Clinical Pearls from the Functional Medicine Conference - Paula Owens

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More Clinical Pearls from the IFM Conference

Clinical Pearls from the IFM Functional Medicine ConferenceRecently I attended The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) 2012 annual international conference. Five of the world’s top medical doctors including Dr. Mark Houston, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Shilpa Saxena, Dr. Jeffrey Bland, and Dr. Mimi Guarneri presented valuable, cutting-edge information over four days.

The focus of the 2012 conference was “A New Era in Preventing, Managing, and Reversing Cardiovascular and Metabolic Dysfunction.” Below are just a few clinical pearls I’d love to share with you from the final two days of the conference.

Clinical Pearls from the Functional Medicine IFM Conference

Hypertension is an inflammatory and autoimmune disease. To obtain an accurate blood pressure reading, the arm must be in line with heart and a certified brachial cuff must be used when measuring blood pressure.

— Heart disease predictions and blood pressure: Before age 50-55, the diastolic blood pressure predicts risk best. After age 50-55, the systolic predicts risk best.

— C-reactive protein (CRP-hs) is the best vascular inflammation marker. It can damage your arteries through 35 mechanisms. CRP is also a risk factor and risk marker for hypertension, underlying infections and injury, and a strong predictor of risk for future myocardial infarction (MI) and heart disease.

— Top 3 supplements to reduce elevated CRP levels include:

      1. High dose fatty acids 5-10gm/day (omega-3s)
      2. Curcumin
      3. Quercetin

— Must add tocopherols and vitamin E to fish oil (EPA/DHA) to prevent oxidation. Vitamin D is one of your best anti-inflammatory agents. Vitamin K2 reduces CRP and inflammation. If you’re low in vitamin K, you’re calcifying. Calcium supplementation can cause increased arterial calcification and stiffness when vitamin K is deficient.

— Diet and the impact on Coronary Heart Disease outcomes. . .

  • Nuts: decrease risk by 30%
  • Vegetables and leafy greens decrease risk by 23%
  • Vitamin C and vitamin E reduce risk by 20-23%
  • Standard American Diet (SAD) increases risk by 55%
  • Mediterranean diet reduces risk by 37%
  • Folate reduces risk of heart disease by 32%
  • Trans fats increase risk by 32%
  • High glycemic load foods increase risk by 32%
  • Fiber decreases risk by 22%
  • Red wine lowers risk by 30%

— Functional medicine recipe for a long life and healthy aging includes:

  • Avoid smoking
  • Get plenty of sleep, sunshine and relaxation
  • Take natural supplements and nutraceuticals, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. You’ll find some of the best and highest quality, pharmaceutical-grade supplements here
  • Avoid drugs and pharmaceutical medications that induce unfavorable changes in lipids, blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, glucose, weight, affect exercise and other risk factors
  • Recognize, treat and reduce all known cardiovascular risk factors
  • Exercise 60 minutes a day, then go home, sit down, relax and have a glass of red wine

Telomeres and the aging gene come from your mother. Accelerated aging is in direct correlation to how your mother ages.

Resveratrol increases longevity in animals by lowering oxidative stress, decreasing DNA damage and apoptosis. Induces weight loss, decreases inflammation and extends life expectancy. Pinor Noir wine contains the highest concentration of resveratrol.

— What is the one supplement everyone would benefit from? Curcumin. It encourages healthy cellular aging and reduces inflammation plus so much more.

— Four things that increase intracellular glutathione

    1. Whey protein 40 gm day
    2. N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) 500 gm 2x day
    3. R-Lipoic Acid. Must take with Biotin (only use the R form of lipoic acid. High dose lipoic acid depletes biotin)
    4. Cruciferous vegetables

— Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is when fat builds up in the liver cells in people who do not drink alcohol excessively. It is the most common persistent liver disorder in the United States and is expected to increase by 50% by 2030. It’s not a liver problem; it’s a metabolic insulin problem.

— Men have LESS risk for type 2 diabetes when levels of free and total testosterone are higher. Women have MORE risk of type 2 diabetes with higher levels of free and total testosterone.

— Low free testosterone and androgen receptor level in men correlate with high prevalence of cardiovascular disease in elderly males.

— Just one week of short sleep (5 hours) creates a 10-15% drop in testosterone.

— Insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia appear to be universal in PCOS, even in women who are of normal bodyweight (skinny fatties).

— PCOS is just insulin showing up as high androgens and high estrogens. 50-70% of women with PCOS are overweight or obese. Women with PCOS have an increased risk of breast cancer.

— Women with PCOS are likely to exhibit the following:

  • Higher levels of BPA
  • Increased C-reactive protein (CRP)
  • Exaggerated sympathetic nervous system (SNS) responses
  • Exaggerated HPA-axis abnormalities to negative stimuli
  • Increased (abnormal) cortisol responses to physical and psychological stressors which cannot be explained by body fat percentage, BMI, waist-to-hip ratios, fasting insulin, or androgen levels

— High and sustained production of estrogens causes menstrual irregularity. If this elevated level of estrogen remains unchecked for years, it increases a woman’s risk for estrogen-driven cancers, particularly endometrial cancer.

— Does your vitamin E contain both tocotrionols and tocoferols? Never take tocotrionols and tocoferols at the same time. Buy them separately. Take tocotrioneols at night for increased absorption and tocoferols in AM.

— Total LDL is absolutely worthless for determining CVD. Particle number and ApoB are the most accurate predictors of cardiovascular events; 75% of people who have CVD is because they’re chronically infected and they’re eating crap food.

— Exercise, optimal nutrition with fruits and vegetables, moderate alcohol consumption and smoking cessation reduces the risk of heart attack by 80%. Lancet 2004;364:937

— Cortisol levels measured from the hair samples obtained from 304 amateur endurance athletes showed on average 42% higher cortisol in endurance athletes.

— Participate in no more than one exercise session a week where your heart rate is sustained over 3 minutes at 80% or higher.

— If you have a 5% increase in your morning pulse, you should decrease your workload by 50%. If you have a 10% increase in your morning pulse, it’s a signal for a rest day.

— Supplementation with CoQ10 reduces inflammation and oxidative stress associated with strenuous exercise.

Thanks for taking time to read my blog.

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