Functional Medicine Proven Effective by the Mayo Clinic

Functional Medicine Proven Effective by the Mayo Clinic

My mentor, Dr. Kalish, published his joint research study conducted in conjunction with the Mayo Clinic in May 2016.  This is the first step in proving that both Functional Medicine and the Kalish Method are effective.  There has been great progress in resolving gastrointestinal pathogens, stress markers (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal: HPA Axis) and also stress symptoms (depression, fatigue, anger, tension, confusion).

Functional Medicine Examined

The study talks about correcting the three body systems: hormonal, digestive and detoxification.  Studies show that restoring these systems is shown to have positive effects on stress, energy, fatigue, digestive issues, and also quality of life.  Treatment protocol is based on functional labs assessing salivary DHEA and cortisol implicating HPA axis dysregulation.  Testing will also include stool analysis to evaluate the possible presence of pathogens in the GI tract.

This is a really exciting study, so I’ve also included a link to download the PDF courtesy of Dr. Kalish.

Download the study here

Copyright: wolterk / 123RF Stock Photo

Does ZMA really work?


ZMA (Zinc Monomethionine Aspartate) is a hot topic for debate. Many love to discuss whether it has a positive effect on both muscle growth and testosterone production.  There have been studies with results proving both sides of the debate, so who is right?

Let’s break it down and you can be the judge.  We will start with Zinc.


Zinc is a product of the citric acid cycle. It is found in all cells of the body.  It has a direct effect on both cell growth and repair. It’s also needed in over 80 enzymes and hormone functions, including reproductive hormones like testosterone.


The aspartic properties used in ZMA are used for better absorption into the cells. They also have a positive influence on cell retention and oxygen efficiency.

Zinc levels have a direct correlation to testosterone levels.  Meaning, if there is a zinc deficiency, testosterone is probably also low.  Zinc is an inhibitor of the aromatase enzyme which prevents the increase of estrogen.  Increases in estrogen could cause a decrease in testosterone. This interferes with the muscle building process.


This mineral has several important functions in the body such as contraction and relaxation of muscles, production of protein, and transport of energy.  Magnesium deficiencies are rare if you eat a high level of dark vegetables, nuts, and fruit. However, many of us fail at this diet.  As evident by our growing obesity and disease rate, most people do not eat a healthy diet and we cannot always depend on our food to contain all the nutrients we need. (See Do We Need Supplements?)

A lack of magnesium in the body causes confusion, fatigue, insomnia, muscle twitching, and also irritability.  Obviously, this can get in the way of training.

A Note on B6

Like all B vitamins, B6 is a vitamin that helps to convert carbohydrates into glucose.  B6 specifically helps the body make neurotransmitters and is needed for both brain development and function.  Other uses are the production of the hormones serotonin, norepinephrine and melatonin.  These hormones are responsible for both mood regulation and sleep regulation.


If we look at ZMA as a whole, it is a supplement that may increase testosterone production through zinc (especially if levels are low), keep alertness levels higher and help to regulate sleep.  Most people will take ZMA to increase productivity at the gym, decrease body fat and also increase muscle mass.  Knowing that most of the population does not eat correctly and sleep long or deep enough, I would say that ZMA would have a positive effect for most people.  In order to increase testosterone levels and lose body fat, you must sleep.  Since ZMA may have a positive effect on sleep patterns and hormone regulation, it appears to be advantageous to use ZMA as a supplement to increase testosterone and decrease body fat.



University of Maryland Medical Center

L.R. BRILLA1 AND VICTOR CONTE.  Effects of a Novel Zinc Magnesium Formulation on Hormones and Strength. Exercise and Sports Science Laboratory, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9067

See also:

J Nutr, 1996 Apr, 126(4):842-8, “Dietary zinc deficiency alters 5 alpha-reduction and aromatization of testosterone and androgen and estrogen receptors in rat liver”

Neuropharmacology, 2009, 56:531–540, “Zinc regulates the dopamine transporter in a membrane potential and chloride-dependent manner”

National Institutes of Health: Effects of Zinc Magnesium Aspartate (ZMA) Supplementation on Training Adaptations and markers of Anabolism and Catabolism. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2004; 1(2): 12–20. Published online 2004 December 31.

Mold Worsens Allergy and Asthma Symptoms

Mold Worsens Allergy and Asthma Symptoms

How Clean Are Our Homes?

While some of us are getting ready for spring cleaning, this information may be shocking as we start to “clean” our homes.

Despite routine household cleaning, a new study found mold is thriving in many U.S. homes — often at levels high enough to trigger allergy and asthma attacks.

One hundred sixty homes were surveyed in seven U.S. cities by Kelly A. Reynolds of the University of Arizona, in Tucson. 100% of the homes tested positive for mold on some inside surface. On average, four sites per house tested positive for mold.

Levels of mold weren’t measured. Instead, the test measured for presence or absence in order to get either a positive or negative result for evidence.

The Results:

Results of the survey are shocking. They showed that mold was present on 88% of window sills, on 83% of refrigerator seals, under 83% of kitchen sinks, and 82% of homes also had mold in air vents. Bathrooms were another problem area, particularly in the grouting areas and on the walls above the shower.

Mold releases microscopic fungal spores that can trigger both allergy and asthma symptoms in sensitive people. It also worsens sinus infections, and induces coughing and sniffling.

While 96% of homeowners participating in the study were aware mold could be a problem, only 17% felt their home would be among those that tested positive.

Molds are everywhere.  If you have constant allergies or other seasonal symptoms, check in with an FDN Practitioner. This could be the root malfunction to your symptoms!

SOURCE: USA Today,, March 10, 2003

Nuts and Heart Health

Nuts and Heart Health

Nuts and Heart Health

Eating nuts may reduce the chance of a cardiac event.  According to studies published by JAMA and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, compared to men who don’t eat nuts, “Dietary nut intake was associated with a significantly reduced risk of sudden cardiac death.”

Although the study did not recommend a specific quality of nut, I would recommend buying fresh, organic versions.  Avoid salted or flavored varieties that add unnecessary sodium and sugar. Keep them in an airtight container, preferably glass.  I suggest my clients to keep a mix of nuts with them to snack on as they are better than a processed bar and can help you avoid temptation like fast food or chips and candy. Toss a handful into a fresh salad for a protein-packed burst of flavor, or browse one of my recipes for a creative way to work your favorite nut into your diet.

Using Your Meals to Your Advantage

Keeping your heart healthy is a lot easier than you think. By making small changes like incorporating your favorite nut into your diet, you support your cardiac health and are one step closer to reaching your wellness goals. Each nut has its own flavor. Be sure to try a variety to find your favorite one. Walnuts, pistachios, almonds, and cashews are favorites. Be sure to steer clear of peanuts, which are not actually a type of nut, but a legume.


Albert CM, Gaziano J, Willett WC, Manson JE. Nut Consumption and Decreased Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death in the Physicians’ Health Study. Arch Intern Med. 2002;162(12):1382-1387. doi:10.1001/archinte.162.12.1382.

Am J Clin Nutr September 2003 vol. 78 no. 3 647S-650S

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