Dr.Karol, MD

The doctor with alternative solutions


Arthritis and Natural Solutions




My inspiration for today’s blog topic was something I experienced while running in this morning before work. It’s something that many of us are familiar with this time of year:  joint pain. Thankfully it’s probably nothing serious and it quickly went away with a little “lubrication” stimulated by the exercise. However, I realized that this is something that probably a lot of us are experience right now due to the ever changing weather conditions and the damp fall air. Why this happens is not entirely clear, and in many cases it is just a harmless and temporary occurrence while we adapt to the colder weather.

However, in many cases joint pain can be attributed to arthritis and this is a medical condition that needs more attention. Arthritic conditions actually encompass a whole separate specialty in medicine. There are four main types of arthritis. The most common one is Osteoarthritis (due to damage to the joint either by excessive usage, infection, or age). The other types are Autoimmune Arthritis (where the immune system makes a mistake and recognizes joint tissue as something foreign and therefore mounts an attack on the joint tissue), Septic Arthritis (which is due to an infection of the joint), and Gout (which is due to the deposition of Uric Acid and which in many cases can be prevented by a diet low in red meat and alcohol). Although they are all different, there are two things that are common to all of these types of arthritic conditions and these are inflammation and damage to joint tissue…Read more….

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My Recipe for a Nutritious and Healthy Breakfast

This picture you see is the usual breakfast that I have about 30 minutes after I wake up. It is what I usually eat early in the morning to start the day, but sometimes I replace it with other recipes to keep it interesting and still healthy (I will add these in my future recipes).

My breakfast is preceded by one freshly squeezed pink grapefruit mixed with one freshly squeezed lemon and some water to fill the glass. The grapefruit stimulates liver enzymes for liver regeneration and detox, and it stimulates lipolysis (the breakdown of fat in my body into single units to be utilized for energy). The lemon juice alkalinizes my body (i.e. prevents acidosis) and provides vitamin C as an anti-oxidant. I usually drink the juice right when I wake up and then do my 20 minute morning work out. After this I cook my breakfast which is the main topic of today’s recipe.

So what you see at the top of the picture is one small fresh cucumber sliced in half, three pieces of fresh red pepper and a whole bunch of miniature red and yellow tomatoes.

To the left I add one piece of Wasa multigrain dry flat bread with a thin layer of cream cheese and two slices of smoked Norwegian salmon. The multigrain bread provides me with some complex carbs for energy and the salmon with Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. The Omega fatty acids protect arteries (especially in the heart and brain) and act as potent anti-inflammatory agents. They also improve brain function in a general sense. I also add the salmon because it is one of my favorite treats.

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The Best Supplements for Gout


While in Montreal for a recent trade show, I came across a man suffering from gout. He’s a middle-aged well-built man who appears to be someone who spends a lot of time in the gym, not someone living with gout. But he limped when he walked and he was in pain. When I mentioned my work and interest in natural health he practically begged me to give him advice on how to deal with his pain. So I’m writing this article and sending him the link.

Gout is the build-up in joints of a substance called uric acid. Uric acid is formed as a by-product of purine breakdown. Purines are chemical molecules which make up the backbone of our genetic code, i.e., our DNA. As cells divide and old ones are replaced by new ones, the DNA of old cells is broken down to individual units before being used again to form new DNA. The by-product of this process is uric acid. Most people have no problem with uric acid, but some individuals, (due to genetic predisposition, diet or lifestyle), have a predisposition to having uric acid deposited in the joints. When this happens, the uric acid takes the form of sharply pointed needle-like structures (visible under a microscope). These needles cause excruciating, persistent pain and inflammation — described as the worst pain of all rheumatic conditions. For some unknown reason, this usually occurs in the big toe, but any joint can be affected. The worst thing about this condition, other than the excruciating pain and incapacity, is that the pain is continuous — even at night —and the flare-ups can last for weeks. If not properly treated or prevented, this condition can eventually cause permanent joint damage as well as serious kidney damage.

What are the predisposing factors and how should one’s lifestyle be modified to decrease the chances of gout? Firstly, there is genetic predisposition. Some individuals are just more prone to develop gout. But just because you are predisposed, does not mean that you will get gout. This is because diet and lifestyle play a large role as well. The biggest gout triggers are: fatty red meats, organ meats (like liver), shellfish, herring, anchovies, sardines, mackerel, asparagus, mushrooms, all caffeinated beverages, high fructose corn syrup, sugary soft drinks, fruit juices (because of the high fructose content), sweets and alcohol (especially beer). With respect to alcohol and gout, wine is better than liquor and liquor is better than beer. But all three impact gout.

Other predisposing factors are heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, high cholesterol & high blood pressure, obesity and lack of exercise (especially cardiovascular exercise).

With respect to natural supplements and diet to prevent and treat gout, the most important are anti-inflammatory compounds, as the pain in gout is due to inflammation. Here are the best examples:

Fish oils high in EPA at a dose of 2000-3000 mg of EPA per day.

Flaxseed oil, added generously in its raw form to salads or in smoothies. You can also take it with a spoon.

Turmeric, Devil’s Claw and Boswelia: These are powerful natural anti-inflammatory gifts of nature. They decrease inflammation by affecting multiple points in the inflammatory cascade. Interestingly, these are the same agents used to treat arthritis and other types of pain.

Bromelain is a plant enzyme found most commonly in pineapples. When taken with food, it works like a digestive enzyme. When taken on an empty stomach, it is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent.

Alfalfa apparently can dissolve the uric acid crystals responsible for gout. I recommend alfalfa sprouts, as sprouts are usually the richest in enzymes, nutrition and medicine.

Milk Thistle for liver support metabolizes the purines and uric acid efficiently as well protecting the liver from ongoing inflammation.

Antioxidants in the form of bioflavonoids reduce inflammation and oxidative damage. My favorite in this category is Bioflavia, which is organic grape skin powder.

Plant proteins, especially fermented ones like my favourite, Genuine Health, are important because most animal proteins (from meats, fish and shellfish) predispose to gout. Supplement with plant proteins so you don’t become protein deficient.

Water: Drink at least 3 liters of fluids (mostly water) per day. This is especially important during gout attacks. The water will help flush out the excess uric acid.

B Complex vitamins efficiently metabolize purines, uric acid, proteins and carbohydrates.

Finally, tart cherries, tart cherry juice and other berries, preferably organic and fresh, are said to work miraculously. The reason for this is their very high level of bioflavonoids and anthocyanins. Both are powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties.

Your doctor will most likely first prescribe NSAIDs like Ibuprofen for the pain of gout. This brings only temporary partial relief and will not solve the underlying problem. NSAIDs also cause stomach ulcers, kidney damage (which is already taxed by the uric acid) and potentially intestinal and stomach bleeding. They also predispose to heart attacks and strokes. If NSAIDs are not enough, doctors recommend steroids (prednisone etc.). These are either injected into the excruciatingly painful and inflamed joint, or are taken orally. In either case, they are highly toxic. They cause hypertension, fluid retention in the body (causing swelling), mood swings (which can be quite serious), and obesity. Also, you cannot stop them abruptly when taken over longer periods of time because this can lead to shock. You must slowly taper your dose. Your doctor may also run some tests to determine if you are over-producing or under-secreting uric acid through your kidneys. For over-production, a drug called Allopurinol is prescribed. It does not work for flare-ups but is rather used to prevent attacks. The problem is that in some cases, it can cause potentially fatal inflammatory skin conditions (Stevens Johnson Syndrome, etc.). It can also cause serious kidney damage as well as inhibition of bone marrow, leading to problems with blood formation. With respect to under-secretion of uric acid, the commonly prescribed drug is Probenecid. It increases uric acid secretion in urine. It is also used for prevention and not for flare-ups. Its potential side effects are headaches, joint pain, swelling, nausea and vomiting. For flare-ups, in addition to NSAIDs, Colchicine is used. It can cause serious stomach upset, bone marrow depression as well as problems with sensory nerves. Although not all patients experience these side effects, many do. By taking them, you risk being one of them. Natural treatments are not only risk-free but the compounds listed above are powerful gifts of nature that benefit our overall health and well-being.

Take care and good luck preventing and treating your gout in a natural, healthy way.

— Dr. Karol M.D





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You are what you eat: Kids & Multivitamins

In the absence of a strict, healthy eating regime from the very beginning, many children resort to junk food, processed foods, foods laden with animal fats, processed sugars, sugar-packed candy & processed drinks, artificial coloring and other garbage. They will especially resort to such diets when their authority figures are not watching. This can begin as early as Grade 1, when they start experiencing more freedom.

Such undisciplined gorging paves the way to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, inflammatory pain conditions, indigestion and —later in life— hypertension and strokes.

Nutrition begins at home

The best way to teach proper eating habits is to not allow the above listed “foods” in the home environment, and to lead by example. If these “foods” are eliminated and not allowed at home, their consumption will drop by up to 80%, because children won’t have time to access them elsewhere. They may have an opportunity at lunch or right after school when no one is watching, but not all day long. With such an approach, the worst-case scenario is a nutritious breakfast, (such as organic eggs, fresh tomatoes, a glass of organic milk, and a small piece of multigrain bread with organic jam), and a healthy dinner. Let’s also remember that the diet plans in most schools lack proper nutritional value. Their meals are usually very simple in composition and they are vitamin and mineral deficient.

The Biology of Food

Even when an effort is made at home, kids still may not get enough nutrients. Kids are growing (even beyond the age of 18) and they need more nutrients, vitamins and essential minerals in order for their biology to advance, promoting optimal physical development, mental development, mental balance as well as sufficient energy levels. These essential nutrients also detoxify their bodies of environmental pollutants as well as from the nasty stuff they eat when we are not watching. When these nutrients become deficient, they can lead to mood swings, depression, inattention, aggressive behavior, lack of energy, decreased learning & memory and a general feeling of lethargy.

Supplements: Going Beyond the Pantry

There is a simple way to prevent this. Have them take one large size multivitamin/multimineral tablet each day with a meal. Supplement with an additional fish oil capsule for mental health and optimal learning. Fish oil with omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to help prevent the development of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This disorder is very common — although also commonly over diagnosed— in children.

And please remember: Try to make them eat at home more often and less often away from home. This will minimize their consumption of junk foods. Make the home meals nutritious with lots of protein, greens, vegetables and healthy oils such as olive oil and flaxseed oil. Also, try to keep it low in carbohydrates. This includes breads, dough, chips, French fries, and pop. Good luck! (No cynicism intended.) If you take my words as a gospel, your kids will thank you when they grow up.

Until next time,
Dr. Karol

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Paleo Diet for Body Building and for General Health




The Paleo diet, or as it is properly named, the Paleolithic diet, just makes sense. It may not be 100% accurate in terms of the original argument for its support, but from a physiological point of view, it’s simply logical. The original concept was based on the theory that humans existed as hunters and gatherers for much longer (about 100 000 years longer at least) than as farmers. Agriculture began about 10 000 years ago. Today, our society feeds itself from modern agriculture. Thus, the theory goes, the digestive tract of humans has not had enough time to adapt to modern foods through genetic selection.


What we are talking about in the Paleo diet is a diet primarily based on meats (fish, seafood, wildlife, beef and poultry), healthy oils (such as olive, grapeseed, hemp, fish and coconut, for example) as well as berries, fruits and vegetables. This is the basis of the Paleo diet. It lacks grains (including wheat), wheat-based products, dairy of any kind, processed foods, fast food, and salt.  The primary drinks are water and tea. It lacks coffee and any fruit juices, and most notably, it lacks pop drinks of any kind. The food also comes in a raw form more often than the modern diet due to the pretense that ancient people did not cook the majority of their food. Continue reading

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Hemp Hearts




The upcoming topic on the Natural Health Show this Saturday is Plant Proteins. I find this topic dear to my heart as I have been involved in healthy body building most of my life and healthy protein sources are essential for the practice of this sport.
This topic is of strong interest at the present in the athletic and the health supplement world because of two reasons. First, traditional animal based (including dairy) protein sources usually contain unhealthy fats and cholesterol. When broken down they acidify the body. This slows down muscle growth, breaks down bones (by dissolving the calcium) and creates an inflammatory state all over the body. The combination of bad fats, lack of fiber and excess acidity can cause a myriad of chronic and serious medical conditions. Furthermore, animal protein sources contain very little, if any, nutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals. Continue reading

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Pregnancy and Supplements~Part 1





Today’s blog is a continuation of my women’s health and baby topics. Recently I talked about Lecithin and how important it is in the neurological development of the fetus during pregnancy. Today I want to expand on the topic by making a connection between a decrease in the likelihood of Neural Tube Defects and supplementation with Folate and Vitamin B12 during pregnancy.
So what are neural tube defects and how can we prevent them? Well it all starts with a tube. That’s essentially what the fetus looks like at the very beginning of its development when it changes its shape from a ball of cells to a tube-like structure. The tube is what will actually become the baby’s gastrointestinal tract. Continue reading