Repair the membrane, restore the body: innovative approaches to regaining optimal health and the science behind them

At one time cell membranes were believed to just be envelopes surrounding cells. However, it has been nearly forty years since the structure of the cell membrane was deciphered leading to the development of the Lipid Bi-Layer Fluid Mosaic Model. In this model cell membranes are no longer seen as merely envelopes, they become dynamic structures that play critical roles in the health and detoxification of cells, and the cells’ unique ability to work in concert – thus keeping us in good health.

Lipids – or fats – are the main component of cell membranes. Lipids in cell membranes are actually phospholipids – or a combination of fats and phosphorus – and not just fats. They don’t just sit idly by doing nothing; they contribute to every aspect of cellular energy, detoxification, and optimal function.

Healthy cell-membranes lead to healthy cells, a healthy body, plenty of energy, healthy aging, and so forth. Among other things, cell membranes incorporate hormone receptors that, if sound, will promote healthy hormone activity throughout the body.

Unfortunately the fats (or phospholipids) in cell membranes can be degraded leading to deterioration in cellular – and, overall – health and wellness.

A major reason why cell membranes become damaged is poor diet. When highly processed fats are a major component of an individual’s diet, they will be incorporated in cell membranes and cause their function to deteriorate. Excessive intake of sugars

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, refined carbohydrates and other processed foods will have the same negative effect.

The fats in cell membranes are very vulnerable to oxidation, so a lack of antioxidants in the diet is also a primary cause of damage to cell membranes.

Last but not least, environmental toxins like mercury and an almost endless list of chemicals present in our everyday lives can also harm cell membranes, and thus have far-reaching adverse effects on health.

The first symptom of cell membrane damage could be described as decreased energy levels or vitality, although other common symptoms include intestinal and digestive problems, chronic pain, and weakened immunity. Damaged cell membranes have also been linked with neurological disorders, autism, problems like depression or anxiety, ADHD and – ultimately – cancer, heart disease, mental decline, and more.

Forty years of research on cell membranes have significantly enhanced our understanding of their central role in health. Ultimately much of what is recommended today, like fish oil supplements, is aimed at improving cell membrane health whether we know it or not.

Meanwhile, forward thinking researchers and physicians developed the concept of Lipid Replacement Therapy (LRT) – a way to actually “change the oil” in the body. Damaged fats in cell membranes are replaced with healthy ones, gradually restoring health. Read More »

Can autism be prevented?

I have been associated with the Defeat Autism Now! group for many years now. I attended my first conference with them in 2000 when a desperate mother almost begged me to go because she felt that no one knew how to treat children with autism in Houston, and there was a dire need for this type of expertise. Since then I attended many more conferences with them and plan to go to more in the future.

I have the greatest respect for this organization, but often wondered over the years why so little time was devoted at their meetings and conferences to discussing the topic of autism prevention, rather than just treatment. This has changed completely with an outstanding article on this very topic authored by David Berger, MD.

Dr. Berger is a board certified pediatrician who has been a long-standing member of Defeat Autism Now! and a regular speaker at their conferences. His article was accepted for publication and will appear in issue 4 (2012) of Autism Science Digest.

In it, Dr. Berger describes strategies he has been implementing for more than 10 years to prevent the birth of a second child with autism, in families who already have one. Statistically, parents with an autistic child are at much greater risk than the general population of having a second child with this same condition. Although more than 500 couples implemented Dr. Berger’s protocol, to the best of his knowledge, none had a second child with autism. Read More »

Glutathione, the master health protector, can also prevent the flu

Glutathione is a peptide or small protein that the body makes to protect itself from free radicals, oxidative stress and the harmful effects of environmental toxins. Oxidative stress refers to damage at the level of DNA and other cell structures resulting from exposure to free radicals or toxins. This damage is often where critical illnesses like cancer or heart disease originate.

Glutathione is considered to be the most powerful antioxidant in the body. It is also a detoxifier in that it binds to toxic metals or cancer-causing chemicals and safely “escorts” them out of the body. The efficiency of detoxification depends to a large degree on how much glutathione is available

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, and glutathione levels vary dramatically from person to person.

One cause of this variability is a difference in genetic traits. Genetic variants determine how much glutathione will be produced in a given individual and the difference is dramatic. Even under optimal conditions glutathione produced in one person can be half as much as in someone else (Richie et al, Clin Chem 42:64, 1996). Research is now showing that people with a gene variant named GAG-7 who produce the least glutathione have a higher rate of cancer (research presented at a recent conference by John P. Richie, PhD of Penn State University College of Medicine and currently submitted for publication). Read More »

Enterosgel: a breakthrough for gut health and more

A few months ago as I was researching something online I came across a product called Enterosgel that is associated with intestinal health and recovery from leaky gut. Leaky gut is a condition where the lining of the intestine is damaged and becomes excessively porous, allowing partly digested protein and bacterial toxins to seep into general circulation. Almost every aspect of health can be adversely affected by leaky gut including, as we are learning more and more, mental health.

I’m happy to say that we now offer Enterosgel through our Supplements Store.

Enterosgel was originally made in Russia and was the result of the old Soviet system of medical research. It is now also made in other European countries with very high standards of purity set by the European Union. The fact that it originally came from the Soviet Union interested me because Soviet medical research was known to develop low-cost natural treatments, because of their constant lack of funding.

Enterosgel is a completely natural product made from organic silica. It has a chemical structure that resembles that of a sponge and, when taken by mouth, is not absorbed but travels down the intestinal tract and removes a wide range of toxins from the body. It comes in a gel that is pressed out of a tube resembling a large toothpaste tube. Once in water or other liquid, it readily dissolves and has little or no taste.

I originally recommended it for an autistic child who was completely out of control, could not tolerate supplements, and had not improved with diet change. Within a matter of days of starting the Enterosgel his mother was reporting improvements. A few weeks later we noticed that he was able to tolerate supplements he had not been able to tolerate previously and seemed to benefit from them. Read More »

Health brief: Cleanse your liver for better health

As we age and with continuous exposure to a toxin-laden environment our livers become overworked, and eventually inefficient and toxic. This leads to a host of vague symptoms that are hard to define and often do not fit neatly into a medical diagnosis. They range from fatigue to weight gain, especially weight gain around the waist, and can include a foggy brain

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, headaches, poor sleep, and more.

Freshly squeezed vegetable juice is a very effective tool for cleansing and regenerating the liver. The “CBC cocktail” below was designed specifically for this purpose. It works very well and it tastes much better than the recipe might suggest. I recommend it! Here’s how to make it:

  • 2 organic medium carrots, no tops
  • 3 medium organic beets, green tops and stem included
  • 1 medium organic cucumber
  • 1 peeled clove of organic garlic

Drink within 20 minutes of juicing. You may add good quality sea salt and a squeeze of lemon to taste.

Spirulina for radiation, mercury detoxification and health

The tragic earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan last month brought about death and destruction at a level that most of us cannot fathom. The ensuing explosions and near-meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant gave this tragedy a dimension never seen in the past.

Miles of densely populated land had to be evacuated. Within a matter of days radiation was detected in food and even the water supply and, tragically, the consequences of these events will be felt for decades to come among the Japanese people.

It only took a few short weeks for radiation from the Fukushima plant to be detected throughout the planet reminding us once again of how small and connected our world really is. Measurable levels of radiation were found in both the East and West coast of the US as well as in several countries in Europe. Wherever you are at the present time you can be sure that some radiation from Japan has already reached you.

At the same time experts from around the globe have been assuring us that levels of radiation detected in Western countries are minimal and pose no risk even to newborn babies. Can such reassurances be trusted? Read More »

Toxins poisoning remote corners of the world

A recent study analyzed tissue samples taken by dart gun from 1,000 whales living in remote areas of the globe. Results showed dangerously elevated levels of cadmium, aluminum, chromium, lead, silver, mercury, and titanium, all of them toxic metals. Though chromium is a nutrient humans (and presumably whales) need, the amount found in the whales was excessive and therefore toxic.

Tissue samples are the ultimate proof when it comes to identifying toxic metals. However, obtaining them is a surgical procedure that is not performed routinely in humans. Blood and urine tests are not reliable because toxins are stored in tissues, not in body fluids. Because of these limitations I often recommend hair analysis; it’s not as good as tissue but better than blood.

Very often children’s hair reports show a buildup of the very same metals found in the whales. Some parents are surprised and wonder where these toxins could be coming from. The reality is that they are everywhere and they are causing the very problems for which parents take their children to see me, including ADHD, mood problems, and so on. A solution is to start a sensible detoxification program. It’s not going to produce immediate results, but can help your child heal over time.

To read more about the study go here: To find out about detoxification programs read the new Far Infrared Sauna and QRS pages on my website and other articles I have written on the topic which can be found in my newsletter archives.

Your liver: the key to good health

About a year ago I attended a conference on autism at which a key speaker opened his remarks by asking what did breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, obesity and autism all have in common. Most of the audience, made up entirely of doctors and nutritionists, looked puzzled and there were quite a few blank stares as people struggled to find an answer. When the answer was finally given it came as quite a surprise to many: a faulty liver!

How can this possibly be? It is because the liver is the most metabolically active organ in the body. It is where fat and calories are burned. It is also where toxins from the environment and those the body itself produces are processed so that they can be excreted from the body. If the liver doesn’t do this job well toxins will be retained and, over time, cause damage to the brain, heart, breasts or any other organ or part of the body.
Read More »

Endometriosis, another modern epidemic

Today you don’t need to be a specialist to have heard of endometriosis – or endo as it is often called – and it would seem that most women know someone who has it, if they don’t have it themselves. Yet, as recently as in the 1980’s, this condition was considered rare and most people had never even heard of it.

Doesn’t this sound just like a lot of other modern epidemics? Yet again, as in autism, ADHD, breast cancer, and a host of other conditions, the official medical position is that there is no epidemic at all, just better diagnosis.

In women who suffer from this condition, tissue that normally lines the uterus (the endometrium), and is replaced every month through menstruation, forms tumors or nodules in other parts of the body, most commonly the ovaries or other organs in the abdominal cavity.

This can lead to painful menstruation, but the condition is actually more complex. Most women who have it also report pain throughout their cycle, as well as fatigue, digestive or intestinal problems, low resistance to infections and, sometimes, a recurrent low-grade fever. Infertility is often an associated problem, as well as increased risk of breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer; and, to a lesser degree, all types of cancer.
Read More »

Un programa completo de desintoxicación

Aunque tal vez podamos vivir más años en estos tiempos modernos, también estamos enfrentando una epidemia sin precedentes de enfermedades crónicas que pueden ser manejadas, en el mejor de los casos, pero no corregidas, con el uso de medicina convencional. Tales enfermedades abarcan todos los grupos

de edad y se extienden desde alergias, trastornos digestivos y condiciones como ADHD y autismo hasta el síndrome de cansancio crónico, dolor crónico, alta presión arterial, diabetes y cáncer, tanto como una variedad de condiciones neurológicas, incluyendo las enfermedades de Parkinson y Alzheimer.

Hoy en día la toxicidad es un factor mayor con respecto a la salud, y se necesitan otras herramientas, ademas de la dieta y los suplementos, para lograr los mejores resultados posibles con la desintoxicación.

A menudo he escrito sobre el impacto que las toxinas tienen sobre la salud, y planeo continuar haciéndolo. Los lectores interesados pueden encontrar artículos anteriores sobre este tema en mis archivos de boletines informativos en mi sitio Web. Un buen ejemplo sobre ésto es un estudio que recientemente se hizo público, en el cual los investigadores identificaron un conjunto de lupus (SLE) y otras enfermedades reumáticas entre personas que vivían en una subdivisión construída cerca de un sitio de desechos de un campo petrolífero, donde los niveles del mercurio y otros contaminantes en el aire estaban mucho más altos que los niveles en los vecindarios de alrededor. (
Read More »

A comprehensive detox program

Although we may live longer in these modern times, we are also facing an unprecedented epidemic of chronic illnesses that can be managed, at best, but not corrected using conventional medicine. Such illnesses span all age groups and range from allergies, digestive disorders, and conditions like ADHD and autism to chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer, as well as a variety of neurological conditions including Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.

Toxicity is a major factor in health today and other tools, aside from diet and supplements, are needed to achieve the best possible results with detoxification.

I have often written about the impact of toxins on health and plan to continue doing so. Interested readers can find past articles on this topic in my newsletter archives on my website. A good example of this topic comes from a just-released study in which researchers identified a cluster of lupus (SLE) and other rheumatic diseases among people living in subdivisions built near an oil field waste site, where levels of air mercury and other pollutants were well higher that those in surrounding neighborhoods (

If, as I believe, cases like these are becoming the norm rather than the exception, then detoxification is clearly a key to maintaining or regaining health. This observation, combined with years of experience overseeing various forms of detoxification, led me to develop an in-office detox program.
Read More »

A word (or two) about ionic footbaths

When I decided to develop a detox program at my office I had no idea that “detox” centers would spring up all around town like wildfire!

All these centers only offer so-called “ionic footbaths” and claim that these are a way to remove toxins from the body and reestablish health. Basically these footbaths use salt water in a small tub in which a mild electric charge is run between two metal electrodes. People put their feet in the tub and over a period of approximately thirty minutes the water changes color to a rusty brown, which is supposedly unquestionable evidence of toxins leaving the body. These centers appear to charge around $50 for each thirty-minute session although they run special offers.

Two things seemed strange to me right off the bat. First, that the feet would be a good conduit to detoxify the entire body. We know that the liver and the kidneys have the primary role of detoxifying the body. The skin can also do so, as for example in a sauna, but feet offer relatively little skin and are quite remote to areas where toxins might be stored.

Second, why would toxins in the body have this rusty color? I would have thought they might be mostly colorless, but if they had a color, then wouldn’t it be different for every person?

I checked out the website of one of these local centers. Their literature says that the program is “science based”, so I immediately checked out their science pages. The first one of these offers a “study” showing bathwater analysis. However, there is no explanation of how the study was performed, who were the participants, or anything else for that matter, just a series of almost illegible bar charts with no suggestion as to what they mean. OK, so I thought that maybe the next science page might be more informative.

However, it was only downhill from there as the remaining pages only offered “studies” performed using muscle testing or bio-meridian analysis, two clearly subjective methods. It’s pretty much like someone doing a study, but then using intuition instead of a lab test to find the results. Besides, I am sure that people will recognize that intuition (or muscle testing) can be swayed easily with the right type of incentive!

Next I went to the site of a manufacturer of these ionic footbath machines. It’s not that I was so impressed I wanted to buy a unit; I just wanted to see what type of studies they might be offering. Find the site here:

It seems that the manufacturer has a bit more at stake and doesn’t want to be caught making blatantly false statements, so on this site there is no mention of toxins coming out of the body and into the water. The best study I could find on this page is one that used a “heart rate variability indicator” (whatever that is) and showed that after the footbath people had less variability in heart rates. I got it: the bath helped them relax!

However, the idea of the water changing color was still bothering me. After searching around a bit I found that it bothered other people as well. Apparently these baths originated in England, but let’s not blame the British too quickly. It appears that the inventor of this machine has a mail-order degree as doctor of naturopathy (ND) from a US institution!

I found that the London newspaper The Guardian has a “bad science” editor (as opposed to a bad “science-editor,” of which we have many outstanding examples right here at home). Apparently it didn’t take this “bad science” guy long to figure out the trick behind the color change. He ran the machine with no feet in it, and lo and behold the color changed all by itself! As it turns out the color change is a result of the metal electrodes reacting with salt water. Of course dirt and dead skin on people’s feet can add different tones to the water, which I understand is quite the topic of conversation at these “detox” centers. You can find the article at,12980,1294819,00.html.

Here’s my bottom line: take the footbaths if you find them relaxing. Myself, I’d rather see a good movie and have a glass of wine!

Obesity, chemicals and detoxification

You may have thought you had this whole story figured out, and so did I at one time: people eat too much, they gain weight, and some even become obese. However, to me this explanation never adequately matched what we see happening today.

How is it, for example, that obesity only became an epidemic around twenty years ago, and even more so in the past ten years? While Americans are not known for their stellar
eating habits, these have not changed that much in the past few decades and, according to some estimates, they have actually improved.

And why does obesity increasingly affect children, even babies and toddlers? Is it plausible that an obese toddler got that way because of poor eating habits? Finally, what about the many people who suddenly gained weight or even became obese without changing their diets or exercise regimens? Some gained weight because they developed a thyroid condition, but in my experience this only encompasses a minority of cases.

The first in-depth review I found of possible causes of obesity other than overeating is contained in an interesting article published in 2002 in the Journal of Alternative and
Complementary medicine (J Alt and Comp Med. 2002 Apr;8:185-192).

The article, entitled “Chemical Toxins: a hypothesis to explain the global obesity epidemic,” reviews decades of related research leading the authors to formulate the theory that environmental chemicals – not overeating – is the real cause.

Thousands of chemicals in our environment have simply never been evaluated for safety. For some, studies were performed to assess the risk of major toxic effects, like cancer, and it was assumed that if common exposure levels did not cause cancer these chemicals were otherwise safe.

However, a number of animal studies have shown that chemicals can cause cancer only at extremely high exposure levels but can have all sorts of other harmful effects – including obesity – at much lower, and sometimes even minuscule, levels.

Implicated chemicals include heavy metals, solvents, polychlorinated bisphenols, phthalates, organophosphates and bisphenol-A. These are everywhere in our environment today and we are all exposed to them to some extent. Not only can they cause obesity, they are also known or strongly suspected of disrupting hormones, affecting brain development and function, and causing other harmful health effects – including lower sperm counts, impotence, infertility, and so on.

More recent research has focused mainly on bisphenol-A, a chemical that is ubiquitous in today’s environment as it is used to make “safe” plastic (polycarbonate) bottles, even baby bottles, and many other food containers.

Frederick vom Saal, professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is the author of much of this research. In his view, studies to assess safety of this chemical have been industry-sponsored and largely inadequate, completely missing low-dose hormone- disrupting and other harmful effects.

According to Dr. vom Saal, if exposure to bisphenol-A occurs early enough in life it can actually modify expression of a person’s genetic makeup, thus programming the body for
obesity. In his words, an individual exposed to this compound “could eat the same thing and exercise the same amount as someone else but become obese while the other person
remained thin.”

The reason why we do not all become obese at the same rate when exposed to bisphenol-A has to do with genetic and other individual differences, but in no case can genetics be blamed for today’s obesity crisis. Read about Dr. vom Saal’s research here:

Bisphenol-A and all other implicated chemicals share one common feature: they are fat-soluble, meaning they are stored in fatty tissues of the body. The body has no mechanism to get rid of them once stored – as long as they are present in the body they exert a metabolic effect and can continue to trigger weight gain or interfere with attempts at weight loss.

Studies have shown that body fat is saturated with chemicals, and weight loss leads these chemicals to be released into bloodstream, from where they can end up lodging themselves in the brain, heart or other organs of the body (see Obesity Reviews 2003; 4: 17-24). Could it be that weight loss programs fail so often because people simply feel unwell when chemicals are released at such high rates?

Whatever the reason, if chemicals cause weight gain, then ridding the body of chemicals could be the only way to enable metabolism to normalize and reverse the problem. The only means found to effectively detoxify body fat is through far-infrared saunas, which produce a penetrating heat that draws toxins out of fat stores and into sweat. Find information on the detoxification effects of this type of sauna here: and on the Newsletters page of

But is there any evidence that far-infrared saunas promote weight loss? Interestingly, two of the studies performed on far-infrared saunas focused on cardiovascular risk factors (J Am Coll Cardiol 2001;38(4):1083-8, J Am Coll Cardiol 2002;39(5):754-9). Both studies found improvements in a broad spectrum of risk factors, even for people suffering from chronic heart failure (but this is a separate topic that deserves more in-depth coverage in a future newsletter).

Of interest here is that both of these studies found that people who did regular sauna therapy lost weight, though not specifically dieting. Although there are many theories on how sauna therapy can trigger weight loss, one likely possibility in my view is that once chemicals like bisphenol-A are gone, metabolism can return to normal and weight tends to
normalize naturally.

Environmental chemicals and detoxification

When we read or hear about mercury as the cause of autism or any other illness we should remember that this is only one piece of the puzzle. Being able to single out just one cause would be wonderful, but reality is rarely so simple. Evidence continues to mount that there is an epidemic of autism even without mercury in vaccines, and recent data from the State of California shows that the incidence of autism continues to climb even after mercury was banned from vaccines. (Note: someone recently asked me why autism is so prevalent in California, but the reality is that California just has a better system to track it. Here in Texas and in other states we have no idea how prevalent it is).

Environmental chemicals are another big piece of the puzzle, and it doesn’t even matter if you’re dealing with autism, other neurological disorders, cancer, or even high blood pressure: toxic chemicals play a part in all of these. They disrupt the nervous and immune systems. They have been linked with Parkinson’s disease, chronic fatigue, MS and the list goes on.

Chemicals are also harder to identify and test for than mercury and can sometimes cause damage at minuscule concentrations such as parts per billion. Where you’ve been or what you have been exposed to doesn’t even matter, they’re under your kitchen sink and everywhere!
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