HealingPoints Newsletter

Provided by Richard Grossman, L.Ac., O.M.D.,

Volume 3, Issue 24
Tuesday, February 09, 2010

In This Issue:


Your feedback is most welcome. Healing Points is here to serve your needs. Please Click Here to give your comments, suggestions, requests, questions, etc.

To Speak with
Dr. Grossman

Dr. Grossman is currently accepting new patients. If you would like to arrange a consultation or would like more information about doing so, please Click Here.


To Subscribe to Healing Points, Click Here and send the blank message. You will be automatically subscribed to Healing Points.


To unsubscribe, Click Here and send the blank message. You will be automatically taken off of the mailing list.

Share Healing Points with Family and Friends

Now, you can recommend Healing Points Newsletter to Friends and Family. Simply Click Here to Recommend-It

A large part of being healthy depends on having a body/mind/spirit that is stronger than those internal or external factors that are stressful. How our body responds to these great variety of stressors is called the General Adaptation Syndrome, or GAS.  This term was coined by Hans Selye well over 60 years ago. 
In the chart below, I've shown the three phases of GAS.
  • Alarm - Any physical or mental trauma causes a sudden release of stress hormones, such as cortisol.  Normal levels of resistance are lowered, but if the stress is not severe or long lasting, we bounce back and recover rapidly.
  • Resistance - If the stress factor continues, our body learns to tolerate or adapt to the stressful stimulus.  Resistance can be increased.  This phase is a safe period, though the immune and other systems are working overtime. 
  • Exhaustion - the power of resistance against stress is not inexhaustible.  At some time, following prolonged or severe stress, the immune system and the ability to maintain health will collapse.  This is when we run into trouble.


Most of us tend to lessen the importance of stress as a factor in our health, yet recent statistics from the American Institute of Stress show that stress ins America's number one health problem. In fact, 43% of all adults suffer from stress related adverse health effects, 79-90% of all visits to primary care physicians are related to stress induced complaints or disorders, and there are 1million absent workdays every day with stress related complaints.

Children are also adversely affected.  Since September 11, The New England Journal of Medicine reports that 47% of parents interviewed report that children have become anxious about their own personal safety or the safety of their family.

 In normal conditions, stress is a good thing.  It enables us to deal with potentially life threatening situations with greater physical and mental energy.  However the world in which we live is anything but normal, and stress has become a way of being.  We are exposed to environmental toxins, watch horrors on the evening news, drive during rush hour, deal with unpleasant people, are exposed to constant noise, live in chronic unknowing of the future, and on and on.  In reality, none of this can be easily avoided.

In the initial stages of stress, many different symptoms may arise.  Anxiety, agitation, restless sleep, elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, loss of sexual desire, depression, memory loss, digestive disorders, obesity, bone and muscle loss, skin disorders, substance abuse, and kidney problems are a few of the disorders that may occur.

As stress progresses and becomes more chronic, we simply burn out. Fatigue, inability to perform normal tasks, inability to cope, chronic pain, thyroid problems, and even allergies, asthma and heart attacks can occur.

Yet, all of these problems need not be our fate.

On March 23, 2002, I will be giving an in-depth seminar on how to use simple nutritional supplements,  herbal remedies, and physical and mental exercises to strengthen our body's resistance to stress, that is, to make it more adaptable to the world in which we live. 

If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms or want to avoid them, I urge you to invest in your health and the health of your loved ones by attending this valuable afternoon. It will change, and very possibly save your life.

 Please Click Here for more information and to make reservations.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Grossman

Return to Top

Featured Article

Solving The Mystery Of Chronic Pain And Fatigue

Case Study Shows Importance Of Urinary Metabolic Analysis

It was a mystery. For half a year, the two young brothers (aged 7 and 9), previously healthy and energetic, had suffered chronic headaches, stomach and leg pains, fatigue, and weight loss. Their clinical histories included nothing that could explain the onset of these puzzling symptoms.

Routine laboratory testing, as well, revealed no abnormalities - except for one thing. Analysis of urine samples showed that the boys had abnormally high levels of vanilmandelic acid (VMA).

Vanilmandelic acid (also spelled as "vanillylmandelic") is a metabolite of catecholamines - powerful chemicals, like adrenaline and norepinephrine, released in response to stress. The body is known to unleash a flood of these substances in response to mercury toxicity. Thus, high levels of VMA alerted the clinicians to the possibility that the boys may have been exposed to this highly noxious toxin.

In fact, toxic element analysis in serum and urine confirmed that mercury levels in both boys were extremely elevated. Faced with this clinical evidence, the two brothers then confessed to having been in contact with mercury (which they had previously denied): they had stolen some mercury from a science laboratory and played with it regularly in their rooms, hiding the fact to avoid punishment.

After chelation therapy was completed (monitoring with urinary assessment showed a 10-fold rise in mercury excretion during treatment), both boys recovered completely, with urinary mercury and VMA levels returning to normal.

While not as common as it was before mercury was removed from many objects used in daily life, acute mercury poisoning still occurs. Nowadays, it happens most often when people are exposed to the contents of broken thermometers, the case report authors observed.

NOTE: This case study, though uncommon, points to the importance of thorough laboratory investigation of chronic "unexplained" symptoms in patients. The Metabolic Analysis Profile can reveal "below-the-surface" abnormalities often missed by routine laboratory tests. In particular, it can reveal hidden triggers of chronic pain and fatigue in patients who are not responding to conventional modes of diagnosis and treatment.

Return to Top


Obesity Harder on Health Than Smoking

By Deena Beasley

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Obesity exacts a higher toll on health and healthcare costs than either smoking or drinking as serious obesity-related problems like diabetes are near epidemic levels, according to a study released on Tuesday.

"Smoking and drinking, which are on the decline, have been the focus of research and policy work for years. Yet obesity, which can have far more serious health consequences, has received far less interest" said Roland Sturm, author of the study and a researcher at the UCLA/RAND Managed Care Center for Psychiatric Disorders in Santa Monica, California.

The study found that obesity -- linked to health complications including diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, strokes and certain cancers -- raises a person's healthcare costs by 36 percent and medication costs by 77 percent.

Smoking and drinking also cause serious health problems, but the study, released by the journal Health Affairs, found that active smoking leads to a more modest 21-percent rise in healthcare costs and 28-percent increase in medication costs, with smaller effects seen for problem drinkers.

"Obesity is associated with a lot of chronic conditions, which have a large impact on health costs. Diabetes needs constant care," Sturm said. Diabetes, a condition in which the body's ability to process sugar is impaired, raises the risk of kidney failure, blindness, heart disease and circulatory problems that can force amputations.

Sturm cited more and more hours in front of the television, less physical activity and a car-obsessed culture, as significant causes of American's growing obesity problem.

The U.S. Surgeon General in a December report placed the blame on diet and urged people to cut back on sugar and fats. The recommendation was criticized by the Sugar Association, which thought the report should have stressed fitness more.

The RAND study, based on a 1998 U.S. household telephone survey of about 10,000 adults, found that people who are obese have 30 percent to 50 percent more chronic medical problems than smokers or problem drinkers.

Health experts have said the number of diabetes cases in the U.S. could nearly double over the next 50 years as a population fond of junk food and prone to obesity ages.

Obesity rates in the United States nearly doubled in the 1990s -- from around 12 percent in 1990 to 23 percent in 1998, when the study was conducted. In comparison, daily smokers made up 19 percent of the population and 6 percent were classified as heavy drinkers.

The recent Surgeon General's report said 27 percent of Americans are obese, and 61 percent are overweight.

People with a body mass index -- a measure of weight in relation to height -- of more than 30 are considered to be obese. For example, somebody who is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 197 pounds or more.

In terms of dollar amounts, the study found that obesity raised healthcare costs by an average of $395 a year, while smoking increased costs by $230 and heavy drinking is associated with a $150 annual increase.

Sturm said higher taxes on cigarettes have played a big role in deterring people from smoking, but a similar approach to weight control -- the so-called "twinkie tax" -- is unlikely to work.

"I don't think McDonald's is making people obese. We need to have more of a public health angle, not just doctors telling people to lose weight," Sturm said.

Note:  Obesity, especially around the abdomen can be a symptom of high cortisol symptoms associated with stress as well as uncontrolled blood sugar.  This can be a "which came first" story and is likely why dieting so often doesn't work.  Unless the underlying causes are addressed, we just go up and down the weight loss to weight gain roller coaster. Another serious aspect to weight loss is that too often in a diet, lean tissue (muscle) is lost,  more so than fat. 

Return to Top

Acupuncture can beat morning sickness

Australian researchers say acupuncture is now proven to work against morning sickness.

Trials were carried out on almost 600 volunteers who were less than 14 weeks pregnant.

They found that just one acupuncture session is enough in some cases to help significantly.

The study was carried out in Adelaide at the Women's and Children's Hospital and Adelaide University. Experts gave 20 minute sessions of acupuncture every week for four weeks.

Study Co-ordinator Dr Caroline Smith said: "Around 50% to 80% of all pregnant women experience nausea or vomiting in early pregnancy.

"As a result, they can have poor quality of life - they feel lousy and may be low in spirits, anxious and find it hard to do everyday things."

Traditional acupuncture reduced nausea throughout the trial while another type of acupuncture, called p6, took around a week longer to work.

Traditional acupuncture uses a variety of acupuncture points on the forearm or abdomen, whereas p6 acupuncture involves only one acupuncture point.

Dr Smith said: "I hope this exciting evidence that complementary therapy does work, will open up new opportunities for funding future research in women's health."

Return to Top

Melatonin Shows Promise as Alzheimer’s Treatment

Melatonin may have the potential to treat Alzheimer’s disease because of its capacity to reduce the development of a protein complex that is a hallmark of the disease. The results of this in vitro study were published in the American Chemical Society’s Biochemistry (40, 49:14995-5001, 2001) (http://pubs.acs.org/journals/bichaw).

Researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine added melatonin to animal and human cell cultures that contained the building blocks of abnormal brain amyloid fibrils as well as human apoE4 a protein associated with strong risk for developing Alzheimer’s. Inheritance of apoE4 is a strong risk factor for the development of late-onset sporadic Alzheimer’s, the researchers wrote. Several lines of evidence suggest that apoE4 promotes formation of beta-sheet structures and amyloid fibrils. Deposition of amyloid fibrils is a critical step in the development of (the disease

Researchers reported that the addition of melatonin to brain cells in the presence of apoE4 inhibited fibril formation more effectively than melatonin alone. This result was, however, structure-dependent upon melatonin and not related to melatonin’s antioxidant properties.

Our results clearly demonstrate the ability of melatonin to inhibit the process of forming the ‘signature’ amyloid protein bundles seen in Alzheimer’s disease, said Miguel Pappolla, M.D., a study researcher. This activity attributed to the ‘indole’ structure of melatonin appears to be specific. These exciting findings, however, mandate much more research before we can convincingly state melatonin can halt or prevent Alzheimer’s disease. This study was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Ageing (www.nia.nih.gov <http://www.nia.nih.gov>).

Return to Top

Eat Fish for Healthy Pregnancy, Doctors Say

LONDON (Reuters) - Eating fish can improve a woman's chances of having a full-term pregnancy and a healthy, bouncy baby, Danish researchers said on Friday.

They suspect that fish, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, can increase the child's birth weight by prolonging the pregnancy and preventing premature births.

He and his colleagues compared the diets of 8,000 Danish women during pregnancy to determine if seafood had an impact on early births.

"Low consumption of fish was a strong risk factor for pre-term delivery and low birth weight," said Sjurour Frooi Olsen, a researcher at the Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen.

In the study reported in the British Medical Journal, the women were asked how often they ate fish during their pregnancy and whether it was in a hot meal, salad or if they took a fish oil supplement.

The researchers found that women who ate the most fish had fewer premature births and smaller babies than those who did not.

Pre-term deliveries fell from 7.1 percent in women who never ate fish to 1.9 percent in expectant mothers who ate fish at least once a week.

Olsen said his findings agreed with previous studies which found a link between fish consumption and full-term pregnancies.

Oily fish such as salmon, herring and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have also been found to be effective in fighting depression and in inhibiting the growth of prostate cancer cells.

Note:  There are only several fish that I can recommend for safe eating.  Unfortunately, most fish are heavily contaminated with heavy metals like Mercury, and other industrial contaminants. The FDA recommends that pregnant women avoid the following fish.  I think it's a good idea for everyone to do so:

Swordfish Shark King Mackerel
Tilefish Tuna Steaks Sea Bass
Gulf Coast Oysters Marlin Halibut
Pike Walleye White Croaker
Largemouth Bass

Farm raised fish do not have the same amount of Omega 3 fatty acids that wild fish have, and may be fed really sub-optimal or even contaminated foods.  The only fish which I believe are safe in larger quantities are the following wild fish:

Summer Flounder
Wild Pacific Salmon

In order to really get the beneficial effects of the Omega 3's, I recommend a good EPA/DHA supplement, such as EPA/DHA Complex from Metagenics, or a good brand of Cod Liver Oil.

Return to Top

Dietary Supplements Make Old Rats Youthful, May Help Rejuvenate Aging Humans, According To UC Berkeley Study

Berkeley - Two dietary supplements straight off the health food store shelf put the spark back into aging rats, and might do the same for aging baby boomers, according to a study at the University of California, Berkeley, and Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute.

A team of researchers led by Bruce N. Ames, professor of molecular and cell biology at UC Berkeley, fed older rats two chemicals normally found in the body's cells and available as dietary supplements: acetyl-L-carnitine and an antioxidant, alpha-lipoic acid.

In three articles in the February 19 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Ames and his colleagues report the surprising results. Not only did the older rats do better on memory tests, they had more pep, and the energy-producing organelles in their cells worked better.

"With the two supplements together, these old rats got up and did the Macarena," said Ames, also a researcher at Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI). "The brain looks better, they are full of energy - everything we looked at looks more like a young animal."

"The animals seem to have much more vigor and are much more active than animals not on this diet, signaling massive improvement to these animals' health and well-being," said former UC Berkeley post-doctoral fellow Tory M. Hagen, now an assistant professor at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, Corvallis. "And we also see a reversal in loss of memory. That is a dual-track improvement that is significant and unique. This is really starting to explode and move out of the realm of basic research into people."

Based on the group's earlier studies, the University of California patented use of the combination of the two supplements to rejuvenate cells. Ames, through the Bruce and Giovanna Ames Foundation, and Hagen founded a company in 1999 called Juvenon to license the patent from the university. Juvenon currently is engaged in human clinical trials of the combination.

One of the three PNAS articles probes the reasons behind this rejuvenation, concluding that the two chemicals "tune up" the energy-producing organelles that power all cells, the mitochondria. Both chemicals are normally used in mitochondria.

Ames calls mitochondria the "weak link in aging." Evidence has been piling up, he said, that deterioration of mitochondria is an important cause of aging. A significant cause of this deterioration, he believes, is the accumulation of destructive free radicals - byproducts of normal metabolism - that disable enzymes and other chemicals.

The combination therapy targets mitochondria to get rid of destructive radicals and to boost the activity of a damaged enzyme, carnitine acetyltransferase, that plays a key role in burning fuel in mitochondria. The researchers hoped that the anti-oxidant alpha-lipoic acid would do the former, and that flooding the cell with acetyl-L-carnitine, one of two proteins that the enzyme acts on, would achieve the latter.

Experiments showed that this regimen worked. Associate researcher Jiankang Liu of CHORI, UC Berkeley postdoctoral fellow David W. Killilea and Ames demonstrated that the enzyme carnitine acetyltransferase is less active in old rats than in young rats, and that it binds less tightly to acetyl-L-carnitine in older rats.

Supplementation with acetyl-L-carnitine or a combination of acetyl-L-carnitine and alpha-lipoic acid restored the enzyme's activity nearly to that found in young rats and substantially restored binding to acetyl-L-carnitine.

"The acetyl-L-carnitine is protecting the protein and the higher levels are enabling the protein to work, while alpha-lipoic acid knocks down oxygen radicals," Ames said. "Each chemical solves a different problem - the two together are better than either one alone."

Ames and Hagen have long had an interest in mitochondria as they relate to aging, and they were intrigued by a 1999 Italian study that showed acetyl-L-carnitine, when fed to old rats, improved mitochondrial activity.

The two thought this might be a way to reverse the effects of aging on mitochondria, and in various trials found it to work to some degree. Free radicals were still damaging the cell, however, so they decided to pair it with one of the few antioxidants that gets into mitochondria, alpha-lipoic acid. Lipoic acid is produced by mitochondria and boosts levels of other antioxidants.

In the second of the PNAS studies, Hagen, Ames and colleagues compared 2- to 4-month-old rats to 24- to 28-month-old rats, all fed acetyl-L-carnitine in their water and alpha-lipoic acid in their chow.

After as much as a month on the supplements, the old and lethargic rats became more peppy, Ames said.

"We significantly reversed the decline in overall activity typical of aged rats to what you see in a middle-aged to young adult rat 7 to 10 months of age," Hagen said. "This is equivalent to making a 75- to 80-year-old person act middle-aged. We've only shown short-term effects, but the results give us the rationale for looking at these things long term."

They found also that the combination of lipoic acid and acetyl-carnitine improved mitochondrial activity and thus cellular metabolism, and increased levels of various chemicals known to decline with age, including ascorbic acid, an antioxidant.

In a third study, Liu, Hagen, Ames and colleagues fed old rats a similar diet of the two supplements and looked at memory function as measured by the Morris water maze test and a peak procedure for assessing temporal or time-based memory developed by Seth Roberts, professor of psychology at UC Berkeley. They found that supplementation improved both spatial and temporal memory, and reduced the amount of oxidative damage to RNA in the brain's hippocampus, an area important in memory. In electron microscope pictures of cells from the hippocampus, mitochondria showed less structural decay in old rats that had a supplemented diet.

"We did two different tests for cognitive activity in rats, and in both it made a big difference to feed them this mixture," Ames said. "Memory degenerates with age, and this makes them better."

The analysis of nucleic acid damage in the brain was performed with post-doctoral researcher Elizabeth Head and Carl W. Cotman, professor of neurobiology and behavior, at the Institute for Brain Aging and Dementia at UC Irvine. UC Berkeley psychology graduate student Afshin M. Gharib worked with Liu to conduct the peak performance tests.

"In aging, you're oxidizing the proteins in mitochondria and they lose activity," Ames explained. "If some of that lost activity is due to binding for substrate or coenzyme - like binding of acetyl-L-carnitine by carnitine acetyltransferase - and you can raise the level of those, then you can reverse some of the loss.

"We showed, in fact, that that is what's happening with acetyl-L-carnitine. Aldehydes from lipid oxidation are glomming onto that protein, and that is what appears to cause the reduction in binding activity. But if you raise the level of acetyl-L-carnitine, now it works."

Hagen added, "With aging, we see so many different things that are occurring to mitochondria that then lead to consequences in the cell. If you tune up mitochondria you may have a means of at least delaying the onset of a number of age-related problems that we encounter, or we can in some ways, hopefully, reverse what has already taken place."

The work was supported by grants from the Ellison Foundation, the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health, the Wheeler Fund of the Dean of Biology at UC Berkeley, the Bruce and Giovanna Ames Foundation and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Center at UC Berkeley.

Return to Top

Trans-Fatty Acids In Diet May Be Associated With First Heart

By Robert Short

Dietary intake of total trans-fatty acids is modestly associated with heart attack. However, trans-isomers of linoelic acid show a larger increase in the risk of a first heart attack.

These were the findings of a population-based case-control study carried out in Seattle, Washington, United States. The investigators looked specifically at the association of trans-fatty acid intake, assessed through a biomarker, with the risk of primary cardiac arrest.

Dr Rozenn Lemaitre stressed that the associations they found in the study between cardiac arrest and trans-isomers of linoleic acid need to be confirmed in future studies that distinguish between trans-isomers of linoleic acid and trans-isomers of oleic acid. Dr Lemaitre is based at the Cardiovascular Health Research Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Washington.

In the study, 179 people aged 25 to 74 years who had cardiac arrests out of hospital and were attended by paramedics, were compared with 285 matched community controls. All participants in the study were previously free of clinically diagnosed heart disease.

It was found that higher total trans-fatty acids in red blood cell membranes was associated with a modest increase in the risk of primary cardiac arrest (after adjustment for medical and lifestyle risk factors. The odds radio was 1.5.

However, trans-isomers of oleic acid were not associated with risk; odds radio 0.8, whereas higher levels of trans-isomers of linoleic acid were associated with a three-fold increase in risk; odds ratio 3.1.


Note:  Trans fatty acids are poison and should never be eaten.  They have a negative effect on the circulatory system, the nervous system, hormone balance, inflammation, premature aging, and other areas of the body.  In my mind their inclusion into the diet is a criminal act. They are also called hydrogenated oils, partially hydrogenated oils, and vegetable shortening.

Return to Top


Healing Points Issue 24


Join the Healing Points Newsletter
for updated information about issues that concern your health, and to keep informed about Dr. Grossman's speaking and performing schedule.



powered by FreeFind