My 10 Solutions
– We Swim in a Polluted Sea: Part 2 –

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

May 16, 2021

 

 

In Part 1 last week, I used the metaphor that we swim in a polluted sea. I suggested that our environment is killing us slowly. The sea could seal the fate of those who refuse to be proactive and reactive.

The bright light is that there are solutions. And they are simple. But their implementation is complex.

My 10 Solutions

Ideally, the residents of the polluted sea need to swim out of their environment and into fresh, clean water. Individuals need to give their body what it requires and remove everything that is damaging. Those who want to regain and maintain health must choose a different sea in which to swim.

A metaphorically healthy sea would consist of all the nutrients and lifestyle choices that support your body and would avoid potentially toxic substances and irritants that could hinder your health. This new environment would improve the responsiveness of your immune system and create metabolic flexibility.

Here is my vision of an unpolluted sea. It consists of my 10 solutions. Some may be more important than others. But in my opinion, they work in synergy. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts:

  1. Nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods
  2. Natural spring water
  3. A robust gut
  4. Strong cells with functional mitochondria
  5. Healthy sun exposure
  6. Restorative sleep
  7. Efficient exercise
  8. Stress reduction
  9. Effective oral hygiene
  10. Consciousness of the mind, body, spirit connection

Let’s get started.

#1: Foods

All healthy diets exclude:

  • Added sugars and excess carbs
  • Agrochemicals
  • Emulsifiers, preservatives, dyes, and other chemicals
  • Over-processed seed and vegetable oils
  • Trans fats, hydrogenated & partially hydrogenated fats
  • Anti-nutrients in specific plants that will harm the gut microbiome and the gut lining

I have created my Better Belly Blueprint that embraces an eating lifestyle of at least 70% animal-based foods and less than 30% of selected plants with minimal anti-nutrients (i.e. phytates, lectins, and oxalates).

Animals must be pastured, fed no chemicals, and raised humanely. Eat from nose-to-tail, which includes their muscle meat, saturated fats, organs, and collagenous parts. Practically all the nutrients your body requires are in nose-to-tail eating.

If you would like to see some of my original recipes, click on Better Belly Blueprint Recipes.

#2: Water

Probably this is one of the most underrated yet essential nutrients for our body. I wrote about water in my article on Hydration & BUN. And one of the best sources of pure water is the natural and unfiltered spring waters that are replete with trace minerals and the energy the sun bestows on the chemical and electrical properties of water. They should be bottled in glass.

#3: Gut

Much medical research today is uncovering the immense importance of our gut for overall health and wellness. We must …

  • Maintain an intact gut lining
  • Improve the integrity of the mucous layer
  • Establish a high diversity, quantity, and quality of individual species of beneficial bacteria

One method to improve the gut microbiome is to ingest spore-based probiotics. Studies show that these unique bacteria are resistant to stomach acid, germinate in the gut, produce beneficial chemicals (metabolites), enhance the growth of other commensal bacteria, and assist in the repair of the gut epithelial barrier.

In addition, specific immunoglobulins, which can be introduced into the gut, will bind to toxic elements and hasten repair of the mucous layer and gut epithelial lining.

I published a mini-eBook explaining the interactions of the gut with chronic disease. In my publication, Is Your Gut Killing You?,  I cite 295 peer-reviewed medical articles.

#4: Strong Cells with Functional Mitochondria

So far, a healthy diet, unfiltered natural spring water, and a robust gut will provide the elements for efficient and effective cells. But there is another force that can improve the cell membranes and the production of ATP. It is based on the magnetic field of the Earth.

The Earth’s magnetic field ranges from 26 to 66 micro-Tesla.[1] Tesla is the measurement of the strength or intensity of a magnetic field and incorporates the amplitude of the wave frequencies.

The wave frequencies on Earth “speak” to all cells of the body – restoring proper electrical balance, healthy cell membranes, blood circulation and oxygenation, and mitochondrial function. Walking on natural ground with bare feet (i.e., grounding) helps transmit this energy into your body.

If there were no Earth’s magnetic field, various illnesses would occur.[2] For example, beyond the Earth’s atmosphere there is a significant reduction in electromagnetic forces. NASA learned early that there was biological harm to their astronauts from the loss of the Earth’s magnetic field in outer space. To compensate for the medical damage that was done, NASA began to equip their space capsules and space suits with electromagnetic field generators to simulate the natural magnetic fields on Earth. These generators produced an average of 50 micro-Tesla.

Another way for you to improve cellular function would be to use Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) Therapy with a full body mat. This is what I do to assist with healthy cellular membranes and mitochondria.

My mat specifically runs at a maximum of 40 micro-Tesla with filters to remove any voltage spikes or damaging electromagnetic fields.[3] This German-made mat produces frequencies from 0.1 – 10,000 Hz in harmonic wave patterns. I incorporate a specific PEMF protocol three times a day, which I describe in my Unconventional Cancer Protocols.

#5: Healthy Sun Exposure

Our main source of Vitamin D is the Vitamin D3 that is created in the skin from exposure to sunlight. We also get some Vitamin D2 from a few foods in our diet. When we have inadequate blood levels of Vitamin D, we can improve them through dietary supplements. But for Vitamin D to function properly, it requires various “helper” nutrients, which include Vitamin K2, Vitamin A, magnesium, boron, and zinc.

Vitamin D3 and Vitamin D2 enter the circulation and eventually are converted into “25 Hydroxy Vitamin D” (the inactive form of Vitamin D) by the liver. This is basically our “storage pile” of Vitamin D. This inactive form returns to the circulation and reaches the kidneys where it is transformed into “1,25 Dihydroxy Vitamin D” (the active form) as it is needed.

The active form of Vitamin D acts on bones, the intestine, and kidneys to regulate the level of calcium and phosphorus in our blood.

It also has many other functions in the human body. Vitamin D regulates cell differentiation, cell maturation and the innate immune system. It affects up to 10% of our genetic activity and improves the resistance against certain diseases including cancer.[4]

Another benefit is that it enhances the diversity of microbes in the gut as well as increases the variety of beneficial species.[5]

Your blood level goal for 25 Hydroxy Vitamin D should be no less than 40-60 ng/ml. Toxicity usually does not occur until the blood level is above 125 ng/ml.

#6: Restorative Sleep

Your body relies on circadian rhythms. These are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. They are natural processes that respond primarily to light and dark.

The cycle of circadian rhythms regulates the biological clocks that are the natural timing devices for many of our body’s functions such as:

  • Hormone release
  • Eating habits and digestion
  • Body temperature
  • Sleep patterns

Most people can optimize their circadian rhythms by sleeping about 7-8 hours a night. The ideal time to go to bed is between the hours of 9 PM to 11 PM. Also, make the room dark, cool, and quiet for a better night’s sleep.

#7: Efficient Exercise

Your body requires movement. This includes simple movements as well as complex movements. To “work” your body efficiently, you should include a combination of:

  • Brief, high-intensity interval training once every 7-10 days
  • Aerobic exercise 1-2 days a week
  • Strength training 1-2 days a week
  • Non-exercise movements every day 

#8: Stress Reduction

Meditate; practice yoga; try diaphragmatic breathing; and experiment with progressive, total body muscle relaxation.

Continuous emotional stress will damage the gut microbiome and cause “leaky gut”, which will lead to significant and ongoing chronic systemic inflammation. This will tax the immune system to the extent that the immune system will be compromised and unable to mount an aggressive attack when needed to destroy serious invading pathogens.

I published this article in November 2020 that shows the damage emotional stress can cause in an otherwise healthy mouth.

#9: Effective Oral Hygiene

Your gut bacteria and your mouth bacteria “talk” back and forth. Your gut must be healthy, and your mouth must be healthy. Infection and inflammation from the gut and mouth can enter the blood system, travel along nerve fibers, and infiltrate tissue fluids to contribute to chronic disease. If there are any irritants in your mouth, they must be treated appropriately.

To make sure your mouth stays healthy, you need to have a personal oral hygiene regimen.  This includes brushing your teeth at the gum margins, flossing and cleaning the surfaces between each of your teeth, and scraping the topside of your tongue to remove odor forming bacteria and microscopic food remnants. I’ve published a detailed PDF that explains the 4 Steps to a Healthy Mouth.

#10: Consciousness of the mind, body, spirit connection

We are more than just the food we eat, our individual cells, and our environment. We are our thoughts and emotions, our physical bodies, and our spirituality. No part of our body functions like an island unto itself. Our mind, body, and spirit are intertwined and determine our health, make us who we are, and guide us to our purpose in life.

Connect the Dots

I stated earlier that there are solutions.

Basically, they are simple and available to us if we take the time to gather them together.

But the implementation is complex. A proactive person must research and act upon the elements I just discussed. There is no magic pill; it takes dedication to swim out of the polluted sea into fresh, clean waters. But the ultimate outcome will be transformative and regenerative.

[1] http://www.geophys.ac.cn/infowin/cc.asp

[2] https://www.imrs.com/en/earth-s-magnetic-field.html

[3] https://www.purewavenow.com/pemf-portable-system

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2879391/

[5] https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-77806-4 

 

 

 

Check out my training on the Better Belly Blueprint! You can watch it HERE.

 

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My Primal Lifestyle
Part 3 of 3: How I Sleep and Reduce Stress

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     Nutritional Periodontist
      August 24, 2016  


 
 
     

My Primal LifestyleIn Part 1, I discussed what I eat on a typical weekday and a typical weekend. In Part 2, I discussed how I exercise. In this Part, I discuss my sleep patterns and how I deal with stress.

 

 

My Sleep Patterns

 

Restorative sleep is critical to maintain normal hormonal repair in my body. It is based on the natural circadian rhythm that is a result of the sun rising and setting at different times of the year.

 

For the most part, I get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night. I get up early to start my day, so my bedtime usually is between 9 PM and 10 PM. The lights are out; the room is cool; and it’s quiet. I wake about 5:00 AM to start my day on weekdays, and I am usually up by 6:00 AM on weekends.

 

 

Stress Reduction

 

Although I have written many articles about stress, I have found that reducing personal stress is much easier said than done. One specific way to reduce stress is to use stress management practices.

 

I have tried several techniques with varying degrees of success. The following methods have worked best for me:

  • Meditation: I do not find meditation difficult. It is very natural and simple for me. I sit in a comfortable chair in my quiet bedroom. I close my eyes and relax my thoughts. Whatever thoughts come in my head I simply tell myself, “That’s Okay” and then let them pass. I often concentrate on something rhythmic like the exhalation and inhalation of my breaths, or sometimes I repeatedly say to myself, “I am relaxed and still.” I’ll do that for 15 to 30 minutes at a time.
  •  

  • Diaphragmatic breathing: This is deep breathing in the diaphragm. To do this, I lie in my bed, and put my hand over my belly button. As I breathe in slowly and completely, I want my belly to push my hand out as far as I can. Then when I begin to exhale slowly, I want to try to get my tummy right up to my spine as my hand moves in that direction as far as I can. I simply repeat this a number of times. I find this very relaxing.
  •  

  • Progressive muscle relaxation: This will create total body relaxation. I actually learned this technique when I was in college decades ago. At that time, it was called Jacobsonian Relaxation.
     
    To get ready for this, I am ready to go to bed. I make the room dark, cool, and quiet. I lie down on my back in bed and make myself comfortable. The key for me is to progressively tighten groups of muscles and then relax them afterwards. I start with my feet. While lying in bed, I squeeze and curl my toes and constrict my feet as tightly as I can. Sometimes, I’ll be holding my breath. I keep the muscles really tight, and then let go slowly as I breathe out. Then I move up my body to concentrate on my legs, tightening and relaxing these muscles in the same way. I continue to move up to my buttocks, abdomen, back, shoulders, neck, hands, arms, face, etc. Progressively, I tighten these muscle groups and then let go. After one round, my entire body feels relaxed and stress-free. It’s a method I love, and it always works.

 

 

Summary

 

I have described My Primal Lifestyle in Part 1, Part 2, and this last installment, Part 3. It’s simple, doable, and effective.

 

The way our primal ancestors lived and the way hunter-gatherer societies live today are the ways our genes and anatomical structures have evolved so that we can survive and thrive. As human beings, we can’t improve on these basics. We can improve on so many other things in our lives, but our biology has taken its precious time to evolve to be the best it can be. I am not smart enough to try to change it. And, I don’t need anyone to prove what I believe.

 

Since 2013, my life has changed for the best. Moving forward, this is how I will continue to live the quality life I enjoy today.

 

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My Primal Lifestyle
Part I of 3: What I Eat

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     Nutritional Periodontist
      August 22, 2016  


 
 
     

My Primal LifestyleChris and his wife Terry came to my office the other day to discuss his periodontal treatment plan as well as the lifestyle changes I recommended both of them to consider. He brought his wife because she also had many questions. Two of her questions were, “How do you live your life?” and “What does your typical day look like?”

 

Great questions! I’m proud of the way I treat my body today, and I was eager to share that with Chris and Terry.

 

My primal lifestyle started in 2013. From that time forward, I have included a nutrient-dense diet, efficient exercise, restorative sleep, and stress reduction in how I live. In this first installment (Part 1), I discuss what I eat on a typical weekday and on a typical weekend. In Part 2, I discuss my weekly exercise program, and in Part 3, I discuss my sleep patterns and how I deal with stress. I am not an athlete or a marathon runner or a gym enthusiast. I am just a guy trying to stay as healthy as I can for as long as I can. My philosophy is to keep it simple, doable, and effective. I think you will agree.

 

 

The Days Of The Week

 

I eat differently over the course of a week. Mondays through Fridays are different than Saturdays and Sundays. So, here is an example for a typical weekday and then my choices for a typical weekend. I also included my selections that are the same for all 7 days.

 

 

Typical Weekday

 

I usually do not eat breakfast because I am usually not hungry. But, I generally have a cup or two of my Spiced BulletProof Coffee in the morning.

 

Often my first meal is around noon or 1PM. That frequently consists of 3 eggs over easy cooked in coconut oil. I will sauté several leafy greens (like spinach, Swiss chard, and kale) in coconut oil with spices and seasonings like turmeric, fresh garlic, Himalayan salt, kelp granules, and ground pepper. I either will drink filtered water or goat kefir (I prefer Redwood Hill Farm Plain Goat Kefir) depending on what’s available and what’s my preference at the moment.

 

For dinner, one of my favorite meals is salmon baked in parchment paper with sides of sweet potatoes and streamed broccoli smothered with plenty of butter from pastured, grass-fed cows. I also like to sprinkle Ceylon cinnamon on my sweet potatoes.

 

For dessert, 85% dark chocolate is a regular indulgence. My preferred bar is Alter Eco Dark Blackout. When available, I enjoy some of my homemade avocado chocolate pudding that includes organic cacao powder.

 

 

Typical Weekend

 

My wife and I generally go out for breakfast or brunch both days. We look forward to eating at our local farm-to-table restaurants. At one of these restaurants, I usually get shrimp sautéed in olive oil with green peppers, onions, and garlic. I also have three sides: beets with ginger and raw honey, steamed cabbage, and sweet potato casserole made with raisins, apples, and pecans. Water with fresh lemon or lime is my preferred drink.

 

At dinnertime, we like a rack of lamb that we oven bake with olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary. I whip up a fresh salad of leafy greens with tomatoes, fresh fruit, raw pumpkin seeds, and my creamy Caesar dressing. We often have a side of live-culture sauerkraut.

 

Dessert is optional. I may have fresh fruit, dark chocolate, or my delicious avocado chocolate pudding.

 

 

Everyday

 

I make a smoothie to drink that is available whenever I want during the day. It is a combination of leafy greens like Swiss chard, spinach, and kale with an avocado, berries of various types, a banana, and filtered water to create the right consistency. I use a Vitamix Blender and store it in a large Thermos.

 

I rarely snack, but if I do it is usually with various raw nuts and seeds (cashews, macadamia, Brazil nuts, and pumpkin seeds,) along with fresh fruits.

 

At dinnertime I may have a glass of a full-body red wine. I have found several organic varieties that I favor.

 

 

There You Have It

 

That’s pretty much my average day’s food plan for the weekend and for the weekday. What do you enjoy for your typical meals? Let me know.

 

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Who Knew It Was So Obvious?

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     Nutritional Periodontist
      May 31, 2016  


 
 
     
 

Who Knew It Was So Obvious?It’s so simple.

 

I’m amazed.

 

When I stop to think, the obvious blows me away.

 

Here’s what I know:

 

I know that today’s science and knowledge are growing at an exponential rate. No manmade machine has ever been created or built that is as complex, compact, unique, and self-perpetuating as the human body. Hundreds of thousands of years of evolution have allowed our human species to become quite perfect. I know that animals in the wild for the most part do not have chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, obesity, tooth decay, or gum disease. And, I know that modern humans are plagued with chronic diseases of all types leading to severe compromise in the quality of life.

 

What I also know is that humans throughout time have evolved because their food sources were natural. These foods were not the same for every primal society. Yet, the food from the land and the sea allowed their body to develop the amazing ability to survive and thrive. If any species were not able to survive and thrive, it would have been deselected and removed from the evolutionary timeline by other more adapted species.

 

What I know is that my body needs what my primal ancestors needed – nutrient dense foods, restorative sleep, efficient exercise, and reduction of stress. I will provide these basics in order to stay as healthy as I can with the least decline in the quality of my life moving forward. I also know that others who don’t know what I know will not misguide me.

 

Who knew? It is so obvious to me. Is it obvious to you?

 

graphic source

 

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Falling Asleep, Staying Asleep, & Waking Up:
5 Natural Ideas

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     May 11, 2016  


 
 
     
 

SleepSleep is one of those pillars of health that I have written about in the past along with nutrient-dense foods, efficient exercise, and stress reduction. Your body needs about 7-8 hours of restorative sleep a night. Among many other things, sleep affects the gut microbiome, which in turn affects the mouth.

 

So, how do you get restorative sleep? I’ve done some research and experimented with my own sleep habits. Here are my thoughts on how to fall asleep, how to stay asleep, and how to wake up naturally:

  • When the sun rises, it stimulates biochemicals in your body to get you up in the morning. When the sun sets, the lack of light stimulates biochemicals to make you sleepy. Therefore, it is important to have no light in your bedroom when you are ready for sleep. For a good night’s sleep, make your bedroom dark, quiet, and temperature cool.
  • Coffee and caffeine containing foods work on your central nervous system and prevent your brain from slowing down. Caffeine will keep you awake. Consequently, you don’t want to drink coffee or eat foods containing caffeine shortly before bedtime. Here is an interesting video on YouTube that explains how caffeine affects your body.
  • Healthy root carbs can increase the production of melatonin, which is a hormone that is important to make you sleepy, while not creating a spike in blood sugar. An example of a healthy carb that can help you fall asleep is a sweet potato. You could eat it with your dinner or as a snack before bedtime.
  • If your last meal of the day is more than 3 hours before bedtime, you could have a blood sugar imbalance while asleep that could wake you up in the middle of the night. To stay asleep, try to eat your dinner no more than 3 hours before bedtime. It should consist of a balance of foods including protein, healthy carbohydrates, and healthy fats. This should help maintain proper blood sugar balance during your sleep cycle.
  • Light will stimulate you to wake up. Natural sunlight coming into your bedroom will help you wake up naturally. Alternatively, an alarm clock using light to slowly illuminate the room, rather than using loud alarming sounds, can help you wake naturally. You could find many models online by Googling “sunrise alarm clocks.”

 

There they are – 5 natural ways to get a good night’s sleep that can be restorative for your whole body. Try my ideas, and get the sleep you need – naturally.

 

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Eat Better – Live Better – Feel Better
(Part 3 of 3)

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     May 7, 2016  


 
 
     
 

Eat Better - Live Better - Feel BetterIn Part 1, I described how acute inflammation could develop into chronic inflammation. In Part 2, I discussed the damaging effects of chronic inflammation.

 
Now it’s time to make a difference and be proactive. My goal is to help you bring chronic inflammation to its knees.

 

The methods to reduce chronic inflammation in the body include an anti-inflammatory diet and an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. Results are not going to happen by taking a pill to solve the problem. It will take repeated and significant efforts on your part. But, your personal benefits will be life changing.

 
1. Human cells and gut bacteria must be kept happy. They must be fed what they require.

 
Nourishment with nutrient-dense foods is the answer. These include animal products from nose to tail. Animals should be pastured or wild caught and allowed to eat their natural diet. They should not be fed foods that have been genetically modified or contaminated with any chemicals, hormones, or antibiotics. Other nutrient-dense foods include vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.

 
Three foods that are not on everyone’s radar are: (1) sea vegetables (seaweeds), which are unusual vegetables that offer significant nutrient density; (2) liver, which contains nutrients that are hard to find elsewhere in such concentration, and (3) fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir, all of which are loaded with live cultures of good bacteria for the gut.

 
In addition, fiber from vegetables and fruits support the growth and function of healthy bacteria in the gut.

 
2. The gut lining must be kept intact. Anything that could damage this lining or the healthy balance of microbes must be eliminated.

 
Some of the unhealthy substances that are damaging to the healthy balance of flora in the gut and to the delicate gut lining are:

  • Processed grains
  • Processed sugars
  • Processed food products that have unhealthy ingredients (including added sugars, unhealthy fats, chemicals, preservatives, food coloring, etc.)
  • Legumes in general (some legumes can be soaked and cooked properly to make them less of a problem)
  • Unhealthy fats (including man-made trans fats and any partially-hydrogenated or hydrogenated fats) as well as excessive omega 6 fatty acids from processed vegetable oils (including corn oil, soybean oil, peanut oil, canola oil, safflower oil, etc.)
  • Pasteurized and homogenized milk and milk products from cows that have been grain fed
  • Continued bouts of antibiotic treatment and other toxic substances

 

3. Specific lifestyle habits are necessary to support the immune system and reduce chronic inflammation.

 
Stress Reduction is a difficult goal. We live in a society where external stresses and self-imposed stresses are a part of daily life. This is one area where I have much work to do personally. Here is an example where stress alone caused severe damage in the mouth.

 
Whatever excuses you may have, the reduction of most stress is in your power. Stress reduction is essential for health. Ways to reduce stress include:

  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Deep breathing
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Advice from a qualified mental healthcare provider

 

Restorative Sleep is the way your body reconditions itself. It means obtaining 7-8 hours of sleep a night. It should be in a quiet, cool, and dark environment to be most beneficial.

 
Effective Exercise includes the correct amount and correct intensity of aerobic and anaerobic sessions that are customized for your body. Also, non-exercise movements are biologically necessary including walking and standing rather than sitting at a desk most of the day. Excessive exercise as well as a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to chronic inflammation.

 
4. Vitamin D from the sun is an important ingredient to maintain health and reduce inflammation.

 
Vitamin D has been shown to be vital in many normal biological functions in the body. The best source is proper exposure to sunlight. An excellent app to determine how much sun you may require based on where you live, the time of year, your age, your skin color, the amount of clothing you wear, etc. is called D Minder.

 
Other natural sources of vitamin D include cod liver oil, wild caught fatty fish, pastured egg yolks, and grass fed butter.

 
One way to determine how much vitamin D is in your blood is to have your healthcare professional order a blood test called 25-Hydroxy Vit D Test.

 
There are supplements of vitamin D3 you could consume. However, you need to have vitamin K2 as well as Vitamin A in your diet for these supplements to work properly throughout your body.

 

•••

 

So, that does it. Eat better; feel better; live better. The Holy Grail for health seems to be (1) giving your body what it needs and (2) removing from your body what it does not need. Easier said than done, but definitely doable. At 69 years of age, I am a living example of how I transformed my life with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Read my story.

 

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I Woke Up This Morning Feeling So Alive

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     January 11, 2016  


 
 
When I Woke Up This MorningYou need to know my history in order to understand what I am saying. I have written about it HERE.

 

I am almost 69 years old. For the first 66 years of my life, I was not healthy. I thought I was healthy, but I wasn’t. In 2006, when I was 59 years old, I had a stroke but recovered completely within 2 months. It wasn’t until 2013 when I learned what I had been doing wrong for 66 years. It was an eye-opener.

 

I learned about primal nutrition and primal lifestyle. That included eliminating from my diet all processed grains and sugars, all unhealthy fats, and all other processed foods that had chemicals added to them. I learned to exercise efficiently and sleep restoratively. I tried to learn to control my stress levels – not an easy task.

 

Over the last three years, I have become a different person. I feel healthier than I have ever felt. I have energy throughout the day; I don’t have carbohydrate cravings; and I only eat when I am hungry. I have gotten into an exercise program that makes sense to me and has science to back it up.

 

I do high intensity interval training for about 10-15 minutes once a week. I do bodyweight strength training for about 10-15 minutes twice a week. Both of these I do in the comfort of my home. I do outdoor aerobic exercise two days a week for about 30 minutes at a time. I also do non-exercise movement by walking about 10,000 steps a day, and I use a stand up desk at home instead of sitting down as I used to do. I have written about my routine HERE.

 

A medical doctor who also is a functional medicine practitioner once told me, “In order to repair your body, it may take one month of proper nutrition and lifestyle for every year you damaged your body from your poor nutrition and poor lifestyle.” Since I had been damaging my body for the first 66 years of my life, I may need five or six years of doing what I am doing now to get as healthy as I can. So, I am a work in progress since I am only three years into my repair process. But, I feel great. I feel so much alive. If only I knew then what I know now!!

 

My goal is to spread the word. People don’t understand that the damage they are doing to their body doesn’t make itself known immediately. It often takes decades to fester and escalate before the clinical signs and symptoms become obvious.

 

Most people need a tipping point to make a change in their lives. Some people need to be debilitated by a heart attack or a stroke before they get the message. Some people need an external event to occur like the birth of a grandchild to motivate them to make a change. A few people only need to learn what is best, and they make the change. Whatever it takes to tip your consciousness into motivating you is all that matters.

 

So, I write quite a bit. I lecture to lay groups of people and also to those in my profession. I try to impress that a train is coming, and the prudent person should get off the tracks. The science is there. Most medical practitioners don’t know what they don’t know. I am living proof of what a primal diet and a primal lifestyle can accomplish is such a short time.

 

When I woke up this morning, I felt compelled to put into words what I was feeling.

8 Truths I’ve Learned After My Paleo Transition

        Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS       December 4, 2015

 

Healthy Lifestyle ElementsFor the first 66 years of my life, I was not a healthy guy. You can read my story here. However, for the last 3 years or so, I have become a new person, and I have incorporated my newfound knowledge and lifestyle in the way I educate my patients. Here are 8 truths I have learned after my Paleo transition. They’re listed in no special order; they’re just my thoughts:

 

  1. Too much conflicting information from respected medical institutions about health and diet has made the average Mary and Joe spin in circles. A Paleolithic-type diet has been around for 2.5 million years of our species’ evolution, and it has well served humankind throughout the world. It’s not a fad; it’s the way it was meant to be.
  2. Chronic emotional stress is difficult to control. The damage to the healthy gut bacteria and the immune system plays havoc on the entire body including the gum tissues in the mouth. One of the pillars of health is control of stress. There is no pill you can take to make stress go away.
  3. When I am evaluating a patient in my periodontal practice, there is no way I can do a thorough mouth examination that includes a discussion about their gut and immune system in less than an hour. The 10-15 minute exams that many of my contemporaries perform for their patients are inadequate and a disservice to the patient, in my opinion.
  4. Nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods that are the basis of a Paleo diet provide the body with essential nourishment for every cell to survive and thrive. These foods make up another of the pillars of health.
  5. Although genetics play a role in gum disease and many chronic diseases, an individual’s diet and lifestyle are more important than his or her genes.
  6. A third great pillar of health is restorative sleep. The human body is based on a circadian rhythm and generally requires about 8 hours of sleep each night.
  7. The Standard American Diet (consisting of unhealthy fats, refined sugars, conventionally raised animal products, processed grains, and a host of chemicals) is a major culprit for today’s chronic disease epidemic. Period!
  8. The fourth pillar of health is an efficient exercise program. That does not mean over-exercising aerobically an hour a day, 5 days a week.

 

I am still learning. At almost 69 years of age, this is exciting for me. I have transformed my life and my health through the knowledge of evolutionary lifestyle. If only I knew then what I know now!!!

 

I will leave you with this one question: If you knew a train was coming at you, would you get off the tracks?

What Did You Say I Have?

        Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS       November 8, 2015

 

evolution r“What did you say I have? I brush my teeth everyday and floss when I can. Now you say I have gum disease that is eating away at my jawbone! How did this happen to me?”

 

You are not alone!

 

A study published in 2010 demonstrated that 93.9% of adults in the United States had some form of gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gum tissues surrounding the teeth.

 

Another study published in 2012 by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that 47% of the US adult population has periodontitis (the advanced stage of gum disease that eats away at the jawbone). If you were over 65 years old, the prevalence of this advanced infection jumped to 70%. Wow!

 

Advanced gum disease typically does not hurt. The earlier stage of this disease, which is gingivitis, usually produces bleeding gums. But, if gingivitis progresses to the more advanced stage of periodontitis, the bleeding generally stops as the infection moves deeper under the gums to begin destroying the jawbone.

 

If left untreated, periodontitis will cause teeth to get loose. Teeth will become sore and painful to the touch. Chewing will become uncomfortable. Infection that is around the tooth root could be pushed into the blood system, affecting other areas of the body. These gum infections could also become severe in the mouth resulting in much swelling, bleeding, and odor. Once the structure of the jawbone is significantly destroyed, the only option would be to extract the teeth involved. In addition to mouth problems, gum disease has been associated with many other bodily conditions such as diabetes, pre-term and low-weight babies, heart disease, and many more.

 

There are many causes. The most common is bacteria that get under the gums around the teeth that thrive off of the sugars and refined carbohydrates we eat abundantly everyday. Another cause is the lack of efficient oral hygiene, which includes effective tooth and gum cleaning habits. Additional causes are the health of our digestive system, the nutrients that are in our foods, our stress level, and our genetic predisposition. Frequently, habits like gritting or grinding your teeth, even if you are not aware of this habit, could weaken the jawbone and result in further destruction.

 

You cannot change your genetics, but you can change the quality of foods you eat and your lifestyle, and you can learn to properly clean around your teeth and gums.

 

Those who read my blogs may know that I am a periodontist (gum specialist) with 41 years experience in treating patients with advanced gum disease. I also am licensed in the laser gum treatment called LANAP® (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure), which is patient-friendly and involves no cutting with scalpels and no stitches. I have found this to be the best way to treat advanced gum disease. In addition, I am a Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner using this background to guide patients to a healthier diet and lifestyle. Some of my patients decide to complete a 3-Day Food Journal, which allows me to evaluate their eating and lifestyle habits and then to recommend healthier food and lifestyle choices.

 

I offer my patients a Lifestyle Repair Plan, in which I recommend an anti-inflammatory diet, selecting from a host of nutrient-dense foods. These are the foods that have a great deal of nutrients packed into each calorie. My Plan also incorporates changes in lifestyle that are critical for overall health. Included are concepts of health maintenance like Oral Care, Restorative Sleep, Efficient Exercise, and Stress Reduction – concepts that I have summarized into simple and doable steps.

 

My goal for my patients is to treat their active gum infections, teach them methods to maintain a healthy mouth, and assist them with eating and lifestyle changes that could lead not only to a healthier mouth for the rest of their lives but also to a healthier body.

Stinky Breath?
It’s More Than You Think!

        Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS       October 18, 2015

 
Interestingly, almost everything begins with our mouths. Certainly, our nourishment begins with our mouths. And, our mouths have become unhealthy – more unhealthy than ever before in our species’ 2.5 million-year journey. Stinky breath could be a manifestation of many diseases.

 
evolution rOver the course of 2.5 million years, our species evolved into a perfect machine. Dealing with a host of environments and demands, our genetic structure developed the abilities to become the master control center of our well-being. But beginning 10,000 years ago or so, our species has been progressively at odds with our genetic code. In many aspects we have become an unhealthy people. Our modern lifestyles have brought us to the brink of either continuing on a destructive path or taking steps to repair our body.

 
However, for the most part, we do have control over these missteps. You may be surprised that poor lifestyle choices cause chronic inflammation, which in turn is a major factor in many of today’s diseases.

 
A study published in 2012 showed that 47.2% of the adult population over the age of 30 in the United States had periodontitis (which translated to 64.7 million Americans), and an astounding 70.1% of those over the age of 65 had this disease.

 
Periodontitis is more serious than gingivitis, which is inflammation only in the gum tissue. Periodontitis is an advanced stage of gum disease where the gums are infected and the bone surrounding the roots of the teeth are breaking down. This disease leads to bad breath, loose teeth, loss of teeth, sensitive teeth, pain, gum recession, and even spread of infection to other parts of the body. Gum disease is an important thread of integrative medicine.

 
Obviously, our primal ancestors did not have toothbrushes and did not see a dentist every 6 months, but they had relatively healthy mouths. They hardly ever had gum disease or tooth decay. Why?

 
Today, many people see a dentist every 6 months and also brush and floss daily, but they still have gum disease. How could that be? What we have learned to believe may not be so. Josh Billings (the 19th Century humorist) put it so clearly: “It ain’t so much the things we don’t know that get us into trouble. It’s the things we know that just ain’t so.”

 
The “whys & hows” are related to the nourishment we give ourselves and the lifestyles we lead. As I stated, our modern lifestyle has brought us to the brink of either continuing on a destructive path or taking steps to repair our body. The steps to repair our body do not have to be complicated.

 
The steps require an anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense diet and a lifestyle similar to those of our primal ancestors. This lifestyle includes efficient exercise, restorative sleep, and stress reduction. Whatever eventually happens on a cellular level anywhere in the body also affects the entire human complexity. All will be discussed in my new book titled, MODERN LIFESTYLE AT THE BRINK: Perspectives & Solutions from 2.5 Million Years of Evolution. Publication date is yet to be determined.