Thursday, September 14, 2017

Why I don't buy Standard Process and why you should avoid them, too

Standard Process vitamins have been around forever. They reach back far enough to coast through several natural cultures, even old-school hippies. The brand retains a level of authority and a look of quality due to their high cost and due to being primarily available only through the official channels of chiropractor offices and Applied Kinesiology clinics.

Although I'm familiar with the brand name and look, and had a slight impression of them being reputable and expensive, I've never dealt with them directly and subsequently I had no opinion on them.

So imagine my surprise when a friend mentioned their products to me in regards to pregnancy and I went to google to research them. Right away, I caught several red flags, such as the "whole foods" buzzword, a focus on animal glandulars from unpastured and non-organic sources, and soy and glutamic acid in their products.

But, I came to a complete halt when I scrolled past one of their products and noticed a terrible phrase.

"Folic acid."

Surprised, I literally spoke aloud to an empty room, "What?"

Now, I know if you're reading my blog that you know why folic acid is dangerous. It's associated with an increased risk of cancer, particularly colon cancer. And most recently, lung cancer. It's also associated with an increase in death from all causes in studies. Unmethylated (bio unavailable) vitamins are hard for the body to absorb properly, convert properly, and use properly. In some cases, they are bound with harmful materials, too, such as the case with unmethylated B12, called cyanocobalamin. It's b12 bound to a cyanide molecule. Companies like this because this makes it a cheap, easy, stable substance.

(Edited to add a short collection of studies and websites related to the dangers of folic acid and unmethylated vitamins in general.)

We suggest that high folic acid consumption reduces MTHFR protein and activity levels, creating a pseudo-MTHFR deficiency. This deficiency results in hepatocyte degeneration, suggesting a 2-hit mechanism whereby mutant hepatocytes cannot accommodate the lipid disturbances and altered membrane integrity arising from changes in phospholipid/lipid metabolism. These preliminary findings may have clinical implications for individuals consuming high-dose folic acid supplements, particularly those who are MTHFR deficient." (

Dr. Young-In Kim, a physician and researcher at St. Michael’s Hospital, said his lab has shown for the first time that folic acid supplements in doses 2.5 to five times the daily requirement “significantly promotes” the growth of existing pre-cancerous or cancerous cells in the mammary glands of rats.
His research was published today in the online journal PLOS One.
“This is a critically important issue because breast cancer patients and survivors in North America are exposed to high levels of folic acid through folic acid fortification in food and widespread use of vitamin supplements after a cancer diagnosis,” Dr. Kim said. “Cancer patients and survivors in North America have a high prevalence of multivitamin and supplement use, with breast cancer patients and survivors having the highest prevalence.”" (

"Conclusions: FA-supplement use was associated with modestly higher breast-milk total folate. Detectable breast-milk UMFA was nearly ubiquitous, including in women who did not consume an FA supplement. Breast-milk UMFA was proportionally higher than 5-methyl-THF in women who consumed >400 μg FA/d, thereby suggesting that higher doses exceed the physiologic capacity to metabolize FA and result in the preferential uptake of FA in breast milk. Therefore, FA-supplement doses >400 μg may not be warranted, especially in populations for whom FA fortification is mandatory." (

"Men who took high doses of vitamin B6 and B12 supplements had a higher risk of lung cancer, and the association was highest among current smokers, according to a study published Tuesday." (

"A large majority of the mothers in the study reported having taken multivitamins—which would include folic acid and vitamin B12—throughout pregnancy. But the researchers say they don't know exactly why some of the women had such high levels in their blood. It could be that they consumed too many folic acid-fortified foods or took too many supplements. Or, they say, it could be that some women are genetically predisposed to absorbing greater quantities of folate or metabolizing it slower, leading to the excess. Or it could be a combination of the two." (

I know sometimes, extremely rarely, companies have mixed up chemical names for products. Sometimes, they even do this because they have a poor opinion of the scientific literacy of their consumers, so they think they have to use folic acid to entice pregnant women to buy their products. I've seen that two times in my entire decade of activism.

For the most part, companies that use high quality mineral forms such as zinc orotate, or high quality, methylated vitamins such as adenosylb12 will always, always loudly disclose this to their consumers because they know they have a superior product and can market it that way to gain consumer attention.

With a growing awareness of a tough situation as my other friends chimed in about their love for Standard Process, I realized I had to research fully and reserve judgment despite what I already knew from investigating vitamins for years now.

I went to the Standard Process website. They had nothing, so far as I could see, that explained or expanded on their vitamin forms. This was another sure sign that the company was not selling quality product. They also used the term chelated for minerals pretty freely but I did not see mineral forms explained. At this point, my heart was sinking because I absolutely know what that means for a vitamin company and I was going to have to be the unpopular mom with my friends again.

Still not giving up hope, I went to the Standard Process Facebook page. I posted publicly as a visitor on their wall, neutrally asking for the data sheet that explains the vitamins and minerals they use in their product. I copied the post and sent the same question to them as a private message, too.

The next morning, I got on to see that they deleted the public visitor post. I then received a series of messages sending me in circles and finally telling me to talk to my health care professional. The representative for Standard Process refused to discuss in any way the vitamin forms or vitamin names, which is a common response from companies when I request the information because they know their product is inferior and do not want to confirm that in written word that can be shared online. (I've been through this many times, most recently with Garden of Life.)

So, I just wanted to make this blog post right away as an official confirmation that I am not associated with Standard Process. I have never been associated with them in the past. And I most certainly have never recommended them to my family, friends, clients, and general audience. 

Based on the classic techniques of obscuring clear consumer information on their ingredient labels and website, along with the way the representative replied to me, I would never use their products. BUT! That doesn't even matter, because their products contain unmethylated B vitamins and unknown forms of minerals. So no one should be using their products anyways, regardless of epigenetic polymorphisms.

Because remember! Unmethylated B vitamins increase the risk of cancer for ALL populations. People with MTHFR or other methylation issues are not the only ones who need to avoid these cheap, burdensome vitamins.

Please, take your hard earned money and spend it on a company that discloses their ingredients freely and that has entered 2017 with higher quality vitamins and minerals. If you are unsure about what a company uses in their products, ask them. If they can't tell you, return their products for a full refund and stay away from them.

Be a savvy consumer. Pay attention to the way companies obscure lower quality vitamins and to the way they distract you with unregulated buzzwords such as, "Whole Foods Based." It might feel daunting, but I firmly believe that all women can become literate in science and can tear apart an ingredient label to defend their health and the health of their babies. Look twice, google thrice, and stay well.

(The representative read my message, but declined additional response.)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

What's Better than Farting by Sexy Man? Svelte Firefighter Thinking You're Fat

You thought, "The Day I farted in front of Sexy Man at the Park" was stellar. 
Now, I bring to you, "The Day a Svelte Firefighter Thought I was too Fat to Ride."
Yes, this wonderful moment is brought to you because my children saw a ladder ride at a local festival. Better yet, it was free. For the price of free, we could stand in line for what I quickly sized up to be about 50 minutes and get to ride on a firetruck ladder for about 90 seconds.
Enthused, my children ran at break neck speeds straight to the line while shrieking that they had to do this or their little lives would be disrupted and I'd have to add an additional bonus to their Future Therapy Funds.
As my children tried to lick the ground, stomp on bugs, bite each other and generally be a nuisance for 50 minutes in line, I couldn't help paying attention to the process of preparing for this ride. A firefighter living up to every woman's Harlequin Romance Fantasy was helping each family prepare by adjusting harnesses onto the children and large belts onto the adults, similar to what you'd wear while rock climbing or using heavy machinery.

Several moms in front of me, all of similar size and build, were instructed by Svelte Firefighter to wear a children's harness as the large adult belt wouldn't fit them.
Once it was our turn, I intended to reduce the level of soul-wrenching stress caused by 4 small children climbing into harnesses to beat a 90 second ride by jumping quickly into the harness like the other women.
This is when Svelte Firefighter became concerned. Scrunching up his gloriously handsome face, he turned to me and loudly said, "Ma'am. That harness is for children. I'm going to need you to wear this belt."
Now, this is fine. Besides the pressure of 4 piranhas vibrating like charged electrons behind me, I also am pretty satisfied w/ my round, amorphous blob of a body. So, to hurry up this awkward interaction, I quickly replied, "No, no! It's ok! I know!"
What I meant: I know, I'm fat. I'll gladly shove this large belt on if it means my demon spawn can get into this ride faster after standing here with an audience for almost a solid hour. Let's do this!
What Svelte Firefighter thought I meant: No, I'm not fat. I know it's ok for me to wear this children's harness. Go away so I can disobey you.
So in a louder voice, he goes, "Ma'am. You really cannot wear it. It is way too small for you."
At this point, I've already shed the harness and am over at the large, grey belt, wrapping it around my massive midsection. I pause, look up while one of my crotch fruits is head banging my butt, and quickly say, "It's ok! I know! I got this."
All these loud voices draw the attention of what appears to be Stocky Firefighter Leader. Puffing, he quickly runs over to resolve an argument that doesn't exist. He raises his hands at me and says, "Ma'am, don't worry. He knows what he's doing. Just listen to his instructions."
I smile at him, hoping to disarm this so I don't end up on national news. At this point, others in the line are making faces and chittering noises because everything is odd. I'm pretty sure another woman in the line calls out something like, "If she's fat, I'm Oprah Winfrey." But, hey, 4 kids, a ladder descending rapidly towards me, lots of harnesses, and sexy firefighters kind of reduced the blood flow to my brain at that moment so I can't be sure.
"I appreciate it. I'm totally fine and doing as he says. See? I have the grey belt on now."
Stocky Firefighter Leader walks over to inspect the belt around my midsection and says, "Let me loosen that for you. I don't think it fits you."
At this point, another woman in the crowd actually makes a disgusted sound. As if suddenly realizing he's surrounded by enough female apex predators to tear him limb by limb, he freezes, bent over towards genitals, hand frozen near my chest. It would've made an amazingly compromising viral meme. I burst out laughing. And then I made the mistake of the decade. Forgetting how it must be for Firefighters as Fine as Frog's Hair who have many outrageous girlfriends, I looked down at him and said, "It's totally fine, really! Everything is fine."
The Secret Girl Word uttered, both firefighters turned crimson red and started to hyperventilate. Every man w/ an unstable female partner or mother in his life was now staring at me in horror.
The ladder arrived. Muscle Firefighter, unaware of all that had transpired in roughly 90 seconds, shouted out to me, "Going up?"
I jumped on, not looking behind me. We quickly put some altitude between us and the Awkward First World Problem of the Decade. I turned to Muscle Firefighter and beamed at him. He beamed back at me and said, "You look pretty darn cute for a mom to 4 kids, did you know that?" All I could do was coldly stare at him for 90 uncomfortable seconds.
And so, the moral of the story is to never go on a ladder ride with your piranha demon spawn crotch fruit.

At least their Future Therapy Funds don't need an immediate balance transfer.

*It goes w/o saying, but since this is the internet, YES. This really happened. YES, the firefighters WERE that sexy. YES, it WAS pretty awkward. 


Friday, June 23, 2017

Move Over Folic Acid, Choline is Here! NMM

Move Over Folic Acid, Choline is Here!

If you live in the United States, you were taught that folic acid, also known as B9 or folate, is a necessary and important vitamin for pregnant women. You were probably told that studies show taking it during pregnancy reduces the risk of Neural Tube Defects (NTD).

Over time, we've since learned that synthetic, unconverted folic acid is detrimental for all people. It increases the risk of cancer, and it is harder for the body to absorb and utilize, resulting in what researchers call a pseudo deficiency. This is where the body is receiving tons and tons of folic acid, but cannot convert it or use it in the methylation cycle, so it remains deficient. This tends to cause high serum levels of folic acid on blood tests, so doctors reassure their clients that they are not deficient.

This caused educated people to begin avoiding folic acid, and all unconverted B vitamins. They moved to methylated vitamins, which are bioavailable and easier to use in the body. This is also important for all the mothers who might have MTHFR or related genetic polymorphisms, to make sure they get enough B vitamins even though their bodies find it harder to absorb and use them.

With all that being said, as the constant drum roll to take tons of folic acid continues and as the fight for methylated B vitamins marches on, what we all need to do is take a look at another nutrient called Choline.

What is Choline?

Choline is typically not considered a vitamin or mineral, but a water-soluble nutrient grouped in with B vitamins. And it's a huge piece of the puzzle that all pregnant and breastfeeding women need to know about right now.

Choline is an important part of the methylation process. So, just like folate, it's necessary to make hundreds of functions work properly in the body. Without choline, homocysteine cannot properly convert to methionine for mental health. Without choline, the liver cannot detox the body properly. Without choline, the brain cannot function or grow properly.

What evidence do we have about Choline's importance?

The importance of choline for pregnant and breastfeeding women is shown in the available medical literature. For example, this study
( found that MTHFR defects, folate deficiency, or choline deficiency caused organized cell death in the brain and short term memory deficits in offspring.

Another study ( found that not only does a low choline diet for the mother increase the risk of NTDs, it also alters the way the cerebral cortex grows. Even worse, the lead researcher noted that there appeared to be a "sensitive window of time" during neurological development and that even if exposed to adequate choline later down the road, the original damage does not change.

Researchers are also learning through this study ( that choline deficiency is connected to the mechanism of cancer development. These researchers observed that choline deficiency seems to alter the repair of DNA and increase the rate of genetic mutations, which is considered a pathway to cancers.

The evidence is piled up when it comes to this nutrient. But, the most important points for childbearing women include:

Choline is part of homocysteine conversion. High homocysteine levels are associated with increased risk of miscarriage and heart defects.
Choline is necessary to build neurological connections and to balance brain growth for the baby during pregnancy, and after birth in the breastfeeding infant. Choline deficiency is associated with memory problems, lower test scores, depression, and more. It is needed throughout the entire brain, so the problems that can happen here are staggering.
Choline is necessary to build a healthy midline through the brain and spinal cord. Choline deficiency is associated with increased risk of NTDs and midline defects.
Choline is necessary for neurochemical balance in the brain. Altered metabolism of this nutrient is implicated in things such as anxiety and depression. A study ( found that altered levels of it in certain parts of the brain are associated with pediatric depression, even when age and sex matched.
Choline is absolutely vital for healthy liver function, so a deficiency during pregnancy could be associated with several common complications such as pre-eclampsia, HELLP syndrome, and cholestasis.
Choline is excreted in the milk after birth, and continues to support healthy brain growth and methylation during childhood.

With all the focus on folic acid, our society forgot that nutrition is multi-faceted. What's worse is that researchers didn't show much interest in choline, and since it is present in a variety of foods, many health officials still believe that a regular diet is good enough to get ample choline during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

What they didn't realize is that just like the MTHFR genetic mutation, a large portion of women also have choline mutations. Surzenko, the lead researcher in the study short term memory problems from choline deficiency, laid out this problem succinctly when she said,

“Around 45 percent of women carry a polymorphism in the gene required to produce choline during pregnancy as a response to estrogen, which makes them vulnerable to choline deficiency. Without enough dietary choline, the developing fetuses in these mothers are at a risk for hindered brain development.”

These PEMT mutations could be in a majority of the population, meaning even if women are eating ample amounts of healthy, varied foods, they might not be absorbing enough choline. And for those women who avoid certain foods such as eggs and animal livers, their overall intake might already be severely restricted.

What could be worse?

So, this nutrient is necessary during pregnancy to protect the child from NTDs and to grow the child's brain adequately. It helps to run the methylation cycle, so it's connected to every major system in the body including the immune system, excretion (detox) system, and neurological health. It's vital for liver health and a deficiency can increase the risk of things such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and glucose imbalance (PCOS, diabetes, hypoglycemia, etc). A lot of women might have polymorphisms that make it harder for them to obtain this nutrient from food. What could be worse?

Choline is connected to gallbladder health!

How many women are feeling some puzzle pieces slamming together right now? Gallbladder attacks, stones, and pain are so common during pregnancy that it's almost considered a normal pregnancy scenario. Many women are constantly watching their diet to avoid painful attacks, and many more go on to surgically remove their gallbladder for relief. Why? Why would pregnancy seem to trigger a gallbladder to go insane? Choline deficiency starts to create a working picture here. As estrogen creation and usage is increased through things such as pregnancy, it increases the need for methylation to break down this hormone and excrete it from the body.

So conceiving, birthing, and breastfeeding can represent large burdens on the gallbladder and liver through the methylation system. As methylation is disrupted and the body begins to run out of necessary methyl donors such as folate and choline, it switches to a glucose system called glucoronidation. Sugar cravings and hormone swings, a liver that's dying and a finicky anything sounding familiar yet?

This sticky, substitute bile can't be excreted thoroughly, so it starts to stagnate inside the gallbladder. It basically reduces down until it crystallizes into gallbladder stones.

So, pregnant women who develop gallbladder stones are literally looking at a red flag that they are choline deficient, B vitamin deficient, and have a disrupted methylation cycle. This should be considered somewhat of an urgent crisis and a call for careful, bioavailable supplementation! Instead, women are told to restrict their diet and wait it out!

Choline does not have a well established RDA, as it's been fairly neglected in the medical world until recently. It does not have a very potent toxicity. Massive dosages such as 16,000mg daily are associated with vomiting, odor, and sweating. Various converted forms such as acetylcholine and phosphatidylcholine are now easily available online. It used to be that most companies only offered the precursor and only derived from soy, but these days people can purchase lecithin supplements derived from sunflower seeds.

It's time to spread the word on choline, how it functions in the body, and how it's absolutely vital during the childbearing years. When you hear women complain about joint pain during pregnancy, tell them about choline. When women are worried about pre-e, HELLP, and liver conditions, share a choline link. If you hear of a woman suffering from gallbladder issues, make sure she hears about choline. The doctors likely won't tell anyone about this, so it's up to us to use our tribe to share the information and to empower each other to restore our own health.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Touch of MIDAS: Discerning Venom and Poison in Relationships

Are you familiar with the way to determine what is poisonous and what is venomous? The ole rule of thumb goes:

If it attacks you, it's venomous
If you touch it/eat it, it's poisonous

Moved to human relationships, the difference between a venomous person and a poisonous person is that one person attacks you and one person is poisonous simply by being around them. (And both forms of toxicity are important to pay attention to and to protect yourself from regardless.)

Sometimes, it's difficult to discern when a person is struggling versus being passively poisonous, versus being aggressively venomous. I like to use the MIDAS system to help clarify the situation. You can apply the MIDAS system to any relationship or interaction in your life. It does not have to be hetero-romantic. Coworkers, friends, relatives, neighbors...any of them are applicable here.

MIDAS stands for:

Mistake: A rare event, often out of character and related to stress, sickness, loss, etc
Imperfection: A personality flaw, bad habit, or other ingrained deficit that isn't dangerous or violent
Dysfunction: Scripts and worldviews often related to childhood modeling, trauma, and miseducation
Abuse: Activated dysfunctional scripts
Sociopathy/Narcopathy: Sadism, torture, abuse simply for the sake of abusing others

The touch of MIDAS is all about determining how your life on every metaphysical plane (physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, financially, etc etc) is touched by other people. Whether passively poisoned, or actively injected with venom, how other people act in your relationships does leave an impression on you. Recognizing how and why can help you to build healthy boundaries and make choices that either repair the relationship to a functional level, or help you to escape the relationship.

You know you've been touched by MIDAS when you feel:

Cycles of hope and disappointment
A sensation of being used
Anger coming out in odd or misdirected ways
A lack of purpose or direction in life
Impatience and irritability when others need you (touched out)

Going off a previous conversation I had with SAHMs (Stay At Home Moms) I will use the example of a hetero-romantic relationship where the male partner tosses his dirty laundry on the ground next to the hamper. Notice that this is a fairly minor, non-violent incident. Toxicity doesn't have to be outrageous to still represent dysfunction, abuse, or sociopathy. That's why it's important to look at all the pieces of a relationship instead of trying to gauge health by seriousness alone.

Is it a Mistake? Perhaps he was late for work, not feeling well, distracted by the dog?
Is it an Imperfection? Perhaps he just isn't a good housekeeper, is easily distracted, has choline mutations, ADHD and despite being a great guy, will just never be good at laundry?
Is it Dysfunction? Was he raised to believe the other partner is supposed to do it? Does he think that's lowly work and he's above it?
Is it Abuse? Will he come home angry if you didn't clean up after him? If you complain, will he verbally lash out, give you the cold shoulder, punch the wall?
Is it Sociopathy? Is he playing mindgames, gaslighting you in sneaky ways that others can't see, denying it, making you doubt reality? Do you feel as if you're trapped, drowning, lost, but if you mention anything to others, they think you're unstable or complaining?

In each scenario, the issue was the same, but the toxicity was incredibly different. Recognizing these differences is important to avoid codependency, enmeshment, or other harmful issues from long term exposure to toxicity. Using the same laundry example, how might a person respond differently in each scenario? You're still trying to maintain a long term, loving relationship with mercy and forgiveness, but you don't want to fall into being a doormat or ignoring consistent boundary issues.

If it's a Mistake, it might be a great opportunity to practice love as a verb. To pick up that laundry, to let complaints slide. To text an extra I love you and make sure he's okay. We all have bad days. Now's the chance to show that support to a loved one.

Maybe it's a noted Imperfection, a constant struggle in the household, and even an annoying habit that quietly eats away at relationship balance. In that case, it's time to clarify boundaries and voice frustrations. In such a situation, maybe both people will agree that it's ok to just chill about laundry on the floor, provided he is the one who takes responsibility and cleans it up on designated laundry day. Notice how it involves two people compromising, but still sticking to boundaries. It's his responsibility to clean up after himself just as it's her responsibility to release expectations that might not matter overall. An imperfection tends to be resolved when both people clarify boundaries and grow as individuals.

When it comes to Dysfunction, the most charitable thing to do is to call it out. Being loving in the face of dysfunction is refusing to accept those unhealthy scripts. A case of dysfunction means it's time to involve third parties for mediation and monitoring (such as doctors and therapists.) It's possible for people to carry dysfunctional scripts but not act directly abusive, and that is exactly the right time to begin counseling to see if the relationship can be salvaged.

In cases of Abuse, the most common pitfall is wrongly identifying abuse as an imperfection. This is especially easy to do when comorbid issues are involved, such as substance abuse and mental illness. It can be tempting to dismiss abuse as the person having a hard time, or suffering. If you're aware of your partner's background, you might feel sympathy. "He was raised by an abusive mom, of course this is triggering for him." "He's battling depression and lost his job, his temper is just on edge right now." Imperfection is passive and not related to dysfunction. Violence, including non-physical violence such as emotional and verbal attacks, are Abuse, not imperfection. Working individually with a therapist can help you to discern this clearly so that you can leave the relationship.

Sociopathy seems to be the easiest of all of them, yet it can often be the most difficult to recognize and the hardest by far to resolve. Narcissists, psychopaths, and sociopaths are often quite clever and very obsessed, weaving webs for their victims that can take years to untangle. Always involve third parties (therapists and doctors) individually, for you. Beware of the sociopath's ability to triangulate (use therapists, family members, and doctors against you). Building a personal community away from the sociopath is important to escape.

Keep in mind that even when it comes to Mistakes and Imperfections, they can passively poison you. Depending on the situation and seriousness, these incidents might require healing and counseling. A one time Mistake might be entirely innocent, but can still cause a lot of hurt. In healthy, functioning relationships, Mistakes and Imperfections aren't excused, but resolved openly with both sides working together. If you notice a consistent history of one person constantly having a mistake, or attributing things to imperfection, along with a lack of apology and change, you've moved into sneaky Abuse. 

I hope to add more to this concept with later writings. Thanks for reading!

©Guggie Daly

Monday, November 7, 2016

Laughing Gas Arrived for Birthing Women: It's NO Laughing Matter

We all want more options and more autonomy for women during birth. That doesn't even need to be said, but I'll say it anyways to make sure we're all on the same page here.

Nitrous oxide (NO2), or laughing gas as many people call it, is on the way to the U.S. as a lower intervention to manage discomfort and anxiety for birthing mothers. And while this might be less risky than other interventions or cascades of interventions, it is not risk-free. Worse, perhaps, is that we all know providers will not be taking the time to offer women real, evidence-based data to achieve informed consent. And when it comes to Nitrous oxide, informed consent could be the difference between a simmering cascade of problems versus an empowered approach to continued health after birth.

What is the problem with this intervention? For many people who are familiar with things such as epidurals, they might be confused or irritated that I have an issue with offering NO2 to women during labor.

The problem has to do with methylation. Our understanding of methylation and how important it is for whole body health is still in the baby stage. Researchers are still struggling to pin down all the ways impaired methylation damages our body, creates disease, and also leads to congenital defects and neurological damage in our offspring.

Over and over again, as more research continues, we learn that impairing the methylation cycle such as by experiencing B vitamin depletion has numerous health consequences. Particularly for childbearing women, impaired methylation can play a part in many of the common pitfalls after birth such as post partum depression, anxiety, psychosis, thyroid and adrenal conditions, fertility conditions, breastfeeding discomfort or issues, low libido, and autoimmune conditions. Methylation is necessary to keep the brain neurochemically balanced. Clogged or impaired methylation, to put it simply, leads to mental illness in the brain and inflammation/pain in the body.

Here's the shining moment: Nitrous oxide impairs methylation. It degrades your B12 stores and basically causes a train wreck in your body. (Basic study to give you a research starting point here.)

Does that mean we should all run screaming from it? Does that mean a woman should never, ever consider it as part of her birth plan? No. With proper education and resources, this kind of damage can be mitigated and/or healed. And for some women, when they are empowered with all of the facts, they might want to retain the right to run away screaming. And that is their right.

But again. What is easily the main problem in our birth industry? Informed consent.

How many women are going to be encouraged to use NO2? How many women will be assured that it is safe, easy, and cheap? How many times will doctors fail to remind women that NO2 impairs methylation, depletes B12, and that this combined with her genetic background, lifestyle, and current health status could trigger cascades that develop into chronic pain, illnesses, and mental health issues?

How many do you think? Let's be real here. Is zero real enough? Maybe one woman out there? Maybe if she already knows about MTHFR, methylation, and depletion, she might demand that the doctor divulge the risks.

But not many women will know. Not most. The majority of women are going to look at NO2 as a safe, easy, and cheap alternative to other interventions during birth. And they aren't going to be equipped with the basic knowledge and tools to overcome the damage of NO2 exposure depleting their B12 stores even more after pregnancy already depleting them, and with breastfeeding about to happen to create an even more demanding burden.

What can you do?
Start talking about methylation to your friends. Start talking about B vitamins and cofactors. Start talking about the issues with synthetic or bio-unavailable supplements. Share articles, talk about it until other women consider it normal and basic information. Spread the word now, because the new cascade of interventions is on the way and it's going to be a doozy.

If you're curious to see a bigger, spinning picture, check out my article on birth control. Childbearing women are experiencing multiple sources of methylation burden and impairment. It's time to break the silence on this topic. It starts with you.

With our family history, when my son broke his elbow, I knew
it was vital to avoid the routine NO2 given to children before surgery. We worked with his
doctor to create an alternative plan and I also provided him with a bioavailable protocol afterwards.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Shutterfly: FREE Personalized Stocking TODAY ONLY

Shutterfly released code STUFFED through November 4th to highlight their selection of personalized Christmas stockings!

Create your stocking and then enter the promo code during checkout to receive a FREE one. As is normal for Shutterfly deals, you still have to pay taxes and shipping. So you will be paying $9.99 shipping out of pocket.

Go here to begin building!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

It's Time to Embrace Holiday Traditions and Join Your Community

Before everyone begins hating on the Holiday-Christmas-Kwanzaa et al season, can I broach a thinking thinky here?

Although it's true that a large part of the promotion in our society is obviously to maximize profits, the act of anticipating and celebrating seasons has been around FOWEVER, Folks.

For those of us who aren't insane, and do NOT appreciate the end of life (aka sunshine, happiness, warmth, survival, etc), the oncoming season of darkness can be horrible. Back in the wonderful olden days, it literally did represent the harbinger of death, as many people became ill or starved through the winter. Once the harvest celebrating was complete, the townspeople needed to do a quick calculation: did they have enough food stored away to save everyone? Were their homes weather proof enough? Who was going to make it, and who was going to lose out in the game of life?

This age old process of creating festival after festival, holiday after holiday, entire seasons such as Advent season leading up to Christmas, then the Christmas season going on until's all about keeping people together as a community, keeping them fed, encouraging people to be generous (e.g. to share food with their starving neighbors), and making sure everyone gets through the season. Together. In an uplifting way.

Look at Diwali. It literally translates to festival of lamps, or festival of lights. People gather together to celebrate the triumph of good over evil by lighting up the darkness, shooting off fireworks, and wearing new clothes. They pass out gifts and treats to their family and friends.

Look at the traditional Germanic Yule holiday. The emphasis is on feasting together, massive feasting. Look at Saturnalia, the celebration of the return of light midway through the winter solstice. During that time, again, everyone feasted together and it was one of the rare occasions where slaves were permitted to feast like their masters. A famous poet, Catullus, called it the "best of days."

The symbolism is clear.

Maybe the reality is no longer true in the strictest sense of the word for most of us in a developed country. Most of aren't going to die from starvation or lack of clean water, or minor infections. Most of us have enough money to heat our homes and buy gifts for our family and friends.

Not everyone, though. And these celebrations help us move forward, together. These holidays help us to stay connected with others. Whether for physical reasons, such as sharing resources, or mental reasons, which might be more applicable in the modern age. They give us a context and a reason to stay positive, happy, and relaxed. They give us a designated time to turn off our electronics, to visit another person in their home, to make human contact. Even on the darkest night of the year.

So when you want to start bashing the decorations and complaining about holiday music on the radio, maybe it's time to pause for a thinky. Maybe instead of calling human customs stupid, you can send a card to that friend you hardly see around because she's been struggling with anxiety lately. Maybe instead of saying these celebrations are a money grab, you can bake some cookies and walk them down the street to the elderly husband and wife who never have visitors. Or maybe you can just swallow your overall hatred and put up some decorations so people driving by on their zombie-commute to a dead end job can feel a little brighter for the day.

No, you don't have to wear an ugly sweater and drink eggnog if you hate those ideas. No, you don't have to buy slave-made decorations or put up a lead-filled, artificial tree if you want to stay true to your principles. You can still make conscious changes to embrace this winter season, to integrate into your community, and to embark on an ancient journey through the darkness just as millions did before us, though.

And for those who are recovering from Cluster Parenting Abuse, sometimes what people call narcissistic or disordered family abuse, it's actually vital to find a new way to embrace these seasons, with new traditions that are positive in your own family. It's important to reach out, to search around for a new and healthy community. Toxic people love to use the weapon of isolation, so that's how most survivors are when they finally leave (or escape). They are isolated, alone. Outside of the rhythms and support of the human ecosystem. Finding a way back in, re-growing a healthy support network, is another healing step on this journey, and it will take you out of the metaphysical darkness just as surely as these festivals of light remind us that the darkness is coming to an end.

 Just a thinky thought.

It turns out our little family loves to celebrate Krampus and St. Nick's.
(We do not lie to our children about these characters, and can all still have a good time.)

Related Resources

Holidays and the Narcissistic Grudge Read this one!
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The Narc's Devalue and Discard

Why Narcissistic People Love to Ruin Holidays