‘Tis the Season for Joy and Vitamin D

The year-end holidays are a wonderful time to spend with family and friends.

But spending more time with people also means we are exposed to colds and flu. This year very high levels of influenza are expected. You can decrease your susceptibility to colds and flu by maintaining Vitamin D levels.

The easiest way to get Vitamin D is sunlight. Unfortunately, after September 20th (the autumnal equinox) the specific ultraviolet rays that we absorb to make Vitamin D from the sun do not penetrate the earth’s atmosphere above the 35th latitude (Atlanta, Georgia). This means that people who live in New England could stand outside naked all day and never absorb sunlight to make any vitamin D. Supplementation is the only solution.


The Basics About Vitamin D – Here’s What You Need to Know!

Vitamin D is one of the most essential vitamins for our bodies. Vitamins are substances which our bodies consume for energy production, growth, and proper bodily functions.


What Does Vitamin D Do for Me? 

Vitamin D has a variety of different functions in our bodies. One of the primary purposes of vitamin D is to promote healthy bone growth. Vitamin D helps promote calcium absorption and maintain adequate levels of minerals such as phosphorous and calcium in our bones.

Vitamin D also helps control blood pressure and promotes skeletal, nervous, and muscular health.

Vitamin D when used in combination with Vitamin A acts like a hormone, instantly signaling the immune system to ramp-up against bacteria and viruses.


How Can I Get Vitamin D – And How Much Do I Really Need?

There are only three ways to get vitamin D, and it’s recommended that healthy adults consume at least 800 IU of vitamin D every day. In New England it is very appropriate for adults to consume 2,000 IU of Vitamin D.

  • Through your skin – Vitamin D is often known as the “sunshine vitamin”, because our body naturally produces it when we are exposed to the sun. 15-30 minutes of midday sun exposure in the spring through the fall will provide you with 10,000 IU of vitamin D, which is more than enough for your daily requirements.
  • In your diet – Actually, there are very few sources of food that are naturally high in vitamin D. Salmon, tuna, and other oily fish have some vitamin D, as do foods like liver and egg yolks. Dairy products like yogurt and milk usually don’t naturally have vitamin D, but they are often “fortified” with vitamin D supplements.
  • Through vitamin supplements – Since it is difficult to get enough vitamin D in your daily diet and can’t get it through sun exposure, supplements are a good choice. Family and Environmental Medicine carries a 2,000 iu capsule in its online pharmacy.


What Are The Signs Of Vitamin D Deficiency?

If you are elderly, obese, get little sun exposure, or have certain conditions like inflammatory bowel diseases, you may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Here are the most common symptoms:

  • A weakened immune system
  • Fatigue/tiredness
  • Bone and back pain
  • Depression
  • Slow wound healing
  • Bone/hair loss
  • Muscular pain

If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it is critical to assess your Vitamin D blood levels. We recommend that our patients have their Vitamin D blood levels checked at least annually.

How Important is it to Address Vitamin D Deficiency?

A chronic deficiency in Vitamin causes rickets (a softening of bone tissue) and is also associated with chronic conditions such as:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure


Podcast: LiveO2 Whole Life Challenge Episode 117

The Vice President of LiveO2, Tom Butler, recently appeared on the Whole Life Challenge podcast.

We are reposting this recording on our website for you to listen to an exquisite explanation of the Adaptive Contrast™ system that we are using in our New Canaan office.

**Tip: skip ahead to around the 13 minute mark to get to the actual interview...the intro is a bit long.



Oxygen is the necessary material that every cell in the body uses to make energy efficiently. If oxygen doesn't reach the tissue, diffuse into fluids, then shuttled into the cell, energy efficiency is disrupted. When energy is inefficient the function of cells declines. It is well-established that by 50 years old, a person is absorbing 50% of the oxygen that was available during their 20's. This decline in oxygen absorption leads to many diseases as well as aging. Oxygen Multistep Therapy reestablishes oxygen absorption and is well-established as an "anti-aging" therapy (I like to call it aging gracefully).

LiveO2: What's it all About?

It is well-established that by 50 years old, a person is absorbing about 50% of the oxygen that was available during their 20’s. This decline in oxygen absorption leads to many diseases as well as aging. Oxygen is the necessary material that every cell in the body uses to make energy efficiently. If oxygen doesn’t reach the tissue, diffuse into the fluids, then shuttled into the cell, energy efficiency is disrupted. When energy is inefficient the function of cells declines. Oxygen Multistep Therapy reestablishes oxygen absorption.

Family and Environmental Medicine has made Oxygen Multistep Therapy (also known as Exercise with Oxygen Therapy or EWOT) a growing part of our practice here in Connecticut. We're proud to be one of the few that supply this therapy in the area, especially LiveO2 in Connecticut.


Why LiveO2?

If the percentiles above weren't enough, LiveO2 is quicker, deeper, and ultimately more effective because of the pumping action of the lungs, heart, and cardiovascular system. You may be a tad more familiar with hyperbaric oxygen treatments...and while hyperbaric treatments are typically 60 – 120 minutes, Oxygen Multistep Therapy takes only 15 minutes. LiveO2 is an alternative to hyperbaric oxygen treatments, and we feel that is a very important alternative to consider when it comes to improving your overall health!

All it takes is 15 minutes riding a stationary cycle breathing 75% – 90% oxygen.During this time we monitor heart rate, intensity, and oxygen saturation. The treatment is very safe and is available to anyone who is able to exercise.


LiveO2 is Exercise with Oxygen Therapy (EWOT)

The LiveO2 advanced delivery system is the latest and most improved technology for EWOT at this time. The advantage over other basic EWOT systems is the Altitude Contrast mechanism.

The human body is so programmed for survival such that when there is any change in oxygen concentration levels that there is an immediate physiological response to preserve the most important organs and systems. We can tap into this with the LiveO2 Altitude Contrast Mechanism. The physiological change from Altitude Contrast are likened to opening the flood gates to allow massive infusion of oxygen into the tissues. The LiveO2 Altitude Contrast Mechanism allows the patient to go from sea level to approximately 19,000 feet (and back again) by the flip of a switch. With the fast change in a patient’s altitude physiology oxygen uptake is significantly increases along with the resulting impact on energy production to the neurological, hormonal, immunological communication systems of the body as well as the high energy organs such as: brain, heart, muscles, liver, kidneys, and eyes.


If you live in CT, NYC, MA, NJ, and are interested in LiveO2...There are limited spots available at our office for Live O2, so don’t miss out.

Contact us

LiveO2 in Fairfield County CT and Surrounding Local Areas

Family and Environmental Medicine help patients with Holistic Solutions that support health and well-being. Dr Gary Gruber provides private appointments for patients from around the country who seek health and healing with Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The majority of patients are from the local area of southern Fairfield County (including Greenwich CT, Stamford CT, Darien CT, Norwalk CT, New Canaan CT, Wilton CT), Westchester County, NY, NYC, and Northern NJ. See if we're a good for your liveo2 near me! LiveO2 CT, LiveO2 in Connecticut. For personal questions about anti aging therapy and LiveO2, please contact us at (203) 966-6360.

More on LiveO2 from Family and Environmental Medicine:
Listen to a powerful, life saving story about LiveO2
Worldwide Business with Kathy Ireland covered LiveO2
Learn about LiveO2 with regards to Anti-Aging

HeartMath - What have we learned?

What is holistic medicine?

Holistic medicine is a term that is loosely bantered about and yet, poorly embraced by well-intentioned practitioners of complementary and alternative medicine.  It is a system that considers that a person is more than his physical body. He has emotions; He has a connection to the infinite universal power. The sum of the parts is a unique person.

In medical school nearly 100% of the education and clinical internship is spent learning and practicing physical medicine. In 2003, as graduation from medical school was rapidly approaching, I searched for a way to become a holistic practitioner. Part of the solution was HeartMath, a tool to help patients learn and apply skills for emotional management.

In 2004, when I first began using the HeartMath system, the available technology was cumbersome and relatively expensive. While I was able to work one on one with patients to teach these skills, the ongoing practice by patients of the skills was less than adequate.

In their commitment to improving their system, HeartMath Research began by raising the level of expertise of its healthcare practitioners.  The newly established certification program meant 10 hours of additional study and submitting an actual case to a review board. In 2008 I became the first licensed HeartMath practitioner in the state of Connecticut. This designation is designed to bring a level of professional credentialing to this growing field of emotional management and sustained behavioral change.

The certification program turned out to be substantially more advanced than the previously published books and materials. The program developed a higher level of scientific understanding of the applications of heart rate variability to health conditions such as: high blood pressure, heart failure, heart arrhythmias, heart attack risk reduction, diabetes, and breast cancer.  In my published case review, I showed that a patient with chronic Lyme disease had a weakened immune system due to the fear and anxiety associated with the illness.  Using only HeartMath tools, the patient became aware of these negative emotions and strengthened the immune system. Within a couple of months of practice the patient was able to return to normal activities at work and family life.

Learning and practicing these HeartMath skills set a new standard for achieving lifetime person mastery. According to the HeartMath Interventions Manual for Healthcare Practitioners, “The HeartMath System is a research-based system of scientifically validated tools, techniques, and technology to increase emotional self-regulation.”   In 2013 HeartMath integrated their technology into the smartphone and tablet platforms, making HeartMath practice easier and consistent for the patient. Through this technology, called InnerBalance, the patient may use a personal device to learn, practice, and advance in the HeartMath System while providing a database of information for the doctor to monitor and review progress with the patient. HeartMath has created a win-win strategy for the doctor-patient relationship.

To learn more about the InnerBalance tool for smartphone and tablet, please watch this short  video:

As a certified HeartMath Practitioner, our patients may now purchase an InnerBalance device for a 10% discount and free shipping with the coupon code VHEALTH. To read more about this special offer click here: www.GoHeartMath.com. We also offer patient training and counseling. For more information about our counseling services please Click Here or call the office to schedule a consultation.

Friends for Fall 2017

Focus on your overall health and recharge your energy this Fall!

Have you experienced a loss of energy? Perhaps wrinkles, or brain fog? Live O2 can help with that!  For a limited time only, this Fall, you and a friend can experience the benefits of a true anti-aging system at an unbeatable price!

With our Friends for Fall promotion, you and a friend are able to save 20% or more on Live O2 sessions!  Here's how it works...during the promotion, book a minimum of 6 sessions, and you + a friend will receive Live O2 sessions for $60 each (compared to $75+ each).

Here is a review from one of our patients (66 year-old female patient):

"I love this therapy. I found it to be so beneficial to my health and overall well-being. It has been a few months since I have stopped but I feel it has longevity i.e. my sense of smell is acute as ever and I am still very focused. I am looking forward to resuming it again."

Haven't heard of LiveO2?

In 2016 Family and Environmental Medicine became the first clinic on the east coast of the United States to offer patients the most advanced system for oxygen multistep therapy, a system called LiveO2.  This advanced system that uses altitude contrast therapy has been clinically demonstrated to be more effective in LESS TIME than traditional oxygen multistep therapy, exercise with oxygen therapy, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. In addition to reversing and slowing the effects of aging, LiveO2 has been effective in our clinic in treating chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, chronic lymphatic congestion, chronic infections, and chronic Lyme disease.



Mercury, Chronic Diseases and Mitochondrial Dysfunction

According to the World Health Organization, Mercury is one of the top ten chemicals that poses a considerable threat to public health.

Mercury is everywhere in our environment.

It is found in air, water, soil.  It is a familiar industrial chemical found in thermometers, thermostats, and light bulbs.  It is released into the air by burning coal. The mercury in the air is deposited in the ocean and bioaccumulates and biomagnifies throughout the food chain.

Mercury is 50% of the material used to fill a tooth cavity.  The filling, also known as an amalgam filling, exposes the human body to elemental mercury as the filling deteriorates by chewing. The off-gassing of mercury is dangerous because bacteria in the mouth can change elemental mercury to methylmercury, a form of mercury that is particularly dangerous to the nervous system.

While the human body has a mechanism to detoxify mercury (i.e., remove it from the body), for many people this detoxification process is not adequate and mercury will accumulate in bones, liver, kidneys, and brain.  Mercury is toxic to the immune and neurological systems. As a result, for people who are susceptible to neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases mercury may expedite the conditions of dementia, Alzheimer’s, lupus and multiple sclerosis. In the following video, it was demonstrated how mercury causes the nerve entanglements associated with Alzheimer’s.

Mercury interferes with the mechanism for making biochemical energy also known as the Citric Acid Cycle:

Therefore, mercury may influence many conditions associated with mitochondrial dysfunction:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Epilepsy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Autistic spectrum disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Major depression
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Cancer
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Cataracts
  • Fibromyalgia

Mercury is a well-known neurotoxin that can affect both the peripheral
nervous system and the central nervous system. The University of Calgary produced an excellent video that visually demonstrates the toxic effect that mercury has on brain tissue. This also speaks to the connection to degenerative diseases like alzheimers and multiple sclerosis.



Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Dysfunction across Broad-Ranging Pathologies: Toward Mitochondria-Targeted Clinical Strategies: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2014/541230/cta/

World Health Organization: Mercury and Health: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs361/en/

The Toxicology of Mercury: Current Research and Emerging Trends: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28889024

Irritable Bowel Syndrome - More than a Feeling

When consulting with patients who have been suffering with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, the conversation is usually centered around how they feel.

The most common responses from those with irritable bowel syndrome are that they are feeling:

  • upset
  • frustrated
  • uncomfortable
  • embarrassed
  • weak
  • exhausted
  • debilitated

Some even feel constant and chronic symptoms as though they are constantly fighting a stomach bug.

A patient may feel like they are in a state of anxiety or even panic while anticipating acute and cyclical attacks and some patients feel their body is shaking as though they have the chills or a fever.

In severe cases, patients feel that they have lost control along with a limitation of their normal daily activities.

There are many symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. A common thread are multiple symptoms at the same time:

  • foul-smelling gas
  • painful and stabbing cramps
  • bloating
  • nausea and vomiting
  • right-sided abdominal pain
  • lower and mid back pain
  • headaches
  • constipation that lasts 3 - 4 days with large painful stools
  • urgency with loose, mucousy stools.

So, what is going on? What is happening? Basically, your digestive system is out of balance. What does it mean to have a digestive system that is out of balance? It means that it lacks Homeostasis.

In medical terms, Homeostasis is the condition when your systems are in balance and regulating normally, responding to and handling the multiple stressors that are part of life. Recognize that each person has their own threshold for handling stress.But stress can overload the balanced system.  

What happens when a system is overloaded and unable to regulate itself?  

This dysregulation is communicated to you through what we call symptoms.

The digestive system has a very sophisticated regulation or communication system that has three parts: Immune system, Hormonal system, and the Nervous system. Think of it like a three-legged stool. When the legs are not the same length or very weak, it is hard to sit in a balanced way on the stool. For example, we know that stressors can be emotional, physical, or spiritual and these stressors will deplete the microbiome, the good bacteria in the gut. These bacteria are a very important component of the immune system and part of their role is crowding out pathogens like the bacteria E. coli or the fungus like candida. So when stress suppresses the good bacteria, the immune system is weakened and the stability of the regulatory system crashes.

Drugs and medications can temporarily suppress symptoms while the underlying stressors continue to keep the digestive system out of balance. The stressors as I mentioned before are physical, emotional and spiritual and are the obstacles to healing. Once these stressors are removed the body has a natural tendency repair itself and return to balance.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome feels like a never ending cycle:

  1. Symptoms are the way your digestive system communicates that it is out of balance
  2. The dysregulation of the digestive system is the result of multiple stressors
  3. Stressors are obstacles to healing and must be removed rather than suppressed

For a video presentation of this material:


bromelain powerful anti-inflammatory

Bromelain: The Inflammation Enzyme

Bromelain is an all-natural protein extract that’s derived from the stems of pineapples.

This powerful enzyme has been used in alternative medicine for centuries – starting with native tribespeople in South and Central America.

bromelaine powerful anti-inflammatoryThough it was known in the western medicine by 1876, Bromelain did not become a popular treatment until 1957, when Ralph Heinicke began using pineapple stems to create super-concentrated bromelain extracts.

The primary component of bromelain is a sulfhydryl proteolytic fraction, though it also contains other active ingredients such as several protease inhibitors and acid phosphatase.

Together, these ingredients create a powerful proteolytic effect – that is, they work together to break down proteins into smaller peptides and amino acids. This proteolytic effect has many treatment applications for pain, inflammation, and improving the immune system.


What Does Bromelain Do?

Bromelain is a powerful natural substance – and it’s readily bioavailable to humans, and exhibits powerful anti-inflammatory effects, as well as analgesic pain-relieving properties. A study performed on rats in 2005 indicated that bromelain was one of the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory drugs available – perhaps stronger than pharmaceutical medicines such as Prednisone that work by inhibiting prostaglandins.

In addition to its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects, bromelain is thought to have an effect on many other parts of the body. According to a study performed in 2001, bromelain induces a higher level of T-cells and B-cells in mice – and has been confirmed as a powerful immunomodulatory agent that can help boost the immune system.

Bromelain has also been certified for medicinal use – commercially available bromelain compounds are used by medical professionals for the debridement of wounds, due to bromelain’s powerful ability to denature proteins.


What Is Bromelain Used For?

 In alternative research, bromelain compounds have been shown to have a wide variety of uses. From treatment of diseases and chronic health issues, to its use as a supplement for everyday health, bromelain has a huge variety of uses.

  • Potentiation Of Antibiotics A study conducted in 2016 identified bromelain as a powerful potentiator of antibiotics. Patients who were administered a high dose of bromelain alongside antibiotics had a much higher ability to fight back against infection. This makes bromelain a fantastic treatment for infections such as bronchitis, sinusitis, and pneumonia.
  • Treatment Of Musculoskeletal Injuries – The powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic power of bromelain makes it a powerful treatment for athletic injuries caused by trauma, or for postoperative muscular recovery after surgery.
  • Digestive Aid – Enzymes such as bromelain have been proven to aid in digestive health. By assisting in the breakdown of proteins, bromelain encourages absorption of critical nutrients, and a healthier digestive system.
  • Cardiovascular Health – Bromelain has well-documented anti-clotting properties, which can help prevent the buildup of potentially dangerous blood clots, and encourage a higher level of cardiovascular health.
  • Arthritis Treatment – The powerful anti-inflammatory effects of bromelain make it a fantastic choice for arthritis treatment. And because it’s all-natural, there are none of the nasty side-effects that are so common with corticosteroid arthritis treatments like Prednisone.
  • Cancer Treatment – Bromelain has been recognized for chemopreventive capabilities, and is an effective anticancer agent which can help reduce the size of tumors. A study performed on 4 human subjects showed that bromelain attacks a protein known as “MUC1” – which heavily impaired the ability of cancer cells to survive and reproduce. In animals studies Bromelain has been shown to reduce and inhibit metastasis.


Who Should Take Bromelain Supplements?

Bromelain is a powerful, all-natural supplement – and in reasonable doses, it’s safe for everyone to use. Whether or not you have a chronic condition such as those listed above, bromelain is a safe supplement that can aid in digestion, encourage better cardiovascular health, and reduce pain and inflammation.

Happy Gut, Healthy Body

The foundation of good health starts with a healthy, happy digestive system.

The gut is where many of the most important processes happen in the body such as eliminating toxins, absorbing nutrients, filtering out viruses and bacteria, and supporting the immune system. When our gut is in optimal shape, our body tends to be healthier overall. Below are five areas everyone can address in order to help improve their gut function. However, keep in mind that each of us has an individual picture of health. That is why we recommend that you consult with us about your own digestive wellness so we may help you design and implement a comprehensive health plan.



Probiotics are beneficial strains of bacteria that occur naturally in the body. They help break down food, aid in digestion, make some nutrients more bio-available, and combat the overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria. The use of pharmaceuticals, antibiotics, and chronic stress all compromise health levels of beneficial bacteria, making it harder for them to do their job. Many of us need daily supplementation with a high quality probiotic. It is important to maintain the quality of your supplement by keeping it refrigerated. Also, help feed good bacteria with fermented foods (sauerkraut) and special soluble fibers (inulin and arabinogalactans).


Food Sensitivities

To immediately improve your gut health you should eliminate from your diet foods to which you have allergies and sensitivities. Food sensitivities are not as obvious as anaphylactic food reactions - such as hives, inflammation, difficulty breathing or rashes.  That deals with a different part of the immune system. Food sensitivities are foods that you might eat on a regular basis to which your body has developed a chronic low-grade intolerance.   If the problem is left untreated, your body can become over-reactive to many kinds of foods, even some you don't eat regularly. The four most common foods are wheat, dairy, soy, and eggs. While the elimination diet is the standard for food sensitivities, there are affordable laboratory tests that we regularly order for our patients that make the process of elimination simple and effective.



One of the most critical parts of a healthy gut is good elimination. There is quite a bit of evidence about your overall state of health by the number of bowel movements you have a day as well as the quality. Soluble and insoluble fiber will help with elimination, as well as exercise and stretching. It is important to have the right balance in your transit time between when you eat and when you have a bowel movement. If you are constipated, it means that toxins and body waste are sitting in your intestines. You run the risk of reabsorbing some of the toxins and damaging the intestinal barrier (click here: The Intestinal Barrier). If your transit time is too quick, your body doesn't have time to absorb the nutrition from your food.



An important aspect to elimination and a healthy gut is proper hydration. We need water to flush toxins, absorb nutrients through osmosis, and help prevent the gut from becoming constipated. Make sure to include clean sources of water in your daily routine. Staying hydrated throughout the day is more beneficial to your body than hydrating with several glasses of water all at once. While flavored beverages can be appealing, added sugars, caffeine, dyes, and other chemicals will negate any positive effects. Water is necessary in and of itself, so make sure to get enough pure, clean water in your diet as necessary.


Stress Reduction

Our gut is often thought of as our emotional center. We get butterflies in our stomach, or nausea with stage fright, or we may have a gut feeling. However, chronic negative feelings like anger, guilt, and anxiety can have a negative impact on our gut health. It is important to be mindful of the amount of chronic stress you have in your life. Conscious breathing or taking deep refreshing breaths several times during the day can help release any stored up tension in your gut. To help patients with chronic stress we are Certified in HeartMath (click here: HeartMath for Emotional Management). The unique and effective A.R.E. Program was designed to help patients manage and eliminate the physiological effects of chronic stress.

For a complete list of digestive support aids, please visit our collections page for digestive solutions! Click Here.



Gaby, A. (2011). Nutritional medicine. Concord, N.H: Fritz Perlberg Publishing.

Murray, M. T. (1997). Chronic candidiasis: Your natural guide to healing with diet, vitamins, minerals, herbs, exercise, and other natural methods. Rocklin, CA: Prima Health.

LiveO2 Featured On Wordwide Business

LiveO2, as a part of Whole Health Network, was very recently featured on Worldwide Business with Kathy Ireland® to discuss restoring vitality with oxygenation technology.

Take a look at the full story in the video below!