How Sugar Affects Fibromyalgia Pain

March 15, 2020

Fibromyalgia is one of the most common chronic pain conditions and as nutritionists we’re seeing more and more clients turning to nutrition to ease some of their pain and fatigue. We’ll get back to basics and explain what foods are KNOWN to cause fibromyalgia and  what foods and vitamins may help reduce fibromyalgia pain.

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JOANN: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. My name is Joann Ridout and I'm a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. And I've been helping clients achieve better health through eating real food for over three decades.

SHELBY: That's it?

JOANN: Wow. That's a long time. And when I started in the field of nutrition, not many people were interested in the topic of nutrition. I remember when, you know, you brought up the nutrition topic and people ran away; sometimes still happens, but not, you know, certainly not as much. A lot of people now are avid nutritional learners and like to keep up with the latest nutritional news like we do; and like all of you. That means we're constantly reading research, listening to podcasts about a variety of nutrition topics. So if you're still following nutrition recommendations from the seventies or eighties; those high fat, I mean, sorry, low-fat, high-carb, no saturated fat messages, you want to pay attention to what we're talking about this morning. So we're going to talk about the quality and quantity of the research, and that's changed dramatically over the years. In fact, Dr. Marion Nestle is a Professor of Nutrition and she's an author of a number of books including Food Politics. She specializes in helping people understand the way research study results can be manipulated or skewed to produce the results that would be favorable to a food company that is funding the research. So if you enjoy digging deep into research studies and look at who actually sponsored them, that's a really important thing to do. So you may enjoy reading Food Politics or one of the other books by Dr. Marion Nestle. And I think you'll find it rather surprising when you actually look at who funds those studies, how that could change the results that they're, that they're advertising.

SHELBY: Publishing.

JOANN: Or publishing. Yes. Yes. So joining me today as our co-host is Shelby Olson. She's a very busy nutritionist. She's counseling clients individually, teaching a lot of corporate classes for local companies and also leading our Nutrition for Weight Loss series each week.

SHELBY: I like variety if you guys can't tell.

JOANN: You do. You thrive on that. A lot of us do here. Yeah. And when Shelby's not teaching or meeting clients, she might be walking her dog with her new husband or making dinner at home. So Shelby, please tell our listeners what our topic is this morning.

SHELBY: Well, good morning Joann. We don't cross paths as much as we used to or as much as I would prefer, but it's nice to be sharing space with you this morning. So good morning to our listeners. Regardless if you're listening live this morning or if you're listening to this as a podcast, in the next hour, we hope to share some interesting information about how sugar affects fibromyalgia pain. Many of you may not know this, but fibromyalgia is one of the most common chronic pain conditions. So even if you don't have fibromyalgia and you're listening this morning, don't tune us out because sugar is connected to chronic pain, but it's also affected to that fibromyalgia. So fibromyalgia affects about 10 million people here in the United States, and 75 to 80% of the people who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women. So what does that mean? Research shows that 8% of all adults struggle with fibromyalgia, which means when I'm teaching a Nutrition for Weight Loss class, at least two of the 25 people in my class may be struggling with fibromyalgia pain. Now I know I see people who are in Nutrition for Weight Loss. You know, I do some other individual counseling as well. And that seems to be the case. Once these class members start to eat real food, you know, their motivation is losing weight.

JOANN: Right.

SHELBY: But once they start having less pain, then we can have that conversation about how the sugar and the flour that they were previously consuming was creating more inflammation in their bodies. So really what I'm, what I'm saying to you guys is when we're eating sugar and flour products that is inflammatory to our bodies.

JOANN: That's right. And I've seen those same results with Nutrition for Weight Loss clients when they come in for consultations. And even, you know, when they're taking classes they'll be raising their hand. “I don't have as much pain.”

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: It, it goes right away when they start making these changes. And we've found that in the past few years, more and more clients with fibromyalgia are turning to nutrition to ease some of their pain and fatigue because at this point they have not found that medication is very helpful. So some of the top, I looked up the top three meds that we see often with clients.

SHELBY: Right; kind of on that health questionnaire. What are some of the things that, that these clients with fibromyalgia are taking?

JOANN: Exactly. So the top three meds, I looked them up and all of them have a weight gain side effect.


JOANN: So not a good thing when you're in the Nutrition for Weight Loss class. You're dealing with chronic pain and then we have that weight gain side effect. So we want to use real food nutrition to replace those medications, or maybe at least maybe not replace but cut back as much as you can.

SHELBY: Right; right.

JOANN: So if you have fibromyalgia, you know the painful symptoms. And if you're a listener and are unfamiliar with fibromyalgia, some of the common symptoms are pain throughout the body. And if you have fibromyalgia, you may have painful tender points throughout your body.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: Or that deep muscle pain, back pain, neck pain, just lots and lots of pain is what people are experiencing.

SHELBY: Right; right. And other symptoms include fatigue. I mean, think of how you feel when you're fighting a cold or a flu and, and you're more fatigued. You have sleep problems. Other symptoms of fibromyalgia include brain fog, anxiety, depression, headaches, and even that numbness and tingling; gosh, can't get my words out, but having that numbness and tingling in your hands and your feet is one of those signs of fibromyalgia.

JOANN: Right. So if you have fibromyalgia, you may hurt all over, feel that tired, that fatigue, have problems getting a good night's sleep. Maybe that leads to some depression as well. So as a dietitian, I always look for a food or nutrition reason why a person is experiencing aches and pains. I know for myself, I've had my share of aches and pains. If I have a cracker or a half a slice of bread, or maybe eat some corn or some rice, I have extreme back pain.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: Or pain, my pain in my legs, pain in my hips. So it's not just sugar. For me it's sugar and grains. But of course the grains turn to sugar, so it's kind of the same thing. But I get aches and pains through my back and legs very often. They then can interrupt my sleep. So I really need to be careful and any time I hurt myself or pull a muscle or something like that, I know I have to eat perfect.

SHELBY: You're tightening the ship up.

JOANN: I eat perfect because I know the pain is going to come if I go off track at all.

SHELBY: Right; you're eating very carefully.

JOANN: Absolutely.

SHELBY: Yeah. Yeah. Now as I mentioned earlier, our topic today is How Fibromyalgia Pain is Linked to Sugar, rather, how sugar affects more of that fibromyalgia pain. So I want to bring you guys some research right away. Dr Teitelbaum, the director of Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers is an author as well, including the book, The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. But Dr. Teietelbaum says for some people, sugar may actually cause fibromyalgia or make that existing fibromyalgia pain worse. So I want to make sure you heard that. For some people, sugar may actually be causing that intense pain, that tenderness and that fatigue or make those fibromyalgia symptoms more intense.

JOANN: Right. And so when we're working with a client who has fibromyalgia or any kind of pain, we help them reduce and eliminate sugar. We know sugar and those sugary treats are inflammatory. The more inflammation we have in our body, the more aches and pains they will have.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: And we know people aren't sitting in front of their sugar bowl, but those sugary drinks and cereal, processed carbs, all turn to sugar.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: So it's shocking to realize that 18% of the average American's diet comes from that added sugar.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: So the amount of sugar many people eat in a year can be up to the total of their body weight. That was shocking to me just to see that.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: But we know how much sugar people are eating when we're teaching classes.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: Talking about how many pounds of sugar people eat in a year, right.

SHELBY: Well, Joann, we're going to go to our first break. If you're just tuning in, you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition, and we are discussing how sugar increases the pain level for people with fibromyalgia and even people who have chronic pain and inflammation. Excess sugar may also increase the risk for hypertension even more so than sodium. Essentially, the more sugar you eat, the greater your risk of dying from heart disease. Now today we shared how we're, we're focusing specifically on how sugar negatively affects fibromyalgia, but next week’s show is also going to talk about how sugar negatively impacts anxiety, so be sure to tune in as Kara and Carolyn discuss what to eat to manage anxiety. Now before we flip it over to the commercial break, we realize many people are concerned about the Coronavirus, COVID-19, and they want to know what they can do to support their immune function. At Nutritional Weight and Wellness we're taking this topic very seriously and we're preparing a special Dishing Up Nutrition podcast to talk all supplements and foods. You know, of course our first recommendation is eliminating sugar and flour because we know they create inflammation, more pain and decreases your immune system. We'll talk more about that on our way back.


JOANN: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. The European Journal of Neuroscience published in June 2007 printed the findings which showed fibromyalgia patients have an abnormal response to pain. The fibromyalgia patients in the study felt more pain from an injection than healthy people without fibromyalgia. So this study was one of the first to show that fibromyalgia patients have an abnormal response to pain, and they actually feel that pain more intensely.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: And it's connected to a deficiency in the neurotransmitter, dopamine, which is interesting. So I want you listeners to know that yesterday we posted a blog article on our website called Keep Your Immune System Strong. So now in the, with this Coronavirus going on, we want to be sure that you look up that article for some helpful information.

SHELBY: Right; right. And something else we're doing during this time, and really offering this to anyone, whether you know, you're local here to the twin cities or throughout the country is we're offering appointments via phone or video chat for those clients who, you know, don't necessarily want to come in, but want to continue to work on their health goals. We are also offering free shipping on any supplements. And of course we have our online classes. So you're able to take any of these classes anywhere that you have internet access. As I mentioned earlier, the staff at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, including the founder, Darlene Kvist, we're working to put together a podcast to focus on foods and supplements specifically to support your immune system. We all understand how important this is. There's no time like the present to practice self-care and implement some of these things that we've been talking about in terms of real food, high quality supplements and of course sleep.

So if you guys have any questions or if there are other things that we can help you with, please email the office. I'm going to give out our main email address. It is Everything is spelled out: So, we definitely want to make sure to support and encourage people to take care of themselves. We know we are not the infectious disease experts, but we definitely are the immune system experts; you know, supporting the immune system with colds and flus and cancer; really helping people get that inflammation down. And in counseling we talk about sleep, we talk about antioxidants and, and lots of other things. So let us know how we can support and encourage you during this time.

JOANN: Yeah, that's right. So Shelby, you had a former client with fibromyalgia?

SHELBY: Yeah, I was just kind of telling you, I have a client that I was working with a few years back that has a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. And when I first met with her she was on a variety of pain medications, both antidepressants and some pretty hefty pain meds. But because of these medications, she was having a hard time staying regular with her schedule. You know, she might sleep until noon because she had a hard time falling asleep. Well, when she got up, she wasn't really in the position to be cooking and eating. And so often she would go grab something “snacky”, you know, maybe some cookies, maybe some pretzels. But because she was sleeping so late and only eating these processed carbohydrates, she was having a hard time falling asleep at night. You know, couldn't go to bed until after, you know, sometimes 3:00 AM; sometimes she'd be up wandering the house until 3:00 AM. And you know, of course she loved her cookies and she thought they brought her comfort, but she didn't realize that she had become addicted to that sugar. And as we started to peel back those layers of the onion, she started to realize that her fibromyalgia pain was actually increasing when she was sleep deficient and when she was over-consuming that sugar.

JOANN: Right.

SHELBY: So it's a, it's a pretty tight cycle for people who are in pain and who are deficient in sleep. You know, those sugar cravings and that pain really go hand in hand.

JOANN: And it's so helpful because she was the one who figured that out along with your guidance because it's so much easier to make changes when we figure that connection out.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: It actually helps us implement.

SHELBY: And how many of the people do we work with, you know, that are coming in regardless of their weight loss goals or their pain goals, but they're struggling to even stand at the kitchen counter to chop vegetables.

JOANN: We do see that.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: We do see clients like that. And so for most people eating that excess sugar just isn't a good thing. We all know that it can lead to type-two diabetes. Also, high triglycerides, fatigue, depression, low moods, anxiety, weight gain, sleep problems, but also leads to a number of autoimmune diseases. And those are often pain-related.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: And so here's a question that we need to ask: “Why do many people with chronic health conditions get so focused on their sugary treats?”

SHELBY: Well, I think one of the reasons is when you're fatigued, you're looking for a quick source of energy. You're looking for your quick fix, you know, maybe sugar, maybe caffeine, oftentimes both to temporarily give you that burst of energy. But that energy is short-lived. It's not sustainable. So when you have that energy crash, then you're having more pain, whether it's a headache, fatigue, low moods, you know, the list could go on and on.

JOANN: That's right. And so you might be thinking, “When does a sugar habit become a problem?” And Dr, Teitelbaum, the author of several books about fibromyalgia, he said that sugar becomes a problem when it causes health and emotional concerns. And so thinking about, could you give it up for 30 days?

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: That's an interesting question. I know lots of my clients really struggle to do that: giving it up for 30 days.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: And he actually compares sugar addiction to alcohol addiction.

SHELBY: Right. So yeah, I think we're, we're actually, you know, talking a lot about how sugar creates more inflammation and for some people sugar equals more pain. Now we definitely want to talk a little bit more about how we can replace those sugary high-sugar foods with real food. But I want to tell you guys a little bit more about Nutrition for Weight Loss before we go to our next break here. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Last Wednesday when I was teaching class in Wayzata, I had a couple that were coming in, taking Nutrition for Weight Loss as part of their retirement self-care. They both wanted to lose some weight but they definitely wanted to enjoy real food. They certainly have the right attitude and motivation. They want to eat real food so they can cook together and enjoy their retirement years together.

JOANN: That sounds great.

SHELBY: We'll be right back.


JOANN: Welcome back Dishing Up Nutrition. The week of March 23rd we are offering our Nutrition for Weight Loss program at all seven of our locations. The Nutrition for Weight Loss program includes 12 weekly group classes and two one-hour individual appointments with one of our Nutritional Weight and Wellness dietitians or nutritionists. And after working with people for the past 25 years, we do understand to make better food choices, it is important to learn some basic nutrition information because most people have a unique set of challenges and we can help them by addressing them individually. So call our office at 651-699-3438 to sign up or ask any questions you may have. And I want to remind all of you listeners that you can take our Nutrition for Weight Loss class online and we can do your two, one-hour nutrition consultations by phone or video or if you want to come in and meet us, we can do that in person as well.

But we want to provide a way for you to stay connected because during this highly stressful time, nutrition is even more important for your health and well-being.

SHELBY: Right; right. We want to keep people on track with their goals and definitely work to support that immune system. Now, Joann, before we went to break, I was just kind of sharing one of the clients that I met; working with this client who has fibromyalgia. Initially when I started working with this client, I asked her to commit to coming in to see me every other week because first and foremost, to get her out of pain, we had to get her on a sleep schedule.

JOANN: Right.

SHELBY: And of course to get her sleeping well and to reduce that pain, we had to get her off sugar and get her eating real food. You know, helping her see that she could cook real food; and then of course down the road after that, her health goal was to, you know, work with her primary care doctor to reduce or eliminate some of those medications. So of course it took time. It took us about a year to get things rebalanced for her, but she did get her life back and now she's able to travel and manage her pain with only a small amount of pain medication. So it is, food is very powerful.

JOANN: It really is. It really is. And because I have had problems sleeping, I often can relate to those clients.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: And focus on helping those clients get sufficient sleep. And we know that most clients need at least seven and a half hours of good sleep most nights.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: But also people that have chronic health conditions need even more sleep.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: So at least eight to nine hours of sleep is required for healing.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: Our brain needs sleep to detox as well. And I find each client has his or her own unique sleep problems.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: And sometimes the solution is simply not allowing the cats to be in the bedroom or your dog.

SHELBY: Are you speaking from experience?

JOANN: Yes, I do have that. But cats often wake up early. They want to play, you know, and there goes your sleep.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: So, if a client is having trouble staying asleep, I often suggest taking up to 600 to 800 milligrams of Magnesium Glycinate.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: Now that sounds like a lot.


JOANN: But you know, I'll do anything to sleep.

SHELBY: I think most people would; yes.

JOANN: So I can relate to that. And, and it really, it really is so helpful. It not only helps you get to sleep but also to stay asleep.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: And that natural non-medicated sleep is much more healing than medicated sleep. And so it's important to find that natural solution.

SHELBY: So what I'm hearing you say, Joann, is that, you know, taking an Ambien might actually help people sleep, but taking Magnesium Glycinate is going to help people get that healing type of sleep.

JOANN: And actually a deeper sleep.

SHELBY: A deeper sleep. Yes. So a, a non-medicated or a non, you know, kind of sedated sleep is, you know, where we can help people fall asleep and stay asleep without worrying about that sedated piece. We want that deeper sleep naturally. Now as nutritionists and dietitians, we've got lots of natural solutions for you. As I think back to some of the clients I've worked with, I would say a large number of them who had or still have chronic health problems also have a history of poor sleep hygiene or bad habits around sleep. Maybe they had one or all of these poor sleep habits. So listeners, I want you to think, where do you fall in this mix? Is it staying up too late to watch TV? Is it because you're shopping online? Or maybe you're playing games on the computer or your cell phone? Or maybe you know you need to go to sleep, but you're afraid that you're not going to get a good night's sleep, and so you just delay the inevitable, right? Sometimes these clients have the false belief that their body and their brain only need four to six hours of sleep at night. But I'm here to tell you that research does not support that misbelief or that false idea. It takes time and practice to give up those destructive old sleep habits and begin a healing sleep habit. So to get rid of those destructive sleep habits I find many clients do best when they make appointments on a regular basis with their nutritionist. Maybe that's every other week. Maybe you commit to doing that on a monthly basis until your sleep improves.

JOANN: That's right.

SHELBY: Now that's one of the best ways that we're able to help see that progress and, and really be there to make adjustments as needed. We've got lots of tools in our tool belt so to speak when it comes to sleep.

JOANN: That's right. We sure do. So, and I thought we should spend a few minutes on what we call sugar aches.

SHELBY: Oh yeah.

JOANN: Have you ever had sugar aches? Think about that. I know I sure have. And whenever I eat sugar or not just sugar, I, as I said earlier, it can be grains; grains that turn to sugar. Whenever I eat that or you know, maybe a few corn chips, my back aches. I have severe pain in my back or legs or hips, especially kind of later in the day. It's, it really kind of creeps up on you.

SHELBY: So for those of you listeners who are thinking more about, “Well, how could corn chips or how could you know, processed carbohydrates increase my pain?” Well four chips breaks down into one teaspoon of sugar in the body, which means, you know, most of us are not just grabbing four chips at a time. You know, we're having a bowl of it. But you know that even the gluten-free…

JOANN: Even a couple of them.

SHELBY: Right. The gluten-free stuff increases your pain.

JOANN: Oh, absolutely.

SHELBY: Yeah. Now, one of my clients just this week was telling me after she gave up her coffee house muffin, her left knee stopped aching. So instead of needing that pain medication, she just needed to get the inflammatory sugar out of her diet.

People, people tend to overlook how powerful our habits are.

JOANN: Right.

SHELBY: Especially how powerful those sugary treats can be. You know, in a, in a negative way really. Now I find when people are in pain, either physical and/or mental pain, they stop cooking. If you have a chronic health problem, we know you will feel better by giving up the processed foods and eating real foods; stuff that you could pluck from a farmer's field or you could grow in your garden.

JOANN: Right.

SHELBY: As nutritionists and dietitians, we help clients give up the processed foods and figure out simple ways to cook the real meat, the colorful carbohydrates, like our vegetables and our fruit and use those natural fats and oils. So we're talking real meat, real vegetables, and real fat. And sadly when people give up on cooking, they start to live on those processed foods, maybe cheese and crackers or they have popcorn for dinner or they have chips and dip, all of which are inflammatory foods. Now it's very easy for us to see that as nutritionists and dietitians, but we have to remember that we want to repeat that information because not everyone is making the connection between processed foods and sugar.

JOANN: Right.

SHELBY: …and aches and pains or inflammation. When we first suggest they need to give up their junk foods or their sugary treats to feel better, some of them say, “Well, I don't know if I can do that.” Or some of them say, “I don't know if I'm willing to do that.” “That sugary treat’s the only thing that kind of gets me through tough times or gets me through the day.” And I often ask them, you know, “Do you really believe that those are the foods that are helping you through those tough times?” Or could it be that those are the foods that are creating more tough times for you? And I try to suggest some quick and easy recipes and then ask them to pay attention to how they feel after they eat. So instead of eating fast food or frozen dinners or even “snacky” foods, one simple recipe that I recommend is putting some chicken thighs on a sheet pan with maybe some broccoli or some cubed sweet potato, drizzle that with some avocado oil. Put a little salt and pepper or garlic salt on there if you like; any spices that that you like and enjoy, and slide into the oven at 425 degrees and in 30 minutes you're going to have a healthy delicious meal. I know we have a similar version of this recipe with more specifics on combinations and portions. You can check that out at our website:

JOANN: And I have tried that sheet pan chicken. It's wonderful.

SHELBY: The apple and squash.

JOANN: The apple, squash and potato with… it's just wonderful. It’s so easy to make.

SHELBY: So Joann, we're going to, we're going to have to go to our next break here. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. In the past two to three weeks, many people are concerned about their immune system and getting the Coronavirus; the COVID-19. Many of our clients have been asking what they should do, so we've got a few general suggestions for you for those of you listening. The first recommendation is to stop eating sugar. Sugar weakens the immune system. Our second is get sufficient sleep; at least seven and a half to eight hours most nights because increased sleep helps to increase the number of white blood cells our immune system has to fight that infection. And our third is eating at least four times a day: real meat, real vegetables and real fat because when you're eating real food, that's the best thing you can do to support your, your immune system and strengthen that. When we come back from break, Joann's going to share a few key supplements that you could also include. We'll be right back.


JOANN: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. So we're going to talk about some supplements that we recommend to support your immune system. First of all, we include the probiotic, Bifido Balance, before breakfast and dinner. And that's available in capsule or powder form. And I was looking up some research on these immune support supplements and this bifidobacterium bifidum specifically was listed as one of the most important supplements for fighting the Coronavirus. So I thought that was really helpful. And we do have that. It’s called Bifido Balance. The second recommendation is to take 3,000 to 5,000 milligrams of vitamin C daily. And we have a supplement Nutrikey’s Complete C-1000 is a comprehensive vitamin C complex, so that helps to protect the stomach lining and nutrients are then more readily available for cell absorption.

SHELBY: So your immune system can use that vitamin C; yeah.

JOANN: It’s really easy to get three of those in each day. And then the third one is three softgels of Omega-3 1000. The Nutrikey brand contains both EPA and DHA essential fatty acids. And those come from cold water fish.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: So, another suggestion is taking 400 to 600 milligrams of Magnesium Glycinate before bed for better sleep.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: So we talked about how important sleep is in this whole immune system.

SHELBY: Right, because when you're getting sufficient sleep, your body is able to create more of those white blood cells that eat up bacteria and viruses.

JOANN: That's right.

SHELBY: Sleep is important. You know, when we're getting quality sleep, that also helps to reduce inflammation in the body.

JOANN: That's right. That's helpful. So the, and last but not least: vitamin D. We know vitamin D is really helpful for immune support, but there are many, many, many benefits of vitamin D. But we also recommend you ask your doctor to test your vitamin D level. We often don't know what our vitamin D level is and the doctor may not bring that up.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: And so what you want to do is make sure the ideal level of vitamin D of the total vitamin D is 70 or you want to be at least in a range of between 50 and 80.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: So many clients I've met with come out and they come in and say that, “Oh gee, my level was nine or my level was 14.” So, so low. We tend to run so low in this part of the country because we really don't see the sun as much. So we recommend generally at least 5,000 IUs daily because of that limited sun exposure.

SHELBY: So you said the top five supplements that you would encourage people to check out to keep their immune system strong is a probiotic, specifically that bifidobacteria. The second one that you had mentioned was vitamin C to protect; you know, vitamin C's a very powerful antioxidant.

JOANN: That’s right.

SHELBY: The third one was the fish oil, you know, the omega-three fats from EPA and DHA. The fourth is Magnesium Glycinate to get a good night's sleep. And the fifth is that vitamin D to support our immune system and to reduce that inflammation in the body.

JOANN: That's right. And then all of our supplements we've mentioned today are available at our seven locations. So stop into one of them and we'll be happy to help you choose the most beneficial immune booster supplements.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: So if you have questions or you're unable to stop in, just call. We will have a dietitian or nutritionist reply and/or answer your questions as much as possible. And then to have a strong immune system, it's important to eliminate sugar and processed carbs.

SHELBY: And I wanted to talk about that because I've been listening to more of the research and reading more of the updates on the Coronavirus. And there is a pediatrician, Dr. Elisa Song, out in California that says, “Within 30 minutes of eating sugar, whether it's glucose or refined sugar or even high fructose corn syrup, your immune system is decreased and you have a 50% reduction in your white blood cell’s ability to kill germs.” And that actually comes from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. She cited that research. But you know, the “meat and potatoes” of that really is when you're eating in balance with protein and vegetables and good fat, when you work to keep your blood sugar stabilized, your immune system is improved. You have a stronger immune system.

JOANN: So important.

SHELBY: Definitely. Now, one of the other things that we suggest is drinking some bone broth. I don't know if you could smell my chicken bone broth, Joann, but I've been sipping on bone broth this morning because it feels good and it's a great immune booster. Now, just to kind of piggyback on some of the information that you shared about vitamin D, we know we have an increased risk for inflammatory disorders when people are deficient in vitamin D, and that research actually comes from the National Institutes of Health. One study suggested that “in vitamin D deficient women with fibromyalgia symptoms, just taking vitamin D supplementation for 20 weeks helped reduce their pain”. So I'm going to repeat that. The NIH suggested that “deficiencies in vitamin D might worsen the symptoms of fibromyalgia, specifically pain”. So in one study they followed women who were known to have low vitamin D levels and they gave them vitamin D supplements for 20 weeks and found that vitamin D helped to reduce that pain”. So lots of good information about supplements both for immune health and for fibromyalgia.


SHELBY: Now, fibromyalgia, you know, some health professionals believe it's inflammation of the nerves. So that makes me think that we want to talk briefly about a supplement for the nerves: vitamin B12 to support our nerve function. So Joann, what are some of the food sources? I know we've, we really only have like a minute here, but what are some of the best dietary food sources of vitamin B12?

JOANN: So the best dietary sources of B12 are beef, liver and clams.


JOANN: I know they're not at the top of everyone's list. Many of my clients remember their mother cooking liver and onions and I actually remember my mother doing that. But if liver isn't on your list of foods to eat, some other good sources of B12 include meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products. The researchers have found eating a plant based source of B12 does not significantly increase the B12 in your body. So that's really important to know. We actually need animal protein to make B12. Our bodies and our nerves absolutely need that.

SHELBY: Right; right. Now, some people may have a vitamin B12 deficiency: people who have had gastric bypass surgery, people who take acid-reducing medications like Prilosec or Prevacid, people who take diabetes medication like Metformin and people who are older in age. The National institutes of Health said “the older we are, the more likely we are to be deficient in B12”. So Joann, if people are truly deficient or they've had gastric bypass surgery, what are some of the other ways that we can get that B12 status up?

JOANN: So if you're low in B12, we actually can take a supplement called, we have the Mega B12, which is a liquid form.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: And we also have a capsule.

SHELBY: Right.

JOANN: …which is Methyl B12.

SHELBY: The Ortho Molecular product.

JOANN: Those two supplements can help us get our B12 up.

SHELBY: Right. So if that resonates with any of you listening, check out our office. You can give us a call: 651-699-3438 or you can go to our website: to learn more about those supplements or to even place your order. I'm also going to encourage you guys, please share this show with a friend or a family member or maybe even a neighbor who needs to hear this information. We need facts, not fear, to support our immune system and to reduce inflammation. Our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you for listening and have a wonderful day.

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