Inter-relationships Between Digestive Health and Immune Health with Sophie Alexander
Welcome everyone. Thank you for joining me on the gorgeous afternoon to learn about digestive health and how it connects with immune health. Before I launch into it I’ll just do a little bit of the zoom guidelines. So, I am going to run through my presentation please don’t hesitate at any point if you have questions, just use the chat to communicate with me and I will do my best to keep checking that chat and answering questions, as relevant as we go through, and just stay muted the whole time to avoid disruption.
Okay I am eager to sharing this topic with you today. Excuse me, just bear with me; I have to learn how to navigate the zoom screens. As a nutritionist and especially someone who has struggled a lot through my life with digestive health, this is very important topic and a very relevant topic. I find I am addressing it daily in the clinic, and so to give a little background about me, my name is Sophie Alexander I am the owner and practitioner for the Nutritional Wellness Center and I began my own journey with my own health. Gosh, so many years ago, but I began Nutritional Response Testing on my body about 12 years ago.
But I really started to become aware with health issues when I went to college and I started having so many digestive issues. Really, severe gas and bloating and then it was once I started struggling with Lyme disease soon after graduating from undergrad, that I really was like “okay, I need to figure out what is going on with my health.” And it led me to the direction of actually finding the Nutritional Wellness Center as a client, and then being an employee, and then purchasing it a couple of years ago and it is through this bad journey that I’ve really come to understand so much about the connection between digestion and how it impacts immune health. And I really want to make this connection better known. I find in practice there are so many reasons that some people have compromised digestive systems and that and this then can impact their immune system and compromises their immune system. Through the world of Nutritional Response Testing we definitely know and discovered that anything can cause anything. So, what we need to find out is what is causing it for you. If you are struggling with particular concerns in these areas or if you know someone who is, and wants to have better solutions for them.
So many people on a regular basis, in their day-to-day life are dealing with bloating, gas, constipation. It’s an epidemic in the United States. Diarrhea, indigestion, reflux. It is incredibly common for people to be on all sorts of proton prohibits to things like anti-acids. GERD, which stands for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, excuse me there! Irritable Bowel Syndrome and I think too many people think that these are things that people live with, and they don’t know that there is anything that they can do about it.
So, that is one part of what I want to talk about today, for folk to understand what we can do about it. But I think also with these times, being in the midst of this pandemic, still, lots of folk are wanting to answer the question for why certain people are struggling so much with the Virus Covid-19, and why? First they thought that well, if you are older you can get more seriously ill, but now people of all ages are getting quite ill, and others not at all. Trying to understand that, I think this conversation about how connected our immune health or our digestive health plays an important role in understanding that.
So, first we will start with a simple overview, of what the digestive system is. Right, so the digestive system consists of the parts the body that work together to turn our food and our liquids into the building blocks and fuel that our bodies need to run themselves. Digestion begins actually even before you start eating. So, a lot of people don’t realize that and as you think about food, taste food, see it, the gastric juices start being released. Just as a little side note, it can very much help digestive issues just to be more mindful about when you start eating, pausing, eating slowly, taking that deliberate time to eat, and preparing to eat. Because everything starts preparing your stomach initially for the ingestion of food.
So, of course we eat through our mouths, the food goes down through our esophagus, which is a long stretchy pipe about 10 inches and moves the food down into the stomach. A lot happens in the stomach but the stomach does have three most important jobs. Number one, it stores food that is come in, and it break that food down into a liquid mixture and it slowly starts emptying that liquid mixture into the small intestine. The stomach takes a lot of time to churn mash and mix food up and then releasing it in small amounts and it really changes the pH of the food. It makes it more acidic to help kill bacteria that is in that food, and for the release of gastric juices from the stomach wall, to get it prepped for the small intestine to accept it. And that’s an area where a lot of trouble can start because either there is not enough acid in the stomach and food starts to sit too long or starts to rot, or there is not enough bile that is being released from the gall bladder and thus the stomach is responding to not being in the right environment in the small intestine that the food gets released into.
Okay, so the small intestine where a lot of nutrients absorption takes place. Small intestine is 22 feet long, it’s quite incredible. Its job is to break down food, this food mixture coming from the stomach even more. So, the majority of vitamins and mineral, proteins, carbohydrates and fats can be absorbed. Only a little bit of absorption of nutrients happens in the stomach, just to back up a little bit. It is mostly protein and protein absorption, some mineral absorption and specifically B vitamin absorption. But the majority of the nutrient absorption comes from the small intestine and it is helped out by the pancreas, from digestive enzymes released from the pancreas, bile made and stored in the gall bladder which is then released specifically to help digest fats.
The big thing about the small intestine, and I am not sure many people realize, is that it also plays a huge role in keeping out pathogens and toxicities. A lot of people talk about how the gut is actually where we have the outside on the inside, if that phrase makes sense, because you have all these outside foods that is travelling through us. But then there are cells just like our skin cells protecting our organs and internal body from the food that is travelling through our system. Through the small intestine is one layer of epithelial cells which are skin cells that line the inside of you gut, and these cells are only one cell thick so it can be very vulnerable and it easily can get damaged and have dysfunction.
So, the crucial part of this gut lining that these cells that we are talking about that can malfunction, is the tight junctions which are complex proteins between the epithelial cells. These tight junctions connect these cells together and they regulate what can pass between them, so these tight junctions are like border control agents, and they are really meant to not allow anything to pass through that shouldn’t.
But when they get damaged, unwanted items like bacteria, undigested food, they can squeeze through these gaps between the gut epithelial cells. This is where then we start to get an unwanted immune response, because of course it comes to the body’s defense. First of all, what can create this gap? Harmful microbes and parasites can impact and alter the tight junctions in the gut wall and this results in a bigger gap between the cells and this lead to a phrase you might have heard of as leaky gut.
So, parasites are very common. A lot of people don’t realize this or talk about it, but they are something that live-in most people, and it comes down to whether there are too many of them or if the body’s homeostasis balance is off. Same with all sorts of different microbes, because our intestines are full of all sorts of bacteria and we want them to be generally beneficial to us. Particularly the large intestine, which you may have heard of wanting to have good probiotics in there. But this balance can easily get off and I am going to be talking about more reasons why they can get off. These harmful microbes and parasites can add to the leakiness of the gut. Also, dietary factors, food sensitivities, chemicals in foods, they can trigger this reaction as well, and they increase the body’s release of zonulin. Zonulin is a protein that is involved in controlling these tight junctions between the epithelial cells.
So, what happens is things leak through and larger items and items that are not supposed to be coming through the junctions. And there is a whole labyrinth of the immune system right there, right beneath that for the body’s defense. If you have ever heard this phrase 70 percent to 80 percent of your immune system is found in the gut, this is what we are talking about. It is actually called Gut-Associated Lymphatic Tissue or GALT for short. This lymphatic tissue is all throughout the small intestines and so it’s job is to immediately rush to the body’s defense and to attack unwelcome and unwanted molecules that are passing through and put those microbes and toxins and undigested food out of commission.
The problem is that, you know that we are living lives that have so many food like substances and are not actually real foods that the level of toxicities, the level of chemicals in food are so much higher. Thus, the rise of so many more digestive issues and thus the rise of the leakiness in the intestines. This immune response that is not supposed to have so much work to do, has a lot of work to do, and this is really the big crux of it. In the sense that you now have a heightened immune response very regularly in the body and this leads to a lot of systematic inflammation and it can be the underlying piece of many auto-immune conditions as well. As you see listed here, many other health concerns that are associated with having this compromise in the digestive system.
So, this is more of what I was talking about. Just in general, people’s stress levels are incredibly high this past year, that is the main thing I have been hearing from clients. You can see how high the stress level is in terms of what they are trying to juggle, as well as overall concern listening to the news, and the state of the world. Yeah, many people have access to very poor foods and make poor food choices. The amount of medications in use you know and then the body dealing with the infections. And as I mentioned earlier, all these toxicities that particularly come from personal care products, from cleaning products and that are literally in the food, on the food, sprayed in the ground to grow the food, thus ends up in the water. Right, and a big piece of that is the pesticide glyphosate which they are now talking about being in everyone’s bodies in the water and in the soil.
So, that’s really my view point on why so many people are struggling with Covid-19, in such serious ways when overall people think of them as healthy. I know this is a very broad generalization, and there are people known to have core morbidities or have been very frail in certain ways. But for those situations where like “oh, my cousin who is 30 and was healthy got so sick and that was really scary”, I encourage you to think about other ways how people can be quite unwell and not necessarily having diabetes or having a heart condition. Because they could easily on a daily basis have all this digestive dysfunction that they are not just addressing and living with a very high level of inflammation and immune deregulation, that is now contributing to their immune system response, when faced with this new virus.
So, these are very broad steps that I’ll talk about in a little more detail but I do feel that is a huge part of improving digestive health and thus contributing to immune resiliency. Number one, is taking different steps to address stress levels and that can take different forms for each individual. It is not my place or training to tell you which one, just that it is such an essential part of maintaining good health. So, it could be getting out for walks or doing meditation or yoga practice. Just bear with me, I am just noticing the chat.
Oh, and I am just learning that there was a delay in some of you getting the link and I am so sorry
to hear that because I am in the midst of things now and you are just jumping on. So yeah, I see that some of you are just joining me. Well, I am going to move on. I definitely have flexibility and time today so I’m kind of almost near the end of some of my slides, but I what I can do is move forward a little bit and then go back for those of you that would like to stay on with me. I hope that sounds like a good solution.
Alright, so I have been talking about different ways to handle stress so this one, “following a healthy balance diet.” That is such a broad statement, right? And you know that I particularly specialize in what is the correct diet for each individual, and I do not believe that there is one diet over all that everyone needs to eat. Except that I do very much see that there are these overarching principles that apply to everyone and those principles are to eat real food. You know that looks like food, meaning avoiding processed foods and avoiding refined foods, and avoiding refined sweeteners and commercial oils right, so that’s the broad guidelines
The details of that, are you somebody who needs to eat more or less protein, or someone who can tolerate grains, or who cannot tolerate grains or can tolerate certain sweeteners or not? Those are the nitty gritty details that very much needed to be figured out per the individual. But in general, you know, I mean it’s food that either you need to cook yourself, eat it raw, or prepare in a way to eat it versus. something that comes in a package. Or if it does come in a package you can recognize everything on that label, and the ingredients label is short and the ingredients label is also recognizable foods. And then you know, avoiding completely any white sugar or refined sugars and staying far away from what I called refined vegetable oils; canola oil, sun flower oil. And making sure that you have the opposite of that, the good fats in the diet. Specifically, to heal and repair those epithelial cells that I was talking about earlier who plays such a vital role, you know like our defenders along the digestive tract.
Bone broth is particularly amazing because it contains a high level of glutamine which is an amino acid that helps to repair those tight junctions and repair those cells. It is incredibly restoring thing to have in your diet and so for anyone that is showing these signs of leaky gut syndrome. Which I tell the majority of clients I see, encourage them to get bone broth into their diet regularly. Whether that is drinking it as a warm beverage, using it as a base in soups or stews. My husband makes a green smoothie in the morning and uses bone broth as a liquid in it. I am not willing to do that but I think it is awesome that he does it and he seems to enjoy it.
For clients who are unable or unwilling or really does not appeal to them to have bone broth, we do have them use collagen and so collagen can come in a powder. It is more easy to use and to hide in a smoothie or in beverages and it is tasteless odorless powder that has been derived from collagen. So, the way you can make collagen is you can harvest the joints of the animal or the hide of an animal and collagen of course gets really thick and gelatinous especially when heated and cooled. So, that is how you make gelatin. So, the collagen is processed just a little bit further than that so that it does not behave in the same way and will disappear into wherever you are trying to hide it. So, I use that in smoothies regularly I hide it in my kids oatmeal. That can be another great source of amino acid and glutamine that helps to repair the epithelial cells in the small intestine.
As I was talking about just how much the level of toxicity impacts the digestive tract and those impact the immune system – whenever possible avoiding unnecessary medications, avoiding toxicities in the sense of what are your personal care products what are you putting on your skin. Have you looked them up on the Environmental Working Group website where they can be rated? You want to be using items that rated a one or two and you will be shocked at just how many items, even things that you think are healthier options, really have a high chemical load that has not been proven safe for humans. Same with personal cleaning products, things you are using regularly and it makes such a difference to eat organic.
The environmental working group that I just mentioned publishes each year, the clean 15 and the dirty dozen and they just recently came out with their newest list and on top of the list of the dirty dozen; meaning the things grown with the most pesticides, is strawberries and we are coming into strawberry season, so excited. So, it is just one of those places here you can make you realize it is worth spending the extra money buying it organic to be reducing that pesticide exposure. Another big place to be aware of is your water, and your water source. Whether you are on city water or on well water, knowing what is in your water and filtering it, is another way that you can significantly decrease unwanted exposure to all sorts of pharmaceuticals to pesticides to fungicides. As well as in city water chlorine and fluoride exposure.
If you do have immune challenges whether you know it or not, it plays a huge role. That’s something that we do at the Nutritional Wellness Center which is help the body restore its balance, restore its homeostasis, whether its parasitical, whether it is viral, all these things live in us. And it is about getting it back into balance so they are not causing symptoms and causing distress to the digestive tract, thus leading to an overdone immune response.
But I want to explain a little bit more, I have this triangle here, as you can see I have a compromised digestive system on the top, and I have down in the other corner nutritional deficiencies and then I have organ dysfunction. So, I just want to explain that if you are dealing with any kind of digestive symptoms, the more obvious ones I am talking about, bloating gas, constipation, diarrhea, reflux, then you have nutritional deficiencies because of that lack of absorption. Because you have nutritional deficiencies and because you have organ dysfunction, because unfortunately your organs are then not getting the support that they need to run all their functions and be vital.
If you notice with a triangle if you pull on the corner of the triangle and then you throw off the other two corners. So, you know, even if you don’t have obvious digestive issues but you know some other organ is off, you have been diagnosed with something—say fatty liver or overactive bladder or some other where you know an organ is not doing its job correctly—then that is going to pull off the triangle too, and that means you have compromised digestion and that means you have nutritional deficiencies.
So, it can go, you know, you can pull one corner off and you know you are throwing off the other two corners. What can happen is through time, as you just start having a downward spiral, you have further and further organ dysfunction, further nutritional deficiencies that can further compromise the digestive tract. Until eventually you do actually get diagnosed with digestive symptoms too. You know like, “oh, why is this reflux here all of a sudden” or “it has gone far enough that there is auto immune disease that is being diagnosed” or things like that which are part of that heightened immune response which are unchecked for a long time. It needs to be stopped somewhere we need to put a stop in this triangle and stop that downward spiral, and then start to stabilize the body and rebuild. But at least first stop the damage and then begin to address the nutritional deficiencies, address the organ dysfunction, address the compromises and the digestive system, and help the body rebuild and repair!
A big thing I want to draw your attention to is that you can take that digestive dysfunction and replace it with sugar and just realize that sugar causes nutritional deficiency and sugar causes organ dysfunction. So, especially in the line of work I do, which is counseling people to change their diets, is really asking people to recognize that their currently daily habits of how they eat can be very much playing a role in their health issues. That a big part of getting well and starting rebuild and repair the body is that willingness to look for the places where the sugar is and make those changes so that that part of this triangle can stop spiraling downward.
So, this is what we do in the office on a daily basis at the Nutritional Wellness Center. As I was talking about helping the body to stabilize and then helping it to rebuild. We use a system of analysis called Nutritional Response Testing where we use to analyze the body and in order to determine what we call the underlying causes of ill health.
When these are corrected through safe and natural means the body can repair itself in order to maintain and attain more optimal health and it is truly amazing. Just the clients we see on a regular basis when we even see me clinician saying, “oh gosh there is so much further we need to go to repair and rebuild the organ systems,” but when we get to that first step of stopping that downward spiral, you know, people getting their energy back or just observing that their poops are healthier or having not so much bloating and how that builds over time.
So, we designed our programmes to address why people have digestive issues that are affecting their immunity or if it’s the reverse, if there is someone who comes in and they get sick all the time and prolonged. We address what has gone out of balance in their system. I often see a basis in digestive issues and start to repair it, so that it doesn’t happen. It allows us to be very specific and accurate in handling what each individual body needs.
So, I say the time is now right, as we are especially in the midst of this pandemic where we have so much focus on wanting to be well, and wanting to stay healthy, really working to optimize your health in these different ways. Especially in ways that you might not even know that you need further support. But particularly if you are dealing with digestive issues that is basically your body’s warning signs—sorry my screen went blank there. These are your body’s warning signs that things are not right and you may not be thinking that this is connected to your immunity or would have any impact on how your body responds to a viral exposure. But you absolutely can be proactive and your absolutely can take your health to a new level.
Alright everybody, so that is my overall presentation, and what I think I will do is I will stop recording and then if folks have questions.
Balancing the Thyroid: Do’s and Don’ts with Sophie Alexander!
Alright, we are going to get started. Again, welcome everyone, I am Sophie Alexander, I am the owner and lead practitioner of the Nutritional Wellness Center and I am excited today to be talking to you all about balancing the thyroid. It is a topic that I find to be so pertinent to many of my clients as well. As I have my own personal experiences with it, especially after giving birth and the rebalancing that takes place. Sometimes when issues start to show up post-partum and there is a lot of misinformation out there! People not really realizing how to get to the bottom of it. So eager to be going through all of this with you all.
Before I get started just a general reminder for zoom talks, it is really helpful if you mute yourself. If you are not familiar with zoom you can go to me speaking and in the corner of your screen. There are these three little dots and you can click on that and it says pin speaker or pin. That way just incase that someone else’s speaker does come up, where the computer picks up on it, it will stay fixed on me and the PowerPoint. I am happy to answer questions as we go if you can use the chat for that, or I will also pause at the end to answer questions. So, whatever ends up working best.
Alright, so balancing the thyroid. Do you feel that thyroid is overlooked when it comes to hormonal balance and misunderstood too? So, we will be talking about it. But first of all, we will go into the bigger picture and talk about what the endocrine system is. So, a lot of folks don’t realize what their endocrine system is. So, it is your hormonal system, and there are many players in it. You have it start up in the brain, you have your pineal gland and right in the center you have the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland both which make and store hormones. Then it communicates with other glands lower down. There is your thyroid, parathyroid which is on the lobes of the thyroid, you have the thymus gland, the adrenal glands, your kidneys your pancreases your ovaries, they all talk to each other.
And I might, okay here we go alright. Getting used to my computer in the PowerPoint, so bear with me too. So, I love this slide and I have used it to share with the clients, it is just really complex, the interconnected relationship of the hormonal organs, because the endocrine system is involved in most of our core metabolic function and thus it is the interconnectivity communication of all these different pieces that keep us healthy and keep our hormones balanced.
So, as you can see, we have the hypothalamus talking to the pituitary and then all these messages getting sent out, messages getting sent to the thyroid, out to the adrenals, out to the gonads. But at the same time, I mean, this will tie into things I talk about later because we are talking about digestion, liver, so you can’t talk about one without talking about the other because really these glands are systems, they are not in isolation. If someone says to you, “you have things off-ish in your thyroid,” you have things off elsewhere too and that is why the thyroid is off, and we just have to figure out what is the underlying reason of why this interconnected relationship has gone off.
So, as I mentioned earlier the thyroid is often under looked and misunderstood in terms of not only how important it is to health, but also why it is not functioning optimally. There are so many clients who come to me saying that they are dealing with, “my hair Is falling out or my skin is really dry or I am constipated, I am having a hard time losing weight,” describing a lot of symptoms that are tied to hyperthyroid. but then they say to me I have been to the doctor they ran my blood work, my TSH which stands for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone is normal or within normal limits. So, the doctor says nothing to be done. Or so many women are told, you are depressed or you know it is in your head. And we find that with the Nutritional Wellness Response Testing, absolutely things are under functioning. It’s about what we call sub-clinical hypothyroid and we go about figuring out how to rebuild it and how to support it.
So yes, a healthy thyroid is crucial for thousands of important functions in your body. So, as I mentioned earlier, metabolism and weight regulation. A lot of people who don’t know that keeping your cholesterol levels within a healthy range; thyroid plays a big role with that too, mental clarity, regulating sleep patterns heart function, your digestion, simulation, and of course hormonal balance includes maintaining healthy menstrual cycles, fertility and pregnancy. Having the thyroid be just right and supporting it well has actually been a big player for any infertility cases that I have had the joy of helping women get pregnant.
Alright, so as I was saying that the thyroid is so interconnected to these other systems. Two huge ones that I see in clinical practice are the health of the adrenals and the health of the liver. So, your adrenal glands, for those of you that don’t know, are little glands about the size of a walnut that sit on top of your kidneys. They help regulate so many functions of the body. They regulate metabolism, immune response, blood pressure, blood sugar, they are most known though for your response to stress. They send out the stress hormones, the thyroid and the adrenals works really closely together to supply essential hormones and deliver them where they need to be throughout the body.
But when your adrenal glands are not producing enough hormones or they are producing too much, especially in the sense of stress hormones. A big imbalance that I see is someone who is dealing with a lot of stress in their life and the body is then caught up in that fight or flight, go-go-go, always stress handling mode. So the body is sending out a lot of adrenaline producing a lot of cortisol, which are stress hormones and then because of that, interconnected graph that we saw as an earlier slide there is actually a feedback loop that happens in the body. When those stress hormones are really high and dominant the body helps the thyroid kind of turn down the dimmer—if you think of thyroid gland with a dimmer switch—the thyroid gets dimmer and dimmer and it’s not of course then sending out the messages that it should be. You start getting these symptoms that show as, they start fitting the perspective of hypothyroid.
And then we have the liver which is one of my favorite organs. The liver has again multiple functions and it plays a big role in metabolizing hormones. So, when the liver is not doing well—just to let a few more people into the waiting room—but if the liver is not doing well, then you can have a hormonal build up in the body. It is a big part of how estrogen dominance can take place because the body is not clearing excess estrogen out through the bile and there is a lot of congestion with the bile. And then the hormones remain in circulation in the body and then all the feedback mechanisms that the body respond to—how many hormones it has in circulation—gets thrown off. The liver plays a big role in detoxification as well. It is a storage unit, whenever we have excess glucose in our body from our diet, it gets stored in the liver’s glycogen. Then once we are not eating and we have run out of blood glucose in the blood, the liver starts breaking it down the glycogen again.
The liver also plays a big role in thyroid metabolism, it is in the liver that your T3 which is one of your thyroid hormones gets converted to T4. So, T4 is what we utilize. But if that conversion is not happening properly in the liver, then again the numbers would be off. And if your doctor is just running the TSH which is the Thyroid Stimulating Hormones, which is the messenger trying to get out, it does not actually gave us a clear picture of what is going on, what your body has to work with.
So, this is a bit of a side, in terms of talking about the liver and thyroid balance. But it is so crucial if you are wanting your doctor to give you feedback through blood work of your thyroid function, to have them run your free T3 and your free T4. So, then you know actually what you are working with. If we see plenty of T3, but barely any T4 we know that it’s actually more of a liver issue and things getting bogged down in that thyroid metabolism there.
Alright, and so with thyroid, health toxins playing a huge role. This is one of the biggest things I have seen in clinical practice and one of the way that we see really amazing changes with hormonal balance is when we start getting to the root cause of these toxicities blocking the function of the hormone organs.
One of my favorite cases is with a client who is in 6 years and she could not get pregnant, and we started working together and we found a lot of toxicities in the thyroid gland and as soon as we started moving those toxicities were out she was a little surprised, but she was pregnant in 6 weeks. And that was amazing.
So, let talk about fluoride, so fluoride in my experience plays a role in hypothyroidism and it is in many water supplies. The chemical structure of fluoride is very similar to that of iodine so can displace iodine and sneak into its receptor place on the thyroid and block thyroid hormone from getting formed. Same and true with chlorine, it has a very similar structure. So, drinking water is a big issue specially if you suspect anything with thyroid health. If you are on city water where they are adding chlorine and they are adding fluoride to the water, and thus getting filter that you know will clear those things out is crucial.
Bromide is also similar in mechanism of blocking the thyroid function. Bromide can be found in many types of bread and baked goods. They are made with brominated flour and it is used in making fumigants and dyes and flame-proof agents so it can be in your couches or in some clothing. It’s used in certain water purification compounds, and sanitizers, agents for photography. There can be some in vegetable oils, and it is used as an emulsifier in many citrus flavored soft drinks. So, it is around. I was recently listening to a lecture recently that was telling me that it is on a lot of brand new—gosh sorry my kids are yelling in the background. It is on a lot of new things like your new laptop or your new cellphone and so when you are touching them and starting to use them, you can get bromide on your body.
Alright mercury, is also a big contaminant that I pick up a lot with my work in Nutritional Response Testing and see connected a lot with hormonal imbalances, in particular thyroid dysfunction. So, mercury is high in many fish including tuna, but it is also broadly there in the environment than that. I have had clients who have not had tuna in years and they still are dealing with mercury issues. It can be in their teeth, if they are at a certain age if they have had an amalgam fillings, and yeah there are multiple ways it can accumulate environmentally unfortunately.
When I first ever got hold of the Nutritional Wellness Response Testing for the first time which was about 12 years ago now, my first test like the main issue was mercury and that is I am very fortunate that I have never had a filling and didn’t eat a lot of tuna and it was not one of those things. It accumulated somehow and the biggest thing about it is working on clearing it out.
Alright then we get into the broader topic of the environmental toxins, which can damage the thyroid. It can recruit antibodies to attack the thyroid it can be an underlying cause of autoimmune thyroid disease complications, by environmental toxins I meant. I was referring to things like plastics and industrial plastics, pesticides. There are over 80,000 chemicals in use of in the USA and very few have been studied in terms of human safety and particular in things like personal care products. There are only thirty chemicals in personal care banned for use in the USA.
So, our great resource that I have pointed people to are the Environmental Working Group and their website is EWG.org. I love the resources that they provide every year. They put out a list called the clean 15 and the dirty dozen, and the clean 15 are the fruits and vegetable that are the least sprayed so that you can buy them not organic and not have a high pesticide overload vs. the dirty dozen which are the most heavily sprayed and thus you should buy organic. It is really a great way if you are not someone who is aware of those things or not sure where to put your dollars toward organic, it can really customize that.
It also has a database called the skin deep data base where you can search your personal care products and get the rating for the toxicity level and you really want to be using personal care products that rate on 1 or 2 on their scale. And it can be shocking as you start to look through your medicine cabinet and bathroom and realize how many ways you are getting more environmental toxins and because our skin is our largest organ we do absorb everything that we put to our bodies and it start accumulating and creating dysfunction. I did forget to say at the beginning that I am happy to send these slides to you as well so you don’t have to be furiously taking notes. If you want this data I am happy to email it to you.
I am realizing that—oh, and Jo your question about cleaning the new bromide off the laptop I don’t know about that—It is my understanding from the lecture that I listened to really was just, it is there and the lecture was more from the focus of how do we move forward and how do we clean these things off of our bodies it was very much of an approach of saying that these toxins are around that and we have to deal with them and have to build up our own resiliency and there was not any data there about how to clean it off, so I will keep looking in terms- because I am interested in that as well but I don’t have an answer for that right now.
Alright, and my next piece is all about diet, right. For sure diet can improve hormone balance and can nourish and repair the thyroid gland in general I came from the perspective that there is no one right diet, that works for everyone, but there are a few themes that for sure do apply to everybody there more as that we can move away from processed food, processed sugars brands that refine oils – it makes a huge difference with health and so, as a base line we want to be eating real food, that we know where it comes from and that you recognize all the ingredients of what you are consuming. But at the same time, you know for healing there are a lot of people who have to make certain changes in terms of supporting their body’s health to repair. And so, for some it looks a bit more different from others. I do find that there is a big theme, folks who have hormone imbalances and thyroid imbalances have a history of not eating good quality fats and really need to focus on those fats and to rebuild for the body to have the building blocks to repair. So, in general you know, the thyroid loves coconut and coconut oil and avocados and extra virgin olive oil and as a nutritionist, I will often encourage people to be having on top of cooking with these oils and eating them.
Taking coconut oil as a supplement at least a tea spoon a day additionally on top of everything else to be eating, to give them those good fats to help the body to repair. Thyroid also uses a lot of B vitamins and so if someone has a history of being vegetarian work on building in sources of B’s because those are the most predominant in beef and liver and eggs. So I am a big proponent of eating very clean sources of those so that they can be pasteurized eggs and you know local or organic knowing the farmer even idelly of how that animal is raised and fed, especially for sources of liver or beef, you don’t want to be eating animals that have antibiotics and pesticides in the brain. Things like that.
Alright, there are some key things that the thyroid needs, and are often developed in to deficiencies and thus will use a supplementation but also like to educate people about where you can get them from the diet right. So, here we have iodine and a lot of people are like well we have iodine salt and I am getting enough.
But salt is a big topic in itself. I highly encourage people to not have table salt that has been infused with iodine, because that salt has been bleached and it has been stripped of all the other trace elements that are needed in the body to run multiple functions.
I recommend that people have mineralized salt like the brand ‘Real Salt’ which comes from a salt bed in Utah or pink Himalayan sea salt. Thus, the body is getting a whole broad mineral spectrum from that salt and can utilize what it needs. But those types of salts are not high particularly in iodine. So, there’s a need to know where else to get it from the diet. So, iodine is most predominantly in fish, and in seaweed, and in shrimp, it is in dairy products too. So, grass fed cultured butter can be a good source of iodine. It is in eggs as well. But if someone is iodine deficient, or you know has had many years of chemicals blocking those iodine receptors and the thyroid is desperate. Once we start moving those chemicals out, we need to be plying the bodies with extra iodine for the thyroid to recover, then we will supplement with it.
Zinc and Selenium are two minerals as well, that are often deficient and we use to nourish the thyroid. Zinc you can get from eating oysters, from red meat, chicken and beans, from nuts and from pumpkin seeds. But I do find often people don’t get enough. Even if they are consuming the diversity of those things, one way you can tell about zinc deficiency is if you have white dots on your nails. Nails can tell you a lot about mineral balance. If you have ridged nails or nails that break easily but the white dots are specific to Zinc deficiency.
Selenium, is found in brazil nuts, in sea food, and in organ meats, you can get a good dose of Selenium by eating three brazil nuts every day. As I said, same with iodine, if the body needs a higher amount to heal and repair but there is where the supplementation can be key.
Alright, a lot of question about soy when it comes to hormonal balance in general. Particularly about thyroid health. One of the biggest issue I have with soy is that it is everywhere in a lot of processed foods and usually that quality of soy had been treated with a lot of pesticides. So, I in general encouraged people to avoid soy. Just for that reason alone. But dietary soy products also contain isoflavones. They can inhibit the action of thyroid peroxidase, so that is required for thyroid synthesis. So yeah, some worry that dietary soy may boost the risk for hypothyroidism. I definitely have seen that in the sense people are over consuming it, and it is in their protein bars, for they are trying to avoid dairy for different reason so they are having soy milk, and it’s in the crackers that they eat, or yeah, any processed food that they are having and the body is overloaded. Particularly with soy oil, which is in a lot of salad dressings, even salad dressing where you look at the label and think ‘oh, that looks like a pretty good nice balsamic vinegar,’ flip it over and soil oil is the first ingredient. So, fermented soy is what is being used in more traditional sculptures so that is tempeh and miso. With bodies that are totally overloaded with soy we just pull it out completely and take a break, but the ones where people can tolerate are the fermented ones.
Alright, and so what it comes down to really is the big question of what is going on with your body. What is going on with your thyroid or with your hormonal balance? And asking that question of you as an individual. If you are dealing with any of these symptoms or having any questions of imbalance like figuring out what is going on. And is it really the thyroid gland or is it the thyroid gland in a response to other organ systems that are struggling, that balance is off and thus the thyroid is struggling and creating symptoms. So, with Nutritional Response Testing that is always the question, its treating each person as an individual and asking the question of ‘hey, what is your body’s priority?’ Why has this balance gone off and what do we do to restore it?
So, I think a lot of you that I am speaking to today, are all current clients, and these are things that maybe already addressing and hopefully took some new tools from this. Like how you can further support your healing, but if you are not currently a client, I highly encourage you to come in for initial assessment, so we can begin this process whether or not you are benefiting from the work, that Fabiola and I do. How if we are the right place to help you get to the bottom of the imbalances that you are experiencing.
Alright are there are any questions? As I went through everything there and that already came up. Because that is everything I have to share so far. But I tell you I can talk about these things for hours (laughs). But it ended up being more prompt than I thought it would be, 30 mins. So, I am happy to chat more or handle personal questions if anybody has any.
I got to pull up the chat her is bear with me. Just wondering how thyroid affect body temperature? Yeah, that is one of thyroids functions. You mostly experience it when it is off, people can feel super cold, it is a symptom of thyroid under functioning. If you have very cold hands or feet. But then the interaction of the thyroid and the adrenals, can be a big role of why women are experiencing hot flashes when going through menopause. Yeah having that deregulation as well. I mean it all comes down to how the messages of the different hormones that regulate our body temperature get communicated.
Yeah so people who don’t have thyroid trouble how to avoid it. In general, working on toxicities, I would say, is a one of the biggest ways like cleaning up your own lifestyle. In terms of sourcing of food and sourcing of personal care products and eating a lot of cruciferous vegetables. These are a category of your kale and brussel sprouts and broccoli and cabbages, and they are all really helpful with helping the liver to clear out excess hormones. So, one of the best ways to keep a thyroid happy is to keep your liver happy.
So, good questions, I’m thinking anything else that popped into my head. I did mention earlier that I will download these slides and send them to everybody. Also yeah, the big thing about blood work. I think that is a question I get a lot right. Because it can be part of a standard like, you say – do you say to your doctor ‘oh, I am wondering about my thyroid’ or ‘I am having trouble losing weight’ or ‘I am dealing with, dry skin or brain fog or feeling really sluggish and fatigued’, then the doctor will run your TSH but that is just a small window into what is going on with the thyroid and we really want to run a full thyroid panel if you want to have more insight as to what is going on there.
Thyroid issues in men. I do see thyroid issues in men, I work more with women, in general which is just why I speak about that more off the cuff in terms of sharing client experiences. And I have seen thyroid problems as a result of Lyme disease, that was the question do you see thyroid issues in men and have you seen thyroid problems as a result of Lyme disease. Yeah, I am trying to pull up a specific example. I don’t have a neat case study to share. In the places where I have seen it has been interconnected with a lot of other issues coming up.
So, one particular case that comes to mind is like, it was the actually the adrenals were the priority, but the thyroid was struggling as well. The adrenals were struggling due to toxicities as well and the Lyme. Particularly the issues of chronic Lyme where the body is not as good at handling the Lyme because of underlying toxicities and not and not able to clear it out as well. Then it can depend too on how chronic the Lyme is whether it is being handled, or whether it is known to have been an issue or whether it is just starting to show up with these to her symptoms that are not as obvious.
Have I ever had anyone experience in neuropathy or nerve disorder with thyroid? I am not thinking of a case right now where that was the real obvious underlying issue, for neuropathy. Yeah no I would say I definitely see a lot of reasons for neuropathy and nerve disorders and again a big piece with underlying toxicities and underlying immune imbalances but no particular insight about thyroid tied into that per se.
Another great question; is there routine blood work? Should people ask to monitor for thyroid if they are not experiencing thyroid imbalance during the physical and things like that. Well for blood work, least for me not having great health insurance one of those crazy high deductible plan things, blood work is kind of expensive and comes out of pocket. So, I don’t personally run these things on myself but if someone has access and it gets paid for, then it is running the THS which is the thyroid stimulating hormone, the T3, T4 and also the free T3 and the free T4 and then the antibody test which gives tests for hashimotos, and that is a really great thyroid panel and it is just whether you can get it approved for the run. If there are any inkling, like if the THS is off which is often more standard to be run than running that more complex pattern, but if you can run all that regularly that is fantastic.
Awesome folks, thanks for the questions and if other ones come up, you can also email the office and I’m happy to continue the conversation. It is really such an important thing, and I often find that it is the symptoms of thyroid imbalance that start people searching and searching for other answers. It’s the brain fog, the fatigue and the inability to lose weight, and it really opens up to the really recognizing all these differ factors that affect one’s health. And how you can start taking control of your health in a very positive direction by being empowered about it. It has been a pleasure sharing with you all, and you are so welcome! thanks to all of you and yeah. Enjoy the rest of your evening!
Sophie and Tara talk all about Collagen: The all-natural protein based fountain of youth!
S: So welcome everyone, to our Power of Liquid Collagen. I think pretty much all of you know me but those of you who don’t know me—I am Sophie Alexander I am the owner and lead practitioner, at the Nutritional Wellness Center, and I have a very special guest today with me that I am super excited to have here, with me. It’s Tara Lambert who is the former owner of nutritional wellness center and founder, and those of you who don’t know the story or the background, many years ago when it was 2009 and I was already dealing with chronic Lyme and chronic digestive issues that I moved to Ithaca to study herbal medicine, and I was driving down Green Street in Ithaca and I saw the sign for Nutritional Wellness Center, and I found my way there as a client and it was life-changing for me. I mean, within a few months I was no longer having stomach aches and I just really knew I was on the right path for healing it took more months because it had been so chronic with the Lyme but I got rid of chronic joint issues due to Lyme disease and gosh it just went from there. Tara inspired me to go back to school for nutrition and once I graduated with my master’s degree I asked her to hire me and she said yes. And really, the rest is history and yeah I mean she was my practitioner through my first pregnancy and a few years ago when she wanted to sell the practice and move to New York City I was all in. So, I’m thrilled to have her sharing with us just what she has been doing currently, and Tara I am going to pass it to you just for a little bit just to share more about that.
T: Thank you Sophie I am just, I cannot tell you how happy I am to be doing this talk with you, it has been 2.5 years, since you bought Nutritional Wellness Center I can’t believe that much time has gone by and the fact that we get to collaborate this way I love the fact that things can be virtual in today’s world and that we can still collaborate together. Because I am sure that most probably not everybody, but most of the people tuning in, so it feels very special to be here today! Talking to you and to everybody watching and yes I will always remember that fateful day you were sitting on my table and you very—I don’t want to use the word timidly but you like gently let me know that you had graduated and would I consider bringing you into the practice, and I played it cool. I had my poker face on and I said yeah I think that would be a good idea, let me discuss it. At the time, I was working and collaborating with some other people but inside I was jumping for joy because I already had selected you. I was already hoping that you would want to work at Nutritional Wellness Center and we worked beautifully together for years and you very quickly became the lead practitioner and then when I met my current husband, and decided to move to New York City it was the obvious thing to do, to sell you the practice and it worked out so well.
But as far as what I am doing – I want to speak mostly about the liquid collagen, but as far as what I am doing now, I practice virtually so instead of the brick and mortar practice of Nutritional Wellness Center in Ithaca New York, I am now in Manhattan in midtown and thankfully right before the pandemic hit I had just started to set myself up to see clients again virtually and it was just the best because I was able to work throughout the pandemic and we all know that people became increased—their health became more important to them in the interest of health became more important to all of us. So I was able to work with clients virtually during the pandemic and I still do and I actually focus on detox my entire practice right now is very specialized. I do a 3 month programme now that is entirely focused on deep cellular detox and repair of the body at a cellular level. I am not doing the nutritional response testing that Sophie does anymore and what I was doing at nutritional wellness center. I am doing something different.
S: Awesome, wonderful to have you with us, and we’ll be talking about liquid collagen, right? Because collagen is a super popular, super-hot topic in the nutritional world, very popular Nutritional Wellness Center we see great clinical results with it. And so for those of us or those here who are not as familiar with collagen, and you get us started about telling us more about what collagen is.
T: Sure is there any way I can see the slides, because I can’t see the slides and I want to follow them. These are technical difficulties. I do have my computer next to me I did that on purpose if in case I can’t see the slide there, I can see the slide here. I don’t want to look away–but I want to be able to see what you are seeing.
S: Okay, yeah, it might be specific to you being on your phone.
T: Yeah probably. So, I have got it up for myself. So, what is collagen? Honestly, we hear collagen everywhere just like Sophie said it is a hot topic, it is blowing up and it is not new, I have brought the powdered collagen – it was at the Nutritional Wellness Center – I think 10 years ago
T: If I recall correctly and it was big deal back then, but It was not really known. It was just when it was starting to come on in the market and I found a particular brand that I was super happy with. And I had great results personally and I know that clients had great results as you are seeing. At the time that was powdered collagen.
And the reason why collagen was so important is that it is the most abundant protein in our body. So, collagen is a protein first of all and proteins are made up of amino acids, and when people ask “what kind of protein is collagen?” the answer is that collagen is protein! So, collagen is a type of protein and it’s the most abundant protein in the body. About 80 percent of our soft tissue are connected tissues made of collagen, and so yes, as I said it circuits our body and makes us strong. There is an image here so if you are able to blow up the screen later, at any point you can see exactly what it is made out of. But it is everywhere in our body – it is in our hair, nails, skin, it’s our bones there is something called epithelial tissue which is you know we see the skin on the outside of our body but epithelial tissue lines every single organ of our body. So, it’s like the skin of every single organ, so it is our digestive track even, it’s in our liver our spleen our brain, it’s in our eyeballs, our eyelashes, eye brows. There is no part of our body that is not made up of collagen because of the soft tissue and connected tissue.
S: Awesome! Thank you! And so… bear with me…Well, so speaking of that, so it is everywhere doesn’t our body have plenty of it or aren’t we born with it?
T: If we are young! (laughs)
S: Got it!
T: So yeah, we are born with an abundance of collagen. Literally from the day we are born we start to lose collagen. It is a sad fact. The day we are born is the maximum amount of collagen we will have in our entire lifetime. However, we have plenty of it until we are about the age 25. Now everybody is ageing but up to 25, 28, 30, it starts to drop off significantly and you can see that image here. So I don’t know if either occurred, I have always heard but it didn’t know why. I have always heard doctors saying basically we are getting better through life until approximately till the age of 25, we were growing. I say we, but there may be some people who are still young watching this. For the rest of us we are pretty much all over 30. I am 46 going on 47. So, our bodies are basically building and developing until approximately the age of 25. Everybody is different, then from that age we start to break down and I never knew exactly what they were talking about, and now I know. They are specifically talking about collagen and hyaluronic acid. Let me explain hyaluronic acid in a second. We start to lose it around 35 and 30, and after the age of 30 it starts to decline rapidly about a rate of 1 to 2 percent every single year, and after the age of 65 it is pretty significant. So, if I can go back in time, I started taking collagen 10 years ago and I can explain the difference. If my looks would have been so important, I make a joke and say if I can go back in time I would start taking this one as a fetus because creatures just would not age—bottom line!
S: Awesome, Thank you!
T: You’re welcome
S: So where do we get collagen?
T: Right. So, food sources…So, we can only get collagen from animals. And I just want to bring up that point because I get asked all the time if we can get collagen from vegan sources or vegetarian sources and the answer is no. There is a lot of confusion out there on the market because there are a lot of marketed vegan collagen and vegetarian collagen and it is creating confusion. So, the vegan or vegetarian collagen are collagen boosters. So, that means like vitamin C is a collagen booster. There are certain nutrients that we can take that can boost our bodies ability to produce collagen but it is not a collagen source itself. So, the only sources of collagen are animal and it is connected tissue. So, no difference whether it is chicken, a cow, a pig a human, a fish or a bird. You know, it’s connective tissue. It’s soft tissue so we have to get it from animal soft tissue. So, that is going to mean for example, the skin of an animal, the bones of an animal the hoofs of an animal. I am keeping it to like the ones that are more palatable because once we get the differences you can see that we can actually use anything. We can use the eyes, the hair, the fur—they’ll use places that we would not—things that we would not necessarily want to eat. But as long as it is made out of connective tissue that is the source of collagen.
S: Great. That is why we see clients do so well when they are regularly doing bone broth too, because that is such a wonderful source of that collagen.
T: I would say that is the cleanest source you can make for yourself.
S: Yeah. Right, this gets more into the nitty gritty of it right, so we can get it from all of these places, but how well do we actually utilize it. If we are supplementing with collagen, how well absorbed is it?
T: Not well absorbed at all.
T: And I don’t know about you but I have read online and I have had mentors of mine actually discussing with me that collagen isn’t a really good source of protein regardless of the marketing. Because we only absorb 15 to maximum 30 percent. So, that is the powdered collagen, I have put a picture of powdered collagen there and I am not going to say any brand names. But I have a container, and we are looking at powdered collagen here. So, when we are talking about powdered collagen, when we are talking about bone broth, when we are talking about those sources, they are beneficial. So, I don’t want anybody to, um…once we get into the later part of this conversation…I am not saying that powdered collagen or bone broth isn’t effective, or doesn’t help us because it does. And we see that. I know that 10 years ago when I introduced the powdered collagen to the practice and to my body, I saw an immediate improvement. Also, as you said we do so well on bone broth, we have recommended that to our clients for as long as Nutritional Wellness Center has existed and we see that people do well. So, imagine if you are doing well at 15 to 30 percent absorption, you know, and that is such a small absorption rate, imagine if we could absorb more than that. And what I want to explain is the reason. Why we have such a low absorption rate is that the molecule, the collagen molecule itself, the way it exists in nature is huge. It’s a very large molecule. So, going back to saying what a mentor of mine, several mentors and teacher of mine, who discussed with me said, “why do you give your clients collagen, it doesn’t really get absorbed by the body?” I would answer that I see a noticeable difference. And then we would get into the science of it and basically the science of it is that the molecule itself is enormous and it does not really penetrate into the cell wall and we have to also digest it, and so if we have any kind of digestive issue with our stomach, our intestine, our liver—right away we are going to absorb less. So, maximum we could absorb 30 percent of it. Any type of digestive issue, we would be absorbing less than that, and then if our body’s cell membranes are not in good shape then we are going to just absorb even less, so it just keeps going down and down—the amount we absorb because the molecule is just—think of it like a basketball and we are trying to get it through a tennis net. You know like the little holes in a tennis net and we are trying to shove a basketball through those holes. It is not going to fit and that is what occurs when we are taking bone broth or powdered collagen when we are trying to get that into our cell walls.
S: Ok, got it. So, tell us how liquid collagen is different, as we say it is the new generation of collagen?
T: The new generation!
S: Yeah…. So what makes the liquid collagen so different?
T: I was actually going to have some. I might get some if that’s not weird, but also I will talk about what makes it so different. So, what makes it so different is the size. So, what this company did in particular is, basically it made the molecular weight of the collagen molecules small enough that it absorbed into our cells, through the blood stream. And it is very specific science, because if the molecule is too large, it won’t absorb and if the molecule is too small it won’t absorb. So, it has to be kind of like a goldilocks effect. It has to be just right (laughs). So it’s the goldilocks effect that allow molecules that are just the right size—it fits through the holes perfectly—it penetrates our cell walls through our bloodstreams. So, that is one thing, and there are seven patents on that– that science alone the size of the molecule—there are seven patients on that so it is very protected. The next thing that makes it so incredibly different is that it is not just collagen. So, we are talking about the collagen word, the buzz word—everybody’s talking about it—and the powdered collagen is just collagen. Now it is unfortunate that even if it is said that it is organic, it can still come from like the scrapings on the floor. You know hot dogs are made?
S: Mmm hmm
T: It is kind of like that. It is like hot dog collagen it can still be USDA organic and it can still be grass fed. But it is literally the snouts, literally the hoofs, it is literally the bones, the skin, just like all the parts of the animal that is not used elsewhere, it’s collected and because it is connective tissue it is made into a powdered collagen. So, the collagen that we are talking about is none of that. It is extracted from a single source, and it is external tissue. Ok good thank you. I am going to go back and forth between these two slides, because the conversation basically interweaves. So, the sternum is the breast plate. Now in a chicken it is a little bit lower. So, if it is coming from a chicken it is coming from the sternum which is the breast plate. It is coming from one piece of the sternum. It is single sourced, so 100 percent natural meaning there is no added ingredients. And the kicker is what I just said, it is not just collagen, what it is, is a matrix of collagen, hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate. And that is what human cartilage is made out of. So, this particular area of the chicken, this little tiny piece of sternum tissue from the chicken is what is called—the most bio similar—bio means life, so it is the most similar to human cartilage of anything out there. Like there has not been found a different type of cartilage that is more bio available to the human body. So basically, the body sees it as its own. It thinks “oh that is me,” and it absorbs it straight into the blood stream and absorbs it straight into the connective tissue into the joints, into the skin into the brain, it crosses the blood brain barrier – it is used by every cell of the body and because it is not just collagen it is that matrix of collagen and hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate it does more than just act like a protein. So, I am going to back up for a second—hyaluronic acid if people don’t know what that is—it is basically what hydrates us so that is what prompts up our skin, it is what prompts up our organs, it is what keeps us looking youthful. When you are babies you know how you rub their cheek and they are so plump and it is just so enjoyable to grab the cheek you want to eat them. The plumpness that you are feeling is hyaluronic acid and so basically we have the most that we are ever going to have when we are born and then it slowly decreases over time and if anybody here is familiar with, it is so popular right now to get fillers for instance, so the things that they inject in a woman’s face—that is hyaluronic acid—it is naturally occurring in our body but we lose it as we age. So, our faces they start to sag and our faces get less plump, and our bodies start to sag and our bodies get less plump and our joints. It is very important in the coronial fluid because it is so hydrating it literally keeps the fluid in our joints. So, that instead of rusting and getting creaky and getting sore it keeps us very fluid! And it keeps us to moving comfortably without pain. So that is hyaluronic acid and then chondroitin sulfate. It is not just the joints it is in our skin as well, but it is very much needed by the joints. So, it is not that these things are synthetically added, because there are some collagen products in the market that will say collagen plus hyaluronic acid, but they actually added synthetic hyaluronic acid to it, and that is not the piece to this particular collagen, it exists in nature. This matrix exists in nature and naturally adds a threesome, and that way the body just absorbs it and uses it as its own does that make sense?
S: That is very helpful thank you, and it is correct that it is so small that it is much more highly absorbed?
T: Yes. That word bio-optimizer is such a great word, because that is what makes it absorb. That is what the patents are on, to make that size. Everything I just talked abbot: the collagen, hyaluronic acid and the chondroitin sulfate is a matrix as one molecule and then that molecule is basically created – is shrunk down so instead of it being a basketball I is going to be like a pea, so instead of trying to shove this large molecule through the net, you are going to be very easily passing that pea size through the net and it is going to go straight through the cell wall.
S: Awesome. Great. So yes, as you were saying what else can it do for us?
T: So before that, I just, I get asked so many questions, lets back up a bit because I was going through the questions that I get asked a lot and so you and I—we are the same, everything has to be organic.
S: Mmm hmm
T: Everything has to be clean, and if we are going to use a supplement, we are going to study it like crazy to do research, so this was no different for me, you know where I am talking to you in public, the number one supplement brand that we use is standard process and that is a whole food supplement, and that is the best way to describe this. As a whole food collagen. It is the same concept of it, no being as synthetic and not being created in a laboratory other than the size of a molecule but it’s being extracted from nature – and in doing so it is very important that it is clean, and it is not going to be contaminated – it is not going to be – it is very important to have the right receipts in our food, and in our supplements. And this is not organic because it is not enough chickens out there to provide organic source and this volume, but it is not GMO – it is non, no antibiotics, no hormones, it is non GMO, it only comes from chicken in north America – it is hydrolyzed, it is sterilized, it is only coming from the sternum, which means it never touches the blood sources, it doesn’t touch nerves, and doesn’t touch blood and that is important because that is where the diseases are carried, so cartilage dos not have that blood source – so the diseases don’t even touch this tissue – so I did such deep dive, into this company and such a deep dive into the product because I specialize in detox –right. I literally specialize in detoxification in m program, and I work with some of the sickest of the sick – I work with a whole range, but I literally work with people that nothing else has worked for – but I am dealing with incredibly sensitive people, but I am not going to make a recommendation – to somebody that is going to be sensitive to this product or I am not going to introduce hormones or antibiotics or pesticides. That is really important.
S: Yes thank you for clarifying that because it is big thing we speak about regularly at appointments.
And that is one of the things where collagens can be contaminated. Most people don’t like to say this, but it is pesticide made by a company and mostly people know it as round duck and it is one of the most dangerous chemicals on the planet and it has contaminated our air our water our food, and unfortunately when we are dealing with concentrated products, that pesticides can be concentrated in the product –
T: Okay, we are good to go! So excited about this part!
This is the best part!
S: Tell us more about the results you have seen, and what it can do for people
T: This has been life changing. I mean it has been life changing for me personally, and for my clients. It has been practice changing for my practice. These photographs are of my people. The eye that you see—that is my mom at 80 years old. It is because after the age of 65, the sharp decrease of collagen hyaluronic acid in the body is so significant it could take someone up to 6 months to see a difference when they start to take collagen. This is my mom at 6 weeks—so that is incredible, and it is just—she told me that after the fact that her upper eyelid was bothering her so much, that it was so heavy and it was interfering with her vision. She was about to make an appointment with a doctor to have surgery on her upper eye lid to give her more comfort and more vision. Then we started on the liquid collagen and now look. I mean her eye lid is, it’s almost unbelievable to me that her eyelid is that tight. She never called the doctor and she never had the surgery.
T: The picture on the right. That is one of our colleagues. So, that is a chiropractic doctor and she is one of our colleagues that we know well. Now I don’t want people to get the wrong impression, not everyone responds this quickly but that was four weeks for her.
T: It grew back quickly, and it grew back darker
S: I know I can observe that…
T: Yeah incredible—so these are real people, these aren’t taken off some promotional site. These are my clients, and then the next page, that is my thumb! So you can see now dry my thumb nail was and that was two weeks, and again I don’t want to keep or give the false impression that everyone is going to see results in 2 weeks and 4 weeks, and 6 weeks, the clinical trials were done for 90 days. Depending on the health of the body, and depending on the age of the person it is going got take less time or more time. So, I have been working on my health for a long time so I responded very quickly. All of my clients and I am doing more of this, than just a collagen rejuvenation, I tend to do an entire programme so they tend to respond quickly. You can have a realistic expectation. It could take up to 6 months so generally speaking I say 90 to 120 days. The middle pic is my mom again, so you know we all have that turkey neck and that is my mom, and I have the turkey neck developing and I am like oh that is my future, hers is turning around and I can tell that mine is tightening up and then the pic on the right is my client Cindy – and that I don’t remember – I think that was a month.
S: That’s great
T: And the next pic – so it works everywhere on the body – we have the neck, the eye, the belly – if we have lost weight, and we have saggy skin, if we have been pregnant and we have saggy skin, you can just see how it regenerates the skin tissue and then the hands – so psoriasis and eczema – so keep in mind I am not diagnosing – I put this in every video I do – that I am not a medical doctor I am not diagnosis I am not making claims – I am just showing photos of peoples progress and the diagnosis that they have been given by their medical doctors so we are talking about eczema and psoriasis and so these pictures on the outside of the body are so significant because we cannot see picks of the inside of the body and what is really important to know is when you see that visual change on the skin, that is also what is happening internally – so that is what is happening to the joints. That is wht happening to the muscles – that is what is happening to your connected tissue – also it is happening to the organs. For instance my thinking is so clear – I notice a significant difference in my ability to think and the sharpness of my thoughts, after starting this – also the energy levels because it is feeding the cells the nutrients the proteins the amino acid that it needs – so immediately the mitochondria the power houses of your cells – they are going to work faster and produces more energy for the cells to work, and hen the energy that the cells produce helps those cells to repairs themselves and work properly but that all of that, it creates energy it creates wellbeing – the organs repair themselves digestive issues repay themselves – joints repair themselves overtime.
S: Yep. Super exciting! Thank you for sharing these pictures. So how does it work, how do you take it?
T: So it is a liquid and if it is not too weird. I am going to go get it, because I meant to do that before.
T: So I will let you talk! I’ll be gone 30 seconds.
S: Well yeah, so talking about liquid collagen. I have been taking it personally for about a month now and it is very easy to take, but one of the best things to do is to be very consistent about it, and treat it just like you would with your other supplements take it two a day and measure it out in the specific amount because you have to drink it. It has got a little sweetness to it I am sure she will talk about it. It’s not added sugar or anything like that—ok that was fast!
T: What were you talking about?
S: I was just saying how I have been taking it for a month and I was sharing that, and how easy it is to take, and to be regimented about it as you are with your usual supplements.
T: Have you noticed changes?
S: I have not. I have not gone back and compared pictures but I am distracted about my own body, just having small children. I must be honest I have not paused and reflected on it.
T: I actually am really glad that you said that. I was just sharing all of these incredibly fast results and I just want people to know that everybody responds to it in a different time frame so actually I am really glad that you said that because that is normal too. And you are younger. Do you mind saying your age?
S: Oh that’s fine, if I can remember I am about to turn 39
T: Oh my God I cannot believe you are 39! We must know each other for almost 20 years!
S: I need to check when I had children and deduct a couple of years – and well its 2009 was when we met. So 10/12 years. I don’t know I can’t do math.
T: Okay! So not 20 years—it feels like 20 years…
S: Yes, like a long time.
T: Yeah, but no I am so glad you said that you have been taking it for a long time. There is a couple of things. You are super healthy; you did not start taking it because you blew out your knee. You didn’t start taking it because you have dry eyes, or because you have joint pain. You are already a super healthy person without a whole lot of pain or body issues. And so for someone like yourself it is going to be more about maintenance rather than seeing some sort of dramatic change. Like I said, I am not even joking if I can go back and start taking it as a fetus, I would take this as early as possible! I wish I had learned about this before I had some good results with the powdered collagen as well, but nothing like what I am experiencing now and you know what? Something I didn’t talk about this in the earlier part of this was my health problems and lifelong health problems like from as early as I have memory. I have really gone through the wringer and I have had some very serious health issues that I had to recover from and doing so that means that I have explored everything out there whether it is conventional medicine or alternative, I have explored it. If it is a supplement, I’ve taken it, if it is a treatment I’ve done it. And so for someone like yourself who has not been that situation, it’s going to be more about maintenance. How lucky you are to start taking it now because it is literally going to slow down the ageing process. We cannot stop the process unfortunately but you are just going to slow down the ageing process and take a look at yourself in the mirror today and that is it. And that’s it you are going to stay like that! So, 20 years from now we do our next video on whatever device we are doing it on in 20 years. And you are going to look like you did today or pretty close to it. Now me, I have had a lot of joint pain.
I have had over the last 3 years, it is actually almost 4 years ago now, I have had a very sudden acute mysterious illness which I now know is poisoning but I didn’t know it at the time. But I was poisoned by a substance and I didn’t know it just sent me you know in a domino of health crisis, but as a result I aged rapidly. I aged overnight, like 10 years over night and then once I discovered what had caused that. I recovered my health, I still had the fact that my body was damaged. I had 4 years-worth of damage from that occurrence which means that I aged fast. My skin was sagging I was getting the jowls; I was getting the turkey neck. I had these dark circles under my eyes. I was losing the plumpness my face and my joints hurt. And now it is just like a completely different story and that is why it is so important to take those pictures. So, before we jump to that slide about pictures, the reason I went and ran to the fridge is because this is what it looks like. It’s a liquid, it is so easy to take. You don’t have to remember to take the supplement. Although if you are Sophie’s client you’re going to remember to take you supplements, now I poured a full glass of it. But you only need 15 ml, and 15 ml is right here. So, it’s very little. I do like the shot glasses because what I found was that people were not taking enough of it. And just like anything it is dose-dependent. If you take a little bit of it will it help you? Yes. But will you get the full results? No. so you really want to get the full results. So, you can also use a table spoon but you have to use a bakers table spoon and not this. You can get it off of amazon it is a bakers table spoon. But I put a link here to get the shot glasses, because this works every time, you can see it, you can make sure you are taking the right amount. You can take the 15 ml twice a day morning and evening. It’s best if you take it—collagen, liquid or powder, had a life of 12 hours in the body—so if you just take it once a day it is only going to be in your body for 12 hours. So, it is only going to be repairing your body for 12 hours, so that is why you take it twice a day. You can take it with or without food, you saw me run into the back and get it out of my fridge, you do want to open it, you want to keep it refrigerated. This is a food, it is a whole food, it need to be kept in the fridge just like any of your food does. I’m just looking because I cannot see on the screen—ok covered it!
S: Yeah you did great!
T: The next one
S: Mhmm so yeah – the benefit from the 15 ml can you take more of it?
T: Yes! (laughs) so I have become extremely conservative. After I had my toxic exposure, the longer I have been a nutritionist, the longer I have been in my career, the more conservative I become and I really low dose supplements or have people not take them at all. This is literally the only area on my program where I say more is better. Every other thing I am doing with a person, I’m like either don’t take it, or you are only going to take a very small dose. With liquid collagen, if you want to guzzle the bottle in one day, go for it. So, they have done studies on it. The studies that were done—there are 37 clinical human studies and that is significant. It was not done on rats, it was not done on anything else, it was not done in a petri dish. It was done on humans. Some of them had over 100 participants. These were huge studies. 37 of them clinical trials, these are 3rd party peer review, double blind table controlled and they are pub med studies. So, these are not small little studies, so they studied everything. How fast does it enter the blood stream? What percent of hyaluronic acid, how much does that increase? It increase 6000 percent—the hyaluronic acid and I think within a months’ time. But most of that is happening in the first week and that is why people they will text me and say, “I have been on It for five days how is that possible?” It is not that the body has repaired itself in five days, it’s that the hyaluronic acid has increased the Synovial fluid in the joints and therefore that inflammation in that joint that bone-on-bone is not happening so that’s why they are getting an immediate relief. So, I am digressing but it is easy to say they did studies on the correct dose. And the correct dose is 15 ml in the morning 15 ml in the night, and they have also done studies that you can’t over dose. It just keeps improving, so it is really just comes down to cost. How much are you willing to spend? I drink a full one of these twice a day or 3 times a day. Because I have a lot of time to make up for and a lot of damage in my body that I am making up for. For me personally more is better.
T: And what else on that page – cant see.
S: The average person if they are taking 15 ml a day like how quickly do you go through it or how much do you need to have?
T: 2 bottles per person per month. So, if you do the math, if you look at the bottle and you do the math and the 15 ml it is exact. It is 2 bottles per month per person so if anybody is doing less than that, will you get benefit? Yes. But you won’t get maximum benefit.
S: Okay, thank you…
T: Right, so we talked about this a little bit but if you just want to reiterate, like how long till people see results, and how long to give it a try before judging it.
T: Yeah. So the clinical trials, the human clinical trials were done for 90 days, and so we know factually that you want to give it a minimum of 90 days. And like you and I tell our clients when they start the programme, you want to give everything you do a minimum of 3-4 months, because that is the healing cycle of the body. so the red blood cell has a life span of about 3 to 4 months, and that equates to one single life span. I’m sorry one single healing cycle in the body. So whether you are doing liquid collage, or some other program, anything that you do that’s a rule of thumb 3-4 months. So, I tell everybody to give it 90 to 120 days minimum, the older you are o the more chronic or more severe your health conditions the longer you want to give it, so some people you want to give it up to 6 months before you judge it.
T: And it is like one of those things that I want to under promise and over deliver because if I under promise on the time frame and then I am getting a text from someone five days later (laughs) that they are already noticing certain differences, or two weeks later or a month later, or 2 months later, then that is exciting to both of us because they are getting results early on and that is pretty common, as you saw by the pictures.
S: Yes, yes. So Steve Z has a question for us. You know, Steve…
T: Hi Steve!
S: Well and so we had 2 questions coming in so Steve was wondering if they extract it from live chickens and if not why not, that was his question, and then another question from about do you recommend this for the rest of our lives?
T: Heck yeah! (laughs) Can I be any more enthusiastic? I would have cursed but I figured I shouldn’t. Heck yeah! I would never be without this. If you cannot tell how enthusiastic I am about this. I need to emphasize that this is the most important singular supplement that I have come across in my 20-year career. Now I have access to the best products on the planet both Sophie and I do. I can have an account with any company I want, I have access to the best companies on the planet, and there are a lot of really good products on the planet. This is the best singular product. Meaning, you know just one supplement as opposed to a company or whole bunch of supplements. I have never seen a single supplement do what this does. I have never been so excited about a product. I mean Sophie have you ever seen me so excited about a single product?
T: It has changed my life and that is why I am so excited because I can’t emphasize how much damage occurred in my body over the past 3 to 4 years, it was devastating and it was very upsetting to me because my physical body changed visibly and it changed physically like how to get through life in that amount of pain. And I have been on this product for about two and a half months and I am now back at gymnastics, I am doing back bends I am doing hand stands. I can’t wait to get back on my skateboard, that is basically my goal. I had an injury occur on my back. I have not exercised for 4 years. I had a severe injury to my back and I’ve not been able to exercise for 4 years. I am doing gymnastics people! There are picks of me doing gymnastic on my Facebook page doing back bends, and hand stands, like I never thought I would be able to do that again. and then on my appearance, it is like I am watching myself age in reverse every morning. I get excited to look in the mirror instead of dreading look in the mirror because my skin is just a little tighter and a little plumper it is very very sweet, my husband is turning 50, he does not even like to acknowledge that, we wake up in the morning and he grabs me and he like hits my cheek and says you are spring chicken! Because he sees the difference! He sees the difference and he is constantly like hitting me because it is bouncy like a baby. I know that seems like I am digressing from the question and just the point that I want to make is yes, I am going to take this for the rest of my life. Anyone I love is on this product. From my mother, I always get my mother in law and my step mother, both of them are on it. My father in law my husband all of my clients are literally part of my program. It is part of my program, it is not optional. Anyone I love is on this product and I will be taking it for the rest of my life, and my mom will be taking it for the rest of her life, and George doesn’t have a choice. He is taking it (laughs).
And now to answer the first question and it is a great question. I actually get asked questions that are similar to that, and it is a great question. And so no definitely not a live chicken it is extracted form sternum it is a byproduct basically. These are chickens that are already meat chicken, so they were already raised and slaughtered for our meat, and so they are already being killed and used for their meat and whatever other parts of their bodies are going into various food sources or pet food sources so it is extracted from chicken that are already being grown and lightered for other purposes and it is extracted after they are dead but it never touches any blood and any nerves. Any other question coming?
S: No other questions coming through so what do we move on, and having talked about taking your before photos.
T: So you see the one that I picked was great because she actually made a collage and she put day 1 and day 90 and it is just so nice.
S: Mmm hmm
T: I can’t emphasize enough to take your before pictures, it is literally mandatory if you are my client (laughs) it is mandatory to take before pictures and even have to do a before video for me. So, that’s up to Sophie if she is going to make you do that. And nobody wants to—I didn’t want to. Nobody wants to take their before pictures, and once they get their I don’t even call them after pictures, I call them progress pictures, we will take them in a month, 6 weeks, 8 week, 12 weeks, I just keep taking your pictures, I promise you , you will be astounded. I am thinking of 2 instances right now of people who swore to me that they saw no difference, they were like I don’t look any different, I hope it works, it does not seem to be working for me, I don’t notice any change. So, I suggested to them, why don’t you take a progress picture and send it to me so that we can compare them. So, then I put it in my pic collage and then I put it side by side and it was so dramatic! Like both of those people were shocked because when you see yourself day to day you are not seeing the difference but when you see that side by side comparison that is when you see the difference so take your before pictures please and of various body parts. So your face, the neck the eyes, the bellies, cellulite – saggy knees, saggy elbows anywhere you are going to see a noticeable change to skin hair. You are thinning in your hair, eye brow, eye lashes. My eyelashes were so long, can you see them? Now genetically I got them from my dad they are out of control lately. Everyone that I meet who doesn’t know me will literally ask me if my eye lashes are real, and yeah they were long before but not like this. This is insane, my gums the gum recession and then gum pockets are, all of that, I don’t have any more gum pain it is incredible. I want to say also make your list because we cannot take pictures of pain we cannot take pictures of what is happening on the inside of the joints right and we cannot take photos of that, so if you have joint pain, or brain fog or energy. If you have trouble thinking if you have sore muscles, if you have Fibromyalgia types of discomfort, if you have what else? It is truly endless but you get the picture so make a list because then you will want to compare your list in 90 to 120 days or so.
S: Right. Yeah so you’ve been talking about it. I’ve been talking about it. But one person, she had to leave early, and she was like “how do you get it?” And I said I will email you don’t worry! Why don’t you tell us more!
T: Yeah it is so simple, just get in contact with Sophie. If you’re Sophie’s client and are watching this, get in contact with Sophie—she will hook you up!
S: Yeah at the time it is not something I have sitting on the shelf in the office, but I will explain how we will get it to you.
T: Yes, it is very, very easy.
S: I know that is everything! Anything else? That anyone wants to know? Or ask Tara whilst we have her here? We did it in just an hour!
T: And that is pretty good! I know I can talk so I am glad we did it in an hour. If anyone is watching if you have questions for me please ask!
S: Yeah thank you so much for sharing, you know it so well you talk about it so eloquently and so clearly so thank you. And very passionately! So now I am all jazzed up about it which is wonderful because I am very excited about it too.
T: Yeah, I am so excited that you have it available to your clients, because it seems it’s relatively new, I guess that is another point. I am just thinking of the question that people ask me when I introduce it to them or when we start discussing it. A lot of times people say oh this is new? And it is not. So, the research and the development for this product is 25 years old. So, it is not a fad. It is not new at all! It is just that it is finally gaining popularity and gaining the acknowledgement that it deserves! So the research behind this particular product is 25 years old, and then like the powdered collagen, they got popular they started hitting the market around 10 years ago. And then over the past 10 years, It has become more and more popular and as more people had problems, digesting because that is the other thing with powdered collagen, sometimes people have digestive issues and they can’t. It requires your digestive tracts to digest powdered collagen or bone broth so if you have a gall bladder issue and you cannot digest protein or you cannot digest fats. It can be complicated so the liquid collage—oh I completely forgot to mention! It absorbs sublingually—it absorbs straight into your blood stream. It bypasses the digestive tract completely. In the sense that, first of all it is a liquid and second of all the low molecular weight is able to absorb straight in to the blood stream in your mouth. So, our digestion begins in our mouth, so if we hold it, it’s is not required—so absolutely not required—you can just drink it with food or without food. But if you hold it and just swish it around your mouth, it naturally absorbs into your blood stream. I have had people who have digestive issues and I have actually told them to hold it in their mouth. And this I mean I am even hesitant to say this, because I do not want anyone to misunderstand but—please swallow it. But this particular person had a particular issue—and so I had them hold it in their mouth and spit it out because of their particular issue. Now everybody else out there, please swallow it. The point is that it is so highly absorbable that you can absorb it straight under your tongue and that technology has been around for 25 years. So, it is not a fad.
S: Yeah and Sue is wondering if it replaces bone broth.
T: Yes absolutely! You can still do bone broth is you like. If bone broth is something you enjoy, go for it, as far as it being a source of protein, as far as it being a source of collagen, yes it replaces it, for that purpose.
S: Okay, also there are no other questions at this time, but if you think about those questions later, we can get them answered. Well appreciate you all being with us for this hour, and thank you so much Tara for being with us. Oh, I see one more question popped in!
T: I can actually see it now too!
S: Okay Steve says Randy wants to know more about leaky gut.
T: Yeah okay, so I probably should have repeated this several times throughout. It is just because of the litigious world that we live in and I just have to do this. I am not diagnosing! So, when we are talking about leaky gut are we talking abbot any other diagnosable issue? I am not a medical doctor, I am not saying and I am not suggesting that this particular supplement could cure you, because the FDA says that no supplement can cure you.
T: So I’m glad that I said that. So, that gut lining is made out of epithelial tissue which is very similar to our skin issue. So, epithelial tissue is made from connective tissue. So since this particularly helps the body to help repair connected tissue. Yes, it helps to repair the lining of the intestines and the lining of our organs and that makes me think of another question. There are so many different types of collagen. There are collagens 1 2 3 4, so on and so forth, so this cologne is primarily collagen type 2 which is what the joints and cartilage is made to of. But when they use that matrix of hyaluronic acid and the chondroitin sulfate and they shrink the molecular weight and it goes into the blood stream and into the body. The body then produces type 1 and type 3 which is mostly in the skin and the epithelial tissue and this is not just an opinion. It is actually the clinical trials that show that—so it is basically—one of the marketing and selling points. A lot of the powdered proteins will say type 1 and 2 or type 1, 2 and 3. So it is primarily extracted from cartilage which is type 2 but then when it goes into the body the body utilizes it like 1, 2, 3, 4 and that is shown. So, the science backs everything, and then what I have always said—and you too—we are in the front lines. We are clinicians and you know I can read research until the cows come home and I can find interesting and fascinating things but it only matters if it works. Any research that is out there is only as valuable as the results it gets. So being on the front lines it has to work, any product or recommendation it has to work, it has to get results for our clients, and this gets such results that are so visible that we ask you to take pictures.
S: Yeah, exactly – got to document it
T: Document it like crazy – I want more questions please!
S: I cannot think of anything right now and no more questions have come in, and so I think we will wrap it up. And this was so fun, definitely people saying that they are interned, and yeah I will just repeat the easiest way is if you are interested, I will make note of it right now, if you want to send me a chat but also email or text the office and we will just explain to you how to get a hold of it.
S: Well yeah, if there is a lot more interest we will do this again Tara! We will talk about this more.
T: I was just going to say that this is, it could be the first video of many you know because it is not complicated but it can seem complicated because of the misinformation out there. Like anything, collagen is a buzz word, and with it being popular and with-it being a buzz word that means there a lot of marketing. That means there is going to be a lot of misinformation which leads to confusion. Why is one better than another? Does this actually work? Endless questions so just to say you can see how enthusiastic I am, and I have such a special place in my heart for you and the Nutritional Wellness Center. I would do as many slides as you want to and the other thing too that we have not even started talking about. With this other collagen, they are doing phenomenal things that are changing my client’s lives and it is such a wonderful way, so I can come back and talk about those too.
S: That would be awesome! Alright to be continued!
Nutrition Expert Sophie Alexander Discusses the Holistic Approach to A Good Night’s Sleep
Welcome everyone to our zoom talk about a holistic approach to a good night’s sleep. I’m Sophie Alexander. I’m the Lead Practitioner and owner of the Nutritional Wellness Center in Ithaca. I am excited to share this with you today about this because it is such an important topic. So many people are struggling with their sleep, and it is so important for our health, as I will get into in a moment. But before I launch into that, for those of you who don’t know me, I just wanted to introduce myself.
So, I have been a practicing Clinical Nutritionist for about 8 years now and I have been working to take care of my own body through nutritional changes for at least the past 12 years, 15 years. a little bit of background; I definitely now in retrospect can track back to when I was quite young and certain health conditions began such as allergies and digestive issues with hormonal imbalances. But it was not until I got to college and the digestive issues became quite severe. So, bad that I was having to lie down after eating, and then when I graduated I got Lyme disease, then things really started to snow ball.
I recognized that I was having health issues and it was after the whole Lyme disease became chronic and I was dealing with arthritic issues that I started seeking alternative answers because just the conventional treatments were not getting me anywhere. That eventually led to my path of becoming a client at the Nutritional Wellness Center 12 years ago and then going back to school for a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and becoming a practitioner, then two years ago buying the practice. So, I’m very passionate about what I do and I’m excited to share what I learn with you. Sleep issues, as a mother of three now are near and dear to my heart.
I didn’t use to struggle so much but I see this with a lot of clients and I see a lot of patterns. So, we will be getting more into that. Through clinical practice I have seen that there are so many reasons that people have sleep issues and what we need to find out is what is happening and why it is happening for that individual. And really, anything can cause anything and you will see those themes as you go into it. It is not just one certain reason why the body is not properly going into a sleep cycle at night. But yes, we have insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs, feeling tired after getting enough sleep, waking up in the middle of the night not being able to fall back asleep, trouble falling asleep in the first place. There are just so many reasons, many ways that these sleep issues trouble us and impact our health and yeah they are really important to get to the bottom of, because then the body is actually able to truly heal and repair.
And as I mentioned earlier it really is detrimental to the body when you are not sleeping well. Sleep times for our bodies is to cleanse. It is the time for the body to repair, it is time for the body to integrate everything that has happened during the day. When you don’t sleep well, it is a major stress on the body. It can lead to weight gain, premature ageing to hair loss, hormone imbalances, fertility issues, lowered immune function, the list really does go on. As I know from, you know, having outside factors impact my sleep, small children up at all hours and things like that, it really starts. The longer it goes on the more your body starts to fall apart and this is it is really important to get to the bottom of it. You have a lot of factors like you go with all the time. Or you know, I have had clients struggling because they have an elderly sick dog and things like that, understood those are specific circumstances hopefully not very long term, but the more long-term it is—the more you need to figure out a remedy.
Alright, so this is the Chinese clock and this is a pattern I see a lot when I am talking and working with clients who have sleep disruptions. So, these are the body’s detox organs and I find that specially folks who are struggling to fall back asleep and waking up during certain hours of the night and struggling to fall back asleep, that this Chinese clock really co-relates with areas that I pick up on with the nutritional response testing body scan. So, I often find that underlying causes for sleep issues are imbalances particularly having to do with certain organ systems working to repair themselves or working to run their cycles at night, and so very common one is the liver. Right, I have many clients who come and say that they wake up anytime between 1 am and 3 am or I am up at 2.30 on the dot every night, and so often. That is liver time – so liver at night – uses the night time to run its inherent detoxification cycles and pathways and it can wake you up. The liver is also a big organ that when you are not eating regularly because you are not eating while you are sleeping it helps keep your body in a steady stream—oh dear, I think I am still on zoom and recording. I got a weird message from zoom—ok I was just saying, oh yes your liver does a huge part of maintaining blood sugar balance whilst you are sleeping. So also that 1 am to 3 am time people who have troubling falling asleep or falling back asleep can be due to the fact that the body has run out of glucose that you had from your dinner and you are switching over to the liver, breaking down its glycogen stores and back into glucose to maintain your blood sugar balance, and it does not go so well and then it pops you awake and sometimes having a snack at that time – can help you fall back asleep. Another little tip is actually having protein. Either a good amount of protein with your dinner or having protein based snack before you go to bed can help you with your low sugar imbalances.
It can help stop those from happening at night. Alright yep so you can see gall bladder time, liver time, lung time, large intestine, stomach, triple burner time. I must admit I am not as familiar with this, this is a really specific term to Chinese medicine. Has to do with some certain meridians of the body – the biggest themes I see are liver lung and large intestine which I find are all interconnected. Yep, makes a big difference when we start working on those systems. So, toxicities—connecting back to that liver pattern a lot, I find toxicities are a lot of what I see that are the underlying reason why folks are struggling to stay asleep at night, so mold toxicity can be a big one. Molds toxins in molds can be released called micro toxins when you have water damage in the building when you work in a water damaged building or you have a water damaged building that you are sleeping in, can again be stressing liver, stressing lungs, contributing to you waking up in the night and not able to settle back to sleep. Also, there’s a whole variety of other toxicities that we are exposed to, so many different chemicals just in our day to day life. There are over 80,000 chemicals in use in the US and very few are regulated, and one of the biggest ones are glyphosate and pesticide round-up. It’s used in so much wheat corn and soy, just used in during the process of growing or getting food ready for harvest. Even when you are eating all organic you are still getting pesticide exposure, just not as much. Because pesticides are air borne and they are in the water and so our bodies can easily get overwhelmed and I see that happen and it accumulates over the course of someone’s life and then suddenly they are having trouble staying asleep or falling asleep. And as we dig into it, it’s because of these toxicities. So, do as much as you can do to lower your toxicity exposure through eating organic, through using clean personal care products, through looking into your drinking water. And if you are on city water or on well-water, using filters can make a tremendous difference.
So, parasites are much more common than people think. Even there is statement from the CDC that about 70 percent, of US citizens deal with parasites. Many of us don’t know about it, right, they are not just—either you go on a trip to a foreign country and you come back with a bug. They can easily come from water and from food and could be passed amongst pets or family members to other family members. And they ear more active at night, working on your immune system while you’re sleeping, parasites are nocturnal and thus they are more active whilst you are asleep. And I don’t know if any of you have dealt with sleeplessness around the full moon but parasites are more active during the full moon and so that can often be why that happens. This is usually a big thing behind children and sleep disruptions in children and bed wetting in children who have already been potty trained. It can be the bugs, and yeah it can be quite amazing and you need to get the bugs under control and start sleeping again. I had that happen with one of my children and she was just up at 1, every night, on the dot and it was exhausting but we got the bugs under control and then she started sleeping through.
So, hormonal imbalances can be a big part of sleep problems, because they are not due to just. It’s not just what is happening at night, but it is how your body is moving through all the circadian rhythms throughout the day that manifest these problems at night. So, folks are like “oh, I’ m going to take some melatonin and that helps knock me out”. But your body’s own production of melatonin depends on proper hormone function during your waking hours, and the endocrine system which is your hormonal system is quite complicated and so hormonal imbalances lead to poor sleep and then poor sleep can lead to further hormonal imbalances and it can be vicious cycle.
A lot of this can stem from stress hormones, right, so stress hormones keep your body more in a fight or flight mode, that’s your sympathetic nervous system, your get-up-and-go mode. And then that makes when you have an excess of that in your body and your body is struggling to flush that out and you are kind of in chronic stress. Your body is then is not doing as good a job of getting into rest and repair, which is called the parasympathetic mode. I see this a lot with folks who are exhausted and they are just go go go all day long. And you would think with the type of day they are having and how much they are juggling and in general how exhausted they are getting through their day, that they would just lie down at night and pass right out. But the body is struggling to shift in to that rest and repair and they are so on and wired and they have a very hard time falling asleep.
So clinically I see this a lot stemming from your adrenal glands and the adrenal glands are the little glands that sit on top of the kidneys and make all those stress hormones. They have very interconnected feedback with the brain, with the thyroid and so it starts to create to their hormonal imbalances. The adrenals are really what help women through the menopause transition because as the body stops making as many sex hormones it is the adrenals that take over that sex hormone production and so this can be a big underlying reason for why a woman starts to deal with sleep issues as they become peri menopausal and menopausal.
It can be reason behind the night sweats and things like that disrupt sleeping. To further create a mess of it you know the toxicities are often endocrine meaning hormonal disruptors as well. So, you can have another reason why the hormonal balance is struggling because the toxicities are creating barriers with those hormones being able to heal and repair themselves. All those glands, those glands being able to heal and repair themselves. So again, it can become this downward slope of the body just not being able to get that rest and repair. You feel worse and worse, you feel crankier and crankier, and have a hard time functioning. And yeah, don’t sleep as well.
So, things you can do to optimize your sleep. So here are a few foods that are just inherently improve sleep. Healthy fats. What I mean by healthy fats is virgin olive oil, butter, ghee, coconut oil, avocado, avocado oil, those are a lot of my favorites. High antioxidant foods, so blue berries or green tea, another high oxidant food, red wine is often put in this group. But I would not recommend red wine actually, it impacts the liver so much and it really tends to disrupt sleep, I find alcohol in general does. So, don’t put red wine in that antioxidant group. As I mentioned earlier the high-quality protein especially at dinner, protein-based snack before going to bed. You know that can be a bit more meat. I have had clients how have had success particularly with turkey because it is high in a certain amino acid called Tryptophan which can cause sleepiness. Having a huge turkey feast for thanks giving and feel sleepy after can be due to that. But again, a lot of these tools are tools. Especially the healthy fats are tools that help to balance blood sugar and more balanced your blood sugar is through the day, the better energy you have, the more alert you feel, and better balanced your blood sugar is at night while you are sleeping. Thus you can enjoy a really deep restful sleep.
So, things to avoid right. Foods to avoid if you are struggling with sleep issues, again tie back to blood sugar imbalance. So, refined sugars, refined carbohydrates so that can be particularly any breads or pastas or crackers or things that break into sugars quickly in the body. Grains in general because they are over consumed and over processed and generally significantly contaminated with pesticides, and then for all those reasons, they impact, they increase toxicity levels and they impact blood sugar negatively. Then the vegetable oils…I was just telling about how helpful healthy fats are, vegetable oils are really unhelpful, vegetable oils are canola oil, corn oils, soy oils, sun flower oils. They are a lot of the oils that are used tremendously commercially. They are used in most processed foods, they are used in most restaurants, and they are not stable when heated and so they are very inflammatory to the body and they basically bog down our liver and bile ducts because our body does not know how to brake them down properly, especially due to the rancidity. So, they contribute significantly to the congestion of the liver, that I find is a significant underlying reason why people are not sleeping well.
So, some of my favorite supplements to improve sleep naturally can be Magnesiums. You get magnesium’s mostly from your green leafy vegetables, it is like very high in spinach, in swiss chard, can be high in pumpkin seeds, there are several foods that are high in magnesium. Those are some of the best sources, but magnesium gets depleted—gosh very easily—because it is used in so many different pathways in the body, and it very much gets depleted when the body’s in a stressed state to I really like magnesium lactate or magnesium lysate, these are forms that don’t tend to impact the bowel so much. Some people may have experience with magnesium and they take it and all of a sudden they have diarrhea, so it is impacting the bowels but the whole body needs to absorb it. I particularly like using a form that is literally made out of buck wheat and swiss chard juice because that is wonderful and those are whole food versions of magnesium that comes straight from those foods. Clients can take it in the evening and it just helps to relax the body helps fall asleep and stay asleep.
Big fan of fish oils too, it’s a natural sleep aid for falling asleep particularly. There are certain formulations of fish oils that are accommodative to the brain and relaxing to the nervous system and it comes back into that broader theme of how a lot of people are eating more inflammatory diets. Too much sugar and too many grains, and not enough vegetables, not enough good fats and especially not enough fats coming from fish which is higher in Omega 6 fatty acids and to help to relax the nervous system. So, supplementing with fish oils before bed is also really successful in helping people to settle down to sleep.
Ashwagandha is one of my favorite let’s call it adaptogenic herbs. It’s a category of herbs that help the body and individuals adapt to stress, and become more resilient in the face of stress. Ashwagandha has been used in Ayurvedic which is a form of medicine that is used in India, that has been used for so many years, and very safe. For some folks it is relaxing enough so they do feel sleepy with it, other folk no not at all, but they feel more resiliency more adaptability to handle the day to day life stresses. That then allows them the body to move and speaking more into that parasympathetic rest and repair mode in the night time, the day stresses are not so overwhelming and the body is not so taken over by that.
Another one that I didn’t include here but some clients love is Valerian root, that is another herb, I mostly used as a tool to help people fall asleep while we are working on the root issues of why they are struggling to sleep. It’s another herb that just calm quiet the nervous system, and fall asleep.
What else can you do? I would say in general that sleep has a lot to do with one’s lifestyle and how well your sleep hygiene is as Dr. Mark Hymen likes to say. He is someone who speaks a lot about sleep and the importance of sleep and how the importance of sleep hygiene. He is a big fan of respecting the circadian rhythms of the body and how sleep fits in to that. What I mean by the circadian rhythm is that the body has an inherent rhythm of the day and a lot of that follows the sun and the daily rhythm. So, getting up when the sun is up, and going to bed when the sun is going to bed, and only eating when the body is awake, and the sun is up. Again, this is tying back more to food and food lifestyle. For some folks not eating after dinner or late at night, can really make them sleep so much better. He talks about, you know, really respecting that your body needs to wind down that you need to have a little quiet time and not just go and go and go until you expect yourself to lie down then fall asleep, so starting to whine down a few hours before it is bed time.
Having no screens is a big one because the blue light really does impact our pineal gland where we make our own melatonin. So you can get blue light glasses to block from the screens but really taking a break from screens specially, once you get into the darker hours of the night especially winter, helps get that body ready to rest and repair. Sleeping in the dark and so using black out curtains if you need to, and not having a clock that you can see, yeah not really a big part of not having your phone in the room. This isn’t listed on here by electromagnetic exposure can be a really, a major reason why folks are having sleep issues. If you have Wi-Fi in your house, turning the Wi-Fi off at night. When I learned that I noticed a change in how my children slept with the Wi-Fi turned off. And not having our phone in the room or even, some folks sleep with the phone right by their head and you know it is your alarm clock and things like that, but at the very least putting it on what is called airplane mode so that it is not connecting to cell phone towers and emitting that radiation.
What I mean by sleeping in a nontoxic room. In some ways I mean this, I mean awareness of the electromagnetic fields. But I wrote that mostly in thinking about, you spend 8 hours a day, hopefully, in your bed. So, the awareness of gassing the mattresses is a big deal. What kind of cleaning products you use on your sheet and even the kind of sheets that you have can all make a difference. I mean if you have an older mattress, the mattress will have off-gassed already. But if you have a new mattress there is a lot of flame returning off-gassing and other chemical off-gassing and so investing extra money in a natural foam or a natural latex can be huge. Having organic sheets and fragrance-free laundry soaps and not using dryer sheets can have high fragrance component that can really disrupt the hormonal system.
But yeah, I want to also explain a little bit further and explain how it can be so individualized. Why one is struggling when one is asleep. So, if you take a look at this triangle here, you have poor sleep at the top, we have a nutritional deficiency in one corner and in the other corner we have we have organ dysfunction, and if you observe where the triangle. All these areas are interconnected and if you pull one corner of the triangle, it is going to throw off the other two corners.
I will tell you right now that if you are dealing with any kind of sleep issues, you have nutritional deficiencies and you have organ dysfunctions, and unfortunately then the more you struggle with your sleep the more that creates nutritional deficiencies and then more of that creates organ dysfunction and vice-versa and then the organ dysfunction creates nutritional deficiencies which then worsens your sleep, or perpetuates the poor sleep pattern happening. As I was speaking earlier this can become a vicious downward cycle and then it gets worse and worse and starts manifesting in other symptoms. You know, having young children and having to be up night after night, then you get up to come to work. I would start to feel a little crazy right, and I would start to see I’m having more hormonal issues. Or I’m having more digestive issues, and my body was being so worn down and I started to get sicker and sicker.
Thankfully, my current baby is my best sleeper and you work through it, and I am so grateful to have ways to support myself so that I can—so I’m getting disrupted by a child right now which is making me lose my train of thought. Yeah, I have ways to support my body and support these imbalances so that the sleep comes back. The outside factor that was happening can create as much damage as it could have. What we need to find for each individual is a way to create a stop in that downward cycle and so that at least the imbalances can be stabilized and as we identify and correct what is going on. The body can then start to rebuild and then it can reach an upward cycle of repair. But a huge part of it is, you have to be willing as an individual to look at yourself, patterns and lifestyle choices and particularly your food choices.
You must be willing to address them, because if you take away poor sleep and you put sugar at the top of this triangle, sugar causes nutritional deficiencies and causes organ dysfunction. So, people willing to look at their own diet and realize how they are feeding the imbalance, is a first start in starting to repair and starting to heal and get better.
As I was saying you know, at the Nutritional Wellness Center we use this technique called Nutritional Response Testing and it is a non-invasive system that analyzes the body, in order to determine the underlying cases of ill health. So, we correct the body using natural means, so we can identify very specifically what is that toxicity exposure or what is that hormonal system that is not functioning properly and in need of repair. And we can give specific advice about what nutritional needs that are needed or to be changed, and what support is needed to help heal and repair the body. We design programs that are very individualized and correct the imbalances that we see. And then this picture we have a silly scene of me testing my oldest and then my middle child watching on. So, we work with folks that are as little as in utero or a new born, all the way up to our oldest client who is 97. So, we meet people who are at all different stages of health. So, there are two practitioners at the office myself and Fabiola, and if you have not worked with us yet, I highly encourage you to call and schedule an assessment to see how we can help you to get to the bottom of sleep issues and help you to take control of your health again.
Thank you. Does anyone have any questions for me? Nope, well wonderful. I will hang out here for a few minutes you are welcome to use the chat and I am going to stop recording for folks who are watching this later.