My Cancer Journey  
– Berberine as a Medicine –

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

September 25, 2022

If you know anything about me, you know that I am constantly digging for information to tweak my 11 Unconventional Cancer Protocols. In that regard, I’m a geek. However, this is a great way to be when you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Once again, I’m embarking on an experiment where N=1. And I’m the guinea pig!

This time, I’m researching a chemical called berberine. And I’m looking at it through the lens of a medicine and not a nutritional supplement.

  • A medicine is a compound for the treatment or prevention of a disease. Medicines have benefits as well as side effects.
  • A nutritional supplement is a product containing one or more ingredients that is taken to remedy a deficiency in one’s diet by providing the missing nutrient or nutrients.

 

Berberine

Berberine is a plant-based alkaloid that has been used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine for over three thousand years. This alkaloid is found in roughly 500 species of plants. It is extracted from many parts of the plant including the root, stem, leaves, fruit, and bark. Some plants that contain berberine are European barberry, goldenseal, goldthread, Oregon grape, philodendron, and tree turmeric. Berberine consists of nitrogen­-containing substances which have been used to support immune function as well as to reduce inflammation, infection, high blood sugar, gut dysfunction, cholesterol, and triglycerides.

Animal and human researchers are continuing to delve into berberine’s methods of action. These scientists are uncovering the powerful effects that berberine plays in many pathways of the body including acute diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.[1]

The numbers of revealing published studies prove to me that berberine’s methods of action are basic for overall health as well as the interruption of pathological pathways. I’m not suggesting that berberine is a cure-all for disease. But it appears to be a chemical that has significant potential for wellness.

 

Berberine’s Anti-Cancer Effects

My special interest lies in the medical studies relating to the cancer fighting effects of berberine.

Berberine has the potential to be an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent as well as an effective immunomodulator. Published peer-reviewed research suggests that berberine may become widely used in clinics for cancer therapy.[2]

Specifically, berberine demonstrates anti-tumor activity by interfering in multiple features of tumor development.[3],[4],[5]

Berberine prevents cancer cell proliferation by inducing apoptosis and controlling the cell cycle as well as autophagy. Berberine also hinders tumor cell invasion and metastasis by down-regulating metastasis-related proteins. In addition, berberine is beneficial in the early stages of cancer development by lowering epithelial–mesenchymal transition protein expression.[6]

The therapeutic efficacy of berberine has been reported for specific cancers …

  • bone
  • breast
  • colon
  • cutaneous
  • intestine
  • liver
  • oral
  • pancreatic
  • prostate
  • thyroid

 

Berberine & Multiple Myeloma

My research uncovered pertinent clinical studies showing that berberine can kill human multiple myeloma cells.[7],[8],[9],[10]

In one animal study[11], berberine treatment significantly suppressed the growth of multiple myeloma tumors. A 66.7% inhibition of tumor growth was noted at day 14 in the experimental group, which was treated with berberine (50 mg/kg) every other day for 2 consecutive weeks.

 

Side Effects

Berberine is generally well tolerated at recommended dosage levels. In clinical studies at 500 mg 2-3 times daily, side effects were generally mild but included nausea, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal distension and/or abdominal pain. It is not recommended for use during pregnancy.

 

Interactions

Berberine may interfere with the absorption of tetracycline, cyclosporine, and related antibiotics.

In addition, berberine produces significant inhibition of CYP3A enzymes in humans. Because most drugs are metabolized by these enzymes, it may decrease the clearance of many medications, thereby enhancing their effect.

People on oral diabetes drugs should monitor blood glucose levels if taking berberine since berberine by itself will decrease blood glucose levels. Because of this, patients may need to adjust the dosage of their diabetes meds.

Other interactions include:

  • Berberine might slow blood clotting. Taking berberine along with medications that also slow blood clotting might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.
  • Berberine might lower blood pressure. Taking berberine along with medications that lower blood pressure might cause blood pressure to go too low. Monitor your blood pressure closely.
  • Berberine might cause sleepiness and slowed breathing. Taking berberine with sedative medications might cause breathing problems and/or too much sleepiness.

 

My N=1 Experiment

After reviewing the published science, I concluded that berberine might hold some promise for me.

Caveat: I do not recommend that anyone tries my protocol. This is my own experiment. It has not been proven or approved by the FDA to cure cancer or any disease.

However, I am going to use this product in my personal experiment and share the results as they become available over time. Here’s how I started my individual study …

Based on my weight, I started consuming 3 grams of berberine every other day on 9/12/22. There is some research that suggests that it is best to cycle in and out of dosing berberine. So, my N=1 experiment will be for me to take 3 grams of berberine every other day for three weeks. After that, I’ll give my body at least one week to recover and rebalance itself. Then, I’ll return to cycling on and off my berberine regimen. Every four weeks, I’ll have my blood work checked at my cancer clinic to see if there are any positive or negative changes. The tests my oncologist orders include:

    • CBC (Complete Blood Count)[12]
    • CMP (Comprehensive Metabolic Panel)[13]
    • SPEP (Serum Protein ElectroPhoresis) with immunofixation[14]

 

My Emotional State

If you’ve been following my cancer journey, you know I have been experimenting with my way of eating, my gut health, and my methods to improve the robustness of my immune system. And my experimentation has included some successes and a few major setbacks.

My new protocol with berberine is just another of my N=1 experiments.

Today, I am confident in telling you that I am doing extremely well!

It is my pleasure to report that once again I have outsmarted my doctors’ prognosis. I am not only on the mend, but I am also beginning to thrive again.

Since my diagnosis in September 2018 of incurable bone marrow cancer with the dire prognosis of 3-6 months to live, I’ve learned so much.

I’ve learned that …

  • No matter how bad things seem to be, you can improve them
  • Everything you put into or onto your body affects every cell in your body
  • If you can improve the function of your immune system, you can prevent and heal most diseases
  • You are in control of your interpretation of the world around you – your attitude will guide you to your success

 

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5839379/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6996556/

[3] https://www.spandidos-publications.com/10.3892/ol.2015.3494

[4] https://www.nature.com/articles/labinvest201771

[5] https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2019/RA/C8RA09172B

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8658774/

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7098108/

[8] https://bmcsystbiol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1752-0509-8-82

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4086496/

[10] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24843889/

[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7098108/

[12] https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/complete-blood-count

[13] https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/22058-comprehensive-metabolic-panel-cmp

[14] https://n4vu.com/faq/what-is-the-difference-between-spep-and-immunofixation/

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Personal Hygiene
– A State of Balance: Part 2 –
   

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

September 18, 2022

 

 

In case you missed it, in last week’s blog we looked at chemicals in our personal hygiene products that can be wreaking havoc on our skin and penetrating into our body tissues. Since your skin serves as a protective barrier, efficient and effective personal hygiene habits are a must to maintain that healthy barrier.

Unfortunately, common hygiene products for the skin, the hair, and the mouth aren’t only unnecessary, but they can be harmful because of the toxic chemicals that make up their ingredients. Yet, if you immediately stopped all the chemical products, most likely you would notice some uncomfortable changes.

If you stopped showering with unhealthy soaps and shampoos, your skin and hair will probably feel a little greasy and dirty at first. You may become aware of some body odors, which may not be pleasing immediately. It will take time for the good bacteria that interacts with your skin and sweat to repopulate to a healthy balance. But eventually, your body will adjust if your diet and gut microbiome are healthy.

It may take a few weeks for you to get the surface of your skin in balance. For others, it may take many months. Stick with it. With a healthy gut microbiome and diet, offensive body odors will be a thing of the past. You may not be familiar with your own natural body odors, but they are pleasant and neutral to the senses.

Beware of products that are used in commercial hair and nail salons as well as “health” spas. These chemicals may be highly toxic. However, more health-conscious commercial salons and spas are popping up all over. Be sure to inquire about the products they use. Be proactive.

Let’s talk about specific personal hygiene actions to consider for various areas of your body:

 

Skin

The best way to clean your skin is to use filtered water and a washcloth. Water with a washcloth will rinse away dirt and dead cells without stripping vital oils from your skin. Just a few minutes in the shower is enough to do an efficient job. Longer showers might dry out your skin.

While cleaning your body, don’t forget to clean the “folds” in your skin. For example, the folds of skin around your ears and belly button will harbor potentially pathologic microbes if you forget to clean these hidden surfaces. And don’t forget the folds of skin around the genital areas.

If you want, you could use a mild cleanser instead of just water. One mild-cleanser method is “oil cleansing”, which is done with pure oils and a washcloth dampened with warm water. The oil will lift excess sebum (the oily substance produced by glands on your skin), clean out clogged pores like blackheads and whiteheads, remove dead skin as well as toxic pollutants and makeup, and will help hydrate the skin.[1]

Two perfect oils to use are either olive oil, avocado oil, or both mixed together. In the shower, place the oil on a moistened washcloth and wash your body. Don’t scrub hard. Then rinse. Be sure to have a slip-proof mat on the shower floor so that you don’t slip on an oily surface.

In addition to oil cleansing, you could use “dry brushing” to remove additional dead cells. It is an effective way to remove dead skin cells and dirt from the surface of your skin, while also promoting the production of healthy oils. Dry brushing is simple to do. Use a natural fiber brush with a long handle to brush your dry skin. Be sure to be gentle and avoid any areas of skin irritation.

  1. Start at your feet and move up your body.
  2. Brush your skin using wide, circular motions.
  3. Use light pressure in areas where your skin is thin and harder pressure on thicker skin, like the soles of your feet.
  4. Brush your arms after you have brushed your feet, legs, and mid-section. You should brush upward towards your armpits.
  5. After dry brushing, take a shower to help remove the dead skin cells.
  6. Following your shower, you could apply various natural oils to moisturize your skin (ex: olive, avocado, or coconut oil).

If you are concerned that your skin microbiome may be damaged, you may be interested in Mother Dirt, which makes products to help restore the normal microbiome to your skin if necessary.

Speaking about the skin, here is my take on tattoos. They are loaded with potentially toxic chemicals – and even some heavy metals. Dyes in tattoos have been linked to skin cancer.[2] I wrote about tattoos way back in 2017.

 

Armpits

If you want to use a deodorant, I recommend using coconut oil. It acts as a moisturizer as well as a mild antimicrobial. In addition, when you use a small amount, and rub it into the armpit area, it is absorbed quickly and does not leave a slimy or uncomfortable feel. If you want a little more antimicrobial protection, add a “dab” of baking soda to the coconut oil before you apply it to your armpits. This will not stop you from sweating, but sweating is a biological process that is necessary.

Humans are designed to sweat, but a metabolically healthy person will not produce offensive odors. Therefore, a commercial deodorant would be unnecessary.

However, if you still prefer a commercial deodorant product, Pretty Frank is a company you may want to investigate.

 

Mouth

Read my 4 Steps to a Healthy Mouth, where I discuss why and how to have a healthy mouth.

You only need water to brush your teeth correctly and effectively. You could add a pinch of Himalayan salt to the water. You also could brush after you dip the toothbrush bristles into a little baking soda, which will neutralize excess acid in the mouth as well as remove superficial stains on the surface of your teeth.

If you’re looking for a commercial toothpaste, one of the best which is healthy and helps balance the oral microbiome is Revitin.

Here is another substance you can use as a toothpaste, but it may surprise you.

Research has shown that raw honey is effective at removing potentially harmful bacteria and preventing tooth decay and gum disease.[3],[4] Honey has over 200 known biologically active substances[5] – yet many more probably will be discovered in the future. While all raw honey is effective, most of the medical research has shown the superiority of Manuka honey because of some of its unique, biologically active compounds.[6],[7]

If you want to use a mouthwash occasionally, use some coconut oil and swish it around for a minute or so. Then, spit it out (called Oil Pulling). If you use coconut oil as a mouthwash, be sure to spit it out into a napkin or paper towel and throw it in the trash. If you spit coconut oil into your sink, it could clog up the pipes! By the way, raw honey is also an excellent choice for a mouthwash.

 

Hair

In Part 1, I mentioned several caustic elements that are in many commercial shampoos. You may be using some shampoos that include these unhealthy chemicals. There are better choices.

In a moment, I’ll make a suggestion which may surprise you. But to help you transition from a caustic and damaging shampoo to a healthier solution that I’ll describe below, you may want to choose from these more healthy and biologically compatible shampoos:

Now, for the surprise. Here’s a better choice to clean and revitalize your hair – raw honey.

Raw honey is a natural humectant that retains moisture and is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other biologically active ingredients. To use honey as a shampoo, simply mix some raw honey into half-a-cup of warm water. Apply the mixture to your hair like you would any traditional shampoo, and then rinse well.

Now, before you doubt me and my extraordinary claims about honey, consider this: the emollient properties in honey smooth out your hair follicles, and when combined with its humectant properties, it locks in shine and can restore the natural luster of your hair. Who doesn’t want great looking, healthy hair?

 

Nails

Use a gentle nail brush to get to those surfaces that can trap foreign matter. Also, cutting nails regularly is an important personal hygiene activity. This will help maintain cleanliness as well as prevent hangnails, breakage, and other potential damage to your nails.

 

Hands

If you use the conventional antimicrobial products to wash your hands on a regular basis, you will severely damage the skin on your hands and around your nails. This has become a problem currently because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the emphasis on antimicrobial hand sanitizers.

You only need to wash your hands for 10-20 seconds with cold or warm water to remove pathogenic species.

Here’s a better idea. Think about washing your hands frequently with raw honey and water. Just like using honey as a shampoo or a toothpaste, honey is a perfect cleanser. It helps to fight infection and to prevent the overgrowth of harmful bacteria. Just lather up and wash for 10-20 seconds. It does not matter if you use cold water or hot water.[8]

 

Vagina

If you have vaginal concerns, eating a nutrient-dense diet and maintaining a healthy gut microbiome are important.

If you have an infection called “vaginal candidiasis”, applying only honey to the area[9] or applying a mixture of honey and yogurt[10] has been shown in medical studies to be as effective as, but safer than, using fungicides or other antimicrobial chemicals. Although all raw honey has demonstrated significant healing qualities, I would recommend Manuka honey because of the abundance of published scientific research, which I discussed earlier.

 

My Thoughts

Our human machine is protected to some extent by an external barrier. I’ve discussed some of the barriers that protect us as well as some of the products we place on our body that may or may not help to protect us. Personal hygiene is personal.

I’ll repeat what I said in Part 1: Specific guidelines to avoid toxic elements that could enter the body remain a priority. Anything that disrupts the natural microbiome should always be avoided. Our body functions and thrives by homeostasis – an intricate state of balance. I have given you some of my thoughts, but this is far from complete.

As always, I encourage you to do your own research. Take the time to investigate the ingredients in your personal care items. Experiment and figure out what works for you. Save this blog for reference later. And remember, everything in your body is connected.

 

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27815985

[2] https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/960976

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Honey+in+oral+health+and+care%3A+a+mini+review

[4] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1349007918300975?via%3Dihub

[5] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0102695X16301843?via%3Dihub

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28901255

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4837971/

[8] https://jfoodprotection.org/doi/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-16-370

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3814582/

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26153168

 

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Personal Hygiene
– A State of Balance: Part 1 –

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

September 11, 2022

 

You know me. I’m all about a healthy gut, oral health, and a nutrient-dense eating lifestyle. These lead to the creation of a robust immune system and overall wellness. But let’s get into another subject that has to do with the external covering of our body. I’m talking about the barrier that prevents toxic elements from penetrating into our body.

What we put on our body and what we avoid putting on our body directly affect what gets absorbed through our skin. And what gets through our skin eventually impacts every cell to some extent.

So, let’s clean up and protect our external surfaces efficiently, appropriately, and in a non-toxic manner.

I’ve divided this into two parts. This week in Part 1, I talk about the barrier and some toxic products we might place on it. Next week in Part 2, I’ll talk about several healthy methods and biocompatible products to clean and protect this outer barrier.

 

Our External Barrier

Our external surfaces are dependent on the health of our gut and the health of the microbes that live in harmony all over our body.[1],[2] Our skin is a protective barrier with its specific microbiome.[3] Numerous studies in the past have demonstrated the critical importance between gut health, our immune system, and the surface health of our body.[4]

Today, we are faced with a dilemma. Living in a civilized society encourages some very bad habits. They include high stress levels, too little sleep, poor food choices, too much or too little exercise, and frequent use of antibiotics and antimicrobial products in general. All these will damage the gut microbiome and negatively affect our skin resulting in all types of irritations, infections, dryness, and unhealthy sweating. In addition, many of the products we use on our body have toxic elements that can penetrate our body. We need to be proactive and make changes that improve our overall health and our skin.

A nutrient-dense anti-inflammatory diet, stress reduction, restorative sleep, and efficient exercise should be part of your healthy lifestyle. These also will improve your gut microbiome, which affects all your tissues including your skin.

Always remember that the outer layer of your body acts as a protective barrier.

 

Skin

Conventional soaps, which are made by mixing fat or oil with an alkali such as lye, can damage skin by raising its pH, obliterating healthy bacteria, and stripping away vital oils.[5]

Unfortunately, soap can also contain some really bad stuff. Here are 11 harmful and toxic substances that may be in your favorite skin soap as well as other products:

  1. Cocamidopropyl Betaine
    This is a synthetic detergent that increases spreading and wetting properties. It is used to increase the foaming action. It can cause rosacea, eczema, skin irritation, and eye irritation.
  2. Butylatedhydroxy Anisole and Butylated Hydroxytoluene
    These chemicals help extend a soap’s shelf life, but they are carcinogens, hormone disruptors, and could cause liver damage.
  3. Diethanolamine
    This chemical ingredient can cause liver and kidney cancer. Interestingly, it is banned for use in self-care products and cosmetics in the European Union because of its organ toxicity.
  4. 1,4 Dioxane
    This chemical may damage the kidney, brain, and liver. This compound is listed as a probable human carcinogen. Research has shown that it easily penetrates the skin, and excessive exposure has been linked to organ toxicity. The FDA does not require 1,4 Dioxane to be listed on labels as it is a byproduct of the manufacturing process rather than an ingredient in and of itself.
  5. Formaldehyde
    It is added to a product to prevent bacterial growth. Yet, this is a well-known carcinogen and toxic substance, which may cause asthma, skin irritation, and nerve damage.
  6. Methylisothiazolinone and Methylchloroisothiazolinone
    These preservatives in some soaps can be irritating to the skin and can cause skin sensitivity and allergic reactions.
  7. Parabens (methyl-, isobutyl-, propyl- and others)
    These are additional preservative chemicals added to soaps commonly to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. However, parabens can disrupt hormones and negatively affect fertility and reproductive organs, as well as harm birth outcomes and increase the risks of developing certain types of cancer. They are also a common cause of skin irritation.
  8. Polyethylene Glycol (PEG compounds)
    These may be added to soaps as thickeners, softeners, and moisture-carriers. Often, they may be contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, which have been shown to be cancer producers and trigger allergies.
  9. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS and SLES)
    These chemicals are surfactants and serve a dual purpose: acting as both a foaming agent and a detergent that removes fat, oil, and grease. They have been linked to skin irritations and allergic reactions. They bond with other common soap ingredients, resulting in nitrosamines, which are known as human carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.
  10. Synthetic Fragrance
    This sounds great but is manmade and harmful These man-made scents may be hormone disruptors and create allergic reactions. Most of the synthetic chemicals used in fragrances are petroleum-based and are known to be detrimental to human health.
  11. Triclosan and Triclocarban
    These are antibacterial agents but interfere with the body’s thyroid hormone metabolism and may be a potential endocrine disruptor. In 2017, these were banned by the FDA and will no longer be allowed in hand and body soaps in the U.S.

Healthy skin has a pH around 5.5, which is slightly acidic. Conventional soaps to clean your skin may have a pH as high as 11. Continuous use of soaps will damage skin by developing increased dryness, itching, irritation, and inflammation. Some of this damage is a result of the soap destroying the natural oils produced on the skin. And without these protective oils, the skin will continue to crack, tear, and stay irritated. The ultimate result is that the natural protective layer of the skin will fail to function properly, and toxic elements will be able to penetrate the body easily.

Instead of soap, you might be using conventional bodywashes and shower gels. These are made with surfactants or emulsifiers, which are closer to the skin’s natural pH. However, soaps, bodywashes, and shower gels will destroy the vital oils that skin requires to be healthy.

Much like the gut, which must be balanced with healthy bacteria, the skin is healthiest when its trillions of microbes are in balance. If you strip away all these healthy microbes with antimicrobial products and lather up with unhealthy, chemically-infused lotions, you will seriously damage the external layers of skin. Then, toxic elements in the environment could be absorbed through your skin into your circulation.

 

Armpits

Deodorants are designed to prevent odors. Frequently, antiperspirants are included in deodorants to prevent sweating. While there is controversy about the biological harm from antiperspirant deodorants, I believe we should avoid the daily application of any chemicals on our body because of their potential transdermal effects once within our body.

 

Mouth

Here is a little-known fact. The only area of the body where a hard structure pierces the skin and enters the sterile bony structures is the tooth. Think about this for a moment. Can you imagine the potential havoc that could occur if infection were to slide down the tooth into the jawbone?

But the body has a solution.

The tooth pierces the gum tissue and anchors itself in the jawbone. The body created a “healthy biofilm” to protect this susceptible area to prevent bacteria from traveling down the tooth into the bone. There are other protective structures under the gum that can alert the immune system to fight infections. But first, this protective and healthy biofilm is the initial defense. It is called dental plaque.[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11] It serves at least three main functions:

  1. Allows necessary nutrients and minerals from the saliva to enter the root of the tooth to remineralize it as necessary 24/7
  2. Produces hydrogen peroxide to kill any potentially pathogenic microbes in the mouth from getting to the gum/tooth margin
  3. Buffers the acidity around the gum/tooth margin to maintain an acid level of no more acidic than pH 5.5 to prevent demineralization of the root surface

So, dental plaque is healthy – until it’s not.

What makes it unhealthy?

Unhealthy changes in the garden of friendly bacteria in the gut, systemic inflammation because of a “leaky gut”, poor diet, and a compromised immune system play critical roles in the development of unhealthy dental plaque. All these areas must be addressed to have a healthy mouth. But proper oral hygiene is also vital for overall health and wellness.

Because I want to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the mouth, I rarely use a mouthwash. The daily use of an antimicrobial mouthwash will kill bad bacteria as well as good bacteria. Killing good bacteria daily will compromise the health in your mouth and the rest of your body.[12]

Think of using an antimicrobial toothpaste or rinse daily as overkill. Just like it would be overkill to burn down your house to eliminate a few roaches in the basement.

The garden of bacteria in the mouth is as important as the garden of bacteria in the gut. You don’t want to destroy their healthy balance. The saliva, healthy dental plaque, and a healthy gut microbiome play important roles in maintaining homeostasis in the mouth.

When it comes to commercial toothpastes, most may be loaded with unhealthy ingredients. I wrote about some of the harmful ingredients in toothpaste in Just Because It’s In Toothpaste Doesn’t Mean It’s Safe and Toothpaste –  Misleading and Confusing.

 

Hair

Conventional shampoos are loaded with chemicals that can cause harm to your hair and scalp. Here are some of the toxic ingredients you’ll want to avoid in a shampoo. Be sure to check the ingredient list before you buy:

  • Sulfates – Sodium lauryl and laureth sulfates are foaming agents and can be contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, a probable carcinogen.
  • Certain preservatives – This includes parabens which are linked to breast cancer and hormone disruption, as well as DMDM hydantoin, which releases formaldehyde and is linked to hair loss and scalp burns.
  • Artificial fragrances – The term fragrance is a catchall for thousands of chemicals including hormone disrupting phthalates, as well as skin irritants and allergens.
  • Petroleum products –They are known to be potential cancer-causing agents as well as hormone disruptors.
  • Bisphenol A (BPA) – This is used to make polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins, which are found in many packaging materials. It’s also found in toiletries and feminine hygiene products. BPA may interact with hormone receptors, such as those for your thyroid, which can alter their function.

Here is a caveat: Beware of all dyes for hair coloring. Para-phenylenediamine (PPD) and para toluenediamine (PTD) are the most basic ingredients in any chemical hair dye. PPD is mixed with an oxidizer and gives the result that helps in changing color. However, if the oxidation process is not complete, it can lead to allergic reactions. PTD is less reactive but can cause dermatitis. Another toxic chemical is ammonia and its byproducts such as ethanolamine, diethanolamine and triethanolamine.

 

Nails

You probably have no idea how unhygienic long nails can be. Dirt, food remnants, and pathogenic microbes can easily find a home between the nail and your skin.

 

Hands

Many contagious viruses and bacteria are transported by hands. It is one of the most common means to transmit disease to others as well as yourself.

 

Vagina

As I described above, using soaps and other conventional cleansers is damaging to the surface tissues including the vagina. Douching, another common cleansing method, is a dangerous practice. Douching affects the pH balance of the vagina, which is usually between 3.8 to 4.5. It reduces acidity and therefore encourages bacterial infections by damaging the balance of the normal vaginal flora. The vagina has its own ecosystem which includes lactobacillus species, which create lactic acid. Lactic acid kills potentially pathogenic bacteria in the vagina. Lactobacillus bacteria also naturally produce hydrogen peroxide, which continues to kill pathogenic bacteria in the vagina.

 

My Thoughts

Personal hygiene is personal. But specific guidelines to avoid toxic elements that could enter the body remain a priority. Anything that disrupts the natural microbiome should always be avoided. Our body functions and thrives by homeostasis – an intricate state of balance.

In Part 2 next week, I’ll present some thoughts about methods and products to use on this critical outer barrier of your body.

But my discussion is far from complete. Do your own research. Always keep in mind that anytime you introduce any toxic substance to your body internally or externally, you are taking a giant step backward and ultimately altering that state of balance.

 

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3535073/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29332945

[3] https://directorsblog.nih.gov/2022/03/22/unraveling-the-role-of-the-skin-microbiome-in-health-and-disease/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3983973/

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9407174

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5126660/

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28476771

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4132376/

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5034904/

[10] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11039053/

[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2147593/

[12] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=10.1007%2Fs11906-017-0725-2

 

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My Cancer Journey
– My Biggest Battle Now –

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

September 4, 2022

We are all going to die.

But not yet for me!

I’m like the old Timex watch commercials – “Timex takes a licking and keeps on ticking”.

Let me take you back in time. Here’s a 1960 TV commercial for Timex watches featuring John Cameron Swayze:

 

 

First Premonition

Several years before I was diagnosed in 2018 with incurable bone marrow cancer, I wrote a letter that I showed to no one. I had an eerie feeling, and I put down on paper what I was feeling. I originally addressed this letter to my family, but never gave it to them.

I wrote in that letter that I knew something was not right in my body. Although I couldn’t put my finger on it, and I had no clinical signs or symptoms, I just knew that it would manifest into a serious medical concern that could kill me.

Then it happened. I was diagnosed with incurable multiple myeloma in September 2018 and was given 3-6 months to live. Obviously, I’ve more than outlived that dire prognosis. And that premonition did not become reality.

 

Why Did I Develop Multiple Myeloma?

After my diagnosis, I became obsessed with uncovering the reasons why I developed this life-threatening and incurable bone marrow cancer.

While most peer-reviewed medical papers state there is no known cause for multiple myeloma, there is some research suggesting that ionizing radiation may cause plasma cells to become malignant.[1] Interestingly, one research paper published in 2014 showed that 50-79-year-old male dentists had a higher risk for multiple myeloma compared to the general male population in that age group.[2] And there is additional research that suggests that cancer is a mitochondrial metabolic disease and not a genetic disease.[3] Diet, lifestyle, and toxic exposure can damage mitochondrial function[4], which increases metabolic disease.

Understanding these concepts, I embarked on a Health Plan to repair and rebuild my mitochondria and my immune system naturally – not through chemotherapy. From this research, I eventually developed my current 11 Unconventional Cancer Protocols. But I also needed to dig into the underlying causes of this cancer.

I cannot prove what caused multiple myeloma to manifest in my body. Initial damage to my plasma cells could go back decades before the emergence of clinical signs and symptoms of this bone marrow cancer. But I have some ideas. Insults to my body, which have been cumulative over time, may have initiated and advanced this disease.

  • My dental training and specialty training lasted 6 continuous years until completion in 1974. As a dental student working in the clinics for these years, I could have been exposed to the ionizing radiation produced by dental x-ray machines almost daily. I do not know how well I personally was protected from dental radiation in the clinics. This is low dose ionizing radiation. It is very possible I had excessive and continuous exposure during my 6 years of professional training.
  • In addition, as a dental student we learned to repair dental decay with amalgam fillings. Amalgam fillings are made with elemental mercury. As students, we played with mercury in our hands. Excess elemental mercury was thrown on the floor! We watched how these little balls of mercury danced on the floor, getting smaller and smaller, and eventually disappearing. Mercury vapor was all around us 24/7 in the dental school. I had no idea of the potential toxic effects from mercury exposure way back then. I certainly was exposed to excessive elemental mercury during my years as a dental student.
  • And then, other toxic elements in my environment could have compounded my toxic load to my plasma cells.

Medical doctors have known that multiple myeloma begins with one unhealthy plasma cell in the bone marrow. This unhealthy cell can multiply rapidly because it will not mature and die naturally. This malignant cell produces more malignant cells that eventually overwhelm the production of other healthy marrow cells. Specifically, malignant plasma cells crowd out healthy white and red blood cells. This can lead to fatigue, anemia, internal bleeding, kidney failure, decrease in the ability of the immune system to fight infections, and increase in bone destruction.

Multiple myeloma cells produce abnormal antibodies that the body cannot use. In time, these abnormal and nonfunctional antibodies accumulate in the body replacing healthy antibody production. Ultimately, the body succumbs.

If multiple myeloma is a mitochondrial metabolic disease, then improving mitochondrial function and metabolic health could be important and effective methods of treatment.[5] My unconventional cancer protocols are based on these methods.

 

Second Premonition

Since my diagnosis, I have been transparent in my cancer journey. Still, I never mentioned the letter that I wrote for my family years before.

I recently had another premonition which I am going to share. I won’t keep it secret.

My premonition was that I am close to death.

Once again, I can’t put my finger on the specifics. It’s just an eerie feeling like the last one I had a few years before my cancer diagnosis.

 

My Biggest Battle Now

Today, I am fighting the biggest battle of my life. I must win this battle and prove my newest premonition to be false once again!

If you have followed my Blogs, you know that I have experienced several setbacks – some severe. At no time have I accepted chemotherapy. My belief has been that chemo was too destructive to my immune system in general and could not cure me because my cancer was incurable. My goal has always been to lead a quality life as best as I could until I lost the fight.

My major setback was in August 2019 when I was admitted to a Hospice hospital. But my wife helped me turn my life around. I revoked hospice in late September 2019, and she helped me out of the abyss.

Today, I may be at the same edge of death once again. Yet I still am following my 11 Unconventional Cancer Protocols to help my body heal as best as it can. My attitude is positive, and my spiritual faith is strong.

I can tell you that I have had pain almost 24/7 since February 2022.

In late June 2021, I had severe side effects from Darzalex, an immunotherapy drug that was supposed to kill malignant plasma cells. It is not a chemotherapy drug. The severe side effects from Darzalex weakened my body to the extent that I contracted COVID. The COVID virus caused active multiple myeloma to resurface. As a result, my malignant plasma cells created many dysfunctional antibodies. These antibodies began to weaken my bone internally and put me at risk for pathological bone fractures. Shortly after the multiple myeloma reemerged, I began to develop serious fractures in many of my ribs and other areas in my body. The pain I had to deal with was the result of these pathological fractures which began after February 2022.

I don’t view myself as a victim. I am a survivor. And I certainly am not giving up!

I tell my wife that when I am in pain and I am complaining, it’s not because of a bad attitude. It’s because I have a hard time dealing with pain. My complaining should not be misinterpreted as submission.

Unfortunately, my pain since February 2022 was intense at times. To deal with the pain, I had to resort to medications. The pain was getting worse progressively as it moved to different parts of my body. It progressed throughout my rib cage, my spine, and my left leg.

My most recent pain was in my right humerus. On Saturday, August 5th, I was attempting to slide a dining room chair under my dining room table. When I tried to lift the chair, I immediately heard and felt a snap in my right humerus area. This pain was so piercing, it took my breath away.

A quick trip to the ER showed that I fractured my right humerus in the same spot where I broke it in half in 2019. Following my trip to the ER, the fracture has been healing slowly but surely. Today, the pain is beginning to ease up, but the use of my right arm is still very compromised. As a matter of fact, I am writing this blog by means of dictation using my Word Document software.

I’ve learned a lot about broken bones firsthand. I know that once the fractures have time to heal, the pain goes away.

 

Moving Forward

As I said, the pain because of pathological fractures has been my biggest challenge to date. This is a battle I must win. And I seem to be winning the fight. The intensity of the pain is subsiding!

Here’s another vintage Timex watch commercial that exemplifies my tenacity. My resolve is steadfast. I can “take such a licking and keep on ticking”:

 

 

However, I am not in denial. I know this bone marrow cancer is incurable based on what is known in conventional oncology today. But I have too much to do. And I am excited about my accomplishments going forward.

By the way, don’t forget to order my new book which I am so proud of – “Eat As If Your Life Depends On It”. It will be available in paperback as well as hardcover on Amazon on 9/9/22. In my new book, I summarize the rationale for a paleo, keto, and carnivore diet as well as how and why I blended them into my Better Belly Blueprint way of eating. This is an interactive book in that it also includes an example of a completed three-day food journal as well as a blank three-day food journal for you to fill out yourself. In addition, I explain a method for you to transition slowly into the concepts of my Better Belly Blueprint over a period of nine weeks. Transitioning slowly will help you avoid most adaptation issues that could occur if you jumped 100% into a change in diet. You’ll be transformed into a well-nourished, energetic, cognitively alert individual. Also, you will enhance your immune system to become as robust as possible, which will assist in overall wellness.

I am a firm believer that my diet is what turned my battles around and is the ticket to overcoming my current hurdle. My legacy is to share my learnings with you, so you don’t find yourself in my shoes, struggling with illness. If incorporating this knowledge helped me extend my life by 4 years (and counting), imagine what it can do for you!

Thank you for reading, listening, and being a confidant. To everyone who has been following me and my cancer journey, my desire is to be a beacon of hope and encouragement. We all can improve our overall Wellness even in the light of a life-threatening challenge.

Although we’re all going to die, it’s not yet for me!

 

[1] https://www.mymyelomateam.com/resources/exposure-to-radiation-and-the-risk-for-myeloma

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25164308

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4493566/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4256704/

[5] https://www.mdpi.com/2218-1989/11/9/572/htm

 

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  OXLAMS  
– the Elephant in the Room –

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

August 28, 2022

OXLAMS is an acronym for Oxidized Linoleic Acid Metabolites!

Wow. What a complicated term. What does it mean?[1]

  • It means bad stuff.
  • It means destructive byproducts of an element in the food which most of us eat every day.
  • It means metabolic dysfunction and mitochondrial dysfunction over time.
  • It means the elephant in the room that could be killing us slowly.

Humans have adjusted very slowly to a change in diet over the years of evolution. But the years of evolution have not kept up with the dramatic and rapid changes in the foods we eat. Some of these foods have inherent chemicals, which can slowly accumulate in our body. The slow accumulation of these unhealthy elements can and will be our downfall metabolically. And metabolic disease is the precursor to serious chronic diseases and cancers, which are prevalent in modern societies today.

One study published in 2019 suggests that 88% of the US population is metabolically unhealthy.[2] And in my opinion, that is an underestimation.

The more we educate ourselves of these toxic elements in our food system, the more we can take appropriate steps to prevent serious chronic diseases that become debilitating and life-threatening as we age.

The biggest problem is that some of these toxic elements do not cause any harm that is apparent in our body over a short period of time. Yet, the buildup of these toxic elements and the damage that they potentially create are serious concerns for all of us.

It is difficult to convince a person who is healthy today that the ingredients in the food they are enjoying now, can kill them decades down the road. A proactive individual who wants to improve his or her overall wellness must avoid these elements, which we don’t think about as a threat.

 

What are OXLAMS?

I wrote about linoleic acid in a previous blog. Linoleic acid (LA) is the precursor to oxidized linoleic acid metabolites (OXLAMS). OXLAMS in human plasma have been linked to pathological conditions such as chronic pain, obesity, Alzheimer’s dementia and neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver, and mitochondrial dysfunction. Recent clinical studies have shown that lowering dietary linoleic acid can reduce the synthesis and/or accumulation of OXLAMS in circulation and in human tissues.[3] This paper describes and cites numerous peer-reviewed medical studies, which explain how excess linoleic acid and its oxidized forms are singularly damaging to the human body.

 

How do OXLAMS damage our body?

In the 20th Century in the United States, individuals more than tripled their consumption of linoleic acid from 2% of energy needs to 7%.[4] That coincided with a marked increase in fat tissue accumulation of linoleic acid.[5] Today, consumption of linoleic acid is up to 20% or more of energy needs.[6] And this linoleic acid remains in the fat tissues for an extended period.

The half-life of linoleic acid in adipose tissues is approximately two years.[7] Therefore, the gradual mobilization of LA from adipose stores into circulation will allow continued production of potentially destructive OXLAMS.

The energy producing machines in our cells are called mitochondria. The inner lining of the mitochondria is made of cardiolipin, which contains four fat molecules.[8]  The composition of these fat molecules is different for different tissue cells. When we eat too much LA, it bumps out the healthy fats in cardiolipin and replaces them. Then, LA oxidizes, forms OXLAMS, and kills the mitochondria.  This leads to mitochondrial dysfunction. No mitochondria – no energy.

Cancer cells are basically cells with damaged mitochondria. In animal studies, when linoleic acid is increased to between 4% and 10% of an experimental diet, these animals develop various types of cancer.

As linoleic acid is broken down into OXLAMS, cascading damage occurs. This is true for cancers, obesity, and most chronic diseases.

In addition, excess dietary LA increases the brain’s vulnerability to inflammation via the production of OXLAMS. In rodents, circulating LA readily crosses the blood brain barrier.[9] In humans, excess maternal LA intake has been linked to atypical neurodevelopment. It can be concluded that dietary LA may adversely affect the brain.[10]

 

What actions should we take?

There has been much discussion about the human diet’s ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. The prevailing wisdom, but a fundamentally flawed concept, is that we should increase our omega-3 levels to balance out this ratio and bring it to a healthier ratio of 1:1. However, the basic problem is too much omega-6 linoleic acid in our diet. We must avoid the excess levels of LA. The fact is that excess LA cannot be neutralized by the addition of omega-3 fatty acids.

Bottom line: we must stop eating the foods that are high in LA.

So, what should we eat?

My answer is to follow my Better Belly Blueprint.

Ideally, you would eat grass-fed beef and lamb with all their organs and animal fats, pastured eggs where the hens are not additionally fed soy or corn products, some raw honey, and a few seasonal fruits. You could include a very few plants that are low in antinutrients and linoleic acid.

Adhering to this way of eating, you will avoid grains, seeds, nuts, legumes, most vegetables, and especially vegetable and seed oils. Be careful with olive and avocado oils since they still have significant amounts of linoleic acid.

If you want to check a specific food for linoleic acid amounts, you can use the USDA Food Database.  Enter a chosen food, scroll down to the section labeled “polyunsaturated”, and check “PUFA 18:2” (i.e., linoleic acid).

You also could check out Self Nutrition Data. Enter your food choice and serving portion; then scroll down to “omega-6 fatty acid”.

You will be shocked at how many food items contain Linoleic Acid! Even if you aren’t following a Standard American Diet, you find these ingredients frequently in Keto and Paleo friendly products. I shared a graphic on social media last week with a guide – make sure to check it out and share with your loved ones!

My new book, Eat As If Your Life Depends On It, will be available on Amazon within a week or two. It will be available in paperback as well as hardcover. In my new book, I summarize the rationale for a paleo, keto, and carnivore diet as well as how and why I blended them into my Better Belly Blueprint way of eating. This is an interactive book in that it also includes an example of a completed three-day food journal as well as a blank three-day food journal for you to fill out yourself. In addition, I explain a method for you to transition slowly into the concepts of my Better Belly Blueprint over a period of nine weeks. Transitioning slowly will help you avoid most adaptation issues that could occur if you jumped 100% into a change in diet. You’ll be transformed into a well-nourished, energetic, cognitively alert individual. Also, you will enhance your immune system to become as robust as possible, which will assist in overall wellness.

[1] https://www.zeroacre.com/blog/linoleic-acid-facts

[2] https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/met.2018.0105

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3467319/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3076650/

[5] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9440371/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4808858/

[7] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/5900208/

[8] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24094094/

[9] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16920015/

[10] https://www.nature.com/articles/s41538-019-0061-9

 

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Clenching, Grinding, & Bite Guards
– Facts & Solutions –

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

August 21, 2022

We all clench or grind our teeth at times. We may do it when we’re sleeping, or we may do it when we are awake. The medical term is bruxism. Most times, bruxism is not a problem. If you do grind your teeth at night, you might develop a dull, constant headache or sore jaw when you wake up. Many times, people learn that they grind their teeth after their loved one hears them grinding at night.

The problem of bruxism is not limited to adults. Children may grind their teeth when their baby teeth emerge and when their permanent teeth come in. However, most children lose this habit after these two sets of teeth have come in more fully.

There may be many causes of, and methods to treat, bruxism. Continuous bruxism should not go unchecked. It could cause serious damage to the teeth, the jawbone, and the jaw joint.

 

Facts

Damage Done

The tooth root is anchored in the jawbone just like a pole is anchored in the dirt. If you continuously wiggled a solid pole in the ground, it probably would become loose. The reason it would loosen is because the side-to-side rocking of the pole would push the dirt aside.

Assume the pole was your tooth and the dirt was your jawbone. If you wiggled that tooth in the bone by grinding or clenching your teeth, you could weaken the surrounding bone. Since the bone around the tooth root on the cheek sides of the teeth is extremely thin, it is very vulnerable. Any wiggling of the tooth in the bone could cause that very thin bone to melt away. Once the bone is gone, it is gone for good.

With the bone gone, the gum tissue covering that area of the tooth would no longer have a scaffolding to attach to. The gum would become unstable. The gum could then recede exposing the root because the bone would no longer be there to hold the gum in place.

In some cases, there can be an opposite effect on the jawbone. Bruxism could cause excess growths of bone called “tori”. This result is basically a protective mechanism of the bone to build itself up to repel the pressures from bruxism.

Bruxism also may cause tooth pain and cause the tooth to feel loose. Bruxism can exacerbate existing periodontal disease by furthering the breakdown of the bone surrounding the tooth root.

The heavy forces of bruxism could cause severe wear on the chewing surfaces, cracks in teeth, muscle pain, and damage to the jaw joint.

 

Causes

Sometimes, a poorly fitted crown on a tooth or a filling on the chewing surface of a tooth may have “high spots”, which may create an interference with the tooth on the opposite arch when they bite together. If that is the case, you may unconsciously grind your teeth to make them “fit together better”. That process of grinding your teeth (i.e., bruxism) can create serious problems for the teeth, the jawbone, or the jaw joint.

Sometimes, bite treatment (orthodontic treatment) may cause teeth to be moved into positions in the jaw that do not fit well together with the opposing teeth in the opposing arch. This could cause interferences in the chewing surfaces of the teeth that cause a person to grind or clench.

Often, when a person is under emotional stress or performing strenuous physical activity, they may clench their teeth.

In addition, if the jaw is not shaped correctly, and the tongue does not have adequate room to function, there may be a problem with breathing called obstructive sleep apnea. When that occurs, frequently bruxism could result while asleep.

 

Solutions

First, the most obvious potential causes must be addressed.

If the chewing surface of a tooth is interfering with the chewing surface of a tooth in the opposite arch, then the bite pressure must be adjusted. To correct these heavy “pressure spots”, the chewing surfaces of the teeth are selectively smoothed and polished to remove the interferences. This may be all that is necessary to stop the grinding.

If a patient grinds his or her teeth habitually, sometimes a bite guard could be worn during sleep to reduce the pressures. If people go to the gym and perform strenuous workouts, they often clench. This also would be a good time to wear a bite guard to protect the teeth and jaw joint.

Generally, the best bite guard is made in a dental office that fits the upper teeth and is hard rather than soft. This type of bite guard can guide the teeth in the lower jaw to slide gently on the bite guard during bruxism and prevent damage to the tooth, the jawbone, and the jaw joint. A dentist can do a “compatibility blood test”[1],[2] to determine the best material to use to construct the bite guard in the dental lab for that patient.

A more inexpensive and immediate type of bite guard that could be used would be a store-bought bite guard that is soft and just reduces the pressure from bruxism.

At other times, orthodontic treatment might be necessary to correct the bite. In more complicated cases, the upper and lower arch may be too narrow to allow the tongue to fit comfortably between the lower teeth. In this case, the upper and lower jaw arches could be widened, the teeth properly positioned, and the tongue given more comfortable space. These efforts will open a compromised airway space regaining normal function for the tongue, improved oxygenation, and reduced bruxism.

 

Concluding Thoughts

Almost everyone clenches or grinds their teeth at times. Most of the time, it is not a problem. When it becomes habitual and continuous, there can be serious damage caused to the tooth, the jawbone, and the jaw joint.

So, how can you tell if your teeth grinding is cause for concern?

Well, any pain in a tooth, the jaw muscles, or jaw joint area would be indicative of damage from bruxism. Also, headaches especially upon wakening could mean that you have been grinding your teeth at night. The only way to determine the true extent of the damage would be for a dentist to evaluate the bruxism habit and the actual areas of the tooth and the jaw joint.

It is incumbent upon an individual who wants to be proactive to seek a proper diagnosis and pursue necessary treatment from a qualified dentist to prevent damage from bruxism.

 

[1] Clifford Consulting Laboratory, www.ccrlab.com

[2] Biocomp Laboratories, www.biocomplabs.com

 

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FIBER
– Critical For Health? or Mainstream Myth? –

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

August 14, 2022

The push is on for fiber. We are repeatedly told …

  • Eat fiber to be healthy.
  • The more, the better.
  • Without fiber, your gut bacteria will die.
  • If you’re constipated, eat more fiber.

At times, fiber is a food for some of our gut’s garden of bacteria. But our gut microbiome can function fine with minimal fiber. Why is that?

The human body was not designed to consume large amounts of fiber. In fact, large amounts of fiber could cause intestinal damage. So, why the huge emphasis on eating large amounts of fiber?

So, the question: “Is fiber critical for health?”

The answer is: “NO!”

Let’s dig in …

 

Background

Humans are omnivores. That means we can eat almost anything. Our body requires nutrients that can be absorbed and utilized by our cells, and the source of these nutrients can come from plants of all types and animals of all types. However, the most diverse and bioavailable nutrients come from eating animals, nose-to-tail. In addition, the human brain owes its superior development to the consumption of marine and land animals.[1],[2]

Over the course of human evolution, the human digestive system has become efficient in digesting mostly animals and only a few plants.[3] And now this fact has been proven by a group of researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel and at the University of Minho in Portugal. They published their cutting-edge research in March 2021 in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.[4]

The researchers in this March 2021 paper stated, “It is hard to convince a devout vegetarian that his/her ancestors were not vegetarians, and people tend to confuse personal beliefs with scientific reality. Our study is both multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary.”

The investigators used genetics, metabolism, physiology, morphology, and archaeology of tool development to settle the question: “Were Stone Age humans specialized carnivores or generalist omnivores?”

The scientific team came to this conclusion: Stone Age humans were specialized carnivores until about 20,000 years ago. Then, some plants were brought into their diet.

The human stomach is extremely acidic to help the digestion of animal foods and kill off ingested microbes.[5] Our small intestine is relatively longer than that of most other primates. Our longer small intestine is better designed to digest animal proteins, fish, eggs, and some cooked plants compared to the shorter small intestine of other primates.

In addition, primates other than humans have a cecum that helps them ferment plant foods into energy. Humans don’t have a cecum large enough to do this. Finally, the human colon is shorter than that of other primates whose longer colon is ideal for handling plants. So, the human digestive tract is designed to eat more animal-based foods than plant-based foods. Therefore, humans are not designed to consume and digest a large quantity of fiber.

However, as I stated, humans can eat almost anything – plants and animals alike. It is interesting to note that researchers determined from fossil remains that Neanderthal Man was mostly carnivorous.[6] And new evidence has been uncovered that the world’s oldest homo sapiens in Morocco predominately ate meat on a regular basis.[7]

 

The Gut & Fiber

It also is a fact that the food we eat directly affects the gut microbiome. Humans have approximately 38 trillion microbes but only about 30 trillion human cells. And most of the 38 trillion microbes reside in the gut.[8]

In this 2014 study published in Nature[9], researchers showed that the short-term consumption of diets composed entirely of animal or plant products rapidly alters the gut microbiome. In fact, the gut microbiome made significant changes within 24 hours based on the types of food consumed. The investigators proved that the garden of bacteria in the gut can rapidly respond to an altered diet, facilitating the diversity of human dietary lifestyles.

 

SHORT CHAIN FATTY ACIDS (SCFAs)

Many researchers in the plant-based world suggest that one of the reasons we should eat fiber is that our colon requires butyrate to function properly. Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) that is one of the byproducts of fiber fermentation via the gut microbiome. SCFAs support digestive and immune health by providing the energy our gut lining needs to function and regenerate. They also support the health of the mucus layer in the gut.[10]

But a paper published in 2019[11] showed that our gut bacteria can create necessary short chain fatty acids from both fermentable fibers as well as amino acids. In addition, collagen and other parts of the animal eaten from nose-to-tail can provide the same SCFAs as plant fibers do. In addition, a diet consisting mainly of animal fats and other animal products with minimal carbohydrates will produce ketones. Ketones can function like SCFAs.[12]

In other words, we can get the benefits of butyrate and other SCFAs without consuming large amounts of fiber-laden plants.

 

ALPHA DIVERSITY

Researchers have reported that fiber helps the gut microbiome to increase in number and different types of species. This measurement of diversity is called “Alpha Diversity”. A high alpha diversity can improve the health of the gut and crowd out potentially pathogenic bad guys.

However, a 2018 study[13] shows that fiber will not increase alpha diversity. And trials with a zero-fiber carnivore diet do not show decreased alpha diversity.[14]

The notion that we need plant fiber for a “healthy” microbiome is fundamentally incorrect.

 

CONSTIPATION

Some nutritionists believe that we will become constipated without fiber. But in a study published in 2012, the authors concluded, “contrary to popular beliefs, reducing or stopping dietary fiber intake improves constipation and its associated symptoms.”[15] The researchers showed that excess fecal volume from eating large amounts of fiber could place a strain on the lining of the intestine and colon. The strain could create constipation, bloating, and gas. Harsh fiber also could cause excess mucus production to protect the epithelial barrier from the irritating fiber.

 

EXISTING PRIMAL SOCIETIES

Existing primal societies who continue to eat and live the lifestyles of their primal ancestors have thrived on a predominately animal-based diet with little plant fibers. When these peoples were eating a high animal-based diet, they had little-to-no chronic diseases, tooth decay, or periodontal disease. Examples are …

  • Hiwi: From Venezuela and Colombia whose diet is 75% animals
  • Ache: From Paraguay whose diet is 78% animals
  • Inuit: From the Artic whose diet is 96% marine animals
  • Hadza: From Tanzania whose diet is 48% animals

However, this was only true while they continued to adhere to their ancestors’ way of eating and lifestyle. Unfortunately, things have changed for many of them. One example is the Inuit who are suffering from chronic diseases of all types in recent years since they have adopted a processed food diet and poor lifestyle choices.[16]

 

Better Belly Blueprint

My Better Belly Blueprint is a blend of the popular ancestral ways of eating – Paleo, Keto, and Carnivore. By following the Better Belly Blueprint way of eating, you will be eating wild-caught and pastured animal products from nose-to-tail. These would take up at least 70% of the volume of your plate of food. The remaining 30% or less of your plate of food would consist of some raw honey, maybe some seasonal and local fruits, and very few if any vegetables. These food selections are purposely devoid or very low in antinutrients (i.e. phytates, lectins, and oxalates). Antinutrients interfere with the gut microbiome, the gut epithelial barrier, and the proper absorption of nutrients and minerals.

This lifestyle way of eating consists of high-fat and moderate-protein portions. You should consume a 2:1 ratio of fat to protein (2 grams of fat for every gram of protein). There is minimal fiber in the Better Belly Blueprint.

 

Eat As If Your Life Depends On It

My new book, Eat As If Your Life Depends On It, will be published in a few weeks. It will be available in paperback and hardcover. In it, I describe how and why I blended the keto. paleo, and carnivore styles of eating into one ideal eating lifestyle – my Better Belly Blueprint.  I’ll show you how to track your foods with your personal 3-Day Food Journal, how to transition slowly into this lifetime way of eating week-by-week, and how to navigate the adaptation period of changing your old eating habits. You’ll be transformed into a well-nourished, energetic, cognitively alert individual. Also, you will enhance your immune system to become as robust as possible.

I’ve written this from my heart and from the lessons I’ve learned along my cancer journey. This is a book that should be a model for the human species to survive and thrive. I offer it as my legacy that I want to share with the world.

[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15975629/

[2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11923081/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2964658/

[4] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajpa.24247

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4519257/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6421459/

[7] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28593953/

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4991899/

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3957428/

[10] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32865024/

[11] https://microbiomejournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40168-019-0704-8

[12] https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.1016088108

[13] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29757343/

[14] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24336217/

[15] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3435786/

[16] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30566364/#:~:text

 

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Better Belly Blueprint Recipes
– Honey Egg Cream Bliss –
   

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

August 7, 2022

I love eggs! I love heavy whipping cream! I love raw honey!

So, why not combine them into an ultimate healthy drink? The nutritional benefits are out of this world. I have written about cream and honey in many of my Blogs. I haven’t written about eggs so much, but the yolk is a powerhouse of nutrients. Don’t forget, the yolk has almost all the nutrients that are required to create a baby chick!

With all this in mind, here is my recipe for a metabolically amazing food, which I call “Honey Egg Cream Bliss”.

 

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces of heavy whipping cream (preferably A2 raw, but vat-pasteurized is still OK)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey (I use Manuka honey from New Zealand or my local raw honey)

 

Preparation:

  1. Add all ingredients to mixing bowl
  2. Blend with a stick blender or whisk
  3. Sip the nectar; relish the moment!

 

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Metabolic Dysfunction
– An Epidemic With Huge Consequences! –

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

August 7, 2022

 

Many of us are metabolically unhealthy, and don’t even know it! Take me for example. 5 years ago, I thought I was the “senior poster boy for good health”! Yet, I still developed an incurable cancer. Now, research has given us more information than ever before about what the cause of life-threatening illnesses and chronic diseases might be.

Heed my warning:

We are a sick society plagued with metabolic dysfunction resulting in an epidemic of dental diseases and life-threatening chronic diseases.

Now, don’t worry. I’m not going to go all “doom and gloom” on you. With this knowledge comes power. Current science is pointing its finger to one element in our food that shares most of the blame for causing metabolic dysfunction. This blog will help you understand what to look out for, and how you have the unique opportunity to prevent debilitating chronic diseases.

To completely understand this, we need to answer 4 questions…

  1. What is metabolic dysfunction?
  2. How do I know we are a sick society?
  3. Why are we so sick?
  4. What can you do about it?

 

What Is Metabolic Dysfunction?

Metabolic dysfunction is the inability of the body to cycle in and out of burning fat and burning carbs efficiently for energy. Most people are addicted to processed carbohydrates and eating unhealthy fats. These individuals depend on a constant inflow of high carb and unhealthy fat meals and snacks. They also eat frequently to maintain their energy throughout the day.

Metabolic dysfunction can lead to metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a combination of specific health conditions that often precede most serious chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes to name a few. The symptoms of metabolic syndrome include elevated blood pressure, high blood sugar and fasting insulin levels, excess body fat around the waist, low levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL), and high levels of triglyceride.

 

How Do I Know We Are A Sick Society?

The facts don’t lie …

  1. The United States is the highest spending country worldwide when it comes to health care.[1]
  2. The U.S. Health System ranks dead last among the 11 high-income countries in the world.[2]
  3. The first and close-second leading causes of death in the U.S. are heart disease and cancer, which are chronic, debilitating, yet preventable diseases.[3]
  4. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) stated that 60% of Americans live with at least one chronic disease, and chronic diseases are responsible for 70% of deaths each year in the United States. In addition, at least 72% of our society is overweight or obese.[4]
  5. In a 2019 issue of the journal, Metabolic Disorders and Related Disorders, a peer-reviewed study showed that 88% of the US population is metabolically unhealthy.[5]
  6. In 2010, a published paper demonstrated that 93.9% of adults in the United States had some form of gum inflammation (gingivitis).[6]
  7. In 2015, the CDC published their results in the Journal of Periodontology.[7] It showed the prevalence of severe periodontal disease (periodontitis) was estimated to be 47.2% for American adults. For adults 65 years old and older, the prevalence jumped to 70.1%.
  8. The CDC reported that approximately 91% of U.S. adults aged 20–64 had dental caries in permanent teeth.[8] The prevalence increases to 93% for those above 65 years old.[9]

 

Why Are We So Sick?  

The major culprit in metabolic dysfunction is our consumption of excess linoleic acid.

Linoleic acid (LA) is an 18-carbon polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid. It is the only essential omega-6 fatty acid and must be obtained from the diet. From linoleic acid, other omega-6s can be created by the body using various enzymes.

When we ingest high levels of linoleic acid, our body accumulates it, and serious damage occurs.

High concentrations of LA are found in all vegetable and seed oils. Also, specific vegetables, nuts and seeds, processed foods, most sauces and salad dressings, and animals like chicken and hogs that have been fed corn and soy products have high levels of LA.

Today’s eating lifestyles tend to be extremely high in omega-6 fatty acids and low in omega-3 fatty acids, causing an imbalance that leads to increased inflammation. While the healthiest ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fat intake is 1:1, the Standard American Diet is around 15:1 or even higher.[10]

My friend, Paul Saladino, MD, speaks about the hazards of excess linoleic acid in our diet. He is shouting it out to tens of thousands of people who follow him.

Watch Dr. Saladino’s 25-minute video

 

Also, Joe Mercola has written extensively about the biological harm to our body from excess linoleic acid.

Read Dr. Mercola’s Full PDF

 

Linoleic acid can accumulate over time in the body to eventually set in motion serious chronic diseases which manifest years or decades later …

  • LA incorporates itself into the cell membranes of cells causing significant damage.
  • LA damages fat cells and their mitochondria.
  • LA is considered worse than sugar for your immune system and overall health.
  • Recent studies have shown that unsaturated fat intake is associated with increased mortality from COVID-19, while saturated fat intake lowers your risk of death.

Here’s one way that linoleic acid causes damage to the body:

Excess linoleic acid accumulates in the body’s fat cells. Inside the fat cells, LA breaks down into metabolites called OXLAMS (Oxidized linoleic acid metabolites). The OXLAMS damage the mitochondria in the fat cells. In turn, the fat cells stop normal cell division, and the fat cells begin to swell until they “burst”. In essence, we get “fatter”. When the swollen fat cell bursts, free fats are released into the circulation. After the swollen fat cells burst, they send out inflammatory chemicals which signals the rest of the body to become insulin resistant. All this leads to serious chronic diseases.

 

What Can You Do About It?

Beginning today, remove all excess linoleic acid from your diet. The first step is to avoid all vegetable and seed oils. Next, don’t eat nuts and seeds, which are high in linoleic acid. You also need to read the ingredients in packaged and processed foods where linoleic acid could be lurking.

Most of the foods you may eat in restaurants are loaded with linoleic acid hiding in the vegetable oils used for food preparation and in the sauces and salad dressings that are added to food.

By following my Better Belly Blueprint, you automatically will avoid excess and dangerous linoleic acid.

In my new book, Eat As If Your Life Depends On It, I described how and why I blended keto, paleo, and carnivore ways of eating into my Better Belly Blueprint. This way of eating is ideal for humans to survive and thrive. I also included a 3-Day Food Journal to help you document what you are eating currently so that you can make appropriate changes. In addition, I suggested a week-by-week method to transition into this eating lifestyle. I explained many of the physical changes that you might experience during the adaptation period as you transition into this healthier lifestyle as well as what you can do to avoid them.

 

Bringing It All Together

We now know that excess linoleic acid is a major factor that causes life-threatening chronic diseases. A prudent person today has the unique opportunity to prevent future debilitating chronic diseases, which currently plague most of the population.

I am here if you have questions. I offer virtual consultation appointments as well as a 12-Week Balanced Metabolic Coaching Program.

My new book, Eat As If Your Life Depends On It, will be available shortly. It also brings all these healthy concepts into one place with one ideal way of eating for the human species.

 

[1] https://www.statista.com/statistics/236541/per-capita-health-expenditure-by-country/

[2] https://www.webmd.com/health-insurance/news/20210804/us-health-system-ranks-last-among-11-high-income-countries

[3] https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm

[4] https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/center/index.htm

[5] https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/met.2018.0105

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=20437720

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4460825/

[8] http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/FindDataByTopic/DentalCaries/DentalCariesAdults20to64.htm

[9] http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/FindDataByTopic/DentalCaries/DentalCariesSeniors65older.htm

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5611753/

 

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What’s In Our Blood?
SURPRISE!

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

July 31, 2022

 

We’ve talked at great length about your gut health being an indicator of chronic illness, but have you given much thought to what’s in your blood? Recent studies have shown that it’s not as sterile as we once believed! So, what does this mean for you?

 

What’s In Our Blood?

Our circulatory system contains microbes that were never believed to be there because old methods of culturing bacteria would not grow them. But recent DNA sequencing methods reveal that each milliliter of blood contains around 1,000 bacterial cells. These cells are dormant in the blood and can reside in healthy individuals. But they can be revived.

When iron is available in the blood, the dormant bacteria may be revived and can begin secreting lipopolysaccharides (LPS). LPS are molecules on the cell walls of gram-negative bacteria that stimulate the immune system which in turn creates inflammation. LPS is a highly toxic element. And systemic inflammation is a major initiating factor in the manifestation of practically all chronic diseases.

Researchers who published their study in 2016 in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface[1] stated, “We think bugs are involved in all these diseases”. They observed that the addition of tiny concentrations of bacterial LPS to both whole blood and platelet-poor plasma of normal, healthy donors led to marked changes in fibrin and caused progression of chronic inflammatory diseases.

The body normally keeps levels of free iron in the blood low to keep bacteria dormant and block their growth.

Another group of researchers published a paper in 2022 in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology.[2] The authors explained that these dormant bacteria come from the gut and the oral cavity. Microbial translocation into the bloodstream can occur via different routes, including through the oral and/or intestinal mucosa. As I said, these contribute to chronic inflammation.[3]

The authors of that study also described how science has developed equipment that is sensitive enough to find microorganisms among the body’s own cells. Studies in both animals and humans have shown that bacteria can be in tissues and organs like the liver, adipose tissue, and brain tissue. Often these findings are linked to disease. For example, researchers have found bacteria and fungi in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Also, bacteria have been detected in cancerous tumors.

However, there is controversy about the ultimate relevance of these blood microbes. Some researchers have concluded that the same bacterial groups often seem to recur in healthy individuals. In other words, these scientists suggest that a level of microbes in the blood of healthy individuals may be normal.[4]

 

Leakage of Microbes into the Circulatory System

As I said, the research suggests that microbes can enter the bloodstream via different routes, including through the intestinal mucosa as well as the oral mucosa.[5] And there is easy access to the bloodstream when there is a “leaky gut” and when there is a “leaky mouth”.

 

Healthy Gut – Leaky Gut

Below is a graphic of a healthy gut and a “leaky gut”. The picture to the left shows a normal, healthy gut with a balance of good bacteria within the top light blue area and a healthy mucous layer protecting the one-cell-layer-thick epithelial barrier below. To the right is a picture of a “leaky gut” where unhealthy bacteria and toxic elements are breaking down the mucous layer and weaking and penetrating the epithelial lining (the red-colored cells) on its way to affecting the entire body.

 

 

Healthy Mouth – Leaky Mouth

Chronic systemic inflammation caused by a “leaky gut” will affect the mouth. This inflammation could cause the mouth’s healthy garden of bacteria and immune system to become unhealthy resulting in periodontal disease and tooth decay. If periodontal disease or tooth decay becomes severe, teeth could be lost. Infection and inflammation could spread into the jawbone, blood vessels, nerve canals, and soft tissues of the body. Debilitating and life-threatening diseases could occur just from this leakage of infection and inflammation from the mouth into the body. This is called a “leaky mouth”.

Below is a graphic of a healthy mouth and a “leaky mouth”. The picture on the left shows a normal, healthy tooth in the jawbone. To the right is a picture of periodontal disease (the red area) beginning to penetrate the jawbone on its way to affecting the entire body.

 

 

When it comes to periodontal disease, there is a specific bacterium called Porphyromonas gingivalis. This is an aggressive gram-negative bacterium with some unique qualities. One of these qualities is that it can enter cells and become dormant.[6],[7] It also can bind to red blood cells and enter the circulatory system. In fact, the red blood cells protect P. gingivalis from contact with circulating phagocytes from the immune system without affecting its viability. In this way, P. gingivalis could be transported to other organ systems to reemerge and cause serious diseases.[8]

 

Unique Treatment to Destroy P. Gingivalis

For the six years leading up to my leaving private practice in 2018, I was using a unique laser (PerioLase Laser) to treat advancing periodontal disease. This laser uses a wavelength of 1064 nm (nanometers). It is the 1064 nm wavelength that enables the laser to selectively kill P. gingivalis that resides in the periodontal tissues and blood around the tooth without harming healthy cells.[9],[10],[11]

The beam from the PerioLase Laser also can penetrate epithelial cells where P. gingivalis can enter the cell and become dormant. The laser will destroy the dormant virulent bacterium without destroying the cell.

In addition, the laser beam can stimulate precursor bone cells in the jawbone around the periodontally damaged teeth to regenerate damaged bone.

Millennium Dental Technologies is the company the developed the laser and the clinical protocols. The procedure is called LANAP (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure). Recently, the name of the procedure was changed to LAR (Laser Assisted Regeneration), which emphasizes the regenerative capacity of the laser beam.

Here is a video simulation of the LANAP (or LAR) procedure in action:

 

 

Final Thoughts

The high level of chronic disease in the US population could be partly due to dormant bacteria in the circulatory system, which has gone undetected until recently. Some of these microbes may be bound to red blood cells, which offer protection to these bacteria. Some of these microbes may embed themselves into blood cells, which can transport these potentially virulent bacteria to other organ systems. And some of them may be floating freely in the bloodstream.

While some researchers believe that there may be a normal level of microbes living in the bloodstream of healthy individuals, my guess is that these microbes may be the culprits in the development of serious chronic diseases.

 

[1] https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsif.2016.0539

[2] https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcimb.2022.892232/full

[3] https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcimb.2022.892232/full

[4] https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcimb.2019.00148/full

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9110890/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4557090/

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2772519/

[8] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jre.12388#

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2772519/

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8860761/

[11] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15389740/

 

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