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Modern Life Syndrome - it's not all in our heads, but that counts too!

Is it Metabolic Syndrome or Modern Life Syndrome?

Segue to power and electrical activity of our body - magnesium and zinc are electrically active ionic metals. They provide power to the body. We can’t do much without magnesium and we can’t do a lot of that without zinc to help in other ways. Health is teamwork, synergy of many miraculous mixtures of chemicals in complex or simple shapes. Shape is a key factor - we are a jigsaw puzzle of all of these chemicals and the electrical effects help form links whether temporary stabilization of two or more pieces that are near each other, or a stronger chemical bond that would need an enzyme or heat or acid to break the connection.

Metabolic Syndrome could reasonably be renamed Modern Life Syndrome. Stress from social and emotional or physical directions all add up to inflammation - oxidative stress refers to chemicals that are oxidizing - can cause ‘rust’ of other chemicals like iron. Ideally we do not want our body to be full of rust. Skin health is a visible indicator of the health inside of the body. Eczema and skin rashes could be thought of as the ‘rust’ on our body caused by oxidative stress in our lives. That might include a skin lotion you are using that contains an ingredient that you developed an allergic reaction to.

Or oxidative stress might include the formaldehyde that is off-gassing from a brand new vinyl shower curtain, baby furniture, or new flooring; or formaldehyde and other toxins from smoking, or breathing in secondhand smoke or the lingering chemicals of third hand smoke, (the smell left on the paint and furnishings of a room or car where smoking occurs). Or BIG news to me - we also make our own formaldehyde when we are under excessive stress from emotional or busy life reasons.

We need the methylated form of the B vitamin folate in order to detoxify formaldehyde. Common supplements include an unmethylated form, folic acid, which would not help anyone who has limited ability to re-methylate chemicals, whether due to a lifelong genetic problem or an age or ill health related problem. Methyl folate and methyl or hydroxocobalamin (B12) are needed instead of the commercially available supplements folic acid or cyanocobalamin (B12 with cyanide - actually no one deserves that).

Oxidative stress produces chemicals that need to be detoxified before they cause further damage to surrounding cells. Magnesium, B vitamins and antioxidants like vitamin C and E, are used up in larger amounts during inflammation. Chronic stress means that there is increased need every day - if the diet isn’t providing the extra nutrients to detoxify the rust producing chemicals - then ‘rust’ occurs - skin breakdown inside and out. Then infection is also more likely to occur - there are openings into areas of the body rich in nutrients to support many types of microbes.

Decomposition changes start occurring in the body prior to death - the oxidative damage and increase in microbial growth could also be described as early decomposition. Tissue is breaking down and microbes are growing on the excess supply of free nutrients. Membranes are what separate us from the surrounding sea of life. We are like a water balloon creature with a semi rigid internal skeleton. Life is a miracle and biotensegrity is an interesting topic for another time.

More immediately - ideally we don’t want to start decomposing prior to death - if we want to enjoy a better quality of life while alive. There are many things that can help health, and many modern foods and habits that are harming our health. Avoiding processed foods helps reduce pesticide and herbicide intake and reduces inflammation as ultra-processed foods promote Metabolic Syndrome and weight gain per recent research. (43)

Science news - good for alcohol drinkers, bad for Southern fried food and Sweet Tea.

A regionally based large study looked at patterns of eating and found the Southern fried foods, added fats, and sweet beverages group to have the highest cancer risk. (1)

In the study, the “Southern” category was worse cancer risk even compared to “Convenience” foods, and the “Alcohol/Salads” groups - which makes no sense to me as a category - the salad would be protective and moderate alcohol can be too but excessive would be a risk.

"Participant adherence was assessed with empirically-defined dietary patterns including: Convenience (including Chinese and Mexican foods, pasta, pizza), Plant-based (including fruits, vegetables), Southern (including added fats, fried foods, sugar-sweetened beverages), Sweets/Fats (including sugary foods) and Alcohol/Salads (including alcohol, green-leafy vegetables, salad dressing) was examined as an effect modifier." (1)

Cancer cells need sugar and glutamate for energy and deep frying causes cancer promoting AGEs to form - crispy delicious sugar-protein complexes which may be stimulating bitter taste receptors in our mouth, but also elsewhere in the body where they have functional effects different than taste. Bitter herbs in small amounts can be medicinal because of the many varied functions that bitter taste receptors do in other areas of the body than the tongue. The effect is also at very tiny doses. Our bitter taste receptors are 10,000 times more sensitive than other types of flavors - a little does a lot for us! The dose does make the poison - often true.

The added fats in the “Southern” category are also a cancer and inflammation risk because they are probably throwing off the omega 3 to 6 ratio. Vegetable oils are rich in omega 6 fatty acids and partially hydrogenated margarine also has trans fats. We need more omega 3 fatty acids from salmon, tuna, sardines, or possibly walnuts and flax seeds however vegetarian sources may not be converted well by a significant percent of the population.

The "Convenience” category may be a mixed bag - some making healthy choices, some not. Chinese and Mexican food can be quite healthy if you avoid the deep fried and sour cream - not too much cheese all over the Mexican food. Pizza with a salad can be a healthy meal, rather than twice as much pizza and no salad. Pasta can be healthy if the amount of carbohydrate noodles is proportionally not as dominant as we tend to see in the US. In Mediterranean meals the noodles would be balanced with an equal amount of vegetables and probably some beans and a small amount of meat - ½ cup of pasta, ½ cup of vegetables, ½ cup-1 cup of meat/beans/sauce, or the sauce might be some olive oil and herbs rather than a creamy rich sauce. Proportion makes a diet more or less inflammatory, and the herbs and veggies, and moderate alcohol can add anti-inflammatory benefits.

Diet is difficult to study because people don’t remember what they ate last Tuesday that well, let alone last month. Buying patterns and regional health outcomes can be a way to look at risk and benefit that takes away the guesswork of a Food Frequency Questionnaire and what you ate last week and month. What do you buy each week? On average consumers throw away 40% of the food they personally buy, so even what an individual or region buys is not completely accurate - were the salad veggies purchased and eaten? Or left in the fridge and then thrown away?

What is your Terrain made from? Good intentions and ultra-processed quick food? Or fresh vegetables and beans and high quality protein foods?

Our microbiome survives on what we feed it - our leftovers - unhealthy species can survive on ultra processed foods. Healthy species can survive on a diet with adequate zinc and resistant starches. Shellfish and a cold pasta or potato salad would have both zinc and resistant starch. We are what we eat, and we are more than human - we are symbionts with our microbiome.

What are you serving at your microbiome’s restaurant today? In other words, What's for dinner for us, is what is for dinner for the microbes in our gastrointestinal tract - the microbes eat whatever we feed them, or particular species die off if they don’t get the nutrients that they need.

*There is an additional section at the end of Protocol Collation & Therapy Goals with more about Terrain and Germ Theory.

Placebo and Nocebo effect and Dopamine.

What we believe or are told by a trusted authority figure can also be helpful or harmful - what are you feeding your mind? What are your recurring thoughts? What media are you absorbing by choice or in the background of your life? The placebo and nocebo effects are physically real, more so for about 25% of the population, moderately for about 50% and less likely to affect about 25%. It seems to be linked to more elevated dopamine levels than average. So when we are in a dopamine surge, we may be more susceptible to high pressure sales, or a negative news article about health. See the post: Impressionable? May have more dopamine than average. ( That post is part of a series about the placebo/nocebo, links in this post: Exosomes & the Placebo Effect.

Bruce Lipton reminds us in the beginning of a lecture that knowledge is only power if we put it into action. As the lecture continues the placebo and nocebo effects are discussed - what we believe about health can become true. If we believe we can heal we take action and work towards that literally and possibly at a molecular and energy level that little is known about yet. If we believe that health comes from a doctor and a pill, then are frustrated when the pill makes us worse, but then take another pill for the side effect problem, then - you are not believing that you are in charge of your own health at daily habit or internal microscopic and energy level.

Climate change is unlikely to kill you directly, pollution/smog would be more likely to do so, but worrying about either may hasten your death. Fear and worry are inflammatory and can literally increase your need for magnesium, B vitamins and vitamin C, and others. A sugary diet also increases the need for B vitamins, to metabolize the sugar, otherwise the mitochondria have to switch to fermentation, anaerobic glycolysis - which, probably not coincidentally, is how cancer cell’s mitochondria burn energy - Something to think about.

Modern Life Syndrome includes many inflammatory factors:

Modern Life - promoting NF-kB.

For more about this and the next graphic - Increased NF-kB causes Decreased Nrf2, see the post: Hyperinflammation - a positive feedback loop leading to Alzheimer’s? (Substack/deNutrients - News to Use).

Hyperinflammation may be a positive feedback loop that can lead to Alzheimer’s like damage or other misfolded protein conditions.

Increased NF-kB causes Decreased Nrf2

.For more about these two graphics see the post: Hyperinflammation - a positive feedback loop leading to Alzheimer’s? (Substack/deNutrients - News to Use).

Also see subsection Nrf2 - anti-inflammatory gene and protein and more will follow in this section about the foods and phytonutrients that help promote Nrf2 - which inhibits NF-kB - which inhibits Nrf2. In a normal circadian cycle the Nrf2 pathways are active, on, at night while we sleep and the NF-kB - activity oriented inflammatory pathways are active, on, during the day.

Bruce Lipton gives an example that puts the wisdom of the Circadian Cycle’s division of labor for olden times in better perspective for modern people.

Say you have a bacterial infection and you have diarrhea and a lion is chasing you. How much energy should you put in to fight the infection and how much energy should you put in to run away from the lion? Forget the immune system because if the lion eats you then the bacteria are his problem.” - Bruce Lipton, (1:32:52-1:33:09) Bruce Lipton The Biology of Belief Full Lecture

The Nrf2 pathway is anti-inflammatory, promoting growth and repair and immune function for fighting infections - at night, while we sleep - so that the NF-kB and other inflammatory action oriented pathways can be active during the day when we might need to run away from a lion, or to catch a bus. We tend to be tired and want to rest when we are sick because the body needs the energy to fight the infection, not run to catch a bus.

The document Alkalizing Foods has guidance for a less inflammatory diet and food choices so that we aren't adding worse problems, including information for some individually inflammatory categories of foods - Histamine, Lectins, Oxalates, and TRP Channel Activators.

What can help? Many delicious foods, beverages, herbs and spices - and some lifestyle habits.

Returning to more natural circadian cycle lighting for daytime and nighttime, cutting down on EMF exposure, and avoiding inflammatory foods and environmental toxins.

Promoting Nrf2 has the bonus of also inhibiting inflammatory NF-kB, so eating more produce, herbs and spices can directly reduce the inflammatory signaling and increase anti-inflammatory signals and our own internal antioxidant production (glutathione).

Positive attitude rather than false hope is also helpful - knowing there are problems, but that you will get through them one way or another is having a positive attitude. Worrying and thinking about all the things that can go wrong is focusing on those negatives, which is in itself inflammatory. Stop the bad, and start the good.

People do not realize if I just remove the stress from my life, where am I on the scale? At zero. If you want wellness, it’s not just the absence of stress, you need the joy and love to go to growth. So if you’re in the middle place, you’re not in real growth and real health. So stress alone is not the problem - it is - What we need is more love and life and happy.” - Bruce Lipton (1:38:33-1:38:58) Bruce Lipton The Biology of Belief Full Lecture

Lack - “It is” … lack of anti-inflammatory social support whether friends, coworkers, customers, family, or a life-partner - connection strengthens us. Purpose in life and helping others can too. Beauty, and spending time in nature or around water can help.

Negative ions in the air around water (or orgone/aether, but that is a different topic) are beneficial and can also be obtained safely with use of a salt crystal lamp. A light bulb or low temp heater warms the salt chunk, moisture in the air that collected on the salt is vaporized causing negative ions to be created. In the air the negative ions clump with positively charged dust or chimeric protein exosomes, causing the larger clump to fall from the air - sweep and mop more often and both your air and floor will be cleaner! See the post: Joy is healing and may need a little help. (

Eat more of these (unless individually it is an inflammatory food for you):

See the post: Nrf2 and NF-kB - two proteins to know. (Substack/deNutrients - News to Use)

See the post: Nrf2 and NF-kB - two proteins to know. (Substack/deNutrients - News to Use)

Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

Reference List

  1. Akwasi O. Aduboffour, Stephen J. Carter, George Howard, Saira Khan, Marquita Lewis-Thames, Justin Xavier Moore, MPH X. Moore; Abstract 3653: The moderating role of dietary patterns on physical health and risk of cancer mortality in the REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) cohort. Cancer Res 15 June 2022; 82 (12_Supplement): 3653.


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