Brain Aging Factors

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The Better Brain Book

David Perlmutter, MD Board-Certified Neurologist

Riverhead Books 2004
pp. 21-23

“The same forces that are aging your body are aging your brain, only they hit your brain earlier and harder.”

“These culprits are at the core of virtually all brain problems, from mild memory issues to brain fog to severe Alzheimer’s disease. They are:

  1. 1)  The proliferation in the brain of destructive chemicals called free radicals.
  2. 2)  The decline in the ability of the brain cells to make energy.”

The brain is the most metabolically active organ of the body; it uses 20% of consumed oxygen to make the energy to fuel all of its activities.

“Energy is made in the specialized parts of the cell called the mitochondria.”

“There is a price to pay for making all this energy. Every time a cell makes energy— any cell, in any part of your body—it also produces toxic substances call free radicals.”

Free radicals are unstable, and bond with molecules in healthy cells, damaging tissues and organs, such as the heart, joints, skin, and the fats of ones brain.

Over time, free radicals can destroy substantial amounts of the brain and nerve tissue through this process of oxidation.

“When the mitochondria of your brain cells are injured, they become less efficient, produce less energy, and increase free radical production.”

“Free radicals can inhibit the brain’s ability to produce neurotransmitters, which have a profound impact on memory, learning, mood, and even balance and hand- eye coordination.”

“Free radicals pose another potentially deadly problem for the brain—they promote inflammation.”

Inflammation is linked to nearly all chronic brain diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and dementia.


Pain and Omega-6 Fatty Acids

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American Academy of Pain Management Weiner’s Pain Management
A Practical Guide for Clinicians Seventh Edition, 2006, pp.584-585 Edited by Mark Boswell and B. Eliot Cole

“Changes in the modern diet are largely responsible for the increasing incidence of essential fatty acid (EFA) imbalances and deficiencies.”

“The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats has changed dramatically due to the widespread use of vegetable oils (mostly n-6 fats) in cooking and to the processing of oils to alter omega-3 fats to improve shelf life and eliminate their stronger taste (just think of the distinctive tastes of cod liver or flax oil).”

“Historical estimates place the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 oils at nearly 1:1 for prehistoric humans.”

By the turn of the century (1900), the ratio had increased to about 4:1. The current American ratio is about 25:1.

“The sharp rise is due to increased vegetable oil consumption: from 2 lb. per year in 1909 to 25 lb. per year in 1985!”

“Many of the chronic inflammatory conditions that accompany EFA imbalance are currently treated with symptom-specific pharmaceutical drugs such as steroids, prednisone, aspirin, and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), sulfasalazine, and colchicine.”

“The problem with such drug therapies is that they prevent the formation of ‘good’ anti-inflammatory eicosanoids, or they shift the production of one type of eicosanoid to another.”

“For effective, long-term management, eicosanoid production should be modified through dietary changes (balancing dietary intake of specific fats) and controlling insulin levels in the circulation.”

“Maintaining a proper balance between the various families of dietary fats may be one of the most important preventative measures a person can take to reduce the likelihood of developing one of the chronic diseases of modern civilization, such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, and autoimmune disease.”

“And for patients who may already have one of these diseases, EFA testing and therapy has been demonstrated to reduce both morbidity and mortality associated with these diseases.”


What About Splenda (sucralose)?

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This is from FIRST, “A Magazine For Women On The Go” In an article titled:
“Tired All the Time?”
June 26, 2006, pp 25-26.
A book:
Splenda: Is it Safe or Not?
By Janet Starr Hull, Ph.D., Pickle Press, 2005

Sucralose can cause one to suffer from sluggishness, fatigue, make legs feel like lead weights, mood swings, severe cramps (female), intense pain, painful bowel movements, bloating, dizziness, confusion, and more.

Seven (7) out of ten (10) American women consume sucralose daily.

“The artificial sweetener sucralose (Splenda) is made by binding three chlorine atoms to a molecule of sugar. The problem: Chlorine reacts with organic material to create chlorination by-products (CBPs) that can trigger chronic symptoms like fatigue, headaches and brain fog, as well as reproductive and immune problems.”

“Sucralose is found in nearly 4,000 food, beverage and health-care products, including diet drinks, ice cream, protein bars, vitamins and toothpaste.” It is also found in gum, over-the-counter drugs, and salad dressings.

Consumer use of sucralose has grown annually by 10%.

70% of those who consume sucralose (Splenda) will have a sensitivity to it and develop symptoms.

If one is experiencing symptoms from consuming sucralose (Splenda), the solution is to stop taking it and to “Flush Your System” as follows:

“Supplementing daily [for 2 months] with 600 mg of the amino acid N-acetyl-l- cysteine (NAC) boosts the body’s production of glutathione, according to a study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. This antioxidant (glutathione) flushed CBPs from the body.” I purchase N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) in the product Complete Glutathione From Nutri-West: 800-443-3333.

If these symptoms are caused by sucralose (Splenda) sensitivity, elimination from the diet for a minimum of 2 weeks should start to improve symptoms:

Unexplained Tiredness Cramps/Bloating Mood Swings

Brain Fog Nausea Joint Pain Diarrhea Headaches Dizziness Depression


Mercury teeth fillings may harm some: FDA

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June 5, 2008

By Susan Heavey

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Silver-colored metal dental fillings contain mercury that may cause health problems in pregnant women, children and fetuses, the Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday after settling a related lawsuit.

As part of the settlement with several consumer advocacy groups, the FDA agreed to alert consumers about the potential risks on its website and to issue a more specific rule next year for fillings that contain mercury.

Millions of Americans have the fillings, or amalgams, to patch cavities in their teeth.

“Dental amalgams contain mercury, which may have neurotoxic effects on the nervous systems of developing children and fetuses,” the FDA said in a notice on its Web site.

The FDA said it did not recommend that people who currently have mercury fillings get them removed.

The FDA must issue the new rules in July 2009.

The lawsuit settlement was reached on Monday with several advocacy groups, including Moms Against Mercury, which had sought to have mercury fillings removed from the U.S. market.

While the FDA previously said various studies showed no harm from mercury fillings, some consumer groups contend the fillings can trigger a range of health problems such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

Mercury has been linked to brain and kidney damage at certain levels. Amalgams contain half mercury and half a combination of other metals.

Charles Brown, a lawyer for one of the groups called Consumers for Dental Choice, said the agency’s move represented an about-face. “Gone, gone, gone are all of FDA’s claims that no science exists that amalgam is unsafe,” he said in a statement.


American Association of Neurological Surgeons: High-Dose Omega-3 Oils used to Treat Non-Surgical Neck and Back Pain

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Doctors Guide, April 20, 2005

By Cameron Johnston

“Investigators at the University of Pittsburgh have treated chronic pain patients with high doses of omega-3 fatty acids – the ingredient found in many cold-water fish species such as salmon.”

“The researchers say their findings suggest that this could be the answer to the adverse effects seen with nonsteroidal anti- inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 inhibitors, which have been associated with potentially catastrophic adverse effects.”

Dr. Joseph Maroon, neurosurgeon and specialist in degenerative spine disease at the University of Pittsburgh reported the findings April 19th at the 73rd meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Patients who took high doses of omega-3 oils were impressed enough with the outcomes that they chose to continue using the oils and forego the use of NSAIDs.

The 250 study patients suffered from chronic neck or back pain but were not surgical candidates, and they had been using daily doses of NSAIDs.

After 75 days of taking high doses of omega-3s, 59% had stopped taking prescription drugs fro their pain.

“88% said they were pleased enough with the outcomes that they planned to continue using the fish oils.”

“No significant adverse effects were reported.”


Dangers of Tylenol (Acetaminophen)

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In 1994, researchers from Johns Hopkins Medical School published in the New England Journal of Medicine an article noting (1):

Risk of Kidney Failure Associated With the Use of Acetaminophen, Aspirin, and Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs

New England Journal of Medicine December 22, 1994.

“People who take analgesic drugs frequently may be at increased risk of end-stage renal disease (ESRD).”

“Heavier acetaminophen use was associated with an increased risk of end-stage renal disease in a dose-dependent fashion.”

Those who took 105 – 365 acetaminophen pills per year had a 40% increased risk of end-stage renal disease compared to those who took 2 – 104 acetaminophen pills per year. For some, the risk of end-stage renal disease was as great as a 140% increased risk.

For those who took more than 365 acetaminophen pills in a year, the increased risk of end-stage renal disease was 110%. For some, the increased risk of end-stage renal disease was as high as 270%.

For those who took more than 1000 pills containing acetaminophen in their lifetime (compared to those who took fewer than 1000 acetaminophen–containing tablets), their increased risk of end-stage renal disease was 100%. For some, the increased risk of end-stage renal disease was as high as 220%.

For those who took more than 5,000 pills containing acetaminophen in their lifetime, their increased risk of end-stage renal disease was 140%. For some, the increased risk of end-stage renal disease was as high as 380%.

The increased risk for end-stage renal disease noted in this study was adjusted for race, sex, age, and intake of other analgesic drugs.

The authors noted that 8 – 10 % of the overall incidence of end-stage renal disease is attributable to acetaminophen use.

The authors concluded, “People who often take acetaminophen have an increased risk of end-stage renal disease.”

 In 1997, researchers from the Department of Internal Medicine, University

of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, published in the New England Journal of Medicine an article noting (2):

Acetaminophen Toxicity in an Urban County Hospital

New England Journal of Medicine October 16, 1997

Acetaminophen ingestion accounts for 12% of all patients hospitalized with drug overdoses.

Acetaminophen ingestion accounts for 40% of patients with acute liver failure.

In 2004, Tim Davern, MD, a liver transplant specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, published (3):

The Danger Of Mixing Candy And Poison

San Francisco Chronicle August 14, 2004

“First Do No Harm” is a cornerstone of modern medicine.

“I think the practice of combining acetaminophen (Tylenol is one popular brand) and an opiate, such as hydrocodone bitartrate, together as a single drug (as Vicodin does) defies logic, if not common sense.”

Acetaminophen is a “potent dose-dependent poison for the liver; simply stated, if you take too much, your liver dies.”

Acetaminophen overdose is the “leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States today.”

On the other hand, opiates, such as hydrocodone bitartrate and codeine, while safe for the liver, are highly addictive.

“Vicodin is currently the most popular prescription drug in the United States.”

Some patients become addicted to the opiate component of Vicodin and consume increasing amounts of acetaminophen, “ultimately leading to acute liver failure.”

“With overwhelming liver injury from acetaminophen, what follows is a particularly grisly death punctuated by bleeding, confusion, coma, brain swelling, damage and death.”

“Patients typically take too much acetaminophen for fever or pain over several days, not realizing the potential for liver damage.”

“Many are unaware that acetaminophen is contained in dozens of over-the-counter cold and flu preparations.”

“This situation is particularly tragic in young children accidentally overdosed with acetaminophen, typically in the setting of a flu-like illness, by well-intentioned but misinformed parents.”

Acetaminophen packaging should have better warning labels, and should not be sold in 1,000 pill mega-bottles.

Acetaminophen-opiate combinations [like Vicodin] should be removed from the market.

“The prescription rules in California have made it far easier for physicians to prescribe an acetaminophen-opiate combination, such as Vicodin, than a pure opiate, such as codeine, although the former is far more dangerous.”

The FDA banned Ephedra, which “contrasts with its puzzling, relatively meager efforts to prevent acetaminophen hepatotoxicity, which kills far more Americans each year than Ephedra.”

In 2006, regular PARADE columnist Isadore Rosenfeld, MD, publishes (4):

Take This Painkiller Carefully

Medical News That Matters Second Opinion
By Isadore Rosenfeld, MD

Parade, February 19, 2006, pg. 6

“Acetaminophen, whose best know brand name is Tylenol, is one of the most widely used non-prescription painkillers is the US.”

“Overdosing with it is the leading cause of serious poisoning in this country.”

“Every year, too much acetaminophen accounts for 50,000 emergency room visits, 42% of liver failures, and an average of 458 deaths.”

“Never take more than 4,000mg a day—eight 500mg extra-strength capsules.”

Numerous other drugs also contain acetaminophen, including Nyquil, Sudafed, Alka-Seltzer, Sinutab, Contac, Actifed, etc.

“If you have two or three alcoholic drinks or more a day, be sure to consult your doctor before taking Tylenol.”

“The symptoms of acetaminophen overdose are nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and lack of appetite.” [NOTE: these are symptoms that some may take Tylenol for, flu-like symptoms.]

“The specific antidote is N-acetylcysteine (NAC).”

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) works to save the liver following acetaminophen poisoning because it elevates levels of the antioxidant and detoxifier, glutathione (5). I purchase N-acetylcysteine (NAC) in the product Complete Glutathione From Nutri-West: 800-443-3333.

In 2005, researchers associated with Harvard Medical School published in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension, an article noting (6):

Non-Narcotic Analgesic Dose and Risk of Incident Hypertension in US Women

Hypertension September 2005

Acetaminophen [Tylenol, Atasol, Anacin-3, Panadol, Excedrin {has acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine}], is one of the most commonly used drugs in the United States.

Compared with women who did not use acetaminophen, older women who took >500 mg per day had a 93% increased risk of hypertension.

Younger women who took >500 mg per day of acetaminophen had a 99% increased risk of hypertension.

Compared with non-users of acetaminophen, older women who consumed >500 mg per day for headache had a 240% increased risk of hypertension.

Compared with non-users of acetaminophen, younger women who consumed >500 mg per day for headache had a 370% increased risk of hypertension.

Higher daily doses of acetaminophen significantly increase the risk of hypertension in women.

Acetaminophen [Tylenol, etc.] impairs renal function by depleting glutathione, leading to renal endothelial dysfunction.

Clinicians commonly do NOT understand that acetaminophen is NOT safe, and causes significant hypertension.

There are three nutritional strategies to boost levels of glutathione to protect oneself or patients against the toxicity of acetaminophen (Tylenol) and other drugs, as well as protect our bodies from other toxins such as mercury, lead, cadmium and aluminum (5):

1) Take B6, B12, Folic Acid: they help the body convert the harmful amino acid homocysteine into the beneficial amino acid cysteine. Cysteine is the rate-limiting factor in the construction of the antioxidant/detoxifier glutathione. (I use Complete Omega-3 Co-Factors From Nutri-West: 800-443-3333).

2) As noted above, take N-Acetyl Cysteine, or NAC. (I use Complete Glutathione From Nutri-West: 800-443-3333).

3) Consume undenatured whey protein. According to Dr. Gutman (5), undenatured whey protein is probably the best method to elevate one’s levels of glutathione. The Nutri-West product is called Complete Whey-G.


1) Perneger TV, Whelton PK, Klag MJ; Risk of kidney failure associated with the use of acetaminophen, aspirin, and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs; New England Journal of Medicine; Dec. 22, 1994;331(25):1675-9.

2) Schiodt FV, Rochling FA, Casey DL, Lee WM; Acetaminophen toxicity in an urban county hospital; New England Journal of Medicine; Oct 16, 1997; 16;337(16):1112-7.

3) Davern T; The Danger Of Mixing Candy And Poison; San Francisco Chronicle; August 14, 2004.

4) Rosenfeld I; Take This Painkiller Carefully; Medical News That Matters, Second Opinion; Parade, February 19, 2006, pg. 6.

5) Gutman J; Glutathione, Your Body’s Most Powerful Protector, Communications, 2002.

6) Forman JP, Stampfer MJ; Curhan GC; Non-Narcotic Analgesic Dose and Risk of Incident Hypertension in US Women; Hypertension; September 2005;46:500.


Treatment of Intervertebral Disc Herniation With Manipulation

By Uncategorized

“Manipulation. Some orthopaedic surgeons practice manipulation in an effort at repositioning the disc. This treatment is regarded as controversial and a form of quackery by many men. However, the author has attempted the maneuver in patients who did not respond to bed rest and were regarded as candidates for surgery. Occasionally, the results was dramatic.

Technique. The patient lies on his side on the edge of the table facing the surgeon, and the uppermost leg is allowed to drop forward over the edge of the table, carrying forward that side of the pelvis. The uppermost arm is placed backward behind the patient, pulling the shoulder back. The surgeon places one hand on the shoulder and the other on the iliac crest and twists the torso by pushing the shoulder backward and the iliac crest forward. The maneuver is sudden and forceful and frequently is associated with an audible and palpable crunching sound in the lower back. When this is felt, the relief of pain is usually immediate. The maneuver is repeated with the patient on the opposite side.”

“The patient should be cautioned beforehand that the manipulation may make his symptoms worse and that this is an attempt to avoid surgery.”

Orthopaedics, Principles and Their Applications

Samuel Turek, MD
Clinical Professor, Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation

University of Miami School of Medicine

JB Lippincott Company 1977
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