Olive Branch Wellness Center

Wellness tips, health news, nutrition insights, encouragement and more...

August 2018 Issue

Raynette Ilg, ND

Raynette Ilg, ND, Founder
Olive Branch Wellness Center

This Month's Vitamini:
Vitamin "M" 

Nobody uses the term vitamin M anymore, as it refers to one of the B vitamins: folic acid, B9 or folate.

Folic acid is one of the vitamins that pregnant mothers need plenty of to prevent neural tube defects in their newborns. This is because folate helps with proper cell division and growth.

Folic acid also helps us produce red blood cells. That’s why a deficiency in folate can lead to a certain type of anemia, as well as fatigue, shortness of breath, weakness and irritability.

It’s easy to remember foods that contain folate: just think of “foliage,” or leafy green vegetables like spinach and brussels sprouts. You can also find folic acid in nuts, beans, liver, yeast, grains, poultry, eggs and meat.

A note about B vitamins… All the B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning they aren’t readily stored by the body. Like other water-soluble vitamins, that means they need to be replenished every day. To avoid deficiencies in the population, the government mandated that certain common foods like commercial bread, flour and cereal be fortified with critical B vitamins. However, since you are hopefully eating better and avoiding commercially processed and supplemented foods, you need to be sure to eat a lots of quality meats, eggs and a wide range of veggies to get your Bs. Most quality supplements have the full spectrum of B vitamins, but the source of those Bs counts! Check with me next time you are in so we can be sure the B vitamins in whatever supplement you’re taking are in a form your body can assimilate and aren’t just passing through and out through your urine unused.

naturopathic health

"Splenda" or Sucralose:


All artificial sweeteners are chemical nightmares that you should avoid, however, please know that Splenda is perhaps one of the worst. It’s the darling of the diet food industry these days, and even some low-carb and keto gurus push Splenda as a way to sweeten your food and beverages. Don’t do it!

Here’s why:

  • Splenda is actually made from sugar, but undergoes a three-step chemical process that replaces hydrogen-oxygen groups with chlorine. Yes, chlorine! Would you like some chlorine in your iced tea? No, you wouldn’t.
  • Splenda may hurt your gut bacteria, which affects your overall health. We’ve been talking about the importance of health gut bacteria for the last several months in this newsletter. You need to protect your good bacteria!  Sucralose, however, was shown to reduce good bacteria by 47 – 80% in rats. Even after they stopped consuming sucralose, their gut bacteria still had not returned to normal after 12 weeks.
  • Splenda adds the carbs dextrose and maltodextrin to sucralose (more chemical junk you don’t want).
  • Artificial sweeteners can still trigger an insulin response. In the case of Splenda, in a study of severely obese people, sucralose elevated blood sugar levels by 14% and insulin levels by 20%. Lowering blood sugar and insulin response is one of the goals for ketogenic weight loss and low carb or paleo dieting, and Splenda doesn’t help the way you think it should. And what happens when you keep triggering blood sugar spikes and insulin? You crave more sweets. Using Splenda only prolongs those sugar cravings, or worse, you’ll eat more and more Splenda.
  • Cooking with Splenda can create carcinogenic toxins!  When sucralose is heated, it combines with fat molecules in food to create chloropropanols, which may cause cancer.

This is why I recommend that you use stevia as your main sweetener. It’s virtually calorie free and natural, and you can find it just about any health food store or even grocery stores these days.

If you have Splenda in your kitchen—go throw it out right now. Also, read labels carefully. Many products are now using sucralose or Splenda as a sweetener to lower calorie counts and claim they don’t contain high fructose corn syrup.

Wouldn't it be GREAT if Dr. Ray came to
speak at your workplace?

Did you know that Dr. Ray offers corporate wellness programs for mid to large size businesses? That means she can work with your company to provide health education through fun, informative talks on today's most important health issues. She also forms partnerships with companies to provide individualized wellness plans and discounted health services for interested employees.

The great part is that employers love it because it saves them money on health care costs, reduces sick time, and creates a healthier, happier work environment. Let your Human Resource Director know about Dr. Ray, and perhaps you'll see her speak at your company!