Vitamin D Levels Linked to Mortality in Patients With Pneumonia

June 27, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Posted in News | Leave a comment
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Vitamin D regulates the production of two specific antimicrobial peptides (cathelicidin and beta-defensin-2), which play an important role in the innate immune response to infection. A perspective study in patients with community-acquired pneumonia indicated an increased 30-day mortality in patients with severe 25-hydroxyviatmin D deficiency compared with those patients with sufficient vitamin D levels.  Leong Leow, MD, from the Waikato Hospital in Hamilton, New Zealand, and colleagues reported their findings in the May issue of Respirology.

Associations between mortality and levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, cathelicidin and beta-defensin-2 were investigated in a prospective cohort of 112 patients admitted with community acquired pneumonia during winter.

The authors of this study hypothesized that because the known antimicrobial effects of vitamin D, blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D might be related to disease severity and outcomes in hospitalized patients with community-acquired pneumonia.  Dr. Leow and colleagues concluded that “These observations raise the possibility that vitamin D supplements and cathelicidin could have a therapeutic role in acute infections”.

Dr Flores Comments:

It is very clear that Vitamin D is a Key factor in maintaining our health. Research is proving and finding more and more benefits derived from this vitamin: antimicrobial effects, anticancer effects, musculo-sketal benefits with proper doses, etc….etc.
I usually test every patient for vit D levels with an electrodermal screen (vega testing) and I can safely say that 90% of them are deficient in this nutrient. Some of my collegues who don’t do the cost effective vega test often routinely send patients to the lab for a blood level of Vit D. Many of them had stopped doing it because almost every one came back with low levels, so the strategy is to put everyone in vit D, especially during winter and fall seasons when the sun light required for the conversion of this vitamin is almost close to none here in the Vancouver area.
The interesting demographics of the epidemiology of certain diseases, such as: Multiple sclerosis, certain type of cancers, etc. are endemic only in areas of the hemisphere where the sunlight is not consistently high many months of the year. And this is making the scientists look more closely into the correlations and common denominators like Vit D deficiency.
When we look at the typical symptoms of vit D deficiency: muscle pain, irritability, joint pain, etc. I see lots of people that could fall into this category…. And I have experienced that lots of these patients improve their symptoms just by taking vit D regularly in doses between 1000 to 5000 IU. I find great amusement in the fact that our dietary daily intake recommended by our health authorites had been bumped up …. from 400IU to 800IU per day! not a great dose increase but never the less the evidence is overwhelming to avoid this increase.

GI Tune Up Time

June 27, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Posted in News | Leave a comment
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An important habit of health is to regularly perform engine/exhaust system tune-ups (Or Detoxification / Cleansing of your body).

The difference in how people feel who have tuned up their digestive and elimination tracts is tremendous. It’s similar to a car that has been tuned up and suddenly surges with new found power.

Here’s how to do a tune-up:

  • Remove intestinal wall accumulations (like cleaning oxidation off spark plugs)
  • Remove bad bacteria, fungi and parasites (like cleaning carburetors, dirty filters and gas lines)
  • Supply good bacteria (like putting in a fuel additive to keep the engine clean)
  • There is nothing more important for your health than a clean digestive/eliminatory system
  • We repeat there is nothing more important for your health than a clean digestive / eliminatory system

According to numerous alternative health care practitioners, dirty intestines are the beginning of disease: Dr. John Harvey Kellogg said a century ago that “90% of diseases are due to improper functioning of the colon.”

Dr. Bernard Jensen, a proponent of natural health and author of Tissue Cleaning Through Bowel Management says, “In the 50 years I’ve spent helping people to overcome illness, disability and disease, it has become crystal clear that poor bowel management lies at the root of most people’s health problems.”

Dr. Arnold Ehret theorized that all disease is caused by a clogging of the tube and membrane structures within the body due to a build-up of restrictive mucoidal plaque.

If you have ulcers, serious gastrointestinal disorders (such as Chron’s Disease) or diabetes, it is advisable to consult with a doctor before undertaking a digestive system tune-up.

More information about digestive system tuning.

The digestive system is the engine of the human body.  Digesting our food is like the fuel filtering, fuel injection and fuel combustion of an automobile engine. Both automobile engines and digestive organs need to be tuned-up periodically to clean out the dirt and accumulations that degrade their power production and efficiency.

With a car, we change the dirty oil and filters and replace (or clean) its spark plugs. The tune-up maintenance that is needed for our digestive systems is:

  • Supply Good Bacteria:

A healthy adult should have about four pounds of good bacteria in his/her intestines. These good bacteria are critical to good digestion because many foods contain elements that enzymes from the stomach, liver, small intestines and pancreas cannot break down.  When these undigested elements reach the colon, the good bacteria in the colon ferment these food particles into nutritious and wonderfully, protective chemicals that are absorbed into our bodies and assist our bodies in lowering cholesterol, inhibiting tumors, cancers and doing many other good things for our body.

Unfortunately, in many people, the good bacteria have been killed off to a large or small degree and therefore the many protective and good compounds produced by these bacteria are in short supply. Also, with the good bacteria gone, bad bacteria and yeasts take over our intestinal tracts. As a result, we get muddy stools, irritation, gas and other gastrointestinal complaints.

Restoring these bacteria is probably the one piece of nutrition that all doctors and nutritionists completely agree on.  It is good for you!  Especially, after the use of antibiotics (which kill all bacteria everywhere in the body, including the intestines) we need to restore good bacteria to our intestines.

  • Remove parasites, bad bacteria and fungi:

Sugar, sand and other contaminants don’t belong inside car engines. Likewise, bad bacteria, parasites and fungi don’t belong inside the digestive system because they interfere with the critical processes of digestion.

“85% of adult North Americans are infected with parasites” – Dr. Hazel Parcels

“I believe the single most undiagnosed health challenge in the history of the human race is parasites. I realize that is a pretty brave statement, but it is based on my 20 years of experience with more than 20,000 patients” – Dr. Ross Anderson N.D

Parasites, bad bacteria and fungi, in addition to interfering with digestion, produce toxins that damage and stress cells throughout the entire body. Also, they prevent good bacteria from flourishing, which means lowered production of the many vital nutrients that good bacteria provide for our bodies.

  • Remove intestinal wall accumulations:

The digestive tract is about 20 feet long, of which the stomach is only a small portion. While the stomach breaks food down into very small pieces of food, the intestines absorb most of the nutrients and are absolutely critical to our health.

Over time, adults accumulate a layer of sticky mucous gel/plaque (incompletely digested, fermenting proteins) on the intestinal walls that interferes with absorption of nutrients. Although the thickness of this gel or plaque is usually less than an eighth of an inch (and considered normal by doctors), these accumulations provide an easy place for bad bacteria, fungi and parasites to live for long periods of time inside us.

In the realm of maintaining our bodies, removing this layer of intestinal interference is extremely important. It’s like cleaning a car’s spark plugs. In the words of Dr. Bernard Jensen, “every tissue is fed by the blood, which is supplied by the bowel. When the bowel is dirty, the blood is dirty, and so on to the organs and tissues.” Again, by Dr. Jensen, “Bowel cleansing is the single most important thing that you can do for your health.”


The digestive system must work well in order for the body to have access to its full potential power, energy and health. If someone wants to immediately feel increased energy, a digestive system tune-up is the way to accomplish this.

Flores Health Services is offering GI tune up packages. Please contact us for more information and Dr Flores will customize a GI tune up program for you. 604-736-0700

That Anxiety May Be in Your Gut, Not in Your Head

June 27, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Posted in News | Leave a comment
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Gut Bacteria Linked to Behavior: That Anxiety May Be in Your Gut, Not in Your Head

ScienceDaily (May 17, 2011) — For the first time, researchers at McMaster University have conclusive evidence that bacteria residing in the gut influence brain chemistry and behaviour.

The findings are important because several common types of gastrointestinal disease, including irritable bowel syndrome, are frequently associated with anxiety or depression. In addition there has been speculation that some psychiatric disorders, such as late onset autism, may be associated with an abnormal bacterial content in the gut.

“The exciting results provide stimulus for further investigating a microbial component to the causation of behavioural illnesses,” said Stephen Collins, professor of medicine and associate dean research, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. Collins and Premysl Bercik, assistant professor of medicine, undertook the research in the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute.

The research appears in the online edition of the journal Gastroenterology.

For each person, the gut is home to about 1,000 trillion bacteria with which we live in harmony. These bacteria perform a number of functions vital to health: They harvest energy from the diet, protect against infections and provide nutrition to cells in the gut. Any disruption can result in life-threatening conditions, such as antibiotic-induced colitis from infection with the “superbug” Clostridium difficile.

Working with healthy adult mice, the researchers showed that disrupting the normal bacterial content of the gut with antibiotics produced changes in behaviour; the mice became less cautious or anxious. This change was accompanied by an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which has been linked to depression and anxiety.

When oral antibiotics were discontinued, bacteria in the gut returned to normal. “This was accompanied by restoration of normal behaviour and brain chemistry,” Collins said.

To confirm that bacteria can influence behaviour, the researchers colonized germ-free mice with bacteria taken from mice with a different behavioural pattern. They found that when germ-free mice with a genetic background associated with passive behaviour were colonized with bacteria from mice with higher exploratory behaviour, they became more active and daring. Similarly, normally active mice became more passive after receiving bacteria from mice whose genetic background is associated with passive behaviour.

While previous research has focused on the role bacteria play in brain development early in life, Collins said this latest research indicates that while many factors determine behaviour, the nature and stability of bacteria in the gut appear to influence behaviour and any disruption , from antibiotics or infection, might produce changes in behaviour. Bercik said that these results lay the foundation for investigating the therapeutic potential of probiotic bacteria and their products in the treatment of behavioural disorders, particularly those associated with gastrointestinal conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.

The research was funded by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada (CCFC).

Story Source:
The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by McMaster University, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.


Dr Flores Comments:

It is well known fact that all chronic disease has a mental/emotional aspect. It is refreshing to see that main stream medicine is finally seeing the connection between mind and body and realizing how much impact our digestion has on our mental state. Just think of how many people love to eat chocolate and satisfying foods when they are going through hard times. Food and the way our bodies utilizes it has a huge impact on how we feel emotionally. Therefore, it is important to regularly do clean ups and tune ups on our digestive system to maximize the ability to absorb and use all the nutrients that our brain needs to stay healthy. Happy and healthy digestion will help you keep a happy and healthy mind.


Quinoa Salad with Lime & Fresh Mint

Give your Gut a break! Try out this delicious Quinoa Summer Salad Recipe! Quinoa is a superfood which is also gluten free! Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Not only is quinoa’s amino acid profile well balanced, but quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. In addition to protein, quinoa features a host of other health-building nutrients. Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, this “grain” may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis.

Quinoa. My new comfort food.


1 cup dry quinoa
2 tablespoons fruity extra virgin olive oil
Juice from 2 limes
2-3 fresh mint sprigs, leaves removed and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves or parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
A handful of sweet and ripe cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons diced red onion- or use 2 chopped scallions
1 garlic clove, minced


First, rinse your quinoa in a sieve (it’s tiny so the usual colander might not do).
Cook the quinoa as you would raw rice: in 2 and 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups fresh salted water, covered, until all of the water is absorbed.
I use my rice cooker to do this. The quinoa turns out fluffy, tender and perfect.
Scoop the cooked quinoa into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, tossing lightly with a fork until combined.
Taste test and adjust seasonings.
Cover and chill- the longer, the better. In fact, I think this salad tastes better the second day- so plan ahead and make it the day before.
Makes 4-6 servings.

Recipe taken from Gluten Free Goddess

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