What is turmeric?
Turmeric is a spice that has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic
and Chinese medicine to treat a variety of conditions. The active part of
turmeric is curcumin, which is an antioxidant that appears to have antiinflammatory
properties. It is used as an anti-inflammatory herbal remedy
in lieu or addition to conventional over the counter pain medications.

Where is turmeric found?
It is mainly grown in India and is used as a main ingredient in curry. It
also is used to flavor give the yellow color to butter, cheese, mustard and
curry powders.

What are the benefitsof turmeric?
Curcumin is a very powerful antioxidant that helps fight free-radicals, and
it lowers the level of certain enzymes that cause inflammation. Therefore,
it may improve symptoms of osteoarthritis. Turmeric has also been shown
to be effective for relieving the symptoms of dyspepsia (indigestion).
Some evidence suggests it may improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
and aid in prevention and slowing of cancer. Additionally, it may have
antithrombotic effects and stop platelets from clumping together to form
blood clots.

Are there interactions with turmeric and food, herbs or other supplements?
Bromelain may enhance curcumin absorption. Since it has antithrombotic/anti-platelet
effects, it should be discontinued at least 2 weeks
before any type of surgical procedure. It may also lower blood sugar
levels and should be monitored when taking other diabetes medications to
prevent hypoglycemia.

Are there side effects from turmeric?
It is mostly well tolerated but may have some gastrointestinal side effects
such as nausea and diarrhea.

To purchase turmeric:

Practitioner code: DGroothuisRD



What is resveratrol and where is it found?
Resveratrol is a natural polyphenol found in the skin of red grapes, the roots of
Japanese knotweed, berries, peanuts, wine, and cocoa powder. It is also sold as
a supplement. Polyphenols are antioxidants that have health benefits.

What are the benefits of resveratrol?
Resveratrol appears to have anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties. It
seems to decrease the risk of many diseases, such as heart disease, cancer,
Alzheimer’s and diabetes. Further, resveratrol is associated with antiviral effects
and increased testosterone levels. Most of the research has been on animals
and in the laboratory rather than in clinical trials on humans.

Are there interactions with medications and resveratrol?
Because of its anti-platelet effects, resveratrol should not be taken with blood
thinners (Coumadin) and NSAIDS, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, because it may
increase the risk for bleeding.

Are there side effects from resveratrol?
None known.

Women with hormone sensitive cancers or conditions, such as breast cancer or
fibroids, should avoid resveratrol because of its estrogenic effects. It should also
be avoided in pre-surgical patients due to its antiplatelet effects.

Raspberry Ketones

Raspberry Ketones

What are Raspberry Ketones?
Raspberry ketones are one of the aromatic compounds found in raspberries,
responsible for the aroma found in the fruit. It is a phenol compound used as a
natural flavor food additive in many foods. It is also found in perfumes and
cosmetics. It can also be made synthetically, since the natural compound is very
Raspberry ketones have been shown to be chemically similar to capsaicin, which
is found in chile peppers. These compounds may help burn fat and therefore aid
in weight loss.

Where are raspberry ketones found?
It is a supplement. It comes from red raspberries.

What are the benefits of raspberry ketones?
Raspberry ketones are used for weight loss, obesity and increasing lean body
mass. They may also improve insulin sensitivity and reduce fat in the liver. It is
also used for hair loss (alopecia).

Are there interactions with medications and raspberry ketones?
Raspberry ketones may affect warfarin and care should be taken when using this

Are there side effects from raspberry ketones?
No reliable information is known on the safety of raspberry ketones. No clinical
trials have been done and little is known about its long-term safety. Chemically,
it is similar to synephrine and there is some concern that the supplement may
cause increased heart rate, blood pressure and feelings of jitters.

Poor Sleep May Change Your Clothing Size

Many studies have shown a correlation between lack of sleep and weight gain.  Sleeping less than 5 hours has been shown to decrease metabolism and mess up hormone levels causing an increase in food consumption. A new study in PLOS One looked at this connection in more details and found that those who slept less than 6 hours had higher waist measurements, higher BMI, increased weight, and lower levels of HDL. These factors contribute to obesity and diabetes, and have negative health implications.  It is important for your body to get the adequate sleep that it needs – for both your mind and body – so make sleep a priority!


The Problem with Artificial Sweeteners

Many people assume that using artificial sweeteners helps lower their sugar content and decrease caloric intake, which aids in weight control and diabetes prevention. However, studies have reported a correlation between diabetes and the use of artificial sweeteners. New research published in Current Biology has an explanation for this link. When a sweet tasting low calorie food is consumed, the body responds not only to the caloric content, but also to the perception of sweet taste, which causes a mismatch. The study shows that brain gets tricked by the sweet taste and lack of calories, which triggers an incorrect metabolic response. Our bodies are not sure how to process the energy in our new food supply, and this may cause issues with disease states, absorption, and metabolism. This is just another reason to eat organic, natural foods and to stay away from processed foods with chemicals. DG.



What is Quercetin?
Quercetin is a flavonoid found in fruits, vegetables, grains, and leaves. It
has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic and cardioprotective

Where is quercitin found?
It is found in red wine, red grapes, black and green tea, onions (especially
red onion), kale, tomatoes, broccoli, green beans, asparagus, apples,
berries, capers, and citrus fruit.

What are the benefits of quercitin?
Quercetin has been shown to be effective for reducing pain and improving
the quality of life of patients with prostatitis. It is also used to treat
coronary heart disease, high cholesterol, and hypertension and to reduce
the risk of lung, ovarian and pancreatic cancers. It is taken after kidney
transplants to improve kidney function. Further, quercetin is used to
increase exercise endurance and improve performance.

Are there interactions with quercitin and food, herbs or other supplements?
None known. Quercetin is found in some other herbs, such as St John’s
wort, Ginkgo biloba, and American elder.

Are there side effects from quercitin?
Quercetin may cause headaches and tingling of the extremities. If taken
intravenously, there may be sweating, nausea, and vomiting.



What is Pycnogenol?
Pycnogenol is an antioxidant with immunostimulating properties that is extracted
from the pine bark of a tree known as Pinus pinaster, also known as French
Maritime Pine Bark. It contains flavonoids, including catechin, and taxifolin, and
the bioflavonoid, procyanidin. Pycnogenol is a trademarked French name, but
similar compounds are found in other pine bark extracts, grape seed extract, and
peanut skins.

Where is pycnogenol found?
It is a supplement. However, it can also be brewed as a tea made from pine

What are the benefits of pycnogenol?
Pycnogenol has been shown to be effective in treating allergic rhinitis and
asthma. It has also seems to increase athletic endurance and decrease
hypertension. Further, it appears to slow or prevent retinopathy and improve
circulatory function. Pycnogenol is added to many skin creams and products
because of its anti-aging properties. It may help slow the aging process and
maintain healthy skin. Some people also use pycnogenol for diabetes, leg
cramps, menopausal symptoms, and coronary artery disease.

Are there interactions with medications and pycnogenol?
Because of its immunostimulating properties, pycnogenol may interfere with
immunosuppressant therapy and should not be taken with immunosuppressant
drugs or by people with autoimmune disorders.

Are there side effects from pycnogenol?
Pycnogenol may cause dizziness, gut problems, headaches, and mouth ulcers.



What is a probiotic?
Probiotics are live microorganisms (usually bacteria), which support digestion
and the immune system. They are considered “good bacteria” because of their
positive influence on the gut. The World Health Organization defines probiotics
as “live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer
a health benefit on the host.” The two most common probiotics come from two
groups of bacteria: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. There are different
species and strains in each of these different groups. Some probiotics are yeast.

Where are probiotics found?
They are found in dietary supplements and in foods, such as fermented foods
and cultured milk products. There has been some recent controversy over
whether foods with supplemental probiotics, such as Activia, are effective.

What are the benefits of probiotics?
Probiotics help with the immune system, protect against microorganisms that can
cause disease, and help the digestions and absorption of food and nutrients.
They have been shown to be effective for diarrhea, infant colic, IBS (Irritable
Bowel Syndrome), respiratory tract infections in children, ulcerative colitis,
pouchitis (a condition that may occur after removal of the colon), and atopic
dermatitis. For some it may prevent the common cold, UTIs (urinary tract
infections), and lactose intolerance. Since there are cells in the digestive tract
connected to the immune system, it is believed that probiotics can affect the
immune system’s defenses by altering the balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria.

Are there interactions with medications and probiotics?
Taking antibiotics may decrease the effectiveness of probiotics. Also, ingestion
of probiotics may negatively affect patients taking immunosuppressant. There is
a risk that those patients have a higher risk of infection.
Side effects of taking probiotics are mild, if any. Some people complain of gas or
bloating, which dissipates after continued use.

To purchase probiotics:

Practitioner code: DGroothuisRD



What is mulberry and where is it found?
Mulberry is a plant, which includes a wide variety of trees and shrubs and
contains a fruit that resembles blackberries. The powdered leaves of white
mulberry are used as an herb for medicine, while the fruit is eaten both raw and
cooked. The fruit of the mulberry is high in phytonutrients, especially
resveratrol, a flavonoid antioxidant. They are also high in protein, iron and many
other vitamins and minerals.

What are the benefits of mulberry?
Mulberry has been used to treat diabetes by lowering blood sugar. It seems
to slow the breakdown of sugar in the body, which increases the length of time
food is absorbed prevents blood sugar from rising too rapidly. It is also used to
treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure, joint and muscle pain, and the
common cold. Some people use it for hair loss and premature graying,
constipation and asthma.

Are there interactions with medications and mulberry?
None known.

Are there side effects from mulberry?
Avoid taking mulberry during pregnancy and breast-feeding because very few
studies have been done and there is not enough information known.

Why Functional Medicine?

Have you ever gone to the doctor with a laundry list of symptoms and he/she is unable to diagnose your ailment or offer solutions? Or have you tried multiple prescriptions and therapies for symptoms that you can’t seem to alleviate? That is because conventional medicine treats the disease state instead of the individual person. Conventional medicine does not treat the causes of the disease; instead, its purpose is to diagnose and to treat the signs and symptoms of a disease state AFTER a patient’s symptoms have progressed. This is just a band aid and ultimately does not restore health or promote wellness.

The purpose of functional medicine is to identify and to alleviate the causes of disease while seeking to determine how and why the illness progressed. With proper treatment, most chronic disease is preventable and curable since chronic disease is a result of dysfunction in our bodies. This dysfunction is caused by genetics, lifestyle choices, and the environment.  Since each person is different, the root causes of disease may vary from person to person. Both the environment and genetics influence the body’s physiological symptoms, and they must be investigated to correct clinical imbalances. Functional medicine relies on research from nutritional science, genomics and epigenics to create personalized, individual treatment plans. Patients and practitioners work together to alleviate and to reverse the causes of disease at the cellular level.  Instead of treating disease states with medications and surgery, functional medicine focuses on lifestyle and environmental changes including diet, nutrition, exercise, stress, and psychosocial issues. It combines western medical practice with alternative therapies such as supplements, herbs, detoxification programs, therapeutic diets, and stress management techniques.

Many patients who visit functional medicine practitioners find that after years of unsuccessful treatments, they now feel dramatically better. My personal story is a great example of why I advocate for functional medicine practitioners. In my mid-twenties, I developed symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and every night I was plagued by terrible stomach pains and bowel issues. For ten years I sought treatment from GI doctors, who could only offer me my diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. They said there was no treatment, and while some doctors did recommend some different food choices,  I could not correct my problems. I thought I was doomed!

In my thirties, a friend recommended that I see a functional medicine practitioner, and my choice to follow that path has been life changing. The first thing my functional medicine doctor said to me was, “We know that your bowel is irritable, but why is it irritable?” After a detoxification diet, a heavy dose of probiotics, and some herbal supplements to heal the inflammation in my gut and to improve my gut flora, I ceased having irritable bowel symptoms. After some trial and error, we discovered my personal dysfunction and how to treat my individual issues. I still have to be careful with what I eat and I had to learn my triggers, but I was able to heal.

My goal is for anyone plagued by symptoms they can’t alleviate to seek treatment other than conventional medicine. This is not a boycott of regular medical checkups or therapies. Conventional medicine has its place, especially in advanced disease states. However, sometimes a combination of conventional medicine and functional medicine is the correct path to follow for optimal health and wellness. Research has shown that conventional medicine needs to catch up with the current studies.