CARDIOVASCULAR RISK ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS

I thought cholesterol causes heart disease.  You're saying it doesn't?

Heart disease is multifactorial and many things contribute to its progression.  Cholesterol has been unfairly blamed as the main contributor of heart disease for decades, but in reality, it's so much more than that.  Oxidized cholesterol is a HUGE problem, non-oxidized cholesterol is not.  Homocysteine, triglycerides, CRP,  lipid particle sizes, Apo-B, Lp(a), obesity, smoking and lack of exercise all contribute to cardiovascular disease.  

Your ability to metabolize carbohydrates is also a good indicator of how healthy your heart is.  High blood sugars damage the arteries and overtime, plaque builds up and blocks the flow of blood.  Do you see where this is going?  

All of these must be taken into consideration to get the overall picture.  

Does dietary cholesterol affect blood cholesterol? 

Not really, the type of fat you eat affects serum cholesterol levels more than dietary cholesterol.  Dietary cholesterol is a relatively minor player in this process.       

So eggs are OK to eat then?

Yes- as long as you don't eat them raw.  The cholesterol rich yolk in eggs can help fight oxidation and change the lipid particles from small and dense (atherogenic) to large, buoyant and fluffy (non-atherogenic).  However, if you have a food allergy or sensitivity to eggs, then you should avoid them.  

What about sugar?  I've been reading lately that sugar can increase the risk for heart disease. 

This is true because excess sugar (sugar that isn't burned off) raises triglycerides and contributes to artery hardening. 


SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

How much do presentations cost? 

The cost of a presentation varies, depending on the length you'd like, the size of the audience, the location, the cost of handouts/materials, how much prior notice is given and a few other variables.  Creating a presentation, especially from scratch, takes a considerable amount of time, so keep that in mind if you're in a time crunch.

How long do presentations last? 

As long as you'd like - I'm a talker.     

 


 

SUPPLEMENT QUESTIONS

Doesn't the FDA regulate supplements?  

The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) classifies supplements as foods and not drugs.  Though it just seems like semantics, it's actually a very big deal.  Supplements, like food, are NOT tested before going onto the market and the manufacturer does not have to prove the ingredients are either safe or effective. The FDA does NOT analyze supplements before they are sold.  Their primary responsibility is to investigate claims of injury and illness after the fact.  They must prove risk and/or adulteration to have them removed from the marketplace.  Unfortunately, they have the burden of proof that the supplement is unsafe, a very large undertaking.  

However, there are supplements that are held to a higher standard- these are called drug-registered supplements.  They are treated like a prescription drug in the sense that they are tested before going onto the market.  In addition, they...

  • Guarantee consistency from pill to pill
  • Assure that their product will assimilate into your gut
  • Test for stability
  • Prevent cross-contamination
  • Assay for impurities
  • Test all raw materials
  • Use higher quality ingredients
  • Typically use easy to absorb forms of nutrients

For more information on how the FDA "regulates" supplements, click here.  Pay particular attention to the responses for the following questions: "What is FDA's role in regulating dietary supplements versus the manufacturer's responsibility for marketing them?", "Where can I get information about a specific dietary supplement?", "Who has the responsibility for ensuring that a dietary supplement is safe?", "Do manufacturers or distributors of dietary supplements have to tell FDA or consumers what evidence they have about their products safety or what evidence they have to back up the claims they are making for them?" and "Does FDA routinely analyze the content of dietary supplements?"   

Surely you're not suggesting adulterated supplements hit the market. 

That's exactly what I'm saying.  Here's an article that discusses this very issue.  Other articles include:

Spike in Harm to Liver is Tied to Dietary Aids (NY Times) 

Beware of Illegally Sold Diabetes Treatments (FDA)

Oregon AG Accuses Retailer GNC of Selling Drug-Spiked Dietary Supplements (USA Today)

There are hundreds more I can post, but sitting down all day isn't good for you.

Is it normal for my urine to be bright yellow when taking supplements? 

OH YES!  Prepare yourself!

 

 

Do you provide Superbills?  

I can provide a Superbill for all Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) related services for you to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.  For all other services, a Superbill cannot be rendered.  Please note that the issuance of a Superbill does not guarantee that your insurance company will reimburse you.  Please check with your insurance company before asking for a Superbill.

 

 

What is MRT testing for?

MRT is an "end-point" test, meaning it looks at your blood prior to exposure to an antigen (food) and after exposure.  Individuals who are experiencing a food sensitivity reaction will have a shift in their solids-(white blood cells)-to-liquids-(mediators/chemicals) ratio in their blood.  In layman's terms, this means you will have fewer solids and more liquids in your blood as your white blood cells "deflate" while they release painful chemicals into your bloodstream.  For foods that you do not react to, there will be no change in your solids-to-liquids ratio after exposure to the antigen.  Solids and liquids stay the same because they have nothing to react to.

How are reactive foods identified? 

A simple blood test referred to as the Mediator Release Test (MRT) identifies your reactive foods.  It tests 120 foods and 30 food chemicals.  When your blood is exposed to the food or chemical, the immune system either reacts or it doesn't.  If it reacts, it indicates a sensitivity to that food or chemical and it must be eliminated from the diet either temporarily or permanently. 

How do food sensitivities (also called delayed food allergies or hidden food allergies) develop?  

There are many factors involved when it comes to food sensitivities and research hasn't given us all the answers yet, but it appears that poor digestion, unbalanced gut flora, stress and a loss of oral tolerance all play a role.  A loss of oral tolerance occurs when the body no longer perceives certain foods as safe and attacks them when ingested, causing you great pain in the process.  Eating the same foods over and over again is one way to lose oral tolerance.  

Can food sensitivities be "outgrown?"

Yes, it is possible to "outgrow" food sensitivities.  Each white blood cell (of which there are many) has memory.  Depending on the cell or cells that are reacting and how long their memory lasts, it may be possible to outgrow the sensitivity by avoiding that food or foods until the cell or cells "forget" to react to it.  

Memory spans anywhere from two weeks to a lifetime, so some foods may need to be avoided for awhile in order to get them back, if ever.  

 

 

It's been two weeks and I'm still not feeling any better.  Are you sure this works?

There are many reasons why you might not feel better after two weeks:

  • Not strictly following the diet protocol as written by the dietitian (i.e., just avoiding yellows and reds)
  • Eating hidden sources of reactive foods (i.e., eating hydrolyzed vegetable protein when reactive to soy- this is where the food diary comes in hand)
  • A non-reactive food may be causing your symptoms (MRT tests for immune mediated reactions but if a food is causing a NON-immune reaction, then we need to identify the offender(s) and remove them from the diet, hence the restricted diet in the beginning)
  • Your pathology is not caused by foods or food chemicals