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Einstein Quote on Persistence

“I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent; curiosity, obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism, have brought me to my ideas.”

— Albert Einstein

Medscape’s Erroneous Claims About Cancer Myths


Difference Between Bioidentical Versus Synthetic Hormones

First, as to the question of whether compounding pharmacies are using the same substance as the ethical pharmacy industry, it is easy to search the Internet for “difference between synthetic and natural hormones” and find hundreds of web pages that explain the difference.

Here is how https://www.bodylogicmd.com/faq/what-are-synthetic-hormones describes it:

“The difference between bioidentical hormones and synthetic hormones is dual fold. Unlike bioidentical hormones, synthetic hormones may be patented by pharmaceutical companies; therefore dosage varies only by milligrams dictated by your doctor, while the molecular structure of the prescribed hormone is the same for every single person on that drug. Additionally, synthetic hormones are not created structurally the same as human endogenous hormones, which often leads uncomfortable side effects. While synthetic hormones can mimic the effects of endogenous hormones on certain biological pathways, they rarely offer the same effectiveness at a deeper, molecular level.

Bioidentical hormones mimic the affinity of human endogenous hormones; therefore they are effective on more biological pathways, at all levels. Because bioidentical hormones are an exact structural replica of endogenous hormones side effects are rarely observed, and in the event you do experience side effects, talk with your doctor – the dosage may simply need to be adjusted. The added benefit of bioidentical hormones is that each dose is tailored specifically for your needs, not simply what doses the pharmaceutical company offers (as is the case with synthetic hormones.)”

Similarly, http://www.healthline.com/health-blogs/hold-that-pause/hormones-whats-the-difference describes it this way:

“Because natural substances which are found in nature, such as the progesterone derived from Mexican yams, cannot be patented, the pharmaceutical industry chemically altered the molecules of Marker’s progesterone to create synthetic variations which could be patented.

The patent allowed the pharmaceutical industry to own and market the product. Since then, the campaign to sell synthetic progesterone to physicians and their patients has been fierce and unrelenting.

But the difference between the molecularly altered progesterone and that which is not, is significant. Biochemically, your body recognizes the chemical structure of bioidentical hormones as identical to the hormones your ovaries produce. However, it does not recognize synthetic hormones as identically the same. This difference is why, according to many healthcare professionals, that synthetic hormones produce so many unhealthy side effects. But, that does not suggest that bioidentical hormones are above reproach. The research and studies conducted on them thus far is still relatively new, and they continue to remain a topic of much debate in the medical community. But, the early research on bioidentical hormones is very promising and could very likely usher in an entire new era of healthier hormone therapy for women; and that, ladies, is always good news.”


Legally speaking, the natural hormone cannot be exactly the same as the synthetic alternative (and Lilly’s synthetic version is different from AbVie’s synthetic version), because the pharmaceutical industry cannot patent a naturally occurring substance.

Frequently, I will ask pharmacists if natural Vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol) is the same as synthetic Vitamin E (dl-alpha-tocopherol). Pharmacists invariably say the synthetic version is just an isomer of the natural version, and so they are the exact same thing. Yet the body immediately recognizes the difference between the isomer and the natural substance, just as you can recognize the difference between your left and right hand. In humans, natural Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant, while synthetic Vitamin E is little more than junk. There are literally over 100 scientific papers now documenting the huge health outcomes distinction between natural vs. synthetic Vitamin E (again easy to see from a search of the Internet). Virtually every clinical trial or study that has claimed Vitamin E is harmful or ineffective has used synthetic Vitamin. E, while virtually all clinical studies and trials of natural Vitamin E have shown it to be highly effective — as it has been for thousands of years in humans.

Without further ado, here is my revised paragraph that emphasizes warranting a product for its intended use vs. actual use:

“Some enterprising consumers might reason that they could chop the troches into quarters, rather than just in half, and thereby obtain a 360-day supply from a 90-day prescription. The testosterone troches can only be assigned a maximum beyond use date of 180 days so they cannot be warranted for use after that time. However, I have tested testosterone troches after 270 days and found they still have full potency.”

The second sentence comes from Dr. Allen, and the third sentence adds a new piece of information that might lead some compounding pharmacies to revisit the expiration dates on troches. Testosterone does not degrade in troches anywhere near the degradation rate in compounded testosterone lotions and gels.

Jon Barron on the Problem With Standardization in Supplements

“So, what’s the problem? Have you ever tasted a can of frozen orange juice or juice from a container that even comes close to the taste of good fresh squeezed? (Don’t bother answering this question if you think that SunnyD® tastes better than real orange juice.) While standardization can make one batch virtually identical to the next, it can never make any batch as good as really good non-standardized fresh squeezed. The reasons are simple. First, for the most part, standardized orange juice starts with mass-produced, lower grade oranges. Standardization is required because you’re starting with an inferior product. Second, the taste of orange juice is governed by far more factors than sugar and acid. It is the result of the interplay of dozens of natural flavors, esters, and oils that are beyond the ability of any manufacturer to control. It is a symphony of taste, a symphony that we cannot duplicate by tweaking one or two ‘active’ ingredients. In fact, tweaking is actually often deleterious because it destroys the natural balance of all those factors that are not standardized.)

The process for standardizing herbs is a bit different. With herbs, the active biochemicals are extracted from the herbs in liquid form and then ‘sprayed’ back onto a neutral plant base until the desired concentration of active biochemicals is realized. The net result, however, is the same.

The problem with standardization is that it lowers the bar of what we can expect from herbal formulations. Standardized formulas will never match the quality (and healing power) of a non-standardized formula made from the highest quality herbs, because the standardized formula seeks to control a few ‘identified’ active ingredients to a level found in inferior quality herbs at the expense of all the other ‘active’ ingredients. Standardization distorts plant synergy, and it disrupts the natural ratios of ingredients inherent in the plant itself and replaces them with arbitrary ratios.

In addition, our attempt to identify active ingredients is fundamentally flawed. The procedure used is right out of standard drug testing: isolate individual chemical components and test their effects one at a time in a test tube. If a particular biochemical from an herb tests as ‘non-active,’ we can eliminate it from standardization of that herb. But what if that component has a different value in the grand scheme of things? What if, although it may do nothing by itself, its presence makes another component truly effective? In that case, you could have a standardized herbal extract that is virtually useless. Green tea is an interesting case in point. Check any label for standardized green tea and it will state the percentages of polyphenols it’s standardized for, but what about theanine? Theanine is an important biochemical found in green tea, but it’s an amino acid, not a polyphenol. What green tea extract is standardized for that important marker along with the polyphenols?

An obvious question might be: ‘If what I’m saying is true, then why is ‘everybody’ standardizing their herbs?’ The answer is that standardization is the herbalists’ answer to traditional medicine’s complaint that herbs are unpredictable. Another way of saying this is that standardized extracts make herbs more like drugs. But herbs are not like drugs. They are not single chemicals but rather a synergistic blend of natural compounds. Once you acknowledge this, the whole idea of standardization is revealed for what it is – co-option.”

The Best and Most Comprehensive Article on Antioxidants


Jon Barron on Proteolytic Enzymes

“What do proteolytic enzymes do in the body? Benefits include:

  • Reducing inflammation – Inflammation is a natural response of the body to injury, but excessive inflammation retards the healing process. Proteolytic enzymes reduce inflammation by neutralizing the biochemicals of inflammation (bradykinins and pro-inflammatory eicosanoids) to levels where the synthesis, repair, and regeneration of injured tissues can take place. Reducing inflammation can have an immediate impact on heart health, cancer prevention and recovery, and Alzheimer’s prevention. It also helps speed up recovery from sprains, strains, fractures, bruises, contusions, surgery, and arthritis.Osteoarthritis (OA) may also be reduced through oral enzyme therapy, as demonstrated in one study that compared it to the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac in patients with OA of the hip. This study showed no real difference between enzyme therapy and diclofenac, implying an equal benefit relation between the substances. The researchers concluded that enzyme therapy may well be recommended for treating OA patients with signs of inflammation as indicated by a high pain level.
  • Cleansing the blood of debris – Proteolytic enzymes are the primary tools the body uses to “digest” organic debris in the circulatory and lymph systems. Supplementing improves the effectiveness of the process.
  • Dissolving fibrin (a protein involved in clotting) in the blood, thereby reducing the risk of dangerous clots – Certain specialized proteases such as nattokinase and endonase help improve the “quality” of blood cells, optimize the ability of blood to flow through the circulatory system, and reduce the risk of clots. In effect, they help regulate the blood clotting cascade, normalizing the function of this vital defense mechanism. They work not so much as a blood thinner but as a corrector of blood chemistry and function. They are safe and non-toxic, which is more than what can be said for medical options such as warfarin. This is extremely important in reducing the risk of stroke. Consider using proteolytic enzymes just before and after long plane flights to minimize the potential of blood clots in the legs. How big is the problem? One study estimated that one million cases of deep venous thrombosis related to air travel occur in the U.S. alone every year and that 100,000 of these cases resulted in death. And that was before the recent boom in air travel.
  • Maximizing immune system function – the primary vehicle the immune system uses for destroying invaders is enzymes. Macrophages, for example, literally digest invaders with proteolytic enzymes. Supplementation significantly improves the ability of your immune system to do its job.
  • Improving breathing – Some proteolytic enzymes help clear away mucus buildup in the lungs.
  • Killing of bacteria, viruses, molds, and fungi – Proteolytic enzymes taken between meals literally go into the bloodstream and digest these invaders. One of the tricks of an invading organism is to wrap itself in a large protein shell that the body would view as being “normal.” Large amounts of protease can help to remove this protein shell and allow the body’s defense mechanisms to take action. With the protective barrier down, your immune system can step in and destroy the invading organism.
  • Optimizing oxygen uptake and improving recovery time for athletes. In a recent study, researchers from the Department of Health and Human Performance at Elon University evaluated the capacity of protease to relieve soft-tissue injury resulting from intense exercise. The enzyme group demonstrated superior recovery of muscle function and diminished muscle soreness after downhill running when compared with those taking a placebo.
  • Dissolving of scar tissue – Scar tissue is made of protein. Proteolytic enzymes can effectively “digest” scar tissue, particularly in the circulatory system.
  • Reducing symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS).
  • Removing circulating immune complexes (CICs), leading to reduced allergies, elimination of many autoimmune disorders, sinusitis, and asthma. Many large protein molecules that are only partially digested in the small intestine are nevertheless absorbed into the bloodstream. Wheat, dairy, and corn proteins are particular culprits. Once in the bloodstream, the immune system treats these oversized proteins as invaders, provoking an immune response. Antibodies couple with these foreign protein invaders to form CICs. In a healthy person, these CICs may be neutralized in the lymphatic system, but if the immune system is compromised or if the level of CICs is just too high, they will accumulate in the blood, where they initiate an “allergic” reaction. The kidneys can no longer excrete all of them, so the body begins storing them in soft tissue, causing inflammation and triggering an autoimmune disorder. Supplemental proteolytic enzymes taken between meals aid in the elimination of CICs.”


“It is possible to use a good quality digestive enzyme formula in this regard and receive a significant amount of benefit, but it is far more beneficial to use formulas that are optimized for systemic proteolytic function. Proteolytic enzymes are taken between meals so that they can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream. The formula should contain a lot of protease, at least 200,000 HUT. This is far more than you will find in a digestive enzyme formula. Some supplements contain fungal (vegetarian based) protease, which although rendered inactive by stomach acid, is not destroyed by it. As soon as it passes into the alkaline environment of the intestinal tract, it reactivates. However, the formula will be more effective if it includes several proteases (papain, bromelain, fungal pancreatin) that work in a variety of pH ranges.

The proteolytic enzyme nattokinase has displayed a remarkable ability to optimally balance the clotting ability of blood. Its ability to control clotting rivals that of drugs such as warfarin, but without any of the side effects or downsides—making it of value to everyone, not just heart disease patients. Obviously, if you are already using blood thinners, you will need to work with your doctor if you decide to incorporate proteolytic enzymes in your health program.

The proteolytic enzyme serrapeptase has remarkable anti-inflammatory and anti-edemic (counters swelling and fluid retention) activity in a number of tissues. It can also reduce pain and it helps clear mucus from the lungs in patients with chronic airway diseases. However, the quality of serrapeptase tends to be inconsistent and it can cause intestinal distress. It is also very sensitive to stomach acid, which means it has to be enteric coated. There are better alternatives such as Seaprose-S, Endonase, or Protease-S, which are of consistently high quality, cause virtually no intestinal distress, have been proven more effective than serrapeptase, and are not affected by stomach acid. Finally, look for a formula that incorporates a pH buffering system. It provides extra protection for the enzymes from stomach acid. It can help optimize the pH of the blood and of all your soft tissues (thereby helping in the removal of CICs). Plus, it can help lessen the chances of osteoporosis.

Some doctors mistakenly believe that proteolytic enzymes cannot be absorbed through the intestinal tract wall because they are too large and that they are instead broken down into their constituent amino acids. This is based on old science and is simply not true. There are hundreds of studies showing that enzymes are indeed absorbed intact and easily make their way into the bloodstream, where they “hitch rides” on lymphocytes to travel throughout the body.”

How the Media Got It Wrong on the Causes of Cancer


Marketing in Not Marketing



Explanation for Why We Are Deficient in Enzymes

“Most people believe that when you eat a meal, it drops into a pool of stomach acid where it’s broken down, then it goes into the small intestine to have nutrients taken out, and then into the colon to be passed out of the body. In fact, the truth is a bit more complex. What nature intended is that you eat enzyme-rich foods and chew your food properly. If you did that, the food would enter the stomach laced with digestive enzymes. No stomach acid would be present. Your meal would then be churned around by the action of the stomach, and the enzymes that were present would “pre-digest” your food for about an hour–actually breaking down as much as 75 percent of your meal.

Only after this period of “pre-digestion” is hydrochloric acid, produced by the parietal cells in the stomach wall, introduced. The acid inactivates all of the food-based enzymes, but begins its own function of breaking down what is left of the meal. The digestive enzyme pepsin is also introduced by the stomach at this point. Unlike food-based enzymes, pepsin thrives in the high-acid environment produced by stomach acid. Eventually, the nutrient rich food concentrate that results from the action of enzymes and stomach acid moves into the small intestine. In the small intestine, the acid is neutralized in the duodenum and the pancreas reintroduces digestive enzymes to the process. As digestion is completed, nutrients are passed through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream. That’s what nature intended, but unfortunately most of us don’t live our lives as nature intended.

Processing and cooking destroy enzymes in food. Man is the only animal that cooks his food. In fact, any sustained heat of approximately 118°F to 129°F (48°C to 54°C) destroys virtually all enzymes. This means that, for most of us, the food entering our stomachs is severely enzyme deficient. Actually, there are some enzymes added from our saliva, but the amount is minuscule because we chew our food only about 25 percent as much as is required. The result is that most of our meals enter our stomachs woefully devoid of enzymes.

The food then sits in the stomach for an hour, like a heavy lump, with very little pre-digestion taking place. That makes it impossible for the normal amount of stomach acid to completely break down the meal, which means that what’s left of it enters the small intestine largely undigested. At this point, the pancreas and the other organs of the endocrine system are put under tremendous stress since they have to draw reserves from the entire body in order to produce massive amounts of the proper enzymes. The less digestion that takes place before food reaches the small intestine, the greater the stress placed on the endocrine glands. Recent studies have shown that virtually all Americans have an enlarged pancreas by the time they are forty. And the ever increasing intake of refined carbohydrates is also a major contributing factor. Is it any wonder that the incidence of diabetes is exploding in the developed world?”

GI tract“Regular supplementation with digestive enzymes takes stress off the pancreas (and the entire body) by providing the enzymes required for digestion. In other words, digestive enzyme supplements may be one of the best insurance policies you can give your body so you can enjoy a long and healthy life. You will also experience a number of short-term benefits from taking digestive enzymes:

  • A significant reduction in indigestion and heartburn problems resulting from too much acid in the stomach. If there are insufficient enzymes in your food, your body tries to break down your meal through overproduction of stomach acid. Using digestive enzymes drops acid production back to normal levels.
  • Since complex carbohydrates are now being substantially digested before they enter the intestinal tract, you should experience relief from gas and bloating. (Note: Some people may actually notice an increase in activity for several days as their digestive systems come alive.)
  • Look for improved digestion of dairy products.
  • Diminished food allergies due to more complete protein digestion.
  • Since the digestion of enzyme-deficient food is an extremely energy-consuming task, within a few days of enzyme supplementation you should notice an increase in energy levels.
  • Relief from many of the symptoms of hiatal hernia.
  • Relief from acid reflux.
  • Relief from ulcers. Digestive enzymes help digest so much of your meal during the 40–60 minutes of pre-digestion that your body requires less acid in the actual digestion phase. This means that taking digestive enzymes will help lower the levels of acid in your stomach. (Those who suffer from chronic low levels of acid need not worry. Digestive enzyme supplements help here, too, by breaking down so much food in the predigestion phase that less acid is actually required. And over time, decreased demand results in increased reserve capability.) Second, protease will begin breaking down the protective coating of the H. pylori bacteria responsible for so many ulcers. In other words, it will actually begin to digest it. However, for those with a severe existing ulcer, the protease may begin to digest damaged stomach lining tissue because its protective coating is missing. This can cause noticeable discomfort for several days. To avoid this, start with very small amounts of the supplement with your meals and build up slowly.”