What I Am Doing

This past weekend I attended my dear friend and patient Daniel Leighton’s exhibit of his new artwork showing the history of his journey with Crohn’s disease.

In the picture below you see David and me with one of his pieces of art depicting the surgery he had to remove his colon. You see the incision down his main abdomen, and behind it is his heart opening. He wears a mask as he does not want to be seen for who he is yet.

Daniel and Dr Soram Daniel and Dr Soram

Daniel gave a beautiful description of his journey from childhood until present. He thanked me in his speech for the help that I gave him using integrative medicine. You can see from this photo he looks very healthy and hardy now!

What may come as a surprise to you is that all his art at the exhibit was done on his iPad! In his talk to the audience he explained how the iPad was a perfect canvas to do his work because it gives him so many brushes and colors! This type of art will become the future, I’m quite sure.

Please visit his website to see more of his art, much of which depicts the journey he has taken to come physically emotionally and spiritually into more wholeness.

Warning: Your Soft Drinks and Favorite Snacks May be Loaded With Toxic Mercury

high fructose corn syrupHigh-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has replaced sugar in many processed foods, and is now found in soft drinks and other sweetened beverages, breads, cereals, lunch meats, soup, condiments, yogurt and much, much more.
The sweetener, which has been linked to everything from obesity and accelerated bone loss to increased levels of triglycerides, has gotten bad press before, but perhaps none as alarming as that from two new studies.

After testing samples of commercial HFCS, researchers found nearly half of the samples contained mercury.

The first study, published in Environmental Health, found mercury in nine out of 20 samples of commercial HFCS. The second study, conducted by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), a non-profit watchdog group, detected mercury in nearly one-third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first or second highest labeled

Ingredient — including products by Quaker, Hershey’s, Kraft and Smucker’s.

Mercury was most prevalent in HFCS-containing dairy products, followed by dressings and condiments, according to the IATP study.

Click here to read more.

Energy Drinks Create Unhealthy Increase in Blood Pressure & Heart Rate — And Pose These Other Risks

Over 30 percent of teenagers, and 34 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds, consume energy drinks on a regular basis, according to a report by the Marin Institute. These drinks are heavily marketed to teens as a harmless way to boost energy, but in reality they’ve been linked to serious health effects.

Still, in just one year alone, energy drinks brought in more than $3.2 billion in sales, and up to 500 new energy drink products were introduced worldwide. And sales continue to grow, despite the largely unpublicized risks.

The obvious danger stems from the high levels of caffeine (some energy drinks contain up to 300 mg of caffeine, compared with 80 mg for a typical cup of coffee), which can lead to:

  • Increased anxiety and panic attacks
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Bowel irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Increased gastric acid

Click here to read more.

The Five Home Construction Materials that Pose the Highest Health Risk to You

deck woodBuilding a new home certainly has its up-sides: no avocado green appliances, paisley wallpaper or, worse, hidden mold growing in the basement. But new homes are not without fault. Home-building materials are often toxic and getting them brand-new makes no difference.

Although you may not smell, see or taste it, construction materials emit various gasses and other compounds into your home, many of which are highly toxic. This is part of the reason why the Environmental Protection Agency says that indoor air can be two to five times (and even up to 100 times) more polluted than outdoor air.

This doesn’t mean you should never consider building a new home. While homes that have been lived in a few years may actually be a little healthier since the materials have had a chance to do some of their initial out-gassing, very old homes can bring up a whole new set of problems (lead paint, asbestos, mold, etc.).

Upon building a home (and making the seemingly endless decisions that go along with it), put some consideration into the actual materials that will be used. Often, safer, healthier and more environmentally friendly options exist, and not necessarily for a greater price. Following are some of the especially toxic building materials to watch out for, along with some alternatives to build a greener, healthier home.

Click here to read more.

Want to Reduce PMS? Think Calcium and Vitamin D, Get Some Sun and Take These Other Steps

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS), the onslaught of physical and emotional symptoms that plague an estimated 40 percent of all women during the last one or two weeks of their menstrual cycles, may have met its match.

A new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that a combination of calcium and vitamin D not only reduces the risk of PMS symptoms, but they may be able to prevent them all together. The study compared the diets and supplement use of 1,057 women with PMS (aged 27 to 44) to 1,968 women with no PMS for a span of over 10 years.

Researchers found that women who ate four servings or more a day of a dairy product were less likely to develop PMS symptoms including anxiety, loneliness, irritability, tearfulness and tension.

“It seems that women who eat more foods high in calcium and vitamin D have less risk of experiencing PMS,” said Dr. Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson of the University of Massachusetts, the study’s lead author. “It’s very exciting, and could end up being good news for many women out there.”

Click here to read more.

More from the Symposium on Gut, Brain, Immune and Food


David Perlmutter, M.D.,pictured to the right,a prominent neurologist from Florida gave excellent lectures. at the convention, for many hours about how to protect our brains from the growing epidemic of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as from Parkinson’s disease. He stated that “Alzheimer’s is very preventable.”

He also quoted in his lecture the saying “The time to fix the roof is when the sun is shining.” This is true with regards to the prevention of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Basically, he shows that Alzheimer’s disease is due to damage to the mitochondria – the energy organelles inside the cell – and its DNA, that cause Alzheimer’s disease. Basically the mitochondria dictate whether a cell will live or die. Therefore he considers Alzheimer’s disease to be an illness of the mitochondria, which he calls a mitochondropathy. He talked to us about how we can nurture our mitochondria.

He pointed out that fungicides and solvents as well as heavy metals contribute to this damage to the mitochondria.

There is a powerful molecule in our brain called BDNF, which stands for Brain Derived neurotrophic Factor. Just by exercising we increase our BNNF. He gave us a list of the things that increase our Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor.

This list is as follows:
1. Caloric restriction.
2. Physical exercise.
3. DHA
4. Mental exercise
5. Hyperbaric oxygen.


Here is a chart from the convention.

Physical exercise is critical!


He also pointed out that blood sugar is a problem for the brain. He feels that a HgA1C of 5.6 to 5.8 is not low enough. HgA1C is a common blood test that shows us the average blood sugar we have had over the last three months in one number. He points out that high fructose corn syrup is one of the worst ways for us to take in sugar. This is what most soft drinks are made with. He entreats all of us to avoid getting diabetes, at all costs, because of the effect of high blood sugar on the brain.

He also gave nutritional recommendations to help cope with “Advanced Glycation End Products” also known as AGE’s. These are the end products of our proteins being combined with too much sugar.

The nutritional therapy he recommended includes the following with links to my Healthy Living Shop:


Alpha-Lipoic Acid:



N-Acetyl Cysteine:



DHA-derived from fish or algae:

-Low Carbohydrate Diet.

Lipid peroxides, which we measure at our clinic, are a sign of oxidative stress. When they are elevated, this implies that the brain is “on fire” which creates a feedforward mechanism causing more oxidation which contributes to mitochondrial damage.

Dr. Perlmutter also recommends healthy fats in our diet as the brain is composed of large amounts of fat.

He pointed out that gluten can be a toxin to the brain directly. He cited out an experiment: If you were to put your finger in the acid contained in the stomach, your finger would be dissolved in 10 to 15 seconds. If you put gluten in your stomach acid, it is still there untouched 12 hours later.

Dr. Perlmutter went on to conclude that we have inherited two genomes or genetic structures. One is from our parents and the second is the bacteria in our gut. The gut bacteria, called the microbiome, is very dynamic. Dr. Perlmutter pointed out that the human genome combined with the microbiome make metabolites that tell us who is “playing the piano”. He therefore reminds us that food is information, that is targeting our genetic structure.

bookI encourage you to read Dr. David Perlmutter’s Booksand articles to learn more about the prevention of chronic neurological diseases.

Power Up Your Brain

Dr Perlmutters article on Neurogenesis

Gluten and The Brain

Free radicals and aging

Rethinking Alzheimers

The Lancet article on gluten and brain

Summary of the Lancet article

Great Photo of the Gluten molecule showing its toxic elements

Why do You Have an Appendix? (Actually, It’s There for a VERY Good Reason)

appendix painYour appendix is a 3-1/2 inch long finger-shaped pouch that extends from your large intestine, on the lower right side of your abdomen. For ages it  has been thought that the appendix has no real purpose.

In fact, even Charles Darwin said the appendix is a “vestigial organ,” or one that has become essentially useless over time — a concept that is still spouted in biology textbooks to this day.

Recently, however, researchers from Duke University Medical Center have made a very good case for why your appendix may actually be incredibly important. Writing in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, they point out that an appendix “has been maintained in mammalian evolution for 80 million years or longer.”

The fact that it has been around for so long, surviving species changes and also existing in a wide variety of species (70 percent of all primate and rodent groups contain species with an appendix, according to the Duke researchers) suggests it plays a critical function in survival … but what?

Well, last year researchers discovered that your appendix actually produces good bacteria and helps protect good bacteria in your gut.

Click here to read more.

Headache Causes: The 18 Most Common Sources of Headaches and What You Need to Know and Do

headachesAbout 4 percent to 5 percent of U.S. adults suffer from chronic headaches, which may occur nearly every day, according to the Mayo Clinic. While an occasional headache is something that most people experience, frequent headaches can be a warning sign that something is amiss in your body.

If you get frequent headaches, it’s likely to be a tension-type headache. They account for 75-90 percent of frequent headaches.

The cause of the most commonly reported headache, tension headaches, is actually still unknown. An estimated 75 percent to 90 percent of people who complain of frequent headaches are suffering from tension headaches.

Some experts believe they stem from contracted muscles, while others believe they’re related to changes in your brain chemicals, such as serotonin, endorphins and others, which help your nerves communicate.

The good news is that these headaches are rarely the sign of something serious (see the end of the article for some rare, but serious, causes). Instead, tension-type headaches are related to lifestyle factors that you can influence.

Click here to find out the many triggers of tension headaches.

Back From The Conference!

At the time of writing this post, I am just back from the big medical symposium on Gut, Brain, and Autoimmune Disorders: The Role of Food.

The conference was fantastic, and I learned so much!

The brilliant Alessio Fasano,M.D., gave an update on his research on the role of gluten in many health problems. He is the doctor that helped put non-celiac gluten sensitivity on the map, so that it is now recognized by traditional gastroenterologists.
Just like with our general health and well-being, he has helped us recognize that there is a spectrum of gluten sensitivity, as I have written about in my previous newsletters.

In addition, William Davis, M.D., the author of Wheat Belly gave about three hours of lecture that were very informative.

Some of my favorite lectures were from my friend David Perlmutter, M.D. who is an integrative neurologist in Florida. He spoke about the coming epidemic of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and gave a lot of ideas on what we can do to protect our brain.

It was my intention to give you a summary of the conference in this week’s newsletter. However, there was so much information that it will take me some time to organize it.

Because I went out of town for a brief vacation this past weekend, I did not have time to get the organization of this information started. In next week’s issue, the Labor Day issue, I will begin to review some of the information I learned.

Until then, there are some good articles by my writers this week!

Remember to follow me on Twitter and to like me on Facebook. And remember you can get Physician-Quality Nutritional Supplements at my Online Healthy Living Shop HERE! 

Refined Food Risks: Why They’re Like Trying to Keep a Bonfire Going with Toilet Paper

sugar candyYou’ve heard the advice: eat fewer refined foods like white bread and white sugar. But what exactly are refined foods, and what makes them so taboo?

When you think of something that’s refined, you may think of something that is superior to its predecessor. And in terms of food, refined versions are said to be “made purer by an industrial refining process.”

And when food processing first began, it was only the wealthy who could afford such luxuries as “refined” white flour and white sugar, while the peasants had to make do with foods the way nature created them.

So what’s the problem?

Click here to find out what the problem is.