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Vitamin A and Niacinamide: Having just been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in situ on the third toe of my left food, for God's Sake - a teeny tiny little ball of evil - and having had a "Squame" (as we affectionately call them) removed from my right scapula a few years ago, I guess you could safely say that I am a former of squames.

I wanted to be sure and let you know about a natural prevention for squames. (Squames are usually nothing to worry about as they are slow growing and rarely spread, so no, I am not planning my memorial service just yet) The first is Vitamin A. The JAMA Dermatology researched 3,978 cases of squame over 26 years and found that those people in the highest fifth percentile intake of vitamin A had a 17% less risk of squamous cell skin cancer.

When you add the blockbuster niacinamide to the vitamin A you have another over 40% reduction in the risk of getting a squame. The dose of niacinamide is 500 mgs twice a day and as far as the vitamin A is concerned, just eat a preponderance of foods that contain vitamin A, the orange and yellow foods, like carrots, yams, and eggs and apricots and the green leafies like kale, broccoli and spinach.

Forget the recent study that gave the green light to eat more red and processed meat. It turns out that the author of the study, Bradley C. Johnson, has ties to the meat industry. And bad boy Bradley also gave a go-ahead a few years ago in a similar study on sugar, trying to discredit an international health study advising (of course) people to eat less sugar. Not much of a surprise - all this lying and cheating - but it's all just continually disheartening. I am actually reading more and more about the efficacy of reducing your consumption of red meat and certainly the nitrate variety of deli meats and have done so in my own diet. Later on in this newsletter I will discuss mTOR, which is the biggest reason I am reducing my meat consumption.

The Three Biochemical Pathways Responsible for Aging: Summing up the past 25 years of gerontology research, they are 1) the AMPK pathway 2) the sirtuin pathway and 3) the mTOR pathway. I have in the past discussed all three but here is a tiny reminder for you on how you can positively affect your aging by addressing the health of these three pathways.

The AMPK pathway is mostly about insulin resistance, fat bellies and carbohydrates. The drug Metformin can handle this quite nicely, but you can always take a Life Extension product called AMPK Activator which consists of natural ingredients which act like Metformin. I also like Berberine for this.

The Sirtuin Pathway is all about cleaning our house of old cells, regulating new cell function, DNA repair, inflammation and brain plasticity. We have some good supplements for that, like resveratrol, pterostilbene and nicotinamide riboside. And as always, calorie restriction and periods of fasting.

The mTOR Pathway is a strange bird. You have to have some mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin), but not too much, and mTOR comes primarily from animal protein. Too much protein and you increase your risk for cancer and too little protein, you don't have enough to run your mitochondria. So, while I am advising you to reduce your animal protein intake, there is no need to eliminate it entirely. Also mTOR is positively affected by cruciferous veggies, green tea, turmeric, blueberries - you know, all the fabulous foods that are mentioned in every health article you have ever read. Also, calorie restriction and periods of fasting will help.

The Calcium Lie: We post-menopausal women are all told that unless we get tons of calcium our poor old bones will crumble and we will turn into old dust ladies staring into space in our wheelchair at the Home for the Forgotten. Not true and never has been true. If we take calcium pills when we already have enough in our bodies, then all sorts of hell can break loose. As in kidney and gallstones, arterial plaque, bone spurs, brain cell dysfunction, brain shrinkage and dementia. Also, cataracts, arthritis, and hardening of the arteries. Whew!

Our bones are not made of calcium alone. Osteoporosis is not caused by a lack of calcium and you cannot strengthen bones by taking calcium supplements, eating tons of dairy products or drinking milk. In fact, the Harvard and Cornell research on 122,000 women who participated in the Nurses/Health Study showed that those who drank the most milk had the highest fracture rates.

A Swedish study included 700 Swedish women aged 70-92, followed for 5 years. The average recommended dose of calcium supplements in Sweden is 1,000 mgs per day. We are advised to take more than that in the US of A. Here are some highlights from the study: The frequency of fractures was 40.8% in the group that received the calcium supplements and 20.8% in the group that did not take calcium supplements. (Excess) calcium supplementation might have direct toxic effects on vulnerable neurons in the brain and may amplify ischemic cell death and dementia. There was a 110% higher risk of developing dementia and a 340% increase of the subtype dementia with stroke.

So what do we do now? Good question. Well, don't take too much calcium via supplements and get most of your calcium through foods. I suggest no more than 500 mgs of calcium by supplement alone. Make sure to supplement with all other minerals including strontium and boron and concentrating on high doses of magnesium (mitigates damage from excess calcium) and vitamin D with K. Also a product which shows promise of reducing the risks of osteoporosis is Ostinol which I and my other high risk older ladies are taking.

(The Media is already at it. Worst flu season ever! Many will die! Hurry up and get your flu shot! Before it's too late! I'm not buying it. Do what you feel you must do but there are other better ways to protect yourself from the flu. I will address this soon.)

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