Integrative Health Blog

Opioid and Painkiller Abuse: Replace What is Needed in the Brain

Posted by on Wed, Aug 02, 2017

“Men occasionally stumble over the truth but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened.”

Winston Churchill.

It’s all over the news. Deaths due to opioids and painkillers are rising dramatically and are now exceeding the mortality rates of auto accidents and gunshot wounds combined. The new healthcare budget may pump 45 billion dollars into opioid abuse treatment, intended to treat opioid abuse with the latest, more expensive, and perhaps equally addictive  prescribed opioids. This is tantamount to trying to extinguish a kerosene fire with gasoline. Morbidity and mortality rates will continue to worsen for opioid addiction, because certain basic, scientific truths about restoring the brain’s natural opioids are being ignored in society and even in mainstream healthcare.

Read More

Tags: addiction, brain health, opioids

Are You Suffering from Sugar Addiction?

Posted by on Thu, Apr 12, 2012

Eve Colantoni CHC

If you’ve tried to kick the sugar habit and failed, you could be facing a larger problem than you may have realized; you may be facing an actual addiction.  Sadly, sugar addiction is greatly misunderstood by most people; parents, teachers, even doctors and the medical community at large. In this article, you’ll learn why sugar is so addictive, how to tell if you’ve become addicted, and what steps you can take to break away from the grips of sugar addiction.

“Sugar and spice and everything nice!” The old saying takes us back to happy memories from childhood, but not all that we remember nostalgically is necessarily good for us.  In fact, one of the problems with sugar is that since it’s always been a part of our lives, from birthday parties, to holidays like Valentine’s day or Halloween, we think consuming it is all very normal.  A little in moderation never hurt anyone, right?  Well, when you see the history of sugar, and how it’s become woven into the fabric of our lives, and what it’s actually doing to your body, you may think differently.

Long before you or I were ever born, the first sugar refinery in the United Sates was constructed in 1689.  Many historians have now documented that much of the slave trade was initiated to find free labor to grow and harvest the plants from which sugar is derived; sugar cane or sugar beets.  In my opinion, it makes the scar that slavery left on humanity even deeper knowing that much of the atrocity was committed in the name of producing a drug that would further enslave us--sugar.

Read More

Tags: addiction, holistic nutrition, integrative health, candida/yeast, sugar

Is Your Brain Addicted to Sugar?

Posted by on Wed, Apr 04, 2012

Eve Colantoni CHC

Read More

Tags: addiction, holistic nutrition, integrative health, integrative nutrition, sugar, integrated health

Re-empowering Parents Through Predictive Genomics

Posted by on Tue, Nov 15, 2011

by Chas Gant MD, PhD

The best-seller and Pulitzer Prize finalist, The Nurture Assumption, Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do, by Judith Rich Harris makes a compelling case, based on sound research on identical twins and other data, that within reasonable attempts to provide our kids with a non-abusive environment, typical parenting does not matter much in how our children turn out!  I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but since the dawn of the scientific age, nutty assumptions and superstitions such as the earth being the center of the universe, have been challenged and abandoned.  The belief that parenting matters in how kids turn out is just another sacred cow destined for the waste bins of history. 

But take heart, because now you may assertively point out to those obnoxiously, proud parents who raised exceptionally talented and gifted children, that they are full of braggadocio hot air.  And if despite your best efforts, you’ve raised a kid who became a dropout, an addict or an academic flunky, you now have good cause to stop feeling guilty.

Identical twins, separated at birth and brought up in utterly different circumstances, turn out pretty much the same.  In fact their quirky traits, talents and behaviors have astonishing similarities, down to the ice cream they like with the same nut or chocolate sprinkles on top.  So, in other words, using our “fur-children” (dogs) as an analogy, within reasonable limits of a nurturing, non-abusive environment, raise them however you want; the Mastiffs will generally turn out to look and act like Mastiffs, and the Chihuahuas will generally turn out to look and act like Chihuahuas.  The only variable that seems to matter much is genetics - case closed, end of story, next.

Read More

Tags: autism, nature v. nurture, addiction, genetics

Low DHA Levels Linked to Increased Suicide Risk

Posted by on Tue, Oct 04, 2011

by Chas Gant MD, PhD

In a recent study (August 2011) published online in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, it was found that low levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the major omega-3 fatty acid concentrated in the brain, may increase suicide risk.  A retrospective case-control study of 1600 United States military personnel, including 800 who had committed suicide and 800 healthy counterparts, showed that all participants had low omega-3 levels. However, the suicide risk was 62% greatest in those with the lowest levels of DHA.

According to Joseph R. Hibbeln, MD, acting chief, Section on Nutritional Neurosciences at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, "Omega-3 is already recommended by the American Psychiatric Association as adjunctive therapy for anybody with a psychiatric disorder, especially for those with major depression."

Suicide rates in military personnel have doubled since the start of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, and now "rival the battlefield in toll."  Other data and research suggests that nutritional deficiencies in the omega-3 fatty acids may increase vulnerability to combat deployment stress, manifesting as psychiatric symptoms including adjustment disorders, PTSD, substance abuse and alcoholism, major depression, impulsive violence, and suicide. In addition, studies conducted in civilian populations have also suggested that low DHA levels are linked to increased risk for suicide attempts and may contribute to adverse psychiatric symptoms.

Read More

Tags: mental health, omega fatty acids, addiction

3 Ways to Practice Mindfulness Every Day

Posted by on Mon, Jan 17, 2011

By Chas Gant MD, PhD

Mindfulness is a separate faculty of consciousness totally distinct from cognition (thinking), emotion (feelings), intuition or sensory awareness (the 5 senses). Mindfulness is not about Mystical Religions, awareness or meditation, although many religious and spiritual paths make use of mindfulness techniques.  Many therapies and psychotherapies are becoming “mindfulness-based” as it is discovered that all healing methodologies get better results if mindfulness is adjunctively applied.  Mindfulness techniques are primarily taught to improve emotional stability, to manage stress, to expand ones intelligence, to become more productive and to lead a more joyful and meaningful life.

Scientific studies have proven that mindfulness involves about 1/5th of the brain, the frontal lobes, as well as other associated structures.  Like other skills, such as intellectual, musical or athletic, which are associated with the development of other brain regions, mindfulness can be practiced and improved over time.  Educational psychologists are studying mindfulness and devising methods to teach children how to practice and develop this skill. Mindfulness training is being introduced into school curricula around the USA. Future generations will someday be trained to use their whole brain and not just 80% of it.

Mindfulness can be applied to all areas of your life.  Listed below are three important life experiences which invite us to be more present and which, if regularly practiced, are guaranteed to get positive results.

Read More

Tags: mindfulness, mental health, addiction, integrative health, mind-body, integrated health