Get A Jump On Flu Season

It is flu season again.  Here are recommendations to strengthenSneezer in his pjs your immune system so you don’t get the flu in the first place.  I know many people who have the flu after they get the vaccine.  I believe these methodologies, when utilized together, work better.

  1. Sleep

I put sleep first because it is the aid most people dismiss. When we sleep, we heal and regenerate our batteries. We cannot make up for lost sleep in one night. Get into the habit of treating yourself to a good night’s sleep (8 hours average) every night.

  1. Reduce your sugar intake

Eating sugar impairs the immune system for hours. Think about that. It means that your white cells become “drunk” and less able to protect you from potentially harmful bacteria and viruses. My suggestion during any time of increased vulnerability is to cut out sugar entirely.

  1. Vitamin C

We are one of four mammals who do not make their own vitamin C. Vitamin C is one of the best antiviral supports available. Take vitamin C to “bowel tolerance,” meaning just under the amount that causes diarrhea. When you are well, this amount will be less, often significantly less, than when you are ill or “fighting a bug.”

Don’t think there is something wrong if you find you need as much as 5000 mg on a regular basis. That is your body’s requirement.  Increase it as needed to stay well.

  1. Vitamin A

Some years ago a study in Japan showed that high doses of vitamin A (100,000 to 400,000 IU) per day for 3 days significantly reduced the duration and severity of measles in children. Thus, at the first sign of a viral infection, take 100,000 IU of vitamin A for 2 or 3 days. (Note: This is actual vitamin A, not beta carotene.)

  1. Zinc

Zinc is also essential for the immune system and really helps with viral infections.Take approximately 75 mg (i.e.  80 is fine, too) the first day, then 50 mg the next few days, and then reduce to a maintenance level of 15 to 30 mg. If you take zinc on a long-term basis, you need to supplement with 1 to 2 mg of copper a couple of times per week to balance the zinc.

  1. Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 is the newest discovery for improving the immune system and so much else in the body. We are finding a majority of the population quite deficient in this essential nutrient, even those of us in sunny Southern California.

Take 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 for about 3 days at the first sign of an infection. Then reduce your intake to between 2000 and 5000 IU per day. At the end of 3 months at this level, a blood test for vitamin D (25-hydroxy vitamin D3 level is the one to request) is highly recommended, for it is possible to have too high a level. The blood test will help you to determine your proper dosage. The goal is to have a blood level between 50 and 80 ng/ml.

  1. Probiotics

Several pounds of beneficial bacteria are supposed to reside in our intestines. They are a critical part of our immune system. The intestines are lined with lymphatic tissue which is supported by the beneficial bacteria. The general name for these bacteria is “probiotics.” Most people have heard of lactobacillus acidophilus, but there are dozens of species of these different bacteria that we need, and we do not get them adequately in yogurt. Some brands of probiotics need to be refrigerated and some do not. Some are made from milk and/or soy, and others are dairy-free and gluten-free. Purchase the kind that fits you.Take the probiotics of your choice 2 to 4 times per day at the first sign of infection. Many of us need probiotics on an ongoing basis at least once per day.

  1. Frequent hand washing

Viruses can survive very well on any surface. However, I do not recommend the use of antibacterial hand wipes or soaps on a regular basis because they kill not only the viruses on your skin but also the beneficial bacteria. In addition, there is concern that the chemicals in these wipes and soaps may be more harmful than beneficial for us.

Nothing replaces regular soap and water for washing your hands. Get into the practice of washing your hands frequently and not putting your fingers in your mouth, nose, or ears. Those openings are avenues of entry for viruses and other infectious agents.

  1. Humacel

Humacel is one of the best antiviral products I have experienced. It apparently works on all viruses.  There is another version of this called Viracillin, from another company.  I am told it works as well as Humacel though I have not tried it personally.

  1. Other immune-boosting remedies

Oscillococcinum is a homeopathic that many find helpful for combating the flu. (It’s the number one over-the-counter flu medicine in France.) I recommend completely dissolving 1/3 of a tube of the pellets under your tongue 3 times per week throughout the flu season as a preventive.

ProBoost is freeze-dried, thymic protein that really boosts one’s immune system. I recommend dissolving the contents of 1 packet directly under your tongue for 3 minutes every day or every other day throughout the flu season.  If you do suffer from the flu, take a packet 3 times per day until you are better.

Echinacea Premium is a very fine echinacea from the vendor, MediHerb. Echinacea is perhaps the most commonly known botanical immune stimulant. This form is safe to take on a daily basis through the flu season to maintain a strong immune system.

Argentyn 23, also called Sovereign Silver, is a nano silver. Silver is a natural killer of infectious agents. In this brand, the silver particles are so small that you do not have to worry about your teeth turning blue if you take it too long. The company also has a spray version for nasal application as well as a gel which can be applied to your skin. I have even prescribed it for inhalation when someone had a lung or bronchial infection.

Some other excellent wellness formulas contain herbs like olive leaf extract, cat’s claw, and ashwaganda as well as other beneficial herbs.

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Guess the substance? Guess the addiction?

A patient of mine, we’ll call her Jane, described the following process.  She had many questionmark-charactersymptoms that not only aggravated her, they also scared her.  She was worried she was deteriorating very rapidly.

Here were her symptoms:  Poor energy and stamina: she did not feel refreshed after a full night’s sleep and had an afternoon slump.  Her hip joints became painful and stiff over the past year to the point where she limped.  Additionally, her balance was tenuous.  She considered buying a cane to stabilize herself.  Her skin became increasingly dry and wrinkled.  Her posture required effort.  While normally a happy person, she found her mood to dip and stay low days on end.  Her heart beat irregularly.  At times it was absolutely thundering, so much that she thought others might be able to hear it.

What happened then?

cup-of-coffeeJane was the first person to arrive to work in the morning, so she made the coffee.  She would bring coffee to work and then home on Friday for the weekend.  One Monday morning, she realized that she had forgotten the coffee at home.  Panic!!  She would have run over to Starbucks but she was covering the office.  Tea just would not do!  What could she do?  Then Jane remembered that one of her bosses only drank hot water.  Jane heated up water and drank it.  Surprise!  The plain hot water was very comforting (to quote Jane: “think of a hug for your insides.”)  She was very thirsty that day and kept drinking the hot water.

Jane stopped the coffee and substituted hot water.  After 5 days her over-stimulated brain calmed, her hip pain improved by 75% and she had more energy.  After 2 weeks, she awakened refreshed and no longer had an afternoon slump.  “My energy is through the roof” for the first time in a long time.

Now she could climb stairs easily.  Her balance was back in full force.  Jane found her good posture to be effortless.  Her happy mood returned.  After 3 weeks, no more pounding heart!

Jane felt great.

Jane is very lucky.  She did not experience headaches.  She did comment though that she never would have considered having a day without coffee, yet she changed.  Her final retort? “I will never touch the stuff again.  I feel too great.”

What are you drinking or eating that you believe you cannot live without?   You also might be pleasantly surprised at how well you feel when you stop it.  If you are wondering what food it is, consider an appointment at the Lippman Center where we screen for allergies, infections, toxicities and deficiencies.  310-289-8430

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What is Lurking Under Your House?

shutterstock_439738522One of my patients sent me a question about her home’s environment.  During earthquake retrofitting, she was informed that some dirt in front of the house had to be pushed back from the foundation. After the dirt was moved, she noticed strange odors inside her house. Her concern was this:  Was it microbes or mold? She wondered if she should keep the windows open.

I contacted Mary Cordaro, a Healthy Building and Indoor Air Consultant. She responded that my patient definitely should keep her windows closed to reduce the risk of additional complications. She indicated that besides mold, which is always naturally occurring in soil, there is also a possible serious pesticide issue present in an old crawl space. Mary continued, “if a house is old, it is likely that DDT or chlordane was applied around the inside of the foundation wall for termite prevention when the house was built. When old soil is disturbed, dust rises up into the house. Old houses have a lot of openings under the floors allowing both mold and pesticides into the room air. These old pesticides are persistent. They stick to dust in the soil as well as to house dust and surfaces inside the house.”

Imagine the dangers for young children and/or pets who live closer to the floor and have greater exposure.

If this is your situation, i.e. living in an old house where work is going to be done around the crawl space and foundation, there is remediation available. I recommend you seek a consultant before beginning the work so that you don’t endanger you or your family’s health from these toxic old chemicals.

My standard evaluation includes screening for exposure to mold or pesticides.  If this interests you, call my office for an appointment (310-289-8430).

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Aging Healthfully II


This is the second of a two part series about Aging Healthfully.  Find part one here.

Keeping Your Brain Young 

Mary brought in her mother-in-law, Jane, for evaluation. Jane was in her 80’s, had some dementia, never spoke, and sat motionless in her chair all day long. Her doctors had given up on her. My evaluation suggested Jane needed some nutritional support. I prescribed an all-in-one liquid supplement, extra essential fatty acids, and extra vitamin C. Within one week, Jane was happily pursuing the men in her senior care home. That was 3 years ago.  She is still taking the supplements and is still going strong.

What do our brains and nervous system need to stay young?

1) We need to keep inflammation to a minimum.healthy senior

Chronic inflammation affects all our organs and systems contributing to and causing major diseases, including dementia.  What causes inflammation?

If you suffer from allergies or asthma, you know your symptoms are from exposure to allergens. Anything might be an allergen.  We often think only of pollens and mold as allergens. Chemicals (i.e. perfume scent) and foods can also be allergens. Allergens produce irritation in the body. This ignites the immune system which includes a separate immune system in the brain. When the irritant aggravation continues for an extended time, the immune system stays very active. Some allergens affect specific organs. Chronic infection also can affect specific organs. The immune system senses these irritants and attacks to remove the irritant. Unfortunately, when the irritant is located in an organ, the immune system also attacks the organ and can damage it. The solution is to treat any latent infection and/or toxicity state (such as from heavy metals like mercury, lead, cadmium) as soon as possible.

2) Our food can cause inflammation.

The worst offender is sugar. Sugar initiates the release of insulin from the pancreas which aids in the breakdown and storage of sugar. When we eat too much sugar, occasionally or habitually, the pancreas is required to increase the output of insulin. At some point insulin becomes less effective. This is called insulin resistance which causes the body to put out even more insulin. Problem: Significant increases of insulin cause major inflammation. Insulin resistance is associated with increased average blood sugar as well as other ailments. When a body has reached the stage of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome can occur. This syndrome is denoted by high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and high blood pressure. In addition, high insulin levels are associated with damage to the kidneys, prostate enlargement, abdominal obesity, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, liver disease, cancer, and a shortened life span. Solution:  Eliminate processed sugar from the diet, eat a balanced diet, and take supplements that assist the body’s management of carbohydrates and sugars (as in fruit).

Conclusion:   Reduce inflammation and increase your health and longevity potential.

For a customized evaluation of your health, contact my office:  310-289-8430.

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Lead in Your Plumbing?

The disastrous contaminated water situation in Flint, Michigan this year has alerted the populace across the country to the problem of lead contaminated water.  People were unaware of lead as a problem in the first place, unless you remember leaded paint and leaded gasoline.  Secondly, many of us have been unaware of how much lead is still used in our environment.  Why is lead such a problem?  There is no safe level for lead in the human body.  In children it can lower IQ levels, reduce hearing, affect kidneys, and contribute to poor performance in school.  In adults it can cause fatigue, abdominal pain, constipation and headaches to name just a few of the symptoms.

The February 14, 2011 edition of described how we get exposed to lead in our own homes. “The greatest amount of lead found in your home’s drinking water frequently comes from lead service lines, lead interior plumbing, or copper pipes connected with lead solder.”  Cities use chlorine to treat the municipal water.  The chlorine is corrosive causes the lead to leach off of the pipes in your home.

What to do about the lead that collects in your water overnight when you don’t run the tap?  Run the water for 30 seconds every morning before you use it.  Even the Los Angeles Unified School District requires the teachers every school morning to run the water in their classrooms for 30 seconds before anyone uses the water.

The other way to prevent lead in your water is to put in a good water filtration system with an NSA filter that removes 100% of the heavy metals in the water.  Such a system will also filter out “dangerous byproducts from chlorination, as well as bacteria and cysts that are naturally present in well water and can survive urban water treatment facilities” as mentioned in the Mercola article.

Ask your doctor for a blood lead level.  This does not reflect any lead stored in your bones but at least it will let you know how toxic you are at the present.

For further evaluation of your heavy metal (includes mercury, cadmium and aluminum), contact my office.

poison water



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Is your orange juice “enhanced?”

Unless you squeeze your own orange juice, the product you drink from a carton is neither shutterstock_105288938fresh nor just orange juice.  The companies that make non-organic orange juice that sits on a refrigerated shelf have a secret that we are not commonly aware of.  The orange juice would lose its flavor very quickly.  So the manufacturers of orange juice remove the flavor, the fiber, all of the oxygen, then freeze the liquid, and at the appropriate time add “flavor packs” back to the juice.  “Voila” – orange juice.

Commercial 100% Orange Juice Fraud: Toxic Perfume Flavor Packs Added” Another article is

Alissa Hamilton is a fellow with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and the author of “Squeezed: What You Don’t Know About Orange Juice

What is added back to the liquid is orange oil which has been processed to ensure the orange juice has a consistent flavor.   Ethyl butyrate is one of the chemicals found in high concentrations in the flavor packs added to to this “orange juice” because its odor is orange.

When my patients get sick with a cold, many of them tell me they start drinking lots of orange juice.  Long ago I was informed that vitamin C dissipates very quickly after an orange is cut or squeezed.  This information about the adulteration of orange juice, in order for it to be stored and still taste like orange juice, is an added reason  not to drink anything other than fresh.  In fact, I would recommend eating the orange instead.  That way you don’t take in so much concentrated sugar.  You also get the fiber and other nutrients available in the pulp.

If you want therapeutic levels of  vitamin C, I recommend purchasing it as tablet, capsule or liquid.

For further advice about what to take when you get sick, call my office at 310-289-8430.

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Home Pesticide Use Tied to Child Cancer Risk

shutterstock_132629654When we discover a bug in the kitchen (this story is not about computers) it is really easy to grab the “bug bomb” and zap it.  It seems to be that, as a society, we are very intolerant of bugs even though they outnumber us many fold.  Besides, all we have to do is run down to the local grocery store or hardware store and pick up the latest chemical to kill those offending critters.   However, the price we pay for doing this may be far greater than the few dollars we pay at the store.            shutterstock_82313764

The October 2015 issue of the Journal of Pediatrics reports a study of many research studies (known as a meta-analysis) about low dose use of pesticides and their effects on children. (RESIDENTIAL EXPOSURE TO PESTICIDE DURING CHILDHOOD AND CHILDHOOD CANCERS: A META-ANALYSIS).  Their conclusion?   “We found that childhood exposure to indoor but not outdoor residential insecticides was associated with a significant increase in risk of childhood leukemia…and childhood lymphomas.   A significant increase in risk of leukemia was also associated with herbicide exposure…” There was even some suggestion that pesticide or herbicide exposure could be associated with increased incidence of brain tumors.

I remember vividly working with families who had a child with leukemia or lymphoma.  At the time I was practicing child psychiatry and one of my specialties was working with families with sick children.  While we all attempted to keep a positive attitude, seeing a child suffering with a potentially terminal illness like these cancers is very stressful.  The families and the children themselves were courageous.  When the treatments were not successful, we all felt the loss.  Thank goodness childhood cancer is relatively rare.  What if we could prevent even this small amount?  What if we could keep the beauty and sparkle of childhood for more children?  What if a significant number of these cancers could be prevented by using integrative pest management instead of just “bombing” the bugs?

The basic policies of integrative pest management include exclusion, i.e. keeping the bugs out and not providing food for them through careful cleanliness and cleaning up food crumbs instead of leaving them as a meal for the critters.

If these methods are not enough, there are far less toxic compounds that can be used to keep bug population down.  One of the best is soap and water.  Additionally, we now have more products derived from essential oils that do not have the deleterious effect of the pesticides. There is also diatomaceous earth. For example, you can shake it onto the opening to an ant hill, along the trail of ants in your kitchen, and/or sprinkle it onto their entry point.  Note: it is only effective when dry.

Remember, the “-cide” part of the words pesticide or herbicide means the chemical “kills.” Pesticides and herbicides are more lethal than we realize.

Wishing a healthy 2016 to all.

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