My husband and I have been taking your Multi Vitamin and Absolute Goji

May 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Recent Posts

Hi Dr. E!
My husband and I have been taking your Multi Vitamin and Absolute Goji for several years now. Over the weekend some friends brought us a book touting the great benefits of Astaxanthin. He heard about it on the Dr. Oz show and felt this should be the only thing anyone needs to take (?). So Dr. E., what is your take on this product?
I appreciate your time and expertise.
Thank you in advance!
Bob and Peggy Whitehead

Bob and Peggy,

Good to hear from you guys. Astaxanthin is in the carotene family, marine source mainly, Krill Oil being the best one. Personally, I wouldn’t spend money on it. Out of the 1000+ supplements I carry in my practice, I don’t keep it in stock and very rarely recommend it. I do for some cancer and severely diseased patients. Here is the best way to carotenes into our body:

I make this soup at least once per week with produce bought at our local farmers markets. Red and yellow bell peppers are, to me, super-foods and the best source of carotenes. I put them in pasta sauce, when I make salsa I’ll blend in a red bell pepper, soups, chili, salads – the possibilities are endless. Food is medicine!

I hope this helps.


Dr. Marcus Ettinger

How to Tell If You Have a Zinc Deficiency

March 14, 2017 by  
Filed under In The News, Recent Posts


By: Markham Heid from 2/14/2017

Zinc is so essential to your health that experts struggle to neatly summarize what it does. A better question might be, what doesn’t it do? “Zinc is required by every cell, system, and organ in your body,” says Michael Hambidge, PhD, professor emeritus of pediatrics and nutrition at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “It’s just of outstanding importance,” he adds. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), zinc plays an indispensable role in cell metabolism, immune function, digestion, DNA expression, and wound healing. “It’s involved in nearly every biological process,” Hambidge says. “And because its functions are so diverse, symptoms of a deficiency are also diverse.”

The good news is that zinc is one of the most abundant minerals on Earth, and is found in many foods. But some people—especially those with gut disorders, or those who adhere to restrictive diets—may have cause for concern. Read on to find out how to identify a zinc deficiency, and how to prevent low zinc in the first place.


Blood levels of zinc are not always a reliable gauge of how much zinc your body has or lacks, Hambidge says. And because the symptoms of a zinc deficiency are widespread and “non-specific”—meaning they’re associated with many other health conditions—diagnosing a zinc deficiency isn’t easy, he says. If you’re worried about a zinc shortage, your doctor will assess your symptoms and, if she deems it necessary, test your blood. Taken together, these indicators can give her a good idea of whether you have low zinc.


Young children who aren’t getting enough zinc may experience slow or stunted growth, loss of appetite, a rotten mood, and “failure to thrive,” Hambidge says. Among older adults—a group that may be at increased risk because of poor diet or inadequate food intake—zinc deficiency is more likely to show up as problems thinking, a weakened immune system, or macular degeneration, he says.


The National Academy of Medicine’s recommended daily allowance (RDA) for zinc is 11 mg for adult men need 8 mg for adult women. For pregnant women, the NAM recommends intakes in the range of 11 to 12 mg. While it’s fine to pay attention to the amount of zinc in the foods you eat, Hambidge reiterates that it’s tough to estimate exactly how much zinc an individual will get from diet. Your gut is not like anyone else’s gut, and the amount of zinc your body absorbs depends on some of the other health and dietary factors mentioned above.


Almost everything you eat contains a little zinc. But its bioavailability—the amount of the mineral your body can easily extract and use—varies from food group to food group, Hambidge says. Along with mollusks like oysters, “animal meats are the best sources of zinc,” he says. “If you eat a carnivorous or omnivorous diet, you’re at low risk for a deficiency.” Whole grains, too, contain some zinc. “But the amount depends on what’s been done to the grain,” he says. “Polished rice or processed grains may not have much zinc left, but whole grains will have a fair amount.” Many breakfast cereals are also fortified with zinc.


Zinc is a mineral “of great concern” for vegetarians and vegans, per a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN). (The other mineral of concern is iron.) Meat is high in bioavailable zinc and may actually enhance absorption, so vegetarians and vegans—who don’t eat meat—may need up to 50% more of the RDA for zinc than people who do eat meat. What’s more, many plant foods—especially legumes and whole grains—contain a compound called phytic acid that blocks the absorption of zinc. But vegetarians don’t necessarily need to pop a supplement or go back to their carnivorous ways. Soaking beans, grains, and seeds in water for several hours until sprouts form can increase zinc bioavailability in those foods.


Zinc plays a crucial role in human development, Hambidge says. So children, teens, and pregnant or nursing moms may need more zinc in order to meet their own (or their newborn’s) nutrient demands. Kids who are following a parent’s strict vegetarian or vegan diet could be particularly at risk for inadequacy, Hambidge says. “But one thing we’re not sure about yet is how much the human digestive system can adapt based on need,” he says. “There’s some evidence that pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers have increased zinc absorption as a result of increased need.” He and other experts are still sorting all this out.


Certain gastrointestinal disorders may up your risk of developing a zinc deficiency. “The gastrointestinal conditions most often associated with zinc deficiency are Crohn’s disease and short bowel syndrome,” says Angela Ginn-Meadow, RD, senior education coordinator at the University of Maryland’s Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology. These conditions both decrease zinc absorption, she explains. Chronic diarrhea can also lead to zinc loss.


Zinc deficiency affects 60 to 70% of adults with sickle cell disease. Sickle cell disease is an inherited condition in which abnormal blood cells carry less oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body, and where abnormal blood cells clump and get stuck in blood vessels. It can be a painful condition, and lead to infections and organ damage.


Roughly 30% to 50% of people who abuse alcohol suffer from “low zinc status,” according to the NIH. Alcohol appears to block your intestines’ absorption of zinc while simultaneously upping the amount of zinc you lose when you pee, the NIH reports.


Many of the same foods that are full of zinc—namely, animal sources of meat—are also the best dietary sources of iron. So if you’re worried your body’s zinc stores are running low, you may also want to pay attention to your iron intakes. Just don’t go nuts with zinc and iron supplements. Yet another AJCN study finds taking zinc and iron together can limit your body’s iron absorption.


If you have zinc inadequacy or deficiency, you may want to consider supplements—but consult your doctor first. Hambridge says adding a supplement with 5 to 10 mg of zinc to your diet could be particularly beneficial for vegans and vegetarians, as well as for those who have gut disease like Crohn’s. However, too much zinc can be harmful and may cause symptoms like vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and headaches. Zinc can also interfere with medications, such as certain types of antibiotics and diuretics. The National Institutes recommends that adults get no more than 40 milligrams of zinc per day.

Tamanu Oil for Keloid Scars

Hi, Dr. Ettinger!

My wife has suffered with a large, painful and growing keloid scar on her left shoulder at the site where she received her childhood vaccinations. I also believe that was the cause of the keloid scarring in the first place. Would tamanu oil be the best oil to put on this to relieve the pain and to possibly reduce the scar (or at least keep it from growing any larger)? Or would EMU Oil be more effective in your opinion?

The pain is SO BAD right now that she wants to go to a dermatologist to get a STEROID SHOT which I do not recommend, but she feels there is NO ALTERNATIVE. Do you know what the side effects are from the steroids shots used in treating keloid scars so that I can educate her?

Thanks for letting me know as soon as possible, Dr. Ettinger. I appreciate all of your help!

P.S.–Do you ship UPS Ground? The reason I ask is because UPS is the only major carrier that does not irradiate any of their products.

Dr. Ettinger’s Response:

Based on the urgency, I’m cutting to the quick. I would alternate oils throughout the day. If there is no relief, to her satisfaction, go for the shot (side-effects are far less than her pain) and continue with the oils.

Our organic, Tahitian tamanu oil is of the finest quality and purity and is what I use every day. We do ship UPS ground.


Go immediately for the shot and use the oils afterward. Personally, I would not want to watch my wife in pain until the package arrives.

Let me know what you decide and what works.


Dr. Marcus Ettinger, B.Sc., D.C

From New York University’s Langone Medical Center website:

Principal Proposed Natural Treatments
Keloid Scars
Other Proposed Natural Treatments

When the body repairs a wound, it often does so by creating fibrous scar tissue. Internal scars that may develop following surgery can cause significant pain. Surface scars are generally painless, but they may be cosmetically unpleasant. In some cases, scars on the skin can develop into a special form of oversized scar called a keloid. Keloids are generally red or pink, and often form a ridge several millimeters above the skin. These scars occur when the body continues to fill the scar with collagen after it has healed. Darker-skinned people are more likely to develop keloids than those with lighter skin.

Conventional treatment of any type of scar is less than entirely satisfactory. Keloids and other scars on the skin may be reduced in size by freezing (cryotherapy), steroid injections, radiation therapy, or surgical removal. However, a new, even more, visible scar may develop in the place of the one that was removed. Similarly, removal of painful internal scars may lead to the new formation of painful scar tissue.

Proposed Natural Treatments

The herb gotu kola is said to help remove keloid scars. 1,2 When used for this purpose, it is taken orally, applied to the skin, or injected into the scar. However, there is no reliable evidence that it is effective.

According to some schools of acupuncture, surface scars impede the flow of “energy,” and thereby cause various illnesses. Acupuncture treatment of both surface and internal scars is said either to shrink them or, at least, to reduce their effects. However, there is no meaningful scientific evidence to indicate that acupuncture offers any benefits for scars.

Other natural treatments proposed for scars, but again without reliable supporting evidence, include: Aloe vera, allantoin, coconut oil, collagen, elastin, jojoba oil, lavender oil, massage, magnet therapy, selenium, snail extract, tamanu oil, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc.


1. Kartnig T. Clinical applications of Centella asiatica (L.). Herbs Spices Med Plants. 1988;3:146-173.
2. Bosse JP, Papillon J, Frenette G, et al. Clinical study of a new anti keloid agent. Ann Plast Surg. 1979;3:13-21.

Dr. Ettinger    

Can B2, Iron and/or Zinc Deficiency Cause Cracks at the Corners of the Mouth?

Hi Dr. Ettinger,

I forgot to ask you when I was there for my appointment about the cracked skin at the corner of my mouth. It wasn’t so bad then, but it has gotten worse. I have never in my life gotten this, so it’s a mystery. I’ve tried putting some skin repair cream on it, but It hasn’t helped that much. I know there’s a reason why this happens, but I seem to have forgotten. Is it some nutritional deficiency? any suggestions about getting rid of it?

Thanks a lot.


B2, Iron and/or Zinc Deficiency


It’s called angular cheilitis or cheolosis.

Although the sores of angular cheilitis may become infected by the fungus Candida albicans (thrush), or other pathogens, studies have linked the initial onset of angular cheilitis with nutritional deficiencies, namely riboflavin (vitamin B2)[1][2] and iron deficiency anemia,[3] which in turn may be evidence of poor diets or malnutrition (e.g. celiac disease). Zinc deficiency has also been associated with angular cheilitis.[4]

Related Products:

Vegetarian Iron Complex

Liquid Complete B Vitamin Formula

Liquid Power Multi-V

Dr. Marcus Ettinger, B.Sc., D.C.

1.  Dorfman J, The Center for Special Dentistry.
2.  MedlinePlus (2005-08-01). “Riboflavin (vitamin B2) deficiency (ariboflavinosis)”. National Institutes of Health.
3.  Lu S, Wu H (2004). “Initial diagnosis of anemia from sore mouth and improved classification of anemias by MCV and RDW in 30 patients”. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod 98 (6): 679–85.
4.  Gaveau D, Piette F, Cortot A, Dumur V, Bergoend H. (1987). “[Cutaneous manifestations of zinc deficiency in ethylic cirrhosis].”. Ann Dermatol Venereol. 114 (1): 39–53. PMID 3579131.


Mangosteen Xanthones in Mangosteen Elixir

Q: I have a question about the amount of xanthones in your products.

A: Nancy,

E-mail me here with your questions. Did you check out your blog? I have many posts about mangosteen and it’s xanthones.

Dr. Marcus Ettinger, B.Sc., D.C.

Nancy: Yes, I have checked out both blogs and appreciate the information. However, the list of xanthones refers to what’s in mangosteen in general. It does not specifically name how many of these xanthones your Absolute Mangosteen TM contains.  Does a third independent party test for xanthone content and quantity in Absolute Mangosteen and how often do they test for this? Is it done before and after bottling? With every batch? Obviously, the xanthone content would vary somewhat from batch to batch, but one would hope you stay within a certain range. I believe you have a superior product but would like to know the specifics before purchasing.  Thank you!   Sincerely, Nancy

100% Organic Mangosteen Juice

Dr. Ettinger: Nancy,

Thank you for the question. We do not measure for exact xanthone content (mg’s/mcg’s), as our product is a juice and not a xanthone supplement (I don’t know of any such product). Apples and oranges, in juice products, are not measured for their phytonutrient content either. We use 100% organic, whole mangosteen. That’s whole fruit – pericarp and seed included, in our juices. That is what I require and look for.

No supplement company I know of tests for mg’s or mcg’s of the 20 or so xanthones present in their juice or caps. It is just assumed that it’s in there because of the inclusion of the pericarp and seeds. The total mg’s of the mangosteen is listed with a statement that, “this product contains a full complement of xanthones” or some such statement. Also, we are one of the only companies to use “flash pasteurization” (related posts on flash pasteurization), which helps to protect the phytonutrient profile of the juice.

I hope we can keep you as a customer and I do know you are getting more of a response here than you will get from any other manufacturer. If you do get a more detailed response, I would very much like you to forward it to me.

I hope this helps and satisfies your inquiry.


Dr. Marcus Ettinger B.Sc., D.C.

I don’t think we should be taking food from whales – astaxanthin

February 15, 2012 by  
Filed under Antioxidants, Recent Posts, Superfoods

Astaxanthin from microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis

“I don’t think we should be taking food from whales.”



No one is taking food from whales. Where did you get your information?

Almost all if not all supplemental astaxanthin is derived from natural sources, such as the microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis (see below) or the pink yeast Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous.

ASTAXANTHIN, a member of the carotenoid family, is a dark-red pigment which is the main carotenoid found in the marine world of algae and aquatic animals. ASTAXANTHIN is present in many types of seafood, including salmon, trout, red sea bream, shrimp and lobster, as well as in birds such as flamingo and quail. This pigment is commercially produced from the microalga Haematococcus pluvialis, the richest known natural source for ASTAXANTHIN.

You can also read my post on astaxanthin, “Astaxanthin – King of the Carotenoids!”


Dr. Marcus Ettinger, B.Sc., D.C.

Charlene’s response back: “I am glad to hear that thanks.”

Here is the rest of the story:


The microalga Haematococcus pluvialis synthesizes and accumulates ASTAXANTHIN to relatively high levels. The commercial production process is based on two distinct cultivation stages. The first is called the “Green Stage,” which starts indoors with a single-cell colony of the microalga, and continues outdoors in solar-powered photobioreactors. The aim of this stage is to produce plenty of viable, unstressed “green” algal cells by normal cell-division process (see Fig. 2). The “Green Stage” provides optimal growth conditions in order to achieve maximal biomass production rate. The second cultivation stage is the “Red Stage” (see Fig. 2), in which the algal cells synthesize and accumulate the pigment ASTAXANTHIN. This stage starts by subjecting the cells to severe stress conditions, mainly high radiation intensity and changes in growth media. As a result, the Haematococcus cells start to form cysts by producing thick cell walls, and to synthesize and accumulate ASTAXANTHIN in its esterified form. Cultivating the algal culture in closed systems allows an environmentally controlled process with less biological and chemical contamination. Following the “Red” process, the level of ASTAXANTHIN in the “red cells” may reach up to ~4% of their dry weight. The ASTAXANTHIN content of the “red cells” is correlated to the severity of the stress conditions, mainly to the light flux through the culture. In due time, the “red” culture is pumped to the down-processing area, where the cells are cracked (to render the pigment bioavailable), dried, and vacuum-packed. Haematococcus oleoresin is produced in an additional step, using the CO2 Supercritical Fluid Extraction process. Increasingly, both consumers and regulatory agencies are requiring extracts that contain no residual solvents. U.S. Nutra of Eustis, FL, has the technology to extract Haematococcus with CO2 and without any co-solvents.

Very few companies commercially produce ASTAXANTHIN from Haematococcus pluvialis. The Hawaiian companies Cyanotech Corporation and Mera Pharmaceuticals cultivate the algae using an open pond system for the “Red Stage.” The Japanese company Fuji Chemicals operates an indoor facility in Sweden and its “dome-shaped” bioreactors in Hawaii.

Algatech uses tubular solar-powered photobioreactors for both the “Green” and “Red” stages in closed, strictly controlled systems (see Figs. 3 and 4). Algatech produces its ASTAXANTHIN from the microalga Haematococcus pluvialis according to its patented biocontrolled growing process (1). The plant is located in the southern part of Israel, in the Negev Desert, near the resort city of Eilat, thus exploiting the area’s high solar radiation year-round.

The major parameters used to assess high-quality commercial Haematococcus biomass and oleoresins are high ASTAXANTHIN content in the product, low levels of biological and chemical contamination, and excellent stability of the ASTAXANTHIN in the product. Producing ASTAXANTHIN in a closed system throughout the entire process (“Green” and “Red”) in an area with high solar-radiation intensity year-round, as in the case of Algatech, yields high-quality ASTAXANTHIN products (see Fig. 5). This algal biomass contains ~4% of its dry weight as ASTAXANTHIN. The production of the algal biomass in flake form (as with Algatechnologies’ dry biomass), offers additional clear advantages when an extraction process is required for the production of high-quality oleoresin with ~ 10% ASTAXANTHIN concentration.

Fig. 2. Red stage of Haematococcus pluvialis culture (under the red half of the photo). Green stage of Haematococcus pluvialis culture (under the green half of the photo).

Fig. 3. General view of Algatechnologie’s production plant in the heart of the Negev desert in Israel.

Fig. 4. “Red-stage” solar photobioreactors – general view.

Fig. 5. Cracked and dried Haematococcus pluvialis algal biomass


Acai IS NOT a Weight-Loss Product

February 15, 2012 by  
Filed under Acai (Euterpe oleracea), Recent Posts

Hello Doctor!

I’ve recently bought your Absolute Acai Capsules product. I’ve not yet received it, but I had a question which your videos on YouTube did not quite address.

How much weight loss am I to expect while taking this product, without exercise? How much exercise do you recommend to boost the power of the Acai?

Thank you for taking the time to consider my questions, I hope to get an email from you soon!


I hate to have to break the news to you but acai is not a weight loss product. Who told you it was?

Acai is a wonderful, polyphenol rich, super-fruit, but it’s not going to shed pounds off of you. Here is what I would do: Take two caps in the morning (it is a great antioxidant) with a vegetable omelet. No snacks between meals. Have vegetables and protein for lunch and dinner. Each meal can have some fat like olive oil, avocado, olives or nuts. If you follow this program, with 20 minutes of exercise each day, I can almost guarantee that you will lose all the weight you want. In 10 weeks (no cheating) it can be as much as 30-40 lbs!

I hope this helps.


Dr. Ettinger

All of our acai products:

Acai Max Organic Acai Juice
An organic and Kosher Acai juice blend
Absolute Acai Powder Organic Acai Powder
120 g: pure organic & Kosher freeze dried acai
Absolute Acai Capsules Organic Acai Powder Capsules
Made from pure organic freeze dried acai
Absolute Acai Juice Organic Acai Juice Concentrate

Normocellular bone marrow with progressive trilineage hematopoiesis

Dr. Ettinger

Do you have any feedback from any of the patients trying MM?

Secondly – a follow up to that blood work of my dads – he had a bone marrow test and turns out he has the following condition:

“Normocellular bone marrow with progressive trilineage hematopoiesis, erythroid hyperplasia, and no significant immunophenotypic abnormalities.

Peripheral blood with mild macrocytic anemia.”

Then there is the actual bone marrow analysis.

Cellularity …. the normocellular % is 40% which is normal for my age.

Basically something that could be genetic and that he has had for a long time. Conventional treatment is wait and watch… Any thoughts or insight?



I haven’t used “The Miracle Mineral Solution” (chlorine dioxide) it in my practice. I have had a few patients use it on their own, though I’ve never heard any rave testimonials about it. Personally, I’m not going to be using it.

As far as your dad’s diagnosis goes, I have had other patients with similar diagnosis and have referred them out to various integrative medical clinics to receive treatments I can’t perform at my practice.

When you see this type of blood test result you would naturally think leukemia/lymphoma. This would need to be ruled in or out. Another thing I would like to rule in or out is, zinc excess or copper deficiency. Here is a link to what I’m talking about. Hypocupremia (copper deficiency) and bone marrow failure. This is important because if it’s part of the puzzle, resolution can’t occur unless the issue is also addressed.

The common denominator in treatment for all has been monthly sessions of IV vitamin C and ongoing LDN (Low Dose Naltrexone) therapy. The patients I’m referring to have all had a diagnosis of leukemia (CLL mainly) or lymphoma (both Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkins).

Supplement wise has been: alpha lipoic acid (can be added to the vitamin C drip), CoQ10 (100+ mg’s), astaxanthin (8-12 mg’s), Vitamin D3 (2000-6000 IU’s), NAC w/selenium & molybdenum (Now Foods 1000+ mg’s), folic acid/B12 (400 mcg’s/2000 mcg’s) and betaine HCl (200-600 mg’s, per meal) for proper absorption of iron and other minerals.

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) Benefits

Cancer Adjuvant Therapy (including NAC, CoQ10, selenium and alpha lipoic acid)

I hope this helps.

Dr. Marcus Ettinger, B.Sc., D.C.

Sea Buckthorn Oil is Obliphica Oil and Obiphica Oil is Sea Buckthorn Oil – in Israel


Yes, obliphica oil is a synonym for Sea Buckthorn Oil. As far as I can tell it’s only utilized for Sea Buckthorn Oil used in products consumed and/or made in Israel – Obliphica Oil. Personally I think it’s just a created term to sound more exotic than straight Sea Buckthorn Oil. Just guessing here.

Other names for Sea Buckthorn are Sallow Thorn and Hippophae rhamnoides.

P.S. Check out our Sea Buckthorn juice, Sea Buckthorn Fusion. Seabuckthorn Fusion™ is a synergistic blend of some of nature’s most powerful, antioxidant rich superfruit and berry juices.


Dr. Marcus Ettinger, B.Sc., D.C.

Is Probitic Flora-Health Safe While Breast Feeding? Yes!

Probiotic Flora-Health is a potent, broad-spectrum, probiotic formulaQuestion: Hi Dr. Ettinger,

I don’t know if you will remember me or not. I saw you many years ago for photo-faicals for my skin and you have since helped me with vitamins to help with my celiac disease. I love/loved the Probiotic Flora-Health the most. I really notice a difference in feeling much better when taking them. It has been a while since I have taken them as life has been hectic, financially and such. I am interested in taking them again but am now breastfeeding our first baby so I wanted to check with you on the safety of the product while breastfeeding.

Thank you for your time,


Answer: Bridget,

Congratulations and yes I do remember, from SD and mom in Montana? I hope my memory is still intact. Probiotic Flora-Health is not only perfectly safe for you and the baby while breast feeding it is a mandatory product recommendation of mine while breast feeding. Our Non-GMO Lecithin Granules is another as i our Liquid Power and Omega 3-6-9. If you take these four items all the way through breast feeding, your baby has the best chances of growing-up healthy, without the same childhood sicknesses that other kids may get. You can take the same four products for your continued health as well.

My wife did the same. Our daughter is 7.5 years of age, no immunizations and has never had to set foot in an MD’s office. I have had her on supplements since she was three. Yes, she has had some mild colds here and there but that’s it.

If you need any personalized health you can always reach me at 714-639-4360

Take care,

Dr. Marcus Ettinger, B.Sc., D.C.

Response Back: Dr. Ettinger,

Yes! You do have a great memory. Thank you for your response and additional recommendations for supplements. Its great to know your daughter has benefited from them as well.

I am sure we will be in touch in the future. I would like my husband to start taking supplements soon too.

Take care,


Next Page »