3-5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. Trust me, I know this is not always the case, but don’t give up! A healthy lifestyle is always a work in progress, and believe me, I’m a work in progress too!

Hemp Oil

Recently, medical use of cbd oil has been legalized in Iowa and many other states. Now we hear about it and see it everywhere, including hemp oil. The product’ s popularity has piqued my interest, thus resulting me to conduct my own research. I discovered that hemp oil offers many wonderful benefits that have me even more excited about the potential for this product!

So what exactly is the difference between cannabis oil and hemp oil? Simply put, cannabis oil contains THC (which is the part of the plant that makes you feel “high”). Hemp oil is like a cousin to cannabis and DOES NOT contain THC. Hemp oil would not give you a positive drug test or make you feel “high”. It is also LEGAL because it is considered a dietary supplement.

Now that we know what hemp oil is, what does it help with? The research is so broad in this area right now, because it looks like it can help with everything. The biggest indicators though, are anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-cancer, anti-anxiety properties as well reducing seizures in epileptics. It has also been a form of treatment linked with: Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and other autoimmune diseases. 

On a personal note, my sister began taking hemp oil in November. Since then she went from daily headache/migraines to zero after one month’s use. Additionally, her overall chronic back pain has decreased.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3579248/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2503660/

http://www.cannabisinternational.org/info/Cannabinoids-Review.pdf

http://www.cannabisinternational.org/info/alzheimer-Mol-Pharm.pdf