In Part 1 of this two-part series, we talked about oxidative phosphorylation, a process by which the body’s cells make energy but also create cellular waste that has to be managed and neutralized. Excessive buildup of cellular waste will lead to accelerated aging, disruption of systemic pH, inflammation and more.
Here in Part 2, we’ll discuss steps for using evidence-based nutrition to address these issues…
As a clinician, you don’t treat every spinal injury and dysfunction the same way. The needs of each patient and the nature of each injury are unique, and thus require a unique approach.
Nutrition is exactly the same way. Evidence-based nutrition is the future of clinical nutrition and supplementation, and for good reason. Using empirical data to assess and address dietary imbalances is the best way to identify dietary imbalance and dysfunction, and to implement a tailored protocol to address those deficiencies.
An advantage today’s clinicians enjoy is access to affordable, reliable and easy-to-use tools for assessing a patient’s cellular health:
pH Test Strips
The ideal pH of the body is slightly alkaline, meaning a range of around 7.30 to 7.45. You would be appalled if you realized how far to the other side of the spectrum (too acidic) your patients are. A pH test strip is a great way to visually demonstrate this imbalance to your patients, and the concept is pretty easy to understand: You need to eat fewer acidic foods, and more fruits and vegetables.
An FDA approved, at-home, finger-stick blood test for your patients to take at home. The kit comes with a pre-paid envelope for your patient to mail their results to the testing lab, and you get an email with the results. The results provide you (the practitioner) with 2 critical biomeasures: the Omega-3 Index, and the Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio.
Omega-3 Index – The membrane of your cells should be composed of at least 8-12% EPA and DHA (the active components of Omega-3)
- If you’re below 8%, you’re likely experiencing (or at high risk for) chronic inflammation, which often has no symptoms
- If you’re below 4%, you’re at significant risk of developing chronic disease
- 20% of the US population has 0 detectable levels of EPA in their systems – that’s 1 in 5 patients walking through your door!
Omega 6/3 Ratio – There’s a reason why humans crave foods high in Omega-6 fatty acids: Healthy Omega-6 is needed for a variety of processes in your body. The problem is that our technology has developed faster than our biology has, and we now get Omega-6 in excess, particularly the “bad” kind found in fried foods and vegetable oils. This is harmful because the same delivery enzymes that our bodies use to deliver healthy and needed Omega-3 can be “hijacked” by Omega-6. In other words, they compete for absorption, and can cause or aggravate inflammation, both in the acute and chronic varieties.
- Your ideal Omega-6/Omega-3 ratios should be 1:1
- You can get away with 3:1
- The majority of Americans are anywhere from 25:1 to 50:1
Just as chronic inflammation causes will vary, so should the approaches to chronic inflammation treatment. Once you know what the deficiencies and imbalances are, and how off-kilter they are, you need to know what to do about them:
Antioxidants and Alkalinity
The human body is an acid-making machine, but produces exactly 0 alkalinity. That means that all alkalinity must be introduced from the outside. This becomes even more important as your patients’ alkaline reserves can become increasingly depleted as they age, and by the fact that the Standard American Diet (SAD) is highly acidic, with the overwhelming majority of your patients fall far short of their needed fruit and vegetable intake.
- Products like Greens First PRO powdered supplements can help your patients bridge these dietary gaps by offering 15 servings of high-octane, polyphenol-rich fruits and vegetables. Polyphenols act as antioxidants, preventing damage from free-radicals.
- Sometimes polyphenols alone aren’t enough. Introducing alkalizing minerals, like those found in Greens First Acid Neutralizer, is a great way to help your patients move the ball farther down the field, creating an alkaline pH balance that is more conducive to cellular health.
- Ubiquinol – This is a reduced (active) form of CoQ-10. All living organisms on the planet have Coenzyme-Q in their cells; CoQ-10 is the version unique to humans. CoQ-10, known as the universal antioxidant, is among the first nutrients to be depleted from the body. So it’s important your patients replenish their supply.
Not all Omega supplements are created equal. Your patients may balk at getting their fish oil or other omega products from you, saying that they can get the same thing from the drug or grocery store for a fraction of the cost. The best way to show a patient the light is to have them simply look at the back of the bottle. The most distinguishing feature of a quality fish oil versus a bargain brand is the EPA/DHA yield. Being that these components have the most significant impact on moving the needle regarding nutritional support, at the end of the day, they are the most important.
Most fish oils will have a total Omega -3 yield of around 1,000 mg. Look at the label of your fish oil. On the back, there should be an itemized breakdown of both EPA and DHA (as separate rubrics)
- If there isn’t an itemized, separate breakdown of EPA and DHA on the back, don’t even bother – the product is almost useless.
- Add the EPA and DHA numbers together – if they don’t make up at least half of the total Omega-3 yield, you’re looking at a sub-standard fish oil. For example, if your Omega-3 yield is 1,000 mg, the EPA and DHA total should be at least 500 mg
- Greens First’s Omega-3 PRO has a total yield of 88.9%
Healthy Omega-6 is also important. Just as all Omega-3’s are not created equal, there are good and bad forms of Omega-6. Greens First AhiFlower is a great way to supplement with both healthy Omega-3 and Omega-6.
- 4x the potency of flax oil
- Vegan friendly
- Optimal balance of Omega-3 and healthy Omega-6
Just as testing at the beginning of a protocol is important, it’s critical to re-test. This is typically done every three months, the amount of time it takes for the body’s cells to turn over. Not only is it critical to show the patient empirical progress (if you follow the protocol described above, you can prove that progress has been made at the cellular level), but it’s also important to monitor the progress and adjust the protocol over time.
For more info on products mentioned in this article or for info on current product specials, please contact your personal MeyerDC Account Manager.
If you don’t know who your Account Manager is, please call 800.472.4221 to find out.