Leaky Gut Triggers

By: Mary Beth Gudewicz CNTP, MNT

You may have heard the term “leaky gut” used at The Healing Center as a diagnosis and still don’t understand what it truly means.  It sounds like a catch term about conditions that people can’t really give you a clear picture.  So let me break it down for you.  Leaky gut, by definition, is “increased intestinal permeability or intestinal hyper permeability that happens when tight junctions in the gut, which control what passes through the lining of the small intestine, don’t work properly.  This leads to substances leaking into the bloodstream”.[1] We have this barrier for a reason.  It is designed to protect the internal environment and to filter nutrients and other biological substances.  When this barrier is compromised, undigested proteins, fats, bacteria, toxins, and waste that is not normally absorbed can leak out of the intestines and into the blood stream. [2]  This increases inflammation in the body leading to an autoimmune reaction.  Some symptoms you may experience are abdominal bloating, excessive gas and cramps, fatigue, food sensitivities, joint pain, skin rashes and autoimmunity. [3]  So what leads to leaky gut?  Let’s explore the triggers and some ways to start healing your gut.

Triggers for leaky gut include:

  • Chronic stress
  • Illness
  • Antibiotic use
  • Blood sugar dysregulation such as hypoglycemia
  • Exposure to environmental toxins such as chemicals and pesticides
  • Hormone changes such as pregnancy and menopause
  • Sleep issues
  • Head injuries such as concussions
  • Adrenal fatigue/exhaustion
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Radiation
  • Inflammatory drugs such as NSAIDS – the ibuprofen in your medicine cabinet
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Chronic infections
  • Food sensitivity
  • Gluten
  • Industrial seed oils
  • Cytotoxic/Immunosuppressive drugs
  • GMOs (genetically modified foods)

Some of these triggers can be avoided by eliminating NSAIDS, switching to organic produce, choosing organic and grass-fed sources of meat and limiting alcohol consumption, etc.  Stress is probably one of the biggest triggers and it is everywhere in our daily life.  The key is to start changing your perception of stress.  Meaning, if you are stuck in traffic instead of getting worked up about being late for work or your appointment, just take a deep breath, accept that you will be in traffic for awhile and turn on your favorite music or podcast, or even just sit and be present in the moment.  Other ways to minimize stress is to not over schedule your life, say no if you are tired, turn off your electronic devices an hour before bed, focus on getting 8 to 9 hours of sleep a night, find moments to laugh, and live with gratitude every day.

Multiple options exist to heal and treat a leaky gut diagnosis.  At The Healing Center, we will design an individual protocol that addresses your needs.  We look at food reactions through testing and dietary modifications/challenging, identifying and eliminating infection and through allergy elimination.

If you are diagnosed with leaky gut, a good place to start is with bone broth.  Bone broth can start healing your gut and contains good fats, protein, vitamins and minerals.  You can create soups, drink it as a snack, include it in your favorite stew recipe, etc.  It is truly a medicinal food.  Check out Jessica Yoche’s November blog about bone broth.

Healing leaky gut is work, but the results can bring back your quality of life and prevent further illness.  This fall we will be putting together workshops to educate you on various nutritional and health topics: Stay tuned for details.  Remember knowledge is power and when armed with the knowledge on how to stay healthy, you will have the access to your best health.  That is our goal at The Healing Center.


Feature, Matt McMillen WebMD. “Defining Leaky Gut Syndrome: Common Symptoms and the Difficulty of Diagnosis.” WebMD. WebMD, 13 Aug. 2013. Web. 10 Aug. 2015.

Weil, Andrew, MD. “Q & A Library.” What Is Leaky Gut? Ask Dr. Weil, 12 Dec. 2005. Web. 10 Aug. 2015.

Kresser, Chris. “9 Steps to Perfect Health – #5: Heal Your Gut.” Chris Kresser. Chris Kesser, 24 Feb. 2011. Web. 10 Aug. 2015.

Moninger, Jeannette. “How to Reduce Stress: 10 Relaxation Techniques To Reduce Stress on the Spot.” WebMD. WebMD, 30 Sept. 2013. Web. 10 Aug. 2015.

[1] Feature, Matt McMillen WebMD. “Defining Leaky Gut Syndrome: Common Symptoms and the Difficulty of Diagnosis.” WebMD. WebMD, 13 Aug. 2013. Web. 10 Aug. 2015.

[2] Weil, Andrew, MD. “Q & A Library.” What Is Leaky Gut? Ask Dr. Weil, 12 Dec. 2005. Web. 10 Aug. 2015.

[3] Weil, Andrew, MD. “Q & A Library.” What Is Leaky Gut? Ask Dr. Weil, 12 Dec. 2005. Web. 10 Aug. 2015.

Say Goodbye to “Vitamin D Winter” in Colorado and Get Your Sunshine Vitamin Today

It is officially spring in Colorado and by now we are all aware of the importance of Vitamin D in many aspects of our health from healthy bones to protection from cancer, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases.  Although it is known as the “Sunshine Vitamin” you are not always getting Vitamin D when the sun is shining.  In fact it is estimated that 50% of the population in North America are Vitamin D deficient.  Our mechanism for making Vitamin D depends on the availability of UVB rays and as you will read in this article from the Vitamin D Council, anyone above latitudes of 37° north of the equator and below latitudes of 37° south of the equator experience what is known as a “Vitamin D Winter” in which no UVB rays can penetrate the ozone and thus shuts down our ability to make our own Vitamin D.


What you need to know:

  • Your body is designed to make its own Vitamin D with exposure to the UVB rays of the sun.
  •  Just 10-15 minutes of sun exposure depending on your skin color (chest, arms, legs, torso- think 40% of your body) between 10 AM-2 PM will give you 10,000 IUs of Vitamin D.
  • When your skin is pink to the touch, you’ve made 10,000 IUs of Vitamin D, do not overexpose.
  • Keep in mind sunscreen with as little as SPF 8 can block your Vitamin D production by 100%.
    • Burning leads to skin cancer so be mindful of your time in the sun and when you do apply sunscreen be sure to refer to EWG’s sunscreen guide for the latest research and recommendations of the safest sunscreens available.
  • Vitamin D levels – the only way to monitor your Vitamin D levels is through a 25-Hydroxy-vitamin D blood test

    • ≥50 ng/mL is recommended
    • 80-100 ng/mL for people with autoimmune disease
  • Vitamin D Supplementation

    • There are many factors that affect vitamin D levels such as the season, time of day, and skin color so it is important to monitor your blood levels while supplementing.
    • Vitamin D is fat soluble and is best absorbed in liquid form not through pills.
    • We recommend Liqui-D3 by Rx Vitamins
    • For those without a gallbladder we recommend an emulsified form for better absorption, we use Bio-D-Mulsion by Biotics Research
    • It is essential to supplement and eat foods high in Vitamin D throughout the winter when your body is not able to make its own from the sun.  Here in Denver that is November through March.
  • Vitamin D food sources

    • Wild caught salmon
    • Eggs
    • Mushrooms





The Healing Center is pleased to bring you useful information about importance of Vitamin D.  To learn more about maintaining a healthy lifestyle in Denver, contact us  today: 303-721-9800.

Cyrex Array 10 – Multiple Food Immune Reactivity Screen

Through her ongoing continuing education, Dr. Starling strives to bring the most up to date research and testing to her practice. As a result, we are pleased to announce the addition of Cyrex Laboratories Array 10 – Multiple Food Immune Reactivity Screen.

Why use Cyrex Array 10?

● To evaluate immune reactions to foods, raw and/or modified, food enzymes, lectins and artificial food additives, including meat glue, colorings and gums.

● For early detection of dietary-related triggers of autoimmune reactivity.

● To monitor the effectiveness of customized dietary protocol in patient.

(Cyrex Laboratories, LLC, 2015)

What does Cyrex Array 10 test?

180 common food antigens cooked, raw and modified: Heat changes the protein structure of foods thus presenting a different antigen to the body. For example, one may react to broccoli when it’s raw versus cooked or one may react to roasted almonds but not react to raw almonds.

Cross-reactivity of food antigens with human tissue: Cyrex has identified certain food antigens that cross-react with human tissues. When antibodies are produced to the food antigen and there is any gut permeability, this presents an opportunity for the antibodies to attack the human tissue causing tissue damage, autoimmune reactivity and eventual autoimmune disease.

Multiple food protein interactions: One may not react to certain foods individually but may react when common foods are combined and ingested.

Large gum molecules found in many gluten-free and dairy-free processed foods: Gums such as xantham gum, gum Arabic, guar gum are large molecules that can cross-react with other food proteins causing immune reactions.

Lectins and Agglutinins: Lectins are glycoproteins that bind carbohydrates together and agglutinins bind cells together. Lectins and agglutinins are found in about 30% of foods.

Tissue-Bound Artificial Food Colors: Food colorants bond with food proteins creating a new antigen that may elicit an immune reaction whereas the food itself may not.

Amplified Antigenic Proteins and Peptides: These are specific proteins and peptides found within entire food proteins, such as shrimp tropomyosin and pineapple bromelain.

Oil proteins found in nuts and seeds

Meat glue: A powder used in food manufacturing to combine smaller pieces of meat into larger pieces, and is also used as a thickener in some dairy products.

Both IgG and IgA antibodies for each food item: See our blog below for a more in depth look at the types of antibodies tested: http://thehealingcenterdenver.com/1023/allergy-testing-immune-testing-what-does-it-all-mean/

(Cyrex Laboratories, LLC, 2015)

How does Cyrex Array 10 differ from ALCAT testing?

● Comparing the two is like comparing apples to oranges. Each test measures a different immune response.

● ALCAT tests Mediator Release Response which measures general immune reaction to foods and food chemicals. The responses measured by the test are used to identify substances that may cause potentially harmful immune system reactions. (Cell Science Systems, 2015)

● Cyrex measures the response of the adaptive immune system, a specific response in which the body produces antibodies that specifically target the foods and food chemicals.

● ALCAT results are used to construct a specific elimination/rotation diet designed to remove the burden on the immune system. The triggers are removed for a period of time and then reintroduced.

● Cyrex results are used to identify food immune reactivity that may be the underlying culprit in disorders the patient may be suffering with and potential autoimmune disease.

● Cyrex measures permanency. If test is positive for gluten, gluten and its cross-reactors must be avoided on a permanent basis due to the memory specific immune response it elicits. Other foods can be avoided for a period of time allowing the immune system to reset and the food can be reintroduced.

Why Hugs Feel Good

By: Mary Beth Gudewicz, CNTP, MNT

You wake up and realize your alarm didn’t go off, you have to get the kids to school while getting yourself to work and that is just the beginning of your day. You meet a friend for lunch and she takes one look at you and then gives you a long hug. All of a sudden you feel calm. Ever wonder why? It’s because there is a physiological response that is triggered in our body when we are hugging or being hugged. Science has been researching what a hug does to our body, how it responds and the mechanisms involved.

The mechanisms involved in the body are the hormone oxytocin and the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. Oxytocin is a hormone that is secreted by the pituitary gland and acts as a neuromodulator, a neuron that uses one or more neurotransmitters to regulate other neurons , in the brain. This hormone is secreted by the body during childbirth and in breastfeeding where it stimulates release of milk. This was thought to be its only function, but newer research has shown that it has many more effects such as improving social skills, fighting stress and encouraging trust. The skin contains Pacinian corpuscles, tiny egg-shaped pressure centers that can sense touch and are in contact with the brain through the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is one of the cranial nerves that connects the brain stem to the abdomen and is connected to various organs including the heart. It is also connected to oxytocin receptors. A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information examined 59 premenopausal women before and after warm contact with their husbands/partners ending in hugs and found higher oxytocin levels and lower resting blood pressure in the subjects. Here at The Healing Center we talk about neurotransmitters and two of the neurotransmitters stimulated during a hug are dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine is involved in the reward centers of the brain and where stimulating drugs target. Serotonin contributes to feelings of happiness and well-being and it is important to optimize levels of these neurotransmitters.

Hugs have many benefits aside from increasing your oxytocin and lowering your blood pressure. Additional benefits include:

• Helps relieve pain and raises our pain threshold
• Reduces social anxiety
• Lowers cortisol levels (benefitting the adrenals)
• Protects against inflammation and oxidative stress
• Increases social connection and sense of belonging
• Increases trust
• Feels good
• Dispels loneliness
• Builds self-esteem
• Slows aging
• Curbs appetite
• Eases tension
• Helps the immune system

The question becomes how long should you hug to enjoy these benefits? The ideal time is somewhere between 3 and 20 seconds with about 3 -12 hugs per day.

A great way to start the day is with a hug. Hugs relax you, give you confidence, and make you happier and healthier. They give you that Zen moment in your day, are free and are essential to our overall physical health and well-being. This goes for both the person giving the hug and the one receiving. So take a moment today and give someone a hug.


“Neuromodulator.” TheFreeDictionary.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2015. <http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/neuromodulator>
Dobson, Roger. “Embrace Hugging: Daily Cuddles Can Combat Infections and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease.” Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 10 Nov. 2012. Web. 24 Jan. 2015. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2230972/Embrace-hugging–good-you.html>.
KC, Light, Grewen KM, and Amico JA. “Result Filters.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 29 Dec. 2005. Web. 24 Jan. 2015. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15740822>.
“Hugs for Health – Healthsmart Exercise Physiology.” Healthsmart Exercise Physiology. N.p., 03 Feb. 2014. Web. 24 Jan. 2015. <http://healthsmartep.com.au/hugs-for-health/>.

What is Functional Medicine?

Posted by Michal Cooling, CNTP

Many people don’t know what Functional Medicine even is, or why we speak of it so highly. Here are 7 Reasons Why Functional Medicine Rocks by Frank Lipman:

You’re not sleeping well. Your belly seems perpetually upset. Your nose is stuffed up and, to top it off, you’re feeling down. You head to your GP for—if you’re lucky—a 10-minute chat about what’s ailing you. The GP then hands you a prescription or two, shakes your hand, and shows you the door. Case closed. Is this any way to heal the unwell? Does this approach actually make anyone better? In a word, no. And more likely, this here’s-a-prescription-seeya approach may even make patients more sick, which is one of the reasons I’ve dedicated my life to helping my patients create and sustain long-term health using the principles of Functional Medicine.
So, just what is “Functional Medicine?” I believe it’s the most profound and effective way to treat patients—particularly those with chronic health issues—and here’s why:

1. Functional Medicine is all about you.

In simplest terms, think of it as the ultimate in personalized, one-on-one, therapeutic relationships. It’s a health-focused, patient-centric partnership, in which doctor and patient work together to dig deep and find out the causes of illness and disease. We examine not only the patient, but also their unique history, environment, lifestyle and underlying factors, and then develop a health-enhancing, usually drug-free plan to help restore the patient to good health and get him or her on a life-long path of wellness. With Functional Medicine, we look beyond the laundry list of symptoms; we take the whole person into account.

2. Functional Medicine is artisanal medicine.

With Functional Medicine, the patient experience is anything but conventional. One might even call it ‘artisanal medicine’, because it involves time, care and patience, since true healing doesn’t happen overnight. With Functional Medicine, we treat the person who has the disease rather than the disease the person has. It’s not unusual for my colleagues and me to spend an hour or more with patients, listening to their histories, doing the detective work, asking questions, and examining the genetic, environmental, and lifestyle patterns that effect health. By addressing the underlying causes of illness and disease, Functional Medicine practitioners are able to design unique, personalized healing plans that Conventional Medicine literally doesn’t have the tools, training, or the time for.

3. Functional Medicine is not assembly-line medicine.

Our current health care system is, to a large extent, governed by profit-driven conglomerates that essentially force physicians to manage huge caseloads and keep people moving through the system as quickly as possible. It’s mass-produced, assembly line, quick-fix, put-a-band-aid-on-it medicine, with little hope of creating long-term health. To its credit however, Conventional Medicine is great at managing medical and surgical emergencies, medical crises, acute infections and trauma, but falls way short when it comes to treating chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, gastrointestinal problems, chronic fatigue, autoimmune diseases, functional disorders, musculoskeletal problems and stress related disorders. This is where Functional Medicine shines bright with its more comprehensive, thoughtful approach.

4. Functional Medicine is the best of both worlds.

Functional Medicine is not an either/or system, but rather a true combination of Conventional Medicine and many different alternative and complementary therapies. It acknowledges the strengths of Conventional Medicine for acute and crisis-care, but also realizes that this approach does not have the tools for preventing and treating chronic diseases. Unlike conventional physicians, we are able to tap into all the tools of healing—drawing from Western, Eastern, alternative, preventative and integrative medical practices—to help our patients heal. By pulling from all of these approaches and by paying special attention to diet, exercise, nutrition, supplementation and the workings of the mind, we’re not just giving patients a band-aid, we’re giving them the tools to create sustainable wellness and vitality. To me, is what true healing is all about.

5. Functional Medicine looks for the cause.

In Conventional Medicine, doctors try to make a diagnosis and then apply a treatment for that particular diagnosis. In Functional Medicine we are less concerned with making a diagnosis and more concerned with the underlying imbalances or dysfunctions. These are the mechanisms of the disease process. We aim at treating those underlying disease mechanisms and ultimately look for the causes of those imbalances.

6. Functional Medicine is medicine on a mission.

I call myself a health evangelist, in part because I am a man on a mission. I aim to show the unwell how they can transform their health. Certainly they will need to do the work as I can’t do it for them, but we will work as partners to restore balance and health to their lives. And participating in the process, that slow transition from illness to wellness, is one of the greatest joys of Functional Medicine—for both patient and practitioner.

7. Functional Medicine is true Health Care.

Functional Medicine is true health care, unlike the disease care model of Conventional Medicine. We now have the knowledge to go beyond the current crisis care model and offer patients a much better approach to their health. We can incorporate lifestyle medicine, nutrition, supplements, stress reduction and exercise to improve the functioning of organs as a means of preventing disease and creating vibrant, sustainable health. We can address the healthcare needs of the 21st century….Let’s do it!!
Resource: http://www.drfranklipman.com/7-reasons-why-functional-medicine-rocks/

Fighting The Holiday Stress

By LuCinda Miller

The holidays are upon us! Although the holidays are full of celebration, they can also be a great source of stress for many. Dealing with crowds and long lines, attending back to back parties, eating too much, drinking too much, along with exercising too little and sleeping too little can take a toll on even the jolliest of souls. Here are a few tips to help make it through this holiday season:

Sunshine – Get outside on a sunny day. Research has shown that sun exposure boosts serotonin levels known to improve mood and fight off the winter blues. (Lambert GW1, 2002)

Exercise – Exercise releases endorphins, natural chemicals your body uses to combat pain and stress. Listen to your body and do what feels good that day whether it’s as gentle as a short walk or as strenuous as an hour long class. Your body knows what will rejuvenate and what will deplete, listen.

Organize – Keep your calendar updated and remember to choose carefully what you allow on it! Grant yourself permission to pick and choose the events you want to attend and not choose them out of obligation or guilt. Keep to-do lists handy, staying organized can help you feel a sense of control in the midst of the chaos.

Sleep – Sleep is your body’s time to rest and restore. Without it, we are less capable of handling stress. If you absolutely can’t get your 8 hours, try power napping for 20 minutes.

Come see us at The Healing Center:

o Allergy Clearings – It is easy to get triggered this time of year. Eating out can present many food triggers. In addition, stress compromises the gut diminishing the strength of the immune system and leaving you vulnerable to allergic reactions. We can identify and clear those triggers using NAET, a non-invasive allergy elimination technique.

o Emotional Clearings – The holidays can stir many emotions from memories of loved ones lost to family conflict. If you are experiencing emotional turmoil, it is time to come see us for emotional clearings. We can identify and release these emotions and help you to embrace a joyful holiday season.

o Adjustments – Chiropractic adjustments balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, calming the fight or flight response and moving you into a state of rest and digest.

o Massage – Massage is a very effective tool for relieving stress. Call to schedule a massage today with our very own Larry Amos!

o Adaptogenic Herbs – There are many herbs available to help the body deal with the effects of stress. The formula we prefer is Adaptocrine from Apex Energetics.

 Adaptogenic Herbs: Ginseng, Ashwagandha, Holybasil, Rhodiola, Eleuthero, Astragalus, Cordyceps

o Essential Oils – Find an oil or blend that smells good to you, that is how you know it is effective for you. Oils to try: Lavendar, Frankincense, Orange, Vanilla, Chamomile, and Rose.

Lambert GW1, R. C. (2002, December 7). PubMed.gov. Retrieved December 1, 2014, from National Center for Biotechnology Information: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12480364

Cooking Oils and Fats: How to Use Them In Your Diet

By: Mary Beth Gudewicz, CNTP, MNT

There is so much information on the market about which oils and fats can be used for cooking and which ones should be used in a salad or drizzled on top of cooked vegetables. Handling of nuts, seeds and their oils require extreme care. When oils and fats are either heated past their smoke point or used in high heat cooking, the fats start to break down releasing free radicals. Free radicals will attack your body’s cells leading to inflammation and eventually diseases such as heart disease, cancer, ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and rheumatoid arthritis. Oils, nuts and seeds that are not properly stored or packaged go rancid. For example, flaxseed oil needs to be stored in the refrigerator and must be kept in light, protective, opaque containers. On the other hand, olive oil does not need to be refrigerated. Some oils should be used in high-heat cooking and others in medium-heat cooking (200-300 degrees Fahrenheit) and others should only be used in low-heating conditions such as when you make soup or as part of your salad dressing. Believe it or not handling fats and oils requires extreme care, so let’s explore which ones are best for the job.

The key is to choose unprocessed fats over processed fats because processed fats are chemically unstable and prone to oxidation leading to inflammation in the body. You want to avoid all genetically modified fat sources such as corn oil, canola oil, soybean oil, margarine and shortening. The oils and fats to include in your diet are coconut oil, palm oil, lard, tallow, lamb fat, duck fat, olive oil, sesame oil, nut oils (walnut, pecan, macadamia), flaxseed oil (in moderation), avocado oil, nuts and seeds. If you can have dairy in your diet, ghee and organic, grass-fed butter are great choices. The fats and oils that are great for hot uses are coconut oil, palm oil, butter, ghee, lard, tallow, lamb fat and duck fat. The cold use oils and fats are olive oil, sesame oil, nut oils, flaxseed oil, avocado oil, nuts and seeds, including the butters.

Light, heat, water and air are enemies of cooking oils and oils such as avocado, hazelnut, sesame, flaxseed and walnut oils should be refrigerated to prevent rancidity. All other oils should be kept tightly sealed in a cool, dark place. You can wrap any translucent bottle in tin foils to extend its shelf life. Also remember to never, ever store your oils and fats over the stove.

There is much discussion around smoke points. The smoke point of an oil or fat is the temperature point where the oil stops shimmering and starts smoking. This is the point to take your pan off the heat. The higher a fat’s smoke point, the more cooking methods you can use it for.

Below is a chart that outlines the smoke points of common fats and oils. It is from a combination of sources, The Professional Chef and Modernist Cuisine.

[table caption=”” width=”500″ colwidth=”250|250″ colalign=”left|left”]
Type of Fat,Smoke Point
Light/Refined Olive Oil,490 degrees F / 260 degrees C
Clarified Butter (Ghee),450 degrees F / 260 degrees C
Beef Tallow,400 degrees F / 250 degrees C
Lard,370 degrees F / 185 degrees C
Avocado Oil (Virgin),375-400 degrees F / 190-205 degrees C
Chicken Fat,375 degrees F / 190 degrees C
Duck Fat,375 degrees F / 190 degrees C
Sesame Oil,350-410 degrees F / 175-210 degrees C
Butter,350 degrees F / 175 degrees C
Coconut Oil,350 degrees F / 175 degrees C
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil,325-375 degrees F / 165-190 degrees C


Myhrvold, Nathan, Chris Young, Maxime Bilet, and Ryan Matthew. Smith. Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking. Bellevue, WA: Cooking Lab, 2011. Print.

The Professional Chef. New York: Wiley, 2002. Print.

Enig, Mary G. Know Your Fats: The Complete Primer for Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils and Cholesterol. Silver Spring, MD: Bethesda, 2000. Print.

Achitoff-Gray, Niki. “Cooking Fats 101: What’s a Smoke Point and Why Does It Matter?” Serious Eats: The Destination for Delicious. Serious Eats, 16 May 2014. Web. 09 Nov. 2014. <http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/05/cooking-fats-101-whats-a-smoke-point-and-why-does-it-matter.html>.

Liska, DeAnn, and Jeffrey Bland. Clinical Nutrition: A Functional Approach. Gig Harbor, WA: Institute for Functional Medicine, 2004. Print.

Mercola, Josephs. “AHA’s Recommendations on Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fats.” Mercola.com. Mercola.com, 12 Jan. 2012. Web. 16 Nov. 2014. <http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/01/12/aha-position-on-omega-6-fats.aspx>.

Food is Your Best Medicine: The Benefits of Bone Broth

By Jessica Yoches, CNTP

While cooler, Fall weather calls for nourishing soups and stews and the pleasant smells of them warming on the stove, it also invokes the worry of possible colds and the flu. Turns out soup is just what the body is asking for: homemade bone broth is an inexpensive, effective antidote for preventing and healing colds or the flu, while also supplying important minerals and nutrients for overall health. As the popular book series indicates, chicken soup is good for the soul! Bone broth has remained a traditional household staple across many cultures and countries since the 12th Century and is just as therapeutic even after 2000 years. The elimination of bone broth in the diet correlates with comprised health and disease. Canned broth or bouillon cubes won’t cut it; no substitute can recreate the magic of homemade broth. But why is homemade bone broth so beneficial?


The benefits of homemade bone broth are numerous and include:
• Easy to digest and rich in highly absorbable minerals.
• Full of bone-building minerals like Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Silicon, Sulphur, and other trace minerals that support healthy bone formation
• No artificial ingredients, preservatives, or side effects.
• Contains boiled down cartilage and tendons that support joint health. Compounds such as glycosaminoglycan’s, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulphates are released while cooking. These compounds alleviate joint pain and arthritis more effectively than supplements.
• Cheaper than buying supplements of each compound in isolation. These compounds are sold as expensive supplements, but are better absorbed in their whole food form.
• Consistency in nutrients – commercial soups vary in their efficacy and quantity of nutrients.
• Helps prevent and fight off colds.
• Speeds healing and recovery from the cold or flu.
• Alleviates inflammation – broth contains certain anti-inflammatory amino acids such as proline, glycine, and arginine.
• Another amino acid in broth, cysteine, helps thin and expel mucus from the lungs more easily.
• Helpful for infections of the upper respiratory tract – bone broth contains compounds that increase nasal mucus velocity. The steam opens up a congested nose or throat.
• Contains immune-optimizing substances, helpful for auto-immune disorders
• The gelatin content improves nail and hair health.
• The gelatin is a hydrophilic colloid that attracts and holds liquids including digestive juices that support digestion.
• Lastly…bone broth is one of the most vital components for gut healing.

Broth and Gut Repair

Not only is homemade bone broth easy to digest and full of minerals and nutrients, but it also helps heal the gut lining, sealing a leaky gut. The gelatin in broth attracts and holds intestinal juices to support digestion. Because of our diet today, our exposure to toxins, and our antibiotic and drug use, the nation as a whole is in need of serious gut repair to eliminate infections and heal the intestinal lining. The gut requires specific nutrients to function optimally; the health of the gut influences the health of the rest of the body. As the saying goes, “remember, all disease begins in the gut.” By healing the gut, you can eradicate food allergies, asthma, autism, attention deficit disorder, autoimmune disorders, and other mood disorders such as A.D.H.D., anxiety, depression, dyslexia, eating disorders, and schizophrenia. Being diagnosed with any of the above conditions is an automatic indication that bone broth will be therapeutic in eliminating that condition. Healing the gut is crucial to healing the body, and bone broth is a key ingredient in the process.

The C’s – Cost effective, Cheap, Commitment is low, Crockpots too!

All of the ingredients for broth can be purchased in bulk, saving money; extras can be stored and put to other uses. This includes celery, carrots, onions, parsley, vinegar, and whole, organic chickens or other bones bought in quantity. These vegetables are cheap, as is buying meat in bulk. Cooking a whole chicken first will provide meat for many meals. Next, use the carcass and bones to make homemade bone broth that can be put to many uses. Even if you can’t use the bones right away, you can freeze them to make broth later. The commitment of time spent making broth is low. Preparation may take up to an hour, but once the broth is started, it cooks on its own. Broth should be cooked for at least 24 hours and up to 72 hours or 3 days. Cooking bone broth in a Crockpot is an excellent way to make broth and allows you to walk away, go to work, etc. and come home to delicious broth waiting! Vinegar is added to enhance mineral content as it pulls minerals out of the bones into the broth. With minimal preparation and planning you can have delicious bone broth all the time. It can be used for soups, main dishes, sautéing, or freezing for later use. Make sure to freeze in glass jars. Broth adds layers of complexity to any dish, while healing the gut and helping prevent future colds and the flu. Talk about bang for your buck!

Importance of Organic Bones

When buying soup bones or a whole chicken, it’s extremely important to select bones only from high-quality organic and grass-fed animals. Look for organic meats and bones, or shop at your farmers market. Conventional animals contain mineral depleted bones and possible contamination. According to Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions, the stock made from non-organic chickens doesn’t gel; the gelatin is an extremely beneficial property of bone broth and conventional chickens lack this asset.

Different Types of Broth

You can make homemade bone broth from many types of animal bones such as beef, chicken, or fish. Each one will impart a different flavor. Even the bones in the head and feet are nutritious; all bones in the fish, including the head are good for broth, while chicken feet and heads are good sources of collagen. Broth can also be made from vegetables. If bone broth is preferable, starting with chicken broth is recommended as it has the mildest flavor.

At The Healing Center, we have a recipe for each type of broth. Bone broth is an essential piece of our gut repair protocol and we help you in the process with recipes and a diet plan that supports your individual healing needs. See below for one of our recipes to make chicken bone broth.

Recipe – Chicken Stock

1 whole free-range chicken or 2 to 3 pounds of bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones and wings*
gizzards from one chicken (optional)
2-4 chicken feet (optional)
4 quarts cold filtered water
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1 bunch parsley

*Note: Farm-raised, free-range chickens give the best results. Many battery-raised chickens will not produce stock that gels.

If you are using a whole chicken, cut off the wings and remove the neck, fat glands and the gizzards from the cavity. Cut chicken parts into several pieces. (If you are using a whole chicken, remove the neck and wings and cut them into several pieces.) Place chicken or chicken pieces in a large stainless steel pot with water, vinegar and all vegetables except parsley. Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour. Bring to a boil, and remove scum that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 to 8 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be. About 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley. This will impart additional mineral ions to the broth.
Remove whole chicken or pieces with a slotted spoon. If you are using a whole chicken, let cool and remove chicken meat from the carcass. Reserve for other uses, such as chicken salads, enchiladas, sandwiches or curries. Strain the stock into a large bowl and reserve in your refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Skim off this fat and reserve the stock in covered containers in your refrigerator or freezer.







Is Sugar Robbing You of Your Immunity?

By LuCinda Miller

As we embark on cold and flu season, it’s a good time to consider introducing immune boosting strategies to protect your health.  One common practice is to reach for extra vitamin C at the sign of the first sniffle, but is this an effective strategy?   It can be if you cut out the sugar.

Your Immune System at Work

When exposed to bacteria, viruses and other foreign invaders, your body goes on attack.  The white blood cells (WBC’s) of your immune system are called into action to gobble up these invaders.  This is called phagocytosis.  If your immune system is strong, your WBC’s will get their job done and the pathogen will never take hold, keeping you from getting sick!

The Vitamin C Connection to Immunity 

It has been known since the 1970’s that vitamin C is critical to the function of our WBC’s through the work of Linus Pauling.  Through his research he discovered that WBC’s must contain 50 times the concentration of vitamin C on the inside of the cell than the outside.  Therefore it is critical for WBC’s to accumulate vitamin C to maintain their phagocytic function.

The Problem with Sugar

Here is where the problem with sugar arises.  Sugar (glucose) and vitamin C have a similar chemical structure.  They also share the same receptor sites for entry into the cells.  This puts them into direct competition for absorption, so the more sugar available the less vitamin C can get into the cell.  As a result the 50 time internal concentration of vitamin C doesn’t occur in the WBC and suppresses the immune system’s ability to take out the foreign invaders.  It then takes 4-6 hours to rebuild the vitamin C levels inside the cell again.  NOW you get SICK!

Interesting Facts

  • A blood sugar level of 120 (1 can of soda) reduces phagocytosis (Immune function) by 75%
  • Consumption of sugar can suppress your immune system for up to 6 hours
  • American Heart Association recommendation for sugar consumption (gram/4 = tsp):
    •  Women < 100 calories/day = 6 tsp
    • Men < 150 calories/day = 9 tsp
    • High doses of vitamin C have been shown to boost immune function
      • Always remember 50% vitamin C & 50% Bioflavonoids for max effectiveness
      • Beware of the sugar content of popular vitamin C supplements; Emergen-C is over 50% sugar so it isn’t the most effective choice to raise vitamin C levels!
      • Here at The Healing Center we can help by evaluating you on an individual basis and identifying your specific immune requirements as well as providing you individualized immune boosting strategies.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Food Sensitivities -Your Guide to Eliminating Chronic Fatigue (Part 3 of 10)

By Michal Cooling, CNTP

At The Healing Center we have a holistic, whole-person view as well as molecular view, with tools and testing to evaluate the biochemistry of cells, tissues, and organs. We seek to find the exact imbalance in your body, the underlying cause for that imbalance, and the individualized solution.

With this approach, we view fatigue differently than traditional medicine, and usually find there is a network of things contributing towards this fatigue and other related symptoms. Here are our top ten strategies for eliminating chronic fatigue… for GOOD.

These are the top ten most common causes of chronic fatigue that we see, which are often not addressed by conventional or even holistic practitioners:

  1. Auto-Immunity
  2. Gut Function / Nutrient Imbalances / Poor Absorption 
  3. Hidden Food Sensitivities
  4. Hidden Infections
  5. Brain Imbalance
  6. Emotional / Stress/ Post-Trauma
  7. Sleep Issues and Their Underlying Causes
  8. Hormone Imbalances (Thyroid, Adrenal, Sex)
  9. Toxicity
  10. Detoxification and Metabolism Impairment

Food Sensitivities can also contribute to Chronic Fatigue. Delayed Reaction Food Sensitivities are common and most people don’t know they have them. Unlike the scary Food Allergies we all hear about, they usually don’t result in a quick rash or trouble breathing or outward sign that sends someone to the Emergency Room for life saving treatment. They can just cause a low grade inflammation that may only be felt 5 days later as fatigue. The resulting gastrointestinal inflammation can decrease absorption in the GI tract, resulting in many deficiencies we have already discussed. Many people are just tired, overweight, retain water, have redness to the face, nose, chin, neck or chest and wouldn’t know it is the banana they eat each morning. So what’s scarier, a fast allergy you find out immediately so you stay away from that food, or an insidious, mild inflammation that keeps you miserable and unable to lose weight no matter if you cut back on calories or work out all the time?

Holistic Nutritionist, Vivian Cheng explains “Food intolerance symptoms and symptoms of food allergies manifest themselves in more ways than most people think. The general public is aware that severe food allergies can cause anaphylaxis, or that environmental allergies can cause people to sneeze or break out into hives. But did you know that allergy and intolerance can be responsible for a very wide range of symptoms that can affect any part of the body, and they don’t necessarily have to cause symptoms where first contact occurs?

In her book, Allergies: Disease in Disguise : How to Heal Your Allergic Condition Permanently and Naturally, Dr. Bateson-Koch states:“Allergy does not cause every disease, but it can be involved in almost any disease and it can play an integral role in the development of disease. It is so prevalent that if you have not been told the cause of your health problems or symptoms, you should consider allergy first.”

 Dr. Loblay has been investigating patients with M.E. /CFS for the past ten years. His clinical research has shown: “Adverse reactions to foods can be a significant cause of symptoms in some patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, although the contribution of diet is not always easy to recognize.” He explains the reasons why the advances in medicine regarding food allergies has only been in recent years, as the understanding of the immune system and food science have developed. This difference lies mainly in the distinction between food allergy and food intolerances. 

Barbara Solomon, certified nutrition specialist, explains this difference well. She states “Most folks think food allergies or intolerance only present as rashes, hives, or asthma. That is pretty far from the truth. Severe allergic reactions (IgE antibodies) may cause outward symptoms, but common food allergies (IgG or IgA) don’t show up on regular allergy tests of the skin or blood but still lead to symptoms throughout the body. For instance, a recent article in The New England Journal of Medicine listed 55 “diseases” that can be traced back to gluten consumption.  These include Hashimoto’s thyroid disease, arthritis, chronic sinusitis, type 1 diabetes, irritable bowel, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, joint pain, etc. and their array of symptoms.

The distinction between food allergy and food intolerance depends on whether the immune system is involved. For example, let’s take a  look at Celiac disease. True celiac disease is an autoimmune condition in which the body attacks the small intestine. It only occurs in about 1 percent of Americans, whereas a non-celiac reaction is when the immune system attacks the gluten molecule.  It is far more common and affects over 30% of the population. There also can be a food sensitivity which occurs when a delayed immune system response is initiated by the triggering food. 
Food reactivities can be immediate or can take several days. In fact, each time a glass of milk is consumed, morphine-like substances are released into the brain which cause a molecular reaction that could remains active for up to three weeks. Gluten responses can last for months to those who are susceptible. Because symptoms may be delayed for days, a low-grade food intolerance may be hard to detect. For example, why would you consider that a gut issue would be due to a tomato eaten four days ago!

Try to think of the one thing in your diet you couldn’t possibly live without, and that is probably what you are intolerant to!  People with biochemical sensitivity to certain foods tend to crave the very foods that are harming them. The common belief that we crave what our bodies need does not hold true when our body systems are imbalanced. People with imbalances instead crave what gives them temporary satisfaction, even if these indulgences are usually followed by unpleasant physical symptoms, anxiety, depression, or lethargy. Instead of taking these symptoms as a sign that a particular food is bad for us, we recall mainly how good it initially made us feel, and so we seek more of it.

These foods can be highly addictive. Foods such as gluten and dairy have been shown to release morphine-like substances such as gluteomorphins or casomorphins, respectively, which cause us to crave the foods we are allergic to. Many times we eat these foods because they make us feel better by alleviating the withdrawal symptoms causing the cycle to continue.”

Another key impact of food sensitivities is that they can cause nutrient deficiencies, such as key vitamins, minerals or amino acids. The impact of this is on the mitochondria. Mitochondria are the little powerhouses in our cells that use nutrients from food to make ATP, our energy molecule. Common deficiencies like CoQ10, Alpha Lipoic Acid, B Vitamins, Minerals, Amino Acids, Essential Fatty Acids and others can grind the mitochondrial machinery to a halt.

See our blog Allergy Testing & Immune Testing for more information on identifying your food sensitivities!


At the Healing Center we use a combination of lab testing, NAET, elimination and provocation diets, and bio-communication technology to identify what substances are bothering you. They may be causing your immune system to run on high all the time, resulting in Chronic Fatigue, Weight Gain, Allergies or even Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Chronic Fatigue can be caused by Parasites, Yeast Overgrowth (Candida), Hormone Imbalances, Digestive Problems, Gluten Sensitivity, Celiac Disease, Heavy Metal and Chemical Toxicities, Stress, Numerous Deficiencies and more.

We also analyze which vitamins and minerals are sub-optimal and supplement when appropriate to support the mitochondria’s ability to manufacture ATP energy molecules. Options include: Riboflavin, Lipoic Acid, Enada (NADH) phosphatidyl serine, L-Carnitine, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, glutathione, CDP-choline, Coenzyme Q, Essential Fatty Acids and “adaptogenic” herbs.










(source: Bateson-Koch, Carolee. “Allergy: The multiple symptom syndrome.” In Allergies: Disease in Disguise. Burnaby, B.C.: Alive Books, 1994.)

Page 5 of 10« First...34567...10...Last »