Vitamin D and Pain Medication/Protecting the Eyes from Macular Degeneration and Blue Screen Damage/Homeopathy and Heavy Metals

Vitamin D and Pain Medication

Vitamin D inadequacy has long been associated with musculoskeletal pain and neuromuscular dysfunction. Given this, a study done in 2008 sought to determine if vitamin D deficiency could be an unrecognized condition among people who need medication for chronic pain.

The study involved 267 patients who had pain so severe that they were receiving opioids as painkillers, and the study revealed that: “Among patients using opioids, the mean morphine equivalent dose for the inadequate vitamin D group was 133.5 mg/day compared with 70.0 mg/day for the adequate group.”

In other words, those patients who were deficient in vitamin D needed almost twice as much opioid drugs as those who had sufficient vitamin D levels. The study concluded: “The prevalence and clinical correlates identified in this pilot study provide the basis for the assertion that vitamin D inadequacy may represent an under-recognized source of nociception (nervous system pain) and impaired neuromuscular functioning among patients with chronic pain.”   (Study)

If you are using opioids for pain relief, it would be a good idea to have your vitamin D levels checked. If simply adding vitamin D to the diet can cut the dose of these dangerous, addictive drugs in half, everyone wins (except the pharmaceutical companies).

Protecting the Eyes from Macular Degeneration and Blue Screen Damage

There are a few carotenoids that are renowned for their ability to protect the eyes, especially from Macular Degeneration. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a degenerative disease affecting the macula, ultimately reducing central visual acuity in advanced stages. It is the leading cause of irreversible visual impairment in the elderly population, in developed countries.

The carotenoids that are of special benefit are beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids are concentrated in the retina, aiding us in color sensitivity, and seeing fine details, and they also protect us from the damage that blue light does. The display screens of computers, electronic notebooks, smartphones and other digital devices, emit significant amounts of blue light, which is damaging to the retina. This is because blue light reaches deeper into the eyes than other parts of the visible light spectrum, and the cumulative effect can cause retinal damage. Blue light is also directly implicated as being a causative factor in the development of AMD.

But, those carotenoids are sometimes difficult to absorb, and then difficult to shuttle through the fine capillaries of the eyes, allowing them to enter and repair the macula. Since lutein and zeaxanthin are fat-soluble, they must be emulsified in order to enter the bloodstream in particles small enough to be transported into the eyes. And, surprisingly, the shuttle that conveys them to this target is a form of cholesterol known as high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good” cholesterol).

Researchers and doctors eventually began to note a high degree of macular degeneration amongst patients who had their gallbladder removed, were obese, and/or had problems digesting fats. This is because our bodies require bile in order to breakdown fats into absorbable particles, and bile production requires bile salts, lecithin, and cholesterol. (The liver makes bile which is then stored and concentrated in the gallbladder, for release when we consume fats.)

The trick is to ensure that we have a healthy HDL to LDL (low density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol) ratio, but not levels of cholesterol that are too low, because if the cholesterol levels get too low, we will not be able to make sufficient amounts of bile. These facts would suggest that those on cholesterol-lowering statin drugs are probably more likely than most to face macular degeneration in their future, which indeed, appears to be true.  (Source)

Using digestive aids can improve our production of bile, and help the body to break down fat-soluble nutrients (including lutein and zeaxanthin). Such digestive aids include: digestive enzymes; digestive bitters; bile salts (available in supplemental form and essential for anyone who has had their gallbladder removed); ox bile; L-taurine; lecithin; and betaine HCL (essentially stomach acid in a pill) or apple cider vinegar. These last two (betaine HCL or cider vinegar) are especially important for those with type A or AB blood, those suffering from acid reflux due to low stomach acid (as common as reflux due to high stomach acid), or those with pronounced ridged on the thumb nails (indicating low stomach acid and poor mineral absorption).

In Chinese medicine the liver and the eyes are closely related, and in Western medicine the liver and the gallbladder are closely related. So, for those who are developing macular degeneration, doing a “liver/gallbladder flush” can be of extra benefit in keeping the eyes healthy. And for those just trying to prevent AMD from occurring, using herbs and supplements that keep the liver and gallbladder in good health, will ensure that the bile remains thin, which in turn helps more lutein and zeaxanthin get to the macula.

An imbalance of intestinal bacteria will also impede the absorption of the important carotenoids, so probiotics and lactic acid-containing fermented foods are also ultimately important to eye health. (LactoSpore)

Other nutrients that have been found to protect the eyes from macular degeneration, and thus from blue light damage to the retina, include: Vitamins A, C and E, Omega 3 fatty acids, and Resveratrol. And, especially important is our old friend Vitamin D, of which one study states: “Cumulative data from experimental and observational studies suggest that relatively a lower vitamin D status could be a potential risk factor for the development of early and/or late AMD.”   (Study)

Since resveratrol is on the list of eye protectors, I did a Pubmed search to confirm the study and found that it also was used to ameliorate blue light induced retinal damage, as well as AMD.  (Study)

And since we at NutriStart produce a Resveratrol/Turmeric product, I did another search on Pubmed to see if the turmeric extracts also had a similar beneficial effect, which indeed they do: “The purpose of the study was to investigate the protective effect of the Curcuma longa L. extract (CLE) and its curcuminoids against blue light-induced cytotoxicity in human retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells laded with A2E. A2E has been concerned in age-related macular degeneration (AMD)…Curcuma longa L. extract and its curcuminoids provided significant protection against photooxidative damage and apoptosis in the RPE cells. Our results suggest that curcuminoids may show potential in the treatment of AMD.”  (Study)

So, at this point I can confidently recommend NutriStart’s Liposomal Curcumin/Resveratol product, as a supplement very beneficial for those concerned about blue light damage and/or macular degeneration.

Homeopathy and Heavy Metals

Scientists in India have been looking at the potential of homeopathic medicines to remove heavy metals from the body. The principle of homeopathy is “like cures like”, similar to the principals of vaccination, except homeopathic toxic compounds are diluted to the point of only leaving an energy signature. That is to say, when you take homeopathic arsenic, no amount of residual arsenic would be visible to any modern technology. Many question the value of homeopathy since it operates outside the paradigms of Western Science, yet it has been around for over a hundred years, and has many clinical studies confirming its value as a medicine.

Case in point, homeopathic Arsenic Album showed highly promising results when it was used to treat mice poisoned with arsenic. The experimental mice also were given either distilled water, or alcohol, to serve as placebo, both of which had been processed in the same manner as the homeopathic compound.

The homeopathic remedy reduced the liver toxicity (lowered levels of two liver enzymes – ALT and AST) induced by arsenic in the mice. (The water had no effect and the alcohol increased the amount of liver enzymes.) This positive effect occurred within 72 hours and beneficial effects on the liver lasted for up to 30 days.   (Study)

Cadmium is another heavy metal toxicity that has grown more serious in recent years. Another clinical study was done on mice, to test homeopathic cadmium and find out if it was protective. The study is titled “Comparative efficacy of two microdoses of a potentized homoeopathic drug, Cadmium Sulphoricum, in reducing genotoxic effects produced by cadmium chloride in mice.” It concluded that: ‘Both Cad Sulph-30 and 200 were able to combat cadmium induced genotoxic effects in mice.”    (Study)

And one other rodent  study, done with homeopathic lead (plumbum 1M), found that while the treatment did not do much at high levels of contamination, “it was partially effective in the recovery of delta ALAD activity and relieving anemia caused by chronic exposure of low doses of lead (below 15 mg% lead acetate).”

Unfortunately, the study did not include any other dose ranges except 1M which is the most dilute of the homeopathic remedies, and perhaps the homeopathic lead would have had a stronger effect if they, like the other studies quoted, used doses of 30ch and 200ch.  (Study)

Moving from mice to people there is a clinical study on PubMed called: “A Follow-Up Study on the Efficacy of the Homeopathic Remedy Arsenicum album in Volunteers Living in High Risk Arsenic Contaminated Areas.” This study concluded: “Therefore, administration of Arsenicum album 200C considerably ameliorates symptoms of arsenic toxicity on a long-term basis, and can be recommended for interim use, particularly in high risk remote villages lacking modern medical and arsenic free drinking water facilities.”  (Study)

All this leads me to conclude that for those suffering from symptoms due to heavy metal toxicity, the use of the homeopathic version of the given heavy metal may help to gently clean the system of such toxins. And, as mercury toxicity is quite common these days, and very difficult to remove from the body without often causing unpleasant side effects, it may be of great advantage for those dealing with mercury toxicity to try using Mercurius solubilis (30 or 200 ch).

As well, autism, ASD, ADHD, ADD, and PDD, have all been linked to heavy metal toxicity (cadmium, lead, mercury, arsenic), and homeopathy is a gentle way to treat children that is easy to ingest and less likely to produce uncomfortable side effects.     (Source)   (Study)

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