types_of_sources_02-2012Dr Carrie Decker ND and Michael Ash DO, ND, RNT explore the role of natural agents in assisting the bodys healing capacity from damage linked to particulates. In a recent article, mechanisms by which the particulate matter (PM) found in air pollution may be detrimental to  health were discussed, as well as how specific antioxidants, cell membrane specific lipids and some of the B vitamins may offset this damage. Here, we dive deeper into these potential issues and the importance of supporting the body in the process of ongoing cellular repair and detoxification.

biomolecules-05-01399-g001-1024Dr Carrie Decker ND explores some of the mechanisms linked to airpollution and human health. The action of taking a deep breath in and slowly exhaling is an experience we can likely all attest to as being restorative, balancing, and calming. Even much better so if this experience can be in a place where we are held by nature such as a forest with trees towering around us or at the oceanside with the sand between our toes. We take it for granted that the very action of breathing is a positive health-promoting activity, and how can it not be? Everyone, even the very little child, is aware that we cannot hold our breath far beyond a minute without the need for the refreshing blast of a new gulp of oxygen. It is our very nature to breathe, and now we even have evidence from studies surrounding meditation and controlled breathing techniques that further our knowledge that yes, taking time to breathe, will positively impact our health.[1],[2] Additionally, we also can thank science for showing us that the experience of breathing in natural settings also is truly more restorative than in an urban environment.[3],[4]

The Singer-Nicolson Fluid-Mosaic Model of the cell’s lipid membrane is making scientific news again. The model, along with clinical evidence for the effectiveness of oral lipid replacement therapy (LRT), has recently been the subject of several peer review scientific papers. LRT is proving to be a valid method for restoring lipid membranes damaged by chronic infection and oxidative stress. New articles by Garth Nicolson, PhD and Michael Ash, DO, ND, BSc appear in Elsevier’s Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, and articles by Dr. Nicolson also appear in the newly Harvard-launched journal, Discoveries, as well as Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. Here, we summarize the clinical findings.

Schematic representation of mechanisms accounting for mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilisation

by: Michael Ash BSc DO ND F.DipION+, Prof. Garth L. Nicolson, Ph.D.*

+Nutri-Link Clinical Education, Devon UK

*Department of Molecular Pathology, The Institute for Molecular Medicine, Huntington Beach, CA 92647

If the fundamental biological maxim– ‘structure subserves function’ – remains paramount, the evolutionary commitment to generating, managing and maintaining the vast array of lipids required by humans to survive and prosper has presented science with a complex task to fully elucidate our lipid repertoire and determine their biological functions. .  Arguably the most important of these lipids are the phospholipids that are the mainstay of all cellular membranes. The wide variety of cellular and organelle membranes and the existence of special membrane lipid regions and domains allows for the design of specific lipid replacement therapies to support and maintain the structure and function of cellular membranes. The authors discuss some of the biological processes and evolving strategies related to lipid replacement therapy and its use along with antioxidants for the constitutive management of mitochondrial and other cellular membranes as well as the functional gains from the utilisation of lipid replacement to improve cellular membranes biological functions.

A 2012 study in the international Journal of Functional Foods in Health and Disease finds that glycophospholipids significantly reduce intractable fatigue in long-term patients who are positive on the western blot test for Borrelia burgdorferi infection, known as Lyme Disease.1 The western blot is the gold standard test for this infection, which is the most common vector-borne illness in North America.

It isn’t every newsletter issue that FOCUS has the privilege of featuring a scientist whose theory of a fundamental biological phenomenon is accepted throughout the biological and medical sciences as the standard textbook model. Such is the case with S. J. Singer’s and Garth Nicolson’s landmark theory of the Fluid Mosaic Model of cell membranes. This model, proposed in 1972 and published in the prestigious journal SCIENCE, has been called a “unified theory” of the cell membrane. This model has been tested and retested for many decades, and it is now believed to accurately predict the structure and behaviour of all cellular membranes. Over the intervening years this theory has been confirmed by many sophisticated physical and chemical techniques, including one known as freeze-fracture electron microscopy.

In the mid-1960s I had the honour of working with Professor S. J. Singer on the Fluid Mosaic Model of Biological Membranes for my doctoral thesis. At the time the cell membrane was thought to be a rather static three-layer structure with lipids sandwiched in between protein inner and outer layers. However, we knew that this static 3-layer structure did not fit with the wide range of physical and chemical information that had recently become available on membrane structure.


There is a simple arithmetic to human life that holds deep insights into health and disease—the rate of our cell generation minus the rate of our cell loss determines the growth or degeneration of a tissue.

Recent evidence indicates that the interplay between our mitochondria, mitophagy (the removal of impaired mitochondria by a specialised version of the autophagy pathway by delivering mitochondria to the lysosomes for degradation) and autophagy links aging to health or disease.[1]

By Michael E. Ash BSc DO ND and Garth L. Nicolson, PhD

On the front line of primary care the two most common complaints are fatigue and gastrointestinal problems. Fatigue is the most common; up to 45% of consultations mention fatigue as the major complaint.[1],[2] If unresolved, it can progress to the point that it causes disability comparable to that found in chronic medical patients.[3],[4]

Michael E. Ash BSc DO ND, Robert Settenari M.S and Prof. Garth L. Nicolson Ph.D explain the relationship between energy deficit, mitochondrial membrane quality, the immune system, inflammation and how to recover from persistent fatigue using validated natural medicine.