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Interestingly, I have had quite a number of people testing positive on Thiamine recently. I can hardly open the bottle it smells so bad to me but these people found it quite pleasant.
Thiamine requires calcium and magnesium for aborption so that gets us into the whole calcium uptake situation with the chain reaching back to vitamin D, magnesium, and vitamin K.
For one person, vitamin K seemed to be the requirement.
For another magnesium was the requirement.
For another it was the calcium and vitamin D situation.
Here is an eye opener. Caffeine and alcohol both deplete thiamine so if you like your wine, you might want to add some thiamine to your B complex.
As a double whammy, sulphites deplete thiamine so wine with sulphites depletes more. Of course, you could source wine that does not have sulphites.
A clue can be that regular magnesium supplements do not work for you and magnesium sulphate does.
Makes my brain hurt sorting each situation out.
You may be indoors weathering the ice/snow/wind/rain storm so happy researching.
Two pieces on CBC reminded me how important it was that our group met once a month for 20 years and shared information that we got from doctors, books, journal articles, etc. Not every piece of information passed the experience test. Those that did helped us all.
Almost ten years ago, we watched an amazing video, Strolling under the Skin, by Italian researchers, that showed the amazing structure of shape-shifting fascia and tiny pockets of fluids under the skin. Interestingly, the duodecahedron form is repeated in all tissues and living things.
Now a researcher has now posited that this system of pockets is a new organ. Who was it who said there are no new ideas! Check out link below.
The other rather connected piece is about Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), especially recurring ones. The lining of the urinary tract was once thought to harbour dormant bacteria that would spring to life now and then to cause the infections.
The solution was to use longer courses of antibiotics.
Now,Dr. J. Curtis Nickel, Canada Research Chair in Urologic Pain and Inflammation at Queen’s University, has said that approach is not the best way. He lists cranberry supplements, probiotics, diet, environment, and stress reduction as better ways.
Sound familiar? Maybe for the past 20 years? We have also had people cure UTIs by drinking more water, by going off gluten or dairy, by using one-a-day garlic, by keeping their environments free of as many chemicals as possible, by exercising to strengthen core, and many other strategies that did not ‘carpet-bomb’ (Nickel’s phrase) the gut bacteria.
You can check out the link to Dr. Nickel below as well.
Combine those thoughts with the ‘new organ’ ideas. Interesting juxtaposition.
Good work, Health Pursuits members. You are ahead of the curve.
Diagnosing UTIs is ‘a dog’s breakfast,’ and that’s affecting women | CBC Radio
Time to re-think human anatomy, a new ‘organ’ has been found | CBC Radio
Of course, for those of you who have done the test, know how to test yourself and have individual nutrients that you typically need, you have the power to monitor your nutrient balance unless something changes like having the flu or a big life event or an accident.
I love it that so many people know how to test themselves. I especially love it when young people have the information because they have it for life. If only the Founding members had had that information when we were all young and our children were young. Sigh.
Here is a shout-out to the Founding Members this holiday weekend. Mary Grace, Jo-Ann, Joan, Jo Anne, Judy,and Susan, hope you all have a good time and are doing well. None of the Health Pursuits research would have happened without you all! What an amazing group of women and how amazing that we came together just at that time.
Kudos to the inquiring minds of everyone who has joined us on the research since.
Some people might have the impression that the NST gives results on 56 nutrients and then you just go out and supplement the ones you need.
It is not that straightforward which is why we supply a written report with every test and give food and other strategies, not just nutrients. Here are some things the test might tell you. Remember EVERYONE is different! Every test we do furthers the research.
Stomach acid low or high, and what simple or complex strategies to deal with it.
Fat digestion adequate or not?
Intestinal bacteria adequate or not.
Intestinal inflammation affecting absorption?
Celiac Disease possible or not likely.
Pituitary producing adequate Human Growth Factor or may be not and which amino acids may be required.
Adrenals modulating blood pressure, blood sugar, immunity and stress tolerance adequately(and which nutrients may be required to support)
Thyroid supporting digestion, fat absorption, energy production or not and which nutrients may be required to improve.
Estrogen in balance with the nutrients that process it
Calcium uptake:
The whole chain of nutrients involved in calcium uptake and where it may be possible to start supporting it.
Mitochondrial energy production for the heart muscle and which nutrients/strategies may be needed to support it.
Medication/Nutrient Interactions
Are your medications depleting nutrients?
Toxic exposures and liver and kidney function and which nutrients/strategies might be useful.
The NST might indicate that your genetic enzyme variations might do better with one form of a vitamin rather than another.
The olfactory sequence is the longest on the human genome. No wonder it is opening up a this way of investigating health.


So often when people are not doing well in March or April, it turns out to be low Vitamin D. Depression, low energy, low immunity — could be low Vitamin D because we’ve used up our reserves from last summer and can’t make any more in our skins until about May. The sun just isn’t intense enough.

Interestingly, Jane and I demonstrated the NST to a practitioner and it came up positive (good.) She asked, “I have my Vitamin D drops here. If I take them, how soon will the test result change?”

So she took her drops and, in less than five minutes, did the retest. Surprisingly to her but not to us, it now came up low neutral.

If you want to do the NST for Vitamin D, you can scent test drops or you can buy a Vitamin D without sweeteners. Watch out for croscaramelose which seems to be going into all sorts of supplements these days. I was looking for one to scent test and finally found Costco’s Kirkland brand was okay. The NST protects you from taking too much of this fat-soluble vitamin. Too much is not a good thing. If you need Vitamin D, take it with a meal with fat for better absorption and make sure you have enough magnesium too.

Check out some interesting stuff about vitamin D and cancer in this article.

Below is an article about lots of different causes of coughs.  I found it interesting and timely so thought you might as well.

This article may be reprinted free of charge provided 1) that there is clear attribution to the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, and 2) that both the OMNS free subscription link and also the OMNS archive link are included.

Click here to see a web copy of this news release

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, February 23, 2018

What About That Cough?

Ralph K. Campbell, MD

(OMNS Feb 23 2018) Coughing has a wide range of significance and severity. Starting with the attention getting, brief cough associated with clearing the throat before speaking, progressing through what an advertisement described as “great expectorations,” we can appreciate the need to look at the causes. Another way of categorization of coughs is to consider where they originate—a superficial “tickle” from the nasopharynx or from deep down in the bronchial tree. The cough reaction is designed to clear the airway and can be initiated by just a “tickle” to the need to get copious amounts of material out of the airway. It is accomplished by a sudden, hard contraction of the diaphragm—the flat sheet of muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity. This increases the pressure in this closed space that, like squeezing a toothpaste tube, forces air to exit the lungs and releases the material in the airway. It will be repeated in spasms of coughing if the secretions are too sticky or viscous. If someone is choking on a particle of food that is blocking the airway, the same action of increasing pressure in the lungs can be accomplished by the Heimlich maneuver, in which a sudden and forceful thrust in and upwards is applied just below the rib cage.

Post-nasal drip

Post-nasal drip is an apt term. Infection, irritants in the air, or nasal allergy from airborne agents such as pollens, or food allergens, can cause excessive amounts of mucus. The resulting “tickly” cough is an attempt to get this irritating stuff out of the airway. If there is inflammation from a virus infection, the drip and the resultant cough can be almost unrelenting. Treatment consists of getting the airway as open as possible and keeping the secretions from reaching the cough trigger point in the throat. In infants and small children this is done with a nose syringe that draws the (what doctors and everyone else call) “gunk”, out of the nose and nasopharynx. Another aid, particularly for infants, is to be propped up (45 to 60 degree angle) in a car seat during sleep time. When propped up, the secretions are swallowed rather than having them pool, as they would if the infant is flat down.


Moving down, we have coughs developing from the larynx. People who are hoarse complain of a “frog in their throat”. The reference to frog might indicate the beholder would wish it would simply hop out of there. The larynx is another amazingly well-designed part of the human body. The two vocal cords are set over a box-like structure. Their length and proximity to each other are controlled by muscles innervated by the laryngeal nerve. Just consider the possibilities of what can result from this arrangement. The varieties of sound from a growl to a sopranos “high C” are infinite. With an inflammation of the larynx we call “croup,” breathing in produces strange, crowing sounds, and the resulting cough may sound like a seal bark. Inflammation and swelling narrows the gap between the vocal cords, and if carried to extreme, can shut off the airway, necessitating a tracheotomy (creating an opening in the trachea to bypass the larynx). A severe allergic reaction, called angioneurotic edema, can also produce this life-threatening condition. Treatment with injectable adrenaline is lifesaving, but along with this, it’s critical to begin an immediate search for the cause. At the same time the patient is prescribed an adrenalin preparation to always be carried (by the patient or parent) in case of a recurrence or until detective work reveals an allergen that can be avoided. Most laryngitis is due to a virus infection which is annoying but rarely serious. Unfortunately, pediatricians must always keep in mind that along with viral influenza, little ones can get an infection of H. Influenza b (Hib, a gram negative bacterium) that may have serious consequences. These children are sick before the severe respiratory signs are noted: On inspiration there is a marked crowing sound. As the airway obstruction increases, one can notice a sinking in of the chest and the obvious difficulty of drawing a breath. Emergency treatment is needed, immediately.

H. Influenza b (bacterial) infections seem to come in waves; so during those periods, doctors have to be on the lookout for an equally severe, emergency situation–epiglottitis. The epiglottis is the flap of tissue on top of the larynx that can act like a flap valve—open when breathing; closed when swallowing, to prevent food stuffs from going down the wrong pipe, so to speak. The esophagus, where the food should go, lies directly behind the larynx. The infected, inflamed epiglottis can swell to the point of complete obstruction of the airway, necessitating the emergency measure of a tracheotomy. The Hib infection, since it is bacterial, usually does respond to antibiotic treatment, but there is no time to wait. A cortico-steroid, like prednisone, is given in the hopes that it will relieve the swelling enough to avoid the surgical procedure. Without immediate, dramatic relief, a tracheotomy is indicated. The respiratory noises at the onset are the noises of uncomplicated croup; but the signs of worse sickness, including a rapidly rising fever, change rapidly.


The trachea (wind pipe) lies between the larynx and the bronchial tree. It shares any inflammation that its neighbors might have. The cough could be described as a hacking, dry cough. Secretions from it are usually not as copious and they don’t usually diminish the flow of air greatly. However, the “gunk” is harder to remove since this relatively short tube is because of its small, straight surface, so it doesn’t provide as much area for fast-moving air to to catch. Nevertheless, the trachea’s nerves transmit an irrepressible urge to cough and to keep coughing until there is some clearing of the airway. Dry air, produced in the winter by indoor heating of already dry air, is its worst enemy. A winter-long tracheitis can ensue, made worse by irritants or allergens indoors that an individual might be exposed to (house dust sensitivity, animal dander, molds, etc.). Irritation in the upper airways that induces a chronic cough can also be caused by gastroesophageal reflux (frequent heartburn).

Bronchial tree

Now for the most well-known cough–the one produced by an irritated bronchial tree. Thanks to advertising of symptom-relieving drugs, we all have heard of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Inflammation or irritation of the lining of the bronchial tree, if not managed, can become chronic. Inhaled irritants, such as tobacco smoke, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide (smog) or allergens can cause inflammation that can become chronic or can even lead to lung cancer. Secretions can be copious to the point that one can actually drown in them. The cough, by its sound, reveals this. It makes one cringe to hear great gobs of gunk being coughed up with the person in no position to spit it out, just having to swallow the foul stuff. Years ago, tobacco companies played on the fact that their clients didn’t want to cough. The maker of “Old Golds” claimed, “There isn’t a cough in a carload.” Older patients can be so encumbered by these secretions that they have to undergo anesthesia and bronchial lavage in which, bit by bit, the bronchi are washed out. Whenever the cough is “tight,” taking grapefruit or grapefruit juice helps as an expectorant to loosen the cough and allows the cough to better clear the bronchi. If not effective, about the only over-the-counter drug I have prescribed for children is “Mucinex” (guaifenesin), an effective expectorant. It comes in either liquid or tablet form with clearly recommended doses. For the liquid preparation, look for the generic, guaifenesin, as the main ingredient without any other active ingredients, such as “sleep aids.”

Treatment with nutrition

Infections and inflammation caused by irritants can be effectively treated with excellent nutrition. Children with repeated bouts of bronchitis during winter time usually fare much better when they are given adequate doses of vitamins. A daily multivitamin and bowel tolerance vitamin C will greatly help all through the “cold” season.[1-6] Liposomal vitamin C is available that avoids the laxative effect with huge oral doses. Vitamin C helps to prevent inflammation and has been shown to lower the incidence of inflammation in the lung and COPD [7]. Vitamin C helps the immune system to rid the body of viruses and bacteria, and is essential in maintaining and regenerating collagen, the protein that holds together the airways and blood vessels. Recovery and repair of airways from a severe cough goes faster with adequate vitamin C and other vitamins and essential nutrients.[5-9] Problems with digestion such as heartburn, that can irritate the airways, can often be cured with an excellent diet that minimizes carbohydrate consumption and contains a good amount of fiber and raw vegetables and fruits. Consider juicing raw vegetables for a greater dose of nutrients.[8] Avoid taking antacids as they slow the digestive process — which will then proceed more completely, allowing the body to absorb a larger amount of essential nutrients.

For vitamin A, adequate doses can be found in a multivitamin, either pediatric or adult. It helps to prevent inflammation of the bronchial tubes and lungs to lower the risk of pneumonia. As huge doses of vitamin A can be toxic, eating brightly colored vegetables (carrots, winter squash, greens) will provide a healthy dose of beta-carotene that the body can convert to vitamin A when needed. Doses of vitamin D should be given proportional to body weight (30 IU/pound/day), so adults should take 2,000-5,000 IU/day, and more when stressed by severe illness. Infants should be given 200-800 IU/day — chewable tablets are a good way to give the doses. To make sure the dose is adequate after taking vitamin D for several months, one can get a blood test of the 25-OH vitamin D level — this is quick and easy. Adequate magnesium (taken in the preferred chloride form at dose of 3 mg/pound/day or 50-100 mg/day for toddlers, 300-600 mg/day for adults) is essential to help vitamin D be utilized by the body. Magnesium also helps to prevent asthma and other serious conditions associated with lung inflammation.[9] Taking vitamin D and magnesium should be started before the fall flu season arrives. Liquid magnesium chloride is available online and an appropriate dose for an infant or small child can be prepared by diluting and adding to juice. Although not appropriate when a little one is very sick, a bath with Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) is an easy and inexpensive way to get magnesium for both children and adults. Zinc (adult dose, 50 mg/day) is known to help prevent viral infections and quicken recovery. Since vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, its level in the body rises and falls slowly, so rather than trying to remember to give a very small dose every day, it is easier to give an infant or toddler a larger dose (1,000-2,000 IU) once per week. To give better absorption, vitamin D should be taken with food, for example at breakfast or dinner. Adequate doses of vitamin D and magnesium, taken over several months, especially in the winter and early spring, reduce the risk of severe respiratory tract infections. [9,10]


A cough can be serious if it is associated with a life-threatening blockage of the airways or with a fast-moving infection.[1] A cough associated with a cold or flu that progresses to a secondary bacterial infection and pneumonia can also be life-threatening. These conditions can largely be prevented with adequate nutrition to prevent an infection or inflammation from taking hold. A diet with lots of dark green leafy and colorful vegetables and fruits along with adequate doses of vitamin C and D will help to keep the lungs free of infections. Recovery from an airway infection is usually much quicker when adequate doses of vitamins and other essential nutrients are given at the first signs of illness.

Dear Lady Gaga,
Sorry to hear you have had to cancel your tour because your FM has flared up so badly. The pain, fatigue and brain fog can be SOOOO debilitating!
We have such sympathy because so many of us in our Health Pursuits group have been through the FM diagnosis (a collection of symptoms, not a disease). Unfortunately, it didn’t really help us figure out what to do for ourselves.
Luckily, we put our heads together, studied hard and figured out some successful strategies that we would be very happy to share with you. Our web site goes through the four areas we studied — Movement, Environment, Nutrition and Diet.
Our first step is always our Nutrient Test Kit because it can tell us a lot about:
– the state of our digestion,
– our adrenal capacity to mediate blood sugar, blood pressure, immunity and stress tolerance,
– thyroid requirements,
– calcium uptake and utilization,
– mitochondrial energy production,
– inflammation
and much more. All those things can affect pain, fatigue and brain fog. Pretty amazing. We have found no substitute for our test kit. We have even developed a kit that we can mail to people.
After the biochemical balance has been addressed, then we know what else to look at.
Movement and Exercise was important for so many because old injuries, bad habits and inappropriate exercise choices were factors in pain. Hopefully, you have a really good manual therapist who knows osteopathy and exercise very thoroughly. Just the right treatment and exercise training can make all the difference.
Environment might be very important for you because of plane flights, pressure of performances,and exposure to cosmetics, to perfumes, and to many people. Lots of chemicals have made health difficult for our members.
Diet could be a factor too. Food allergies and sensitivities, repetitious diet, antibiotics and many other factors messed up our nutrition and intestinal bacteria. The diet that helped all of us was a rotation diet after food allergies had been taken into consideration. Rotation helps the gut bacteria too.
We hope you recover soon and get back to the music you love. We would be happy to send you a test kit to try.
It can be a lot better.
Diane and all the Health Pursuits group members
Today a woman did a retest after 3 weeks of working on the original test results. She had one day of remarkable change and then things reverted to previous symptoms.
What does this mean?
I remember a functional medicine doctor (Was it Abram Hoffer or Jeffery Bland perhaps?) who said if you can have one good day, that is a sign you can have many more. You just have to figure out what factors caused the good day.
Many times, adding in a nutrient can change the whole balance. Today, as we compared the results from the previous test to today’s, it was obvious that much had changed.
Nutrients went from positive to neutral which is always a hopeful sign. When magnesium goes from positive to neutral, you have to like it.
Other nutrients went from neutral or slightly positive to more positive. This is a sign that cofactors, which were not as in demand before, are now required.
One nutrient changed from the regular B vitamin form to the more bioavailable form which usually means that the person’s enzyme variation cannot keep up with demand. This happened to me too.
Fine tuning is now required to keep the healing process on track. Add a little here. Subtract a little there.
Not everyone has the patience and the determination to complete the process. Anyone who does is definitely one of us. The founding members all had what it takes to keep on keeping on until they were satisfied they had done what they could to improve health.
I know of strategy, other than our NST, which allows a person to observe their own progress so easily.
Even after years of monitoring nutrient balance, things can change but I can test myself and see what is going on.
We all have to go some time but I would like to be as healthy as possible for as long as possible!
It always amazes me when a person’s scent test shows that just one nutrient is deficient.
A recent test showed up just Vitamin A as needed while beta carotene (provitamin A) was not, often a sign that conversion is slow.
Scratching my head, I turned to Dr. Alan Gaby’s, ‘Nutritional Medicine’ to read his section on Vitamin A.
Vitamin A deficiency might be the cause of the person’s skin condition, psoriatic arthritis, since skin and immune system are both affected by Vitamin A. Yay! An answer.
But wait! What is the cause of the deficiency –diet or enzyme variation causing a slow conversion of beta carotene? Or wait more! Gaby explores the liver problem that may actually cause Vitamin A deficiency.
How to solve the puzzle?
First step might be, go to the pharmacy with one’s ten medications and look for the cause there! I’m not kidding.
Step two might be, check the diet for vitamin A foods.
Step three might be supplement very carefully at the lowest level and retest frequently to see what changes happen.
Everyone is different. The joy of the scent test is that it actually shows that and gives a person clues to follow.
Keeps my brain working hard too!
I feel sad when a person, who was offered the Nutrient Scent Test over a year ago, died this week from a heart issue. No idea whether we could have helped or not … but will never find out now.
Mitochondria within our cells produce energy for the heart muscle. Coenzyme Q10, magnesium, l-carnitine and oxygen are nutrients that support mitochondrial energy production.
L-carnitine is found in abundance in meat so if meat is in the diet it is unlikely that l-carnitine is low except, of course, if it is not being digested. In that case, stomach acid support and digestive enzymes may help.
As well as energy for the heart muscle, magnesium helps send the message to relax to muscles and so blood vessel walls and so lowers blood pressure.
Coenzyme Q10 is depleted by many heart and diabetes medications and so can lower energy production for the heart.
Oxygen can be reduced by asthma or sleep apnea and so exercise to improve oxygenation may be beneficial. Oxygenation can be easily checked by your medical practitioner.
A friend ,who was visiting the ER every week because of a crisis with cariodmyopathy, came by one day to deliver something. I quickly asked her to scent test magnesium and coenzyme Q10. Both smelled good. I subsequently even gave her a bottle of each. After taking the supplements, she no longer was going to the ER every week and felt much better.
Just thinking about her better health makes my day. Thank you to Lendon Smith and John Kitkosky for discovering this principle. Thank you to all the Health Pursuits group members who helped me persevere in researching it.
Get the Nutrient Scent Test book and have it handy to help your friends, family and yourself. Hoping to have an ebook version eventually on Amazon. I’ll let you know when that happens.