Tag Archives: Kidney Stones

DR. C’S MEDICINE CABINET: “B-COMPLEX VITAMINS”

The Idea that lack of certain nutritional factors could cause disease predates the germ theory by hundreds of years. British sailors could be saved from the ravages of SCURVY by a little sour fruit, and were called LIMEYS. Just before the first World War, a “milk factor” was found to be contained in butterfat, and was called Vitamin A.

The factor in “rice polishings”, known for decades to prevent disease caused by a diet exclusively of white, or “polished”rice was called Vitamin B.

Thus the Lettering system of vitamin-naming began. It wasn’t known until just before the Second World War that “vitamin B” was in fact several different substances (B1. B2. etc.), and later yet until these factors were found to be small, non-protein molecules that were “cofactors” in important enzymatic reactions essential in the body.

The metabolic pathways of our Hunter-gatherer ancestors could depend on the DIVERSE FOOD sources of Paleolithic man to supply these vital substances. Therefore, the body did not need to synthesize them, saving energy, but paving the way for future problems.

As a group, B vitamins produce energy from nutrients, support immune function, regulate cell growth, maintain Myelin, and maintain RBCs, among other crucially important things.

Some substances used to be considered B Vitamins, were later found to be synthesized in our bodies: these include Choline, Carnitine, Lipoic acid and PABA.

The latter is essential to Bacteria, leading to the development of the Sulfa Drugs, which Block PABA synthesis. Another pair of substances are so widely present in foods as to be rarely deficient: B5, Pantothenic acid, and B7, Biotin.

Three important, essential B Vitamins, B6, Pyridoxine, B9, Folic acid, and B12, Cyanocobalamin are so intertwined in their effects, they are best considered a unit. For instance, if B9 is supplemented while B12 is deficient, severe neurological problems arise. B6,9 and 12 must be kept balanced.

That leaves B1,B2, and B3, Thiamine, Riboflavin, and Niacin. Thiamine and Niacin deficiencies used to be common, especially when white rice and white flour replaced the more common brown variety, and led to Beri-Beri and Pellagra respectively.

My own Medicine Cabinet used to have the enriched B-vitamins, called B50 and B100 at Trader Joes. To cut down on pills, I switched to a multivitamin rich in most B vitamins. With the additional 4 mg. of Folic acid, I now take 1000% of the MDR of B6, B9 and B12, which I explained in a previous post to be driven by my elevated Homocysteine.

The Medical establishment and much research demeans the “health food nuts” as doing little more than making their toilets healthier. Indeed, research on Vitamin E supplementation has shown to cause cancer, Vitamin D supplementation to be useless, and folic acid supplementation to be potentially bad. Vitamin C supplementation does nothing but increase the likelihood of Kidney stones, etc.

The experiments are performed, and MDRs calculated on GROUPS of people, however, and with the INDIVIDUAL VARIATION in metabolism, with AGING of the human body (research on nutrients rarely includes the Elderly), and the lousy fast foods of the modern diet, I will continue with my supplementation.

In 2 of the vitamins, D and folic acid, B9, I am on firm ground, having blood levels of 25 hydroxy Vitamin D, and Homocysteine respectively to give me a frame of reference.

The truth is that the medical profession is poorly educated in nutrition, has little incentive to improve their knowledge, and has scant spare time to take dietary histories even if they knew more.

Even in the 60s when I routinely had my Patients keep a “diet diary” so I knew what they were eating, most doctors did not think this worth the time.

Educate yourself on SLEEP, DIET and EXERCISE, resolve to practice what you learn, and leave the medical profession to do what they are best at, and paid for: give medicines and perform procedures and surgery.

–Dr. C.

THE DOCTORS 101 CHRONIC SYMPTOMS & CONDITIONS #4: HEARTBURN (ACID REFLUX)

I have been having Heartburn for more than 40 years. The cause of Heartburn is leakage of acid from the stomach, where tissues have evolved to tolerate the highly acidic conditions, into the esophagus, where they haven’t.

The young body has an efficient, functional gate, or sphincter, keeping the food, once swallowed into the stomach, from coming back up. As you eat, you chew your food well to aid digestion. Your taste buds, sensing chemicals in the delicious food, activate saliva.

The salivary enzymes start the digestion of the carbohydrates in the food. If you eat slowly enough, you may be able to appreciate the digestion of tasteless starch, like in bread, into sweet sugar, right in your mouth.

You then swallow the food, which slips past another gate, called the epiglottis, diverting the bolus of food past your windpipe. This gate sometimes does not shut tight, and you choke on the food or drink. The food is then conducted into the highly acidic environment of the stomach.

The stomach evolved to be an acidic, “fiery pit”, inhospitable to any bacteria that came in with the food, thus protecting the stomach from infection. In the old days, there were a lot of bacteria, and the acidity of the stomach was useful, and evolutionarily conserved.

These days, the “fiery pit” tends to be a problem. As you get older, the gate that keeps food in the stomach gets more floppy and relaxed, and allows food to come back up into the esophagus, and sometimes, most often at night when you would rather be sleeping, all the way up to your throat, and is inhaled into your windpipe and lungs in what is called “gastroesophageal reflux”, or GERD.

Even if the food, and acid, doesn’t make it all the way up, and stops at the esophagus, which has not evolved to tolerate acid, you will have “heart burn”. Of course it is not the heart that is burning, but the esophagus, which runs right past the back of the heart as it goes all the way from the throat to the stomach.

When I first developed Heartburn, all that was available was the flavored chalk, Calcium Carbonate, sold as Tums. It works right away, and is a source of Calcium, but can cause trouble, like kidney stones, if you take too much. The relief didn’t last long enough for me, and I had to take more in the middle of the night.

My next medicine was Xantac, a medication that blocks histamine from stimulating acid production in the stomach. The H2 blockers have recently been recalled because of NDMA contamination. I sometimes used H2 blockers like Xantac when my patients would get a bad allergic reaction. In such cases BOTH an H1 blocker like Benadryl, and an H2 blocker are called for.

Zantac was not strong enough for me, and I soon graduated to Prilosec,which directly blocks the secretion of acid in the stomach.

Prilosec was then very expensive, but now is available as the inexpensive GENERIC Medication, Omeprazole. It seems that no medication is without side effects.

Omeprazole, by reducing stomach acid, makes stomach and GI infections more likely, and interferes with the absorption of B12, and Calcium.

If you have had a lot of heartburn over a long period of time, you should check with a Gastroenterologist, who may scope you to rule out Barritt’s esophagus, which can lead to Cancer.

It is interesting that the antacid Tums in excess can cause too MUCH Calcium in the body, and can cause kidney stones and other kidney problems like MAS, and Omeprazole, by interfering with absorption can cause too LITTLE absorption of Calcium, leading to OSTEOPOROSIS.

The best rule is to take as low a dose of ANY medication as possible, preferably none, to understand the possible side effects, and compensate for them if you can.

–Dr. C