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Enterosgel was originally made in Russia and was the result of the old Soviet system of medical research.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 »

Healthy bones: more than just calcium or drugs

This scenario plays itself out on a daily basis: women are administered a bone density test and found to have some degree of bone loss labeled osteopenia in milder cases or osteoporosis in more severe ones. They are then prescribed one of several drugs known as bisphosphonates that include Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva, and a few others. At the same time they are instructed to take large daily doses of calcium.

The drugs do work. When repeated, bone density tests show improvement. WebMD tells us how they work: they “slow or stop the natural process that dissolves bone tissue, resulting in maintained or increased bone density.”

Stopping the bones from dissolving might seem like just the right thing to do

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, except that these natural processes are essential for bone tissue to remain healthy. Bones need to be continuously broken down and rebuilt, and if you disrupt this process you generate bones that are denser but also unhealthy and brittle. Read More »

Proton Pump inhibitors: bad news all around

Proton Pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a class of medications that include Prilosec, Zantac and others now available over the counter or by prescription mostly to control the symptoms of reflux.

Many years ago I attended a lecture by Leo Galland, MD, a gastroenterologist turned holistic doctor and author of the excellent book entitled “The Four Pillars of Healing.” His position was that, when considering benefits versus adverse effects, there are no drugs that are worse than PPIs. According to Dr. Galland, reflux is always a result of undetected food allergy, improper diet, or yeast overgrowth. Change the diet and the problem is gone, but taking PPIs only masks the symptoms.

A new German study finally supports Dr. Galland’s views. As stated by the study’s authors: “until recently PPIs were regarded as very safe and associated with very few side effects.” However, it is now apparent that PPIs cause all sorts of adverse health effects such as:

  • Osteoporosis-related fractures because PPIs prevent absorption of calcium and other minerals
  • Diarrhea caused by the Clostridium difficile class of bacteria because the stomach that PPIs eliminate is our first line of defense against bacteria
  • Community and hospital-acquired pneumonia because PPIs weaken immunity
  • Increased rate of cardiovascular events
  • Refractory hypomagnesemia
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    , or severe deficiency of magnesium

  • Rebound reflux symptoms, which simply means that PPIs themselves cause reflux with continued use

Von Rahden BH, et al; Der Chirurg (Sep 2011)

Gluten-free recipes, contributed by Allison Plesko

 1.Carob-Walnut Brownies


1/4 cup melted butter or ghee

6 Tablespoons carob powder

½ cup honey

2 egg whites

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup quinoa flour (Can substitute other GF flours)

2 teaspoons vanilla [optional]

1 cup chopped walnuts

How to make it:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Mix the honey, ghee, egg whites salt, and vanilla together.

Add the carob powder.

Mix in the flour and then the walnuts.

Put the mixture into a non-stick 8′ x 8′ pan (or use nonstick spray).

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes.

Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting. Read More »

The news is in: autism is not genetic

The debate on whether autism is caused by genes or the environment has raged ever since I became involved in this field more than ten years ago. Medicine has always favored the genetic theory and hundreds of millions of dollars have been poured into identifying the gene or genes that cause it

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, with few if any conclusive results to date.

Some – like me – were skeptics all along and argued that you can’t have an epidemic of a genetic disease. Parents have been divided, some hoping that finding a genetic cause could lead to a cure, while others who had seen their children deteriorate after a battery of vaccines or some other event argued that the cause was man-made or environmental.

In reality, the genetic theory of autism was poorly supported from the outset. There were just two very small studies on twins from Europe backing it, but both studies involved too few children to reach conclusive evidence.

In fact, if a study is based on a sample that is too small, almost anything can happen and it generally does not correlate with the population at large. An example of this is tossing a coin only three times. It would not be so unusual for heads to come up every time but we would be hard-pressed to conclude that heads will always come up regardless of how many times a coin is tossed.

Read More »

New pathogen in GM crops found to affect animal health

Genetically modified (GM) crops now account for the majority of soybeans, corn, cotton and other major crops grown in the United States – see They are also a major component of U.S. food exports, our human diet, and often account for the entire feed of cattle, poultry and other farm animals.

GM plants are altered profoundly from the defining characteristics that differentiate a plant from an animal or bacteria in nature. For example, so-called “Roundup Ready” GM corn, soy and other crops carry a bacterial gene that makes them resistant to the powerful herbicide Roundup.

Without this extra gene, they would succumb to the application of Roundup at the same rate as weeds and other grasses. With the bacterial gene – given that Roundup does not kill bacteria – the GM plants survive unscathed. Does that make them plants or bacteria? And – more importantly – is it now conceivable that they could cause infections or other health effects that are typical of bacteria?

Read More »

Are treatments for heart disease the modern equivalent of radical mastectomy?

Cardiologist Caldwell Esselstyn, MD reminds us that it is not so long ago that the treatment of choice for breast cancer was radical mastectomy – a disfiguring surgical procedure that often caused lifelong pain and loss of function. This practice continued for decades in the face of evidence that far less invasive procedures were equally effective.

Likewise, bypass surgery, balloon angioplasty, and a host of drugs continue to be prescribed in spite of evidence that nutrition can cure even advanced forms of heart disease.

You can read about this in a recent article Dr. Esselstyn wrote for the American Journal of Cardiology – – and also in his excellent book entitled “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease”.

This story began in 1985 when Dr. Esselstyn tried against all odds to save a group of terminal heart patients who had already been administered every type of surgery and drug known and were sent home with a prognosis of weeks, or at most months, to live.

Rather than accepting what seemed inevitable, Dr. Esselstyn had them follow a strict vegan diet. All improved. Many recovered, and the book even shows images of blocked arteries that cleared within a few years on his diet. Read More »

Neurofeedback update

As the school year is starting, many parents have asked if we could have extended office hours so they could continue their children’s neurofeedback after school or on Saturdays.

I am pleased to announce that even though the office will technically still close at 5:30 pm Monday through Thursday and 12:30 pm on Fridays either Allison or I will be available on some evenings until 7 pm and on Saturday mornings to provide neurofeedback. We have not yet decided on which evenings as that will depend on the requests for appointments we receive.

I have been offering neurofeedback in my practice for close to ten years. Earlier this year I upgraded my equipment by acquiring some of the best and most up-to-date equipment available from a company called Clear Mind Center – see

Read More »

Gluten sensitivity and Celiac Disease: new understanding and testing options

Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that causes certain characteristic changes in the lining of the small intestine. The trigger for Celiac Disease is a severe reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat and some other grains. Although there is a blood test for Celiac Disease, it is not always reliable and the standard for diagnosis is an intestinal biopsy to identify the changes that are typical of this illness.

Although Celiac Disease used to be considered rare, there is evidence that the incidence of this serious and sometimes life-threatening illness has been growing. A recent study that compared military records from 50 years ago to current ones concluded that over this time period the incidence of Celiac disease rose from one case in 700 people to one in just one hundred (Gastroenterology

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, 2009 July; 137(1): 88-93). The reasons for this explosion are not entirely clear but there is a probable link to changes in the composition and processing of food, as well as new environmental challenges to the immune system.

Aside from Celiac Disease, people can suffer from different types of sensitivity to gluten that are not associated with the same characteristic intestinal changes. Mainstream medicine does not recognize these other forms of sensitivity to gluten, but many doctors and nutritionists, myself included, strongly believe they exist and are common. Read More »

Gluten-free restaurants in Houston

Contributed by Allison Plesko

As we all know, going gluten-free can be overwhelming, especially with children. To make your life a little easier, listed below are some restaurants featuring gluten-free menus throughout Houston and the surrounding areas.

  • Jason’s Deli
  • Pei Wei
  • PF Chang’s
  • Outback Steakhouse
  • Olive Garden
  • Joe’s Crab Shack
  • Ruggles Green- Inner Loop area only
  • Pinks Pizza- Inner Loop area only

**Many of these restaurants have Dairy-Free options as well.

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Four interesting new supplements

These are supplements that have either been recently released or are new to me and are now available from my office.

Cereboost 6-hour: this supplement contains extracts from the herbs American ginseng, which improves focus and overall brain function, and Rhodiola rosea, which normalizes stress hormones, and therefore has a positive effect on irritability

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, impulsivity, and other related symptoms. This combination is fast-acting and seems to be very effective. Early reports have been that children are more organized and pay more attention, and adults are more able to multitask when taking it. Though my sample is small, so far no side effects were reported and only one child appeared not to tolerate it.

Though fast-acting the effects of this supplement wear off within approximately six hours of taking it, hence the name. While not a complete or long-term solution, it can be helpful as a brain booster when a little extra help is needed, or for children having trouble focusing in school.

XanthiTrim: this newly formulated supplement from Pure Encapsulations may turn out to be a major help for people trying to lose weight. With ingredients like decaffeinated green tea extract, pomegranate juice and seaweed it contains nothing that comes even close to being a stimulant or an appetite suppressant that could be harmful. What these ingredients all have in common is the ability to stimulate the body to burn fat. Therefore it is no surprise that in studies it was shown to enhance the weight loss effects of diet and exercise. Read More »

A Replacement for Natural High Is Being Developed

In addition to these four supplements, I used to carry a supplement called Natural High that many of my patients loved. It was highly beneficial for problems ranging from ADD to depression, anxiety, addictions and even sugar cravings. Unfortunately it was discontinued and has been unavailable for at least two years. I have now formulated my own supplement which, though different from Natural High, I believe will deliver the same benefits. This supplement is not in production yet and I still haven’t decided what to call it, but if you are interested in trying it, or used to be a fan of Natural High and have found nothing quite like it please call my office or email me and we will contact you as soon as we have it.

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Health brief: Diet and ADHD

Early studies of diet and ADHD were designed so poorly that they could not possibly have found a link. Unfortunately these studies lead pediatricians to say that there was conclusive evidence that ADHD had no association with diet, even though children with ADHD often ate very poor diets with little or no nutritional value. Often to the pediatrician the diet was fine as long as a child was growing.

At long last some new and well-designed studies on diet and ADHD have been coming out of Europe. They prove that when children diagnosed with ADHD are placed on so-called elimination diets their hyperactivity and focus problems resolve or improve greatly. Other associated symptoms, including oppositional behavior and irritability, also improve.

These special diets eliminate foods containing dairy, wheat, corn, sugar and other problem foods for sensitive children. They can be very difficult to implement but are designed to be followed for only short periods of time as a way to identify which foods trigger symptoms for each individual child. I have been working for similar diets for a decade or longer and it is nice to see that science is finally catching up. (Lancet 2011; 377: 494-503 and Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2009; 18:12-19).

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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.

Health brief: SAMe protects liver from chemotherapy

Many of the side effects from chemo and the long-term adverse effects on health these drugs can cause are a result of their high levels of toxicity to the liver. In a recent Italian study the supplement SAMe was given to patients undergoing chemotherapy for colon cancer.

Though SAMe is mostly known as a natural antidepressant, it helps promote methylation – a natural process the liver uses to eliminate toxins. In the study, patients who received SAMe experienced milder side effects from chemo and liver function tests remained at or closer to normal.

A concern often voiced by specialists is that supplements like SAMe could

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, while moderating side effects, also reduce chemo’s effectiveness in killing cancer cells. However, the study found that this was not the case. Not only, but since patients were able to tolerate the chemo better there was less need for course delay or dose reduction, two common causes of treatment failure (Vincenzi, Santini, et al, Expert Opin Drug Safety, 2011 March 15).

Health brief: Pesticides, neurodevelopment and testosterone

Three recent studies show how significantly common pesticide residues and other chemicals in the environment can affect our health from infancy all the way to old age.

The first study recorded the level of common pesticides in umbilical cord blood and then tracked the children born of those pregnancies until age 7. It found a direct correlation between developmental problems and the level of prenatal pesticide exposure (doi:10.1289/ehp.1003160).

A second study also measured cord blood looking for markers of exposure to exhaust fumes and it, too, found a direct correlation between exposure and symptoms of anxiety, depression, and attention problems in children (PAH/Aromatic DNA adducts in Cord Blood and Behavior Scores in New York City Children, Environmental Health Perspectives, 4/21/11). Read More »

Is sugar really toxic?

The answer to this question seems obvious to me but unfortunately medical/nutritional science has paid little attention to the toxic nature of sugar and so far only looked at it as “empty calories”. The implication to most people is that if you eat too much sugar it can cause you to gain weight but otherwise it is really harmless.

The rationale for the empty calorie theory is that sugar contains no valuable nutrients

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, only calories which no one needs in our day and age. Unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth. Sugar is a metabolic poison and this has nothing to do with calories. It disrupts hormones, adversely affects the brain, weakens immunity, and has many more negative effects on health. Read More »

Office news – June 2011

As of last month my office no longer closes for lunch. We now have continuous hours from 9 am to 5:30 pm Monday through Thursday and from 9 am to 12:30 pm on Friday. If you’d like to stop by on your lunch break to pick up supplements or for any other reason please do so.

Allison Medford-Plesko has now worked in my practice for more than a year. During this time she has steadily acquired new knowledge and skills

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, and taken on more responsibility. She now operates my new state-of-the-art neurofeedback equipment and has become the neurofeedback expert in my office. If you have any questions about it or wonder if it could help you or your child do not hesitate to call her or email her at with your questions.

Allison has been implementing a gluten- and casein-free diet for her two boys over the last
several years even as they have attended mainstream school, have normal social lives, and are happy, well-adjusted children. She can be a great resource to other parents attempting to implement any restricted diet for their children and is happy to share her experience and knowledge.

Allison is also in charge of supplement inventory, ordering, and writing descriptions of each supplement for my website. She has become very knowledgeable in this area as well so if you have a question you don’t feel is sufficiently complex to make an appointment with me feel free to direct it to her.

Allison’s Gluten-Free favorites

Here are a few of my kids’ favorite foods that could possibly make a busy mom’s life and eating gluten free a little bit easier.  Enjoy!

  • Udi’s Gluten-Free Bread, Pizza Crust, and Hot Dog Buns
  • Pamela’s Ultimate Baking and Pancake Mix
  • Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta
  • Enjoy Life Cookies and On-the-Go Bars
  • Kind Fruit and Nut Bars
  • Lara Bar All Natural Energy Bars
  • Puffins Cereal- Multigrain or Honey Rice
  • GlutenFreeda’s Oatmeal
  • Glutino Gluten-Free Pretzels
  • Applegate Natural Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets

These products can be found at Whole Foods or

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