April 28-30, 2017   The OMNI King Edward Hotel, Toronto, Canada

The 46th Annual International Orthomolecular Medicine Today Conference featured presentations from leading physicians and researchers on current advances in orthomolecular cardiology, psychiatry, endocrinology and general medicine. The Conference brought together 200 health professionals from around the world, including delegates from Algeria, Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom and The United States of America.


In-Hospital Vitamin C Deficiency and High-Dose Vitamin C Therapy

Presented by: John Hoffer, MD, PhD

Dr. Hoffer presented on the roles of vitamin C in the body, recommendations for intake, and reasons for deficiency in hospitalized patients. He also discussed ascorbate metabolism in disease states including inflammation and sepsis.

Key points from the lecture:

– Current vitamin C recommendations are based on tissue saturation, but ignore increased needs due to biochemical individuality.

– Smokers need around 50 percent more vitamin C than non-smokers.

– Some causes of patient low vitamin C in the hospital setting can be due to low intake, accelerated loss from renal replacement therapy, hyperglycemia, glycosuria, and redistribution of vitamin C into white blood cells.

– With systemic inflammation and edema the interstitial space expands. This can result in low levels of vitamin C in extracellular fluid.

– The first signs of vitamin C deficiency may include poor mood, fatigue, and low energy.

– Many medical therapies to stabilize sepsis syndrome have failed. However, vitamin C has been shown to be protective against pathological issues with sepsis – including preserving microvascular integrity, blood flow, neutrophil function, normal thrombosis, and vascular integrity.

– Regional pain syndrome after fractures can be prevented with 500 to 1500 mg of vitamin C for 50 days (Lichtman et al., 2005).

– Post-operative pain can be decreased or prevented with vitamin C (Chen, Roffey, Dion, Arab, & Wai, 2016).


Optimal Nutrition & Chronic Disease Prevention: Clinical Perspective
on Laboratory Diagnostics

Presented by: Aileen Burford-Mason, PhD

Dr. Burford-Mason addressed key roles of nutrition in degenerative diseases, showed evidence that the RDAs for nutrients are insufficient, and discussed optimal nutrient intakes.

Key points from the lecture:

– A study comparing iron excretion in pre- and post-menopausal women as well as men, determined that there would be a 40-fold difference between those with the highest and lowest needs for iron (Hunt, Zito, & Johnson, 2009).

– All eight B vitamins function together and are essential for proper physiological and neurological health. Under mental and physical stress the need for ALL the B vitamins greatly exceeds the current RDAs (Kennedy, 2016).

– High folate with low vitamin B12 is common due to low vitamin B12 combined with folic acid supplementation. Effects of the imbalance can include increased risk of gestational diabetes, low birth weight, insulin resistance in the offspring, and Alzheimer’s disease and dementia at middle age (Paul, & Selhub, 2017).

– All enzymes that regulate vitamin D metabolism require magnesium. Low magnesium decreases the production of 1,25(OH)2D (Saggese, Bertelloni, Baroncelli, Federico, Calisti, & Fusaro, 1989).

– Serum and RBC magnesium levels fluctuate too much to be useful indicators of magnesium stores. Physical signs and symptoms are useful indicators and include: vascular headache, shortness of breath, constipation, muscle cramping, arrhythmias, and high blood pressure.


A Unified Theory of Chronic Illness 

Presented by: Ron Hunninghake, MD

Dr. Hunninghake presented on the roles of vitamin C as an oxygen activator,
and its connection to NAD and NADH in the mitochondria.

Key points from the lecture:

– Vitamin C relieves cellular hypoxia, restores aerobic metabolism and mitochondrial functioning, and improves apoptosis.

– Vitamin C acts as a cellular redox “oil” that maintains electron transfer efficiency.

– NADH is an important electron carrier in the mitochondria and required for healthy mitochondria. Maintaining a NAD+:NADH ratio of 700:1 important for mitochondrial function

– Oxygen is the “forgotten nutrient”. Oxygen is an critical electron acceptor in the electron transport chain.

– Cellular hypoxia leads to mitochondrial decay and the cell shifting to anaerobic respiration.

– At higher levels vitamin C promotes the production of the hydroxyl radical in the mitochondria – which improves oxidation of NADH to NAD+. This improves Krebs cycle activity, which improves production of intracellular antioxidants. These antioxidants improves mitochondrial function and decreases oxidative stress. As a result cells shift to more aerobic respiration and utilize oxygen better.


Plant Based Reversal of Heart Disease   

Presented by: Joel Kahn, MD

Dr. Kahn presented on the role of diet in heart disease, and the effects of low-fat, vegetarian and vegan diets for arresting and reversing cardiovascular disease. He stressed the importance of a plant-based diet for addressing disease and maintaining health.

Key points from the lecture:

– The Pritikin lifestyle program that consists of a low-fat, plant-based diet, with exercise resulted in LDL-C reductions of 25 percent in men and 20 percent in women, and significant reductions in triglycerides and HDL-C, and body weight (Barnard, 1991).

– The Ornish plan is low-fat and excludes all meat, dietary fats and oils, sugar and alcohol. It includes exercise, stress reduction, and smoking cessation.

A one-year intervention study showed regression in stenosis diameter in the treatment group and progression in stenosis diameter in the control group (Ornish et al., 1998).

– The Prostate Cancer Lifestyle Trial showed a PSA decrease of 4 percent in the Ornish Plan group and an increase of 6 percent in the control group. Prostate cancer cell growth was inhibited around 8 times more by blood serum from the Ornish group compared to the control group (Ornish et al., 2005).

– Heart attacks decreased by 85% with these daily lifestyle changes:

don’t smoke, walk 30–40 minutes daily, eat more than 5 servings of vegetables and fruit each day, sleep 7 hours each night, enjoy a few alcohol beverages per week (Burger, Beulens, Boer, Spijkerman, & van der A, 2011; Akesson, Larsson, Discacciati, & Wolk, 2014).


Evidence-Based Integrative Cardiology  

Presented by: Jack Wolfson, DO

Dr. Wolfson presented on a paleo diet approach to preventing and addressing cardiovascular disease. He also discussed the essential roles of cholesterol, and natural approaches for preventing and addressing heart disease, and cancer.

Key points from the lecture:

– The Wolfson food pyramid promotes lots of vegetables; meat, fowl, seafood, eggs; lesser amounts of avocado, coconut, olives; nuts, seeds, oils; and small amounts of fruit

– The Vegetarian Dietary Patterns and Mortality in Adventist Health – Study 2 showed pesco-vegetarians had the LOWEST risk of all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Vegan women had the HIGHEST risk for the same parameters (Orlich et al., 2013).

– Berberine supplementation decreases LDL, total cholesterol, blood sugar and HbA1c levels (Zhang et al., 2008).

– Leaky gut is associated with wheat (Dalla Pellegrina, Rizzi, Mosconi, Zoccatelli, Peruffo, & Chignola, 2005), low melatonin (Swanson et al., 2015), and stress (Da Silva et al., 2014). Having leaky gut is linked with heart failure (Sandek et al. 2007).

– A gluten-free diet has been shown to resolve neurological symptoms in celiac and non-celiac patients (Hadjivassiliou et al., 2016).

– Higher serum vitamin D concentrations linked to longer telomeres (Richards et al. 2007)


Childhood Absence Epilepsy: Putative Complementary Diet and   
Orthomolecular Treatment Options

Presented by: Jonathan Prousky, ND, MSc, MA

Dr. Prousky’s presentation addressed seizures and epilepsy, with a focus on childhood absence epilepsy (CAE). He discussed morbidity and mortality risks for epilepsy and the limits of anti-epileptic medications as well as dietary and orthomolecular treatments for different types of seizures.

Key points from the lecture:

– The overall treatment failure of the most commonly prescribed anti-seizure medications with CAE is Ethosuximide 47%, valproic acid 42%, Lamotrigine 71% (Glauser et al., 2010).

– Diet can have a significant effect on CAE. With a Ketogenic diet (90% fat) 25% of patients became seizure free. With a Modified Atkins diet (64% fat) 15% became seizure free, with 46% having excellent clinical response. Effects from the diets took from 1 to 3 months to be apparent. The more medications the patient was taking, the less benefit they received from the diet (Groomes, Pyzik, Turner, Dorward, Goode, & Kossoff, (2011).

– A 7 year-old CAE patient went from 50 seizures per day to seizure-free in 6 weeks with a Paleo Ketogenic diet and supplemental Vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids (Clemens, Kelemen, Fogarasi, & Toth, 2013).

– A 14 year-old girl with petit mal seizures on medications still experienced

300–500 seizures per month. She became seizure free within 2 months of supplementing GABA at 0.8 g/kg per day (Tower, 1960).

– Niacinamide influences the GABA system with anti-seizure effects similar to benzodiazapines (Prousky, 2014).


Debunking Myths About Hormones: Why Bioidenticals Matter  

Presented by: Jeffrey Dach, MD, and Phyllis Bronson, PhD

Dr. Dach and Dr. Bronson presented on differences between synthetic and
bioidentical hormones as well as intentional misinformation about bioidentical hormones.

They also discussed the protective roles of estrogen and progesterone against cancer, coronary artery disease, and osteoarthritis.

Key points from the lecture:   

– Techniques of deception commonly used by the medical industry to discredit bioidentical hormones include: ghost writing articles in medical literature, seeding studies with pro-industry bias and seeding pro-industry articles into the media, intentionally confusing terminology, and denying evidence of harm from synthetic hormones

– Progesterone inhibits breast cancer while progestins (synthetic hormones) promotes breast cancer (Chlebowski et al., 2010).

– Estrogen prevents breast cancer, coronary artery disease, and osteoarthritis. Estrogen therapy reduced myocardial infarction better than statin medications. The effects are seen even with the use of Premarin as instead of estrogen (LaCroix et al., 2011).

– Estrogen avoidance increases suffering in menopausal women. Animal studies show cartilage destruction after ovariectomy can be prevented with estrogen (Tankó, Søndergaard, Oestergaard, Karsdal, & Christiansen, 2008).

– Young women identified with clinically insignificant small thyroid nodules are being over-treated with thyroidectomy and I-131 radio-ablation, when a better approach for addressing the nodules would be testing for, and using iodine (Cronin, Dwamena, Kelly, & Carlos, 2008).

– Maternal thyroid antibodies and subclinical hypothyroidism are associated with increased miscarriages and is preventable with Thyroxine (Negro, Schwartz, Gismondi, Tinelli, Mangieri, & Stagnaro-Green, 2010).

– Maternal iodine deficiency is associated with decreased educational outcomes in offspring (Hynes, Otahal, Hay, & Burgess, 2013).

– Conventional treatment for PCOS is birth control pills, which suppress ovulation. Treatment for PCOS should be to restart ovulation – with the use of progesterone 14 days on, 14 days off, Metformin, berberine, myo-inositol, and the addressing of any thyroid issues.


Orthomolecular Psychiatry in Japan  

Presented by: Osamu Mizukami, MD

Dr. Mizukami discussed the differences between conventional and orthomolecular psychiatric care in Japan. He also described causes of schizophrenia and autism, and orthomolecular treatments.

Key points from the lecture:

– Key factors that considered to cause autism include: oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, poor immune function, GI tract issues, poor detoxification, casein and gluten, environmental pollution, vaccines, and mercury.

– Dietary factors for addressing autism include the avoidance of: glutamine and glutamate, pesticides, food additives, gluten and casein, sugar and excess carbohydrate, trans fats, junk foods; and encouraging the consumption of: high quality protein and fat, fish oils, animal fats, and whole foods.

– Key sources of heavy metal exposure in Japan come from both the mother of the child, and the child’s environment. Exposures from the mother include vaccines, fish consumption, contact lens fluid which contain mercury Exposures from the environment include coal-fired power generation, chlorination, vaccines, which contribute mercury, lead and aluminum.


Integrative and Orthomolecular Therapies for ADHD   

Presented by: James Greenblatt, MD

Dr. Greenblatt presented on causes and mechanisms of ADHD, as well as natural approaches for addressing the condition. He discussed the effects of brain wave ratios, biofeedback, Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPCs) and heavy metals in the context of ADHD.

Key points from the lecture:

– OPCs are a type of polyphenol and are produced by plants for protection from environmental harm.

– OPCs are often plant pigments, like the blues and reds in blueberries and grapes, the green in green tea, and the dark brown in chocolate

– Key effects of OPCs in the context of ADHD include: general calming, increased alertness and focus, less impulsiveness and aggression, improved cooperation with teachers and parents, and improved grades.

– Pycnogenol (an OPC) and ADHD. A 10 year-old with ADHD showed significant improvement with pycnogenol supplementation, increased hyperactivity and impulsiveness with discontinuation, and improved symptoms with reinstatement (Heimann, 1999).

– ADHD patients consistently present with abnormal ratios of brain wave activity.

They have increased slow-wave theta activity – which promotes lack of focus, and decreased fast-wave beta activity – which is needed for concentration (Bresnahan, Anderson, & Barry, 1999).

– In 2012 the American Academy of Pediatrics designated neurofeedback as the “best support” as an intervention for attention and hyperactivity behavioural problems.

– Neurofeedback was as effective as methylphenidate at treating ADHD symptoms (Duric, Assmus, Gundersen, & Elgen, 2012).

– Improvements in academic performance from neurofeedback with children with ADHD were still seen at 6-month follow up (Meisel, Servera, Garcia-Banda, Cardo, & Moreno, 2013).

– The theta to beta brainwave ratio can be improved with both biofeedback and OPCs.

– Key effects of OPCs in ADHD include: decreasing theta waves, improving antioxidant activity, moderation of catecholamine levels, maintenance of the blood brain barrier, and decreasing copper levels.

– In a double blind RCT, one ounce of blueberry concentration daily for 12 weeks increased brain activity associated with memory and executive function (Bowtell, Aboo-Bakkar, Conway, Adlam, & Fulford, 2017).


Distinct Characteristics of Hematological Parameters in Psychiatric Disorders

Presented by: Toru Mizoguchi, MD

Dr. Mizoguchi presented a novel method for interpreting the AST, ALT, LDH, BUN blood tests to determine nutritional deficiencies. He explained the rationale for the interpretations of the tests, and showed the beneficial results obtained from their application to mental health conditions.

Key points from the lecture:

– AST:ALT ratio. Vitamin B6 is required for both AST and ALT enzymes. ALT levels decrease faster than AST with B6 deficiency. A greater ratio, or overall low levels can indicate a vitamin B6 deficiency.

– LDH (lactate dehydrogenase). Niacin is required for LDH to metabolize lactic acid. Low LDH can indicate low levels of niacin.

– BUN. BUN can be used to as a biomarker of protein metabolism. Blood urea is the final metabolite of protein. B vitamins are required for protein metabolism. In the context of normal kidney function low BUN can indicate a deficiency of B vitamins.

– Gluconeogenisis, by the Glucose Alanine Cycle and the Cori Cycle, is a major factor in blood sugar regulation after 2 hours of food intake. The Glucose Alanine Cycle uses the ALT enzyme, which requires vitamin B6. The Cori Cycle uses LDH, which requires niacin. Deficiencies of the action of these enzymes can promote low blood-sugar symptoms including depression, nocturnal hypoglycemia, and sleepiness in the evening.



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