Environmental stress

Brain Trust

You probably don’t play football, but this blog has something to do with all of us. I am in Chicago, where the NFL Draft is taking place as I write this. On the airplane flying here, I saw the film “Concussion” starring Will Smith as the medical coroner and researcher who first identified head trauma as an identifiable condition for athletes. The New York Times just published an article by Scott Martelle, citing a study released by the American Academy of Neurology, which found that 40% of retired pro football players suffer from some degree of brain injury.

If you saw “Concussion” you know that the explanation is that the human skull was never designed to withstand repeated blows. Some mammals that boast horns and antlers also have shock absorbers built in so that head butting does not cause brain injury. Apparently humans were not designed with this same protection, so multiple small bleeds can occur, and certain proteins get released. In a webinar on the subject I learned that these proteins might turn on an inflammatory response in the immune system.

Over time, this produces a type of dementia because the neurological connections in the brain are interrupted. Think of it like pouring coffee on your keyboard. The software is not damaged, but the connections are interrupted.

Caught early enough, and treated with the correct natural medicine, the damage could be minimized, according to the webinar. But so often the damage is extensive before symptoms appear.

This is perhaps even more dangerous for younger players, whose developing brains may put them more at risk. Chiropractors have warned against kids playing football for years, because of the intense strain on tendons, muscles and bones, which could introduce a young boy to a lifetime of difficulties. And now there is even more reason to re-think football for young players.

Even if you are not a parent, or a player, there is something to consider about these new findings. If you have never seen anyone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, you may not realize the devastation wreaked by these brain disorders. Not only does the person affected have a declining quality of life, they may become violent and difficult to handle. Instead of being loving parents and grandparents, enjoying their elder years, they can become almost unrecognizable in temperament and personality.

Alzheimer’s made the news recently when Will Farrell pulled out of a comedy film based on President Ronald Reagan’s struggle with the disorder. Here is what Reagan’s daughter, Patty Davis, wrote to Will Farrell, “Alzheimer’s is the ultimate pirate, pillaging a person’s life and leaving an empty landscape behind,” Ms. Davis, 63, wrote in her blog Thursday. “It sweeps up entire families, forcing everyone to claw their way through overwhelming grief, confusion, helplessness, and anger. Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have — I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/apr/29/will-ferrell-pulls-out-of-ronald-reagan-film-amid-/?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiT0RobVlqa3laV00xTkRaaiIsInQiOiJvekZuZCtoZFRIcndqbGFBenRqNDhKdHdhZXRSNTcxT2NGZVFhdGs1V2lpTWMxTWpTYjMyVFwvNlFzRVRMcWhlOFdVQzd3c3ZLb2c3c3RBTlc3UTFOdG1jQlFXejB5UW1sSERuS1Y4WWZjdnc9In0%3D

So, we all need to protect the health of our brains, and it is not too late to start. http://www.agehealthy.org/There are a few basics you can apply now.

1) First, stop using any personal products or cooking utensils that contain aluminum. When I researched the effects of aluminum on WebMD, there were dozens of studies documenting the horrific effects of this toxic metal on nerve and brain healthy. Choose porcelain, stainless steel, glass or iron pots and pans. For non-aluminum deodorants, shop at Health food stores or see a list here. http://goop.com/the-guide-to-non-toxic-deodorant-plus-our-7-favorites/

2) Eat organic and unprocessed foods to avoid toxic chemicals and pesticides, which are neurotoxins. The only way to escape from a sea of neurotoxins in our food supply is to get smart about the foods you choose. Neurotoxins disrupt or destroy the capacity of our nervous systems to pass information along nerve and brain pathways. That is the wiring for how our bodies are run. If someone cuts that wires from the electrical control panel in your house, there is no surprise that the lights won’t come on. Eating foods containing neurotoxins is like letting someone erode away at your internal wiring. The lights don’t just go out at death. They can become dimmer and dimmer. And toxins can also affect mood and attitude towards life, so if you are suffering, you may need a detoxification program. http://www.thebestbrainpossible.com/swimming-in-a-sea-of-neurotoxins/

3) Eat plenty of healthy fats. The brain contains a lot of fat and the nerve cells are protected by an envelope composed of fats. So, one theory about the current epidemic of brain disorders is that we have not been eating enough of the right kinds of fats for the past 60 years since the non-fat craze started. Corn oil is pro-inflammatory and Fish Oil is anti-inflammatory. Eliminate corn and canola oil and include coconut, olive and fish oil in your cooking. Be sure to eat fats raw and uncooked as well, such as organic butter and raw nuts. Frankincense Essential Oil may provide some health benefits for the brain. http://naturalsociety.com/the-essential-oils-that-can-naturally-help-heal-brain-injuries/

4) Watch alcohol, drug and medication use. Not only do drugs and alcohol affect the brain, but they strain the detoxification pathways in the liver and kidneys, causing the whole body to be more toxic as a whole.

5) Maintain a healthy weight and balanced blood sugar levels. An overweight or obese body is usually a body with inflammation and insulin resistance. The earlier this is handled, the better. Inflammation means that the immune system is constantly “on” and does not get a chance to calm and switch off. This is a perfect recipe for burnout, and we all need all the help we can get from our immune systems.

Healthy brains begin in the womb. For all of us, taking care of the brain has become a priority, given the rising epidemic of brain disorders. To keep your wits about you, be smart and do a detoxification program and follow the tips above. By the time symptoms hit you, it may be too late to reverse the damage. We have plenty of grey matter, and brains should easily last a lifetime. To stay connected to your loved ones, you have to keep your own wiring in working order. We can help. Call us. 818-562-1400.



How Hormones Affect Your New Year’s Resolutions

What have you resolved for the New Year? To eat better and lose weight?  To exercise more? To have less stress?  To be happier and more upbeat? To be nicer to those around you? 

All of these resolutions are affected by hormones. Hormones run the world of your body, and without hormones in balance and fully functional, a happy life and a healthy body just don’t happen.

Hormones make your body hum along, so that you don’t crave sugar and salty foods as much, so you are less stressed, have the energy to exercise more, and have the stability to handle the ups and downs of life and manage your personal and business relationships positively.

Getting hormones in balance is easy with the right natural medicine. But first you have to know what is out of balance. Blood work, Saliva Testing and Muscle Testing can all reveal where your hormones need help. I like to do Total Hormone Balancing, which means that every part of your endocrine system is working optimally, no matter your age, from puberty to old age. 

The chemicals in our environment and food additives can interrupt hormones. Birth control pills, medication and pesticides can all affect us hormonally. You can take your hormones back, and regain some control over your body and your life.

So, if you are having any difficulty making your New Year’s Resolutions stick, you might blame your hormones. Make this your best year ever! Balanced hormones will help, and we can help you get there.

True Stress Relief With Herbal Medicine


Plant medicine is the oldest form of medicine on the planet. Over thousands of years, herbalists have identified the key benefits of various plants, long before they knew why they worked. Thousands of years of research have demonstrated the fact that plants have amazing medicinal ingredients.

Today we know what those ingredients are, and why correct preparation pulls out the active constituents. With modern tableting technology these powerful medicines are readily available. The important thing about herbal medicines is to choose companies that understand how to prepare them. Without regulation, your money will be well spent with companies you can trust.

Here are some other ways that herbal medicine can help you. With the Holidays on us in full stride, stress may be a part of the preparations for the merry making.

If you are experiencing stress and anxiety, herbal medicine offers some of the fastest relief. Licorice, Rehmannia, and Ashwaganda, Rhodiola, Schisandra and Kava are all herbal remedies that can handle stress quickly. Some of my herbal preparations can knock out those frazzled feelings in just a few minutes. Think nutritional medicine for long term handling, and herbal medicine to calm things down when you need it right now, as well as supporting the body’s ability to adapt to stress.

For example, Schisandra with Rhodiola supports lung and adrenal gland function, boosts energy and stamina, helps to cleanse the liver, eases the effects of everyday stress, enhances memory and mental clarity, promotes vitality and stamina, supports physical endurance, maintains feelings of general well-being, supports and maintains the body as it ages. Nothing in the drug world can come close to this.

You may not believe how well these herbal complexes can work, whether it is a matter of stress on the job, physically over-doing it, or experiencing an emotional response. Your body does not know what kind of stress it is; only that it needs to go into high gear to deal with it.

This puts a strain on the systems that can lead to over-indulgence in drugs, alcohol, sugar, salty foods or comfort foods. These herbals remedies can help you curb emotional and stress eating, as well, which will ease the strain on your waistband over the Holidays! For further help with cravings, ask us how Gymnema can magically help you avoid sugar altogether.

Next time you are in, ask for a sample and see how you feel after taking a herbal supplement. Let us know about any medications you take, as that may determine which herbal remedy is right for you.

Enjoy a safer, saner, happier and healthier Holiday season by tapping into the healing power of Nature.


Anne Dunev, PhD, C.N., is a Naturopath/Nutritionist in Los Angeles. With 25 years of clinical experience her Functional Medicine approach has helped thousands of people recover their health by rebalancing hormones, and removing the barriers to the body healing itself.

What's In a Flu Shot?

Nobody wants the flu. But getting a flu shot is like eating last year’s Christmas dinner for this year’s Thanksgiving. The current flu vaccine was made months ago, long before anyone knows what kinds of flu viruses will hit this year. The vaccine manufacturers try to guess what kinds of flu we will have. Based on what? Crystal ball gazing? There is absolutely no scientific way to guess what flu virus will make the rounds. So, you are exposing yourself to a new set of flu viruses that you might never have been exposed to.

Then there are vaccine additives that are highly toxic to human bodies. Ethylene glycol (also known as anti-freeze), Formaldehyde (used on dead bodies as a preservative and a known carcinogen), Aluminum (documented to cause neurological disorders), Mercury (one of the most toxic substances for humans in minute amounts), just to name a few.

Many flu vaccines are grown on eggs, so watch out if you have an egg allergy. I just found out that I have an allergy to egg yolk, which was a big surprise. Ask me about our new food allergy testing.

For more on the documented side-effects of flu vaccine see here. http://vaccineimpact.com/

In fact, the flu vaccine is only considered to be 56% effective across all groups and only 9% effective in seniors over 65. That may explain why you hear such varying reports from people, with some saying that the vaccine works and others complaining they had the worst flu ever after the vaccine. And don’t forget that the most common side-effect is flu-like symptoms. Isn’t that just like getting the flu?

If you choose to skip the vaccine, boost your immune system naturally. Most of my patients tell me that their immune system is much stronger on their supplement program and they can escape the flu even when everyone around them is sick.  A personalized program is best.

Here are some general tips:

Vitamin D is part of a good defense. Take a high quality fish oil supplement. Make sure it contains Vitamins D and A, which is how Nature always packages Vitamin D. Remember that it is not the dose that counts with vitamins, but how much your body can assimilate.

One of the strongest defenses against flu virus is to get enough sleep and eat a healthy diet. Many offices have candy and pastries shared daily, and sugar will lower your immune system for hours after consumption. The white blood cells that patrol for pathogens become lethargic after sugar consumption. Excess coffee and alcohol will also dehydrate you and lower your immune system.

Poor digestion will make you more susceptible to flu or any disease. The stomach acid needs to be strong in order to help you absorb minerals. Minerals help to keep cells walls strong. Viruses are not alive. They need to invade through cell walls and use the cell’s own mechanism to create more viruses. Digestive enzymes that contain Betaine HCL improve stomach acid. Apple Cider Vinegar is an old remedy for increasing stomach acid, as well.

The intestine is where the immune system resides mainly, so Probiotics may help to keep your gut flora stronger. Eating processed foods like white flour and junk foods gunks up the system and creates an environment for candida and other unhelpful organisms to grow out of control and take over. This is like having your garden over-run with weeds. Doing a gut detox before colder weather sets in would be a perfect way to prepare yourself for a healthier winter.

Adrenals are key for the immune system. Those little glands over the kidneys are involved in your stress response, whether stress is physical or emotional. If you have any allergies or asthma, your adrenals need support.

There are several supplements you can take to keep yourself stronger. Immuplex can be taken like a multi-vitamin. Herbal supplements like Echinacea Premium and Astragalus have immune support and anti-aging properties, as well.

We are here to help you stay well, not just in the winter, but all year.  This is a perfect time to do a Detox program, so get 10% off Detox supplements before November 5. That will give you enough time for a Detox by Thanksgiving. Or do a 10 Day Blood Sugar Balance program to get a grip on sugar cravings. You will sleep better and have more energy.

Be well!