FACTS in the Past
FACTS in the Present
FACTS in the Future

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     April 4, 2016   [printfriendly]

FactsI have a problem.


I am a believer in learning from the past. As a matter of fact, I don’t think a healthy lifestyle or a healthy diet could be understood correctly today if one didn’t study the 2.5 million-year evolutionary history of our species. That’s why I know that a Primal diet and lifestyle are the ways that our body has been designed to thrive.


However, here is my problem.


I know of some holistic medical researchers and practitioners who base their current beliefs solely on research performed years ago. While the facts identified in those days were important at that time, some of them have been disproved today. Unfortunately, some clinical practitioners still stubbornly hold those refuted facts to be gospel today.


One example involves the health risk of saturated fats. It was once believed and proven that saturated fats increased the risk for cardiovascular disease. However, recent peer-reviewed papers have disproved those outdated facts. (HERE. HERE. HERE.) Yet, some healthcare professionals today still discourage the consumption of saturated fats based on those invalidated ideas.


Another example involves root canals performed on abscessed teeth. Many root canals that were performed in the past were biologically unhealthy because residual infection often could invade the blood system. Or, some materials used in the root canal procedure were toxic to the body. The techniques of performing root canals in the past were greatly flawed. However, today, endodontists have perfected procedures and materials to treat abscessed teeth without the risk of bacterial infection or toxic substances leaking into the bloodstream. (HERE. HERE. HERE.) Yet, some holistic practitioners today still profess that root canals should never be done because of improperly performed root canals in the past.


So, what does this mean to me?


Nothing is carved in stone. We all need to have open minds. Many truths in the past turn out to be disproved. That’s just the way it is. If we can think outside of the box, have a healthy degree of skepticism, and relish learning, all of us will be better off moving forward.


My problem is that some practitioners get stuck in facts that become proven false and are unable to open their minds to newer knowledge.


If you don’t want to miss out on new posts, sign up for my email alert list here.


Buy My New Book

Crazy-Good Living

Only 2.7% of Adults
Live Healthy Lifestyles

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     April 1, 2016   [printfriendly]

Healthy Lifestyle ElementsIncredible!


Investigators attempted to estimate the prevalence of a healthy lifestyle among US adults and to examine the link between a healthy lifestyle and various chronic diseases. Their report was published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.


A healthy lifestyle was defined to include four specific characteristics:

  • Regular physical activity
  • Ideal body fat percentage
  • Smoking avoidance
  • Healthy eating


The researchers looked at data from the 4,745 participants in the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. After evaluating all the data and the parameters, the results suggested that only 2.7% of the adult population demonstrated all four qualities of a healthy lifestyle. That’s a tiny number considering that incorporation of a healthy lifestyle has repeatedly been proven to increase both the health as well as the quality of life for everyone. HERE.


There are limitations to this study. The most significant weakness was that some of the qualities of a healthy lifestyle were determined from the comments of the 4,745 participants. For results about a healthy diet, responders recalled what they ate in the previous 24-hour period. Also, the healthy diet was not a Paleo-type diet. The dietary interviewers used the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) score for each study participant. The HEI-2005 was developed by the US Department of Agriculture as an indicator of dietary quality.


The HEI has 12 components (total fruit; whole fruit; total vegetable; dark green, orange vegetables and legumes; total grain; whole grain; milk; meat and beans; oil; saturated fats; sodium; and calories from solid fats, alcoholic beverages, and added sugars), with each component individually scored and a maximum total score of 100. A higher score would reflect closer adherence to the dietary guidelines based on the USDA’s MyPyramid, which was replaced in 2011 with MyPlate.


The facts reported in this Mayo Clinic publication are striking to me. The bottom-line as I see it is that so few Americans are heeding the facts that could be saving their lives leading into their golden years. I often ask my patients, “If you knew a train were coming at you, would you get off the tracks?” Although the answer seems so obvious to people like you and me, the answer sadly evades so many others.



If you don’t want to miss out on new posts, sign up for my email alert list here.

Buy My Book

Crazy-Good Living

What’s In Your Arsenal For Infection?

evolution rWould you rush to take an antibiotic if you had an infection?
An antibiotic might kill the bad bacteria, but it also would kill good bacteria, might damage your gut, and generally would not kill viruses. In addition, resistant strains of bacteria could develop from the use of an antibiotic. However, if a bacterial infection were potentially severe, then an appropriate antibiotic very well could be the best and first course of treatment.
Another way to think about infection:
Prevention should be practiced proactively.
• Consider eating nutrient-dense real foods and fermented foods and avoiding toxic foods. Investigate taking some real-food supplements. These steps will go a long way to help your immune system, your natural good bacteria, and your gut defend you against invaders.
• As for your mouth, brushing properly, using a mouth rinse like coconut oil, and cleaning between the teeth with floss and an interdental brush are very effective and preventive methods to maintain health.
Exercise and sleep are also important. Include efficient exercise into a weekly routine, and obtain restorative sleep each night. These also will enhance your immune system.
But what happens if you get an infection? Is there an option other than a prescribed antibiotic?
Essential oils may be an answer. On 10/23/14, I searched PubMed.gov for “antimicrobial effects of essential oils in humans”. PubMed is a government site that catalogs all medical research from around the world for easy access by anyone. I discovered a total of 816 papers that were published since 1966, of which 284 were published since January 2010. Along with the controversy, there is a growing interest in researching the power of essential oils.
What are essential oils?
Technically, essential oils are not really oils since they do not contain “lipids”. Instead, they are highly complex compounds, which may consist of several hundred different components of alcohols, aldehydes, terpenes, ethers, ketones, phenols, and oxides – many of which may not be known by science. These “oils” are an “essential” part of plants. They function as the plant’s immune system to protect them from microbes and pests that may attack them.
Essential oils have been used for thousands of years. The earliest recorded references can be traced back to 4500 BC. While many have been reported to have beneficial effects, some essential oils have been shown to be toxic to humans.
Today, science has demonstrated antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and anti-parasitic properties for a variety of these oils. Specific essential oils also contain vitamins and organic compounds that have been reported to promote homeostasis, which is the state of equilibrium the body attempts to maintain within a normal range.
How are essential oils manufactured?
The purest forms of essential oils are produced through steam distillation and are extremely concentrated. For example, it may take 16 pounds of fresh plant leaves to produce an ounce of an essential oil.
How do essential oils kill microbes?
It has been suggested that some oils produce an exothermic reaction that literally heats up and destroys bacteria, suffocates fungi, and melts the envelope of viruses. Some oils may destroy the biofilm surrounding the bacteria and then cause the bacteria to rupture. Unlike manufactured antibiotics, microbial resistance to essential oils does not appear to occur, but this has not been proven. In addition, if you were to use essential oils as an antibiotic, these oils also may kill friendly bacteria. Therefore, they may compromise your gut’s beneficial microbes.
What about potency of essential oils?
While there is research extolling the benefits of essential oils, there also is controversy. Here is a comparison test that I found demonstrating the potency of several essential oils compared to the effects of phenol, which is carbolic acid that is bacteriostatic at concentrations of 0.1–1% and bactericidal/fungicidal at 1–2%. A 5% solution of phenol will kill anthrax spores in 48 hours:
In this study, if the stated essential oil had a reference number of 1.0, it was equal to the killing power of phenol. Any number above 1.0 indicated the antiseptic power of the essential oil beyond that of phenol.
Phenol ………………1.0
Lavender ……………1.6
Lemon ………………2.2
Citral ………………..5.0
Clove ………………..8.0
Thyme …………….13.0
Oregano …………..21.0
There are many products on the market, but the formulations are not standardized making them difficult to evaluate. Currently, there is no government regulation in this marketplace. As further research is being conducted, essential oils could be proven to be an effective alternative to traditional antibiotics. Dosing and methods of administration would need to be determined.
Two well-known companies (Young Living and Doterra) claim to have high quality products, which may be true, but they actually are multilevel marketing companies. Many individuals, who pay to sign up as distributors for these companies, present themselves to the public as knowledgeable about essential oils. However, the majority of distributors are not trained in any of the medical fields to understand the medical implications of these oils. Distributors can only earn commissions if they sell products. Beware!
Essential oils have been used in some dentifrices and mouthwashes. OraWellness is a company that has created an essential oil blend that combines essential oils with a carrier oil that can be used with a toothbrush. You could find the ingredients of their Healthy Mouth Blend along with scientific references of their essential oils’ efficacy here.