A natural non-toxic approach to reversing hair loss.

Hypertension & Androgenetic Alopecia

Researchers in Paris, France had found that androgenetic alopecia is strongly associated with high blood pressure. Two blood pressure medications have been known to increase hair growth, such as Minoxidil and Spironolactone. The researchers stated that the cause of high blood pressure is probably related to an over production of the hormone aldosterone, although they say it warrants further study.

Eur J Dermatol. 2007 May-Jun;17(3):220-2.

As a result of the finding, creating new drugs targeting the mineralocorticoid receptors is the proposed solution.

There are a variety of factors that contribute to high blood pressure (hypertension). Many physicians are unaware that high glucose levels, per intake of refined starches, grains and sugars leads to increased stimulation of aldosterone. Typically a physician will prescribe an aldosterone receptor blocker, such as spironolactone.

All too often, we are told to cut back on salt, yet salt induced hypertension is not common, in fact sodium intake is inversely correlated with cardiovascular mortality; the less sodium the greater the cause of death from heart disease.

Am J Med 06;119(3):275

Free radicals, which result from consumption of cooked foods, particularly fried foods, consumption of refined and/or processed foods etc, can activate the mineralocorticoid (MR) receptor, in an aldosterone-independent fashion. Hence, aldosterone/MR activation plays a role in the development of salt-sensitive hypertension.  It isn’t the salt that’s at fault, it is oxidative stress or an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS).

J Mol Med. 2008 Jun;86(6):729-34

Aldosterone is produced by the adrenal glands, which manage the body's balance of sodium, water, and potassium. When your body produces too much aldosterone, you retain sodium and lose potassium, a condition known as aldosteronism or hyperaldosteronism. Correcting sodium, potassium and magnesium imbalances should be done first with supplementation of oral magnesium, such as magnesium orotate and an adequate diet of potassium foods. Low sodium V-8 juice, Pomegranate juice and even apple cider vinegar make good sources of potassium.
Pathophysiology. 2007 Dec;14(3-4):205-11.

Just as important, is to keep glucose levels under control by maintaining a high intake of antioxidants, especially plant-based polyphenols and tannins.  Some may suggest decreasing the intake of cooked and refined foods, however this is not a practical option for many.

Recently, it’s been shown that chronic elevation of circulating levels of aldosterone leads to increased anxiety. This may explain why some who suffer from male pattern baldness can occasionally exhibit heightened anxiety levels.

Horm Behav. 2008 Jun;54(1):90-7.

To blindly submit to the doctor’s request to take spironolactone increases susceptibility to acquire "age-related" hearing loss, as the hormone aldosterone is intimately involved in the sodium-potassium interaction in the inner ear.  Many of those who start to lose their hearing could be deficient in aldosterone, or they could be taking an aldosterone receptor blocker like spironolactone.

Laryngoscope. 2002 Feb;112(2):298-303.

If one is not taking spirolactone, the hearing loss could result from a deficiency of aldosterone, which is remedied by bio-identical aldosterone and would require the services of a qualified physician, preferably one educated in nutritional medicine.

The logic behind using spirolactone is simple enough, reducing excess aldosterone. After all, the correct balance of sodium and potassium in your body helps maintain the fluids in your body, transmits nerve impulses, and contracts and relaxes your muscles. Too much aldosterone causes sodium retention, which then causes water retention. This combination increases blood pressure and blood volume. However, reducing insulin will address the cause of excessive aldosterone.

Another cause of hypertension is heavy metal toxicity.

Altern Med Rev. 2006 Mar;11(1):2-22.

Heavy metal accumulation is extremely common.  As you might expect, heavy metal toxicity is another often-overlooked cause of "essential" hypertension. Whether or not you have these toxic metals in your body isn't the question. The question is: how much?  But even if your doctor does test you for heavy metal toxicity, chances are the results won't be accurate. That's because blood tests for heavy metals are virtually useless.

Since these toxic substances are damaging to so many different cell structures, your body clears them from your bloodstream as rapidly as possible. If there's too much toxic metal to be immediately excreted through your liver and kidneys (and there usually is), it gets tucked away in your bones or other less metabolically active tissue where it causes less immediate damage.  During bone remodeling or bone turnover, metals such as lead are released into the bloodstream.

Blood tests will pick up toxicity only immediately following exposure. Unfortunately, wherever the unexcreted toxic metal is stored, it still does some damage, and if and when it's finally released from storage, it can do further damage.

Don't bother testing your hair for toxic minerals either; it's not much better than blood tests. If one or more metals are found to be high based on a hair test, there's definitely a toxic mineral problem. But if the hair test comes back negative, it doesn't necessarily mean that you're free from heavy metal toxicity.  The best test for the presence of heavy metals is a chelation test. According to some integrative physicians, more than 50 percent of individuals with blood pressure higher than 140/90 have significant excretion of toxic metals found by a chelation test.  If you do have heavy metal toxicity, chelation therapy will usually help lower your blood pressure.  What is Chelation therapy?  It is an intravenous process that binds to the heavy metals and removes them from the body.

There are oral methods to remove toxic metal build-up, such as Chlorella and Lipoic acid.  A product derived from Hungarian peat moss called Humifulvate, made up of humic and fulvic acid has a profound metal chelating properties.  It has an affinity for attracting mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium and iron. 

Doctors love to prescribe ACE inhibitors for high blood pressure. This medication blocks angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE).  In simple terms it reverses the narrowing of the kidney artery possibly lowering blood pressure, however, at the expense of some unpleasant side-effects like feeling dizzy.

Recently, a few natural, non-prescription ACE inhibitors have come to market.  Still, not even one these are needed, when you can eliminate your "requirement" for an ACE inhibitor with vitamin D.  Vitamin D is really a hormone that is synthesized in your body with a lot of help from UVB exposure from the sun.

Statistics have shown for years that there's less hypertension in tropical latitudes than in polar latitudes and that the prevalence of hypertension rises for all ethnic groups the farther away they
are from the equator.

Klin Med (Mosk). 2006;84(5):34-7.

In the natural medicine world, I have suspected for a long time that vitamin D is behind these good results--and now there's a study confirming that suspicion.  In 2002, the Journal of Clinical Investigation published a detailed explanation of exactly how vitamin D helps lower blood pressure.

J Clin Invest, July 2002, Volume 110, Number 2, 229-238

Vitamin D up until recently, has been one of the most underrated nutrients, as it is especially useful in the prevention of many very deadly cancers.  Without adequate vitamin D, a molecule called renin is produced in excess.  Renin breaks down another molecule, called angiotensinogen, into angiotensin I. Angiotensin I is converted into angiotensin II by angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE).  Ultimately too much angiotensin II means high blood pressure.  There's little "need" for the over prescribed blood pressure medicine, ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) when vitamin D is superior on a number of fronts.

In its fully activated form, vitamin D persuades the gene that controls renin production to become less active. When less renin is produced, less of all the "intermediates" mentioned are produced, and the end result is less angiotensin II and lower blood pressure.

Benefits from vitamin D supplementation do not occur overnight and while it is possible to take too much vitamin D, recent research has reevaluated the safe upper limit for this vitamin, many experts now agree that it's 10,000 IU daily.

What about sun exposure?  One can boost their vitamin D levels more than adequately from standing in the sun cumulatively for about 15 to 20 minutes. Your body will tell you how much vitamin D you need.  Seek cover the moment your skin turns a mild pink--you've now soaked up enough.  Over time your skin pigment will build-up, eventually allowing you to accommodate more sun exposure.  The further away from the equator, particularly in the northern latitudes, the more likely vitamin D3 supplementation is necessary, since there may not be adequate UVB exposure throughout the year.  Obviously vitamin D supplementation may be necessary if your access to the outdoors is limited.  More and more supplement manufactures are offering larger dosages of vitamin D. 

The vast majority of those who have been diagnosed with essential hypertension have tested positive for insulin resistance, heavy metal toxicity, or both, and most of them have had less than ideal blood levels of vitamin D.  Odds are your chances of eliminating essential hypertension are very good.  Patented molecules are alien to your body, if they even do one thing "right," and like a broken clock get everything else wrong.

Am J Med. 2006 Apr;119(4):318-26.

Magnesium plays a major role in the regulation of blood pressure and is inversely correlated with related conditions such as diabetes mellitus, obesity, and metabolic syndrome.

Nutr Clin Pract. 2008 Apr-May;23(2):142-51.

Magnesium acts as a calcium channel blocker, it stimulates production of vasodilator prostacyclins and nitric oxide and it alters vascular responses to vasoactive substances.   Keep in mind that pharmaceutical calcium channel blockers are the most deadly form of blood pressure drugs.  Why the medical establishment does not use Magnesium is probably due to the lack of patent rights on the use of an inexpensive mineral.

Magnesium’s effect on cells is not entirely understood, but it is absolutely certain that Magnesium deficient cells play a significant role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease.

Pathophysiology. 2007 Dec;14(3-4):205-11.

It’s been recently discovered that Magnesium supplementation reduces accumulations of toxic lead and cadmium.  Conversely, Magnesium depleted cells carry higher toxic levels of these metals.
After just three months supplementing Magnesium and vitamin B6, caused a statistically significant decrease in concentrations of lead and cadmium.

Magnes Res. 2004 Sep;17(3):183-8.

Human hair follicles contain ATP-sensitive potassium channels, which increase hair growth through the dermal papilla.  This is believed to be part of the mechanism of how the drug, minoxidil works, yet increasing the uptake of Potassium is a healthier way to accomplish this.

Some foods are loaded with potassium, such as Pomegranate juice, low-sodium V8 Juice and many dark green vegetables.  

FASEB J. 2008 Jun;22(6):1725-36

Adenosine has been found to stimulate fibroblast growth factor-7 (FGF-7) gene expression.  Minoxidil stimulates this increase of Adenosine, which exerts positive influences on potassium channels as previously discussed.  When Magnesium levels are sufficient, fibroblast growth factor-7 is positively associated with its increase.  It is believed that this increases hair fiber elongation in the human scalp.

J Invest Dermatol. 2007 Jun;127(6):1318-25.


The Necessity of Bile

Why Bile is essential.


Inadequate bile production can lead to excess estrogen.


Anyone lacking a gall bladder due to a cholecystetomy will find themselves deficient in bile acids.

Without enough bile acids, toxins will accumulate and contribute to liver congestion. 


The role of bile is to coat toxic debris, to be removed in the intestines.  If insufficient bile acids
exist, skin eruptions can occur if intestinal microflora is imbalanced.  Inadequate bile acids can
result in psoriasis, a frequent result of a cholecystetomy.


Bile is also essential to utilize fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K).   A congestion of toxic debris

accumulating in the intestines is fated to be absorbed into the bloodstream without sufficient bile

acids.  Ultimately, our skin must eliminate through our skin, leading to eruptions.

Undesirable substances, from endotoxins, to estrogens, even viral products result from woefully

deficient bile.  Bile sequesters a “cloak” of fat that covers viruses.

Bile is also able to breakup the lipoprotein coating of large viruses allowing the destruction of
viruses.  The liver is a depository for carcinogens, medications, toxins, pesticides, etc.   Serious
inflammation can result from deficiency of bile.
Other than supplemental bile salts, Lecithin,
Dandelion root, Milk Thistle and Turmeric improve
bile production and flow.

If you have had a cholecystetomy, it is most essential to take bile acids, otherwise health will most
certainly decline.

Thyroid Factors

Most of us have some form of thyroid problems.  This is the case
despite "normal" blood work with respect to TSH (Thyroid
Stimulating Hormone).   The picture becomes more clear with
a free T3 and free T4 reading. 

Deficiency of iodine is another overlooked matter.  It is estimated
that as many as ninety percent of us have an iodine deficiency.
The reason is that unlike several decades ago, iodine is no
longer found in much of our food supply.

Back in the 1960's,  iodine intake in the diet averaged one
milligram of iodine daily.  Mainly, it was added to breads, until
it was replaced with the halogen, bromine.  Halogens are elements

such as chlorine, fluorine, and
iodine. The thyroid "mistakes"
bromine for iodine and uptakes it readily, yet effectively displacing
the necessary
iodine.  To complicate matters, iodine activity is
diminished as a result.

Some of the symptoms of iodine deficiency include fatigue, as
the pituitary-adrenal axis is comprised, lowering energy output.

When insufficient iodine is present, peroxidase enzymes
wreak havoc in the cells and can cause inflammation of the
, such as thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s or Grave’s) disease.

Very large doses of iodine have been instrumental in the recovery
of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

Unfortunately, most physicians are reluctant about
iodine, due to
their belief that extra iodine will hasten Hashimoto’s, not allowing it
to recover.

While iodine will help the thyroid increase the production of
hormone when needed, it usually inhibits over-production of the
thyroid by satiating its need for iodine. 

Our whole body needs iodine, not just the thyroid. Stomach acid
production is dependent upon the bodies iodine reserves, and
without it, stomach acid production wains, creating indigestion.

Unfortunately, it isn't until the thyroid has a hundred times what it
needs for the body to access iodine, as the thyroid is a gland which
has complete sanction of this mineral.  Once its needs are well
satisfied, then the rest of our glands, organs, including the skin
can utilize it.

To properly assess whether one has an iodine deficiency or
not, the test is called an iodine saturation test.  After the
ingestion of iodine, the amount of iodine is measured in the
urine.  If the amount of iodine is low, it would reveal the body
is adhering to as much iodine as it can hold, indicating a

Most of us would test positive for an iodine deficiency, and it would
make sense to start iodine supplementation especially common
symptoms of iodine deficiency are present, despite a normal
thyroid blood test reading.  It may take up to 3 months to notice
any improvements.

To obtain an iodine saturation test, it's available at

A Dr. Abraham, an avid researcher of iodine has created a simple
way to supplement with iodine, called Iodoral.  It provides
12.5 mg
of iodine and iodide in combination.   According to Dr
Abraham, one
should excrete at least 90 percent of iodine over a 24-hour period
in the urine after ingesting a loading dose of
50 milligrams of iodine. 
That's equal to four Iodoral tablets.  Anything less than 90% indicates
you need to supplement.

The optimal daily intake of iodine for maintaining healthy levels is
around 12.5 milligrams per day, which is a hundred times the RDA.
This doesn't mean that everyone should take this amount daily, but
only those that exhibit some symptoms.   However, some actually
need a lot more than 12.5 milligrams to return to optimal health.

There is a way to obtain iodine from food sources.  These include
the types of seaweed such as Kombuy and fucus, which are considered
whole foods. 

Another way to obtain iodine is through 5% Lugol's solution, which is
liquid Iodoral.  This can be ordered from here:

If the prospect of iodine supplementation seems unnecessary,
consider that a deficiency of iodine can lead to increased influence
of estrogen, and even worse--cancer!

At one time, iodine was one of the most touted treatments, used
ubiquitously during the 19th century.  It was the  "modern" medical
marvel that was used to treat everything from dry skin, hair loss, thyroid,
elevated blood pressure, anxiety, hormone imbalances, osteoporosis,
brain fog, dementia, depression, maintaining healthy weight, etc.

Every cell in the body contains and uses iodine, including the liver, heart,
salivary glands, stomach cells and brain cells. 

The "Recommended Daily Allowance," was never intended for optimal
intake, but only to replete the symptoms of a severe deficiency. The RDA
for iodine is a paltry
150 mcg per day.  This only satisfies elimination of
a hypertrophic thyroid, or
goiter (an enlarged thyroid), however the other
cells and tissues of the body also need iodine.

For example, most men have heard of the condition called Benign
Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) or enlarged prostate.  Essentially this is
the enlargement of prostate epithelial cells, caused from a lack of iodine.

Iodine is needed in much greater amounts by your prostate (breasts if
you're a women) and other glands than your thyroid!  Therefore, despite
a normal thyroid, your body's iodine requirements go much further.

A hyperplasia is an unhealthy cell division.  Iodine can relinquish estrogens
otherwise unmitigated control over cell proliferation.  Sadly, most physicians
believe that too much iodine is "toxic."   However, prior to FDA many forward
thinking physicians routinely provided several hundred times the RDA of
iodine for optimal health.

Much of the fear surrounding iodine is resultant from synthetic preparations
of iodine, which physicians commonly get confused with.   Many physicians
erroneously have been taught to believe that too much iodine can be toxic to
the thyroid, yet this is rarely the case, with exception of severe iodine allergy.

The Japanese exhibit extremely low breast cancer and prostate cancer rates
compared to the United States.   It's little wonder that the average daily dietary
intake of
iodine in Japan is about 13.8 mg per day.  Of the Japanese that live
nearest the coastal regions have an intake as much as a 100 milligrams per

To learn more about recovering from a thyroid problem click here

Adrenal Fatigue

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue is also known as hypoadrenia, which is characterized as
"exhausted" adrenal function, which often accompanies adrenal atrophy
or shrunken glands due to extreme physiologic and/or psychological

The primary function of the adrenal glands is to coordinate hormonal
balance, under different emotional and physical conditions.  These glands
act as support to the major organs, yet their role is just as important, as
they regulate everything from body temperature to appetite to hormonal

Virtually every tissue, organ and gland in the body is affected by adrenal
function.  Despite that reality, adrenal function is fundamentally ignored in
allopathic medicine.  The reason is that standard tests are virtually
ineffective except in extreme cases.  Hence, patients are informed they are
"normal," despite not feeling well.

Patients who fail to recover from standard treatments, often have
accompanying adrenal fatigue.  During the flu epidemic in the early part of
the 19th century, over 80% of those who died had adrenal atrophy.

The endocrine glands involved here are the hypothalamus, pituitary and
adrenal glands (HPA axis). The hypothalamus initially detects stimuli or
stress signals, which elicit a response through the pituitary, and the
adrenal glands produce adaptogenic hormones to respond to such stress.
Androgenic hormones and the "stress hormone," cortisol are produced by
the adrenal glands, are sent to every tissue, gland and organ in the body,
in relative proportion to stimuli detected by the hypothalamus.

So what does adrenal fatigue has to do with hair loss?   Inflammation is
always present in adrenal fatigue.  What comes with adrenal fatigue
accompanies poor wound healing and sodium, potassium and
magnesium imbalances.  Many with adrenal fatigue have depression who
are using prescription antidepressants.  It is interesting to note that
selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are commonly
prescribed are relatively ineffective for mild to moderate depression, and
only marginally helpful for severe depression.  This has been a result of an
examination of 50 clinical trials evaluating the net effect of these drugs.

PLoS Med 08;5(2):e45

This is even more relevant to hair loss as SSRI's such as popularly
prescribed medications such as Effexor (venlafaxine), Luvox
(fluvoxamine), Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine), and Zoloft
(sertraline) and cause hair loss due to their effect on the hormone
prolactin.  Sexual side effects are also evidence of this effect.  Recently it
was found that some users suffer sustained sexual dysfunction after
cessation of antidepressant treatments.

J Sex Med. 2008 Jan;5(1):227-33.

Physicians often blame depression as a result of stress, however existing
adrenal dysfunction itself brings on an increased sensitivity to stress.
Resolving depression can be successful when the root or underlying
cause is addressed.  The adrenal glands, pituitary and thyroid are most
likely the fundamental culprits.  Secondary to that is gastrointestinal
problems, where a malabsorption of amino acids prevents the production
of neurotransmitters.

Classical symptoms of adrenal fatigue include waking up restless with
midday fatigue, followed by better energy in the evening.  Often, patients
with adrenal dysfunction feel best at night.

Hypoglycemia is quite commonly associated with adrenal fatigue.
Hypoglycemia very often leads to diabetes.  Problems with glucose
metabolism as discussed on previous pages is fuel for androgenetic
alopecia.  Other symptoms of adrenal fatigue include high sensitivity to
stress, difficultly focusing, diminished sexual desire, and breathing and/or
respiratory problems, which include sensitivity to allergens, and/or are
chemically sensitive (multiple chemical sensitivity).

Poor adrenal gland function can result in low cortisol secretion,
paradoxically this can manifest as symptoms of high anxiety, heart
palpitations, feeling of malaise, tremors, feeling jittery and even a false
assumption of being hyperthyroid.  Ignoring adrenal function could result
in insufficient thyroid support, as often these symptoms are mistakenly
presumed that the thyroid is overactive.  The reason is that cortisol allows
for heightened sensitivity of thyroid hormones, allowing cells to utilize
thyroid hormone. When cortisol levels are too low, thyroid levels rise, yet
sensitivity decreases--easily giving the physician a false reading.  Reviving
adrenal function will allow for better regulation of thyroid hormones.

How does one accurately test for adrenal fatigue?  Answer is cortisol
testing, taken four intervals in a day, preferably recorded once per day,
at four different times and days.  Insist on saliva tests, as blood cortisol is
not reliable. 

If your readings are too high, you may control them with Ashwaganda
(Sensoril®) and Phosphatidyserine.

If cortisol levels are lower than average, you will need glandular support.
I recommend Standard Process products.  For adrenal support Drenamin
is very effective.  Drenamin works best in divided doses and should be
taken for several months until improvement is noticed.  Standard Process
is normally only available by a doctors referral, however it can be
purchased here as well.

In this day and age, it is very difficult to find a competent physician who is
knowledgeable in nutrition and medicine.  It is even more of a challenge to
find a doctor knowledgeable in natural endocrinology.  Thyroid function
goes hand in hand with adrenal function, and as such, getting a proper
handle of your iodine levels is very important.  Many wonder if there are
any alternatives to using synthetic or even natural thyroid medications.  If
iodine replenishment does not solve your problem, there are thyroid
preparations to consider.  Standard Process offers a product called
Thytrophin PMG.  It can be purchased here.

When treating adrenal fatigue, it is important to treat all the glands to
maximize potential of complete recovery.  That said, the pituitary gland can
be replenished using Pituitrophin PMG by Standard Process.  It can be
ordered here.

These products can be utilized by your endocrine glands to achieve
tremendous recovery, which can be in stark contrast to pharmaceutical
chemicals, which usually serve to suppress the very function of these
glands, literally causing atrophy.  Furthermore, these adulterated chemicals
disrupt normal feedback loops, creating hormonal chaos. 

Some doctors believe that Maca (Lepidium meyenii) may aid in adrenal
balance, as more research becomes available it seems very probable that
Maca will be a rising star.

Andrologia. 2007 Aug;39(4):151-8.

Food Chem Toxicol. 2007 Oct;45(10):1882-90.

Asian J Androl. 2007 Mar;9(2):245-51.

Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2007 Jun;62(2):59-63.

Phytomedicine. 2007 Aug;14(7-8):460-4.

Acid & Alkaline Explained

There is no such thing as a "one size fits all diet."

According to the author of The Metabolic Typing Diet, William Wolcott, individual metabolism
relates to the autonomic nervous system (ANS). 
The autonomic nervous system is split into
two components, the Sympathetic and the Parasympathetic. The Sympathetic involves stress
and is acidifying.  The Parasympathetic involves digestion and is alkalizing.

We are often told that alkalizing the body is the way of health.  It's not quite that simple.  Have
you ever wondered why some individuals thrive on
high carbohydrate, low fat diets, while
others do better on a low carbohydrate, high fat diet?  What about types of protein?  A high
fat, high meat
diet can either make or break a person, it entirely depends on whether they are
Sympathetic or Parasympathetic dominant.  In other words, what
is your individual metabolic

According to your metabolic type, the balance of your pH depends on which side of the
autonomic nervous system you stand; Sympathetic or
Parasympathetic.  Let's say you fall into
the Parasympathetic category or are Parasympathetic dominant.  It means you are already
alkaline, and to
eat a vegetarian based diet will tip the scales towards over alkalinity.  

Conversely, if you are Sympathetic dominant, your acidity will balanced out with a vegetarian
based diet.  Determining what type you are will make
all the difference in your overall health.

How does one determine their metabolic type?   The first indication is by way of your
Triglycerides (blood fats) during a fasting blood test.  A reading
above 80 indicates potential
excess insulin activity.  If this is you, you're likely to be Parasympathetic dominant, which
means you easily convert your
carbohydrates into fats.  Naturally, a low carbohydrate diet
would suit you best.  For those with a triglyceride reading below 80, a metabolic-typing
would need to be run to determine where you stand.

The following website can help you determine this:

It is not surprising that Parasympathetic types usually come fashioned with a strong digestive
system, allowing them to eat flesh foods, while Sympathetics
do much better on vegetables
and whole grains.

While the majority of us have a dominant branch of either the Sympathetic or Parasympathetic,
others have an equal balance and they require a variety
of food types. 

Candida Overgrowth

Candida overgrowth is a growing epidemic.  Some experts estimate as much as 85% of the “civilized” populace has an overabundance of Candida.  If you care about your hair, having a healthy balance of intestinal micro flora is essential.

Severe stress, use of antibiotics, steroids, and poor diet can increase the risk of any man women or child getting this.  Candida overgrowth is so pervasive; it’s no longer considered a condition reserved for the chronically ill, it’s merely overlooked.   What’s especially important to understand, is that most treatments for hair loss won’t work if you have Candida overgrowth.  There are a variety of reasons for this, which is about to be covered.

What is Candida?

Candida is a type of yeast in and on your body found mostly in the large intestine. Having some Candida is perfectly normal.  It is only when we have an overgrowth is when any serious risks to our health result.

These yeasts produce chemical byproducts and/or toxins typically present in very low concentrations. In the case of Candida overgrowth, such toxins are now produced in much higher concentrations. The byproducts of such yeast and bacteria are then absorbed from the intestinal tract into the blood. From there, they circulate throughout the body to all the tissues.  Without question this has enormous effects to our health.

When our beneficial bacterium is depleted, usually by way of antibiotics or poor diet, yeast overgrowth occurs.  Alterations of steroid hormones, including use of steroids, especially in tandem with a refined, carbohydrate diet and sugars, and especially alcohol can trigger Candida overgrowth.

Once intestinal microflora is damaged, yeast will invade.  In ideal circumstances, Candida can double in quantity every half hour, so it takes very little time for it to populate a damaged intestine.  Candida creates an environment that prevents the normal flora from repopulating. 

Healthy levels of intestinal micro flora is needed to form many vitamins and enzymes, detoxifying compounds from food and the environment, regulate hormone levels and defend against pathogenic bacteria and fungi. To say that healthy intestinal micro flora is required for healthy hair is an understatement.

Candida overgrowth is associated with vitamin K deficiencies.  The most beneficial type of vitamin K is synthesized by healthy intestinal micro flora, so naturally an overgrowth of Candida albicans or other kinds of yeast can crowd out the helpful bacteria in the digestive tract that make vitamin K.  A low level of vitamin K effects calcium homeostasis.  In other words, the calcium builds up on your arteries and soft tissue instead of your bones—simply due to inadequate gut micro flora to produce vitamin K.

This form of vitamin K is not from vegetation, such as phylloquinone or K1.  The vitamin K you need is K2 called menaquinone.  Besides intestinal produced menaquinone, dietary sources of K2 include raw butter from grass-fed sources or from Japanese natto. 

A lack of vitamin K can create other disturbances such as rectal bleeding, even connective tissue disorders such as mitral valve prolapse. 

It turns out menaquinones (K2) may influence hair growth.  The explanation is a bit technical, just bear with me.  A deficiency of Vitamin K2 results in the protein, osteocalcin being unable to bind calcium. Matrix Gla Protein (MGP), which is stimulated by vitamin K2 prevents the deposition of calcium in arterial walls. MGP is the most powerful antagonist of tissue calcification yet known to date.

Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling inhibits the anagen (growth) phase in hair follicle cycling. Matrix GLA protein (MGP) inhibits Bone Morphogenetic proteins (BMP)-2 and -4. It has been shown that Matrix Gla Protein is up regulated when the catagen (breakdown) phase is inhibited.

There is evidence that BMP-2 is responsible for vascular calcification and mineralization of the extracellular matrix, effectively calcifying soft tissue. In such a scenario, there is a loss of Matrix Gla Protein.  This is where Vitamin K2 steps in and reverses this process.

The EMBO Journal (2000) 19, 6664

MMP-9 gene activation (matrix metalloproteinase-9) is triggered by Candida by design as a consequence of spreading itself.  Considering that receding gums are involved with oral Candida presence, it’s of no surprise that getting this yeast under control will help more than just your hair; it will spare systemic inflammation as well.

Matrix Biol. 2004 Nov;23(7):477-86.

Certain Candida strain populations can be accelerated by estrogenic activity, including beta-estradiol, and even the soy isoflavone Genistein.  Paradoxically, Genistein can help downregulate androgenetic activity in those without Candida overgrowth. 

Candida possesses an estrogen-binding protein (EBP) that binds mammalian estrogens with high affinity.  Hence, this can nullify any positive benefit from Enterolactone enhancers, such as 7-HMR (Spruce Lignans) and SDG (Secoisolariciresinol Diglycoside) from Flax Lignans.

Microbiology. 1995; 141:2685-2692.

Candida by products produce false estrogen mimics, this in turn signals that the body has “adequate” estrogen levels when in fact, it only has plenty of xenoestrogens, therefore reducing its supply of “good estrogens.”

When the body is under stress its need for cortisol increases, this becomes a problem since over active adrenal glands will spare its progesterone supply, as it is needed to manufacture cortisol.  Less progesterone means increased activity of estrogen.

The lack of progesterone compounds into an added dilemma, in this case the messenger osteocalcin.  Osteocalcin is a protein produced by osteoblasts; it is needed to regulate insulin sensitivity.  The more osteocalcin that is available, the more efficient insulin is at improving glucose metabolism. The amount of osteocalcin available is dependant upon the activity of osteoblasts.  A low progesterone level diminishes osteoblast activity; hence lower the level of osteocalcin.  Irregardless, vitamin K2 is needed as a co-enzyme in osteocalcin production, which is probably in short supply with Candida overgrowth as previously discussed.

Candida stimulates potent inflammatory compounds by activating phospholipase A2, which is activated during phagocytosis; releasing arachidonic acid for production of eicosanoids, which initiate acute inflammation.  This is a recipe for hair loss through in through.

J. Biol. Chem., Vol. 281, Issue 9, 5506-5514, March 3, 2006

Candida overgrowth can produce a large number of symptoms.  Some of these include hair loss, halitosis (bad breath), headaches, acid reflux, acne, anxiety, allergies, arthritis, chemical sensitivities, depression, hyperactivity, hypoglycemia, hypothyroid, fatigue, night sweats, sore throat, sinuses problems, hormone imbalances, blood sugar imbalances, flatulence (gas), gastritis, diarrhea, chronic constipation, etc.

The reason Candida has such a broad range of symptoms is besides its ability to produce nearly a hundred different toxins, the organs and tissues it affects create unlimited complications.

In very serious cases, the Candida overgrowth permeates through the gut wall, known as systemic candidiasis.  The effects of this can disastrous, from organ failure to cancer.  This occurs when Candida changes into the fungal form damaging the intestinal lining.  Note that Candida can form into cancer.

Candida overgrowth can lead to brain fog, as the toxic by products produce alcohols and acetaldehydes.  Some patients with candidiasis feel as if they are perpetually being drunk since these yeasts convert sugars into alcohol.  If this weren’t bad enough, it also congests the liver, which further contributes to brain fog. If the liver, the filter for blood, is congested, it cannot take toxins out of the bloodstream fast enough. These toxins will pass the blood-brain barrier, depleting it of oxygen and glycogen.

Acetaldehyde is a particularly toxic substance and is a product of the metabolism and/or fermentation of carbohydrate in yeast.  Acetaldehyde is thought to be the major source of tissue damage in alcoholics rather than ethanol itself. The conversion of acetaldehyde into acetic requires NAD (niacinamide), and aldehyde oxidase, which is dependent on riboflavin, iron and Molybdenum.

Candida albicans is an anaerobic organism and therefore grows more readily in an anaerobic (low-oxygen) environment. Anything which interferes with the ability of the body to carry oxygen to its tissues may enhance the growth of Candida.  Molybdenum supplementation can may aid in producing a higher level of tissue oxygenation and thereby decrease the anaerobic environment in which Candida flourishes. 

A simple test to find out if Candida is a potential problem, click here

To know for certain if Candida is a serious problem for you, consider getting a lab test for Candida immune complexes.

How to control Candida overgrowth

Niacinamide has a number of roles that are not well known, among them is an excellent treatment for arthritis, a cousin of vitamin B3 called Niacinamide, not regular niacin.  Niacinamide may help to eradicate Candida overgrowth.  Take 500 milligrams of Niacinamide three times daily.

Niacinamide can dampen inflammation by inhibiting Interleukin-1, which prevents cytokine release. Niacinamide also inhibits TNF-a (Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha), especially when coupled with N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC).  Additionally, Niacinamide appears to modulate the Phospholipase A2 enzyme, cutting off Arachidonic acid, the precursor for prostaglandins, such as PGI2, and thromboxanes, which are derived from the COX-1 and COX-2 pathways.

Science. 2005 May 6;308(5723):866-70.

A product of lactic acid bacteria, Butyric acid, is a short chain fatty acid, which inhibits germination and morphogenesis of Candida albicans. This means that it prevents the conversion from the yeast to the hyphal form. The hyphal form is associated with increased virulence and mucosal invasiveness.

Regulation of Candida albicans Morphogenesis by Fatty Acid Metabolites

Butyric acid stimulates more beneficial bacterial growth, and increases mineral and fat assimilation, while also curbing inflammation.  Candida overgrowth in of itself will make it difficult to produce enough butyric acid. Once Candida overgrowth has been controlled, supplementing with butyric acid is very helpful to help essential lactic acid bacteria to adhere to the intestinal lining.

Butyric acid can be found in butter and kombucha tea, or as a dietary supplement.  It has a rancid odor, but can restore the order and health of the gastrointestinal tract.  It’s especially helpful with desensitizing food allergies and to counteract yeast related depression.

Horopito (Pseudowintera colorata) is native plant of New Zealand, which have been used by the indigenous Maori to cure fungal infections.  An extract of Horopito called Kolorex is found in capsule form.

Based on reports of New Zealand physicians, it has a reported 76 percent improvement rate among their patients using Kolorex capsules for the treatment of systemic Candida.

In a 1997 trial, twenty-two patients taking Kolorex capsules were compared with 10 patients administered flucanazole for treatment of chronic recurring intestinal candidiasis. At seven days, all patients in the flucanazole group showed significant improvement. At 14 days, the Kolorex group had improved comparatively-an impressive 90 percent showed the same level of improvement.

Horopito is generally well tolerated, yet some mild nausea can be expected during the first few days of use.  This is called a “die-off” or Herxheimer reaction, which is the body's response to the toxins released by dead Candida cells.

A microbiologist, lichiroh Ohhira of Japan has formulated a product made up of fermented lactic acid bacteria, called Dr. Ohhira's, Essential Formulas Inc., Probiotics 12 PLUS.  Varieties of lactic acid bacteria are extremely effective for getting Candida under control.  Many users report cessation of cystic acne and better skin health overall using this product.

Iodine is antifungal and its role is essential in nutrition, yet it is underutilized today (see, thyroid section). Using liquid Lugol’s solution, take a test drop in water or other beverage.  If there is no allergy, proceed to take 10 drops in divided doses throughout the day not exceeding three weeks. If symptoms improve, continue to take Lugol’s solution at two drops per day until Candida is normalized.  Lugol's solution is not easily obtained over the counter and should be 5% solution.  It can be purchased here   

There are many Candida control products available today aside from the what’s been previously mentioned.  The following are worth investigating in the event of systemic candidiasis.  Note that a "die-off" reaction should be expected if you have Candida.

Zeolite, Pau d’arco, and whole garlic cloves.