10 Health Myths of Alternative Medicine (part 1)
1. pH is the key
Myth and fake cure:
Acidity of body is the cause of all diseases.
Alkaline water, apple cider vinegar, lemon, sodium bicarbonate, calcium carbonate, potassium and magnesium salts, etc…
What actually do they mean by “acidity”?
Acidic blood is a myth.
Acidic stomach? Most people have low stomach acid. And stomach should be acidic.
Acidic intestines? Actually lower pH in the intestines helps the liver via lowering the ammonia production by bacteria.
Acidic lymph? Lymph goes into the blood so kidneys are filtering it constantly.
Bad blood flow causes bad lymph flow and that leads to weak detoxification and insufficient nourishing of the tissues.
Acidic cells? Maybe! I would rather call the cells – toxic. We need to detoxify the cells. Good fats – omega 3 – are the first step in healing. Cells need to have good fats in order to build strong and flexible cell wall as well as to isolate mitochondria. Then it goes all always just to correct the deficiencies and drink enough of fluids and exercise.
2. Liver flush
Myth and fake cure:
Magnesium, apple juice and a lot of olive oil is the treatment for gallstones and stuck liver. This “recipe” may differ but the point is to drink apple juice (malic acid) in order to soften the hard gallstones, take magnesium in order to relax the muscles in bile ducts and drink about 8-20 fl. oz (250-600ml) of oil to force the liver and gallbladder “flush” the bile along the gallstones and liver stones into the small intestine.
Then after a few hours you should see the gallstones in your stool.
No those “stones” are not the stones. Those are the formations of the ingredients you ingested in order to do “liver flush”. All the liver do after you ingest the huge amount of oil is releasing the bile. That’s why those “fake gallstones” are green. Real gallstones are usually not green because bacteria decompose the bile quickly (in a few hours) and it turns dark brown.
Lecithin, bile acids or artichoke, omega 3 fatty acids, milk thistle, NAC. Those are the supplements and nutrients for the healthy liver. There is no one day cure for liver problems. Liver needs some time to be rebuilt in order to work correctly and any liver flush is capable of doing that.
3. Hydrocolon therapy
Myth and fake cure:
Hydrocolon therapy will clean up the colon, detoxify the body and restore health.
It is funny that people undergoing the hydrocolon therapy are often the same who swear by probiotics. They take the probiotics to restore the healthy intestinal flora and avoid the antibiotics (what is good) because they wipe out the beneficial bacteria from the gut.
But they should know that flooding the colon with water for 30-60 minutes a few times per year does the similar imbalance in the colon. If it was only so easy to bring back the health like undergoing some hydrocolon therapy. Colon microbiome composition is very important factor in health but hydrocolon therapy is unlikely to correct it.
The best way to clean the colon is to eat fiber rich foods that naturally clean the small and large intestine of plaque.
Note: Coffee enemas are something different than hydrocolon therapy but in my opinion there are way more convenient ways how to achieve the same results without coffee enemas. Taking the bile acids or artichoke tea will support your bile flow the more convenient way.
4. Very high dose supplements
Myth and fake cure:
If one capsule doesn’t work you need 3 capsules daily. This aspect is very popular mostly in those who focus their interest on active form of folic acid, niacin, B6 or zinc. The standard folic acid supplement contains 400mcg per capsule and it is the amount that has usually very good effects. However many people say they (need to) take 2 000 – 5 000 mcg of folic acid daily to feel the effects.
Taking very high doses of any supplement may lead and usually do to imbalance of many processes and may cause or mimic the deficiency of other important nutrients. I am not saying that there aren’t some people who may really need high doses of some nutrient because of they unique genetic variation but most of those who take very high doses of some vitamin or other nutrient are still not in full health. That’s why it’s questionable if that very high dosage is really the most important thing they should address.
In many cases it is some another nutritional deficiency and toxicity (leaky gut, SIBO, root canal teeth, fungal infection, heavy metals,…) that holds the brakes down and slows the critical metabolic processes down. Overloading the body with high doses of vitamins and other nutrients may improve the symptoms a little but will never fully resolve the problem.
There are the differences in each vitamin and other nutrients regarding the dosages above the recommended daily intake. Some of the vitamins needs to be taken in higher amounts to have some substantial effects and some (like folic acid) usually bring the substantial results even at lower dosages.
Vitamin D3 according to scientific papers is safe to take short-term for up to 30 000 IU per day (50x more than RDA) even though it is a fat-soluble compound. Vitamin C is another popular vitamin that many people take at dosages well above the recommended daily intake. Vitamin B12 is very critical nutrient and even doctors give patients the shots of 1 000 mcg of B12 what is well over 300x more than recommended daily allowance.
Absorption and assimilation of vitamins and other nutrients play a huge role so some people may feel great taking the same dosage as the other who feel sick and develop toxicity symptoms.
Desiccated liver is the best way to supplement all the vitamins that might not be discovered yet. Liver is nutrient rich organ so eating it daily in supplemental form may do wonders.
5. Leaky gut
Myth and fake cure:
Inflamed small intestine allows the undigested food protein to leak into the blood. The cross-reactivity between those proteins and body tissues may cause various autoimmune diseases. Wheat is blamed as one of the top causes of leaky gut. That’s why gluten-free diet, SCD diet, paleo diet, glutamine, probiotics, digestive enzymes,etc… are recommended as solution that should heal leaky gut.
Diet is important but alone it is often not enough to resolve the health problems.
Yes, leaky gut like state of small intestine does exist. Yes, cross-reactivity may occur. Yes, wheat or gluten can cause small intestine inflammation. Yes, gluten-free diet may cure people of various conditions.
However, most diseases are not caused by wheat or gluten. Most people can eat wheat and gluten. The cross-reactivity is statistically very rare (in real life practically impossible) so we should start looking for the real causes of immune system activation.
Endotoxins are what should be taken care of in the first place. Bile acids production and bile flow is essential for proper endotoxins breakdown in the small intestine. Endotoxins are parts of the cell-wall of some bacteria and cause massive inflammation in the body. This is a fact and nobody seems to be bothered by this.
Blaming various foods for the health problems in hundreds of millions of people is ridiculous. If we listen to all those “experts” that recommend not to eat sugar (fruits), meat (fish), grains (rice, wheat, oats), starches (potatoes), fats what would we end up with? Some low-fat seeds, grass and leafs…?
It is more important to eliminate the toxins from the body (mycotoxins, heavy metals and chemicals), eat food without additives, pesticides and herbicides rather than eliminate the foods.
Our bodies are able to produce the enzymes to break down the disaccharides and polysaccharides. So why would we need to eliminate completely starches from our diets? Diets like SCD or completely monosaccharide based diet may be very helpful in the beginning of the healing but keep in mind that eating starches is not the cause of disease.
Not digesting starches is the cause…
Bacteria and fungi thrive on that undigested starches in our small intestine and colon.
And we’re back with our Autonomic Nervous System and sympathetic or parasympathetic dominance. Stressful situations switch us to sympathetic state and that’s why our shut down digestion is in the very beginning the start of the disease we may end up with even years later.