change your life

A Functional Medicine Approach to Addressing Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that targets the skin, and plaques that result commonly appear on the elbows, knees or scalp. The plaques can however show up on any part of the body.

 

Normally your body will produce new skin cells and shed old ones every 28-30 days. With psoriasis, your immune system is in overdrive, leading to skin inflammation, causing skin cell turnover to occur much faster than normal. Instead of taking 28-30 days for skin cells to turnover, new cells are pushed to the surface in just 3-4 days. Because your body can’t shed the old, dead cells as fast, they pile up and begin to form thick, red, itchy, flaky, scaly patches referred to as plaques. Some people report burning and stinging from the plaques. 

 

Conventional medicine looks at psoriasis as a skin condition, however it’s important to know that it actually starts underneath the skin and is a chronic disease of the immune system (as are other autoimmune conditions).

 

Because imbalances of the immune system are involved, we must look for underlying causes of why this is occurring. If we do not address the underlying cause, it is left to persist, and it will cause additional problems over time.

 

While the exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, there are a variety of factors involved that when occur together result autoimmunity, and in some people, the symptoms of psoriasis. 

 

Autoimmunity is the result of a genetic component, an environmental trigger, and impaired gut function. Environmental triggers can include stress, diet and nutrient deficiency, food allergies and food sensitivities, medications, and toxins for example. Impaired gut function may be due to inadequate digestion and absorption (which can lead to nutrient deficiency), imbalances and infections of the gut microbiome (which is your gut bacteria, and may be referred to as dysbiosis), and increased gut permeability (which is commonly referred to as leaky gut). 

 

While we can’t change our genetics, we can identify and work to eliminate environmental triggers and address impaired gut health, and thus bring psoriasis (and other autoimmune conditions) into remission in a natural, holistic manner.

 

From a functional and clinical nutrition standpoint, the search for the cause of immune system dysregulation begins in the gut. Up to 80% of our immune system is located in our gut microbiome. Therefore imbalances in our gut microbiome can have far reaching effects on our overall health.

 

Psoriasis is associated with differences in the gut microbiome when compared to the microbiomes of healthy individuals without psoriasis. These differences can adversely impact the immune system by triggering specific, inflammatory immune responses. Interactions between the gut microbiome and the immune system therefore suggest the composition of the microbiome represents a therapeutic target for managing psoriasis.

 

In addition to the composition of the microbiome and the role it plays in psoriasis, increased intestinal permeability is involved, and this connection has been known for decades. In this scenario, inflammation in the gut (which can arise from a variety of factors including food allergies and food sensitivities, and gut dysbiosis for example) causes the normally tight junctions between the cells of the intestinal walls to loosen. When this occurs food particles and toxins from bacteria are allowed to inappropriately enter the blood stream. Once there, the body identifies them as invaders (because they are not supposed to be there) and mounts an immune response. As long as gut inflammation and subsequent leaky gut persist, the immune system will be chronically stimulated, leading to autoimmune conditions, like psoriasis.

 

There are a variety of nutrient deficiencies common in skin conditions such as psoriasis, including omega 3 fish oils, zinc, vitamin B2, niacin, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin DEating foods that are rich in these nutrients, and other nutrients that are important for skin health is paramount for healthy skin.

 

While “medicine deficiency does not cause psoriasis, nutritional deficiency might.”

 

Adequate detoxification is also important because toxin build up that cannot be excreted via normal routes (through the liver and bowels for example) can make its way out through the skin causing flares in skin conditions. 

 

In addition to addressing the gut microbiome, the skin has its own microbiome that needs to be addressed, and the skin microbiome also plays a role in the pathogenesis of psoriasis.

 

Addressing psoriasis, other autoimmune conditions, or any chronic condition you may have that has not resolved with conventional means involves some important considerations that include the following: 

 

  • Taking into account your biochemistry, and uncovering the root cause of imbalances that may be contributing to your health problems. This is the functional medicine approach. All of the systems in your body are connected. When one is not functioning optimally and the root cause is left to persist, it can adversely affect other systems, creating a domino effect of illness and disease. Medications mask symptoms, leaving us unaware of the continued damage that is occurring within. Functional nutrition is the core of functional medicine and can help you reach optimal health with natural means.
  • Keep in mind we aren't just what we eat. We are what our bodies can do with what we eat. Rather than only making sure you are eating right, we need to make sure your body can digest, absorb and use nutrients from the foods you eat. Your diet may be stellar, but if your body can't use those nutrients, your perfect diet doesn't matter much. For example, impaired digestion can cause dysbiosis, leaky gut, and nutrient deficiencies, among other issues.
  • Nutrient supplementation can be a key factor for improving overall metabolic function, and therefore it can positively impact the issues you are experiencing. Often, due to long standing deficiency and imbalances, the addition of supplemental nutrients can help restore metabolic processes to their optimal state.
  • Too often, our conventional lab results are "normal" yet we still don't feel well.  While labs may appear "normal" for conventional medical practice, they can be far from optimal and therefore underlying dysfunction can be causing your symptoms. This underlying dysfunction is where our opportunity lies to improve your health.
  • Exercise, getting enough sleep, and stress management are examples of lifestyle factors that play a major role in your overall health.

 

As you may have noticed, these factors are not typically considered in conventional medical practice. This is why a functional approach can produce results, where conventional interventions often fall flat. 

 

For assistance with identifying your root causes and developing a customized protocol for your unique biochemistry to address your psoriasis (or other autoimmune conditions), contact me today!

 

Ready to get started? Click here to schedule your 30-minute strategy session with me.

 

Not ready to work together longer term and want to pick my brainClick here to set up your wellness coaching session with me!


 
"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
 
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Clinical Nutritionist
 

Health behavior change is NOT fun or easy, and it's NOT about your willpower.

I bet you know this already, otherwise you wouldn’t be here reading this. Making health behavior changes is HARD. It can even feel impossible.

 

A poll from 2010 found that only about 16% of adults reported successful health-related improvements. Of that 16%, 20% had improvements in weight loss, 15% started a regular exercise program, 10% improved their diets, and 7% reduced stress levels (1). Given this started with 16%, these are very small numbers!

 

Of those polled that sought to start their new year on a positive note by making changes like these, 78% of them who made health related resolutions noted significant obstacles that prevented them from meeting their goals. These obstacles included willpower, simply making changes, and being under too much stress to change (1).

 

These numbers are from 8 years ago, and in that time chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases have continued to rise in prevalence, signifying our challenges for getting healthy persist.

 

Making lifestyle and health behavior changes does not happen overnight.

 

It’s also not about willpower, even though we tend to blame our lack of it for failing to meet our goals.

 

The cards are stacked against us as we are bombarded with messages from the media to eat this and not that, look like this to be happy and successful, work harder faster and longer because that’s what success is all about… and much much more.

 

THIS mentality is what the problem is. Those that profit have brilliantly crafted a society in which they continue to profit, leaving the rest of us unhealthy, exhausted, and ready to give up.

 

There is another way.

 

Last week I divulged some of my personal health problems, and shared part of my journey with you. I say some and part because to be honest, I’m still working on piecing together the puzzle of my story for myself.

 

As I continue to heal, I’ll share more along the way. Writing about it and sharing it with you is certainly part of my healing process, so thank you for being a part of it, and sharing my journey with me.

 

Identifying the root causes leading to my rock bottom moment in urgent care isn’t easy. In part because there are so many (I mean countless) reasons why things took that nasty, yet faithful turn leading up to that event in 2016.

 

Often we have to hit our lowest low before we wake up and make changes. Change is awful, and it is less scary than feeling awful because at least we have become familiar with (therefore comfortable with) feeling like ass. 

 

We think we’ll change when we are ready. We are never really ready. Something just happens that gives us no choice. I’m thankful for that.

 

If I didn’t hit that bottom, today I might still be in a job that made me miserable. I’d still be starving myself leaving me completely obsessed with food and eating and therefore completely NOT present in all my interactions with others (business, personal, etc.). Those that know me well were even surprised to hear this part of it. Honest truth right now… it makes me sad and regretful that I missed out on so much of my life. Sure I’ve had great times, great experiences, a successful career, BUT I never enjoyed any of it like I could have had I addressed my health problems from the get go instead of letting them progress and take over my life.

 

Maybe I should have gone into acting. I played it all off so well in spite of how horrible I felt ALL THE TIME.

 

Of course I didn’t talk about all of this because if I did I knew I’d have to change my behavior and I wasn’t ready to do that. I never would have been ready so the universe created the perfect storm of situations (or really I likely manifested it all myself and the universe simply provided what I was unconsciously asking for, yes I believe in this stuff).

 

The good news is you don’t have to hit rock bottom. You don’t have to be forced to change.

 

You can take the bull by the horns and decide you’ve had enough. It’s time to be the version of you that you know you can be. The version of you the world deserves to see. We are each granted gifts that we are meant to share with the world. That’s why we are here. Denying your truth by remaining trapped in your uncomfortable comfort zone (funny how our comfort zones are actually our most uncomfortable places, think about it) is denying others the benefits of your true gifts.

 

Start your journey now, before you are forced to. You can make that decision. You have the power to change your life, to feel as good as you know you should, and to beat that rock bottom moment to the punch.

 

I can help guide you on your journey. I'd be honored to share it with you! To get started, schedule your strategy session via the button below. I'm looking forward to talking to you!

 

 

"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Functional and Clinical Nutritionist
 


Wishing you a delicious weekend!



Jennifer
Functional and Clinical Nutritionist

 

PS. If you know someone else who could really use this information, please FORWARD this link to them!

You feel like SH*T more often than not and can't figure out why. I've been there too.

I’m glad you're here because I understand how it feels to be frustrated about not feeling well, and not being able to figure out why.

Like you, I’ve been to doctor after doctor, trying to ‘treat’ what was wrong with me, and nothing was working. Lab tests were even normal, I ate healthy food, exercised, did everything I was supposed to be doing, yet I knew something was wrong, because I didn’t feel well and my body just seemed to be deteriorating.

Finally, I figured out the problem. I was being treated for various symptoms, but the underlying problem was still there, festering, and continuing to wreak havoc on my body. No one was trying to determine WHY this was happening to me.

Once I began addressing WHY I wasn’t feeling well, instead of just focusing on the outward symptoms, things significantly improved.

For more than 15 years, I could not leave my house (thankfully I was working from home) after eating lunch because I’d experience horrible issues with IBS-D.

Diarrhea, gas, bloating, depression and anxiety, brain fog, insomnia, a stressful career (a big part of my healing was removing myself from that environment, and venturing out on my own to focus full time on my passion and career as a clinical nutritionist in 2017)… all led to my severe need to control something, anything, which turned into controlling what I ate.

Not to mention I was afraid to eat because every time I did, I’d experience gut issues, and literally not be able to leave the house for hours after a meal, and it went on for so long, it even seemed normal to me, this was my routine and my life.

In June of 2016, I thought I had a horrible flu. The urgent care doctor looked at me, and the pieces started to fall together… I was down to 98 pounds. My body was literally starving.

Talk about a wake up call. It was time to change. Time to change the way I took care of my body (I clearly completely had been neglecting taking care of myself while working to help others, talk about a wake up call), and time to change how I managed my health.

Enter the functional medicine approach to health. I have been able to identify and address underlying issues that were plaguing me all these years, and you know what, I CAN GO OUT TO LUNCH AND NOT PANIC THAT I’M GOING TO NEED TO BE NEAR A BATHROOM 30 minutes to 1 hour later (it was like clockwork).

I no longer need to schedule my food intake around my life activities. I literally would just not eat because I didn’t want to for fear of the outcome, and didn’t have time to end up in the bathroom for hours.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I admit not every day is perfect, far from it.

There are aspects of it all that I will need to work on likely for the rest of my life.

Healing is a process and often physical healing takes place more quickly than mental and emotional healing. Time heals ALL wounds.

Patience and persistence with protocols, and with ourselves as we navigate the muddy waters of healing are integral parts of the process.

It's messy, it's uncomfortable, and it's scary. It's also worth the benefits a billion times over. 

This is why I understand what you are going through, whether it’s gut issues or any other issue that hasn’t been resolved, because no one is looking for the WHY.

No one is addressing your health issues by taking into account your mind, body and spirit. A holistic approach is needed.

I’m a bulldog detective and use my strong knowledge of biochemistry and nutrition to tirelessly research and connect the dots to determine WHY.

I've also been in your shoes, and I understand the emotional, mental and spiritual components involved. 

You don’t have to do this alone anymore. I can help. My personal journey gives me a deep level of compassion and empathy for what you are going through. 

My path in life is to help you, because I know how.

As a team, we can fill in the blanks and determine the root cause of your problems, and develop a plan to help you reach your health and wellness goals.

If you’re ready to start getting the help you need, schedule your 30 minute strategy session with me. 

During our session we will talk about your health challenges, and the clues that have been overlooked to find the root cause of your problems. After our session, you'll have an understanding of how you can start to put the pieces of your health back together. We’ll also determine if I’m the right person for you to work with on a deeper level to finally heal your body, and discuss how that works.

>>>>>WORK WITH ME<<<<<

I'm looking forward to talking to you, and learning how I can help you reach your health and wellness goals!

"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Clinical Nutritionist
 
Wishing you a delicious weekend!

Jennifer
Functional and Clinical Nutritionist

PS. If you know someone else who could really use this information, please FORWARD this link to them!

They don’t want your skin to look better

As you sit there mid-flare in pain, unable to stop scratching, and miserable wondering why you can’t make your skin rashes go away…

 

The reason is pretty clear → $24 Billion Dollars

 

That’s how much the skin care industry makes from the creams, ointments, and lotions “specifically formulated for extremely dry skin”.

 

The industry intentionally formulates these products to work “just well enough” to appear helpful so you keep buying them.

 

Making you a “loyal” customer (ahem… a “cash cow”) for 5… 10… 20… even 30 years!

 

Your desperation to make the rashes stop and manage your symptoms translates to a big pay day (for them).

 

See, they’ve rigged the skin rash game against you.

 

And they’ve spent a lot of money to make you think that THEY are the only solution out there.

 

If you’re wondering why your doctor isn’t advocating for you or offering you better options, it will probably surprise you to learn that they too are on the take.

 

In 2014, Big Pharma paid dermatologists $34 Million dollars in “consulting fees”.

 

And in turn, your dermatologist gives you “solutions” formulated by Big Pharma and the skin care industry that aren’t really solutions at all.

 

They’re merely band-aids...

 

To tide you over while managing your symptoms.

 

And that’s the whole point here. To keep you as a “cash cow”, they won’t heal your skin rash or even formulate products that would solve the symptoms because doing so would negatively impact their shareholders’ stock reports.

 

So there’s ZERO incentive for them to offer you actual solutions that work.

 

Since you now understand how twisted this whole system is, I want to suggest something that they never will…

 

You’ve got to focus on healing your skin from the inside out.

 

To do so, you need to look deeper than the symptoms and flares. There are root causes that lie underneath your skin rashes and perpetuate the vicious cycle.

 

By addressing your own unique root causes, you can finally stop the flares and rashes for good.

 

Here’s the top 15 Root Causes for your skin problems I eluded to last week...

 

  1. Leaky Gut Syndrome (including gut infections, gut dysbiosis, and gut dysfunction)

  2. Genetic SNPs

  3. Thyroid dysfunction

  4. Hormone imbalances

  5. Heavy Metal Exposure

  6. Food triggers (beyond the common ones you’ve heard of like gluten, dairy, and eggs)

  7. Nutrient Deficiencies

  8. Environmental Allergies

  9. Skin Microbiome Disruption

  10. Immune System & Inflammation Pathway Activation

  11. Chronic Stress

  12. Past Trauma

  13. Liver Detoxification Challenges

  14. Mitochondrial Dysfunction

  15. Environmental and Chemical Toxin Exposures

 

Bet you never heard of most of these mentioned at your dermatologist’s office!

 

Most people have 4 to 6 Root Causes, on average.

 

Sarah, for example, struggled with psoriasis for most of her life and was desperate to try anything… even immunosuppressants. But before going that route, she decided to see what else could be triggering her symptoms.

 

It turned out that she had candida overgrowth and a gut infection with low stomach acid. As a result, her gut was leaky. Plus, her mitochondria weren’t generating energy properly, she had PTSD from living in NYC during 9/11, and her thyroid function was low.

 

And then Katherine had such terrible eczema on her hands that she couldn’t wear her wedding rings anymore, let alone touch anything without wearing gloves. Her skin had become so fragile from steroid creams, that it would crack and break open leaving her constantly in pain.

 

After some testing, she discovered that she had a genetic SNP that predisposed her skin to struggle with moisture retention. And she had a number of food and chemical sensitivities, disrupted skin microbiome where the eczema rashes were located, and nutrient deficiencies that made it hard for her body to make healthy, new skin.

 

So you can see, everyone has their own unique bundle of root causes that fuel the rashes.

 

How many root causes do you have?

 

Once you identify what your root causes are, you can then get to work.

 

The truth is, addressing your root causes makes all the difference between those who end up healing their skin rashes from the inside out and everyone else who keeps trying all those external bandaids.

 

That’s why I’m excited for my friend Jen and her mission to empower you to put a stop to your skin rashes with her upcoming Eczema & Psoriasis Awareness Week! 

 

She’s committed herself to bringing together the best minds in the integrative industry to share actual “root cause” solutions instead of bandaids.

 

Register today and grab your spot for this eye opening event, you won't want to miss it!

 

Mark your calendar, Eczema & Psoriasis Awareness Week runs from April 16-22, 2018, and my talk about eczema food triggers is on April 19!

 

My interview with Jen was amazing. We covered:

 

  • Healthy foods that often trigger eczema that you'd never guess
  • How to test for unconventional food triggers so you know what to avoid
  • Chemicals found in plant and animal foods that can drive a flare

 

Here’s just a few of her other hot conversations you won’t want to miss…

 

  • Autoimmune Approach to Reversing The Root Causes of Eczema

  • What Your Dermatologist Isn't Telling You About Clearing Up Your Skin

  • Vital Nutrients For Clear Skin (That Everyone With Rashes Is Deficient In)

  • Hidden Eczema Food Triggers No One Talks About

  • Ugly Truth About Skincare Products & Why They Make Your Rashes Worse

  • Hidden Inflammatory Triggers Driving Psoriasis (And How To Stop Them)

  • How Undiagnosed Gut Infections Fuel & Trigger Chronic Skin Rashes

 

Plus, Jen is going to give away over $2000 in some of the best natural products out there to support you on your journey!

 

It’s totally free to participate in this week-long online event →

 

>>> CLICK HERE TO REGISTER <<< 

 

When you confirm your seat, she’ll also email you a beautiful 95-page digital cookbook to help you start rebuilding healthier skin at every meal!

 

I’ll be there… will you?

 

 

 

 

YES, I plan on attending, click here to register!

 

Make sure to get your hands on my ebook, it’s called Eczema Food Triggers Addressing Eczema From The Inside Out. It in you’ll learn about 10 different ‘chemicals’ found in natural, healthy foods that can cause some people’s eczema to flare up. You’ll also learn why this can happen, and what can be done about it. Here’s a hint, it isn’t all about diet, and it isn’t as simple as just removing triggering foods from your diet.

 

You can download my Eczema Food Triggers Cheat Sheet for free. --> click here <-- to get your free PDF document.

 

To get your hands on the ebook --> click here <--!

 

To work with me to resolve your skin problems --> click here <-- and schedule your 30 minute strategy session today!

 

To learn more, or if you have general questions, contact me --> click here <--

 

"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Clinical Nutritionist


 
Wishing you a delicious weekend!

Jennifer
Functional and Clinical Nutritionist

 

PS. If you know someone else who could really use this information, please FORWARD this link and invite them to join!

 

Reasons Your Skin Rashes Keep Coming Back

Photo credit:  icon0.com

Photo credit: icon0.com

Does your skin feel like it's this miserable?

 

Have you ever wondered why your skin rashes never actually go away?

 

They flare and then almost resolve…

 

But they’re never fully gone.

 

No matter the treatment, you know that the next flare is headed your way.

 

You just don’t know when or what will trigger it.

 

I think you deserve the truth here. From everything I know about health, the approach to managing chronic skin rashes like Eczema and Psoriasis is backwards.

 

It overly relies on band-aids (that might work for now).

 

These band-aid approaches fail because they never address your unique hidden root causes driving the rashes in the first place.

 

See, the redness, pain, cracking, itching, weeping, scaly dryness… they’re all just symptoms.

 

To rebuild healthier skin, you’ve got to address what’s causing the symptoms (which is where the conventional approach falls short).

 

If you didn’t know… there are 15 root causes of chronic skin rashes (stay tuned to learn more about these root causes).

 

{hint -- it’s not from a steroid cream deficiency!}

 

I’d like you to meet my friend Jennifer Fugo, a clinical nutritionist, is also a Skin Rash Expert who put her own debilitating eczema into remission. She’s created an awareness week to explore these various root causes and more…

 

  • How hormone dysfunction directly impacts your skin and leads to non-stop flares

  • The many hidden and undiscussed food triggers (and how to figure out which ones actually bother you)

  • Stories of personal triumph and inspiration to keep you motivated and regain your confidence

  • What tests your doctor probably doesn’t even know about to figure out your root causes

  • Key macro- and micro-nutrients that you MUST have in your diet (or your skin will never heal)

  • Unconventional strategies that can break the flare-cycle for good and stop the itching

 

The first ever 100% online Eczema and Psoriasis Awareness Week starts April 16. Mark your calendar and click here to register for this free online event!
 

Jen and I sat down to talk about eczema food triggers, and my interview was amazing. You can listen to it on April 19! We covered:
 

  • Healthy foods that often trigger eczema that you'd never guess

  • How to test for unconventional food triggers so you know what to avoid

  • Chemicals found in plant and animal foods that can drive a flare

 

Catch my interview (and those of my colleagues) during the event! It will run April 16-22, 2018, so mark your calendars and click here to register, it's free to watch and listen!


Plus, there’s a giveaway of over $2,000 in some of the best natural products out there to support you on your healing journey!


When you register, you also get a 95-page cookbook for healthy skin recipes, too.


I’ll be there… will you?


Register today! You won't want to miss this event.
 

To learn more about eczema food triggers, get your hands on my ebook, it’s called Eczema Food Triggers Addressing Eczema From The Inside Out. It in you’ll learn about 10 different ‘chemicals’ found in natural, healthy foods that can cause some people’s eczema to flare up. You’ll also learn why this can happen, and what can be done about it. Here’s a hint, it isn’t all about diet, and it isn’t as simple as just removing triggering foods from your diet.

 

You can download my Eczema Food Triggers Cheat Sheet for free. --> click here <-- to get your free PDF document.

 

To get your hands on the ebook --> click here <--!

 

No matter if you eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, rosacea, or undiagnosed chronic rashes, this event could be the thing that hands you the missing pieces to stop the rashes for good.  

 

If you’re tired of all the band-aids but don’t know what else to do, please sign up for the online event, and give yourself the gift of gaining clear, healthy skin (you don’t have to worry about anymore).

 

To work with me to resolve your skin problems --> click here <-- and schedule your 30 minute strategy session today!

 

To learn more, or if you have general questions, contact me --> click here <--

 

"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Clinical Nutritionist
 
Wishing you a delicious weekend!

Jennifer
Functional and Clinical Nutritionist

 

PS. If you know someone else who could really use this information, please FORWARD this post and invite them to join!

Folic acid, good or bad?

I came across this fantastic article from Dr. Ben Lynch about the side effects of folic acid recently. It's a must read so check it out.

Back in 2015, I wrote an article on this subject, and I'm reposting it here because it's really a fascinating topic. You can check out the original version on my old website and blog (pre Jennifer Caryn Brand Nutrition). Feel free to poke around on there too, I've got some recipes and other fun information!

Here's that article...

Is it true? Is folic acid detrimental to your health?

Folate (the form found in foods like broccoli, asparagus, lentils, and spinach for example) and folic acid (the form found in supplements and fortified in foods) is a B vitamin that is essential for brain function and development, and a number of other biochemical processes.

This vitamin is recommended especially for women of childbearing age and for pregnant women because a deficiency of it can result in neural tube defects (like spina bifida) in the unborn child.

Interestingly however, due to folic acid supplements and food fortification with folic acid there are large populations in the United States and around the world that have unprecedented high intake of the vitamin.

What has happened is that because of the importance of this vitamin for the prevention of congenital abnormalities, it has been added to foods it’s not naturally found in (this is fortification) for decades, and it's believed the practice has reduced the incidence of these congenital abnormalities. Researchers however have begun to look at unmetabolized folic acid in the plasma as a marker of excess folic acid intake. It is believed that unmetabolized folic acid in the plasma can have adverse effects on immune function and on overall health status. The fortification of foods with folic acid can result in an increase in unmetabolized folic acid concentration in those not even taking supplements of the vitamin [1, 2, 3].

There appears to be a connection between unmetabolized folic acid and cancer. It’s noted that a decrease in and avoidance of excess folic acid should be considered for those with a history of conditions that are risk factors for cancer. Such examples include diseases of the colon, prostate, intestines, and those with a history of cancer and/or are undergoing cancer treatment. Older folks that have high folate status and unmetabolized folic acid are at increased risk for cancer [1, 4].

There is a direct correlation between folic acid intake and unmetabolized folic acid and it is suggested that there is a level at which the enzyme DHFR (dihydrofolate reductase, which converts folic acid into its active form so the body can use it) becomes saturated (so it wouldn’t be able to continue this conversion and therefore can result in an increased concentration of unmetabolized folic acid). Other factors that affect the conversion of folic acid and its presence in the blood include age, pH in the intestines (which absolutely has to be very acidic in order to digest and absorb nutrients so your body can use them, and to prevent disease and illness), alcohol consumption, dose and duration of supplementation of the vitamin, and mutations in enzymes needed for folate metabolism [5].

Studies on this topic are mixed. Some suggest adverse effects on health due to excess folic acid intake resulting in increased concentrations of unmetabolized folic acid, and other studies note there is not enough evidence to demonstrate these adverse effects.

What’s the moral of the story? When it comes to supplements, they should never be taken willy-nilly. We are constantly bombarded by the media promoting health benefits of an infinite variety of supplements, and we frequently run out to purchase the latest panacea at the drop of a hat. So hold the phone folks! Talk to your doctor or your nutritionist before you start taking anything (and if you are already taking something, talk to your doctor or nutritionist before you stop, especially if it was something prescribed to you).

The best and safest way to get important nutrients in is through your diet. Eat whole real foods that naturally contain the vitamins (including folate) and minerals your body needs to function optimally. 

Interested in learning more? There are a variety of ways to connect with me.

For general questions >>>> click here <<<<

To schedule a strategy session to work with me >>>> click here <<<<

If you aren't sure if you're ready to dig in and commit to working with me, you can >>>> click here <<<< to schedule a pick my brain session.

If you want to create a custom diet plan (and one rich in natural folate containing foods to avoid possible complications of unmetabolized folic acid) >>>> click here <<<<

 

  1. Bailey, RL.; Mills, JL.; Yetley, EA.; Gahche, JJ.; Pfeiffer, CM.; Dwyer, JT.; Dodd, KW.; Sempos, CT.; Betz, JM.; Picciano, MF. (2010). Unmetabolized serum folic acid and its relation to folic acid intake from diet and supplements in a nationally representative sample of adults aged ‡60 y in the United States1–4. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 92:338-9.
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16365081
  3. http://www.fasebj.org/cgi/content/meeting_abstract/21/5/A104-d
  4. http://scholarworks.gsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1044&context=nutrition_theses
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22746304

 

 "Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Functional and Clinical Nutritionist
 


Wishing you a delicious weekend!



Jennifer
Functional and Clinical Nutritionist

Copyright © 2018 Jennifer Caryn Brand Nutrition, All rights reserved. 

PS. If you know someone else who could really use this information, please FORWARD this link to them!

Vitamin D - the Sunshine Vitamin

Photo credit:  skitterphoto.com

Photo credit: skitterphoto.com

Vitamin D’s most famous role is in bone health where it enhances calcium absorption. Without adequate vitamin D, the risk for rickets (weak bones in kids), osteomalacia (weak bones in adults) and osteoporosis increases.

 

Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to a variety of conditions. Asthma and allergies, obesity, depression, gastrointestinal problems like IBS, and many more health issues may benefit from optimizing vitamin D levels.

 

New research indicates levels should be a lot higher than the current range we are told is adequate. Optimum range should be about 75nmol/L.

 

Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because it’s made in your skin when exposed to UV light. In order for the skin to make D, the UV light needs to hit it. Deficiency can result when clothing, sunscreen use, darker skin with more melanin, and limited exposure to the sun interfere with this process.

 

The skin of older adults is less efficient at making D from UV light too. Spending 15-20 minutes outside with the sun hitting your skin directly several times per week, WITHOUT SUNSCREEN (scary I know, but important) can help your body make the vitamin D it needs.

 

There aren't a lot of foods that naturally contain vitamin D, most is made via the skin. Foods that do naturally contain vitamin D include:

 

  • Egg yolk

  • Salmon

  • Sardines

  • Mackerel

  • Mushrooms

 

Many foods are fortified with vitamin D, meaning vitamin D is added to those foods. These include:

 

  • Orange juice

  • Cereals

  • Skim milk

 

Whole milk (milk fat) does contain trace amounts of vitamin D naturally. 

 

Those with fat malabsorptive disorders (celiac, IBD, UC, and cystic fibrosis) may risk deficiency because D needs fat for its absorption (it's a fat soluble vitamin), and folks with these conditions can’t absorb dietary fat well.

 

Vitamin D is important! Ask your healthcare provider, get your levels checked, and supplement. Vitamin D supplementation is needed way more often than not to achieve optimum levels.

 

Need a vitamin D supplement? You can purchase one through my online dispensary. If you'd like assistance selecting the best product for you, contact me for guidance, I'm happy to point you in the right direction!

 

"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition." -Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Clinical Nutritionist

 

Wishing you a delicious weekend!


Jennifer
Functional and Clinical Nutritionist

 

Copyright © 2018 Jennifer Caryn Brand Nutrition, All rights reserved. 

Hello! Allow me to introduce myself.

I spend quite a bit of time talking and writing about nutrition from a biochemical perspective, describing how this applies to your health and wellbeing. I don’t spend a lot of time talking and writing about myself, and I don’t intend to because this is about YOU and not me. This week however, I’m sharing with you a bit about me, my approach to nutrition, and how I can help you meet your health and wellness goals. Whether you are looking to lose some weight and generally make some tweaks to improve your overall health, or are looking for answers to unresolved questions you have about why you haven’t gotten better by conventional medical treatment means, I can help you reach your health and wellness goals.  

 

 

You: 

 

  • Struggle with health conditions that aren't getting better
  • Take different medications to help relieve symptoms of those health conditions
  • Have tried a variety of diet plans and nothing seems to help
  • Have lab results that are "normal" and you still don't feel well
  • Have begun to believe your illness is all in your head
  • Want to optimize your, or your child's health and wellness

 

Me:

 

  • Functional and clinical nutritionist
  • Bachelors Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Masters Degree in Public Health
  • Masters Degree in Human Nutrition
  • Certified Nutrition Specialist

 

Us:

 

  • Together we can address your health and wellness needs to meet your goals
  • It’s all about teamwork, we are a team

 

Here are some examples of what I’ve addressed in partnership with my clients:

 

  • Low energy and fatigue
  • Food cravings
  • Resistant weight loss and unexplained weight gain
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Mood disorders
  • Neurodegenerative conditions
  • Digestive issues
  • Skin problems
  • Allergies and asthma
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Migraine headache
  • Arthritis and joint pain
  • Sleep disturbances

 

If you have any of these conditions, or another chronic, complex condition your problems may be linked to imbalances in immune, metabolic and digestive function. 


To appropriately address your health needs, we need to take into account your biochemistry, and uncover the root cause of imbalances that may be contributing to the conditions you have. This is the functional medicine approach, and it looks at you holistically rather than as a set of symptoms. It’s about you as a person. You are not your illness, although you may have an illness. Just like you have fingernails, but you are not fingernails!


All of the systems in your body are connected. When one is not functioning optimally and the root cause is left to persist, it can adversely affect other systems, creating a domino effect of illness and disease.
 


Medications mask symptoms, leaving us unaware of the continued damage that is occurring within. 
 


Functional nutrition is the core of functional medicine and can help you reach optimal health with natural means (diet, lifestyle, nutrient supplements), whether you have chronic, complex health problems, or just want to improve your health and wellness.
 


You've changed your diet and nothing seems to work? We aren't just what we eat. We are what our bodies can do with what we eat. Rather than only making sure you are eating right, we need to make sure your body can digest, absorb and use nutrients from the foods you eat. Your diet may be stellar, but if your body can't use those nutrients, your perfect diet doesn't matter much, and won't help you feel better. 
 


All your labs are normal, and you still feel awful? Too often, our conventional lab results are "normal" yet we still don't feel well.  While labs may appear "normal" for conventional medical practice, they can be far from optimal and therefore underlying dysfunction can be causing your symptoms. This underlying dysfunction is where our opportunity lies to improve your health.
 


Why supplements? Nutrient supplementation can be a key factor for improving overall metabolic function, and therefore it can positively impact the issues you are experiencing. Often, due to long standing deficiency and imbalances, the addition of supplemental nutrients can help restore metabolic processes to their optimal state.


At Jennifer Caryn Brand Nutrition, we focus on being healthy first rather than on counting calories, or implementing the latest fad diet. It is important to understand that there is no one size fits all approach. Your plan will be different from anyone else's, and may incorporate aspects of a variety of different dietary philosophies and protocols. 
 


Nutritional needs vary at all stages of life, from infancy to end of life. It is important to address these needs in order to obtain optimal health now, and in the future, and that's why I see clients of all ages. 


Nutrition is my passion. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I'll give you the personal and individualized attention you need to optimize your health


A message from me, listen now, and don't forget to sign up for my YouTube channel!
 


If you haven't watched the video above yet, click here to watch and listen

-->> https://youtu.be/_-O6p2tLcJY
 


If you are ready to challenge the status quo, and look at your health in ways you haven't before, schedule your 30 minute strategy session to work with me!
 


 "Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Functional and Clinical Nutritionist
 


Wishing you a delicious weekend!



Jennifer
Functional and Clinical Nutritionist

Copyright © 2018 Jennifer Caryn Brand Nutrition, All rights reserved. 

The body composition of children changes as they grow and develop, and this process can be dangerously misunderstood

Photo credit:  pixabay.com

Photo credit: pixabay.com

This one is about a topic close to my heart because of personal experience, and because I work with parents and children of all ages to help them with general, as well as complex, nutritional needs.

I was a skinny young child. I remember pants would slide off my hips because I had none, and my mother was always trying to find clothes that fit me properly. I also remember being a pretty big eater as a child (nothing has changed there actually). Around 5th or 6th grade (so about age 10-12 years), during my physical, the doctor told my mom, with me right there, that I was putting on too much weight and she should watch what I was eating. Fast-forward to my 40s, about 20 years of disordered eating, working on recovery (it will always be something that’s a part of me), and now seeing children as a clinical nutritionist, not much has changed when it comes to the type of advice I was given so many years ago by that physician. We are a society overly concerned with weight, leading to negative feelings about body image. This is especially dangerous for young children.
 
During middle childhood (about age 5-10 years), body fat percent drops to a minimum of 16% in girls and 13% in boys. Around age 6, a growth spurt occurs called BMI (body mass index) rebound, and it results in an increase in height and weight (adiposity or fat mass). The increased body fat is a marker for the pace of puberty. In girls this happens earlier than in boys. Girls may have a 19% increase in body fat, and boys 14%. This increase, especially in young girls, can lead to concern that they are becoming overweight. Body composition changes dramatically in girls during puberty.  Lean body mass percent decreases, and body fat percent increases. During puberty girls can have a 120% increase in body fat. In order for a girl to start her menstrual cycle, she needs to have at least 17% body fat, and then body fat must be at 25% for her cycle to remain regular. This gain in body fat in girls is normal and required for normal physiologic function, yet it is often viewed as negative, leading to compromising health behaviors like excessive dieting, restriction, and exercise, and use of diet aids and laxatives that can lead to disordered eating, eating disorders, and severe health related consequences.
 
As a parent, you can reassure your child that changes in body composition are a normal part of growing up. Take care not to reinforce a preoccupation with size and weight. Keep in mind that children have the innate ability to internally control their energy (calories from food) intake. These internal cues can be altered by external influences. Children of parents who control their child’s eating have a lesser ability to innately respond to their own energy needs, meaning these children lose the ability to respond appropriately to their innate nutritional needs, and their internal controls of hunger and fullness. Parents who experienced difficulty controlling their own intakes may impose more restrictions on their children, and this transfer of unhealthy eating behavior may influence children as early as preschool age. If mom is on a diet, her daughter is likely to follow suit. Imposing controls and restrictions over dietary intake can actually promote increased intake of ‘forbidden’ or ‘restricted’ foods, and may be a risk factor for developing obesity in the future. Dieting, dietary restrictions and controlling child feedings ignore internal cues of hunger and fullness, and can contribute to the onset of obesity, and the beginning of eating disorders.

Keep in mind that boys are affected by disordered eating and eating disorders as well.
 
For more information or for help to ensure your child gets the nutrition he or she needs to grow and develop optimally, contact me today!
 
Reference:
Brown J. Nutrition through the Life cycle 4th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth; 2011.

"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a clinical nutritionist, I can help you connect the dots to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition." -Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Clinical Nutritionist

Wishing you a delicious Friday and weekend!

Jennifer, MPH, MS, CNS
Clinical Nutritionist

Eating and cooking in saves money and time. Really.

Photo credit:  pixabay.com

Photo credit: pixabay.com

I saw a quote from Dr. Mark Hyman recently that said "If we want to save our planet and save our children we have to get our kids to fall in love with food and cooking." This really struck me not only because it is so important, also because it sounds so simple. You know what? It is, once you learn how to make it so.

We are busy, we have full-time jobs, families, extra curricular activities, other responsibilities, and countless reasons why eating out can be more convenient (and more fun) than cooking in. The truth is however, knowing what foods to buy and having them ready to go for cooking meals at home can be even more convenient than eating out.

Think about it, deciding where to eat, having to get there (and if you live in Los Angeles like I do, driving anywhere is something to be avoided at all costs!), having to wait for your food to be prepared, served or delivered, and of course not knowing exactly what's in your food make eating out less than ideal.

The latter is especially important for those of us that have food allergies and sensitivities, or whom need to avoid certain foods for other health reasons. Not to mention the slew of additives, preservatives and other chemicals that are often found in prepared foods, which have adverse effects on our health, as well as the added (and added in the perfect ratios to create addiction) sugar, fat and salt in many pre-prepared food items.

You may argue that fast food for example is cheaper (and faster) than eating whole real food and cooking at home. When you know how to shop for food, you'll learn that this doesn't have to be the case. Cooking, and eating healthy food at home rather than eating out can save money, and time!

Cooking does not have to be complicated. I'll be honest with you. I cook in probably about 95% of the time, maybe even more, and just about everything I make has three ingredients or less. No joke!

Tasting the actual food as opposed to the spices and seasonings added to it is something I really enjoy. Do you even know what your food tastes like? I mean the actual vegetable, the piece of fish, chicken or meat?

We tend to over salt and over sauce our foods, masking their true, delicious flavor, and instead of benefiting from the nutrients in the foods we do eat, our bodies are overloaded with salt, fat (the bad kind) and sugar found in most mixed seasonings and sauces (go ahead, check the labels).

Using fewer ingredients also makes throwing meals together easier and less expensive.

Often I cook with friends, and cooking with friends or family can be a fun activity! Cooking with your children, and instilling these values in them will benefit them, and their children for generations to come.

A favorite part of cooking for me is making extra so that I have it left over for additional meals. This can save money and time, and it can take the place of those quick, on the go less than healthy meal choices you might make during your busy day. That's because you can take your home cooked food with you instead when you are on the go.
 
How do you get started? Step one is stalking your kitchen and pantry with quality foods. Here's my free guide on ideas to do just that to get you started, and it lists my favorites and go tos.

If you need more assistance I can help you customize this list. I offer services geared toward shopping, and preparing healthier meals for you and your family.I am far from being a chef. Rather, I am just like you in that I have little time to shop for and prepare healthy meals. How do I do it? It does take some practice and know how, and that's what I can teach you. Easy breezy from there…

Jennifer, MPH, MS
Clinical Nutritionist

Change Your Diet, Change Your Life! For Reals.

Change your habits, change your life. This couldn’t be more true. Have you ever noticed that making a small change, whether it be in your diet, your exercise routine, has an impact in other areas of your life? Or even changes the nature of your relationships with others?
 
When you honor your body by feeding it nourishing foods, the magic can start to happen. I’m not talking about weight loss or other physically aesthetic attributes that may follow a healthful diet and lifestyle.  I’m talking about health and wellbeing, better relationships, new jobs, and more.  Feeding oneself well is a form of self-love. Living in love with yourself changes your world.
 
Where am I going with this? Good question…
 
Do you remember my client GA? I mentioned her a couple of weeks ago. If you missed it, GA is a client of mine that had been experiencing severe, chronic constipation for over 40 years. She’d go 2 weeks without a bowel movement. She had been told by her physician that her bowel habits were normal. Normal! 
 
Working together as a team, we were able to resolve her 40-year struggle with constipation. Forty years! Here's what GA had to say about our work together:

"Together, with Jennifer Brand, we have been able to identify not just what foods triggered the symptoms I was having FOR MORE THAN 40 years, but also what was behind them. She guided my path toward better health practices, and understood from the very beginning that something was not right. Jennifer has been my mentor, and health coach, and held my hand in down moments, celebrations and laughs. She showed me that a healthy lifestyle is about more than just eating the right foods, and that everything is connected. I can't thank her enough!!! "
Amazing, right? It gets better. GA emailed me last week with an update. Here’s what she wrote:
 
“Hi Jennifer,
I wanted to say thank you once more.  Let me explain!

THANKS to you I’m feeling great because my body is on an amazing journey. My poop is regular YOHOOOO! Even when I’m introducing some foods like cheese. I keep going with the low/no sugar and observe the symptoms when I eat or drink something out that isn’t on the candida diet. My body is responding in a great way, and my mind is focused (which links to the next thank you):

THANKS to you I’m seeing an acupuncturist, every week and doing an amazing job on balancing my body energy. The results are great for my mindset.

THANKS to you I’m enrolled in a course called Speak & Inspire. Because you showed me how important is to speak up and as a result my relationship is better and my relationship with the world is better!

THANKS to that (and to you) I have been offered a better position, which will bring more quality into my life in that it will give me more time, which I will use to care even more for myself and for the ones I love.

And all that in just a few months from making changes to my diet to kill off candida. You have given me the eyes that I needed to see the stars and I can’t be more thankful!”

 
-GA

Even more amazing, right? GA came to me with a LOT of symptoms, and constipation was the most problematic. Based on her case history, we suspected she had a gut yeast/fungal infection. We implemented a low/no sugar or starch diet, and within less than 2 weeks, she started having resolution of her symptoms, most importantly, the constipation. As her symptoms lessened and she nourished her body, that self-love radiated into all areas of her life! This is not uncommon. You can change your life by changing your diet. 

Are you ready to become your own success story? There are a few ways I can help you do just that!

1) Schedule your Strategy Session with me

2) Schedule some time with me to Pick my Brain

3) Let's work to customize a JCB Reset and Cleanse Diet plan to meet your nutritional needs

I'm looking forward to helping you meet your goals!

Jennifer
Clinical Nutritionist