Tuesday, January 21, 2020

January is Metabolic Health Month!

I can't believe January is winding down already!!

If you didn't see my previous post about intermittent fasting then make sure to check it out! Intermittent fasting is one strategy that can help reverse metabolic syndrome-related inflammation and insulin resistance.

My supplement platform, Fullscript has a great blog post about Metabolic Syndrome here and since they are focusing on Metabolic health this month, I'm having a promotion on Fullscript to help patients address their Metabolic syndrome and improve their overall metabolic health.

January is Metabolic Health Month!

The start of the new year often comes with resolutions, including attempts to improve lifestyle and health habits. While we frequently hear of “improving metabolism”, the term metabolism may be misunderstood. Metabolism refers to all of the reactions in the body’s cells that either produce or consume energy. The rate at which energy is produced generally referred to as our metabolic rate is influenced by several factors, including diet, physical activity, age, and health status. A number of dietary supplements have been shown to support metabolic health, such as alpha lipoic acid, berberine, chromium, and psyllium husk.

To celebrate Metabolic Health Month, I’m offering you a discount of 5% on all of your orders through my Fullscript dispensary through January 31, so making your health a priority is easier than ever.

Below is some useful information about top recommended supplements for metabolism support, including popular products from my dispensary.

Alpha lipoic acid

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is an antioxidant and a cofactor used in energy production. A decline in ALA synthesis, often associated with increasing age, may contribute to cellular dysfunction. Supplementation of ALA may help regulate anti-inflammatory and antioxidant pathways, reducing levels of oxidative stress that may contribute to the development of cardiovascular diseases.

Find alpha lipoic acid-containing supplements on Fullscript


Berberine is an alkaloid found in certain botanical herbs, including Oregon grape, barberry, goldenseal, and California poppy. Berberine may interact with gut microbiota, increasing the production of certain metabolites that regulate energy metabolism. Clinical research has demonstrated several health effects of berberine supplementation, such as lowering lipid levels and improving insulin resistance. Furthermore, berberine supplementation may support cardiometabolic health by reducing inflammation and improving vascular health.


An essential trace mineral, chromium is used by the body to support the metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids (fats). Chromium supplementation may help manage blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes by reducing insulin resistance. Further, supplementation of chromium picolinate, a form of the mineral, has been shown to help manage weight and improve body composition.

Find chromium-containing supplements on Fullscript

Psyllium husk

Psyllium husk is a water-soluble fiber that comes from the seeds of the Plantago ovata plant. When mixed with liquid, psyllium husk forms a gel and slows the absorption of glucose (a simple sugar) in the digestive tract, resulting in lower blood glucose levels following meals. Psyllium husk supplementation may reduce blood glucose levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes and help lower cholesterol levels, a marker of cardiometabolic diseases.

Find psyllium husk-containing supplements on Fullscript

Log in to your Fullscript account now to explore these supplements and receive a 5% discount on your order! (The 5% discount applies to all orders and ends on January 31)

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Intermittent fasting - is it for you?

As my favorite medical assistant used to say, "I need to get my mind right". My photo today is a Christmas image of a 'Yuletide' camellia bloom next to the salt lamp in my home office. It helps me to center and focus on what matters.

I need this reminder to help me resist the urge to eat up all the leftover Christmas goodies! Clothes are getting tight and I need to get back to my yoga routine and then this article came to me through my IFM email.

The original article from the New England Journal of Medicine is 11 pages and highlights the research behind the touted benefits of intermittent fasting.

So I thought I'd introduce the concept here and if anyone wants further info, just email me through my website millerfunctionalmedicine.com.

There are a multitude of ways to achieve the benefits of intermittent fasting but the two most common strategies studied involve either limiting your eating to a small window each day (most patients adhere to a 6-8 hour window, for example, I have patients who only eat between noon and 6 pm daily) or doing a 5-2 eating plan that involves only having one moderately sized meal on two days of the week and eating regularly (2-3 meals) on the other 5 days.

I also have some patients who stop eating at least 3 hours before bedtime and then maintain a minimum 12 hour fast before any caloric intake the next day. An example of this would be eating dinner at 6pm and finishing food intake before 7pm for a 10pm bedtime and then waiting until after 7am before having any calories.

This daily intermittent fast will ensure a ketogenic environment overnight to improve the production of BDNF - brain-derived neurotropic factor - which does what is sounds like, it encourages new neuronal growth and connectivity to improve brain function, something we all need as we age!

The intermittent fasting strategy isn't for everyone but provides immense benefits to those who are able to adhere to it. The main benefits are improved glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity, lower inflammation, greater abdominal fat loss, better blood pressure and heart rate regulation and better tolerance of stress, along with weight loss and improved brain performance.

These things are achieved by ketone signaling that prompts metabolic switches that regulate glucose usage, trigger anti-aging pathways that reduce free radicals, allow DNA repair and conserve cellular pathways that allow resistance to potentially damaging influences and encourage cellular pathways that recycle and reuse certain cellular constituents to improve cellular health and longevity.

The operative word here is KETONES. Ketone bodies are released from fat cells when glucose levels drop after a fasted state has been maintained longer than 12-14 hours. If you are unsure about whether you should try intermittent fasting (and whether you should get into ketosis) to improve your brain and sugar metabolism (among other benefits) then talk to your functional or integrative provider about potential risks and weigh those against the benefits.

2020 is here and as time is marching on we all need help to slow down the aging process and improve our health for the long haul. Whatever strategy you choose, may your food choices bring you better health and a long life that you can enjoy.