SOPHIA LIFE BLOG
Chaga, scientifically known as Inonotus obliquus, is a parasitic fungus that grows on tree trunks, particularly those of birch trees. It can be found growing along the northern latitudes of Russia, Scandinavia, Korea, Japan, United States and Canada.
Predominantly, it is found growing in the cold Taiga forests.
The indigenous Siberians have used chaga for thousands of years and there is a long history of chaga being used in folk medicine for treating cancer, gastritis, ulcers and tuberculosis in Russia and northern Europe.
This lumpy, charcoal-colored mushroom has an earthy flavor and can be enjoyed as tea or coffee.
Here are 6 health benefits of chaga mushroom:
- Immune System Support
Chaga is a rich source of beta-glucans, a sub-group of polysaccharides, which are known for their ability to modulate the immune system. This is a fancy way of saying that chaga can either up-regulate or down-regulate the immune function based on what the body needs.
One of the ways our immune system communicates is by using signaling molecules called cytokines. These cytokine molecules act as chemical messengers to help organize and mount an immune response to fight off invading pathogens. Chaga has been shown to increase interleukin-6 (IL-6), a type of cytokine molecule, which can help support immune system function.
- Reduction of Inflammation
In one animal study researchers found that chaga extract can reduce inflammation due to ulcerative colitis by suppressing the expression of pro-inflammatory molecules.
Quorum sensing is a term used to describe the phenomenon of how bacteria communicate with each other. Chaga has been shown to have anti-quorum sensing properties meaning it can disrupt this communication system and prevent bacteria from growing and becoming pathogenic inside the human body.
Chaga has been shown to have anti-viral properties against several viruses including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1, hepatitis C virus, and herpes simplex virus (HSV).
- Cancer Treatment Support
Laboratory and animal studies show that chaga has direct anti-tumor properties and can inhibit progression of cancer. It has been shown to inhibit colon, liver and cervical cancer cell growth as well as melanoma cell growth.
- Improved Physical Endurance
One study found that mice were able to swim longer when given chaga mushroom polysaccharides. The researchers observed an increase in liver and muscle glycogen stores and a decrease in blood levels of lactic acid and urea nitrogen levels. This means chaga may be helpful in improving physical endurance and decreasing fatigue.
Safety and Possible Side Effects
There have been no clinical trials done to evaluate the safety of chaga mushroom in humans.
Some studies suggest chaga has platelet inhibiting properties and may potentiate the effects of blood thinning medications such as warfarin. Chaga may also lower blood sugar levels and may not be appropriate for people taking medication for diabetes.
Chaga is found to be high in oxalates, which may prevent the absorption of certain nutrients and can be toxic in high dosages. One case report of a 72 year-old Japanese woman with liver cancer who ingested 4-5 teaspoons of chaga mushroom powder daily for 6 months resulted in kidney damage.
Please check with your doctor before adding chaga mushroom to your diet.
[Antiviral activity of aqueous extracts of the birch fungus Inonotus obliquus on the human immunodeficiency virus].
Antiviral activity of Inonotus obliquus fungus extract towards infection caused by hepatitis C virus in cell cultures.
Aqueous extract from a Chaga medicinal mushroom, Inonotus obliquus (higher Basidiomycetes), prevents herpes simplex virus entry through inhibition of viral-induced membrane fusion.
Chaga Mushroom: 5 Health Benefits of This Ancient Medicine. https://draxe.com/chaga-mushroom/
Chaga Mushrooms And Cancer: What Does The Science Say? https://chagahq.com/chaga-mushroom-cancer/
Chemical characterization and biological activity of Chaga (Inonotus obliquus), a medicinal "mushroom". https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25576897
Effect of Inonotus Obliquus Polysaccharides on physical fatigue in mice. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0254627215301266
Immunomodulatory Activity of the Water Extract from Medicinal Mushroom Inonotus obliquus. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3774877/
Orally administered aqueous extract of Inonotus obliquusameliorates acute inflammation in dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in mice. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874112004771?via%3Dihub
The History and Health Benefits of Chaga Mushroom Tea. http://www.ethnoherbalist.com/chaga-extract-mushroom-tea-benefits/
Kryptopyrroluria (KPU), also known as Hemopyrrollactamuria, is a condition associated with many neurological diseases, including Lyme disease, Autism, multiple sclerosis, and heavy-metal toxicity.
In KPU, a group of molecules called pyrroles are created as a byproduct of heme synthesis. Pyrroles bind to many essential nutrients, including zinc, vitamin b6, biotin, manganese, and a few others, causing the deficiency. Treatment of KPU involves supplementing supraphysiological doses of these nutrients to overcome the wasting of them in the urine due to the pyrroles.
These nutrients can be taken separately, but thankfully BioPure has developed a combination product called CoreTM that has all of the “core” nutrients for treating KPU in the proper doses and ratios. BioPure CoreTM contains:
Zinc: A mineral that is vital for white blood cell and immune function. CoreTM contains a combination of several different zinc chelates. Zinc deficiency is responsible for immune suppression in KPU. Men usually require more zinc than women.
Vitamin B6: A vitamin involved in the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin. This is why insomnia, nervousness, irritability, and other neurological symptoms are common in KPU. CoreTM contains B6 as a combination of P5P, the active form, and pyridoxine HCL, the inactive form.
Biotin: A B vitamin that is necessary for energy production, as well as skin and nail health. Brittle nails and nail spots are telltale sign of KPU.
Manganese: Another mineral needed for joint and bone health, as well as blood sugar regulation and thyroid hormone production.
Chromium: A mineral important for blood sugar regulation.
Molybdenum: Helps with sulfur metabolism.
Boron: A mineral also often deficient in KPU.
Taurine: An amino acid that is important for the nervous system and bile production.
The amount of CoreTM that an individual requires needs to be determined by your doctor, but a goal dose is typically 4-10 capsules spread throughout the day with food. Many patients have to start with 1 capsule or even a fraction of a capsule. Side effects of replacing the lost nutrients in KPU typically are not caused by sensitivities to the nutrients themselves, but from the biochemical pathways that start to work again once the nutrients are present. Detox strategies are needed with KPU treatment since the restoration of these biochemical pathways will cause the patient to start excreting heavy metals.
Some patients do have a true sensitivity to CoreTM due to the manganese. Lyme spirochetes have the ability to feed off of manganese, and it can also cause nausea in some people. Biopure has also created a version of CoreTM called Core-STM, which does not contain manganese. Core-STM also contains vitamin A, Niacin, Lithium, magnesium, and horsetail as a source of silica. These nutrients are sometimes needed when treating KPU.
Those who are sensitive to manganese can start with Core-STM, and the other nutrients it contains like zinc will help with immune function. Once the body burden of Lyme bacteria has been reduced, the patient can be switched to the original CoreTM, as manganese will eventually be needed.
KPU also causes a deficiency in the omega-6 fat arachidonic acid, which is found only animal fats. Arachidonic acid is critical for immune health, and makes up a significant portion of the fatty acids in the brain. It is an also precursor to the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) [As a side note, I think this is why people with KPU often benefit from CBD oil]. Good sources of an arachidonic acid include ghee, lard, tallow, and other animal fats. Some people do better with plant oils that contain omega-6 fatty acids such as evening primrose oil and borage oil. However, be aware that the conversion from plant sourced omega-6 to arachidonic acid in the body is less than 1 percent.
Deficiency in a variety of trace minerals is common in KPU. A high-quality broad spectrum trace mineral supplement like Biopure Microminerals can be added.
Written by Bryant Rubright
Aluminum is one of the most prevalent toxins in our environment.
While the second half of the 20th century was considered the lead and mercury age, today we are right in the middle of the aluminum age. High levels of aluminum have been linked as a causative agent of Dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Aluminum has an affinity for building up in the brain, and it also causes vascular inflammation. We are exposed to aluminum on a daily basis from food and water, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, and the air we breathe.
The average American consumes 7-9 milligrams of aluminum per day.
While only about 1% of the aluminum we consume gets absorbed, it is the accumulation of these daily exposures that can build up to toxic levels. There are a variety of ways we consume aluminum, including:
-Through salt and flour, where aluminum is often added as an anti-caking agent
-Leaching into our food from aluminum foil and cans
-Leaching into our food from aluminum cookware
-Baking powder and baking soda (aluminum-free versions are available)
-Antacids and buffered medications
-Food additives like artificial colors
-Composite dental fillings and ceramic/porcelain crowns
-Added to municipal water, lakes, and reservoirs to control algae growth
While your body is fairly good at protecting itself from ingested aluminum, it has less protection from aluminum exposure to the lungs and skin. Some of these exposures include:
-Aluminum-containing antiperspirants and other cosmetics easily absorb through the skin
-Aluminum is liberated into the air from industrial pollution, car exhaust, tobacco smoke, and fireworks
-Most vaccines contain aluminum as a preservative and/or adjuvant. The body has little defense against injected aluminum
While the majority of the damage caused by aluminum is in the brain, it can also wreak havoc throughout the body.
If you notice that your cognition and memory have declined as you get older, it might not just be “old age.” It could be from the deodorant that you put on every day!
Luckily, there are safe and effective ways to decrease your body burden of aluminum.
One of these is an herbal tincture from Sophia Nutrition called Al- Detox. It contains a number of herbs that help detox aluminum:
Elecampane root: Helps protect the lungs from inhaled aluminum.
Calamus Root: Helps with neurological and gastrointestinal problems, as well as being a general anti-inflammatory
Burdock Root: A blood cleanser that supports general detox.
Cilantro: Has broad spectrum metal-detoxing properties
Horsetail: A natural source of silica. Silica is the main agent for binding to aluminum.
Citric acid: Can also bind to aluminum
Since aluminum exposure happens on a daily basis, aluminum detox strategies need to be incorporated into your lifestyle.
Many of these exposures can be avoided: foods like bleached flour, table salt, and processed cheese should not be consumed because they are unhealthy foods in general in addition to the aluminum content. Deodorants and cosmetics containing aluminum can be switched to safer and more natural products (though finding an aluminum-free deodorant that works can be difficult). You can filter the water in your home, but avoiding airborne aluminum presents a challenge. Adding the Sophia Nutrition Al-Detox tincture to your protocol is a good way to help keep your brain sharp as you get older.
Written by Bryant Rubright
Intestinal binders are a crucial part of any detox protocol. When the liver processes toxins, they get excreted through bile and into the small intestine. If the toxins are not bound to anything, most of them will get reabsorbed in the gut. This is called enterohepatic recirculation. Binders can be used to bind to the toxins so that they can pass all the way through the digestive tract to be eliminated.
There are a variety of binders available. Different binders have affinities for different toxins based on the net charge and different molecular bonds. The following are some of the most commonly used binders:
Chlorella: Chlorella is algae that has a high affinity for heavy metals, but also volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pesticides, herbicides, and mycotoxins. Because chlorella is a living organism, it has evolved to bind only to toxic metals, not essential minerals. For this reason, it can be used long term with no risk of nutritional deficiency over time. It is also a good idea to take chlorella before eating any higher mercury fish, such as tuna or swordfish.
Chlorella is algae that has a high affinity for heavy metals, but also volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pesticides, herbicides, and mycotoxins. Because chlorella is a living organism, it has evolved to bind only to toxic metals, not essential minerals. For this reason, it can be used long term with no risk of nutritional deficiency over time. It is also a good idea to take chlorella before eating any higher mercury fish, such as tuna or swordfish.
Other Algaes: Ecklonia cava and spirulina have similar properties as chlorella.
Charcoal: A very broad-spectrum binder that will bind a little bit of everything. This means it will bind toxins, as well as vitamins and minerals. For this reason, it is best used for acute situations, not long term.
Clays: Zeolite, bentonite, and pyrophyllite clays fall somewhere in between chlorella and charcoal. Clays are more selective to binding toxins than charcoal, but can still bind to nutrients. They are most commonly used for binding to biotoxins from mold and other microbes but can bind to other toxins as well. Clays are usually used for weeks to months at a time.
Enterosgel: A silica-based gel that has a high affinity for aluminum. It is also good for binding to gut endotoxins and is marketed to be used for food poisoning. It has a low affinity for vitamins and minerals.
Silica-Rich Mineral Waters: Silica easily obtained through mineral water can bind to aluminum.
Biosil and Other Silica Products: Bind mostly to aluminum, but also other trivalent metals like thallium and tin.
Cholestyramine and Welchol: These are prescription medications that were developed to bind cholesterol. They are commonly used to bind to mycotoxins, but they can decrease absorption of fat-soluble vitamins over time.
Chitosan: A compound derived from crustaceans that has a binding ability almost identical to welchol.
Modified Citrus Pectin: A fiber made from the peel of citrus fruits that has a high affinity for lead, but also other heavy metals. It also has some immune-modulating properties.
Fiber: Plant fibers have a weak affinity for many different toxins. Fiber can easily be obtained through the diet or supplemented.
Humic and Fulvic Acids: These are made of decomposed plant matter, essentially dirt. They have been shown to detox glyphosate.
Intestinal Metal Detox: A specially designed silica molecule that has a very high affinity for heavy metals.
When choosing binders, sourcing is extremely important. Algaes, clays, and charcoal are notorious for being contaminated with toxins themselves, so cheapening out can actually make you worse. For this reason, it is important to make sure you are buying high-quality binders.
The binder that works best for someone can also differ greatly based on the specific toxin load. What works well for someone can also change during different phases of treatment. Because binders can bind to nutrients, they should also be taken away from food. It is generally recommended to take them at least 30 minutes before, or 1 hour after eating or taking any supplements or medications. Binders can also cause constipation, so make sure to take them with plenty of water. Chasing them with magnesium citrate can also help reduce constipation. If it persists, a different binder may be needed.
Melatonin is needed to induce sleep and it is the primary way that the brain detoxifies itself. Chronic disease almost always includes a deficiency in melatonin, for reasons described below, and it’s common to hear that our patients can’t go to sleep until 1, 3, or 4 am. The problem is that it’s a self-promoting cycle: they are sick partly because they can’t detoxify, but they can’t detoxify because they’re sick. Getting people to sleep long and well—not a pharmaceutical-induced knock-out, but real sleep, including dreams and waking well rested—is strongly healing.
A few of the things that block melatonin production:
Light exposure after sunset
The brain thinks that it’s daytime and doesn’t produce the melatonin that makes you sleepy. Many people with insomnia are able to sleep and wake with the sun when camping and this is part of why. Avoid use of screens: phone, computer, and television, and use only low lighting at night. Candle light is ideal and sets the mood for winding down towards sleep.
Disruption of the pineal gland by electromagnetic fields (EMF)
Cell phones should be kept on airplane mode or as far away from the body as possible—never on the bed or nightstand. The new apps that use the iPhone and Android’s motion sensors to detect sleep quality reduce sleep quality themselves, and the brain’s ability to rejuvenate itself at night. Cordless phones should be removed from the house and replaced with land lines. WiFi must be shut off at night. Sensitive individuals or those with sleep problems should also shut off the fuses to their bedroom while sleeping.
Poor diet or digestion and absorption of food
Normally the body makes its own melatonin, but if there is a nutritional deficiency then it doesn’t have the building blocks it needs to do that. Some of the required nutrients are certain amino acids, B3, B6, B9, B12, magnesium, and methyl donors, and many of these are common deficiencies, either because quality protein and vegetables are not in the diet, or because the body isn’t digesting or absorbing them well due to inflammation in the gut, parasites and other dysbiosis, or lack of normal digestive fluid and enzyme production.
Nothing takes the place of fixing the reason that a problem exists in the first place. If there isn’t enough melatonin in the system because the patient has a B6 deficiency, for example, then that’s ultimately what needs to be addressed, but there’s almost always more than one cause, and it may take time to find and address all of them. In the meantime, supplementing a form of melatonin that the body can absorb and use right away, like liposomal melatonin, is a good idea to start detoxing the brain and get the body moving towards a healed state where then it can produce its own melatonin again. See recipe below:
Lipo-Health powder, Biopure
Melatonin capsules with minimal fillers, we use BioTech
Coconut oil, must be organic
Honey, must be organic
In a small blender, put:
2 TB coconut oil, 2 tsp Lipo-Health, 7-10 days worth melatonin (your individualized daily dose x 7-10; open appropriate number of capsules into blender), 1.5 tsp honey or to taste, 4 tsp water. Blend until well mixed. You want it to look a little gelatinous and thick enough that it still pours, but slowly. Add water as needed to make product blendable. Add coconut oil if too fluid.
Put into a glass container in ultrasonic jewelry cleaner, following instructions for cleaner, run for 20 minutes. There’s no negative impact on the medication if the oils and water are somewhat separated.
Place in refrigerator, where it should thicken up to resemble butter.
How to take: let it absorb through your mouth by swishing it around to coat insides of cheeks, roof of mouth, etc. for several minutes. Avoid brushing teeth, eating, or taking other supplements for at least 15 minutes.
Healing The Brain
The Klinghardt Brain Solutions conference was a 3-day event filled with lots of valuable information about what is at the root cause of problems such as Autism, ALS, MS Alzheimer’s and persistent Lyme disease. In this blog post I will write about some of the highlights from the main talk Healing the Brain, given by Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt.
The Underlying Causes Of Brain Dysfunction:
- Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR).
This includes exposure to EMR from cell phones, cordless phones, smart meters, baby monitors, some home lighting and other man-made devices producing electrosmog. Exposure to EMR produces cumulative effects and is destructive to the brain, DNA and microbiome.
Metals such as mercury, aluminum, and lead, organophosphates, wood preservatives, phthalates, bisphenol A, petrochemicals and pesticides including glyphosate are some of the toxins we are constantly being exposed to. There is evidence that all of these toxins contribute to the deterioration of health including brain health in various ways.
Including mold, viruses, bacteria, and parasites.
Genetics and Epigenetics.
Note that although both genetics and epigenetics increase vulnerability to brain dysfunction and certain brain disorders they are rarely the underlying cause.
The 4 Principles Of Treating The Brain:
- Balance Basic Physiology and Biochemistry.
Here we establish the foundation by addressing diet, exercise, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, hormone deficiencies, and structural imbalances. This step can involve treatment with supplements, herbs, homeopathics, nutrient intravenous therapy, neural therapy, family constellation work, and other therapies to support better functioning of the body.
- Decrease Toxic Body Burden.
This step involves removing any toxin that the individual may have been and/or currently is being exposed to, including metals, herbicides, pesticides, solvents and preservatives. Living on plant earth we are constantly exposed to toxins and so detoxification is a lifelong pursuit. Ionic footbaths, infrared sauna therapy, melatonin, herbs such as cilantro, therapeutic ultrasound, and manual lymphatic drainage are some of the tools that can help with removing toxins from the brain and detoxify the body as a whole.
- Immune Modulation.
Most brain dysfunction is caused by an immune system that is either hyper- or hypoactive. The goal of immune modulation is to help bring the immune system back into balance. Herbs, homeopathic medications, and low dose immunotherapy are some of the tools that can be used to balance the immune system.
- Decrease Microbial Burden.
Once the first four steps have been addressed it is time to focus on “killing the bugs”. Parasites, mold, viruses, bacteria, and protozoal infections can all play a role in brain dysfunction and need to be addressed for the brain to finally return to a state of health. In this step herbs, supplements, intravenous therapy, and pharmaceutical medications are some of the tools that can be utilized to eradicate the bugs.
To learn more about how to heal your brain schedule an appointment with your health care provider at Sophia Health Institute to create an individualized course of treatment that meets your needs.
Remember the days of mixing your own liposomal cocktail ingredients with a blender or ultrasound jewelry cleaning device? Well, those days can be over! If convenience is something you need or desire, or you struggled with the process of combining your own cocktail, there is an simpler option.
A pre-blended, liposomal cocktail is available through BioPure. It is simply called “Cocktail” & contains all the basic components of the previous cocktail frequently recommended by Dr.Klinghardt, plus a few extra herbs.
The herbs involved include:
Brazilian Green Propolis
These herbals contain synergistic constituents and properties that aid in antimicrobial action, immune modulating and boosting, lymphatic & detoxification support, and biofilm breaking. The combination of the herbs is in a base of phosphatidycholine (Liposorb), which is what makes it liposomal.
Let the cocktail absorb
As it is liposomal, it works best to let the cocktail absorb in your mouth for several minutes before swallowing, as the oral mucosa has a lot of vascularization. This helps the uptake of the liposomal cocktail into the systemic circulation and bypasses the gastrointestinal tract & first pass liver metabolism.
In addition to the liposomal cocktail, Hyaluronic Acid and additional Cistus tincture or Cistus tea are recommended for better efficacy of treatment.
Microbes feed on hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic Acid is found naturally in the body. It is most concentrated in the eyes, joints, and skin. Microbes feed on hyaluronic acid, so when given supplemental hyaluronic acid orally, it can tease the microbes out of their hiding places, typically joints or eyes. They then can be better targeted with the cocktail ingredients and other treatments on board.
Cistus tea can actually prevent future insect bites when taken at therapeutic doses. It is also a biofilm breaker and broadly antimicrobial. Make Cistus tea your main drink; it counts as water intake!
Protect the kidneys
Anytime you have killing and detoxification agents on board, be sure to include binders. Binders, such as Zeobind (zeolite) or Chlorella, should be taken away from food, medications, and other supplements. These help to bind mobilized toxins, to prevent them from re-circulating and distributing through the body. Binders also help protect the kidneys by routing the majority of the toxins out through the gastrointestinal system in the feces, rather than excreting them through the kidneys in the urine.