Nutritional Healing in Standard Medicine

Paul L. Reller L.Ac. / Last Updated: August 03, 2017

Utilizing dietary regimens to treat disease

Research and clinical practice are uncovering a variety of dietary regimens that are proven effective to successfully treat disease, in some cases better than pharmaceutical regimens. Despite these sometimes dramatic findings, there is still a failure in standard medicine to adopt these dietary treatment regimes in standard treatment guidelines, and many patients that could be helped are not benefiting.

Perhaps the most well-known figure in the history of Western Medicine is Hippocrates, whose famous set of medical ethics is still recited today in standard medicine. Hippocrates, in his writings, exhorts physicians to utilize dietary medicine to treat patients whenever possible, to "do no harm", before resorting to treatments with side effects and potentially harmful outcomes. Throughout history, we see examples of public health officials trying to promote dietary regimens that could cure, treat, or prevent disease. Today, sadly, we see an attitude that medical authorities should not interfere in the right of the population to adopt disease causing diets, or in the right of companies to promote unhealthy diet for profit, or use chemicals in foods that cause disease in the population. Despite a rich history of nutrient medicine in the last century, we still have virtually no education in this realm in standard medical education, and a long history of a general contempt and belittling of dietary protocols that treat diseases.

After decades of deriding nutritional healing, much of the general public is now under the impression that only "health nuts" actually believe that dietary protocols may substantially treat serious disease. The truth is that research continues to uncover some startling success with dietary protocols in treatment, yet they are not widely recommended. Even when utilized, the design of clinical dietary treatment often is more difficult than it needs to be and discourages many patients and doctors away from use. Even the research papers that promote dietary treatment often suggest that it is hopeless to believe that the general public will adhere to dietary treatment, and that the real aim of the research is to uncover how they work so that a pharmaceutical therapy can achieve the same results. Searching for the single biochemical action that makes a dietary treatment work is often a fruitless endeavor, though, as the dietary changes result in a complex symbiotic array of biochemical changes, not a single chemical feat. There are a number of issues that the patient population needs to be educated to in order to effectively incorporate sound nutritional medicine into a usable protocol. In this article, a few of the dramatic dietary treatment protocols are presented and discussed, so that patients with these health problems can understand the importance of what food chemistry is ingested.

In the last few years dietary medicine is finally showing some popular acceptance, promoted by the popular Dr. Oz (strange name) and better yet, Dr. Dean Ornish, and the father-son Cornell University research team of Professor T. Colin Campbell and his son Dr. Thomas Campbell, authors of The China Study. In fact the public health recommendations of the last few decades has pretty much been turned on its head, such as the importance of the low fat, low salt, meat-based diet with frequent snacks and meals, and the advice of so-called "health nuts" from the past being fully realized, with a plant-based organic local diet of whole foods now touted by most public health organizations outside of the government, which seems still ruled by lobbyists. Below are just some examples of the research and clinical practice that are proving the efficacy of dietary and nutrient medicine, once an important part of our medical practice, instead of a fringe medicine, discouraged as quackery.

In 2016, the first of its kind human clinical trials using a specific metabolic dietary treatment to reverse Metablic Syndrome or Type 2 Diabetes proved that a targeted dietary design could reverse the key physiological mechanisms to cure disease. This protocol, researched for years by experts at the Institute of Cellular Medicine at Newcastle University, in the United Kingdom, headed by Dr. Roy Taylor, professor of medicine, showed with 30 patients diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and obesity with insulin resistance, or Metabolic Syndrome, that going off their medications and adhering to an 8-week diet of strict very low calorie shakes and non-starchy vegetables, and then continuing with a healthy diet that is plant-based and avoids problematic foods, achieved a complete long-term cure for over half of these patients. To see the conservative assessment of this landmark study, and the plan to advance the human clinical trials to a larger Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DIRECT), just click here: . Larger clinical trials are planned and integration of Complementary Medicine would improve results. This dietary approach to healing follows the success of the modified DASH diet for cardiovascular health and control of blood pressure, and we are seeing that more and more study shows that this Complementary and Integrative Medicine approach could yield amazing benefits and reduce healthcare costs.

Seizure disorders and the ketogenic diet

About one third of epilepsy patients in the United States do not respond at all to anti-seizure medications. Research around the world has discovered that a ketogenic diet is able to reduce seizures dramatically in a high percentage of these patients. This treatment has passed human clinical trials and is now standard therapy, yet still not widely promoted, and suggested only for patients who fail standard drug therapy. One of these human clinical trials at the University College London found that more than 38% of patients that were not responding to any anti-seizure medication reduced seizure frequency more than 50%, and 7% of these patients that were unresponsive to medications reduced their seizure activity by more than 90% with just a dietary treatment protocol. For children with certain types of drug-resistant seizure disorders, over 70% of the patients reduced their seizure activity by more than 90% with the ketogenic diet. This type of therapy is not a new discovery, though. The ketogenic diet was discovered in research in the early twentieth century and highly utilized, only to be erased from the medical literature when pharmaceutical drugs were developed. A wide array of successful nutritional cures and treatments have been developed and proven over centuries, only to disappear from standard medicine when they competed with profitable pharmaceutical treatments in the last century.

The principles of the ketogenic diet may be applied to all patients with beneficial results. The key to this is educating the patient and a pro-active role by patients to treat or even prevent neurological disease. The fact that the ketogenic diet works so well on over 70% of the most difficult cases of seizure disorders in children, but has much less success with adults, only points to the more complex physiological imbalances that have developed in the adult patient population. The intelligent patient wants to understand these health problems and treat them, even if they are content with chronic use of the antiseizure medications. A modified ketogenic diet is very simple to implement.

The amount of propaganda ridiculing the medical efficacy of nutritional medicine in standard practice, and in the standard media, is overwhelming. Even in the face of dramatic success, such as the use of a ketogenic diet for difficult cases of epilepsy, medical experts state that the true goal is to find a pharmaceutical drug to replace the diet. These experts parrot the party line that diets are hard to stick with and thus undependable as a standard therapeutic protocol. They do not recommend to all seizure patients to adopt some form of even modified ketogenic diet as a trial to see if a nutritional medical regimen could effectively serve as an adjunct therapy to improve outcomes and reduce medication use. While we might say that at least there is some improvement in the attitude of standard medicine, and we should be happy to see this, it is hard to be happy that the science of nutritional medicine is only terribly maligned instead of horribly maligned. What we need to see is real integration of nutritional medicine and the physicians that study this specialty, namely Naturopathic and TCM physicians.

Even though there is now a growing use of Naturopathic Medicine in the United States, and Traditional Chinese Medicine, or the specialty of Acupuncture, which has always utilized nutritional medicine, has achieved some increase in popularity, the standard public response to real nutritional cures is still abject skepticism. A high percent of the population sees these cures as a social political assault on modern medicine, and not as a valuable medical adjunct to integrate into standard care. While interest in nutritional medicine is now very high in the realm of advertised supplement pills, almost everyone believes that nutritional medicines only help one keep a little healthier, and serve as a substitute for poor dietary habits. The time for the public to realize that nutritional medicine is the most effective and safest area of medicine, and for our basic educational systems to educate our children on basic nutritional science, is now. This is not to say that we shouldn't utilize pharmaceutical science, but to realize that nutritional science has been the basis for public health thoughout civilization, and needs to be maintained as the root of our health care system today. Integrating nutritional medicine into standard care will achieve relief of suffering for many patients, dramatically prevent disease and reduce national health care cost (perhaps helping to save our government financially), and reduce the family insurance costs over time.

Nutritional Medicine in the Treatment of Neurological Disorders: Understanding the Modified Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet utilized to treat epilepsy works by shifting the metabolism of cellular energy production away from glucose, or carbohydrates, to other mechanisms of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production. Theoretically, this allows the nerve cells to utilize potassium channels to achieve better modulation and control of excessive bursts of nerve firing, which is the physiological basis of seizure acitivity. The firing of nerves in our bodies, and in fact all electrical acitivity, is the result of a complex system utilizing the electrical charges on molecules such as minerals. Neuronal membranes work by passing highly charged cation and anion mineral molecules (ions) across membranes, especially utilizing sodium (Na++) and potassium (K++). Most of our charged potassium molecules reside inside the cell membrane, and most of our charged sodium exists outside the cell. Upon stimulation, the sodium charged particles cross into the cell, and the potassium exits, providing electrical current that creates a nerve signal. The reason that potassium is kept within the cells is that it is highly reactive with even a small amount of water, and is attached to other chemical elements to control its reactivity. Energy to power our cells is provided mainly by a membrane pump, called a sodium potassium ATP-ase pump. This enzyme controlled pump in our cell membranes uses ATP to pump 3 sodium ions out and 2 potassium ions into the cell to create a potential charge, or electrochemical gradient, on the cell membrane. Potassium and sodium must thus be kept in a very tight homeostatic balance in the body. Circulating sodium and potassium is hormonally regulated and the kidney excretes or reabsorbs these charged electrolytes as needed. Unfortunately, the bioavailability of potassium inside cells cannot by easily assessed by our endocrine system, and intercellular potassium may not be optimal. Usable potassium molecules are found mainly in the diet in fresh vegetables and fruits, beans and whole grains. Our modern diet of processed foods and a high percentage of meat has the potential to deplete potassium stores in our bodies. When this occurs, the body's homeostatic mechanisms react by having the endocrine system and kidney work harder to maintain a homeostatic balance.

Potassium channels in our cell membranes are the most abundant type of ion channel in our bodies. Ion channels are specialized proteins or lipoproteins that are found in cell membranes and regulate the passage of large charged mineral molecules such as potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium. Sodium and potassium channels are the most abundant cell membrane ion channels in our bodies, and these channels, or gates, are opened and closed by chemical or electrical signals, temperature, or a mechanical force. Our central nervous system utilizes these ion channels to transmit nerve signals, and they are key components of the transport of nutrients into cells, activation of immune T-cells, and release of insulin. These ion channels are specialized, and there may be over 300 types of ion channels in a living cell. There are over 40 known type of potassium channels, and they are known mainly for their role in repolarizing cell membranes after a nerve cell is fired. Potassium channels specialized to allow potassium into the cell freely, but not out of the cell, are affected by ATP, and these appear to be very important in restoring a homeostatic control of seizure activity. Potassium channels may be activated by calcium ions, and to a lesser extent by sodium and chloride ions, and gated by the electrical gradient, or balance of ions. While the ketogenic diet is known to work by allowing the brain cells to utilize potassium channels more effectively to control excess firing, the exact mechanisms are complex and continue to elude researchers. Besides the ketogenic diet, a number of other therapeutic protocols will be discovered that allows even greater effectiveness of treatment as research progresses. Of course, this will only occur if public research explores the field of holistic treatment protocols more fully, and works to develop more sophisticated integrated and complementary therapies.

What exactly is the ketogenic diet? This diet involves a low intake of simple carbohydrates and meals with a high fat and protein content, which stimulates the usage of ketone bodies instead of glucose in brains cells for fuel. In medical clinics the diet is introduced and carefully measured, with the patient eating predominantly fatty meats and dairy products. Many clinics will add MCT oil to the diet to decrease the amount of meat and dairy fat, which is an oil high in medium-chain triglycerides. Health concerns with this diet of mainly fatty meat and dairy, or a large amount of an oil that causes GI upset, are of course considerable. After the popularity of the Atkins diet, and numerous reports that when this diet was used, seizure frequency was greatly reduced, John Hopkins Hospital studied a modified Atkins diet and found that it also reduced seizure frequency by more than 50% in 43% of patients and by more than 90% in 27% of patients. Given the success of a diet that was less unwholesome, some physicians then studied a simple low glycemic index diet, which also produced similar results to the harsh classic ketogenic diet, with about half of the patients experiencing a greater than 50% reduction in seizure frequency, and with overall figures about equal to the harsh classic ketogenic diet. Finally, in 2009, after nearly 100 years of knowledge and use of the ketogenic diet, it is "discovered" that a healthy low glycemic index diet that can be very palatable, incorporating many vegetarian fats, oils, and complex carbohydrates, is just as effective as a clinical diet that was limited to eggs, bacon, cheeseburgers, whipping cream, and canned tuna. All patients with seizures can benefit, and half of them very significantly, with a healthy diet that actually consists of wholesome food. This means that the patient would avoid refined sugars, pastries and breads, and eat meals that have plenty of healthy oils and fats. A certain amount of complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, and even some honey, maple syrup or agave, as sweetener, is acceptable in the diet, but avoidance of refined and processed foods is important. Even foods such as french fries often have a high simple sugar content, and should be avoided.

While the traditional Atkins Diet promoted a low-carb diet that was high in meat fats, studies in recent years have demonstrated that a modified Atkins Diet, sometimes cynically called an Eco-Atkins diet, incorporating vegetable-derived fats and proteins, had a dramatically decreased risk of cardiovascular disease over a diet heavy in meat fats. Dr. Frank Hu, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, published such as study in the September 7, 2010 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (cited below). Many studies have shown a high risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer etc. from low-carb, or low-glycemic index diets, that are heavily meat based, and the effects of a ketogenic diet may be obtained from a primarily vegetable and whole grain diet. Why medical clinics that offer the seizure patient a ketogenic diet as a treatment option continue to recommend a diet that is almost entirely meat and dairy based is the key question. Is standard medicine serious about dietary treatment, and can we trust their advice?

When choosing to adopt a healthy controlled diet to reduce seizures, many patients may ask why, if the drugs work well. The most effective antiseizure medications are phenytoin (Dilantin), phenobarbital, carbamazepine, and primidone. Chronic use of these medications, though, result in sometimes intolerable side effects, particularly with phenobarbital and primidone. All of the medications almost eliminate seizures in 27% of patients, and significantly reduce seizures after 3 years use in 75% of patients who did not stop taking the drugs due to intolerable side effects, which ranged from 3-25% of patients. Common side effects of Dilantin, which is tolerated the best, with chronic use, include sedation, impaired memory, slurred speech, decreased coordination, confusion, dizziness and headaches. Enlarged tissue in the gums and mouth, or gingival hyperplasia, change facial appearance in 20-40% of patients, and increased hair growth (hirsutism), acne and coarseness of facial features with long-term use is also very common. Often chronic use of antibiotics is prescribed to control acne, which itself presents problems of candidiasis, more frequent urinary tract infections, and gastrointestinal dysfunction. A smaller percentage of patients experience peripheral neuropathies and dyskinesias (tremors, sustained muscle contractions distorting posture, voice problems) and other involuntary muscle disorders, which often affect motor abilities in the hands. Skin rash is also seen in 5-7% of patients, and often steroids or antihistamines are chronically prescribed as needed, themselves causing side effects. These rather alarming common side effects with chronic use are usually downplayed to the patient when the treatment is started. With use of a dietary treatment, dosage of these harsh drugs, and the side effects with chronic use, may be reduced, and potentially, the seizure disorder in a percentage of patients could be reduced enough over time to try to withdraw the medication. Of course, this would depend upon the cooperation of the prescribing physician, which brings us back to the adoption of standard treatment guidelines that include nutritional medicine. Presently, very few neurologists would agree to utilizing a ketogenic diet with a healthy low-glycemic index as an actual therapy.

Ketone bodies are just three water soluble compounds that are by-products of fatty acid metabolism, produced when these fatty acids are broken down to be used as energy for cells. The three ketone bodies are acetone, acetoacetic acid, and beta-hydroxybutyric acid. The key ketone body that seems to be important in the control of seizure activity is beta-hydroxybutyric acid, which is actually a carboxylic acid, which is an organic acid (carbon-based) that contains at least one carboxyl (-CO2 H). The most common carboxylic acid is vinegar, or acetic acid, which is the most acid, or pH, neutralizer known. Other well known carboxylic acids are citric acid and tartaric acid (in tamarinds). Carboxylic acids are weak acids, meaning that they only partially breakdown and produce positively charged hydrogen ions, the measure of acidity. Some other examples of carboxylic acids include valeric acid in the herb valerian, caproic acid in goat fat, caprilic acid in unrefined coconut milk, lauric acid in unrefined coconut oil, palmitic acid in unrefined palm oil, and arachidic acid in peanut oil. Fatty acids are carboxylic acids that are very important to our health. Some unsaturated fatty acids are now well known as nutrient medicines, and are key components many medicinal herbs. The omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids, EPA and DHA, are now well utilized in nutrient supplementation, and linolenic and linoleic acid supplements are also becoming popular. These fatty acids are utilized by the liver and other cells in the body to manufacture prostaglandins, which regulate inflammatory processes. Inclusion of these healthy essential fatty acids in a ketogenic diet is an intelligent choice. A diet rich in essential fatty acids would include healthy amounts of unrefined olive oil, coconut oil, wheat germ oil, safflower oil, walnut oil, sesame oil, and various other healthy nut and seed oils, as well as oily fish, butter, and possibly some high oil content meats, such as pork. Avocadoes are high in oil content with high healthy essential fatty acids, as are fresh nuts and seeds. A low-glycemic index diet that includes a high percentage of healthy essential fatty acids is not hard to design, and many cookbooks may now help with creating some delicious recipes. Even some desserts may be incorporated into this dietary protocol, especially when the herb Stevia is used instead of sugar, and rich desserts with either dairy fat or vegetables oils can be designed to fit into a low glycemic index high fat ketogenic diet. Many vegetarian foods are very high in protein content as well, especially when beans, whole grains and soy products are used.

A ketogenic diet utilizes periods where a high fat intake stimulates the body to utilize stored fats as a source for fuel instead of stored carbohydrates. This was the basis for the popular Atkin's diet. When people wanted to burn more stored fat, they ate a predominantly fatty meal, and then (hopefully) exercised, burning the stored fat. This, of course, did not work so well in sedentary persons, and created health problems for people that ate poor quality, or unhealthy, fats. Dr. Atkins insisted that poor quality meat fats worked just as well as healthy plant fats, but he died of cardiovascular disease at an early age. His fats-are-fats sociopolitical putdown of so-called health nuts did not serve him well. Sensible people utilized this diet by taking in healthy fats, such as the fats from olives, avocados, walnuts, whole grains, etc. as well as organic dairy products, and following up this type of meal with some exercise. Subsequently, the popular Mediterranean Diet, utilizing healthy fats, became very popular in weight loss regimens. The ketogenic diet decreases the ATP metabolism of carbohydrate mechanisms (glycolysis) and increases the utilization of stored fats (triglycerides) to stop inhibition of potassium channels, or to better utilize stored cellular potassium. This type of diet, as well as high potassium diets, were heavily researched by the mid-twentieth century by Max Gerson, a German MD who researched nutritional healing to cure or inhibit cancer. Of course, standard pharmaceutical medicine portrayed poor Dr. Gerson as a quack.

Production of ketone bodies, or ketogenesis, occurs when fatty acid oxidation produces enough acetyl Coenzyme A to create a conversion of this essential cellular fuel to ketone bodies. Ketone bodies are normal everyday fuels utilized throughout the body. A ketogenic diet may produce protection against neuroexcitability and seizures when there is a deficiency of essential fatty acids, or excess need for fatty acids due to oxidative stress, or a genetic or epigenetic trait that alters fatty acid metabolism. Correcting fatty acid imbalances may significantly benefit many seizure patients. Besides glucose, ketone bodies are our brains only other effective fuel. A lack of carbohydrates pushes the brain cells to utilize more ketone bodies for fuel, and this in turn places an emphasis on potassium channels, preventing excess calcium ions from entering the cells and stimulating hyperexcitation and cell destruction. As we research this subject more extensively, we may uncover a number of novel nutritional protocols to help seizure disorders, such as achieving a better balance of essential minerals, chelating toxic minerals from the body, and achieving better hormonal balance to help the body regulate calcium and other essential minerals that are highly regulated. So far, there has not been enough research in this realm to provide a comprehensive strategy, but the public could demand that such research in nutritional medicine is stepped up. This would be funded not by pharmaceutical research, but by public research.

What do the researchers at Harvard have to say about the ketogenic diet and its remarkable success? Their HMS neurobiology project states that the ketogenic diet is remarkably effective, but alas, poorly understood. The basic findings in research by Harvard researchers Weiyuan Ma, Jim Berg, and Gary Yellen find that the ketogenic diet applies to all types and ages of seizure patients, and appears to enhance a natural homeostatic antiseizure protective mechanism, rather than target specific causes of epilepsy. During periods of high fat utilization in the metabolism, certain ketone bodies (acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate) are increased in circulation and provide an alternative fuel source for cellular energy, including the brain. Seizure protection is then increased, but this protection is lost quickly when the patient ingests a sizable supply of sugar. The creation of the seizure protection takes time, as the body creates a balance of enzymes and protein transporters, but the breakdown of the effect in studies is quick when refined sugar is ingested. These Harvard researchers state that seizure protection appears to be lost within ten minutes when the patient eats a candy bar, for example. With adequate bioavailability of these specific ketone bodies, the neural cells were able to utilize slower firing channels to control the hyperexcitability of neurons, which is the basis for seizure activity. When reading the Harvard research, one sees that the aim of this research appears to be to discover a new pharmaceutical that achieves ketogenesis, rather than to discover practical ways to introduce a variety of dietary protocols that could benefit the seizure patients.

What are these ketone bodies acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate, and why do they prevent seizures? Acetoacetate is a simple molecule that easily turns into beta-hydroxybutyrate with the addition of a hydrogen ion. Hydrogen ions are the simple charged molecules that create energetic potential in the body, and determine what we call acidity, or pH. Acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate, in combination with other metabolites, also release insulin from cells. Insulin controls much of the nutrient transport into the brain, and plays an important role in the degree of effect that drugs and other molecules have on brain cells. Research has found that insulin resistance syndrome increases the risk of Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases. As the pieces of the puzzle accumulate, we find that increases in specific ketone bodies may also prevent seizures by helping the brain utilize the regulatory effects of insulin. So there may be more than one physiological benefit from a ketogenic diet in the control of neuroexcitability and seizures.

Mitochondrial health has become a very important subject in the treatment and prevention of neurological disorders and neurodegeneration. Mitochondria are parts of our cells that manufacture most of the cellular energy. Mitochondria play two important roles in insulin secretion, one role is ATP production, which stimulates insulin release via activation of potassium channels in the cell membrane, and opens calcium channels in the membrane, allowing calcium into the cell, which in turn, allows insulin to be released. Insulin is a hormone that plays an extensive role in regulation in the body, and in the brain plays unique roles in neuroregulation.

In addition, researchers may be overlooking the effects of other chemicals besides sugar in foods that break down the neuroprotective effects of a ketogenic diet. Candy bars and other sugary foods contain a variety of chemicals that act as excitotoxins in the brain, and much research has linked these excitotoxins to seizure activity, and the pathology of migraines, neuroendocrine disorders, and various neurodegenerative disorders. What are excitotoxins? Common additives in processed foods, such as hydrolyzed vegetable protein, aspartame, MSG (monosodium glutamate), and artificial flavorings have been found to have a dose-dependent toxicity in the brain. In 1969, Dr. John Olney, a neuroscientist at Washington University in St. Louis, found that in animal studies, excess MSG caused discrete lesions in the hypothalamus, the main neuroendorine regulatory center in the brain, and subsequent studies showed widespread CNS damage attributed to excess MSG in the brain. Glutamate is a key neurotransmitter in the brain, and introduction of excess monosodium glutamate may accelerate the effects of glutamate, which opens calcium channels on cell membranes, allowing excess calcium ions to damage the cell or trigger neural hyperexcitability. This effect is identical to the effects that are controlled by the ketogenic diet. In addition, the Harvard research shows that the ketogenic diet works dramatically on more than 90% of children with drug-resistant seizure disorders that have been diagnosed with brain lesions.

A large study of children diagnosed with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, another neurodegenerative disease associated with brain cell hyperexcitability, showed an amazing improvement in symptoms for patients who were given foods that contained no benzoic preservatives or artificial food additives or high fructose corn syrup. The UCLA study indicates that these excitotoxins play a potentially large role in the ADHD disease mechanism. Public health studies have also demonstrated how diets with whole grains and fresh vegetables and fruits improved neurodegenerative conditions with the elderly dramatically, and how incorporation of key whole grains, such as barley, improved memory significantly. These findings are still not incorporated into public health and standard medical guidelines, though. If such dietary science were applied to standard medicine, the health benefits may be enormous.

What can we learn from studies of the ketogenic diet?

While the complex biomechanisms associated with seizure disorders may sem overwhelming, there is a set of basic assumptions that we can make from the success of the ketogenic diet. 1) A diet that includes refined carbohydrates, chemical additives, processed foods, and lacks healthy vegetable fats should be avoided by all patients with a seizure disorder; 2) Essential fatty acids should be utilized in the treatment protocol to provide antioxidant effects, help regulate inflammation, and to correct metabolic disorders; 3) Metabolic disorders, such as insulin resistance, and problems with chronic acidity, lack of potassium in the diet, and mineral deficiencies should be address in comprehensive therapy. These dietary considerations may not only provide significant improvement in seizure reduction, but also benefit one's health in many ways.

How do these nutritional imbalances explain seizure disorders? A seizure is an uncontrolled paroxysmal excessive discharge of the central nervous system, and a common denominator in scientific study is increased permeability of neuronal cell membranes leading to neuro-hyperexcitation. The most well known causes of seizures are deficiencies in calcium, glucose and oxygen, and problems with cell membrane stability. These causes may come from degenerative disorders, metabolic disorders, toxin accumulation, vascular disease, infectious disease, congenital abnormalities, tumors, or other types of brain lesions when the seizure is due to a secondary cause. Primary seizure disorders are still poorly understood, and may be due to a variety of these underlying problems.

Specific herbal therapies may also play a key role in maximizing the effects of a modified ketogenic diet to control seizures. Research has uncovered a variety of herbs that may affect cellular potassium channels. For example, chemicals in ginseng have been found to work by increasing intracellular calcium ions and affecting cell membrane function via cellular enzymes such as phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3), and the effects of ginseng are inhibited by chemicals that inhibit potassium channels. This implies that ginseng helps cells maintain potassium channel activation. A number of nutrient medicines may also benefit this effect, such as phosphatidylcholine, a lipid metabolite of lecithin, and inositol hexacotinate, a type of Vitamin B3, or niacin. Deficient phosphatidylcholine levels in brain cell membranes have been linked to memory loss, neurodegeneration and aging. The Chinese herb Uncaria rhyncophylla (Gou teng), which is used to treat neurological disorders, contains a chemical rynchophylline, that research shows affects voltage-gated potassium channels, and modifies nerve responses by accelerating slow-activated potassium channel responses. The active mechanisms of Uncaria chemicals are related to opening of potassium channels, blocking of calcium channels, and regulation of neurotransmitter transport and metabolism. Such research in the last few years demonstrates the advances being made to find research oriented holistic protocols, and take advantage of new findings in research to devise more effective treatment strategies.

A combination of a ketogenic low-glycemic index diet, or a modified primarily vegetarian Atkins diet, with herbs such as ginseng and uncaria, and nutrient medicines such as phosphatidylcholine and inositol hexacotinate, may provide a relatively simple and healthy regimen that could drastically reduce seizure activity. Of course, there are a number of Chinese herbs proven to aid in prevention and reduction of seizure activity, as well as those that address key underlying health imbalances that contribute to the seizure disorders, and a professional herbalist that is knowledgable and keeps up with current research, such as a Licensed Acupuncturist, may provide an individually tailored herbal and nutrient regimen synergistic with dietary therapy. For example, animal research in China in 2009 found that extracts from the Chinese herb Astragalus significantly reduced seizure activity that was induced in the laboratory. The chemical effects were attributed to the herb's ability to clear oxidant and lipid free radicals, and clear aldehyde damage to mitochondria in brain cells. Aldehydes are chemicals that may accumulate in cells and tissues with alcohol intoxication and candidiasis, and there may be a genetic or epigenetic trait in individuals that decreases the ability to clear aldehydes. This may be one reason why alcohol ingestion increases seizure activity in many cases. This study demonstrates one of many examples of efficacy in the incorporation of Chinese herbs into an integrated treatment protocol.

A 2009 survey at the University of California in San Francisco found that 56% of patients with epilepsy that were surveyed reported use of dietary and herbal therapy, and 71% of these patients reported this to their neurologist. Most of these patients utilized dietary and herbal therapy for general health promotion, though, and not for tretment of seizure disorder. Their medical doctors, who generally received no formal training in either nutritional or herbal medicine, often warned of potential dangers or drug-herb interaction, or the potential of herbs to increase seizure activity, and discouraged herbal and dietary medicine. This common practice exists despite a lack of clinical cases of injury to a patient from herb-drug interactions, and implies that any herbal medicinal protocol is potentially risky. Such advice is not supported by either clinical evidence or recent research. This study (cited below) confirms the adherence of a general concept in standard medicine to resist incorporating proven nutritional and herbal medicines into an integrated treatment protocol.

The ketogenic diet in cancer care?

In the early twentieth century, a trio of famed young German scientists became very interested in the physiology of cancer. Dr. Max Gershon, Dr. Otto Warburg, and Dr. Josef Issels went on to devote their life to the study of cancer pathophysiology and each became convinced that we needed to focus on the dysfunctions of the body's homeostasis and utilized dietary and other holistic means to fight cancerous mutations by helping the body to help itself. Each of these scientists, especially Dr. Warburg, a Nobel Prize winner whose research laboratory discovered the keys to cellular metabolism and energy, the KREBS cycle and the respiratory enzymes important in mitochondrial health and ATP utilization, became convinced that dietary medicine and immune stimulation were the keys to fighting cancer. All 3 of these famed scientists were treated like quacks, and Dr. Issels was one of the first of many medical doctors actually charged with a crime for promoting cancer therapies outside of the realm of pharmaceutical chemotherapy and radiation. Dr. Gershon perhaps retained the most fame, though, and today many cancer patients continue to use the theories of Dr. Gershon to help treat their cancer.

One of the core theories of Dr. Max Gershon was that the body needed help in maintaining cellular energy homeostasis by consuming a diet rich in potassium and detoxifying, much like the modified ketogenic diet now proven to work in the treatment of seizure disorders. Dr. Gershon believed that the primary cause of cancer was the replacement of the normal oxygen cycle in the cell with one that generated energy from the excess fermentation of sugars. The anaerobic pathway of energy generation was mainly due to dietary changes, and promoted the fast growth cycle of mutated cells in cancer. When combined with inflammatory dysfunction and metabolic syndrome, with insulin resistance and a high expression of insulin receptors, this dysfunction in the basic cellular energy metabolism both denied the cell the proper immune and hormonal protections, and promoted excess angiogenesis and prolonged cell life. Dr. Warburg continued to believe that chemicals introduced into farming in the twentieth century contributed greatly to cell mutation, and observed a strict organic plant-based diet till his death. Today, these same principles that were derided by standard medicine for nearly a century are now being adopted as standard protocol in holistic cancer care by many prestigious University medical schools and cancer clinics. The emphasis on potassium-rich foods, healthy fats and oils, avoidance of processed foods, and sugars is much like the evolution of the modified ketogenic diet. This must tell us something about what we need to eat to be healthy and help us cure our common diseases.

Dietary treatment protocol in cardiovascular disease

In 1997, a research project with human clinical trials, called the DASH study, conducted dietary research on the control of high blood pressure. This research mainly came from John Hopkins University in Baltimore. The conclusions of the large study were: "A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy foods with reduced saturated and total fat can substantially lower blood pressure. This diet offers an additional nutritional approach to preventing and treating hypertension." (New England Journal of Medicine 1997;336:1117-24).

The subjects in the study were adults who had mild hypertension but were not on medication. The reduction in high blood pressure was similar in magnitude to that observed in trials of monotherapy with a drug for hypertension. Widespread adoption of such a simple dietary treatment would reduce the incidence of coronary heart disease by approximately 15% and stroke by approximately 27%. This DASH study thus set up a nutritional treatment protocol that was just as effective as pharmaceutical treatment, yet patients with cardiovascular disease and hypertension are still not instructed by their physicians to adopt even this simple treatment protocol, and instead immediately are placed on drug therapy routinely. Since 1997, there has been little accomplished to incorporate dietary treatment protocols into standard therapy with a more detailed analysis of diet. To find out about sound research and treatment of cardiovascular disease, a hodgepodge of information is available with much effort on the part of patients, limiting dietary treatment to a very small segment of the population.

The subject of low-fat foods has been the subject of much debate within the context of cardiovascular dietary therapy and guidelines, though. Healthy fats are critical to the formation of key chemicals in the body, and a source of much of the caloric energy in a human diet. A drastic reduction in healthy fats is sure to have negative consequences. Even as the DASH study was being conducted, a group called the Women's Health Initiative was starting a Dietary Modification Trial that recruited over 50,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79, assigning half to a low-fat diet, and studying their health history over a long period of time. The results of this study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA 2006; 295:629-666;39-49), showed no benefits for a low-fat diet regarding weight loss, cardiovascular disease, or protection against colorectal or breast cancer. Follow-up studies such as the Nurses Health Study confirmed the results of a failure of a low-fat diet to produce significant health benefits, and the U.S. Institute of Medicine and U.S. Dietary Guidelines Committee reversed their recommendations to adopt low-fat diets. The emphasis on research turned instead to the subject of avoiding unhealthy fats and adopting healthy sources of fats in the diet. The quality of foods and nutritional chemistry was found to be the important factor, and the American diet had introduced many unhealthy fats and oils into the standard diet. The Harvard School of Public Health concluded that replacing saturated fats (meat and dairy) and transfats (processed oils created to increase shelf life and reduce costs) with natural vegetable oils can greatly reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Of course, the concept of greatly reducing fat overall in the diet has been controversial since the 1970s, with numerous public health studies around the world demonstrating that populations in some countries ate a considerably higher percentage of fat than Americans, yet had considerably lower incidence of cardiovascular disease. France was the typical example, but Japan was often mentioned, and studies in Alaska found a very low incidence of cardiovascular disease despite the native populations consuming a very high percentage of fat in the diet. The key points in these studies were the types of fats, and the healthy nature of the fats. Other large demographic studies dating back to the 1930s showed that in the United States, cardiovascular disease incidence increased dramatically with the adoption of processed fats and oils. The promotion of a low-fat diet seems to be motivated not by serious scientific investigation, but instead by concepts that promote profitable products. Unhealthy fats were incorporated into a low-fat food production, and the concept of drastically reducing fats fit in with the marketing of highly profitable drugs to reduce cholesterol and lipids. If American research had confirmed at an earlier date that fat intake reduction was not important, but the quality of fats was, this would have seem contrary to the strategy of promoting drugs that inhibited the production of key fats and lipids in the body. Instead, we saw a stubborn approach that still suggests that drastic lowering of blood cholesterols and lipids for the entire population is a beneficial goal.

Finally, numerous public health studies are showing that dietary protocols may have a more beneficial impact on preventing and reducing disease, and sometimes even treating a serious disease, than pharmaceutical drugs. We see, too, that such a treatment strategy has no side effects, and many benefits to overall health, while allopathic drug therapies have numerous side effects and generally no benefits for systemic underlying health problems. Most of the important dietary research points to the same conclusions, namely that adoption of a mostly vegetable, bean and whole grain diet with healthy fats derived from fresh nuts, seeds, and fresh whole fat dairy products, has the potential to dramatically reduce risks of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disease, and if utilized intelligently, in fact treat these diseases.

Preventive Medicine in Cardiovascular and Neurologcal Disease Incorporating EDTA, Fulvic Acid and other Supplements to Aid Chelation

There is growing interest in the positive research in safe and gentle nutrient chelating aids to incorporate into care to prevent an array of diseases linked to iron overload toxicity, heavy metal toxicity, and biofilm formation by microbial disease organisms. Fulvic acid is a traditional nutrient supplement from China that has long been studied and found to be safe and effective, and is derived from microorganisms in soil, with peat moss an especially rich source. Research presented to the United States FDA by the American Institute for Biosocial and Medical Research in 2001 outlines the findings of the Hungarian government and University institutions that proved with animal studies and human clinical trials that fulvic acid is without toxicity and adverse health effects at a low dosage, and has many proven benefits in preventive medicine, able to increase absorption of essential minerals through the intestinal membrane, act as a substitute carrier for these essential minerals in circulation, regulate heavy metal toxicity by favoring low molecular weight positively charged ions and strongly binding to those of high molecular weight for transport out of the body, such as mercury, lead and cadmium, and also provide an array of healthy benefits to the metabolism and energy mechanisms in the body, aiding oxygen transport, ATP and mitochondria to improve oxygen energy metabolism, as well as aiding transport and utilization of amino acids, and improving liver metabolism. To see this research, just click here: . Fulvic acid is not a cure, per se, for anything, but if used with herbal and food plant polyphenols and lignins, provides significant benefits to prevent cardiovascular and neurological disease. Of course, overblown advertising and claims, and subsequent controversy, has occurred.

EDTA, or ethylenedaminetetra acetic acid, is a water soluble simple chelating agent that has been used in intravenous high dose therapy for acute heavy metal toxicity for decades, but is also found to work gently and mildly as an oral supplement at low dose. EDTA is a lead chelator and anti-coagulant, and is able to aid calcium chelation as well. As part of a more extensive gentle chelating supplement course, often used with chlorella and various herbal chelators, and fulvic acid, EDTA could be effective in preventing an array of diseases, and has been found useful in helplng to decrease biofilm protections that many microbial disease organism have developed to evade immune responses and drug therapy. The gentle chelating effects and mild anticoagulant effects have made EDTA a potential aid to help reduce atherosclerosis and reduce cardiovascular risk, and works with insulin to reduce blood sugar. EDTA should be used in short courses only, as over time chronic use could deplete some essential nutrients in the body, but has been proven safe and effective. Once again, this is not a miracle cure for anything, but when used intelligently has been proven to be a valuable tool in nutrient medicine. To see a conservative overview of EDTA research and clinical use by the University of Maryland Medical Center in the U.S. just click here: . Such studied nutrient medicines are not an alternative medicine to allopathic drugs, and should be considered as just part of a more holistic and thorough treatment protocol to be effective. Hopefully, patients will soon be educated to these proven protocols and let a professional CIM/TCM physician design and individualized thorough course of treatment, combining a number of such medicines to achieve specific goals, and prevent some of our most difficult and threatening health problems with aging.

Numerous studies demonstrate the variety of health benefits and successful treatment of a number of common health problems with adoption of a dietary protocol that incorporates healthy vegetable fats, true whole grains, and plant proteins

The book entitled the Fertility Diet, written by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, Drs. Chavarro and Willet, decribes how their research follow-up on findings of the long range Nurses Health Study found that ovulatory infertility may be due to excess poor quality meat fats and trans fats, refined carbohydrates, essential fatty acid imbalances, and chemicals in red meat, and that a dietary protocol with healthy vegetable fats, whole grain and plant proteins are proven to significantly guard against ovulatory infertility. These researchers conclude that full-fat dairy products appear to be good for fertility, while low-fat dairy products and sugared sodas contribute to the root problems of ovulatory infertility and hormonal imbalance. The Nurses Health Study revealed that adoption of 5 of 10 simple dietary strategies appeared to reduce the risk of ovulatory infertility by 80-90%. Considering the enormous cost and health risks associated with in vitro fertilization and other chemically induced pregnancies, recommendation of such a diet as a standard treatment protocol would seem a no-brainer, yet we still do not see a significant set of such guidelines suggested to the patient population.

The Chinese were perhaps the first culture in history to adopt dietary recommendations as part of a public health program by government. Of course, diet and nutrition, from a medical perspective, is a huge subject. The most sensible way to approach health benefit from diet and nutritional medicine is to both study this science and consult with a knowledgeable physician whose medical schooling incorporated nutritional medicine in its curriculum, such as a Licensed Acupuncturist or Naturopathic physician.

Two important books in the last few years thoroughly document the fallacies of the modern Western diet and the negative health implications, and promote the science that confirms that a traditional plant-based diet such as that seen in China is able to dramatically reduce health problems. The first such book is called The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, a professor emeritus of nutritional biochemistry at Cornell University. This book is the most comprehensive text documenting the health benefits of a plant-based diet ever written. Many respected health authorities, such as Frank Rhodes, past president of Cornell University, Dr. Dean Ornish, president of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute at the University of California, San Francisco, Marilyn Gentry, president of the Amercian Institute for Cancer Research, and nobel prize winner Robert C. Richardson, professor of physics and Vice Provost of Research at Cornell University, highly endorse and praise this book and confirm that the science is conclusive and the peer-reviewed scientific studies cited in the book are overwhelming. A second book by Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr. M.D., entitled Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, and based on the research in The China Study, is a bit over the top in its presentation, but does document how a plant-based diet is able to reverse the slow insidious effects of a modern meat based diet on the cardiovascular system. Dr. Esselstyn is a reknowned cardiovascular surgeon at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic, and has witnessed how a plant-based diet has reversed serious cardiovascular disease in many of his patients. Dr. Campbell, in a 2010 interview with a NY Times reporter explained how, when he entered into the collaboration with experts at Oxford and Peking University to review more than twenty years of public health study on diet in China, that he was completely skeptical of a plant-based diet and its health benefits. The science completely changed him. When he wrote this book, no significant publisher in the United States would publish it unless he dumbed it down and turned it into a sensational book with over half of it being recipes. Dr. Campbell refused and found a small publisher in Texas to publish the book as is, and has been very surprised that with very little promotion this book has become a bestseller with over 500,000 copies sold by 2011.

Considering the enormity of the subject of nutritional medicine and dietary science, the article presented here is not meant to be a thorough guide for a complete dietary and nutritional approach. Instead, I am offering a small article focused on a few key issues, and presenting just a snack of the information available from a physician such as myself. The article will be ongoing and improved over time. The key to healthy changes in diet and nutrition, which may be the most important part of your healthcare, is first to avoid being overwhelmed by the enormity of the information available, and proceed step-by-step in a logical and open-minded manner. Don't let your beliefs or your appetites control your health. Instead, let your intelligence take over and learn what could make the biggest difference in your life, both for specific health problems, and for overall quality of life and healthier function and productivity.

You may wonder if you are trying to improve your diet what exactly you should eat. Many healthy foods are unfamiliar and thus difficult to incorporate into your daily routine of cooking as well as being strange to your taste buds. Once you find a way to prepare these foods properly you will be glad that you did, but this process is a bit of work and most people will ultimately avoid it and stick with familiar tastes and habits. Unfortunately, this has led most of us down an unhealthy road, conditioned since childhood to favor foods rich in simple carbohydrates like processed sugar cane, white flour & potatoes, and meats that are increasingly raised on these simple carbohydrates and processed foods and chemicals. We've been convinced by a food industry that our only protein is from meat, our only calcium is from dairy, vitamins are obtained from pills, and that foods labeled whole grain and natural are just that, when the truth is that most often there is just a little processed whole grain and 'natural' ingredients in these foods. Most of us convince ourselves that we are 'eating healthy' when in actuality this is becoming difficult, due to industry lies, propaganda, and a corporate food industry that has succeeded in reducing the essential nutrients in our crops by long term use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, farming practices that have severely depleted topsoil, and now genetic engineering. The Food and Drug Administration was created to provide minimal standards of safety in the industries of food production and pharmaceuticals, and even today, the great government of the United States, unlike even ancient Chinese governments, has very little actual input into public health and what we eat. It is up to the consumers, it would seem, to become better educated and control this important issue of public health.

The human metabolism needs a rich varied diet. This is what we have evolved into. Our bodies have always been primarily vegetable, grain, fruit, nut, seed and herb consumers historically. Meat consumption came late in our evolution, yet today we are led to believe that meat should be our primary source of nutrients. We only need to look at the structure of our teeth to understand logically that we were not originally meat eaters. Dietary habits can become a type of belief system, though, and the strength of these beliefs can be powerful. Even late twentieth century anthropologists have stuck to beliefs that early humans migrated out of Africa in search of meat, while science tells us that this migration occurred because of climate changes that effected the fields of seed grains that were the diet staple. The supposition that climate changes affecting field grains affected the meat supply of humans rather than the grain supply shows the prevalence of the bias in modern culture towards meat. Study of stone tools in many parts of the world show that harvesting of seed grain and vegetable roots were a key to human cultural evolution, though, and modern scientific tools that now can analyze microbotanical evidence clearly keep pushing back the earliest timelines of organized agriculture and trade of seed grains and root. Slowly, modern anthropology is reversing its meat centered dietary beliefs and realizing that scientific findings point to a plant-based diet in human development even during the age of Neanderthals and early Homosapiens.

Today, many of these same seed grains that were the key to our evolved health are foreign to us, as agribusiness has reduced our staple grains down to the most profitable wheats, corns, and soy hybrids. In fact, one of the main reasons for the Vietnam War, or more exactly, the Southeast Asia Conflict, was the carpetbombing of what was then called "the breadbasket of the world", which produced over two thirds of the staple grains of half the world's population. Destruction of these rice, millet and other traditional grain producers set the stage for the vast market for surplus American wheat, corn and soy, and changed world diets for the worse, ushering in a time of large increases in cancers and cardiovascular disease in Asia. Other food crop changes have been equally as devastating. Local crops and home gardening, which produced a high percentage of our food in the past, have all but disappeared, and megafarms and enormous livestock factories, where animals are raised in very unhealthy conditions, produce the clean packages of preserved foods that be buy in the supermarket. This is not to say that one must suddenly become a vegan vegetarian, which presents its own set of metabolic challenges and changes in the body, but it does logically point to a healthier analysis of what we should be eating to maintain the most efficient bodily health and prevent common diseases from ruining our lives.

A predominantly plant-based diet is proven to be curative and preventive of disease. Of course, eating healthy meats and fish as a relatively small percentage of the diet is nutritionally beneficial. Many scientific studies now confirm, though, that a diet dominated by unhealthy red meats creates various imbalances and stresses in our bodies that ultimatedly lead to common diseases. Even the beliefs of what constitutes healthy meat has been manipulated by big business, though. Lean cattle are not healthier than cows fed a traditional healthy diet, and who develop a proper degree of fat. Corn fed cows, and cows fed industrial feed are not healthier than cows that graze on grasses and fresh seed grains. Turkeys, which are now primarily hybrids that are raised in filthy conditions, do not produce the healthiest meat for your children. Spending more on naturally healthy meats and eating smaller portions guarantees a healthier diet. Overeating, purchasing food laden with chemicals, expensive processed foods, and having a majority of your diet as meat, the most expensive food group, is not more economical than smaller and fewer meals composed mainly of local, organically grown plants. Plus you are supporting neighbors that are organic farmers, generally a very nice group of people when you get to know them. Experimenting with a variety of whole grains, beans, legumes, and fresh vegetables to complement these healthy, locally grown and fished meats will make a dramatic difference in your overall health. Planting a garden and growing some of your own food, and bartering these foods with your neighbors, is also healthy and may increase your social health as well.

The most publicized imbalance related to excess meat consumption is the essential fatty acid imbalance, commonly referred to as a deficiency of omega 3, and imbalance between the omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. This refers to the fact that excess red meat consumption produces excess arachidonic acid, and relative deficiency of the inflammatory mediators created from linolenic and linoleic acids, namely healthy prostaglandins, which support the immune responses and cell membranes, and balance the inflammatory modulation in the body. Eating too much meat and unhealthy meat products has been shown to be very unhealthy for a variety of reasons, slowing digestive elimination, allowing excess fermentation in the gut, creating an acidic environment, etc. Our medical industry has done little to correct this basic nutrient disease-creating problem, instead creating pharmaceuticals that block inflammatory mediators, or prostaglandins, rather than restore the ability to achieve healthy inflammatory mediation. We now have warnings and restrictions on all NSAIDS and synthetic COX2 inhibitors, and lack of healthy inflammatory mediation is linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer etc. There are many amino acids and proteins in grains and vegetables, and they are much easier to digest than from a meat source. Meat from animals with health problems is also deficient in certain nutrients, just like we are deficient in essential nutrients when we eat an unhealthy diet. Eating unhealthy meat creates dangerous nutrient deficienies by both consuming deficient nutrients from the meat, and also by decreasing intake of healthy grains, vegetables etc. Visit a modern feedlot to see just how unhealthy today's commercial meat is. The myth that one cannot get a complete set of protein amino acids from plant foods persists despite its complete and utter foolishness. A rudimentary knowledge of biochemistry quickly dispels this persistent belief. A healthy and varied plant-based diet supplies all of the essential amino acids as well as the essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and other essential nutrients that we need. A plant-based diet also supports a healthy gut biota, which is the second most important source of nutrients in our bodies.

Another health problem surrounding the dominance of red meat in our diets and lack of seed grains and fresh vegetables, is the effects of a chronic acidic diet on our hormonal balance and regulation of mineral balance in our bodies. One of the chief functions of our hormonal, or endocrine system, is the regulation of charged mineral molecules, especially calcium, in our bodies. Calcium, as well as other common minerals, are large molecules that hold a high degree of electrical charge, or ionic energy. Acidity is determined by a measure of pH, or electrical potential of hydrogen, which carries a very useable free electron. This pH is a standard for the electrical potential, which could be referred to as a type of Qi in Daoist medicine, and refers to the fact that our bodies operate optimally at a highly controlled level of acidity, namely a pH of 7.0 in most tissues, but a varied regulation of pH in the digestive processes, as well as other metabolic systems. This need for a tightly contolled acidity in the body is part or what science refers to as homeostasis.

To regulate this pH, the body mainly utilizes charged mineral molecules, especially calcium and magnesium, but also phosphates, and mineral salts containing bicarbonate, a combination of hydrogen, carbon and three oxygen molecules, which is highly regulated by the hormonal system and the kidney, to maintain optimal healthy function. When the body struggles with buffering a chronic acidic system it pulls excess amounts of calcium, magnesium, and other minerals from the body and forms buffers. In older individuals this often leads to osteoporosis, especially if the hormonal system has also been challenged by poor menopausal health, by use of synthetic hormone replacement, of by drugs that challenge the healthy maintenance of the kidney and adrenal functions. While modern pharmaceutical medicine has treated osteoporosis with drugs that block the endocrine system from pulling minerals out of the bones to buffer the chronic acidic condition, it doesn't take a scientist to understand how unhealthy the consequences of this therapy could be. To read more of how a varied whole grain and fresh vegetable diet can reverese osteoporosis, read the New York Times article below in additional information.

How has standard medicine responded to these common disease causing problems in society? As research has uncovered the many problems that are now endemic to the U.S. population as a result to imbalanced dietary principles, the standard medical community keeps coming up with solutions to alter the imbalance rather than correct it. A good example is the consumption of excess poor quality meats in the general diet, and subsequent fatty acid imbalance, and chronic acidity. Instead of guiding the patient population to a more balanced diet, which would solve the problem, an expanding array of pills are marketed to correct these problems. Today, even omega-3 fatty acids are being marketed in an improved form at a high price from the pharmacy. The real solution to fatty acid deficiency is to restore a natural fatty acid balance with diet. Often, as patients start taking concentrated omega-3 fatty acids, they also drastically decrease red meat consumption. This, of course, would tilt the imbalance toward a potential omega-6 fatty acid imbalance. Sensible dietary guidance is needed, and a basic knowledge of nutritional science. The question of acidity is also handled in a counterproductive manner. A large percentage of the population now takes pills to inhibit gastric acid formation. Recent research has found that the problem in a vast majority of cases with heartburn and regurgitation is a chronic hypofunction of the stomach, resulting in slow acid responses and increased dietary acidity at times that this is inapproapriate. Poor stomach function leads to poor function of the small intestine and pancreatic response. This contributes to increased fermentation and higher chronic body acidity. The food industry markets whole grain cereals to counter this dietary imbalance, yet the cereal is a highly refined carbohydrate, no matter what it is made of, and it is well known that these cereals create excess acid in the digestive tract. By listening to marketed strategies and depending on standard medicine to solve these problems related to a poor diet, the patient will not make progress. There is no substitute for a natural restoration of healthy dietary habits.

Diet as an important part of medical treatment protocol in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Complementary Medicine - combining centuries of public health traditions with modern scientific research

Unlike standard allopathic medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Complementary Medicine has always emphasized the importance of healthy dietary measures and restoration of essential nutrients to prevent and treat disease. China was the first country in history to officially create public health guidelines for dietary protocol, and the first to recognize that nutrient depletion is a cause of disease. Medicinal herbs help restore these nutritional depletions, and many Chinese herbs contain linolenic and linoleic acids, and other common essential nutrients that many be depleted and causative of your health problem. Certain plants develop high concentrations of these nutrients, which make them ideal medicines to quickly restore health. Nutrient cofactors also evolve in these medicinal plants, making them much more efficient than simple supplements in correcting nutrient imbalances. Today, TCM practitioners, or Licensed Acupuncturists, utilize professional herbal medicines that combine herbal formula with specialized nutrient supplements that help restore your nutrient balance and health based on sound scientific research.

Studies have shown that vegetables, fruits and grains today often contain over 30% less of key nutrients than 70 years ago because of farming methods. U.S. history is full of political mistakes that led to destruction of the nutrient topsoil in this country, beginning with the homesteading push and subsequent dust bowl of the 1930s, and continuing today with the accomodation of corporate farming and synthetic fertilizer as a substitute for healthy nutrient rich topsoil. The public is finally starting to realize that their health depends on nutritious food, and the market for local, small farm, organically produced foods is expanding rapidly. Purchase of organic local produce is thus vitally important when you need nutrients to get healthy. If you are already in the peak of health, you may not have much to worry about, but those with health problems should be concerned about the nutritional content of their foods and buy fresh, local, organic produce when possible.

Plant lignans, bioflavonoids, and other beneficial phytohormonal essential nutrients that have been depleted in recent decades by corporate farming methods

Public research worldwide is now heavily focused on health issues related to nutrients. One example is the vast amount of research devoted to phytohormones, or plant-based hormonal chemicals. Lignans and enterolactones are chemicals that are now highly studied in relation to cancer prevention. Lignan precursors are key nutrients found in healthy grains, seeds, nuts, fruits and green vegetables, and are essential to our bodies creating healthy lignans, enterolactones and enterodiols. There are a variety of lignans and lignan precursors, and certain lignans are concentrated in medicinal plants. These lignans stimulate increased production of enterolactones and enterodiols that help maintain hormonal balance, prevent cancer, act as hormonal stimulators when there is hormonal deficiency, reduce cardiovascular risk, and play other key roles in health maintenance.

The term entero refers to the intestinal metabolism, and the enterolactones and enterodiols are produced when the bacterial balance in the intestines is healthy and we eat sufficient foods or take herbs rich in lignans and lignan precursors. To fully benefit from these chemicals and restore health, we need to take a holistic and comprehensive approach, restoring healthy flora and fauna to the digestive tract, eating locally grown organic vegetables, grains, legumes, seeds, nuts and fruit, and correcting health problems that may inhibit our bodies' ability to utilize and metabolize these nutrients. One step instead of a holistic approach may not be effective, such as taking probiotics. If your gut flora and fauna are unhealthy, probiotic foods and supplements may not colonize efficiently. You may need to correct unhealthy intestinal enviroments first with herbal therapy and acupuncture, and then introduce quality probitics and nutritional cofactors to restore healthy gut flora and fauna. Healthy diet should be accompanied by healthy medical treatment and restoration. This is the key to success. A knowledgeable Licensed Acupuncturist can help identify and correct health problems, provide quality nutrient products that are specific to the individual, and guide the holistic approach to full restoration of your bodies' metabolism to prevent disease.

Isoflavonoids and plant lignans, though, may generate beneficial effects independent of their ability to generate enterolactones and enterodiols. A 1005 study cited below in additional inforamtion found that the plant bioflavonoids genistein and biochanin A, and the plant lignan euqol, were also directly found to exert inhbition of the enzymes that drive prostate cancer, 5alpha-reductase and 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. Biochanin A is found in red clover, soy bean, alfalfa sprouts, peanuts, and chickpeas, as well as other legumes. The level in red clover (Trifolium pratense) is of fairly high concentration compared to these other sources, and a medicinal tincture extract of this herb is often used in hormone modulating therapy with Complementary Medicine. Genistein is found in Trifolium subterraneum and brachycalycinum, medicinal herbs related to Red Clover, as well as Mucuna pruriens, soy bean, lima bean, and other beans. The most effective lignan in this regards, though, was enterolactone. These same enzymes drive many breast cancers as well.

Simple Dietary Habits That Can Have a Significant Impact on Your Health:

To help in this complex subject of healthy diet, since it is a very complex subject, let me urge you to buy a Paul Pritchford book on nutritional healing, called Healing with Whole Foods, and access the website of the Linus Pauling institute. Let me also urge you to seek professional guidance when necessary from a practitioner of Complementary Medicine, and finally, let me give you a few bits of information that may help. Of course, a small webpage article is insufficient to fully educate on the vast subject of nutritional health, and this is why we study this subject for years in medical school. Keep in mind that your medical doctor has received zero formal trainging in nutrient medicine. The Licensed Acupuncturist and Naturopathic doctor may have received much formal training. To instruct and entertain a little, here is a small list of some foods and why they are valuable:

  • Comfrey: extremely high in allantoin in both leaf and root. This simple herb food can be grown in a small garden, or the leaf & root are available, usually in a dried form or capsule, but unfortunately still unpopular in a fresh form. The young leaves are very tasty in a salad or with braised greens, and the root is tasty in soup stocks or other root dishes. Mature leaves should be avoided. Allantoin is a powerful antioxidant & anti-inflammatory immunostimulant, so comfrey is often found in topical herbal creams for skin healing. It is also a very good sunscreen and antidandruff agent topically. Allantoin is also useful to control excess stomach acid and treat indigestion. Other foods with a sufficient amount of allantoin include beets, turnip, rapini, soy, rice and tea (real tea, or camellia sinensis).
  • Pumpkin seed: high in arginine and essential fatty acids of benefit, as well as plant steroid hormones, beta-carotene, copper, cystine, iron, lysine, magnesium, zinc, selenium, potassium, urease, tryptophan & tyrosine. The amino acids are often deficient in chronic health problems and essential fatty acids are essential to regulate inflammatory process. This food is available as an oil, or as a seed snack, or you can fix pumpkin and save and wash the seeds, lightly toasting them with a bit of soy sauce and oil. They taste great. Pumpkin seed has been found to be very beneficial to control benign prostate hypertrophy, a disease of deficiency in hormones & minerals as well as poor inflammatory regulation. Pumpkin seed would also benefit the woman with menopausal problems or fibroids. In fact, it would benefit all of us as we age.
  • Avocado: rich in the useful and often deficient Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), as well as essential fatty acids, amino acids (alinine, arginine, etc.), beta-carotene, biotin, calcium, copper, cystine, complex carbohydrates, iron, isoleucine, fiber, dopamine, serotonin, tryptophan, lecithin, magnesium, methionine, niacin, plant hormones, vitamin D, zinc. A few weeks of eating one avocado a day will do wonders to fulfill many nutritional deficiencies that you may be experiencing. Vitamin B6 is often a deficient nutrient, and is a group of chemicals that is very important in our metabolism. All of the vitamins are a group of chemicals, and not just a single chemical. Often, it takes a healthy liver metabolism and other nutrients to transform our vitamins into active metabolites. Just taking a pill will not always do the trick. B6 pyroxidine helps with pain relief, spasms, PMS, acne, depression, atherosclerosis, infertility, diabetes, neuropathy, kidney stones, anxiety and insomnia. Other sources of B6 include whole wheat, barley, barleygrass powder, soy, lentil, stell cut whole oats, & corn.
  • Walnuts: like avocado, walnuts are rich in essential fatty acids, amino acids and serotonin, and have long been prized as a medicinal food in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Other serotonin rich foods include nettle, banana, and plum, although these common fruits have small amounts. Nettle can be purchased as a dried herb supplement, or if you are adventurous, stinging nettle is a common forest herb that can be harvested fresh using gloves. The stinging part goes away when the plant is cooked, and it tastes quite good as a vegetable or tea. It also prevents getting poison oak rash. Walnuts should be purchased in the shell to insure that the nut isn't rancid, which breaks down all of the useful chemicals and creates a lot of unhealthy oxidants. Toasted walnut oil is also a good source, but get a high quality in a metal container, as this oil goes rancid easily. Walnut is also high in plant hormones, biotin, inositol, calcium, citric acid, copper, beta-carotene, iron, lecithin, potassium, protein, quercetin etc. In 2013, the Harvard School of Public Health released the findings of a large Nurses' Health Study showing that female patients that ate a small amount of fresh walnuts on a regular weekly basis, along with toasted walnut oil, had a dramatically reduced risk of acquiring diabetes type 2, or Metabolic Syndrome. One of the chief authors of the Harvard Public Health study, Frank B. Hu, stated that: "Walnuts are packed with so many beneficial nutrients and bioactive compounds" that they may be considered a secret ingredient in dietary health. It is no surprise the China imports a high percentage of the California walnut crop, and has planted tens of thousands of walnut trees all over China.
  • Shallots: speaking of quercetin, a very valuable nutrient, tasty shallots are very high in this beneficial substance, as is evening primrose oil and steel cut whole oats. Quercetin helps with allergies, pain, viral infection, cancer, PMS, aging, asthma, autoimmune disorder, diabetes, prostate hypertrophy, candidiasis, poor liver function, birth defects, and neurological disorders. It is also a strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and MAO-A-inhibitor in depression. Other plants rich in quercetin include okra, garlic, beet, tea, escarole, endive, cilantro, parsley, buckwheat, sour cherry, black currant, rose hips, cranberry, ginger, spinach, valerian and milk thistle.
  • Melons: cantelopes, melons & muskmelons are all very high in linoleic acid, essential fatty acid of much merit. Linoleic acid is anti-inflammatory, liver protective, cholesterol reducing, cancer preventative, immunomodulator, and helps with eczema, prostatitis, skin disorders, allergic symptoms, arthritis, acne and heart disease. Other foods rich in linoleic acid include walnuts, avocado, safflower oil, hemp seed, pumpkin seed, cumin, coriander and evening primrose oil.
  • Sage, basil, cumin, coriander & caraway seed: these common cooking herbs are rich in beta-sitosterol, an important plant hormone that stimulates human hormone production of androgens, progesterone and estrogen while also being regulatory of estrogen excess. Beta-sitosterol is antioxidant, antiviral, anti-candida, antitumor, and helps with high blood sugars, blood lipids, and leukemia.
  • Oats: the grain Avena sativa is now a common staple in our diet, yet what have we done to destroy its nutritional content? Processing oats with heat and compressing them into quick cooking flakes is just a strategy to fool the public into believing that these now depleted simple carbohydrates deliver the same nutrition as complete whole oats, which are traditionally cut with steel blades into pieces that cook into a nutritious porridge easily, required just 10 minutes to cook in the morning, especially if they are soaked overnight. These steel cut oats contain the natural array of whole nutritional chemicals that quick cooking oatmeal and oat cereal do not. The chemicals in oats, as well as barley, have been the subject of many recent research studies proving that inclusion of these grains into the daily diet has amazing potential to prevent common health problems, including cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disease, chronic inflammatory diseases, etc. Here are just some of the nutrient chemicals in whole oats and their medical, or biological, activities, found at the U.S. Department of Agriculture website of Dr. David Duke:
    1. Benzaldehyde: allergenic, anticancer, antitumor, antispasmodic, candidicide, immunostimulant, tyrosinase inhibitor.
    2. Beta-ionone: allergenic, antitumor, cancer-preventive, fungicide, hypocholesterolemic.
    3. Caffeic acid: allergenic, antiatherogenic, anticancer, antiherpetic, antihepatotoxic (liver toxicity), antiinflammatory, antioxidant, antispasmodic, antiviral, anxiolytic, cholagogue (stimulating normal bile flow), COX-2 inhibitor, cytotoxic, immunostimulant, DNA-protective, lipoxygenase inhibitor, metal chelator, collagen-sparing.
    4. Ferulic acid: antiaggregate (inhibiting atherosclerosis and thrombi), antiarrhythmic (inhbiting cardiac arrhythmias), anticancer of the colon and skin, antioxidant, antithrombic, arteriodilator, candidicide, cholagogue, hepatoprotective, metal chelator.
    5. Limonene: antiasthmatic, anticancer, antiinflammatory, antimetastatic (stomach cancer), antispasmodic, antitumor, antiviral, fungistat, NO-genic (stims nitric oxide vasodilation), myorelaxant (muscle relaxant), lipolytic (helps break down fats).
    6. Quercetin: allergenic, antiasthmatic, antiatherosclerotic, anticarcinomic (breast cancer), anticataract, antiherpetic, antihypertensive, antileukotriene (decreasing the chronic inflammatory dysfunctions), antithrombic, antipsoriac, antiprotanoid, antitumor, candidicide, copper chelator, COX-2 inhibitor, estrogenic, cytotoxic, immune stabilizer, insulogenic, MAO-A-inhibitor (anti-depressant), PGE2 inhibitor (antiinflammatory), TNF-alpha inhibitor, VEGF-inhibitor (growth factor implicated in breast cancer).

These are but a few of the many wonderful sources of beneficial nutrients often lacking in the modern diet. To explore more of these nutrient sources, purchase the nutritional guide books of Paul Pritchford or the good doctors Bach, or go the internet and search the Dr. Duke database at

Utilizing nutrient supplements efficiently

Nutrient supplements are not a good subsitute for a healthy diet. Many studies have demonstrated scientifically how the nutrient availability from food sources is much higher than that from pills. Patients who lack the patience to really explore nutrient science believe that if they take an inexpensive multi-vitamin and/or multi-mineral package, that they are fully covered and do not need to take other nutrient medicines or even worry about their poor diet anymore. This is ridiculous. The general population has been fooled with marketing strategies to believe that poor quality supplement packages take the place of a healthy diet or utilization of naturopathic medicine. While it doesn't hurt to take these products, and they do benefit the general health, they absolutely do not substitute for intelligent improvements in the diet, or the intelligent prescription of specific medicinal nutrient chemicals to correct health problems. Even when taking nutrient supplements correctly, utilization of these pills is much higher when they are taken with foods that contain the same chemicals. When our digestive system fully recognizes these food molecules, processes are stimulated that greatly increase their absorption and utilization. With some nutrient supplements, if this protocol is not followed, almost all of the nutrient medicine will be excreted unused in the urine or feces.

There are two basic reasons to take nutrient supplements. One, you might have a common nutritional deficiency. This is increasingly common in the population as our topsoils are depleted with modern corporate farming methods and chemicals, meat production is handled very poorly, with overcrowding and unnatural animal feeds and overuse of chemicals to produce increased profitability, and increasingly poor dietary habits with processed foods, fast foods, and high percentages of meat with low percentages of natural grains and vegetables in the diet. So much money is spent on marketing unhealthy foods that increase our national healthcare costs that we could see a dramatic improvement in our monthly insurance bills within a few years if this practice would just be curtailed a little. Our government is supposed to be looking out for public health, yet industrial lobbying, as well as pharmaceutical lobbying, is paying for our elected representatives to ignore the public health responsibility and promote only the healthy bottom line of these corporations. Public health should educate the population to create a greater understanding of commone nutritional deficiencies and do more about them. Of course, there is a big difference between a marked deficiency of an essential nutrient and a mild one. The best outcome in the long term is to improve the diet, and common supplementation should be used in a short-term and targeted manner, unless there is evidence for a marked deficiency not corrected by improved diet.

The second basic reason for taking nutritional supplements is to stimulate a specific physiological process in the body that promotes correction of a health problem, usually creating an increased bioavailability of the nutrient. This requires a high degree of nutritional knowledge, and to believe that marketing will provide the untrained person with the tools to understand and intelligently utilize this science is not reasonable. Medical doctors each have their specialty in science, but very few have any real training in nutritional science. Most medical doctors are also prescribing nutrient medicines based on marketing. The smart patient will seek out a professional and knowledgeable physician to best utilize nutrient medicine in their treatment protocol.

Basic lack of understanding of nutritional science creates much misunderstanding and bad advice in this realm. For instance, undocumented and unproven warnings of 'potential' harm and contraindications for use of essential nutrients is still common. Considering that these molecules are eaten, and have been eaten, daily by the entire population in our food forever, it is extremely unlikely that most, if not all, essential nutrient chemicals could cause harm in normal doses and we would not have seen evidence of this harm. Yet we see warnings of this 'potential' harm. These nutrient molecules are well regulated in the metabolism and when consumed in excess amounts the body has evolved ways to limit their use in the metabolism. If this were not so we would have seen many cases of harm from people eating a large amount of a specific type of food. Even from sources that appear to be less biased against herbal and nutrient medicine, undocumented bad advice is very common. For an example, the University of Maryland Medical Center has perhaps the least biased health advice in this realm, but looking at their advice for the supplement Tyrosine, for example, we see that they warn that warnings that tyrosine can cause a dangerous rise in blood pressure for people taking antidepressant MAOIs, or a "hypertensive crisis", yet on PUBMED or other medical research databases there are no studies showing that this occurs, how it could occur, or explaining how it could even be considered. There is a warning that taking this essential amino acid commonly found in food could raise thyroid hormones to dangerous levels when taking a synthetic T4 hormone, yet there is no proof of this cited or found in any medical database, and the creating and conversion of thyroid hormones is very tightly regulated with a feedback system in the body, so this seems highly unlikely if not impossible. Mere speculation in print drives these warnings and leads to this bad advice from Medical Doctors and institutions in standard medicine. To see this example, just click here: . It has been remarkably easy to widely distribute this misinformation, which is not proven or scientific, representing only an ideology or belief system, not unlike a religion.

Information Resources and Links to Scientific Studies

  1. A 2009 New York Times article reveals research that finds a low-acid diet with reduction of meat and simple starches and high consumption of alkiline fresh vegetables to significantly prevent and reverse osteoporosis:
  2. A 2010 New York Times article reveals research that finds that a ketogenic diet is dramatically effective for reducing seizure episodes in epilepsy, and could be applied to other neurological diseases:
  3. The HMS Neurobiology website at Harvard Medical School gives basic info on how the ketogenic diet works to control epilepsy:
  4. One of the Harvard researchers of the ketogenic dietary treatement for epilepsy maintains this informative website:
  5. A 2015 study at the University of Milan and the University of Pavlova, in Italy, found that the ketogenic diet did not produce adverse effects on abdominal fat distribution or inflammatory cytokine production in children in a 12-week trial, despite being a high-fat diet. Adaptive metabolic changes were noted to satisfy concerns of potential adverse health effects from this treatment. These researchers stated that long-term trials would be conducted to answer questions concerning long-term use of the ketogenic diet in therapy:
  6. A 2009 study at the University of California in San Francisco demonstrates that while a high percentage of patients try to utilize dietary and herbal medicine into a treatment protocol, that standard MDs continue to discourage this use and warn of negative effects, rather than incorporating research-based integrative protocols into the treatment plan:
  7. An overview of neuroecxitotoxins and their effects is found on this website:
  8. The Harvard School of Public Health provides an overview of guidelines on fats in the diet, revealing how we determined that healthy natural vegetable fats are important to our health, while a simple low-fat diet has no significant benefits:
  9. A 2010 article in Bloomberg Businessweek reveals current research findings by the Harvard School of Public Health that a modified Atkins Diet, with most of the fats and proteins derived from vegetable sources, dramatically reduces cardiovascular risk:
  10. A website maintained by the University of Sydney, Australia, gives key facts explaining glycemic index and helping you to determine what carbohydate foods are healthy in a low glycemic load diet:
  11. A 2011 interview with Dr. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study, the premier scientific text on the health benefits of a plant-based diet, and the health risks that were generated by a meat based modern diet: http:/
  12. A 2011 interview with Dr. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study, the premier scientific text on the health benefits of a plant-based diet, and the health risks that were generated by a meat based modern diet:
  13. A 1995 study found that key lignans and bioflavonoids exerted significant inhibition of the enzymes that drive hormonally driven cancers, such as prostate and breast cancers, by inhibiting 5alpha-reductase and 17beta-hydroxysteroid hydrogenase. These include enterolactone, biochanin A, genistein, and equol:
  14. A report on dietary regimens as an adjunct to treatment for ADHD, by the Harvard Medical School, reveals the present state of analysis in standard medicine, where finally we see support for sensible dietary protocols, such as the decrease in consumption of sugar, artificial colors and dyes, and other harmful additives, and an inclusion of nutrients for brain health, such as omega-3 essential fatty acids and essential minerals. Unfortunately, we still see that this analysis is only looking at short term changes in symptoms in studies, and continues to isolate one nutritional factor in study, instead of studying the comprehensive and holistic long-term effects of a more comprehensive scientific approach:
  15. A comprehensive report on the history of traditional dietary habits with fermented foods, encouraging a healthy microbiota, or Biome, and its application in health maintenance, even with mental health, was presented in 2014 by experts at Harvard Medical School and the famed Massachusetts General Hospital, along with the British Columbia Women's Hospital and Health Centre, in the U.S.A and Canada. We see that traditional development of fermented foods and medicines are proving to provide the human organism with a wide variety of aids to mental health and brain function, and provide a proven link between gut health and neurohormonal health. The point of such study is to provide better holistic maintenance of human homeostasis, but of course, the business of medicine will use this information of traditional health practices to instead promote specific allopathic medicines, which could create harm and imbalance: