Gluten Free

It’s hard these days to go to a grocery store or restaurant and not see the words “Gluten-Free.” About 15 years ago the only individuals on gluten free diets were those with Celiac disease. Celiac disease is an auto-immune disorder in which the body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine following meals containing gluten. That is not the case these days. Many people without celiac disease have begun to remove gluten from their diets. Why is this? Besides the fact that there are varying levels of allergies to gluten ranging from celiac disease to gluten sensitivity, it may simply because they feel better when doing so.

Gluten is the general name for the protein found in wheat, barley, rye and triticale. It can also be found in many hidden sources, so I included a helpful chart below. The peptides found in gluten have been shown in research to increase intestinal permeability. Increased intestinal permeability has been associated with many autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, but also with diseases related to chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been associated with many medical and psychiatric disorders, including cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, cancer, autoimmune diseases, schizophrenia and depression.

I remember when I first started dating my now wife. She would experience episodes of crippling abdominal pain to the point where she would be keeled over the bed gripping her stomach. These episodes would come and go with no real pattern to them. When she would come home from work she would have to take a nap just so she could make it to the gym for 30 minutes. After recommending a food sensitivity panel and finding out that she was sensitive to wheat and other gluten containing foods we removed gluten from her diet. She now has more energy than she has ever had in the past, almost never napping and I can’t remember the last time she had an episode of stomach pain.

Nobody really knows why so many people are sensitive to gluten these days. There are theories that gluten and wheat are not the same as they were in the past due to the hybridization of the wheat plant.  All we really know is that for many people who don’t even know they are sensitive to gluten, removing it from their diets seems to make a world of difference.


What to Look Out for On the Ingredient Label Other Hidden Sources of Gluten
Wheat Binders and Fillers
Barley Alcohol
Rye Couscous
Triticale Orzo
Kamut Salad Dressings& Sauces
Spelt Soup & Chili Bases
Farr Processed Deli Meats
Bulgur Soy Sauce
Durum Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
Einkorn Malt
Oats (Although these are naturally gluten free, they are often processed in facilities with gluten containing grains and may become cross-contaminated) Artificial Crab




Vitamins to Take for Pregnancy

Nutrition in pregnancy is essential to ensuring that both the mother and fetus stay healthy throughout the pregnancy. A balanced diet is the best way for your baby to receive nutrients during the pregnancy. Vitamins should only be used to ensure you are receiving the proper amount of nutrients and should not in any way replace a healthy diet.

A healthy diet is one that consists of a variety of organic vegetables, organic fruits, proteins, and fats. Calories are very important for pregnant women therefore for most women, weight loss should not be attempted during pregnancy. Calories provide energy, aid in the expansion of red blood cells, as well as aid in the growth of the uterus and breasts. Excessive calorie intake can be detrimental leading to complication related to obesity. Your obstetrician will closely monitor your weight to ensure normal pregnancy weight gain and counsel against excessive fat accumulation.

Some of the nutrients important in pregnancy are listed below. Many are contained in a quality pre-natal vitamin.

  1. Vitamins: Its important to note that vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble meaning they are better absorbed if you consume these vitamins with meals that contain fat.
  2. Vitamin A – Important for reproduction, healthy skin, and promoting normal vision. There are 2 types of Vitamin A. The first type is found in meat, poultry, fish and dairy. The second type is more heavily found in fruits and vegetables.
  3. Vitamin C – Aids in the absorption of iron which is needed to make red blood cells. This can be found in many of the citrusy fruits.
  4. Vitamin D – Vital in the development of fetal teeth and bone as well as necessary for metabolism of calcium and phosphorus. The best sources of Vitamin D is the sun although we don’t recommend more then 10 minutes of direct sunlight daily. Fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, and cod liver oil contain vitamin D. We do recommend you have your Vitamin D level tested before and during pregnancy as many patients in the Northeast have low Vitamin D.
  5. Vitamin E – A very potent antioxidant that helps in maintaining cell integrity. Vitamin E is found in a variety of foods including wheat germ oil, sunflower seeds, almonds, pine nuts and mangos.
  6. Vitamin K – Aids in the prevention of neonatal bleeding. Often found in green leafy vegetables.
  7. B6–Helps to prevent morning sickness, preeclampsia, and diabetes. Should not be taken in excess. Fish and starchy vegetables like potatoes are a great source of Vitamin B6.
  8. B12 – Functions in protein metabolism and DNA synthesis. B12 is mainly found in animal products such as fish, poultry, meat and eggs. If you are a vegan or vegetarian you may be low in vitamin B12.
  9. Minerals are also important throughout your pregnancy.
    • Iron- The fetus consumes maternal iron stores to make red blood cells. It is important that the mom consults with her healthcare practitioner for the amount of iron she should be taking to help prevent anemia and other iron deficiency conditions.
    • Folate/ Folic acid-Helps prevent neural tube defects and low birth weight infants. It also prevents certain types of anemia and increases protein effectiveness in the body. Make sure you are taking the right form for you, as folic acid is the synthetic form of folate and not right for everyone. We recommend folinic acid for most women although there are patients who should be using Methylfolate. A simple functional medicine blood test can help determine which form of folic acid is right for you.
    • Calcium- Another mineral important to supplement during pregnancy as it has been found to increase bone mineral density in offspring. Recommended dose are usually between 900-1200mg/day. Your calclium level can be monitored through bloodwork. Excess calcium should be avoided as it can lead to kidney stones in some patients. Nutrient monitorin in general is important in pregnancy.
    • Zinc-Necessary for DNA and protein synthesis as well as for the prevention of congenital malformations.
  10. Besides vitamins and minerals, Omega 3 acids such as DHA, play a vital role in the development of the brain, central nervous system, and visual system. Fetuses rely on DHA from their mother so it is imperative that the mother has adequate intake in her diet and supplements. Selecting a quality Omega 3 supplement is important to ensure that if consuming Fish Oil, it has been properly tested for mercury.  Brands do matter. You would not want to take Omega 3 supplements from brands sold at Walmart, Costco or BJ’s.  Mercury tested brands are essential if considering any fish oil supplement.
  11. Choline is an essential for proper brain development. Studies have shown that high choline diets during pregnancy resulted in improved cognitive function in offspring.
  12. Probiotics have shown to reduce the risk of allergies and eczema in offspring during pregnancy. These are also important because infants are born with a sterile intestinal tract. The mother’s flora is needed to build the intestinal flora of the baby. A quality probiotic can be recommended and is suggested especially if the mother has any gastrointestinal concerns before or during pregnancy.

All supplements should be prescribed by your healthcare provider or under direct supervision of a healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider before changing or including supplements in your daily routine.

Topic 2 – Can you avoid accelerated shortening of your telomeres? YES, YOU CAN!

In case you missed our last blog post, telomeres are the “protective tips” or “caps” at the ends of each strand of DNA. When you prevent your telomeres from getting shorter, or make them longer, you program your body to create younger cells.

There are a few things that can accelerate telomere shortening. Avoiding all of the following can help protect against accelerated telomere shortening.

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Inactivity
  • Poor Nutrition
  • Stress
  • Depression

Many of the things we already associate with a healthy lifestyle can also work to slow down telomere shortening. Here is a list of protective measures:

  • Exercise
  • Anti-oxidants
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids
  • Vitamin D3
  • Don’t Smoke
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight
  • Reduce stress and pessimism, Be Happy!

Having trouble with an anti-oxidant, Omega 3 and Vitamin D regimen? Call us for help. Free 15 minute phone or office consultation.

NEXT ISSUE: Toxins and their effect on your health.

Topic 1: Lengthening Your Telomeres

I’m always amazed by the patients who visit my office. As more and more people seek options for getting healthy and slow aging, they turn away from the “pill for every ill” strategies of conventional medicine and look for ways to actually support their body in restoring health and healing. I have spent countless hours studying methods of restoring health and wellness flying around the country to learn from some of the foremost experts in the field. You could say it is somewhat of an obsession but I think of it as a second residency. I am learning many of the things I was never taught during conventional medical training. The things that prevent and restore health rather than just treating symptoms of various disease states through prescription pharmacologic management.


For September, my focus is the very important anti-aging topic of telomeres.

Watch this Today show special with Dr. Nancy Snyderman which reviews the topic of Telomeres and reveals Dr. Snyderman’s test results.

Do everything possible to preserve the length of your telomeres.

Telomeres are the end caps of your DNA at the end of each chromosome. You have them in every cell of your body. As your cells divide, your telomeres naturally shorten. Unfortunately telomere shortening can also be accelerated by sources of inflammation, disease, toxins, nutrient deficiencies etc. (This will be covered in my next email.) What you need to know for this issue is that bad things happen when your telomeres get short.

The telomeres are the “protective tips” or “caps” at the ends of each strand of DNA. When you prevent your telomeres from getting shorter, or make them longer, you program your body to create younger cells.

Check out this incredible study published by a leading Harvard researcher and professor of genetics. “When mice with short telomeres had this “telomere-building enzyme” turned on, they turned from old mice to looking and acting like young mice in only one month.

Telomere Study Harvard

Telomere Study Harvard University Published in the journal Nature, this Harvard study proves that activating telomerase REVERSES the losses we associate with aging. Brain cells that were dormant became re-energized. Their old organs reverted to normal and healthy and functioned well. The mice got their sense of smell back. The bottom line is that younger cells have longer telomeres, older cells have shorter telomeres.

I an August weekend in San Diego learning from a scientist who has tested the effects of various nutrients on telomeres. I personally have been taking a supplement containing over 20 of these telomere support nutrients for over a year. When I had my telomere length tested in May, I found that my telomere length is about 7 years younger than my chronologic age. Best of all…I feel great! Telomere length protection and preservation is a whole new goal of my nutritional supplementation programs. After much research, I have found an option I feel is simple to take and most important…affordable. Some options can be as much as $300 per month.

The supplement I use involves taking two capsules in the morning and two capsules in the evening. The cost is about $2.70 a day and can be shipped directly to your home. I am sharing this with you because I feel it could make a significant difference in your health. Considering it includes over 20 nutrients in 4 capsules for less than a cup of Starbucks coffee, it is a great value. I encourage you to call or visit the office so we can talk about getting you on a simple telomere support program. Your telomeres are shortening every day so call and set up a FREE 15 minute phone or office consultation to determine how we can help you achieve better health, wellness and vitality.

NEXT ISSUE: Things to avoid that accelerate telomere shortening.

*Every patient is unique and individual experiences will vary regarding downtime and results.