The Berkeley, CA hotel was jam packed with perhaps 100-125 alternative health professionals. The event was a 2-day seminar hosted by the long-standing nutritional supplement company Standard Process, featuring presentations from master herbalist Kerry Bone, PhD and chiropractor Michael Dobbins, DC.
The seminar centered around the Six Most Common Health Challenges faced by the Modern Clinician. Included in this discussion were: cardiovascular health, joint health, conditions of the central nervous system, immune function, hormones and female essentials and addressing the healthy insulin response.
It was interesting to watch the two very different styles of teaching of Dobbins and Bone. Both clinicians are highly informed in their respected fields. Bone is the founder of the Standard Process sister company Mediherb which features well researched adaptogens and uniquely integrated formulas of western, Ayurvedic and Chinese varieties. Dobbins weaves his clinical approach to using the Standard Process product line of whole food concentrates and protomorphogenic glandulars.
I must say that after having begun using the Standard Process product line, I am very impressed with the quality, potency and clinical results I am seeing with their products. I am also impressed with their educational events offered to their practitioners. The company’s well informed account reps do a very good job of keeping practitioners educated on how to use the products, including under unique and challenging circumstances.
The event began Saturday morning with Dobbins going into cardiovascular function. I thought he did a good job addressing the core issues of this disease, including carbohydrate restriction, as well as the incredibly dangerous implications associated with statin drug use. Dobbins went into the homocysteine biochemical pathway, illustrating the significance of certain methyl donor nutrients such as choline, which was originally suggested by Standard Process founder Royal Lee, DDS decades before subsequent research came to be known widely.
The intensity and focus of Dobbins’ scientifically-oriented delivery was made light by his wacky sense of humor, at some points busting out 2-3 jokes per minute.
One of the highlights of his cardiovascular presentation was the clinical testing and analysis of patient symptoms. These can be used to verify clinician lab findings. Dobbins went into the Standard Process line of products that are used to specifically address cardiovascular issues.
The next presentation was Kerry Bone’s discourse on joint inflammation. Throughout the weekend, Bone relied heavily on medical study after medical study to endorse his promotion of his choice of herbs. This approach was an interesting one to take with herbology, because the use of herbal medicine can be hit or miss with people in many instances. It is difficult in many instances to pin down how an herb or any herbal formula will react in an individual’s body. While I believe medical studies do have their place, they can only be relied upon up until a point, because of the highly individual nature of the human organism. and the reality that herbs don’t always hit their suspected target.
For an herbalist Bone possesses a very strong understanding of chemistry and biochemistry. His most powerful topic was the anti-catabolic effect that boswellia has on osteoarthritis, including information on how boswellia inhibits the leukotriene-inflammation pathway. In the osteoarthritis and inflammation talk, Bone also discussed the significance of ginger and turmeric as “dual” eicosanoid inhibitors, the clinical importance of gotu kola, ginkgo biloba, horse chestnut, garlic and willow bark.
Dobbins closed out Saturday’s event discussing the confounded etiology of neurological diseases such as parkinson’s and alzheimer’s, and the nutritional support that could be used to intervene in the progression of the diseases. Both protocols included Standard Process Neuroplex formulas, which includes several glandular extracts. Dobbins also discussed the amazing importance of ketosis for individuals with seizures. Numerous studies and clinical cases reveal substantial reduction in seizures with high fat, high protein, low carb diets.
Dobbins finished off the night with an in-depth dissection of the GI immune system touching on cancer, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. Included in the immune discussion was the complex function of white blood cells and the health of lymphatic organs such as the spleen and thymus. The nutrition discussed largely was prebiotics and probiotics, medicinal mushrooms and Standard Process glandular products.
Sunday was Kerry Bone’s 4-hour discourse on Women’s Hormonal Issues followed by A Healthy Insulin Response discussion. Bone delved into the complex world of hormonal pathways, a difficult relam to navigate for many clinician’s, let alone an herbalist. He discussed the importance of herbs such as Chaste Tree for PMS, perimenopausal symptoms, fibroids and acne and the Mediherb synnergist product for dysmenorrhea.
The insulin subject was the final discussion of the weekend seminar. Bone went into discussions for both Metabolic Syndrome and Insulin Resistant Diabetes. An interesting topic was discussed with regards to reducing oxidative stress in both types of patients. Bone sited the Nrf-2 ARE pathway, which is a recently discovered (within the past 20 years) anti-oxidant response element that is hardwired into every cell of the body. The stimulation of this pathway results in a major up-regulation of phase II detoxification enzymes and glutathione production. Nutrients which have been documented to stimulate the Nrf2 pathway are resveratrol, curcumin, ECGC, cruciferous vegetables, garlic and rosemary. The implications are that an up-regulation of this metabolic pathway may have profound benefits for insulin-resistant patients and those with metabolic syndrome.
Bone talked about the benefit of herbs such as DGL, milk thistle, forskolin, gymnema, and numerous other synnergistic herbs and adaptogens for insulin-related issues.
Overall the 2-day event was packed with a lot of valuable information. My primary critique is that it was allopathic and primarily supplement-oriented. Disease-specific models of healthcare fall short of addressing the biochemical individuality of the person with a particular disease, in my opinion. Nutritional supplements can have a lot of value for people. However, I choose to use them supplementally. Food is the most powerful medicine and nothing will ever change that.
I am very fortunate to have gone to this event and look forward to many more Standard Process events.