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Dr. Paul Hrkal

Posts by: Dr. Paul Hrkal

Quench Chronic Inflammation and Pain With Natural Herbs and Nutrients

Pain is a fact of life. Everyone experiences it at some point or another. As people age, the biggest concern that affects activities of daily living is the ability to move and function without pain and discomfort. However, the latest research suggests that up to 50% of the population may be suffering from some kind of chronic pain, with back pain being the most common. In many cases the pain signal is the result of a viscous cycle of structural damage, tissue breakdown and inflammation. While most people are familiar with the concept of losing cartilage as we age (which

Part 2: Could Fructose And Uric Acid Be Driving Diabetes?

It is clear that a diet high in fructose can predispose a person to multiple disease processes. Figure Two here summarizes the effects of fructose and the connection with type 2 diabetes. The ability of fructose to raise uric acid levels sheds some light on possible mechanisms in the development of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. This may be a new area where early interventions can be used. In animal and human trials, lowering uric acid improved a number of features of metabolic syndrome, which include renal damage, insulin resistance, high triglycerides and hypertension (Nakagawa et al 2006). It seems that

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is an essential mineral involved in over 300 metabolic/enzymatic reactions in the body. Its name comes from the district of Magnesia in Greece, an area that contains a vast amount of magnesium ore. Magnesium plays a key role in cardiovascular health (normal blood pressure and steady heart rhythm), bone health, the transmission of nerve impulses, immune function, and the production of cellular energy. For health applications, magnesium compounds are commonly used as laxatives and antacids (e.g. milk of magnesia) to support blood flow, reduce muscle cramping, and for other specific health conditions discussed in detail in this magazine. Most

Understanding Magnesium Deficiency

“Magnesium has largely been farmed out of our nation’s soil without being replaced. Unfortunately, most foods are mineral deficient due to processing. Our soil has been depleted of minerals due to modern farming practices, so getting enough from the diet without supplementing is difficult.” A gradual depletion of nutrients from our soil has left many plants (vegetables, nuts, whole grains and seeds) with lower levels of magnesium. Large-scale and non-sustainable agricultural practices often use nitrogen-based fertilizers to maximize crops, rather than aiming for qualitative outcomes. These practices neglect to restore trace minerals back into the soil.1 Acid rain further leaches

How Magnesium is Absorbed

After being absorbed from foods and supplements, magnesium passes through the gastrointestinal tract (GI) via the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and the small and large intestines. When the magnesium compound reaches the stomach, the acidic environment starts to dissociate magnesium ions which bind with water molecules. Magnesium is absorbed primarily in the lower part of the small intestines and passes from the villi, tiny finger-like surfaces inside the small intestine, and into capillaries, blood vessels surrounding the small intestine. Magnesium Absorption Categories: Magnesium that is not absorbed in the small intestine travels to the large intestine, where a small amount is

Nutrient Spotlight

PYRROLOQUINOLINE QUINONE (PQQ) An exciting new member of the Vitamin B Family. WHAT IS PQQ? In 2003, scientists discovered a compound called Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) that was classified as part of the B-Vitamin family. PQQ is considered an essential vitamin because our bodies do not produce it and therefore it must be obtained from food or supplements. It also falls under the B-Vitamin category because it plays a role in the metabolism of the essential amino acid lysine, which helps form collagen (essential to all connective tissues) and aids in the production of immune system components, hormones & enzymes. WHAT

Magnesium Supplementation

We have established that to some extent, most people are deficient in magnesium, and that food sources usually do not have a high enough magnesium content to exert a rapid change of levels in the body. This means there is a pivotal need for high quality and effective magnesium supplementation. Unlike other natural substances, magnesium supplements come in many different forms, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Let’s explore the differences in forms so that you can identify which one is best for you. Both in nature and in supplements, minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and calcium must be

Forms of Magnesium

Magnesium Hydroxide: This form is often used as an antacid and/or in laxatives. It can be found in over-the-counter products, such as milk of magnesia. Because it has poor bioavailability, it is considered one of the least optimal forms to use as a supplement. Magnesium Oxide: This form of magnesium is one of the most commonly used in supplements. It is desirable because it is inexpensive and the compound is very small, so large amounts of elemental magnesium can be delivered without taking up much space in a tablet or capsule. Magnesium oxide has long been considered a poor source of magnesium,

Food Sources of Magnesium

Getting your magnesium through food and supplementation Now that we have established why magnesium is so important for essential cell function and how it impacts so many health conditions, we need to explore how to optimize magnesium intake. The first place to start is with food sources. Despite a decrease in the amount of magnesium found in soil, some foods still provide a valuable amount of the mineral. See the table below for the foods that have the highest levels of magnesium. Food Serving Size Mg (in mg) Pumpkin or squash seeds, no shell. 60 mL (¼ cup) 317 Brazil

Tinospora Cordifolia: A New “Super-Herb”?

There are so many powerful herbal extracts at our disposal with mounting scientific research supporting their benefits. What really makes herbs standout over pharmaceutical options is that they usually have a multifaceted mechanism of action. Turmeric perhaps, is the best example because it is both a powerful antioxidant while simultaneously having anti-inflammatory herbal properties. I am always on the lookout for these types of “super herbs”. Because many are already well-known (resveratrol, green tea etc.) so I get really excited when I discover a new one to add to my clinical repertoire. I pride myself on having a good grasp

Harnessing the Best of Magnesium With Synergistic Minerals and Nutrients

Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the body. It is involved in over 300 biochemical processes, making it vitally important for all cellular functions. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, maintains a regular heart rhythm, supports immune system health, and keeps bones strong. Unfortunately, most people do not sustain sufficient levels of magnesium for optimal health.  Considering the pivotal role that magnesium plays in cellular signaling and energy production it is no surprise that research has linked low levels of the mineral to numerous health conditions. Supplementing with magnesium has been shown to improve symptoms

Combating Adrenal Fatigue with Vitamin C and Glandular Extracts

Stress is practically unavoidable in our high paced culture. Chronic stress triggers a hormonal cascade that places excessive demands on the body’s nutrient and vitamin stores which can have serious health consequences. The main organ and hormonal system that is imbalanced during chronic stress are the adrenal gland. The adrenals produce key hormones including cortisol, DHEAs, and mineralocorticoids, which regulate many functions in our body.   It’s important to understand that adrenal hormones are essential for our survival but the trouble is that chronic stress causes them to be over produced without any chance to rest and recover. Considering how prevalent stress is