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Index of Vitamins, Herbs, Supplements, and Medical Topics by Ray Sahelian, M.D.


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See future issues 2014 of the Natural Healing newsletter. There are 12 years of health newsletters.

Natural Healing Secrets
Vol. 10, Issue 12 -- December, 2013

It's the time of the year when we get invited to family gatherings, holiday parties at work and with friends, and various other functions where we are tempted with various high caloric and tempting snacks and desserts. Years ago I used to be a perfectionist and would avoid all sweets, cookies, cakes, and such even at family meals with relatives. I now find trying to be a perfectionist too demanding and stressful. Perhaps my will power is not as strong as it used to be? Anyway, I no longer try to eat healthy 100 percent of the time. I consume healthy foods as much as possible but I do allow myself to nibble small or reasonable amounts of desserts at certain times and occasions. Wishing all of you happy holidays and good health!


Q. I know you frequently recommend low doses for almost everything (something I often disagree with except for initial test dosing) but personally, I rarely notice any effect at very very high dose from anything. L-Tyrosine for example at 3 gram single dose taken on an empty stomach produces zero perceptible effect on me and no change in blood pressure or pulse rate. The full suite of nootropics (brain boosters) and stimulants of all kinds have almost zero effect as well. A trial of OTC nicotine 2 mg as a stimulant and appetite suppressant - I've never smoked - did absolutely nothing for me except lower blood pressure by about 10 points systolic and diastolic for a couple of hours. Not the expected result. Herbs and extracts of all kinds also generally produce no noticeable effect while blood work (cbc, cmp, uric acid, cholesterol, etc) are rarely affected. Self administering the thyroid hormone T3 up to 100ug/day did nothing I could notice.
   A. It amazes me how different people are in their perception of the effects of supplements and medications. I am glad that I am sensitive in detecting changes since I have experimented with hundreds of different herbs and supplements over the years and have been able to ascertain both their subtle and not so subtle positive effects and shortcomings when used in high and low dosages. I have had feedback from patients and through email that in some users tyrosine, the amino acid used to increase alertness and sometimes mood, can cause a noticeable effect in as little as 100 or 200 mg, and often causes anxiety on higher amounts, while you report not noticing an effect from as high as 3,000 mg.  We often have folks write to us asking what dosage of a particular supplement they should take. It is not possible for me to make such a recommendation, not only because I do not know the full medical history of the person asking, but also because I have no idea how sensitive that person is to supplements. This is also one of the reasons why it is difficult to create a formula that works for everyone. For instance I have created several different products such as Mind Power Rx, Eyesight Rx, Passion Rx, etc. There are those who notice the benefits while taking half a tablet or using a portion of a capsule whereas there are others who report not noticing any improvements until they took 2 or 3 pills. Each person has to find out for himself or herself, but I do suggest beginning with a low amount at first.


Q. I have a question about taking immune herbs, medicinal mushrooms and supplements to improve the immune system. I am ignorant about how the body works and don't know if there are any markers to check for? How much does it take to overstimulate the immune system and actually promote disease? So many substances in combination are used for their synergistic effect. How do we know the when its enough? I come across so many advertisements for natural pills and combination formulas that are supposed to boost immunity. I go to a Chinese doctor who has a formula that says enhances immune function.
   A. This whole issue is extremely complicated and it is very very difficult, practically impossible, to measure all the various factors and influences and the outcome from the use of the medicinal herbs and mushrooms. There are countless types of immune cells, globulins, hormones, different kinds of proteins and other substances that influence our immune system and it is nearly impossible to measure all their interactions and effects on the body over time and how these natural pills influence them. It is possible some dietary supplements may provide a short term boost and then after prolonged and heavy dosage use, have a negative effect. Plus, each person is different depending on their genetics, diet, lifestyle factors, environment, sleeping habits, etc. The bottom line is, if you come across such advertisements about immune boosting supplements, just be aware that the effects are much more complicated than what the advertisers are claiming. The article http://www.raysahelian.com/immune.html has some information regarding certain herbs and nutrients that have an influence.

Q. Thanks for your mild-mannered, conservative, evidence based approach. I think you are also a good role model for nutritional freedom advocates. My question regards pregnenolone. What is the range of "peak" beneficial dosage relating to memory and mood? I'm not asking about a recurring daily dosage here, but: If you wanted to experience the essence of "what pregnenolone offers" what is the dosage range that it would become "readily apparent" with relatively little chance of side effect? Again, not finding your "ideal daily dosage" but more as a nootropic agent for experimental purposes.
   A. This is a good question but so much depends on a person's individual response, their age, diet, daily physical activity, their caffeine intake, the type of job they do, etc. Some people notice an effect from 1 to 3 mg, others 20 or more. But I am concerned about long term side effects on any dosage above a few mg a day. Hormones can have subtle effects over time that may not be noticed right away. They need to be used cautiously and infrequently. As to an immediate effect within a day or two or three, most people are likely to notice something beginning with 10 mg, including vision enhancement, but others may need 20 to 50 mg to notice something. These amounts are only to be used for a couple of days.

Q. I never appreciated the cognitive decrease from taking statin drugs and abandoned them completely when I discovered my pattern recognition and quickness of decision making were significantly decreased.
   A. In the last newsletter I mentioned the adverse effects of statin drugs used for cholesterol. Most doctors do not realize that some individuals can have difficulty with brain function, including memory loss, when taking these cholesterol lowering drugs.

Q. What is your opinion on the use of bioidentical estrogen, does it have less risk in causing breast cancer?
   A. Doctors are now much more cautious giving women high doses of estrogen after menopause due to more awareness about estrogen replacement therapy and the increased risk of breast cancer. Some doctors who practice alternative medicine think that the use of bioidentical estrogens would not have the safe effect on breast cancer stimulation as the equine estrogens used in the past. I am not so sure I would agree. I think excess estrogen from any source, whether equine, synthetic or bioidentical, can raise breast cancer risk. In an interesting study that adds to our knowledge on this topic, 4,000 women genetically at high risk for breast cancer found that a daily hormone-blocking pill, called anastrozole, reduced the risk of developing breast cancer by more than half after five years of use. Anastrozole, sold as Arimidex, works by inhibiting the synthesis of estrogen in the body. Some of the adverse effects include hot flashes and joint pain. I am pointing out this information not to necessarily suggest the use of this drug in women genetically prone to breast cancer -- I still have not fully evaluated its full benefit/risk profile -- but just to point out that a high amount of estrogen is a factor in breast cancer incidence. Synthetic estrogens are more likely to cause blood clots. If your doctor believes you need estrogen replacement, use the least dosage that helps to alleviate your symptoms. See http://www.raysahelian.com/estrogen.html

Natural Healing Secrets
Vol. 10, Issue 11 -- December, 2013

Here we go again. The medical and pharmaceutical establishment wants more Americans to take expensive cholesterol lowering medications. The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology recently released new treatment guidelines which could double the number of people on cholesterol reducing drugs to 72 million. The traditional medical goal for the last few years was for doctors to treat patients in order to reduce their LDL (bad cholesterol) levels to below 100. But the new guidelines suggest using specific risk factors to determine who should be treated: Does the patient have heart disease? Diabetes? A bad cholesterol level more than 190? And is the 10-year risk of a heart attack greater than 7%? According to these new guidelines, a positive answer to any of those four questions is enough to have your doctor take out the prescription pad and scribble an expensive and potentially dangerous statin medication. Does this make sense? More later.

Never completely trust the establishment - Do your own research
Just like investing in the stock market, never trust what analysts say about price targets of the stocks they promote. They can be wrong just as often as they are right. I am not saying the medical establishment is purposely giving guidelines and recommendations that are wrong. I just want you to be aware that they are not always right. Case in point, the hormone replacement debacle. For decades the medical establishment was promoting the use of high dose hormones for menopausal women and then in the past decade or so we found out about the increased risks of breast and other cancers from these hormones.
   Americans are overmedicated. Now, these geniuses at the associations (are they influenced by the pharmaceutical industry?) want more Americans to take expensive drugs that cost over a thousand dollars a year, and probably more than 2 or 3 thousand a year if you include the doctors visits and repeated blood testing. Be aware of the risks of these cholesterol reducing drugs before use: Muscle pains and soreness, occasional severe muscle tissue destruction, liver disease, increased risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. I know many patients who had been put on these drugs by their doctors but because of the muscle pains and fatigue they stopped exercising, which could reduce their lifespan. Some noticed poorer mental function and troubles with memory, which could lead to poor work performance and reduced quality of life. Many studies have been done with statin drugs that show a mild reduction in stroke and heart disease rates (I am not sure how reliable these studies are since some researchers could be influenced, directly or indirectly, by drug companies), but I have yet to see a long term study (greater than 10 years) that showed those with mild or moderate cholesterol level elevations, or those with heart disease or diabetes, live longer when they take these risky drugs for 10 years or longer. If anyone is aware of such a study, do let me know and I will review it in the next newsletter. In the meantime, there are so many natural options that are discussed so little compared to the meds. Review this article on statins, http://www.raysahelian.com/statins.html and have your doctor read it too, before you take the pills. Also, find out ways to reduce your risk for heart disease here, http://www.raysahelian.com/heartdisease.html . These articles have links to another article on natural ways to reduce cholesterol.
   I am not alone in my doubts about these new recommendations. Two Harvard Medical School professors, Dr. Paul Ridker and Dr. Nancy Cook, disagree with the recommendations of heart organizations. They say these are seriously flawed and they overstate a person's risk of heart disease. The professors tested this calculator and say that this flaw could lead the calculator to mistakenly suggest that millions of people should be taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs

Your afternoon cup of coffee could keep you up
A small study done with caffeine pills equivalent to two or three cups of coffee six hours before bedtime cause shallow sleep. Christopher Drake published this finding in the November 15, 2013 issue of Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Twelve healthy normal sleepers were given three pills per day for four days at three intervals during the day: six hours before bedtime, three hours before bedtime and immediately before bedtime. One of the three pills contained 400 milligrams of caffeine (equivalent to two or three cups of coffee) while the other two were caffeine-free placebos. The sleep pattern of the caffeine pill takes was disrupted no matter when they took the caffeine pill, even if it was six hours before bedtime. I remember back in medical school I had come across a study, which I can't find now, that drinking coffee even in the morning had some disruptive effect on sleep quality that night. The effects of caffeine last longer in our bodies than many people realize, and the effects accumulate day after day. For those who are sensitive to caffeine, the accumulation from different sources, such as coffee (even decaf has some left in it), some teas, chocolate, some sodas, etc., can have an increasingly detrimental effect day after day, see http://www.raysahelian.com/caffeine.html.

Obesity as a risk factor of a heart rhythm problem?
Atrial fibrillation is a condition in which the heart's upper chambers quiver instead of beating regularly. This arrhythmia increases the risk of stroke, heart failure, cognitive impairment and death. Known risk factors are uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes and heart failure. Many patients are given blood thinning medications, such as Coumadin, to reduce the risk for stroke. New studies show overweight or obese people can reduce their risk of this potentially fatal irregular heart beat if they lose a lot of weight, such as 30 pounds. The findings were presented in early November 2015 at the American Heart Association annual meeting in Dallas, and published simultaneously in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Natural ways to reduce your risk of A Fib are listed here, http://www.raysahelian.com/atrialfibrillation.html

Q. Is it possible to reverse myopia or nearsightedness, what steps can a person take? I have read about eye exercises and relaxation techniques, I have tried many but they don't seem to have a lasting effect.
   A. Mild cases can be reversed, but I doubt severe myopia can be reversed completely but there are steps you can take to improve vision naturally and I think it is possible to make improvements of a diopter or two. Getting a deep sleep at night and relaxing the eyes are crucial. I find my vision improves after doing a slow and relaxing session of yoga. Reading close and working on the computer for too many hours can strain the eyes. I think lutein, zeaxanthin and fish oils are consistent in visual improvement but I have not found vitamin A or beta carotene supplements to have much of an influence. See http://www.raysahelian.com/eyesight.html for a full review of the different supplements that can have a positive influence on vision, including a combination formula taken as one tablet in the morning called Eyesight Rx. Pregnenolone is a hormone that provides a marked clarity of vision but it is not safe in high doses and even low dose use for prolonged periods has risks. Pregnenolone can be used occasionally for brief periods.

Q. I'm sure you get a lot of messages. I am a 38 year old female who was on pregnenolone 60 mg for two years. I stopped a month ago and I'm having all kinds of anxiety, depression problems still. Any idea how long it takes the body to adjust after such long use?
   A. I don't know of anyone who has been on it at this high dose of 60 mg for so long. My best guess is that the symptoms you are having will be less as each week goes by, http://www.raysahelian.com/pregnenolone.html

Q. In the a previous issue of the newsletter a doctor gave you a hard time regarding your cautious suggestions about the hormone DHEA. We have occasionally corresponded over the last decade or so on this topic and I just wanted to come to your defense. Although I weigh about 230 pounds (muscular frame -- people think I'm much lighter than I am), at age 48, a little bit of DHEA still goes a long way. I use your 5 mg pills -- and only take them occasionally -- perhaps once a week or less. I generally appreciate your documented cautious approach and I trust what you write.

Q. I've been smoking marijuana heavily for about maybe 20 yrs or so, but within the past 8 or 9 months I have became impotent, I just turned 34 last week. My local doc told me I had to basically go totally straight edge and prescribed me Viagra (I don't trust pills like Viagra or Cialis). For a while I blew it off, but for the past week I've cleaned myself up, I've stopped smoking weed or cigarettes, I don't drink (I never really drunk that often to begin with), I'm working out more now, eating a healthier diet. I miss smoking weed. I've been away from it for about a week and I am beginning to see some improvement. I can get a halfway decent erection, it's not rock solid hard, but it's at least halfway there. If I give it a little while longer, like maybe a few more months, I should be able to smoke weed again at least once or twice a week. I NEED some sort of recreational drug outlet from time to time, be that weed or alcohol or something. Preferably weed. I often hear that early ED can be a sign of possible heart disease. Is this true?
   A. Heavy and regular use of marijuana can reduce sensation and can cause difficulty with erections. Those who have erectile dysfunction are more likely to have heart disease since in both cases blood vessel dilation is involved. See http://www.raysahelian.com/impotence.html


Natural Healing Secrets
Vol. 10, Issue 10 -- October, 2013

Fall is upon us and the days are getting shorter. Cool temperatures have us putting on sweaters, long pants and coats. We are less likely to be outdoors and show our skin to the sun. How about a friendly reminder to keep our vitamin D level up by getting at least 15 minutes a day of sun exposure. Fall and winter also make us less likely to be active, so let's all remind ourselves to take the daily walk or engage in some other indoor or outdoor activity to keep our hearts and muscles in shape. For the next few months daytime hours will be shorter and we are likely to spend more time indoors and to be less active. This could lead to shallower sleep. I suggest people reduce their intake of caffeine through coffee, soda, tea, and chocolate. Consuming caffeine and not being active or having enough light exposure can make sleep problems worse. Many people do not realize that many sodas have enough caffeine to disturb sleep, especially if drank later in the day. This is also true of various types of teas. It helps to expose yourself to morning light in order to reset the sleep-wake cycle, this will help you sleep better at night.

Multiple sclerosis help
Investigators at St Vincents Hospital in Fitzroy, Australia, surveyed people with MS to determine whether there was an association between fish consumption, omega 3 supplementation and quality of life, disability and disease activity. Those consuming fish more frequently and those taking omega 3 supplements had significantly better quality of life and less disability. There were also trends towards lower relapse rates and reduced disease activity in those who consumed flaxseed oil. See http://www.raysahelian.com/multiplesclerosis.html

Diet and cataract formation, role of food
Many people who get older begin to have dark areas in the lens of the eye that prevents them from seeing clearly. Fortunately, modern medicine has found a good and quick solution to treating cataract by surgically replacing the lens. But, it is possible to reduce the risk of getting this eye condition. At the University of Athens Medical School in Greece, a case-control study was done to determine the association between diet and risk of cataract. Dietary consumption of fish, vegetables, fruits along with high intake of vitamins C and E led to a lower risk, while consumption of high amounts of fat, meat had the opposite effect. See http://www.raysahelian.com/cataract.html

Cigarette smokers may benefit from resveratrol
Smokers have lungs that suffer from a low-grade inflammatory state and an oxidant-antioxidant imbalance. Italian researchers treated 25 smokers with 500mg of resveratrol a day for a period of 30 days and compared them to a group give dummy pills. Resveratrol significantly reduced C-reactive protein (a marker for inflammation) and increased Total Antioxidant Status values. They conclude: "Because resveratrol has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant effects, its supplementation may beneficially affect the increased cardiovascular risk of healthy smokers." Note: The dosage given was very high, for long term use only a fraction of that dose is necessary. See http://www.raysahelian.com/resveratrol.html

Questions from readers
Safety of yohimbe
Q. I have read the benefits of yohimbine as a prescription drug used for impotence and I see at the health food store that yohimbe, the herb which contains the active ingredient yohimbine, is sold over the counter. I recently read in a magazine a quote by a doctor at a medical center who said, "Yohimbine can result in significant heart arrhythmia problems and high blood pressure." The doctor was referring to treating people with impotence. What are your thoughts on this since one of your formulations called Passion Rx has this as one of the herbal ingredients?
   A. Out of the many herbal sexual stimulants available over the counter, yohimbe works the fastest but it has a narrow range of benefit to risk ratio. In other words if a person takes too little they won't notice much, but if they take too much side effects can occur quite easily. After more than two decades of learning about this herb, I have found a dosage of a particular extract from a very reliable source that seems to work well with minimal adverse reactions and I have included this dosage in the Passion Rx with Yohimbe formula. I do agree with the quote that high amounts can cause such problems mentioned. There are dozens of different products on the market that contain yohimbe, either by itself or in combination with other herbs. If you purchase one of these yohimbe bottles at a store or online, and it is the first time that you are trying this new product, break a tablet in a small portion or if it is a capsule open the capsule and take a small portion. After a little trial and error you will have a better sense of how much works and at which point you get an unpleasant side effect. I do not suggest those who are elderly or have heart disease to using it.

Diet Rx and blood sugar control
Q. Thank you for your expertise developing your products! In some health related magazines I have read that some diabetic type 2 patients are asked to take lipoic acid 300 mg daily (I understand you want them to take much less long term), banaba leaf extract, fish oil and fiber. There are many ingredients that help blood sugar lowering in your product, Diet Rx, promoted as an appetite suppressant. I'm a non insulin type 2 diabetic. Will this product decrease blood sugar?
   A. It is impossible for me to predict the blood sugar response from Diet Rx in any one individual. However, most people who take these pills find that their appetite is suppressed. When less food is eaten, blood sugar is often lowered. How much is lowered depends on the individual and it would not be possible for me to make an accurate prediction.

Rodent research reliability
Q. Thank you for providing such a clearinghouse of information on supplement research, and a reasoned and reasonable approach to dosage. However, some of your articles site rodent research. Can we rely on them? After all mice are not men.
   A. I certainly agree that results in humans are not often consistent in those in rodents but sometimes that is the only clue we have about the effects of a substance before human studies are done. It will take many more years and decades before we have a better understanding of the influence of many of these over the counter supplements on human health and disease. In the meantime any relevant information, even in rodents, is of some usefulness.

Joint discomfort relief
Q. I really enjoy reading all your newsletters, they are so informative, the one about you visiting Scotland was really nice, especially since my husband and I were traveling in nearly the same time frame and places that you had visited, including the Isle of Skye. We were traveling in my husbands old vintage British Triumph Stag, 30 years old this year. We traveled nearly 2500 miles. I was using double of your blend Joint Power Rx on this trip. I had suffered a very bad pelvic accident some 15 years previous which left my sacroiliac joints very unstable. All the turns and steep hills of Scotland left me holding on in the car, BUT due to the Joint Power Rx, 4 in the morning and 4 in the evening I was able to enjoy / endure the trip touring Scotland and helped make my husband worry about me. Over the last 7 months I have taken 8 bottles of your formula.
   A. I so appreciate getting feedback from users of the formulas I have created. I wholeheartedly hope they help many more people.


Natural Healing Secrets
Vol. 10, Issue 9 -- September, 2013

Many men with male pattern baldness take prescription medications to prevent hair loss or to potentially help regrow some of the bald spots they have already experienced. Two common oral medications on the market for this purpose are Propecia (finasteride) and Avodart (dutasteride). In recent years it has become apparent that the worrying side effects of these medications are loss of libido and impotence. Over the years we have received many emails from men who have experienced loss of sex drive and performance after taking these meds short term and long term. Just last week we had another one: "Hi, I am 27 years old, male. I took finasteride for 10 days (1 mg per day) and after that I just could not get an easy erection again and it is quite embarrassing when I am with my wife. What can a person do in this case?" The way these medications work to prevent hair loss is by blocking the conversion of testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in the scalp, prostate gland, and other tissues in the body. But, unfortunately this leads to problems with erections and sexual drive. I wish I knew of a good natural alternative that restores hair growth but thus far I am not aware of any consistently effective natural herbs or supplements to reverse male pattern baldness. An alternative medication to Propecia and Avodart is to use minoxidil topical lotion or cream on the scalp. Rogaine (minoxidil) does not cause erectile dysfunction, it may even help somewhat since it helps dilate blood vessels. Another option is to use less of the Propecia. The standard recommended dosage is 1 mg daily, and one can choose to use the 1 mg every other day or to even use 0.5 mg every other day or once or twice a week. The good news is that there are natural products that can reverse the sexual dysfunction. Most of the natural aphrodisiacs can improve sexual pleasure and performance including catuaba, muira puama, mucuna pruriens, tribulus, tongkat ali, and yohimbe. We have had many reports from users of Passion Rx (a combination formula that includes these herbs and others) that their libido and performance returned after several days of taking this formula. The side effects of medications are often not found initially when the drug companies test their products. Sometimes they are noticed after several years on the market. Below I mention another side effect of an anti-anxiety medication that is rarely mentioned but occurs frequently.

Older patient could hardly speak
I recently saw a patient, an 82 year old woman who no major medical problems, who was brought to me by her son because in the last month she had mentally deteriorated rapidly without any obvious reasons. She said in a slow speech manner that she was having trouble with her memory and she would stop mid-sentence because she could not think of the words she wanted to say. As part of the medical history I asked whether she had started any new medications. Apparently a month ago she was given an antianxiety medication called Buspar (buspirone) by her doctor since she had been suffering from stress and tension. Being well aware that many anti-anxiety meds cause difficulties with mental function and many xiyks cause slurred speech, particularly in older individuals, I suggested the medication be stopped immediately. Within 2 days after stopping the Buspar her mental abilities returned to normal, including her speech. I suggested she try some of the natural alternatives to anxiety meds listed on this page http://www.raysahelian.com/anxiety.html. She found these, particularly theanine, passionflower, and 5HTP, to be helpful. It has been 3 months now and she is doing quite well and her family is relieved that her mental function has returned to normal.

Cold season approaching
With kids back in school and most everyone back at work from summer vacation, exposure to viruses and bugs at school and the workplace is likely to lead to a rise in the incidence of the common cold. Is there anything you can do to reduce your chances of getting the cold or flu? I offer practical suggestions here, http://www.raysahelian.com/common.html. A popular mineral that is often mentioned as a way to reduce the severity of a cold is zinc. Zinc deficiency affects about 2 billion people worldwide, including roughly 40 percent of the elderly in the United States. But how does it work? Zinc helps fight infections by stopping the action of a protein known to play an important role in the immune response to infection. As a result, it prevents out-of-control inflammation. Those deficient in zinc develop significant inflammation in response to sepsis. However, for the purposes of a cold, the ways zinc works may be locally, that is when it is in direct or close contact with the tissues in the mouths or pharynx when used at the start of a cold. If you notice the earliest symptoms of a cold such as the beginnings of a mild throat discomfort or slightly stuffy nose, or if you feel you have been exposed to people who have it, start with one tablet of zinc lozenge in your mouth, making sure that it touches the upper palate and melts over a period of several minutes with the dissolved zinc in your saliva coming in contact with the tissues in the back of your mouth. Swallowing the zinc lozenge right away is not going to help much because the purpose of it is to come in direct contact with the virus that is trying to get a foothold in your pharynx. See http://www.raysahelian.com/zinclozenge.html

Nutritional help for glaucoma
High pressure in the eye for many months and years, a condition known as glaucoma, can cause loss of vision and eventual blindness. Chronic use of eye drops, since they have preservatives, can also cause dry eyes. At Sapienza University in Rome, Italy, investigators conducted a double blind, randomized, pilot study on 38 patients with glaucoma suffering from dry eye induced by long-term use of eye drops with preservatives. Treatment of these patients with a supplement containing a combination of forskolin, rutin and vitamins B1 and B2 for 30 days decreased their ocular pressure and improved the symptoms of dry eye. See http://www.raysahelian.com/glaucoma.html

Fish oils increase prostate cancer risk?
Q. I saw on TV that a New England Journal of Medicine report in May in 2013 found that men with a higher level of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood had a higher rate of advanced prostate cancer. What are your thoughts about this?
   A. This report conflicts with results of prior findings. I caution readers not to base one's understanding of cause and effect results based only on one study since the results of others could show a different outcome. Looking through various studies published in the past, I found some that showed Eskimos (who have a very high omega-3 intake) to have a very low risk for prostate cancer). At this time I will reserve judgment on this topic until I see several additional studies that confirm or deny the role of omega-3 fatty acids on incidence of prostate cancer. See http://www.raysahelian.com/omega-3.html. Overall it seems those who have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood stream appear to live longer. A recent study also shows that those who eat fish have a lower rate of rheumatoid arthritis, see http://www.raysahelian.com/rheumatoidarthritis.html. There could be a difference in benefit regarding eating fish versus taking fish oil pills and these differences are yet to be fully evaluated.

Harsh words for me by a colleague regarding DHEA
Q. Dr., I am also a physician (MD) and I’m astounded by your draconian warning about DHEA. As I read several of your site’s “Scare Tactics”, I was reminded of the Church, and how for centuries it influenced the masses using fear as it’s leverage. Warning your readers to avoid taking more than 5 mg. daily.....”Don’t buy any DHEA in doses greater than 10 mg.” is not only ludicrous, it’s flat out wrong. As an avid proponent of “Anti-Aging Medicine”, I have done an exhaustive amount of research on not only DHEA, and it’s role in the aging process, but a multitude of other hormones crucial to the body, and essential to it’s homeostatic regulation. You should know exactly what happens to any excess DHEA....it is sulphonated and acts as a reservoir of hormone until it’s either eliminated or used by the body. Most studies examining the effects of aging on the brain, and the development of pathologic conditions including organic brain syndrome, Alzheimer's, and other cognitive dysfunctions, saw vast improvements only with higher doses. Fair results were obtained with 100 mg daily; more significant results were gained with administration of 200 mg/day.....The list of benefits goes on and on, but astonishingly, little benefit was seen with the type of dosing regimen you advise. Since an average, healthy young man of 22 years old makes approximately 20mg, how will 5 mg of DHEA have any noticeable impact on the testosterone level of a 60 year old man? Remember, DHEA is precursor to dozens of other hormones or so....common sense dictates that in order for the body’s entire panel of DHEA-dependent hormones to be appreciably affected, a paltry 5 mg. will have absolutely no clinical effect whatsoever. So called “Authorities” such as yourself are the reason that there is so much confusion surrounding supplementation in general.
   A. It puzzles me sometimes how offended people get about the opinion of others on nutritional topics. I would like to address this issue since it is not the first time I have been criticized by other doctors for my cautious approach on dosages. I wrote my book DHEA: A Practical Guide, back in 1995. Since then, in the past 18 years, I have had hundreds or perhaps more than a thousand or two reports from users and patients who have taken varying doses over short and long periods of time. Although many people have noticed benefits from high doses, I have also seen and had reports of people having permanent side effects, most commonly hair loss on the scalp. Both men and women have noticed rapid thinning of their hair which was quite frightening and not the type of "anti-aging" they were hoping for. Although the increase in libido and wellbeing is a positive benefit, hair loss and acne, or pimples, along with aggressiveness, difficulty sleeping, restlessness, are not pleasant effects. Furthermore, I am aware of a number of individuals who experienced heart rhythm abnormalities. Again, it is up to the individual to inform themselves of varying opinions on these nutritional topics and come to their own conclusions. I stand by by cautious approach. see http://www.raysahelian.com/dhea.html

Natural Healing Secrets
Vol. 10, Issue 8 -- August, 2013

We often get emails from readers of my website and those who have purchased products from Physician Formulas website asking why the dosages of various dietary supplements we recommend appear to be on the low end compared to those that are mentioned on other websites. Alpha lipoic acid, the powerful antioxidant, is one example. Many websites suggest people take up to 600 mg a day whereas I prefer long term use to be limited to 10 to 50 mg. Not only is it expensive to take too much, but people need to know that after a certain amount the body not only cannot use a nutrient but starts having difficulty metabolizing it or getting rid of it. Thus, adverse reactions occur and these negative effects could counteract any benefits that the nutrient would have offered. For instance one of the untoward effects of excessive lipoic intake is heart rhythm disturbances. Sleep disturbances are common on high dosages. Various herbs and nutrients can cause insomnia when too much is taken, for instance ginseng, tongkat ali, tyrosine, SAM-e, and others. Another point to keep in mind is that when multiple supplements are taken the same day, their effects are additive. If one of the supplements alone does not cause a bad effect at the recommended dosage, the addition of another, or multiple others, could be unpleasant. Plus, sometimes not all of the influence on the body or mind is gone within 24 hours. In other words, if the pills are taken again the next day, and following days, there could be residual effects added on day after day. If a supplement, for instance the mood enhancing SAM-e, did not cause insomnia the first day, after several days of use it could start interfering with sleep because more and more of it is added on from residual effects left over.

Ginseng reduces fatigue post cancer treatment
Most people have had family members, friends or coworkers who have had treatment for cancer in the form of chemotherapy and/or radiation. Perhaps you, yourself, have had such treatment. During, and after, such chemotherapy most patients feel tired or sluggish. Many survivors attempt different regimens to combat and reverse this condition. In a recent trial, investigators divided 364 people with cancer-related fatigue into two groups. People in one group took 2,000 milligrams of ginseng daily for eight weeks; those in the other group took placebo capsules. After eight weeks, the ginseng group reported a significant improvement compared to the placebo group
   Keep in mind that there are several types of ginseng, different strengths and extracts, different doses. If your doctor approves, and after all cancer treatments are concluded, begin with a low amount and if you notice being jittery, anxious, or having trouble sleeping then reduce your dosage. See http://www.raysahelian.com/ginseng.html

Resveratrol caution: Too much of a good thing
Resveratrol, the natural antioxidant found in red grapes and products derived from them -- such as red wine -- has been found in animal studies to have wonderful health benefits including hints at extending longevity. As a result many people started taking massive amounts even though from early on I advised the readers of this newsletter to be more cautious and limit intake. I have formulated a product that has 10 mg in it. We have had emails from potential buyers asking why the dosage is so low when others are selling 100 mg or more (at least they claim that's what is contained in each pill). From years of experience I have found a pattern that when a good study result is first published regarding a particular natural substance, everybody starts touting it and then later we find out that either the initial findings were not accurate or lower dosages work as well or better. This particular study by University of Copenhagen researchers involved 27 healthy but inactive men, all nonsmokers around 65 years old. The men were asked to participate in high-intensity exercise which included full-body circuit training. For two months half of the participants were given 250 mg of resveratrol daily and the others were given a placebo pill that contained no active ingredients. The results showed that resveratrol supplements counteracted the positive effects of exercise on blood pressure, levels of fat in the blood and the capacity of the body to transport and use oxygen. The men who took the placebo pills had lower blood pressure and concentrations of cholesterol and triglycerides in their blood following the eight weeks of exercise. Resveratrol supplementation combined with physical activity, however, eliminated the reduction in blood pressure and blood fats, and led to a significantly lower increase in the amount of oxygen delivered to muscles during exercise.
   Many nutritionists were surprised at these findings. I am not ready to give thumbs down to resveratrol, yet. I think 250 mg is a massive amount that could be counterproductive and I still think 10 or 20 mg a few times a week to be a healthy dose to take. See http://www.raysahelian.com/resveratrol.html

N-acetylcysteine helpful for those with sickle cell disease
Doctors at Slotervaart Hospital in Amsterdam, The Netherlands gave 1200 mg of oral N-acetylcysteine (NAC) to sickle cell patients daily during 6 weeks. There was improvement in whole blood glutathione levels and a decrease in oxidation markers on red blood cells. During the study period, none of the patients experienced painful crises or other significant adverse reactions. It appears that this nutrient could be of help to those afflicted with this painful condition, and starting with 100 to 500 mg a day is a reasonable option under medical guidance. See http://www.raysahelian.com/acetylcysteine.html

Dental pain gone right away
Did you know that there is a simple, natural way to temporarily get rid of tooth pain while you wait to see a dentist? Just get some clove powder, wet your fingertip a little, pick up some of the clove powder with your fingertip and then rub it on the gum region where you have the pain. It is amazing that in many cases the discomfort goes away within minutes. Dental pain can be due to serious causes so it is important to have it checked up but it is comforting to know that in the meantime there is a simple solution to managing the discomfort. I will update this article as more info becomes available regarding the influence of natural products and tooth and gum disease, http://www.raysahelian.com/toothdecay.html.

I have low libido and recently purchased the Natural Sex Boosters package which has 7 different herbal bottles. Does the order of cycling sequence matter while taking these herbs or does it not matter as long as you just take one herb per day and cycle through the 7 different ones in a week?
   There is no specific sequence as long as one herb is taken per day. One option is to begin alphabetically with catuaba, horny goat weed, mucuna pruriens, Passion Rx. rhodiola, tongkat ali, and tribulus, which is easy to remember. Keep in mind that the two most potent products are the Passion Rx and tongkat ali pills. At the end of the week I suggest taking a few days off before resuming a cycle again. The vast majority of people who do this program notice a significant improvement in their sexual pleasure.

If you were to choose one supplement to improve the immune system, which would it be?
   I prefer not to rely on any single nutrient for immune enhancement. The immune system is very complicated and there are countless genetic, lifestyle, environmental and dietary factors that influence it. Please see http://www.raysahelian.com/immune.html for a comprehensive approach. I think regular physical activity, keeping stress to a minimum, and deep sleep at night are three of the best things one can do to keep the immune system healthy.

I noticed while reading your website that often you do not mention the specific amount of a supplement dose to take, why is that?
    I purposefully state the amount to take vaguely since each person is unique and some people may notice an effect from, let's say, 100 mg of an substance whereas another person may take 500 mg before feeling anything or noticing a benefit. But I prefer to err on the safety side and to take less. Many of the effects of dietary supplements accrue over time so a low dose taken several days or weeks in a row can accumulate and become like a high dose after several days and weeks. This can often happen with pharmaceutical medications, too. Also, since different companies have different ways of harvesting and manufacturing herbs, the same dosage from different companies could have different potencies.


Natural Healing Secrets
Vol. 10, Issue 7 -- July, 2013

It's summer time and many people are out running, hiking, swimming, and being physically active. Does this mean that we are all going to shed a few pounds by the end of the summer? Perhaps, but not necessarily. Studies continue to show that even though Americans are exercising more, there continues to be a higher rate of a obesity in this country. It appears that physical activity alone is not enough to shed pounds. Reducing caloric intake is a must. On average a person uses up about 150 to 200 calories an hour of fast walking which can be easily made up through small portions of many types of food. Considering that physical activity itself can stimulate appetite, it is no wonder that exercise alone is not enough to be an effective weight loss program. There are many steps you can take to lose weight and I have recently updated my article on this topic including the latest cutting edge data written and interpreted in a practical manner, see http://www.raysahelian.com/weightloss.html

Tribulus herb helps erectile function
One of the popular herbal aphrodisiacs sold over the counter is tribulus terrestris. A recent study done in Korea tested the effect of an extract on the corpus cavernosum, a sponge-like region of erectile tissue that contain most of the blood in the penis during penile erection. It was conclusively shown that tribulus extract induced a concentration-dependent relaxation of the corpus cavernosum, leading to more blood engorgement. The mechanism included a reaction involving the nitric oxide/nitric oxide synthase pathway and endothelium of the CC.
   Comments: There are dozens of herbs and their extracts that have a beneficial effect on blood flow in the genital region and they work in men as well as women. They are often not as potent as Viagra, Cialis, and other prescription medications, but they are strong enough to lead to significant benefits over time. Herbs take a few days to work at their best whereas the prescription meds often work the same day. See http://www.raysahelian.com/tribulus.html

Does diet affect acne or skin health?
In my opinion, absolutely. However, minor changes in diet are not likely to have a major influence, a comprehensive approach needs to be taken. Investigators at the
Department of Human Nutrition and Food Science, California State Polytechnic University, in Pomona, California, gave 13 individuals with inflammatory acne three grams of fish oil containing 930 mg of EPA to their unchanged diet and existing acne remedies for 12 weeks. There was a broad range of response to the intervention on an individual basis. The results showed that acne severity improved in 8 individuals, worsened in 4, and remained unchanged in 1. Among those who showed improvement, 7 were classified as having moderate to severe acne at baseline, while 3 of the 4 whose acne deteriorated were classified as having mild acne. My interpretation of this study is that fish oils could make a slight difference, but since they act as anti-inflammatory nutrients often they are not able to counteract the detrimental effects of other inflammation causing substances in one's diet such as sugar and certain fats. Therefore, if a person with acne wants to improve their skin, adding fish oils or eating fish is not enough. Additional changes in food choices should be made. I have a whole range of suggestions in this article, http://www.raysahelian.com/acne.html

Blood levels of vitamin D
Checking blood levels for vitamin D has become quite popular even though, in my opinion, more testing is being done than necessary. If you do get tested keep in mind that levels can vary throughout the seasons and thus be cautious in your interpretations. Recently vitamin D levels were tested in more than 3 million blood samples collected in the United States. Even with food fortification, vitamin D levels in the population show a high level of seasonality due to the influence of sunlight. Results show that levels lag the solar cycle, peaking in August and being at their lowest in February.

Probiotics help in certain cases of lactase deficiency
Some people have a genetic predisposition that makes it difficult for them to digest the lactose, a sugar in milk. However, lactase deficiency can sometimes occur later in life as a consequence of a gastrointestinal infection. Post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome is a common disorder wherein symptoms of IBS begin after an episode of acute gastroenteritis. The causes of PIBS are not fully understood, but are believed to include persistent sub-clinical inflammation, changes in intestinal permeability and alteration of gut flora. Lactase deficiency can occur resulting in difficulty in metabolizing lactose sugar. A Russian study found that these individuals can be helped by the addition of probiotics. A fourteen day course of these friendly bacteria supplements helped restore the normal gut flora and was able to normalize the lactose digesting ability in the majority of the treated patients. See http://www.raysahelian.com/probiotics.html

Q. I have purchased Passion Rx. Your advice on topics come off very genuine and knowledgeable. Plus the fact that you respond to many peoples concern is what got me to order your product. There's a lot of crap products out there on the market when it comes to sexual wellness but I yours isn't one of them. I was going to also order a nitric oxide supplement (L-arginine – about 3g twice daily) and wanted to know if it would help to take an arginine or citrulline supplement with the formula? I understand arginine gets converted to nitric oxide which helps to dilate blood vessels. Also, what about Cialis or Viagra. Can they be taken together with this natural aphrodisiac formula?
   A. Passion Rx is potent by itself and it is worthwhile just trying it alone for a week or two. If there is not enough of a boost after this time period, then a person could try taking it along with arginine or citrulline. Passion Rx helps with all aspects of the sexual response including erectile function, sexual drive or libido, sensation, and stamina whereas the impotence drugs focus mostly on erectile function (which they help really well in most users). We have had a lot of feedback in those who have used both Passion Rx and the prescription drugs together safely when they have taken half the normal drug dosage as usual. One way that works well is to take Passion Rx in the morning two days in a row to prime the whole sexual system, and on the day of sexual activity one can take half the usual dose of the Viagra or Cialis.

Q. Are sprouts really better to eat than consuming the seeds themselves before they are sprouted? Aren't the content in the seeds the same whether they are sprouted or not?
   During sprouting changes occur biochemically and nutritionally within the seed. Complex compounds are broken down into a more simple forms. The metabolic activity of the seeds increases when hydrated during soaking. The reserve chemical constituents within the seeds, such as proteins, starches and lipids, are broken down by enzymes into simple compounds that are used to make new compounds, and many of these have a set of benefits that the original seed would not have had in the body when eaten before sprouting. In some cases the vitamin value is increased for instance vitamins, A, B, and E.

Natural Healing Secrets
Vol. 10, Issue 6 -- June, 2013


We recently received an email that said, "I am a member of the "Stopped Our Statins" group online, where many of us share our experiences, side effects, new research etc. regarding taking statin medications for cholesterol decrease. I myself was a healthy 57 year old female whose doctor prescribed 80 mg of Lipitor for my "high" cholesterol (230) five years ago. My CPK [creatine phosphokinase (CPK) is an enzyme found in various tissues. High levels in blood tests could indicate a heart attack or rhabdomyolysis (severe muscle breakdown)] which had been normal when I started went up to 11,000 in a matter of several months. My muscles became so weak I could barely go up steps anymore or get up from a kneeling position. I was immediately taken off of the Lipitor and told to have a liver biopsy to see if there was any liver damage. The liver biopsy came back normal. I have been off statins for 5 years now. I eat healthy and try to do moderate exercise, but that is very hard sometimes because of my extreme muscle weakness that has not improved much over the five years. My research indicates that I have permanent muscle damage. There is a whole large group of us that are in this same situation."
   Unfortunately many more people are hurt by these drugs than doctors realize. Just this week I read a new study that indicates
these medication don't mix well with the antibiotics clarithromycin or erythromycin. These two commonly used antibiotics inhibit the metabolism of statins and increase their concentration in the blood, which can cause muscle or kidney damage, and even death. I urge everyone to explore natural means of cholesterol management before resorting to these potentially dangerous meds, see http://www.raysahelian.com/cholesterol.html.


Flaxseed and its cardiovascular benefits
The April 2013 issue of Menopause has a report of the benefits of flaxseed use in reducing plaque in the aorta. The addition of flaxseed to the diet of hamsters significantly reduced lipoprotein(a) levels, Apo B levels and aortic arch lesions. The researchers conclude that flaxseed consumption helps reduce the risk for heart and blood vessel disease. See http://www.raysahelian.com/flaxseed.html
   Comments: I prefer consuming whole flaxseeds rather that using the oil alone. The seeds have a lot of fiber and are wonderful in terms of helping reduce problems with constipation. You can add a small amount of flaxseeds to soups or smoothies. Sometimes I even add them to a hot chocolate drink I make in the morning (I often sweeten my hot chocolate with stevia and add a little bit of cinnamon and ground walnuts).

Learning how the herb bacopa influences the brain
Little by little the often complex effects of herbal constituents are beginning to be unraveled. The herb bacopa has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. A recent review theorizes that bacopa has its benefits through the following mechanisms: antioxidant-neuroprotection, acetylcholinesterase inhibition and/or choline acetyltransferase activation, β-amyloid reduction (which could be of help in those vulnerable to Alzheimer's disease), increased cerebral blood flow, andneurotransmitter modulation (Achetylcholine, serotonin, dopamine).
  Comments: There are many herbs that influence the brain and can help with mental enhancement. Bacopa is one of them. It and others are included in the well-liked mind boosting formula called Mind Power Rx. See http://www.raysahelian.com/bacopa.html

Asparagus extract for kidney stones?
Although I prefer to first see human studies before getting excited about the medical uses of any supplement, I was intrigued by a trial in rodents where researchers in India gave a group of rats an extract of asparagus and noticed that it reduced the risk for kidney stone formation. See http://www.raysahelian.com/asparagusextract.html.

Q. I read in a magazine article about the different types of magnesium and came across this quote, can you tell me your thoughts on it? The article said, "Everyone over 50 should be taking magnesium to help with their heart, blood pressure and bones but some may be taking the wrong variation of the mineral. While magnesium oxide isn't well absorbed by the body, magnesium citrate and magnesium glycinate are."
   A. I am not sure that everyone needs to take magnesium. Some may obtain enough from their diet to not need any additional pills. As to the type of magnesium to take as a supplement, although various forms have somewhat of a different absorption rate, for practical purposes I don't think in the long run it matters that much. Even if there is a better absorption from one type to another, what if someone is taking too high a dose of the form that absorbs better? Then they could have problems with magnesium excess. The bottom line is: read this article http://www.raysahelian.com/magnesium.html and see if your diet includes many of the foods high in magnesium. If so, you are not likely to need any. If you think your diet is weak in terms of the supply of this mineral, take 200 to 300 mg or so of any of types that I mention in the article.

Q. Can you tell me what exactly is a natural aphrodisiac and do they really exist?
   A. An aphrodisiac is a type of food or drink, plant material or mineral / animal origin that has the effect of making those who consume it more aroused in a sexual way. Aphrodisiacs can be categorized according to their mode of action into three major groups: substances that increase libido (i.e., sexual desire, arousal), substances that increase sexual potency or blood vessel dilation (i.e., effectiveness of erection or blood supply to organs) and substances that increase sexual pleasure and sensation. Additional factors that may be influenced included lubrication and neural sensation. Many traditional doctors and scientists question the effectiveness of such substances and some even deny their existence. If so, they are not well informed. There are dozens of effective foods, herbs, nutrients, and other substances that have a positive influence on sexual enhancement. For a full review see http://www.raysahelian.com/aphrodisiacs.html. Most of the herbs that have an effect as an aphrodisiac start working within a few days.

Q. I was taking a certain amino acid that I read could improve mood but I am now experiencing the adverse side effects. heart racing, sleeplessness and heart palpitations. The amino acid product I was taking is tyrosine. Is this a possible cause? How long before it leaves the body? I am 48 year old female.
   A. Yes, taking more than 200 or specially 500 mg of tyrosine can cause heart rhythm disturbances, but the effects should go away within a few days after stopping it. See http://www.raysahelian.com/tyrosine.html

Q. I read an article online that said, "Taking creatine can result in kidney damage and result in significant dehydration." What is your opinion on this?
   A. Creatine is a very effective supplement to build muscle tissue and increase their size. In high doses used daily without taking any breaks, such as more than 7 to 10 grams a day (some bodybuilders even taken 20 mg a day), it is possible that it could harm kidneys or cause other conditions we don't know of yet. But, in my opinion, taking 3 to 5 grams a day with a day or two off a week should not cause any harm unless someone has a serious kidney condition to begin with. See http://www.raysahelian.com/creatine.html 



Natural Healing Secrets
Vol. 10, Issue 5 -- June, 2013

One of my pastimes is to search online medical journals for interesting studies regarding nutritional supplements. Recently I came across a study published a few years ago that I had missed in the past. It put a smile on my face. It has to do with easing the pain of romantic breakup. Would you believe there is a nutrient that one can take that can help you get over the heartbreak of a failed romance?

Nutritional help for romantic heartbreak
I was surprised to come across a study that found 5-HTP, a neutraceutical supplement mainly used for the natural treatment of anxiety and depression to provide short term relief from breakup pain. A
total of 15 young and healthy subjects (11 females and 4 males) who experienced a recent romantic break-up took part in an Italian study done at the University of Parva. The participants were treated for 6 weeks with 60 mg Griffonia simplicifolia extract containing 13 mg 5-HTP twice a day. There was a decline in romantic stress during the first three weeks but no further significant improvement was evident further on.
   Comments: I have been evaluating the benefits of 5-HTP since the mid 1990s when it first became available to the consumer in the United States. I have treated many patients who have had mild to moderate cases of depression and anxiety. 5-HTP is often of benefit within the first few days of use. This nutrient can also help improve sleep but can cause vivid dreams including nightmares. I find one of the best times to take it is a half hour or hour before dinner. Usually 50 mg a day is sufficient for most people although those who have higher levels of anxiety or more moderate depression may need to take another capsule in the morning or midday, again on an empty stomach. I review the benefits and side effects of this very interesting supplement at http://www.raysahelian.com/5-htp.html

Fish oils can help if you have diabetes
Fish oil supplements could help reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes, but it is not fully understood the number of ways they provide their benefits. One possibility is that the omega-3 oils could help improve circulation and provide better blood flow. Diabetics are known to have circulation problems. Recently is has been proposed that these omega-3 fatty acids increase levels of a hormone called adiponectin that's associated with insulin sensitivity. Higher levels of adinopectin in the bloodstream have also been linked to a lower risk for heart disease. See http://www.raysahelian.com/adiponectin.html. There are probably a number of other ways they help and we will find out over time.

Inexpensive vitamins could delay mental decline or dementia
One of the most feared aspects of getting old is the loss of mental functions such as recalling words, numbers, names, and the general decline in the ability to learn or understand new concepts. Billions have been spent on ineffective and dangerous medications as a failed treatment of Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia. Could the use of simple and inexpensive vitamins postpone this decline and provide some cognitive enhancement? A study published in the May 2013 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicates that vitamins B6 and B12 combined with folic acid slowed atrophy of gray matter in brain areas affected by Alzheimer’s disease. The subjects in the trial were given either a placebo or 0.5 milligrams of vitamin B12, 20 milligrams of vitamin B6 and 0.8 milligrams of folic acid. Their brains were scanned using magnetic-resonance imaging. The MRI scans compared how much gray matter was lost in brain regions most affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Those on the vitamin cocktail showed significantly reduced gray matter brain loss.
   Quite a number of years ago I wrote a book titled Mind Boosters: Natural Supplements that Enhance Your Mind, Mood, and Memory. I mentioned the benefits of taking these B vitamins. There are many other nutrients that could be of help to older individuals who are noticing mental decline. See http://www.raysahelian.com/memory.html for a fuller review.

Acai berry for lung health
The acai berry is found in the Amazon forest and is has powerful antioxidant properties. It was only a decade or so ago that it was introduced to the Western market. Many claims have been made that the use of acai contributes to weight loss but I am not convinced of these claims. However the berry does have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities and recently a study in mice done at a university in Brazil showed that administration reduced the lung damage associated with cigarette smoke. See http://www.raysahelian.com/acaiberry.html

Wear a kilt for better virility?
I recently had a chance to travel to Scotland and visited the beautiful city of Edinburgh, followed by a visit to Loch Ness, and the isle of Skye. I was quite impressed with the breathtaking countryside of the Scottish highlands and really look forward to going back, perhaps staying a few days at a bed and breakfast in a little, out of the way, fishing village with a view of the ocean, take along some fiction books that I have been meaning to read for some time, and just take walks by the shore or in the hills. There is still so much open space in this country once you are about an hour's drive outside the major cities of Edingburgh and Glasgow. Having lived in southern California for quite a few years I appreciated the cloudy and drizzly weather. In fact the Scots joke about their weather. They claim there's only two types: Raining, and about to rain.
   A few days after my return I came across this interesting article about the benefits of wearing kilts in terms of virility. Worn without underwear by Scottish highlanders, a kilt, a knee-length garment, allows testicles to be in an environment of lower temperatures which is ideal for sperm production. The modern male clothing which includes underwear and pants raises the temperature inside the crotch by several degrees which may not be best suited for ideal sperm making. See http://www.raysahelian.com/sperm.html.


Natural Healing Secrets
Vol. 10, Issue 4 -- May, 2013

This issue discusses recent reports that confirm the benefits of fish oils. I personally take 2 or 3 pills a day on days when I don't consume any fish. I think it helps with my skin and heart rhythm. In the past when I was a vegetarian for several years I used to occasionally get skipped beats or a run of a fast heart rate disturbance. A few years ago when I started taking several fish oil capsules a day and began regularly eating cold water fish such as salmon, halibut, and sardines, there was a dramatic reduction in these arrhythmias and now I have not had any in a couple of years. Perhaps my heart is more sensitive that others for the need of omega-3 oils such as EPA and DHA whereas others can be vegan or vegetarian but have the biochemical ability through consuming purely plant foods (for instance flax seeds and walnuts) to make enough of these important fatty acids and have normal heart rhythms till old age. There are many physiological mysteries that I still do not fully understand.

Omega-3 intake has positive benefits for mental function
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in high amounts in fish oils and cold water fish. The two best known omega-3 fatty acids are abbreviated as EPA and DHA. At the Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand, researchers gave healthy adults who had a low intake of DHA in their diet 1000 mg DHA a day for a period of six months. They found supplementation improved memory and reaction time. It's been known for quite some time that omega-3s have important benefits for mental and visual health. The lining of brain cells has a hefty amounts of these important fatty acids and nerve conduction and communication depends on their presence. Most common pills on the market usually have 180 mg of EPA and 120 mg of DHA. I don't see the need to take DHA by itself, I think the combination with EPA is preferable. See http://www.raysahelian.com/dha.html

Heart rhythm disturbances reduced by fish oils
I am convinced that intake of fish oils through consuming cold water fish, fish eggs or fish oil pills helps reduce the risk for heart rhythm problems. It's possible that flax seed intake could also have a benefit. A meta-analysis was done on human intervention studies identified by systematic search of PubMed, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and references of related reviews and studies. The overall pooling together of all studies indicated that supplementation with fish oils did reduce the risk for heart rhythm disturbances. I wonder how many heart patients are prescribed dangerous anti-arrhythmic drugs by their cardiologists who could get just as much, or more, benefits improving their diets or increasing their omega-3 fatty acid intake. Read more at http://www.raysahelian.com/heartpalpitations.html of the many causes of this condition and natural ways to reduce your risk of your heart rhythm gone wild.

Tongkat ali herb proves again to be a libido booster
en aged 30 and 55 years in the country of Malaysia were given 300 mg tongkat ali. At the end of the 12 week study, there was definitive improvement in libido along with improved sperm motility and semen volume. Heavier men lost some weight.
   I have personally used tongkat ali as a sexual enhancer and without a doubt it does work as an aphrodisiac within a few days. It works equally in men and women as many of my patients report. The downside is that it causes increased body temperature and can disturb sleep. For this reason I think it is better to keep dosages low, such as 200 mg or less a day or every other day. Overall, though, I think Passion Rx with Yohimbe, which also contains small amounts of tongkat ali and several other aphrodisiac herbs, works much better than a single herb alone. The benefits from it are noticed within 2 to 3 days. Many doctors and scientists are skeptical that natural aphrodisiacs exist. I have heard them talk on national TV or give their thoughts in magazine or newspaper articles. It surprises me how little some of them know about the topic of natural sexual enhancers before they give their opinions on it. See http://www.raysahelian.com/tongat_ali.html

Fiber intake lowers rate of kidney cancer
Investigators at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX evaluated the dietary intake and food sources of fiber in relation to kidney cancer risk over a 9 years. They found those whose dietary fiber intake was high had a much lower risk of kidney cancer. They measured levels of ingestion of legumes, whole grains, and cruciferous vegetables. People who ate refined grains had a higher risk of getting the disease. See http://www.raysahelian.com/fiber.html and http://www.raysahelian.com/kidneydiseasetreatment.html

Q. Does folic acid increase your chances of getting cancer? I've been taking a B vitamin product which has relieved my depression /anxiety / fatigue symptoms but I notice it contains 400 mcg of folic acid. Should individuals who take such amounts be concerned?
   A. I am not concerned that dosages 400 mcg or less a day will have a strong influence. I do not think it is necessary to take folic acid every day and with occasional breaks from use I am not worried at all. See http://www.raysahelian.com/folicacid.html for a recent study in Lancet journal that reviewed this topic.

Q. I've been reading your website on cycling testosterone booster supplements and find it very interesting. Would taking all of your all 7 pills of the Natural sex Boosters package in 1 day and not taking them for a week, then taking, again, 7 at onetime, off for a week, etc. would have the same effect as the cycling program you endorse which is only one pill a day total?
   A. Taking multiple aphrodisiac pills in one day would cause unpleasant effects including increased body temperature, rapid heart rate, restlessness, and insomnia. The body prefers having changes done in a gradual way with lower dosages over time. See http://www.physicianformulas.com/store/Scripts/prodview.asp?idproduct=81&name=Natural-Sex-Boosters,

Q. I have a question regarding the safety of carnitine pills. I recently read an article in The New York Times titled "Another red meat hazard". This article states that a chemical called TMAO is made in our stomachs after swallowing carnitine pills. The article said TMAO  gets into the bloodstream and increases the risk of heart disease. What are your thoughts on this?
   A. It appears that regular meat eaters may have bacteria in their intestines that convert carnitine pills into TMAO whereas vegans don't have this and are not harmed. The research is still tentative on this topic but for the present time I don't see the need to take more than 2 or 3 carnitine pills a week. Many meat, chicken or fish eaters would need even less. See http://www.raysahelian.com/carnitine.html

Q. Could you put your opinion on the idea that antioxidants may promote cancer. I read an article online April 12, 2012, in Men's Health magazine that concerned me. This is what is quoted in the article "For a new study in The Cochrane Library, researchers combined 78 clinical trials that involved close to 300,000 people. Over an average three-year study period, people taking supplements containing one or more of five common antioxidants were about 4 percent more likely to die. Beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E, seemed the most harmful, while vitamin C or selenium merely didn’t help. Some of the participants were healthy, while others had heart disease, stomach conditions, or other health problems. The results suggest that, whether you’re healthy or coping with chronic illness, there’s no clear benefit to getting these nutrients in pill form, say the study authors. Antioxidants are still important—it’s just best to get them from food."
   A. It's difficult to come to clear conclusions when mixing so many different studies with so many variables. For instance, it is possible that low amounts of vitamin E intake from supplements, such as 100 units or less could have longevity enhancing properties whereas taking 400 units or more have a counterproductive influence. Furthermore, many of these researchers don't even ask the study volunteers whether they are taking synthetic vitamin E or natural vitamin E that has several tocopherols and tocotrienols (see http://www.raysahelian.com/tocotrienols.html). I am not a big fan of taking antioxidants daily, especially in high dosages, and I don't see the need to take massive amounts of beta-carotene as some websites promote. For the time being I am very comfortable with low dose intake of these nutrients particularly if they are taken 3 or 4 times a week as opposed to daily. See this article where I list which antioxidants and nutrients I favor http://www.raysahelian.com/diet.html. There are thousands of different substances in foods and plants that have antioxidant activity and I prefer getting them from our diet that by pill form but there are some that have benefits when taken in low amounts as pills. See also a review of antioxidants at http://www.raysahelian.com/antioxidant.html

Natural Healing Secrets
Vol. 10, Issue 3 -- April, 2013

Pharmaceutical companies keep searching for medications to help older individuals with age related cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease. They spend billions and billions on trying to find a drug to help with memory and mental function. Until they find a miracle medication, I think there are quite a number of natural substances that have a significant effect on mental health. One such nutrient is acetyl-l-carnitine. This brain booster is quite effective and a new study confirms prior findings which I review below. I have personally taken this brain booster and notice effects the same day. I like to keep a daily dosage to 100 to 500 mg and it does not have to be taken daily, perhaps 3 or 4 times a week.

Acetyl-L-carnitine for early stage of Alzheimer's disease
A twelve week trial in patients with mild dementia caused by the Alzheimer's disease showed clinical improvement with no significant side effects. See http://www.raysahelian.com/acetylcarnitine.html . The ideal dosage is not known but I would suggest starting low at 250 mg a day and gradually building up to 500 mg if needed or reducing to a portion of a capsule if overstimulation is noted.

CoQ10 could be of some benefit in those with heart failure.
Recently a review and pooling of multiple studies regarding the use of CoQ10 showed that perhaps it may have a slight benefit in those with heart failure. The ideal dosage is still not clear but for the time being 50 to 100 mg a day seems reasonable. Its interaction with heart medications is not fully understood so let your cardiologist know before you start taking this nutrient in case you are on other medications. See http://www.raysahelian.com/coq10.html

Omega-3 fatty acids of benefit in sickle cell disease
The findings of a small study suggest that omega-3 fatty acids can be an effective, safe, and affordable therapy for patients with the blood disorder sickle cell anemia. See http://www.raysahelian.com/sicklecell.html

Use of antibiotics in first year of life linked to food allergies
Exposure to antibiotics in the first year of life, particularly multiple courses of the drugs, is associated with a increased risk of developing food allergies, according to a study presented at the 2013 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting. The reason may be that antibiotics disrupt the bacteria that are normally present in the gastrointestinal system, and there is some thought that an increase in antibiotic use in children may be linked to the increase in food allergies in the US. http://www.raysahelian.com/foodallergy.html

Natural antidepressant helps sexual dysfunction in those on antidepressant meds.
Many people who take Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil or other medications to fight depression notice a reduction in sex drive. Investigators from the Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston gave the natural antidepressant SAM-e to patients already treated with such medications and found that the nutraceutical did help patients who had sexual arousal dysfunction. I have personally found that SAM-e is quite a potent nutrient and I prefer using 100 mg or less, especially in those who are already taking prescription meds. It is possible that the use of SAM-e could help reduce the dosage of the antidepressant medications. Discuss with your doctor before making changes. See http://www.raysahelian.com/sam-e.html

Add probiotics when treating H. Pylori
H. pylori is a bug whose infection can cause acute and chronic gastritis, gastric peptic ulcers and duodenal ulcers. This germ has been identified as a risk factor for gastric cancer. The vast majority of patients with duodenal ulcers, gastric ulcer and gastric cancer have H. pylori infection. This bacteria can be killed with the use of several types of antibiotics. However, it seems the addition of probiotics can help produce better results. See http://www.raysahelian.com/helicobacterpylori.html. I also think that garlic can be of benefit.

B vitamin for vision improvement?
I recently had to downgrade the strength of my readers (drugstore bought) for presbyopia and I had no idea why the correction was happening. I realized that I had just started taking 200 mg of pantothenic acid each morning only one week before. I did a web search and found similar reports. I must say that this has actually changed my vision and I'm delighted.
  Dr Sahelian says: Yes, I have noticed vision enhancement from the use of this B vitamin, too. See http://www.raysahelian.com/pantothenic.html

Too much of a good thing
Hi Dr. Sahelian, Thank you for your very informative website. I wanted to share with you my experience with taking some high doses of Vitamin D3 along with a small dose of Vitamin K2. I am a 50 year old female. I will say that before I went to the doctor, I was having some major symptoms for a couple months or more which included depression, much more than normal, extreme fatigue--I have been actively working around 45 hours per week or more at times without any significant problems except some stress until a few months ago when I started having extreme fatigue for unknown reasons to the point I was getting to where I didn't feel like going to work, to church or much of anywhere. I also for a few months starting having more joint and body pain and for the first time ever, my bones were hurting pretty significantly. Anyway, I went to the doctor a few weeks ago and they told me I had a Vitamin D deficiency. My Vitamin D level was 21. I bought some and immediately took 15,000 IU the first day, then the second day around 12,000 IU, then after that I cut back to 10,000 IU per day. Within just 3 or 4 days after starting the Vitamin D3 & K2, my bones and joints pretty much stopped hurting and the depression started almost immediately getting better and is now gone. But after about a week of taking the large doses, I started experiencing nausea, pain in my left lower side, diarrhea, ringing in my ears and insomnia. I lowered my Vitamin D3 dose to rotating between 5000 IU one day, then the next day 10,000 IU but still experienced the problems then decided to go to the doctor (this was a different doctor than where I originally got my blood work as I was trying to find a doctor who practiced natural alternative medicine)I took my blood work to him and even though I told him that ever since I started the Vitamin D that I was feeling nauseated and having stomach problems, he told that my Vitamin D was very deficient and told me that the Vitamin D at that dose should not be causing any problems and that I need to take 10,000 IU of Vitamin D3 and the Vitamin K2 every day. So he basically just ignored all the symptoms. So I followed his advice and now the stomach pains and diarrhea have gotten much worse (extreme) and now I have a host of other symptom s-- I get chest pains now at taking high doses, feel anxious, my eyes feel like they are infected and my vision is more blurry. Though I do really believe that my Vitamin D levels were deficient from the symptoms I mentioned earlier, I am ceasing all forms of Vitamin D until my body recovers from the toxicity. I apologize for this long letter but I wanted you and anyone else that this might help to know what the dangers of taking too much Vitamin D are for some people who obviously cannot tolerate these large doses. I will also not be going back to this doctor and from now on I will listen to what my body is telling me instead of what the doctor tells me when it comes to the toxicity symptoms I have experienced. Thank you.


Natural Healing Secrets
Vol. 10, Issue 2 -- February, 2013

One of the most common questions I am asked is how often to get regular checkups and which tests to undergo to find an early cancer or other diseases. This topic is quite controversial and there is a wide range of opinion among doctors and medical organizations. The source that I trust the most is The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). This independent group of national experts reviews the latest studies in order to improve the health of Americans by making evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings, counseling services, or preventive medications. Although they are not perfect, they appear to be less biased than other organizations that appear to get some financial donations or benefits from companies that manufacture testing equipment. I have recently updated my article on which tests to get regularly and which to avoid. See http://www.raysahelian.com/annualphysical.html.

Supplements for men who have Infertility
There are many reasons why some men are infertile and often extensive testing is done without finding a cause. One easy and inexpensive option is to take a few nutraceuticals for several weeks. It seems that several studies now show carnitine and acetylcarnitine, normally used to increase physical and mental energy, do help improve sperm motility. They also help improve erectile function. In the latest study done at Sapienza Rome University, infertile men who were give a combination carnitine, acetyl-carntine, along with a few vitamins and minerals did show improvement in fertility which led to pregnancies with their spouses. See http://www.raysahelian.com/fertility.html

Danger in men taking calcium supplements?
Many women and some men take calcium supplements to reduce bone loss with aging. But a new study published in JAMA suggests men taking high amounts may increase their risk of dying from heart disease. A
team of scientists at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, collected data on more than 388,000 middle aged and older men and women who took part in a study on diet and health conducted by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the AARP from 1995 to 1996. Over an average 12 years of follow-up men taking 1,000 mg or more a day of a calcium supplement had an increased risk of dying from heart disease and perhaps a slightly higher risk of stroke. Among women, however, calcium supplements were not linked to an increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. And, calcium from diet didn't increase the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease for either sex.
   Comments: Until the results are replicated, it does seem prudent that men limit their calcium intake from supplements to less than 600 mg a day.  http://www.raysahelian.com/calcium.html

Ashwagandha herb for obsessive compulsive disorder?
Ashwagandha, an herb used commonly in India for relaxation, well-being, and sexual enhancement, appears to be as effective as Prozac in improving symptoms of OCD. See http://www.raysahelian.com/ashwagandha.html. Interestingly, another study shows this herb to be of benefit in athletic performance.

Aspirin is a good thing, but in low doses
Aspirin is often used to thin the blood and it can be of help in those who have heart problems and excessive clotting. However, some doctors have been recommending patients take a full pill a day which may be counterproductive. In my opinion, a baby aspirin two or three times a week is sufficient for most people.
According to a new study in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, there appears to be an association between regularly taking aspirin and an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. This association seems to be "dose-dependent" -- meaning, the more aspirin a person took regularly, the higher the risk of the vision loss condition. http://www.raysahelian.com/maculardegeneration.html

Emails and testimonials
I am in my early 40s and have been dealing with ADD for a number of years. After mixed results with ginkgo biloba, I tried Mind Power Rx. My work improved and general life organization /time management improved. I actually proactively made lists and organizational stuff. My business partners were impressed. My wife was shocked. I remember telling her that it actually make me feel like I want to be organized…I am curious what other of Dr. Sahelian’s products might help me. I have had a few concussions over the years and fear a touch of early onset dementia may be starting – short term memory mostly, but I have not had any major problems. I buy it by the case and have given bottles to people who seem to be having trouble with memory. Thanks for making this product. It is really good.

I would like to know if taking Passion Rx long term would affect the body’s natural ability to produce the required chemicals / mechanisms. If the required sexual responses are continually being produced or promoted with supplements, does the body shut down its own production mechanisms. Essentially requiring the user to continue with supplementation. Or does it just enhance what the body already has with no adverse effects.
   Thus far we have had people use Passion Rx on and off for several years with continued effectiveness. One reason maybe that we often recommend taking breaks from use. For instance, in the long run, no more than 3 capsules a week are needed and a good option is to take a full week off each month. With this approach we have found this natural aphrodisiac to be continuously effective. We have had reports in those who have taken a pill daily for many weeks or months and they noticed reduced effectiveness, but the benefits returned after they took a break for a couple of weeks.

I am a 35 year old woman who has been married for two years. I am trained as a psychologist and trying to build my own clientele which has been quite stressful but finally paying off. However, due to the stress of starting my own clinic over the past couple of years, my sex drive had dropped and I just was not as interested as my husband in being intimate. Fortunately he has been very patient and understanding. I recently ordered the sample bottle of Passion Rx with Yohimbe. I want to tell you how much I enjoyed this formula. During the third day I had better results than I've had in two years! I can't wait to order a full bottle. Great job with that!

Natural Healing Secrets
Vol. 10, Issue 1 -- January, 2013

It's a new year and I'm sure many of you have made resolutions, for instance to be more active physically. As we age many of us are concerned about joint health and how to reduce our risk for osteoarthritis. I have always wondered about the role of exercise in joint health. Do sedentary people have better joints because they do not damage them through contact sports or long distance running or do people who workout have healthier joints? It seems that both extremes are not good. Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco monitored changes in the knee cartilage of middle-aged patients by MRI scans over the course of several years. They found that the best option is to avoid too much high-impact exercise or too little physical activity. For instance excessive tennis playing or long distance running can speed up the deterioration of knee cartilage, so can just sitting in a chair. Hence, balance seems to be the key for our new year's resolution. For those of you not fully familiar with the terms, osteoarthritis means degeneration of the joints, it is the most common arthritis in the United States, affection 20 to 30 million older individuals. Osteoporosis is thinning of the bones leading to easy fractures. Inactivity can make it more likely to have both osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. See http://www.raysahelian.com/osteoarthritis.html.

Vitamin D and multiple sclerosis
Pregnant women with higher levels of vitamin D circulating in their blood appear to be less likely to develop multiple sclerosis in the years after giving birth. This vitamin could be involved in helping the immune system toward a more anti-inflammatory state. Blood levels of vitamin D in most westerners have decreased in the past few decades and some investigators think this could be one of the factors that have resulted in a higher rate of MS. See http://www.raysahelian.com/multiplesclerosis.html

Green coffee bean extract and weight loss
One of the most popular supplements of this past year has been green coffee bean extract. This product has been promoted for weight loss and mentions have been made on TV, in various magazine and newspaper articles, (I have even been interviewed by a reporter from Russia, and there are countless ads online promoting it as a sure way to drop several pounds. Does it work? Based on its enthusiastic promotion you would think this extract has been studied extensively. But it hasn't really. I can find only a couple of good human studies which showed it to have some benefit in weight reduction. This is hardly enough evidence for its widespread use at this time, but the initial research is promising. See http://www.raysahelian.com/greencoffee.html. I recently took two capsules each morning for two days and did notice mild appetite suppression but not as strong as Diet Rx. Positive effects that I noticed included feeling more alert and clearer vision.

If you have heart disease, don't give up
Evidence published in the journal Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association shows that older individuals with established heart disease who eat a diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains and nuts had a much lower risk of dying or having another heart attack or stroke than those who kept on consuming unhealthy foods. This happens even if they are taking medications for high blood pressure or cholesterol. Sometimes people who have a heart attack assume that the heart medications given by their doctors is enough to take care of the problem but people should not be complacent... taking an active role in improving one's diet can reduce the risk for future heart related health issues. See http://www.raysahelian.com/heartdisease.html

The controversy of mammography, how often to test?
The influence of mammograms on breast cancer prevention and ultimate morbidity and mortality outcome continues to be hotly debated and it seems just about every few weeks another study comes out that conflicts with prior recommendations. Regular mammograms do help detect cancer earlier, but there is a cost associated with this. This makes it very difficult for women to know the ideal age to start regular mammograms and the ideal frequency for best detection with fewest untoward reactions. I recently came across an article that I thought would be of interest to you. It is very difficult to know for certain, for any individual woman, what the ideal course of action is, but it is a good idea to be as informed as possible before taking action. Here is the important article that you can review and discuss with your doctor.

Q. I keep seeing herbal extracts that say 2:1 or 4:1, and I also see herbs listed as concentrated 20x or 30x. What does this all mean?
   A. Traditionally herbs were used whole or boiled as in tea. In the last few decades, particularly in the past 2 decades, laboratories started actively concentrating herbs by finding out the active ingredients in them, (there are normally several or dozens of substances within each medicinal herb and not all of them are useful or of benefit to the body) and thus making the herbal extract more potent. Since different labs have different methods of extraction or concentration, and since herbs are grown in different locales or countries leading them to have slight of significant chemical composition to begin with, you can see how the whole issue becomes quite complicated. Furthermore, one lab's concentration of a particular herb, let's say ashwagandha, at 2 to 1, implying twice as potent as the original herb, may have a different chemical ratio or content of active chemical than another lab's production. There are few herbs that have been standardized well, a couple that come mind are ginkgo herb and St. John's worth. Normally ginkgo extract is sold as standardized to 24% flavone glycosides and 5% terpene lactones. Even then how do we know this particular standardization is the ideal form this herb should be consumed as? St. John's wort is normally standardized to 0.3% hypericin and 3% hyperforin. Again, how do we know this is the best ratio for its antidepressant effect? We don't, but at some point it is helpful to have some standardization in order to use these herbs in clinical trials and have a consistent herbal extract to test over and over again and by different research institutions. To summarize and give a practical and simple answer to your question, I would say the only way to know for sure whether a particular herb is better suited for you as a regular unconcentrated powder or as a more concentrated extract is to take it and see what effect it has on you. Another example I can give is in regards to the aphrodisiac herb tongkat ali. It comes as regular powder, and I have a formulation that has 200 mg per capsule, and we have a more concentrated version called LJ100 which has 25 mg per capsule. We have found that some people prefer the 200 mg product whereas others prefer the more potent extract at a lower dosage. It is often a matter of personal preference. Another point to keep in mind is that not all vitamin sellers are honest with their claims. For instance if a promoter says their product is 20x claiming that their herb is 20 times more potent than the regular herb, they may just be flat out misleading. I have seen products that claim their tongkat ali version is 100 times as potent as the regular herb which makes no sense to me. There are few accepted national or international guidelines regarding herbal extracts and many companies hype and mislead consumers pretending their products are more potent than they actually are. See http://www.raysahelian.com/tongkat_ali.html for further explanation.

Taking breaks from supplements

Q. I read in one of your web pages that you should take a break from supplements, why is that? Another reader asks: I find that Tongkat ali worked great for a while for libido, but then as I kept taking it, it didn't seem to work as well. Do I need to take a break?

As a rule, I recommend taking a break from taking supplements. Here are my reasons.

Note: The dosage makes a huge difference in how often to take breaks. If your dosage is very low, you can take supplements for prolonged periods with hardly any breaks. If the dosage is high, you would need to take more frequent breaks.


1. Certain fat soluble supplements, for instance Vitamin E, can accumulate in tissues such as fat cells. Some accumulate without harm -- such as beta-carotene leading to orange colored palms (carotenemia) -- but others may continue accumulating and potentially cause harm.2. Overstimulation can occur. For instance, SAM-e can continue building up in the body and cause restlessness, insomnia and irritability if a high dose is taken over several days or weeks. Many herbs, hormones and supplements can have a stimulatory nature. Some of these include acetyl-l-carnitine, CoQ10, DHEA, DMAE, ginseng, pregnenolone, rhodiola, St. John's wort, tongkat ali, trimethylglycine and tyrosine. Taking too many in too high doses can potentially cause heart rhythm irregularities, restlessness, anxiety, and shallow sleep.4. We just don't know enough about the long term effects of many supplements and herbs if taken daily for periods of months or years.5. Some of the supplements may interact with the medicines you may be taking or interact with over the counter drugs or even interact with other supplements.6. Some herbs and supplements may be beneficial to the immune system in the short term, but when taken daily for many months may potentially be counterproductive. For instance echinacea is helpful in stimulating the immune system. If taken daily for several months or years, it is possible that in rare cases it may initiate an autoimmune condition.7. Long term, high dose, daily use of hormones -- such as DHEA and pregnenolone -- may potentially stimulate tumor growth. Taking "hormone holidays" is likely to significantly reduce the risk.8. Tolerance can develop. For instance, melatonin and tryptophan may not work as well for sleep if taken every night and you may need a higher dose for the same effect. Certain libido herbs may work by stimulating testosterone release or release of other substances in the brain and body and the body may need a break for a few days to replenish these substances so that the herbs can be effective again. Another form of tolerance is that you may get used to the feelings that the supplements provide and not realize how well you are feeling with them until you take a break for a few days.9. Certain herbs and supplements may influence the endocrine system in ways that we do not yet fully understand. These may be beneficial or harmful. We just don't know enough about them yet.

10. There may be impurities in the products or the binders and fillers that could be tolerated by the liver or other organs if consumed occasionally, but toxic if consumed daily for prolonged periods.


A rough guideline regarding breaks:There are no clear and exact ways to take breaks. Some people like to use a supplement every other day or 2 days on, 2 days off, 5 days on and off on the weekends or a week to ten days off each month. Each person is unique and has different needs, so no blanket statements can be made that would apply to everyone. However, I can give some guidelines on which herbs and supplements can be safely taken with few breaks and which supplements are best taken infrequently. These guidelines only apply to supplements that are being taken for health enhancement purposes and do not apply for supplements taken to treat a particular health condition while under medical supervision. Please note that these are my opinions, other doctors or nutrition experts may have completely different viewpoints. Supplements that can be taken almost every dayThe B vitamins (less than 50 mg daily of B1, B2, B6), Vitamin C (less than 1,000 mg), Vitamin E (less than 200 units a day), Vitamin D (less than 600 units), Vitamin A (less than 15,000 units); most minerals such as calcium and magnesium; carotenoids, flavonoids, fish oils, green tea, probiotics, psyllium, stevia; herbs used as spices such as basil, curcumin, fennel, ginger; most herbs and supplements used for joint health such as glucosamine and chondroitin; most herbs used for prostate health such as saw palmetto and pygeum; most herbs used for menopause support such as black cohosh, chaste berry and red clover. Products from Physician Formulas that fall into this category include Prostate Power Rx and Joint Power Rx.


Supplements that should have more breaks. For instance taking off 2 to 4 days a week or at least a week to 10 days off each month:5-HTP, acetyl-l-carnitine, arginine, ashwagandha, bacopa, carnitine, choline, CoQ10, creatine, cordyceps, damiana, deer antler velvet, galantamine, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, huperzine, horny goat weed, hyssop, licorice, maca, melatonin, milk thistle, mucuna pruriens, reishi, rhodiola, St. John's wort, tribulus, tryptophan, valerian, vinpocetine and herbs that influence the immune system (such as echinacea, elderberry, andrographis, astragalus); Products by Physician Formulas that fall into this category include Passion Rx and Mind Power Rx.

Supplements to be used cautiously or sparingly

Hormones such as DHEA and pregnenolone (take no more than 5 or 10 mg); kava (until we learn more), Yohimbe (has many side effects, particularly on high doses).


There are some herbs and nutrients that I have not mentioned above mostly since I don't know much about their long term use. These include AHCC, beta-glucan, graviola, Lyprinol, mangosteen, nattokinase, and serrapeptase..It has been shown that an agent when administered in its isolated form may have significantly different effects and side effects than the same agent applied as a constituent in naturally occurring multi-component mixtures.


Q. What do you think of multivitamin /multimineral /herbal formulas -so-called "ultra" formulas for men or some such- that seem to have "a little of everything" where the herbs are concerned (while having high potencies of the vitamins and minerals), so that they have very small quantities of the herbs they claim to contain? Is it reasonable to expect any sort of benefit from the herbal combinations, albeit much more slowly, if say the formula is used over a very extended period of time?
   A. the benefits in most cases are likely to be minimal and of little significance compared to eating healthy organic fruits and vegetables. How big a dose of 5htp is equivalent to a gram of tryptophan? As 5htp comes in 100 mg caps, the equivalent dose must be much smaller, right? It's difficult to give a precise conversion since each person is different in their metabolism, but a factor of 10 seems reasonable.




Would it be beneficial to open all capsules and crush all tablets to maximize absorption of supplements or is this overkill fallacy?
   As a general rule this is not necessary but each capsule or tablet from different companies is different and each person has a different absorption ability. Many people take supplements or combinations that are excessive, so even if a little less is absorbed by not opening certain capsules or crushing certain tablets, perhaps the resulting potential less absorption is actually healthier. Overall, for practical purposes it is not necessary to do so unless a person has a serious condition of lack of gastric juices to dissolve tablets.


If possible to get the good doctors opinion of drink kefir or almond milk?
   Small amounts of kefir and almond milk are fine to drink and you may consider alternating soy, rice, and other milks.


i was wondering if you can recommend something to promote blood circulation. I see there are different things to try, but i was hoping you can tell me what would be the first choice?
    Without knowing the full history, lab results and medical exam, it is difficult to recommend any particular supplement.

Do you know of any side effects of Geranamine also known as 1,3 Dimethylamylamine?
    I have not seen any studies with Geranamine, 1,3 Dimethylamylamine in humans.


I have seen baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) touted as a remedy for many things including reflux and colds. Do you have any opinion about its effectiveness and safety on a short-term basis or over the long-term?
   I have not studied the medical uses of baking soda.


Have plans to release your book onto Kindle? Another market avenue for you. I'm thinking of getting a Kindle, and having your books on it would be wonderful!


Asyra machine sounds extroardinary. Do you know if its results are accurate and it really works?
    I am not familiar with the Asyra machine.


I get your online newsletter and enjoy reading it each time. I value your insights about natural supplements. I was just wondering if you have heard of Codex Alimentarius and what is your opinion about it?
    I have not studied the topic of codex alimentarius to any great extent.


Q. I am age 21 from Glasgow, Scotland. I respect your balanced approach on herbs and supplements. After reading some infos from your website about some herbs that I have been taking for several years I may have found the cause of some problems. You mention taking herbs can cause side effects like : Heart rhythm irregularities, restlessness, anxiety, shallow sleep, sweatiness and some more. After taking certain herbs from around 16-17 daily, I have been experiencing all of the above problems and some more. Symptoms like dull headaches / migraines during morning /afternoon and even evening. Sometimes have to sleep 10-14 hours to dampen it off. Bone / muscle / joint stiffness. Developed anxiety/social anxiety, sweatiness, hot flashes, heart beating really fast, chest tightness, twitching neck / arms / legs, severe facial tightness alot of sleeping problems and some more. Dr.Sahelian is their any advice on how I can bring my body to its natural state ?
   A. High dosages of herbs can give these symptoms. Discuss with your doctor about stopping these pills for a while and have regular habits of exercise, eating well and sleeping. Yoga and hiking can help.


Q. Why do you always prescribe such low doses of supplements and medications? At the doses you've prescribed, I usually find no effect whatsoever. Low doses are effective for some people, but everyone is different. You can't possibly prescribe a low dose for everyone and think that it's always going to work.
   A. The doctor has be careful since there are many older people with weak hearts and liver functions who are taking multiple medications. High dosages may work in more people but could also tip some weaker, unstable people with heart problems, endocrine problems, and other medical conditions into emergency rooms or heart rhythm problems. He rather have fewer people benefit than have people suffer serious consequences. Plus, many people who do not respond to initial low dosages will naturally, on their own, increase their dosage. Certain herbs and supplements are very, very potent, just as medicines, and have to be treated with respect.

Q. Hello there Dr. Sahelian and company. I have been trying to make myself more healthy as of late, and I now find myself taking several different tablets and/or capsules to receive different supplements (usually at different times mark you), but I'm concerned about the different types of chemicals that I'm taking in. I don't mean from the herbs/nutrients, but from the tablets and capsules themselves, particularly the tablets. Tablets typically contain all sorts of strange things like "dicalcium phosphate", "silica", "stearate", "crosscarmellose" or whatever in the world that is, as well as gelatin in the case of capsules, etc. So I've been wondering, should I be concerned about these unnatural sounding chemicals accumulating in my body over time (SILICA??!) I'm trying to be as natural as I can. And further, how do tablets and capsules compare to each other? For example, are the contents of capsules present in a more natural or "whole" form than tablets, (seeing that capsules seem to contain the powdered herbs) whereas tablets usually tend to contain extracts? Do capsules provide faster or slower delivery of herbs than tablets? And which ones, capsules or tablets, provide for greater overall bioavailablility of components? Thanks for your consideration.
 A. For practical purposes, the amounts of other ingredients contained in capsules and tablets are so minimal that for almost everyone (unless they have a serious allergy to these compounds) it makes little difference in their health. Most of these additions are safe and harmless. We ingest so much junk in the foods we normally eat, that a few milligrams of these substances are for practical purposes nothing to be concerned about. Gelatin is basically protein and dicalcium and silica are beneficial minerals.


Q. If I should only take half a capsule, how can I accomplish this? What do I do (in the meantime) with the other half of what's in the capsule until I'm ready to take it at a later time (or date)? I know this sound stupid, but since I don't know the answers, please explain this to me: I know how to open a capsule (that's no problem), but my only options I can see are to:1. Pour half of what's in the capsule to some other temporary container, so I can take the capsule when it's only half full? ---- OR ----2. To open a capsule, and somehow manage to swallow half of its contents (in their powdery form, or whatever form they are in), saving the remaining half for the next time -- at which time I could swallow the actual capsule itself, now half-full?
   A. Basically you can open the capsule by pulling on each end, and then pour about the contents in a glass and add water or a little juice and drink it. You can then close the capsule by putting the two ends back together and take the other half another day.


Q. I can't find any doctors who are into natural healing. Why do I need a doctor's supervision? What is a doctor actually going to do. If I experience side effects I guess I can figure that out by myself. Is your statement more of legal reasons than necessity?

   A. Unfortunately, even though there are highly effective natural substances that can potentially help prevent or treat a number of common medical conditions that are currently being treated by pharmaceutical drugs, most doctors have little knowledge of their existence. I can empathize with you if you live in an area where there are no doctors into natural healing. There are certainly benefits and risks of self diagnosing and medicating. An intelligent and motivated person can learn more about herbs and nutrients than most conventional doctors who have no interest in this topic. So, most consumers are basically left on their own to explore and discover all these fascinating supplements since they can count for very little help -- if not opposition -- from their doctors. As to SAM-e, it is a powerful substance, and as you have found out there are benefits to self-medicating. There are several reasons why I mention that people should be supervised by their doctor. First, legal: In this day of suing at the drop of a hat, it is medico-legally advisable for me to mention "doctor supervision." Second, perhaps as more and more people go to their doctors requesting supervision while taking supplements, more doctors will be encouraged to take an interest in this topic, especially if the feedback from their patients is positive. Perhaps they will start recommending other patients try the natural approaches. Third, it is possible that your doctor may pick up abnormalities on an exam or blood study due to toxicity or misuse of supplements. For instance, SAM-e may in some cases make someone manic, and a doctor may pick up on this behavior. Or, perhaps a blood study may show liver enzyme abnormalities from taking too high doses of certain supplements or herbs for too long.


I want to know about agbor mono herbal root. Please tell me its charactrstic properties, botanical name, colour, where it is found etc. also please tell me if it is a narcotic drug?

   Sorry I am not familiar with agbor herb.


I was just wondering if you had a opinion on the "vegetable complex" type supplements that I have seen almost everywhere supplements are sold. To my understanding, they typically consist of freeze-dried concentrates of many different types of vegetables and sometimes fruits. I know that something like this would never be a real substitue for fresh vegetables in a proper diet, but I wanted to know if they would even be worth taking at all. I'm not sure how freeze-dried concentrates even compare to fresh vegetables in content and potency. Could taking one or two of these types of capsules a day amount to any sort of benefit for someone (I'm a college student) who has a hard time consuming a wide variety of fresh vegetables? I guess I'm basically asking if taking these in a reasonable amount would be much better than taking nothing at all. Anyway, thank you for your help, and I highly enjoyed your book, Mind Boosters, as well as your website.You ask a good question. These supplements certainly do not seem to have the potential to cause harm, and there is a possibility they could be a healthy thing to take, although there are so many products with so many varieties and potencies that it is difficult to give a blanket statement.

Q. Can you tell me the safety of adrenal cortex supplements (Adrenal Cortex Tissue (Bovine)  250 mg, 2-4 per day? Is there any harm in taking this for an extended time? Can taking this inhibit that part of the body from working on its own if the medicine is stopped? Could this have an effect on hair loss? It seems when I stop it, I start losing quite more than the usual amount of hair.
   A. We have not looked into supplements from animal tissues since we don't know what they have in them and each source would have a different composition. Therefore this is an area we don't know much about and we don't study.


Q. I was diagnosed as suffering from depression(post traumatic) and anxiety due to major issues I had when I was a child and through my adolescence. I take 5-HTP and GABA which seems to be ok but I am never sure of the correct dosage. I take 3 of each 3 times a day. Is this correct? Or is there one supplement that does the function of both of these. My current issue is that I am now having terrible mood swings 3 days and 3 days after my period. I am guessing this is PMT or hormone related I am 40 years old. Do you have a recommendation of something I can take to combat this. I cant bear the feeling of sadness during these days, all I do is cry and I am sure my husband thinks I am going crazy. It's bizarre day 4 I just snap out of it as though nothing was ever wrong. I can't live like this as I am a senior executive with a huge firm. I live in Bordeaux France so here Natural Therapies are not so practiced, your comments would be very much appreciated.
   A. We normally do not give personal recommendations but I spoke with Dr. Sahelian and he offered some suggestions. (He has visited France and has cousins who live in Paris.) 5-HTP and GABA are good choices to be used during those times. It is difficult to know how each person responds but sometime in the future you may wish to try St. Johns wort or small doses of 100 or 200 mg SAMe. Dr. Sahelian also recommends more walking and exercise and also if you have an opportunity to do Yoga, it is very helpful. As to diet, it is good to have balanced meals with protein and vegetables, and less sugar and refined carbohydrates, no caffeine.

Q. Hi, Passion Rx seems like a great product. My wife and I (we are in our mid- and late-40s) are trying it for the first time. A few questions: Can Passion Rx cause mild insomnia? My wife and I both work in professional, white-collar environments where clear thinking and job performance are essential. Reading the section, "Positive Side Effects" I see the benefits of Passion Rx are compatible with such work environments. However, is it possible with a higher dose (1 to 2 capsules per day) that one might become "distracted with desire" while at work? Keep up the great work, Dr. Sahelian (my father is a physician, a retired internist). I have a dog-eared and underlined copy of Mind Boosters that has been my bible for the past 3 years. I am particularly interested in your discussion of feedback inhibition* -- one reason, I assume, why taking "vitamin holidays" is important. For example, in Mind Boosters, feedback inhibition is discussed specifically regarding NAC and glutathione. Is it reasonable to suspect that feedback inhibition might develop with long-term supplementation of most (or many) nutrients? Your frequent references to taking time off from a supplement would seem to support this. In any case, I have appreciated and put to good use the idea that, where supplements are concerned, sometimes less is more. Thanks again.   
   A. Yes, Passion Rx can cause insomnia, and this is dose dependent. The higher the dose, the more insomnia. The slow libido approach one capsule taken every other day does not cause the insomnia and is effective in boosting libido and performance. It is possible of being distracted, but sometimes people don't notice the sexual effects unless they are being intimate. Each person is different. In case users find it distracting, they could take Passion Rx on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Each nutrient and each person is different in terms of feedback inhibition (many herbs and nutrients don't have any feedback inhibition at all but could cause side effects if misused) and the human body is so complicated that it is difficult to have a full understanding of this issue at this time.

damiana herb or another product deer antler velvet help improve sexuality, what about DHEA and 7-Keto hormones?
    Some people do notice such benefit particularly from the deer antler and the androgens.

Danshen herb

Deprenyl medicine
Depression treatment
Devils claw herb


I am a 62 yr old female who has had a hysterectomy, gall bladder removal, complete colectomy and appendectomy. Now I have a bitter or sour taste in the saliva. I went to a dentist, ent, and gastroenterologist and none of them can diagnose me. I recently found out I have nodules on the thyroid and I have to go for a biopsy. I know I have hypothyroidism because even though my blood work is normal, my rising temperature in the morning is 92.6. Is there anything I can do for this bitter taste. It has taken my life away and I feel like I am going to have a nervous breakdown. I have had it for 6 months. Is there a supplement to help with the thyroid.

Diabetes alternative options
Diet suggestions
DMG sublingual
Dopamine enhancer


Q. I have been a subscriber of your newsletter for sometime now and I find it really very educational, nutrition wise, but it is only very recently that I decided to order and try your multivit Rx. I have been taking Lifepak (Pharmanex) for many years and I know it is good but due to financial difficulties I switched to your products (since I find them very affordable) after reviewing the formula. I come from a family of diabetic people although I am the only one not diagnosed yet, I am on a borderline status. I eat as well as prepare good foods for my family as well. Our diet in Japan is based on soy products. We eat them almost everyday with plenty of vegetables. I am 59 and have menopouse and I walk 30 minutes everyday as advised by my doctor. I am well fit except for my back pain which have been with me for almost 2 years now since I tried the "bridge pose" from my Yoga class. I cannot say anything about your products as I just started them but I hope to benefit from them. However, on my way back home to Japan last December 21, 2008 I came across this article from the Los Angeles Times by Karen Kaplan (Dec.21, front page) "Vitamin pills aren't a cure at all and can hurt.....". I'm sure you must have had read the same article written by Karen Kaplan. I just want to know what you think about this. I am sure millions of Americans must have read this article too and must be feeling insecure about taking vitamin supplements now.
   A. I have not read the article by Karen Kaplan. There are many opinions on the benefits and risks of supplements. Just as it would be meaningless to say all prescription medications are bad or all medications are good, it is meaningless to say all vitamins are bad or all vitamins are good. If a person finds taking supplements, such as MultiVit Rx, makes them feel better, gives more energy and makes them more productive, then it's a good thing. I don't think multivitamin supplement pills should be taken every day, perhaps three or four days a week with a few days off each month.

Echinacea herb
Energy naturally

Do supplements help reduce the frequency of a seizure with natural pills
    We don't know of any good supplements for this condition, perhaps fish oil pills or DHA may help.


Q. What is your opinion of the "chi machines"? real or another fraud? ps. you're terrific! i have used your supplements and pass along information provided in your newsletters constantly!
   A. Chi machines don't make any sense to me but I have not seen any research with them.

Q. Do you have a supplement for hiatus hernia?
   A. The term is hiatal hernia rather than hiatus hernia. Sorry I don't have a natural solution for hiatal hernia.

Q. I use to take Vinpocetine a few years back. I took it for a few months off and on and what i experienced with vinpocetine was great clearity of thinking, very noticeable sharper vision, heightened color perception with good memory and recall and a sense of deeper enlightment (specially when i combined it with acetyl L Carnitine ( 5 mg Vinpocetine and 10 mg ALC) however after a few months i started to catch flu and throat and ear infections easily. I found out later that German commission E has issued a warning against Vinpocetine that it temporarily supresses the immune system and causes apoptosis if taken on the long term. Never the less i did have some fantastic lucid dreams and 2 self initiated and well controlled out of body experiences when i was on vinpocetine. So then i stopped taking it and in a few days my immune system got back in business. Also vinpocetine lessens sex drive if taken for more then two weeks as it increases serotonin in the brain. I tried DMAE but that gives a mild reaction like tingling in my hands and feet and mild anxiety even on a 15 or 20 mg dose, I have used ALC on its own and its fine and fairly better but not as good as Brahmi (Bacopa) but long term or chronic administration of bacopa increases Uric Acid which may cause temporary gout. Although brahmi gives me energy, better vision, clearity of thinking, better and quick understanding of difficult concepts, it causes a strange or very mild restlessness in my mind like Biological Noise or something which i never experienced while i took Vinpocetine. I also get good results with fish oil but cant take it regularly.

Q. Hi, I was on 90 mgs methadone and Duragesic patch 75 mcgs (fentanyl) for about ten years for chronic pain. Then... was put on an illegaly high does of subutex (buprenorphine), 96 mgs/day and over 20 months tapered down to .25 mgs/day and then ceased and have been off totally for ten days. I probably don't need to tell you what I feel like. Do you any recommendations for supplements, etc. that would ease the agony of the withdrawal process? Since subutex is the latest greatest formula for dealing
with opiate wd and as a replacement to methadone maintenance, there is virtually no information available anywhere that deals with the withdrawal from subutex. The forums online tend to be in one of two categories; one,"Gee, what a swell drug. I don't have to steal to feed my smack habit, etc." For those folks it seems very good, or at least a good alternative. The other group is the one I'm in, "Okay I've been on subutex for X years and when I stop taking it or taper down the withdrawal is from hell, and it lasts longer than the usual opiate wds."

Q. I've been reading your comments regarding DHEA and Pregnenolone and Alpha Lipoic Acid with interest. I'd like to provide myself as data for your research. I've been taking 25mg of micronized DHEA and 10 mg of Pregnenolone daily for 15 months without any known negative side effects other then I feel 18 years old instead of the 46 years old that I am. I've also been taking between 600 - 900 mg of Alpha Lipoic Acid daily in a sustained release tablet. I've noticed that the Alpha Lipoic Acid does make my skin more youthful and does give me energy, but have not noticed any negative side effects. I also take a tablespoon 7500 mg of omega 3 fatty acids comprised of pharmaceutical grade EPA 4500 mg and DHA 2200 mg. I also take between 500 - 1,000 mg of Gaba in the evening before bedtime which completely eliminates anxiety and stress. I also take a daily HGH supplement which helps me sleep and reduces my reactions to allergens. I am trying Somatropinne which I am still not clear if it is has any youthful benefits as it is claiming. I also take NO2 Black which is L-Arginine 3000mg with 200mg of caffeine a couple of times a month for race day, which adds to my performance along with 600 mg of sustained release N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine. I also take a daily mild B-vitamin liquid comprised of about 20 mg of B-Complex. More B-Vitamins then 20 mg and I feel they are counterproductive. I can stop taking my daily supplements for a day or two without any negative side effects. I have not tried longer then that but I am going to reduce the dosages to see if the benefit remains. Prior to taking these supplements, I found myself sleeping about four hours per night and had constant anxiety. I had less energy and less focus. I was not nearly as assertive in business or in life. I was constantly tired and preoccupied with worry and my athletic performance was just ok for a 46 year old. Since taking these supplements: I now sleep 7-8 hours rested, I excel in business and I have become a top regional athlete in running, kayaking and mountain biking. Not to mention that my sexual energy is that of an 18 year old once again. I
am down to my college weight and the lines on my face have disappeared and my skin is softer and more youthful. I am very sensitive to many supplements so that my body will let me know quickly if I react poorly. For example, more then 20 mg of B-complex and my body responds negatively. I cannot use co-enzyme Q-10 and I do not feel the benefit of vitamin C supplements. I also take a combination of herbs 600 mg per day that increase sexual
energy and mental focus. I can send them to you if you would like. I will continue to follow your research with interest and do appreciate all of the research and testimonials that you publish and any feedback, and I will see what happens when I reduce my dosages and I will let you know.
   No, I have not noticed any hair loss or rapid heart beat, but I also must tell you that I work out anaerobically at least three times per week, so my level of fitness is extraordinarily high. I am not sedentary as many of your users may be. In fact, I have come off everything. I half dosed the Alpha Lipoic the 1st day and the DHEA and Pregnenolone. I ran to my max capabilities last night around the track and did notice a bit more fatigue near the end. I will stay off for a couple of days and see what happens and let you know. If things turn for the worse, I will attempt to come off more slowly. So far I feel great even without all these medications.

I turn to your website so often for good counsel. I've been dealing with Hashimoto's, adrenal insufficiency, and the usual low DHEA and testosterone, debilated digestion, and all the usual range of accompanying symptoms. A couple of things I began trying have been helping and since they are not listed on your site, I wonder whether you want to add them to your list to build some research and reader input: Moducare Sharks Liver Oil Taking these two has resulted in a resounding reduction in puffinessof my eyelids and face and a general overall feeling of 'resiliency.' And, my thyroid seems to have noticably improved though I've not gone for tests since adding these to my protocol. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Alkylglycerols are the key component of the sharks liver oil, and also found in bone marrow and calves' liver. Indeed, Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez uses raw calves' liver juice in his cancer treatments. I also experience better health when eating organic/free range bone marrow and organic calves' liver (the liver of course is nutrient packed). The Sharks Liver Oil brand I use is Scandinavian Formulas, which contains just the alkylglycerols and not squalene, omega 3's and vitamin A, so it can be taken in high therapeutic doses. I personally feel better results on a low dose than the mega doses recommended for autoimmunity. There is a ton of research online, and the Price Foundation has a beautiful article on alkylglycerols. And, I keep hearing from people how taking SLO eradicated their rheumatoid arthritis, etc.... Moducare is the South African, plant sterol product, origanally developed and used there in the treatment of AIDS. I haven't found alot of independent research online but my personal experience has been excellent, and I have an extremely delicate system. I'm not sure it should be used in all AI situations. Both Sharks Liver Oil and EV Coconut Oil: you know all the phenomenal benefits. I think since you have so many readers, that adding it to your list would help so many people for many health concerns. It improves my digestion, immunity, metabolism. It's so powerful hormonally as well. And, it is so soothing to a weary internal system. It has become one of my core medicinal foods. And, it tastes so darn good. Thank you for considering my input - your wisdom and knowledge have profoundly guided me through my health difficulties, and I hope that my experience can help others, too, in some small way.

My wife's neurologist just recently diagnosed her with Progressive SupraNuclear palsy. What natural treatments do you recommend with that diagnosis?
    Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a rare brain disorder that causes serious and permanent problems with control of gait and balance. The most obvious sign of the disease is an inability to aim the eyes properly, which occurs because of lesions in the area of the brain that coordinates eye movements. Some individuals describe this effect as a blurring. Affected individuals often show alterations of mood and behavior, including depression and apathy as well as progressive mild dementia. I have not studied the natural treatment of this condition to know what works.    


Looking for this situsterin product found info on but in german. do you know the product and where to get some?
   I am not familiar with a situsterin product.


I would like to know if you have any natural supplement for Saltzman degeneration.
    Not at this time.