Category: Articles

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    pH Explained

    Christine Andrew, CNC

    “A well tuned body doesn’t run well on inferior fuel.” MT. Morter, M.D.

    Getting an engine into top running form, you have to put in the right parts, fuel, and oils. I can adjust the mechanical and electrical systems and get the parts working correctly, but if the owner put the wrong kind of fuel in the tank, the well-tuned engine could be ruined.

    pH stands for potential hydrogen. It is the measure of the relative acidity or alkalinity of a solution. There are different potencies for different fluids in the body and out of the body. Citric acid in fruit will not harm you. But hydrochloric acid in a chemistry lab can drill a hole through flesh.

    Water has a pH of 7.0. It is neutral. The lower the number, the more acidic the solution. The higher the number, the more alkaline the solution. There is a tenfold difference between each unit. For example, ph 5.0 is ten times more acid than ph 6.0, but pH 4.0 is one hundred times (10×10) more acid than pH 6.0. Minor variations in the pH can make a significant difference in the way your body functions and in your health potential.

    Your body is an alkaline entity by design, except for the stomach. yet acid-producing by function. All bodily fluid is supposed to be 7.0 or above on the pH scale. Cells operate in an alkaline environment, yet acid is produced as they function, and cells that are alive, function all the time. This acid by itself won’t damage your body because it is a weak acid that is easily eliminated by your lungs. When you exercise your body is getting rid of the acid generated by the hard working cells.

    Another source of acid comes from acid ash food. This must be neutralized before it can be eliminated through the kidneys. If you eat the same kinds of food as the Standard American Diet, day after day, acid ash is left as it is processed in the body. Excess acid from acid ash foods can be eliminated, but it can’t be eliminated through the lungs. Dietary acid ash is eliminated through the kidneys. In this process, vital minerals are lost with it. Acid ash from foods can be eliminated through the kidneys and bowels, but it must first be neutralized through buffering. Otherwise, it would burn sensitive tissue on their way through the digestive tract.

    Pain or burning on urination, or heartburn, is an indicator that the reserves of neutralizing minerals such as calcium are exhausted and that the body has adapted the way it functions for survival, not comfort. Natural treatments to ease the pain can help such as cranberry juice or ginger tea. This won’t affect the underlying cause and unless the person changes the way they eat, they will get sicker. The only way to improve the condition that caused the problem in the first place is to eat alkaline foods. If the acid ash produced by food isn’t neutralized, your body will become so toxic that it can no longer function.

    Minerals are used by the body to buffer dietary acid ash foods. The most important minerals are sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium. You get these in fruits and vegetables. Just like having a bank account where you deposit and withdraw, you can take out all of the money at once and the bank account will be empty, or you can take out a little each day and it will take longer to bring down the amount. If you don’t make any deposits, eventually your money will be gone. The same goes with your Wellness Bank Account. Every time you eat acid ash foods, some of the precious minerals, sodium, from your bodily bank account is used up. If you don’t replace it with the minerals from fruits and vegetables, your valuable reserve of alkaline minerals will vanish and your body will become acidic. When your sodium reserves are used up, then your body will start to rob calcium from the bone bank. Osteoporosis develops when “your calcium has gone off to play hero and bail you out of the mess caused by your dietary habits.” Dr. Morter

    Every day think about whether you are making a deposit or withdrawal with your Wellness Bank Account. What you eat, drink, think, and do will either make a deposit or withdrawal. Producing acid without depositing alkaline, your body must fight to maintain pH levels, and you are a prime candidate for progressive degenerative disease, or worse. What would an empty bank account do to you?

  • Articles worth reading

    The New Addiction

    Cell phone usage is out of control for people of all ages in our society. In the early 1900’s smoking was fashionable. After 40 years there were many brands from which to choose. It was the “in” thing to do; no one ever thought about the health risks or possible addictions.

    In the early 1980’s cell phones hit the market. At first they were only used for emergencies. Some 13 years later, 15 million Americans were using cell phones. Now in 2011, five billion people are exposed to cell phones. Talking and texting on cell phones have become the new “in” thing to do. As with cigarettes, cell phones were deemed safe by the FDA, and the majority of Americans never thought about possible health risks.

    Debate over the health risks of cellphones continues, but a recent report from the World Health Organization reporting that cellphones are “possibly carcinogenic” is a step closer toward indicating that cell phones are not safe. In the last decade numerous warnings about cell phones have been published and generally dismissed. The state of Maine recognizes the risks and recently approved warning labels to be placed on cell phones. Robert Becker, M.D., of The Body Electric, says, “The cell phone is the most dangerous device ever created.”

    What did we do before cell phones? I believe cell phone use has become the new addiction. What are addictions? According to J. Frascella of The National Institute of Drug Abuse, “Addictions are repetitive behavior.” K. DesMaison, Ph.D., says, “They are the habitual, physiological and psychological dependence on a substance or practice beyond one’s voluntary control.”

    An addiction is the inability to walk away from the substance or activity. You can’t live without it. Is see this in society now. How many times have you sat in a restaurant and seen families sitting together, each with a cell phone texting or talking on the cell phone? They’re not even talking to each other. How many times have you seen people walking around holding their cell phone doing every day activities, such as shopping, laundry, walking the dog, taking the baby for a stroller ride, ride a bike, etc? These people are dependent on their cell phones; using them has become an addiction.

    It is no longer only an adult activity. Attempting to keep up with the times, toy manufacturers and the media are making toy cell phones and cell phone ads that appeal to children, so that the obsession with talking on these devices starts at a very young age. Everyone at every age wants one. With free, unlimited minutes or texts, people are on their phones longer, exposing themselves and those around them. As with any addiction, the addict is not the only one affected; family members and those around them suffer too. When the addict doesn’t get their substance, what happens? Their behavior changes. Panic, even anger, sets in. Take away a cell phone from a teenager and what do you get?

    The mechanism for all addictions is the same, whether it’s food, drugs, alcohol, or cell phones. We have a thermostat in the hypothalamus of the brain to control our appetite for food or other substances, according to our metabolism. This thermostat is disrupted in people with metabolic problems and cellular miscommunication.

    What are the consequences of cell phone addictions? Health decline, social disassociations, auto accidents and death ( from accidents using cell phones). Ironically, cell phones represent a danger to our molecular cells.

    In our bodies, health decline starts with cellular communication. Cells communicate in order to process and consume energy. If there is a miscommunication for a long period of time, then tissues, organs and organ systems begin to malfunction.

    We have receptors on every cell membrane of every cell in our bodies. These receptors are chemical and vibrational. The vibrational receptors pick up signals which vibrate in the hertz range. As cell phone’s radio wave contacts the vibrational receptors on the cell membrane anywhere in the body, especially in the brain, the information carrying radio wave is recognized as a foreign invader and begins disrupting cellular communication and function. The body will then try to protect itself by shutting down the active transport channels in the cell membrane resulting in a change of the permeability of the cell membrane. Cell walls become hardened when they’re trying to protect themselves, trapping toxins in and keeping nutrients out. Toxic build-up over time creates free radicals and destroys mitochondria. When mitochondria can’t generate energy, cells can’t detoxify, and cell l-to-cell communication is lost. Free radical build up interferes with repair and replication of DNA. Hence, cancer can form. “Combined with poor nutrition, toxic chemical exposure and other factors, these electromagnetic fields might impair the body’s immune system through a collective influence,” says J. Geary of Popular Science, 2010. According to Sherrill Sellman, N.D., in 2007 of Electropollution, all aspects of life at the molecular, cellular, biochemical and physiological levels can potentially be damaged by electromagnetic radiation exposure.

    With any addiction cessation program, support is vital for success.

    It took two decades of study and 100 years of consumer use to gather enough data to meet research standards before the U.S. Surgeon General put warnings on cigarettes. Maine is on the right track with its new ruling. But how many peole must suffer the consequences of ill effects from cell phones before the link is recognized and the U.S. Surgeon General puts warnings in every state on every cell phone?

    As a holistic health care provider, I would encourage you to not wait until the studies show positive conclusive evidence that cell phones are dangerous enough to cause cancer. Be proactive and start protecting yourself now.

    Tips to protect yourself:

    1. Cell phones are a lifestyle factor. Adjust your lifestyle first. Put the cell phone down away from your body.
    2. Reduce the number of minutes spent on the phone.
    3. Choose low-tech versions with less radiation. The new Droids and Blackberries have the highest EMF.
    4. Switch the phone off at night.
    5. Keep cell phones and other EMF generating devices away from vulnerable body parts.
    6. Use speaker phone as much as possible.
    7. Do not talk on a cell phone when pregnant or carrying a small child.
    8. Use “airplane mode” or turn off the phone in public places.
    9. Don’t talk on cell phones in vehicles. Besides the proven accidents this causes, these enclosed areas trap radiation and exposure is higher in enclosed metal surroundings. The phone has to use more power to maintain connections.
    10. Avoid second-hand cell phone exposure. Like cigarettes, second hand smoke is just as dangerous. So, too, is second-hand cell phone exposure because you are between the transmitter and receiver of the other person’s cell phone. You are getting bombarded with the radiation and you are not even talking on your phone. Wi-fi spots are the worst for this.
    11. Texting avoids the brain area, but you are still holding the electromagnetic device which puts your body at risk of exposure.
    12. Pay attention to the signal bars on the display panel of your cell phone. Fewer bars indicates a weaker signal.
    13. Use electromagnetic protectors, nutritional, and antioxidants specific for brain health.
    14. Use a land-line phone more often than cell phones.

    The electromagnetic world is here to stay, but each one of us is responsible for taking proactive steps to protect ourselves and our families from the dangers of cell phones. Make your goal to use the cell phone less each day. You might find your communication skills with your friends and family are improved. If you would like help with specific cell phone protection, home remediation, and nutritional consultations regarding this topic, email

    Christine Andrew, CNC, CFDM is a certified nutrition consultant and certified functional diagnostic medicine consultant. She operates a holistic healthcare practice at Individualized Nutrition Services at 348 Cernon St. Ste A in downtown Vacaville.

  • Articles worth reading

    The Colonoscopy Prep Process; Safe?

    Christine Andrew, CNC 2009

    On the day before procedure consume liquids only, but no milk. Choices given:


    Clear liquids as long as they are not red or purple—Okay

    Chicken broth— Okay

    Strained fruit juices without pulp—Okay

    Coffee—Really? Do I want to dehydrate myself even more?


    Jell-O—ingredients: sugar, artificial flavors and colorings (may be carcinogenic, coal tar dyes, may contain aluminum), gelatin may contain sulfur dioxide, MSG

    Kool Aid—ingredients: sugar, artificial flavors and colorings (See above)

    Gatorade—ingredients: sugar, artificial flavors and colorings (See above)

    Soda—ingredients: sugar, phosphates

    Popsicle—blue, green, yellow, orange or pink—sugar, artificial flavors, and colorings.

    First, take two Bisacodyl tablets–a laxative hydrolyzed by intestinal brush border enzymes and colonic bacteria to form an active metabolite (bis-p-hyroxyphenyl) pyridyl 2 methane, that acts directly on colonic mucosa to produce peristalsis.

    Ingredients: (5 mg.)

    Acetylated monoglycerides

    Calcium sulfate—plaster of Paris, used as a firming agent. Absorbs moisture and hardens quickly. Its ingestion may result in intestinal obstruction. GRAS.

    Carnauba wax—Used as a glaze

    D&C Red no.7 Calcium Lake— any food dyes can be a potential harm gelatin—(See above)

    Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose phthalate

    Lactose—a milk sugar, Use as a diuretic and laxative and filler. Many people are lactose intolerant and this can cause digestive upset and bloating.

    Magnesium stearate

    Confectioner Sugar, sucrose

    Talc—French Chalk. An anticaking agent added to render a free flow. Comes from magnesium silicate, a mineral. Can contain asbestiform minerals.

    Titanium dioxide

    Bees wax

    Microcrystaline cellulose

    Next, mix Flavor Packet into “HalfLytely”-

    Contents of Flavor Packet:

    “Natural” and artificial flavor powder


    gum arabic

    sodium saccharin

    silicon dioxide

    food dyes (See colorings above)

    Last, drink 2 liters of “HalfLytely” every 10 minutes


    Polyethylene Glycol: A defoaming agent. A binder, plasticizing agent, solvent, and softener. Improves resistance to moisture and oxidation.

    Polyethylene: a polymer of ethylene, a product of petroleum gas or dehydration of alcohol. One of a group of lightweight thermoplastics that have a good resistance to chemicals, low moisture absorption. Ingestion of large oral dose has produced kidney and liver damage.

    Polymer: A substance formed by combining many small molecules. The result is essentially recurring long-chain structural units that have tensile strength, elasticity, and hardness. Examples are plastics, fibers, rubber, and human tissue.

    Ethylene Glycol: A slightly viscous liquid with a sweet taste. Absorbs twice its weight in water. Used as an antifreeze and humectant and solvent. Toxic when ingested, causing central nervous system depression, vomiting, drowsiness, coma, respiratory failure, kidney damage, and possibly death.

    Sodium chloride

    Sodium bicarbonate

    Potassium chloride

    Warning contained on the HalfLytely container:

    HalfLytely and Bisacodyl Tablets Bowel Prep Kit is a gastrointestinal lavage indicated for cleansing of the colon as a preparation for colonoscopy in adults. Most common adverse reactions (<3%) are abdominal pain/cramping, nausea, vomiting and headache. Use is contraindicated in the following conditions: known allergies to polyethylene glycol or other components of the kit, gastrointestinal (GI) obstruction, bowel perforation, toxic colitis, toxic megacolon.

    Use with caution in patients using concomitant medications (such as diuretics) that increase the risk of electrolyte abnormality, patients with known or suspected hyponatremia, patients with severe ulcerative colitis, ileus or gastric retention. There have been reports of ischemic colitis in patients with use of HalfLytely and 20 mg Bisacodyl Tablets Bowel Prep Kit. However, a causal relationship has not been established. If patients develop severe abdominal pain or rectal bleeding, patients should be evaluated as soon as possible. Patients with impaired water handling who experience severe vomiting should be closely monitored including measurement of electrolytes. Hives and skin rashes have been reported with PEG-based products which are suggestive of an allergic reaction.

  • Articles worth reading

    Allergic to Life

    ©2008 Christine Andrew

    Blind, deaf, mute, non-ambulatory, developmentally disabled. These are descriptions of disabilities that most people recognize. The causes of these disabilities are often birth defects, accidents or severe illnesses. The people who suffer them do so through no fault of their own. They didn’t cause the problems they were born with or give permission to be in accidents or to become ill.

    Such disabilities existed years before there was any legislation to accommodate their needs. Now, thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, which marks its 14th anniversary, there is hardly a U.S. city without some sort of wheelchair access on sidewalk curbs, and public restrooms. Braille signs have been installed in elevators, and telephones and televisions have been modified to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing users.

    But there is another kind of disability that is not as easily recognized, and which does not receive as much support to accommodate the growing needs of those who suffer from it: Environmental Illness/Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, or EI/MCS.

    This is a condition that creeps up on unsuspecting people, perhaps for years, until one day it dawns on them that they are allergic to life and wonder what happened to them. By then many have become home bound. Doctors haven’t been able to figure out what’s wrong, and drugs haven’t made any difference. Among the many symptoms of EI/MCS are headaches, fatigue, insomnia, joint and muscle pain, memory loss, imbalance, severe allergies, asthma, chemical sensitivity, and possibly cancer and other autoimmune disorders.

    The causes are numerous and have been likened to what is known as the “rain barrel” effect. Just as a rain barrel collects water over an extended period of time, people’s bodies—sometimes since infancy—have been slowly filled with multiple toxins, chemicals, and pollutants: smoke, vaccines, excessive antibiotics (and not just in the prescription form), perfumes from fabric softeners, laundry detergents and other scented products, preservatives from packaged food, cleaning chemicals and pesticides sprayed at schools and homes. Each exposure deposits more drops into the person’s barrel of toxins until the barrel overflows.

    I began noticing my own symptoms when I was around 40 years of age. I thought my allergies, joint pain and sever sensitivities to scents, to name a few symptoms, were just signs of aging. I began to accept this belief when doctors couldn’t help me with anything besides medication. With each passing year, it seemed as if my symptoms were becoming worse. I couldn’t walk down the detergent aisle in the grocery store because of the scents, and being around anyone wearing perfume made breathing difficult and my throat raw. I lived with constant rhinitis, but refused the standard drug treatment for these symptoms.

    After reading “Staying Well in a Toxic World,” by Lynn Lawson, I realized that my “allergic” symptoms had a cause and a name. My body had just about accumulated a full barrel of toxins. It has taken great effort and time to drain my personal “rain barrel.” I have learned how to remove, repair, replace, avoid and clean up the environment in and around my property, and how to detoxify my body. I would not consider myself to be disabled by any means. But there are many people in communities who have much greater sensitivities and are considered disabled. They are no longer able to go into public places because of the potential exposure to chemicals and other pollutants.

    Environmental illness/Multiple Chemical Sensitivity cannot be “cured,” but there are some approaches that can have a profound effect on how a person copes. One of the most helpful things we, the public, could do, for instance, is to add this postscript to the many public signs that ask people to turn off their cell phones: “Out of concern for others, please refrain from wearing perfumes.” Or, “Out of concern for others, please refrain from using pesticides.”

    Providing adequate scent-free zones, ventilation—a window and /or a fan— or using nontoxic cleaning supplies or natural alternatives to pesticides are other measures we as a public can take to ensure that those who are allergic to life can still enjoy it. Even though they have no outwardly visible sign of a disability, people with EI/MCS need reasonable accommodations.

  • Articles worth reading

    Sweet Tooth Addictions

    Hardly a week passes anymore without hearing some news about the rise in obesity and diabetes in this country.  The epidemic is sweeping over our country causing an increasing amount of related deaths and increasing insurance premiums.  As we approach the upcoming holidays, the temptations of over indulgence permeates every household.

    In the U.S. 55% of the population are obese.  This includes children and adults.  In the last 30 years there has been 70% increase in diabetes.  The average American consumes 60 pounds of cakes, cookies, 23 gallons of processed chemical laden ice-cream, 7 pounds of potato chips, 365 servings of soda, and 756 doughnuts a year.

    Would you even think of giving your child 17 teaspoons of sugar a day? Probably not.   Yet, the Journal of Pediatrics in January of 2005 revealed that the average sugar consumption of 2-3 year olds was about 14 teaspoons. In 4-5 year olds, the amount was 17 teaspoons.  This sugar is evident in refined cereals, soda, sports drinks, candy, syrup, processed foods with high fructose corn syrup, doughnuts, and other pastries.  With the lack of enough fresh vegetables and fruits consumed zinc becomes deficient which causes the taste buds to under-function. People are then driven to eat more sugar because it is the only thing they are able to taste; which then leads to fewer vegetables.

    In trying to avoid fats, due to the widely falsified ads that deceive people into thinking that eating fat makes you fat, people are turning to sugars, diet soft drinks, and highly refined carbohydrates to satisfy their taste buds.   A recent study showed that approximately 33% of those drinking one to two cans per day of regular soda became overweight or obese.  Approximately 47% of those drinking more than two cans per day became overweight or obese.  But, on the diet soft drinks study, approximately 54% became overweight or obese drinking only one or two cans per day.  Even though the diet sodas contained zero calories, the sweet tooth was satisfied, but nutritionally the body was empty.  This sets up a person to find more calories from somewhere else to make up for the calories that weren’t in the soda.  This leads to eating liberally other and usually unhealthy foods.

    We all have a built in thermostat in the hypothalamus of the brain to control our appetite.  This thermostat tells the body when it has had enough, regardless of the source of food, and is disrupted in people with metabolic problems and cellular miscommunication.  And how does this miscommunication happen? Eating refined grains, sugars, processed foods and trans-fats make our cell membranes stiff and unresponsive to messages of cellular communication. Cells have to communicate in order to process and consume energy.  The more sugars consumed the less calories from nutrient dense foods rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals consumed.  And, the less amount of these nutrients, leads to disease and a downward spiral of sugar addictions. Sugar addiction is defined by K. DesMaison, PhD, as “The habitual, physiological and psychological dependence on a substance or practice beyond one’s voluntary control.”   Michael Lemonick of Time Magazine, July 2007, quotes Joseph Frascella, director of the division of clinical neuroscience at the National Institute on Drug Abuse that, “Addictions are repetitive behaviors in the face of negative consequences, the desire to continue something you know is bad for you.” It is the lack of ability to walk away from sweets.  “I can’t help it.  I just have a sweet tooth,” is in reality an admission of a sugar addiction. Besides diabetes and obesity, there are other serious health risks associated with excess sugar consumption.  These are, Candida Albicans, reduced defense in bacterial and viral infections due to a suppressed immune system, (look at the rise in bacterial infections like bacterial meningitis, E.Coli, and H. Pylori), hypoglycemia, periodontal disease, PMS/menopause, adrenal and thyroid dysfunction.

    In trying to avoid sugar many people turn to artificial sweeteners. Studies are showing that consuming “diet” sodas is not effective for controlling weight.  Artificial sweeteners are just that- artificial, and still have an impact on our brain thermostat and cell membranes.  They all produce toxins. Aspartame, the worst, degrades into formaldehyde.  You may be avoiding the calories providing you only drink one soda, but you are not avoiding the hormonal disruptions.  And, if you have to use sweeteners, it is a signal that you are still in the throes of a sugar addition.

    Is it all the consumer’s fault?  Actually, it is not.  Sugar production in the U.S. is heavily subsidized by the government.  The American Diabetes Association is sponsored by the Dairy Council and the Sugar Association of America.  (And of course, what does the dairy industry add to milk?  Take a look at skim milk as well!)  The food industry spends an average of $33 billion per year to advertised and sell us processed foods.  They know it is addicting just like the tobacco industry in 1994 knew that smoking was addicting.  Most French fries are coated with sugar and beef flavoring; that’s partly why they are brown, and so addicting.  Consumers and families are constantly being bombarded by fancy colorful and deceptive marketing of the processed and sugar foods.

    So, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas are approaching, what do you eat instead of all those sugary foods and desserts?  There are several strategies I would recommend.  First, don’t go to parties hungry.  Eat a healthy snack or meal before you go so that you are not tempted to binge at the party.  Second, drinking a glass of water before eating also fills the body up and gives you a full feeling so that you don’t have to eat a lot to fulfill those cravings.  If you truly do struggle with sugars and are diabetic, then you might have to tell yourself, “That’s poison to my body, but, I can eat this,” as you are pointing to the fresh fruit.  Also, bring your own dessert to the party, then you know what you are eating and won’t feel deprived.  Some dessert alternatives I recommend are fruit pizza with cream cheese, zucchini bread made with Stevia, and 100% organic 73% cacao dark chocolate.

    The dynamics of addiction are all the same and we cannot triumph until we assume responsibility for our actions, no matter what the environment around us is like.  Isn’t your health worth it?