Vitamin Deficiency Linked to Stroke and Plaque Buildup in Carotid Arteries

By: Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., MS

“A study published in the the Canadian Medical Association Journal revealed that people low in vitamin B12 had an increase risk of a fatal heart attack and stroke.

The study focused on the relationship between homocysteine, B-12 and carotid artery plaque.

The study showed that higher blood levels of B vitamins are related to lower concentrations of homocysteine leading to decrease plaquing in the carotid arteries. However, an elevated blood homocysteine level revealed a strong risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

How the Study was Conducted
The study examined 421 people with the average age being 66. Vitamin B12, homocysteine levels and degree of plaque in the carotid arteries (via ultrasound) were evaluated.

The Results
Seventy-three patients (17%) had vitamin B12 deficiency with significant elevation of homocysteine (inflammatory cells). In addition and most important, carotid plaque was significantly larger among the group of patients who had deficiency of vitamin B12. In conclusion, the authors found that low blood vitamin B12 levels are a major cause of elevated homocysteine levels and increased carotid plaque area.

Dr. Grisanti’s Comments
Have your physician order a blood homocysteine test and a methylmalonic acid (MMA) test. This is the most specific test for B12 status NOT the serum B-12 blood test.”

Dr. Jentes’ Comments
“In my practice, I test the functional intracellular components of 35 micronutrients, including vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and amino acids within the white blood cells. Research shows intracellular testing is more accurate than the red blood cell testing (serum testing) at identifying a body’s nutrient deficiencies. Intracellular micronutrient testing is a clinically effective diagnostic tool for the prevention and management of chronic disease conditions. The following graphs are a sample of some of the micronutrient test reports we receive from SpectraCell Laboratories.”

Source: http://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/public/1015print.cfm

Reference
Robertson J, Iemolo F, Stabler SP, Allen RH, Spence JD. Vitamin B12, homocysteine and carotid plaque in the era of folic acid fortification of enriched cereal grain products. CMAJ. 2005 Jun 7;172(12):1569-73

 

 

Breast Friends Wine and Cheese Party!

Did you know that 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime?

Breast Thermography is a promising non-radiation screening tool that is safe, effective, non-invasive and can detect cancer up to 8 years before a mammography can detect cancer!On Wednesday night, September 20th at 6:30pm, Dr. Jentes is opening up her home for a ladies only wine & cheese health talk on the comparison between breast thermography & mammography presented by Dr. Sabrina Quinene-Sanchez.

You won’t want to miss the opportunity to invite your breast friends to this casual, yet very informative, discussion!

Contact the Brio Wellness Center front office for more information and directions!

Please RSVP by
Monday, September 18th.
(562) 598-2746

 

 

It’s HAPPY FEET month at Brio Wellness Center. All month we will be sharing cool info on how to maintain Happy Feet during the dry weather, which for us is like year round, right?!? So keep checking back here to learn something new. And if you haven’t already subscribed to our e-newsletter, be sure to take care of that before you leave.

Okay, let’s get things kicked off with a refreshing foot scrub. While you’re at it, you can use this scrub anywhere on your body. Just keep it away from your eyes and sensitive parts where the peppermint could burn. We especially love to use this scrub on our hands frequently throughout the week. It is really great at relieving dry, itchy fingers.

Cool fact: Peppermint Oil has a stimulating effect on the right brain. Which means when you are feeling anxious, hyperactive, have lack of focus, and feel overly emotional you could use some right brain stimulation.* This Refreshing Foot Scrub will wake up your brain in the morning, or refresh your brain after a long day of work or play, and it’s the perfect chemical free way to sluff away dry skin, moisturize, and invigorate all at the same time. No need for soap. The coconut oil is a natural anti-microbial. Just rinse & pat dry to maintain silky smooth skin.

Now that you’re feet & brain are happy… how’s your spine? #getadjusted 

*Source: “Disconnected Kids: The Groundbreaking Brain Balance Program for Children with Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and Other Neurological Disorders” By Dr. Robert Melillo

Happy Feet!

June is the official start of summer, but in Southern California it seems summer is year round. This year, we had an unseasonably cold winter. Our weather has now shifted back and much to our relief it’s time to dig out our favorite sandals from the back of the closet.

Now, I’m a die-hard barefoot girl, in fact, I’m writing this while sporting my bare feet. So I get the need for free and happy feet. I’m also an avid motorcycle rider, but as soon as I get off my bike I kick off the boots and either slip on my favorite Birkenstocks, or prance around barefoot. Not only do my feet love me, but so does my back.

Did you know your feet are the most important piece of the puzzle regarding your posture? Seriously, this is why each adjustment I perform starts with your feet and why after every single adjustment I make, I re-evaluate the changes it made all the way down to your feet. Here’s how it works:

Every muscle in your body is surrounded and held to together by a mess of thin see-through tissue called fascia. It surrounds each muscle, then holds each muscle group together, and then holds the entire body together connecting to every single joint throughout your body. Which means, changes in the muscle tension in your jaw show up all the way down to your feet! Without fascia, you’d be super loosey goosey and jiggly.

Fascial tension is meant to be balanced throughout the body. Just like every joint in your body, including your spinal joints are meant to be well-aligned. But sitting funny, wearing crazy high heels, over working our toes while flipping and flopping around town, or sleeping on a pillow that offers little support, you can sense the changes in fascial tension. Ouch!

Chiropractors are highly trained to isolate and analyze fascial planes and every joint in your body for imbalance. We are also trained on how to re-balance them too. However, you have to do your part too. Just like making sure you are sleeping on a properly supportive pillow to prevent neck pain, you should be evaluating your shoes for proper fit and support.

So, before you dust off those comfy flops, and slide in your fancy toes, take a few minutes to investigate their “fitness” by clicking off this list to ensure you get the best fit and support possible. Preventing foot pain and ultimately back pain now is worth not spending several hours each day suffering.

          • Are the soles in good shape, worn evenly or too thin?
          • Do the arches fit snuggly into yours?
          • IS there any arch support?
          • Do the straps fit snuggly, but not too tight or loose?
          • Are the straps comfortable and don’t cause blisters?
          • Do your feet stay within the foot bed?
          • When you wear these sandals, you don’t notice any foot, ankle, knee, hip, back or neck pain?

If you answered YES to ALL of these, then have at it. Wear these sandals for as long as possible. However, if you answered NO to any of these then it’s time to say “Adios!” and find a new sole-mate!

Here are a few personal favorite brands that I love. They can be found at The Walking Company or Zappos.com (free shipping on all orders and returns):

          • Birkenstocks
          • Chaco
          • Mephisto
          • Dansko
          • Merrell
          • Keen

Now, that your feet are happy… how’s your spine? #getadjusted

The 3 Things Getting in Your Way of Optimal Health

Dr. Mindi L. Jentes, D.C. Brio Wellness Center
Dr. Mindi L. Jentes, D.C.
Brio Wellness Center

The 3 Things Getting in Your Way of Optimal Health
By: Dr. Mindi L. Jentes, D.C.

When we were younger we had a bunch of life, full of energy! 4am wasn’t an early morning, it was a late night! Sometimes we look back on our “younger days” and wish we had the energy and stamina now that we had then. As we age, we begin to notice more and more the importance of taking care of our bodies. Incorporating chiropractic is one super solid way to do that!

Aging causes stiffness, aches, joint pains, changes in our sleep and digestion and the list could on, right? But did you know you could slow this process and even prevent many of these “normal aging processes”?

There are 3 things that are getting in the way of achieving optimal health. These 3 things initiate a stress response to harmful situations, leading to functional changes in your body.

  1. Trauma results from falls, injuries, accidents.
  2. Toxins are harmful things we inhale, injest, or absorb.
  3. Auto Suggestions are the negative words, self doubt, beliefs about ourselves & others, crippling thoughts/memories we play over and over in our heads.

You may not be able to control the situation, but you can control your response to these 3 Things. When we respond positively, our body is able to heal quickly. However, when you respond negatively to Trauma, Toxins &/or Auto Suggestions, you will likely notice muscle aches and joint pains, headaches, change in digestion and elimination, stiffness, irritability, sleep disturbances, etc… creeping in on you. Often times, we chock it all up to “getting older” or we tell ourselves what we are experiencing will pass. However, that is not necessarily true nor is resignation the best approach to living a life full of vitality.

Chiropractic adjustments performed by a licensed chiropractor can improve your body’s stress response to these life challenges by unlocking stuck joints throughout the body. When the joints begin moving again the nervous system functions better, blood flow increases, lymphatic drainage improves, muscle tension eases, and your body is better able to rest and digest. By restoring the communication between the brain and the the rest of your body, optimal can be achieved!

Chiropractors can also help you reach your healthy lifestyle goals by teaching you exercises to improve the integrity of the joints in your body. We also teach you about the role of nutrition on your health and help you find solutions to metabolic changes as you age. We help you set goals towards achieving balance in your many life changes and challenges as you age.

So the next time you start to tell yourself “Well, I’m just getting older”… STOP! Replace that thought with…“It’s time to get adjusted!”

beach bags for homeless preschool children

April 13 – May 30
Donate a BEACH BAG filled with:
boy/girl swimsuit (size 5)
sunscreen
beach towel
& flip flops
to give to the homeless children of
Precious Lamb Preschool & receive…
New Patients: FREE New Patient Visit!
Active Patients:  FREE Essential Oil Therapy Session!

Screenshot 2015-04-02 21.29.50

Brain Food!

imgresDid you know your brain controls every single function of your body? Did you know the purpose of eating is to ultimately feed the brain? Regular consumption of healthy brain foods reduces our risks of disease by maintaining a healthy immune system.

The typical American diet is laden with unhealthy trans fats, sugars, processed foods, preservatives, artificial flavors, artificial colors, antibiotics, pesticides and growth hormones. With all these “ingredients” in our so called “food,” it is of no surprise a myriad of diseases caused by nutrient deficiencies are at an all-time high and vitamin supplement sales are soaring.

Many young adults & athletes in pursuit of sculpting the perfect body often times turn towards nutrition and protein powders as well as sports drinks to ensure they are getting the nutrients their bodies need. Often times these products are riddled with dangerous fillers, hormones, and chemicals that can cause liver, kidney and heart damage with long term daily consumption. Unfortunately, many of these well meaning folks don’t realize the dangers hidden in these “power” products.

The most important thing one can do for their body is EAT – chew, swallow, stimulate, digest, and absorb real food. So, consume nutrient-rich Brain Foods first and consult with a doctor trained in functional nutrition for additional necessary support to ensure a safe and profoundly healthy brain and body.

The most natural form of any nutrient is found in nature’s goodness— real food. The synergistic effects found only in the whole food’s natural state provides us with the most bioavailable forms of their nutrients. While taking supplements to boost our deficiencies is important, isolating these nutrients in the forms of powders, pills, and even essential oils can be risky business.

A nutrient rich diet complete with organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains & legumes, as well as organic lean meats are the best way to ensure safe nutrient balance in our bodies. However, a completely organic diet could be cost-prohibitive for many American individuals and families. I encourage patients to choose first the organic foods they really like and eat regularly, and then if cost is an issue reach for non-GMO, natural or free range for the foods they eat less often. By doing this, you limit the amount of harmful “ingredients” and remove many of the overly processed and packaged foods completely.

Incorporating foods for brain health into your diet isn’t hard. Just keep these 5 simple principles in mind:

  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. In general, the more colorful the better.
  • Use a wide variety of herbs and spices to make your meals delicious and brain healthy.
  • Buy wild salmon and grass-fed meat when available.
  • Use coconut oil wherever you normally use vegetable oil.
  • Eat nuts and seeds as brain food snacks. But most of all, eat chocolate!

SUPER BRAIN FOODS

Blueberries (fresh or frozen): contain anthyocyanins known to improve memory, learning, reasoning skills, decision making, verbal comprehension, and numerical ability avocado; help maintain communication between brain cells by stimulating the production of BDNF(brain derived neurotic factor) a protein that stimulates cell growth.

Avocado: boosts the neurotransmitter dopamine to help keep your brain focused.

Green Leafy Vegetables: contain folic acid, Vit B6 & Vit B12 work synergistically to reduce brain atrophy, improve brain function, and dramatically reduce brain shrinkage in the part of the brain most affected by Alzheimer’s. Also contains L-Tyrosine which works synergistically to reduce brain atrophy, improve brain function, and dramatically reduce brain shrinkage in the part of the brain most affected by Alzheimer’s. They also contain Vit K, also thought to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Peppers (hot & bell peppers): high in vitamin C, antioxidants, and phytonutrients such as beta carotene and capsaicin which improves circulation to the brain.

Root Vegetables: high in fiber and complex carbohydrates that are good at supplying your brain with a steady stream of energy.

Rosemary: has significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to fight free radical damage in the brain. It also contains Carsonic acid, a phytonutrient particularly good for protecting the brain from a stroke and neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. Other herbs good for supporting your brain are: basil, chives, oregano, parsley, sage, and thyme.

Turmeric: a potent antioxidant that readily crosses the blood-brain barrier that improves memory, increases BDNF production in the brain, reduces brain inflammation, can break up the brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s.

Nuts and Seeds like walnuts, chocolate, almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, and chia seeds: contain brain-essential omega-3 fatty acids, B complex vitamins, vitamin E, iron, zinc, and magnesium.

Chocolate (70% Cacao or more): contains flavinoids thought to reduce the risk of dementia. Also contains caffeine & theobromine contribute to the improved memory, focus, and attention that chocolate lovers experience.

Salmon (wild-caught only), Grass-fed beef and meats: contain amino acids and high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids which aid in reducing inflammation.

Coconut Oil: contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) which enable it to supply energy directly to the brain with no insulin spike making it a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s and other neurological disorders.