Girl who feels no pain could inspire new painkillers.

A girl who does not feel physical pain has helped researchers identify a gene mutation that disrupts pain perception. The discovery may spur the development of new painkillers that will block pain signals in the same way.

People with congenital analgesia cannot feel physical pain and often injure themselves as a result – they might badly scald their skin, for example, through being unaware that they are touching something hot.

By comparing the gene sequence of a girl with the disorder against those of her parents, who do not, Ingo Kurth at Jena University Hospital in Germany and his colleagues identified a mutation in a gene called SCN11A.

This gene controls the development of channels on pain-sensing neurons. Sodium ions travel through these channels, creating electrical nerve impulses that are sent to the brain, which registers pain.


Blocked signals

Overactivity in the mutated version of SCN11A prevents the build-up of the charge that the neurons need to transmit an electrical impulse, numbing the body to pain. “The outcome is blocked transmission of pain signals,” says Kurth.

To confirm their findings, the team inserted a mutated version of SCN11A into mice and tested their ability to perceive pain. They found that 11 per cent of the mice with the modified gene developed injuries similar to those seen in people with congenital analgesia, such as bone fractures and skin wounds. They also tested a control group of mice with the normal SCN11A gene, none of which developed such injuries.

The altered mice also took 2.5 times longer on average than the control group to react to the “tail flick” pain test, which measures how long it takes for mice to flick their tails when exposed to a hot light beam. “What became clear from our experiments is that although there are similarities between mice and men with the mutation, the degree of pain insensitivity is more prominent in humans,” says Kurth.

The team has now begun the search for drugs that block the SCN11Achannel. “It would require drugs that selectively block this but not other sodium channels, which is far from simple,” says Kurth.

Completely unexpected

“This is a cracking paper, and great science,” says Geoffrey Woods of the University of Cambridge, whose team discovered in 2006 that mutations in another, closely related ion channel gene can cause insensitivity to pain. “It’s completely unexpected and not what people had been looking for,” he says.

Woods says that there are three ion channels, called SCN9A, 10A and 11A, on pain-sensing neurons. People experience no pain when either of the first two don’t work, and agonising pain when they’re overactive. “With this new gene, it’s the opposite: when it’s overactive, they feel no pain. So maybe it’s some kind of gatekeeper that stops neurons from firing too often, but cancels pain signals completely when it’s overactive,” he says. “If you could get a drug that made SCN11A overactive, it should be a fantastic analgesic.”

“It’s fascinating that SCN11A appears to work the other way, and that could really advance our knowledge of the role of sodium channels in pain perception, which is a very hot topic,” says Jeffrey Mogil at McGill University in Canada, who was not involved in the new study.


‘Terminator’ polymer can spontaneously self-heal in just two hours.

In the future, we may praise the computer repairman on his needlework. After all, the self-healing power of skin has served life very well over the years; it could be just as powerful in other contexts, too. If we surrounded the most sensitive  computer components with a sac of soft material, air- and water-tight, repairs could end with the technician suturing shut a scalpel hole.


Researcher Ibon Odriozola at CIDETEC Centre for Electrochemical Technologies has created a polymer that has the potential to lead to such a future. The material is comprised of a poly (urea-urethane) elastomeric matrix, a network of complex molecular interactions that will spontaneously cross-link to “heal” most any break. In this context, the word “spontaneous” means that the material needs no outside intervention to begin its healing process, no catalyst or extra reactant. In the experiments, a sample cut in half with a razor blade at room temperature healed the cut, with 97% efficiency, in just two hours.

The reaction, called a metathesis reaction, has led Ibon to dub the material his “Terminator” polymer, in reference to Terminator 2′s T-1000. That’s an apt comparison, since this homogenous material resembles the thick liquid of T-1000′s interior. Unlike other self-healing materials, this one requires so catalyst and no layering. There’s currently no word on how well it can heal itself over multiple separations, but so long as it’s not cut in precisely the same place twice, that shouldn’t cause too many problems.

There is potential for this technology to help extent the lift-spans of some plastic parts, things that are under a lot of repetitive strain often slowly acquire minute but growing fractures. The group’s main goal now is to make a harder version, perhaps one that could be formed into such parts itself. As it exists today, the polymer is squishy and somewhat soft. The researchers couldn’t stretch a single piece to breaking by hand, either before or after the cut, but it’s not rigid enough to make parts from just yet.

A good self-healing material has been one big challenge for artificial skin, something that can quickly stop up small wounds on its own. Self-healing also potentially grants to the ability to grow over time, as new units of the matrix could be incorporated as the material stretches and tears on the microscopic level. A graft of artificial skin given to a growing child might be able to grow along with them for a while. And since it allows easy surgical work, self-healing skin lets the body stay shut up tight against germs.

If its healing mechanism proves robust enough, we could even see this Terminator material injected like an adhesive or a sealant. Its impressive combination of elasticity and strength could let it bring the self-healing advantage to everything from leaky window frames to painful joints in need of some padding to stop bones from rubbing together. 

And then there’s the possibilities for protective coatings. Inventors have long been in search of a self-healing protective coating, a top-sheet that could soak up small nicks and return to its prior state. Even the thick piece cut in the video healed with a barely perceptible “scar,” so there’s at least hope for a transparent coating that heals invisibly.

Treatable cancer subtype found.

Australian researchers have identified a potentially treatable subtype of pancreatic cancer, which accounts for about 2% of new cases. This subtype expresses high levels of the HER2 gene. HER2-amplified breast and gastric cancers are currently treated with Herceptin.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in Western societies, with a 5-year survival rate of less than 5%. It is a molecularly diverse disease, meaning that each tumour will respond only to specific treatments that target its unique molecular make-up.


A new study, published in Genome Medicine, used a combination of modern genetics and traditional pathology to estimate the prevalence of HER2-amplified pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic surgeon Professor Andrew Biankin, from Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research and the Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre at the University of Glasgow, worked with pathologist Dr Angela Chou and bioinformatician Dr Mark Cowley from Garvan, as well as cancer genomics specialist Dr Nicola Waddell from the Queensland Centre for Medical Genomics at the University of Queensland.

Using data sourced from the Australian Pancreatic Cancer Genome Initiative1 (APGI), the team identified a patient with high-level HER2 amplification. Using whole genome DNA sequencing of the tumour, Dr Nicola Waddell pinpointed the specific region of the genome that contains HER2.

Dr Angela Chou then performed detailed histopathological characterisation of HER2 protein in tissue samples taken in the past from 469 pancreatic cancer patients. This produced a set of standardised laboratory testing guidelines for testing HER2 in pancreatic cancer, and showed the frequency of HER2 amplified pancreatic cancer of 2.1%. 

Dr Chou also found that – like HER2-amplified breast cancer patients – the cancers of those with HER2-amplification in the pancreas tended to spread to the brain and lung, rather than the norm, which is the liver.

Dr Mark Cowley analysed all the data generated by the project and compared it to other sequences from many cancer types produced by the International Cancer Genome Consortium and The Cancer Genome Atlas project. “HER2 amplification was prevalent at just over 2% frequency in 11 different cancers,” he observed.

“We make the case that if HER2 is such a strong molecular feature of several cancers, then perhaps recruiting patients to clinical trials on the basis of the molecular features rather than the anatomical region of their cancer could have a significant impact on patient outcomes, and still make economic sense for pharmaceutical companies.”

“Such ‘Basket trials’ as they are sometimes called, may advance treatment options for those with less common cancer types.”

In Australia, 2,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year, and so 40 are likely to have the HER2 amplified form. 

While Herceptin is available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for treating breast and gastric cancer, it is not available for treating HER2-amplified pancreatic cancer as no clinical trial has yet been conducted to determine the drug’s efficacy in that case.

The Garvan Institute in collaboration with the Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group, is recruiting pancreatic cancer patients through the APGI for a pilot clinical trial, known as ‘IMPaCT’2, to test personalised medicine strategies. 

Potential patients will be screened for specific genetic characteristics, including high levels of HER2, based on their biological material sequenced as part of the APGI study. Once these characteristics are confirmed, patients will be randomised to receive standard therapy or a personalised therapy based on their unique genetic make-up.


Study says new element 115, ununpentium, does exist.

One more element may soon be added to the Periodic Table. On September 10, 2013, an international team of scientists working at the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt, Germany reported that they have acquired new evidence supporting the existence of element 115. The new evidence will be reviewed by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemists (IUPAC), and if confirmed, element 115 will likely be given a new name and added to the Periodic Table of Elements. Its temporary name, which is being used as a placeholder, is ununpentium.

Element 115 is one of a number of superheavy elements—elements with an atomic number greater than 104—that are so short-lived, they can’t be detected in nature. Scientists can, however, synthesize these elements in a laboratory by smashing atoms together.


In 2004, scientists from the United States and Russia first reported the discovery of element 115. Unfortunately, the evidence from that research and a few more studies that followed was not enough to confirm the existence of a new element.

Now, scientists are developing new techniques to detect the presence of superheavy elements. In an experiment conducted at the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt, Germany, scientists successfully bombarded a thin layer of americium (atomic number 95) with calcium (atomic number 20) to produce ununpentium (atomic number 115). Ununpentium was observed with a new type of detector system that measured the photons that were released from the reaction. The unique photon energy profile for ununpentium can be thought of as the element’s fingerprint, the scientists say.


Dirk Rudolph, lead author of the new study and Professor at the Division of Nuclear Physics at Lund University in Sweden, commented on the findings in a press release. He said:

This can be regarded as one of the most important experiments in the field in recent years, because at last it is clear that even the heaviest elements’ fingerprints can be taken. The result gives high confidence to previous reports. It also lays the basis for future measurements of this kind.

Presently, there are 114 elements in the Periodic Table of Elements. Two new elements, flerovium (atomic number 114) and livermorium (atomic number 116), were added to the Periodic Table in 2012. While elements 113 and 118 are also thought to exist, their presence has not yet been confirmed.

The next step for element 115 will be for the IUPAC to review all of the evidence to date and make a decision as to whether more experiments are needed or if the current evidence is sufficient to support the discovery of a new element. If the latter occurs, the scientists who first discovered element 115 will be asked to formally submit a new name for the element. Then, the new name will be released for scientific review and public comment. If approved, the element along with its new name will be added to the Periodic Table of Elements. Element 115 is currently called ununpentium, which is just a placeholder until its formal name is established.

The research was supported by ENSAR (European Nuclear Science and Applications Research), the Royal Physiographic Society in Lund, the Swedish Research Council, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the US Department of Energy and the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council.

Bottom line: On September 10, 2013, an international team of scientists working at the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt, Germany reported that they have acquired new evidence that supports the existence of element 115 (ununpentium). The research was published on September 10, 2013 in the journal Physical Review Letters. After the IUPAC reviews and confirms the evidence, element 115 will likely be given a new name and added to the Periodic Table of Elements.

Certain Fruits May Be Linked to a Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes.

Story at-a-glance

  • There’s compelling evidence supporting the notion that high-fructose diets are responsible for most chronic disease; insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and obesity in particular
  • Many fruits are very high in fructose, up to 50X the sugar that most of the fruits our ancestors were exposed to due to consistent hybridization over the past century for sweetness
  • Therefore most fruits are best limited or avoided if you have insulin/leptin resistance as determined by struggling with your weight, or, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease or cancer
  • According to a new study, certain kinds of whole fruits—particularly blueberries, grapes, prunes and apples—may reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Consumption of fruit juices, on the other hand, was found to have greater risk. Those who drank one or more servings of fruit juice each day had a 21 percent higher risk for type 2 diabetes compared to the others
  • I believe most will benefit from restricting their fructose to 25 grams a day; and as little as 15 grams a day if you’re diabetic or have chronic health issues. This includes fructose from whole fruits.


You’re probably well-familiarized with my controversial stance on fructose. Compelling evidence shows that fructose is, by far, more harmful to your health than other sugars—especially when it’s removed from whole fruits and highly processed and genetically modified, such as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) found in most processed foods.

I’ve also, as a general rule, warned you of eating too much fruit, as many fruits can be quite high in fructose.

This has caused some confusion and consternation among many readers, as fruit has long been promoted as an important part of a healthy diet. That said, there are considerations to take into account when it comes to fruit consumption—some of which are dependent on your individual and specific circumstances.

I will seek to clarify some of these points here. I believe there’s more than compelling evidence supporting the concept that high-fructose diets are a primary factor that is responsible for most chronic disease; insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and obesity in those who eat a highly processed food diet..

I’ve long urged those struggling with these health issues, or who have hypertension, heart disease or cancer, to pay extra-careful attention to the fructose content of whole fruit in addition to other sources of fructose. Now, recent research indicates that some fruits may in fact be protective against type 2 diabetes.

Can You Reduce Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes with Your Fruit Choices?

According to a new analysis of three cohort studies, published in the British Medical Journal,1 whole fruits—particularly blueberries, grapes, prunes and apples—may in fact reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. Conversely, consumption of fruit juices was associated with greater risk. According to senior author Qi Sun, an assistant professor in the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health:2

“While fruits are recommended as a measure for diabetes prevention, previous studies have found mixed results for total fruit consumption. Our findings provide novel evidence suggesting that certain fruits may be especially beneficial for lowering diabetes risk.”

The researchers analyzed the dietary records of nearly 190,000 people who had participated in three studies from 1984 to 2008. None of the participants were diagnosed with diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer at the outset of the studies.

They found that those who ate blueberries, grapes and apples at least twice a week were up to 23 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, compared to those who ate these fruits once a month or less.

I find this quite surprising as, grapes and apples are particularly high in fructose (as you can see in the chart below). It’s unclear why the authors observed this benefit here but it’s likely that the phytonutrients found in the apples and grapes are more than compensate for any potential fructose toxicity.

Antioxidants and other phytonutrients combat inflammation, which is a hallmark of diabetes and most other chronic disease. Similarly, blueberries, which are much lower in fructose, have in other studies also been found to be of benefit for diabetics primarily due to their high antioxidant content.

One antioxidant in particular, called quercetin, could potentially help explain some of the results. Apples for example, while high in fructose, contains this flavonoid, which actually blocks some of the fructose metabolism according to expert Dr. Richard Johnson. If you haven’t done so yet, I recommend viewing my “What Are Apples Good For?” information page for a listing of even more benefits of apples.

Red grapes, plums and many different berries, including blueberries. also contain quercetin. I have scheduled an interview with Dr. Johnson, in which we’ll delve into this at greater depth. So keep your eye out for that interview, which should be out before year end, if you want to learn more.

Don’t Be Fooled By Fruit Juices and Smoothies

In comparison, the featured study found that those who drank one or more servings of fruit juice each day had a 21 percent higher risk for type 2 diabetes compared to the others. This is a really important point, and I’ve often highlighted the potential harm of drinking fruit juices. 

You’re simply getting FAR too much fructose, not to mention the rarely mentioned methanol toxicity in any preserved juice. Furthermore, while whole fruits do contain fructose, they’re also rich in fiber, antioxidants, and a vast array of health-promoting phytochemicals.

Fruit juices, especially not pasteurized, commercially-available fruit juices have virtually none of these phytonutrients. The fiber in the whole fruits also plays a large in protecting you from a rapid and exaggerated rise in blood sugar. The fiber slows the rate at which sugar is absorbed into your bloodstream. 

This also applies to fruit smoothies, which are often touted as a convenient strategy to boost your fruit and veggie intake. Unfortunately, they too contain excessive amounts of fructose, and perhaps even added sugars on top of that. As reported by the Guardian:3

“In the UK, Coca-Cola owns Innocent Smoothies while PepsiCo has Tropicana. Launching Tropicana smoothies in 2008, Pepsi’s sales pitch was that the drink would help the nation to reach its five a day fruit and vegetable target. 

“Smoothies are one of the easiest ways to boost daily fruit intake as each 250ml portion contains the equivalent of two fruit portions,” it said at the time.

However, Popkin [professor at the department of nutrition at the University of North Carolina] says the five a day advice needs to change. Drink vegetable juice, he says, but not fruit juice. “Think of eating one orange or two and getting filled,” he said. “Now think of drinking a smoothie with six oranges and two hours later it does not affect how much you eat.

The entire literature shows that we feel full from drinking beverages like smoothies but it does not affect our overall food intake, whereas eating an orange does. So pulped-up smoothies do nothing good for us but do give us the same amount of sugar as four to six oranges or a large coke. It is deceiving.”

Revisiting Fruit Consumption

I recently interviewed Dr. Brian Clement of the Hippocrates Institute, where they teach raw veganism. Interestingly enough, they also strongly advise most people avoid eating fruits. One of the primary reasons for their stand against fruits is because of the hybridization of fruits, which has made them up to 50 times sweeter than their ancient ancestors. Many fruits have been selectively and purposely bred for increased sweetness, which has also resulted in reduced phytochemical content. This hybridization and subsequent deterioration of healthful nutrition in whole foods was highlighted in a New York Times4 article published earlier this summer.

The dramatically increased fructose content of otherwise natural and “wholesome” fruits is the primary problem with high fruit consumption, and this is why I’m leery of very high-fruit diets.

Many of the most beneficial phytonutrients found in fruits actually have a bitter, sour or astringent taste, but to satisfy the palate, farmers have, throughout time, opted to selectively breed the sweetest varieties. Today, the “candification” of food is being taken to a whole new level, and if you’re stuck on the idea that all fruit is good for you, you may end up in a real metabolic pickle… For example, according to a recent report in the Los Angeles Times,5 one fruit breeder has created a type of grape called the Cotton Candy grape, which is absolutely bound to be just as problematic as any other junk food!

“Bite into one of these green globes and the taste triggers the unmistakable sensation of eating a puffy, pink ball of spun sugar,” the article states. “By marrying select traits across thousands of nameless trial grapes, Cain and other breeders have developed patented varieties that pack enough sugar they may as well be Skittles on the vine. That’s no accident. “We’re competing against candy bars and cookies,” said Cain, 62, a former scientist at the US Department of Agriculture who now heads research at privately owned International Fruit Genetics in Bakersfield.”

In light of these issues, let me restate my recommendations on fruit and fructose consumption as simply as possible:

1.    If you’re insulin- or leptin resistant (are overweight, diabetic, hypertensive, or have high cholesterol), which includes about 80 percent of Americans, then it would be advisable for you to limit your fruit intake. As a general rule, I recommend limiting your fructose intake to a maximum of 15 grams of fructose per day from ALL sources, includingwhole fruit.

2.    If you are not insulin/leptin resistant, (are normal weight without diabetes, hypertension or high cholesterol) andregularly engage in strenuous physical activity or manual labor, then higher fructose intake is unlikely to cause any health problems. In this case, you can probably eat more fruit without giving it much thought.

3.    However if you are in category two above you might benefit from a further refinement. Fruit will still increase your blood sugar and many experts believe this will increase your protein glycosylation. So my approach is to consume the fruit typically after a workout as your body will use the sugar as fuel rather than raise your blood sugar.

4.    Additionally ,if you’re an endurance athlete, you can probably get away with eating fairly large amounts of fruits, since your body will use most of the glucose during exercise, so it won’t be stored as fat. (That said, I still believe athletes would be well-advised to consider becoming fat adapted rather than relying on quick sugars. This is outside the scope of this article, however, so for more information, please see this previous article).

5.    If you’re still unsure of just how stringent you need to be, get your uric acid levels checked, and use that as a guide. I’ll review this in more detail in the section below.

Using Your Uric Acid Level as a Marker for Fructose Toxicity

I’ve previously interviewed Dr. Richard Johnson about his research into the health dangers of fructose, specifically how fructose causes high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes, revealed in his excellent book, The Sugar Fix. He’s also the chief of the division of kidney disease and hypertension at the University of Colorado.

Dr. Johnson’s research suggests that your uric acid levels can be effectively used as a marker for fructose toxicity; meaning, an indicator of just how significant of an impact fructose has on your individual body and health. As such, it can help you gauge just how careful you need to be in your food selections.

According to the latest research in this area, the safest range of uric acid is between 3 and 5.5 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl), and there appears to be a steady relationship between uric acid levels and blood pressure and cardiovascular risk, even down to the range of 3 to 4 mg/dl. What this means is that if you have a level of 4 mg/dl for men and 3.5 mg/dl for women, you probably are at a very low risk for fructose toxicity and can be more liberal with the fructose limits given above. The higher your uric acid though, the more you need to limit, or even avoid, fructose until your uric acid level normalizes.

Using this biochemical marker, I came to realize that I am particularly sensitive to fructose, and that it’s best for me, personally, to keep my fructose consumption as low as possible. This is most likely due to genetics and would explain why most of my paternal relatives have, or have died from, diabetes. That side of the family is probably particularly sensitive to fructose. Dr. Johnson has developed a program to help people optimize their uric acid levels, and the key step in this program is complete elimination of fructose, until your levels are within the ideal range of 3-5.5 mg/dl.

Helpful Fructose Chart for Common Fruits

Again, most people will need to limit your fructose to 25 grams of fructose per day from all sources, or less, while endurance athletes could have more. The chart below is excerpted from Dr. Johnson’s book, The Sugar Fix, which contains more details on the fructose content of common foods. His latest book, The Fat Switch, also gives further details on HOW fructose impacts your body, contributing to excess weight and chronic health problems.


Serving Size

Grams of Fructose


1 medium



1 medium



1 cup


Passion fruit

1 medium



1 medium



1 medium



2 medium


Date (Deglet Noor style)

1 medium



1/8 of med. melon



1 cup



1 medium



1 medium



1 cup


Star fruit

1 medium


Cherries, sweet




1 cup


Cherries, sour

1 cup



1 slice
(3.5″ x .75″)


Grapefruit, pink or red

1/2 medium



Serving Size

Grams of Fructose


1 cup


Tangerine/mandarin orange

1 medium



1 medium



1 medium


Orange (navel)

1 medium



1/2 medium



1/8 of med. melon



1 medium



1 cup


Date (Medjool)

1 medium


Apple (composite)

1 medium



1 medium



1/16 med. melon



1 medium



1/4 cup


Grapes, seedless (green or red)

1 cup



1/2 medium


Apricots, dried

1 cup


Figs, dried

1 cup


What About Fruit Juices?

One of the profound highlights revealed in the featured study was the dramatic difference in health outcome between eating whole fruits versus drinking fruit juice. It’s important to realize that fruit juice typically contains very high concentrations of fructose, which will cause your insulin to spike and may counter the benefits of the antioxidants.

Previous studies have already clearly demonstrated that drinking large amounts of fruit juice dramatically increases your risk of obesity. Children are at particular risk here, since so many children are given juice whenever they’re thirsty instead of plain water. For example, research has revealed that 3- and 4-year-olds who carry extra weight and drink just one to two sweet drinks a day double their risk of becoming seriously overweight just one year later.

Furthermore, when buying commercial fruit juice, you need to check the label, as the majority of fruit juices contain high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors in addition to concentrated fruit juice. That said, even freshly squeezed fruit juice can contain about eight full teaspoons of fructose per eight-ounce glass! So, as a general rule, it’s wise for most to severely restrict your consumption of fruit juice, especially if your uric acid is above the ideals recommended. Also, if you suffer from type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease or cancer, you’d be best off avoiding fruit juices altogether until you’ve normalized your uric acid and insulin levels.

Within Certain Limits, Fruit is OK for Most People

Going back to the issue of genetic variability, it seems that some people may be able to process fructose more efficiently, and the key to assess this susceptibility to fructose damage lies in evaluating your uric acid levels. I believe this is an ideal way for most people to personalize the recommendations on fructose intake.

Aside from that, I believe most will benefit from restricting their fructose to 25 grams a day; and as little as 15 grams a day if you’re diabetic or have chronic health issues. This includes fructose from whole fruits. So I’m not advocating fruit avoidance for everyone; I’m simply placing fruit in the category of a fructose-rich food that needs to be included when you’re calculating your fructose intake.

If you choose low-fructose fruits, such as blueberries, you can eat more of it than if you choose a fruit high in fructose. Other low-fructose fruits include fresh apricots, lemons, limes, passion fruit, plums and raspberries. Also remember that avocado is actually a fruit too. It’s very low in fructose, and high in healthful fat, making it an excellent choice. Endurance athletes and others who engage in strenuous activities and who are neither overweight nor have chronic health issues probably do not need to concern themselves too much with their fruit consumption however.

FDA requires label changes to warn of risk for possible permanent nerve damage.

FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA requires label changes to warn of risk for possibly permanent nerve damage fromantibacterial fluoroquinolone drugs taken by mouth or by injection.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required the drug labels and Medication Guides for all fluoroquinolone antibacterial drugs be updated to better describe the serious side effect of peripheral neuropathy. This serious nerve damage potentially caused by fluoroquinolones (see Table for a list) may occur soon after these drugs are taken and may be permanent.

The risk of peripheral neuropathy occurs only with fluoroquinolones that are taken by mouth or by injection.  Approved fluoroquinolone drugs include levofloxacin (Levaquin), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), moxifloxacin (Avelox), norfloxacin (Noroxin), ofloxacin (Floxin), and gemifloxacin (Factive).  The topical formulations of fluoroquinolones, applied to the ears or eyes, are not known to be associated with this risk. 

If a patient develops symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, the fluoroquinolone should be stopped, and the patient should be switched to another, non-fluoroquinolone antibacterial drug, unless the benefit of continued treatment with a fluoroquinolone outweighs the risk. Peripheral neuropathy is a nerve disorder occurring in the arms or legs. Symptoms include pain, burning, tingling, numbness, weakness, or a change in sensation to light touch, pain or temperature, or the sense of body position.  It can occur at any time during treatment with fluoroquinolones and can last for months to years after the drug is stopped or be permanent.  Patients using fluoroquinolones who develop any symptoms of peripheral neuropathy should tell their health care professionals right away.

FDA will continue to evaluate the safety of drugs in the fluoroquinolone class and will communicate with the public again if additional information becomes available.



Common Myths About Sunglasses That Can Hurt You.

Story at-a-glance

  • Virtually all parts of your eye, including the skin around it, can be damaged by excessive sun exposure, but your eyes also need exposure to full-spectrum light to function optimally
  • Avoid wearing sunglasses during all daylight hours, as this will block beneficial wavelengths of light from reaching your eyes
  • Reserve your sunglasses for high-exposure activities, such as downhill skiing or water activities; a hat with a brim will generally provide adequate sun protection for your eyes the rest of the time
  • When choosing sunglasses, look for a label that says 99-100 percent UV absorption or UV 400 (which means they block all UVA and UVB rays)


Just as a natural, non-toxic sunscreen can be beneficial when you’re going to be exposed to excessive amounts of sunlight, sunglasses, too, have their place.

If you’re downhill skiing or out on the water, sunglasses can help to shield your eyes from sun damage … however, I don’t personally wear them for many occasions other than this, for reasons I’ll explain shortly.

That said, too much sun can potentially damage the skin around your eyes, your lens and increase your risk of cataracts. So when choosing sunglasses it’s important to know what qualities to look for.

How Can the Sun Damage Your Eyes?

Just like your skin, your eyes are susceptible to damage from too much sun exposure. The skin around your eyes, including your eyelids, is among the thinnest and most sensitive on your body, making it particularly vulnerable to wrinkling and age spots from excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays.

However, even your eyes themselves can be damaged by too much sun:1

·         The white of your eye: Sun damage may cause the conjunctiva, the thin membrane covering the white of your eye, to thicken and become irritated and inflamed. If the conjunctiva thickens and grows over your cornea (called pterygium or ‘surfer’s eye’), it can interfere with your vision.

·         Retina: If the macula, a part of your retina, deteriorates, it can lead tomacular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness. There is some evidence of a link between macular degeneration and exposure to UV light. Astaxanthin is also useful here, as it has been shown to prevent and treat age-related macular degeneration.

·         Iris: If you have blue eyes, you may be more susceptible to UV-induced eye damage, including macular degeneration.

·         Lens: UV light may lead to the development of certain types of cataracts, which is a cloudiness on the lens of your eye that can also interfere with your vision.

·         Cornea: Your cornea can become acutely sunburned, causing serious pain and temporary blindness. Chronic excessive exposure can lead to cataracts, especially if you have a poor diet with low antioxidants.

Keep in mind, too, that certain medications can increase your eye’s sensitivity to the sun. This includes drugs such as birth control pills, diuretics, tranquilizers, tetracycline and sulfa drugs.

What Should You Look for in a Pair of Sunglasses?

For the times when you need serious sun protection for your eyes, not all sunglasses are created equal. You can’t use price as a gauge of quality, either, as many of the higher priced brands cost more because of fashion, not function. Some quick tips to ensure you’re getting a high-quality pair include:

·         Avoid sunglasses that simply say “absorbs UV,” instead look for a label that says 99-100 percent UV absorption or UV 400 (which means they block all UVA and UVB rays)

·         Polarized lenses help cut glare allowing for crisper vision, but they do not add sun protection

·         Darker lens colors don’t necessarily mean better sun protection, as the UV protectant added to lenses is clear; even gray, green, yellow or rose lenses can offer adequate UV protection

·         Sunglasses made from pressed plastic will lead to distorted vision when you look to the right or left; choose sunglasses with optically ground lenses for less distortion

·         Larger frames and wraparound styles will shield more UV rays than smaller styles, as will close fitting glasses

Be Careful of ‘Sunglasses’ Called ‘Eyeware’ or ‘Sunware’

If you purchase a pair of sunglasses, they must offer some level of UV protection. This level could vary, however, which is why it’s best to look for those that specify a certain level, such as UV 400 or 100 percent UV absorption, as mentioned. Because the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only regulates whether companies adhere to the labeling, if your sunglasses claim to be “100 percent UV protected,” they must live up to that claim.

That said, there are other types of glasses on the market that are marketed as sunglasses but are actually called:

·         Sun blockers

·         Polarized glasses

·         Eyeware

·         Sunware

In these cases, they may offer no UV protection at all, yet would still be allowed under the FDA rules because they’re not technically called ‘sunglasses.’ There are also so-called ‘cosmetic’ sunglasses, which typically block only about 70 percent of UV rays.

Again, remember that price is not an indicator of quality sun protection. CBS News actually did a study comparing cheap sunglasses ($5 a pair) to high-end brands like Versace ($200 a pair). All 31 pairs carried claims that they offered excellent UV protection… and all but one (a cheap pair) actually did.3 In other words, if your sunglasses claim to offer good UV protection, they probably do. But, if you’re uncertain, take them in to an eye center.Most will test the UV protection level of your sunglasses for free, and it takes less than 30 seconds to do so.

Why I Rarely Wear Sunglasses

As I mentioned, I only wear sunglasses on rare occasions, such as when I’m downhill skiing or, sometimes, if I’m boating on the water. Under these conditions, the snow or water greatly magnifies the sunlight, which could potentially be harmful, especially after hours of exposure.

On an average sunny day, however, wearing sunglasses is the last thing you want to do for your vision health, because you will be blocking potentially beneficial wavelengths of light from reaching your eyes. There are actually more than 1,500 wavelengths of light that you need to nourish your eyes. So I avoid using sunglasses, because I believe your eyes need to receive the full spectrum of light to function optimally, and sunglasses block out some essential waves of the light spectrum.

Instead of sunglasses, I wear a lightweight cap with a visor like this one to protect my face and eyes from direct sunlight. This is typically all that is needed and will still allow your eyes to benefit from the full spectrum of light. My team liked the cap that I wear so much that we even offer it for sale in our store.

Your Body Needs Exposure to Bright Light During the Day

There’s another reason why you need to be careful about overly shielding your eyes from sunlight, and that is because when full-spectrum light enters your eyes, it not only goes to your visual centers enabling you to see, it also goes to your brain’s hypothalamus where it impacts your entire body.

Your hypothalamus controls body temperature, hunger and thirst, water balance and blood pressure. Additionally, it controls your body’s master gland, the pituitary, which secretes many essential hormones, including those that influence your mood. Exposure to full-spectrum lighting is actually one effective therapy used for treating depression, infection, and much more.

Studies have also shown that poor lighting in the workplace triggers headaches, stress, fatigue and strained watery eyes, not to mention inferior work production. Conversely, companies that have switched to full-spectrum lights report improved employee morale, greater productivity, reduced errors and decreased absenteeism. Some experts even believe that“malillumination” is to light what malnutrition is to food.

Your ‘body clock’ is also housed in tiny centers located in the hypothalamus, controlling your body’s circadian rhythm. This light-sensitive rhythm is dependent on Mother Nature, with its natural cycles of light and darkness, to function optimally. Consequently, anything that disrupts these rhythms, like inadequate sunlight exposure to your body (including your eyes), has a far-reaching impact on your body’s ability to function. The best way to get exposure to healthy full-spectrum light is to do it the way nature intended, by going out in the sun with your bare skin – and ‘bare’ eyes — exposed on a regular basis.

Have You Heard of Sun Gazing?

Sun gazing originated in India more than 2,000 years ago, although it was also practiced by ancient Egyptians, Aztecs, Greeks, Mayans, in Tibetan Yoga and some traditions of Qigong, Tai Chi, and by some Native American tribes. Sun gazing — also known as solar healing, solar gazing, sun staring, Sun Yoga, Surya Yoga and Solar Yoga — refers to the practice of staring directly at the sun in order to receive nourishment, healing and spiritual enlightenment. The gazing is done only during the first hour after sunrise or the last hour before sunset, when the sun’s rays are most gentle to your eye. If you perform it at other hours you can cause serious damage to your retina.

It’s interesting to note that your pineal gland (aptly named your “third eye” considering its anatomical location and the fact that it contains light-sensitive cells) is also activated by light. Light reaches it by passing into your eyes, then along a pathway from your retina to your hypothalamus called the retinohypothalamic tract, then along nerve pathways to your pineal gland.

Light impulses inhibit the production of melatonin, and at night when it is dark, pineal inhibition ceases, and melatonin is released. Therefore, the pineal gland is an important timekeeper for your body. Melatonin is also produced during visualization and relaxation. It’s thought that the light energy you take in while sun gazing activates your dormant pineal gland, which then turns your “brainuter” on. It is this activation that causes you to experience the seemingly magical conversion of sun energy into nutrition, healing of disease, heightened energy, increased psychic abilities and, ultimately, enlightenment.

Sun gazing is highly controversial due to the considerable evidence, which states that looking directly at the sun can be damaging to your eyes. So while I am not advocating gazing into the sun directly, I think it’s important to reflect on this phenomenon that is already occurring, and from which many have experienced benefits. If you’d like to learn more about sun gazing (which you should definitely do before attempting it), you can do so here.

Use Your Body as Your Sunglasses Guide

Remember, when you eat a high-quality nutritious diet, you load your body with magnificent antioxidant protection so the need for some of these issues becomes diminished the higher the quality of your diet is. You can also improve your protection by using targeted antioxidants, like astaxanthin, which is a carotenoid shown to prevent and treat age-related macular degeneration.

There’s a lot we’re still learning about the sun and how it influences human health … and, conversely, how the use of man-made sun-blocking devices like sunglasses may negatively alter our well-being.

Generally speaking, I think you can effectively use your body as a guide to tell you when sunglasses are truly necessary. If the light is uncomfortable to your eyes or causes you to squint, put on a hat, get in the shade or use sunglasses –temporarily. But I believe it’s best to avoid wearing sunglasses automatically during virtually all daylight hours.

Transplants may soon be history.

Scientists get mice to produce stem cells that can help mend damaged organs.

Scientists have created stem cells within the body of laboratory mice for the first time in a landmark study showing that it may be possible one day to repair damaged human organs in situ without the need for transplant operations.

Until now stem cells created by a new genetic engineering technique have only been created in vitro in the laboratory, but the researchers were able to perform gene therapy on living mice to generate the stem cells in vivo.

If the work can be transferred safely to humans it raises the possibility of generating stem cells at the site of a diseased organ , such as heart or pancreas, so that a person’s own stem cells could be generated to repair any damaged tissue.

“We think this opens new possibilities in regenerative medicine … One possible advantage over other stem cell techniques is that the cells are already there in the right place with the possibility of becoming functional cells – with no need for grafts,” said Manuel Serrano of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre in Madrid. “We can now start to think about methods for inducing regeneration locally and in a transitory manner for a particular damaged tissue,” said Dr Serrano , who led the study published in the journal Nature.

Stem cells can be taken from early embryos or be created from ordinary skin cells by injecting them with four genetic factors that re-programme the adult cells back to their embryonic state. These stem cells are called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and their discovery was awarded a Nobel prize in 2012.

Dr Serrano’s team carried out the genetic therapy on living mice and found that it was possible to create iPS cells within their bodies. These cells showed many of the hallmarks of being “pluripotent” – capable to developing into any of the specialised tissues of the body.

However, the researchers also found that the technique caused cancer-like growths, called teratomas , to appear in some mice. This risk would have to be eliminated before any clinical trials on humans, Dr Serrano said.

Chris Mason, professor of regenerative medicine at University College London, said the reprogramming of a patient’s own cells within their bodies has the potential to transform their lives.

“The major challenge will be tightly controlling every step in this potential approach to treating patients in order to deliver clinical benefits whilst avoiding significant complications,” Professor Mason said.

Ilaria Bellantuono, a stem cell researcher at the University of Sheffield, said: “This (study) is very exciting. Clearly nobody wishes to do this for therapeutic purposes because this leads to the formation of tumours called teratomas. However this is a proof of concept that pluripotency can be achieved in vivo.”

Progesterone Cream: Stay Young and Sexy With This Ingredient that Reduces PMS.

Story at-a-glance

  • Natural progesterone cream, made from naturally-occurring plant steroids found in wild yam, can be useful for premenopausal challenges such as PMS and painful cramps, and may help prevent miscarriages.
  • Be careful to avoid ALL synthetic progesterones, like Provera or medroxyprogesterone, as they can produce severe side effects including increased risk of stroke and cancer.
  • Oral hormones are ineffective, as only 10-15 percent eventually reach the target tissues.
  • Progesterone cream must be used cautiously when applied to skin as progesterone is highly fat soluble and will accumulate in fat tissue, thereby disrupting adrenal hormones such as DHEA, cortisol, and testosterone.
  • Ideally, progesterone cream should NOT be applied to your skin. Instead use mucous epithelial membranes of your labia or rectum. Absorption through these membranes is more complete than through skin, and hormones absorbed through vaginal membranes enter the same pelvic plexus of veins that your ovaries normally empty into.


Bioidentical hormone therapy has become widely adopted as a useful method of normalizing hormone levels. While it is far safer than synthetic or animal based hormones like Premarin, there are clearly some dangers associated with its use and the purpose of this article is to highlight some of the major ones.

This article is in no way meant to be a comprehensive review of the topic, but merely to point out some of the major concerns and approaches as I see them from having practiced medicine for nearly three decades.

If you have any interest. I would strongly recommend purchasing Dr. Wright’s new book Stay Young and Sexy. It is under $10 and simply the best book I have reviewed on the topic. If the book were $100 it would be worth the price. This book is a classic and should be in everyone’s natural medicine library. The publisher has also created a web site with a free hormone self assessment and sample chapters at

Natural Progesterone

I will focus much of this article on natural progesterone cream as it is one of the most popular and useful ones for women.Typically, women find rapid improvement in two of the most common premenopausal challenges which are PMS and painful cramps.  It can be also extraordinarily useful to prevent miscarriages but dosing would be continuous after conception.

Dr. John Lee was my original mentor in this area but he passed away a number of years ago and did not fully appreciate the challenges that are associated with using the creams on your skin.

Dr. Jonathon Wright, along with Dr. Lee, are considered the pioneers in introducing bioidentical hormone therapy in the United States. Dr. Wright is still alive and I believe has successfully resolved the challenge associated with using the creams. Before I discuss that though, let’s first do a brief review of why progesterone is important.

Natural progesterone is the identical hormone that is produced by a woman’s ovary. It is made from naturally occurring plant steroids found in the wild yam. It is NOT the synthetic version that is commonly purchased as tablets with a prescription such as Provera.

Synthetic progesterones, like Provera or medroxyprogesterone, can produce severe side effects including increased risk of cancer, abnormal menstrual flow, fluid retention, nausea, depression and can even increase risk of heart disease and stroke.

Side effects are extremely rare with natural progesterone. The only one of concern is that it can potentially alter the timing of your menstrual cycle.

Reasons Why Natural Progesterone Made by Your Body Is Good

Progesterone is a steroid hormone made by a woman’s ovaries when she ovulates and in smaller amounts by the adrenal gland. A menstruating woman will typically produce about 20 to 30 mg of progesterone a day during the luteal or last phase of her menstrual cycle.

While menopause doesn’t typically occur until age 50 or later, many women can start going out of balance in their 30s or even earlier. This decline in progesterone is not trivial for as women age into their fourth, fifth, and sixth decade, their progesterone levels continue to fall.  By the time they reach perimenopause as much as 75% or more of their youthful progesterone secretion may already be missing.

Natural progesterone is very useful to balance excess estrogen which can be a major risk for breast cancer. Natural progesterone is also different from estrogen in that your body can use it as a precursor or starting material to make other hormones such as adrenal hormones. It can even convert it into estrogen or testosterone if your body needs it.

Natural progesterone is made from a substance called diosgenin which is commonly extracted from wild yams or soybeans.  Even though it may be extracted from soy it is a highly purified hormone and there are absolutely no remnants of soy substances that would lead to any problem.

Estrogen Dominance

Many if not most women in our culture are estrogen dominant, so using the progesterone goes a long way towards balancing hormones which usually:

·         Decreases a woman’s risk for breast cancer,

·         Improves her PMS and breast tenderness and

The table below lists the properties of estrogen relative to progesterone. Some of the reasons that estrogen is frequently in excess in many women are:

·         Overproduction of estrogen. Ovarian cysts or tumors can lead to excess estrogen production. Stress also increases production, but probably the most common cause is obesity. All body fat has an enzyme which converts adrenal steroids to estrogen, so the more fat you have, the more estrogen is present.

·         Inability to breakdown estrogen. Excess estrogen is generally removed by the liver. Diseases of the liver like cirrhosis or decreased enzyme activity can lead to increased estrogen levels. Vitamin B6 and magnesium are necessary for the liver to neutralize estrogen. Increased sugar intake will also excrete magnesium and interfere with its ability to breakdown estrogen.

·         Exposure to pesticides in foods. Most of us eat foods that have pesticides on them. These and many other unnatural chemicals share a common structure with estrogen and serve as “false” estrogens which further stimulates the body’s estrogen receptors.

·         Estrogen supplementation. Clearly any additional estrogen given by prescription will increase the level unless it is properly balanced with natural progesterone.

·         Decreased production of progesterone. Progesterone is necessary to counterbalance estrogen. If women do not ovulate during their cycle they will not produce any progesterone that cycle. This happens commonly and worsens the already disturbed progesterone/estrogen balance. Decreased progesterone levels are one of the most common reasons for miscarriages.

To minimize your risk of cancer it is very important to understand that you should never take any supplemental estrogen without taking natural progesterone. Note that I use the term “natural’ progesterone, or the real hormone. Taking synthetic versions like Provera will actually increase your risk of cancers and heart disease.

Estrogen Effects

Progesterone Effects

Stimulates breasts cysts

Protects against breast cysts

Increases body fat storage

Helps use fat for energy and keep it off hips

Salt and fluid retention

Natural diuretic (water pill)

Depression and headaches

Natural anti-depressant

Interferes with thyroid hormone

Facilitates thyroid hormone action

Increases blood clotting and risk of stroke

Normalizes blood clotting

Decreases libido (sex drive)

Increases libido

Impairs blood sugar control

Normalizes blood sugar levels

Loss of zinc and retention of copper

Normalizes zinc and copper levels

Reduced oxygen level in all cells

Restores proper cell oxygen levels

Increased risk of endometrial cancer

Helps prevent endometrial cancer

Increased risk of breast cancer

Helps prevent breast cancer

Helps decrease bone loss slightly

Increases bone building

Why You Should AVOID All Oral Hormone Preparations

There are many ways to “naturally” address bioidentical hormone replacement but one of the most common mistakes is to use oral hormones.

If nature had intended to locate your ovaries in your stomach or somewhere else in your GI tract it might make sense for women to swallow progesterone. If your ovaries were in your GI tract, your body would certainly have been equipped with a way to process them safely and efficiently so that everything worked in perfect synchrony.

Of course your ovaries are not in your GI tract but in your pelvis outside your GI tract and connected to your uterus and vagina through your fallopian tubes. Your ovaries have direct access to your blood stream through a pelvic plexus of veins, which delivers their hormone secretions to your heart which in turn pumps them, unchanged to hormone sensitive cells throughout your entire body.

If you swallow steroid hormones you will seriously distort their natural metabolism  When you swallow them they will encounter potent stomach acids. The hormones that survive this assault then go to your liver where they will be further broken down. Your liver screens all molecules that enter your blood stream, passing some onward, modifying or detoxifying others, and rejecting a few. 

This routing of orally swallowed hormones is in sharp contrast to the way nature intended them to be distributed to your tissues.  If you swallow hormones only 10-15% will eventually reach the target tissues and you will need to take an oral dose that is 500% higher than you need. Over 30 different metabolites are created in your liver when you swallow the progesterone and any of these can then have unwanted side effects.

So if you or anyone you know currently use oral hormones like progesterone or DHEA or any hormone, I encourage you to strongly consider phasing them out. 

Like most good things in life if you use too much of the hormone cream, complications can develop and disrupt your hormone balance.

The Key to Safely and Effectively Using Progesterone Cream

If you want to copy nature and reproduce a hormonal environment that most closely resembles a normal premenopausal woman the first logical step would be to get the hormones directly into your blood stream, just the way your ovary does.

Hormones carefully measured and formulated in an appropriate cream or gel need only be rubbed once or twice a day into your mucous (epithelial) membranes. Since there are no destructive detours through your GI tract when administered this way, your tissues are exposed to the appropriate concentrations of the hormone without the side effects of 30 different liver metabolites.

I first started using these creams in the early 1990s be became gradually disenchanted with them after I noticed that they typically worked wonderfully initially but then invariably stopped working. This is now known as “dermal fatigue”. 

What happens, not only for progesterone cream, but for ANY hormone preparation you use by applying as a cream to your skin is that within a few weeks to a few months you will saturate the fat tissue with the hormones and they will actually stop working or can even make your symptoms worse.

The problem relates to the fact that progesterone is highly fat soluble and once applied to your skin will store itself in your fat tissue. When one initially uses the cream, there aren’t any problems as the fat stores are very low. But as time goes on, the cream accumulates and contributes to disruptions in your adrenal hormones such as DHEA, cortisol, and testosterone. I have learned that although progesterone cream is an enormously useful tool, it needs to be used very cautiously.

I found that many of the women who were on the cream have terribly elevated levels of this hormone. Progesterone is normally a cyclical hormone and the body really needs to see a change in the concentration to affect a proper physiological response. If the level is constantly above the concentration that it recognizes as “off” or low, this is not possible.

Fortunately, this is repairable. But it may involve going off the cream for as long as two years to wash the progesterone out of your system.

Best Way to Use Progesterone Cream

The key mistake that many well intentioned knowledgeable doctors, including myself made is to advise to use the cream on your skin. While this certainly provides better results than swallowing the hormones, it can still be improved.

There is a relatively minor tweak you can make with the creams which avoids nearly all of the side effects of applying the cream on your skin.

If you apply the cream to your mucous epithelial membranes that line your uterus and vagina you obtain a virtually ideal administration system. Not only is absorption through these membranes more complete than through your skin, but hormones absorbed through your vaginal membranes enter the very same pelvic plexus of veins that your ovaries normally empty into.

From here the hormones are carried to your heart and lungs and distributed to your tissues just as if your ovary had actually produced them.

Men also require hormones. Obviously men don’t have a vagina to use but we do have a rectum that has a similar mucosal epithelial surface and can be used to administer the hormones in a near ideal fashion without any of the complications previously described.

Timing and Dose of Progesterone Cream

For most premenopausal women the usual dose is 15-24 mg/day for 14 days before expected menses, stopping the day or so before menses.  So you would use the cream for twelve days and then stop. Typically this would mean you would start on day 12 of your cycle and stop on day 26.

The abrupt lowering of your progesterone level is the primary stimulus for your period to start.  Hopefully when it starts any PMS and painful periods will be dramatically reduced.

When a women is in menopause she may only need 15 mg but taken for the first 25 days of the month, then take 5 or 6 days off and restart on the first of the month.

For most women a single daily application will work. However, because the half-life is relatively short, some women find that they get a more satisfactory response by splitting the daily dose in two, half in the morning and half in the evening. If you are only taking the hormones in the morning and begin to feel symptoms later in the day, splitting the dose in two should solve this problem.

Testing of Your Natural Hormones

This is somewhat of a controversial area but basically involves three different types.

·         Blood

·         Saliva

·         Urine

I have never been a fan of blood testing as many of the hormones are secreted in a pulsatile fashion and it is difficult to get an accurate idea of the levels in this way.

Saliva testing is easier than urine but is not as accurate.

My current belief is that a 24 hour urine test is the preferred method and the one I use for myself and family. This is the one that Dr. Wright advocates in his own clinic. Dr. Wright has trained many hundreds of physicians in this system and if you are seeking further guidance in this area it would be wise to seek one of them to help you in this area.