Galectin 3 Amplifies and Perpetuates Inflammation

Galectin 3 Perpetuates and Amplifies Inflammation

Ever heard of Galectin? It's a protein that turns on inflammation and is being found to play an outsized role in diabetes. It may be the key link to the level of inflammation that you feel in your joints. It was first discovered with respect to its ability to accentuate prostate cancer, if not all cancers some 20 years ago. It is an approved test for congestive heart failure.

With more research the means by which it accentuates and perpetuates inflammation is becoming more clear. It's not just in cancer or heart cells, galactin activity appears to show up in virtually all inflammatory processes. In that context, it appears to be an accelerant. As stated in the Cell reference, "Gal-3 contributes to the initiation and amplification of the acute inflammatory response by recruiting macrophages to injury sites and perpetuates a state of chronic inflammation through the activation of proinflammatory pathways."

This is where the story gets interesting. A young boy growing up in Israel on a kibbutz had his grandmother hand him one of the oranges she grew and told him, "This will heal all diseases." The prophecy turned out to be prescient! Sure enough, when Dr. Eliaz studied citrus pectin (the white stuff on the inside of the orange peel) he found if he chopped it up into small pieces so it would be absorbed into your blood, it became a remarkable inhibitor of prostate cancer.

It would have been enough if prostate cancer was inhibited. But on a monthly basis now we are seeing papers and studies in which modified citrus pectin helps diabetes, Alzheimer's, heart disease, chronic pain. I have personally seen a patient with prostate cancer live years past his expected demise taking only modified citrus pectin.

Inflammation is elusive. We don't quite understand just why it gets started. Everything from the gut biome to visceral fat is implicated, including the kitchen sink and your father's irritating uncle. This is a non-toxic, as natural a process as we can devise, inexpensive experiment we might all benefit from.

www.What will Work for me. Modified Citrus Pectin will lower your blood sugar. How, we aren't sure. But the lower your sugar, the longer you live. If you are one of the 60% of us who have modestly elevated fasting blood glucose, you might try the experiment. If you have any form of cancer, you might consider adding this to your regimen. Heart failure? Slam dunk. Heavy metal question? It's an impressive chelating agent. But what you might really try is 5 grams, three times a day for a month to see if your chronic pain gets better. Back pain? Hip pain? Give it a whirl. No toxicity. No prescription. You can buy it online. The only proviso is that the actually chopping-up process is some delicate chemistry and not everyone does it right. The raw, unprocessed orange peel sitting in the orange juice factory recycling pile doesn't do it. The good process is owned by the company Eco-Nugenics. It's on Amazon. Orange bottle.

References: Review Endo Meta Disorders, Jr Inflamm Research, LifeExtension, Cell,, Rev Cardiovasc Med., Journal Clin Oncology,

Pop Quiz

1. What is modified citrus pectin?                      Answer: The pectin molecule is cleaved into smaller molecules that penetrate the gut wall and successfully get into your blood. The whole molecule remains in your gut and has modest benefit as fiber.

2. What is galectin?                           Answer: It is a lectin that has pro-inflammatory qualities that help cancer cells metastasize, hearts stay inflamed, and diabetes remain out of control.

3. What does MCP do to galectin?                          Answer: It binds to it, inactivating it and consequently reducing the perpetuation of inflammation.

4. Does it lower blood glucose?                       Answer: This was the gimme question.  (Yes!)

5. Any toxicity to MCP?                      Answer: Some GI issues but very rare serious toxicity.

Microplastics are in Bottled Water

Microplastics in Bottled Water

Those bottles of fresh spring water, pure and clean! They are everywhere. At work, in the Mall at machines, we think we are getting something pure. Well, we are also getting something on the order of 250,000 particles of nano-plastics per bottle. That's smaller yet than micro. Researchers at the University of California, Irving, developed a "hyperspectral stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) imaging platform with an automated plastic identification algorithm" to precisely count those tiny little particles with algorithms to prove they were measuring plastic particles. This is a new technology for accurately evaluating whether it is a plastic origined particle or something else.

This is important because this technology is orders of magnitude greater than previously measured by other techniques. We have known about the problem, just not the full scope and level of exposure. These particles are no simple, inert pieces of plastic. They have all sorts of nefarious, unintended consequences. They clearly have the ability to disrupt your endocrine system. The American Endocrine Society has issued an alert to that effect. They estimate that these particles run up our national health care bill by $250 billion a year.

These so-called Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals or EDCs if you want the lingo. They are not rare. There are, by conservative estimates, more than a thousand manufactured chemicals in use today that are EDCs. Known EDCs that leach from plastics and threaten health include bisphenol A and related chemicals, flame retardants, phthalates, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), dioxins, UV-stabilizers, and toxic metals such as lead and cadmium. Plastic-containing EDCs are used extensively in packaging, construction, flooring, food production and packaging, cookware, health care, children's toys, leisure goods, furniture, home electronics, textiles, automobiles and cosmetics. Deep breath. Are you concerned yet?

Do a deep dive into the topic and you will find EDCs and microplastics are in your brain, in your pregnant fetus, in every gland ever studied, your lungs, your blood vessels. They carry all sorts of toxins by binding them and then releasing them in your blood. This is just bad news.

Start in little steps. The water you that comes in a plastic bottle has hidden little poisons in them. That includes the sodas, the energy drinks, juices, you name it. If it comes in plastic, you have a problem.

www.What will Work for me? Not everything has been studied yet by this technology, but the message is pretty clear. Water from a Reverse Osmosis system in glass is a safe bet. If you want a further layer of cleaning, you can even purchase your own distiller at home and distill a gallon at night when electricity costs are lower.

References: NPR, PNAS, Endocrine Society, Endocrine Society, Particle and Fiber Tox, The Guardian,

Pop Quiz

1. How many nanoparticles of plastics are in one plastic bottle of "Nature's Best, Purest Spring Water" (made up name)?                   Answer: 250,000

2. What's changed that we can measure so many?                           Answer: Laser technology and high-speed computers with RAMEN hyperspectral scattering can see particles accurately that are two to three orders smaller than what we could detect before.

3. Do those particles get into me?                        Answer: Yes. Into your brain, your fetus, your testes, your heart, your.....every cell in your body.

4. What's the problem with those plastics other than penetrating deep into you?                        Answer: All sorts of toxins are used to make the plastic stretchier, more durable, more flame retardant hitchhike along...not to mention all sorts of other environmental toxins that stick onto them.

5. How can I avoid them?                         Answer: Transition to glass, ceramic, or metal bottles for water, for leftovers, for carryout, and for any food that you eat or drink.

Does Agave Syrup Make You Sick?

Agave Syrup -Does It Make You Sick?

It was on the ingredient label at slot #4 on the "Organic Granola" bag. Agave syrup. It came before the "organic cane sugar" but it was just after the "gluten-free oats" and tree nuts.  You have heard of gluten in oats also, haven't you? So ingredients three and four were agave syrup and cane sugar. Cane sugar I can easily blow off. It's table sugar. Derived from sugar cane instead of sugar beets. Same thing. The Papua-New Guineans found those sweet canes in around 4000 BC. From there the Austronesians took it up to Taiwan where it spread up to China. When the Indians got hold of it around 0 AD, they finally concentrated it by boiling it down and clarifying it. Table sugar was born, as were camel caravans to Venice. Our 21st century diet in America is now at least 13% sugar. At least that's down from the 18% peak we hit in the last 90s.

What about Agave? Well, it's the FDA at fault. It requires food companies to label the ingredients in their food in the order of their abundance. If you have more oats than anything else, you get to say "oats" first. If that's what you are selling, that's good. If sugar comes second, you have a problem. Picky consumers won't buy your product. You have to diversify. Several forms of sugar can be added together so that each falls lower on the frequency table.  As you can tell this is obviously a head-fake.  The actual, molecule sum is high but because the various forms of sugar are from different sources and have not been refined to pure sugar, they can be labeled by their "indigenous labels". 

What is Agave syrup? It's the syrup off the cactus plant, grown mostly in Mexico. It's sugar.  

It is a cactus that has to grow for 7 years before its leaves are cut off and squeezed to get the juice out. The main ingredient of that juice is called fructan, which is a long chain of fructose molecules. Take that squeezed product, digest it down to the fructose sugar, and sell that as your "organic sweetener". It's fructose. Now it's not all fructose. It is typically about 60% fructose, 20% glucose, a trace of sucrose, and a variety of other small chains of fructose. But no kidding, it is mostly just fructose. This is on the same order as High Fructose Corn Syrup. It is 40-60% sweeter than table sugar so food manufacturers like to use it.  And they can get away with another name.

What does your body say? There is abundant literature about fructose and its nearly instant effect on your liver. We have no enzyme to filter fructose out, like we do for glucose. It rushes into your blood and then the liver in minutes. It demands an ATP molecule on entry into the liver cell which results in uric acid increasing within an hour after ingesting. This puts fructose front and center as a causative agent for diabetes. Bummer.

Don't get sucked in by "organic", "gentle, natural sweetener", or "not overly sweet". It's fructose and fructose is a metabolic poison. Curiously, fruits have it in the 6% content range. With all the fiber in fruit, that appears to be tolerable.

If you have nothing better to do on this dreary winter day, consider Googling 50 Names for Sugar. Look up Panela (unrefined cane sugar) or Rapadura sugars (South American and Asian unrefined, brown sugar). Get used to those names and stop being hoodwinked.  In particular, if you see more than one name for sugar, higher than 3rd or 4th, just don't buy that product.  

www.What will Work for me. I'm so discouraged. Anything I like has sugar in it that goes by a different name. I'm currently switching to Monk Fruit and found a couple of good vendors. The NOW foods, 8 oz bottle has twelve hundred doses of 5 drops. I'm determined to cut down to four and get used to that, then three.

References: Int Jr Environmental Research, Wikipedia, Agave Wikipedia, Diabetes, Healthline, Nutrients,

Pop Quiz

1. What is agave syrup?                                      Answer: Effectively another name for fructose. Once purified without its fiber, fructose is a metabolic poison.

2. Why is fructose so bad for me?                                    Answer:  It raises uric acid and sets off metabolic syndrome all by itself. Just watch the movie, "Super Size Me" (3 meals a day at MacDonald's for a month, with all the sugared drinks in Super Size).


3. Is there anything special about agave?                         Answer. No, other than the romantic idea of being from an exotic place, the Mexican desert.

4. Why do food companies use it?                             Answer: They are playing the truth in labeling game. They want any mention of sugar that you recognize to be as low in the sequence as they can get. If they take a product that is 51% sugar, they would have to list sugar first. If they get cane juice (sugar), agave (fructose), honey, and HFCS, they can list each of them at much lower totals and come third and fourth on the list.

5. What percent of my diet is sugar?                            Answer: Hmm. On average about 13% but some folks are up around 25%. American Heart says to get it down to 1 ounce a day.

Ceramides - The Missing Link with Fat and Diabetes

Ceramides, the Missing Link Between Fatty Acids and Diabetes

I thought ceramides were all about beauty products sold at expensive spas! We do know that ceramides are the fatty acids that make up some 50-70% of the moisture barrier of your skin, keeping water in and germs out. There are some 12 different kinds of ceramides, all made from sphingosine.

And just what is sphingosine? Well, it is the other major component of membranes other than plasmalogens and often plays a role in the functionality of a membrane. It typically has 1 long carbon change on it. Add a second carbon chain at the nitrogen end and you have a ceramide. So, these two characters are inherently wrapped up in the functionality of cell membranes. Sphingosines have all sorts of antimicrobial activities as shown in the gradual death and dehydration of skin cells leaving a layer of water-proofing and antibacterial activity. That keeps us wrapped in a cocoon of safety with billions of bacterial cells living on our skin but not getting in to wreak havoc inside us.

So far so good. How do ceramides form? Woo hoo! This is enough to make a whole graduate course in biochemistry. But the simplest explanation is that excess saturated fat turns on the production of ceramides. Saturated fats get into your cells faster and before carbs. They turn off glucose uptake. When the cellular threshold of fat storage is exceeded, fats overflow into other cells that normally don't take them up at all. For example, pancreas beta cells that normally just cheerfully make insulin when asked politely.

After exceeding the buffering storage capacity of fat tissue, neutral lipids like sphingosine and ceramide accumulate in non-fat regular tissues such as the liver, heart, pancreas, and skeletal muscle, inducing organ dysfunction called lipotoxicity. This increases the likelihood of the onset of two molecular pathogenesis responsible for the persistent hyperglycemia observed in type 2 diabetes like the progressive decrease in function and the mass of pancreatic β-cells.

It's that accumulation of ceramides and sphingosines inside cells where they have no business being that turns off insulin responsiveness, and that is the slippery slope of type 2 diabetes. It starts with eating too many calories, with too much saturated fat.

High blood ceramides are looking me right in the eyes and telling me, I'm eating too much saturated fat. That's bacon and braunschweiger, hamburger, and steak all acting together to have too many delicious, tasty, tempting calories. Those nasty little ceramides have the tendency to kill the cells they are living in...and if that happens to be the beta cells in your pancreas, you bit by bit run out of insulin.

www.What will Work for me. Saturated fat is the carrier of too many calories. Our animals on feed lots aren't healthy either. They are also just chock full of saturated fat. It tastes just plain delicious. Like Adam's's a high price.

References: FASEB, Frontiers Endocrin Lausaune, WebMD, Cell, Wikipedia, Front Endocrine, Trends Endo Metab., Annual Review Physiology, Frontiers Endo,

Pop Quiz


1. What are ceramides?                   Answer: waxy, fatty acids that have a role in cell signaling that become toxic when it reaches a threshold.

2. What causes the problem?                    Answer: We have a limit to how much fat we can store in our fat cells before we start spilling our storage into other cells that normally don't have any storage capacity.

3. Why does that happen?                              Answer: Randle's cycle. Fat gets in first and fastest. Cells can't turn its absorption off. When there is a huge flood that exceeds the capacity to burn or store in regular places, fat sneaks into other tissues. Starting with the liver, it gets into your visceral fat, your pancreas, your heart, and your muscles. You get marbled meat, just like cows.

4. Can I measure the ceramides in my blood?                     Answer: Just recently, yes.

5. How can I lower my ceramide levels?                         Answer: Be a pure vegan for a month with a no-fat diet. With skipping breakfast to boot. Get sweaty for half an hour every day.

Does Linoleic Acid (Soybean Oil) Make You Sick

Does Linoleic Acid, (Soybean Oil) Make You Sick?

The number one seed oil in the world today that is added to our food is soybean oil. That's because it is so easy to grow millions of acres of soybeans, and we like fat. It is a necessary fat that we don't make ourselves. You could call it a vitamin. Our mitochondria need it to make the cardiolipin on which all the enzymes sit for the electron transport chain. Soybean oil is 20-54% linoleic acid, so that is one very rich source. Sunflower, corn, and safflower are also rich sources. Sounds like a marriage in heaven. The American Heart Association has even recommended that we get 5-10% of our calories from "unsaturated fat" like linoleic acid.

As we have industrialized our food chain, ultra-processed foods have become dominant and we now have pretty good evidence that ultra-processed foods lead to diabetes, heart disease, and obesity....all of our modern afflictions. The simplest definition of an ultra-processed food is a processed grain (or potato) with added soybean oil, added sugar, and added salt. There you have it. The linoleic acid in our diet used to be about 1%. With the advent of our modern industrial food supply, we are hitting 9-10% of our calories from soybean oil/linoleic acid.

Does something change when we do that? Well, yes. The devil may be in the details. A study from the University of California, looking at the gut microbes in mice when fed a high linoleic acid diet found some disturbing findings. The development of "adherent E. coli" on the wall of the gut was matched by the die-off of several species of helpful bacteria. Furthermore, the gut wall became porous leading to increased gut inflammation. This was in mice but there is no shortage of humans who will tell you their IBS got better when they monitored and reduced their linoleic acid (soybean, corn, safflower) oil and added olive oil or avocado instead.

There may be other problems. For example, there is now serious consideration that cooking with high heat oils in China contributes to non-smoking lung cancer. Or, if you want to do a deeper dive you can get into OXLAMs, the oxidized forms of linoleic acid that inevitably show up with high-heat cooking. OXLAMs are poisons and have been linked to mitochondrial dysfunction, fatty liver, and a long list of other metabolic maladies.

There are links to diabetes, fatty liver, and Alzheimer's. I think the list is getting longer and a bit more concerning. It's time to call a time-out. My guess is the American Heart Association got it wrong when they recommended that much linoleic acid. I smell the rancid smell of big industry lobbying the AHA. There is no question we need a teeny, tiny bit. Just right. But not too much. It's that oxidation that happens with high heat that makes the poison. I suspect the formula of healthy, organic, whole foods will give you just that.

www.What will Work for me? Everywhere I look I find corn, soy, safflower, sunflower, or some other seed oil. Linoleic acid is everywhere. My salad dressing is an obvious one. But the quick stir-fry mix from Trader Joe's? Yup. The luscious butter Christmas cookies? Yup. I need a bit of it. It's the stir fry and high heat that makes from trouble....and just plain too much of it.

References: Harvard Chan Public Health , Scientific Reports, Gut Microbes, Onco Target Therapeutics, Journal of Lipid Research, Frontiers in Endocrine, Neurosci Letters,

Pop Quiz

1. What is linoleic acid?                                        Answer. A dietary necessity. It is a poly-unsaturated fat that is richly represented in seed and nut oils. 

2. What is the highest food source of linoleic acid?                                         Answer: Soy, corn, canola. safflower, and sunflower oils.

3. What happens to mice when you give them a high level in their diet?                                                Answer: They get leaky gut and irritable bowel, just like humans.

4. Can I avoid linoleic acid?                                               Answer: With effort. All ultra-processed foods are rich sources of them. If it comes in a plastic bag or a cardboard tin, it's likely problematic because most of that food is made with some sort of high heat.

5. Will my insulin resistance get better?                               Answer: Likely yes, and then you will start to lose that lousy poochy little tummy.

The Fourth Phase of Water

4th Stage of Water

You can tell me the three known stages of water, right? Liquid, gas, and ice (solid). Did you ever think there might be a fourth? Would you be a bit surprised if I ventured to suggest that multicellular life on planet earth might depend on that fourth phase? Let's dig in just a little.

Here is a basic nerdy science. The water molecule is 2 hydrogens and one oxygen bonded together. The two hydrogens aren't exactly on opposite sides of the oxygen, they are off 180 degrees. By a lot! They are at 104.5 degrees. They carry an ever so slight positive charge as their electron is pulled into the stronger oxygen. That makes the molecule a tiny little "di-pole" with a teeny, tiny, electrical and therefore magnetic charge. That's the genius of it all. Therein lies the fourth phase. You can imagine what would happen if you had thousands and thousands of little tiny magnets and what they would do. You've seen that with those magnetite rocks in rock shops that hang together and make cool shapes.

It's a bit tricky to measure, which is why it hasn't been accepted by all the fuddy-duddy physicists in the world just yet. Who, after all, would make a whole career around looking at water, bubbles, and such. Well, Gerald Pollack would, at the University of Washington. His book, "The Fourth Phase of Water" is a great read, if you want to go the full Monte and dive in.

Here is what happens. Any surface with a small negative charge on the surface will start a "fourth phase". The water molecules make a six-sided hexagon sheet that spreads out. We know that happens because hexagons will absorb UV light at 270 nm (UV) just like other hexagonal shapes. The hexagon allows the electrons to race around the circle and be shared. They can really be shared if the sheet expands to many hexagons, like a tile Roman floor. Now, make layer upon layer, all offset by 60 degrees from the sheet below and you make an impervious barrier to intruding ions. Sodium and chloride can't penetrate.

Guess what happens when you have a healthy glycocalyx lining your arteries! create a 4th phase with an "Exclusion Zone", as Dr. Pollack would argue. That exclusion zone builds up and has a strong little electrical charge across it. Red cells have a surface coating with a potent little electrical charge themselves. Negative against negative repel each other. You knew that. You also have seen capillary action when you put a tiny glass tube into water and see the water climb in it against gravity. That's happening because the water is making an EZ layer and the force it generates is enough to pull it up.

Guess what happens when you have a healthy glycocalyx in your capillaries and have red cells enter them? Remember, a red cell is about 25% bigger than the smallest capillary. How on earth can it slip through? Easy, peasy! The fourth phase making an electrical charge combined with the capillary action force actually propels the red cell. The red cell folds over but its electrical charge on the surface makes it slither right through the capillary with frictionless flow. One could make the argument that blood flow through our bodies is propelled and pushed by that capillary action. Like a MagLev train, that magnetic exclusion, just a few millimeters, in fact, nanometers, is all it takes. The heart is just there to suck the blood out of the capillaries and expose it to oxygen in the lungs, and then push it back to the capillaries.  The capillaries do as much work as the heart, effortlessly because of the fourth phase of water.  Hence, life on earth beyond just a single-cell organism can exist.

Maintaining a healthy glycocalyx is critical. Without the fourth phase of water, we couldn't circulate our blood and supply our cells with the oxygen they need to make energy.

www.What will Work for me? I've always wondered how the heart could actually "pump" blood through those hundreds of millions of capillaries. It doesn't have to. The real lesson for me is recognizing the processes that keep my glycocalyx healthy. That is one of the new frontiers of healthy living. Start with less saturated fat, less processed meats, less sugar, and more vegetables. And more vegetables.

References:The Fourth Phase of Water by Gerald Pollack, McMaster University, Steven Hussey Podcast, Rev Brat Hemat, Biodiversity for a Living Planet,

Pop Quiz

1. What is the fourth phase of water?                               Answer: The structured development of hexagonal sheets of water that build up dozens of layers of water.

2. Can anything penetrate those layers?                        Answer: Nope. Albumin, a tiny protein, can't.

3. Pollack has a name for those layers of structured water. What is it?                   Answer: Exclusion zone or EZ. (phrase first coined by John Waterson from Australia)

4. What makes the EZ so electrically charged?                                    Answer: When you make the lattice, you always end up with -1 charge for each hexagon. With an extended sheet, there can be a lot of charge. You are making quite a battery with lots of potent energy in it.

5. Can you buy the conclusion that EZ zones with fourth-phase water combine to make capillary pressure, that builds up to make humans exist? Answer. Well, you decide. Pollack is building to that conclusion.

Diosmin and the Glycocalyx

Diosmin and the Glycocalyx

Diosmin is not new to medicine. It was discovered in 1925 and is widely present in citrus peel. It has been used in Europe since 1969 and has been found to be safe and effective. Its first uses were peripheral artery disease and the treatment of diabetes.

That's not the buzz that's going around now. Diosmin appears to repair the glycocalyx. The glycocalyx looks like sea-grass and is a negatively charged surface coating of blood vessels. It facilitates the conversion of mechanical actions in the blood vessel into chemical actions. The term, "endothelial dysfunction" is widely regarded as the first step in artery disease, whether it be in the heart, the aorta, or the legs. Oxidized, small dense LDLs can penetrate the membrane of the lining of arteries when there is damage to the glycocalyx. The endothelial cells, using up their internal plasmalogens battling the oxidative stress assaulting the blood vessels, pull their membranes in, making gaps in the wall of the endothelium. It's those gaps that attract the oxidized LDLs. The battle is all in that process: damaging the glycocalyx and depleting plasmalogens (which are designed to be the antioxidant of first resort in cells).

Here is where two other 30,000-foot metabolic processes insect. In Scientific American, Robinson published a consideration of the heart as facilitating a swirling movement down the arteries and capillaries. In that context, the heart functions as much as a suction pump as a pushing pump. There is no possible explanation for how our blood pressure can push fluid through our capillaries without needing very high pressures that we don't have. In fact, examination of the heart by physicists shows that the real work of the heart is not to pump, but to swirl, making natural vortices. That combined with the 4th nature of water that induces capillaries to flow naturally suggests that our capillaries are the real pump because of the 4th state of water in which water naturally flows up a tiny capillary.

The next trick is the negative charge of the glycocalyx. Red cells are actually larger than the diameter of capillaries. How can they slither through with virtually no friction? Ah, it's the mutual negative charge on the surface of the red cell and the negative charge on the glycocalyx that makes electrical repulsion and virtually makes for frictionless movement. Add that to the 4th state of water and capillaries are the real pump in your body. Did you get that? Capillaries are the real pump. Your heart is just a vortex-making machine to generate blood pressure to feed the larger organs. For them to work effectively, they need a healthy glycocalyx.

Has this got you all confused? Let it go. Just reorder your consideration of your blood vessels to tiny capillaries that naturally suck up water and propel it forward. Your heart is a ram-jet forcing the flow into a swirly to effectively send it back to the capillaries. All of that is contingent on the negative charge on the surface of arteries, made by the glycocalyx. The glycocalyx is damaged by oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress damages the glycocalyx. What is oxidative stress? It's the generation of reactive oxygen species from damaged mitochondria. What is the source of damage to mitochondria? Ultra-processed foods, trans fats, sugar, smoking, and pollution are just a few of the egregious causes of oxidative stress. It's ultra-processed foods that are just too purified, too easily digested, too filled with easily metabolized sugars and fats that flood into our mitochondria too quickly, overwhelming them with too many calories. Much like trying to fill a small juice glass with the gasoline pump at the gas station, it overflows too easily because the gas comes out too fast. It leaves a huge mess on the floor. In your body, that huge mess is reactive oxygen species that damage the glycocalyx and consume all your plasmalogens. Bummer.

And that's where diosmin comes to the rescue. Stay tuned. It's a hot topic of research.

www.What will Work for me. I'm convinced and heaven knows I have enough supplements. I'm certainly taking plasmalogens and Nitric Oxide for my arteries. But I've added Diosmin. Curcifereious vegetables give me abundant sources of sulfur and sulfur makes negative charges in the glycocalyx. Next time you see articles about seagrass being so important for ocean ecosystems think of the seagrass in your arteries that are swirling in frictionless movement.

References: FASEB, Nutrients, Science Direct, PLOS1, Square Space, UCI Samueli, Fourth Phase of Water by Pollack,

Pop Quiz

1. Your arteries are lined with a fine layer of hair that looks like sea grass called what?                    Answer: Your glycocalyx

2. What role does the glycocalyx play?                        Answer: Probably central to the ability of the capillary to propel your blood forward with the 4th state of water. 

3. What happens when the glycocalyx gets damaged?                           Answer: with denuded glycocalyx, we get damage to the lining cells that retract and make room for small, dense, oxidized LDLs to sneak in. That comes later.

4. What is diosmin?                           Answer: A neutraceutical found in citrus peel.

5. What is diosmin used for?                           Answer: In Europe, it is approved for the treatment of artery disease and diabetes. Repair of the glycocalyx is a recent discovery.

Care of Your Glycocalyx is Key to Your Health

Glycocalyx Barriers are Key to Your Health

Ever heard of "glycocalyx"? Nobody else has either. If you have any trouble with your gut, or have any form of heart trouble including high blood pressure, you need to pay attention. The term "endothelial dysfunction" is bandied about freely when we talk about high blood pressure and heart disease. The glycocalyx goes right through that. Healing your glycocalyx is an important function.

The human body has some unique challenges. We need to protect ourselves from an environment of many bacteria and viruses that want to invade us and damage us. We have a tough layer of dead cells on the outside that does a pretty good job of keeping invaders at bay. To take in nourishment, however, we have to let down our defenses a little. How can we let food, water, and nutrients in while keeping bacteria, parasites, and viruses out? The intestinal tract is the first line of defense. Anything that gets past the gut ends up in the blood. The blood vessel system is the second layer of defense. Both are lined with glycoproteins.

In common parlance, those glycoproteins are mucins, aka mucus you can blow out of your nose and make for much teenage mischief. In your gut, there is a rich layer of mucin-producing cells in which a huge, specialized biome of bacteria thrive and interact with us, their host. They make many vitamins, neurotransmitters, and beta-hydroxybutyrate for us to use as energy.

We are now discovering that your blood vessels, the second layer of defense, are also lined with mucins. Our arteries are not just smooth, clean pipes. They look like sea-grass surfaces. It's damage to this glycocalyx that's the first step in coronary artery disease. Aha, the disease that kills half of us is not driven by cholesterol. That shows up later once the endothelial cell, the lining cell of the artery, pulls back, exposing openings in the barrier for oxidized, damaged LDLs to slip in. They pool their contents to make cholesterol plaque. Taking a statin doesn't help the glycocalyx.

There is also the hypothesis that our vascular tree runs more on electrical forces than just simple blood pumping. The glycocalyx is negatively charged, as are the outer walls of red cells and white cells. They repel each other, allowing swirling blood to be electrically propelled. The book, Human Heart, Cosmic Heart by Cowan is a great read and lays out this hypothesis. I believe it. It gives absolute importance to a healthy glycocalyx.

The race is on to find means of repairing the glycocalyx. Vitamin D has been shown to play a role. DHA from fish oil shows effects. Berberine appears to help. The Mediterranean Diet also shows effects. Just what is that specifically does it? Certainly, Nitric Oxide plays a major role and its induction or replacement may be key. Any time any of these topics is published in the medical literature, there are multiple companies making supplements that promise to save your arteries. Just type in "supplements to repair glycocalyx" to any search engine and you will see a raft of them.

Perhaps the most intriguing compound for glycocalyx repair is called diosmin. That too is now on the supplement market.

This is where we are going to preserve and save you from heart disease.

www.What will Work for me? Well, Nitric Oxide is now widely available, for a price. Considering that you lose 12% per decade, anyone over age 60 might consider some strategy to increase their NO. If nothing else, stop using mouthwash or omeprazole as both dramatically reduce your NO production. And eat 5 servings of vegetables every day. Sugar and saturated fats damage your glycocalyx barriers. That may be where the whole story starts with those two egregious toxins. Too bad we like them so much.

References: FASEB, Annual Rev Biochem, Glycobiology, ResearchGate, Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine, Nutrients, BioPhys Journal, Human Heart, Cosmic Heart,

Pop Quiz

1. What is the glycocalyx barrier?                   Answer: The complex, mucusy layer of sugar molecules added onto the surface proteins on the innermost lining of your gut and your arteries.

2. What role do they play?              Answer: In your gut they make a home for healthy bacteria that have an interplay with our gut cells, keeping the bad guys out.

3. Can I measure the loss of my own glycocalyx?                     Answer. Not really, yet. If you have high blood pressure, you likely have "endothelial dysfunction," another term for damaged glycocalyx.

4. I thought it was cholesterol that got my arteries in trouble. What am I missing?                    Answer: You are late for the football game. Cholesterol shows up down the road when a damaged artery, stripped of its glycocalyx, pulls back its cells making openings onto which oxidized, small, dense LDLs can stick and carry cholesterol into the artery wall. Lowering cholesterol with a statin doesn't repair that. Fixing the glycocalyx does. Cholesterol is like the crowd at the football game. It makes a lot of noise but isn't the cause of the initial disease. It is the cause of the heart attack when the plaque ruptures and plugs up an artery. (Don't get me wrong.  There is clear evidence that lowering cholesterol LDLs in folks reduces heart attacks.  It's just not the primary cause.)

5. How can I repair my glycocalyx?                            Answer: Oooh, the million-dollar question. There is a race going on right now. Hundreds of labs or studying this. Wait and see what emerges. Diosmin? Make sure you take your Vitamin D and fish oil every day.

The Hormonal Effects of Omega Fats

Hormonal Effects of Omega 3 Fats Compared to Saturated Fat

One of the "Great Dietary Transitions" of humans with the advent of civilization occurred in the 1950s, and no one noticed. All of our animals were moved from pastureland to feedlots. That fundamentally changed the fat content in their meat. Examination of feedlot-fed beef versus grass-raised deer shows a roughly 5-fold increase of omega-3 fats in the grass-raised animals. That suggests that we humans living in "advanced societies" where agriculture has become big business, run on corporate profit principles, have lost about 80% of our dietary intake of omega-3 fats. In fact, we seemed to have liked that transition. That marbled beef was juicy and rich with fat that tasted good. We didn't really think about what that fat was made from. Even though it tastes the same, not all fat is the same. That feedlot, corn and bean fat, is saturated fat with only traces of omega fats left in it.

Every indigenous society examined has always valued fat over protein. We naturally seek it. It makes our food taste good. The weakness we have, as humans, is that our inclination to seek fat can't tell the difference between valuable, natural omega-3 fats, and less valuable omega-6 fats found mostly in seeds and grains. Seed oils like corn, soy, and canola all taste good too.

And then there is the balance. Throughout most of human history as hunter-gatherers, or herders, and even recently with cows in the pasture, our ratio of omega-3 fats in our diet to omega-6 fats has been between 1-1 and 1-3. Now, with our transition in the last 75 years, our omega-3/omega-6 ratio has plummeted to 1-20. Is that a problem?

Well, yes! Omega 6 fatty acids are the precursor molecules for all the inflammatory eicosinoids. Omega-3s are the precursors to anti-inflammatory eicosinoids. Our body needs both and the ratio of 1 to 2 is just about the sweet spot. There is now abundant literature demonstrating that we can repair the damage caused by that abnormal abundance of omega-6, inflammatory fats by substituting DHA and EPA which has been deficient.

The problem with saturated fat in the meat we eat is that it acts like LPS molecules (lipopolysaccharide) in our gut and makes for leaky gut and inflammation emanating from that. And to make things worse, our massive increase of vegetable oils in the last hundred years which are rich in omega-6 fats tilts the scale even further to omega-6 dominance.

Do we have evidence of that being a problem? Yes, now we do. If you compare the diets of Japanese, Koreans, Icelanders, and Americans, you find a linear inverse relationship between omega-3 intake, ocean fish intake, and coronary artery disease. Icelanders eat a lot of haddock, which tends to have little omega-3 fat but they also consume grass-raised lamb, which is omega-3 rich. Their heart disease is less than that of Americans, more than Koreans and Japanese.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is the bane of younger women wanting to get pregnant. With high testosterone, borderline diabetes, and irregular periods, something is wrong. Bench research with PCOS rats shows that marine fish oil largely improves the rat PCOS. Several studies have been done in humans, unfortunately only lasting 6 months or so. One randomized study of pregnancy success in women with PCOS showed statistically valid increased pregnancy.

Pregnancy, and heart disease all speak to a fundamental defect in our metabolism. The DHA (omega-3) in fish oil is readily replaced by arachidonic acid (omega-6) on the sn-2 position of plasmalogens. This speaks to an alteration of our membranes about which we don't understand clearly.


What we do know is that there has been a change. Our internal endocrine environment has been altered. Our feedlot animals aren't giving us the same food we are biologically used to. Hints around heart disease and PCOS are just the tip of the iceberg. We can show the same effect with incipient schizophrenia. Adminstration of high-dose fish oil (omega-3) prevents the progression to full-blown schizophrenia. The list goes on.

www.What will Work for me. Several studies have shown that the supplementation of fish oil doesn't do much good whereas eating the native wild-caught fish does. It may be that we can't overcome the fat in that bacon cheeseburger if we don't substitute the feedlot fats out. Olive, avocado, walnut, and sesame oils are pretty safe. Corn, soy, and canola just aren't. Ocean-caught fish is expensive but worth it. It's an eternal battle to reverse that trend away from omega-3 fats. Flax seed is one rich vegetable source. The Japanese are living some 7-8 years longer than we are. There is good reason to ascribe some of that benefit to the fats they eat. With the understanding that omega-3 fats make up a critical component of plasmalogens, the science of membrane health will mature. I want to witness that.

References: Iran Jr Bas Med Sci, Amer J Clin Nutr, Prostaglandin Leuko Essent.,J Sci Food Ag, International Jr Trypto Res., Nutrients, Is Med Association, Circulation,

Pop Quiz

1. The fat in a cow raised on corn and beans is primarily what?                            Answer: Saturated fat.

2. A grass-raised cow's milk will have all the normal omega fats in it to feed its baby. T or F.                Answer: False. There is a dramatic difference in purely grass-raised cheese to feedlot cheese. Three and four-fold changes in omega-3 fats.

3. This stuff is hard to understand? T or F.                          Answer. Whew, true. Thank you for recognizing that.

4. Grass raised, good.    Feedlot, bad. T or F.                            Answer: True

5. Olives?                              Answer: Good. They are mono-unsaturated and fits into the myelin-plasmalogen, also necessary for your brain. Common threads come together.

Oxidized Phospholipids and Autoimmune Disease

Oxidized Phospholipids And Autoimmune Diseases

The Holy Grail of medicine is "just what starts it all". We have yet to find that unified hypothesis of disease that would explain how the human body gets in trouble. Inflammation is a pretty broad excuse and doesn't quite get down to the details that matter.

I have witnessed two remarkable events in the last month that might give insight. They both got my curiosity going. One was in a client with modestly abnormal oxidation of cholesterol and a high cardiac calcium score. On taking Plasmalogens, Nitric oxide, and a statin, showed the most dramatic improvement in oxidation levels I've ever witnessed. I've seen dozens of statins not changing much. The second was a person with interstitial cystitis who was desperate, having failed all conventional therapy. She started on Prodrome Glia, the plasmalogen designed to repair white matter in the brain and have potent anti-inflammatory effects. She took a 100 mg per kg dose and had 80-90% symptom relief in just 3 hours.

There have been reports in the literature for almost twenty years that oxidizing compounds are the actual cause of coronary artery disease. It was in 2006 that Tsimikas published in the J Am College of Cardiology the results of the Bruneck Study, a 10-year follow-up of 765 men for coronary artery disease with the finding that it was oxidized phospholipids (that's plasmalogens) that predicted future coronary artery disease better than any other marker. The sequence of disease in coronary artery disease is now widely acknowledged as being some sort of oxidizing stress that damages the endothelium, the lining of the arteries throughout the body. With damage to the endothelium, the cells that make up the lining pull apart, leaving gaps. Into those gaps come oxidized LDLs. Cholesterol accumulates. It was the oxidation of the plasmalogens in the endothelial cells that made the gaps. This leaves the "oxidizing stress" as the first initiator of coronary artery disease. The subsequent damage to plasmalogens makes for oxidized phospholipids, which are the acknowledged most accurate predictors of future stress. Lowering cholesterol with statins is a sideshow. Repairing oxidative stress is the main act.

We've also heard the recent report of 7 children from Seattle with COVID myocarditis and C-reactive proteins above 100 resolved in just 48 hours with Prodrome Glia. This suggests that the pathology of COVID myocarditis is plasmalogen loss in the sarcoplasmic reticulum (the membrane, made of plasmalogens, that surrounds all muscle cells and sequesters calcium releasing when needed it to allow contraction). COVID depletes that membrane plasmalogen content and heart symptoms follow. Replenishment repairs the damage in 48 hours.

These three disparate events can only be explained by depletion of membrane lipids (plasmalogens) by some oxidizing stressor. The body can only repair those membranes slowly in the environment of ongoing oxidative stress. Interstitial cystitis waxes and wanes with mysterious irregularity and can last a lifetime. Want to fix it in 3 hours? Want to repair your coronary artery disease? Your COVID? The Holy Grail of common pathways may be before us. Maybe all autoimmune diseases are caused by membrane damage, exposing naked tissue below that then develops antibodies. We've been chasing the antibodies. Perhaps we should be focusing on repairing the loss of phospholipid building blocks in the membranes.

www.What will Work for me? I'm letting these observations soak in. The more I look in the published literature, the more evidence I find to support the observations I'm seeing. The question is, "What is the source of oxidative stress and how can I fix it." Oxidate stress probably comes most reliably from processed carbohydrates and fructose. Table sugar and white flour converted into donuts, chocolate ice cream, fast food with no fiber, and just about every prepared food we eat puts us at some risk. Visceral fat is the manifestation in our abdomens that we have oxidative stress in abundance. My little poochy tummy is there. It's my job to lose it.

References: Subcell BiochemJr Am College of Cardiology, Biochem Cell Biol,  Matrix Biology, Arterio Thromb Vasc., Natur Clin Pract Urology

Pop Quiz

1. What is this evil Darth Vader called oxidative stress?                        Answer: Extra electrons that escape the mitochondria and cause the production of reactive oxygen species.

2. Why are the mitochondria so touchy?                        Answer: The mitochondrion is a miraculous organelle upon which all animal life depends. It is what it is. It functions best when it has food fed to it in a regulated fashion. A flood of calories from processed foods overwhelms it. Think putting gasoline into your gas can with a small funnel that overflows. That's oxidative stress. When you light the match. In human history, we have never had mounds of sugar on top of highly refined flour, on top of mounds of saturated fats that we call Thanksgiving or fast food, or a bag of chips during a football game. Our food has been so purified, it gets digested too fast with too many calories. That tips the balance.

3. Why do plasmalogens get depleted?                          Answer: A plasmalogen is a membrane lipid, making up some 20% of every cell membrane in your body, but 70% of your myelin in your brain and in the synapses in your brain. It is the only lipid with a precious, vinyl ether bond on the outer surface of the cell that is positioned to soak up peroxide, made by oxidative stress. They are the anti-oxidant of first resort. Vit C and E are intracellular. They come second. That saves the cell but depletes the plasmalogens. You get in trouble when you have ongoing oxidative stress that strips away your plasmalogens. As you deplete plasmalogens, you deplete cellular function. (This, in a nugget, is my explanation of the Holy Grail of Medicine). Let's see if this plays out.

4. Has this hypothesis been proven?                      Answer. No, not in large studies. But the clinical story is before us that can be explained in no other fashion, and the bench research supports it.

5. What's changed that this is just coming out now?                        Answer: Dayan Goodenowe has learned how to manufacture the plasmalogen supplements that survive digestion and show up in your blood as the missing, damaged plasmalogen building blocks to repair the oxidized membranes. We have never had the ability to repair damaged membranes before. We had to just wait. We are at the dawn of a revolution in medicine. Aren't we lucky?