Ask a hundred random people about deadly things we encounter in modern life and they might respond with answers such as violent crime, accidents involving guns, automobile crashes and heart attacks (among many other possible answers.) Most people probably would never think about the deadly killer that is all around us in virtually every part of the United States and every other developed nation. Toxic metals are found in the food we consume, pesticides and herbicides, kitchenware and accessories, building materials and even paint. We have been filling our environment and our bodies with deadly toxins for centuries yet little attention has been paid to these dangerous substances.

The biggest threats come from a relatively small number of toxic metals. There are six, in fact. These metals are

  • Mercury
  • Cadmium
  • Lead
  • Arsenic
  • Nickel
  • Aluminum

As you probably know, many of these metals have been used in common items such as batteries to cooking pots and household appliances. Now for the scary part- many people all over the world are exposed to these toxic metals from seemingly innocent places like the air we breathe and the food we eat.

Here are some symptoms to look out for:

  • Numbness in the mouth, tongue and throat
  • Vomiting or severe nausea
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Difficulty breathing and/or irregular heart beat
  • Impaired motor, language or cognitive skills
  • Migraine type headaches

These symptoms indicate an acute exposure to toxic metals and should be addressed by your health care provider immediately.  Many of my patients find relief by using products such as Uber Greens, which you can find more information about here.

Chronic illness due to toxic metals is more difficult to diagnose because everyday millions of people deal with the exact same symptoms such as fatigue, foggy brain, joint pain, acid reflux, bloating, constipation insomnia, anxiety and depression. Ask your doctor to order blood, urine and/or hair analysis tests to further evaluate your body for possible exposure to toxic metals.

In my book The 7-Day Allergy Makeover, I go into detail about the dangers of toxic metals and how to avoid these poisons to prevent allergies and disease.

Here are some of the needle movers I recommend you to implement today:

  • Replace aluminum and stainless steel pots and pans with glass, enamel or ceramic cookware. Stainless steel pots and pans are made with nickel, which can cause a great deal of digestive and skin issues.
  • Use glass water bottles instead of steel canteens
  • Use porcelain, bamboo, or wooden utensils
  • Always use the recirculating air button while driving to prevent breathing in exhaust fumes and toxic metals such as mercury and lead.
  • Avoid aluminum based cosmetics and antiperspirants (increase risk of Alzheimer’s.)
  • Avoid flu shots and thimersol (mercury) based vaccines.
  • Check for lead based paint in your home and office.
  • Avoid and remove all silver dental fillings made of mercury
  • Use natural pesticides and insecticides such as rosemary and mint oil, instead of conventional chemical based pesticides, which are formulated with heavy metals such as arsenic and mercury.
  • Stop smoking and avoid second hand cigarette smoke- you are sucking down cadmium bombs!
  • Avoid eating “wide-mouthed” fish such as tuna, swordfish, bass, mahi mahi and shark and instead eat small wild caught fish such as sardines, anchovies, sable fish, sockeye salmon.
  • Organic is the best policy! Avoid conventionally grown produce, poultry and food. Chicken fed non-organic feed is contaminated with arsenic.
  • Drink purified water instead of tap water and avoid natural-spring water coming from granite rich land such as the Rocky and Sierra Mountains. Arsenic levels are high in granite rock.

We all need to be concerned about the toxic substances that are building up in our environment and potentially harming our children and our health. The toxic metals described above such as arsenic and mercury disrupt our energy output and nervous system, impair our senses, affect our children’s development and can even lead to cancer. We all need to work together to eliminate the use of these toxic materials but in the meantime we must make a strong effort to reduce our exposure to arsenic, lead, mercury and other toxic metals. We owe it to our children and ourselves!

 

A study conducted recently and published in The Journal of Neuroscience has revealed a possible relationship between cortisol- a hormone that your body produces in large quantities when experiencing stress- and lapses in memory among older folks.

The researchers who conducted the study noted that older rats aged 21 months (roughly the biological equivalent to a 65 year old human) with high cortisol levels had difficulty navigating a maze which required the use of short-term memory.

When the researchers examined tissue samples taken from the pre-frontal cortexes of the rats’ brains they noted that the older rats with high levels of cortisol had significantly fewer synapses than the rats from other groups and the synapses that were present were noticeable smaller. Just to be clear, increased levels of cortisol are not necessarily a bad thing. The hormone helps us to be more alert during tense situations.

However, as is usually the case, having heightened levels of cortisol over a long period of time can lead to a lot of issues including increased body weight, high blood pressure, indigestion, irritability and according to this study: short term memory loss.

Researchers have concluded that elevated cortisol levels slowly eat away synapses located within the brain’s prefrontal cortex. This is the area of the brain that manages short-term memory. Put another way, synapses in our brain are literally the connections that help us process and store information. As we age the cortisol works to erode those synapses and eventually they are destroyed.

A good analogy might be a spider’s web. The delicate threads create a beautiful and exotic web but a sand storm, hail or strong winds could destroy the connective threads and the web is ruined.

Now imagine the web represents short-term memories and synapses are the connective threads and you’ll see the potential effects of too much cortisol on your system as the hormone tears the “web” apart.

While this is just one study, we should consider the possibility that people with unusually high levels of cortisol- such as soldiers suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or even somebody suffering from depression for an extended length of time are at risk of damaging their brain’s ability to retain short-term memories. It is not always easy to reduce stress in our lives but it is advisable to be proactive and take steps to reduce cortisol levels in our bodies.

The good news is that there are many legitimate and safe ways to relieve ourselves of mild to major depression. A quick search online will provide you a variety of suggestions for dealing with depression such as breathing techniques, vigorous exercises, meditation, light therapy and simply talking about problems and concerns with a friend or loved one. Natural remediesfor depression include omega 3 oils, Vitamin B complex, 5-HTP/tryptophan, magnesium, psychobiotics (probiotics for psychological conditions) and more.

To improve memory, best to find a treatment method that works for you to reduce chronic stress and depression. You will be happier, healthier and ultimately improve your quality of life during your later years.

Over the last few years we have seen a small group of foods become outrageously popular among health-conscious Americans and for good reason! The ancient Mayans used these foods for their superior nutritional value and other benefits such as warding off diseases and now these ingredients are being rediscovered.

As of this writing you can buy each of these foods from most grocery stores and you can even find prepared dishes and salads in delis and cafes. Don’t let the price tags scare you. A big bag of ancient tribal foods will last a long time because you only need a small amount. A spoonful mixed with non-dairy yogurt or hot gluten-free oatmeal is plenty and you’ll still get that nutrient rich goodness.

Today, we are going to briefly look at five different types of ancient tribal foods along with serving suggestions so everybody can see how easy it is to include these superfoods in our diets.

Acai Berry Powder-     The Shuar people have lived in the Amazonian rainforest for centuries and their healers were among the first to discover the benefits of Acai berries. These berries are packed with antioxidants, protein and omega fats. They are also loaded with fiber to help curb your appetite. Try a spoonful of Acai berry powder in your next smoothie or glass of green juice! Yum!

Sprouted Chia Seeds-      Did you know that chia is the Mayan word for strength? It is no surprise that chia seeds have been a major source of nutrition for people living in South America for millennia. Not only do they contain protein and omega fats, chia seeds are also a brain food and can even help to reduce inflammation in your joints. A true miracle food! Try some sprinkled on your salad. Look for sprouted chia seeds, sprouting naturally reduces phytic acid that can hinder mineral absorption.

Nopal (Prickly Pear Cactus)-     Nopal is a natural treatment for diabetes in Mexico because it is known to lower blood sugar without any side effects. The plant is also said to lower LDL cholesterol levels and can even be used to treat asthma. It also happens to be a tasty form of medicine because it can be made into jelly and consumed on a piece of a endive leaf. Nopal salad is one of my favorite Mexican dishes!

Hemp Hearts-   While hemp hearts are only about as big as sesame seeds they pack quite a nutritional wallop! These tiny seeds are among the highest density plant sources for protein. They also contain Vitamin E, omega fats, iron and GLA. Many vegetarians prefer hemp seeds as their daily source of protein. With their nutty flavor, hemp seeds are great over organic fruit salad, non-dairy protein smoothies or coconut yogurt. For a healthy snack try baking them into seed bars and gluten-free seed granola.

Black Rice-     If black rice was good enough for the ancient emperors of China then it is good enough for us, right? It is true that at one time in China’s history only the emperors were allowed to eat this extremely healthy food. It contains lots of Vitamin E to help boost your immune system. Black rice is also packed with antioxidants to remove free radicals and may even help your body to resist cancer. Try steaming some black rice and serve it to next to grilled chicken. You can also use black rice in place of pasta in a cold salad. It is one of the main ingredients in my Jing Jing!

There we have it. Five different types of ancient tribal foods and they are all readily available in most health food stores. Even the fussiest eater is bound to like at least one of these miracle foods. If you have any tasty serving suggestions for the powerhouse ingredients then please feel free to share them in the comments section. Remember that the food you eat today will impact your quality of life in the future!

 

The Element Protection Stick is best to weather proof your skin, for sun, wind, water and snow.

Dr. Susanne shares how she applies it to various areas of her face, lips and eyes to protect from the elements to prevent irritations, sun damage, wrinkles and crows feet.

Element Protection Stick is a “water screen” where sweat and water will roll off the face without product irritating your eyes.

It is excellent for sensitive skin including infants and children and has mild, natural insect repellent properties, and it’s easy to carry – you will want one in your purse, athletic bag, briefcase and diaper bag.

Dr Susanne Book Signing

So excited to invite you to my book signing at Barnes & Noble next Thursday, at 6:00 pm PT, 3rd St. Promenade, right down the street from my Wellness For Life Center.

I will be there to chat with you and answer any questions about your allergies. And of course, I will be honored to sign a copy of my book for you!

Do bring your loved ones – it will be a family affair!

 

With summer just around the corner and days getting longer, temperatures will continue to rise with warm sunshine and clear blue skies. More children and adults alike will be spending their spare time outdoors, playing, exercising, and enjoying the beautiful weather.

Before stepping outside, we want to be mindful about sun protection, and should apply a formula that protects our skin and children’s delicate skin. With so many different brands available as well as various types of chemicals in sunscreens and sunblocks, parents may feel overwhelmed and often have difficulty choosing the right type of formula or SPF.

Dr Susanne PaddleboardingThe most common question asked in my practice regarding sunscreens and sunblock is, “Which is the safest brand available for my child?”

Sunscreens and sunblocks protect our skin by different mechanisms.

Sunblocks actually sit “on” the skin and act as a barrier to reflect away ultraviolet (UV) rays – both UVA and UVB radiation can cause sunburn and skin damage, and possibly even skin cancer.

Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are both sunblocking agents for both UVA and UVB rays. Sunblocks usually start at an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 15 or higher.

Sunscreens are made with chemicals that absorb and neutralize the ultraviolet radiation. Sunscreen chemicals typically protect against either UVA or UVB, while only a few protect against both types of radiation. As a result, sunscreens usually have mixtures of both kinds of chemicals in order to be labeled as “broad spectrum” – and to be fully protective. The SPF levels of sunscreen are widely varied, starting as low as 2 and rising as high as 100+.

There are strong concerns about chemical sunscreens acting as endocrine disruptors – compounds that mimic hormones and activate hormone receptors. Studies are showing that these chemicals can also generate powerful free radicals that can damage skin and possibly cause skin cancer (1)(2).

Specifically, the “protection” agents cause what we are trying to prevent! One study published in the April 2004 Journal of Chromatography found that sunscreen chemicals that are designed to prevent UV skin penetration can pass through your skin into the bloodstream.

This leads us to believe that the more applications of these “UV protectors”, and the longer you leave them on your skin, the more dangerous they becomes to your health.

SPF numbers are designed to describe the length of time you can stay in the sun before you start burning your skin. For example, if you normally start to burn after 30 minutes of direct sunlight, then an SPF 30 product should let you stay in the sun for approximately 30 times longer without burning.

Here are some helpful pointers on how to choose a healthy sunscreen / sunblock for you and your family:

  1. Look for formulas that have either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide in them. Out of the two, zinc oxide causes fewer allergic reactions. These are natural mineral compounds that will “block” the UV rays from penetrating the skin; the only drawback is that they may leave a white residue.
  2. Stay away from products claiming they use “nano-particles”, which can penetrate skin.
  3. Follow product warnings for infants under 6 months old.
  4. Stay away from synthetic estrogen compounds which appear under names such as Oxybenzone (benzophenone-3 and 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC), as well as other derivatives that are super free radical generators (causing skin damage) such as avobenzone, Parsol 1789, dioxybenzone, ethylhexyl p-methoxycinnimate, octyl methoxycinnamate, 2-ethylhexyl salicylate, Trolamine salicylate, homosalate, and PABA.
  5. Insect Repellents are often added to sunscreen, but should also be avoided, considering they are well known neurotoxins. Purchase cream-based products only.
  6. Avoid sprays and powders, as the vapors and particulates can easily be inhaled and irritate nasal passages and respiratory system.
  7. Use SPF 15-50. Avoid high SPF above “50+”, as the FDA says these numbers are misleading.
  8. Before using any sunscreen or sunblock, test it by applying a small amount to your child’s wrist. If the skin turns red, itchy, or irritated within 20 minutes, try another brand.

The best defense from damaging UV rays is prevention. Use these common-sense tips before grabbing the sunblock/sunscreens:

  • Wear loose, cotton/linen, and light-colored clothes: long sleeve shirts, pants, and dresses will reduce UV rays from penetrating the skin. A good hat with a large brim will protect the face, neck, eyes and ears.
  • For water sports, a rash guard or full-body swimsuit works beautifully for children who love to be in the water for hours at a time. Use a hat that can be cinched down under the chin.
  • Play in the shade. Use a parasol or umbrella at the beach or park, and keep infants completely out of the sun: sunscreen should not be used under 6 months of age due to their sensitive skin.
  • In addition, infants under the age of 12 months do not have enough melanin, a protective pigment in skin that helps block out UV rays.
  • Schedule indoor or shaded workouts and play dates around the peak sun hours 11 AM to 4 PM.
  • Wear polarized sunglasses to prevent skin damage around the eye and cataracts. Do attach the glasses to straps, so you don’t lose them!
  • Use removable mesh window shields to keep direct sunlight from coming in through the windows of your car.
  • Eat organic foods high in antioxidants to build up your “internal sunscreen”, including fresh organic vegetables and fruits such as berries, pomegranate, acai, and goji berries. For children who shy away from veggies, give them a daily antioxidant supplement loaded with Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and greens.

References:

  • Garland, Cedric F. et al. Effect of sunscreens on UV radiation-induced enhancement of melanoma growth in mice. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 86, No. 10, May 18, 1994, pp. 798-801.
  • Larsen, H.R. “Sunscreens: do they cause skin cancer.” International Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 1994; 12(12): 17-19.
  • http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

As you know, I’m a strong proponent against fluoridation and fluoride toxicity.  Check out this excellent article on how to prevent damage caused by this harmful toxin.

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This week, I was invited to New York City for an interview with Dr. Manny on Fox News!

With allergy season here, I thought you might be interested to see the interview that just aired today internationally!  Dr. Manny was awesome, and we had a great time chatting about allergies and my book, “The 7-Day Allergy Makeover“!

Just click the video below to watch the interview.

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