Osteoporosis Info, Links, Comments

Osteoporosis Info, Links, Comments

Osteoporosis literally means porous bone. The word refers to a horrible disease in which bones become fragile and much more likely to break, and the skeleton looses its integrity and turns into a terrifying time bomb inside of you. Osteoporosis makes an everyday act, like going to the mailbox, fraught with the danger of a hipbone snapping simply from the act of walking. Osteoporosis is seen much more often in women than in men, and it can begin when you least expect it.

Though osteoporosis is generally considered an old woman’s disease, this is not actually the case. The most recent data from the National Osteoporosis Foundation shows that about 12 million people in the U.S., age 50 or over, already have full blown osteoporosis, and another 40 million are on the doorstep of the disease because they have low bone density, a condition known as osteopenia. Unless proper intervention is taken, women with osteopenia almost always slide into osteoporosis.

Although the common wisdom says those younger than 50 only rarely exhibit symptoms of osteoporosis, a study from the University of Arkansas found the disease to be a greater risk than most women suspect. Researchers collected information on 164 women of typical collage age, and found that 2 percent of them had bone densities low enough for them to qualify for a diagnosis of osteoporosis, and 15 percent had bone densities low enough for a diagnosis of osteopenia.

There are no symptoms when osteopenia begins. There is no pain or change as bones becomes thin, brittle and less dense. As you progress to osteoporosis, the first signal of disease is often a bone breaking from only minor injury and in some cases, from no injury at all. Other symptoms include:

  • Back pain caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra
  • Loss of height over time as vertebra deteriorate and compress
  • Stooped posture and distended abdomen (the body takes on the shape of an S)

Mainstream media and the medical establishment perpetuate the myth that osteoporosis is caused by a deficiency of calcium, and support the notion that calcium supplements are the answer. But this fails to explain why Americans, who have the highest rates of calcium consumption in the world, also have the highest rates of osteoporosis.

There is a psycho-social component to osteoporosis, as the disease is usually seen as a woman’s own fault. (She has osteoporosis because she doesn’t eat right, doesn’t take enough calcium pills, doesn’t exercise enough etc.) And nothing herald’s aging more than a stoop.

Factors that speed the way to a diagnosis of osteoporosis include:

  • Poor diet during formative years
  • Being athletically active as a young woman (results in low estrogen levels)
  • Radiation (including mammograms)
  • Use of synthetic corticosteroids such as prednisone
  • Being a thin white woman
  • Having Celiac, Crohn’s or any other disease that blocks nutrient absorption
  • Smoking
  • Eating disorders
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Prolonged use of birth control pills
  • Chemotherapy

The truth about osteoporosis is that bone is an endocrine tissue. In both women and men, bone expresses receptors for the steroid hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. This is undeniable full faced evidence that optimal and balanced levels of these hormones is essential for healthy bones, and it is the reason that osteoporosis, like all the degenerative diseases, does not show up until hormones have diminished.

Estrogen, progesterone and testosterone directly power the two essential components for the production of healthy bone. They are:

  • Osteoblasts–new bone cells
  • Osteoclasts–old bone cells

It is important at this point to realize that bone is not static. It is instead a dynamic process in which new bone is constantly being made, and old bone removed in a process known as resorption. When steroid hormones are at optimal levels and in balance, bone is healthy and strong. And when hormone levels decline and become unbalanced, the disease process begins.

In both women and men, osteoblasts are powered by estrogen and testosterone. Osteoclasts are powered by progesterone.

Progesterone and Bone: Actions Promoting Bone Health in Women

Osteoblasts are in charge of producing bone matrix and mineral. Ideally, they work as a team with components of bone marrow and osteoclasts for optimal bone formation.

The function of osteoclasts is critical in the maintenance and repair of bone. Bones are stronger than aluminum on a weight basis, and are a composite material of approximately equal amounts of hydrated protein and mineralization.   Osteoclasts disassemble this hardy composite at the molecular level by producing collagenase, an enzyme that destroys collagen.

Osteoblasts and osteoclasts together control the amount and quality of bone tissue you have in your body. This means that when you have optimal levels of balanced steroid hormones, osteoblasts and osteoclasts will work in harmony to produce healthy bones, and not a sign of osteoporosis will be seen, no matter what your age.

Hormones are essential to total body health and well being

There’s more to hormones than high quality bones. Hormones are of supreme importance to your overall health and well being. They are the great communicators of the body, by sending chemical messengers that transfer signals and instructions from one set of cells to another. When all hormones are present at optimal levels, not only is harmony restored to your osteoblasts and osteoclasts, but to your body as a whole.

Developing osteopenia or osteoporosis is a signal that your hormones need attention.

Don’t discount hormones. They are so important that they have a branch of biological science devoted to them, known as endocrinology. Even the medical establishment grudgingly recognizes the tremendous importance of hormones, and labels doctors who specialize in them as endocrinologists.

Hormones influence and regulate almost every cell, tissue, organ, and function of the human body, including growth, development, metabolism, and sexual and reproductive function. Hormones orchestrate the maintenance and balance of our internal terrain, through a process known as homeostasis..

Supplements & Modalities to Carefully Consider:

Vitamin D3  (K2D3 5000)            Omega Oils

Magnifical                                    Cataplex F

Jarrow Bone Up                          Blue Green Algae

Drynaria  (Basket Fern) TCM     Bio Dent

Bone Broth                                 Biost

Knox Gelatin                             Calcifood (Wafers/Powder)

Collagen (SynovX, Mobilee)      Boron

Progesterone                          ProGon B 

Phyto B                                   Osta B 3

Yoga, Tai-Chi, Qigong

Weight Bearing Exercises     ______ min.  _______   hrs.  ______x weekly


NOTE on Vitamin D:

Vitamin D must have Vitamin K in order to be effective. A good rule of thumb is to have your vitamin D level checked first and then supplement if need be. Although standard reference ranges are 30-100, as with iron, the best reference range is 40-60.


As written above, hormones play a vital role in the prevention of Osteoporosis.  Before using any bioidentical hormones, i strongly recommend a Saliva NOT Blood test for Hormones as Saliva has both the RNA & DNA and as such is a more accurate marker than conventional blood test which can only measure one point in time.. Once you know the facts then and only then should you and your KNOWLEDGEABLE Health Care “Assistant” should decide on a path to take and then re-check via saliva every 6 months

Here is a link titled When Saliva When Serum


Osteoporosis has nothing to do with calcium.  One of the best products I have ever recommended for Osteoporosis is Magnifical and although the last three letters are “cal” there is no calcium in this product.I rarely recommend Calcium supplementation because it causes more problems than it solves. Calcium being a “hard” mineral causing hardening of the heart valves, coronary arteries and other situational issues

Calcium is vital for the strength and development of bones and teeth. Along with magnesium, it transmits nerve and muscle impulses and stabilizes cell membranes, decreasing their permeability to cellular toxins and allergens. Calcium is also necessary for proper blood coagulation. The UK and the WHO (World Health Organization) recommend 500-700mg per day which is the guideline I follow as opposed to the US recommendation of 1000-1500mg daily. 600mgs daily can easily be had through green leafy vegetables, bone broth, nuts, seeds especially sesame seeds (used throughout the middle east where there is no dairy available and as a last result raw dairy if nothing else is available.


This list of Boron rich  foods is good to know but not practical on a day to day basis. It may very well be easier to take a Boron supplement and supplement the supplement with foods on the list below whenever able to

  • Beans (black, Lima, Kidney, Snap Peas, Mung)
  • Artichokes                         Apricots
  • Berries                              Cocoa
  • Cherries                           Apples
  • Sweet potatoes                Pears
  • Onions                             Avocado
  • Pecans                            Grapes (including pure grape juice)
  • Walnuts                           Oranges
  • Figs                                 Coffee
  • Prunes/plums                 Red  Wine
  • Peaches                         Raw Milk (organic, unpasteurized)

NOTE: For decades I have recommended the DPD Urine Pyrlinks Test which measures the amount of Osteoblasts vs. Osteoclasts.  As long as there are more Osteoblasts then Osteoclasts, you are in good shape. This test is considered the Gold Standard because its accuracy far outweighs the standard Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptionmetry  most doctors use for osteoporosis determination.

NOTE: Drugs like Fosamax and Prolia interfere with the breakdown of dead cells (Osteoclasts) and as such, dead bone cells are not being eliminated to make room for new fresh bone cells ((Osteoblasts)) to replace them. This causes “spontaneous fractures” which is when you are sitting down watching TV and your arm or leg suddenly breaks.  This has been well documented and was shown in a i hour piece on ABC News a while back.

NOTE: You do not fall and break your hip–your hip broke and you fall as a result!!

For more information:







Horse Chestnut for Hemorrhoids

Horse Chestnut: Helping Hemorrhoids for Centuries

Horse Chestnut: Helping Hemorrhoids for Centuries











Way before we were a thought in the Big Man’s plan, before the continents were separated into their own entities, before BIG PHARMA, indigenous cultures were using herbs and plants for all of their own health issues.

Whether it was for fungal infections or to calm their rumbling tummies, herbs and plants were known to be the go-to healing medicine.

Still, to this day, people have not forgotten the many wonders of what herbs and plants can do for our health.

So with almost 50% of people having to deal with the uncomfortable and annoying effects of hemorrhoids before the age of 50, why not use one of the most effective supplements for treating hemorrhoids?

Horse Chestnut has been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine to treat a wide variety of health issues including treatment for hemorrhoids.

What is Horse Chestnut?

Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) comes from a tree which is native to the Balkan Peninsula – these countries include Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Bulgaria. The beauty of modern farming is now these trees can be grown worldwide for the benefit of all. Horse Chestnuts native to the United States is actually referred to as “Buckeyes.”

Fun Fact: Why was it named Horse Chestnut? It was assumed horse’s used to eat the seeds and flowers off this tree to clear their chest and help them breathe. But, owner’s eventually found the seeds were actually poisonous to horses in its raw farm due to the toxic substance esculin.

Luckily, humans learned how to process the esculin out of horse chestnut seeds to enjoy its many health benefits.

The seeds, bark, leaves, and flowers of Horse Chestnut have been used in the treatment of a number of conditions for centuries.

Horse Chestnuts most common form – seed extract – has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect which has helped with joint pain, arthritis, gastrointestinal problems, leg cramps, and fever.

Today this seed extract is also used for disorders of the vessels to help build up the walls of veins, increase circulation, and swelling after surgery. Horse chestnut seed extract is widely used these days for chronic venous insufficiency which is a problem of the vessels in your legs not being able to pump blood back to your heart.

In Europe, this extract is approved for the treatment of varicose veins in the legs and hemorrhoids – a form of varicose veins occurring in the anus or rectum.

Horse Chestnut for Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins around the anus or rectum due to increased pressure in the lower abdomen or rectum.

They’re truly a pain in the butt and mostly caused by chronic constipation and straining during bowel movements. Hemorrhoids can cause a small amount of rectal bleeding, and you might notice it either in the toilet or when you wipe.











The first record of Aesculus hippocastanum being used for hemorrhoids dates back to the 1800 – surely not the first time it was used, just the first time someone thought, “Hey, we should record this!” That’s well over 250 years of recorded effectiveness.

Horse Chestnut contains multiple chemical compounds called saponin and flavonoid, its most potent substance called aescin is what reduces inflammation and the swelling of blood vessels helping with rectal bleeding.

Horse Chestnut hemorrhoid treatment helps by:

  • Strengthening the walls of the veins
  • Reducing swelling of these vessels
  • Preventing any further break down of capillaries
  • Improving vessel elasticity
  • Prevent the release of enzymes which break down collagen

In a recent study Horse Chestnut has shown to help promote contraction forces in fibroblast. These cells are necessary for the wound healing process and also aid in rectal bleeding and hemorrhoids.

How to Use Horse Chestnut Extract

Horse Chestnut can be taken orally or applied topically for the use of hemorrhoids or anal fissures.

The recommended oral dose is 300 mg twice a day 12 hours apart for treating hemorrhoids. Many topical hemorrhoids creams contain horse chestnut so follow the directions for topical applications.

If you happen to run upon a Horse Chestnut tree – please remember these seeds contain esculin which is poisonous in its raw form and should not be eaten.

When esculin is removed, Horse Chestnut is well tolerated by most people and remarkably safe with rare side effects. Most manufactures remove esculin from their products so just check the bottle for safety and make sure you are buying your supplements from a reputable source.

Anyone struggling with the following health problems should not take Horse Chestnut:

  • Diabetes
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease

Also, mothers who are pregnant or nursing should speak to their doctor before taking Horse Chestnut. Anyone who has severe hemorrhoids should also consult their doctor before any use of supplements.

Other Benefits of Supplementing with Horse Chestnut

Horse Chestnut also contains the flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol which act as powerful antioxidant to help remove free radicals in your body and combat disease.

Horse Chestnut has been successful in treating the following health issues, but not enough research has been concluded for proven effectiveness:

  • Chronic venous insufficiency
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Eczema
  • Fertility in men
  • Certain cancers
  • Diaherra

Horse Chestnut has also been shown to help the effectiveness of prebiotics, a non-digestible fiber found in food, which can aid in digestion and gut health. Its chemical compound saponins and flavonoids also help eliminate methane in your gut reducing bloating and abdominal discomfort.

As Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.”

With the use of Horse Chestnut, you don’t have to suffer silently with rectal bleeding and hemorrhoids anymore. With a natural hemorrhoid treatment, you can reduce hemorrhoid flare-ups making it a thing of the past.

For Better or For Worse Alzheimer’s-Dementia

For Better or For Worse Alzheimer-Dementia

This 60 Minute Piece aired tonight For Better or For Worse may be the final episode of a decade of interviews of just one couple one of whom has the Alzheimer form of Dementia.  It is a wake up call to action for every single one of us.

Changes showing onset of the Alzheimers form of Dementia begin 10, 20 even 30 years before first symptoms appear. NOW is the time to prevent it to begin with!

I have been saying this to my family of patients for a long time now.

Once you have the onset of symptoms and without a miracle from God (which is possible), you may very likely develop Alzheimer’s/ Dementia

Do I have the answer–I wish I did.  What I do have is some ideas to help prevent it

I use Citicoline in the form of CDP Choline Cognizin. The raw materials for this product are made in Japan, the encapsulation from various companies globally.  I use JO-MAR Labs in Santa Cruz because the raw materials for this product originate from the world famous Kyowa Labs in Japan. I just don’t trust other brands.  Everyone including myself pays the same price 100 capsules 200mg-$42.20 (1-800-538-4545). Some patients take one a day others two per day.  You will not overdose on this product

The other product I suggest is Lithium Orotate either in tablet or spray (see attachment below).  This is the mineral lithium (Georgia has Lithia Springs) and not the pharmaceutical lithium used to treat schizophrenia.

I highly recommend ballroom dancing because it requires thinking–there are plenty of studios out there able to accommodate you. Playing a musical instrument also requires skill of thinking.

Years ago I had a 95+ year old patient sharp as a tack. When I asked his “secret” he said when he drives he takes a different route every time he goes somewhere; he never sits at the same spot  at the dinner table; he does not drink coffee out of the same cup each day etc. etc. He said as soon as something he does becomes a    habit/routine, he would immediately change or shake it up.  Interesting! He lived to 103

The Book Why Isn’t My Brain Working by Datis Kharrazian is definitely not the bible of brain health BUT it is a good book to read as it also discusses the  Gut Brain Axis and the Vagus Nerve.

LASTLY, I would be remiss if I did not mention the bona fide benefits of      Transcendental Meditation. The TM method has been studied  by the worlds greatest universities proving the science and scholarship behind the effect it has on the brain is nothing short of magnanimous. No other meditation compares. They provide a discount if you are referred by a professional such as myself. It it worth it?. My opinion is a resounding YES because supplements are only helpful adjuncts whereas Transcendental Meditation is the real McCoy for brain health. Almost every city large or small; local or global, has a TM Center close by. All TM centers have free open house lectures–try to go to one; feel into it; and more than likely you will want to sign up.  It stays with you until your last breath. And in the long run it is cheaper than supplements and or medications that do not work.

Attached will be 4 articles I have sent out in the past on Citicoline. The first one is a whopping 92 pages with the other three articles more reasonable. I also am adding a Lithium article as well.  I do not have an article on ballroom dancing, you will  have to figure that out for yourself.

As with anything I send out, please  by all means pass it onto others

To your health,
Dr. Philip Princetta


Continue reading

Hormone Excess /Deficiencies




FIBR0CYCTIC BREAST                                    LOW LIBIDO

WATER RETENTION                                        RINGS ARE TIGHT

CRAVING FOR SWEETS                                 WEIGHT GAIN

UTERINE FIBROIDS                                        MOOD SWINGS (PMS)

POLY CYSTIC OVARIES                                 HEADACHES



ENDOMETRIOSIS                                         CELLULITIS

INFERTILITY                                                  BREAST CANCER


HOT FLASHES                                           DRY SKIN

NIGHT SWEATS                                        PAINFUL INTERCOURSE (ESTRIOL)

MENTAL FOGGINESS                              LOW LIBIDO

INSOMNIA                                                VAGINAL DRYNESS/ATROPHY

HEART PALPITATIONS                           HEADACHES

DEPRESSION                                        MEMORY LAPSE

BONE LOSS                                           INCONTINENCE



SOMNOLENCE                                             MILD DEPRESSION

MILD DEPRESSION                                     CANDIDA EXACERBATION

GI BLOATING                                        ESTROGEN EXCESS EXACERBATION



SWOLLEN BREAST                                    LOW LIBIDO

HEADACHES                                               MOOD SWINGS

ANXIETY                                                      DEPRESSION

IRREGULAR MENSES                                    PMS

CRAMPING                                                 FUZZY THINKING

INFERTILITY                                               JOINT PAIN



INCREASED FACIAL HAIR                              AGGRESSION

INCREASED BODY HAIR                                OVARIAN CYSTS

LOSS OF SCALP HAIR                                   ELEVATED TRIGLYCERIDES

ACNE                                                              DEEPENING VOICE

OILY SKIN                                                      CLITORAL ENLARGEMENT



PROLONGED FATIGUE                                  MENTAL FUZZINESS

MEMORY PROBLEMS                                    DEPRESSION

DECREASED LIBIDO                                     LACK OF MOTIVATION

MUSCLE WEAKNESS                                   THINNING SKIN

HEART PALPITATIONS                                  VAGINAL DRYNESS

BONE LOSS                                                  INCONTINENCE

GENERAL ACHES PAINS                              FIBROMYALGIA

Endometriosis Estrogen Dominant Disease

Endometriosis: A Disorder of Estrogen Dominance

This post is a Segway to the original Endometriosis post from the Guardian. Please read both!

Estrogen is the hormone that makes women “women,” in its support of the female organs that support human life. It initiates the development of sex characteristics at puberty by stimulating the growth of endometrial and breast tissue. Every month it stimulates the growth of the follicle which releases the egg. It supports vaginal tissues and stores fat to support a woman who might become pregnant or nursing. Other growth-related processes attributed to estrogen are preventing bone loss and maintaining collagen in the skin and connective tissues. Estrogen also aids in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, especially serotonin and dopamine, and supports the transportation of glucose across the blood brain barrier.

While estrogen contributes to fertility and a woman’s monthly cycle, it can run amok when it goes unchecked by enough progesterone, the hormone that promotes differentiation. A common presentation of unbalanced estrogen is endometriosis. Endometriosis is the presence of endometrial-like tissue outside of the uterus, primarily located on the pelvic peritoneum, ovaries and recto vaginal septum. Endometriosis has a high association with adenoymyosis, endometrial tissues growing outside of the uterine wall; and fibroids, a benign tumor of muscular tissue in the wall of the uterus.

Endometriosis and its cousins adenomyosis and uterine fibroids, often difficult to tell apart, are the reasons that many women experience pelvic pain and bleeding, and make visits to their gynecologists. While only 6-10% of women of reproductive age experience endometriosis, 50-60% of the pelvic pain experienced by teenage girls is caused by endometriosis, and endometriosis is present in 50% of women with infertility.

Endometriosis is also associated with inflammation, in the form of elevated cytokines and homocysteine. These cytokine elevations put a woman at higher risk for autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis, Grave’s, Hashimoto’s, and Celiac disease. Amazingly, endometriosis lesions express aromatase and synthesize their own estradiol from testosterone, creating more estrogen and inflammation, and contributing to estrogen dominance! Endometriosis is also associated with an increased risk of ovarian endometrioid and clear-cell cancers, as well as other cancers such as non-Hodgkins lymphoma and melanoma.

In short, the estrogen dominance that leads to endometriosis breeds growth in the form of more endometriosis, more estrogen production and more inflammation, and may even contribute to the growth of cancer. The conventional treatment for endometriosis includes NSAIDS, GnRH agonists (Lupron), oral contraceptives, and surgery. Because progesterone tends to be decreased in women with endometriosis, progesterone supplementation can be a more natural alternative to pharmaceuticals. Progesterone can serve as an important component in breaking the cycle of estrogen dominance as it stabilizes and slows the cell growth associated with estrogen. Many women are desperate for a solution to their pain and will gladly start with a trial of progesterone.

Consider salivary hormone testing in your patients, as the Pg/E2 ratio can play an important role in determining a progesterone-based treatment plan for women with endometriosis at any age.

Check out Dr.Jocker’s Natural Solutions to Estrogen Dominance . I am especially interested in you looking at Xenoestrogenic chemicals / foods and ways to avoid them

1.Lotto V, Choi SW, Friso S. Vitamin B6: a challenging link between nutrition and inflammation in CVD. Br J Nutr. 2011;106(2):183-95.

Zhang D, Wen X, Wu W, Guo Y, Cui W. Elevated homocysteine level and folate deficiency associated with increased overall risk of carcinogenesis: meta-analysis of 83 case-control studies involving 35,758 individuals. PLoS ONE. 2015;10(5):e0123423.

Giudice LC. Clinical practice. Endometriosis. N Engl J Med. 2010;362(25):2389-98.

Zheleva-Dimitrova, D. Obreshkova, D. & Nedialkov, P. Antioxidant Activity of Tribulus Terrestris – A Natural Product of Infertility Therapy

Kadam PD, Chuan HH. Erratum to: Rectocutaneous fistula with transmigration of the suture: a rare delayed complication of vault fixation with the sacrospinous ligament. Int Urogynecol J. 2016;27(3):505.

Sir T. [Do androgens modulate luteinizing hormone secretion in women?]. Rev Med Chil. 1997;125(6):710-8.

Progestin vs Progesterone-A Case of Mistaken Identity

A Case of Mistaken Identity:
Progestin vs. Progesterone

Progesterone. Progestogen. Progestin. There is much confusion, even among experts in the field of hormone research, surrounding the names of these hormones and chemicals, and this misunderstanding is dramatically affecting the lives of millions of women. Let’s try to clear up some of the madness.

Progesterone is the name of a hormone that is endogenously produced in men and women, although it  is much more prevalent in women. This is the hormone that predominates during the second half of the menstrual cycle and of course during pregnancy. It gets its name from promoting gestation. Progesterone is also the name used for hormones that are produced from plant sources that have a molecular structure that is identical to the hormone found in the body.

Progestins are synthetic molecules, found nowhere in human physiology or elsewhere in nature, that interact with progesterone receptors in the body and through those receptors exert some partial effects of progesterone. Because these molecules are foreign, many of the side effects and the effects of their metabolites are harmful.

Progestogen is a general term for compounds, both natural and synthetic, with a steroid hormone structure that allows them to attach to progesterone receptors. Both bioidentical progesterone and synthetic progestins fall into this broad category.

Seems pretty straight forward, doesn’t it? Not so fast. It appears that the difference between progesterone, progestogens, and progestins is still not appreciated, as they are often used interchangeably in the literature. The confusion that arises for providers when interpreting research findings that reference progesterone and progestins would be reduced if a consistent name was utilized. Because of the inconsistency, it is up to the reader to be educated about the differences.

Progesterone (which is by definition a bioidentical molecule) is not very well absorbed when taken orally. For this and other reasons, a number of synthetic molecules have been developed to mimic the actions of progesterone. Medroxyprogesterone acetate (Provera), norethindrone, norgestimate, levonorgestrel, and drosprirenone are just some of the names of these chemicals that are used in contraception and in hormone replacement.

A number of studies, including the Woman’s Health Initiative, have indicated that the study groups who are given estrogen along with a progestin have an increased risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease over their counterparts who are given estrogen alone. Because of the confusion in nomenclature, these findings have prompted some regulatory bodies to require that all progestogens carry a warning label stating that there may be an increased risk of cancer and other conditions with the use of these products. Remember the old adage “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater?” This classification mix up is far from harmless, as there is ample evidence to support that progesterone, when given alone or in combination with estrogen, is protective to the breasts and the cardiovascular system. Progesterone exerts several anti-cancer mechanisms on tissues and millions of women may be excluded from this benefit due to mistaken identity.

Help your patients stay educated about the differences between these very different substances. Understanding the many benefits of progesterone and the detriments of progestins can be of profound benefit to their health and longevity.

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/whi/ . Accessibility verified 9/27/17.

http://www.bmj.com/rapid- response/2011/11/02/ progesterone-or-progestogen- or-progestin-which-t. Accessibility verified 9/27/17.i

https://womeninbalance.org/ resources-research/ bioidentical-progesterone-vs- synthetic-progestins/./ Accessibility verified 9/27/17.

Sweet Fennel

Essential Oil Allies: Sweet Fennel

Fennel essential oil is obtained by steam distilling the seeds of Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce. It is mainly grown and distilled in France, Spain, Germany, Hungary and India for its essential oil.

Originating around the Mediterranean basin, this hardy perennial has been introduced to and naturalized across Eur-Asia, India and North America—adapting to most temperate climates. An ancient plant, the Ancient Chinese, Indian, Egyptian and Roman cultures employed this herb for medicine and culinary uses. According to Grieve: “It has followed civilization, especially where Italians have colonized.

The Birth of Venus, c. 1485. Uffizi, Florence by Sandro Botticelli

Like many plants from the Apiaceae family, fennel’s seeds have been used for centuries to address digestive complaints (mainly through chewing the seeds, infusions and tinctures). Sweet fennel has also been used to promote lactation, to aide in eyesight, ward off hexes and evil spirits and as a detoxifier/slimming agent (according to Grieve, it was originally called “marathon” by the ancient Greeks, derived from maraino, to grow thin).

Hildegarde von Bingen realized both physical and emotional benefits of fennel: “A person whom melancholy is harming should pound fennel to a liquid and rub it often on his forehead, temples, chest and stomach. His melancholy will stop.” This statement made hundreds of years ago still holds true—fennel essential oil is quite an uplifting and clearing agent. Its volatile oils ease into the mind-body, clearing away the cobwebs so thoughts and creativity may be freely and playfully expressed.

Sweet fennel essential oil shines in the realm of woman’s health, supporting breathing space, spastic pain and uplifting the mood. Fennel is widely used to support digestion but an herbal tincture, infusion of the seeds or chewing the seeds is best used for this versus the essential oil. However there are always exceptions: check out this online French Aromatherapy course to explore the internal use of essential oils, a great way to support digestive issues once you have solid guidelines.

Following are core applications for the essential oil:

System Core Applications
Reproductive Balancing to hormones, PMS, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, lack of or reduced sexual drive, lack of or reduced milk flow in lactating woman (fennel tea is indicated or inhalation of fennel e/o), cramps, menopause, perimenopause
Respiration Anti-inflammatory, bronchodilator, spastic coughing
Musculoskeletal & Circulatory Muscle spasms or cramps, general muscular aches and pains, detoxifier
Nervous/ Psyche/ Emotion Inflamed mind, difficulty communicating, mental fatigue, expressive, creativity, light-hearted, throat & sacral chakras
Digestion Massaged onto the abdomen for gaseous cramping, inhaled to promote digestive fire, and quell nausea

Chemistry Highlights: Sweet Fennel essential oil is rich in phenylpropanoids, specifically trans-anethole, which lends to its “anise-like” aroma, and methyl chavicol.

Of note: sweet (dolce) fennel of is not to be confused with the bitter (amara) variety, which is not used in aromatherapy due to its relatively higher content of fenchone and its more “harsh” nature.

Is Sweet Fennel Essential Oil Safe?

Due to its trans-anethole content, fennel essential oil should be avoided by any route (method of application, especially oral) in pregnancy, breastfeeding, endometriosis, and estrogen dependent cancers. Trans-anethole exhibits estrogenic actions. Essential oils with estragole (Methyl chavicol) should also be used carefully (especially internally) for its effect on the blood.

Blending with Sweet Fennel Essential Oil

Fennel stands well on its own and may over-take a blend (depending on country of origin)—start with fewer drops and add more as your blend matures and your olfactory sense sees fit. When blending with fennel, think about the core issue you are trying to address AND how you cook using fennel as it gets along quite well with many other culinary herbs and citrus.

Fennel essential oil swiftly, but sweetly, announces itself: bringing gifts of honey, clear blue skies, open meadows and pollinating insects. It exudes a slightly sweet-floral note, reminiscent of almond and anise confectionary. A bright, clean smell is apparent: memories of seafoam and clean blue water. The dry-down brings an expressive honey-hay aroma that playfully communicates fennel’s memory of its nectar-giving umbels that elegantly looked up at the same sky as you.

Fennel essential oil blends well with: other members of the Apiaceae family (Angelica archangelica, Coriandrum sativum), friends from the Lamiaceae family (Clary sage (Salvia sclarea), Sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana), Rosemary ct. cineole (Rosmarinus officinalis ct. cineole), Peppermint (Mentha x piperita), the Zingiberaceae family (Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum), Ginger (Zingiber officinale)), Citrus oils (Grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi), Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)) and florals (Cananga odorata Complete, Pelargonium graveolens, Rosa spp.)

Creating Wellness Products with Sweet Fennel

Supporting Feminine Power

This hormone-balancing massage oil is intended to support women of all ages (except during pregnancy and breast feeding). It features plants from the Apiaceae family and is supported by plants from the Lamiaceae family—these plant families have many powerful feminine allies.

What you need:

  • 1 ounce bottle (I prefer glass, pump-tops)
  • 1 ounce fixed oil of your choice: choose penetrating oils like Sesame (Sesamum indicum), Tamanu (Calophyllum inophyllum) or Hemp (Cannabis sativa) for pain.
  • Label
  • 5 drops Fennel seed (Foeniculum vulgare)
  • 5 drops Clary sage (Salvia sclarea)
  • 5 drops Angelica root* (Angelica archangelica)
  • 8 drops Coriander seed (Coriandrum sativum)
  • 12 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

How to make:

  • Combine the essential oils in the glass bottle, affix the cap and shake to combine.
  • Allow the essential oils to mingle for at least a few hours
  • Add the fixed oil(s) of your choice to the bottle
  • Affix the bottle dispenser and label the bottle

How to use:

  • A best practice to use powerful oils like these on a protocol: use one week before menses to work with PMS symptoms and during menses for cramping and mood balancing. Then take a break from this blend, until 7 days before menses starts.
  • Use up to 3 times per day, especially when experiencing cramping.
  • Apply a small amount of oil to the lower abdomen and pelvic joint-creases.
  • Massage the oil over your lymph nodes and utilize the hair follicles to help the oils absorb into the body.
  • *Safety note: Angelica archangelica root has photo-toxic properties. Keep the treated area out of UV/sunlight (and tanning beds) for at least 12, if not 24 hours.

Brighten Your Day with this Mind and Lung Opening Blend

My experiences with this synergy have been absolutely joyous and bright, always quite expansive and dare I say bubbly. Use this synergy of allies for a pick-me-up during any time of the day. Consider using it during meditation and breathing exercises to harness the benefits of these cephalic oils.

Create the synergy in a standard 5 ml bottle equipped with a cap and orifice reducer. Combine the essential oils and let them sit for at least one day. Use as needed for your preferred method of application. I suggest using it in a nebulizing diffuser, an aromatic inhaler or with direct palm inhalation.

  • 10 drops Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce)
  • 8 drops Rosemary ct. cineole (Rosmarinus officinalis ct. cineole)
  • 14 drops Black pepper (Piger nigrum)
  • 12 drops Frankincense (Boswellia carteri)
  • 16 drops Lemon (Citrus limon)

Foaming Soap for Spring Cleaning the Soul and Hands

Bring the uplifting, cleansing qualities of fennel to a nourishing and gentle foaming soap base. Create the following synergy of essential oils and add to this recipe.

  • 15 drops Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce)
  • 15 drops Rose geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
  • 25 drops Lemon (Citrus limon)

Be with the plants in their many forms, take their messages and let them guide you. I bid you much joy in blending and creating.

5 Spices to Warm Your Soul During Winter

5 Spices to Warm Your Soul During Winter


Spices are the delightfully aromatic plants whose warming scents are a characteristic element of the winter season. In fact, there are five spices that evoke memories of sitting by the fire on cold nights, weekends of playing in the snow, and social gatherings that feature rich seasonal desserts and mulled wine.

A spice is harvested from the root, bark, seed or dried fruit of a tropical plant or tree. The aroma or flavor comes from essential oils. Many spices contain similar essential oils but in different proportions. These oils are released through the physical process of grinding, grating or crushing. The essential oils begin to evaporate after processing and the flavors of the spices will fade over time. In contrast, the original bark, seeds, or berries can often stay fresh for years.

But there is more to these exotic plants than just their sweet or pungent flavors. In ancient times spices were used in almost every aspect of life whether in flavoring and preserving food, to freshen one’s breath, or to being applied or ingested as medicine.  Let’s look in more detail at those well-known spices associated with the winter season: allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg.


Allspice (Pimenta dioica) comes from the dried berries of a tree native to Jamaica, Mexico and Central America. The name “allspice” was coined by the English because it has the combined flavor of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. With its peppery flavor it is a common component of Caribbean cuisine and Jamaican jerk seasoning, and in mole sauces, curries and in pickling. In the United States it’s mostly used in spiced cider or mulled wine and in seasonal desserts.

While most other spices came from Asia, allspice was exclusively grown in the Western hemisphere. Imported to Europe it became quite popular. In the cosmetic industry the pimento oil, distilled from the leaves of the allspice tree, is used to boost the scents of fragrances and as a natural deodorizer.

Allspice is a digestive and carminative due to the volatile oil, eugenol. Similar to other spices containing the oil, allspice also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. As a folk medicine, allspice was applied topically for bruises, muscle aches, and rheumatism due to its vasodilating effects on blood vessels. Recent investigations have focused on the constituents of allspice – eugenol, quercetin and Gallic acid – for their antioxidant activity and possible beneficial effects on the incidence of cancer.


Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum and C. cassia), is harvested from the inner bark of several trees of the genus Cinnamomum, native to India. Cinnamon’s characteristic taste and smell is due to its primary constituent, cinnamaldehyde, an essential oil.  Eugenol, copane, cinnamyl acetate and camphor are found in smaller amounts. Used to flavor meat and curry dishes in the East, in the West cinnamon is more typically added to sweet dishes and desserts.

Rich in antioxidants, cinnamon helps reduce free radicals, exhibits anti-inflammatory properties, aids in stabilizing lipids and blood sugar, and may have beneficial effects on neurogenerative diseases. Several clinical trials have shown cinnamon cassia to improve glycemic control in patients with pre-diabetes and with high pre-treatment HbA1c levels.  These studies show the potential for cinnamon as an add-on therapy for managing type-2 diabetes. However, the zeylanicum species of cinnamon may be a safer alternative to cassia, because it has lower levels of coumarin, a blood thinner.


Cloves (Syzyium aromaticum) are the dried flower buds of a tropical, evergreen tree from Indonesia. Historically clove was one of the most prized spices in Europe. A pomander ball, usually an orange studded with cloves, is a traditional Christmas ornament and New Year’s gift. Clove is a curious ingredient in the widely smoked Indonesian cigarettes, “kretek,” which lends a distinctive aroma and flavor when smoked. Commonly used in traditional Indian dishes, clove’s strong, pungent flavor can sometimes overpower other flavors and should be used sparingly.

On the medicinal side, clove’s volatile oils, one of which is eugenol, impart anti-inflammatory and antiviral/antibacterial properties. Frequently employed for a toothache, clove is also helpful for other oral conditions such as gingivitis and halitosis, due to its antibacterial effect. The spice has been used in respiratory conditions, as an expectorant for coughs and to sooth sore throats. Clove is also a rich source of antioxidants supporting the immune system [1].


Medicinally, ginger was used for digestive ailments and is known for its calming, carminative effect.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a plant whose root or rhizome is commonly used cooking as well as in medicine. Originating in Southeast Asia it has become widely cultivated in other countries.  Often considered an herb, ginger is technically a spice since it’s the root that’s used. Ginger is one of the main ingredients in the seasonal favorite gingerbread or ginger cookies. Its culinary uses include traditional Indian recipes such as masala chai and curry dishes. Pickled or candied ginger is quite common in Japan and China. And ginger ale was America’s favorite beverage for many years.

Ginger is a good source of vitamin C and minerals including magnesium, copper and manganese. Medicinally, ginger was used for digestive ailments and is known for its calming, carminative effect. Due to its ability to stimulate saliva flow, ginger has been studied as an antiemetic, alleviating motion sickness and morning sickness, and reducing the side effects associated with chemotherapy. Ginger promotes sweating and helps reduce body temperature during fevers. Its stimulating property improves peripheral circulation which may be helpful for high blood pressure. Ginger’s anti-inflammatory activity is potent. Gingerol, its volatile oil compound, is a better inhibitor of prostaglandin biosynthesis than a commonly prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDS), indomethacin [2]. Additionally, recent research is exploring ginger as an anti-obesity agent.


Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) is taken from the fruit kernel of a tropical evergreen tree native to Indonesia. Nutmeg has a special affinity for use in dairy dishes such as custard or pudding, but also in soups and other desserts. Historically this seed was used for stomach ailments, headaches and fevers.

A high-mineral spice, nutmeg is a source of manganese, copper and magnesium in beneficial amounts. Potassium and zinc, as well as several vitamins, are found in smaller quantities. The essential oils of nutmeg have been studied for their antioxidant properties and anti-angiogenic activity. Further investigations revealed anti-bacterial effects from ethanol extracts of nutmeg.

There is a caution in taking nutmeg in a large amount as it has psychoactive effects, acting as a hallucinogen. Although poisonings are rarely fatal, too much nutmeg can have the consequence of convulsions, palpitations and generalized body pain.

Usually spices are consumed from cooking and baking and not taken in large quantities.  However, at this time of year, the amounts of confections devoured may constitute a medicinal dose. It’s just a good thing many of the spices are beneficial for the digestion!


NOTE: Before reading this post which I hope you do, I would like to preface it by advising when working with mushrooms, consult with a practitioner who is knowledgeable and qualified to advise on how to use and maximize mushrooms to unleash their full healing power-recommending the best mushroom quality money can buy.. It is one thing to state mushrooms cure cancer and another to prove it.

NOTE: Because there is a lot of” BS” out there, it is imperative to use only the absolute best gradient mushrooms available.

Aside from being rich in valuable nutrients such as fiber, vitamins B and C, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium and zinc, mushrooms are also excellent sources of antioxidants, including some that are entirely unique to mushrooms. Ergothioneine and glutathione, both of which are found in mushrooms, are recognized as “master antioxidants” that inhibit oxidative stress. Both are considered important anti aging compounds.

As noted in The Guardian, “… [Scientists think [ergothioneine and glutathione] may help to protect the body against the maladies of old age, such as cancer, coronary heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.” Ergothioneine appears to have a very specific role in protecting your DNA from oxidative damage, while glutathione is important for successful detoxification of heavy metals and other contaminants.

In the U.S., half of the nation’s mushroom crop come from Chester County, Pennsylvania, where indoor farms produce more than a million pounds of mushrooms per day. It’s important to eat only organically grown mushrooms, though, as they absorb and concentrate whatever they grow in, for better or worse. Mushrooms are known to concentrate heavy metals, as well as other air and water pollutants that can defeat their medicinal value.

Mushrooms Offer Potent Immune Support

Mushrooms also contain a number of compounds that modulate and strengthen immune function.This is one reason why they’re so beneficial for preventing and treating cancer. Immune-regulating compounds include not only vitamin D but also long-chain polysaccharides, which have a variety of beneficial properties, including:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Hypoglycemic
  • Anti-ulcer
  • Antitumorigenic
  • Immunostimulating

Alpha and beta glucan molecules are among the most important polysaccharides. Beta glucan in particular enhances immunity through a variety of mechanisms, many of which are similar to those of echinacea or astragalus root. For example, it binds to macrophages and other scavenger white blood cells, activating their anti-infection activities. The beta-glucan in mushrooms also plays a role in fat metabolism and may help support healthy cholesterol levels.

Mushrooms also contain a number of other unique nutrients that many do not get enough of in their diet, including B vitamins like riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid, as well as copper, the latter of which is one of the few metallic elements accompanied by amino and fatty acids that are essential to human health.

Since your body can’t synthesize copper, your diet must supply it regularly. Copper deficiency can be a factor in the development of coronary heart disease. Other bioactive and medicinal compounds include terpenoids, steroids, phenols, and all of the essential amino acids (they’re especially good sources of lysine and leucine).

Mushrooms Have Valuable Anticancer Properties

Cordyceps, also called Caterpillar fungus or Tochukasu, has been studied for its antitumor properties. This parasitic mushroom is unique because, in the wild, it grows out of an insect host instead of a plant host. It has long been used within both traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicine.

Scientists at the University of Nottingham have been studying cordycepin, one of the active medicinal compounds found in these fungi, as a potential cancer drug.15 A protein extract from turkey tail mushrooms is also being used to boost cancer patients’ immune function in countries including Japan. Mushrooms may also have direct anticancer effects. For instance:

  • In a Japanese animal study, mice suffering from sarcoma were given shiitake mushroom extract. Six of 10 mice had complete tumor regression, and with slightly higher concentrations all 10 mice showed complete tumor regression.
  • In another study, 18 the lentinan in shiitake mushrooms was found to increase the survival rate of cancer patients. Lentinan also has antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and immune-boosting effects
  • Extracts from maitake mushrooms, when combined with vitamin C, were shown to reduce the growth of bladder cancer cells by 90 percent, as well as kill them
  • In Japan, the top two forms of alternative medicine used by cancer patients are a mushroom called Agaricus subrufescens and shiitake mushroom extract
  • Ganoderic acid in reishi mushrooms may be useful in treating lung cancer

Mushrooms Are a Superfood Worth Indulging In

Considering the scientific evidence, it’s easy to understand why mushrooms have been valued for their medicinal properties for centuries. In ancient Egypt, mushrooms were thought to bring long life, and today we know that this may be due to the many beneficial phytochemicals and other compounds they contain.

For example, Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects has the following to say about reishi mushrooms: ” … there are data that support its positive health benefits, including anticancer effects; blood glucose regulation; antioxidant, antibacterial and antiviral effects; and protection against liver and gastric injury.”

One dietary analysis found that mushroom consumption was associated with better diet quality and improved nutrition. Other health benefits associated with mushroom consumption include:

Weight management: One study found that substituting red meat with white button mushrooms can help enhance weight loss. Obese participants with a mean age of just over 48 years ate approximately 1 cup of mushrooms per day in place of meat. The control group ate a standard diet without mushrooms.

At the end of the 12-month trial, the intervention group had lost an average of 3.6 percent of their starting weight, or about 7 pounds. They also showed improvements in body composition, such as reduced waist circumference, and ability to maintain their weight loss, compared to the control group.

Improved immune response to pathogens: A study done on mice found that white button mushrooms enhanced the adaptive immunity response to salmonella, a common food borne pathogen that can cause food poisoning.

Enhanced athletic performance and more: Cordyceps is a favorite of athletes because it increases ATP production, strength and endurance, and has anti-aging effects.Cordyceps also has hypoglycemic and possible antidepressant effects, protects your liver and kidneys, increases blood flow, and has been used to treat Hepatitis B.

Anti-inflammatory effects. Cordyceps are also recognized for their potent anti-inflammatory characteristics, which may be useful for conditions such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, renal failure and stroke damage. One of the active medicinal compounds in cordyceps responsible for many of these effects is cordycepin.


Examples of Medicinal Mushrooms to Add to Your Diet

With all the evidence supporting mushrooms’ medicinal superfood status, I highly recommend adding some to your diet. They’re an excellent addition to any salad and go great with all kinds of meat and fish. “Let food be thy medicine” is good advice indeed, and with mushrooms that is especially true, as they contain some of the most powerful natural medicines on the planet.

Just make sure they’re organically grown, to avoid harmful contaminants that the mushroom absorbs and concentrates from soil, air and water. Also, avoid picking mushrooms in the wild unless you are absolutely sure you know what you’re picking.

There are a number of toxic mushrooms and it’s easy to get them confused unless you have a lot of experience and know what to look for. Growing your own is an excellent option and a far safer alternative to picking wild mushrooms. A few of my favorite health-enhancing mushroom species include:

Shiitake (Lentinula edodes): Shiitake is a popular culinary mushroom used in dishes around the world. It contains a number of health-stimulating agents, including lentinan, which has antitumor properties and helps protect liver function,relieve stomach ailments (hyperacidity, gallstones, ulcers), and may lower your risk of anemia, ascites and pleural effusion.

Shiitake mushrooms also demonstrate antiviral (including HIV, hepatitis and the “common cold”), antibacterial and antifungal effects; blood sugar stabilization; reduced platelet aggregation and reduced atherosclerosis.

Reishi (Ganodermalucidum): Reishi is known as Lingzhi in China, or “spirit plant.” It’s also been given the rather telling nickname of “mushroom of immortality.” Reishi has been used medicinally in Asia for thousands of years. One of its more useful compounds is ganoderic acid (a triterpenoid), which is being used to treat lung cancer,33 leukemia and other cancers.

The list of Reishi’s health benefits includes:antibacterial, antiviral (herpes, Epstein-Barr) and antifungal (including Candida) properties; anti-inflammatory properties; immune system upregulation; normalization of blood pressure; reduction of prostate-related urinary symptoms in men.

Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor): Turkey Tail is also known as Coriolis versicolor, or “cloud mushroom.” Two polysaccharide complexes in Turkey Tail are getting a great deal of scientific attention, PSK (or “Kreskin”) and PSP, making it the most extensively researched of all medicinal mushrooms with large scale clinical trials.

A seven-year, $2 million NIH-funded clinical study in 2011 found that Turkey Tail mycelium improves immune function when dosed daily to women with stage I–III breast cancer. Immune response was dose-dependent, with no adverse effects.

PSP has been shown to significantly enhance immune status in 70 to 97 percent of cancer patients.Turkey tail is also being used to treat many different infections, including aspergillus niger, Candida albicans, E. coli, HIV, herpes and streptococcus pneumonia. It’s also hepatoprotective and may be useful for chronic fatigue.

Himematsutake (Agaricus blazei): Himematsutake, also called Royal Sun Agaricus, is a relative of the common button mushroom. Himematsutake mushroom is attracting worldwide scientific attention due to its remarkable anticancer properties related to six special polysaccharides.

Like many other medicinal mushrooms, this fungus can also protect you from the damaging effects of radiation and chemotherapy. But its benefits don’t stop there. Himematsutake may also help decrease insulin resistance in diabetics, improve your hair and skin, and even treat polio.

NOTE: For more information about the Miraculous Healing Potential of Mushrooms, contact me at drp@drprincetta.com or 619-231-1778.



Daikon Radish Kidney Drink

This ancient Japanese remedy is used to treat the kidneys and kidney related problems such as swelling, skin ulcers, low back pain and blood pressure. The kidneys filter the blood–any support we can give them would be beneficial to the entire body.



  • 1 cup of water
  • ! cup of daikon radish juice

Squeeze juice from grated radish ( a juicer or blender may easily be used). Combine both ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil; remove and let cool to a palatable temperature.  Drink 6-8 ounces either first thing in the morning, last before bedtime or both.  Should be done a minimum 3-5 days for effectiveness.  It would be best to make your drink fresh every day.

NOTE: Cultures who eat radishes on a regular basis, rarely suffer from digestive problems