The Canary in the Coal Mine -or- How to Improve Kidney Function

The Canary in the Coal Mine -or- How to Improve Kidney Function

By Dr. Douglas Lobay, BSc., ND

Improving kidney function can be difficult and exasperating. As a practicing naturopathic physician, I am always interested in improving the health of my patients. True to the tenets of do no harm, treat the whole patient, and stress preventative medicine, I am looking for ways to improve kidney function in my patients. I have become particularly interested in variations of creatinine and glomerular filtration rate and declining levels of function at the stage 2 and stage 3 kidney disease. I have been fortunate to practice chelation therapy, and I have monitored kidney function in hundreds of patients. Over the years I have analyzed many blood chemistry panels and performed countless urinalyses in the office. I have evaluated kidney function based on serum creatinine levels and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). Through continuity of care I have compared lab values over time for many patients and tried to figure out what improves kidney function and what causes its decline. Like the canary in the coal that is sent down into mine shafts to sniff out toxins before the miners are sent in, finding ways to improve kidney function before irreversible kidney damage occurs can be indemnifying.

I found Dr. Jenna C. Henderson’s article in the June 2019 Townsend Letter, titled “Is This Actually Kidney Disease, and What Can Be Done About It?” Here is a summary of important points that I learned from this article. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is an estimate of kidney filtration. It is associated with serum creatinine levels and also age, gender, and race. It is underestimated in the very young and the very old. If eGFR is decreased, then the first question to be asked is how well hydrated is the patient? Then the next question to be asked is does the patient have high blood pressure or hypertension? Serum creatinine levels can be increased with an increase in muscle mass. Blood urea nitrogen of BUN is a nitrogenous waste product that correlates with dietary protein intake. Renal anemia is due to decreased erythropoietin levels. Potassium levels may be increased with a decreased eGFR. The normal level of urinary pH is between 5.5 and 6.5. There are approximately one million nephrons in the kidneys of the adult human. You lose about 1% of nephrons per year with aging. Blood tests can detect serum creatinine levels, which can be used to estimate glomerular filtration rate. An increase in serum creatinine is associated with a decrease in GFR. Hyperfiltration of the glomerulus is associated with chronic kidney disease. Recovery from a decreased GFR and chronic kidney disease can be limited due to fibrosis of kidney tissue. Active cell division can promote kidney recovery.

Dr. Henderson further describes kidney supplements that may be beneficial for urinary tract infections or UTI’s, kidney stones, and chronic kidney disease. She likes animal studies that use the 5/6 nephrectomy model, in which 5/6 of the kidney is removed. The effect of a treatment can be measured in the remaining 1/6 of the functioning kidney. Dr. Henderson describes the kidney friendly diet. She also suggests the use of dietary supplements that have been shown in some studies to improve kidney function. Some of the supplements mentioned in this article include Epimedium sagittatum, resveratrol, hibiscus, Salvia miltiorrhiza, ubiquinol, citrus bioflavonoids, curcumin (especially tetrahydrocurcumin), and medicinal mushrooms like cordyceps. These supplements can help to ameliorate oxidative stress, inflammation, proteinuria and progressive renal damage.

I am not a kidney specialist, but I have an extraordinary appreciation of the nurses and doctors who work in kidney dialysis units. However, I am interested in how to improve kidney function in early kidney decline such as with stage 2 and 3 kidney disease on an outpatient basis. Stage 2 kidney disease is defined as an eGFR between 60 to 89 milliliters per minute, and stage 3 kidney disease is defined as an eGFR between 30 and 59 milliliters per minute. I decided to do a literature search on PubMed about natural ways to improve kidney function. I discovered that a good place to begin in understanding kidney disease is a thorough review of basic renal physiology.

Kidney Physiology Review

The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs that are normally found in the right and left of retroperitoneal space in the abdomen. The average size of the right kidney is 10.9 centimeters in length and 11.2 centimeters for the left kidney. The average female kidney weighs 115 to 155 grams while the average male kidney weights 125 to 175 grams. Each kidney is supplied by one renal artery and one renal vein. The main function of the kidney is to filter the blood, maintain serum osmolarity, maintain electrolyte and acid/based balance, and remove toxins from the blood. The four mechanisms by which the kidneys work are filtration, re-absorption, secretion and excretion.

The functional unit of the kidney is the nephron. Each kidney has about one million nephrons. Hydrogen, ammonia, potassium, and uric acid are excreted from the nephrons; and water, sodium, bicarbonate, glucose, and amino acids are reabsorbed. Vitamin D or calcitriol is produced in the kidney, and hormones erythropoietin and rennin are also produced there. Each kidney is divided into an outer cortex and an inner medulla. Nephrons, primarily the glomeruli are located in the renal cortex. The afferent arteriole supplying prerenal blood enters the bulbous capsule of the nephron called Bowman’s capsule. The conglomeration of afferent arterioles inside Bowman’s capsule is called the glomerulus. The increased hydrostatic pressure of the afferent arteriole forces blood at high pressure into the glomerulus. Due to the hydrostatic pressure and membrane permeability, low weight molecular molecules are filtered across the capsular membrane. The blood is also filtered across endothelial cells of the arteriole, the basement membrane, podocytes, and around mesangial cells. An amazing one-fifth of the entire human blood supply is filtered each minute. An incredible amount of 180 liters of filtrate is produced each day through the renal glomerulus. The efferent arteriole leaves Bowman’s capsule with the remaining filtered blood. Meanwhile, the filtrate produced across the glomerulus drains down across a series of tubules, namely the descending proximal tubules, loop of Henle, the ascending tubules and the distal convoluted tubules and collecting ducts. The early proximal tubule reabsorbs glucose, amino acids, sodium, chloride, phosphate and water. The loop of Henle is a u-shaped bend of tubules that includes the thin descending loop and a thicker ascending loop. The thin descending loop of Henle reabsorbs mainly water that leads to concentration of urine produced. The thick ascending loop of Henle reabsorbs electrolytes including mainly sodium, 3 potassium chloride, magnesium, and calcium. The distal convoluted tubules reabsorb mainly sodium and chloride and the collecting ducts also reabsorb sodium and water. The urine filtrate produced leaves the collecting tubules through the renal medulla and ultimately through the calyces to the ureters and bladder.

Creatinine is a breakdown product of creatine phosphate found in muscles and is usually produced at a fairly constant rate and is somewhat dependent on muscle mass. About 1% to 2% of muscle creatine is converted to creatinine on a daily basis. It is a nitrogenous compound removed by the body primarily through glomerular filtration and a small amount through the proximal tubules. Men, through increased muscle mass, have higher creatinine levels than females. Serum creatinine levels are 0.5 to 1.0 milligrams/deciliter or 45 to 90 micromoles/liter in females and 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams/deciliter or 60 to 110 micromoles/liter in males. Lab values of creatinine also vary slightly from lab to lab. Creatinine has also demonstrated antibacterial and immunosuppressive properties. Creatinine levels can also be increased with high protein dietary consumption. Creatine clearance is associated with glomerular filtration rate. False elevations in serum creatinine can occur. Factors that can increase serum creatinine include race, age, body size, gender, menstruation, diurnal variation, intense exercise, and increased protein intake. Approximately 15% of creatinine is secreted by the renal tubules. Certain drugs can increase serum creatinine. These drugs include Trimethoprim, cimetidine, and H2 blockers. Rhadmyolysis or acute muscle damage can also increase creatinine levels.

Urea is a nitrogenous by byproduct of muscle metabolism produced in the urea cycle by conversion of nitrogen from amino acids to ammonia compounds. BUN production is somewhat more variable than creatinine and less reliable as an indicator of kidney filtration. Urea is increased from a diet rich in protein. The BUN to creatinine ratio provides some interesting information about the possible location of kidney dysfunction. A BUN to creatinine ratio greater than 20:1 indicates a prerenal cause. A BUN to creatinine ration between 10-20:1 indicates a post-renal cause. And a BUN to creatinine ratio of less than 10:1 indicates an intra-renal cause.

Glomerular filtration is an estimate of kidney function and degree of kidney disease. Glomerular filtration or GFR represents the flow of plasma into Bowman’s space in a specific period of time. Kidneys receive 20 to 25% of blood volume cardiac output equaling 1.0 to 1.2 liters per minute. Glomerular filtration rate is correlated with serum creatinine levels, age, body size, race, and gender. Stage 1 kidney disease has a GFR greater than 90 ml/minute and indicates normal kidney function. Stage 2 kidney disease has a GFR between 60 to 89 ml/minute indicates mild loss of kidney function. Stage 3a kidney disease has a GFR between 45 to 59 ml/min and indicates a mild to moderate loss of kidney function. Stage 3b kidney disease has a GFR between 30 to 44 ml/minute and indicates moderate to severe loss of kidney function. Stage 4 kidney disease has a GFR between 15 to 29 ml/minute and indicates severe loss of kidney function. Stage 5 kidney disease has a GFR less than 15 ml/minute and indicates severe kidney failure. Many labs use an arbitrary level of GFR less than 60 ml/minute to indicate kidney disease. Also the degree of protein or albumin in the urine has been correlated with the degree of loss of kidney function.

Hormones affect reabsorption of different molecules in the kidneys. Anti-diuretic hormone or ADH, produced in the posterior pituitary gland in the brain, is also known as vasopressin and stimulates water reabsorption through the kidney tubules. Vasopressin goes to the distal and collecting tubules and promotes the reabsorption of water back into circulation. A low blood pressure can stimulate the release of vasopressin into systemic circulation. Copeptin derived from the c-terminal is a surrogate marker of vasopressin and is more stable and measurable than ADH. Aldosterone produced in the adrenal glands stimulates sodium reabsorption through the kidney tubules. Parathyroid hormone, produced in the parathyroid glands, alters phosphate and calcium reabsorption.

Chronic kidney disease or CKD affects about 10 to 15% of the adult population of Western countries. It is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and death. CKD has been associated with hypertension, diabetes, and atherosclerosis. Structural and functional abnormalities of renal tissue show up in just three months after declining kidney function. There can be a genetic component to kidney pathology and kidney disease. Kidney disease can be further divided depending on the deposition of immune globulins. Proliferative kidney disease is an immune-dependent pathological process that results in inflammation and the deposition of immune complexes in the glomerulus and tubules. Non-proliferative kidney disease is not caused by immune globulin deposition and is not immune dependent. The podocyte of the glomerulus plays a central role in kidney disease pathology. Immune complexes can be deposited in mesangial cells of the glomerulus.

Chronic kidney disease is associated with renal fibrogenesis causing glomerular sclerosis and tubular interstitial fibrosis. Fibrogenesis induces inflammatory changes in the glomerulus and tubules. Inflammatory filtrate, profibrotic cytokines, and fibroblast proliferation occurs. Tubulo-interstitial inflammatory infiltrates include proteinuria, immune deposits, chemokines, calcium phosphate, metabolic acids, including uric acids and oxidized lipids. The net effect is that these deposits further caused renal deterioration.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs decrease kidney prostaglandins. A decrease in prostaglandin synthesis, which regulates vasodilation at the glomerular level, causes a decrease in renal blood flow. This disrupts compensatory vasodilation causing renal vasculature constriction. NSAIDS also cause increased pressure in the renal interstitium for up to one week after starting these drugs. About 15% of acute kidney injury is due to NSAID consumption.

Diet and Kidneys

There is a direct association between water intake and kidney function. Water intake is related to chronic kidney disease, polycystic kidney disease, and nephrolithiasis or kidney stones. Benefits have been noticed when urine output has been measured to be between 3 to 4 liters per day. Increased water intake blocks the renal vasopressin V2 receptor. A comprehensive literature review studied the effects of hydration on kidney function. Increased water intake decreases vasopressin levels. Hydration can improve kidney function in all forms of chronic kidney disease, recurrent renal calculi, and slow renal cyst formation.2 A beneficial effect on kidney function in patients who are at risk for development of chronic kidney disease was noted. Although increased hydration and reduced vasopressin secretion appear to slow progression in patients with chronic kidney disease, over-hydration can be detrimental in patients with end-stage kidney disease. Beneficial effects have been noted in patients with earlier chronic kidney disease, diabetic nephropathy, and nephrolitiasis.

A randomized controlled trial was conducted for one-year duration to study the effect of increased water intake on kidney function. Increased water intake was associated with a decreased concentration of calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate, and uric acid. Increased urine output between 2 to 2.5 liters per days was a consequence of increased water intake. Increased water intake was associated with a decreased growth rate of polycystic kidneys. Six hundred and thirty-one participants with stage 3 chronic kidney disease and a GFR between 30 to 60 ml/minute were selected for this study. The participants were coached to increase water intake by 1.0 to 1.5 liters per day (4 to 6 cups of water in addition to other beverages usually consumed). Plasma copeptin levels were directly correlated with anti-diuretic hormone or vasopressin levels. Vasopressin was the first hormone released during the early stages of dehydration. The increased level of vasopressin was correlated with early kidney disease. Other surrogate markers, including estimated glomerular filtration rate, copeptin, and microalbuminuria, were measured. Increased water intake was associated with improved kidney function markers.

Fluid self-management recommendations were made for prevention of kidney stones based on epidemiological evidence. A urine fluid output of 2.5 liters per day or more was recommended. Potassium-rich foods protected against kidney stone formation. Increasing fluid intake of 500 ml of water per day decreased kidney stone formation. Tea and alcohol consumption also decreased kidney stone formation. Fruit juice, soda and pop did not decrease kidney stone formation and were suggested to increase rates. Coffee and milk showed inconsistent results and could not be recommended as a fluid to decrease kidney stone formation. The combined interaction of environmental exposure, dietary habits, and genetic factors cause kidney stones. Water intake is recommended to be three liters or greater per day to help prevent kidney stones. It is not the quality of water, rather the quantity of water consumed that matters in most cases. The correlation between water hardness, which increased mineral concentration, and the development of kidney stones remains controversial.

Low-protein and plant-based diets are beneficial in chronic kidney disease. Low protein diets can reduce protein intake, phosphorus and sodium. Plant-based diets are low in saturated fats, high in fiber, and high in unsaturated fats and potassium. These diets are low in creatine.

High salt intake can have detrimental effects on kidneys by affecting glomerular function. Increased glomerular hyper-filtration, increased filtrate formation, and increased glomerular pressure are a consequence of high-salt consumption. Increased sodium intake blunts the anti-proteinuria effects of various drugs, including ACE inhibitors. Increased sodium further causes increased blood pressure, increased renal hypertrophy, renal fibrosis, decreased glomerular basement membrane, and decreased anionic membrane function. Restricting sodium intake is an important preventable measure in patients with chronic kidney disease.8

A modest coffee intake of one to two cups per day decreased the risk of developing chronic kidney disease. The odds ratio of developing kidney disease was 0.76 with drinking one cup of coffee per day. The odds ratio of developing kidney disease was 0.80 by drinking two cups of coffee per day.9Decreased plasma creatinine levels were observed in mice that consumed decaf coffee for two weeks. High-dose decaf coffee increased nucleotide activation in the kidney cortex, which increased kidney function. Meta-analysis of four observational studies with 14,098 people showed no significant association between coffee intake and development of chronic kidney disease. Interestingly however, the odds ratio was 0.81 in females and 1.10 in males.

Green tea consumption was associated with a decreased risk of developing kidney stones in a large prospective study of elderly Chinese people. The odds ratio was 0.78 in males and 0.80 in females.1 Green tea polyphenols protected the kidneys against oxidative stress damage in early renal damage.

Apple cider vinegar induces a protective effect on oxidative damage to the kidney in ovariectomized mice fed a high-cholesterol diet.

Dietary treatment of urinary risk factors for renal stone formation was assessed. A general conservative therapy was recommended. Decreased fluid intake was associated with decreased urine output less than 2 liters per day. Dietary calcium supplementation was not recommended. Dietary calcium less than 1 gram per day, low protein diet, and low sodium diet were recommended. Mild dietary salt intake was associated with decreased calcium excretion. Calcium supplementation was recommended between 800-1200 mg per day. A low normal protein diet was associated with decreased calcium loss. Alkaline citrate minerals were recommended. Increased fruit and vegetables excluding high oxalate food were suggested. Increased consumption of citrate foods and melons increased urinary citrate levels.

Vitamins, Minerals, and Kidneys

Oxidative stress is a disruption of the balance between the production of reactive oxygen species or ROS and antioxidant defense mechanisms. Oxidative stress was identified in early kidney disease. Suggested potential useful antioxidants have been identified in food and supplements. Some proposed antioxidant supplements include vitamin B, C, D and E, coenzyme Q10, L-carnitine, alpha lipoic acid, curcumin, green tea, flavonoids, polyphenols, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, statins, trace elements and n-acetyl cysteine.16

In a double-blind randomized controlled trial, 60 patients with diabetic nephropathy were supplemented with 1200 IU of vitamin E or placebo for 12 weeks. Vitamin E supplementation was observed to increase serum levels. Decreased protein to creatinine ratio, decreased tumor necrosis factor or TNF, decreased matrix metalloproteins, and decreased malondialdehyde levels were noted. No effects on other biomarkers of kidney disease were observed. Decreased levels of inflammation, kidney injury, and oxidative were also observed.17 Vitamin E supplementation of 300 milligrams per day for 12 weeks with 20 diabetic and 20 non-diabetic patients with end stage kidney disease undergoing hemodialysis. Vitamin E supplementation improved HDL levels and vascular endothelial function.18

High homocysteine has been correlated with kidney disease. Low levels of vitamins B12, B9, and B6 have been associated with high homocysteine levels. One hundred and forty-eight 7 patients with chronic kidney disease from the Ukraine were measured for homocysteine levels; 58.7% of patients had high homocysteine levels. Homocysteine was believed to be a specific indicator of low vitamin status, especially for vitamin B9 or folic acid.19

Recurrent kidney stone formation in patients with normal renal function who have a defect in ascorbic acid to oxalate metabolites should restrict vitamin C supplementation to less than 100 mg per day. However, a large-scale prospective study showed that the group with the highest quintile of vitamin C intake, which was greater than 1500 mg/day, had the lowest risk of kidney stone formation.

Long-term intake of vitamin D resulted in an increased risk of hypercalcemia and hypercalciuria, which appeared to be not dose related. However, vitamin D supplementation did not increase the risk of kidney stone formation. It was recommended that large randomized controlled trials of vitamin D are needed to confirm these findings.

Magnesium is utilized for over 300 different biochemical reactions in the human body. Magnesium helps to decrease vascular calcium and decrease phosphate absorption.

Supplements and Kidneys

Coenzyme Q10 is a strong antioxidant and mitochondrial nutrient. Decreased Q10 levels have been observed in patients with chronic kidney disease. A meta-analysis of seven randomized controlled trials of patients with chronic kidney disease were selected from 721 potential papers from PubMed, Cochrane, and other medical databases were selected. Coenzyme Q10 supplementation was associated with decreased total cholesterol, decreased LDL cholesterol, decreased malondialdehyde, and decreased creatinine levels. Triglyceride levels as well as HDL cholesterol, glucose, insulin and CRP levels were not affected by Q10 supplementation.24 The effect of coenzyme Q10 supplementation was studied on 72 rats exposed to radiation-induced nephropathy. Q10 was administered at a dose of 10 mg/kg body weight. Signs of poor kidney function were observed after radiation exposure. Q10 supplementation decreased BUN and creatinine levels. Q10 seemed to attenuate glomerular and tubular function in irradiated kidneys. Administration of Q10 seemed to alleviate radiation induced kidney damage.25 The effect of benfotiamine, a derivative of vitamin B1 or thiamine and co-enzyme Q10 was studied a group of rats that had gentamycin-induced kidney damage. Gentamycin was severely toxic to rats. Benfotiamine supplementation decreased nephrotoxicity, decreased BUN and creatinine levels and decreased malondialdehyde levels. Q10 supplementation decreased necrotic tubular tissue levels and hyaline accumulation.

Resveratrol is a natural polyphenolic compound found in grapes and other compounds. Resveratrol is a robust antioxidant that scavenges reactive oxygen species or ROS. Resveratrol is also a SIRT-1 activator, which increases enzyme functions, decreases apoptosis, and increases mitochondrial biogenesis. Resveratrol has demonstrated to have some renal protective effects.

N-acetyl cysteine or NAC administration ameliorates renal function by decreasing oxidative damage as observed in Wistar rats with induced kidney damage following bilateral ureteral obstruction.

Acetyl-l-carnitine improved energy metabolism in the kidneys of hypoxic-ischemic brain-injured rats.

L-carnitine levels have been observed to be low in patients with advanced kidney disease. A systematic review of the evidence of carnitine and kidney disease was undertaken. Fourteen references were identified for review. A meta-analysis shows some useful pieces of information and the potential benefit of carnitine supplementation in patients with advanced kidney disease. The authors recommend carrying out better designed studies to show the potential benefits of this supplement.

Lipoic acid is a free radical scavenger of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide (NO). It’s mechanism of action is not completely understood but is believed to operate with different kinase pathways. Lipoic acid is known to affect multiple signaling pathways and has demonstrated renal protective effects in contrast-induced kidney injury.

Melatonin prevents drug-induced renal injury by decreasing inflammatory cytokine production and decreased aquaporin water channels in male rat’s kidneys with bilateral ureteral obstruction.32

Herbs and Kidneys

Berberine showed antioxidant, anti-apoptotic, and anti-inflammatory activity in diabetic rats exposed to nephrotoxic streptozotocin. Decreased levels of BUN and creatinine were observed with berberine doses of 100 and 150 milligrams per kilogram. Improved histopathological kidney function was also observed with declining levels of BUN and creatinine. Increased free fatty acids and disturbed mitochondrial function play a role in diabetic kidney disease. Diabetic mice were fed berberine for eight weeks. Berberine reversed glucose and lipid metabolic podocyte damage, basement membrane thickening, mesangial expansion and glomerular sclerosis. Decreased podocyte apoptosis was also observed.34 Berberine demonstrated a protective effect on kidney and liver function in rats exposed to iron overload for two weeks. Increased iron consumption increased oxidative damage causing histopathological changes to these organs. Elevated levels of oxidative damage also increased malondialdehyde levels, which is a marker of oxidative damage. Berberine protected the liver and kidney against ferrous sulphate-induced toxicity, reduced lipid peroxides, and also chelated iron.35 Chronic diabetic kidney disease causes microvascular damage to the renal glomerulus and causes interstitial fibrosis to the renal tubules. Berberine showed a significant positive effect by decreasing total blood sugar levels, improving renal hemodynamics, improving lipid profiles, and was shown to attenuate local and systemic inflammation.

Berberine protects renal tubular cells from ischemia and reperfusion injury in rats. Berberine protects renal tubular epithelial cells from hypoxia and reperfusion mitochondrial dysfunction by regulating sirtuin-2 and c53 pathways.37 Berberine also protects renal tubular epithelial cells from hypoxia and apoptosis through activation of HIF-1alpha in the signaling pathway suggesting that berberine could be a potential drug in diabetic ketoacidosis.

Hydrangea or Hydrangea paniculata extract was given to mice with cisplatin-induced kidney damage. Improved renal function was observed with decreased creatinine and BUN levels. The coumarin glycosides of this plant were believed to attenuate oxidative stress, decrease tubular injury and decrease apoptosis. Decreased inflammatory cytokines and regulation of protease enzymes, including caspase, an enzyme involved in inflammation and programmed cell death, were noted. Hydrangea extracts ameliorated kidney damage by antioxidant activity and suppressing harmful renal infiltrates and tubular apoptosis. Decreased renal infiltrates down regulated signaling pathways, which further decreased macrophage and neutrophil activation.39

Hydrangea extracts containing coumarin were given to mice with acute septic kidney injury. Bioactive coumarin compounds isolated from Hydrangea paniculata were identified to be umbelliferone and esculetin. Hydrangea demonstrated specific antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity on kidney tissue. Decreased infiltrate of macrophages and neutrophils in renal infiltrate was noted. Decreased BUN levels and decreased tubular interstitial injury were noted. Improved kidney function and increased animal survival were observed.40 Water extracts of Hydrangea paniculata were rich in coumarin glycosides. A water extract of this plant was given to diabetic rats that were exposed to strepozotocin kidney damage. Hydrangea extracts were given once per day for three months. A decrease in BUN and creatinine was observed. The hydrangea extract upregulated some enzyme activity and decreased other signaling pathways.

Silybin from milk thistle (Silybum marianum) protected against cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury. Silybin increased sirtuin-3 or Sirt-3 expression in mice, which was shown to protect against cisplatin-induced kidney damage by decreasing tubular apoptosis and increasing mitochondrial function. A standardized mixture of silymarin flavonolignans from milk thistle has demonstrated antioxidant activity for reactive oxidant species (ROS). Contrast-induced nephropathy caused tubular injury in mice kidneys. Silymarin preserved renal function by improving glomerular and tubular function in a dose dependent manner in mice exposed to contrast injury.

Apigenin is a flavonoid isolated from celery (Apium graveolens). Apigenin is an anti-hypertensive flavone that is abundant in celery. Apigenin acts as an agonist of transmut receptor-potential vanilloid-4 or TRPV4 in rats. Apigenin has demonstrated promising anti-hypertensive activity in treating hypertensive-induced renal damage in those who consume a high sodium diet.44 A hydroalcoholic extract of celery was used to treat uncomplicated urinary tract infection in mice caused by uropathogenic E.coli. A direct anti-adhesive effect of celery on the urinary epithelium was observed in a dose dependent manner within four to seven days of treatment. The extract significantly reduced the bacterial load in uncomplicated UTIs in this group of mice.45 In another study, rats were exposed to a chlorinated propanediol chemical that induced kidney damage. Apigenin decreased serum creatinine and reduced kidney damage by modulating mitochondria dependent caspase activity.46

An herbal decoction of the Chinese medicine Huangqi-Danshen was fed to a group of rats for four weeks. Improved levels of BUN and creatinine were observed after treatment. Decreased tubular atrophy and decreased interstitial fibrosis was also observed. Also improved mitochondrial function was also observed in kidney tissue of these animals.47 A water extract of 10

Salvia miltiorrhiza called Danshen was studied against renal injury in rats exposed to cadmium. The salvia extract displayed antioxidant activity, decreased swelling of renal tubule epithelial cells, and improved overall renal function.48 Salvia miltiorrhiza extract was given to diabetic rats and was shown to decrease renal injury and damage and improve glycolipid metabolism. Multi-modal effects were observed, including phospholipid, arachidonic acid, wnt/B-catenin and TGY-B signaling inhibition.49 Salvianolic acid A (SAA) is a phenolic carboxylic acid derivative of Salvia miltiorrhiza. SAA helped to decrease inflammation and decrease renal tubular fibrosis in six rats that were exposed to doxorubicin-induced nephrotoxicity. SAA was believed to be a signaling molecule that decreases activation of natural factor beta-kappa (NF-KB) and thereby decreases inflammatory pathways.50

An aqueous extract of parsley (Petroselinum sativum) was studied on a group of rats. The parsley extract showed diuretic effects including decreased sodium reabsorption, decreased potassium secretion, increased potassium concentration in the intercellular space, and decreased potassium efflux across cellular tight junctions. An inhibition of sodium/potassium pump activity was noted leading to a reduction of sodium reabsorption and potassium loss.51 The effects of an aqueous extract of parsley on ethylene glycol-induced kidney calculi in rats were studied. A decrease in calcium oxalate stone formation and deposition were noted.52.

The effect of Diyarbakir watermelon juice on lipid peroxidation was studied in rats after exposure to carbon tetrachloride. The watermelon juice showed antioxidant activity and inhibition of lipid peroxide formation.53 However, excessive watermelon consumption was associated with high potassium levels or hyperkalemia and increased symptom burden of end stage renal disease.54 The anti-urolithiatic and diuretic effects of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) was studied in a group of male rats. Kidney protective effects and a suppression of calcium oxylate precipitation were noted. Increased creatinine clearance, decreased urea, decreased sodium, and urinary output were also observed. Watermelon pulp displayed significant anti-urolithic and diuretic activity.55

Thirty-four neutered cats were put on a nutraceutical diet containing Lespedeza, Vaccinium and Taraxacum herbs for 90 days. There was a significant decrease in BUN, creatinine in lab samples and a decrease in total protein lost from their kidneys.56 Researchers compared the effects of taraxasterol aqueous extract from dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) aerial parts and potassium citrate on oxylate crystallization in vitro. Taraxasterol and potassium citrate extract decreased calcium oxylate crystallization more than taraxasterol alone. It was hypothesized that there was a synergistic effect between Taraxacum extracts and potassium citrate.57

The effect of green asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) extract was studied in hypertensive rats. A constituent of asparagus, 2’-hydroxynicotianamine, was believed to act as an angiotension converting enzyme or ACE inhibitor. The asparagus extract decreased blood pressure levels and improved renal function.58 The effect of asparagus extract was studied in bisphenol-causing liver and kidney damage in Wistar rats. Coadministration of asparagus extract and bisphenol exposure increased total antioxidant capability and decreased malondialdehyde levels, which is indicator of oxidative stress. Decreased levels of oxidative damage to liver and kidneys with asparagus consumption were noted.59 11

Black seed (Nigella sativa) has been used in the prevention of kidney stones. In a placebo controlled double-blind study 60 patients consumed 500 mg of black seed or placebo twice per day for 12 weeks. Those who consumed black seed were 44.4% more likely to excrete kidney stones compared to 15.3% who took placebo. The black seed-treated group showed a decrease in the size of kidney stones in 51.8% of people while stone size was unchanged in 57.6% of those who took a placebo.60 The effect of black seed oil was studied in cisplatin-induced nephropathy in rats. The group that consumed black seed oil showed a marked decrease in histopathological changes to kidney tissue. Black seed displayed antioxidant activity and was shown to modulate enzyme activity in the kidney.61

The long-term survival rate was studied in retrospective analysis of Taiwan patients with chronic kidney disease who took a Chinese herbal medicine containing Rheum officinale. The Chinese herbal medicine improved long-term survival in patients with CKD suggesting that this medicine is an effective adjuvant in individuals with chronic kidney disease.62

An aqueous extract of hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) was given to rats for 28 days with adenine-induced kidney disease. The hibiscus extract demonstrated a similar effect to the angiotensin converting enzyme or ACE inhibitor drug lisinopril. The hibiscus extract was further demonstrated to decrease the progression of chronic kidney disease.63

Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea) has been used for centuries for the treatment of urinary tract disease. Goldenrod has displayed anti-inflammatory, anti-urothiac, diuretic, anti-spasmodic, and analgesic effects. Goldenrod has been used for urinary infections and inflammation, to prevent kidney stone formation, and to remove urinary gravel. It appears to be safe and non-toxic and no adverse side effects were noted.64

Curcumin was reported to have kidney protective effects.65 Four hundred and fourteen patients with chronic kidney disease with a glomerular filtration rate between 15 to 60 ml/min were included in this randomized controlled trial. Patients consumed 90 milligrams of micro-particle curcumin once daily or placebo for six months.

Butein from Chinese lacquer tree (Rhus verniciflua) has been shown to improve kidney function in cisplatin-induced acute renal failure in rats. Butein upregulates aquaporin 2 channels in the kidney cortex and medulla.66

Other herbal medicines have also been suggested to improve kidney function, including beets, chamomile, Chanca Piedra, cinnamon, ginger, gravel root, horsetail, marshmallow, nettles, and uva ursi to name a few.

Toxins and Kidneys

Certain dietary supplements and herbs have been identified to cause potential kidney toxicity and renal damage. Implicated herbs include Chinese yew (Taxus celebica), Callilepsis laureola, morning cypress (Cupressus tunebris), Saint John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), Thunder God vine (Tripteryglum wildfordi), tribulus (Tribulus terrestris), and wormwood (Artemnesia alba). Herbs no longer sold in the US include chocolate vine (mu tong or Caulis aristolochiae), Guang fang ji (Artistolochia fungchi), and Ma huang (Ephedra sinensis). Other dietary supplements include sheep bile, chlorella, chromium, creatine, fish gall bladder, glucosamine, hydrazine, NO-xplode, Spanish fly, and excessive consumption of vitamins A, C, D and germanium. In descending order of toxicity, the top two offenders were aristolochic acid in the herb Guang fang ji and chocolate vine. Kidney toxic foods include ajenkol bean, gall bladder from carp fish, puffer fish, star fruit, and uncooked yam powder or juice.

Aristolochic acid from Aristolochia species of herbs causes nephropathy. In the 1990s aritstolochia was used in various weight-loss products. Consumption of products containing aristolochic acid causes kidney injury and renal damage. Increased serum creatinine, significant anemia, and histopathological changes in renal interstitial infiltrates causing severe fibrosis occurred.68

Chronic kidney disease is associated with an increased level of uremic toxins. Certain toxins may be modified by the gut microbiota. Potential toxins identified include phosphates, l-carnitine, choline, phosphatidylcholine, tryptophan and tyrosine, tri-methylamine-n-oxide, indoxy sulphate, p-cresyl sulphate, and indole-3 acetic acid.69


It is clear that diet and nutrition plays an important role in kidney function. Water intake can be measured and increased in individuals with stage 2 and 3 chronic kidney disease. There are exceptions to increased water intake especially with people with lung and peripheral edema. Fluid restrictions are further necessary in individuals with advanced kidney disease, including stage 4 and 5 levels. Salt and sodium should be restricted in usually all levels of kidney disease, especially with high dietary intake. Protein intake can be measured and modulated in individuals with high dietary intake. Electrolyte levels, including potassium and phosphorus, can be monitored and measured along with creatinine and GFR in basic lab tests. Recommendations can be made after reviewing lab values. Eating a diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and cereals and high-quality protein is strongly suggested. Limiting processed foods, highly refined sugar foods, excessive protein and alcohol is also suggested. Eating better can perhaps help kidney function and improve overall health.

A review of the scientific literature suggests that vitamins and minerals, supplements and herbal medicines may help to maintain and, in some cases, improve kidney health. Many of the studies are done on animal models that include rats and mice. While interesting it is important to note that these are not humans. There are some human studies that are interesting and show benefit, but it clear that most of the conclusions are preliminary at best. Further randomized double blind placebo-controlled trials are suggested with larger patient populations and limiting extraneous factors. This is not to say that certain nutrients and supplements are not beneficial and cannot actually improve kidney function. There are many vitamins, minerals, supplements and herbal medicines as discussed in this article that have been shown to prevent kidney decline and may improve renal function. How they combine with other nutrients is not known but probably not harmful in recommended doses. They are certainly worth a try with individuals with declining kidney function, especially earlier in stage 2 and 3 levels of kidney disease. Discussing a treatment plan with a licensed naturopathic physician or other qualified health professional is recommended. Of course, it is caveat emptor or patient trial and error. Like the canary in the coal mine, I think kidney function decline with early kidney disease can be averted with dietary changes and nutritional supplementation.

Dr. Douglas Lobay, BSc, ND

Douglas G. Lobay is a practicing naturopathic physician in Kelowna, British Columbia. Dr. Lobay graduated with a bachelor of science degree from the University of British Columbia in 1987. He then attended Bastyr College of Health Sciences in Seattle, Washington, and graduated with a doctorate of naturopathic medicine in 1991.

While attending Bastyr College, he began researching the scientific information on the use of food, nutrition, and natural healing. Dr. Lobay enjoys research, writing, and teaching others about good health and good nutrition.

He is the author of four books and numerous articles in magazines. He also enjoys hockey, skiing, hiking, tennis, and playing guitar.


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32. Z Li et al. Melatonin therapy protects against renal injury before and after release of bilateral ureteral obstruction in rats. Life Sci. 2019 Jul 15: 229:104-115.

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34. Qin X et al. Berberine Protects Glomerular Podocytes via Inhibiting Drp1-Mediated Mitochondrial Fission and Dysfunction. Theranostics. 2019 Feb 28:9(6): 1698-1713.

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37. Lin Y et al. Berberine protects renal tubular cells against hypoxia/reoxygenation injury view the Sirt1/p53 pathway. J Nat Med. 2018 Jun;72(3):715-723.

38. Zhang X et al. Protective effect of berberine on high glucose and hypoxia-induced apoptosis via the modulation of HIF-1a in renbal tubular epithelial cells. Am J Transl Res. 2019 Feb 15;11(2):669-682.

39. Sen Z et al. Total Coumarins from Hydrangea paniculata against Cisplatin-Induced Acute Kidney Damage in Mice by Suppressing Renal Inflammation and Apoptosis. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017;2017:5350161.

40. Zhang S et al. Total Coumarins from Hydrangea paniculata Show Renal Protective Effects in Lipopolysaccharide –Induced Acute Kidney Injury via Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Activities. Front Pharmacol. 2017 Dec 14;8:872.

41. Sen Z et al. Coumarin glycosides from Hydrangea paniculata slow down the progression of diabetic nephropathy by targeting Nrf2 oxidation and smad 2/3-mediated profibrosis. Phytomedicine. 2019 Apr;57:385-395.

42. Li Y et al. Activation of Sirtuin 3 by Silibin Attentuates Mitochondrial Dysfunction in CIsplatin-induced Acute Kidney Injury. Front Pharmacol. 2017 Apr 5;8:178.

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44. Wei X et al. Activation of TRPV4 by dietary apigenin antagonizes renal fibrosis in deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA)-salt-induced hypertension. Clin Sci (Lond). 2017 Apr 1;131(7):567-581. 17

45. Sarchar S et al. Antiadhesive hyrdoalcoholic extract from Apium graveolens fruits prevents bladder and kidney infection against uropathogenic E. coli. Fitoterapia. 2018 Jun;127:237-244.

46. Zhong Y et al. Protective effects of apigenin against 3-MCPD-induce renal injury in rat. Chem Biol Interact. 2018 Dec 25;296:9-17.

47. Liu X et al. Huangqi-Danshen Decoction Ameliorates Adenine-Induced Chronic Kidney Disease by Modulating Mitochondrial Dynamics. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2019 Jan 1: 2019.9574045.

48. He L et al. Effects of water extract of salvia miltiorrhiza against renal injury in rats exposed to cadmium. Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2017 Jan 3:97(1):57-61.

49. Xiang X et al. Salvia miltiorrhiza protects against diabetic nephropathy through metabolome regulation and wnt/B-catenin and TGY-B signaling inhibition. Pharmacol Res. 2019 Jan:139:26-40.

50. Zhang HF et al. Salvianolic acid A attenuates kidney injury and inflammation by inhibiting NF-kB and p38 MAPK signaling pathways in 5/6 nephrectomized rats. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2018 Dec:39(12);1855-1864.

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59. Poormoosavi SM et al. Protective effects of Asparagus officinalis extract against Bisphenol A-induced toxicity in Wistar rats. Toxicol Rep. 2018 Mar 9;5:427-433.

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Disgusting Source of the Majority of Urinary Tract Infections

Disgusting Source of the Majority of Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) affect anywhere from 25%1 to 60%2,3 of women over the course of their lifetime. Research published in 2015, UTIs were responsible for 10.5 million doctor visits in the U.S. in 2007.4

A study5 published in the journal Open Forum Infectious Diseases in 2017 noted hospitalization rates for UTIs in the U.S. rose by 52% between 1998 and 2011 — a direct result of increasing antimicrobial resistance

According to this study, there were 400,000 UTI-related hospitalizations in 2011, with an estimated cost of $2.8 billion. The highest rates of increase were seen in women and older patients.

In the past, recurrent UTIs were thought to be caused by reinfection by the same pathogen,6 but recent research7,8,9 published in the Journal of Molecular Biology suggests this pattern has changed, and the reason why UTIs tend to have such a high recurrence rate in postmenopausal women is because the infection can be caused by several different pathogens.

According to the authors, the data uncovered via urine and bladder biopsies “suggest that diverse bacterial species and the adaptive immune response play important roles” in recurrent UTIs.

Pathogenic Mechanisms of UTIs

Women are more prone to urinary tract infections than men, in part because of their shorter urethras. Adult men have another factor going for them. The male prostate gland actually produces a bacterial growth inhibitor that is secreted directly into their urinary system.10

According to research11 published in 2015, several different pathogens can trigger a UTI; most commonly Escherichia coli (E.coli), Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus mirabilis, Enterococcus faecalis and Staphylococcus saprophyticus. Of these, about 80% to 90% are caused by E.coli,12,13 which is normally found in the intestinal tract.14

Problems only arise when this ordinary bacterium is present in high numbers in places where it shouldn’t be, like your urinary system. When E. coli gets into your urinary tract and multiplies, you experience the usual signs and symptoms of a UTI, such as:15

  • Burning with urination
  • Frequent urges to urinate
  • Lower abdominal pain or aching
  • Blood in your urine (sometimes, but not always)
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine

The reason your body cannot simply expel the E. coli through urination is because the bacteria are covered with tiny fingerlike projections called fimbria, made of an amino acid-sugar complex, a glycoprotein called lectin, which makes them sticky.

This stickiness allows the bacteria to adhere to the inner wall of your bladder and/or work their way upward toward your kidneys, at which point the situation can become quite serious.

Sepsis is another complication of untreated or unsuccessfully treated UTI (which can happen if the infection is caused by drug-resistant bacteria), which can be life-threatening. An infusion of intravenous vitamin C with hydrocortisone and thiamine has been shown to reduce mortality from sepsis nearly fivefold, but many health care professionals are still unaware of this revolutionary treatment.

In addition to the symptoms already mentioned, a UTI in an older individual can also result in sudden behavioral changes such as restlessness, agitation, lethargy or social withdrawal, mental confusion and even hallucinations and delirium.16

According to Dr. Amanda Smith, medical director at the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute at the University of South Florida, symptoms of UTI in the elderly actually tend to be primarily behavioral,17 which can result in delayed diagnosis and treatment. So, doctors of elderly patients exhibiting these kinds of behavioral symptoms, especially when combined with low-grade fever, should have them checked for UTI.18

Recurrent UTIs Linked to Variety of Pathogens in Bladder Wall

What the Journal of Molecular Biology study discovered was those different types of bacteria form colonies deep in the tissue of the bladder wall, past the urothelium layer in many cases, making them very difficult to get rid of. As noted by Science Daily, which reported the Journal of Molecular Biology findings:19

“[F]or some postmenopausal women, UTIs recur so frequently that they become a chronic condition, requiring daily doses of increasingly powerful antibiotics as the infection-causing bacteria gradually become resistant to each new drug.

‘For older women, these infections can go on for tens of years,’ said Dr. Nicole De Nisco, assistant professor of biological sciences at UT Dallas and lead author of the study. ‘Eventually, a patient’s last resort might be removing the bladder’ …

To investigate the pathogenic mechanisms and immune responses related to recurring UTIs, De Nisco and her colleagues analyzed urine and biopsies from 14 postmenopausal women …

They found that in addition to the expected E. coli, bacteria in urine samples included Klebsiella pneumoniae and Enterococcus faecalis, while species in biopsied tissue included E. coli, Staphylococcus hominis and Bacillus firmus.

‘Our findings confirm that bacteria do form communities within the bladder wall of RUTI [recurrent UTI] patients, which was not previously known,’ De Nisco said. ‘This research is a critical step toward better understanding the mechanisms of recurring urinary tract infection and inflammation in postmenopausal women’ …

Future studies will focus on determining effective techniques to remove these bacteria and chronic inflammation from the bladder, finding new strategies to enhance immune system response, and pinpointing the various bacterial pathogens involved in RUTIs.”

Factory-farmed Chicken — The Leading Source of UTI Infections

Conventional wisdom has maintained UTIs are primarily caused by a transfer of naturally-occurring E. coli via sexual contact with an infected individual and/or the transfer of fecal bacteria from your anus to your urethra by poor personal hygiene. However, more recent studies have conclusively demonstrated that a majority of UTIs are actually caused by exposure to contaminated chicken.20

Importantly, factory-farmed chickens are the source of most antibiotic-resistant UTIs — a problem that can be traced back to the routine use of antibiotics for growth-promotion purposes, which has allowed resistance to develop. Drug-resistant E. coli strains from supermarket meat were matched to strains found in human E. coli infections as early as 2005.21

Research22,23 published in 2006 confirmed that humans could develop antibiotic resistance by eating poultry treated with antibiotics. Bacteria from conventional chicken, and those who ate such chicken, were found to be more prone to developing resistance against Synercid (generic names: quinupristin and dalfopristin24), a strong antibiotic used to treat vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium.25

In essence, eating antibiotic-treated chicken can cause you to develop resistance to the last lines of defense currently available in the modern medicine cabinet — a steep price for inexpensive meat! As reported by Infectious Control Today:26

“Laboratory tests showed that the bacteria isolated from patients and vegetarians had no pre-existing resistance to Synercid. Resistance was rare among antibiotic-free poultry, but a majority of bacterial isolates from conventional poultry samples were resistant.

After exposure to virginiamycin, E. faecium from conventional poultry and from patients who consumed poultry became resistant to Synercid more often than E. faecium from vegetarians or from antibiotic-free poultry.

Some of the resistance was attributed to a specific gene, and both the gene and resistance were associated with touching raw poultry meat and frequent poultry consumption.”

Genetic Matching Links UTIs to Contaminated Chicken

American, Canadian and European studies27,28,29 published in 2012 all confirmed close genetic matches between drug-resistant E. coli collected from human patients and those found on poultry (chicken and turkey).

More recently, a study30 published in the journal mBio in 2018 found 79.8% of chicken, pork and turkey samples purchased from large retail stores in Flagstaff, Arizona, were contaminated with E. coli. The researchers also tested blood and urine samples from people who visited a major medical center in the area, finding E. coli in 72.4% of those diagnosed with a UTI.

In particular, a strain of E. coli known as E. coli ST131 showed up in both the meat samples (particularly poultry) and the human UTI samples. Most of the E. coli in the poultry was a variety known as ST131-H22, which is known to thrive in birds. This specific strain was also found in the human UTI samples.

“Our results suggest that one ST131 sub lineage — ST131-H22 — has become established in poultry populations around the world and that meat may serve as a vehicle for human exposure and infection,” the researchers noted, adding that this E. coli lineage is just one of many that may be transmitted from poultry and other meat sources to people.

Make Sure Your Chicken and Eggs Are Organic and Free-Range

While findings such as these are a potent reminder to use caution when handling raw chicken and to cook poultry thoroughly, another option — and perhaps the most sensible and rational approach is to avoid factory-farmed chicken altogether.

It’s easily among the most contaminated foods in the U.S., as a recent lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture for failing to address high rates of fecal bacteria on chicken can attest to. Factory-farmed chicken also has a weak nutritional profile compared to other protein sources, including pasture-raised chicken (which is also less likely to carry harmful contaminants).

For example, a study31,32,33 by the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association (APPPA), which compared the nutrient value of pastured chickens with the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference values for CAFO chicken, found pasture-raised chickens contained:

  • 406.8% more vitamin E (1.86 IUs per 100 grams compared to 0.367 IUs)
  • About half the fats of CAFO chicken (saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated)
  • An average omega-3-to-6 ratio of 1-to-5, which is near ideal, compared to the USDA’s value of 1-to-1534

Considering the hazards associated with raw chicken, if you’re going to eat it, I recommend making sure it’s organic and free-range, pasture-raised. Ditto for eggs, as CAFO eggs are also far more prone to pathogenic contamination than organic pastured eggs.

Your best bet is to find a local source of organic, free-range eggs and chicken meat. The Cornucopia Institute’s egg report and scorecard ranks 136 egg producers according to 28 organic criteria, is an excellent resource if no local producers are available.

In June 2017, Cornucopia also began working on a chicken report and scorecard. Considering the egg report took six years to produce, it may still be a while before the chicken scorecard is ready. You can contribute to this report by following the simple instructions listed in their June 13 Action Alert.35

How to Treat a UTI at Home

As mentioned earlier, the fimbria (fingerlike projections) of E. coli are made of a sticky glycoprotein called lectin, which is why the bacteria are so hard to flush out. It’s not impossible however, even without an antibiotic. While antibiotics are typically the go-to treatment, you may be better off starting out with a D-mannose supplement.36

Mannose is produced by your cells and covers the internal lining of your urinary organs. The lectin on the bacteria’s fimbria binds to mannose, which is why the bacteria adhere to the walls of your urinary system.

When you take D-mannose, the E. coli adheres to the mannose present in your urine, which is then flushed out when you urinate. As the bacterial load on epithelial cells lessen, they’re more easily overtaken by agents of your immune system.

Infections caused by a bacterium other than E. coli may be eliminated by taking a saturated solution of potassium iodide (SSKI). Both of these treatments are recommended by Dr. Jonathan Wright, medical director of Tahoma Clinic in Tukwila, Washington, and the author of the book, “D-Mannose and Bladder Infection: The Natural Alternative to Antibiotics.”

For UTIs caused by bacteria or fungi other than E. coli, Wright suggests taking 15 drops of SSKI in water every three to four hours for two days (three days maximum).37 In order to know which of these treatments would work best, you’d need to perform a culture test to identify the bacteria responsible for your infection.

Alternatively, Wright suggests taking D-mannose first, and if significant improvement doesn’t occur, move on to SSKI. A culture test is also advisable to rule out a drug-resistant infection, as this will require close medical supervision to avoid serious complications.

UTI Prevention 101

Prevention is, of course, your best option, and as a woman, there are some specific hygiene steps you can take to maintain a healthy urinary tract:

Drink plenty of pure, filtered water every dayUrinate when you feel the need; don’t resist the urge to go
Wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from entering your urethraTake showers instead of tub baths; avoid hot tubs/Jacuzzis
Cleanse male and female genital areas prior to sexual intercourse




Dr. Burgdorfer the discoverer of Lyme Disease for whom the spirochete was named after as Borellia Burgdorferi, recommended INVIVE Silver against Lyme Disease at a conference in Vancouver, Canada over 20 years ago

Over 500 M.D.s were at that conference, and Dr.Burgdorfer’s recommendations were and have been ignored to this day. The Doctors did “NOT” discount the MSP (Mild Silver Protein) Silver, but claimed/told Dr. Burgdorfer that they had better and more targeted drugs. To which Dr. Burgdorfer replied: Your supposed better and targeted drugs have resulted in/caused the pathogenic mutated nightmare world of today, because silver kills the pathogens instantly and completely, and silver does not allow the pathogens to mutate, while your drugs CAUSE mutations by allowing pathogens to survive though wounded, and thereby mutate and develop resistance to your drugs, causing drug resistant strains. E.g.: MRSA Methicillin-aminoglycoside resistant Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA An organism with multiple antibiotic resistances–E.g.: aminoglycosides, chloramphenicol, clindamycin, erythromycin, rifampin, tetracycline, streptomycin, cephalosporin.

We wouldn’t have this abx (antibiotic) resistant nightmare world, if the FDA had not taken away the silver from us when biased clerks at the FDA in 1938 took control of/took over our Food and Drug Supply.

NOTE: This Protocol must be followed exactly as written. Any deviation may result in a possible failure.

NOTE: For Chronic long-term Lyme Disease, this Protocol may have to be followed for 3-9 months. Definitely 3 months

NOTE: Invive Silver 5000 ppm is the only silver empirically proven to substantiate this protocol


  1. 5 cc per 30 lbs. body weight is the daily total dosage, and is the “target dosage”.
  2. There are 5 cc in a measuring teaspoon.
  3. A 120 lb. person would take 120 lbs. divided by 30 lbs.= 4 teaspoons per day
  4. It is taken in 4 divided doses. Which means 1 tsp. every 6 hours.
  5. You may use a measuring teaspoon which is 5 cc, (do not use unknown serving teaspoons).
  6. Inside the Silver Canister that the Silver Bottle arrives in, there is a Medical Graduated 1 ounce measuring cup for Medical Purposes graduated in cc and ml.
  7. Store the silver bottle in its canister always and keep it in a dark cupboard out of the light, because it is light sensitive like photographic film, and will be stressed by light.
  8. It can be boiled or frozen, BUT not exposed to light for over 1 minute when taken from its bottle.
  9. There are 118.291 cc/ml (round to 120 as extra is put in each bottle) = 4 oz. fl. U.S. in each bottle.
  10.  For a 120 lb. person take 4 teaspoons in total daily (per 24 hours) as a minimum dosage.
  11. Do NOT swallow. Hold silver sublingually under your tongue for 120 seconds. So that the silver will go into your bloodstream like an IV the same as a Nitroglycerin pill does to stop a heart attack.
  12. After 120 seconds: Gently swallow slowly the secretions of the mouth. After 120 seconds “slowly” swallow to allow further absorption via your esophagus. Do NOT expiate/spit out the silver. Therefore, swallow slowly any remaining after 120 seconds.
  13. Maintain a “Steady State” of Silver in your bloodstream by taking 5 cc every 6 hours, as this is necessary to kill the spirochetes every time they come out in the bloodstream from a sequestered area.
  14. We can reach the sequestered areas that the spirochetes hide in, due to coating with protein of the silver particle, with said coating slowly washing off like a time release, then releasing the silver ions, thus allowing this INVIVE silver to reach the sequestered areas of where the spirochetes are hiding. This coating provides a time release methodology for eradication of the spirochetes in sequestered areas.
  15. A Hot Bath for 40 minutes in the bathtub at 104 degrees, is mandatory.
  16. Purchase a $9 indoor/outdoor cord probe thermometer
  17. The hot 104-degree F. water expands the tiny capillary blood vessels, allowing silver to reach tissue areas where the Lyme spirochete is sequestered and hard to eradicate.
  18. Stay in tub for 40 minutes (without adding more hot water to heat up the tub) as this allows the water to cool down to 94 degrees F., so that you do not sweat when you get out of tub. Read a book, or meditate etc., to maximize benefit by your time in the tub.


  • 20 minutes “before” tub bath, imbibe/drink 4oz of citric juice, either orange or grapefruit juice —this allows the silver nano particles to cross over the blood brain barrier in case there is neurological involvement and inflammation which there usually is.
  • 1 minute before getting in tub, take a dosage of 5 cc of silver (1teaspoon)

Additional Facts:

 Must drink ½ of your body weight of Distilled Water in total DAILY, to prevent a “possible” Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction due to the release of toxins from the dying spirochetes.

  1.  All humans should imbibe/drink ½ their weight in ounces of water every day, even if they do not have Lyme Disease. We are all dehydrated and should be taught better.
  2. Treat until asymptomatic
  3. Then without pause, treat 1 more month to make sure that you have eradicated all the spirochetes.

Wholesale Cost of Silver 5000 ppm:

$539.94 (?) monthly per 6 pack of 4 oz. Bottles- 24 teaspoons in one 4 oz, bottle = 1 Bottle lasts 6 days

Introduction to Mild Silver Protein

Mild Silver Protein

The untimely death of Bill McFarland earlier this year left a gaping hole in the availability of the Silver 500. He was the sole owner of MSP Research which distributed the silver under his name but was not the origin nor the manufacturer of it.

The origin of the silver including where it was made; how and who it was distributed to; and from where it was shipped had been under wraps due to the possibility of government interference in anything that was not pharmaceutical in nature—let alone guaranteed to work

As it turns out, I was given access to the identical Silver 500 ppm Bill McFarland used along with additional strengths such as 5000 ppm and 10000 ppm for conditions that are chronic and long term. The 5000 ppm may be the new “go to” strength.

The chart below will provide approximate guidance as to what strength silver is correct to use

I can also give you access to a DDR (Doctor’s Desk Reference) based on the 5000-ppm strength

The website has a great deal  of information on it, however when it concerns my patients and as with all products originating with me, I prefer to speak with you directly; determine what is appropriate based on my experience; and place the order myself.  Additionally, I am a big believer in having a few bottles of silver on hand for “just in case” purposes.

The prices listed are company prices—my price may vary.

(parts per million)
RESEARCH TOWARDS USAGE SUGGESTSEach (1-6 Bottles)VOLUME “Discount” 6 or moreYou save PER BOTTLE
50 p.p.m.Eye Wash 2 drops per eye As required usage. Daily lifetime usage Do “NOT” put any other strength into the eyes.9.998.99 each
53.94 for 6
How to use Save $1.00 per BOTTLE
You save $6.00
100 p.p.m.Yeast Infections 2 drops initially/day thereafter: As required teaspoon usage. Daily lifetime usage. Use “only” the 100 ppm for Nebulizing.19.9917.99 each
107.94 for 6
How to use Save $2.00 per BOTTLE
You save $12.00
500 p.p.m.2 – 7 Year Old Child’s Dose 1 tsp. (5 cc) / day. Daily lifelong usage. Nose, and Ear ache drops 3 drops t.i.d. (3 times/day) in nose or ear. Use “only” the 500 ppm topically.25.9923.99 each
143.94 for 6
How to use Save $2.00 per BOTTLE
You save $12.00
1,100 p.p.m.Daily Supplement Adults Dosage 1 tsp. (5 cc) /day (1 bottle lasts 24 days). Daily lifetime usage. Take at bed time= when in bed so that it prevents nite tooth decay also= (keep bottle on night table).29.6926.99 each
161.94 for 6
How to use Save $3.00 per BOTTLE
You save $18.00
2,000 p.p.m.Common Colds, Flu
4 teaspoons (20 cc/day) minimum = 1 tsp. every 6 hours 180 day usage per year
49.9944.99 each
269.94 for 6
How to use Save 5.00 per BOTTLE
You save $30.00
5,000 p.p.m.Moderately Severe Infections Mutated Colds, Virulent Flu, Aids, Lyme Disease, Eczema, (but “not” Hepatitis C). 4 teaspoons (20 cc/day) 90 day usage per year99.9989.99 each
539.94 for 6
How to use Save 10.00 per BOTTLE
You save $60.00
5,700 p.p.m. ES7Hepatitis C, mycoplasma,  and any other “sequestered”, chronic long-term infection = (over 6 mo.). 4 teaspoons (20 cc/day) 90 day usage per year
“Extra” STRENGTH for tissue penetration  
169.99159.99 each
959.94 for 6
How to use Save 10.00 per BOTTLE
You save $60.00
10,000 p.p.m.Severe Infections and Life and Death Infections Ebola, Dengue Fever,  Malaria, SARS, West Nile 1-3 tablespoon (15-45 cc) every 4 hours 10 to 45 day usage per year229.99209.99 each
1259.94 for 6
How to use Save $20.00 per BOTTLE
You save $120.00
10,700 p.p.m. ES7MOST Powerful Silver Severe Infections and Life and Death Infections  Ebola, Dengue Fever,  Malaria, SARS, West Nile 1-3 tablespoon (15-45 cc) every 4 hours 10 to 45 day usage per year. AND” Chronic = over 6 mo. today’s abx. “un”treatable Mycoplasma Infections, etc. & complex Infections, & for Differential Diagnosis M.D. Physician coverage, Medical Journal pre 1938. “Extra” STRENGTH for tissue penetration269.99249.99 each
1499.94 for 6
How to use Save $20.00 per BOTTLE
You save $120.00

I.V.s are not recommended as they must be done in the presence of a licensed M.D., and be in or near a medical setting, that provides access to an Emergency Room, defibrillator, etc.



  • Cool Mist Humidifier (Walmart $49.99)
  • 1 Gallon Distilled Water–MUST be Distilled
  • 1 Quart bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide
  • 18-20 drops Oregano Oil
  • 15 cc/1 Measuring Tablespoon of Silver 500 ppm
  • Stir and blend well,. 

Use when feeling stuffy/congested, manifesting cold virus symptoms, flu, coughing, or anything respiratory including nCOVID-19 symptomatology


  • Fill cup 1/2 to 3/4 full of Silver 500 ppm
  • Add 2 drops of DMSO if available
  • OR if by chance you happen to have Albuterol-(call to discuss how to use for this recipe)
  • Do a breathing session

The best nebulizer for your money is made by InnoSpire Elegance Compressor Nebulizer System  Purchase from Just Nebulizers  

1-888-550-2450  Monday to Friday 8 A.M. – 6 P.M. EST

Ask about purchasing extra disposable and non-disposable mouthpieces. 

Have extra on hand, not just because of nCOVID-19, but also because of the many other respiratory issues.

NOTE: NEBULIZING silver is THE MOST EFFICACIOUS TREATMENT when it comes to preventing the progression of, and in the treatment of, pneumonia’s and respiratory distress.

Testosterone Erectile Dysfunction Nitric Oxide

When More Testosterone Doesn’t Help Erectile Health – Part 1 of 2

The role of vascular health on male sexual function

“I’m injecting 150 mg of testosterone cypionate every week. I look muscular. I have lots of energy – so much I actually need to take sleeping pills to wind down at night. So why can’t I get a good erection? What is wrong with me?”

I counsel countless men* with stories like this.

Typically, these fellows come to see me after visiting a “Low T” clinic and trying various hormones and hormone precursors. From testosterone creams to shots, to HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), to breast cancer drugs and beyond, hormone treatments do indeed help some men with erectile dysfunction – but fewer men than you might think.

Erectile dysfunction (ED, impotence) is a fairly common medical condition, characterized by the inability to achieve and maintain a penile erection firm enough for satisfying sexual intercourse.1

I often explain to my clients with ED that testosterone is just one piece of the puzzle. ED can also be caused by dysfunctions in the nervous system (including mental health), in the adrenal glands, in metabolic function, in B vitamin status, and in endothelial health (the inner lining of the blood vessels). The latter is also known as “endothelial ED,” a commonly overlooked aspect of sexual health – and the focus of this article.

40% of men above the age of 40 are now estimated to have some degree of ED.

Although ED is more common among older men,16 it’s becoming more common among younger men as well: 40% of men above the age of 40 are now estimated to have some degree of ED.13 While an estimated 152 million men worldwide had ED in 1995, that number is expected to swell (no pun intended) to over 320 million people by 2025.17,18 It’s no coincidence that heart disease is also on the rise: ED is often a warning sign of impending cardiovascular disease.

The mechanics of erection

Tumescence (penile erection) relies on proper blood flow. During the male sexual response, blood flow into the penis through the arteries increases, as blood flow out of the penile veins decreases.2,3 This process effectively traps blood in the penis, resulting in an erection.

The issue with ED tends to be with the first part of this process – the delivery of blood into the penis. The integrity of the circulatory system – the system of “highways” by which blood circulates throughout the body – is essential for male sexual performance and satisfaction.4

A key component of a healthy circulatory system lies in an important little gas called nitric oxide.

Nitric oxide gets the blood flowing

Nitric oxide (NO) is a tiny gas molecule found throughout the circulatory system, causing relaxation of the cavernous smooth muscle of the penis as well as vasodilation (widening) of the penile blood vessels. These combined effects allow more blood to pass into the penis, causing a firmer erection.5,6

One of the biggest culprits for compromising NO levels, however, is inflammation – specifically inflammation of the endothelium (lining of the blood vessels).7 Vascular inflammation and the NO deficiency it causes are also to blame for other cardiovascular problems, like angina (chest pain), heart attacks, and strokes.

Erectile dysfunction can be a warning sign of other impending diseases

Even in “well-endowed” fellows, the vessels of the penis are relatively small compared to the arteries in other parts of the body. This makes the penile blood vessels fragile and sensitive to injury. The penis is therefore often the first place in the body to manifest the signs and symptoms of vascular disease.

If left untreated, the vascular inflammation and NO dysfunction associated with endothelial ED may begin to spread to blood vessels in other parts of the body, causing a variety of serious heart problems like angina (chest pain), heart attack, and stroke.8 Men can develop ED before they develop even so much as an elevated blood pressure reading!9 That’s why ED is sometimes referred to as “painless penile angina.”10

ED is a warning sign of poor vascular function and impending cardiovascular disease.

A shocking 70% of men with coronary artery disease (CAD) in one study reported that they had ED long before they developed any symptoms of CAD.11 ED is a warning sign of poor vascular function and impending cardiovascular disease.6,11-13

ED and CAD share many of the same risk factors, including obesity, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, high homocysteine levels, diabetes, high blood pressure, dyslipidemia (high cholesterol), and metabolic syndrome. All of these risk factors are also associated with poor NO activity.6,13-15

Won’t more testosterone help?

Testosterone plays an important role in sexual function via several mechanisms, including the stimulation of NO release,23 but it’s unlikely to control endothelial ED on its own for very long.

For some people with endothelial ED, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) may help, but not sufficiently unless the dosage is ramped up high – too high. Guys on too much testosterone often experience irritability, anxiety attacks, insomnia, or other symptoms of testosterone overdose. Because of the hormone’s influence on red blood cell (RBC) production, furthermore, guys on TRT are at high risk of life-threatening events like blood clots, chest pain, heart attacks, and strokes. They’re also prone to acne, “backne” (pimples on the back), a reddish complexion, and/or a puffy appearance – effects that make a guy look a bit like the Kool-Aid Man.

For many fellows with endothelial ED, even high doses of testosterone won’t cause strong erections.

For many fellows with endothelial ED, however, even high doses of testosterone won’t cause strong erections, which does not mean that the man’s penis is “broken!”

If you have endothelial ED, it’s important to understand how and why your blood vessels are dysfunctional. Yes, there are of course nutritional supplements you can take to enhance nitric oxide production, but they’re unlikely to give you the best outcomes unless you’re also taking care to stop the cause(s) of your vascular inflammation. This is where diet and lifestyle become non-negotiable.

In the next post, we take a look at some healthy strategies for improving endothelial health, increasing nitric oxide levels, and achieving strong erections.

Improving Erectile Health – Part 2 of 2

Nitric oxide support for sexual health

In Part 1 of this series, we looked at the physiology of a type of erectile dysfunction (ED) known as endothelial ED and explained the importance of blood vessel health on male sexual function. This week, we will explore some natural strategies, that have good scientific evidence for improving vascular (and erectile) integrity.

Although not all men with ED have endothelial ED, many of them do. Nevertheless, just about everyone can likely benefit from these suggestions:

Eat vegetables – especially beets

Diets rich in vegetables have been shown to support overall heart health,[1],[2] lowering the risks of high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.[3],[4],[5] If you’re not eating vegetables – it’s never too late to start!

Make at least half of your plate at every meal greens (spinach, kale, chard, etc.) and/or brightly colored vegetables like purple cabbage, tomatoes, purple onions, carrots, and peppers. Beets (beetroot) are particularly effective in increasing nitric oxide (NO) levels, as they’re rich in nitrates, antioxidants, and phenolic compounds important for cardiovascular health.[6] Beets have been observed to increase NO levels and lower blood pressure readings in both men and women of various ages.[7],[8],[9]

Beets have been observed to increase NO levels and lower blood pressure readings in both men and women of various ages.

A powdered greens and/or powdered beetroot supplement (organic whenever possible!) can be a quick and easy way to consume more dietary nitrates.

Enjoy berries

Rich in flavonoids and antioxidants, blueberries, cherries, goji berries, and other berries are excellent for vascular health. Organic green tea, and dark chocolate can also fight oxidative stress, reverse endothelial dysfunction, and stave off cardiovascular diseases.[10]

Nix commercial mouthwash and stomach-reducing medicines

The brilliant human body converts the nutrients found in vegetables into NO. This conversion requires the presence of the right kind of bacteria in the mouth and enough stomach acid.[11]

Because most commercial mouthwashes kill both the good and the bad bacteria in the mouth, they may be contributing to endothelial ED and vascular diseases.

I also typically advise my clients to stay away from calcium carbonate tablets, omeprazole, and other medications that dampen stomach acid production.[12],[13],[14] (If you have acid reflux and think you need acid-reducing drugs, read this.)


The amino acid L-arginine is the raw material from which the body produces NO.[15] Low blood levels of L-arginine have unsurprisingly been correlated with poor NO production, and a significant percentage of ED patients have low levels of L-arginine and/or its precursor, L-citrulline.[16]

A significant percentage of ED patients have low levels of L-arginine and/or its precursor, L-citrulline.

L-arginine supplements may improve NO levels and erectile health – but with limited efficacy, as L-arginine only stays in the circulation for milliseconds at a time.[17] This may be why a review of L-arginine’s efficacy in the treatment of ED reports that a minimum dosage of 3 grams daily is necessary to achieve outcomes, and some studies have even dosed the amino acid at 5 grams.[18]

Thankfully, there is evidence that L-arginine may work significantly well when supplemented along with glutathione (GSH),[19] vitamin C,[20] pine bark extract,[21],[22] and/or L-arginine’s precursor, L-citrulline.


L-citrulline is named for the watermelon, or Citrullus vulgaris, from which it is derived.[23] Unlike L-arginine, L-citrulline skips pre-systemic metabolism and effectively increases circulating NO levels.[24],[25] This might make L-citrulline a more advantageous nutritional supplement than L-arginine in the treatment of ED, hypertension, and related vascular conditions.[26],[27] It has also been shown to be an effective adjuvant to treatment with pharmaceutical PDE5 inhibitors (drugs like Sildenafil).[28]

What may be even more effective than L-arginine or L-citrulline monotherapy, however, is taking the two amino acids concurrently: Simultaneous oral supplementation of 1 gram of L-arginine and 1 gram of L-citrulline was shown to increase plasma L-arginine levels more than 2 g of either alone in a 2017 study.[29]

Caution: Because many viruses – including herpes simplex virus (HSV) – are dependent upon arginine for replication, L-arginine and L-citrulline supplements may be poorly tolerated by patients with frequent HSV outbreaks.[30]

French maritime pine bark extract

A standardized pine bark extract (SPBE) from the bark of the French maritime pine, Pinus pinaster – or Pycnogenol®, as it’s known in the U.S.A. by its patent name – has been shown to improve erectile function both as a standalone treatment and in combination with L-arginine.[31],[32]

SPBE has been observed to support the production and release of NO from the cells lining the blood vessels, improving forearm blood flow in humans in one study.[33]

SPBE has also been shown to improve erectile function, both as a standalone treatment and in combination with L-arginine.[34],[35] In one trial, for example, supplementation with SPBE (120 mg daily for three months) significantly reduced patients’ ED severity from moderate to mild.[36] The Pycnogenol group in this study was also observed to have increased plasma antioxidant activity and reduced total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels as compared to the placebo group. These findings suggest that SPBE may not only treat ED, but also improve overall cardiovascular health.[37]

In another study of 40 males 25 to 45 years of age, a combination of L-arginine and Pycnogenol significantly outperformed Pycnogenol alone, helping 80% of men (and, after another month of the study, 92.5% of men) achieve a normal erection – as compared to only 5% of men who benefitted from Pycnogenol alone. Pycnogenol was given at a dose of 40 mg one to three times daily, with L-arginine at a dose of 1.7 g daily.[38]

A combination of L-arginine and Pycnogenol significantly outperformed Pycnogenol alone, helping 80% to 92.5% of men achieve a normal erection.

In a similar trial of 50 males, L-arginine (3 g per day) plus pycnogenol (80 mg per day day) restored normal erectile function after just one month of supplementation. Sperm quality improved in the men who took this combination and their testosterone levels increased significantly, thus suggesting enhanced fertility. The men also reported a doubling in their sexual intercourse frequency.[39]

Glutathione and other antioxidants

As the master antioxidant of the body, glutathione (GSH) strongly protects against the oxidative stress associated with endothelial dysfunction. GSH and other antioxidants may thus prevent oxidative stress, ameliorate vascular endothelial dysfunction, and stave off cardiovascular disease (among other chronic ailments).[40]

Supplementation with L-citrulline and GSH has also been shown to synergistically increase NO levels.[41]


The steroid hormone precursor dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) enhances sex hormone production and positively effects NO levels, thus supporting endothelial health.[42]

A systematic review of 38 trials found that DHEA improves various aspects of sexual health.

A systematic review of 38 trials found that DHEA improves various aspects of sexual health in both males and females, including sexual interest, sexual frequency, lubrication, arousal, pain, and orgasm.[43] DHEA can also help with brain health.[44]

Avoid refined sugars and refined carbohydrates

Foods like breads, pastas, commercial pastries, candy bars, so-called “sports” drinks, sodas, most juices, cereals, crackers, and potato chips all increase blood glucose (sugar) levels and drive inflammation in the blood vessels. It’s no coincidence that men with diabetes and pre-diabetes are more likely to have ED than other guys.[45],[46]

Quit smoking and drinking

You know that smoking and drinking alcohol are harmful for your health, as does everybody else under the sun! These habits also create very high levels of inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, thus wreaking havoc on the circulatory system.[47],[48] ED may be a sign that it’s time to make some healthy lifestyle changes.

Mindfulness practice

NO helps with more than just the dilation of blood vessels: it also supports immune function, balances the nervous system,[49] and protects against various types of dementia.[50] NO helps us feel more relaxed, in turn supporting further NO production.[51] In fact, experienced meditators were found to have higher levels of NO precursors in their blood than non-meditators, in one study.[52]

Move your body

A sedentary lifestyle is a significant risk factor for ED and other cardiovascular diseases. Exercise is the number one lifestyle factor most strongly correlated with erectile health.[53]

Exercise is the number one lifestyle factor most strongly correlated with erectile health.

A review of ten studies found that moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise (four times weekly for six months) improved erectile function in men with ED caused by sedentary lifestyle, obesity, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and/or metabolic syndrome.[54]

Physical activity is an effective way to prevent – and likely treat – ED because it increases NO levels, improves vascular function,[55] and increases testosterone.[56] Considering that exercise helps with a wide array of other health conditions, physical activity should be a part of just about every person’s day. (Too busy to move? Read our tips for fitting exercise into your day.)


During male sexual arousal, nitric oxide (NO) delivers blood to the penis, resulting in erection. Erectile dysfunction may therefore sometimes be a symptom of poor circulatory health, high vascular inflammation, and/or low nitric oxide (NO) levels – all of which can predispose a man to more serious problems like high blood pressure, angina, heart attack, and stroke. ED can therefore serve as an important warning signal of bigger problems to come.

Thankfully, some simple, natural strategies can make all the difference.

Note: The words “man,” “guy,” “fellow,” and “male” as used within this article refer specifically to individuals who were born with XY chromosomes and a penis. I acknowledge and honor that not all men are born with this anatomy, and that not all people born male identify with that gender.

Surprising Facts about our Dental Health

Surprising Facts about our Dental Health

This link Root Canal Teeth and How to Treat Them is from a Dr. Mercola fact checked article and it includes an excellent video from Dr. Val Kanter plus other links with excellent educational information about root canals.

I was first introduced to Biological Dentistry back in 1984 when I traveled to Baden Baden Germany to study homeopathic treatments using computer programs. I was amazed such a field existed to begin with and even more amazed the Germans and Russians knew about the connection teeth had to the biological health of the entire body since the late 1800’s yet I never knew of its existence here in the states.

My studies continued way past 1984 and I had and have been fortunate enough to associate with some of the world’s top Biological Dentists including the Father of Biological Dentistry which was the late Hal Huggins and with Dr. Javier Morales here in Tijuana who was considered by Dr. Huggins to be his #1 protege

In 1939 Weston Price DDS one of the most famous dentist in history (that many dentist today never heard of) published Nutrition and Physical Degeneration . The book concludes that aspects of a modern Western diet (particularly flour, sugar, and modern processed vegetable fats) cause nutritional deficiencies that are a cause of many dental issues and health problems. The dental issues he observed include the proper development of the facial structure (to avoid overcrowding of the teeth) in addition to dental caries. This work received mixed reviews, and continues to be cited today by proponents of many different theories, including controversial dental and nutritional theories. Historically, our diets support healthy bacteria—that changed with the introduction grains, refined sugars, and processed foods.

New Root Canal Procedures:

  • Cone Beam CT scan used to rule out root canal failures with100% success
  • Bite Wing X-Rays do not show root tips
  • Cone Beam CT verifies there are over three miles of canals per tooth–making root canals 80-90% ineffective because there are so many canals making it impossible to fill all of them
  • LightWalker Laser in two wavelengths now being used by educated Endodontists to do root canal procedures
  • New methods to disinfect the numerous canals in a tooth such as flushing canals with Ozonated Water

New Root Canal Facts:

  • Failed root canals associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Due to Strep Mutans, Rheumatoid Arthritis is synonymous with dental issues, dental infections, periodontal disease
  • Lyme Disease microbes hide in the canals of tooth root
  • Failed Root Canal cannot be saved–must be extracted

In this post, I am going to use bullet points as there is so much to consider when it comes to our teeth

  • In 1839 dentistry and medicine officially split went separate ways
  • Charles Mayo was first to talk about Oral health in 1916
  • Once there is pain in the mouth you are in trouble
  • Silver fillings are 52% mercury; 26% silver; 22% other
  • Amalgams are antimicrobial because of the silver and zinc-
  • The oral cavity is the first place the outside world is being sampled by our immune system
  • 800 species of organisms are in the mouth
  • We swallow 1 trillion bacteria per day
  • Mouth is gateway to inflammation
  • Focal Infection theory from mouth is 100 years old
  • 7 out of 10 Inflammatory Chronic diseases are cause by oral microbes
  • Time Magazine 2004—Inflammation caused by mouth
  • Bad bacteria only make up 1% of the total population of the mouth—but when out of balance can wreak havoc
  • A healthy heart is not bacteria free
  • Heart Disease caused by gum disease has been known for over 3-4 decades
  • Oral Microbes Heart Valve Infection —there are few defense mechanisms in heart
  • Plaque in coronary arteries is loaded with Strep Mutans
  • Infection in Jaw due to failed root canals cause 80% of Coronary Artery Disease
  • Strep Mutans #1 cause of cavities because it makes lactic acid which breaks down enamel by turning sugar into acid
  • Bad bacteria thrive in an acid environment
  • Stomach acid (HCL) neutralizes bad bugs—low stomach acid causes bad bugs to proliferate into the GI tract
  • Fusarium in mouth is found in colon-rectal cancer whereas it should have been killed by stomach acid
  • Many oral bacteria are in Gut & Stool all stemming from inflammation
  • Diabetes begins in the mouth
  • Oral Microbiome is responsible for our teeth and gums
  • Oral microbiome imbalance linked to diabetes, cancer & Alzheimer’s
  • Dysbiosis in mouth—Microbiome out of balance
  • Most oral cancers are discovered at Stage 3
  • Salivary diagnosis
  • Bacteria runs us—we do not run them
  • Good commensurable bacteria is there to help us—make neurotransmitter
  • Bacteria in back of mouth controls Nitric Oxide—Nitrates in food
  • Biofilm is protective plaque on tooth; slimy layer —first in line to protect tooth Gram +
  • Gram – (Anaerobic Plaque = cavities
  • Bacteria in plaque excrete toxins that travel throughout the body getting into heart and brain
  • Large Tongue = Enlarged Thyroid
  • APOE 4 + MTHFR are poor detoxifies
  • Bacteria Adapt
  • Periodontal ligament provides 70% of blood flow to jaw bone
  • With age, we get what they call “long in the tooth” meaning exposed gums
  • Xerostomia (Dry mouth) is the # 1 cause of cavities
  • Saliva which contains protein & enzymes making it the “Guardians At the Gate
  • Dry mouth is an acidic mouth
  • Saliva is neutral but leans slightly alkaline
  • 600 ml saliva a day (can of soda)
  • Antibodies meaning a lot of Mutans present requiring antibiotic
  • Peri-Implantitis prevented by Osteo-integrative implants Zirconia
  • Sealor soft tissue pockets around implant post are most damp and dark (Dr. Curatola)
  • Our lifestyles kill off good bacteria
  • Gum Disease has 3 culprits: Prevotella Intermedia; Treponema Denticola & Porphymonas Gingivalis
  • Strep Mutans caused by dysbiosis imbalance
  • Floss good to make gram + positive bacteria
  • Vitamin D deficiency partners w Vitamin D is K2  (Osteocalcin)
  • Gingivitis = bleeding gums
  • Deep pockets, low oxygen, inflammatory sites
  • Warm moist low O2
  • Type II Diabetes
  • Gingivitis—Periodontitis—Xerostomia
  • Saliva cleanses teeth feeds & brings food to the good bacteria
  • Mouth breathing dries up Saliva
  • Platelet Rich Fibrin tricks the body into healing itself
  • The European model of Biologic Dentistry includes materials  for root cause
  • Laser technology replacing drilling
  • Tooth decay caused by bad bacteria
  • Endodontics—inside of tooth
  • Anaerobic Gram Negative bacteria are a problem
  • Dental Pulp is like a sponge
  • Cold indicates pulp is still alive and vital—but not how healthy it is
  • Remove infected dentin—big on tiny exposure
  • Periodontal Ligament holds tooth in place
  • Apicoectomy removes bone infection
  • Bio ceramic materials
  • PRF Platelet Rich Fibrin or Plasma (Dr. Rick Meiron)
  • Gum & Bone have high blood flow
  • The biofilm bacteria above and below gum line
  • Strep Mutans Porophymorphic gingivitis
  • Intra Oral Transfers—optical impressions that are perfect
  • New implant technology
  • Blood test for heavy metal toxicity are only accurate in acute cases while hair analysis only shows the last two months
  • Provocative Challenge is EDTA/Urine
  • Bite Wing X-Rays do not show root tips
  • Rheumatoid  Arthritis synonymous w dental issues, dental infections, periodontal (bone) issues
  • Periodontitis is bone while Gingivitis is gums


Allicin the Power Behind Garlic

Allicin: The Power Behind Garlic


First isolated and studied in the laboratory by Chester J. Cavallito and John Hays Bailey in 1944., Allicin is an organosulfur compound obtained from garlic, a species in the family Alliaceae.The power of raw garlic derives from an enzyme called Alliinase, which is released when the structural integrity of fresh garlic is altered (e.g., cut or crushed).  Alliinase catalyzes the formation of sulfenic acids from cysteine sulfoxides. Once formed, sulfenic acids begin transmuting into thiosulfinate compounds. In the case of alliin, the resultant compound is allicin. Allicin is an incredibly potent antioxidant and induces metabolic stress on invasive pathogens by disrupting their defenses and starving them of metabolic elements and compounds.  

Allicin is physiologically active in microbial, plant and mammalian cells. In a dose-dependent manner allicin can inhibit the proliferation of both bacteria and fungi or kill cells outright, including antibiotic-resistant strains like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Recent research points to several therapeutic effects of allicin, such as promoting insulin sensitivity (1,2), decreasing blood glucose levels (3,4), regulating lipid metabolism (5,6), reducing homocysteine levels (7), attenuating superoxide production and limiting inflammation and fibrogenesis (8), and limiting atherosclerotic plaque buildup (9).
Stable Allicin is a lab-certified allicin product delivering high potency allicin enhanced with Bioperine (black pepper extract) to increase bioabsorbability. Our product contains high levels of stabilized allicin that provides broad-spectrum immune support and immunomodulating properties.

Recommended dosage is 1-2 capsules per day with food.  An additional capsule can be taken when fighting off an illness.  The product can be taken on an empty stomach, but one may feel discomfort as the high strength allicin is released.

Fresh garlic must be crushed in order to release the compounds and two garlic cloves may do the job. However, although all garlic may look the same, there are dozens of varieties many of which have very little allicin. Hence to play it safe, take the capsule or take both.

Men Urinary Bladder Flow- Prostate Health

Men’s Urinary Bladder Flow and Prostate Health

As we get get older our flow from the bladder seems to lessen quite a bit. Most men will say when younger, their stream could put out a fire a mile away. Often when a patient uses the rest room in my office, I noticed two things:

  • it takes a few minutes to “start the flow”
  • Once started, the flow does not sound strong

This immediately causes me to mention bladder, urinary tract and prostate health to these men and at times force a conversation about the bladder, bladder stones, Candida/Yeast and Prostate Health & Cancer

Many guys have already been prescribed Flomax, also known by its generic name Tamsulosin, (an alpha-adrenergic blocker). It’s approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help improve urine flow in men who have benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

I have been in practice for 43 years and probably for about 40 of those years, I recommend Small Flowered Willow Herb Tea to help with the urinary flow in males and even at times females. I ask the patient to brew the tea and drink 1-2 cups daily on an on/off basis for the rest of their lives. Usually but not always, I start this request around the age of 45 and very rarely do I encounter resistance. One would think a man would be hesitant to brew a tea but surprisingly, they do it without issue. Why? Because they can tell the difference once they start using it!

Over the past few years the tea is available in concentrated drop form and here I recommend one dropperful morning and evening. Some men do both.

I have a fairly good record using Willow Flower. Does it work with every single male? Probably not as we all have our own unique extenuating circumstances. BUT it certainly cannot hurt to use it


We will now broach the subject of Yeast/Candida that can be transmitted in various ways most commonly from sexual relations. Yeast likes to grow in dark damp places such as the area where the prostate gland and bladder are “hiding” I believe it to be a major player in causing but not the cause of Prostate Cancer. A male can smell candida the minute he makes his move to urinate “it stinks down there”. There are women whom have said they can smell their husbands genitals as soon as they walk in the door—this “fishy” odor in both sexes is attributed to Yeast/Candida


I treat this issue using Bicarbonate of Soda aka Baking Soda. Usually but not always 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon diluted in 8-10 ounces of water 1-3 x daily depending on the uniqueness of the situation.

The Tiny Prostate Gland:

The prostate’s most important function is the production of a fluid that, together with sperm cells from the testicles and fluids from other glands, makes up semen. The muscles of the prostate also ensure that the semen is forcefully pressed into the urethra and then expelled outwards during ejaculation.

As we get older, all this sperm cells, fluid, semen etc. does lose some of its importance but should still function somewhat.

What is Benign Prostactic Hyperplasia?

Benign Prostactic Hyperplasia (BPH) is the enlargement of the prostate gland and is common as men get older. An enlarged prostate gland can cause uncomfortable urinary symptoms, such as blocking the flow of urine out of the bladder. It can also cause urinary tract infections and or kidney problems or both. In some instances men will sit on the toilet for a very long time trying to urinate but to no avail.

In very bad cases TURP Surgery which is a Trans Urethral Resection of the Prostate will be recommended. There is a 50/50 chance of working; it may not work forever; but in most cases worth the try. TURP surgery is considered major surgery.

Prostate Cancer:

When doing autopsies on young men killed during the Vietnam War, doctors noticed that many of them had prostate cancer cells in their prostate at a very young age. However, prostate cancer is very slow moving and had they not died during the war, they would not know they had prostate cancer until much later on in life.

This tiny gland the size of a walnut can reap havoc for men as they enter their golden years of life. Science does not yet know the cause.

Best Medical Treatment Today:

The best medical treatment so far and depending on the often inaccurate PSA and Gleason score is the PSMA-PET-CT Scan that can detect prostate cancer metastases with high sensitivity and specificity. For actual treatment, the External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT) with high dose rate (HDR) Brachytherapy boost procedure seems to be the best science has to offer at this time. This is a different treatment than low-dose rate Brachytherapy (with radioactive seeds). The challenge is finding the right doctors who know how to apply these advanced therapies.

This leads us to the question and the purpose of this post which is “what can we do NOW to avoid this in the future?


Amygdalin is a compound found in the pits or seeds of apricots, apples, peaches, plums, red cherries, and other fruits. It’s also in bitter almonds. A partly man-made, purified form of amygdalin, known as Laetrile, was patented in the 1950s and became a popular alternative cancer treatment during the 1960s and ’70s. It’s now banned by the FDA and hasn’t been available in the U.S. since 1980.

I use 1-3 products formulated by Apricot Power to support prostate health without or with cancer. And this is another product whose usage varies dependent on the condition but as far a I am concerned there is enough data out there to warrant the use of them

This leads us to the question and the purpose of this post which is “what can we do NOW to avoid this in the future?

  • Willow Flower Tea especially beginning after age 45
  • Keep an eye on the Yeast/Candida Overgrowth by taking the Bicarbonate 2 months on 3 months off
  • Apricot seeds in the form of the seeds themselves or in Apricot Power Amygdalin B17 100/500mg; and Apricot Power TMG B15 (also known as non-toxic pangamic acid)
  • Plenty of Good Quality Alkaline Water or Slightly Alkaline Water
  • Avoid Coffee, Tea even decaffeinated
  • Be very careful with ALCOHOL
  • Limit Spicy Foods

Will these things work? Let’s hope so. If we do get or succumb to Prostate Cancer, at least we did our best to avoid it!!!

Please contact me for information on how to order these products and for the ton of other information I have on this subject.

Astaxanthin–Powerhouse Antioxidant

Astaxanthin–Powerhouse Antioxidant

Astaxanthin-The Powerhouse Antioxidant

19 Known Medical Benefits of Astaxanthin

Astaxanthin Shown to Slow Brain Aging

I have recommended Astaxanthin for many years before it gained its notoriety as it has now. Natural astaxanthin is the most powerful antioxidant known to science, and has the ability to optimize the health and radiance of the skin by providing protection and support to all layers.

Astaxanthin is the most powerful of over 600 different types of Carotenoids which are pigments in plants, algae, and photosynthetic bacteria. These pigments produce the bright yellow, red, and orange colors in plants, vegetables, and fruits; and are responsible for the “pinkish” color of both shrimp and salmon

I initially recommended it for brain health in my effort to ward off Alzheimer Dementia years before the symptoms may appear. Now it is recommended for a host of other health issues including reducing the cytokine storm that had once resulted from COVID,

There are over 114,000 articles about Astaxanthin on PubMed–the go to site comprising of more than 32 million citations for biomedical literature life science journals, and online books.

I do not use Mercola’s brand of Astaxanthin but have nothing against it. I use a brand from Allergy Research mostly because of the source of the ingredients(AstaZine), the delivery system and the cost of the product itself. Either way, Astaxanthin should be on your list of what I call the “dailies”—supplements you should consider taking every day

I am currently doing a study on Ascorbate Acids role in balancing the neurotransmitters in the brain which I will pass over to you once it is done and I am satisfied with the results. This will be a part of a new website titled Strategic Supplementation which God willing,  I  plan to launch in 2021.

My Pathway to Healing

My Pathway to Healing

My practice is about healing the human mainframe using a variety of techniques learned over the years. One of my greatest gifts is to work with a patient on their level and gradually groom them to a position of “empowered self-healthcare” that is not only comfortable but also easy to maintain.

As a teenager, my interest in health began with food. I studied  raw foods at the Hippocrates Institute in Boston, then moving onto Macrobiotic studies also in Boston and New York.  I was then and still am a believer in “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”

While attending Chiropractic school in  Georgia, I was a founding member of Life Grocery Co-Op in Marietta then moving onto being a silent partner in one of the first health food stores in Atlanta. I  resigned because one partner wanted to sell vitamins & I wanted to promote food not supplements.

What led me to Chiropractic was the actual ART of the profession. Adjusting the spine which is a continuation of the brain creates a change in the patients unique vibrational tone always for the better.  The higher the vibration or resonance the less likely it is to attract sickness and disease.  Does the word Disease really mean Dis-Ease?

Chiropractic was never intended to “fix” sore backs. In the early days, patients went to see their Chiropractor when they felt better than ever and wanted to keep it that way—not because they had a backache.  The “old timey” Doctors of Chiropractic felt it was a failure on their part if a patient was sick as it meant they were not doing their job appropriately.

In the “early days” Chiropractors gave a weekly “lay lecture” educating  patients on diet and lifestyle often requiring mandatory attendance.  They knew education was essential as do I.

During school and with a little bit of  NASA insight,  I was exposed to the piezoelectric effect of crystals, angstrom frequencies hard drive, memory, color, sound, music, and a host of other factors that can affect vibrational tone. This was pioneering work for its time (1976).  I also studied the spiritual and mental aspects of healing and how they had an enormous  impact on well-being.  Hence the 12 Positive Volitions were born, and  the Secret to Healing is the Power of Belief became one of my theorems.

Without a doubt, food is indeed the best medicine, however, there are those who do require additional support by way of supplements and pharmaceuticals to put them on the correct path to health.  

This led me to become an astute and outstanding researcher into supplementation. I wanted to know everything about a product  from its’ origins to its bottling-thus enabling me to feel  comfortable recommending them to my patients.  In my practice, strategic supplementation is the name of the game. There are no two people alike and one supplement does not fit all. Supplements when needed, are just one of the many tools I use to get the job done.

In today’s healthcare market, it seems Functional Medicine is the new buzz word. I have been practicing Functional Medicine  43 years before there was terminology to describe what it is that I do. 

We are vibrational beings with a unique vibrational tone. In closing, my work is about providing a framework of  healing using  all available tools to expound and enhance the human  capability to heal with respect, dignity and grace.

Dr. Philip Peter Princetta