Wellness Connection MD

Supplements for Our Most Common and Devastating Diseases

June 18, 2024 Dr. McMinn, Coach Lindsay Episode 46
Supplements for Our Most Common and Devastating Diseases
Wellness Connection MD
More Info
Wellness Connection MD
Supplements for Our Most Common and Devastating Diseases
Jun 18, 2024 Episode 46
Dr. McMinn, Coach Lindsay
Wellness Connection MD is THE evidence-based podcast on all things wellness. This episode is a follow-up to our previous show on the Top Ten Supplements for all-purpose use. However, in this edition Dr. McMinn and Coach Lindsay discuss specific supplements that may be helpful for our most common and devastating diseases. Dr. Peter Attia's excellent book "Outlive" describes the Four Horsemen of diseases: Cardiovascular disease, Cancer, Neurodegenerative diseases, and Metabolic dysfunction (like diabetes). These diseases are the leading causes of death for most Americans. In our usual evidence-based fashion we present to you some supplements that may be helpful for these conditions., along with some evidence to back up our recommendations. In addition to the Four Horsemen, we also provide some helpful hints on two other common health problems, which include arthritis and osteoporosis. 

Coach Lindsay points out that supplements may be quite helpful, but they never replace a good diet. Also, attend to the other fundamentals of lifestyle medicine, such as exercise, restorative sleep, stress reduction, and toxin avoidance.

Always keep your healthcare provider in the loop before starting any supplement regimen, and consider cheking for drug/supplement interactions. 

Visit McMinnMD.com for more resources and while you are there visit the Wellness MD Blog.

Rate and review the podcast on iTunes , and tell your friends and family about us to help the podcast grow.

You can contact Dr. McMinn directly at DoctorMcMinn@yahoo.com. Also, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, X, and LinkedIn at McMinnMD.

Support the Show.

Please CLICK ON THIS LINK to support the show.

-Check out our website at https://mcminnmd.com for other IMPORTANT LINKS, including social media links. You can find these at the bottom of the main page under the heading "Helpful Links."

-Click on the following link for our FULLSCRIPT dispensary for a 10% discount on physician-grade supplements: https://us.fullscript.com/welcome/jmcminn/signup
FullScript Dispensary is an affiliate from which I receive a commission.

Check out Dr. McMinn's Wellness MD Blog at
https://mcminnmd.com/wellness-md-blog-1

Go to https://mcminnmd.com/reviews to see How to rate and review this podcast on an iPhone

You can contact Dr. McMinn at DoctorMcMinn@yahoo.com to leave comments or to make suggestions for future shows.

Follow Dr. McMinn at:
https://twitter.com/mcminnmd
https://www.linkedin.com/in/mcminnmd/
https://www.instagram.com/mcminnmd
https://www.facebook.com/mcminnmd






Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers
Wellness Connection MD is THE evidence-based podcast on all things wellness. This episode is a follow-up to our previous show on the Top Ten Supplements for all-purpose use. However, in this edition Dr. McMinn and Coach Lindsay discuss specific supplements that may be helpful for our most common and devastating diseases. Dr. Peter Attia's excellent book "Outlive" describes the Four Horsemen of diseases: Cardiovascular disease, Cancer, Neurodegenerative diseases, and Metabolic dysfunction (like diabetes). These diseases are the leading causes of death for most Americans. In our usual evidence-based fashion we present to you some supplements that may be helpful for these conditions., along with some evidence to back up our recommendations. In addition to the Four Horsemen, we also provide some helpful hints on two other common health problems, which include arthritis and osteoporosis. 

Coach Lindsay points out that supplements may be quite helpful, but they never replace a good diet. Also, attend to the other fundamentals of lifestyle medicine, such as exercise, restorative sleep, stress reduction, and toxin avoidance.

Always keep your healthcare provider in the loop before starting any supplement regimen, and consider cheking for drug/supplement interactions. 

Visit McMinnMD.com for more resources and while you are there visit the Wellness MD Blog.

Rate and review the podcast on iTunes , and tell your friends and family about us to help the podcast grow.

You can contact Dr. McMinn directly at DoctorMcMinn@yahoo.com. Also, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, X, and LinkedIn at McMinnMD.

Support the Show.

Please CLICK ON THIS LINK to support the show.

-Check out our website at https://mcminnmd.com for other IMPORTANT LINKS, including social media links. You can find these at the bottom of the main page under the heading "Helpful Links."

-Click on the following link for our FULLSCRIPT dispensary for a 10% discount on physician-grade supplements: https://us.fullscript.com/welcome/jmcminn/signup
FullScript Dispensary is an affiliate from which I receive a commission.

Check out Dr. McMinn's Wellness MD Blog at
https://mcminnmd.com/wellness-md-blog-1

Go to https://mcminnmd.com/reviews to see How to rate and review this podcast on an iPhone

You can contact Dr. McMinn at DoctorMcMinn@yahoo.com to leave comments or to make suggestions for future shows.

Follow Dr. McMinn at:
https://twitter.com/mcminnmd
https://www.linkedin.com/in/mcminnmd/
https://www.instagram.com/mcminnmd
https://www.facebook.com/mcminnmd






Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Wellness Connection MD Podcast. I'm Dr McBin. Ever wonder what supplements might be helpful for your specific health issues? Well, we have some answers for you on the show today. We'll review for you the main causes of disease, along with some specific, evidence-based suggestions for some supplements that may be helpful for these medical conditions. So kick back and enjoy the show. We hope you find it helpful. So kick back and enjoy the show.

Speaker 2:

We hope you find it helpful. Welcome to the Wellness Connection MD Podcast with Dr McMinn and Coach Lindsay, where we bring you the latest, up-to-date, evidence-based information on a wide variety of health and wellness topics, along with practical take-home solutions. Dr McMinn is an integrated and functional MD, and Lindsay Matthewzy Matthews is a registered nurse and IIN certified health coach. Together, our goal is to help you optimize your health and wellness in mind, body and spirit. To see a list of all of our podcasts, visit McMinnMDcom. And to stay up to date on the latest topics, be sure to subscribe to our podcast on your favorite podcast player so that you'll be notified when future episodes come out. The discussions contained in this podcast are for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please do not apply any of this information without approval from your personal doctor. And now on to the show with Dr McMinn and Coach Lindsey.

Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome to Wellness Connection MD, the evidence-based podcast on all things wellness. We thank you so much for joining us today. I'm Dr Jim McMinn, and today Coach Lindsay and I are going to talk just a bit more about the topic of supplements, but from a different and important perspective Unbiased, up-to-date, evidence-based, outcomes-oriented information, along with practical solutions in order to empower you to overcome your healthcare challenges and to optimize your wellness in mind, body and spirit and to become a great captain of your ship when it comes to your health and wellness. First, let me just remind you that our podcast remains commercial-free, so we can stay unbiased. We're not here to sell you anything and we're not going to waste your time with any annoying commercials. However, it does cost us money to produce these podcasts, so think of this like public radio. Consider making a contribution to help us keep it coming to you.

Speaker 1:

There are a couple ways you can contribute to the show. First, if you buy nutritional supplements like the ones we're talking about on the show today, then consider purchasing physician-grade supplements from our Fullscript dispensary at a 10% discount. You can see a link to the full script below in the show notes, or go to mcminnmdcom. The link will also be there for you at the bottom of the homepage under helpful links. It's quite simple Just click on the link and they'll guide you through the process. It's a win-win you get high quality supplements at a discount and we get your support for the show, for which we are very grateful. If you have any trouble with this, just reach out to me at drmcminn at yahoocom. You can also make a contribution to the show directly via credit card or by PayPal at the Support the Show link which is in the show notes. And please don't forget to subscribe to the show and tell your friends and family about us so we can bring this valuable information to more people.

Speaker 1:

And now on to the show. On our last show, we shared with you our top 10 list of supplements for all-purpose use, along with some solid science to support our recommendations. However, today we're going to look at the supplement issue from a different perspective. We're going to list for you the most common and important diseases that affect folks, and then we're going to share with you some evidence-based suggestions for supplements that may be helpful for these diseases. Dr Pita Adia, in his excellent book called Outlive, described the four horsemen of diseases that cause slow and sometimes miserable death, and these are cardiovascular disease, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and metabolic dysfunction like diabetes. These four diseases will be the cause of death for the vast majority of Americans.

Speaker 3:

So let's take a look at some of the supplements that might be helpful against these four diseases. We'll start with the number one cause of death, which is cardiovascular disease, and I purposely say cardiovascular disease instead of heart disease, since cardiovascular disease also includes stroke, which, at the end of the day, is mainly a vascular issue. Most of the supplements that we recommend for cardiovascular disease include the things that we've already discussed, like curcumin, a bioflavonoid complex, vitamin D, magnesium, and then just that good general multivitamin and a multimineral formula. Also, there is an association between heart health and a healthy gut microbiome, so the probiotics can even play a role here in heart health.

Speaker 1:

Another one I like is called garlic. You can get this through the food you eat or you can take a garlic supplement. I take one called Allicin Max, s-a-l-l-i-c-i-n Max, which I get online. It's just one pill once a day. An article from the journal Nutrition concluded that garlic supplementation has the potential for cardiovascular protection based on risk factor reduction, which include hypertension and total cholesterol. An article from the UAB School of Medicine states that eating garlic is one of the best ways to lower blood pressure and protect yourself from cardiovascular disease. Garlic seems to act by cholesterol reduction, blood pressure regulation, antiplatelet effects, antioxidant effects and inflammation reduction.

Speaker 3:

Vitamin K2 may also be helpful. A systematic review and meta-analysis published in the journal Nutrients in 2019 found that higher dietary intake or supplementation of vitamin K2 was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease mortality.

Speaker 1:

The next of the four horsemen we'll look at is cancer. There are two issues here cancer prevention and cancer treatment. We'll start with vitamin D. Several studies have linked low vitamin D levels to higher risk of various cancers, including breast, colorectal, lung and prostate cancer. However and this is an important point even though low levels meant more cancer, vitamin D supplementation did not seem to reduce risk in these studies. We see this every now and then in medicine. For instance, a low HDL may mean more heart attack risk. However, raising the HDL doesn't seem to improve risk, so we have to make sure not to make assumptions here. But there is a workaround here that Lindsay is going to tell you about.

Speaker 3:

So, as you know, exposure to sunlight triggers our bodies to produce vitamin D. Interestingly, even though supplementation with vitamin D did not change outcomes, in some studies a higher exposure to sunlight resulted in a lower risk of breast, prostate and colorectal cancer, although the risk of skin cancer went up significantly. So I guess you got to pick your poison.

Speaker 1:

That's right. Another one I like is medicinal mushrooms.

Speaker 1:

Yes, they contain a wide variety of bioactive compounds which act on the immune system. Mushrooms have been shown to exhibit anti-cancer properties in preclinical studies. Several studies have suggested a greater intake of mushrooms may result in decreased risk of certain cancers, including breast cancer, prostate and colorectal cancer. Remember that most of our chronic diseases are caused by, at least in part, inflammation, and inflammation is often immune-mediated. So mushrooms help to boost the immune system. So, then, that may have beneficial effects downstream vis-a-vis less inflammation and then less disease. I take a product called MRS by Pure Encapsulations, which is a combination of mataki, reishi and shiitake mushrooms.

Speaker 3:

The next supplement that may help is DIM, diindylmethane, which is derived from cruciferous veggies. An observational study reported that supplementation with DIM produced a decrease in MRI breast density by greater than 10%. That was associated with a 63% reduction in breast cancer risk 63%.

Speaker 1:

That's huge, isn't it? Yeah? And next up is folate. A guy named Dr Zhang that's Z-H-A-N-G at Harvard School of Public Health found that supplementation with folate reduced incidence of breast cancer by 45% in women who consumed one or more alcoholic drinks per day. So listen up out there, women. If you're a drinker, then you should be taking fully.

Speaker 3:

Yes, and a lot of times. That's going to be in your good multivitamin formulation. Fish oils, flaxseed, curcumin, green tea, probiotics, flavonoids like luteolin and iodine they all have some supporting evidence for cancer, but the studies are inconsistent. So we just got to stay tuned for more research to keep coming out.

Speaker 1:

The next of the four horsemen is the neurodegenerative diseases that include Alzheimer's, parkinson's disease and ALS. A small study evaluated the effects of curcumin patients on Alzheimer's disease. After six months, significant improvements were observed in cognitive function behavior in the curcumin group compared to the placebo group.

Speaker 3:

When it comes to curcumin and Parkinson's disease, there's a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial that was published in 2012 that investigated the effects of curcumin in patients with Parkinson's disease, and that study found that curcumin was well-tolerated and showed potential benefits in improving motor function and reducing oxidative stress markers.

Speaker 1:

Moving on to the flavonoids, one small pilot study published in 2010 evaluated the effects of quercetin-rich supplements in patients with Alzheimer's disease. After 26 weeks, the quercetin group showed improvements in cognitive function and mood compared to the placebo group, but the study had small sample size and was not placebo-controlled. Several epidemiological studies have suggested a diet rich in flavonoid-containing foods, such as berries, citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables, is associated with lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline.

Speaker 3:

Ashwagandha, so there have been very few clinical studies investigating the effects of ashwagandha in Parkinson's disease patients. However, there's a small pilot study that was published in 2019 that evaluated the effects of standardized ashwagandha root extract in patients with Parkinson's disease, and that study found that ashwagandha supplementation for 12 weeks was well-tolerated and it also showed benefits in improving motor function, cognitive function and quality of life for Parkinson's disease patients as compared to the placebo.

Speaker 1:

And now we'll look at the herb Bacopa minori. One small pilot study published in 2012 evaluated the effects of Bacopa minori extract in patients with Parkinson's disease. The study found B bacopa minori supplementation for six months was well-tolerated and showed potential health benefits improving cognitive function, attention and memory in Parkinson's disease patients, compared with the placebo group.

Speaker 3:

So, when it comes to bacopa and Alzheimer's disease, there was a small pilot study published in 2008 that evaluated the effects of bacopa Monore extract in patients with age-associated memory impairment, and the study found that Bacopa Monore supplementation for 12 weeks was again well-tolerated and it showed potential benefits for improving memory, attention and cognitive function compared to the placebo group.

Speaker 1:

Now let's turn to magnesium. We're still again on the issue of neurodegenerative diseases, but limited clinical data exists on magnesium supplementation in Parkinson's patients. There are a few studies on this, but anecdotal reports from some patients suggested magnesium supplementation may help relieve muscle cramps, pain, I think when you think of Parkinson's you think about tremors and maybe even Parkinsonian dementia, blah, blah blah. But other effects like cramping, pain, constipation those are also important. So if you can relieve those kind of symptoms, that can be helpful as well.

Speaker 3:

So let's also talk about vitamin C in Parkinson's disease. While clinical trials are lacking, observational and mechanistic studies suggest that higher vitamin C levels or higher intake may reduce Parkinson's disease risk and delay the age of onset, likely because of the antioxidant and neuroprotective mechanisms of vitamin C.

Speaker 1:

The list of supplements that some experts have suggested may be helpful and is quite long, but much of the hype around these supplements is based on hopeful and or mechanistic thinking. For instance, we know that the accumulation of amyloid plaque is a finding associated with Alzheimer's disease, and a particular substance may reduce this buildup of amyloid plaque. Therefore, one might conclude that it might be good for Alzheimer's disease. However, in most instances, there is no direct evidence that the substance really significantly changes the outcomes in Alzheimer's disease. The bottom line is that more robust, well-designed clinical trials are needed to further evaluate the efficacy and safety of many of these supplements in neurodegenerative diseases.

Speaker 3:

So we come to the last of those four horsemen of the deadly chronic diseases, and that was diabetes. A number of clinical trials have suggested that the herb berberine may help with blood sugar regulation. Clinical trials have suggested that the herb berberine may help with blood sugar regulation. Other studies have also concluded that Gynema sylvestre it's an herb that's also known as, and it may be helpful for managing blood sugar. So there's also other studies that have suggested that supplementation with chromium, ala or alpha lipoic acid, magnesium and cinnamon can improve glycemic control. However, at the end of the day, the scientific evidence is mixed and inconclusive, so it's hard to give these a ringing endorsement.

Speaker 1:

Before we close out, there are two other common medical conditions that we frequently see in the clinic We'll just briefly mention, and those are arthritis and osteoporosis. Starting with arthritis, one of the most common supplements would be the glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM compound. It seems like about half of our patients benefit from this and half didn't. It's worth a try. It falls into the category of might help and probably won't hurt you. Other supplements to consider for arthritis include fish oil, curcumin and boswellia.

Speaker 3:

The last one that we'll mention is osteoporosis, and this is a huge problem, especially for us women. Certainly, there are drugs for this, but the drugs do have those potential side effects and risks, and I have seen some women come back with significant increase in bone mineral density based on follow-up DEXA scans, without drugs. And you're asking what was the secret? And they had been on a combination of bioidentical hormone replacement, some targeted supplements. Some of those supplements included vitamin D, calcium K2, and a good mineral support formula like OsteoPrime Ultra by Integrative Therapeutics or BoneUp Ultra, along with good weight-bearing exercise. That's important too. So a few studies have suggested that melatonin supplementation could also be helpful in maintaining bone mineral density for postmenopausal women, who have an increased risk of osteoporosis due to the estrogen deficiencies.

Speaker 1:

Okay now we're closing out now with a few pearls of wisdom. Before you start taking a supplement, look for potential drug supplement interactions. You can ask your doctor or pharmacist, or you can find this information on websites such as WebMD Interaction Checker or Drugscom Interaction Checker.

Speaker 3:

And, in an attempt to be thorough, we have covered a lot of ground. However, if you're like me, you can only take so many pills, so you want to choose wisely, based on your particular need, and for most of us, there are kind of four basics a good multivitamin, a probiotic, vitamin D and fish oil.

Speaker 1:

Always work with your healthcare provider to make sure that the supplements and dosing are appropriate for you. Coach, I think that'll about do it for this episode of the Wellness Connection MD. Thank you so much for joining us today. We hope we're able to share something with you that was helpful for you. After all this, why don't we do the podcast?

Speaker 3:

Don't forget to check us out at mcminnmdcom, where you can find lots of great resources and check out the Wellness MD blog Also. Please help us grow this podcast by telling your friends and family about us. Share on your social media, please.

Speaker 1:

And take a moment to rate us on iTunes. These reviews really do help us out. We've had some feedback from some folks that this could be a little bit difficult to do, so we have a dedicated page on the website to explain exactly how to do this for you, step-by-step, and you can find this at mcmindycom forward slash reviews. If you want to reach out to me by email, you can do so at drmcmindy, at yahoocom. You can also find me at facebookcom, slash mcmindy or instagramcom, slash mcmindy. I'll have all our links at the bottom of the page for you at our homepage at mcmindycom. And now, coach Lindsay, leave us with a. Coach Lindsay, pearl of wisdom.

Speaker 3:

Well, thanks, dr Mack. You know we said this at the beginning, but I think it's worth a revisit that there is no magic pill and, at the end of the day, no supplement will replace diet and exercise, and so that's just always so important to be consistent with that. And we've talked about that 80-20-90-10 rule where you know majority of the time you're doing all those right things, but gosh. I hope you listeners enjoyed this podcast, though it's so highly practical. I hope you enjoyed getting to see. You know these are some of our brands. Welcome to the kitchen here.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, they're right, you know we're telling you these are what's on our shelves. And these are what's on our shelves and these are important things and we appreciate you listening.

Speaker 1:

Well, thank you, coach, for your pearl wisdom, and that should wrap it up. Thanks again so much for listening. We really appreciate it. This is Dr McMinn.

Speaker 3:

And this is Coach Lindsay Take care and be well.

Supplements for Common Health Conditions
Supplements for Neurodegenerative and Chronic Diseases