Borage Oil – great results for varying problems!

Borage Oil is a nutritional supplement that is high in Essential Fatty Acids (efa’s). Whereas the various forms of DHA and fish oils that we offer are high in Omega 3 essential fatty acids, Borage Oil is the one essential fatty acid that we recommend. Normally we get too much efa’s in our American diet, but certain plant oils like Borage Oil are desirable for their unique Gamma Linolenic Acid or GLA content. GLA boosts beneficial prostaglandins that are anti-inflammatory and provide a sense of well-being.

If you observe nutritional practices, you’ll see that there’s always a “newly discovered” supplement on the market that attracts a lot of research and attention. Back in the early 1990’s Scientists became interested in that “new” supplement – Borage Oil; although it had been used by herbalists for centuries prior to help relieve symptoms of stress, colds, and bronchitis.

In 1993, clinical trials, reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine (1), using 1.4 grams of borage oil daily for 24 weeks, found it to be a well-tolerated and effective treatment for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Another 1993 study, in the British Journal of Dermatology (2), reported that 48 children with dry scales and crusts on their eyelids, scalp, face, armpit, and groin—in other words 48 miserably uncomfortable children—used borage oil topically for just 10 to 12 days, and all the children became totally free of lesions with no recurrence.

The famous doctor and author, Dr. Andrew Weil, uses Borage Oil to help relieve hair loss, dandruff, itchy scalp, and folliculitis. Even Northstar Nutritionals uses Borage Oil in the Restore FX hair loss product that we carry at COEM.

Borage Oil has also been used by alternative practitioners for its hormonal effects. It reportedly helps stabilize the adrenal glands and boosts production of adrenaline, and therefore helps relieve stress. Other practitioners have used it more specifically to relieve PMS symptoms in women.

Dr. Lieberman recommends a high GLA supplement such as Borage Oil (3) not only because of the above effects, but more specifically because of its ability to boost Prostaglandin E1 and help relieve depression. Individuals with British, Scottish, or Welsh ancestry especially have difficulty converting essential fatty acids into Prostaglandin E1, and GLA helps bridge that gap and relieve their lifelong tendency of mild to moderate depression. Those individuals may be prone to drink too much as well (even if just wine or beer) because alcohol temporarily boosts Prostaglandin E1, despite the fact that it also uses up the raw materials to make Prostaglandin E1, so the individual is driven to drink more to try to get the same lift. GLA provides the raw materials so that the individual ultimately gets the lift without drinking.

Dose: Take 1 capsule 2 to 3 times daily with meals. Borage Oil Nutritional Supplement

Contraindications: Due to its hormonal effects which also include relaxation of uterine muscles, Borage Oil should not be taken during pregnancy. It also reduces platelet function so if an individual has a tendency to bleed easily or is on a blood thinner such as Coumadin, Borage Oil should not be taken.

Also the seeds, though not necessarily the oil, contain a toxic substance that can harm the liver, so very large doses of Borage Oil should not be taken for prolonged periods of time.

As with all nutritional supplements we recommend that you purchase only high quality, doctor researched and recommended supplements and use them as directed by a physician or nutritionist in order to get the most benefit and avoid any potential problems from their use.

1 Ann Intern Med. 1993 Nov 1;119(9):867-73.
Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with gammalinolenic acid.
Leventhal LJ, Boyce EG, Zurier RB.

2 British Journal of Dermatology, 129:95,1993
Borage Oil, an effective new treatment for infantile seborrheic dermatitis
Tollesson, A, Frithz, A

3 A proper balance of fatty acids is as important to good health as are vitamins and minerals. This supplement is desirable whenever Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) is needed to boost beneficial prostaglandins which help counteract inflammation and provide a sense of well-being. It has been used in eczema, chronic fatigue, and certain forms of chronic depression. Borage oils provides a higher ratio of GLA to linoleic acid than Evening Primrose Oil and similar plant oils. This product replaces our former Evening Primrose Oil. Each 1,000 mg softgel provides 1,000 mg of cold-pressed Borage Oil, supplying 200 mg of Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA) and 7 mg of Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E). 100 softgels.

Directions: Take 1 softgel two to three times daily with meals. Price:$30.00 Contact for further information or to place an order

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DHA: Have you fed your brain today?

Ever struggle to remember something that happened last week? Has your brain ever felt “fried” due to the everyday stresses and overwhelming chores on your to-do list? Ever feel like you would be able to accomplish so much more if you were just able to increase your mental capacity? For many, many years, doctors and scientists have studied the brain in search of improving overall brain function. In their pursuit it was discovered that the brain contains the highest amount of DHA in the entire human body, making it clearly necessary for optimal brain function.

DHA, short for Docosahexaenoic acid, is an omega-3 fatty acid that can be found primarily in the brain, but also in the skin, sperm, testicles, and retina. Found in fish and algae, DHA is a proven protective nutrient that provides multiple brain and cardiovascular benefits. It protects brain tissue from inflammation and damage, stimulates physical changes that promote learning and cognition, and helps to heal injuries as it is converted into protectins (which form at the first signs of damage).

Taking your daily dose of DHA will help to reduce the risk of mild cognitive impairment and will improve focus and memory. However, those low in this essential nutrient could be consequently increasing their risk of cognitive impairment, often associated with Alzheimer’s disease possibly down the road. If you would like to order DHA from the Center, we have it! Just email us at and Lisa Marie will process it for you. It is available from algae as well as fish, and in different forms, such as liquid and capsules. We even have strawberry flavored gel caps for the younger ones! Feel free to contact us here at the Center with any questions you may have – DHA is highly recommended!

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Allergies, Intolerances, and…Weight Gain

The classic picture of someone with food intolerances such as gluten, dairy, or soy intolerance is of a chronically thin, pale, listless individual, hovering on the edge of more normal life. Add allergies to the mix and the classic picture gets worse, with clear impairments manifesting both seasonally and year round.

But what if the patient doesn’t fit the classic picture?

Some of our greatest successes at COEM have been with robust, even overtly obese, individuals who rocket through school, sports, and careers, yet complain of stomach pains, fatigue, joint problems, headaches, muscle aches and a thousand varied symptoms that never seem (at least to outside observers) to slow them down. Who would believe their true level of discomfort in the face of that kind of history? We do.
When weight gain accompanies a cluster of symptoms such as listed above, and diets of many different types are followed for weeks on end without much weight loss or relief, we have to think of food allergies and intolerances. For food allergies, placing the patient in our allergy testing room is often enough to throw off the misconception that favored, much-eaten foods couldn’t possibly be part of the problem. Most patients are astonished to see their arm exhibit the angry, raised, red wheals of full-blown allergy to some of their assuredly healthful food choices, but simply aren’t healthful for their own individual body chemistry. A period of 30 to 60 days avoidance may be enough to regain tolerance to the food if then eaten NO MORE than once every 4 to 7 days, but not always. In some cases, longer avoidance, occasionally permanent avoidance, is necessary in order for the patient to feel truly well.

Unlike allergy, for food intolerance, as we’ve written before, it takes a trial strictly off that entire category of foods for at least 4 weeks and often as much as 12 weeks (3 months) before reaching a true gauge of what benefits could be gained by consistent avoidance. The 3 most common intolerances are to:

1) Gluten—in all foods containing wheat, rye, spelt, kamut, barley, and non-gluten-free oats. Hydrolyzed vegetable protein, soy sauce, flour thickeners, etc. are common hidden sources of gluten.

2) Dairy products—in all foods containing milk, yogurt, sour cream, cheese, cream cheese, whey solids, casein (also sometimes found in soy or rice milk cheeses), etc.

3) Soy products—in all foods containing tofu, soy milk, soy protein, TVP, large amounts of soy lecithin, etc.
Unfortunately, gluten, dairy, and soy all seem to cross-react against each other in terms of the incidence of intolerance and often times all three categories must be strictly avoided for complete relief of all symptoms.

What happens when the intolerant person who has intractable obesity starts avoiding their trigger foods? Often they begin to lose weight, slowly and steadily, without nearly the effort required before. Part of the solution is that their symptoms of fatigue, joint pain, headache, or GI symptoms begin to fade after 4 to 12 weeks on the diet, which gives them much more energy to actively exercise. But mostly it seems that the avoidance of intolerant foods allows the metabolism to heal, the high cortisol levels (triggered by the stress of mal-digested foods) to recede to normal levels, and tendency to insulin resistance to normalize, so weight gain, especially central mid-section obesity, is lost. As the diet is carefully continued, they heal. Now that’s true robustness!

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Achieving Goals

I have made New Year’s resolutions, but I have never really kept them. Usually they involve weight loss or eating healthier. I decided to give myself a pep talk and think about how I could make and keep a New Year’s resolution. I told myself, “Fulfilling New Year’s resolutions, requires setting goals. In order to achieve the goal I must get into a creative and confident state of mind to allow me to visualize not only achieving the final goal, but also any necessary mini-goals that must be met along the pathway to this major goal. I must focus on each of these steps along the pathway until the mini-goal is achieved, but not let myself become so focused on any one of these steps that I lose sight of the final goal and stray off the path. While walking on this pathway I may realize that something is missing. I must insert another step, another mini-goal, in order to achieve the desired result. The key is not to become discouraged and give up, but to realize that this is a journey to a place worth getting to.”

Achieving a team goal is a little different from achieving a personal goal. I am a member of a team, a good team, in my opinion. We usually abide by the things I am going to suggest, but as a mental exercise I am going to give some imaginary team members advice similar to what I gave myself.

If I were a team leader, responsible for making sure my group achieves a certain goal, there are certain things I would need to consider. When I assign tasks, I must make sure one person (or one group of people) does not become so overloaded that they find it difficult to keep the final goal in mind. They may become bogged down with details and become over-stressed to the point that they lose focus and “stray off the path.” Some people are capable and talented and real team players. I might be tempted to keep piling things on them because I know that I can count on them to get the job done. But even these people can be overloaded to the point that they stumble and fall. With the less talented and less-than-eager team members I might think that they are being lazy or careless when they don’t perform well. Perhaps they are carrying burdens, things beyond their control, that I am not aware of or do not recognize as factors affecting their performance. It may also be important to realize that if I criticize my team members too often without looking at the whole situation, I may be producing divisiveness and low morale instead of the good team spirit that we need to achieve our goal. Letting my team members know that I support them and have confidence in them can often accomplish more than constructive criticism. Using the carrot instead of the stick might be more effective sometimes, especially if I have a good team to start with. Do I truly think of myself as a member of the team, or am I above the rest of the team?

As a team member I must try to understand how my individual job fits into the overall plan and how doing my job well helps other team members to do theirs well too. Sometimes it may be necessary to put on mental blinders for a short while to focus on my task, but I must not keep them on too long or I may not see what is going on around me. My team leader may feel the need to offer constructive criticism. I must strive to take it as it is meant—for the benefit of the team as a whole and the achievement of the goal. If I feel the criticism is unjustified, I should defend myself, but try to keep the discussion business-like and as unemotional as possible. I must resist the temptation to see the team leader as the enemy and myself as the victim. This attitude is unproductive and harmful. I must do my best—that is all that can be expected. If I complete a task earlier than expected, I should offer my assistance to another team member. Sharing the load makes the burden lighter. The final goal will not be met unless all the mini-goals are met.

Whether I take the pathway to the goal alone or with others, I must stay focused, but not be too hard on myself or my companions, if any. The hazards along the way may beat me (or us) up a little, so I shouldn’t make the journey harder than it has to be. I must be ready to make changes as necessary, but never lose sight of the final goal, and the journey will probably end in success, goal achieved.

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Happy Valentines Day

This seems like just another holiday for the candy and card company to make money. Well it is, but we can help ourselves, by not giving sweet candies, and to look for more healthy snacks for the whole family. I did a little research and found some great ideas for Valentine treats and fun ideas to share with the kids.

How about surprising the ones you love with a Heart Shaped Cream Cheese and Strawberry Sandwich for lunch! How fun with that be for them to open up their lunch and find a heart shaped sandwich waiting for them, and healthy too..

Cream Cheese gives a full serving of calcium and strawberries are full of Vitamin C-

It can be fun making snacks with the kids! Use heart shaped cookie cutters to cut fruit and veggies, have the kids create the kabobs and use raspberry yogurt for a dip or melt dark chocolate as a dip for fruit, nuts or raisins. Dark chocolate has less sugar than milk chocolate and is packed with antioxidants.

There are so many great websites to explore for healthy and fun alternatives to all the sugar candies that are out for the holiday.

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New Hope for Memory Loss

We’ve always said that Dr. Lieberman is on the leading edge of medicine, and his interest in new ways to combat neurocognitive deficiencies, such as in Alzheimer’s and less severe forms of age-related memory loss, is no exception.

Much of the earlier research on Alzheimer’s Disease centered around the role of heavy metals, especially aluminum, in increasing the production of excessive amounts of amyloid plaque and neurofibrillary tangles in brains of people with Alzheimer’s. More recently, the role of insulin resistance and poor glucose metabolism have been linked to the development of neurocognitive symptoms and dubbed “Type III Diabetes.” Research along these lines has been carried on since at least the late 1990’s, when the Alzheimer’s Research Foundation started educating the public on the effect of poor blood sugar control on the brain.

Newer research, as reported from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is centering around actually building brain synapses. Research has progressed to the clinical trial stage with Alzheimer’s patients and has been very encouraging, as reported in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, July 10 online issue. A nutritional protocol is used in this approach, based on supplementing the nutrients Uridine, Choline, and the Omega 3 essential fatty acids DHA. The combination, when used for six months in the clinical trial, was shown to improve both verbal memory recall and performance.

Here at COEM, we now carry all three components of this protocol. The first and newest addition to our supplements, Uridine, 300 mg, is a nucleoside, meaning that it is one of the four building blocks for forming ribonucleic acid (RNA), found in every cell of the body. Another nucleoside, Cytidine, has also been carried by COEM for over 10 years in the form of Cytidine Choline. Choline was specifically used in the above clinical trial with Alzheimer’s patients. We also have carried a very high quality DHA supplement, which is extremely popular on its own for boosting memory, mood, and anti-inflammatory benefits.

If you would like to order any of these supplements from COEM (, you can use the following guideline to determine how much to order:

Uridine 300 mg, 1 capsule daily

Cytidine Choline (CDP Choline), 1 capsule 2 times daily

DHA, 2 softgels 2 times daily for the 500 mg softgel size, or 1 softgel 2 times daily for the 1000 mg softgel size.

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The Importance of Vitamin D3

Abracadabra! Bippity boppity boo! Vitamin D is for you – and you – and you! Known as the “sunshine vitamin”, Vitamin D has so very many health benefits that it almost seems magical. However, it should first be noted that Vitamin D isn’t technically a Vitamin, though we do call it one. Responsible for the absorption of calcium and phosphate, Vitamin D can be synthesized by mammals exposed to sunlight. An organic compound is only classified as a Vitamin when it cannot be naturally synthesized by an organism. Vitamin D is produced photochemically in the skin and 10,000 to 20,000 IU’s can be produced in 30 minutes of exposure to sunlight. If you are one to enjoy sun-bathing, time at the beach, or gardening, it is likely that you are getting a sufficient amount of Vitamin D when exposed to the sun for a minimum of 20 minutes a day. Good to know that your health is benefitting from that leisurely time you are spending in the sun! Maybe more of a reason to spend a few more minutes doing so.

Vitamin D3 is an essential vitamin for prevention of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and depression. Though it can often be found in various foods and dairy products, we recommend that our patients get 5,000 IU’s a day of Vitamin D. Dr. Lieberman has been suggesting Vitamin D to our patients for years, often saying that it does wonders for the prevention of disease and helps patients to sustain a healthy lifestyle. Finding out your personal Vitamin D level will help you to better understand how much Vitamin D you should be taking. Here at COEM we offer Vitamin D level testing, and we of course offer Vitamin D supplements. Our Vitamin D is available in liquid form in 2,000 IUD (which is often best for children!), 2,000 IUD softgels, and 5,000 IU caplets. Please feel free to contact us here at COEM with any questions about Vitamin D – we would love for you to add this supplement to your daily supplemental routine and benefit from its many abilities to assist in healthy bodily functions. . When supplementing Vitamin D3 at higher doses, be sure to re-test your Vitamin D blood levels within 6 months.

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The Difficulty in Being Sick

Most of us live our lives in the fast lane pursuing the American dream. As the popular song by Cage the Elephant goes, “I got bills to pay, I got mouths to feed…” it can be difficult to get ahead in this world. We have jobs to complete, responsibilities to work and family, and many times we place ourselves last in the long list of growing obligations. I know from experience – as a working mother of two it can be very hard to take a “time out” for yourself in any capacity. It just seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day. However, these various stressors from the daily routine can easily cause a weakened immune system and allow viruses to force us into that “time out” – whether we want it or not. “Illness” has no patience for our responsibilities in life. It will take over quickly and have you cancelling plans and putting aside matters before you know it. Illness may come in the form of a sore throat, a cough, a sinus infection, maybe even the flu, but whatever you may be experiencing, one thing is for sure. Functioning at normal capacity is nearly impossible. So in this world of “let’s go go go” and “get r’ done” how do we avoid such forceful interruption?

We protect ourselves! Here are a couple suggestions. #1 Take your Vitamins! A good multivitamin is always best, and two of the most important are Vitamins D and C. Vitamin D aids in the prevention of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and even depression, and can improve your overall health in many ways, while Vitamin C can help prevent illnesses such as the common cold and boost the immune system during active infections. #2 Monolaurin! At the on-set of illness monolaurin can be very helpful. It contains the monoester of the fatty acid lauric acid. It has antiviral properties and can be used for influenza, Herpes, HSV 1 or 2, bronchitis virus, Cytomegalovirus, and many other viruses that have a lipid envelope. Monolaurin dissolves this viral envelope so the virus can be destroyed. It’s strategic and effective!

Don’t let getting sick/being sick get in the way of your life, work, the daily plans you make, or your responsibilities to family.

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A Tale of Two Little Girls

There were two little girls about the same age in the testing room a while back. One had been coming for several months. She lives nearby, so she was able to come in once a week until we had tested enough to give her a fair amount of treatment in different areas. She was pretty allergic, so her testing took quite a while to complete. At first, she was a little anxious, but she soon settled into the routine of “pinch”, wait 8 minutes while playing with her DS , then another pinch. Her mom usually let her test about 2 hours at a time. Some of our patients come a long distance and it is not practical to test only 2 hours at a time, but to push a child beyond his or her level of endurance is often counterproductive.

The other little girl, a new patient, was pretty typical of children who test. She was frightened—there were needles involved! Her dad brought her, and he was loving but firm. No matter how many tears she shed, she was going to be tested, “or else.” I think this dad was using a combination of firmness, threat and reward. The formula, whatever it was, seemed to be effective and eventually, the little girl let me stick her. She wasn’t happy about it, but we settled into a routine. With each stick she put up less resistance, and I even heard her laugh a time or two. I never tell a child that testing doesn’t hurt. I’ve been tested, and sometimes it feels like a bee sting. Some children really don’t seem to mind the sticks, but they are in the minority. The pain doesn’t last long, and when we neutralize patients to enough of the antigens which may be a problem for them, it seems to have a calming effect, which allows the child to test with less anxiety and discomfort.

Trying to reason with children doesn’t seem to work when fear is in control. Even threats of losing a privilege, or missing out on an anticipated treat don’t always work. Money? The child often agrees to a bargain before testing begins, but a delayed reward doesn’t seem so appealing when the reality sets in. If the parent brings a pocketful of quarters (or singles) the immediate reward system may work if the child can be persuaded to try the first stick.

Sometimes it seems as if the child is in charge—a bad situation for all concerned. I believe children should be allowed to choose in some situations, but when it comes to their health, probably not. If the parent is anxious about the process, the child often picks up on the parent’s attitude, and this situation makes things harder for the child and the tester. Loving firmness from a parent who is in control of the situation seems to work better than anything else.

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Getting to Know our Supplements

Phosadyl is a foundational supplement that Dr. Lieberman has carried in some form or another for nearly 20 years. This supplement supplies essential phospholipids, which are unique substances that form all cell membranes in humans, as well as the membrane around the nucleus of each cell. Phospholipids are fascinating in their structure: they aren’t true lipid or fat molecules because they have an extra phosphate group replacing one of the fatty acids, but that is what gives them their unique properties. The phosphate head of the phospholipid is hydrophilic or attracted to water, and the fatty acid tail is hydrophobic or repelled by water. In the presence of liquid, which is 90 percent of what we humans are made up of, the phospholipids all naturally line up in a double layer, with all their phosphate heads in one direction and all their fatty acid tails in another, towards the inside of the layer. This double layer of phospholipids is what forms the basis of the cell membrane. We tend to think of our cells as these very distinct little spheres with strong walls around them, but actually human cell membranes are more the consistency of heavy olive oil and are a constantly moving mosaic of phospholipids!

This double layer of phospholipids helps give cell membranes what we call “selective permeability,” meaning that substances beneficial to the cell are able to diffuse through or be actively taken up by the cell membrane, and harmful substances or pathogens are usually not. Many beneficial substances are biochemically suited to make it through both the hydrophilic end of the phospholipid layer and the fatty acid end within the layer. Other beneficial substances such as hormones are actively attached to the cell membranes via receptor sites on the outside of the cell, and still others such as sodium and potassium ions are actively pumped across the cell membrane to control how much fluid is inside the cell. The cell membrane is made more rigid by the presence of cholesterol molecules. But overall, the cell membrane still remains a dynamic solvent surface made up largely of phospholipids.

When we are born, we have abundant essential phospholipids such as phosphatidylcholine, which comprises up to 90 percent of the cell membrane. As we age or injury from free radicals or pathogens takes its toll on the cell membrane, that percentage of phosphatidylcholine can decrease down to as low as 10 percent, which is why researchers studied how to make supplements to replace phospholipids. They successfully isolated phospholipids from naturally rich sources like egg yolks and soybean lecithin. Good amounts of phospholipids are also found in sunflower seeds and rapeseeds. Our Phosadyl supplement that we carry is derived from soy lecithin.

Phosadyl supplies 420 mg of that most essential phospholipid, phosphatidylcholine, as well as 100 mg of phosphatidylethanolamine, and 30 mg of phosphatidylinositol. Although many people take soy lecithin as a source of phospholipids, the actual content of essential phospholipids varies in lecithin, so many practitioners, like Dr. Lieberman, prefer standardized supplements.

Uses: Essential phospholipids have been especially helpful in overcoming liver damage and elevated liver enzymes associated with fatty liver. Phospholipid supplements such as Phosadyl, combined with changes in diet and avoiding alcohol, can be surprisingly effective in overcoming elevated liver enzymes and helping to heal the liver. Other uses for phospholipids are to improve cardiovascular problems by reducing the amount of dietary cholesterol that is absorbed by the body, and to supply extra phospholipids for repair from chronic illness or injury. Erectile dysfunction in males has also been helped by phospholipid supplementation. Researchers hoped that phospholipid supplementation could help reverse dementia, since the brain and nervous system are especially rich in phospholipids, but this has not proven to be true, at least not as a single therapy.

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