Naturopath specializing in Women's Health, Hormone Balance, Weight Loss, Fertility, and Holistic Medicine.

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All posts by Alicia Johnson

Sleep and Progesterone

Sleep quality contributes to life expectancy as well as quality of life.  Women who are supplemented with progesterone have 53% less waking time in the middle of the night.  The intensity and duration of sleep is 45% higher.  Progesterone improves sleep by making you sleep more deeply and wake less frequently.  This is particularly helpful for menopausal women, but should also be considered for women who are younger and experience hormone imbalances.

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Slowing the Aging Process

Our most up to date understanding of the aging process tells us that protecting our telomeres means protecting our youth. A telomere is basically extra junk at the end of a strand of DNA. The telomore does not really do anything. The ends of our DNA tend to deteriorate as we age, meaning our telomeres get shorter. Once the extra junk at the end is gone, we start losing DNA that actually does important stuff. When we lose important stuff, we start to deteriorate faster. The good news is that we are finding more and more information about how to protect that “junk” at the end so that we can protect the important DNA from damage.

The telemore length is testable.  It is also something we can protect.  Nutrition and hormone balance are two major ways we can control how fast our DNA is aging.

Interested in knowing more?  Check out this video testing telomeres

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The Latest in Alzheimer’s Research

Anyone who has witnessed the devastating impact of Alzheimer’s has experienced the nagging fear that one day it may happen to you.  Fortunately, we now have a genetic test that can tell us our level of risk.  What is even more exciting is that this test can provide us with a genetic type that can ultimately help us lower our risk with customized diet and exercise.   The type of APO E gene we carry has an impact on how we process fats.  Further, it determines how well we carry cholesterol to our brains.  A high risk APO E gene means that you are 20X as likely to develop Alzheimer’s.  Our brains need a huge amount of cholesterol to function.  Alzheimer’s patients have 1/6 the concentration of free fatty acids in their brains.  For these people, contrary to popular belief, a high fat diet and actually reduce their symptoms.  Some researchers theorize that increased blood cholesterol is your body trying to get more fat to the brain.  If this is the case, we may need to re-think our excessive use of cholesterol lowering medications.  It may even explain a common side effect of statin use:  memory loss.  If you are concerned about your Alzheimer’s risk, I highly recommend considering this simple genetic test.  Prevention starts now.  Neurological changes are difficult to reverse once they have occurred.  Keeping your brain healthy starts with feeding it good fats in the right amounts.  Because your ability to process fats influences your whole system, the changes you make will also impact your cardiovascular system, metabolism, and more.  Insurance does not cover this test yet, and it is actually significantly cheaper to use a specialty lab rather than trying to order it through an insurance contracted diagnostic center through your primary care office.

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Vitamin D: Reduce All Causes of Death

We are deep into the winter months and many people are dangerously low in vitamin D.  Why does this matter?  A recent study showed that giving IV Vitamin D reduced causes of all cause mortality.  I found this interseting–something that makes you less likely to die of…anything.  We don’t all need to have IV Vitamin D to have normal levels, just regular sunlight and / or a Vitamin D supplement.  I don’t think it is realistic fovitamin Dr most people to expect that they get adequate sun exposure.  We have only been 99% indoor animals for a short period of time.  For far longer, we have been outdoor creatures that thrive on vitamins in our food as well as the vitamin that we manufacture when we are exposed to sunlight.  In order to get enough sunlight to make normal vitamin D, you have to be outside naked for about 20-40 minutes every day.  I sure am not doing that!

Vitamin D is apparently so vital that getting enough makes you less likely to die of all causes.  I recommend a liquid 2000 IU Vitamin D drop on the tongue.  Liquids are cheaper in the longrun, and I believe that the drop is a better form of delivery than the pill.

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